2007-08-27 Mooka

Another session report written by a player. That is so cool! :) – AlexSchroeder


Our gaming table The party rises early in Morioka as the first morning sun glints through the forest tops and begin to prepare for their next journey. The magic stocks are full, items are identified, and coin purses are all a little lighter. Kyoshi remains withdrawn through the morning, and eats his breakfast in silence. As the party prepare to depart Kubo San notices that Kyoshi hasn’t packed his backpack. “Hey lazy bones! The sun is rising, and if you don’t hurry up the moon will be hanging in its place.” Kyoshi sighs and addresses the party. “Friends, I have something to announce.” Surprised, the party turn and pay attention. Kyoshi is acting wierd, and Kubo San is suspicious.

Kubo San doesn’t remember much of Kyoshi’s speech, except that it was very long. Kyoshi said something about having to go and help defend Hakone, and then something about honour and duty. Kubo San is confused, but tries to concentrate because it seems like it is important. Kyoshi is leaving us? But why? There’s still lots of stuff to kill. It just doesn’t make sense. Kyoshi says he will stay behind in Morioka and then travel alone to Hakone.

Slowly everybody bids their farewells, shoulder their backpacks, and starts walking northwest towards Hakone. The party looks back one last time before they disappear around the first bend. Kubo San begins to feel a strange sinking sensation somewhere between his lungs — sadness.

After a couple of hours Hakone becomes visible in the distance. The party stops for the night and leave along the main south road the next morning. The plan is to go south to Yaita, then leave the road and travel west into the swamps near Lake Mooka to confront (and hopefully fight) the evil ranger called Saarvith who lives there. Sounds good enough for Kubo San.

The midday sun glares down as the party round the last crest before Yaita. A dark column of smoke can be seen rising from the town in the distance. Yaita is under attack! The party makes haste and arrives just in time to see worg riders and hobgoblins chasing villagers among the houses. No time to loose! Tsutomu sends forth another one of his cool fireballs at the group of worg riders, and kills all the worgs. The rest of the party fire their bows before the riders even realise what’s happening, and three survivors take cover in a building.

“Form up, stay close!” shouts Kubo San. At least, that’s what Kyoshi would have said. Kubo San and Aurin move in and take cover behind a building, and three little heads appear in the windows across the street. Nanami sees the injured creatures huddling in the building, charges across the street and dives through a window to take them on by herself, laughing with glee. Then the hobgoblins arrive, and Nanami sees two of them start moving towards the house she is in! “Help! Kubo San! Help me!” she pleads through the window. Tsutomu summons forth a horde of gigantic centipedes which begin devouring the hobgoblins in the streets. Nanami realises that the hobgoblins have been taken of and feels a sudden burst of confidence. Releasing an arrow shaft into the neck of a tiny helpless warrior she shouts out the window “No, wait… don’t come! It’s okay! I want to kill them myself”. Kubo wishes silently that Kyoshi were here.

Kubo San fails a Knowledge (nature) check, and the hungry caterpillars start eating all Hobgoblins. The tide of the battle turns quickly and the remaining forces start to flee. Kubo San is disgusted and enraged by their incredible lack of courage. An entire group of them will attack unarmed villagers, but as soon as someone fights back they all pee their pants and flee like rats. Kubo San channels his anger to draw upon the power of nature, and commands the plants to hold the pathetic, gutless raiders. The grasses come alive and wrap themselves around the ankles of the fleeing dogs. Kubo San and Aurin follow the stench of urine and catch the remaining hobgoblins as they struggle to disentangle themselves from the grasses. Kubo San grimly butchers them all without mercy or compassion. There is no glory in the slaughter and Kubo San does not enjoy it, but the only thing to be done with sick pathetic dogs such as these is to put them all down.

Seeing the decimation of the raiders, the villagers return and begin to put out the fires which have engulfed several houses. They are eternally grateful for the timely rescue, and vow to sing our praises across the land. Kubo San’s temper still smolders from the glorylessness of the battle. He didn’t make a single clean kill, and the villagers’ praises are lost on him. Fortunately the party doesn’t stick around. They give their thanks, hand over the ‘spare’ weapons and armour stripped from the carcasses that scatter the village, and depart.

The countryside gradually changes over the next few miles. The greens become deeper, the ground becomes wet and saturated, and a mist obscures the way ahead. The meadows slowly change into swamplands with reeds and pools. The only sounds are those of running water and frogs chirping. The path continues through the swamp and there is no danger of being bogged. The party press on in single file, with Kubo San at the fore and Nanami on rear guard.

