Monday, September 17, 2018

Airplane

Ochdamh 25 - Naoidheamh 13, 6639; next holiday is Beastnight, 9/35

The Party:

  • Rig Bigny, Gnomish Beastmaster
    • Flit, the bat familiar
    • Clench, the Wardog War-Badger
    • Midnight, the Panther
    • Noona, the Lion
    • Faufe Yitaw, Dogwere (Badgerwere?)
      • Rawf, Wardog familiar
      • Aroof, Wardog familiar
    • Llarm Paphyra, Elvish Polydoctorate
      • The Metal Man, construct
  • Caranthir, Human Leader of Men
    • Rhea Trueheart, Elvish Nightblade
    • Lucille "Luce" Burwood, Fighter
    • Elenora Garrard, White Mage
    • Gimli Trollriver, Dwarven Fury
  • Gróin of Norston, Dwarven Sapper
    • Laurita Gomez, Priestess
    • Herman Thorpe, Ectomancer
      • Baelnar Grimtor, Dwarven Sapper
  • Sorvald, Thief (As-yet-unnnamed), Thrassian Gladiator
    • Kurt Steinbacke, Dwarven Deep Monk
  • Mor Gibs, the Wonderworker
  • Craydos Silverskin, the Gold Skinscribe
    • Pentzkin Singletossle Pocketspringer, gnomish beastmaster
    • Alun Tsornyl, Sylph Ranger
  • Te'a Tsuki Megumi, Elven Polydoctorate
    • Harvey Usagi, Rabbitwere
  • Fayleen Ross, Darklord
    • Zai-car, Zaharan Ruinguard

Having defeated the dark force holding the tower at bay, and healing the magical vine at the center of the tower, the party exited. As they walked down the large stone steps, they could see vines had already wreathed the tower; as the last foot stepped off the building, there was a deep rumble, and the entire tower was dragged underground! In its place stood a tendril of the vine. The natives stared in shock, then immediately began bowing to the vine. Caranthir grumbled that it wasn't the vine that did all the work, but his comments were largely ignored.

By sheer happenstance, Winklestem Eustache Bottomwobbler, leading his goat Mabel, trudged onto the scene. With a cry of, "Look, Mabel, it's our best customers!" he set up shop, and immediately tried to pawn off his rapidly aging Neutral Water. Te'a and Fayleen were not enticed. They did, however, purchase a joke book, the King of Wands, and a wand of sentience. By way of testing the wands, they turned a wand sentient, and had the King of Wands command it to fire, which incidently used up its last charge. Te'a felt a little bad just discarding it, after that, and kept it around...

Things purchased, they teleported to Caranthir's kingdom, and spent an evening feasting - though Te'a and Harvey went on ahead to Slohaven, and started doing a little research on longevity. The party followed, and began selling off their immense treasure. After two weeks, they sold the lot. Sorvald, meanwhile, found the object of his dreams: the world's most perfect wheel of cheese. Knowing that no other wheel would ever be the same, he spent his entire fortune on the wheel. Its owner, a rather confused Thrassian, kept trying to make change for him, but was eventually convinced to take the whole pile of gold and various magical items. His dream fulfilled, Sorvald bid the party farewell. The Thrassian, realizing anyone with that much money must have quite the adventures - and looking for adventure himself - offered to take the thief's place, and the party agreed to bring him along.

Having a few spare moments on hand, they decided to find the last piece of Elric's equipment: his belt. They teleported to the desert, near where Gróin had envisioned it. They found two things: one, a ruin, with a single building in it, and two, a portal. To the Plane of Air.

In the Plane of Air (surely it's the Airplane? No, it isn't, and stop calling me Shirley), they met the Ying and Yang of the Gem Dragons, Diamond and Onyx. The two moved and spoke in perfect synchronicity; as guardians of the Plane of Air, they were happy to welcome humans and humanoids to their home plane. Various wind elementals, dragons, and other creatures of the air flew near and far; there was no land in sight, which was a little odd for a planet. The party asked where Elric's Earth Belt was; the dragons laughed, and pointed. "You are close, and yet far!"

Onyx pointed far into the distance - stars shimmered in the darkness, but the heavenly body he pointed to was no star, but a planet - the planet the party had just left! Diamond pointed to the portal, from which they had recently arrived. After some further chit-chat, the party returned through the portal, having now crossed that one off their list: they had visited the planes of Air, Water, Earth, and Fire. And had realized that the various planes were actually planets - or planet-like-places, anyway - in their solar system.

Back at the ruins, they met an elderly fellow, and managed to make him slightly more grumpy than he already was by making fun of people with number in their names. Septivus was... not amused. However, he lead them to the basement, where he offered a choice between three items: an item Gróin deduced to be a Sphere of Knowledge, a gold pin in the shape of the Seekers' Eye, and a compass, the symbol of the Instrumentalists. First, he chose the Sphere, which wasn't supposed to be there at all. Second, he chose the Eye, which made the Instrumentalist even more grumpy; he called in two further members, a mage the party had (briefly) met before, and an explorer named Nal McRandy. After much rule discussion, the mage rolled his eyes and left, and the cleric - a Humanist Cleric, granted divine power through his beliefs as a secular humanist - gave up on following the rather intricate regulations, and dumped the various items onto the table.

