Davenport

The Crownstone

The Baron of Davenport is on his deathbed. It’s clear that a successor must be found.

The groups vie for control of the throne:
The Duke’s kind son, Sirano
The Equalists, who work to give the dwarves of Davenport a greater say in the things that happen in the city
House Tarantio, a family of ambitious but financially savy nobles

The party is summond to the Baron’s keep to recieve a mission from the Baron’s seneschal. He tells them that it is customary for the next Baron to posess a special stone called a Crownstone. In the past, the quest to get the stone was undertaken by the people who wanted the power, but in recent generations, interested parties hired adventurers to find the stone for them. The party was petitioned by all three groups, but they sided with Sirano, as they felt that he would provide the best mix of social and economic stability.

The party consist of:
Braid Runeforge, an exiled dwarven cleric who believes in the pursuit of knowledge and works to help people in the town by building and repairing structures. He’s also trying to get some exercise, as he is a fucking huge fatass on the border of having a heart attack.

Zankus (Zenkus?) Longfellow, a half-orc warrior and sailor who is cursed by a demon and joins the party to get a new ship. He loves fightin’.

Yevgeniy, a local ranger and well-loved folk hero. He serves the town guard and cares deeply about the fate of Davenport. He’s well-known due to an instance where outlying farms were attacked by gnolls. He drove the gnolls off by himself, saving a few of the village children in the process.

Randor the Savage, a gladiator from a distant city who came to Davenport to create what is basically a shrine to his own awesomeness. Randor’s first love is himself. His second, third, and fourth loves are also himself.

The party heard of a Crownstone existing in a nearby dungeon. After being nearly killed by a pack of cockatrices, they found/slaughtered a demon to get a strange book writtin in the demonic language. They also totally creamed the monster at the end of the dungeon and found the Crownstone.

While the party was sleeping on the way back, a dwarven warlock with a giant spider for a pet appeared to Braid and warned him about the Crownstone and made him question the party’s decision to align with Sirano. Braid shared his concerns with the rest of the part when they made it back to Davenport, but the party decided that Sirano was still the best option and gave him the stone. He became Baron-elect and rewarded the party for their help.

The people of Davenport are happy about this decision, but as the party continued their daily lives, Braid saw the warlock once more. The warlock said nothing, shook her head, and vanished back into the shadows, leaving Braid concerned and worried about the decision they part made.

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The Trial of Hily Amer

A few weeks after the party gave Sirano the Crownstone, life was continuing normally. Zankus was across the Dusklake to the west of town delivering goods on his ship. Randor was busy at his temple/shrine training warriors in the art of appreciating the awesomeness of Randor.

Braid and Yevgeniy were summoned by Sirano to look into the disappearance of another of the town’s rangers, a young woman by the name of Ryellia. Ryellia had abandoned her post in order to hunt down the person she believed murdered her parents, a young gnome sorcerer by the name of Hily Amer.

Ryellia’s parents and brother had died in a strange fire in their home. Yevgeniy used a few of his personal squad to investigate the destroyed house, and found that the explosion seemed magical in origin. As the two investigated, they found that Hily had been at the house the night of the explosion, hoping to gain insight from Ryellia’s father into better ways to control the wild magic connected to her sorcery.

Yevgeniy and Braid set out to find the two women. Along the way, they found themselves in a dark forest. That night, they were attacked by two wisps. They quickly killed one of them, and then followed the other one through the woods until a strange monster—an oni—killed the other wisp, grinned at them, and said nothing more than, “Not yet,” before disappearing back into the shadowy woods.

Yevgeniy and Braid thought the monster was totally badass and continued on their journey.

They reached a cave where they fought a small dragon and found Hily and Ryellia. Ryellia, mad with grief, was about to kill the terrified Hily. Yevgeniy and Braid rolled some awesome crits and subdued the two. They took them back to town to stand trial.

Ryellia accused Hily of killing her parents, and Hily admitted to causing the explosion on accident when she was trying to show off to Ryellia’s father by lighting a candle with one of her spells. Yevgeniy and Braid both defended Hily from the accusation of murder, pointing out that she made a bad decsion, but more out of foolishness than hurtful intent.

