The Prophecy of the Group

May 17th Recap
A Kobold Poem

An ancient looking Kobold climbs the steps of a stage in an unknown village. His back hunched, his step slowed, he takes position down center. The reptilian form clears his throat, reaches his arms to the heavens, pans over the crowd and begins;

Veterans, working folk, Poor and Rich!
Gather round; Gather round, for a tale from the lip.

I dare not say their name, in fear for my life, a group who has known far too much strife.

You see this group, whose name I leave unmentioned; did pass through the Kiln with heroic intentions.
Defeating gelatinous cube, and kobold alike, the cunning of our party held strong in this fight.

It looked like the heroes were trapped, a blocked path, the encroach of a gastrointestinal tract.
An ordinary man would run and hide, but these men dare not retreat, they dare not desert their pride.
They held fast, weapons drawn, preparing to fight, the defeat of said cube, felled by a Dragon-Borns might!

Dear citizens! I tell you: Jello was the least of their problems; you see our friends had other issues and needed to solve them.
A chance encounter with injured rust riders, stuck between pathways, like flies in the web of a spider.

Was it fate?
Was it the smile of death?
Folks… Even to this day; I do not know what circumstances lay these poor Kobolds to rest.

Oh;
This group does not negotiate, they do not banter, one moment awry and they cut the problem out like a cancer.
I cannot overstate this enough, but soon it will be extremely clear, that our company of heroes should be something to fear.
They felled their foes with combat so graphic I fall sick just describing; they removed jaws, ripped limbs and brought faces colliding.
Silence soon set into the room of that cave fortress, as the first of the dead Kobolds set into rigor mortis.

They gathered together, safe at last, the characters of our story in a room of reflective glass.
A large mirror spread on the far wall, a shrine in the center, upon looking through both they spot a door they might enter.
With minds spinning from combat they search for their exit, but unfortunately so, their thoughts were too hectic.
A battle so fierce had left one from the group nostalgic, warping his form using graceful changeling magic.
Now a familiar herbalist from the North he stared into the mirror, he placed his hand on his father’s; but was not in the clear.
His hand stuck to the glass, surprise in his eye, he turned for what could have been his last and prepared his goodbye.
But a helpful caw from the corner did spark a notion, and with the group in agreement, a blade swung down in a clean fluid motion.

Our heroes thoughts aren’t thought through, they’re acted upon and later state; “what else was there for us to do!?”
You see this group is one of a kind, they rush head first, some would say almost even blind.
But that’s what makes these men true heroes; they do what other men would only dare do, for a few extra zeros.

The adventures, still in the room full of pillars, but now standing in front of them a freakish grey killer,
A mimic, so large it would make the giants of Xan-drik weep, but even so… it’s nothing the Bastards couldn’t handle in their sleep.

Yes, the Bastards… Their name rings true, I can tell you this much cause I was able to view, the death of that monster who had no clue what to do, as the Bastards charged forth, ran up and cut through.

The heroes walked past and collected their prize, some gold, some loot and a sword of balanced size.
They continued their trek, leaving the mountain behind, a happy jaunt in their step, and a peace in their mind.
This peace suddenly broken, ahead of them a fort, seiged and still smoking
Scouring the rumble for survivors and loot, the group did stumble on a man in a coyote fur suit.
Illifsung, four members’ two ladies two men, awkwardly bartered for a turn with a plate and deaths hand.

You see my dear audience; I was one of three lizards, a companion in tail of many who wanted to see our innards.
Meepo was one, not a friend, an acquaintance he seemed to the group like he was far too much maintenance.
So a simple transaction of coin and an exchange of happy glances, a platter raised and brought down like table wear lances.
The poor Meepos death wasn’t quick, it was painful and panicked but that’s what you get when you mess with a group full of manics.

…. So you see this is where my story comes to a close, the heroes of Threshold with worries that grow. Cause a raven fell from the heavens, descending on fire, no member knowing what future troubles might occur, might transpire.

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March 1st Recap

When we last left the bastards; they were fighting their way to lookout point, and most recently had divided themselves into two groups whose goals were vastly different. Metron, Barakas, Tahiquitz and Bael ran to the aid of Thresholds citizens, while Castanza and Ash, with selfish intentions agreed to “assist” a man in protecting his wealth from the Kobold horde.

Earlier that day: they had pushed into the market circle of Threshold from the entrance steps. Aiding the city’s remaining defence force. Kinda!
With the precision of what could only be described as toddlers in combat; the Bastards were able to defeat the Kobolds on the steps. The shear amount of attack attempts seemed to win that mornings battle. Eventually… strikes were landed… damage was done… and Kobolds were killed. And maybe… a few friendly fires occurred, but the battle was won!
Tired but ready to take on their next challenge; the Bastards gathered after the battle for the steps to take their next orders from Captain Pike, which was to take the high ground of the lookout and assess the Kobold positions and then relay that information back to the Captain, aiding in any way along the way.

Venturing through the residential district; the Bastards came upon a small party of Kobolds throwing bodies into a fountain and being instructed to do so by two of Farduk’s men.
(To be specific, one of the men was Caucasian and the other of a darker skin colour which would be best described as brown, but for those confused by the many brownish skin tones of the many different nations… then this particular man would be best described a black. Now I’m not saying that we should get into the habit of differentiating people by skin colour, or that a certain race should get more attention than the other. I’m just attempting to describe the two men, and create a way of well… differentiating between the two for the benefit of this recap.)

The Bastards approached the situation with surprising cunning and positioned themselves in the shadows around the Kobolds and prepared an offence. Their surprise attack was not met with success as they dashed from the shadows and were greeted by the full, front, of, a fifteen, foot, freshly, formed, fountain, flesh, freak, firing, forces, from, its forehead, forfeiting, focus, from, fiends, fleeing, frantically. Fighting, fiercely, the friends, focal-point, fixed, fully, forward, facing, the faction’s, ferocious, foe, finally, the fanatic, fowl, flourished… flinging, forth, the four, framed, flat, format. Felling, Frankenstein, from, further, fame!
Having defeated the flesh Golem, the Bastards turned their attention to the two magic users, one of whom (the black one) had his eyes painfully popped from his face and was still panicking as Barakas ended his life with several plunges of his bone dagger into the man’s chest.

