The Company of the Silver Star

Session 6: 21 November 2008

{We are missing Mendel’s player this session.}

We are on our station, a segment of the walls of the city. We start with extensive description of the terrain. Session begins at sunset with us on the wall. The cleric is fighting a case of Filth Fever. Nothing happens that night.

Come morning we can see the beginnings of forces of kobolds coming out of Docktown to the slope of the hill on which the city is built; they remain out of bowshot. They form line abreast. Mid-morning their senior commanders arrive: we see a Wyrmpriest every hundred yards or so, and groups of larger & more heavily armed & armored kobolds stud their line. There are about a thousand on our wall frontage, and with the levies under our command, we are outnumbered about 3 to 1. [Note: this is what the paper notes say; my memory indicates that 30 to 1 is more like it: about 30 of us including levies versus that thousand of them, though they cannot bring all of those to bear against us.] Around midday siege equipment starts arriving, first ladders, and later in the afternoon siege towers are wheeled up. Runners come along the walls, and all sectors are seeing the same magnitude of force and preparations.

At sunset the torches are lit along the wall, and by 8 PM it is dark enough we can no longer see the assembling kobold forces. But we can hear them coming. We launch a couple of sunrods out there attached to arrows to produce a lit zone, and we can see them coming, in formation, with a tower behind them, masses of kobolds drawing it forward. We start lobbing arrows into that mass, and as it draws into range, we shoot at the tower. They do not pause in their assault. The ladders start coming up before the tower gets to the wall and combat begins.

The minions we have with us thin out with the hits they take from the kobolds, and we PCs are spread too thin to hold the sector even before the tower makes it to the wall. We push some ladders back, but others are thrust up in their place. The tower arrives and opens its drawbridge on us. If that was all there was, we could hold them off, but there are way too many are swarming up the ladders around us, and some infiltrators are going down into the city rather than fight us. We are killing lots of kobolds but they are replaced as fast as we can make room for them to fight on the wall. The sectors to either side of us have fallen. We are in danger of being surrounded and pulled down individually, so we begin retreating from the wall and into the built-up city slum behind us.

We make it past the infiltrators and to an inn which is our internal rallying point and the Healers’ station. We have lost the wall, and all our levy troops, but our team of PCs is in pretty good shape for more fighting.

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Session 5: mid-November, 2008

I have misplaced my notes from this session and will flesh this entry out when I find them.

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Session 4: early November, 2008

(7 November 2008)

We are escorted out of the Keep, and are ordered to present ourselves at the Temple of Pelor in the morning. We go off in search of a place to sleep. Finally, a slum stable in the poor northeast quarter of the city. The city is packed with refugees from the advancing kobold army. People are on edge; it isn’t panic, but everyone is aware the attack is coming and it is going to be bad.

We get a description of the city and its walls.

In the morning at the Temple an acolyte lets us in, and we get a briefing on the Catacombs, which are entered via a mausoleum behind the temple, down some stairs, and there is a large finished brickwork circle that houses the urns. That circle needs to be swept for nasty things (either antisocial enough to attack invalids and children, or diseased things that might cause an epidemic) so some of the population can take shelter there. There are no real stories of the history. The churches in the city are well established and old. We are told to expect tens of thousands of urns, maybe more. The history of the city goes back a long time. The Emperor (as a title) goes back more than 2000 years, though the actual Empire has not existed for about 2000 years. It seems likely that there is boatloads of stuff down there, and it doesn’t really match the description we are given. There is speculation that the old Empire stuff has been walled off.

The space is lightable but not lit as we enter. There is a rampant growth of phosphorescent mold everywhere that gives low light. There are torches in the sconces, but they are not lit. The ring we have entered is quite large.

At the bottom of the steps the hallway is 15 feet wide, 8 feet high, and the masonry is well worked: the walls are bricked. The urns are everywhere, making for difficult terrain if we don’t go single file, but the urns are nowhere more than 3 feet high. We make our way counterclockwise along the ring.

The catacombs really are full of urns. There are a few rodents, but not many. Things are in good condition, if old. Most of the urns are pottery, though there are some metal ones.

After about 100 to 150 yards of travel, out of sight of the stairs, we see that there is a break in brickwork low on the outside wall, and darkness behind it. The gap is about 2 feet high and perhaps as big as 2 feet across. We advance and check it out: there is no signs of bricks removed. There is a speace behind, and it is a cave, of indeterminate width, and no far end in sight. There are rat tracks in there, enormous rats, big enough to eat cats. No signs of humanoids. We leave a little bait behind us at the spot, and then continue on the circuit of the ring we were told about. We find no water or sources of water, and no other gaps in the walls, on our traversal of the ring.

