Symbaroum - Total Recap!

The Witch Hammer - Session 9
The Return

Active Player Characters: Bauta Storkräk, Yassogai, Kil-Ano, Noggr.

Locations: New Jordemo village, Karvosti.

Scenes played: 4.

Days: 24 through 36.

New groups enter the fray

The adventurers continued the interview with Elida and explained to her that war was imminent and she must tell no one else about the secret passage to the underworld. Elida agreed. She told the adventurers that she had had two groups visiting prior to them. First, a group of Sun Knights led under a harsh man by the name Aritos. “They had hate in their eyes”, Elida summoned them up. There was also a rugged group of adventurers led by a certain Dagesto. “Greed was upon them, they hungered for gold and yet more gold”, Elida concluded.

Shouting came from the Northern tower and gate. Captain Stout was approaching with 7 of his rangers and the spellcaster Loreanda. After some discourse the village elders opened the gate. Captain Stout greeted the adventurers in a friendly matter. As the village elders tried to delay Captain Stouts access to Elida, Kil-Ano got tired of all the fuzz and went back to the ship. As he closed in, he noticed movement on board. Even up in the mast. Metal glimmering in the early sun rays. Something was wrong. He halted swiftly and returned to his comrades. “Our ship has uninvited guests” he whispered in Yassogai’s ear.

Captain Stout, we seem to have a problem.” Yassogai nodded towards the frog farms where the ship was anchored. “Our ship has been compromised. Would you return the favor from Yeferon and be so kind as to helping us clear it from uninvited guests?” The captain nodded. “So be it, in the name of the Queen.” He pulled his sword and so did the rangers. “Out of the way, elf, before I change my mind.” He shoved Kil-Ano away. The elf silently drew his blade, but relaxed it. Soon. Soon…

As they come to the ship, a big ogre stood there with a group of adventurers surrounding him. They had 2 archers posted in the mast, another 2 up at the bow, and 4 aft. 8 altogether including the ogre. The ogre introduced himself as Klyve and seemed surprised the adventurers had company with the Queen’s rangers. “What are you doing on our ship?” demanded Yassogai. The ogre smiled and his big teeth were yellow and brown. “We thought we could join forces. Two groups are better than one, aye?”

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Yassogai hesitated. Who were these bandits? But Kil-Ano stepped forward. “You can join us if you follow suit.” He blinked at Noggr, who understood he was up to no good.

Captain Stout would have none of this. “In the name of the Queen, leave the ship, put down your weapons and tell your names.” Klyve tried to read the situation. Who was friend and who was foe?

Kil-Ano and Captain Stout exchanged some hostile words and Kil-Ano finally told him to sort off, reminding him that here the forest was deep and dark. Captain Stout withdraw with a last offensive remark which Kil-Ano wouldn’t take. An arrow was notched and flew towards the Captains skull. Hit! “What the hell are you doing!?” shouted Yassogai. “I will have none of this!” He cast a Dominate spell on Kil-Ano but failed. Full war broke out!

Klyve and his fortune seekers joined Kil-Ano and Noggr. The brute ogre walked up to Captain Stout and stabbed him with both brass knuckle blades in the throat for 12 and 7 damage. The officer of the Queens’ rangers fell dead to the floor. Kil-Ano in the meantime found higher ground on the roof of the nearest frog farm. He fired at the Ordo Magica spellcaster Loreanda but she avoided severe damage and returned with a Brimstone cascade hitting 6 people for 1d12 damage, before it went out. Klyve, Bauta and Noggr built an iron front line and muled down the Queens’ rangers one by one. Kil-Ano’s sniping had advantage 2/1d4 through higher ground. Soon the Ordo Magica spellcaster was dead as well. With only 3 rangers alive they surrendered. “You know we can leave no witnesses.” said Yassogai. “I know said Kil-Ano.”

The remaining rangers were brutally slaughtered and the remains chopped into peaces and fed into the river. “What about the villagers?” wondered Yassogai. “Burn them.” replied Kil-Ano. “No need for that.” Yassogai remembered the villagers had broken out of the Ambrian empire. “They are not with the Ambrians anymore.”

There was movement on the boats bridge. Had they forgotten someone? “Come out come out wherever you are” teased Kil-Ano and nocked another arrow. A known figure stepped up in gray worn robes. It was Brother Barto. “I am sorry we must meet again like this. But I thought it better you could clear things first with Klyve. Do forgive his blunt manners. He does keep his word when given.” Apparently Brother Barto and Klyve were old friends and had stroken a pact to find Symbar.

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The adventurers agreed to join forces with Klyve and his gang. Apparently he had been to the ruins at Farrah Mouron and found out about the lock mechanism. The adventurers agreed to share information so both groups would be fully learned. But as Klyve’s gang settled into the ship’s quarters, Kil-Ano and Noggr planned to assassinate them. They poisoned the mead and tried to make them drink it. Klyve was on his guard however and passed. They would only drink and eat from their own sources and come night they slept together backs against the wall with at least two guards awake all through the night.

Noggr chatted up some of the fortune seekers during the 10 day trip back, and Bauta would occasionally start a dice game to save against the worst boredom (Bauta lost 14 shillings, and Kil-Ano won 3 thalers). They found out that Klyve was a well-proven adventurer of highest regard and had done many expeditions for Ordo Magica and the Ambrian nobility. That made him look better in the eyes of the adventurers and they stopped their murderous plots. For now…

They arrived at the beach closest to Karvosti and a day’s march was ahead of them. Bauta, Serema and Haakon stayed by the boat, together with Klyve and his gang, to guard it and their loot. Yassogai, Kil-Ano and Noggr went ahead.

