Grull's Companions

Showdown at Vrazha, 13 September 2013
Against the Sharthak, part 2

sharthak.jpg
The heroes hope that the sharthak are bold enough to answer the call to battle Grull made when he fired a lightning bolt from the Spear of Vergaine into the night sky. They survey the terrain, adopt positions, and wait for the assault. The storm cloud again gather overhead as they did against the Kraken, and the fight is on!

Sharthak vs humans

Sharthak approach the village from both the south and the north. The group from the south engages the heroes almost immediately. Tarot gets stabbed by two of the shark-men and falls back. Simeon gives up his pit trap to save the bard, while Grull holds steady in the shed, awaiting the inevitable attack from the dark waters of Lake Beralka.

Giant crabs come ashore, and a figure made of ice strides forth from the water to confront the Drakine hero. It smashes Grull with its flail, forcing the warrior to adopt a defensive posture and wait for help. The remainder of the company rout the sharthak, but no one seems to be able to do more than chip away at the icy fighter. Finally, the battle comes to a draw as the ice man withdraws back into the sea.

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Loose Ends, 9 Aug 2013
Setting The Trap

Spear

After a hasty patch job, Father Jobo limps the Sea Ghost to port in Dar Enroqe. Grull buys a week’s worth of cooling spells for the ship and crew, and arranges meetings with representatives from Keldravia and Szarvasia to warn them that someone seems to be trying to start a war. The Keldravian takes a skeptical view of the concept. But the Szarvasian thanks the company and clues them in to a village, Vrazha, two days south along the Lake Beralka coast where the sharthak occasionally come to trade for a few tridents and daggers. Grull asks for a wagon, and the companions, along with Benwolf and the pegasus, and carrying the Spear of Vergaine with them, travel to the tiny village.

There, Grull and Simeon sack out in the wagon so that they can post guard all night, while the others repair to the bar, where Fayette thinks they are being watched. Tarot talks to a cat, who tells them that the smith is visited by the shark people. Elphaba goes to the village shrine while the others go to the smithy. It is night, the smithy is closed. The group decides to wake Grull and decide what to do next. The pegasus suggests to Tarot that if they are trying to lure the sharthak, they should show off the artifact to draw attention. Grull elects to take the group over to the shrine to consult with the village priest. Talking to the priestess, taal Aura Mirelle, they find an inscription on the spear head. Grull whispers a prayer to Kilbern, and a great gout of lightning erupts into the night sky!

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The Kraken, 12 July 2013
Attack Of The Sharthak

Kraken

Impressing the stranger they met in the bar into service as a method of keeping him out of the hands of the local constabulary, Tarot joins the company. Within a couple of days, the ship is set upon by a Keldravian Naval vessel and the Kraken! Tarot, who speaks with animals, discovers he can communicate with the Kraken, who follows the orders of the holder of the conch shell the enemy mage wears. The forces are split fairly evenly, and the mage aboard the enemy ship breaks off the fight. As they do, the “Keldravians” are revealed to be sharthak, the shark people. The Sea Ghost is damaged, however, and limps the remaining distance to Dar Enroqe.

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The Spear of Vergaine, 21 June 2013

Father Jobo has found a dwarf, Simeon Strongknife, who wishes to take passage aboard the Sea Ghost as far as Dyvnar, in Umbr. As the ship prepares to set sail, Grull receives a message that draws him away. He will catch up with the party in Helvoca, Mircasëa in a few days. After several days under sail, the company encounters a damaged ship, the Black Eagle, split nearly in half on a sandbar only a day short of Helvoca. The few survivors tell our heroes a harrowing tale of attack by the Keldravian Navy and the fabled Lake Beralka Kraken! The attackers seemed to think the destroyed ship was transporting the legendary Spear of Vergaine. Hey, what’s in that box the dwarf brought aboard with him?

Meanwhile, Grull meets up with Pokrath, unusually in disguise on this occasion. He delivers a message from Grull’s father Krandol, who warns his son not to be too hasty about returning to Basidrun any time soon, as the Syndics are considering having Grull arrested and turned over to Valicia in order to calm the current tensions between the two countries.

