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

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Meet 5, Adv B4, 5/17/17 - Youth Group

Since we had “missed” a potential session due to cousins and family coming to visit, I gave my daughter an opportunity to make it up during the week if she could get both of the other players to show as well as make sure it was ok with her step-mom since it would be a during the week game and that would mean I wouldn’t be able to take over baby duties for my infant son during that time.

All worked out and she had a 2 hour get together with about an hour and a half play time. So they are continuing their exploration of the 3rd level and it looks like before they hit the 4th, 1 or 2 of the group might be going up in level.

Write up follows:

The 4 party members thank Pandora once more for her help in the eventual upcoming struggle against Zargon, apologized for the defilement of the altar and carpet, and then went on our way back to the revolving room. Once there, we referred to Delsin’s decoding of the symbols and picked the one that would turn the room facing West – back to Auriga’s area and the bulwark of the Usimagarian’s zone.

Once the room stopped rotating, we travelled again down the dark hall and back to the prayer room where the 13 members of the Usimagarian cult were still slain and dead on the floor. The coppery scent of spilled blood was getting cloying and thick. A short search of the bodies did not reveal the spellbook that Volkan was hoping for, but Delsin and Mark did note that masks the Usimagarian’s wore were thin silver beaten onto wood, and could be worth something.

Volkan thought it was silly to take them, where would we sell it? We were in a desert far from anywhere and it would take up precious room in our packs. He did take Auriga’s mask as it also had a silver crown attached to it, but that was it. The fighter and cleric each took a few of the masks and after we gave the room a serious one last look over, decided that it was time to continue exploring.

There was a door on the south side of the room and Volkan was once again tying a rope to the door to open it when Safir pointed out it was a KNOB, and a tied rope would not allow the mage the opportunity to open it. Frustrated, Volkan threw his hands up and Safir gave the portal a once over, satisfied it was neither locked nor trapped.

We opened the door, and looked in. There was a corridor here, “T’ed” in both directions, with small candles lit giving the place a strange wavering light. To the right it went a short distance and ended at a door on the south wall, and to the left it went some 20 paces and ended at a blank wall.

Safir and Mark went left to explore the area, but it was Volkan and Delsin who both ran to the other door; racing to see who would get there first. It was a flurry of limbs and shoving hands but they hit the portal and gave it a kick – where it opened with a loud slam on the opposite wall.

It was a decent sized room and had 6 double bunk-beds along with footlockers. We fanned out and gave the chamber a good once over. It was obviously the original sleeping chamber for Auriga’s followers and we did find changes of clothing and personal effects – but nothing of any real value. So after 15 minutes and no obvious other doors in the room, Delsin made the call that we should give the place a final search just to make sure we didn’t miss anything.

We lucked out and came upon a secret door on the south wall. Managing to get it open revealed a short hall, 9 paces or so long, that ended at a wooden door with a small cut out near the top. As we approached it, we could hear a growl coming from the other side and it had the 4 party members hold up for a bit while we discussed possibilities. Eventually it was decided to shove the smaller door blocking the cut out aside and peer in through the bars.

Where we saw a large bedroom/office where a grey wolf was chained to the foot of the bed by a long lead. And it was growling at us.

We assumed the room was Auriga’s but didn’t want to risk getting bit by the agitated wolf. So we opened the door and then ran back as the wolf charged out of the room and was brought up short before it could get to any of us. We tried to hit at it but it danced away and ran back inside where we watched it go to one side of the door and just sit out of sight.

So we crept forward and used Volkan’s staff to tap the floor and the wolf charged out and bit at the staff and then we ran back again and the wolf hid behind the frame once more. So we did the staff thing again, thinking we were going to then attack the wolf but the wolf was fast and dragged the staff out of Delsin’s hand, dragging it back into the chamber and then savaging it for a bit before quieting down and waiting AGAIN for us to step forward.

Mark was taking the stance of enough is enough and had his war hammer out. Volkan was pissed that his staff was gone and the group of us stormed forward as the wolf charged out. Some bites, snarls, scratches; a couple of well-placed blows and then the battle was over and the wolf was dead.

We entered Auriga’s chamber. Desk, chair, book shelf, bed, clothing drawer. We checked around and grabbed some quills and ink, found the wizard’s spell book, some paper. Volkan wanted to use some of the ink and write the spells into his own spell book but we were unsure if we should spend that kind of time. A small key was found but it wasn’t until we lifted the bed aside and felt the floor beneath it give slightly to our weight that we discovered what it was for.

A secret cache was hidden under the bed and the metal lid of the box there had to be unlocked to open it. We did note that there was a poison needle trap on the lock and the key’s use allowed us to circumvent the trap! Way to us party!

The box had over 2,500 silver nobles and some 200 gold crowns within. We divided up the coin, loaded it into our bags, and decided to give Volkan the time to write what spells he could into his spellbook. We kept the door to Auriga’s room shut for the 3 hours we spent scribing and then afterwards, hefted our heavy bags and started making our war back to the revolving room where we were going to try the NW corridor before turning it North and eventually head towards the 4th level.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Meet 18, Adv 3, 5/13/17

A lot of LARP'ing this session.

One of the things I had set up was a situation where the characters would most likely resort to using deadly force in a town situation, just to see how they would behave. This session was the fallout from their actions and the negative stigma associated with being a "murder-hobo". Yes, when you are trouncing kobolds you can go hog wild, but when you are in town, 99.9% of people do not resort to being brutal murderers.

And the group behaved that way.

