Cold Steel Hot Blood

Session 1
Play-Test 1

Toilday 2nd of Sperraz 226 P.G.S

The Adventure Begins as most do with a tavern. Within the tall stately building known as Fourcap Tom’s a group of disparate men hear stories of dissent in local politics and highway banditry. A simple town official looses a battle of wits against a tattooed stranger. Plans are made, a local guide is hired and at sunset the group slips out of town having decided a night strike to be the most prudent.

Through the night they slip between bent boughs and tangled vines they climb ever trusting the local guide until he calls a stop. Ahead he motions at the top of the hill you will find the old pile of rubble that once was a fine manor house. Silver is exchanged and the cobbled together party is on their own. Night birds call out as the last leg is traversed through thick thorny brush and wet fir, at last the tall northerner spies the crumbled rocky remains cast in silver moonlight and deep shadow.

Alone he stalks forward, a slight orange glow emanates from within the ruin, a leftover campfire no doubt. He creeps forward through clattering rubble and open grass the only thing wise to his presence a whickering horse. Against the rubble he hides as snores drift on the wind. He returns to his restless companions impatient to act. Like clumsy wraiths they spread out into the night but good strong ale has befuddled the sleep of their prey.

Two slumbering men they find and on an accusation alone cold blooded murder is dispensed by the grim and dour Dun-Ador who performs a not so delicate coup-de grace by battleaxe. Old graves, a work horse and empty wagon are found and in the corner of the ruined tower an old wooden trap door. With haste the Nemmadian pair make for the door one encouraged by the other to open it and thus the alarm is sprung. From down below the metallic sound of a bell clattering against the floor has no doubt woken a nest of vipers.

Time does pass and options are discussed, the element of surprise is traded for the chance to warm themselves by a fire and hopefully smoke the rest of the brigands out. Pine boughs are cut, and sap is collected and all is tossed into the ruins cellar with loose dry wood and soiled bedding, pitch bombs are cast into the darkness and ignite the fuel into a sputtering smokey conflagration. The trap door is closed and more time passes but still no staggering and wheezing bandits appear and beg for mercy. Their defiant captive claims that he and his siblings are simply hunters that their has been an atrocious mistake.

Could it be mere coincidence, did these unlucky hunters make camp over a lair of desperate outlaws only to be murdered and captured in their sleep. A call to investigate the cellar is answered by Bolduin the Bloody Minded. The young Dun-Ador descends into the ashes and coals of the fire and discovers a couple of straw packed crates and an old curving stone stair that descends into darkness.

A torch is lit and the prisoner forced to follow as the team explores the cellar’s “cellar,” meanwhile the raven haired Nemmadian hauls the crates up to Iblis the exotic man whose facial tattoos are a mystery to all. More packed crates and barrels, as well as messy unmade sleeping pallets. The evidence stacking up against the surviving captive seems to incriminate him despite his whining and protest. The search continues down wide hall and empty rooms, more pallets are found but no bandits alive or dead. An ancient burial chamber whose walls are engraved in fine relief and tile depicts Saint Ulther proselytizing to the masses another depicts the man standing before a great engraved obelisk he seems to be waving his hands about it. Further in the chamber a closed stone sarcophagus rests while there are signs that this chamber has been disturbed the sarcophagus lid seems still tightly fit. None can make sense of the inscriptions and any secrets are left to the darkness. Another ornate stone door is found it looks as if it has been ages since it has been disturbed and the group decided that it should remain so. The Dun-Edor discovers and investigates a small what can only be described as a rat-tunnel perhaps the very tunnel the other bandits escaped from but his confidence falters and he deigns not to traverse the tunnel on his own.

What captured loot is deemed valuable is packed upstairs into the found wagon and as the sun crests over the eastern horizon the party descends the rough wagon path towards the Highway. Along the way the captive capitulates admitting that his companions were bandits, but that he himself is but a lookout not some kind of killer or outlaw, he attempts to trade information on the location of a larger bandit camp to the party for his freedom. While the group warmly receives his information the best they offer in compensation is to ask for some leniency in his punishment.

As morning creeps on into mid-morning the party arrives in the frontier town of Brindonford gaining as much attention for their outlandish appearances as they do for their captive and loot.

Session 2

Play-test 2

Oathday 4th of Sperraz 226 P.G.S.

The adventure continues. What trade goods rescued from the raid on the bandit camp at Saint Uther’s ruined manor house are sold to local merchants, the prisoner is handed over to the Constable as is the corpse and bounties are paid out. Marco, the local lumberman who assisted the party the prior night is hired to keep a watch on the ruined manor house by Iblis. His orders are to watch over the structure and retreat if he sees anybody up in the ruins and to return the following morning with news. With the work done baths are drawn and ale consumed before retiring for the remainder of the day in the comfort of Fourcap Tom’s Inn.

