The last session of this one-shot took a bit longer to happen due to circumstances outside of our control. It finally happened this last Sunday and it was so worth all the wait. We all had a blast and are already hopping to come back to this setting in the future. But I am getting ahead of myself. 🙂
Let me just put my usual disclaimer here before we continue.
Disclaimer: English is not my native language. Although I can write and read it without issues, hearing and speaking is a different matter. I’d say I am at best 90% at those. Also I have a terrible memory.
What this means is that there may be mistakes here. In case my group corrects anything I will make a note about it here later.
Image credits: Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain
Correction #1: Flick can’t explode Mini-Erl yet. So I corrected her answer when Kaimir asks about that. According to Flick’s player it is not something Flick wants anyway as she loves Mini-Erl.
Last session our heroes had stopped for a much needed rest just before their final goal. Before they continued on their mission, Flick gathered the party to present her new invention: a tiny mechanical silver dragon. She called it Mini-Erl, in homage to her companion/senpai Erlihime.
The actual Erl’s reaction at this was to laugh and cry at the same time. Kaimir though was impressed that Flick could create a mechanical creature this fast but knowing Flick he decided to ask if it could explode. The artificer answered with a “… not yet”. Kaimir decided to keep his distance from Mini-Erl in any case, just to be on the safe side.
They also decided to use the crystal ball to check on what Boblin the hobgoblin was doing. The image that appeared was of Boblin, sitting by a wartable. Next to him was a female orc wearing leather and hide decorated with bones. In the fuzzier part of the image there was the figure of a large orc male.
The trio were having a heated argument if the knights were actually coming there and what to do in that case. In the end they settled to speed up their plans. They even talked about doing a ritual to create a champion of their own. Boblin was chosen to be their champion, despite reservations by the orc male. Apparently the female one wasn’t fit for it because she didn’t have a squire of her own and their other knight was away chasing the fake claw.
Erl tried to recall anything about a champion in that ritual scroll from session 2. But there wasn’t anything about it in there.
The party started to discuss what the champion part could mean with no consensus about what to do with that information. Eventually Erl decided that maybe some divine help could provide answers.
The paladin drew a holy circle in the ground, put her holy nick-knacks on there and started to commune with Bahamut. Soon Erl started to feel sand on her boots, hear the sound of waves crashing and as she opened her eyes the paladin found herself in a beautiful, pristine beach. Near her there was a majestic dragon that Erl recognized as Bahamut.
To summarize their conversation, Bahamut told Erl that the orcs, through their dealings with Tiamat, have received many ancient secrets. The creation of a champion is one of those and if they could complete the ritual we would be in a pretty bad spot.
The dragon-god also gave some details about the ritual: it was basically a way to funnel the power of knights and all the people that believed in them to one single individual. However the amount of time the champion can hold this power varies. It can be a few days to months. Also, the power can be lessened if the people’s belief on them wanes.
That was about all the information Erl could get from her god. As she started to get out of the communion she could feel an unnatural darkness, sounds of storm and something trying to pull her in. There were also five voices that seemed to be trying to charm her. Thanks to her willpower she managed to free herself and find herself back at the cave with the others.
Erl shared the information with the others which led to yet another lengthy discussion about what they should do. How long? Well, from the beginning of this session to the point where they finally agreed on a course of action one hour had gone by in real life. Granted, a good chunk of that time was also the players just joking around too.
In the end they decided to just continue on the path they were on: go to the top of the mountain and destroy the claw. If there were any enemies there then knights would just have to fight them, no matter their number or their power.
With the exit nearing, they could hear the sound of war drums being beaten. Then the voices of hundreds of orcs cheering. Lam decided to change her appearance and turn into Rock Gut.
As they exit the caves, the knights found themselves on the side of a mountain. Looking down there were hundred orcs looking up. Upwards, on the side of a cliff there was Boblin, standing near a male orc and a female orc. The male orc, called Uroog, was making a passionate speech about how they were about to go to war, to prove themselves and how they would win it for their god, Gruumsh.
There were also giant bat-like creatures flying above with goblins and orcs riding on them. Our party had two choices on how to do it. Either climb up to where Boblin and the two orcs were or take the long road up. Either way there was the chance of being discovered by the giant bat riders.
Before we left the caves though, they decided to break the claw right there, just to see if it was possible. Erl did her best to break it with her sword but only managed to scrape some dust off it. It was already better than what we could do back in Vulcanhold, where nothing could even scratch it. But it did prove that the knights needed to go up if they wanted to destroy it.
After a brief discussion they decided to sneak through the road. Fortunately they managed to do so without issues.
As they got closer to their destination they could see a forge area, a giant mark of a claw on the earth, some red crystals protruding from the claw marks and a construct that looked like a dragon with five heads. The construct also had an opening on its chest, like it was meant for some kind of heart to be inserted on it. For the sake of convenience I will just call the construct Mecha-Tiamat from now on.
When Uroog was finishing his speech, Lam ran up to the forge area and shouted “Father, stop!”
This took everyone by surprise, even the knights as that wasn’t talked as part of their plans. Then Lam drew her bow and shot Uroog with a special arrow that pushed him and his allies back. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to drop any of them off the cliff.
Uroog was furious and combat started. Let me try to summarize it.
Taking advantage of the confusion, #1 grabbed Erl then teleported both to near Mecha-Tiamat. Over there he opened his chest, where the claw was stored in and told Erl to destroy it.
