Evils of Land Bound to Darkness

10000 Orcs..ok 20 Orcs! and the destruction of Rathe's hometown

Thanks to the long memory of the elves we are able to figure out exactly whose tower we ran into in the woods. Apparently the Elven Wizard Amok who hasn’t been heard from in over 800 years once stayed there. His life time work of trying to stop the negative energy plane from impeding upon this plane might hold some clues as to ways to stop the magic decline that seems to be coming, or at least help us figure out what to do about this damned fog. Hopefully he is behind that door and he can answer our questions, but if not maybe there will at least be something to help us figure out the next step. Fore all we know he may be trapped or hurt back there so with little prompting the group decides to go back and investigate. Besides, how much trouble can two little golems be. (Could be famous last words!)
Upon reaching the tower and the lab room we begin to prepare ourselves to defeat the golem guardians. The Magus and the Slayer come up with a plan to try to bind them so we instead of destroying Amok’s guardians, we can simply let him know they are trussed up at his door, and if he is no where to be found, perhaps we can sell them to the elven village to be repurposed as village guardians. So Rathe buffs himself appropriately, casts bless upon our group, the Magus gives the three of us who are fighter types enlargement and access to a fighter feat, and I cast fist of stone on myself along with balor’s nimbus in preparation for grappling with one of the golems so the rest of the group can quickly bind the other golem. Because the slayer asked ahead of time I prepared a magic weapon spell for him, so after casting that, I cast combust on my fist in preparation then we move into combat. Elanna and the Slayer both move in to restrain one Golem while Rathe casts Curse to lower its ability to fight back. The Slayer succeeds in tripping his target but when he moves in to apply a set of manacles they shatter against the golems magical defenses. The golem shrugs off Rathe’s curse spell, and Elanna delivers a mighty blow. My first strike from against the golem ignites him in flame and blows him into chunks of rock before I can even think about moving in to grapple him. Looks like we may have over prepared. As I turn to move in to assist with the other golem I see there is nothing left but rock chips as Rathe, Elanna, and the Slayer quickly bring it down. With the golems dealt with we search the rest of the room and find a collection of very magical books on a set of shelves. Next we move to the door and the Slayer tells us that it is warded with two fire and an electric ward. Both Rathe and the Magus try to dispel the magic on the door and one of them is able to bring down one of the three wards. Rathe casts a protection from energy spell on me to ensure the remaining fire doesn’t kill me. The wards fire is not enough to get through Rathe’s shield and we search the room beyond the door and find a journal written by Amok himself. I scan it and realize that it is going to take some serious time to digest so I put it in my bag and we begin to search the rest of the tower. Realizing that that will take a lot of time, we all begin our individual tasks and agree to stay for a few days. Rathe and I work to descipher the journal, the Magus begins crafting a monk’s belt for me, while Elanna, the Slayer, and the druid search the tower.
No one really finds anything of interest in the tower so Rathe and I explain to the group that Amok figured out a way to stop the negative energy plane from spilling into our plane even more but realized that he life span wasn’t long enough to get it done so he traveled to a specific place put himself in a type of stasis and begin the ritual casting that would get it done. Unfortunately the magical decline that would allow the negative energy plane to spill over is happening 30 years faster than his calculations said it would. So we decide that after we drop off the boy in the mountains we will travel to where we think he is to either help him or alert him that things are not going according to his plan. I decide to take the books along so he can have them at his disposal (or the three arcane casters in our group can learn enough to perhaps pick up where he left off). After a quick stop at the elven village to sell the remains of the golems we travel to the next cache. On the way we see a Force Dragon flying above us, which is both amazing and odd. Typically they don’t reside in this plane and he wasn’t just here but looking intent on going somewhere and fast. Deciding that its above our heads and ability to influence, we decide to continue on. The first cache we find all the weapons are pretty warped and rusted and the room feels like the inside of an oven. We find a door leading deeper into the cavern, but its really hot to the touch. Rathe protects himself from the flames and goes further to investigate and the rest of us back away from the intense heat. After a short while he comes back to join us telling us that after a short downward slope he finds a pool of lava traveling underneath the cache. As we confer we decide this is another instance of the weakening of the barriers between the planes because it sounds like he found an entrance to the elemental plane of fire down there. We continue on but the next Cache we get to looks like someone beat us to it and all the weapons are missing so we continue on. Rathe tells us that soon we will make it to his hometown and that from there we will get a boat to help us get to the mountains more quickly. When we get to his town, we are met with death and devastation. The place is in ruins and not a soul is left alive. It looks like a huge battle was fought here and magical detection shows that a great evil magic was done in this place. It looks like an artifact was sacrificed here in some kind of epic spell and and miles of fire and devastation rained down for miles around. As to be expected Rathe is upset by this and he comes to the conclusion that whoever is looking for this boy must have figured out that he was connected to him and came here looking for him and the boy, and when the town wouldn’t/couldn’t give us up they were destroyed for it. I think his assumption maybe a little off the mark, but regardless I think staying here is a bad idea and as it seems the boats would take days to repair, we decide to start off again on foot. While we are making our way we spot a group of orcs dragging elven slaves about a mile away.
Already upset over the destruction of his home Rathe decides that he wants to vent his anger on the orcs, whom he thinks likely had something to do with his town being destroyed, and he has a soft spot in his heart for elves. I don’t want to see anyone enslaved, and I have a soft spot in my heart for killing orcs so I’m all for it. As we move to try to catch the orcs, they spot us and send a scouting party to try to stop us. Twenty Orcs on twenty wolves vs the five of us. Well at least it will be interesting! Rathe is able to drop a couple of fireballs into them before putting away his wand and starting to buff himself, but unfortunately none of the rest of our caster’s have prepared any spells to help kill them before they get here. Ellana pulls her bow and puts several arrows into a few wolves still on fire from the fireball, dropping them and slowing the orcs from reaching us. The Magus gifts three of us with Enlargement and access to a Fighter Feat, and casts Haste to aide us in the battle, and I surround myself in Death Armor, casts Fist of Stone, Chill Touch, Combust, and Corrosive Grasp and smile as five wolves carrying orcs surround me. A fan of flame erupts from my body burning all as they attack. A look to my right shows Ellana in her element as she swipes her blade through the air cutting, slicing, and piercing several wolves and orcs with every swing, and a look to my left shows the Slayer also surrounded by a set of wolfs carrying orcs, several of which he already has on the ground knocked into one another with orcs and wolves trying to unentangle themselves from one another. Rathe enspells his blade and launches it hitting several of the opponents facing Elanna as well as several of the orcs and wolves still coming into the battle, killing several of them who were unlucky enough to still be smoldering from his fireball. Taking full advantage of the added speed gifted to me by the Magus, I land 4 powerful blows on multiple targets and watch one catch on fire and die, and the power of the chill touch, corrosive grasp, and fire from my kama begins to decrease the enemy both in number and desire to continue standing before me. I pay for hurting them so badly as four attacks land on me but my death armor sends negative energy coursing through them and some fall dead in their tracks. More hurt than I like to think about I yell for Rathe and he says he will get to me as soon as he is done healing the Slayer. At this point all the wolves are fighting on terrain covered in grease thanks to the Magus and consequently some of them are missing or falling as often as not when they try to attack us. A glance in the Slayer’s dirction shows him working a fighting withdrawal in my direction. Some of his opponents are already down and he puts down two more of mine but even with the healing assistance from Rathe the crushing number of orcs is too much and he succumbs to blow falling to his death. Realizing the same could just as easily happen to me I switch tactics and begin fighting defensively, landing another set of blows this time delivering a shocking grasp along with the chill touch and corrosive grasp, but missing a few blows as well as I concentrate on parrying and stepping out of the way of my opponents. Rathe’s heal helps and I get hit less but still feel the numbers are stacked against me so I summon an illusion of 6 more copies of myself to confuse my opponents and give them more to worry about. At this point all the surviving orcs and wolves that had been fighting both me and the slayer have surrounded me but Allana, Rathe, and the Magus are moving in to assist. I continue punhing, kicking, headbutting, and anything else I can think of to dodge the spears and mighty maws of the wolves, the magus gets off a ray of fire, while Allana begins slicing and dicing, but ultimately it’s a cone of acid from Rathe that delivers the killing blow to the a three sets of wolves and their riders. The last orc sees he is outclassed and outnumbered, his mount dead, he begins running as fast as he can trying to get away. Allana yells for one of the casters to pepper him with a magic missile or something, but I decide that having one alive to question isn’t a bad idea so I use my Monk’s gift, not to mention the haste spell from the Magus and I’m on top of the orc before he gets very far. I successfully engage him in a grapple, knock him unconscious, and have him tied up by the time the rest of the group catches up to me.
Realizing that while I have the size and the ability to beat the orc to unconsciousness again and again, perhaps Rathe or our charismatic Magus would be more apt at questioning the orc, so I leave with Allana to bury our fallen hero, and collect any treasure the orcs had on them. We agree to do all of this as fast as possible knowing that we still have to catch the rest of the orcs, but hoping that any information we get from our captive will help prepare us for what we might have in store.

