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.

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.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Meet 51, Adv 3.5, 12/7/13

For all the action and resolution that went on this meeting, the highlight of it all was the final conversation with Goblinfour - the prisoner we had captured.

He was lawful-evil and I played his alignment pretty straight on. But when it came time to wrapping it up and ha wanted to be let go for working with the party - we had our first major alignment disconnect with this group. It was arraigned with Fergus, Auri, and Ben on one side, with Marcus, Fist'al and Flimflam on the other - on the age old question - let him go vs. kill 'em and move on.

Since it was not during battle and the implied end result was that he would be freed upon completion, the consensus was that killing him would be murder. The two elves were very adamant that goblins, if the roles were reversed, would not hesitate to kill them. It was very touch and go, but the group did settle on letting Goblinfour free to return to his people.

Both sides had merit and this was one of those times where the players actually role-played around the table this entire situation and the aftermath - for over and hour and a half.

Write up follows:

The figures rode down the valley towards the tower and the group’s hidden place inside the ruined smithy. There were 12 of them, human, on horseback. They wore a motley of padded and leather, armed with simple shields and spears. There were also 6 goblins with them, walking and better armed and armored. They were in conversation but at this distance, we could not make out what was being said.

In whispered clips, we decided to wait for them to get closer and tossed about some plans, relying mostly on the opportunity of sleep to even the score against the sheer number of potential foes. Confident with our hiding place and trusting on their own noises and the amount of sun out there, we would not be easily spotted.

As they got closer we were able to pick up the odd name. Dolomys, Vingian. Vingian was a name we had heard before, a goblin of some power who was responsible for Goblinwater. Dolomys seemed to be the human female mounted up with a crossbow. These two were at the back of the pack and seemed to be talking together the most, about the failed uprising in Shakun, some sort of trade that had gone on. As they got to the stables, one of them stopped and asked Dolomys about the tall grasses there. He was told to “forget about it” and just stable the horses.

So the humans filed in one at a time and began stabling their steeds. Across the distance (30’?) we listened in on Dolomys and Vingian talking and held our actions for the time. There was some serious disagreement between the two with Vingian berating Dolomys for the “uprising” and its failed repercussions. It seemed the goblin had veiled contempt for the humans and there was apparently talk about ending their relationship as it was becoming too costly for the goblins to maintain this.

Dolomys wanted to remove the adventuring group, the Marshall, the Captain of the guard, and every other person of authority in Shakun, and Vingian was unhappy with their plans and gave Dolomys an unreasonable request to “get more elves.” While the humans were filing away into the stables, more than half of them in and milling about by this time, the 5 other goblins asked Vingian if it was ok that they go “to the larder” and get something to eat and drink, as well as get out of the dazzling sun. Given the ok, we watched them walk around the outside of the ruined block of buildings, pass our position, and swing south towards the tower. We had to do something now before we lost all sight of our quarry.

Marcus whipped his hand out the side of the smithy and cast Sleep on the 5 goblins before they disappeared around the side of the closest building. Three of them fell over, unconscious. The remaining 2 goblins took sight of what occurred and reacted. The one with the axe put on a burst of speed, almost as fast as a horse can gallop, and took off for the tower. The lone archer crouched lower and blended into the ground.

From across the field Vingian saw what happened, gripped his mace and a black aura surrounded him. Dolomys saw what was happening to her goblin companion and called out to her friends in the stables to “get ready, something’s going on!” as she began cranking back her crossbow. Fist’al was going to take a shot at the running goblin but was stopped (not to give away our position) and instead Flimflam on the crouching goblin – bathing him in purpley/green lights and spoiling his hiding. This had him curse. Initiative rolled – and we were still “hidden”.

Dolomys was calling to her people to “come out!”. Vingian was calling to his fairie fire’d goblin and neither was able to see us. He announced that we must be facing a druid, and called, “Grassman! Ride away from here!” The last rider still on the horse wheeled and rode back to Dolomys and Vingian. Dolomys cast Mirror Image and there were now 5 of her over there. The youths in the stables emerged from all the openings (3 of them) in pairs, and a three count went running for the tower. Meanwhile we continued to stay low and quiet while Vingian was calling for us to come out.

