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, August 28, 2009

Meet 73, Adv 8, 8/22/09

After over a month of looking and interviewing, we replaced one person at the table, the new player coming in as a paladin and starting at 4th level. This brings our compliment of players to 4 around the table, with one observer for now. Of the 4 we've had poor attendance from Gwyn the dwarf, which makes the group problematic at best and underpowered in regards to role playing.

There is room for 1 more, maybe 2, and I have some more interviews next week which will get us back up to speed and strength. Looking around at the group we are thief light. A cleric or wizard wouldn't hurt either (no offense to Detheron or Coruth'tae!).

Bringing a new player in is always a jarring experience - whoever it is starts at a disadvantage in regards to level, camaraderie, knowledge of house rules, and play style. I had remembered reading in a few places a sort of "rules" or "guides" on player etiquette at the game table - pretty sure it was in some Dragon magazine or Blog somewhere. I'll have to go look it up and tweak it so that it better conforms with our group.

I am sure it will all work out and know that all will be richer for the diversity brought to the table. :)

I figure the group has 3 more meetings (give or take) in Byfortevile before I slap them into some dungeon crawling fun. Which will be good because it will give everyone a chance (new and old) to do a last bit of "towning", try to gel a bit as a group, and then get right to spelunking the dim and dank darkness of the world below on their way to the distant surface and Dragonhole above.

That reminds me - I really need to draw out Dragonhole one day soon. Chuckle - typical DM.
Write up follows:

We rested up, feeling good about ourselves and our situation. We figured that our part in the bar brawl was not our fault and that we should keep trying to be in King Yikzarch’s good graces for as long as we could.

We spent much of the morning eating lightly from our food stores, honing our weapons, and going over our belongings while awaiting word from either Undertaker Solon or Burghermeister Grix. It wasn’t more than a few hours before we had a knock at the door and we met a young human male named Damian sent to us from King Yikzarch.

Damian had been smuggled out of the Vault of Madness, a large citadel on the center island of some importance to both Kashtir Bristlestone as well as the Outsiders. It seems that Damian was a paladin of Baldur and had been portalled there almost 2 months ago by Vanir and some other mage clad in fire. He had attempted to stop the two men from burning an Orphanage in Dragonhole, the young children that were being consumed had their souls sucked into glass spheres that Vanir was holding. He spent 2 months under the yoke and lash of the demonics and had been freed almost 5 days ago by Duergar seeking to weaken Kashtir’s position with the Outsiders and hopefully be replaced by an Underthane.

Seeing our paths conjoined for the time being we opened ourselves up to the paladin and then all went to see Grix together. The goblin Burghermeister had heard about our bar brawl and noted that we accorded ourselves well during it; also following his prohibition on unnecessary slaying.

There were a number of battered goblins in Grix’ office and we learned of our next mission. The goblins here were part of a gang called the Split Skulls, a group of 20 or so toughs that work the docks as longshoremen, filching goods and cargo from those boats and skiffs loyal to Kashtir. The operated out of a warehouse along the eastern docks near the Spider Paddocks and had proven themselves to be quite lucrative to the goblins of Byfortvile.

There have been a number of gnolls over the last few weeks migrating down here since Sakath’s power was broken in Wodenvarelse above. Two days ago a band of 8 took it in their heads to tangle with the Split Skull goblins – and beat them senseless. The leader, Jarul, was captured by the gnolls and the rest of the gang was beaten to an inch of their life and sent running.

Grix wants the party to go to the warehouse and “visibly and publicly teach those gnolls that Byfortvile is a GOBLIN city and not their playground.” We took the mission and went off to check out the situation.

The warehouse in question was the last in the line, maybe 30’ from the water’s edge, three stories tall, perhaps a hundred and fifty feet wide by seventy feet deep. There was one sliding double door for loading and unloading, two other main doors, and one smaller back door. We talked about a number of plans discarding them one after the other, until it was decided we just go up to the place, make an ass load of noise, and then call them out – fighting in the street.

Gwyn readied a crossbow bolt with his Wyvern venom, Detheron called on Frey to fill Arnog with holy strength, and Coruth’tae cast a shield spell around himself. Damian and Arnog put a couple of barrels in front of one of the doors to slow down anyone attempting to come out. And then Coruth’tae cast a glamour that made it sound like a dozen goblins were shouting their heads off for Flitch (the gnoll leader we were told, who also had a cat) to come out. The main doors slid opened and gnolls started pouring out into the street, half of them clad in armor and wielding morningstars, the other bare-chested (no cat so far).