This will come up again and again throughout this campaign as the politics around Bork Keep and Erylond are at odds with the brutality of the Terror Dungeon.

Write up follows:

The group woke up slowly, finding themselves and over 30 other bar patrons from the Iron Stallion incarcerated in small cells large enough for 4 people at a time. There seemed to be no organization as to who was jailed with whom, so the group although they were near one another, were not in the same cells as one another.

Two dwarven guards were near the exit, hammers obvious, blue capes on their shoulders. The opposite end of the hall led to the kennel where Avulstein woke up to find not only Einar’s giant bat, but a few angry stray dogs that were caged as well.

Getting back to Einar, he and a member of the League were at each other’s throats, yelling at one another and almost coming to blows. Darius was able to grab the half-orc through the cell bars and keep him from making our situation even worse. We did note that the participants of the fight who had suffered the most were not here in the cells; most likely at the hospice at this time.

And when it came time for interviews, they took out 3 people at a time, each person was cuffed from behind and led to a questioning room where they were then chained to a seat and made to wait. Eventually a dwarven female guard came in, usually with a support guard or two, and proceeded to ask each person slowly and surely what happened, how it started, and what was the person’s actions and reactions during the brawl.

Although each person only saw their portion of the questioning, what they Bluecapes were doing were weaving together each person’s recollection and recanting, and presenting it as the starting point to the next group that came in for questioning. This kept the flow of information going. Also, the questioning room had a glyph of truth on the wall; if there was an egregious lie stated, the glyph would glow red and the person would be allowed to correct their statement until it was deemed to be truthful

The entire process took 3-4 hours. Avulstein during the early part of this process did reach through his bars and open the latch, climbed out, jumped on the dogs’ cages and let them out. He did watch through the kennel exit as the dogs were swiftly put to sleep and then dragged back to the kennel while two more dwarven Bluecapes stepped in to guard the main exit. So he then ran back to his original cage and slipped back in, pulling the door closed before he was seen.

And speaking of Avulstein, it did come out during the interviews that he was a sentient wolverine and was able to speak – so he was not excused in his part of the brawl nor of being questioned by the authorities.

One all the questioning was done the party noticed that first the patrons who were not members of the league or the party were released first. Then some 15 minutes later, League members were released a few at a time until only the group was left. Eventually the five of them (6 if you could Einar’s giant bat) were escorted to another meeting room, larger than the other, where they had their shackles removed and then asked to wait.

At this point the woman who had been doing the interviews came back in, lots of paperwork, a few of her compatriots, and an older dwarven militant who identified himself as Chief Silvercaps. He went over the party’s testimony, recounting it to them so they understood that he understood what happened and at that point turned the conversation to the bounty for Sigurd that had precipitated this entire mess.

The most important thing was that we did NOT start the fight. This fact was corroborated by just about everyone and the aggressor/instigator would be the League of Odin and Sigurd and his two companions. This meant that the party did not have a 50 noble fine they had to pay, it also meant they did not have to be banished from Sorton at this time.

That was it for the good news.

As for the wanted posted, that is a Thakian matter, and the purse for returning Sigurd and the wishes of the Lord Marshall have zero bearing once the group left Thak – especially here. And even more especially against a member in good standing of the League of Odin. The party is not representatives of any law or bounty group anywhere, they have arrived here with letters of good conduct but not to satisfy bounties on wanted criminal work but for mercenary sword and spell work.

Also, these actions, even though the party is not going to be fines, would still need to be presented to the Third Reeve since until the group actually gets a job in the next 2 and a half days, they are technically the Third Reeve’s responsibility. Chief Silvercaps did go on to say that he would let the Third Reeve know that they did not start brawl and merely defended themselves; hoping that would allay some of the fallout that was due to come down the pike.

He did give us a bit of hope. If we were able to get employment and keep ourselves in good standing with our employers for the next 3-4 weeks, he would be willing to deputize two members of the party with the express powers of fulfilling wanted bounties for a period not to exceed 1 week. This will allow the group at some point to TRY and apprehend Sigurd and bring him back to Thak. However, they would not be allowed to enter the League and just take him, they would have to find a time and situation where they can arrest Sigurd away from the League and squirrel him out of town before the League could muster a response and stop the party from heading east to Thak.

We thanked the Chief and left Sorton Holding, making our way to the free air and then tried to get our bearing. We headed off to the Hospice first – not to brace Sigurd or cause any problems, but to check up on Lareth and make sure his stay was taken care of.

While there, the group managed to get a heads up on some of the other badly wounded people who came here from the bar fight. Darius felt terrible at his efforts in some of the wounded men who will be holed up for days and/or weeks that he paid for some of their Hospice time as well as some of the equipment needed to support them during these days. He did not give his name, hiding amongst anonymity for now.

It was 11 PM when we arrived back at the Pennywhistle and made our way to our rooms where we exhaustedly fell asleep, knowing that the next day was going to test us.

And it did.

We awoke early and made sure we were at the Third Reeve’s Office on time. We took our seats and waited as jobs were read off and applicants taken. As the room emptied and it came closer to 10 PM, we suspected the Reeve was mad at us.

It was almost 10 when he came in and had us follow him to a private room where he turned on us and read the group the riot act. Bar fight? Fines? League? Men in the hospital? What the hell were we thinking!? And how the hell could he sell us to any house or consortium now when we were such a loose cannon. Half the possible employment opportunities just disappeared.

Defend yourself, sure. Don’t cripple people in a bar fight by hurling them across the room, or beating them to unconsciousness with a chair, or giving them rabies, or tearing their guts out, or breaking their knee cap, or bursting their balls. Defend yourself yes, but remember you are NOT murder-hoboes. There is already such a stigma regarding mercs that this did nothing to help the group.

