the Way of the Wicked

The Horn of Abbadon

Farholde - and finding the Horn

Tiadora escorts our villains to Farholde, on the other side of Talingarde, in a rather slow and wallowing barge. She has claimed the only cabin, with the captain and small crew sleeping outside on deck with the party.

Every night they anchor within sight of a village or keep, moving off in the morning. Eventually Samra'el asks Tiadora what she is up to: "I am reminding the poor souls of Talingarde what
hell is like. Do you have a problem with that?"

-Can we come?

"It is a task for me alone"

-OK, have fun!

Adelea is training hard during the voyage, doing maniacal amounts of press ups and jumping jacks, running on the oars, lifting heavy things, and making sure to get a balanced, high protein diet. By the end of the 12 day voyage she seems even fitter and healthier than at the start.

Sam is mostly occupied crafting magical items. Creel spends a lot of time communing with his god, and also some communing with his rather evil stone mace. Fitch mostly mooches, but intersperses this with some moping for variety's sake.

After 12 days Tiadora invites them into the barge's cabin to talk with Cardinal Thorn. “The master is here and commands you attend him,”

He greets his knot and is quickly to business: “You have served me faithfully, my ninth knot, and I have rewarded you both in treasure and vengeance. Thanks to your efforts, the Fire-Axe has been unleashed. Even now he writes his name in blood across the Borderlands. Three battles have been fought and three victories won. Te villages of Ambryl and Tarrington Fields lie sacked.
The fortress of Lorringsgate is in ruins. Each of you did your part in seeing these triumphs come to fruition. Do not think I have forgotten that.


“But our work is not yet done. Talingarde has not yet acquiesced to our unholy master nor tasted the full measure of our vengeance. So I have another mission for you. Tomorrow this barge will dock in Farholde, the northernmost town in all the realm. Farholde is a backwater of no real signifcance. Its lord has already lef the place hoping for glory in the war. But it does border the Caer Bryr (pronounced care-briar), the largest unmapped forest on the entire island.

“Hidden within the Caer Bryr is the Horn of Abaddon, an ancient temple once occupied by a particularly loathesome death cult called ‘The Sons of the Pale Horseman’. Almost eighty years ago the first Darian king, Markadian I called the Victorious overthrew the Horn and destroyed the Sons. No great loss, honestly. But what the Victor found within the temple is why we
are here. He defeated a daemon prince called Vetra-Kali Eats-the-Eyes. So terrifed of this monstrosity was the king, that he had the priests of Mitra craf a great silver seal to forever forbid the daemon from returning to our plane ofexistence. The seal remains to this day.

“I have learned the truth about this daemon prince. I have learned what the Victor feared. Vetra-Kali is an archdeacon in service to the lord of pestilence. This immortal monster could create a plague so virulent that it will bring Talingarde to its knees. When the Victor attacked, the Daemon Prince was close to unleashing his masterpiece upon the world — a pestilence known as the Tears of Achlys (pronounced ACKLis). I am uncertain of the specifcs of this plague but if
anything could terror in the heart of the Victor, then I want it. The Tears of Achlys will be our poisoned dagger into the heart of Talingarde.


“I already have agents in the great cities of this kingdom. With this pestilence, they could deliver blight and death to the very center of the realm. Caught between the twin storms of the Fire-Axe and Vetra-Kali’s gif, we shall bring ruin to Talingarde. This gift you shall bring to me. It will not be easy. I have already lost one band of followers on this errand. I sent the fourth knot to fnd the
Horn of Abaddon. They succeeded at that at least – revealing to me that it was concealed within a great spire of stone less than a day’s ride from Farholde. But then they vanished. I have heard no more from the elven ranger Aiden Kael since. He knew the Caer Bryr well so no normal hazard would defeat him. Perhaps the Horn of Abaddon is guarded. I cannot say. But it matters not!

The Tears of Achlys must be mine!


