The Battle for Taltos

Doom!
oops

Well, you warned us, Jeff. A simple charm person could have made a world of difference.

Pointer, unmoving, croaks out these requests of Adran:

1. Scare away the rats with a torch
2. Abandon all my gear except magic bow, money, potions, and scrollcase
3. Stuff the dark elf’s gear in a sack
3.b. Bring his head if she’s up to it
4. Tip contents of both flaming braziers onto the pile of cushy furniture and coffins
5. Feed me my levitation potion.

I will become effectively weightless, floating a few feet off the ground, so she can easily tow / push me to the Temple of the Three.

Side notes: The vampire did not complete the elf’s condition for freedom; I assume he was freed because the elf died. Makes sense.

Druid should not have been able to cast poison while grappled, but I made the save anyway.

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Pointer's Letter
Pointer writes to his elven mother

hello mother

i am sorry not to have written before to you but now i have found a scrivinners so there is some ink
so you know writing is not for me mostly

I have also not seen my uncles your brothers

fighting for men well with humans I mean, not against them but they pay me, so it’s been a lot of good experience for a couple of years

you know I was staying in blaggard cove between campaigns, well I took a trip to port gangril and met some mercenaries from all over and we are forming our own band to try and get money

I rather ran out of money in blackard cove and took the big gamble to spend what was left on taking ship

so here is my story of my trip so far

before we even got to PORT GANGREL I got to know some people on the ship with interesting ideas for example

- rafiqua is a jahlahadaran girl with white hair she is as strong and short as a tree stump and knows how to question people and do secrets but she is not so good in a fight, even though quick but not used to mixing it up I guess
- vedayn is a dark skin guy from dartha or somewhere up north that way, and a wizard with good spells. you know I want to learn magic some day. well he knows it
- pran is a pretty girl who is very dirt covered sometimes and her room smells because of all her animals but she has nature magic that sometimes helps and she can charm people after she annoys them so it works out okay. I forget where she came from
- adran is another pretty lady and she has the best magic, because her goddess lets her sooth my scrapes and cuts and bruises after I fight which as you know I like to do. adran cant fight so I try to protect her
- jonas is a guy who was on the ship but only comes around sometimes. he has a little magic and I think he is a wizard like vedayn the dark, but mostly jonas goes on about the craclaw slavers. he even gave up good pay to learn about them which I don’t get
- horatio is I don’t know why we let him hang around sometimes because he doesn’t know much or maybe just doesn’t talk about it, but he and rafiqua are always whispering about something that must be important and he seems like a good enough guy

So as you can see I am the only experienced fighter who can shove around an orc or two and block and parry and chop heads. I guess that makes me the leader and they are my motley crew. Including three girls and all of them nice! but no mother nothing like that. We are professionals now. We have jobs!

Before we had the first job we beat up some people who wanted to take our rooms at the elbow so maybe we got known as not taking any guff. Then someone put out the lighthouse. In the Sea of Stars just off PORT GANGREL is a lighthouse island called CROWSNEST and the big magic light went out. We are adventureres now so we went right down to the water and got a boat out there. somebody had unmagicked the lamp and cut up the light house keeper guy into pretty much bloody ribbons. we figured out that the lighthouse was meant to keep ships off a reef so we went out THERE. some wreckers had arrived first so it was kind of their wreck when we saw a ship on the reef. they got on board before us and got their heads cut off. we are tough so we got on next, me and pran first, and there was bloody mess and heads all over. Here’s the bad part, rafiqua saw someone jump into the water and I had the idea it was an aquatic elf. I figured thee humans would start hating on all elves so I told people I had seen it too and that it was maybe a fishman like the sahaquins or whatever. Whoever it was had cut off an awful lot of heads and rigged up a fire trap for me! The ship burned and sank but I rescued a few kegs of likker to sell.

Anyway we talked to the island boss Jacko who was pretending to be mad at us about wrecking. Really he just wanted to twist our arms to investigate but he was also going to pay us a LOT so we said yes sir.

