Monday, October 15, 2018

The Final Scale

Naoidheamh 35, 6639: Beastnight!

The Party:

  • Rig Bigny, Gnomish Beastmaster
    • Flit, bat familiar
    • Clench, Wardog War-Badger
    • Midnight, Panther
    • Noona, 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
  • Crolack, Thrassian Gladiator
    • Kurt Steinbacke, Dwarven Deep Monk
  • Mor Gibs, Wonderworker
  • Saphira Moonstone, 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
  • Aingeal Bàs Eleonara, Witch

Their armies teleported in, the party quickly organized both the battle and the strike team. With Rig Bigny commanding the battle, they launched their attack...

The units under Rig's command destroyed a unit of bloodhounds, a (terrifying) unit of death chargers, a unit of zombies, two skeleton units, and a flight of wyverns. The dwarven troops, a unit of archers, and a unit of infantry were lost.

The units under Ajeela's command destroyed a unit of bloodhouds, a unit of necropedes, a unit of ghouls, a unit of zombies, and a bone dragon (carrying a commander). She lost her barbarian troops.

Fayleen Ross, commanding the lizardmen, destroyed three units of skeletons.

The war raged back and forth, until Herman Thorpe managed to Hold the majority of the skeleton armies. Shortly afterward, the strike team entered the tower, and quickly (through Locate Object, Detect Traps, and a pile of other spells, wands, and magical objects) managed to race through the magical maze with little effort. They arrived at the scale, and quickly dumped more magic (and holy water) onto the black altar holding the evil scale; those on the battlefield felt its powers weaken. After some quick thinking, Te'a cast Remove Curse on the scale, Saphira quickly wrapped it in a temporary Bag of Holding, and Gróin teleported the lot of them to the main temple to Thor, in the Mountain Dwarf capital.

The evil sinkhole removed, the remaining undead were quickly cut down, while the living creatures routed, fleeing to the hills and forests. Even the general and his unit of manticores fled.

XP is a little weird, so bear with me. Hopefully this isn't too unbalanced.

  • XP from destroyed units
    • 1200 Skeletons (15600)
    • 240 Ghouls (6960)
    • 240 Zombies (6960)
    • 120 Chaos-zombies (9600)
    • 120 Wights (9600)
    • 20 Necropedes (16400)
    • 240 Bloodhounds (11280)
    • 60 Death chargers (8100)
    • 1 Bone Dragon (12800)
    • 60 Wraiths (11400)
    • 240 Harpys (75 of the 240 killed, the rest routed: 15600)
    • 20 Wyverns (22800)
    • 60 Manticores (5 killed; the rest routed: 40800)
  • Total XP from units: 187,900
  • XP lost from friendly losses
    • Berserkers (60 died) (2520)
    • Paladins (0 died) (0)
    • Green Men (2 died) (0)
    • Bladedancers (4 died) (0)
    • Clerics (11 died) (0)
    • Heavy Infantry (98 died) (600)
    • Longbowmen (60 died) (600)
    • Dwarven Heavy Infantry (60 died) (1200)
    • Lizardmen (40 died) (0)
    • Gnomes (0 died) (0)
    • Roc Lobbers (1 died) (0)
  • Total XP lost: 4920
  • XP for Rig Bigny (General): 91,490
  • XP for Rig Bigny (Commander): 22,110
  • XP for Fayleen Ross (Commander): 2,340
  • XP for Mor Gibs (independent hero): 5115
  • XP for Llarm, Ffaufe, Alun, Herman (commanders/lieutenants): 2557

Of course, that's not all. There is also treasure! Hooray! The surviving troops collected 1/2 of the battlefield treasure as payment (or final gifts for the family of the dead); the rest, as well as the treasure in the tower proper, will be split up as desired. With a little bartering, I'm sure you can trade items for cash, so I'll just tally it all as if you got 100% gold.

