Chapter 02: An Unexpected Ally Brings Unexpected Enemies

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Session Number: 55
Date: Sunday 13 June 2010
Venue: Fergus'
PCs & Players:

Arrian Rog1/Clr7 (Fergus) (kills: none)
Emily Ftr3/Rog5 (Tammi) (kills: 1 ogre)
Feren Rog8 (Yeran) (kills: 1 ogre)
Rowaine Pal8 (Craig) (kills: none)
Troll Wiz8 (Densial) (kills: 1 ogre)

XP Awarded: TBC

Before the party ready their plans to scout the fort by air, they hear shouted voices approaching from farther up the ravine. "This may be a good time to hide if you want to," Arrian warns Emily. Troll casts Shield. Emily hides behind a large rock. The others see a humanoid closing on their position at a run, dodging between boulders - it's an elf. "Comin' through!" he bellows. Behind him are three 9-foot tall humanoids with leather clothing and straps, carrying huge scythe-sized hooks. Ogres.

Troll casts Greater Floating Disc and jumps aboard, flying straight up. As he ascends, the intruding elf ducks past the party, stops and turns around. "Hi," he says, somewhat apologetically. "Ogres, over there." He pointedly fires an arrow that hits the lead ogre. Shalélu fires two arrows at an ogre in quick succession. They both miss. The ogres close the distance at a hustle, raising massive hooks. Emily remains hidden with Blink, nocking an arrow to her bowstring. Arrian casts Recitation then moves behind Rowaine. The paladin summons Harley, moves and jumps on, looking for her lance. Jakardros' eyes narrow as he sights his favoured enemy. He fires twin arrows at a closing ogre, wounding it. Vale moves behind the rock beside Jakardros, ready to chop at anything that comes near his captain.

Troll flies higher and closer, then Fiery Bursts an ogre. Its head is enveloped in flame and it bellows in pain and rage. What hair it had is now gone. The mystery elf bends his bow twice, each time with success. The ogre approaching him keels over with two arrows in its chest. Shalélu does much the same, happy to see her two missiles strike home this time. She is alarmed to see the ogre still pressing forward, looking supremely pissed off! The ogre closes on Jakardros, its hook singing as it arcs towards the ranger. Jakardros jumps clear. The other ogre spies Troll hanging just out of its reach and throws its hook. The improvised missile whirls towards Troll but bounces harmlessly off his Shield spell. The ogre barks a word that is unmistakeably a curse, moves under Troll and stoops to pick up its weapon.

Emily's eyes widen as the ogre strides past her position, oblivious of her. She ignores its huge bulk and lines up twin arrowshafts on its head. Both arrows pierce its skull; it is dead before its huge body hits the stony ground.

Craigo found it very funny that all the boys went off to research Sneak Attack, Tammi got bored and changed her action, but nobody noticed, too engrossed in their books!

Arrian waits to see what Rowaine will do. Troll descends and moves a little closer to the remaining ogre, raining Acid upon its already burned upper torso. It collapses and dies.

Craigo is feeling like Alain. Need to double the ogres.


It is quiet, but for the hissing acid and heavy breathing. Vale and Jakardros turn their weapons on the newcomer. Rowaine, Troll and Arrian's first impression is that they have met this elf before, part of the group of elves that unexpectedly visited Kharag Monastery last autumn.

Arrian moves in between Troll and the intruder. "Put your bow down, I know this elf. He is one of Elysia's cohort."

"Yeah, I know!" He continues targetting the elf.

"Llywelyn?" Arrian asks. "Astyn?"

"My name is Feren. I'm an envoy from Elysia, whom I believe you know."

Rowaine tells Troll to lower his bow, then walks over to check that the ogres are indeed dead.

"What brings you here?" asks Arrian.

"My lady heard that Fort Rannick had gone strangely quiet, and sent me to investigate. I was spotted and chased by those ogres."

"Elysia sent you?"


"You've been to the fort?"

"Yes, but I didn't get very close."

"What did you see?"

"Not much…"

Are you alone? Do you have allies with you?"

"It's just me."

"Wasn't your name Astyn?" asks Rowaine, looking up from her grisly task.

"I tend to dabble in different names. In my line of work it's often useful not to be recognised."

"Feren," continues Arrian, "how do we know that you are telling the truth?"

