Blackbird Lake (game)
Here you can find the last posts in this game.
Challenged by liches, the Blackbird Lake gang cut a swath through the undead population and managed to defeat the master of Bone Mountain. Challenged by the Church of Ga'al, the heroes shepherded the people of Acid City through conflict to an uneasy accommodation. Along the way, they lifted a curse on Blackbird Lake, aided a colony of turtle-raising halflings on the northern shore, and redeemed a once-evil castle which they then claimed as their own. They befriended dragons and fought dragons. They hunted for Teucri artifacts. And they had fun doing it.
At the end of their successful career, the heroes of Blackbird Lake were feted at a party thrown in the Giggling Ghost. There, each one stood up and gave a speech. Here are those speeches. Since the party, the heroes have kept busy in retirement.
The Story So Far ... as Recounted By Mookie and Jass
(Each paragraph below summarizes a volume in the archives)
Starting Out and First Mission - Lifting A Curse From the Town of Acid -- Okay, so Our Heroes met at the Tears of the Wood inn. A talking wooden statue picked a bunch of us right out of the crowd and told us to do something or other. I couldn't figure out the puzzle or poem or whatever it was, but the Boss knows an adventure when it comes a-knocking on her thick head, so off we went! To see Priscilla, the Witch of Blackbird Forest, who gave us some good advice. She told us that the mission came from some non-evil mysterious force, that it had to do with Acid -- both the city and the liquid, as it turned out -- and some black dragons. In Acid Town, we found out that there was a curse on the whole place. The lake nearby was actually acidic. There were frog-men from some horrible dimension attacking people. Turns out the curse was from Jancassis, the god of revenge, because a bunch of townspeople broke an oath to protect orphans. Seems like Jancassis set things up so that the curse could be lifted by us if we did the right things to make it up to her on behalf of the town. So we killed a bunch of frog-men and some young black dragons. A crazy gnome named Tinker gave us a metal boat. We managed to deal somehow with both a black dragon and a silver dragon, though how we got out of that one I still don't get. And we brought some artifact-horn down into the lake and put it on an altar under the water. Viola, curse lifted, we are the heroes!
Our New Best Friends, the Cloud-Prance Family -- So the silver dragon turns out to be Lady Xill, the matriarch of a family of silver dragons. They help us out of a pickle and offer us employment as treasure-hunters. They are looking for Teucri stuff, and we have to get it for them. They send us off to the Taur Isles to look for something or other. First Malgant has to face the demons of his past. And there are some earthquakes and weird stuff from the Great Migration halfway around the Wold. And we have to help a minotaur poet. But eventually we get to this Death Island, where nothing grows, because some Teucri artifact sucks the strength out of everything aroundabouts. Turns out some liches are looking for the artifact too, so we end up fighting them. Appolo and the Boss get rudely tossed off this mortal coil, and are brought back. We find the artifact and go inside.
Fairies and Elementals -- Turns out the artifact is some kind of strange prison or refuge for fairies from the elder days. They are kept safe/imprisoned by elemental forces. First we enter an antechamber that is an "artificial natural" place where armies of lesser fairies wage mock war with flowers for weapons every day. Deeper in we found what you might call locks -- each "lock" is an elemental challenge, sealed with an elemental gem. We bashed two of them, and were on our way to bash more, when we realized that the entire prison/artifact was sentient, and didn't much like being bashed. So we negotiated with the thing, bargained for freedom for the fairies in exchange for freedom from more bashing, and we released an Elder Fey Of Eld. She gave us each a wish. And promised to protect the artifact from the undead.
Hope You're Harpy Now! -- This is the story of how the Boss found her maternal instincts and everybody suffered for it. First, for no good reason, the party decides to help refugees escape persecution in Aisildur. They hear some refugees are turning up dead north of the Tears of the Wood Inn, where this ragtag band of goof-balls got their start. Turns out it's harpy archers preying on the refugees. The party kills the harpies, but some refugees were kidnapped and set up to be a meal for harpy fledglings about to hatch. The Boss grabs a dead harpy soul and bargains with it. She promises to adopt the baby harpies if the dead soul leads her to the nest. And she does. Feeling all mother-hen-like, Vauhwyt decides to go build a nest on Blackbird Lake. Meanwhile, the rest of the party go to a fair in north Aisildur, sending the refugees on their way safely. They find a zoo at the fair, set free a unicorn, and from there is all goes ker-blooey. The zookeeper worked for a monstrolger, who with a crazy druid pal kidnaps the harpy fledglings to use in experiments. The party tracks them down, kills them and their servants, but the fledglings being used as hostages all end up dying too. Boo hoo, no more harpy babies.
