Dragon Age: Wayfarers

Act I, Part I
Let me explain... No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

A Rough Sketch of Events

Atrica

After Arwen’s trial was postponed until dawn of the following day, Glendere, Desta, Celes, and Redwalt took it upon themselves to prove her innocence and find the real culprits behind the murders.

Redwalt and Celes began investigating a mysterious figure who had come to town with four hooded bodyguards. The man pleasantly introduced himself as Ammon Jerro, a Circle Mage from Orlais. Following and later attempting to interrogate the mage revealed that he used magic that was just on the edge of forbidden, that his four near-identical guards could handily dismantle several dozen blood-mages without taking injuries, and that he worked under the direct authority of the Grand Enchanter himself. Redwalt and Celes did battle with his guards after watching the mind-rape and murder of an aged citizen, but were subdued/ordered to stand down.

Meanwhile, Glendere and Desta went to the city’s underbelly, gleaning the remnants of the Thieves Guild for clues. They discovered that the captain of the city guard was, in fact, a blood-mage, and that the conspiracy against the city went far higher than even her. Glendere engineered and successfully managed a plot to get Knight-Commander Giles Valmax the proof that he needed.

At the trial, the Knight-Commander presented his findings. Desta accidentally exposed a member of the nobility as a blood-mage, and the courtroom exploded with violence as fully half the nobles present pulled out blood magic. Arwen kept the Arl safe from all attempts on his life while Glendere and Ammon Jerro’s guards systematically took down the rebels.

Cleared of all charges, Arwen pushed for the party to leave the city quickly, agreeing with Menaby to leave at noon of that day. Desta, Arwen, Valen, and Glendere were each offered gifts by the grateful Arl. Desta disappeared (into the castle’s wine-cellar) before she could choose her gift. Valen took a bounty of silver, while Arwen declined, saying she merely did the Maker’s will. Glendere convinced the Arl to turn a blind eye to the Thieves’ Guild operations, so long as Glendere himself was in charge and kept violent crime down.

Before they left Atrica, though, Celes and Redwalt were interrogated by Jerro about the location of the Sin Gems. They gave him no answer, and he left the city a few hours before they did.

The Road to Denerim

Not far along the Imperial Highway toward Denerim, the party found the remains of a bandit clan, torn apart by sword and sorcery. Redwalt spotted immediately that the bandit’s wounds matched the weapons of Jerro’s bodyguards.

Further along the road, the path was blocked by a much larger caravan that had seemingly set up camp and then never decided to move on. Talking with the lethargic caravan’s members, they found out that the caravan leader had recently taken on a large sapphire that had been stolen by bandits mere hours earlier. From the description and the effects Arwen immediately recognized the sapphire as the Kingdom Breaker, prison to a Sloth Demon, and the party set off after the bandits.

Finding the bandits slaughtered by blight-wolves, one of whom had devoured the Gem, the party set to slaying the fleeing creatures before they could make the distant forest. Desta used her bow to kill the last wolf just on the edge of the forest, Redwalt rushing forward to cut the Sloth Gem from the creature’s belly. Just before he secured the Gem, the Templar-in-Training was sent flying as a pair of Ogres stepped from the trees.

The party then engaged in desperate combat, everyone taking massive damage as the Ogres quickly regenerated their wounds. Ultimately, Arwen released the strongest arcane bolt any of them had ever seen, annihilating the wolf that had regenerated and severely damaging both Ogres. The second blow came when Redwalt unleashed the some of the power his Dragon Blade had been storing in a vast gout of flame that consumed one Ogre and injured the other unto death. Desta, who had been riding the surviving monster, finished it off with two arrows to the brain.

Having at last secured all of the Sin Gems save Wrath, Arwen finally admitted the will-sapping powers each of them held. Even her strong will could barely contain the three she held already. Redwalt

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Session 4

Menaby’s Caravan approached the prosperous city of Atrica, renowned for its fine liquors as well as its hatred of all things magical. Though the party was loath to enter, fully half of them mages, they desperately needed some place to spend the tremendous haul of silver their adventure in the ruins had netted… and they wanted to dump off Valen.

After talking their way past the city’s guards, and picking up the pyromaniacal Circle Mage Rin along the way, the party split. Desta headed to the Market District to liquidate their non-essential assets (and give herself a generous cut). Redwalt went to the local Chantry and met Knight-Commander Giles Valmax, who spoke of Redwalt’s growing fame.

The rest of the party headed to one of Atrica’s many taverns: the infamous Distinguished Almond. Despite a distinct lack of almonds, the bar served many fine alcoholic beverages: Arwen, Rin, and Celes receiving quite a few for free from admiring, and amorous, patrons. While Arwen refrained from drinking the whole night, eventually Celes, Rin, and Desta all got uproariously drunk: Desta wound up in a tree, and Celes wound up in a bed with Rin. Redwalt missed the opportunity… I mean, the event, and instead spent the night at the Chantry.

