Oruka – Full Up-to-date Recap – Part 3

The guys arrived to a scene of the cultists capturing several of the escaped kids and another battle ensued. This time they knew what they were coming against, and with the help of the village ruins and some smart tactics, they easily defeated them, but not before the were-panther escaped with Edyth. They requested that their guide (who had stayed hidden throughout the whole thing) take the children they had rescued back to Lafonde ahead of them.

I based the design/architecture heavily on temples from Thailand.

Upon their return to the temple to find it eerily silent, the front gate partially opened. They snuck in, expecting to find traps, but instead found statues of various animals and a second gate that was closed. An easy Strength Check later, and they begin to hear a chanting coming from the main temple room atop a flight of stairs. Another door, opened this time, they peer in to see an elvish man prowling around the central dais, knife in hand and chanting loudly. Upon the shrine lay Edyth and three other children, all bound and unconscious, one on each side below a statue of a four-armed humanoid, its head a Janus-esc formation of four bestial faces. The statue wields a bow in its top left hand and a sword in its bottom right hand, all made from stone.

Suddenly, the priest speaks to them, warning against their path; “the god Contoo does not appreciate those who interfere in his plans.” As he says this, his body shifts slightly into a hybrid lion form and he plunges a knife down into one of the children. They could visibly see changes happening to the statue; a marble like pattern forming over the stone.

Then initiative! They rushed forward to attack and were caught unawares by an eagle in the rafters. The were-panther closed the doors to the left of the room, two elf archers closed a door each to top and to the right of the room, and behind them a were-snake stands, shutting the door behind them.

Two rounds later and another victim was taken, and this time the bow clatters to the floor, no longer stone. The (now) were-eagle has taken some damage and the were-panther hadn’t had a chance to recover from the battle earlier. The were-snake was causing a problem, grappling Dendrim so he couldn’t move forward to help. Meanwhile, Solena had taken out one of the archers and Kaden was turning his sights to the lion-priest.

Another two rounds later, Dendrim has broken free of the were-snake (who is now bleeding out by the door) and has gone to get in the way of the lion-priest, grabbing his arm to prevent another victim. The were-eagle is down, the were-panther keeping Solena occupied, and Kaden inflicting a LOT of damage unto the lion-priest, who manages to inflict a cut on the third sacrifice.

The next round, the were-panther gets blasted by Solena’s firebolt, the lion-priest is wiped out by a combined Dendrim/Kaden combo, and the remaining archer bolts out the door. They stabilise the third child, checking on the fourth (Edyth), and Kaden tries to take a shot at the archer but he has already managed to flee.

After a quick wrap-up, the guys loot the priests and take a long deserved rest (and get a level up). The next day, they decide to check out the outer rooms of the temple, which they soon discover three had been broken into by the cultists. Each of these rooms are completely different and laden with traps (they walked right into the anti-grav one, which was fun!), but they all had one thing in common: an engraved stone with a large crystal in the top. Leaving those alone (smart!), they decide to head back to Lafonde, but not before Solena secretly stumbles across the sword from the ritual, which called to her to be fed (this is her multiclass into Warlock).

This one was longer than I planned, and a LOT has been happening since! So I will carry on next week. Let me know if you’re interested in more specific details – I’m happy to delve deeper.

Oruka – Full Up-to-date Recap – Part 2

Round two of the Recap!

The next bit stumbled a long a little bit, but I managed to nudge them in a few directions and that gave the guys some inspiration. A few minor points occurred that I’ll blaze through before covering the main event:

  • The first was meeting Ogion, Ged’s apprentice, and Wyto, Ged’s druid “business” partner.
  • Solena led the exploration into the keep’s chapel, which they discovered had been overun by vines. The corpse/skeleton of the priest was sprawled across the altar, and a second lordly-looking corpse/skeleton sat slumped in a chair in the corner; both covered completely in vines. AND initiative! The vines began to coil around legs, as the bodies sat up and attacked the investigating trio.
Chapel
The Keep’s Chapel
  • After a successful battle, they discovered that the core/heart of the vines were coming from these corpses; as if they had been planted within the bodies of the men that they once were upon their death. Dendrim consulted with his druidic tree to try and find some hints, and a faint glow covered the floor, hinting at something beneath.
  • They then unlocked the back room, which turned out to be a well stocked library, focusing centrally on the theme of Iku, the Eternal Storms, or the Jin Ocean (which sat off this coast). On their way out, they found Wyto praying over the bodies of the fallen men and vine remains.
  • Ged gave the PCs a job offer: eliminate the Caffe Druids and he will pay them well and even aid in finding out where Dendrim’s younger brother was sent. But why would he request them to take out the cult? Doesn’t he work with them? The simple answer was yes: in exchange for sending them children he received magical artefacts and spell ingredients. The less simpler answer? The druids had grown bold, requesting more and more from Ged and returning less; Ged tried to limit the amount of slaves, but in the end he knew what they were doing was futile and only going to end in madness.

