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

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Meet 90, Adv 5, 8/1/15

The set piece for Redbrick Tower aka Cornelius' Tower was set up actually a very long time ago, prior to this group. It was sitting there and was supposed to be a launching point for the expansion of the mage's guild this far west in the duchy (kingdom now). However, the 2 adventuring parties (going back a bit) that were here - the first never stayed long enough to set up roots in Shakun, and the second lost their mage before the possibility of taking over the tower ever came into place.

So Cornelius' Tower has been percolating for some time...until now. If it works out well, the party will have the possibility of using the mage's tower as a focal point and base (for the party's magic user). It will need to be re-equipped and restocked in some places, but it's a big coup if they can pull it off.

I had a good time writing this last part of the adventure and look forward to the party plumbing the secrets and heights of the tower.

Write up follows:

The group was pretty keyed up from our trip to the goblins and Berrycleft Hill, but we expected to go and visit Cornelius’ Tower tomorrow (21st) or the day after (22nd) so we sort of kept ourselves closer to the Hall of Heroes and raided the closets for replacement clothing as well as have a decent meal and shoot the shit with Avidius’ wife and kids. The group that had gone out after the goblins to raid them (Marshall Westwinter, his deputies, Kalt and the First Sons of Shakun, and a host of mustered militia men and Homesteaders totaling perhaps 60) was supposed to come back this evening and Steiner was going to keep a weather ear out for their return and maybe get some information.

Erd though went to the Militia and spent another large swath of time with Scarene. They shared stories, jokes, and even the desire to continue communication after she is let go (her hopes – maybe not reality). Eventually Erd did go back to his home where a number of squatters were still living until the all clear was to be given tomorrow to allow people to return to their Homesteads. During his conversation with the tenants, a family referred to as “Sheepshearers”, he lamented the fact that he needed a maid to help to keep up the place and to take care of some day to day issues.

One thing led to another and when it was all finished, Erd hired Julaine Sheepshearer, a 15 y/o daughter who was 5’10”, 165 lbs, and big and anxious to work. Not quite sure how it works, Erd actually paid the apprentice fee to the girl’s father (instead of collecting it) and then spent some time filling her in on what her duties would be over the next 6 months.

Steiner was at the Hospice where he did learn that the posse did return but it did not go well. 15 of the riders had been wounded and 7 had been slain. Three were pretty bad off and seemed to have been hit by a series of goblin slingers at terrible close range. The sling bullets were small and yet penetrated deeply in the flesh of the men. One was shot in the shoulder, another in the guts, and the last in the leg over the knee.

Father Gavilerin and Steiner did what they could to work on the men but admitted that even their skill was not enough. So a runner was sent to the Hall to request Flimflam to come and help out. Flimflam though was having a nesting moment and was cleaning out the last room where he had been growing hallucinogenic mushrooms. The beds were pretty full and he had a crop there, but the squirrel that lived there for the last few months and had developed a taste for the mushrooms stayed local – eventually the two of them befriended one another (thanks to a charm animal spell) – but unlike the relationship with his dogs, the squirrel was fiercely independent and made its will known to the gnomish druid.

Flimflam did go to the Hospice where the three men worked hard for almost 2 hours saving the lives of the 3 wounded men. Their injuries were systemic of some of the goblin strange weaponry and refused to heal with divine aid while any source of the goblinoid crud was present.

We awoke the next day and after breaking our fast had some errands to run before we were going to get together for lunch and then go to Cornelius’ Tower. There were some trips to Pelis the rug merchant to talk about the town and some of the people in it, as well as a need to buy a rug (that was waved over and the priest in question was told to wait until and if he eventually opened a covered shrine or small temple to Apollo). The militia was visited and thanked for their efforts in watching the tower, and Captain Thragriel let it be known that Erd had been to visit Scarene a few days in a row now.

At Marig’s Trading post a loom was purchased but would need some work as well as some other supplies. Julaine was become besotted with Erd and the fighter showed the impressionable young woman where his secret stash of coins was hidden, giving her the right to go and take “if needed.” A visit to the fletcher had us with no stonebiters to purchase. A visit to the Baron had us talking about Tanner’s Way and the need to improve the block. 100 crowns was tossed about in the possibility to set up a soup kitchen and smaller hospice there. Casel’s Carpentry was visited for an armor stand. And lastly we went to the Town Hall and formally filed a charter under the name of the Peacemakers with Cornelius’ Tower as an adventurer party location.

