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, December 28, 2010

Meet 117, Adv 11, 12/11/10

Back to the Dungeon.

The group has had their dungeon crawls in the past so they have an idea on what can work and what can't. This time they shelled out bucks for hirelings - a number of them. Including porters. The idea being that it's worth the extra cost up front as well as the divided up shares will out strip the slogging and slow methodical pace of a protracted dungeon crawl.

So there is 14 of them and they sauntered in, knowing that it was going to be a problem and in room one I had them frittering away hit point from a flanked attack in compressed space by orcs and kobolds with crossbows and flaming oil. As one of the players said, "You know? They had a REALLY great plan!"

Write up follows:

Knowing that we were leaving the next morning, we split up all the jobs we needed to have done, leaving Soren the task of going through the applicants and available help for our foray to Double Dagger Dungeon.

Firstly we wanted Porters – at least two of them, strong backs able and capable of carrying gear and/or treasure. A number of the other adventuring groups in town were also on a hiring spree so we didn’t waste too much time. We snagged Throdi, a 6’8” part time monastic and librarian as well as Galf, a 19 year old scion of a bad encounter between a minor nobleman and a bar wench. Both of them had been porters before and had good recommendations. Pay was 1 noble per day for each, and we would take care of the food, lodgings, defense and healing (although both of them had a club and sword of their own, it was obvious they were not skilled fighters). Soren then had two suits of leather armor purchased, one for each of them.

We wanted a slinger and Agma, a youthful Halfling lass was our best bet. Short and bouncy, she was spoken of highly by others and we hired her for 5 crowns/day plus ¼ share of any treasures found.

For a front line fighter we looked for a heavy footman and the dwarven warrior Thodrek was our choice. Stoic, irresolute, sober, a follower of Thor he was clad in platemail and sported a belt of hammers. He was to get 10 crowns/day plus a ¼ share.

We wanted a guild thief and in this matter Norris cum Owen helped us out. Already had he approached the Cold Iron Thieves Guild so he was on some terms with them. His own membership to Blackshadows’ went well towards finding a specific sort of cutpurse, one who knew his way around dungeons, locks, and traps. In this we found ourselves with Cadassial. Middle aged and family oriented, he was a consummate professional interested in the work, not in the “stabbing and swagging” as certain other thieves were known to be. We dickered a bit on his rate but settled on 80 crowns per week plus a ½ share or any treasure found.

As a party we felt we were magic light and wanted a wizard to round out our ranks. Knowing that most wizards won’t just hire on, we decided to offer a full membership to our group and Soren had interviewed a couple eventually getting Aghmar Arrowmaker. A specialist mage who started his career as a bowyer/Fletcher and then eventually learning the wizardly arts, this 34 year old mage and archer had the right credentials as well as background. And to boot, he was not a fireball and magic missile mage which was something the group was afraid of. He signed on (at least for this adventure) and was not given a signing bonus but was happy to know he was to be trusted with a full share.

It was mid afternoon when the group was finishing up their purchases (casks of oil, 10’ poles, potions of healing, food, bedrolls, spikes, everything!!) and the feeling was we were setting ourselves up for a problem. Primarily regarding the porters. We went over our worries as a group and the matter was boiled down to hiring shieldbearers or not. Beren and Gwyn were for it, Gustav against it, and Norris and Soren were swaying back and forth. We spoke with Dumethian Dracowulf who said he would find quality people for us and in no time came to us with two.

Soren and Beren interviewed them and we hired on both of them. Malak was a half-orc female warrior who worked as a smith in town when not guarding or hired. She was not a good looking woman nor a good looking orc, but she was more than capable and those that did comment on her actions before had told Dumethian of her skill and almost limitless endurance for pain and punishment. We hired her at 10 crowns/day with also a ¼ share of treasure found coming to her.

The last was Jerold, a former veteran of the elder Sedarian Guard. Diligent, able, militaristic, he was also well regarded and well received. We signed him for 20 crowns/day and ¼ share.

