Saga Diary - Scions of Nathas

So last night was the first real session of the long planned Scions of Nathas Saga, a campaign i've been planning and talking about on the boards for, ooooh, about 3 years.

I've got one experienced Ars Magica player (The guy who used to play Santiago in the Brunnaburgh saga), another guy who played a past edition and two newbies. My first session was thus designed to not only set the scene but give them some gentle introductions to the game covering a few bases such as skill checks, combat, casting spells and so on. I plan to introduce more elements of the game such as labwork, spell design and so on in future sessions.

So to set the stage:

My saga is waaaaaay non-canon. Its set on a fictional world, the entire world has been conquered by an undead warlord, only one nation holds out against the vast forces of the evil liche. This nation is called Nathas and is protected primarily by a number of magical organisations. There are five orders of paladins, gods-blessed warriors. There are the druids, magi with strong interest in nature magics and in particular at keeping nature in balance with men. There are the five churchs, one for each of the gods of the pantheon, led by powerful priests and there are the three great mage orders. The country is protected from undead intrusion by very powerful wards, however, these wards have recently failed and vast armies of undead have swept from the north and are driving the humans before them. The paladin orders have been largely crushed in battle through sheer weight in numbers. All resistance has been crushed, only the capital city, on the south coast remains, and the undead are now marching on that in armies millions strong.

Our four heroes are
Ser Florus the Huntress - A paladin of the Iron Warriors of the Tyge, an order sworn to defend the river (the Tyge) that forms the northern border. With her order largely destroyed trying to hold back the undead, Florus and her talkative companion, Astrum the Stallion of Virtue, have come to the capital to sell their lives dearly protecting the innocent. Serious, focused and a seasoned warrior, Florus has fairly weak magic but considerable practical experienced of campaigning.
Wyndham - A druid with a lion heartbeast, Wyndham's previous life was spent protecting some of the rarer magical beasts of the forests from human encroachment. This all ended when his forests were overun by undead. Shocked at the destruction of his lifes work, Wyndham and his magical animal companion (a lioness) fled to the capital to consult with the senior druids of the high council.
Ignacious: A mage in the Watchful Order of Nassia (a group of mages who recovered and safely store or dispose of dangerous magic from the ancient Magewar era) has come to the capital on instructions from his masters to deliver a powerful magical artifact. A master of magically manipulating stone, Ignacious has suffered a bizarre magical accident that left half his face as craggy stone. Ignacious has two Raven companions, one magical, the other not.
Gendo: A mage of the Most Learned Scholars of Hyksos (a proud and traditional group of magi), Gendo is married and has a daughter, both wife and daughter accompanied him to the capital after the destruction of his home city. Gendo is a generalist and master of spontaneous magic. He is also an excellent entertainer of children using illusions and storytelling.

Our four heroes are all in the city when the undead begin their siege. Rapidly spotted and sent to work by very senior people, they can't help but notice several strange things.

  1. There are several large warehouses usually used for storage of grain that currently have thousands of civilians in, patiently waiting.
  2. the great trade square that these warehouses abut have a very large number of very senior magi present, they appear to be preparing for some kind of ritual.

They are quickly given tasks by a very senior paladin called Ser Aegeon. Florus and Gendo are sent to the great library to recover some books and a very famous scholar, while Wyndham and Ignacious are sent to the council chambers to hide a small metal sphere (which Ignacious promptly recognises as a magical doomsday device known as a Sphere of Devastation).
While the tasks are easily completed, both groups are attacked by small bands of undead, seemingly being teleported at random into the city (good chance to get my players to test out the magic and combat systems). They defeat the undead and make it back to the square. Ser Aegeon is debriefing them when he is given some news about the siege at the north gate which causes him to go all funny and ride off in a hurry. Another paladin sends our heroes off to loot the city's vis exchange and return with whatever they can find.
Our brave heroes decide to make the journey across the city quicker, Wyndham changes into a lion and casts beast of outlandish size on both himself and his magical animal companion and our heroes ride the elephant size lions through town at great speed (except for Ser Florus who of course rides Astrum).
The merchants at the vis exchange are most helpful, all except for one terrfied chap who is determined to leave with "His share" of the vis. After a swift negotiation employing intimidation, bargaining and charm, our heroes manage to secure the chaps vis while promising to pay him back 120% after the siege.
They return to the square with the vis just as Ser Aegeons unconcious and heavily wounded body is rolled back in on a cart.
A senior wizard gathers the PCs and explains "The Plan". The city is essentially lost, they might hold out for a few days but the numbers opposing them are simply too vast. Instead the council have concocted a plan to spirit away as many of their civilians as possible to other worlds using (highly illegal and dangerous) dimensional magic. Small groups of spellcasters led by senior paladins will lead each refugee group. The PCs will accompany one group with Ser Aegeon in charge, which given that he is unconcious and bleeding out means they'll be in charge until he recovers. Once the refugee groups are gone, the Watchful order is going to break out the magical doomsday devices and "nuke" the city, destroying any evidence that the refugees escaped and thus ensuring that the liche-king thinks he got everyone.
On cue, the mages who've been busy casting serious ritual magic in the square finish their spell and three giant portals open up. Our heroes shephard their wards through and leap through the portals, experiencing an ichky moment as the denizens of the ether (i.e. the magical goop between worlds) press in against them before the portal spits them out on a grassy hill.
Back in Nathas the Watchful order trigger their items and finish their rituals and the city is destroyed. Our heroes see a giant blast of flame come through the portal, only to be cut off asthe concentrating magi keeping the portal open are vaporised.

Our four heroes look about them, seeing a green and pleasant land of rolling hills and forests, and of course, their people, 1500 refugees.

Taking stock, they realise their refugees have been pre-selected, they have a nice mix of craftsmen and farmers, several hundred children and no old or very ill people beyond the senior scholars and Ser Aegeon. They have some building materials and some food (2 weeks worth) and water (4 days worth) along with tents for 500 people and some tools.

