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.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Meet 139, Adv 12, 7/23/11

One of the things that sometimes is jarring to people who just listen into the games we play are the occasional adult and blue jokes and ribaldry that flows across the table. From big gay dungeons to countless sword jokes there is often something that comes up and makes the players laugh.

The latest meme is a deal that our druid made with his animal companion, an albino carnivorous ape that has already killed one party member and tore the arm off another. It's mate had died and the beast was lonely so when it was asked to carry the frightened wolverine down 30' of rope it balked and wanted what any red blooded male wanted - an opportunity to get laid.

Our druid informed the ape that although he could turn into an animal, it would be a male animal so there would be no recourse there. He offered to then teach the ape various ...self pleasuring techniques. But the master stroke came when the ape who had seen our mage, Thurin, practice the various polymorphing spells, asked if HE could turn into a female gorilla for him, and the druid without pause said, "Yes" without pause. And without informing the mage of his decision.

Since then we've had many jokes about this and I suspect that at some point a polymorph spell will go awry and our dangerous gorilla will get the chance to have some sweet sweet loving.

Write up follows:

Getting down the rope was fairly easy for everyone in question except for Detheron’s companion, Digger, the dire wolverine. The 140 lb wolverine had no way of traversing the 30’ drop or the rope. Detheron cast a reduce spell on Digger and then spent some time talking with King on how to bring the other animal down (knowing the carnivorous ape would be able to climb without issue).

Then the conversation turned into some strange discussion where King was lonely since his mate, Kong, had died and he wanted a female gorilla companion. Would Detheron be willing to transform into a female gorilla? The druid said that he transforms yes, but not into a different sex. Then there was some pointing to Thurin, the transmuter mage making no secret of his ability to polymorph himself when need be. King wanted to know, if he risked bringing Digger down, would Detheron get Thurin to transform into a female ape for him?

Without hesitation, or even explaining it to anyone else in the group, Detheron heartily agreed.

Satisfied now, King picked up the reduced Digger and the two of them went down the rope to the floor of the cavern, the druid shaking his head and wondering how he was going to explain this deal…and even if he should explain this deal.

Once down here, Detheron cast Log of Everburning on a pair of torches and between Mebali and himself, we had enough light to see clearly. Norris volunteered to explore the 4 passage choices, Havic going with him. The two westernmost ones that went north and south only travelled about 40 feet before coming to an end. Each one ended at a blank wall but we did learn that some time in the long ago past, they were trapped (spear traps) and the traps had gone off.

As for the two easternmost ones, the entire complex was at a slight angle running north east, so the water running into the place from the hole above due to the rain ran in that direction and after 20 paces or so, we noted it began to pool up, about 2-3 inches of the foul water covered the ground. Looking down there, the corridor turned to the right but even at the limit of our torch range the passage continued and it continued to deepen.

This left the southern passage so we lined up into marching order, taking care of the 7’ ceiling, and walked on with care. At the end there was an archway on the left, most likely at one point a wooden door was there, and the passage did turn to the right. Norris volunteered to check it out. It was when he was looking to the passage that something burst from the dark archway and drove him to the ground.

He screamed as whatever it was shoved its head into his back and began to SUCK blood straight out of him. Giant tick. Huge. About the size of a small pony and weighing well over 60#. We tried to drive it off, but most of our weapons just bounced off its thick carapace, before it disengaged itself from Norris and screaming shrilly, jumped back into the dark of the archway.

As for Norris, he was shivering, sick, pale, and staggering – and to both Detheron and Ludwig, it was obvious he was infected with the plague. And infected as if it had incubated within him for almost 3 days unchecked!! We did not see the tick in the next room and we dragged him in there where Detheron spent some time binding his wound as well as asking Frey to remove the disease affecting him.

A quick look at the room, it was some sort of gathering and it was filled with bones, well over 60 skeletal remains of dwarves, dwarves that had died over 1200 years ago, died from the plague. We did notice blood smears in three places: roughly even with the portal we entered, near the south end of the room by another passage, and near the north end of the room, by a third passage. Also there were 2 other doors on the right hand side of the chamber.

While we were clutching weapons and trying to get a bead on the tick and any other issues around, we did hear a shrill warbling scream from the north, followed by some splashing. The tick had gone north.

After 10 minutes of guarding every portal and the tick not returning we took better stock of the place and our choice. The two closed doors on the right were stone, heavy, unlocked but stuck, and we heard nothing on the other side of them. The portal to the south opened to a short hall with a door on one side and another portal on the other. And finally the archway to the north did open to a short hall and then some larger room, most likely a kitchen.

There was treasure scattered about the room, but a fast Detect Magic revealed three items, a set of silver spectacles, a craftsman’s hammer, and an iron rod like a truncheon. We spent some time deciphering what they could be establishing that the spectacles would aid in reading, the hammer in some sort of blacksmithing, and the rod was some sort of magical truncheon with a button that when pressed caused the next hit to be VERY impactful.

And according to Gwyn, to his infravision the kitchen room was a good 15 degrees warmer than the room we were in. We decided that since the tick went this way, we should check it out. Carefully we approached the room: table, counter, old oven, stone cabinets, some chairs. And it was warmer. Was it the over? Not too sure. A fast Detect magic spell was fired off and something magical was glowing from within the cabinet. Nice.

And the cabinet opened a short 3’ tall lizard looking figure with vestigial wings came out holding a helm that was glowing with a detect magic spell on it and began gibbering in some sibilant infernal tongue. No one knew what he was saying and then 4 others came out. Havic beheld the helm and knew it to be Kysoth’s Helm. It took him a moment to rage and then the barbarian stormed forward, spear out and at the ready and he flung one of the little men away, barreling him into the table and chairs.

The creatures all burst into flames and then they charged around Havic, one of them racing towards Gwyn. They scratched and swung and bit, but didn’t do any real damage to the group. And then Detheron called to Frey and unleashed a Quench spell on the group of them, dousing their flames and killing them in the process. The battle was over before it began.

We looked over the cabinets, it was a nest of some sort for the demonic figures and we took a smattering of gold ingots and a few other stones before going back to the other chamber.