The jury took a certain amount of compassion on Hily, and instead of imprisoning her or sentencing her to death, they sent her to an asylum on an island in the Dusklake, where she would be better trained to control her magic. She was sentanced to stay there for five years. Ryellia was thrown in the brig for a week for abandoning her post.

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The last two months....

Two months have passed since the trial of Hily Amer.

The old Baron continues to hang onto life, though he is now permanently bedridden. Sirano has become much more of a natural leader than people expected, helping the Equalists and House Tarantio come to an agreement over the state of dwarves in the city.

This has resulted in what appears to be the beginning of a boom in growth. Ships from across the great Dusklake are pulling into Davenport, laden with exotic goods. Captain Zankus, of course, is among the traders, and while his ship and crew are small, his profits are starting to grow.

Outside the walls of the town, Randor continues train his followers in his unorthodox fighting style. At this point, three men train with him. His temple isn’t fancy yet, but Braid has spent time building it up when he’s not busy building more vital structures in town and working with Sirano and the town blacksmith, Adrik, to better the lives of the local dwarves.

To do this, Braid and Adrik are working with promising young dwarves to build and establish businesses, with Braid building them while Adrik uses his contacts with various guilds to fund them.

Sergeant Yevgeniy, in the meantime, is continuing to work with his elite ranger squad, with one new addition; Ryellia, done serving her sentence in the brig for going rogue, has joined with Yevgeniy both out of thanks and a certain sort of reverence for the man’s tracking skills… and bow skills… and gnoll killing skills…

People continue to come to Davenport, and every member of the party has their hands full as their reputations grow around the small city. Relative peace has fallen across the Barony.

But…

Tales are coming across the Dusklake with Zankus’ crew… tales about people vanishing in the Western Periphary, tales about monsters coming out of the old temple-ruins beyond the corpsefens.

And from the east, rangers return with rumors of a growing gnoll army, led by a strange, blue giant…

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The Battle For Davenport

Sirano sent the party to investigate rumors of gnolls massing in the western mountains. Adrik, a dwarven blacksmith, joined the party as they set out to the western foothills. On the way, Yevgeniy found a group of gnolls and totally failed to ambush them. After the party brings down the gnolls, Adrik was horrified by the party’s treatment of the gnolls, but he’s from out of town and doesn’t really get it.

The party found out that there was an army of gnolls, ogres, and giants lead by a blue demon that was set to attack the town. After getting back to town, the party bolstered Davenport’s defenses, which annoyed Adrik, because there was WAY to much pitch being spread WAY to fast in a lot of ditches. The party told him it was DM magic or something.

Yevgeniy and his ladies snuck behind enemy lines and started taking out giants. Zankus hung out with the priests, concerned that his demon might come out at the wrong time. Adrik, Braid, and Rando set to defending the wall.

During the course of the battle, Randor leapt off the wall and elbow-dropped an orge that was climbing up the side of it. Seeing nothing better to do, he cut therope, killed another ogre, and then demanded (in giant) that another ogre join him. Seeing that Randor was a total badass, the ogre joined up. As a result of this, a number of the town guard were bolstered by Randor’s Randorness and tore off their armor, joining up with his cause of worshipping himself. They killed a lot of dudes.

The giants outside of the town started throwing baskets with gnolls in them into town, and the party made for the keep to help Sirano defend them. They fought a hill giant on the way, and demonstrated that the party is kinda OP and I need to work harder at encounter balance.

The party reached Sirano’s throne room and found that he had fought off the gnolls himself. At that moment, Zankus transformed into his demon form—the blue oni that Braid and Yevgeniy had seen earlier! Before anyone could react, demon-Zankus stabbed Sirano (and no one is shocked since Zankus hates that dude for no reason) and took the Crownstone.

With the battle won, the party tended to their wounds and the broken town. Davenport would stand for another day, and the gnolls would think twice before coming back. Probably mostly because Randor is straight-up insane and really scary.

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The Sunken City

A few days after the Battle of Davenport, the party met up with Sirano, who was shockingly not dead. Zankus was kinda pissed about this.

