Ascendancy Forge

Sphere of Influence

Near a fortnight has passed since your arrival in Breaker’s Haven. The town is hardly a metropolis, but most services you could find in Rimevale are present here, as well. [Feel free to use any cash you had saved and upgrade or just swap-out a single item at full value. I got ahead of the curve with treasure so this last batch of sessions was deliberately stingy.]

Wilmon has been busy solidifying ties and extending Rimevale’s sphere of influence. He has managed to make contact with Jason Farlan, the druid, who relayed news from Rimevale. It seems that Eisedeshe managed to ambush Kobbiskemsko and severely wound him. He escaped, but he is in hiding while he heals. Eisedeshe is now heavily raiding K’s territory in hopes of drawing him to battle. She has not attacked Rimevale itself, but the goblinoids usually kept in check by K are pushing south to escape the dragon raids. The Rimevale militia is overtaxed and miners are being conscripted to man outposts. Productivity is down and will be until K recovers or Eisedeshe is otherwise neutralized.

The escaped slaves of the Bloodstone Pass mines report that the fortifications at the Pass have been stripped to a skeleton crew. Apparently, guards and soldiers there are being sent further into Vaasa to deal with a major uprising in the west. A raid is being planned to free all the slaves at the Bloodstone Pass mines. A few escaped slaves are arguing that Damaran forces should be recruited to retake the Pass itself for Damara.

A significant groundswell of patriotic pride has emerged among the dwarves of Breaker’s Haven, your entourage and the remaining Truehammers. The slogan “Rokee Resurgent” has started appearing frequently. You recall this was the name of the ancient kingdom Redbeard hoped to reunite. The Truehammer’s pride having been restored by Vilo’s last acts, they now see the interference by outsiders from Mulmaster as an affront. A “diplomatic” expedition is being assembled to make contact with several organizations in Mulmaster to establish back-channel ties and demonstrate Rokee’s emergence as a new power. Of course, to do so will mean that the schemer who sought to play two groups of dwarves against each other will need to die a grisly and mysterious death.

Your assistance for all of these issues is being sought. Comments are welcome.

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Breaking New Ground

With heavy heart but heads held high, the Rimevale emissary and his contingent march into Breaker’s Haven. Though a week behind Vilo Truehammer, Wilmon knows the battle is already won. Having twice secured the flank of the paladins of the yellow rose, the rightful ambassador of Rimevale made possible the final leg of the harrowing escape of 11 dwarven miners from the mines at Bloodstone Pass. Having earned the respect of the fighting dwarves of Breaker’s Haven and their allies from the Monastery, Wilmon presses home his advantage and discredits Vilo.

Ironically, Vilo never claimed any position with the leadership of Rimevale. He apparently assumed no one would be able to find the trail without his maps. His entire argument was that the Rimevale establishment had grown too weak and lazy to mount an expedition to renew ties with the clan. The fact that Wilmon showed up at all would have been enough. Now, however, Rimevale is held in high esteem by the Havenites, who are eager to renew trade.

Vilo’s discretion in making claims aside, he violated a direct order of Redbeard. Execution was warranted and the Havenites solemnly offered to perform the act. Wilmon then demonstrated the wisdom that led Redbeard to place him in charge of the expedition. Knowing that the loss of clan Truehammer’s heartfelt loyalty would ensue from Vilo’s execution, Wilmon declared that Vilo was misguided, but he had at least acted toward an honorable goal. Wilmon offered Vilo a chance to redeem himself by accompanying the next expedition through the tunnels to Bloodstone Pass to try and find more escaped slaves. During the next raid which netted three more escapees, Vilo fought a rearguard against an ambush of hobgoblin slavers. He was slain, but by all accounts he died valiantly while singing a dwarven battle song. His sacrifice allowed the rest to escape. Clan Truehammer is well satisfied by Wilmon’s decision and most will return to Rimevale content and loyal to Redbeard. Others will stay in Breaker’s Haven for a new life.

While some received a new life, Taz Quickfoot met his end. The irrepressible halfling never shied away from danger and it finally caught up to him. Taz being the only halfling in the area, none were familiar with the burial practices of the river folk. All sought to honor him. The dwarves offered a cairn among their honored dead. The paladins he died defending offered a burial at the Monastery of the Yellow Rose. In the end, a small funeral pyre was built on a raft and he was sent home down a mountain stream to eventually mingle with the waters his people call home.