Session 3

Fireday 5th of Sperraz the Third Month of Spring

The heroes rest and recover from their expedition into Brison’s Wood. They returned hero’s in the eyes of much of the population of Brindinford after rescuing Farmer Yans’s wife Muriel and daughter Tadia from the clutches of wretched bandits.

The town is rocked by tragedy again when it is discovered that another three of Brindinford’s farms are also empty of people and livestock. While the people are not panicking, there is a palpable level of tension in the air. Most townsfolk shake their heads and mutter about the stubbornness of farming land to the north of the city instead of sticking to the calmer lands to the south.

After a night of rest Genin, Iblis, Ironfist and Ulyff catch up with Marco whom they had tasked with spying on the ruins of St. Ulther’s Manor. He relates and unexpected story, not of bandits returning but of two other nefarious groups. The first a troop of small men cloaked in dirty rags and chattering in gibberish, they hide in the cellar and ambush the second group. A procession of dour black cloaked men whom also seem interested in the cellar.

Session 4 and 5
session report

Extremely long post summarizing session four and five. Please take the time to add details from your perspective in the comments section if you like.

Starday 7th of Sperraz the Third Month of Spring

The heroes gather around a comfortable dining table at Four-Cap Tom’s enjoying a hearty breakfast of peppered potato wedges, fried ham and honeyed bread. They are given special consideration by the many other patrons at the Inn who occasionally stop by to wish them well and give them thanks for their timely intervention the previous day.

The table they sit at is shadowed by a large man, not tall per say, in fact one of the shorter at the table all told but a physically intimidating man. Of such stature that sculptors would use him as a model in their works of art depicting the gods of physical stature. He is a fine physical specimen of strength incarnate.

He introduces himself as Rosalio Delgado, he has an Anzish accent but his vocabulary is mixed with phrases and slang common in the Freeport of Sanctuary. He has come to Brindinford for his sister’s wedding, a wedding now on hold as his sister Fabia Delgado and her husband to be, Wencle Vlado are both missing. The Vlado Ranch and farm was one of the farms seemingly attacked by kidnappers. Rosalio offers to pay the party to help him rescue his sister. It is noted that he mentions only the sister and not his future brother in law.

Session 6 and 7

Oathday Sperraz 11 – The Five Tears (festival in celebration of Morwyn in the Great Church)

Rested the group goes about its business in Brindinford. Some investigate the legal code in the city specifically as it pertains to property law and investment/taxes. Others spend their hard earned coin at one of the busy provisioners that the city offers. With few exceptions the people of Brindinford congratulate and give their thanks for the groups bravery and protection, some go so far to bring gifts of sweet peach and cinnamon cobbler and despite hailing from the four corners of Aerth the Heroes of Brindinford are made to feel at home.

On Fireday the 12th the party is brought to the great public hall simply called the Gathering House. This stone and timber building has a great vaulted ceiling of polished wood that sits over a vast gathering hall with rows of seats on raised platforms arranged around an open area on the floor before a raised dais where sit the cities illustrious Town Council. The PCs sit in comfortable armchair’s in this open area facing the Councilors with people of interest from the public sitting behind them.

The event starts with the Lord Mayor Anra Saddana introducing the Heroes as they are known to the people of Brindinford, with much fanfare and pauses for cheers from the crowds she rattles off a simple summery of their deeds to date, noting many times that their efforts were selfless and always at extreme risk to themselves. It should be apparent to all that the Mayor is definitely trying to draw the Heroes to be aligned with her faction within the Council.
Following the Lord Mayor, Gellow Iris the Dean of the Great Church steps forward and gives a surprising testimonial to the value of the strangers yet friends of Brindinford. His speech is filled with religious parable and he goes to great extents to name the Congregation of the Dead and the Harvester’s as a diabolic and a heretical cult, and promises swift retribution for those that follow and assist the heathens.

The Lumber Baron Whedon Fennel stands and gives a brief and curt declaration of thanks on behalf of the Guild of Lumbermen for bringing safety to the regions around Brindinford. Of all the Speeches Whedon Fennel’s is the most hollow and empty of praise.