My Three Liches -- Okay, so the monstrologer worked for the master lich of Bone Mountain, and he sics three of his own pet liches on the group. The Boss senses them scrying, and then it is war. The liches send demons disguised as us out to kill innocents and smear our good names. They put a death orb in the middle of Imod City. The party tracks down and kills the demons and the three liches. Easier said than done, but we did it.
Jass' Tales -- Move aside Mookie! You are humorous but your Boss, Vauhwyt, isn't the only one here of the group, eh? Next part of the story is better told by me anyways. Hi there! Jass, Jass of Downs, a Southern wanderer pretty much stuck here in the Northern Continent since the Great Migration messed up the lands a while back. I traveled with the Crimson Shields at Floating City, joined the Gray Knights in their last battles with some serious liches, and migrated out to Blackbird Lake and joined up with these guys who were just getting back from their lich expedition, and were happy to get some joiners.
Shellville -- While recovering from the lich battles, my companions and I are approached by some halflings who have this gig training giant turtles for Floating City. (Don't ask how they get the turtles from Blackbird Lake to Turtle Lake.) Seems their turtles are trying to kill them. We save Shellville, then borrow an Iron Boat to sail to the middle of the lake and dive to the bottom all while fighting giant animals and resisting an irritating mind-control of ourselves. We find this temple and bargain with a couple water elementals. Turns out a collossal elemental rainbow eel is insane and mind controlling all local waterlife through a portal from the elemental plane of water. We go and kill it which ends the mind controlling madness.
Scarwall -- Sometimes good people find heroes to help them, sometimes the heroes track down rumors, and sometimes... sometimes the bad guys track down the heroes. We were getting some strange sightings of a ghost that turned out to be a not-friend of Vorelle (still don't know the connection of Targo and our ranger). And then Brahmah gets a visit from an old sailor minotaur who gives him a mysterious horn. Well, we gather and try to find out what's going on, and the Horn transports all of us to the pocket dimension of Koshe-Marr and the cursed castle of Scarwall. Get this, no extra-dimensional magic works here; no summoning monsters, no teleports, no shadow magic, no bags of holding, pants of plenty, or special quivers. we are trapped with whatever we have on our immediate person! The clerics can barely even regain their spells, that is, when we were able to find a place safe to rest! A ghost gave us a clue in poem form, reproduced here:
"Fate of steel--Sablihelm
Her cage for years sustained
Four enthralled in lost Scarwall;
Undead to keep her chained."
"A spirit first, red war his thirst
Still stands at post of old;"
"A second foe, infernal soul
Waits high in tower cold."
"In kennel's grime third bides his time
Then vents his killing breath."
"And on a stone 'mid ash and bone,
The final dreams of death."
"The spirits worn and battletorn
And locked in their damnation,
The chained one's hold at last grows old
And ushers in salvation."
"Yet hope remains amid the chains
Behold the blade's great wonder,
Friends to dread and the death of the dead,
This prison hell will sunder."
So, we were trapped in the fortress of Scarwall in Koshe-Marr, deprived of many of our magics and unable to rest except rarely, have to find and kill 4 guardians (an undead black dragon, an undead cleric, a devil with her many minions, and an insane fighter who carries a magic-wielding artifact) and then an immortal chained guardian that can't be harmed without killing the other four guardians first. This only gave us the opportunity to fight the guardian of a lost magical sword who turns out to be the one who trapped us in Scarwall in the first place because it was going insane and wanted to die, but couldn't just lay down nicely and take it. And THEN, we found out that to get back to the Wold, we had to destroy the holy and good artifact that is Sablihelm. With all this happening, I learned one thing for sure, that it is good to have friends.
Well, with Sablihelm's willing help, we broke the sword, and the magic freed not only us, but all of Scarwall too! We now have our own castle, just out of Acid City, and a whole bunch of gold that we can use to make Scarwall into a symbol for good once again.
Talisman of Health -- Surprises always happen, and we should have known politics would have grabbed us as soon as we had a castle. In less than a month, the local government and religion (hard to tell the difference, eh?) in Alisidur came calling on Scarwall. It was a little hairy for a while, after all, there is no love lost between these northern dieties of Domi and Ga'al, but it was soon situated out. The Blackbird Lake Heroes would get free land and autonomy for 5 miles around Scarwall, which is enough to keep us in food and fuel, and no taxes either. In exchange, however, we got a liasion from the local temple of Ga'al, a paladin named Sir Horace, the local government of Acid City erected statues of us in Hero Park, we were invited to get heartseeded (only Brahmah accepted), and we agreed to try and get an artifact for the Acid City Ga'alians that would help prevent a terrible Disease of Marteus from affecting Acid City. To get there, we had to go Astral and leave our bodies behind. A cleric of Domi watched over us to guard against any Ga'alian betrayal.
