After the celebratory feast, our adventurers awoke to a panicked guard corps. The Count's daughter, Amelia, had been kidnapped during the night. Thankfully, the party had slept in the guard barracks and so had an alibi above reproach. Knowing the party's reputation, the captain of the guard, Oscar, requested their assistance in the matter.
After a brief investigation of the scene of the crime, strange scratch marks and a letter intimating that Amelia had been having a dalliance with a gentleman not of the court, the team decided to interview the suspects, who were guests at the dinner the night before.
After some clever word play and magically enhanced persuasion, the crew was able to discover
After learning of what happened to Amelia, the team heading to the sewers to find and rescue her. Thanks to a well-timed Fireball, and a hasty retreat, they were able to exit the sewers and return to the keep with Amelia alive (barely), and their reputations intact.
The P-Team, having arrived in the Crown City of Jewel, sought council from the contact given to them by Vanard von Wroth, one Sir Thomas of Rouge. Calling upon him in the royal palace, the P-Team discovered he's been missing for several days. A peculiar interaction with one of the royal staff, led Su Yuan and Dr. Phil to investigate the palace further.
Eventually the two were accosted by a shady gnome, referring only to himself as "Mittens". Mittens offered to introduce the team to his boss, who most assuredly knew more details of Sir Thomas' disappearance.
After some negotiation, and a rather costly bribe, Mittens led the two to the door five metres away, and introduced them to Lord Morcom Kester, spymaster for the throne.
The team learned that Sir Thomas had been sent on a diplomatic mission to the undercity several days ago, and had not returned as expected. He was to speak with the King of the undercity deuregar, and to form an alliance with him against any possible Southern aggression.
Additionally, the team learned that the castle staff whom had been acting peculiary had had his memory wiped by some unknown magic. This was of great concern to Lord Kester, but he refused to speak of it further.
The P-Team agreed to have Mittens guide them through the undercity to discover the fate of Sir Thomas and report back, or save him if necessary.
The motley crew ventured into the undercity where they were quickly accosted by a group of bandits all named "Dan". The bandits were quickly dispatched with after they intimated their desire to use Jimmy's gold pouch without his consent.
Before trampling the last of the bandits, Dr. Phil learned of a secret passage in the hall they were in. He took point, leading the crew to a small campfire Dr. Phil found a stupendously obese man, and a rail thin man. Through arcane means of pursuasion he learned they too were named "Dan" and that the other "Dan's" were their friends.
Unfortunately, Obese-Dan was not as taken by Dr. Phil's charm as Skinny-Dan, and declared his intention to harm anyone in their lair not in the "Dan Gang".
Su Yuan took this as his cue and initiated a prospectively-defensive first strike on Obese-Dan.
The session ended mid-battle, with Obese-Dan transformed into a giant scorpion.
The P-Team continued their melee with Obese-Dan-cum-scorpion. Su Yuan scored two critical hits on one turn, and was followed by Salim severing the tail of the beast as well as rending several of its legs.
Returned to his repulsive druid form Obese-Dan, frightened for his life, took one final, desperate measure, and broke his own finger to activate a magical ring that transformed him into a swarm of rats. The rats scurried down a nearby hole, but were quickly followed and dispatched by Jimmy.
As the fat criminal turned to escape further down the hole, Su Yuan jumped down, crushing his head and ending both the chase and the large man's life.
As the team took stock of their surroundings, they found a tunnel filled with viscera, dead bodies and rent flesh. Mittens and Su Yuan quietly ventured ahead while the rest of the team regrouped. Both of them wary of what they'd walked into saw flitters of movement followed by a conspicuous silence. They returned to the group where a reinvigorated Dr. Phil decided he would move on ahead, extricating himself from the warnings (and grip) of Su Yuan, he immediately came face to face with a giant scaly dog-like creature.
Meanwhile, Jimmy attempted to pursuade the creature, by using his druidic powers to speak with it that it didn't want anything to do with us. The creature was unmoved by the attempt at persuasion, and began attacking the remaining P-Team members in earnest.
Su-Yuan managed to slip past and stun the creature, allowing the others to slip past to the interior of the path as well. Seizing the opportunity, Su Yuan took one of the sticks of dynamite that he'd acquired for the assault on Count Vorlofts' keep, and was able to light it and place it on (or rather, in) the creature.
Making a hasty retreat, the dynamite exploded, destroying the creature, injuring some of the team and collapsing their escape route. With no other option, they pushed forward to find Dr. Phil, and hopefully Sir Thomas or at least the King of the undercity deuregar.
Dr. Phil continued far ahead, and found himself in a room with what appeared to be three pups of the giant dog-like creature the companions had run into earlier. Despite his best efforts, he managed to draw their attention and his only escape route was a tiny hole. He jumped in, and slid until it opened in the ceiling of a chamber, 60 feet up. The fall knocked Dr. Phil unconscious, and left him in a dire situation, alone and with his only campanions not knowing where he'd gone.
