Thursday, May 21, 2015

Session 23 Synopsis

Previously, on Phoenix Rising...
Our heroes had spent some time hearing quite a number of different requests that people wanted them to look into the next timet they went exploring in the Gardmore Abbey area. And they had heard rumors of another group of adventurers that were also looking for cards from the Deck of Many Things, and weren't quite sure what that might mean for their future explorations...

The party decided to spend the night in town so they settled in to a night of light drinking and relaxing and slowly made their way to sleep for the night.

It was Jobi who actually noticed that something was wrong. She had awoke for no readily apparent reason, but when she did, she saw three people had broken into their common room and were in the process of stealing Kel's stuff. So she screamed out loud to wake everyone else and warn them of the intrusion. The intruders then ran out carrying two large bags with them. And that's when everyone noticed that Kell was no longer in her bed, nor anywhere in the room!

The party sprang into action, mostly foregoing putting on armor, except for Blackwell who was putting on armor as he was running down the stairs and hallways. Asphodel flew out the window to try to cut off the thieves, while everyone else ran through the building in hot pursuit.

When outside, the party saw the three riding horses straight for the main gate, where the two local guards were knocked to the ground, though it was unclear if they were dead or not. Asphodel flew in front of them and Zerak was able to cast a web spell on the thieves, also coating Asphodel with the webs as well. they worked fairly well, catching one rider and pulling him off his horse, tangling up the second and his horse as they tried to avoid Asphodel (horse and rider went over backwards, pinning rider to the ground). And the third one had to try to veer out of the way. The rest of the party quickly caught up with the three and stopped them from getting away. One was killed and the other two severely wounded and captured. Zola used a new spell of hers to compell them to tell the truth about what had happened to Kell after they discovered the bags they were running away with only contained her gear and not her. Zola even had to heal one of them some before casting the spell so if he didn't tell the truth, he would only be injured and not killed by the spell. So the party tied the two up and readied them for an interrogation.

The bandits thought it better to just tell the truth than to suffer any more attacks from our heroes and told them that kel had been kidnapped and was probably already on their ship. With a little extra nudging - by way of Zerak casting a spell which caused an animated skeleton to come out of the dead body of the thieves' former acquaintance, they also indicated that their ship was an airship and was "docked" in a clearing around a quarter mile away (take the first left and its in the clearing, you can't miss it!). Plus they also said they were hired by the Crownsilvers. So Asphodel hung up one of the bandits on the town wall and Zerak instructed his skeleton to just tap him with its sword constantly, so he wouldn't try to get away. Then they went running and flying at breakneck speeds after Kel.

Asphodel was the first to arrive near the clearing where the airship was. She saw a covered wagon blocking part of the path to the clearing, some 150 feet or so away from the airship. She tried to be sneaky (and was in her own mind) to stealthily approach the clearing to get a better look at what was going on. Fortunately she decided to use the woods as extra cover for her and was able to get to the clearing without being seen. She saw what looked like a normal sailing ship about eighty feet in length, complete with sails and rigging. There were around 8 to 10 people either on the ship or in the clearing and it looked like they were keeping an eye out for possible pursuers as well as getting ready to set sail.

At this time Blackwell came upon the scene and changed into hybrid form from wolf form and began to stealthily advance on the bandits as well. He also made it to the ship when he was spotted and attacked. That prompted the one who looked like a ship's captain to shout out orders to pull anchor, which in turn prompted Asphodel to break cover (not to be confused with breaking wind) and attack the people on the ship.

Meanwhile, in the bowels of the ship...
Kel awoke with a horrendous headache and found herself tied up, laying on the dirty floor of what looked like a cabin on a ship, wearing nothing but her sleepwear. She looked around and saw that there was an armed and armored man standing inside the room looking away from her. The door was closed, and there was a longsword and shield mounted to the wall. The shield had the heraldry of her family on it. She quietly slipped free from her bonds (not to be confused with bondage) and with the grace and silence of a cat stalking its prey, she was able to get the sword and shield off of the wall, sneak up on the guard, and brain him with the shield. She hit him so hard that he just crumpled like a marionette that had just had its strings cut. She quickly bound him with the ropes that were tied around her just moments ago, then peeked out the door to see what was going on.

