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*Stone Soules Reunion* Or At Least, That's What Might Have Happened

Well, I must admit that a mischievous streak hit the collection of people
at the game. While a devastating fight between the evil Borglyn and the
forces of good made good copy, the reality was a bit different

Party Roster:

Konrad, 10th level paladin, 94 hp, played by Rodger
Tanique, 7th level fighter, 71 hp, played by Kathryn Klawiter
Ceydric, 8th level cavalier, 65 hp, played by Joel Green
Warwick, 7th level ranger, 60 hp, played by Mark Wagoner
Klogwort, greater orc, 54 hp, played by Rhonda Jones
Xavier, 8th level cleric, 45 hp, played by Jack McKechnie
Ludo, 9th level thief, 43 hp, played by Kyle MacLea
Eli, 9th level mage, 39 hp, played by Zack Hubert
Tarplin, 8th level druid/ 5th level mage, 29 hp, played by Alan Jones
Fred, 7th level monk, played by David Chappell
Risha, 7th level cleric, 23 hp, played by Kyle MacLea

Our party, composed of members from the Duchy of Estwurl in the Southern
Waste and Dunadorian knights, from the Cromwellian Academy Teams, from the
disbanded Stone Soules, and from other sources familiar to the other stalwart
adventurers, gathered in Dunthrane City in 2187. (There was some interesting
updating done on many of the characters.)

(Sahrak remained with his traveling circus so that it would remain intact
and his henchmen wouldn't desert him, and realizes that his adventuring
career, at least for the moment, is over.)

The party then performed a Divination, Astrology, and Commune. The
Divination resulted in knowledge of a moderate force of Lawful Evil, and
a slumbering but very powerful supernatural force of Neutral Evil. There
was "subjective" treasure. The influence of the nine dark moons,
representing unstable or unknown magic, was undeniable. Our lucky number
was 5 and our unlucky number 162. The color gray was important.

A Commune spell revealed that Borglyn KNEW WE WERE COMING, the mission
did not have a "reasonable chance of success." It was shown that Borglyn
did have a magical means of escape, and that the chances of angering the
forces of Neutral Evil were "moderate." There were thoughts that the
Neutral Evil represented a slumbering or contained evil, possibly undead
or from the Outer Planes.

All in all, it was a depressing result. Somewhat dispirited, but not put
off, the party decided to proceed anyway.

Since surprise through the front was impossible, it was hoped that the
Stone Giant druid would provide us with help of some kind, or at least an
alternate way in. The party decided to march off the road, without
stopping at Fort Halfred or Northford, and would look for the Stone Giant
druid in the region.

After several days, Tarplin tried to contact the druid. He did so, and
we discovered that the druid had not even lived in Borglyn's valley
originally, and so was rather uninterested in the whole business. He
wished to remain uninvolved in our mission. He warned us that there were
an immense number of undead in the valley and that a night attack would
almost certainly prove fatal. However, he noted that Borglyn might not
know we were coming. The druid informed us that Borglyn's means of
magical escape was a candle that when lit would transport him elsewhere,
to someplace unknown to the druid, presumably connected with the ancient
ruins. He told us that there was in fact a back entrance, but that it
was quite difficult to reach.

We had been sleeping in Leomund's Secure Shelters due to Eli, when we
heard a knock at the door. An old man was there, and he sold Eli a
couple of brushes (Eli was wearing the Robe of Grime) and told us
"information." For 1500 gp, he told us that Borglyn expected us and
hoped to avert hostilities. He indicated that he was a Sphinx named
Bartass, and had been hired by Borglyn as a diplomat. When we initially
ignored the request, we discovered that the Sphinx could read minds and
would surely be reporting everything we knew to Borglyn, for money of course.

Realizing that our situation was grim, we continued to march and reached
the edge of the valley. Our one hope was to use the back door, but
unfortunately the task proved impossible. The winds were too heavy, but
even with our plan, the ash would prove fatal to any remaining in it for
too long.

Borglyn sent back a message through the Sphinx, ordering us off his land,
and hoping to repair whatever grievance we felt toward him. Chono
indicated that he wished to remain uninvolved and stay in the place
regardless of what happened. The undead would NOT be cleared.
Furthermore, we could take up the issue with the cloud giant embassy in
Hochland, a distant city-state north of the Realmish coast. Obviously he
figured this would delay us.

With some slick maneuvering and Konrad's influence and Eli's spells, a
response from the cloud giant embassy was gained in six days! They
ordered Borglyn either to stand trial with the cloud giants or accept
exile from their lands. Borglyn chose exile, and then challenged Ceydric
to a duel for determination of further rights, insulting him in addition.

If Ceydric won the duel Borglyn would stand trial for his crimes in
Dunador (and lose, most likely). If Borglyn won, all past injuries and
grievances would be forgotten on both sides.

Ceydric nominated Konrad as his champion, choosing to ignore the insults
from Borglyn, and maintained his honor. There was some brief
contemplation of Fred the monk challenging Borglyn through cloud giant
rules (unarmed combat-would have been interesting), but the idea of Fred
trying to stun the 20 foot tall giant was a bit much for us. When we
pushed on the issue of the undead and Chono's occupation of Borglyn's
place, something interesting came out. Chono angrily insisted that he
remain in control since he had been expelled from ELVEN society already,
and was hunted for his powers. In his current form, he would be dead in
sixty years and would turn over his lands at that time.

With little choice, the party agreed. Konrad met Borglyn in his lair,
and they fought honorably. Chono was noticed by Ludo, hanging invisibly
over the combat.

The problem of reach was a great one for Konrad. Rather than use his
scimitar, he drew out a very powerful lance and fought the 21 foot tall
cloud giant from a distance. However, Borglyn used a marginally LONGER
weapon and thus was still able to hold the paladin at bay. Konrad got in
the initial swings, doing plenty of damage, but then Borglyn seemed to
gain in confidence. Borglyn slammed Konrad six consecutive times and
forced the paladin to yield grudgingly. Borglyn indicated his great
respect for the paladin, after throwing a further veiled insult at
Ceydric, and the party received some money for its trouble, and was
forced to leave by the agreement.

Warwick had a gleam in his eyes, but for the moment the mission was
dead. It wasn't a complete failure, but it was an unfortunate end to the
mission. However, honor was preserved!

Of course, the Sphinx came out reasonably well, and hoped that no ill
will was borne toward him. It should be noted that no one ever detected
Bartass scanning them, so perhaps he did not do so.

Joel/ Ceydric

(With assistance from: Jack, Kyle, and Zack.)


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