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 20, 2017

Meet 14, Adv B4, 10/15/17 - Youth Group

Before getting to the less interesting lower 5 levels of the ziggurat, the two big showdown fights are with wight in Queen Zenobia’s tomb, and the Darius/Demetrius fight with the Cyndician/Zargonite supporters. I have had people wipe on the wight fight, I have also had no one find the tomb, and I’ve have people do well on it.

For this fight, the dice were so in the youth’s favor that everything they did worked out for them and they managed to flee with the scepter/rod. Trust me, I TRIED to hit them with the wight, but at no point were they in any danger from Queen Zenobia's terrible rolls.

Write up follows:

We decided that we’d go up the northern passage, assuming that it was Queen Zenobia’s tomb we’d be going to since her false tomb was also on the northern end of the chamber. However, before going down, Vulkan was feeling a bit unsure and wanted us to pause while he studied the Web spell in his book. Having recently become more confident in his skills, he felt he could add a 2nd level spell to his repertoire and if things were not going to go well for us, it’d be nice to have more firepower at our fingertips.

So we waited an hour, and during that time, Mark and Delsin heard goblinoid voices getting closer from the other side of the door. Unsure of what was being said; they instead moved themselves in front of the door and quietly braced it with their backs, Safir joining the two men. It was good that they did so because the goblinoids were trying to push on the door and realizing it was lock/stuck/held, bitched and moaned a bit before giving up and heading back the way they came. Delsin didn’t trust the situation and had everyone wait a few moments when they felt the door tested AGAIN.

It seemed the goblinoids left one of their members behind to try and trick anyone on the inside but since the party hadn’t moved or changed anything, the last one got up and left, heading back down the irregular sized passage where we caught it calling out to the others and then all the voices faded.

No other issues occurred and by 1:30 or so, the group of four made their way to the northern secret passage. The floor was thick with dust and spider webs hung low in curtains. We had Safir go first, the scout making small clouds with each step but he went the 20 paces to the corner, looked around and headed back. Passage turned to the left, went another 20 plus paces and ended at a door on the left.

Delsin took point and the party travelled along until arriving at the heavy portal. There was a clay seal on the door covered in old Cyndician script. Mark studied his book of Gorm and the script and let us know it was seals of protection for the dead within – and that it shouldn’t be disturbed.

So we took hammer to clay and beat the seal apart, chunks of thick clay falling to the floor in dried flakey clumps. As they broke the seal, there was a brief flash of a sickly olive green light from the jamb…and then nothing.

Hand on the handle, Delsin put his weight to the door and pushed in and to the right.

It was a fairly decent sized chamber with a 7’x3’x3’ stone box in the center of the room with a flat slab cover upon it. We wanted to check it out, but Vulkan was uncomfortable and Mark wanted the group to be on alert. Safir stood by the door, bow out and arrow loaded, Vulkan right next to him nervously twisting his fingers. Delsin had Heatstroke out and Mark kept the Mace of Gorm in his grip as he braced his hands under the slab cover and pushed.

The lid popped up and slid a good 2 feet across the top of the sarcophagus, sitting upright was the dried out and very dead form of Queen Zenobia. Her crown was twisted in place by her matter hair and baleful greenish glow was coming from her eyes and blackened snarling slack jawed mouth. She lunged to grab Mark but Safir’s arrow shot out – striking her in the shoulder and then bouncing harmlessly away.

Mark and Delsin rocked back as Vulkan shouted out his arcanic words and strands of cloying sticking webs blew from his fingertips and fell around the undead form of Queen Zenobia.

Who literally dodged to the side and tore the webs to shreds as they passed around her.

Delsin slammed his sword forward, hitting her in the stomach, but even Heatstroke’s enchanted edge couldn’t penetrate her skin; instead running along her midsection and raising a black torn gash in her side which did nothing to deter her flailing arms. Mark howled for Gorm to help turn this evil beast but even as his holy symbol began to flare blue and white, Queen Zenobia ducked under the influence and her eyes burst green light – breaking the turning glow before it even hit her.

She swept out wildly, getting to her knees and then standing in the coffin, snarling and ripping at the two front line guys, raising sparks on their shield but not actually hitting anyone. Her off hand held a scepter of some weight which she slammed down like a cudgel, trying to beat Delsin in the head with it.

Safir fired again, and another arrow hit the queen but blunted and broke upon contact. Vulkan meanwhile was ripping out Auriga’s copy of his spellbook, flipping the pages and yelling to “watch out! Watch out!” Finding the page he wanted, he read the spell right from the book, the page turning to fire and then ash – and fired a 2nd Web right at the Queen. This time she was unable to deflect it and it surrounded her, trapping her under the layers of webbing and preventing her from hitting the party.

“Get the scepter! Get it!” Vulkan tossed a pair of knives at Mark and Delsin who stood as close to the furious queen and slashed at the webbing over and around her scepter. The edges of the knives quickly grew duller but the strands slashed apart and eventually her arm with the scepter was free. She tried to smash Mark with it and he danced back. Safir stood right over the queen and fired and arrow into her face under the web – and it broke on her forehead.

Vulkan was holding her arm, feeling cold as he tried to grip the arm in place, while Mark twisted and pulled the scepter about, breaking her grasp and retreating with the prize. Vulkan backed up, just missing getting swiped by the queens flailing clawlike hand. The web was being torn apart from the ground as we made to run from the room. Just outside the door, Vulkan again ripped through the spellbook until he found another spell he wanted, shouting for the party to “go go go”.

Once everyone was outside the chamber, the sound of the webbing snapping apart inside and the Queen howling and screaming, Vulkan finished reading the page from the book and the paper turned to fire and the spell shot off – surrounding the door and frame in tight green and yellow runes and holding it in place – preventing it from being opened for some time.

We jogged back to the main chamber where we shut the secret passage to Queen Zenobia’ s chamber and then dragged the false sarcophagus in front of the door to further confound it from being opened and the undead from getting out to attack us.

The scepter was black, flanged, lightly jeweled and according to Vulkan, radiated magic. He had seen things like this before and suspected it would hold spells, a few of them, for the mage – beyond what he normally was able to memorize in a given day.

We then wanted to go to King Alexander’s chamber – this time more away of what we were going to find and hopefully be done in there before the Queen escaped the held chamber and came out to find us.

The passage was similar to the other side, from the dust to the webs to the door and also the clay seals. We took hammer to seals and during the beating of them, we didn’t see a flash of green – but instead a brief whining high pitched cry. Not wanting to be caught off guard and using the whine as a warning, we took out a few candled, heated up the wax and molded it until it could fit in our ears, deadening our hearing for now.

We drew weapons and as one, opened the door and peered in. Room was similar to Queen Zenobia’s, except this time there was a baleful spirit hovering over the King’s sarcophagus, red tears for eyes and a ragged hole for a mouth. It merely stared at us. No one wanted to walk in. So we talked to it. Explained who we were, what we were doing, talking about Cyndicia and how it had fallen and how Zargon is polluting it all. We needed the ancient king’s sword to help defeat the beast and wanted the spirit to know that King Alexander would feel the same way.

Whether it was the pleading, the connection to King Alexander, or who knows what – but the spirit did come over to the door and we showed it the Scepter of Zenobia with the markings of Usimagarius, and the Mace of Gorm with the Gormian runes. All that was missing was the Sword of King Alexander and we’d have one of each weapon from the ancient Cyndician gods and be able to take the fight to Zargon himself.

The spirit went back to the sarcophagus, disappeared within, and came out with King Alexander’s sword. Delsin was instructed to remove Heatstroke – and the two weapons swapped places. He now held the wide bladed 4’ long rune encrusted sword which read on one side: Sword of Delsin, and the other: Knight of Cyndicia. Taking it reverently, he also had his king’s guard platemail swapped out for the enchanted platemail that King Alexander had been buried in.

We left the room humbled and decided to head our way down to the 5th level and hole up again in the secret room with the chest, rest, eat, study, pray, and heal our wounds. We made our way out of the tombs, through the rocks until we arrived at the section where we had to crawl underneath the standing stone. Once through we kicked the rock repeatedly until it finally settled down in place – hopefully sealing the tombs and possible escape of the undead creature Queen Zenobia turned out to be.

We then went to leave, making our way through the swinging pendulum axe blade traps, until we arrived back at the secret door which we lifted up and…came face to face with 4 rock baboons. Mark stepped forward confidently, talking to the baboons, hooting and pantomiming with them, even peeing when they did – the same as he had done days ago when we first faced them. They were pleased to remember Mark and we swapped food, and they wanted to explore the new now open room. So we let them, and made our way down the ladder in the middle of the hall to the 5th level.

We emerged back into Darius’ chamber and then went to the north west corner where we opened the secret chamber, shuffled in, and shut it behind us. From here we rested and awoke the next day feeling much better. Spells were studied and prayed for and then we emerged, heading our way through the bedroom south to the next door.

It was here that we saw the kitchen and dining room – the two big snakes that had been in here were not seen – but we ran across the chamber to the next room south and opened the door there. Two metal statues, low divans and a door on the east. Oh yeah, they remembered this. We dragged Vulkan across the room who was convinced that this time he had a good idea on how to take care of the statues, ignoring his pleas as we hit the eastern corridor and shut the door behind us.

We passed the remains of the gargoyle, made our way to the large carpeted office with the desk, and decided to look the room over again. We looked in the drawers and found some silver coins, a handful or topaz gems, and a potion in a drawer where the label had fallen off but the drawer had two labels in it: Potion of Healing and Potion of Death.

What? How did we know what this was?

The decision was made to find one of the many mice in the tomb and feed it a few drops of the potion. Which we did, and the mouse died. Ok – potion of death! Got it!

From here we left the office north, back to the hallway where the pit trap had been identified, and decided to head back to the waystation of Gorm on the west side of this floor to ask the priests there if they knew of where Demetrius might be so we could take care of him.

