Nieda-Harsas Bureau of Tourism

Session 6 - Operation Triforce/Operation House Party
A tale of tactical nuclear clerics and unwanted houseguests.
Party: NPCs:

The team descends once more into the Underground Temple of Pelor. Jorma deposits the small amount of the Mysterious Fire-Powder of the East in the center of the dais and lights its fuse. One explosion later, the dais flows into the slats on the cavern floor to reveal a hatch leading to an ornate, magically lit staircase.

The party descends to find a series of chambers that test their wisdom, power, and courage. In the Chamber of Wisdom, they must answer riddles to advance. In the Chamber of Power, they must defeat enemies to prove their worth. In the Chamber of Courage, they must leap into a chasm to reveal a scintillating bridge to their goal. For their efforts, the party is rewarded the dubious prize of a scroll written in Supernal, a language none of the PCs knows.

As the scroll is written in Supernal, they decide to enlist the aid of Sister Zamada to decipher its purpose. Sister Zamada agrees and finds that the scroll details the Evocation of the Lesser Sun, a spell usable only by clerics of Pelor that turns said cleric into (essentially) a tactical nuke. Zamada insists that the scroll be given into other hands to keep it away from the bandits (and their boss) who originally sought it. She refuses to part with the scroll and requests that the PCs assist her in transferring it to a safer location. After some persuasion, Lindwell agrees to leave the scroll with her and details Peter Petrov to help guard it.

Mint, meanwhile, has made her presence known to Lindwell, responding to all of his statements – a situation which confused everyone in the room when Lindwell talked to her. After revealing her predilection for scrolls (and hats, and pie), Lindwell allows her to integrate with his sensorium so that she can enjoy a piece of pie.

The next day, Thor Branson dispatches Marshal Daguerre to retrieve the party for a mission on behalf of the elves of Singleterry Forest. An elf discovered a palace that had simply appeared in a grassy dell, but the elves had no manpower to investigate it. Alethian was sent to ask Mayor Branson to contribute some people for that job, which the mayor was happy to do. He (and Mint) convinced the players to head to this secluded dell, investigate the palace, and report back. Alethian led them to the palace but left for other duties afterward.

Mint began to act somewhat strange near the palace, as though it were already hers. Even stranger, a team of Tiamat cultists (the very cult to which Lindwell had once belonged) occupies the place. After their attempted surprise attack fails, the PCs assault the guard team and the entryway. Although the combat is heard by the work party in the courtyard, Lindwell bluffs them into complacence with the body of an archer and lures a portion of their number forward and away from their hiding places. Strung out with no defensible position available, the work party falls quickly, clearing the way for the team to enter the courtyard. After Blizzacane explores a disused kitchen looking for pies, Lindwell and Mint open the door to a central building, revealing an investigatory team led by another tiefling, Carcassi, an old rival of Lindwell’s. Lindwell bluffs his way in, alternately insulting Carcassi and extracting information from him, while Blizzacane and Jorma position themselves for a strike. After Jorma strikes him a terrible blow, Carcassi accuses Lindwell of having abandoned the evil of Tiamat for bland neutrality. Jorma’s magical dagger rips through the cultists, ending the fight before it begins, and Lindwell downs Carcassi while Blizzacane immobilizes the last cultist.

Once the combat is over, Mint appears in her true form to all of the party. She explains that she is the Lady of Spices and this palace is hers. She will need to remain there for a day to fully reclaim the power left in a statue there, so she promises the team food and rest as a reward for clearing her palace of interlopers. She also gives the team gold and potions, as well as happy dreams.

Rewards:
  • 683 XP each (total XP: 2354)
  • Cloak of Distortion +1 (awarded to Lindwell)
  • Potion of Healing x2
  • pearl (worth 100 gp)
  • vial of allspice
  • 230 gp
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Session 5 - Operation Road Work
Land surveying usually isn't this eventful.
Party: NPCs:

After a restful night at the inn, our heroes and Haram set out on the proposed track once more. They are more wary this time, however, of the bandits lurking in the woods.