This brought our group now numbering to 14:

Soren aka Gunwing, Level 6 Woodelven Ranger
“Digger”, Frey-touched Ranger friend of Soren 135 lb. Dire Wolverine
Brother Beren, Level 6 Human Priest of Tyr
Gwyn aka Steele, Level 7 Dwarven Fighter
Gustav, Level 7 Half Ogre Fighter
Norris aka Owen, Level 6 Halfelven Bard
Aghmar, Level 2 and Level 4 Human Fighter/Wizard
Cadassial, Level 4 Human Thief
Jerold, Level 6 Human Warrior Shieldbearer
Malak, Level 5 Halforc Warrior Shieldbearer
Thodrek, Level 4 Dwarven Warrior Heavy Footman
Agma, Level 4 Halfling Warrior Slinger
Throdi, Level 5 Human Commoner Porter
Galf, Level 3 Human Commoner Porter

This also meant that we had a daily cost of 45 crowns, 2 nobles to pay our hired henchmen and an additional 80 crown weekly cost. Plus we had to feed and lodge at least 2 of them and we needed to also divide our findings by the 5 members of the party, plus one for Aghmar, plus all the fractions making the split into 7 ½ shares.

We signed off on all the contracts, made our deals and agreements, made sure our wagon and two horses were ready for the morrow and also contracted with the Teamsters Guild to rent another cart and two horses that we would take with us to Ponyboro and leave there (to help transport everyone). And at that point we went to sleep.

The next day was warm and sunny and we left Cymbarton early in an effort to arrive at Ponyboro before too late. The trip was pleasant and the party and our hirelings talked during the trip, sharing stories and getting to know one another. We had paid our people as promised and the was after 7 PM on the 10th that we arrived at Ponyboro. We established rooms at the Rampant Griffin, getting 4 rooms with 4 beds each, paying not only for ourselves but all our help. Food was plentiful and drink flowed and the party was in high spirits.

We met with Lord Artis Daernhorse and arranged to drop off not only the Teamster’s cart and horses but also ours and to make sure the animals were stabled, fed, watered, and exercised. We checked over the map and spoke to a number of the local rangers and woodsmen, learning that Malak’s Peak (as mentioned on the map) was a rocky faced hill some 2500 feet in height that had an outcropping of stone near the summit that looked like a bear’s face – easy to spot if you knew what you were looking for. However it was 16 hours give or take from Ponyboro by caravan and that meant that we would have to find it at night. We hired some of the locals to drive the wagons and us to Malak’s Peak and then take our horses and carts back to Ponyboro.

We slept well and in the morning, braving the warm rainy day, we saddled up and left Ponyboro behind. It wasn’t until after 10 PM that we arrived at what the guides had declared was Malak’s Peak. Old camp signs abounded and we made due with what dry wood we could scrounge and set up watches, the party getting a good night’s sleep.

The following morning on Workmonth the 12th we bid the teamsters farewell, broke our fast and readied ourselves, gathered all our belongings and started off, Soren finding within a few minutes the drag trail as mentioned on the map. We hoisted our gear and set off into the wilds of the Dusty Mountains.

Most of the hills and peaks in this area ranged between 15 and 25 hundred feet in height and the area was a mix of moss, scrub brush, and dwarf pine. The trail meandered northward for roughly and hour or more before turning eastward. We had heard that this area was known to sport trolls so the decision to stay on whatever trails had been blazed before was decided upon.

We stayed eastward until the trail climbed between two hills and looked down on a valley with a oval shaped lake some 1/3 mile at its widest set in the middle, the entire vale covered in tall pines. The map marked it as Crispani’s Vale and we were going to go down into the vale and near the water when Soren opted that we avoid that. If Trolls were known to be in the area then going down there might bring us in line with trolls (since it was a natural watering spot). Gwyn chimed in and said that 2 years ago the Sundered Chains had fought trolls here so we decided to stay on the southern edge of the tree line and work our way far around the valley.

It was another hour but we made our way safely past and continued on. It was after 11:30 when we came to what was obviously Double Dagger Hills. The trail curved northward and we beheld a 2100 foot tall peak that looked like it had been cloven in two by some gigantic axe centuries ago. The cleft ran the entire length of the mountain and was 300’ wide at the top narrowing to 50’ at the shadowy base. And there was nothing growing there, nothing at all. We were unnerved but spent a few minutes looking it over. No obvious ambushes were above and Gwyn and Thodrek checked out the stonework, saying that any potential avalanches had already occurred in the past.