The walk was uneventful and in no time we passed through the wards and had some words on where to go. The east side of the floor past the great room, Demetrius could be found surrounded by the Cyndician followers of Zargon. So that was where we were going to go.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Meet 29, Adv 4, 10/14/17

I had cautioned the group some time ago that not every encounter has to be faced head on like a band saw - the option to flee is always there. Thankfully, they've been taking advantage of this more as the years have gone on, and this meeting was no exception. The K'Morat are retreating in places during the fight, why shouldn't the party?

Yes there is a Frost Giant in the area, and yes, it come when the Shaman calls. No one is saying the group has to fight it, not at 2nd/3rd level. They'll have to be smarter in the future.

Write up follows:

The hall ended and turned to the right and Barb motioned the group to be silent as she crept closer to listen; hearing the faint creak of wood on stone and wood on wood. She guessed the K’Morat were there and they were ready for us. Letting the party know, the group then decided to set up the area behind them.

As the cross corridor, Darius laid out a thin sprinkling of caltrops, covering the floor in question down the south side, and then laid a layer of flour at the crossing to track any K’Morat tracks. He then rejoined Barba at the front and the party drew themselves up for combat.

Wicking and then lighting a flask of oil, Darius hurled it into the hall and room where the K’Morat had positioned a number of tables to act as barriers against the party. The oil hit the ceiling and rained fire down on the kobolds below as the ones in the front hurled their javelins and they clattered against Barba and Darius. Connal was right behind, spear at the ready; everyone hunched down in the narrow passage as Barb hit the first barrier and tried to knock it away.

It was braced from the other side; the half-orc rocked back but couldn’t get through. Javelins were bouncing about, scratching and blasting against her; enough so that she snarled, twisted her head, and raged. Her armor stretched, the sinews burst, and she pushed her way through the mess of tables, kicking the kobolds in her way aside. Connal took up position at the doorway while Darius slung a U-bolt into the room and took of another K’Morat’s skull.

Meanwhile from the other side, Negan heard K’Morat closing down the passage from the north and he swapped his shields, turned and started turtling his way back down the passage towards the rest of the group, shoving Avulstein ahead of him. He dropped his own bag of caltrops on the floor and made it around the corner as the K’Morat drew closer and continued to chirp and snarl.

In the main room a number of the K’Morat turned to run, fleeing down a narrow western passage, leaving many of the remaining one behind. Barb impaled one on her spear and then shook it off before accosting the next. Avulstein sent Centius back to ward the passage with Negan who loaded up his own flask of oil and tossed the lit mess back down the passage. Two of the K’Morat were screaming their heads off while others tried to storm forward, only one getting through the layer of caltrops. He was assaulted instantly, hacked apart and left to die while the K’Morat began to break.

With only a few left, Darius ran back towards Negan to help, leaving Barb to slam her spear into one of the fleeing lizard men, tossing him back into the fray, and Connal finishing off the one he was fighting. The Half-orc buried her spear in the one kobold and then started to come down from her rage high. As for the last two near Negan, one was killed with a spear in the face and the last tried running south, hit the caltrops we had placed there, fell on them, and dragged himself forward until he died.

We policed the bodies, dragging them into what was once the K’Morat quarters, knocking the tables away from their bracing and then hacking the ears off them for proof of collection. We blocked the corridor we had come down by taking one of the tables, running at the passage, and then lifting the table vertical at the last moment; jamming it in place so hard it didn’t shake free. Two bracing bars and some stuffed bodies (compliments of Negan) went towards filling in the gaps.

As for the other passage to the west, it was perhaps 30’ and turned south – narrow, dark, and we didn’t trust it. So after a light stone verified what we knew – we decided to jam that passage up as well with another table. From here we then left the room out the north and east passage that we had verified joined back up with the main corridor that we had come in. But we did the table trick again, this time backwards and in our direction – making it difficult as hell for anyone to come this way or get behind us.

We stayed in tight formation, Barb leading the way, arriving back at the cross corridor. We snagged the ears from the last K’Morat who had died here beyond the caltrops, and continued on. It was some 30 odd paces and then a turn to the right. The corridor here was still just over 5’ tall and sloped down at a 15 degree angle. Plus there was the smell of rotting for and feces making us gag as we walked.

We descended the slope for some 25, 30 feet until it leveled out – passage continued ahead eventually opening to some chamber, side passage to the right just at the base of the slope. Floor has about ¾ of an inch of filth on it, making it a bit slippery. Barb looked down the side passage – 20’? Turned to the right – just as foul. Guess was it was a midden.

She went to step ahead when her boot came in contact with a wire. Stretched across the hall, affixed on the left – going into a hole on the right. She pulled her boot back and we all backed down (up?) the passage and discussed our options. We wanted to keep going and decided to trip the wire from a distance with a grappling hook. We had to toss it a few times past and over the wire until it was set and then…we pulled!

Just a *PLINK* - nothing else. Maybe a gurgling noise? We backed away again and after some time decided it was safe to go on. So Barb once more took lead and as we were all travelling to the side passage and the wire, the ground below Barb fell away and she plummeted 9’ down to a pit filled with a foot or so of liquid filth and dozens of sharpened sticks. Although she hit a few of them, one punched through her armor and went into her right thigh. She was moaning and looking for some help out of the pit when coming from the long corridor and hitting those still up at the top with some atlatl thrown javelins.

Barb tossed her rope up and it was passed back to Negan but from the side passage MORE javelins were flying and the group was whittling hit points. As we helped Barb to the top she took two hits in the back as we ran up the slope and around the corner. A couple of quick healing draughts went and we were discussing our options when something was tossed UP the slope and landed with a wet thud by us.

Negan was yelling “Go! Go! Go!” barrel rushing everyone towards the entrance, not waiting to see what it was that was thrown our way. We hit the cross corridor and then each of us pulled our way up the steep slope to the surface. Barba was directing everyone to another fallen tree across the meadow while Darius was waiting for Negan (the last) to slide himself out of the warren. As he was trying to untie the silk rope he heard noises below, so it was a quick cut and then ran like mad across the meadow to dive behind the tree with the rest of the group.

We waited only a few minutes as the K’Morat came out, spears at the ready. First it was two, then 5, then a dozen. Our faces fell as the warren continued to empty – the K’Morat positioning themselves in a circular pattern around the entrance, layers deep. Eventually after perhaps 40 or more emerged, the last few fairly well armored and one of them covered in fetishes and markings, we realized that this was quite a bit for us to chew off.

The shaman type called out some words and pointed his hands to the sky. Three globes of light flew up, higher and higher, until over the tree tops they blossomed yellow, blue, and red. Satisfied, the shaman then retreated back down the hole and the other K’Morat did the same. We were growing uneasy and decided the lights (still there) might be a signal or beacon, so we left the safety of the tree, ran across the meadow, and started making our way north and east, getting clear of the place.

It was good that we did so because striding quickly from the south and west was a 14’ tall or so blue skinned armored and bearded giant with a double bitted axe, making a bee line towards the K’Morat warren. We doubled our speed and moved on. As we went, Barb was slowing down; her injuries and other problem were getting worse. We crested the ridge and eventually made it to the stone house on the shore of the mountain lake.

Barb was now burning up, the foulness from the pit making her sick and it wasn’t getting better. A few of us went out for birch bark while Darius brewed it into a tea using an old pepper tin as a cup. We washed her wounds as best as we could and decision was to stay here for the night and head off to base camp tomorrow.

We slept and the next day it was like a flood out there. Lightning and thunder, rain was coming down in buckets, and Barb was worse, coughing ragged lungfuls of air as she tried to get it under control. We made a carrying travois for her out of parts of the couch, rope, and a blanket, positioning her on top while Negan and Darius carried her out and into the rain.

It sucked, and it took us almost 6 hours to navigate our way around Furtham’s Peak and back to the Enderlyn River, following the flow back to Base Camp. We were let in, complained that the Giant Killers weren’t doing their fucking job, headed off complaints from the Bailiff that we hadn’t finished up the Warren, and then opted to see Spunifer of the Randari Rangers to see if she had some way of alleviating Barb’s now almost chronic illness.

Spunifer wanted some servitude from Barb who refused which infuriated the druid. She claimed that honor to the clan was more important than her own wants; called Barb an honorless cur and left her to her own devices. We talked about going to the alchemist’s next and seeing if they had something that would help.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Meet 28, Adv 4, 10/7/17

The uncivilized section of the wandering monster table is a beast and the party had three serious contenders: trolls (3), Frost Giant (1), and owlbears (3).

For outdoor adventures, I give the group a chance to hear the quarry first, giving them a chance to stop. They succeeded two of the three times and were able to hide at first. The trolls miserably failed to scent or notice the group but I did manage to freak the party out since I split the trio of trolls up into a long line, separating the lead troll from the next two by almost 250'.

The giant actually belongs in the area and his presence might be explained and make sense later, right now he was merely offering some food to the K'Morat and moved on. I gave a check for him, rolling a 1, meaning the giant fumbled on even knowing the party was there.

During the night, a skunk came to root around the party's trash and food, eventually chased away but did spray one of the sleeping party members. So when at 4 in the morning I rolled ANOTHER wandering monster and it was owlbears, three - I had them attack and eat the skunks - getting the musk all over them.

This deadened their sense of smell but could still hear the party if they were noisy - and they were - but a poor roll (6 out of 20) had the owlbears not be able to pinpoint on where the group is and they wandered off.

Any one of these three encounters could have chased the party off and/or killed them. And that's why it is INFINITELY better to sleep and camp out in a green slime infested stone building than try to get a night's rest under the stars.