Flimflam made 4 dancing lights appear in the stables, causing the archers outside to pay attention on the stables. Then Marcus took out a sleep scroll and read it. However, the flash of his scroll was noticed by Dolomys, Vingian, and the last mounted spearman near here. The sleep scroll caused another 3 of Dolomys’ people to slump over, asleep. “There, in the smithy!” came the call from Vingian. The lone rider wheeled his horse around, announcing, “I’ll get him!” and rode towards our hiding area, spear at the ready.

Dolomys’ people moved into a better position to take shots on the smithy but didn’t take any due to not actually seeing anyone yet. The single goblin archer ran to the ruined building and braced himself behind the wall. Ben and Mummus moved to the front, spears at the ready, set to receive charge. And it was just in time as the rider hit the building and rode in. He went down under Ben’s spear, torn from the horse, killed immediately. Mummus quipped, “He died a hero.” Fergus grabbed the now riderless horse by the reins and finished off his bless spell.

Amidst the screams of the dying teen, the others aimed at the shadowy interior but held their shots. Vingian cast Command on Flimflam, ordering him to “Emerge”, but our druid made his save. Bolstered now we began shooting out of the smithy, aiming for any figure visible. One arrow was fired at Dolomys and her images but it was blocked by a shield spell. Meanwhile, Marcus whipped out the Wipztar Libram, and read “Devour” – pointing @ Vingian.

The page flamed out of the book and from under the goblin the ground opened and stone teeth came up and “ate” the goblin, bringing him under the ground. Flimflam called out to Demeter and summoned a wolf, sending it to attack Dolomys.

Arrows went flying from both sides, no real shots hitting, although we did manage under the barrage to dismiss one of Dolomy’s images. Dolomys tried to shoot the charging wolf, but it was prancing and leaping so much, her shot went wild, missing. The humans shot into the building, but the goblin did manage to hit Link, our torchbearer, twice – neither doing any real damage.

The wolf tore at Dolomys, managed to make another of the images to pop. Fergus shouted out to “Stop attacking the damned horse!” as he tried to mount the one he was calming down. Hurt, Link hurled the lit torch into the same building with the goblin. The 3 youths who had run to the tower, were coming back, this time with the goblin axeman in tow.

At this point there was a twist of mushrooms appearing around the sleeping goblins and a toadstood ring appeared – along with Vingian! His armor rent, shield a splintered mess, covered in dirt and choking – but he was out and living. Fergus snarled and twisted his horse around in order to charge the now emerged goblin leader.

Arrows flew, bouncing off armor. Dolomys missed the bounding wolf again. Mummus was plugged as he raced towards the combat. Fist’al shot, blunt arrow cracking into one of the youths. Auri hurled her spear, making another image pop – leaving Dolomys and a single mirror image.

The youths and goblins came closer to the smithy. Swords and spears were flashing. Fergus came out of the building, angling to run Vingian down. But he was in front of the goblin archer who peppered the paladin as he rode by. Vingian muttered some spell that was surrounding his weapon arm. Marcus tried to Charm the axe wielding goblin, but the greenskin was able to shake it off.

Flimflam and Whosea raced into the battle, coming up to help Mummus who swung back and forth with the spearman. He was hurt, painfully – down to 3. The half-orc tore into the spearman, bastard sword wild. Whosea grabbed the fighter’s leg while the gnome whacked him about the head. Distant archers shot at the riding Fergus, arrows raining about him.

The goblin axeman charged past the two spearmen, trying to make it to the smithy. Again Dolomys missed the prancing wolf! Crossbow bolt went wild. Mummus was shot at point blank range and splintered his shield, throwing the broken handle aside. Fist’al shot Vingian with a magic arrow, trying to break his concentration. Marcus whipped out his chain rod and hurled the spiraling chain at the charging goblin axeman, enwrapping him in the links. He pulled him to the building, Geld’s helping, while Ben stayed at the ready, spear out. Once the goblin got closer he brought up his axe, ducked under Ben’s spear, and whipped it around – tangling his own axe with Marcus’ shield. They struck the ground and Marcus spiked him right there.

Spears were stabbed. Mummus, growling, slammed over a foot of his bastard sword into the lone spearman, wounding him gravely. Fergus charged on Vingian finally, trident scouring into/through his breastplate. However, the goblin leader swung his mace in a whirling arc, black aura corusculating around his arm and weapon – impacting Fergus. The paladin hid behind the shield as it crumpled, falling away. Fergus continued past.