From here we opted to go to the south passage and check out the door on the right, noting that it was partially open. Norris carefully explored it and saw it was a blank wall beyond the door with a spear trap already fired off some time ago. The spear head was silvered steel so we took that with us and moved on.

The other choice to the south was a larger chamber with another door out of it, and was at one time used for pottery or ceramic. A large kiln was still here and there were shards on the floor but nothing else of value. There was also another passage out of here on the north wall which we verified met up with the other corridor we had originally came down.

The door on the south east end of the room was looked over, declared to be untrapped and unlocked. But it refused to open after being unused for 1200 years. Gwyn and Havic spent a few minutes bashing their shoulders against it until it opened. A short corridor ended at another door further down. However, Detheron’s warning spell against snares and pits was blaring at him and the druid made everyone stop as he pointed out (to his eyes) what was an obvious pit trap.

It was closed, stone lidded, and most likely according to Norris’ observation be triggered on 50 lbs or so of weight upon it. However, about halfway across, there was a locking point where the two sides of the lid meet up and with a bit of luck, a skilled engineer could force the pit locked with a spike and hammer. So our bard crawled across, rope at his waist, braced against the wall and keeping his weight back and well distributed and disarmed the pit. Well done Norris!

We travelled across the surface (no issue anymore) until we came to the door. Again it was closed and stuck and Gwyn and Havic did their dwarven run and bash at it, forcing it open. This revealed a smallish chamber with 5 very dry papery skinned wrapped dwarven bodies in here as well as two other doors on the other side of the chamber. What were they? Sir Guyus, our paladin, informed us that two of the bodies were decidedly evil – which we took to mean undead.

Guyus, Havic, Norris, and Gwyn were in there, getting ready to hack off the dwarven skulls when the stood up and attacked. A hit was blasted against Havic and the dwarf howled in agony as the undead not only hurt him, but also sucked live force and energy from him! Damn it – wights! Quickly the party tried to run back and make room, no one being eager to do battle with the debilitating undead. Sir Guyus felt safe as the undead would be hard pressed to touch him but Havic was struggling to keep his back with the end of his boar spear.

Norris kept moving backwards through the party, allowing the rest of the group to step forward. Detheron called to Frey and a flaming Sphere appeared, just missing Sir Guyus but easily hitting the wight. Thurin crept in and made his way to the corner of the chamber.

And then something big, black, and screaming shrilly barreled into the back of the party, just missing Norris and sinking its head into the dire wolverine, Digger. The damned giant tick was back. We fought both sides of the battle line now, two wights at the front, one of them already going down from a smiting of evil. The tick infected Digger with the plague and drew out a thick quaffing of blood. Digger let go a blast of his blinding musk, making Detheron, the tick, and Norris sick – while blinding King. The ape grew nervous and swung out wildly, hitting Detheron a few times before relaxing.

As for the tick we hit it a few times (including the use of contact poison!), Norris actually grabbing one of the legs, but it jumped away, leaving its prickly chitonous appendage back in the bard’s hands. The last wight went down and the battle ended. More healing and curing was done.

We bandaged wounds and passed out what cures we could, eventually just relaxing a bit longer. We ate lunch and then drew ourselves back into marching order. Of the two doors in here, we forced the northern one open first finding nothing but a small closet. So we instead opened the other door and there was a hall that went some distance and then turned north. We carefully went, keeping care of where we were going, listening all along.

At the turn, the passage went north, a side branch about half way down to the left and at the end of the passage was another left turn. We went to the first passage and looked, 10 paces to a closed and locked door. Norris broke out his lock picks and spent a few minutes on the door, eventually opening the lock. We opened up, and it was what would have been the thane’s private chamber. Bed, chest, drawers, mosaics on the wall. We did confirm that the mosaic on the wall showed the helm, shield, and bludgeon – the helm of which matched the one on Havic’s head.

From here we followed the original passage out and kept going, eventually getting to the last left turn and walking down with care. The passage had a door on the right hand side about half way down, and there was another door at the end – which Detheron and Norris surmised went back to the original room that we had faced the tick in. So it was this rightmost door that we forced opened and looking in and around.

This was at one point a barracks, sleeping chamber. It had been sealed up so although it was in ruin, there was still enough organic material in here to give us a sense of what was here before. Two other doors in here, one on the far eastern wall, the other on the closer western one. And the eastern door was partially ajar.

Norris went to check it out. Nothing special. Did we want to open it? No…no we didn’t. So he closed it. And when he walked away, it opened again on its own. Alright, not cool. So Norris leaned his weight against it while the rest of the group gave the room a fast once over.

It was towards the end of our search that Norris noted the door “bumped” him from behind. Bumped? Something pushed slightly from the other side. Quickly we drew up into battle formation and got ready. And then Norris swept the door opened and two wights, dead dwarves, came in. We struck a few quick blows but it was Ludwig who called to Freya, asking for the power to send these undead spawn away that turned the tide and the two wights fled back the way they came.

Friday, July 22, 2011

2nd Campaign, Meet 2, 7/17/11

My daughter and I were alone this weekend and she wanted the opportunity to play D&D again, even though my wife was currently in Florida. So we took out the original two characters, the ones that had gone into the guard tower in the back of the basic red book, and continued where we left off.

In my desire to keep it simple and still true to the same sort of fun adventures I had done when I was first playing, I this time took her to the dungeon below the guard tower - which I used from the AD&D ruined monastery found in the DM's guide.

I did not prompt her on what to do or where to go or how to do it, trusting in her to make critical decisions. She decided to burn the webs overhead. She jumped into the pool of water to get the scroll tube. She recognized that her character was immune to ghoul paralysis. And she came to the conclusion that if the goblins had bags of flour and grain, then someone in the town above was working with them and is a traitor.

I could not have been any more proud. :)

Write up follows:

Lina Inverse, elven warrior-mage and Thimbles Mooserider, Halfling fighter, both went to the general store the next day and geared up on fresh arrows, oil, and other sundry required goods. By 9 AM they had stowed all their gear into their backpacks and headed off to the old keep on the edge of Brevoy in an effort to find and bring the “General”, a shadowy figure controlling the goblins and their latest kidnapping schemes against the townsfolk, to justice.