  • 1,231,200 gp worth of supplies, equipment, and other battlefield treasure was recovered
  • The tower contained the following (well-labeled!) treasure:
    • 81,700 gp in silver, electrum, gold, and platinum
    • 12 jasper (600gp)
    • 8 shells (240gp)
    • 6 citrine (300gp)
    • 4 onyx (200gp)
    • 5 wrought silver studded with moonstone (25,000gp)
    • 23 jade carvings of heroes, monsters, and gods (4600gp)
    • 1 wrought gold necklace (100gp)
    • 1 porcelain curio (200gp)
    • 1 Bone curio (24gp)
    • 1 wrought copper curio (110gp)
    • 1 moonstone curio (3000gp)
    • 1 Fine wood curio (600gp)
    • 6 jars of spices (4800 gp, 6 st)
    • 2 vials of rare poison (2200gp)
    • 1 coat of chimera fur (19,000 gp)
    • 4 rolls of silk (1600 gp, 16 st)
    • 33 rugs of wolf hide (990 gp, 6.534 st)
    • 24 pieces of elephant ivory (1152gp, 11.52 st)
    • 1 metamphora of preserved special components (600 gp, 99.6 st)
  • XP from captured/killed commanders:
    • Hakan Soroush, Zaharan Ruinguard/Mummy Lord: 8200
    • Chulcx Bloodbather, Thrassian Assassin/Vampire: 6600
    • Abigail Rojas, Bladedancer: 3900
    • Geoffrey Wells, Mage: 4800
    • Kharajit, Rakshasa: 3650
    • Porco Chefe, Demon Boar: 2000
    • Sisskt, Arane: escaped
  • XP from treasure: 762616
  • XP from enemy heroes: 29150
  • XP for destroying the final scales: 10000
  • Total character XP: 801,766
  • Total gold for Rig, Caranthir, Gróin, Mor Gibs, Saphira, Te'a, and Fayleen: 108,945 gp
  • XP for Rig, Caranthir, Gróin, Mor Gibs, Saphira, Te'a, and Fayleen: 66,814
  • XP for Faufe, Llarm, Rhea, Gimli, Herman, Baelnar, Pentzkin, Alun, Harvey, and Zai-car: 33,407

Also recovered were the following well-labeled items: Leather Armor +1, Potion of Climbing, Oil of Slipperiness, Scroll of Arcane Spells (Written in Old Zaharan): Invisibility (2nd lvl), Scroll of Ward against Elementals, 2 Short Sword +1, Potion of Sweet Water, Ring of Protection +3, 15', Ring of Wishes (1 wish remaining), Scroll of Divine Spells (Written in Old Nobiran): Angelic Choir (1st lvl), and a Treasure Map to 20,000gp. Additionally, the mage's library was rigged to explode if he ever left the area; the dark knowledge within was lost.

Along with the magical items in the tower, there were some found on those killed or captured: Hakan Soroush (captured) was carrying a greatsword, four bone-vials, a crystal ball, and a wand. Chulcx Bloodbather (dead) was wearing chain armor. Abigail Rojas (captured) was wearing a helm, leather armor, and a cloak, and carrying a sword, a knife, and a scroll. Geoffrey Wells (captured) was carrying a staff, a rod, and a wand. The Rakshasa and the Demon Boar had no special items, and were both killed. The only survivor was the arane...

That's a LOT of XP, so I will remind you that you can only advance one level at a time; if you got enough experience to level up more than once, you must cut it off one XP below the next level. However, the XP for the final scales trumps that, so if you're about to go over, you can keep at most 833 over the next level for PCs, or 417 over the next level for henchmen.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Beginning Of The End

Naoidheamh 23-34, 6639; tomorrow is Beastnight...

The Party:

  • Rig Bigny, Gnomish Beastmaster
    • Flit, bat familiar
    • Clench, Wardog War-Badger
    • Midnight, Panther
    • Noona, 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
  • Crolack, Thrassian Gladiator
    • Kurt Steinbacke, Dwarven Deep Monk
  • Mor Gibs, Wonderworker
  • Saphira Moonstone, 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
  • Aingeal Bàs Eleonara, Witch

Before I start, I'd like the point out that when we started, we had a total of four players. Now, we have nine, plus another three that have retired. That said, the current major story arc is beginning its inevitable turn towards closure. Even so, this world still has a lot of stories left in it. There are still a number of continents to explore; they may not be as detailed as Mor-Thir, but they still have their stories. There are still planes (aka planets) to find; the [REDACTED] homeworld, which will kick off a rather large storyline, and possibly even a journey to the [REDACTED], which (some of?) the players have (maybe?) visited before (or have they?). And then there's the huge planet with 8 moons... And even beyond all that, I have two different "years later..." storylines. Seriously, there is a lot of wear left on these treads.

But enough of that, back to the present! After hanging around a little - and picking up another party member, Aingeal Bàs Eleonara, a witch - the party decided the best next course of action would be to visit all the various countries they had stayed in before, and try to convince the leaders to send a unit or two their way. While they began, Aingeal and Crolack went to hunt down a dangerous thief. After intimidating a group of men, the two headed to the bad part of town. A little more intimidation later, and they found who they were looking for; or rather, where. The Thrassian "knocked" on the door, sending it crashing to the floor, and the two wandered in. Aingeal decided to try to seduce the guard, which sadly didn't work. The thrassian, not to be outdone, roared angrily, scaring the guard enough to fire his arrow down the hall; the Thrassian charged the door, knocking it off its hinges and thumping the guard pretty soundly.

