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, December 29, 2013

Meet 52, Adv 3.5, 12/14/13

We didn't get nearly as far as I expected to, but that's quite ok since the group had a decent long encounter with a 5 count of griffons. It was a pretty close fight with one and then one of the griffon's engaging the group - and if a 2nd had joined the fight, it would have most likely resulted in some party deaths.

There is only a few pieces left of this adventure and the group is pretty close on wrapping up the loose ends and training. They only thing they do not have is any disposable income - they are poor and beholden to Baron Ceril Taugis and Shakun.

Next adventure will have some potential riches come their way - but at a cost.

Write up follows:

The group began the longer than normal walk back to Shakun from Mahr’s Tower, thanks to the long train of bound youths as well as skittish horses. We took our time, breaking often for food and to make sure our charges were well cared for and capable of travel. The hours passed regularly until 7 PM when our keep scouts noticed figures some distance away, flying, and coming in our direction. They were large, four legged, and screamed shrilly as they approached.

Griffons. Five of them.

Fergus gave us a fast heads up on our foe, alerting us that any attempt to flee would most likely not work as the griffons could fly faster than we could run, and the presence of 11 horse made it almost impossible that they would just pass on by or be driven off easily.

Marcus whipped out Wipztar’s Libram and consulted it, settling on “Fortify” – which caused a wooden semi-circle palisade to appear, 10’ tall and sharpened on top. Alright – now we had a defensible position to fight from. The youths were situated in the back, closest to the palisade while the strung horses were in front of them. Bows were drawn and readied while we watched the 5 griffons split into 2 sets and wheel around, buying us some more precious time to fill the air with arrows as well as get our people in place.

Then the griffons dived. Spears were readied and a last launching of arrows flashed upward. Sharp talons tore through cloaks and armor, knocked shields aside, and hit the massed horses. Since they were tethered together, it was almost impossible for the griffons to lift the horses over the palisades. One of them actually smashed part of it down, crushing a captured youth in the progress and breaking a horse’s neck. Another managed to clear it…barely, but dragged the tethered horses against the palisade and ripping the ropes off in painful whip-like snaps. The last griffon was unable to clear the top and hit the wall which held – but in the narrow confines of the closed palisades with bound youths and terrified tethered horses.

One of the griffons flew off with another to feed and the last was stopped by Marcus who used Wipztar’s libram and read “Catch”. The power of the book flared and a length of rope sprung from an iron anchor at the elven fighter-wizard’s feet and launched across the area, 110’, to wrap around the griffon’s neck, hawsering the flying beast and stunning it to the ground.

The part massed upon the dropped griffon in the palisade while a few drew themselves up to meet the now angry griffon on the end of the rope that was charging the party. We pulled the last of the 7 horses away from the melee while the lone griffon was dropped with the flat of blades and stunning blows. Then just before it was too late, we drew lines and met the last griffon with sword and steel – Fist’al springing from concealed cover the land on the griffon’s back and put it down with a well placed surprise attack.

We bound wounds swiftly, keeping a keen eye on the distant 3 griffons. Ropes were tied around legs and beaks, and then we trussed them up into travois that we configured out of the palisade pieces and the rope found from the spell’s creation. Then we left, not trusting the distant feeding 3 griffons, taking our captured male and female griffons with us back to Shakun. We worried the rest of the trip, especially after sun set. Our charges were growing weary and we ourselves were not doing much better until we arrived at the walls of the town and hailed the gate guards there.

It was 11:30 when we turned over Dolomys to the militia and then went to Eherego at Exotic Transportation. We settled on 750 crowns for the griffons, along with some training and potential of 1st rites to any chicks that might be born next summer. From there we went ti Higrane and donated and stabled the horses we had brought back before tiredly making our way to the Hall of Heroes at 1 AM to crawl into our beds and get some much needed sleep.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Meet 51, Adv 3.5, 12/7/13

For all the action and resolution that went on this meeting, the highlight of it all was the final conversation with Goblinfour - the prisoner we had captured.

He was lawful-evil and I played his alignment pretty straight on. But when it came time to wrapping it up and ha wanted to be let go for working with the party - we had our first major alignment disconnect with this group. It was arraigned with Fergus, Auri, and Ben on one side, with Marcus, Fist'al and Flimflam on the other - on the age old question - let him go vs. kill 'em and move on.