Stay tuned for a preview of next month’s plot…

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Dragons Galore and the Loot Store

Having survived mutated orcs, an undead army commanded by a beholder and not one, but two separate ambushes by an angry dragon, the party thankfully re-enters the caves and pauses to take stock of the situation. Having had little time to sort through the spoils of victory during the mad flight from ambush to ambush, the respite reveals the following items:

Aerokii — Mithral Chain (4) taken from the Ghoul.
Dixon — Power Jewel (5) that appears to have been one of the dragon’s eyes altered by the rift.
Taz — Boots of Free Movement (6) taken off a goblin recently killed by the mutated orcs.
Lantfeust — Bracers of Archery (6) pointlessly worn by an orc berserker.
Ramis — Dwarven Greaves (7) not so pointlessly worn by the same orc.
Kan-Tur — Aegis Blade (8) this is the same blade Kan-Tur was already carrying, but it seems to have been altered by the battles with the dragon.

Lantfeust’s search through the dragon’s remains for a suitable trophy turned up four items; the bejeweled eye Dixon recognized as a Power Jewel, the other eye which quickly disintegrated down to the lens which was a large sapphire, a crystalline horn, and a chunk of crystal with a light inside that pulses like a heart-beat.

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Lily's Journal 3

Dear Journal,

My companions and I continue on your journey with the Dwarves and are doing our absolute best to assist them, as any good group of people would do. A particularly nasty group of undead rodents and some other undead fiends waylaid us in a forest. We dispatched them with our usual effectiveness, myself having managed o end the life of a beholder. Believing we could manage to get out of the forest before dark, we pressed on. Unfortunately this led us right into the paths of two dragons, neither of which were happy to see us. We first focused our attention on the smaller o the two, a blue dragon, which promptly fled from the field of battle after receiving a few grievous wounds. The second foe, a white dragon, was apparently displeased with us due to our having killed its mother, which is understandable. Since white dragons are notoriously poor in terms of intelligence ans wits, we all realized talking was not an option, especially as it was consumed with rage over our matricide. As the poor creature got nearer and nearer to death it became more and more viciously desperate, attempting mayhem on my allies. I thus took it upon myself to leap out of my superior vantage point and call upon the aid of my stalwart symbiote, Leechfeust, who proceeded to spew acid into the dragons eyes. The acid appeared to seep right through the dragons ocular orifices and right into tis brain cavity, rendering it deceased in moments. We now stand at the threshold to an underground cave and I can only begin to guess what trials and tribulations await us. I only know that my companions and I shall face it together, bravely standing next to one another no matter the odds.

P.S.
While I cannot recall what possessed me to write in you previously in crayon and berry juice, rest assured such a thing will not happen again. In fact, reading my previous entries I find myself genuinely concerned with whatever possessed me previously. I pray that whatever it was, it will not return.

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Lily's Journal 2

Dear Journal,

I…I’m going to be completely honest with you. I took a blow to the head in that last fight and cannot, for the life of me, recall what we just did. So yeah. Try this again later?

Lily

P.S.
It must’ve been some hit to the head because I could swear we fought orcs with tentacles. Which is ridiculous. Right?….Right?

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Lily's Log 1

Dear Journal,

Today was not a good day. Let me start with saying that as soon as we went to bed, since we were pretty exhausted after fighting those ankhegs and defeating that forest, these voices started to talk. Or that’s what everyone else says. I don’t believe it.

When I woke up, I was decidedly less elf-like. Round ears, body hair, worse eyesight. And I fear other changes might have occured to me as well. Deep changes. Changes affecting me on the inside. Like making it so I only have two kidneys.

Dixon was overjoyed, though everyone else was a little freaked out. They’re probably a little humophobic is all. I’m sure once they get to know the real me they’ll realize that I’m still the same person I’ve always been. Just with a different outlook on life.

I’m pretty sure that in order to turn back I’ll need to repair some rift by building a tower and growing a yeti. But that seems silly.

We continud on our quest to help the dwarves regardless of my plight, which makes sense, seeing as there’s nothing one can do to help me just now. We eventually arrived at a cave where this white dragon attacked, screaming about an egg. Naturally we engaged it in self defense after trying to reason with it, for there’s no reason to indiscriminatly attack intelligent creatures without a good reason. After ascertaining that it was indeed a threat we began our battle. As it threw magic and ice at us I attempted to draw it away from my fellows so that they could deal with that threat first without having to worry about a dragon attacking them. After the other dispatched the ice creatures (as I knew they would, being that they’re regularly effective) we turned our full attention on the dragon, who, after being wounded enough, fled the scene. I only hope that we scared it enoguh that it won’t come back and force us to kill it.

My respite is over now and I must continue. These dwarves wait for no man. And lately, that includes me.

—Lily

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Lantfeust's Journal 9

Dear Journal,

HI! Miss me? I missed you. We’ve been away from each other for far too long. And it’s all Dixon’s fault for stealing you! I don’t care what she says. I know she says it was for the god of the party, but I find it hard to believe that my ‘words of emotional turmoil are delicious enough to season the roast’. I know for a FACT that burnt paper tastes awful on venision, so we can add cooking to the long list of things Dixon can’t do. She should defer to my expertise more. I AM the one with the silver merit badge in Improvised Cooking.

