Under a Bleeding Sun

Session One -
From Slavery to Freedom to Prison

Arena1
The Arena

Slavery:

The party Trogdor found themselves in the grip of the slavery. They had travelled to six of the city-states of Tyr to be shown off as gladiators. Their prowess was noteworthy, and although many in group of Trogdor had been slain, there were still six going forward. Master Arin, a renowned war hero who had retired many years back to head up Arawn’s guard service, know in the arena as Loyalty. Silenja, a noble who had been well known for her deadly scimitar, known as Lion’s Bane. Mider, a silt cleric who was known as the Sandman. Kavarius, a gladiator known as Demos. Taliesin, an as of yet unclassified character- who is known as the Screeching Arrow. And lastly, a powerful half-giant barbarian known as Zivenja, the Big Foot.

The party found themselves going to the one city-state they had not battled in the arena at- Draj during the Flowery Wars. The Flowery Wars are a time of showing of warriors prowess in the city of Draj, where visitors come from all over the Tyr Region, some even from beyond that. As the party approached after their ten day caravan, they saw a great show going on at the front gate- two mighty warriors(at least if the headbands were to be believed) were fighting at the edge of town. The crowd around them was begging for blood as the two mighty warriors traded blows. One man lost his footing on a back pedal, and was caught off balance for a split second, and that second was all that was needed for the other mighty warrior to cleave his skull in two with his Macahuitl. The crowd, sprayed in blood went crazy, and the victorious warrior stomped on the fallens body, and added a feather from the fallens headdress to his own.

The caravan pulled through the city slowly, as there were so many people. It is said that the population of Draj more than doubles during the week of the Flowery Wars, and it certainly seemed that way. Eventually the Mekillot pulling the slave cart made its way to the Palace Of Gladiatorial Combat, a giant ten story high arena, ascending eight stories high and two below ground. The party is led to their cage where they are kept with about another 100 or so sets of gladiator slaves. The party attempts to gather information on what they will be fighting the next morning, marking the opening of the first days of the flowery wars, and after getting many glances like they were crazy for even asking, they called it a night to prepare for the next day.

The party watches as a few groups of gladiators go to the arena before them. One doesn’t return, and another only one man returns from. Trogdor is called out in a while and arming themselves at the edge of the arena, they can smell the blood soaked sand from thousands of battles fought in this arena. As they go out, they ready themselves in formation for their opponent, which turns out to be a Mountain Stalker. He looks kind of like a cyclops, except he has three eyes where the one eye should be, and two giant tentacles where his arms should be. The party makes pretty quick work of him, Big Foot, Loyalty and Demos charge in, flanking the beast on both sides dealing out vicious damage to Stalker, while Sandman forces the stalker to fall to the ground. Lion’s Bane sees an opening, and charges in between the flanking warrior, taking the beast in the throat and skinning him from ear to ear- upsetting at least one member of Trogdor who feels his kill has been stolen. The crowd goes wild and the party is led back to their cell, where Master Argonald comes to them, and tells them congratulations on making it so far, and he hopes they survive the morrow so he can grant them their freedom. He also warns them that the last battle is often treacherous and to keep a look out for foul play. Argonald’s clerics come and restore the wounded, so they can prepare to fight the next day.

The next day Trogdor goes through the same routine, and is ushered into the arena and face off against a Klar, a powerful animal with innate psionic powers. He represents a bear with giant claws. The Klar starts off the battle by moving up cautiously, and after he finds the most experienced combatant, which is loyalty, he unleashes a devastating mind thrust against him. Arin is bleeding from his nose, eyes and ears and is barely hanging onto life. Knowing he has two options, to sacrifice himself and give the others a small chance of survival, or to hold back and let the Klar finish them off, until, maybe one of them can destroy the thing, he throws himself forward. The party follows suite and is attacking the creature mercilessly. The Klar picks up erin in both hands, bites his head off, and tosses the body behind him. The party continues to beat away on the beast and the Klar uses more psionics and gives a flesh wound to Lion’s Bane. Then he truly turns the tide, and commands the barbarian to finish the noble, which Big Foot, now empowered and large herself feels compelled to obey. She smashes down on the unsuspecting noble, destroying her through the mid-torso and hammering the remains of her body into the ground. The klar grapples Demos and locks him into a vicious bear hug, draining the life out of him. Hope is almost loss, but the cleric unleashes a spell commanding Big Foot to command her ally, who is the Klar at the moment. Once again, Big Foot feels compelled to obey, and finishes off the Klar with a bone crushing smash to its back.

The Screeching Arrow takes it upon himself to loot the body of the Noble, who had two magic items upon him. During this time slots pull up on three sides of the arena, and they unleash Razor Wings that Trogdor must now contend with. Big Foot picks up the Klar and hurls it at one, smashing the creatures body yet again against the side of the wall. The party valiantly defeat the relatively easy foes without another casualty.

Argonald greets them on their way out, and officially release them from bondage. He says he is very proud, and gives them each five ceramic pieces. He wishes them luck and tells them they hope they find their calling and fortune as he has. The party exits to the street, and have their first taste of freedom in many months.

Whispers

They decided it is time to rest up, as they are still mortally wounded, and they spend two days in an inn. They also sell their loot, and Kavarius get his Iron Battle axe mounted on his shield, and switches out his weapon for the Keen +1 Scimitar. During this time, the Screeching Arrow brews up some poisons from some regents he picked up and goes and makes a business transaction making the party another 700 ceramic pieces. Feeling like they need to upgrade their rooms, he goes and gets them two Luxury Suites at a local inn, at a very steep cost because of the Flowery Wars population boom. Mider also raises a Razorwing as an undead Zombie ally to help them on their way.

The next day the party splits up, with Mider and Zivenja going off one way, and Taliesin and Kavarius going another to look for work. Taliesin and Kavarius see a wizard get arrested by the Templars, and led to a stockade. Also at the stockade is an Aarokora, trapped in a cage and dying of thirst. The wizard, Tec’Tezeran seems to at least know about the heroes gladiator days, and offers them a reward for their aid. Mider says he will see what he can do, and Zivenja give the dehydrated Aarokora some water, saving the bird creatures life.