"I am undeterred by this setback. Where one knot failed, two will succeed. I will also send my seventh knot– the Knot Hibernal led by Elise Zadaria. I task you with finding the Horn and calling forth Vetra-Kali. Elise and her knot will aid you. Elise proved herself a capable assassin in our last venture. The seventh knot will remain in Farholde and see that anyone who tries to fnd the Horn
and interfere with your work meets an unhappy end. Thus, you will have time to do what must be done.


“There is another who may be able to aid you. Once a thriving cult of Asmodeus existed in Farholde. It was led by a half-elvish noble – the Baron Arkov Vandermir. He is
treacherous and decadent, but wealthy and well-connected. Tiadora will introduce you before she departs. I know not what aid the Baron can provide, but his family is old and long has dwelt in Farholde. Never trust him but know this – he’s afraid of me and with good reason.
If he does try anything remind him that you are in Farholde on my behalf. Tat should keep him in line.

“Find the Horn. Find the seal and shatter it. Call
Vetra-Kali back to our world. Bind him to your will and
force service from the monster. And then bring his gif to
me. Can you do this, my knot? Have I found servants with
might and will enough to see this task done?”

 

-Piece of Cake!

-Of course, my lord.

- Find creepy temple, break seal, release demon, get him to give us plague.

After some perceptive questions from Zachariah Creel the party are dismissed from Thorn's presence.

 

Soon the barge arrives in Farholde. Tiadora has arranged dinner with the Baron the following evening and instructs the villains to purchase some finery. They spread out and do some exploring and shopping – and rumour mongering.

Did you hear about the elf staying at the Wandering
Friar Inn that disappeared now three weeks back? Went
into the Briar and weren’t never seen again!

 

The following day they have a look round the town, pick up their finery, and do a bit more shopping. Sam also crafts a handy haversack for Fitch, but for some reason the magic is a bit glitchy. Possibly this is due to random eddies in the magical currents in the area, or the mingled conflicting influences of the Temple of Mitra and the nearby Horn of Abbadon. Possibly it's psychological, caused by throttled frustration at Fitch having completely failed to pay attention when she clearly and straightforwardly laid out all the useful magical things she could make. Perhaps the Gods are just having a bit of a laugh. Whatever the reason, the haversack works perfectly and is comfortable to wear, but changes colour depending on Fitch's moods.

Mood: confused and slightly put off by unexpected colour-changing-icity of satchel.

Jumping slightly ahead of the plot, the party also locate Aiden Kael's abandoned hotel room. The innkeeper is very pleased to let them search it in return for paying his 25GP outstanding bill. They find a map pointing straight to Abbadon's Horn! Handy stuff.

They also do some more rumour mongering.

Did you hear about the elf staying at the Wandering
Friar Inn that disappeared now three weeks back? Went
into the Briar and weren’t never seen again!
 

The Caer Bryr is full of living trees — everyone
knows that, but its rare to see them so far north. Still,
I’ve heard tell that one dwells not a day’s ride from this
very tavern!

Sam racks her brains for knowledge about these denizens of the forest.

“Treants – OK they're good, so they're going to want to kill us….”

The dinner party goes swimmingly. The Baron was initially very skeptical about helping our villains, assuming they would simply attract the attention of the inquisitors. However Sam's oratory wins him over, helped by Creel deliberately letting the Baron see his unholy symbol of Asmodeus while bowing to him at the start of the meal. The Baron has a great deal of power in Farholde, and should make a useful ally.

We sit here at the dawn of a new age, an age where the self righteous Mitrans no longer rule. It's already started.

You don't need to fear the pyre, nothing you do will be traced back to you.

Asmodeus will rule. The bugbears are united and a match for the Mitran forces.

And as for the Mitrans we are here to see to them. I am sure you wish them gone as much as we do.

The following day sees the arrival of Elise Zakaria and her Hibernal Knot. But before that – some last minute shopping, and some rumour mongering:

 Did you hear about the elf staying at the Wandering
Friar Inn that disappeared now three weeks back? Went
into the Briar and weren’t never seen again!

Elise is doing her best to put a falsely friendly face forward, but Fitch's finely-tuned senses can feel she's faking. He can tell she's quietly livid to be in a subordinate role, and he lets the party know this with surprising subtlety for Fitch.