She saw (not to be confused with seesaw) an empty below deck area with only two other doors, no portals, and one set of stairs leading up to a closed hatch. So she crept up the stairs and slowly lifted the hatch and peered over the edge. She saw that there were some people on the deck of the ship facing away from her but that was about it. Suddenly someone screamed, "She's escaped!" and she felt the trap door slam down on her very hard - hitting her head right where it hurt the most, causing her to fall down the stairs. Luckily she didn't get any fingers caught in the trap door and she was just a bit worse for wear - mainly a bruised backside this time to match her aching head.

Back on deck...
The battle had started to get furious by the time the rest of the party had managed to run the distance to the clearing. The bandits had summoned up some hyenas on the deck to try to keep Asphodel busy, and the ones on the ground had converged on Blackwell's position, giving him a difficult time. Zola, Zerak, and Jobi continued to run up to where Blackwell was whn one o fthe bandits targeted them with a fireball. Not to be deterred by this, Jobi decided what was good for the goose was also good for the gander and threw one of her own fireballs back at that bandit wizard. Her fireball erupted and started the ship on fire!

Back in the ship...
Kel had pulled herself up and tried to open the hatch only to discover that it was now locked down. So sh went to the knocked out guard and grabbed his flail and took that up the stairs and gave the most powerful swing she could muster. Just as her swing contacted the hatch, an explosion of fire happened, knocking her once again down the stairs and onto her backside. But at least the hatch was now partially open. Unfortunately the ship was also on fire! She had to find a way out and fast.

Meanwhile back on deck...
The fighting was fierce but it slowly was looking like the kidnappers were losing. The two spellcasters started moving about and one of them teleported or something like it all the way to the end of the path leading to the clearing, causing Jobi and Zerak to turn back towards him to engage him. But once they got close enough, he threw a fireball at the wagon. Evidently, before the battle had begun, the wagon was placed there full of other explosives for when the fireball erupted, the resulting explosion was truly spectacular - exploding with a force many times that of a normal fireball spell and setting a lot of the forest on fire here as well. Had it not been for the near inhuman quick reactions of Zerak and Jobi, and the great reflexes of Blackwell, all three of them would have been nothing more than charred toast.

The other spellcaster, the one that appeared to be the captain, had jumped off the back of the ship and launched another fireball at the the deck of the ship, attempting to incinerate the entire deck and below decks. And he would have succeeded if not for Asphodel's quick thinking to block the fireball by letting it hit her. This tactic didn't cause her any damage since she was now immune to fire. But this act gave Kel enough time to break through the burning hatch and get off the ship. Zola too, who had made it on the ship to help battle the hyenas and kidnappers also made haste to get off the ship now that it was becoming a raging inferno.

The captain had then vanished and was nowhere to be seen, so the heroes then went after the remaining bandits over near Blackwell. Just about then, the ship blew up throwing chunks of ship and debris everywhere. After this, the last remaining bandit threw down his weapon and surrendered. Zola went and used her create water spell to douse the flames in the area so the whole forest wouldn't go up in flames. After a few questions to the prisoner confirmed the thought that these were just mercenaries hired to retrieve Kel, they tied him up and marched him back to the town.

When they got back to the town, they found a lot of people in all states of panic. Zerak's skeleton had been beaten into pieces, and the town guards were trying to calm people down as well as going to investigate taht really loud explosion off in the woods that they heard just minutes before. The party handed over the surviving kidnapper and explained what had been going on to the town guards and eventually, the town calmed down and went back to sleep and so did our heroes.

But Jobi experienced a nightmare when she went back to sleep and awoke screaming and crying. It took several minutes for her to calm down enough to even blubber something about the dream to the others and it still was pretty incoherent. Bits and pieces did emerge, something about a cult and her latest lust, I mean love interest, Mordai Vell, but she kept most of it inside and didn't explain to the rest of the party.

The next morning came too soon for the group, but eventually they rose and began getting ready to head back to Gardmore Abbey to tell Sir Berrian the good news about his claim being honored by Lord Padraig. Before they left Zerak and Asphodel also went to see if Valthruun had made any progress with the research topics they had given him nearly a week prior. No such luck yet - Valthruun mentioned that he was working on them but they were very rare bits of information he was looking for.

They stopped to camp for the night in a relatively secluded spot that afforded them an undisturbed night of sleep. In the morning, Jobi was in a great mood, especially compared to the day before when she was in a rotten mood from her nightmare. The day passed quickly and by dusk they found themselves back in the clearing where they had first met Sir Berrian and his elven knights.

Until next week, may you not have any nightmares that come true...

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