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.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Meet 78, Adv 4, 3/21/15

The group eventually got to the last fight with the dwarven priest of Hades who assaulted them in 3 waves of various undead baddies - with a surprise of a wraith assault at the end.

Damage was almost zero since as the group pointed out - if they HAD gotten hit, it would have meant level drain as well as damage - and we already had a few group members suffering with negative levels to date.

The next meeting would be the cleanup and training - and then we'll take a few weeks off before rolling into adventure 5.

Write up follows:

Bless spells, protections from evil, shield spells, and all sorts of weaponry and missiles were readied. We had Encrinus hurl a glass flask of grease against the bottom steps to make the passage down that much harder. Castus’ dogs were snarling and slavering, and we positioned Marcus nearest the steps, the fighter wizard watching the approach with a wary eye. Lastly we hit Tranis with an Enlarge spell (thanks to Castus’ man Yuri), the ranger growing swiftly to just about 9’ in height.

And then the undead hit us. Ghouls and skeletons swarmed into us and we struck back hard and fast. Our front rank held strong, bolstered by the 2nd ranks spears and staves. Curufin and Vestanus had opened his porter’s chest and were hanging the entire stock of medium wooden shields we brought with us in the hallway, expecting that we were going to need them swiftly.

Funis, Marcus, Tranis, Torquil, Yuri, and one of Castus’ druids armed with an enchanted spear plied their weapons against the necromantic horde in position, hewing them down in easy swipes of hacking swords and axes. But even as they fell the next wave approached, and this one had Karstimis and some wights along. And the wights were Auri, Sanford, and some other figure we did not recognize. A number of spear wielding skeletons came along; hitting the party with impunity from the enemy’s back rank.

Once more we held the ground as best we can, tearing into the level draining foes with determined ferocity. A Faerie Fire spell illuminated the wights and then a flaming sphere was strafed down the corridor, burning about half the undead before it came to a stop next to Auri who was fighting Marcus from the steps and therefore out of the possible range of the sphere. One of Castus’ dog’s died which caused the party to shuffle people around, the sorcerer Yuri taking front rank now with his enchanted axe. Marcus splintered a shield as he was struck by a wight and then Torquil did the same, the two fighters terrified about being touched by any of them. Meanwhile the enlarged Tranis and the Carayn family undead killing sword, “Day Star” was arcing his blows over everyone’s head, ripping whoever was in range into chunks of bloody meat.

And then the necromancer hit our group with a sleep spell and 3 of our front line fell over. More shields were burst (including Auri splintering her own shield!) as we pushed forward at the same time the undead tried to push into us, the two lines blurring and bending as we tried to get everyone up in time. Steiner called to Apollo to turn the undead, giving us a brief respite (and some blows to their back as they were trying to flee) as the rest of us hurled stones, spears, and spells at the enemy (as well as slap, kick, and pinch the sleeping members to get up once more). A pair of summon nature’s ally spells went off, a honey badger (he don’t give a shit!) hitting the necromancer’s shield, while a deadly viper also showed up, getting under Karstimis’ shield…and biting him. Poison!

As we were staggering to our feet and making some room, taking down Sanford in the process, we heard the dwarf himself coming closer, along with another batch of undead (ghouls, skeletons, and wights according to Marcus). The party backed up while Pecheri was pushing his way to the front. The new undead came into view and were repelled thanks once more to Steiner and Apollo. Our spells were winding down and we wanted to get this over with quickly.

The fleeing undead slowed up the dwarf’s approach, snarling the stairs with too many bodies. Karstimis was slumping over, pleased to have killed the viper, but dying from the crazy toxins in his body.

At this point Dardrum’s final undead came into the chamber, slamming out at us in a wave of necrotic flesh and grasping limbs. Swords slashed and spears stabbed. And Pecheri finally let loose his exploding arrow at the approaching dwarf – missing!! Missed! How the fuck can you miss? You’ve been saving that arrows for weeks and when it’s important you blow it! Douchebag!

A final turning by Steiner and the undead stopped and began to reverse, many of them cut down while retreating. Pecheri meanwhile was storming forward getting lightly struck by a flying spiritual hammer in the process, but shooting arrows at closing range – two of them the shafts that Curufin had prepped with the Gorgon’s hair venom earlier. And this caused racking pains to flood the priest of Hades, making him unable to get enough concentration to cast a spell successfully.

And through it all, Pecheri kept stalking forward, bow firing again and again. Even with the dwarf’s entropic shield, more than enough arrows got through. And the dwarf was unable to stem the tide of hurt or the pain he was suffering under.