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LootJune182013

Note: Don’t know how you are going to get the copper back 1000 pounds of copper is a bit much to take and is only 500 gold so.

Total value: 47374 gp). Sell value would be 44564 / 5=8912.8 gold. per person.

Gold (8700 gp)
15000 sp (worth 1500 gp)
50000 cp (worth 500 gp)
6700 gp (worth 6700 gp)

Gems (7424 gp)
2 alexandrite (worth 1000 gp, 500 gp each)
2 amber (worth 180 gp, 90 gp each)
2 banded agate (worth 16 gp, 8 gp each)
2 emerald (worth 2000 gp, 1000 gp each)
2 hematite (worth 14 gp, 7 gp each)
2 obsidian (worth 16 gp, 8 gp each)
2 onyx (worth 160 gp, 80 gp each)
black pearl (worth 400 gp)
blue star sapphire (worth 1100 gp)
brown-green garnet (worth 80 gp)
carnelian (worth 40 gp)
chalcedony (worth 60 gp)
chrysoberyl (worth 90 gp)
citrine (worth 70 gp)
eye agate (worth 9 gp)
golden yellow topaz (worth 500 gp)
jasper (worth 20 gp)
lapis lazuli (worth 8 gp)
moonstone (worth 60 gp)
red garnet (worth 130 gp)
sard (worth 30 gp)
sardonyx (worth 20 gp)
silver pearl (worth 110 gp)
turquoise tiger eye (worth 11 gp)
while opal (worth 1300 gp)

Art objects (21000 gp)
a string of small pink pearls (necklace) (worth 1000 gp)
brass mug with jade inlays (worth 200 gp)
carvet harp of excotic wood with ivory inlay and zircon gems (worth 600 gp)
gold and ruby ring (worth 9000 gp)
jeweled electrum ring (worth 4000 gp)
jeweled gold crown (worth 6000 gp)
silver-plated steel longsword with jet jewel in hilt (worth 200 gp)

Mundane items (1395 gp)
2 disguise kit (worth 100 gp, 50 gp each)
good lock (worth 80 gp)
masterwork Longsword (worth 315 gp)
masterwork musical instrument (worth 100 gp)
small masterwork composite Longbow (+4 strength bonus) (worth 800 gp)

Potions and Oils (1250 gp)
Potion of Cats grace (worth 300 gp)
Potion of Cure moderate wounds (worth 300 gp)
Potion of Endure elements (worth 50 gp)
Potion of Invisibility (worth 300 gp)
Potion of Lesser restoration (worth 300 gp)

Rings (2000 gp)
Ring of Protection +1 (worth 2000 gp)

Scrolls (975 gp)
Scroll of 1 arcane spells (worth 150 gp)
scorching ray (level 2, worth 150 gp)
Scroll of 1 arcane spells (worth 25 gp)
detect undead (level 1, worth 25 gp)
Scroll of 1 arcane spells (worth 25 gp)
holf portal (level 1, worth 25 gp)
Scroll of 1 divine spells (worth 150 gp)
calm emotions (level 2, worth 150 gp)
Scroll of 2 arcane spells (worth 50 gp)
floating disk (level 1, worth 25 gp)
erase (level 1, worth 25 gp)
Scroll of 2 divine spells (worth 175 gp)
sound burst (level 2, worth 150 gp)
longstrider (level 1, worth 25 gp)
Scroll of 2 divine spells (worth 200 gp)
bless water (level 1, worth 50 gp)
cats grace (level 2, worth 150 gp)
Scroll of 3 arcane spells (worth 200 gp)
erase (level 1, worth 25 gp)
sleep (level 1, worth 25 gp)
obscure object (level 2, worth 150 gp)

Wands (630 gp)
Wand of Cure light wounds (42 charges, cl 1th, worth 630 gp), design indicates wands function

Wondrous items (4000 gp)
Nolzur’s marvelous pigments (worth 4000 gp)

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evil monks, holy relics, and invisible towers...oh my

