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.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Meet 65, Adv 4, 10/18/2014

The party had the opportunity for some outside combat this meeting. However it was in a battlefield that had been picked by the enemy and prepared according to his needs and capabilities. The group was scattered for the most part and although they did manage to keep Selene alive, 19 other townsfolk did die and they are about half spent on healing.

Now the bad guy is getting away into an area that is his home turf and we have an opportunity to follow. So the party's track is now heading towards dungeon crawl (we had outside, town, investigation, diplomacy, and LARPing.). Let's hope they have all they need for this trip.

Write up follows:

We left the city proper of Heatherfield and wound our way north and east; crossing a number of the roads and byways until we arrived at what we had been informed was the Thanach family Homestead. The walls were in good repair and there was a well maintained one story home near an elongated barn and kennel. We rang the bell and waited until a 60ish looking healthy woman came out flanked by a pair of alert shepherds. She approached (not too close) and spoke to us, the party stating they were interested in dogs and had other matters to discuss. She called for her husband, Crastori, to come out and from the kennel along with a dozen other dogs came her husband.

We were invited in to see the grounds and the animals in question. Conversation turned to studding out Whosea and the Thanach family’s following of Demeter as their patron deity. We then turned the conversation more to what we were interested in, uncovering if the family had Selene in their care. And the answer was yes.

Their daughter, Dorothea, was the midwife assistant in question during Selene’s birth and told us of some strange whispering she heard that night; the selfsame whispering that told Torg (Selene’s father) to kill himself. Her presence was unnoticed and she managed to secret Selene’s birth for some time before bringing her to the Thanach home where she has been raised as a quasi-granddaughter to Crastori and Oona. Crastori wasn’t sure where the money was coming from or why, he assumed that he had sold the Silverhair some dogs through a third party years ago and they were supporting his effort by sponsoring his family annually. He was surprised to learn that this was a VERY rare case and that was what had led the party to their family.

We did some checking of the dates and narrowed down that Selene’s actual birth day was two days ago – the same day the Hades ward fired into being in the Raugeri root cellar. Selene was having her name day this Watermonth the 22th (2 days hence) and Flimflam was going to take over to run the ceremony. We felt that whoever was going after the Raugeri family was going to make a play for Selene next and the entire Thanach family was in danger merely by being in the girl’s presence. So for the next two days we were going to make sure someone was here on the family Estate (in fact, two of us), while the rest of us made sure that we were ready and investigated what leads we could around town.

The ceremony was to take place on the next estate owned by Meloder Griffanus, a taciturn older fellow who had beautiful property along with a few low rolling hills, a grotto, and a small pond. He allowed us to look around the place (seeing nothing out of place) and in fact there was already some set up being done (tables, chairs, a podium). There would be maybe 90+ people in attendance at the coming of age party and we knew that we were going to need some luck, eyes, and tactics on our side.

Quintus struck up a flirty friendship with Dorothea, the two of them growing closer as the days marched on. Flimflam was able to get three bottles of holy wine from the Temple of Demeter (normally, not for sale, but he is a druid/priest of and he was willing to perform the ceremony effectively for free.) We then purchased a number of small glass vials and divvied them up amongst the party as holy water/wine assuming undead were going to come out during the ceremony.

Finally the day of the party arrived and almost 100 people made their way to the Griffanus Estate were 5 trestle tables had been set up along with almost a dozen smaller tables. There were two fire pits (point of danger – Marcus and Geld took up position there) each with something brazing upon it. Many of the locals brought something to eat and for two hours there was much eating and conversation. The party stood out slightly (armed and armored) but did mingle and keep a watchful eye of the proceedings. Quintus had cast Mage Armor on Selene, Dorothea, and a few others in the Thanach family. There was some frolicking and general eating and goodwill for a few hours until noon arrived and Flimflam began the actual ceremony itself.

The group was around the entire perimeter of the gathering, watchful and alert. Only Flimflam and Quintus were near the heart of the group. And then Whosea and Sanford grew excited and anxious, broke ranks and charged Selene. She was born off the dais and into the crowd a moment before one of the barrels that were making up the lectern of the podium grew superheated and exploded.

