Thursday, 14 September 2017

Abnormaliroll - Fighter Part 4

The sound of an oath cut through the air, making Reezka pause in cleaning the blood from her axe. Quickly glancing around she realised that the source of the noise was Asla, being jolted back into consciousness by Machi and his snakes. Suppressing a smile, Reezka went back to removing the clotted blood from the edge of her axe, and honing it back to the original sharpness. The druid’s methods were not the most orthodox but they did seem to get results. Hesh and Verina had joined her, Machi and Alsa on the small rocky plateau, which was now littered with bodies. Perhaps now would be a good time to decide on their next move, possibly by the time they had decided, Stei & Badger would have rejoined the group. That would definitely be an advantage, Reezka was sure that there would be more of these ambushes set up to try & discourage them from following the cult members. She was determined though that nothing would keep her from finding Cyanwrath. She was so looking forward to returning his sword after all…..

It had all gone wrong somewhere around 1am. Once the drake had been dealt with, the small band had regrouped in the keep. Asla had reappeared with Machi but then Stei and Badger were called away to help another of the townsfolk with another problem. Reezka wasn’t sure what but the woman had sounded frantic when she had asked them for aid. Before she could follow the pair, there was a shout from the top of the battlements. Nighthill had realised they were back and had called them up to bring him up to date with the events since they had left the keep. Stepping past Billy, who was sat on the keep stairs munching a corn on the cob, the group made their way to the battlements. Whilst Asla was questioning Nighthill over the lack of available siege weapons in the town,Reezka scanned the area surrounding the keep for any sign of Mondath and her elite retinue but could see no trace of the woman.

A sudden shout from Hesh made Reezka look up, just in time to see the dragon diving down once more towards the battlements. Quick as a flash they all flung themselves into the cover provided by the narrow walkway, all except for a few unfortunate guards who were not fast enough to escape the breath of the dragon.

As they emerged from underneath the walkway, Reezka glanced over the edge of the battlements to see another mob of cult members making their way towards the keep, many of them carrying torches. A chill of fear shot through her; did they mean to burn out the keep? But it quickly became clear that this was not their intention as they halted some way from the keep, all save a lone figure who stepped out in front of the mob. The creature, for it was most certainly not a human, was over 7 feet tall, was covered in blue scales with the muzzle and claws of a dragon. Fixing its gaze on the battlements, the creature hailed the group on top of the keep;

“Defenders of Greenest! This has been a successful night, and I am feeling generous. Do you see these four pitiful, useless prisoners? We have no need for them, so I will trade them back to you. Send out your best warrior to fight me, and you can have these four in exchange.”

Glancing behind him, Reezka saw several kobolds with spears prodding four bound and gagged humans into the light. There was a woman, a boy who looked to be about half grown, and to Reezka’s absolute disgust, two children. She growled angrily, who were these scum to pick on small children? While Reezka was no fan of most humans, she understood that picking on the weak members of the town to be the move of a coward. Suddenly there was a small scuffle from behind her and a woman dashed to the edge of the battlements screaming “My sister! That’s my sister! Someone do something!” Glancing over at the woman, Reezka recognised the woman whose mate had been cut down by the kobolds earlier in the evening. Before anyone could make a move, the woman let out a scream of rage, grabbed a spear and helmet from the nearest guard and charged down the stairs clearly intent on facing the half dragon horror herself. Nighthill had cast an imploring look at the group and begged one of them to face the half dragon as none of his militia would have a chance of defeating it.

Without even stopping to think, Reezka grabbed her shield and raced down the stairs after the woman. Once she reached the bottom of the keep staircase she found that Machi had managed to prevent her from rushing out of the front door. Barely pausing for breath, Reezka wrenched open the door and strode out to face the half dragon. She was barely aware, through the red haze of rage and fury, Machi and Asla following behind her and she felt a faint sense of gladness that they had come with her.

