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Waking from a Nightmare
As we pass through the mists and back into our homeland, the memories of our recent adventures start to seem foggy and unreal. At this point, the following still sticks in my mind:

Oscar, Anton, and I left the Vistani wagon heading out of Ravenloft, and turned back toward Valaki. We were met by Laucian - a Cleric survivor of Mordenkainen's peasant army, Randy - a Bard from another world, and Sergei - a Paladin who had a run-in with the Vistani. They agreed to join us, so we gathered up supplies & horses and headed towards Strahd's castle.

Rather than barge through the main gate - setting off traps and attracting guardians, we discovered a back door of sorts. We had just enough magic between us to levitate slowly up behind the castle to the attached outbuildings, then shatter a window and enter. We discovered coffins identified as King Barov and Queen Ravenovia. There seemed to be no threat, so we left them in peace.

We dispelled a blue magical field around the outbuilding, and entered the burial vault. We explored a group of numbered crypts, including one with Laucian's named on it (and containing his 'corpse') - more of Strahd's deceit, no doubt. Another crypt belonged to Gralmore Niblenobs - inside we found a white-bearded corpse clutching a staff of brass and marble. Ray put the staff into a shallow recess in a slab within the crypt, which opened a chamber containing a leather case containing a sword hilt.

We discovered that the hilt was magical - upon wielding it, a shimmering blade projected from the hilt. Somehow I got an empathic reading from the blade - it apparently belonged to Sergei (Strahd's brother). It was originally a thin crystal blade, before Strahd instructed a wizard to destroy it. Somehow, the wizard's apprentice (Niblenobs) snuck the hilt out and preserved the enchantment - deadly to undead creatures. I accepted the weapon to use against Strahd.

Further inside the vault, we discovered a room containing three coffins - these turned out to belong to three women in wedding dresses who rose out to attack us (along with swarms of bats from the vault). We were able to destroy one and drive off another, only to be confronted with Strahd himself.

Little remains in my mind of the fight with Strahd, except that it was long and grueling. He struck again and again with powerful spells, transported himself around the room to frustrate our tactics, and taxed the last reserves of our strength - but somehow we prevailed. We did everything we were aware of from Van Richten's notes to dispose of the beast for good, and left the castle behind.

Unfortunately, it seems that this evil realm abhors a vacuum - without a new Lord to take Strahd's place, he main return again regardless. I'm not sure how I know this - perhaps a final taunt from the vampire. All I know for sure is that my vengeance is spent - yet it feels empty.
Session: Stay Alive - Wednesday, Oct 12 2016 from 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM
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Finale
How to summarize recent events?

Bextl's mother's last words to him were not to trust anyone, which seemed like a safe bet. It didn't seem prudent to throw our lot in fully with either side: A Sith Lord with an army of clones (some loyal, some rebelling, and some just convinced he's invincible), or a Moff with ties to creepy alien things who ingest people and spit out other alien things.

Playing it by ear, we head back to the gas giant to pick up the Plaque, and then arrange a meeting with the Moff. Despite the precautions we took (leaving it locked in the Headhunter, slaved to our ship and booby-trapped), Bing still managed to get his hands on the Plaque, and started proceeding with plans of his own. At least we make it safely back to Kal'Shebbol and arrange a secure dock - on the Hungarian's space station of all places. We narrowly avoid a firefight between Bing, the rest of the group, and the Hungarian's security forces.

Sargusta Jors shows up, and accompanies us to the Moff's real seat of power - a gas giant with bunches of moons 8 hyperspace-hours away from Kal'Shebbol. The Moff's fortifications include a number of Star Destroyers (with unusual energy signatures from their tech), and an odd rocky moon with no atmosphere but heavy shielding. We land and head deep underground - leaving Bing behind in the Headhunter and passing through tight security before meeting with a huge football-field sized centipede-looking thing. This creature is DarkStryder, and it is surrounded by an orb with flashing purple lighting, jars in brains, and unrecognizable tech. The Moff meets us here as well, and allows us to converse with DarkStryder.

We next discover another huge creature - a green/black 'queen-alien'-looking thing chained up with various tubes attached. The creature was apparently made using DarkStryder. The Moff brings in Caitlyn, and agent of with extensive injuries - she is slid into one tube of the creature, and comes out another tube apparently transformed into a Krayt Dragon - she heads off to enact retribution on the Hutts responsible for her injuries. This is apparently the 'new start' the Moff had mentioned in our last meeting.