This Talisman was in a pocket universe of dreadfully cliche'd elemental rooms, created by two Immortals, twins called Jangle and Tangle. To make it more interesting, we were the heroes of Jangle, and Tangle had another team looking for the same Talisman for their own purposes. We had just begun the main showdown against this team of buffed-up and unaffiliated Eidolons, when our guardian cleric of Domi ended our Astral projections, fearing the Ga'alians were going to Heartseed all of us while we were sleeping!
We didn't destroy the temple, but there ain't no love lost, and we're gonna keep an eye open about these Ga'alians, I tell you what!
Lich of Mount Bone -- Priscilla, the Witch of Blackbird Forest, is a friend of several of these BBL Heroes, and she brought news that finally gave us the break we were looking for. All our lich troubles were orchestrated by a Master Lich, and we were able to find out where he was hiding with all his lieutenant liches. Turns out, he had a floating fortress 30,000 feet above the peak of Mount Bone, which was how he could keep away from heroes looking for him. We arrived and began hunting liches this time, killing three and bargaining with two more to turn over their phylacteries.
It took five phylacteries put together to transport us to another dimension (sound familiar?), and we then had to hunt down and kill the Great Lich. Turns out, his whole dimension was a big energy siphon to get him enough power to become a Diety. He was nearly there in power, but his near-omnipotence was not matched by his omniscience. We were able to bring him to battle, and while there were several close calls, nobody died but the Great Lich. Gargul personnally shredded his siphon dimension and escorted the ex-Great Lich's spirit to some long-overdue activities in the Lands of Unrest.
And us? The Gray Lord gave us a personal 'well done'! How about that? No more liches for us, and we get to do what WE want to do for a change. And me? That is a hot bath and sleeping for a week.
Here is the full past history of game posts.
- Aztyr- a liontaur sorcerer fixer.
- Brahmah - the inventor of Brahmah's Tattoos, the Last Captain of the Chosen of Domi, and a minotaur ranger hero. Current captain of the ship Courage. (Pictured below.)
- Malgant - a minotaur protector.
- Vauhwyt - a liontaur grim trickster who used to be an avenger, but found revenge to be too bitter after all.
- Vorelle - a human urban ranger.
- Jass - a human sorcerer who has wandered up from the Southern Continent
- Sir Joshua the Virtuous - a steadfast paladin and his loyal warhorse, William.
- Appolo - a human hero and warrior, once a pirate.
- Bart - a human warrior.
- Berlon - a gnome fixer.
- Lorth - a human paladin of Gargul.
- Nebbin - a halfling greenmage
- Uel - a surface drow wizard
- Whysper - a half elf rogue
- Val - a warrior with strange elvish origins who hates the undead.
- Macanasthai "Mac" - a minotaur fighter who has wandered the Wold.
Lady Xill, Bardamion, Sherentiva, and the whole Cloud-Prance clan ... Silver dragons living among humans. Collectors of Teucri artifacts. They have homes in Acid City and they own the Mangled Centaur in Imod City.
Tinker the Gnome ... and inventor who gave us the Silver Lady, a metal boat that uses stone as fuel, now docked at Acid City.
Priscilla the Witch of Blackbird Forest ... and her spirit familiar Warrick, a black vulture.
Gnym ... a minotaur poet, and the village on Minotaur Isle where he lives, named after him.
Mortish ... a high priest of Gargul in Plateau City.
Zipwise ... a young excitable and duty-bound halfling and Elder of Shellville (along with wise and crotchety Gamma and former drunk Old Toot). The halflings live in giant turtle shells and train turtles for Floating City. Zipwise is the owner of the Turtle Staff, a magical artifact whose powers include: Speak with Turtle, Turtle Suggestion, and Airy Bubble 10'. And there may be more...
Horace ... a paladin/bard of Ga'al who helped welcome the heroes to Acid City.
Blackbird Lake - A large lake between Blackbird Forest and Aisildur.
Blackbird Forest - A magical forest south of the Culverwood, this ancient wood is unsafe unless you are accompanied by a creature with black feathers.
Tears of the Wood Inn - a tavern on the edge of the forest toward the Izen side. Popular with the mounted forces of the Mailed Fist outpost located nearby.
Shellville - The town consists of a score of dwellings and shops served by a single stone wharf (built by the BBL Heroes). The roofs of the buildings are all made from enormus turtle shells, 50' or so in diameter. The halflings live in giant turtle shells and train turtles for Floating City.
Farther inland a large building can be seen, at least two stories high and does not have a shell for a roof. It is the Inn, "L" shaped and appears to be rather well maintained. It serves to house visitors and is pretty much the cultural center of the town. Nightly it serves refreshments and the townsfolk take it in turns to entertain themselves and each other in the great room.
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