The party meets back up at the inn later that evening, and Mider tells them about the wizard, cleverly leaving out the part about a reward. They go to see the wizard early the next morning, all in disguises except for Zivenja. The party did not see a chameleon that followed them to their destination. Mider caused the wizards inside to catch a flames, and Taliesin demanded to know how Tec’Tezeran knew about him. The wizard said he would not answer until Mider was stopped from torturing him, but no one seemed to care, and Taliesin reached in with his white dagger and put the blade to the wizards throat threatening him. The wizard, burning in pain and realizing his assumption that Trogdor would aid him in his great quest, slit his own throat on the knife blade. Mider decides to make him speak in death, and the wizard tells them of a great evil coming from the Temple of Storms, that now, in his death only they can stop. Kavarius and Taliesin decide to sell the bird into slavery, but as they discuss this, Zivenja breaks the bars on the side of the cage and allows the bird to go free, who flys off into the night. The party, deciding they have made enough of a scene head back to the inn to plan.

Mider decides to gather information on the Temple of Storms, and epically gathers a ton of information. He learns that the greatest contributor to the temple is an artisan names Juanox, who loves pulque and has a shop in the artisan district. They buy a keg of pulque and go to see Juanox. Juanox, already drunk, has several more drinks, and while very forthcoming with his information, doesn’t seem to know anything of value. Trogdor decides to go see what they can learn at the temple. Taliesn makes his way to the front, and speaks with Rugar, who cryptically tells him to shed blood in the streets, and the party picks a mark from the crowd of a well known member of the Temple of Storms. Rugar gives a sermon telling them to be ready to leave in the morning two days time, and that they are about to make their great voyage. Unfortunately as they tail the man they fail to notice a chameleon that has picked back up on them.

They follow the man for some way, and Taliesin breaks off from the party to confront the man, probably to attempt to take his identity in the Temple, a grand idea. Unfortunately a group of about thirty Templars has the rest of the party surrounded and demands their surrender. The party, seeing no other way at the moment , surrenders to the Templars. Taliesin gives up on his mark to see where the Templars take his allies.

The captured members are interrogated, and Mider is forced to open his mind to a psion by the name of Imhoxata, for the pleasure of Namhotec. After a little torture, Namhotec is satisfied and allows the party to be put in the cells outside to die. Taliesin though has other plans. He goes and kills an on duty Templar who slipped into a whore house, and after paying a heavy bribe, is now perfectly disguised as a Templar. He confidently walks into the compound, and first walks into the room where the party’s equipment is being held. The on duty guard stupidly assumes it is time for his duty to be off, and Taliesin helps convince him that he is there to take over his shift, and the Templar eagerly leaves. Taliesin goes to the window, and signals to the rest of the party that it is him in there, and that he is going to attempt to help them break free. Kavarius, who has recently stored some acid on his body gets ready to make his move. Taliesin moves into the next room with the other guard, who instantly sees through the phony Taliesin, who at this point can’t bluff his way past an invalid. She calls for Imhoxata, which is surely to bring much unwanted attention.

Kavarius, seeing the commotion starts using the acid on the bars, while Mider has his Zombie bird enter the front door of the compound, were he spots at least a half dozen Templar’s heading down the hall. With the acid only half finished, Zivenja smashes the rest of the bars, and Taliesin prepares to smash a vile of poison in the templar’s face. And unfortunately, at this climatic moment we called it a night:(

View
Session Two -
Prison, Near Death, and Storm Lords

Venezuela storm
Summoning A Tyr Storm

Most of Trogdor found themselves in a precarious position of being trapped and equipment less, while Taliesin had just alerted the guards to their presence there. Luckily he had tricked one of the guards into leaving his post. During this slight distraction Karvius slipped his acid out and ate away at the bars to their cell, and he ran and very gracelessly jumped into the room holding their equipment, hitting his head on the way in and skinning his knee upon landing. Zivenja ran up and held the front door shut while Taliesin hit the templar in the face with a vile of poison. The templar, angry but unaffected, swung her Macahuitl delivering a minor flesh wound.

Karvius started putting their gear in one chest while throwing his own equipment over his shoulder. Mider made the templar drop to the ground, aiding Taliesin in his escape through the window. An invisible attacker hit Mider’s pet, severally wounding it. Zivenja hears from inside the building “Don’t let the reptile escape” and confuses this to mean they don’t want Mider’s pet to escape, when in reality they are hunting for Mider.

Then Mider’s pet falls, and there is shaking on the door Zivenja is securing. Karvius gets ready to take the chest and run. Taliesin escapes from the battlefield and starts turning into his normal self, remaining the only party member not to be hunted by the templar’s. All hell breaks loose when some guards run into the room Karvius is looting, being alerted by the loud banging inside. One guard charges him and deftly trips over his own feet. Namhotec charges into the room and attempts to immobilize Karvius, who luckily for him just laughs as the colors splash him in the face. The stealthy mul becomes invisible again and disappears while Wacahuitl surrounds Mider with a swarm of bats.

Karvius picks up the chest and jumps out the window, trying to distance himself from the Templars. Zivenja runs to catch up with him, and readies herself to take the chest with her. The Mul appears and viciously stabs Mider in the stomach, damaging him severely, as the bat swarm attacks him as well, bringing him within an inch of his life. Mider runs and jumps onto Zivenja’s back, ready to let her do the hard work. Namhotec attempts to blast Mider with magic missiles, but can’t seem to pull it off around the bend. Wacahuitl jumps out through the window and puts a flaming sphere in the path closest to the remaining party, While guards start running out the building at Trogdor.

Zivenja runs to the farther path while Mider moves to the front so he can better motorboat those large half giant breasts. The mul bursts out of nowhere, easily covering the distance between them. The flaming sphere rolls out and attacks Karvius, who jumps through it and only has one guard pursuing him, when a fireball explodes against his back, doing deadly damage to him. He bursts out of there and loses all signs of pursuit. Zivenja continues running taking an attack from the mul who then disappears. Unfortunately, where she comes out there are already a group of Templar’s, who quickly join the pursuit. She runs tirelessly as the guard continue to pursue, and for every guard that drops off, two guards appear in his place. Mider decides to start healing them, and is able to recover all their health. By the time they reach the gate, guards have assembled and are guarding the front gate. Zivenja charges at them, and they intelligently move out of the large giants way as she runs through. They head into the corn field to the south and easily lose their pursuer’s.

Unfortunately, a pack of Jhokar’s has stalked them and attacks. In her large form, Zivenja has no problem swatting them down while Mider heal bots her from atop her back. The battle is quickly over.

