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

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Meet 94, Adv 9, 3/13/10

I took off the kid gloves on the group at this point. They screwed up in town (now their 2nd one), and I banished two of their members.

When the party thinks that a singular random NPC is the bad guy and then accosts him - they have to pay the piper. Espeecially since their assumption was entirely wrong. They focused on a red herring and it burned them.

So I threw them a short dungeon crawl to redeem themselves - if they wanted it. Left it up to them - or it's time to move on again.

Let's see what happens.

Write up follows:

Detheron and Zoltan followed the Baronet up to the throne room where they listened to Gedaides talk and explain in detail what happened. A few questions were asked but it was pretty obvious that the hedge wizard was convinced he had escaped with his life and the party was accosting him for some unknown reason.

The group was admitted (without Coruth’tae, who was still at Gedaides house looking for the poor man’s spell book after shadow-blasting the squirrel) and eventually their story was told as best as possible – with Gedaides swearing his innocence and admitting he recognized Norris – but the grey elf was not here. A watch-man was also present and asserting some of the story as he had seen it (smoke from the shop, the sound and flash of fire within, two men outside with bows, a dwarf further away a bit confused, and then Norris and Coruth’tae coming out with weapon drawn and a staff brandished).

Coruth’tae showed up and more of tale was told – with the grey elf admitting that there was a wizard’s eye scrying on them and since he was the only mage in town – he must be it. Gedaides said he wasn’t the only mage in town, and he wasn’t that powerful, he sells lice repellant, love charms, and copies the odd scroll now and again for coin. He didn’t do it – and the group accosted him in his home and only through blind luck and a few well placed spells he was able to escape through the sewers and come here. He does pay protection to Rigil Blackshadow and he has never welched on his taxes to Baronet Wodenlach.

Wodenlach let the man go back to his home to account for anything missing or damaged and that left the furious Baronet with the party. He told Coruth’tae and Norris they were banished from Eider and told to never return. Five guards walked the two to the Sunken Boardwalk where they got their equipment and then were brought to the gates where they were let out and told to never enter the city again. Lovely.

As for the rest of the group, they were allowed to stay and Wodenlach was torn about the situation. Some conversation followed and we had asked if there was anyway to fix this. He sighed and said sure, “the lizardmen have grown brave as of late – between their own raids and egging on the gnolls. Bring me 25 of their tails as bounty and I’ll drop the banishment on those two.” He was smirking while he said it, but we took him at his word – how hard was it to take out 25 lizard men?

Zoltan went with Olthar to Blackshadow to return the staff of passwalls and explain our duplicitousness in taking it and what it was for. To make it up, we gave the thief master a 25% take of our haul and the venerable ex-adventurer chuckled at our efforts and accepted our apology and payment. The rest of the coin was split amongst everyone and we were all feeling flush with coin.

We equipped up, grabbed food and water, and then met Coruth’tae and Norris outside, filling them in on what we were doing next. We then travelled northward for 5 hours until night fell, going back towards where the gnoll encounter was - knowing that lizardmen were near there (instead of stomping around the swamp randomly). Some locals came out at night and kept us a bit of company (barbarians) but left without any issues or problems. The group awoke the next day well rested and we got close to the collapsed manor house where the gnolls were. Detheron transformed into a falcon and began scouting – returning about an hour later with news of a clearing about a mile and a half in the swamp, east north east of here, some sort of temple structure very overgrown but numerous lizardmen around it.

We trekked off and had to avoid assassin vines, snakes, and even some boggy/swamp mud – but nothing more dangerous until we arrived near the lizardman area. The temple complex was sizable and was 3 or four main building inside a walled area. The main entrance was well guarded (a dozen SEEN lizard men) and had a pair of portcullis warding the front door. Soren and Detheron walked around the place, checking it carefully and avoiding what lizardmen were around.

In the back they found a weed choked break in the rear of the walled stone and a corridor beyond. No one seemed to be watching it much. They returned to the group and the consensus was to NOT risk the front gates but to go and use the rear entrance. The party went the long way around and we approached the area. It was decided that Gwyn and Arnog would lead to watch the most for any lizardmen with the rest of the group following behind.

The crack was wide enough for us to get through and it ended at a door in bad repair with many spots and spaces. On the other side it would be flush with the wall, but here it was no a concealed doorway. There was thoughts that it was trapped and Zoltan was voted to check it out. The gypsy assured us that it was – a tension bar was on the other side and it was held back and spiked – anyone opening the door would risk getting whacked by it. It would need to be removed – but who? Gwyn said to tie a rope to the door and open it but he was outvoted saying the door would make lots of noise.

