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.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Meet 104, Adv 10, 6/26/10

The group is still in the gathering information stage of this "what the hell is going on" adventure - they had stumbled quite early on to one of the things I was going to have hidden - Aaron Skelt is an undead. There was to be some subterfuge and misleading that would make it seem like certain crazies are saying something that isn't true. But I let the dice fall where they lie and the group snagged that veil away without a "by-your-leave". Chuckle.

That's fine! I want them to smack down my walls and plans and keep my ass on the fire.

So I shuffled some of my next notes and hooks about and am rewarding them with their observations but they don't know it yet.

We did have a small aside as organically I was going to string up the group's bard and burn him for a warlock (normally this area of the barony could either give or take mages - but happy head decided to charm person the hottest and 2nd hottest girl at the tavern - even though hottie number one had a fiancee) but the group did come together and get him off the hook. Barely.

Let's see if he learned his lesson. I doubt it. ;)

Write up follows:

The group entered the hole carefully, the bottom 25’ below the surface, dug into the thick clay-like stone of the cemetery itself, and only about 4’ wide and 4’ tall. There was no support beams anywhere and the party was uncomfortable in possibly screwing around down there. The last one down slid one of the loose flagstones from the side of the mausoleum over, covering the hole’s opening from anyone who might come in and giving us a chance to see where the passage went as well as possibly find out where the bugs/Aaron Skelt had gone off to. We travelled a short distance and the passage went left, right, or straight ahead – the group opted for straight. We also noted that the ground sloped ahead of us, according to Gwyn still maintaining the 25’ or so depth below the ground above.

Eventually the passage split again and the group decided to keep going straight. It was shortly after that that we saw the quality of the earth changed – from grayish rusty red and clay-like to almost rich brownish/black like surface soil – but still 25’ below the surface. This also was in line with the edge of the cemetery itself (if our walking and paces could be believed). No one wanted to cross the line between soils so we backed up and check the recent split of corridors. Going north first, the passage travelled some 30’ feet and then climbed to what seemed to be grass and dirt. Gwyn checked it out, lifting slightly, and found himself at a grave, the grass cut in such a way that it could be lifted and rolled away!

There were some 30-40 people in the cemetery, and Friar Morn was gesturing at the Skelt crypt for a bit. Not wanting to be seen, Gwyn rerolled the sod in place and climbed back down. We then went to the other passage and there were 20 picks, some 30 empty dirt sacks, and a dozen wooden shovels here and another ladder going up. Climbing it revealed it to be the groundskeeper’s shed in the cemetery and Gwyn overheard the townies talking – none of them sure what was going on but the party was not mentioned as of yet.

We talked on what to do next and the group wanted to chance leaving the cemetery area and seeing where this passage ended up. It was at this time that we heard something in the corridor ahead. We grew silent and backed up down the side passage and waited. We smelt something musky, something animalistic. Norris drew some food and gave it to Soren who tossed it ahead – and a HUGE wolverine, some 4’ long and 135 lbs, burst out from the corridor, snatched it up, and devoured it noisily once again out of sight.

Soren called to Frey and asked for the ability to understand animals. He then conversed with the wolverine while Gwyn and Norris made us a hallucinogenic mushroom and meat wrapped bundle again. It called itself digger and was supposed to come in the tunnels every so often and either scare off who was down here, or bite up the ones that tasted like spoiled meat. The poisoned meat was fed to our wolverine, and it didn’t take long before it began acting odd and lethargic. Soren kept talking to it, keeping it calm, and leading it along with us as we went on – the party realizing that the wolverine was just sent into the tunnel a few minutes ago – and by someone who might know we are down here.

We crossed into the other area of the soil (no ill effects that we could see) and pressed on. A single route did go up to either Friar Morn’s house of the Thorian temple – we didn’t want to chance finding out, so we continued until the passage ended. There was a broken wall and a small chamber, maybe 10 by 15’. A cage of wrought iron sat in one corner, the door opened. The wolverine, Digger, slumped over at the cage and seemed to fall asleep. We opened the door out of here and looked.

We were in the basement of the bathhouse.

What the hell?

There was a cistern below with a series of buckets and ropes on a pulley going up to the main level, most likely to fill the baths. There was two other ways out of here, a closet looking door on the right wall and a set of stairs going up on the far left wall. At each of the 3 entrances though there were a pair of holy symbols to Thor cast in silver and mounted to the sides of each exit.

