Heroes of Midhgardhur

Session 62 - The Silver City (Act 5 - Parting Ways)
HM10 The Silver City

6/28/14 – 62nd Session – Module HM10 – The Silver City (Act 5 – Parting Ways)
Game Dates: 12/29/900 N.Y. – 1/3/901 N.Y.

The Party (at the start of Session 62):
Basileus Arkonides (Chris) – domur: 75, hamingja: 2
Caelrath (Josh) – domur: – 75, hamingja: 3
Estrid (Tanya) – domur: 76, hamingja: 3
Thrand Hallsteinsson (Josh) – domur: 75, hamingja: 3
Bergsveinn Farisson (Metellus) – domur: 25, hamingja: 2
Kasimir (Chris) – domur: 31, hamingja: 2
Salome Arkonides (Jessie) – domur: 20, hamingja: 1
Hakon Finehair the Skald (NPC) – domur: 74
Gruull (NPC, Cohort of Basileus Arkonides) – domur: 28
Bronislava (NPC Mercenary)

Manadagur, the 29th of Ylir, 900 N.Y.

In the morning on this day, Bergsveinn Farisson received word that his request for a private audience with the Silver Emperor had been granted for the afternoon. Attending that afternoon at To Mega Palation, there were 3 topics of discussion: a request from Bergsveinn to seize and liquidate the property of House Tzimiskes (which the Silver Emperor denied), a request that Bergsveinn be granted the task of watching and guarding Villa Tzimiskes for the time being (which the Silver Emperor granted), and a request from the Silver Emperor that any Northerners in the party who would like to remain behind in Yulianopolis consider joining the Barangoi (the emperor’s elite guard of Northerners) – a request in which Bergsveinn had little personal interest. After the meeting, Bergsveinn returned to Villa Arkonides, where he conveyed the emperor’s offer . . . but none of the heroes were particularly interested.

Odhinsdagur, the 31st of Ylir, 900 N.Y. – New Year’s Eve

The mysterious paladin Salome Arkonides received a “call” from her mysterious angel, telling her to “be at the Grand Arena at midnight, and follow your destiny to the North!” Shortly before midnight she found a place to hide in the darkened stands of the arena and waited . . . .

Meanwhile, the heroes were hiding in the stands on the opposite side of the arena, except for Estrid Freysteinn who had assumed the wild shape of a raven and was circling in the darkness above the arena, ready to spy on whatever meeting was about to take place there. Caelrath had linked several members of the party with a telepathic bond, and he had used his galdur to grant himself the ability to comprehend languages.

Finally, at midnight, a cloaked figure entered the Grand Arena. At around the same time, a trap door opened in the arena from the tunnels and catacombs under the city, and five other cloaked figures emerged. They exchanged recognition passwords – “The cursed sun sets forever!” “The eternal darkness rises!” – And then the first figure tried to hand a small piece of papyrus to the other figures, saying, “The time and place have been set!”

At this point, the heroes decided to intervene. Estrid Freysteinn swooped down in her raven wild shape and tried to snatch the papyrus, but she missed! The cloaked figure with the papyrus snatched it back and turned to run. At the same moment, Salome Arkonides jumped down from the stands onto the sands of the arena, shouting for them all to stay where they are and drop their weapons.

Bronislava jumped down into the arena and ran to try to cut off the escape of the fleeing figure. Caelrath used haste to give the heroes an edge over the mysterious figures, who (except for the one fleeing) had raised their blades which flared with an unholy blue light. Bergsveinn Farisson drew upon a prayer of command to demand that the fleeing figure “Halt!”, but he shrugged off the suggestion. Thrand Hallsteinsson hit 3 of the cloaked figures with arrows, while Hakon Finehair the Skald ran to cut off the escape of the fleeing figure. Basileus Arkonides caught up to the escaping figure and slashed him in the back with his sword. Kasimir von Schosse hit the fleeing one with magic missiles, and Estrid Freysteinn began a geyser. Meanwhile, Salome Arkonides ran up, saying, “No! Don’t kill them! I need them alive!” She shouted to the one who attempted to flee, “Put on this ring! Your life depends on it!” and flung him a platinum ring. Shocked, the figure put on the ring, which allowed Salome to cast shield other. She cried out, “Don’t kill him! If you kill him, you kill me!”

Meanwhile, the fight raged on with the mysterious cloaked figures. Caelrath and Kas blasted at them with fireballs, Thrand peppered them with arrows, Estrid blasted them with a geyser. It was revealed that the group of figures were Svartalfar! Salome slew one who attacked her, using her power to smite evil.

The figure who fled commanded Bronislava to attack Baz, which she did, showing that he had some mysterious power to influence minds . . . but Caelrath then used charm monster to take the figure who fled out of the fight. The Svartalfar used magic to vanish, but Kas hit the spot where they had been with a fireball and Estrid encircled the spot with a wall of fire, after which they reappeared. Baz subdued Bronislava and Salome healed Baz with her paladin abilty to lay on hands. At Salome’s suggestion, the hooded figure (which turned out to be a nosferatu vampire named Andrei Tzimiskes) released Bronislava from his mental domination.

Bronislava took Andrei into custody with manacles, and Caelrath illuminated the remaining Svartalfar with glitterdust and Thrand took them out with arrows.

Estrid seized the papyrus so that the heroes could learn what the message for the Svartalfar had been: “The Storm King’s Fortress will appear again on Midsummer’s Eve at ”/wikis/torgar-island" class=“wiki-page-link”>Torgar Island" . . . Hakon Finehair the Skald was able to identify Torgar Island as a place in Halogaland, a part of Noregur . . . and thus part of the domain of The One King. With only six months to get there, the heroes now felt that they were in a race against time!

