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.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Meet 18, Adv 1, 12/1/12

At one point the group had decided to send the 1st level paladin to ride alone across the country side in the dark to a cave and throw in the bag of Hadesnium. It seemed like a good idea at first until I started rolling for wandering monsters. I use the 1st ed DMG for my resolutions, and this was in the back where I encountered two monsters: 1st was 5 large spiders - which our erstwhile paladin fled from and the 2nd was a single troll.

The spiders he could outrun on the horse but by the time the troll was resolved, his horse was tired and could do nothing more than trot (barely) - which meant the troll could/should be able to eat and devour him. With the interest in Hobbit running strong as it was coming out in a few weeks, I decided to play a single game of "riddle" with him. Something I hadn't done in a very long time.

Long and short I would have killed the character if he did not answer the riddle correctly. Really - chomp chomp gulp. Instead I did have the troll give him a "magic sword" with dubious ability and usefulness. This is a lynch pin item that will come up as time goes on, and the paladin will be both happy and frustrated as hell with the "sword".

Write up follows:

It was Birthmonth the 3rd around 4 PM when we had mounted up, gathered our charges and belongings, and headed back to Shakun. For the most part the trip was without issue; however there was a single instance where the horses had been on edge and our ranger, Chase, informed us that wolves were shadowing our party. However as we were 10 in number and imposing, the pack (small) kept their distance and we left them behind without issue.
It was around 7 when we returned to Shakun and our first visit (after taking care of Johan, Codron, and Thrish) was to go to the Herbalist and immediately talk to her about the Hadesnium and what we had learned. Sure enough, the iridescent ground up mineral was the poisonous substance and we needed to get rid of it quickly. Where? How?
Fergus stepped up to the plate and offered to ride it out to one of the nearest caves and throw the bag of Hadesnium in it. It was not the best situation, but it would have to do. Before he left, we did some tests on the mineral and verified that it was NOT magical and the detection of poison did not identify it either (although strangely enough, both Enthir and the Herbalist did show themselves to be slightly poisoned). Lastly, the herbalist kept a small portion of the mineral in a thin lead container and would be keeping it sealed and away – but available should the group need it for any reason in the future.
Fergus then took his deadly bundle and ran out into the twilight, on the back of his steed and travelling with as much haste as possible. The cave he was looking for was over 2 miles from town and off the western road somewhere to the south. He had scouted it with Chase earlier in the week and had a fairly good idea on where to find it.
During his ride off the road though he ran afoul of some rather large spiders. Closer to 3’ tall they chased him and his mount for a while until he outdistanced them, pushing his steed to maintain a full gallop longer than expected. Winded and lathered, they arrived at the cavern – a cleft in the earth that went down at least 40’ with no signs of inhabitants. He tossed the bag in and then continued his ride, this time not back the way he came but more circuitous to avoid the spiders.
The horse could not keep a pace faster than a slow trot so Fergus let it have its head, a torch lit and held high in his hands. It was then he heard a voice in the gloom call out, “Traveler? Where are you going?” A feeling washed over him as he detected evil and it was a slick greenish miasma in his mind. Damn it – alone in the darkness on a tired horse and something was pacing him.
He bandied back and forth with whatever it was and it wanted to eat either him (juicy sweet!) or his horse – either one was ok. As Fergus tried to ride on and avoid conversation it grew wroth and hurled rocks and insults – some of the stones were VERY large, maybe 9 or 10 inches across. It said its name was Forthan and wanted to riddle with Fergus. If he guessed it– he would be allowed to ride on without issue. If he did not, Forthan would eat him OR his horse!
Fergus could not risk riding the horse any faster and the stones would lame the beast if he tried to run. So he stopped and agreed but only if Forthan would sweeten the deal. So the figure said he would throw in a magic sword as well. Really? It stepped closer into the light and brandished a blade shouting “Magic sword” and the sword burst into bright blue fiery light. The figure Forthan was a 9’ tall rangy and green skinned troll! The paladin swallowed with worry, knowing that the troll could devour him should it get close enough.
