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.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Meet 150, Adv 12, 11/12/11

Unofficially, this was the last meeting of adventure 12 - but I won't put a line through it until the next day or two of bookkeeping is finished.

This was another meeting of overland travel and as I've been doing lately, I dropped the DM screen and was rolling dice in the open. I also had the party roll for wandering monsters - just for the hell of it. I played them as they came up, including their reactions - the dice spoke. And I came across creatures I would once again normally never use. Giant goat, giant eagles, a rogue mountain lion, trio of trolls, even had a 13 count of ogres show up. Capped it off with a 2 person adventuring party looking to get a bounty on Karis that was attracted to our camp fire.

It was a nice change, think the group liked it. I'm going to continue to do that on a going forward.

Write up follows:

We made camp about 6:30 that evening, after riding as far away from the orcs as we dared in the growing dark. Our friends were in very bad condition, barely hanging on and cold. The main exception was Norris – our bard had died during the fight with the Lycos Suns and somehow the orcs had animated his body. The bard was undead, snapping out at anyone foolish enough to put their hands near his face. It was only the fact that most of his bones were already broken that had prevented him from actually being more of a threat. Guyus was very unsure – but decided with the group to bind up the bard and gag him until Detheron was once more awake and could tell us what to do next. We lit a fire, set up camp, wrapped them as much as possible, and looked them over. They were under some sort of drugged effect and according to Guyus, wouldn’t be out of it until tomorrow at the earliest.

It was then here that Dust Devil wanted to talk about the resolution of his part of the deal. Since there was no chance we had 6,500 crowns to pay of the drake, we had to go with the other possibility of the deal: two items of his choosing without discussion and he would allow us to have a discussion on the third.

He selected Thurin’s spellbook and Guyus’s Platemail.

The party (ie: Thurin) did all they could to discuss with the dragon a possible alternative, even going so far as to explain how if the dragon took Thurin’s spellbook, he would be powerless. The dragon listened and stood by his ground that a deal was a deal and we had made our choices. Thurin honestly did give thought to using his scroll of disintegrate on the dragon, but realized it was foolish and would not result in anything.

Guyus was worth. He had no desire to give up his armor, but as a paladin he allowed himself to be swayed into honoring his deal. He waited for the mage to give up his spellbook first before removing the ensorcelled platemail. As for the third item, the dragon really wanted a horse to eat. The group agreed and Guyus made sure that Dust Devil was given the horse that Thurin had been riding to date in a fit of peckishness.

The party slept in foul humor after the dragon had flown away, Thurin very nervous because the only spells he had now were the ones he had memorized. He needed to get to town, get access to a spellbook, and spend many days rescribing a book with whatever spells he had in memory.

We awoke the next day on the 4th and just before 9 were off. We made great time riding back south, coming near the orcish stronghold of 4 Tusk about 10. We strongly suspected that our friends’ missing gear was here, but assaulting the fortress would be foolhardy so we kept on. It was a 5 PM that we were attacked by a sudden assault of a hungry mountain lion. A few of us were mauled by the ferocious feline but we finished it off before it could escape. We took the beast with us and tended our wounded before continuing on.

It was closer to sunset that we came upon a dozen giant goats. Each one was almost 8’ tall at the shoulder, shaggy and great and huge. They were feeding on the tough grasses growing within one of the valleys. We gave the half ton beasts a wide berth and pressed on until the sun had long set and it was almost 8 PM when we rested. We had been scavenging for firewood during the ride (Thanks again to Korg) and it was shortly after that that we had a fire going.

From there we skinned the mountain lion, scraped its hide, and set most of the salvageable meat to smoke on wooden racks near the fire. The party slept and slept well. It was around 4 in the morning while our two elves, Thurin and Draugmor were on watch that a four count of Giant Owls landed, lured close from the camp fire. The owls spoke elvish and spoke briefly. They asked for the guts and innards from the mountain lion to eat and snapped up the viscera quickly. Then they offered to fly a couple of us to the nearest town before the sun rises and although we thought about, Thurin and Draugmor thanked the owls and declined. The 4 owls then flew off.

