Egression

Sido, 23rd, 942
The Pre-Game Setting

The kingdom of Hazamel spans from the northern boarder mountains of Kass to the edges of the vast Denwood Flats. The story begins some distance north of East Salamis, the most southern city within the kingdom of Hazamel.

To the west and south of Hazamel lies the nation of Iasus, a former province of Hazamel. After it had broken away, a decade of peace was followed by the demanded for sovereignty over the ruins of Kios. Since the ruins themselves resided on the other side of the wall that protected the northern reaches of Hazamel, as well as the capitol itself, Hazamel refused and cut off all diplomacy and trade with Iasus. For the last 42 years, both countries have built up their military forces and fortified their outposts in the anticipation of war.

Now that long expected war has come. On one fateful day, the 23rd day of Sido in the year 942, the armies of Hazamel left to reclaim Iasus as a part of their kingdom once again. Of the fourty-five thousand souls sent to reclaim the glory of the kingdom, a little more then a thousand have returned, scared by tales of horror.

Baited into fighting on Iasian soil, the bulk of Hazamel’s might was dissolved into nothing. Now Iasus marches forward to claim the ruins just beyond the crimson-stained walls that stretch from the east to west, boarder to boarder. Every report says they have no intention of holding territory or allowing there to be survivors within their path. All civilians are said to be captured and processed, meanwhile the earth itself is salted and scorched.

Now begins the great exodus of the city of East Salamis. Its population of thirteen thousand strives to reach the safety of the wall. Four hundred miles of bog and wooded wilderness lay before them. Twenty miles north of the city, deep within the damp rotting forests of the Denwood, a city’s worth of people make camp in the fading light. The bitter chill of Winter still bites even though Spring makes its approach. This is when, where, and how the characters of this story begin their adventure.

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1st Session

We are all fleeing town because there is an army coming with nefarious intent.

We were heading to the command tent to meet with a man named chief constable Macimer. The people present in the tent are a short stocky brown-haired man with a full beard in full plate with army ensignias on his chest and shield. Another blond-haired soldier. About two dozen other people.

The Magister informs us that we are attempting to get all of the citizens to the wall for their protection. He is asking us all to help for one reason or another but mostly to help fill in the ranks of the city guard and militia to protect the caravan.

We have many problems. The invading army is probably sacking the city by now. There are bandits and dangerous animals praying on caravan as well. The Magister then walks off.

The constable comes forward and asks everyone to break into groups and sign up. Afterwards leaves his administrator in charge and leaves after the Magister.

We all set up our tents in different places. We are currently in the Denwood. The trees are mostly dead up until near the top. Beneath the trees is quite clear but it is always dim due to the thick upper canopy. We slumber uneventfully through the night and in the morning get assigned to our respective patrols.

We meet our two deputies. One seems rather optimistic and upbeat the other keeps to himself. The excitable one is armored whereas the other is more of a huntsman. The six of us head off on patrol.

Triss hears a sound in the distance. Tad doesn’t believe hear and scolds her for being to jumpy on her first patrol. Triss, Kip, and Seraphina head off to investigate while the deputies and Tad continue on the patrol route. Triss comes across bandits assaulting some folk and shouts out that they are under arrest by the town militia. They charge her. The huntsman hears and runs off in their direction as Tad and the deputy look at each other in confusion.

A melee ensues. Triss gets cut down as Kip and Seraphina butcher them all (mostly Kip… in gruesome fashion).

We round up the citizens and the injured and head back to town. Triss recovers in a medical tent and reunites with her old master. Tad overhears a conversation by the gruff man from before and the chief constable. The gruff man is in favor of taking stock of all the city folks possessions and dividing it as needed amongst the band. The constable doesn’t see the need to impose any sort of martial law.

The next day we go out to search a village we are passing to see if anybody is there and encourage them to flee the invasion with us. The huntsman doesn’t come. We find a father and daughter in the church. The father is missing half a leg. They want to stay and wait for death so Triss puts them to sleep to carrying them back to the group. Triss goes to look around and finds some halflings who claim they are going to clear out. They secretly follow her back and attack. After a very brief skirmish they surrender. We coerce them into coming back with us as well despite their great objections. We drop off everyone with the authorities when we get back.

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2nd Session

The group goes out on patrol again down the eastern half of the expedition. They come upon a merchant intent on selling his wares to a group of passersby who have almost no interest in what he is selling. It seems to be some sort of timepiece but nobody is interested and we pass by.