Along with the belt - which offered Gróin a vision of Elric struggling through a sandstorm, and being pelted with rocks, which he somehow managed to avoid, and showed the belt additionally provided immunity to knockback, along with earth-based damage - the party also was given an eye. A human eye, green, and apparently in perfect working order. Gróin quickly poked out his own eye (yuck) and inserted the new eye; after a moment, he felt he could now cast True Seeing once per day with the eye, and additionally could Sense Intentions and Sense Power, as the proficiencies. It was Ajeela's eye!

There were no encounters, nor treasure, this session, but the XP from selling goods is available:

  • Caranthir, Gróin, and Sorvald receive 16040 XP, and 30086 gp
  • Rig Bigny, Craydos, Fayleen, and Te'a Tsuki receive 13959 XP, and 25924 gp
  • Elenora, Gimli, Laurita, Herman, Baelnar, and Kurt received 8021 XP, plus whatever their share of the treasure is.
  • Pentzkin, Alun, Midnight, Noona, Harvey, and Zai-car each receive 6980 XP, plus their share of the treasure.

Additionally, starting XP is now: 137,669 XP.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Bog-Cheese

Ochdamh 25, 6639; next holiday is Beastnight, 9/35

The Party:

  • Rig Bigny, Gnomish Beastmaster
    • Flit, the bat familiar
    • Clench, the Wardog War-Badger
    • Midnight, the Panther
    • Noona, the Lion
    • Faufe Yitaw, Dogwere (Badgerwere?)
      • Rawf, Wardog familiar
      • Aroof, Wardog familiar
    • Llarm Paphyra, Elvish Polydoctorate
      • The Metal Man, construct
  • Caranthir, Human Leader of Men
    • Rhea Trueheart, Elvish Nightblade
    • Lucille "Luce" Burwood, Fighter
    • Elenora Garrard, White Mage
    • Gimli Trollriver, Dwarven Fury
  • Gróin of Norston, Dwarven Sapper
    • Laurita Gomez, Priestess
    • Herman Thorpe, Ectomancer
      • Baelnar Grimtor, Dwarven Sapper
  • Sorvald, Thief
    • Kurt Steinbacke, Dwarven Deep Monk
  • Mor Gibs, the Wonderworker
  • Craydos Silverskin, the Gold Skinscribe
    • Pentzkin Singletossle Pocketspringer, gnomish beastmaster
    • Alun Tsornyl, Sylph Ranger
  • [insert-name-here], Elven Polydoctorate
    • Harvey, Wolfwere
  • [bad-with-names], Darklord
    • [some-other-name], Venturer?

Realizing they were about the enter the final floor of the tower, the party stopped and retreated upstairs for a night's rest. Refreshed (though warned by the locals that something bad was coming), they headed back downstairs.

The final level of the tower smelled of damp and rot, and the sulfurous smell of swamp. They had barely gone a few feet into the passage when a voice echoed through the passages: "You... dare... intrude?"

Interestingly, each party member heard the voice in their own native tongue - some kind of magic, surely. They continued on, uncovering the maze surrounding the center, and occasionally hearing more echoed speech. First was a call: "Where... lies... my champion?" followed by a rush of wind, laden with the scent of decay. Then, "My children... come... to me...", and the sound of scrabbling sound and a cacophony of chirping and clicking. Finally, as they near the center (having toasted a couple green slimes), the voice roared, "Erklik... accept this blood sacrifice! ERKLIK!"

The voice receded, but continued to chant. Finally (after the thief and his henchdwarf fell into a pit), they reached the center of the tower, the lowest floor. Torches lined the walls; four pools of water surrounded a dark throne. Mist and magical darkness obscured the throne and its occupant. Six figures lined the walls, human with dark, almost black skin, standing at attention, looking... well, fairly normal, actually. And then combat started... the dark-skinned creatures, awoken by their master, writhed and flailed - bog bodies! The scent of decay was nearly overwhelming, and the poor cat-badgers choked on the overwhelming smell. Caranthir immediately began slashing at the bog-bodies, bringing down six before they could awaken; the others began slowly spreading out.

After a few seconds of fighting, the chanting... stopped. And eight ankhegs burst out of the ground, thought were quickly destroyed. And behind the party, a new mummy stepped out - the dead Thrassian from the day before! The priestess and ectomancer, working together, managed to turn the mummy. The other Thrassians fell before Rig's arrows and a few well-placed hits from the dominated lizardmen.

The battle seemed to be going pretty well, so far at least. Sorvald fired an arrow at the dark shape, but only managed to ricochet from the magical glass surrounding it. Gróin tried to damaged it with a blast of his trumpet, but only managed in damaging himself, and those around him! Caranthir and Gimli slashed at the strange roots dipping into the pools, but apart from damaging them, didn't manage to do much. Finally, Caranthir touched the glass with a Rod of Cancellation, and having drained its magical ability, slammed into it with as much force as his double-sized self could manage. The glass split, cracked across, then in a rapidly-shattering sheet, fell downwards into nothing but shards. The mist cleared (revealing that one of the four openings was, in fact, open), revealing the four carcass scavengers and four rust monsters held within! Caranthir blasted them, and the dark figure, with a double-breath, killing the monsters and... well, gently tickling the massive Thrassian Conduit Bog-Mummy-Lord. The mummy strode out, chopping into the Darklord's companion, and firing a curse at Caranthir (which missed).

