Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Campaign Journal: The Queen of Cobalt Lake

Who is on the road tonight?

  • Fulvus, halfling
  • Frederick, thief
  • Rondel, elf
  • Jax, barbarian
  • Various mooks

The party rested and healed at Hardbrand Tower. Gladwin and his fellow undead knights prepared for their new watch at the tower. The spare node lens was secured within the reliquary, to be retrieved at a later time.

They continued their trek south along the overgrown trade road, clearing brush as necessary for their wagon (currently full of various monster heads for Fulvus' brewery). The road was uneventful until the dice said that there were a couple of burrows along the roadside. Followed by a quick clarification. Burros? Barrows? Burrows.

Fulvus poked at the BURROWS, pissing off a pair of ankhegs. There was a bitey struggle, and Fulvus has another head for his brewery wall (building on is pretty much a given at this point). Burrow searched, and the party recovered some valuables, a +1 crossbow, and an unidentified potion.


The following day, the party caught up with a tribe of goblins, also moving south along the road. The tribe was a pathetic lot, with a few skinny wolves pulling travois with their meager belongings. Was the party also going to meet Da Queen? Who was she? Well, she had a small domain along the lake, and was protecting folks who cared to join her. Along the lake, you say? Well, she may be near where we want to go. So I guess we are meeting the Queen.

As the two groups headed south, the road appeared to have been slightly cleared, and rough fences and hedge-works were seen ringing the area. There were also a lot of webs...

At a makeshift gate, a couple of hobgoblins and an ogre halted the parties, asking to know their business. The goblins were granted access, being recognized as refugees. The party, not so much. The hobs inquired to their business (searching for a tower). They acknowledge there was a tower near. A bit more back and forth, and the hobgoblins admitted that guarding was hungry work. The party was happy to share rations with the hobs and ogre. Subtle "tip" motions were also noted, and the party left the astonished guards with a significant tip. 

They had their access. A rough camp and community spread out before them, comprised of various humanoids of different strains, as well as a few humans. The party spoke with a few humans, outriders who were more comfortable here than among the local communities. Yes, most were here because of predations of the Chaos forces, as well as seeking community with the onset of winter.

Oh yeah, there was a tower surrounded by ruins.

So who was the Queen? The party was met by a hobgoblin shaman, who noted that their arrival was expected. He escorted them to a restored stone building, knocking on the door.

And the Queen appeared.

Like this, but with a lot more eyes...

A naga, with a human face ringed with eight spider eyes. She introduced herself as Queen Adra, and surmised that the party was not refugees...

The party was respectful of the serpentine royalty, but explained their quest, suspecting that the crumbling tower along the lakeshore may hold the southernmost node. 

Adra was disinterested in their quest, and distrustful of human endeavors. Her protection and community was enough for now. She had no love for humanity, as they had hunted her and her kin. Larger human operations were not an interest. The party shared that they had traveled far along the frontier, finding these nodes, and that they were not affiliated with any of the powers in the region. She interviewed each of the party as to their motivations. Faith Perpetual whispered to Jax that Adra spoke true, and that she was definitely of a chaotic nature.

Adra remained distrustful, but agreed to let them inspect the tower. Another ogre guard watched its door. "Golandan, I know you've been watching!" The door opened to reveal an elf, with tanned, scarred skin. He greeted Rondel as a 'cousin'. Rondel was not familiar with one of the desert elves, a secretive group from the southern deserts. Faith Perpetual, on the other hand, hinted that the elf, too, carried an intelligent sword.

The elf led them up the decrepit stairs to the second floor, where, sure enough, an oversized lens was mounted into the floor. Cracked, of course. Golandan tapped it and confirmed its ruby construction. The party explained its former purpose and a bit of the defense network and its hopeful restoration. Golandan was intrigued, mentioning that areas of ruby sands were known in the desert, if raw material might be needed. The conversation was cut short as Adra momentarily stared into space, and said, "We have trouble."

The party and other two rushed out to see a few chitin drakes, as well as a force of Chaos mutants invading the area. Chaotic battle ensued, with Fulvus and his crew rushing out to one-shot mooks. Rondel and Henry case haste and bless, respectively, causing the party to become a bunch of weedwhackers. Roderick tried out a device Fulvus had given him, and sure enough, it stunned the drakes. Jax just stepped up to a Chaos Knight and his Damned Horse and laid to. Out of the corner of their eyes, they saw militant residents fighting, as well as Adra and Golandan. 

There were also undead spiders. A lot of undead spiders.

So cute...

Anyway, the Chaos forces were repelled, and yes, Fulvus has more heads for his brewery. 

Adra thanked the party for their aid, and welcomed them to rest. Regarding the lenses, they were welcome to return, but no one else. 

Night fell, and the party set up camp and began to spread out to get to know some of the residents of Queen Adra's domain.

End scene.

DM Notes:

The goblin refugees have been on the books for a while. Just needed an appropriate moment. 

Yes, the ankhegs were random, and no, we didn't thin the herd of hirelings this time. 

I'd been looking at the remaining Node locations, and decided that this one needed a neutral, insular party. Oh, and someone had made the mistake of mentioning "undead spiders" in the last session. So yes, there were undead spiders stalking along the road, spying on the party, unbeknownst to them. I just needed an appropriate "Queen." Adra came to me among other ruminations. And in the quest of sending the PCs to hither and yon, I introduced a desert elf, with potential knowledge of a resource. Sightseeing time!

We'll see what direction the party intend to head next session. I have an idea from what we've discussed at the table, but am never sure until we sit down. I'm sure I'll have all potentialities mapped out...

1 comment:

  1. This journal is full of adventure and surprises! I especially enjoyed the descriptions of the characters and the environment, as well as the vivid depiction of the battle scenes. Queen Adra's character was particularly memorable, adding depth to the story with her background and attitude. Looking forward to the next installment!