The riddle went, “Made of stone or wood or brass, iron, copper, gold or glass. A little man or beast or tree. Frozen for eternity.”Fergus was nervous for a while but within the 5 minute time frame he said, “Statue?” – and Forthan sighed and tossed him the sword – warning him he should go and go now while the troll could still remember his promise.
Fergus rode off and eventually reached the road and returned to Shakun, alive but terrified over his solo ordeal.
Meanwhile the rest of the group had gone to Castle Canastal and met with Baron Taugis, filling the nobleman in on the situation to date as well as the threat of Hadesnium. We talked for a while and came away with some resolutions: 1) no one was to go back to the “dragon cave” and upset either the goblins within or the dragon that was there. 2) The party should go the cavern where Malven was and rescue the elves within. A reward of 100 crowns would be paid for the saving of the elves there. Finally a missive would be sent to Woodhelven, detailing the situation and asking them for aid or the possible use of any dragon slayers that might be in the area.
From there we then returned to the herbalist who had an elixir for Enthir to drink (to help combat the radiation illness) and to ask where we could learn about who locally would grow Yarrow. It was a very specific plant that required care to nurture and the goblins did need it. It was hinted that someone maybe here near Shakun was selling/trading it to the goblins or goblin benefactors and we wanted to know who it was and how to interrupt it. She said there were maybe 4-5 people and would research it for us.
The party went back to the Hall of Heroes where the tucked in for the night and made ready to ride off to the last goblin cave tomorrow morn.
We awoke early on the 4th, broke our fast, and left by 9 AM, deciding NOT to take the stable boy or the fighters this time. It was a long walk to the last cavern and we didn’t get there until just after 2 in the afternoon. There were some tribal markings on the hill as well as a standard that Chase assured us was that of a goblin tribe or clan of growing strength. The cave opening was obvious and we noted lots and lots of … chicken feathers. All over the hilltop. In addition, there was scat, which Flimflam told us was most likely goat.
Fist’al went in and checked out the entrance – steep steps went down some 20’ into the earth and then opened to a larger area that eventually sloped away. He followed it for a while but disturbed some stones on the ground and in the slope they clattered for a time until stopping and then he heard a tapping sound from below. Tap..tap..tap-tap-tap. Not wanting to make any noise he returned to the surface and filled us in on the situation. We all went in next, this time with light and torches.
There were lots of marking on the walls and we guessed over 40 goblins marked the area. There were also some strange goat like symbols on the wall, half a dozen of them. On the wall were 3 large oaken doors, each with a wheel mounted to the 4 corners – making them into a large but crude cart. We left the doors on the wall and travelled down.
We arrived at an area where stones had been scattered across the floor, making it a simple method for announcing that intruders were coming. How to get past? We opted for bedrolls laid across the rocks and then walking across the bedrolls. We did hear the tapping eventually from below again, tap..tap..tap-tap-tap. This time we responded the same pattern along the wall and goblin voices called from below (in goblin) that were we the supplies? Flimflam answered, “yes!” and we were invited down.
It was on getting closer that the situation became obvious to the goblins and one of them made to run, leaving only a 3 count to face us as well as a goblin camp dog. We hit the goblins swiftly and took them out while Marcus hit another one with a Charm spell and we had another goblin friend and font of information. He was Goelarid and told us that Malven was here. He was a follower of Hades and he had other priests/shamans as well. There was someplace called the “temple” and another place called “the elf room” but both were far inside.
It was then that we decided to try and lure the goblins outside and some of the party was heading up the slope to leave when they heard noises of rumbling from above and goblin voices cheering as they came in our direction fast. Goelarid informed us that it was the supplies and the group readied weapons to surprise the slope riding visitors.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Meet 17, Adv 1, 11/17/12

