Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Iron Principalities, Session 14

This was an odd session.  I went in with almost literally no notes, no real plan of how the session would go, and trusted to my own skill and my players' creativity to make things happen.  And happen they did.

Dramatis Personae:
Kholark Sunderstone, Half-Orc Barbarian 4
Dormammu, Half-Elf Warlock 4
Jager, Human Fighter 4
Mivahl Shimov, Human Fighter 4 (out for this session)
Flora, Half-Elf Cleric 4
Cor, Rock Gnome Wizard 4
Lasair Lightfoot, Wood Elf Rogue 4
Sylvus Treeshroud, Wood Elf Druid 4

Picking up where we left off, the party split in two; Kholark, Flora and Dormammu went to the Drunkatorium to see if the Red Witch they are seeking ever comes and drinks there, while Jager, Cor, Lasair and Sylvus paid a visit to the Fang and Flagon.

The Drunkatorium proved to be almost a "light" version of the nightmare dive bar known as the Whore's Arse, where much of the party has been spending their evening since their return to Craghold, and also largely a demihuman bar - most of the clientele were half-orcs, half-elves and dwarves.  Speaking with the bartender, Kholark learned that the Red Witch would be at the Drunkatorium tomorrow, the 15th of Rainmont, as per her usual schedule.  The bartender also encouraged Kholark to meet "Bawss Hawg" - an enormous, four-tusked pig in a sty out back.  Put a gold coin in the bucket, the bartender explained, and take your chance trying to pin the well-greased (and drunk) Hawg.  Pin the pig for a five-count and win all the gold in the bucket.  No one in the three years Bawss Hawg has been wrestling has managed to pin the monstrous boar.  Tomorrow night was wrestling night, the bartender said, and Kholark enthusiastically agreed to be there to face down the Hawg.

At the Fang and Flagon, they learned that the Red Witch would likely be there tonight, and that at last count, Roz, the half-orc prostitute from the Whore's Arse, had left 11 corpses in her wake from disease and broken pelvises alone.

Exiting the Drunkatorium, Lasair headed to the castle.  Jager, meanwhile, decided he wanted more information on the wolf attacks that the town had been suffering, and made his way to the north-west gate to ask the guards there for more information.  Zeroing in on an ordinary guardsmen (not one of the mercenaries of the Red Brotherhood), Jager began barking orders, berating the man for the supposed state of his equipment, and leading the man to believe he'd been sent on a surprise inspection from the Sheriff.

Unfortunately, Jager decided to mention that if the guard wanted a better review, he better cough up some coin.  Recognizing the ruse, the guard swung his halberd at Jager; in response, Jager tried to do a flashy move while drawing his flintlock, but fumbled the roll and shot himself in the leg.

Panicking, Cor cast Hold Person on Jager while Sylvus wildshaped into a mastiff and, grabbing Cor by the collar, ran off carrying him (as the townsfolk began screaming about werewolves and a mad dog snatching a child).  Paralyzed by magic, Jager was easily taken into custody by the guards, stripped of his armor and weapons and thrown into a cell in the watchtower.

Meanwhile, Lasair gave some basic self-defense lessons to Lord Vesper's daughters, Wanda and Julia.  Satisfied with their progress, Lasair took her leave and, raising the hood on her Cloak of Elvenkind, began to explore the castle, following her nose in search of the same whiff of infernality she'd smelled before.  Her keen elven senses led her straight to the private quarters of Lord Vesper and Lady Erzebeta.  Listening at the door, Lasair heard a pair of chamber maids arguing over whose turn it was to empty the chamber pots, and she slunk into the shadows to await their exit.

Once the maids were gone, Lasair let herself into the chambers and began her search, turning over the room carefully for evidence of foul doings - she still suspected Lady Erzebeta of being the demon summoner.  She found nothing until she chanced to look inside the fireplace - and discovered a series of runes and sigils inscribed on the bricks inside the flue.  Unsure what they said or were for, she quickly made her exit.

Kholark, Dormammu and Flora soon made contact with Cor (now riding Sylvus, still in dog-form, through the town), and learned of Jager's imprisonment.  Debating what to do about that, they settled on going to see about having him freed, and offering to pay for Jager's bail (a simple matter of 55 gold) out of Jager's own pocket.

Reconvening and sharing what they'd learned, the party decided to return to the Fang and Flagon to await the Red Witch.  Instead, they were met by a magically-delivered letter, addressed to the individuals who had been so indelicately asking after her at every bar in town.