We entered the cleft and started walking north, looking for any dungeon, entrance, or anything of interest. It was a bit over half way through that we spied something out of the ordinary. A pile of stones some 20’ tall, 20’, wide, and 70’ deep stuck out from the eastern wall. Cadassial and Norris checked it out, eventually daring to get closer and up top. There was a kobold clan marking of stones to warn off others but the rocks were arranged in a way to allow easy climbing and up top was a hole 15’ wide that went down and to the east into the roots of the mountain.

The party looked over the rest of the cleft just in case and at 12:15 on Workmonth the 12th they climbed down into the darkness. Brother Beren’s light loadstone was passed up to Cadassial and affixed to his buckler, the thief and Norris taking the front. Behind came Gustav the half ogre and next in line were Thodrek and Gwyn, the two dwarves at the ready. Soren, Digger, and Agma followed next, missile weapons ready and then came Brother Beren with a hooded lantern lit and Aghmar Arrowmaker, the mage looking carefully about. Beyond these two were the two porters Galf and Throdi and finally bringing up the rear were the shield bearers Malak and Jerold.

The stairs went further and further down into the side of the mountain until the daylight from above was only a dim filter over 60’ below the surface. The steps ended 7 feet or so ABOVE a squared of 12’ x 12’ room – with a single heavy stone door set in the middle of each wall. Each door closed. Being as it was only 7’ down, Cadassial and Norris dangled from the bottom step and dropped into the room quietly. Gustav moved back and allowed Thodrek and Gwyn to make their way to the front, the two dwarves also dropping into the room the check out the stone work and help Cadassial look for traps.

It was while they were searching that the thief muttered something and glanced up – and the door to the north was torn open and orcs, over a dozen slavering 6’ tall green skinned orcs were there with light crossbows loaded and pointing at the party. The leader armed with a short sword snarled “FIRE” and the tusked porcines drew bead on the group.

Cadassial, not surprised into torpor, took one look at what was coming and Norris was yelling at the thief, to “Run! Get the hell out of here!” and Cadassial did. Throwing himself at Gwyn he clambered up the dwarf’s body and hurled himself upward just as the orcs' crossbows twanged. Missiles plinked off Gwyn, Thodrek, and Norris, most of them turned aside by either magic, steel, or skill. A few hit deep but not enough to cause more than a few grunts of surprise. Thodrek was completely shocked at the attack but Gwyn was not. The dwarven fighter whipped his Staff of Fire from his back, slapped the base against the ground to light the top, and whipped it overhead sending a 15’ long cone of burning oil into the tightly packed orcs. The leaders ducked but those behind were unable to get out of the way and their greasy skin was set ablaze.

Gustav took a look at the chaos below and leapt into the room, bowling down the lead orcs from entering the smaller chamber and then lifted up the first one, his muscles bulging, and hurled him backward into the chamber to knock down other crossbow wielding foes! Huzzah.

It was a tight shot and fit but Soren took aim and fired at an angle into the orc chamber, striking one of them lightly twice with his arrows but not enough damage to fell him. It was then Agma who wanted to help out and she whipped a stone overhead and let fly – fumbling! Her sling strap slipped from her wrist and the sling whizzed into the room below and struck Gustav in the skull! She was shocked, Soren was shocked…Gustav was dumbfounded!

It was as the orcs were readying a second volley that Norris noticed the door under the party’s feet quivering and it ripped open – showing almost two dozen kobolds…the first five armed with flaming oil that they hocked back and let fly. Burning oil rained around Thodrek, Gwyn, and Gustav, setting the three of them on fire. They were screaming in pain and other kobolds were passing new oil up and candles were being readied to light the next volley. And in the back of the room three kobold leaders were standing on boxes and they fired light crossbows at the party! Missiles strafed the group from both entrances now as the orcs were able to bring almost 9 of their own crossbows to bear while others drew swords and attempted to engage the surprised Gustav. The party was in trouble.

Wanting to redeem herself, Agma took one of her flasks of oil, and using Cadassial as an anchor flipped herself upside down and over, hurling a flask into the kobold room and splattering it against the first two in the door before using her momentum to pendulum herself up and out of the room. It was right after that that Norris snarled out a quick verse and fired a powerful fear spell into the kobold chamber and the organized dog faced lizardmen suddenly found themselves terrified as over half of them dropped their oil flasks, crossbows…and candles in a mad dash to run into the back corner of the chamber.