The rest of the party beat at the last of the undead, only one of them managed to escape back up the stairs – when Dardrum’s last surprise came out of the wall assaulting us…a wraith. Non-corporeal, requiring magic items to strike it, life hating and warmth devouring, it flowed against the group like a thousand black flies – vapor thin and utterly devoid of warmth – we scrambled to do damage to it while also avoiding being touched in return.

It flitted across the melee ranks, no mind of front or space, the party racing to avoid contact with it. Those who could do nothing, fled back up the corridor to stay safer; those who could strike – did so with determined abandonment. The wraith grew ragged and indistinct and then with a cold breeze, burst apart and faded away.

As a final ignominy, Pecheri walked right up to Dardrum, looked him square in the eye, and shot him with the final arrow in his neck @ 3’ away, killing him. The battle over, we pressed on to the final room…only to see it empty. The last necromancer and whatever goods were in here? Gone. A tome that had obviously sat on a lectern? Missing. We pooled together what we had found and cast a detect magic on them – finding most of our friend’s magical items as well as some of the items the followers of Hades had. We gave Castus first pick of 4 magic items, the druid nice enough to return our ring of enhanced healing. The poison earring and Auri’s sword were taken as booty, along with some other items the dwarf had.

There was a large black mirror in the room that NO ONE wanted to touch or fuck with – assuming it was a portal that lead out of here to somewhere – and we were in no condition to follow it through or out. At this point we learned that Pecheri had already slipped out and was gone. Castus and company were going to leave next and we wished them well – eventually would meet them in Shakun in some weeks from now. They were going to get their petrified companion Tauris and head to Gul to find a mage or apothecist with the skill to turn stone back to flesh.

We picked our way OUT of the dungeon after all had gone, getting what treasures we had passed along the way (Pecheri’s arrows, a pewter bowl and cup, 4 small barrels of Barmeer Bold Brown Ale, the chitin from the colossal beetles slain earlier, etc…) eventually making it to the main entrance and then out.

It was here that we were going to have Marcus read from the book and Tremble the dungeon, burying all within and making sure no one could go back and make use of this place again.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Meet 77, Adv 4, 3/14/15

Depending on how long it would have taken the party to catch up with the hired bandits/adventurers would have dictated how far along they were, how tired they were, and how much attrition would have eaten at their group.

The other group had encountered: carrion crawlers, 3 zombies, small wave of skellies and carrion crawlers before they laid down a suppressive fire and backtracked, 5 giant mosquitoes, 2 colossal beetles, and were currently engaged with a Gorgon (not the bull type - old style medusa/harpy combo ala Clash of the Titans). They had lost 2 of their animal companions, over half their healing potions and goodberries, about 50-60% of their spells, and about 1/3 of their missile weapons by the time the group caught up and was able to join forces and help.

What remained was 2 potential fights - 1 with the main lieutenant of the dwarf priest along with his own 5 count of zombies and 3 hellhounds (plus a nasty surprise of some crawling hand type things) - the 2nd with the dwarf himself and his remaining staff (including a 2nd necromancer AND a wraith that I've been holding onto since the beginning as it originally in the room with the dumped over wagon and the Matriarch and Patriarch - it's been spying on the group each time they've come in and reporting back to the dwarf of the party's capabilities). We hit the first fight this meeting, truncating it with a well placed use of our own priest of Apollo's fear staff - the 2nd and much more dangerous encounter would be the next meeting.

Write up follows:

Once all prepared and reloaded with goodberries and holy water/wine, we hightailed it back to the Griffanus Estate and the grove along the northern edge. Illana, and the other members of Castus’ group were there, meeting us and assuring the party that the others had gone in some time ago. Whistles had been handed out with the fore knowledge to blow it twice if they needed help. A blast of 1 whistle meant help was on the way.

They informed us that there had been some sounds of combat early on but since then, only faint echoes very far away. We thanked them, asked them to sit tight, and then descended to the cavern ourselves.

At the entrance room there was signs of a combat with one of the carrion crawlers but we moved on from here. Erd and Steiner each had torches for the front and middle of the group, while Funis had his enchanted mace help up for light. We travelled on, staying along the paths we had already been on, taking shields along the way as we expected to need them at the end.

In the cart room we had seen signs that three of the zombies had come out from the narrow corridor and Castus’ party had dispatched them. Beyond was the Death dog room, empty, and then the stairs over the pits – a bridge established there by the dwarf and his people we suspected.

