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, February 20, 2009

Meet 57, Adv 7, 2/7/09

After going back and forth from there many times now, the party was interested in returning to Fengarth's Tower and clearing it once and for all.

Primary goal was to get to the library and get every book there if possible.

Karis wanted to rush to the 6th level (wherethe library was) but the group out voted him and decided they wanted to clear each level to be absolutely sure there was NOTHING to surprise them on their quest upward.

I am pleased to think that some of the party members are underestimating what still lies ahead of them on the upper levels.

Write up follows:

The party camped that night away from the base of Fengarth's Tower. No wyverns approached, no creatures came to the firelight. The next day we redonned our snow shoes and pressed onward until we came to the base of Orihalcus and the lands of the Greengrocer Coalition.

We spoke to Altern Lamatous and gave the full accounting of Flarg and his skills during the combat. A pile of coins were given as well as a promise to come back and ask for the barbaric bugbear should we need him again. There was talk about going back in a few days and the Drywood bugbears agreed to the same terms for another use of our favorite axe wielding warrior. We did discover though that the Drywood bugbears were taking over the same exploits that the K'Tharkian Kobolds had been doing – and that was primarily accosting smugglers on the old Dwarven Traderoad and taking 10% of their cargo for safe passage.

Nope. Can't see that coming back to bite us in the ass at one point.

From there we made our way up the lift to the city proper and progressed down towards Town Square, attracting some attention along the way as most of the townsfolk had learned about our commission to take care of the Forest Troll. Once at Slaine Manor, we were escorted onto the grounds proper while Sir Walter was summoned.

We showed him the head and were thanked publicly for our heroic efforts. There was some talk from the guards though that Sheriff Phozarn was being summoned as the Sheriff was very upset that we had left without him. Sir Walter said that because the party had done as commissioned, they were under no trouble as far as he was concerned and were instead commended.

When the Sheriff arrived at the Manor grounds he tried to have Karis arrested for risking the life and limb of every person in Orihalcus. There was some heated words exchanged but Detheron stood up and said that the fault was his as he had received some guidance from Frey that the time to strike the Troll was now and to not delay (even to get the Sheriff). Of course Phozarn didn't believe it but he was now duty bound to arrest Detheron.

Sir Walter intervened at this point exonerating the party of any wrong-doing and pardoning them. The Sheriff was quite wroth at this and after making sure that Sir Walter was going to stand by this statement, tendered his resignation as Sheriff. Sir Walter took Phozarn into the manor house and the two of them went to talk and the party left. They dropped off the hands at Malcath's Traders and began buying supplies for another trip out to the Tower on the morrow (leaving on the 15th).

Detheron went to see Deidra and the Blessed Children of the Wilted Leaf Orphanage, where his girl friend gave him some low level poisonous elixirs she had been brewing. She also told him that there was some problem as one of the townsfolk had commented that Brother Dardis who helps run the budding Orphanage, was claimed to be a warlock. She wanted to know what the townsfolk view was on witchery and hexcraft as up north they have witch burnings and stoning for suspected mages. Detheron told her that Orihalcus was pretty normal and not to worry too much about it.

We spoke about our trip back to Fengarth's Tower tomorrow and then eventually some trip back to Dargan's Folley. We would want to recruit more bugbears and a few other low level adventurers to help us clear it out but we are looking to wait until the snow melts and the spring has sprung.

We awoke on the 15th and took Clipclop the mule with us, eventually getting Flarg and we trekked across the snow. We camped a mile or two from the tower and the next morning upon arrival we gave the place a good observation from outside. Nothing had changed, nothing had altered. Fabambus cast 'Run' on himself should it be needed (lasts 5-8 hours) and the party entered the Tower.

We decided to clear each floor one at a time from the base (not sub basement) up, making sure that we missed nothing of interest or value. The Grand Entrance was devoid of anything interesting so we traveled up the center stairs to the 2nd floor. Once here there was a large gaming room with an ancient spell lighting the candles within. The cabinet held many games and puzzles. The party searched it across, eventually casting a detect magic. Two items came up: a set of dice and a wire puzzle with 5 beads.