The first group encountered by the party is a communications relay station. The party sights the camp and approaches stealthily, leaving the bandits out of line until too late. The bandits here attack on sight, but their formation is piecemeal, allowing the heroes to quickly dispose of them. They capture an apparent communications specialist, Rocky Stein, who explains the purpose of the location: a semipermanent camp used to communicate with the bandits on the other side of the river. He also participates in the group’s scheme to lure the bandits over from the other side of the river (with no success, as will be explained below). The group enjoys a convivial luncheon during which their employer attempts to learn more about them and moves on.

The second camp is a lightly manned post where the bandits keep watch for river traffic to plunder. Thanks to Rocky’s information, the team is able to sneak close. An errant noise from Lindwell almost reveals them, but he successfully tricks the scout he alerted with the noise of a fox. Again the bandits are taken by surprise, with little opportunity to form a defense. A maceman engages Blizzacane and Jorma between two tents, limiting opportunities for tactical movement. Lindwell trades blow with an archer, tearing at his will with the awful energies of the Feywild. Although the archers valiantly support their ally, the maceman falls. Though the archers give a merry chase, they do as well.

The last bandit camp is that of a bandit lieutenant’s scouting mission. Rocky reveals that the commander of the bandits on this side of the river, Ned Wenger, has been assigned by the bandits’ leader, Ole Vergsson, to scout north toward the Harrowby Hills. The party doesn’t manage to get the drop on these fellows, though, so Wenger and his allies have time to form up. Wenger and a maceman surround Blizzacane, but Jorma moves in to keep them off balance. An elf archer provides ranged fire for the enemy, but it doesn’t help them – first the maceman, then Wenger fall, and the archer follows soon after. The adventurers recover an encrypted message from the leader of the bandits. Jorma’s decodes the letter, and the team finds that their efforts have left a major gap in manpower for the criminals.

After disposing of the bandits, the rest of the survey proceeds without incident. On their return to New Port Chalmers, Haram rewards the party and indicates that they have earned his good will. The next morning, Marshal Daguerre indicates that they have earned his and Mayor Branson’s good will as well with a cash award. After a breakfast of Karl Taras’s fine Breakfast Ale (an ale with the full flavor of bacon and eggs), the adventurers purchase a fruit basket from Rene-Robert and visit Mayor Branson to finalize a few details. Rocky is released to the custody of Peter Petrov, whom he knew while in the bandits. Mayor Branson indicates that no bandits have been seen at the Underground Temple of Pelor and that the current manpower shortage noted in the intercepted communication makes this the perfect time to retrieve the artifact there. The team agrees, and plans are made to revisit the site.

Rewards:
  • 515 XP each (total XP: 1671)
  • Magic Dagger +2 (awarded to Jorma)
  • Potion of Healing x3
  • bullseye lantern x2
  • 10 pints oil
  • 235 gp
  • 300 sp
  • Balloon of Mystery (uninflated)
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Session 4 - Operation Frustration Incorporation
In which the PCs learn that you can't always get what you want, but if you try, sometimes. . .

. . .you just might find the DM is a dick.

When last we left our intrepid party, the adventurers were locked in mortal conversation with the town marshal concerning the sealed door at the dig site. After leaving Peter to his tender mercies, the three allies set out to find explosives and information.

After fruitless hours of searching, the party found nothing. No explosives were to be had, no reagents for crafting explosives were to be had, and no explosives could be delivered in less than a week. Fortunately, the bandits were at an impasse as well, as they had used up their supply breaking into the oval chamber and could not count on regular resupply.

As for information, Blizzacane teased some speculative notions on the nature of the Underground Temple of Pelor from Sister Zamada before her afternoon drinking binge. Sister Zamada believes that the temple complex exists to protect an artifact of some sort and may have been constructed in the relatively untraveled country of Nissus Point so that it would offer the additional protection of obscurity. No one can be sure, however, because no solid information about the complex exists.

