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.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Meet 37, Adv 6, 8/9/08

I like side adventures - nothing recharges a party's batteries than doing something for the "heck" of it and take a break from the rail and main plot. So they went back to Fengarth's Tower and decided now that they were "real" adventurers - they could do a great job in here.

Well...they did better. And you have to give them "props" for that. But for some reason they have now run from this particular tower and this particular troll on two different occassions. Which means that this is unoffically a "nemesis" to the party. As you will see as these posts go on - this end up particularly bad for Karis.

Not because he got physically hurt by the troll - but because of his single-minded Ahab-like deep rooted hatred and desire to take this beastie down.

Write up follows:

It's in the neighborhood of Earthmonth the 8th at 1:30 and the party found itself in Fengarth's Tower. We were giving the 2nd level a serious inspection when we heard the sound of Tnagrath, the Forest Troll, calling down to us and coming down the stairs. He thought we might be Vanir and demanded that we leave.

Most of the party ran down to the bottom level with the exception of Zoltan and Karis who opted to hide in the former visitor's center and wait for the troll to pass. Once on the lower floor, we readied weapons and spells, preparing for combat with the ponderous monster. Detheron tried to verbally spar with Tnagrath, which only made the beast furious as it rounded the steps. Once visible, it hurled the rusty cleaver it was holding, this time into Smokey.

Karis burst free from the hiding place and ran down the steps, engaging Tnagrath and tearing his arm wide open in the process. The troll hissed but laughed, fighting the half-ogre to a standstill half way up the 2nd flight. Smokey charged in and Gwyn and debated on the merits of his sword or his crossbow. Detheron ran under the spiraling stairs and stabbed Tnagrath from behind and through the railing. Amal charged UP the stairs and using his shield as a battering ram, the orc slammed Tnagrath back into the iron rail – which bent and broke. The troll and orc fell and slammed down hard on the druid , still struggling and rolling across the ground, the orc winding up on top.

The combatants fired what spells they could and crept closer, swords and axes flashing. Tnagrath's wounds were many, but the troll's potent blood kept him from succumbing as his body continuously healed itself. Zoltan figured he'd be little help in the combat and went upstairs to the 3rd level, where he looked around carefully to see if there was another troll up here. There wasn't. Kitchen, Dining area, Larder.

The fighting had ripped Tnagrath's legs to shreds but the troll was able to stand and continued his punishing damage against the party. Coruth'tae dropped a 7' tall illusionary spike out of the ceiling which seemed to hurt the troll. Detheron dropped a healing spell on Smokey, and Evian was finally close enough to call upon her magical skill – and fired a Shocking Grasp spell right into the troll's midsection. This one hurt. In fact, it seemed to be the first wound we had given the troll that actually had him howling in agony. Also, the burn didn't regenerate nearly as fast as the other mundane wounds did.

The troll redoubled its efforts against the party, trying to take down Evian in its swings. We were whittling away the troll's hit points, doing more damage than it was capable of healing – but its regenerative powers seemed uncanny. And then Coruth'tae summoned a powerful illusion of a 7' diameter spinning saw blade that whizzed and sparked and whooshed through the air and struck the troll in the neck.

And the troll hit the ground unconscious, convinced it had its head cut off.

In that brief instance, the party plied axe, sword, and everything else they could to hack Tnagrath into over 20 distinct pieces. Then they took the pieces outside where Gwyn made a number of different fires out of broken furniture from downstairs and some oil and kindling – spreading out the troll and setting the pieces ablaze and separate. We checked him out and found two things of interest – the bag it was carrying was filled with chunks of meat (from Something!) – and there was a foot long black crystal with a spiral of silver wire around it that was attached to a short chain.

Coruth'tae pocketed it and Zoltan informed the party that the larder he had seen had about 6 dwarves and gnomes in it – all hung upside down and bled out from the neck and wrists. We checked it out and verified that fact. Didn't recognize any of them, but our guess was they are miners from Orihalcus (since the town is only 4 hours away). Detheron told us they had been here for a month or two.

