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Campaign journalby RPGPundit
Alendalan had stayed behind in Specularum when the others were teleported, taking the party by surprise, and bent on revenge against Lord Flasheart.
First though, he teleports to Alphatia and picks up a couple of bottles of Father Abelard's Total P*ss-up.
Coming back to Specularum (after being mistaken for an "illegal magical immigrant" by the Alphatian police, and being told to leave immediately), he heads back to Flash's favourite bar, and polymorphs himself into a female human.
Meanwhile, Corwyn gets the guys out of the scroll of shelter, and teleports back to Specularum with Hathalon. His plan is not to stop or help Alen, just to be around for what he assumes will be the inevitable Raising Dead.
Duroc, who is at the Darokinian bureau for Dominion Allotment, is still going from one office to another trying to get permission to set up his domain. Suddenly the office where he is waiting gets swarmed by Rust Monsters!
"Wandering Monster!!" someone shouts. But its too late. Duroc tries to fight the beasts, and ends up losing his +3 warhammer and both his +1 rings of protection.
Hathalon in the meantime forgets all about the law against public spellcasting, and casts fly to get off the roof of the inn he ended up teleporting onto, and is promptly arrested. He offers the city watch a ridiculously expensive bribe, and even though Karameikan police are pretty honest, its more than they earn in ten years, so they take it and let him go.
Alen, polymorphed, seduces Flash, gets him up to a bedroom and plies him full of Brother Abelard's until Flash drops dead. Then he cuts his head off, chops him to bits, and stuffs him into a bag of holding so none of Flash's high-level buddies could possibly "find the path" to him.
Alen, noticing that the room is absolutely full of blood, de-polymorphs the Dire Rabbit he was carrying around, slays it, and starts screaming "Wandering Monster!!!"
The tavern owner comes in, apologising profusely and swearing that they hardly ever get wandering monsters in his establishment. Alen shrugs it off, and leaves the tavern owner to clean up the mess of "dire rabbit blood"!
"Gosh, that Dire Rabbit sure bled a lot.."
"A wandering monster in a tavern? But that's where you start adventures..."
"well, it might be one of Gygax's..."
Alen meets up with Corwyn and Hathalon, both of whom are surprised to see him alive. They teleport back to Darokin and Alen asks Corwyn to plane shift to the elemental plane of fire to dispose of the corpse.
Alen does so, encountering a giant Phoenix there! He quickly creates food and water, distracting the phoenix, flees, and plane shifts back to the prime material plane.
Unfortunately, he appears in Ierendi, not Darokin.
So three days later, he finally makes it back to Darokin, with a lai of flowers, a straw hat, and sipping a mai-tai. He's brought back enough tacky souvenirs for everyone.
That issue resolved, the party decides that its about time they helped clear out Duroc's hex, except Duroc is still going through the Maze of Bureaucracy to try to get a hex.
Corwyn goes over there and uses his political connections to accomplish in ten minutes what Duroc has been trying to get done for the last three weeks.
He gets a hex at the very southwesternmost tip of the Cruth mountains, close to the road between Mar and Athenos. The party travels over there and determines it will take them more or less 32 days to clear out the hex.
It turns out to be the most boring clearing-out ever. Astoundingly, they only have four encounters.
The first is with a nest of Giant Bees, that they make short work of.
Second is with a group of what appear to be Giants. In reality they are Earthdrakes, small dragons from the elemental plane of earth, who are lost. Duroc is in charge of the team while they clear his hex (as is the tradition with any of the "clearing out" adventures, the guy who owns the hex makes the rules) and he chooses not to just attack the "stone giants" right away. Instead he parlays with them offering them peaceful coexistence.
They start talking in earth elemental, about "tricking the dwarf", and Duroc quickly calls them on it, thanks to his "Helm of comprehending languages".
The Drakes are astounded, asking how he knows their language.
He answers that he speaks giant. Only, of course, the Drakes weren't speaking that.
After some confusion and tension, the "giants" finally come clean, after Corwyn uses Truesight and sees they aren't giants at all. They polymorph back to their Drake form and explain that they are lost and trapped on the material plane.
Corwyn offers to take them back to the plane of earth, and they readily agree, thanking the PCs profusely.
This time, Corwyn takes Hathalon with him (choosing Hath over Alendalan because of Alen being on the Elemental's "most wanted list"), and when he and Hath shift back to the middle of vast wasteland, Hath just teleports them both back to the rest of the party.
The third encounter in the mountain hex is with a rare Mountain Druid. The "old man of the mountain" is 34th level, and confronts the party at night during Corwyn's watch. He warns the Dwarf not to desecrate the land or the wildlife. Duroc responds without fear or grovelling, making it clear that he WILL be lord of this hex, but that he plans to make most of his community subterranean and will not disrupt the forested parts of the mountains or cause environmental damage.
The Druid leaves, warning the party and especially Duroc that he'll be watching carefully.
The last encounter is with Smiley the Barbarian, who had been last seen in this very same mountain range over a game year ago. He's still lost here, hasn't managed to move more than three hexes in two years, and in the wrong direction at that.
The PCs offer to send him to Darokin, and he eventually agrees. He also lets the PCs know that in reality he's not a "barbarian" but an exile from Klantyre, in Glantri, a pariah by virtue of his total lack of magical ability and an unfortunate habit of beating the cr*p out of magic users.
Apparently, he now plans to return to Glantri to avenge his father, Angus Flip Flop MacPlop, deceased professor of Magical Dung Gathering Technologies at the Magical College of Glenmoorloch.
They teleport Smiley away to Darokin, as he claims he can find his way to Glantri from there (a dubious assertion, given his direction sense thus far), and just as he's being teleported away, he mumbles something about "having to deal with the Rad--" just before being cut off.
With their hex-clearing job done, the PCs fly back toward Mar, and no sooner are they across the border of Duroc's boring hex than they're attacked by a pair of Large Rocs. Taking them out after some effort, they get a stash of jewels from the Roc's lair, the only serious XP gain of the night.
Finally, the reach Mar, and from there will be starting the running of their respective Dominions as of next week.
The Party is:
Corwyn, Patriarch of Asterius, lv.32
Duroc, Dwarf Lord lv12
Alendalan, Elven Lord Wizard of Alfheim(ex-Karameikos) lv. 10
Hathalon, Elven Lord Wizard of Alfheim lv. 10
Galafilo, Sheriff Lv.8
(Sir firearm was absent tonight)