After the travails of the morning, the PCs turned at last to the inn, where they discovered a most intriguing traveler. Haram al-Barazem, a caravan master who plies the trade routes of the Azure Plains and the deserts beyond, once traded in Port Chalmers. When it ceased to exist in normal space, he and other traders were forced to ship their goods from river ports further south if they wanted to trade with the dwarven mines to the north. Haram is desirous of eliminating the drain on his business by cutting out the riverboats entirely, or at least giving them a little competition. To this end he has arrived in New Port Chalmers with the object of enlarging Derwent’s Bridge and extending the old road up to the Harrowby Hills, avoiding the intractable terrain of Nissus Point. However, there is no road past New Port Chalmers, so one will have to be constructed, and that means a route must be surveyed first. Sensibly, al-Barazem wants bodyguards, as the area is known to be infested with bandits. He also possesses a quantity of the mysterious fire-powder of the east and is willing to part with it if the PCs will perform that task for him.

Agreeing to the terms, the adventurers prepare themselves for the journey. The next morning, al-Barazem sets out on his survey of the landscape, confident that he will come to no harm. Some way up the river, however, the surveying party encounters a hidden encampment filled with boats. Suspecting danger, the party attempts to work out a course of action, but they are interrupted when one of the camp’s scouts notices them. Both groups warily engage in a verbal duel, revealing that the camp is not a hunting camp as the scout claims. However, the PCs do not react to a flanking maneuver by the “hunting party,” and Lindwell is surprised and knocked out. Jorma and Blizzacane fight desparately, but take damage from the bandits, now unconcerned with cover stories. Blizzacane manifests his connection to the primal power of the earth with chilling ice and clinging vines, giving the PCs a slight edge. Jorma supplies Lindwell with a timely potion, and Lindwell repays the favor by channeling his eldritch powers toward the death of his enemies. In time, the party slaughters the bandits and loots the camp. Al-Barazem agrees that the fight was a rough one and does not object when the party takes the plundered boats back to New Port Chalmers to recuperate.

142 XP each (1156 total XP)
20 days trail rations
6 rowboats
120 gp
150 sp

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Session 3 - Operation There's Always Room for Jell-o
In which the PCs learn what happens when a snack bites back.

After resting in the cavern, Jorma dreamed of being restrained. Turns out it wasn’t a dream; Peter Petrov has a habit of sleeptying.

After waking and releasing Jorma, the party decided to break through the last known door in the caves. The door opened onto an oval chamber, clearly crafted as part of a temple complex. Although they didn’t realize it until later, this cave system is part of a temple to Pelor, of all beings. The chamber contained a skeleton that Peter identified as being the remains of the bandit who initially ran the site. While exploring the chamber, Jorma was ambushed by an Ochre Jelly sliding up through slots around a dais at one end of the oval. The hungry ooze latched onto a tasty treat, though, when Blizzacane arrived, and a fluid (pun!) battle of constant movement ensued. Although the jelly managed to splash Blizzacane with acid that ate away at him throughout the fight and even divded in two, concentrated fire from Lindwell and Jorma whittled it down. At last, an eldritch blast splashed it across one end of the chamber, frosting the room (and Blizzacane!) with citrusy deliciousness.

The foe vanquished – and partly wiped off – the party resumed their examination of the chamber. Peter informed them that the chamber had been opened with explosives and then sealed again once the ooze attacked and killed the leading bandit. The party found a document case and a letter on his person. The letter seems to indicate that the dig was begun at the behest of another party:

You have so far failed to procure the item that I requested. I do not understand your inability to abide by our agreement. I have given you precise locations and instructions. If you do not retrieve the artifact I requested, I will find someone of more use to me. Do not disappoint me. -T

An examination of the dais revealed that it sits atop a shaft leading deeper into the complex. The dais, however, proved intractable, blocking the party’s descent. After many experiments, the party identified an ideogram which those present believed to represent an explosion. As they did not possess sufficient material to create and explosive, the PCs and Peter were forced to go back to town, where they informed Marshal Daguerre of their experience.