We checked out the opening on the right and on pulling it opened – found the closet like interior was filled with a dozen milling fairly freshly reanimated townsfolk! We shut it quick after Brother Beren’s attempt at turning the undead fizzled just at the door’s entrance – and that the zombies shuffled towards the door but did NOT emerge from the room, seemingly stopped for some reason.

We wanted to leave but Brother Beren wanted to not leave undead behind, so we opened the door again and with hammer, wolverine, and eventually Brother Beren turning the undead on the inside of the doorframe this time, took out the mostly passive dead. It was more like hitting meat than defeating foes. We were a bit sickened and wanted to get out of here as soon as possible.

We hit the stairs and started running for the exit when inexplicable things began happening to the group. Kazak and the wolverine slumped over and passed out. Odd bugs began tormenting the group. Strange lights assaulted us. The air grew chill and hot. The ground became covered in a greasy substance. We hoisted our unconscious friends and ran for the door, emerging at last outside the bathhouse and thankful to be away from whatever curses were affecting the group. We wanted to go for the Skelt manorhouse (also to get the unconscious wolverine and half orc off the street) as soon as possible.

However, Norris was identified as the potential warlock and he was brought towards the Thorian Temple for questioning. Beren offered to cast a Zone of Truth to help prove his innocence (the half elven bard begging for forgiveness and promising not to mind-slave impressionable towns-women anymore). Soren waited with Quaris at the manor and the party went with the guards and the locals to the temple where a short but focused inquiry was set against Norris who escaped being strung up and hung by the skin of his teeth. Our bard decided he was going to be different in towns now as this was the 2nd time he had directly been involved with getting possibly tossed out in the same month.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Meet 103, Adv 10, 6/19/10

A short meeting as I was driving back from Jersey and every bridge was a mess, but any game was a good game.

So the ending here was not where I would have planned an end - there was a time I would end all the games on a cliffhanger - but it was a pain in the butt.

Another thing, the party dissolved into thinking/joking that the entire town was undead/vampires and should be killed. I believe it was at the Hospice they would find "Dr. Acula" and have a riotous "Aha!" moment.

The truth is much less of course- unless I change it and go with their ideas.

Write up follows:

We had a few last questions for Lord Quaris Skelt, eventually thanking the nobleman for his time and assuring him that we would be taking care of the situation quickly and quietly. We left, after getting word that Two Cats Inn was a decent place to rest as well as get a good night’s sleep. Soren and Arnog went and got rooms while the rest of the group decided they wanted to take a short trip further along and stop at the Thorian Temple now.

Park Road, past Main Street, was uphill towards the cemetery and temple, the group trudging along as they grew closer to the temple. Once there, they knocked and it was opened to reveal a 5’8”, 440 lb, dark red/brown priest with a mug of beer in his hand. He was boisterous and loud, greeting the group and identifying himself as Father Bjarl, the caretaker of the congregants at Brokenhill and priest of Thor.

We chatted with the priest who shared his beer, took donations from anyone who wanted to throw the hammer at the “frustration wall”, and told us a bit more about Aaron Skelt and how he was found. There was a travelling priest here a week or so ago, on his way northward to Flatrock to help with the plague victims there. He helped identify the body as that of a nosferatu, and with Father Bjarl, performed the ceremony to put the body and spirit to rest. After that he left the next day and the matter was discarded. He made no comment of knowledge of anything regarding Master Potterson, the man who died in a similar manner about 5 days ago and the group didn’t mention it either.

We asked for the chance to check out the body and was told that Friar Morn would be the man to talk to – the local gravetender and undertaker. He lived next door and was a mute, but usually amenable. It was at this time that we accidentally let slip that Brother Beren was a touched priest which had Bjarl surprised and wistfully envious. He wanted to know why Beren wasn’t up at Flatrock ministering the sick and ill and we made up some fast talk about we would be going there after the local issue was resolved to the Skelt family’s liking.

We left the temple and made our way to Friar Morn who pantomimed that he was eating, it was late, and the group should come back tomorrow at 10. The friar was almost 280, 5’10”, and VERY wide and built. It was difficult to speak with him and he was not entirely happy to deal with us but we finished our business and went back to the Two Cats Inn.