The Red Witch - Ariska being her given name - explains that, given the current situation in Craghold, with her being technically banished but remaining nonetheless, she must assume that the individuals seeking her are looking to arrest her or worse.  If that is not the case, she would be willing to deal with them, but will require them to meet her at the Drunkatorium, unarmored and unarmed, tomorrow night to do so.

Lasair quickly penned a response, advising Ariska that they wanted to hear her side of the story of how Vesper's first wife died.

With nothing else to do for the evening, Dormammu sent his imp, Francis P. Mordo, to investigate the inscription inside Lord Vesper's chimney.  Looking through the imp's eyes, Dormammu was able to identify the inscription as being the main part of a teleportation circle, permanently keyed to a single location.  Anyone standing inside the fireplace and saying a trigger phrase would be instantly teleported to this other specified location.  The party debated whether the existence of this teleportation circle was a sign of nefariousness on Lord Vesper or Lady Erzebeta's part, or simply an arcane bolthole created by a paranoid warlord who'd come to power via coup in the first place.

Later, at the Golden Boar, Jager paced his room, angry.  He'd heard the way the rest of the group had spoken about him, how they didn't consider him a member of the team.  Hadn't Mivahl vouched for him? Hadn't he fought that strange, steel-feathered bird by their side? Hadn't he given Cor his freedom on the way to Craghold, and carried Dormammu out of the Whore's Arse when he was dead-drunk? They had accepted Flora into the party without question or hesitation, but if after all this, he was still an outsider? Perhaps he'd never be welcomed.  He took of his badge, the sign of rank and service he'd shared with Mivahl.  Looking at it for a moment, he tossed it angrily on the bed.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Wendigo WIP

Last year as part of the Secret Santa exchange, I received (alongside several packs of skeletons) a metal Wendigo figure from Reaper Miniatures, courtesy of Thomas over at Learning by Doing.  This is a really gorgeously ghoulish figure, gaunt, with long limbs, hooved feet, a skeletal face and antlers.  A perfect representation of the cannibalistic "spirit of the lonely places" of Algonquin folklore, a creature born of famine, isolation and desperation in the deep winters of the American wilderness.  I'd gotten it cleaned up and glued to a 50mm square base (a spare from a Fireforge cavalry boxed set) but hadn't gotten past that point.

Yesterday, frustrated with some Bones figures not behaving the way I wanted them to, I resupplied on black primer and matte varnish and took advantage of it being a warm, dry day to put a coat of primer on him.  Once it was good and dry I got to work.

Skin was basecoated with a couple thin coats of Reaper's Golden Shadow, since I wanted to emphasize that this creature was once human.  Over this I did a wash of a 50-50 blend of Nightshade Purple and Deep Red, to give a bruised, postmortem lividity shade.  Here's a pic:

Once that was dry, I highlighted the skin with Golden Skin, then again with Golden Highlight.  The bony ridges of the face, the exposed vertebrae and some exposed ribs got a final highlight of a mix of Golden Highlight and Creamy Ivory - to suggest skin drawn so tightly over bones as to be translucent. 

The hands, feet, ears and area around the mouth were given another wash, this time a 30-60 mix of Nightshade Purple and Deep Red to prepare these extremities to be painted as frostbitten.  Once the wash was dry, a couple thin coats of Pure Black allowed just enough purple to show through to keep things interesting.  Also, don't Google Image Search "frostbitten hands" too soon before or after a meal!

Teeth were picked out in Creamy Ivory, while antlers were given heavy drybrushes of Stained Ivory, followed by Yellowed Bone and finally a light brush of Creamy Ivory to make them really stand out from the pallid skin.  Eyes were given a basecoat of Viper Green, while the patchy fur on its body was drybrushed first with Cloudy Gray, then with Misty Gray.  The furry part of its tattered loincloth was given a basecoat of Muddy Brown, then drybrushed Earth Brown.  At this point I took this pic:

After taking that pic, I basecoated the "leather" areas of the loincloth with Lonestar Leather, but when I tried highlighting with Leather Brown, Leather Brown went on very thinly and I ended up having to go over the entirety of the loincloth with it to get an evenish coat.  I'll probably go back and wash it with Lonestar Leather and give a final highlight of Golden Shadow to the loincloth.  Eyes were highlighted with Moth Green, giving them a sinister, glowing pinprick in the center of each bulging orb and marking my only departure from very naturalistic tones on this figure. 

