Sunday, February 26, 2017

Into the Sighing Valley - Princes of the Apocaverse - Session Thirteen

Arrangements made for the pirate’s boat;
To be sent back to Waterdeep port;
An asset for the Lord’s Alliance to quote;
To Red Larch the party aims a trip short.

Half a day or less outside of Bargewright Inn;
They chance upon signs of a hidden camp;
Just out of sight of the road, bandits within;
About whom was revealed a demeanor damp.

A barnacle bedecked priest led the group;
Supported by two reavers with shark-toothed blades;
Leading several bandits who seemed caught in the hoop;
Fearful of how their employers’ sanity fades.

When Lohn and Fennle returned from scouting;
Marle and Angus next set their eyes;
To garner some information before the shouting;
They took on a nautical guise.

Taking on the image of Shaolar Quanderil;
With advice from Angus’s practiced hand;
The tiefling hoped for news to spill;
From out the mouths of this malevolent band.

Angus added to the veracity of the stratagem;
By cutting a shallow line open upon his arm;
And then the two limped their way to them;
Who sat waiting for passing merchants to harm.

The Priest of the Crushing Wave seemed surprised; 
At the genasi’s arrival and battered image;
Though quickly a selfish twinkle Marle surmised;
Betrayed an intent to use the pirate’s slippage.

A short description of the adventurers was exchanged; 
And the priest admitted having a message;
From their allies of the Black Earth, recently ravaged;
Suggesting the heroes might weaken fire’s visage.

The two spies in the cult’s refused offers of healing;
To which the priest sneered about aerial aestheticism;
The thoughts of a coming caravan to be raiding;
Blinded him to his coming personal cataclysm.

An apology of taking an arrow to the knee;
Was the signal that launched the waiting heroes;
Gathered about the camp they had come quietly;
And even the paladin and cleric had stepped as pillows.

Fennle began the assault in earnest;
Propelled by inner sun’s fire to great leap;
Striking down from the sky with great zest;
She struck the priest two blows not cheap.

To the revears, Marle turned her attention;
Swinging her yarting into her hands;
A playing a tune of thunderous invention;
Toppling the pair through the air until each lands.

Angus’s blade had somewhat less luck;
Being deflected by a shirt of light chain;
And leaving him needing to pass the buck;
Rather than reduce the priest to a stain.

Lohn’s arrow appeared from impossible angle;
Propelled by the trickster’s gauntlet;
With an eye towards the priest to mangle;
The blow added to what Fennle’s already set.

A trio of magical bolts lashed across the scene;
As Elivia unleashed her wand from the stag’s back;
Striking three times true and quite clean;
A pile of blows which upon the priest did stack.

Noble Emaris, Talindra’s fey stag, charged forth;
Talindra upon his back as she swung her Rosethorn;
Cutting the priest down as a wind from the north;
Then from a reaver a head was quickly shorn.

Before the final cultist could return to her feet;
Her insides were reduced almost into jelly;
By Fennle’s powerful blows delivered most fleet;
Leaving the bandits with no reason to stay steady.

The five remaining bandits turned tail and ran;
But were quickly pursued by Fennle and Angus;
One was tackled beyond a short rise in the land;
But the rest stopped cold at the monk’s promise.

The party questioned them on their history and intent;
Bolstered by a paladin’s zone of truth;
Though one did resist and thus his life was spent;
On the assassin’s blade directed with no ruth.

The cleric of Mystra turned her studious eye;
To the bodies of the reaver and priest laid before her;
Within them evidence confirming her suspicion did lie;
Of some pact made with a great evil that now did stir.

Something beyond the nature of a warlock’s deal;
A contract that twisted and tormented the bound;
And corrupted their forms in manner unreal;
Likely similar twists in their minds would be found.
Then, after many days and nights in the hills;
The party lumbered back into Red Larch;
Their prisoners turned over to company wills;
To Moonsilver and Zhentish orders to march.

Grund had been upgraded from a spot in the field;
To having a building staffed by a half-elf scribe;
A family agent to Elivia’s house a pen in hand to wield;
Accounts to face and bills to steadily transcribe.

Angus was introduced to the wonderful pickle;
Made from by the curious cooking savant;
Though a bit more salt he might his palate tickle;
Grund nodded and promised new recipes to flaunt.

A day was spent relaxing and gathering news;
Rumors of druids with a mysterious rite;
To whom an Amnish merchant hoped to sell booze;
Gathering somewhere a Wicker Giant to light.

The company decided to head for Feathergale Spire;
A Waterdhavian scion to recover from the cult;
And another keep to purge of evil most dire;
They set themselves ready to this newest assault.

Coming from the south they came to the Sighing Valley;
And camped well hidden from enemy eyes;
The plan to use the nightly fog as the time to sally;
And get close to where the tower’s shadow lies.

In waiting for the proper time to advance undercover;
Lohn awoke in camp to find his skin had taken a new hue;
To a dark stone grey and leaving the question to hover;
About what his new toy was causing to stew.

Putting aside the mystery as unimportant;
Lohn insisted they focus on the mission at hand;
And under the fog they moved quick and silent;
The wheels of their wagon creaking across the land.

The band first came across another small camp;
Hidden as there’s had been from the notice of the Spire;
About it five bird-like people surrounded a dim lamp;
Whom Elivia recognized as beings of standing to admire.

Aarakocra from the realm of Elemental Air;
Servants to the Wind Dukes of that other realm;
Noble warriors known to be just and fair;
And not folk whom evil plots would helm.

Fennle stepped forward speaking in the Primordial tongue;
Convincing the other five that they were not the norm;
Though calming suspicions took time a bit more long;
They eventually gathered together and information to form.
The stalwart spies of the Wind Duke’s service;
Confirmed Elivia’s fears that about this great menace;
A force of evil that had brought worlds to malice;
Though it seemed to Toril to be a new blemish.

Marle asled to be sure that the cult was on Oerth;
Fearing for a moment that she had heard Earth;
Provoking confusion as to the source of her original hearth;
And wondering why her world was named “dirt.”

Their new friends also warned them of other dangers;
Of Yeenoghu’s spawn along the river;
And the winged beasts that dwelled in stone hangers;
Griffons and manticores to bring farmers a shiver.

Elivia relayed her knowledge of gnolls;
And the decision was made to clear the small pack;
Which to Talindra were an itch that tolls;
On her awareness of the demonic forces at their back.

Though Marle spoke of a stratagist’s advice;
To avoid unlooked for fights;
Others suggested the gnolls death could intice;
The distant vultures to alight.

The aarakocra agreed to aid them with the gnolls;
Expecting this to prove the fools should leave it alone;
Before the dangers of the cult should take their tolls;
And end their lives surrounded by stone.

The warriors of the Elemental Air had little idea;
Of how accomplished the heroes already were;
Though soon that skill would enter their schema;
And maybe then they would be able to but stare.

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