Not sure when I wanted the group to learn about the goblins in the area and their larger over-reaching goals, but it did come up this meeting from a friendly socialist goblin with an eastern European accent and a willingness to talk (after the damned Charm spell hit him). So this filled in some of the gaps in their knowledge of the area - including the biggie - Hadesnium is the equivalent of Plutonium (Hades = Pluto) and the gobbos are mining it here. In an old Blue Dragon Cave.

The same cave that a group of RL friends had adventured in and defeated the original dragon some 18 years ago in the really real world.

I like to tie in my world and how it grows to the history that the players around the table have affected it - it gives it a growing tapestry of history that no amount of pre-writing could ever achieve.

Now they have to figure out how to combat what seems to be radiation sickness in the party's elven wizard. :)

Write up follows:

The party spent the rest of the day outfitting themselves for another trip to the nearest caves: torches, spikes, ropes, even some goodberries prepped for impromptu healing along the way. What was discussed was which cave to hit and we opted to go for the one that ALSO was marked on the dubious map as an old dragon lair with 50 million gold pieces to be found within. The truth was we were not expecting to find anything along that line but figured that this cavern would be the better choice.
The herbalist was then consulted and Flimflam spent some time going over the many ingredients we had brought back, selling the bulk of it for a tidy profit.
On the morning of the 3rd of Birthmonth, we noted that Enthir seemed sick – the elven mage was drawn and pale. Blaming it on poor sleep we did what we could to get ready and wanted to bring a stablehand to watch the horses for us while we were in the caves. This led us to hiring Johan to watch the steeds – 15 years old and mostly elbows, the stable master was to be paid 10 commons for the single day or 25 commons for 2 days of taking Johan with us. We agreed and the young man was told to get ready.
That led us to the next point – do we need to hire someone to keep the stable boy alive? We went to the guildhall and spoke with Zarik for a bit, eventually him authorizing us the use of two of his students: Codron and Thrish (19 and 17 respectively). We noted what they had for equipment and outfitted most of them with shields and padded armor from our stores as well as a few weapons to augment what they had. And on the 3rd of Birthmonth at 10 AM we set off.
The map was accurate in the distances to get to the caves as well as a number of the landmarks along the way. It was when we arrived at the hilly area to the west of the ancient battleground that we took our time and eventually located to goblin lair. A thick scree of vegetation had been grown over the cave mouth and we would need to spend some time clearing it away before entering.
We took Codron, Thrish, and Johan east a few hills and set them up where they would not be easily visible and told them to watch the horses, keep each other safe, and no let themselves be caught by goblins. With that we returned to the cavern and began working our way in, 2:30 in the afternoon. We expected 3 and a half hours of day light and wanted to explore some now and then if need be, leave and come back again tomorrow @ sun up.
The entrance was strange , canted roughly 25 degrees into the base of the hill and was oval at 15’ in width and maybe 10’ in height. Also odd gouges ran along the right wall, half a thumb’s depth into the limestone and over 15’ in length. There was some goblin sign in the area, but it was about half what we had seen at the other cave which made the party confident.
However the cavern went down over 300’ which was NOT at all expected and we deduced that the cavern although might be goblinoid now, was not originally – lending credence to the fact the original inhabitant might have been draconic in nature.
The cavern eventually opened to a decent sized natural chamber with 3 passages out of here that had been outfitted with a frame and door. Fergus let us know that the area had a low aura of evil upon it but nothing distinctive, and there was a metallic smell to the air. We spent time over the three passages and decided that the 1st one on the southern wall was the proper place to start. It opened to reveal a corridor that T’d to the left and right. The left went maybe 12 paces and turned to the south, while the right went as far as torch and infravision could see with some sort of fading foot prints on the floor. There was a door catty-corner across the hall.
We opted to go across the hall and investigate. Goblin voices on the other side. Weapons at the ready we broke in and took them down with spell swiftly. Binding them up we made sure the rest of the doors were locked and them spoke to one of them who identified himself as Umgarth. He spoke goblinish fine and understood Common as well and he was a font of information – especially after Marcus whacked him with a Charm Person spell.
The cave here was used for mining, of a mineral called Hadesnium. What did it do? What DIDN’T it do was the way Umgarth explained it. In the dark it glowed faintly purple and greenish and was a primary component in many of the goblin machineries made. Also it was ground up fine and added to the goblinwater. It also had the tendency to make weaker people feel sick, get pale, their hair fall out, and get strange growths across their bodies. The party began to feel ill after hearing this and Enthir was particularly worried.
As for the cave, it was the cave of a Blew. Blew? You know, blue dragon. Was an egg, hatched some time ago, been eating Hadesnium and getting bigger. So wait - there was a DRAGON here in this cave right now? Umgarth nodded vigorously and told us where to find the dragon – literally around the corner and through a door.
The goblins were using three caves in the area: one for mining Hadesnium – there are other sites of it, but this one (even though VERY close to Shakun) has been a decent source for them for the last few years and the Duuk Sarithian goblin lords did not want to abandon it as of yet. A second cave was where the goblinwater was being actually finished brewing and a goblin alchemist named Bonalak was handling it. Again, close to Shakun because supposedly there were some herbs that needed to be grown under special circumstances and Bonalak was trading with local non-goblin personages to get them. The last cave was a bit away from here and was headed by a goblin priest named Malven.
Malven’s claim to fame was the fact that they had roughly 5 elves there and Malven would ritually stab them in the heart, milk their dying blood for the goblinwater ritual, and then have them healed, brought back to health, and then a few days later the process repeated. Needless to say the elves in the party were horrified to hear this.
We decided to leave the Blew Cavern and then make our way back to our young men and then march out to the Malven cave and free the elves currently held there.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Meet 16, Adv 1, 11/3/12

This wrapped up the goblin cavern and answered some of the problems the group had come across earlier in the campaign. The issue with this campaign is three fold:

1) There are 8 players around the table. This is 2 more than my upper optimal positioning and because of that (even when people don't show), the momentum is difficult to get going some times.

