Random Encounters: Norhall Academy for Adventurers and Heroes - Episode 6

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"Yes. Babies come from trees. Now, come here and cuddle me, you big lug" ~ Prime, to Smash

"Tell me in your words, what am I saying to you, Daughter of-- Excuse me, Son of Brightness. Oopsie-Doopsie." ~ The Stone Wardens

Contents

Norhall Academy for Adventurers and Heroes: Episode 6

I have bad news for you. Something bad happens to one of our heroes. Something…unexpected. They thought they were safe. They were not. Lessens have been learned and the state of Norhall has changed forever.

Cast and Player Characters

Non-Player Characters

Locations

Story

Long Story

During the night, Gurd enters the barn, waking Bek. He thanks her for saving his life, and tells her that he is not going to go with them to Norhall. He says he would rather live as a free man, than spend the rest of his life being poked and prodded, locked in a cage like some freak. Bek attempts to convince him that he will be happier and safer, at Norhall, but he remains stalwart. She accepts his decision, and wishes him luck on his journey. The next morning, Norn Goodshield wakes them all and they begin to prepare for the trip back to Norhall. Gustoff enters, asking where Gurd is, and Bek explains that he left, of his own accord. Gustoff angrily kicks them all out of his barn.

They make it to Norhall, where things aren't as they left. Apparently something, or multiple somethings, have happened while the party was away. A guard whispers in Norn's ear, who tells them to go to their rooms while he speaks with Lady Hileina Silver; it seems they were not the only group to have an incident. A warforged attendant, Amber Reeve, arrives to escort them to their rooms. She does that, and is very sad about "the incident", which she isn't permitted to talk about. Zin convinces her to tell them, and reveals a little about what happened. It seems The Vorgias were killed in an incident near Horsk. They were out on a mission when something happened. They don't know what yet someone just found their bodies, ripped to shreds, outside the city gates. She warns them that a lot of the monsters that Norhall has encountered in the past are now returning for some reason. She leaves upset.

Several hours pass before Norn arrives to fill them in. He tells them about a warning they received, a note with the bodies, that said only, "You're time is over." He and a man named Jason escort them to Lady Hileina Silver's room, warning them not to cause any undue stress. Once inside, Val expresses her irritation at the situation. Eventually, they (mostly Prime) get around to explaining what happened, most importantly that Gurd was a werewolf, and Bek didn't stop him from leaving. Despite this, she tells them that they have earned a place in Norhall as adventurers, and that they have earned themselves a name! She names them The Daring Dragoons, and tells them that it is time they meet the Stone Warden. He is the one who chose the five of them for the Academy, and he is said to guide all the Adventurers and Heroes on their journeys. She takes them all down on this weird magically elevator. It descends deep into the ground, where the stonework grows rougher, more primitive. She announces the entrance to Stone Warden's room, and tells them to go speak with him one at a time.

They all see the same thing, so I'll describe it here before describing each person's experiences. It's a circular room, with a domed roof. Very gothic church-like art on the walls. In the center of the room, stands a large, life-like statue that resembles the sigil of Norhall, wearing a Spartan-esque helmet and shoulder pads. In front of the statue is a worn down stone bench. When the Stone Warden speaks, a grinding sound can be heard, and his eyes have a glowing factor

Smash enters first. The Stone Warden tells him to sit, which he does on the ground. He calls Smash "The Child of Strength", and tells him that dark forces are preparing to take over the tribe he comes from, as they will not "accept his father". He tells Smash that the only way to save them is to "fight with his heart, not just his fists", and to "accept both the human and the orc" parts of himself. Smash attempts to prove how strong he is by pushing over the statue, but is unable. Instead, the statue squeezes his shoulder, painfully, and tells him to go bring in Val.

Val is next. The Stone Warden refers to her as "The Daughter of Greatness", and prompts her to sit. She does, very primly. He asks her why she is here, what she has to prove, and she responds that she wants to spite her parents. She says that her parents think this is the only place she can go to be of any worth, despite the fact that she feels she has more within her than her parents can see. The Stone Warden tells her that she does have greatness in her, but "more than a little bit of emptiness". He warns that she has to find the greatness within her to prove herself to her family.

Next up is Bek. The Stone Warden calls her "Daughter Without a Home", and "She of the Soundless Sleep". He says she is running from something, but toward nothing, and that she needs to accept herself. She responds that she ran away to escape her family's tyranny, and that she wants to end their rule over others. He tells her that she needs to find "the safety within herself" to keep her friends at Norhall safe.

Zin enters the room after. The Stone Warden names Zin "Son of Purity", and says he is "The Beacon in a Dark Sea". He says that Zin represents the change that the rest of his kind need. He warns Zin that he will not be able to return to his people, as they have shunned him, until he can understand what makes him different, pure, beloved in the eyes of Titania. What is basically boils down to is that Zin acts noble and better than the other Wood Elves because he thinks he is better, and the Stone Warden says that he shouldn't be good to prove how bad they are, but to highlight his own goodness.