After some experimenting they discovered the dice came up a pair of 6's every 4 tosses. The wire puzzle was different though. The beads needed to be solved in a particular way, but when they were, the red bead disappeared from the puzzle and reappeared inside Coruth'tae's mouth (who was solving it). The bead had draconic heads across the surface. When it was crushed (accidentally), Coruth'tae became 2 dimensional, having all the properties of paper but without actually changing into such. 5 minutes later he returned to 3 dimensions and the red bead reappeared on the wire puzzle.

From here they explored the rest of the 2nd level, uncovering a number of smaller chambers for visitors and some sort of carpeted room with a layer or ground and shattered glass.

After this they went cautiously to the 3rd floor. It was here that T'Nagrath had made his presence first known to the group, the Forest Troll dead and gone now. It was the Kitchen, Larder, and Dining Hall. The group gave each room a cursory overview but as they had already checked it out before, there was nothing new uncovered.

Then it was to the 4th floor. There was a larger chamber that had been destroyed; a skeletal figure with its head twisted completely around was hurled against the ruins of a bed, a few arrows rattling around its rib cage. There was a narrow corridor surrounding the central stairs and 6 small chambers for servants radiating off from there. We had been here before (including the room with the slain mimic) and after a short inspection, declared the 4th floor cleared.

The 5th floor was the tower master's bed chamber and across the hall was a second chamber where his Siberian tiger familiar once resided. Detheron was most cautious about being in here (as he had a run in with the wraith-like familiar once before) but we looked over the chambers and decided there was nothing new to be found within.

This meant it was time to use the black crystal and silver charm to get past the wards on our way to the 6th floor. The wards were subdued and we made it to the 6th floor landing. The same landing that we knew the library was on. Our immediate goal.

We knew that both doors could not be opened at the same time as it would make a disjointing/spatial rift, but for some reason both doors would open to duplicate libraries. We cautiously opened one of them and looked in. It was as we had left it, and we knew there was to be one "gargoyle cat" from the shelf gone and broken. It was, but there was a short 2' tall large nosed winged creature in its place.

We avoided entering and had some words with it; it jumped down and pointed at the party, speaking in some demonic tongue. And then the door was forced open and the imp was struggling to cast some ensorcellment on the charm.

Karis and Flarg shut the door with their combined strengths. The party was gearing up to fight the creature, Karis calling to Tyr to bless the party with the fury of the gods and Detheron calling on the strength of the bull to infuse Flarg.

And we ended it here on Deathmonth the 16th at 11:50.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Meet 56, Adv 7, 1/31/09

It's nice when the group learns from their mistakes.

No DM wants to spend meeting after meeting kicking their players into the meat grinder and watching them get chewed up. (Well, there are a FEW that enjoy that - but their groups don't last long) So when they actually seriously put a plan together and execute it, even if the details had to change after "contact with the enemy" was made - such skill and effort should be commended and noted.

Fengarth's Tower was nebulously designed as a 6-9th level short side adventure. The group has gone back every level since 3rd - determined to plumb its depth and reach its heights - and emerge with whatever treasure's they could find.

And to date - they've encountered and finally killed TWO (count them - 1...2!) denizens. :)

I can't wait to see their efforts on their return.

Write up follows:

Karis took a walk to Malcath's Traders to get some bed rolls, tents and provisions – talking with the gnomish proprietor for a bit before leaving. Detheron went to get Clipclop the mule from the stablery after going to visit Deidra – informing his friend that should they not return to town for 10 days, she was to take the black/silver charm (tower charm) and throw it over the side of the city into the midden.

From there we all gathered at the base of the lift and went to the Greengrocer Coalition – eventually to Altern Lamatous' domicile. The bugbear leader, 5 of his clan mates, and 4-5 humans from the coalition were inside the warm house drinking some sort of homemade liquor. Conversation followed and the group got to the point – they wanted the opportunity to bring one of the bugbears with them now. Specifically Flarg.

Minimal haggling followed and the party agreed to the last terms they had with the Drywood clan – 25 crowns up front plus a fair and equal share of whatever treasures were found. Also, should the unthinkable arise, an additional 25 crowns for funerary rites and burial.