The ship makes port in Helvoca, and the group promptly get in a bar fight with a group of Keldravian Naval crew and the survivors from the Black Eagle. Grull arrives just in time to make the brawl short.

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The Golden Throne, 3 May 2013
The Oncoming Storm

Scorpion and rose tattoo

Meeting some of King Boldisar’s senior officers and nobles, the company is permitted to reside in the castle for several weeks while they recover from their wounds.

  • Grull meets a couple of the castle’s warriors, and drills with them, learning advanced techniques in disarming opponents.
  • Elphaba meets the Warden and the archoth of the king’s forest, the Vaas Presova, where she has an odd meeting of all of the forest’s enchanted creatures; centaurs, a treeman, fae, a forest spirit, minikin, a dryad, a unicorn and a pegasus. All are aware that a great evil is descending upon the land, and the fae are leaving this world for their own. What this means is not clear.
  • Sasha begs Marcus to take a sack of coin to a local address, where he meets a small Erqigdlit boy, Sasha’s son, Sparky. He defends the lad from several local bullies, but gets him kicked out of his residence in the process. Marcus takes him to the castle. As soon as Grull discovers the circumstances, he offers Sparky to join the Companions as his personal squire.
  • Maril brings Fayette a gift of hand-carved leather greaves and vambraces to supplement her armor.
  • Merina finds that the palace chirurgeon met her father, because he has previously seen the tattoo she and her father both wear.

After three weeks, the company has recovered, and has their long-awaited audience with King Boldisar. Fayette learns that she and Maril are related, they are both from the Illurifir line of elves. The King tells them that the stones that they delivered to him were pieces of a long-lost artifact, a gate that would open to the realm where the Demon Prince of Foulness dwells. It is best to leave it here in the castle, lest any should try to use it to wreak evil upon the world.

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Szarvasia Detour, 29 March 2013
Ambuscade!

Serpent demon

The Sea Ghost stops in the city of Banska-Morav, at the mouth of the Ordring River, and just across the border into Szarvasia. (This is where the company first hears the name Grull’s Companions, probably bestowed upon them by the bard Pokrath in his songs about his encounters with the heroes.) There they meet a man named Ivanov, who has a caravan he is trying to get to the capitol, Velkathy-Tashan, and needs a group of experienced professionals to see to its safety. The party accepts, and meets the other partner of the caravan, a female Erqigdlit named Sasha. Halfway between the two cities, along the Beralka Road, the camp is set upon at night by a group of religious fanatics with poisoned daggers, two giant poisonous snakes, a pair of priests devoted to Mordak, the god of death, and a poisonous Serpent Demon. The companions are nearly destroyed by the onslaught; Fayette, Merina, Jun-jun, and Sasha are gravely injured, many teamsters died in the defense, and the team is sore pressed to get the caravan to the capitol.

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On Lake Beralka, 11 January 2013
Farewell, Saltham Shore

Our heroes have returned to the village of Saltham Shore once more, after thwarting King Zaargorath Khrom’s plan to marry his 23rd son, Randarath Khrom, to the daughter of Count Linder Langwurt by killing the grand vizier Wurnalith. A revel most grand is held in the group’s honor, with Lady Sharena Langwurt the honored guest at the festivities.

As the festivities wind on, the village reeve, Gresham Lott, arrives. He informs Lady Langwurt that Lord Dhiamus sends his regards, and regrets that he was unable to receive her on this trip. However, he wishes her to be aware that a rider arrived this morning in Fanth, seeking information upon her whereabouts. King Khrom is most anxious to speak with her about the death of his vizier and his missing son. Lord Dhiamus anticipates receiving instructions on the morrow to escort Lady Langwurt to Valicia City to audience with the King. It is regrettable that Lord Dhiamus will inform his majesty that Lady Langwurt and her company left on her vessel prior to the royal messenger’s arrival, destination unknown.

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Battle of the Five Armies, 14 December 2012
Can Civil War Be Stopped?