When we return to the gap, the food we left behind is gone, and there are more prints left there. The bricks around the gap are mortared in, and several of the bricks are entirely gone; how this was done cannot be determined now. There is some chipping on the mortar at the edge of the gap, but we cannot tell if the chipping was done by beast teeth or by tools. There is no substantial airflow through the gap. We widen it, making an appreciable amount of noise, so we can get in and out more easily. A priest comes from above to check out the noise, and he is not enthusastic about our widening the hole, but after about 15 minutes we get it so all of us, even those in heavy armor, can make it through.

On the far side the floor is down by about 6 inches, and the floor and walls are raw stone which has been worked but not finished. The passage bends off to the right as we enter. This stuff must be old, dating to at least the Empire … there is lots of dust and tracks. We guess that this passage must be 3 or 4 millennia old. Other than the tracks there is no sign of living things. The passage opens up to 15 to 20 feet wide and 8 or 9 feet high, and continues sweeping off to the right. There are no signs of the missing bricks. It seems that the brickwork added to the tunnels was set in without any real concern for the gap.

Relative to the surface, the passage is bending around toward the keep, away from the edge of the bluff on which the city is built. We encounter another passage to the right. The rat tracks continue ahead, not to the right. This area is clean. The branch goes straight for at least 60 feet, as far as we can see … we decide to bypass it and follow the tracks.

We eventually come to a T junction. There are lots and lots of apparently empty shelves, but on inspection there is detritus on the shelves, the decaued remnants of parchment books. None of the books are legible in any way, let alone intact. The stuff has been pawed through and there are rat droppings in a few spots. We move down the left branch and encounter rats … LOTS of rats, and combat occurs. We wipe them out, though Urrik is bitten and contracts Filth Fever.

There is nothing in this alcove; it’s clear that we chased them into a dead end as they retreated from us. There are some stairs upward, but the upward way is bricked over, and there is a buttress holding something up. It is unclear where that something would be in terms of the buildings we know about, though.

We continue our explorations around the old circular track (there are no more fresh tracks) and come to and take another passage that goes inward toward the circle’s center. There is another circle passage with shelves of ruined books and scrolls, and other stairway up that has been bricked over. Some of the remains of writings are not in as bad a shape as the first ones we found, but they would probably crumble at our touch. We cannot really recognize the writing but it is possible these are old Human text.

We continue going around the circle, past another inward passage, and another array of shelves. The arrangement seems nicely symmetric. It comes to a blank brick wall at a place where it makes sense that the circular passage should end.

Backtrack to an inward passage, and abotu 100 yards in slopes downward. It also seems to open out ahead of us, so we send our sneaky types forward. The room ahead is dark, and there are some large stone reliefs on the floor: sarcophagi? altars? The room is quite large, 100 yardes or more across, and the ceiling rises 30 to 40 feet up. There are no supporting pillars, but there are lots of sarcophagi. Our Wizard senses weak magic on the nearest sarcophagus. He cannot tell if it has always been that way, or whether it used to be stronger and has decayed down to cantrip level.

Blender looks to the center of the room and sees a ring of sarcophagi, with perhaps more in the center, number 50 or 60 in all. We sneak around the periphery of the room. There is art on the wall, mosaics with lots of little pieces, and very old, now faded to being nondescript. The patterns suggest human forms, humans in building scenes?

As we creep along, we see the sarcophagi are not identical: though they are all the same size, there are differences in trim. The are all made of the same stone, and we do not see joints at the bottom: it appears they have been carved out of the native stone.

At the next cardinal point (there are inward passages into the room at NSEW, we believe) we find the expected inward radial passage. Kos the Rogue creeps inward, and the second ring has 8 sarcophagi, and on the end of those there are statues, which look sort of like Chinese tomb dog figures on the ground looking outward from each end of the row. In the center there is a pair of larger, side-by-side sarcophagi, on a raised dais. They look wider though the same length, and may be more ornate, with perhaps inlay set in them.

The Wizard moves forward to investigate, and the sarcophagus lids start moving, leaving us with a cliffhanger to end the session.

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Session 3: 31 Oct 2008

[The players of Urrik and Ryujin were absent.]

Kesh’t recovers the raft downstream of the scene of the last fight, and we start paddling/swimming across the river with our raft. We pass a skill challenge to make it across the river. The walls of the city are above us on the bluff, but Docktown has not yet been attacked? On the other hand, there is no defense of it in place: the place seems to have been abandoned and everyone withdrawn inside the walls. We take back streets trying to elude pursuit, but get into a nasty little cockroach warren fight as the kobolds seem to have infested a lot of the buildings. We beat them up and they flee.