This was the main threat. As he fired spells left and right, the Polydoctorate cast two spells: first, a death-ward spell on Caranthir, and second, "Jail", which slams a portcullis-cage onto the target. As the others blasted lightning, cones of cold, and the many earth-based spells of Gróin's party at him, the creature returned fire... and failed. First, his no-save-turn-directly-into-an-undead spell was rebuffed by the Death Ward; then, his other attempts at dishing out damage (or causing everyone to fall asleep) were thwarted. The only one that ever failed was the poor ectomancer, and even he managed to survive the sleep of death.

Even summoning swarms of insects didn't work; eventually, screaming hatred against the skinscribe in particular (he remember the skinscribe's uprising - he was there!), the dark mummy-lord was slain, and his corpse fell into a swarm of insects, which flew out of the chamber. The party quickly located, de-trapped, and smashed the canopic jars, and the mummy lord was no more. The last ankheg, hunted down and slain, revealed a network of tunnels underground, containing treasures; under the throne were even more treasures.

Last, but certainly not least, the vines on the throne were dunked in holy water, and eventually had Cure Disease cast on them; they writhed and healed, and almost immediately, the four stagnant pools cleared of the boggy water. A deep rumble sounded from the tower itself...

And that, folks, is how you use your spells in an intelligent manner and make what was going to be the second hardest fight of the yet-planned story into a walk in the park.

  • Experience from encounters:
    • 2 green slimes (76)
    • 8 Ankhegs (4000)
    • 24 Bog bodies (1920)
    • 4 undead Thrassians (860)
    • 1 Mummy-thrassian (660)
    • 4 rust monsters (800)
    • 4 carcass scavengers (540)
    • 1 Ancient Thrassian Bog-Mummy Lord (9300)
  • Experience from Treasure:
    • Cash (11,450 gp, 12 stone total):
      • 2,000 platinum pieces (10,000 gp, 2 st)
      • 1,000 gold pieces (1000 gp, 1 st)
      • 4,000 silver pieces (400 gp, 4 st)
      • 5,000 copper pieces (50 gp, 5 st)
    • Gems (1.333 stone):
      • 2 diamonds (1,000 gp each)
      • 1 jacinth (4,000 gp)
      • 1 ruby (8,000 gp)
      • 1 ivory jewelry (900 gp)
      • 2 moonstone jewelry (2,000 gp each)
      • 2 gold statuettes (1000 gp each
    • Everything else (42.287 st):
      • 26 jade carvings of dark gods, each worth 200gp (5200 gp, 4.333 st)
      • 1 rich fur coat (2,000gp, 1 st)
      • 16 rugs of large common fur (panther) (1st/150gp, 90 gp each) (1440 gp, 9.504 st)
      • 3 rolls of silk (400gp, 4st each) (1200 gp, 12 st)
      • 12 sticks of rare incense (1 st/100 sticks, 17 gp each) (204 gp, 0.12 st)
      • 3 jars of dyes and pigments (50gp, 5st each) (150 gp, 15 st)
      • 2 sets of superior thieves tools, worth 200gp (1 item) (200 gp, 0.1667 st)
      • 1 vials of rare perfume (1 item each, 125 gp each) (125 gp, 0.1667 st)
  • Total experience (before selling): 29,606 XP
  • Total experience (after selling): 181,469 XP
  • XP for PCs: 2277
  • XP for henches (everyone but Luce and Rhea): 1139
  • Magic items on the Thrassian Conduit:
    • Lifedrinker, a dark, twisted sword (evil, but not cursed; lore says is drains health and gives it to the wielder)
    • Earthbreaker, a Hammer +3 that grants resistance to Earth magic (-1 damage per die, +2 to saves)
    • The Soulstaff (which, if lore is correct, can speak with dead once per hour, as the spell)
    • A tarnished silver coin, currency of Ancient Zahara
    • Plate armor, Thrassian-sized
  • Elsewhere (the throne, the ankhegs, and the ankhegs' nests):
    • A ring
    • A very oddly-jointed club (+3 after testing)
    • Two bags
    • Two swords (+1, after testing)
    • A potion
    • A Scroll of Divine Spells (Written in Dwarven): Command Word (1st lvl)
    • A Scroll of Arcane Spells (Written in Dwarven): Resist Electricity (lvl 2), Trance (lvl 1)
    • A lumpy rock

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Life's the Pits

Ochdamh 24, 6639; next holiday is Beastnight, 9/35

The Party:

  • Rig Bigny, Gnomish Beastmaster
    • Flit, the bat familiar
    • Clench, the Wardog War-Badger
    • Midnight, the Panther
    • Noona, the Lion
    • Faufe Yitaw, Dogwere (Badgerwere?)
      • Rawf, Wardog familiar
      • Aroof, Wardog familiar
    • Llarm Paphyra, Elvish Polydoctorate
      • The Metal Man, construct
  • Caranthir, Human Leader of Men
    • Rhea Trueheart, Elvish Nightblade
    • Lucille "Luce" Burwood, Fighter
    • Elenora Garrard, White Mage
    • Gimli Trollriver, Dwarven Fury
  • Gróin of Norston, Dwarven Sapper
    • Laurita Gomez, Priestess
    • Herman Thorpe, Ectomancer
      • Baelnar Grimtor, Dwarven Sapper
  • Sorvald, Thief
    • Kurt Steinbacke, Dwarven Deep Monk
  • Mor Gibs, the Wonderworker
  • Craydos Silverskin, the Gold Skinscribe
    • Pentzkin Singletossle Pocketspringer, gnomish beastmaster
    • Alun Tsornyl, Sylph Ranger
  • [insert-name-here], Elven Polydoctorate
    • [I-forgot-I'm-so-sorry], Wolfwere
  • [bad-with-names], Darklord
    • [some-other-name], Venturer?