Good news was though that the 13 League members were responsible for the fine for public assault and battery – and they had to shell out 650 nobles to the Sorton Militia. And it was their members who were put on notice for fighting, not the party. But reps for the League were here this morning and had been up the Third Reeve’s ass about having HIM or the PARTY pays the League back for the fines – which the Third Reeve was willing to defend the party for.

They needed to keep their nose clean. There are aspects of Sorton who don’t like the League and it is possible that the group’s actions might generate them some employment and he is working with House Illytch to get them to possibly pick up the party’s contract for a season. However, if they can get some work, it would reset the “clock” for them to 4 days which might be enough for the Third Reeve to make this go away and get the group situated.

From here we had discussed the next part of Avulstein’s list and we were looking for the promise of a dead man. It seemed the best bet would be getting a notary to sign off on a final promise of someone who is slated for hanging or execution. The notaries would be found again in Central Quarter and sponsored by the Church of Frigga, we had audience with one of them, getting the services of a half-orc female notary named Coriso who was willing to pen her name to what document we needed.

So from here there was talk of going back to Sorton Holding and talking to Chief Silvercaps to see if we can get audience with some of the criminals up for hanging in the next day or two.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Meet 17, Adv 3, 5/6/17

Haven't had a good bar brawl in a while in my games so it was time to have one. This little scene actually jumped at me a few years ago when GOT had Lady Catlyn brace Lord Tyrion @ some nameless tavern and a bunch of her bannerman jumped to her defense. I thought it was cool.

So here we had Sigurd and the group saw him and he knows, just KNOWS, he's fucking boned. So the sycophant calls out to his guild members to jump to his defense and they do so - but the party just kicks some serious ass and they all end up in jail.

Write up follows:

Avulstein had been reincarnated, as a wolverine. He still had the ability to speak, his mental faculties were as they had been before, and his hands, even though his nails were long and fearsome, his hands were still disturbingly human-like.

The Deathspeakers were tickled at this turn of events and noted that Frey certainly had some thoughts for Avulstein who to date had been rather cavalier at the raising of animals. However, he had come back and was welcomed for his efforts.

And then reminded he had until Heatmonth the 30th at 2:30 to complete his required list and present it to the Deathspeakers. Or he’d be…judged harshly.


Avulstein and Connal left, the wizard thanking the monk for what he had done, promising to pay him back five-fold for his efforts between last night and today. The two friends though did pick up Lareth’s hurt form and were bringing it to the Hospice – overseen by the healers and clergy of Baldur, Frigga, Hel, and Frey.

Lareth was admitted and Connal, still wearing the adherent’s robes of Hel, asked to be brought to the terminal children’s ward to help those to pass on their way. Avulstein stayed by his side, trying to keep quiet, but a 50 lb. wolverine does invite attention. A priest of Frey called the necromancer an abomination, telling him that he was paying a penance for whatever crimes against nature he must have done to piss the nature god off. Avulstein just hoped to get away from the irate priest and eventually was able to follow Connal to the children’s ward.

The smell was cloying and the few orderlies here were wearing physicker masks loaded with herbs, tending to the dying children. The two men wandered about and learned that one bed held a 12 year old girl who was on death’s door. The two of them stood them, made some prayers, and placed the Nornian Skein over her face and waited. They could see the skein lift and fall from the breathing…but the child continued to breathe.

Avulstein was losing patience and asked Connal to help her along. Help? You know, choke her out. Connal looked at the wolverine and hissed no fucking way. The two of them had made so much noise and hissing angry conversation that it attracted the attention of the orderlies who came over and exclaimed, “Sweet Frigga! A Talking Wolverine!”

This attracted others who came and wanted to see, plus alerted the dozing children that there was a wolverine here that could talk. So Avulstein went with it, walking about and pretending to entertain the masses and staff while hoping that Connal would kill the girl, steal her last breath in the Skein, and then they could leave.

Connal didn’t. He just did not.

So when the opportunity came, Connal walked around with the now quieter staff, talking about Hel, and Wolverines’ and how it’s a sign from the gods, just leading them away from the girl and keeping them occupied. This allowed Avulstein to then climb onto the bed, reach under the skein, and throttle the girl until she passed. The skein lifted on last time and he folded it up, climbed down, and noticed he had blood on his claws. He looked at the girl and realized that in his efforts, his new-found claws had scratched up the girl and disfigured her.

Had to leave. Now.

Blanket over the body and then wandered to Connal who took the skein and walked out of the sick ward together. In the hall the priest of Frey had seen the two of the coming and took a bucket of trough water from outside, tossing it on the wolverine. He then called him a degenerate and told him to fuck off before leaving. Avulstein was just stunned.

The two of them made their way back to the Pennywhistle where they found their companions (it was about noon) and told them of what happened and Avulstein’s new condition. Einar was taciturn during it, commenting that maybe now Avulstein would have some compassion and affinity for the natural world.

They talked about what happened, Lareth’s time at the Hospice, and Avulstein’s list of things to get. The two big ones remaining were the cup of midnight water (found on the lower level at the church of Loki) and blood from a living boar (found on the Terraces – very protected location outside of town). The boar blood was tossed about and a few possible plans were put together but we had to shelve it by the time 1:40 came about so we can get to the Tradegrounds in Central Quarter and see if House Illytch was there to get hired on.