We had already been to the guard tower of the keep before and it was only a few minutes to verify that nothing new had been set up there since our foray into it yesterday. We worked our way to the back and once more went down the hole in the floor to the basement. To the north were a series of cells that we had already cleared and to the south was a locked door that went to a set of wide steps running down. Thimbles lit a fresh torch and we went down the steps with careful feet.

At the base of the steps was a largish room with a vaulted 20’ ceiling where cobwebs hung in heavy sheets. A dozen or so thick bags were in the south corner and there were three decently wide corridors that allowed exit from the room, one to the east, the south, and the west. Lina looked at the ceiling with a squinted eye, untrusting of the many webs hanging there. She held Thimbles back for a moment and then asked for his torch. Climbing back up two of the steps she reached up to the nearest thick canopy of dusty webbings and ignited them.

The fire crawled with surprising speed across the ceiling, sweeping up with a faint “whoosh” as it moved across the room. Clods of cooling ash filtered down, along with dozens of tiny charred spider bodies. However it was with some surprise that the two friends beheld a huge spider, just about the size of a cat, hit the ground just ahead of the racing flames. It turned towards the two of us and scampered forward eager to bite us.

Thimbles was just a split second faster as he tugged his short sword free and speared the arachnid with a single blow, killing it. Lina looked the spider over and said, “That’s the biggest spider I’ve ever seen! I want to get its fangs!” She then proceeded to spend a few minutes struggling to get the spider’s fangs free using the edge of her sword, rope, even her boot, but it was when Thimbles said that if she slipped she could wind up getting poisoned that she gave up trying. We did pick through some of the crud on the floor, finding a goblin skull that Lina turned over to dislodge a garnet from within. The Halfling shrugged, “I guess he was swallowing the gem when he got his head cut off?”

We then went towards the bags and the elven warrior prodded them; nothing came out to assault us. It was obvious after a short look that the bags were filled with both ground flour and grain, and there were many of them. Lina said that there was no place to grow the grain down here and it was obviously the goblins’…so someone from Brevoy must be working with the goblins and most likely the General. There was a traitor somewhere above.

Filing this information away for now and knowing that once we leave we’ll take care of this problem, we looked over our situation. Lina took one of the torches from the wall and helped her Halfling friend check out the exits from the chamber. Three other ways out, and looking down each of them, the east and south went as far as our torch light while the west ended at a stout oaken door. We decided to check out the door first.

Listening to it we both were able to faintly hear some sort of low moaning beyond. She lowered her torch to the ground, readied her sword, and pulled the door open. A stiff breeze blew in, making the torch dance wildly before guttering out, plunging us into darkness. Lina’s infravision kicked in and she beheld the rough walls of a cavern beyond with a swift flowing stream coming from one hole in the wall, ponding, and then flowing out another hole. There were some barrels of some sort in the middle of the room. Other than that, the room was uniformly cool.

They could not get the torches relit and Thimbles was nervous not being able to see. Lina remembered that she had oil and we had a plan, going back to the entrance room we set a few of the bags of grain and flour on fire and tossed them into the windy cavern, allowing us to see. While the light lasted Thimbles checked over the barrels and Lina looked at the water.

In the middle of the pond was a skeleton of some sort, lying flat, very rough and craggy looking. And in its hand was a scroll or map case. As the light was fading, Lina stripped off her packs and weapons, waded into the water, and dove down for the case. She grabbed it and came up cold and sputtering, the cotton gambeson under her platemail was soaked and freezing. The two friends left the chamber, shut the door, and returned to the entrance room.

Once there Thimbles ignited a few more sacks and made a small fire while Lina took off her armor and cotton under clothes, doing her best to wring them out while she dried herself off. Thimbles looked over the case and broke the seal, unfurling a single piece of paper. It was a map of some sort and after showing it to Lina the two of them recognized the entrance room as well as the stream and cavern chamber. It was a partial map of the dungeon they were in.

The noted that the path south led to something marked ghouls, which Lina informed Thimbles were dead people that attacked you and paralyzed you. She didn’t have to worry about that since she was an elf and could not be paralyzed. Thimbles retorted, “They can still attack and eat you. I won’t go towards any room where the people within can attack, paralyze, and eat Halflings!!” The map did indicate the eastern path had a few turn offs, something referred to as the crypts, and then eventually a goblin sign with two marks underneath it. Thimbles pointed to that and said, “That mark means someone important.”

They decided that that area was where the “general” was and should go there to take care of him. On the way they would pass the crypts and Lina suspected that if they were undisturbed, the two of them might find a little treasure in there. They went east, watching where they were going as they walked along. The passage turned to the left and there was a “T” to the right. The map indicated that to the right was the direction they wanted to go (even though looking further down, they did see two doors at the end of the corridor).

After 20 paces they came to a passage to the right, and 20 more paces to come to another one. Even though the corridor did continue on, it was this right option that led to the area marked as the crypts. Torch held high and sword at the ready, the two friends walked on. A stout door was here on the right, and then 4 more paces another on the left, and the same 4 paces beyond that on the right again. Lina pressed her back against the door, but even her considerable strength wasn’t enough to budge it.

They went to the next door, this one giving way. The crypt beyond was about 10’ square, with a stone sarcophagus on the far wall. Tentatively they approached the box, noting that it seemed undisturbed. Thimbles stepped back, his bow out and an arrow at the ready while Lina shoved the cover off.


A hairy black claw snapped out, just barely missing the elven warrior. A large back and red carapaced spider with two humongous crab claws scrambled out, trying to bite Lina’s arm. She snatched it away barely in time. Thimbles fired, hitting the spider and causing it to skitter sideways. She poked it with her sword and another crab spider came out from the casket.

The two of them were grabbing at Lina, pinching her armor, snapping at her wrists. Thimbles shot again and again, causing the spiders to stagger and weave dangerously as they took damage from his arrows. At one point Lina got a lucky blow and her sword sheared one of the spiders in half, turning the tide of the short desperate fight and in a hail of sword cuts and arrows, the last spider went down with a shudder.