While Caranthir, Gróin, and Sorvald (and friends) began their trek into the Jungle Tower, Craydette (sorry, I keep forgetting to write down your new name) dropped in on the, er, seamstresses' guild, to learn about being a woman. No, not like that, just... nevermind. After that, she set off to find the rest of her party. Additionally, some new members passed by, but kept to their mounts - and I'd tell you their names and so forth, but I forgot to write them down. I'll update this later once I figure it out...

And that's not all! Rig Bigny headed out as well, with his pet badger-cats! As the parties converged, they managed to all find their way to the tower, just as a thin figure climbed out. The darklord quickly dominated the creature, and in the morning, the ratman lead them into the tower, eventually uniting the lot of them. Whew! GM fiat aside, they were ready to go deeper...

On the stone throne of the troglodyte King, the newest additions to the party noticed some scratchings - a verbal description of the lower levels! Just below them, the 7th level was full of traps... Sorvald lead the group through the area, only managing to get himself thumped on the head once. By a single brick. What can I say, the trap was really old...

Turning a corner, however, he, Kurt, and Alun found themselves face-to-face with a rather large grasshopper, who immediately vomited a thick stream of brown goo onto the poor Fae, then leapt away, managing to get out of sight with only a single hit-point to its name. Alun, after spending several minutes cleaning himself, caught up with the party, and they continued.

Apart from glowing moss (which was rather slick), there wasn't a lot going on here; just some food stores. The 8th level, however, was "full of scary black things," and avoided by the troglodytes. The party found a strange, yellow-brown moss, dry and stringy, unlike the wet glowing moss. A little poking around, and they managed to activate it - yellow mold! Thankfully, no one inhaled it, and they left it alone after that. They did, however, manage to get a potion or two, hidden around the area.

In the larger room, they encountered the spiders, as well as a sharktipede - er, sorry, a Skittering Maw - and fought them handily. They also encountered a trio of carcass scavengers, who's nest poor Craydette had the misfortune of mistaking for a spider's nest, and nearly got eaten for her troubles.

Down a level to 9, they found a room full of holes, tilting traps, and cloth-covered pit-traps. Sorvald, with his perfect night vision, lead everyone through safely, marking the traps for later memory. He spotted something hiding in a corner - a staff, with what looked like a curved beak. It was the Staff of Stork’s Blessing, which removes 1d6 hp from the wielder, and gives that to everyone within five feet (that is, adjacent)!

Moving the staff, however, awoke whatever dark creatures were hiding in the pits, and soon, a horde of lizardmen and Greater Thrassians ascended! And, after a shout of command, bowed their heads to the Darklord, in her service. The battle was bloody, but fast; the lizardmen wavered, as did the greater Thrassians, under the rule of their own lord, an ancient, enormous Thrassian, one of the few survivors of the Zaharan purge. Well, survivor no longer...

With the way clear, the party is ready to venture deeper, to the lowest level of the tower, buried for centuries!

  • Experience from Encounters:
    • 1 Skittering Maw (1600)
    • 7 Black Widow spiders (4 killed, 3 escaped: 320)
    • 3 Carcass Scavengers (405)
    • 15 lizardmen (dominated or killed: 525)
    • 6 Greater Thrassians (dominated or killed: 840)
    • 1 Thrassian Overlord (2500)
  • Experience from treasure: (none, only magical items)
  • Experience for each PC (Rig, Caranthir, Gróin, Sorvald, Craydette, ?Darklord, ?Polydoctorate): 495
  • Experience for each Henchbeing (Noona, Midnight, Gimli, Lucille, Laurita, Herman, Baelnar, Kurt, Alun, ?Venturer, ?Wolfwere): 248

Additionally, there were some various potions picked up, plus the Staff of Stork's Blessing, and a strange, magical, iron crown...

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Troglodyte? More Like TrogloDIED

Ochdamh 23, 6639; next holiday is Beastnight, 9/35

The Party:

  • Rig Bigny, Gnomish Beastmaster
    • Flit, the bat familiar
    • Clench, the Wardog War-Badger
    • Midnight, the Panther
    • Noona, the Lion
    • Faufe Yitaw, Dogwere (Badgerwere?)
      • Rawf, Wardog familiar
      • Aroof, Wardog familiar
    • Llarm Paphyra, Elvish Polydoctorate
      • The Metal Man, construct
  • Caranthir, Human Leader of Men
    • Rhea Trueheart, Elvish Nightblade
    • Lucille "Luce" Burwood, Fighter
    • Elenora Garrard, White Mage
    • Gimli Trollriver, Dwarven Fury
  • Gróin of Norston, Dwarven Sapper
    • Laurita Gomez, Priestess
    • Herman Thorpe, Ectomancer
      • Baelnar Grimtor, Dwarven Sapper
  • Quetgar, Thrassian Assassin (retired)
    • Zarc, Thrassian Gladiator (retired)
  • Sorvald, Thief
    • Kurt Steinbacke, Dwarven Deep Monk
  • Mor Gibs, the Wonderworker
  • Craydos Silverskin, the Gold Skinscribe
    • Pentzkin Singletossle Pocketspringer, gnomish beastmaster
    • Alun Tsornyl, Sylph Ranger

Moving deeper into the dungeon, the party found what appeared to be some sort of holding area! They surprised a number of troglodytes, and after killing a few, allowed a few others to escape. The escaped trogs immediately opened a number of cages, releasing all sorts of creatures, which the party slashed and burned through with the greatest of ease. Eventually, all that was left was a ratman, and a still-caged old man. They allowed the ratman to leave, and spoke for a while with the old man... who turned out to be a doppelganger. Who eventually escaped.

