Dragon Age: Whispers of the Past

Session Thirty-Four
In the arms of an Avvar.

Heading towards the Tevinter camp when a scout is spotted. Hijinks ensue where we take down the scout’s horse, they hide in a tree, Lawren goes in after them and gets promptly kicked out. Upon realizing she is in a hopeless situation the scout attempts to kill herself, is held at death’s door by Cayda long enough to get information that Septimus and his “Master” are here.

Arvaraad heads out to scout the situation ahead, dodging scouting parties and coming across the camp, discovering roughly 100 Tevinter, with another 150 slaves. The source of their Gaatlok is discovered to be over two dozen Qunari slaves, some of which have been lobotomized. There are already several stores of gaatlok around the camp as well. At the center of the camp, the Tevinter are rebuilding a gran cathedral designed for the Old Gods. The Arvaraad returns to the party and explains the situation. The party begins to come up with a plan. Though it takes some time a plan is formulated.

The party splits up (always a good decision), with the Arvaarad heading back towards the Tevinter camp in the guise of a slave to stir up dissent among the slaves and prepare the way while the rest of the party attempts to draw out the main force of the Tevinter so they can then sneak past them to assault the camp. Lawren and an enemy scout group pass one another like ships in the night and the party is found by a small scouting party and combat commences. Fight is going poorly for scouts so they attempt to flee in different directions. The scouts are stopped quickly and put down. The party prepares for the next stage of their plan.

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Session Thirty-Three
In which getting into Tevinter is much less hard than expected

Despite much anxiety on the matter and excessive planning, the party manages to cross the Tevinter border with no troubles. They make their way toward the last ruin, finding themselves in one of the old battles of the second Exalted March.

Along the way, Holdbeast Steve suddenly makes a fuss and draws Lova (and the rest of the party out of sheer curiosity) off toward a tomb. The markings indicate it is the Silent Bird hold territory, Lova’s own Clan.

Within a few feet of entrance, it becomes clear that either the Fade has torn or someone has been naughty in this tomb. Several bodies rise up and come at the party, flashing sharp, pointy teeth. They get beaten down in short order and soon the party wins into the central chamber. Lova, as the ‘heiress’, agrees to let the party take what gear they would, except for a stone bow which she lays claim to.

The list includes:
-A Sword
-The Stone Bow
-A pair of daggers
-Armor of a leatherlike persuasion
-A shield with the heraldry of the Legion of the Dead

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Session Thirty-Two
In which the party make friends with Cthulhu

The party enters the temple and Lova activates her Spirit Warrior technique, creating a weird effect on the walls. As the party travels, they come across two incredibly mangled corpses, promising not so much fun times ahead. Path spirals deeper into the temple, and eventually the party comes across a small party of three Tevinter, the last survivors of their attempt to take this place. There is an awkward pause as neither side is entirely certain if we should be murdering each other or the creature that inhabits the temple. Vints choose first and decide to try to kill us. Combat is had (The GM rolls 23 stunt points that are flanked by 1’s and thus miss). Just as the combat is coming to a close, the Vint mage is grabbed by something and disappears into the shadows outside of the torches and explodes thanks to Walking Bomb, there is a horrible screeching noise. Shortly after the last of the Vints are cleaned up and a torch is tossed down the path where the mage disappeared, all that is seen are little chunks of Tevinter.

The party continues down, going deep into the bowels of the earth before finally coming to a large atrium with a pair of doors on the other side, a shrine in the middle, and one of the fish people. Fish person speaks in common (and is probably possessed by its evil god or something). It explains how the book opens “The Path” that will lead to ruination. Doesn’t answer a whole lot about the situation besides that, and stating with complete confidence that the temple will be able to stop any from stealing the last key. Faced with potentially opening a Doomsday book, the party decides against attempting to gain the final key and take the fish person/ancient deity at its word. The party leaves, sealing the way behind us and prepares to march against the Tevinter on their home turf.

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Session Thirty-One
In which we learn combat on a boat is not fun

The party makes contact with the rest of the fish person’s colony. They are able to determine that three boats worth of Tevinter had gone off to what is apparently a pyramidal structure on an island in the lake. They also indicate that some guardians are in the way but can’t or won’t describe it. Their laughter on the subject of the Tevinter who had gone that way was not exactly assuring, nor was the prayers that were said over the party as they prepared to sail out after.

Being heroic and foolish, naturally the party went anyway.

Around the time that they spot wreckage and the floating corpses of obviously partially eaten Tevinter, they learn what the Guardians are. Known to the two qunari as Aban Ataashi, three very-large-but-not-as-big-as-they-could-be sea serpents rise up out of the water and begin trying to snatch party members from the boat to crush and drown them. Through a combination of frenzied rowing and delay tactics, the party manages to get to a safe area near the island, closely tailed by an ever increasing number of the creatures.

On the beach, they find bodies of both Tevinter and fishmen and two boats. The party climbs up the step-sided pyramid and finds a dark entryway and begin to head through…

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Session Thirty
In which the party fights Vints and talks to the Fishies

Going down the underground river, come to a small encampment with Tevinter soldiers there. Party picks a fight against some hardy Tevinter soldiers and kills them (tough fight). Exploring the camp we see more dead Tevinter and a lot of dead fishmen. One is still alive! Cayda tends to the fishman’s wounds to stabilize him. Try rudimentary conversation but it only speaks Ancient Tevinter. Manage to discover there are 20 more Vints down here. Nothing else of interest in the camp. We bring the fishman with us to the boats to bring him back to his people. Go back to the boats and continue down the river.

River winds downwards to a vast underwater lake where the fishman leaves us, Lawren spots the fishman’s trail and we attempt to follow that.

