A First for Many

In the Name of Pelor
...how many orcs did you say?

After settling our affairs in Sorpigal, the party went to rest at the only tavern. Quickly after entering, Hofniel was addressed by two individuals. They introduced themselves as Dale and his daughter Gwen, two villagers from the small town of Peloria. Seeing Hofniel’s mark of Pelor, they instantly knew they could trust him and requested of the party to help fend of an imminent orc attack. Apparently, while the party was making a quick gold, the orcs had continued ravaging the southern regions of Arath. Peloria was now a home for many refugees displaced by the onslaught.

The party, feeling compassion (and guilt since they ignored the orcs earlier) swore their help and promptly left the next day. Heisenberg had some training in town to complete, and thus did not join the party. Dale and Gwen only had one horse, thus it became the beast of burden while everyone but Belladona walked on foot. After a day and a half of safe travel, a group of four individuals sprung from the bushes and demanded our goods. The party was having none of it, and quickly engaged.

Unbeknownst to both the party and the bandits, there was a druid named Dobby who had been tracking the bandits and was hiding in a different patch of brush. She had been hunting the bandits, for she knew they were illegal poachers! From the shadows, she began attacking a rear bandit, who had no clue what was happening. The other three bandits did not notice, for at this moment Queso charged forward and slayed the closest bandit, rending him in two. Hofniel took this opportunity to persuade the other two engaged bandits to flee for their lives, which they did… but not quickly enough. Elora quickly buried a crossbow bolt into one’s leg, and Queso impaled the second. Dobby, taking advantage of Queso’s distraction, was able to incapacitate the rear bandit.

Now you may be asking yourself, “Where was Belladonna?” Well, she was resting on the horse and wasn’t aware of the situation. But Elora woke her, and Belladonna contributed by bounding the living bandits. Seeing how Dobby had helped the party, they decided to be friends and interrogate the bandit with the wounded leg. Hofniel and Queso decided to try out a “Good Guard, Bad Guard” routine. After prepping their strategy, Hofniel went in first with “Good Guard”. However, due to the heat of the day and being a bit peckish, Hofniel did a poor job soothing the bandit [interpreted “rolled a 1”] and began berating and kicking the already injured bandit. Then came in Queso, who overplayed his “Bad Guard” [interpreted “rolled ANOTHER 1”] and hurled the bandit over his head, cracking the bandit’s neck on the landing.

Thankfully, they had another bandit to interrogate. This time, they started off with “Bad Guard” and it worked perfectly. The bandit told the location of their nearby camp, where the party found some horses, gold, and the pelts they had been poaching. The party let Dobby dispose of the pelts in an honoring way, and let her pass judgement on the remaining bandit. Based on his actions against nature, she sentenced him to DBQ (Death By Queso) and joined the party in their endeavors.

After a new day of travel, they arrived at Peloria, which was bustling with refugees. After a quick inspection, it was apparent that few in the town would be of any help against orcs. There were a total of 2 archers, excluding Gwen the ranger, that could help them defend the town. Furthermore, they were lacking in basic defense supplies since the blacksmith was in a state of depression. Although Hofniel and Queso tried to convince the blacksmith, it was only with Elora and Dobby’s comforting words that he recovered enough to help. Next for the town’s defense, the party asked for some poison from the local wizard. Even though he was a few eggs short of an omelette, he was able to procure some poison for the party. Even better, Belladonna was able to abscond with his poisonous frog. The final thing to check was the walls. Hofniel did identify one extremely weak spot in the wall, which they got the local mason to patch up with the help of some refugees.

In preparation for the coming battle, Hofniel referenced a book on orc battles. The party then decided to booby trap the former weak point in the wall. With the final placement of the majority of the party in the towers and Hofniel and Queso at the gate, the party waited. Then tension in the air was almost as thick as Queso’s stench. Suddenly, Dobby noticed that the wildlife was suddenly silenced and warned the town. No sooner had the alert gone out before a dense line of orcs marched from the treeline toward the little town. With great skill, Elora was able to attack an orc at quite a long range, which triggered a battle cry and rush from the enemy.

