This session was at my house a nice group of six players. Next Sunday we're back at FLGS, King's Hobby. Couple player's reports/emails on group list below.
After the Death of my dear brother, Ander. I was visited by the visage of Saint Cuthbert of the Cudgel. He told me to join the band of adventurers that were mucking around in the swamps. Revenge against the chaotic forces that dwell in the caves and filth. Determined and enraged with the great spirit of Cuthbert. I set my sights on the swamp, though the party felt the need to chase their tails in the woods all day. We entered the swamp, and a provided a nice gift to Januc, he might be a gross looking Orge, but he heart and belly mean for the better. He was in danger with a large crocagater (Must be a swamp term for alligator). After to disposed of the beast and ate some food and rested. We planned to take out the Idol of the Boglings. This would not be an easy task, we had a Dragon Turtle to dispose of, which was causing the mass amount of fog in the swamps. We pulled up to the small island where the Idol stood, and our selfish, dimmed witted thief climbed up and popped out the humongous eye ruby. Which was the plan, but I don't trust thieves. The bogglings began to croak and the beast of the swamps drew near. Luckily we prepped and lit our circle of fire. Though it didnt really stop the bogglings, he proved to be most effective on the dragon turtle. We were able to defeat the best along with countless bogglings. We retreated, but one of the bogglings took the ruby right from my grasp. Kitty sent the surviving swamp dog [Angeline] after the boggling with a command in that filthy language of the orcs. When we arrived to town, wouldn't you know... that ugly dog had the ruby. Our journeys will take us to Verbonoc next to sell this ruby. Cuthbert will be most pleased with the offering that I have for the church.
-- What's his name, Acolyte of St. Cuthbert
Well, Januc is certainly more than he seems to be. When we were leaving the boggling camp after killing the [baby] dragon turtle, my character heard him chanting a spell (couldn't say what it was, nor whether arcane or divine). Not to mention the fact that apparently the shield [see below for stats] he made for my character, using the skin of that gator we helped him kill, is apparently magical. [It isn't] So he's not just your run-of-the mill ogre. In fact, he may not even be an ogre at all. We know of one other instance where a halfling is apparently becoming an ogre. That halfling/ogre (can't recall the name right now) is using his power to lead a band of human bandits [Jets as in the black gem]. It could be that Januc is actually some other race, and is using magic to take ogre form.
Or he could just be a magic-using ogre (which is also interesting). We also don't know what Ostler meant by the message he gave us to take to Januc. It was something like "We need more of them/that". Januc seemed impressed that Ostler would entrust us to carry that message, cryptic though it was. He never explained, though, and never gave us anything to take back to Ostler. Of course, we weren't really able to chat while retreating from the bogling hoard. Come to think of it, anyone think it strange that he volunteered to help us wipe out the boglings? Maybe he just wanted to get rid of the [baby] dragon turtle, as it would be a threat to all the swamp denizens, including him. But maybe he had another angle.
...do ogres typically speak orc? [yes] I've been wondering why the swamp dogs respond to commands in orc. Any ideas?
After leaving the swamp, we saw what apparently were gnoll zombies emerge, and move towards us. We lured them back towards the swamp before giving them the slip, so they wouldn't head into Hommlet. Want a wild-ass guess? What if Januc is actually The Master? What if he doesn't mind us killing gnolls and xvarts and boglings because he's just going to animate them into an undead army? What if the undead soldiers were the "more of them" of Ostler's message?
Maybe I'm way off the mark, but there are a lot of questions out there. I think we need to do some investigation.
-- Bowie Ftr/Mu/Cl of Kord
That, esp last line, warms my DM heart. Getting players to think and wonder about the world, characters, places I have created is my highest goal.
Few have remembered the old ways, such as how to craft a sturdy shild from the back plates of a Giant Crocogator. It acts like a normal large shield and if prepared properly is surprisingly resilient to blows. Crocogator Shield's most amazing feature is providing +4 to saves vs most breath weapons.
btw it's a crocogator cause I kept switching back and forth from crocodile and aligator when describing it.