Fellowship of the Goose

It beats starving I guess ...

When the granary of Hommlet burned down, the villagers had nothing to sell and no provisions for winter. So they chose some of their daughters and sons to enter the cursed tomb that had been up in a mountain valley forever. Others had tried to brave it before but never returned, and no one had been desperate enough to try since. But winter was looming, and the unknown fate of an adventurer was preferrable to starving quite predictably. And so they set out.

WIthin the tomb they found mostly curses and traps. Some ended up disfigured by the events, and the dwarf remains buried below the stone door at the entrance to this day. But they pushed on – past magic mouths, past the corpse of one of the last daring adventurers, into the depths. They fought skeletons. And here the goose revealed itself, in the hour of need, as the farm girl named Clio distracted the undead minions to save one or two comrades from certain death. Thus the Fellowship of the Goose was born, especially since the duck proved to be too independent to be thrown into any old fountain or pool after another, and hence did not make a good mascot. Goose_bearer.jpg

Magellan the Elf was one of the few unlucky enough to truly expire, as he explored a dark shaft to its end, only to be gruesomely eaten by whatever – we may never know – lurked at its end. Drugo the Halfling knew discretion was the better part of valor and retreated hastily, and the whole party explored other venues.

Ambrose, a cooper by trade, was the first to explore down another hallway, past the arch with the glowing runes. Several followed before the hideous nature of the arch was revealed, bending their will to fight one another. Luckily it was mostly a brawl, but when one of their lot wanted to hit the possessed Ambrose with a crowbar, he fought back in kind, ending her journey forever. In the end, the unconscious and wounded were retrieved, and the room down the stairs behind the arch turned out to be the burial chamber of the chieftain’s wife or a similar female dignitary. The jewelry they found on her withered bones was more than enough to trade for a winter’s worth of food.

Their purpose fulfilled they felt no further hunger for adventure and left the dark depths before any other harm could befall them. But adventuring is an acquired taste, and if you’re only looking forward to being an indentured servant for the rest of your days it turns out to be quite an appealing one. So 14 of them never returned from their trip to the nearest town, because some opportunities are better than none.

A little investigative work

The village of Hommlet had been saved, and some of the original tomb delvers had escorted home the caravan of provisions. But not all of them. They stayed in Cillamar. Some had found employment with the city watch, using the cold season for some cheap but effective training in the use of weapons and team tactics. And boring night shifts. Some had found religion, but none quite the same. Clio comes to mind, drawn into the service of Justitia. Probably not a surprise when you “own” a goose named Rosenkranz. Ponn felt more drawn to the service of Elder God Cthulhu. Ricardo was even rumored to have become a cultist of the Chaos Titan, but maybe that’s just small town talk. The elves and the halfling had sought out mentors in their own communities, drawing on tradition to hone their skills. Others like Henry relied on their wits and quick reflexes to make a living on the streets. And Ambrose and Gori apprenticed themselves to the old mage in the tower by the city wall.

Each dedicated to their own little world, may it be night watch duty, pickpocketing or sacrificing goats in the dead of night, they heard little of each other until spring came. And when spring comes, it’s party time! And so the adventuring party reunited at the cultural event of the season, the big festivities that heralded the growing season. But Ambrose had been tasked by his master to acquire their united services to retrieve a stolen spellbook. Only some of the events that resulted can be recounted here though.

Alrik the Unwise found out that enraging an elder mage like Alfrond has direct consequences. Macario, always endowed with enough rope to hang himself, poked himself with a poisoned dart when unveiling a clue. Clio not only was the first to learn about the recent murder of the herbalist by a halfling named Gornum, she also showed the guts to become a true Justitia’s Witness right in front of the Chaos Titan’s cult hideout. A black eye seems to be a small price for that. Ponn and Ambrose got to meet the King of Beggars. Drugo the Halfling and Clio ended up staging an ever bigger party in Smallville, trying to elicit information from the halfling minority. Henry found a fence who had some hints – for a small fee. Through entering the shop of the murdered herbalist they found a series of clues they presented to the wizard.