After returning back to the elven village we spend some time recovering and then ventured back to finish clearing out the mausoleum. In the first new room we come to we find a beautiful painting of a beautiful elven woman on the ceiling and Rath and I are able to determine that it is likely a portal designed to take whoever passes through it to another location. Realizing there is no way to be sure that it isn’t a one way trip we decide to not try going through. Perhaps once we have teleport and or plane shift abilities we can come back and see if it goes somewhere interesting. As we continue our exploration we find basic rooms to include dining room, kitchen, and a spiral stairwell that leads down. Though I’ve already warded myself with Mage Armor, Jeremy offers to enhance me further and as his spell of heroics is cast I feel the knowledge of using Improved Natural Attack flow into my mind. Eventually we come to a large room with a Zenthri investigating what appears to be a throne. Upon seeing us he walks in our direction and greets us asking what brings us to this crypt. Some fast talking from our Occult Slayer and Ultimate Magus cause him to reveal that he is here hunting for a relic and that we have already killed two of his companions. We come to the realization that he is quite evil and something deep within me feels compelled to stop him but my teachings tell me that he has broken no laws and that the care of good vs. evil should not be my concern. As I’m pondering this the Magus proclaims that the relic that the zenthri has found should be returned to the Wizard’s Council and approaches the Zenthri trying to take it. This provokes the Zenthri into attacking and I realize that though I thought he was a cleric his fighting style looks all to familiar as he launches an unarmed strike which then starts to cause black energy to flow into the Magus weakening him and depleting him of life force. During the conversation I had already conjured the electricity of a shocking grasp into my fist, cast fist of stone, sonic weapon, and mirror image and moved into Rath’s protection from evil circle in case things turned bad but before I could move in for an attack the Slayer and Fighter flank the Zenthri and attack. Our opponent proves himself more than capable launching into a barrage of strikes that leave both of them severely weakened and hurt. Jeremy castes enlarge on the slayer and then hastens the group, while Rathe summons a hammer of clerical energy to smite our foe, which the evil monk/cleric complete evades. Bruce tries launching flames at our foe but misses, and the negative energy sapping both of our primary fighters makes them much less effecitive. The slayer does manage to trip him and launch a successful attack and while he is down I launch a ray of enfeeblement severely hurting his ability to hit us. Jeremy realizing that few of us can penetrate our opponents armor manages to dispel the ring of shielding that the evil monk is using. Rath and Bruce together manage to heal both the fighter and the slayer while Bruce’s wolf, the slayer, and I begin slowly widdling down our opponent. Three shocking grasp enabled strikes later along with several barrages of magic missile and powerful attacks from the slayer and the Monk collapses to his death. A search of his body and the room uncovers a several magic items and a very valuable gem, along with the relic which we give to Rath for further study and safe keeping. My spell list nearly exhausted when the group suggest we go back to town and try to do something about the negative energy impact that 3 of our group suffer from I agree completely.
With the assistance of Rath, those in the group who needed it were able to overcome the negative energy attacks and after a day of rest we return to the graveyard hopping to finish off this threat. To our surprise we find that the only thing left is treasure rooms. After more dealings with our purple magic item crafter/sales person we move to the first cache on the map. There we find several MW crafted sets of armor and weapons before moving towards the next cache.
Enroute we find an invisible tower and after some exploration find an unlocked door and let ourselves in. On the second floor we find a very well equipped library and magic lab with a door leading to somewhere. When I approached the door two columns shape themselves into golems and move as if to block my path. Deciding that we don’t need a fight we decide to leave the tower after calling loudly and leaving a note to try to get the attention of anyone behind that door. Before we get to the next cache we stop at an elven village that Rath and Bruce are familiar with and there the village elders are able to tell us about a 900 year old wizard known as Amok who was doing research to lessen the impact of the negative material plane on our world. But he hasn’t been seen or heard of in hundreds of years. Realizing that either he may be in trouble or dead we decide that we should go back to the tower and investigate further. If he is in trouble I would very much like to help him, it feels like the right thing to do. Also I am sure there is so much he can teach me. If unfortunately he has died in his research, there is an entire magic tower that needs a new wizard to call it home….

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Question

Wondering if you guys would be interested and trying to play on a saturday/sunday like full day say 10:00am to like 6:00pm. I’m more of morning person plus this free you up to do whatever you want during the night.

If interested let me know thinking on the June 22 or June 29?

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Note to Spellcasters

Steven, after next weeks session feel free to remove this, I’m putting it here because I’m not sure if anyone would actually check comments and I don’t have email addresses for the two new people.

The blue individual who we bought our magic items from was fully stocked with scrolls. Any spell that you wanted to pay scroll price for you could buy the scroll and if you make the appropriate rolls learn that spell from the scroll. Also the three of us are able to share spells and translate them into our own spellbooks at a cost and a roll as well. We can discuss this next game but now if you all can afford it those that haste, fireball, etc spells that we talked about are almost at hand…(at least for one of us, the other two of us are still mastering casting 2nd level spells).

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Graveyard anyone?

With thoughts of how I intend to incorporate my new circlet to further enhance blend between martial and arcane disciplines, I finish my meal trying to seek peace and tranquility and quiet the ever raging chaos going on just below the surface. All the deep breathing and meditation in the world will only take you so far so when Alanna asks me if I’m interested in taking a walk after dinner I’m happy to go after her. Along the way perhaps because her boredom is getting the better of her she stops a street urchin and shows him a gold coin in hopes of bating him into giving her information. Seeing her intent and realizing that is probably more money than that kid has ever seen at one time I try to grab it and replace it with a silver making a mental note to give her the coin back along with a lesson on how t not upset local economies or get boys in trouble for coming home with ludicrous stories and getting accused and likely beaten for stealing, or have said little boy go off and get into all kinds of trouble that he could never have afforded previously, or have fathers going off to spend a night in a bar or worse after taking a little kids gold coin. Being faster than me she quickly gets her coin back and gives me a glare that says mind my own business and askes the kid if there is anything odd going on in town, anything interesting to do, or anything worthy of her time. At the question I quickly expect him to prattle on for minutes about things that a kid would find interesting, wasting both her time and her gold coin, but instead he mentions the possibility that the local cemetery might be haunted. Thanking him for the information she gives him the gold and we return to the inn. She fills the rest of the group in on what she finds out and we put to a vote whether its worth checking out or if we need to proceed on our mission. Thanks to the addition of two new people to our group, (a very unlikely pair including a spellcaster who after talking with I learn that he is working on mastering the art of combining sorcerous and wizard magic and a fighter type whose distrust for magic users borders on passion, obsession, or hatred and gives me the feeling that I might want to watch my back), the vote looks like we may be going to the graveyard. In order to make sure we aren’t wasting our time Alana takes a trip out there that night and comes back to report that it is as eerie as we heard and confirms that the side mission is more than just kids rumors. I really don’t mind, even the few days I’ve been here the boredom has started to set in, and while discussing the eerie fog with the village historian and the other casters and learning that the book of Corellon might have more information on the last time the fog was here but that he didn’t have the book and suggested that there might be one in the city, has kept my mind busy, along with pouring over scrolls, I have felt a pull to be physically doing something. The one moment where my amusement overcame my boredom was when I watched the magus try to hustle a master merchant whose career involved creating and selling magical gear. And to my amusement he managed to convince the fellow to give him a wand and several curative potions at cost. He definitely has a gift of persuasion.
Once we arrive at the graveyard we find a beautiful elven woman playing a hand held harp and she greets us and asks why we are in the cemetery. We tell her that we have heard rumors about strange things going on here and she assures us that that is not the case. She tells us that she is here to honor the dead and that aside from a few skeletons that she has killed, nothing seems to be out of the ordinary. We thank her for the information and proceed to investigate the crypt she told us that the skeletons came from. After hours of searching we find a lever that drains the water out of a pool and reveals a stairway down. At the bottom of the stairs we find a laboratory and paths off to the right and left. Upon taking the left path we find a plaque that says here lies the betrayed and once we go into the room to further investigate we run into some kind of guardian zombie.
Showing no fear Alana runs into the room sword but her strike misses. The mage slayer is into the room right behind her and his flail strikes the monster getting its attention. Already covered in Mage Armor and Death Armor, I move in and use my circlet to swiftly cast Combust and deliver a mighty blow and the Zombie ignites in flames. As magic missiles and other damaging spells come flying into the room from Rath and our Magus I think this fight will end quickly. At the moment the Zombie strikes both the Mage Slayer and I with devastating blows causing both damage and diminishing our strength. After receiving three such strikes I feel so weak and hurt that I consider retreating to the back and hoping my range spells are powerful enough to help bring him down. Thankfully Rath sees my predicament and castes two healing spells keeping me in the fight enabling me add corrosive grasp to my attacks and continue hammering into him. The Magus fires at the zombie weakening him greatly, covers the ground at its feet and uses a web to entangle him with the wall, thus making him a much easier and less lethal target and together the group is able to destroy it. A casting of lesser restoration from both Bruce and Rath help elevate the Mage Slayer and I from the ranks of pathetic weakling to perhaps commoner. As the group opens the next door and we see two metallic appearing golems, I tell the group that I have range spells left but that if we decided to retreat and come back here more prepared and healed up I wouldn’t think any less of the group. Heeding my advice we all agree to leave the crypt all but one of us quickly fall under the sway of enticing music entrancing us once we get back upstairs.
The Mageslayer is able to shrug off the effect and moves to attack the singing woman but before he can act she puts him under the effect of a suggestion that he shouldn’t attack her but instead leave her alone. As we all stand helpless she moves to the Magus the one of us she feels is most appetizing and starts draining his charisma. I snap out of my trance, use my circlet to summon a blade of force and launch magic missiles at her. Stealing his life essence causes the Magus to wake up from his trance and sees that the rest of the group is helpless so he moves away from her putting us all in his blast area and cast a weakened burning hands. She manages to pull more of his essence as he moves away but the flames manage to wake everyone in the group. While incredibly deadly when taking the life force form one person at a time the apparition is horribly overwhelmed as we all surround her flanking her from four sides. As she begins to start another song, Rath casts silence on himself and while this does prevent the rest of us from casting spells, it cripples her abilities and between Rath’s and Alana’s sword work, the Slayers flail, and my enspelled strikes, she is quickly destroyed, leaving nothing behind.
After we retire back to the village we heal our wounds, and Rath and Alana purchase a rod of bodily restoration (cost is 3100, I think we may have assumed an incorrect purchase price of 5100), and between the rod healing the slayer and I of our strength damage and Rath and Bruce healing the Magus of his charisma damage in two days we are ready to go back into the fray. I am able to tell the group that the metallic golems we will be facing are immune to all magic but that the armor that is fused to them in their construction is fullplate and very vulnerable to rust. The Wizard realizing his offensive spells will be useless he instead turns to augmenting the rest of the group. He casts enlarge on Alana, the Slayer and I, and enables each of us to temporarily retain and use a unique fighter ability. As knowledge of weapon specialization settles my mind, and Bruce casts bull’s strength on both me and Alana, we charge into the room to face our foes. I decide to grapple one of the large golems to enable the rest of the group to kill the other as quickly as possible. After landing a solid blow I use my scorpian’s strike to pull it into a grapple but fail to do any further damage. It then manages to escape my grapple and land a mighty blow on me. In return I launch back in and this time grapple it and entangle it into a pin where I hold it helpless, powerless to escape and slowly do damage to it. While I’m keeping my foe busy, the wizard has used a net to make the other golem easier to hit, and the slayer after three attempts has tripped it onto the ground and sundered its armor, making it even easier prey. The rest of the group quickly destroy him then turn to the golem that I am facing. I release it from the pin I had been maintaining and we are able to finish him off as well. Behind the golems we find a door, and in the room we find two gems worth 5,000 gold each, a headband, a rod, and a robe, each of which emanate magic to those of us able to detect it.