We are then taken to a meeting with the Moff's Generals, Admirals, and Intelligence heads. We explain about the Plaque, 000, Darth Vex, and our work for ISB. We explain that we could use our status as double-agents to his benefit - revealing tech he can afford to lose, to throw ISB off his trail. The Moff is surprised to learn Darth Vex's identity, but believes she is dead in the most recent outbreak of 000's droid rebellion.

Around this time, Bing goes missing from the Headhunter, and alarms begin going off. The Death Star has arrived, and destroys one of the Moff's Star Destroyers. The Moff asks us to use his 'Sun Crusher', a small vessel with similar power to the Death Star, but created using his unusual tech. Further alarm klaxons blare, and main power goes off.

The party splits up (always a good idea), with some headed towards the Sun Crusher, some back to our ship, Bing doing his own thing (giving cryptic reports over the comms), and Bextl staying behind in the meeting room (hearing voices in his head of someone coming to him). Emergency power comes back on, and we get reports over our comms of Imperial ships landing to secure the bay where our ship is docked.

Jocko and Maris take off in the Sun Crusher, which takes the opportunity to make 'modifications' to them for proper interface. They gain innate knowledge of the ship, and discover it is a Yuuzhan Vong craft. They head to the system's red giant and absorb energy to use against the Death Star. They bank around the sun and head straight for their target, taking a hit but continuing on. They plow into the core and expel all of the energy - destroying it and two nearby Star Destroyers.

The rest of the group hides to let a group of stormtroopers from the landing party pass (leaving only a dozen or so behind). They then assault the troopers - taking hits buy laying down enough smoke cover to get inside our ship. From there, it's a simple matter to gun down the remaining troops and enemy craft.

In the meantime, Bextl has a rather explosive disagreement with Palpatine, who showed up to recover him. Bextl released the deadman switch on a readied thermal detonator, taking out many troopers and all but one backup clone, with Paltaine was able to 'jump' to. Our ship takes off, destroying more of the dock on our way out, and meet up with the Sun Crusher. We clamp onto it and prepare to leave under impulse power.

At this point we discover Bextl himself (or yet another clone) still on-board. He says that we need to stop the DarkStryder-created bug-creature, before the Palpatine can use it to restore his imperfect clone body. Bing finds another docking bay for us to use (near him and the creature), and we land there & use vac-suits to enter - oddly enough, we discover barefoot Toydarian footprints on the outside.

Maris rigs up an explosive vest for Bextl to wear (at his suggestion), in case Palpatine takes over his body. We enter the base, and Bing rigs up an isolation helmet for Bextl as well, in an effort to limit any information Palpatine may be able to pull from his mind over a 'tether' which may still exist.

Bing pauses at a console to deal with some remaining troopers, and we discover other Star Destroyers have arrived and begun shelling the area near our ship. It becomes apparent that Palpatine is somehow listening in despite our preparations, and that he appreciates our idea about the bug-creature - he takes it over, and begins moving quickly towards the moon's surface.

Bing touches Krieger, somehow signaling him to head back to the ship and get it operational (also providing schematics for the moon\space station). The rest of us follow, quietly. We discover that it's badly damaged, and time for repairs is in short supply. It looks like one of the Star Destroyers is trying to land to pick up the Bug Emperor, so Bing takes control of the moon's propulsion systems to slam it into the Star Destroyer. He tries going after others, but they wisely keep their distance.

Bing then tries to eject the Moff and his remaining techs, to take full control of the moon, but this starts up a scuffle with the rest of the party, and he's knocked down by Zansatsu. Eventually, the rest of the party leaves him behind, to try and deal with Palpatine. We drive off on a ground vehicle loaded on our ship towards the wreck of the Star Destroyer.

Around this time, additional Yuuzhan Vong craft begin showing up in the system. Bing and the Moff come to a tenative agreement to deal with them - it seems as if the Moff wasn't actually in league with the Vong, but just attempting to hijack their tech. The rest of us drive up to a hidden turret, hack into it, and begin firing on an Imperial Shuttle headed to meet the Bug Emperor as it breaks free of the Star Destroyer's wreckage (sporting an impressive-looking shield of some sort). Bing provides additional fire from another turret.

The shuttle takes heavy damage, but manages to land and out steps a young Anakin Skywalker? (apparently a clone). Krieger shoots at him, and he tries (and fails) to block it with his lightsaber, taking a solid hit. The rest of us join in, including Zansatsu who lands a heavy punch. 'Derp Vader' manages to block further blaster fire from us, and throws his saber - destroying Zansatsu's shock gloves and wounding him. However, Kel'Kabukk knocks him back with an explosive quarrel, and Maris leaves him on the ground twitching after a full-auto burst from his blaster rifle - should've held onto that lightsaber.