Coruth’tae used his Staff of Power and sent a Fireball streaming into the building blowing the gnolls about and knocking a few of them down, but most of them were able to block or roll away from the bulk of the fire. Detheron called on Frey’s will and a horde of a thousand rats boiled out of cracks, holes, and from down the street massing in front of the druid and ready to charge forward into the packed gnolls. Gwyn swapped from his crossbow and precious poisoned bolt to his regular bow and fired at the unarmored gnoll.

Only to see his arrow knocked out of the air. A second shot followed and the gnoll snatched it with his fingertips and broke it with one hand. Fuck.

And the door behind us shook and banged as someone on the other side tried to push it opened, the barrels slowing him/them down briefly. We stayed together and got ourselves ready as the other door exploded opened and out stepped two more unarmored gnolls, one of them his fur dyed orange and striped in black. And then a growl echoed as a 300 lb tiger stepped out and snarled at us.

Detheron sent his swarm against the 6 count of gnolls and let his concentration wane, the maddened rodents impeding and biting and crawling wildly over the gnolls. Gwyn took up his crossbow and fired it at what we identified as Flitch – only to see his precious poisoned bolt sent away with a palm blow from the preternaturally fast monkish gnoll. The dwarf then growled and said, “No more missile weapons I guess, it’s sword work time.” He and Arnog stepped forward and took the fight to Flitch and the other monkish gnoll there.

Some of the gnolls mixed up with the rats broke away and tried to run elsewhere in the building, but one of them kicked his way free and raced toward Damian. The young paladin joined the battle and calling on Baldur wildly he channeled his own power into his sword and “smote” the gnoll full on, slaying the evil beast with a single stroke of his great sword.

Detheron called on Frey and tried to dominate the tiger, his will encaging the cat and forcing it to obey his wants, attacking Flitch! The gnoll was wroth and forced the tiger into submission with a brutal blow to the head, knocking the cat out for a few minutes. He then turned to the druid and said, “I’m going to KILL you!” and charged. Damn.

Arnog couldn’t stop him as he was still struggling with the other gnoll but Gwyn jumped in the way and scimitar ahead of him got a singular lucky shot against Flitch’s chest, bringing him to a stop. Coruth’tae made himself appear to be covered in lightning and pulling his dagger free also tried to intersperse himself between the gnoll and druid.

From inside the warehouse one of the gnolls tried to come out the window but Damian was there with sword and did brutal fight with the giggling beast. Others came at him from the other side, morning star crashing against his splint mail and he struggled to beat back the next gnoll.

Detheron yelled for Frey and a lion appeared in a flash, assaulting Flitch and raking the gnoll hard. Seeing Coruth’tae as the easiest target he went to attack the mage and was surprised to find his blows turned aside by the combined powers of the Shield spell and the Mage Armor! The gnoll was getting beaten badly and with a lucky blow Gwyn hacked into his chest and Flitch went down dead. Not believing it Arnog tried to whack off Flitch’s head but the gnoll was playing possum and kicked Arnog hard in the leg and ankle, hurting the young fighter.

Another gnoll came out of the warehouse and Detheron called on Frey once more, summoning a hippogriff to take out the new threat. The gnoll leader was slain at long last and seeing this the last few gnolls charged Detheron looking to take vengeance against him. Damian finally took down the last one he was fighting and tried to help as did Gwyn. Coruth’tae made it appear that entangling ropes were binding the two gnolls but only one of them fell for the illusion.

Gwyn tackled the “bound” gnoll and the dwarf and gnoll went over the side of the shore line where the gnoll sunk to the bottom and Gwyn was able to swim enough to keep from going under, holding onto the side wall for purchase. The last of the fight ended swiftly and we gathered ourselves together. Detheron was pretty badly hurt as Damian, Arnog, and Gwyn were also somewhat wounded. Healing was dispensed and the druid then cast a number of spells on the tiger, binding the animal to him.