The group pushed through the frightened and fleeing crowd as they moved upward towards the lookout point, an elderly lady pleaded for the group to help the citizens still attempting to escape the attacking Kobold, and a man whom looked of a wealthy background begged for the assistance of the group to move his valuables from his residence to a place of safety.

The group divided, the Warforged, Wizard, Warlock and Archer altruistically choose to rescue the fleeing residence of Threshold, Bael even going so far as willingly leaping towards the face of death to rescue innocence.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, Ash and Castanza agreed to “assist” the wealthy man in hiding three valuable chests. With selfish thoughts the agreement quickly faded and was replaced with the goal of taking the valued goods for themselves. Knocking the man unconscious, binding his arms, legs, gagging him and blinding him they put him in a closet and with the hands of a practised surgeon Castanza attempted to pick the lock and was extremely surprised when it didn’t give. Disappointed the two slapped the elderly man awake and questioned him to the location of keys to open the locks.
When we last left the Bastards: they had divided into two groups, one of generosity and bravery, the other of misfortune and greed, what will happen next…

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January 25th Recap

When we last left the bastards, they had just finished an amicable conversation with the prestigious EcKarl “The Flail” Mountainhead, the Master of the Iron Fists. He had invited them as honoured guests to partake in his annual hunt for the Dwarr – a giant snow-white deer with deep black eyes and large razer sharp crystalline antlers – which would be eaten during a feast the following day. He had promised a powerful mark and a monetary reward to whoever landed the killing blow, in place of the Dwartok, a ceremonial dagger made out of the antlers of the Dwarr which is given out to a man amongst the Iron Fists. With everyone in the party agreeing to join Eckarl on the hunt, he bid them farewell until the following morning when they would travel to the north-east into the wooded foothills where the Dwarr can be found.

Earlier, before they had gone to the inn and stayed the night in the nicest accommodations available, when it was still dark and quiet in the middle of the night, the group had made several interesting discoveries. Ash and Barakas, still within the old mine corridors, had continued on in search of something… really… anything. They made their way through dark tunnels and up to a wooden wall where enough boards had been pried away to allow access. After defecating and urinating on a “do not enter” sign, which had recently been pried off of the wall along with the other boards, they continued on eventually coming to a large chamber with torches only recently lit and abandoned. The chamber had one narrow central corridor leading to a wooden elevator shaft at the far end. This corridor was flanked tightly on both sides by the ruins of a stone village carved out of the cavern walls. It was of great complexity, 4 levels high in places, with stairs and ladders weaving through out. The village was ruined, but not empty, and footsteps followed after fleeting shadows, but Ash and Barakas continued on, climbing down the elevator shaft when they found the carriage locked in place below. Touching down on the top of the elevator carriage, they found themselves in another chamber carved out of the stone, by pick-axe no doubt. Another torch lay burning, abandoned, in the middle of the room and as if the mines were still in use, the sounds of voices and pick-axe meeting stone came to their ears from a single lighted corridor.
In the meantime, Castanza and Bael had gone to the crafting quarter once more to look for items to purchase. After finding nothing of immediate interest, Bael decided to look for the unsavoury element of Iron Camp. Castanza and Bael headed off, walking up and down the streets, until they spied the Truth Seekers, recently burned as bad as a flaming monastery, gathered together whispering in the shadows of an alley. Bael approached and initiated conversation. After some waiting and some convincing, the Truth Seekers revealed the reason behind their apparent discretion. Their true motive for being in Iron Camp was to more closely inspect the stones of the spirit forge and… if possible… secure one for research. They believed that the stones were a potential link to the True Realm and after acquiring some collateral from Castanza, the helm of Harold Brimsvain, engaged Bael and Castanza in their plan to steal a Spirit Stone. Bael and Castanza then headed back to the crafting quarter to gain a better look at the forge and to gather some intel. While talking with one of the blacksmiths, it was found that the spirit forge was uncovered complete, as it stands today, while mining stone for the walls of Iron Camp. However, the blacksmith revealed that some spirit stone has been found in the mines as well, and is kept in the Iron Keep. Bael and Castanza then made their way towards the tombs and mines, wishing to inspect the potential of finding a piece of spirit stone without as much risk.
As Bael and Castanza had been waiting and speaking with the Truth Seekers, Ash and Barakas had approached the corridor from hence the voices and pinging of a pick-axe was emanating. Each taking one step into the corridor, they each heard a loud metal snap as a bear trap closed sharply on each of their legs. The pinging stopped along with the voices, whose source peaked around the corridor to see what had fallen into their traps. Not waiting, Ash pushed the pain of his leg out of his mind and unleashed an arrow which shot through the corridor and buried itself into the head of the man who had peaked the corner. He crumpled to the floor just before two orcs charged around the corridor. Battling both the orcs and the traps on their legs, Ash and Barakas, with some indispensable help from Kafka, managed to slaughter the orcs. With the orcs dead, they walked around the corner ahead to find why the orcs had been digging and why they had been willing to die. A large chunk of dark green stone, like that of the spirit forge, and like that of the orbs from the excavation site, stuck out of the mine wall. The two set to work digging it out.
After finding their way through the dark mine corridors, Castanza and Bael found themselves within the large chamber that Ash and Barakas had travelled through several hours earlier. Footsteps and whispers traveled throughout the dark and chaotic layout of stone rooms which lined the corridor. The pair snuck to the elevator shaft and then called out, engaging the shadows in conversation. The figures, obscured by shadow, impatiently revealed that 5 people had gone down the elevator previous, 5 people had entered into this sacred area and were disturbing the spirits of their ancestors. With the promise of putting an end to the disturbance, Bael and Castanza also climbed down the elevator shaft, and found themselves meeting Ash and Barakas, who were heading the opposite direction. Ash and Barakas attempted to bluff about the spirit stone they had found, but it was ultimately unsuccessful, and Bael and Castanza found out about it. After some disagreement, Bael unlocked the elevator and raised himself to the upper level where he called to the figures in the shadows and convinced them to go down and fight the intruders. A group of scraggly looking men, armed with stones and two swords, gathered in the elevator and began descending downwards. Ash, Barakas, and Castanza tried to bribe the men to turn around, but when it was unsuccessful, were convinced that they were going to have to fight and that Bael had just betrayed them. That is, until Bael cut the elevator cable, dropping the haggard men 30 feet down where the elevator broke apart killing several of them and mortally wounding the others, who were then finished off by the Bastards downstairs.
The group climbed a rope lowered by Bael and with the spirit stone, exited the tombs. After concealing the spirit stone safely within the equipment stored on the carts at the stable, the group turned their attention to sleep.