Roman Buevias the Owner of Four-Cap Tom’s, Val Donage the owner of the Lost Shepherd, and Vimble Mirhoffal, the owner and president of the Brindinford Crafting Hall all give short speeches in praise of the Heroes. Sirus Craddock, an obese merchant and transplant from Ourim gives a long winded and hard to follow speech about the virtues of embracing the world outside of Brindinford that seems loosely about the Heroes themselves being from beyond the small borders of the region. Most of his speech is slurred and hard to follow due to the slurred accent and multiple goblets of wine. The Lord Mayor interrupts him at some point to complete the ceremony.

In closing the Town Council of Brindinford desires to reward the Heroes and give them the option of a Farm on twenty acres of good land along the Turrant River just north of town, the property has three buildings, a two-storied farmhouse, a barn and an outbuilding with quarters for workers and storage. The title to the land would be signed by the Heroes as a whole and they would all become citizens of Brindinford and afforded all rites that come with such title. Or they could take 200 silver each. Unanimously they decided upon the property as they were already scoping out land for various other opportunities. A social gathering followed and for the next couple hours they mingled with various merchants, dignitaries and craftsmen before the whole of the party retired to Four-Cap Tom’s for the feast.
If greatsword

Four-Cap Tom’s was riotous with laughter and song, the place was really filled to the gills. While most of the City Councilors retired the common man made an appearance here and the Hero’s table was plied with constant rounds of drink and food. Aesa the tall blond Nemmadian smith arrived and delivered to Ironfist the sword he had commissioned from her earlier. The weapon was impressive to say the least with a blade nearly five feet in length and a grip a foot and a half long capped with a steel fist, this was truly a weapon for the epics. And it was not long before he would get to prove it.
Skellies kitchen
Just after the weapon was handed over a crash could be heard over the din of the Tavern followed by a shriek. From their vantage point on the raised platform they could just make out Jaq grabbing a large oak club from behind the bar and heading back into the kitchen, something was obviously up. The Heroes joined the masses moving in that direction finally breaking free Rosalio arrived first to find Jaq standing slack-jawed and pointing into the storage room.
Skeletons were breaking free from ale-kegs across the room holding rusty swords and dripping golden trails of ale. The slowly extracted their bony masses from a half dozen large now shattered kegs. But even more concerning, at least to Rosalio was the site of Otis the gook laying prone in the spreading pool of ale, the possibility that the master chef may never make Rosalio another meal had him leaping to his aid. He grabbed the portly cook and drug him out of the room to find, to his extreme delight that the cook still lived.

Genin and Ironfist arrived and used the narrow doorway as a choke point keeping the skeletons packed into the store room and out of the tavern proper, meanwhile Iblis held shut another wooden door from the boney invader. While the Heroes fought to keep the skeletons contained screams of horror from the common room drew the attention of Rosalio and Ulyff arriving they had to fight their way through fleeing crowds on the raised platform near both ends of the stairs strange men in peasants clothing stood waving their hands and issuing forth strange sounds. If either of the heroes had Iblis’s warren sensitivity they would know that both men called upon the Warren of Drkend, the Warren of Death. Already several townsfolk had fallen to their deadly sorcery. Rosalio finally broke free of the press and ran up onto the platform vaulting over a chair to land on and slide across the smooth table top sending crockery crashing to the floor. Sliding off the table he brought his scimitar down squarely into the evil casters body knocking him to the ground and removing him from the melee. Ulyff found himself the recipient of the other Caster’s attention and despite the foul incantation eating away at his resolve he managed to shake off the effects and together with Rosalio they took out the other caster.

Meanwhile in the kitchen Ironfist and Genin found themselves in a desperate fight against the skeletons who had managed to break free of the confines of the store room and they fought claw and sword with the boney horrors. Iblis had been repeatedly slamming the door against another of the skeletons when finally it timed its attack just right and struck the caster a fierce clawed blow knocking him away from the door only to find the heavy hammer of Ulyff waiting for him. With the group now together they quickly destroyed the remaining skeletons. As they stood to gather their breath cries of alarm from the market square in front of the Tavern brought them all running just in time to see, through the throngs of townsfolk a two wheeled wagon bustle by a black robed figure whipping the horses into a frenzy while in the wagon bed three other black-robed cultists held firm the Dean of the Great Church Gellow Iris.

The group decided on the spot that Iblis, their best rider would follow immediately and that the other would follow on “borrowed” mounts after. By the time Iblis was mounted and giving pursuit the wagon had a several minute lead but it was not hard to follow as streets were full of townsfolk celebrating the end of their holiday fast. Iblis had just to ask to be pointed in the right direction. The wagon had crossed the bridge then turned south past Fasher’s Supply and on out of town along the road to West View, Iblis pursued but kept enough distance to be unnoticed the wagon only traveled about three miles out of town before turning off the trail an up an old track that led to an old stone archway and gate.