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Above: Yassogai, Kil-Ano and Noggr marching in haste towards Karvosti.

Towards dusk they could see Karvosti cliff ahead. Everywhere there was bonfires. A huge army had camped around the cliff that was now under total siege. As the adventurers tried to close in they were discovered by a heavily armed cavalry patrol of 12 Ambrian soldiers. “Halt in the name of the Queen! Lay down your arms and yield.” Kil-Ano tried to parley but the officer would have none of it. “This is the last warning. Lay down your arms or we will attack.” Kil-Ano put down his bow immediately. The others followed suit.

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Above: An Ambrian army horse patrol found the adventurers as they approached Karvosti.

The cavalry patrol took them to the commanders tent. As they were shoved inside they saw a high ranking officer flanked by 4 pansárs and 1 Ordo Magica spellcaster. The commander was General Johan, commander of the Western flank.

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Above: The Ambrian General Johan questions the adventurers.

Let us start with your names and mission. You shall speak truthfully or you will have a dire night.” The adventurers told them they were trying to reach Karvosti to sell their goods, food stuff. They never mentioned weapons. “I recognize you! Are you Yassogai, from Thistle Hold? My heavens a true hero. Solider, release the prisoner immediately or you will brush the horses for the rest of the campaign!” General Johan recognized Yassogai from the heroic battle to save Thistle Hold against the abominations last year. He gave them a written letter of recommendation so they could pass the outer perimeter freely. But they could not continue to Karvosti. The siege was on direct order of the Queen. No one shall pass. The war was soon to be.

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The adventurers force-marched back through the night and arrived back at the boat at 4 am dead tired. They agreed with Serema and Haakon to have them sail the boat and the loot and sell it in Jaakar and wait for them there. The adventurers themselves would enter the underworld together with Klyve. First they would rest.

To be continued…

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The Witch Hammer - Session 8
Battle for New Jordemo

Active Player Characters: Demmeon, Gadramei, Noggr, Kil-Ano, Yassogai, Bauta Storkräk.

Locations: New Jordemo

Day 24, dawn to morning

Scenes played: 3

The Battle for New Jordemo

The adventurers went for the second guard post closer to the main enemy encampment. They used stealth among the trees and charged from some 20 meters after a volley of arrows.

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The battle was swift and two more enemy barbarians were killed. Their headcount was now 5 dead enemy combatants. Should they go for the main force? Suddenly they heard a loud high-pitch shrieking noise from the wetlands below. The main barbarian force was heading for the village and they had brought with them the heavy artillery rolling down the grasslands. They could also see the giant and the troll moving with them.

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The adventurers decided to split their force. Demmeon and Gadramei brought with them Haakon and Serema, and rushed to the defense of the village. The others, Kil-Ano, Noggr, Yassogai and Bauta went for the enemy encampment. As they arrived they got into combat with two guards, one each in the North and South guard tower. They took them out quickly and then rushed back to the village to flank the enemy force from behind.

Demmeon and Gadramei were up on the palisades close to the Eastern tower as the artillery form the arbalests came down on the walls and tower. They seemed to held up pretty well. Following was two platoons of barbarians carrying storm ladders to charge the walls, as well as volleys of arrows from snipers. Demmeon and Gadramei could also see Fendiber and his troll charging towards the tower gate. They started firing arrows and spells and the villagers tried their best as well even though spears were not the best weapon of choice…

Haakon and Serrema fought bravely and as Demmeon and Gadramei fought off the Northern platoon well, the Southern one by now climbed the walls and locked into melee. Kil-Ano, Noggr, Yassogai and Bauta came rushing into the backside of the enemy arbalest forces and a two-front battle was initiated. Bauta found himself surrounded by 4 enemies and Yassogai had to support him with offensive spells such as Larvae.

A huge victory was won as arrows and spells brought down the enemy leader, Fendiber. Demmeon shouted loud: “Hear ye barbarians. Your leader hath fallen and you will follow if ye not head my call. Go back to whence you came, we have nothing against you but shall fight to death to defend this village.Demmeon had a poor roll for diplomacy but as Haakon killed the troll, the barbarians decided to pull back and live to fight another day.

The adventurers were duly celebrated and finally got to see the girl Elida. Her information was revealing:

1) “I have never been to the Undergate, but I know where it is.”

2) “Follow the broader tunnels. In the intersections there will often be markings. Triangels pointing up or down, left or right. Right means North, left means South. Up and down is up and down.”

3) “If the air feels weird and sick, turn around. I was warned about the deepest, most Northern parts – anything beyond the orchards. Why, I don’t know.”

They also searched the enemy encampment and found some 150 gold coins and loads of battle equipment and proviant. Bauta was quick to take the armor off the chieftain.

As celebrations came to an end the adventurers continued their questioning of Elida. Perhaps there was more…

To be continued…

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The Witch Hammer - Session 7
Chieftain Fundiber

Active Player Characters: Yassogai, Bauta Storkräk, Demmeon, Gadramei, Sentina de Grummi, and Lothar Kraak.

Locations: New Jordemo village; Fundiber encampment.

Scenes played: 2

Days in game: nr 23 to 24 (dawn)

Fundiber

Cut his head off and bring it to us as proof of his death.” The village elder Father Morio’s words were loud and clear. The adventurers had to kill the powerful barbarian chieftain Fundiber. There was no way around it getting to the girl Elida who had important information pertaining to the throne of Symbar.