Meanwhile, Karvius retreats to an inn to rest, and sends Taliesin a notice through an orphan to meet him there. Karvius rests his broken body, while Taliesin goes shopping for him and brews a poison netting himself a tidy profit, and picks himself up a wand of cure light wounds. Meanwhile Mider and Zivenja rest up outside of town, finding a very secure hillock, where they have good visibility for over a mile away, but no one can see them. No one seems to find them.
The next morning Karvius and Taliesin join the cultist as they gather supplies and leave town for a yet unknown destination. Mider and Zivenja join the cultist, and join their party members, reuniting Trogdor. They travel the morning through, and rest through the heat of the day and all night, giving Mider time to raise an undead Jhokar to aid them. They try to figure out what is going on, but the cultist themselves seem to know less than the party. They take off the next morning, and travel to Fort Ebon, where two dozen guards and over 100 slaves join the group, and Rugar enters the fort to rest, readying for the nights journey. The party attempts to gather more information, with yet the same result, but they do manage to get some valuable trade in.

Rugar and his guards come out as the sun is setting and they travel about half of the night until they get to the base of the Mastyrial Mountains. Karvius wanders away and climbs the mountain, until he gets to the location where he thinks the ritual will. He rests in a small alcove. Early the next morning the group starts to travel up the mountain, while the House Tsalaxa guards break off from the rest of the party. The group is attacked by a giant scorpion looking thing on the ascent, and the heroes see it slaughter quite a few of the group members while they watch on. The caravan eventually defeats the thing, and the group moves on. After several long hours going through a mountain pass the reach a large plateau, where Kavarius readies a Molotov cocktail. while the group marches, and the slaves are formed into a circle by the guards, while the lower followers make two semi circles around them, and many guards are behind Rugar and Bakara. Rugar steps forward and begins a powerful incantation that causes lightning to come down from the sky and hit the first couple of slaves, frying them. After the bolt returns into the sky it comes down and hits Rugar, infusing itself with him. This causes the party to act before its to late. Everyone move to action, Mider silences his new pet, who charges forward and effects most the characters in a sphere of silence. Kavarius throws the Molotov at the closest cultists, causing a panic while Zivenja charges forward and gives Rugar a powerful whack. His guards move in, and one outside the silence zone blesses his allies. Rugar moves away and heals himself while Bakara steps in, and manages to trip over his own two feet falling prone directly in front of Zivenja. Zivenja promptly picks him up and throws him over the edge of the plateau. Mider attempts to control a templar, while Taliesin unleashes an arrow at a templar. Kavarius moves in trying to stay hidden in the crowd, but is the only one moving with any intention so Rugar notices him, and hits him with an enervation, almost killing him outright. Taliesin shoots an arrow at Rugar and Kavarius moves in striking Rugar hard. While Rugar tries to move away to heal, Kavarius get in one final blow, dropping him. The crowds start to disperse and flee.

The heroes quickly loot, and decide to go back to the temple and loot before the followers get back. They travel tirelessly all day and night to get to the Temple of storms first, and they do. We left off with them looting the temple, that while it had some loot, was much poorer than they had thought…

View
Session Four: 11-14
Overwhelming Victory-Damn

Dl02 session 802
Uh-Oh – A Caravan Ambush!! Wish I didn’t fire most the guards

Today started off with Mider being arrested by Templar’s for not having his papers during the changing of the guards. He got thrown in a cell with Taliesin and the body of the now deceased Kavarius. A little while later a young lady was thrown in the cell, and oddly the lead Templar moved most the guards off of the prsioners. The lady tells Mider they need to escape and Mider tells her his undead beetle is currently on his way into the cell. The beetle busts through and the lady casts a knock spell on the door and they take off. She summons a creature to take some heat off them, and they escape into a secret door, and go down a ladder going down into a secret assembly chamber.

When they first enter, Mider is accosted by the host, being accused of being a preserver slayer. Jaggo appears shortly after and confronts Mider. Mider decides to come clean and does not lie about his intentions, and Jaggo decides that mercy is the correct action here, and lets Mider live, with the promise he will personally slay him if he should ever slay a preserver without cause again.

Shortly later, Korgunard appears and informs the gathering that he has prepared and is ready to perform the ritual to transform into the first stage on Avangion. The crowd goes silent, and Korgunard begins. It is a very sacred ceremony, and unfortunately three hours into the ceremony a Templar comes out of the curtain behind Korgunard and deals a vicious stroke with his magic sword. Templar’s storm out ready to blast the room with silence, but a readied action by Akus puts two of them to sleep, only allowing about half the room to be dropped in silence. A vicious battle starts, with Templar’s piling out from behind the curtain, and Half-giant Templar’s moving down the ladder into the room. Mider drops a deeper darkness on a pebble and throws it to the ladder, epically (and luckily, and barely) getting it right where he wants, slowing down the half-giants advance. They finish off the Templar’s in their way and escape to the sewer with Elentha and Jaggo.

Korgunard says his last words “To tyr the roads..” and goes unconscious. Jaggo asks the party and the new PC’s Veiled Alliance member Akus and his bodyguard Vyndaeth if they would transport him to Tyr. The party agrees, and learns of an ally of the alliance Gregen the half-giant who might be able to aide them on escaping the city. Thanks to a stealthy bounty hunter they make it to Gregen without incidence. Gregen is a guard in charge of the slaves going to the obsidian mines. He says he can put Korgunard and their equipment in the last wagon of the line up, and ensure that their manacles will not be secured, but the escape needs to be up to them. The party agrees, and within a few hours is headed out of the city in a slave caravan. They easily secure their equipment and steal the wagon, taking it south and to the road to Tyr.

Tyrian Conspiracy Part 2

As the party approaches the road, they see a burning caravan on the road. As they approach, Mider realizes that it is Nadar’s caravan. After exploring, they find Daimon now dead, and a barely alive dwarf. With his dying words he informs the party that Nadar was kidnapped by the elves who slaughtered the caravan. Vyndaeth can tell that the elves were many in number, and that they have probably invoked elf run, making them nearly impossible to catch up with. The party decides to stick to the road.

Arcane Shadows Part 2

Early on in their day they get stuck in a Tyr storm, and Vyndaeth gets the caravan lost into the desert. While lost the party gets attacked by a trine of Cha’thrang. While the undead beetle and the kanks drop, the party dispatches the other foes with relative ease, and the next morning the add three undead cha’thrang to their arsenal, along with two undead kanks. The next day they become assaulted by a group of savage muls. The muls stand little chance against the party, and drop quickly.

