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, July 26, 2017

Meet 23, Adv 3, 7/22/17

It's always bittersweet when an adventure wraps up for me. A lot of effort goes into it and there are times I can only hope the party is having a good time. Not looking and never looking for sunshine to be blown up me ass, but there are times I'm not convinced that this was as good of a time as everyone could have.

There is a little clean up to happen after this at the next meeting and then they will roll into the 4th adventure which is punching K'Morat scum in the face and taking their stuff. The last adventure was a bit heavy on Avulstein and the next one will have some Darius-centric stuff for a bit.

Write up follows:

Once out of the Temple we took stock of the time and location, Darius noting terribly that he was very late for his dinner with Meg the Florist and Negan was pissed all of his belongings had been taken by the Temple of Loki, including clothing. Connal took off his baladrana and gave it to Negan to wrap around himself. The half-ogre was going to head back to the Pennywhistle, grab his money, and then go off and but some replacement clothes, belts, and shoes. We watched his broad naked back as he walked away, the oil-skin wrap around his waist held firmly in his hands over his midsection.

As for Darius, he motioned for a runner to come forth, gave him a few coins, and gave him the message to take to Overcliff and Meg that he was coming but would be late for now. He then wished the rest of the group a good evening and also ran back towards the Pennywhistle.

As for the last of us: Einar, Avulstein, and Connal, they were heading towards the Randari Quarter to meet with Vanil the apothecary and try to get an antidote for Connal for the Poison he had ingested during the Temple of Loki experience and that Negan had been Delaying for the time being.

Darius was stopped at the gate OUT of the Central Quarter mainly because he was so startling looking. He was covered from the top of his head to his waist with ½ white hairs from the carpet, sticking out of his skin, his clothes, even interspersed in his own hair. The guards were convinced he was ½ gorilla or some sort of freak. He did drop the Diamondcutter name and they did let him through, but flagged his name and description and was going to send it to all the other gates to keep tabs on him.

He ran to the Pennywhistle, went up to his room amidst strange looks, and changed out of his clothes into his other and only clean set. He then looked at himself in the looking glass and realized he couldn’t go to the date looking this way. He took the wine bottle he had purchased for tonight and went out of the room, down to the Common Area, and then off to the barber on premises. The barber laughed at Darius’ appearance but the friendly dwarf did offer to give him a wash and shave, wrapping a hot towel around the fighter’s face. He was also offered a leeching but Darius demurred saying another time; keeping his eyes closed as the dwarf’s straight razor began shaving the softened hairs off around his nose first and then radiating out.

The other 3 members of the party had gone through the gate without issue and were making their way through the Randari Quarter, Connal starting to get a tickle in his throat as the party arrived at Vanil’s Apothecary. We were allowed in even though it was late, and Lummox once again threatened to shoot the group if they “so much as breathe in a way that makes me feel like I have to shoot you!!” We were checked over and then told to deposit our weapons along the wall.

Vanil meanwhile was checking Connal out who was beginning to relapse, the monk doubling over and choking for minutes at end until Vanil was able to finish concocting a tincture for him and Connal was able to choke it down. His coughing subsided and he fell back into his chair exhausted but able to breathe freely again. Vanil informed him that he would be better after a night of full rest. We thanked him, paid for the treatment, and then gathered up our stuff in order to leave.

Darius, pleased with his revised appearance, made his way out of the Pennywhistle and started the 15 minute trip to his date. He was stopped and harassed at Central Gate and again at Upper Gate for his name being on the list and the shave he had. Once he finally made it to Meg’s place, almost 2 hours late, he knocked on the shop door to have it be opened by…Meg’s Daughter Filora and Darius’ former girlfriend.

It was a strained meeting and full of false “how are you” and then Filora had mentioned that it was nice of Darius to come for her mom’s dinner as she was upset earlier but a runner arrived and set her at ease. Filora would spend some time down here in the shop “to give you both some free time” and to not worry. Darius thanked her, went upstairs, and was let in to the living area by a recently upset Meg. A flower was passed along with the wine, followed by the explanation of “It’s been a crazy day” and then Dinner and Darius sharing his adventures today and his subsequent appearance.

After dinner there was blueberry cobbler and some light making out, followed by more and Darius who was suffering from constitution loss, numerous painful wounds, being tired, and having just narrowly escaped the Temple of Loki – was able to get the deed done and Meg and him spent a wonderful night together. Boot scene.

As the other 3 left Vanil’s a gang of orcish toughs had stopped the party and thought they had gone to the apothecist to get some drugs – hoping to shake the party down and score some. Connal and Avulstein were treated poorly, Einar (being a half-orc) was chided for hanging out with them and when Avulstein did talk – they were all shocked he could talk. Eventually they offered to buy the wolverine for a few hundred coins and thinking they were going to put one over on the half-orcs, agreed to it.

Avulstein was even dancing to show his skills and get the price jacked up and Connal snuck down a side street, ducked down an alley, and ran out of the Randari Quarter back to the Pennywhistle. It was when they put a leash on Avulstein from one of the dogs that the thug leader went to take the bag off Avulstein. The two of the party members then went on that the bag wasn’t part of the deal and that it should be returned. Then it was a bartering of costs for the bag and the thug was looking inside, thinking the flasks within (with the Midnight Water) were something to drink.

