This site is an online accumulation of the Post Reports for my current ongoing D&D Campaign - for anyone who might be interested in reading them.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

9/6/14 - One Shot B/X

This was 21 weeks after our last meeting and before rolling into our normal game, I set up a one-shot B/X dungeon crawl through a modified and shortened version of B5 - Horror on the Hill. I planned on a full compliment of 7 players, expecting to have less at the table. Four were on time, 2 showed up a bit later. It made an interesting mix since we had 2 groups doing the dungeon, not working together and approaching the adventure differently. As typical - the adventure was not "completed", but the party had a great time.

The write up follows:

The town of Bordersbridge has been under a terrible yoke of despair for the last few weeks. There is an evil that has reawakened in the decade long destroyed Monastery that was once a safe haven for the followers of Ares. Whatever that has taken root there once more has preyed upon the people of Bordersbridge. First there was the assault on the town’s Orphanage – 16 children taken and a 500 crown ransom. The town paid it and the children were returned.

A week later the guild hall was assault and 25 guild members and their family were taken. This time the ransom was for 2,000 crowns to be delivered to the Monastery or they would be killed – the Baron paid it and the guild members were released. A week later there was a fire at the granary and when it was over, 34 members of the Baron’s family and staff were taken – with only the baron himself left behind – killed and split in half, the upper portion impaled on a spike. A letter pinned to his chest said we had a week to pay the 5,000 crown ransom of they would be killed.

The council of lords opted to take a different stance and send out a call for Adventurers to hunt down and bring back the Baron’s family. 7 of them answered and said they would go. The adventurers opted to get their own followers as well and the day to set out came – 4 of the 7 gathered. Fighter, Cleric, Dwarf, and Elf – along with 3 followers. The Halfling, Magic-User, and Thief were late. We opted not to wait for them and set on our way.

The land on the way to the former Monastery shows former signs of devastation and destruction from whatever evil occurred here a decade earlier. It was a few miles of walking until we arrived and beheld the location. It was 10 Am at this time and the Monastery sat quiet in the still air. The grounds were maybe 400’ by 350’. The outer walls were in bed shape, perhaps 4’ in height top and crumbled. The original gates were long gone, rotted or stolen away. Inside the grounds we saw a small garrison building on the southwest, a crypt on the south, some sort of deep pool/pond in the center, and the main building taking the majority of the grounds from the northeast. A faint mist or haze was rising from the grounds. Sickly yellowish vines were growing all around the walls. We could see drag of path-made marks from many walking people through the two former gates. However the entire grounds were quiet. Eerily quiet – no bids, bugs, anything.

The party did not want to enter the grounds and after some deliberation opted to circle the grounds from the outside and maybe see if they could enter the Monastery from the north through a window or something similar. It was while walking around the north side of the grounds that they saw a possibility. The walls of the Monastery here were 12 or so feet high and along the furthest northeast corner were 2 windows, each 15’ wide and 3’ tall – the glass that was once there long gone. Also, the number of yellow vines were much less around here.

There was some conversation on who would climb up and investigate – the concern was that the thief and the Halfling were not here. The dwarf nominated the elf to climb and take a long, which had the elf reply, “Does that wall look like a tree? It’s stone, you’re a dwarf, you climb it.”

This much closer, we also noted that in this final area of the building, there seemed to be no roof along the final 80’. Looking through the window, we could see the sky beyond it. We looked around the ground; there was no broken roof either. Where’d it go? What happened here? The Fighter drank his potion of Flying and took a look himself. He flew 20’ over the top of the wall and looked down.

There was an open area – 160’ long, 80’ wide. 9 stunted birch trees surrounded the perimeter. A 40’ wide bowl, 4” deep, fed by a fountain in the center, ran to a long pool, 3” deep. The grounds inside were covered with yellowing flowers and grasses – very thick. There was a door on the southwest corner of the big room that led further into the Monastery proper. The fighter had picked up the elf and ferried him over the wall and to the door – careful of the grasses and distrusting of their look. They lowered the rope to make sure that nothing was in the grasses (it seemed clear) and then went to the ground. They did note the earth felt strange. It was with some steps that they were able to detect the missing glass from the ceiling had fallen and had 10 years of growth over it.

Listening to the door (which showed some sign of former burning – but was cool now) had nothing on the other side. The fighter used his strength but could not get the door opened by himself, the elf helped him and it popped open with a loud screech.

Inside was at one time the library, it was old and burned. A mound of old books and dirt – various garbage. There was another door on the north wall. The feeling is that the garbage was at one point used as a rat’s nest – but there was nothing here anymore.

The Fighter went out and started ferrying the other party members over. During the transfer, there was a building rumbling and the smoky mist grew denser and then a 40’ wide, 100’ tall steam vent blasted out. We watched it as it lasted for a minute before ending.

Once all inside there was some discussion about maybe drinking from the fountain, with the party split on trying it out. We tried to convince the followers to do it, all of them declining. The elf wandered around the library, looking for any secret doors – not finding any but did find a hidden scroll case. Inside were 4 scrolls with two cure light wounds and 2 other clerical spells.

We then went back to the fountain, this time the dwarf deciding to take some. It was very smoky and lights flashed. He drank it down and every attribute dropped 1 point. The elf then asked, “Is…uh…anyone going to drink that?” The dwarf went to drink another time, and it was now – ok for him.  We were able to convince the hireling to take a drink; this one was able to gain 2 permanent hit points.  The Cleric went last, gaining a +1 to his Wisdom. At this point, no one wanted to take a drink.

We went back to the library and listened to the other door, hearing nothing. With care we opened it and looked. A long corridor went off to the left, well over 100’, a side passage 30’ ahead and running to the right. There was a door in front of us, closed. Down the hall were 3 more doors. Maybe 4 torches were lit and we talked about what to do next. The Fighter opted to fly to the corner and check around, seeing the corridor went 80’, with another side passage on the left, half way down.

Meanwhile, the Magic-User had overslept and arrived at the inn to go on the adventure about 40 minutes late. He and his two hirelings then raced off to the east once they found out the other 4 members had already gone. Then, about 10 minutes after that the Halfling and the thief had met up and decided that this was a stupid idea. The Halfling was leaving Bordersbridge, going to the next village of Hommlet to hang out and wait for the thief who was going to meet up with the group and try to either steal something of value, or grab 1 piece of treasure and jet. The thief stayed behind the mage and his 2 helpers, keeping them in sight but not wanting to fully meet up or commit.

The mage had gotten close enough to the Monastery to see the Fighter flying over the wall for the last time after the geyser had gone off. He and his two followers worked their way to the back to the grounds and contemplated how they were going to possibly get over the wall.

Inside the Monastery, the group had made the decision to go down to the side corridor and check out that direction when the detected a noise from the door opposite the library. Some listening revealed Hobgoblin voices, and quite a number of them. Shit. What to do? Fight them? Avoid them? The vote was to leave them where they were for now; however the door opened into the other room, not the hall. The Fighter had a bright idea of tying the two door handles together – the Hobgoblin room and the Library room. It should slow down and hopefully stop/prevent the Hobgoblins from coming out should we inadvertently alarm them.

Ropes tied in place we then snuck down to the right corridor and followed it to the left. There were two doors there. We peeked in the first one, door was ajar, and it was the entrance hall of the monastery. Five large statues of Ares were present and we could see the front door, closed but in good condition. We then listened to the next door and heard two deep bass voices within. They were speaking a strange language and we were going to go in and take them down.

Outside the wizard and the two followers were messing with the yellowy rotten-melon smelling vine when it burst and sent sticky sap all over the henchman’s club – dissolving it away! From there we threw rocks at the remaining vibes we could see in order to break them and remove the potential threat. They wanted to get over the wall and were talking about who would be best. One of the henchmen made it to the top, braced one leg over the window sill and reached down to help hoist up the wizard.

At this point the thief made his presence known and the four of them talked. The thief went up with his rope tied to the wall outside, through the window, and then down the other side tied to the base of the nearest birch tree. With the rope in place, it was much easier for everyone to climb up and over, entering the gardens/fountain area.

Inside, the dwarf smashed the door with his shoulder, battleaxe at the ready. The room was large and there were two 9’ tall, 750 lbs Ogres inside, sitting on their benches at a table and playing dice. On our entrance they stand up and yell. The Fighter goes first, flying in, leaving the dwarf filling the doorway. One of the ogres hurls the bench at the door, and it smashed into the dwarf, knocking him down. The Fighter hacks into the first Ogre with his sword, and the two of them are in melee. The elf drinks his potion of Growth and swells to 10’ in height and very wide.