We arrived before two and noted a few other mercenaries and similar types we had seen at the Third Reeve’s Office. There was a large two story drinking establishment called the Iron Stallion right by the Tradegrounds and a couple of buxom wenches were calling from the balcony for thirsty people to come in and take a load off.

As two came and went, a few of the mercs got disillusioned and went to the Stallion to take a drink and commiserate over a lost employment opportunity. We did talk to one of them who said that House Illytch is one of the biggest and more powerful houses, but they do often plan on these hiring fairs and don’t actually show up for them – or if they do it’s very late and apologize for not being there earlier.

We stayed local, a few of us went shopping, we fashioned a bandolier style bag for Avulstein to wear across his chest and midsection. We did note a heavy-set man come to the Tradegrounds, wearing the colors of House Illytch, wiping the sweat from his jowls and under the folds of his neck. The group intercepted him and he introduced himself as Derigius, 2nd assistant to the hiring page for House Illytch. The fair was not going to happen today, too many things had come up, and the hiring manager was hoping to do one in 3 or 4 days.

That was going to be too late for us. We tried to ask if we could come back to House Illytch and plead our case and capabilities there but were told that the Hiring Manager wasn’t seeing anyone at this time. So Einar forked over a handful of silver to Derigius and asked him to see what he could do to make some meeting happen and there would be more money to follow. Derigius was stunned, employees paying to meet an employer? And they have a god damned talking wolverine!?!? He promised to go and let us know. We were to wait here at the Iron Stallion and by 5 he’d be back with his boss and then some to try and have a meeting with the party.

Bolstered now and seeing it was after 3, Avulstein and Connal went back to the Third Reeve to explain the necromancer’s absence this morning and his new condition – not wanting to do anything to upset an employment opportunity for us.

At that point they did return in hopes to meet up with Derigius and most likely his superiors from House Illytch. So it was 5 after 4 when the group entered the Iron Stallion and looked around. The place was full; 2-300 people were drinking and laughing. A wench saw the group enter and motioned to a clear table near the center and left of the bar and we made our way there.

And then we saw him, at the same time that he saw us. Sigurd was sitting there with two of his friends, drinking and laughing and he caught the group making their way through the tables. He uttered an expletive and his face went pale. The two friends with him stood up to see what was going on as the group of 4 plus the wolverine and giant fucking bat made their way closer to the table.

Seeing Sigurd was getting upset one of the guys at his table sneered at the group and told them to “Fuck off ya dirty mercs, or we’ll make ya fuck off!” This irritated the shit out of Einar who started to harangue the men back. Sigurd and the two men then reached up and pulled the edge of their tunic over, showing the circle and spear symbol of the League of Odin. Other members of the League nearby stood up, called on by name as Sigurd was inspiring them to “rise up and help out a fellow guildmate”.

The standoff went from 4+2 vs 3 to 4+2 vs 12 and more. Conversation around us was petering out and the proprietor was starting to yell at us to “take it the fuck outside or I’ll get the damned Bluecapes!”.

And someone hurled a clay mug at Einar’s head and the bar brawl was on.

Avulstein pulled himself back and slid around one of the tables, hoping to be unnoticed in the fray. Einar told his bat to fly and pointed at one of the League men who tossed a chair in Connal’s direction. The bat dove down and flailed at the League man, biting him and tearing at his head. Connal knocked flying cutlery aside and started working his way towards Sigurd who was hoping to move back. Darius tackled one of the nearby League men, struggling with the man who attempted to smash the fighter’s head in with a plate. So when the chance came, he kicked back and then out at the fighter – catching him in the crotch and tossing him back into the fray when he fell screaming and rolling in agony.

Twp tried to jump on Negan who held his own, pulling one of the guys off of his head and throwing him across the room where he smashed into a table and knocked another patron down. More men and women joined the fight, not necessarily League members, and they fought not only the party, but other patrons as well. Connal was getting closer and Darius let a sling bullet fly and then tossed the sling when he realized it was a deadly weapon and a big NO NO. Negan had 3 on him now, shaking them around as two of them managed to grab his fingers and bend them back.

Einar’s bat took off and dove back into the crowd, hitting a man at the bar drinking a beer and not in the fight, but bit him as well while the druid was trying to call him back and to help out with fighting patrons – meanwhile he had broken a chair across on of the League man’s back and was beating him with the broken legs as impromptu clubs.

Darius had gotten close to Sigurd, Connal as well, when another of the League men tried to stop the fighter who jumped up and kicked out at the Leaguer – hitting him in the knee and causing his leg to fold the wrong way as he went down screaming in agony. Connal rolled around another and Sigurd started to run for the back of the bar. Avulstein was well positioned and slalomed his way through the legs and tables, launching himself up and tackling into Sigurd. He tore at his face and chest, the claws ripping his midsection open and tearing bloody rents in his guts as the man who betrayed us fell over shrilly screaming for anyone to help him. Negan smashed the two men holding him in place together, their heads slamming into each other and then staggering back with bloody faces.

At this point Bluecapes had run in and were letting fly stun and sleep rods, quelling the combatants and dropping swaths of the bar to sleep. Avulstein abandoned Sigurd and tried to run away but was caught in a blast of arcanic energy and was knocked out along with over 30 patrons and the rest of the party.

Where everyone was taken to the jails and locked up for questioning. Lots and lots of questioning. 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Meet 16, Adv 3, 4/29/16

The issue with town adventures is there are little rails and the group often wants to wander about and explore, checking out the new areas and just doing things that don't involve kicking in a door and looting the bad guys they kill. So that means some things that I might have planned don't come up.