Just as he could feel the life leaving him, he was approached by a familiar presence. "It took you long enough", said Dr. Phil, and with this Bill Bailey found himself again in a dark chamber with one rotted exit and no idea how he got there...
The rest of the P-Team came to the room Dr. Phil had gone down the hole in, but now it was empty. After some investigation and calling down the hole, they heard Bill respond. Salim and Su Yuan lowered Mittens down on a rope to see what he could do. As they were doing so, they were attacked by the monsterous dog-like pups.
Dispatching of them, the team was eventually able to get Bill hauled up the the higher chamber. Backtracking briefly they found an iron gate with a rusted padlock, and made their way into a hallway not filled with half-eaten corpses. There they took a brief respite and ended the session.
The P-Team, after a short break discussed their options moving forward. Bill Bailey, terrified of the dungeon refused to move forward until convinced by Su Yuan that the only way to find Julia would be to delve deeper into the sewers.
Su Yuan and Bill Bailey discussed the past of the young blacksmith's apprentice. Before he started having his episodes, he had gone out with friends and awoke in the middle of what appeared to be some kind of cult ritual. Cultists in purple robes, with their faces hidden were performing a blood sacrifice. Bill ran and escaped. He didn't know how long ago that was, nor did he know anything about how he got there. He just knew that he feels a warm sensation and a light and then wakes up in dangerous situations.
Eventually, rested enough, the team ventured forward where they came across a grate in the ground with a milky white water underneath. Poking it, they revealed a gelatenous cube that immediately tried to consume them. After the defeat of the cube, and another brief rest, the team finally found a crossroads that Mittens recognised and started to make their way much deeper underground.
Leaving the sewers behind, they made their way to the beginning of the underdark, where they found a massive underground lake. The water completely still.
Mittens warned the group the be silent, and not to touch the water. Miraculously, and despite several temptations, the P-Team managed to heed his advice and made their way uneventfully across the lake in a magical raft that left the water undisturbed. Halfway across the lake, the team saw what they recognised as an Aboleth, which is the creature Mittens was cautioning against disturbing.
Finally, after disembarking on the other side of the lake, the team found their way to a campsite and was able to get a night's rest.
With the return of Dr. Phil the group pushed further into the underdark. Eventually, their path opened to a massive underground chamber where they found themselves greeted by two Duergar guards.
Thankfully Jimmy spoke Duergan and was able to communicate the groups desire to speak with the king. Despite this, a non-Duergar Dwarven ambassador was summoned to speak with the group in common. He explained to the group that they could not meet with the king directly, but that he could arrange a meeting with some other nobility or bureaucrat who would hear out their questions.
The ambassador revealed that Sir Thomas had visited the city several weeks ago, and argued with the king before leaving.
With this little information, the adventurers saw no other course than to allow themselves to be escorted by the guards to a spartan waiting room.
Jimmy did his best to converse with the guard left to observe them, but had little luck. After a number of uncomfortable minutes, the guard excused himself and left the group alone.
Dr. Phil grew anxious and started looking around. Soon realising that they weren't in a waiting room as much as a cell, though perhaps an unconventional one. The corridor was enclosed on either side by doors with a magical locks.
Meanwhile Su Yuan discovered another room similar to the one in which they'd been placed, and felt a slight draft coming from the floor stones.
With Salim's help, they pulled up a stone and revealed a bound and magically silenced Sir Thomas of Rouge. The P-Team unbound and dispelled the magic of the silence and finally were able to speak with the nobleman.
Sir Thomas revealed he'd been speaking with the King of the Duergar about the threat of the southern kingdoms. The King was apathetic to the plight of those above ground, and despite Sir Thomas' efforts he was unable to convince him to form an alliance.
With this failure, he turned to leave, and the next thing he remembered was awakening in this hovel, bound and magically gagged.
With this, the team quickly resolved with Sir Thomas to quickly make egress from the underdark. Dispelling the magic of the locked doors, Dr. Phil looked out into the town to realise that the entire duergar militia was forming up to attack them.
Sir Thomas assured the group that he would be able to create a path to the exit. The team burst into the courtyard.
To their happy surprise, Sir Thomas revealed his true form — a adult bronze dragon. He held off the frontal assault while the P-Team was defended the rear.
After dispatching of the first wave of attacking duergar, Sir Thomas and the team saw their chance and moved with haste towards the exit. As they neared the edge of town, however, their vision became clouded and dark tentacles appeared in a way halting their progress. Entangling Sir Thomas, the next wave of the duergar assault started to overwhelm him despite being in his dragon form.
The team turned to see the King of the Duegar, dead eyed, emerge from the underground fortress. Behind him came a tentacle mouthed illithid.