The rest of the party tears into the room and hits the Ogres with all they have. The dwarf gets up at the end of it and the joins the fight. The Ogres are very strong and do terrible damage, most of their attacks at the dwarf. However, at one point one of the hirelings got in the way of a club blow and went down screaming – barely alive. The two Ogres held their own but the Fighter and the giant Elf are going at them – killing one. The last Ogre tries to escape, running away, but the Dwarf and Fighter beat him before he can escape.

Once dead they look around. Some key, various coins, a few sacks of cold, trunks and boxes. They opted to open the trunk (key and unlock), 5 jugs of wine and a leather sack was here. The sack jingled, but inside it was filled with Silver. When they were combining it all together, the realized there was a lot more in the bag than expected. Bag of Holding. We consolidated our treasures and then looked around the room. There was another door on the left hand side of the room, closed and locked.

Out in the garden, one of the henchmen wanted a drink, getting a bonus to his Str and Dex. Then the one who lost his club was going to break off a branch – but the Wizard begged him not to. The Wizard took a drink and received 2 to his Dexterity. The Thief was not going to drink it no matter what. The four of them went to the Library and gave it a good once over. They gave the garbage a pass, working past it to the door on the north wall.

The door was held by something and the group plied their strength together, ripping it open with a lot of noise. The ripped the rope that was holding both doors closed and the other door opened – revealing 6 goblins and 6 hobgoblins. At this point, not being able to talk each others’ language, but the Hobgoblins able to understand Common (if not able to speak it), they are under the impression the group is supposed to be here. Through very favorable reactions and good luck, they were able to show that they were not a problem and should be taken down to the Hobgoblin king below. So…the Thief, Magic-User, and 2 hirelings were escorted into the Hobgoblin room, down the stairs, and into the Hobgoblin catacomb lair – to meet the king.

The rest of the group used the key on the last door and found 4 Neanderthals inside. The dwarf was able to relate to them and used the keys to free them. The cavemen were swayed by us and opted to follow us along. We equipped them with whatever clubs we could find (no armor or club) and had 4 new front line fighters. The Cleric then used 2 of the scrolls of Cure Light Wounds – healing the Fighter and Dwarf closer to full. The Fighter was no longer flying. We went back to the main hall and began walking down towards the three doors in that direction. Not noticing the broken rope in the dim torch light. There was one room that was an altar to Ares, we moved on to the next one.

The Thief, Magic-User, and 2 henchmen were led down into the catacombs and began walking. They passed many many hobgoblins, an arena where the Baron’s family and henchmen were being kept, and other places where we assumed there was some smithy work. There was a closed door where we were let past. Some calls went out and we heard ‘Password’ and then we were allowed beyond. Here the Hobgoblins were much better armed and armored. And then we were led to the Hobgoblin king and leader.

He was a large heavily muscled specimen and there were a half dozen well armed and definitely leader type-hobgoblins about. The conversation between the king and the party went difficult as he would often issues commands that the thief or magic-user would try to follow, only to have him bark a slightly differing or countering edict that they would scramble to obey. Eventually it was explained to him that the town of Bordersbridge had sent a party of adventurers here to kill him and take the humans back and that the Thief and wizard had come to warn him.

He looked favorably on them and told the group to lead 10 of his best warriors against the party upstairs and they would be richly rewarded for helping him. He gave the thief one of the original Ares blessed spears that was once in the vaults of the Monastery, a +2 glowing weapon – advising him to “kill as many of the scum that you can”.

They now had 10 hobgoblin warriors and 6 goblin bowmen at their beck and call – and they were then led/leading the mass of 20 of them back through the catacombs and towards the stairs to the 2nd floor.

The upstairs party continued their exploration, eventually coming across the armory and supply room. Everyone who could grabbed crossbows, shields, more spears; just getting ready for what they thought was going to be a fight with whoever would be in the room they had tied shut.

The hobgoblin party had come up the stairs and were going to lead the group to “team up with the Ogres” when they noted the noise and light down the hall, seeing the party down there sort of plundering the stores. A quick plan was put in the place and the goblins and hobgoblins sprung into action. They filled the hall and bows were slung back, arrows flying down. Only one actually struck the “good” party – striking one of the Neanderthals. The hobgoblins then filled the hall, staying to the right, hoping to throw spears as soon as possible. The thief and magic user (and hirelings) tried to stay in the back of the group. The wizard cast Shield on himself.

The elf raised his hands and pointed down the hall, casting sleep. It hit the lead goblins, dropping five of the goblin archers immediately. The Neanderthals ran up, clubs raised, and the fighter let loose his crossbow, hitting one of the hobgoblins, wounding him. The Cleric then cast hold person on the lead hobgoblins, freezing two of them in place. The hirelings let loose their own crossbows, dropping another hobgoblin.

The lone goblin then shot and the hobgoblins ran closer around the mass of people, hurling spears. Neanderthals began dropping and the battle lines crashed. Clubs and spears were plied left and right and more crossbows were shot. The thief pulled out his potion of Invisibility and sucked it down, hiding in the library. No one noticed.

Hobgoblins in the back threw spears while the lead ones stabbed. The good party charged closer and blows were traded back and forth. One lone hobgoblin was trying to get the Mage and hirelings in the fight, accepting the fact that the thief was actually somewhere in the fight (and not running away – making it to the garden). The mage then cast Charm Person on the rear-most hobgoblin, ensorcelling him. He was convinced to attack, hurling his spear, letting the magic-user and the two hirelings to make their way to the library.

At this point the battle turned against the hobgoblins and they made the attempt to flee. The party hacked and swung, dropping hobgoblins left and right and another one was hit by flying oil. A burning hobgoblin managed to make the corridor and ran for the stairs.

The group tried to talk to magic-user and find out what was going on, but there was lots of distrust and the Fighter assumed the Magic User was an evil one. Especially since the hobgoblin (charmed one) was defending him and on his side. So the wizard cast web on the Fighter and held the doorway closed. Then the hobgoblin was running with the wizard and henchmen trying to make it for the far end of the garden to use the rope to escape. Meanwhile the thief had already climbed over (invisible) and was on his way for the town.

The cleric poured a potion of Fire resistance down the fighter’s throat and they set the web on fire – eventually getting him free. The hobgoblin was holding the door closed between the garden and the library, ordering the rest of his group to run. The dwarf and his Neanderthal were running for the main entrance of the Monastery and hoped to cut the fleeing wizard off from the outside.

Eventually the fire burned the fighter free and the elf ran past, hitting the door and tore it out of the hobgoblin’s grasp. The hobgoblin pointed north to the fleeing magic-user and two henchmen and said, “I give up! There they go!” The elf and Fighter ran past. The Wizard had reached the top of the wall, his hirelings coming up behind, when he cut the rope behind him (What the fuck!?!?!) and dropped to the other side to try to run back to town.

Not wanting to see him get away, the elf cast “Floating disk”, popped the fighter on it, and being affected by the growth potion, his stride was much longer. He ran down the length of the pool, the two hirelings standing there in shock at being abandoned, the fighter bouncing along ahead of him on the magical disk, loading a crossbow. Meanwhile the dwarf and Neanderthal had reached the outside and were tearing for a break in the northern wall. The wizard was running away, but the giant elf pulled himself up a birch tree, and sent his disk rocketing ahead of him to max range, bringing the fighter close enough to fire his crossbow at the “evil” mage – hitting him. He stumbled and slowed, trying to flee – but a second bolt hit him and he slumped over – fading away just at the same time the Neanderthal caught up to him and beat him to death.

Meanwhile, the Cleric and remaining henchmen were talking to the two that had been abandoned by the wizard where they heard a tale about the thief (no one on the “good” side ever actually saw him), spear of Ares, Hobgoblin King, and the sheer number of hobgoblins that were going to be coming up from the catacombs VERY soon since one of them had escaped the battle. The Cleric convinced everyone to leave the Monastery now and head back to Bordersbridge to let them know what’s going on and to be forewarned about the trouble stirred up here and coming their way.

The thief? He took his magical spear, bypassed Bordersbridge entirely, and headed off not to the next village of Hommlet to meet the Halfling, but elsewhere to sell his treasure and put his time and experienced behind him.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Returning - soon!

So we did the math and it will be 22 weeks after we had to take a break that we'll return to the table to play on September 13th. 5 months.