From here we did not go north towards where we had lost Auri and the others, instead we travelled east – the corridor sloping very faintly down over 140’ of echoing footsteps. And then eventually we came to a new room. The walls were covered with a beautiful hand painted mural showing Hades and most of the legends about him. However, they had a decided slant to them in their depiction, aggrandizing Hades and his accomplishments and dimunizing others. Also, it was apparent that some sort of elven figured had been painted in as cruel and capricious creatures.

There was a single corridor out of here along the east wall, but there was also a section of the wall that had been defaced with pick – the part showing Persephone willingly and wantonly joining Hades in the underworld – direct opposition to the belief held by most followers of Demeter (and the other good aligned gods). The whacking of it by the other group though did reveal a passage (secret) behind the mural.

Looking down it went 20’ and opened to a room. However after entering the hall and closing the door, we noted a yellow a gray wavering light from the room and no one wanted to go down to see what was there – so we left it.

We took the main corridor and traveled along until we arrived at a chamber with 2 other ways out of here and some grit and filth on the floor. According to Tranis who spent some time scouting, it seemed that a massive set of prints went out and back in along the south corridor but only showed going out along the northern one – so we went that way. The corridor went for a while until we came to some bloody smears on the floors and some bandages discarded.

From there we then emerged to a very large chamber with two colossal dead beetles in it. Both had signs of combat trauma, arrows, and many signs of burn marks crisscrossed the chamber. One beetle was almost 8’ tall and a thousand pounds, the other maybe 5’ tall and 300#. There was also a dead dog here, letting us know that Castus had been taking some losses. We faintly heard some noises far ahead – so we pressed on.

We went down one set of stairs, and heard sounds of combat, with Castus hollering at Pecheri to, “stop fucking around and fucking shoot her already!”. We moved on, faster and with care, until we finally came to another set of stairs going down and then stopped to look.

The chamber was sizable and there was about 2/3rds of a peasant’s hut dropped here. A few figures (statues) were shown running from the house in obvious fear. Castus and group were on the far end of the chamber holding a battle line behind Torquil and the 3 oversized dogs, the entire room bathed in an Obscurement spell, reducing clear visibility to almost nothing.

They were fighting a 7 1/2’ tall winged woman with a snake’s tail, a javelin firing bow, asps for hair, and we assumed glowing eyes. Medusa…gorgon. And from here, we could see that one of Castus’ group had already been turned to stone.


We had to join up but did NOT want to get caught by the Gorgon. So we decided that we would one at a time charge across the 14’ of clear ground and dive behind the remains of the hut, coming around it to eventually join up with Castus and the others. Not all would go at once, some of the party would wait here until we could add our strength to theirs and then invite the others over.

Great plan. But Steiner decided that it was missing something so called upon Apollo to bless everyone – really loud. Which then made the rest of the group scramble. The Gorgon was still fighting the druids’ group, but the edge of the Obscurement spell was only 8’ to her south, and if she ran in our direction – her gaze could stone most of the party. Half the group ran backwards up the stairs while others charged out with eyes clenched shut and dove behind the house, Castus roaring for us to hurry up.

But while we were charging forward, it was Steiner who wound up getting stuck behind the house, his armor hanging on the sharp outcroppings of the wall. With no way to get past him quickly, the cleric dragging himself forward, we were in dire straits. That’s when Marcus took out Wipztar’s tome and thumbed across to the page marked, “Boil” – where he read it and pointed it in the Gorgon’s direction.

We had noted though that subsequent readings of the book seemed to increase in power – and this was no exception – as the Gorgon’s entire head was awash in pustulating boils, blood was flowing, then her head was steaming and she screamed before her brain boiled and the pressure burst her skull – killing her.

We all convened together and shook hands, sharing what had gone on to this point in time. Cururfin used his poisonry skill to milk a few of the asp’s venom from the Gorgon’s head and smeared it on a few arrows – which were then given to Pecheri. A huge group now, we moved on, heading towards the end of the dwarf’s lair.

Some turned brought us to a kitchen where a single table with a mug and plate sat. There was an oversized larder here with tones of dried foods and vegetables. But we got the feeling that someone had just been here and had moved on ahead. So we followed, bows spears and spells at the ready.

The passage went on until it was opening to a large chamber and a voice from ahead called out for us to “Stop.” We had gone far enough, Dardrum (the dwarf?) was done and tired of us and our interference and we should turn and go now. Failure to do so would result in only our deaths.

Our thoughts? Fuck this guy – and we charged in.