Before the illithid or the King could react, Su Yuan reached into his bag of holding, pictured his last remaining magic bean in his mind's eye. As it materialised in his palm he threw it in the direction of the illithid.
For a moment, nothing happened. Then the earth shook and a tiny pyramid appeared. The pyamid grew larger and larger, forcing the mind flayer and the king back into the fortress before settling unnaturally in the midst of the duergar city. Towering over the rest of the structures and blocking any entrace or exit to the fortress.
With this the tentacles disappeared. Sir Thomas threw off his attackers and explained that he recognised the magic of the pyramid. Inside the pyramid would be a mummy lord, a formiddible opponent even for the dragon himself.
Upward through the underdark and to the sewers, past their own destructive path the team ventured back to the Crown City of Jewel.
Returning from the underdark, exhausted and pushed to their limit, the P-Team was ready for a well earned break. They were granted rooms in the royal palace for the night and drifted into a deep slumber.
Upon awakening, they approached Sir Thomas in his office where Su Yuan gave a more detailed description of the risk a southern invasion would pose.
He described his former life as personal general to the Emperor. Lu Kai was the vizier of the empire. He gathered support and led a coup against the Emperor, killing him and all his heirs before taking the throne for himself. Su Yuan narrowly escaped with his life.
The team also gave Sir Thomas details of strange happenings in the northern mountains that they'd uncovered. The agent smuggling weapons from the south to bandits in the north. The demonic possession of Count Vorloft in Delway. The appearance of Lu Kai in a dead soldier.
Sir Thomas was left to ponder on this news, and suggested that the crew go to speak with the court wizard who was in need of adventurers to help with something that could be used against the Southern Imperial Army.
So not to leave them thinking that he was not grateful for the service they'd provided in rescuing him; Sir Thomas also granted the team a country estate. Land, keep and servants.
After discussing their options, the P-Team agreed that first they would speak with the count wizard, Statlorf before deciding on their next course of action.
They made their way to the wizards keep, where he quickly enlisted them in a harebrained scheme to go back in time to discover the source of all magic in the kingdom.
Despite their reservations, they eventually agreed (and were contractually bound) to have their consciousnesses sent back in time.
Upon arriving they discovered a giant statue of a human bound in chains and locks. Immediately they were set upon by cultists, despite several attempts at diplomacy.
They also found a strange hammer. Upon picking it up, it bound itself to the holder until one of the locks on the giant was smashed with it.
The team slowly made their way up the giant, smashing lock after lock and being harried by cultists the entire time. Each lock seemed to bring more life and freedom back to the statue.
As the crew continued up the statue they found a barracks in which they could have a short respite from combat. After a few moments of licking their wounds, the team continued up to the final chamber.
There they found the leader of the cultists, and a horde of his followers. Despite this, the team heroically destroyed the final lock and defeated the remaining cultists.
Upon this, the arcane power entrapping the giant statue was lifted and it was able to walk away. The team wasn't quite sure, by they thought they saw a brief sentiment of gratitude on his way.
Soon they were yanked back to the present by the court wizard, who explained that this was not the source of all magic, but instead was a god, who the team rescued from captivity. After this, the Crown City of Jewel's past was rewritten. Instead of two major religions, there were three.
The team was able to avoid having their past rewritten since the chamber used by the court wizard exists outside of time and space.
The wizard, quickly reabsorbed in his research to try other coordinates for the source of all magic dismissed the P Team, thanking them (with a healthy amount of platinum for their work), and assuring them he'd call on them again should he find another potential source.
As the group made their way back towards the castle they met a runner who informed them that Lord Morcom Kester was waiting for them south of the city. They also realised that a festival was afoot; a religous festival celebrating the freeing of a plain faced grey god from his chains. Legend has it that he was freed by an army of 100.
Finally the team made their way to an inn, where Dr. Phil sweat talked the bouncers and they were able to get some well earned rest.
Waking up in the early evening, the crew happily discovered that Jim Dark Magic was having his last show in the Crown City. Upon this news they knew they had to attend. After a long wait in line, they made their way into the circus tent.
Dr. Phil and Su Yuan made their way to the front of the crowd, which was held back by a magical barrier. Unable to resist the lure of Jim, Dr. Phil reached deep inside, finding inspiration in the visage of the cleverest wizard the world had ever known and dispelled the barrier.
The crowd surged forward, screaming in ecstasy as they could get closer to Jim Dark Magic. Before any serious injury could befall them, Jim appeared from the ceiling and a wave of magic swept the crowd into a preternatural calm.
All of the crowd save one; Su Yuan. Meditation and reflection on Jim Dark Magic had been plaguing the monk for many days. Despite his adoration, he felt something off. And this time, instead of being swept up in the charm of the magic, Su Yuan found tranquility in his mind and remained aware.