At this point, Atticus decided to jump in the middle of everything and tell me I'd done enough painting and not enough petting today, forcing a conclusion to today's painting session. 

I've got a couple extra Bones skeleton warriors that I'll be chopping up, painting and gluing to the base during the flocking process to represent kills half-buried in the snow by the Wendigo. 

As for what I'll use it for...

While the Wendigo would make a spiffy Major Demon for Frostgrave, I'm actually thinking he's more likely to see use in Dragon Rampant; having finished my Undead army and wanting a break from Bones given the annoyance I'm having with the last of my Anhurian figures, I've drawn up a "Warriors of Evil" list based largely around Ral Partha Chaos Warrior figures (rereleased through Ironwind Metals) as a "next project" to begin work on, and the Wendigo would be an imposing addition to that list as a "Greater Warbeast."

Or I might throw him at my D&D players if they go up in the mountains...

Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Iron Principalities, Session 13

Dramatis Personae:
Kholark Sunderstone, Half-Orc Barbarian 4
Dormammu, Half-Elf Warlock 4
Jager, Human Fighter 4
Mivahl Shimov, Human Fighter 4
Flora, Half-Elf Cleric 4
Cor, Rock Gnome Wizard 4
Lasair Lightfoot, Wood Elf Rogue 4
Sylvus Treeshroud, Wood Elf Druid 4

Moonsday, the 13th of Rainmont.

After the events of the previous night, Cor sat down with the two mysterious enchanted "blank" scrolls they had discovered in the dwarven catacombs under the Golden Castle.  Casting Identify on the first, he discovered a simple enchantment that rendered the text written on the scroll invisible except under the light of the full moon.  Consulting his star-charts, he sees that the full moon is two days' hence, on the 15th.  The second scroll bears the same enchantment, as well as a secondary spell - casting Dispel Magic to remove the ink-disguising dweomer would trigger an Explosive Runes, destroying the vellum scroll before it could be read.  Cor decides to wait until the full moon to read these scrolls and see what is hidden behind these spells.

This taken care of, the party descends into the burned out ruins of the Broken Blade Inn, curious to see if the tunnel and accompanying dungeon crawl they had observed, but not investigated, on their last visit [DM's Note: 9 sessions ago!] was still extant.  They found that it was, and that a small formerly-sealed crypt was down there, a tomb of some knight of Law, buried 300 years ago.  It was likely then that the tomb had been forgotten long before it had been built over, and had no real connection (other than spatial) to the Broken Blade.  Inside, they found that the sepulcher itself had been recently broken into, and arcane residue suggested that a magic item of not-inconsiderable power, some sort of item of protection, had lain here until very recently.  Untouched, curiously, was a stone chest filled with coins as well as a carved ivory drinking horn, inlaid with malachite and moonstones.  The party helped themselves to the contents, though Flora decided on donating her share to the Church of Law in Craghold.

Emerging from the rubble, the party was met by a messenger from the castle, informing them that Lord Vesper was requesting their presence at dinner that night.  Deciding they needed better than their adventuring clothes for this, and suspecting a trap, the party went to the local general store, where the proprietor, a dwarf named Slambo Stumphammer, as happy to help outfit them.  Cor bought a spare spell component pouch, some antitoxin, and a wide, blue conical hat with arcane symbols stitched in gold and set with a crazy amount of rhinestones; Lasair bought a dagger in a thigh-sheath and a nice dress, though most of the party ultimately decided to go in their clothes from the hobgoblin fete they had attended.

At dinner, the PCs and Lord Vesper were joined by Vesper's wife, Lady Erzebeta; his two daughters from his previous marriage, Wanda and Julia; Sir Dorian Hawkwood, commander of the mercenary company known as the Red Brotherhood; Brothers Bertram and Ambrose, clerics of the Church of the Everlasting Sun; and Sir Edras, the town sheriff, as well as Borut, the bailiff (whom the PCs already knew).  Over an excellent meal, Lord Vesper quizzed the PCs on their experience hunting witches and what they planned to do about whatever they found in town.  He was suitably impressed as Mivahl and Jager described their old exploits as part of a commando team sent out after rogue spellcasters.  Also over dinner, the party learned that there were no dogs left in Craghold - some unknown force over the past six months drove dogs and wolves mad, like rabies without the foaming, and Vesper had been forced to issue an edict calling for the destruction of all canines, even his beloved hunting hounds.  Sir Dorian's men were often called upon to perform wolf culls in the forest north of Craghold as packs of blood-maddened wolves would come down and start attacking outlying farms.

