Player Characters:Elias (Wiggles), Wood Elf Cleric, 348 points
Garreth (Zuljita), Half-Orc Fighter, 415 points
Ibizaber (Demented Avenger), Human Thief, 412 points
Polly (Kalzazz), Wood Elf Archer, 403 points
Seépravir (Archon Shiva), High Elf Wizard, 422 points
Master Naburu, Human Martial Artist
Ruben, Human Guard
Ashryn Yeldove, Half-Elf Student Enchanter
Hugen, Human Mercenary
Fjorjek, Stone Giant Wizard
5 more Stone Giants
Vulgaris, Minyad Druid
4 Goblin Wasp-Rider Archers
4 Giant Wasps
The group started in Cillamar, but wanted to take a trip to Galaron for Garreth's training. Zaber heard one interesting rumor, that portals across dimensions sometimes have a heavy cost on the user.
After some fiddling with their gear to reduce encumbrance, Seépravir cast Flight and Haste and Invisibility on everyone. The group flew northwest toward Galaron all day, then got tired and landed in the Ice Mire to sleep for the night. Seépravir used Shape Earth to dig a sleeping hut, then closed it behind them to keep the non-digging wandering monsters away.
The next morning, Seépravir opened up the hole, re-cast the flying spells, and everyone flew the rest of the way to Galaron. Outside the gate, everyone landed and became visible to avoid annoying the guards. Unfortunately, the guard rolled a 3 on his reaction to Garreth, and it appeared His Kind was not welcome in town. Garreth went outside to wait, while Zaber (who was allowed in) went to find trouble and Master Naburu.
Unfortunately, Zaber decided to slip on his Invisibility ring, which caused some Mage guard to scream "Invisible intruder!", and then cast Dispel Magic. Zaber appeared, and several guards tried to tackle him, but he evaded and then outran them, and then turned Invisible again and slipped out the gate.
Zaber and Seépravir flew on to Mystenmere. In Mystenmere, Seépravir found Ashryn at her apartment. Her Wand of Smoke was ready. She paid the balance and left. Zaber offered Ashryn money for tuition but she decided he was creepy and closed the door. Zaber then went looking for an instructor and offered to pay some of Ashryn's tuition. The instructor gladly took his money.
Garreth trained with Master Nuburu, who told him that magical Drunkenness was no substitute for the real thing when fighting.
Polly found a job guarding a fishing boat from sea monsters, but sadly no sea monsters attacked it.
Elias visited the Temple of Elyr and looked for quests and artifacts. They asked him to check out the Hidden Fane of Justicia under Castle Whiterock and see if the holy basin of healing there still worked.
Zaber and Seépravir flew back to Galaron. Zaber walked through the gate -- and they dropped the portcullises at both ends and opened the murder holes. They told him that he was guilty of resisting arrest and needed to pay his fine. He eventually left $4000 on the ground, and they let him go. At that point, the group decided to fly back to Cillamar before anyone got in any more trouble.
Polly found Hugin at the Inn of the Slumbering Drake, and asked if he wanted to guard the portal for them. After much negotiation, they agreed to pay him $100 per day plus expenses, and to try to get a couple of the stone giants to help. Once negotiations were concluded, the group bought some supplies, then went back to Castle Whiterock, with Hugin in tow. They went down to the Immense Cavern to try to get some giants to help guard the portal. Fjorjek asked if Seépravir knew the Drunkenness spell, and if she could teach it to him in exchange. She did, and so Fjorjek assigned 2 giants to go with the group.
The group, with Hugin and two giants in tow, went up to the underground river level, and then south to Vulgaris's mushroom farm. They introduced her to Hugin and the giants, and she showed them where the disassembled portal was. It was basically a pile of cut stones, with writing (in an unknown language) on some of them. Seépravir cast Gift of Letters to read the writing, which allowed putting the stones together in the right order, to make an arch. But one stone was missing. Seépravir cast Seeker to find it, and it was in the former Derro cave to the northwest. Garreth went to fetch the stone, and a giant came along in case he needed help carrying it. (It turned out to not be too heavy for Garreth to lift.)