We are actually getting together on the 6th to play a 1-shot 5th level-ish B/X dungeon crawl for Phat Lewt and bragging rights - mainly because it's been so long and we figured some clattering of 20's and declining hit points is just what we need to get the blood flowing again.

So there you go, hiatus almost over and we'll be returning very soon.

Thanks again for reading and following!

-V

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Hiatus!

No, we haven't disappeared from the 'verse. Nor were we eaten by black puddings.

We had to take a ill-desired break due to me, the DM, having major house construction going on. We could have met at another person's house, but truthfully, I want to have my home back in order so any time I am not spending on fixing the place back up is another day I have to sleep in the basement.

I would guess another month tops before we are back - and I know my group is just as anxious to get back to the game.

Thanks for the patience!

-V

Friday, March 28, 2014

Meet 60, Adv 3.5, 3/15/14

This was our wrap-up meeting for the 2nd half of the adventure - and adventure that ended no where near the place that it had originated in. In fact - the party wasn't "there" for the end of the adventure and had abandoned the plot about 3/4 of the way through.

At this point they will have to clean up their pile of "purloined" treasures and pay off their hirelings as well as Baron Taugis and the citizenry of Shakun. Three of the party members had gone up in level (Half of Marcus, Mummus, and Taryn - the new gnomish cleric) and one of the party members retired (Sanric the bounty hunter) - to be replaced with his new character - a sorcerer.

The party has dealt with their internal betrayal and hopefully have the catharsis that it would demand - allowing us to move on to the next adventure and do so without any problems.

Write up follows:


So there it was, 12:30 AM, on Workmonth the 18th and we snuck out of Elvenkeep through the Church of Poseidon’s controlled Horsegate – a normally livestock passage through the thick walls along the northern border of the stronghold. The guards on duty paid us no mind and we took to the road travelling west. The dark hours passed for some time until just after dawn where we rested the horses and got some minimal sleep before pressing on – eventually making Ferron @ 8 PM that night.
 
We had no pursuit and kept to ourselves during the trip, avoiding any travelers and any possible questions that might follow. At Ferron we did NOT stay at one of the fancier hotels, instead going somewhere off the beaten path where Sanric grabbed a suite for himself and the rest of the group fended in the Commonroom or bunked with Flimflam and his animals.
 
At 6 AM we were up and on our way, knowing that we wanted at some point to have conversation with the Leatherworker’s Guild here and maybe entice some of the journeymen to come out to Shakun and work on reopening the Tannery there – jumpstart the decade long defunct leather industry. We arrived at Timberton @ 9 PM that evening where we took room at a matron dowager who let us a place to sleep, eating sparsely and again – answering no questions.
 
On Workmonth the 20th we were up and again, on our way by 6 AM – knowing that it was not going to be until tomorrow evening that we’d be back in Shakun. It was around 1 PM that day that a 5’ wide, 17’ long, 2’ tall very fast lizard emerged from the woods, glanced at us, and took off very fast. Flimflam used a speak with animal spell and had conversation with the racing lizard, eventually convincing it to follow us and we would keep it sated with deer meat.
 
We made the Roaring Treant Inn by 7 PM that night where we took rooms and rested our horses. Flimflam had some conversation with the stableboy, Taulib, happy to see that the young man had continued with his adoption of Demeter as his patron goddess and the two of them further expanded on the stableboy’s indoctrination to Flimflam’s religion.
 
On Workmonth the 21st, amidst the dreary late summer rain, we were on our way by 7 AM, racing lizard keeping pace as we travelled on. It was about 4 PM when we hit the lizard with a sleep spell, hobbled it with lengths of rope and muzzled it as well, and then loaded most of it onto the cart and continued on our way to Shakun. When the lizard awoke, it was wroth and tried to escape, but the ropes held it in place and eventually it seemed to burn itself out a bit and grew weary and lank from expending too much energy.
 
We made Shakun by 7 PM on Workmonth the 21st and took care of a few things. Eherego gave us 1000 crowns for the racing lizard, and Higrane (the stablemaster) was furious that we had kept the few horses that the town had for 2 weeks longer than originally expected. This pushed back @ least 3 caravans and impacted much of the local farmers and homsesteaders that were depending on the original schedule. We paid the extended rental fees and apologized for the situation – admitting that we needed to open the traderoads between here and Heatherfield so that Shakun could get some new horses and ponies.
 
We met with the Baron @ 8:30 PM where we also saw the Marshall and the Captain of the Guard. We had learned of the strange uprising that occurred 5 days ago, over 20 of the youth’s that had died during the uprising had arisen as ghouls and swarmed over the walls from the cemetery where they made attack on the city, tearing through Tanner’s Way and making it as far as the Pixie Down Inn. They were eventually stopped though a joint effort of the town’s fighter’s, the Marshall’s men, Zarik Ikarsbane and his warriors’ in training, the militia, and most surprisingly – a visiting fighter and sellsword named Kadan who lead the charge and turned the tide on the undead scourge.
 
We learned that the appraisers from the Argosilitian Mage’s Guild was still here and was waiting to see us and help Baron Taugis and the party come up with a fair and equitable amount for what we had found as well as what the town was able to earn. We had much to do and were happy to finally be home and not have to run out anymore. So we left the Baron Fist’al’s head and made out way back to the Hall of Heroes were we were hoping to get some sleep and face the new day on the morrow.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Meet 59, Adv 3.5, 3/8/14

As a group about the table, the party was pretty furious at Fist'al (and lesserly to the player playing him) so much so that when the betrayal occurred, the game had come to a crashing stop, adventure forgotten, and we had a new focus. Also, Flimflam had said at that time, "We're going to find that bastard and make him eat his own dick."

Obviously an "anger" statement and not one to be taken literally. Except that was definitely on the table and one of the many plans for the elven murderer - and when they had the opportunity, that is exactly what they had made the culprit do.

Let me tell you, for a table of guys, we were all a bit grossed out at it. I also think that the death of Fist'al and our "missing" the rest of the regular adventure was sort of a catharsis for us - and we'll be a tighter group because of it.

Our roster of people are in flux but after the next write-up I should be able to post it correctly without a problem.

Write up follows:

With our false documents in hand we went to Elvengate, a southern entrance to Woodhelven located up against Elvenkeep. The guards there were only nominally suspicious of us, addressing Marcus primarily and reminding him (and the rest of us) that anything that might go wrong would be on his head.

We were through the gate and proceeded as best we could in a south-southeasterly direction, hoping to find the encampment Fist’al was hiding in before he moved on. A three count of elven Dragoons rode out to us, verified our paperwork, and seemed to be only marginally interested in the cover story we had concocted. The party felt a bit out of place, the forest was old – terribly old – and we knew we had to step lightly, and get out.

A number of unicorns had emerged at one point, the group was pretty much ensorcelled by their appearance, but the equines had then moved on. We were looking for the Shimmerstream – a major waterway in Woodhelven that we knew from the scrying before ran very close to the encampment Fist’al was hiding in.

It was just about 10 to 5 that we came upon it, and we were also hailed by a figure in the forest. An elven female emerged from some distance and questioned why we were here. Guessing her to be scout for the encampment, we tried to draw her out in conversation but she was having none of it. Instead she was willing to escort us around the training lands of “The Brotherhood of the Silent Shot” and guide us on our way to Elvenkeep.

We allowed her (Celwyn) to do so, noting that she did walk us some 500 north and then turned at a right angle and walked us some 300 west – giving the group the feeling where the encampment actually was. We also were able to pick up faint sounds and bird calls from behind Celwyn, making us even more aware that the Brotherhood (and maybe even Fist’al) were out there. The jig was about up, because Fist’al would see any of us, or catch our name – he’d most likely run.

It was here that we then turned and dove for cover, while Auri and Mummus tackled Celwyn and finished her off before she could do anything more than bark in surprise. Arrows filled the air as we scrambled off our horses, the group being on the receiving end of the crazy fusillade of feathered shafts falling about us. On the enemy side we did hear one of the member cast a bless spell, which resulted in the arrows falling with a bit more accuracy.

The group returned fire but the amount of trees and cover made it difficult to get an accurate shot on either side. What we did do though, was concentrate most of our fire on the enemy cleric, forcing him to seek shelter and prevented him from casting spells as freely and as fast as expected.

