[I don’t remember how our characters got to the tavern] I got inside a nice looking tavern in Val-Vale. Near the middle there were comfortable-looking chairs with a few people sat. I sat in their area next to what looked like a mage, a and some common people [the paladin’s handler] then exchanged pleasantries. Also beyond the corridor that went from the entrance to the kitchen, there was another area at the end of the tavern. In the opposite corners were 2 people that seemed to not want have anything to do with the others. One of them was striking with his quite unusual appearance reminiscing of a dragon, but just larger than an half-orc, much smaller than if I’d turn into a Dire Wolf and stood on my hind legs. The other seemed sneaky and I hoped he didn’t target my purse; even though it was much smaller after I got my healing 4 potions.
Before I even had the chance to listen to a conversation then jump in to debate, a fancy-looking soldier came in and directed us. I wanted to shut him up but seeing people were interested, I let him talk us down. Even if he was to hire me, there’s no law against beating someone when you’re being humiliated, including one’s boss. Those young folks. Bah! He presented himself as Janis The Just.
So the men walked around the room chest out with a long face. He had us present ourselves, good thing he skipped me at 1st, I might have not been able to keep my thoughts to myself. It turns out, in addition to me being a druid, there was a mage [don’t remember which kind], a paladin, a monk and some rogue hybrid [MC w/ ftr].
He then summoned us that if one of us couldn’t keep a secret to leave. No one left and he told us about a mage academy which caused problem [I don’t remember why he asked to go there since I don’t remember something from there attacking the city (meaning its walls)]. He explained the academy was moved a long time ago for fear of some magic going beyond their compound (within the city walls) and is now named . He then continued that about a century ago some powerful magical effect decimated the academy; and its now named Majus Ruins. One of us asked question about magic and a mage with a very long beard joined us, which he presented us as Heironimous. I then asked a question and others also did.
When he asked if we’d accept the mission, payment came up as expected and I jumped in asking for a healing potion each, and a few seconds later I remembered healing kit so I mimed it to Janis The Just, and he acknowledged. Heironimous was summoned to fetch material then he brought back 3 healing potions and some healing kits.
We were told our main problem would be animated beings; and if there were looters that they would be powerful enough to survive the threats and implied to beware of such looters. The academy was 1/2-3/4 days walk west. Someone asked us if we’d encounter problem on the way, he replied that beyond the walls surrounding it were watchtowers where guards would blow a horn if threats would enter the city. I replied that this was a nice city. Luckily we were lent horses, even enough for the paladin handlers, so we didn’t have to walk so long.
[It would have been nice to have out characters better present themselves during the horse-ride and more importantly establish some battle tactics as I exposed in The Boreanlands – Forum – During the horse ride from from the town to the mage academy but I think because we started ~6:45 instead of 6 pm, we wanted to get our dose of battle before the session/game ended.]
We arrived at the academy, which size was impressive; and beside the damage from a large bust of energy, seemed solidly built (was solid before the explosion). Going up the stairs, there seemed to be some humanoid-shaped specter coming slowly toward us.addressed him in a few languages. Doing so seemed to get the ghost-like creature attention but realized the humanoid-like shape was the remains of one inside an ooze. Then a humongous slug [large size] showed and we understood we were in for a fight.
Right away one of us rushed to be in melee against the slug then a ball of fire was created targeting the same. The space between us in jeopardy because of the flame ball, a single melee ally had place, so the other melee went for the ooze. As one would imagine, one of us became stuck in the ooze (actually me transformed in a Dire Wolf); which can be quite dangerous, if not directly by the acidity then the lack of air. All the while there were ranged attack on both foes and the flame sphere kept burning our foes. The slug was the 1st to go down, then we managed to clear that room.
With one of us quite adept at subterfuge, he rushed to see if there was enemies starting from the room on the left (from the direction we were facing coming into the main entrance), seeing no creature explored a bit and animated magical weapons. The sneaky ally rush back into the room we were still in (directly in front of the entrance) and 3 magical weapons came in. We defeated them with less difficulty than the initial encounter.
Fearing another ambush, someone sneaked in the other corridor, so right from the main entrance (from how we came in). Small magical fires were seen inside. Having no other way to go further inside we got in. The magical fires were all in the middle of tiles [corresponding to the game grid, so 5 × 5′ each] and the majority of them further back in the room. There was place to go all its width but something magical was in the way to go further. They were magical light forms; a horse about to jump, a tower, etc. I was told it was a larger version of a game. At first they were suspicious so proceeded cautiously but when they realized the magical light forms weren’t harmful, actually they got attuned to their presence, they assumed it was a puzzle and tried solving it. I don’t care for such things so I got bored quickly.
Good thing for my composure one of us tried getting further some other way. Realizing if there was an opening from the room in front of the entrance that we could get behind the all the magical fires. We found a sturdy door not seen easily from the main door. A large sturdy desk was not far and 3 of us (including me in Dire wolf form), rammed the door with it. After 3 rams, the desk began falling apart. Good thing the door was not far from being open enough for a medium sized biped to get in; it got completely opened using a crowbar. Before going through, we went back to the room from which the magical weapons spawned from.
Soon after we got there, those that used brains to get behind the magical fires were finished and joined us. Our mage detected a magical weapon inside a cylinder; he made a ritual and found out the weapon was magically enhanced but also cursed, but the cylinder containing it prevented a person from its negative effects. Let’s hope we take a lesson from that and never touch something magical without first knowing what it is. We decided to keep the cylinder; maybe the sword curse could be removes while keeping the enhancement. We resumed our way.
At the end of the room with magical fires was an opening from the long-ago major explosion. In the middle of the room at the other side was a small pool of blood with its center not yet dry; there was also a crate in a corner next to another wall partly destroyed. So far all the outer walls were intact. The 3rd side of the room was an opening to a dark corridor. Those of us with darkvision could barely see beyond that corridor. An intrepid amongst us went in it and realized something was after us. [the session ended just after we rolled initiative of which Frank took a picture of our dices]