We had amassed an audience and felt sure that our activities would be reported favorably. We looked over the warehouse, it was filled with some stolen cargo and three unconscious, badly hurt goblins. Detheron used the healing unguent we had and soothed the worst of the wounds, rousing the three from their stupor. One of them was Jarul and we talked about the gnolls, what happened, our actions, and Grix’s feeling of the Split Skull’s importance. He gave us a necklace of a dog’s skull that had been dipped in silver, sort of an important badge of office for the goblins.

Detheron had removed Flitch’s head and had it on his boar spear and we took our time getting ready to head back to Grix when a large, very large, goblin came up. Strong and wide, he was dragging a low flat-bottomed cart behind him. Other goblins gave him a wide respectful berth as he went to each gnoll, picked up the dead body and slung it on the cart.

Coruth’tae asked if he was Undertaker Solon (he was) and the goblin had little interest in talking with us. It took some conversation and convincing and eventually showing the soul sphere before he agreed that he knew about it. Would take us to see the “slimy man” when he was done with his duties. No we can’t see the slimy man now; no he won’t tell us where to go. He’ll find us later.

We went back to Grix with Jarul and the other goblins where we were thanked for our efforts. Grix would talk with the leader of the Split Skulls and come up with a fair reward for us for our efforts. Until then we were on our own until at least tomorrow. There was talk about climbing Ironbeard Stalagmite but we wanted to sit and talk about it first before making any such gesture.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Meet 72, Adv 8, 8/15/09

Officially the group is down to 3 players at the table (1 on self-imposed hiatus, unsure if ever coming back, 1 kicked out a month ago, and 1 I opted not to replace some time ago), coupled with the really crappy attendance this summer has not made for the smoothest game playing as of late.

So I took the DM liberty, hitched the party up to the railroad tracks, and locomotived them through the rough patch for a bit and 15 minutes of plot exposition and loose end tie up or cut off. I don't like to do that but didn't want to lose half a meeting on maintenance. I cut loose a pile of NPC's which made my life much easier and slid the group not exactly subtly, but seamlessly, into the next part of the adventure.

Town adventures. I like them. Some people don't, the player who was doing Karis hated them, and I feel that the player doing Gwyn doesn't give enough thought to them. But the others around the table do and did and it was nice to do some town things. Like shake down a local business. Deal with the local mid-level town functionary. Investigate a lead with a witch. Visit a new bar. Track down a townie. And my favorite - Bar Brawl.

Had one planned, knew it was coming, but Detheron the party's druid just pretty much bee-lined towards the upcoming and potential bar brawl so definitively that I thought for a minute he had looked at my notes and opted to start it himself. I let it play out organically and just sat back, rolling where it was needed to and let the fight wear itself out.

I forgot how much fun a D&D bar brawl was to have. I have to have them more often.

Write up follows:

The pastries as had been requested were made, poorly to be sure, but more than good enough for the goblin’s palate. We were accorded a place to stay as “guests” in the lower level of King Yikzarch’s castle where we cooled our heels and thought long and hard about what had befallen us and where we were to go next. The days passed and eventually the rest of our friends made their way down to Byfortvile, the ghostly purple and yellow flaming sun set above the tall tower in the center isle testament to how far from home the party was.

Both sets of adventurers met up in the goblin king’s domicile, much back clapping and congratulations abounding. We talked of what happened and where we had gone, things we had seen and choices we had made. Roxarn of the Red Clouds was reviled and there was talk about exacting revenge. But some things had changed and not for the better. Karis had taken the party’s predicament to heart and after thinking on his actions and choices, it was time for the half-ogre to come to grips with who he was: a beast, a tough, not a knight, and not worthy to lead the Sundered Chains any more. He opted to leave the group and lend his sword to the likes of Dargis, Spax and Thad – aiding to lead those the Red Clouds had duped and take his payment against them with bestial fury and flashing blade.

Arnog though decided otherwise and the young fighter with the good heart knew that there was something larger afoot than just what he had seen and he had come to respect Gwyn and Detheron. Seeing them left without a fighter at their disposal (a fact that the good dwarf would disagree with, chuckle) opted to stand by his new friends and aid them in their similar yet different course of action.

Eventually King Yikzarch gave the Sundered Chains audience and we learned that the goblin king was pleased at our courtesy and fawning. We were set free from his dungeons and offered the entirety of Byfortvile to explore at our want and disposal. The city itself was “neutral” ground, ostensibly under the goblin tribe’s control and governance but still at the sympathetic relationship and bound up with the Duergar and Thane Kashtir Bristlestone.