We moved on from here, following the party upstairs to the 4th level where Zoltan took point, listening to the two doors he saw up there. Hearing nothing, he checked the first door and it revealed a damaged and battered hallway with old blood smears and numerous doors – the other door opened to a larger chamber. This chamber had been broken and ransacked, with a desk and chair smashed against one corner and the skeletal remains of a humanoid with over a dozen arrow shafts rattling around his ribcage.

As Zoltan was checking out the hallway and looking over the rooms (which seemed to be smallish servants quarters, long broken and destroyed), Karis went upstairs to the 5th level, Detheron following (which meant Smokey, Fodder, and Amal came as well). Coruth'tae was hoping to get some studying done and was sitting on the stairs.

Karis listened to the two sets of doors (on the 5th level) and heard nothing. Detheron activated Lavender's ring and asked Fodder what he noticed. Wolfkin let the druid know that there was dust and books and old blood and the scent of cat long ago here – and down below there was the smell of glue. Karis judged between the two doors and opened the 1st one, it showed a sizable room taking up 1/3 of the tower on this floor that was lovingly carpeted with over sized shelf like projections throughout the chamber and posts of varying heights – all of it carpeted. On the far wall was a picture of a man in his 40's with his arms around a large white Siberian tiger.

While they were trying to figure out the room and its purpose, a chill was going up their spine. Detheron went closer to the wall with the picture and studied it, deciding there must be something behind it. He touched the picture and suddenly a red field slammed around the chamber. Karis leapt backward through the doorway, just avoiding getting caught – the druid trapped within. And then a ghostly figure of a big tiger appeared – staring at the druid menacingly.

Detheron grew cross at the spectral cat and Karis realized he couldn't hear what was going in the room. As the druid was demanding to know what was going on and why was he being captured, the tiger's paw lashed out across the druid's face, he felt the chill draining touch of death. Wraith. Damn.

Meanwhile Zoltan was checking the rooms, Evian and Gwyn following him one by one. In one of the chambers, we saw a raven standing on the windowsill, watching him. Just watching. There was thought to attack it or drive it away or leave it alone – was worried it might be a familiar. And to who? Vanir? Instead opted to leave the room and while shutting the door, the Raven took wing and flew out the window.

One of the servant's quarters had furnishings about half normal size and the party guessed that gnomes or halflings must have stayed here. But the last room had something else. There was a stout iron banded chest along the back wall and a disembodied VERY large sized withered humanoid hand that was cast off in the middle of the chamber. What the heck?

Zoltan was afraid of the hand and Evian went into the gnome sized room, found a drawer to a dresser that wasn't in bad shape, shook out the contents, came back into the room, and dropped it inverted over the hand. Once it was covered, the bard/thief felt better and approached the chest.

It bothered him. Something about wasn't right. When he looked at the lock itself, he was surprised to see it had a single tumbler! What was going on? Just before he was going to try and pick it, Gwyn suggested using acid on it and the thief figured that would be better. He drew out one of his two vials, unwrapping it from the wool batting he carried it around in, and poured it on the hasp over the lock.

The lock hissed, the chest shook, and suddenly its "top" flew open and it dragged itself forward trying to grab the thief while its "mouth" went NOM- NOM-NOM in an attempt to eat Zoltan. Mimic! We backed out of the room and the mimic pulled itself after us a few feet, stopped, and instead dragged itself back to the corner it had been in.

Meanwhile, Detheron, a bit more contrite and realizing he was over his head, tried to convince the cat to let him go. No avail. So instead he drew his boar spear and stabbed it out at the picture on the wall. The point went through the canvas and tore it wide open. Which infuriated the spectral cat, which unhinged its lower jaw, and SWALLOWED the druid whole!

And then it disappeared.

The ward still up, Karis and Amal were shouting on the other side and Amal whacked the ward with his axe and he was hurled back and knocked aside. The half ogre told the orc to go get Coruth'tae as the wizard was needed. So Amal went downstairs and kept bugging the grey elf until he looked up (losing the study of his last spell as it was interrupted), and was told he had to come upstairs the Shaman had been eaten and there was a ward and Karis needs him.