That was this meeting. It was all off the cuff and made up as the group wandered the roadways and looked around. We had LARPing up the whahoo and I was pretty much half a sentence ahead of the ground as they did their thing. Don't know about them, but I had a great time.

Also had a chance to whip out the TOM and hit the Quest Spells. When the TOM first came out I was fascinated with the one shot spells that were listed and always sought ways to weave them into the game. And tonight I got to use Storm of Vengeance - a soft spot for me for 2 reasons: 1) it was the first Quest spell I had ever used so so so long ago, and 2) it was the name of my guild in EQ2 back in the days when I had disposable time and no life.

And I killed a PC, and almost killed a 2nd one. Not what I was planning, but it happened!

Also, it was the return of the "sound effect death". With the first group we had the backstab "Hwachaa" noise popularized by Zoltan - and used for months afterwards. For this group, Avulstein used the eponymous "F-Pwaap" noise to simulate coup de grace-ing a sleeping opponent. I suspect this noise will come up again for months at a time.

Write up follows:

After the party went to bed, Avulstein stayed up thinking about the list of items he was going to need for the Deathspeaker of Hel. It ate at him and ate at him until he decided to get up and take a walk. He wandered down the slopes of Slagbottom, making his way west to the Enderlyn River and then south to leeching pits and the foulest section called Slagend. Even this late at night there were still the off person on the street and some late night festivities going about.

As he made his circuit back to Grand Boulevard, he had an idea on finding a fixer or broker from one of the lesser taverns to be found in the danker areas of Slagbottom. So it was back to the SW section where he went off one of the main streets and hit the first hole in the wall tavern he could find. The taproom could serve 20 and it was mostly filled as it was.

He went to the bar and some coins and question later had him directed to a man named Dalullia who was willing to talk to the budding necromancer. They went out to the alley to discuss two items: midnight water and how to capture a final breath. It cost Avulstein a few things but he did learn that there was item called a Nornian Skein which Dalullia could get for Avulstein for 25 crowns. Money he did not have.

They dickered for a bit and eventually Dalullia and Avulstein came to an arrangement. Part of the Skein would be paid for in coin, the rest of it would be released from Avulstein doing a favor for Dalullia. There was a woman who read fortunes a few blocks from here who had a couple of knuckle-dragging half-ogre sons. She refused to pay any money to the neighborhood watch, was a bit of a recluse, and always had her sons nearby to discourage Dalullia and his compatriots from collecting. This had been going on for a while.

What he wanted was someone not known to him or his people who would go with them while they tried to shake down the fortune teller. If someone could sneak into the house and threaten her with a knife, the sons would back off and Dalullia could get his money and go. Avulstein could fade away and never worry about repercussions since he’s not associated with Sorton or Dalullia. Avulstein agreed in principle and asked for a little bit to get some help.

He went back to the Pennywhistle, woke up Connal, and explained to the monk what was going on and that he needed his help. Connal agreed and the two of them left most of their belongings in the room while they made their way back across Slagbottom and the Dalullia and his thugs. Introductions were given and a rough of the plan was hashed out.

The group walked the 3 blocks to the fortune teller’s house, Avulstein and Connal and Dalullia and four of his men. At the home they stopped and looked. The shutters were closed, smoke was coming from the chimney, the gates were closed. It was a 2 story home that was falling to pot. A large wrap around porch was the central theme to the place. We opened the gate and entered, Avulstein and Connal making their way to the side of the home while Dalullia and his crew made a lot of noise and wandered up to the front door.

From the side they heard the sounds of conversation at the front door and other voices answering Dalullia. With care they approached the side door and checked in through a few of the broken panes. Kitchen, messy, dishes and pots stacked on the counters, dirty and a faint musty smell. The door was unlocked. Turning the knob the door opened and made a faint squeal as it did so. Connal dove in, kicking the door closed behind him, hiding behind the island counter. Avulstein stayed outside and crouched lower behind the door. One of the half-ogre’s had entered the kitchen and was looking around.

Tall, slope headed, thrusting jaw, canines obvious. He stood there and was sniffing the air. As he stepped further in, Avulstein grabbed a handful of petals and pushed them through the hole in the door, reciting arcanic words and a blast of somnolent energy flowed out and hit the half-ogre – dropping him to sleep. The same energy hit Connal but he didn’t fall over as there wasn’t enough power to affect him as well.

Sadly, when the seer’s son fell over, he hit the counter and spilled dishes everywhere making a hell of a lot of noise. Connal then ran for the corridor beyond the kitchen at the same time the 2nd half-ogre came in and stumbled over his sleeping brother. Holding onto the wall for support, the monk kicked out and took the turn out of the kitchen and into the living room as Avulstein sent off another sleep spell, dropping the 2nd brother.

There was a woman in her 50’s, grey haired and steely looking, had just slammed the front door closed and turned to face Connal who whipped out a knife and tumbled around her in order to try and hold her still. Meanwhile Avulstein snuck into the kitchen and approached the first sleeping half-ogre. Connal was struggling with the older woman who was shouting for her boys, and meanwhile we heard banging on the front door as Dalullia was trying to force the portal open. She pulled out two knitting needles and stabbed backwards, hitting Connal in the face. The angered the monk who was struggling to hold her at bay.

And then Avulstein stabbed one of the half-ogres in the throat and killed him.

The seer screamed terrible fury and the house felt wrong all the sudden. Her skin flashed to super-heated and a glow of frantic lights were billowing from her mouth, eyes, and nose. Connal charged her forward and the two of them hit the front window, blasted through it, and hit the porch amidst broken glass and shattered wood.