And now they are off the stone circle outside the city, in the forest, prepared to prevent a nature spirit summoning for the small sum of 15 gp per person, a rather reasonable fee – under the condition the book is retrieved. (If they happen to remember that.) Somewhere a murderous halfling is on the loose. Something is afoot with the wizard’s former apprentice. Something was not quite right with the herbalist’s side business in black magical spell components. But the Fellowship of the Goose is willing to unravel this mystery. Well, if the gods finally favor them. So far their religious diversity has brought them mostly quarrels…

Down the dark forest path
A gander by any other gender.

Gender issues dominated recently. Not only did Ambrose become a gender bender and turned into Ambrosia, but Rosencrantz is of course – and always was – a gander, not a goose. But it seems like nobody liked the ring of Ganderbearer, so Clio remains as the Goosebearer.

After long discussion the group moved out of town to find the stone circle. The most surprising development probably was that Blue and Orange team remained in the same composition as originally devised. After arriving at the forest’s edge, the party kept taking turns towards the darkest parts, and was by mad screeching owls, traps, ambush strikes, wildly charging deer and dancing lights. John the Herder became infamous for evading the deer by climbing a tree, a move – though smart – not really appreciated by his fellows. sleeping_fool.jpg

After the journey through the darkest forest they emerged on a clearing – they had found the magic place, originally sacred to Braenn’s nature goddess, now defiled. Dark Fey beset them, but they prevailed – even though they took Macario down. Not his lucky day in general. And the wizard’s fallen apprentice Brahst also made an appearance, but his lack in spellcasting skill suggested he might have been better off with rehearsing his lessons than setting out for a life of villainy. His protracted and strangely longwinded dying words cast some doubts on the wizard’s motives, but the spellbook was recovered. A bit bloody overall, but still intact.

A traitor among us!

The fellowship was quite astonished of the turn that the events tooks after the successful fight against Brahst. As the first lights of the day shone on the quiet clearing in which they camped, they start hearing the noise of a horse approaching. After few moments of doubt a figure emerged from the path. It was a young man, wearing the crest of the Cillamar watch, he looked like he wandered for a little while in the woods. He quickly greeted the company and delivered a message “I bring words from your friend Macario.” It was in that moment that everybody realized that the big guy was missing. “I was one of his fellows during our training in the watch, and with this favor me and Macario are even. Anyway he told me to say you this: ”/characters/ambrose-4" class=“wiki-content-link”>Ambrose escaped with the book, he went to the wizard. They both left immediately; I’m trying to follow them. I will contact you again as soon as I know more. By then be ready.” The man went on talking without paying attention to the dropped jaws of the fellowship members. “I hope this makes sense to you, because he was a bit upset and in a hurry. He really got lucky by the way, I was passing by just by chance. Maybe lucky for me, that favor I owed was quite huge. I’m happy he said we are even" After saying this, he departed immediately,

Yes, Ambrose escaped with the book. The whole thing wasn’t really making sense. Why would he escape with the book? Did he want to learn the spells in it? But then, why giving it back to Alfrond? And why did they both leave Cillamar?
Apparently, those questions will remain unanswered for some time, or better, until Macario will contact them. And for that moment, they must be ready.

Once they returned in town, they got the ultimate confirmation that the guy was not lying about what happened. The tower was empty, completely empty. Not even the dust was left. Basically they got themselves wounded, and they wasted time for nothing. Worst of all, they are in the dire need of finding resources quick. They were there, at the Brass Dwarf, a peculiar inn in the Common Quarter, drinking strong ales. It was not clear who initiated the talk, but an idea was dropped on the table “Let’s go and find that damn temple in Cillamar below!”

The trouble has just began …

Goblins and Tunnels?

