4 January 2017

Averaigne campaign - sessions 29, 30 and 31

[The story so far]

Sessions 29, 30 & 31 - The tomb of the iron god (ix), and back to Corcelle
NB - this uses Matt Finch's excellent Tomb of the Iron God module and may contain spoilers.

After a week or so recovering in the small village of Marcigny, the party was ready to head back to the Temple and the catacombs below; there was unfinished business they had to attend to and a spellbook to recover.

{I should point out that this is actually two and a half sessions of play but I'd got so far behind with write-ups that this will be brief}

Heading back in they found that the goblins had fortified one of the passages near their last encounter but a well-aimed bottle of flaming and exploding embalming fluid dealt with that and the archers behind it. The scattered and scorched pages from Aurelius' spellbook that littered the passage caused him great sorrow, but on they went, swatting aside other goblins as they did so on their route back to the statue of Ferrus with its almost unbearably present feeling. The clerics, attuned to the gods as they were, found it difficult to breathe and staggered under he weight of His proximity. Montagne however felt emboldened and exhilarated by it, determined to prove himself to the first god he'd ever paid any attention to.

The chance came sooner than he'd thought.

Rounding a bend they encountered a statue of something wicked, every angle and fang and contorted limb speaking of rage and hunger and (to mortal minds) cruelty. "This is the Hunger!" announced Montagne, and charged in with his weapon held high. The battle that followed was brief but bloody - the Hunger was evidently curtailed in its actions (they later surmised this was why Ferrus had manifested nearby) and their experience at fighting alongside one another now showed. True, blades shattered on the thing's tough hide, but it was unable to hold out for long and with an ear-splitting shriek it departed this plane and left a lifeless statue in its wake, a sword still embedded within it.

At the same moment, both clerics straightened as the weight left them while Montagne suddenly felt slightly hollow despite his triumph. Ferrus had gone too.

By William McAusland

Pausing only to retrieve an iron mace that was catching the light oddly ("A sign of Ferrus' favour!" declared Montagne, claiming it for himself.), the party made a swift exit from the catacombs, they had succeeded!


At the river they persuaded (with the help of Tybalt's thief powder) a fisherman to sail them back downstream to Corcelle. An uneventful journey, made swifter than their outward by the strong current aiding them, saw them by the gates long after they had been shut for the night. Still, it meant they were first in the queue when they opened up again the following morning.

Corcelle was back to its pre-Aractheon self. Traders and travellers rubbed shoulders, while locals cursed the gawpers and pilgrims blocking their way. The party were purposeful, however, and soon managed to 
  • sort out their banking with Bertolac
  • say hello to Jacques in the restored Wounded Gryphon
  • go shopping for new and improved kit
  • foist the cat, Balthazaar the Destroyer of Worlds, on an unsuspecting hippy herbalist called Sally (but who liked to be called Artemisia)
  • meet with Berignon at the Temple of Alathea and receive their reward/hand over the Temple's share
  • buy a new spellbook for an extravagant price from the Library of the Learned
  • return to the Gryphon and discover that the talk of the town
The talk of the town? Well, there were only three things on anyone's lips wherever they asked
  1. A series of inexplicable robberies from the wealthiest houses (up near the Temple) on the last new moon, ten nights previously
  2. A ship apparently an emmissary from the Dwarven mining strongholds to the North East had moored in the docks but no-one had got on or off
  3. The body of a boy, brutally murdered on the same night as the robberies, had been found floating in the harbour and the locals were now patrolling the blacksmith's district

Following a chat with a pair of carters in the service of the Montfort's, they wandered up to the Montfort place (the latest big house to be be robbed), and some reluctant flirting with a guard from Nausicaa, got them admitted to the house where they were met by the steward. Using their clerical status, Oiseau and Dumnorix gained access to the Lady Montfort's chambers. These were kept in near-darkness as light distressed the otherwise comatose lady. She had scratched her wrists and neck raw (where she'd normally wear the stolen jewellery) and she was pallid and slick with sweat. Dumnorix prayed to Alathea and a wave of healing energy passed through him to calm the unfortunate woman, restoring a healthy glow to her skin and easing the scratches. Meanwhile, the non-clerics wheedled out of the steward that their had been damp patches on the carpets on the night of the robbery, but no they could not see Lord Montfort, and no he did not know how anyone had gained entry to rob the house in the first place.

"odinoir" on Deviant Art
With no more information forthcoming, the adventurers left. Heading down to the docks to find out more about the dead boy as evening fell, they ran into one of the citizen "watch" patrols - locals armed with staves and clubs and torches. The marks that had been found on the body suggested a wild beast had got him, but none could suggest where it might have come from. All sorts of superstitions were suggested (werewolves, spirits, witches in animal form), but no two people had the same idea. The place where the body was found suggested to the adventurers that the "beast" might have come from the sewers, and that might explain the patches on the carpets in the Montfort place as well.

Concerns that the Lady Montfort might be a vampire began to take hold of the party. Could she really be an undead monstrosity rather than a noblewoman with a fever? And what was in the packages the carters had hauled across to a confusing handover near the border with Ferrand? Was there a connection? And who is really on the strange ship that arrived three days after the robberies and attack?

All this, and more, to come as the year moves on.

But first, rather wonderfully, Dumnorix's player is going to cut his DMing teeth on a short adventure he has penned in a border town with Ferrand using pre-generated characters. This will make it the FIRST TIME EVER that I've got to play as a character, rather than DM, in an rpg. Whoop!

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