The party spent a few days getting familiar with the green shard prior to heading out to Valorstand for the tourney. They discovered a few properties:
- The shard slowly drains magical energy from those in close contact with it over time, effects seem to take place after several hours of contact. Detrimental effects slowly subside over the next 12 hours or so. Noc, who uses no magic, experienced a physical drain. Sherman, who uses magic experienced a drain of spell casting ability.
- Everyone in the party feels a pull from the shard if they get close (measured in feet), but only close contact seems to draw a person’s energy.
- Those with higher magical ability seem the feel the pull from further away, those with none don’t seem affected.
- The council of Magi keyed on NOC’s shard container from over 20’ away or more.
- Noc carried the case through the city and no commoners seemed to notice.
- Noc feels the pull however and he is not a magic user.
The trip to Valorstand was uneventful, the roads were packed with people heading to the capital for a week of festivities. Upon meeting Sir Gaheris’s retainers at the main gate, the party saw that they were bruised and stiff, and learned that they had been waylaid on the way to the city, leading to the party getting a less than stellar camp site on the muddy river and far too close to the privy’s. The noble Sir Gaheris was upset, but shelved his pride and instead focused on catching up with his mentor, Magnus Filgray. Sherman likewise left to catch up with his family in the city, and secured a room for the night as opposed to sleeping on the river where the smell was occasionally unbearable.
Elror wandered the camps outside the city, taking in the sites. Asher the stoic oracle kept to himself, ever the quiet and brooding one. Noc asked around about any nobility in the camps that might be a bit on the rude side, and came back with a list numbering in the dozens. With no way to pare the list down, he set about planning revenge for the beating of Sir Gaheris’s retainers, to be taken out on whichever noble or knight irritated him the most.
Night passed, and the next morning the party awoke bright and early in the camp (with the exception of Sherman, who slept in a well-appointed manse). As they settled in to the morning they noticed that the retainers would occasionally look up at the river and grimace. When asked, they admitted that the boys that had beat them on the way to the city were washing up in the river.
The following events unfolded In order of relative level of illegality:
- Asher decided that it was none of his business.
- Elror disrobed and strode into the water, pretending to wash up as he eavesdropped on the boys.
- Sir Gaheris sent his retainers to steal the clothes of the bathing boys, recognizing the emblem as that of Sir Merek the Fiend.
- Noc mixed up aerosol mercury with plans to slowly and painfully destroy all living persons that are in any way associated with Sir Merek, past, present, and if possible future.
Upon discovering that their clothes were missing, they set upon Swine, the youngest and newest of Sir Merek’s retainers. They beat him for losing their clothes until one fully naked elven barbarian stepped in and saved the boy. The remaining three squared off with the elf, advising him that he had just over stepped a bound that he shouldn’t have. One (Wige) ran off to inform Sir Merek while the other’s smugly stared at naked elf.
At this point Noc was already casing Sir Merek’s camp and watched as Wige entered Merek’s tent. The discussion within indicated that Merek would be visiting the party’s campsite. Noc liberally doused the area in mercury, and watched as Wige left the tent carrying an armload of pants with a couple of daggers hidden within. To slow the boy, Noc threw down caltrops and headed back to camp, leaving the boy struggling in the mud with bleeding feet.
Sherman, on his way back to camp watched a large brutish knight in full armor step out of his tent, great sword on his back. Obviously angry, Sherman easily outpaced the man and continued on his way to camp. He later happened across a young lad, lame in the street with bleeding feet thanks to some lout putting caltrops on path. Sherman healed the boy’s injuries, and with brief conversation realize that he was trying to get clothes to his friends that were currently being beaten at the river by a dirty naked elf. Since the boy looked to be in a hurry he cast expeditious retreat on him and let him carry on. Noc, well on his way to camp, heard the rapid fire sound of feet hitting the ground behind him. He turned to see Wige at more than a full sprint heading his way. Noc tried to pick pocket the daggers from the boy but misjudged the speed and ended up tackling the kid to the ground amidst flying pants and daggers – which Noc deftly snagged and palmed. Grabbing the pants and sparing a quick look for his knives, Wige speeds off towards the party’s camp.
Noc arrives in camp and sits back with Sir Gaheris and Asher to watch the show. The elf, now with pants thanks to Asher, is still standing in the mud getting eyeballed by Merek’s retainers. Sherman, having put two and two together and realizing that there’s probably only one elf in the entire camp, and even if not, there’s definitely only one that hangs out near the river… with one angry knight headed that way, and apparently a scuffle with some lads in the works, discretion over valor wins out and he vanishes to move into the camp unseen.