The Moff & Bing use the Moon's guns to take out the incoming Vong craft, leaving just us and Palpatine. Unsurprisingly, he now wanted to talk. Bextl is able to lull him into a false state of security and get close - walking inside the bug's shield. Maris then triggers the explosive vest - the explosion amplified by being inside the shield, it basically atomizes everything inside. Both Bextl and Palpatine try to jump into the barely-alive Vader clone, but Bextle gets there first.

It's unclear if Palpatine was able to jump to another, further-out clone, or if he still exists in some other form. At any rate, we're still alive, the Moff seems grateful (if a bit shell-shocked), and for once we may even be free of bounties. Kel'Kabukk takes the opportunity to reveal Barret Demora's treachery to the Moff (hey, the guy was definitely guilty of something, right?), and is granted a favor: a nice trip for two back to Kashyyyk for a prolonged hunting trip. Some things, you just need to savor (like medical trials on how many body parts a Wookie can tear off and cauterize, while still keeping the subject staggering along).
Session: Get ready for a surprise! - Tuesday, Sep 12 2017 from 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM
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Pointer-left Investigator__male_2_thumb
Lhynard
Posted by the GM
De Exilio
Chapter 4 — Snake on a Spelljammer
Down on the ground, Belvin had Kamil crouch, and he hacked the head off the male lamia. He called to Hakam, "Do you see anything?"

   "No," the cleric called back. Hakam had walked through the wall illusion behind which the lamias had hid.

   Belvin then heard a sound.

