Category Archives: Alred

“Alred” for D&D4e, then Savage Worlds

Alred, Session 4

Session #4

Characters:
Assfacé
Bouya
Hagop
Sudifi

The party pulls itself back together after the run-in with orcs. The green-grey bodies are scattered around the road and among some of the boulders nearby. When searched, it’s found that each of the younger orcs was carrying a large sack of silver coins, a total of 8 270 sp. The leader of the pack had a vial of some sort of potion hanging around his neck, which Sudifi identifies as a Potion of Shape Change, though he can’t tell what shape the drinker will take. Hagop takes the leader’s scimitar, whose hilt and blade are carved with orcish writing. They consider heading back to get treatment for their hurt allies, but decide it would be better to press on.

The next night, they reach the rock where they are supposed to meet the moss woman. They arrive later than expected, due to the two injured militiamen, not to mention Sudifi always hobbling around with his bum leg. However, their contact is still there waiting and they devise a plan. About two miles from Mayn-am-Leit, they chop down some trees to build a large raft. The mule, the war dog, and the two injured militiamen are to stay put while the rest journey on. The rest of them get on the raft and the moss woman directs them across the Troltliern River, where they can walk less than a mile south to the White River, which she tells them can take them to the heart of the city undetected. Bouya uses a pole to move them through the shallow water, but his inexperience with it causes them to travel further downstream than they had wanted. Luckily, other moss people were keeping the trees occupied, so they didn’t notice when the raft landed across the river from them. They portage the raft south and push themselves into the water. Bouya manages, with much difficulty, to get them to the far southern side of a small island that lies in the intersection of the Troltliern and White Rivers. Out of view of the trees or anyone else in Mayn-am-Leit’s mainland that may be watching them in the middle of the night, they pull the raft ashore to explore the island portion of the city.

The island itself is fairly small, just under a mile long and about half a mile across at its widest. There is a pier on the northern side, where Troltliern spills into the White River, and an old fort at the eastern tip. There are a large number of what appear to have been stone buildings that were destroyed years ago, with rubble everywhere, and a mostly crumbled stone wall around the western, northern, and eastern coasts. Upon closer inspection, they find that much of the damage came from attacks from the north, where the mainland city stands. The other damage they find seems to come from the center of the island itself, as if something exploded there and blew the island’s structures apart – there are still burn marks on a number of stones surrounding the dirt-filled area where the explosion probably originated. They find no life here – vegetable, human, or otherwise. Continuing their exploration, they move to enter the fort, a hulking stone triangle that looks hundreds of years older than anything else on the island.

Assfacé finds an entrance on the northern edge of the western wall and peaks inside. There he sees a large courtyard full of weeds, the first sign of life on this desolate grey land. Seeing nobody inside that would be hostile to them, the party saunters into the fort. That’s when they notice the runes. Along the upper part of the walls inside the courtyard, there are hundreds of runes – each one approximately two feet tall and glowing a faint blue. Sudifi isn’t happy with what he sees. “Runes on the inside instead of the outside? It seems like they’re trying to keep something IN.” Bouya inspects them closer and determines that they are magical runes of protection of some sort, though he can’t tell what or whom they are protecting.

On the opposite side of the courtyard is a building they presume to be the keep. And in the center of the courtyard is a small stone structure, six feet tall and 18 feet on a side. It has runes all around it, also, though slightly smaller than the ones on the courtyard wall and of different designs. Hagop and Assfacé approach it to get a better look and notice that no grass or weeds grow within two feet or so of the smooth stone building. Sudifi is not nearly as curious as the rest of them and leaves the fort – he feels safer waiting outside among the rubble and dirt than in that fort of glowing mystery. Hagop can’t help himself, though, and puts his hand on the stone and finds it to be hot to the touch, though it doesn’t heat up the air around it at all. He knocks on it and finds that it makes virtually no sound, as if it is solid, dense rock. Bouya tries to read the runes, but can only tell that they are another kind of magical protection.