Elise and her Knot will run interference here in Farholde, putting a stop to as many adventurers as she can and warning the party about any she can't. She explains her plan to create a fake serial killer and bathe Farholde in blood. Samra'el says “seems reasonable. Don't piss off the Baron, that's an order”. Sam appears to be enjoying the chance to rub Elise's nose in her current junior status.

Following the map into the exotically beautiful but also remarkably dangerous Caer Bryr our villains find the Horn within two days, but are intercepted by a treant, Jurak the Elder, who warns them of the Horn's dangerous nature. Sam is easily able to provide the giant simple-minded wooden buffoon that the party are heroes, who would be happy to help cleanse the spire of evil. The tree man idiot is very pleased to hear this, as there are a tribe of frog people in the lower levels of the spire he's not remotely happy about…

Comments

Love the blue satchel! To be fair, it wont change colour much, as Fitch’s mood is permanently ‘confused’.

Tribe of frog people – yeah lets go talk to them first. They could be useful (can’t think how exactly right now) – but if they live in the Creepy Temple of Death™ they might know some things about it.

Also not especially happy with leaving that Treant outside. OK for the time being, but if we start doing overtly evil stuff (like summoning a Demon Prince), he probably won’t be happy, and we don’t really want him jumping us when we’re not ready. I reckon we should buff up and take him out by surprise at some point in the near future. Will also give Adelea a workout with her new toys, which she is itching to do!

I expect we’ll run across this Elf at some point too. He’s either dead or (more likely) gone rogue and we’ll have to twat him. I heard that he was staying at the Wandering Friar Inn, and disappeared, like three weeks ago??

(reading that back – I’m really pleased with the ‘dawn of a new age’ speech – its amazing how easily the bullshit flows from Sam!)

The Horn of Abbadon
 

You didn’t need the +5 you got, but it was a genuinely brilliant piece of off-the-cuff convincing bullshit.

The Horn of Abbadon
 

I am so there for a big fully-buffed fight!!!

Finding out what we can about the temple before killing* the frogmen seems sensible.

Do we know what is involved in breaking the seal to free the demon prince?

  • - We are going to do that right?
The Horn of Abbadon
 

No info from Thorne about how to break the seal. He says it has been there for 80 years, so I am guessing it is going to be a bit more than “hit it with a hammer”.

No clue about the frog men. If the treant (who is Good) doesnt like them, that would imply they are evil – so maybe we can get em on our side? But if not – yeah – we can certainly engage in a bit of frogicide!

The Horn of Abbadon
 

Magic item creation update:

I am less than a day from completing Adelea’s belt. I will then start on GJ’s, who has enough cash to cover it.

After that I will start grinding them out for cash. I have enough money on Sam to start the first one. Then from the sale I will keep 2k for the next one, and split the other 2k among the party – seem reasonable?

Please start thinking (and saving!) for whatever you want next.

Chris – I am thinking Phylactery of Negative Channeling for you. You are going to need 5.5k for that. And it will take the headband slot – so the Charisma headband can go to someone else. But I think it will be a pretty decent upgrade.

Adelea – Amulet of natural armour +2 perhaps? That would be 4k, and can be upgraded later with more armour and only pay the difference.

Fitch – Eyes of the Eagle? Only 1.25k. You can afford these right now. Stalker’s Mask (1.75k)? Boots of Striding and Springing (2.75k)? Something else. SERIOUSLYREAD THESE THREADS AND REPLY!!

I need 12k for the next item on my list – so will be a while!

The Horn of Abbadon
 

Yeah the Amulet is nice – but the +1 version is 1k – so that only takes a day right? Then can be upgraded to +2 for another 3k?

Gloves of Dueling are nice too (2hit/2dmg amongst other things) – but at 7.5k they will be a while – and maybe its time to put something in defence!

The Horn of Abbadon
 

Not quite – 1k cost / 2 days to make for the +1 version. Time to craft is 1 day per 1k of base price (not crafting price).

