Hawkes Bay Kingmaker

In which we see the fruit of our blooms

After collecting the bloom from the Troll (which happened to be a necklace of tiny pixies trapped in little cages, immediately broken free of said cages and released to be with their, conveniently, related pixie sister we had back at the castle), we made a unanimous decision to travel to the Thousand Breaths, using the power of our collected blooms.

Cara was very confident in her ability to get home and Oret seems to have developed enough trust in her to let her do as she wished. Who am I to stop her from travelling that was when I would have done so myself?

Our goal was the very same elven ruins we had been too not so long prior. This time however, we were aware of the illusion so it did nothing to distract us. Khan pulled out the blooms and as suggested, a portal whomphed into existence.

The trip through was rough. It was as though somebody had grabbed me by my intestines and yanked me through a door. I was pleased to be through…although the whole area was totally suffused with, probably, a thousand voices, all talking at the same time. It was distracting.

But not as distracting as an additional voice in my head. It turns out that the trip into the Thousand Breaths imbued Briar with more power and now it was able to communicate with me telepathically, as well as cast some spells. It appears that at this stage, Briar and I are moving in the same direction, but I have a feeling that it will continue to attempt to dominate me and we will be forced to part ways in some manner. While I am here though, Briar is an invaluable ally, providing me with an accurate map as well.

I do feel weaker while using the blade, but Briar assures me that this is offset by it’s own increase in power. This is also not a promising sign, but I believe in Iomedae and she will protect me.

Our first decision, back up by Khan, was to ensure that the gate closed before heading off into the wilderness. No point leaving an easy back door into our realm while we are not there to protect it.

From there, we moved through the only path available, directly ahead, leading to a lake with black swans swimming on it. The eagle eyes of Learion spotted some differences in the trees here and he called out, warning us that these were actually treants.

The fight was brutal. More so than expected because the treants were casting lightning spells that were hurting us more than we expected and healing them at the same time. It took lusty blows and powerful healing, along with some magic to bring these things down. At least we were able to procure the payment for our druidic researcher in the form of the lightning touched bark.

We were in better shape than we perhaps had any right to be and so we carried on towards what looked like a grave site in the map Briar provided me.

We found ourselves face to face with a large, four armed frost giant. He called us over, telling us he had been waiting a long time for this since we had killed his kin. Oret gladly accepted his challenge and tore across the battlefield, pummeling the giant with blow after blow, but the monster remained standing.

In fact, it simply looked angrier. With no other real way of saving my monk friend, I resorted to a spell I haven’t used. The power of Iomedae switched Oret and I and he was left looking a little confused as he returned to his place back with the party, while I was now standing in front of the giant.

I’m glad I managed the spell, because as much as the giants mighty blows hurt, several did not get through my armour, but I think that Oret might have been in a significant amount of trouble if he had been there still.

Io held the beast in place while others wailed on him with a fury borne of the understanding that this giant would be able to kill any of us in a matter of seconds should he be allowed to strike again.

With his death came a collective sigh of relief, and some more healing from Io was required…

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I'm just a Troll, standing in front of a girl, telling her to love me
follow the yellow brick road.

I was useful ! I managed to track the troll and find out where it had gone.
May have had some help from some of the wedding party but …. I was useful.

Turns out that the Troll had taken the Druids wife and the others had tried to fight the Troll off. We meet up with my wife and the Tifling on the way. Imajica bamphed them back to pitax and we carryed on towards the troll.

We came across our monks bride to be just outside the Monkery. She told us that the Troll was there. We had a scuffle with some big cats and again as we were just outside the monkery.
After dispatching them we headed inside.

What we say was not the best. The troll had lined up a few lady’s and was judging them, it seamed he wanted to keep the best for his wife. Unfortunately the only one left alive was the druids wife.

Imajica jumped into action and sent three if the trolls pet cats to another plane. Io stoped the Troll in his tracks and then we struck down upon thee Troll with great vengeance and furious anger. He must have had eminence fortitude because what should have been a killing blow was shrugged off and he continued to fight and hurt some of the party before finally collapsing.
He was carrying a bloom!!!! a small necklace with very small pixies in very small cages.
I managed to open one and out popped a pixi and it grew to normal pixi size.
It was one Tickle wing, Finking wing, pixi wing? sister who kissed me and then popped out of existence I hope due to some sort of teleport.
We freed the rest and now we had three blooms time to see if the researchers were right and go save my father and our Kingdom.

We got the Druids wife back to safety and we carried on to 1000 Voices.
When we got there a Witch and two guards were there waiting for us. She is going to come with us just in case we fail I guess.