Their target was sitting, terrified, on a soft chair; after discussing how best to torture the man, they killed his companion and dragged the fellow off to claim their reward: a whole 20 gp!

Meanwhile, the various party members were teleporting around all over the place, talking with the Winter and Summer Fae, the True Elves, the king of Mareten, the Hill, Deep, and Mountain Dwarves, the Northern People, and even the Gnomes, as well as a number of other associates they had found along the way. They tried to contact a few old friends, but they seemed... oddly out of touch. They couldn't find the silver dragon they had freed from the tower, for one.

Caranthir sent Rhea to investigate the Spire; she and Gróin teleported there, and she spent some time creeping through the area. She managed to learn some about their troops, and found that there was at least one living person there, likely a mage. She explored the first two levels of the tower, then left, safely.

After returning, Gróin again teleported away, this time to speak with the gnomes, taking his henchmen, Aingeal, Crolack, and Saphira and her henchmen. Aingeal was suitably freaked out by being turned into a gnome, and Gróin quickly lead them to sample the GodBrew. Baelnar and Alun managed to stave off its effects long enough to reach the god's pub. It was empty, save for a barkeep and a single drunk. The drunk happily sloshed over to them, burbling stories and trying to offer them a drink; he mentioned that all the gods were off planning "shomeshing shooper mmmmportant," which is why they weren't there. As the two felt themselves being pulled back to Mor-Thir, he called after them, "Come back shum time wi' shum frens! An' tell'm Bacchus sent ya!"

Once recovered, the group approached the judge-of-the-day. It was a younger gnome; Aingeal once again attempted to seduce him - not her finest seduction, but... well, this gnome was easy. He fell in love with her immediately, and began gushing sweet nothings to her. When she asked if he'd get her an army, he agreed: the Queen's Guard had returned just a few days ago, and he would be just the right man for the job! Irritated at the prospect of only a single gnome, Aingeal attempted to intimidate the gnome. As it turned out, the gnome was into that sort of thing, and offered his Furry Handcuffs. Not fuzzy handcuffs, oh no. Handcuffs for furries. Aingeal, repulsed, took the advice of the nearby scribe, and quickly left to visit the queen. The queen treated them to tea, and listened serenely to their story. Afterwards, the party decided it was probably best to leave town immediately... before the judge ended his shift!

The gnomes, and everyone else who volunteered to send units, were told to collect their men at a central location, where Gróin could teleport them a unit at a time to a staging ground, then from there... directly to the tower.

Speaking of volunteered units, the results table for the diplomatic unit requisition looks like this:

  • 2-: Hostility: lose favor
  • 3-5: Apathy: no troops, but at least you don't lose favor
  • 6-8: Grudging Support: lose favor, but gain units anyway (melee/ranged)
  • 9-11: Support: gain units (melee/ranged, plus leaders for each)
  • 12+: Enthusiastic Support: gain units, (melee/ranged/special), plus leaders

Each faction had different numbers and types of units; some had no melee and/or ranged (the mages, for instance). Diplomatically speaking, most factions have a -2 modifier, because... well... they don't want to get involved. The Northern People and the people of Grove are especially anti-evil and anti-undead, so they didn't have that modifier. Due to being physically near, the Northern People and the True Elves had a slight positive bonus; the Gnomes, Mountain Dwarves, Hill Dwarves, and jungle lizardmen got a positive bonus from talking with people of their own race. However, the Hill dwarves are trying to build up their army, and the Mountain Dwarves, Deep Dwarves, True Elves, and Gnomes are somewhat insular, so they all got slight negative bonuses. Adding it all up...

The Northern People (rolled 11, modified to 12), the Summer Fae (rolled 17, modified to 15), and the Grove (rolled 11, modified to 12), and the Gnomes (rolled 12, modified to same) all pledged Enthusiastic Support. The Mage College of Riverbend (rolled 12, modified to 10) and the jungle lizardmen (rolled 11, modified to same) both pledged Support. The King of Mareten (rolled 10, modified to 8) and the Hill Dwarves (rolled 11, modified to 7) pledged Grudging Support, though the party's reputation with both kingdoms has dwindled. The Church of Alehim, under Ajeela's efforts (rolled 9, modified to 5) had an Apathetic reaction, as did the True Elves (rolled 7, modified to 4), the Dark Dwarves (rolled 9, modified to 5), and the Northern Dwarves (rolled 9, modified to 5). The Winter Fae, who already hate you... still hate you (rolled 8, modified to 2).