Fire WHOOSHED up and consumed at least 4 of the kobolds bringing the possible active combatants down to 7.

Gwyn shoved Gustav forward and into the orc room, the dwarf using his flaming staff to set more of the orcs on fire and upset any more crossbow firing. Gustav grabbed another orc and hurled him backwards, knocking 3 others down. “Get out of the middle room!” Gwyn hollered, expecting one of the other 2 doors to open and more combatants to hurl and fire stuff at the group. Soren picked off the closest orc with a well placed shot and Thodrek and Norris hustled into the kobold chamber, taking more stabs and plinks for their efforts. Soren shouted for Digger to attack and the wolverine leapt down and joined Gwyn and Gustav against the orcs. Half the party was very wounded by this time, suffering wildly and either on fire, smoldering, or covering in quarrel tracks and furrows.

But they had finally achieved what their strength was and that was close quarter fighting. Gustav tore his greatsword free and in two passes disarmed his first foe and then hew his skull in twain, cutting the orc across the middle of his head and separating it there. He then plowed into the second one and stove his chest in before trading 6 ringing blows with the 3rd frantic foe. Gwyn backed up and set another group of 4 orcs on fire, the heat from his Staff of Fire consuming three of them, killing them instantly. Digger ripped the foot off one of the orcs, throwing the appendage behind him and worrying the bleeding foe with his claws and teeth.

Thodrek took his anger out on the lead kobold and it was with some interest that we realized that using his battle hammer – Every time the angry dwarf would hit, he was guaranteed to do 7 hit points of damage. 7 damage…against the kobolds with 3 hit points each. We heard a snarling dwarf shout of “Thor!”, then a went THWOCKING sound, a pause, and then Thodrek walking to the next one shouting, “Thor!” once again.

In no time the battle was brought to an end and Norris netted the bulk of the feared kobolds, 9 in total. Gwyn, Thodrek, and Norris all looked at one another and said, “How many will we need to really answer questions?” and the bard said, “Three.” So the 2 dwarves and the half elf proceeded to beat all but 3 of the netted kobolds to death before the rest of the party could come down and either stop them or make and opinion otherwise.

We went through the dead and got what little riches and booty they had – more interested in getting quarrels and oil from them to replenish our stores. The three kobolds were bound and in our searching we also uncovered two keys – one from each room – each one single sided, made of brass, and keyed alike – so it was to open the same or similar lock.

The 4 main members who had been in the battle were badly hurt (Gustav having over 60 points of damage) and healing was done and dispensed. Meanwhile questions were given to the kobolds and only one of them spoke orcish (no one spoke kobold) so a common language was shared and we asked information. The kobold was from a clan K’Sisithak and along with the Serrated Teeth clan of orcs and goblins, lived here. Their main living area was lower and the part was in trouble. As for other things on this level the door south was to a treasure area and beyond the last door it led eventually to the steps down but also through the orc area where they had some pet rats.

The group checked out the south door (not trapped or locked) and opened it – it was a decent chamber filled with furs and bits of shiny rocks and some kobold food stuffs and three large metal urns riveted to the floor. Norris told the kobold to open it, he did, and then he stiffened and fell over and two darts fired from below the urn and struck him, killing him. Trap! Cadassial and Norris used 10’ poles to trigger the last two urns and the party went in and took out over a thousand silver nobles and almost 500 luckies. The group was pleased with the haul and we did some math realized that we had now pretty much recouped the original outlay costs for hiring the henchmen. We took the treasure and Cadassial was asked to reload the traps and change the angle of the darts so they would strike someone standing further away (like a kobold that knows about the trap!). As for the last two kobolds we did not know what to do with them and leaving them was not an option. So we killed them for the bounty and took their ears.

At this point we reformed into our marching order approached the 4th door and at 1:45 PM on Workmonth the 12th we readied ourselves to open the eastern portal.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Meet 116, Adv 11, 12/4/10

Rolling in and rolling on.