From outside the night sky had turned black and storm clouds formed over the house, spiraling and moaning as the wind slashed sideways through the area. Lighting filled the sky and Dalullia and his men were staring up with shocked expressions.

And then one of the bolts arced down and tore into Dalullia, momentarily illuminating his skeleton from within and then he exploded, leaving only a pair of boots smoking on the ground, one of them showing a burned shin bone sticking through the top.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.

The other thugs turned and tried to run and Avulstein approached the 2nd half-ogre when a 2nd bolt tore out of the sky and hit the house, pouring through the roof, the attic, the 2nd floor, and charred the ceiling of the 1st floor. She was still screaming as the power of the gods flowed out of her, fueling the storm above. Connal was hoping to get away but was afraid that if he let the seer go, he’d be targeted next.

And then Avulstein killed her 2nd son.

The furious wail was all that we heard before another bolt tore out of the sky and sluiced into the house, scouring the ragged edges of the holes it had made earlier and then vaporized Avulstein in a single stroke of god borne lightning.

Connal was terrified and the seer told him to run and never come back. Another bolt tore out of the sky and hit the closest fleeing thug, sending chunks of burnt meat to splatter about the pavement. The monk got up and tore ass away from the house and the screaming seer as the heavens opened up and acid rain poured down, melting the iron, the stone, the wood, everything for hundreds of feet while burning hail then pulverized the neighborhood.

Connal ran after the three thugs who hit the safe house they had used earlier, gotten entrance and joined in with the terrified thugs as they let the house leader know what happened. He seemed flustered and the entire thing was a mental mess for all of them. Connal was pragmatic enough to ask for the Nornian Skein as payment even if it didn’t go as expected. He was given the skein and then left, skirting the area around the fortune teller’s house and the late night emergency people and watch who had arrived on site. Finally back at the Pennywhistle he slumped into bed exhausted and contemplating what occurred.

The next morning at breakfast the group welcomed Darius back from his torturous night with his family and his father’s heavy-handed attempt to control his life and then listened as Connal informed everyone of what happened and Avulstein’s death. The facts were corroborated around the Common Room as the frenetic storm and damage was the talk of the town.

We then went to the Third Reeve Theros’ office and sat down for the conversation about what jobs were available (nothing real – except clean up detail for the broken sections of road bed and cobbles from the storm) before accepting that tomorrow might be a better option. We were told that House Illytch was supposedly having a hiring faire today at the Tradegrounds in Central Quarter about 2 and we should make ourselves known and available at that time.

Negan was approached again about joining the League of Odin but turned it down for now. Larry bid the group farewell for now and would see them later at the Tradegrounds. From the Pennywhistle, Larry went south and west, skirting the area that had been ravaged and hoping to find where these thugs came from as well as keep his eye open on the seer’s home.

Thinking about everything that happened, Connal took the skein and went to Central Quarter where he then made his way to the Vault of the Heorot and asked the adherents there for audience with the deathspeakers. He dropped Avulstein’s name as his purpose, bantered with the Witness and candle lighter, and then was granted audience.

The Deathspeakers kept a curtain drawn to obscure themselves but listened to Connal as he spoke of what happened. Then the monk asked if it was possible to bring Avulstein back. Yes. He’d be tied to Avulstein’s fate but it was possible. He’d have to bring three willing people through the door and if he did so, then the Deathspeakers would do what they could to reincarnate the fallen necromancer.

Connal left, brokered the purchase of a Watcher’s robe from one of the adepts, and then made his way across town to Slagbottom and the safe house he had gone into last night after the failed mission.

Meanwhile Larry was watching and the seer motioned him to come over and he did so. She looked at him, her skin paper thin now and she had a watery cataract eye that made the half-elf’s skin crawl, She said something about knowing that his companion had something to do with what happened last night and he should make sure never to come her way again. She then tossed the runes for him and told him that a 1200 noble quest would be resolved soon but not in the way they hoped it would be. Larry then fled back across the street and resumed watching.

He noted Connal come up, the monk dressed in a follower of Hel’s robes. The streets were crawling with lots of clerics so he blended in. Then Connal went up to a house, knocked on the door a few times and we let in.

Inside he pointed to the three who had escaped last night’s debacle and told them that they had to come to the Vault about what happened. The house leader was swayed and in the robes and hood, Connal was disguised enough that no one caught onto him. So the three thugs followed what they thought was a priest of Hel out of the safe house and across town to the Vault.

Larry followed.

At the vault the four…five men went to the Witness of the Dead, did the candle ceremony and paid their coins for the candles, and then went on their way through the halls until they arrived at the Deathspeaker’s audience chambers. They were escorted in and the door closed behind them. Five men lined up (at this point Larry made as if he was on the thug’s side by Canting to them) facing the three feared Deathspeakers.

There was talk of finishing and Nifleheim and the price and three and bringing back the lost soul. And with mounting horror everyone was listening to the Deathspeakers pretty much say the first three who DIED here now would power the spell to bring Avulstein’s soul back from the land of the dead.

So everyone turned on Connal, knives flashed out and were swinging when Larry backstabbed one of the thugs and dropped him immediately to 1 hit point. The battle was on. Lot of slashing and stabbing and cutting and hacking. Wounds were numerous and piling up. Connal was holding off two of the thugs when finally one of them slipped up and took a deadly blow. He fell over and floated in the air and the deathspeaker’s intoned “one”.

The four remaining men struggled back and forth and then Larry took a wicked slice and stab and the thief fell over and hit 0. But it wasn’t a death blow. The thug fighting him didn’t realize it and assaulted Connal who was also getting a bit hurt.