Arwen had intended to do the same, being a pious young woman, but found herself mugged and knocked unconscious. She awoke the next morning to the clang of steel on steel and the sound of angry voices. As she looked around, she beheld over a dozen smoldering bodies: the faithful servants of the Chantry were all dead, and her hand held the guilty wand.

The Arl of Atrica, Dynas Schott, declared that she would be executed for her crime at dusk of the following day, giving her friends very little time to help her.

Redwalt and Celes immediately took charge of the search for the real culprit, starting with her mugger the night before. They traced the mugger to the Distinguished Almond, and noticed that the barmaid from the night before had been acting oddly, and may have been trying to get the mages of their party drunk…

When they confronted the barmaid, she hurled a spell at them and darted for the door. Rin wound up setting the tavern ablaze in the attempt to prevent the servant’s escape, but Redwalt managed to catch her and escape the bar before the volatile spirits beneath the establishment caught on fire.

After a lot more investigation, ranging from the hidden magic shop to the crippled Thieves Guild in the underbelly of the city, there was still not enough evidence to save Arwen from the biased Arl. Knight-Commander Valmax, sensing everything was not as it seemed, convinced the irate Arl to put off the trial until the morning, after which there would probably be an execution.

And so our heroes were provided with a single night in which to find the real culprit, prove Arwen’s innocence, and find another tavern. And Glendere, who had strangely disappeared the moment they arrived in the city…

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The Ruins of Greed
The shattered tomb of an ancient people, brought down by avarice and greed. In death, only Hunger remains...

Last time, on Dragon Age: Wayfarers

Bandits posing as the absent Town Guard bore down upon the Caravan as our heroes attempted to leave the city.
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This time, on Dragon Age: Wayfarers

Thanks to the quick thinking of Glendere, he concealed the much-maligned elves Celes and Desta before swiftly hiding himself. The ‘Town Guard’ were then sent on their way under the stern gaze of the Templar-in-training Redwalt, hustling down the road out of town in search of the ‘elves and elf-lovers.’

The Dwarf eventually found the party again just as an irritable Menaby set the caravan on its way. Celes, Glendere, and Desta left their hiding places within the wagons and walked alongside, already expecting a bandit ambush. Far behind the party, a lone figure followed curiously.

Not far along the road, Desta bespied a poorly-arranged ambush, set up by the bandits who had hounded them within the town. Thus warned, the party had time to ready themselves for battle before the bandits charged.
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As three bandits charged from the right and four from the left, the party split to protect the wagons. Celes set the four on the left aflame, killing one outright and setting the others to hurried flight. Two more fell before her flames, and the last was obliterated by an Arcane Bolt from a hidden location.

One of the remaining three pulled an ornate wand and attempted to use it on the party to no avail, finally being cut down by Redwalt. The second of the three flanking bandits was stabbed to death by an irate Glendere after breaking one of the rogue’s blades. The final bandit, after gravely wounding Desta and Redwalt, saw which way the wind was blowing and surrendered, dropping his surprisingly well-crafted greatsword.

As the party collected itself, Glendere claimed the two-handed blade as his own while Redwalt questioned their prisoner. The bandit would only say that he was new to the bandit group, the sword belonged to him, and his name was Valen. Meanwhile, Desta and Celes explored the nearby forest, trying with little luck to find the source of the Arcane Bolt which had slain the fleeing bandit. Failing that, Celes claimed the ornate wand, which Redwalt almost immediately identified with some trepidation.

Ultimately, Redwalt manacled Valen’s hands behind his back, tying him to the back of the wagon to turn in at the next town. Glendere sat in the back of the wagon, taunting their prisoner in the hopes of getting more information from him. Celes reveled in her victory, eventually remembering to heal the injured members of the party.

Eventually the party overtook a young,unescorted Circle Mage travelling along the road. Desta took it upon herself to introduce everyone, and they discovered that her name was Arwen and that she was a sage studying nearby ruins. Talk turned to the Rod, and a deal was struck with Valen: he would lead them to the location where the Rod was found if they would free him and return his blade.

Valen lead them to an ancient, defaced tomb, past several dangerous traps and dozens of skeletons, ultimately stopping at a massive stone door. The wand, he said, was clutched in the grip of a corpse in front of the door. Desta managed to activate the opening mechanism, breaking an arrow and almost losing several fingers in the process, and the party proceeded deeper into the unexplored depths of the tomb. Shadows moved at the edges of their torchlight, and the stone door slammed shut behind them as they passed…