Since it was not during battle and the implied end result was that he would be freed upon completion, the consensus was that killing him would be murder. The two elves were very adamant that goblins, if the roles were reversed, would not hesitate to kill them. It was very touch and go, but the group did settle on letting Goblinfour free to return to his people.

Both sides had merit and this was one of those times where the players actually role-played around the table this entire situation and the aftermath - for over and hour and a half.

Write up follows:

The figures rode down the valley towards the tower and the group’s hidden place inside the ruined smithy. There were 12 of them, human, on horseback. They wore a motley of padded and leather, armed with simple shields and spears. There were also 6 goblins with them, walking and better armed and armored. They were in conversation but at this distance, we could not make out what was being said.

In whispered clips, we decided to wait for them to get closer and tossed about some plans, relying mostly on the opportunity of sleep to even the score against the sheer number of potential foes. Confident with our hiding place and trusting on their own noises and the amount of sun out there, we would not be easily spotted.

As they got closer we were able to pick up the odd name. Dolomys, Vingian. Vingian was a name we had heard before, a goblin of some power who was responsible for Goblinwater. Dolomys seemed to be the human female mounted up with a crossbow. These two were at the back of the pack and seemed to be talking together the most, about the failed uprising in Shakun, some sort of trade that had gone on. As they got to the stables, one of them stopped and asked Dolomys about the tall grasses there. He was told to “forget about it” and just stable the horses.

So the humans filed in one at a time and began stabling their steeds. Across the distance (30’?) we listened in on Dolomys and Vingian talking and held our actions for the time. There was some serious disagreement between the two with Vingian berating Dolomys for the “uprising” and its failed repercussions. It seemed the goblin had veiled contempt for the humans and there was apparently talk about ending their relationship as it was becoming too costly for the goblins to maintain this.

Dolomys wanted to remove the adventuring group, the Marshall, the Captain of the guard, and every other person of authority in Shakun, and Vingian was unhappy with their plans and gave Dolomys an unreasonable request to “get more elves.” While the humans were filing away into the stables, more than half of them in and milling about by this time, the 5 other goblins asked Vingian if it was ok that they go “to the larder” and get something to eat and drink, as well as get out of the dazzling sun. Given the ok, we watched them walk around the outside of the ruined block of buildings, pass our position, and swing south towards the tower. We had to do something now before we lost all sight of our quarry.

Marcus whipped his hand out the side of the smithy and cast Sleep on the 5 goblins before they disappeared around the side of the closest building. Three of them fell over, unconscious. The remaining 2 goblins took sight of what occurred and reacted. The one with the axe put on a burst of speed, almost as fast as a horse can gallop, and took off for the tower. The lone archer crouched lower and blended into the ground.

From across the field Vingian saw what happened, gripped his mace and a black aura surrounded him. Dolomys saw what was happening to her goblin companion and called out to her friends in the stables to “get ready, something’s going on!” as she began cranking back her crossbow. Fist’al was going to take a shot at the running goblin but was stopped (not to give away our position) and instead Flimflam on the crouching goblin – bathing him in purpley/green lights and spoiling his hiding. This had him curse. Initiative rolled – and we were still “hidden”.

Dolomys was calling to her people to “come out!”. Vingian was calling to his fairie fire’d goblin and neither was able to see us. He announced that we must be facing a druid, and called, “Grassman! Ride away from here!” The last rider still on the horse wheeled and rode back to Dolomys and Vingian. Dolomys cast Mirror Image and there were now 5 of her over there. The youths in the stables emerged from all the openings (3 of them) in pairs, and a three count went running for the tower. Meanwhile we continued to stay low and quiet while Vingian was calling for us to come out.

Flimflam made 4 dancing lights appear in the stables, causing the archers outside to pay attention on the stables. Then Marcus took out a sleep scroll and read it. However, the flash of his scroll was noticed by Dolomys, Vingian, and the last mounted spearman near here. The sleep scroll caused another 3 of Dolomys’ people to slump over, asleep. “There, in the smithy!” came the call from Vingian. The lone rider wheeled his horse around, announcing, “I’ll get him!” and rode towards our hiding area, spear at the ready.