We checked Lina out, finding no real wounds to worry about, and then looked in the sarcophagus, snagging double handful of silver and copper coins. Bagging them up, Thimbles picked up the wavering torch from the floor, took out a new one and lit it, and the two friends turned to go further explore the crypt area of the dungeon.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Addon, Adv 12, Glittercap History

The tome found in the temple to Odin was in poor shape, most of it was unusable, but the last few pages were still legible and covered the final three entries of the dwarven settlement.

In my milieu, I have the world created by the various god with the races being created as well and each one doing their own specialized niche. Then the gods leave the prime material plane to those followers and the dragons take over, demanding horrific sacrifices from everyone. A coalition (eventually!!) of dwarves, elves, giants, and ogres eventually band together and using god born magics and divine power weaken enough of the great dragons to allow all races to rise up and become free.

As usual, elves take it upon themselves to take over from the dragons after a few centuries and when the dwarves try to curtail the elven ascendancy, they are declared anathema and the elves wage and almost 1100 year genocidal campaign to destroy the dwarven people; a time I refer to as the Kinslayer wars. Eventually peace is made but only because the great elven and dwarven kingdoms are shattered and with their slow birth rates and millenia of lost magics, there is no reason to continue warring. And in this void, the barbaric races of goblin, orc, halfling, and man begin to flourish.

This is a glimpse of the dwarven point of view from about 1200 years before the current time of my campaign:

Watermonth 11th, 225th year of the 26th Age.

Reinforcements from Hammerheld have not arrived as expected or promised. We are running dangerously low of our food stores.

Seven month, 4 days, and as of this penning 11 hours now, Prince Malifys Goldenborn and his army has made their attempts against us and they have been rebuffed constantly. The walls of Glittercap have held not the least in thanks to the weave blocking effect of the Asgardian crystals. No elven sorceries can hit the walls or come past, their dweomers die at the perimeter, their magics fail. And as the great Wyrms from ages ago taught us when we rose up against them, when spells and magic fail the tyrants are nothing more than mortal.

We are of the earth and to the earth we will return, but not until Prince Goldenborn pays for his desire of dwarven genocide.

Thane Kysoth Beldenstone, Glittercap.

Watermonth 18th, 225th year of the 26th Age.

Prince Malifys Goldenborn made a tactical error today. Calling upon the unseen magics of his race, he sought to awaken the entirety of the Eastern Woods against us, trusting in the might of oak and ash to batter our walls. Twice thirteen of his people drew blood and chanted and the sun did dim and the air tremble. They cut the throats of hundred of orc and human slaves to empower their spell, the earth drinking deep of blood and gore as the barely conscious primitives ended their mortal moments beneath elven blades.

The power filled the woods, the leaves burned bright as silver and as one the trees bent as giants and lifted their trunks and roots free of the earth to walk towards Glittercap. The Prince cackled like Loki, lightning forming a halo about him as he guided the arboreal army forward to bury our walls.

He had forgotten about Filcher’s Tower above, suspended in the heavens below the gabled arches of the Bifrost Bridge. As the trees marched overland and came our way, we sent forth a dozen of our terrible rockets to burst in the sky in the pattern agreed upon with Subthane Filcher Skystone before he and his clansmen lifted the tower heavensward at the start of the siege.

It roared and burned and howled as it broke free of the Rainbow Bridge and the Filcher’s Tower struck down like Mjolnir at the heart of the marching trees. The blossoming explosion charred the earth like black glass and destroyed the entirety of the treant threat and a material portion of Prince Malifys’ thralls. Our prayers go with the fallen 134 clansmates who go now with Reorx to sit with the All Father in Valhalla.

Thane Kysoth Beldenstone, Glittercap.

Watermonth 22nd, 225th year of the 26th Age.

The treachery of elves is beyond mortal ken. Spells, arms, spears, arrows, slings, stones, and strength did fail to breach Glittercap. The unholy desire of elvenkind to eradicate dwarves knows only irresolute horror and mystery to me and mine. But it is something they have not relented in and now I know that we here will also fall.

Poison. A horrible contagion concocted by the foulest of the elven spellmeisters was brewed and set at the borders of our wall, delivered by thousands of arrows each bearing a single drop of the diseased taint, plunged into the soft earth to fester into the stones, earth, and soil of our home. I can hear our dying on the walls, I can hear our dying in the keep, I can hear our dying under the ground. Their dirge fills the space between the rocks like mortar.

Prince Malifys does not want our treasure, our belongings, or even our servitude – he only wants our deaths. And our deaths he is getting. I can see beyond the walls that his troops are already leaving, moving on to other places and other strongholds to take out our people. He spares not a single glance back at us, ignoring the fever and pestilence that consumes our forms, the black diseases that take root in our flesh. We are nothing to him.

And if to him we are nothing than I shall return the favor. As the last of my people die I leave this journal in our most holy shrine to the All Father as testament of we who were here. I shall leave afterwards and drag myself to the spire of Tallkeep and let fly the final weapon. The burning fires will consume our bones, the plague within the soil, and reach out to engulf the elven horde. The light will be seen in Asgard and Heimdall himself with sound the clarion call on his silver trumpet to mark our revenge.

Thane Kysoth Beldenstone, Glittercap.

Meet 138, Adv 12, 7/9/11

I like making maps and handouts for the group, and don't take advantage of that too often. So in this case I knew there was a scrap of a map and a found bit of history that the group could either hear about - or find.

I like dwarves. And halflings. Elves and gnomes are a bit distant to me, too otherworldly for me to truly enjoy. I prefer the earthier races when it comes to demi-humans in both play and history. Where the group is adventuring is the remains of a massive dwarven thanedom, in fact the last largest dwarven homeland before the elves and dwarves denuded themselves centuries ago, reducing their numbers, and allowing the the age of man, orc, and goblin to arise.

Write up follows:

Before just running westward towards Glittercap, we spent some time going over the map we had found from Frink’s place. One side of it showed clearly a section of forest known as Rakewood, with Glittercap noted within the arboreal interior somewhere. The opposite side had a series of words on the back but they didn’t seem to be complete and made little sense.