I asked my group about a week or two before this last meeting WHAT they might have had in mind and if they would go back to Broken Hills and WHAT they would be willing to be paid to risk it.

And then I built my framework deeper around Shadows Run Deep (this adventure) and incorporated their opinions and feeling on it.

I used:
* The town that they were directly and indirectly a part of destroying.
* One of the character's brother taken whole cloth from his background as a potential foil.
* The hireling that they had 2 adventures ago who had gotten a lucky break and lorded was a pivotal part of their assignment.
* The feeling of limited time and yet still a large amount available for them to accord for any difficulties they might and will encounter.

Giving them a personal stake in the matter made it easier for them to go after the adventure and gave them the feeling of choice.

Write up follows:

Workmonth the 8th, the waning days and hot ones of a fairly mild summer, and we were gathered in the Common Room of the Antiquinarian and Adventurer’s Guild. Most of our gear had been repaired and fixed, arrows and bolts were restocked, and clothing was washed and bodies clean. Brother Beren had rejoined us over the last 20 days of his training; the priest of Tyr both happy and well rested himself.

As for news of the times, we had learned the Kazak and Moltas Falconhand, as well as a retinue of over 30 members of CornBlood Keep had escaped Broken Hills and wound their way northward, eventually stopping at Dilabria. Sverek had died during the escape and a bounty was put out to bring Sverek back – 500 crowns for anyone able to. Kazak had gotten in touch with Brother Beren and asked him if he or his group were interested but the good priest had to decline.

So a party known as the Fellowship of the Scale had succeeded (no one is sure how many bounty hunters and adventurers actually tried and/or died) and were returning to Cymbarton to deliver the body to Kazak. Dumethian Dracowulf was going to have an open congregation as Baron Umbar was fronting the funds to have a Deathspeaker ask Lord Sverek some questions as to the last minutes of Broken Hills. All members of the adventurer’s guild were invited.

We tossed about the idea of going for a bit and opted to do it. There was hope that Karis would be there (so Gustav could kick his ass) but to date, it seemed the Red Clouds were still up north. The Fellowship had come in late last night, beaten up and tired and were at the Yawning Portal, a fine hotel on the edge of Old City so would be at the ceremony shortly.

While we were milling around, various important people filed in, including members of Count Cedric Sedaris’ staff and Baron Umbar himself. It was then that there was a ripple near the door and the Fellowship of the Scale entered. There were 8 of them, all elven, and the leader was a handsome and charismatic (and familiar in some fashion) looking person. Soren stared at him under his cloak with open mouthed shock but said nothing. Everyone filed downstairs to the ceremony room and only Brother Beren made his way towards the front (eyeing Kazak and mouthing “hello”.)

The Deathspeaker asked who would give up his blood for the divination and the Fellowship leader, named Tyrnias, Smiled and said that he would. A silver sickle traced a line along his forearm and the blood welled up and was placed carefully around the rotting and very dead body of Sverek Falconhand.

The Lord of Broken Hills took a ragged breath, was helped to a sitting position and the questions from Baron Umbar followed.