They quickly organise the people, latrines are dug, tents erected and hunters deployed.

And that was the end of the first session. Next session will be trying to find water, explore their new world and handle 1500 refugees.

Sounds like fun!

In this new world is where you are gonna have orcs? From the fire into the frying pan :mrgreen:


Are there Orks? Hmmm, that would be telling. Watch this diary for updates.

They've already interrogated a native creature (that I had down as a forest Porcine beast but they've named a trapir) using Animal Ken and discovered that his piggy type are hunted by little people riding big spiders. Make of that what you will.


We've now had several sessions of the Scions of Nathas, lost a player, gained another one.

Carrying on from the last diary entry:

Our heroes rapidly discover that although they have a considerable amount of food and supplies, their water supplies will run out within a matter of days. They send out scouts to look for a river or stream and use the magical raven companio of Ignacious to scout about. Finding a stream a days march away they rapidly move all 1500 of the refugees to the stream. They set their carpenters to building long houses for accommodation and send out their hunters to bring in game. Other members of the refugees are sent off to forage for berries, mushrooms and tubers and many of the farmers begin to clear some ofthe local trees to make some good farming land. Wyndham the druid notices that the forest they are in appears to be light and young and large areas of the forest are suspicious free of rocks, almost like its been cleared for agriculture in the past.

About this time Ser Florus and Brennan (an NPC priest not yet out of his apprenticeship) both discover that they don't have any access to their magic. They surmise that their gods are still on their old world and might have "lost" their worshippers that moved to the new world. Given that gods are dependent on worship in this setting, it stands to reason that their gods are almost certainly now dying as they have no followers left. That night, Ser Florus (who has the vision flaw) begins to see visions of a large armoured man, striding through a swamp and searching for something. Every now and then, he looks over his shoulder and seems to beckon to someone that Florus can't see. Florus wakes and discusses this with Brennan and the scholars and eventually concludes that this is Averni, the god of strength and her personal patron and that the swamp represents the aether. He is searching for them, and maybe the unseen others are the other gods, following him. Brennan and Florus immediately begin to corral the refugees for huge prayer services, begging the gods for help to send a beacon for Averni to follow. Clearly this seems to work as Florus slowly begins to dream of Averni striding confidently through the marsh, eyes fixed ahead as if he knows where he is going.

While dealing with these mundane yet essential matters of organization, Ignacious' raven spots what looks like a ruined town made of stone to the north. The PCs investigate.

What they find is the remains of a good sized town, melted/eroded/burnt away to no more than 3 feet in height, possible by magic. With little left standing, they still manage to identify what looks like an arena and a church of some kind. One of the apprentices turns out to have a knack for spelunking and rapidly discovers three basement areas. One was clearly some kind of jail or prison and has a number of ancient skeletal corpses moldering in it. Examination of these reveals they are very slim but roughly human. The bones are long and light compared with humans and the skulls reveal fine detail and long faces. Speculation about these beings is rife.

Another basement reveals a huge steel vault door that is curiously resistant to Ignacious' powerful terram magic (much to his annoyance). It has three key holes in its centre and appears to be magically warded.

The final basement appears to be a series of store rooms, mostly empty. They do find 3 rooms still closed, with sheets of rune inscribed ice across the doors. The ice is clear enough to reveal that one room apparently holds many suits of armour and weapons, another many barrels and crates with unknown contents and the final one appears to hold somewhere around 200-300 upright ape type creatures wearing armour and carrying weapons all standing to attention. Worried about disturbing the large numbers of heavily armed ape men, they decide to leave all three doors alone.

Now knowing that this world was once home to intelligent beings with considerable mundane and magical skill, the PCs scout further and find a ruined town on the coast in a rare gap in the massive cliffs that dominate the coastline.

On investigation they find a number of large stone buildings, a lovely sandy beach and ocean so rich with fish that they could easily feed their entire group of refugees. Slightly more disturbing is the apparently human old man sitting on an upturned fishing boat mending nets who is waiting for them when they arrive.

The old man, speaking their language with a slight regional accent, tells them that a powerful race once lived here and paid tribute to a mighty spirit of the ocean who provided them with great bounty. Some 200 years ago the locals were involved in some kind of war with their neighbours to the east (possibly a civil war) and during the siege of the town begged the spirit for a great wave to sweep away their enemies. The spirit obliged, sending a tsunami that swept away not just their foes, but everyone. Since then the spirit has been lonely and sad. The old man tells them how the locals used to commune with the spirit (wade out into the ocean up to their waist and cut themselves so they bleed into the water.

Figuring the old man might well be the spirit, our heroes nominate Gendo to summon the spirit and converse with him. Gendo wades out and cuts his hand, summoning a vast tidal wave that sweeps inshore and then stops, hanging fifty feet high,just off the beach. An enormous face forms and speaks to Gendo.

A deal is truck. The refugees will provide a priest and offer sacrifices to the spirit (not human sacrifice, but food, treasure, etc. The spirit seems to have a weak spot for shinies) and in return the spirit will allow them to live there and will provide great bounty in fish.

The city is investigated and the stone buildings are revealed to be a smokehouse (haunted by the ghosts of the fishermen who were sheltering here when the wave killed them), a mages tower (heavily ransacked, but with much nice stuff remaining to be had including lab space and equipment sufficient for 3 labs), the great hall of a palace, and perhaps most importantly a huge book (over six feet by nine feet) in a basement there, the remains of a shellkeep, its western (seaward) wall shattered but most of the rest of the curtain wall still intact. The PCs bravely battle a bunch of suspiciously huge snakes that live in the ruins and a trio of armoured and armed ape men that seem to spring out of the air in the mage tower (liekly a magical trap).