You are currently in the anvil grounds.

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January 18th Recap

When we last left the Bastards,
They had spent part of a festive day in Iron Camp exploring, shopping, drinking, and fighting.
They left Falle early in the morning with the promise of extra equipment provided by Rashad and they made their way south-east along the road towards Iron Camp and Threshold. As they walked it began to snow and a large storm, potentially full of wolves, could be seen in the distance, getting ever closer. The Bastards decided they would travel to Iron Camp where they would wait out the storm and stock-up on supplies before heading towards Threshold.
They arrived in the early afternoon to the stone fort topped with various banners. Inside they found that there was some kind of festivities going on as candles, pictures of warriors, stone figures, and tokens could be seen on window sills, along the ground, in shops, and all over the place. People were singing song of brave deeds in the central square. They also discovered that Iron Camp, though primarily a mercenary fort, is also a center of craft, enhanced by the presence of the Spirit Forge. A magical forge which the Iron Fists believe imbue their craft with the spirits of their fallen comrades.
The guard at the entrance to the fort, upon hearing that the Bastards were working with the Iron Arms of Cotte, told them to go see the guards at the central gate, because Master EcKarl, presumably the leader of the Iron Fists, would be very interested in seeing them. While most of the group went immediately to the crafting quarter to purchase arms and armour or to the tavern to gamble, participate in a drinking competition, sing, cheat, fight, steal, poison, and carry out a man-chest with man parts, Tahiquitz went to the central gate and met with some guards, who once they heard that he was working with the Iron Arms, was given a tour of the Anvil Grounds, where men were busy training or rehearsing, and the Engineers Workshop where Tahiquitz requisitioned the lead engineer to make some glass bulb arrows for him. The guards informed Tahiquitz that EcKarl would want to meet the group when they were all ready.
In the mean-time, Barakas and Ash had left the Tavern and after insulting some Truth Seeker evangelists until they had left the central square, they entered into the city’s tombs where the bodies of revered fighting men are kept in stone shelves, covered by shields, ready to fight for their afterlife. Ash decided that there must be something in this tomb system and began running through the holy place. With liquor and insults still on the mind, Barakas decided to ask for some bones from a man, who very quickly decided that he had a bone to pick with Barakas after several insults followed the man’s refusal. An incredible fight ensued which saw magic exploding through the tunnels, Ash jump into a shelf to hide after the man cut his first arrow in twain, and Barakas stabbed twice by the man that they came to find was Telbowyn of Delbowar, a captain in the Iron Fists. After performing what should have been impossible feats and pinning Barakas to the ground, the man calmly walked back down the tunnels. Ash helped Barakas up and they continued deeper into the cavern corridors which got increasingly darker and transitioned from tombs into abandoned mine shafts.

It is still the same day currently, mid-evening, it is dark out, but most businesses remain open. People have gathered in the tavern for merriment and in the central square where a man recants tales of Iron Arm travels and victories and of their journey through the Corpse Pass.

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November 30th Recap

When we last left the Bastards they had just put the finishing touches onto repairs of their cart using words and diplomacy rather than tools.

Early in the morning, the band of adventures had packed up their camp, nicely set up by Oliolio beside the road, and had ventured to the north-east; the Shelf growing taller as they grew ever nearer. After several hours of walking the group was only a short distance away from the Shelf. Suddenly, a loud snap and the crash of swords to the ground notified the Bastards that the axle and wheel of the cart pulled by Geldof and Ed had broken into fine splinters. The crew set to work immediately thinking of possible solutions to their new problem. Barakas, Bael, and Castanza walked an hour west to where they had seen a cottage some distance into the woods which lined the road. Turning to see his friends leave, Xan noticed a covered wagon coming up the road from behind them and immediately ran towards it and jumped into the brush, ready to ambush, slaughter, and take what he needed. Tahiquitz realized Xan’s intentions and decided that maybe not every problem was solved with innocent blood. Walking past Xan, Tahiquitz approached the cart and spoke the people inside. They were refugees from Tersk, which now was apparently a burning pile of rubble in the distance; two families, each with young children, and one with a father who was near death from burns sustained back in Tersk. After talking for some time, Xan sauntered out of the bushes and approached the wagon. Maintaining his balance in the extreme middle of a scale of moral extremes, Xan offered to heal the burned man. Unfortunately, the families could not offer any assistance to the group, and so they were begrudgingly let go. In the meantime, Ash had unloaded all of the supplies from the wagon and organized them neatly on the ground. When they arrived at the cottage, Barakas and Bael knocked politely at the door while Castanza waited in the trees around back. They were all surprised when someone knocked back heavily on the other side of the door. Barakas opened the door and a festering mutilated body fell forwards onto the leaf covered ground, worms and ooze running in and out of sores on his body. Not waiting to ask questions, from something that clearly wouldn’t give many answers, the three adventurers unleashed furious magic and steel. The deformed figure had chunks blown off and slices cut deep into it, releasing torrents of black pus and worms which writhed on the ground, but for this creature, death was further off than Barakas, who he charged and slashed with dirty hands. Barakas was hit and released a scream loud enough to shake the trees. Ash saw birds fly off from the trees in the distance. The retaliation was fierce and the figure was dispatched, but not before it dealt significant damage to the naked bird. Within the cottage, which was slowly catching on fire from magic within the battle, the group found wooden poles originally used to make traps, but equally good for making an axle.