   When Hakam stepped back through the illusionary, ruined wall, Belvin was gone, leaving Kamil there alone and Hakam confused.

~~~~

On board the spelljammer, Leokas heard Solisar's scream coming from the forecastle. He moved to the port side and readied an arrow.

   On the starboard side, Kytharrah heard the scream too. "Okay in there?" he asked. He had entered the forecastle and was approaching the door to the room with the magic chair.

   "Everyzing is fine," he heard Nulara answer, but when he tried to open the door, something or someone was blocking him from pressing it open, something or someone very strong.

   Szordrin finished climbing aboard with his spider magic and came up behind Leokas. The wood elf motioned for him to be quiet. Szordrin whispered a question about what was happening, but Leokas did not yet know. He opened the starboard-side door to the forecastle and cautiously entered, dropping his bow to the ground and drawing instead his longsword. He stepped to the door of the spelljammer helm room and stealthily opened it a crack. Tymora blessed them, for as he was doing so, the sound was masked by Kytharrah's shouting from the other side, "Someone hurt? I smell blood! Door is stuck!"

   With the door open a crack, Leokas could not see much, but what he did see was enough — the end of the tail of a very large snake draped across the floor.

   The wood elf back-stepped away from the door toward Szordrin, hand reaching towards his bow.

   Leokas' actions confirmed Szordrin's suspicions about what was happening. He withdrew a root shaving and quietly chanted some Draconic words. His movement grew suddenly faster. He picked up Leokas' bow and held it out for him to reach.

   On the other side of the helm room, Kytharrah shoved against the door for the third time and succeeded to force it open. For an instant, the young minotaur glimpsed his friend, Solisar, hunched over in the helm chair and covered in blood.

   "Go to sleep, you beast!" said Nulara, from behind the door. She shoved back, and slammed the door shut again.

   "No trick sleep!" said Kytharrah, shaking off the spell. On the contrary, he felt a surge of speed from the power of Szordrin's magic from the other side of the ship. Bellowing and snorting, he gave the door a forceful shove, but to no avail. Nulara was very strong! Frustrated, he drew his axe from its holder on his back.

   "You do not want to fight me," she said sweetly. "Do you have my bow for me?"

   Her charm was no more effective than her attempt to put the minotaur to sleep. Kytharrah was not sure what was happening, but he knew that Solisar needed help.

   "Solonor, swift death to my enemies," Leokas whispered, nocking two arrows at once, as he stepped back to take a shot through the slightly ajar door on the port side.

   However, Nulara heard him. Her bulky serpent tail slammed the door shut behind her, blocking Leokas on the other side so that she could deal with the persistent minotaur.

   But the minotaur was no longer playing. His large axe crashed through the door in a single swing, and Kytharrah heard Nulara shout out from the other side in pain or surprise or both. He began yanking back the shattered wooden planks with his huge paws. Nulara was there on the other side of the wrecked door. She was not wearing any clothes. Why? Was she about to change into a snake like Cassiera or Belvin? How did she grow as tall as him? Oh, she was half snake now already. Could Cassiera do that too? Cassiera was never that big of a snake though.

   Nulara gave up on the non-violent route of subduing the minotaur before her. She slashed wildly with her black dagger, knocking more broken door panels aside.

   Kytharrah stepped back and swung his axe. It was hard to swing in the confined quarters below the deck, but his blade cut across Nulara's bare midriff and then again through her lower serpent-like abdomen. Black blood and scales fell to the floor. She raised her dagger high for another swing, but Leokas kicked open the door behind her with his boot and loosed his arrows. One of the arrows drove deep into her back, but the second popped back out of her body without even drawing blood, and dropped to the floor.

   She shrieked in pain from the first arrow. Then, her tail slammed forcefully back at Leokas; it struck against the open door frame instead.

   Kytharrah took the opportunity to attempt to impale the lamia with his horns. They caught her below the rib cage and rocked her humanoid torso back, but when Kytharrah raised his head again, her chest was clear of even a scratch. Only her stomach was bleeding from his earlier swing.

   "Thard Harr, guide his swings!" Kytharrah turned his head for a moment to see a naked Belvin on the deck outside.

   Nulara took her opportunity and swung her dagger with enough ferocity that it could have cleaved off Kytharrah's arm, yet Thard Harr had heard Belvin's prayer and guided Kytharrah's instinctive parry of the blow. The black dagger miraculously got caught in the hook of the minotaur's axe blade. He twisted his wrist quickly, and the dagger blade snapped off its hilt with a crack.

   Nulara flew into a rage, slapping Kytharrah across the snout with the back of her hand. "You spawn...." Slap! "...of Baphomet!" Slap!

   "Ixen!" shouted Szordrin from his knees, where he was now crouched in front of Leokas, and a beam of flame shot from his hand. The fire wrapped completely around Nulara, causing her no harm at all, but it least it gave Kytharrah a chance to step back from the slapping.

   "She is resistant to the Weave!" Szordrin warned.

   Leokas nodded and began releasing arrows rapidly over Szordrin's shoulder, hasted by the roguish wizard's earlier spell, but Nulara was writhing about madly like a cornered animal, swinging her arms and long, razor sharp nails at Kytharrah. Only one of the elf's four arrows struck her in the arm, and she seemed hardly to care.

   Kytharrah fared a little better, striking her several more times, and leaving black gashes across her brown skin. It seemed to him like he was swinging at a tree, not at a creature. He swung his horns and missed and then his axe one last time, before Nulara struck him on the face. It did not even hurt him. Instead, he giggled, as if someone had told a funny joke, before collapsing to the ground with a thud to enter a sleep of nightmares.