Thorsdagur, the 1st of Morsurgur, 901 N.Y.

This morning the heroes had an audience with the Silver Emperor at To Mega Palation. They handed Andrei Tzimiskes over to Imperial authorities. It was decided that Basileus Arkonides would go North to Vyborg to take up his position as Imperial Ambassador. With him would go his followers, including Bronislava and Gruull. Thrand Hallsteinsson decided to accompany the party heading to Vyborg, since he intended to head back to find the darkly beautiful Vanakyn woman the heroes had encountered once . . .

The Silver Emperor offered to fully outfit the Helgiask with food, water, and supplies for the long voyage. For the remaining members of the party were determined to try to reach Torgar Island by Midsummer’s Eve (around the end of Skerpla, six months away) . . .

Sjaundidagr, the 3rd of Morsurgur, 901 N.Y.

On this date the heroes were ready to set forth on their separate journeys . . . a parting of the ways as some headed to Vyborg, and the rest race to Torgar Island . . .

LEVEL UP!
XP Earned: 43,204 (6172 each)
Total XP: 156,031 each
XP to level 12: 220,000
Hamingja: 1

After Session 62:
The Party:
Bergsveinn Farisson (Metellus) – domur: 25, hamingja: 3
Caelrath (Josh) – domur: – 75, hamingja: 3
Estrid (Tanya) – domur: 76, hamingja: 3
Kasimir (Chris) – domur: 31, hamingja: 3
Salome Arkonides (Jessie) – domur: 20, hamingja: 2
Hakon Finehair the Skald (NPC) – domur: 74

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Session 61 - The Silver City (Act 4 - Villa Tzimiskes, Part 4)

6/14/14 – 61st Session – Module HM10 – The Silver City (Act 4 – Villa Tzimiskes, part 4)
Game Dates: 12/26/900 N.Y. – 12/28/900 N.Y.

The Party:
Basileus Arkonides (Chris) – domur: 75, hamingja: 2
Caelrath (Josh) – domur: – 75, hamingja: 3
Estrid (Tanya) – domur: 76, hamingja: 3
Thrand Hallsteinsson (Josh) – domur: 75, hamingja: 3
Bergsveinn Farisson (Metellus) – domur: 25, hamingja: 2
Kasimir (Chris) – domur: 31, hamingja: 2
Hakon Finehair the Skald (NPC) – domur: 74
Gruull (NPC, Cohort of Basileus Arkonides) – domur: 28
Bronislava (NPC Mercenary)

Freyjudagur, the 26th of Ylir, 900 N.Y. (Continued)

(Continued) The heroes proceeded to loot the lair of the vampires of House Tzimiskes. They looted large amounts of household gear, but also found desecrated holy symbols, correspondence hinting at clandestine meetings of some kind (including one coming up on the eve of the new year at the Grand Arena), and a signet ring of House Tzimiskes.

The heroes too Raduslav Tzimiskes in chains and returned to Villa Arkonides to visit Father Theodoros and the chaplin staff for medical examinations, healing, and so forth. Bergsveinn Farisson, Bronislava, Caelrath, and Thrand Hallsteinsson had all been infected with the plague in the process of battling the vrykolakas, and required powerful prayers to be cured. Basileus Arkonides sent a courier to the palace to request an audience with the Silver Emperor in order to update him on the progress of their investigation into House Tzimiskes.

Sjaundidagur the 27th of Ylir, 900 N.Y.

The next morning a courier arrived from the palace with a summons to court for the next day. For the most part, the heroes decided to relax and enjoy the day off. Baz went to a smith and had a copy made of the signet ring of House Tzimiskes, paying ten gold coins for the work and another ten coins for discretion. Bergsveinn went to the Grand Marketplace to sell of unnecessary supplies and loot that the party had acquired on its adventures. Kasimir von Schosse made a trip to his house to drop off cloth and other supplies he had bought.

Solsdagur the 28th of Ylir, 900 N.Y.

The heroes went for the audience at the palace of the Silver Emperor, presenting the ashes of the vampires to the chaplains for inspection. They declared that the ashes clearly gave off an aura of evil.. The desecrated holy symbols drew cries of “blasphemy!” from the assembled ecclesiastical courtiers. But the main evidence they wished to present was the testimony of Raduslav Tzimiskes, brought in under guard (by Gruull of course!). The heroes (mostly Baz) were able to refute his protestations of innocence and implicate House Tzimiskes in a much larger conspiracy from their homeland in the Vylgari Marches . . .

Kasimir von Schosse “volunteered” the heroes to investigate the upcoming clandestine meeting arranged in the correspondence between the now-decesased Yarolslav Tzimiskes and an unknown party, set for the Grand Arena at midnight on the eve of the New Year . . .

Once the heroes were dismissed from their audience, Bergsveinn hired a couple of mercenaries to keep an eye on Villa Tzimiskes for the next couple of days. He also hired a roguish man to search the house for secret doors and rooms . . . and he did find a trapdoor under the bed in the master bedroom. The trap door led to the catacombs below the city . . . Bergsveinn sent a courier to the imperial court to request a private audience, then told his companions about the trap door . . .

Meanwhile, back at Villa Arkonides, a spirited discussion took place about Basileus’ upcoming exile from the city, and who would be following him into exile . . .

Estrid Freysteinn investigated the tunnels of the catacombs, finding her way to tunnels under the Grand Arena . . .

XP Earned: 12,802 (2134 each)
Total XP: 149,859 each
XP to level 11: 155,000

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Session 60 - The Silver City (Act 4 - Villa Tzimiskes, Part 3)
HM10 The Silver City

5/17/14 – 60th Session – Module HM10 – The Silver City (Act 4 – Villa Tzimiskes, part 3)
Game Dates: 12/26/900 N.Y.