Assfacé is getting bored with the runes and the little building and decides to climb the northern wall and see what’s happening on the mainland now that the sun is starting to come up. He sees the trees around the city, as he expected, but also some activity in the northeastern neighborhood, where the buildings look like they were larger before whatever happened to destroy the landscape. From his new vantage point, he also sees that there is a large design carved into the top of the mysterious stone building down below. A five-pointed star is inscribed within an eight-pointed star, and it is glowing just like the other runes around it. He hops down and tells everyone what he saw and they decide that now is not the time to figure this thing out. They head out to where Sudifi is hiding out and all lay down for a rest before continuing on to the mainland.

After a few hours, they wake up and make their way by raft down the White River to the piers of Mayn-am-Leit, well outside the view of the trees they have been trying so hard to avoid. There they find two trading vessels docked. They are both empty of crew but full of crates. Hagop tries to sneak aboard one of the ships to inspect the crates, but makes a terrible racket doing so. He pries a crate open and finds it full of fine linens, exactly like the ones made in Alred. Assfacé, keeping a watchful eye on the city while his small friend breaks into the ship, hears some scurrying coming from behind a building a few blocks inland. He and Hagop make their way back to the rest of their allies at the foot of the pier and they all decide to investigate the noises.

Assfacé takes charge and leads them down rubble-strewn streets to when he hears movement in a back alley. A block away from the alley they find three ratmen, swords in hand, trying to sneak up on them from a side street. A block back, where the rest of the party is bringing up the rear, two more ratmen appear down another street. Up in front, Assfacé and Bouya try to lay low to see what the ratmen will do, while in the rear Hagop attempted to talk the rats out of their aggression.

Front scene:
A ratman lunges at Bouya, attempting to wrestle him into submission. Bouya is quick, though, and throws a bolt of flame at him before he could get too close. The rat ignites and drops in a pool of blood and singed hair. The other two ratment, seeing their friend murdered in front of them, rush out from the side street and make their way toward Assfacé. The Saurian is quick, though, and grabs one of his attackers, trying to protect himself. The two crossbowmen, standing a good twenty feet behind Bouya, fire at the other assailant while Bouya throws another bolt at the rat in Assfacé’s grasp. Both are killed instantly, without harming Assfacé, thankfully. As luck would have it, this all happened fast enough that the two ratmen down the street didn’t hear any of it and dealt with Hagop and Sudifi in blissful ignorance. Bouya and Assfacé quickly hide the bodies before the others find out.

Rear scene:
Hagop sheaths his sword and raises his hand. He tells the ratmen that he and his allies mean them no harm.
“Pirates?” the ratmen ask, in strange hoarse and hissing voices.
“No. Not…um…not pirates. Friends?” Hagop replies, not sure if they understand him. The ratmen look aggitated but seem to lower their swords slightly.
Sudifi thinks for a brief moment before pulling a potion out and drinking it quickly. He approaches from behind Hagop and engages the ratmen.
“We are not pirates. We are here to gather information about this city,” he says in perfect rat-speech, even mimicing their local dialect. “Who are you?”
“Us? Who are you? We heard someone attempting to man our ships, so we thought there were pirates. My name is Krthlun, and this is my brother Sruuptil.” The ratmen seem to be more at ease now that they can speak clearly. They lower their weapons.
“We are just traveling to gather information. How long have you all lived here in this city?”
“How long? For many many years.”
“I see. Who was here before you? Whose city was this?”
“What do you mean before us? Nobody. This is our city. We’re from here.”
Sudifi feels like he isn’t getting anywhere with this line of questioning. “Who is your leader? May we speak with him?” Sudifi asks.
“You wish to speak with our leader?” The ratmen look at each other and mumble a few words back and forth. “I suppose we could be convinced to allow that. Convinced with gold, if you know what I mean.” They snicker as if this is the most clever thing they’ve ever done.
“Fine. Whatever. How much?”
“Ten?” They seem surprised that asking for a bribe worked.
“Alright, here.” Sudifi hands over ten gold pieces as the ratmen chuckle like they just got away with some great con.
“Meet us here tonight. After sunset. No weapons. We’ll take you to Ti-Krin.”