The refugees begin to move across to the fishing town and it is about this time that the relentless prayers to Averni and Ubii (the goddess of death) bear fruit with both Florus and Brennan regaining their magic. With no spellcasters reliant on the other gods, its unknown if Eravisci (God of Wisdom), Carnutes (Celebration) or Belgae (Family) have made it. Averni appears to Florus in a vision and thanks her personally, letting her know that he is here and that her prayers worked. Florus promptly awakes and declares the site of her bed will be where the altar of Averni's first new church will be.

Gendo goes to commune with the Ocean spirit and offers himself as a priest. The spirit immediately sweeps Gendo away for a season of cult induction, leaving everyone to assume that Gendo has been swept out to sea and lost. A moving funeral is held, Gendo's wife, daughter and adopted-daughter-apprentice all mourn him.

A season passes, Gendo returns, skinny, hairy and triumphant. Gendo's wife (known to have a vengeful streak) forgives his absence while making it clear he is on notice. The family reunites (aaaah).

Meanwhile, back a the farming village where the refugees first found the stream, a paladin turns up with 500 half starved civilians. Needless to say, this is somewhat surprising. The paladin (Ser Ira) introduces herself and reveals that she was leading one of the three parties that left Nathas. Unlike our other heroes, Ser Ira's party were flung out of their portals across a wide area and in scattered groups. The 500 are all she could find of her 1500 party. Since then, her party has been attacked by weird little people (about 4 feet high) with sharklike mouths, have followed a large white bear (who led them to food and water and drove them towards the west where they would meet the other refugees). Ser Ira and her people are welcomed with open arms.

And thats where its at at the moment.

Thanks for the resume!
It was a pleasing reading, and seems quite epic in scope. I sure hope to read the sequel soon.

Well, another session of Scions of Nathas happened last night.

First we did a lot of downtime stuff. The players had decided they didn't want to go exploring in winter, especially since they didn't know how bad winter was going to be (this being their first on the new world). They didn't fancy being caught away from home when the blizzards hit.

Some apprentices were taught Magic Theory by Gendo, some magic items, found in the ruins were investigated in the newly renovated labs and Ser Florus went to work making something to keep the chill out of the massive long houses that most of the civilians are lodged in. The players also worked out some rules about using the vis store and about how many seasons they should spend serving the community and how many concentrating on their own projects.

Come spring, a decision was made to sail down the coast south to the great river they'd spotted and sail up that to investigate a ruined city they had seen.

Much to their surprise, the river mouth was guarded (sort of) by an abandoned castle on the south bank and a sturdy tower on the north bank. They investigated the northern tower only to be confronted by a rather huge winged lizard who bellowed at them in some unknown language. In a flash of inspiration totally unforseen by the GM, the players, who did not speak the strange language replied in Draconic, the magical language of their homeworld (serves a similar function to latin but only for the actual spell casting). Turns out the beastie also speaks a version of draconoc sufficiently similar to theirs to be understood. After a quick bit of banter its quite apparent that the dragony beast is only interested in them as far as they can help him out. He explains that decades ago he and his mate had a bunch of eggs, but foul fishmen who occupy the castle across the river stole the eggs. When his mate discovered the theft, she landed in the castle and began burning everything. The fishmen managed to tie her wings down with ropes and swarmed over her, pouring out of their underground tunnels in great numbers. She died and now the dragon wants only to have his revenge on the fishmen and learn the fate of his eggs (which he is almost sure have been destroyed). To this end, he promises our heroes knowledge of a magical treasure trove if they can go into the tunnels and both destroy the fishmen and find his eggs.

The PCs have a bit of a plotting session, and decide to use an illusion of a dragon landing in the courtyard of the castle to draw the fishmen out. Once sufficient fishmen are above ground, the real dragon will swoop past and immolate them. Once this is done, they will descent into the tunnels and fight the fishmen, trusting in the sturdy, heavy armour and shields of their paladins and 4 men-at-arms to defeat the fishmens almost certain numerical superiority. Gendo (a mage) will provide utility spell casting ad Wyndham (lion form druid) will perfom hit and runs and scout.

The plan goes flawlessly to start with. The dragon blocks a few tunnels with dropped rubble, a lone fishman sentry is silently killed but Wyndham the lion and the illusion causes the fishment to go into a fury, boiling above ground in great numbers and throwing themselves at it. Thankfully they aren't too smart and the real dragon is able to ambush and burn many of them before they realise that the illusion is just that.

Session ended just as our heroes are about to descend below ground.

Another week, another session!

As we left our heroes last week, they were about to descend into the depths of a abandoned fortresses basements and cellars to take vengeance on them on behalf of the Drake and to see if they could discover the state of the Drakes missing eggs.

With Wyndham (in lion form) scouting ahead, the two Paladins next and Squishy Gendo bringing up the rear with a pair of shield grogs, they moved through the empty basements until they found a greta hole in the floor of on room, leading to a long and rough hewn tunnel.

Descending carefully using ropes, they got into the tunnel and followed it along until they reached a large chamber. Wyndham tried to sneak in to scout but was discovered by some particularly large and burly looking fishmen. These fierce creatures attacked at once with a furious charge but wily Wyndham leapt and danced around their blows. Ser Florus and Ser Ira both joined in, Ira getting some good hits in with her bow and Florus cracking some skulls with a flaming mace. Gendo of course, hid behind his men at arms but still managed to wreak havok by dropping intangible blindfolds over several fishmen from range, blinding them and making them easy prey for lions and paladins alike.

After a short but fierce battle, the fishmen were vanquished and the room investigated. The floor was dominated by a large by shallow pool in the middle which was teeming with thousands of inch long tadpoles. Our heroes discussed the ethics of fishy genocide for a short while before agreeing that the Drakes revenge would be well served by the slaughter of the tadpoles and Gendo achieved this with a quick and easy Aquam spell, poisoning the pool and killing off all the tadpoles.