He resorted to a flurry of blows before the thug could coup de grace Larry, dropping that thug to 0 hit points – also not a death blow! There was one thug still standing, Connal, and two on the ground unconscious at 0 but not dead. It was back and forth and then Connal managed to land a killing blow on the last thug and he too began to float while the speakers intoed “two”.

A drop to the third thug and the price was paid. The speakers spoke of breaking the veil and price paid in threes and returning the fallen from Hel’s domain in whatever form the gods decree and then there was smoky screaming rent in the air and Avulstein’s soul swarmed back into the chamber…and coalesced into the compact form of a wolverine.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Meet 4, Adv B4, 4/29/17 - Youth Group

The group (still down 1 player for this meeting) has hit the 3rd level of the dungeon and had the opportunity to interact with the other 2 factions found in the ziggurat. As explained, the Gormites are priestly, the Madurans are warriors, and the Usimagarians are magic users. In a straight out fight, the Usimagarians would be the most likely to fold except for the 1st round of combat where 13 mages are hurling spells at the group which would wipe most parties out. Once again, the sheer overwhelming power and success of the Sleep spell shows why it is the almost guaranteed 1st spell any decent magic using party member should take early on.

Write up follows:

The corridor opened up to a pair of 10’ tall female statues with crossed spears and masks looking like the statue on top of the pyramid. So this was not the Usimagarians direction but the Madurans. According to Kanadius, the Usimagarians were sort of ok to deal with but the Madurans were militant and not at all in the same league at the Gormites. So we were going to have to tread carefully.

After checking the space out between the statues, Safir informed us that there was a pressure plate between the statues and we’d have to jump over it to avoid any problems. So one by one, we made the jump and then proceeded down the 50’ or so of corridor. The right hand side was lit by candles every 15’ feet and the left hand side showed murals and bas-reliefs of the Goddess Madura and her followers helping to promote peace and growth in old Cyndicia.

The passage ended at a single door which after making sure wasn’t trapped, Volkan was keen to open. So we watched the mage as he tied a rope to the handle and stood back, trying to pull the door open. It was here that we all looked at the mage and pointed out that the hinges were not on this side of the door, no amount of pulling the handle was going to help.

Grumbling at the stupidity of his party, Volkan then untied the rope, took out his staff, and pressed HARD against the door, hoping to open it this way. Again, we watched and then pointed out that the handle needed to be TURNED in order to open the portal. Volkan just looked at the party and pouted as if it were their fault.

He then checked the door and noted that it was locked. So he took out the dart that had bounced off his robes on the 1st floor and got down on his haunches to try and pick the lock when Safir finally had to ask if Volkan had any skill in opening lock already or if he had ever done it successful with an impromptu tool such as a dart. Volkan replied negatively and the archer then shook his head and commented that HE has a set of picks and knew how to work the locks. Why not give him a chance?

Volkan, apparently not the jack of all trades and master at everything he thought he could accomplish, backed away with ill grace and allowed Safir access to the door. And it took Safir less than 30 seconds to open the lock. Sheepishly he backed away and Volkan glowering, opened the door.

The room was very sizable, 40’ square with 15’ ceilings. The walls were covered by white drapery and the floor was covered by a clean green carpet. A carpet! In the northeast corner was a decent sized stone altar with a covering, a statue to Madura, two tall white candles, and in 3 braziers in front of the alter were some burning incense.

Volkan was adamant that we keep the room clean so he took off his boots and Safir did the same. The archer went to the closest corner with his bow nocked and ready while the magic-user checked the room out and Mark and Delsin stayed in the hall with their eyes peeled.

The magic user walked the room first, seeing nothing else of interest except for the Maduran altar. So he approached it with delicate care and then looked it up and down. Statue, candle, braziers. Nothing else. He picked up one of the braziers and was confident there was nothing for it. Putting it back, he walked the room, moving drapes aside and looking at the stone walls behind. Nothing special. Finally he returned to the hall and suggested we move on when Delsin said he wanted to look further.

Volkan did try to stop the fighter but he bulled past and tracking dirt on the carpet with his boots, marched right up to the altar. He didn’t like the look of the braziers so he picked each one up and put it on top of the altar. Then he drew out his sword and started cutting the carpet to look underneath. Nothing. Volkan was hopping up and down about desecrating the place and Delsin looked at the mud he tracked in and the torn carpet – agreeing.

So he pushed the torn carpet back down and put the braziers on it again. He then wandered about, wanting to look behind the drapes one more time; but when he went to the south wall first and pulled the drapery aside, he was met with two spears to the face and a handful of silver mask wearing chainmail adorned, female warriors who were PISSED at the man for 1) being a man, and 2) trashing their altar room.

They inspired him to drop his sword (he did) then more came and told Safir to drop his bow (he did too). Then they looked in the hall and instructed Mark and Volkan to give it up, and they did as well. Captured, we were bound with hands behind us, stripped of our weapon belt, and led through the secret door behind the curtain to a vault and meeting room where eventually 12 of the Maduran warrior women congregated to question us.

Their leader was a sword wielding tall woman named Pandora and she started in on Delsin who answered about his deeds inside but did say “I guess” a few times during it. So she had two of her subordinated beat him about the head until he learned the error of his ways, and was knocked out.

This set the tone and we opted to be honest and forthcoming with Pandora at this point. She told us that the Gormites have a fanciful version of the collapse of Cyndicia, but the Madurans were more honest about it. King Alexander and Queen Zenobia were the last two real rulers of Cyndicia and when the drugs and malaise of Zargon made its way through the populace it was the people giving up on the real world that eventually led to the demise of the proud city.