The adventurers prepared for a strike at dawn. Sentina de Grummi smeared her dagger with poison she got from Demmeon. The group snuck up unto about 50 meters West of the large encampment. Several tents and a couple of watch towers lined the perimeter as well as three large ballistas. They were indeed intent on taking the village.

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Sentina’s sneaking abilities proved her successful as she got into the heart of the encampment and tore up a tear in the chieftains tent. Inside she saw a giant sleeping on a fur, and opposite on the other side of the large tent was a troll, snoring in deep slumber. Next to the giant was a huge two meter long warhammer in a rack, and he had runes all over his face and forehead. His hair was fire read and as Sentina snuck carefully, silently up to stab him, she could see his giant chest moving slowly up and down as he breathed. An impressive warrior.

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Sentina got up to his side and stabbed him hard in the throat. Dark blood sprayed all over her and the giant himself. He screamed in pain and his eyes opened up wide in anger. Sentina felt something working against her thrust with the dagger, as if a magical defense had thwarted it. Still, she got a deep cut in his throat and she tried to attack him again but missed (rolled 19). The player opted to expend 1 Experience Points for preroll, yet missed again. Providence worked against her. Surely the strong poison would work the rest (she rolled “5” on 1t8 for number of rounds and some 19 total poison damage). Having missed the follow-up attack, Sentina thought it bettet to run away and save her life. The last she saw the giant was up on his feet grabbing his long hammer shouting “Now you all die!

The adventurers fired supporting fire to cover Sentina’s retreat and knocked out the Northern tower guard. The camp was lit up with more torches and huge bonfires. The adventurers pulled back and chose to attack a guard post North of the village instead. First they tricked themselves in, Sentina using her shapeshifter ability. They pretended to be deserters from the Queen’s army and received some information from the barbarians. Apparently Fundiber was only the commander for this lot, not the real chieftain for this clan. They had tattooed thorne-crowns on their forearms just like the attackers at Vearra’s Outpost. The adventurers attacked and killed the barbarian guards and noticed they were really tough warriors. Sentina got badly injured (8 of 10) and they were glad they had not assaulted the encampment with some 20-30 barbarians and a giant leader and a troll.

The session ended just before day break on day 24. Had the poison finally gotten Fundiber, or how would they now be able to kill him as the whole encampment was in a big uproar?

To be continued...

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The Witch Hammer - Session 6
Set sails yet again!

Active Player Characters: Gadramei, Demmeon, Yassogai, Bauta Storkräk, Sentina de Grummi, Lothar Kraak, Kil-Ano, Noggr.

Scenes played: 5

Locations: Yeferon – island of the undead; Zarek tribe; Malgomor river.

Yeferon – island of the undead

The adventurers pressed on into the larger hall and confronted the Queen’s rangers. During a skirmish two of the rangers were killed by the adventurers, but Captain Stout forgave them as the rangers had fired first and they were all nervous here in the crypt. Captain Stout told of an undead army outside the temple, “At least a thousand of them, led by an undead priestess on top of a throne, on top of the ziggurat.”

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The captain also warned for many traps in the vicinity and he had lost several men here. He asked the adventurers to join, they would receive 40 % of any treasures found and be paid a cash fee of 100 silver coins on top of that. The adventurers agreed. Captain Stout would however not reveal his real mission.

They returned to the caves and Kil-Ano was intent on searching the huge toad creature. One of the swallowed men had his face penetrating the skin of the toad. He was wearing a head-band and as Kil-Ano reached for it, his eyes opened. “Silence, do not wake the God that is sleeping.” Kil-Ano nodded carefully. As he tried to backstop the man continued: “Karvosti.” And suddenly there was an image manifesting itself inside Kil-Ano’s mind. A drawn map.

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Above: The secret map

Kil-Ano memorized it and continued slowly moving away from the gigantic abomination. The voice continued with its last words: “Avenge me! Destroy Karvosti!”

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Back with the group Kil-Ano was asked by Captain Stout what happened but said nothing. He then whispered to Demmeon: “I have the map, let’s go back to Karvosti!”

The group returned to the Northern little island bypassing the door with inscriptions. The ranger’s spell-caster from Ordo Magica, Loreanda, had broken the code. Back at the ship the Captain regretted leaving the toad-abomination alive and wanted to attack it. After some debate he could not convince the adventurers to support such an attack and decided to leave Yeferon as half his force was already killed in action. “I have failed my mission” he confided to Demmeon and Yassogai in private. “My secret mission was to find someone here that had sensitive information.” He left them with kind words of appreciation and he would report in that the adventurers had been helpful yet again.

The adventurers chuckled realizing they had beaten him to it. They decided to take Iosefia af Dresel’s ship back as Haakon knew how to sail it. Serema also joined, realizing her husband was dead and she had a new life in front of her. They set seals straight westwards and reached the shores of the Zarek tribe by dusk. There they were greeted as friends (+1 political point) and were invited to dinner and lodging for free this night. They bought equipment and 200 rations of food and water. They had decided to leave for Jordemo village at dawn.

Haakon and Serema both agreed to stay with the adventurers. Serema would receive half a share of the treasures, and Haakon would also receive half a share, plus a silver coin per day in addition to that. His sailing skills were by now imperative to the group.

