Drowman Empire

Session 19

(this turned into a story-thing…)

9. Vandrune
Back in Faemoore, the party encountered Gaussisstra Myn’Dar, the Drow Inquisitor and Governor Alusín got an update on the woeful lack of faith in the province. The governor expressed her confidence in Sapphos’ missionary skills, a sentiment the Inquisitor did not share. The Inquisitor also made an off-hand mention about a creature that had been skulking outside the camp, but an exhausted Shin’dra had no intention of inquiring further.
Taking Felicia with her, she met with Elrien, who — very excitedly — could tell them that the roof on the mansion had been completed and went on about how much better that would be for her books and scrolls. Muttering a few words of praise to Lolth, the governor led them into the common room. There they found that Bolga was already hard at work attacking the feast laid out for them.
Eager for the taste of proper kitchen-made food at last, everyone ate heartily long into the night. Tired from the long road, drowsy from overeating and heavy with food, they waddled upstairs to check out their new lodgings. Everyone, that is, except Bolga who had eaten and drunk until she passed out on the common room floor.
Her tunic close to bursting, Felicia was shocked to see her new room decorated meticulously in the likeness of a halfing nomad’s wagon. Everything from the colours to the halfling-sized furniture reminded her of home. The last part in particular she found most welcome as she rolled into the low bed, not relishing the thought of having to climb into a drow-sized bed after overindulging so greatly on drow-sized portions of food.
After a tipsy Shin’dra had patted “her little elf”‘s food-filled tummy and leaving no doubt as to its “cuteness”, a blushing Elrien opened the door to her room. There an exceedingly comfortble-looking stuffed chair sat next to an elegantly carved writing desk. Every available wall was covered in in empty bookshelves. Elrien vowed to fill them immediately with things from her tent — after letting her stomach settle a bit. Unfortunately the bed proved just as comfortable as the chair and she promptly fell asleep.
As befitting her status, Shin’dra’s room was much bigger and far more opulent than the others. The governor hardly noticed, however, seeing the huge matron-sized bed — complete with silk sheets and spidersilk canopy — and several wardrobes as simply adequate. Nothing could diminish her relief at being back in what passed for civilization, however. “I’ll never set foot outside this camp again…” she muttered before promptly falling asleep.

10. Vandrune
By the time she woke up, Elrien found the shelves around her filled with her research materials by Qual’axle, her unbidden “servant”. Even her pet skeleton had found its way into a cupboard in the room where it might stay without unnerving others. Too perplexed to be outraged at someone else touching her things, Elrien just sat on the bed, taking it all in and marvelling at how much more she would get done without having to dig through chests and bags for everything.
Rubbing the sleep out of her eyes, Felicia wondered how she could be hungry again after all she had eaten last night. Blaming it on her unbridled gluttony while staying with the sirens, she left it at that and padded downstairs to find some leftovers.
In the common room, she found that Bolga had already started where she left off — she had not even gotten up from the floor before resuming her feast.
Of the governor there was no sight. Claiming exhaustion from the long trip she kept to her bed.

11.-21. Vandrune
Busy enjoying the luxuries of home, the days flew by for the party. Holed up in her room, Elrien wrote incessantly about everything they had seen on their travels. Every now and then she would cross-reference something from her earlier notes or one her many books, her pet skeleton standing ready to hand her anything she needed. With Qual’axle bringing her food, drink and whatever else she needed, the elven scholar hardly left her comfy seat. Even without the dutiful drow, she would hardly have starved, however: Eager for her company, Shin’dra was plying Elrien with every dessert known to elves and men. Obsessed with recording all she had seen, the elf would absently nibble at the treats — until the looming towers of growing piles of plates and platters started intruding on her work space.
Surrounded by all the food she could eat after days on the road (and surrounded only by the food she could kill) Bolga could not help but do just that — eat all the food she could! Assisted by the bevy of indentured servants and attracted believers at the mansion, that turned out to be a lot.
With the governor “too busy” for day-to-day meetings, Felicia would act as liasion to the various factions that had begun appearing in Faemoor. On the plus side, this allowed her to see some of the villages of the province and also practice her Dwarven. On the other hand, the Dwarves also served gut-busting feasts, something that was less than conducive to working off a few pounds by travelling about.

