Fellowship of the Goose

Slow delving... better safe than sorry

The shadow spirits of dead people who touched Timo‘s heart left him just an inch from death. This shocked the whole fellowship which opted for a strategic retreat to the Dryads’ grove for resting and regrouping.

Gildorel carved a small statuine from a fallen branch wood, to bring to the restless female ghost the next morning, together with a prayer. The ghost did not seem to appreciate much, so the elf hasted to catch up with the rest of the fellowship.

The dungeon delving continued. Beyond the shadows room there stood a burial site of an ancient military officer. How careful were the priest of his time to protect his rest by binding elemental spirits to metal armors standing there! Very dutifully, the armors animated and tried to beat the flesh out of our poor fellows. Their efforts resulted vain in the end, as the adventurers exploited this clash of steel to test some new combat tactics they pulled out of their sleeves.

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Better Dryads than Druids

After travelling in time (fifteen years forward in one night) and space (from Leavendale to the Ashwood forest), having encountered dire hedgehogs, orc wariors, chimeras, trolls, and not-so-friendly druids which are not accustomed to share information, the Fellows of the Goose learn the source of the orc commotion: they are apparently lead by restless evil spirits which dwell in the Ashwood Cleft.

So the characters gathered the leaves of a mind-shielding plant and marched on, to the cleft. The unexpected encounter with will-o’-the-wisps slowed them down but not too much, as they felt charged with new powers and renewed energy.

As they reached a clearing, they were approached by dryads, much more pleasant conversation partners than druids, which explained clearly (at last) the situation at hand. The old resting place of the ancient archdruid, turned into a graveyard later on, has been tainted with unbalance and torment. Moreover, this happened recently, after another group of humanoid characters crossed the cleft area, some months ago. Maybe Alfrond and his gang? (this surely reminds me of what happened in the sacred grove near Cillamar).

Anyhow. The fellows delved in the cleft, where they were met by a restless ghost of somebody buried there. Braenn’s faith was able to turn the spirit away, hopefully (but not likely) not to come back. The first of three larger tombs was visited but not tampered with by the previous adventuring party, their tracks lead to the second tomb, and the Fellows are just about to open its entrance…

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I hear a voice in my head
Or the danger of druids, chimera and herbs

Here an illustration of the session, additional report will follow soon..
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A leap into the future

Young Lady Yolinde Garenburg hugs her father in joy and relief. The lord is pleased and gladly rewards the fellowship with gold for their deed, plus freedom for ambassador Lorelei. A big feast is thrown to celebrate the return of the princess, and there is enough delicious food that even Drugo is satisfied (for the next ten minutes or so). Things are starting to finally turn good for the Fellowship of the Goose.

Too good actually. And like in any story worth to read, good time never lasts.

After going to sleep, the fellows awaken in a dark place dotted by stars, where the concept of space is distorted. In this dimension, betraying the natural perception of motion, the fellows are lost, barely able to hold themselves together. It is Timotheus, with a stroke of genius, to address the situation at hand: he manages summoning the beings which were the swamp daughters when trapped in the material dimension. They hastily lead the party to an exito of that plane of existence. But when finally the fellows manage to drift back home, they find it changed.

Drastically.

The walls of Leavendale are damaged under the visible signs of siege engines attacks, the city is cramped with war refugees, plenty of which are dwarves. Everything is so different. The fellows find their old friend Gory among the town beggars, visibly aged, and one arm short. “Where were you guys when we needed you?” yells he at the adventurers. Then, among sobs, he starts telling them the mishap that befell these lands in these fifteen years of their absence.

The kingdom of Morrain is no more. After the murder of the previous King, all went in disarray: some lords as Garenburg itself would not accept that new imposter of King they put of the throne afterwards, and after some time, Galaron became annexed to the northern alliance, leaving other cities of previous Morrain alone, to fend for themselves.

Then war spread from the south. A new Dragon Empire, branding the holy symbols of goddess Nemesis, arose, conquering lands by force, and forcing worshippers of the various churches to convert to their goddess or face execution. Cillamar fell under the advance of the Dragon Emperor’s army. Gory barely managed to escape, but at high price, and he knows not what happened to the other Hommletians.

The situation seems dire enough: the fellows feel out of place, still trying to figure out what happened to them, how did they travel so forward in time. Gory suggests that maybe a powerful mage, like Alfrond, may hold the answers that they seek, but where to find him?

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Statues and frogmens

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recap will appear on the weekend, enjoy the pic till then

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A Tale of Imaginary Goblins

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After having arrived on the island, the group started to explore. Where there was sand they found tracks left by amphibians of various size. When they followed the tracks, they found they led to a thicket covering the base of the central rock massif.