Jim, believing that everything was fine, sat down to read a book (his autobiography of course).
Stealthily, Su Yuan crept behind the enchanter before striking, hitting a ki point specifically to disable the wizard for a few moments. Upon disabling him, the magic was dispelled from all who were present.
Thinking quickly, Su Yuan addressed the crowd, telling them of the fraud of Jim Dark Magic. He bound Jim's hands and gagged his mouth. However, he would deliver him safely to justice.
Word spread quickly through the town and soon there was a messenger from Vanard von Wroth asking that Jim be remanded into custody of the crown. After some assurances that he would be treated humanely and that he would not be released, Su Yuan relented.
And with this, the crowd cheered "Monk! Monk! Monk!" (a rally curiously started by Dr. Phil). The team were liberators yet again.
With this the team began preparations to head south to discover the motive behind the southern aggression, and to stop it before it could spread to the north.
After the previous rest, the P-Team began to head south with a cart to meet Lord Kester. Soon upon leaving the crown city of Jewel they encountered the spymaster posing as a cabbage farmer.
He informed the team of what he knew of the cities in the southernmost regions of the kingdom. There are two primary locations
After some brief deliberations, the team decided that it made the most sense to first attend to the dragonborn city. There, Salim could attend to his family and perhaps the team could gain some powerful noble allies.
As the group decided, Lord Kester warned them that the crown had not heard from the main supply post on the road. He introduced the group to Steadly "Danger" Carson, a halfling mercenary who would be accompanying the team to investigate the supply post problem.
And with that, the team embarked. After some time they came across a ruined carriage in the middle of the road. Cautiously Su Yuan crept forward and discovered three ankhegs buried and waiting to ambush any passers by.
Before they could formulate a sensible plan of attack, though, Steadly fired several arrows into the ground, and the three creatures burst forth. Despite his eagerness and ruining of the element of surprise, Steadly proved himself a powerful ally, and extremely capable with a long bow.
After the ankhegs were disposed of, the team searched the cart that had been destroyed, but found no signs of either dead or surviving travelers. Nor did they find anything of value amongst the wreckage.
Continuing on, the team finally arrived at the supply station. Clear cut on all sides for over a hundred feet, the group had no way of approaching stealthily. And since there was no obvious reason for concern they worked their way forward. Just as they reached the halfway point, five hobgoblin archers appeared and began to fire salvo after salvo at the team caught in the open field.
Despite their tactical disadvantage, the crack archer skills of Steadly, and several giant carnivores Jimmy summoned from his bag of tricks gave Su Yuan and Salim the cover they needed to close the distance and neutralise the archer threat.
In the supply station they found the leader of the hobgoblins and were able to capture and interrogate him. He revealed that reenforcements were on their way and that they intended to occupy the supply station permanently.
Steadly was also able to find and free the previous civilian minders of the station, though the guards had been killed by the hobgoblins.
Given what the hobgoblin leader had told them of the impending attack, the group began to formulate a defensive plan...
With their best laid plans ready, the team defeated the hobgoblins without incident.
Despite their best efforts to interrogate the hobgoblin general, he revealed nothing of their motives other than greed and hate. No connection to the south.
With his mission accomplished Steadly made his way back to Morcom, while the rest of the team started to work their way towards the twin dragonborn cities of Hedjet and Weset.
The team finds themselves waking up to the voice of High Vizier Statlorf in their ears. He informs them that there's been a bit of an accident and he intended to send them to garbled, and that he's looking for a magical cup.
Looking around they see they are next to a town. The town, and the P-Team are inside of a giant shimmering bubble. Jimmy goes up to the bubble and touches it. As he tries to push through it resists, but doesn't push back against him. Instead it feels like he's slowed.
As they collect their thoughts and survey the rest of their surrounds the team is approached by a clay golem who enquires who they are and what they're doing. Su Yuan introduces themselves.
The clay golem introduces himself as Roswell, deputy to Sheriff Isaac, and asks how they managed to get through the barrier. It's been inpenetrable, protecting the village since the sacrifice of Jack and June - through their sacrifice the town is made safe.
No amount of further inquiry is able to get more details about Jack and June, and Roswell insists that the team follow him to the sheriff's office to wait for Isaac to return.
At the sheriff's office, the team finds one, occupied jail cell. The criminal is identified as a local miner who tried to blow up the temple to the west of town. When spoken to she's thoroughly crazy.
After some further discussion there's a small earthquake. At the same time a commotion outside forces Roswell goes to investigate, demanding that the team stay put and wait. As they look out, the team sees several bandits in purple scarves squaring off against the massive golem. After a short staredown, they retreat away and are not pursued by Roswell.
Before he can return to the office and speak further with the team, there's another commotion at the bank and a huge explosion. Customers and smoke come billowing out of the bank, and Roswell charges in.
