With rumors of a ogres hiding their tracks between the Vale and Hope, as well as Skromno offering a significant bounty to clear out the infestation of large, magical crabs on the old boat, the Midnight Queen, a party of adventurers assembles to investigate.
- Rovert (TrS): Level 19 Human Necromancer (Level 4 Tower)
- Huge Skeletal Wolf
- Drej, Level 5 Psuedodragon Familiar
- Undead Purple Dragon Mauler
- Stephen (EnS): Level 10 Human Thief
- Animus, Level 2 Hawk Companion
- Randall (HuS): Level 9/4 Human Druid/Alchemist (Level 3 Druid Grove)
- Oliver, Level 7 Winged Fox Companion
- Gerald, Level 1 Ogre Alchemist
They leave the Vale following the river on November 28th, Year 6, but as they take a break around noon, Randall hears a marching sound seemingly far away. He uses his natural empathy to feel out the source of it and finds dozens of giant ants coming their way.
They get back from the tree line and wait for them to arrive. Randall’s attempts to speak to them are met only with calls of “food for the queen!” The ants attack and while Rovert’s spells kill swaths of them and pinpoints those that get close, Randall commands the trees to help crush them as they attack. Stephen and Animus clean up the ones making it through and is the only one to be bitten, fighting off the poison.
They continue south, camping without incident through the night and continuing the next day to the Midnight Queen. They camp nearby and during the night Stephen hears a giant in the woods, who they ambush. Rovert animates it.
In the morning, they consider their options to move the boat (and hopefully leave the crabs behind) using Rovert’s magic and determine that first they need to conduct repairs. They lack the water breathing and water sight potions needed to assess the damage safely, so Rovert sends Drej back to Citadel to buy some from Jared and return.
Rather than wait around for Drej for two days, the party decides to try to find the ogres in the meantime. They use Randall’s natural empathy and falcon speed to scan quickly, finding a hunter’s blind large enough for ogre use. He returns to the others and they go to check out the blind.
On the way, they see an ogre headed the same way, oddly carrying a broom. They approach it and it runs. With Rovert on his skeletal wolf and Randall very fleet of foot, they give pursuit. Rovert is gaining on the ogre when it rounds a boulder. Rovert rounds the boulder and takes a broom to the face, which dismounts him. Rovert’s magical robe teleports the ogre away into the woods where it stumbles away in confusion.
Randall activates his magic haste boots and soon catches up with the ogre. When the ogre stops to confront him, Randall gestures to stay calm and tosses him some jerky. The ogre looks confused, but tosses Randall an uncut garnet from his pouch before fleeing into the woods. Randall lets him go and Rovert eventually catches up to find Randall sitting on the ground. They go back to the blind where Stephen has found it seems to be used by multiple ogres, but not usually more than one at a time.
They decide to follow the broom-holding ogre’s trail back the way it came. They find that near the river bank it swept its tracks away after emerging from the river. They cross, flying or riding the undead dragon, and pick up its swept-out tracks on the other side, following them to a track through the woods.
As they follow the track, they see another blind through the trees and some movement inside. They hurry there and find that the ogre there already left. They follow its trail back down to the track and continue down it until they see a ruined castle Rovert recognizes as Feyguard of the ancient lizardfolk South Kingdom. He recalls fighting a magical ogre there who escaped. His thirst for vengeance is apparent to the others, so they ask him to stay put while they go to try a diplomatic approach.
An ogre at the gate brandishes a large javelin at them, but by smiling and waving and having Gerald with them they get invited in. The ogre leads them to the keep where they see four more ogres making weapons. The ogres maneuver to have them surrounded and attack. Their first volley of javelins nearly kills Randall and while he escapes around a corner to become an orangutan, Gerald takes the ogres by surprise (apparently they though he was one of them), badly wounding one with spear and fiery fist. Stephen uses an ice breath potion to wound four of the five and the ogres close to melee range. Between dodging, parrying, and bad rolls for the ogres, they get through the rest of the fight without the ogres landing another hit, Gerald doing most of the damage.
Meanwhile, outside the castle, the magical ogre and two of his henchogres attack Rovert. He gets the drop on Rovert, dealing some some significant damage, but Rovert handles himself well from that point, taking a little ice cone damage, but finishing the oni off. His grappling undead manage to subdue the ogres and he kills them as well before heading up to the castle to find the others have killed five ogres. He animates them all and they head back to the Midnight Queen before nightfall.
That night, a spurt of water extinguishes their fire and they move their camp away from the river, where they wait through the day on Thursday for Drej, who returns that night with the potions. In the morning, Friday, Rovert rides his dragon around the boat to assess the damage and then encharges several sticks with 1000 Spell Points of wood repair magic, diving again to conduct repairs. The crabs leave him alone during this process and he soon believes that the boat is again capable of floating.
While Randall prepares a pile of food taken from the ogre stores as a peace offering to the crabs, Rovert practices a spell to teleport the boat without taking the water and crabs inside with it. Once he is pretty comfortable with the spell, he scales it up 10 times and teleports the boat upriver, where the undead dragon, giant, and ogres all grab hold, turning its prow into the current while Randall and Oliver get a vine on the dragon. With giant and ogres pushing the boat from behind and the dragon towing in the front, they ride the boat slowly up river night and day, arriving in Carrie by Sunday evening, the 4th of December. There they sell the boat, not just cleared, but retrieved, to Skromno for double his offered bounty.
They divide the loot, including several potions and a helmet with a look through walls mode and a teleport mode. They also all level up.
With the time skip coming up, these were two of the big things I wanted to resolve, and they did it! Hooray! These two things have been around for a while, so there will actually be some session prep posts for supporters on locals this week.