Dolomys’ people moved into a better position to take shots on the smithy but didn’t take any due to not actually seeing anyone yet. The single goblin archer ran to the ruined building and braced himself behind the wall. Ben and Mummus moved to the front, spears at the ready, set to receive charge. And it was just in time as the rider hit the building and rode in. He went down under Ben’s spear, torn from the horse, killed immediately. Mummus quipped, “He died a hero.” Fergus grabbed the now riderless horse by the reins and finished off his bless spell.

Amidst the screams of the dying teen, the others aimed at the shadowy interior but held their shots. Vingian cast Command on Flimflam, ordering him to “Emerge”, but our druid made his save. Bolstered now we began shooting out of the smithy, aiming for any figure visible. One arrow was fired at Dolomys and her images but it was blocked by a shield spell. Meanwhile, Marcus whipped out the Wipztar Libram, and read “Devour” – pointing @ Vingian.

The page flamed out of the book and from under the goblin the ground opened and stone teeth came up and “ate” the goblin, bringing him under the ground. Flimflam called out to Demeter and summoned a wolf, sending it to attack Dolomys.

Arrows went flying from both sides, no real shots hitting, although we did manage under the barrage to dismiss one of Dolomy’s images. Dolomys tried to shoot the charging wolf, but it was prancing and leaping so much, her shot went wild, missing. The humans shot into the building, but the goblin did manage to hit Link, our torchbearer, twice – neither doing any real damage.

The wolf tore at Dolomys, managed to make another of the images to pop. Fergus shouted out to “Stop attacking the damned horse!” as he tried to mount the one he was calming down. Hurt, Link hurled the lit torch into the same building with the goblin. The 3 youths who had run to the tower, were coming back, this time with the goblin axeman in tow.

At this point there was a twist of mushrooms appearing around the sleeping goblins and a toadstood ring appeared – along with Vingian! His armor rent, shield a splintered mess, covered in dirt and choking – but he was out and living. Fergus snarled and twisted his horse around in order to charge the now emerged goblin leader.

Arrows flew, bouncing off armor. Dolomys missed the bounding wolf again. Mummus was plugged as he raced towards the combat. Fist’al shot, blunt arrow cracking into one of the youths. Auri hurled her spear, making another image pop – leaving Dolomys and a single mirror image.

The youths and goblins came closer to the smithy. Swords and spears were flashing. Fergus came out of the building, angling to run Vingian down. But he was in front of the goblin archer who peppered the paladin as he rode by. Vingian muttered some spell that was surrounding his weapon arm. Marcus tried to Charm the axe wielding goblin, but the greenskin was able to shake it off.

Flimflam and Whosea raced into the battle, coming up to help Mummus who swung back and forth with the spearman. He was hurt, painfully – down to 3. The half-orc tore into the spearman, bastard sword wild. Whosea grabbed the fighter’s leg while the gnome whacked him about the head. Distant archers shot at the riding Fergus, arrows raining about him.

The goblin axeman charged past the two spearmen, trying to make it to the smithy. Again Dolomys missed the prancing wolf! Crossbow bolt went wild. Mummus was shot at point blank range and splintered his shield, throwing the broken handle aside. Fist’al shot Vingian with a magic arrow, trying to break his concentration. Marcus whipped out his chain rod and hurled the spiraling chain at the charging goblin axeman, enwrapping him in the links. He pulled him to the building, Geld’s helping, while Ben stayed at the ready, spear out. Once the goblin got closer he brought up his axe, ducked under Ben’s spear, and whipped it around – tangling his own axe with Marcus’ shield. They struck the ground and Marcus spiked him right there.

Spears were stabbed. Mummus, growling, slammed over a foot of his bastard sword into the lone spearman, wounding him gravely. Fergus charged on Vingian finally, trident scouring into/through his breastplate. However, the goblin leader swung his mace in a whirling arc, black aura corusculating around his arm and weapon – impacting Fergus. The paladin hid behind the shield as it crumpled, falling away. Fergus continued past.

The wolf assaulted Dolomys and removed the last mirror image before he faded away. Sanford, Whosea, and Flimflam continued to beat the hell out of the fading spearman. At this point Auri finally arrived at Dolomys’ position and her enchanted Scimitar, “Drought”, smashed through the mage’s shield, cutting her wide open and dropping her to 1 hit point.

