On February 23rd, Year 5, a number of Citadel House Adventurers join Rovert’s proposed trip to the elven college north of the great road, which Randall had first attempted to enter:
- Rovert (TrS): Level 6 Human Magic-user (Death and Undead)
- Drej, Level 4 Psuedodragon Familiar
- Dohasan, Level 1 Centaur Herbalist
- Ogre Skeleton
- Elf Eater Skeleton
- Mutated Elf Eater Zombie
- Conan (MiM): Level 4 Elf Vampire Magic-user (Fire and Wind)
- Scar, Level 3 Hawk Familiar
- Earl “the Lash” Nigell (WaB): Level 2 Human Fighter and Tinker
- Gorg SneakyFeet (HuS): Level 1 Orc Thief
- Carl “Sir Mage-a-lot” Shivenleaf (CoS): Level 1 Elf Magic-user (Mind and Illusion)
Expecting the college to be 3 or 4 days up river and cautious about the dangers of winter weather, they bring 12 days of food and set out. They plan to cross at the dam North of Kite and follow the Eastern bank to the Great Road, seeking out Torren’s redoubt on the way to make sure he hasn’t returned.
On Monday, they make camp on the Northern edge of the treaty zone with the Dragon Empire around the Shrine of the Knowledge Dragon. On Tuesday, light rain picks up around noon as they climb into the hill country. As they continue to hike, they encounter a Frima’Uit which pulls Earl into the water and causes Rovert some trouble before Gorg hurls himself at it bodily and crushes it out of form, taking significant damage himself.
As the sun is setting Tuesday, they leave the river, Conan leading them toward Torren’s redoubt. On the way, they meet two orcs who are searching for Torren as well, informing them that the Vale fugitive has caused trouble West of the river in Union lands and they are seeking to extradite him. They agree to let the orcs accompany them to the hide out and take Torren with them if he is there.
They find that someone has ransacked the place and it is mostly empty. Conan finds something in the upper room that leaves him fuming and makes Rovert suspicious of him, but he keeps it to himself. Disappointed, the orcs leave and they all spend the night in the redoubt.
In the morning, they continue to hike North, crossing the Great Road at noon, where a large orc patrol confronts them, exchanging trash talk with Gorg. From the Great Road, they can see some of the buildings of the college across the college lake. Hanging above them in the air is a sight they’ve heard rumors of, but none of them have seen it themselves: a structure like a bare, inverted mountain floating against the mountains in the distance. It’s the best look they’ve ever had and exposes it to be some kind of floating rock, seemingly flat on the top.
They decide to follow the eastern shore of the lake and soon come to a river flowing into the lake from the East. As they wade across, Rovert and his undead taking the lead, the boulder Earl is using for support starts to move and a battle breaks out. Soon a second boulder arises, striking Earl, and Rovert sends his mutant wolf and ogre skeleton to fight one of them each while riding his skeletal wolf away and casting ineffective death spells.
While Earl continues on to north the bank with Rovert, the others, including Conan, Gorg, Carl, and Dohasan, retreat toward the other shore. The stone creatures hit powerfully, quickly crushing the ogre to splinters and wounding the mutant zombie. Carl creates two illusory men with hammers to draw their attention, which keeps them, and the third that awakens, pretty busy. Despite this distraction, one stone creature subdues the mutant wolf. The illusions buy Rovert plenty of time to get off a fear spell that sends one the stones running for a couple rounds, on the back of which he starts a concussion spell to target another. Earl starts throwing bombs, to little effect, but gives one to Drej to deliver.
Meanwhile, on the South bank, Gorg has found a good hiding place from which he fires ineffectual crossbow bolts and Conan has been casting a concussive spell of his own with AoE. One of the stone creatures randomly decides to throw a rock instead of swinging at the illusion and strikes Carl, knocking him unconscious and ending the illusions. When Drej drops his bomb on the other, it throws a rock up at it, wounding it.
While the frightened one runs back toward Rovert, he alters his spell to finish before he returns. Conan’s spell goes off, destroying the bombed creature and damaging the other. After Dohasan stabilizes Carl, he takes a rock as well and Conan has to run to stabilize him. With no life magic, Conan using the healing syllable he usually uses to heal himself with death energy to channel Dohasan’s own energy into stopping the bleeding.
Rovert demolishes the second one and with only one remaining, Conan hits it with a swift concussive wave to break it as well. Rovert’s mutant wolf recovers, quickly healing enough to help load Dohasan onto the skeletal wolf’s back, where they tie him. Carl is also out of commission and Earl jury-rigs a sled on which the mutant wolf can drag him. With these two unable to walk, Conan wanting to head back (MiM had to leave early), and Gorg and Earl wounded and tired, they are forced to return to the Vale, once again resolving not to adventure without a healer. They fair weather holds, allowing them to return by Saturday evening.
The elven college is very dangerous and has a lot of content, and if I’m completely honest, I haven’t finished fleshing it out. This party was weak enough to repel with the kinds of gate keepers around the college, but I’ve got a lot work to do before they get a more capable party together for such a mission.