Sirano forgave Zankus and gave everyone stuff. I don’t really remember what. After that, he tasked the party with finding a new Crownstone, as there’s apparently a huge door in the dungeon of the keep that leads to a an ancient city under Davenport, and the Crownstone was what was locking it down. Sirano knew of aother crownstone in the Sunken City, and sent the party to find it.

When the party entered the Sunken City, their were shocked to find that it was a massive metropolis of strange stone skyscrapers under Davenport, and that they could even see the Dusklake to the west of Davenport suspended in the air, somehow not pouring down into the Sunken City itself. The party started making their way to an ominous black tower in the middle of the city. Along the way, they were attacked by demons, but fought them off. When a massive Fomorian (underground giant) attacked the party, Randor rolled incredibly well, charmed it, and convinced it to take them to the tower, skipping like 70% of the encounters I had planned.

Once they made it to the tower, they found a Mind Flayer sitting in an ancient throne in front of a large mass of rocks. The Mind Flayer held the crownstone, but seemed to be a prisoner there. After a fairly cryptic and confusing conversation, the party took the Crownstone from the Mind Flayer, which awakened a small dragon from the rocks behind them. The party battled both of the monsters, and Adrik got hit with like a TON of poision damage. Still, the party overcame the monsters, and took the crownstone back to Davenport, locking the dungeon.

For now, things are once again quiet. No news of any more groups of gnolls has surfaced, and the party attends to their various business/personal ventures around town.

A few months have passed. Winter has begun to set in on the town, and as the snow falls, a massive caravan arrives in town, accompanied by a lone dragonborn from the tribe that helped Adrik so many years ago.

The caravan has started to unpack south of town, near Randor’s temple to Randor. Townsfolk and the party alike have started to watch the construction of a massive colosseum, accompanied with a gigantic sign that says only:

“Argus Volk’s Travelling Tournament of Strength! Fabulous Prizes! The Weak Need Not Enter!”

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Argus Volk’s Travelling Tournament of Strength

Soooo…..
That didn’t go well.

The party entered in Volk’s Tournament and were met by Nadarr, a Dragonborn who was part of the clan that helped Adrik in the past. He joined the tournament as well after being welcomed into the group with open arms.

Braid, uninterested in combat, spotted the Dwarvish warlock he had met way back when and proceeded to follow her around the tournament grounds. As the day went on, she explained that there was more to the tournament’s presence than people realized. Apparently, Argus Volk was a servant of the Chained God, a dark being that had been imprisioned by the gods of good a millenia ago. Some of the Crownstones are the keys to the chains that hold him, and when the party killed the mind flayer and took his Crownstone, one of the chains had become unlocked. This act was like a beacon to his followers, and so it’s possible many more will be coming to Davenport, especially since the portal in the dungeon seems to let people access the Beneath Realm, where the locks to the Ten Great Chains lie.

Meanwhile, everyone beat their respective NPC opponents in the tourney.

Then, disaster struck.

In a major upset, newcomer Nadarr wiped the floor with town favorite Randor. The town was horrified, appalled, and enraged. The remainder of the party was also shocked. The DM facepalmed really hard, because I forgot that magic users are still super OP when fighting melee opponents. I mean, Nadarr picked out a pretty baller spell list and knew how to use it with some pretty hefty skill, but still, a bit OP.

Randor, in the meantime, was seen wandering off in the southern wilderness, slowly dwindling to nothing more than a tiny, screaming speck before vanishing.

Back at the tournament, things went on for a really long time, eventually resulting in Nadarr vs. Yevgeniy. The less said about that fight, the better. Yevgeniy won, but since so much time had been spent on that, we had to jump ahead past a few more fights.

Elsewhere, Braid learned that Argus was a servant of the Chained God (did I say that already?) and asked the warlock out on a date. Priorities. (She said yes!)

Since we had to skip ahead, Argus kinda blew his load and attacked the party, but the party still knocked the shit out of him because of course they did.

Anyway, people got look. Yevgeniy and Nadarr have brooms that they can not fight from EVER, some other people got things, Randor got an elephant statue or whatever.

….man, it was not a great session. It was really, really bad. But people had fun, so fuck it and fuck Argus Volk.

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After the Tournament....

It’s been a few months since the stupid, stupid tournament.