2) The sandbox format for this group isn't working. Some groups respond well to sandbox, some respond well to rails and guides - this group is not a sandbox group. With no defining direction and too many trailing ends to grab at, the party has floundered everywhere with no direction. I am wrapping up this piece of it (3 goblin caves) and then establishing guides and rails to keep the party grounded.

3) Too much chaos. The party had a few members @ the onset who were having a great time doing the equivalent of running around naked yelling like a firetruck and this had us effectively slide off whatever path we wanted as a party at least 3 times and flounder about.

Not a problem - problems identified, solutions in place. As for this meeting, the group did enjoy some thinking and out thinking of the dwindling goblin forces.

Write up follows:

We burst into the next room, swords up and at the ready. It was some sort of barracks – the back corner of the room had been mounded with wooden pallets and mattresses, 2 goblins positioned behind with spears bristling outward. Two other goblins were charging out of the room to the west, legs pumping as they hastened down the corridor. Sparing the fleeing goblins only a brief glance, Fergus and Tempi hit the barricade with sword and trident. It shifted but held, with the paladin actually striking the goblin behind. The blow felt odd and when he withdrew his trident something spattered against his armor with a hiss.
Meanwhile arrows began flying DOWN the corridor towards us, clothyard goblin shafts striking around us and harrying our movements. A few shots were returned but the range was great and we could not see our opponent. Fergus was yelling as he tried to cool his heating armor and Flimflam was racing there with torch in hand, showing that some sort of greenish ooze was eating the paladin’s armor as well as the pallet and mattress barricade that had been set up. Tempi tried to douse the ooze but only succeeded in getting Fergus damp. We had to get his armor off as the slime was spreading.
Dagger in hand, he cut the leather straps holding the breastplate in place and hurled it away, vambraces and greaves following. The metal continued to smoke and was eventually eaten by the slime. As for the goblins behind the barrier, torch light revealed them to be dummies.
Unable to actually hit the distant goblins in the dark a torch was hurled there, showing the corridor sloping “down” some 15 paces, leveling out, and then sloping “up” on the other side – with 4 goblins there with bows. A few members ran back to the corner to watch for possible back attacks while the rest shot more arrows at the goblins, dropping one and making the rest flee.
We did our best to clean ourselves up and lamented the loss of Fergus’ armor – the paladin only wearing the padded underarmor for the time being. We then took two of the padded mattresses to use as impromptu tower shields (for arrows at least – some cover!) and retreated back the way we came to the eating area (we did not want to go down the sloping corridor). No goblins had come this way and Fergus was no longer to feel their evil emanations – either too far or rock/stone in the way.
We once again moved the table and buckets of urine and went down the corridor until we came to a room. Fairly sizable, it was some sort of market areas with counters, tables, and display racks – although almost all of it was empty. No goblins anywhere. We cautiously looked around until we spied upon a concealed door along the west wall. We cracked it slightly and a breeze was blowing our way. Fergus “felt” for evil and had a muted result through the narrow crack. This was it.
We opened it and saw that it was a cramped corridor, maybe 4 ½ feet tall and 2’ wide. It would not be possible for Tempi to go through easily (if at all) and Fergus would also have an issue or two. The rest of the party should fit. There was some trepidation as we noted there were goblins somewhere down the narrow cleft. We were drawn into a conversation with them and some back and forth followed until someone did something and a sleep spell hit the end of the corridor – and then radiated out amongst us – but due to circumstance, cover, and race – only Flimflam and Whosea were actually put to sleep!
Chase ordered us to be quiet and we all froze, weapons out and ready. The door was blocked by the mattresses and we listened to the slapping sounds of goblin feet as they crept closer. Three? Four? Who knew –but when they came within range we fell upon 1st one with arrows and steel – dropping him and sending the remaining greenskins fleeing back down the passage. With a snarl we gave chase. Fist’al and Marcus were first down the corridor, with Chase right behind. The rest of the party dragged the goblin out of the corridor and beat him to a pulp before trying to follow (only Flimflam and Enthir staying behind – asleep and trying to wake up the enchanted sleeping guy).