Flim and Quintus were both badly hurt and burned and some 9 other people in the crowd were set on fire from the exploding oil fire. Selene was prodded to her feet and was told to run – and then at the 4 cardinal points of the fire appeared 4 flaming demonic looking monkeys, each almost 6 feet in height and each bearing a feral cunning and a terrible glint of mad intelligence in their eyes.

Flimflam cast JUMP and cleared his way out of the fire while Quintus jumped and rolled his way to Dorothea who was badly hurt and dazed from the explosion. Selene was running towards Marcus, but the crowd was thick and mad. The monkeys started attacking the crowd and hurling fire everywhere. The group was scattered and there was no easy way to concentrate their strengths.

Zeta was pushing his way through the crowd, trying to get closer. Tranis had the longest to travel, running across the field, bow out ready to pick targets. Marcus and Geld shoved their way through, spears out. Oona and Crastori were yelling for Selene. A nearby monkey smashed into Dorothea and knocked her down and out and then another turned on Quintus who raced away fast. We learned that attacking the monkeys caused the fires on their body to flare out…and killing one made it explode – setting others around it on fire as well.

Another table exploded – this time right next to Selene, causing the girl to veer off course to Marcus and dropping another 5 count of townsfolk. Meanwhile the oil fires continued to spread and another 4 flaming monkeys appeared. Quintus, being chased by a much faster monkey threw himself into the grotto and dropped into the water, quenching the flames. The monkey stood on the edge of the water and threw flaming crap before turning his attention to the rest of the fleeing townsfolk. Spears flew and arrows followed and the monkeys targeted dropped and howled, their wild animalistic fury shifting to those who dared to strike them.

One monkey grew very close Selene and Marcus noted an elf on the far edge of the clearing was standing there with a bow out – who then drew back and let fire 3 clothyard shafts to intercept the demonic ape. Selene was spared and Whosea took the brunt of one of the attacks, the brave canine going down to 2 hp. Zeta was trading blows and losing, Quintus pulled himself from the water and let fire a pair of magic missiles. Marcus exerted his will and affected normal fire on the huge oil fire, cutting its area in half and saving many of the locals from further burning oil.

While scouring the battlefield we noted a think wavering sheet of flame creeping across the ground and heading to another table and our elven aide did as well, sending a volley of arrows over there to plunge into the ground and disrupt it from its source. It worked as the fires died around the moneys, making them no longer as terrible a threat, and stopping the spreading flames. It took a few more minutes to bring the chaos under control and then healing was doled out. Oona and Crastori were hurt badly but would live, same with Dorothea. Selene was healthy. Most of the party was hurt and suffering from painful wounds.

However as to the threat – we found 2 of the elven archer’s shafts, but one was missing. The archer, haughty, arrogant, high elven – identified himself as Pecheri Longwalker Silverhair and he was here to make sure nothing happened to the “human whelp”. He was more incensed at the loss of one of his arrows that was not accounted for. We also could not find a hole where the enemy spell caster and monkey summoner had come from. The thought was illusion. Pecheri browbeat Quintus into walking around blindly until he stumbled through an illusionary hole and fell down a set of stairs. Below were the remains of a ritual, a discarded hammer, and the missing arrow. Some blood splatters were seen but they ended immediately leading us to think of magical healing or potions.

Pecheri was pissed at his broken arrow and wanted to hunt down whoever and whatever it was. We know it was hit and fled, and this is our best lead to finding out what it was and what it could be. The elf gave us an hour to gather ourselves together and then we should plumb the depths before whatever it is gets away.

So here it was, 1:15 on Watermonth the 22nd, 19 villagers had died during the attack, and Selene Thanach nee Raugeri was still alive – but her mysterious killer (and maybe murderer for the last 25 years!) was on the run in the gloom and dark of an unexplored dungeon. We had an hour to gather ourselves up and then give chase. And the clock was ticking.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Meet 64, Adv 4, 10/11/14

The group had the 2nd half a major fight this week, this time WITH the bandits they had been fighting with AGAINST the sudden undead horde that had assaulted them. The fight demanded that both sides fought together since the undead were indiscriminate in who and what they were killing. Both parties had their strong points in the fight and when it was over, a truce continued where the group came up with a way to integrate the bandits back into society.