As she stepped towards the creature, the kobolds quickly closed the circle behind her, blocking Machi and Asla out of the makeshift arena. Looking directly at the half dragon, Reezka was startled to see a slight smile cross the creature’s lips. He had introduced himself as Langdedrosa Cyanwrath and had proceeded to set out the rules for the combat. There would be no interference from either side. The children were released, as a sign of his good faith he claimed, but the woman would be held to ensure that there was no outside aid from either her companions outside the circle or up on the balcony. If such a thing was to happen, Cyanwrath said, then his kobolds would immediately slay their prisoner. Reezka nodded grimly, while she didn’t trust the half dragon as far as she could throw him, he had released the children. Maybe he would hold to his honour.

With his speech finished, Cyanwrath stepped forward, stabbing his spear into the ground as he did so. Clearly he meant to fight with the greatsword strapped to his side. So be it, Reezka said to herself and leapt towards the half dragon, channelling her rage into a mighty swing of her battleaxe. To her surprise, the half dragon was far more nimble than his bulky frame suggested and he easily stepped out of the way. Reezka was even more surprised when the blue half dragon made no attempt to draw his sword. Instead he moved towards her with inhuman swiftness and headbutted her.

Her vision blurred and her ears ringing, Reezka desperately tried to make sense of the world around her. At one point she thought she could hear panpipe music but shook her head, convinced it was just the ringing in her ears. She took another strong swing at the blurred form of Cyanwrath but wasn’t too surprised when he again, almost leisurely, stepped out of the arc of her axe. What WAS a surprise to Reezka was the force behind his fist as it connected with the side of her jaw, enough to send her crashing to the floor. Cyanwrath looked down on her prone form as she struggled to rise, disdain clearly written on his scaled face. With a last contemptuous sneer he spat on the half-orc and then, with a swift movement, he unsheathed his greatsword and rammed it deep into Reezka’s chest. As she bellowed in agony he turned and strolled leisurely out sight. And that was the last Reezka knew for a while as everything dissolved into a dark void.

The next thing Reezka was aware of was extreme agony as Asla, assisted by Priestess Falconmoon, was tending to the large wound in her chest. The half dragon’s greatsword was lying by her side, stained with her own blood. Reezka gazed at it in some confusion. Why had he left it? Was it now tainted because of her half breed blood? But no, Cyanwrath was a half breed so that couldn’t be it. Her musings were interrupted by a chorus of shouts from the battlements followed by a slightly muffled yell. Struggling to a sitting position, Reezka looked up to the top of the keep to see none other than Billy; standing on the very edge of the battlements, his holy symbol in one hand and what looked suspiciously like a cooked leg of some sort of meat in the other. He was facing down the diving dragon, chanting some sort of spell. His holy symbol began to glow with a bright light as the volume of his spell casting increased, albeit slightly muffled by the meat he was chewing. Just as the dragon reached the top of the battlements in preparation to breathe it’s electric breath all over Billy, he stumbled and fell with a shriek from the battlements. With her injuries rendering her immobile, Reezka was forced to do nothing but watch as the hapless boy, still bathed in bright light, tumbled towards the ground. At the moment he seemed to hit the ground there was a small flash of light that hid the boy from sight. Once it had cleared, Billy was on the ground, unharmed and seemingly none the worse for wear. Other than the fact that Billy….wasn’t Billy anymore. Reezka stared in bewilderment as Billy, seemingly quite unfazed that he was now a goat, placidly bent his head and started nibbling at the weeds that grew along the edge of the keep. It was at this point that Reezka once more slipped into the realms of unconsciousness and knew nothing more until morning…..

The following morning had dawned over the keep, revealing that not only the dragon, but all the members of the cult, had cleared out from the town. Standing by the window of her room, Reezka could see more townsfolk emerging from their hiding places and making their way slowly to the keep. Turning aside from the window, Reezka began to don her gear once more. To her surprise, along with her battleaxe and shield, she found Cyanwrath’s greatsword. It was a well made weapon, to her eyes, made of a blueish steel with a dragon engraved on the blade and scales carved into the hilt. Her eyes narrowed. She would keep this blade. And she would take great pleasure in returning it to Cyanwrath, blade first.