• What went on during the last moments at Cornblood Keep?
** The raging Storm Giant had been slain by the increasing number of ghouls clambering up his side as well as the vicious claws and bites of the great dragon. Its form collapsed across the bailey and 3rd guard tower, breaking the walls there and allowing the undead held at bay from the protective energies of the Keep’s clerics and wards a way to swarm in. The Dragon let loose a last breath at Kwinzard, the court magician and his personal guards, killing them to the last before winging upward and flying towards Eider.
The undead waded into the outer walls and in the narrow confines most of the guards were struck on the flank, rolling into themselves and dying one after the other. Shadowy figured sieved through holes in the floor and walls and I was yelling for the men to retreat into the dungeons. From there I had hoped we could form ranks once more and lead the last of those still hiding out to the stronghold and then to safety. We had made it to the stronghold and it was here that the undead caught up with us. There were people running and fleeing and I felt ice and fire and cold and saw the dead feeding on me, draining my strength, stealing my warmth and then I saw nothing.
• What was the catalyst that you assume had this horror start?
** We had been having strange incursions of undead for a week by this time, zombies wandering the streets, one of our citizens forming a cabal of mages with some rites of necromancy, odd murders reminiscent of vampires but also not. Our local high priest had been troubled with activity at the graveyard and we had a band of adventurer’s attempting to find out what was going on and how it was happening.
The Skelt family was beset by some curse from their fallen patriarch, Aaron, who was at the heart on some level of these strange attacks. As the matter was being resolved though it had spiraled out of control. An altercation and some spell duel at an abandoned mining locale known as Murderer’s Hole started the assault but at that time it only spawned the dragon. It was many minutes later that the shadows and ghouls made themselves known and from what we were able to tell the appearance of the dragon and the undead were not directly linked.
• What in your estimation would be the best chance of saving Broken Hills?
** If I still lived I would have made it out of the Stronghold in the dungeon of Cornblood Keep. It was from the original foundations the ancient dwarves had laid over 7 centuries earlier. Besides linking up to two different mines further west of town and allowing us a route of escape beyond the undead, there were some artifacts there that my grandfather and those before had kept and shown their descendants how to work.
The best hope would the use what had been called the Sun Sphere. It was a stone ball about 10” round with a number of markings on it. A hollow spot was along the top of it where some stone would fit in and there was a space on the bottom where it would be mounted on a stick or staff.
• I know your spirit is weary but I beg for you to hold on, where is the Sun Sphere?
** I had it on me where I was slain and I do not know where it is now.
• What can we do now?
** Either find the Sun Sphere that was in Broken Hills or learn if there might be another one.
• Is there another?
** Blood can tell. Blood can reveal.

At this time Sverek’s spirit expired and the room was abuzz. Just about every adventurer wanted to hike out to Broken Hills and get the Sun Sphere. But Kazak and Umbar were talking and they said that they were going to offer a 2000 crown bounty on whoever went to Broken Hills and returned with the Sun Sphere. Tyrnias and the Fellowship admitted they did NOT have the stone but remembered it and where they had left it (not knowing what it was or that it was important). Baron Umbar offered them the job first and the Fellowship took it.

However, they pleaded that they needed to go back to Huntington to get certain amulets they owned to help in getting the stone. It was 8 days there, 8 days back, and they wanted at least 3 days to get back into Broken Hills and out again. 19 days total. Kazak was leaning on no but Baron Umbar was of the mind the group had already proven themselves and should be given the first crack. So the Fellowship was given 20 days – if not back in the 29th, then the next group interested would be given a shot.

The Adventurer’s guild was buzzing as everyone started doing their own research on possibly going to Broken Hills and getting the Sun Sphere. As for Tyrnias, Soren told us that it was his brother that he hadn’t seen for some time and was responsible for him getting cut up years ago. Said he couldn’t be trusted and we should watch out for him.

Kazak wanted to see us for dinner at Falconhand Manor so we went, visiting the new lord of the Falconhand family. It was a nice meal and we talked about possible things to find to help us learn about the Sun Sphere. There was talk of there might be another. So we went to search the entire grounds with Brother Beren doing a Locate Object spell. The main floor was a bust so we went to the basement. And there was one door down here that did not open. There was a strange bladed looking plate above the handle and Gustav cut himself on it – nothing happened.

So we had Kazak do it – and the door was blood locked! Inside was 2 old suits of leather armor, a very poor rusted sword, and an old book. We took the book that had a blank scroll in a tube with it and read what we could from it.

It was from someone named Yersius Falconhand and talked about a period 100 years ago. Falconhand family did work for the Sunderstone dwarves and were entrusted with 3 Sun Spheres for being so fair and honest. One went to family holdings, one went to King Daro for tribute, and one went with Crispani Falconhand to try and take out some necromancer in Double Dagger Dungeon. The operation of the spheres was written in blood runes so no one could accidentally discover how to operate the spheres.

We did the blood thing again with Kazak on the blank scroll and it filled in runes from the top to the bottom. A couple of the party members worked on the scroll while the next day the other three went to the seers and the library to learn anything about Falconhand, Crispani, Double Dagger, or Sun Sphere.

We learned that there the land known to be the Sunderstone’s was in the Dusty Mountains between Ponyboro and Orihalcus and was situated just south of the Copper Bottom River near a keep called Fulgore Keep (named for Fulgore Sunderstone). There is a mountain area there called Double Dagger Mountain but no mention of a dungeon. There is also near it a valley called Crispani’s Vale. There is no record of Crispani ever succeeding against a necromancer nor any mention of strange necromancy in that area.