So we were walking through the forest and I suddenly heard whispering. But not the normal whispering. This was more creepy and less singy. Thankfully it turned out the voices weren’t ocming from anything that exists, so I got to ignore them.

Next we were ambushed by fungus men, which was rather unpleasant because you know how much I hate eating chitin, and what’s the point of killing something you’re not going to eat? So we did that fight. Sort of. It was not my finest hour. More my most hurty hour. It was right up there with that time I asked that wizard if he could cast his slow-fally-no-hurty spell on me so I could jump from the high tree into that giant pile of leaves. I think his spell would’ve worked better if he was an actual wizard. But in my defense, at the time I didn’t know hobos had acess to pointy hats. I thought they were limited to top hats with a hole in the top like Patches who lived behind my parents house and used to break into our garden, take all our vegetables and stuff them in his…well, you know how this story goes.

After someone picked me up off the ground we decided to light a forest on fire. On purpose. And while I watched Kan-Tur gather the worst kind of wood possible to light (I was assuming he was putting all the bad wood out of the way so we wouldn’t burn and die) I got to tell everyone about the Elflympics. I was a Leaf Winner in the Cupcake Dash. It was as delicious as it was deadly. Six elves enter, 2 elves carrying a dwarf leave.

Anyways, then we set the forest on fire. It was no ones fault, but since I’m the only one with both a Fire Safety Badge and a Griffon Riding Badge, it’s probably not something that can be blamed on me for very long.

So we ran for a bit. I shot a deer. Everyone cheered. Dixon is stupid.

We reached this holey plain next, and Ankhegs started attacking us. As well as this Elven Priest who came running out of the forest with his robes on fire. Which is dangerous. His robes could have set the forest on fire if he wasn’t careful. I don’t know what he was thinking.

I killed an Ankheg. And some smaller ones. But the big one was the important one. I took a trophy too. Mandible Bracers. I can’t wait to go home and show them off! Assuming I ever remember where home is.

I need to go now journal. Kan-Tur is stuck in one of the Ankheg holes ‘communing with the earth’. I’m pretty sure it’s exactly as dirty as it sounds.

BYE FOR NOW!

P.S. Don’t let Dixon near you anymore. I glued some of the small ankheg mandibles to you so you can bite her if she gets to close. Just be careful! Chewing is a big responsibility.

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Lantfeust's Journal 8

Hi Journal!

We’re underground still, in case you hadn’t noticed, and we found that river again. It’s still full of water. But it was also full of frog men. But it’s okay!! They had a weakness. Blood loss. After we dispatched (I learned that word from Ramis the other day!) them Ramis and I braved the river to do something with the seasl, though I can’t recall what did since I was busy boiling alive in the water. When I finally made it back to shore Aero was standing around poking everyones burns with a stick he found. It was a prety nice stick though.

While resting I spent time regaling the group with Elven Fun Facts! Everyone loved them, except Dixon who smells funny and is mean but it doesn’t matter cause I don’t like her and wish she had drowned in the water or at least bumped her head really hard cause that would’ve shown her. Then we reached a door which attacked Taz and Canter. Then some statues started hitting people, so I hit them back, saving the day.

I have to go now Journal. Ramis just agreed to get off of me (He had tackled me see and wasn’t letting me up) if I promised to stop singing the Elven national anthem, which makes sense, since it takes 4 hours to sing the first section, with the 2nd section being 8 hours of free jazz. We probably don’t have the time. Or the bagpipes.

Good bye for now Journal!

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Lantfeust's Journal 7ish

Hi journal!

So we’re still in that cave. I’m kind of bored of caves now. I mean, they just go on forever and ever and ever and I’m sick of it! And we keep getting attacked by gooey things. Which are now dropping from the ceiling. You know where things don’t drop from the ceiling? OUTSIDE!

So I killed some spore thing that became a cloud and then disapeared. I don’t even care anymore what the hell it was doing. Ramis and Aerokii just keep pointing me at things and I just kill them. Then there was a BAT!!!!! But not really. It was less dangerous. I doubt it even carries children away in the dead of the night to be sacrificed to some fell god. It probably just eats them. Where the fun in that?

I nearly killed Ramis. He was so angry he didn’t even give me back my arrow. I mean, sure, he nearly bled out, but still, Elven common courtesy dictates the return of all weapons and weapon-like objects to their owner at the end of battle. It was a dueling law set for by King Spring the Bounciful. Or something like that. He was tired of attaching ropes to the end of al his arrows and knives when fighting the enemy so he put forth the Law of Hey! Give that back dammit!. All races are subjected to it, cause he said so. But the goblins never give our stuf back so they keep having to be punished. The only punishment for breaking the law is, of course, death.