22. Vandrune
Having finally relented, Elrien went to see Shin’dra and found the governor idling in bed.
“Ah, that’s just what my poor, abused feet need, Veldrin!” the drow moaned as her lady-in-waiting gave her a foot massage. Her speech was mumbled and sluggish from having over a week lazing about and gorging herself on proper drow food.
“Ah! There you are little elf!” Shin’dra exclaimed. Patting the edge of the bed, she told Elrien to sit down. “You won’t believe how bored I am. Come on, tell me something fascinating — oh and I’ll have Scipio make us something to eat, I’m starving!”

Meanwhile, Felicia found herself meeting with S’amriss. The captain was quite furious with how casually the governor strolled about virtually unguarded in the wilderness. Felicia’s assurances that she was more than capable of looking after the governor fell on deaf ears.
“At least you’ve done a good job keeping her safe and sound these last days,” the halfling noted. “Not much that can happen to her cooped up in her mansion. Unless there’s an assassin hiding in one of those cakes she’s been stuffing her face with, of course!”
“Very amusing, halfling. She might send you in her stead, but at least the governor is safe.
“Though I’d prefer it if she’d advise me in the matter of this demon instead of dismissing all my concerns.”
Explaining how the guards had caught a weird creature skulking around the camp to a suddenly very curious Felicia, S’amriss eventually agreed to show Felicia where it was kept.
“I’d rather just kill it, but you know how angry the governor would get if it was something her pet high elf would want to study,” S’amriss sighed as they approached a pit with a chained Onii Knight.
“Oh, I think she would be pretty cross! That’s an Onii, the okay kind of Fey.”
Though she protested the existence of such a fey, the captain grudgingly accepted Felicia’s request that it be allowed to deliver a message to the governor.

“You know, being governor of this shithole might not be so bad after all,” Shin’dra smiled. Elrien only watched in uncertain disbelief as the governor downed her fifteenth cream tart. “Go on, have some more!” Dutifully, Elrien ate the pastry she was handed. “Only the best for my little elf,” Shin’dra smirked and patted the elf’s thigh.
Elrien breated a sigh of relief when there was a knock on the door and Felicia came in.
“Hey there, short stuff! Don’t tell me: The dwarves have found gold? A thousand barrels of cider is ready to be shipped south? The cattle tax has been settled?”
“More like there’s someone here to see you.”
“Ugh, can’t it wait?” Shin’dra groaned, adding through a mouthful of pie: “Cab’t ‘ou see I’b busy?”
“He’s kinda been waiting for almost a month,” Felicia grimaced.
“Oh all right! Show him in then…”
“That… might be a problem,” Felicia admitted.

Getting Shin’dra out of the house took some convinving, but that Felicia was prepared for. More curious was the fact that the governor could not stay away from her drownuts even for the short walk to the prisoner and was happily gobbling up honey-covered pastries the whole way. Felicia saw that Elrien had also noticed.
“Why would you lock this guy up?” an annoyed Shin’dra said as she licked honey glaze from her fingers. “He’s on our side.”
“I was not aware we were allied to the fey,” S’amriss said sourly.
“Step it up, captain!” Shin’dra shook her head. “You need to keep up with this stuff!”
Keeping her mouth shut, the captain had the Onii ungagged and the fey gave them an update on the Water King’s situation.
“When you say it’s urgent, you don’t mean urgent, do you?” Shin’dra said with little hope, lazily rubbing her belly.
“Very urgent,” the Onii nodded intently.
“Mistress Alusín, your instrument of conveyance is ready!” Coming out of nowhere, Aleksandra Jadebriar made the rest of the party jump with her sudden declaration. Behind them came a richly outfitted disk, complete with a silk canopy against the sun and curtains against the elements. Floating a few feet off the ground, it was pulled along by four wilders under the stern gaze of a fierce-looking orc woman.
“In that case…” Shin’dra said, verbally dragging her feet, “…I guess we might as well get this over with… I was getting bored anyway.”
“I wouldn’t mind that,” Felicia agreed and patted her increasingly stout midsection. “Civilized life is agreeing too much with me I think.”
Sighing, Shin’dra turned to her lady-in-waiting: “Get my gear and let us save ourselves a king. Oh, and get the half-orc too!”
“That… might be a problem,” Veldrin hesitated.