They were suspecting goblins hiding there. The imaginary goblins assured them that they were not there. After further discussion they decided to not explore the thicket to avoid running into imaginary goblins.

Instead they decided to make camp under an overhang. During the night they heard noises from the direction of the thicket, like something dragging itself across the beach. Drugo, Gil and Timo went to investigate. John stayed with Braenn at the campsite.

When they inspected the thicket something had just rustled the bushes. The imaginary goblins assured everyone it wasn’t them, honestly!

Being several hundred meters away they did not notice that something was creeping up on the campsite. John noticed the strange frogmen just in time to actually do something about them. One knocked Braenn out and tried dragging her away, and one put himself in between John and the one dragging Braenn. The half-plated warrior bull-rushed through the obstacle and hit the frogman, but acidic mucus from the pustules splattered over both John and Braenn.

He managed to kill two, but the third one kicked over the fire, setting the campsite ablaze. All kinds of camping gear and additional provisions took fire, especially John’s lantern oil. The creature got away, because the heavy armor was enough of an impediment to make sure that the Ram Knight couldn’t catch up.

The imaginary goblins sniggered.

Braenn brought some healing, and the night brought some uneasy rest. Breakfast was half-rations thanks to the courtesy of the late Bambi. With growling stomachs the party decided to ascend the cliffs from the more accessible side, and Gil climbed ahead, hammering iron spikes into the wall.

They found an entrance with traces of guano. The goblins denied having ever had anything to do with that, like ever! They climbed down and ignored the branching side tunnel. Gil fell down a trapdoor and into the middle of slimy tentacle weeds trying to suck his very elven blood out. John threw a burning torch after him, killing the weeds. The goblins started to get the popcorn out. This promised to be fun!

Descending further into the cave, there was a close inspection of the quality of the stonemasonry when stairs were found. Too bad such attention to detail wasn’t given to the carpentry of a rotten ladder, which collapsed with Gildorel on it. They spent their last piece of rope making that descent.

They found a deadend. They sent Drugo crawling on his belly to scout for traps, none were found. Checking the walls Gil found a crudely hidden door, which was stuck. John tried to force it open by slamming into it with a running start. The door tumbled into the gaping darkness below, but through sheer luck John kept his balance and did not tumble after it to death. The goblins probably exchanged money from bets at this point, but nobody was paying them attention.

The vertical shaft vanished into the darkness above and below. They thought of flight, but Rosencrantz had joined the goblins for a card game and was hence unavailable. Gil’s magical abilities were brought up, but he refused to involve the non-demon prince of elemental winds… until John offered throwing Gil down to the shaft to strengthen his resolve. The mighty patron was called, insisting on his non-demonic nature, and left with two debts he intends to call in later. And they all gently floated down to the next ledge, about 40 feet below.

There they found a very… interesting cave with rather… graphic depictions. The goblins didn’t dare look… But Gil did, apparently inspired by the perverted brushwork. The party decided to go looking elsewhere instead, and especially not to look back.

When trying to cross to the next-lower shaft, Gil fell into the water and was promptly attacked by frogmen. John decided he could not intervene, given the current market prices for javelins you could not retrieve vs. the market prices of elves, which apparently can be rerolled for free… In the end, Gil’s magic saved his elven butt, and so did the Choking Cloud Timo sent.

They made it to the final ledge, and carefully crossed a rickety bridge. The elven safety inspector had used his carpentry expertise to ensure safe passage. They found a cave, iiluminated by pulsating purple-ish light from a strange stone. And four life-like and mostly naked statues next to it.

This surprised even the goblins who had been to distracted by their game. The goose could bluff like hell!

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The Slog

In the wreckage of their camp they rested. Their night’s rest disturbed by a snake that trapped itself on the shore. In the morning Braenn’s prayers went unheard, and she went missing on her hunt. John let the party on what he though were her tracks, but ultimately ended up where he started, unused to finding his way in the swamp.

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They find an unconscious Braenn, wounded, lying on the little island.

Something hit her in the swamp, but she dragged herself away, she tells when she comes about. They tend to her. She feels Gil’s need for the reassurance of Rosencrantz, and a shimmer of light appears to the east. They march to the river. And there, between the willows hanging into the water, they find a healthy gander, who happily rejoins them.

So do stinging beatles. Braenn’s instinct directs her into the water, while John drives them away with the torch. Gil hacks with a shovel, and Timo conjures a choking cloud. Eventually they disperse the cloud of vile biters.