This had gotten out of hand so Einar and Avulstein tried to make a break for it. The necromancer jumped up on one of the orcs with the lead and was savaging his chest and hand, tearing into the orc who was screaming in pain. Einar hacked at the leash, cutting the thick leather, and then engaged the thug as he was wrestling to get the bag back, while the bag holder was beating Avulstein with it.

The other people on the streets ran off and eventually not wanting to be a part of this anymore, the last two orcs nursing their wounds ran away and Einar and Avulstein grabbed the precious bag and returned to the Pennywhistle to rest up and get their heads on straight. Once there the party went up to their rooms to rest and be ready for tomorrow when we would be going to the Vault of the Heorot.

The next morning Darius woke up, had breakfast with Meg (and her daughter) agreed he would be seeing her again (Meg, NOT her daughter) and then made his way back to the Pennywhistle where everyone had woken up, gotten ready, prayed and prepared themselves and then made our way to the Third Reeve Theros’ office. We had to wait only a little while before one of the adjuncts let us know that the contract with House Illytch would be completed either tonight or tomorrow and we were all satisfied.

From there we all went off to the Vault and temple of Hel where we had to endure the candle lighting ceremony once again before making our way through the temple to the 2nd floor and then presented to the Speakers for the Dead – Parylis, Marcia, and Paduntosis. We presented our collection, Avulstein doing most of the talking (it was his mission) and Parylis was guiding the show, asking Avulstein to release each item as it was called with an imperious cry of “Present!” foe each item.

Marcia had them all (the ingredients) gyre and levitate in place, the proofs each wavering around one another but never touching. Finally the last one was presented and Parylis then told Avulstein he would have to control the forces of necromancy to show he was a true adherent of Hel and there was an inrushing of air and the materia all compressed and then blew out – turning into the zombie version of Centius – the Half-Orc who had pledged himself to Avulstein and Einar in this life and the next for their efforts on helping him to cure his mother.

Centius stalked towards Avulstein who stood his ground, commanding the zombie to obey. A massive morning star was held up…and crashed NEXT to the wolverine. The Death Speakers informed Avulstein that Centius was his and that he would be accepted as an apprentice to Parylis for a period not to be less than 3 years and a day. He was charged with going out and facing the powers of death wherever they might be, helping it along and supporting the order of things in his travels. There was an investiture and Avulstein arose marked with the holy symbol of Hel on his chest.

Besides that, he was given some spells to add to his spell book and then the other members who were still here came forward when they were called – a gift given to each of them for their efforts. Darius was given an ensorcelled sling made from a celestial stag and a new holy symbol to Loki, Connal was given a checkered headband in the monastic style that while worn, would allow him 3 times a day to know if someone had just lied to him, and Einar was given a rod that one time only would resurrect a fallen companion from the dead.

We thanked the Death Speakers while Avulstein was getting some new spells for his book and then made our way to the streets.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Meet 22, Adv 3, 7/15/17

The group plunged through the rest of the Temple of Loki funhouse/dungeon level. I stocked it with all the wonky '80's/'90's weird crap that used to be prevalent in the game and had a good time watching them work it along. The doors as shields/floors was as always, inspired.

Write up follows:

Negan sat himself on the couch in the lounge, relaxing his 8’+ frame on the upholstered cushions. Connal went over to the bar to peruse the drinks both on top and the bottles on the other side. Avulstein made it his business to check out the poker table, flipping over the deck of cards there. Darius made his way to the dart board, plucking the 3 throwing knives out of the board, noting their balance and construction. Einar sat on the padded chair near Negan, feeling smooth and contented.

Everyone was just feeling good, not in any rush to do anything or go anywhere. Darius tested the dart/knives – happy with his skill and content on his aim. As for Connal, he was sure that the bottles on top were whiskey and bourbon, and the space behind the bar had other top-shelf liquors there. Avulstein laid out a hand of solitaire for himself, surprised to find the Joker card come up; the face of it painted to look like a leering Loki.

When he was done, he found himself wanting to keep the deck of cards. It was through some serious force of will that he managed to place them back on the table…but not before he walked away with the Joker in his paw/hand. That was weird. So he put it back on the deck, took it with his other hand, and walked away. With the Joker again.

Connal, who had been sniffing the brandy, indicated with glass that Avulstein should be careful taking things here since Loki and his actions/wants might cause problem. He did this while putting the snifter back on the bar and taking it with his other hand and walking away. With the Brandy. That really should be drunk. Connal had to force himself not to drink the brandy and wandered around the room holding it, while Avulstein still held onto the Joker card.

Darius tried to help Connal drop the snifter to no avail, and even when he tried to dump it in the cold fireplace; he couldn’t force himself to do it. But when the fighter made to smash the glass out of Connal’s hand, the monk unexpectedly leaned back and tossed the contents of the glass down his throat! We were like, what the hell? And then Connal paused, smiled, and was commenting that he was ok when he starting coughing. A lot. He was turning red and hunched over, hacking and spitting, throat closing up. Avulstein referred the poison as something called the “Choker or Strangler” poison and Negan who wanted to help, couldn’t get off the couch he was so relaxed!