“We thought we should get her up here before she got too big to move,” the head maid explained, wringing her hands.
On her bed, Bolga was snoring loudly, but all the others could see from the hall was the wizard’s enormously stuffed gut heaving with every laboured breath.
Dressed and ready for adventure, Shin’dra snapped impatiently: “Just get her out of here and let Aleksa come up with a way to transport her.”
“As you wish, Governor. I… I’ll bring everyone…”
Woken by some determined poking and shaking, Bolga finally woke with a huge yawn. Seeing the whole household assembled, she smacked her lips: “Is it third pre-dinner snack already?” she smiled and rubbed her looming gut. To her surprised she was instead heaved out of her bed. With much grunting and cursing, the four servants managed to get the bloated half-orc out of bed, but even with a burly lizardman at their side could not get her off the floor. Only after calling upon the elves pulling Shin’dra’s floatdiskdid they manage to budge the unhelpful and confused half-orc.
“We’re going on a little trip,” Shin’dra explained as Bolga’s gut came into the hall. And then did not. Stuffed beyon reason for thirteen days, the wizard’s bloated belly was too wide to get through the doorway.
“Looks like we aren’t going anywhere,” Felicia remarked.
“So, uh, how about that snack…?” an embarassed Bolga could not help but blurt out.

23. Vandrune
When they finally got Bolga out of her room she was still too stuffed to waddle more than a few yards and Aleksa declared vehemently that the half-orc had gotten far too heavy for her poor walking chest to carry. Eyeing an opportunity to postpone the mission, Shin’dra nevertheless felt too comitted by now and declared that Bolga would have to catch up with them later. With a sigh, S’amriss said she would ready a cart or some other mode of conveyance for the half-orc.

Less one half-orc wizard, but gaining an orc overseer and her charges, the party set out. Weighed down by tents, supplies — and most importantly: Drow delicacies for their mistress, the captives fortunately did not require much strength left over to pull Shin’dra’s new floating disc.
They had not come far, however, when a skeletal monstrosity set upon them. A dragon-like construct of blood and sinew, the creature roared defiantly as Felicia and Elrien took to their battle stances. Dozing on her flying throne, Shin’dra stirred and licked powdered sugar off her fingers and lit them with psionic fire.
After a fierce battle, the creature finally collapsed in a heap of meat and viscera, leaving no clue as to where it came from and no loot.

Session 18

7. Vandrune
On their way back to Faemoor, the party were accosted by a band of Wilder. As they leapt from the bushes, the ambushers seemed to have the upper hand, managing to wound Bolga severely. They had not, however, taken into account a certain pint-sized death machine. Bolstered by a bit of magic from Aleksa, Felicia ran, tumbled and slided around the battlefield like a little whirlwind of death. Before the one Wilder Shin’dra had sent forward in time reappeared, the halfling had ended the rest of the ambush party.

The party’s troubles were not yet over, however. As the sun began to set, they came upon a flock of owlbears who were not very pleased with this. One of the massive beasts grabbed a hold of Felicia, trying to squeeze the life out of the halfling. Only on the second try was Shin’dra able to disappear the clingy creature, but Felicia was quickly scooped up by another of the beasts. Being small and, as of late, quite malleable, the little swashbuckler was able to wiggle her way out of the owlbear’s grasp. Aided by a pack of bears summoned by Bolga, Felicia and the rest of the party proceeded to slay the rest of the owlbears. When the vanished owlbear returned to the time-stream, the half-orc mage was ready with a massive blast of fire, already licking her lips as the confused creature found itself nicely barbecued.

Tired after a long day and a long fight, the party decided to make camp, a decision not in any way influenced by the fact that there was delicious owlbear meat close at hand.