They follow the river to its first arm, and cross over that streamlet with a rope. Gil swam ahead. They find another sidearm on the opposing side, further downstream. Not knowing how to cross the Morro they march until they reach a lake. Braenn and John cast out for fish, and John brings in a meal for everyone, which Drugo burns a bit, but he assures everyone that the tasty inner bits are still fine. They eat and feel filled up again – better than all day. The rain stopped and the sun dried them.

Gil took a bath. Rosencrantz went hunting for snails, and graciously shared with Gil. Braenn tried to pray, but found she contracted swamp fever. Her weakened state is attributed to divine disfavor.

They build a camp on an elevation of driftwood and enjoy their food and begin to rest. Braenn’s fever gives her dreams, but we don’t know yet what she will learn beyond the calm blanket of sleep…

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Murphy's law

When the Fellowship of the Goose tried to rescue the Gustavsons from the cruel fate John cast on them, all went completly wrong. In the end the group found themselves in the swamp relieved of their money and some equipment and banished from the village.

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…. typical Murphy’s law

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The Goose Speaketh

Braenn excused herself after the meal. Maybe the big helping of meat had been too much.

Bredda Gustaffson sent the party to Michael the Woodsman, whom they found on the marketplace, to fix up Rosencrantz. Gil and the “expert” set up a “fowl” scheme to scare the gander out of its catatonic state. Gil made Michael invisible, and when he popped back into visibility he startled the hypnotized bird so much, he just snapped out of it, leading to a very relieved Gil as well.

After being asked about missing girls Michael said he hadn’t seen Annika Njörnsen in a while. They made plans to get information out of the Njörnsens and the town elder. They asked to be let in for an audience with the leader, but he did not want to receive them.

John Herder talked to mother Njörnsen about her missing daughter, revealing – on purpose – that Bredda Gustaffson had given her away. She shouted out loud and slammed the door on them. An old guard had observed them and scrambled away. Gil stopped the guard before he could reach the town elder’s house by casting Ropework on his shoelaces. When they helped him up, he talked to him that he should be concerned about his daughter, to which old Hakon reacted quite unfriendly, but Gil calmed him down. The guard entered the house, and the guard by the door approached Gil to inquire what had been going in.

Gil told Holmgrimm of the Spear that the whole town was in danger, that an army might conquer and destroy it and that he knew of the Swamp Daughters. The guard blew a horn and 3 more guards arrived. Gil tried to cast ventriloquism but it misfired. When the guard wanted to tell the others to arrest and bind him, all voices in 100’ radius were swapped and the words appeared as if spoken by someone else – with an echo too! Words the guards said came out of the party’s mouth, and the voices of the party, some people in nearby buildings, the guards and a grandpa with his granddaughter were randomly swapped with each set of sentences they spoke. Chaos ensued – plus some wild cussing. Rosencrantz got to speak some as well.

Apparently some of the people, and the town elder, know of the nefarious scheming going on regarding the Swamp Daughters, and they were able to hear some snippets of conversation – sometimes by speaking them themselves! – before the town elder hushed Hakon the guard up. Gil was taken away, and the magic went with him – before John could use the confusion to incite a rebellion.

The guards locked Gil in a metal cage dangling from the other hillside. They returned to speak to the town elder. After all but Holmgrimm had gone inside, Timo turned to his most charming self and cast it upon Holmgrimm, the little girl Eeda and, just for laughs, on John Herder as well. She sent Holmgrimm inside to listen to the conversation between the guards and the elder.

From the little girl she learned, that the Njörnsens have an older son, and several daughter – Annika, Almud and Hilda. Annika is gone, but Eeda plays with Hilda. The town elder also has a little girl named Alva. Also, Hilda is quite sad and misses her eldest sister.

From the returned Holmgrimm Timo learned that the town elder will give Bredda Gustaffson a stern talking to, and there might even be a trial. Apparently Hakon overheard Gunda Njörnsen’s outraged comments to John Herder. When pressed further Holmgrimm told them that the villagers had a demonic pact with the Swamp Daughters. The people of Marchson had to sacrifice some girls each generation, in return the Swamp Daughters bewitch the swamp, so travellers can only pass with a pilot. And in the past the people of Marchson defeated the army of Leavendale by the cursed magic of the daughters of the swamp. Holmgrimm revealed that he and Artur had accompanied the town elder when they delivered the two girls required by the Swamp Daughters. They had turned with the boat into a sidearm of the Morro in the swamp, tied their boat up and walked to a pool where several of them appeared and led the girls away.
After all this disclosures John left the scene to prevent the Gustavsons from the cruel fate he cast on them…

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Every goodbye is the beginning of a new journey
Reunited team, session of 26 May 2014

