Roselands

Hillmeet Attack!

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Settlers continued to flood the region after the party’s success in goblintown, surpassing all hopes and expectations. Patrols were organized, troops were trained, buildings erected and land made safe as a growing wave of enthusiastic people returned home, or arrived to claim new homes. With the road to Goblintown finished, settlers could safely travel from the lake to the interior, reclaiming more and more of the land with each passing day.

It was during this jubilant boom that Sir Gaius Welland arrived with a small group of veteran knights, all of whom pledged their oaths directly to Princess Aurelia. After a dramatic ceremony, T’karska was named Dame-Lady-Sir T’karska, champion of the Princess and first of the country’s knights.

Several letters came along with the knights, communications from King Lloyd and Lady Rohan, in particular. Both inquired as to the new kingdom’s name and the title of its leader. While King Lloyd warned of danger from unhappy members of his court, Lady Rohan offered (and insisted upon) her services in choosing a catchy nickname for Princess Aurelia, as the current leaders were ‘the Goblin Queen’ and ‘the Queen of Slime’

The party was also invited by King Lloyd to the winter festival in Hillmeet, a grand affair of magical weather and knightly tournaments. Taking both the king’s invitation and his warning seriously, the party trekked across the emerging snowfields of the Roselands winter.

Upon arriving in Hillmeet, the party left its merchant to conduct business while they went to meet with Lady Rohan at her town home. Upon arriving at the noble villa, however, the party was set upon by a savage force of Black Knights from the dragon, including traditionally trained heavy dragoons, lizardmen druids masquerading as horses, and a famed Arcane Archer. The battle was the party’s toughest, and when it was over lady De Burgh, Zyphon and T’karska’s giant mantis lay dead in addition to their enemies.

After the attack, the party was left scrambling to return their dead to life, while furious and flabbergasted that such an attack occurred on the front porch of the Kingdom of Thorns.

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Victory at Goblintown

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On a chilly late fall night Dragonridge was approached by a single running Goblin, who collapsed from exhaustion while the guards summoned Baron Adalhelm and Aurelia. The goblin had a message for the Marseille, stating that goblin town was being attacked by a terrible flying toad creature, and the Goblins needed the Marseille and her champions with all haste.

Runon, the goblin messenger, explained between struggling breaths that 20 goblins had been dispatched to deliver the letter to the marseille by the most direct route, but strange tentacle monsters had waylaid them. The goblin war party fought the creatures so that Runon could escape with the message. Using a variety of transformative magics, the party made the long and treacherous journey directly through the swamp at a breakneck pace.

Early in the second day of travel the party came upon the tentacle monsters that waylaid the goblins, a bizarre and horrific amalgamation of squid and lobster known as chuuls. The chuuls were not prepared for the sheer brutality of the party, and their thick carapace plates were no match for the party’s heavy weapons and magics. The chuuls died quickly, and after looting their absurd ‘decorations’ the party moved on at its incredible pace.

The party reached Goblintown that evening, two full days before the boggards believed they would be capable of. What the evil toad people had intended to be a massacre was turned into a pitched battle with the goblins while their awful toad-god Mobogos fought the arriving heroes. The heroes triumphed over the mobogos, despite that morning’s fight against the chuuls, and provided the Boggard army with the slaughter it had come for.

When the battle was over and every tone-deaf voice in goblintown was raised in celebration, aurelia ascended the stairs of the library and received a crown of origami.
The nation’s first coronation.

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The Breakers retaliate

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After several weeks of preperations and travel, the first of the returning men and women of westmoreland were situated in a small enclave at Dragonridge. The tiny city was bustling with activity and bursting with people, the sleepy liitle border garfrison now the first foothold of the burgeoning [name pending]

The princess made a biizzare order which piggybacked on the first merchant that the city recieved, an assimar archanist from the otherside of the world named [mike].

After the trader got a proper and confusing greeting bybthe party, an unnatural fog rolled in, followed shortly by a flurry of seagulls, and finally two enourmous hippo like creatures escorted a writhing mass of termites that stained the earth brown and black with their sheer numbers. More swarms of insects began to be summoned inside tge castkes walls, and it was clear to the party [but not the unfortunate trader] that the Breakers were making a move to destroy Dragonridge castle.

The breakers had chosen their war engine well, the party, which could fell the largets foes and cow the strongest wills had no good attack against the swarms. The trader, however, did and he quickly roasted the swarms inside the castle.

Once zyphon identified the correct seagull he assualted it as a stork, leading to a fast battle of claws and shape changing. A combination of Zyphons attacks, the traders magic and the parties notorious brutality brought down the druid and his beleagured animals.

