I’ve had a pretty icky chest infection since getting back from the NAF Champs, even got sent home from work on Friday and have taken today off, which is not like me. Have sadly spent most of the Bank Holiday weekend in bed, but did at least manage to be awake for the games (even if Aberrant did end up having to be cut short). Anyway, a quick update on the Pathfinder party and I’ll be back with Aberrant tales and Svetlana & Noleski’s wedding later.
When we last left the party, the Paladin had just resurrected the previous leader of the barbarian tribe, in the hopes that he would be more amenable to opening trade with the Dawnlands. Unfortunately, on his resurrection he thanked Kieran but knelt before Armag, accepting of his defeat and what that meant. Serec, the cleric who had shown the party to Armag, knelt also, but reluctantly. The previous leader (whose name escapes me) explained that Armag had won and by their traditions he would not argue with that. However, it was agreed that the party could earn membership of the tribe (and the right to challenge Armag) by performing some act of great assistance to the tribe.
The tribe had travelled from Numeria around the time of the 9th (or 19th… will have to check with the GM). The Crusade the party are joining is the 15th (or 25th) and they run every 20 years, so the tribe left Numeria around 120 years ago. They were experts in working with the star metals that are found around Numeria (millennia ago, many meteorites or comets or some such fell all around the area). The former elder hoped the party could recover the knowledge of how to work with these metals, which he understood was stored on tablets in their former lands, and also an item he understood was required – if we could retrieve this, then he would be able to give us entrance to the tribe.
So off to Numeria the party went. For Svetlana, the journey was periodically interrupted with conversations with Noleski, keeping him up-to-date with their whereabouts and their doings, and keeping her up-to-date with preparations for the wedding. The journey was swift on the back of giant feline mounts summoned by Mr Tiddles; it was fairly clear when they had reached the region they were aiming for because the landscape changed, became desolate, barren. No wildlife, not even a fly crossed their path. Svetlana quickly discovered that the cantrips she used without thinking wouldn’t work in this area. Stronger magics were possible, although it still felt like casting through honey.
It took several days of walking and exploring to find what they were looking for. They managed, in the meantime, to acquire a country’s ransom’s worth of various star metals (Svetlana’s particular favourite being a small chunk of hot metal she could use to ensure warm baths. No doubt it had other, more worthwhile uses, but warm baths are always positive), and also to recover an ancient skeleton with the intention of delivering it to the Pathfinder Guild – it was human-like, but not quite right.
Finally, in one of the caves Alexei prodded the floor. When no one else knew what he was looking at, he stood and strode forwards through a complicated cave-network. Kieran carefully marked the route in case Alexei was having a moment and just walking, but he led the way to the centre of the network: a room with runic writings on the walls and a large hammer and anvil in a black metal – pure adamantine, not plated like the weapons and armour the party were used to seeing. This would then seem to be their destination. Svetlana carefully copied down the runes whilst the others looked around. Once she’d completed copying them down, she moved on to taking rubbings: it seemed likely that they needed to be exact. As she approached the walls, she noticed that the walls were made of some form of alloy of star metals. Keiran tried to lift the hammer, but could not, although the other party members could.
Alexei, with one of his strange moments of intuition, explained that this was a special forge – that the whole room was needed, not just the anvil and hammer because if you tried to use the anvil and hammer alone, they would basically use your life force to complete the work you were doing but in this room you would be protected from that; the room would feed the anvil for you. However, this hammer and anvil could be used to create nearly anything and much more efficiently than a normal forge. It was decided that this forge should be transported to the Dawnlands: Alexei, Svetlana and Mr Tiddles immediately agreed that the best location would be as an extension to the Cyclops Lich Vordekai’s lair in Varnhold and Mr Tiddles set about transporting the entire cave network there. As they left, Svetlana carefully re-set the rune on the only entrance to the lair before Alexei pulled stone over the doorway to completely hide it.
They returned to the barbarians with the rubbings Svetlana had taken. Kieran carefully (and without lying except by omission) explained that he could not bring the hammer to them but here was the knowledge. The former leader was delighted with this (although it was not clear whether he could read the runes) and a celebration was duly thrown, at which Armag’s absence was noticeable.
The following morning, Kieran sought out the leader and formally challenged for leadership. The fight was short but violent: Kieran was forced to his knees and for a moment all seemed lost, but he pushed himself back to his feet, swung his sword in a mighty arc and cleaved Armag clean in two. As the warlord fell, his torso burst into bright flames and a battered Kieran stood triumphant. He appointed the previous leader to stand as his regent, and the party split up, Arron to the Red Mantis island, Alexei to the Dawnlands, Kieran to his lands and Svetlana to be fitted and pampered and prepped for her wedding.