Let me be the first to say I do not want to stay here too long, there are 1000 voices crying out at all times it is going to make my calm less calm not to mention sleeping. I am hoping that the Druids sleeping spell thing helps.

We walked for about three hours and came across a lake with black swans.
I was looking around and I saw something move in the trees, we have found our tree-ent and not just one.
After a electrifying fight we had some bark from the Tree-ent for our researcher back home.

On to the next part of the 1000 Voices and we came across a very cold graveyard and one very large and many armed Frost Giant. Our pally took most of the brunt of the attacks and we defeated the monstrosity.
I was kind of expecting something to happen as we were told that defeating the fey’s Bigger Minnions would stuff up this plane. Maybe this Frost giant was not a Boss Minnion who knows? On to the next.

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Into One Thousand Voices and Beyond

So after saving my queen we found another bloom trophy and rescued some pixies trapped within it.

We escorted the ladies to Pitax and headed off to try the gate to the first world. We were joined at the gate by Andromeda. She has taken a very heroic view that if she puts our plane at risk its best she comes with us to try and fix the problem. Io was a little upset she was with us but I can see what he sees in her. Should she survive I think a reward would be fitting.

When we get to the gate it shimmers and bursts into live like some copyrighted science fiction gate that shall remain nameless. Planegate does not quite sound right though.

Through we go. Fuck its noisey here. Once we get there I immediately touch the bloom trophies to Briar as this seems to make it more useful and I am hoping it closes the gate so that we can move on towards our goal without leaving an open portal for who knows what to head to our homeland and destroy it. This results in the portal shutting down yay and Briar getting stronger yay??? It also results in Briar becoming intelligent and distracting our Paladin a fair bit.

Briar does give our Paladin the map of this kingdom which is good cause we would have no fucking idea where to go otherwise. We set off down the path and notice some very uniform and un-natural looking trees. a few hours later Lerian states "Hmm if those trees were moving I would swear they were Treants and then they bloody moved didn’t they.

We quickly disposed of the 5 or so Treants and took our trophy and they were clearly Lightning Struck Treants given they cast lightning spells. another 3 or 4 hours on and we come across a 4 armed Frost Giant. He put up a reasonable fight but we quickly dispose of him as well. Not that the mage/wizard dude did much.

So what will we face next…

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Khan save the Queen

So of to find the trolls that kidnapped my queen and the bridal party. We managed to pick up the tracks quite easily and find two of the ladies along the way. Further tracking and we find the bride to be. She has followed the troll to an old monestary (or Monkary as our monk refers to it). He has my wife the queen inside.

It appears that the Troll has some Sabertooth cats as his protectors. I change into a small animal and sneak in. We quickly overpower the cats and the Troll dies in a ball of flame from my Flaming Sphere. The queen is rescued and all is well again…… for now.

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In which we decide "Let's call it Steve. I'm not so afraid of Steve"

Upon learning that the wedding party was not at the Tournament Grounds (our biggest clue was the lack of women planning a wedding and a fair number of dead guards), Learion spotted a large set of tracks. These tracks could conceivably belonged to a troll as they were huge compared to human prints.

They were also followed by three sets of small human prints. Perhaps one of the women was knocked unconscious and was being carried?

Following the tracks appeared to be little issue for those with the skill. I simply followed those that could.

It was a long walk, but we were determined to find our sisters, wives, fiances and friends. While the endless walking was getting us closer, even we tired, so we camped in one of Khan’s mushroom circles.

Before resting, Imajica changed into a dragon (it appears that he simply enjoys this form) and scouted ahead of us. He returned not long after carrying bothAshularae and Ekho Eberheart, one of whom had an injured ankle, that Io promptly healed.

It turned out that the troll had entered the grounds and killed the guards (and was helped by several large pumas? No, that’s not a word…warthogs…) while searching for women. It was armed with a large polearm and powered through the guards and even the women with little trouble, taking Lady Quintessa Maray with him.

This troll spoke in common as well. Once the remaining women had recovered sufficiently, they began tracking the troll as Cara Sellemius (Oret’s fiance) was an accomplished ranger in her own right. The other two were slowing her down so they elected to return, hoping to find us coming after them and Cara would continue following the beast.

Keeping the women safe was the best move, so they were teleported back to Shrike City by Imajica, allowing us to continue on without having to worry about their safety.

The trail led directly to the badly dubbed “Monkery”. As we approached, Cara spotted us and filled us in on the layout. This really meant a simple snatch and grab approach via the front door was our best bet.

We met resistance from three huge sabre-tooth cats in front of the church itself, but while they were large and powerful, they were simple animals and didn’t really stand a chance against battle hardened warriors and magic users.

