A Brief Account of the Activities of the Party in the Year 640LB, during the Fourth Week of the 10th Moon, between the Day of the Dog and the Day of the Rabbit.
10th Month continues to prove itself cruelest on the Island of Eime. Far from their homes, surrounded by treacherous slavers, secret organizations, and wild goblins that breed like cockroaches in the many cracks of the great Eastern Mountains, the adventuring party that calls itself The Eight moved 24 hours closer to end of their first month on the island. A day earlier they were hired body guards serving a supporting role in a straightforward transportation mission. As the exploration and negotiation this session continued, the party changed its purpose and now found itself acting as the de facto special operations forces for this reclusive and tight-lipped (even if friendly) community of deep-forest homesteaders.
And, perhaps more importantly, the session ended with the adventurers in full flight and retreat into a dangerous and virtually unknown forest well after the sun had set. Such a choice would appear unwise or hasty in all but the most extreme circumstance. The discovery of the party by a devil made of bone whilest they had busied themselves looting its treasure convinced The Eight that such drastic measures were required in this particular instance. The dm humbly agrees with the collective judgement of the party on this matter.
Aron, Gwyd the Silver-Tongued, Corbin the Grey Haired, Finneas Cleg, Agro the Axe, Ayak, and Lilyak the Monk ably proved themselves in their collective defense of the homestead of Jinstown as our session opened. The patriarch of Jinstown - the ever-convivial Pog Jin - provided support to the group with some precious supplies of Eime weaponry (apparently horded by his father's original adventuring gang nearly 4 decades earlier). And The Eight also made good use of the green but motivated townsfolk, including two of Pog Jin's own sons, Markus and Palus, in their careful and well-reasoned pre-assault planning. But it was clearly their deliberate tactical preparations that made their defense of the homestead relatively easy. Despite attempts to draw the PCs out into the open, our adventurers held their position and forced a bottle neck in what seemed to be the first wave of goblin assault. Add to this some strong work with bows fired from positions high in the Great Hall and behind the palisade as well as the clever idea to light the entire battle field so as to negate the goblins' natural advantage and, for the first time since the very first session, not a single PC or NPC in their direct service died during the night.
Through some thoughtful dialog with Pog Jin, the PCs were given access to an ancient scrap of Eime parchment that appeared to be a letter from one "Sister Emmel of the Great Mother Island Elves". This letter, long an incidental part of Mug Jin's cache, describes a withdrawal of the Eime elves to a mountain "retreat" called Lilymar at some unknown point in the past. It also instructs that all available treasure should be brought for safety to Lilymar in its secret location, as well as "all available of your children to feed the One." One result of reading this ancient billet was the successful search by Finneas Cleg for a tapestry in the Jin collection that responded to the needle he had received as a gift from a Weaver in Stonewell. In point of fact, Cleg found two such tapestries in Jinstown (as well as the suggestion of a third) and each responded to the touch of the needle by magically revealing a map hidden in the fine threadwork. Unfortunate as it is for our party, it was not immediately obvious to anyone just what place this map depicts.
When additional waves of the goblin assault failed to materialize, the PCs learned that Steevin Jin - the brother they had left behind them on the trail to Jinstown through the Frowning Forest - had himself been kidnapped by a goblin assault force after The Eight had left his side. As a result of his brother's kidnapping, Pog Jin showed the party fear and worry for the first time. At this time Pog Jin also tried to further secure the aid of our adventurers by digging deeply into his father's weapons cache, and offered to each of them a weapon of absolutely unique construction. Swords that do additional damage and give bonus to attack, spears that wrench flesh and return when thrown, small metalworks that scurry over the body and make themselves at home there...all designs beyond most imaginations of the ordinary people of Emerick. And yet all the members of our party - having only just glimpsed Pog's great book - would feel justified in thinking that these gifts were only drops in a great well that is this man's collection of relics and exotic weaponry - the sum total results of a lifetime spent picking the lowest of the lowest hanging fruit on Eime.
The rest of the session was spent with the party exploring the remains of three now-deserted goblin camps that were discovered just beyond the tree line. In addition to pieces of a letter to the three goblin-kings Onox, Mirt, Onnag by someone calling him/herself "Arnot the Young" that strongly suggest that the collaboration of the various tribes present during this aborted assault were ordered by another party entirely, in effort to gain access to some "Toyalis Tapestries". Also, the exploration of the three camps revealed several goblins corpses (each wearing inferior leather armor with crude blades in red chalk across the chest) piled together with their throats slit and two divergent paths leading away from the goblin camps. It was determined that one path was chiefly marked by the prints of horses stolen from Jinstown and the other marked exclusively by the large majority of retreating goblin foot soldiers.
Some might think it odd, but rather than exploring either of these two options, The Eight took a chance and followed instead the strange and unexpected "purr" of the brass cat they had discovered a week earlier during the exploration of the tomb of Sybil the Lachrymose. Here, deep in the forest, the statue lead them to discover what appeared to the party to be a "piece" or fragment of the Brass Rail highway (a highway that all current inhabitants of the island believe ends miles to the south and west of their current location, by the way). Not sure what to make of their discovery, the party followed it, even going so far as to forego their chance to return to Jinstown before the sun falls.
Stuck somewhere deep within the Frowning Forest, The Eight followed this lost section of the Brass Rail as it lead them to ancient Eime outdoor amphitheater built out of the side of a small rock outcropping in the Frowning Forest. As they approached, the party happened upon a small light in a third floor window, as well as a young woman's scream from the stage area of the theater. After a very quick search of the area (and the evasion of a giant centipede discovered in the basement), our heros made their way through the theater at a quick pace, finding the body of a young women suspended by chains directly above the stage, with several deep-set wounds designed to allow her blood to drip away from her and flow down to a lower, basement level.
Exhibiting a lack of even the slightest of desires to give the recently deceased minimal respect in death, the party left the young woman's still-warm corpse hanging where they discovered her, and sought to finish its search for the third floor light they had seen on their approach. In the process of this search the crew encountered (and defeated) an aging, drunkard magic-user calling himself Lazlo who attempted to shrug off a drug-induced cloudy head. Helping themselves to his property (including a strange tomb bearing the title "Gruumsh's Ineffable Malice"), various members of The Eight expressed interest in a Lazlo's dying comments about "his pet" and decided that the party was sufficiently strong to press on to the lowest level of the theater and finish their survey of the building.
One locked door and one secret stone door under the ampitheater stage later, the members of The Eight set their eyes on what is likely to have been the single largest pile of coin and jewel they had ever seen prior. There it sat, apparently for the taking, and the group hesitated only a moment before rushing forward to take a share. And while each party member was able to quickly fill their pockets and spare bags with precious stones and gold coin, just as soon as they had each taken their share an enormous Bone Devil burst into the area and gave immediate chase and our prudent adventurers turn and fled into the night.
Total XP per PC (not including individual XP bonuses): 989
HERO OF THE NIGHT VOTE
Thanks again to all who were able to make it. If you were a player in Session 6, it is very important that you take a moment and cast your vote in the comments for the player that you think deserves the bonus xp for the session. In a couple of cases this might make the difference between leveling up or not, so please share your thoughts asap.
Looking forward to the 30th and to a virtual session whenever enough of our players let me know their interested.