So Darius dragged Connal’s weakening form to the Half-Ogre who called out to Odin to help Delay the Poison that affecting our friend…and he was able to breathe once again! But the poison was still in his system. There was the thought of vomiting it out and while Connal was hunched over the flagstones of the hearth, fingers in his throat, Avulstein turned and tried to squeeze his musk glands that wolverines have. He was marginally successful as the stink of his musk, similar to a skunk’s, billowed behind him, but it was also accompanied with fleck of wet shit and farts that splattered all over the monk.

It succeeded in helping Connal to vomit. And he did, choking and heaving again and again in the fireplace until nothing else came out and he was just sickened and feeling ill from the after affects.

Avulstein meanwhile managed to figure out how to get rid of the Joker by having Darius take it from him willingly. And now Darius was stuck with the card and tried a few ways to get rid of it, including attempting to shove it under the door to the west out of the lounge but eventually dealt enough hands of poker that he naturally gave the card away.

We didn’t want to go out the east door since the strange muzak was playing there, instead going to the west doorway. Satisfied it was not trapped, we opened it, showing a corridor that ran north and south, each ending at a door – but the north door was a little nicer with better wood and a brass turning knob.

Only Darius and Avulstein went into the candlelit hall, everyone else waited behind in the lounge. We checked out the north door as it was more interesting and decided to open it – however the hinges were on our side and we could see a wire loop and mark on the hinge as if it was trapped at one point. So borrowing a chisel, Darius popped the hinges off the door and without turning the knob, slid it out of the lamb and moved it aside. The room beyond was very nice, some guest looking bedroom. Just over the frame was a metal box with a number of small holes in the bottom. Right now, an inactive trap.

There was a feeling of resistance at the doorway and we backed away from it. Instead we went to the southern door and did the same trick with the hinges opening the door and looking in. There was a door on the right and a corridor that went off into the maze to the left. We talked about the north doorway and Avulstein let us know there were some runes scribed on the frame of the door, latent now, but there.

We decided to turn the brass door knob of the removed doorway and the guest room rustled and the resistance faded away. Candles lit, the bed pulled down, the pillow fluffed, the scent of potpourri filled the air. A female voice invited Darius to come in and rest, she’d make him feel great. Ok…really nice guest room with a possible happy ending? No one wanted to actually go in, although we were tempted.

From here we were going to go down the south door and Connal came into the test it out when he noticed the wall on the other side of the wall from the lounge had a secret door there. It took some hard pushing but the wall rotated at the center, showing a corridor that went 10’ and ended at two more revolving doors, one on the north and one on the south. According to Darius’ mapping – each room beyond the revolving walls was maybe 10’x10’. At first we were going to open it, but then cooler heads prevailed and we realized that we had a job – get the Midnight Water out of the Temple.

So we replaced the north door to the bedroom with the door originally on the south – just the screw with the Temple. And then we all managed to drag Negan off the couch and out of the Lounge, making our way south to the door and hall beyond. Avulstein went first…and a crossbow bolt slammed out just over the wolverine’s head!

What the hell?

Trap right in the hall, but no one trusted it not to go off again, so they took the other door that was still in the hall and off its hinges and walked forward with it…WHAM! Another crossbow bolt fired! We all ran through the hall, the doorway held in front of the wall where the crossbow bolts were firing out of, until we had 5 of the bolts sticking through the door.

Beyond here there were two passages and we decided to take the northern one, it went a short distance, turned south, and emerged at a “T” hallway. But when Avulstein stepped through, he saw nothing behind him except for a stone wall! The group could see and hear him, but he couldn’t see or hear them.

To the left the passages continued and to the right, it ended at what seemed to be a heavy crossbow bolted in place with a huge hopper and pointing through a small hole in the wall. The group all reconnected, some going back down the hall to the choice and taking the other passage, others just stepping through the one way wall. Everyone wanted to check out the heavy repeating crossbow. By everyone, I mean Negan. Like he wanted it. Now.

Using what tools we had on us the half-ogre stripped the bolts one at a time from the frame and the floor while the group manhandled and pulled the heavy crossbow eventually free after almost a half hour of hard work. The entire thing weighed some 45 lbs and we real unwieldy, but Negan fell in love with it and a check of the hopper showed 60 or 70 quarrels piled on the top.

From here we pressed on until the winding passages showed us through another one way wall. There were 3 doors in this “T” shaped hall – the west one most likely led back to the lounge and the two east ones, one on the north and one on the south went further into the compound. The south one had that pounding rhythmic dulcimer muzak coming through it and the group although thought about, did not want to open the door. Instead they took some time heating up wax from some candles and stuffing it into their ears to deaden the noise before going to check out the north door.

It opened to reveal an alcove area that lead to a white carpeted section of the temple, going both north and south. Darius offered to go first and explore the area but when he stepped out of the alcove and onto the carpet to go north, there was a “FWOOSH” noise from the south and a 5’ flaming sphere raced down the corridor, the fighter leaping back barely in time and getting singed for his efforts. The carpet had a scored burn mark running down it to the wall where the sphere had smashed and exploded…but as we watched, the carpet shed its charring, the fibers regrew, and the entire thing reknit itself and in a few minutes, was normal and whole again.

