Dragonlance War of the Lance

And so it begins...
The long trip home

I didn't take notes, and my memory isn't what it used to be so I may need help filling in the blanks.  Feel free to edit my post or add your own details, comments, etc.

As they returned to Solace after a 5 year journey, 3 of the original companions found themselves sharing the road again as they had done half a decade ago.  They quickly adjusted their strides to allow for them all to keep pace and picked up conversations left incomplete from years ago.  As the smoke from the home fires and the first twinkles of evening lanterns appeared from the town ahead, the group was ambused.

Out of the brush 8 hobgoblins jumped out onto the road, and were joined by a larger, fatter, flabbier version of the same riding a pony.  The rider declared that "Onynx demands the Blue Crystal Staff!  Forfeit the staff now or die!"  The craven leader then rode off in haste leaving his soldiers to deal with you.

Being seasoned adventurers you didn't hesitate to defend yourselves and were quickly shown Nathaniel's increased powers as he incinerated the attackers with a ball of flame conjured by his own hand.  

Weary from your journey and wanting to see if the others returned as well you make your way to the Inn of the Last Home.  Here you are greeted warmly by Otik and his barmaid Tika whom you vaguely remember as a young girl when you left.  The mood is more somber than usual and while people are aware of Seeker militia being used in the area, they are surprised to hear of Hobgoblin soldiers.  

You spend some time washing the road dust from your throats with Otik's delicious ale and filling your belly with his famous spiced potatoes.  You hear some rumors about Seeker's and that some are better than other's but Elistan in Haven seems to have a good reputation.  People talk of a Blue Crytal staff and some seem to think it's from Darken Wood, a local forest rumored to be cursed.  Other's say a man came looking for the staff and said that if it should be found to bring it to the Seeker's in Haven.  

Nathaniel sits by the storyteller and meets his gaze and is told a prophecy that says that they must return the Blue Crystal Staff to Xak Tsaroth and that a few days hence, you shall face your greatest peril in contest for the greatest gift given to man!"

The crowd is hushed by that statement and it is several seconds before the normal level of murmuring begins again.  No one seems to know of anyone named Onyx.  You hear people saying that they wish they would just find the staff and leave the people alone.  Suddenly a cry comes out from the kitchen and the cook and Otik burst from the room, the cook crying in pain from a burn.  

At the same time a stranger who had been sitting quietly nearby, springs up offering healing help, while at the same time brandishing a staff that began to hum and vibrate.  As the stranger sets the staff against the wall to use retrieve items from his healer's kit the staff slides over and brushes against the burned woman.  There is a blue flash of light and when that subsides a gasp from the crowd as two things are apparent, the woman has been fully healed and the once plain wooden staff is now glowing blue crystal!

The crowd is now talking excitedly, pointing and gathering in small groups.  Outside, bells can be heard and the yelling of orders for the militia.  They have found the Hobgoblin remains outside of town!  It is only moments before the sounds of booted feet can be heard on the steps outside the Inn.  Otik and Tika quickly take action, ushering you inside the kitchen to escape from the hatch in the store room.  Otik delays the guard as Tika helps guide you.

After escaping out the delivery hatch, the group makes it's way to Nathaniel's house, bringing Cleatus, the staff bearer into their fold.  Cleatus tells his story of how the staff came to his possession and how he found himself transported outside of Solace.  He believe the staff to have some sort of powers but was not aware it had the ability to heal.

Taking a moment to catch their breath and decide their next move, Buck tells the group that guards are going house to house searching for them.  It won't be long before they get to them.  The group decides to take the staff to the Seekers in Haven.  They are going to split up and meet at the spot where they encountered the Hobgoblins outside of the village.  

Hearing that there are goblins among the search parties, Drynn takes it upon himself to delay the militia, allowing for the others to escape.  With Buck's help the goblins are slain and the human's surrender.  They tell Drynn and Buck that they don't know of Onyx, that they work for Toede the Hobgoblin and that they are afraid to be found as deserters.  They agree to Buck's plan to make it look as though they were defeated in battle and allow them to leave and meet up with the others.

The group reconnects outside of Solace on the road.  Seeing that Nathaniel is showing signs of fatigue after expending energy to cast his spells, they dice to rest for the evening.  While settign up camp, it is noticed that two of the constellations, known as Takhisis and Paladine are missing from the sky. 

After spending a night camping off the road in the chill Autumn air, the group, refreshed and full of questions, heads east on the road out of Solace toward's Prayer's Eye Peak, a local mountain about half a days walk from Solace that will allow them to get a good view of the surrounding area and help them decide what to do. 

After a few hours on the road, the group sees and odd sight.  A group of what appears to be traveling monks or clerics is pulling a wagon down the road.  They wear heavy robes and wrappings despite the day being warm.  When approached by Drynn and Buck they explain that they are clerics from the city of Xak Tsaroth and that one of their order is sick.  They seek a Blue Crystal Staff that was stolen from them, only days ago.

Buck, wanting to be helpful tells the group that they have seen the staff and immediately the demeanor of the "clerics" changes.  The speaker becomes agitated and making demands to know where the staff is, when it was last seen, who had it, etc.  Upon hearing that the group possesses the staff the clerics drop their disguises and reveal that they are indeed strange reptilian looking humanoids using the robes to hide their wings, tails and scaly skin.  

The creatures are seasoned fighters, using flanking tactics and their numbers to surround the heroes.  The heroes fight back, using a combination of magic and melee to eventually overcome their attackers.  During the combat, it is discovered that whatever these foul, evil creatures are, even in death they are menacing as they turn to stone upon dying, and can hold fast weapons used against them.  

Here we finished the session.  As I said, feel free to update or add to the synopsis.  You can post here and in the forums.  Discuss what these creatures are, what it may mean for constellations to be missing out of the sky.  What is the Blue Crystal staff and what else can it do?  


Adventure Background

Five years ago, a band of good friends frequented the Inn of the Last Home, the most popular tavern and inn in the treetop village of Solace.  They made a pact to go off on their own in search of some sign of the true gods, agreeing to meet back at the Inn of the Last Home on that day five years later.  Each taking a different path, they set out for the far corners of Ansalon.  Now the heroes, known as the Innfellows, return to their hometown after finding only futility — the true gods seem to be well and truly gone.  However, at the very least, they can look forward to a warm fire, a good meal, and the companionship of their dearest friends upon their return.

Unfortunately, they find that Solace has changed in their absence.  The Seekers, a misguided religious sect of questionable sincerity, have become the temporal rulers of Solace, governing the region from the nearby Lordcity of Haven.  Rumors of war and whispers of monsters and death circulate among the farmers and townsfolk in hushed voices.  Solace has changed, and that change promises to become even more drastic.

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