We then met back at the Hall where Senna had a big lunch for everyone and we all geared up for our trip into the tower. We had learned that there were some soft attempts to get into the Tower, and suspected that Kalt and the First Sons of Shakun would be trying again in greater numbers today. More of a reason for us to get their first.

Once prepared we went across Town Square to the Cornelius’ Tower where we addressed the two guards there and admitted we were going to enter. It was 1:30 @ this time and we peered within. The door was open, propped in place by a cobble as we had left it. And from our place we could see the floor was somewhat screwed up and littered, and in the back a looming set of stairs hugged the far wall winding up into the ceiling.

A light spell was cast upon the lantern and we entered with care, giving the cobble a firm “step over”. There was a closet along the far wall, the door of which seemed to be smashed and lying partially inside. Broken shelves littered the place, whatever was on them have been destroyed some time ago. The place was cold – maybe a few degrees below freezing. We were all wearing cold weather gear and cloaks, so for now felt ok. The stairs went up to the next floor and there were the odd stains upon them. The closet seemed to have clothing in them.

We pulled the clothing out of the closet with a sweeping of poles and spears, everyone looking around with care for anything of interest. When we had a chance we switched over to infravision (those who have it) and saw the air was filled with odd eddies and whorls of cooler air. Steiner did a detect undead spell and although he saw no undead – he DID see spectral signs that there WERE undead here not too long ago – or maybe just one.

Eventually we sorted out the clothing – most of it vests, shirts, breeches – but there were 2 warm weather linen cloaks, each lightly colored and having a stylized hand reaching up on the back design rimmed in flames.  The back of the closet was searched and we found signs of a secret door that led down to the basement. Even opening the door let up some very cold air.

We sampled the cloaks and by putting them on and pulling them tight around the front with both hands, the flaming hands on the back lit up and the wearer felt like it was 50 degrees instead of mid 20’s. However only 2 of them, and to work properly, the wearer had to use both hands to hold it closed. We took them and turned back to the basement.

The air was even colder down here, the temperature dropping to teens and then single digits. The basement held a large furnace along the south wall, a wood and coal bin were situated near the metal structure. The center of the floor was dominated by a 15’ diameter circle along with a pentagram within – both of them made of paint as well as chalk line. A 6 ½’ tall brown bear in a seated position was in the corner. There were also a number of pipes sticking out of the ceiling and walls in strange places. Lastly the west wall was dominated by 12 wooden crates – each one roughly 4’x4’x 4 ½’ tall. With the last of his detect undead spell still working, Steiner was able to let us know that the undead presence had also been down here – but again – not here now.

We looked for traps for a bit until we were convinced there were none. A detect magic spell let us know the box’s contents might be magical. By now it was after 2 and the decision was made to open the boxes and see what the held. With crowbar in hand we pried off the wooden struts and then the top and revealed…Bark. Chunks and sheaves and layers of bark – assumingly in the entire box. It was easily 80-90% filled – but it was a bark. Magical?

We opened the next box and it was filled with…Leaves. Oak, elm, poplar, birch, all sorts of leaves. Some green, some yellowing, some crinkly red. But leaves. This was getting a bit odd. The third box held a…font. A water font – and from the markings on it, came from a temple of Artemis at one point. The group remembered that Shakun once had a Temple of Artemis on site (in fact, the Hospice and Temple Grounds are where it used to be) but they left Shakun perhaps 40-50 years ago.

The 4th box had part of a bench within, and a cylinder with two wheels each just barely large enough to fit within. Obviously it had to be built or reassembled, but for now we didn’t know what it was.

The cold was getting to most of us so we went back up the stairs to warm up where we noted…the cobble from the front door was no longer blocking the door, instead dumped maybe 5’ further into the room. And the front door was closed.


We were talking about lighting the fire in the furnace somehow to warm the place and maybe opening other boxes. Our light spell was about done and we might be trapped inside the tower – but we would have to go to the door and try it out to make sure.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Meet 89, Adv 5, 7/25/15

The original write-up of the cave had militaristic goblins and a shaman or two ready to combat the party, coupled with a blind hit from the left where a team of goblin dogs and their trainers would hit, as well as two pit traps and the potential to circle around and hit the party from behind. It was supposed to be a VERY tough slog through their home with no possibility of retreat until sunset as the goblins were going to set the grasses on fire and the smoke and flames would force the party into the cave where they'd have to suffer waves of prepared goblins chanting as well as withering arrow fire.

None of that happened.

Instead we have the party going to the cave to encounter about HALF the original number of goblins, of which 11 are veteran status but older - and the rest are women and children.

