The Order of the Shrub

Dreams, friend returned, orcsorcsorcs

The party members had interesting dreams, which I will relate here at a later time so Blair doesn’t get spoilered.

Then they returned to Mudpuddle. Upon finding out how dangerous and organized the humanoids were, the mayor ordered a fast retreat onto the ships, but it took time to pack.

A huge surprise was that Amor de Cosmos was alive and well in Mudpuddle! He had some halfling servants too.. According to him, an amulet saved his life by switching him at the last minute with the amulet’s previous owner. But now the amulet has been lost. Perhaps the next owner of it will have their life saved by switching with Amor de Cosmos?

That night, orcs attacked (in groups of five)! The party and village militia worked hard to defeat them and succeeded but all but two of the militia perished.(the druid was able to stabilize those two). Some buildlings were trashed, but most of the townsfolk (and Amor de Cosmos, in a sedan chair carried by servants) made it to the safety of the ships.

For her heroism in the Battle of Mudpuddle, the paladin knighted his squire and asked her to take his other two servants with the soon-to-be-former Mudpuddlians onto the lake. She, now a knight in her own right, agreed.

This left the party with a ghost town, but at least they all could get horses as they plan their next move.

Oh, the Warlock found out from a cat that someone with a white streak in his black hair had gone into the local barber’s to have his head shaved.

The Warlock also got an owl familiar with the best name ever. “S” is for short, but the actual name was “Shit I forgot to think of a name before doing this ritual”. ;)

A sad loss
Alas, poor Lord Amor de Cosmos!

The party chose their gifts. The wizard got a spell book with lots of spells. The warlock got a ritual book which later became his book of shadows. The Squire got fancy armour. The druid got his red egg looked at (and got a message gem that will tell him when to return to the library).

The paladin found out that his “Brother” is actually his son from the future, who died in his place (assuming that the paladin marries Lissa, currently too young to marry or bear young).

The cleric found out a lot about the corruption of the Silver Flame, the human supremacist Ducard family that has infiltrated it (and other faiths) for years, killing non-human paladins in particular, their yellow turbaned lackeys, etc. They specialize in using fear magic to keep the paladins friends back both to isolate the paladin for an easier kill and to make the friends doubt themselves (and perhaps stop from becoming paladins).

The ranger found out about the entire Ducard family, and that Alton Ducard set fire to his village (in a brief alliance with the Drow).

The Ducards worship Zarus, an evil god that thinks that humans should rule all other races, and that half-humans are an abomination.

The party decided to return to mudpuddle. During the night they were attacked by 2 wyrmling black dragons, who murdered poor Lord Amor de Cosmos with their acid breath! He was avenged, but will be missed terribly.

Then the party ran into a mud pillar in the middle of the road that turned into 5 mud mephits, which they were able to kill.


Oh, and the Warlock remembered something about the Ducard family (back in the day a much-hated ruler of the humans who tried to enslave the elves, dwarves and halflings). Today the Ducard family is discredited, and they tend to dye their distinctive hair (a white streak through otherwise black hair). Except when they don’t, of course. ;)

The building of The Library
Modrons are weird dudes!

After dealing with a human berserker (while wounded) and gaining a Iron Key, the party finally was able to limp up a quarter mile and rest. They saw in the distance something strange (flying globes?). Closer up, they found weird, geometrically shaped creatures building a cubical structure. Eventually the warlock was able to talk to the leader and learned that they were building a Library to increase order. A deal was reached that in exchange for a boon (information or material) the party would help deal with a threat to them (described as a large squat biped).

Then the dwarf saw 15 figures (6 orcs, 9 goblins) approaching, but they looked sick. They were. When the warlock tried to parley with them, their chests burst open and each one had a savage beast, like a giant tadpole with teeth! The party was under attack.

They held their own until the modrons could send the proper reinforcements (this took some time. Modrons don’t deviate from the established order of how combats should be enacted). The modrons were grateful for the party’s aid. While eventually effective, modrons are slow to organize, and If even one of the tadpoles had escaped, it could have grown into the foreseen threat to the library within hours.

So the boons will come next game session.

Fun fact!

