Polychotomy

Session 22: Ash Report
xpreport

Diary entry: 120ish

We are in these infernal mines with no way out. I hate, HATE, not knowing the way out. We find out that we’re not dealing with a kidnapping and grand plot, but the an unruly, angsty teenager {brass dragon!!}. He’s worried that mom might spank him, and Kalon’s airy words are having little effect. Instead of blowing about the virtues of the Talon, perhaps he should just twist its ear and march it back to mommy.

Diary Entry: 120 or so additional

The Shadowy Men were here! After beating back some shadow creatures, we found the oddest thing….rooms where right become left and left becomes right! It’s all very strange and has something to do with this world axis or something. It sounds dreadfully dull, but perhaps I may find something for the Grey Men.

PPS:

What isn’t dull are the interesting crossbows I’ve seen being carried by one or two kobolds. I really need to talk to someone about them

the XP report

encounter CR num. XP per lvl 3 XP per lvl 4 total XP lvl 3 total XP lvl 4
bonespitter 3 1 900 800 900 800
hot kobold kombat 1 2 300 300 600 600
diplomatic 5 2 1600 1500 3200 3000
shadow elementals 4 2 1200 1000 2400 2000

that’s a total of 7100 XP (lvl 4) or 6400 XP (lvl 5) among 6 people for a total of 1180 XP (lvl 4) or 1070 XP (lvl 5) each.

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Session 21.5: World Axis and Bloodlines
xpreport

It was a strange sensation. I was walking towards the kobold mine entrance when I suddenly realized I was no longer moving. I tried to move forward, but there was no motion. At which point, I started to ascend or descend – it was hard to tell which, but it was vertical motion. I travelled this way for a very long time until I ended up in a circular room with a bookshelf.

Within this room was . . . something that looked like a floating head with many eyes. It was initially inconvienced by my presence, and it attacked me with bunch of different rays – one of which inflicted some moderate wounds upon me. I healed myself, told it who I was, that I was confused and was no threat. It stopped it’s attack and told me that I was a lier and that my mire presence was a threat. It, however, did stop its attacks upon me.

The creature, at this point, became very interested in taking a sample of my blood, and wanted to discuss my family background. I, hoping it would ease the tension of the situation, took a sample of blood from the wounds it had inflicted upon me and gave it to him. I then told it what I knew about my family (at least the parts that I was willing to tell – although I felt it knew everything anyways.)

After looking at my blood, it relaxed . . . a little . . . and then repeated that my presence is a threat. I asked him to whom, and it replied . . . EVERYONE. It said that something within my blood was a threat to all within the shards. It seemed to suggest the problem comes from my father’s bloodline. It then asked me if I had any questions.

I asked it its name, it replied with a “click, clock” sound. I asked it how I got here and it told me that I came to this place via somethng called . . . a world axis – a phenomonon that is not currently fully understood. I asked it how I was a threat . . . it did not say. I asked it where I was . . . and it told me that I was still within the same shard as before.

It then asked me if I was travelling alone. I told it no, and it then asked me if I wanted to return to my commrades. I said yes. It then told me that it was going to send . . . a guardian along with me. I asked it if this guardian’s job was to guard me or everone else? The creature looked at me and said . . . Yes and . . . that we will be in touch.

I was then guided down a passageway, entered a door and found myself at an open intersection full of rubble, my commrades and . . . the body of Ritter.

the XP report

i know i told you this verbally at the time, but in retrospect it’s probably good to have Kalon’s official XP number for this session in writing as well, so here it is: 1000 XP

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Session 21: War Journal -Final Entry
xpreport

What is this, I can’t believe this. I Sir Ritter von Wünde Knight of the third order have been slain. The day started out inauspiciously enough. We were recuperating from a rather strenuous altercation with a Manticore after which we regrouped in his nest. We later sent Callon out in a scouting mission. After two days we went to rejoin him but he was nowhere to be found. After a few educational electrical jolts from the large brass front door we made our way through a cramped Kobold side door until we brought before the local authority. After Nevin gave some of the correspondence to the individuals in question. (A stone giant, a kobold spellcaster and a young adult copper dragon.) we were told to wait briefly while the spoke among themselves,

After a brief stay in their guest rooms we spoke again with the copper dragon. We learned of a small dissident movement among the kobold miners who have barricaded themselves in the mine with the young of the copper dragon. We agreed to help, after making our way through the portal we were face to stone with a large earth elemental. It was a good fight until it killed me then I was less happy with the way the fight was unfolding. In these final moments of life Id like to thank my cohorts for proving to be great and trusted companions and I wish you well in your future endeavors.