It was after we poured over the map for a while that we saw it was very creased and folded in some places; so with a bit of trial and error we followed the folds against the words on the back and learned that there was a written description on HOW to get through Rakewood as well as a number of markers we should be looking for.

Detheron transformed himself again into a falcon and took off, looking over the land to get a bird’s eye view and see if he could spot Glittercap. He returned shortly afterwards despondent, saying the forest was very thick and there was no sign from the air. So we trekked off, eyes peeled and ready for trouble.

About a quarter after three we arrived at the borders of Rakewood. The forest was very old and dense. No game trails were obvious within and there was no sign that anyone had been here before. Composed almost entirely of Oak and Ash trees, the underbrush was thick and was going to slow the party down. According to Frink’s notes on the back, we had to look for a notch. So the 8 of us fanned out and spent some time looking for anything out of the ordinary or notchlike.

It was discovered maybe 20 minutes later, a tree a few feet in from the border had been struck by an obvious axe blade, leaving a notch in the trunk. We drew up into marching order, with Guyus volunteering to take the lead. Detheron called to Frey and settled an Invisibility to Animals spell on the party. And then we entered.

Within 20 paces the light coming in was diffuse and green, and 20 more paces showed no sign of the outside of the forest back the way we had come. We kept careful pacing, the paladin trusting to his inborn sense of direction to keep us heading as westerly as possible as per our instructions. It was a short time later that we heard piping, a simple melody playing over and over again. Norris furrowed his brow and identified the instrument as pan pipes. Right after that he groaned, took out his own musical instrument and proceeded to play a countersong as we most likely had a Satyr (or more) nearby.

Indeed the satyr did taunt us, all the while staying hidden in the leafy underbrush. Norris kept up his countersong and we traded words with the fey who grew disappointed at us for not letting him have his fun. We marched onward as per Norris’ advice and after a few minutes Detheron had the party stop. He had asked Frey earlier when we entered Rakewood for a boon to allow him to detect snares and pits and sure enough, his enhanced sight did see some sort of swinging deadfall up ahead. He was able to point out where it was and the party stood back, triggering the trap. A thick tree trunk swung down from above and would have creamed anyone within the path. The satyr in the woods cursed and we heard it storm off. Norris didn’t take any chances and kept up the countersong.

After walking the prescribed number of steps we fanned out, looking for another notch, eventually finding one. We turned north here and walked for some distance until we arrived at a hollow tree as indicated on the map. One more turn to the west and we strode 87 steps as the map showed and then stopped. The next and last hints were "kneel, one eye, and golden line." It was only a few feet away that we saw a patch of dirt without any brush growing in it. It was the only thing that seemed out of place, for there were no apple trees, no city, and nothing but the same thick forest we had been in since we entered.

It was when someone was kneeling in that spot and shut one eye that the forest wavered before them and they saw a clearing with a ruined dwarven outpost beyond. The walls were falling down, octagonal shaped, and each corner sported a 20’ tower with a roof of crystals glistening in the sun on top. It was after kneeling for a minute or two that a golden beam of sunshine reflected from the nearest tower top and ended just at the person’s limit. When we reached up to touch it, the person was jerked forward a few feet and within the zone of Glittercap.

Those within could plainly see those outside and both sides could hear one another. One by one we all kneeled and entered except for the animals who were able to enter without issue at will. It was just a bit after 5 at this time. Thurin tried to detect magic, but his spell ended immediately. Detheron tried the same, and it too failed. However other spells did work, so it seemed that detection spells were blocked on some level.

The city was very old, both Havic and Gwyn assured us it had to be over 1000 years old. The walls were mostly down in most places, about 1/3 of them still standing. As for the buildings within, there were only two of them undamaged. On the eastern side was what seemed to be a storehouse of some kind, and to the south was a temple to Odin, however the roof was truncated somehow and there was a dwarven skeleton wrapped around the shortened steeple. The rest of the buildings were the remains of a keep, some walls to a hotel, a trading post of some sort, armory, and finally some mining structure. A cistern had overflowed many centuries ago, making a red and greenish tinged pond covering a good 1/5th of the outpost’s available floor. The deep sound of dripping could be heard and in our looking around we saw a hole about 8’ in diameter near the edge of the ponded area.

The western side of the city had about 30 apple trees there, the center ones thicker and older than the ones on the perimeter. Each tree had at least a hundred apples, and they were all the same faintly glowing red and goldish color that we had come to expect from Frink’s Applejack. Meaning we had come to the right place. Now we needed to find some source of the contagion as per the Alchemist Morei. However we knew the sun would be setting soon so we wanted to find a place to hole up and then spend tomorrow searching in earnest.

We went to the temple and through some magic and effort, got the door open. Stale air rushed out and we looked within. It was a small temple, home to maybe 100 seated personages. A set of stone steps circled the perimeter going up to the belfry above. There were bodies here, dwarven skeletons long dead, all in the temple, over 50 of them. Their equipment had long ago rotted away and there was nothing here that gave clue to how they died. We looked over the altar, nave, and inner sanctum, eventually finding a decaying tome where the last few pages were still legible.

We learned that the dwarves were over 1200 years past and were victims of the elven genocide against the dwarves during the kinslayer wars during that time. And according to our reading, the plague was fashioned by elven spellmasters to obliterate the dwarves which it did so in a single day. However, the leader, a Thane Kysoth Beldenstone, unleashed a final weapon which supposedly killed all the elves and what dwarves were still left, and should have destroyed the plague.

It seems that for 1200 years a small piece of the plague survived underground somehow and it what this plague that Frink had gotten, brought back with him, and eventually infected Flatrock with. We were sure now we would go under the ground tomorrow and find the origin of the contagion and bring it back to help make a cure. Ludwig cast a light charm on a single coin and it was dropped down the hole out in the street, showing it was 30’ down and some sort of cavern floor. Meanwhile Havic went up to the belfry and eventually the steeple to cast ceremony on the dwarven remains there and set it to rest. It was during his ceremony spell that he felt a touch, a connection with the long dead thane, who told him of his three Odin blessed items: Shield, Bludgeon, and Helm. Together they were stronger than any one separate. If Havic could prove himself the items would be his. He came down invigorated and convinced the party they had to go under the ground tomorrow not only for the plague point, but also to get the shield and or helm which might be down there.