Added by the DM.
each person gets 3292 gold from the below items and the two 5000 gems.

HEADBAND OF
CONSCIOUS EFFORT
Price (Item Level): 2,000 gp (6th)
Body Slot: Head
Caster Level: 6th
Aura: Moderate; (DC 18) transmutation
Activation: Immediate (mental)
Weight: —
The front of this delicate golden headband is set
with an array of three matched tiger’s-eye gems
that seem to glow with inner fire.
While wearing a headband of conscious effort,
you can attempt a Concentration check instead of a required Fortitude saving
throw once per day.
Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item,
Combat Casting, bears endurance.

ROBE OF
RETALIATION

Price (Item Level): 6,500 gp (10th)
Body Slot: Body
Caster Level: 7th
Aura: Moderate; (DC 18) evocation
Activation: Immediate (command)
Weight: 2 lb.
An image of a solar eclipse with a blazing
corona can be seen on the back of this heavy
red robe.
A robe of retaliation allows you to react
to attacks with a burst of magical
power. If you are struck by a creature
wielding a melee weapon or a natural
weapon, you can activate the robe and
sacrifice an arcane spell of 1st level or
higher to deal damage to your attacker
equal to ld6 points per level of the spell
sacrificed. This ability functions three
times per day.
Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item,
fire shield.
Cost to Create: 3,250 gp, 260 XP, 7 days

ROD OF
UNDEAD MASTERY
Price (Item Level): 10,000 gp (12th)
Body Slot: — (held)
Caster Level: 10th
Aura: Moderate; (DC 20) evocation
Activation: —
Weight: 3 lb.
Rod of sure striking
Rod of reversal
This metal rod is fashioned to resem­
ble a stack of miniature skulls.
While holding a rod of undead
mastery, you can control twice as
many Hit Dice of undead as you
normally could. For instance,
if you can normally control 12
HD of undead, you can control
24 HD of undead while holding
the rod.
Prerequisites: Craft Rod,
desecrate.
Cost to Create: 5,000 gp, 400

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Loot

I’m putting this hear because I don’t know if anyone will go to the comments section looking for it. This is just a cut and paste of the email I sent to the group.

Hello all,
Its possible I copied down emails wrong so please respond to this and let me know you got it. Also feel free to tell me what items you want. I will also post it on the website.
If we sold everything each person would get a 16953 gp share.

The number off to the side is what each item would be worth if we sold it. Now we have to figure out how we are going to really divy everything up.

The group found:
500 gold (divide evenly)
2 gems worth 100 gold each (divide evenly)
4 doses of centipede poison (I will hold until DM tells us how much we can get for this or the right situation arises where we figure out how to “properly” use it.)
armor worth 500 gp (divide evenly)

Magic Items
4 2 Chainshirts (worth 2125 each)
2 +2 sets of Fullplate (worth 2825 each)
6 +2 Great Axes (worth 4160 each)
2 Pair of Slippers of Springing and Jumping +10 speed and +5 jump (worth 2750 each)
4 +2 Rings of Protection (worth 4000 each) (likely each one of us would take one)
1 Belt of Health (
2 Con) (worth 2000)
1 Amulet of Natural Armor (+2 AC) (worth 4000)

I am interested in a ring. Steven confirmed that you cannot transfer an enchantment from one item to another so I remove my request for any of the axes and and since I already have an amulet I’d like the belt of health. I think Kyle needs the slippers of springing and jumping. I’m not “taking” the things I said I’m interested in, I know this isn’t first come first serve. Once I hear everyone’s preferences, if more people want things than we have things to split, we can roll for it next time we are all there.

-Darryl

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The fog was not the beginning of a beautiful friendship for the Orcs!