Zoltan opted to remove the trap but he slipped up on cutting the trigger rope and the heavy bar smashed into the door, spikes penetrating and impacting the poor man. He nursed his side and bandaged his arm, commenting the trap was removed. We chuckled and entered. Corridor was narrow – 5’ wide, maybe 9’ tall, running left and right for 20’ for so. We opted right.

Lantern was lit and Detheron held it up as we followed Gwyn. Corridor turned left and went a dozen paces to a door. We listened – quiet. Checking it there were no heat sources so the light was brought up. It was some 15’x20’ and showed some sort of collapse and ruin from above. Garbage and old wet plaster and sodden planks on the floor. The far wall showed recent repairs both in structure and plastering. The group came in and we looked about. Gwyn used his augur and drilled through the wall, the dwarf then lowering his eye to the hole and peering through. It was dim in there, some light filtering in from the poor ceiling above. Some sort of courtyard sort of thing, a few statues of some skill positioned about the place. Maybe something heavy moving but nothing else. We waited and there was nothing else there, or any other noises.

There was talk of bashing through the wall but it was decided that it would be dangerous and we should go back to the entrance and opt to go left instead. Back tracking we travelled along some dozen paces and turned right – going a short distance to a door. Norris listened – coast was clear. We cracked the door and it was another corridor some 20 plus paces that turned right. We went forward, on guard for whatever was ahead.

Turning right it was 3 paces to a burned and badly damaged door. Gwyn hit the portal three times with his warhammer, breaking a hole large enough for us to enter. Door on the far end, ceiling had collapsed in some fire revealing ruins of a room above, a lip maybe 5’ around circled the room overhead. Broken beams and trash littered the chamber. We began to cross – Gwyn, Arnog, and Norris when the shit hit the fan.

Ten bodies dropped from above, surprising the party. Half were human, half were lizardmen – all were dead, emaciated, starving, slavering – ghouls and ghasts. They fell on the dwarf, the fighter, and the thief and within the first frantic seconds their diseased and disgusting claws paralyzed the two main fighters and the bard. Damn it!

Detheron and Coruth’tae shot out spells, Soren’s bow sang and the paralysis was dropped on Gwyn. A four count were stunned and then Arnog was released and between Gwyn and the fighter the ghouls were quickly dispatched. Ok, that was not a good first encounter. We prevailed but the bad guys literally got the drop on us and took out 3 party members instantly. Healing was dispensed and we checked out the area, Coruth’tae snarfing an Efreetipotion and a decent diamond from the ghoul’s crud on the broken floor above. Ready once again for whatever was ahead we squared our shoulders and pressed on.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Meet 93, Adv 9, 2/27/10

Good planning - it does earn its rewards.

The party spent so much time going over the plan to steal the chests and refining them and talking about them - that 2 weeks in real time passed and then the entire plan went without a hitch. No fight against superior enemies, no shadow games with pursuers, no frantic charms and potion wrangling - just a well thought out plan that resulted in the mission finished as well as a handsome reward.

And then at the end of the day the other half of the group went off half cocked and randomly assaulted some hedge-wizard in broad daylight in town and pissed away what good will they had garnered with a single ill-thought action.

I'm so happy I don't plan these things out - you can always count on players to make the day more exciting than it has to be. :)

Write up follows:

There was some more shopping in at and around town for a bit as well as learning a bit more from Baronet Wodenlach about what the DTS Rising Current was about and when and where it would appear. But for the most part, the party opted to stay low and hide out at the Sunken Boardwalk, the Inn near Dock Street and the southeastern section of town.

The DTS Rising Current showed up on time and we watched the great ship dock with ease at Quarantine Docks. It was many hours later when we noted that the cargo from Eider had been loaded as the first of the shore leaves was declared. The plan was to wait until just before the ship left the next day (which was with the tide at 7-9AM) to pull off the heist.

Zoltan, Arnog, and Detheron were each readied with a divesting of most gear, a well applied Endurance spell for the cold water, and the gypsy and the druid each given a water breathing spell. Then with the passwall staff in hand at 10:30 PM the three men stole to the dock, walked into the surf, and proceeded to walk due east under the water and across the channel bottom towards the docks and the Rising Current some 700’ off the mainland.

It took about an hour to get there and once there Detheron took up post under the ship, a detect animal spell going and the druid watching very carefully. Meanwhile both Zoltan and Arnog began climbing up the slimy dock posts some 60-70’ to the keel of the Rising Current. Zoltan paced off the ship from the stern and situating us at the port side he presented the passwall staff, activated it, and made sure that he willed it to be just for himself and Arnog. The two men swam up the 5’x8’ vortex looking rift and cautiously peered up and out.