Flarg was overjoyed to come with the party and the group headed off toward the west, tramping through the snowy grassland. We constantly looked behind us, but did not see anyone following (ie: Sheriff Phozarn). Eventually the sun was setting and the group had guessed they had put 5 hard miles behind them. Endurance spells were handed out to all (including the animals), tents were erected, rations were eaten and we talked about what was to come tomorrow.

We awoke the next day and broke our fast and studied – both Fabambus and Coruth'tae going through the efforts to not only refine their list of spells, but the elven illusionist had been turning the party invisible one member at a time so that when we did arrive at Fengarth's Tower – we would be able to approach and engage the Forest Troll with care and surprise.

Roped together we walked through the cold snow for another hour or two until the growing familiar sight of Fengarth's Tower loomed into view. It appeared to be abandoned, but we were still leery. Peering through the front doorway, the main entrance chamber looked undisturbed. We removed the ropes and with exaggerated care Karis whispered he would enter first. He stepped over the threshold.

A magical Alarm spell rang off from below his feet and then a shimmering ward slapped into place across the entrance behind him – sealing him off from the rest of the group.

And then the door to the basement levels burst open and T'Nagrath emerged with the Staff of Power brandished before him and a roaring cry…that died down as he beheld no one in the hall. He looked carefully, Karis holding perfectly still (and invisible), seeing no one. He backed down the stairs a step and there was some sort of crinkling paper noise – and then he was having a one sided conversation with someone. It went like:

"There's no one there."
"I'm telling you the hall is empty."
"Your spell didn't go off right."
"I'm telling you I don't see anyone."
"There aren't many charges left."
"Grrrr. Impudent human. Fine!"

Then the Forest Troll tilted the Staff towards the entrance and let fly a Fireball. Karis leapt away but was still caught in the blast that rocketed around the room (the ward preventing it from going outside), the stalwart half-ogre's mighty strength and fortitude keeping him vertical. He clamped his mouth closed to keep from screaming or complaining in pain – putting out the fires from his clothes with rapid pat of his arms. His invisibility was still in place.

Meanwhile, outside, Fabambus readied one of his few Battering Bolts into his crossbow taking aim of the troll through the ward – hoping that if the bolt did take the ward down, it might hit T'Nagrath who was still looking around the smoking chamber and muttering, "There is no one here, mageling!"

Then the gnome fired. His invisibility shroud faded and the missile slammed like a gong against the ward. The spell held – but the stones AROUND the doorframe failed! The entrance (still warded) slipped backwards into the tower and fell over – allowing entrance and egress from the tower.

T'Nagrath looked at the now visible gnome and laughed. "Another adventurer here to try their mettle against T'Nagrath? HAH HAHAHAH!" Meanwhile Gwyn was getting into position, readying his own magical bolt in place while Coruth'tae (out of visible range from the Forest Troll) prepared an Improved Phantasmal Force spell. Fabambus shouted, "Prepare to die Troll!"

T'Nagrath made to step forward but Gwyn turned visible fired his own Crossbow bolt. Coruth'tae used his illusionary powers to make the bolt being fired look like a Blessed Bolt of Thor! The troll screamed and tried to back away – but a few feet shy of hitting him the illusion was peeled back and only the bolt itself hit him. Fabambus and Coruth'tae looked at each other and groaned – Globe of Invulnerability! That meant no spells that any of them could cast could affect the troll. Including the Lighting Bolt Spell! Damn it! How long would the spell ward last?

The troll had been knocked down the stairs a bit and Flarg the bugbear ran in, grabbing the door handles and pulling them closed. Detheron had cast a spell of strength on the already powerful bugbear, making him a force to be reckoned against even the troll. T'Nagrath was screaming to open the door and let him out while Flarg held the handles closed. The party drew up into a battle line, most of them with crossbows and bows ready. Both Fabambus and Gwyn gathered some poisoned bolts together, readying them for an even nastier surprise.

Karis told the party they would have to kill T'Nagrath with brute strength and then cut his heart out – taking it outside and blasting it there away from the Globe of Invulnerability. The half-ogre and the bugbear barbarian drew themselves ready, Flarg using Gwyn's flaming Battleaxe “Blaze” for this engagement…and then they opened the door.

