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

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Meet 158, Adv 13, 2/4/12

Gang or group fighting is reminiscent of most original fantasy and for this meeting the party was on the receiving end of it. Attacked by hordes of goblins or kobolds is expected now and again, but these were Grylians - a hybrid tiger/humanoid creature I had used years ago. Standing almost 7' tall, 300 lbs, no movement penalty in snow, 15 AC, +3 strength, +7 to Initiative, 5+5 hit dice, 3 natural weapons or two attacks with a prepared one, and capable of using the Grylian long bow that packs a punch similar to a crossbow. The group was being dropped left and right but managed to prevail at the end.

Write up follows:

Thurin positioned Pop (still invisibly) near the base of the spiral stairs going higher into the citadel, about 15’ from the dead Frost Giant, relying on the familiar to let him know if anyone came closer to investigate. Meanwhile Draugmor and Guyus continued their checking out of the main floor chambers. From the “barracks” room there was another doorway, which opened to reveal a combination washing room as well as barracks for another 10 Grylians. There was an alcove in the left side of the chamber which had a larger “sleeping” area, 4 or 5 fur blankets deep. The reek of urine and Grylian was very strong from it.

Draugmor wanted to check it out and see if there was anything there for it, but was fearful or repercussions or traps or anything. He spent a long time checking it out before daring to even move the first sleeping fur.

Meanwhile, Pop informed Thurin that there were Grylians coming closer and sure enough, the Frost giant’s head lolled to the side. Thurin let the rest of the group know and Aleron loaded up his Grylian long bow while the mage and dwarf readied their own long range weapons.

Detheron had come into the room with Guyus and the thief and after a short Detection, revealed no magic in the area. We did notice though that his spell had the room suddenly radiating warmth – and the warmth stayed. The druid informed us of “something” coming on the stairs and the party went back to the hall together.

Guyus was able to feel 3 sources of evil and they were just on the other side of the giant and the curve of the stairs. We drew up into battle formation and then crept forward slowly, anticipating the battle to come.

And then we were shot in the back. Grylian arrows flew across the foyer from the MAIN DOOR, where we were not looking, skewing Detheron and knocking the druid down, and also bouncing off Thurin’s ensorcelled clothing and mage armor.

And then the front facing Grylians fired at the group, dropping Gwyn from the impact of the bow, the shaft penetrating his throat. The next two leaped into the group, closing to melee range with Guyus and Draugmor. More arrows were shot and this time Aleron was struck, the ranger reeling from the impact. Guyus summoned his war steed and had it try to kick the Grylian grappling with him free but it failed, kicking Guyus instead.

A 6th Grylian tore into the fight, wielding a large tooth like a dagger. It leapt into Aleron, buried the knife in the ranger’s chest, and dropped him to the ground and 0 hp. Smokey was directed into the fight and the bear went toe to toe with the tooth wielding Grylian, wounding him deeply. To keep the party from getting shot from behind, Detheron called on Frey to fill the hall with a fog cloud, dropping visibility to nothing. Thurin moved to the side and his around the corner.

The battle slowly turned as most of us were able to stand up and fight the Grylians back. The leader type leapt away from the fight and down the stairs to the basement while the one on the stairs retreated back up. We waited, no one else jumped out to attack, so the party rested and bound up their wounds. The arrow in Gwyn’s neck was removed and Aleron was revived with some of the last healing we had. According to Detheron more than half the party was below half hit points and we had no healing of any note remaining.

As for the Grylian down the stairs, attempts to stick our nose past the steps resulted in arrows shot up at us. Guyus played chicken for a bit and a light spell covered stone was thrown down there, followed by his steed – but it resulted in nothing except for his horse falling over and the light stone being taken and brought elsewhere.

Pop was guarding the stairs and told us often that the stairs smells of Grylian and the weasel was convinced it was at the stairs top. We checked out the rest of the floor, finding nothing. We kept an ear out for Norris and Mebali who did return with the sled and our firewood. The group decided to hole up here, in the citadel. We would use the armory room and bar the door.

