Dragon Age: Shadows of the Blight

Session 13: Where Eagles Lair (Part 5)
The heroes win the day and pursue their goal

The bereskarn, starting to fear Ser Blathe over his hurlock handlers, turns his attention to the knight and lands a devastating blow, rending his armor. As the other heroes attack the beast from atop the wall, several hurlocks charge him. Suddenly, the beast and several hurlocks are felled by a storm of Avvar arrows. A tremendous cheer erupts from the Avvars on the walls, accompanied by a huge wail from the darkspawn. As Ser Blathe is knocked unconscious by a hurlock’s arrow and his severe wounds, it dawns on the heroes that the flames engulfing the bereskarn may ignite the gates of Redhold. Fortunately, Orvell finds a holocaust cloak, and uses it to put out the flames. He harvests the skull as Ser Blathe is taken for healing.

As Glegori assists Elorn with the wounded and Orvell takes the skull to a craftsman for fashioning into a helmet, Redhold’s hunters return, led by the Thane’s son Treon. He greets the heroes, demonstrating his thanks for their heroics in the battle. He also informs Ser Blathe that the Thane has granted him the title of Champion of Sigfrost for defeating the bereskarn. That afternoon, they are summoned to the Thane’s longhouse, where the Thane releases them from their oath, and grants them the use of three hunters, Attus, Cathal, and Virome, to guide them to Balan’s lair. They soon depart, with Blathe sporting a new bereskarn helmet. As they ride, Cathal informs them of Balan’s demagoguery, as well as a likely way to defeat him- challenging him to a duel. As they discuss, Azur rides up behind them and insists they he join them to rescue Izot. The heroes reluctantly agree, and they approach a crumbling ice bridge, on the other side of which is Balan’s lair. Ser Blathe issues a challenge, and he and Balan, an orange-haired fellow, engage on the bridge. With a large amount of foresight, Orvell ties a rope around him. While Blathe disarms Balan, Balan knocks him off the side with a throwing axe. The rope catches him, with all of his comrades pulling it taut. He lobs a spear at Balan, which just manages to hit him as he turns away, enraged by Orvell’s taunts.

Quote of the Day: “I’m sorry, but your princess is in another hold.”

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Session 12: Where Eagles Lair (Part 4)
The heroes make a desperate stand

The battle for Redhold begins in earnest when the wall is charged by genlocks, sent forward to test the Avvars’ defenses. They use siege ladders to grapple onto the wall, and the heroes hold the center of the wall, with Redhold warriors on their flanks. Glegori uses magic to burn down several ladders, while Orvell knocks them down. Kattrin and Ser Blathe fight any that climb the walls, while Phoenix sleeps. After a pitched fight, and a near rupture of the Avvar lines, the darkspawn sound the retreat and the genlocks fall back.

Twenty minutes later, the hurlocks charge the wall. Now, the heroes are more prepared, and the fewer numbers of hurlocks allow the heroes to keep them primarily off the wall. Nonetheless, the hurlocks break through the Avvar defenders to the heroes’ right. They are forced to track down and eliminate a few hurlocks to protect Redhold itself. Throughout the battle, the Avvar archers below provide invaluable help to the heroes. After the hurlock assault fails, the heroes meet a wounded Thane Owyn. He asks that they take command of what few warriors remain in fighting condition. They consolidate their forces near the gate, anticipating an assault to break the gate. They are correct. A hue and cry goes up amongst the darkspawn, welcoming a dreaded bereskarn. Prodded by its hurlock handlers, the bereskarn slams into Redhold’s gate, literally shaking the wall. Surrounded by wide-eyed defenders, the heroes spring into action. Orvell pours oil on the beast, which Glegori ignites with magical electricity. Then, foolhardy as ever, Ser Blathe grabs his sword and leaps off the wall, stabbing the giant right through the neck. It erupts in a spout of blood as Blathe rolls off, unscathed by the flames.

Quote of the Day: “Siege going on. Bring your own ladder. Hot dogs 1/2 off.”

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Session 11: Where Eagles Lair (Part 3)
The heroes prepare for the fight of their lives

The heroes spend the rest of the day relaxing around Redhold. Orvell trades some of his wares for weapons, furs, and goat cheese, while Ser Blathe gets in a friendly bar fight. The next morning, a heavily wounded Azur Ar Brosna, the Thane’s nephew, approaches them, asking after their intentions in Redhold. He discerns that the heroes are searching for a kidnapped lowlander girl, and informs them that she has been kidnapped by the rogue Avvar Balan Ar Malad, a clanless bandit. Azur offers the guide the heroes to Balan’s lair in the Frostbacks, but his eagerness to leave Redhold arouses the heroes’ suspicions. Azur says he will wait several hours to leave, hoping to follow the heroes and meet up with them in the wilderness, and heads back to his longhouse.