I hate the way I can talk pretty well but when I write it down it takes forever and comes out stupid

we found out that the ship was carrying a magic hoosit for the templar knights of the THREE, the big human religion. adran tracked down where some rose petals came from and we formed a plot. seems there are bad elves like the ones uncle warned me about the black elves, altho they are white, the ISIRI, and they cut up people like the light house guy. he had a bitten rose petal in his teeth and I guess it came from a tavern called the White Rose. we went there with two of us pretending to want to meet isiri and someone was spying on us. they had a tunnel under a rain barrel!

there was a little store room full of traps that rafiqua insisted on hanging around and setting off and I got a pretty bad centipede bite. so I rested a while and the others explored and found stairs going way down. older than the rain barrel room. I found sign that people had been coming and going so while the others went back to the elbow to study magic for exploring, I stayed all night on the roof and watched the barrel, and two guys came out with reversible cloaks: red and regular

then we went down. mother it was just like in uncle’s stories. an EVIL HIGH PRIEST doing bad magic and tortured slaves fighting under command of wicked red-cloak cultists. it was gross. the EHP summoned a demon! everyone else ran away but I was not going to let the demon out of that room so I stayed to fight it. It knocked me down though, and I did the possum, then used grandpa’s bow to pick off the stupid cultists. we were pretty beat up and it was going against us when Jonas appeared with a bunch of jahlahhahadrans to join the fight. then we made it. the demon dudes had some jahlaaadan soul jar thing and they wanted it so we said fine and they ran away. then the spell casters found a wall that wasn;t there and we found a mummy! rafiqua said it was her people’s kind of thing and we should definitely disturb it so we did and it attacked of course. but that would have been fine but some kind of stone golem that could walk through stone walls came also and that was the sign to get out. Which we did but not before grabbing treasure some of it from pretty sneaky traps like inside a pillar.

the EHP was scorched up like meat dropped in the fire from pran’s magic but we brought his head to Jacko along with the explanation and he paid right up. that was a great day. we went shopping and I rented a house for us so we could leave the elbow. you can write to me now care of jery’s cobbler shop. keep that kind of secret though although it’s not as secret as it was since a couple of our guys got jumped by those last two cultists with poison. horatio passed out bad. we all had to get together to try to save him. I found a specific but adran and pran knew a Good High Priest of the THREE who came and purified Hortatio so he was fine.

I had the idea that we had a success under our belt and should go to the templars and offer to get back their artifact. no one else has as much knowledge of the people who killed the light house light so the ship would wreck. they used the same scrolls of human skin as the demon guys. our smart city people went out to get some information and rafiqua heard that there were reports of a big glowing eye dog prowling right around the White Rose where the culties had their ritual. we had looted some figurines from the mmmy’s tomb and one of them was an amber cat figure which was just gone the next day. we geared up for a fight and went over there at night and I did some tracking. it was cat tracks not dog and then the thing attacked us. it was the toughest thing I ever beat. if you can imagine fighting a giant mountain lion made of stone. fortunately sword blows could crack it and I managed to smash its head off before it killed any body but mother did I ever have claw wounds and torn up armor and blood leaking out. once again adran saved me. I need to make a donation to whatever temple she is from. although i am out of money again right now

Anyway, so that’s my trip so far! We are off to DENILSPIRE to offer our services to those knights. if we come closer to ALMIRITHIL I will try to stop by but I know you are always busy so that’s all right. The whole thing going on is still kind of confusing but we will just keep bugging people with questions, bribing other people, sneaking into places, and killing the bad ones.

your son
DVRLAN

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Vedayn's View - session 8

We had sold what we could of the loot and now looked for ways to quickly spend it. A search about town revealed a couple of alchemical shops with potions and a shop where a few scrolls could be purchased. We spent almost everything we had made.

Of the several potions there were a few expensive healing elixirs, one of levitation, one of giant strength, one of plant control, and others that I do not remember as I am deeply engrossed in copying spells into my book from the scroll I purchased that contained Magic Missile and Web.

