Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Diversions and Sabotage

    ​As the group awaits the return of the mysterious Woag tribesmen, Cawyn is able to work enough healing magic to bring Falco back to health and consciousness. There’s little time for talk before Gid-Gid returns with three other Woag. They are all dressed similarly, with simple leather armor, coarse brown and green woven mantles and shirts, with bone and wood ornaments sewn into both. Standing just under four feet tall, their large frog eyes are of red and gold and blink separately from each other, with two lids each. They carry four foot staves of hardened wood; A sharpened point on one side, and hollowed through the middle.

     One is slightly shorter and stockier than the others with deep tribal scarring along his nose ridge. He steps up and speaks, first in the Woag language, and then in Undercommon, which Luther is able to speak. He introduces himself as Bwub. After learning that the party is searching for Bishop Doyle, he relates the following:

1. Shaman Doyle and the Woag leader, Shaman Duwalah-Bwa were on friendly terms.
2. Doyle was taken prisoner by the Draci leader, General Shard, many months ago. This attack was witnessed by several Woag tribesmen.
3. Three moons ago, the Woag Hometree was attacked and many Woag were slain. The Woag protector, Great Gwah, was imprisoned in ice, with the combined magic of General Shard and his minions. Duwalah-Bwa was taken prisoner. The remaining Woag, with the exception of the four present, were enslaved and forced to build and work the Fire oil mining operation.
4. The great bellied Flying beast comes occasionally to be fed the Fire Oil.
5. General Shard and his Wyvern riders do not reside in the Hometree, but they have been around more lately, overseeing the manhunt for the party.
6. The Draci leader is a hulking brute of a Lizardman named Corgal. He oversees the mining operation from the Woag hall, which he has converted into his residence.

     Bwub explains that the water is too cold for the Woag. He and his tribesmen reside in a small hot spring in the tangle, as yet undetected by the Draci.

     The party discusses their options. Luther and Falco agree to help with the mission, indebted for their rescue and eager to get out of the murk. Bwub agrees to aid them as well, seeing no other hope for his people.

The plan
Stage One: Sabotage the Freeze Engines.

     Bwub insists that the Great Gwah is a powerful being. The party agrees that freeing the creature should be the first effort. Not only will it be invaluable in combat, but seeing it freed will embolden the Woag to throw off their shackles and fight the Draci. As such, the party will split in two. Harrick, Luther, Snap, Boggs and McFall will go to a spot west of the Hometree where they will camouflage themselves and prepare a diversion. Calder, Falco, Cawyn and the Woag will go just East of the Hometree, near the Iceberg prison.

     When enough time has passed for them to reach their position, Luther will create the illusionary sound of a huge Crog roaring and thashing about in anger. When the Draci come to investigate, Calder and Falco will swim to the ice and see about either quietly disabling the engines, or setting them to destruct by using some of Falco's Shard grenades.

The Execution
     They all travel together to the Diversion site, bringing along the floating log screen Snap has been working on, which is slow going. Snap sets up the blind and all agree he's done an amazing job. They sink into the water, nearly submerged, to avoid the chance of early detection. The water proves very cold, but they endure.

     Now "Frog Team One" departs on their leg. They move carefully and quietly into position, making excellent time. From the screen of the heavy foliage, Calder is able to use his spyglass to get a better look at the engines. He determines that he should be able to disable the cold runes on the devices, causing them to appear to all outward perceptions to still be running, without actually working.

     Now Luther casts his spell and a roar echoes through the tangle. Not a perfect Crog, but alarming enough for all that. It certainly gets the attention of the Draci. Calder and Falco give them a minute to respond before slipping into the water and swimming quietly to the ice. The Woag move into the water too, acting as lookouts. Cawyn waits in the screen of brush, ready with spells should things turn bad.

    Calder and Falco use daggers to climb the ice. Inspecting the first engine, Calder attempts to disable the runes and is successful, as a zapf and hiss of steam mark the deed. They move onto the next one.

     Meanwhile, the Draci arrive at the diversion site. Most are spread out through the nearby tangle, but one is less than twenty feet from the blind. By this point, everyone except Harrick (who seems rather immune for some reason) is shivering with the cold. There's a tense few moments as the Draci warrior scans the area, sniffing carefully, but the group goes undetected and the Draci departs in search of the phantom crog.

     Back at the Iceberg prison, Calder is working on the second machine when a group of Draci run down the stairs above. Both men hide as best they can and remain unseen. When Calder starts on the third machine, one of Bwub's Woags pops up and warns them of a draci approaching beneath the water. Again they hide, but the Draci pops up nearby and spots the Woag. He dives away and the Draci goes after him, giving the two men a few moments to finish their work and slip back to the relative safety of the tangle.

     When all seems clear back at the diversion site, the group makes their way to the Frog Team. When Luther and Boggs take a tumble and loud splash, they nearly get caught, but Luther's quick use of another illusion, this time of diminishing splashes leading away, throws off the Draci long enough for them to make their escape.