The three returned back to the cart to find Ash, Tahiquitz, and Xan gone. Barakas sent his bird up into the air, who after fighting with some sparrows, which Barakas popped with magic missiles, squawked down general directions to where the shifter, tiefling, and dragonborn had gone. The group walked down the road and found themselves, back with the rest of their group in an arcanaus sponsored excavation site. The lead excavator, Rickard Everett, had already made a deal with Ash that he would provide the group a wheel if they would simply listen to him talk and potentially help with the excavation while he went to eat lunch.

Barakas went along with Everett to join him for lunch, Bael cloaked himself in a disguise appearing identical to Everett and ordered some men to place the aforementioned wheel on the Bastard’s cart, and the rest of the group began digging and inspecting the interior of the excavation site. After digging within the sunken cylindrical stone site for a small time, Castanza came upon a strange green orb which he promptly hid from his friends. Ash shortly after, based on a pattern he noticed within the revealed stones of the floor, began digging in the middle of the pit and discovered a large dark green pad with a silver trim contained a single indentation roughly shaped like a finger.
Immediately pressing his finger into the indentation, Ash began a chain of mechanical events which resulted in the floor stepping down around the pad, forming a spiral staircase, which led into an underground chamber.
Within the chamber the group discovered hundreds of green orbs, similar to the one that Castanza had found, but with differing runes on their surfaces. Castanza attempted to steal more of these, but failed. In the centre of the room, directly under the green pad Ash had found above, was a large black blur, like that of a coin spinning incredibly fast. The group looked at it and questioned its purpose, proposing ways to safely engage it. Barakas and Bael walked down the spiral stairs just in time to see Xan run and dive head first into the blur with everyone around him shouting and palms to their faces. Xan connected with the blur and time seemed to freeze. Within the next instant, the group saw thousands of rooms just like the one they were in, in thousands of different places, and they saw thousands of times in history. They all passed out, and when they awoke they felt their brains throbbing with knowledge, while the spinning disc lay shattered on the ground.

The group gathered themselves up and investigated another room connected to the main chamber. Within this room they found a small silver pillar in the shape of an arm, runes covering its surface, holding a dark black sphere. Ash touched the sphere, and after flashing blue it revealed to him a sky with clouds drifting past, and then movement. Right before the sphere shut off, Ash swore he saw a face obscure the sky in the sphere, a face with 3 glowing blue eyes. Before he could attempt to use the sphere again, or inspect it further, Xan smashed it to pieces with his Trikal and a blue beam of energy shot through the roof. Ash ran outside just in time to see his hopes of knowing more disappear along with the blue beam of energy, now a small star within the sky. He let forth the second bird stirring scream of the day in frustration, but was not able to stay frustrated for long as he soon realized that Everett and the guards were shouting. One of the guards had grabbed some kind of green orb from the pit and run off into the woods. Ash planted his feet and sprinted off into the forest in the direction that Everett pointed. Dodging in and out of the trees like a deer, Ash soon saw a figure cloaked in black in the distance. He gained slightly more ground and then dropped down, immediately pulling and releasing an arrow from his bow which sailed through the air, piercing falling leaves as it flew, and then planted itself as firmly as a tree into the calf of the running man, who let forth the third bird stirring scream of the day.
Ash caught up with the fallen man and found out that he was a thief, commanded by Devire to undertake this mission. Ash was in a moral dilemma and attempted to take the middle ground at first by trying to help the thief. He pulled the arrow and several ligaments out from the man’s leg and then stuffed the ligaments back in with his fingers. He asked the man how he could help him out, where he was going when he was running, and many other questions which the thief all answered by essentially screaming, swearing, and yelling at Ash for shooting him. There was talk of wolves eating the thief, and attempting to use a longsword to defend himself, but eventually Ash reached the end of the high road and plummeted down to the low road as fast as the arrow from his bow pinned the man’s head into the dirt.

Returning to the excavation site with the thief’s body as well as the orb, Ash returned the orb to Everett who was ecstatic and offered to give the Bastard’s the wheel for the cart. After they had secured the wheel exchange, Barakas informed Everett of all of Xan’s brash and reckless actions.

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November 23rd Recap

When last we left the Bastards; they had finished their trials in the Traveling Travelers Tournament and received their promised prize from their peculiar presenter who pronounced himself as Oliolio!

The Bastards awoke that morning, tired from their previous day of elaborate games and contests but eager to entertain their gnome host once again. Several members of the crew had disappeared in a puff of smoke late in the night, sacrificing and solidifying their current score in the Tournament for Travelers. No one seemed fazed by the sudden disappearance of their comrades, understanding that the puff of smoke happens to everyone once and a while, and also understanding that their chances of gaining a larger prize had greatly increased.

Ash, Bael, Barakas and Castanza stretched their legs, rubbed their eyes and greeted Oliolio with a happy and friendly good morning. The next of the games proceeded promptly, with a small introduction of what was to come and the summoning of an elaborate walled arena.

The game was “Hide and go Peek”. The goal; was to locate five numbers that were to be entered into a key pad in order to exit the arena. The first contestant to leave the arena would be awarded the most points. All of this had to occur while avoid an unknown and dangerous beast, Oliolio explained.

The four Bastards entered into a complex and dangerous situation in which none of them knew what would await…and in the fashion he was known for: Barakas do as Barakas do; and ventured forth towards danger, blindly. The rest of the companions scattered around the map, filling in the nooks and crevasses that provided them with concealment, searching for any numbers that could open the combination at the far end of the arena. Their search was interrupted by a sudden blast of blue flame and the appearance of an elephant sized hound formed of arcane fire. The great beast roared with the sound of crackling flame and charged at the exposed wizard. While the charge proceeded, the wizard Barakas noticed a number six a flame in blue and glowing from the wolfs’ head. As the beast clamped its teeth around the robed Teifling he was able to scream out: “THERES A SIX, A SIX ON ITS HEAD!”