In order to utilize our skills and abilities, we were given to his Burgomaster Grix, to be used where our unfettered allegiances would best support the goblins’ cause. Coruth’tae spied on the King and Grix with care, using his ESP spell to the best of his benefit and verifying that unless we made ourselves a difficult burden, the goblins would play us true and honorable.

Our first task for the Burgomaster was to go to the end of Goblin Row, there we would find a gnomish machinery called the Aquifier. According to Grix, King Yikzarch was convinced that the gnomish foreman, Thurgis Ironsprocket, was skimming off the “salt tax” that was paid to the goblin monarch. We were sent to convince the gnomes to pay up and if necessary, rough them up if they didn’t see fit to pay.

We agreed and went on our way. The Aquifier was some giant gnomish clockwork machine perched near the end of Byfortevile, up against the great deluge of water that fell from the hole 400’ overhead. Fins ran into and around the falling water, tracking fresh water into sluices that were sent through the keep-sized machine where it was boiled and purified and then the salt was extracted and sold to the fisheries and other industries in the goblin and Duergar environs.

The party spent some time looking the place over, noting the many patrons lined up to buy the fresh salt, until Thurgis was sent to us. The gnome was taciturn and unwilling to agree that he had done anything wrong, stone-walling the party. Coruth’tae dropped a Hypnotism spell, affecting the gnome and a handful of the surrounding helpers, convincing them that it would be in everyone’s best interest in helping the king by giving up any salt tax held behind.

Thurgis, his attitude changed, went and got most of a bag of silver, giving it to the party and apologizing for what he called a “gross mistake in judgment”. The party minimized it and made friendly overtures with the gnome. Thurgis recommended the party get something to eat at the “Raging Horn” which was south of here in the warehouse district. We left and worked our way back to Grix, presenting the goblin burgomaster with our silver, Detheron commenting that “next time he should give us a more difficult task”.

Grix laughed and agreed. He split about 10% of the silver off and gave it to the party as their share of the job. He then split off 30% and swept it into another bag, saying that this portion was for Kashtir Bristlestone. King Yikzarch’s grandfather in an effort to keep the peace and maintain good trade as well as the boats plying the underground sea, had made a deal with the dwarven Thane in which 30% of all collected monies would be given to the duergar. It was unpleasant but the goblin’s felt unwilling to change the deal.

We were told that we could get a room that would cater to our kind across the street at the “Rocking Table” and Grix would send for us when he would need us next. As a last, commenting on the glass sphere Coruth’tae had with Zoltan’s form in it, he had no idea about it or where it would have come from but an old goblin witch named B’lyris on the eastern side of town near the Spider Paddock would be a good place to go and ask.

The party split up, Coruth’tae going to find B’Lyris and the rest of the group (after acquiring a room at the Rocking Table) going to follow up at Thurgis and then the Raging Horn – the grey elf would meet up with them after his side trip.

Detheron led Gwyn and Arnog back to Thurgis at the Aquifier, making friends even more so with the gnome by presenting him with the 10% fee that Grix had given us, cementing good relations with the gnome. From there the party went to the Raging Horn, an ogre run and owned establishment that catered to hard working goblin fishers and salters. We were looked at strangely and an ogre named Ann (yes, he DARED us to make a comment on his name – Detheron declined to) took our order: either fish stew, rat stew, or fish and rat stew. It was thick and chunky and vile, but the group did choke it down along with what grog was available to drink. Then it was make conversation with the locals and share stories, making sure to get ourselves across as “friendly” and not let things the goblins would say disturb us (such as: when you are raiding the surface instead of killing a baker and stealing his breads and pastries, it would be better to bring him down to the underground and chop off a leg, keeping the baker alive to make more breadstuffs and now lamed unable to run away).

As for Coruth’tae, he went to find B’Lyris, her place looking like any other fisher warehouse, except there was a wizard mark upon it. He entered, made comment of the mark, and met B’Lyris. She was a wizened and wretched looking gobliness, wrinkled and crone-like. The two of them bantered a bit, Coruth’tae unsure of her skill and power and not wanting to tip his own hand to it. He presented the glass ball and she identified it as a soulsphere. Someone died under great stress and was captured within.

No she can’t make them, but there was someone who knew more of it; Undertaker Solon. Worked at the gravesite at the southern tip of Byfortevile near the bridge. The two of them parted not as friends but wary of each other and Coruth’tae went next to the grave area.