Sudifi agrees to the arrangement. With that, the ratmen scuffle back down the street and Sudifi explains the deal to the rest of the group. Tonight they will get to meet with the head of the ratmen of the city of Mayn-am-Leit. Hopefully, they will get some answers.

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Alred, Session 3

Session #3

Characters:

Hagop
Sudifi
Bouya
Assfacè
Urlach (The player was absent, but we assume Urlach is still with the group trying to play nice.)

After successfully putting out the brush fire that they started, the party is introduced to Eovas, the leader of the trees. He walks them into the old city of Mayn-am-Leit, under the watchful “eyes” of the forest that has breeched the city walls. The area within a quarter mile of the interior perimeter looks much like the outside, lush and overgrown with little to no signs of the ruins that should have been all around them. Eovas takes them to a clearing that he describes as his “throne room”. There he tells the group of the problem he and his green friends are facing.

It seems that the city is full of ratmen and arachnaurs. The trees wish to run them out, but have been unable to press any further into the city. They want the party to help them bring nature back to this land. The party, however, is leery of the idea. If the trees can’t defeat rat- and spider-people, how could they? And if the trees succeed, will they invade Alred next? The trees claim that they will not, that they are just seeking to reclaim this area. All other questions, about where they came from and why they are fighting for control of the city, are answered vaguely. In return for their help, the trees will allow the party to examine the city as they like.

The party says they’re unprepared for this sort of thing and would need reinforcements from Alred. Now Eovas starts to worry that after defeating the enemies, soldiers from Alred will claim the city for themselves. So they ask for collateral in the form of an Alred town elder, to be held by Eovas until Mayn-am-Leit is turned over to him. This arrangement doesn’t please anyone, and the group says they don’t think they can be of help. They leave Eovas and his forest peacefully, quietly forming plans to sneak into the city without the trees finding them.

As they begin the walk back to Alred discussing this, Hagop hears a voice coming from behind a rock. “Psst,” it says. “PSST!” He takes a look behind a large stone just off the path and sees one of the trees’ servants hiding there – a moss-person. She offers to help the group sneak into the city. They are suspicious of her help. She explains that she and her kind are kept under the thumb of the trees and would like to break free from them. She sees these people as her saving grace. If they agree to help her and her people overthrow Eovas and his trees, she will help them get into the city. They agree, and she explains that the moss-people live in and around the White River. The group will return in seven days, at this spot, and she will be able to sneak them around the city gates via the river, and get them to the docks.

The party gets back to Alred and explains everything they have seen to the town council. The council does not approve of a raiding party, they simply wanted to invesigate an abandoned city. Sudifi and Hagop convince them to send them with six militiamen and a mule to get into the city and explore further.

Later that night, they head to Sorgin’s for the weekly fight and many pints of golden ale. The fight is raucous and money is made and lost. After the fight, gossip flows with the beer.  The local clan of orcs is unhappy about the death of Veldani and is seeking payment in blood. The town council is trying to deal with it peacefully, but the orc chieftain doesn’t want to compromise.

Some people are talking about Uolvos still being missing. They say there is an area to the northwest of Alred where children have been spooked. They say it could just be children playing where they shouldn’t, but they would feel more comfortable if they knew where the local sorcerer was.

There is also a rumor floating around that the Duke of the region is very ill. Some are saying he was poisoned, others are saying it’s just a sickness that’s been spreading in the Northwest near the border of Da’Raal.

While all of this is going on, Hagop approaches a man that looks like a world-weary adventurer. It turns out that he’s an out-or-work actor looking for a gig. He wants to tag along with the group when they head out to Mayn-am-Leit in a few days. He’s very light on his feet, he says, and won’t be a bother.