Write up follows:

So it was Firemonth the 7th and we were at some ancient orcish stone house sinking slowly into the shores and surface of a mountain lake about 4 miles from Base Camp where Avulstein’s zombie bobcat had just been eaten by a green slime. It was raining…hard, and the group was discussing whether to stay here, continue on, or head back to Base Camp and try again tomorrow.

The consensus was to stay and if the K’Morat come back, to ambush them. But how to be prepared? There are no windows on the lower floor, and the upper floor had the slime. So someone would have to wait outside, in the rain. We went through options and then Avulstein gave vote to having Centius wait and warn us, his zombie familiar.

However, even after he was outside he couldn’t think of a safe enough place for him to wait and hide, and there are other things besides kobolds out here. So he came back in and the decision was we’d just stay inside and hope for the best. Negan hacked apart the one couch still together on the main floor and once stripped, took out the main crosspiece to act as a locking bar for the main door.

Safely in place, we settled down, talked for a while, ate and then by 6, we all went to sleep, everyone taking a turn on a 2 hour watch. The night passed without much issue and we awoke early the next day, out and on the way by quarter to 6, as the dawn light was filling the world.

Barb took point and we followed the trail to the south and west until around 7, Barb wasn’t sure we were on the K’Morat trail anymore, so we backtracked until she was confident again and we set off, going up one ridge line and leaving the lake and lakehouse behind us. As we were still coming down the heights and making headway, a few of us heard rhythmic grunting and stepping in the woods ahead.

We stopped, hid, and waited. Watching. An 8’ tall green wrinkled sodden looking humanoid with greasy hair and makeshift clothes was stomping along, holding a brace of rabbits and a crude bow. Troll, big and nasty. We didn’t want to tangle with it and waited. It passed by and then two more came out of the woods, a branch with a deer on it, head removed. The two trolls yelled to the front one and they argued in their language before picking up speed and chasing after the leader.

Three trolls. No thanks.

Once they were long passed, we continued down until we were at the foothills and base of the mountain ridge we had come down. We noticed that there was a large meadow of grasses around here and up ahead, a couple of hundred acres or so, broken up by fallen and standing copses of trees. Darius’ keen eyes picked up a flash of blue ahead and we approached with care.

A fox, the size of a small pony, royal blue and white in color, sporting two tails. Mutated animal. It was then we also realized that we hadn’t heard much in the way of nearby game or animals, signs that Hornes had given us as being near a K’Morat Warren. The fox had been killed, dead for a week, smashed along its flank by a number of hurled 6-8# rocks. No maggots or flies meant it was just rotting away.

It was here that we spread out to a long line, running 10 paces between us and we started to look for the Warren. Barb was guiding us, the half-orc barbarian’s keen eye and insight picking up clues in the trees and grasses. There were many signs that kobolds had been in the area and we worked our way south across the meadows, hoping to find some cave in the southern foothills. But as we travelled on, game returned and Barb saw no sign of K’Morat again so we went back to the meadow.

It took almost 2 hours of circling and searching, but Barb discovered a cave entrance under the roots of a fallen Douglas Fir tree in a meadow of 3’ tall bladegrass. The entrance was a mass of earth and stones, and hundreds of bones and splintered pieces. Many animals, some humanoid. The place stunk of scratched copper and dirty cinnamon – classic scents of kobolds.

We didn’t want to enter now, hoping to get a better lay of how many kobolds were within, so we travelled a bit away to another fallen tree, hid behind it and waited. Time passed. And as it grew closer to 6, outside of possibly setting the bladegrass on fire (it was raining on and off and truthfully, a wave of fire on an open meadow was not a good idea – firenado?), we realized that we needed to get away from here and get a camp set up.

So Barb led us south to the foothills and was hoping to take us west when the group heard and felt heavy slow steps, shaking the earth. We stopped and hid, crouching in the dark as the heavy tread grew closer, cracking branches and making some of the not too distant trees shake. And then the air grew colder, dropping 20 degrees swiftly. We heard a ripping sound and Barb’s infravision picked up the hot signs of half a cow flying far overhead and tossed into the field of bladegrass.

Half a cow.

And then, the other half of cow went flying overhead and after a few moments, the heavy tread of a giant was walking away into the night. Giant. Fucking giant. Feeding K’Morat a cow?

We got the hell out of here, travelling more west until Barb assured us we were in the foothills of a ridge and very far away from Giants and K’Morat warrens. Taking Trentis’ advice from our trip out here, we lit no fires, ate a cold meal, and set up watch for the night, as the rains fell making everyone miserable.

A skunk came to investigate the party, smelling our food but on Connal’s watch he hurled some rocks and chased it off. And then later on Barb’s watch the skunk returned and sprayed Negan, but she chased it off. But it was later on Darius’ watch that we heard the “HRROOOO-HAAA!” noise and call of the owlbear who had found a skunk and tore it apart, eating it. Three of them.

We all were up and waiting but the owlbears had skunk on their faces and couldn’t smell the party so they wandered off into the darkness. Darius offered to stay up longer and the group went back to sleep. The next morn we were up at 7 and even though we had slept, Darius and Barb were feeling tired and the rigors of the poor sleep, wet clothes, middle watches, and being on guard was taking a toll on the two of them. They were not going to be at 100% today.

We broke our fast and headed back to the K’Morat warren, arriving in the area around 10. The cow carcass? Gone, only blood smears and chunks of meat. We approached the lair and saw lots of cow bones splintered and gnawed added to the entrance area.

It was time to enter. At the lair, Darius used his silk rope (not poor people rope! That’s hemp and is too scratchy) tied to the roots of the tree and with that aid, Barb descended into the gloomy earth cave. It was just under 5’ wide and was about 6’ tall, but the further she went down the slope and eventually under the ground, the lower the ceiling until it was just over 5’ tall…cramped for most of us.

The reek of feces was strong and she crept along until she came up a residual fading heat source that indicated that K’Morat HAD been here only a few minutes ago and had moved on elsewhere. She returned to the slope, climbed up, and let us know her findings. We were going to go down, Negan at the back, and take care to look about. So one by one, we slid down the slope, the rope helping, until even Negan, making a whole lot of racket joined us and we all gathered together following Barb. A light spell had been cast on the center of Centius’ shield and for now that would illuminate our way, easily covered if Barb needed to use her infravision.

We travelled along until the corridor split into three – straight ahead, right, or left, each running some 20 paces before turning. Barb checked left and right, hearing nothing much, and then returned, and we decided to travel straight instead. So she stepped ahead.

*PLINK*

Her booted feet snapped a tripwire and 250# of ceiling deadfalled on top of the half-orc, knocking her to her knees. Connal went to help her us when the two of them noticed amidst the filth were some scores of bugs beetles and almost half a dozen foot long centipedes – slithering under her hair line, neck of her armor, and upon her back. Before they could bite, Negan called to Odin to banish the vermin from the area and the bugs all popped away to ash and dust.

Connal helped Barb up, dusted her off and we decided we would be more careful of traps ahead in the future. Any stealth we might have had was now long gone between the noises entering the cave, the conversations, the falling deadfall trap, and then coughing and sputtering that follows. So it was weapons out and backs squared as we followed Barb’s lead as she took us boldly down the main central corridor.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Meet 27, Adv 4, 9/30/17

The group was doing their version of a hex crawl, looking for any of three kobold lairs and warrens. Instead of branching out and looking forever, they had a decent plan to follow any kobolds who showed themselves back to their lair.

The kobolds who did show outpaced the group but they had a heading and direction to go and are following the crumbs to the first lair. Not their yet, at a former orcish lake house about half way to their destination and crawling about the joint.

We'll see them (hopefully!) at the lair next week and then see how they do against the K'Morat warriors in the area.

Write up follows:

The party slept well and we awoke the next morning by 7. After going to the Mess hall and breaking our fast, we had the opportunity to talk with Ruhilhd, the fat dwarven head cook for the Base Camp. After figuring out who we were, he promised to have some extra food prepared for us to take on our trip, at least enough for today plus something for an additional day. He even promised Negan a third day just in case since the half-ogre flat out inquired about it.

We readied ourselves for our trip out and by 8:30 or so, the runners for the Randari Rangers had returned to Base Camp and gave the harvesters direction on where to go to get today’s potential crop of Firvin’s Cap (roughly just under 2 hours distance). Thiklish, the Halfling leader of the harvesters, was unsure of taking Barb and wanted to make sure from the Reeve that it was ok since the half-orc barbarian was until recently a member of the rangers. After getting the green light, the entire group of 19; 10 harvesters and 9 members of the party, left the Base Camp amidst many members of the harvesters chatting incessantly about the benefits of Baldur and why he’s most likely the best of all the gods.

Every ¼ mile from camp, we followed whatever directions and blaze markings had been given to us, finding the next member of the Randari Rangers who directed us further which way to go and then headed down the slope of Furtham’s Peak to the Base Camp. Quickly we reached 2, then 3,000 feet in height. The friendly banter had faded as we travelled upslope, west and southwest from Base Camp. The fir trees in the area were still towering at 100’ feet in height but as we climbed in altitude, their majestic heights were shrinking and the number of bushes and smaller hardier growths were increasing.

By 11we had arrived at over 4,500 feet in height and about 2 miles from Base Camp. Hornes and Spunifer were on hand here to meet us, the final members of the Randari Rangers. There were 8 possible Firvin’s Caps to harvest covering an area about 100 yards square. They had seen no sign of any K’Morat so far and wished us well, looking forward to seeing us back in camp later on this afternoon.

Thiklish was thrilled for the possibility of 8 Caps to harvest; it’s been over a week since they had that option and over 40 days since they’ve been able to bring that much in at a single harvesting. They set to immediately, splitting into two groups to work on the 2’+ tall fungi while the party spread out and surrounded the harvesters in the efforts.

