Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Ballad of the Pigeon God #61: Returning From White Plume Mountain

Our heroes, returning from White Plume Mountain:

Echelon, former Baron of Eding, fervent priest of Tshang Kai Shing, de facto leader and inspiration against the Dread Lord, and until a few days ago, previously deceased.  Wielder of the trident, Wave.

Sir Norm Dingleberry, General of the Eastern Army, scourge of the Skyforge dwarves, and secretly an ally to the resistance against the Dread Lord.  Failed dwarven mushroom farmer, and wielder of the battleaxe, Overwhelm.

Kane, an eastern mystic with elemental control of water.  He had discarded the adventuring life, but upon learning about the resistance against the Dread Lord, dug out his old plate mail and was the first to help.  His selflessness had earned him a set of Chain Mail +3 in White Plume Mountain.

Mellandria, a scholarly magic-user who barely escaped from the Magistocracy of Emron with her life (and an owl familiar, Horatio).  Her position in the ex-Baron's court forced her to side against the Dread Lord and tolerate their zany hi-jinx.  White Plume Mountain had gifted her a Wand of Frost. 

Sterling Riverbend, a huge quarter-ogre with a disposition slimier than his skin.  He had great pride in his Spetum of Awesomeness, which was just the name that he had given his pole arm.

3 OctDec 1072 -  Nuxom Keep, Kingdom of Crosedes
After an uneventful journey out of the mountains of Aragain, the party reached the Crosedes border.  A warm bed, hot food, and a place to plan and resupply were in order.

Norm was responsible for finding a blacksmith to repair the armor, weapons, and other equipment, and found a doozy in Thorrin Slatebelt.  Despite trying to his best to keep a low profile, Norm was immediately recognized by Thorrin, and it was revealed the dwarven blacksmith was the general's biggest fan.  After some awkward conversation, it was decided that Thorrin and his skill with  hammers large and small were better suited servicing Sir Norm in a travelling capacity, possibly even serving his army back in Lansluck.  For a dour, understated dwarf, one could almost feel his enthusiasm bursting out of the smirk on his face.
Nuxom Keep, along the Aragain border

Returning back to the inn, Norm pointed out Echeleon to Thorin, "For your first mission, if you want to be loyal to me, protect this man.  He is essential to the cause."

After an early dinner, Norm bid the group adieu as he travelled along back to Lansluck.  Although there was strength in numbers, their numbers would attract more attention, and they didn't know who exactly was out to get them.

4 OctDec 1072 -  Nuxom Keep, Kingdom of Crosedes
Mellandria left Nuxom with Sterling in tow.  They would continue the research on Count Zabty, the Apocalypse, etc in Pojunct.   They would swing by Maless Manor on their way back to Eding.

5 OctDec 1072 -  Nuxom Keep, Kingdom of Crosedes
Kane, Thorrin, and Echelon left Nuxom to travel to Hydincall.  o keep the return of Echelon a complete surprise to all but our heroes, it was decided to disguise the cleric as a woman, as well as hiding his personal trident and the artifact Wave with the supplies on the pack mule.

7 OctDec  1072  Rowand City, Kingdom of Crosedes
Echelon and company arrived in Rowand City to rumors of Zabty!!!  An aging half-orc with markings of Akana was rumored to have assaulted the King's tax collectors in the County of Pergame.  Others talked of similar exploits closer to Eding.

24 OctDec 1072 Hydincall , Kingdom of Crosedes
Echelon and company finally arrived in the capital.  They obtained some equipment for the Chateau, a few potions from contacts within the Magic Lyceum, and grabbed the newest gossip of the realm.  The Dread Lord's short reign as King was not as dreadful(!) as most thought it would be, although some of the Ministers and members of the Royal Court seemed to be reversing their opinions and positions on many matters of state.  Obviously Spider-People Doppelgangers taking their place.....

25 OctDec 1072 - Norm in Lansluck, assembles his personal army.
Refreshed, resupplied, and not discovered by their enemies, Echelon and company left with their wagon and a pair of horses.  First stop: Maless Manor, then finally back to the Chateau.  The prophesied time of troubles was nearly upon them, and their To-Do List was still waaaay too long.

30 OctDec 1072 - Camp Canute-Bune on the Crosedes-Ruuna Border
Through snow, rain, muck, and mire, General Dingleberry finally made it to his army's headquarters in the early morning light.  He demanded the sentries alert all of his officers, and ordered a full assembly for inspection.   Through a vigorous investigation, he found two of his couriers had been kidnapped and replaced with Spider-People.  He killed them on sight, sent his most trusted sergeants with messages to recall all troops in Ruuna and in Lansluck, as well as his "Personal Guard" that had been wintering in the Akana Monastery.

"Men... vee need to protect the Kingdom from all sides.  Your orders are to march on Eeee-ding and stop zee threat to zee region.  Vee vill continue marching until the evil is destroyed, even if it takes us to the gates of King Cervinal's castle...."

DM's Notes:  Thorrin is Hoyce's replacement character for Talis Makolin.  It was hard to see a new character this late in the game (especially with the campaign rule that he started two levels lower than the party average.)  Still, the dwarf had less agency with the storyline than the other character and rolled with the punches, becoming a welcome addition to the party.  

The wineries and fathers of young woman breathed a sigh of relief with the disappearance of Talis. 

NEXT: #62 - The Hour of Reckoning is Near!

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