Arrows flying, more fell about Fergus. Vingian whipped his bracers forward and a toadstood ring appeared in front of the paladin. From within two goblins with spiked tower shields were warding a third – standing there with a rod pointing out. There was a cry of “elfrage!” or something like that, and a blast of thunder sounded.  His horse reared up, terrified. Shot and badly hurt, the paladin managed to keep his saddle as they raced away.

Vingian was calling out to his goblins that they were leaving – and to group together. The chain rodded axe goblin was unable to escape and Vingian used his spores to portal his goblins away, calling to Dolomys that “the deal is off! You are useless and on your own!”

Once they are fading away, the fight went out of the rest of Dolomy’s people and they dropped their arms and gave up. We rounded up our foes, trussed who we could and gagged them all. Then we spent some time questioning the goblin where we learned a number of issues. Like the toadstool rings – across the farmland due to some tunneling that was being done to the graveyard. Some sort of worm guided by a “Master of the Beasts” that the goblins use.

Its breath can be poisonous, which explained the many dead bugs and rats around the sites. It also explained some of the collapsed burrows. The goblin had been answering questions for so long that he wanted to know about his freedom. It was here that the group divided – Fergus, Auri, Ben and Link were against killing the goblin (in battle is one thing – not after he’s been captured) while Fist’al Flimflam, and Marcus felt otherwise – the goblin and his kind are evil and if roles were reversed, the courtesy would not be returned. Eventually the decision came down to Marcus (it was his chain holding him in place) who decided to give the goblin his freedom. We equipped him and sent him on his way (2 weeks walking to get back to Du’uk Tsarith).

Dolomys and her people were an easier matter. Her interest in anarchy and taking out the supports of society had no place amongst us and we had her bound and gagged and trussed up. We linked together all the horses (12 of them), loaded them down with our books that we have taken, bound up the 11 living teens and started on the long walk back to Shakun – hoping to make it before midnight.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Meet 50, Adv 3.5, 11/9/13

Especially when I am running older dungeons, I run across riddles, tricks, and traps that I had placed many years ago. There are a few places in Mahr's Tower where such items appear, and the library vault door on the 3rd level was one of them A decent haul of 11 scrolls (level 0 through 3) are there if successful if even able to find it, but the riddle itself stops the possible fight with Grongellar the Shadowmastiff.

I am not sure how others view or play riddles, but to me, they are like seasonings - should be used to spice up game play but not too heavily. By the way, the answer to the riddle below is "Shadow".

Write up follows:

We wanted to continue exploring while we had the time and energy so moved on to the next chamber: the scribing room. 4 desks and chairs, two with writing smocks, a smattering of old supplies, each desk had 2 drawers. Before doing anything, Fergus detected evil and beheld – a single smock. Okay…that’s weird. We decided to give the smock a wide berth and looked about the chamber.

The drawers revealed some writing supplies but little that was usual, until we had no choice but to look to the desk that had the “evil” smock. To make life easier, we lifted the chair the smock was on and moved it away from the desk. Then Fist’al was rooting around inside. It was while opening the drawers to the desk that we were convinced the chair and “evil” smock had gotten closer. We moved the chair back again and drew chalk lines on the floor around the chair legs and went to the drawers again – and this time while watching, we SAW the chair move closer ALONG with the chalk lines redrawing!.

From here it was a number of experiments around the room before it was decided that we should move the smock itself off the chair. Auri used her spear, hooked the smock off the back of the chair…and then swept it down to her hands where she inexplicably put it on. We were shouting to her to stop, but the half-orcish fighter ignored us while the ties swept around her and tied automatically…

And then she tried to murder the party.

Swords were flying, bodies were knocked asunder, the fury of the half-orcish fighter was tearing through Fergus and Mummus until Marcus was able to shout out a sleep spell and knocked the combatants out. We trussed her up and then cut the smock off of her. Not convinced that it was the solution, we did note that the OTHER smock was magical as well – but did not have any evil emanations. So we put that one on her and when she awoke, she had little memory of her murderous desire and had a nice smock at her disposal.

We took some of the paste pots and then went to the next chamber – the scribe’s library. Apparently it was where the scribes had their finished copies and it was a mess. Most of the shelves were falling apart and tomes had spilled everywhere. Along the far north east wall was a tall bookcase that behind was a safe. We suspected it was another opening to the last door on this room that we had seen in the hall.

