Session Six – a Diabolic Lair
The session opened with a discussion amongst the Magi on how to generate wealth for the covenant. The quarry and the possibility of salt production were decided as two viable options to be explored – both needing a mundane conduit to act as a go between for the transport and sale, and some magical artifacts to accelerate the production to high levels quickly.
The discussion was concluded with two companions to potentially act as go-between, the mercenary Carrick, and the scholar Valentino.
The session also saw a very strange visitor arrive at the covenant, Malak the Calaphract (meaning a moor-ish horse warrior, akin to a Knight). Malak stood apart from anything the covenant and Magi had (probably) even seen. Skin dark, strange curved weapons, even stranger accent, and a disturbing manner to some. He arrived wearing a fine suit of mail, a vicious curved greatsword, and rode a bold warhorse.
Malak was tested by Callan on his philosophy, and by Carrick in his melee prowess – both performed well. He was welcomed as a guest to the covenant, and given quarters. Some of the grogs and common folk seemed to dislike his presence, but it has been made clear from the Magi that the moor is a guest.
Some days afterward there was a small band of Scotti from the Bell clan, led by Sean Bell who is one of their senior clansmen. Sean was a hearty chested and boastful, and advised that his kin would be bringing feast and festival toward the day’s end. After a tour of the covenant Sean Bell disclosed the secondary reason for his visit – to warn the Magi that a set of wizards local to both the covenant and the Clan Bell were conducting strange rites and harming commoners; and ask what can be done.
Sean Bell told the magi where he thought their lair was, and took his leave as the magi started discussion. It was quickly decided that that they needed to know more, so the magi took to action and sent Maximilian and Demetrius to scout the lair. It was close to where Sean Bell had stated, built into a craggy rock face with a small open clearing in front of it.
As the magi entered the area a strange scratching force attacking them, and it proved difficult to divine the source of the attacks. The Magi persevered, and managed to find a small iron shod door in the face of the crags, just below a set of roughly cut steps. The magi also learned that the aura was infernally tainted.
Maximilian and Demetrius returned to the covenant and informed the other Magi. It was determined that they would return to the site and Callan would join them.
Upon return the Magi once again fought through the strange wrasping aura, and successfully opened the door to the lair. Maximilian did not delay, and moved through the lair with purpose, Callan close behind. They heard a deep voice chanting a guttural language and entered to see a deformed man standing in a pool of slowly expanding smokey black water, at his feet was a body. Behind the pool were small cells where other bodies lay, most likely already dead.
Maximilian cast without hesitation and struck the deformed man with an Incantation of Lightning, which killed him immediately. Callan cast to destroy the bodies within the cells, and beneath the deformed man’s body. As the two Magi fled the lair, Callan struggled to pickup the body and teleport away, and Maximilian flew through the chambers.
They rejoined Demetrius briefly, and all three fled back to the covenant. Maximilian and Demetrius grievously wounded.
- The wounds that some of the characters have will affect their seasons. If a character exceed the limits below they must re-roll wound recovery (see p179).
- Wounds of -1 to -2 = Cannot perform strenuous activity, including cast spells that cost fatigue without risking further impacts to recovery. Work, chores, and lab work are normal.
- Wounds of -3 to -5 = Character can walk slowly if they take frequent rests, but all distances are halved. Study totals are halved, and lab work is impossible.
- Wounds of -6 to more = All productive work or study is impossible, and character can only move short distances even with assistance.
- All wounded characters will make wound stabilization & recovery rolls at the start of the session. Chirurgy will be needed.
- If the characters are attended by Sym’s recovery magic each day they gain +6 to the recovery rolls. The spells must be cast for the entire recovery period.
- Need to suss which (or both) of the companions wish to act as traders or contacts for the two potential revenue streams – the salt or stone. Gav & Ant let me know your thoughts. These are the types of things that can occur as a by-the-by or we might spin them up as sources for stories.
- Callan wished to borrow vis from the covenant to conduct a season of activity, after which he and Accalon will develop an artifact for salt production. This was approved.
- Accalon was more than willing to construct any of the items needed by the covenant, and the Magi agreed that he was best served and skilled to do so.We’ll have to calculate the effect and the item.
Session Seven – Victory in the Lair
Session began with the magi taking stock of their wounds, the strange effects surrounding the crags, and quickly agreeing to return and deal with the suspected evil. A few hours after the main force of grogs had left the covenant toward the crags Callan’s crow told him that “a handful of man walked from the caves”.
Knowing this and suspecting a battle mid journey Maximilian and Callan left to join the grogs, but the characters walking to the crag did not encounter any of the cave dwellers on their journey to the crag. The group either returned to the caves or have journeyed elsewhere.
Upon arrival at the clearing the magi identified the “diabolic shrouds” as oily vicious emanations, which coalesced into creatures when a person walked into the aura. As they had been sighted, Callan was able to deal with the creatures. For even man who stepped foot upon the aura a creature needed to be dealt with.