A few days later, Sudifi, Bouya, Hagop, Assfacè, four infantrymen, two bowmen, one mule, Bouya’s war dog, and Ballou the unemployed thespian head out towards Mayn-am-Leit. At the end of the first day of travel they are ambushed by a crowd of teenage orcs with bows and swords. They get into a bit of a scuffle and the leader of the group comes out. A large orc bully in studded leather wielding a scimitar.  The fight is fast and ends in the Alredians’ favor, with one orc ruffian scampering off alive, but there are some injuries. Two of the infantrymen are badly hurt and the party has to decide whether to move on towards the cursed city or head back to town to get help for their friends and possibly ask for more reinforcements.

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Alred, Session 2

Session #2

Characters:

Sudifi
Bouya
Urlach
Hagop the Halfling carpet salesman
Assfacé the escaped Saurian convict

Sudifi, Bouya, Urlach, Hagop, and Assfacé all decide to sign up to explore this “cursed” town. Hagop has some business with the town council first. He speaks with Trent about some carpets and manages to sell some fine rugs to the council for 2500 gold, payable in installments. He gets some paperwork together and sends the information back to his town in the country of Da’Raal in the lands to the North. He talks to Trent about exploring the nearby town and learns that the reason they want to explore it is that it’s in a prime trade location, at the intersection of two rivers. It had been abandoned a few years back and Alred wants to annex it and use its docks to make up for the business it lost after their falling out with Ferndale, the city to the South. Hagop says he’ll help out, but only for more money. They negotiate a payment of 400 gp, twice what the others are getting for the exploration, and Hagop leaves happy.

The group meets up when talking to Leema, the head of Alred’s militia. She supplies everyone with some basic armor and whatever minor supplies they think they’ll need. Urlach isn’t happy with the armor and gets Hagop and Assfacé to go with him to the local blacksmith to haggle for some better gear. Sudifi and Bouya head to the stables to rent a pack mule for carrying stuff along the way. The two head to Uolvos’ house, where they rent a spare room from Uolvos’ servant to use as a lab for the day so Sudifi can prepare some potions. While walking through the house, they notice stacks or papers – drawings, plans, theories – in multiple languages, written by multiple people, about some type of prismatic shard.

After Urlach gets his reinforced chainmail armor (which requires a good deal of haggling from Hagop and some IOUs written by Urlach) and Sudifi prepares his potions, everyone meets back at Sorgin’s tavern for a decent night’s rest before they head out for Mayn-am-Leit.

The trip to Mayn-am-Leit takes two days, wherein very little happens. They walk along the edge of the Troltliern river on a well-worn path through the rocky landscape. As they near the town, the forest – previously to the Northwest – appears to have grown closer to the river. Within a mile of the town gates, the foliage is so dense they cannot see the walls surrounding the old trading town. As the group approaches where they think the path should lead, they hear a strange humming coming from the bushes. Urlach has little patience for all of this, so he chops at a nearby shrub. The humming increases in volume and thorny vines reach our from the ground at the intruders. Bouya and Hagop find themselves in the thrall of the Siren Bushes, lashing out at their own compatriots. Bouya recovers, after smashing Sudifi in the head, and throws some fireballs at the bushes.

The fire seems to help against the bushes, but the trees seem to come alive and start swing branches in retaliation. Some of the trees awaken and stomp into the fray (one of them unfortunately getting set on fire in the process). They are huge, sixty to seventy feet tall, with trunks three feet in diameter; and they are not happy. Things don’t seem to be going well at this point, so Hagop offers a truce. They agree to lay down their arms and extinguish the flames if the forest agrees not to kill them. That’s good enough for the trees, so they form a bucket brigade and put out whatever fires remain. Two trees and three bushes are lost to the flames, and the remaining trees summon their master to speak with the group. Eovas, an enormous tree over a hundred feet tall, saunters out from within the town gates. The other trees call him the Lord of the Forest and demand that the little people pay him respect. He offers them a truce if they will assist him.