After leaving Lord Garenburg’s castle, Gildorel, Braenn and John bought a lot of stuff, perhaps helpful in the future but heavy to carry around in the present. John tried to manufacture a beaver cap of the “justin” beaver pelt, but failed. After that he only could sell the damaged pelt to an old lady for 10 cooper coins.
Next they went to the docs to get a passage to Marchson, their first station on the rescue mission for Lady Julinde, Lord Garenburg’s daughter. At the nearly empty docs they only meet three arguing persons. One seemed to be a sailor, the two others were a strange couple – a halfling and a tall human man. John just interrupted their talk by stepping forward and offering the sailor the help of the Fellowship of the Goose. The fellowship would protected them for a free passage to Marchson. But the sailor wasn’t interested in protection, even the powerfully eloquent Gildorel failed in persuading him of the deal. So all passengers had to pay two gold coins for the boat trip to Marchson. The ship would leave one hour after dawn.
After they had booked the passage the other travellers introduced themselves. The halfling was called Rolfo and the tall man was the wizard Timotheus. John recognised Tim, and confronted him with his desertion when the group had to fight the ogre and Gil wasn’t pleased to meet Tim, because Tim charmed him twice in the past. Tim rescued his head by charming John who stammered afterwards something about a mistake. Gil still was mistrusting Tim, but for the moment he declared armistice.
John went to the Bruildir’s to visited Ada for the last time before departure. First she was a bit upset that he would rescue Julinde another woman, but when John told her the truth about Aennwyn and gave her Aennwyn’s letter as act of faith, she burst with joy.
In the meanwhile Gil, Braenn showed the “Fursty Ferret” to Tim and Rolfo. They decided to stay in this homely inn for the night. Gil started to play his flute. First the audience were only sitting on their chairs and drinking beer, but then the atmosphere started to get jolly and all persons in the bar room clapped their hands and sung out loud. Braenn spent a mushroom pipe. After a while she started to talk to “Kylie“ the ghost ferret of “Fursty Ferret” only visible to her.
In the next morning, after a night of drinking and smoking, they looked quit hung over when John entered the “Fursty Ferret” and guided them to the ship. He looked happy but didn’t talk to them about the night with Ada, but they noticed that he had lost his last goblin spear and his underwear.
Four days of voyage down the Morro without any special events passed.
At dusk of the fourth day the bark arrived safely Marchson. On the west side of the river a hill rises. Noble stone houses on the hilltop look down on the docs and wooden cabins beside the river. The village is surrounded by a stockade. On the east side of the rive the wild forest sprawls.
Before leaving the boat Gildorel interviewed the captain of the bark. The captain told Gil that the Ice Mire was a strange place. If a captain tried to cross the swamp without a pilot he will always get in trouble and be lost. In the time of his grandfather you could safely cross the Ice Mire without a pilot. Gil asked the captain if he knows Krell the pilot on the ship with Lord Garenburg’s daughter. The captain said, that he knew Krell and never had had a problem with him. The captain hadn’t noticed something special on his trips on the river, only the usually crap. He informed Gil that the village had an inn called the “Rover’s Inn” and that you not should took a bath in the river because it was full of bloodsuckers.
The crew of the bark and the Fellowship of the Goose went to the “Rover’s Inn”.
The inn was one of the stone houses on the hilltop. In the bar only some people drunk their beer. After they ordered some meat Tim and Braenn started to discuss. At the end Tim tried to charm the priestess of Ildavir, but he underestimated the willpower of Braenn. The spell had no effect on Brann but hit Tim, who barged through the room, because by the spell one of his legs got an inch longer than the other. In the meanwhile Gil located the owners of the pub. He sent John to Miss Persson the innkeeper’s wife. John tried to twist Miss Persson around his finger by telling her of the dangers he survived. But the woman wasn’t impressed by John’s stories, she told him that this inn was a traditional place for adventurer, named after the “Band of Rovers”. The Rovers donated a big orc blade hanging over the bar to the Perssons. Then Gil joined in the conversation, and nearly told the truth about their mission to Miss Persson. John only could stop him by kicking his leg. When Miss Persson shouted that Gil needed a healer, Braenn arrived at the scene, and some persons thought they would see a flashing blue light on Braenn’s head, but perhaps this was only a side effect of drug consumption. After this show Gil could persuade Miss Persson to tell him all she knows about the kidnapping of Julinde Garenburg. Miss Persson told Gil to ask the Gustavson about this. After a little exploration of the village, when Gil offended the guard Garnulf by offering him something to drink and Tim get the tip to go to the boot maker because of his strange walk, they went to bed and slept until the next morning…

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