Sounds of battle are heard in the distance by everyone but Tad and the group goes to investigate. A large furry man-shaped creature is fighting against an armored group of men who all have matching glyphs on their shoulders. Triss thinks it denotes a mercenary squad. The creature looks like a cross between a wooly mammoth and a man with horns in place of tusks. Tad recognizes it as one of the more dangerous creatures of the Denwood that was created by the original rulers of the area over 900 years ago. It is unusual to see one so far from the wall. The creatures lack a true mind of their own and are mostly filled with fluid with few organs and only the basics of a skeletal structure.

Percy charges in and gets himself in trouble. The group joins the fray and Kip lands the final blow. We make introductions with the mercenary band and then part ways.

The expedition has moved into a more marsh-like part of the Denwood. Proper camping space is at a premium so the expedition stops earlier than usual.

The next morning Percy comes around early and informs everyone that we are going out on an early morning patrol. Triss puts more effort into seducing Percy (purely for sport) than keeping the lookout and it seems to be working. Cries for help are heard in the distance across the swamp. Tad heads off to check on a floating disk as everyone else comes from behind. It’s a trap! Bandits drop out of trees and Tad gets dropped very quickly. Percy swears to protect Tad and the battle begins in earnest. The rest of the team comes up and after a feverish encounter manages to put the bandits down. Kip keeps getting weird sensations when he kills things and the last bandit he cuts down his axe actually flames a bit. Triss checks him out and determines that his gauntlets are magical and do some sort of conjuration and necromancy effect. Kip is suspicious and takes the gauntlets off and stores them in his bag.

It doesn’t seem like all of the bandits supplies are there but with no bandits left alive and no skilled tracker in the group there is no way to track the bandits to their hideout so everyone goes back to camp.

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3rd Session
Swamp Campin'

Kip, Seraphina, and Tris head to the command tent expecting to get orders for the next day. Chief Constable Macimer tells them that they won’t be going on a patrol today. Piercy is taking out a different group on patrol. He’s noticed that they’ve dealt well with the very dangerous patrols they’ve been on and he wants them to take care of a special task. He warns them that it will be a dangerous task. Tris asks to be informed and he points out that there is no real government here. He informs them that their own personal food stockpiles are starting to get low and other people must be also feeling the pinch. Things could get ugly unless the government is prepared to deal with the situation once people start come asking for food. He wants them to go to the fort town of Renik because it was largely abandoned and there should be food stockpiles there to be had. The dangerous part is that this fort is behind enemy lines. Kip cuts him off and assures him they can do it and to point us on our way. Macimer provides a horse as a guide. It is from the fort so it should head for home.

Tad awakes to find himself sinking in the bog. His hammock has broken in the night and he began to sunk. The dog that has been following him around kept his head above water. Tad’s eyebrows grow out to 10 feet in length, wrap around the limbs of the tree by his head, and then pull him free. He mutters incessantly (while petting the dog with his off-hand) and magically drys all of his things.

Tad arrives as the constable is concluding his talk and the group tells him that they are going for a walk.

The group goes and talks to Content Not Found: Kasberg the quartermaster. He talks to Kip and gives him all the supplies. Kip asks for nothing more but an elephant, which nobody knows what is.

The group sets off following the horse through the wilderness. Hours of travel go by uneventfully until Content Not Found: Seraphina spots a patrol of 6 in the distance just as they spot the group as well. She immediately lets loose with a magic missile.

Content Not Found: Triss_ puts fix of the six to sleep making the combat quite short. Content Not Found: Kip_ rides up and dispatches the final standing soldier. Attempts to interrogate the captives prove futile so Content Not Found: Kip kills them all after cutting off each of their manhoods.

The group disguises themselves in the uniforms of the dead patrol and sneaks up Renik. Using a map that found on the dead patrol leader they manage to sneak in the back of the fort town and enter a lesser known storehouse. Food abounds. After some discussion about how much food to attempt to make off with the group decides to go for broke. Kip and Triss take turns keeping watch while Seraphina and Tad study all night. As dawn approaches, they cast 8 floating discs and load them up with 2400 lbs of food. They also load down their horse and the 2 horses they took from the dead patrol.

As Triss, Seraphina, and Tad make the final preparations Kip thinks he hears and elephant and wanders off into the city. Sure enough, there is an elephant. Kip starts whispering reassuring things to the elephant. After petting the elephant thoroughly, he heads back to the group.

Kip returns to the group and proudly announces that he met an elephant. A bit of intense listening reveals that the enemy followed Kip back and has been surrounding their hideout for some time.