Iblis pulled back into the shadows and waited for the arrival of his companions. Taking stock of the situation it was immediately clear that a great deal of healing was needed and the Caster reached deep into the Denul Warren and assisted his hurt companions. As is often the case handling such power is a dangerous task especially for new practitioners and slight fatigue led to the miscasting of one of his healing spells, the effects were spectacular though and as the Denul energy ripped through him he was able to heal multiple wounds before shunting the power and avoiding, narrowly burning himself out, but damage was done though to what extend was unknown. As the session closed the group was mustering to pursue and rescue (?) the Dean and his kidnappers.

insert the name of the link here

insert the name of the link here

insert the name of the link here

insert the name of the link here

insert the name of the link here

insert the name of the link here

insert the name of the link here

insert the name of the link here

insert the name of the link here

Session 8 The Old Cemetary

Session Played July 20 2013

Oathday Sperraz 11 – The Five Tears (A Great Church Celebration of Morwyn)

note: This session took place over a month ago and the events are as I remember them not necessarily as they happened.

The wild chase through the wilderness southwest of Brindinford has cleared the heroes’ alcohol muddled heads. Bloodied and beaten they now huddle together near an old gothic steel gate. Blocking the gate is the wagon they saw bouncing through the cobbled streets of Brindinford following the fight at Four-Cap Tom’s.

Iblis An-Urg has just expended a great deal of energy tending to the wounds of his companions when a stranger appears stumbling out from the nearby bushes. A tense few moments pass as the man explains that he is but a simple traveler on his way to Brindinford for the celebrations. He has overheard a great deal of the hero’s conversation and asks to assist them in freeing Dean Gellow Iris.

The traveler has exotic looks that clearly mark him as not a local. His slightly upturned eyes, narrow chin, small nose and high cheekbones are all the unique characteristics of the Quanese. Although his long straight blond hair is a stark contrast to the exclusively black hair of his people. He is in his early middle years and is dressed in little more than a rough cloth robe and wields naught but an old sack within which is held all of his worldly possessions.

Session 9 Good Housekeeping

Session Played August 24th 2013

This session was essentially a wrap up of the first chapter.

The PCs spent two days recovering from the all out fight to rescue Dean Gellow Iris.
Meanwhile the actual clerics (casters) of the Great Church set out to deal with small Drakend portal at the Old Cemetery. The delegation of Casters led by the Priestess Sillitta Ederus found that it was not up to the task and had to retreat back to Brindinford assailed by the mindless undead but their able bodied Churchguard were able to defend them easily enough. The next day bolstered by rest and prayer the Priests and Priestesses return this time with several holy artifacts and were able to close the intrusion. However during those hours between attempts countless creatures from beyond the grave undoubtedly made their way into the surrounding countryside.

In response the Garrison in Brindinford has doubled it’s numbers pulling from the numerous out of work laborers and lumbermen and under the guidance of Sergeant Theodoulus Johan have begun to purge the immediate area between Brindinford and the Old Cemetery of foul creatures. The events of the past few weeks have clearly affected the common Brindinforder’s psyche and despite the heroics of the party their is a palpable air of desperation and despair in the city.

In other news of the two casters that were hiding amongst the celebrating crowds at Four-Cap Tom’s on the night of the Skeleton Ambush and kidnapping of Gellow Iris only one was found dead in the Inn, the other escaped during the chaos that followed. He remains at large though very few are aware that their was two casters.

Session 10 - Dungeon World Episode 1 - The Bird Whisperer

Session played 8/31/13

So with a couple players out this weekend we set Hackmaster aside and tried Dungeon World a game I have been raving about for quite some time. Character generation was quick and easy, requiring only the character sheet and about fifteen minutes.

Once characters were mostly made we moved on to working out some basics of the world and setting. We came up with an Empire governed by Titans, where the humans and halflings are at best considered tools but more often considered vermin in the eyes of their betters. Each of the ten Titans rules from a major city, controlling that city and all surrounding towns and villages. The wilderness in between the major cities is the domain of small pockets and communities of non-affiliated humans, halflings and the odd dwarf here and there. They live in constant fear of the machinations of the Titans and thus these communities are almost always located some distance from the Titans domain of control.

Session 11 Journal - Genin
  • Genin writes his thoughts to paper to work things out in his head and practice his skills at writing, only to burn the paper to have it never get in anyone’s hands. **

St Ulther’s is point of interest and if I to do anything for the reason I am here I best be checking things out. Motivating my companions took a little longer than I wanted to initially but the place wasn’t moving so at the time I was only mildly disappointed. Either way they agreed to check things out and I no longer have to go solo.

