Pathfinder (Dragon Age Setting)

Fucking Around with Mirrors 101
In which the group does some high-stakes interior decorating

Magically drained and modestly injured, the group reluctantly decides to spend the night in the ruins before going out and dealing with the trolls. Jubei and Duke have a shitty night, and Zalifur hurts himself with his own trap.

Come the morning, the group leaves the ruins to find the trolls waiting for them. The trolls demand the mirror, as “trolls own all in troll lands.” Abelos counters with “fuck these guys, we’re literally standing on the bones of their victims.” A few hundred points of fire and acid damage later, the trolls have reconsidered both the concepts of ownership and being. Vitalek takes the opportunity during combat to do an uncanny impression of a bull’s udders.

After close examination, the group determines that the mirror (and its scattered shards) drain life and magic from anything that touches it. Vitalek posits that the mirror is attempting to repair itself, and the group carefully gathers the pieces together in a few boxes. Eli stone shapes the mirror out of the wall and into a box they’d made for this purpose, and the group departs the ruins.

Bones, Spiders, Ruins, and... a Mirror?
In which the group breaks an important internet rule

The group heads south, looking for some Elven ruins that Abelos heard rumors of. Along the way, Jubei gathers extra venison and other sundry victuals. After a couple weeks of travel, the group encounters a tribe of trolls. The leader offers to allow them to enter troll lands in exchange for the meat, the Drake skull, and a promise to slay “The Fickle God.”

Closer inspection reveals that The Fickle God is probably a manifest greed demon inhabiting the ruins of an ancient Dalish temple. The group journeys into the temple, stepping over the decades-old bones of countless elves. After a few magical traps and some swimming, the group encounters a room full of enormous spiders led by the manifest spirit. Spirited discussion ensues, ending with many dead spiders, a destroyed spider demon, and most of the group unconscious or clinging to consciousness.

As the session draws to a close, Abelos spots a broken mirror wrought of mithril and silverite in the corner…

Drake Hunting 101
In which the group disturbs a delicate ecosystem (again)

The group leaves Weisshaupt, heading south. They come upon the site of their previous battle, the ground corrupted. Drake tracks nearby suggest that the magical resonance has attracted one of these creatures. Abel suggests the group hunt down and dispatch the creature to avoid a possible draconic possession.

In preparation for the battle, the group creates some scrolls and oils to enchant their weapons. A week’s tracking leads the group into a marsh, and ultimately to the beast. After a messy conflict, the drake is killed and its scales and bones taken for crafting materials.

Casualties: one endangered Green Drake
Sexual tension: fair

Arrival at Weisshaupt
In which the group learns some hard lessons about fertility and diminished shelf life

Jubei, Abel, and Zalifur run off, hoping to track down the fleeing mage. Last seen, the wizard was flying north under the protection of an invisibility spell. Some quick math and guesswork/spellcraft on Abel’s part gives them a range of roughly a mile that the wizard could have gone before needing to land. They head out a bit further, then begin tracing a circle until they pick up the trail. Sure enough, Jubei and Duke find prints and the occasional bit of blood. Further tracking reveals that the wizard likely summoned a mount, but the amount of blood on the ground suggests that the wizard was bleeding out by this point. After a couple hours, they find the wizard dead in a clearing.

Meanwhile, the rest of the group waits back at the sight of the ambush. Vitalek gathers up the dead (and one survivor) and performs a blood magic ritual to harvest their life energy and create blood crystals. This, combined with the earlier summoning, causes the veil to weaken even further.

Jubei et al. return from the hunt with a bit of bonus lucre. They engage in a spirited debate about Vitalek’s use of blood magic in an already-weakened area before packing up and getting the fuck out. Bodies are gathered and burned to reduce the chances of any undead/restless spirit nonsense.

After another week of travel, the group makes it to Weisshaupt. They are informed that the much more important items (Cousland’s armor and sword) have already arrived in the care of marginally more competent couriers. King Alister the Only Marginally Amusing had insisted that the ashes be transported by Liam, probably for some ridiculous human reasons.

The group learns that proper Greywardens are generally, you know, trained before being sent off to fight the good fight. The wardens offer to provide this training over the course of the next six months. The current wardens (Ros, Jubei, and Liam) agree to this new training.

In addition, some key facts about Greywarden life become clear. The group learns that wardens are sterile and rarely last more than ten or fifteen years before “the calling” lures them into the deep roads to die. Despite this, Vitalek and Grohm also express interest in joining and undergoing actual training.

The new wardens begin their exhausting training. Elias works part time for the wardens and part time for himself. Oscar gets a job as a clerk for entirely above-board reasons. Zalifur gets sporadic work as a caravan guard. Abel heads into the wild for most of the time, apparently visiting local Dalish tribes. He occasionally returns for brief periods of caravan work.

Six months pass.