-Ritter von Wünde

the XP report

level 4: 1280 xp level 5: 1200 xp

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Session 20: "Mosqutios" and Manticores
xpreport

We went through the jungle – Stirges and up a mountain – manticore.

The Manticore’s corpse has a large tattoo of a hammer (dripping blood, of course) on its right “shoulder”. Other than that, and lots and lots of arrows, crossbow bolts, and other wounds, there’s nothing remarkable on the body.

The “nest” is strewn with broken branches and leaves, presumably from the trees. A couple of foul-smelling middens are partly covered by leaves. In a pile at the back you find:

  • A fair amount of shredded clothing
  • Six travelling cloaks, still in fairly good condition, though all are blood-stained. four are fairly nondescript and dull brown. The fifth is deep red, bears the image of a key repeated on the hem, and on the shoulder has the logo of the Couriers (a horse’s head, in white). The sixth is grey, and has the image of a humanoid sillhouette on the right breast.
  • A rough canvas sack
  • A fine leather satchel, also with the Couriers’ horse-head and the key – it seems to contain a large number of letters to a variety of recipients in Eshenag Caverns.
  • Two letters from Ishmurg Wise-Hand to Danjed, Shulbar, and Yngoras in Eshenag Caverns. Both have a prominent Dragon’s head on the envelope. They’re dated VII 417/3/11 and VII 417/3/13.
  • A large vellum sheet, only slightly ripped and stained, proclaiming itself to be: Letter of Marque This dokument herebie gives titul and ritful stewardship of the Shard knon as Stellars Rift to Özgür Blood-Drool. Into his pozeshuyn is also givn a Highrackospinx. He is to comply with any ajents of the Maul who will chek regularly in with him. Daytd this tenth day of the third sycle of the 417th year of the seventh malfuction.

    On Behalf of the Maul: (nearly illegible signature) Kata One-Tusk

    and then beneath a large X, “Özgür Blood-Drool”

The sack (which seems significantly larger inside than it is outside) contains:

  • Another letter from Ishmurg to D, S, and Y, dated VII 417/3/18
  • Eight potion bottles
  • A string with a couple of small pendants hanging from it

the XP report

encounter CR num. XP per lvl 3 XP per lvl 4 total XP lvl 3 total XP lvl 4
stirges(aka basquitos) 1/2 16 150 150 2400 2400
crocodile 2 1 600 600 600 600
centipedeswarm 4 1 1350 1200 1350 1200
manticore 5 1 1800 1600 1800 1600

that’s a total of 6150 XP (lvl 3) or 5800 XP (lvl 4) among 6 people for a total of 1025 XP (lvl 3) or 970 XP (rounded slightly)(lvl 4) each.

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Session 19: Hello Ash
xpreport

Journal Entry: 56

I’ve been lounging in The Peace for far too long. Prak, I the Prak, I assume, has found a way to keep himself permanently drunk and I seriously believe Absinthe has found a way to double-cross herself. Jax has been gone to the monestary for so long, I’m sure they’ve decided to keep her. Perhaps, I’ve been forgotten. I’ve been keeping this journal now, for lack of soemthing to do. The Peace can deadfully unexciting when one has nothing to do.

Journal Entry: 65

I got myself arrested for pilfering a piece of fruit in the common market today. I immediately imitated a guard, and walked back out again. I joined in for a search for myself….the humans provide some entertainment, but I fear my skills will waste if I find nothing of significance to do. I prepare my poisons, waiting…

Journal Entry: 72

Finally something of note! My compatriats from the second party have found there way here. They required my services in transforming a few bales of dreamweed into coin. Perhaps they will provide the means to end the boredom.

Success!! They require my services! We depart {after much activity by my compatriats, I went to play cards. I hope I didn’t offend anyone by changing forms} for a shard through a Gorgor pits to investigate the lack of communication of a party of kobolds. I must confess I didn’t pay attention to the details, for I am too eager to depart right now.