Within 45 minutes they had collected their first specimen and a few minutes later were done with the second. They were sealed in clay jars with wax and paper, laid aside and the harvesters hit the next two mushrooms. The group still kept their eyes peeled. At one point a griffin was winging its way overhead searching, and then headed back the way it came. And still we kept eyes peeled.

Third, Fourth, then a break for lunch, then fifth, and finally 6th Firvin’s Cap was harvested. As the groups were hitting the 7th and 8th and the hour was encroaching past three, Negan and Avulstein’s keen eye picked up some movement in some of the underbrush to the south of the group. The necromancer immediately sent Frank, the undead zombie bobcat (can’t make this stuff up!!), to investigate. As it drew closer two javelins hit the undead from the front, stopping it, and then two more hit it from the side, rocking it left and right.

A group of K’Morat Warriors (8? 12?) drew themselves up and seeing the party begin to give chase started fleeing downhill and southwest of the harvesters. Barb, Avulstein, Negan, Darius, and Connal all broke into a run, the rest of the group staying behind the ward the harvesters in case more K’Morat were in the area.

We charged downhill, eating up ground with a loping gait as we chased after the K’Morat warriors, the kobolds yipping, thrashing, and bouncing down slope at breakneck speeds. We charged hard and even though Barb and Connal could have gone faster, they opted to stay with the rest of the group as the kobolds drew further and further ahead, eventually lost from our direct sight in the thick growth of the back side of Furtham’s Peak.

As our breathing getting labored and we had lost sight of our quarry, we slowed down and then came to a stop after 8 minutes of running through thick mountainous terrain. This wasn’t going to work. So we talked about our options and decided to go back to the harvesters for now, and then tomorrow come back to this area (Barb was confident she could get us here) and pick up the trail of the K’Morat early on. We could see down the slope to some mountain lake here that seemed to be where the kobolds were heading. Was as good of a plan as anything else.

It took the group almost a half hour to get back upslope to the harvesters who were finishing up their efforts. No other K’Morat had come by and by 4 we had 8 clay jars, 10 happy harvesters, and 9 party members heading back downslope and this time east northeast to Base Camp far below.

It was pretty quiet for us, with only a pair of giant owls making their presence know (actually dipping down to snag a deer and then take flight again). We arrived at Base Camp at almost 7, the sun was heading down and everyone was pretty worn out. But the Bailiff and Reeve came out along with 30 odd members of the Camp and watched as the two Illytch Alchemists tested each of the 8 jars and their contents…declaring them all prime specimens of Firvin’s Cap. This was a good thing and a big boon – 40 odd days since they’ve been able to bring that much down and without issue.

We rested up after eating, Ruhilhd once again promising us even more prepared food tomorrow now that he knew what was needed. The group got a good night in and we awoke the next morning on Firemonth the 7th ready to head back to the Southwest side of the Peak and track the kobolds.

It was raining. And hard. Visibility was reduced and the cloud cover was at 1,000 feet – meaning getting back to the place Barb had marked was going to be in 10’ visibility and no use to us. Plus, the K’Morat trail through the undergrowth would be muted over the day. We talked about options and decided to head out anyway. There was a ridge line that ran down Furtham’s Peak to the South to the next mountain, and even though the area was shrouded in clouds, Barb felt she could get us to the area of the lake and we could then pick up the trail hopefully of the K’Morat.

We left Base Camp at 8:30, again the same 5 members of the group who gave chase yesterday, while Thalin, Wolfskar, Merica, and Dizzy would go out with the harvesters to ward them. It was slow going and as we climbed higher and higher south and west of the Base Camp, circling the Peak, visibility dropped to 10’ tops and we were soaked through and to the skin. The baladrana’s kept the worst of the rain off but the moisture crept in anyway as we slogged unseeingly uphill.

At some point we crested over the ridge and started heading down. Barb kept turning the group a bit to the right as we travelled, keeping the mountain on our right side up slope as we travelled along. Finally around 11:30 we emerged from the cloud cover and were on the opposite side of Furtham’s Peak – with the mountain lake very visible some 1,000 feet below us through the trees. Good job, Barb.

We slogged down the mountain until we arrived at the foothill. Pushing our way through the increasingly muddy ground we came to the shores of the lake. It was oval in shaped, narrower to the north than the south, perhaps a mile and a third one way by a half mile the other. We wanted to pick up the K’Morat trail so started to walk counterclockwise along the lake where we were on the east side, heading uphill to get out of the mud and have a better view of the land, eyes peeled for the wide swath of flattened brush and disturbed needles we had seen the kobold’s leave as we chased them.

Before 1 we came upon their trail and followed it towards the lake shore again where we noted it ended at the water’s edge. Besides countless kobolds foot prints in the mud, there were also two long deep furrows in the mud, some 10-15’ long and ran straight out of the lake. Canoes? Boats? The K’Morat crossed the lake as opposed to running around it.

We could barely see across the lake in all the rain and decided to circle it and try to pick up the trail on the other side. As we walked we ate from our backs and kept our spirits up as the occasional crack of thunder sounded from the storm overhead. After a bit over a half hour of miserable walking we came to the opposite side of the lake where we saw a two story stone building situated right on the water’s edge, leaning slightly towards the lake itself. Two dugout canoes were here, each one dragged up on the shore some 15’ and left there, more foot prints around them. The trail then continued off to the southwest from here – but less defined and hastily made in appearance.

We decided to check out the building first in case any K’Morat were there. We approached slowly, emerging from the tree line with eyes peeled and weapons out. The building’s chimney had fallen away some time ago, leaving only a discolored section of the outer wall and a hole in the surface. There were no windows on the lower floor, and only a few smaller ones on the 2nd floor, each one was perhaps 1’ x 1’ tops.

At the building we heard nothing inside but wanted to look in. The entire structure was leaning towards the lake at 5 to 10 degree angle, the foundation stones closer to the lake either crumbled away of subsumed in the mud over time. Avulstein’s clawed feet were helpful for the wolverine to climb his way to the 2nd floor and peer in. It was some sort of moldy bedroom with a bed and a chest of drawers. Whatever glass was once in the windows had been busted out years ago. He came back down and let us know what he saw.

We went to the door, weapons ready, and pushed it open. Revealed ruins of a sitting room that took up half the building’s main floor. Moldy remains of a couch, busted table and some chairs, two doorways that lead elsewhere, other brick a brac, and a fire scorched area where the K’Morat most likely sat and kept warm and or ate. We checked it out, some bone fragments; one might even be orcish, everything wat damp and water logged. Two doors led to a room partially filled in the corner with lake water and the other had a fireplace, rotten chairs, and a set of wooden stairs heading up.

Frank was sent to prance in the water, nothing happened – perhaps 7” deep at best. Talk was to look upstairs so Avulstein sent Frank up and halfway up, the zombie bobcat slipped through two busted steps and fell to the floor. Ok, needed light and sure footed. Connal went up, balancing left and right on the stair frame, holding the wall and proceeding as carefully as he could.

On the second floor heard more water falling (drip drip drip), sitting room, two wing backed chairs soaked and puffy, leaning round table between them. Doorway to the right and to the south, no frames, just openings. He looked south, same bedroom Avulstein had seen, mold was partially up the walls. Faint vinegar scent to the air.

Avulstein came up, Negan lifting the wolverine past the broken section of the steps, and then doing the same for Frank the bobcat. Connal did find a number of chess pieces in the sitting room under the table – every white piece from the back row except the queen. He took them, finding no others.

Avulstein sent Frank into the bedroom he had seen and had it approach the bed and then climb on. The mattress was sodden, wet, and shredded under the bobcat’s weight. Within moments a black mass of rotten hay and feathers had soaked the bobcat who came off the mattress and back to Avulstein, the goo just dripping off of it. Gross. He then sent the bobcat into the next room to explore and look around and then return.

When Frank went through the frame, Connal and Avulstein heard a wet splattering sound and then something hit the floor. The necromancer was calling for Frank to return and we heard something dragging its way towards us. Slowly, Frank emerged, ¾ of the zombie was covering a thick olive green slimy mass that was oozing its way up and over his head and two front paws that were still dragging him closer. Avulstein ordered the zombie to stop and the two friends watched in horror as the slime worked up over Frank’s head and face and then his paws, totally covering him. The vinegar scent was frenetic now and within a few minutes tops the slime, no longer having the outline of the bobcat, moved towards the door frame and pulled itself UP, taking almost 5-6 minutes to crawl up the frame and onto the ceiling of the room Frank had died in.

Connal and Avulstein came back downstairs, and the party discussed what the fuck that was and should we stay or go. Darius let us know it took 3 hours to get here and if we wanted to get back to Base Camp, we should be leaving about 3:30 – it was already about quarter to 3. If we stay, do we set up a trap for K’Morat who might come in? Do we try to go upstairs? Not? Are we closer to the K’Morat lair if we stay out here? There was much discussion but the consensus was to stay here for now.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Meet 26, Adv 4, 9/23/17

With one of our original members moved away 4 odd months ago, we thought it would have been pretty easy to replace him at the table, after all - we never had an issue before finding someone, and not just a body - quality people.

This was naivete on our part or perhaps just our good fortune earlier, but it has been an uphill struggle to even get people to sit and talk at length about the game. Lots of maybes, and plenty of static. Went with the friends of friends route as well and had no bites. We all were asking people at work, nothing doing.

Finally I went back to Meetup and scoured the boards, but after 57 reachings out, I had less than half reply to my emails, and only 10 show any interest in taking it further. 16% return or there abouts.

I was pleased to have an interview with 2 people this last week and although one of them was sort of what you'd expect from people who play this hobby in a negative light, the other was a ray of sunshine and both myself and the player who came with me to check out the interviewees were happy to offer her a place at the table.

So she came, rolled up her half-orc barbarian, and by the end of the night fit in with the rest of the table.