Slightly later that morning they had gathered in Nighthill’s map room. He had thanked them for their efforts the night before but had wanted to ask them for one final favour. He would pay them 250 gold coins each if they would follow the cult and find out where they were headed and what they were doing. Hesh, Verina and Asla had agreed quickly while Machi had seemed out of sorts and unmoved by the promised reward. As for Reezka she was pleased to hear talk of a reward but her thoughts were still centred on Cyanwrath. She would find him, she vowed. And he would die.
During their council with Nighthill, a young monk had stumbled into the room and introduced himself as Nesim Waladra. He was clearly distressed and had blurted out something about his Master having gone with the cult. Once he had been able to calm down, he told the full story. His teacher, an older monk named Leosin Erlanthar had disappeared at some point during the cultist attack last night. Nesim had tried to look for his master but all that he had found was his broken staff and choker. Nesim didn’t know if Leosin had been taken prisoner or had infiltrated the cult, as studying cults was a specialty of his, but he was worried his master was in danger.

Having agreed to follow the cultists path to the southeast, as well as try and recover Leosin, the group had gathered their supplies and equipment and set off on the trail of the mob of cultists. The trail was clear enough to follow and soon they began to discern the tracks of smaller groups beginning to join together and all heading in the same direction. Their trek was uneventful enough, despite the terrain growing more & more rocky.  until they reached a point where a small mob seemed to have broken off. They followed this small band’s tracks until they could smell a campfire and some sort of roasting meat. Hesh had snuck forward for a closer look, leaving the others to cool their heels until he returned.

Hesh related what he had found, a small group of cultists and kobolds attempting to cook a miserable breakfast of chickens over a small and largely ineffectual fire. After a short discussion they decided to leave the small mob to their meal and carry on after the main group so as not to lose much time and distance to the mob.

They journeyed on for a short distance until Asla held up her hand and shouted for them to stop on the lip of a shallow valley. As Reezka watched, a large clump of boulders detached themselves from the top of the opposite slope and crashed down into the valley floor.

“Ambush!” cried Asla. Reezka looked to the top of the slope to see a variety of cultists as well as one hulking leader in heavy armour who seemed to be in charge and looking slightly angry that their trap had failed.

With barely a pause, Reezka charged up the slope, although her attention was slightly diverted by the sight of a large black panther racing up the slope & leaping with a snarl onto one of the cultists. Reezka had no time to ponder this development however as she was preoccupied with her axe biting deep into the armour of the leader as he gave a cry of pain. As she did so one of the acolytes behind the leader had murmured some words and the large wound on the leader’s chest ceased bleeding. A healing spell! Reezka roared in rage at the acolyte but before she could do anything, the leader kicked her legs from under her and she landed flat on her back on the rocky floor. As she heaved herself to her feet there was a huge blast of magic that struck the rocks where the leader had been standing a moment previously. Clearly Verina had stayed at the bottom of the slope to try and pick off a few with her magic. Reezka could only hope that her aim was true and none of the party was accidentally caught up in one of those blasts.

Upon clambering to her feet, Reezka was able to easily dispatch one of the cultists. Asla was knocked slightly backwards as one of the acolytes let off a blast of white fire that impacted on her armour. Not to be deterred, the scarred cleric had leapt forward, swinging her axe and had rent a deep wound in his chest. At the same moment there was a loud and pained roar that faded into a groan. Reezka wheeled round to see the slightly battered form of Machi appear in place of the large panther. Reezka marveled at this new skill & bravery that the druid displayed, he had come so far in just a couple of days!