During the time spent with my mind so en rapt, and my fingers stained with ink, my companions decided to go hunting for the missing figurine. They had heard rumors of a large predatory creature, either cat or dog-like, prowling not far from the White Rose tavern beneath which we had looted the figurines. Perhaps the figurine transformed and was seeking a way to rejoin its long dead master. They found it and suffered some grievous wounds in the fight with what they described as a great cat golem of amber, the remaining shards of which they hope to sell.

There is certainly more information my companions have to pass on to me, as I know they had initially set out to try and get hired on to locate the missing artifact that the Templar’s were missing from the ship wreck.

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Vedayn's View: Session 7

We have been selling the loot we recovered from the ruin and elsewhere along with trying to learn more about various people and organizations.

One of the animal figurines we recovered from the tomb went missing while we slept in the inn. It was of a cat and I suspect it went back to the tomb to convey to its mummified master where we thieves are.

None of the other treasures proved magical with the exception of the obsidian dagger the cult leader used to sacrifice the woman.

The only piece of treasure we have not yet been able to sell is the necklace from the mummy. Potential buyers have proven very concerned with potential repurcussions should any Jalahandrans see it in their possession.

We also took our collected evidence to Jacko concerning the culprit in the lighthouse incident. After a bit of talk he felt confident that he at least had a head to put on a pike to make it clear to other district bosses that he is handling his business. We received our promised pay of 500 platinum and got some additional information on people we are interested in talking to for various reasons.

We learned from two sources that the conclave of my countrymen from Craclaw often buy Jalahandran tomb treasures as a means of showing off. I think I might be able to help in selling the piece.

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Vedayn's view - session 6

Amid the carnage that was the 37 dead cultists, a dead and rapidly melting demon, we began a detailed search of the grand hall and entrance passage. At first we missed quite a bit until by luck one of us located an illusionary wall, and another found a hidden compartment in one of the 4 large pillars.

From the pillar, after an elaborate effort to avoid the trap, we managed to recover a pair of ornate bracers.

Behind the false wall we found a tomb. Magic detection showed a ward on the upright sarcophagus, and more magic on the canopic jars. We suspect the ward was something tied to the runes warning of a curse.

The party was low on castable spells so we chose to take watches and get rest without leaving the ruin.

First watch had barely begun when I heard movement that sounded like stone scraping across stone. I alerted Rafiqua who then heard it. We looked around and discovered that a large stone figure of a man was now seated in the previously empty throne in the grand hall.

We woke the others and began a detailed examination to see if it would react to our presence even going so far as to have one member of our troop sit in its lap. No response.

We marked an outline along one arm of the throne against the arm of the statue in case it moved when we were not looking so we would know if it was part of the throne and the empty throne had somehow been switched for the occupied one. We even searched for any indications that the thrones had been switched, but there were no grooves, no mechanisms, nothing.

It didn’t react when we retrieved the led box containing the bracers from the pillar (which toppled down and would have slain some of us had we not been incredibly cautious).

The statue also did not detect as magic.

When we opened the sarcophagus and tried taking the gold necklace from the mummy it awakened and attacked. So did the statue. A golem, immune to most spells, including Detect Magic.

It didn’t take long to decide we would be better off running away. The others followed behind me needing very little additional convincing than the prospect of being trapped between a mummy and a stone golem.

We did manage to escape with some very nice loot from the tomb. Now we just need to sell what we can and take our new found evidence to Jacko and collect our pay from him.

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Notes
Scraps of information. Other players please add!