The group sneaked their way forward, jumping from behind one tree and racing to the next one, bringing the fight closer and closer to the elven contingent. Flimflam held onto his precious bottle of “Elven Control” and was trying to get within 30’ of Fist’al – supposedly how far we had to be for the potion to work. But in our struggle to get closer fast enough, we came within range of one of the elven defenders who fired off a sleep spell – which dropped Whosea and Auri – but was NOT powerful enough to also knock out Flimflam. And our gnomish leader quaffed his potion, took control of Fist’al and had the thief/murderer step out and shout, “Enough!”

With Flimflam controlling Fist’al we were able to sort of allow the Brotherhood of the Silent Shot to let us go, Fist’al “volunteering” to lead us out. We went, hoping against hope that we could far enough from the Brotherhood as possible and NOT run across any other elven contingent in the forest. Especially while using an extremely illegal “potion of Elven Control”. We ticked off the minutes – knowing that we had 60 minutes of the potion to be used before it would end.

At 20 minutes north of the Brotherhood, we had Fist’al strip off all his armor, weaponry, and magical items, the rest of the party quickly scooping them us and hiding them throughout the party. And then it became gruesome and Flimflam forced Fist’al to bend himself completely over in, swing his leg over his head…and then physically eat his own manhood from his own body and swallow it. Even though it was something Flimflam had said he would make Fist’al do, it was still terrible to behold; blood running down his chin, the former thief chewing his own flesh off and swallowing it.

From here we then forced him to swallow the potion of polymorph, turning him into a donkey. Which immediately broke the potion of elven control since he was no longer an elf. A calm animal spell eased him up and we dropped rope and bridle on his neck and escorted Fist’al out of the elven forest where we entered Elvenkeep through the main gate. From here we went to the Temple of Poseidon where the priests were thrilled to have the murderer brought in for justice.

And their justice was a multi-tiered thing of brutality and cruelty – rape, torture, death, healing, breaking and battering. Over 30 times Fist’al’s heart stopped beating during the 6 days of torture, the priests continuously bringing back north of 0 hps. But it was midnight the 17th or Workmonth, Fist’al had been broken and we were given supplies for the long journey back to Shakun. The only thing left was the removal of Fist’al’s head with a burning hot sword and the cauterized grisly item placed at the bottom of a leather-lined sack filled with oats.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Meet 58, Adv 3.5, 3/1/14

The group did a lot of travel on this adventure and I could have sped it up and hand-waved most of it, but decided not to. Multiple reasons: to show the passage of time, to allow the opportunity for road encounters, and to give the world scope and size - not dots of civilization and things to do with bland greyness between.

At this meeting the party did make it to Elvenkeep and I was able to give them a sense of scale to the size of it. Mentioned often, first time actually seen. They had no time to explore it, limiting themselves to the Temple of Poseidon and Artemis - but there was enough of a gravitas to it that I don't think they were short changed.

Write up follows:

Workmonth the 7th, on the road back from Orland to Shakun, 9:30 PM. We talked about of plans and wanted to literally stop in Shakun briefly, get fresh horses, send some missives ahead to every church, shrine, and temple of Poseidon that the rookery of Shakun would reach. We slept soundly and moved on the morning of the next day.

We hit a merchant caravan at 7:30 AM, heavily armed and armored. They were willing to ride with us and we shared food and time with them. It was @ 3 PM on Workmonth the 8th that we arrived @ Shakun. We went to the Sperthik Homestead and met with Master Sperthik. Some information was shared about his horse and we ended up giving him the 57 crowns the supposed wizard, Caleris, had paid for it (but not the blue topaz that Flimflam held on to). He thanked us (getting 3 times the value for his horse) and said he was taking his family soon and move to Orland. He asked us that if his daughter, Giselle, ever came and asked, we were NOT to tell her that they had gone to Orland.

Once in Shakun we split up and arranged new horses, wrote a number of missives to be sent via aviary – including reading one sent here from Fist’al’s family! They had said that they wanted the armor and would make an offer – but if Fist’al had a way to take it from the barbarians, that he should do so. The letter was critical of Baron Taugis and humankind in general and the party was aghast to read some of the things they were learning.

We also had conversation with Pelis, shared with him Fist’al’s duplicity and his hiring of Lashulak to throw us off the scent. The thief guild master was angry. He gave us a contact name in Elvenkeep to meet up with that should allow us some sort of passage into Woodhelven.

Finally we concluded our time in Shakun with the Baron and then by 4 PM, rode out and travelled east towards The Roaring Treant Inn and then Timberton beyond. We made it to the Treant @ 10 PM, the horses worn out and our own bodies tired. We slept soundly and were awake @ 6:30 AM. After breaking our fast, praying, and readying the horses – we were gone @ 7:45 AM, on Workmonth the 9th.

We rode up to Timberton by 5 PM and opted to ride on, eventually coming to a stop @ 8 PM – the horses once again beyond weary and the 6 of us ate a fast and cold meal of travel rations before crawling into our bedrolls and falling asleep. The only interest during the night were a family of 5 skunks that had taken an interest in our trash and Marcus hit them with a sleep spell and then dragged them elsewhere to avoid exposure to the party.

We awoke on Workmonth the 10th at 4:30 and prayed, broke our fast, and then rode onward. We hit Ferron by 1 PM and again decided to push the horses and keep going. We met up with a caravan by 6 PM and joined them, sharing once again what we had as well as 2 people for watch during the night. Camp was established @ 7 pm and the group settled down for sleep by 8.

On Workmonth the 11th @ 6 AM we awoke, bit the caravan a farewell, and rode on to Elvenkeep – pushing the horses once again. We knew that this was not going to be good for our steeds in the long run, but for now and the fact that we were trying to make it to our quarry before he was lost to us in Woodhelven it was an acceptable.

The miles passed and it was @ 1 PM that we arrived as the massive structure known as Elven Keep.

Huge 45’ seamless walls forged centuries ago by dwarven slaves before the Kinslayer Wars and Deepingdale Uprising, they encircled a tremendous area of land with many houses and structures both outside the outer walls as well as inside. Supposedly a garrison of over 1,200 warriors strong with about 1/4th of them elven, it sat large and imposing on the border of Woodhelven – offering a barrier to the elven lands, the settled East, and the frontier West.

Once here we made our way to the Temple of Poseidon, once of the larger main ones @ the Keep and met with the Patriarch. We explained who we were, what we were doing, and brought him up to speed on our seeking of Fist’al (he had already gotten our missive a few days ago and the word had gone out). The brothers and sisters of Poseidon were wroth @ Fist’al and wanted to bring him to justice sooner rather than later.

It was at this point that we asked about possible scrying for Fist’al and the patriarch agreed to do so for us. We were able to see Fist’al had achieved Woodhelven and was in some sort of scout training camp – talking to 9 or 10 other elves. He seemed well received and in good cheer. We were able to deduce there camp was a few miles past the Elvenkeep/Woodhelven gate and we would need to sneak in there somehow.

Sanric and Auri went to the Temple of Artemis to meet with the elven Melisander archer and priest – a very comely and charismatic person who within just a few minutes, had Auri panting in want. A deal was struck for a letter allowing them past the border (with Marcus as the focal personage) but it wouldn’t last for too long. During the forging of the document Sanric practiced archery with the Artemisian acolytes while Auri was bedded by the very attractive Melisander.

All that left in the plan was how to sneak Fist’al out (the church of Poseidon wanted some time with Fist’al for his slaying of one of their members and paladins). Flimflam was working on a trade with an alchemist loyal to Demeter for a polymorph potion where the imbiber would take on the form of a donkey for 1 hour.

At this point it was 3 PM on Workmonth the 11th and we wanted to get ourselves together and make the trip into Woodhelven and get Fist’al back – before ANYONE gets word to him that we were either following him – or this close.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Meet 57, Adv 3.5, 2/22/14

At this point, the character that is Fist'al is no longer being controlled by the original player and is now an NPC. However, before this happened, the player had given me some feedback on how he wanted Fist'al to escape and came up with a plan (rough form) to throw the party off his trail.

And it worked.

The group is now 4 days behind their quarry - in the wrong direction, and needs to race ahead of the clock and him if they are ever going to find him in time and bring him to justice.

Write up follows:

Workmonth the 6th, the group awoke and moved themselves around, shaking the dust off their rooms and opening windows. There was talk about spending 4 days or so working around town until the Appraisers showed up to value the elven chain and our other belongings and what we would have to do to ameliorate the situation between Fergus and Fist’al.