After leaving the wizard school our group makes it to the holy shrine of my Monk’s Order with no problems. No one is there to meet us at the appointed time but Bruce decides to take advantage of this opportunity of finally being outside of the city walls and begins a ritual of communing with nature in hopes that an Animal Companion will come to join him. After two hours of waiting two monks from my order arrive. They seem a little uncomfortable answering our questions so Rath suggests that I take them aside to see if they will be more forthcoming. Once its just the three of us the monks confide in me that they don’t know anything especially unusual about Gunther, but after some thinking they are able to remember that two years prior to his arrival the order was given the building, one of the most fortified areas in the city, and given a large amount of money which was used to not just for area beautification but also to improve the stonework, and make repairs, and overall make the place more defenseable. Around that time is also when the cook, who sacrificed himself so that we could get Gunther to safely arrived at the orphanage. They also confirmed that the King’s body has yet to be found and that the Wizard’s Council is rulling in his place. In reality the King was just a figure head, and the council has ruled all alolng, but now that he is gone and there is no heir, there power and authority is absolute felt even more. When the King was here he had the authority to refuse the council but hardly ever did so in fear of the consequences. Some say that several hundred years ago there was a King who had magic of his own and at that time the Wizard’s Council’s didn’t control things they way they do now but for some reason the King’s Line hasn’t had an ounce of magic since. Interestingly enough I’ve seen what looks like the lights going on in Gunther’s eyes every time he sees Rath or I cast a spell. If the kid has the potential for wizardry, surely it would be bad news for the council. Once the monk’s departed I conferred with the rest of the group and we all quickly came to the agreement that Gunther was placed in the orphanage for his own protection, and that the cook was placed there ahead of time to make the place as secure as possible which he likely did by ensuring the orphanage was in the most defendable place possible. Its as if he or someone was specifically preparing for the day the Orcs came looking for Gunther.
After a good nights rest, a Great Wolf appeared in answer to Bruce’s call, and we began moving towards the first equipment cache enroute to the mountains. On the way there the group came upon a large cave and after some investigation found tracks which Bruce was able to figure out belonged to a giant centipede. The idea of just trying to bypass the cave was discussed but Rath’s thought that how many adventuring parties can boast of having killed a giant centipede along with my thought of to the victors go the spoils held enough influence for us to take the risk. Of course while we were finishing up the discussion and concluding our investigation of the area using a light spell cast by Rath to see into the darkened cave, Alanna gor tired of all of our talk and charged in. She landed a mighty blow on the creature. Seeing that she was wasting no time, I focused the energy from within to encase my hand in electricity and joined the group in their melee. Between Bruce, the Wolf, Rath, and Alana, and a blow from me delivering a shocking blast the Centipede was made short work of. As we searched the cave and found gold, gems, and various armor pieces I had a conversation with Bruce and Rath about useful things we could do if we had some of the centipede’s poison and Bruce using his survival and knowledge nature skill along with Rath using his Healing skill and me using my alchemy skills successfully extracted 4 dosses of the poison which we will figure out the best thing to do with later.
That evening after making camp and going to sleep Alana woke the group and we all realized that the entire area was covered in a ominous fog. Figuring the best bet would be to travel until we are out of the area we spent 2 hours trying to move out of it before realizing that we had no idea of its boundries and that it was not holding to any weather or wind patterns that Bruce could figure out. Neither Rath nor I could figure out what the fog cloud might be or might portend to but we needed to get some rest so in an unsettled state we made camp again went to sleep. Again Alana woke us up with loud screams that we were under attack by large spiders. These were no ordinary spiders, they phased in and out of our area delivering deadly poisonous bites and with each phase the group also experienced waves of negative energy slowly draining away our life force. Rath managed to line up the spiders perfectly launching his sword in a whirling blade striking them both before it returned magically to his hands. I followed his attack by landing two scorching rays one on each spider before they began phasing making attacks more difficult. The spiders seem to easily resist my burning hands but as we cluster the group back to back it means we are all more susceptible to the energy drains but it also gives all of us opportunities to attack between there phases. I pull the coldness out of the air and encase my hands in chill and begin striking at the spiders with chill touch whenever possible. Between this tactic and the might of the rest of the group, Rath weilding his frost blade with both strength and precision, Alana’s expert bladework, and Bruce fighting in tandom with his wolf and causing flames to burn from his hands, we finally manage to kill both spiders. The scariest moment was when Gunther was hit with the negative energy, if it had not been for Rath’s quick thinking with his close wounds spell, who knows if Gunther would have survivied. Our whole quest could have gone for naught just that quickly. After the battle Rath used his healing skills to help Bruce’s wolf overcome some of the effects of the centipede’s poison and I supplied Rath with a vial of antitoxin to help him do the same for himself. Bruce then cast a restorative spell to help his Companion shake off most of the lingering effects and after some studying and concentration Rath is able to do the same for himself. Next Rath heals himself, Alana and I of our wounds while Bruce does likewise for himself and his wolf. After pooling our knowledge we come to the conclusion that this cloud is likely extraplanar in origin and our combined knowledge of magic confirmed that these spiders are phase spiders and though their poison is deadly as both Bruce’s Wolf and Rath could attest, they don’t have the ability to use negative energy to inflict wounds. This helped me remember that historically something like this happened before two thousand years ago. There was a time of magical decline where most magic stopped working all together and even the easiest of spells became incredibly difficult to cast. Directly before this happened a fog much like this one appeared but I can’t recall how they were connected. Although we don’t know the cause or effect in the big scheme of things our group is beginning to suspect that it is possible that the wizard’s council knew that another magical decline might be coming and wanted to completely confirm their power by removing the King and taking his place officially to ensure they could still rule even if their magical power was diminished. A heir to the throne with magical potential would definitely be a problem in their plans.