Haakon set the sails and Kil-Ano readily climbed the mast. They sailed across the large lake Volgoma which was calm. As they entered the river mouth of Malgomar, they suddenly met a low ship with sails and oarsmen rowing like there was no tomorrow. “The Queen will invade our beloved Karvosti. All tribes must gather to defend it!” shouted a proud group of barbarians from the Baiaga tribe.

The rest of the trip was calm but at times hard. They had to row across strong streams, and sometimes stop to pull the ship over grounds. Chopping down timber logs to roll it on. After some 15 days they anchored up outside Jordemo village.

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They noticed that the village was surrounded by 4-5 burning fires outside the palisades, as if some force had encamped there. Were they under siege? Kil-Ano jumped into the water and swum to the Eastern beach. He went stealthily closer to a larger encampment consisting of several fires and tents. He could count to about 20 men at arms, led by a huge individual like an ogre or giant, sided by a grotesque monsteroid figure, perhaps a troll. Kil-Ano went back to the village swimming to their boat that had now landed at the little village harbor.

The adventurers were met by armed villagers who aggressively told them off. But as they asked to see Elida, the villagers calmed down. Eventually they got to see the village leader, a certain Morio. He had a proposition to make: “If you kill the chieftain of the barbarians attacking us, you will get access to Elida. Cut his head off and return to us!”

The adventurers searched the village to see that nothing was amiss. They were followed at all times by at least 4 spear men. The adventurers parleyed. Killing a barbarian chieftain? Sure! They decided to attack at dawn. Demmeon smeared his arrows and swords with poison. Yassogai rested his mind for the mystical powers. Kil-Ano strengthened his bow so the arrows would kill and maim. Krakk and Bauta chopped wood with their heavy swords and axes. The chieftain would see his last rays of the sun this dawn. So be it. Aye.

To be continued…

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The Witch Hammer - Session 5
Yeferon, island of the undead

Scenes played: 3

Active Player Characters: Demmeon, Gadramei, Noggr, Kil-Ano, Yassogai, Bauta Storkräk.

Areas: Yeferon, island of undead.

Time: Day 7, 08:00 to 13:00.

The adventurers decided to leave the chanting giant on the main square and the hundreds of undead. The place made them uneasy. They headed for the two bridges over to the other side of the river. The temple in the East their main target. As they crossed the Northern bridge they spotted a skeleton lying on the river bank. As they approached they were attacked by two phantoms. They defeated them quickly, but Bauta was strength-drained (11 Str!) and felt under the weather for the remaining day.

The skeleton was perhaps an old fortune seeker. They found a scroll with drawings withered away. Gadramei used his ink and feather to outline the sketches. A map appeared.

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There was a death skull marked on the square of the singing giant and the undead. A big “X” was drawn at the northern most part of the Southern Bay. A dashed line was marked leading from the “X” to the pyramid. Perhaps they found a secret entrance? They decided to head for the X.

As they moved on, the island sucked out energy from them They could feel it. A feeling of despair and tiredness. They rolled for Strength or Willpower, any failure would mean 1 temporary loss to corruption. This would be repeated every hour.

Halfway on, they noticed a brawl. A group of bandits seemed to have encircled a small fortess of some sort and one or more desperate people were firing off bolts to defend themselves inside. “Taste my blood red kiss!” the bandit leader shouted to the beleaguered.

The adventurers approached to about 100 meters and watched on The bandits were clearly the aggressors. “I won’t have that” said Demmeon and fired an arrow towards one of the bandits. Fumble. The arrow went haywire and made a lot of noise hitting something metallic. The adventurers had blown their cover.

The bandits reorganized and approached the adventurers who opened up full fire. Yassogai and Gadramei with larvae and Kil-Ano, Demmeon, and Noggr with ranged weapons. Bauta took cover first but then jumped up on a wall screaming out his war cry. The bandits hesitated. Spell-casters and a huge ogre? They asked for parley and offered peace. The adventurers replied with unconditional surrender demands only. “Lay down your weapons now, or die!” The proud bandleader, a woman of agility, answered without hesitation. “Fuck you!

The battle played out mostly with ranged weapons and before even reaching the adventurers the band-leader fell dead to the ground larvae eating her from the inside. The other bandits were tough and fought on, but only 4 of them made it to the defensive position of the adventurers. Using encirclement and flanking, the two remaining bandits surrendered. After a short negotiation they agreed to join the group for 2 silver coins per day and the adventurers would also pay them another 28 silver coins that the bandit leader had own them. They received 10 silver coins as early payment. Their names were Nielz and Haakon and they were bandit mercenaries. They looked forward to work with the adventurers who they respected by now. Their leader was a certain Iosefia af Dresel. A noble woman with ties to Korinthia, turned into a simple rogue.

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Iosefia af Dresel, female bandit leader of noble heritage.

The woman who was surrounded in the fortress was a certain Serema. She was a fortune seeker who went lost from the rest of her group including her husband. They had bought a map of Yeferon by the Zarek tribe. As they tried to sneak into the pyramid they were noticed by some kind of priestess and hundreds, perhaps even a thousand, undead. They ran for their lives and she ended up here for two days. She still had supplies but agreed to join the group who was now growing to 9 people altogether.

We looked at two new marching orders. Scouting march (non-combat), double file, 5 meters between:

1) Kil-Ano, 15+1d10 meters ahead at any given moment

2) Nielz and Haakon, the mercenaries
3) Demmeon and Gadramei
4) Noggr and Serema
5) Bauta and Yassogai

Gadramei carried a lantern when dark, and Serema a torch.