The Long Road Ahead
In which the group ponders the disconnect between time passing in and out of game

The group unloads plunder at Redcliff, and Jubei spends some time conversing with the Ash Wardens. Concerned that “The Master” has ambushes set up for the whoever is transporting Cousland’s weapon and armor, the group seeks an audience with Arl Eamon.

After some initial haranguing, the Arl grants an audience. This meeting goes incredibly well, with no one unknowingly bringing up sore spots like his dead child or the circumstances surrounding it. At all. In the end, the Arl agrees to contact his nephew, the King. Abel quietly ponders what lengths Eamon probably goes to in order to work the phrase “my nephew, the king” into casual conversations.

A long, dull, trek north takes the group out of Ferelden, across the Waking Sea and through Nevarra. Weeks turn to months, with the last leg of the journey running through swamplands and forest. In the former, the group barters a deer carcass for safe passage through the troll-occupied swamp. Similar entreaties do not work in the latter when offered to the latest group of soon-to-be-corpses that “The Master” has sent to fetch Cousland’s ashes.

After a few additional snide comments and overt threats, battle is joined. The fighting is fierce and entirely lacking in the passive structure of the previous sentence. Blood magic receives some heavy usage, ending with the enemy cleric summoning some sort of rimefire demon/undead mess from the fade. The group puts it down, and Abel foils Grohm’s best efforts to get is low-AC ass killed.

Jubei, Abel, and possibly one or two others run off to track down the wizard who fled mid-battle.

Bandits! Or are they... Yes, sort of. Technically. Shutup.
In which the group engages in spirited debate with some very proactive grave robbers

After discretely looting the shit out of Dorian Stroud, the group investigates the farmhouse in more detail. This reveals a creepy bone-and-gravestone alter in the basement, and also a barrel with two murdered children unceremoniously stuffed inside. The group decides to destroy the alter and burn both structures down.

They tend the fire as scores of glowing eyes watch on from the forest. From there, the group returns to Lothering, bringing the bodies of the children and Stroud back for cremation/services to avoid any restless spirit bullshit. They speak briefly with the paladin, who expresses regret that the dead mage “fell from the path.”

Fresh off their smashing success self-defensing Dorian Stroud to death, the group heads west towards Redcliff. On the road, they find a broken down wagon and are attacked by what appears to be a small Nevarran military unit posing as bandits. Leading the group is a Dalish reaver named Reese. He appears able to redirect some of the damage he takes to his comrades, who fall as Reese continues cutting the hell out of the group.

Eventually, all but one “bandit” is killed. The lone survivor is restrained and transported until the next morning. Fresh with spells, Abel reads his mind and discovers that they were sent to steal Cousland’s ashes, armor, and sword by “The Master.” Mental inquiries about The Master causes the bandit’s mind to go blank. The group disposes of the now-comatose body in the usual way.

The remaining road to Redcliff is uneventful.

Taking your whacks in the Brecilian Forest
In which the group explores diplomacy through other means in a land known for its depilatory predilections

Abel meets up with the group at a small pub in Denerim and inquires how the three hours he left them alone went. At this, Jubei relates the events of the morning and their “interaction” with Selfie. Abel informs the group that Vitalek was mistaken, and wild mages don’t always become abominations. Handled differently, the girl could have led a productive life. After a frank exchange of views, the group decides to table the issue in favor of drinking.

Grohm hears that Lothering is being reopened and expresses interest in looking for lost family members. The group assents, and a week of travel finds them watching with varying degrees of enthusiasm as Siegfried, a paladin of the maker, gives the benediction at the opening ceremony. While everyone else ponders the limitations of their race/class combinations, Oscar strikes up a conversation with Siegfried. The paladin mentions that Dorian Stroud, a maleficar wanted for the murder of his own family, was recently seen near the ash pits outside of town.

Oscar helpfully volunteers the group to investigate (for a small fee). Jubei picks up a trail that leads into the Brecilian forest, much to Abel’s obvious delight. After hours of tracking, the group comes upon a clearing with a small farmhouse and barn. Further investigation by Zalifur reveals the wanted maleficar and a host of skeletons in the farmhouse. The barn seems to contain some strange hulking figure.

As the group stalks closer, Stroud becomes aware of their presence. He unleashes his skeletons, as well as the hulking form from the barn. Abel recognizes the creature as an undead variant of an eidolon. At the same time, a handful of placid slip through the fade. A rather messy battle ensues, ending with Zalifur driving a dar-missan through the maleficar’s skull shortly before Stroud could give in to a demon that was attempting to ride him.

A modestly respectful rifling of Stroud’s person finds an enchanted cloak, a scroll, a potion, and a journal.

Demon Deal Done
Dr. Dragonlady or : How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Ouroboros Amulet

On the way to make good a deadly deal with a demon, the group stops in Kirkwall. There they meet up (again) with Grohm, a perfectly well adjusted giant axe wielding barbarian who decides to tag along. After a week of travel the intrepid adventurers arrive at a bloody alter and creepy, bone-filled clearing on the side of a mountain. Dogs and Qunari growl at the ominous magical feel of the place.