The team follows to see what is going on. Inside they find Roswell and a number of other bandits. The bandits have used some sort of explosive device to try to open the vault of the bank, but the explosion by itself wasn't enough.
Just as Roswell starts to turn and discuss why they've left the station with the group, the town clock strikes twelve. There's an enormous earthquake — much bigger than the last and a giant fissure opens up and swallows the team where they die.
They find themself in a white plane with a woman in front of them. She tells them they'll have to do better than that. And with a strange sensation...
The team finds themselves waking up to the voice of High Vizier Statlorf in their ears. He informs them that there's been a bit of an accident and he intended to send them to garbled, and that he's looking for a magical cup.
Quickly realising they're in some kind of temporal loop the team tries a number of other strategies. Each time resulting in their death, either by the apocolyptic earthquake, or through their own mistakes (often at the hand of Roswell).
Finally after following clues, and listening to the prophecy of a witch named Poloma (who seemed to know they were in a loop), they find their way to the mine where Jack and June were lost. With some puzzle solving, they work their way into a giant room labeled "Shaft B" in the middle of which is a massive shaft. After some consideration, Su Yuan leaps down the shaft and finds that it touches the bottom of the bubble surrounding/protecting the town. And outside the bubble is a massive purple worm, teeth the size of buildings. Whereupon the apocolypse happens again and they return once more to the garbled voice of Statlorf at the entrance of Refuge. Now with the understanding, at least, of what is causing the destruction.
After discovering that the final conflagration in each time loop was caused by a giant purple worm, the group set about discovering how to stop it.
They made their way to Poloma the witch who told them that should would be able to give them a major prophecy, but that the ritual spell would require ten diamonds.
Immediate plans for a bank robbery were drafted, and executed. Many diamonds were stolen. Bandits were vaporised. Banks were nearly leveled. Ten diamonds were procurred.
The ritual began, and the witch uttered a single phrase; "look to the right".
With that cryptic advice, disappointed, the team made their way to the fallen temple. They discovered it was a temple of the Goddess Istus lady of fate, destiny, divination and the future. Nearby they found a skeleton, still animated and alive who was once a priest to Istus.
He Luca, and his brother Redmond, had been priests before the temple crumbled because of sick time. But he believed that the temple could be rebuilt if the adventurers could convince Redmond to assist him in a ritual prayer.
And so they made their way to a stonefruit farm where they discovered Redmond was the leader of the bandits and what planning to rob the bank vault, believing that it held an artifact that could lower the bubble and free the town from it's entrapment.
Now being expert bank robbers, the group offered their help. And so began another bank robbery, this time only slight less bungled. In the end however, Su Yuan was able to use his monk agility to get into the vault.
There he discovered the diary of Sheriff Isaac, in which he chronicled his lust for a magical cup that Jack possessed. Finally Isaac could not resist the lure of the cup and murdered Jack by pushing him down Shaft B in the mines. The cup, however, fell into the hands of the nearby June, and around her — and the town — a bubble was errected, and the clay golem Roswell was summoned. June however, was incapacitated and stuck to the cup inside another, smaller bubble.
Isaac described the shame and horror that he felt, and how he used the word "Junebug" as the command word for Roswell, directing him to protect the town of Refuge.
Armed with this knowledge the team met another demise by way of apocolypse and once again woke in front of Refuge.
This time, instead of negotiating or tricking Roswell, though, they simply took control of him. From there they rushed to Redmond who they convinced to help erect the Temple of Istus by promising him Roswell's control word.
After the temple was mended, Jimmy communed with Istus who provided them with a magical lance, which can pierce time bubbles. It would not be able to pierce the larger bubble around the town without some additional force, but would allow them to enter Shaft A.
So they ventured back to the mines and into Shaft A where they found Isaac and June — and of course, the cup. June was unconscious, inside the bubble with her hand resting on a magical chalice which Salim detected as being thoroughly evil. June also appeared to be the same woman as who had been appearing to the team upon each resurrection.
After some initial talk, Isaac thought he had the upper hand and attempted to take the lance from them by force. He was immediately incapacitated by a number of fireballs from Trist.
Safely then Jimmy used the lance to burst the protective time bubble surrounding June and the cup. The cup, however was sentient to some degree. It spoke to each of the members, pulling their most painful memories from the past and promising the ability to go back in time and change them.
The team was resolute. They wrapped the cup in a safe covering. At this moment, the final tremors began. June explained to the group that they could open Shaft A and close Shaft B and lure the worm away from the town.
And so everyone got into a mining cart. They distracted the worm by having Trist throw fireballs at it to get its attention.