For combat movement (contact) the group would change to 3-files:

1) Demmeon, Bauta, Noggr
2) Nielz, Haakon, Kil-Ano
3) Gadramei, Yassogai, Serema

The adventurers filled up water and moved on. After only another half-hour they found the cave. It was big, 5 × 5 meters. Kil-Ano scouted and noticed movement inside. Something big was lurking. Yassogai also scouted more closely and could hear heavy breathing. As the group forced themselves inside two giant mountain-bears of sorts came rushing out. A heavy brawl was ignited and the bears would hit for 16 to 10 damage with two attacks.

The bears also had dominate ability with their cold ice-blue eyes and Bauta fell for it, running away fleeing the battle. Noggr fought on with the mercenaries but was hit for 16 and would surely have died if it was not for his armor that took off 2. At 14 damage he was not down to 1 hotpoint and his left arm severely damaged. But he fought on, using acrobatics to circumvent one of the bears and put his sword with full force inside where the sun doesn’t shine. Apparently the bears heavy fur didn’t cover the rectum. The bear screamed of agony and pain and fell dead to the ground. Gadramei went after Bauta to try and calm him but it was to no use.

Demmeon had ordered a fall-back since most of the ranged attacks just bounced off the bears. They absorbed some 7-8 damage from each hit so Kil-Ano and Serema could not easily penetrate them. Gadramei and Yassogai fired on with larvae and as the second bear started to get weary, Noggr again used acrobatics to flank it. And yet again he showed his sword with full force up the bears rectum. A painful roar, and it fell dead to the ground. Noggr was the man of the day!

Unfortunately Nielz, one of the mercenaries, had perished in the battle.

Inside they found 6 little bear cubs. The fur was absolutely immaculate but some of the adventurers could not slaughter them. They decided to block them inside a small side cave for later. The cave thinned out into a man made corridor leading further inside. The adventurers lit their fire sources and pressed on in single file. After about 45 minutes the corridor ended in a T-crossing. They tried left since the air breeze was stringer from there. They ended up at a big door with 16 figures the size of a palm. Each figurine also had a hidden hole in them. They also noticed that 4 of them were somewhat more worn out. The sun, the cloud, the moon, and the crown.

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The adventurers discussed to some length how to handle the gate, but chose to return back and try the right-side corridor. As they moved on beyond the T-crossing they ended up at the entrance towards a large cave lit up by algae. There was also a spiral staircase leading upwards some 20 meters.

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Demmeon investigated beyond the spiral stairs’ corridor and could hear faint voices echoing from further inside… They started with investigating the cave however and Yassogai using his cloak of hiding (+1) ventured into the cave and found a huge toad sleeping in a hibernate state. There were faces of humans or humanoids sunk into it’s skin and one faced didn’t even seem to have sunk in but rather facing the outside of the toad’s skin with mouth, nose and shut eyes free. Yassogai felt uneasy and returned back to his comrades.

They decided to investigate the corridor behind the staircase and found a labyrinth of corridors and small chambers that were empty. They also found a couple of larger rooms. Perhaps a garrison or temple or some sort of building for many guests and individuals. The faint voices grew somewhat louder and they could pinpoint one or two corridors two the right as the source. The discussed how to play this and decided to move on and confront the sources of the faint voices.

To be continued…

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The Witch Hammer - Session 4
Yeferon, island of phantoms

Location: Karvosti; Clan Zarek; Yeferon.

Active Player Characters: Bauta Storkräk, Yassogai, Lothar Kraak, Sentina de Gummi, Kil-Ano, and Noggr.

Scenes played: 2

Days: 3 to 7 (arriving Yeferon island morning around 08:00 on day 7)

Karvosti

Old friends from Thistle Hold joined in, Sentina de Grummi and Lothar Kraak. They had stayed behind but now called forth as things were getting hot. The group received herb-cures from their friend Aranella and left for the tribe Zarek on the Western edge of Lake Volgoma. The trip would take them 3-4 days using forced march. On the way out they heard rumors again of the army camp building up outside Thistle Hold, now counting some 500 men and archers being added as well.

Heading North-West they encountered a monster hunter by the name Ingril. She was badly injured in a fight with a Urorne but the adventurers helped her regain her wits after they killed the beast. She offered them her friendship. The following days passed without any encounters and they arrived safe at clan Zarek.

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Above: A giant urorne charges the group but Bauta Storkräk chops it’s head off.

Arriving at Clan Zarek they offered them the urorne skin and tusks for ship transfer across to the island Yeferon. The clan seemed disturbed by the island claiming ghosts and phantoms resided there. “The island is on the threshold to the spirit world”. But cash is king, and the clan agreed to take the eager adventurers to Yeferon island early next morning and pick them up two days later.

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Captain Hasek and first officer on the deck Ajborn would take them to Yeferon. The legend said they had to take an Eastern course and continue regardless what their senses told them. As they left the shore the captain fastened the rudder with a rope due East and off they went. Kil-Ano took position up in the mast and Lothar and Bauta took guard at the stern. Sentina and Noggr patrolled the ships deck as Yassogai rested below at the ships quarters.

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Suddenly there was a clash of words between the captain and the first officer. Noggr went up and sided with the captain. The ship was heading straight for some cliffs in the water and the first officer wanted him to change course. “I won’t do that, we promised them to take them to Yeferon!” the captain replied. Sentina and Yassogai along with the two ogres arrived as well. Kil-Ano stayed as a scout in the mast. As the ship was about to hit the cliffs the first officer fastened himself with a rope along a pole. The ship hit the cliffs… but suddenly vanished into calm waters. In front of them was the island Yeferon.