After traveling the rest of the day and making camp we make it through the night quietly. On the next day near the cache we have been traveling towards we hear a group of humanoids in armor off in the distance. We are able to figure out that it’s a group of orcs. Discussion of trying to evade them is cast aside as we realize it is our duty to do all we can to put a stop to the rising Orc menace. Given a little time to plan, Rath, Bruce and I begin to cast spells to help us in the coming combat. Bruce gifts me with the agility of the cat and Alana with the strength of the bull and Rath covers himself and Bruce’s Wolf in protective spells. I spend my time covering my fist in chilling cold and pulling the heat out of the air to summon muted fires of hell to surround my body. From there we begin moving forward at Rath’s pace. Bruce decides that his time can be better spent scouting and he uses his Druid’s gift of woodland stride to move forward and get a better look at the enemy. He returns telling us that there are at least 3 or 4 orcs, some of them wearing full plate, and that they have a group of Elves captive held in chains. Hearing this I know combat is imminent so I tell Gunther to go hide in a tree and we begin moving forward again but are quickly hit with a fireball clueing us in that the orcs know where we are and that they have a spellcaster with them. As the group attempts to spread out the forrest slows us down and another fireball hits us. By now we have noticed four orcs, two in platemail closer to the front and two in chainmail further back rushing in our direction. Bruce finds a spot of safety and begins summoning lightening from the clouds, Rath releases a fiery bolt then continues moving forward, I fire two scorching rays and do the same. Bruce’s Wolf charges into action not quite reaching his intended prey and Alanna looses an arrow from her bow, quickly stashes it back on her back and draws her blade while moving forward taunting the Orcs to show her what they can do. The two forward Orcs in plate have been hit by spells but continue forward, one reaching Alana and I and another reaching Bruce’s Wolf, the two chain mail clad orcs, one with an arrow prodtruding from him begin moving forward, and two more orcs appear in the fog further back, both appearing to be casting spells. I was able to evade both of the fiery attacks from the orc spell casters and I wonder if my abilities might be better served shielding either Bruce or Rath from the fire as they seem to be getting hurt the most. I voice this question and Rath yells, I will take care of this, so I decide to go on the offensive. Alana levels a mighty blow at the Orc facing us and I realize that she will have little problem facing this foe and tell her to move on leaving him to me, but she prefers to standfast and face this foe and hopefully draw more into her deadly reach. Willing to oblige her I dodge to the side, giving up the ability to strike at the orc and move forward towards a chainmail clad orc who swings at me and misses. Seeing an opening I strike at him with a scorpian’s strike, one of my attacks miss him but the one the hits glows with cold and I see his strength begin to fade. I follow up the strike with a grapple hold which he fails to pull away from. As I pull his body into me the muted flames I surrounded myself in earlier leap from my body and start burning away his flesh. As I continue to grapple with him I manage to land another blow though I see him shrug off the strength drain but I smile as I see the flames continue burning him to the core. To my surprise he manages to pull away from me so I move in again and strike him and again he manages to shruge off the strength drain and evade my attempts to pull him in for another burning embrace. While this has been happening the second chain mail clad orc has joined with the orc fighting Bruce’s Wolf and two of t hem manage to overwhelm the animal and drop him to the ground. The Great Wolf fought valiantly and both of the orcs look the worse for wear, one of them moves to attack Rath and the other to attack Bruce. Alana positions herself so that while fighting her foe she also threatens the orc striking at Bruce and her whirlwind attack slashes into both of her foes. Another fireball spell catches Rath but he smiles as the protection from fire spell he has casts prevents any of it from touching him. He uses his great sword to finish off the orc that was ravaged from its battle with Bruce’s wolf. From there Rath moves to me just as my final blow to the burnnig husk of an orc that was holding onto the thinnest thread of life falls dead. Rath then launches a fiery bolt at one of the casters and I follow it up with an orb of fire. Between the constant bolts of lightening that Bruce has been calling down on the two casters and those two fiery spells, the two orcs collapse to the ground as smoking corpses. The two of us give each other mutual nods of respect and turn back to see the rest of our party looking very hurt and still facing two orcs. Bruce, not lucky enough to be under any magical protections has been blasted by an additional fire ball and hit with multiple missiles of force by the spell casters before they perished, and before Alana joined him he was doing his best to fend off a axe weilding orc while calling lightning. His best wasn’t quite good enough as the bloody axe slash across his chest demonstrates. Angered at the loss of his wolf and the orc having the nerve to try to cut him in half, he moves away and pulls down another lightning bolt on the orc that Alana successfully pulled off of him. Alana is still swinging with wreckless abandom to great effect but she looks near to bleeding out herself. Rath launches his sword at one of the orcs with his whirling blade spell but unfortunately he misses and it returns to his hands, so I follow up with another orb of cold and it drops to the ground. Given room to breath and now only facing one foe, Alana swrils her blade into a two handed swing and cuts the remaining orc in two. After we regroup, heal some of our wounds, rejoice over the fact that Bruce’s Wolf isn’t dead but merely unconscious, we move to the Elves and realize that there are 8 of them bound in chains. We free them and they tell us that they are thankful for the help and would like us to escort them back to their village. Though it is a slight detour for us we feel duty bound to escort them to safety, and Rath remarks that as he glances over the bodies of the orcs having activated a detect magic cantrip, that they are loaded with magical items that hopefully we can get identified at the elven village.
We make it to the village safely, get our new gear identified, replenish ourselves, and discuss with them how the orcs were able to assault them and kidnap the group so easily.
Waiting for further information: Group will have to discuss how to best split the gear. Are the Village personnel able to tell us anything useful, how the orcs got in, is there anything special about the 8 people they kidnapped? Can they afford to buy the equipment from us that we do not want? Are their casters willing to offer Rath and I access to their spell books for the standard cost to see if there are any spells that we can learn? Filling knowledge gap. Our characters are better at this than we are, but when we spoke with the mysterious person in the castle who requested we get Gunther to the mountain strong hold, he wouldn’t tell us his name but was he willing to give us a name of someone who we should speak to, ask for, pass Gunter to whom he trusts in the mountains. I don’t remember if we asked this or not but if he thought it was important enough that we take Gunther all the way there I think he would have wanted to impart that kind of information to us. Also he said there were five people who knew that Gunther lived. Himself, three wizards on the council who we couldn’t trust, but were we able to find out who the fifth person was? Was he counting the cook who sacrificed himself in that five people?