Later that day the party runs into an assaulted caravan, and as their investigating the scene, they become surrounded by a dozen kreen. The Kreen say they are awaiting the great one, that a soft skin informed them of his coming. After some banter Vyndaeth shows them Korgunard, and after an odd ritual involving touching their antennae to Korgunard, the leader of the Kreen offers to accompany the party to deliver the “Great One” to the spirit of the land. Akus begins to put the whole thing together, and gathers as much information as he can on Kreen culture. The next two days pass without incidence. On the third day, in the afternoon, they pass an oasis, and they try to stay out of sight, but the party gets seen. The group hails to the party, but they continue on their way.

A few hours later Tik-Tak informs Vyndaeth that they are about to ambushed. After he informs the rest of the party they are under assault by thirty bounty hunter. The bounty hunters easily dispatch of the turtles, but the party somehow perseveres against the battle they were totally meant to loose. A few stinking clouds and a sand blast really levied the battle into their favor, and they win, with Mider getting dropped, but the bounty hunters were performing non-lethal damage. so he was a-ok.

As we were rapping up this night of FOUR combats, the Free show up, and Elentha shows herself to the party, and we basically ended right there.

View
Session Five: 11-20
A Rebirth Begins In Athas

Spirit of the land

When we last left the party they had just won an overwhelming battle, and the party was surrounded by a group known as the free, who had Elentha with them. The party, answering questions dumbly, almost causes themselves to be attacked by the group of escaped slaves, but Elentha quickly cools things over between the two groups and the Free decide to allow the party to travel with them to their camp. The party decides to leave their wagon behind, and planned to come get it later.

There are many discussions going on about the great one as the party travels to camp. They try to pry information from the members of the free discussing it, but quickly realize that they are mostly just guessing. Elentha asks the party if Korgunard has made contact with them, and Akus tells her there was a strange dream vision they had received. She tells him he should try to create contact with him again that night.

The party arrives at the camp of the Free and partakes in food and drink. Vyndaeth decides to go back to the camp of the slave tribe that had attacked them earlier and steal their beasts of burdens, as they will no longer be needing them. He takes off, and Akus manages to connect with Korgunard, who sends the entire party another dream vision. Mider goes underneath the sand to sleep, while Akus and Tik-Tak keep guard over Korgunard.

The night goes well until a group of Antloids attack the camp in the middle of the night. Akus and Tik-Tak carry Korgunard to freedom and manage to escape, with minimum of fuss, thanks to a haste scroll. Mider wakes up from the commotion, and transforms into sandy form and escapes, with no knowledge of where the rest of the party is, and goes underground to finish resting and learn his that he is likely to need.
"":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/under-a-bleeding-sun/characters/vyndaeth
Vyndaeth returns to camp early with the beasts and the wagon, and sees a few people poking around the remains of the devastated camp. He makes his way towards it, and the remaining free inform him that they were out on patrol when the attack happened, and that they spotted a Templar patrol about half a days journey out. Vyndaeth does a quick looting, and is on his way, following the tracks to find Akus and Tik-Tak. Luckily, they didn’t cover their trails at all, and he easily finds them.

Antloide

Right around the time they are gearing up, Mider sends a sending to Vyndaeth, who fills him in briefly on their status and tells Mider to hurry his ass and catch up. Mider stops at the camp and raises a small army of undead Antloids and rides them to catch the rest of the party. The next day goes well, while the party is hustling to keep ahead of the Templar’s, and the animal life starts guiding them where they need to go. The party decides to follow the animals, and end up with a group of raiders with black paint on their face, in the guise of wraiths, guarding the path into the valley.

The party enters combat almost immediately, and Vyndaeth shoots some crossbow bolts into the big raiders face. The combat goes relatively smoothly, with Tik-Tak getting dropped into a spiked pit, and the wizard getting dropped shortly thereafter.

Mider decides to speak to the wizard, whose name is Hespulto, and quickly learns that he worked for a dark master that way trying to steal Korgunard, but he had plans to take him himself, as he could be used in a dark arcane ritual. The Templar Malestic had hired Lokee, the warlord leading the obsidian wraiths to obtain the party for himself.

The party continues on and sees wildlife everywhere, in a quantity that is unprecedented throughout most of Athas. They are greeted by flowing water, and a Spirit Of The Land who informs tells them that he must have Korgunard to complete the ritual, and that the party must defend the valley against Malestic.

The party sets up an ambush, and notices the size of the attacker, about 25 strong. The party wait for an ambush, but Malestic, having a high wisdom and level, notices the party and combat starts. Some area spells really help the party, and the combat is vicious, but the party takes them most out, and a few stragglers escape.

They go back to the ceremony, and get blasted by the positive energy coming out, as life around them sprouts up, and the already abundant amount of life in the valley grows even more extreme, with life literally springing up in seconds. It is a truly amazing site to behold.

Korgunard transforms into a stage one Avangion, an advanced being that can rival that of the Dragons. He informs the party that he owes each of them a favor, and the party then asked for their favors….

View
Session 6: 12-18-2011
Assassins, Desert Woes, and Tyr Bleeds Dry

1713
Council Meeting

The party begins their journey in Tyr by, well obviously, selling a lot of loot. After some exploring, they were finally able to locate a junk merchant who offered them the best deal, and gave them a slight discount at his shop. He was an elf by the name of Saeleth. He had a little bit of everything, and most the party was able to locate at least one item they wanted.

Akus went to visit the Veiled Alliance, to trade the body/spellbook of the wizard they had killed in the desert, Hespulto. While there, Sadira approached him, and inquired about Kornugard. After a brief discussion, she was very pleased with him, and gave Akus a wand as a token of her appreciation for the help he had provided for aged Wizard, and the good it would do for the Tyr region in general.

Tyrian Conspiracy Part 3

The party met back up, and Vyndaeth was now wounded. The party not asking any questions healed him up, and the party went to craft, study and sleep for the rest of the day. The next morning Mider and Vyndaeth went to meet up with their mysterious contact. After a brief discussion a dagger flew into an open window and, sinking into Vyndaeths arm, poisoning him. The party’s contact asked them to meet her at the Golden Inix the next day at noon. The party spent the rest of the day crafting, resting and studying. The decided to get a room at the Golden Inix, as their contact had told them it was a safer inn.