Orvell decides to follow Azur, and he, along with Glegori, spend much of the day investigating Azur. They discover that he and a small band of companions were in the lowlands around the time Izot was kidnapped, and they were attacked by Balan at the site of the air burial. Orvell and Glegori report their findings to the rest of the group, who determine to stay in Redhold to determine if Azur kidnapped Izot. The heroes receive an invitation to a feast at the Thane’s longhouse that evening, and decide to attend, partially in the hopes that Azur will be there. He is indeed present, but before the heroes can approach him, Thane Owyne asks to discuss certain matters with them. The Thane confirms Azur’s story about Balan’s attack, and that Balan indeed has Izot captive. The Thane offers to provide a group of hunters as a guide to the heroes in their pursuit of Balan, on the rather large condition that they defend Redhold from an encroaching horde of darkspawn. He offers further incentive-a ancient, magical longsword named Aamor Fin. The heroes swear oaths to defend Redhold, and Glegori recieves Aamor Fin. The Thane and his warleaders then discuss battle plans for their fifty warriors to survive an onslaught of close to two hundred darkspawn. The following night, the horde arrives and encircles Redhold. With the shots of arrows and the frightening display of magic, the battle begins.

Quote of the Day: “May my hat spontaneously combust and consume me in flames.”-Glegori’s Oath to defend Redhold

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Session 10: Where Eagles Lair (Part 2)
The heroes seek aid from the Avvars of Redhold

Soon, the heroes spot a roving party of genlocks, and they spring an ambush. The darkspawn are slain, and the heroes search for the trail of the smaller party. While searching, they come across a peculiar bird that appears to be watching them. The birds winks, and flies off in the direction of Redhold. The heroes find the smaller trail again, and follow it through the forest to the edge of the trees. There, they behold massive stone walls in a tight circle around the mountain face-the village of Redhold.

The party holds a lively debate on how to approach the walls, justly fearing for their safety after seeing such a massacre. Kattrin advises them to show their weapons to the watchers, so it appears they have nothing to hide. Eventually, they decide to follow her advice, and approach well within bow range. As they near the gates, they are greeted by Thayne Owyn of Redhold, who offers them his hospitality for three days. He and the other Avvars see the red lion’s pelt, and take it as a token that the heroes have the favor of the gods, as the red lion is the sacred animal of Redhold. The heroes are set up in fine lodgings, considering the mountain climate, and introduced to Lowenna, the Thayne’s niece, who acts as their guide. She leads them to Elorn, the clan’s shaman (and an apostate mage). Elorn reveals that the bird that was watching the heroes earlier was his familiar, and questions them to learn more about them. He concludes the conversation by feeding a goat to Redhold’s sacred animal, a red lion.

Quote of the Day: “It’s made of pants. Is it a pant elemental?”

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Session 9: Where Eagles Lair (Part 1)
The heroes search for an arl's missing daughter

Several months pass, Ser Blathe is engaged, and as winter turns into spring, the heroes are asked to escort one of Bann Nicola’s arms shipments heading to the West Hills arling, where Arl Gallagher Wulff has recently been beset by darkspawn leftover from the Blight. After they arrive in the arling, the heroes are contacted by the arl, who requests they investigate the apparent kidnapping of his daughter Izot by Avvars. Although Kattrin is somewhat reluctant, the party agrees, with a handsome sum waiting if they recover her alive. At the arl’s winter manor, where Izot was abducted, the heroes search the scene and question the manor staff. The evidence they gather supports the conclusion that the kidnapping was staged, and Izot went willing. The reason for this is uncertain, but it is likely she had feelings for an Avvar in the group.