As for the blood runes we learned that it would take a manastone to operate and to be mounted on a staff 2 inches taller than whoever wanted to use it. We went to Dumethian and asked around for any maps of the area in question and got one from him for a small fee.

Then we scoured the town for adventuring gear and decided to hire on some people for the expedition. 2 porters, at least 1 slinger, 1 heavy footman, 1 guild thief, and one full partner mage. We wanted to be off the next day (Workmonth the 10th) to maximize our chance of finding another Sunstone before the Fellowship of the Scale did.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Meet 115, Adv 11, 11/13/10

This was supposed to be about an hour of cleaning up some left over points while Brother Beren trained up to 6th level but the group (those playing) decided to go out on some sandbox walking as well as take down a local "job" on the Adventurer's Guild board.

I don't play Paizo, nor traditional 3rd edition, but I do subscribe to Pathfinder and it was the Kingmaker series that had a list of "joobs" that local adventurers can do. It's a bit like Everquest/WOW in that manner but honestly, why not? Here's a job that someone wants done, here's what we're willing to pay, and who wants to do it? It might not be traditional but I felt it felt right. So I took a look at my notes and came up with 10 jobs/hooks - some short and some longer.

So the group went after Terrorback - a wild boar resistant to druidic magic. Lovely. But they had a good plan and surprised me by delivering mostly as they said.

So the adventure has started, but the official roll out doesn't happen until the next meeting. And it gets the party back working together for a mission and jelling as a group.

Write up follows:

We rested well that night, waking up on Firemonth the 19th. Conversation around the common room table meandered for a bit before settling on Gustav and his desire to travel to Orihalcus. He touted reasons such as the lizardmen and Eider and arrows being purchased and what not, but Soren wasn’t buying the totality of it. Wanted to know what and why.

The half Ogre went on about some of his earlier life and eventually running in to Karis of Melbourne. There was some pitched fight and it seems the former Sundered Chain’s leader was a party to Gustav being abused and maimed. Since then Gustav had been working towards a singular goal of facing Karis and taking him down. We know that Karis had been to Orihalcus and had met with Sir Walter, Gustav wanted to go and warn the nobleman about the upcoming problem with the lizardmen and arrows from Eider as well as learn what he could about Karis.

We opted to go. Gwyn wanted to go and revisit not only Ponyboro but Orihalcus as well, getting what treasures, riches, and whatnot had been left there in the past. But before we did any of this, we wanted to go and see what potential jobs were available at the Adventurer’s Guild.

There were a bit under a half dozen jobs on there, most passed over and only a few of note. Baronet Wodenlach had posted a 6,000 crown bounty on Vanir’s head, the bounty for kobolds had been raised to 2 crowns per pair of ears in Orihalcus, Flatrock was still looking for able bodies, and Baron Umbar was offering a bounty of 250 crowns per wyvern.

However it was the mentioning of Terrorback, a wild boar Frey touched originally from the Gunnarson Demesne in Ponyboro that we opted to try out for. Taking the boar down was worth 450 crowns. We signed our name with Dumethian Dracowulf and left the next day joining a small contingent heading southwest.

Ponyboro was as we had remembered it, sprawling, five distinct walled and garrisoned areas around an successively impressive keep and stronghold. We rode into the town circle, got directions to the Daernhorse Demesne and went on our way there. We bid hello to the guards who after Gwyn identified himself went off to tell Lord Daernhorse of our presence.

We were then allowed entrance and escorted to a greeting hall where an older jowled man (Artis Daernhorse) and a younger more fit version (Fjorf) bid us welcome. Gwyn was embraced and Lord Daernhorse remembered the dwarf’s favorite brew from last time, getting it for him. We talked a bit about fallen companions and others long absent. Eventually the story went around to our recent history and some of our missing members with Gwyn guiding the purpose of our visit back to us going to Orihalcus and stopping off here to take care of Terrorback for him if we could.