The next level held a full troglodyte city; inside, they battled a number of well-equipped troglodytes, including a mage firing lightning bolts and fireballs at them. After killing all but a couple of the troglodytes, they raided the store room for treasure!

  • Experience from combat:
    • 4 chameleons (1400)
    • 2 Rust monsters (800)
    • 3 Lizardmen (105)
    • 1 Wererat (escaped)
    • 2 Giant rats (10)
    • 1 minotaur (320)
    • 5 Berserkers (105)
    • 1 Doppelganger (escaped)
    • 118 trogs (2360)
    • 4 greater-trogs (320)
    • 1 mage-trog (190)
    • 1 cleric-trog (190)
    • 1 chief-trog (320)
  • Experience from Treasure:
    • 900 Copper
    • 600 Silver
    • 1100 Electrum
    • 5 jars of dyes and pigments (250gp, 25 stone)
    • 11 rugs or tapestries (55gp, 86st)
    • 2 barrels of beer (20gp, 16st)
    • 4 barrels of liquor (800gp, 64st)
    • 2 barrels of preserved fish (10gp, 16st)
    • 7 gallons of lamp oil (14gp, 3.5st)
    • 16 gold idols (8000gp, 2.6667st)
  • Total gp when sold: 12486gp, 207.1667st
  • Total XP now: 6739
  • Gold for Caranthir, Gróin, and Sorvald: 206gp (each)
  • XP for Caranthir, Gróin, and Sorvald: 1123
  • XP for Rhea, Gimli, Laurita, Herman, Baelnar, and Kurt: 562

Friday, June 1, 2018

Agents of SHIELD... Breaking.

Ochdamh 21-22, 6639; next holiday is Beastnight, 9/35

The Party:

  • Rig Bigny, Gnomish Beastmaster
    • Flit, the bat familiar
    • Clench, the Wardog War-Badger
    • Midnight, the Panther
    • Noona, the Lion
    • Faufe Yitaw, Dogwere (Badgerwere?)
      • Rawf, Wardog familiar
      • Aroof, Wardog familiar
    • Llarm Paphyra, Elvish Polydoctorate
      • The Metal Man, construct
  • Caranthir, Human Leader of Men
    • Rhea Trueheart, Elvish Nightblade
    • Lucille "Luce" Burwood, Fighter
    • Elenora Garrard, White Mage
    • Gimli Trollriver, Dwarven Fury
  • Gróin of Norston, Dwarven Sapper
    • Laurita Gomez, Priestess
    • Herman Thorpe, Ectomancer
      • Baelnar Grimtor, Dwarven Sapper
  • Quetgar, Thrassian Assassin
    • Zarc, Thrassian Gladiator
  • Sorvald, Thief
    • Kurt Steinbacke, Dwarven Deep Monk
  • Mor Gibs, the Wonderworker
  • Craydos Silverskin, the Gold Skinscribe
    • Pentzkin Singletossle Pocketspringer, gnomish beastmaster
    • Alun Tsornyl, Sylph Ranger

On a roll with the scale-destroying business, the party decided to next go to Mareten, and see the king about his shield. After teleporting to the gate, passing through, then teleporting to Slowhaven, the party waited until they could receive an audience with the ruler of Mareten.

After a bit of negotiation, Caranthir was able to convince the king that they had, indeed destroyed the scales, and were intent on finishing their quest. They king's spies had already reported on the other scales' destruction (though he hadn't yet heard of the Scale of Darkness being destroyed), and the truthful verification put him at ease. He recommended the party meet him later that evening to discuss the particulars. After a bit of shopping, the party returned to the address indicated, and found themselves in the king's private entertainment chamber. After a light supper, the king got down to business: he would provide a champion and equip him with the shield, if the party would face him and defeat him in one-on-one combat. Caranthir agreed.

In the morning, Caranthir arrived at the battle, buffed and blessed; the fighter he was to face stomped out, raising the white shield to cheers from the crowd. The enormous man charged forward, slamming into Caranthir; Caranthir returned the blow, but both fell short, their swords parried away. Strike after strike fell, and neither was even winded. One of the opponent's blows finally made its way past Caranthir's armor, and Caranthir was forced back from the strength behind it! Enraged, Caranthir shift into dragonform, and blasted the fighter with his breath, then again, and a third time. The fighter was visibly faltering from the blasts, but doggedly kept swinging his sword, connecting a second time. Finally, Caranthir found a chink in the big man's armor, and tore out his chest.

The party turned to the shield... which remained whole and unblemished. Confused, they turned to the king. The man beside him was visibly pale; as the king slapped him on the shoulder, he flinched, the remaining color draining from his face. "Your champion lost, sir Mayor. And now you must keep up your end of the bargain..."

In a moment, the mayor, clutching a very similar shield, was thrust into the arena. Caranthir leaped forward, and in a moment, the mayor was dead - as was his warlock's familiar! The shield in his hands cracked down the face, then blasted into tiny slivers of shining glitter, before vanishing entirely. Caranthir bowed as the king thanked him for ridding his kingdom of a malicious plotter...

After the fun with the shield, the party decided to move on to the Jungle Tower, hoping to gain some strength before facing the final scales...