And speaking of Fergus, he still wasn’t down for breakfast yet. Flimflam wearily climbed to his feet and trudged up the stairs to knock on the paladin’s room. It was while he was just outside of it that he noticed Whosea had gotten quiet, the mastiff snarling at the closed portal, his hackles raised and ready. Unsure of opening the door, the gnome whispered to Marcus and Auri to give him a hand and they shoved the door aside.

Fergus Shelby O’Kain, Paladin of Poseidon, one of 5 in the entire kingdom. Was slain.

The paladin and our friend was on the ground, staring upwards with sightless eyes, a brutal hole in the middle of his muscular chest, blood soaking everything: mattress, blanket, pillow. The shutters were open and a warm breeze was playing on the cooling body. Nothing else in the room was missing.

We quickly convened and grabbed equipment while a few of us made an effort to find out what happened. We noted that Fist’al was not around and a couple of us went about, looking for our erstwhile elven companion – originally to get his help. But as his normal haunts and jaunts came up empty: Lirea, Pixie Down, Pelis, etc… we grew even more concerned as to where he was and WHAT might have happened. So we searched his room.

And noticed that every piece of his personal  belongings were gone.

At this point our thoughts shifted from, “We need everyone together to help solve this”, to “holy crap –one of our own for the last 5 months killed a paladin in his room late last night while he was sleeping”.

We convened at Pelis the Rugmerchants and while there, explaining what happened to the guild leader, he connected us to a bounty hunter of some renown: Sanric. Heavily tattooed, having some skill and capability, he heard of our plight and was willing to help out – collecting murderers was his specialty. The bounty was placed at 500 dead, 1000 alive, as per Baron Taugis and we rented horse and then headed westward towards Orland, following some clues that Pelis had given us based upon information he had overheard Fist’al talk about.

We had learned that no gate guard remembered Fist’al (or anyone) leaving that late, but a single horse had been stolen from the Sperthik Homestead early in the morning. So we went there and felt comfortable that what happened was Fist’al escaped through a rope tossed over the wall in Tanner’s Way, made his way to the Sperthik Homestead, one of the most western homesteads and we know had no guard dogs or support people, stole their singular nag, and rode west.

It was 10:30 AM when we took off and we rode as hard as we could, daring to push the horses when able too. The miles were left behind. We came upon a merchant bringing hay to Orland, two kids on top helping to hold the hay in place. He reported that hours earlier he had come upon a lone rider heavily cowled riding the same way, but otherwise no one else. Must have been Fist’al.

The night dropped and we rested, watching as little as possible to make sure the animals were not too winded and on the 7th of Workmonth, by 7 Am we were off, riding through the Orlandian Woods northward towards our location. Knowing bandits were normally in the area we kept a keen eye out but saw no one. Sanric and Geld helped us keep the animals in good shape and guided the weaker riders where necessary in order to get the best speed from our steeds.

It was 3 PM when we came upon Southtower, the gateway/watch tower on the way to Orland proper. We announced ourselves, our business, and asked the rider if there was anyone who had just come into town. We were assured so and directed to the Inn where we could make our attention known and capture/question the suspected Fist’al.

We rode in and hitched up our horses, entering the inn with care. Maybe half a dozen people, one of them heavily cowled and in the corner near the steps. A few VERY bedraggled whores were plying wares that no one wanted. We talked to the innkeep, watching the cowled figure carefully and upon mentioning Fist’al’s name and murder and paladin and bounty the man in question got up, went up the steps quickly, grabbed one of the whores and shut the door behind him – just a moment ahead of Sanric followed by the rest of us. Auri, after watching which room the figure went in to, went OUTSIDE the inn, watching the windows to make sure the figure didn’t try to escape this way.

We were convincing the hooker to open the door, while the other one was trying to alternately convince us to leave her alone and to come along with her for a good time. While this was going on Auri noticed the male figure inside open the window and make to escape that way – but on seeing the Amazonian Half-Orcish fighter, he turned tail and returned to the interior with a sheepish smile.

We finally made the woman and man inside open the door and pushed our way in. The man was named Lashulak, and was a young member in Pelis’ employ in Shakun. He had been given a job by Fist’al in which he had “to lead a bunch of fools the wrong way to Orland, lose them, and then return home” while the elf rode the other direction, hoping to make it to Elven Keep ASAP.

Fuck. We were duped.

We got the entire plan and the renting of a good riding horse earlier that day (by Lashulak) that had been hidden in an abandoned Homestead. The separation of Fist’al and Lashulak, riding opposite directions, and the eventual sending of 25 crowns as a note to the young man as final payment for his efforts.

Auri, able to speak Cant, was able to identify that Lashulak kept calling himself 17, and canted enough herself to make Lashulak trust us as members of the thieves guild – or at least affiliated with it.

So we thanked the Marshal @ Orland, commandeered Lashulak’s steed that he had taken from the Sperthik family, and rode out of Orland on our way back to Shakun. We plowed through the Orlandian Woods without real issue until we came upon a singular elderly gentleman. Wearing long robes, sporting a jaunty wizard’s hat, and carrying a 7’ staff gnarled and festooned with crystals he wanted to buy our lone horse, saying his feet hurt from the walking. We were going to say no but he pulled out a pocket of coins (57 of them) and a blue citrine worth another 50 crowns.

So we sold the man, named Caleris – a sage and seer from Brewer’s Bridge, the Sperthik horse and wished him well, moving on in our ride towards Shakun through the dark late summer night.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Meet 56, Adv 3.5, 2/8/14

Greed.

In this meeting, our group fell victim to it. Through a series of mysterious strange rolls and random happenstance, we had one character have the benefit of finding a set of Elven Chainmail +2, Bracers of Defense +2, and a Ring of Protection +1. Coupled with the party's dismissal and often-times disdain - there was little interest in sharing and what happened was a "you vs me" mentality after some period of time.

And then it came down to role-playing. It was a terrific role-playing period at the table - but a shitty friends around the table moment.

One character brutally murdered another character in his sleep and then absconded with his found magical gear after leaving a false trail for the group to follow.

It literally brought the game to a stop and almost 2 hours of discussion followed. @ the time of this writing 3 weeks later in real time - it's still not fully resolved and put to bed for the players in question. We've had some shake-up at the table and new characters are flowing fast and furious. Stay tuned to follow along!

Write up follows:

Fist’al expressed his unhappiness with the group over being left for dead and the party countered with that they could not find him and they sacrificed some of their magic to get him back. It was a tense night, with most of the pointed glares running between Fist’al and Fergus.

Later that night, Fist’al had an opportunity to talk with Flimflam and express to him the concerns he has on turning over/mentioning the elven chainmail to the Baron. It is a singular piece that if turned over to Baron Taugis, would be worth such funds that we could not ever have the opportunity to claim for ourselves. Fist’al tried to get Flimflam to understand this point and even if we don’t “keep it”, at least don’t mention it for a few days so he could write to his family and attempt to get them to purchase it.

The two of them talked at length until Fist’al seemed comfortable that Flimflam would be seriously contemplating his request, even going so far as to add, “and don’t let the paladin sway you otherwise.” After this, past 11 PM, the group settled to sleep.

During the night a herd of wild horses came within range of the camp, but Marcus who was on watch, let them go and the rest of night passed without issue. We awoke the following day, bandages were changed, splints removed, and healing dispensed. We ate and then saddled up and moved on. It was obvious to us now that Mahr’s Tower had moved during our stay there as the hills we were in were not the same we had ridden in earlier. In fact it took us over 6 hours to get back to an area that we recognized and then the remainder of the day to come to Shakun.

We were surprised and blessed to come upon a small scattering of shaggy short horn wild cattle and with some effort, gathered the 10 cattle together and were able to bring them to Shakun as well. It was Workmonth the 4th, 9:30 PM when we finally came through the gates. We went to Exotic Transportation and set about a deal with Eherego on stabling the cattle for a few days until we could arrange sale/turn over to the town. The agreed upon price was 1 cow to stable the other 9 for 4 or 5 days, and said cow would be used to offset his spiraling food costs on the griffons he had and was training.

We then went to the Pixie Down Inn and drank, ate, and relaxed until almost midnight where we went back to the Hall of Heores and rested.

We awoke on the 5th of Workmonth @ 9 AM and broke our fast before going about our possible missions of the day, knowing the 1st was going to be taking a trip to see the Baron and filling him in on what we’ve found and possible abatement of our loan and spiraling costs. Fist’al was going to the Aviary and would be back in a few after sending out letter to his parents about the armor and after he was gone, the group talked intently about what was going to happen, settling on telling the Baron everything – even though we knew it would seriously upset Fist’al.