Long room, 3 hellhounds, 5 zombies, and one wild haired death loving necromancer hiding behind them all. The hellhounds were a pain in the ass immediately, extra fire damage, strong, determined. The zombies were also well behaved, fighting with tactics and in unison. The necromancer hurled a series of meteors at us, splattering them around the party. Tranis was beset by some of the hounds who tried to drive him backwards – towards a section of the room that sloped down to a pit and then somewhere else – garbage chute.

The lead three zombies hurled severed arms at the group who then tried to scramble up and attack us. But it was here that Steiner used his staff of fear and hurled a blast at the necromancer – sending him to run screaming from the chamber. Castus followed up with a Quench spell and the flames from the hellhounds ended. With Karstimis the necromancer gone, the zombies were no longer fighting with tactics and the group was able to take them down easier.

Just as we polished off the final one, we could hear from down the corridor angry voices, we assumed the dwarf Dardrum threatening to take us down, and then LOTS of charging figures coming our way. So we squared off, took ranks throughout the chamber, and got ready to face off with Dardrum and his horde of approaching undead.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Meet 76, Adv 4, 3/7/15

Not quite how I had expected it.

When I had first penned this adventure down, I knew it was well above the character's capabilities and knowing their penchant as of late - expected they would hire some people to help.

My fault was in not letting the players know (even subtly) that this was my plan. There was a party of adventurers already in the area - as bandits - and they as a group are slightly more tough than the party.

Te expectation was that they would split up at one point with the group directing the bandits to the dungeon while the party took care of other matters top side. After the last almost TPK we had a come to the table moment and the party then realized what I had been hinting at (which was a shame- because the party leader (as the person) DID figure it out just before the last TPK meeting and was already going towards the idea of doing that - but was absent at the table in real life that night).

So for this meeting - we had 1 first of 4 major end of campaign combats - and this one I expected was to be the party's entirely. And they did terrific. First class job, everyone worked together, and everyone performed their role perfectly without stepping on other people's toes.

Write up follows:

We awoke early enough and broke our fast. From there we discussed spell choices and tactics for a while before readying ourselves for the trip back to the Griffanus Estate and eventually the dwarven cavern.

We met up our hirelings (Liscinia, Vestanus, and Funis) first and then proceeded to the apartments to gather up Castus and his band of adventurer bandits. We travelled off towards the Thanach homestead where we picked up Pecheri and introductions were made. Our numbers were the party of 6, and Flimflam’s two animals, the three hirelings, Castus’ band of 11, their 7 animal companions, and Pecheri – bringing us to a total of 30. It was time to end this Hades threat once and for all.

We looked over the Griffanus Estate though and felt very uncomfortable. A haze had settled over the entire place, a prickling to our skin, and assault to our senses. It was quiet, and just foul. No one wanted to risk walking near the home or going through the gate. Instead we travelled around the entirety of the Estate to the north side nearest the grotto and clambered over the wall one at a time…on guard and waiting.

Even the burbling water was a mere sodden pulse, the grasses cold and yellowing, the trees tired and worn. Nothing made us feel at ease.

As for the cavern entrance, the stairs went down 10’…and ended at a wall. A wall that was not there 3 days earlier. It was featureless and smooth and we distrusted it completely. Castus’ people had sledges and picks and they assaulted the wall for 15 minutes plus until the stones that comprised eventually shifted and weakened enough and we were able to knock a hole in it large enough for us to pass under and through.

A lit torch was tossed in. The stairs continued 10’ further down, then a sloping corridor…and then another wall.

This meant more time. And our attempts at entering had not been quiet. The dwarven necromancer and his ilk had to know we were here and getting closer. Flimflam and Castus discussed the situation and decided that our party would go to the Griffanus house and check it out while Castus and his people finished knocking a hole in the 2nd wall. We agreed and left the grove, heading closer to the house itself.

Based upon Erd and Tranis’ estimation from a few days ago, the strange decrepitness and aging of the home seemed to have advanced, no longer confined to the interior, but encompassing the exterior as well. We circled the house twice, not trusting the porch, the windows, the doors…nothing. It just was howling to all of our senses that this was wrong.

The call was given to burn it to the ground, and if there was a 2nd entrance in the house somewhere, it would be better to pick through the rubble than to risk entering. The party was in agreement and a torch was applied to one corner. The dry-rotted and withered timbers went up swiftly and in no time, the roof had caught. The thatch insulation under the shingles spread the fire across the entire house and in a short time black flames and smoke were reaching skyward. The party backed up and watched the house burn with a critical eye.