The wolf assaulted Dolomys and removed the last mirror image before he faded away. Sanford, Whosea, and Flimflam continued to beat the hell out of the fading spearman. At this point Auri finally arrived at Dolomys’ position and her enchanted Scimitar, “Drought”, smashed through the mage’s shield, cutting her wide open and dropping her to 1 hit point.

Arrows flying, more fell about Fergus. Vingian whipped his bracers forward and a toadstood ring appeared in front of the paladin. From within two goblins with spiked tower shields were warding a third – standing there with a rod pointing out. There was a cry of “elfrage!” or something like that, and a blast of thunder sounded.  His horse reared up, terrified. Shot and badly hurt, the paladin managed to keep his saddle as they raced away.

Vingian was calling out to his goblins that they were leaving – and to group together. The chain rodded axe goblin was unable to escape and Vingian used his spores to portal his goblins away, calling to Dolomys that “the deal is off! You are useless and on your own!”

Once they are fading away, the fight went out of the rest of Dolomy’s people and they dropped their arms and gave up. We rounded up our foes, trussed who we could and gagged them all. Then we spent some time questioning the goblin where we learned a number of issues. Like the toadstool rings – across the farmland due to some tunneling that was being done to the graveyard. Some sort of worm guided by a “Master of the Beasts” that the goblins use.

Its breath can be poisonous, which explained the many dead bugs and rats around the sites. It also explained some of the collapsed burrows. The goblin had been answering questions for so long that he wanted to know about his freedom. It was here that the group divided – Fergus, Auri, Ben and Link were against killing the goblin (in battle is one thing – not after he’s been captured) while Fist’al Flimflam, and Marcus felt otherwise – the goblin and his kind are evil and if roles were reversed, the courtesy would not be returned. Eventually the decision came down to Marcus (it was his chain holding him in place) who decided to give the goblin his freedom. We equipped him and sent him on his way (2 weeks walking to get back to Du’uk Tsarith).

Dolomys and her people were an easier matter. Her interest in anarchy and taking out the supports of society had no place amongst us and we had her bound and gagged and trussed up. We linked together all the horses (12 of them), loaded them down with our books that we have taken, bound up the 11 living teens and started on the long walk back to Shakun – hoping to make it before midnight.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Meet 50, Adv 3.5, 11/9/13

Especially when I am running older dungeons, I run across riddles, tricks, and traps that I had placed many years ago. There are a few places in Mahr's Tower where such items appear, and the library vault door on the 3rd level was one of them A decent haul of 11 scrolls (level 0 through 3) are there if successful if even able to find it, but the riddle itself stops the possible fight with Grongellar the Shadowmastiff.

I am not sure how others view or play riddles, but to me, they are like seasonings - should be used to spice up game play but not too heavily. By the way, the answer to the riddle below is "Shadow".

Write up follows:


We wanted to continue exploring while we had the time and energy so moved on to the next chamber: the scribing room. 4 desks and chairs, two with writing smocks, a smattering of old supplies, each desk had 2 drawers. Before doing anything, Fergus detected evil and beheld – a single smock. Okay…that’s weird. We decided to give the smock a wide berth and looked about the chamber.

The drawers revealed some writing supplies but little that was usual, until we had no choice but to look to the desk that had the “evil” smock. To make life easier, we lifted the chair the smock was on and moved it away from the desk. Then Fist’al was rooting around inside. It was while opening the drawers to the desk that we were convinced the chair and “evil” smock had gotten closer. We moved the chair back again and drew chalk lines on the floor around the chair legs and went to the drawers again – and this time while watching, we SAW the chair move closer ALONG with the chalk lines redrawing!.

From here it was a number of experiments around the room before it was decided that we should move the smock itself off the chair. Auri used her spear, hooked the smock off the back of the chair…and then swept it down to her hands where she inexplicably put it on. We were shouting to her to stop, but the half-orcish fighter ignored us while the ties swept around her and tied automatically…

And then she tried to murder the party.

Swords were flying, bodies were knocked asunder, the fury of the half-orcish fighter was tearing through Fergus and Mummus until Marcus was able to shout out a sleep spell and knocked the combatants out. We trussed her up and then cut the smock off of her. Not convinced that it was the solution, we did note that the OTHER smock was magical as well – but did not have any evil emanations. So we put that one on her and when she awoke, she had little memory of her murderous desire and had a nice smock at her disposal.