Suddenly Kubo San spots a glimpse of a fortification ahead through the mists. Everyone falls silent, and Kubo San sneaks forward to investigate. Expertly moving from hiding place to hiding place and from cover to cover, Kubo San is able to approach the palisade construction blocking the path without being detected. The building appears to be some form of defensive construction. It has a large fortified double-door and a lookout position on the first floor. There is a guard posted in the lookout, but as Kubo San studies him it is apparent that the guard is asleep, leaning against the edge of the structure and snoring faintly. Kubo San moves in quietly. He can hear voices beyond the wall in some harsh grunting language, and there is more snoring coming from nearby, deep and wholesome. Jamming his fingers and toes between the logs of the palisade wall Kubo San quietly scales the outer wall and peeks over cautiously. The guard is in a heavy slumber. Kubo San eases himself over the wall, carefully draws out his naginata, and tiptoes across to the sleeping guard. The guard’s head is severed so cleanly from his body that when the eyes and mouth snap open to scream, he finds his windpipe is no longer connected to his voice box, and the only sound issued is the final sigh of his breath leaving his lungs. Kubo San is feeling a little better now.

The rest of the party wait for Kubo San’s return. Aurin saw Kubo San climbing the wall, but he has been gone for some minutes. Just as they begin to wonder what to do Kubo San appears from the mists. “Where were you?” someone asks. “Just went to kill a guard.”

Kubo San explains the layout of the barricade. There is a sleeping giant on one side and a group of goblinoid-speaking creatures below the lookout. With the guard eliminated it would be quite simple to launch a surprise attack from the lookout.

A plan is hatched. Aurin holds her holy symbol aloft and prays quietly to her diety. As she finishes her prayer her feet levitate a few inches above the ground, and she is hovering in mid air. “Who’s first?” she asks. Nanami steps on Aurin’s feet and holds on tight as Aurin lifts off and delivers her safely and silently into the lookout’s nest. Tsutomu is next, and then Aurin takes Kubo San down to the sleeping giant. This is definitely Kubo San’s favourite part. One… two… THREE!

Kubo San drives the blade into the giant’s snoring mouth. A roar of pain echoes across the swamplands, which fades to a muted gargle. The giant doesn’t survive.

Tsutomu pulls open a trapdoor and sends a bright orange seed into the room below, which detonates into a fireball. A whoosh of air, a dull roar of flame, and the sound of fire crackling merrily is audible. The room below is transformed into an instant inferno, and screams of burning hobgoblins pierce the silence of the swamp.

Aurin soars high above the tower and is sighted by a robed hobgoblin below. A blinding streak of white lightning arcs from the hobgoblins hands into the air, electrocuting Aurin as she hovers in mid air. Hurt, slightly charred, and with her hairstyle ruined and standing straight up like a bad afro, Aurin retreats, heals herself, and fixes her hair.

Nanami releases arrow after arrow into a second soft, yielding, but now very awake giant below. The giant roars and takes cover inside the fort below the lookout.

Pulling his naginata free, Kubo San steps forward and kicks open the door to the fort. A wave of smoke and hot air hits him, and the smell of frying meat fills his nostrils. Realising that he is feeling hungry now, Kubo San readies his naginata for the next kill.

Tsutomu leans over the fort and casts a spell at the robed hobgoblin that just ruined Aurin’s hair. A jet of flame erupts and strikes the hapless hobgoblin, engulfing him in flame. The hobgoblin shrieks as his flesh burns away and his body becomes a charred husk. The punishment for fashion crime is harsh.

Inside of the fort there are only two creatures left standing. The giant sees the door swing open and charges the little guy behind it with the long stabby looking thing. The giant is surprised to find that the stabby thing performs its function extremely well, and is equally surprised to find himself walking towards the light.

The last hobgoblin lifts the bar on the door and tries to escape. He takes several steps through the door and is inexplicably filled full of arrows. The battle is won and our victorious heroes continue into the swamps.

Some time later Kubo San spots a dead giant owl caught in a tree. The acid that killed it still hisses and bubbles on its corpse. Suddenly a dragon-like creature rises from the swamp and breaths a green cloud of acid on the party. Nanami and Aurin fire arrows. Kubo San charges boldly into the water and engages. The monster rears and slashes at Kubo San with a combination of slashing and biting attacks. Kubo San is cut to pieces and drops into the swamp, unconscious. Nanami raises her bow and sends an arrow shaft forth which pierces the heart of the vicious beast, killing it. Kubo San is resuscitated and healed. “It’s okay, Kubo. You don’t have to thank me.” Nanami jests.

“Yeah, and neither do you.” Kubo San grunts back.

Giant owls like the dead one hanging in the tree are circling. There are little people riding them, and they land on the path next to us. The dragon-like creature turns out to be a Greenspawn Razorfiend, some kind of spawn from the god Tiamat herself. The little people cut open its stomach and find the remains of one of their people inside. They ask us to accompany them to talk to their leader. The party members each climb onto the back of an owl behind the rider. The owls lift off into the fog, and soar towards the swamp village of Mooka.

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