From there the group then went into an investigative bent to track down what and where the undead beacon came from and why it fired off now. While they were learning about the decimation (not the right word, since it was much more than 1 in 10) of the Raugeri family, there was just shock at how so much horror (some of it fire borne!) could befall a family in such a short period of time.

Write up follows:

The bandit leader, Castus, called up a flaming sphere and rolled it into the pit and through one of the opening along the wall – bottlenecking the undead in there. Four of them made it out through the flames and pressed forward. Another of the druid’s up top called to the camp dogs and three of them burst from the house and slid down the steep slope to the bottom, lining up with Marcus as well as the bandit fighter (named Torquil), growling and bristling. Two other camp dogs ran to the south side of the pit where a bandit there shouldered his bow and pulled out a 50’ length of rope. He quickly made a yoke out of it and draped it over the head of the 2 dogs standing by. Then a bandit sorcerer touched the rope and it thickened and grew tougher.

Flimflam called out to his hippogriff who flew from the house and slammed down in the pit, in front of the opening where it immediately began savaging the undead there. A number of finches and a hawk dived from the top of the house and assaulted the “slept” druid and sorcerer in the pit, waking them up slowly. Zeta was popping as many goodberries as he could, pulling himself to the pit where he and another archer dropped a second rope down to help ferry people out.

The skeletons and skeletal animals ripped out amongst the party trapped in the pit, boney claws and fingers tore and scrabbled and twisted, trying to bring the living members of both groups. Quintus and one of the bandit sorcerers tried to disrupt the undead but the flashing ensorcelled rays went wild, nothing really hitting. And from above, every person able to plied bow and blunt arrows, trying to knock the undead back.

Flimflam cast jump on Whosea and called Sanford back to him, the fox clambering into his lap. Then the oversized dog LEAPT all the way out of the pit in a single bound, clambering his way to the top in a spray of earth and falling dirt.

The battle was on as the party did their best to hold the ground. One of the druids tried an animal summoning but ended up with a 5’ viper – no use in this sort of fight. Torquil motioned for Marcus to “get out of here”, the elven fighter/wizard thanking the doughty warrior and then ran for the ropes, along with the druid in the pit. They climbed and pulled and twisted, the dogs up top and Zeta and the archer helping out.

Castus roared for everyone below to “watch out!” and then called upon Gaia, dropping a localized sleet storm on the entire right hand side of the pit, the buffeting wind, snow, and ice causing the undead there to stumble and fall. With the sleet storm brewing, Castus lost control of his flaming sphere but not before it consumed another two skeletons. However, a skeletal bear was now in the fight – and from the other tunnel, 4 skeletal archers and a more zombies were coming out.

One of the dogs took an almost mortal wound and went down with a howl. More of the figures below were now out on the ropes and Torquil tied the rope to the unconscious dog where it was lifted to safety. The undead continued their assault and arrows fell like rain from above. The bandit fighter was shot by undead archers and was losing blood quickly. Zombies were rising and falling in the icy sleet and Torquil aided a second dog to the ropes, tying it on him so he could be lifted free.

The sleet ended and the last dog held off the undead long enough for another to come down. With sure and quick moves Torquil hastily tied it around the last canine and holding on himself and using his free hand to block undead attacks with his shield, the two of them were lifted to safety. Once up top the party did not stop in their barrage of arrows. But something strange happened.  The undead became calm and slowly shuffled back into the tunnels, no longer paying any mind to us.

We went into the Estate home where everyone pooled their healing, getting the bandits and the party back to full. We talked with Castus who admitted that they do not need to do the banditry anymore. Heatherfield was well off and there was much prosperity around. Most of the original bandits had stopped with the new found wealth the city was experiencing and had gone back to the city with real jobs. These last nine all had prices on their heads and Castus wasn’t going to risk any of them.