We all woke up, it being the 5th today, and were off riding shortly after 8 AM. We had only ridden a short time before we were noticed by a 13 count of ogres. Luck was with us as we approached the Ogre’s openly in friendship and they returned it. We talked about the 4 Tusk orcs to the north of us (the ogres were heading there for trade) and that the humanoids had come from a mesa known as Odin’s Plateau. They wanted to trade, eyeing our new mountain lion skin. We gave it to them and they in turn gave us some squeezing from a sack that held wyvern’s tails. Very nice! They left us in peace and we rode off relieved.

It was around 3 PM that our companions woke up. Detheron, Gwyn, Aleron, and Mebali (Norris of course was still “awake” and undead). They had been badly abused and told us what they had learned of their capture. They were going to be sold off as slaves to the Ogrelords to the northwest and eventually get to a place known as Ravensperch Demesne. Aleron was still deaf from the rocket blast and had to be explained things very slowly.

We rode onward, now getting closer to Rakewood Forest. But during the ride we attracted the attention of three trolls. The party drew up battle lines, a number of branches lit and a fire going. A few fire arrows were prepared and the group gathered their strength. As the trolls grew closer we shot the swarthy beasts with fire arrows until the brands ran out. Then Korg, Guyus, and Finta raced out to charge the trolls head on.

Blows were struck and torches were passed around as well as burning brands. Perrin shot continuously as the trolls but their regenerative powers kept them from falling over easily. It was when the first one fell that Thurin hit him with the brand again and again, keeping him ablaze. Guyus was getting struck, the loss of his armor working against him during the fight. Perrin’s quiver was running low as he shot each troll two or three times each minute. Finally the battle was done and the trolls vanquished.

Binding our wounds we remounted up and kept going. It was about 6:30 PM when we rested again. It looked like we would be back at Flatrock tomorrow. While we were resting, our campfire attracted two travelers. They came forth to us, a ranger and a mage. They were out riding to capture the bandit known as “Karis of Melbourne” and assumed they could do it on their own. We spoke with them for a while, explained the Red Clouds and Karis and what they were possibly like and their strengths and weaknesses. The two adventurers opted instead to head back to Cymbarton and do more studying and fact finding. We camped with them, sharing our history and story with them.

Aleron’s deafness was healed and the mage gave Thurin a few copies of extra scrolls she had to help him out. We rested and the next day, the 6th rode on towards Flatrock – arriving just after 12. We went to see Sir Bork, checked in and reported, were sent on our way, and the nobleman then spoke to his three men (Korg, Perrin, and Finta) and got their opinion of the party and their trustworthiness. They spoke of the group well but each had reservations about Thurin (in some cases it was outright hostility) and Sir Bork thanked them for their effort and candor and sent them on their way.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Meet 149, Adv 12, 11/5/11

Overland travel is sometimes handwaved with groups and DM's, and I have been no exception in the past. It's hard to get all "adventured" up and excited when the miles are passing behind you. However there are also times when the adventure isn't at the end of the road, but ON the road itself. That's what I had in mind for the party's trip out to intercept and rescue their freinds. It's not just the miles away from home, but also the things the party sees and experiences that makes for a true adventure.

This meeting not so much, but the following one had a rich result of wandering monster checks and interesting meetings and experiences that the group seemed to enjoy the trek.

Write up follows:

We rode through the rain for a few hours until both Finta and Guyus had the party come to a stop. They conferred for a bit and then had to admit to the party that the inclement  weather had obscured the trail and for the last half hour, they had not been sure they were following the orc’s tracks any longer. We talked about our options and decided that we would press on, relying on what directions we’ve been riding in and hoping that we would catch up to some sign of our quarry in the near future.