After dinner, Vesper brought the male PCs up to the ramparts for brandy and cigars, while Flora and Lasair followed Lady Erzebeta, Wanda and Julia for "needlepoint" - i.e., more wine and gossip.  Both groups swiftly learned that the rumors of Lady Erzebeta's demonic consortship stem from the fact that Vesper had been carrying on a poorly-disguised affair with her while married to his previous wife, and married Erzebeta swiftly after his first wife had died of a mysterious illness about two years ago.  Wanda and Julia have more or less accepted Erzebeta, if not as a step-mother, then at least as their father's wife.

Both Vesper and Erzebeta proposed that a woman known as the Red Witch, a flame-haired middle-aged woman who had long been the villagers' source for cures for baldness, warts, impotence, constipation, etc., may be the one summoning demons; Vesper had banished her and made dealings with her illegal after she had failed to successfully treat his first wife's illness.  If she was still lurking around, perhaps she is the source of these summonings.

Dinner concluded, the party decided their best course of action to find the Red Witch was to talk to the people who might still be using her services.  They headed back to the seedy tavern known as the Whore's Arse for clues.

Jager struck up a conversation with Roz, a splay-legged half-orc prostitute whom Dormammu was renewing his business relationship with, asking her how she protected herself from disease-carrying customers such as Dormammu.  He learns that the Red Witch comes in to drink at the Whore's Arse on Bridesdays, and should be there in four days' time as per her usual.

Meanwhile, Mivahl targeted Melvin, a schlubby balding guy hunching over his beer at the bar. This proved a mistake, as Melvin launched into an entire saga of his life's misfortunes and failures: "I had my first midlife crisis at 11; I was a real pessimistic kid. Y'know, I really just came in here tonight hoping to find a woman who'd drank her standards low enough to go to bed with me."

Seeing Mivahl's trouble as an opportunity to have some fun, Jager paid Roz to "go over and take care of my friend over there." Roz sauntered over, spun Mivahl around on his bar stool and slammed his back against the bar.  "Looking for a good time, stud?" she growled.  All Mivahl can see are the blisters lining her lips.  "N-no," he squeaks, "But my friend Melvin here is," redirecting Roz's attention to the schlub still droning on about his failures as a living creature.  Roz took him right there on the bar stool as Mivahl beat a hasty retreat.

Cor orders a shot of Father Jack's Unstoppable Pissup, the local favorite that's like a 50-50 blend of Everclear and codeine cough syrup, and after signing a waiver, drinks it down.  He narrowly makes it to outhouses in time before the liquor starts kicking everything Cor has ever had inside him out.

Meanwhile, at the more upscale tavern The Golden Boar, Lasair attempts a different approach; she discreetly inquires where she might acquire a "little blue potion" for a male friend of hers having trouble with his "man-servant." The barmaid, throwing a glance at some nearby off-duty guardsmen, whispers back that the Red Witch drinks at the Golden Boar on Stormsdays, and should be there in three days' time as per her usual.

Justday, the 14th of Rainmont

Reconvening (and pulling Dormammu off the chalk outline erroneously drawn around him in the Whore's Arse), the party discussed what they'd learned, debating whether to wait to meet the Red Witch at one of the establishments they already know she frequents, or whether to see if she's also a regular at the other two surviving taverns in town, the Fang and Flagon and the Drunkatorium.  The party decides to split up and case both remaining establishments today in search of the Red Witch.

Monday, October 16, 2017

First Dragon Rampant Army Complete!

Yesterday, I hit a huge milestone in my career as a miniature painter and wargamer. 

I completed an army.  For the first time ever, (not counting things like a Frostgrave warband) I have finished building and painting an army for a game.  I put the last dabs of paint and flock on the last units I needed to do for my 24 point Undead army for Dragon Rampant, "the Skeletal Legions of Nesuahyrrah." I'm also only two units away from finishing my second army, the Men of Anhur, so I'll be able to start putting on some demo games soon enough - I've got some interest locally already.

I kept my list fairly simple:

  • Lich (Heavy Missiles, Undead - No Feelings, Summoner, Single Model Unit, Army Leader) - 7
  • Skeleton Warriors (Light Foot, Undead - No Feelings) - 3
  • Skeleton Warriors (Light Foot, Undead - No Feelings) - 3
  • Skeleton Berserkers (Bellicose Foot, Undead - No Feelings) - 4
  • Wraiths (Heavy Riders, Undead - No Feelings, Venomous, Reduced Model Unit) - 7
The idea being to keep at least some of the skeletons off the table at the start of game and summoning them as reinforcements mid-battle, and using the Wraiths as real heavy hitters to hammer an opponent's more powerful units.  I've got some ideas of where I'd like to go in expanding this army for larger games as well.  