Continuing down the shaft, the worm getting closer every minute. Finally they came to a junction with a path to the left and the right. Recalling the witches prophecy they chose the right path and were launched into the air out of the mine tumbling toward the larger bubble surrounding the whole town. Jimmy at the fore leveled the lance and their momentum pushed them just far enough through to pop the bubble.
And with that they found themselves back in Statlorf's tower.
After their return, Statlorf quickly evicted the team (without payment). Back to the City of Jewel. There they we soon greeted by a wizard student of the gnome who promised to transport them to their previous location. There was a catch. First they'd have to traverse a road in another realm, filled with strange encounters.
On the road the team fought several battles. Banishing a hill giant. Freeing a gnome from being entrapped by in this ethereal plane. Finding the shadow of an old woman, long destroyed.
Eventually they made it to the end, and found themselves back where they were on their way to the dragonborn twin cities.
Finally having returned to their path towards the dragonborn twin cities, the group found themselves on the road nearing dusk.
Rather than push forward through the night or camp in the forest, they found their way to the small village of Gravesford. Upon arriving at the local public house, the group found a large number of commonfolk patrons enjoying their drink.
They found one in particular, a girl named Pinna, who was fascinated by the adventurers. She invited herself to the table and wanted to hear everything about them. Soon they learned that she was the local witch, performing the magic required by the townsfolk to keep simple life bearable.
After some time discussing magic, and their varying abilities in it, the tavern was interrupted by the entry of a knight and his retinue. He proclaimed his title, Sir Pellington, and declared that there was a reward being offered by the new Baron for the head of a local orc chieftain for the murder of the last Baron and his family.
Sir Pellington was quick to point out personally and in great detail to any of the "pathetic peasant rabble"e; that they needn't bother with the bounty as he would be the one to collect.
Eyeing the adventurers he approached their table and challenged Su Yuan to defy him in this. Never one to back down from a challenge, run from protecting the honour of the commonfolk, or miss a chance to lose embarrassingly in public, the monk stood up and suggested that they take the discussion outside.
Sir Pellington, not being the sort to accommodate a rather reasonable request drew his sword and swung at Su Yuan. The two manoeuvered for several minutes, trading blows neither unable to find the upper hand. Eventually, Sir Pellington overstepped the line of honourable bar brawling by calling forth eldritch strength and blasting Su Yuan with dark energy.
Su Yuan responded in kind, blasting Pellington and several of his compatriots with the lightening stored in his ring. From here the brawl devolved quickly into a serious altercation.
While the P-Team was unmatched and overpowered, they fought bravely. Jimmy summoning several creature from his bag of tricks, Su Yuan and Dr. Phil were frozen solid by a cold blast from Pellington, but Salim with his draconic lineage able to resist.
Eventually several of Pellington's attendants were killed, and the P-Team was unconscious while the arrogant knight was forced to flee with his last remaining squire.
Soon after, the group was revived from their swoons by Pinna and the innkeeper. Through the judicious use of bribery they were able to disuade the innkeeper from evicting them outright and eventually headed to their rooms to recover themselves.
Several hours into the night they all awoke to the sounds of explosions. Assuming that it was Pellington again, Su Yuan and the others raced to the source where they found instead the sacked house of their new friend Pinna, several dead orcish bodies, but no young witch.
Looking into the distance they saw the raiding party glaring back at them carrying a figure.
The team decided to wait until morning before pursuing the orcs. At dawn they were awoken by a throng of townspeople preparing to make their way into the forest in order to exact vengence on the orcs.
Dr. Phil and Salim convinced the townspeople to take up arms with the group and that together they would head into the forest and vanquish the evil orcish threat. Evenvtually as they reached the forest, the reality of the situation forced the townspeople to reconsider their engagement in the affair and ultimately it was left to the P-Team to pursue.
Following the path of the orcs was not difficult until they arrived at a fork with a small contingent heading to the right and the larger group going left. After some debate, the group decided to go left.
Soon after, Dr. Phil spotted a sentry's blind and loudly proclaimed it, to be immediately pincushioned by arrows.
A truly embarassing combat for all involved followed, with the team eventually the victors. Despite their better judgement Dr. Phil convinced the others that they should take a break in the orcish structure, and again they were beset by orcs only several minutes after settling down.
After this, Salim recalled a potion of stealthiness that he'd purchased from the goblin vendor in Delway. Without considering the... versimilitude... of the goblin he quickly quaffed it and the group felt a quiet bubble surround them.
They rested for a short period and then continued onward, this time staying off the main path and following through the forest. Su Yuan in the lead signaled a sound and movement ahead, but the other two continued on and walked into a clearing with several more orcs disposing of bodies in a pit with a shambling mass. Another truly embarassing combat proceded, but resulted in a very full shambling mass.
Finally, the group reached a clearing where they saw a large orcish fort, manned by hundreds of orcs. They attempted to hide, but both Salim and Dr. Phil were too slow, only Su Yuan was able to conceal himself.