On the way back up they also grabbed the other 3 members of the party and Karis filled everyone in on what had happened. The crystal did nothing to the warded area and Zoltan was moved up to figure it out. He noted that the archway was alternating green and blue colored bricks – and there were 5 of them (3 on one side, 2 on the other) that had no mortar around them. So he pulled out the top one on one side – it went out 6 inches and stopped.

Then the next one down on the other side – same thing. And again, and again. Each time he did it, the wards became more and more shot through with green light and they made much noise. Before the last one, the party was told to go down the stairs a bit and then the 5th stone was slid out. The wards shuddered and then collapsed. Chancing to see what was in there now, Zoltan tossed a single stone from his pouch into the room – and the spectral tiger reappeared. The tiger flicked the stone with a paw out of the room. Zoltan tossed it back in, the tiger flicked it back out.

Ok. Then he was asking about Detheron and how to get him back. Tiger went to the damaged and askew picture and mewled at it sadly. Then it opened its jaws wide and Zoltan could see Detheron's kicking feet within. Lovely. So he sang a mending charm and the picture healed a tiny bit. Then again, then a third time. The picture was better, but still broken, so Karis was allowed to come up and into the room and he prayed for a charm of mending. Then another, then another.

And the picture was still a tiny bit marred. So Karis (exhausted of level 0 spells) dropped to one knee and gave us a really good prayer to Tyr to allow him to mend this picture on last time (traded in a level 1 spell for a level 0) – and the last mend went through – and the tiger was pleased. It opened its mouth and Detheron spilled out – more xp sucked away and a bit traumatized. The druid had lost a level during his time with the wraith and was now 5th level again. The party was a bit quieter and most contrite after this.

The other chamber seemed to be the original tower mage's bedroom and the group checked it out swiftly – while Karis was trying to go up to the 6th level. Some of the party was like, wtf? Why go alone and without everyone else? But he couldn't make it to the 6th floor landing as there was a series of glyphs that came to life and forced the half ogre back. Ok, got it.

We regrouped up and with the crystal this time – the wards were dropped and we came to the next level up. Two doors. We checked them out, one opened – and it revealed a single large room. Walls had shelves on it and set in each position like a clock, were 12 shelves near the ceiling with 3' tall winged stone cats. A few reading lecterns were in here as well. Zoltan gave the place a once over, reading some of the titles.

The party was going back and forth as to the room (Fengarth's library) and why there would be two doors that lead to the same place. Coruth'tae and Karis tried out some ideas and then someone tried to abscond with a book and the cat gargoyles came to life and swarmed the party. Book was tossed back in and the cats took it and replaced it – and 9 others hissed and growled and the door was closed.

A few minutes passed and we looked again – and the room was the same as before. Ok. Got it. Karis placed a book on the lectern and we were wondering what to do. Would take 6 hours to catalog and clear out the books in here – did we want to spend that sort of time? But then from the hallway the other door was opened – and it showed the library with NO ONE in it! Um? What? From in the room – the other door never looked like it opened – from outside there were two doors opened! And the books were in different places on the shelves in the other library.

At this point, just after 4, Evian and Detheron – still in the hall and spiral stairs – heard from the bottom level (5 and a half levels down) something moving. Moving and coming up the stairs. And it was heavy. Ponderous. And giggling. Damn it to hell – the troll!?!?!?!?

And we were trapped on the spiraling stairs with nowhere to run. We cracked both doors and the party ran into one of the libraries while Zoltan ran DOWNSTAIRS one level to the master's bedroom and crawled under the bed to hide. Gwyn dropped a flask of oil on the stairs here before running into the library, the thoughts of if we need to – could set it alight. Tnagrath was getting closer and he stopped outside the two doors and pushed open the one that we were not in. Once there, he said something magical to the gargoyles in there and asked "Are they in here?"

Gargoyles were nasty to him and refused to answer his question – going so far to say that he seemed diminished and where was the charm? As that point, Coruth'tae turned to one of the gargoyles and pointing the charm at it, said "Do you have to listen to me?"