Everyone together.

The Lich, calling up reinforcements.

Two units of Light Foot.

Skeleton Berserkers.

I'm not stopping at two armies, however.  Because I've really fallen in love with the Dragon Rampant rules, I'm planning on building multiple armies for variety in demo games as well as for use in larger, multi-player games eventually.  Because I'm a lunatic like that.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Iron Principalities, Session 12

Dramatis Personae:
Kholark Sunderstone, Half-Orc Barbarian 4
Dormammu, Half-Elf Warlock 4
Zerin of Birdsall, Half-Elf Paladin 4
Jager, Human Fighter 4 (Replacing Zerin)
Mivahl Shimov, Human Fighter 4
Mara, Human Cleric 3
Flora, Half-Elf Cleric 3 (Replacing Mara)
Cor, Rock Gnome Wizard 3
Lasair Lightfoot, Wood Elf Rogue 3
Sylvus Treeshroud, Wood Elf Druid 4

Just after dawn, a posse of five men rode into town, most of them rough-hewn, hard-bitten men with steel loose in their scabbards; the fifth a poncey git with waxed mustache and van dyke, ostrich-feathered hat and slashed silk doublet.  The ponce, identifying himself as Sir Bosch, demanding the surrender of "the criminal gnome," producing a wanted poster from the town of Craghold, declaring a bounty on Cor for "arson, manslaughter, attempted regicide and insurance fraud." It was explained that the Broken Blade, the inn Cor bought for a song in Craghold, burned down right after he left town, which looked very suspicious.  The fact that Cor had invited Lord Vesper to stay at the inn shortly before this had the Lord, already paranoid, very suspicious of the gnome's intentions.

The party refused to turn over Cor, and when Sir Bosch was killed for refusing to stand down, three of his four henchmen just shrugged his shoulders and left.  The fourth, it's revealed, is Jager, who had formerly fought under Mivahl's command up north and whose life Mivahl had saved once, years before. 

like this, but with beefy arms and stork legs.
With Zerin and Mara staying behind to administer to the town of New Dawn, Jager was invited to join the party as they went to Craghold to demand answers.  The three day trip was uneventful, save for picking up Flora, another cleric of Mishakal, and an encounter with a strange, man-sized bird-monster, with shining steel feathers and beak and a pair of big, muscular human arms, ending in weapons instead of hands.  The bird was no match for the party, and they quickly dispatched it, with Lasair's arrow to the brain ending the abomination's life.  They took a number of feathers - primarily long flight feathers from the wings, but Cor took several tail feathers as well - for future study. 

Arriving in Craghold, Jager and Kholark negotiated with Borut, the town bailiff, for the bounty, arguing that the wanted poster just listed bringing the gnome to Borut for the reward.  Borut assented, and handed a bag containing 500 golden suns to Kholark. 

When Cor demanded the opportunity to prove his innocence, it was announced that he would face Trial by Drama; a team of prosecuting actors would put on a play depicting their version of Cor's actions, and then the party would put on a play in Cor's defense.  Innocence would be decided by audience reaction.  Taking a full day to prepare, the party's various spellcasters prepared various illusion spells to make their case more compelling while debating which details to include and whether or not to try and pin the arson on the inn's former owner, Tetra, as well as how much of what they knew about their being a demon in the basement of the Broken Blade to mention. 

Cor was deeply offended by the prosecution's performance; from casting a human achondroplasic dwarf to play him to suggesting that the arson was performed as an outlet for the gnome's deep-seated sexual frustration, Cor seethed through the entire performance.  [DM's Note: I actually got down on my knees and performed a bit of the "Winter of our Discontent" soliloquy from Shakespeare's Richard III to play the prosecution's portrayal of Cor.  ACTING!]

Putting on their rebuttal, the party told a tale of fighting a demon in the basement of the Broken Blade, believing it slain, and it returning to torch the inn out of spite after they left before pursuing them, and that they finally laid the demon to permanent rest in New Dawn.  With an illusion spell cast over Kholark to portray the demon and narration by Dormammu, the party swung the crowd in their favor, eking out a ruling of innocent for Cor. 