And so the guys set off, accompanied by Wyto who was to guide them and watch over their efforts against the cult. Along the way, they found a clearing filled with dead canines, and in the middle a girl in rags sobbing over a puppy. Edyth, turned out to be one of the slave children, who had escaped from the evil rituals that the druids were performing. The puppy? A blink pup! I thought he might be a nice little addition to the group, and after a few in game weeks they still actually have both Edyth and the dog quickly to be named Glint, but that’s getting ahead of ourselves.

The mystery of why Edyth was surrounded by dead blink dogs was soon explained as they discovered her ability to shift into a were-displacer beast. It appeared that what ever rituals the druids were attempting was blessing or cursing (depending on how you look at it) people with lycanthropy. More to this later.

Their arrival outside of the Beorys Temple went pretty much unnoticed. They crept through the druid’s campsite, stealthily killing a guard, finding a tent full of caged children, and then releasing them. Shortly after, their luck ran out and a battle ensued: a few generic cultists, a generic druid, and then three were-cultists (a crocodile, a lion, and a panther). I scaled them down quite a lot for a cool level 3 battle, but it was still a tough one, and an alarm was set off in the distance. Furthermore, the were-panther snuck off, following the tracks of the escaped children, followed in the distance by a few howls and soft padding of feet. The battle here won, the guys chased off after the were-panther to try and rescue the children from their fate…

Oruka – Full Up-to-date Recap – Part 1

Hello my random internet dwellers,

Firstly, I apologise for not having written anything in maybe 4 months?! It started off due to a busy period with family, my sister’s wedding, work load, game time, and starting up martial arts. Leaving me with very little time and energy. But I’m forcing myself now to write this, in order to catch up on what’s happened as after nearly a month of alternative side games, we will be continuing on along the main campaign.

Upon reviewing this, I just realised I didn’t even get past Session 0! So heres a quick recap, that may not be so quick….

After meeting each other and fending off the slavers, the PC’s met with Captain Jaco of the Cliff Precinct city watch. They go on a short quest to discover who was behind the the slaver’s attack on them and whether it is connected to the kidnapping of Dendrim’s (previously Calec, but we were having problems between Calec and Kaden) younger brother. This led the group to quickly infiltrate a caravan leaving the city to the town of Lafonde.

Along the way, they discovered the caravan contained enslaved children, which were on their way to be delivered to the new lord of Lafonde, the wizard Ged. On the way there though, the convoy was stopped by a group of bandits, which they would later find out belong to a cult, called the Caffe Druids. The caravan master, Bert, seemed to know the lead cultist, but an argument ensued resulting in threatening to kill the children; an act that would anger Ged against the cult.

Continuing on, I played a little trickery on the players as they entered the valley that contains Lafonde: a thick fog begins to form, restricting the view around the PCs to about 10 feet. That evening, Kaden decided to take advantage of this and see what he could steal from amongst the wagons. This went poorly, and with a few lies and a little persuading, Kaden managed to only be shackled, instead of killed.

Fast forward to their arrival in Lafonde, Kaden is released and the team go about exploring the city, the fog still thick around them. They discover that Lafonde was previously ruled over by a human lord, until Ged arrived and raised the elvish people against the heretical humans, and reinstated worship to Contoo, the God of Nature’s Blessing.

From there, they actually met with Ged, a surprisingly friendly and elderly elvish man. Kaden was offered a tour of the keep; Dendrim was offered training with the keep’s guard; and Solena requested access to the keep’s chapel, and was informed it has been boarded up since the takeover, but permission was granted though a warning against any worship of Iku.

That’ll be it for this post, and make a second and possibly third recapping the remainder of the events to bring it up to date!