Ran tari army

Five armies: the lizardmen Seshurma and frogmen Ran-Tari from the Shaanda River delta swamp, and an army of men who live in the cities along that great river, facing off against the Valician defenders of the city and the mercenary company, the Drakine’s Regal Axes. The handmaiden is saved, but the city is under siege! Grull and Marcus sortie out from the city to leverage their personal relationship with the Seshurma to try and negotiate a settlement. While the Seshurma cannot speak for the other two attacking armies, they let Grull know that he still has a few short hours before the attack is scheduled to commence.

Meanwhile, Lady Langwurt and Randarath discuss how neither one of them wishes to be wed, and that they have been pushed by forces outside of their control.

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Fate Of Irolo, 30 November 2012
The Wedding!

The male bridal party: Count Irolo, the captain of the Valician Guards, and two guardsmen, enter from an anteroom at the side of the temple. The music flourishes, and the doors at the entrance of the chapel open, revealing the bride, Lillian, and her four guardswoman retinue. King Khrom’s vizier sits in the front row. The ceremony proceeds until the inevitable “Does anyone object…” line, when the doors at the end of the chapel burst open, and a Valician Guardsman mounted on horseback charges up to the altar. He announces that the city is attacked! Three armies, one of men, one of the lizardmen Seshurma, and one of the frogmen Ran-Tari, surround Farnth!

The guardsmen leave, as do the Drakine’s Regal Axes. The guardswomen are left behind to protect the bride. Guests hastily exit. Chaos is the order of the moment. The opportunity is now! The heroes rush the dais and the King’s wizard. The wizard teleports away… to the choir loft, unawares that Fayette is in hiding there! She puts two arrows into his neck, and the mage falls from the loft to the chapel below, stone dead.

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Going To The Chapel, 16 November 2012
And We're Gonna Get Married!

Marriage 2

Elphaba, Merina, and Fayette meet a doddering old priest, Vener Agee, archoth of the cathedral and the priest who will be conducting the wedding ceremony. Lady Langwurt knows the old priest, as she met him not only on affairs of the county, but when she was a young girl seeking her studies in life. The archoth (then only shalan) interviewed her prior to recommending her to the local druidic circle. He is of very poor sight. Does he recognize the lady, despite her disguise? If so, he hides it well, and speaks in cryptic terms.

Meanwhile, Grull, Marcus, and Jun-jun are forced to hide among the crates as a party of bumblebees passes through the storeroom. This would appear to be Randarath Khrom, 23rd in line to the throne of Valicia, his retinue, and the groom, Count Linder Langwurt of County Irolo. They pass through without noticing the heroic trio, and leave. That was close! Now, where did Jun-jun disappear to this time?

As the distaff heroes attempt to return to the storeroom, they come to the attention of several women of the Valician Guard, who take them away. The bridal party is about to arrive, and these female attendants need to help Lillian prepare for her wedding. The plan is for her to arrive, and almost immediately be walked down the aisle!

Jun-jun returns to the storeroom with a Drakine kilt and a battleaxe. The Drakine’s Regal Axes are in attendance for the wedding, and now Grull has a disguise to look as if he is part of that group. The trio decide to set out from the storeroom to try and find Randarath and convince him of the folly of the wedding.

The women meet Lillian, but are unable to communicate with her because of the presence of the guardswomen. The cathedral bells sound that the ceremony is about to begin!

The fellows come up the rear stairs of the wing to surreptitiously reach Randarath and Count Irolo, but as they enter the hallway, they see the heir and his retinue at the far end, headed downstairs to the main chapel. They attempt to catch up, but the retinue enters the temple as the heroes come up behind them.

All of the Companions are able to position themselves wherever they want in the crowd before the ceremony begins. Fayette’s mysterious stranger suddenly approaches her, hands her his staff, with instructions on how to use it. It suddenly becomes a longbow, and the elven archer repairs to the choir loft. They note at least three individuals that they know in the crowd: Lord Jarl Ambergris, met in Woodford while the company were looking for a dragon; the wandering Drakine bard, Pokrath, on the dais playing his instrument for the ceremony; and the mysterious stranger Fayette has caught glimpses of over the months, now very obviously of elven ancestry.

The soft stringed music plays, and the ceremony begins!

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