The party met her the next morning, and she revealed herself to be Talara Vordon, the cousin of Thaxos Vordon. She pays them for their work so far, and asks that the party aid her in a matter of following Nadar out to Altarusk. Supposedly he is going there to renegotiate a deal, but it is odd because the deal was just recently negotiated. She offers them 45 gold, and the party agrees.

On their way out, the party is ambushed by flying daggers. Down the alley is the halfling assassin again, and he quickly drops Akus. The rest of the party flings into action, and the halfling runs up the building, where he is quickly held. Vyndaeth finishes him off with a coup de gras and the party continues on their way.

On their way out they get stopped by templars at the gate to the city. It is odd as they are the only ones being stopped. A quick bribe later they are on their way. They travel on, and Nadar stops in Fort Amber for the night. Vyndaeth wants to go exploring, and using invisibility and his newly acquired boots of spider climbing to scout the castle. Trying to eavesdrop into the fort, he is not able to make out much, sounds like a normal social gathering. So on his way out he rigs the wheels on Nadar’s wagons to fall off.

The next day the caravan doesn’t make it very far, as they have to deal with their wheels falling off. The next two days go by uneventfully, except for meeting a dehydrated elf. The party decides to shade him and give him water. When he recovers some, he tells the party that he is a Wind Rider, and that they had been hired by Nadar to attack his caravan. The elf leaves the next morning.

On the third day Nadar veers off the path and starts heading south east, and the party follows him. The party is set upon by desert giants, and Akus quickly charms one of them. The other one fights with all his might, and while causing significant damages, he just isn’t able to subdue the party, and ends up falling. Mider raises the fallen giant as a new pet, while Akus brings his along for fun.

When the party gets closer to the looming mountain range, they notice that the bulk of the caravan is at the base of a mountain path, with a few guards posted there. Deciding that discretion is the greater part of valor they send Vyndaeth in to the mountain range alone. He goes up, and has a clear view of the giant camp. He quaffs a potion of invisibility and makes his way down there. He acts as one of the troops, and tries to eave drop on the tent with Nadars mul bodyguard outside it. He makes out a few words, but nothing concrete. Then Nadar and another man, step out of the tent. The other man gives a speech to his troops, and Vyndaeth attempts to get inside his tent, where he is easily spotted. Vyndaeth D-doors to the top of the mountain range, and in a minute the man is on him, with seven troops, questioning him. Vyndaeth feels the probing in his mind, and the man tells them to dispatch of him, and teleports off.

Vyndaeth takes off, and manages to lose most the pursuers. One is fast, and the other keeps d-dooring around him. He makes it to the cliffs edge and runs straight down, but the man d-doors to the bottom, and the girl appears to catfall after him. Vyndaeth runs along the side of the cliff for a while, and then, seeing no alternative runs down to engage in battle. He manages to take them both out, and then makes for the rest of the party, on the other side of the mountain range.

Meanwhile, everyone else see’s a large group come out of the mountain range and start heading their direction. A smaller group also cuts around the Mayhem. The party sends their caravan to the marauders, and use their giants to make a quick escape. Using giants and haste, they easily evade their pursuers.

The party and Vyndaeth both head towards town separately. When they arrive, they learn there has been several assassinations going on, and that there is a City Council Meeting going on at the moment. They decide to attend.

The Council Meeting(yes this is a copy and paste!):

Senior Templar Gennet in the Bureau of Finance was murdered last night. The templars accuse the merchants of being responsible as recent tax reforms were bound to cause anger in that faction. Master Sintha of House Valex retorts that the templars are well-known for their scheming and internal bickering. “It is just too bad an innocent merchant became a victim to their treacherous ways.”, Sintha adds, referring to the fact that Rowen the Tailor, the Council representative from the Caravan Way was also found dead this morning. This results in a wail of commotion between the templars and merchants present.
__
Then someone shouts that the Preservers, being the only faction the assassins didn’t murder any prominent characters in, must be responsible. Sadira of Tyr rises to counter the claim, and the Council chambers are reduced to a chaotic forum of accusations, threats and arguments. Senator Vildeen Tyrthani manages to silence the parties, but the Senator Turax blurts out “Which one of you three wants to take responsibility for the attempted murder on the noble Senator Trevalis Minthur?”, resulting in an outburst from the crowd.
__
The crowd finally falls to silence as the aging patriarch of House Vordon rises from his position among seated spectators. “If I may, senators, honored templars, respected nobles, and fellow tradesmen – citizens of Tyr.” Thaxos begins.
__
The council chambers become utterly silent. “It is evident that someone is trying to sow discontent among Tyr’s people and its political factions. This night’s bloodshed and cowardly attacks, and the fact that the city guard has been unable to find the perpetrators means that no one is safe in our free city.” Thaxos Vordon clears his throat. “I for one will not let our city fall victim to assassins and those who employ them to take away our freedom. I will not yield. I do not doubt that you are present now, traitor, gloating at your deeds, so hear my words. I am not afraid to incur your wrath. Send your assassins, coward, or speak up now, if you are brave enough.” The crowd’s roars grow as the aging tradelord speaks, and end in wild applause to his finishing remarks. Thaxos bows slightly as he smiles and raises his palm, gesturing slowly for the crowd to fall silent again. His face suddenly turns gravely
serious as he continues. “Sadly the city guard is unable to protect Tyr’s citizens… “
Captain Zalcor rises to object, but Timor, the Senior Templar and Minister of Tyr, gestures for him to remain seated, passing a short nod to the captain of the city guard. Thaxos continues uninterrupted. “…. and thus I see it as my sworn duty to Tyr and her citizens, to put an end to these outrageous murders, and at the same time put an end to the criminal threat in the Warrens.” The people applaud the aging tradelord once again.
__
The senior templar signals for Zalcor to raise his objection. “All that sounds fine and well, Lord Thaxos, but how will you make truth out of your words, if you don’t mind me asking?” Thaxos turns to face Zalcor and bows slightly before addressing theveteran guardsman. “Of course, my dear Captain Zalcor. I mean no disrespect to the City guard, but it is evident matters are out of control. What if more murders were to take place? We would soon no longer have a Council to lead us. Where you have failed to succeed, my experienced guards and agents might have something to contribute. My resources are at the city’s disposal, as they have always been. Was it not House Vordon that kept the citizens of Tyr fed during the chaotic times following our despotic sorcerer-king’s death – and did we ask for anything in return? No. Nor do we ask anything in return this time, except permission to lend our aid.” The people once again applaud the trade patriarch of House Vordon.
__
Timor, the Senior templar and Minister of Tyr rises after conferring quickly with Sadira, and Rikus who has been paying close attention to the discussion between the various parties. “The city thanks you for your generous offer, Lord Thaxos, but the Council has faith in the city guard. Investigations are being conducted as we speak, and I assure you that all resources are allocated in our search for the one responsible for the assassinations.” Timor gives a slight bow, but receives a dissatisfied growl from the crowd. Someone calls out that the assassins could be
halfway to Urik or some other rivaling city-state by now. Another voice shouts that it is foolish not to accept offers of aid from the ones who can afford to help. A third voice says that the city guard has nothing to lose except its pride if House Vordon’s agents resolve the matter. Lord Thaxos stands, smiling with his hands folded on his back as the roars of the crowd demand his intervention.
__
Thaxos finally raises his hand and the people become quiet. “The people of Tyr have spoken. I will put an end to the threats within our fair city, so the Council can focus its efforts on the enemies outside Tyr’s walls in the future.” For that speech, Thaxos receives a standing ovation. Sadira, Timor and Rikus look to one another and shake their heads slowly, clearly dissatisfied with the people’s reaction, while Thaxos enjoys the crowd’s ovations.