They teleported out immediately, arriving as another group was finishing performing sacrifices. After some chatting, they found the secret opening again, and began their descent into the tower. The first floor was filled with swarms of flies; Kurt managed to kill a few, but Caranthir slashed through six in a single blast. The rest fell quickly, and no one was harmed. They found a little treasure, and moved on. In the next level, they did not quite disarm a trap, and ended up watching two very large gems get crushed under a pile of rocks. Oops. They killed a few crab spiders to make up for it. Gróin was knocked over by a swarm of rats, but managed to splatter most of them, burning the last few. Realizing the Caranthir had not yet stopped to rest, the party immediately decided that this was the best place to stop for the night, and (after sweeping away the rat guts, I would immagine), set up camp for the night.

  • Experience from encounters:
    • lvl 9 fighter, Breaker (3100)
    • lvl 10 warlock, Mayor Eustace Molebeak (3650)
    • Shield of Armies (5000)
    • 15 giant flies (300)
    • 4 crab spiders (152)
    • 4hd rat swarm (135)
  • Experience from Treasure:
    • 4 statuettes of superior quality (280 gp, 0.6668 st)
    • 11 bone fetishes and figurines (7 gp each) (77 gp, 1.8337 st)
    • 4 sets of engraved teeth (1 item each, 70 gp each) (280 gp, 0.6668 st)
    • 1 set of superior thieves tools, worth 200gp (1 item) (200 gp, 0.1667 st)
    • 837 gp, 3.3335 st
    • 1 emerald (2500)
  • Total gp when sold: 3267
  • Total gp now for Caranthir, Gróin, and Sorvald: 279gp
  • Total XP now: 128740
  • XP for Caranthir, Gróin, and Sorvald: 2146
  • XP for Ellenora, Gimli, Laurita, Herman, Baelnar, and Kurt: 1073

I'll keep track of what items haven't been sold, and where the XP goes, and will insert that once you do sell it off (do tell me if there's an item you don't want to sell!). As a final item of note, Craydos's tower has finally been completed as of 8/22, and his recruits are ready to begin their studies.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Wyrm Welcome

Ochdamh 19-21, 6639; next holiday is Beastnight, 9/35

The Party:

  • Rig Bigny, Gnomish Beastmaster
    • Flit, the bat familiar
    • Clench, the Wardog War-Badger
    • Midnight, the Panther
    • Noona, the Lion
    • Faufe Yitaw, Dogwere (Badgerwere?)
      • Rawf, Wardog familiar
      • Aroof, Wardog familiar
    • Llarm Paphyra, Elvish Polydoctorate
      • The Metal Man, construct
  • Caranthir, Human Leader of Men
    • Rhea Trueheart, Elvish Nightblade
    • Lucille "Luce" Burwood, Fighter
    • Elenora Garrard, White Mage
    • Gimli Trollriver, Dwarven Fury
  • Gróin of Norston, Dwarven Sapper
    • Laurita Gomez, Priestess
    • Herman Thorpe, Ectomancer
      • Baelnar Grimtor, Dwarven Sapper
  • Quetgar, Thrassian Assassin
    • Zarc, Thrassian Gladiator
  • Sorvald, Thief
    • Kurt Steinbacke, Dwarven Deep Monk
  • Mor Gibs, the Wonderworker
  • Craydos Silverskin, the Gold Skinscribe
    • Pentzkin Singletossle Pocketspringer, gnomish beastmaster
    • Alun Tsornyl, Sylph Ranger

Gróin had invested in a couple of scrolls of stone-to-flesh, and picked the map-holding man to unstone. Craydos read from the scroll, and instantly, the stone flaked away, revealing a startled looking man underneath. He jumped back, wildly looking for the monsters that had turned him to stone, but was quickly calmed. It seems that he and his friend were on their way back from the city of Endereise when they were waylaid by the creatures; thankfully, it had only been a few days. Gróin offered to shorten their journey in trade for the man's map; the man agreed, and Gróin teleported the two, along with Craydos, to the Mejastan city of Cuidado Mercado. Craydos, hoping to have his injuries restored, went with Laurita to a temple of Alehim. She cast Restore Life and Limb on him, and in an instant, the aches and missing finger were restored to normal! Unfortunately... there was a side effect. His injuries were healed, but his body was... changed. To that of a female, to be precise. Craydos was now a woman!

Returning to the others, Craydos reintroduced himself. Herself. Whatever. They moved on, and found the corpses of a number of giant scorpions; Pentzkin managed to get 405 XP worth of scorpion parts from them.

The city of Endereise was very different from the other deep dwarven city; for one, this city was built in a huge bowl, easily a hundred yards deep. They were met by a group of hooded dwarves; the spokesman welcomed them to the city, and relayed their message of the sorcerous spheres they found. That duty done, they explored the city. Craydos, wondering about the religions in the city, found three different churches, later explained to be the Church of the Flame, lawful followers of the cleansing fire; Church of the Clay, neutral followers of the warm earth; and Church of the Light, chaotic followers of the fickle, blinding light of the overworld. He was barred from the Church of the Flame when he asked about the Wyrm, but managed to have a short conversation with a minor obviate at the Church of the Light.

It seems a group of very deep dwarves hold a shadowy sway over all the churches, and indeed the cities of the dwarves; a sort of Praeumbrati, if you would, the dark version of the Illuminati. He and the strange gnome with him explained how the Wyrm was hated and feared by all sects of the churches - and how the scale the party was seeking was found in a deep cave in the center of the mountain. Interestingly, the dwarf mentioned a phrase that was not translated by the helm of comprehend languages; a truly dead language, perhaps?