We head over to what was a trap door only to find it wide open and the structure below drinking in the pool of water pouring down. More water, less spiders right? The curiosity in me wants to see what is down there, but I don’t want to be the one jumping into the fire and being the first to go down. I’ve had enough. Sure enough, one of the others volunteers. Better him than me. Down a rope and onto the rocks below and the darkness. Soon after Rosalio goes in trouble starts. But I expected thugs, not giant centipedes!

Being ready with a thowing knife I launch it only to have it clink off and break off the hard carapace. Thick zombie hides, tough skeleton bones, I am sick of this. Frustrating. Our healer desperately throws a rock in vein, which gives me the idea of grabbing a heavier rock and dropping it on the monster below if he stays where he is. But in the time I grab a piece and lurch it over it moved. I was in no hurry to jump down and really despite it’s size I didn’t think it would put down Rosalio. But then if it did really it wouldn’t be the end of the world. Iblis has pulled me from the brink a few times, I imagine it wouldn’t be too much trouble.

But I need to do something so I don’t look worthless amongst the others. It’s a short drop but the rocks and water make it difficult. My practicing lately of jumping should make this routine I figure. Terrible luck I seem to have on such matters. Just like that time I tried to jump on the back of the horse. I suppose it makes it look I am less skilled to my companions than I really am. Maybe that could be useful?

So I jump down recklessly and roll to break the fall but get my ankle caught and spraining it. But in short time the centipede is down with little help from me. Since the creature is occupied with other targets it is safe to go in and try to bring my sword to the game. And since there are others, hopefully it goes after them instead. But again my scimitar gets smack back once, misses the next time. Before I get another chance it is down. The help does their job.

Looking around we go around and see the bodies of the corpses left behind. These feral Toggs… what brought them here? Did they come for the keystone? The others seem to find rummaging of bodies distasteful. A few copper here and there will pay for a drink or two. And then who knows what I find.

A metal cylinder capped with wire. I wonder what the liquid is. Fortunately I find a replacement for my throwing knife. A corpse seems to look like St Ulther post-zombie and walking about, long dead. He no longer needs his jewelry, his medallion and dagger. I wonder what I could do with them?

Wandering around the caverns we find the real sarcophagus and the fake, and even his wife. Going through the wife’s stuff I wonder if they object. Turns out they made no mention. It’s good to see them relax their stigmas against such things. And Kong Ru mastery saves us from the trap set. The bottle with the liquid also is an enigma. I need a guinea pig.

Session 12 from the Journal of Genin.
  • As Before Genin continues to write things down to gather his thoughts and then burns it to ash for confidentiality. **

Session 12

I got out to the light of day but I can’t say I am not sure what is better, the depths below, or the wild forest and its’ crawly denizens? But the chaos underneath might have been best to get away from. But is it residual, or is it emanating from something below? And Rosalio who is beat up still has to sit down for a bite to eat in the middle of the wilderness when we are a short walk from town and a better meal. But then the caterpillar makes easy food. Surprisingly decent actually.

Then the morals creep up and Iblis asks if we are going to return the items of the Great Church to them. Looks like I still need to work on him. I suppose a Denal adept would take some work to separate them from his simple views and open his viewpoint. After all we could use the money on the black market or even use the tools of the trade to make a good costume. Maybe it’s time work on a stash somewhere on the farm. There are some things that need to go to me and be secure. Noted.

I was hoping to have the caterpillar head make a good trophy for the homestead over the door. The extracts from the caterpillar will make great tools for the trade. I will feel better at using what stocks I do have when I know I can refill them. And then dragging the monster through town also has a nice side effect for a little renown amongst the town.

The town took to the monster as I expected. I could have hammed it up a bit more by making a spectacle of the body and espouse the exploits of my companions. But again its that choice of putting myself out in the public more than I already do and what the consequences are. Fame and anonymity are not simple things. These thoughts keep bothering me on which path is wise in my endeavors here.

I was happy to finally visit the apothecary. My companions’ state was the perfect excuse to visit. It just seemed awkward to visit before and drift to the topic of poisons. It would have been nicer to find out what level of service the apothecary provides. Without any underground ties it’s a gamble in a foreign town and I don’t need to end up on the wrong side of the local constable. It was a relief to finally get Modesto alone and work a deal with him. It’s just unfortunate that some of the material had to be used for an antidote. But I’ll charge that is a price to pay for a good cover.


I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.