It was a fretful night but we awoke the next day and ventured out. The Grylians were nowhere around and we looked about, finding prints in the snow showing that they had left during the night (4-8 of them by our count). The citadel also didn’t seem as cold today.

From here we explored the structure for the next 6 hours from basement to 3rd floor. We found a torture room, stores, barracks that would allow 25 Grylians to sleep, a shrine to Thrym with something missing (according to the giant/dwarven runes, something that was called a “Thrymian Engine” – some sort of relic that would be housed here), larder, kitchen, workshop, a few hidey-holes, Njor’s chambers, a records room, and a few other points of interest. We did discover a map of Freysteig denoting cities, Snorri’s Pipe, a river (called the Gullinflow), a lake, and 3 or 4 locations that had the same symbology as Njor’s Citadel on the map – making us think there might be 3 other citadels out there.

One of the last things we found was writing called the Deed of Yngvi:

On the lee of Snorri’s Pipe
She was borne to
Sleeping Giantess with
Flaxen hair of gold.

She called aloud
To that who was her Grandfather
The Morninglord did answer
Clear as the Gjallar’s call.

She wrestled Gylfang
And wounded she was.
But with the belt of Gullin
She smote him down.

The maker of Runes
Met Yngvi at the shore
And took her there
To where Heimdall waited.

With proof of her deed
Bifrost did open
Beyond where Sutur’s scion
Wait for Ragnarok.

By the deed of Yngvi
The Rainbow bridge
Holds prism firm and open
To all who blow the trumpet.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Meet 157, Adv 13, 1/28/12

Taking out the big guys.

It was a two meeting hunt and destroy mission but the group did take out the Frost Giant eventually. It required all their skills and a goodly bit of luck to make it happen, but they did prevail. Giants, Dragons, and the ilk are special to me when the characters face them mostly because it should be something memorable. It's not something that should be measured like a tally mark (ie orcs, kobolds, etc...) but something that they group remembers and notes as a poignant perioed in their progression as characters.

Write up follows:

We gathered together and healing was dispensed, bringing most of us back to full or a close as we could get it. From there we approached the walls of Njor citadel, Guyus feeling ahead for any sensations of evil – encountering none.

The outer walls were 30’ tall and the main gateway was closed with a dropped portcullis of heavy wooden bars, the double doors beyond still open. There was a huge courtyard of slicked icy snow pounded flat and featureless. No one walked around the expanse of ground but we assumed that through the many arrow slits in the citadel itself our approach to the walls was watched with care.

We stayed near the side of the gateway, staying out from under the overhang of the barbican above, very away of the fanciful carved nooks and hollows above were actually disguised murder holes. We wanted to get in but to do it swiftly before the frost giant could regroup or the Grylians could find us. Norris called upon his bardic skill and sung up a charm making the entire group invisible.

While we were talking about how to get in exactly Guyus felt the approach of two evil creatures walking above. We stayed quiet and the paladin informed the party that they were in the barbican above. We needed to make them move. He summoned his war steed and there was excited noise from the Grylians above. Something was dumped down the holes and it splattered on the animal as Guyus sent it racing away from the citadel. Some of the liquid also hit his leg greave and he heard it hiss.

We watched the war steed run for a bit until it seemed lamed from the liquid eating at its hind quarters. Then some arrows were shot at it and we heard the giant on top of the citadel 80’ up shout his frustration. Guyus made his steed fade away as it was staggering and just before the thrown boulder smashed into where it was once standing.

The Grylians and Njor talked for a bit and we deduced that they were wondering what happened to us (we were invisible). The portcullis was raised about 12’ and locked in place. And we waited. Njor and the Grylians on the roof disappeared from view and the two in the barbican remained there. Our plan was for Draugmor to climb the wall in one place and the rest of us would sneak in through the open portcullis. If possible, lock the gate open.

We crept in slow, the party all holding hand to shoulder while the elven thief scaled the wall. One by one we all made it past the open bars and around to the courtyard. The yard was very slick, the packed snow making footing treacherous. We stayed at a slow pace as we wound about. The call was made to probably follow the inner wall and make the long circuitous way to the citadel entrance itself.