Talara meets with the party, and they make plans to go after house Troika..

View
Session 7: 1-8-2012
Infiltration, Assassination, and a Winning Gamble

Deck

The party starts off Talking with Talara, who is telling the party that they must infiltrate House Troika to find proof of what Thaxos is up to. The party agrees, and starts off hunting for a house Troika guard that is off duty. They find one drinking at a local establishment. They make a ruckus and poison his beverage, causing the guard to go crazy. They subdue the guard and his friend says he’ll help them walk him home. When they get him down the street, they take out the friend as well and take them to a nearby establishment and up to two different rooms.

The party decides to infiltrate the guards friend first, who happens to be a carpenter. They wake him up, and realize in about a minute that this guy knows nothing about House Troika, but they think its funny, and continue to interrogate him on how to make different pieces of furniture, before they knock him out again.

The party decides to infiltrate the House Troika complex and look for the information they need there. The party initially tries to go in the front of the complex, and one of them even disguises as a House Troika guard. The guards start to question them pretty incessantly, and the party tries to use the name drop on Thaxos. Unfortunately, the guards not knowing that Thaxos is the true leader of House Troika, don’t allow the party any access, and the party leaves before any trouble arises.

They move around to the back of the Complex, and after a brief deliberation Vyndaeth decides he will go in himself. Vyndeath uses his slippers of spider climb to go up and over the wall, and sees a window he wants to go in. The compound is heavily guarded, so he just uses the Cape of the Mounteback to dimension door right through the window. He sees a desk, and the desk in locked with high quality locks. He picks the first lock, but it takes him about twenty minutes, it’s a tough lock. Vyndaeth decides its in his best interest to quicken the picking of the next lock, and uses an acid vile to damage it. He finds a notebook and a map, and after a quick over view he see’s that Talara and Timor are the targets of the next assassination, that is meant to be carried out tonight!

Deciding not to confront the whole of House Troika guards stationed on the complex, he locks the doors and starts a fire. In the commotion this starts he runs out the whole he burned in the roof and over the wall to regroup with the party. Vyndaeth decides he will try and rescue Timor, while Taliesin and Mider decide they will go after Talara. On the way to Talara’s Taliesin and Mider raise the city guard, and get several guards to go with them, and tell some of the guards to go to Timor’s residence.

Taliesin and Mider get to Talara’s house, and the door is locked, but they hear commotion inside. The guards bust down the door, and they all run upstairs. Talara is surrounded by a group of the assassins, and Mider and Taliesin recognize them as the very assassins that Vyndaeth had described to them as being at the desert camp. A vicious battle ensues, and while the party takes down two of the assassins, the other three escape. Talara is badly wounded, but alive and very grateful.

Vyndaeth runs into the compound where Timor resides. Timor’s personal guard lay dead around the complex, and Timor is in a vicious battle with four assassin. Vyndaeth and Timor manage to take one down, while Timor gets stunned, and they both get pretty damaged. Vyndaeth decides that living is better than dying, and picks up Timor and starts running for the wall. Timor and Vyndaeth take a devastating hit that knocks them both to low single digit HP’s, but he manages to stay on his feet, and escapes over the wall with those damn slippers!

The party regroups and presents the evidence to Talara. She says that this will have to be enough to take down Thaxos, and that she was calling the council meeting first thing in the morning, and she’d like the party to meet her there. The party meets her, and learns that the council has indeed agreed that Thaxos is a traitor, and when they sent the guard to arrest him, he had already escaped. The Vordon compound had an escape tunnel to outside the city that he was able to get through when he learned of the failed assassination attempt. The council asks one final favor of the party:

“Bring Thaxos Vordon back alive. He will be convicted in the Courts and exposed for the people to see his true motives for offering his aid. The tyrant Thaxos will be revealed, and the people will hate him for it. He must not be allowed to escape. A man with his resources could retaliate in the future. Bring him back alive. He is less worth to us dead. Good luck, friends. The city will reward you on your return. Mounts will be prepared and waiting for you at the stables by the gates.”

The party decides to take the short cut through the desert to cut off the enemy. The days are scorching hot, but between desert child and endure elements the party manages to avoid fatigue. Then two Soul Knives pop up, one on either side of the party. The female tells the party they were sent by Saurinon, and that they have been told to let the party go if they agree to turn around and not pursue Thaxos. The party debates it, but decide to fight their way out. The male warrior is a Sunderer and manages to destroy a few pieces of equipment while the female is a pyro, and just trips and blows crap up. The male falls, and she manages to escape. The male has only when thing on him, a wooden box. The party opens the box and find a magic deck inside. They each take turns pulling their cards, and get some amazing draws, with only one bad card getting pulled.

Deck of many things

View
Session 8: 1-22-2012
The Fall Of A Villian; Heroes are Made

Tohrkre3

Sorry All, this has been late coming, and I forgot most of the battle details, so it will be short.

The party set up a clever ambush for Thaxos and his party on the road they were traveling on. Unfortunately a scout triggered the trap early and Thaxos was alerted to the party. Thaxos broke from road heading south, to avoid the ambush. The party decided to pursue, and had a large battle with a group of Kreen Thaxos had hired to aid him.