The four comrades soon realized that the remainder of the numbers must be located on the creature as well, and the game progressed from ``Hide and go Peek`` to ``Avoid the teeth and Seek``. The Bastards scattered around the map, reaching high and low to get a better view of the numbers a flame on the wolfs surface. Everyone was given a taste of the hounds’ power and the hound was given a taste of everyone; as the trial continued… Barakas spotted a two on the beasts’ right side, Castanza a five on the creatures back and both announced their findings to the company. Many attempts were made to distract, harm and on one occasion tame the arcane hound but most failed and many more ended with a strong chomp and an aggressive toss as the Bastards were flung left right and center. Ash had accumulated a large series of numbers and kept them to himself, a number one above the creatures butt and an eight on its left side. With all five numbers now known to the beast master he crept through the shadows towards the combination lock. Bael had beaten him to the location of the pad, the warlock had inspected it and attempted to devise a way of unlocking the combination, but Ash continuing with the theme of winning at any cost; loosed an arrow destined for the magic mans head. The arrow inched down and sliced though Baels robes and part of his neck. The attack was met by outrage from the other companions, which drew the attention of the arcane beast. A stratagem of retreating from the wolf and returning to the key pad eventually locked a few numbers in place. Ultimately; with the distracting help of a screaming Kenku and the aggressive advancement of a flaming orb the code was broken (65821) and Ash was the first to be teleported to a grassy knoll where he was greeted by the loving slobbery kisses of Kafka. The bird Castanza quickly followed, entering in the combination and high fiving Bael as the crow was teleported away. Bael did the same, after checking the connection between his arm and hand which was nearly teleported away with his comrade. The warlock yelled the code at Barakas as he was also teleported to the grassy knoll. The Wizard, trapped between his flaming orb and the giant hound was able to dash around and sprint towards the combination, entering it and teleported just before the beasts teeth clamped around him.

Oliolio congratulated everyone on completing the trial and living to see another day. Congratulations aside, the gnome introduced the last and his favorite trial; ``Friendly Fights`. A trial of two parts, the first part being a show of combat between each member participating, where the Bastards would be pigitted pagainst eachother in a pantastic pa pree per all. Where there could be only one winner. The start of the match would be initiated by a show of magic from the gnome.

With questioning looks and a little less admiration for Oliolio’s rhyming the four Bastards agreed; and were again transported to the same walled arena they had just escaped. With no monstrous flaming wolf around, the four companions separated themselves around the arena and waited for the friendly combat to begin. Barakas moved towards Bael and suggested that the two magic users could work together to defeat their rouge enemies. Agreeing with the alignment, the wizard and warlock placed themselves atop a post and prepared for the fight ahead. The entire walled arena flew up and exploded in the air, but at the same time kept its physical location, with that display of gnome magic the trial began. Combat stated ever so strangely as many happy smiles and waves were issued by Ash, Barakas and Bael towards each other. Castanza found a corner and hid, deciding that he would let the rest of the combatants destroy each other before he revealed himself, but fate seemed to have a different plan. In an attempt to stay out of combat the bird began moving away from the troubled areas, shifting around in the shadows like a graceful wind but all that came crashing down as Castanza crashed down upon the ground. The noise created from the jumbling of equipment in his pack and the three shurikens slamming into the wall gave the poor birds position away. The Kenkus attempt to recover from the fall descended into chaos as he was struck by a few magic missiles an arrow and some arcane spells. Attempting again to find shelter in the shadows; Castanza was forced into another awkward position as he tripped traveling around a corner, the entirety of his pack spilled out onto the arena floor. As he was cleaning the clutter that spilled from his bag the bird was killed by an arrow loosed from the screaming long bow of Ash the Shifter. With Castanza out of the way; the two magic users focused their deadly attention towards the archer, throwing missiles of magic and curses at the beast man and his pup, but Ash didn’t go down without a fight. Knocking several arrows and letting them fly, the arrows found their marks in the flesh of Bael and Barakas. Bloodied by the combat, Ash took his beast form and rushed towards his two opponents in a last ditch effort to damage. Barakas stood stoically as the raging animalistic mass came charging at him, he turned sideways and cast a magic missile. The missile struck the beast in the chest turning him into an Ashen cloud. Oliolio announced that only two combatants were left, and the wizard quickly turned on each other, casting spells back and forth a great visual show of light and flame. When the smoke finally cleared; the wizard Barakas stood tall shouting his own name and pointing to the heavens his opponent dead beneath his feet. All members met at the grassy knoll, with no hard feelings felt they congratulated each other and laughed at the war stories told.

The second part of the last trial consisted of more friendly fights, but these combat competitions would be organized and arranged by the very combatants that would be competing. The four Bastards set the guideline of the two fights, placed their points on the metaphorical table and proceeded back into the arena. The first of the organized fights was a two on two bout, Bael and Castanza vs. Barakas and Ash. The teams found their positions in the arena and the competition began with another show of gnome magic. Ash stated the trial by firing an arrow Castanza from behind, missing him and giving away his position. The bird responded by circling around and throwing a shuriken at Ash, which critically traveled through the shifters throat killing him. Barakas responded to his comrades death by summoning a powerful orb of flame separating him from the two enemies and also firing a missile of magic at his comrades killer. Castanza shifted closer to the wizard, attempting to get a better location from which to attack. Once in position the bird attacked, throwing another critical shuriken which planted itself in Barakas chest. The wizard critically scanned the area from where the attack came, cast a magic missile and bloodied the bird. Responding to the attack, Castanza again threw a shuriken at the wizard this one finding a space between his eyes.

The last friendly fights were broken down into two separate combaters, Barakas vs. Ash and Castanza vs. Bael. Ash defeated Barakas and won his combat; Bael defeated Castanza and won his.

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November 16th Recap

When we last left the Bastards they were competing against each other in a wondrous tournament for travelers, organized by an uniquely tall gnome named; Oliolio!

Their extraordinary day began tiresomely at the eighth shadow; with the consumption of a breakfast and the task of organizing a large amount of loot, which the Bastards had “located” within the village of Tersk.

Tersk had suffered critically the previous day; as it was used as Fardooks ambush point against the Bastards. Many of the villages’ residents had been slain in preparation for the attack and a large chunk of the village was left destroyed in the chaos of combat that took place in the village square.

