Seward Realms

The Hidden Temple of Sseth
Snakes!

Having established themselves as competent and heroic types—and the DM having fortified himself with tea—our half-breed heroes were approached by a poor peasantly gentleman asking if they might go in search of his wife and children: people with strange, slit eyes had broken into his home and dragged them off into the night!

Despite his being too poor to pay their usual fee, Dench and Wiglaf agreed to investigate the matter. Percival Peasant took them to his home and showed them where they'd been dragged away. Using only their senses—aided by Survival rolls in the 20s—our intrepid heroes sallied forth on the trail of the kidnappers. An experienced traveller—and roller of a 20—Dench surmised that since the strange, slit-eyed people had no fur and thus were likely not tabaxi, and also lacked the tails and headcrests of lizardfolk, they were most probably dealing with the perfidious snake people, the yuan ti!

As they followed the tracks through the woods to the east, they encountered a massive snake, soon joined by another just as massive but much scarier and creepier for its odd tentacles and terrible beak. Dench was now certain that yuan ti plans were afoot… or maybe even atail!

The trail led them to a cave-like entrance in the side of a wooded hill and they ventured in to a mysterious room with no doors! Also with two slit-eyed, slightly snakey women. Battle ensued and the room was won. And then began the search for secret doors. Which confused the DM for there were none—he'd just forgotten to draw in the perfectly visible door and open corridor. Oops. ahem A successful search, a damp cloth and 50 XP later, the illusion was pierced and they found a door and corridor.

They continued in, slaughtering all things vaguely snake-like as they went. They found a kitchen and, having dispatched the indignant chef, realised, to their horror, that he'd been cooking a human! Dench's second-thoughts about slaying all before him vanished and they pressed on.

They found Percival's wife and one of his children. 'Have you seen my son?' wondered Mrs Peasant. 'Uhh…' replied Dench. 'Yeah, we just saw him—he was in a stew,' added Wiglaf. Mrs Peasant fainted.

Fortunately for the Peasant family, Dench and Wiglaf soon found the Peasants' son alive. Unfortunately, he was strung up at an altar with a yuan ti boy, both of them in the midst of being sacrificed by a truer snake than our heroes had seen before: all rippling human muscles beneath a snake head. The villain turned to them and ordered his pet giant snake to attack. It seemed he was in charge of this snake sanctuary! One might even call him the boss of it.

The pet died swiftly but its master proved far more resilient and dangerous. Dench's great axe and Wiglaf's fire tore into him but behind him, on the altar, the sacrifices were bleeding to death! Would they kill him in time to save the young Peasant? It seemed so but then Sseth sstepped forward and whisspered sseductively into Dench's ear, ssuggessting he return home to a nice sstein of ale. It seemed a good idea to Dench and he ambled off towards Hornly's Tavern.

Wiglaf battled bravely and alone, hurling all his magical energies into defeating the vile Yuan ti before the boy died. Sadly, though he defeated the snake-headed man, he could not do it in time and young Percy expired. Along with the yuan ti boy but no-one asked his name! It was Sstephen. With a ph not a v! Yeah, Sseth had an easy choice when picking who'd die.

With Sseth's death, the spell on Dench ended and he made his way back to the sanctuary. Meanwhile, Wiglaf found three sprites trapped in cages in a room off the temple—he released them in exchange for 'some magic seeds'. They met Dench on their way out and marvelled at Wiglaf's courage in freeing most of the hostages.

And so the quest ended, two-thirds successful. And if the loss of young Percy (and the 100XP for rescuing him) stung, the pain was eased by a nice pile of money and jewellery, many boring mundane scimitars, bows and sets of studded leather armour for easy sale, a vicious-looking cleaver and a bright red pearl of arcane power! Also, third level. (Yes, that means you too, person who read to the end.)

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The Not So Impregnable Fortress of Dib
Goblins!!