The battle went on for half a minute, with the party getting tired. A group of elves shows up, and after a few words the Kreen break from the party to fight the elves, and then its the party vs. Thaxos and his group. It doesn’t look that good, between the fire whip lady, Thaxos controlling characters, A wizard throwing around some battlefield control, and the assassins the party is hard pressed, but holding their own. Taliesin goes down by an arrow eventually, and Vyndaeth is forced to flee from combat, along with the barbarian through mind control.

Eventually the enemy is dwindling, but Thaxos is holding up quite nicely. It is at this point the elves have successfully dispatched of the kreen. Then a discussion ensues:

Nadar steps forward, whispering “I’ll get us out of this mess”. He then addresses the elven leader. “Santhaal Wind Dancer. We meet again.” Nadar calls out. “Congratulations on your victory and thank you for saving us from the barbaric thri-kreen.” The elven chief shakes her head. “Nadar. I have lost many good warriors today and you congratulate me? You have a lot to learn. Tell me then, of your business out here.” Nadar bows. “I apologize. I spoke without thinking. I am thankful you came to our aid.” “Do not flatter yourself, even if we owe you a favor, we fought the kreen for our own reasons, not for you.” “Charming as always, Santhaal” says Nadar and smiles. “Now about that favor.” “Yes?” asks the elven chief. Nadar turns to you and looks at Thaxos before he smilingly says “Kill them all.” “Very well.” replies Santhaal. The elves reach for their arrows.
__
A single elf steps forward. You recognize him as the dehydrated elf whom you aided earlier. He calls out to his leader: “Wait. This human left me to die in the sandy wastes. These others showed me compassion and saved my life.” Santhaal gazes at Dukkoti with no hint of thought, then turns her gaze to Nadar and then to you. “You” – she says and points at you, “step back with the old man.” Santhaal pauses briefly before she continues. “You know, Nadar, we already repaid the favor by saving you from becoming a meal for the bugs. But I am feeling generous today, hence I will grant your request. “Nadar bows deeply. “Most gracious, my dear Santhaal.” The female elf smiles and turns to address her warriors. “By all means. Let him witness that we elves are true to our words.”
__
As the elves draw arrows and pull back their bowstrings, Nadar turns to you and makes a waving gesture. “Too bad you won’t be around to see me crowned as hero when I bring Thaxos’ body before the Council.” The sound of a dozen arrows being fired at the same time pierces the air. Instants later Nadar’s eyes widen as the arrows penetrate his body, and the trader falls to the sands dead. The sand is washed red with his blood and the faint desert wind blows stronger, whirling sand and dust into the air. For a moment the desert is quiet, then Santhaal repeats her words spoken in elven. “E’Komtii Matota. Maakotii Matota – Death to our enemies. Death to the ones who have wronged us.”
__
Santhaal Wind Dancer gazes down upon you with discontent to the visage of her fallen comrades and the slaughtered kreen you stand amidst. “Do not outstay your welcome. Leave while you still can.” she says coldly.

The party quickly loots a few bodies, and leaves on their way. They keep Thaxos subdued the entire time back to town. Guards meet them about half a day outside of town, and put a bug in Thaxos and take him back. Thaxos has a public trial, where he is found guilty of treason and conspiracy, and is subsequently executed.

The party is brought in front of a council, that includes Talara, Rikus and Sadira. They are granted the title of Heroes of Tyr, and are granted fair rewards from the leaders of the Free City of Tyr, not to mention they’ve made some powerful friends…and enemies!!!

Sadira approaches Akus privately and asks if he would like to join the Tyr division of the Veiled Alliance. She says she is most impressed by his actions and would like his personal council. Akus, being a huge nerd-fan of Sadira’s, quickly agrees and says good bye to the party. Vyndaeth decides to carry on with the party and says goodbye to his long time companion Akus.

View
Pre-Session and Session 9: 3-4-2012
New heroes help old heroes bring revenge

Doc1
First Map Tools Game – Fun!!

So the party, after saving the city of Tyr, decided to stick around in Tyr for some much needed R&R. The were relaxing, enjoying being heroes, when Taliesin and Vyndaeth started to wonder where Mider was. So they went to his house in Tyr (weird, I know, the deck has weird powers;) and found him assassinated, with two wrist-razor wounds in him and his head cut off.

Taliesin puts Mider to sand letting the wind carry his notes creating a dirge in his honor, while someone guides his spirit to better journeys, a silt priest of some type. Just the way the cleric would like it to be – all things rest in the silt.

So, about a week after discovering Mider had been killed, Taliesin and Vyndaeth are awoken in the late part of the night by a Tyrian courier. They are retrieved to the council chamber, where for lack of planning on my part and to help with getting everyone together, the new party is also there through their myriad channels.