"Because I don't have any reason to lie to you."

"What was your reason to lie to us at Kharag Monastery?"

"You'll just have to trust me now."

"So you have found that the fort is now overrun by ogres," Arrian says. "What are your plans - return and report to Elysia?"

"Yes." Feren turns the tables. "Have you been to the fort?"

"No," Arrian says guardedly. "Do you intend to stay?"

"I will poke my nose around a bit… what are you lot doing around here?"

Arrian is unsure how much to reveal. "We have lost a friend, Enok was last heard from at Fort Rannick. Dead or alive, we need to find out one way or the other."

"I haven't heard of your friend Enok, I can't help you there. Do you intend to investigate the fort?"

"We have to."

"I'd also like to investigate. Do you mind if I come along?"

"Feren, Do you follow a god?"

"Corellon Larethian."

"Do you swear on the name of Corellon Larethian that what you say now is the truth?"

"Indeed I do."

"With your word, we will trust you for now."

Feren glances at Troll. "Can I trust you that you will not train arrows on me for the entirety of our journey together?"

"Can you be civil to my friend?"

Feren remembers Troll's outbursts towards his liege. "…As best I can."

"Troll is challenging at times," Arrian says, "but he has a good heart. Elysia needs to learn this. He has earned my respect."

"In good time, I will make my own judgement."

"I do require you to be civil, Feren."

Introductions are completed and Arrian continues. "Firstly, this is not a terribly secure position. If this was a patrol, eventually they will be missed. Feren, how did you encounter these ogres?"

"They were outside the fort, waiting in the forest. They raised a cry immediately and kept it up all the way to here."

"We need to get out of here and we need to get out of here quick."

The rangers cover the group's tracks as they withdraw downhill, asking Jakardros and Vale to find somewhere to hide. Erasing tracks is difficult due to the muddy ground. Jakardros leads the group to an area off the path where the foliage is reasonably thick.

"What next?" asks Feren.

"Aerial survey," replies Arrian. "Look for ways in. Scout out the aerie, spot the entrance to the caverns. I'll go with Rowaine on Harley. We'll fly a circuitous route there."

"You'll have a hell of a time trying to find the fort amongst these mountains," says Jakardros. "You don't know the fort, or the area. I'll go with the paladin."

Jakardros just wanted an excuse to spend some time with Rowaine. Or was that Harley?

Rowaine and Jakardros take off on the stone flyer. "See you in a bit over an hour, I guess," Rowaine says in parting.

In their absence Emily speaks to Vale.

"So Vale, tell me more about these shocker lizards…"

"Who on earth told you about them?" Vale responds. "That's not meant to be common knowledge…"

"A local person I met up north in Capiscia had a ranger in his employ who called himself an ex Black Arrow. He said that the Black Arrows trained dragons, but Jakardros called them lizards?"

"What was this Black Arrow's name?"

"I don't know."

"Well, your information is right, to a point. They aren't dragons, and I'd hardly say we keep them. Little shocker lizards live in the caverns underneath the fort, around the same size as your little friend there, maybe a little bit bigger. Deep blue little things that can somehow generate lightning. If you get one of them angry, it'll give you a jolt that'll certainly set you back. Get a whole group of them upset and they are lethal. The story goes that one of the Black Arrows many years ago took a liking to the little critters and encouraged them to live under the fort. He has long since passed, but the lizards are still there. They seem to mete out a happy-enough existence under the fort, and their presence dissuades anything from entering the caverns. A good thing too, for the caverns lead inside the fort. Huge design flaw, if you ask me."

So how do you train these lizards?" asks Emily.

"Oh we don't, not at all. That part of your information is entirely wrong. We just leave them to themselves. We don't even feed them."


"It's entirely possible that this information came from a Black Arrow," continues Vale. "We deal harshly with those that break our rules, including exile or worse. We have to, to remain strong and keep discipline. I can't imagine anyone but a Black Arrow knowing about the lizards."

Rowaine and Jakardros return, believing they were not seen. Jakardros looks even more grim than usual. They describe the stench of rotting meat, urine and waste, noticeable even from the air. A few ogres roam freely about the fort's courtyard. The eastern gate has been smashed and poorly repaired, the south gate appears intact. They briefly landed at the aerie above, but found it empty.

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