While in the Brass Dwarf, the group was approached by a group of four people, two human and two dwarven. Apparently they overheard their intention of going down to Cillamar below. They introduced themselves as Augustine, Cleric of Cthulhu, Nottall (a rather dwarvish dwarf), Mr Zwerg (a rather agile dwarf) and the suspicious looking Mr Dieb. They started immediately to talk about business: They have two maps through the sewers and below to get to the temple!
The maps are extremely detailed, so apparently this time the Fellowship stands good chances to navigate through the tunnels and put their hands in a relatively safe way over a good deal of treasure. Hopefully.

However, they still need to find a safe way to access the sewers. Cillamar below is a well known redoubt for thieves and worse, so it is really unlikely that the watch will let anyone enter. One possibility would be to ask to the thieves guild for the permission to access the deeper tunnel through their facilities, since Milva is a member of the guild. However, this option was immediately discarded: The hierarchic structure of the guild was really complex to navigate for a “freshman” like Milva, and the questioning about the tunnel might have drawn unwanted attention.

The Fellowship came up with the idea of asking the Alrik’s supervisor who is a member of the watch (although he has been missing for awhile from his duty), for permission of going below. While he navigated through the streets he managed to overhear a conversation between two dwarves. They were talking about a sage, studious of antiquities of their kind, that ventured in the tunnels below with the high permission of the lord. Apparently they bribed someone, most likely the lord himself! Alrik did not question the veracity of the claim, and abandoned the idea right away.

In the meanwhile, Braenn decide to retire for meditation in close contact with nature. Nobody of the company really understood this ability of her, but apparently she succeeded in finding a possible safe entrance to the sewers. Through the “palace” of the beggar king. The beggar king asked only for one condition: bring him back a ring that was stolen by one of the goblin. The company agreed.

The tunnels of the sewers were dark, foul-smelling and with a constant dripping noise that could easily drive a man crazy. They are large and with sidewalks large enough to allow two men walking side by side. In the center a deep channel of tainted water flew. It would be really a pity if someone fell into that. To add more problems, the ground was really slippery. After navigating the tunnel for a while, they reached a large room where a man was lying on the floor, dying. Cliomenica tried to heal the poor guy. At the beginning he was thankful, but as soon as he discovered that Cliomenca was a servant of Justicia, he tried to commit suicide. In fact the man was a servant of the Chaos Titan, on a sacred mission. A noise coming from another tunnel distracted them. In that moment Ricardo approached the man who communicated him his mission and asked him to kill him. Ricardo put an end to the life of the man.

In the meanwhile a small troop of goblins attacked through the tunnel on the left of the chamber! The fellowship, thanks to some quick lucky blow by Drugo disposed of the goblins really quickly.

After the battle and some discussion the group decided to split. Some of them (Milva, Drugo, Mr Zwerg, John and Henry) decided to head toward the goblin lair. After all, they were asked to retrieve a gold ring from them. The others (Nottall, Alric, Ricardo, Agustine, Breann, Mr Thief, Gildorel, Gori and Gallion) decided to go to the Slavers. The first group, after passing by a tunnel, made an interesting discovery: one full plate armour and one leather armour. However, danger hit them: A slime dropped on the poor Milva and almost killed her. Cliomenica immediately healed her.

The group that confronted the slavers abandoned immediately any plan of compromise when they were asked to drop the weapons. Alrik acted immediately. He went towards the three crossbow slavers with his battle axe in his hand, held forward. Once he reached them he changed the grip and chopped off the head of one of them. The battle started and Nottall tried to stab one of them. In the general chaos that followed, a great praise went to Braenn who managed to control magically the crocodile in the water. Too bad she fell into the foul channel herself while trying to charge one of the slavers. In the fight, Nottall almost got himself killed. At the end the group killed the last slavers, who, however, managed to gave a warning shout..

What will await them next?