When the upper cross beams finally gave way and collapsed to the main floor, it spread the fires even more and cause the center of the house to sag in. The fires rose higher and then there was an odd crack, followed by a burst of heated air and a rising purplish plume that eventually turned to regular fire.

What the fuck was that?

While the group was discussing it, there was the crack of thunder in the air to the south near the Thanach home. We raced around the fires and ran to a clear section so we could see better, and what we saw made our blood run cold. A floating giant like figure composed of necrotic flesh was on the OTHER side of the Thanach home and bounding up and down, heading away from the area and towards the town.


We shouted to Castus’ man that we were in pursuit and that they should press on to the dwarf; the group would follow afterwards. And then we ran. It was over 300’ away when the chase began and we found ourselves spreading out as the slower and heavily armored members were left behind. When the range dropped to 200’ and less we let loose long and short bows; arrows plunging into the floating figure. To no avail. We needed to get closer.

Meanwhile it had crossed the barrier of the Thanach Estate and was now in another homestead, the peasantry there running for their lives. We ran on, closing the gap with each pounding step. More arrows flew and seemed to do nothing. Closer now we could see the figure was over 14’ tall and composed of multiple pieces of dead flesh stitched together somehow in the crude parody of a man; giving it greater size and breadth. No one wanted to get too close.

That’s when we had Curufin and Encrinus start to sling the vials and vials of holy water (from the church of Zeus) and holy wine (left over from the church of Demeter). They worked wonderfully. The undead golem howled and shivered, its flesh twisting under the smoking residue of the blessed water. Its guts were trailing under it like some morbid balloonist’s tethers, the entrails scoring the ground and killing every blade of grass it touched. More holy water followed and it roared in response.

Some of its guts flashed against the earth hard and then a zombie burst from the ground and stormed towards the party. This is where Funis and Tranis (with Steiner and a couple of the other members trailing up behind) ran interference, the two main fighters meeting the zombie head on and their enchanted weapons taking it down before it could even return a blow.

The goliath meanwhile was floating lower and crouching down, digging its stitched together toes into the earth…and then it jumped forward, clearing much of the space between it and the house and leaving us momentarily uncomfortably out of range – and it that much closer to town.

We ran forward again, more flasks flying, while the monstrosity worked its way over the house (collapsing part of it in the process) and its guts popped up 2 more zombies. Flimflam called to Demeter and summoned a hippogriff to stand before the zombie, hoping to slow it down, while Marcus was calling for flasks of oil as well. Funis with his enchanted mace and Tranis armed with the Day Star made a remarkable duo and kept the constantly summoned zombies down to a manageable number.

It was while the floating zombie was passing the unharvested wheat field that Flimflam had a brain spark and cast Entangle in the area, wrapping the stalks of wheat around it’s legs and pulling it down from the sky – stopping it in its tracks.

From here we had a constant barrage of oil and holy water plied against the zombie figure, boiling off large swaths of the monster and causing all sorts of fetid morass to stain the earth below. The hippogriff had made the mistake and flew too close, killed outright from the zombie’s terrible blows, and the summoned hobgoblin Marcus called upon next didn’t last a dozen seconds when the floating undead thing caught it in its grasp and crushed it’s chest.

We were tearing it shreds with vials and vials of holy water and burning oil, slowly and steadily round after round. No one wanted to dare close within striking distance especially after Flimflam tried to summon a baboon right next to the undead creature and attack it…but it was caught just as it appeared out of thin air and destroyed in 3 seconds.

The figure tore out a handful of its own guts and hurled them in the party’s direction! Liscinia held the ground, her tower shield presented wide ways while as many who could huddled behind it and her. The ropy guts did score the magical steel face like acid – but our shield bearer’s resolve held true as she deflected all the missiles coming out ways and kept the party safe.

The entangle spell would not let the figure flee, no matter how many times it hunched down and attempted to tear free. Its form shivering, awash with both flaming oil in places and sodden with holy water in others, it finally collapsed to the field and fell over and apart. To Tranis holding the Day Star and to Flimflam, druid of Demeter (and hater of all things Hades), they both suddenly felt a wave of satisfaction flow them coupled moments later by an keen interest to run back towards the Griffanus Estate and finish off the dwarven necromancer stationed underground there.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Meet 75, Adv 4, 2/21/15

There was a late start, some conversation, and a lot of LARPing at this meeting which meant we didn't get as far as we could have, but we did have a good time. It has been cold, terrible cold, this winter, and I am sure that I dropped the ball by not putting the heat on in the game room early enough for this meeting.