We went out to that room and tried to force the door – but it had invisible spikes upon it and we succeeded in only hurting ourselves in the process. So it was back to the safe opening and we went to open it when a magic mouth appeared and said “Choose, 1 2 or 3.” Marcus said, “3” and…

Everyone else in the tower froze except for him. The mouth continued, telling him he had 30 seconds to solve the riddle or else. It went:

I am forged of brittle metal; I am carved of hollow wood.
I am sculpted of sandy stone, and can’t leave if I could.

My body and face are parodies of beauty’s outward looks
I am slave to all my masters by the lightest binding hooks

But even in their thrall I work to raise their fears
By candle light or darkest night, utter my name for all to hear.

Then it began to countdown as he had no answer for the riddle so Marcus ran for the exit, moving to the hall, and made it back to the stairs just as the countdown finished and time began again. And to the rest of the party it looked as if Marcus disappeared and Grongellar the Shadowhound and two of his shadow mastiffs stepped from the wall and attacked.

The fight was harder this time, even though there were less of the shadow dogs, and their bite was debilitating as it sucked strength away with wave after wave. It was only the blind luck of casting light upon them that we saw how much it hurt them and we swiftly turned the tide of the battle. Fist’al was pretty badly hurt in the fight and Marcus told the group that he had been teleported to the stairs and left his “running” out of the conversation.

The safe itself had a number of scroll cases which we took after checking almost 12 new mage scrolls. From here we wanted into the last room and decided to smash the door down – but to avoid the invisible spikes, we used the couch in the hall. Picking it up we charged the door until it was battered down and we could enter. It seemed to be a private chamber and was most likely Mahr’s at one time. We did get a nice robe, a magical accordion divider, and a brass key along with some cryptic note about a drawer of level two and “me” on level 4 and 5.

By now it was after 8 and we were done. We brought all the books to the basement and then barred the bilco doors as well as the steps up and went to sleep.

We awoke early the next day, Workmonth the 1st. A holy day to followers of Poseidon, called “The Colting”, Fergus had been having dreams about a horse that he needed to liberate and he needed to do it today. This was the right place, and today would be the right time.

We checked out the grounds once more around the tower, knowing that the criminal element in Shakun has been using it and would continue to do so. They would most likely be coming back here today so we wanted to be able to see their approach as well as be ready for them. We knew that the stables were used often and there would be no benefit to being on any of the roofs as we would be seen from the top of the valley. So we set up ourselves at the smith’s, watching and ever ready for the hopefully soon to arrive youths.

It was after 2:30 that he heard the distant echoes of approaching peoples and then shortly afterwards that we saw our quarry at last. Half a dozen goblins clad in breastplates and studded leather, militaristic and seemingly competent. There were a dozen assorted youths as well, not as well armed or armored, but still cocky and sure of themselves. They were mounted and coming down the side of the valley towards the stables, their voices too faint to make out clearly but growing more sure as they approached.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Meet 49, Adv 3.5, 10/26/13

Even an obvious trap/trick/monster will get the party to try to find ways around it. That was this meeting with the 4 gargoyles - and the group did a decent job in dispatching them. Their main purpose, of course, is to divide the group's efforts - which they did quite well.

Mahr's Tower was always firmly in the "wonky" side of the bell curve and I am pleased to see that it still makes the players go, "Whiskey Foxtrot Tango?" when confronted with its odd rules and layout.

Write up follows:

The group tentatively took to the stairs and made their way with exaggerated care to the 2nd floor. There was a landing here before the stairs continued up to the 3rd. Half the great dimensions of the room (90’?)were walled off on the eastern side, two doors (one far north, the other far south) were visible. The room was lit by 4 7’ tall gargoyle looking statues, glowing with a faint white/grey candle-like glow.

Fist’al volunteered to step up first, his presence on the landing causing the gargoyles to glow a bit brighter, but nothing else. We experimented a for bit, getting the gargoyle-lights to brighten about double, but no more regardless of how many people were on the 2nd floor proper. We spent some time checking over the eastern wall and again both doors – finding no traps or anything else. Auri dared to approach the “3rd” gargoyle and it did nothing, even when the half-orcish fighter smacked it with the crowbar and chipped some off – nothing happened.