Queso and Hofniel held the door while the villagers and rest of the party trimmed the orcs using their projectile weapons. Dobby summoned a vicious wolf to attack the orcs on the outside of the wall. When the orcs were in range, Hofniel blessed himself and Queso with protection before they threw open the gates and met the orcs head on. Orc after orc fell as the party attacked them both on the ground and through the air.

However, after about half of the orcs had fallen, the party began to hear slight tremors… that sounded like large footprints. A magical fog then appeared at the treeline and started advancing toward the town. By this time, Hofniel, Queso, and Belladonna were all on the ground slaying orcs as quickly as they could. They had only a few orcs left when the extremely close fog lifted, revealing a huge ogre and orc shaman. Queso met the challenge head on and charged the giant being, while Hofniel and Belladonna tried to clear the final few orcs. The archers aimed at the shaman, and Elora engaged in a mage’s duel against him. Dobby was using her companion owl to deliver her Goodberries to her allies, and about this time the ogre landed a severe blow against Queso. But after a quick healing from Hofniel, he unleashed his barbarian rage and reentered the fray. Belladonna slayed the final stray orc, then hid under his corpse. While the ogre was facing Queso in battle, she sprung out and let out a devastating barrage along the ogre’s leg. Through the teamwork of the archers and Elora, the shaman fell. But the ogre still stood. Then suddenly, time seemed to stand still. All eyes focused on Gwen upon a tower, arrow nocked and aimed at the ogre. Channelling the force of nature itself, she released the arrow that fell the terrible beast.

The dust settled, blood had flowed, but the town still stood. The clerics were overjoyed and showered the party with gifts and thanks, including a special Shield of Pelor and protective talisman. Then, from the back of the library, one scholar produced an ancient parchment depicting some musical greatsword, of which Queso was extremely interested. But since he could not read, all he could do was enjoy the picture.

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In the Name of Pelor (DM Edition)

And so, our brave adventurers returned to Sorpigal from their first successful foray, dividing amongst them the loot they had acquired, including a magical, crystalline dagger, several potions, plenty of gold, and a ring that gave Queso the guffawing barbarian the ability to sing in combat. A quick analysis of journal scrap they had acquired by Elora and Hofniel made mention of some manner of necromantic “Prelate” with a vague map location. The team decided to revisit this when they were prepared. Heisenberg the fighter took a breather from adventuring for a time, getting some temporary work in the local guard to make extra coin and train to defend against rogue banana peels.
Arriving at the familiar Sorpigal Inn, Hofniel, the vain yet righteous cleric, was quickly approached by a gruff, weathered looking man and a raven-haired half-elf. Introduced as Dale and Gwen, they implored Hofniel for aid, immediately recognizing him as belonging to the Pelorian church. The seat of the church in Erath, Peloria, was directly in line for an advancing series of unexplained assaults made by increasingly intrusive orcs from the southern jungle regions. Unable to resist this plea, Hofniel convinced the rest of the group to join him in this venture. As a Thunderlight, he knew he would be well received in Peloria and was well aware that the town housed some of the largest archives of tomes and scrolls in the kingdom. Elora the wizard greatly approved of a chance to access such a trove of knowledge, while Queso, perhaps feeling a smidge of guilt for leaving the poor, doomed farmer to his fate on their prior adventure, loudly accepted the chance to smash some filthy orcs for the greater good. Belladonna, presumably after stealing several people’s drinking money, shrugged ambivalently and went along with the plan. Dale and Gwen agreed to go in advance to deliver news to the town quickly.