Arrows whistled overhead and found their mark in one of the acolytes who fell to the floor dead, Hesh also seemed to have not rushed into the fray and was covering them with his bow. Whirling around, Reezka maimed another cultist and was just lining up a return swing when there was a mighty thunderclap which made the ground shake in a most terrifying way. Another cultist exploded into nothing more than particles and Reezka looked around in amazement to see that the source of the thunderclap was Machi. It was all too much for the final cultist and he fled in terror. Machi shouted something after him but Reezka didn’t hear what it was, she was too busy making her way towards Asla and the group leader as the latter gave a final scream and fell to the ground, badly injured. Grimly the remaining members fought on, but the leader proved to be a formidable foe indeed. Finally, when Reezka was gasping for breath, the leader who was bleeding and battered, seemed to sag suddenly. It was all the opening Reezka needed and she slammed her shield into his face and followed it up with a swing of her axe. It cut through the air straight and true to sever the leader’s head from his body.

Her attention had immediately shifted to Asla, who was lying bleeding on the rocky ground. Managing to attract Machi’s attention Reezka had sent him over to heal the fallen cleric. They were soon joined on the ledge by Verina and Hesh as they examined the pockets of the fallen foes. A small amount of gold was handed to Verina for safe keeping whilst Reezka was pleased to see that his crossbow was of a superior quality to hers. It joined the half dragon’s greatsword on her back. Sitting with her back against the rock, Reezka began to clean the blood off of her axe. Yes, she thought. The day she could return that sword to Cyanwrath would be a good day indeed…...

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Abnormaliroll - Fighter Part 3

After what had seemed like the longest walk of her life, the group had made it back through the tunnel and back into Greenest Keep. Governor Nighthill had met with the group & asked for a recounting of the events at the mill. Reezka, leaning heavily against the wall had listened to Verina tell him what little they had learned while reassuring him that all the cultists and guards at the mill had been dealt with. Nighthill seemed relieved that there was no immediate danger to the town’s grain stores and had given each of the party a healing potion as a small token of thanks. He told them that not much had changed while they had been away, the dragon was still circling the town whilst making the occasional sweep down towards the top of the keep.There had been sightings of a potential leader though; a woman in a large headdress and vivid purple robes. She seemed to be in charge but she was surrounded by a large group of heavily armed guards. Nighthill’s frustration was clearly visible - his town was under siege from a host of creatures and he wanted answers. Pacing distractedly back & forth he had asked the group if they could bring in a cultist alive - perhaps then they could get an idea of why this group was here and what their purpose was.

Suddenly there was a shout from the floor below where they were standing and a cultist darted across the floor from a side door. Before Reezka could even react, Nighthill’s hand moved like lightning & the cultist fell dead, a gleaming silver knife embedded in his skull. The Governor had whirled around to face the group and snapped out an order to go and find Escobert and capture a prisoner they could get answers from.

Monday, 4 September 2017

Abnormaliroll - Fighter Part 2

As they slowly limped & hobbled their way back towards Greenest, Reezka's mind was running over the events of the evening. The meeting with Governor Nighthill had gone well once Asla had managed to convince him they were here to help. He'd asked them to go and see what was the cause of the flames at the town watermill and to save the grain that the population would need in the coming months. Reezka had wanted to go right away - she knew the long hours and toil that would be required even to attempt to replace the lost supplies. But with the howling mob of kobolds outside the keep and the ever circling dragon above them, how could they get there?!
It was Nighthill who had had the idea - an old,disused passage that led from the keep & out to the stream. From there they would be able to follow the stream all the way to the mill. The only problem though was that no-one knew where the tunnel was. Except....maybe Escobert the Red, the dwarf archivist who knew more about the keep than any other inhabitant of the town.
As they made their way down the stairs to look for Escobert, there was a ringing shout from somewhere above them. Reezka looked up to see a hero, clad in shining armour, standing on the battlements taunting the dragon. In the blink of an eye the dragon dived low and let out an intense cone of heat and flashing breath. The hero didn't even have time to scream before he was completely annihilated. Reezka insitnctively flung up her shield but as quickly as it had come, the dragon flapped it's mighty wings and soared off again into the night sky.