Write up follows:

Watches were split up and about the only thing of note was the sound of falling rocks far in the distance along with the strange high pitched bleating of some animal. It didn’t continue nor repeat so the watchers noted it but we moved on.

The caravan awoke the next day, broke their fast, then loaded up the carts, lashed the ponies, and we set off. Trentis informed us that we would have to lift and force the carts again uphill and over irregular terrain again as we were planning to get past an area referred to as Three Rock Falls.

By 9:30, we had come upon the location as expected. The Enderlyn River sped up here and cascaded down a series of small 2’-5’ drops, punctuated in three places by large boulders that acted as breakwaters, forcing the river to roil around them. The foothills were much closer here and Trentis led us some distance from the falls, taking the group up a series of slopes and switchbacks – the ponies complaining bitterly along the way as we trudged our way uphill.

During this time we noted that Einar was growing weaker, coughing open, blowing snot, and wheezing. He complained that his chest hurt but the half-orc was doggedly continuing on.

Once past the area of Three Falls, the Enderlyn River flowed south and then gently turned back north, widening out and shallowing. Trentis let us know that we would be fording the river here. Each cart and pony was to have 1 teamster and two others to help out. We would cross the river one at a time and do all we could to keep the ponies moving forward and the carts as steady as possible. Avulstein went across with the first cart and then stood watch at Trentis’ request, keen eyes peeled for any problems.

He did note that once again the party had attracted the attention of wolves. Some 250 yards or so down river, another three were standing there, thick furred, healthy, fat even. The necromancer suspected at least one of them was similar to one that had watched us before but couldn’t be sure. The carts all crossed and by 10ish we were on our way. Ahead of us was a larger mountain, some 7,000 ft in height, and its peak was split in the middle making the mountain appear like it had two ears. Trentis informed us that this was Furtham’s Peak, and the Illytch Base Camp was at the eastern base in the foothills near the river. The distinctive mountain between its height and its summit characteristic would help us should we find ourselves out in the wilderness and needed to find our way back to the Base Camp.

Meanwhile, in Base Camp, one of the members of the Randari Rangers hired by House Illytch 6 months earlier had been growing increasingly frustrated with the uneven and chaotic leadership style of the alpha male, Hornes. His seemingly distancing from reality coupled with the other members of the ranging group feeding in to his wildly inaccurate statements had been wearing Barb down so much so that she was seriously contemplating vacating her employment contract with House Illytch.

Instead, she went and spoke with the Reeve Donna Duncarian and gotten tacit approval that if the promised K’Morat hunters were truly on their way from Sorton as promised earlier last month, that she could transfer her contract from the ranging group to the hunter group assuming there was room for her. For now, Barb has been anxiously waiting for the caravan to arrive, something that Hornes has noted but isn’t sure what is going on.

The party came up river and at 11:30, arrived at the House Illytch Base Camp. It’s pretty sizeable and it’s obvious they have done much to prepare for the longer stay here.

Base Camp is at the foothills of Furtham’s Peak. The outer area is cut away forest, then a breastwork of 8’ dug earth and a lattice of wood palisade. Beyond that is a stout stone wall 14’ tall that encompasses the camp itself. Two ballista’s and three mule-kicker style catapults cover the 4 corners and entrance of the camp. The building are squat, tightly made, and in great repair. The entire camp is on the slope of the foothill so there is line of sight for the back of the camp to target and defend the front as well.

A call goes out and Trentis announces our arrival and desire to enter. The sound of hammers and saws come to a stop as the people of the Base Camp gather near the entrance to greet the caravan, the party, and the tradesmen who have made the trip.

The group looks around as we roll in through the heavy stone gate. Entering the camp, to the right is the cart house and beyond that, a paddock for the ponies. To the left are the kennels and dogs, followed by a sty for the pigs. Following clockwise from there is the alchemy labs and the stoneworking shops. Then along the back of the enclosure are 3 barracks, each capable of sleeping 20. In front of them is the mess lodge that would seat 70; with the bakery, the kitchen, and pantry stores situated adjoining. A privy and showers is in the back of camp where water is brought up from the Enderlyn River and situated in two 50 gallon tanks on top of the building. A similar tank is on top of the kitchen as well.

Continuing along, the back of the camp has the rep house for House Illytch where the Bailiff and Reeve stay and beyond that is the smithy. Then we have the cobbler and weaver sharing a squat wooden structure and behind are the carpenters and the camp stores with a final open sided aired barn building for hay and animal feed.

Trentis bids his hello to a soft looking early middle aged dwarf with a forked braided beard tucked into his waist identified as Bailiff Youngston Illytch who is standing next to a 6’ 5” imposing woman who is the Reeve Donna Duncarian. The group is introduced which gets an excited smattering from the 40 plus gathered people here. We have about ½ dwarves, 1/3 orcs and half orcs, 1/3 human, and the rest is a smattering of other races. About 1 in 4 is female and everyone seems in good spirits and capable.

We are told to go drop our gear off at Barracks Three and then to meet the Bailiff and Reeve at the Rep Building. As we head off we note that an orcish woman is talking quickly and excitedly with the Reeve who after listening for a bit nods her head. The other orcs and half orcs then approach the woman and argue with her. We catch something about “Bears don’t HAVE horns!” in an almost frustrated screech but are whisked away towards the rear of the camp.

Once our gear is stored away we make our way over to the Illytch Rep House and are let in. The main room is set up with a U shaped table where Bailiff Youngston and Reeve Donna are seated; to their left is the orcish woman we had seen earlier, although now that we were closer, her body type belied some human ancestry in her past. The Bailiff let us know that Trentis spoke of the trip and our efforts, picking up on 3 members of the party who did not perform to the caravan master’s wants: Dizzy, Einar, and Bobkins.

Dizzy was argumentative and lazy, but he did have a keen eye and warned the group twice of the Rock Drake attack so he was forgiven. Einar has come down with Reorx’ Bane – a type of poison the Gorokian Mountain Dwarves had concocted during the Randari War some century and a half ago. Mostly gone, sometimes it can be found settled in crevices and older pools of water. If an orcish person imbibes the tainted water, it can make them sick and dehydrated for at 3 days, and maybe as much as a week or so. So he was going to be of no use to the party and ergo, the Base Camp.

As for Bobkins, Trentis let the Bailiff and Reeve know that Bobkin was big on talk, and almost non-existent on help or skill. Smacking his jo sticks together and going “clang clang” was not the same as aiding the teamsters in moving the carts and ponies across the rugged terrain. Because of this the Bailiff felt very uncomfortable sending Bobkins out and would like him to re relegated to the kitchens for now.

This left the party down two on the contract, although the case could be made for 1 since Bobkins could show himself to be capable. This is where the Reeve came in. Donna motioned to the half-orc on her left and introduced her as Barb, a member of the Randari Rangers who was looking to transfer her employment contract to something else in the Illytch purview. Since we were down Einar, they wanted us to take her on. She presented herself as no nonsense, straight shooting, and capable with all manner of weaponry. After discussing the contract with her, she agreed to its terms and the Reeve had her sign it right there and she was welcomed aboard.

They then talked about the fungi that were being harvested out here far from Sorton. The fungus spores have sprung up all over the upper reaches of Furtham’s Peak, at least 4,000 feet in altitude and spread over a wide area that has encompassed over 12 square miles. The fungus, A large fibrous mushroom almost 2’ in height, pale yellow in color and flecked with green and blue spots near the crown, is called “Firvin’s Cap” and is rare at best. The entire mushroom must be harvested since plucking the cap will dislodge the spores and waste the usefulness of the mushroom. So small bladed saws and knives are used, the mushrooms lifted and cut free near the ground and then dropped in sealed clay jars.

Feeling around camp is good, everyone is working and each time the harvesters come in with a Firvin’s Cap, it’s a win for everyone since it means continued pay and work. But the continued and increasing K’Morat assault and attacks have reduced the gathering from 5-8/day of premium specimens to 1-2/day of lesser ones. They have had some people “guarding” the harvesters but it is a waste of resources since each person that is brought to camp reduces profit for the entire operation and reduces everyone’s bonus and pay, which in turn reduced morale and means others things that need to get done aren’t getting done. So the consensus is the Base Camp is thrilled the party is here and is expecting an almost immediate improvement from their presence.

We were given a heads up of the camp’s 60+ composition: The Bailiff, The Reeve, the 10 (now 11) party members, 10 Harvesters, 2 Alchemy Dept Reps, 13 (now 12) Randari Orc Rangers, 8 Giant Killers, 3 Miners/Masons, 2 Carpenters, 1 Hayswain, 2 Tinsmiths, 1 Blacksmith, 1 Cobbler, 1 Weaver, 4 Teamsters/Wheelwrights, 3 Cooks, 3 Pages/Camp Aides, 1 Baker, 6 Guards, and the Kennelmaster

When Trentis leaves, he will cycle 4 of the teamsters he brought with him here, taking the others with him. It’s 6 days round trip without issue for the caravans to return.

We wanted some information about the area and where the K’Morat are situated from. For that we were told that the Randari Ranger’s leader, the bruiser Half-orc known as Hornes, was the best bet. Barb had recently worked with him and let us know that a steady litany of praise and commenting about his “bear” horned helmet should be enough to grease the wheels for the group.

Avulstein went with Einar to the Alchemy Department Reps, meeting with the two here: a dwarf named Thebides Ironbeard and his gnomish compatriot “Thimbles” Yuntin Wentworthington. They were assisted by a young dwarven female named Pips who seemed to beyond weary dealing with the two eccentric alchemists. They identified Einar’s issue and gave him some medication, advising him that bed rest was the best solution for our ailing half-orc.