We were told that Terrorback was ducetly resistant to any Frey-borne spells and that those who had been hunting him before often came back beaten and battered. For the most part the wild boar stayed near Deep Lake to the southwest and raided the grounds every couple of days. We slept well after drinking and feasting and were up early the next morning and on our way.

We stopped at the Silverbough Demesne and once there procured a full sheep’s hide with the head still attached. We took most of Norris’ belongings off of him (Gustav carrying it for the bard) and bound the sheep’s skin around the half elf, allowing him to appear as one of them if he was to get on all fours.

We then began walking. Soren used his tracking skills and we circled parts of the lake, going in and around the wooded parts, looking for any sign of the quarry. The morning went on to noon and then onward. It was almost 9 hours later that Soren advised us that we had stumbled upon the correct path and bade Norris to get into character. The bard hunched low and began acting like a sheep while the rest of us hid in the foliage. Soren prepared a stone biter arrow, fitting a line to the back of the bolt. Poison was prepared and we stayed quiet.

And then Terrorback came from the woods. The great boar was tremendous, weighing in at 1400 lbs, slavering toothy maw, snarled wiry coat of hair. And Norris did his best to act sheep like – fooling the boar! Terrorback snarled and charged.

Norris whistled up a mirror image spell, getting two copies of himself to appear. The boar struck, blowing through one of the illusionary Norris’s in a spray of fading gore and blood. Soren let fly and his stone biter slammed into boar’s side with a whizzing sound. But most importantly, the boar was struck with stunning poison and the mighty beast slumped forward, it’s head digging a furrow in the earth as if flipped onto its back.

Everyone threw their armor class to the wind and charged the boar, hacking and chopping at it. Gustav made to “hog tie” it with cable around its feet and Gwyn plied his hydraspear at the beast’s flank. As it was coming too it kicked out and brained one of Norris’s other illusions and then rolled onto its feet. The beast was badly hurt and then began foaming at the mouth, its eyes rolling over red and bloodshot – Terrorback was maddened.

It plowed into Gustav with the force of a freight train, the half ogre’s tower shield taking some of the blow but the beast knocking the mighty fighter onto his back, ripping through his armor, and trampling him almost to death – scoring a double critical and doing in excess of 70 hit points of damage! It was trying to get away and the party hurled bolt, arrow, and axe at its fleeing form. The half ogre snatched the trailing cable from the stonebiter still in the beast’s side and tried bracing it around nearby trees to slow the boar down. Even Digger was able to fire his musk at the maddened beast, blinding it and causing Terrorback to snarl and cry in furious anger.

But fall it did and the party bested the mighty boar. We then proceeded to turn it on its back, clean up the worst of our wounds, and then drag it back from the banks of Deep Lake and to Ponyboro. We were thanked for our efforts and Lord Daernhorse advised us that we were always welcome here. Our bounty was paid and an extra 100 crows were thrown in for good measure. We left the next morning on our way to Orihalcus, hitching a ride on a mail courier’s wagon going that way and enjoying the quiet country side.

At Orihalcus we came in with quiet cover and Gwyn had us go not to Sir Walter first, but his/our old home that had not been visited by us for over 6 months. It was locked but there were things missing. Many of the special treasures had been taken and on looking around the place, Karis’ room was completely emptied. Gwyn grew a bit angry at this, suspecting the half-ogre had been here and taken more than his share of the treasures.

We picked through the house and after taking stock of what was there (and what was not), we went off to Slaine Manor to talk to Sir Walter. The nobleman was happy to see us and welcomed both old friends and new. He told us that Karis had been through some 2 months ago, part of an adventuring group of “thugs” (as he described them) called the Red Clouds. He returned his bondsman ring and then went on his way. Sir Walter was saddened at this as he had at one point thought very highly of Karis. At this point we told Sir Walter what we had gathered in a fragmented way about arrows and Eider and lizardmen and some nebulous threat to Orihalcus. There was well over 100 miles separating the two places and there seemed to be little reason for it, but Sir Walter thanked us and let us know that if anything was learned or discovered and he needed our aid, he would send for it.

We went to rest that night and then the next day arranged to take two of the steeds still in name to the Sundered Chains as well as the wagon, loaded it up with what we could from the house, and began the long ride back to Cymbarton where we would find out how Brother Beren was doing on his training and learn if anything had come up regarding Broken Hills.