Just added the note that the fifth person was the general in Rilark where you are taking the boy. Added by your crazy DM.

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Hydra..its what's for dinner...Yep, sure we will take Gunter to...wait, what did you say...Prince Gunter..oh boy?
After a good nights rest, and thanks to the generosity of Rath and one of his wands all my wounds are mended and I’m feeling pretty good. The group reconvenes to discuss our plans for the day and we go back and forth between taking the kid with us to the castle meaning if we get attacked by orcs he may be in danger, or leaving him here while we go scouting for a way inside then coming back to get him. Not liking the idea of him being here with no one guarding him we compromise on disguising him and taking him along with us. When we discover that no one in our group has the faintest idea on how to create a good disguise Winter (Alana?) suggests we put him in a dress and call it a day. With all the markets closed and the male wizards offering us dress like robes if we are willing to part with a gold coin, Gunter actually comes to the rescue and solves the problem. After he is able to convince the adults he isn’t helpless and finds out what we are trying to accomplish he finds a matronly wizard and talks with her. The four of us all look at each other with slightly glazed eyes as he pulls her aside and talks with her, we are sure he I just explaining what we explained to him but somehow the conversation he is having seems to be on such a level that we all feel out of our depth. He then walks away with her and comes back in a dress, with makeup and even a wig, we barely recognize him. From there we depart the wizard school and make our way to the castle. I scout a little ahead, with Winter, Bruce, and Gunter a little behind me and Rath and his friend trailing behind. The city looks devastated, smoke, ruin, rubble strewn everywhere, but we don’t see any people or orcs anywhere. Upon getting closer to the walls I notice metallic glint coming from a second story window of a home over watching the gate. I come back to the group and let them know that I’m going to go investigate the house and make sure its not an orc or someone who will raise trouble for us. Finding the backdoor locked, I scale the wall, open a second story window and climb inside. It sounds as if there is at least one person in the house on the same floor as I’m on, and they may have heard me come in so I decide to wait a while and see if they come to me. Eventually I tire of waiting, and throw a pillow down to get the attention of the group. They notice the signal and coming running. I pantomime that I’m going to go find whoever this and Winter starts banging on the back door to cause a distraction. Upon opening the door, I don’t see whoever it is that I had been hearing walking around. I let the rest of the party in and we search the house. We never do find the mysterious person who I saw watching the gate but we do come across a ritual in one of the rooms. From what little I can tell from reading it, the ritual seems pretty dark and nefarious, to the point where I get bad feeling about it. I decide I’d prefer to destroy it than see it fall in the wrong hands or worse get stopped and have to explain why I have something that is appears to be evil on my person. Winter suggests the hearth while I’m contemplating the best means of doing away with it. I throw it in and launch of flare of flame from my finger and gleefully watch it burn. As we are leaving the house Winter and I get into a discussion with Rath about the ritual that I burned. He makes the point that while destroying it was an option we could have just as easily taken it to study further and if it wasn’t to our liking given it over to a temple or magic school for them to dispose of it. Perhaps in my striving for neutrality, my outlook is more morally good than I supposed because something about the ritual set so bad with me that I wanted to see it destroyed. I already war within myself between chaos and obeying the laws of this land, I don’t look forward to an additional quandary in my moral fiber between goodness and neutrality. Oh well something for me to ponder on another day. These thoughts float to the back of my mind right along with the realization that if I was wrong and there was no orc, I just broke into a stranger’s home and destroyed some of their private property. Upon getting to the gate we find the corpses of several guards and orcs, and find the gate along with the walls sundered by fire spells. After passing through the broken down defenses we get to the castle and decide its likely better to enter through the sours than announce our presence at the front doors, or chance encountering any orcs still trying to battle their way in. The first sour grate we get through has already been destroyed and assuming orcs have tried to get in this way we pass it by looking for another entrance. Once we reach the second sour grate Rath summons an water medium sized elemental and it begins trying to bash its way through the sour grate. Realizing that we are making a lot of noise Winter suggests we leave the area to go see if there are any other entrances and then come back here and see if we called attention to ourselves. The third grate we find looks new and Rath and I confer and decide that in addition to being incredibly sturdy the it also looks to be magical but we can’t figure anything else out about it. Deciding we’ve wasted enough time here we return to the second grate and I join the water elemental in sundering a path through the grate and we enter the castle’s sour system. Traveling seemed pretty simple until we reached a dead end that required us to go up 20 feet before continuing. The climb though slippery wasn’t too difficult for me and after I lowered a rope Bruce and Rath were able to scale the climb as well. Winter not only climbed the wall with no difficulty, she managed it with Gunther on her back. Unfortunately after that we came to a pool of arcane chaos energy that after a little discussion we realized was more of a threat than we were willing to face knowing that there were other entrances to be explored. After backtracking back to the beginning and entering the first grate Bruce notices humanoid tracks along the sour path. Eventually we find six orc corpses with blackened hands and feet and Bruce checks the bodies and tells the group that it looks like they all died from intense cold, frostbite, or even hyperthermia. Winter along with Rath’s companion begins looking for traps but no one finds anything so Rath casts detect magic to see if there are any magical traps, he detects 3 areas of magic ahead so we continue on our way to investigate. As we turn the corner we see a 7 headed hydra a wealth of information springs into my mind telling me its weaknesses and vulnerabilities as well as things I need to watch out for. I wipe my fingers over the amulet on my necklace and whisper my thanks and then tell the group that it breaths cold, and that we have to cut the heads off to kill it but that after cutting them off they grow back two for everyone cut off unless the wounds are cauterized. As we seem to have surprised the huge creature standing in our path we take advantage by preparing ourselves for battle. Rath cast of spell of protection over me, and I do the likewise shielding myself with force energy. Bruce also fills Winter with added strength. From there a mighty battle ensues. Not letting fear stand in her way Winter leaps into action chopping off heads left and right. Bruce calls down bolts of lightning to bring cut off additional heads, Rath’s companion casts ray of enfeeblement weakening it and Rath uses a wand to cast a fireball that severs still more of the heads off and cauterizes several of its wounds, while I cover myself in illusions making myself harder to single out and kill. I Though we are doing a great deal of damage to the beast it is giving as well as it takes. Half of the heads breath cold on us before they are cut from the body and the others bite into us but thanks to Rath’s companion’s spell the bites are not as potent as they might have been. While Winter continues to slice heads from the body, Rath launches a bolt of flame cutting off another head and cauterizing the wound, his companion begins to pepper the heads with arrows, and Bruce heals Rath’s wounds. As the heads from the un-cauterized wounds regenerate and breath more cold into our group I cover my hands in corrosive acid and launch into a flurry of blows destroying heads and using acid to cauterize the wounds. Between the fire from Rath, the blender effect of Winter’s flying blades, and my strikes that kill and cauterize we are finally able to bring the huge beast to its death. Taking stock of the group Rath uses his wand on himself and Winter to heal their wounds and we go over to inspect the treasure that he detected earlier with his detect magic spell. After throwing the treasure into our bags, we proceed down the path and get to a portcullis separating the castle proper from the sewers/dungeons. With the turn crank on the other side we ponder for a while how to get through. Rath and I put our heads together and decide that each of us summoning a mage hand wouldn’t be strong enough to turn the crank, so Bruce decides to just melt the portcullis. Before he can cast the spell Winter points out that in doing so we would leave the castle open to whatever orcs might come in behind us. Already feeling a little guilty that perhaps the hydra was part of the defense system we decide that breaking down the door might not be the best idea. In a moment of inspiration Rath tells us he can handle it. He spends some time concentrating and then blinks out of existence and reappears on the other side of the gate. Again he summons his water elemental and the two of them are able to get the portcullis up and after passing through we lower it back down. After a little exploring we find a alchemist lab full of books and supplies and a door leading up a stairwell to the castle. I decide to borrow some alchemist supplies figuring that if the castle is still under the lawful control of the king I can always return them to him personally, but that if we are in fact in a situation that causes us to get into more combat doing this mission that might be for the good of the kingdom he probably wouldn’t mind me using these things. From there I scout up the stairs and find some a pair of guards. Once I get back to the group I ask who wants to do the talking and they point out that my order was sent to reinforce the castle and nominate me. Never good at such social situations I hope that they don’t decide to put a polearm through my stomach as I walk out of their dungeon. The guards look at us suspiciously but after we explain where we came form they escort us to their sergeant of the guards and then to the captain of the guards for the east side of the castle. He’s impressed that we survived the hydra and also grateful for the report that Rath and Bruce provide on where there maybe orc encampments in the woods outside of the city. He then informs us that he will be posting guards down in the dungeons since the Hydra is no longer there to discourage unwanted guests. This prompts us to ask about the grate that we couldn’t get through and he tells us a story about a legendary rouge that broke in that way but was able to get away before they caught him. This prompted them to replace the gate since he destroyed it to get in. The guard captain points us to the monks of my order and as we are heading that way a mysterious figure motions to get our attention. I leave Gunther (still dressed in drag) with Winter and walk over to see what the stranger wants. He leads with, “I see you brought Gunter to the castle.” All of us get a little uncomfortable with the notion that not only does this stranger know Gunter well enough to identify him in disguise, but that he says the statement with such foreboding. I glance at Winter and then at the kid and she takes my meaning and draws closer to him to provide protection if needed. We all draw closer to the stranger and he tells us that Gunter is the son of the king who died last night under mysterious circumstances. The kingdom is now being run by the council of wizards but the stranger who refuses to give us his name tells us that he thinks they are involved in the King’s disappearance, but he amount of blood found implies that he isn’t just missing but likely dead. He says that besides himself there are 4 other people who know that Gunther is the King’s son, and three of them are the wizard’s on the council and that they would likely see him as an obstacle, but bottom line it would be for his own good, as well as possibly for the good of the kingdom if we got him out of the castle and to the military fortifications in the mountains known as Rilark. I’m skeptical to say the least but as I look at Bruce he nodes his head telling me that he thinks the story sounds plausible. He gives us the location of several supply caches in the woods that will help us reach the mountains and suggests that we leave immediately before others figure out that we have Gunter with us or decide to stop us. I point out that I really need to talk to my order or at least get word to them about what is going on as he was hiding in our orphanage in the first place. The stranger volunteers to carry word to them on my behalf. I’m uneasy with this decision but as none of us can think of a better solution we agree. I hastily write a note in code hopefully that my monastery brothers will understand letting them know a little of what is going on and asking them to send someone to meet us at one of our shrines tonight at our specified time.