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Captain Hasek took them around the island, it was small, just some 3 kilometers across and perhaps 1 km wide. Mountains cut the island in half and a river trickled down on the Eastern side through a ruin city on dusted dry grounds. In the West a ziggurat (square pyramid) rose in several levels guarded by a wall. A bay in the centre South offered a natural haven just as the river mouth to the East. A small island guarded the bay and there was another island North of Yeferon with some houses built upon it.

The players elaborated where to land and chose the river mouth, wanting to check out the ruin city first. They agreed with the captain to be picked up 2 days from now in the bay. The captain said he would wait max one hour, then leave them be.

As they entered the ruin city they could hear a sad song in the brisk wind. As they approached they saw a huge individual, some three meters, sitting on a podium next to a large toad statue singing. The person wore long robes white or light gray, and had long hair hanging down over the front, hiding the face. Around the person were hundreds of silent individuals slowly moving to the song as if enchanted. They wore rag doll clothes and something was odd about them. As the adventurers crept closer they realized there were hundreds of undead zombies.

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Who ever that tall singer was, he or she controlled or duped the undead somehow perhaps through the song. “We better not disturb the situation” said Yassogai and the friends retreated towards the bridges that reached the Western half of the ruin city.

To be continued…

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The Witch Hammer - Session 3
Vearra's Outpost

Active Player Characters: Bauta Storkräk, Yassogai, Noggr, and Kil-Ano (new).

Locations: Karvosti, Vearra’s Outpost.

Scenes played: 3

Morning broke to day and the adventurers were gathering their thoughts and gear for an expedition to Vearra’s Outpost. The most likely place to find Brother Bartho, the guy who probably had more intel on Elmendra. As they were whispering their plans over the wooden table, they noticed a slender figure in the shadows, watching them. Bauta Storkräk grappled his sword. Yassogoi talked out loud. “Why don’t you step out of the shadows and show yourself, or even join us at the table, secret friend.” Out stepped an Elven kind with a strong bow over his back and longsword in his sheath. “Tales speak of you and your group” the Elf replied. “I would like to join you on your quest for Elmendra and my bow will serve you well.” Apparently Kil-Ano had heard great things about the group and now wanted to join. Elven kind were tricky and not seldom dangerous, but as they were to penetrate Davokar deeper and deeper they could always use one of the Elven kind.

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Above: Kil-Ano readies his bow.

The group left Karvosti and headed to Vearra’s Outpost about an hour east along a trail through lighter Davokar terrain. They were let in by the guards there and Arold by the front gate after a good roll of Privilege by Yassogoi. They headed for the Victory Hawk Inn where Brother Bartho alledgedly would be. Inside was a group of four guards, the female cook Erella and in a corner by himself a bearded man in dark clothing minding his own. Erella greeted them and her Black Elf in the open kitchen was cutting onions and carrots for the chicken soup to be ready soon. The adventurers asked her for Brother Bartho since she knew him, but she seemed nervous and wiped off a tear of sweat running down her forehead… The bearded man rose up and tried to leave but the adventurers called him.

What do you want Brother Bartho?” he asked. Yassogoi stared him down with a friendly smile. “We just want to talk to you. We are concerned of the well-being of Elmendra.” Brother Bartho smiled back. The charade was over and the cook Erella sighed of relief and went back to her business, the chicken soup. Brother Bartho sat down with the adventurers and told them all he knew regarding Elmendra:

1) Elmendra was sure there were leads inside the Karvosti cliff how to find a way to Symbar and conquer the Throne of Thorns. Then the old empire would be recovered finally and all the power in the world to that person.

2) Brother Bartho only joined in one of Elmendra’s expeditions. The one to the ruins of Faarah Moroun. They went there to study a particular ancient locking device at a gate. Bartho was injured so Elmendra entered alone. She found something there that really scared her. She said that "I happened to wake something up that ought to sleep…"

3) Elmendra told him about the island Yeferon in the lake of Volgoma. The island had been ruled by religious fanatics and it was the most horrible trip she ever undertook, it froze her blood to ice. She mentioned she met someone there who told her about a secret entrance into the Karvosti cliff.

4) Elmendra also mentioned a girl by the name Elida who knew something that was of utter importance. Elida was probably with the witches or back home in New Jordemo, a religious village some 200 kilometers East of Karvosti.

5) Brother Bartho was the one who found the poisoned and throat-cut Amegor in the tent. The poison was advanced sleeping agent so who ever the killer was it was an advanced person or fraction.

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Above: Brother Bartho smiles back at the adventurers. “You got me.”

Suddenly there was an alarm. The outpost was under attack and the walls had been breached. The four guards luncheoning rushed out, one of them shouting at the adventurers “All sword-able men to the walls NOW!Brother Bartho rushed up and grabbed his beloved cook Erella. “Hurry, we must flee. There is a backdoor here”. The adventurers decided to send Yassogoi with Bartho and the others rushed out to defend the outpost. Kil-Ano climbed the walls for higher grounds and saw two enemy groups climbing the South-Eastern wall with some 15 enemy combatants. They looked like barbarians in bear-hide and leaders with heavy double-axes.

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Above: A huge Lindorm appeared outside Vearra’s Outpost.

He then saw a huge Lindorm supported by another group of enemy combatants outside the main gate. But there were a group of guards there to contend them. Up in the North-Eastern corner there was a breach as only two guards mustered a defense. About 6 enemy combatants came over the walls. “We must hurry over there or the enemy will brake through!” he shouted. Noggr and Bauta Storkräk dashed towards the North-East corner and Kil-Ano started firing arrows but the range was too long. He jumped down from the ledge and moved up closer as well.