After obtaining provisions for the road, Hofniel, Elora, Queso, and Belladonna began their journey along the Azure river toward Peloria. On the second day of their journey, as they made their way parallel to the river at midday, the group was set upon by a group of ruffians. An arrow sliced through the air, narrowly missing Elora. Hofniel lifted his shield in the direction of the attack, seeing three armed bandits charging from an elevated position, with the one who had shot at them already knocking another arrow. Queso roared, brandishing his greatsword, but before anyone could act, the enemy archer was struck in the back of the head by an unseen flying object, pitching him forward, off balance. Encouraged, Queso quickly closed the distance to the nearest bandit, cleaving him in half with one tremendous swing, sending blood spatter all over himself and the adjacent attackers. The other two, terrified and dismayed, were easily convinced by Hofniel to give up their attack and darted in opposite directions to escape. Elora, huffing in contempt, loosed a crossbow bolt into the back of one, incapacitating and nearly killing him. Queso easily overran the other fleeing bandit, driving his greatsword through the poor sap’s meager armor, impaling him before nonchalantly flinging his corpse to the side. Standing on a nearby tree trunk, Hofniel finally saw who had taken down the archer: a fuming, tiny female gnome carrying a sling and dressed in what appeared to be a carpet. Queso, grinning from ear to ear, ran to their new gnome friend like an excited puppy, while Elora approached with a more calm and diplomatic demeanor. Hofniel, rolled his eyes and snorted, turning his back to attend to their pack horse, muttering about how he did not care to associate with “wild, unkempt forest folk.” A quick discussion with their new companion, Dobby the Druid revealed that these “bandits” were also, in fact, poachers, slaughtering all manner of adorable forest creatures and harvesting their parts, which in turn incurred the wrath of Dobby, who had been waiting for a proper time to strike against the critter killers. Attempting to speak to the concussed and very dizzy bandit archer did not go well; Hofniel, exhausted and annoyed, lost his composure and began kicking the sad fellow and swearing in very un-Hofniel like manner. Queso, wanting to help, attempted to lift the bandit by the collar and intimidate him. However, in his post-fight, adrenaline addled state, he accidentlly flung the man over his head, who landed on his neck, killing him instantly. Upon realizing that one of the attackers was still alive, if only barely, the team decided attempt a second interrogation, hopefuly without unintended fatalities. Hofniel found and shook Belladonna the Halfling awake, who had been asleep on the back of the pack horse the entire time. The group, lacking any rope, instead used vines provided by Dobby as a makeshift substitute and bound the wounded man, providing just enough bandaging to keep his wounds from becoming worse. Though he first attempted to lie about his dealings, the stern gaze of Hofniel combined with menacing, ranting gibberish from Queso convinced the fellow to tell it straight. He had in fact, been not only poaching forest creatures to sell at markets in the capital city and Sorpigal (including to the Duke of Sorpigal and his associates), his group had also been attacking helpless travelers along the road to murder and rob, which came as no surprise given their recent attack. Dobby shook her tiny fist and demanded the man die for his terrible crimes, while Hofniel nodded solemnly in agreement, clearly disgusted by this evil wretch. Queso took the liberty of bashing the villain’s head in with one giant fist. They later found the bandit’s spoils, some gold and the pelts feathers, and teeth of various animals, which were given proper respects by Dobby before interring them into the earth. They also obtained several horses. The group continued the remainder of their journey to Peloria without incident, with their new friend in tow.

At last the adventurers arrived in Peloria, housing the cathedral to Pelor, the sun god. The town was surrounded by a fifteen foot stone wall with a sturdy gate and watch towers on each of the four corners. Hofniel was greeted warmly by the local priest, remarking on how reassuring it was to have a Thunderlight come to their aid. In return for their help, the priest promised to provide the party with whatever they could dig up from their expansive archives, in addition to whatever gold and provisions the beleaguered township could afford, strained as they already were with refugees fleeing the oncoming orc incursion. The team quickly set upon ways to help prepare for the assault, having been informed by Gwen and Dale that, based on scout reports, could happen as early as that same evening. Knowing preparedness was key, everyone began assessing the town’s defense. Elora discovered a weakness in the north wall, quickly rallying townsfolk to seal the breach. Her elf eyes caught sight of movement in the nearby woods, indicated that their efforts were being watched. Queso and Hofniel found the local blacksmith weeping drunkenly into his ale. Continued efforts by the duo failed to convince the dour fellow to chip in. Only after Belladonna’s soothing words and encouragement did he reluctantly agree to work on fashioning more arrows and repairing some broken equipment. Attempting to be more helpful, Hofniel performed some research on orc barbarians, revealing a few tidbits about common tactics. As the day wore on, many of the group found the local hedge wizard, an eccentric, white haired little fellow in a small shop with various trinkets, potions, bubbling flasks, and other various odds and ends. They were able to convince him to sell them a small bottle of oil that, as far as they could tell from the man’s tangential rambling, was poisonous. When Dobby the druid noticed an orange and yellow toad in a small cage, she immediately wanted it freed. At Dobby’s behest, Elora distracted the odd man with wizard jargon while Belladonna swiped the colorful pet. The toad appeared pleased, as much as a toad can be. As night began to fall, Gwen, the handful of town archers, Dobby, and Elora took up places in the watchtowers on the gated side of the wall, with Hofniel and Queso bravely taking point by the gate. Dale stayed in the cathedral with the refugees as a last line of defense. Arrows were coated in poison, spells readied, and lamps hung, as Peloria braced itself for battle.