The Party:
Basileus Arkonides (Chris) – domur: 75, hamingja: 2
Caelrath (Josh) – domur: – 75, hamingja: 3
Estrid (Tanya) – domur: 76, hamingja: 3
Thrand Hallsteinsson (Josh) – domur: 75, hamingja: 3
Bergsveinn Farisson (Metellus) – domur: 25, hamingja: 2
Neferata (Jessie) – domur: 60, hamingja: 3
Kasimir (Chris) – domur: 31, hamingja: 2
Hakon Finehair the Skald (NPC) – domur: 74
Gruull (NPC, Cohort of Basileus Arkonides) – domur: 28
Bronislava (NPC Mercenary)

Freyjudagur, the 26th of Ylir, 900 N.Y.

After the conclusion of the battle, Basileus Arkonides confronted Neferata about the fireball and the murder of the surrendering guard. Hakon Finehair the Skald went to fetch Estrid Freysteinn. Then they began to interrogate Raduslav – although Baz handed the job off to Bergsveinn Farisson. Raduslav revealed that there were still three undead creatures in the house – Yarolslav Tzimiskes, “The Bride of Yaroslav”, and “The Chef”. The heroes put Raduslav in a nearby cubiculum to “await the Emperor’s justice” . . . and then proceeded deeper into the villa.

Neferata decided to flee before the “Emperor’s justice” caught up with her, too . . . Estrid noticed that she slipped away and whispered to Raduslav, “You had better hope she doesn’t come back!”

The heroes went through the now-sunlit peristyle into the kitchen area, where a ghoulish chef was preparing kettles of blood! “Guests for dinner!”, the monster punned! Estrid Freysteinn hit the monster with a flamestrike, but the creature was only singed! Thrand Hallsteinsson took down the Chef with a volley of arrows. The heroes decided to go through all the remedies for undead they had uncovered in their lore, staking its heart, stuffing its mouth with garlic, severing its head, and anointing it with holy water.

The heroes searched more of the house, finding empty servants’ quarters and such. In one planning room they found multiple maps of the Vylgari Marches.

When the heroes finally located the master bedroom, Basileus Arkonides dramatically swept aside the curtain across the archway, revealing Yaroslav and his “Bride”. The monsters leapt up out of bed.

As the heroes rushed to attack, the hideous Yaroslav used his vampiric powers to dominate Basileus Arkonides and force him to attack Caelrath. Caelrath was able to use his powers of galdur to hold Baz in place.

Estrid Freysteinn put a wall of fire in a ring around Yaroslav, who nevertheless used his dominate power to force Thrand to attack Estrid, launching a volley of arrows at her, including one that went clean through her body. Estrid used her power to summon nature’s ally to conjure forth a fire elemental from Muspellsheimur.

Yaroslav attempted to flee from the battle by assuming the form of a swarm of bats. Caelrath was able to use his magic to hold the swarm, dropping it to the floor, where Yaroslav resumed his form. The fire elemental attacked his paralyzed form, and Estrid blasted him with a flamestrike.

With both Yaroslav and his Bride both down for the count, Caelrath detonated a selective fireball, blasting both the monsters into dust and ash.

XP Earned: 32,802 (5467 each)
Total XP: 147,725 each
XP to level 11: 155,000

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Session 59 - The Silver City (Act 4 - Villa Tzimiskes, Part 2)
HM10 The Silver City

5/3/14 – 59th Session – Module HM10 – The Silver City (Act 4 – Villa Tzimiskes, part 2)
Game Dates: 12/26/900 N.Y.

The Party:
Basileus Arkonides (Chris) – domur: 70, hamingja: 2
Caelrath (Josh) – domur: – 70, hamingja: 3
Estrid (Tanya) – domur: 71, hamingja: 3
Thrand Hallsteinsson (Josh) – domur: 70, hamingja: 3
Bergsveinn Farisson (Metellus) – domur: 20, hamingja: 2
Neferata (Jessie) – domur: 55, hamingja: 3
Kasimir (Chris) – domur: 24, hamingja: 2
Hakon Finehair the Skald (NPC) – domur: 69
Gruull (NPC, Cohort of Basileus Arkonides) – domur: 23
Bronislava (NPC Mercenary)

Freyjudagur, the 26th of Ylir, 900 N.Y.

Having recovered from the bubonic plague inflicted upon them by the vrykolakas, the heroes awoke on the morning of the 26th feeling healthy and refreshed. Kasimir von Schosse apologized to his comrades for the fireball which he had detonated in their midst. He gave them ribbons by way of apology. Estrid Freysteinn burned her ribbon. Neferata took her ribbon with her to the Grand Marketplace and gave it to a passing child at random. At the marketplace, she stocked up on fireball scrolls . . .

Meanwhile, back at stately Villa Arkonides, the House chaplain, Father Theodoros, inquired whether the heroes would continue to require his services. He was quite relieved that Bergsveinn Farisson agreed to rejoin the party heading back to Villa Tzimiskes.

Basileus Arkonides had sent a courier to inform the Silver Emperor of their progress. A reply arrived on this morning that read: “Well done! Keep me informed of your progress; keep up the good work!” The heroes finished an early breakfast, and then prepared to get back to work . . .

The heroes arrived at Villa Tzimiskes to find the doors locked and barred. Baz pounded on the door with his mailed fist, demanding that they open up in the name of the emperor. The guard who answered the door (whose name later proved to be Akhilles) did not want to admit the heroes, then, having examined the emperor’s writ, admitted them to the atrium and started into the dark villa to “fetch his master to help them.” Immediately, several of the heroes began to protect themselves with layers of enchantments, or to prepare offensive magics, while Bergsveinn used a prayer to bolster his command – “HALT!”