Meanwhile, Draugmor made it to the parapet top without issue, looked right toward the barbican and saw the two Grylians there. However, near the stairs top here was another one. He froze. When an opportunity came he tried to make it to the stairs and down to the courtyard but came to close to the Grylian who whirled and slashed the air, nicking the thief’s ear and causing him to bleed. Draugmor took the steps at two at a time, leaving a trail of blood drops behind him. He leapt from the steps off the side and hurled a handful of blood away from him. Then he used his cloak pressed hard to the side of his skull and doubled back to the wall near the stairs.

The Grylian was hissing in its language loudly and excitedly and it attracted Njor back to the top of the citadel. He hurled a rock at the area the Grylian commented about and it churned up ice while a few arrows were shot about – nothing hitting anywhere near Draugmor who had gotten away from the area.

The giant jumped from the citadel top, the snow catching him and breaking his fall. He strode to the area while three more Grylians came from the citadel’s door and others were massing along the parapet walls. The group was inside the walls but frozen and invisible, not trusting out ability to not be seen. We needed to do something and do it fast.

And then Detheron decided for us. He pointed up to the sky and called another one of his ready lightning bolts from the clouds above. It arced down and blasted into Njor with the fury of Frey. The giant roared in fury, his voice shaking the snow. Thurin shouted out a hold person spell and froze three of the Grylians near the citadel entrance. The party snapped forward, bows firing as we took advantage of our invisibility and surprise on the unsuspected giants and Grylians.

It did not last long and the Grylians unheld began to take the stairs hard and race towards us. Njor, his beard smoking, grew wroth at Detheron and made to strike him. Another hold person went out and stopped another swath of the Grylians. A called lighting obliterated another Grylian and Njor was forced to back up. The frost giant called out a shout and erected a wall of ice between the group and him. Detheron was shot with an errant arrow and fell down in pain. He had his tiger, Jerrig, drag him to safety behind the wall while the rest of us tried to get to the giant and not get pegged anymore from the Grylians.

Unable to see for sure Detheron called another one of his dwindling supply of lightning bolts from above, slamming it down where he thought the giant was. He missed a direct shot but did manage to burst a large section of the wall. Njor shoved the teetering ice wall forward and it fell about the party. A large piece was hurled at the group and finally Draugmor and Guyus got within melee range. The thief tried a poisoned dagger at the giant’s back but missed horrible getting buffeted in the process. Guyus charged by leaping onto his summoned steed and plowing into the giant. Njor gave one more blow at the party and then ran for the citadel itself, once more in retreat (this time down to ¼ hit points!!!). We tried to slow him down but were unable to as he made it through the door and fled again.

Furious now we polished off the last of the held Grylians out here and stayed behind the wall for cover while more healing was dispensed. A new plan was hatched in which Detheron was going to make a huge fog cloud to block the courtyard and we would sneak upon the door of the citadel. Once inside we would take the fight to the giant and finish him once and for all. Not anticipating much left arranged against us, Mebali (still invisible) and Norris was told to return to the Dritka wood and return with the sled ASAP and get back here before sunset.

The fog cloud was summoned and Aleron and Smokey made their way first towards the citadel door, the bear’s strength to be used to smash the door open. A long corridor was there, leading to a foyer or some sort. Murder holes were on both sides of the corridor. Guyus let us know there was only “evil” on the right side.

Using his Illumination wand, Draugmor fired a sunflare through the murderholes on that side and blinded whoever was in there. And then we charged in. Coming out of the right hand side were three dazzled Grylians and Aleron plowed into them, sword and dagger working end over end. Njor appeared from the stairs and hurled a boulder at the group, slamming into the lead of the party. The three Grylians ganged up on the ranger, ripping through his chainmail and trying to tear his helmet off. He was bleeding freely from dozens of scratches and was becoming overwhelmed.

Detheron hurled a flaming sphere across the room and it blew up against Njor, the Frost giant screaming horribly as he was burned. Smokey waded in and then arrows and crossbow bolts were shot and the giant fell over with slow ponderance before dying on the stairs. Aleron was saved from the chaotic melee and the battle came to an end.