Wige arrives and hands out pants for everyone except Swine. Because screw Swine for losing their clothes to begin with.
Meanwhile, Sir Gaheris is contemplating the wisdom of stealing the clothes, but so far things are under control. He can’t fault the Barbarian for defending the little guy, and it’s not like people are being poisoned and slowly dying or anything. Aside from passing along some elf pants, Asher is doing a great job staying out of stuff that doesn’t concern him.
The noises from the camps further in abruptly halt, something is coming.
Sherman steps forward and enlarges the elf, who is now 12 feet tall, the surprise of sudden growth puts Mere’s retainers back in the dirt. Merek breaks the crowd, pauses as he sees a 12 foot elf standing over his boys, and slowly shakes his head.
He marches up to just out of reach from the elf and with a low growl he barks orders to his retainers to get back to camp – with the exception of Swine.
Fisticuffs en masse
The party met Sir Merek again in the melee free for all. All but Noc and Sherman took to the pit. Noc blended into the crowd and watched for anything interesting, and Sherman was given the honor of narrating the fight. Sir Merek established an early lead, devastating his nearby opponents. The party wisely spent time trying to unify the contestants to attack Sir Merek, which they were successful in doing and those that didn’t join the effort were put down by the the barbarian and oracle.
With all the survivors stacked against him in the arena, Sir Merek’s retainers decided to try to even the odds with a few well-placed thrown rocks. Recognizing their plan for what it was, Noc moved in and secreted a flasks of alchemical fire on the boys before exploding one – setting them on fire. He then stepped back and screamed that they were trying to upset the games. Sherman used the distraction to get a bit of casting in, to skew the fight to the party’s favor, but the games ended shortly after when Sir Merek dragged one of his boys into the arena and started to dispense justice for their meddling.
The king called an end to the match and Sir Merek was arrested.
The king and die
With the tourney in disarray, the king decided to salvage his grand event with an exhibition match against the winner of the jousting tournament, Sir Rowan. It was a gran event and almost the entire city showed up, the king hadn’t engaged in combat, even mock, for decades. The joust ended in disaster however when an assassin cast a spell from a wand and hardened Sir Rowan’s lance, which previously poisoned, pierced the king’s armor and drove completely through his left shoulder. The king was dying. The party set off after the assassin but he was obviously aided by magic, as well as technology in the form of an elvish grenade which he tossed into the crowd to cover his escape. Sherman was able to slow the decent of the grenade, preventing it from exploding and doing harm, and Noc managed to tuck it out of sight. By this time the assassin was gone. During the commotion, Noc traveled a bit too close to the council members with his briefcase of shard holding, and they immediately keyed in on it. Realizing the shard may be able to reverse the strange poison, it was bound to the king’s shoulder with a promise from Magnus that it would be returned. There was obviously some inner strife among the magi, with half the council livid that the party held a shard, the knowledge and investigation of which was expressly forbidden by the king. The other half of the council feigned ignorance and chalked it up to coincidence, but Sir Gaheris knows that there is something more going on.
Asher assisted with the tending of the king, and was approached by a member of the cult soliciting him to join. As a group that believes that magic and divine power comes from within, an oracle is a standing testament that they are right.
Elror met with the local elvish scouts and passed along the theory that the mercenary they are looking for may have just tried to kill the king. The description matches and he as in possession of an elvish grenade. The elves would like it back, Noc is reverse engineering it first.
Sir Rowan’s squire was found to have accepted money to allow a “fan” to see Sir Rowan’s jousting gear. The fan appears to have been the assassin, who used the opportunity to poison the lance. Sir Rowan was enraged and was going to have the lad hung as a traitor, but the party managed to talk him down and instead he released the boy from his service.
The following is the treasure from this session, for an updated list of what the party has kept, check and update the Wiki
Various sundry items such as daggers and equipment stolen from Merek’s camp. We’ll give it a value of 1,200 gold. I think Greg might have jotted down specific items, we’ll add the 1,200 gold to whatever he took down.
Other party gains
Knowledge of how elvish grenades work.
Gained rep with Magnus’s side of the magi council (Magnus Filgray, Alicia Thistledown, Llewellyn Dragonstaff)
Gained rep with the city of Valorstand
Gained rep with Lady Katharyn
Gained rep with the elves
Other party loses
Lost rep with Sir Merek
Lost rep with Corwin Stromes side of the magi council (Corwin Strome, Jacqueline Vicard, Elliot Lynch, Millicent Hawksworth)
Lost rep with Sir Merek