But his voice carried and Tnagrath heard the elf and began to storm out of the OTHER library to go into the other one the party was holed up in. There were only seconds and Karis was thinking on holding the door closed and the group making a break for it. But Detheron went to the door in the library – the OTHER door – the door that in theory – lead to the other library that was occupying the same "space" as this one – and struggled to get a grip on the door knob (which was sliding under his locked muscles) to open it.

And he made a hail mary saving throw. Epic heroic effort.

The knob twisted under his mighty will and he OPENED the door just a few inches. The tower groaned and warped and wavered and we could hear Tnagrath in the other library cursing as he struggled to open the door there – the portal refusing to obey him. There were strange magics afoot and the room was becoming disjointed as Detheron held the door open and Tnagrath tried to open it spatially from the other library. Karis forced the party to flee while he grabbed the door frame with Detheron and heaved it even further open.

More disjointing and whining and warping and wavering and strange sounds – and the group hit the oil soaked stairs and most of them fell a few steps with barked knees and some falling damage. Eventually they got to their feet and kept going towards the bottom floor. Karis shifted his body so he was blocking the door with himself, stiff arm holding the portal open. And then he told Detheron to let go and run. Druid did so and he snuck out as the portal began to crush the cavalier.

Druid called upon Frey and dropped a chant of strength on the half ogre and now much more powerful – pushed the door back open and then jumped free- the disjointing ending with a loud clapping sound and the last of the party hitting the stairs with a ground eating lope.

We ran for the cart and our horses and Tnagrath, angry and laughing, followed slower – following us to the door and giving more parting jibes and laughing at us as we fled Fengarth's Tower (again) and high tailed it back to Orihalcus.

We got back to town at 8:30 (at night) – almost 14 hours early and went to our house. Kobold women were there and really didn't expect us back so there was no real food for us. Coruth'tae offered to cook and he went to get some stew material before the last trader closed. Meanwhile the group talked about what had happened and that we still had 13 hours – could go BACK to tower, take care of business for 5 hours, and then get back by 10 AM next day. If we could come up with something to actually kill and finally take out Tnagrath.

Karis was convinced that we needed the ballista and said he was going to get it (the 2 of them are currently mounted to the main gates of the city) and that since we brought them to the city we should be entitled to actually taking them. Riiiiiiight.

We larped it here with Mike playing Sir Walter, Kyle hitting Phozarn, Matt doing Adeptus Bjorn, Jason playing guard from the left number one, and even Trystan playing newbie guard first month on the job and I have a shiny new spear and a helmet. Karis swept his way up to the tower, pushing past the newbie guard with a clap on the shoulder and you're doing a great job. He then made his way to the guard tower top where Sheriff Phozarn and two guards were standing and watching and chatting.

Was talking about how he needs the ballista and the guards were thinking it's a joke and it wasn't until he was getting serious about taking it that Sheriff Phozarn told one of the guards to go get Sir Walter. While Karis was still up there, the other guard kept nudging him with his pike shaft to back away from the ballista so the half-ogre stood up and lifted the guard over his head dangling him off the tower top (30' up). Phozarn was telling him to put him down, guard was wanting to go down (although he was saying that he was doing his job since Karis was holding him and NOT trying to dismantle the ballista) and after a time – Sir Walter and Adeptus Bjorn arrived.

Karis was ordered to lower the guard and Sir Walter was NOT amused. I would say he was fed up and pissed. No you can't take the ballista. What's it for? A troll? A big troll? Faced it twice and couldn't kill it? And a ballista would help? No no no.

And then Adeptus Bjorn was saying that he SHOULD be allowed to take it! Troll was a menace and a danger and should be destroyed. Ballista is a good idea. Adpetus faced this troll 6 odd years ago and it's a good idea to let Karis take it. There was much conversation back and forth and when push came to shove – Sir Walter decided not to allow the ballista to go. Did say that he would do what he could to get the party the chance to go to Cymbarton as soon as possible - and while there, should go to adventurer's guild and try to learn what they could about Forest Trolls and what takes them down. Karis left disheartened and returned to group telling them what was what.

During the night, Detheron was visited again by the overly large spectral cat which threatened him and gave him a horrible fright. Party came in to see what was what and we figured we needed to get our stuff in order as we would be making a trip to Cymbarton soon.

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