focoloma

Adventures in Aranza

Location

The party is presently located in The Sprawl, a beautiful farmland on the north border of Aranza, the largest and most multicultural city in the nation of Termin. Bound on the north by a intracontinental highway called the Long Road, to the west by the Flangis River, and to the east by the road connecting Aranza to the highway, The Sprawl is an unnaturally fertile farmland that is owned and lorded over by Ulner Adser, a foreigner to Termin with a more westernized culture (including agriculture). The Termini people are a nation of nomadic high-plains wanderers, with the majority of the nation east of Aranza. Aranza, their largest city, is the only city in Termin that is known for trade and commerce.

Party Manifest

Harkis (Mary) – Level 2 Human Monk, student of Jeet-Kun-Do. Harkis is 6’5” and lean. He studied in a high mountaintop monastery where his size and natural attributes made him an exceptional student. As is the way of exceptional students, his master sent him out into the world once his skills developed. He walks barefooted and sleeps on the ground, having grown accustomed to the harsh mountain conditions.

Portia (Sabrina) – Level 2 Halfling Rogue. Portia grew up as the daughter of a wizard’s apprentice in the city of Aranza. She is skilled at sneaking down city streets and making sure that the wizard’s kitchen and garden are well stocked. She hasn’t much of an adventurer’s drive, but she does appear to have a taste for blood, taking the party’s first two kills.

Raelyn (Anna) – Level 2 Half-Elf Ranger. Raelyn is the daughter of a human noble horsewoman and an elven mounted knight. They fell in love after she saw him caring for a horse that she trained. He took the baby, she returned to unknown human lands. Raelyn was sent as a child to a military training academy where she trained horses for human armies.

Baruh (Eric) – Level 2 Human Wizard. Baruh trained at the Waterburg Cartography Academy for many years, where he learned magical arts and the art of making a map of everything. He has a canary familiar that can send him snap shots of the surrounding terrain from high altitude. He has traveled across most of the distance of the known world to arrive at Aranza, and hopes to map beyond its boundary.

Story

The party was recruited by a man seeking travelers to perform an auditing of The Sprawl – how many roads, population, gangs and police forces, etc. They learned that the lord of The Sprawl lived in Pearview Manor, some kilometers north. The prosperous village/farmland immediate north of Aranza seemed innocuous enough, but as they traveled farther north the area started to seem strange. Hundreds of peasants were carrying satchels full of pears, the most famous area fruit, to warehouses for packing and shipping, but the pears that the party tried were pretty foul, unfit for their name.

No one was able to provide any answers, so they were eager to question the Lord of the area when they arrived at Pearview Manor. They were very disappointed when Pearview Manor turned out to be occupied by only three people – a gardener, a maid, and the lord Andrew, who was sitting alone in his bedroom, almost completely unresponsive to questioning. “Blah” and “Meh” were his answers to most questions. Why were all of these peasants carrying pears when the lord of the castle was an invalid?

The gardener claimed to have no knowledge of the workings of the pear farmers, but could give a little information on Andrew, having known him since he was a boy. Andrew had fallen ill some years ago after claiming lordship of the land and having many visitors, mostly friends, come for parties and revelry. Seems he was in a rut. The only people that the gardener had seem come and go since Andrew had fallen ill had been a few worker types coming and going from the shed. The shed used to be the gardener’s tool shed, but the worker types who came and went had been quite hostile to him and he’d settled for the tools he had available.

The party gained access to the shed after Baruh cast an audible glamer cantrip that made the guard think someone was trying to smash down the shed (after he’d very blankly denied their entrance). Harkis and the others chased the man down a trap door and into a short underground tunnel. In the tunnel the party slaughtered two wordless men with picks and found an empty barracks and a tunnel in the works. Baruh, outside and above them, had a short skirmish with two men fleeing the manor house, one of whom escaped into the orchard.

The men had been carrying the dirt from their excavations away in the pear baskets, and appeared to have been doing the work for some time. The gardener thanked them for driving away the bad men, and asked them to go to The Grove where Andrew played as a child. In the grove grew magical cherries which, he hoped, would break Andrew out of his stupor.

The PCs found an impenetrable hedge surrounded by a funnel of trees in the Grove. After throwing a rope over the top of the hedge and scratching themselves to pieces clambering over it, they found a pair of orange trees and a shriveled and sad looking cherry tree. Harkis picked an orange, and a few rounds later was slumped under it, asleep and with a pierced ear and skull from a tiny brownie arrow. Mauni the pixie and Baruh managed to reach a compromise, though, and she offered her cherries if only they can return her harp, which was stolen by “Bad nasty scaley Torx”.

At the riverside, the parties sought this bad nasty scaley Torx. Instead they found a broken rock pile and some old abandoned ruins. Under the rock pile, Portia crawled into a tiny fox’s nest and stumbled upon a small chest deep inside. They pulled the chest out and set about trying to smash it open, but a sound from the West raised their hackles and they scurried East into a dark and humid forest. In the forest, an imp materialized with it’s stinger in Harkis’s head (who passed his Fort save) and was immediately disabled when Baruh cast Color Spray on them both. A kuo-toa then attacked Baruh from behind while Portia and Raelyn were trying to figure out what to do with the blinded and stunned imp. Portia tried to help Baruh, which resulted in her receiving a spear to the shoulder and her becoming disabled. Baruh spent another Color Spray on the kuo-toa, and gave it a coup de grace.

The party tied the imp and all of its appendages tightly with rope, bound its eyes and mouth, and returned to the rock pile. The next morning they attempted to talk to the imp, named Torx, who offered them the treasure in his chest if the would just take him to the key. When they got to the key, hidden near a firepit near the riverside, Torx suddenly transformed into a fish and tried to flop his way to the shoreline. It failed another Will save through, and they put the stunned and blinded fish in a sack. A few rounds later the fish became a fox, too large for the sack, and nearly scrambled free. They found the key, opened the box, dumped out the treasure, and put the imp inside.

Back at The Grove, Mauni convinced them to leave the Imp with them, saying that “With Mauni Torx NEVER leave the box!”. She played them a song that caused 3 hours to pass instantaneously, resurrected the cherry tree, and disappeared with the key.

Thomson

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