72 Additional My, the wildlife is most sporty! Upon encoutering a jungle of sorts, we were immediately set upon by flying creatures both equine and lupine. The scout shall be most useful after seeing him in combat, but is seems that I should perhaps keep an eye on the spellthief. The spirit is there, but he nearly got himself killed already….

the XP report

encounter CR num. XP per lvl 3 XP per lvl 4 total XP lvl 3 total XP lvl 4
front of house 1/4 2 75 75 150 150
hieracosphinx 5 1 1800 1600 1800 1600
yeth hounds 3 2 900 800 1800 1600

that’s a total of 3750 XP (lvl 3) or 3350 XP (lvl 4) among 5 people for a total of 625 XP (lvl 3) or 560 XP (rounded slightly)(lvl 4) each.

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Session 18: Ritters recollections
xpreport

War Journal Entry:

Today we find ourselves once again in the Hollow, unable to pass through the portal. After some deliberation we sought to venture forth back to see Avra the Green Hag. However our progress was halted through the actions of a spear-hurling troll. After that encounter we thought it fool-hearty to progress in that way. We then utilized Suma Tien’s hawk “Hudson” to correspond with the Green hag and her compatriots.

After some time we determined that the song of some local blue and orange and shimmering orange birds that came to this shard 6 months ago were the cause of the inhabitants reluctance to leave. We then determined that by blocking our hearing for 24 hours negated the effect of the birds.

The experiment proved successful, we al managed to leave the shard without hesitation. After passing through the Graveyard shard once again and besting a Gnoll skeleton and some gruesome tentacled creature, we made it safely back to Kashunas peace.

Ritter von Wunde

the XP report

encounter CR num. XP per total XP
forest troll 4 1 1200 1200
a heck of a lot of elysian thrushes 5 (approx.) 1 1600 1600
diplomatic 1 1 300 300
gnoll skeleton 1 1 300 300
lesser bonedrinker 4 1 1200 1200

that’s a total of 4600 XP among 5 people for a total of 920 XP each.

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Session 17: Djimm's letter home
xpreport

Dear Mother

Today is 417/3/7. I’m writing to you from a beautiful forest glade in a shard I recently came to. I’ve done as you said and joined with the group. It must be the correct group as the things you told me to say had a strong impact on the group. I’m not sure why you told me to join with this group. They seem to get in a lot of trouble. Admittedly, with my help, we’ve gotten out of everything the others have gotten us in to.

We came to this shard to help out a brother of the warlock. I’m sure this warlock is connected to the dream you had. The brother asked us to help find out why some Drummers in this shard were disappearing. Turns out it was the Green Way. The Drummers and Green Way are in contention for land in this wonderful shard. I don’t blame them. The air is crisp. The water sweet.

As we were carrying messages back and forth between the two groups (I know, why did we agree to become messenger boys in something that does not concern us) we were attacked by a Dire Boar. This was a fearsome beast. In the end we managed to slay it through some fine archery on the part of our scout and some steadfastness from our fighter. We noticed a strip of cloth on the beast’s hide. This led us to believe there might be something of interest in the beast’s lair. We followed his tracks and discovered the body of a human Drummer.

Returning to the Drummer’s village, we had a fete to celebrate the killing of the Boar. During this fete, our warlock tried to convince the Drummers that the Green Way would not be happy if the Drummers continued to invade the territory the Green Way claimed. It seems our warlock likes the sound of his voice more than others do as even though no one was listening, he continued to drone on. At the end of the fete, the Drummers honored me by offering me the boar’s testicles. (No doubt to celebrate my valour in killing the beast).

The next morning came as a gentle caress. Our druid taught the Drummers various ways to live lighter on this sweet land. We agreed to go back to the Green Way’s claimed border and relay the message that the Drummers would not honor the border. Being reluctant to pass that border ourselves we sent the druid’s hawk with the message.

While enjoying the forest and waiting for a response from the Green Way a bear approached us. As it was not immediately hostile, the druid engaged it in conversation. Turns out our warlock smelled funny. (I wonder what the bear smelled?) We never did get a response from the Green Way.

As we were strolling back to the portal, we passed through the Drummer’s village. The asked if we could help in a business transaction of theirs, but it sounded risky and we declined. They did mention the name of one of their business partners and this seemed to nearly put the warlock into a fit.

As we were approaching the portal, it just didn’t seem right to leave. This is the nicest place I’ve ever been. We talked things over and decided that we should just settle here. The people we need to talk to will come to this portal eventually. The druid didn’t agree with us, but we overrode his objections. We built a great hut. In this shard even hard work seems to just wash away as soon as your done.