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Alred, Session 1

by Brian L.

Session #1:

Characters:

Hogap the Halfling carpet salesman
Sudifi the lame alchemist
Bouya the arrogant battle mage
Melody the traveling minstrel
Urlach the Half-Orc wanderer
Maal-laam the Half-Orc/Half-Elf mercenary
Paul Vazquez the peaceful and confused cleric

The scene is a well-run tavern in the town of Alred. Sorgin, the Dwarf barkeeper, keeps the patrons happy with greasy food and ever-flowing golden ale. The characters are all hanging around for various reasons and hear about the Friday night event that Sorgin runs – a sanctioned bar brawl. The previous week’s winner takes on a new contender, with 50 gold as prize money. Maal-laam immediately signs up to fight last week’s winner, described by Sorgin as a “very nice young lady.”

In the days before the fight, the rest of the crew wanders around trying to get a feel for the environment. There are signs posted all over Alred asking people to sign up to explore a nearby town, Mayn-am-Leit, that had been abandoned some years ago. Everyone they ask says it’s haunted and nobody in their right mind would investigate it, but the town council is offering 200 gold plus expenses per person for the job. People are also talking about a local mage, Uolvos, who has recently gone missing. Though it’s usually thought to be a bad sign when someone like that disappears, the general consensus is that he should be left alone and he’ll come back when he’s good and ready.

When Friday night rolls around, Maal-laam is ready to fight. The bar is full of drunks, including a tall snake-looking guy at the end of the bar face down in a bowl of ale. Sorgin keeps filling up the snake’s bowl as he welcomes the out-of-towners to his event. He calls out for the other fighter, Veldani. A hulking orc stands up at a nearby table and the crowd quickly makes room in the center of the tavern for her and Maal-laam to duke it out. Urlach’s blood starts to boil when he sees the orc woman strut to the open space. He hates orcs more than anything. But any curses he manages to mutter are drowned out by the hollering of bets going on all around him.

The fight is fairly short, since Maal-laam didn’t stand much of a chance against such a strong opponent. While Veldani gets another beer at the bar – and one for the drunk snake guy – Paul runs over to the badly beaten Maal-laam to see if he can help. He manages to somehow heal the orc/elf, but is not quite sure how. And when Sorgin asks what he’s doing, he snaps at the barkeep to shut up. Sorgin doesn’t take that kind of language directed at him in his own bar. He grabs a strange looking carved stick and starts to walk over to Paul and Maal-laam. Paul panics and casts a cloud of darkness around Sorgin, who then flips out and swings the stick wildly, smacking Paul in the chest. A less organized bar brawl ensues, with Sorgin and Veldani beating the tar out of Paul and Urlach getting accidentally caught in the crossfire. His hatred for Veldani grows, but since he doesn’t trust Sorgin or the snake guy not to kill him he doesn’t make a move.

When the blood and bodies are cleared and the tavern goes back to its normal drunken volume, everyone collects their money from all their bets and Veldani heads upstairs to go to sleep. Urlach gets a room upstairs for the night and asks Sorgin about Veldani, pretending he’s interested in her. Sorgin smirks and gives Urlach a wink. Everyone else gets rooms for the night and eventually everything quiets down, with the snake guy passed out in his bowl. When everyone is asleep, Urlach sneaks to Veldani’s room, cracks her skull open with his axe, and closes the door quietly behind him.

That night, Maal-laam unsuccessfully tries to get to a doctor and ends up sleeping on the side of the street outside the tavern with Paul Vazquez. The next morning, he goes back to the bar to try to get his revenge on Veldani. When Sorgin doesn’t let him upstairs, he strikes at the bartender, who quickly bludgeons him to death with an enormous maul that he keeps under the bar to deal with unruly patrons. The snake guy, still in his seat at the bar takes the body and drools on it, turning it to a whitish liquid which he then drinks.

The other patrons come downstairs for breakfast and peacefully prepare to sign up for the expedition to Mayn-am-Leit.

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