With the final stone in place, the portal was ready to test. Polly and Zaber went through first, with a note to pass back when they made it. They went through, into a purple mist, and disappeared. No note came back. After about 5 minutes, Garreth and Seépravir and Elias followed. They found Polly and Zaber on a hill, outdoors, next to a matching portal. They had tried to send a note through, but it had never gotten there. The portal was flanked by several moss-covered stone columns, which looked quite old and weathered.
As the group started exploring the hill, Zaber heard a buzzing sound to the north. He warned the others, then looked that way, and saw some flying creatures approaching. As they got closer it appeared that they were some kind of giant insects -- with riders on their backs. There were four of them, and two started heading around the sides of the hill. Polly decided that attempting to flank the PCs counted as hostile behavior, so it was time to start shooting arrows. As the enemies got closer, it appeared that the insects were giant wasps, and the riders were goblins with bows.
Polly fired three arrows at a goblin. Both the wasp and the goblin failed to dodge the first two, and it took heavy damage, enough to stun it. Zaber Invisibly started flying up and forward toward the central goblins. Garreth concentrated on Uninterrupted Flurry.
The three unstunned goblins flew in from all sides, to surround Seépravir and loose arrows at her. Garreth parried one with his katana. Seépravir dodged five. One of the arrows then targeted Garreth, but he dodged it. Elias flew up and tried to slam a wasp, but it won the contest and knocked him aside. Seépravir turned herself Invisible to reduce the incoming fire. Zaber jumped onto a wasp's back, behind the goblin rider.
Polly shot the wounded goblin again, this time in the skull, and killed it. She then tried a couple of shots at a wasp, but missed one and had one dodged. Garreth closed with a wasp. The riderless wasp tried to sting Polly, but missed. Another wasp tried to sting Garreth, and rolled a critical hit, but he averted it with Luck, then rolled a 17 on his dodge. However, the wasp's damage wasn't enough to penetrate his armor. The goblin on the wasp's back fired two arrows at Garreth at point-blank range, but he dodged both. Another archer took a couple of shots at Elias's eye, but missed. The final goblin shot two arrows at Polly, but she acrobatically dodged one and dodged the other.
Elias tried a highly deceptive flail attack at a goblin, and missed. Seépravir Great Hasted herself. Zaber "stepped" off the wasp's back to avoid the penalty for mounted fighting, then stabbed the goblin in front of him in the vitals, doing enough damage to stun it. Polly fired some arrows at a goblin's skull until it died, then shot a wasp until it was knocked out and crashed. Garreth All-Out Attacked the nearby goblin for two hits, the first one injuring it and the second killing it. Then he used his leftover attack from a Rapid Strike to kill the wasp it had been riding.
There was one riderless wasp left, and it tried to escape. The group decided that could not happen, so they pursued it. Seépravir cast Great Haste on Polly, making her fast enough to catch the wasp, and she plinked it with arrows from behind until it crashed. One goblin was unconscious but still alive, and Garreth made his Bloodlust roll and decided he wanted to keep it alive for questioning. Polly also made her Bloodlust roll and reluctantly agreed not to kill it.
We stopped there, with the PCs standing on a hill on the opposite side of the portal, surrounded by dead goblins and giant wasps. Next week, we'll find out if the goblin knows anything.
Half-orcs have Social Stigma (Savage), which keeps them out of town on a reaction roll of 6 or less, and that finally happened for the first time. (I don't roll anymore in Cillamar, since the group rescued the slaves from the orcs and became known good guys there, but Galaron is another town.) Garreth's strategy of hanging around outside until Master Naburu came to get him worked fine. But Zaber couldn't keep from getting in trouble with the guards...
Many many weeks after its discovery, the trip through the portal finally happened. Though the fact that they were immediately attacked by the wasp-riding goblin archers means that the group doesn't really know much about what's on the other side, yet.