The party teleported to Caranthir to pick him up, then teleported to within a day's journey from the deep cave. After some head scratching as to which way to go, the party settled on a direction, and continued on. After a day of marching through the soft sand, the party reached a well - or rather, a well-shaped hole. Well-cut stone steps lead into the hole. Shrugging, the party followed them down... and down... and down.

Hardly a few steps into the well, the globes of Continual Light went out! The torches managed to illuminate the steps, but even they burned dimly, as if some force was acting against the light itself. Other spells seemed to work, so the party merely pushed on. At the bottom of the well, the torches finally gave up. No light was visible. Only the infravision of the gnomes, dwarves, and dragon managed to pierce the blackness. The rest of the party followed them down a well-carved hallway, they began to hear the sound of chanting - countless voices, far away, chanting in an unknown language. Suddenly, the acoustics of the cavern changed - the party had stepped out into a large room. Caranthir could see a few figures, at the edge of his senses; stepping forward, he saw a semi-circle of beings, wrapped in thick cloth that hid their heat signatures and limited his infravision. Suddenly, a group of four dwarves moved towards them; the lead dwarf asked their purpose there.

Craydette, stepping forward, introduced himherself and their party, and why they were there - to destroy the Scale of Darkness. Immediately, the dwarf on the right chimed in: "Finally! Someone who understands! If you'd ask the Seeker over there, he'd say we should save it and study it! Destroy the blighted thing, before it's too late!"

As Craydette blinked in surprise (in the utter darkness, mind you), the dwarf on their left spoke up. "Certainly we should study it. Without study, how can we attain knowledge? We know not what will happen when the stone is destroyed..."

The dwarf standing behind the others spoke, his voice deep and course. "They cannot choose unless one receives the gift."

Sorvald, standing a few paces behind, started waving his hand. "Ooh! Pick me! I volunteer!"

Caranthir, shrugging, agreed. The party watched as the young thief was lead beyond the circle of chanting dwarves, and was lost to sight in the center of the circle. There, Sorvald felt the other dwarf grab his hand, and place it on the edge of a wide bowl - he estimated it to be about a yard in diameter. Feeling towards the center, his hand brushed something smooth; immediately, a light began to glow around him. He laid his hand on the stone - a small, shield-shaped pentagon of pure black. The dwarf warned, "Do not look up. Follow me."

Sorvald followed the dwarf back, casting furtive glances left and right. The room was well-lit, as if by daylight; the cavern was vaguely oval, with a ring of easily over a hundred dwarves sitting around the scale, chanting softly. When he reached the others, the four dwarves surrounded him. Behind him, the dwarf that had escorted him (wearing a charcoal-gray outfit), which I called the "Actor"; in front, the Speaker, dressed in simple white clothing; to his right, the Seeker, wearing green and gold; to the left, the Instrumentalist, wearing red and silver. They performed a ritual of sorts, asking Sorvald what he saw, and finally directing him to look up. 150 feet above his head... he saw an enormous face, hanging from the ceiling! Teeth, easily as long as his arm, protruded from the slightly open mouth of the great dragon-like creature over him! It was, as the others suspected, the Wyrm - asleep, as he had been for ages untold, and watched by the Deep Dwarves.

Now knowing the stone was indeed the Scale of Darkness, Caranthir asked the Speaker if they would be allowed to destroy it. The four dwarves huddled together, and after much deliberation, reached a decision: yes, the party could take the stone, but only if they bring a representative with them. If the stone is not destroyed, then the party must return it, and never return.

The party, along with the young dwarf picked to accompany them, teleported to the peak of the Northern Tower. In the thin afternoon light, the scale began to sizzle, pitting and slowly, slowly shrinking in the light. As the light died, however, the scale ceased to shrink; quickly, the party teleported to the opposite side of the world, where the sun would just be rising. Gróin cast Iron Platform, and the party flew up to it, looking down on rolling plains and a lovely lake to the north-west. As the day wore on, the light from the sun burned away the scale... only a thin scrap remained when the sun, once again, began to set. Meanwhile, however, Gróin and Craydette spoke with the young dwarf, who introduced himself as Kurt Steinbacke. Kurt was blind, and had been so since birth; however, he was skilled in combat, and had trained hard to be a protector of the scale. Gróin offered to heal his eyesight, but Kurt politely refused. "Perhaps, but for now... I am satisfied to feel the sun on my face."

The party teleported back to the Northern Tower, and in the midday sun, the scale finally cracked in half, then vanished into smoke. The scale had been destroyed. Kurt sat in silence, then spoke. "My duty is complete. I... would like to see, good dwarf." Laurita cast the spell, and Kurt opened his eyes, seeing this unfamiliar world for the first time in his life. He couldn't help but grin. Of course, only his eyes were healed; his depth perception was terrible, as one of the first things he tried to do was reach up and grab a cloud. The party teleported back to the dwarves to tell them the scale was destroyed. Kurt, however, stayed on, deciding to stick with Sorvald as a henchman.

