D&D 4e: Barons of the Wild – Session 6 (Part 1)

It's so pretty when you're not dead
Wasteland of the Tower of Boccob

Pujols and Ansis woke from their concussed sleep to find Llamers tenderly nursing them back from the brink of death.  After seeing them come to, Llamers collapsed in exhaustion to rest from her vigil.  After some investigation of the statue strewn room, littered with rubble from the collapsing ceiling, the two men found that the platform that the stoneman had stepped off was the trigger for the door that had sealed the room.  Loading it up with pieces of the dead stoneman, the door raised a bit at a time with each piece until the stairway was accessible beyond the door.

Before leaving the room, however, Ansis took Lia‘s body, and gently lifted the amulet from her lifeless form.  Channeling all his righteous power, and appealing to Erathis, he attempted to use the amulet in the same manner that Lia had during the battle with the stoneman, to bring the statues to life.  The stone statues were in shattered shards, however, and they were unable to assemble.  However, Ansis focused all his faith through the amulet on a set of pebbles, and was able to assemble a tiny pebble warrior.  The little rocky fellow  then marched with his tiny legs into a small satchel that Ansis had open for him, and hung swinging from his belt as the heroes walked down the stairs.

He's so STONED
Pebble Warrior as imagined by Capcom

The three friends then, with Ansis carrying Lia’s broken body, opened the door in the mirror room to the outside and stepped out back into the world.

And were greeted with the snowy ground of winter.  When they had entered the room, not two days before, it had been late spring.  Magic and wonder!

Scattered across the snow blanketed rubble were three distinct groups of people.  The first group was a gaggle of diseased people, milling about aimlessly.  Mixed in among them were farmers, soldiers and villagers, slavering and foaming from their open sores.  The second group was a small knot of women, veiled and dressed roughly in the manner that Lia had dressed.  One of them was Allisahn, the priestess of Celestian that the adventurers had met in the woods before.  The third group was dressed in tan, with little red bandanas tied off around their necks, except for their leader who was dressed all in shining red enameled armor, with a giant red beard.  Scout Troop 921.  The Brownsocks.  With Gaebriel Greis at their head.  Llamers could also detect another presence in the crowd, one she hadn’t felt since she had left Thunderspire’s Labyrinth.  She couldn’t quite place it, but the tingling sensation was electric.

When the adventurers emerge from the ruined tower, the small collection of veiled women began shouting at the group, crying, “Our queen, our mother!”  And the Brownsocks stared in wonder.

Ansis approached the Captain Gaebriel Greis, and learned a dearth of information.  It has been a year and a half since the adventurers entered the tower, and the Frogman disease, “Greyrot” has spread across the Kingdom of the Spinning Wheels.  Ansis’s Queen Seniptral has vanished, and the Brownsocks assume she’s dead.  Lord Padraig has holed up in Winterhaven as one of a few last places of safety in the Kingdom.  The Thunderspire Vale has been strong-armed by the mercenary group The Sons of Thunder and their leader The Lightning King.  Of which the Brownsocks are now agents, sent to arrest Llamers and her band on sight.  Ansis was welcomed to join the Brownsocks and to become a Son of Thunder, but after a short prayer he declines, citing his vision from Erathis as divine reason for staying true to his companions, despite the civilizing element of the Sons.

Llamers, meanwhile, consulted with the Priestess Alisahn, who had been accompanying members of the Cult of Lia as a consultant and mentor.  Alisahn told Llamers that the Sons of Thunder are not just or good rulers.  The Lightning King condones his soldiers as they rape, murder and steal from the inhabitants of the vale they pretend to serve.  After discussion it was revealed that the adventurers had found a book and an amulet in the tower.   Alisahn asked to see the objects, but shouts from the Brownsocks interrupted them.

Ansis’s refusal to join with the Brownsocks ended the negotiations, and the Brownsocks demanded that all good citizens of the Lightning King assist them in their arrest of the adventurers.  The Greyrotten began to jabber in excitement as blood was about to be spilt.

As the Gaebriel Greis rushed forward to subdue the adventurers, an old friend of Llamers burst onto the scene and rushed in to intercept him!  Keelix!  The ranging giantess flashed her steel and Gaebriel’s sword and axe crackled with lightning as Keelix met him blow for blow.  And Llamers splooshed roughly eight gallons.

As battle between the Brownsocks and the adventurers heated up, the women of the Cult of Lia hid themselves as best they could, while Alisahn began to chant and shout pleas for peace.  The Greyrotten pounced at first blood and bit and slashed with their bone-clawed hands at both Brownsock and adventurer alike, and were cut down fairly quickly by the giant bare chested Brownsock.  Pujols beat his shield and taunted Gaebriel and a dead-eyed scout into focusing their attacks on him, and turned their slashing and beatings away with ferocity.  The dead-eyed scout sent his pet crow at his enemies to tear at their eyes, while the giant scout was a WHIRLWIND of violence, and shrieked and flailed wildly into the middle of the fray.  Llamers hit time and time again with incredibly consistent and formidable might, flashing in and out of melee from the shadows.  Ansis, meanwhile, was commanding a statue of Lia that the Cult had crudely carved into battle, but it was so slow it never made it before the team had done quick work of the scouts.  Alisahn joined the fight, and did some damage as well.  The dead-eyed scout fell to Llamers blade, and his last words were a plea for vengeance from his crow, “Eye-ripper.”  The mammothing bare-chested scout became inconsolable as Gabriel was mortally wounded by Keelix’s onslaught, and he attempted with a last heave of strength to gain space for himself and Gaebriel to make a get away.  But with a shot from her hand-crossbow, unparalleled in the annuls of military history, Llamers fell the unblooded man-beast with two rapid-fire quarrels.

Ansis attempted to stabilize Gaebriel, but ended up smothering him to death, while the giant bare-chested scout was fooled by Ansis into believing that if he told them all he knew of the Sons of Thunder, Ansis would resurrect his beloved Gaebriel Greis.  None of which was true, but the dull man wanted to believe Ansis, so he told them what little his puny brain could recall.  The giant spoke of Sons to the south in the Copper Holes, where Thunderfists and his contingent lived and lurked, and spoke of the Lightning King as you would a god.  Getting all they could from him, Ansis touched Pujols shoulder, and Pujols dispatched the bare-chested scout, even as he cried out for his Gaebriel.

As Ansis buried Lia and the rest of the fallen in a proper grave, the Cult women weeped and wailed and bemoaned their lost “Queen.”  Ansis was rankled by this, as she was not in the least a queen.  But he allowed them their grief, as was right and proper.  Ansis used the amulet to command the stone carving of Lia to stand vigil over the grave, and to mark his brave companion’s last resting place.

Keelix explained that she was hired by a member of the Shadreoch Consortium to find Pujols, as her employer had emotional attachments, and wanted him brought home safe.  Pujols in turn rejected the idea out of hand, and Llamers convinced Keelix to join the group as there was nobility, and attending taxes that could arise from it.  Keelix, unperturbed from her quest to bring Pujols home, agreed tentatively.  Knowing that her time may come, and that money was money.

Llamers and Alisahn then got down to the business at hand, and with the rest of the group, made plans on how to save the Vale.

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