At last, they came to a dark room with a pit filled with ancient undead, skeletons rattling and jostling one another as they moved within. Dousing their lights and moving quietly, Desta, Celes, and Glendere managed to sidle around the pit. When Arwen attempted the same, she fell into the pit with the skeletons. As they began to swarm her, Redwalt flung himself in and boldly fought his way over to her, covering her with his shield as he pushed through the mass of bones and blades to the other side of the pit. Valen fell, but managed to make it look like he had jumped in to save Arwen and Redwalt, discovering as he battled through the horde that the mere touch of his sword turned undead to dust.
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Making it past the pit at last, the party continued on, mages using precious Mana to heal their many wounds. Arwen found a lever hidden behind an ancient suit of armor and immediately pulled it, causing a ziggurat to rise within the large room ahead of them. Redwalt and Glendere began climbing the stone pyramid, only to immediately trip a pressure plate and unleashing a small horde of Ravenous Dead. Celes and Desta ran to assist while Valen and Arwen hung back, watching

Thinking quickly, Redwalt hurled his torch to the far corner of the room, causing many of the hungry undead to follow it, though five began clambering up the pyramid to attack them. After a desperate battle, Redwalt, Celes, Glendere, and Desta managed to kill the five abominations and seize the strange ring at the ziggurat’s crown before fleeing back to rejoin with Valen and Arwen.

As the horde approached, Celes stepped forward, filled with the knowledge that she was the greatest. She consumed the entire band of hungry undead in a mighty gout of flame, leaving nothing but ash in her wake.

After recovering from their trials, the party looted the adjoining treasure room and armory, coming away with several valuable and well-crafted items, as well as quite a bit of silver. Glendere passed the over-sized ring to Arwen for identification, but the sage had absolutely no idea where the strange item came from.
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Cleverly finding their way around a deathtrap that would have doomed them to poverty, the party eventually returned to the caravan, laden with silver and quite the tale to tell.

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The Village of Leidiff

Adventure Log to be posted later.

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Rage Bound in Stone

In 9:28 Dragon in the land of Ferelden, a small caravan is making its way through the Bannorn lead by Menaby Holtz. Hired on as extra hands are the Elven Mage Celes Gainsborough and her Templar-in-Training guardian Redwalt, the troubleshooter extraordinaire Glendere “the Bold”, the Dwarven Smith Angecid ‘Cid’ Aeducan, and the constantly lost Dalish Elf Desta Ellwood.

After a long day of traveling, the caravan stops for the night. On Glendere’s watch, bandits attack, stealing only a single large ruby, leaving the rest of the gold and trinkets locked within the second wagon alone. After swearing heavily in a language that’s not the King’s Tongue, Menaby orders her hired hands to go after the jewel.

Desta leads the way and gets horribly, horribly lost in the forest. The others figure out quickly how she ‘misplaced’ her clan. Glendere manages to find their wayward Elf and the path the Raiders took, disabling the few traps they left along the way. The group easily dispatches the Blight Wolves that found their trail, though Celes’ ability as a healer is needed.

Upon coming to a small farmstead, the group approaches cautiously in case any Raiders are holding up in the farm. The barn is empty and the house has a broken door with an injured and crying man on the floor. He lets them know that the Raiders took his little girl and it was his son, Langer Hugh, who was leading them. He gives them general directions on how to reach his son’s hideout in the woods and implores them to bring his little girl home.

After some more wandering in the woods, led by Glendere, the group stumbles upon five stone idols, the makings of a raider’s camp, and a ritual taking place. A young man, presumably Langer, has the large gem in one hand, a dagger in the other, preparing to first place the gem into the stone then kill the young girl bound, tied, and staked to the ground in front of him.

Celes quickly figures out that there is a Rage Demon locked within the very idol Langer is hovering in front of.
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Glendere sneaks around behind to try and catch Langer unawares while Redwalt and Cid distracts the raiders in melee as Celes and Desta distracts them with ranged attacks. Unfortunately Langer both sockets the gem, giving the demon locked within its full power, and slays his sister, giving the demon a vessel to possess.

A furious battle unfolds, with both Glendere and Cid both needing Celes’ healing talents. Celes warns them not to kill any of the Raiders so they go for knock-out blows. They slay the demon’s first host, only for one of the raiders to slit his own throat to give the demon another host, so powerful is their reverence for the Rage Demon. After they slay the second host, Celes banishes the demon back to the Fade, and the group quickly slaughters the other three raiders, leaving one raider and Langer unconscious for questioning later.

After inspecting the gem, Celes determines that the gem is only a gem again. Redwalt expresses his concern that their employer wasn’t entirely honest with them about the origins and her knowledge of the gem, and wonders if the person she was planning on selling it to knew about the demon and needs to be reported to the Chantry and the Templars.

After cleaning up the camp, the group heads off again, led by Desta, who gets horribly, horribly lost. Again.

This was our introductory session for the Dragon Age world, and this adventure was borrowed from a fan-made one with some minor tweaking. It took a bit but everyone got into their characters pretty well and seemed to enjoy themselves. Despite my best efforts I did not kill any of the PCs, though I really, really tried! Comment in character for some extra XPs ;)

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