Battle Royale

Gildorel, Gallion Brean, Pon, Alrick Ricardo, Gory and Mr Dieb headed down in the sewers, toward what they believed was the high quarter of the slavers. Along the way, the saw a torch hanging on the wall. Suspicious about it, the group decided that it would have been a better idea to get an old of it, since they were also short of light sources. The operation resulted in a gross mistake, exposing them to the volley of crossbow bolts from slavers hiding in the next room. The situation was degenerating really quickly, due to the slippery floor. Alrik, seriously wounded, tried to charge in, ending up in the shitty water. In the water, the alligators were patiently waiting for food, who took the form of Alrik. Only the coordinated effort of the Gildorel, Breann and Pon saved him from certain dead. In the meanwhile, Ricardo charged in to attack the first slavers around the corner. The situation was finally resolved when Gallion casted the spell “magic shield” protecting everybody from the incoming bolts and from other mundane attack. After having dispatched the group of slavers, the half of the company of the goose freed, thanks to mr Dieb, the group of slaves that were locked in a room not far.
In the meanwhile, Clio, Milva, Hanry, Drugo, John and Mr Zwerg, proceeded down the tunnel, only to find themselves in to a trap (that actually went off when milva tried to disable it), and got ambushed by a group of goblin rat-riders. They quickly dispatched them but at great cost: Hanry almost died in the process. Now, a group of six goblins in approaching them – what will be their intention?

Day of the Halfling
Size and ambition don't always match...

In Cillamar below one part of the group was approached by goblins. Drugo and Milva wanted to charge the dreadful lot, but Milva slipped and never carried through. The fearless halfling was hit by a full salvo of darts from the goblins’ blowguns.

Concerned Clio rushed to heal the halfling and Nottall came to protect them while the others tried to get Milva out of the sewage. The goblins ran for it. Clio managed to heal Drugo in time, but he did not recognize any of his saviors, thinking them to be kobolds, and mistaking Rosencrantz for a dragonet! But the maddened friend was soon calmed by the superior healing bestowed by Justitia.

The group pushed forward towards the goblins’ lair and was greeted by a voice from the dark, asking their business. They asked for the Beggar King’s ring, but the voice knew none of that. It offered all the rings in the goblins’ possession as tribute for being left alone. They were delivered by a lone goblin. Nottall sensed there was valuables amongst them, smelling both gold and silver. There’s a ring with an Elven engraving saying “Lore of the Woods” and one with the name “Anita” on it. The 13 rings were given to Clio for safekeeping.

The group then headed towards the quarters of the slavers. There was a brief reunion. The freed slaves needed to be led out. Gildorel took the lead and decided he would head a party to show those slaves to safety. He took half of the fellowship with him. Clio, Rosencrantz, Drugo, Nottall, Mr Zwerg, Ricardo, Gallion, Braenn and John the Herder pushed onwards.

Then came the challenge of diving through the connected pools. Clio had found new resolve and strength through Justitia and went ahead, taking a length of rope with her. (Rosencrantz swam of his own, being in his element.) She made it with no troubles, but nobody had communicated clear signals for success. There was great confusion, several near-drownings, and Clio was pulled back in by a confused John on the other side. In the end all made it through. John pulled over his plate armor separately with the rope. They also found that the stairs leading back to the sealed exit had collapsed.

They sent the halfling to scout ahead. He came to a junction and followed a strange compulsion to move a certain way, until what he was thinking were his thoughts started to be loud and commanding. With absolutely supreme willpower he silenced all thought. He realized that he was being influenced and ran back in fear.

With this route blocked he again was sent ahead. Others would have cringed in fear, but again Drugo showed extreme composure, pulled himself together and scouted ahead again. He found two passageways, but one was – as expected – barred. Strange noises made him call in the group, but the only passage was very small. While the others waited, he and Mr Zwerg went in – Drugo bent over and Mr Zwerg on his knees.

There were vertical shafts going up, and as they were halfway in, a giant spider dropped silently in front of Drugo, a second behind the dwarf, and a mad fight in these cramped quarters began. The spiders pushed their advantage as both couldn’t swing their axes effectively, but Nottall also climbed in, being more effective with the spear. Drugo almost again expired, but managed to show the spider what a halfling is made of – apparently of two madly swung axes and quite a lot of fury! Mr Zwerg vanquished the spider now disadvantaged by being fought from both sides, splattering its sickly goo over Nottall.