The crescent moon provided little extra light as the sun disappeared over the horizon. The town was well lit within, though visibility was short outside the walls. With their darkvision, Elora and Dobby were able to see into the darkness some distance. For what seemed an eternity, all was calm. As midnight neared, Dobby’s preternatural connection with nature gave her the sense that something had changed- birds quieted, frogs and insects went silent. She was able to detect animals running out of the forest line about two hundred yards from the gate. All attention was directed to the gate/forest side of the wall, which is where the adventurers had anticipated the bulk of the onslaught. Both Elora and Dobby finally spotted them- a small horde of orcs, girded for battle, moving at a near sprint toward the gate, not a one of them making a sound. Elora fired first, her bolt singing through the air and planting itself directly in one enemy’s neck, dropping the orc instantly. A cry of anger and surprise went up amongst the horde, knowing they had been spotted. Arrows flew from the walls, some with the aforementioned poison, which thankfully proved effective- those orcs so poisoned writhed in pain upon being struck. Dobby summoned a wolf to aid them as the orcs closed on the gate itself. The animal was able to drag an orc to the ground, but could not kill it before the summoning wore off. The attackers began hacking into the wooden gate, intent on breaching the town. Hofniel and Queso, not wishing to wait around for the door to be splintered, took the initiative and flung open the gates themselves, laying into the vicious creatures with mace and sword, bashing, cleaving, and in Queso’s case, guffawing into the fray. With the aid of those on the towers, the tide had turned, and victory seemed near. It was then that an ominous, unnatural fog appeared along the forest, billowing toward them with unnerving speed. As Queso and Hofniel fought against the last of the orc attackers, the ground began to tremble very slightly, as if under heavy footsteps, causing much consternation among the defenders. The fog finally lifted near the gate itself, revealing an enormous, hide-clad ogre wielding what appeared to be a small tree as a club. One injured orc, having the misfortune of being in the creature’s path, was sent careening twenty feet by one tremendous bash of the monster’s club. A painted, skull-staff toting orc shaman stood several feet behind the ogre, conjuring fire to hurl at Elora in the tower, initiating a wizard’s duel between the two. Queso, upon seeing the ogre in action, knew the only acceptable thing to do was to charge it head on, sword swinging. Though Elora, not wishing Queso to be flattened, cast a ray of enfeeblement on the hulk, weakning it substantially. Queso fought with all his might, unleashing his inner rage and doing substantive damage to the Ogre, who in turn sent Queso reeling more than once with his earth-shattering strikes. Hofniel spent every last ounce of his holy energy trying to keep his friend alive, with the exertion becoming visible on his features as the struggle wore on. The village archers proved to be of little help overall, against either the shaman or the ogre. Belladonna cleverly hid amongst the bodies of the dead orcs, waiting for her opportunity to unleash a series of vicious strikes behind the monster, though even this was not enough to bring it down. While the battle on the ground raged, Dobby sent her faithful owl with handful of Goodberries to the singed Elora, who was locked in a magical struggle with the grotesque orc shaman. Magic crackled in the air and streaked across the sky as the two unleashed their arcane knowledge upon eachother. Exhausting her magic did not stop our wizard heroine, who, with uncanny precision, fired the bolt that finally killed her rival. At the gate, Queso, Hofniel, and Belladonna struggled to stop the rampaging ogre. As if by divine reprieve, Gwen the raven-haired ranger set forth an arrow that struck the monster directly in the eye, eliciting a long, last groan and it’s final thunderous collapse. A cheer went up along the wall, and the heroes knew they had saved the proverbial day.