The resulting units you've been given loaned are as follows:

  • Northern People
    • 120 Berserkers (1 unit), lead by a 5th level barbarian, Forest Leaf
    • 120 (lvl 1) Paladins (1 unit), lead by a 5th level paladin, Johan Gustafsson
  • Summer Fae
    • 30 Green Men (heavy melee), lead by a sylph, Bryn Silveroak
  • Grove
    • 120 (level 2) Bladedancers (1 unit), lead by a 5th level bladedancer, Lori Grove
    • 120 (level 2) Clerics (1 unit), lead by a 5th level priestess, Julia Williams
  • Mareten
    • 240 heavy infantry (2 units), unlead
    • 240 longbowmen (2 units), unlead
  • Riverbend Mages
    • 2 lieutenants (5th level mages), Herbert White and Rees Haley
  • Hill Dwarves
    • 120 Vaultguards (1 unit), unlead
  • Jungle Lizardmen
    • 240 Lizardmen (2 units), lead by two sub-chieftans, Bas Mnosh and Ra'kaka Portann
  • Gnomes
    • 120 gnomes (1 unit), lead by the Commander of the Queen's Guard
    • 5 Roc Lobbers (1 unit consisting of 5 sets of 4 level 2 Gnomish Tricksters and a level 2 Gnomish Beastmaster driver, all mounted on a Roc), lead by the eldest of the Roc Prepper Sisters, Gnomish Beastmaster Marakkalani Twistspackle Torqueslip. Her other four sisters drive the other four Rocs.

I will, of course, print off all the information for the armies, the leaders, and some info for how these large-scale battles go, so everyone can pick-and-choose who controls what. While you don't need a lieutenant for each unit, it may help. PCs can take part as officers or independent heroes, if they are able. This is a battalion scale battle, so an average unit is 120 men.

Finally, you know from Rhea's recon that the tower has one, possibly more, living creatures. Rhea saw skeletons, zombies, wights, necropedes, death chargers, bloodhounds (the undead ones), wraiths, harpies, wyverns, and manticore in the area - over 2,000 individuals - as well as a huge bone dragon. Chances are, there are more troops elsewhere, if for no other reason than undead are easy to store. Knowing about the harpies allows you to equip friendly units with earplugs. That will allow the units to ignore the effects of the harpies' singing, but each unit costs an extra activation point to activate. You also know a foul darkness lays over the area, blanketing the skies with clouds, and darkening the hearts of any who dare tread that unholy ground; most likely a Forsaken Sinkhole of Evil. That means Turn Undead will not work! Additionally, reversed/necromantic spells cast 2 levels higher, while lawful divine spells cast 2 levels lower, and the undead will be tougher...

XP from encounters: Aingeal and Crolack each got 113 XP, from taking down a vile thief and his accomplice.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Golem Gala

Naoidheamh 23, 6639; next holiday is Beastnight, 9/35 (only 12 days away!)

The Party:

  • Rig Bigny, Gnomish Beastmaster
    • Flit, bat familiar
    • Clench, Wardog War-Badger
    • Midnight, Panther
    • Noona, 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
  • (As-yet-unnnamed), Thrassian Gladiator
    • Kurt Steinbacke, Dwarven Deep Monk
  • Mor Gibs, Wonderworker
  • Craydos Silverskin Saphira Moonstone, 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

After much debate, the party finally decided to go take on the great golem, protector of the Hill Dwarf kingdom. They spent nine days researching, building, and entrapping the golem: a hole 60x40 feet, 480' deep, and perfectly square; above, layers of hovering 60x40 iron plates, 6' thick; a stone wall, 40' high, 10' thick, and packed with loose dirt; and, finally, 4 berserkers standing nearby, with bags of devouring full of dirt, who will jump in and dispel themselves to fill in any loose cracks. Whew. Additionally, they made some bets, at 10 to 1 odds, and paid the 10,000 gp deposit the city required before their battle with the golem.

On the morning of the battle, a crowd had gathered, and an almost carnival atmosphere permeated the place. The battle began with Gróin and Baelnor, who removed the last 20' of stone holding up the golem. As the earth crumbled, a summoned berserker, standing on the top of the pile leapt down, slashing at a knob of metal designed to cause the plate to begin falling, then pushed off, screaming "Blood and glory!" on his way down. He was, technically, the first strike against the golem, as it crashed into the pit. Next, the iron plates and the stone and earth slammed into it, and finally the remaining berserkers jumped in, causing a massive blast of earth as the contents of their sacks were suddenly released.