PORT GANGREL
Orba Sinhan: Biggest boss of the town; in the field with his army.
South Shore (docks)
• Whore’s Elbow: Inn near docks; former base of operations. Hostess: Reedie.
• Ernard: Dockmaster.
• Drew: Boss of the South Shore.
• Temple of the Sea God. Priest: Gof.
The Snarl (slum)
Makeside (working class)
• Jery’s Shoes: Two upper floors rented as party’s base.
• White Rose: Bar with rose bush in Makeside. Cultist lair underneath.
• Bullock: Owner of the White Rose. Protective of his rose bush.
• Cultists: Wear red robes, reversed to white in public. DARK THRALLS
The Upends (middle class)
• Cooper’s Lane, shops
• Espy’s: “second nicest” jewelers on Cooper’s Lane.
• Gaunt: Magic user and self-styled sage.
The Westing (nicer?)
• Church of the Three
o Father Reder
o Sister Ecil
• Templars of the Ivory Crown: Templars of the Three; expecting artifact to take to Denelspire
o Sir Kanel, Templar of the Ivy Crown — RIP
• Eddyn, caravan leader, route to pass Masor

CROW’S NEST ISLAND
People:
• Jacko, “fishing boss.” Native Taltian. Trademark: Fiddling with a coin.
• Payne, dockmaster
Places:
• Lighthouse
• The Hold: Bar where Jacko holds court in the back room.
• Dangerous reef: wreck of the Pride of Anhur, carrying artifact to the Ivory Crown at Denelspire: IVORY SCEPTER

FOREIGN POWERS
• Isiri, elf-demon hybrid faction. “Darkspawn.” Feed on pain. Tunnels to their realm in Oaknut Forest.
o Isiri followers, non-demon elves who admire and support the Isiri.
o DARK THRALLS: Cultist “wannabes,” humans who make themselves up pale and pretend to be Isiri.
o The Broken: Tortured, mindless servants of Dark Thrall cultists.
• Masor: Small town 1–2 days N. of Mitaur, near the Oaknut Forest.
• Denelspire: HQ of templars of the Three. Run by The Wolf Slater. Once taken over by Isiri.
• Tower of the Dawn library
• Craclaw, slavers. Worship evil god Khardullis from Malvernis.

CHURCH OF THE THREE
Priests, Templars, and Chroniclers

USE THE d30!!!

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Session 5: Vedayn's view

We descended the spiral stairs for a couple hundred feet. Being along the coast this put us well below sea level and into the local water table. The structure we explored was of ancient Hakiran design with tightly fitted stones. The walls were damp from gradual seeping and the smell of mildew and mould was everpresent. Upon reaching the bottom we found ourselves at the end of a long hallway.

Rafiqua scouted ahead seeking to learn more about the dim source of light spilling from beneath a door ahead and on the left. Unfortunately our relatively quiet approach was ruined when she accidentally scraped her scabbard along the stone wall.

Two cultists came out to investigate and the battle began.

We laid low our first two enemies and Pointer, Rafiqua, and Pron entered a great chamber over 100 feet long by 70 feet wide with four grand columns holding up the ceiling. Two fire pits, and 8 torchiers bathed the chamber in ruddy light.

Within were 6 additional cultists and their leader who would in the course of the battle sacrifice a woman to complete their demon calling ritual. The cultists would also run to the walls an throw levers that loosed 28 horribly mutilated additional adherents we learned were called the Broken.

At first I feared we had discovered our deaths as several of my companions had become swarmed by enemies. I called a retreat which only partially worked.

Pointer moved deeper into the chamber trying to close with and kill the leader, hoping he could prevent the completion of their foul ritual. The others fought their way back to the doorway and we set our trap in motion.

Pron threw a rope at the foot of the doorway, just to our side, and enspelled it to tangle anyone trying to cross it causing them to stumble and fall. As the hordes rushed at us and bottle-necked at the open doors I cast Enlarge upon the lintel stone increasing it by a third. The stress upon the stones shattered them, bringing large pieces down to crush several of the Broken, killing them and creating terrain difficult for them to pass without putting themselves at great disadvantage. We them set the rubble on their side of the doorway alight with flaming flasks of oil.

We could not see what was happening to Pointer, but he informed us that he faked his death causing his attackers, including the summoned demon to focus on us.