Fist’al took a long time to return which concerned the group and two of them took a trip to the aviary and eventually Pelis the Rugmerchant’s, always seemingly a few steps behind Fist’al – who had come back to the Hall with some skewered lamb on a stick and knowledge that some merchant family was going to invest in Sern’s General store and take it over.

And then, once the two other members had returned, we filled Fist’al in on our plan to come clean and complete to Baron Taugis which drove the elf absolutely furious. He was incensed and upset and incredulous – at one point flat out asking Flimflam if it was Fergus who had ultimately changed his mind. When no one denied or gainsayed it, he grew wroth and clammed up – following the group to Castle Canastal and the Baron.

We told Baron Taugis of everything found, which pleased the Baron who announced he would send for a tower mage/appraiser from Gul or Argosility to come and give us a true value for some of the treasures found. Then sale (or purchase) would follow and eventually funds would be dispensed. Appraised wouldn’t be here for at least 4 days or so – which placated Fist’al (seemingly) that he would have enough time to get an answer from his family on the missive he sent.

From here we spent the remainder of the day cleaning up, taking care of what items we would hope to sell/trade, and talking about or next step. Going back to Mahr’s Tower was seen as dangerous (the mage was awake, and appeared to be more powerful than we were willing to chance) so we were going to take a few days off, talk to the appraiser, and decide then what would be next. Fergus worked on a birdhouse, and Flimflam went out, finding a wild raven he could charm and befriend – adding it to his menagerie.

Not trusting Fist’al’s reticence and silence, Marcus attempted to cast an ESP spell on the thief, but his thoughts were almost entirely about how he disliked Fergus and derided him constantly in his thoughts. The group went to sleep, our angry elven scout going first, and we would see what the morrow would bring.

And unknowing to them at this time – it was going to bring blood, betrayal, and death.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Meet 55, Adv 3.5, 2/1/14

I had reminded the group a few times that Mahr's Tower is not a "destination adventure" - you know, designed for 4-6 players from 3-5th level. There was a serious mix of dangers and challenges within that did not scale and their exploring of it was at their own risks.

Which they finally seemed to realize when meeting Mahr finally. The venerable mage gave a number of hints as to his recent (and not so recent) history and the group quickly surmised that he was probably far above their skill set. So they left.

Without giving anything away - DAMN SMART!! :)

Write up follows:

Hundreds of spiders erupted like a fountain, crawling all over Fist’al as the elven thief skipped and leapt, trying to get away. Auri gave single sweeping hack of her blade and then tried to move back towards the door to escape. Mummus warded the doorway, yelling for everyone to hurry up so he could slam it closed. Flimflam was calling for everyone to escape, make their way out of here and down to the 4th floor. Fergus ran into the chamber, trying to help Auri in their combat against Grongellar.

The spiders were biting Fista’l, their poison slowing him down, making his movements stilted. Fergus was bitten as well, the paladin’s limbs stiffening up. Blows were raining on Grongellar and his shadowdogs, but not enough to slow or stop them. The thief stumbled out of the chamber and made his way slowly to the stairs.

The combat in the chamber was stealing strength and mobility from Auri and Fergus, the two of them barely making it out of the chamber as Mummus slammed the door closed, trapping half the spider swarm inside the rapidly reeking chamber – the scent of feces swelling terribly. We heard many barks and howls inside, and Grongellar phased through the wall, attacking the group again. We formed up battle lines at the top of the stairs and plied out attacks against the shadow mastiff.

Meanwhile, down below on the 4th floor, Marcus was playing around with an idea. He took one of the Bunsen burners with the thick fuel inside of it and shoved a flask of oil deep inside, using a bit of cloak like a wick. Link reminded the elven mage that the fuel in the burner was pretty volatile and most likely explosive. Nodding happily, Marcus crept back up the stairs with the intention of helping somehow with his improvised bomb.

The combat continued along, Grongellar portalling his mastiff’s into the fight every few minutes until the shadowfiend finally fell and the struggle ended. Healing was passed around and we had to wait for Auri, Fergus, and Fist’al to regain full range of motion as the spider’s venom eventually faded. We were running low on spells and resources but wanted to press on and look around.

We snuck back to the 5th floor and took stock of the landing once again. The door to the north had led to the chamber with the skeleton, spiders, and Grongellar – so we checked out the eastern one instead. We testing it completely, until sure it was trap free. After that we pushed it open to reveal a chamber/corridor maybe 25’ or so long, an ornate double door on the north wall. A single wooden stool was there. Once more Fist’al entered.

He gave the chamber a good once over, eventually convinced that there was nothing for it except for the door. So with great care he approached and the party watched on. It was as he got within a few paces of the door itself that he seemed to have a surprised expression and then…disappeared.

To Fist’al he fell…15’ straight down, just missing impaling himself to death on a floor of spikes. His infravision kicked in – 5’5’15’ pit, sealed ceiling top... Great. He yelled and yelled and yelled – and heard nothing, including his own voice.

We were worried (those up top).Especially since the door slammed closed and we heard the unmistakable sound of Grongellar storming about the chamber and many howls and cries. After 4 minutes it ended and we were able to open the room – seeing nothing (except for a ruined stool).  Fist’al was shouted for, but no answer. Where was he? Do we rush in? How to find? What happened? We all agreed it was the door that had him disappear so we approached with care, spears being used as poles as we tested the ground every foot with undue diligence.

In the pit, Fist’al tried using grapple and rope, but only went straight up and rang on the ceiling. The wall was not climbable (slippery) and there seemed to be no way out. In his searching, he noted that 3 of the spikes did move on the floor, one on the north, one on the south, and one in the middle. Lighting his lantern, he was able to note bloody hand prints on the walls but nothing new. He moved one spike – nothing. Moved a second – and the ground opened up beneath him and he fell another 15 down. His lantern shattered on the wall as he plummeted to waiting spikes…again, coating the wall in a streaking line of oily fire. There were skeletal remains here though, maybe half a dozen of them. Pretty hurt, Fist’al took the time to look the bodies over and loot them for what trinkets and armor they had.

Like a set of elven chainmail. And what seemed to be ensorcelled bracers. And a strange stiletto. Maybe half a dozen or less rune encrusted crossbow bolts. Feeling better with his finds but only sporting 4 hp, he gave the chamber (also 5’ square) a good look-see and found a small door – 3’ tall, and just a bit under 2’ wide. Gathering himself he opened it and crawled in to the narrow dusty corridor and tried to find his own way out.

As for the rest of the group, there was nothing for it but to approach the door again. But no one wanted to chance it. So we actually popped the hinges off the main door to this corridor, slid it across the floor, and shoved it at the door on the north wall. And the sliding door disappeared as well. The hinges still on the frame made a whirring sound for 4 minutes but eventually quieted down.

We didn’t know where Fist’al was, and thought maybe we’d try to find him elsewhere in the tower. A look on the 4th floor showed nothing, and back to the 5th was a blank. So we were going to reopen the door to the former spider/feces/grongellar sitting room. Weapons ready, we gripped the handle and pushed.

And saw a 4’ tall humanoid figure made of feces stumbling towards us. The reek was unearthly and we all bolted, running away down the stairs away from the foul, feculent golem like creature.

Meanwhile, Fist’al crept through the confines, hearing strange giggles, and too many spider webs, and the reek of urine. A few “T” intersections and he were unsure of where to go. He opted to pick one and came upon a slumbering beast. Naked, hairless, maybe 5 long and bipedal. Stiletto drawn he lunged and the two of them scrambled in the dark, biting and stabbing and snarling at one another.

And Fist’al finally slayed it but was down to 1 hit point. He needed a plan to get through this. And maybe skinning the beast would work. So he began the gruesome work of slitting its guts in the dark with some hope of wearing it’s carcass like a 2nd skin.

As for the rest of us, we retreated to the 4th floor and the crap golem was still in pursuit. Unable to navigate stairs properly it sort of rolled down them, leaving greasy brown stains behind it. It was here that Marcus had his brain storm. He took his Bunsen bomb and a 2nd one, placed it at the base of the steps on the 4th landing, made a trail of oil to the room, had Link light it, and yelled at Auri to slam the door closed now.

The golem rolled onto the bomb just as it went off and the tower shook from the blast. 40+ points of damage later. The impact powerful enough to tear the door open and send Auri flying backward 8’ to land on her ass slightly stunned. We looked outside and saw no sign of the beast again – only smears on the wall.