Armed with a trail to follow, fresh provisions, and a certain amount of zeal, the heroes head into the Frostbacks after Izot. They are about a week behind their quarry, but the cold of the mountains has preserved the trail. After two days, they are attacked by a red lion, a deadly mountain predator. They fend it off at first, but it later attacks at night. Then the lion is slain, and its pelt claimed by Orvell. The next day, they find the grisly scene of an Avvar air burial, a ritual which involves dismembering the corpse to be buried so carrion birds may feast on it more easily. The scene reveals signs of a fight, and two groups, one large and one small, leaving the scene. After much debate, the heroes elect to follow the smaller group, believing that it will lead them to the Avvar settlement of Redhold. After another day or so of riding, they stumble upon the scene of a massacre. Hundreds of Avvar farmers have been brutally slaughtered, and their corpses mocked. Soon, the heroes hear loud footsteps, and most hide in the abundant nearby cover. The source of footsteps, and the culprit of the massacre soon become clear-darkspawn.

Quote of the Day: “Mah hang ih huck to mah hord!” (My tongue is stuck to my sword!)

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Session 8: Amber Rage (Part 6)
The heroes complete their quest

Following their run-in with Ser VIlja, the heroes continue on to Wichford. They arrived to find the ferry fixed and the town inhabited. They find Strom Karsgard at the local inn, who Orvell recognizes. Strom informs them that Ser Vilem sent for a blackhaller after they left to pronounce judgement on the infected villagers. The heroes rush on towards Sothmere. Along the way, they encounter several of Ser Vilem’s men, sent ahead to kill them. The heroes escape and press onward as fast as possible.

As they arrive at Sothmere, the heroes witness preparations to burn the infected villagers. However, the heroes’ presence and the fact that they carry the shadowmoss calls the decision of the blackhaller into question. While Orvell gives the shadowmoss to Old Stoyanka, Ser Blathe challenges Ser Vilem to single combat. After a close, pitched duel, Ser Blathe emerges the victor. The blackhaller allows Old Stoyanka time to prepare the potion, and when applied, it slowly cures the villagers. The sheriff rewards the heroes with a sovereign each. There is much celebration in Sothmere and the heroes sell their scavenged goods. Orvell looks for his brother, realizing that he headed towards Denerim, and Ser Blathe courts Wanda. They agree to exchange letters. The next day, the heroes depart with the grain. Two weeks later, they arrive in Denerim on the eve of Satinalia. They meet with Bann Nicola, who is extremely grateful for their interference in the incident, and rewards them handsomely. She extends her patronage to Kattrin, Glegori, and Orvell, and Orvell continues to search for his brother, to little avail. The heroes enjoy the Satinalia festivities, and settle down to rest.

Quote of the Day: “He is a dear friend to you and a dear friend to my wallet.”

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Session 7: Amber Rage (Part 5)
The heroes begin the return journey

As Ser Blathe and Carson draw on each other, Carson immediately runs back into the tunnels. Ser Blathe gathers the shadowmoss, hands the bag to Glegori, and heads after Carson. Carson is waiting at the exterior pool, and he and Blathe engage in a ferocious battle. In the end, Blathe is victorious, but he is severely wounded. Both Carson and his dog are knocked out because of Blathe’s mercy. The remaining party realizes that they do not know how to find their way out of the wilds. Glegori volunteers to attempt to navigate them first back to Dosov and then out of the wilds.

After about two hours of dangerous marsh travel, the party is ambushed by a group of wolves. The wolves are slain with relative ease, and afterwards, the party meets a dwarf merchant by the name of Orvell Kosenoth. Kosenoth leads them back to Dosov. Along the way, the encounter a trap set to capture ragers. They manage to avoid it and resume their travels after Kattrin shows off some acrobatics. The party encounters a group of Chasind stalkers from Dosov, here to question them about their experience with the rage disease. Ser Blathe mentions the possibility for a cure, and the stalkers offer to escort the heroes back to Dosov in exchange for being delivered a part of the cure. The heroes return to Dosov, get their horses, and leave the wilds. They are beseeched by a wounded stalker to eliminate two nearby ragers. They do so, and progress towards Whichford. Before reaching the hamlet, the heroes receive a request to parley from Ser Vilja Wulver, knight of the village of Wulverton. He requests the shadowmoss, as he must save his own village. Through negotiations, the heroes convince him to return to Sothmere and recieve a portion of the cure. Unfortunately, his posse attacks the party regardless, and Ser Vilja is slain in the crossfire. The heroes best the posse in a daring horseback battle, and continue on to Whichford.

Quote of the Day: “I’m still alive! Oh wait, no I’m not.”