Akhilles was stopped in his tracks by Bergsveinn’s command, followed by the great trollkyn godhi getting right in his face and bellowing, “Whom or WHAT were you going to get?!?” Basileus tried to smooth over the situation by offering the guard a bribe, while Estrid began scouting the cubicula off the atrium. When Akhilles responded to Baz’s offer of bribery with an indignant cry, “You would have me betray my master? What sort of man can you be, who holds loyalty and honor so cheap?”, Neferata muttered, “This is taking too long,” pulled out a dagger, and attempted to slit Akhilles’ throat . . . but the guard was able to move out of the way, and the dagger glanced off his collarbone. Akhilles began to scream for help, his cries echoing through the darkened villa, as Basileus Arkonides drew his sword and slashed at the guard. Kasimir von Schosse finished the wretch off with a spell of magic missiles.

With the death of Akhilles, Basileus Arkonides began to order the heroes into tactical positions. Estrid used spider climb to ascend to the ceiling of the atrium, while Caelrath used a galdur spell of detect magic to examine a strange blue amulet that Akhilles had been wearing. Identifying it as a periapt of health, he handed it to Basileus, on the assumption that they might run into more plague-ridden vrykolakas.

Meanwhile, a man in rich, fur-lined garments emerged from the hallways at the far end of the atrium with two guardsman accompanying him. He identified himself as Raduslav Tzimiskes, the alleged master of the house. He demanded to know by what right the heroes had burst into his home and murdered his guard, Akhilles. The heroes presented their writ from the emperor as their authorization to do this, so Raduslav sent one of his guards, Thyestes, to examine it. Seeing that the writ authorized investigation of the house, but not violence against member of his house, Raduslav raged at the heroes for this violation of the sanctity of his home and for their crime. Kas was muttering half-hearted protests, mentioning that Neferata had started it by stabbing the man . . .

At the same time, Neferata had stealthily slunk to the far end of the atrium, flanking Raduslav and his other bodyguard from the shadows. Only Bergsveinn was paying any attention to where she was. She used a message spell to whisper to the other heroes, “Shut up, Kasimir! Everybody get ready to follow my lead!” She then attempted to cast a fireball spell from a scroll, but she somehow botched the spell, detonating the fireball centered on her own location near the tablinum at the back of the atrium, setting alight the study. Seeing that the time for talk was over, Baz drew his sword and attacked Thyestes

The heroes protected themselves with enchantments as Baz finished off Thyestes and Estrid used her burning gaze to set Raduslav and his clothing alight. The other guard was advancing on Neferata, sword drawn, apparently unaware that her powers of evasion were so great that she had managed to elude any harm at all in the detonation of the botched fireball.

The heroes began to advance down the atrium, Bergsveinn using a prayer of forbid action to command Raduslav, “DON’T MOVE!”, while Kas summoned an ice storm to pummel him into submission and coat the floors around him with ice, preventing him from running.

The guard fighting Neferata dropped his sword and attempted to surrender. She simply said, “That makes this easy” and ran her sword through the man’s skull, an act which sickened and disgusted the other heroes. She then ducked into an adjacent room, which turned out to be a library, which she then searched using her sorcerous spells to detect magic, but she failed to locate any . . .

Meanwhile, Estrid Freysteinn had gone back into the hallways behind Raduslav and discovered a peristyle blocked off from sunlight by heavy cloth draperies. She used her burning gaze to set the draperies alight, to allow some sunlight into the darkened areas of the villa.

Raduslav Tzimiskes cast away his sword and surrendered. Baz sent Bronislava to tie him up so that he could be interrogated . . .

XP Earned: 21,000 (3500 each)
Total XP: 142,258 each
XP to level 11: 155,000

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Session 58 - The Silver City (Act 4 - Villa Tzimiskes)
HM10 The Silver City

4/19/14 – 58th Session – Module HM10 – The Silver City (Act 4 – Villa Tzimiskes)
Game Dates: 12/24/900 N.Y. – 12/25/900 N.Y.

The Party:
Basileus Arkonides (Chris) – domur: 70, hamingja: 2
Caelrath (Josh) – domur: – 70, hamingja: 3
Estrid (Tanya) – domur: 71, hamingja: 3
Thrand Hallsteinsson (Josh) – domur: 70, hamingja: 3
Bergsveinn Farisson (Metellus) – _domur: 20, hamingja: 2
Neferata (Jessie) – domur: 55, hamingja: 3
Kasimir (Chris) – domur: 24, hamingja: 2
Hakon Finehair the Skald (NPC) – domur: 69
Gruull (NPC, Cohort of Basileus Arkonides) – domur: 23
Bronislava (NPC Mercenary)

Odhinsdagur, the 24th of Ylir, 900 N.Y.

The heroes awoke bright and early in the morning of the 24th of Ylir. It was a cool, clear, cloudless day – seemingly perfect for hunting the undead suspected of lurking among the members of House Tzimiskes. To the surprise of the other heroes, Bergsveinn Farisson said that he would not or could not accompany them, for reasons of his own. As a result, Basileus Arkonides had to call upon Father Theodoros, the chaplain of House Arkonides, to accompany them into the lair of the suspected undead.

Based on the research of Estrid Freysteinn, the heroes stopped by the Grand Marketplace to load up on garlic, small mirrors, and other gear that might help in opposing the living dead.

The heroes then approached Villa Tzimiskes and Basileus Arkonides presented his Imperial Writ Against The Undead to the guards at the door. The guards seemed less than intimidated and tried to close the doors against them, but although Caelrath balked at Basileus Arkonides’ order to blast them, Kasimir von Schosse happily tossed a fireball through the doorway . . .