As for Fist’al, the concussive blast was felt by him as well but it dislodged loose stones from above and he was brained, knocked unconscious.

We went into the chamber that had the golem before and looked again more. We did note the south wall had a strange section that seemed too perfect, almost like a step and repeat pattern. We tested it – illusionary wall.

Following along, we were now in a kitchen area. But there was sort of recent foods in here – nothing older than a week or so it seemed. Looking about the chamber we did find another illusionary wall – this one on the east side. Entering here was a dining chamber with seating for 12. We entered and smoky servants appeared, taking cloaks and packs, and seating us at the table to eat. Food was being prepped in the kitchen and a meal was coming in to us here to eat.

It was about half way through the meal that at the head of the table a smoky mostly solid figure of a man appeared. Advanced age, worn and tired. He identified himself as Mahr and informed us that he had not been here for 30 years or so – exploring the Shadow planes and furthering his knowledge of the cosmos. He had his attention brought back here slowly from people around his tower and old wards he had placed were bringing him back here. He was tired and weary from his journey and would love for the group to finish eating and then come upstairs to chat. Especially Marcus. Oh, and hey, Flimflam and Fergus too!

We had some back and forth with him and learned that he was able to absorb spell power with a handshake – taking two from Marcus, 1 from Flim, and 1 from Fergus – and this was to find and bring Fist’al to the group from where ever he was and boost his hp to 1. Each time he took a little power, he seemed to become more confident, more sure, and more alert.

We finished dinner and said we’d see him soon, as he faded away. And then with no hurry but with deliberate steps, we left the tower from the way we came in, got Codron and Thrish and our horses, and then we left Mahr’s Valley and camped two hill tops over where we talked about what happened and nursed Fist’al back to positive hp’s and wakefulness.

We detected some magic and found the armor, bracers, ring, and bolts to be magic. Some further testing was done on the bombard potion vials we had, getting a mix of effects from boils and fire to healing and smoke.

It was 10:30 PM now and we wanted to rest but it seemed there was some fury on Fist’al’s part on what he had found, sharing with the group, and being left alone in the hole with no one finding him.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Meet 54, Adv 3.5, 1/18/14

The group had gotten the wrong idea from a "trigger" encounter on a stair. Every time they came to the floor, a pair of eyes and disembodied hands would spring towards them, and they constantly fled. Even when they tried to circumvent the steps, they were sent back down the stairs. It wasn't exactly combat oriented - so what was it?

A clean spell.

This floor is where Mahr had done some alchemy and needed a "clean room" atmosphere. Since at the time he was an active tower he had servants up and down and all over, stray dirt and filth would get in and around. So he had an automatic "clean" spell trigger when anyone would get to the landing - giving it some human touch with a set of hands and eyes.

I had two meetings of enjoying the way the party reacted to the hands and eyes reaching for them that when they finally got passed it by saying "Me" every time (based upon some scrap of paper they had found earlier) I felt like I had to let them know what had them so worried each time they approached and triggered it.

Write up follows:

The party talked about our options and at this point we decided that having the gargoyles at our back as potential threats was not an option so we went back down, surrounded one of them, and began whacking the hell out of it. Two of the 3 remaining came to life and assaulted us while the group tried to concentrate their attacks on one at a time. When the 1st fell, the 3rd became animate and charged the group, swerving at the last moment to attack the party on its less protected flank. Blows were fast and furious and eventually the stony menaces fell over.

Healing was dispensed and being it was only 1 PM or so at this point, we were dismayed at how beaten we were already and how many spells we had gone through. We wanted to make it to the 4th landing but were continuously stymied by the disembodied eyes and hands reaching for us. We settled on Marcus summoning a monster (orc), giving him a rope, and sending him up.

The orc made it past the step, reported a small landing with a single door and more stairs going up. We had him open the door and tell us what was inside. He shouted back “Some potion looking room, some glass beakers, and two doors!” Knowing time was of the matter we had the orc tie the rope to the door, grab as many potions as possible, and run back down to us. We took the 7 large unwieldy bottled from him, thanked him, and he faded away.

The potions had no markings on them and we didn’t want to risk testing them now so we deposited them in our packs and dared to approach the 4th floor one at a time, using the rope as a guide to lead us past the 5th step down. One by one the party made their way until after the 5th of us made it past and there was a strange blast and light – the rope was cut and the two parties were separated. What the hell?

The one group already on the 4th floor looked everywhere for some sort of lever or device to reconnect the two parts of the tower – finding nothing. They did note though that in the alchemy room were a number of poorly covered Bunsen burners with a thick and very flammable gel on the inside. There were 2 other doors in this room. The one on the left was shut hard and yanked closed so much so, that it bowed the inside of the frame and seemed to be under the effects of a Wizard Lock spell. Some listening revealed that there WAS something on the other side and it was snoring. We opted to leave it alone.

The other door was on the eastern side of the chamber and there were 5 bloody fingerprints at chest height pressed into the door, no other markings. Listening revealed no noises.

As for the lower group (almost all the fighters and Link) they could not proceed past the 5th step again without triggering the eyes and hands so they retreated back down to the 3rd floor to pour over options. They looked for levers or knobs or anything, finding nothing. From here they went down to the 2nd floor and stopped – seeing all 4 gargoyles were once more together and watching still. They tiptoed back to the 3rd floor and discussed the possibility of getting past the eyes and hands. It was here that they remembered a scrap of paper that had said “4th floor – Me.” So they went up to the 4th floor, stopped and when the hands and eyes appeared – said, “Me.”

The hands wiped filth from their cloak and boots and let them past. One by one we went through the landing and the party was rejoined once more. We looked over the last of the potion bottles (5 of them) and gave the alchemical chamber a final once over. We decided NOT to mess with the “snoring” door and went instead to the one with the fingerprint markings.

It was after we duplicated the position of our hand on the marks and pushed that the door opened. It was a largish chamber, taking up 1/3 of the tower floor. Along the far wall were two long tables with stands and chimes and candles and holders and whatnot. There were 4 torches on the wall – but the light they gave off was a purply/yellow mix that seemed to drink in the light from our own torches, making them dimmer.

The center portion of the room was completely bare and it seemed as if nothing was there except an almost living feeling of darkness. Fergus gave the room a once over and announced that the entire room was radiating evil and we should avoid it.

A single rock was tossed in and it bounced unearthly across the dark part of the chamber before hitting the far wall with a series of clicks. There was some talk about getting the scrolls and stuff off the table, but no one wanted to chance entering the chamber. We shut the door and moved on from here, not wanting to risk any of the chambers on the 4th floor.

On the 5th floor landing we noticed two doors, one north and the other east. There was also a narrow corridor (2’ wide) that circled the central stairs should anyone want to walk it. We checked over the north door and found it to be unlocked and open. Two of our party each walked the narrow circular corridor, swapping torches along the way to keep the place lit. But it was while coming out of the darkened part of it a spectral figure appeared and assaulted us while trying to back up. A couple of light spells forced it back and then blasted it apart after Marcus hit it with a push spell – staggering it backwards into the light.

We opened the north door and beheld some sort of meeting or smoking room. 7 wing back chairs, 3 tables. On one of the chairs was a skeletal figure in moldering clothes and sporting a large faintly yellow glowing diamond ring. Fist’al gave the skeletal figure a once over, Mummus watched the door, Fergus and Auri were giving the room a once over – the half-orcish girl taking the far end of the chamber.

It was while Fist’al was trying to get the ring off the figure that the shit hit the fan. The ring fell free and turned to sludge and feces, piling on the floor and swelling. The chest of the skeletal figure burst open and hundreds and thousands of spiders came swarming out and surrounded Fist’al. And finally along the south wall a black fire erupted and Grongellar, the shadow fiend, appeared – along with 3 of his shadow mastiffs.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Meet 53, Adv 3.5, 1/11/14

Sorry for the long delay between actual play and posting - I have been doing some freelance work in my evenings and had Hernia surgery as well - so computer time has been limited at best.

The group had returned to Shakun for a bit, resting up, dropping off, and re-equipping - before going to go back to Mahr's Tower. It also allowed them to get the next bit of the actual adventure and reveal under their belt - Johan Smith and his slow but methodical dissembling of the town and it's pillars of support.

There is an over-arching story behind it and the group is bit by bit plumbing out the details. The return to Mahr's Tower was expected but their second trip will not give them the treasures and riches they are hoping for.