We decided to try and rip up the carpet. With the 8’ metal spear and lots of muscle, we managed to tear the carpet up along the edge in the alcove and tear enough of it upright that we could see runes and glyphs all along the floor. We wanted to roll up the carpet and push it ahead of us, but were unable to do so. So instead we used a knife, tore the carpet and it split…but then reknit! So Darius positioned himself near the center and when we slit and ripped again, he pulled the two pieces apart.

Sadly the carpet twisted in his hands and tried to engulf the fighter, wrapping around his body from the waist up, the fighter twisted and struggling to avoid being smothered. He poked with the knife but couldn’t free himself and the group was grabbing Darius and trying to pull him out while the carpet seemed to be eating him. Swords and knives slashed and cut, separating the entire piece free from main carpet and we were able to drag Darius out.

He was covered from hair to waist in ½” white fibers as the carpet had been trying to grow INTO the fighter. It had gotten on his face, chest, clothes, hair, inside his mouth, and he was on his hands and knees coughing up fibers for a few minutes. Darius was reeling and staggering, but managed to keep himself upright.

We thought about going back to the door where the muzak was coming from but Connal could feel the door flexing and straining from the pulse of the muzak, and we didn’t want to risk it since it just seemed really stupid. This led us back to the carpeted hall – and for that, we decided to pop some doors of hinges. We took the one here leading to the carpeted area, and then took the door off the lounge and then the next door at the other end of the lounge. When Darius went to take the 4th door off, he noted when he opened it that there were 5 Rottweiler dog statues on the other side of the door, so he closed it quietly, informed the group of what he saw, and they all agreed, they had enough doors for now.

At this point Connal started to cough and choke again as the delay poison effects were wearing off. Negan once more called to Odin to delay the poisonous effects for now and Connal was able to breathe easier for the time being. As for the 3 doors, We flopped them down on the carpet in the hall, first north, stepped on the door to the end, took the next door and let that fall and flop down, walked on that one to the end, and then did it a third time. Darius who had been doing this was able to let us know the north corridor turned east and went some distance before looping back after a brief turn south.

We then gathered all the doors up, still avoiding the carpet, and looked down the south corridor the same way by building a bridge on the carpet. This passage went south, turned to the east and ended a short distance at two doors, one on the south, the other on the east wall. There was an area where there was no carpet about 3’ from the corner. We discussed it and voted on taking the south passage. So one by one we made our way along until we arrived at the two doors.

The south one smelled like sulfur and the group flat out voted not to open it. So it was then the east door. We didn’t want to open it and instead hoped to once more pop the hinges off – but the hinges refused to budge and all we did was dull the chisel for our efforts. The door was stuck and we relied on Negan and the crowbar to force the lock and allow us through. So we carefully opened the door and revealed a corridor that went south 20’ and ended with a door on the east wall.

The party all filed in and we closed the door to the carpeted area behind us. Far enough from the muzak now, we removed the wax from our ears and gave the south door a check. No traps. So Avulstein drew himself up and the group was all lined up behind him down the hall, and the wolverine opened the door. A pit trap opened a few ranks back and Negan dropped 30’ down, his 45# repeating crossbow taking the brunt of the fall and breaking after he landed. He was pissed.

We dropped a rope down to help him back up while Avulstein noted the door opened to a 5’ long room that ended at another door. Negan then heard rasping sounds and spears were thrusting out of the wall and floor in many crisscrossing places. Holding onto the damaged crossbow and urging his friends to lift him, he was hoisted slowly slowly while trying to avoid getting skewered. He was cut in the thigh, on the shoulder, in the ribs – coupled with the damage he had taken from the fall the priest of Odin was growing weaker and weaker.

Near the top another spear caught him in the chest and pierced a lung and Negan slumped over and died – he turned to smoke and wisped away – the same way the Loki sacrifices did – while the crossbow fell almost 30’ AGAIN – this time busting for good. Negan – dead? Gone? No one was sure. We made a bridge out of the doors to cover the pit and Avulstein opened the next door – and ANOTHER pit opened back in the hall – this time the party was ready and no one fell. We used a 2nd door to span the pit and the group all crossed and followed Darius down the passage.

The Fighter passed through a section of the corridor that once again looked like stone behind him – the group could see and hear him – he couldn’t them. But before him the passage turned to the left AND went straight for 30’ and turned to the left as well. The difference was the 5 Rottweiler dog statues blocking the longer corridor.

Connal stuck his head through and was passing information back and forth for both separated groups. The decision after Darius checked his map was that the longer corridor and through the dogs was the way to go. But we wanted to check out the other corridor just in case and there were 5 nasty looking statues. So Darius took a step down the closer passage going north – and was portalled 30’ down immediately to the end. He walked back towards us and just before he crossed the “T” – was portalled back again. Ok – so this time he took a run down back to us and JUMPED – and was portalled again – this time his momentum had him smashing into the wall 30’ down and hurting his nose.

He agreed that he’d find another way back and to wait a second. So Darius went down to the west a short distance and the passage ended at a small smoking niche, a 7’ statue of Loki here and a door on the west wall which Darius believed would go back to the carpeted area. But sitting here on the nice chair with a pipe – was a figure that looked JUST like Loki! He was grinning, engaged Darius in a few short sentences, and then flat out tried to stab him with his spear.