100 XP each (1014 total XP)
Hedge Wizard’s Gloves (awarded to Lindwell)
Potion of Healing
Moonstone (100 gp)
130 gp
200 sp

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Session 2 - Operation Technical Difficulties
Problems with technology plague a crawl through a dungeon.

Jorma found himself in a sticky situation, tied up and menaced by an angry, armed Sister Zamada. He didn’t seem to understand exactly how this church of Erathis worked, and Sister Zamada’s explanations only muddled his thinking even more. The good sister eventually kicked him out, whereupon he vowed to become a member of the church (a bit fuzzy on the how) and wandered off to find his comrades (or at least the bar).

After the party found each other, they consulted Mayor Branson about the bandit problem that plagues the area. Marshal Daguerre provided some background information, but dedicated investigation by the party uncovered a nest of bandits based in the rocky swamps of Nissus Point. The bandits had been engaged in forcing out the rightful tenants of the area in order to secure an unobserved base for themselves.

The group set out to investigate or exterminate these bandits, traveling south to the crossing at Derwent’s Bridge and then back north to Nissus Point along the old trade road. Careful maneuvering through the swamps around the location of interest kept the party hidden until they were fairly close. The bandits defended their camp with great vigor, however, and a lone archer escaped to warn whosoever might control them.

The party found a shaft leading down into a man-made cave system under a tarp at the campsite. The first room contained empty crates, indicating that the bandits intended to carry out something that they expected to find in the caves. The bandits in the caves defended themselves with vigor against the interlopers, but were ultimately defeated, yielding treasure and a prisoner. The party ended at a door which had been reinforced – possibly to keep something in. Our boys rested themselves so as to be in good shape for the journey ahead.

420 XP each (914 total XP)
Lightning Longsword +1 (awarded to Blizzacane)
Burglar’s Gloves (awarded to Jorma)
400 sp

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Session 1 - Operation Bughouse
The PCs arrive and do a little cleaning.

Jorma starts the game prone on a pier, bound and gagged by a bounty hunter who had mistaken him for a halfling thief from further down the river. After the town marshal clears up the mistaken identity, the bounty hunter, Jet Fango, grudgingly lets him loose.

Blizzacane Stormshard gets off the boat, excited to be in a new place.

Lindwell Sam’ej Dio, Esq. has been around for a while and is surveying a site for his prospective academy when Jorma, followed by the curious Blizzacane, accosted him. Jorma finagled his way into Lindwell’s plans, and together they spoke to the mayor concerning their advancement. While Mayor Branson was not entirely supportive, he did give the boys a job – clearing monstrous beetles out of important farmland.

Ewald Osmund escorted the party to his farm, and gave them a general direction for where to find the beetles. After removing the beetles in his field, the party searched the woods for more, finding several nests, including one with a more powerful beetle (and a load of cash). Following their success, farmer Osmund provided a meal of boiled turnips and water. Refreshed, the boys returned to town to collect their reward.

Mayor Branson was pleased that they’d managed to eliminate a threat to the town’s food supply, and paid them what he could spare. He informed them of another job, a bandit hunt, and he and Jorma started inconclusive negotiations. After accepting the mayor’s tourist brochures, the PCs left to explore the town. Jorma found a lot of ale and a pretty girl. Blizzacane found bells and religious longing. Lindwell found only inconclusive negotiations and a directive better given an architect or a submarine miner.

After a full day of fighting and exploring their new home, the PCs retired for the night, content in the knowledge that adventure and fortune awaited.

494 XP each
Potion of Healing
210 gp

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