So then we all rested because everyone else was all bloody and tired, except me, but no one ever cares to ask me what I think. We found some dead dwarf and his weapons and everyone crawled all over his bones in order to grab the stuff they liked best. Watching them scavenge his corpse was disgusting. I just sat there, eating the jerkey I found and shaking my head.

After that I choked a bit. Everyone was really helpful trying to save me after the first couple minutes me not being able to breathe. Though they don’t seem to be really good doctors. The new girl actually poked Taz in the eye instead of helping me. Anyway, it turns out I ate a symbol and it’s caught in my throat now. So now, when I open my mouth too wide, acid shoots out of my mouth!!! Ramis said I should keep my motuh shut from now on unless I’m really really certain I want to use my new trick. I did that for as long as I could, but during my night watch I realized I wouldn’t be able to yell to alert anyone, so I went to go ask Ramis if I could talk during watch. But I accidently spit acid on him while he slept as I woke him and he got real mad and woke up everyone else, which was really rude of him because they were sleeping and had had a hard day and he should apoligize to them but when I suggested it he got madder and told me to go to sleep because I wasn’t doing a good job, despite the fact that no one attacked anyone while I was on watch which tells me I did a great job.

Everyone’s ready to go now Journal so I have to go too. I’m sorry I melted some of this page away but I got the hiccups. Ramis says I’m even mroe dangerous with my new pet and that I should stay as far away from him as possible, meaning he trusts me to fight off everyone he can’t see now!!! It’s a great honour!

P.S. Everything tastes like strawberries now. It’s kind of great.

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Lantfeust's Journal 6

Hi Journal! It’s me again!

So…Ramis made me go in the cave. I didn’t want to but he promised me we could go for ice cream after. I’m going to get rocky road! So we went into the dark and scary cave and found this down machine. Though it didn’t work well so eveyrone jumped off and we were all in a pile at the bottom and it was really fun!

Oh! I nearly forgot! I made a new friend! After that kitten thing slipped on the ice in the ice tower and fell down the stairs, breaking her neck, whereupon we had a traditional elven burial for her (which involved throwing a blanket over her body at the bottom of the stairs and weighting it down with some rocks). I really like the new people though! Even if one of them has bats…Terrible flesh eating, disease carrying, baby eating bats. Doesnt she know that 20 million kids are eaten by bats EVERY SECOND? Maybe I should tell her this next time she wants to use them. I have this wonderful pop up book on the dangers of flying rodents. I have another that teaches about the facts of life that I’m waiting to read to Aero when he’s old enough.

So after we fell down the mine shaft we walked into this tunnel. Then there was screaming, shouting and some crying that sounded like Ramis. When I could finally see what was going on I saw this big squishy thing. Naturally I shot it with arrows. The new girl was trying to do the same thing, but she seemed to be aiming for the ceiling for some reason. Maybe she saw a rogue stalactite. I once heard of a rogue stalactite chasing an elf for 8 miles before it caught him and made him buy cookies from it so it’s troupe could go on a field trip. Or something like that.

So we killed the jello thing and Ramis and Aero wiped themselves down from the encounter. Their pants still smelled kinda bad after but I guess there wasn’t a lot we could do about it. Sometimes you get scared and there’s no shame in your body expressing itself.

Then we found a river. In a cave. With a tree on it. I swear I’m not making this up. Who brings a tree into a cave?! I bet it was gnomes. I hate those little bastards. They’re always laughing at me behind my back. Plus they smell like cabbage. Elves have gone to war for less. You can’t even get into political office if you don’t at least smell like lilacs. We’re very serious about our smells.

We crossed the river next. Well, okay, some of us crossed the river. Some of us decided to molest a tree and some of us decided to take their union mandated break. Regardless, we were asaulted by some smaller gooey things. I decided to attack and kill them. The others decided to do shit all and make me do their work for them. I mean, they had to be doing poorly on purpose. Noone is THAT bad. The new girl didn’t hit once. She actually attacked a rock. I mean, what had that rock ever done to her? I mean, I understand why Taz was so awful, since he actually had to stand to fight. And Ramis wasn’t faced with any rabid ottoman’s, so his heart wasn’t in it. But the new girl has no reason. I wonder if she knows we’re adventuring and trying to kill things? I should have a talk with her. I should learn her name first though…

So I killed the oozes, emphasis on I, and then we ate dinner, which Aero made while we were fighting. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! Delicious. I wonder where he found the ingredients though…

Ramis says it’ time to go now Journal. Apparetly we have to tie a rope to Aero and drag him across the river. For an ex-pirate he’s not really ‘water friendly’.

Bye for now journal!

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