The explosion killed the guards, allowing the doors to swing wide open and the heroes to enter the villa. They could see the long, dark entryway and atrium of the villa, with its elaborate geometric mosaics on the floors and a dry impluvium, for the compluvium above had been boarded over to shroud the chamber in darkness. But the explosion of Kasimir’s fireball had awakened the living dead from their diurnal slumber . . . five figures emerged from the villa’s cubicula, twisted and stunted beings with pale, animalistic features and gleaming fangs . . . the vrykolakas of Vylgari legend!

A tumultuous battle with the plague-ridden undead monsters ensued, in which fire magics roared through the halls of the villa. The heroes limped away from the battle victorious, but requiring much treatment in terms of restoration prayers. They had decided to retreat rather than press on into the villa, for fear that their depleted resources would catch up with them at a crucial moment within the depths of that nest of vrykolakas. That night, several members of the expedition (including Father Theodoros, Basileus Arkonides, Neferata, Kasimir von Schosse, and Bronislava) were diagnosed with bubonic plague acquired from the monsters in the villa!

Thorsdagur, the 25th of Ylir, 900 N.Y. to Solsdagur – The Feast of Luna Invicta

The heroes spent most of the day undergoing prayers of restoration, remove disease, and healing at Villa Arkonides.

XP Earned: 51,204 (8534 each)
Total XP: 138,758 each
XP to level 11: 155,000

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Session 57 - The Silver City (Act 3 - Research)
HM10 The Silver City

2/22/14 – 57th Session – Module HM10 – The Silver City (Act 3 – Research)
Game Dates: 11/30/900 – 12/23/900

The Party:
Basileus Arkonides (Chris) – domur: 70, hamingja: 2
Caelrath (Josh) – domur: – 70, hamingja: 3
Estrid (Tanya) – domur: 71, hamingja: 3
Thrand Hallsteinsson (Josh) – domur: 70, hamingja: 3
Bergsveinn Farisson (Metellus) – _domur: 20, hamingja: 2
Neferata (Jessie) – domur: 55, hamingja: 3
Kasimir (Chris) – domur: 24, hamingja: 2
Hakon Finehair the Skald (NPC) – domur: 69
Gruull (NPC, Cohort of Basileus Arkonides) – domur: 23
Bronislava (NPC Mercenary)

Solsdagur, the 30th of Gormanudhur, 900 N.Y. to Sjaundidagur, the 13th of Ylir, 900 N.Y.

During the next couple of weeks, the heroes busied themselves with personal interests while awaiting word on their suspicions of the vampires lurking among the scions of House Tzimiskes. During this time:

  • Kasimir von Schosse planted a garden on the ground of his new estate and continued his efforts to redecorate.
  • Bergsveinn Farisson abandoned his plans involving the basilica and took to meditating with monks of the Order of the Silver Fist of Dyovis. His meditations were making him calmer, more relaxed, and more lawful.
  • Caelrath started work in his workshop, producing a headband of charisma +2 for Kas and a pair of belts of constitution +2 for Basileus Arkonides and himself.
  • Estrid Freysteinn found work as an herbalist, earning a total of 29 gold nomismata. She also went to the Grand Marketplace and bought an eye agate (10 gp.) for Vik the Leshy, since he missed having a jewel kept inside his head.
  • Neferata struggled with her addiction to silver lotus, failing to overcome it on her own. Basileus Arkonides could see how powerfully her addiction was affecting her, and had the chaplain of House Arkonides use a prayer to remove disease to cure her of her addicition.
  • Thrand Hallsteinsson, feeling very uncomfortable in the city, decided to go ranging in the wilds outside the city. He spent weeks camping and enjoying the outdoors.

At the end of this two-week period, Basileus Arkonides had the audience he had requested with the Silver Emperor, bringing with him Bronislava, Estrid Freysteinn, Bergsveinn Farisson, Neferata, and Hakon Finehair the Skald. He laid out his experiences in Inazor Obram with its horrid Witch Queen, the apparent alliance of that vile queen with House Tzimiskes, and the apparent “stench of undeath” about the members of that house (specifically Yuri Tzimiskes, believed to be a vampire). He had Bronislava add her expert and eyewitness testimony of Inazor Obram, Neferata’s expertise on the undead, and Estrid’s personal account of her encounter with Yuri Tzimiskes. The Silver Emperor agreed to launch his own quiet investigation into these allegations against House Tzimiskes.

That night, a meeting was held at Villa Arkonides about whether or not the heroes wanted to go after the vampires of House Tzimiskes. Most of the party agreed that they did wish to pursue it, but would wait to take any action until the results of the emperor’s investigation and the heroes’ own personal inquiries were known.

Solsdagur, the 14th of Ylir, 900 N.Y. to Solsdagur, the 21st of Ylir, 900 N.Y.

Over the course of the next week, the heroes waited to hear the results of the emperor’s investigation. Meanwhile, they conducted their own business:

  • Bergsveinn Farisson spent much of the week casing the grounds of the villa of House Tzimiskes and using his holy powers to detect undead (which revealed that there were definitely undead lurking in the villa!).
  • Estrid Freysteinn spent the week researching legends of the undead, especially vampires, and how to slay them. She began planning what holy druidic prayers might best be used to fight such monsters. Caelrath did much the same thing, trying to determine which of his galdur spells would be best for fighting vampires.
  • Kasimir von Schosse spent most of the week working on his house, hiring a butler and a maid to oversee the place.
    Thrand Hallsteinsson returned to the city from his his expedition into the wilds. Upon hearing what lay in store for the heroes, he began to prepare himself to fight the vampires.
  • Basileus Arkonides spent the week researching House Tzimiskes, seeking any information available regarding the activities of that House.

Manadagur, the 22nd of Ylir, 900 N.Y.