That night I was awakened to shouting outside of the hut. As the fighter and I were trying to leave the hut the druid (who was outside with the rest of the group) sealed the door shut with his magic. It seems that the druid must have lost his mind as he attacked the warlock and tried to kill him by throwing him through the portal. From what I can piece together he and the scout tied the warlock up in his sleep and then tried to force him from this shard. I suspect that the druid must have coerced the scout in some way. The druid is no longer here. The scout is trying to convince us that something isn’t right with us wanting to stay in this pristine shard. The druid’s compulsion on the scout must still be in effect.

I’ll pass this letter on to somebody leaving the shard. I think the party will stay here for a while. I’m sure that further enlightenment about your dream will come if I stay here.

Hope Father is well.

the XP report

encounter CR num. XP per lvl 3 XP per lvl 4 total XP lvl 3 total XP lvl 4
dire boar 4 1 1350 1200 1350 1200
diplomatic (drummers) 4 1 1350 1200 1350 1200
grizzly bear (also diplomatic) 4 1 1350 1200 1350 1200
PC-on-PC conflict 5 1 1800 1600 1800 1600

that’s a total of 5850 XP (lvl 3) or 5200 XP (lvl 4) among 5 people for a total of 1170 XP (lvl 3) or 1040 (lvl 4) each. i’d run these numbers before thinking of such things, but if i’m not mistaken, this is precisely the number that naarok needs to get his next level. congratulations!

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Session 16: The Thoughts of Kalon DuVal
xpreport

We have entered the deeper parts of the woods. I still feel a little unsettled with our past dealings the forest folk. I feel there is more to this situation than meets the eye. I hope that our next encounter will give us an opportunity to talk with the forest folk and obtain some infornation about what is going on. My only fear is that my company will make this a very difficult task.

After a few miles had past, we came across a clearing. An arrow was shot, a wolf and hippogriff initiated combat. How can we resolve this and get a discussion going? The hippogriff knocks Djimm out after . . . it appears that Djimm was trying to expain to beast that he was dead? It must be a clocktender’s thing . . . My blasts were way off today – must do more practice, and Nevin kept on landing gracefully out of trees. Ritter slew the wolf. Well, lets be honest . . . disintergrated it with his sword, and our wonderful Druid summoned another Hippogriff to deal with our foe – hippogriff against hippogriff – good thinking. Ours was victorious (with a little help).

With those foes down, I decided that this was our chance. Even though we had the upperhand, I decided to open the door to discussion. The forest folk stopped their attack, and after the odd miscommunication here and there (an attacking and vanishing hippogirff, an attachment to a sword, and a runner (it must be a clocktender’s thing)), the forest folk decided to take us into the swamp to meet Avrah. She explained to us that the Drummers have been entering their territory, and that the forest folk were simply defending themselves. This is the reason for the acts against the Drummers. They would like the Drummers to leave the shard, but would be satisfied if the Drummers simply avoided their forest. Simple enough demands, but . . . now how do we convince the Drummers?

the XP report

encounter CR num. XP per total XP
worg, hippogriff, satyr 2 3 600 1800
diplomatic encounters (thorns, green hag) 4 2 1350 2700

that’s a total of 4500 XP among 5 people for a total of 900 XP each.

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Session 15: Reflections of Suma Tian
xpreport

VII 417/3/4

We awoke in the forest of Rupert’s Hollow to hear birds singing, leaves rustling and a strange aroma wafting through the air. Our kind hosts served us a fine breakfast of organic yogourt, berries and granola – it is so good to eat fresh, natural foods.

The folk of Rupert’s Hollow had reported a number of disturbances, and we ventured into the forest to investigate. While it was good to be in touch with nature, the forest, it seems was not particularly pleased with our presence. A couple of dire badgers greeted us. I was able to befriend one of them temporarily, but this was not to last, and the encounter ended in carnage.

We encountered a few fey, whose song caused some of our party to slumber. We sort of got off on the wrong foot with these creatures, but fortunately no life was lost. The day ended with another violent encounter – with a creature that could manifest itself in any number of different trees.

