Rise of the Runelords VA

Razan's Account, the Third
Twilight Prayers

Dear Javhed,

We awoke to silence. Utter silence. My armor did not clink as I put it on. No speech made it out of our throats. It was, to say the least, eerie. I was not best pleased with the enemy’s sorcery, but I know little about such things. Aramil and Redgar, both more knowledgeable in the ways of magic, were able to extract us, but I admit I started my day somewhat shaken.

The day did not improve.

View
Syphacia and Mallisun #3
Syphacia Practices Her Apologies

Back in the caves behind Fort Rannick, the weary adventurers slumped against the rough-hewn walls and rubbed at their most recent injuries. Razan announced boldly that she would take look-out while they rested, and Syphacia volunteered to watch the opposing passageway. The elf moved a dozen paces down the tunnel and found a crook in the rock to kneel into. Mallisun came up behind her and sat on his haunches at the other side of the passage.

View
From the Journal of Redgar Ironhand #15
Redgar Soldiers On

Our campaign against the occupiers of Fort Rannick continues over an uneven path. We have won a handful of battles in the previous days, but have made little progress in the war as a whole. We have found ways to pop up like Benbuck’s kin where and when we need to, but against such a large array of foes we often have to retreat back before any telling blow is struck. These ogres are proving far more resourceful than others of their kind—Lady Lucrecia and her masters must have a tight leash around their chieftain’s throat.

View
Razan's Account of Events, the Second
Frustration with the Strange Ways of Foreigners

It has been a trying couple of days, brother. Sarenrae saw fit during several battles to withold her blessing from me in order to show me the strength and valor of my companions. This was necessary, because they have strange and infuriating ways.

View
Syphacia and Mallisun #2
Syphacia Plans Her Hunt

The sound of the whetstone scraping against metal was a high, harsh one—a noise to put nerves on edge and shorten tempers. The arrowhead in her hand had been chipped at the point when it had found Ogre flesh, and needed a great deal of work if it were to ever be flight worthy again. In most situations Syphacia would have simply discarded the arrow as a lost cause and replaced it with another from her pack. Right now, she didn’t have that luxury.

I’ll have enough, she thought to herself, If I’m lucky, I’ll only need one.

View
more of the same?

Aramil’s Journal

Things continue to progress in the same manner. We fought some ogres, then some upstart sorcerer, then more ogres. I got a chance to see that the dietary habits of the full ogres are no better than the ogre-kin. We did manage to kill a mumber of them and I suppose that’s a few less evil creatures in the world.

It was a shame about Kaven. I really wanted to incapacitate him, not kill him. I guess he was evil all along and nobody noticed those tatoos or decided to use magic to see if there was evil in his heart or if he was in some way bound. Well, these are a bunch of hicks after all, what can you expect? I thought Kaven was cute and thought we might hit it off (yes, I know, it’s usually women) Anyway, it was a shame it did not work out.

This group is driving me crazy! So much bickering. I really wonder if an outsider like Razan really lumps me into the others when it comes to the whole bickering thing. I try to create a sense of unity in the party every day without compromising someone’s individuality which is of course most important. I really try. I hope the others see that. Especially Corrum because he is family and the closest link to the elven world that I have.

But why the hell do I care so much what they think about me anyway?

View
Corum's Journal, Continued

Ouch.  Ouch Ouch Ouch.  these damn ogres hit HARD, and they take forever to die. I swear, I was hit so hard by one that I felt like I was knocked into next week.  Typcial, really, since things, as usual, aren't going well.

AFter leaving the disgusting house, we found the remaining Black Arrows and eventually went up to teh fort to try to free it (With their help).  We thought we were being clever by sneaking in the back way. Some tunnels underneath the fort. That, however, didn't work so well when we encountered "Lucretia" who is responsible for what happened to Syphacia's friend. Syphacia, of course, attacked her right away, which didn't allow us time to battle.  She's aparantly a sorceress of some kind  She fled the battle, and Aramil and I pursued her. I realized even then it wasn't the smartest thing to do.  Little did I know she'd run right to some ogre vivisectionist. Well, upon seeing that, i turned, ran, and told Aramil to do the same.

As a group, we went back upstairs and fought several orgres.  AFter a LOT of work, we finally put them down. However, we are low on spells and tired already.  So we've retreated back down to the caverns to recoup.  There are still bound to be many more ogres above us.  I wonder how we'll actually take them all out. I do, actaully, have a few theories on that.  I will need to discuss some tactics with the rest of the group. I believe a couple of small changes could make a big difference in our surviving this place.

 My skills as a Bladesinger continue to improve.  I only hope they improve fast enough for me to survive.

View
The Wake
Plans adjust

Lucrecia walked towards the doors of Fort Rannick’s chapel, her gait almost prim in her human form. Dorella Kreeg was squatting outside the door, only an ominous silence emanating from within the desecrated house of worship.

View
From the Journal of Redgar Ironhand #14
Redgar Back in his Element

I’m writing this journal in the dark, in a natural cavern behind the human Fortress of Rannick. My spells are nearly spent, there’s all manner of blood and filth in my beard, and there’s at least twenty ogres between our position and any path to freedom. Ah, nothing like a good fight to put things in perspective.

We left Turtleback Ferry nearly a week ago, and since then have sent more than a dozen fiends to just demises. Our first encounter was in the ogre’s woods, where we discovered a family of Ogre-kin engaged in all manner of beastly and unnatural pursuits. We took the battle to them, and through a combination of teamwork and good luck ended their worthless lives and the lives of their bestial companions.