Write up follows:

After returning to the Mane and Tail for a quick meal, we then went to the Heatherfield Gemsmith to talk with Liscinia. Her father met us (human) and got our measure before allowing us to go to the back of the shop and met with Liscinia. She came down, same but different. A larger woman (half elven), but somehow contrite and concerned. She was bothered that Flimflam wasn’t here to talk to her but was reassured when we explained that he was up in Dairymeade getting more support.

Tranis spent time explaining to her what had happened and what had gone wrong – but mostly to assure her that we needed her on this final foray to take out the dwarf. She was hesitant but through our discussion was able to get some concessions: she wanted 7 nobles/day instead of 5, wanted to know that we had a plan and would be following it to take out the dwarf, and finally wanted to make sure that no one would be left behind this time. Tranis promised that we would do what we can and to have her meet us on the morning 2 days hence.

Our next stop was to meet Funis at a tavern near Fleaside, the talkative and gregarious fighter thrilled to be invited back and was looking forward for the opportunity to “kick some more ass” as he put it. We did cover his bar bill (for him and his friends who were pretty hammered at this time) and had the bartender promise to cut him off soon.

We then went to call on Vestanus the porter who was willing to come but was hoping to double his salary (since it was so damned dangerous) to 2 nobles/day. Tranis let him know that as long as Flimflam agreed, we’d be happy to have him along.

7:15 had us visiting Sripinius’ family where his mother was just distraught and heartbroken. There had been no body brought back so they worry that he trapped on the banks of the River Styx in the afterlife with no way to reach to other side. They asked us that if we could find his body to bring it back and we them miserable and in tears.

The last of Tranis and company was to look for a torchbearer and the idea was tossed around to go to the jail and see if there was anyone we could “borrow”. Turnkey Bryson met us and Tranis had some discussion with him. Heatherfield has been very prosperous as of late so there were not many debtors for us to take. What he did have were some violent criminals and some arsonist and we opted to meet with two men who had been in for assault, and the 2 arsonists.

We were unimpressed. Although at the end of all things, Tranis suspected that one of the violent offenders was going to shiv the other one soon. He left without making any promises to take any of the men and returned to the Mane and Tail to end the night.

Flimflam and company left Dairymeade early on the 27th with Castus and the rest of the Grey Haven bandits in tow. They pressed on the entire day until coming close to Heatherfield. The decision to not go into town with wanted bandits was bandied about so we thought about squirreling them at the Thanach Estate. But the Homestead was seemingly quiet and under a pall and no one wanted to risk it. Same with sleeping in some farmer’s barn – what if someone told the Sheriff?

Castus let us know that there was an apartment building not too far from the edge of town in the half-elven ghetto where he and his have hidden out in the past. He gave a bag of coins to Geld (who was still a woman thanks to Hestia) to arrange payment and stay for one night while everyone hid down the main road some ¼ mile from town. Once the place was assured we snuck Castus and his people in where they went into the apartment and got rest for the night.

A short visit to the Temple of Demeter followed and then by 11:30 we had gotten to the Mane and Tail where we discussed upcoming tactics and spell choices before going to bed knowing that tomorrow we would be heading out to confront the dwarf for the last time.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Meet 5, Adv B2, 2/17/15 - Youth Group

The two of them had another game night and they were going out in a group of 7 to hunt down the mountain lion that that killed another party’s thief. The mountain lion was going to harry the party with hit and run attacks before the mad hermit would make his appearance.

The Mad Hermit is one of those things that can spell a TPK to an unprepared party and as it was, it was a close thing here. At the end of the fight, we had one character with 6 hp, one with 3, 2 with 2, and 3 with 1 hp each. And no more healing. Another successful strike from the lion OR the hermit and it would have permanent death to anyone at the group.

But the Mad Hermit is written up in such a way that he is a travelling holy man, and I played it as such. Such an imposing figure and a terrible fight, that his battle cries about the Silent Gods were chilling. As it is – the two of them spent a few days in real life occasionally calling one another and saying, “The Silent Gods Hate You!”

Write up follows:

It took us half an hour to get to the part of the trail near where Jakes and his party had made camp – and from there, we set off into the woods to the north. Jakes, Sparks, and Darren all felt that we had to head north and northwest to find where Larson had been assaulted, but no one was entirely sure. Hoping to get more of a view, Charlotte offered to climb a tree but after only 8’ or so off the ground, a branch gave way and she slipped down.