Spells cast at the beginning of the battle also began to prove themselves critical to our eventual success. Pron had managed to use Fey Fire to outline the cultists aiding our attacks, and had also afflicted their leader with a curse of burning metal that ended up setting him aflame and roasting him in his chainmail. She may be reckless socially, but in a fight Pron is very dangeous to our enemies.

Adran managed to smite the demon a couple of times hurting it and apparently Pointer had also done some damage with his bow.

Arriving late with some Jalaharan support was Jonas. This was welcome as despite our better tactical position we were rapidly being worn down by the vast numbers of foes.

Eventually we managed to take down the demon and the horde of crazed cultists.

We are investigating the room to see if they possess the artefact the templars were waiting for that was stolen from the wrecked ship.

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Session 5: Jonas's Take
Jonas

Well, that was kind of messed up. I had been busy trying to learn about the slavers and how to bring them down when some Jalandrans showed up. They told me that the group my companions were seeking had absconded with a canopic jar, and intended to torture the spirit within the jar for eternity to generate power. I have to admit it’s creative, but it’s also just twisted and wrong.

So we headed down some long, dark stairs, under an inn in town, and eventually came upon my companions in the midst of battling some horrifying monstrosities and what seemed to be cult priests. We leapt in to help, but ultimately it was useless. My companions had created a series of obstacles in the entrance to the ceremony chamber, so we couldn’t even get into the fight—the way was blocked. Rubble and fire?! What a great idea.

Wait, that’s not fair. Tactically it makes sense. And if I had any kind of sense, I could’ve figured out a way to be useful. My magic—again—turned out to be useless, a waste of time. We won the fight, but the leader of the Jalandrans was killed. And I contributed nothing to the victory.

I hope these guys don’t realize that they could do a whole lot better with a different mage. I need their help, but I’m not sure they’ll keep me around much longer.

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yay
Classic gaming...

Yay!

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Session 4: Vedayn's view

After getting some rest we decided it would be best to take a closer look at the tavern Adran had discovered called the White Rose named for the white rose bush planted outside the door.

The plan was to have Pron, the druid, and I go inside and have a drink while waiting for Pointer and Rafiqua to arrive. They would be made up to look like a couple of wannabe cultists hoping to draw out a reaction that would provide more information to work with.

Things never got that far. That idiot Pron chose this moment to piss off the owner by vandalizing his pride and joy, the rose bush from which the tavern gets its name.

Having already upset the fellow, getting a seriously threatening dressing down, and being told to clear off, she follows me inside. I was about to make an effort at an apology by way of buying a round for the patrons, but before I could finish the offer, not only the owner, but his bar full of patrons rose up at the sight of Pron, and attacked us both.

Pron retreated out the door leaving me surrounded and at 7 to one odds against. I was lucky to escape with my life and a beating.

My face bruised, lip split, and nose bleeding, I moved a short distance away from the tavern while Pron managed somehow to win over the manager and his bar full of thugs and got to go back inside unmolested.

Pointer and Rafiqua who had been observing from a vantage point nearby noticed what hasd also caught my attention. Someone darted down the alley beside the tavern and in the darkness I could not see where this person went.

Some investigation of the alley led to discovery of a barrel with a false bottom covering a hole leading below the building.

Gathering our group together we descended into the hidden chamber below. There we discovered a rickety door, two barrels with scratching sounds emanating from them, some moldy sacks, and a tarp covered chest. We wasted a goodly amount of time examining things while the person we had hoped to follow below went where they wanted beyond the door of the chamber.

During our poking and prodding we managed to get attacked by venomous centipedes from the barrels and animated skeletons from the covered chest. Rafiqua suffered from a centipede’s poisonous bite and we finally retreated to get some rest.

Pointer remained behind, hiding on a nearby rooftop to observe comings and goings at the barrel entrance. When we finally rejoined him at the hiding spot he let us know that two persons had come out earlier.

We have again descended into the chamber and moved at last beyond the door.

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