The party then explained who we were and what we were doing. They had heard about our efforts with the other bandit group we had helped to remove and filled us in a bit on the Grey Havens and Marilee Jerinston (the leader of it). She’s a bit crazy and her 2nd in command is cold and worse. Castus and the others want to settle down and it took minimal dealing to have them disband. It is contingent on them getting a letter of amnesty and Lord Geyzer of Heatherfield is ill-intented to supplying it. However, the party is going to implore to Baron Ceril Taugis of Shakun to write such a letter and pardon, which should solve the problem.

At this point the bandit’s sorcerers took us to the root cellar where we saw a now revealed glyph to Hades on the wall. It was not there yesterday. No one had been down here. There was thought it might be a beacon – something put in place years ago but triggered now. We then (a few of us) went to look at the pit. The two tunnels were older – natural limestone with some working to smooth them out. It appeared they met up with each other a bit further on. And there were more of those small symbols to Hades on the wall – at around the 2’ or so height. Goblins? We aren’t sure. Maybe it’s something about the Estate? Emblazoned on the front door was the name “Raugeri”. We were going to check it out at town tomorrow since beacons for undead is not something either us or Castus and Company thought was a good idea to have just sitting around.

We took all our belongings and the bandits took theirs and we all went to another Estate home where we settled in and shared what food we all had with one another. Castus and company were going to go to Dairymeade and spend the next few days there until we could get a letter from Baron Taugis. From there they would be pardoned and would go on to Shakun. So at 8:30 AM on Watermonth the 19th we bid them a fond farewell and headed ourselves back to Heatherfield.

We sent a missive via aviary to Baron Taugis and then ate breakfast. From here we went to the Hall of Records where a magistrate was willing to help us out for a price. Gold. And keep it coming.

The Raugeri family was maybe 25 years ago a very well to do local merchant family, dealing in livestock. They owned 4 Homesteads at their height and were one of the only families in town to have the patronage of the Silverhair family of Woodhelven, an influential trading elven clan. However, through our research, the next 11 years or so had a number of terrible strange events misfall the family line.

·         Last height of their influence was maybe 25 years ago (year 156) – big fire @ main family home killed patriarch Krithius, 4 of his family members (brother, brother’s wife, eldest daughter, granddaughter), and 2 visiting dignitaries from Woodhelven.

·         Darius (eldest son – 9 months later (157)) died in a hunting camp, got drunk and fell into a fire – burned to death.

·         Maria (wife – 1 year later (158)) died in her kitchen with her daughter and 3 cooks when a chimney had a blowback and suffocated them all.

·         Thalius (youngest brother – 8 months later (159)) died from lung sickness from too much pipe smoke.

·         Tremont (next eldest son – 1 year, 6 months later (160)) died when the glassworks exploded, taking him and his son out, and the 4 members of the glassworkers working there.

·         Ulara (Darius’ wife – 4 months later (161)) died in her sleep, no cause listed (She was 42).

·         Orina (Thalius’ only daughter – 1 year 9 months later (163)) disappeared during a ride with her handmaiden and a suitor named Boris – no sign, never returned. Horses returned to family stable on their own 4 days later.

·         Castius (youngest child – 1 year, 2 months later (164)) and wife Flaria, and their only child all died along with their home staff of 7 during a bad break out of “Feverchill” pox. It is noted that only the town’s former physician and the town’s former Sheriff were the only ones to die during this outbreak (although over 50 were reported sick – no one else passed away).

·         Shortly after Lea (Darius’s elder daughter – 2 year, 6 months later (166)) married a minor merchant’s son named Karent, their home was burglarized, the two slain, along with their household staff of 2. Family dogs were taken and never seen again. No real goods seemed to be missing.

·         The last one was after Senia (Darius’ younger daughter, 1 year, 4 months later (168)) had wed a guardsman named Torg Bracken – she had complications during delivery and died. Torg was bereft with grief and killed himself that night by hanging and drinking hemlock. Their child was named Selene. It was thought that the child died during the birthing.