Friday, 18 August 2017

AbnormaliRoll - Monk

Image result for d20It had been a more interesting start to his time away from the monastery than Stei had expected. Despite the tales of adventure and other exotic races he had heard, he had been warned that the most likely experience would be to spend a year doing odd jobs and meeting other humans, rather than the variety which he had found himself among with this group.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

AbnormaliRoll - Fighter

Image result for d20The keep door swung shut with a heavy thud, just as several arrows buried themselves in the thick oak planks. Reezka stopped. gasping a little for breath, and absentmindely swung the small child down to the ground. Strange, she thought, that the child had no fear of her. Most humans were at the very least wary of her. Despite the orcish blood not being the main component of her heritage, it certainly showed stongly in her features. The sloping brow, large frame and blunt tusks were more than enough to make most humans approach her with caution.
She glanced over at her newly acquired companions. How did they feel about the half orc? So far no-one had seemed hostile or attempted to injure her, but there was definitely some wariness there. The Druid had stared openly when they had first come across each other. He hadn't said much, which suited Reezka fine, but he didn't seem to be familiar with orcs. Maybe they didn't have them where he came from.

Monday, 14 August 2017

AbnormaliRoll - Druid

Image result for d20As the door of the keep slammed shut behind them, Machi Tako paused and rested his hands on his knees and took a deep breathe. He was not having a good day he decided. It had started well. He had travelling companions. That was good. They seemed able to fight, that was also good. Still, he was slightly worried. The northlanders were so different. They way they seemed to act and think was alien. He had grown up in a small village by the sea. He had dug the dust and fished with his father before his wanderlust had driven him to the mountains in the furthest south. He felt he understood the silver haired woman, Asla, best. She followed a goddess of the sea and nature. She liked the sea as he did. That was good. He could sense her nervousness, her feeling of being an outsider. That meant nothing to him; to be a druid was to be an outsider. She would learn in time to rejoice in the power such freedom gave. Outsiders didn’t have to dig the dust after all.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

AbnormaliRoll - Cleric

Image result for d20Asla stared into the waves as the ship headed towards shore. She inhaled the salty air as she reflected about her new companion. She'd spent the last few days with a Druid from the distant South. Not one to make friends easily Asla still felt this Druid was different. Ever since her family had drowned and she'd discovered her powers the sailors had been nervous of her. They respected her, but held their distance.
While not warm, the Druid did not shudder at her presence and he seemed happy to discuss the world and the places he'd seen. So she'd agreed to join him on his travels. And while there she could spread the word of Umberlee.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

AbnormaliRoll - Bunch of hordes

So as I briefly mentioned before the Abnormalifaux group have decided to take a stab at some RPG fun by running a D&D campaign.
I'm the poor soul who has to herd these fine examples of adventurers so I suppose it's also my job to inflict ... sorry inform you with what's happening as we go.

For those that want to know we're playing Dungeons and Dragons fifth edition and we're running through the Horde of the dragon queen adventure (with a few tweaks from me)

Hopefully the player will fill you in on the story as we go, from their view point as its their story. I'll try and stick to the more technical side of the adventure with my posts going forward.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Summer summer summertime showdown.

Once again my Sunday plan was to head down to Wayland for another in the showdown series of events. This time I was picking up fellow Abnormalifaux Francois. (Also as a treat my car didn't breakdown until the day after instead of the day before)

No drama getting there and a fairly reasonable start (for me anyway less for Francois who had to get the tube to the countryside before risking getting in my car)

Got to sunny Hockley in time to help set up the tables, this would normally be the time I'd grab a pre game tea but for some unforgivable reason Wayland didn't open the bar until 11 so no tea, which hurt my cold dark soul.

Usual chat, handshakes, and hugs (Malifaux players are huggers) we joined the queue and registered with the TO team. (Non English readers do you enjoy forming into an ordered queue to register at events or is that just us??)