T'Nagrath leapt out, Staff of Power leading the way, trying to batter Flarg aside – but he was struck by arrows and bolts staggering and wobbling and howling. Then Karis' sword arched around from the side, cleaving the troll's chest open wide. Flarg's axe burst into fire and the bugbear started beating T'Nagrath in time with Karis – the two titans delivering terrible damage to the howling and warbling troll. He struggled to fight back but the troll was overmatched and began falling down. And then Smokey joined the melee and the troll was slashed open across his throat – the grizzly bear delivering punishing damage.

Once down the party went to work swiftly. His hands and head were removed with sword and axe while others carved his heart out of his still chest. Then it was taken outside and Detheron called on Frey to grant him the power to Call Lightning – the powerful enchantment building in the snow choked sky above. Until 10 minutes passed and the air was charged – and a single stroke of lightning slammed down like Mjolnir – blasting into T'Nagrath's severed heart. Ending the Forest Troll's chance at regenerating ever again.

Sundered Chains: 1. Forest Troll: 0. (A round of applause for the party for handling and defeating one of their nemesis)

From here they traveled into the tower and looked downstairs, hoping to see who the troll was talking to. On a whim, Detheron withdrew his silvered cage with the unicorn's horn in it – and the horn spun about within – and pointed straight down – very warm in his hands.

Damn. The unicorn's severed head was here. Here. Now. And below.

They ran to the door and went to run down to the 2nd sublevel but there was a blast of inrushing air and they arrived in time to see a teleporting portal rift shut in the dim light. And the unicorn horn spun slowly in the cage which grew cool – the horn pointing east.

In the basement were 3 new blood stains – and the body of a 6 year old street urchin looking boy. He looked just slain, and his fingers had been broken and bent back and forth. The party deduced that Vanir had been here, had been helping T'Nagrath, and was still pursuing whatever aims they were after. Detheron's geas was back in remission but the druid was seething – his desire to find the unicorn's severed head still alive and well. The party searched the boy over – finding a small handful of brass bits – with the "tails" side of the coins bearing Principia's stamp. They had some clue where Vanir was holed up and what he was doing.

The gnome took out his wand and held it aloft, activating it – searching for gold! He guided the party upstairs to the 2nd floor…the 3rd…and then the 4th. They went carefully looking around for whatever gold the gnome said was up here (they could not go beyond the 5th floor since they did not bring the charm with them). In one of the last rooms on this floor (which used to house whatever servants Fengarth had living here) they found a single large wooden iron bound chest with a nice lock in good repair.

Half the party remembered that it was a mimic and should be handled with care. Fabambus had an idea – taking a speck of webbing from his pouch he flung it at the chest and summoned a Web spell – encasing the mimic within! He then told Karis and Flarg to beat it while the webbing was in place. They ran forward and the mimic tried to come to life to attack them but it was bound by the web strands and the half-ogre and bugbear spent a few minutes hacking at the thrashing creature until it stopped moving.

Once dead, the party carefully opened the mimic and peered within. The question was posed, "Where does a mimic store its treasure?" and the gnome answered snidely, "Inside a dead human." Some of the party laughed uproariously at this. But there was treasure within: gold and silver and some jewelry bearing the marking of KS on distinctive bands (some of the history minded party members knew the rings to belong once to a warrior of renown named Kris Snorrith during the Ogre Wars), a silver dagger with a robin's egg sized emerald in the pommel, and a feathered gold leaf band that once belonged to the famed Griffon Riders of Rohn.

We gathered what we could and then left here, checking the other chambers with care – until we spied a raven in one of them. Detheron approached it carefully and then enacted Lavender's Ring – speaking with it. It said its name was Kevas and was spying on T'Nagrath for its master, Ssisska. Where was its master? Up. Ssisska ran the top of the tower and T'Nagrath ran the bottom of the tower. They hated each other. Kevas couldn't say what Ssisska was – just had two arms, two legs, a face…And wings. Then it said it had to tell Ssisska about the party and that T'Nagrath was not here.

At that the party felt they had to get out of Fengarth's Tower and left – not prepared to meet another other creatures in the Tower, to meet Ssisska, or to learn anything about it. They loaded up Clipclop and left Fengarth's Tower behind, looking back often to make sure they weren't followed and all was safe (enough) on their trip back to Orihalcus.