Finally, Primius is brought in. The Stone Warden calls him "Son of Chaos", and Prime hears it in his head as a psychic voice, not outwardly audible. It's very uncomfortable for him, due to the other voices in his head... It's kind of like looking at someone standing in front of the sun. The Stone Warden says "You were not warned? I am so sorry, Son of Chaos". Suddenly, the pain in his head increases exponentially. The pain is tremendous and his many different selves are fighting against it. It's chaos.

The others, all wearing the rings that psychically connect them, feel the rings clamp down on their fingers. They all hear, and feel, what Prime is going through. His many personalities at war with each other, his shaking hands as he tries to light some silverweed oil to calm himself. Lady Silver notices the others' reactions, and figures out what is going on, that Prime is in trouble. She grows nervous, asks if he still has the picture. The one he smashed during their fight with the werewolves... She gave it to him specifically for this meeting.

Prime begins arguing with the voices in his head. As each voice speaks, it gets ripped out of the gnome's mind. It feels like a part of him is being torn away, the voices as an extension of himself, brutally shredded out of his brain. Pain unlike anything he's ever known. Lasy Silver is banging on the door, desperately trying to get in. A strange darkness overtakes the five party members, and they can see each other now, as if they are together in the dark. Laughing begins to echo around them, and then, a happy voice. "You fools. This is our place. And we will take it back. THAT is my castle! You will all be ripped to shreds. The Vorgias were just the first. Gurd, Jabber, all of 'em! Oh, there's gonna be so much destruction. You fools. You fools!" And they know that this voice is coming from Prime. Spectral tendrils pull them all toward their friends as the Stone Warden rises from his place and places a hand on him. "Sleep" he whispers, and they all can see a female figure attempting to drag them into the darkness. The door slams open. Lady Silver enters just as Prime falls to the ground, eyes vacant, mind empty. He lives, but just barely.

The Stone Warden explains that Primius' mind had to be broken, and he was placed into a coma. This was because he was about to be overtaken by "The Dark One". The others enter the Stone Warden's room and Smash picks up the body of their friend. The Stone Warden tells them that his mind was full of too much chaos, and contemplates if this is a fate worse than death. Lady Silver reveals that the Stone Warden is Duke Silver, her Great-Great-Great-Grandfather, who stopped the darkness in Norhall many years ago, by sacrificing himself, locking himself in this statue form. But now it seems that darkness, that evil power, is beginning to return, somehow.

The doctors at Norhall are unable to wake him, but they sustain him with food and water and magic. Several days go by, and life begins to return to a hint of normalcy. They attend classes, they visit Prime in the hospital, etc. Many rumors abound, and several towns begin closing themselves off. Some people believe that it would have been better for Prime to have died...

Short

The morning after the would-be-adventurers returned Gurd back to his farm, Gurd sneaks in to thank Bek for saving him, and to warn her that he is not returning to Norhall. She tries to get him to stay, but is unsuccessful. In the morning, they tell Gustoff that his son has run off, and he kicks them out in anger. The party returns to Norhall to find it in chaos. An attendant named Amber Reeve tells them that another adventuring group, the Vorgias, were killed, and Norhall is all panicked. Other bad things are going on. Norn takes them to Lady Hileina Silver, to debrief, then she takes them to see a sage named the Stone Warden. The Warden gives them all advice on what they need to achieve within themselves, until Prime enters to speak with him. Suddenly, an evil entity attempts to inhabit Prime's mind, and the Stone Warden is forced to place Prime into a magically induced coma. It's pretty grim.

Trivia

  • Prime makes good on his promise to teach Smash about the birds and the bees
  • Tim's DM character is Scorpio McSkellington, uncle to the venerable Jack Skellington
  • The party finally gets their name, The Daring Dragoons
  • Prime's and Cody's final episode :(

Quest Log Updates

  • [Complete] - Earn a name for the group
    • [Complete] - The Quest of the Escaped Goat
      • [Complete] - Return to Norhall with the details of their mission
    • [Failed] - Bring Gurd back to Norhall for studying
  • [NEW][Active] - Find out what's going on at Norhall

Rolls

  • Recap
    • Cody

  • Everyone rolls Perception in the night to see who wakes up
    • Val - 20
    • Bek - 25
    • Smash - 21
    • Zin - 19
    • Prime - doesn't roll

  • Bek rolls Persuasion to get Gurd to come with them to Norhall - Nat1
    • Fail!

  • Prime uses two psionic points to cast Conquering Mind on Norn, requiring an INT saving throw - 20
    • Success - Not conquered

  • Bek rolls Persuasion to get more information about the incident - Nat1
    • Fail!

  • Zin tries the same - 17
    • Success - She tells them