Morgan Merkle - Human Mentalist (311 points)
Sindri Blackshield - Tiefling Knight (315 points)
Virgil the Grim - Human Barbarian-Swashbuckler (318 points)
Day 180 (Cont.):
Amothius 20th, 2526
Weather: Smoky, Light Rain
Just when the party's situation seemed hopeless, Damien invented a new spell that would allow them to Walk on Air for 15 hours! Virgil shouldered Maurice's body, and Morgan passed his HT roll to regain consciousness, so the party set out. Only needing to land for rest, the party moved much faster, but were attacked by a flock of dire hawks at noon. Animal Handling failed, and the hawks flew around and surrounded the party, pecking them in the back, but none were able to land meaningful blows.
Morgan and Damien fried most of them, while Sindri batted the one that accidentally came within his reach, and Virgil, weaponless and unable to drop his two-handed sack, yelled at the birds to try to intimidate them into standing down but failed. Soon, there were only two hawks left, and they fled towards a nest which gleamed with two shiny objects. Morgan used Telekinesis to lift it towards them, only for one of the surviving hawks to try to grab it back. A PK Lash took the dire hawk down, and the party grabbed the loot: a bronze ring with a gem of ice, and a silver-tipped composite bow with a carving of a hawk, both of which detected as magical to Damien.
Later in the afternoon, the party arrived at the edge of the forest, and rested for a while before heading up and over the orc encampments in the countryside around Carda. Looking down, they noticed the orcs had built catapults and were launching rocks at the walls, but no orcs shot at them. Once inside the walls they headed to the Ducal District, however, the guards opened fire on the unidentified flying objects, stopping only after the party got within earshot. Fortunately, nobody was hit.
On the way to the cathedral of Avandra, Maurice's god, they ran into a bald man with red scars on one side of his face preaching about how battle was coming, and that Kord, the Storm Lord, would watch over the soldiers so long as they fought, and died, bravely. Upon seeing the party, he declared that Kord had blessed him with a vision, and that he was to help them. He introduced himself as Boras Stormtouched and started to follow the companions of the "hero" Maurice, who those assembled were shocked to discover was dead.
They made it to the cathedral, but, after noticing how blinged out it was, remembered that Maurice didn't get along well with his overly-greedy urban colleagues, and went to the temple of Melora instead. The priest laid him to Final Rest, the others were healed and blessed, and Virgil bought a blessed holy symbol. The party then stopped by Bruno the Crimson's Splendiferous Magical Goods to get the ring and bow checked for magic before heading to the church of Erathis.
At the church, Dugald gave them the Tears of St. Carmine (a crystal vial inside of a gold-plated enclosure) to Virgil, who gave them to Damien, and explained that the most likely person to be the "H" from Virgil's letter was Hadriex the Despoiler, general of the Fifth Infernal Demi-Legion, who were currently besieging the south side of Carda. Dugald implored Virgil to retrieve the sword that could open portals to hell and bring it back to the church, so that it could be properly stored, and Virgil nervously laughed before leaving.
They then went to speak to Hestius, and then the duke, about money. It turned out that the food stores were running low, as the orcs had attacked before the first harvest. As a result, the duchy was forced to purchase food supplies from other sources, the main one of which was the merchant-lord Tharos, from Adusia, who was gouging them because he could. Virgil suggested that they could raise money from nobles, but the duke replied that he'd already been doing so.
When asked if he had any ideas where they could go to get more money for the dragon, the duke gave the party two suggestions:
- Investigate the lizardmen to the northern swamps, find out if they'd been dealing with the orcs, and steal anything of value.
- Go to the mountain-top community of bald people in strange robes to the south and ask for assistance, as they technically fell under his domain.
Weather: Raining, Smoky
In the morning, Morgan hired a sage to research lizardmen, while he researched the bald men to the south. The sage discovered that the lizardmen used to trade gold for steel, which they could not make, but stopped several years ago for some reason, and chased people out of their swamps non-violently. Morgan discovered that the group to the south was centered around something called the Temple of the Jade Eye, that they had strange, non-wizardly magic, and that they never negotiate with somebody without getting to judge their character first.
Meanwhile, Virgil went to Hestius to ask about devils, but during discussions it came out that the south gate would be unguarded during the handoff and Hestius became very interested in which guards were abandoning their posts. Virgil told him not to interfere, but it seemed likely he would.
At midnight, the party went to the south gate, and found it open and unguarded, with an imp waiting on the other side, only for it to teleport away. 5 minutes later, a squad of 20 heavily-armoured devils with tower shields arrived, lead by a purple one with an animated beard and glaive. The Tears of St. Carmine were given away, and in exchange, Virgil was informed that Dante was in the northern swamps, with a mercenary company known as the Steel Vanguard.
Amothius 22nd, 2526
Weather: Raining, Smoky
By sunrise, the devil camp was entirely gone, save for some scorch marks and levelled terrain.
The Walk on Air all day spell is crazy good for all of 8 points. Sorcery continues to be very strong.
The party was travelling at 100m up, so it's a good thing nobody ever fell...
Virgil wanted to bury Maurice with his money. A nice sentiment, but he had almost $5k, which was higher than most of the rest of the party.
Healing potions are now half-price to make them more viable.
Bless now costs $20/point instead of $1/point, because $10 for +1 on everything is too good. Even at $200, most people took it.
Boras is the replacement for Maurice. He starts at 125 but gains double XP until he catches back up to 50% of Morgan (currently 161).
Nobody was super sure why the devils were working with the orcs, but now they're gone, and that's all that really matters.
The party is now at an impasse; on the one hand, Morgan has Obsession (Become a Great Psi), and seems to have found an enclave of psions, on the other, Virgil wants to track down Dante to get his magic sword back.
2 for general progress
1 for combat (the dire hawks)
1 for loot (the bow)
MVP went to Damien for boosting the party's travel speed in the wilderness by 5x.