At that point the Raugeri family line has come to an end and the Estates and Homesteads reverted back to the local lord. There were 13 girls admitted to the Heatherfield Orphanage during that year and we were going to check them out soon to find out if Selene survived. The Raugeri family was noted for black hair and blue eyes – traits that we would hope to find.

The Magistrate did uncover one item of interest. The Silverhair clan of Woodhelven sends a annual stipend of support to the Thanach family here in Heatherfield – a peculiar and not normal situation. According to the tax scrolls, this has been going on for 11 or 12 years so far. The Thanach family is a known for dog breeding and their family head is listed as Crastori and his wife, Oona. They have 4 children but none of them are the right age to be mistaken for Selene (from low 30’s to mid 20’s). We were going to see them tomorrow.

We went to the Orphanage next and investigated there – getting much information on the girls from that time, but none of them were panning out to be the missing (if even alive) Selene. The group split up a bit with visits to various shops and even the Half and Helf Brothel took place (hooray for Zeta!). Flimflam prepared a number of Goodberries (we had gone through many of them today thanks to the fight with the bandits and the undead) and the party was getting themselves ready for bed.

We awoke the next morning early, readied ourselves after breakfast, and on Watermonth the 20th @ 8 AM prepared to head off to the Thanach family and learn what we could there from Crastori and Oona.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Meet 63, Adv 4, 10/4/14

Good Plans.

At this meeting the group spent a decent amount of time coming up with a plan to attract the attention of the bandits and give an option for them to track the bandits at a later time.

I'm almost sorry they didn't go with an earlier iteration and rub peppermint all over a fat sheep.

Write up follows:

The majority of the party went to the Mane and Tail Inn to get a bite to eat and discuss what our options were next. Flimflam detoured to the Temple of Demeter to check up on Whosea, learning that his dog would be better and able to travel tomorrow.

The group then discussed what our options were on finding the bandits. The feeling is that the bandits are most likely staying in one of the many abandoned Estate homes littering the countryside. However, the sheer number (scores, maybe hundreds?) and the distance between makes easy searching time consuming and almost an impossibility.

We then spent an hour or two tossing ideas out, deciding to tempt the bandits to assault a lone traveler. What about Flimflam’s raven? We did not think it would be a good idea and discounted that idea as well. We went over the three interviewee’s conversation, deciding that we could not iron exactly where the assault would take place (outside of north of Heatherfield). Finally, what if the Estate’s moved? What if they were in one Estate one week and moved to another one another week?

Then we discussed the number of limestone caves in the area? We are assuming Estate homes – but what if their base is in a cave? We needed some more discussion and background.

We talked about getting in touch with local hunters to see if they report anything. We also talked about luring the bandits out – but would need one of us to be the target. One of the things we also wanted to avoid was tipping off to the bandits that we were out here looking for bandits. So that meant quizzing the locals was going to be problematic at best. So we needed information, but not to let the locals know we were looking for bandits.

The downfall of that was the 3 people were invited to the lord’s house and were interviewed by us about their bandit encounter. So we suspected that we were already known as being out here.

We went back to the idea of getting robbed. A sheep would be a good choice. We could buy a sheep and somehow scent it (piss? Paprika? Roseoil?) and then allow Sanford and Whosea to track it back to their lair. Good idea, but no one herds “one” sheep – it would raise a flag to the bandits. Ok, good idea, but more thought was needed?

After much talk and discussion and plans formed and changed and discarded and altered we settled on a two-fold plan. We figured that Tranis would be “hunting” for quail, and allow himself to be robbed – using a brass braided necklace as a planted item – lacing it with oil so it reeks. The other would be Quintus would be on his way to Dairymeade with an engagement ring and let himself get robbed – the ring and box it would be in would also be laced in oil so it reeks.

We then put our prep work in order. A rosewood box was purchased, lined with linen, and a silver ring (we had in our treasure pile) was readied, with Quintus going around to various vendors and eventually a different inn and talked long and loud about going to Timberton to get a girl named Lirea and propose, bringing her back here eventually.