It was just past 10:30 that we arrived at the rain line, a seemingly hard barrier between the druidic ensorcelled weather that had held for the last 2 days and the normal weather pattern beyond. We emerged on the other side of the veil, and took stock of our surroundings. It was on the next nearest rise that we alighted and using Perrin’s spyglass, took a good look around the countryside for any sign. It was to the north that we saw a faint smudge rising, sure sign of a fire in the near past. Meanwhile Korg was gathering what firewood we could now that it was dry.

We decided to ride towards the north where the smoke was seen arriving just before noon. Sure enough, it was the remains of a large encampment. Orcish. Gone now but according to Perrin, no more than 4 hours or so head start. We estimated around a hundred orcs, and there were carts/wagons, and drag marks. The party ate while Dust Devil kept us company. We discussed our options and decided that since the dragon was here, we should make a deal with him. There was talk and eventually it was settled on either 6500 crowns of treasure OR 3 items, with the dragon choosing the first two without discussion and the third being up for a possible deal. It wasn’t great, but we took the deal.

We relit the orcish fire and kept it burning bright while we stripped off our very wet gear and clothes and made some time to dry it out. It was by 2 PM that we broke camp and mounted up, riding off along the now obvious orc trail, our horses goaded to a cantor where able.

About 3:30 we came upon an orc with most of his right side stove in, his head mostly pulped. It had been stripped and left on the side of the road. We rode onward, approaching the high point of the hills we were in. It was just after 5:30 that we came upon an area where the orcish trail split. Half of it went north and half west. The northern trail continued with carts and wagons and now also had animal tracks as well. Which way? We assumed the northern trail with the wagons STILL had our friends and figured that would be best. But we only had an hour or so of daylight left. And what about the western orcs? Were they close?

Dust Devil went off the check, the drake returning with news that about a mile or so from here was a keep. Stout walls, four watch towers on neighboring hills, over 60 orcs guarding the visible areas. Neigh upon impregnable to say nothing of the many catapults and ballistas also in the area. Obviously the heart of the Four Tusk orcish clan and not to be approached. We decided to ride BACK the way we came for a half hour or so, putting more distance between us and the orcish fortress. And then we rode off even further in the hills until we were near no tracks. Camp was established.

Korg’s skill at foraging came in handy once more as the tough dwarf found a nest of prairie dogs and set about braining as many of the animals as he could. We had a good meal that night with Perrin making some connection with the drake by feeding him a choice number of the varmints. Watch was set and we had a tense and watchful night’s sleep.

We awoke on the 3rd; weather was cold today, maybe going to hit 50 tops. We broke our fast and studied for a bit. Thurin volunteered to polymorph to a sparrow and scout ahead to see if he could find any of the orc’s trails. It was once he was gone that the group learned that Dust Devil seemed to understand and speak Common. He did not like slaving in general and broke the Charm enchantment that was on both Finta and Korg. He then explained that any sort of enslavement was wrong and that the scales were just rebalanced. The party was surprised and opted NOT to tell Thurin when he came back of Dust Devil’s ability to understand Common.

We mounted up after the wizard returned, letting us know that the trail was steady northward and we should not tarry. Our horses were given their headway and we rode onward, long strides and steady hands. For hours we pressed on until the hills were behind us and we were riding through the wildlands and tall grasses of the Forsaken Lands. A wary eye on the horizon and a cautious gaze looking everywhere for danger we rode. The hours passed and we kept the horses fresh where we could, changing them often and relying on Guyus’ knowledge of their abilities to eek our every ounce of their speed.

And our gamble paid off.

At just before 5 on the horizon we caught a glimpse of our targets, over 3 miles from us and heavily laden wagons. We broke into a gallop and began to cut the distance. But it was going to be close; we needed something to slow them down more. We sent Dust Devil ahead with instructions and the drake flew up to a thousand feet in height and winged in the orcs direction, banking over, diving, and strafing the ground before them with a roaring goat of fire. They shot crossbow bolts at the dragon as it banked once more and flew back towards us.