The bastards, after their victory; had promptly searched the still standing buildings for any equipment that could assist them in their coming travels. They had determined that the previous owners no longer had a need for the equipment, and began to organize it amongst themselves. They loaded winter gear, sacks of apples and anything else they saw value in onto their newly acquired sled. Thanks to Ash’s bartering, the Bastards had acquired four new horses to add to their now comfortably large caravan. Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe, Geldof, and Ned guided the great caravan north, six horses, one wolf and seven Bastards traveled up the forest path towards Iron Camp and the Threshold. Leaving behind Tersk and the Bastards very own fire cultist; who was promised a town to burn!

Late in the morning along their path, with a backdrop that faded from smoke and fire to leaf and trees; the company was greeted by a great light from the heavens that descended down upon their road. The light gave way to tall figure with a feathered hat and colourful flowing robes, whom introduced himself as; Oliolio, The founder, operator and general non-stopperator of the worlds only traveling tournament for travellers which he referred to as the traveling travelers tournament!

Oliolio explained that each member following the path north could be a participant in said tournament for travelers, and that upon signing the contract that appeared in each of their hands magically, they would venture forth to the grounds where they games would take place. Without reading the terms and conditions and with little hesitation many members of the Bastards signed their mark in hopes of winning the reward Oliolio had promised.

The gnome waited for the last signature and than teleported himself and the companions to the tournament grounds, where they were introduced to Bael a mysterious warlock whom Kafka and Ash had taken no liking to! Oliolio made a quick introduction and proceeded to explain the first of their trials. A talent show of sorts, where anything could be pulled into existence to assist them in their performance. A panel of three identical Oliolio’s would be there to judge each Bastard on their act. Barakas the wizard executed a stunning performance by balancing two apples and a flower on the head of Oliolio with the precision of a practiced surgeon he let loose an arcane missile which plucked the flower from the gnomes head. That performance and with a flourish of his own charisma and charm, landed him the lead position in the first trial of the traveling travelers tournament.

The state of the games progressed aggressively as each member came to the conclusion that they could mess with each other’s ability to complete the tasks to come. The task was to answer riddles as the stood atop a platform. Too many incorrect answers and they fell into combat, answer correctly and that member was awarded a point; and the riddles continued. Ash was the first to put the idea of sabotage into action; as he loosed a concussive arrow at Barakas’s feet deafening the wizard. The group descended into chaos… magic was slung, arrows were flung and everyone clung to the riddles that were spun. Bael was forced into combat by the bird Castanza who had used a form of ventriloquism to mimic the warlocks’ voice and answered incorrectly one too many times. Tahiquitz and Ash were able to answer two riddles each, even while defending themselves against their comrades. The two archers lead the score at the end of the riddle round.

Wiping the slate clean: Oliolio healed all damage that was done, removed the platforms and proceeded with the next event; a good ol fashion foot race. Continuing with the theme of harming each other’s chances of obtaining the promised prize the group quickly relapsed into their damaging behaviour. The race began and the finish line seemed to grow closer even though they hadn’t taken a step. Ash quickly fired another arrow at Barakas; hitting him in the leg, and the group… again… descended into chaos. Magic was slung, arrows were flung and everyone sprung for the finish. Castanza was the first to cross the end line after consuming a soul-less potion, a concoction which allowed him to sprint a much further distance and become invisible for a short period of time. The bird finished first, followed only shortly after by Ash and Tahiquitz.

They then were pitted against each other in a contest of carnage. Oliolio stated that the goal was to remove as many of his vermin from this mortal soil, the gnome summoned in a cluster of bewildered individuals, all of whom showed a look of concern by being surrounded by the armed group. Xan, Ash, Tahiquitz, Barakas and Metron all happily displayed their unique abilities of homicide. Bael took the form of Metron in an attempt to be acknowledged for the many kills made by the mighty Warforged, as Castanza attempted to save the few vermin that had wandered towards him; his attempts were quickly snuffed out as the lives of the people were snuffed out by Barakas’s missiles. The razorclaw, dragonborn and warforged all did their very best in removing the vermin from oliolios presence by killing five each. The gnome thanked them by rewarding each member a point for every person they killed.

When we last left the Bastards; Ash was leading with a score of sixteen, followed by Castanza with fourteen, Barakas and Tahiquitz tied with thirteen, Xan with twelve, Metron with ten and Bael tailing with six.