We found in the Ogre’s lair three men who had been captured by the ogre-kin—fighters out of Turtleback Ferry who had been offered as a meal to a great black spider they were keeping as a pet. After mending their wounds, they explained that a tribe of Ogres from Hook Mountain had descended upon Fort Rannick and had slaughtered their way through the garrison there. We sent them back to town for supplies, and ventured up to the base of the mountain to inspect the fort for ourselves. After conducting a reconnoiter of the area and reuniting with the rangers, we launched our assault.

Things could have gone better. We had hoped to stealthfully slip into the caverns behind the fort and launch clandestine attacks against the brutes, but we were discovered on our approach and intercepted at the entrance to the caves. After a rousing (and successful) battle, we escaped into the caves and journeyed inward to find a secret entrance at the base of the keep. Things got worse from there.

We discovered a woman there, and when she told us her name was Lucrecia, Syphacia flew into a rage that nearly cost us all our lives. As expected, Lucrecia turned out to be a powerful spellcaster, and used the confusion engendered by Syphacia’s sudden attack to cast disorienting spells on Razan and myself. Aramil and Coram followed Lucrecia as she tried to escape (quite courageously), but were then set on by an enormous Ogre that nearly did them in. All of this because Syphacia refuses to control her temper. Stupid girl.

We found another way in to the keep, and dispatched two very large ogres before we were forced to retreat again. The fight against these two was hard, but well-won, with teamwork as the key to our victory. We did not encounter Lucrecia again, but I have no doubt we will. This fight is barely begun.

We have retreated back to a chasm at a narrow point of the cave, where I hope we can hold up for the night and replenish our strength. None of the others seem to keen on this idea, but I am quite happy with the situation. I have tried to explain that we are in the best possible position to continue our fight. The ogres can not attack us here, but our avenues of attack are multitudinous. This is the kind of fight that dwarves pray for.

I feel our motley band thrives on situations such as these, where life and death hang in the balance. The stress and urgency of the situation has forestalled for a moment our constant need to berate one another, and given us something like camaraderie in the void. Of my companions, my opinions remain mixed. Razan has shown herself to be one of the fiercest fighters I have ever known, though her vocal devotion to the distant sun grows more wearisome with each passing day. Coram continues to be a lecher and a glutton, but his fighting skills are improving, and his valiance in combat is perhaps greater than it has ever been before. Aramil continues to be the voice of reason in our party, though I fear his reckless courage may someday be the end of him. And our two rangers from Turtleback, Jakardros and Vale, have shown themselves to be brave and steadfast warriors, even in the face of insurmountable odds. (I should probably mention that the third of their number, a liar called Kaven, met an untimely death after it was revealed that he was in league with Lucrecia. I only hope that is treachery has not done harm to our position.)

As for Syphacia, she has yet to say one word of apology to me, and I have come to the conclusion she never will. Syphacia has known neither contrition nor regret in the course of her life. In the heat of battle, she is a fury. In her heart, she is a child.

For now at least, my purpose is thankfully clear. There is a martial campaign to pursue here and an evil to destroy. I asked Torag to show me the path, and he has answered. I have no doubt that it is his desire that I bring his vengeance against these foul brutes. I have no doubt he will show us the way to victory.

View
The Badger and the Whale
A story of the Dwarves

Redgar recounts this parable between fights while our heroes hide in the caves beneath Fort Rannick:

Eons ago, before Golarion was given by the Gods to the mortal races, the world belonged to the wild creatures of the world. In this time, the whales still walked on land. They plodded about on great scaly feet and scooped up anything they could find into their wide toothy jaws. The other beasts of the world were forced to the edges of the world—high into the mountains or deep into the forests. Only those beasts that could burrow beneath the ground had sanctuary from the whales’ terrible hunger and wide footfalls.

And so the great whales stomped carelessly through the countryside until Benbuck, King of the Badgers, decided to do something about. He and his kin had sheltered in their burrows for years to escape the whales, as previous badger kings had been far too frightened by the whales to raise a paw against them. But Benbuck was different, and he rallied his kind to fight back. While the whales hibernated in late winter, Benbuck called all the badgers to his royal sett to plan an offensive.

When spring came, the whales awoke to find badger holes everywhere throughout their fields. They found they could not walk two paces without having a badger hole beneath their feet, and in these holes they turned their ankles and fell into undignified poses. The whales cursed the badgers and gnashed their jaws, but there was nothing to be done, for the badgers were too quick and too clever to be caught.

When summer came, the whales laid their eggs, and the second phase of Benbuck’s plan began. At night, while the mother whales slumbered on their nests, the badgers burrowed from beneath to chew holes in the whales’ leather eggs. The mother whales kept the eggs all summer, only to find that they did not hatch. The mother whales cried and screamed, but there was nothing to be done, for the badgers’ own kits had already been birthed and well-fed by the egg yolks.

When fall came, the badger’s tricks were too much, and the whales became furious with anger. They stomped, and ran, and clambered about above ground in great herds to show their anger, but Benbuck and the others didn’t care, because they could hide safely in their burrows. The whales jumped and shouted and tried to knock the roofs of the badgers’ setts down on top of them, but the badgers had built their tunnels well, and the whales’ attacks did nothing.

By the time winter came, the whales had become blind with anger and stupid with rage. They stomped and stampeded until their legs came off, and gnashed their jaws until their teeth fell out. And when the first snows began to fall, the whales realized they had no feet to move with, no teeth to chew with, and no little whales to raise to defend them. Utterly defeated, the whales rolled themselves into the seas. There they stay to this day, where they moan all night and day about their defeat by Benbuck’s kin.

That is why, if you ever turn your ankle in a badger’s hole, you shouldn’t curse the beast. Instead leave a fresh egg by the hole to thank old King Benbuck, and all brave creatures that dwell beneath the earth.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.