Zeta wandered around the poor section of town, settling at the Fleaside Tavern where he made contact with the local thieves’ guild, a lieutenant named Galarus. He suspected the orphanage might be in line with the thieves’ guild. On his completion, he wandered around town until his tail was lost and then made his back to the Inn.

Tranis went out and did some hunting, getting a quail and then selling it to the local tavern for a few coins.

We rested, waking the next day (watermonth the 18th) and set our plan in motion. Tranis went out for hunting again, and Quintus made his way north to Dairymeade hoping he might get picked up and assaulted.

And we hit pay dirt. Both of our guys were assaulted by bandits. Lone guys, no real armor, minimal weaponry. They were each robbed of the items laced with the smelly oils, and then briefly blinded while the bandits escaped. They waited for their vision to return, went back to town, met up with the rest of us and shared where they think they were assaulted at first. Noted were compared and we noted humans and half-elves, archers, and large assed dogs. Total was maybe 8 or so?

We armed and armored up and then went off, coming to Quintus’ site first. Whosea caught the scent and we followed it across the landscape to the west of the road, going to an abandoned homestead. There was a single wall, 300’ long, 100’ from the home, 3’ tall. No light in the windows and no smoke from the chimney – but we could faintly see movement through the unshuttered windows. This had to be the place.

The feeling was that there were archers, fighters, and maybe druids and sorcerers in the bandit employ. So we discussed plans quietly around the corner of the wall and eventually opted to have Quintus approach the front and lure some of the bandits out. Then the rest of us would storm forward and assault the back of the Estate House.

Goodberries were handed out and Flimflam also cast a few Invisibility to Animals to cover the entire party, and then had us “touch” his own animals so they could be seen. This should keep the enemy dogs off our ass. And then as ready as we were going to be, Quintus wandered to the front of the place and began walking closer.

A voice from within told him to stop right there and he continued on that all he wanted was his ring back. They went back and forth as he approached and then the grasses around him rippled and he was entangled, held to the ground. A three count came out to bind him and bring him in, taking some of the camp dogs with them – BIG dogs.

This was our chance. The rest of the party climbed over the wall spread out (to avoid being entangled) and charged the wall. A number of us were outlined in purple and green flames – faerie fired. And then arrows were shot out of the window, peppering the party. Zeta was hit a few times and the charge to the house slowed. We tried to return fire and another spell shot out, warping Tranis’ bow and snapping his string!

Quintus was being forced inside and those inside were calling for help – so they double timed it towards the back. Light spells and magic missiles flared, followed by a blast of Tasha’s Uncontrollable hideous Laughter. The inside of the Estate home was illuminated, making it easier to pick our targets. Hit points were whittling away as we closed the gap. The bandits came out, spearheaded by a large fighter-type in chainmail and sporting a well used broadsword. Others followed and more spells and shot went flying. Zeta hit the ground with 2 hp’s left and 4 painful wounds – staying there.

Marcus raced ahead and shot the emerging troupe with a sleep spell, dropping two of them. An attempt was made to Hold Whosea but it failed. Flimflam summoned a hippogriff next, appearing IN the house and assaulting the foes arranged still inside. And still arrows rained amongst the party with devastating accuracy.

We could hear others inside coming to the fight when the ground tore from just in front of Zeta’s prone form, ripping to the north and east in a grinding broken line – 30’ across! And then the earth fell. A crater dropped down 30’, steep sloped sides making egress from those caught in the chasm (Flimflam, Whosea, Sanford, Marcus, and three of the enemy forces as well (the fighter and the two who had been caught in the sleep spell)) almost impossible. There were two cave opening along the eastern side of the pit – each maybe 7’ tall, 6’ wide. And coming from each – over a dozen under warriors, skeletal dogs, zombies, and even a giant skeletal bear.

And they were charging for everyone stuck in the pit.

The druidic leader of the bandits called out, “Truce!” at the same time that Flimflam did. Both sides then turned their attention to the ravenous horde and prepared to do battle with the living dead.