Further exploration of the tunnels led to a brief escape behind a wall of thorns, slaughter of a fishman king (a particularly large and nasty fishman) and discovery of a fishy temple (where Gendo found further evidence that the fishmen they were butchering also worshipped the same spirit Gendo had pledged himself to). Also discovered were the remains of eggshells. Clearly large eggs (a couple of feet in height) but long since smashed and emptied. The only other thing they found was a range of skulls on the altar of the temple, many clearly humanlike but not human (some tall and dainty, which they suspect are elven, other short and heavy which they believe might belong to a race the Drake alluded to).

Leaving the now ominously quiet tunnels, they took the egg shells back to the Drake who made good on his promise and told them of a magical retreat, accessible only via portals. He knows that one of the portals was in a fortress in the north near the mountains known to the elves as the Ruby Fortress. He tells them it was the home of a powerful magical cult headed by a very senior archmage and that there would almost certainly be a lot of magic to loot there. He also, by way of context tells them about two other northern fortresses, called the Sapphire Fortress and the Emerald Fortress (although nothing beyond their names are provided).

The deal settled, the Drake thanks the heroes and flies off to the east.

After a nights sleep and a day spent pulling their boats out of the river, our heroes also head east, heading for the city on the river. Before they get there, Ser Florus, enjoying a better vantage point from atop the back of Astrum (her magical animal companion and talking horse) spots a figure off to the north apparently digging a hole in the ground. Curious, the party goes to investigate only to discover a tall, slim man with pointy ears and fine features tending to a vegetable patch. He has several of these and a pen housed a number of trapirs (pig like creatures). Upon seeing the heroes, this fellow screams in terror and runs to a nearby gully, disappearing into a cave and rapidly returning with a spear. He drops into a fighting stance (a good one, well practiced, note the paladins) and babbles at them angrily for a bit in a strange but rather beautiful language.

Since they lack a means to communicate with him properly, Gendo begins to try and pantomine some kind of dialogue. They exchange names and seem to share similar facial cues, smiling, frowning and laughing appropriately.
The strange elf (for so the heroes reckon) seems to relax a little bit. At least until Astrum the horse joins in the conversation at which point the elf looses it, looks really dejected and ignores the PCs, going back to work on his vegetables, leaving our heroes really confused (and Astrum mortified that he might have offended the fellow unintentionally). Wyndham goes to help the chap on his vegetables while the others discuss what to do. After a while, the elf begins to watch Wyndham and goes over and pokes him. The Heroes realise that the elf, upon hearing a talking horse, had assumed he was mad or hallucinating. Having poked Wyndham the elf decides that his guests are real after all and runs back to his spear. After a few peaceful gestures and overtures the Elf comes to a decision and retreats to hos cave, returning with a wooden box full of candles, chalk, bowls and so on. As the PCs watch he draws out some diagrams on the gully floor, positions and lights candles, fills blows with elemental material and generally does some ceremonial spontaneous magic. Eventually he finished, and sits silently, cross legged surrounded by his works. He motions a talk motion with one hand with evident effort.

As the PCs speak, he replies to questions with head nods and shakes, clearly now able to understand their language, even if he can't speak it. A brief discussion between the PCs and the elf occurs and it is agreed that he will accompany them home. He also tells them the name of the city along the river, "Eshnunna".

And thats where we left it, with the players debating the merits of going straight home with the Elf or going on to their original goal of Eshnunna.

I just wanted to say I'm following and enjoying the telling. So - thanks :slight_smile:

I'm wondering how you model the divine magic in the setting. Are you using RoPTD, or just Hermetic magic with a different flavor? Also - how do you find combat to be going, given Ars Magica's rather abstract, lethal, and limited combat system? Do you miss tactical options?

I note that another storyhour I sometimes follow occasionally publishes stats for PCs, defeated NPCs, or so on. If you have some on hand, seeing a few would be interesting.



Glad to know someone is reading this :slight_smile:

On divine magic. Initially I wanted to make it totally separate but using the same rules, so Paladins and priests couldn't share anything. It very quickly became clear this wouldn't work. We only had one divine Character (Ser Florus the Paladin) and 3 arcane casters. So The way its been done is that the academic language is the same as their normal tongue (i.e. everyone can read anyones books and lab texts) but the casting is done in the Draconic language for arcane casters and the Olympian language for Divine casters, which makes it much harder to understand each others castings.

Both forms of magic, although separate work the same, i.e. the gods modelled divine magic on the existing arcane magic (maybe they figured if it ain't broke, don't fix it). They both use the hermetic magic rules. Of course since all paladins start with short ranged magic, the PCs have got very different feeling spell load outs.

As a handy aside, since all but one of my players aren't that familiar with Ars5 and 2 have never played Ars before, they saves a lot of time explaining different systems.

Combat so far is good although can get bogged down given my newer players. Keeping it short, sweet and brutal seems to be working. Only light wounds all round so far but one of their trusted turb got really badly wounded a while back which shocked them a little. They've not met anything really dangerous yet. The fishmen were a cake walk.

As for baddies, this is the short version of the fishman warrior, the basic, adult fishman. Everything the PCs might reasonably want to fight gets a short stat block like that. I'll usually have about three or four different ones for each race (so Orks might have youths, warriors, chieftains chosen and clan chief) which gives me something to have to hand if my players surprise me. Anything named or plot related gets more of course. I'm trying to keep the powers relatively low atm for those things that have them since i'll want to build up to the more powerful denizens of the world.

Fishman Warrior
Fishmen warriors seem to make up the bulk of the tribe with the majority of adults eagerly throwing themselves into battle. They fight with spears and carry round shields.
Equipment: Spear, Round shield (Encumb 3)
Stats: Str: -1, Stam: 0, Int: -3, Per: -1, Dex: -1, Quic: +2, Pre: -2, Com: -2
Skills: Single Weapon 3
Init +1, atk +4, Dfn +7, dam +4, soak +2

He's not the only one, but, since I have nothing to say besides "Great Story!!! Keep it up!"? I avoid polluting your thread with my dumb cheers.
Know, though, that I'm glad whenever I see a new "episode" is up :smiley:

+1. Same here :slight_smile:


+1. More dumb cheers pollution! :smiley:

Another week another session. Somewhat of a short session as our two paladin players faded rapidly as the night approached.