We charged through the dark, Fist’al’s infravision more than enough for the elf to see but Chase was charging blind, relying on his ranger skills and hearing to guide him. The scout saw 3 goblins running away and as they ran (eventually down a slope in the corridor), they hurled anything they could back at him – one of which was a bola that the elf snagged and whirled himself as he chased.
The ranger was running VERY fast, and quickly caught up to Fist’al and then passed him, sword scything back and forth as he charged, the elven scout trying to guide him as he ran. He did catch a goblin with the blade, slowing it down and Fist’al brained him with the bola. They were forced to jump and duck, the sloping corridor leveled out to a pool with a faint glow coming from it. We saw the goblins clearly and Chase barreled another one down as he tried to get the last fleeing one. It was the scout and his handy bola that actually tripped the goblin up, allowing the ranger to make a fast dispatch. Meanwhile, Marcus was making sure the bodies strewn behind were down and dead with fast thrusts as he ran along.
We had heard a number of remaining goblins clamoring to“get going!” and we came to an area where the cave opened to a large grotto. Some sort of chime and workshop area filled the left side, but the north end of the cave had a ring of mushrooms there, Bob the goblin carpenter straddling the circle with a pouch in his grasp and hand upraised, and the last few goblins (one of which we assumed was still Bonalak) running for the mushroom ring.
A single arrow shot out and hit Bob, making him gasp, and open his clenched fist – which dropped something and the mushroom ring flared briefly to phosphorous light and the goblins in the ring were gone – including half of Bob! The last goblin dropped to his knees and begged forgiveness and the group trussed him up.
During this time Tempi and Fergus had thought that there was another way OUT of the cave and had run back to the entrance – but after 10 minutes, decided they were mistaken and came back down. As for Flimflam and Enthir, they too joined the group down the narrow concealed corridor and eventually the grotto.
We spent some time looking over the grotto. The area to the left was a work area that had a variety of strange and interesting items on it. Herbs, powders, elixirs – eventually it was deduced that this was various raw ingredients in a series of stages for goblinwater. One of the items that we did discover though was something that was not on the herbalist’s list – and that was blood. Flimflam spent a longer than normal time looking over the blood and assured us it was collected from the heart itself – as evidenced by the coloring of it. There was something else bothering the gnome about it but he kept his council to himself. As for the other ingredient, it was an iridescent dust of some unknown origin – something we’d have to look into at some point.
As for the chimes, Fist’al assured us they were trapped. There were not mounted to the ceiling – but instead went INTO the ceiling – most likely onto some counterweight or balance. The chimes were a mass of brass and silver design and rung softly in the unseen breeze that seemed to originate from this chamber.
We then went to the pond that was glowing and looked it over. As long as there was a light source in the room, the water was normal and the rocks at the bottom were simple cracked and veiny looking mix of limestone covering basalt. It was when the light was removed that the water took on an eldritch look. There were green and purple faerie light coming from the cracks in the stone – and that was diffusing through the water and making it appear to have that glow. We didn’t know what it was and decided to leave it alone.
From here it was -do we screw with the chimes? It was decided on yes – but on Fist’al was going to stay – the rest of the group ran back to the market room at the top of the slope and the elf eventually triggered the chimes. A roaring wind took place and a strange rumbling – water was rushing along and Fist’al charged up the slope until he managed to halt his back slide into the water by aid of a trusty thrown rope. Once out a short time later the water seemed to have disappeared and he chanced going back down – seeing everything as it was (no bodies!) except of the 5 chimes – only 4 were making noise now. Deciding to avoid any possible issues he left and we all grabbed some of the sludgy goblin petroleum oil and then made our way back to Shakun.
At the gate we were told that Baron Taugis was interested in meeting with us but we opted to go home and clean up first, eventually going to Castle Canastal @ 4:15 and meeting with the baron and his councilors. We talked about what we had done, the goblinwater, Bonalak, and the disrupted goblin activity barely 3 miles from town. We were given 100 crowns for our efforts and then commissioned to find this Bonalak and bring him in – 300 crown alive, 150 crown if dead. We took the job and then Flim Flam was knighted for the group’s effort in doing what they’ve done as of late and we returned to the Hall of Heroes where we talked about going to one of the other goblin caves (there were 2) next and hit them now while we have momentum and they would not be expecting it.