TFC // A First Stride

Session 3 - Like a Handle in the Wind
by Sam Needs (Pitz Sturgeon)

After bravely striking down an unquestionably savage and evil ogre and a somewhat-rightfully enraged Owlbear, the unlikely heroes, Belethor, Pitz and Shi’hemas took a moment to rest in the bosom of Tril’hema, the Oak Basket.

They deduced that the ogre had been living there for about a week, with no sign of Shi’hemas’ fellow strider, Ezregan having been by in that time. They also noticed a bunch of supplies but chose not to investigate them because it would be disrespectful and also they forgot.

As Pitz gleefully set about skinning the Owlbear and Belethor took a nap, Shi’hemas “left his mark upon the tree” and climbed to a high branch. As he kept watch, he examined the magic tent they’d confiscated from the circus. In search of aid, he entered into a strange and sinister conversation with his ethereal patron. She informed him of the tent’s nature in exchange for a single favour…

Nearby, unbeknownst to the three travellers, the Great Betrayer, Handle Landerhands was travelling along the road that skirts the Westward Wildwood with a rival squad of heroes composed of Brysseis, Tavon and Gunther. As a result of Handle’s complete failure to pay attention, even to simple instructions, the group were ambushed by a pair of snake-sorcerers.

As the attack commenced, Handle was immediately blasted out of the cart like an idiot. And then he fell unconscious. Brysseis, Tavon and Gunther put up a brave fight, but Brysseis took some heavy hits from the wizard lizards. And then she fell unconscious. Tavon, in the face of this terrible threat, fell unconscious. And then, as Gunther fought on alone, a mysterious horn began to sound from the nearby trees.

Belethor, Pitz and She’himas, roused by the sound of the horn, dashed unwittingly towards the battle. As they burst onto the scene, the serpent sorcerers began to flee, carrying the incapacitated Tavon and Gunther upon a magical floating disc. They also produced a wand and summoned a pair of fiery snakes to cover their retreat. With the help of the shrouded, horn-toting, orange-furred creature in the trees, the party attempted to chase down the wizard lizards using their cool mounts and excellent horsemanship.

hobgob.jpg

Unaware that his former-manservant was slowly dying behind a nearby cart, Pitz rushed bravely into the fray. And then he fell unconscious. Belethor and She’himas tore into the lizwizs using magic and fists. She’himas also rode upon the floating disc and it was sick. The mysterious furry figure eventually emerged from the trees and made it rain goodberries as he tended to the fallen Brysseis and Pitz. Pitz, in a semi-conscious stupor, glanced up at the beastly humanoid standing over him and curiously whispered “…Father?”

Now reunited, the Quillion Quartet finally managed to destroy all nearby serpents. Sadly, they were not in time to save the unfortunate Handle, whose now-lifeless body lay unnoticed in the mud. It seemed the poor young halfling had been doomed from the outset by his ineptitude, fragile body, shameless disloyalty and poor life choices.

In the aftermath of the battle, the group were formally introduced to Ezregan, the Hobgoblin strider who had aided them. Though he knew nothing of a travelling circus, he did mention that the outpost at Tril’hema was currently staffed by a new recruit. An ogre.

Belethor, Pitz and She’himas delicately explained that they had sort of killed this newly-inaugurated strider a bit. Which was an honest mistake. Moving swiftly on, the party decided to move swiftly on down the road to rest up at a nearby Strider-encampment before renewing their search for the circus and the missing children.

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Session 2 - The Good, the Bad and the Fluffy
by Lachlan Tremaine - She'himas

After our Travellers swiftly dispatched of a half-dozen attacking Axe Beak monstrosities…

  • Pitz and Belathor attempt to physically coerce the old priest, Leskyn of Gyo’ord, into healing them following the battle until She’himas intervenes.
  • Hearing the cries of others for their beloved children it’s now clear that several children from the town have been kidnapped.
  • Realizing the kidnappers must surely be heading onward to Barkswatch Thornton they decide to cut through the Wildwood to save time.
  • The greedy Pitz and Belathor attempt to fool the Blood Knuckles into assisting them for a “pitzance” of what they’ve been offered.
  • She’himas realises ’owsitgarn Ezegarn should be between Fuckwhatsmytownsnameville Quillion and Barkswatch, the nearest Strider holdfast, and may be nearby and able to lend some help.