Once more healing was handed out from our diminishing stores and we checked out the area. The room on the right was an armory with bows, stone axes, and many of the obsidian javelin sized arrows as well as a barrel of arrow heads.

We also looked over some of the floor and discovered a barracks with sleeping area for 10 Grylians and a cloakroom. We were going to check out a fourth chamber before ending it for the night.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Meet 156, Adv 13, 1/21/12

This was the party's first encounter with a giant - something which I think is just to the north of their ability to handle. It was a singular frost giant and he had a 4 count of archers with him to help him out. Plus the battle started with very few of us in melee range. As expected the conflict did not go well for the group - the giant able to dish out tremendous damage.

He did turn a retreat at half damage and stayed behind his walls while the group debated their next action.

Write up follows:

When it came time to leave, the party had some concerns and before you knew it, the decision was made to stay in Caroon with the Dritka for the next unforeseen number of days. During that time we had Mebali work on a sled for us to drag as well as a number of travois for us to drag behind us. The weather stayed cold with little new snow, but the wind was an almost constant.

A small expedition of us went back towards the original battle site, dismayed to find only bloody snow and no sign of the Grylians that we had fought there. We were very close to Njor citadel and decided to leave the area for now to avoid alerting them to our presence.

As for wood, we had made many trips to the Dritka Woods with the locals where we found not only more than enough wood for our needs, but a curious situation regarding the local animals. We thought about hunting and a few rabbits just came up to us – and stayed there as we killed them. This happened well over a dozen times until even a deer or two showed up. Very odd!

At that point Norris went venturing deeper into the wood where he had the sudden desire to drop to his knees and become food for a tiger. What the hell? He shook himself free of the effect and ran back to us where we all gathered what we could and headed back to Caroon.

It wasn’t until Detheron and Smokey had chanced into the woods later that the same thing happened – except with a Speak with Animal spell going, Detheron was able to hear all the deer and rabbit talk about “How it’s just my time to die, you know? I should just go to this bear here and let him kill me.” After the bear had gorged himself on the local we gathered up the bodies and headed back to the stone township.

Mebali worked on the sled while Draugmore and Norris made a decent fire pit and smoke house – smoking as much of the meat as he could on drying racks so we would have meat to last us for a while. Detheron did chance a trip into the wood where he was able to use his spells to find the tiger and befriend it.

We continued to avoid trading for sex with the more than willing Dritka.

It was after 3 days or so that we considered us ready and left Caroon, sled behind us being pulled by Smokey. It took about 5 hours to return to the spot and from there we marched onward to the woods and crept closer to the citadel.

Decisions were made and we left the sled and traveled as a group towards the citadel. There was a snow falling and Detheron called to Frey for a call lightning spell, tacking them on one after another in readiness for when we arrived there.

There were 4 Grylians manning the giant walls of the citadel and at about 150’ away, a 15’ tall frost giant strode out. He identified himself as Njor, and wanted to remind the group to back to the Dritka area. Ne noted who we were and our belongings and quickly surmised we were to ones who killed the Grylians. We were told that this was going to be passed on or had been passed on to other Grylians who took their anger out on Dritka in some nearby city.

Conversation broke down fast and the frost giant made the snow under Gwyn shake, lift him up, and like a wave, bring the dwarf towards him in a rippling mountain of snow. The Grylians on the wall fired their uncanny long bows at us and Aleron returned fire. Guyus mounted up on his horse and chased after the flying Gwyn. And then Detheron made the lightning bolts crash down from the sky, one after another. Grylians on the wall were charred and burned while the rest of the party ran forward.

Spells flared and the giant’s mighty axe was devastating as it hew both Guyus and Gwyn. The two fighters returned as best they could. Norris and Thurin both called upon some magic missile spells and stood over Detheron with all their doubles to protect the druid as he stroked the citadel with Frey borne bolts of lightning.

It was dicey for Gwyn and Guyus until Smokey the 12’ tall grizzly finally arrived at the battle line. The bear and the giant hit each other like titans the giant getting the lesser end of the exchange. Eventually the frost giant turned and ran back towards the citadel where the last Grylian on the wall released the portcullis and the rough bars crashed down.