Most of the group went up to their room (simple 8x8 chambers) where they divested themselves of their gear and fell asleep. Arnog, Norris, and Soren went downstairs where they had a good time in the common room. Beer was flowing and music was playing and when the time came, Norris took the stage and began to play his bagpipes. His skill was apparent to everyone and in no time he had the entire place rocking and dancing. Even Soren got into the act, his ensorcelled boots giving him a better than average skill at dancing. Coins were thrown and some of the other patrons took to the common room floor to dance.

However, Norris wove some bardic enchantments into his music and sent out a pair of charms to two of the best looking women in the room, one human and one halfling. The two women were rapt, standing at his sides and running their hands across his skin. Some of the other patrons were trying to pull one of the girls away but her emotions were charmed and she shrugged them off, eventually following the half elf up to his room where the 3 of them spent the night.

Come the next morning the party got up and made their way to the common room for breakfast, Norris coming late. He excused both women – the halfling woman leaving with tears and the other one begging to stay with him. He was suave and dismissive – telling her meaningless platitudes about how it’s for the best and he’ll always remember her and just go – it’s for the best.

She went down the stairs and met what seemed to be her fiancĂ©e there, her betrothed furious at what happened and the two of them argued in the corner – the other man tense and wound up. Bron watched the exchange and had a nervous look in his eye about it. Time passed and eventually Norris came down, a self-satisfied grin on his lips.

As he entered the common room, the girl in the corner noticed him and gasped, which made the man notice him and grit his teeth. He drew a knife, palmed it, and headed towards Norris when Bron stood up and intercepted him. He told him it wasn’t worth it and the two of them talked briefly. The man wanted to take out Norris, some sort of sorcery or hexcraft, she was a virgin and betrothed to him for 2 years, very out of character. Offered to hire Bron to take out Norris but Bron suggested he just leave and don’t do something stupid. Man said that he was going to the temple of Thor and make a declaration of Witchery and see what happens next and then left. Bron came back to the table and there was some short words about what transpired – it did not sit well.

Group was going to go to See Friar Morn when they noticed that Arnog still wasn’t back yet. Soren offered to go look for him upstairs while the rest of the group was going to take a quick look around town and then head for the Friar’s place. On looking upstairs, no Arnog. Soren then went to Madame Greenbelt’s, no Arnog. Sighing, he crossed town to the other brothel, Velvet Bonds. No Arnog. Very much not in character. He went to join the rest of the group at the Friar’s.

Party went past the Temple of Thor where some of the populace was getting together before services. At the Friar’s they communicated with the mute Friar for a bit who was still surly at the party, but seemed friendly to the locals who came and talked to him. Henian, the proprietor of the Bathhouse bid hello to the group and told Morn that he would be seeing him soon about some books the Friar wanted to read. Eventually Soren showed up and we all went into the cemetery.

Morn unlocked the gate and then shut it and locked it behind him. Then we went with him to the Skelt crypt, unlocked that tomb, and we entered. There were space for 12, 6 filled. He took out Aaron’s coffin and the group helped him open it. Inside was the dead Aaron Skelt, as beheaded as we had been told he was. Brother Beren cast a prayer on the body, telling us it was both dead and undead, getting confusing readings.

Norris was going to lift the head with some bars but was getting spooked out. So it was a flask of holy water and then the entire group just stood there stunned except for Bron the monk. What the hell? Aaron’s eyes flashed at the monk and it hissed, “You should be asleep,” and a wave of energy hit Bron who rocked back but did not pass out. He willed his body to action, flooding his form with adrenaline as he went on the defensive, Aaron Skelt’s body assaulting him. There was a brief conflict and test of wills but Skelt’s body dissolved to a horde of gnats, maggots, worms, and flies, cascading across the room and dropping into what cracks and holes were there.

And then the rest of the group moved again. Bron tried to explain what he saw but the group looked in the coffin and saw Aaron’s body in there. It even felt real. Only through great will was Bron able to show that his hand was passing through the body but the illusion was made of shadow magic and behaved real to everyone. While listening through the ground for where the bugs had gone, Bron heard a hollow part of the stone floor. He willed it brittle, weakening the stone, and then smashed it hard – shattering a 3’ square opening with a rung of a ladder going down.

Morn grew frantic at this and made many negative motions with his hands before leaving the group as the Friar fled the cemetery. The group was going to go down into the dark square hole, looking about with a keen eye and some trepidation – what was down there?