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Session 6: Amber Rage (Part 4)
The heroes are faced with a difficult choice

Following the encounter with the crab, a group of firesprites cluster around the pot of soup. After a few minutes of waiting, the heroes follow them through the swamp. They have a hairy encounter with a asphalt pit, but manage to escape without too much trouble. The heroes arrive at a secluded grotto, where the firesprites enter a murky pool. The mages use Rock Armor and the others use a variety of creative methods to dive through the pool and through a tunnel. They emerge into a large cavern, and are greeted by a gigantic serpent with huge horns.

An intense battle ensues, with the heroes slaying the snake. The heroes proceed into the tunnels on the edge of the cavern, following their noses to locate the source of a smell rather similar to the odor of the soup. They send Kattrin ahead to scout, and she discovers the source of the smell-a cavern filled with shadowmoss. Meanwhile, the rest of the party finds a pit filled with loot. Some of them are more lucky in finding treasure than others. Carson stumbles upon the shadowmoss room and both he and Kattrin realize the shocking truth that this is the last colony of firesprites, that the shadowmoss is the firesprites’ food, that the serpent they slew is the source of the food, and that the firesprites can make another serpent, but they will have to use the shadowmoss currently in their possession to survive. Kattrin and Carson decide to lie to the others to prevent the extinction of the firesprites. Despite their deception, Ser Blathe insists on looking for more shadowmoss. When he finds some, he and Carson engage in a heated argument over what to do. As the other heroes catch up, the conflict escalates until they decide to finish it in a duel.

Quote of the Day: “His name is Snakey-Wakey and he wants you to respect his life choices.”

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Session 5: Amber Rage (Part 3)
The heroes enter the Kocari Wilds

After leaving the tragic scene of the cordwain’s shop, the heroes, joined by a Circle Mage named Glegori Miamoto, must cross the treacherous ford at Wichford. Fortunately, the crossing occurs without much incident. Later, continuing on the trail of the raven, the party comes across a trapper named Branik, camping along the banks of the river. He informs them of a nearby Chasind village that might be willing to stable their horses for the dangerous trek across the Kocari Wilds. The heroes head toward the village, named Dosov, and are ambushed by a group of Chasind Stalkers, dispatched with little difficulty.

As the heroes arrive at Dosov, they are greeted by Baba Zorya, one of the leaders of the village. She is a peculiar character, with a pet python and a passion for wildwine. Carson negotiates with her for stabling for the horses and a boat for water travel. The negotiations take a rather amusing turn when Zorya passes out from a little too much wildwine. Departing Dosov, the heroes continue to follow the raven. The raven stops at a small hummock and keels over, dead. The heroes, as instructed, boil the foul mixture to summon the firesprites. Not all of them can take the pungent odor and lose their meal from earlier in the day. Unfortunately, the brew summons a gigantic crab. The heroes manage to fend off the crab and commence waiting for the firesprites.

Quote of the Day: “Attention: The crustacean is on the hummock. Please protect the nearest soup. Do not use the boat.”

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Session 4: Amber Rage (Part 2)
The heroes undertake a quest to save the infected villagers

At the meeting, it is determined that the wounded villagers have been infected with a strange poison. Old Stonyanka, the wise woman, identifies it as the Amber Rage, which turns those infected into feral creatures. She has a brew that can stave off the effects of the rage, but it is not a permanent solution. A true cure will require shadowmoss, an ingredient only found deep in the Korcari Wilds. Ser Vilem and Bogdan, the blacksmith, argue that the infected villagers be put to death immediately. Sherrif Milo argues against this, and the heroes side with the sherrif. Eventually it is determined that the infected will be kept alive so that the heroes can recover some shadowmoss.

The next morning, Old Stonyanka meets the heroes to give them materials for the journey, including brew for Phoenix and Ser Blathe and a raven to guide them on their journey. She also tells them that they must return with the shadowmoss within three days. The heroes set off, crossing rocky terrain heading south. They come to a steep cliff and successfully, although difficulty, lead their horses down the slope. Next, they enter the hamlet of Whichford, whose ford is the only realistic crossing point of the river that forms the southern border of Ferelden. Inside the hamlet, the heroes are attacked by bloodcrows, but these are fairly easily repelled. Carson decides to loot the hamlet, and he stumbles upon a wounded cordwain on the top floor of his shop. The cordwain imparts that a second party of Ragers came through the hamlet earlier today and must be heading for Sothmere. He also realizes he will soon become a Rager and asks to be killed before that happens. Phoenix forgoes debate amongst the party and simply throws an Arcane Lance through the cordwain’s head. The heroes move on.

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