AND THEN Belathor bought a blanket at Taylors Swift supplies.

When Pitz’s jilted lover servant, Handle, informed the Blood Knuckles of the true award on offer, the pair decided to set out with the still groggy Brysseis, Tavon and Gunther in contest. Departing town, the adventurers soon arrive on the outskirts of the grove of a great oak, ‘Hrillemar Tril’hema, the Oak Basket.

Into the clearing is a large humanoid creature with glowing eyes bearing a club and a leathery egg covered in patterns that look like large eyes fur.

ogrefluffy.jpg

The already bloodied creature fiercely attacked the trio to protect its’ “Fluffy”. Right as Pitz was to be completely eclipsed by a club, Belathors’ mace, which hadn’t tasted blood for hours, struck the killing blow.

A desperate owlbear crashes into the clearing, its’ lack of forbearance clear as it charges straight for the egg. Belathors’ hands, still not sated, bludgeon the back of the owlbears head with such force it erupts in a stomach-churning display of its former contents.

Once again bloodied, the adventures decide to rest and recuperate within the shelter of the roots of the gargantuan tree.

Image credit: Wizards of the Coast, some book, and Lachlan Tremaine’s photoshop skills

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Session 1 - Crazy Circus Capers
by Nick Gough - Belethor Falcon

Our four adventurers walked into Quillion as strangers, but by the end of the night would find bonds forged by drink, failures, anger and combat.

  • Belathor, a wiry human who looked as if he’d been hit in the face with a chair a time too many, was escorting a nobleman and his daughter from a nearby town, stopping in at the Naughty Cob for rooms and celebrations of a job well done.
  • Bryse’is, a hulking purple skinned horned lady, was ribbing her Blood Knuckle companions and looking for the next opponent to crush in a fight.
  • Pitz, a halfling who carried himself with all the confidence of a man thrice his size, entered on his trusty mastiff steed, followed by his overburdened servant Wendell Handel.
  • Strider She’himas, a mysterious half-elf who protected the village from all sorts of threats magical and mundane, rode in on his steed and set up in his usual spot at the inn, seated in the corner watching the crowd.

Through absolutely no fault of Pitz’s, Bryse’is thought he uttered an insult directed at her, causing a slight confrontation and for the quartet to be evicted from the premises for the night.

They decided to amble around the fair grounds for the night, with Bryse’is winning a lovely silver statue after proving her aim in a game of Dragon Toss. Pitz and Strider She’himas got a rather ominous fortune telling from the withered Nadina, Belathor misjudged the velocity of a spinning wheel and hit an assistant with a dagger, and Bryse’is fought in single combat against the mysterious Raphigue, where her blows seemed to bounce off his tattooed flesh.

Axe-Beak.jpg

All of a sudden, monstrous axe-beaked birds struck down the town gate, bursting inside and slicing civilians down. Bryse’is, weakened from her earlier bought with Raphigue, found herself struck down from behind by him, before he ran off with the rest of the circus folk.

Pitz, Strider She’himas and Belathor suddenly found themselves facing the atrocious avians, but thanks to Strider’s She’himas’ quick wit, they turned an alleyway into a chokepoint to negate the advantage of numbers. From there, it was an easy fight, with Belathor on the ground and Pitz and Strider She’himas firing from the rooftops.

It was a short fight, but in that time three townsfolk had died, and a bond had been made between the combatants. Now comes the matter of cleaning up, and finding out who was behind the attack…

Image credit: www.christopherburdett.com

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