The first attack on the claw didn’t destroy it immediately but was enough to damage it. The second strike however did the job. When that happened a wave of magical energy was released, the wind completely stopped for a few seconds and it felt like five voices could be heard screaming “Nooooo!”
If Uroog was angry before now he was definitely seeing red. He pointed to his daughter and said “We kill them! Then we go to plan B!”
The male orc started on an incantation while Stone Sleep (the name of the female orc) put her hands on Boblin. The hobgoblin then started to grow large. Disgusting, torn wings protruded from his back. His prosthetic arm and leg fell to the ground as new ones, of a different skin color, grew to replace them. While this happened the hobgoblin looked to be in intense pain.
When the transformation ended the knights could almost feel a magical aura emanating from him. Then Boblin went on the offensive and for a few moments there things didn’t look good for the knights. Champion Boblin hit really hard. Plus he had some other nasty tricks too.
The orcs weren’t standing still watching either, they also joined the fight. There was even some family drama as they thought Lam was the real Rock Gut and they couldn’t understand how she could betray them.
In the middle of all this chaos, Erl received a telepathic call from the queen. 1
She told Erl that the paladin’s words back at session 3 really moved the Rock Gut’s heart. So much that the orc decided to help Vulcan Hold. To prove her new loyalty Rock Gut taught the queen a ritual that would create a champion of their own. What it boiled down to was that they would channel all the magic from the people in Vulcanhold and the knights into Erl. However she needed for as many of the present knights as possible to touch Erl for it to work.
When the call ended, Erl immediately shouted for everybody to touch her, not questions asked, and all the knights moved to do so.
As they did, Erl started transform. It was pretty similar to the one Boblin went through, except that the paladin grew even bigger and looked more draconic, with dragon wings protuding from her back. She got the same stats as this creature becoming… Captain Planetar! 2
Looking at Erl’s new form, Boblin got scared and tried to fly away. But Erl didn’t let him get away. She flew after him then cut the hobgoblin in half. The top of his body fell into the forge while the lower half fell to the ground while the transformation was unmade.
The hundreds of orcs that until this point had been cheering their leaders just fell completely silent. Uroog and Stone Sleep fell to their knees, stunned.
Breaking the silence, Erl shouted “Surrender and cower!” All the orcs then immediately scrambled, afraid for their lives.
The knights then took Uroog’s and Stone Sleep’s weapons but let them go. Lam also shape-shifted back to her usual half-elf form in front of them just so they knew they weren’t fighting the real Rock Gut.
With the mission accomplished the knights went back to Vulcanhold.
Erl’s transformation lasted for about 3 days. I don’t remember what exactly she did during that time besides flying back to the capital with Flick on her shoulder. She also used her new form to remind the gnome, Glimby Glampools, of their agreement about studying #1.
After the transformation was over the knights found out that they lost their magical powers for about a week. So transforming someone into a champion is definitely not something they can do willy-nilly.
With the news of the claw’s destruction there were celebrations, including a ceremony where every one of them received a medal from the queen. Even the imaginary wookie that Lam insisted on receiving a medal got one too!
Each of the knights also got a statue made after them that were then placed around the capital.
As for the knights themselves they went their separate ways for a while.
Erl spent a lot of time signing autographs. She also worked with the queen to build a more robust justice system so knights can’t do whatever they please. There will still be laws for special circumstances where it is allowed to kneecap someone though.
Her squire, Dan, was promoted to knight for his assistance in the mission. At the same time, Rock Gut wanted to become a squire and Erl decided to take the orc as the new one.
Flick went back to tinkering. She spent a lot of time trying to figure out what she could do with the fomorian’s eye as well as studying Mecha-Tiamat. Her purpose with the latter was to either create a new construct or use its parts to upgrade #1.
Lam went on to infiltrate the different orc communities to spread cautionary tales of the evils of Tiamat and how the dragon-goddess influenced Uroog to the detriment of his clan.
During those travels Lam found out that Uroog had been deposed by another orc, the influence of Tiamat over them had pretty much vanished and they were now worshiping Luthic.
The ranger also tried to find more about the mysterious Wizard of the Lake but without any success.
On his report about the mission, Kaimir suggested that a team of archaeologists to be sent to the secret caves they traveled to get into Lost Peaks. Escorted by guards, of course. If possible even with a knight if one could be spared. This ended up being knight Dan’s first mission.
Kaimir also sent an expensive bottle of wine to Sleazy with a note saying “Thanks for helping us save the world!” The note was unsigned.
Then the rogue went on to clean whatever mess Sleazy created thanks to their powder keg’s deal and whatever the smuggler was up to while the knights were away.
Lastly, but not least, #1 spent his time working with flick and traveling around to get parts to upgrade himself.
A year after the mission, the queen summoned the knights again saying: “Guys, gather your things, there is another mission for you!”
And that is how this one-shot ends. Next our group will be playing a homebrew version of Mass Effect adapted to 5E. I haven’t decided yet if I will do write-up for those sessions or not. It will depend largely on how much I can understand what is being said and how fast I can write notes down.
We also agreed to visit this world and characters again at some point. Just no idea when that will be. For now let me finish with some amusing quotes from this session:
We are not going to save your stupid tomatoes!Erl
I am more than a storage space!#1