As for Avulstein, he had hinted if there was something the alchemist’s could supply to him to make killing K’Morat warriors easier.  Thebides didn’t get it, but Thimbles did. Thimbles was also working on an oil of explosion recipe and has it about 80% working. The two alchemists had no problem coming up with a poison to kill K’Morat, and would happily put one together but they would need about 4-8 gallons of kobold blood in Avulstein could procure it.

4-8…gallons?

When Avulstein tried to explain the difficulty in getting that much as well as carrying it back, also asking if there was something in it for him (cough cough, pay me?) they were non-plussed and said that we all worked for House Illytch and that should be good enough. Avulstein left frustrated and rejoined the party at the Rep house.

Darius meanwhile had gone to the dwarven blacksmith, a stout woman named Daversi, and had an antlered handled knife swapped out for a horned handled knife. He brought it back to the Rep house and rejoined the crew just before the Randari Ranger Hornes came in along with his druid subaltern, Spunifer Shaggycoat.

Hornes was half-orc and favored his human side except for the deep green pigmentation and Spunifer was a full orc decked out in ritual scarification and fetishes dangling from her hair, ears, and clothes. Hornes started off with animosity but after he was praised for his bear horned helmet (See?!?! I TOLD you it was Bear Horn!) and then presented the knife, he broke down a bit in tears, happy that someone notices the work he’s doing and the effort he makes in promoting what is best for his rangers.

They talked to us at length about the K’Morat in the area and eventually gave us a map of the ranges and notable points upon it. K’Morat look on us as food. Period. Anything that moves is food. They are brave and hardy, and have a different outlook on death than we do, so seemingly dying isn’t a problem for them. Thankfully even though they are fecund, they are also small and weak and their numbers aren’t overwhelming. They don’t speak any language but their own and outside of magical means, no one can understand the K’Morat language since they don’t reply to anything except from other K’Morat’s. They are pretty close to the ebbs of Yggdrasil and make potent shamans. They make a foodstuff, like a runny cheese, that acts as a mutagen to whatever animal they feed it to. K’Morat’s have been known to range as far as 30 miles in their hunts in an area they call their territory. Signs you are near their lair is a lack of huntable game and some signs of mutagenic animals. No stranger to the sun, they are more comfortable hunting in the twilight and pre-dawn hours.

We thanked Hornes for his efforts and he and Spunifer left. We then discussed with the Reeve what our plan was which was to follow the Harvesters and see if we could pick up and K’Morat while they watched the party and maybe track them back to their lair.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Meet 13, Adv B4, 9/22/17 - Youth Group

With the start of school, the youth’s game had been fallow for a month but they had a great session to make up for it. The larger adventure and world is coming along and they are damned close to more to the ancient weapons of Cyndicia which they will hope to use against the demonic Zargon at some point.

They’ve been talking about what happens after this adventure is finished – and the consensus is to continue – but make the leap from B/X to Advanced. Going to get them all a PDF of the 1st edition player’s handbook in the near future and that’ll be the go to in about 5-7 more meetings from where I’m sitting.

Write up follows:

With the Crawler rearing back for another wave of tentacle infused assaults, Mark took a daring chance and lunged forward; Mace of Gorm upraised, and brought it crashing down on the beast. There was a flash of light and a concussive blast and when it was over, the Crawler’s head had been stove in and a line of smoke was curling up from the mace’s surface.

The situation now well in hand, there was the question of whether the Crawler’s paralytic goo was still effective. Mark dared to touch a tentacle and on feeling the numbing buzz; backed away and swiftly wiped his hand clean – yeah, still works.

So the group whacked one of the tentacle ends off and Safir lifted it with the hem of his cloak, positioning the tube like end into a cautiously held flask Vulcan was gripping – and squeezed. We were rewarded with the sound of the fluid tinkling into the flask. It took time, but we hacked off the other 7 tentacle pods and duplicated our efforts until we had about half a flask of this paralytic ichor.

It was time to open the coffin and a look inside showed us three pouches along with the mummified remains of a body. The first held a set of superior thieves tools which Safir happily took charge of, the second had 20 sapphires of good quality that we split evenly, and the last was a document declaring that the mummified individual had a deal to follow King Alexander and Queen Zenobia into the afterlife as the royal thief. We kept the treasures – and left the contract, shutting the coffin lid and then leaving the room.

Our internal map had now wrapped up every possible passage or room on the 4th level except or the central portion of the map that we had not been able to find our way to as of yet. There was the long corridor that led down to the 5th level still to investigate – it had continued beyond our original egress. So the group left the master thief’s room and began the long trek west through the dark passages, eyes peels and ears perked for anything to be found in the gloom.

As we were coming back around near where the shadows had been slain, we could hear a voice from a growing glow ahead hail us as aske who we were. They drew closer and we saw 7 silver masked robed members of the Cult of Usimagarus. The leader, Krantis, was rude and abrupt, identified us as followers of Gorm, and were on their up to the 3rd level to find out why Auriga was a few days late in checking in. Vulkan made the mistake of saying they knew of Auriga but then deflected it, saying that Pandora of the Madurans had mentioned him.

Krantis and his goons then charged the party 1 silver noble each to walk past and we paid it, to avoid an issue, being out numbered, and to save our fights for something else further on. After they had gone past, Mark bared down as hard as he could and blew wind in Krantis’ direction – but 5 days of rations had his digestive track not working right and sadly his passing of gas came out more liquid that he expected.

We waited while the cleric took off his armor, then his pants, then his underwear, wiped himself clean, put on a new set of hose and got dressed all over again. As he came back to the group with his underwear held in a ball, the party was yelling at him to “leave it, are you crazy?” Not like they’ve found the laundromat down here yet. So he dumped it in the hall, and then Vulkan used one of his graphite sticks to write an expletive to Usimagarus around the underwear and the party continued on their way, chuckling.

We came to the long hall and walked up until we arrived at the hole in the floor that would lead to the 5th level…and then kept going north. The passage ended a dozen or so paces later abruptly which had the group then search the wall…finding what was apparently a poorly designed secret door. We pressed shoulder to the door, slid it in some 3 inches, and then lifted it up and out of the way.

The corridor beyond went to the east in the dimly lit chamber, the floor covered in 2’x2’ checker boarded white and red tiles. From the dim recesses to the east, we could see the chamber ended at a passage that kept going, but was only 2’ in height.

We had Safir look for traps and the group came in after the scout. We decided to walk only on the white tiles and made our way east. After about 1/3rd the distance, there was a loud crackling sound and a weighted pendulum lurched out of the ceiling and arced across the floor, the edge sharpened like a massive axe and honed to a scintilling edge. He managed to jump back barely in time and we watched it arc across about half the width of the chamber twice before locking back into the ceiling and we presume, resetting.

Safir then went south and using Vulkan’s staff as a prodding rod, further checked out the area, noting it clear, and we kept going…until another pendulum arced down and across. This time the edge of the staff took the impact and 3” of it was cleanly sliced off. Vulkan grew furious but Safir ignored him as we waited for the 2nd pendulum to return to its resting position. Safir then led us to the northern part of the room again as we serpentine our way along and eventually to the end of the chamber.

It looked like a block of stone had been designed to fall here and seal off the passage but got hung up, leaving a 2’ tall gap, 10’ wide and 10’ deep. 6 tons of rock just hanging there. And we had to get under it. Vulkan volunteered and three times tried to crawl under the stone and three times had to back away terrified as the rock groaned and seemed to shudder as he was making his way beneath it. Finally, backpack off and shoved ahead, Vulkan shimmied his way beneath frantic and was safely through. Safir went next, also raining rock dust down, but no issue.

While Mark and Delsin were deciding who would go next, we heard angry voices coming down the long corridor and Krantis was berating the other Usimagarians that they “wanted to talk to those bastards and see what REALLY happened to Auriga!” Time to fly.

Mark dove under the stone and was hunching his way beneath, scraping the stone top and bottom with his platemail, the cleric panting in his efforts to get through, grit falling in his hair, down his collar, and getting in his face. As soon as the way was clear and Delsin was able to see the glow from the approaching wandering troupe, he kicked the candle he had been using for light under the stone and dove beneath; crab crawling and dragging himself along as quick as he could, ignoring the almost quivering rock over his head. Once on the other side he was helped up, pulled to the side, and Safir lowered the flame of the lantern and we waited.

Krantis was dimly heard cursing and others asking where we were. Thought was we went down to the 5th level or maybe Cyndicia and he was going to find us. Did they go to the tombs? Doubted it, but to be safe they pulled the secret door closed and were then gone from our hearing.

Whew.

We looked about the room we were in. There was a 7’ mound of rubbled rock ahead of us, testament that more of the stones that were to seal off this area failed on some level. We made our way slowly and methodically over the rubble until safely on the other side. Once there we beheld the last issue – more fallen stones to bar our way – but these 10’ blocks did not fall square, and now had 2’ gaps running between them. Safir went first with Delsin following.

But after half way through, even with packs off and dragged behind us, Delsin was stuck and had to go back and take his armor off as well. Safir kept going and would wait for us in what he said was “a clear area”.

So the party took off armor and then dragging packs and armor behind, inched their way through the stones until they arrived at a clear area, 20’ x 10’. A double set of ornate doors was ahead and there was Safir’s lantern on the ground. No Safir.

We grabbed the lantern and put our ear to the door. There was some sort of grunting coming from the other side, so we readied weapons and burst the door opened. It was a huge crypt – two golden sarcophagi, tons of chest, broken chariots, thrones, bones, and ruined art. And in the middle were two 400 lb albino apes, one of them holding up an unconscious Safir whose face and head was covered in bruises and bleeding.

The two apes hooted at us and Mark and Delsin ran in to do battle. The first ape lifted up Safir and HURLED him at the party, the scout hitting the ground with a bone jarring snap and then rolling towards us the rest of the way, his left arm flopping wildly and against the normal bend of his elbow.

Ouch!