     Everyone eventually meets up and makes their way back to the Druid Shelter. Calder believes the ice will take somewhere between two and five hours to melt. Bwub's missing Woag hasn't returned. In the meantime, they start a small fire, get dry and eat something, preparing for the fight ahead.

XP Gained: 1000

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Cats and Frogs

     Having just settled on a plan, the group is ready to split up; Cawyn to perform rat recon, and the others to build a camouflaged log float, when they spy a creature in the tangle, staring at them with green glowing eyes. It hangs from the trunk of a tree and leaps forward into the light. Everyone sees the mossy, fur covered mix of hunting cat and living plant. Cawyn immediately recognizes a spirit of The Huntress.

     After only the briefest of debates, they choose to follow the creature when it leads them further into the tangle and eventually to a dense bunch of vines and trees. They come through a narrow entrance and into a living cave of woven vine walls, smooth limbed branches and soft green ferns. The Greencat waits there in the dark. When they strike the lanterns they can see that many of the wooden pillars and plants are actually in the shape of Draci. Some still have clubs raised above their heads and are easily distinguishable. Others can hardly be recognized, having mostly grown into the walls or turned into sprouting, many limbed supports for the chamber.

     Near the cat are two Neran figures of the newer, wooden variety. In each of their chests is a green glowing gem-like globe. In what is becoming his standard practice, Cawyn invokes the Huntress' rite, and speaks to the cat. He learns that the creature was once a servant of another Druid that lived here, but that Master has been gone for months. It has been the creature's charge to protect this cave, first from the Draci that came snooping, then from the foolish Nerans that came recently.

     Seeing that Cawyn is interested in the Nerans, the cat explains that they can be freed by removing the gems. Harrick does so. The gems dissolve and the two figures turn from wood to flesh. One is unconscious and wounded, while the other is exhausted, but able to answer questions and explain their presence.

The Introduction of Falco and Luther (Days ago)

     While exploring the murk’s edges you were attacked by a group of very aggressive Draaci Wyvern riders, lead by a Kaaj Sorcerer on an enormous frost wyvern. Your keelstone was ripped away and the Captain and many of your crewmates were killed when your Pyromite stores exploded. The ship was engulfed in flame and began an uncontrolled ascent. With little choice, you and three others made a quick decision to jump, trusting to Luther’s Featherfall spell. You landed in the icy bog, far from shelter, alive, but wet and cold and without supplies.

      The first night, you were attacked by a large Crog that killed Sorinsen, the first of your crewmates. You made your way to a nearby Island of tangled trees where the waters were a little warmer, but you were all suffering from exposure. Those with the gift could sense that it was a nexus point; an elemental place of power. Finding your way into a dry, sheltered area you were just thawing out when a creature made of living plants and looking like a small hunting cat attacked you. It killed Kaitlin, your other crewmate and wounded Falco. Unarmed and exhausted, you were easy prey for it’s mesmerizing second set of green glowing eyes.

      They were the last thing you remember.

     After Luther explains their circumstance, the group decides to let him stay and help. They work on bandaging up Falco, while Cawyn heads out to begin scouting. The cat remains there, quiet and watchful.
On Caywen's mission he finds the following:

1. The buildings near the hot spring contain generators providing arc power to the crane over the spring, and to the large block of ice on the other side of the Woag's Hometree. The conduits running to the ice are iron.

2. The Woag's and their Draci slavers are mining an oily liquid from the hot spring. From the spring, the liquid is placed in small barrels and stored in one of the two buildings. There is a large trapdoor in the top of the building that suggests the cargo might be airlifted out, by Wyvern or Airship?

3. There is more activity in the tree above. Obviously more Draci and probably more Woags. No Wyverns are heard.

     Further investigation is stalled when a large mouthed fish eats Rat-Cawyn, forcing him back into his Durin form. He manages to swim away undetected with one more unpleasant totem-shaped experience. On the way back, he glimpses a figure high in the canopy of the Tangle. A hidden figure following him?

     Back at the Druid shelter, he conveys what he's learned. Calder confirms the identity of the oil, claiming it to be Flame Oil, an elemental ingredient to the manufacture of Pyromite. Valuable and flammable in its own right (as the name would suggest) but lacking the explosive combustibility of refined pyromite.

     Once more they spy eyes watching them from the shadowy water nearby. Luther is able to determine the creature's mind to be intelligent. Moreover, it appears frightened, curious and hopeful. They carefully hail the creature, trying to show it they mean no harm. Eventually it comes forward, revealing itself to be a Woag clad in light leather armor and carrying a four foot spear/blowgun. Though no one speaks the Woag tongue, it does know enough Draconic to communicate. His name is Gid Gid, a hunter of the Woag tribe that escaped the enslavement of his people.

     He offers to bring more of his clansmen to the Druid shelter, and the group agrees, hoping the alliance will make their next move easier. They watch as three giant leaps takes Gid Gid away into the foliage above.