The traps are still there but aren't manned to the same degree and the assault on the party is much more fragmented and less focused. So much so that the party kicked some serious goblin ass.

The worst of it for the party was the nauseous effect from the pails of shit and piss from the midden hurled at the group. Ie the stinking cloud, nauseous people can't attack, cast spells, or use skills. AC is -4  penalty and it's 1d6+2 rounds.

It was devastating to the party as in the first round of the last combat I took out the two heavy armored tanks meaning our main force of front line fighters was a dog, a spear using warrior henchman, and our ranger. But the entire cave encounter was like a train and the party kept it moving forward - and like any train - anything in the tracks ahead was going to get crushed.

Write up follows:

After a quick scouring of fallen arrows, we decided it was best to press on and keep the momentum going against the goblin forces. The passage out of this chamber ran straight ahead and into the gloom beyond our light source. We cast a light spell on Geld’s spear to help us on our way and then took to the hall, Steiner and Erd leading the way (by dint of their superior armor, doughty shields, and the Detect Trap spell that was still going on).

The passage ran onward for almost 25 long paces until it came to a crossing passage (right and left) and then kept going. According to Steiner, his divine inspired vision informed him that a section of the ground on the left side of the intersection was a weakened floor and should be avoided.

So we moved onward, coming up to the crossing and deciding on going onward or turning left or right when the arrows began firing.

Lots of them.

Steiner held his large shield aloft and moved forward, the goblin shafts driving furrows into his shield, gouging his armor, getting caught in his tabard and padding – but not doing much more than that. He motioned the group to follow and stepped down the hall, Erd right behind him. And then we were assaulted from the right as well with another fusillade of arrows. The party returned fire down the straight corridor, picking off the front spear users while trying to hit the goblins with the bows in back.

Tranis meanwhile along with Ringer ran to the right, bringing the fight to the smaller group over there and closing to front ranks where the two of them hit the foes hard. Swords and spears were thrust and slung and the group on the right broke first, retreating but holding their ranks as they faded around the corner.

The main group held out longer until the last of the spearmen fell. At this point the single older (veteran?) goblin male leading the teens and youths against the party was wounded and peeled back, taking only a single goblin with him in his dash to retreat, the party littering the hall with the dead and dying.

Our shields and armor were showing some wear and our stores of arrows were slipping, but we drew up lines once more and readied ourselves for continuing onward. The decision was made to go to the right since it seemed to open up to a large chamber of some sort. So we picked our way along, seeing a burn barrel in the corner lighting the place, the brazier smoking hot, some sort of “meat on a stick” had been eaten by the goblins in their desire to retreat.

There were signs that the goblins had left in haste and we could hear voices and noises down the hall from here, running at a faint slope and out of the room to the north. The smell of goblin feces was strong and we were talking about what to do (the slope down seemed to be covered with goblin scat!) when it was presented that if we screw around here, what’s to stop the goblins from trying to get out back the main way and signal the returning troops that we were here and they should return quickly?

It made sense so we just turned around and raced back the way we came, Marcus now leading the way – and sure enough, his elven hearing did pick up the sounds of frantic and running goblins coming closer down the original corridor. They had to be stopped. So it was Marcus around the corner followed by Geld who began stabbing and shooting the approaching 8 – 2 with spears, 2 with horns, 2 with drums, and 2 with flaming arrows – already nocked and ready.

We hit them hard and they made some effort to try and get past but Tranis was holding the ground along with Flimflam, plus a total of four of their dogs. Geld actually power slammed one of the running goblins up and over, flinging the 13 year old drummer down into the pit where he dropped 20’ and was impaled on spikes below.

None of them made more than a few feet down towards the exit; all of them eventually slain for their efforts. Erd and Steiner though, out of this fight, went back to the side room with the burning brazier and tossed the brazier down the sloping hall to illuminate the area. It did, but we also got a four count of arrows shot back at us for the effort. So the fighter and priest pulled back and away, rejoining the rest of the party that had finally finished the fight with the goblin foes.

We debated our options and decided that we were going to go back down the main hall towards the now distant and much fainter sounds coming from the cave. We drew up once more in marching order and marched on, eventually coming to a large chamber. The far side led towards the exit (faint light was streaming down), but it was blocked off by dumped over tables, beds, chairs, benches, and all manner of bric-a-brac. There was another corridor to the left also blocked by chairs, stools, boxes, and barrels. From behind both we could hear goblin voices.

We discussed our plans and then decided that once more Erd and Steiner would lead the way – heading towards the larger barricade and attempt to tear it down. However as we raced across the room and approached the barrier, from outside the side corridor and behind that barricade came arcing honey buckets. Honey buckets … filled with 2+ gallons of goblin shit and piss.