As the battle was joined, Vulkan finished yelling out his own spells and a wave of black energy flowed out and hit the two apes – putting one to sleep. Delsin fired up Heatstroke and went toe to toe with Mark against the still awake ape while Vulkan charged to sleeping one and slit its throat with a single stroke of his dagger.

Delsin’s shield rang on the ape’s blows while his burning sword tore into and through the apes back and then again its chest. The primate would have taken enough damage to drop anyone in the group, and still it railed against the group until finally Delsin’s last blow drove 2’ of Heatstroke into its left lung and the albino ape fell over dead, right next to its companion.

We healed Safir and then helped him back to his feet once he regained consciousness. He was woozy but getting stronger. We felt pretty good at achieving our goal and decided to split up to open each sarcophagus at the same time. Safir was assured that neither was trapped and we took our knives and proceeded to slit the thin clay seals on each coffin.

That’s when Safir noticed we had a problem. His knife had slit the top of the golden coffin – but if it was gold, it wouldn’t have cut as cleanly or as deeply as the blade did. He and Vulkan tested it out and were sure the coffin was in fact gold painted wood. A quick check of the second one showed the same.

We opened them anyway – seeing a skeletal form, no mummy wrappings, and no ancient weapons of Cyndicia. Nothing. The party was not convinced these were the king and queen. We then opened one of the chests and took out a handful of golden coins, but Safir once more proved they were fake by scratching the pain off the lead slugs. All the chests were the same.

OK…what now? Vulkan suggested we look for secret doors in here and try to uncover the true lair.

It took 20 minutes to search two of the very long walls but the group did discover a secret door on the north wall near the west corner, and then a second secret door on the exact opposite wall – south wall, west corner.

On the count of three, both doors were opened and we looked. Each showed a dusty unused passage that went 20 paces off the main room and then turned west. The only decision now was do we head north or south?

Friday, September 22, 2017

Meet 25, Adv 4, 9/16/17

Guilds

I like the idea of multiple guilds. Many times though I have hand waved and said "Fighter's Guild" or "Wizard's Guild" and let it fly like that - as if there was a 1 size fits all guild repository of information doling it out for anyone with a pocket full of nobles and crowns.

So for this campaign I made sure to map out some guilds and give them a framework and reason behind them so that the group can have some choices. Also, it does help out since certain guilds would have issues with other ones. This meeting had some fleshing out forthe characters about the fighter's guilds open to them in this area.

Write up follows:

The next morning after eating in the House Illytch Barracks, we wandered over to the Grim Gauntlet’s Fighter’s guild and waited along with a half dozen or so other applicants to the guild. Eventually we were all welcomed in, friends and family as well, and sat in the stands of the coliseum along with a number of other members of the Sifian Order. The fighting floor was 70’ diameter packed sand, and the stands could seat 1,500 if need be. At the 4 cardinal points at the edge of the theatre were 4 towers where which a member of the guild was perched with a light crossbow.

In accordance with our agreement, Negan, Darius, Connal, and Einar were going to apply to the guild, and at some point, the pact with Loki with adjust some of the weapons from practice and wood to edged and dangerous.

Optio Strugi, a dwarven female, spoke with the gathered 60 or so people about what the Grim Gauntlets fighter’s guild was in relation to the other 2 guilds. The Grim Gauntlets is the smallest and most exacting of the fighter’s guilds here in Sorton and other places. Unlike the League of Odin who has a tremendous budget, support of the Church of Odin, Thor, Baldur, and Heimdall or the Storm Ravens who is sponsored by the Church of Odin and Heimdall, the Grim Gauntlets has only the Sifian Temple and Tyr as its benefactors.

The League is big on showy contest and tournaments. Their members are taught the spear and sword, hammer and bow, relying on armor and shield and take comfort in the fact that a quick and brutal assault is often all that is needed to ensure victory in combat. One of their biggest selling points is that, “anyone can be a member of the League.”

The Storm Ravens was originally the special combat division of the League but there was a conflict between the Order of Thor and Heimdall so the progenitor (Molvag Stormcloud) of the division broke away from the League and established a separate guild called the Storm Ravens in honor of Odin who still supported the guild leader. The Storm Ravens have a larger universe of weapons that they teach their students, and replaces caution and defense against the League’s more brutal front facing assaults.

The Grim Gauntlets believes the besides the body, it is the mind and skill that defines a decent fighter. Not everyone is blessed with the strength of Thor or the size of Heimdall. A skilled fighter can be he or she who fights with knives and kicks, or someone who can thread a noose at 100 paces, or someone who spends months or years trying to perfect their skill with the bearded axe. Armor counts, weapons count – but it is the person who helps define their path towards excellence. The guild is just the covering over the person to help ward and define them – the guild is the grim gauntlet encasing the hand of the warrior in whatever guise he or she may be.

The gathered 10 applicants all sounded happy at this and we were allowed to put on a set of padded armor, take a practice shield if we wanted, and were entitled to take 1 practice weapon that mirrored something we were familiar with. So we had Negan’s wooden two handed sword and Einar’s practice broad sword, and everyone else was taking a weapon and or shield from the rack and giving them a few practice swings.

We were also informed that during the combat the towers would fire random bolts into the melee to reflect the chaos then surrounds most battles. The bolts were blunted and light, but could still knock someone off their feet if given a direct hit.

Which then led us to scoring. We would be scored on intent, impact, and incapacitance – anyone who was knocked down would be considered out of the fight – they might still have enough points to make it into the guild, but not enough to continuing competing. Top 6 out of 10 would be given admittance.

The 10 of us were randomly split up into 3 matches where the theatre was divided up for the combat into thirds. Group 1 was a half-orc bruiser with a sword named Vult, a human female with a couple of wooden knives named Phrenna, and finally a middle aged stout dwarven fighter with a flatbow and practice bolts named Ducat. Group 2 was Einar, Darius, Connal, and a young dwarven fighter with a warhammer named Norag. And finally Group 3 was Negan, a teenaged human with 2 light spears named Felton, and young dwarven fighter also armed with a couple of spears named Golarin.

The horn was blown and the groups all jumped to the assault. Norag ran closer to try and take of Darius and Ducat ran backwards in an attempt to shoot Vult down, successfully hitting the half orc who missed a step and slipped, falling. Negan decided that Golarin was the more serious threat and positioned himself with Felton on his shielded side.

Crossbows twanged from above slapping into the combat and ringing off. Einer was struck twice, enraging the barbarian who charged across the battlefield – and into the 2nd ring! Strugi called out for the tower’s to “drop him!” as Einar wasn’t listening, Golarin and Negan taking and treading blows as the druid ran by, Felton was down.

Phrenna hurled a knife at Einar’s face and he was struck again, falling on Phrenna and disqualifying her. Some of the blows being delivered to and against the party were actually full damaging blows as the perversion of Loki flowed around the arena. The combatants were withering as the groups began falling away. Darius was wrestling with Norag, Negan was hitting Golarin, Connal was holding his own, Ducat was keeping himself out of the mess.

Eventually the last of the combats ended and the scores ran down from highest to lowest with Negan, Ducat, Connal, Golarin, Vult, Darius as the top 6 – Darius pulled himself out, thankful for just to opportunity, Einar was dragged to the lot and dumped in the alley, and even those who didn’t get in were ok with the findings. We drank and partied, the Grim Gauntlets supplying the food and drink.

Darius went his way to the Storm Ravens guild later and made his introductions there. Trying out, he showed his skill with the sling, even firing multiple times and at distance – always hitting the center or bullseye of the targets. He was given a green light to come back when it was time to go up and would be welcomed then.

The next day was a bit rainy on Firemonth the 3rd as we left House Illytch and Sorton to head our way up the Enderlyn River and make it to the Base Camp some 2-3 days away. The Teamster leader Trentis along with 7 other teamsters and stablehands, our group of 10, a hayswain, carpenter, mason, tinsmith, and 2 giantslayers with pikes made up our caravan of 6 carts and ponies.

We offered our help when and where able to, guiding the carts up and over the steeper parts of the not quite there trail, keeping the river in sight and on our left. We did notice that the party was being shadowed at great distance by 2 or three wolves but none of them dared get closer and they only watched for now. The trees were tall, the scent of pine was heady, and we threaded our way through the valleys of the mountains that made up the Morat range, heading ever west, northwest. A group of timberers asked for news of Sorton and after exchanging with them, let us know that Rock Drakes were getting busy in the area and we should be on the lookout.

Trentis had a problem with Dizzy, thinking the dwarf was not holding his own during the march – always slacking off. So he had him dig the two slit trenches with which Dizzy did a poor and ineffective job – earning a rebuke. Some of the teamsters were fascinated with Avulstein and when it was noted he was a necromancer, Trentis didn’t care but a few of the followers gave the wolverine a wider berth and sideways glance.

We rested during the night – at which time a bobcat had come to the edge of our camp and was rotting in the trash. Darius woke up Avulstein and with the wizard’s help, quickly slayed the bobcat. Then he performed a ritual and raised the animal from the dead and brought it back to camp.

The next day Einar and Avulstein had some glances about the reanimated bobcat, flat out asking why HE wasn’t woken up, but the matter was left to die. Dizzy voiced his dislike of Einar to Avulstein which was funny because Dizzy had also made known of his dislike of Avulstein to Einar not 2 days earlier.

While pushing the carts past Welthan’s Falls, one of the cart’s wheels snapped off 3 of the spokes and had to wait a bit for the repair to happen. We lost only a little time but Trentis wanted us to make it up so we double timed it for a while. The country was beautiful and the peaks majestic around us. There was a lake here referred to as Broken Tower Lake. 4 miles by 1, some 200 yards or so off the eastern shore was a 70’ stone tower sitting quietly in the lake, stretching up to the broken crown.