8.-9. Vandrune
Having stuffed themselves silly the night before, everyone slept well that night. As morning turned to noon they were finally able to rouse themselves from their stupor and eventually got back on the road.
That the rest of the journey was slow should come as now surprise, seeing as that by the time the party returned to Faemoor they had somehow managed to eat all the leftover owlbear meat. As they waddled up to the village, tired but very well fed, they noticed a dwarf arguing with the innkeeper. Utilizing their individual brands of diplomacy, the party was able to resolve the situation and learnt that the dwarves were close to completing their trade post and had started moving in goods.

Session 16 & 17

(do anyone even read these?)

6. & 7. Vandrune

Our intrepid heroes, Elrien and Bolga, finally reach the Siren Stronghold. It turns out the captives are on slightly friendlier terms with their captors than the two rescuers assumed. Misunderstandings and hilarity angry shouting and name-calling ensues.

The whole situation eventually resolves itself once the others learn the details of Shin’dra’s plan. Even if it isn’t needed to get them free anymore, the party reluctantly agrees to follow through on it.

Leaving the keep, the party braves the Spider Forest once more and defeats the druid seemingly responsible for the spider infestation. They retrieve a drow relic from his body.
Meeting up with the sirens, they deliver the other captive to her husband and finally head back to the camp.

Session 15

4. & 5. Vandrune
A song overheard in a Britannian inn
Written by Akorae and sung to the tune of a popular Wilder folk song

Two strangers came to beleaguered Murk-e-woode,
Set upon by demons from the sky
For respite to Lolth the village prayed
The strangers did reply:

Our mistress, governor Alusín, will not stand
For foul abuse so grave
Well-honed blade and arcane might we do pledge
This village we will save

Thus wise Elrien and Bolga, great and brave
Did defy the spiderwood
With fire, sword and onwards to where
The demon fortress stood

Battle raged for seven days and nights
No quarter was plead
Bolga swathed in flame, Elrien in godly shroud
The demons winged lay dead

Session 14

From the diary of Ailbee Darien

2. Vandrune
Fortune is indeed a cruel mistress… Not only was I rescued from the thugs who kidnapped me, but I was rescued by the expedition of none other than a Drowman Governor. But just a short while later, she was snatched away by some elf-eating birdwomen and I could do nothing but watch!
Why a governor would venture into hostile territory with only a soft minstrel, two shorties, a pudgy bookworm and an even fatter orc to accompany her I do not know. What I do know is that I cannot let such an opportunity slip and we have to rescue Governor Alusín before it’s too late. We continue on to Murkwoode today; hopefully we will learn of her location there.

3. Vandrune
We have been able to make good speed, considering the size of the orc wizard travelling with us. While the villagers were unable to give us much advice, the weird Easterner elf is talking to a farmer who might know more right now.
Apparently the sirens make their home in a keep some two days away. I hope the orc is prepared to exercise her big behind, because we’re going to get there in one! If the approach is difficult, it will simply be that much easier to get at the birdwomen unseen!

Session 11, 12 and 13

From the papers of Governor Shin’dra Alusín

27. Angarradh
The Ei’Onii King’s hospitality has indeed been generous. I thought I had seen Bolga eat, but once you get a bottle of wine or two in her her appetite surpasses belief. I think even the little elf enjoyed the food. Everyone’s robes and trousers are surely a little tighter than when we came here. I can’t even imagine how much the half-orc must have put on: when we left she was too stuffed to get to her feet! Fortunately Aleksa was able to hoist the glutton onto her walking chest. I think I shall have to look into some telekinetic techniques in case this happens again — or perhaps Aleksa can make a modified walking chest so that Bolga can fight lying down?

28. Angarradh
Back in camp, we met a quite fat drow minstrel. Named Akorae, she demonstrated impressive skill on the fine harp we gave her and she really knows how to paint a flattering picture in words and song! Also waiting for us was a servant announcing his intention to serve the little elf’s every need. I have been thinking about something like that: she’s just too cute and cuddly — I can’t have her exert herself!