We then saw them arrange their wagons in a circle and with crossbow bristling prepared themselves to receive our charge. The group rode to within 200’ feet where we stopped and treated with them (both sides waving white flags to parley). Finta rode out to talk, the presence of the drake enough to keep the unsteady peace.

We explained that we wanted our friends and the orcs were not going to give them up. No reason to. Could we fight? Sure but with over 30 orcs and only 6 of us, especially with the prisoners unable to defend themselves and possibly be slain outright we did not want a direct confrontation. Finta and the Orcish subaltern went back and forth until it was decided that if we agreed to fight their champion one on one they would release one of ours.

One of the Giant Orcs stepped out, axe at the ready. Finta looked up at the 14’ orc and called out for his champion to step forth. Korg was going to do it but Guyus told the dwarf to wait, he would. The paladin strode forward and then did battle with the giant orc. He swung mightily and ducked the whistling blade of the axe. His blows were sure and strong and it was within an embarrassingly short time before the barely winded paladin laid low the giant orc.

The orcs paused, but did honor their deal. We chose Detheron to step free and he was guided to the edge of the wagons where Finta took the drugged, battered, and broken druid’s naked form with him back towards the rest of the group. What about the others? We wanted 4 more (Aleron, Norris, Gwyn, and Mebali) and the orcs agreed – but THIS time Guyus would have to fight 4 on one. And the paladin agreed.

The other giant orc stepped free along with the 3 well armed and armored orcish fighters. The battle was joined and Guyus was whirling and dodging as many of the blows as he could, relying on his armor to save him when he couldn’t step free. He hit and struck when he could, felling one orc and getting wounded in return. Then another orc fell and the giant orc was wounded. The paladin’s head rung from the many blows he was taking but he dropped the third orc at long last until it was just him and giant. Snarling the two combatants went toe to toe until with a mighty hew the giant was slain.

Shocked but not wanting to risk any more, the orcs gave up the rest of the requested members. We grabbed them, mounted up, and the orc team and ours rode away in mutual deference to each other. We rode south until the sun was under the horizon and the sky turned dark before daring to stop and rest.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Meet 148, Adv 12, 10/22/11

Every group has an issue at some point with the "lesser" ethical members. Picking pockets, withholding treasure, turning invisible and running away. But in my group we have the dreaded "Charm Person". In some cases - the single most chaotic style spell available to the given low level mage as it makes a trusted friend and effective mind raped personage of anyone who deigns to disagree with the mage.

Most mages would never dare cast it on a pary member - but in our group we had our mage do it to two members. Henchmen, yes, but still party members.

And there is a figure with the party who can dispel it almost at will. This might not go well.

Write up follows:

Guyus, Thurin, and Draugmor grabbed what little the orcs had left behind, bandaged up their hurts as much as possible, and began the long trek back to Flatrock with the idea of drumming up some local aid to go out and hunt down the orcs that had taken their companions.

It took almost 5 hours to make it back, just before curfew. Once there they spoke to the stable master to ready all their horses plus three others. From there they went to the Dog and Fox where they ate a fast meal and talked about the crushing defeat they had suffered and the capture of their companions. Any issues with the Red Clouds and Karis were now forgotten, only getting to the Four Tusk clan and getting the rest of the Sundered Chains back mattered.

They stopped at the Hotel where they quickly changed into what little dry and clean clothes they had and then marched right off to Bork Keep. It was almost 10 at night where they roused Sir Bork and had some words with the noble as to what had happened and their current state and plight. Sir Bork did say that he would reach out for volunteers and would have whoever he could here in the morning to help the group ride out and go with them against the orcs.

From here it was back to the hotel where they went over plans and plans, eventually getting some sleep. Thurin worked on his spell listing and Draugmor went out to hunt down the local thieves for a chance to purchase poison for the upcoming fight.