On this date a messenger came from Vanya Muzalon of House Muzalon with a summons for Basileus Arkonides. With him went Estrid, Bergsveinn, and Hakon. Vanya was able to share the news that Yuri Tzimiskes had left the city about a week previously and had headed to the stronghold of Rusa on the banks of the Danuvius River, and ancient stronghold of House Tzimiskes. He also had more word about the strange Urrabite caravans coming into Yulianopolis for House Tzimiskes – they were coming from an ancient city full of ruins to the southeast known as Tzur. Vanya agreed to keep on the lookout for more information, but would himself be leaving on a caravan for the North within the month . . .

Upon returning from their meeting with Vanya, the heroes found an Imperial Courier waiting for them at Villa Arkonides, with a summons to an audience with the Silver Emperor the next day.

Tysdagur, the 23rd of Ylir, 900 N.Y.

The heroes left bright and early for their meeting with the Silver Emperor. In their audience, he revealed that his investigations had left him very concerned about the growing threat of undead, particularly vampirism, and especially among members of House Tzimiskes. He presented them with an Imperial Writ Against The Undead giving them authority to act against the undead that threaten the empire, and specifically to act against the members of House Tzimiskes within their villa in the city of Yulianopolis as those who “harbor and give both aid and comfort to the undead.” Basileus Arkonides had the lawyers of House Arkonides look over this writ that night while the heroes planned to storm the villa of House Tzimiskes on Odhinsdagur the 24th . . .

XP Earned: 9204 (1534 each)
Total XP: 130,224 each
XP to level 11: 155,000

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Session 56 - The Silver City (Act 3 - Research)
HM10 The Silver City

2/8/14 – 56th Session – Module HM10 – The Silver City (Act 3 – Research)
Game Date: 11/29/900

The Party:
Basileus Arkonides (Chris) – domur: 70, hamingja: 2
Caelrath (Josh) – domur: – 70, hamingja: 3
Estrid (Tanya) – domur: 71, hamingja: 3
Thrand Hallsteinsson (Josh) – domur: 70, hamingja: 3
Bergsveinn Farisson (Metellus) – _domur: 20, hamingja: 2
Neferata (Jessie) – domur: 55, hamingja: 3
Kasimir (Chris) – domur: 24, hamingja: 2
Hakon Finehair the Skald (NPC) – domur: 69
Gruull (NPC, Cohort of Basileus Arkonides) – domur: 23
Bronislava (NPC Mercenary)

Sjaundidagur, the 29th of Gormanudhur, 900 N.Y.

Kasimir von Schosse and Estrid Freysteinn visited the new house that Kas just bought (and named Das Haus der Schmetterlinge, or “The House of the Butterflies”). They searched for secret doors and scanned for evidence of magic, but with little result. Estrid Freysteinn found much evidence of infestation by vermin – rats and centipedes! They also found a goblet made from a human skull and apparently used for drinking blood (they thought it would make a nice present for Caelrath). They begin the process of redecorating . . .

Bergsveinn Farisson visited a basilica courthouse, hoping to gain intelligence on any kind of organized assassins or slayers in the Silver City. He met an aging beggar named Oidipodes, a man around 53 years olld on crutches, with a salt-and-pepper beard. Bergsveinn took Oidipodes to the marketplace and bought him some food (rat-on-a-stick!), which he ate in the Forum of Yulianos at the base of the Column. Having made this contact, Bergsveinn returned to his post observing the basilica, planning to observe a few days, and then go in to explore. Then he walked back to House Arkonides, slowly, making observations on the way . . .

Caelrath rented some workshop space, and bought some spellbooks and metal cases in which to keep his spells.

Basileus Arkonides, Thrand Hallsteinsson, Bronislava, Gruull, Anders, and Olaf went searching for more information on Yuri Tzimiskes. They went to the caravansaries to look for information, and made contact with Vanya Muzalon. He shared a glass of wine with them and provided much intelligence on House Tzimiskes, including the fact that they have been getting shipments from the Urrabite Ali Al-Assar.

The heroes plan to make the most of their time in the Silver City before they must depart once more for the North . . .

XP Earned: 9204 (1534 each)
Total XP: 128,690 each
XP to level 11: 155,000

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Session 55 - The Silver City (Act 2 - The Imperial Court)
HM10 The Silver City

1/25/14 – 55th Session – Module HM10 – The Silver City (Act 2 – The Imperial Court)
Game Date: 11/28/900

The Party:
Basileus Arkonides (Chris) – domur: 70, hamingja: 2
Caelrath (Josh) – domur: – 70, hamingja: 3
Estrid (Tanya) – domur: 71, hamingja: 3
Thrand Hallsteinsson (Josh) – domur: 70, hamingja: 3
Bergsveinn Farisson (Metellus) – _domur: 20, hamingja: 2
Neferata (Jessie) – domur: 55, hamingja: 3
Kasimir (Chris) – domur: 24, hamingja: 2
Hakon Finehair the Skald (NPC) – domur: 69
Gruull (NPC, Cohort of Basileus Arkonides) – domur: 23
Bronislava (NPC Mercenary)

Freyjudagur, the 28th of Gormanudhur, 900 N.Y.

Early in the morning on this date, Kasimir von Schosse got up and wrote a rambling, two-page note. The note covered a variety of topics, digressing for a long section in the middle about butterflies, but essentially it said that he was going out to look for a house that he might purchase, and so would not be attending the Imperial Court. On his way out the door, he ran into Estrid Freysteinn, who was bored and decided to accompany him on his expedition. Besides, she had no wish to put herself at the mercy of the Palnorran emperor, and wanted to look for a marketplace where she might purchase elemental gems.