29.-30. Angarradh
We left for the King of Fire’s court with our plump musician and Elrien’s new companion in tow. It promises to be more days of trudging through the woods. I talked to Aleksa and she promised to do some sketches of a more fitting mode of conveyance. I also mentioned Bolga’s intermittent mobility issues, so perhaps she’ll look into that as well.

We found the gate into the Fire King’s home overrun by Wild Elves, but managed to kill them. We will make our way through tomorrow. Afterwards, Elrien complained of her armour being a bit snug. Perhaps I have been feeding her a little too much? In any event, it sounded like Aleksa would look into fixing her armour.

1. Vandrune
Through the portal we were met by a battlefield. Joining in, we quickly dispatched the invading Winter Courters and were told to go see the King.

We managed to get an audience with the King of Fire and managed to convince her that we had indeed saved the Ei’Onii king. With these news, the fey were able to bring in reinforcements that will surely turn the tide of battle.

The King asked us to close the portal we had come through and seeing as it was on the way, we agreed. Unsurprisingly, Wild Elves lay in wait for us. Those pesky vermin show up everywhere! Even if some Elder Druid showed up with a small army, we managed to kill them all. I was touched by some strange blue light, however. I don’t feel any different, but perhaps I should have the little elf check to see if there isn’t now some malign curse upon me?

Closing the portal proved challenging at first: Even the little elf’s mighty blade could not crack it, but then we remembered that there is a force greater than any we can muster: the weight of Bolga’s big butt. I am quite pleased that I managed to lift her bulk onto the altar, though it took nearly all my mental reserves! In any event, Bolga’s rear solved our predicament. I’m sure she’ll appreciate a feast when we get home as a reward!

Session 9 & 10

18.-20 Angarradh
(just a quick recap, no IC or anything. Anyone may feel free to elaborate on this if they want)
Still no closer to finding our promised fey castle, we set out to find someone who could tell us where it is. On our way to see the Onii King, we learned of a war between the summer and winter courts and decided it was in our interest to support the summer court to gain their favour. Derailing our quest for the fey castle once more we worked to free the Onii King, slaying the Frost Troll guarding him. Afterwards, the King said nothing about the castle, but seemed adamant we accept a feast in our honour.

Session 8

1. Angarradh
I can scarcely believe it, but I think I am actually almost looking forward to going back to that mudpit of a province. It may be an uncivilized dump, but so is Lolthton, and it is my dump. And I am going to make it great!
Not that it will come about without a hitch. When we were leaving this morning, we found Bolga so gorged she could barely stand, so we had to leave her behind, but baby steps. The strange halfling I met the other day promised to take that oafish orc in her wagon.

12. Angarradh
Fortunately we made it back to Faemoor even without Bolga’s fat ass to take cover behind. Most spectacular was the ogre-sized fey we encounter not too many days away from camp. Its weapons and armour are of a most peculiar make and although no-one is big enough to use them (except maybe Bolga by the time she finally gets here…) they are obviously from a mythic age. Who knows what the little elf might be able to tell me about them after some study!
Work has even begun in earnest on the mansion. Now all we can do is wait for Horace to arrive with the servants and the supplies we need. Oh how I look forward to Scipio cooking something with proper Drow ingredients and spices! I hope Bolga has not eaten them all…

Session 6 & 7

From the papers of Governor Shin’dra Alusín
[I’m just going to continue with my made-up dates]

24. Celanil
Lolthon is NOTHING like the Capital! The people know nothing of respect and there are unwashed barbarians everywhere! I wish I were DEAD!

25. Celanil
Bought myself a pair of gloves on my own, like a common merchant, today. When I returned to the inn I was about to sink into my dreamstate and wish all of this away, but I was interrupted by a rude male at the door. Accompanying him was Inquisitor Gaussisstra Myn’dar. She seems like a resonable and principled female — I think she and I will very much see eye to eye when we return to Faemoor together! I knew it! I’m not alone in seeing this island’s wretchedness. Oh, we will accomplish great things!

It begins tomorrow. One of the priestesses I have considered for attending to the Shrine in Faemoor has lost her apprentice to a bunch of savage cultists. To think the barbarians are this audacious! No matter. Tomorrow we will chase them down and restore a measure of order and respectability to this place!

