Hi guys – I’m super behind on Rose and Thorn posts, and you may have noticed! I fell behind quite a bit when I was working on some other projects and the blog kind of slipped down the priority list. We missed a few sessions over the holidays, I got behind on posts, and here we are. So this week’s post is kind of a high-level recap of about five sessions. From this point on, we’re back on track with the full posts!
Max, halfling bard, with Dogstein, dog
Alkar, elf mystic-artificer
Samzon, half-elf rogue-cleric
Mordora, tiefling warlock-wizard
Kronch, half-orc barbarian
Telchar, dwarf alchemist
Katti, tabaxi rogue-fighter
Senpai, half-elf warlock
The City of Pearlmouth, on the Coast of Splendors
The Moon Isles: Red Moon Island and White Moon Island
The City of Silverrun, in the Wayride Mountains
The Story So Far:
When we last left our heroes, they’d just returned to Pearlmouth after a brief dungeon-crawling excursion. Upon their return, their boss Nico asked if they would be interested in a (paid) trip to the Moon Isles, one of the centers of magical crafting in the region, due to a magical well which enhanced the potency of magic performed there. The group agreed, and they boarded the Dancing Dame to set sail.
Since they were being paid to guard the ship and ensure that the cargo being picked up in the Moon Isles, they earned their paycheck when they defended the ship from a marid on the voyage there. The three-day trip soon proved why very few ships made the perilous journey to the Moon Isles, as they encountered deeply unnatural storms surrounding the islands. They assisted the skilled crew of the Dancing Dame in navigating the storms, and when they reached the sandy beaches of Red Moon Island, they looked back and saw clear blue skies, bright sun, and absolutely no sign of the storms at all.
There, they explored the workshops and ateliers of the magic item crafters. Specifically, they worked with Spark Foundry, an organization which had a long-term alliance with the Thorn. Each member of the party followed the foundry’s unusual process to acquire a few unique magic items of their own: they went inside, spoke alone with one of the artisans, told them a bit about themselves and their price range, and received an item selected by the artisan. They explored a bit before they noticed that they were being watched and followed.
After some creative “interrogation” of the man who was following them, they found that he’d been sent by the cult of the Seven Sorrows, who had even managed to infiltrate these distant islands. They chased down hints for the remainder of their stay in the Moon Isles, but were disappointed by the lack of leads. They took brief jaunts over to White Moon Island and Blue Moon Island, but were barred from attempting a visit to Black Moon Island, which was allegedly unreachable by even the most agile ships and experienced crews.
Eventually, they came to a choice: they could stick around the archipelago and keep hunting down clues, but miss out on the payment from the Thorn for completing their job, or they could go home, get paid, and give up the search here. They made the latter choice as the Dancing Dame sailed away from the docks, this time facing no storms as it left the mysterious magical islands.
Their return trip was uneventful – it seemed the islands only worked to prevent visitors from coming, not to prevent them from leaving – and their return to Pearlmouth was greeted with a nice fat paycheck and some news from Nico. He informed them that as they were now among his highest-ranking agents (though everyone noted the fact that they were not yet of the highest rank), he could let them in on the plan that leadership was forming to retake their territory in Silverrun from the Seven Sorrows mercenaries.
He also informed them that they would be given even larger payments if they could infiltrate the city, scout the current situation, and bring back information that would assist them in a successful invasion. Hearing the words “lots” and “of” and “money” all together piqued their collective interest and they agreed to the mission. He also informed them that Alkar’s unique (read: mind-explodey) powers were needed elsewhere, and that he was assigning a new person to the team to make up for his loss. He introduced Telchar, the dwarven alchemist, a surly man who only begrudgingly joined the team. Nico also gave them the heads-up that several Thorn operatives were unable to leave the city in the initial evacuation, so they very well might find unexpected allies in Silverrun.
They traveled on land, alongside the River Batesath, and several days into their trip – as they were entering the foothills of the Wayride mountains, they encountered a large and tattered group of people who appeared to be fleeing with everything they had. The group indicated that their village had been attacked by earth creatures, and that they were trying to get away to where it was safe. The party offered to take care of that little problem for them and were promptly greeted by a dao when they reached the village. They made quick work of the earth genie and its elemental minions, with a particularly strong blow by Kronch and one of his new magic items – a pickaxe that allowed him to cast Shatter.
When they eventually reached Silverrun, they found the city much changed from the last time they had been there. The guard patrols had increased significantly, and it appeared that the outskirts of the city were becoming more and more slum-like, as the resources of the city were focused towards the central temple district. They reached out to the network of Thorn safehouses and found that many had been compromised. Fortunately, their old hideout tavern, Salt and Iron, was still in operation, though things were clearly dire – the rotgut was now barely even drinkable, broken furniture was not being replaced, etc.
After doing some scouting, the party came across two other Thorn members who had been operating in the city since they’d left – Senpai, a half-drow warlock, and Katti, a tabaxi rogue-fighter. The two groups allied forced to pull off an operation neither could pull off on their own – a massive prison break to free their last allies from the underground mines where prisoners labored for the state.
While they made their way in with relative ease – they posed as OSHA investigators, which was not technically a lie, since they’d invented the organization. They schmoozed with the captain of the guard and made their way down to the deepest levels of the prison, where the extremely violent were kept alongside with the city’s new most dangerous class of prisoners – political dissenters and blasphemers. They worked their wiles and magic to free the prisoners, working their way upwards, back towards the surface. They almost thought they were going to get out with no major difficulties… until they were greeted by a large patrol of the most fearsome guards – the wizard-fighters, guards who were trained in both weaponry and sorcery, the bane of the city’s criminals.