With the threat over, Aurelia rcignized tge Trader as a member of the Scalecrackers, a tribe famous for its ferociousness and its taste for dragon flesh. She invited the powerful arvanist to stay and trade in Dragonridge, in exchange for the chance to fight maberax and his supporters. Seeing an oppertunity for both profit and revenge, [mike] accepted.

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Save the pretty lady!

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With the castle back in its rightful hands, a great deal of things began to happen in earnest. Baron Adalhelm moved his family and his remaining supporters to their new home, while those who had moved afar were invited to return. Soldiers, workers, and farmers all began to cautiously come to Dragonridge, anxious to see if this really was going to be the beginning of them taking back their home. Duties would have to be assigned, area’s secured, a road would need to be constructed to link the castle to Goblintown, and someone was going to need to find the Princess so she could officially take her throne. Where was she?

During the shuffle, the gourd-headed leshies arrived in Dragonridge, and immediately proclaimed that a pretty lady of theirs was in great danger and needed to be rescued. As said pretty lady was a flower with the capability to purify an unlimited amount of water (and possibly because she was pretty) the party quickly set out to find this creature and make it safe.

What they found first however was a grippli village torn asunder by disease. After killing its undead remnants, they tracked the disease carriers, a group of horribly mutated fae known to seek out other fae and infect them with their maddening visage. Along with their corrupting influence the strange goat creatures, caparmache as they were known, carried among the worst kinds of illness known to man, a cursed disease that was almost impossible to treat through normal means. Despite the danger the creatures posed, the party decorated the leshy’s lily pad-strewn pond home with their blood, each one of the creatures falling before the adventurers.

Beyond the ‘pretty lady’ flower leshy that owed the party its life, the pond was also home to the unearthly beauty of a nymph. The nymph quickly rose from the pond and absconded with Aurelia, only to return several nights later claiming to be married to the Princess.

What could possibly go wrong?

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Reclaiming Home

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On the final door to the castle from the tunnels, the party found something from the Kobold leader, but rather than a trap they found an offer. The Kobold Leader, who called himself Bone Dancer, claimed that he was not under the same level of control as the undead Dragonridge thought, and that when they fought him, his kobolds would assist in exchange for the ability to leave the castle without further harm.

Despite the Kobolds proclamation when the party arrived in the castle they found the kobolds waiting upon the ramparts about them, drums in hand. WIth a tremendous banging the kobolds brought out their greatest weapon, a pair of incredibly large snapping turtles, each one easily as big as a rampart itself. The fight with the turtles was brief but eventful, with Zyphon being swallowed by one, only to tear his way out in a shower of turtle gore. The others felled the remaining turtle, which saved T’karska from a journey down the gullet of the remaining turtle, just as the Undead Dragonridge lord arrived, with eight forest drake companions of his own.

It was then that the Kobolds made good on their claim, the music rising to a truly incredible volume, the power of the kobolds bards aiding the party’s attacks, while the noise made casting spells much more difficult for all, an action targeted upon the arcane casting of the Undead Dragonridge.

The battle that followed amid the din was wide spread over the castles grounds, with teeth, claws and acid clouds all around in equal measure. The Kobolds had opened the gates, allowing T’karska’s dinosaur to arrive, which she mounted (very dramatically from the dead turtles mouth) and proceeded to wind and weave a path of destruction across the far ranging battlefield. The undead Dragonridge kept out of the throes of battle as best he could, flying about and casting powerful destructive spells, but a breath weapon line proved to tempting and he landed, nearly killing Briggs and Zyphon in with the resultant blast.

On the ground, the undead Dragonridge fell victim to Baron Adalhelm’s most lethal attack, his net. Wrapped in the modified fishing net and anchored to the raging Adalhelm, the undead lord of the castle was truly unable to escape. After a great many blows and a failed spell, the undead offered one last spiteful act, and blew himself apart with a fireball, nearly killing much of the party in the process.

After the work of Howard and Briggs, the party dazedly recovered to find the Kobolds fleeing with exceptional alacrity. Within five minutes they were out of the castle. In ten they could not be seen….

And the castle was theirs, the first part of Westmorelands returned to its people.

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These Kobolds are no joke

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Despite their care and skill in navigating the trap-filled dungeons under the castle, the party finally tripped an Explosive Runes spell hidden upon a scrap of dusty paper just before the entrance to the castle proper. Having navigated all the other early warning systems successfully, the Kobolds were left to scramble for their response, and before their kill team arrived Lady DeBurgh had incapacitated their black dragon guard with her fascinating Cackle spell.