   Her first foe bested, Nulara now twisted her form around, and swung her tail at Szordrin, but the tiefling was able to concentrate enough to send off a dagger of ice from his hands. Some unseen force sent the icicle crashing into the ceiling. Nulara laughed.

   "What is happening?" called Hakam from the deck. He had finally climbed Ormur and could hear shouting and see the naked wild elf chanting a complicated nature spell nearby. A dark cloud was forming over the forecastle.

   "We are betrayed!" shouted back Leokas. "The minotaur and Solisar are dead!"

   "Yesss," hissed Nulara. A forked tongue shot from her mouth. "...and you will both join them." Her tail flashed, swatting at Szordrin. It was not a powerful blow, but he instantly felt like he had had too much wine.

   Leokas reached for another arrow, but his quiver was empty.

   "Oh, out of arrows?" she gloated.

   The wood elf drew two instead from Szordrin's quiver and let the first fly, striking her below her right collarbone. She lunged forward, trying to catch his neck in her hands, but there was another twang, and her body fell to the ground. Leokas had put the second arrow through her forehead at point-blank range. "Now I am out of arrows," he said.

   He wasted no time grabbing his sword and hacking off Nulara's head. Black blood gushed from the neck stump and her long tail twitched and writhed spasmodically for a long time in the lamia's death throes.
Session: 91st Game Session - Wednesday, May 31 2017 from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM
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7. Session
Der Monat Neth

- Loy Rezbin und seine Frau Latritia kommen zu unserem Königreich und bitten um Unterstützung eine Stadt zu gründen am Ort wo wir den Tatzelwyrm erlegt haben. Die Stadt soll auch entsprechend Tatzelfort genannt werden. Nach kurzer Besprechung haben wir zugesagt und dem Pärchen versichert das wir, sobald wir die Finanzen dafür haben, ihnen dabei helfen die Stadt zu gründen.

- Ein verzweifelter Fischer mit dem Namen Arven hat uns aufgesucht und von seiner misslichen Lage berichtet. Eine enorme Schildkröte hat ihn von seinem sehr etragreichen Angelplatz vertrieben. Um die müden Glieder etwas zu lockern und um unser Königreich weiter zu erkunden, stimmen wir zu und machen uns auf den Weg. Der Platz war gut versteckt und die Schildkröte hat uns aufgelauert, jedoch konnten wir den Hinterhalt durchschauen und haben sie schnell erlegt. Old Crackjaw, wie man die Schnappschildkröte auch nennt, wurde von Súldir erlegt und nachdem wir uns noch den Kopf mitgenommen haben um ihn an eine Trophäenwand zu hängen, haben wir noch einen magischen Edelstein gefunden, welcher angeblich einen mächtigen Wasserelementar beschwören kann.

- Meine Gefährten und ich kommen in eine Ruine eines Dorfes welches von Banditen wimmelt! Die waren sogar so dreist und wollten uns überfallen ... zu dumm das die nicht mit unserer überragenden Kampfkraft gerechnet haben. Schnell haben wir diesem Abschaum den Tod beschert, unter anderem durch einen vernichtenden Schlag auf einen der Kämpfer durch mich. Einen haben wir jedoch für eine Befragung am Leben erhalten. Wir haben von dieser Verschwendung von Lebenszeit einiges erfahren, unter anderem das ein neuer Banditenlord in der Gegend sein Unwesen treibt, das der Anführer der kleinen Truppe die wir erledigt haben Adolfus hiess aber ... am wichtigsten ist die Erkenntniss das diese VERDAMMTEN HURENSÖHNE Teil der Bande sind die meine Eltern getötet haben und meine Schwester entführt. Ich kochte innerlich vor Wut. Ich tue es auch noch immer, da man sich entschieden hat diesen Mistkerl am Leben zu lassen und in unserer Stadt zu richten.

- Weiter das Königreich erkundet und einen Hügel gefunden der durch irgend ein Naturphänomen aufgebrochen wurde. Wir haben zunächst gerastet und unser Baron, Fantir, hat seinen Gott um Rat gebeten. Wir erhielten daraufhin folgende Botschaft: "Einsamer Krieger erwacht. Wut. Einzigartige Waffe." Im Inneren haben wir antike Ruinen gefunden und uns daran gemacht diese zu erkunden, mit dem Abschaum vom Banditenhinterhalt im Schlepptau. Zunächst sind wir einer großen Menge an Fledermäusen begegnet die wir durch das geschickte Verhandeln von Fantir dazu überreden konnten uns passieren zu lassen. In den Ruinen selbst waren die Wände voller Malereien von einer antiken Kultur die keiner von uns genauer bestimmen konnte. Danach kamen wir in einen Raum mit einem sehr verdächtigen Skelett in der Mitte. Nach dem geschickten Gebrauch eines Enterhakens haben wir den Leichnam zu uns gezogen und einen besonderen Ring gefunden, welcher es erlaubt mit minimaler Rast seine Fähigkeiten zurückzuerlangen. Danach wurden wir von diversen Skeletten angegriffen und umzingelt! Einer von meinen Gefährten wurde sogar in die Falle gezogen, hat jedoch zum Glück überlebt. Die Skelette konnte ich recht schnell mit gezielten Tritten erlegen und so blieb uns nur noch ein Raum zu erkunden. Der letzte Kampf in diesen Katakomben war sehr gefährlich und hat mich fast mein Leben gekostet. Zum Glück konnte Súldir den mächtigen Untoten entwaffnen und machte ihn somit einfacher zu besiegen. Der Elf hat auch den finalen Schlag gelandet, wodurch seine Klinge von einem magischen Glühen erfüllt wurde und mächtiger geworden ist. Ich habe mir das Schwert dieses Feindes angeeignet, es war auch eine exotische Klinge wie diejenige die ich schon besitze ... vielleicht ein Zeichen das hier schon mal Mönche gelebt haben? Vielleicht sollte ich diese Tradition wieder aufleben lassen und ein Kloster in die Wege leiten, werde das mit meinen Gefährten besprechen müssen. Wir werden uns nach diesem Kampf erholen bevor wir uns wieder zurück in unsere Hauptstadt begeben.
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Epic × 2!
I can't believe we've got...
I can't believe we've gotten this far without being noticed until now. Past the first layers of security and into the secret part of the "Secret Base." But from here on out, it will get trickier.

There are a lot of minions, for one thing. Well-trained minions. And who knows what else? More Grond-alikes? The real Grond? And ultimately, scariest of all, Bale himself.

He's got to know we're here. He must be setting us up, or something! We have to be very careful and watch out for each other...

I keep reminding myself that we are the only ones paying attention to whatever Bale is up to. Saving the world from He Who Comes is important, but saving it for Bale to take over would be disasterous. So, here we are. Take Bale out, then save the world. Right?
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