They made through and hurried to open the barred entryway by pulling the lever. Just in time, as a half dozen of sickly undead rushed them. Nottall, Mr Zwerg and John blocked the corridor. John was too heavily armored to be affected, but Nottall was paralyzed by poison. They still made short work of them, and Clio called the favor of Justitia on them, which made the last two creatures ran back to their hiding places.

There they are now, having entered the tombs. So far fate has favored them, but it came at a price. Deep scars for the halfling, both in body and soul, but also newfound strength of the mind. Also the gods favored them so far, more so than they ever did in the history of the Fellowship. Will they manage to push through and succeed in their quest?

(Braenn also incurred the disfavor of her goddess at one point. She has been tasked to find a convert by sunrise or suffer further disfavor. Drugo has taken interest, but will the willful halfling stay true to the teachings of Ilvadir even till the call of the rooster?)

Break on through to the other side
Front and center

Within the ghoulish crypt a shout for help was heard after the monstrosities had run off. When they went in that direction to investigate, they only found three blank stone walls, but still heard the shouts distinctly. It was Ricardo who touched the walls to find that one of them was easily passed through, and so went on into a crypt with a big sarcophagus.

The shouts came from within, the top slab was still on the floor. Ricardo continued to a satchel he found in a corner, containing a strange book and other items. He threw a robe to Braenn who had just entered. Within the stone casket they found a person, bound at hand and feet and blindfolded. He introduced himself as Timotheus. The group freed him after Braenn’s divine magic ascertained he was not evil, and they gave him his spellbook and robe back. His money remained strangely absent though.

When they turned the corner they found the center of the maze. Tim noticed a rune was covering the whole floor and could not be bypassed. Anyone who entered vanished straight away. The group found itself in a corridor covered with brown moss and had to find their bearings again. The moss was exuding a strange cold, and the barefooted pair of Drugo and Tim had a hard time and asked the others to move on. The group marched for a while, taking turns randomly, until they found their way into their own map again.

They heard a deep breathing. They had found the lair of the dragon and the hydra for sure! Within they saw a big pool of blood, a big mass of white fur and a wounded dragon with bronze scales. Cliomenica approached the creature with respect and tried to open a dialogue. The dragon answered in everyone’s minds. It asked those who had actually entered the lair to lay down and share in the healing magic of the room. The magic would heal the dragon, resurrect the hydra also at some point, but the dragon said it might also benefit the group if they shared in it for a while.

Something was odd. Nottall noticed the creature did not react to being addressed in proper draconic. Others tried to resist the strange compulsion to lay down and follow the suggestions. Gallion, Braenn and Nottall escaped the room, but their attempts to make Clio join them failed. It was Tim who brought the whole thing down by firing magic burning arrows into the room at the two critters within. The projectiles passed right through them and ignited the walls! The whole mindbending illusion broke down and one could see vines covering the whole room. The vines had created the whole situation somehow and one could see them overgrowing several skeletons. Some tendrils had already reached Clio who fled the room. But now the group was divided at different sides, so a decision was reached in split seconds and everyone at the side they had come in from charged through the smoke, causing only some minor burns and breathing problems.

There was only one path, onto another rune. They stepped through and found themselves on a strange plain. The plain ascended in one direction. It was unclear where the diffuse light was coming from. Sight beyond a hundred feet somehow proved impossible. Drugo heard indistinct human voices in the distance, and he and Mr Zwerg tried to investigate stealthily, only their stealth was not very stealthy at all. Shouts were now heard and 5 figures approached. It turned out to be four humans and a halfling.

At first a standoff with a lot of distrust happened, but when Tim waved his hand, moonlight beams touched the individuals and they became quite friendly to him. They found out that these were people obligated to Bonzur Rustlepint, a rival in this hunt for treasure in the lost temple. Some of them referred to him as “Master.” They also let on that he had left them behind and had travelled uphill. Many of the Fellowship thought that these were left behind when they had outlived their usefulness to the ruthless Bonzur. They also let them know that Bonzur was especially after an idol or statue.

