Sunday, November 16, 2014

Westmist Session #83 - Consolidation

Kern and Erijay sat Duncal down and gave him back his clothes, and a stern lecture about running off into the mountains at the height of winter and gods-knows what fate. Duncal began to whine about the party not holding up their end of the deal, this whole usurpation was taking too long, he was cold and bored here in the mountains, etc etc etc. Holding Erijay back to keep her from throttling Duncal, Kern explained there had been some minor setbacks on the way, but progress was being made with the Stonehell Resistance Army (SRA) and their task of stirring up the town against Jax.

At this point, Kern and Erijay were joined by Lomar (and his retainer Guy), bringing the news from Stonehell. Which made them all think that perhaps the best place for Duncal was back in the dungeon, in the care of the SRA.Combining Sir Janus' band with the SRA would give them a bigger force, and keep Duncal out of trouble as a bonus. Duncal just about scuttled that idea though, insisting he was not about to go in 'that hole' again. Choosing bribery over force, a deal was struck with Duncal.  Agreement as reached  that everything would come to  fruition 'soon', and that once Duncal had been placed in charge of Westmist, he would stay just 3-4 months before taking his money and heading for "more civilized lands".  Kern, Erijay and Lomar also agreed to pay him 100gp for incidentals in the interim, and 5000gp as his final fee once he was free to go. In return, Duncal would go to Stonehell with the SRA and not run again.

That concluded, they carried Duncal back to Sir Janus, and then confronted the knight with the plan. Sir Janus was not happy at first, feeling it beneath his dignity to serve amongst such rabble rousers and lower class men. He agree to the plan only in the understanding that he, Sir Janus of Lacewood was in command. Which was agreed, but Kern wrested the agreement that there would be no romantic cavalry charges to fight the enemy in the open field. Sir Janus agreed (and Erijay confirmed he was being genuine with a little ESP), and so the whole band broke camp and headed for Stonehell.
It was an uneventful, though snowy journey,  until the band had started to shift direction around the end of the Western War Peaks, to head east towards Stonehell. Above them in the thickly falling snow came a screech and the flap of wings. As everyone dove off horses and into cover, a pair of wyverns descended out of the blizzard, making for the now riderless horses.  Bjorn and Eijay loosed a fireball each, crisping but not killing the two creatures. One grabbed onto Sir Janus' horse, and began to fly away. Kern fired a crossbow bolt, and Bjorn and Erijay cast a cluster of magic missile, bringing both wyverns crashing out of the sky. Picking through the smoking remains, it was clear that Sir Janus would now be walking, as his hose did not survive the fall . Nothing of interest was found, but Erijay did cut off one of the poison stingers for possible future use. Figuring this must be the pair of wyverns that had bedeviled them before, the party decided it was worth stopping for day to go hunt down their lair and look for treasure. Erijay and Kern had information that the pair of wyverns laired atop a natural stone pillar somewhere in this general area. Resting overnight and memorizing new spells, the party started to search in the still thickly falling snow for the pillars. It look half the day to find them, 100 feet high on a ridge above them. Bjorn and Erijay cast fly and headed up. Erijay hit the jackpot right away; a jumbled nest of tree trunks with coins scattered amongst the bones and offal. Bjorn arrived and began shoveling treasure into the magic chest, while Erijay poked around some more. Her curiosity was rewarded with a scroll case (containing two treasure maps) and a wyvern egg! She slipped both into her pack for who knows what ultimate purpose.
Side trek complete, the party continued on to Stonehell. There, the remnants of Sir Janus' band was joined in an uneasy alliance with the SRA. Barfirth took his demotion to second in command with grace, and all seem set for a successful merger (especially after Lomar broke out the wine and cooking spices for a celebratory feast).  Lomar, Erijay and Kern then discussed next steps, and decided heading out to recover the Cerebral Shield of the Gann should still be their goal. Before departure, however, they sent Guy into Westmist to run some errands (picking up potions from Synthini, gathering some supplies, visiting Thuridici the Sage with 1800gp from Erijay and a request to research the natural history of wyverns). Lomar and Eirjay meanwhile, slipped invisibly and separately to town on personnal business. Erijay went looking for an animal trainer to train a pair of minimerkats to use as her eyes and ears when scouting, and spent a few days in the hovel of Ona the crazy minimerkat lady, just outside the town walls . Lomar, meanwhile, headed to see Slate and check on the progress of his mechanical arm. The dwarf had it ready, but after the painful procedure of attaching the arm, it was apparent it did not work quite as hoped. Lomar, ever hopeful, tossed some more gold to the dwarf and told the engineer he would return in a month to try it again.

When everyone assembled once more in Stonehell, the party prepared for the winter trek across the Untamed Lands to find the Horn Tribe barbarians and the hidden halls of the Gann.  Heading out of town, they first bargained an old man out of his riverboat, and so the party took to the water. Slipping past the fortress of Amrath in the dark (and silence thanks to Lomar), the turned north up the Great River, assuming from their map  that it would take them to the foothills of the Black Spine Mountains. It unfortunately didn't, but instead led them back to the Western War Peaks from whence they'd just returned with Janus and Duncal. So they hauled the boat ashore, and struck out overland, following the edge of a dark, coniferous forest until they struck the Black Spine some days later. Following the mountain front north for several more days, they were passing through a boulder field when suddenly they were surrounded by an ambush of shaggy, wooly humanoids ...

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