Saturday, May 6, 2017

Why Are You Dragon, Dungeon Wanna Win?

Treas 1-26, 6638; next holiday: Dragonning, Treas 35 (the spring equinox)

The Party:

  • Rig Bigny, Gnomish Beastmaster
    • Flit, the bat familiar
    • Clench, the Wardog War-Badger
    • Midnight, the Panther
    • 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
  • GrĂ³in of Norston, Dwarven Sapper
    • Laurita Gomez, Priestess
  • Quetgar, Thrassian Assassin
    • Zarc, Thrassian Gladiator

The party found themselves next to a clearing. The area was an odd, round shape, not as organic of a shape as one might expect. In fact, the trees at the edge of the clearing were bowed, the middles leaning away from the center. Even the grass and weeds grew more sparsely in the middle. From the center of the glen, a faint sound emanated, like wind blowing past a thin shard of glass, or a thin, sharp sword cutting through the air. As the party squinted at the center of the field, most found their gaze misdirected - sliding past to look at trees, or sinking to stare at the ground. Only Rig, Quetgar, and Elenora were able to pierce the veil of illusion.

What they saw, however, was not something they had hoped. No treasure, no great magical boons; instead, it looked like a great crack in the air itself, a two-dimensional tear in three-dimensional space. The impossibility of it made their eyes water. Still, they peered at it. Somehow, it seemed as if there were something on the other side. Sickeningly swirling colors and hypnotic dancing lights passed before their eyes. Then, suddenly, the area beyond the crack sprang into sharp focus! They felt chaos tug at their minds, and none were able to resist it. Elenora's gaze was held by the sights beyond; she felt her very nightmares being invaded by creatures beyond that veil. Rig felt his will slipping away. Quetgar, however, saw an eyeball slide past; he felt pulled by its gaze, and stepped forward. When no one stopped him, he reached out his arm, watching as the skin began shredding away, leaving the muscles, tendons, nerves, and bones visible. He looked at his claws in wonder, feeling no pain. Staring again into the rend in space, he felt his other hand reaching towards the crack, but Caranthir grabbed him, pulling him away from the terrible thing. Elenora grabbed a stick, jabbing it into the crack; it twisted in her grasp, wriggling wetly before sliding inside the rift. She felt herself retching, unable to unsee what she had seen.

As they turned away from the rift, there was suddenly a massive crash, and they were momentarily blinded by a green light! As their eyes adjusted, they found they were staring at an enormous dragon; it was crusted head to toe in emeralds, but even Caranthir had no urge to fight this beast. The venerable dragon that had kept them company was still smaller than this great beast. Even so, it seemed to be injured; its front feet were covered in gashes, and a spear was sticking out of its back leg. It spoke directly into their minds, demanding that they leave. Caranthir mentioned how they had been directed here to find knowledge; relenting somewhat, the dragon asked him to convince it. Convince it how? Convince it. Caranthir explained how they had been tasked with destroying the seven scales, and how they had freed a dragon trapped in the Mareten tower. He told the dragon of the encounters they had experienced, and other stories of their bravery. The dragon pondered this information, then, apparently deeming them worthy, asked for an ambassador to step forward. Caranthir stepped forward; the dragon placed a great claw on his forehead, and suddenly, Caranthir saw all of Mor-thir spread out before him like a map.

Spots of light danced across it, then began melding together as sparks of color: green in the forests of the Fae, blue in Mareten, orange in the deserts, and red in the mountains near the jungle. The four colors streamed towards the Wild Planes, mixing and washing back and forth across the land, until a great darkness begins to rise from their midst, and the colors were drowned in a wash of black that covered the continent, overwhelming even the Wall itself.

Just as suddenly, Caranthir was back in the glade. The dragon explained that what he had witnessed was the future, if nothing changed; destroying the scales would help hold back the darkness, and perhaps more importantly, destroying the rift itself. But destroying the rift would require powerful magic...