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Session Twenty-Nine
In which the party tries to trick the Carta

Upon returning to the Inn, the ladies turn over their presents and then learn that Ben has actually known where the lost mage was the whole time and, having decided that the group is at least not actively going to murder the man, leads them to him. He recognizes the ring at once; the Blighted Ring of the Pendaghasts. Ben then directs Lawren to conscript Firbolg, his friend, to protect him from rebuttal for departure. Once this is arranged, Firbolg offers his advice: It is all but impossible to redeem the ring, but it is entirely possible to craft a fake and enchant it to seem like the true ring long enough to fool the Carta for at least a few days.

While the party waits for that to be accomplished, they hear of a force of Tevinter north of the city and decide to investigate more fully. They find the camp but no sign of the people, even scouts. Made suspicious by this fact, the party decides to investigate the area and find a place which had been blasted open. Once inside, they find their first bodies: two fallen scouts and an odd creature covered in slime and rags, wielding an ancient Tevinter dagger. Further in, they find all of the classic signs of a Dragon temple but one unlike those they had seen before: It had eight dragons. Moreover, instead of being entirely abandoned, the eighth dragon had been actively defaced. An altar in the main chamber bears the words in Ancient Tevinter, “Hail to Tobek, Dragon of the Deep.”

A lever opens a path to a room with a massive hole. Fifty feet below, the remnants of old boats float in a slow-moving stream. The boats, when Mavi goes down to investigate, are made of a strange material that is between wood and stone yet which is light enough to maneuver. After carefully tying off their climbing rope what is hopefully well out of reach of the mysterious creatures, the party loads into boats and sets off down the river…

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Session Twenty-Eight
In which the party learns Circles are gilded cages indeed
The group heads off to the Circle and inquires after someone to help disenchant the cursed ring without destroying it. Unfortunately, the Circle’s expert, someone named Firbolg, has gone missing. The Circle pairs them up with one of their Templars, Ben, and they begin to ask questions.

A search of the missing man’s quarters reveals a note about his research having gone badly and his need to flee before being made Tranquil. Questioning the mans lab-mate, Dax, results in very little to go on. The girls descend into Lowtown, trying to find the missing mage amongst the seedy. They fail, but they do succeed in finding a lot of useful new toys.

The boys, meanwhile, sit in Hightown and enjoy a beverage over a rather tense discussion as Lawren attempts to explain to Ben just how such a disparate group ended up together…and why he shouldn’t just turn them over to the Templar Police as heretics and apostates. Fortunately, Lawren distracts the man with talks of Tevinter and keeps the peace…for now.

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Session Twenty-Seven
In which the party makes like Nazgul

After spending a day trying to find the ruins, since they haven’t found the dwarves, the party is soon found by them instead. The dwarf (and his heavily armed friends) offers a trade: the ring for information he has discovered about a freshly-arrived group of Tevinter who are searching for ruins.

The party sets out to look for any signs of the sort of disasters that the ring tends to bring and shortly finds one in the form of a house that has inexplicably collapsed on itself. After some work, they burst in and find a few dead persons and a stairwell down into the basement. A scream draws them down just in time to see a pair of undead killing a man. The Revenant and the Arcane Horror are cut down in short order. After a bit of poking around, the group finds a trapdoor which leads into the undercity.

A bloodtrail through the stone leads to a closed door, behind which is an elf, a Crow. He gives back the ring without an argument, stating he and his were hired under false pretenses and he has no further wish to associate with the thing.

The party is thus left with the ring and the choice…to turn over the ring to the Carta or to try and destroy the evil item.

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Session Twenty-Six
In which people are sought with limited success

The party spent some time tracking down Steve. He is eventually found with a coquettish lady bird (or at least presumed female, no one’s judging!). Lova is mixed in her reaction; Steve’s return is to be rejoiced about, but his new ‘friend’ despises her, leading to some awkwardness.

The group splits, sending off the Qunari to meet with their people, whom they have discovered are in residence in reasonable numbers. The humans, sent off to learn the whereabouts of their erstwhile Dwarven employer, fail miserably. Mavi sets off to make up for their failings and learns that their target is Carta. Though he can’t be found, merely the fact he is sought is sure to get him looking for the party in turn…

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Session Twenty-Five
In which the party decides to embrace the sub-quest and it plays hard to get

The next few days pass in peace, much to the parties collective surprise. They arrive in Cumberland and, after reflecting a bit in their glories and fame, set about the business of returning the ring. The receiving dwarf is mightily confused but receives the ring with a promise to tell Gorrim it was delivered.

Within moments of leaving, the building the hapless dwarf in was soon immolated. Cayda evacuated the poor doomed fool while the rest of the party searched for the box the dwarf had put the ring in, only to find it empty and partially exploded from the outside. The dwarf, as he dies says “Damn Crows”.

Now aware of the identity of the killers, the group decides that it behooves them to return to Gorrim and tell him all about what had happened. Since the village of Markath is on the way, the party can easily* stop on the way.

Travel is swift, untroubled, and suspicious. Upon arrival, however, the party realizes that Gorrim has left eastward. Grumbling , the party arrives at Kirkwall. Shortly after entering the city, however, Steve disappears. Lova proceeds to panic and bribe urchins to bring her ‘white birds’, which goes exactly as well as one would expect; the Qunari’s comfort fails spectacularly. In recompense, Mavi spends some time asking about after leads trying to track down any hint of where the mighty Hold Ptarmigan has gone. Her efforts with the same children goes rather better and, after getting them to understand what a ptarmagin looks like and the party soon tramps off toward the second-nearest tavern.

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