The party decided that to continue on to Eshnunna with their new friend Illium in tow would be folly, so they spent a week or so returning to their home base Dragmos (the fishing town by the sea). They are welcomed home warmly by the populace and Illium is greeted with great curiousity. One of the scholars in the refugees, a linguist, eagerly befriends the Elf and begins the labourious process of learning the basics of his language.

The party spend a few days enjoying being back amongst their people and have several meetings where the following is discussed.

  1. a chronicle should be made. Or two chronicles. One should be a heroic historical account telling the history of their people on this planet to inspire and educate the populace of the future. Another should be an accurate record of the minutiae of refugee life, in particular recording things such as weather, crop yields, fishing catches, etc, so that they can more accurately work out how their new home actually works.
  2. Further efforts to explore should be made. Dragmos revealed books, magic items, building materials and a powerful ally when investigated, so maybe such things can be found elsewhere.
  3. The paper supply is running very short. People from Nathas use two kinds of writing material, parchment, usually for important documents and paper, made from a particular reed that is widely farmed for paper production. Since they have but 10 sheep and no reeds, an alternate source of paper needs to be found. Magda, the oldest and wisest of the scholars, tells them that another nation on their old homeworld used to use a tree pulp for paper production but she doesn't know more than that. Gendo puts into operation a small team to pulp some trees and try to make some usable paper.
  4. The parties master of spontaneous magic (Gendo) casts Thoughts within Babble and the whole party mime to Illium ome questions which he answers as best he can. The party learn a rather significant amount quite quickly.
    -The ruined nation that the refugees now inhabit was once an Elven nation named Kaelbrach.
    -It was founded by refugees from a much older and more powerful nation way off in the East called Linisfarn.
    -Linisfarn is somehow a bad place, has an Empress and seems to be authoritarian.
    -Linisfarn was also the nation that invaded and annihilated Kaelbrach
    -Illium believes he is the last Elf alive in Kaelbrach
    -Due to some kind of stasis like event (maybe twilight) Illium is not sure how long his land was destroyed but he estimates 200 years. He thinks he might have been gone several decades. At a minimum then he is about 150-200 years old.
    -Illium was apparently a guard, a soldier and has already demonstrated the ability to cast magic. The PCs grow concerned over the power of nations that could use spell casters as mere guards.
    -His people use a wood pulp as a writing material (Gendo and Magda are happy).
    -Eshnunna, the city our heroes had pegged as the next exploration point was his civilizations capital city and was divided unofficially into a number of wards, each ward home to a different ethnic group of Elves from Linisfarn, to the south on the river were a large number of canals full of houseboats. To the east were magically grown, huge oak trees with hollow trunks that had dwellings both in them and in tree houses in their branches. To the west was a stone build ward home to a religious group of ascetics who lived humbly and practiced a form of spiritual and communal living. To the north was the noble district, where the most powerful and wealthy families (often exiled noble houses of Linisfarn) lived, it was a glittering and beautiful ward of towers made of stone, glass and steel.

So, our heroes decide to set off to Eshnunna for some good old fashioned looting. They take the apprentices, some masons, a few labourers and some carpenters (and of course their trusty shield grogs, Geeorg and Festus).
It takes them nearly three weeks to get to Eshnunna, travelling down the coast, then beaching and hiding their boats and making their way up river on foot. Eventually the reach the city to find that it has been levelled quite comprehensively. Further examination reveals that the level of destruction is quite extravagant. It appears that the city was deliberately turned to rubble. Theories abound but the use of earth elementals of golems is suspected. Exploration of the ruins begins and rapidly, Magpie John (Wyndhams apprentice) finds several basement/cellars. These are duly investigated, to no real gain. Until a trapdoor is found on the Eastern side of the city between the roots of a massive tree stump (massive like 10 paces across). The trapdoor leads down to a smal and cosy lab with a rather potent aura of 6. The lab seems to be made from wood and this has warped across the years, however, they can still make our hundreds of pigeonholes and shelves containing a huge variety of powders, twigs, leaves, liquids and so on. In the centre of the room is a large and impressive looking book which has been heavily munched upon by worms. They loot the shelves and book and mark the location for future retrieval of lab equipment.

And that was where we left it. Next week - Exploration of the Ruins of Eshnunna

Well, had a couple of sessions since the last update.

The PCs and apprentices return to Eshnunna and start going through the ruins, looking for anything valuable. Although the city has been leveled (almost literally, the damage is beyond anything natural, the PCs suspect golems or earth elementals were bought in to flatten the entire place), they manage to find the city catacombs where the dead of the poorer classes are kept and retrieve a couple of rings of the suspiciously undecomposed corpses of a few elves. They fight some large skeletal guards without much problem. They find another tomb that seems to be richly decorated and has 8 side chapels, each with dead elves bearing expensive looking items/jewellery/clothes. As soon as they step into a side chapel, the tombs defences drop a pair of fire elementals on them, forcing them to retreat. They mark it and swear to return once they have created some spells/items to deal with the fire elementals.

Another tomb is found, this time a cave deep under the city. The cave is half flooded and on the waters surface is a large ship, a catamaran in a strange style. On the ship are three dead elves, laid out in armour with weapons by their sides. At their feet lie piles of coins, gems and art objects. As soon as the PCs step on the boat, the water starts to churn and a dozen skeletons from a variety of races clamber out of the water and onto the jetty leading to the boat. On such a narrow walkway the PCs are cut off from the apprentices as everyone is under assault. The apprentices fight bravely but take some nasty wounds, spurring the PCs into heroic actions to save them. While Wyndham and Ira smash apart skeletons, Ser Florus (who is pretty much a professional skeleton smasher) leaps off the boats gunwhales, mace bursting into flame and fights her way through to the apprentices. She is pleased to see that Aed is defending Sorel, longsword in hand.