The other end of the “pass” was about 2 and a half feet over the floor of the secure hold, faint light filtering in through the mess hall above and no other light sources visible. Zoltan used his continual light locket and verified the hold was empty. Then the two of them stepped into the hold and looked around. We identified the two chests that were Eider’s and we moved them silently towards the door, blocking the portal. Then we sorted through the other chests and picked up not 2 as was requested of us, but 4 in actuality (two of them Dragonhole’s, and the other two were from Flat Rock and Karon). Then we had Arnog pick them up, hold them over the passwall vortex, and drop them – where they fell 70’ down to the ocean floor and near where Detheron was scaring away local thresher sharks.

We dropped three of the chests and then Arnog and Zoltan held onto the last one, slipped through the passwall, and Zoltan waved the staff and we plummeted back into the water and dispelled the magical portal. Once on the ocean floor again we began the long walk back to shore, Arnog dragging two of the chests and Zoltan and Detheron each pulling one. The trip back was much longer and we were tired, soaked, and water logged. At the shore we didn’t feel comfortable emerging from the surf with 4 obviously stolen chests in our possession so we paced ourselves about 12’ under the surface, some 70’ from shore, near Wodenlach’s manor house and we waited for the sun to come up, the Rising Current to depart, and amused ourselves by playing “Go Fish”.

As for the rest of the group, when the awoke about 7 they noticed that the 3 friends had NOT come back yet and there was no note on how the heist had gone. After a brief conversation they split up and scoured the town, with Coruth’tae staying behind in case the 3 missing heisters returned. Gwyn ended up at Wodenlach’s and Soren went to Quarantine Docks himself. The Rising Current left shortly afterwards without issue.

While Coruth’tae was entertaining himself though, he did manage to catch what seemed to be a floating eye staring at him. He went to investigate it and it whisked away – Wizard’s Eye. Damn it – someone was spying on him.

Zoltan had gone to Wodenlach’s and had the Baronet arrange a few men to come out with lobster traps to mark the sunken chests and then get them dragged to shore. The gypsy told Gwyn about the success and to tell the rest of the group. Gwyn went back to the Sunken Boardwalk where he heard from Coruth’tae as he spelled to Norris, Olthar, and Soren that they were being watched and it was by a wizard. Both the grey elf and the bard felt it was Gedaides and wanted to go march on the hedge wizard that was situated on the north end of town near Beggar’s Canyon.

The 5 count went fast and in the crappy section of the city they banged on the door hard and both Coruth’tae and Norris stormed it (the area silenced by a judicious use of the coin trick again). Roiling fog filled the entire shop/home, blocking all visibility. Some illusionary fire swept through the shop. A beggar in the street tried to snatch the silence coin and run but Soren knocked him in the leg with a bird arrow to keep him from fleeing. Gwyn was very uncomfortable with this debacle in the street and stood a bit away near a sewer drain with his crossbow out loaded with a poisoned bolt.

Coruth’tae and Norris wound their way through the shop, looking as best they could, but the choking fog made any decent search impossible. Olthar and Soren circled the building; no other exit was seen used. And a crowd was starting to form in the street, shocked at the “fires” they saw engulfing Gedaides home. A bucket brigade was called to order and they began to line up.

Meanwhile, Gwyn heard a voice from the sewer by his feet and a voice said something eldritch – tugging at his mind. He shook it free and realized someone was trying to charm him. He opted to go along with it and played stupid. The figure in the sewer was Gedaides and was wroth as he paid his taxes on time as well as protection to Blackshadow, who were these guys? Gwyn nodded a bunch and said he would cover for his new buddy’s retreat as he clambered out of the sewer and said he was going right to Baronet Wodenlach to bitch.

Some of the town militia were mustered as well as the fire brigade but even a light review showed nothing was burned and everything was fine (except for Norris and Coruth’tae being soaked from good natured helpers throwing water wildly into the building interior). The party wandered back to Wodenlach after Gwyn informed them of Gedaides escape, with Coruth’tae staying back long enough to scour the hedge wizard’s private room to try and find the spell book – no luck.

Arnog, Detheron, and Zoltan, looking like drowned zombies with pale skin, waterlogged clothes, wrinkled and pruned, and after submerged for the better part of 10 hours, accompanied the 4 boxes to Wodenlach where they went with the precious cargo to the dungeons of the manor house and the Baronet was pleased to see them. There was some talking but the chests were not cracked open before a problem arose. A man of some reknown in town, Gedaides, was complaining that associates of Zoltan and Detheron assaulted his home not half a glass ago and attempted to kill him for some unknown reason. He was upset and frightened and to make matters worse and interesting at the same time – the 5 count of the rest of the party were outside the manorhouse with a deep interest to come in and talk to the Baronet now.

And Wodenlach wanted Zoltan and Detheron to join him upstairs to help him come to the end of this matter.