Upgrade to +2 version would then be 3k / 8 days (but I’d need the original one to work on, so you wouldnt have the +1 version whilst I was working on the +2)

Up to you.

The Horn of Abbadon
 

Time/Cost to get to +2 is the same, and by splitting it, you do get some use from them, so that seems the more logical approach!

The Horn of Abbadon
 

Cost is the same. Time is not.

+2 version from scratch is 8 days.
+1 > +2 version is also 8 days (takes the full amount of time – just the cost is less as you deduct the cost of the +1 version.

So +2 version from scratch 4k/8days.
Via a +1 version is 4k/10 days

The Horn of Abbadon
 

Your crafting time is valuable (literally!) so I think the 8d step is the way to go.

The Horn of Abbadon
 

Up to you entirely. 1AC could be useful and you can afford it right now.

And unless Fitch ACTUALLY says something here, Steve, can I just all of put Quirks into anything I end up making for him??

The Horn of Abbadon
 

That is a thing I planned to insist upon.
(it is entirely up to you if anyone wishes to warn him)

The Horn of Abbadon
 

You are right, 1AC is useful – 5% less chance of being hit.

If you dont mind ‘losing’ the 2d, then id love to get an amulet!

The Horn of Abbadon
 

yeah thats fine. you cant afford the 4k at the moment anyway, and there’s no knowing how long it’ll take to raise the cash, so may as well get the 1K one made now. will do it straight after your belt, before starting on GJs

The Horn of Abbadon
 

I’m torn between Eyes of the Eagle and a Cloak of Elvenkind. I think it will have to be the Eyes of the Eagle first.

The Boots of Striding and Springing look very useful, but it says you need 5 skill ranks in acrobatics to make them.

Do we know if Treants sleep? If they do, we could just douse ours in lamp oil and Alchemists Fire and have a big bonfire.

The Horn of Abbadon
 

I can still make the boots. The acrobatics prerequisite I don’t have, so that adds 5DC to the crafting roll. But I still can’t fail.

The Horn of Abbadon
 

Did somebody warn him? I am disappoint.

The Horn of Abbadon
 

wasnt me…

maybe he actually read the thread?!

The Horn of Abbadon
 

Come on, be serious.

The Horn of Abbadon
 

To answer Andrew’s other question – no I don’t believe the Treant sleeps. Its a sodding tree!

Maybe we could attack it at night when it is photosynthesising a bit less?

(No – I don’t think that will make any difference whatsoever!)

The Horn of Abbadon
 

“sod” has more to do with grass than trees I think.

However, I dont think that will stop us trying to mow it down!

The Horn of Abbadon
 

Easy. His bark is worse than his bite!

The Horn of Abbadon
 

Clearly the root of his problems all stem from the fact he didn’t twig that we were lying. He couldn’t see the wood for the trees. I mean, perhaps he did cotton on, but was just expecting us to branch out, or turn over a new leaf or something. But I suspect he is just as thick as two short planks.

I’ve run out now. I’m stumped!

/gets coat

The Horn of Abbadon
 

Come on now, leaf it out with the puns.

The Horn of Abbadon
 

did anyone notice the fact that he was guarding the ent-rance??

Oh god!

The Horn of Abbadon
 

Were going to have to get Steve to prune these comments somewhat.

The Horn of Abbadon
 

Yeah oakay, I can cedar point in doing that.

The Horn of Abbadon
 

Loving the puns guys, keep em coming!
Phylactery of Negative Channeling would be great thanks Rik.

As for the Treant, think we tell it we need to sneak up on the evil froggies, so we can ditch him a bit away and makes getting the frogmen on our side easier too. Hard to tell them “Hi!, We are evil too” with goody two planks next to us

The Horn of Abbadon
 

Yay, good to see Chris chipping in! I didn’t think he ever logged into Obsidian!

The Horn of Abbadon
 

We dont introduce him as goody-two-planks, instead we tell them, “Hi! We are evil too. Look weve brought something for you to murder!”

The Horn of Abbadon
Thrudd0001

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