Three disgusting goblins were there, gates closed. Undertaker Solon was not in and they said they did not know when he’d be back, if at all. When pressed for a name, Coruth’tae gave “Gwynwyhvar” as the name and walked away. He illusioned himself as an Ogre and came back, trying again to find Undertaker Solon and was given the same info – not here, don’t know when he’ll be back. Go away. He grumbled and wandered toward the Raging Horn, changing his illusion to that of a goblin instead.

Upon arrival he entered and tried to sit with his friends where they had no idea who he was and had Ann toss the strange goblin out into the street. Sigh, poor illusionists. He dropped the glamour and came back in and the party reconnected – we shared what we had learned back and forth and decided to go to the Rocking Table and await either Grix or Solon contacting us.

At the Table we drank for a bit and chatted with locals, and there was a punching contest between two goblins. Detheron tried to get in on it and the Duergar taking bets was rude but took his 10 crowns. When the druid’s choice won and he tried to collect his share he was told that bets with surfacers was not honored and to buzz off. Words were exchanged, pushing ensued and the druid was sent stumbling back into a table of dark dwarves, spilling their drinks all over the place.


The bar brawl exploded. Dark dwarves pummeled Detheron with mugs and plates. Goblins ran across the bar, piling on an ogre who tried to sweep some of the dwarves off Detheron with a sturdy chair. The party tried to make some head way over there but other Duergar stepped in and accosted Gwyn and Arnog. A drow fighter calmly sipped her brew and made herself invisible. A gnollish warrior tried to attack Detheron but was terribly nervous. Some plate mailed fighter slammed sword wildly at a goblin that foolishly attacked him.

Food and bottles were thrown and chairs were hurled. Detheron tried to roll free but was having a difficult time. Coruth’tae was slapped with a Shocking Grasp spell. The Ogre trying to help us was knocked lower as goblins assaulted his feet and knees. Arnog took the Duergar he was fighting and grappling together, hoisted him off the ground and hurled him across the bar, knocking the gnoll down at the last moment. The drow female reappeared behind a goblin stabbing a Duergar and slit his throat, making a “silence” motion with her finger and lips at Detheron and then walked out of the bar. The plate mailed fighter killed the goblin he was fighting.

The bar brawl was getting out of hand, the gnoll tried to escape but when he got to the door, the drow was hiding there on the other side and stabbed him in the throat and chest, killing him and shutting the door silently. Great. Detheron finally able to cast a spell and reeling from all the punches he was receiving, called on Frey for aid and a god damned LION appeared, tearing one of the Duergar to shreds and causing the other ones to rethink their plans. One turned invisible and two of them grabbed the druid and tried to knock him out by slamming him repeatedly against the back wall. Gwyn picked up his beer, looked at the plate mailed fighter, toasted him and sat down.

Arnog climbed onto the table and dove into the fight, taking another Duergar down. Coruth’tae wended his way across the bar to a quiet area and sat near a goblin tough who was watching the fight with a wary eye. The bar owner came out calling for the watch and pointed a staff at the ogre on the ground and the goblins beating him up – the staff shooting out a blast of webbing and ending that pocket of struggle. Detheron called on Frey again and summoned another animal – this time a wild boar! The boar and the lion tore into two more dark dwarves and cleared more of the area around Detheron free. The grey elf giving the bar owner a piercing look and remembering the crappy way he was treated earlier strode right up to the goblin and cast Fear in his face. The goblin screamed and dropped his web staff, running away. Meanwhile the two goblins who had been having the punching contest so long ago, were STILL going at it – neither party willing to concede defeat.

At this point the ogre and goblin watch came in and those still fighting were knocked on the head and their fighting came to a stop. Coruth’tae gave the web staff to Detheron (7 charges – whoo hoo!) and when the bar keep came to him looking for it, it was “no where to be found.” We decided to go to our room, which was a 12 x 12 cell with a broken 5-drawer dresser with only 3 drawers, a clay decanter for water, and a dozen stuffed sacks with hair, dirt, and fungus to be used as beds. There was a lock but we felt that it was just for show and wouldn’t keep out a drunken field mouse. With that we laid down and went to sleep, ending the meeting there – 2 miles underground in a goblin run inn after participating in a bar brawl.