From there we flee the castle the way we came in with our mysterious friend running interference so that we get out before the guards are stationed to block our exit. From there we return to the magic school, get our magical items identified, sell most of it, and I purchase a few additional scrolls with my part of the treasure before we head off towards our rendezvous point.

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And then there were Orcs...and a child

I wasn’t happy with being left behind to guard the orphanage, figuring it meant the others didn’t trust me to behave in a way they thought appropriate at the castle where they were headed, or they felt the job of guarding the children being moved was just too much for me to handle. Oh, well that means Michael and I have the duty of guarding the orphanage along with those of the staff that decided to stay behind. I almost wish there was something important enough here to bring a few of those orcs this way, I hate this boredom!

Mental note, next time wish for riches, fame, women, anything but orcs. There must be 30 of them heading this way! Michael volunteers to take some of the staff downstairs to re-enforce the doors, and the remaining staff and I begin peppering the orc formations from upstairs with crossbows. While I and my group of very inexperienced crossbowmen do their best to deter the orcs, hoping to convince them that there are easier buildings to break into and loot I notice a group of four adventures coming to our aide. The crossbowmen and I manage to kill four orcs but at this rate the orcs could get in here at any moment, I figure better safe than sorry so I cover myself with a field of force in the event hand to hand combat becomes necessary and check on the progress of the coming reinforcements. One of the group is braver than the rest and he…no wait, she runs nearly up to the door to take on eight of the orcs single handedly, while others from her group separate themselves as orcs begin advancing on them. Not liking one vs eight the odds, I put away my crossbow, and reach into my subconscious summoning the rites needed to put as many of the orcs to sleep as possible. Unfortunately I’m only able to put one to sleep and I yell, leave him we can interrogate him later, the woman doesn’t seem the least bit phased by their numbers as she begins swinging her mighty blade and sweeping arcs fighting off four orcs with apparent ease while the remaining three seem to be keeping their attention on destroying the doors. Realizing those three could turn any moment to overwhelm the battle mainden when they realize those doors are nearly impenetrable, I throw safety and logic to the wind and decide I can’t in good conscience stay up here. I tell her not to worry I’ll be there shortly, and leap out of the window, summoning my monks gift I land gently near the three orcs not in combat and bend reality in my favor and fill the air with a spray of colors hoping to incapacitate them. Only one of them is effected so I launch a flurry of blows at the nearest orc. As we engage in combat I realize that these are no ordinary orcs. As evidenced by the gash I have taken down my chest, they wield their weapons too well, and fight in too focused a manor. I can’t stand toe to toe with him, his size and savagery are too great so I stun him removing him from combat. Ok, from eight vs one to five vs. two, this is getting better. One of the crossbowmen manage to drop another orc decreasing their numbers even more. The sword mistress drops one of her orcs, and by the time I get to her the remaining orcs look pretty injured. I flank an orc and the two us are able to bring him down quickly with her scoring the final blow which she then cleaves onto another orc and scores another powerful blow. It is obvious that she is grievously wounded and I tell her if she can get to it there is a potion at my belt. Likely due to the battle frenzy instead of going for it she takes another mighty swing. Seeing her intent is to finish this I grapple one of the remaining orcs so she doesn’t have to split her focus. This one is big, deprived of his sword in the grapple, he manages to land a solid punch that makes me see stars for a second. Not liking this one bit, I tie up both of his arms in arm bars, pinning his body against me, trip him to the ground, and then launch a head butt that slams his nose cavity through his brain and his eyes go dim. I get up in time to see the sword maiden cutting the final orc in two.

At that point another of the group approaches and heals both me and his female companion. As I replay the battlefield in my minds eye to see if I missed anything I remember that there were two more people with her and off in the distance to see a man yielding a sword lowering his blade with four bodies surrounding him. I’m impressed not as his swordsmanship but at the team work as I notice several scorch marks on the ground where lightning bolts have struck, and multiple arrows protruding from a few of the bodies from the female archer who waves at him from the distance. Before I can continue to assess the battlefield or thank the group for all their help I hear an explosion and screams coming from the left side of the building. Dammit, in all the excitement I’d forgotten that there were at more orcs out there. I hope Michael is doing a good job holding them off. I call to the winds to give me speed and sprint towards the sound of the trouble. The rest of the group do not want for bravery and they come after me as fast as they are able. As I get to the side of the building I find a whole blown in the wall and upon entering I find Michael’s body, a few dead orcs, and blood leading up the stairs along with the sound of fighting coming from above. While checking to see if Michael still lived I quickly removed the monastery property off of his corpse then ran for the stairs. Upon reaching the third floor I hear the fighting coming from the storage room. As I get to the door opened I see one of the boys from the orphanage standing in shock and our cook of all people sword in hand holding off 10 Orcs. I try to invade the mind of the closest orc to turn him into a comrade but his battle frenzied rage allows him to shrug off my charm compulsion. The Cook looks at me like I’m an idiot and yells, save the boy, they are here for him, he is all that is important, I will hold off the orcs, just get the boy and get out of here. Just as he says these words one of the orcs slams the flat of his blade against the child’s head knocking him unconscious. I realize that stepping into that room to get him means that at least 4 orcs are going to have free reign to try to remove my head from my shoulders but I see little choice so I put my full focus on defense preparing to dodge as many blows as possible and head into the room. As I’m moving in that direction the group catches up to me and my healer from earlier lays hands on me and I feel the grace, speed, and dexterity of the cat flow into me. Making full use of his gift I grab the child, throw him over my back and sprint from the room managing to avoid all four orcs that are trying to both hit me and avoid hitting the boy. As I run to another room to jump out the window I see the sword maiden using her body and blade to block the doorway and the healer assisting her by dropping a small ball of flame in the pathway of the orcs. I yell at them that it is time to go as I jump out the window and slow my fall. I hear a small explosion from inside then see a lightning bolt through one of the windows and begin to worry that the orcs have trapped them and they are not able to get out. They came to my rescue and I am going to do the same. I give the kid a healing potion and once he has his senses again I arm him with a dagger, tell him to hold on and I sprint back to the entrance. Just as I get there the the rest of the party come out at a run. The group decision is that we run and get the kid to safety so we can sort all of this out. We agree that the Spell School is the closest/safest place to go. I notice that the orc that I put to sleep is now completely tied up and ask two of the group if they can carry him between them as we flee so we can interrogate him later.

As we make it to the magic school they explain that most of the masters of the tower have been summoned to the castle to help with the defense there just like the masters of my monastery so they are not able to teleport us to the castle, but they do offer to give us sanctuary inside of their walls. Always looking for a silver lining, maybe while we are here I will have a little time to copy a few new spells into my spellbook. After interrogating the orc, our group goes off to sleep after agreeing that in the morning we would gather and make a plan. That night my dreams are vivid and when I awaken I feel puzzles pieces have come together in my mind and my brain is screaming for me to write down what I figured out. As I open my spellbook and begin to write furiously it dawns on me that I’ve figured out how to cast new spells of greater power.

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