We decided to look over the only other sealed building, the store house. Again it was opened and we saw it was divided into two sections, stone and timber. The timber section was bare and a small wave of bugs, beetles, and ticks swarmed out. Once clear we looked finding nothing of interest. Detheron cast Air Walk on Norris and the bard went to examine and explore the tops of each tower and what walls were still standing while the rest of us set up camp in the temple and looked over the keep or at least what places we could get to due to the standing water.

During the search, Norris uncovered two large boxes, one of which had 5’ long tubular metallic devices that tapered to a point at one end and the other side had a sort of papery feel to them. He suspected they might be the selfsame rockets that had been mentioned in the dwarven book the party had found so he brought them down to the group.

We ate, rested, assigned watch, and slept.

Waking up the next day we took care of what needs we had, broke our fast, prayed, studied, and readied our weapons and equipment. We then went and checked out the base of every tower, finding a few more dwarven skeletons but nothing else. And then around 25 after nine we approached the hole. It had rained so water was slowly running down one side of the opening. We set rope and grapple on the drier side and one by one, made our way 30’ down to the damp floor below.

The corridor was about 7’ tall, almost 8’ wide, and we were in an area sort of like an “H”, standing in the crossbeam section. The four corridors went off into the gloom, although we did note that the water did run towards the north eastern branch as the ground sloped in that direction.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

3rd Campaign, Meet 1, 7/3/11

For our 2nd meeting with my daughter, I was able to finally convince my wife to join us, effectively giving us a 3rd campaign. She grudgingly put on her game face but as with all things regarding this sort of matter, her attention span dies off about 8:30 PM (comes from having a job that requires her to wake up at 5:10 almost every damn day). We rolled up new characters and this time I was to take them into the Keep on the Borderlands - another perfect staple for B/X D&D.

We had a good time at the keep, learning of the environs, and getting what background and gear we needed. My wife told me that she enjoyed the richness of the descriptions of the place as well as the lands we were walking through to get to the Caves of Chaos.

We opted to go for an easy cave and it was luck that we grabbed the goblin on on the south end of the valley. We entered, turned right, and walked down to room one - where the entire party was dead by the end of the 1st extended encounter. Admittedly my daughter did say that telling the goblins to leave because she told them to was not a good plan and that if we were to do it again, (and we will) that we should be better prepared and less likely to be so pushy.

Write up follows:

At the eastern edge of Karakamekios lies the barony of Brevoy. Long has it sat on in that area the civilized people called the frontier. Degenerate goblin tribes have ran roughshod over the countryside for decades, raiding and looting at will. One by one, the walled fortresses were overrun until only a single keep remained. One keep, alone, on the borderlands of the wild.

A call has gone out, to all peoples of good heart and strong spirit to come to the keep and take up sword, bow, and spell and make safe the lands to the east.

On this day of Earthmonth 16th, 175 of the 30th age, the keep was home to three daring heroes who gathered together, answering the call to valor and bravery. Lina Enverse, Amazonian elven warrior mage from Greenholm, her doughty companion Seabreeze Sonata from the Myrinic Lake countries, and Smackey Dugood, acolyte cleric to Neptune – Lord of water and horses. They banded together as one and took up the mantle to clear out the lands of the goblin taint.

We were told by the Castellan that there was a series of caves to the east and north, situated in a bowl shaped valley of steep walls and terraced stones. According to the king’s men who had gone there before, the marking of goblins, orcs, and other foul creatures were plentiful there. The caves closest to the valley’s mouth were less dangerous than those further in. A freshwater stream known as the Goblinwater River ran from it so fresh water would not be an issue, but we should prepare before leaving.

We geared up on foodstuffs, weaponry, torches, ropes, and other manner of equipment until we were as ready as ever. It was the next day at 10 in the AM that we left the Borderland Keep and followed the trail east. Swamps and moors dogged the south of our trail while almost primeval forests ranges to the north. It was some hours later before we came upon the major valley as had been described, tracing our way by walking along the swift flowing banks of the Goblinwater River.

The walls of the ravine were high, almost 300 feet above us, and they sloped heavily after only three dozen feet. There were at least 8 caves that we could see, some of them closer to the ground, others higher up. It was a brief discussion on our part until we decided to enter the earliest caves and see what we were up against.

Seabreeze and Lina approached carefully, giving the entrance a once over with their superior vision. The inside was roughly hewn, but swiftly became cut and square, testament that someone or something made this lair their home. Smackey lit a torch from his pouch and withdrew his sling, while both elven women unsheathed swords and hefted their shields higher.

The cavern smelled of old bananas and moldy sweatsocks, a sure sign that goblins made this lair their home. It split into three directions from here and we decided to listen, hearing just faintly muttering chanting voices down to the right. We crept along carefully, senses alive and peaked.

Our caution was rewarded for after only 20 paces we beheld a larger chamber with 6 of the goblinfolk within. There were roasting some sort of possumlike creature on a skewer over a smoldering fire. Clad in filthy leather crudely stitched together and holding sharpened sticks with fire hardened points they chatted amiably amongst themselves.

We hadn’t been noticed yet and it was opted that Lina would attempt to convince the goblins to leave since we wanted to avoid bloodshed if possible. However her tone upon talking was not friendly and she almost ordered the goblins to “leave. Move one. You have to go now.”

The goblins spoke back in broken Hobgoblin that they would not leave and she should go. It was only a few more moments before we realized we had made a tactical error as the goblins lifted their weapons and stormed forward. One of them grabbed a sack of some sort and ran to the wall, knocking on it with it stick and shouting in its strange tongue. Another ran away, further down the corridor, most likely to rally more troops. But the last four attacked, three of them around Lina and one of them grabbing the skewer of possum creatures from the fire and hurling it like a javelin at Seabreeze, racing forward to then engage in hand to hand.