There are raspy bellowings from all over, as we are in the middle of the Shantytown in Docktown. There is another skill challenge to thread through the shanties, ending with our wizard bluffing the kobolds into taking the wrong turn while we get free of the maze. There is open road here, and we run to the postern gate and make it through, with our boys and our two prisoners, though the gate guards have to seize them in the confusion of the gate.

The kobold horde comes to the edge of Docktown, but they stay out of missile range of the walls of the greater city.

We are recognized as remnants of the Company, and directed to report to the Emperor. The defenses at the gate and walls are OK, and our boys go off in search of their kin. The city is crowded but not unliveable. At the Palace we report in, have a bit of heel-cooling to do. The honchos we meet seem distinctly crestfallen to discover that there are only the nine of us left from the Company. The Emperor contracts our services again, and we are assigned to go into the catacombs, make a sweep through them and make sure they are safe; the plan is to put the overflow of the noncombatants in there, since the catacombs are within the Keep and space is at a premium. After that, we’ll be on the walls.

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Session 2: 24 Oct 2008

We move toward the city, paralleling the road about a quarter mile off, tending toward Miller’s Crossing. A couple of hours of slow going gets us to within a mile of Miller’s Crossing, at which point we see another kobold patrol, but we elude them. Our scouts move to the edge of the village, and see no sign of any human resistance. There are a few burning buildings and some moving figures, but those are probably kobold stragglers/looters and the humans have abandoned the place. On the roads the kobolds are moving carts of stuff, which may be loot, may be other stuff.

We are now a quarter mile from the road and 3/4 of a mile — and across the water — from Miller’s Bridge, and our city. The river is quite wide, and there are no watercraft near here in normal circumstances.

We find a knot of trees and do a cold camp there. It is an uneventful night, and dawn comes, with lots of kobolds moving in the distance; they are in gangs of 10 to 20, with a few individual scouts as they move.

The city is only 4 or 5 miles away, downstream, but it is on the far side of the water. Meanwhile, Kos and Mal spot more kobolds coming out of Miller’s Crossing … about 500 of them … and they are pulling siege equipment (!).

We head downriver. There is no riverine traffic. There are columns of smoke on the far side.

We guess the garrison can only hold out a couple of days.

A cordon does seem to be building on our side of the river as we move downstream. We find one element of this and attack. There are more of them than we bargained on, at least three waves, and they have missile troops and healers among them, and some fighter-types competent to put marks on those they hit. A long, nasty fight ends up with us winning, again with one surviving prisoner. This was one watch party and half of the guys from the next group of kobolds; all told, an 1800-XP encounter.

Keeping a lookout, we lash together a raft of deadfallen wood. IT is enough to support our boys, and we launch them downstream. We then take our prisoner and run from the launch point to avoid further trouble, since we got chewed up pretty good.

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Session 1: 10 Oct 2008

We wake up in bad shape on a battlefield where we were nearly wiped out.

Three boys (bearers for other military units?) were hunting, and heard & saw the kobolds. They are now cut off from home, and made it to us as the kobolds moved off. They found us, bandaged us, brought us around. Not all the Company were stripped.

We spend a healing surge. It is dusk. The boys will take orders from us. The survivors from the Company form up and get re-acquainted. [Introductions happen.]

We got overwhelmed by waves of kobolds. We have all our powers still. We are half a day out from Valdere, outbound north fof Miller’s Bridge. We’d been unconcious for a couple of hours. The kobolds didn’t strip everything (odd), but they don’t normally go in armies, either.

We rest, but we also scrounge stuff lying around us, and on the bodies of our fallen comrades. There is a skill challenge to collect stuff, ourselves, and move back toward town without running into more kobolds.

Eventually we set up an ambush to hit kobolds moving down the road. There is a jolly fight, as the kobolds include javelineers, slingers, swordskobolds, and a couple of drakes. At the end of it we overcome them, taking one prisoner. Mendel, our wizard, performs a Comprehend Language ritual and we interrogate the captive. He tells us, “All of us. All the tribes. Ordered by the god to attack the human city.” And, “We don’t believe in prisoners.”

It is now after dark. The kobold scouts and command group seems to have passed us by. We find the remnants of the Company command, and scavenge some magic stuff: a set of Razor Scale armor (goes to Zeb), two sets of Sylvan Leather armor (go to Blender and Kesh’t), a Cape of the Mountebank (to Kos), and a Seashell of Melora (to Urrik). We also scavenge a healing potion and about 110 gp in various jewelry. We move a mile or two away from the battlefield and camp. We got 2400 XPs as a party for the session.

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While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

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