Yevgeniy has gone back to his usual gnoll hunting, oftentimes accompanied by Zankus when the latter isn’t out on the lake. They killed a bunch of gnolls, and that one ranger chick is like… all about Yevgeniy, though he hasn’t really caught onto that yet.

At one point, Zankus and Adrik went across the lake to trade. Adrik set up some merchant connections there, so now Davenport will be able to get resources and be able to grow faster, which is good, because more people are coming to Davenport every day, hearing about the group of heroes that protect it.

Sirano has given Braid and Adrik a few projects of late. Nothing fancy, just new municipal structutes. Keeps ’em busy.

Braid had a good date with the dwarven warlock, but she, as expected, has vanished again and hasn’t been seen since. He’s been hanging out with Hily more, as she’s basically his silver medal.

Speaking of people who fall into the category of ’haven’t been seen since’, no one has seen Randor. His acolytes spend most of their day languishing in misery at his temple, but no one knows where Randor is. A scared traveller came into the village one day, spreading rumors about a horrifying, insane wildman who burst from the bushes along the road and suplexed him before dashing back out across the plains screaming “Ohhhh yeeeeaaaaah!”, but other than that…. nothing.

Most people say that Randor is on a vision quest, and when he returns, he will be greater than he ever was.

His ogre keeps shitting on stuff.

The town is also filled with fish and various animal meats due to Zankus constantly summoning fish and various animals. Last week, though, Zankus was on his boat, waving his trident over the Dusklake, when he heard a voice telling him to knock it off. Zankus looked over the edge of the boat to see the eyes of a beautiful woman staring up at him from under the water. He rubbed his own eyes to make sure that he wasn’t dream or crazy, but when he looked back, the eyes were gone.

Since then, Zankus has been feeling a weird sensation at the back of his neck. Part of him wonders if he should be worried about the Oni returning, but he knows it’s something else.

Today, the party recieves a summon from Sirano. He’s been studying the binding between Zankus and the Oni, and thinks he might have a soluton…

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The Unbinding of Zankus

Sirano reveals to the party that he may have found a way to help Zankus unbind from the oni. He recruited a wandering scholar (whose name I forget) to help locate a hidden ‘binding forge’ in the eastern mountains.

The party left with the scholar and found an active volcano where the he believed the forge to be. Upon descending into the forge, they were met with all manner of monsters, including fire salamanders, giants, flaming skulls, and an overabundance of exploding cultists.

Shockingly, the party used stealth off and on to sneak past giants and shove guys into giant pillars of fire and such. As they explored, they found a prison with a couple Davenporters and a water elemental, whose name I also forget because apparently I didn’t write any of that down. Whoops.

Anyway, after battling through the volcano, the party finally found the forge. A gigantic statue stood in a lake of fire behind it, and mechanisms would cause the statue to lean forward and cover the forge with molten lava that poured from its eyes and mouth. It was pretty badass.

The scholar who had brought them to the volcano revealed himself to be a servent of the oni, and the oni appeared as well, dragging the captured water elemental with him. He explained that if he bound to the elemental, he would once again have access to Davenport via the Dusklake, allowing him to try to attack the city once more.

Sufferring from heat exhaustion and other wounds as the huge statue loomed closer, the party battled the scholar and the Oni. Though they managed to bring down the scholar, the Oni was unable to unleash his full power as he needed to stay on the forge with the elemental. Even so, members of the party collapsed from the overwhelming heat of the volcano’s core, and the statue was inches from the forge…

At the last second, Zankus smashed the amulet that kept the oni from being able to come through his body. The resulting backlash of magic forced the Oni into Zankus’s body, and Zankus swapped places with the Oni, ending up on the forge with the elemental. Lava poured down onto him and the elemental, and when the statue leaned away once more, Zankus was the only person left on the altar of the forge.

He had bound with the water elemental, and in the process, severed his bond with the Oni. The Oni, wounded and outnumbered, screamed in rage and teleported away.

The water elemental thanked Zankus from within, and promised to help the heroes of Davenport in their quest. Zankus stood tall, a hero and the savior of the day.