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4th Session

Having taken a vast amount of food and fought their way clear the group vanishes into the woods. They know they only have 3 hours before their floating discs vanish and drop the vast majority of their bounty. The group winds and weaves and do their best to lose any pursuit before holing up in a cave. Content Not Found: Seraphina takes four horses and heads at full speed for the traveling camp to retrieve more horses and wagons to help haul the food back. The rest of the party hunkers down and waits in great suspense hoping desperately not to be found.

On day two they hear a large number of footsteps passing a distance away.

On the dawn of third day a figure approaches the cave from the distance. Content Not Found: Kip_ is standing guard and sees a beautiful naked woman approaching in the distance. He is convinced of her beauty but isn’t overly interested due to his deeply seeded emotional issues. Content Not Found: Triss_ on the other hand sees a beautiful man and is quite smitten with him. Content Not Found: Tad knows an illusion when he sees one and tries to convince the others that this is actually a horrible cat creature with decaying flesh.

Tad casts shield to prepare himself for battle and the cat creature immediately dives into the cave knocking biting him and knocking him prone. He sees many mouths beneath the loose skin trying to get to him through the creatures flesh. Kip attempts to tie up what he thinks is a beautiful woman and when he cannot tosses it out of the cave. The battle continues with the creature focusing exclusively on Tad until the group brings it down. Triss is disgusted and identifies it as a magekiller. Kip and Triss take the creature outside and bury the creature in case it’s horrible rotten stench could attract others while Tad grumbles and licks his wounds. Content that this was just a horrible beast hunting in these evil woods, a relic of the ancient rulers of the woods, and continue hiding in their hole.

The fourth day arrives and the group looks expectantly for Seraphina. The afternoon of the fifth day comes and still no Seraphina. Triss and Kip go out to scout while Tad stays back at the cave in case Seraphina returns.

The scouts determine that a large number of soldiers have indeed go through this area. They come to the regrettable conclusion that they are now behind enemy lines. They return to the cave and Triss disguises herself and Tad as soldiers and they set off back to the fort where they stole the food hoping to con their way into buying or stealing a wagon to move the food. They find the fort and everything around it completely razed to the ground with no signs of life. They manage to salvage useful pieces and the group cobbles together a wagon from the parts back at the cave. They load up all the food, leave Seraphina a note, and set off all in disguise hoping to make time and skirt the army to meet up with the fleeing refugees.

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5th Session

The recovered prisoners consist of 3 adults and 2 children. They’ve been roughed up a lot. They tell us that the soldiers we killed are not the ones that captured them already. The death squads fight anyone who gives a resistance, beat the others to near death, and then leave a marker for others to pick them up. The marker is a pole or large staff that is left in the ground. It’s painted with 3 red marks near the top. There are several in the wagon. Tadamatreus Thorn determines they are magical and uncovers the paired shorter poles in a saddlebag. The short poles magically point to the long poles. Unfortunately, there are 4 short poles and only three long poles. The group suspects there are other badly beaten people waiting to be picked up. After much debate and a conversation with the freed prisoners who say there is another settlement only an hour away, the group dispatches Content Not Found: triss with three extra horses to investigate while the rest carry on with the wagons.

Content Not Found: triss finds a settlement with many butchered people, cut up with what looks like some sort of serrated blade. There are some survivors and she does her best to heal them both magically and non-magically to get them up and riding. She then heads back for the main group.

After a short while a arrow flies by her head and a voice yells out in common that it was just a warning shot and commands her to halt. After a bit of back and forth Content Not Found: triss_ realizes that _Content Not Found: Saraphina is with them. The leader of the group is from the same refugee expedition as the party is and seems more concerned with remaining undetected then with saving the wounded and ensuring the return of the food.

After some tense moments at the door while Triss tried to convince Tad that these soldiers are on their side Kip eventually lets everyone in.

The leader explains that they are on an assassination mission and they’d like to execute it tomorrow while we stay put so as not to risk getting captured and revealing their mission. They are supposed to execute the leader of the enemy army and they suspect it may be a suicide mission. They also offer to let us help. After we agree to help, he tells us the plan.

The next day the group sets out. The enemy is attacking a fort that is a decoy (those poor, brave souls) while the combined groups infiltrate to the center division overcoming two small scouting parties with ambushes along the way. Upon seeing a signal from the fort, the captain pulls out an amulet and looks at it. Tadamatreus Thorn detects magic but cannot place the school as it is old and forgotten magic.

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