With the shrouds destroyed Maximilian, Luciano, Carrick, and Callan entered the cave. The group moved with caution, and followed the main tunnel into the rear of the passages; where a stream of water cascaded from a chamber in the roof, and pooled on the ground. At the foot of the waterfall a small stone altar had been placed, formed from the rough stone of the surrounding crags. From around them the party could hear a slow moaning chant, echoing around the rough walls.
As the party moved through the altar chamber a ripple in the water alerted Maximilian to a presence, and as the party watched a mutated man appeared amid the water and moved to strike Maximilian. The party did not hesitate, and both fire and lightning spells and crushing force were needed to deal with the tainted man before he could hurt Maximilian. His body washed into the water again.
As the party recovered they realised the source of the chanting was from one of the small tunnels from this main chamber, and moved toward it. As the party cleared the entrance a spear man attacked, flinging a shortspear at Carrick. As the spear bounced from Carrick’s armor a ball of abysmal flame killed the man instantly, immolating his body. Even as the group sensed victory a foreboding set upon them, as the chanting had ceased.
Carrick led the group into the end of the tunnel, where a flaming man raised himself from a bath of blood, chains and ropes melting from his ruined but powerful body, and an unnatural fire alighting in his eyes. Each hand was awash with a purple and orange flame, and as the melee began the figure caused flame to erupt around the room, and through the party. As the man rose up several people collapsed around the bath, either their lives or energy expended.
The battle with the flaming man was terrible and vicious, with even some spells being totally ineffective against the infernally imbued foe. Round upon round saw strikes at each member of the party, and all would have been lost had the magi not already prepared themselves with protection against flames, or been specially versed in Ignem. Carrick’s own survival may have attributed to a protective ward cast just minutes before.
The battle ended when the flaming man was eventually worn down, his magical powers and physical body eventually spent and all but destroyed. The session ended just as the emaciated flaming man died, and the four characters stood sorely tested, but victorious.
- Next session will pick-up from the end of the battle, as there are a few loose ends to close up in the caves, and also perhaps at the covenant.
- Greg & Ben – Tregus and Demetrius were assumed to stay behind to guard the covenant with Accalon and Sym, while Maximilian, Luciano, and Callan returned to the crags with a contingent of grogs led by Carrick.
- Greg – We’ll resolve your healing checks when next session starts.
- Josh – We’ll need to re-do the healing checks, with a roll modifier as you’ve re-opened the wounds through exertion.
Session Eight – A Feast and a Mystery
Session eight picked up where the characters left off – within the diabolist’s cave, just after having defeated the burning man. The team of Maximilian, Carrick, Luciano, and Callan continued to search the through the remaining caves.
The remainder of the caves appeared to be empty of both opponents and valuables, and the only strange event was the effect of the strange smoky water on Luciano when he attempted to walk through it’s corrosive layers.
Back at the covenant the remaining characters joined the large feast with the Bell clan’s soldiers. Many strength and stamina competitions were conducted, and the celebrations did not conclude until well into the morning of the next day. During the festivities Carrick had a suspicion that one of the Bell’s present might have been more notable than initially stated.
No sign has been heard of the footmen who left the Diabolists cave before the characters arrived. Perhaps the worst were killed in the caves.
Letter to Covenant of Six Pillars and Horsingas by Maximilian, and the recall of the grogs.
Delays due to recent and very substantial attacks on the order across Europe (and from what we are hearing other areas as well). It is currently unknown when we will be able to attend as we deal with the ramification effects of these attacks. We wish to apologise for this unexpected and unavoidable delay and trust you understand that our delay in no way reflects on our good intentions to establish positive and mutually beneficial relationships with you. We hope that you have been informed of these events and that you were not too badly affected; either directly or indirectly. We hope that we will be able to meet with you when these matters are resolved.We welcome any additional news you may have on these events and will send news of any updates should we receive them. When we are able we will send word, and if convenient for you will be pleased to meet.MaxPer. Covenant of StormWatch.
The Covenfolk and Characters might have noted:
- There has been a change in mood in the covenant. The covenfolk are slightly less hostile and/or wary.
- The still is finished.
- Money and living conditions are still an issue for many, and the establishment of a few industries is still a key concern.
- Sym was successful in winning the stamina competition, and placed in many of the other challenges.
Out of character notes:
- Season Activity:
- Please update characters for the end of the season, and start the haggle for the next season’s resources.
- XP rewards for some characters:
- Only add xp where your character was played or involved. e.g. If your character was not in play, or did not participate in the diabolist’s cave story do not add the XP.
- 5 xp for participants in diabolist’s cave story.
- 5 xp to generally cover the spread of sessions so far, for all characters in play.
- 2 xp for Summer, Autumn, and Winter seasons for any characters in play for those seasons.
- Wound Recovery Rules:
- I am going to change the wound recovery time frames so that recovery is much faster. It is a disadvantage to the ongoing play to have characters out of action for so long.
- We will move all recovery periods up to the next time period, with a minimum of days. ie: Season become Month, Month becomes Week, Week becomes Day.
- However the characters must roll for every wound, not just one of the worst at their current level. This means that a character with 3 Light wounds must roll three times and track recovery for each wound. Confirm the season activities, and start the haggle of who gets what in the next seasons.