Dench and Wiglaf bravely defended Hornly's Tavern from a vicious goblin raid. Well, I mean, Dench was there the whole time swinging his axe in the vicinity of goblins, whilst Jarvis Hornly herself swung her mighty beer stein at their nasty little green heads and Wiglaf pelted them with bolts of flame. Sadly, two moderately inept commoners succumbed to the goblin scimitars before the raiders were defeated. 

Two of the little beasts escaped and, after a brief negotiation over the fee, Jarvis sent our mighty heroes in pursuit. The goblins hot-footed it down the old road south and darted away into… an overturned cart.

Not to be denied his prey, Dench gave the back door of the wagon a mighty kick! It shuddered most impressively but did not yield and the goblins fired arrows at him through slits. So, Wiglaf set the whole thing ablaze, quickly reducing it to ashes. But not, despite much shrieking, the goblins. Searching the detritus, Dench and Wiglaf found and simultaneously grabbed an 'oily sack' before plunging into the hole in the ground. Inevitably, this led to dirty remarks and inspiration all round—a boon to Dench who was having the tiniest problem hitting anything.

Down the ladder they went and along the tight passage, which turned sharply before opening into the goblin Dib's throne room. Dench's eagerness to get to the killing saw him setting off a fearsome trap but his primal senses alerted him to it and he suffered but a slight nick to the left knee. The pursuit had his blood up and he laid into the little monsters, making short work of them with assistance from the pointy-eared pyromancer, who killed the goblins and slightly set one or two things alight. 

Goblins dispatched, corpses looted, heads collected for Jarvis's bounty and the whole place rapidly turning into an inferno, the two returned to Fort Kennard for their reward: 50gp and a lifetime discount on Hornly's Kennard Pale. (And also a Hero Point each from the DM.)

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Rats!!
No, really, rats!

Our heroes' tale starts most humbly—before the task board of the local tavern. Not ones to repair thatching or unclog pipes, their eyes alighted upon a neglected and curious note from Old Aena, the town herbalist.

Sounded easy enough and 16 gold and two potions of healing is nothing to snort at—not when you're just starting out anyhow. So, off they went and, soon enough, found themselves in Aena's basement. The place was a mess! Broken barrels, pickles and salted meat everywhere, potions and ingredients in disarray… though not so much disarray though that they couldn't find a potion or two in the mess. (I'm sure they'll pay for those on the way out!)

They ventured through a hole in the wall and down a dark tunnel into the earth beneath. Fortunately, they're all possessed of dark vision so it wasn't too scary. The nest of enormous rats, on the other hand… a little unnerving. They dealt with those and with the larger rats still. And then with the pregnant rats and their brood.

All that was left was whatever lay beyond the planks propped up against the wall. Smoke moved them deftly aside but not deftly enough—he narrowly dodged a rock and set a bell a tinkling. What had been warned of their presence?

They ventured forth into… a quite well appointed hole in the ground. Rugs lay on the earthen floor and it was furnished with a bed and armchair. It seemed deserted. Until they spotted a humanoid rat lurking behind the chair.

Boris—the rat—explained that he'd been hiding out down here, afraid of what might happen if people saw him in his present state. He feared he was turning into a lycanthrope and had come to Aena for assistance, only to find he couldn't afford it. So, of course, he tried the next best thing: stealing it. Sadly, the rats had already made an unspeakable mess of her basement, so he had to content himself with a treatise on lycanthropy and a hidey-hole protected by rats.

In exchange for his treasure, our uh… heroes agreed not to kill him if he agreed to leave. And thus they ventured back to Aena for their reward, Boris in tow. It struck Glimble that with a little persuasion, Aena might agree to help Boris. So, he enscorcelled her mind and pointed out that it would be most unfortunate if the plague of rats recurred. Thus cornered, Aena agreed to give over the potion and, after a moderately uncomfortable night, Boris found himself human once more! And our heroes found themselves levelled up!

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