The rest of the party was kind of annoyed as the oni and the scholar guy kinda whooped their asses. Yevgeniy was especially mad as he had failed a shitload of saves and spent most of the fight passed out from heatstroke.

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After the Forge

It’s been another few months since Zankus was bound to the water elemental. He’s used her knowledge of the Dusklake to help with his shipping routes, and she’s shared many secrets about what sort of fish he can summon for the Davenport Aquarium or whatever Zankus is calling it now.

Adrik has also benefited from the water elemental’s connection to Zankus, as he no longer has to worry about any of the brigands on the lake getting near his trading ships. His connection with the cities on the west side of the lake have grown even stronger. His house now has solid gold doorknobs. He shines them often.

Braid, being the humble sort that he is, has continued his pursuit of improving Davenport. His follower-apprentices have begun work on a temple to their god, though Braid finds it a bit ostentatious and prefers to work on other things. In his free time, he’s tended to the shrine of Randor, who still remains missing. Randor’s acolytes have started bickering amongst eachother. Without their beacon of a leader, they feel lost and confused. The ogre continues to shit, like, just EVERYWHERE. Braid has begun work on a giant toilet for him.

Yevgeniy and Ryellia have been on a few dates. There are reports of necking. Ooooooo.

Nadarr continues to serve Adrik, often as muscle on trips across the lake. When he has time, he researches the Crownstones with Sirano, and the two are beginning to piece together the location of the remaining pillars that bind the Chained God. They’ve also come to realize that with one of the pillars broken, one of the Lost Gods must be back in the world in force, though they have yet to identify which one.

In fact, Sirano and Nadarr think they’ve pinned down the next pillar. Though they can’t locate it on a map, Argus Volk’s Crownstone seems to lead to a new location. They’re not even sure it’s on the same plane, but when Zankus learns of it, he feels the water elemental inside of him whisper a warning.

“There is an island. The pillar is there. Those who enslave minds guard it…”

The party has no time to wonder about the cryptic meaning, though. As Zankus explains the situation, the doors of Sirano’s keep are thrown open, and a lone figure stands silhouetted by the morning light….

Randor has returned.

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The Island

Okay, so bear with me because I don’t remember all the details, but… here we go…

RANDOR’S BACK!
SORTA!

Randor came back to Sirano’s keep a changed man. He had transformed into a humble monastic-type in sack-cloth, and Zankus was like genuinely upset by this.

Sirano sent the part to an island via the crownstone gate in the keep basement. Once there, the party found a river and followed it deep into the jungle, where they came across a village of people. The people worshipped a giant totem in the middle of the village adorned with pictures of weird lookin’ fish guys. They offered the party a great feast.

The party immediately assumed that the villagers were trying to kill them and tried to meta-game their way out of the feast, but the DM told them to just play along and they did, which was kinda awesome as it resulted in them barfing their guts out during a fight with some Chulls. Yevgeniy went blind and missed a bunch of shots. Braid patronized him to make him feel better. It was tragically sweet.
The coolest part, though, was that when the party took damage, Randor transformed into a wereflamingo, which is totally sweet. Zankus was still mad, but he didn’t mind that, if I remember correctly.

Anyhow, the party beat the Chulls and found out that the beings the villagers worshipped—the Kopru—were the ones protecting the Chain, and that they had lost contact with them recently. The party went to search for them on a giant temple on the island.

When they got to the temple, they were attacked by some brainwashed villagers and more Chulls. To everyone’s suprise, the party didn’t straight-up kill the helpless villagers, which was cool.

The party then went to the temple, where they fought a kuo-toa priest who was trying to unlock the Chain as well as more Chulls. That was a sweet fight. The party was getting mind-controlled into these pools of water and they saw the kopru being enslaved by this gigantic Aboleth thing. They freed the kopru and beat the kuo-toa. There was a lot of swimming.

The party made it to the chain room where they fought the Aboleth, who was super-huge and had lots of HP. Eventually, they party overcame it, and it was also sweet.

Anyhow, they locked the chain down so that they don’t have to worry about that one and returned to the keep. Zankus keeps hanging out on the island.

Over the next week, things gradually settled down. Sirano and the group continue to look for other Chains and ways to get to them, but for the moment, there’s a brief respite…

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