As we were helping her up, a brown and black mountain lion burst from the underbrush and hit Corg, tearing into the fighter’s back before leaping away a few of our arrows trailing after him. His wounds were treated and then we set off looking again.

The afternoon waned and the light was slowly failing. Charlotte was convinced she smelled soup but wandering around the darkening woods we didn’t find the source. We kept going, northwest this time, keeping a ready eye out for our quarry. The forest became wilder, less safe, no sign of trails or anything.

Eventually we heard a creaking and the party slowed down, eventually beholding a large oak looking tree. Near the trunk, hanging, was a humanoid figure. A noose vine was wrapped around his throat, his fingertips trapped under the noose as well, and flesh purplish and rotting. And he slowly, slow, swung back a forth a few inches live some macabre pendulum, creaking from the branch above.

It freaked all seven of the party out. They wanted to cut him down, but didn’t want to get close. They shot the body, an arrow sinking into the dead flesh with a wet thunk. Nothing happened. Jakes offered to step forward and cut the man down. We watched with quiet care as the burly fighter stepped up to the dead man and lifted his sword.

And the group watched in horror as fresh nooses dropped from the tree above and landed around Jakes. He managed to duck a bit away but it looped around his up-stretched sword arm and lifted tight. His sword fell from his grasp and he was being elevated. William dared to run to Jakes while the rest of us were screaming at him to get free. As more nooses were dropping, William leapt and slashed the one holding Jakes up – severing the vine and dropping the fighter back to the ground. He gathered his fallen sword and the group ran back and away from the hangman’s tree.

We opted to no longer head north or northwest, between the failing light and the fear of what worse could be out there. We instead wanted to head back south and get out of the forest while there was a scrap of daylight. So we headed that way until the twilight came and night fell and we were lost in the woods.

Jakes and William took over now: we lit torches and two teams went out to collect LOTS of firewood with the remaining three would clear out an area to sleep at as well as make a fire pit. Once established, the group shared what food was in their pouches, shot the breeze for a little bit, and then drew up an order to keep watch – no less than 2 people on a given time. Charlotte and William would take first watch and would then awaken Sparks and Darren, who would then awaken Loq and Corg, and finally Jakes would have last watch by himself.

So the group went to sleep, the two friends stayed near the fire, keeping the flames bright and cheery, staving off the night chill and keeping the darkness away. They chatted quietly about the inability to find the mountain lion again or discover where Larson went. They also wanted to get back to town for a little bit and then get back to the Caves.

It was around 10 PM or so when the two friends heard a voice from the dark call out, “Hail the fire! Can I approach?” William said sure while Charlotte quickly awoke the rest of the party. The man can into the light, over 50, wiry grey hair, sort of a hunchback, wild eyes, oversized nose with a mole on the side of it, clad in layers of scavenged clothes and cloaks.

He identified himself as Martigan, a travelling holy man who preys to “all gods from all times should they want to hear my voice.” We were very distrusting of him but shared the fire, Martigan sitting between Jakes and Darren. He talked at length for a bit, preaching lightly, until it was dropped that “all people are loved except for thieves. Dirty rotten untrustworthy shits – they deserve nothing but to die.”

Charlotte was very bothered at him and the rest of the group was getting uncomfortable. But he asked her if she was loved? And she said yes. So he nodded, said, “Maybe, but the Silent Gods hate you,” and he snapped his fingers pointing at her.

And the mountain lion leapt from the trees above and tore into Charlotte, dropping her to 0 and killing her.

Martigan began laughing at this and drew a wicked 11” knife from a fold in his cloak, laying open Jakes’ scalp in a 6” slash across his face. Darren tossed one of the last 3 elixirs to Loq while Corg and William assaulted the mountain lion, trying to get it off of Charlotte’s dying form. They succeeded, the two fighters getting slashed in the process by the large cat’s claws.

The thief no longer under the feline’s claws, Loq was able to stabilize her, bringing her back north of 0 hp. Meanwhile Jakes was having a difficult time in hitting the wiry Martigan; in fact one blow that looked like it would connect instead was turned aside by a flash of eldritch blue light.

Sparks had backed up and drew his bow out, readying an arrow to shoot when the crazed hermit whirled on one foot and hurled his Kris bladed dagger the 15’ distance where it plunged into the magic-user’s chest – dropping him to 0. He crowed, “The Silent Gods Hate You!” and dragged another dagger free, reestablishing his attack with Jakes.