The skeletons get smashed, the boat gets looted, the apprentices wear their wounds with pride.

Further exploration finds a secret passage in a basement with what looks to be a watery portal (a bit like the stargate portal) at one end, guarded by a series of circle ring spells down the corridor towards it. This is left for later.

Magpie John, who has an uncanny habit of finding things, manages to find a sword sticking out of the ground, still sharp, shiny and uncorroded. Digging it up leads to the hand holding it and eventually the digging reveals a line of 5 elves in full scale armour, lying in the remains of a tunnel. At the end of which is a tough looking metal door carved with still glowing runes. Interested, but not stupid, the PCs use the labourers they have along with them, and some Gendo style perdo terram magic and dig round the side of the door to the stone wall. After the masons have forced an entry, the PCs find a lab with a potent aura (7). In the vestibule to the lab there are two corpses, one armoured the other not. Both have drawn weapons by their side. A bit of examination and it is determined that the armoured one, and his friends chased the robed one down into this lab where he managed to shut the protected door. The door killed the elves in the tunnel, possibly bringing the tunnel down on them, while the two elves in the lab stabbed each other to death. An enchanted dagger is retrieved from the scene and a considerable amount of lab equipment is recovered.

Forthe next session Gendo's player had to jet off to foreign places for a week so I decided to run an apprentice session. Each of the remaining three players took on one of the three apprentices. Ser Florus got Magpie John, the young druid. Wyndham got Aed Larkin, the paladin in training and Ser Ira got Sorel, the surly teenage mage. Quick note about the apprentices, none of the PCs are really ready for an apprentice and have kind of had this dropped on them. The apprentices were partly trained and in the refuge group, so the PCs have taken them on and are trying to teach them the basics. Sorel has had her arts opened already, Magpie John and Aed have not.

As the PCs and apprentices camp out in the ruins of Eshnunna, the apprentices are awakened by a red mist about each of their heads. As they leap to their feet and cry in alarm, they feel their conciousness being yanked away from them. Everything goes black.

The apprentices wake up underwater, dank, foul tasting water. They all leap up and find themselves in a dark and stinking swamp. Needless to say, this confuses them somewhat as mere seconds ago, they had been in a rubble filled ruined city.

They gather themselves and, for want of anything better to do, head towards a nearby hillock. On the their way to the hill, they encounter dozens of ghosts, apparently of elven warriors, all in armour. The ghosts don't seem to acknowledge their presence. Every now and then, one of the ghosts drops to its needs and howls in pain as a red fog swirls about its head. They make it to the hillock and are surprised to find themselves greeted by an elf, not a ghost as the others are, but flesh and blood. He tells them that he has been trapped here for ages, that it is always night and that there is also a dwarf and some kind of little green man trapped here with him who are not ghosts. The apprentices talk with the elf for a bit then go find the dwarf and finally the little green man of the forest, who it turns out is a shaman.

The apprentices show their wisdom by, along with trying to find out what this place is and how to escape, asking questions of the dwarf, LGMotF and Elf about their cultures. They learn a surprising amount. The LGMotF seems to know the most about this place and tells them that they are in the mind of some kind of strange beast and that they are all communicating telepathically, everything they see is their minds way to make sense of the beasts mind. Hence the LGMotF, dwarf, elf and the apprentices can all converse freely, even while sharing no common languages.

The shaman leads them to a huge palace, made of crystal. In there he tells them is an elf, chained in the lowest dungeons and thoroughly mad. He might know more about the beast.

The apprentice wander around the palace for a while, meet the elf, who turns out to be the beasts creator. He tells them it is called a nishruu, and was designed to suck the spirits out of sleeping elves. Invisible and intangible, it was a weapon of terror and stealth, to be set lose on enemy armies. It was freed during the siege of Eshnunna before he could finish its creation and promptly sucked out his spirit. He has been its prisoner ever since. He explains that if the PCs want to defeat it, they will need three things it took from him, courage - manifested as a shield and somewhere in the castle, Free spirit - manifested as a songbird and somewhere in the swamps and light - manifested as a lantern, hidden beneath the swamp waters. The nishruu, as a stealthy weapon of terror and hatred cannot overcome strong wills, hates free spirits and is driven away by discovery, particularly light.

The apprentices rapidly find the three items. Sorels light spell reveals the lantern and by casting it on the lantern, empowers it. Magpie John charms the songbird by whistling a merry song for hours and Aed Larkin proves his will is sufficient to claim the shield by reaching through fire to retrieve it, burning himself horrifically.

The apprentices realise that the Dwarf, elf and LGMotF had respectively freedom of spirit, bravery and magic, but that the LGMotF, despite his magic, could not summon light. The apprentices then face the nishruu, manifest as a dragon. Aed protects the others with his shield from its fiery breath, Sorel drives it back with her light spells, amplified by the lantern and John finishes it off by feeding it the songbird, destroying it.

The apprentices wake up in a tent in Eshnunna. Gendo and the others are over joyed and then confused as the apprentices tell their tale. The information on the dwarves in particular leads them to consider approaching them for trade.

After that, the next session saw our heroes finish off Eshnunna. they found a way through the portal down the end of the tunnel, which was actually an elaborate trap. Instead of a portal, it was a bath of acid, suspended in the air by magic. An intruder, believing it to be a portal would step through and destroy themselves. Wyndham suffers a nasty wound putting his paw through but once they realise the deception, the PCs manage to get through only to find a small but snug study on the other side. A fire magically burns in the hearth, comfy chairs sit next to tables and a handful of glowing glass globes provide light (the PCs now have 16 of these glowing globes). Most important of all, the PCs find no les than 50 perfectly preserved books. All written in the Elvish langauge, which they neither speak nor read.