Is there some greater power in the forest that wishes to thwart our efforts? Perhaps keeping our thoughts more in tune with nature will shed some light on this matter. There may be some creatures in the forest who can help us – we need to bear this in mind as we continue our journey.

the XP report

encounter CR num. XP per total XP
dire badger 2 2 600 1200
petal 1 6 300 300
wood woad 4 1 1350 1350

that’s a total of 2850 XP among 5 people for a total of 570 XP each.

*XP are awarded if you successfully overcame the challenge inherent in the encounter. in this case, it’s not clear to me that you did.

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Session 14: Excerpts from interim report of Field Scout Nevyn Ynydd,
xpreport

Excerpts from interim report of Field Scout Nevyn Ynydd, filed VII 417/3/3 with The Tunnelers Secretariat of Intel, Kiszuna’s Peace Division:

Note: portions of the following text have been removed by the Director for reasons of Phyle Security.

Controller Sicarious, signifigant developments have occurred since I personally delivered my last report to you only a few days ago. Accordingly, I am filing an interim report from the field via third-party courier, despite the risks of doing so. First and most signifigantly, we picked up a new party member, to bring us back up to full strength after the death of Falom. The newcomer’s name is Djim and seems, from his golden eyes, to have at least some Celestial ancestry. However, he is an avowed member of the Clocktenders Phyle. The interesting part is that the Clocktenders seem also to have Prophecies related to… Text excised for reasons of Phyle Security... and so, perhaps that would be of sufficient inducement for them. If we could acquire more information from the Clocktenders, it would be worthwhile, should what you suspect be true.

Before leaving the Peace, the third brother, Dalong, requested that we look into the issue of the mysterious disappearance of locals and livestock in his home shard of Rupert’s Hollow. Strangely, he declined to accompany us, citing urgent business in the Peace. However, he offered in return to look into the note found on Falom’s body, linking him to the Overlords Phyle, by trying to track down his contact within the Overlords. As an aside, I dislike this turn of events – it makes little sense that a member of the Regium would have been working, even in an offhand manner, for the Overlords. Something smells about the whole affair.

Our initial foray down the Staircase took us past a Regium toll-booth. Some minor difficulties were encountered, particularly in getting Ritter past them, but unsurpisingly, we managed to clear it up with the liberal application of silver and paperwork. from there, we entered the starlit graveyard shard and were almost immediately set upon by the walking dead. 6 skeletons bracketed the party in a classic pincer manouver, while a horrid corpse ambushed our warlock on the flank of our column. The battle was hard fought, with all party members, but the newcomer, taking at least moderate damage. Our fighter, Ritter, was dropped quickly after having to deal with 2 skeletons alone, after the corpse sprang its ambush. I aided the Dumber Druid in battling 2 of the 3 skeletons at the head of the column and then went back to reinforce Djim and Kalon against the remaining 2 skeletons and corpse at the rear. all of the Walking Dead were destroyed, but not beofre Kalon had a portion of his life-force ripped away by the corpse. Given the party condition, we retreated back to the Stiarcase to heal and fortify Kalon with magic in order to overcome the loss of life-force. In this we were successful. We then returned to the graveyard shard and faced to more wlaking corpses, this time 2 slow moving shamblers. They were easily dispatched.

From there, a brief trip down the Staircase ensued, before arriving at Rupert’s Hollow. Despite the idyllic setting, I find myself fighting down annoyance with our hosts – a community of Dumbers! Frankly, these herb-smoking, drag-ass, addlepates could probably deal with the disappearances themselves, could they but find the ambition to do so. I mean, really, why… text excised due to sheer irrelevance…. Kalon is concerned that the entity behind the problems might be a dragon and as he is a member of the Talon, would likely side with the beast. In such a circumstance, I would certainly… Text excised for reasons of Phyle Security….

Using my skills as a herbalist, I have bribed one of the locals with mind-altering herbs to bring this report to you. I only hope that she doesn’t use it as a rolling paper before she delivers it.

Controller’s note – at the earliest opportunity, have Nevyn trained in basic Cartographic techniques, so that he may supplement his written reports with updated maps of the Shards that he travels through. Copies of report filed with Secretariats of Exploration and Portal Maintenance, Kiszuna’s Peace Divisions.

the XP report

encounter CR num. XP per total XP
skeleton 1/3 6 100 600
wight 3 1 900 900
zombies 1/2 2 150 300

that’s a total of 1800 XP among 5 people for a total of 360 XP each.

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