On that same morning, Basileus Arkonides also awakened early, between a serving wench and a stable boy. He arose and went to the household shrine to pray to the patron saints of House Arkonides that they watch over him on this day. He ordered his retainers, Olaf, Anders, and Gruull, to remain behind and get out of the city if anything bad happened to him. The rest of the heroes were to accompany him to the Imperial Court for his audience with the emperor.

The heroes came to To Mega Palation and progressed through several outer courtyards and consequent layers of security as they approached the palace proper. At one of the innermost courtyards, they encountered a band of Barangoi guardsmen who harassed them and rifled through their bags before allowing them to go further. These hulking Northern brutes were not very friendly to the heroes, despite their ethnic affiliation.

The heroes were shown to a waiting room, where they were left for nearly a half an hour. Eventually, slaves came to offer them refreshment – wine, food, and a drug known as silver lotus. Only Neferata tried the silver lotus, becoming instantly addicted, experiencing brief euphoria and intense hallucinations. The others merely had some food and wine. They found that Neferata was actually much more friendly and pleasant while under the influence of silver lotus, but it clearly made her physically ill and weakened her body.

While they waited, the heroes saw a secret passage open into the antechamber in which they awaited, and a very young man with coal-black hair emerge. He introduced himself as Konstantinos Dukas, as scion of House Dukas. He asked them to keep silent about the passageway, and then walked away into the palace.

After waiting a considerable time, finally, at long last, a eunuch entered the antechamber, introducing himself as Kalynyches. This eunuch informed them that they were about to be admitted to The Presence (by which he meant the presence of the emperor, Leon VI “The Wise”). Kalynyches informed them about matters of etiquette and protocol, then led them through the mazelike, Byzantine labyrinth of the palace to the room in which The Presence awaited them. As he was about to admit them to the room, Basileus Arkonides suddenly asked if Diokles Tzimiskes was at court today. Once informed that Diokles was present, he asked to send a messenger home to bring a “gift” for Diokles (by which he meant the captured svartalfur prisoner).

And so, the heroes were admitted to The Presence in a large, vaulted chamber with a dome and an oculus open to the sky. Imperial guards and such lined the shadowy walls, but the emperor himself awaited in the center of the room, in the light admitted to the room via the oculus. Emperor Leon VI, Leon the Wise, was a middle-aged man, clean shaven with white hair and distinguished features.

Each of the heroes reacted in their own way. Basileus Arkonides abased himself before The Presence, kow-towing to him as Kalynyches did. Thrand Hallsteinsson and Caelrath knelt respectfully.
Neferata knelt on one knee, rising once this had been acknowledged. Hakon Finehair the Skald and Bronislava also knelt on one knee. Bergsveinn Farisson stayed several paces behind the rest, and simply bowed.

The emperor spoke with them at length, and allowed Diokles Tzimiskes to present his evidence against Basileus and Neferata, but the weasel-faces scion of House Tzimiskes botched the job, and they were cleared of everything, except that Baz was still guilty of misusing the imperial seal and representing himself as an imperial ambassador . . . so Emperor Leon VI appointed him a true ambassador to the North as a punishment – essentially a minimum one-year banishment from the city, to commence in four months (when sailing season resumed).

Hakon Finehair the Skald was allowed to perform for the emperor, singing part of his epic saga about the heroes, recounting their battle with the scylla and charybdis. He gave an extraordinary performance, and was rewarded by the emperor himself with a big of 10 gold coins.

Baz informed the emperor of Konstantinos Dukas creeping about in the secret passages of To Mega Palation. The emperor was not pleased . . .

The heroes were invited to be guests at the emperor’s private box at the Games at the Grand Arena, to which they traveled through the secret tunnels and passages that link the palace with the amphitheater. At the Games, Bronislava informed Baz that she had heard of House Tzimiskes in her homeland, said to be a cruel and vicious family that delighted in torture and horror, and to have private treaties and arrangements with dark powers, like the witch queen of Inazor Obram.

After the Games (in which the champion of House Arkonides lost to Celadus Thrax, the champion of Emperor Leon VI, the heroes were dismissed and went back to the Arkonides Villa.

Meanwhile, Kasimir von Schosse led Estrid Freysteinn through the streets of the city in search of a house to buy. He hoped a house would speak to him or call to him, but none did. So he used his “ribbonmancy” to seek a house. The ribbons led him to a dilapidated mansion down by the docks. He inquired from the steward, Torgos (who “took care of the place while the Master was away”) whether the place was for sale. Torgos tried several times unsuccessfully to get them to try food or drink laced with silver lotus. He took them on a tour of the creepy old place, saying that he believed that his Master (who turned out to be of House Tzimiskes) would sell.

The Master of the House, Yuri Tzimiskes, returned home while they were negotiating with Torgos. He was wrapped in a black cloak and cowl, so they never saw his face, but he agreed to sell the house to Kas, and extended a pale hand with long, ragged, filthy fingernails to shake hands on the deal – he had asked 6000 gold coins for the house, but sold it for 5,995. Yuri ordered Torgos and his other servants to move out all the essentials, saying that he would stay uptown with “cousin Diokles” until he was ready to return to the Vylgari Marches.

Estrid Freysteinn did get to the market to buy her elemental gems – one red/orange gem (for Fire) and one clear, transparent gem (for Air).

They also returned to the Arkonides Villa, where they all met up, and made plans. They would have to leave the city in four months, but in the meantime could set up Kasimir’s creepy new mansion as their own home . . .