Recognizing that Lord Vesper was not happy with this and was itching to hang someone for some crime, the party offers their services as witch-hunters; since someone must have summoned the demon the Craghold.  Given that rumors swirl throughout the principalities that Lord Vesper's wife consorts with demons, and fearing that a cult-cell similar to the one they rooted out in New Dawn may be at play in Craghold, the party wants to get to the bottom of this and managed to bargain Vesper into agreeing to pay 500 gold for the delivery of a witch. 

Friday, October 6, 2017

The Iron Principalities, Session 11

Dramatis Personae:
Kholark Sunderstone, Half-Orc Barbarian 4
Dormammu, Half-Elf Warlock 3
Zerin of Birdsall, Half-Elf Paladin 4
Mivahl Shimov, Human Fighter 4
Mara, Human Cleric 3
Cor, Rock Gnome Wizard 3
Lasair Lightfoot, Wood Elf Rogue 3
Sylvus Treeshroud, Wood Elf Druid 3

Following the memorial service led by Mara, a number of the villagers at the town formerly known as Rodrigosburgh, but now rechristened "New Dawn," approached Mara asking for more information about the worship of Mishakal, and to ask her to take over the Cathedral at New Dawn, making it a site holy to Mishakal.  The townsfolk were very upset to hear that the cathedral had been promised to the Cult of Bormo, arguing that a religion of drinking, wrestling and fornicating was not appropriate to raise their children in.  The adventurers ultimately agreed with the town's reasoning, and it was decided to consecrate the cathedral to Mishakal, adding a shrine to Bormo to the Triumphant Hare, the inn now owned by Cor. 

The party decided to investigate the dwarven catacombs under the Golden Castle again, in search of the hidden treasure chamber the demon had held over them as a bribe.  They found the chamber, behind a trick wall.  Opening the doorway, they found a short hallway leading to another door; Mivahl, entering, stepped on a pressure plate.  Glass plates, two inches thick, slammed down, sealing half the party into the short hallway and half the party outside. A nozzle opened in the ceiling, long-still gears whirring to life. 

Unwilling to wait to be dosed with poison gas, Cor cast Shatter, blasting the glass plates to splinters and destroying the reservoir in the ceiling above - resulting in the long-dormant Black Pudding contained in the ceiling above pouring down on them all at once, rather than being sprayed at them in a pressurized stream. 

The vast blob of inky blackness poured down, spilling over Mivahl as he tried to block its descent with his shield.  The party attacked the slithering shadow pooling around their ankles, with the Pudding splitting twice, forming three attacking slimes - once divided by Zerin's sword, and once by a lightning spell cast by Cor.  The Puddings flailed out with pseudopods but failed again and again to connect, while the party pounded on them with blunt weapons and non-electrical spells.  Ultimately, the Pudding was beaten into so much lifeless slime. 

Beyond the second door, the party found wealth beyond anything the demon had hinted at - 470 platinum pieces, 500 electrum pieces, 1,000 gold pieces, 3,900 silver pieces, and 9,500 copper pieces, as well as a Cloak of Elvenkind and a Brooch of Shielding.  Lasair took the Cloak and one of the casters [I want to say Dormammu, but I honestly forget at the moment as there was a lot of debate over who should have it] took the Brooch.  Ultimately, the party took only a small amount of money for themselves, deciding to devote the remainder of the cash to making improvements to the town of New Dawn. 

The next day, Anoroc, last priest of Bormo, arrived in New Dawn, riding a wagon drawn by his trusty bear companion Jaroslav, carrying the ceremonial items of Bormoism, including his ceremonial head-gear -- the dwarven equivalent of a baseball cap with cup-holders on the side.  He also had the Book of Bormo, a scrap-book of weightlifting advice, protein shake recipes, brewing tips and softcore dwarven pornography.  It's not every holy book that has a centerfold, but the Book of Bormo does - an image of a chainmail bikini-clad dwarf woman bench-pressing a zebra. 

Once Anoroc was situated, the party took stock of their situation and debated their next move.  They decided to return to Craghold to see how Cor's first inn was doing, then zig-zag up the Maw to Molekh to treat with the Great Khan about hanging on to the lance Empyreal Vengeance for the time being, and then try their luck again with the undead knights of the Groaning Keep.  From there they will head west, where Mivahl wants to challenge Duke Beldor to a joust - the Duke having a long-standing offer to name the first challenger to unseat him as his heir.  Once that is addressed, they will head south-west to investigate claims of an ancient road of enormous stone blocks, all carved like dragon scales, half-sunk in the slimy waters of the Dismal Swamp.