And the games continue…

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November 9th Recap

When we last left the Bastards they had just watched Farduk summon the power of Moloch once again, but this time in an attempt to teleport Barakas along with himself to Eudel. Enraging Farduk, this attempt ended with Slappy being teleported instead and the group was left without their short cleaving chum, lost to uncertain fate.
Earlier in the day they had found themselves trapped inside of a strange swamp intestinal beast, filling with acidic black water, the beast was trying to digest them and strange living slimes within the burning black water were intent on restraining them until it could be accomplished. Cutting through slimes and burning through sphincter after sphincter the Bastards made their way through the innards of the beast, looking for an exit.
Just as the water was reaching their shoulders, the group saw several black and eroded skeletons floating on the top of the water. Next to the floating corpses, which were discovered to be those of a tax-collector and his escort, the fleshy wall of the beast had been eviscerated by hands and swords, one of which was still stuck into the wall. Drew, Slappy, Xan, and Castanza lead the horses and took a different path during their own search for an exit. Metron, Barakas, Ash, and Tahiquitz saw that small tears in the wall allowed black murky water from the swamp above to drain into the beast. Metron decided to pull the sword out of the wall and as he did so, the weakened patch of skin gave way and the water above came cascading in, filling the corridors even quicker. The four took turns attempting to breach the flow of water and swim their way out and towards the dull light of the sun shining through from above the swamp. At first the current was much too strong and even Metron was thrown back, but the crew did not give up and eventually as the water levels equalized Metron who carried Barakas up, Kafka, and Ash were able to make their way to the surface.
In the meantime, after taking a blast of crude gas to the face and igniting the most horrifying blue angel, Drew, Slappy, Xan, and Castanza came across an area of the swamp beast which had been killed by invasive roots from the trees above, the flesh hung loosely around them and gradually was replaced by dirt as the group continued down the corridors. The corridor ramped up slowly, and eventually the four along with the horses found themselves on relatively dry land. After following the corridor further towards daylight, they found a corpse of man who had been trying to dig his way out, the daylight was coming through a small hole that he had dug. Slappy, Drew, and Xan started to dig, trying to make the hole big enough that their horses and the cart could make it through, while Castanza braved the dark and acidic water once more to tell the others of their exit.
Castanza arrived at where the rest of the party had been and found only Tahiquitz, not skilled enough at swimming to make his way out. Castanza decided it was too risky now, with the water up to their eyes, to attempt going back to the safer exit. Luckily, Metron and Barakas had engineered a rescue plan. Metron tied a rope to a tree above while Barakas used his mage hand to plunge the rope down towards Castanza and Tahiquitz. Castanza wrapped the rope around himself and dug his Talons into Tahiquitz hand, who was almost left behind once again. Metron and Barakas pulled and the two reached the surface.
The bastards had made it out of the swamp beast in nearly the best way possible. There had been some flounders, some people who had fallen under the water time after time, but in the end they had escaped with the horses, the cart, and had possibly even killed the beast in the process.
The group found another segment of the path and went on their way towards Tersk once again.
After arguing, and finally crossing an old broken Kobold bridge, the bastards worked their way North through a clearing towards the actual road. When they made it near to the road they saw a small camp near the entrance to the swamp with two Tieflings sitting by a fire. Castanza immediately ran and jumped into the swamp, submerging himself up to his eyes, creeping and watching, for no apparent reason. The rest of the group who attempted to spoil Castanza’s cover, but never managed to spoil his resolve, met with the Tieflings and talked. The Tieflings turned out to be the friends Otiven had talked about in Tersk, they had got Otiven’s message detailing the help he had received from the Bastards, while they were on the road and had sent back somebody to get some equipment ready for the Bastards as a reward. They offered their shop as a place to stay in Tersk and invited the group to sit with them at their fire and eat. However, after being warned by Barakas and Tahiquitz in Draconic that Ash was a bit less than mentally sound, and after experiencing his questionable quips first hand, they told the bastards it was probably better if they headed out now.
The group continued on their way. As they walked the sun went down and it began to rain. By the time they got to Tersk it was dark out and pouring. Few people roamed the streets, only town guards, one of whom directed the group towards the Tieflings shop. Lightning flashed and thunder roared as the group entered the Tieflings lending shop and found an overturned crate of equipment, prepared for them. As they inspected their new armour and weapons, there was flash, but this time blue, not lightning and where before thunder roared now it was something else. A horn blew from somewhere outside and pounding footsteps and shouts could be heard outside coming rapidly towards them. The Bastards backed out of the shop quickly. 5 People were running towards them, one of them the town guard they had passed on their way in, and Farduk in dragon form circled overhead. Keeping their wits about them, the group formed a protective circle around the horses and the cart with its important cargo. Thunder cracked in the sky as lightning arced across the town square below, the battle was heated. Arrows flew, magic missiles slew, people were electrocuted and stabbed by Drew. Metron’s blade glowed green with flame as it slashed through person after person, and Slappy turned his cleave into a ranged attack as he sent the head of an enemy flying 30 feet into the warehouse wall. 10 more enemies, orcs, humans, elves, emerged from the Tavern and the Guardhouse and swarmed the Bastards, but they were dealt with impressively. A blow from a magic missile even sent one of their enemies swords through his own head. As the last foe fell slain to the ground, Farduk roared with anger and dove down to land on the roof of an adjacent building. With cutting words he attempted to convince Barakas that his death would be for something much bigger than him, something history changing. But when words failed him, he dove towards Barakas with his claws outstretched, grabbing. A quick magic missile shot from Barakas’ staff and exploded into Farduk’s eye. With a scream of anger Farduk flew back into the sky and uttered an invocation to Moloch. Firey clouds arcing with arcane energy began to billow out from the ground and surround Farduk as the air became hot and the rain boiled and evaporated. With a gesture Farduk flung forth the firey clouds towards Barakas, but when he dived inside of a building the clouds began to curve towards Slappy, his armour hot and glowing, pulling the magic towards him. Slappy was lifted into the air, clouds surrounding him too. Before anything could be done, the firey clouds imploded and Farduk and Slappy were gone, simply fading arcs of arcane energy across the eastern sky.