Darius was struck and staggered back and then launched himself at the avatar of Loki, grabbling with him and knocking his spear out of his grasp. Loki was cursing up a storm and one of the dogs came to life down the hall and started to run to Loki. Connal and Avulstein stepped in front of it to stop it and Loki and Darius was struggling back and forth, smashing into the door, chair, and walls. Loki was cursing and calling for the “fucking dog!” and a second one came to life and tried to get past, managing to slip by at the last moment.

Connal, Avulstein, and Einar took out their aggressions on the one dog and as soon as it went down they made the call to run for the exit now and take the longer corridor, running past the statues and hoping to get out before they lost the Midnight Water. Meanwhile Darius was having a terrible time fighting the Loki avatar so when they managed to separate, he bent down, took the avatar’s spear, and stabbed Loki through the chest with it!

The snarling dog finally arrived and Darius was holding off the very wounded Loki and the animal, his back had the carpeted hallway and no way out. He managed to step on the carpet, a flaming sphere was heard and was racing along, and it spilled into the room burning everyone in the way except the fighter who had killed Loki with his own spear. The avatar seemed pleased as he turned to smoke and wisped away.

But Darius had only a few hit points and the Rottweiler was closing in. So he forced it near the statue to Loki and said, “Loki, accept this dog as a sacrifice!” when it didn’t work he grew pissed and snarled out, “Come on! I kicked your ass!” – and the sacrifice was accepted and the dog disappeared.

As for the 3 friends, they were running but the dog statues were snarling and barking behind them. The group poured on the speed and came to the corridor they had mapped out early on and burst into the lower temple! From there they ran for the stairs and hit the door at the top at full speed, bursting it open and emerging in the main temple.

Darius ran down the carpeted corridor, knowing what was coming, and when the sphere was in front of him, he pole vaulted over it and ran at full tilt back to the door that had been locked and blasted through it. He then crossed the pits and ran through the two small rooms and back to where he had made the poor choice and gone north early. Now, there were no dog statues but his friends had gone, so Darius poured on the speed and went down the furthest corridor.

He came upon a dog statue and drawing his knife he charged past, lungs heaving and coughing as the dog statue came to life and started to give chase.

Upstairs, the three friends noted there were three priests of Loki and someone praying at the temple. So they said “fuck it” split up, and ran down all three different passages out, Einar shadowing Avulstein and ready to give help. The priests tried to stop us knives out, but the group was pissed. We hit them like a hammer, Avulstein tearing into one of them and Einar raging as he leapt over a section of pews and body slammed one of the priests back over another pew and onto the floor.

“Go Go Go!” We broke free of the melees and ran for the exit which as soon as Avulstein crossed the threshold with the Midnight Water, there was a flickering at the Temple of Loki, the lights went dark and then light, and all the priests fell over knocked out a few seconds – no longer giving us chase.

Darius dodged two more dog statues and ran on as they came to life but as he hit the lower temple and was running for the steps, the lights flickered and the barking stopped. He ran up at full tilt, hit the main temple where it looked like a mess had happened here and 4 people were picking themselves up and looking around bewildered. Darius ran for the exit and emerged outside exhausted and coughing on fibers – but free of the Temple of Loki.

His friends were here – and so was Negan! He was in one of the bird cage pens outside the temple, naked and tired. We opened it up and dragged ourselves around the corner and away from the main road while took note that we had escaped the Temple and managed to get the Midnight Water as expected.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Meet 7, Adv B4, 7/11/17 - Youth Group

It’s apparently been harder than expected on my daughter getting her group together. This was the one meeting so far since the summer started and one of the players wasn’t here, on a family vacation. Hopefully they’ll have a better attendance and game in the coming weeks. As for the game, we now have the 2nd person make 2nd level. Extra HP and a few skills help and will be very important as they try and navigate the 4th and eventually 5th level of the ziggurat.

Write up follows:

They took the sloping passage down in the dark, their beetle sacks still providing grudging light for now. Eventually the slope ended at a fairly decent sized chamber. A small coffin was on the east wall and 4 brass jars were in each corner of the room. A single door on the north wall led out and the chamber was decorated with scenes of a dwarf dressed in jester attire entertaining King Alexander and Queen Zenobia.

They wanted to give the coffin a wide berth so Safir and Mark watched the door out while Volkan and Delsin gave the jars a once over. The jars seemed to be affixed to the floor and the insides of them had some smoky residue on the bottom that make looking within difficult. They waved the smoke away a bit and could see some sort of glyphs on the bottom of the jars.

Volkan wanted to read the words better so dropped his beetle sack of light within one – and when it hit the bottom of the jar there was a buzzing noise and the sack disappeared! What the hell? Delsin tapped the bottom with a sword, it sounded solid. Where did the sack go? They then tossed a clove of garlic in…buzz and gone! With a torch lit and Delsin light sack out now, they carefully lowered the torch in and buzz, it too disappeared!

They then were sort of looking around, unsure of what was happening when the group noticed a bit of smoke coming out from miniscule cracks beneath the small sarcophagus. So they discussed it briefly and decided the move the stone bier for now, Delsin had a strong idea. So it was a few people working together and a hard shove and when the stone coffin was shoved aside, they saw a hollow beneath in which was the torch, the clove of garlic, and the beetle sack – now burned, burst, and leaking liquid.