And it rained down on both men from head to foot.

They both stopped charging, hacking and coughing as they tried to clear their eyes and mouths. The nauseating goblin feces was oozing under their armor and soaking their skin and clothes. The reek was in their mouth and face and hair. And it made them heave and retch as they staggered about.

Erd moved backwards and Steiner stumbled to the smaller barricade – where spears from the other side thrust out and stabbed into the cleric who was having a hard time staying upright. The rest of the party charged forward to help, Geld dodging a bucket tossed at her and hitting the smaller barricade with her own spear leading the way. The barricade had to come down if they were going to hit the goblins on the other side so Tranis and Geld started ripping into it.

Flimflam went to come forward to help but from the corridor behind us goblin arrows shot out, hitting the druid and then slamming into Whosea three times, bringing his war dog dangerously close to death. Tranis reversed his movement and Marcus helped, the two of them shooting the goblin in the dark while Flimflam healed Whosea from the worst of the injuries. More honey buckets came sailing over and more nausea was tossed on Steiner who not a mouthful as well as the bucket upending into his backpack. He was twisting and screaming, revolted and furious, tossing chairs and benches aside with blind fury.

Whose, healed, raced into the dark corridor and finished off the goblin there while Marcus ran through the fight and hit the far barricade with his crowbar, dodging spear thrusts and trying to get to the goblins behind. To distract them Flimflam summoned a swarm of rats that bit, scratched, and distracted half of the goblins on the other side of the big barrier.

The smaller barricade was almost down when Tranis and Geld were hit with their own buckets, the two of them disgusted but doing their best to keep the fight going on. Erd dared to cross to the larger barrier and was assaulting it with Marcus while the goblins were distracted.

As the last of the chairs and stools were pulled aside and spears were thrust at them, Geld slammed her spear out at the goblin line and skewered one of the teen aged female goblins in the chest. A clear line of sight had Flimflam call out to Demeter and a large wolverine appeared in the narrow corridor, stopping the flow of honey buckets and causing a ruckus amidst the tightly backed goblins.

From the larger barrier the goblins had managed to light a blanket on fire which they hurled on the swarm of rats just about the same time the Marcus and Erd pulled the last larger piece of table aside and opened the line up to fight the 8 goblin spearmen gathered there. Flimflam and Whosea raced to join the fight as Geld, Tranis and Steiner (all covered and nauseous) kept the smaller corridor plugged up and tore through the goblin youths there.

It was narrow fighting and the goblins fell one after another. Our wounds were adding up but we pressed on until the last goblin tried to run down the hall, stopped at the midden and was speared by Geld with a well-placed throw where the 12 year old goblin youth was pitched back into the muck and sunk out of sight with a drowning glub of rising bubbles.

We were done. The fight had taken the rest out of us and we wanted to leave now. It was already after 2 and we knew that we had little time to get back to town and avoid the goblin horde as it approached. We counted coup and cut off 35 pairs of goblin ears to bring back to Shakun for bounty. With most of us beyond skuzzy from shit and piss as well as a smattering of wounds and hurts, we left the goblin cave on Berrycleft Hill and began the three and a half hour walk back to Shakun.

Once there we stripped in town and went right to the bathhouse, throwing out our soft soiled clothes and undergarments, (even a backpack and torches!) and scrubbed ourselves clean. Steiner refused to pay the 5 common price and instead tossed a common to Higraine at Northern Stables to use the larger trough to get himself clean.

So here we are , Earthmonth the 20th, almost 6 PM, and we were gathering back at the Hall of Heroes for a dinner, to catch Avidius up with what happened (as well as Flimflam curing the scout’s sickness with a well-placed healing spell), and to make sure that Kilven was doing ok.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Meet 88, Adv 5, 7/18/15

At this point I had the adventure sort of going to and ending up in Cornelius' Tower - based upon how written. Focal point in town, 15 years untouched, suddenly open and promise of something good/cool in there - leading to the end of the adventure name, "The Gathering Dark".

The party instead went a different direction and wanted to go back to the original Goblin cave on Berrycleft Hill and kick some ass, raiding THEM in response for them raiding us. If we pressed on and ran, we could beat them there before they came back that evening and ninja our way back to town.

So we geared up and ran to the hill, and as you can see - a room filled with goblin kids and teens doesn't mean that the Murder-Hobos needed to slow down over the speed bump that was their corpses and bodies.