An orc approached the two interlopers and demanded to know if they were from the village. Thinking fast, and going on the theory that the orcs were working for the Baron, Dr. Phil said as much. The orcs, as it happened did not take kindly to any of the Baron's men and closed in, ready to kill the two heroes. Dr. Phil muttered a few works and opened a dimension door somewhere on the parapats of the fort and dragged Salim through.
In the fort several orcs saw the heroes appear and the immediately turn invisible. They knew their opponents were somwehere in the fort.
Throughout this, Su Yuan remained hidden on the edge of the forest.
The two adventurers on the outside were able to spot a potential opening into the fort, and Jimmy started to direct Su Yuan there. Just as he was about to head down into the crack in the wall, Su Yuan saw something wholly unexpected. Their former colleague, Steadly Carson. After a hurried explanation about how he was here to collect the bounty on the orcs, the duo headed into the crack.
At the end they found a hidden door, and after listening closely surmised that Salim and Dr. Phil were on the otherside. Summoning Jimmy and with the help of the dragonborne, they forced open the hidden door and were reunited.
After a period of rest to recuperate from the battles with the orcs, the group began to steathily investigate the rest of the fort. They found strange shamanic orcs brewing some perfidious potion, groups of monster orcs larger than any they'd ever seen asleep in barracks, strange animated armours, and more.
Having explored all but one room and still unable to find Pinna, the group was growing increasingly paranoid. They opened the final door, and immediately the orcs inside were aware of the presence of something.
They struck quickly, and were able to quietely dispatch of the two orc hunters without them alerting the rest of the horde.
Not having found Pinna, Su Yuan insisted that they continue searching the castle. The group agreed and they recalled hearing voices in the tower that led down to the basement where Dr. Phil and Salim had found themselves when they arrived.
They headed in that direction, and passed through a room surrounded by magically enchanted armour that they believed would come to life, but for one piece which looked incredible.
They worked their way up the spiral staircase, until Su Yuan became possessed by a spectre, and bagan to attack the group. Salim was able to exorcise the creature, but suffered greatly in the process when the ghost touched him and aged him by thirty years.
Though the cost was great, they defeated the ghoat and found several items of interest, the most important of which was the deed to the keep, dubbed Castle Rend.
They continued up to the top, where they found the tower roof collapsed. Jimmy attempted to take flight to view the situation, but was quickly harried by arrows. With this the team began to hear orc voices heading in their direction.
Thinking quickly Su Yuan sprinted down the stairs to the armours and ripped the fine piece off of it's stand. This caused the armours to come to life and attack. Su Yuan held the deed to the castle in front of him and attempted to command the automotas but to no avail.
Su Yuan meanwhile found himslef surrounded by knights in the ethereal realm who pointed at him and said -
"Not yours", pointing at the deed "Give it back", pointing at the armour
Su Yuan understanding, apologised for the intrusion and explained that they meant no harm. They were simply seeking out a friend taken by the orcs.
"The orcs have here" "Speak with the orcs" "Find the lord" "Return the castle to him"
Su Yuan agreed.
In the material plane, the automata returned to their stands and rested. The rest of the group, meanwhile was confronted by hundreds of orcs and taken into custody. They were stripped of their equipment and dragged to the keep to speak with the orc leader.
Su Yuan wandered the castle in the ethereal plane, trying to find the keep, not knowing for sure how long he'd been banished for. Eventually he popped back into existence in the middle of the courtyard of the keep where he found a female orc leader and two children - Pinna and a young boy.
He too was stripped of his equipment, and the group begain to speak with the orc queen. She asked them to prove that they were not agents of the Baron, who'd betrayed her. Su Yuan, with permission, produced the tooth of Sir Pellington as evidence of their opposition to the cruel lord.
This convinced the orcs who then demanded that if they wanted the release of the hostages, they would have to find a long lost magical banner of the white tusk clan. She believed it to be somewhere in the castle.
They group discussed where it could be, and decided to send Su Yuan back to the ethereal plane to commune again with the dead knights to see if they knew. They revealed that such a banner could be found in the deepest part of the castle in the crypts, though it was guarded by a spectre similar to themselves, but lost and perverted.
The group made their way to the crypt, where Dr. Phil unceremoniously banish the wraith back to the ethereal plane and they found the banner.
Perhaps surprisingly, upon returning the banner, the orc queen kept her promise and released the captives. The boy, as the group suspected was the son of the previous baron whose family was killed. He bestowed the deed to the castle on the adventurers, who also called on one last favour of the orcs - to defend the castle and defeat the baron. And finally he granted them the honour of knighthood, which they accepted dubiously.
The group set quickly about making preparations for the coming battle. They directed the orc queen to send scouts to determine the size and strength of the enemy forces.