The rift, the dragon explained, is a hole in space and time, and opens outside the universe. Anything that goes through is placed somewhere beyond the rules of the universe. Anything on the other side has truly limitless power. Or did, anyway. The first living things to fall through the rift was an amoeba, a single-celled organism. It grew and changed, eventually encircling the rift. The world on the other side of the rift is a pocket-universe, entirely within an uplifted single-celled creature, and follows the somewhat arbitrary rules imposed by it. Over time, other creatures, from single-celled organisms to small birds and insects, entered the rift as well; following the rules of the rift, they grew and fought, becoming shapeless horrors: truly evil, chaotic beings. The rift repels anyone trying to come near, which is why it has remained for so long. To defeat the rift, and the creatures within, the rift must be sealed; for that to happen, it takes powerful magic. Death-of-a-demi-god level of power...

Agreeing to help the dragon, the party left, journeying on to the Summer Court. Their travel was uneventful, and they arrived on the 9th of Treas. Caranthir searched the shops for a ring of wishing, and found one for sale! He and Quetgar purchased it. Caranthir wished for the permanent ability to polymorph into a white dragon; he received the ability to polymorph, similar to that of a a Shaman. However, he can only change as many times per day as half his level, rounded down, and will remain in that form permanently until he changes again (see the note at the end of this write-up). Quetgar, not trusting his wish-making ability, hired a Leprechaun lawyer to draft two wishes. First, that his flayed arm be returned to normal, and second, for his metal claws and teeth to be given a +3 enchantment. The lawyer, after an hour and 5,000 gp, wrote up the two wishes, and Quetgar wished them. The lawyer warned that many creatures would be attracted to him now as a side effect of the wish - his teeth and claws were worth 105,000 gp, give or take.

Caranthir, in dragon form, flew to the nearby treasures in the Summer Fae's forest, in the northern wilderness, and in the western jungle; his flight extended his range considerably. The others identified the magical items found, and recovered from their experience at the rift. Finally, after amassing quite the treasure (and avoiding a gang of bugbears, hellhounds, a village of bugbears, and various other creatures simply by flying overhead), the gang decided to make their way to where they thought the jungle tower was located.

While Caranthir flew ahead with Rhea, the rest of the party was left to follow the road, and ran into a lamia - a lizard-bodied woman! The creature summoned an illusory ogre, and three very real humans guarded her. The party attacked, killing one of the men, dispelling the ogre, and eventually killing another man and the lamia. The last man, coming out of his charmed state, realized that his true leader (the third man) was dead; weeping over the man's body, he pulled his sword and tried to attack Quetgar, yelling something about a prince. Quetgar thumped him over the head, knocking him out.

  • Experience from Encounters:
    • 4 Gorgons (6400 xp)
    • A bunch of creatures flown over (none, avoided)
    • Lamia (2500 xp)
    • 3 men; 2 lvl 1, 1 lvl 5 (376 xp)
  • Experience from Treasure:
    • 45,000 gp
    • 1 Topaz (Caranthir only)
  • Total Experience: 54,276
  • Experience per PC (excluding Caranthir): 6458
  • Experience per Henchman (excluding Rhea): 3229
  • Experience for Caranthir: 7047
  • Experience for Rhea: 3024
  • Gold per PC: 11250
  • Extra gold for Caranthir: 1000

For note-keeping's sake, the party also found 4 vials of Dust of Disappearing, a potion of Plant Control, a Ring of Regeneration, a wand, and a scroll containing two spells written in Nobiran (Librarian spells!): Immortal Guardian (lvl 5), and Impart (lvl 4).

Caranthir's Wish

Caranthir's new ability allows him to polymorph himself into a dragon with as many HD as his own, keeping his exact HP and damage. He gains all the innate and physical attacks and abilities of a dragon of his HD, including breath attack (a cloud of freezing air). He can switch from dragon-form to human-form at will up to a number of times equal to his level divided by two, rounded down (so, at level 7, 3 times). However, he requires an additional 100 XP to go from level 1 to level 2, doubled each level. Additionally, he is affected as a dragon and as a human in either form. As a dragon, unless he somehow learns Draconic, he cannot speak at all. Finally, the longer he is in dragon form, the more he becomes like that type of dragon... whatever that may entail.