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Above: Vearra’s Outpost, one hour East from Karvosti.

Kil-Ano kept firing arrows and closing up. As the range diminished he finally hit an enemy in the thigh. Yassogoi had left Brother Bartho and Erella who fled into the forest, and now supported with Larvae spells. The barbarians screamed out of pain as the larvae gnawed at them from the inside.

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Above: Yassogai using his mystical powers to combat the enemy barbarians.

Noggr and Bauta Storkräk were now 2 against 6 as the two outpost guards fell dead up at the palisades. One of the barbarians was a chieftain and Bauta singled him out hitting him with a marvelous blow with his twohandsword for 14 damage. The chieftain went down to the ground.

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Above: Bauta Storkräk takes no prisoners.

Noggr used his acrobatics to flank the barbarian warriors. But they counter-attacked and suddenly Bauta Storkräk was surrounded by three of them and their axes cut at him for 9, 7 and 3 damage (we roll for enemy damage, see our Campaign Rules). But Bauta’s protection was too strong with 1t6 for light armor (Armor Master offers one higher dice) and Robust (+1t4). No damage penetrated! Good to know when you roll against “4” defense… The battle tide turned and with only two barbarian warriors left they yielded. Kil-Ano slayed one of them immediately and then started interrogating the last remaining one:

We are the Oath of Power and seek to attack Ambrian interests all over Davokar. We want to create tension between Ambria and the Barbarian tribes. We have no base but rather move around and look for ambush possibilities.

They all had tattoos on the inside of both wrists picturing a crown wrapped in thorn. They also had huge scars over their bodies from old tattoos of their former clans being burnt off.

Kil-Ano slayed the last remaining one.

Political points was due:

The Queen; The Sun Knights; and the Priesthood all gained +1
The Oath of Power -1

The adventurers left Vearra’s Outpost and was offered to return for free lodging if the would help out in any following attacks. Back at Karvosti they visited the witches again but their hide was still sealed off. Noggr tried to climb up but there seemed to be some invisible barrier blocking entrance into the cliffs. Back at the Pilgrimage Camp they met with Aranitra who tended to Noggr’s wounds for 2 hit points. “Come back in the morning and I will tend to you some more.” They also found out that Brother Bartho and Erella had arrived safely.

Prices at Karvosti was upp 50 % due to the rumors of war and people stockpiling important goods.

The adventurers debated what’s next. They had four leads:

1) Inside the Karvosti cliff there must be leads to Symbar.

2) The ruins Farrah Moroun contains an ancient locking mechanism that can help them understand how to get in.

3) The island Yeferon contained someone who knew how to enter the cliff through a secret backdoor.

4) A girl Elida knew something of utter importance. She would be with the witches or at her home in New Jordemo.

The adventurers debated and debated. Finally they decided to head for the island Yeferon and looked at boating alternatives. They would either find the barbarian tribe Zarek on the other side of the lake Volgoma some 100 km, or go to the town Jaakar some 50 km away and look for boats. The Zareks were perhaps a more secure option but also a longer stride and time was a scarce resource as hostilities between Ambria and the barbarian tribes seemed to intensify.

To be continued…

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The Witch Hammer - Session 2
Finding missing people

Active Player Characters: Bauta Storkräk, Yasogoi, Gennaro and Klodovig.

Scenes played: 2

Location: Karvosti.

Days: 1-2.

The adventurers went to check out Chief Tharaban’s fortress but it was in a lockdown and no one was allowed in or out of the compound.

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Above: Guards patrolling the area around Chief Tharaban’s fortress.

They interviewed the priestess Aranitra and she told them that the Ambrian mercenary Amegor might be of interest as he had spent time with Elmendra. He had a tent in the Pilgrim encampment. They also went to see Grimtooth who was sleeping his rouse off at the Longhouse inn. He had no idea where Father Piromei had gone, perhaps he went to search for Elmendra.

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Above: Grimtooth plagued by too much cheap mead.

The pilgrim encampment was silent and moody after the assassins attack on Chief Tharaban. Most tents were closed and you could only see silhouettes moving slowly as shadows behind the hide and cloth of the tents.

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Amegor’s tent was rather lavish in light-blue color and much higher than the other tents. A man could stand tall inside. The opening was not sealed but the tent was dark. The adventurers suspected trouble and entered. They found a dead body lying on the ground with arms out in the open. The right hand was formed as if holding something before. No object was found however. They called for Aranitra who identified the dead man as Amegor. She estimated time of death to 24 hours ago and that he had been put to sleep with a very rare sleeping agent that was used by Black Coats and the Queen’s spies. Then his throat was cut off. The sleeping agent was a very rare substance.

The adventurers went to see the witches but their nest was completely sealed off. They saw a white masked face that quickly vanished from a hole three stories up. Was it perhaps Yeleta the witch leader?

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Above: A white masked figure appeared up in a hole in the nest of the witches.

Day 2

The next day they went to a meeting with Firstguard Farvan who concurred the Queen seemed to mobilize her army. So were the barbarians by now but it would take them at least a week to get the first tribes here. In the meantime they could just hold the cliff and defend. He told them that they could get more intel from inn-keeper Teresma, the adventurer Edrafin and Brother Bartho who on occasion had travelled together with Elmendra. All three knew her.

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Above: Firstguard Farvan seemed to trust the adventurers after they intercepted three of the assassins.

