The longest winter

Happy as a pig in....

Frank's Birthday treat

The (birthday) Party:

Elden Spirefield, Half-Elf fighter (played by Matt)
Frank Wyvernstooth, Half-Orc Barbarian (played by Steve)
Loraella Ironcore, Half-Elf Rogue (played by Leanne)
Marellian Ironcore, Half-Elf Cleric/Wizard (played by Dave)
Rayne, Tiefling Rogue/Sorcerer (played by Amanda)

Fuddlemore, Gnome Monk/Sorcerer (N.P.C.)

After defeating the Tech-Gnomes (and finding Fuddlemore’s Cat), The party head off to Skerryport, where they aim to find a boat, and get Fuddlemore to some of his people.

Fuddlemore shows them a quicker way to get down from the plateau; an ice slide made by the young monks for pleasure. He insists it is quite safe… As he slides down at rather a fast speed.

Frank and loraella make it down the slide safely, but Elden goes too fast and overshoots, landing in a large pile of snow. Rayne and Marellian have difficulties, so Rayne causes a ‘Drench’, to turn the slide into a water chute, making their way down easier.

After pulling Elden out of the snow pile, they make their way along the trail to Skerryport.
They soon come across a recently abandoned farmstead. The front door is open, and pigs can be seen rooting around inside. Frank declares that as it is his birthday they should all join him in a traditional birthday celebration of ‘Catch the pig’. He challenges Marellian to a match.

At first, the pigs seem to be too slippery to grab hold of, but it is Marellian who manages to grab hold first. Sadly, he is unable to maintain his grip, and the pig escapes him. Frank eventually wins, whereapon he tells the girls it is their turn.

Frank warns Rayne there is to be no using her claws, but it seems she doesn’t need to use them anyway, catching the pig faster than Loraella can manage. Elden and Fuddlemore both turn down a chance to play; Elden is sitting on the wall keeping watch, while Fuddlemore cites his diminutive size as a hinderance. Frank takes this news well, and takes on Rayne in the final.

It seems by this time that the pigs are exhausted, as the both players catch their pigs easily. Frank picks up both pigs and takes them inside the farmhouse, where he finds a nice straw bed to kip down with them for the night. The others find a small loft up out of the way, while Rayne and Elden decide that they should keep a watch.

During the night, Elden and Rayne hear a shuffling noise coming down the trail. Fearing it is undead, Rayne casts Disrupt undead at it, but nothing seems to change. As it comes into view, it appears to be a human woman, but her face is twisted in a rictus grin, and a crazed glint is in her eye. She lurches forwards, and attacks them.

Elden seems to make short work of it, dealing her a fatal blow almost instantly, but to his amazement she continues to attack, raking him with her nails. Luckily, Elden seems to be immune to the grinning madness she is carrying (possibly because he is mad enough already…) Again and again both Elden and Rayne deal significant damage to her, but she continues long past any time of death. Rayne begins to wonder is this woman is a type of undead after all.

Alerted by Rayne’s cries, the others awaken and hurry out to help. Loraella puts an arrow clean through the woman, and she still continues her attacks. Then, suddenly, she drops down dead. Frank wonders what all the fuss was about, and Elden shows him the ammount of wounds that he and Rayne have already given her. Frank shrugs and explains that some Orcs fight on after the death blow is dealt: it’s just a form of battle frenzy.

The next day, the party continue onwards to Skerryport. They have been travelling for a short while when they come across a posse of men and women, armed with farm implements and other makeshift weaponry. The farmers explain that the Grinning man has passed close by recently, and they are out hunting down all the mad ones his passing has created. The party tell them that they had a run in with a mad woman the previous night, who they had to kill. Marellian explains that they buried her ouside the wall of the farmstead. One of the farmers is worried it might be one of his family members, but the party think that it is unlikely, as the woman doesn’t look similar to any of the people in the posse. Thet wish the farmer posse good luck and warn them to be careful, before heading south once more.

Early afternoon sees them reach the gates of Skerryport. Two bored looking Tiefling guards stand idly by the gate, and they appraise the party as they aproach. One spies Rayne, and asks her where she’s been all his nine lives (to which the other stifles a laugh). Rayne is quite indignant, to which he explains he was just having a joke, as she is a new arrival to what is the home of Tiefling kind in this land. He asks her who here ‘Sire’ is, and she tells him she has no idea, so he advises her that (should she wish to find out) she should visit the Bloodfinder, who will be able to find out using a bit of her blood to seek out her bloodline.

The party are told that there is a flat fee of one gold per head to enter Skerryport. They seem okay with this, until they find that the guards have taken into account the party’s familiars. Rayne and Marellian send their birds away, so in the end only Fuddlemore’s cat is counted. Fuddlemore pays for all the party, saying it’s the least he can do after they saved him, and they enter. Marellian asks the guards where they can find a boat, and they tell him that if the party need a guide, they would be best to visit the Bawdy house, just inside the gate on the left hand side. There they will be able to hire a Bawd to show them around. Marellian thanks them, and the party move on.

At the Bawdy house, an emanciated looking Tiefling sits behind a desk, chewing on a quill pen. The party ask for a guide; he writes down their names, and ollacates them ‘Peaches’. Peaches turns out to be a young girl of about 12, who seems much more worldly than her apparent years. She leads the party around Skerryport, pointing out all the places of interest. Rayne asks where the Bloodfinder is, and Peaches leads them there, but Marellian is sidetracked by a group of Tiefling females dancing to the beat of a drum played by a young male. An added attraction for him is that the girls are all dancing naked. He then makes a (foolish?) gesture off appreciation; giving them money, and they all flock around him. As he trns redder and redder from their suggestive comments, the young male with the drum is annoyed that he has taken away the dancers, so the party quickly pull Marellian away from the girls and follow Peaches to the Bloodfinder.

Rayne steps inside to meet with an aged Tiefling who is the keeper of the bloodlines. He asks her to cut herself and drip some blood into a dish. He then pours the blood from the dish into the center of a large plate which has a mutitude of dried bloodstains spaced around the rim. He explains that the blood of her progenitor will call her blood to it, and from that he will be able to determine whose blood she bears. Rayne and the Keeper sit silently for a while waiting, but nothing happens. The Keeper explains that it may be possible that they do not have the blood of her progenitor due to some mishap or other, and that he can make enquiries through summoning rituals on her behalf to see who her progenitor is, but it will take a couple of days. She agrees to return in three days, and takes her leave of him.

Peaches leads the party down to the harbour, where Fuddlemore asks leave to board a Gnome ironclad, and is granted. He spends some time with the captain, leaving the party to their own devices. Frank asks Peaches if there are any decent inns, and she takes them to the nearest one.

Fuddlemore catches up with the party, and explains that he has sent messages back to his order regarding the Tech-Gnomes. He explains that in order to visit the enclave of elves he knows of, they would be best to take ship east. Once again, Peaches comes up with the answer, telling them about a captain Algrammar who needs help to take a cargo east. They visit him, and he agrees to take them to where they need to go in exchange for their help in getting his cargo to it’s recipient, a hermit who lives on one of the large ice islands where he studies the lives of the icebergs.

(Sadly, technical difficulties brought this session to an early close….)

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BarryParker

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