XP Earned: 22,800 (3800 each)
Total XP: 127,156 each
XP to level 11: 155,000

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Dungeon Crawl Classics Game #1 - "The Portal Under the Stars"

Dungeon Crawl Classics Game #1 – The Portal Under the Stars

Tried a character funnel . . . the following zero-level characters were sent to Valholl:

The Honored Dead in Valholl

  • Irim Mournelips, the guild beggar (m.) – Tanya
  • Catios Hamebear, the turnip farmer (f.) – Tanya
  • Romm, the hunter (m.) – Josh
  • Okar, the locksmith (m.) – Josh
  • Ischiros, the elven barrister (m.) – Josh
  • Turlough Zenobia, the herder (m.) – Tanya

Survivors of the Quest

  • Rala Wyrmsilver, formerly an urchin, now a Witness (cleric) (f.) – Tanya
  • Fossor Hellstorm, formerly a grave digger, now a Squire (warrior) (m.) – Tanya
  • Soror Pithiam, formerly a halfling dyer, now a Wanderer (halfling) (f.) – Tanya
  • Gobir, formerly a jeweler, now occupation undetermined (m.) – Josh
  • Ollub, formerly a wainwright, now occupation undetermined (m.) – Josh
  • Gazal, formerly a grave digger (or grave robber!), now occupation undetermined (m.) – Josh
  • Yaros, formerly a squire, now still a Squire (warrior) (m.) – Metellus
  • Jargo, formerly a hunter, now a Wildling (warrior) (m.) – Metellus
  • Erasmus, formerly an astrologer, now a Cultist (wizard) (m.) – Metellus
  • Roska, formerly a trapper, now occupation undetermined (f.) – Metellus
  • Lucifer, formerly an elven sage, now a Wanderer (elf) (m.) – Metellus
  • Valerius, formerly a smuggler, now a Beggar (thief) (m.) – Metellus
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Session 54 - The Silver City (Act 1)
HM10 The Silver City

1/4/14 – 54th Session – Module HM10 – The Silver City (Act 1)
Game Date: 11/27/900

The Party:
Basileus Arkonides (Chris) – domur: 68, hamingja: 2
Caelrath (Josh) – domur: – 68, hamingja: 3
Estrid (Tanya) – domur: 71, hamingja: 3
Thrand Hallsteinsson (Josh) – domur: 68, hamingja: 3
Bergsveinn Farisson (Metellus) – _domur: 18, hamingja: 2
Neferata (Jessie) – domur: 53, hamingja: 3
Kasimir (Chris) – domur: 24, hamingja: 2
Hakon Finehair the Skald (NPC) – domur: 64
Gruull (NPC, Cohort of Basileus Arkonides) – domur: 23
Bronislava (NPC Mercenary)

Thorsdagur, the 27th of Gormanudhur, 900 N.Y.

On this date, the heroes divided up the treasures they had won from the scylla and charybdis they had defeated. Then they re-boarded the Helgiask and sailed through the straits towards Yulianopolis, the “Silver City.” Nothing could have prepared those who had never visited the Silver City before – the largest and grandest city and civilization in the known world!

And so Basileus Arkonides returned to his home city in triumph and glory, proudly proclaiming himself. He spread some of his wealth among the guards and customs agents who inspected the Helgiask upon their arrival.

The party decided to split up once in the city.

Bergsveinn Farisson, Estrid Freysteinn, and Kasimir von Schosse went to the Grand Marketplace to scout possible buyers and evaluate potential prices for the treasures they brought to the city. They used a wand of share language to allow Estrid to understand Palnorrani. They found that this city would probably be the ideal place to finally sell all of the many treasures they have been carting along with them . . .

Meanwhile, Caelrath spent some time in the academic quarters of the city, haunting bookstores, libraries, and magic shops, learning what he could of southern sorcery. He was able to buy new spells for his spellbooks, and inquire into the forbidden demon-lore of the south, trying to find ways to combat such monstrous creatures. He found a great fear and reluctance regarding the lore of demons in the Silver City, since so many of the Palnorrani credit the use and abuse of demonic knowledge with causing the fall of the Norrani Imperium. Nevertheless, he was able to glean some useful knowledge.

Basileus Arkonides hired sedan chairs for himself, his followers, and for Thrand Hallsteinsson and Neferata. They traveled to the Arkonides Villa, ancestral estate of House Arkonides. There they were received cautiously by Spirodon Arkonides, the father of Baz. As he revealed to his father his misdeeds in impersonating an imperial ambassador, the father told his son that allegations of this sort were already circulating at court thanks to Diokles Tzimiskes.

The heroes regrouped back at the Arkonides Villa. Basileus Arkonides announced his plan to deal with the (somewhat true) allegations against him (and, to a lesser extent, against Neferata) was to present himself before the court of the Silver Emperor and brazen it out, head on. He announced that while he would appreciate the support of his friends and colleagues at court, if things turned bad, he did not want anyone to interfere or become involved. Nevertheless, Neferata spent some time double-checking escape routes and bribing guards at the city gates to let her through if she should come running under pursuit. Spirodon announced that he was officially distancing himself from his son for the moment, so that if the wrath of the emperor should fall upon Baz, it would not destroy House Arkonides.

That night, some of them awakened to the sound of footsteps on the rooftops of the guest quarters at the Arkonides Villa, and rattling at the locks on their doors. A number of dark-robed and cowled assassins attempted to attack the heroes, and the heroes dispatched them in heroic fashion, blasting them apart with fireballs, ball lightning, and brute force. After the battle it was revealed that the would-be assassins were svartalfar, a race all but unknown in these lands. Bergsveinn managed to capture one for the group (particularly Baz, as it turned out) to interrogate . . . and to force him to testify in court that Diokles Tzimiskes was behind the attack.

Neferata also managed to capture one of the svartalfar and interrogate him brutally herself. She sent him away to the Storm King as a warning . . . “If he wants to kill me, he had better send an army!”

XP Earned: 12,300 (2050 each)
Total XP: 123,356 each
XP to level 11: 155,000

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