The following morning was one of celebration and cheer. The adventerers were given gifts of gold and praise, now dubbed the “Defenders of Peloria.” Hofniel Thunderlight was bestowed a gleaming, sun-embossed shield from the treasures of the church, and a holy, protective talisman too was awarded to the group. Our heroes knew they could enjoy a well deserved rest- at least for now.

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Welcome to Erath
All adventures start somewhere

We enter the country of Erath, specifically the town of Sorpigal
through the Dragon's Mouth channel. It was getting late in the evening, so some travelers were heading to the local inn. However, right outside of the inn, 5 patrons suddenly encountered a large, grotesque rat. Hofniel Thunderlight was first to encounter it, and promptly guarded himself from the filth before him. Belladona used him as a distraction so she could sneakily stab the rat. Elora shot it with a crossbow, but it just wouldn't die! Heisenberg attempted to end its life, but slipped on a banana peel instead, landing right on his back. Finally, Queso was able to overkill the rat.

With this impromptu greeting, the new party went inside. Seated around the tavern were three interesting sets of people. First, there was a group of mercenaries in their purple, logoed uniforms. Next was a rich halfling with his half-orc body guard. Finally there was a sullen farmer, staring into the distance. Hofniel spotted the fellow high-class individual and introduced himself to the halfling. The halfling informed the party of a dwarven map he would like, and after Hofniel and Queso bartered for a higher pay, they agreed to retrieve it. Hofniel then went to bed.

The rest of the party asked the farmer why he was so sullen. The farmer told a tale of how his village was ransacked by orcs that came from the south. Queso and friends felt concern for the farmer, and agreed to help after they had more funds.

The next morning, the party left for the dungeon which supposedly had the treasure. After traveling three days, they found the abandoned building as instructed. There was a blatant front door, but Elora and Belladona felt like there must be more. These two went around the building looking for another entrance while Heisenberg, Hofniel, and Queso devised a strategy to enter through the first door. Around back, the dynamic duo found an abandoned waterway that entered the back of the building, which they started entering. Around the front, the terrible triple had successfully bashed down the door, and Hofniel was promptly greeted with a swinging mace to the chest. After the triple entered and started walking down the halfway, Hofniel narrowly avoided a bear trap as well. Hofniel decided to stop walking in front.

Soon, the party was reunited in the hallway and proceeded to find a doorless entryway. Elora looked around the corner and saw bones and a rotting corpse reaching for a glittering blade. She reported back, and the party as a whole proceeded into the room.  As the party entered, the bones began forming themselves into a skeletons that began attacking the party.

Belladona attempted to attack with a sling… and in the process slung her stone at Queso's head, which he narrowly dodged. Next, our melee fighters went to prove their meddle. Queso confronted a skeleton by himself. He gaffawed at the skeleton's lack of accuracy, while bashing it into bonemeal. Heisenberg tried to redeem himself by also confronting a skeleton. He missed. Elora advanced to attack with Heisenberg. Hofniel managed to turn one of the six opponents, but 4 still remained.

Queso, the savior of the day, gaffawed at another weak skeleton's attempt to wound him, while quickly dispatching it. But on the other end of things, Belladona managed to lose her entire sling in her next attack… Heisenberg, not wanting to  be shown up, attempted to attack again… and promptly broke his sword on the ground while simultaneously falling on his back. Fear not, because immediately afterwards both Hofniel and Elora missed as well. Then finally, Queso defeated another enemy, and with the power of teamwork, the rest of the skeletons fell without incident.

Then, after the skeletons were all defeated, a ghostly apparition appeared at the far side of the room and began to approach. Hofniel attempted to turn it… and was extremely unsuccessful. Heisenberg reached for the dead man's sword and shield and confronted the wraith. Queso, the ever gaffawing, attacked the wraith, but it did no damage! Elora attacked with spells, and Belladona… well, she investigated the chest at the other end of the room. The wraith, unlike the skeletons, was very successful at attacking Queso and draining his life energy. Heisenberg missed again, but Hofniel was able to run behind Queso and enchant his greatsword. Queso now was able to do massive damage. Then after Heisenberg (finally) landed a serious blow, Queso was able to rage kill the wraith!

The party was able to open the chest and retrieve all the loot. Belladona was able to identify a corpse as one of the mercenaries. Everybody lived, returned home, and prepared for another adventure.

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