With the final mewing gurgling from their throats, the felines died and our way inside was clear. I tried diplomacy first, hoping to free our Queen before violence put paid to our hopes of rescue. Sadly, this was not successful, and charging in, heedless of the danger was paramount.

Except…

…both our King and Magister had disappeared. With no recourse, we moved ahead anyway.

As it turned out, they were both already inside, shape changed or invisible. The remaining three huge felines were intent on imposing their will on us until a rainbow burst out, sending them to different realms, burning them, and generally causing all sorts of issues. Khan was doing something with a large ball of flame as well, keeping the troll occupied hopefully.

Magic, both divine and arcane rang out in concert to weapons slashing and the cats died swiftly, while the troll barely had time to lift a finger as he was rendered mad and held in place, only to break free in time to be met by a veritable storm of sword blows, ending his life and threat.

Oret had kept his eyes on the goal and teleported to the Queen and freed her while the rest dispatched the enemy combatants.

With the death of yet another Steve, the now familiar glow of a bloom power was found and stored with the other two. It looks like we may have enough power to try and breach the wall between our world and the Thousand Breaths. I have a feeling that we might be headed there quite quickly.

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A New Friend

So the ruins provided nothing for us. As we searched however Lerian found a crying Pixie whos sisters had been captured by a man made of worms and taken back to the other plane. She took a liking to me and returned with us to the Palace for her own safety. We will try and rescue them when we manage to get to the First World.

When we return to the capital Lerian is approached by his brother who wants to take our friendly Witch to the First World and kill her as he things she is a link that can cause ultimate disaster. We rejected that plan. While discussing options we are made aware of another Bloom in the swamps. The Bog Striders are being killed by huge worms. We travel to Varnhold and quickly dispatch the worms and retain another bloom trophy to help us travel to the First World.

On our return home we receive word that all our ladies have been captured by some trolls. So we are off to sort that now.

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In which weddings and blooms collide

While there was nothing immediately found in the ruins, I stayed to look further while others wandered off. Magic appeared to be the most useful way to find more information, but much like the mundane eyes, nothing more could be found.

It was at this point that the search was given up and the trip home was started…with a new companion as well. Khan had picked himself up a pixie, that seemed most fascinated with his helm.

Although apparently it was Learion that found her. Or rather, heard her crying. It seems as though a man made of worms came through the portal (and he wasn’t the only one to come through a portal, as our friends the satyr and ettins came through one as well) and kidnapped all her sisters. She had been hoping that we would open a portal so she could fly through and rescue her sisters.

With our assurance that we would rescue her sisters, she accompanied Khan via his helm back to Shrike City to stay in the palace, ostensibly for her safety.

James Tanaster held a private, family meeting with Learion, but it wasn’t a long one. Learion had his thoughts of his father confirmed and James suggested that we take Andromeda Niska to the Thousand Breaths and leave her there as she appeared to be the link to other realm.

His first option was to simply kill her…

Thankfully Learion outright refused that. After a talk with her, it was decided (she made the decision) that she stay in the palace, with a couple of scrolls of teleport, an army and at least two guards with her at all times, just for her protection. Extravagant, but the juice is worth the squeeze apparently.

Word comes from the swamps near Varnhold. The kindly bog striders were being killed by mammoth worms. Thankfully, aside from their humongous size, they were not too much of a threat, although one did try to eat Learion. Once they were killed, they grotesquely continued to writhe, even as they shrunk back to their original size.

The return to Varnhold allowed the bog striders to return home safe again. But our families were apparently not safe! All the women in the wedding organisational party had been kidnapped by a troll…I pity that Troll. Clearly Steve has not managed to get the word out to all of Stevekind. Imajica may be in line for a wee talking to…

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Now she scares me
You want us to abandon Andromida?

After looking around the ruins I soon see that I am of no help as it is a magical “thing” needed to open this place up.

I start to look else wear and I hear some crying coming from a tree in the distance. A small Pixi is there crying about the loss of her sisters. I ask who would do such a thing? She tells me that a Wriggly Worm man came and took them. This worries me so I ask has anything else come through the gates? and the Ettins and the sytar did. This bit of information is the most worrying, If these things can come through the portal why has Nirrisa not come through? What we have all been assuming so far is that is really really wants her sword back along with her emotions back but what if this is not the case? Some might say because she is not whole she can not go through the portal. But what if she is so far gone she no longer cares about her other half and now just wants to destroy anything that is not her 1000 Breaths. We do not have enough information yet to say but both options are worrying.

I start to calm the Pixi down and say we are trying to get to were they were taken and than we could save them and return them to her. This seams to lighten the mood and then our Druid comes over and the Pixi takes a liking to his helmet.
We decide to take her with us back to our capital.

