We had begun a large "sandbox" adventure, but continuing there was not a real option after so much time passed, and given that we can't expect to get that many games in.
So, I was asked to narratively wrap up the last adventure and set the stage for some more episodic one/two-shot games for the same characters.
So, with that in mind, here is what has happened as a set up for this weekend's game:
The characters will remain:
Cerise, the Spirit-Touched Cleric
Indigo the Gnome Cleric
They [Never] Call me "Z" (as always, the name changes), the Half-Elf Rogue
Legolis, the High Elf Ranger
Hey Watchit, the Half-Orc Fighter
Lief, the Human Bard
Delthen Eversoar, the Human Paladin, and
Rolen Stillwind, the Wood Elf Sorcerer
Previously on “Heroes of the 13th Age”
At the behests of The Priestess and The High Druid, the characters set forth to a remote crossroads known as Tampu Tinku. The village had a history of dark magic and banditry, but more immediately was having religious conflict between the nature worshippers of the Old Faith Druidic tradition and the newly fervent followers of the Temple of the Dawn Gods.
On the way to the town the characters encountered some of the town residents, a Halfling named Hull and a Half-Elf named Quill, as well as a Paladin Knight, Kalari, and his Squires who were followers of the Great Gold Wyrm. Some kind of demonic force possessed the Paladin and there was some fighting. The characters helped bring the Knight to the town and he was lodged in the Temple of Dawn in hopes of the demonic force being exorcised.
Meantime, the characters met Quill’s grandmother, “Gran gran,” and started to find out about some happenings in the town, the religious divide, the mayor’s race, and the mysterious murders that shut down the most important local inn, the Serene Empress.
Out of all the many issues facing Tampu Tinku, the characters felt compelled to go break into the crime scene that was the abandoned Serene Empress and start to check it out. It was a very nice inn, with, as Hey noted, great baking facilities. However, there had been some kind of terrible fight that had killed everyone at the inn, and now who owned it was unclear.
In the basement, the party began to find answers, and the answers were ninja Kobolds. After some nasty traps and a big fight, the dead Kobolds’ gear revealed them to be part of an ancient serpent cult. With more exploration, the characters discovered a hidden entrance to a tunnel that ran under the inn and led into a network under the town.
This, of course, led to more fighting.
Each of the characters, Cerise, Indigo, Z, Legolis, Hey, Lief, Delthen and Rolen, all look back on this time fondly.
Not the grubbing around in the tunnels fighting Kobolds and Lizardmen and big snakes and the secret serpent cultists of the town, but what all that grubbing around led to.
After exposing the owners of the Golden Pear Inn as serpent cultists who had instituted the massacre of the staff and patrons of the Serene Empress, the party was able to destroy a malevolent power source that had opened up a nearby “living dungeon,” which had birthed the demonic possession spirit which had taking over the Paladin Knight. The dungeon, known from the lore of the town as “The Hellcaves” sank deep beneath the earth, and the Paladin was free of the possession.
He and Delthen then had an argument, and they knocked each other down a bit. Then a whole squadron of Great Gold Wyrm Knights showed up hoping to fight demonspawn from the Hellcaves. They settled for wiping out the local bandits. The characters helped out by discovering that the local Imperial Constable had been on the bandits’ payroll. They helped the Constable “retire” and a new Imperial representative was later dispatched from Axis, the Imperial Capital.
Everyone had a celebration, which Hey helped to cater.
This gave the town an idea. Why not keep the characters around to be protectors and guardians of the town. They offered the party the Serene Empress Inn as a base and an income generator. With Hey providing the food and supervising a local staff, and with the day to day operations under the watchful eye of Z, it was a tremendous success! The rest of the party helped out (Lief’s performances drew clientele from far and wide), and often went on little expeditions, given the diversity of threats that came across the passes along the Migration Route of the Koru Behemoths from the Red Wastes.
Ah, those were the days.
They had to give it all up. As the Imperial decree seemed to say, it can’t all be baking croissants and ambushing unsuspecting Goblins.
Because . . . demons.
Now, you all are far to the north, not far from where Indigo was raised by Frost Giants. You have been hunting demons, and Orcs, and demonic Orcs, and other “things” which have further demonstrated that the Diabolist has entered into some unholy pact with the Orc Lord to destroy the Empire.
As you trudge on, you are at least relieved that the latest dreams from the Icons have indicated that your next mission will not be just entering a smelly demonic labyrinth to chop up oozy Orcs and vanquish brimstone reeking monstrosities. Instead, you will probably be doing that to recover a glowing spear. Some kind of weapon against the darkness, perhaps something related to that first spear (the cursed spear of the Orc Warlord Mondru, Fourth of His Name) that started it all, the one the Orc Lord wanted, but which The Priestess could not yet destroy because The Prince of Shadows stole the instructions.
Oh, and now it’s raining. Is that a light ahead? There had better be hot food and warm beds up there . . .Stay tuned for what happens next. There will probably be monster killing and stuff.
PS We still miss Yoshi.