Write up follows:

In the aftermath of the raid we heard goblin horns calling retreat as the greenskin forces were frightened off after the light column roaring show that Mahr’s minion produced. It would be some time until we could verify the damage done to the Homesteads but for now we hoped it was little. Our forces were putting out the last of the fires along Northgate and the party itself was looking over the battlefield (as it was) for clues.

As for Mary – she was reduced to some dusty crystalline powder that rapidly dispersed in the breeze. While walking around and taking note of things, we noticed that Cornelius’ Tower, formerly known as Redbrick Tower, sealed during the goblin occupation and unable to be opened for the last 15 years…the front and only door was open!

While the town watch was coming back, we dared to look at the tower, noting it was dark inside, and the door was ajar – but the feeling of ill will was still there – just lesser. We picked up a loose cobble from the battle and propped open the door, just in case the magic came back on and the door closed.

From here we brought Kilven back to the Hall of Heroes and laid him out, the ensorcelled sleep he was suffering under holding him fast. The group spoke at length about our ordeal and there was talk about going into the tower tomorrow…But instead a counter plan was brought up and the group as one agreed with it.

Beat the goblin force that was heading back to the caves loaded down with booty and plunder and loot their caves! We all agreed and decided we would leave tomorrow after checking in with the Captain and the Baron. Healing was passed out and the group went to sleep.

Most of them.

Erd went off to the Militia where we spoke with the guards there and was allowed to talk with Scarene. He spent some time with her, talking charmingly and with light bantering wit, trying to set her at ease as well as foist the feeling of interest on the elven (half goblin???) woman. It seemed to have an effect after many hours. Eventually he went back to his home where he picked his way through the Homestead squatters he had put up for the night and got to bed.

We awoke the next day where the party raided the equipment piles for torches, shirts, arrows, and rope – everything we might possibly need. We had also paid to have breakfast delivered to the militia’s office and Captain Thragrial for the next few days. We had learned that a group of 60 men and women were going to ride out and harry the retreating goblin forces and make their return to their caves difficult at best. The Marshall Westwinter was spearheading this and it was known that Kalt and the First Son’s of Shakun were anxious to be a part of that group.

Kilven was still unconscious and Avidius was ill, after hiding in the mud puddle we had come down with a pretty nasty cold so his wife Senna had wanted him to stay in bed – and the group agreed. So down two members, we set off: Flimflam, Tranis, Steiner, Erd, Geld, Marcus and our 4 animals: Ringer, Princess, Brutus, and Whosea. Small group, fast moving. 8:30 we were gone and kept up as much of a run as we could, jogging when we grew winded.

By almost 12 we had arrive at the cave in question and spent some time observing it and the hills surrounding it. There were no watches we could see, but there was a faint haze from cooking fires in the cave along the far end of the hill and after some time, a smaller, thinner goblin (teen?) came out of the cave, looked around, and snuck back inside.

We crept in the grasses to the hill and then discussed the merits of setting the grasses on fire and escaping vs. NOT doing that. An inordinate amount of time was spent on this before it was shelved for now and for many of the group – a very last last last possibility. For others – no way at all.

Without Avidius we had no way to check for traps so Steiner called to Apollo to help him see any – and then he crept up to the entrance and peered in. The corridor went in and sloped down for 20-30’ but there was definitely a deadfall trap set up in there. A rope led from the center beam down to the room below. Way to go Steiner.

We needed to cut that rope but didn’t want to risk getting in the cave to do it. That’s when Flimflam stripped down and shape changed into a mouse. He crawled into the cave, made his way to the rope, and started to chew through it. He had to stop when some cat got close to the slope and was looking up there but eventually was able to finish the job and then return to the party.

So we all drew weapons, lined up, and took a deep breath before racing into the goblin cave and entered the first sizable chamber. 6’ ceilings, 60 odd feet deep, maybe 30’, a few fires and candles. And over a dozen younger goblins in here along with 2 older females. No weapons to be seen. A couple of goblin rat dogs and a feral cat playing with the children.

And we slaughtered them. Taking advantage of their surprise, we charged across the chamber with spears and swords flailing. Maces crushed windpipes, arms were lopped off, spears punctured throats and legs. Our dogs only added to the carnage by savaging the yelling goblins with a wild ferocity. From the moment we raced into the room until the last goblin was silence by a deadly cut across their chest, the entire combat took about the same length of time it took to read this paragraph.

Our presence was now known and surprise was lost – but that would be for the future as we had Marcus place an Alarm spell on the cave entrance and Tranis was debating setting up the deadfall again – using the intestines of the fallen goblin children as tripwire rope.