Don’t know how many of you read this (for all I know it is only me!) but it turns out that with a party of 6 or 7 characters, the multipliers for monster encounters changes (in short, I can send more monsters of each CR, or a tougher monster of a higher CR).

The reverse is true if only 1 or 2 people show up for a game.

Well now I know. And knowing is half the battle. ;)

They are getting organized!

The bard went to talk to the paladin and squire and was astonished to discover that they were gone, and in their place were a bugbear and a babboon! Hilarity ensued.

Then the party found goblin tracks, one hour old, crossing their trail. They knew they were around, so went ahead to a more well-used goblin trail and used the wagon as bait, to ambush the ambushers. But goblins are good at stealth, so they ambused the ambushers ambushing the ambushers. There was a wave of 4 archers to the left, followed by another to the right, and followed by an OGRE from the left! Oddities: The goblins were working with the ogre. The goblin first wave of archers targeted the visible human (alas Kilo the wagon-driver did not survive). The goblins made anti-human epiphets, calling the dwarf a “human-lover”. Even the ogre called the warlock a “half-human”.

After that, the bard found some strange stuff on Kilo. His hair was dyed, and normally had a white streak in it. Also there was a letter from “M” (Matilde?) instructing him to lead the party into an ambush, after they killed a few goblins.

So after the ogre, a few people were hurt bad (warlock and wizard?) so I think the party is resting up. Also, the top of the wagon is pretty trashed.

Fighting and some information gained!

The warlock and cleric were surprised as, not the halfling, but a zombie exited the tent at night! The zombie spat out a spider and they attacked the warlock. Later, a purple whirlwind deposited the paladin and bard (and 6 remaining awakened shrubs) among them and combat ensued.

Then the caravan and squire landed. Kilo was a bit shaken.

There was a bat (really a quasit, a type of demon!) but the warlock destroyed it quickly.

Then there were some bandits late at night with yellow turbans! The party dealt with them (although the dwarf was sans armour) but two were raised from the dead as zombies!

(at this point the ranger, who had tagged along with the whirlwind, quietly dealt with the cultist raising the zombies).

The party dealt with the zombies (the last one took a long time to die!) and had one prisoner. From the prisoner they discovered that the cultist’s name was Matilde, and a leader of the human supremacist group in the town of Carrefour (where the Warlock’s mother was murdered by them) is known as Azun the Black. The bandit was let go with a dagger in exchange for this information.

New friends and a dangerous foe
In which the wizard, cleric and warlock meet.

The warlock hears about the bounty and rushes to catch the caravan (not yet!). The dwarf was coming from a completely different direction, on a quest of his own, but they meet, just in time to see some specks in the sky that get bigger, and hungrier. The halfling wizard is teleported in to join them. Spells eventually scare of the Pteranadon pair.

That night they camp, but not being rangers, they find their camp is a haven for rats! Swarms of them! The elf was bitten and fell, but the dwarf revealed some healing powers and the wizard some illusions. Between them they drove off the rats (after killing some).

The worst encounter was an orc that charged out of the tree line at the orc. The dwarf went down, and the warlock was trying her best with hex and weapons. The halfling boldly jumped on the orc’s back, and between them they were able to kill it!

Just goes to show that even one orc can be very dangerous.

Flashback to first session
Since it is not here, I should put it in?

The party started with a half-elf bard, a dragonborn paladin (with squire and 2 servants) a wood elf druid and a halfling wizard, meeting in a tavern in mudpuddle. They were having fun in a tavern and were eventually hired to hunt goblins (1 gp a head) and orcs (5 gp a head) although people were not sure if there were orcs about (one person claimed to have seen one though).

They travelled with a caravan driven by Kilo, a human who wanted to reopen a trade route that had been closed recently due to goblin attacks and fear of same. The paladin left his other servants behind, but took the squire. The halfling wizard, a noble, had not yet revealed any magical powers, but exuded confidence.

So off they went.

They ran into an orderly row of shrubs. Thinking something was hiding behind them, they got ready for combat. Yet they did not expect the shrubs themselves to charge the party!

[Hence the name, The Order of the Shrub (and yes I am a huge fan of the webcomic The Order of the Stick – can’t believe it is 2 editions ago now!].

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