“So, I was conned into coming here with an understanding that we could learn whats happened to our highest level of power.” Says the fire cleric in as boisterous a tone as she can manage. The elven water cleric continues “we have all just gotten here, you must let these things happen in their natural flow.” Before they can continue Sadira sharply cuts them both off and starts “My friends, we are gathered here today because something is happening to divine magic, as many of us are already aware. These friends..” She says motioning at Pravh and Kamdir;-) “have come as friends from Kornugard, and this one is the current apprentice to the Wanderer, who has requested to speak to the council.”
__
It grows deathly silent in the chamber for all of three seconds – then it begins – “The wanderer’s on the other side of the world”, “What a fools tale is that, he doesn’t exist” “how exciting, I can’t believe our luck” “I thought he went to save the world again, how can he help us..”
__
“Quite, All Of You” yells Timor, the head Templar of Tyr, all fall silent. He continues “We will conduct ourselves in a civilized manner, or else we are no better than a slave city.” Talara speaks up “I for one would like to hear what the Wanderer has to say, then I think we should discuss it.” The rest of the council murmurs agreement.
__
Pravh steps forward, and he projects through his eyes a hologram of the Wanderer. The man in the hologram is an interesting sight to be sure. He looks as a spirit of the land does, but almost has similar characteristics to Kornugard, including the sprouting of shimmering wings. Even through the hologram his power echoes through the room. If an aura was tangible, this one would destroy the council chamber.
__
“Good evening friends, because of the nature of my current business I’m doing, I had to leave this in my apprentice as a recording, so I will not be able to answer any questions, so I will be as thorough as I can be. As some of you have likely already noticed someone is drastically altering the connection of the prime to the elemental planes. I suspect something very foul is soon to begin, and I have called you all here to warn you. Make preparations, I have a feeling if this continues shadow will fall on Athas.”
__
“I am not sure what is happening, but I have my suspicion that this falls on Dregoth. He by far has more knowledge of the working of the planes than any other being on Athas that I know of. I do not know for what purpose he is doing this, but as we know the dragon, we know it would be for a dark purpose indeed. I can honestly say I fear as greatly now as I did when Borys tore through are sky.”
__
He pauses…no one seems to know what he’s talking about. Next time maybe he’ll remember his audience,
__
“I believe events are going to start moving very quickly, and that all present should be prepared to take drastic actions. That being said, I have forseen the newly made champions of Tyr being victorious over this darkness. I put my full faith in them in this matter, and am personally assigning them to take care of this. I am requesting that my apprentice and his friend also accompany you two on this journey.”
__
“As I have forseen it, when the dragon strikes, you must follow, but need not engage. Once there you will see an odd occurrence. Do all you can to aid, but don’t end your lives prematurely. An unlikely alliance will form, but it will hold if you do not betray. From there you will bring the stars, the sea, and the bane of the chosen. Make haste through mundane means, powers of the mind may unleash the caller. The traitors too aids you through to where magics start. Then, the last battles fought.”
__
The wanderer looks as if he moves out of a trance of his own. “So, my friends, I hope I can rely on you to do the right thing, and I know you can succeed.” With that the vision goes away.
__
The council is silent for a moment. Sadira speaks meekly “Well heroes of Tyr, may we call on you for an as of yet unknown service? Will you do this for Athas?”
And, so obviously, the party accepts.

Taliesin decides he needs to make his move against his enemies while he is still in Tyr. With the aid of the rest of the party he is able to learn some information on his enemies, but not enough so he continues to gather information. Unfortunately, he seems to tip off his enemies, and he is approached in the street by men asking why he is asking about the shadow.

Well, Pravh says yea right, and dominates the lieutenant of the silence, and he walks them right through their base and into the main building. While walking through, Malach sees them and decides to question his lieutenant. Well Taliesin says that he’s back from the grave and to tell Roller he says hello and combat ensues. So the party is tripping, grappling, dazing, dominating, all kinds of crazy crowd control. Jurgan grapples a wizard, and uses him as a weapon in a body bludgeon. Kamdir and Misha just tear it up, dishing out some serious damage. So Malach falls, and Roller and a Templar enter the fray. This pushes Taliesin over the edge, as he knows these are the last two that were directly responsible for an unknown plight. So angry is he, he uses poison against a bard, but at least he trips him ahead of time.

The battle continues, and the party is making a last ditch effort to grab bodies on their way out to loot. They start busting out windows and jumping down to the ground. They manage to bring Malach and Roller with them out the window, cause the want the loot. Jurgan just hurls the templar at the pilar outside, seriously knocking him up. A raging barbarian jumps out the window after them, and Pravh takes him over and sends him to fight his incoming allies.

The party starts heading for the gate, except Taliesin who quaffs a potion, becomes an elemental, and starts flying out of there. Vyndaeth runs up the wall surrounding the compound, and ajars the gate enough for everyone to get out of there. The party escapes pretty easily, and goes to distribute the newfound loot.

With Taliesin’s Vengeance complete, he decides he would prefer to settle down. Knowing that his enemies at the guild had defected and been vanquished, he settles down in Tyr and opens up a curio shop, at which he highly excels and is still running that shop to this day.

View
Session 10 4-1-2012
The Grind - How to level a PC

Pzo1110 assassin
Vyndaeth is a Beast

I’m going to keep this brief as not much happened storyline wise. I realized the pc’s were a level behind where I wanted them, so I ground them on the way to Raam to gain that level.

The session starts with the trader Lazorous Calsteera meeting the pcs outside the Pyramid in Raam. He tells them he will pay them if they help him get to Raam, and as they are heading that way they agree. They sleep for the night and set out the next morning.

At the end of the first day they hear the sound of battle, and go to investigate. There is a lone half-elf singing and fighting off a pack of a few dozen Gith. The party rushes, well more of trots to her aid. The party just pretty much tears these guys up. The girl, Alaina, thanks them and trades tales with the party. She tries to bed Lazorous and then Vyndaeth, both of which refuse her. She stays the night and leaves early the next morning. The party checks over their gear, and they have everything still so they let her go.

Later on their journey to Raam they get attacked by Halflings with weird grafts. They take one alive, and find out these are life shaped grafts. The one the spared knows nothing more than this. They might have got a graft or two for themselves to keep.

The last encounter of the day was with some off Saurimon(spelling) minions, who came to collect Vyndaeth and Taliesin. Vyndaeth walked forward acting like he would turn himself in while Lazorous tried to talk them down. He talked crap about Saurimon, and next theng Lazorous knew it was hard to breathe. Vyndaeth walked up to his leader and deathblowed him – and -he rolled a 2 to save. I mean, come on, the guy makes it on a 3, WTF!! Then Lazorous made a convincing argument and rolled a 41 bluff check(I mean really again!) to convince his minions to back down. Thinking retreat to be the better part of valor they did.

As they approach the city, Vyndaeth decides to scout ahead to see what kind of trouble the party should expect from the sieged city of Raam. He was never seen or heard from again…

So there ended the grind!! What a way to go!

View
Session 12 & 13
4/29 & 5/13

Dray
Dray

Alright, apparently I missed a session in here. Anyway, there was a bunch of battles that expended resources and hurt the party, though they were able to gain back resources. They found the group of elves, who asked the PC’s to help them in recovering some magic items. The PC’s hesitantly agreed and were able to navigate the city without further incident thanks to the traders knowledge of the city.

The party found the tools the elves were looking for and made haste back to the elves. Shortly after returning the magic items a war horn blew in the distance, and the elves started making battle preparation. Harkuku Dark Moon asked the party if they could aid them in the upcoming battle, and the party reluctantly agreed.

It was a ferocious battle, and Kamdir, saving Jurgan in the process, sacrificed his life in the fight. The fighting was brutal, but Pravh defeated the head templar with a well placed save or die.

The party recovered and was richly rewarded by the elves and the nobles.

A few weeks passed and they were approached by a High Templar of the Shadow King…

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.