Lina was overmatched quickly, taking a few deep cuts and bumps that her chainmail did not deflect. But Seabreeze lifted her blade and crashed it down, dropping the first goblin with a wet thud. She slid forward, engaging a second. Meanwhile Smackey let his sling fly and a round stone thunked hard against one of the greenskin’s head’s.

The goblin hitting the wall hissed at some creature on the other side but it was rebuffed with a large hand shoving it back and then the secret door closed. One of the goblins around Lina hit the elven fighter again, causing her to stagger sideways and hold her wounded arm with clasping fingers. Seabreeze dropped another goblin, her sword cleaving the large nosed humanoid across his shoulder blade. Another sling stone hit, wounding another goblin.

The battle was turning at this point with the companions dropping the goblins one by one but Lina was hit hard and she fell to the ground, exactly at 0 hit points. Smackey and Seabreeze hit the last two goblins with all they had and even though they were wounded by spears, they brought the goblins low. The cleric checked over Lina and said that he could stabilize her, but we should get her out of the cave where she could rest for a few hours and regain consciousness.

We checked over the fallen four goblins, grabbed some silver and copper pieces from their pouches, and then lifted the shallowly breathing Lina from the floor and tried to make our way out.

We didn’t make it. The goblin that had run down the corridor had come back this time with 2 other friends. We decided not to abandon Lina and drew sword and war hammer again., standing side to side to block the corridor. The first goblin was chanting in it s gibbering tongue and slammed it’s spear so deep into Seabreeze’s side, that it punched through the gap in the back of her platemail and the Amazonian elven fighter collapsed with a groan, dead at -4 hit points.

It was all up to Smackey.

He lasted all of 10 seconds as the three goblins surrounded him and clubbed him to death, the cleric slumping over and dead at -5 hit points.

Lina awoke long enough to feel her naked body tossed into the stew pot and then she knew nothing else.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Meet 137, Adv 12, 6/25/11

The party had done a great job in finding the breadcrumbs I had scattered about the town and were following them directly to a hermit's home to the north and west of Flatrock. I liked hermits ever since my team of Dragonbreath, ET, and Joe Schmoe kicked the scrawny hermit's ass back in B-2 when I was 12 and took his magic dagger from under the bed.

Actually, the pivotal point was the clue that would lead the party overland to an old dwarven establishment known as Glittercap when the contagion was birthed and when the eponymous hermit inadvertently found it and brought it back to Flatrock. From there it was another jaunt across the badlands towards Rakewood Forest and the dwarven stronghold.

They did fight a bullette and as far as combats go, it was short, brutal, and over quickly (it was 11 to 1). They had been warned a few times of a local legendary monster called "Razorclaw" which the party surmised to be the bullette. I don't remember saying that it was, there was never a description of the "Razorclaw" in any of the legends, and the bullette did not have a nameplate that said "Razorclaw" on him.

Are they in for a treat. :)

Write up follows:

Watermonth the 23rd, 175 of the 30th age. We were sitting in the Split Beard Tavern, enjoying lunch and talking about what was to come next when we heard the sound of commotion outside. A few patrons ran out and back in, calling that “a griffin rider has arrived! A griffin rider has arrived!” Interested we gathered up our things and went out to see what the fuss was.

Indeed a griffin was hovering about 30’ over Market Square, a rope ladder hung over its saddle horn and dangling down to the street where a single cloaked personage was clambering down. The rider stayed on griffin back and when his charge had gotten off, waved down good naturedly and guided his mount upward and back to the south, coiling the rope ladder behind him.

The crowd had stayed around the new comer and it was a few minutes until we learned that it was Norris Baldwin, our last and missing companion. We joined up with the bard and after getting him back to the Split Beard we learned about his trip to Darkwaters and his affairs there.

He and Hammerhand had split ways after a week or two of travels and once at Darkwaters Norris was quick to learn that he was presumed dead from all those months back. In fact, the other 3 members of the guild that had gone with him to steal from the Spellmaster were also dead. Deciding to use his anonymity to the best efforts, he pawned off some of the treasures he had amassed, grabbed what he had hidden around the town, and then went back to the Spellmaster in order to finish the job against the erstwhile mage as well as inflict a little revenge.

The two had surprised one another and Norris sang off a quick and potent Charm spell, which the Spellmaster fell victim to. But a contingent spell also fired off and Norris found himself similarly charmed by the Spellmaster! The two of them were now each other’s best friends and they spent a few days talking and resolving their differences. Norris, even ensorcelled, knew that the mutual charming would wear off at some point and wanted to be away when and as soon as he could. The Spellmaster helped Norris find his friends were indeed going to Flatrock and with his connections, had one of Duke Argos VII griffin riders take Norris northward to Flatrock to join his party. The journey was 4 days long.

We filled Norris in on what we had learned of the plague and our own efforts – as well as the presence of the Lycos Suns and Vanir not too far from here. We paid for our meal and then went off to the back brothel to talk once more to Madame Bie about the late Madame Lili. We did learn that Madame Lili did indeed like to drink and often would do so in some effort to clear her mind and recenter herself. She did not like ales or beer, but was partial to fruity beverages.

We left The Split Tail Brothel and went back to the Black Court where Magistrate Trueborn had his adjunct get us the location of the Hadrow Homestead (located about 1/3 mile east of Swordgate). We did learn that he was a farmer, but not involved in orchards instead mostly potatoes, beets, grains, and corn. We avoided Swordgate to keep any chance encounter with the Lycos Suns to a minimum and instead left through Highgate. Working overland we reconnected with the main road and followed directions to the homestead.

Like most of the local farmers, the 15 acres had seen better days and the people within were fairly insular, not wanting us there or to stay too long. The two were Baern and Gala Hadrow, Gala being Yuri’s daughter and Baern her husband. Yuri was well liked and a good man and farmer. We stayed and got Baern to talk with us outside the door while Gala stayed safely within. They were afraid of the contagion and were still grieving Yuri after all this time. They were in over their heads trying to keep the farm afloat and it showed as only about 1/3 of the acreage was planted and tended to.