The next morning, still raining the group went out and hit a few errands. Some trail rations and basic equipment, a visit to the taxidermist, and finally a plead with Zinthar to lift the weather stasis and stop the rain. The venerable druid refused, saying he had given word to Detheron only and would not change it unless he said otherwise.

From here we then went to Bork Keep and met up with three members of Chirkis Keep that had volunteered. Each man had a personal vendetta against the local orc tribes and were happy to join. Korg Blackstone, dwarven axeman and 3 time winner and current champion of the local Tough Dwarf competition; Perrin Dugood was the leader of the Oldguard at Chirkis Keep and a consummate bowman; and lastly was Finta Eightfingers, almost 70 years of age but still active and the most respected of the Oldguard. Introductions were made all about and we promised Sir Bork to return as soon as possible with our friends if able.

We hit the stables, grabbed our horses, and went off. We opted to stay on the road in the rain as much as possible until we had gotten as close to the western edge of Rakewood Forest as we guessed. We stopped for lunch and then took our string of horses northward. Our pace slowed as we struggled across the rocky sludge of the badlands, the rain soaking us through and to the skin.

It was just after 2 PM that a draconic figure flew overhead. Over 25’ wingspan, perhaps a bit longer than that in the body (of which one third was tail), dull crackled metallic brown in color. It looked down at us and then landed ahead, just off to the side of where we were riding, Sitting on its haunches and just looking at us. What do we do? The decision was made to at least attempt to make contact.

Thurin took the reins here, speaking to the drake in draconic. It called itself Dustdevil and heard about our plight and our missing friends. It didn’t want to join us one way or another, but was interested in flying along. An offer was made to help, but the deal was for either 5,000 crowns of treasure or first two choices of any items found. Thurin tried to work around it but the Dustdevil was not moved. No deal was reached on getting his aid but he would follow along. We also had a bit of problem as Thurin kept getting tripped up while stating our goals. Kill or no killing, getting friends back or treasure, does he command the group or not? It was a bit stressful.

We rode on, the rain kept up, and the low green line of Rakewood Forest was on our right side. About 4:30 we came up the orc tracks and followed them northwest into the badlands. Only low hills and scrub brush filled the land. Dustdevil stayed nearby as we rode but with no caves visible or any stands of trees around for shelter we were forced to set up a crude camp in the low rise of the local swells and dales of the hills around us.

Right after this we had a debacle. Thurin went off on his own without telling the group exactly what was going on, digging a hole in dire wolverine form with Pop to aid in an effort to make some shelter for himself. The dragon had taken flight elsewhere after a cryptic comment about wolves. Then Thurin was captured in some of his lies and Bork was under the impression that Pop was a real wolverine. He did “bury” it in the lair by kicking the dirt back into the hole. Meanwhile Finta was poking holes in Thruin’s comments and arguments – proving that the mage (who was saying he was a cleric of Baldur during all of this) was not trustworthy.

Guyus tried to smooth the whole mess out but then a pack of wolves did attack. The three veterans from Chirkis Keep accorded themselves very well, dispatching two of the wolves and frightening off the others. Skins were cut and the group had a difficult time between Thurin and the volunteers. Camp was established and we rested.

Dustdevil did return at length, bringing some deadwood he had found and then lit with a blast of his breath. The fire lasted only two hours of so, but it was welcome during the night.

It was then that Thurin cast a charm spell on Korg Blackstone and another one on Finta Eightfingers, ending their frustration and mistrust of the mage with a pair of failed will saves. It was after we had all woken from a cold and fitful sleep that Perrin and Guyus were surprised and concerned at the two other veterans 180 degree changed feelings on Thurin. Nothing was said but the two men were going to watch Thurin carefully as they tried to make sense of what happened.

We broke our fast, mounted up, and in the driving rain at 7 AM on the 2nd we rode off following the muddy line in the badlands that headed off in the direction the orcs had run.