At the same time Jimmy made a trip into the forest to rally the local druids to their cause. After a dangerous conversation the druids agreed to aid the group in exchange for a promise that the southern end of the forest be exempt from any logging or building.
They recruited the local workers to the fight against Pellington and Saxton, while spending the majority of their gold on goods to do so. They sent runners to the surrounding towns the do the same and to spread the word of resistance. Finally they sent letters to Delway to seek assistance from Lady Emilia.
After this the were approached by a strange halfling who claimed to be serving Morcom Kester and brought news from their magical fountain business far in the north.
The halfling explained that the southern kingdom was somehow involved in supporting Pellington and Saxton. He'd also brought several magical items for the group; very powerful armour and weapons.
After this, the group returned to the castle, where they bestowed one of the towers to Pinna to use as a research labority and magicerium.
The scouts had returned, with news. Pellington's forces were 900 strong, a mix of gnolls and humans. They brought with them Pellington and his even more powerful sister, Brigidine - two of the seven Knights of the Rose. Additionally they were accompanied by a powerful wizard Morton. In the army were seige weapons and an elite heavy infantry of Dragonborn.
The group had prepared for the combat and could do nothing more but wait and hope that their strategy worked.
The battle began. While both forces fought against one another, Pellington and his retinue planned a strategic strike. Their mage invoked a teleportation circle and an elite force appeared inside the walls of Castle Rend. Their target was the gates. Were they to open them, the advantage of defence that the group currently enjoyed would be eliminated and the battle would most certainly be lost.
Dr. Phil and Su Yuan had anticipated this move and positioned themselves invisibly behind and striking silently. Dr. Phil polymorphed the mage into a frog, while Su Yuan placed him inside of his bag of holding, neutralising the magic user.
Salim summoned Authority who dispatched with Pellington's sister before marking his debt as paid.
The remainder of the group stood no chance, including Pellington himself who was cut down by a blast of eldritch energy from Dr. Phil, and continuous lightening strikes from a storm summoned by Jimmy.
With the defeat of Pellington's army, the group decided that they would leave the command of Castle Rend to the young lord. They sent word to Morcom Kester that they would be heading to the twin dragonborn cities. Salim's home.
A monk from the southern kingdoms. Before becoming a monk, he was the general for the imperial court, tasked with the personal safety of the Emperor himself. Liu Kai betrayed him and the Emperor, killing the latter and forcing the exile of the former.
Unable to pass the opportunity to challenge another to a battle of might, has a deep hatred and fear of the dark arts and especially necromancy, and unwilling to allow injustice to go uncontested, Su Yuan is often willing to charge in without thinking and is the first to put himself in front of danger.
Annoyingly polite. Allegedly a "flaming homosexual" according to profile notes from Dr. Phil.
A strange arrogant elf who believes he was previously the host of a popular psychology show.
Studious of others' behaviour, he is constantly taking notes about those around him.
Unaware of his surroundings and willing to blindly walk into the face of danger, he's rude, ostentatious, and insulting.
He sometimes is possessed by an alternate personality in Bill Bailey.
Dr. Phil's alternate personality. Commoner son of a blacksmith. Searching for Julia. He doesn't understand why he continues to have the episodes where he blacks out and wakes up far in the future in dangerous situations.
In the likeness of the cockatoo Aarakocra's, he is on the verge of insanity. Often agitated, and attracted by shiny objects, not much is known about his past.
Paladin of the dragonborn empire. Sardonic with a biting wit, he is the tank of the group.
Managing director of the Gnome Underdark Mining Corporation. Billionaire, philanthropist, adventurer, and Victorian Gentleman.
Parallel version of Dr. Phil. Has a weakness for noble men with curly hair. Hates basic bitches.
Escaped the cult he was born into, but is plagued by the traumatic actions he was forced to take as a child. Loves rats.
Gnomish rogue working for Lord Morcom Kester (the spymaster for the Crown City of Jewel). Focused and clever, never one to miss the opportunity to make a bit of coin.
Not much is known of steadly other than he is a mercenary working for Lord Morcom Kester.
Former student at the Jewel University of Academics and Magic studying under High Vizier Statlorf.
Bronze dragon, though often appearing in his human form. He is the head diplomat for foreign relations for the Crown City of Jewel.
Spymaster for the Crown City of Jewel.
Not much is known of Vanard, other than he is the head of the King's guard.
Former vizier of the southern empire. He betrayed the Emperor, killing the imperial family and all of it's successors.
A powerful necromancy, he tried to kill Su Yuan during the pogrom. Su Yuan narrowly escaped, but has been plotting vengenge ever since.
A girl familiar to Bill Bailey. He's unable to recall exactly how he knows her, but knows that he must find her.
High Vizier Statlorf Archancellor to the Jewel University of Academics and Magic, and grand wizard consult to His Majesty.