Able spends some time studying the grounds and summoning forth dirt (presumably to do his bidding). After this the the four amulet holding catch-twenty-two chumps decide it’s time rejoin the lonely segments. Roselyn performs a healthy ritual involving self mutilation, and a sickly green mist begins to creep in. The now recombined amulet spins in place in the center of the clearing. Undead begin to rise from the bone soaked earth and a battle ensues. Part way through the skirmish, a Rage demon passes through the fade and joins in the fun. The group, clinging to dear life, manages to valiantly slay it.

A terrible magical effect begins to unfold, seemingly sucking all the magical energy from the dead and the surrounding area into the amulet. The mists shatter like glass, and in the center of the clearing a yellow-eyed, pale-skinned, crow-cloaked woman appears. Flemeth , back from the dead at the hands of her daughter, stands before the group. She confirms that the deal made with the four amulet bearers is complete, and the threat of their (imminent) demise has been lifted. Some small words are exchanged after which the Ancient one leaps of a nearby cliff, transforms into a dragon, and soars horrifyingly into the horizon.

After this encounter, the group makes its way back to Kirkwall to lick it’s wounds and find passage via boat back to Denerim to (finally) make good on funerary duties by bringing Cousland’s ashes to their final resting place. On the way, a pretty young dark haired girl of about sixteen crashes into Grohm at a dead sprint on the street. After being helped up she continues to run like the devil was after her. Moments later Templars arrive and ask the group if they had seen the youth. Vitalek tricks them sending them away in the wrong direction.

On a whim, Jubei sets Duke on her trail and tracks her through some alleys to an abandoned building. Jubei poorly attempts diplomacy with the frightened youth. Eventually Dandy Oscar calms her enough to speak with the group (except Elias and Roselyn who wisely remained absent). Vitalek discovers that she is a wild-mage named Selfie. Vitalek pulls Jubei away for a private discussion. He explains that she will almost certainty become an abomination, and if left to her own devices, could potentially kill thousands of innocent people. Her only other option is a magical stilling performed by the Templar that would rob her of magical ability as well as her humanity, rendering her a hollow shell.

Jubei and Vitalek decide that a swift unseen death would be the most merciful option. Jubei enlists the help of Grohm, and the two would-be executioners approach Selfie. Jubei sends in Duke to puppy-attack, in an attempt to distract Selfie from her coming death blow. But the moment he does, she releases a powerful burst of magic nearly killing everyone in the room as well as leaving Duke with a new white stripe from head to tail. Selfie screams an ear shattering wail and vanishes. It is discovered she had become an abomination and plane shifted away. The tattered, bloody, mentally scarred group decides to vacate the scene post haste.

Warden Trials 2 - Electric Boogaloo
In which the rhetorical flourish of Greywarden recruitment techniques is lost on Vitalek

The group continued deeper into the (already) Deep Roads, eventually finding two intersecting stone bridges that were reportedly “not up to code.” From the intersection, they heard the sounds of battle.

The remaining recruits (and two Dalish mercenaries) were facing a squad of darkspawn. With the group’s added help, casualties were kept to a single subtype.

Back in Kirkwall, the recruits were initiated into the Greywardens. Liam was charged to retrieve Warden-Commander Cousland’s ashes from Denerim and bring them to Weisshaupt. Jubei’s attempt to recruit the recently captured Tal-Vashoth raiders to Greywardens was met with resistance by the Greywarden second-in-command.

Deciding the Cousland wasn’t getting any deader, the group first traveled east to meet with Dalish keeper Marithari. After consulting with the spirits of the land, she revealed that the amulets born by Zalifur, Roselyn, Jubei, and Oscar were designed to permanently call something forth from the fade. A complex and powerful ritual involving both Celestial and Abyssal is required to draw the spirit(?) forth. Failure to complete the ritual within a moon will cause the amulets to begin draining the life of the bearers.

Abelos mentions one other source of information on this ritual, but is hesitant to pursue it.

Warden Trials 1 - Into the Depths
In which the gang learns a valuable lesson about job applications

In the wake of the arch demon’s death, the group makes their way to Kirkwall to deliver some treaties and other old documents for the late Aiden Cousland. After a bloodless delivery, Jubei, Liam, and Roselyn volunteer to join the Greywardens.

The following week of physical strain, verbal abuse, and gastrointestinal agony results in ten possible recruits being accepted out of an initial group of forty. The ten are split into three groups and sent into the deep roads to slay darkspawn and harvest their blood in an entirely healthy initiation gesture. Abel, Elias, Zalifur, and Oscar offer to help.

The group tracks some darkspawn in the deep roads, happening upon a few of the other recruits mid-assbeating. All but one are saved, and the group encounters their first example of darkspawn blood magic.

Jubei finds a second set of human tracks leading deeper into the deep roads.


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