AFO4.01: Into the Oreyan Woods Again

The Fated Four for this session

Aelia, celestial pact of the tome warlock;
Angron, orc bear totem barbarian;
Tyche, elven rogue/thief;
Zephrus, human cleric/fate

The story so far

Princess Alexandra has been taken by Psysseria’s agents! Can the heroes learn of her whereabouts? Can they restore hope to her city, Illos?

With the Sword of Illos restored the heroes set out south for the village of Argylos. There may be a river-worthy vessel there; but besides that, Nalanthis the shipwright needs a progress report, and a shrine supposedly has a pearl that Zephrus wants.

Argylos sacked

After some difficulties of the trail they arrive in Argylos. But bodies littering the ground, and misshapen sea-ogres stalking brick-strewn streets, tells them that the sea terror has struck here too. Tyche’s keen sight picks up bodies floating out in the brackish water as well.

Then with a bellow, a mighty sea-ogre rushes Angron and before the orc can rage, spears him. Three sea-ogre raiders join in, one netting Tyche!

It’s a near thing, and at one point while Aelia is also netted (“ugh this is totally chafing my skin”) Angron has to make a tactical withdrawal while Fuzzy feeds Zephrus a healing potion. Then Aelia sends some healing to the big guy and he is able to return.

Hydrak the donkey provides some cover for Aelia and Tyche and Zephrus uses his Spiritual Weapon owl to good effect. One raider retreats into the water, awakening neophyte sea-ogres, but the huge sea ogre and one raider fall.

Before the neophytes can gain the shore the third raider falls. Angron looks troubled:

“I have no rages left and there are two fists of them! Let’s pull back! If only I had slept last night”

“I didn’t sleep much last night either.. if ya know what I mean.. hey.. hey?” – Tyche

“Whatever Angron, like we’re not running” Aelia declaims, as Zephrus slaughters two in one pass and one bow-shot. She and Tyche down two more. Angron grumbles but runs forward, pitches a javelin, and near-kills another. Before long the remaining neophytes are dead.

As expected, there are no survivors. The neophytes bear disturbing similarities to men and women, changed to sea-ogres. But the local shrine does have that pearl, and Tyche unearths 100 tridents as well. 25 each!

Level Four! Aelia takes Spell Sniper, Angron takes Great Weapon Master, Tyche takes attribute gains and gains Huntress Accuracy; Zephrus takes attribute gains.

Back to Illos it is!

“I may have a cure for Prince Hector,” Zephrus muses after they have rested. “I’ve been communing with… stuff…”

“And hey, Angron! I can uh, give you enough bolts to finish paying for that breastplate, I don’t want to see a cowardly orc,” Tyche offers.

“Needs must when I use my last resources, but thanks, I’ll take you up on that,”

“So like fine, we go back then on into the woods looking for that centaur woman,” Aelia agrees, apparently not caring one way or another about Hector’s vision.

A woodcutting expedition please?

So after a very normal journey, bringing with them such hill dwarfs as wish to check that their ingots are being put to good use, the heroes reach Illos once more.

Hector’s sight is cured! Zephrus uses some Sleight of Hand to make it seem especially mysterious! Hector is relieved, but says (after remining himself what Aelia looks like) “worth it.”

Gelenas receives the final instalment as Tyche cries blood at giving away 50 bolts. He seems very satisfied with the breastplate, and so he should: it fits Angron’s huge frame perfectly.

Nalanthis tries to be philosophical about the ship. “My efforts will be put into fashioning a mast now… perhaps I might ask you to escort woodcutters, so they can fell a suitable tree?”

Hypollyta and more stray big game

As the woodsmen work, Tyche feels someone’s eyes on the group. It is Hypollyta, the Oreyan elf forest guardian. “Greetings, cousin. I come not to beg for help to save a child this time, merely to ask for help against a big ol’ boar that is tearing up village fields.”

In due course the Fated Four creep to the edge of a clearing downwind of a great boar, standing 18 hands at the hump. They let fly, and before it can finish its charge across the clearing, Tyche delivers a finishing arrow from her horn longbow.

Lykoss, a funeral, and a sad tale

They farewell the woodcutters, who stagger back to Illos with a massive timber under Hypollyta’s protection. Then it’s north-east, through the Oreyan Woods.

After five days of travel the woods begin thinning. In a sparsely wooded area rises a half-buried stone lion of massive proportion, and in the shade of that statuary rest at least four hoplites, looking as if they had recently survived a hard battle.

The leader of these Krytans is Lykoss, and he is in mourning for his lover Demos, slain by a fearsome cyclops last night. Alas, the hoplites were unable to bring away Demos’ hoplon and body. Despite that, they say fare well to his ghost tonight, and remember him in such funerary rites as they may conduct.

Inspired by this tale Angron suggests the Fated Four be the ones to slay the cyclops and recover the hoplon and (if not eaten) body. Tyche is against it, her coin-flip telling her it’s not good luck. “I thought that story was very moving,” Aelia says, and adds “so we should reunite the lovers!”

“I’d quite like to see a cyclops,” Zephrus says amiably and Tyche shakes her head, “Don’t say I didn’t warn ya, the fates are your thing after all…”

Mr Cyclops is IN to causing near-death

Another very near thing! The Fated Four all send their attacks into the cyclops where it crouches in its small cave, but it has plenty of health remaining, charges out and clubs Aelia into a

huddled pile!

She is 1hp away from immediate death!

The others stay on it as Fuzzy flies over, lays its paws on Aelia and allows her to return to the fight. She grabs her lightning-struck twig where it fell beside her, points it up, and delivers an upcast Witchbolt! Angron finally gets a good hit in with his new improved Reckless Great Weapon Attack and Tyche finishes the giant off.

A disgusting smell of rotting flesh comes from the cave, and the search is cursory. They retrieve Demos’ body, shield, and sword. Angron hacks the giant head off as evidence.

Lykoss is very grateful and the city of Kryta will also know them as heroes when he brings word. He hands over 1000 tridents reward. They join the Krytans for a proper funeral pyre where body and hoplon are burnt.

Rising smoke and cries of terror signal more combat!

Two more days of travel pass without incident, but as the session ends, rising smoke and cries of terror from over a bare rise suggest that a village is under attack!

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