Saturday, June 08, 2019

Lark's Landing, Episode 70

Colonial Caerdia: Lark's Landing is a story being told through a 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons campaign I'm running at a local hobby shop called the Devil's Bench. If you aren't familiar with this ongoing story, you can follow this link to Once Upon a Tabletop on YouTube to hear the start of it or read the brief summary I wrote when I switched from video to blog.

You can find the previous episode here.

7th-8th of Waning Fall, 1AL

To escape a a dangerous battle, the 3rd Watch have teleported themselves out of the castle where they were surrounded by orcs - however, they all teleported as pairs in different directions into the night. They all hear the howl of wolves, and know that the orcs and their dire wolves are out seeking them.

Patrick and Logan simply decide to run, continuing to the north, which was the direction they teleported out of the castle. They run until the castle is long out of sight and they find an outcropping of rocks where they settle down to hide.

To the southeast of the castle, Extang and Quib also decide to run, but they decide to run all night to get back to the white house of rock, which they believe to be the most sensible place to go and where the others are sure to head. It's an exhausting journey, but they make it - finding Ruby the giant firebeetle in excellent health and locking themselves in before going to sleep.

T'Zaric carries Fiaeorri up into the air, and they begin a slow and silent circuit of the castle - however, the rest of the 3rd Watch are gone by the time they arrive near them. They widen their circuits, but still find no signs of their friends. The howls of the wolves eventually die away, with still nothing found. Suddenly, T'Zaric gets a magical message in his mind from Patrick, telling him he and Logan are safe and where they are, though they haven't heard from the others. T'Zaric and Fiarorri make their way over to them, Fiaeorri using her shorter range messaging spell to determine when they get close, and the reconvene. They set watches - though the leave one watch empty rather than allowing Logan to take a turn - and sleep into the day. Then Patrick contacts Extang and, learning that he and Quib are back at the white house of rock, the groups heads there to rendezvous and recuperate - pointedly giving the castle a wide berth.

Upon arriving back, deep into the night, they send a message to the council back in Port Noble to update them on their situation before heading to sleep. In the morning, Extang heads out to connect the mote he previously dug to the river - but as he gets closer to the river, he spots the shape of the castle on the far bank. He makes his way back to the others, telling them, rather nervously, what he's found. They had been planning to rest longer before tackling the castle, but they've decided that they can't risk it with the castle right here. They're ready to attack - all except Patrick, who wants to offer the orcs a chance for peace.

The other's aren't keen on this idea, but Extang pulls out his cards to do a reading - which tells them that offering peace is a good, noble, and honorable thing to do. So, they decide to let Patrick try, but they prepare for the worst. T'Zaric will go along with Patrick, ready to teleport him to the the balcony of the castle's tallest tower, where they will be met by the others - who will be flying up there either as or on the backs of giant eagles.

The eagles and their riders depart, getting themselves into position. As they fly above the castle they spot eight orcs down below, patrolling the castle's rooftop. They begin circling the tower, waiting to see the results of Patrick's efforts.

Patrick and T'Zaric approach the castle, remaining as far as they dare. Patrick amplifies his voice and makes his peace offering - the clear reply is a volley of javelins from the orcs on the roof. As Patrick passes out, T'Zaric grabs him and teleports up to the tower balcony as planned, where the eagles drop off Fiaeorri and Quib as they swoop down at the orcs - four of which remain to fight while the rest head through doors into the towers. Quib revives Patrick while the others cast spells down at their enemies. Javelins from the orcs make Extang lose his concentration on the spell keeping him and Logan in eagle form - luckily Quib is quick enough to cast featherfall on Logan, who has quite a long drop below him. However, in spite of their difficulties, they take down the orcs.

Extang and Logan search the orcs for treasure, then turn back into eagles to fly up to the tower's balcony, where the others have disappeared inside. In the tower, there are stairs leading down, a battered desk and chair, empty bookcases, a pile of ash, and a glass display case. The display case immediately attracts attention, as it's filled with various treasures. However, Quib identifies the glass as an ancient material known as dragon glass, which is believed to be indestructible, and there is no way of opening it or otherwise getting inside. However, they do quickly notice that there is no glass on the back, against the stone wall, and they believe they can access it from the balcony surrounding the tower.

Extang pulls out a magic bracelet that, after using a spell it has the ability to cast, will allow them to change the shape of stones, hopefully allowing access to the display case. However, he needs to take an hour to get in tune with the item first. So, he settles down to do that, while the others begin scouring the room for anything else of interest - and Quib takes a quck trip down the stairs to find an empty bedroom. They find nothing until T'Zarinc, flying along the ceiling, notices the catch of an extremely well-hidden trapdoor. He opens in up and flies into a little attic room with nothing other than a strange orb resting on a pedestal. He touches it, but nothing happens, so he settles down to ritually cast a spell to detect good or evil forces.

However, before the the spell is done - or Extang has finished with the bracelet - Fiaeorri hears the distinctive noise of someone trying to be quiet on the stairs. She begins sneaking down, but retreats when she finds a pair of orcs coming up the stairs, silently signaling the others. Quib, Patrick, and Logan all position themselves by the stairs with Fiaeorri, and they pounce when the orcs come into sight. One of them, driven by Quib's spell, charges into the room and is slaughtered, while the other turns and heads back down the stairs. Fiaeorri and Quib give chase, with T'Zaric closing the trapdoor to the little attic room so he can examine this orb in private.

As Quib and Fiaeorri round the corner of the stairs into the room below, they discover that that room is now full of orcs.

And that's where this week's game session comes to an end. Check back next week to find out what happens in Episode 71.

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