The Kobold’s response team was invisible, consisting of skulking fighters, tricky divine casters and a sorcerer. Aurelia blocked the sorcerer’s line of sight with a smoke bomb, which prompted a kobold to do the same to Lady DeBurgh with a smoke stick, leaving the chaotic battle to take place in a very small space in a tunnel between the two smoke filled corridors.

Used to taking down foes with their weapons, the party charged forward, only to find the Kobolds especially difficult to pin down. Although some fell to the combined strikes of Zyphon, Brigs and Adalhelm, more fled from the terror magics of Lady DeBurgh.

Ironically, a similar, but more powerful terror spell was Lady DeBurgh’s undoing, the sorcerer, when he could finally see his enemy counterpart, cast Phantasmal Killer, and Lady DeBurgh experienced her worst fear, a ghostly wedding with an enormous cake and her moronic betrothed. Her heart couldn’t take the strain, and she simply died. The party quickly brought the sorcerer down, but death was beyond Briggs or Howard’s ability to heal.

While the main battle was going on, Aurelia and T’karska had been fending off the dazed dragon, the well coordinated fighters felling the large and dangerous beast before it could bring its mighty breath weapon to bear in the tunnels narrow confines. With the dragon and their enemies dead, the party found The castle’s esteemed butler, who was clearly charmed by the undead master of the castle to continue to perform his duties. Even after seeing that that the son of his master had returned, the butler was reluctant to help him against the undead Dragonridge, so strong was his enchantment.

Although the party was victorious, with hundreds of Kobolds still above them as well as the undead lord of the castle, the party was in desperate need of its arcane caster. The decision was made to use the raise dead scroll, the original healing treasure they were sent to get by the countess at the beginning of their adventures, upon Lady DeBurgh. With their sorceress resurrected and a nights rest in the sealed off crypt, the party ascended into Dragonridge Castle.

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Ghosts of the past.

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While resting in Six points the party met the nagaji they had liberated, an even dozen highly trained craftsman skilled in creating weapons, armor, and enchanting. They gave the party what little information they could about the de-facto lord of Dragonridge, explaining that he was an undead dragonman who had traded a great deal of gold for the contents of the chest, an absurd amount of onyx stones. The implications of this greatly unsettled Baron Adelhelm, who, with renewed purpose, set the party to taking back his home.

The party slipped past the Kobold guards and gained entrance through the secret exit of the castle that led into the maze of enormous tunnels left by the original dragon resident of the area. The Dragonridge family had set the tunnels up for their own use as a crypt and escape tunnel, and the Kobolds had re-purposed it further, filling it to the brim with noisemakers and traps of all description.

Carefully slogging through the traps was a tiresome, tedious process but eventually the party came across an area with several dead kobolds, and they experienced the harassment of a malevolent spirit. Inside the Dragon Ridge family Crypt itself they fought the spirit and its minion shadows, a tough fight that only Briggs was truly equipped to handle.

Despite their inexperience with such monsters, the party prevailed, and with some effort it became clear the malevolent spirit was none other than The ghost of the previous Baron of Dragonridge, adelhelms father. With his wits about him, the ghost explained that his body had been returned to the family crypt by his dutiful gripli buttler, and that the current holder of the castle was an undead dragonridge who had been ousted and attempted to take over the castle while he was alive, and had finally succeeded in death. With his fathers pride at learning he was a grand father (several times over) filling Adalhelm, he led the party through the tunnels to his family’s home.

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Seizing the Sea Bitch.
Session 14 10/27 [8/6/17]

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When the party arrived in Dragonridge Aurelia and Zyphon did a through scouting of the area, finding a highly organized group of Kobolds numbering in the hundreds, with small black dragon mounts, patrols, powerful guardians and a slave workforce of Nagaji craftsman in a recently built workshop in the tiny dockside town outside of the castle’s walls. The Kobolds had been their for years setting up their defenses, with the most obviously daunting being several Minotaur guarding the town and watching the nagji slave-workers. The Minotaur were led by a hellish minotaur horror out of the very depths of the abyss, whose winged being positively dripped evil everywhere he went.

Despite the danger, the party made it their first priority to secure the Nagaji slaves and the town, lest something befall them while they took the castle. Luck was with the party, as the land’s usual sporadic rain turned into a massive downpour, allowing the party to sneak up to the village without being noticed. Or so they thought.

When they arrived at the village the party found a ship in port, a light three masted catamaran which bore the flag of the Taerolian Empire, and a grisly crew of undead.

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The captain, a human cleric of the Father was overseeing an exchange with his enormous zombie storm giant companion, which he used as a crane fixture. The Kobolds, the minotaurs and the cleric were all focused on the proceedings, giving the party the perfect oppertunity to ambush them all.

And then Lady Deburg noticed the snake in her hair, and her panicked scream brought the gaze of every creature in the area.