Write up follows:

The party awoke the next day, Workmonth the 2nd, at the late hour of 9:30. We putzed around the Hall, going over some of the treasures we had brought back, and played with the accordion divider. It was easy enough to restretch to its original shape and we did learn another feature – camouflage. If the two ends are placed against a corner, the surface will look like the wall behind. It doesn’t deaden sound, and at 6’ tall, it would not prevent/hide anyone who would look over the edge.

At 11:30 we travelled enmasse to Castle Canastal where with met with Baron Taugis, Marshall Westwinter, and a few other notables. We caught them up with what we had learned, spoke about Dolomys, and the way to ease the Goblinwater effects is by drinking alcohol. The Sheriff and the party again did not see eye to eye and the lawman stormed out, feeling the lifting of some of the bans were running contrary to the smooth operation of Shakun.

This then led us to learn of the latest misfortune to hit Shakun – eggs. There are 3 poultry suppliers in the surrounding area: Conner, Eriks, and the Sperthik homesteads. The eggs have been coming in less over the last few weeks; eventually a mere 20 tops and those eggs had very fragile shells and some sort of unwholesome greenish tinged yolk. Before going to check it out, we wanted another search of the barrels in the basement – and learned that some of them DID have the cross-hatch markings that Goblinfour had revealed to us that indicated goblin water.

It also further explained the party – people were drinking a mix of goblin water and alcohol – so they were getting the negative mental effects but none of the long term beneficial ones as the alcohol was counteracting it almost immediately. We ate lunch and then moved on to the homesteads.

After talking with the Conner and Ericks farms, we were able to learn that the homesteads have switched their chicken feed over the last 6 months to dried corn – something not grown locally but is much better for the poultry. The price has been coming down each tradeday until it was at a paltry 1 and a half nobles for a 20# odd bag of feed. Who supplies it? Johan Smith of course.

Flimflam purified each of the bags and instructed the farmers to keep him informed if Johan comes back to sell some of the corn again. We also thought about how we would grow some locally or maybe come up with another possible caravan source of it for the farms.

As for the Sperthik family – that was entirely different. Giselle, one of the main antagonists in the teen anarchists, was responsible for having her family beaten and tied up, dumped in the root cellar for 2 days before they were run off. The locals were not trusting of the Sperthiks, almost all of their livestock and seed stock had been eaten by the youths that crashed on the homestead of the 2 days – and they had no way of paying this upcoming tax burned next month. Master Sperthik was going to go to Baron Taugis, sell back his Homestead, take what seedmoney he could from it, and then caravan the rest of his family either westward to Orland and Waterdale, or consider it a loss and head back to serfdom in Gul and Argosility.

We then detoured to the Herbalist and gave her some of the corn, shared some of the latest news, and moved on to prepare for our trip back to Mahr’s Tower tomorrow. Link, Ben and Urthar were happy to rejoin us and we then went to hire Codron and Hagan to guard our camp and horses during the day. Supplies were bartered for (still no Sern’s General  Store) and we rested well that night.

Leaving bright and early at 7 AM we set off towards Mahr’s Tower, the air already warm and temperature going to rise to 90 and then some. We arrived there @ 11, set up a camp @ the stables, had some water from the basement brought over, and entered the tower ready once again @ 11:30.

Our passage through here before seemed to have been erased. Drawers and doors we had left open were now closed, the gargoyles were again in full repair and watchful. Even the couch we had smashed against the closed door 2 or 3 days earlier was once more back in the hallway and showing no sign of wear other than age.

With care we made our towards the 4th floor but it was just shy of the landing, maybe 6 steps, that 2 sets of disembodied glowing eyes and oversized hands appeared and menaced Fergus and Mummus who turned tail and ran. The phantasm’s gave brief chase and then stopped, fading away. Ok, spectre? Evil spirit? Illusion? No one was sure, so Fist’al was willing to go up (with Fergus to guard) to check it out. He spent some time searching and did discover some sort of arcane trigger across the entirety of the 5th stair that seemed to summon the ghosts.

He tried to remove its effect by scratching a line between the arcane couplets, but failed and the hands and eyes appeared again, so the party retreated once more. This time it was thought to step past the 5th step and Fergus volunteered for it. He stepped exaggeratedly past the 5th step upward and leaned in – disappearing from there and reappearing facing the other way halfway down to the 3rd landing. He wind-milled his arms and fell – down two flights of stairs.

Hurt and breathing hard, he shuffled himself to a sitting position in time to see one of the gargoyles marching towards him. Cursing his luck he clambered up the stairs with the gargoyle following behind. At the 3rd floor, he and Mummus picked up the heavy couch, held it ready, and when the gargoyle came into view, hurled it DOWN the stairs at the stony foe and sent both of them crashing down to the 2nd floor again – this time broken and unable to pursue.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Meet 52, Adv 3.5, 12/14/13

We didn't get nearly as far as I expected to, but that's quite ok since the group had a decent long encounter with a 5 count of griffons. It was a pretty close fight with one and then one of the griffon's engaging the group - and if a 2nd had joined the fight, it would have most likely resulted in some party deaths.

There is only a few pieces left of this adventure and the group is pretty close on wrapping up the loose ends and training. They only thing they do not have is any disposable income - they are poor and beholden to Baron Ceril Taugis and Shakun.

Next adventure will have some potential riches come their way - but at a cost.

Write up follows:


The group began the longer than normal walk back to Shakun from Mahr’s Tower, thanks to the long train of bound youths as well as skittish horses. We took our time, breaking often for food and to make sure our charges were well cared for and capable of travel. The hours passed regularly until 7 PM when our keep scouts noticed figures some distance away, flying, and coming in our direction. They were large, four legged, and screamed shrilly as they approached.

Griffons. Five of them.

Fergus gave us a fast heads up on our foe, alerting us that any attempt to flee would most likely not work as the griffons could fly faster than we could run, and the presence of 11 horse made it almost impossible that they would just pass on by or be driven off easily.

Marcus whipped out Wipztar’s Libram and consulted it, settling on “Fortify” – which caused a wooden semi-circle palisade to appear, 10’ tall and sharpened on top. Alright – now we had a defensible position to fight from. The youths were situated in the back, closest to the palisade while the strung horses were in front of them. Bows were drawn and readied while we watched the 5 griffons split into 2 sets and wheel around, buying us some more precious time to fill the air with arrows as well as get our people in place.

Then the griffons dived. Spears were readied and a last launching of arrows flashed upward. Sharp talons tore through cloaks and armor, knocked shields aside, and hit the massed horses. Since they were tethered together, it was almost impossible for the griffons to lift the horses over the palisades. One of them actually smashed part of it down, crushing a captured youth in the progress and breaking a horse’s neck. Another managed to clear it…barely, but dragged the tethered horses against the palisade and ripping the ropes off in painful whip-like snaps. The last griffon was unable to clear the top and hit the wall which held – but in the narrow confines of the closed palisades with bound youths and terrified tethered horses.

One of the griffons flew off with another to feed and the last was stopped by Marcus who used Wipztar’s libram and read “Catch”. The power of the book flared and a length of rope sprung from an iron anchor at the elven fighter-wizard’s feet and launched across the area, 110’, to wrap around the griffon’s neck, hawsering the flying beast and stunning it to the ground.

The part massed upon the dropped griffon in the palisade while a few drew themselves up to meet the now angry griffon on the end of the rope that was charging the party. We pulled the last of the 7 horses away from the melee while the lone griffon was dropped with the flat of blades and stunning blows. Then just before it was too late, we drew lines and met the last griffon with sword and steel – Fist’al springing from concealed cover the land on the griffon’s back and put it down with a well placed surprise attack.

We bound wounds swiftly, keeping a keen eye on the distant 3 griffons. Ropes were tied around legs and beaks, and then we trussed them up into travois that we configured out of the palisade pieces and the rope found from the spell’s creation. Then we left, not trusting the distant feeding 3 griffons, taking our captured male and female griffons with us back to Shakun. We worried the rest of the trip, especially after sun set. Our charges were growing weary and we ourselves were not doing much better until we arrived at the walls of the town and hailed the gate guards there.


It was 11:30 when we turned over Dolomys to the militia and then went to Eherego at Exotic Transportation. We settled on 750 crowns for the griffons, along with some training and potential of 1st rites to any chicks that might be born next summer. From there we went ti Higrane and donated and stabled the horses we had brought back before tiredly making our way to the Hall of Heroes at 1 AM to crawl into our beds and get some much needed sleep.