The best Volkan could come up with was that anything small hidden in the jars would instantly portal to the hollow here. As for the inside of the coffin? It was decided to check (not that a mystical weapon of Cyndicia would be in the jester’s possession) it out – but cracking the cover had it burst off – and a wooden oversized dwarven painted jester head on a spring wobbled back and forth and the group was disgusted with the “jack in the box”.

The left the jester’s room and went left down a long corridor. Very long. Some 50 paces until they arrived at a choice to turn right (north) or continue down into the far darkness; they opted to turn north.

A short passage led to a “T” intersection with a door at the “T” and 2 other ways to go. They wanted to check out the door first but thought they might have missed something, so they went back down the long hall and checked for secret doors – finding nothing.

It was back at the door at the end of the “T” that they gave it a listen, were sure there were no traps, and then opened it up. 40’ square chamber with a single mummified platemail armor wearing figure propped up and 9 skeletal remains standing in niches around the chamber as honor guard. Based upon the symbols on the walls and the murals, this was most likely the captain of the guard and his attendants here. Delsin eyed the undamaged and resplendent platemail with avarice and really wanted it – but the group was sure the other skeletal remains would come to life. So Mark was asked to get ready, and we entered the room.

And sure enough the skeletons all began to animate. Mark called out to Gorm to turn these foul undead from his sight and a wave of wind blew around him – his symbol flared to bright blue, and the skeletons in the room all fled back and away! They scrambled on the far side of the room, unable to escape and trapped there by the holy power of Gorm. Mark stood resolute; keeping them pressed back, while Safir, Volkan, and Delsin stripped the armor, helm, and cloak from the mummy and tossed the pieces out of the chamber. The minutes were passing by and Mark was growing tired, his arm shaking. The undead were no longer cowering at the back wall; they were edging closer as the collapsing glow of Mark’s channeled power was waning.

Finally the last piece was removed and Mark was raced out of the room, the door slammed closed. The undead on the other side beat and scrabbled at the portal a few minutes and then eventually ceased to make any real noise – and we assumed they went back to their original places to wait.

As for armor, Delsin removed his damaged set and put on the new one, along with the helm and cloak. He felt…really good and proud to be wearing it.

As for direction to go next, the group went back to the main hall and continued down, checking for secret doors as they walked. There was a side corridor on the left that they glanced down, but decided to keep going for now. As they walked, checking carefully around them, they passed the odd picture or bass relief showing the former Cyndicia and its monarchs in their glory. The passage turned north, meandered west a bit, and turned south, heading along for some serious distance until there was a crackling sound and the ghostly forms of King Alexander and Queen Zenobia appeared in the air.

“Go back! Death awaits! Flee!!” and then the forms seemed to waver and crackle and burst – everyone but Delsin ran from the haunts, the fighter watching with a bemused expression as the apparitions faded away. The other 3 ran for a few minutes until the strange feeling of fear from the specters faded. Sheepishly, they walked back to Delsin who was waiting for them, head shaking.

The group marched on. The passage turned west, went a short distance and turned north…and the crackling sound returned as the apparitions once again coalesced. The 3 who had run before ducked back around the corner and covered their eyes, going “nah nah nah” to prevent hearing the two ghostly figures yell for the party to run away – before they faded to smoke once more.

They then walked north and made the turn around back to the south, but according to Volkan’s map, this corridor south should dead end after 80 feet or so. And then the figures appeared one more time – and again Mark, Safir, and Volkan hid around the corner until Delsin informed them it was safe to return.

The party walked south, the ground felt gritty and their feet scrapped on the sandy covered stone. Volkan was unsure and used his staff to check the floor…finding a pit trap! The other side was a small landing with a treasure chest there. Volkan, not wearing any armor, tied a rope to his waist and made the jump; ended up near the chest. He wanted to get the chest back across to Delsin so Volkan untied the rope from himself and tied it to the chest’s handle.

But when he went to pick it up and toss it – the figures of Alexander and Zenobia appeared again! With nowhere to run, Volkan stood there frightened…but after the buzzing and fading – he didn’t run! He had mastered his fear of the haunts. Good thing since he had no rope on his waist!

Taking a new grip on the chest, he lifted it, swung it a few times, and let it fly to Delsin who was waiting to catch it; but Volkan had flubbed it and the chest instead wobbled across and smashed into the other side of the pit and broke open, spilling coins and something glass into the hole.

No!!!

The group then worked on funneling Volkan back, going down the pit, getting the silver coins (60 or so) and the two potions still not busted from the fall and then getting back up. They split up the treasures, laughed about what had happened, and decided to head the long long long walk back through all the twists and turns to the first option to turn off.

There was a short hall that went south to a door that looked like had been forced opened. Getting closer, the group could hear snarling and swallowing noises within. So they crept closer and took a look. The chamber here was grand and well decorated, however, the sarcophagus in the center of the room had been forced open and there were three humanoid figures tearing the mummified remains within to pieces and shoving the gobbets of desiccated flesh into their mouths.

Suspecting they were undead, the party drew closer and once more, Mark led the way with a benediction to Gorm to TURN these foul creatures. Once more the blue glow and racing wind flowed out from the priest, but this time the undead were not fazed by his command and left their meal to race towards the party.