Stories were that this entire land was part of the Himaya of Rand – the great orcish empire that was destroyed some 150 years or so ago. Might have been an outpost, astrologer’s tower, shaman’s tower – who knows.

We moved on a bit longer until we were called to rest at the north end of the lake. Trentis let us know we would make base camp by midday tomorrow, had once more set of falls we had to lift the carts over so to eat well and get some rest. Again, Dizzy was singled out to do some grunt work, given a 1 gallon bucket and told to go back and forth to the lake and fill the water casks on the 4th cart – each of which was 20 gallons alone.

While he was going back and forth, he did spot a disturbed outline in the wood line – 30’ long, 6’ at the shoulder, and watching the group. Rock Drake – and camouflaged. He came back and informed Trentis and the group was paying so much attention to the Drake that it went back into the woods and faded from sight.

Still being eagle eyed, Dizzy went back to loading up the casks with water, seeing the drake was hiding on the river bank now and inching closer. We were all once again made away and Dizzy made believe to fall as the drake launched itself into the air to attack. Throughout the group and the camp, missile weapons fired – all of them hitting the hide and bouncing away. The hide was just as tough as suspected.

Magic missiles fired and the giant slayed raised pikes as the drake made to dive the group and was hit enough that it was deterred, winging over and flying further up mountain and away from the party. We waited to make sure it was driven away and then set off to finish making camp for tonight.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Meet 24, Adv 4, 9/9/17

Here it is, 10 years to date since this group had first gotten together. I know there are longer lasting groups but I am very happy with my friends and our camraderie.

This was the start of the 4th adventure, Three Little Pigs, and we are still down 1 at the table as finding a suitable replacement has been a nightmare so far. Lots of feelers and bites, no one to sit and commit. Hopefully very soon.

Write up follows:

The party has convened at the Third Reeve’s Office on Firemonth the 1st to meet with Theros and go over the contract that he has worked on with and for the party in regards to their employment with House Illytch. The dwarven Reeve was warm to the group and we met with Chancellor Casmier from House Illytch to go over the contract.

The party took their time reading the document, asking questions about it and getting clarification as need be. The contract was as follows:


THIS Agreement made as of the 1st day of Firemonth, of the year 190 in the 30th age, between House Illytch operating under the laws of Thane Ufrecta Jarlborrin in the Thanedom of Sorton, in the collective former Himaya of Rand; and the congregated assemblage of personages designated by the Third Reeve Theros of Sorton heretofore identified as “the Party”, currently residing in the Thanedom of Sorton, in the collective former Himaya of Rand.

WHEREAS House Illytch desires to obtain the benefit of the services of the Party, and the Party desires to render such services on the terms and conditions set forth for a period to last until the final days of the Autumnal months of the year 190 in the 30th age. This Agreement may be extended should the work of House Illytch require and both the House and The Party agree to extending this contract to the final days of the next season as well.

IN consideration of the promises the House and the Party agree as follows:

1. Employment. The Party agrees that they will at all times faithfully, industriously, and to the best of their skill, ability, experience and talents, perform all of the duties required of his position. In carrying out these duties and responsibilities, the Party shall comply with all House policies, procedures, rules and regulations, both written and oral, as are announced by the House from time to time. It is also understood and agreed to by the Party that their assignment, duties and responsibilities and reporting arrangements may be changed by the House in its sole discretion without causing termination of this agreement.

2. Position Title. As a collective mercenary assemblage, the Party is required to perform the following duties and undertake the following responsibilities in a professional manner.

(a) Defend all property and staff of House Illytch should it come under assault by all manner of the Five M’s (melee, missile, magical, martial, and miraculous) means at the Party’s abilities.
(b) Keep the secrets and doings of House Illytch’s operations private and unshared while employed by House Illytch.
(c) Dispatch with all prejudice any members of the K’Morat kobold tribes or warriors of the same if they prove to be a threat to House Illytch’s operations, property, or people whether by deed, action, or proximity.
(d) Aid and answer any missions as deemed required by Ordinates or Subordinates of House Illytch while on duty away from Sorton.
(e) Other duties as may arise from time to time and as may be assigned to the Party.

3. Compensation
(a) As full compensation for all services provided the Party shall be paid at the rate of 41 nobles/day. Such payments shall be subject to such normal statutory deductions by the House should the Party find themselves de-manned and unable to function at full capacity due to injury or death. Actual payment of coins may be impossible to dispense while the party is in the field. A running tally of credit may be established for the Party until such time they are able to return to Sorton for payment.
(b) There will be a bonus of 37 crowns for any K’Morat warren that has been routed should the warren number under 60, and 58 crowns should the warren number over 59.
(c) Any treasure, coinage, goods, or property of value found while under the employ of House Illytch shall be divided evenly between the House and the Party with the exceptions of food stuffs or drink which will be the Party’s to keep. Should any eldritch items be found, the Party has first rights to them if they want with the House taking compensation equal to 120% of field appraisal value in trade. Otherwise the House may either take possession of the eldritch item at 85% field appraisal value if it is desired, or the eldritch item may be sold on open market and the proceeds divided evenly.
(d) All reasonable expenses arising out of employment shall be reimbursed assuming authorized on their incurring.

4. Benefits. The House shall at its expense provide the Party with the equivalent of 1 Healing Draught per personage every 4 days.

5. Performance Review. The House will be provided with a written performance appraisal after 18 days and again after 45 days and said appraisal will be reviewed at which time all aspects of the assessment can be fully discussed.

6. Termination.
(a) The Party may terminate this agreement and their employment should the House fail to abide their contractual agreements. A written notice must be given to House Illytch, Third Reeve Theros, and Thane Jarlborrin within five days of the Party abandoning this contract. A review board and Zone of Truth will determine the veracity of this decision.
(b) The House may terminate this agreement and the Party’s employment at any time, without notice or payment in lieu of notice, only for sufficient cause (see section 2 above).

7. Entire Agreement. This agreement contains the entire agreement between the House and the Party, superseding in all respects any and all prior oral or written agreements or understandings pertaining to the employment of the Party by the House and shall be amended or modified only by written instrument signed by both of the parties hereto.

IN witness whereof, House Illytch has caused this agreement to be executed by its duly authorized officers and ratified below by all parties.

Yeah, it was an eyeful.

However, the group felt it was a good contract and although questions and clarifications were asked, the only material change they made was in section 3c. The decision was that after 45 days, assuming the group has received a good review from House Illytch, the percentage valued for magical items would be changed from 120% and 85% for calculation to 110% and 95% for calculation – still giving the House the greater value for magical item exchange, but bringing the difference from a 35% swing to a 15% swing.

The party then signed off on the contract, their signatures witnessed by the Reeve and the Chancellor, tying the party to House Illytch for the remainder of this season and the next – with the option to extend to the winter months should the need arise.

We then talked to Chancellor about our mission. There is a camp that has been established across the Morat border, about 2-3 days up the Enderlyn River. The denizens are in the process of gathering a type of quick growing fungus that was spotted in the area some time ago, for which House Illytch will use in its own apothecary and alchemy labs here in Sorton, selling the extras to other merchants that are searching for the reagents and are willing to pay.

However, K’Morat kobolds have become brazen and aggressive and over the last few months have gone from ones and twos, to 10’s and more assaulting harvesters in the area.

The Base Camp has walls and guards, but it doesn’t have a strike team capable of going out and routing these warrens of K’Morat kobolds. That is what the group has been hired for. There are 2 other mercenary groups at the Base Camp in House Illytch’s employ – a 10-20 contingent of Randari rangers and scouts who originally discovered the precious fungi, and a 6-8 count of professional giant killers who patrol the Base Camp and their job is pretty much self-explanatory.

We were invited back to House Illytch to set up a temporary home for the time being while the caravan is being set up and should be leaving on either the 2nd or the 3rd. The House stores would be made available to us to equip ourselves before leaving Sorton, with the understanding that although there will be some stores at Base Camp, anything else we would need might take as much as 6 days to replenish us away from Sorton.

During this time Darius was invited/instructed by his father to attend a mandatory family dinner. So our slinger/fighter with a heavy heart arrived at the Diamondcutter home and went to the awkward dinner with his father Gordon, mother Ovira, eldest brother Gordson, eldest living sister Ana, and his next oldest brother Dorthak. Twilaine was working at the family shoppe and not expected to be at this dinner.

It went about as poorly as Darius expected. There was more entreaties to stop being a mercenary, join the family business, and discussion about the raid on the Temple of Loki. Shock at what occurred, but it was also some dismay on how it would look to the family. As the meal went on Darius was morose and resigned to the fact that his father had 2 things at the core of all his complaints and requests: control of his family and their doings, and how anyone’s actions make him and the family appear.

When it came time to get to the crux of the matter, he offered Darius a 5% controlling stake in the company at 4th owner of the Diamondcutter Gem and Jewelsmiths. This had Gordson shocked and the others at the table clamoring for Darius to avoid the deal and to make his escape. Darius asked for a notary and Gordon, feeling smug, had one summoned and the deal written up – giving Darius a part of the family business – as long as he recanted any other signed contracts and gives up his mercenary career.

Reading the page Darius nodded his head, tore the paper in half, crumpled it up, and burned it on the candelabra while Gordon screamed at him to get out and he was cut off and Darius left after getting quiet support from Dorthak and Ovira.

Back at House Illytch, he tried to explain his problems to the rest of the party who looked at Darius bemusedly. So, getting a part of the family business and set up for life was getting you upset? He didn’t get much sympathy but the group did welcome him with open arms.

We filled up at the stores and then after making sure that all our packs were set and any gear we needed was in place, the party was going to get some sleep. The next day would see some of the party members heading to the Grim Gauntlets and try out for the Fighter’s Guild – knowing that some trickery of Loki would nullify some of the padded and safety weapons that the group would be fighting with. After that we should be then headed for Base Camp on the 3rd.