26. Celanil
My servants and the little elf accompanied me with little fuss. I must admit I am relieved: Perhaps there is hope for them yet! Encountering two ogres we were delayed by a brief disagreement between Bolga and the halfling on how to deal with them. Felicia’s cunning did save us from dealing with both brutes at the same time. She might be a glutton, but she is a clever glutton.
Further on we defeated a fae intent on gobbling up our emotions and a blood-drinking river-fae I believe is called a ‘glaistig’. Say what you will about Wilder names, but they stick in your mind.
Those fae, it turned out, were protecting a Wild Elf temple — right under the streets of Lolthon! Some of the cultists quickly realized the error of their ways and surrendered. They will have a chance to make up for their transgressions picking apples and digging ditches in Faemoor!
We also found the lost acolyte in good shape. Very good shape, in fact. She warned us of a summoning ritual we then proceeded to stop and thus ending this cult’s activities. If all the Wilder’s so-called gods are as weak as this “Alonius”, acceptance of the Seldarine should come quickly!
After releasing the acolyte, she gave us a rather fetching cloak. She claimed it held potent magic and said something about side-effects. This apprently made Elrien uncertain, but then everything makes the little elf uncertain. Just as well she doesn’t want it; it isn’t as if I can refuse that adorable thing anything!

Session 5

From the papers of Governor Shin’dra Alusín

12. Celanil
Today we set out for Lolthon and civilization. My servants might be a crude lot, but I for one cannot get there soon enough. I am certain the little elf will appreciate finer Drow culture and proper stone walls as well.
Unsurprisingly we were not far from camp before we were set upon by an angry owlbear. After we dispatch it, Horace did whip up som decent owlbear steak, but I feel myself long for some proper drow-made food already. Fortunately we still have some confectioneries and wine to soothe my aching back. The halfling will certainly devour it all in short order — her appetite is impressive for someone of her stature. Likewise, her appreciation of Drow food is both surprising and commendable. Perhaps there is a germ of refinement underneath her tubby exterior. If nothing else, at least we will be able to stock up on more nae’zabrel and que’balael in Lolthon.

17. Celanil
The road is long, my back is killing me and my thighs are raw from the riding. The weather is worsening and I imagine we can soon add ice cold rain to our list of torments.

18. Celanil
As I predicted, it started snowing. Luckily we happened upon a solitary mansion. Both the master of the house and his servant are an odd sort — even for Wild Elves. Still, I have got a semblance of warmth back in my body, though a bowl of shimmercap stew would have hit the spot right about now.
As I write this, the halfling is watching my door. I don’t know if I can trust her to keep her eyes open, but I have to admit it is a better bet than the scatterbrained little elf or the crude orc. If nothing else, she is still fairly small and easily overlooked.
Earlier this evening, the Baron — our host — did mention having some trouble with Drow poachers on his land. I will have to look into this: It would do well to have him on my side, even if his mansion is strictly speaking outside my jurisdiction. In fact it is all the more reason to have a vassal in the region!

19. Celanil
Today the weather had no intention of letting up and we found ourselves still stuck at Baron Greenbarrow’s mansion. Considering the Baron’s advances towards her, it should not be surprised that Bolga is hard to convince to leave. He is even plying her with fresh eggs now! All the more reason to leave soon or she’ll only leave through a hole in the wall!

After dinner, the Baron relented in his ban on entering his private quarters, inviting the orc with him. I shudder to think what will happen behind closed doors, but there’s no accounting for the tastes of Wild Elves.

Unsurprisingly, the orc’s clumsiness and the halfling’s curiosity served to anger our host, who did indeed turn out to be affected by lycanthropy of some kind. We managed to deal with him without killing him. Perhaps dealing with such a creature could be difficult if he does not find a cure for himself, but it’s far too tempting to give up on. Hopefully he will be grateful for my mercy. And if he later turns out to remain a nuisance I could always have him killed, I suppose. Leaving such a savage creature to run free might be risky, but having him in my debt has to be worth it!

We continue now to Lolthon and may the Gods grant that we can procure a more comfortable mode of conveyance before our return trip!


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