The group charged in and brought their weapons to bear. Safir fired, knives were thrown, Delsin’s sword swung wildly. The undead monsters were battered and struck, one of them died almost instantly, but Delsin was caught and even though he fought wildly, he was battered and beaten and fell over dying and bleeding out while one of the ghouls continued to try to eat his still whimpering form. The rest of the group redoubled their efforts and although hit points whittled away, the 2nd ghoul was killed and then finally the last.

Mark tended to Delsin, using our dwindling supply of healing potions to bring our fighter back to the positive side of the hit point total. We then policed the bodies, dragging them outside the room and shutting the door, propping the cover of the sarcophagus in front of it to prevent it from being opened. We then realized it was getting late so we broke out our food and water, cleaned ourselves up, and decided that we were going to end it here and rest for the night – pressing on tomorrow morning after we all get a good night rest. We were going to rotate guards on watch in 3 hour intervals and allow everyone to get a full night’s sleep.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Meet 21, Adv 3, 6/24/17

This is the last part of the group's quest, to get a cup of Midnight Water from the 2nd holy water fountain found only in the basement level of the church of Loki. It's a standard basement, fairly large and winding, with the normal expectations of beds, bunks, and locales to be found.

However, once the group triggers the quest by taking of the fountain, the entire place shuffles and twists - and is filled with the gonzo stuff that was big in the 70's and 80's.

If they succeed, great. If they fail...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA. Not so great.

Write up follows:

What followed from here was a convoluted back and forth with various members of the Church of Loki who seemed to be aware of the party and kept putting up roadblocks to prevent the group from exploring beyond the main doorways, as well as illusions to disguise and impede the group from making further progress. There was a fake #11 who came from #10 attempting to show that the group had made up a story, there was a tray of cookies wielding priest who wandered around and “left” a door open trying to entice Connal to come forward, there was even a privacy screened area near the confessional and a different person invited in to talk to the group while we all listened to the various deals and options given for the group to try and get admission to the “ever locked door” that would lead down to the 2nd level.

We were given two main deals: a few members try out for the Church of Sif and their fighter’s guild the Grim Gauntlets where through the power of Loki, bad luck will follow and the practice weapons will become “real” at time of impact – and therefore wound some of the Sifian members (no deaths) and make the guild lose face and valued members. The second possible deal was to go down the street to the church of Thor and steal one of the holy beer casks, rolling it out of the temple and down the road back here to the Loki temple all the while having the Thorian priests hammer at the party (most likely literally!) in an attempt to stop the theft.

We were torn, especially since the group had a hard time knowing that of the people going to apply to the Grim Gauntlets (which we were told would be Connal, Einar, and Negan) were going to knowingly hurt the people they were sparring with that they couldn’t agree at that time. And pissing off the Temple of Thor just seemed stupid in general. So we asked for some time to talk about it and were told we had 45 minutes to discuss the matter before it was shelved for today and we can try to appeal to the Lokian temple tomorrow.

So we left Central Quarter and made our way to the first shitty workman’s bar we came to in Undercliff and talked fast and furious about our options. The Thor thing was out. The Sif thing…that was a hard sell, but the group decided that they would warn the Sifian Guild first and if they were ok with it, they’d do that one.

We went to the Grim Gauntlets and managed to get a fast tracked meeting with a mid-level member named Optio Strugi. We explained what was going on, what we were finding ourselves in the middle of, and what would happen in a few days when the group went to apply to the Grim Gauntlets and the power of Loki would make people get hurt.

Strugi informed us that the Temples of Sif and Loki have been at odds for generations and this is nothing new. If it would allow us to GET Midnight Water and then fulfill the quest, it would be seen as a knock against Loki’s temple and their vaunted “no one gets our midnight water” shtick. To help even the score, we were each given a defensive and offensive charm that when pulled, would become a full sized weapon, shield, or armor to be used while navigating the lower levels of the Loki Temple.

We ran back to the Loki Temple with a few minutes to spare and met with #10. We all agreed to the terms and then the door was opened and we were allowed to step through @ 1:57, 42 minutes after we had been given the deal.

The steps were sharp stone, showing little if any wear, and spiraled down into the darkness. We went 1 full revolution before seeing a glow from below and eventually the stairs emerged into the private High Priest Temple for Loki. There were 13 plush chairs set up in two rows of 6 and a final chair next to a 9’ depiction of Loki himself. The room was warm reds and blacks, the floor carpeted. There was a single door near the steps, two side corridors halfway across the room heading south, and a final opening to another room closest to the statue where we could hear water falling and see the telltale wavering glow of water reflected light.

Before heading into the next room to see the fountain, we wanted to make sure there wasn’t a problem waiting for us here. So we checked out the chamber carefully, noting the seats were comfortable and the tapestries and frescoes were tasteful and clean. We then went to the first corridor and looked down. Two doors, one at the end, the other on the adjoining wall.