Darren raced to Sparks with the one of the last 2 elixirs, plucking the knife free from the wizard’s chest. Meanwhile Loq had gotten Charlotte back to her feet, the thief with tears in her eyes and murder on her lips. She drew her own dagger and joined William and Corg on whittling the mountain lion down, the trio slashing and hacking at the crazed and whirling feline.

Sparks managed to get to his feet, eyed blurry but breathing again thanks to Darren’s efforts. He snatched his bow from the ground and angrily shouted at Jakes to “kill that mad man!” At that point the mountain lion was stabbed deep and gave a dying roar, collapsing to the ground. This caused the mad holy man to grow wroth and leap upon Jakes, plunging his dagger again and again into the fighter’s back, howling about the silent gods hating him. Jakes fell over, bleeding out.

Sparks shot the mad man, but his arrow was turned aside by another flash of blue, and then Martigan leapt over the fire, dagger high, trying to skewer Charlotte. At the last moment William stepped in front of her, taking the blow that would have killed the thief on his own armored chest. Everyone was badly wounded now and Darren used the last healing elixir to bring Jakes back to positive hit points (1!!).

Corg and William tried to push Martigan into the fire but he held his ground, slashing and hacking, daggers whirling. But he was overmatched and outnumbers and with a final round of cuts and stabs, the party managed to bring Martigan down, killing at long last the crazed holy man, who gave a final spitting curse, “The Silent Gods Hate You!”

We bound our wounds, refed the fire, and looked over Martigan. The only thing of interest? An iron ring on his left pinky that would not come over his knobby knuckle. So William plied knife and cut it free. No one knew what to make of it; it had no markings or adornments. William tried it on and it fit his finger and then seemed to snug down, not coming off. There was talk of removing it (with knife!) but Darren and Loq urged the fighter to wait till he got back to the keep and see if it was dangerous or cursed.

We slept the remainder of the night and awoke feeling much better for our rest. Jakes and company told Loq he could have the mountain lion since he had the final blow that slayed it. We shouldered it and set off in the day light back south. It was some half hour later that Charlotte thought she smelled herbs again (soup like) and we all fanned out, finding what we assumed was Martigan’s home – a hollowed out trunk of a tree.

It was cramped inside, mismatched furniture, leaves, and just a mess. Charlotte gave the place a once over, eventually having William help her to toss the leaves on the floor aside. To her eyes, the dirt floor looked d a little disturbed, so she used her dagger and stabbed it all over until she heard a “clank” under the earth. Digging down, the two friends revealed a thin metal box that they took into the sun to open. A check for traps revealed none and then the hasp was busted off and opened.

Inside were gold and silver and a fairly nice dagger with some runes on it. Charlotte wanted it but Jakes wasn’t going to just give it up – they settled on him and his people took the coin while she took the blade. From here we wandered back to the Keep and everyone was a bit sad to part ways. Jakes and his friends were going to the Hospice to heal up a bit and then go back to Larson’s family to give them his share of their treasure before eventually coming back to return to the caves.

Loq and Corg were going to relax and heal up as well, getting a confirmation from the two friends that they would be going back in 2 or 3 days and wanted to hire the two of them again. They agreed and would meet up on the 26th.

From here Charlotte and William went across the training yard to the three towers on the far side of the keep, hoping to talk to the elven sage and wizard named Quasor. It took some doing before we were let in to talk to him but once inside, he was both deferential and interested in our findings.

We showed him William’s ring first and was assured it was not harmful or would kill the fighter. It was not associated with the Silent Gods, but maybe one of the sky gods and associated with protection. Hence why the blue blasts – wearing the ring most likely offered the fighter some protection from physical blows – and the tightness meant that it couldn’t be accidentally removed. He was thankful to have it and nodded his appreciation.

As for the dagger, the runes identified it as “Tranquil Wave” and was one of a group of 4 daggers that used to belong to the King’s Thieves some time ago, a royal group of spies and informers who would protect the king’s interests abroad. The group had been disbanded almost a century earlier and the knives lost over time. It was whispered that the daggers had a strong enchantment upon them, making them shake off rust, fail to bend even under the harshest conditions, and were almost otherworldly sharp.

Charlotte was wondering, if there was one knife here, would the other 3 be as well? They wanted to look out for them in the Caves. And that lead Quasor to ask the group to bring back some goblin viscera for him to use to continue and refine his enchantments on a magic sword he was working on – “Goblin’s Bane”. We would be paid well for our bounty and upon completion of the blade’s sorcery, we were to be given first option to buy the sword.

It was now 10:30 on the 23rd and we had some errands to do and then wanted to go to the Hospice and rest, getting our wounds tended to.