Zargon is indeed a threat but it will take stalwart arms, the ancient weapons of the Lords of Cyndicia, and the catalyst of heroes from beyond the sands to make it happen. It’s why the three cults have anyone this far up the pyramid and always on alert against the monsters and horrors Zargon has allowed to fill the pyramid.

According to Pandora, the Gormites and Madurans treat this post as an important location, but the Usimagarians look at it as a punishment. The leader of the Usimagarians up here is a fat sicko named Auriga. And that lead us to our mission.

Pandora and the Madurans were pissed at our actions in the altar room. It needed to be cleaned and fixed but we had not the skill to do so. Auriga has a spellbook with a clean and mending spell in it. Our job, to go there the next morning and get the book from Auriga and bring it back here – fix the rug.

If we do that, they’ll let us go on our way unmolested, and if we were serious still about eventually going after Zargon, she promises to have 5 of her warrior women join us in the conflict and assault on the demon.

If we don’t, they’ll most likely beat us, enslave us, and maybe kill us. We assumed.

So we rested that night, they gave us a gruel to eat and some pale beer. The next morn we awoke, studied, readied ourselves, and got the information from Pandora on where Auriga was (the west hall) and where the passage down to the 4th level was (the north hall). We also noted that on the next day, the beetle sacks were still glowing but the glow was slightly faded – letting us know there was a shelf life for the fire beetle bags.

It was after 8 when we went back through the altar room, put our boots back on, and made our way down the hall to the revolving hall. We entered and hit the button of the “west” hall and counted the trundling doors as we passed them by. Eventually the corridor ground to a stop and we opened the door with care.

The hall was long (40’ of so), painted black, and there were time white stars painted on the ceiling to give it the illusion of the night sky. We crept along until coming to the end of the hall where a large door was located with a 4’ diameter white star was closed. Safir checked it out and returned letting us know that it was NOT locked, and there were many voices chanting behind the door as if some religious ceremony was going on.

We cracked the door and looked in. The room was big, 50’x40’, tall, a star shaped altar was near the NW corner, and 13 figures were in here praying around it. We closed the door and whispered a fast plan, everyone getting into position.

Delsin held the door, hand on the handle while Volkan began reciting magical words. The power swelled and just before it hit its crescendo, Volkan motioned to Delsin who thrust the door opened and strode in, clearing the way for the magic-user to finish his spell.

He centered it on the fat man in the robes with the bronze mask of Usimagarius and a wave of dark energy flowed out and struck the person we assumed was Auriga. And he fell over asleep. And then the nearest 4 other supplicants also fell over asleep.

Delsin ran across the chamber sword scything the air as the closest Usimagarian ducked and dodged the flailing fighter. Safir stepped in and took aim, shooting one of the enemy mages, and then Mark charged in, war hammer waving as he stood next to Delsin and accosted the surprised throng. Weapons were thrust and although a few hits were made, nothing that was considered a deadly blow was landed.

And then the Usimagarian’s had their turn.

Spells flew about the chamber. Balls of light, blasts of magic, soaring arcs of black and blue and yellow energy. Delsin was blinded as his helmet was lit, the fighter scrambling to tear it off his head. A bolt of magic scored deep into Safir’s gut. And Volkan was hit with a mind blast that had him convinced one of the Usimagarian’s was his best friend and he should attack Safir! Which he did! Running across the room with dagger flailing as he was Charmed to attack his own group.

Mark managed to land a few lucky blows but the lack of helm, blinded light, and being surrounded had Delsin unable to make a definitive blow until a few minutes into the combat where he managed to kill one of the mages. Safir meanwhile was trying to knock Volkan out with the flat of his sword while the ensorcelled wizard was hoping to stick his dagger into Safir’s internal organs alphabetically.

Our hit points whittled away one by one, and Delsin managed to jump into the sleeping mass and drop Auriga with a single sword swipe at the unconscious mage’s throat. Battered we had managed to drop a number of the Usimagarians and Safir finally got lucky and brained Volkan, our own magic user no longer trying to kill us.

The few sleeping mages remaining woke up and seeing the carnage in the room went hands up and surrendered. With 3 of us vs. the 4 of them, we had an uneasy peace. Volkan was still out and we needed the fat guy, Auriga’s spell book. Asking the cowed mages that had given up, the indicated it was at the base of the altar. Looking at it, Delsin could see where two finger holes were located to shove the small door in the base open. He inserted his fingers and shifted the wooden door when he felt a pin prick and jumped back.

His fingers were burning from the poison and the Usimagarians that were left dove down to grab their knives and assault the group, assuming the fighter was knocked out or dead.

Delsin wasn’t.

So it was combat again except this time we weren’t taking prisoners. Swords and bows flashed and the Usimagarians tried to hold their own but daggers and robes failed in time and the fight eventually came to the end. Volkan awoke, no longer until the Charm of the long dead magic user. We looked them over, glancing in the altar to see what was there.

A mace covered with runes and arcanic markings of Gorm was obvious in addition there was a rosewood box about 2’ long and thin. We opened it up and saw it had a wand in it. Volkan gave it a look over and was able to tell that it was a wand of magic detection and had 5 charges left. As for Auriga’s spellbook, it was on his person in a messenger bag.

We opted to return to Pandora now, where we would cast the mending spell and fix the rug before returning here to see what else might still be discovered in the Usimagarian’s area.