After making sure they were not locked or trapped, we looked them over and opened the 1st one. It held mops and buckets, brushes and other cleaning material. So Darius went to check out a mop and then all simple and calm like, went off to the entrance of the temple area down here and started to clean the floor of all the footprints we made. He didn’t see anything wrong with what he was doing and no amount of cajoling or convincing would have him put the mop down. We watched and waited, and in 7 minutes when he had obscured our scuff marks and dirt he seemed to come down from his compulsion and was looking at the mop in horror.

We put it back in the closet and shut the door. The other door opened to another closet, this one with cleansers and rags and sprays and bleach. Not wanting to be trapped cleaning the place, we let the door close and moved on.

The next corridor went south, turned a few times, and then went into a candle lit long corridor. We heard what sounded like hammered dulcimer music of a popular bar tune, but much lighter and less complex. And walking down only made us uncomfortable so we turned back to the main hall and looked over the statue. Yep, it was Loki…and we all were waiting for it to come to life. But that didn’t happen.

So with careful steps, we entered the next room – the fountain itself bubbling there with a silvered dipped sitting on the edge. There were 2 other ways out of the chamber from here, both of them went south and a short trip down each showed it ended up in some maze of passages in either direction.

So we looked at the fountain and debated on what to do. Eventually we decided to fill both flasks and cap them closed. During this time, we were getting heebie-jeebies about the statue and the party decided to make some offerings to the trickster god. Not money, he wasn’t interested, just stuff that was interesting and possibly valuable. Each offering went away with a waver of smoke and we all one, by one, felt better and blessed.

The last dipperful of Midnight Water did not come out of the dipper though; no amount of pouring made it drop away. So the group took a sip and it was delicious, refreshing, and rejuvenating. One by one, we found ourselves healed and refreshed, our spells returned, and then Loki’s voice said something about, “it wouldn’t be sporting if I didn’t give you a fair chance”.

The passage back to the temple was blocked and we heard the wailing and barking of dogs down one of the corridors getting louder and louder. So we ran down the 2nd passage and charged along. We made snap decisions, left, right, straight as we were given choices until the baying of the dogs grew faint and we ended up at a room that had 8 mirrors on the walls. There was a doorway on the west wall the door closed.

Many of us had pulled the charms, equipping ourselves with weapons and armor as provided by the temple of Sif, so we felt prepared as we checked the chamber out. We didn’t trust the mirrors so Negan lifted the heavy steel and glass mirrors up and off the hooks, taking them into the hall and leaning them there. First one, then a second. Meanwhile, Darius was checking out one of the mirrors and when he got close enough to touch it, his hand went through…and emerged across the room from another mirror!

He forced himself along and stepped out the other side. Very weird. But when he looked at the mirrors, he had no reflection! So he went back to the “egress” mirror and touched it…and was PULLED violently through until he came out the other side again. Seeing it was safe, he did the mirror trick one more time, using a different pair. While this was going on we then looked over the door, opened it, and a spring loaded spear trap arced down and across before snapping back up into the ceiling.

The party spent a few minutes with tools and a desire to take the spear (8’ long, iron and sharp!!) but there was a main cottar pin to deal with and failure to dismantle it correctly would result in someone getting terrible hurt. So we twisted and yanked…and the trap let fly and the bent leaf springs released after the cottar pin was pulled free, and the spear harpooned across the room and punched through one of the mirrors before hitting the wall!

We went there to yank it free but it was in there tight. So Negan, Einar, and Darius went there to pull the spear out – but Darius was too close to the mirror and was holding a spear already in it – so was sucked forward, propelling the two friends ahead of him and they all emerged out of a different mirror. Because of the broken hole, Darius came out with a corresponding mass of hurting scratches and wounds in his midsection as well.

We healed up and the two other friends stepped through a different mirror before we all gathered by the open door. The corridor meandered south and we followed along, but as we went, we heard that strange off putting dulcimer music faintly as we approached a door at the hall’s end. We all looked around and shook our head. Nope, not going.

We backtracked back to the mirror room, and then back to the hall until we came to the next (or previous!) turn off that went south. However, we did note there were half a dozen snarling dog statues here that we didn’t see before. But we also did not hear the dog’s barking that we did earlier.

We went south 10’ to a door and opened it. It showed a lounge, a few low couches, a divan, a pool table, and bar with some drinks on it, a dart board with some throwing knifes stuck in the surface. A real guy’s hang out place. There were also two other doors out of here, one on the west and one on the east wall.

When entering the room though, there was a sense of calm and just feeling good. The couches were soft, the alcohol crisp, and the pool table beckoned. And when a man is feeling that good, he starts sporting some…pointed wood. At this point Connal noticed that a section of the west wall in the hall before the room was irregular and some pushing revealed a concealed doorway. The passage went a short distance and then turned to the south. But on the floor was a 4’ wide painted face of Loki smiling. Trap, just screamed trap.

As the party was getting roped into entering the lounge area and “chilling” with their new found good favors and happy thoughts, Connal went down to the corner and saw a door there. According to all laws of space and physics, the door should have an adjoining door in the Lounge area. So he carefully approached the door, pulled the handle…and a blast of gale force wind hurled him backwards where he hit the opposite and wall and fell forward…just as the floor opened up and he plummeted down. His monastic skills prevented him from taking fatal damage. So he climbed out and we were all looking in (or actually in) the Lounge deciding on maybe heading to the west door while Darius started taking the 8 pool balls off the table.