The fight that followed was brutal. The minotaurs were powerful foes, especially the abyssal leader who smote Baron Adelhelm down with a tremendous overhand strike, the very stuff of hell flowing into the wound. A single kobold, far deadlier than the multitude that ran off, appeared partway through the combat and used his spells and craftiness to great effect as well, before being crunched beneath Brig’s hammer.

Through the first part of the battle, Lady Deburg had kept the cleric contained with her controlling magics, but when he finally resisted them, his massive zombie entered the battle, its blows causing the whole town to shake and nearly crushing Zyphon’s jaguar form into jelly.

By the grace of Brig’s healing, the tenacity of Aurelia and the skin of their very teeth the party defeated all their enemies and lay, battered but living, upon the wet stone of the dock. When they were able to the party loaded up an enormous chest, the nagaji slaves, and all the loot they could find onto the Tearolian ship, and brigs, commanding the skeleton crew, took them out to water in the storm. The party then rested at six points for a day and a night, healing their wounds, counting their booty, and meeting their newest allies.

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The Journey to Dragonridge.
Session 13 10/26 [7/9/17]

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Rather than risk traveling to Dragonridge on an easily spotted vessel, the party instead crept along the rocky, treacherous coast where the Dragonridge met the Losslake. After making good time amid the noisy, wet rocks and stones the party heard monstrous calls and blood curdling screams up ahead, and found an overturned cart surrounded by Chupacabra, viscous blood sucking monsters whose numbers had been left unchecked now for years.

The Chupacabra, however, proved to be little more than playthings for Tkarska’s newest mount, a foul tempered Stycosauras that loved nothing besides the feel of flesh being squashed beneath his feet and torn amid his nightmarish ridge of horns. With the chupacabra either dead or driven off, the party met with the individuals in the carraige, a group of surprisingly well dressed men who claimed to be adventurers.

The adventures were three young nobles from the Kingdom of Thorns, adventuring in Westmoreland for loot and pleasure. The Grakalings, which was their family name, hailed from the opposite end of the kingdom, and thought nothing of taking the spoils from what had once been their fellow country man. Baron Adelhelm educated the youngest of the brothers about proper decorum regarding the Princess, and the three begrudgingly left some of their loot with the party, and left westmorelands with their lives intact, if not their dignity.

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Return to Crossport, an enemy revealed.
Session 12 10/12 [6/4/17]

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After securing Millpointe for the Dokbrod the party finally began its journey back across the wall to return to Crossport. On their return trip they encountered a family of trolls using an exotic water monster, an Auizotl, to lure creatures and travelers to their doom. The party was not like the troll’s previous prey, however, and despite grevious wounds inflicted by the Trolls claws the trolls, their auizotl pet and their gaggle of hungry child-monsters were all put to the pyre.

Upon their return the party confronted the false Librarian, who expressed deep amusement that the group had confirmed he was an imposter, but could not guess as to his true identity. “I was afraid this was too much of a cliche” A deep, inhuman voice echoed from the not-Alvin, who freely admitted to being Maberax in disguise. His magic made all of the party’s increasingly desperate attempts to harm him meaningless, with Baron Adelhelm, Zyphon, and Aurelia particularly stymed in their desire for blood. The Black Dragon was undaunted by the attempts to harm him, and did his best to have what he considered a civilized conversation, though only Lady Deburg was truly listening.

Maberax explained that he was auctioning off Westmoreland to the highest bidder, with The Naga Empire, the Tearolian empire, and the Kingdom of Thorns all countering each others offers for the land. He offered to include Princess Aurelia in the bidding at a substantial discount ‘because he liked her’. He further assured the party that their efforts to create their own nation were most welcome, as it both increased the general value of the property, and created a time limit for the bidding.

The dragon left after his words and proposals continually fell on deaf ears, though the revelation of his identity put many things into a new light. The countess had been dominated by the Dragon scarcely a month after Maberax’s feast, meaning that all the divination and investigations into those left behind were almost certainly falsified, while decisions that increased the rift between the nobility and the countess were likely intentional. The countess’ drinking was a direct result of her domination and amounted to her only act of resistance to the dragon’s control. Most disturbing for Areulia in particular was that the dragon had intended to raise her as his own, and only her mother sending her to the Academy saved her from such a fate.

With the truth out and the Countess finally free of her control, the enormity of the party’s task had become bare. Not only would they have to rebuild their nation from the ashes the dragon had left, but they in truth knew even less about the state of their loved ones and their nations than they had believed. With a renewed determination, the party set out to Dragonridge Keep, intent to take Adahelms ancestral homeland from the kobolds and undead that had claimed it, and use it as the starting point to renew their nation.

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