We took some of the paste pots and then went to the next chamber – the scribe’s library. Apparently it was where the scribes had their finished copies and it was a mess. Most of the shelves were falling apart and tomes had spilled everywhere. Along the far north east wall was a tall bookcase that behind was a safe. We suspected it was another opening to the last door on this room that we had seen in the hall.

We went out to that room and tried to force the door – but it had invisible spikes upon it and we succeeded in only hurting ourselves in the process. So it was back to the safe opening and we went to open it when a magic mouth appeared and said “Choose, 1 2 or 3.” Marcus said, “3” and…

Everyone else in the tower froze except for him. The mouth continued, telling him he had 30 seconds to solve the riddle or else. It went:

I am forged of brittle metal; I am carved of hollow wood.
I am sculpted of sandy stone, and can’t leave if I could.

My body and face are parodies of beauty’s outward looks
I am slave to all my masters by the lightest binding hooks

But even in their thrall I work to raise their fears
By candle light or darkest night, utter my name for all to hear.

Then it began to countdown as he had no answer for the riddle so Marcus ran for the exit, moving to the hall, and made it back to the stairs just as the countdown finished and time began again. And to the rest of the party it looked as if Marcus disappeared and Grongellar the Shadowhound and two of his shadow mastiffs stepped from the wall and attacked.

The fight was harder this time, even though there were less of the shadow dogs, and their bite was debilitating as it sucked strength away with wave after wave. It was only the blind luck of casting light upon them that we saw how much it hurt them and we swiftly turned the tide of the battle. Fist’al was pretty badly hurt in the fight and Marcus told the group that he had been teleported to the stairs and left his “running” out of the conversation.

The safe itself had a number of scroll cases which we took after checking almost 12 new mage scrolls. From here we wanted into the last room and decided to smash the door down – but to avoid the invisible spikes, we used the couch in the hall. Picking it up we charged the door until it was battered down and we could enter. It seemed to be a private chamber and was most likely Mahr’s at one time. We did get a nice robe, a magical accordion divider, and a brass key along with some cryptic note about a drawer of level two and “me” on level 4 and 5.

By now it was after 8 and we were done. We brought all the books to the basement and then barred the bilco doors as well as the steps up and went to sleep.

We awoke early the next day, Workmonth the 1st. A holy day to followers of Poseidon, called “The Colting”, Fergus had been having dreams about a horse that he needed to liberate and he needed to do it today. This was the right place, and today would be the right time.

We checked out the grounds once more around the tower, knowing that the criminal element in Shakun has been using it and would continue to do so. They would most likely be coming back here today so we wanted to be able to see their approach as well as be ready for them. We knew that the stables were used often and there would be no benefit to being on any of the roofs as we would be seen from the top of the valley. So we set up ourselves at the smith’s, watching and ever ready for the hopefully soon to arrive youths.

It was after 2:30 that he heard the distant echoes of approaching peoples and then shortly afterwards that we saw our quarry at last. Half a dozen goblins clad in breastplates and studded leather, militaristic and seemingly competent. There were a dozen assorted youths as well, not as well armed or armored, but still cocky and sure of themselves. They were mounted and coming down the side of the valley towards the stables, their voices too faint to make out clearly but growing more sure as they approached.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Meet 49, Adv 3.5, 10/26/13

Even an obvious trap/trick/monster will get the party to try to find ways around it. That was this meeting with the 4 gargoyles - and the group did a decent job in dispatching them. Their main purpose, of course, is to divide the group's efforts - which they did quite well.

Mahr's Tower was always firmly in the "wonky" side of the bell curve and I am pleased to see that it still makes the players go, "Whiskey Foxtrot Tango?" when confronted with its odd rules and layout.

Write up follows:


The group tentatively took to the stairs and made their way with exaggerated care to the 2nd floor. There was a landing here before the stairs continued up to the 3rd. Half the great dimensions of the room (90’?)were walled off on the eastern side, two doors (one far north, the other far south) were visible. The room was lit by 4 7’ tall gargoyle looking statues, glowing with a faint white/grey candle-like glow.

Fist’al volunteered to step up first, his presence on the landing causing the gargoyles to glow a bit brighter, but nothing else. We experimented a for bit, getting the gargoyle-lights to brighten about double, but no more regardless of how many people were on the 2nd floor proper. We spent some time checking over the eastern wall and again both doors – finding no traps or anything else. Auri dared to approach the “3rd” gargoyle and it did nothing, even when the half-orcish fighter smacked it with the crowbar and chipped some off – nothing happened.