The gods had been fickle on this part of the journey. Both Clio and Braenn have to seek converts, and while the former has been handing out brochures to the newcomers, Braenn is still hoping for Drugo to truly come around to Ildavir. Ricardo’s lord is putting stronger pressure on him to finish the task at hand, and Clio is also struck with an obligation of extreme humility. One has to wonder if this is no accident, and if the rivalry of the gods themselves is causing this…

Into the temple

They proceeded up the hill and found a temple building with three ascending pillars on top, and the symbol of tipped scales on the front.

In the entrance hall they found signs of a long-ago fight. Some of the skeletons had leather armor in astonishingly good condition, even as the chain mail on the other ones had fallen away. It was made of an unknown leather.

After helping themselves to some gear they found three portals, labelled “The Penitent”, “The Priest” and “The Layman” – the middle one collapsed. They split and found themselves with several tests and trials – for example of courage, strength, mind and were even haunted with their past.

The two groups united only to find a transformed Bonzur in an antechamber. He told them to go away, but they pressed forward, only to find him sprout tentacles and attack. As they hacked his body to pieces more and more a dark red light emerged. When finally brought low his body dissolved into a glowing red puddle.

The puddle started to expand and move towards the group. Some tried to bash it, but only managed to splash others with the red goo, which would hurt them. The group fled and retreated into the last room, the ooze slowly following them.

They erected a barrier of flaming oil, shut the heavy door and moved stone benches in front. They were now trapped in the inner sanctum. On the altar was a dark red ruby on a pedestal. On the steps lay sprawled a skeleton with a mace and robes. Right in front of the altar lay a bag.

Drugo looked inside the bag and found a carved sphere of stone with magical inscriptions. Ricardo took the gem, only to trigger a shaking of the whole building, growing in strength. The magically gifted tried to decipher the stone, not knowing its meaning but found how to activate it.

As the shaking of the room became ever more threatening, Tim activated the sphere. A glow enveloped him, Ricardo touched him and the glow expanded to him. They all touched, and suddenly they heard Bonzur’s voice from the stone, shouting “Return!” in dwarven.

The room winked out and they passed into darkness. Braenn has a vision. In the vision riders bearing the symbol of the tipping scales split their group at a standing stone. She saw a hamlet burning and people being put to the sword. She saw war. She saw the room they just had been in, the crystal they had taken split open as if it had been a cage and flames rushing outward, flames spreading. And she heard the words. “We thought her lost. Now it begins again.”

Where will this magic take them?

Death of the Beggar King
Departing for new adventures

As they arrived, they found they were teleported into Bonzur’s townhouse. Knowing Bonzur won’t return, they took advantage of the full larder and made their camp in the dwarf’s hideout in town, near Rogue’s Court. They also helped themselves to some equipment and Bonzur’s remaining cash.

As they set foot back on the street they ran right into one of the Beggar King’s lesser servants, a boy in rags. His master asked for the attendance of the party, and they all abided by that request.

They arrived at the court of the Beggar King near Rags Row, in the old wall tower. They found their comrades, including the slaves, to still be the king’s “guests.” The king demanded that the party upheld their part of the bargain and asked for the ring they were supposed to fetch.

They showed the rings they had in their possession, but the king was not pleased. None of it was the one he was looking for. The exchange became more heated, and Clio tried to appease the king, but before any resolution was reached, one of the beggars appeared in the door and collapsed, a dagger sticking in his back.

In stormed men bearing the sign of The Tipped Scales. The surprised party, beggars, and slaves fought for their lives, and managed to thwart the surprise attack. The attackers fled on horseback, leaving behind the devastation. Only four horses could be gathered, as the others had spooked, and so Drugo, Galleon, Nottall and Ricardo followed in hot pursuit.

The others tried to save what was possible, but for King of Beggars all help came too late.


I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.