We decided on opening the southern door and saw an older room – 2 beds, desk, large winged back chair, and a round table. Fairly dusty and yellowed with age. Fist’al went in to explore, Fergus stood @ the door for support. Auri continued to deface/damage the gargoyle statue.

The beds were very old, sheets stiff and easily damaged. Pillows had nothing below them. Table had a spiral of runes running down the surface and a call was made for Marcus to read magic on the surface. Something about not being disturbed was mentioned again and again. We left the table alone. Fist’al was at the desk and went through some attempts to open it –getting zapped where he lost 15 lbs as well as was unnaturally aged. His efforts did result in opening a drawer where under 3 sets of clothing found a glowing 2-3 lb yellow stone. He took it and proceeded to walk out.

It was then that a strange wind blew up and smoke filled the room, making it impossible to see. Fergus tied a rope around his waist and had Mummus hold the other end before going in to try and find Fist’al. The two of them hooked up with one another and made their way back towards the door but couldn’t feel it being open. To Mummus’ point of view, he could hear them just inside but swirling smoke and dust was obscuring any view within. He stuck his hand just inside the door and told Fergus to grab him. He felt something grip him around the wrist and he gripped the figure back and pulled.

And the 3rd gargoyle statue slid across the floor in time to Mummus’ pulling.

Fergus of course, felt nothing except a closed door.

Auri smashed the gargoyle’s arm and Mummus groaned in pain as it was released, his own wrist suffering from the blow. Fergus was able to find Fist’al and the two of them opened the door – which opened across the room on the NORTH side.

And the 1st and 4th gargoyles attacked.

The smoke was ended as well as the wind – but to Mummus’ point of view, the rope went into the room perhaps 4 or 5 feet and then ended, and to Fergus’ point of view 90’ away, the rope went OUT of the room maybe 2 or three feet and ended. This was put aside as the stony monsters surged forward and assaulted the fighters. Auri passed her crowbar over to Geld and told him to beat the hell out of the 3rd and 2nd gargoyles (who to this point, had not “activated” as of yet).

We beat and smashed and fought against the gargoyles as hard as we could, hampered by the fact that we had two combats separated by 90’.Fist’al meanwhile was checking out the desk in THIS room where he discovered in the same drawer as the other one – another stone – this one a radiant purple. He opted NOT to take it.

The combat eventually wound down as the last gargoyle was dispatched (Mummus shining many times during the fight) and we joined Fist’al in the northern room after goodberries were dispensed. The drawer that refused to open was eventually picked properly and in conjunction with leaning backwards, opened a secret door along the south wall that lead to a seriously disused library.

It took the better part of the hour to capture the 130 or so books that were still salvageable and get them outside the secret room. Only a single tome was magical, and it was some sort of odd thin book by someone called Wipztar the Linguarcanist. Inside were 12 pages, each with a single oversized word written upon them. Marcus took the book and we decided to further explore its possible use at a later time.

We were dismayed though to note that in our repeated disturbing of the “light” stones, that the 4 gargoyles had been repaired magically somehow and were once again in their former places. Not wanting to risk activating them another time, we gave them a wide birth and transported the tomes down to the lower floor.

From here we dared the central steps again and this time found ourselves on the 3rd landing. There was a couch and chair here, along with a handful of dimly glowing candles. A door was along the north wall, closed. There were 3 other openings, one lead east to a bedroom, one led south to a work area or scriptorium, and the last lead west to a workshop of some sort. The group went to the east opening and gave the bedroom a once over.

4 beds, and few other furnishings. The place was fairly clean and well-kept given its age. It was during the investigation though that something was disturbed in here and various parts of the room animated. A blanket swarmed up and engulfed Fergus, followed by a pillow that hit him so hard in the face that he was knocked down! Sheets fluttered about and twisted up, whipping the people in the room repeatedly while the blanket tried to smother the paladin and the pillow was bashing his head with a surprising amount of force.

It took a number of us some time to put the ensorcelled bedroom items to rest until finally it was over and Fergus was lifted up, dazed but alive. It was close to 6 PM on Firemonth the 30th and we were discussing on continuing onward to the next chamber or returning to the outside to rest for the night.