  • Experience from encounters: none
  • Experience from treasure: none
  • Experience from destroyign the scale: 5,000
  • XP for Caranthir, Craydos, Gróin, Mor Gibs, and Sorvald: 588
  • XP for Gimli, Laurita, Herman, Baelnar, Pentzkin, Alun, and Kurt: 294

Kurt Steinbacke is a Dwarven Deep Monk, level 5, with 28,308 XP (that includes the XP this session). His class sheet is found here. (I would suggest making him his own character sheet, rather than marking him in the tiny space on a henchman sheet - Monks and Mystics have a lot of associated information). His stats are as follows: Neutral; Str 13, Int 14, Wis 10, Dex 13, Con 13, Cha 13; Class Profs: Unarmed Fighting, Lay On Hands; General Profs: Survival, Theology (Church of Clay), Mimicry, Eavesdropping; a mundane warhammer, a collapsing spear, Miner's Robes (which provide +1 AC armor and Fire Resistance: -1 damage per die and a +2 to saves vs any flame attack), and a few smooth rocks worth 8,000gp.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Gnome Gnowledge and Phearful Spheres

Ochdamh 12-18, 6639; next holiday is Beastnight, 9/35

The Party:

  • Rig Bigny, Gnomish Beastmaster
    • Flit, the bat familiar
    • Clench, the Wardog War-Badger
    • Midnight, the Panther
    • Noona, the Lion
    • Faufe Yitaw, Dogwere (Badgerwere?)
      • Rawf, Wardog familiar
      • Aroof, Wardog familiar
    • Llarm Paphyra, Elvish Polydoctorate
      • The Metal Man, construct
  • Caranthir, Human Leader of Men
    • Rhea Trueheart, Elvish Nightblade
    • Lucille "Luce" Burwood, Fighter
    • Elenora Garrard, White Mage
    • Gimli Trollriver, Dwarven Fury
  • Gróin of Norston, Dwarven Sapper
    • Laurita Gomez, Priestess
    • Herman Thorpe, Ectomancer
      • Baelnar Grimtor, Dwarven Sapper
  • Quetgar, Thrassian Assassin
    • Zarc, Thrassian Gladiator
  • Sorvald, Thief
  • Mor Gibs, the Wonderworker
  • Craydos Silverskin, the Gold Skinscribe
    • Pentzkin Singletossle Pocketspringer, gnomish beastmaster
    • Alun Tsornyl, Sylph Ranger

The group teleported back to the main path, and continued their search for the bandits. After a day's travel without encountering anyone, they found a forest of tall mushrooms, some of which glowed dimly in the darkness. Ahead, they heard the sounds of an approaching group - someone was calling, "Company, march! Two, three four..." into the darkness ahead.

After some deliberation, the party decided to face what was coming. Ahead, they heard a voice shout, "Company, Halt!", and a moment later, a single gnome, well-decorated in military attire, marched up to them. Introducing himself as the commander of the Queen's Guard, he inquired their business; the party responded in kind, asking him where he came from, and where he was headed. He shouted back down the passage, "Preseeeeent... MAP!", then turned, pulled a map out of his pocket, and turned back to the party.

As it turned out, the entire Redoubt of gnomes was but a single commander. Luckily, he realized he was heading the wrong direction, and decided to accompany the party.

As they journeyed on, the gnome lustily shouted that there seemed to be a lair of basilisks ahead, and that his "company" only barely made it past last time. The five basilisks were quite alert by the time the party arrived; after a short battle, the creatures were dead. Oddly, there were no statues about; either the creatures had eaten everyone who had happened past, or something had cleaned them out. Interesting.

A day later and further ahead, the party passed a large lake; wondering what was inside, the wonder-fairy summoned a kraken, plunging it into the inky water. It swam down, deeper and deeper, until it encountered a number of mermen, riding large, albino sharks; the kraken attacked, but only managed to kill four of the sharks before the rest tore it to shreds. Shaken, the party continued on.

Two days later, they reached a branch in the trail, and chose the less-traveled. The gnome strode off, then returned, scratching his head. "Aha! Yes, here we go." He followed them as they reached a thicker forest of mushrooms. Heading off the trail, the party tracked a number of footprints to a clearing - where a strange creature covered with eyes and tentacles stared down at them! It began chanting a spell, and the party quickly cast a few spells of their own. The creature summoned berserkers, and a shield for itself; another strange floating globe, not far from the first, revealed itself and began doing the same.

The berserkers were taken down quickly, but the creatures fired spells from memory and from their wands and staffs, whittling down the party; Craydos dropped, as did his minions, and Gimli soon followed, just after the first sphere fell. The second was finally defeated, and Gróin set fire to its corpse. While they treated the wounds of the fallen, the second sphere suddenly rose again! It cast a spell, and was gone...

On the corpse of the remaining sphere, the party found two wands and a staff (the staff cast Cone of Cold, and one of the wands cast Fireball; the other is unknown). Further into the forest, they found two statues - travelers, it looked like, frozen by the basilisks. One seemed to have some sort of map, but the stone writing is entirely illegible. Craydos managed to collect 400 XP worth of parts from the dead sphere.

  • XP from Encounters
    • 1 Gnome (peaceful)
    • 5 basilisks (4900) (harvested 2450 XP or parts from them)
    • 18 Great White Sharks (4400, only killed 4)
    • 18 mermen (unharmed)
    • 2 Sorcerous Spheres (9600)
    • 6 berserkers (78)
    • 3 hydras (4650)
  • XP from Treasure: none, again! How strange!
  • Total XP: 23,628
  • XP for Craydos, Gróin, Mor Gibs, and Sorvald: 3375
  • XP for Gimli, Laurita, Herman, Baelnar, Pentzkin, and Alun: 1688