The session ends with the heroes returning home to Dragmos. They manage to set up a conversation with Illium, with both him and Gendo casting Thoughts within babble. They get quite a bit of information out of him, including the rough titles of the books they found.

Next, a year of downtime and then its off to find the dwarves!

When I started reading I was looking for the Gonnies to step in :stuck_out_tongue:

Nice adventures. I liked the apprentice spinnoff a lot and might steal it almost as written for our incoming saga :slight_smile:


As it turns out..... Yes, there's orcs. :imp:

I've been neglecting this game diary, bad me!

So, lots has happened.

Our valiant heroes found the Dwarves, thats the major thing.

The party (Ser Ira, Ser Florus, Gendo, Wyndham, Shield Grogs Festus and Geeorg, Apprentices Magpie John, Sorel and Squire Aed along with a small collection of bag carriers, carpenters, stone masons and a couple more warriors set off into the mountains.

Before they can reach the mountains they meet a tribe of Little Green Men of the Forest, herding Trapirs (cross between pigs and tapirs) from the back of giant spiders. Despite a really quite significant language barrier, some level of friendship is struck up, particularly between Gendo and the tribes grizzled old chief, both of whom get smashed on spider venom brandy together. Some very basic trade is engaged in and the LGMotF promise to visit the settlement to trade spider silk, leather and meat for finished goods.

Enroute through the mountains they discover a massive valley filled with armies of undead re-fighting ancient wars, an abandoned temple belonging to a playerful and somewhat arrogant sky spirit (Whom Ser Ira becomes a follower of) and a bunch of Dwarven lumberjacks.

The dwarves are greatly shocked to meet them and they rapidly get passed up the chain of command from a lumber camp to a local fortress, to a city, to the Dwarven Capital, located in a huge volcano. He they meet the High King (Suspiciously young Dwarf), Ser Florus joins the volcano cult (Suspiciously open and friendly dwarves) and they get shown the wonders of the city, the great hall of which is the volcano's caldera. Its clear the Dwarves are very powerful and have crafts beyond human ability in stoneworking, metal working and restraining massive volcano gods.

They strike some trade deals and accompanied home by two dozen cheerful dwarves who follow them all the way back to their home city of dragmos and build themselves some houses. The dwarves begin enthusiastically learning Nassian (The players language).

The PCs decide to head back to Eshnunna to continue the looting of the tomb they were scared off from last time, now they have a cunning plan.

Last time they were there they discovered a tomb underground that had a number of very wealthy looking Elves laid in state. They were prevented from looting by a pair of fire elementals released by their presence. This time they have a plan. Gendo uses a creo Aquam spell to flood the basement tomb and then Florus and Wyndham, equipped with lungs of the fishes descend into the tomb using recovered glowglobes for loot. The fire elementals are summoned forth once again and immediately begin to thrash about, held in place and clearly in terrible pain from the water. Although it doesn't kill them, the waterdoes hold the elementals in place while Florus and Wyndham loot the tombs. Gendo has to spont a couple of spells to cool the water which the trapped elementals are slowly heating.

Eventually, the PCs have recovered a considerable treasure trove including weapons, armour, books and some random magical items.

Camping that night in the ruins they can hear laughter. Florus and Wyndham investigate and find a human women sitting alone at a camp fire. As they approach tall and fierce looking elves step from the shadows bearing weapons, the woman vanishes and is replaced by an elven mage. Gendo, who has taken to the night sky to observe everything sees the elves and spots other elves approaching the camp where the apprentices are sat.

Despite the fact that several of the PCs now speak passable Elven, things get of hand quickly and before they know it, Wyndham and Florus are fighting for their lives. Javelins thrown by the elves stalking the camp terribly injure Sorel and Festus and Aed draws his (newly looted and extremely awesome) Elven sword and leaps to attack.

The battle is fierce and several of our heroes are badly wounded but the elves are hamstrung after their mage manages to send hmself into a brief twilight. Squire Aed distinguishes himself in battle slaying no less than three of the Elves in melee combat.

When Geeorg captures the Elven mage via sneaking up behind him and battering him over the ehad with his shield, the mage calls for a surrender. The other elves all yield to the PCs, except for one who appears to be some kind of psycho. He refuses to stand down until his has killed his opponent in single combat, Wyndham, who he was fighting agrees and then cheats, setting his magical animal companion Latifa (who happens to be a lion) on him while attacking himself too. The elf is quickly ripped apart by the lion and the lion heartbeasted druid.

The Elves are bound and everyone heads for home with loot and prisoners in tow.

One session on and our brave heroes return to the city of Dragmos, prisoners in tow. Their wounded get send to the infirmary to recuperate and a council is called to interrogate the Elven mage they captured (who has been bound and gagged and had his fingers lashed together to help prevent spellcasting).

At the council it rapidly becomes clear that no one has much enthusiasm for just killing the captives. The elven mage, who is insufferably smug and arrogant, recommends that they release him and that in return, once his mission is resolved, he will ask his superiors to send a diplomat to them.

Eventually the PCs agree and release him. As a sign of generosity they also offer to care for his wounded until he is able to return to pick them up.

Barely a season has passed, when the PCs are alerted by the blowing of many trumpets from the road leading to Dragmos. Scurrying to the walls of the cities shattered bastille to get a better view they see a group of fifty elves marching on the city, periodically blowing trumpets. Fourty of the elves are warriors in identical scale armour with a bunch of "civilians" leading them.

It is at this point that the PCs realise that the city has no fortifications to speak of and a standing army of precisely 10 men-at-arms, 2 paladins and 1 squire (with a mage and a druid thrown in for good measure). Not nearly enough to fend off an assault from even a small force.

Thankfully the elves seem to be announcing their presence peacefully and indeed, when the PCs go to meet them, they are there to parlay, not war.