Upon reaching our capital we are accosted by what seams like everyone wanting “stuff” from 1000 Breaths. We will have to make a list.
My brother requested me for a talk so I go and see what he has to say. Before he had a chance to speak I ask him when he last saw dad and it seams to fit what I now know.
He tells me that he and a few other have come up with a theory. Andromida is a link to 1000 Breaths and if she dies here she will open a kink to 1000 breaths. He also suggests that we take her to 1000 Breaths with us and leave her there to die. I instantly tell him that that is not going to happen.
Theory’s start flowing and I come up with the idea to release Andromida of this burden by dying and then getting resurrected but I am told that it may not work so that idea is gone.
We decide to keep her a safe as we can. She has teleport spells, armed guards, two army’s, the local law, the castle and its gates to keep her safe.

We get word from Varnhold there is a bloom in play in the swamps and its been a few days.
We make haste to where some giant red worms were last spotted. We have a bit of time to plan. And all goes well. I got licked by one of the three worms but we managed to end the fight with relative ease.

Back to Varnhold to say it is safe to go back and we are told that all the wedding party from Pitax has been abducted and this includes my wife. My vengeance will be swift.

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I guess there is no need to cast Entangle

So we finish of the Frost Giants and destroy the Monolith/Grave Stone. It turns out that the later was the source of the bloom which was quickly added to Briar.

A fair bit of healing (for me) later and we are on our way home to recover before heading to the Thousand Acres Woods or something to have a look at the gate. I wonder if Pooh will be there with Piglet.

While we are at home the researchers give us some useful information about accessing the plane we need to go to. So far these guys have proved themselves way more useful than the supposed Druid.

As we are about to leave to find Pooh and Co. we get a visit from Andromeda. Her place is now under the influence of what we assume and find out later on is a Bloom. We travel to have a look and sure enough there is a few miles of brambles with some giant like creatures in amongst them.

We dispatch the giants and then the pods that are being grown that have new ones in them and the bloom is destroyed. Luckily we did it all before they could regrow or we would still be fighting them. Splitting up in this instance was a good thing.

I take the remaining bloom item as we need 3 or so to be able to enter the other plane. So no charging up Briar with this one at this stage.

Off to see Pooh and Co. and we find that there are some ruins there with a enchantment on them that makes them look unruined. Interesting.

Winnie-The-Pooh.png

(Artists impression of the evil Fey Creature we will need to defeat)

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Off to the gate we go

After defeating the Frost giants we examined the massive monolith that stood before us to figure out why the snow had not dissipated and that when we looked at it we saw the names of people we cared about engraved into it, Imajica worked his magic and the monolith became blank and it was still snowing. While Roche took me up for a fly around to check for more clues Rafe decided he was going to attack it and started to chip away, Learian decided it looked like fun and he to joined in, then Khan and Imajica stepped up and started throwing spells at it and eventually the monolith shattered into thousands of shards and one of those shards glowed. which meant that that part was the bloom so Roche placed his sword upon it.

Learian put it to the group that he wanted to go check out the gate at 1000 voices, so we voted and it was a yes but we would call in at home first before we went and when we got back the researches had news for us and it was very helpful. As we were about to leave Andromeda came running up to us with ripped cloths and scratches explaining that big plants are attacked her house, when we got near her house a good section of land was also cover in vines and thorns, we through a few ideas at it but nothing seemed to be doing much to it so Roche took me for a fly ( i was the wind beneath his wings ) to see if we could spot anything from above, as we flew over i spotted 3 large creatures with 3 arms. Roche came up with the idea that we should split into 3 teams and attack them, Khan was keeping one occupied Roche and Rafe went for one of the others which left the last one for Learian, Imajica, Io and myself. Imajica turned into a dragon so we jumped on and headed off. Once defeated they dissolved into the ground, Imajica took Io and myself to Khan and was going to go back to collect Learian but when we got there, there was a sheep and a dog so it would appear Khan was successful in his task as well. After getting the ok we killed the sheep and again it dissolved into the ground and then from that sprouted a pod and in the pod was a smaller version of what we had just fought so we killed that as well we then went and destroyed the other two before they could cause any more trouble, one of them glowed which meant this was a bloom but we kept this one away from the sword as we were told by the researches that we will need at least 3 to open the gate.

Once the vines and thorn disappeared we headed back to the city only to be welcomed by the towns folk who had watch the battle unfold, with the celebrations over we teleported to Pitax and made our way to the elven ruins and on the way we ran into some fey dragons who were after some berries and some of them followed us. When we got there all we saw was crumbled ruins but when we went through the gate the place seemed to be immaculate, Roche worked out that it was and illusion and that it was just a ruin.

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