We decided on opening the southern door and saw an older room – 2 beds, desk, large winged back chair, and a round table. Fairly dusty and yellowed with age. Fist’al went in to explore, Fergus stood @ the door for support. Auri continued to deface/damage the gargoyle statue.

The beds were very old, sheets stiff and easily damaged. Pillows had nothing below them. Table had a spiral of runes running down the surface and a call was made for Marcus to read magic on the surface. Something about not being disturbed was mentioned again and again. We left the table alone. Fist’al was at the desk and went through some attempts to open it –getting zapped where he lost 15 lbs as well as was unnaturally aged. His efforts did result in opening a drawer where under 3 sets of clothing found a glowing 2-3 lb yellow stone. He took it and proceeded to walk out.

It was then that a strange wind blew up and smoke filled the room, making it impossible to see. Fergus tied a rope around his waist and had Mummus hold the other end before going in to try and find Fist’al. The two of them hooked up with one another and made their way back towards the door but couldn’t feel it being open. To Mummus’ point of view, he could hear them just inside but swirling smoke and dust was obscuring any view within. He stuck his hand just inside the door and told Fergus to grab him. He felt something grip him around the wrist and he gripped the figure back and pulled.

And the 3rd gargoyle statue slid across the floor in time to Mummus’ pulling.

Fergus of course, felt nothing except a closed door.

Auri smashed the gargoyle’s arm and Mummus groaned in pain as it was released, his own wrist suffering from the blow. Fergus was able to find Fist’al and the two of them opened the door – which opened across the room on the NORTH side.

And the 1st and 4th gargoyles attacked.

The smoke was ended as well as the wind – but to Mummus’ point of view, the rope went into the room perhaps 4 or 5 feet and then ended, and to Fergus’ point of view 90’ away, the rope went OUT of the room maybe 2 or three feet and ended. This was put aside as the stony monsters surged forward and assaulted the fighters. Auri passed her crowbar over to Geld and told him to beat the hell out of the 3rd and 2nd gargoyles (who to this point, had not “activated” as of yet).

We beat and smashed and fought against the gargoyles as hard as we could, hampered by the fact that we had two combats separated by 90’.Fist’al meanwhile was checking out the desk in THIS room where he discovered in the same drawer as the other one – another stone – this one a radiant purple. He opted NOT to take it.

The combat eventually wound down as the last gargoyle was dispatched (Mummus shining many times during the fight) and we joined Fist’al in the northern room after goodberries were dispensed. The drawer that refused to open was eventually picked properly and in conjunction with leaning backwards, opened a secret door along the south wall that lead to a seriously disused library.

It took the better part of the hour to capture the 130 or so books that were still salvageable and get them outside the secret room. Only a single tome was magical, and it was some sort of odd thin book by someone called Wipztar the Linguarcanist. Inside were 12 pages, each with a single oversized word written upon them. Marcus took the book and we decided to further explore its possible use at a later time.

We were dismayed though to note that in our repeated disturbing of the “light” stones, that the 4 gargoyles had been repaired magically somehow and were once again in their former places. Not wanting to risk activating them another time, we gave them a wide birth and transported the tomes down to the lower floor.

From here we dared the central steps again and this time found ourselves on the 3rd landing. There was a couch and chair here, along with a handful of dimly glowing candles. A door was along the north wall, closed. There were 3 other openings, one lead east to a bedroom, one led south to a work area or scriptorium, and the last lead west to a workshop of some sort. The group went to the east opening and gave the bedroom a once over.

4 beds, and few other furnishings. The place was fairly clean and well-kept given its age. It was during the investigation though that something was disturbed in here and various parts of the room animated. A blanket swarmed up and engulfed Fergus, followed by a pillow that hit him so hard in the face that he was knocked down! Sheets fluttered about and twisted up, whipping the people in the room repeatedly while the blanket tried to smother the paladin and the pillow was bashing his head with a surprising amount of force.

It took a number of us some time to put the ensorcelled bedroom items to rest until finally it was over and Fergus was lifted up, dazed but alive. It was close to 6 PM on Firemonth the 30th and we were discussing on continuing onward to the next chamber or returning to the outside to rest for the night.