They did learn that Yuri did get sick almost 7 months ago. A strong man he did not let it slow him down, continuing to work even though his cough never went away. In fact he had worked all the way up to the day he died. This lent the party some point of reference because even though Yuri was not the first death from the plague, he was the obviously the first infected. They asked him if he was a drinker and were told not really, but sometimes he and other locals would trade bottles of liquor or moonshine. It was here that Gala volunteered that her father had gone to town as usual on Marketday and came home, parked the trade wagon in the barn and was sick the next morning.

So sick that he never took the trade wagon out again. In fact, outside of the seed stock the two of them had been using during the spring, the wagon and all of Yuri’s belongings were still in the barn. The party really wanted to pour over the wagon and see if they could find any clues. Gala wouldn’t take them but Baern did.

The barn did indeed have two wagons, a heavier trade wagon in the back under a stained oilskin tarp and a smaller personal cart in the front. We checked over the wagon, finding clothes, farming equipment, barrel staves, plowshares, a few bags of seed stock and other sundry items. It was on the front seat that the group discovered a wooden crate with an opaque bottle labeled “Frink’s Applejack”. We asked if we could take it and Baern agreed, wishing us well.

Back at town through Highgate we went to the Alchemist and gave Morei the bottle. She checked it out, it was indeed alcohol, and was a form of heavy drink made from apples. While looking at it it seemed to glow slightly. A check for magic revealed only the most faintest faintest hint of it. She was going to look it over and keep us posted. Asked us to find out WHERE the applejack was made because it could be the dirt, trees, water, anything in that area.

From here we went to Yert’s Distillery and talked with him. He did know of Frink, a sort of hermit farmer and orchardier who liked to make whiskey. Hadn’t seen hide nor hair of him for over 6 months. Party was feeling very happy with this info. Yuri was the 1st infected in town. He had bought the Applejack. Madame Lili, Coogan Smith, and Kaza were all drinkers as well. The man Frink had been the maker and seller of such stuff and hadn’t been seen since before the outbreak. We should verify some of this and then hunt down Frink.

Checking Market square since it was Marketday, there were only a few of the outlying farmers here and n one of them had seen Frink for some time. At 4 PM we went to Split Beard Tavern and spoke with the Proprietor Cavant. He remembers Frink and would occasionally buy from him. Did some of it go to Madame Lili? Sure, but did not remember for sure. As for any extra bottles, they would have been on the bar and eventually drunk and sold.

At Black Court once more we paid the Magistrate for where Frink’s homestead was. It took a bit longer. He was about a mile and a half West of Kreladale and it seems that he had not made a 1st quarter or 2nd quarter tax payment. After this we went to the 3 Dog Hotel and spoke to the owner, Blemarius. As for Frink, he noted that there was about a dozen bottles purchased of the Applejack around that time, but it was fairly unpopular and was eventually discarded after a week or two. Which explained where Kaza the Drunk had come across them.

If the Applejack was the point of contagion and there was no more in town, why was the plague still going on? We did not know and the group wanted to do more investigating – vowing to go to Frink’s tomorrow and get some information.

Ludwig and Detheron went to the Grey Raven Hospice and tended the 5 terminal cases there this day. THEN, they went to what was referred to as “stage 7” sufferers of which there were 10 – and cured 3 of them there. Father Beerdrinker was overjoyed and every now healed townsfolk spoke highly of both Detheron and Ludwig and the Sundered Chains.

Meanwhile Norris had gone back to the Alchemist Morei’s with some spirits and some food and without using magic, seduced the flustered elven touched woman and spent the night with her. Oh yeah, Bard’s in action.

We awoke the next day, broke our fast, studies, prayed, and left about 8 AM. We left through Doggate and knew it was going to take some time slogging to get there, estimating 3 hours or so and we wanted to go nowhere near Kreladale. Around 11:30 we arrived at what was Frink’s homestead. It was quiet, and appeared that the place had fallen to disrepair. Some of the split rail fence had fallen down; the thatch on part of the roof was bowed in, and there was much churned up dirt near the front yard. Behind the home was a stand of 4 apple trees, their bounty hanging low and fallen across the ground.

We checked over the place – there were two obvious structures connected to one another. The eastern one was the distillery and it was dusty and not touched for months. There were bins filled with old remains of apples and other fruits and it was obvious that the labels about the place matched the one we had gotten from the Hadrow home.

One of the bins did have some withered brown apples that when looked at with some detection, also did glow with a faint, faint, faint aura. The same as the applejack. But not the same as the apples in the trees or anywhere else.

We fanned out, looking in both places, the western structure being the family home and we found Frink and three other very decayed bodies here. He had obviously died and so did the others here according to Detheron at least half a year ago or more. In our search we DID find an important clue, a map drawn by Frink himself showing Kreladale, his homestead, and west from here a place identified as “Glittercap” with the word Apples scrawled under it and circled.

We gathered up our belongings, took what we needed, at a fast lunch, and headed off westward towards the place marked on the map. It was while we were walking that we heard the rumble and the ground was shaking. And behind us in the badlands, churning along like a shark’s fin, something was pacing us. What was it? When we stopped, it stopped. When we walked, it followed. Damn – the legend of Razorclaw was real?

Norris told us we needed to get to stone and get there fast as it would follow our steps and it was a bit of a run to the nearest outcropping. So he whistled up a fast ditty and summoned a kobold. Who he then told to run towards Razorclaw at a tangent. The kobold did and the party waited a moment to see if the creature did chase the kobold before running ourselves.

We ran fast and watched behind us as the earth churned up around the kobold who screamed and then we saw it – a huge 8’ tall, 20’ long sharp clawed monster burst from the ground and devour the summoned kobold. Sonofacrap – a Bullette!

We ran on as the bullet gave chase and Norris tried to summon another decoy for us but summoned a Manes demon instead that immediately attacked Guyus (the paladin!). The two of them apologized to each other and then the battle was on. The Bullette was huge and it assaulted the group quickly, knocking a few of them to the ground and biting about with wild abandon. Ludwig almost lost an arm and we hacked and stabbed and tore at the creature until it slumped over and died.

From here we rested, healed up, and took some trophies from the dead Bullette before readying ourselves once more to head off towards Glittercap.