Edrafin was having brunch at Teresma’s inn the Longhouse so they got a chance to speak to them both. He wanted 10 silver pieces for what he knew, which was negotiated down to 5.

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Above: The Longhouse inn.

Brother Bartho was certainly a person of interest as he knew Elmendra well. They had done at least one expedition together. Edrafin and Teresma hadnt seen him in a while though. Quite frequently he went to Vearra’s outpost couple of kilometers to the West of Karvosti. Edrafin also mentioned an explorer by the name Mankel. He had acted weird lately talking about a splendid future coming now. He was last seen walking towards the North-Western part of the cliff and setting up a campfire as if waiting for company.

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Above: The adventurer Edrafin had information to share for 5 silver pieces.

The Player Characters (PCs) went there to investigate and quickly found the camp fire. They also found an imprint of an army boot from the Queen’s army. Looking over the edge of the cliffs they saw a piece of clothing that had gotten stuck on a branch. Gennaro was elevated down on a rope by Bauta Storkräk and he retrieved a torn off hood. They left Karvosti and investigated the area some 150 meters beneath the cliffs. They found the badly beaten body of a human. He was wearing a robe with its hood torn off. Was it Mankel? A second person of interest dead under suspicious circumstances within just 24 hours…

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Above: Karvosti, birds’ eye-view.

The PCs went to investigate Brother Bartho’s tent. It was sealed and looking inside all the exploring gear was missing. It looks like he had left. They found some notes or love-letters even from a certain Erella talking of a meeting at “The Victory Hawk”. As they left the encampment they met with some newly arrived pilgrims. They had seen large ships coming up the rivers loaded with army equipment and hundreds of archers from Agrella. Perhaps war was looming about.

To be continued…

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Political Points
Friend and foe

Enclosed below is the current Political Points for the Player Characters.

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They started with +3 for the Queen but was reduced to +2 after they killed and hindered the Ambrian assassins. They also gained +1 for Chief Tharaban and the Karvosti Barbarians.

See comments on the prior post for a more elaborated explanation of Political Points.

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The Witch Hammer - Session 1
Spies

Active Player Characters: Whip, Obodan, Alaric, Yassogoi, Bauta Storkräk, Gennaro, Klodovig.

Scenes completed: 3.

Location: Karvosti Cliff, Davokar forest.

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Above: The official cover of the Witch Hammer, part 2 in the Throne of Torns epic campaign.

Ordo Magica asks for help

Having rested and refitted, the heroes were asked by Ordo Magica to travel to Karvosti and act as their ears and eyes. Rumors had it an army was gathering and would march towards Karvosti. Ordo Magica only gave out information on a “need to know” basis and much was left in the dark. “You must not reveal yourself as spies for us” they had told the adventurers. “Act without being noticed”. Bauta and Alaric used their connections from the Queen’s army to find out more. Yes, soldiers were being called in and something was cooking. Was the Queen going to invade Karvosti? She had tried but lost several years ago. Since then, a truce had been developed between the Barabarian tribes and the Ambrians.

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The heroes were as usual spending time in the taverns listening in to the latest rumors.

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Above: Longhouse tavern in Karvosti.

At the table next to them an ogre had had too much mead and was shouting loud. Opposite him was a female priest. The ogre went furious and punched out the poor priest with a heavy blow then shouting about a certain Elmendra and the Symbar legend.

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Above: The ogre Grimtooth

The whole place went crazy and a fight broke out. In the shadows the adventurers spot a Ranger and a Black Coat sneaking around watching the scene. Klodovig picked up the priestess and the adventurers were moving defensively towards the door. This was not their fight. Suddenly the door swung open with a bang. A young man appeared holding his throat trying to hold back the blood pouring from a severe wound. Whip ran up to him and applied healing. “Attack… we are under attack! They are trying to assassinate the King!”

The heroes never hesitated but drew their weapons and ran towards the castle. Half way there they saw two guards come running towards them from the castle. Bauta passed a Spot and Intelligence check. Something was wrong, these guards had old uniforms no longer in use. The adventurers blocked the onrushing guards who drew their swords. The adventurers fired a volley of arrows and one of the guards fell injured to the ground. The other injured but still standing. As Yassogai cast Larvae the fake guards dropped their swords and surrendered. They shouted to their fellow Ambrians amongst the heroes “You traitors, how can you attack your own people!

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Above: Fake guards at Karvosti caught by the heroes.

The adventurers interrogated them but failed with the roll. Bauta and Alaric could draw some conclusions that these were old veterans from the Queen’s army. Certainly Ambrians. But what were they doing here? The area now exploded with activity people running around crazy all over the place. The adventurers feared that any more assassins might escape in the case. They searched around the area and saw a shadow running from bush to bush. Gennaro fired three shots with his bow and scored two hits from 100 meters (-5 modified roll and -1d4 damage). The shadow fell to the ground motionless. Klodovig and Gennaro ran over whilst the others watched the two fake guards. There lie a woman dressed in dark hood and mantle, facial mask and carrying a pouch full of assassins tools, poison and strangle cords. Another enemy had been taken care off. Amazing shots by Gennaro!

Gennaro

Real guards came thrusting now and they were led by 1st Guardist Farvan. He took control over the enemy and asked the adventurers some questions. He also told them that they were free to engage any enemies at will. He thanked them for their efforts.

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Above: Karvosti guards led by 1st Guardist Farvan.

We closed the session for tonight having completed three scenes.

To be continued…

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