The elven warriors remain outside the city at parade rest looking very formal and disciplined while the elven civilians (three mages, one of whom is the smug mage from earlier, a scary looking bodyguard, 2 servants, a concubine, a scribe and a priest) follow them to the remains of the Elven palace that the PCs use for their council meetings.

The senior Elven mage is not insulting but clearly lays out the issues. Some of his fellow Elves see the PCs occupation of Dragmos and looting of elven ruins as insults and believe they should be exterminated. Others think they might be useful. This mage is of the latter faction but doesn't really want to expend valuable political capital to defend them unless he is going to get something out of it. He thus proposes that they demonstrate their usefulness by retrieving the journal of his old master from the ruins of a city called Ellotis to the north. To further keep an eye on them, he leaves his apprentice (the smug mage, who is called Finsurannethus, or Nethus) to stay with them at the PCs expense to act as a sort of ambassador.

With that all agreed, the mage (Who was called Finsuranneth) leaves, rejoins his men and in a blatant display of power, teleports the entire elven party away.

The PCs immediately make plans to find the city of Ellotis, loot it and retrieve the journal. Nethus tells them that it was once home to a powerful archmage (who's journal they now seek) who was a master of illusions and that during the great war, the city was successfully hidden long enough to evacuate it. Some of the illusions were bought down by the attacking force but many will still stand.

The PCs set off and find the rough area of the city and start exploring. Ser Florus finds it first, using her second sight to detect inconsistencies between spells in the web of illusions that covers the city. They manage to find a route in and find themselves in a city carved entirely from stone and wedged in a broad valley. Hugely overgrown rice terracesadorn the surrounding hills and the city is built in, on and around the very stone terrain (I imagined it to look similar to Markarth for those that play Skyrim, very vertical). While exploring the freakishly quiet city they find a huge domed hall. Forcing open the stone doors with magic, the inside is revealed to be a large market. The beauty of the building and value of its fittings leads the PCs to believe it was less a fruit and veg market than a trade hall, where merchants might display examples of their wares to potential buyers. twelve vaults are found, six of which are still closed and locked. Ser Ira tries to detect magic on one of them and is struck by a Pilum of Fire for her troubles, although her armour and igem score are sufficient to protect her. Two vaults are forced open and within are found (in vault 1) a score of bronze barrels stamped with dwarven runes and containing a potent spirit not unlike whiskey and (in vault 2) a dozen chests, each with some kind of ongoing magical effect on them, that the PCs leave the hell alone.

Deciding to loot the vaults more thoroughly on the way out, they go in search of the archmages home, a mansion called the "Rock of Finsuran". They find it opposite a large columned building that turns out to be municipal baths. Having a quick poke around they find the first pool to be very hot and full of brown water, as they ponder its muddy secrets, a large, armoured serpent erupts from the pool and attacks them. Caught totally by surprise, the PCs defend themselves but are very nearly scalded when it raises a number of its armoured plates and blasts them with steam. The heroes battle on and it is eventually slain by Aed, once again displaying his incredible blade work by ripping out the beasts throat. It sinks beneath the water, whether hiding or dying, they don't know. A rapid retreat to the mansion follows.

And thats where we left it.

Wow, long time neglected diary, so much has happened since the last post.

Due to the lose of Ser Ira's player, Ira has joined Ignacio as an NPC.

The apprentices are getting much more powerful, John has unlocked his arts and heartbeast and is now known as Lemur John (guess what his heartbeast is...), Sorel is becoming a very potent magus, a benefit of having a pater with the good teacher virtue, and Aed has become the settlements foremost swordsman. Ser Florus has not been able to raise her arts high enough to open Aed's arts, so his tutelage has focus on mundane skills, making him quite powerful in his own way.

On the main PC side, Wyndham is now married with three children (and appears to be running some kind of breeding program), Gendo has become a passable sailor and deepened his relationship with the ocean spirit. He is now on a quest question the Hags about fertility magic. Ser Florus has started to progress into the Volcano cult and is now able to make Items of Quality, the first one she makes is a powerful mace for her own use.
The PCs in general have spent a lot of time and xp learning the local languages (except for Wyndham) and most of them now speak passable Elven, dwarven or both.

The PCs home town is growing, along with the "Dwarven quarter", they have repaired the bastille and started construction on a great temple dedicated to the five gods of the Nassian pantheon, both using a vast amount of quality stone conjured by Ignacio.

Adventure wise its been a busy time:
-The ruins of the Elven city of Ellotis were discovered and promptly looted, particularly the home of an old Elven archmage whos diary they hand over to Finsuraneth the Elven wizard.
-The Hag Capra is seduced by Wyndham in order to secure information on the location of her mother, who can teach Gendo about fertility magic. Wyndham spends a season feeling "soiled".
-The PCs get caught up in Dwarven politics, quickly saving the kings son from the kings courtiers, only to discover that they needed the child as a sacrifice to the volcano god who was angry enough about being denied his sacrifice to threaten the dwarven capital. The Dwarven high king sacrifices himself to appease the spirit, although he makes sure that his house have time to flee into exile under the PCs care first. There is no a village of powerful dwarves just outside Dragmos who are the PCs allies.
-A dwarven fortress, long abandoned and occupied by the Elves, then abandoned again, is breached and explored by the PCs who to their delight find some exceptionally dangerous traps that nearly slaughter half the party. Learning the evade the traps, they explore the fortress and find considerable military wargear, along with a serviceable dwarven town, empty and ready to use.

So? Are they or their dwarven allies moving to the (I guess much more fortified and easily protected) dwarven fortress? Sounds like a plan to me.

I had not read this thread for a while (snce they were in the first elven city, the one that was razed to the ground) so quite a load of stuff here!! I am specially intrigued in the elves and dwarves. Why are the dwarves suspiciously froendly? And are the elves they have encountered now the ones that destroyed the other elves? If thius is the case, what kind of relationship do you have between the first elf they encountered and the haughty ambassador in their midst?

Interesting rewad so far. Keep it up!