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October 26th Session Recap

When we last left the Bastards they were in digestion; trapped in the innards of some horrendous intestinal swamp creature that was eager to digest them.
That morning Drew, who had stayed up all night in Yllasaadi’s house with intentions of murdering all of the elven workers and burning the place to ground when they went to sleep, was surprised when he saw a small party of Elves from the east meeting with one of the farm workers. Him and Yub snuck outside and hid by the corner of the house where they overheard their conversation. The elves had heard about Yllasaadi’s arrest and decided that ultimately it had been caused by Otiven who must be punished for his insolence. They got directions to Otiven’s manor from the worker and then stalked off into the night. Drew needed to warn the Bastards at Otiven’s house, but first him and Yub murdered the man who had talked with the elves and began to set fire to the worker’s shacks. Drew asked Yub to continue burning things and ran off after the elves.
An hour later, at Otiven’s manor, Castanza awoke to the sounds of small thuds on the roof. Looking outside he spotted several figures in the fog and saw a flaming arrow plant itself into one of the workers shacks. Castanza roused the other Bastards who were sleeping on the same floor as well as Otiven. Otiven asked if they could take care of the archers while he got to work waking his workers and putting out the fires which were quickly spreading over the thatched roofs. The Bastards engaged the archers, which they soon discovered to be elves. Metron blinked across the field skillfully weaving his sword of greenflame, Barakas stood behind a shed and popped off magic missiles, while Xan planted an elven flag. Castanza whipped shurikens while Tahiquitz returned arrow fire. The battle was tense for a while, Tahiquitz met his quota for dodged arrows, but received fatal dagger and sword blows shortly after, however as one after the other the Elves dropped dead or headless below the fog and Drew arrived with backstabs in tow, the Bastards got things under control. As the battle against elves was winding up, the battle against the fires was raging. Otiven and his workers, some of whom had been killed by stray arrows, seemed to have the shack fires under control, so Castanza, Metron, and Xan focused on the manor house. In a surprisingly positive way, Xan frost-breathed the roof off of the house and put out fires on both sides of the house. Castanza was able to fly up a short distance and send buckets of water on to the roof as well before he opened the door to the manor house and was sent flying and scorched by a backdraft, losing more of what few feathers he had. After Castanza regain composure, lost it again upon entering the house, and regained it once more, Xan, Castanza, and Metron loaded up with buckets of water from the well and began putting out fires inside the house. Only after the second floor had been dealt with did they realize that Slappy, Ash and Kafka were still in their rooms on the ground floor. Thankfully they had been sleeping on the floor and were more or less ok. At least as ok as they ever are.
As the darkness of night turned to light, so too did the darkness of the smoke turn white. With morning the fire was put out. Otiven thanked them for saving his house a second time and the Bastards continued on their way east. After walking for several hours and crossing the West Etrien, they gradually found themselves in wetter landscape and eventually found themselves on the edge of the Swamp of Erkefolk at the southern end of Erkefolk Lake. The road which they had been taken east continued through the swamp, but became submerged underwater and impassable as it entered the forested swamp. At the entrance to the swamp there was a small camp of travelers and merchants. The Bastards talked with them and bought several wares and books. The travelers revealed that the swamp has a kind of tide, rising and falling randomly throughout the day, sometimes covering the road through, other times not. The merchant suggested that even if the path had been uncovered the Bastards would be unable to make it through with such a heavy cart of equipment and that they should try an old stretch of Kobold stone road which runs through the southern expanse of the swamp. After giving the merchant poisonous berries for his kindness, the group travelled south until they found the stone path. The water was up to the top edge of the stones, but they held weight and seemed passable, so the party continued. Suddenly the path disappeared underwater, and the bastards found themselves trapped; surrounded by water. That is until another stretch of path slowly emerged from the water leading to the north. This strange occurrence repeated itself several times, the Bastards felt as though they were being led somewhere and after a short time of following these strange stone paths they found themselves in a small drier clearing with a stone gate and ramp which led down into a dark stone corridor underneath the swamp. Thinking there was no other option, the group continued down the ramp into the darkness. To their surprise, the entrance followed them down. As the entrance slowly closed, trapping them inside, the walls of stone seemed to fade away, revealing tunnels of red and gray flesh, dripping with acidic black liquid. The fleshy corridors groaned and the black liquid began to drain down the walls slowly filling up the space. The liquid burned their feet and the horses became terrified, breaking away, but soon recaptured. Strange living black sludge attacked the party. The bastards defeated the sludge and continued on their way, hoping to find an exit to this deadly living maze.

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October 19 Session Recap

When we last left the Bastards they had only just left Cotte and yet, they had just solved the second mystery of the day and ensured that justice was served.

After a morning spent in Cotte buying supplies, doing last minute errands, investing in and managing businesses, and picking up a job from the Iron Arms, the Bastards looked over the map that would guide them to Eudel and then set off; traveling north-east towards the village of Tersk, two days away.

They were barely out of Cotte before Ash found more people in front of which to embarrass his friends. Sneaking in the underbrush at the side of the road, he came up close to a group of city guards from Cotte, at which point Tahiquitz yelled to him and he broke his cover, startling the guards who drew their weapons. The crew talked to the guards and was warned that the roads may not be safe after that point, there had been a pile of bodies in the middle of the road, likely the work of Height Supremacists, but they weren’t sure. The Bastards took the information and continued on their way for several miles when a tree from the side of the road slammed down into the ground blocking their path. Fearing a bandit ambush, or something more menacing, the Bastards were confused to hear a deep voice asking them riddles, correct answers to which would supposedly grant them their lives. Ash somehow, no one knows how, defying all odds, as if the knowledge had been sent down from above, grasping at straws, was able to find the answer to the first riddle. The second riddle was answered quickly in unison by most. Where a third riddle was expected, the Bastards were startled a second time to hear jovial laughing coming from the tree in the middle of the road, who rolled over and upon confessing that he had simply tripped, asked for help up. Ash and the living trees really hit it off, but soon they parted ways and the Bastards were on the road once again.

They travelled for several more hours before they were called over by several people involved in a dispute. A female half-elf was accusing a tiefling of killing her brother and the argument had been going on all day. The guards and the tiefling wished to get back to work and so invited the Bastards to serve as mediators, jury, and judge in their dispute.

Several people opted to simply sit this one out, talking amongst themselves or sleeping on the cart. Slappy and Tahiquitz after all had grown used to their new schedule of sleeping for several days at a time.

The rest of the group each used their deductive reasoning and their given skills with great success. Ash used his masterful word craft, Xan his intimidating demeanor, Barakas his magic and perception, Metron his calculating mind, and Drew his… fire?

In the end they discovered that the Tiefling had been salting the Half-Elf’s fields and had started harassing her workers because her brother had been racist towards him and defaced his property. The Half-Elf, fearing her failing fields meant she would starve in the winter, and then hired her lead farmhand to kill her brother, a successful business man, and steal his money. Sensing the loyalty of the lead farmhand, Ellwinda, Metron and Xan decided they could put her to use and asked her if she would be the manager of their newly acquired business if they left out the fact that she was involved in the murder. She agreed and the Bastards placed the blame solely on the half-elf Yllasaadi, who was dragged away while cursing and screaming at the tiefling Otiven, claiming he would pay. Ash in the meantime discovered where the money and the murder weapon had been stashed.

Otiven rewarded the group for their good work by allowing them to stay with him for the night, 40 gold, and the promise that his friends in Remund would have some equipment for them if they ever passed through that way.

With a successful day of travelling behind them, the Bastards stayed in Otiven’s house for the night.

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