The blast of dust took over a round to clear; just as everyone was beginning to wonder if maybe, just maybe, that had worked, there was a sudden tremble, and the ground began to smoke. As the dust and smoke swirled into the air, the ground began to glow red - something was melting it from underneath! A moment later, a massive hand reached out of the rubble, and the golem drug itself to the surface! It sported three shallow gashes on its arm, where the iron plates had hit it.

Saphira (once Craydos) sent her summoned pet to attack, but its claws only threw up sparks on the tough golem (because, as they later learned, only +2 or better weapons could damage it). She also fired a lightning bolt - which seemed to heal it! Gróin and his priestess, of course, threw earth spells at it, but it seemed it was only taking half damage at best from them. Caranthir blasted it with ice breath, but the third blast seemed to do no damage - the golem had raised a shield! The next round, it dropped its shield and blasted a laser beam of destruction, instantly dropping Rhea, and severely injuring Caranthir, as well as setting a swath of grass on fire. It turned to go after Rig, stomping his crab-apparatus, and nearly upending the few not flying. It swatted at the flying beasts nearby, but missed. Finally, the damaged golem was blasted, and fell into nothing but earth. The great green eye toppled out of place, shattering on the ground.

All was, finally, quiet. Until something crawled out of the rubble... a dwarf! "Ehhh... ¿Dónde estoy?"

The dwarf had, it seemed, touched scale long, long ago, and had been trapped within, powering the hulking creature until it was destroyed. He introduced himself as Grop Beardson (a lvl 8 dwarven vaultguard: 16 (+2) str, 6 (-2) int, 8 (-1) wis, 14 (+1) dex, 17 (+2) con, and 11 (+0) cha).

After a little drama, Te'a collected their winnings (a tidy sum!), and the party sold off the pieces of the eye - 61 emerals, worth 2,000 gp each! Normally, it would take a while to sell all that, but with the huge crowd, they were able to easily sell it all in a short period of time.

  • XP from Encounters:
    • Scale Golem (1800)
  • XP from Treasure:
    • 61 emeralds = 122,000
  • Total XP: 123,800
  • XP per PC (Rig, Caranthir, Gróin, Saphira, Te'a, Fayleen): 11,791
  • XP per Henchthing (Noona, Midnight, Rhea, Laurita, Herman, Pentzkin, Alun, Harvey, Zai-car): 5895
  • Gold per PC, not counting winnings: 20,333gp, 3 sp, 3 cp

Also of note, Saphira wanted to hire some mage-types to come and work for her. There were a surprising number of mage-types found who were willing to join up, from level 1 to level 4. I can show off their stats in person, because I can't be bothered to actually copy all the information and format it all today.

Starting experience: 143,564

Monday, September 24, 2018

Curses! (Foiled Again)

Naoidheamh 14, 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
  • (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

Some of the party still having things to do, the remaining members decided to investigate the map they found. Incidentally, the map lead them to the same location that the Fae treasure map lead...

After some discussion, the group made an educated guess, and teleported to the vicinity of where they believed the treasure lay. It was a good guess; they landed in the correct hex, near a small village. A dusty farmer type wandered out to greet them. They asked if he knew where a certain hill was found; he laughed, and answered, "Well, it was nice meeting you, seniors, senioras, senioritas, but no one leaves that place alive. It's a tourist trap - literally. I wouldn't go in unless I had a deathwish!"

Still, the party pressed for the location, so he lead them to a low hill. Part had collapsed, leaving a low cliff of sorts; a bright red line was drawn in front of the entrance, and a fence surrounded the entire area. Several signs, in various languages, mentioned that stepping over that line will kill you, the local government can't be held responsible for you doing that, and if your religion or home country prohibits or regulates suicide, this counts if anything does. Shrugging, the party assured the man that they would be able to pass through the traps. Fayleen, using her new Gnomish Joke Book, summoned a bug, which was hit with a flurry of arrows as it entered. And then a scything blade, which bisected it. Following the traps in, and trying to disable or avoid them, the party slowly moved inside. They removed a high-powered Cancellation trap, avoided a pit full of yellow mold, dispelled an anti-magic shell and double lightning trap, blocked a slamming wall trap, crawled under a spinning blade trap, then dispelled yet another cancellation trap. The next slamming wall trap, though large, seemed poorly repaired; after that, there were only two pits, covered with blankets. Finally, a pile of stones were stacked over a trip wire; that trap didn't even reset after use.

At the end of the traps, they party reached four fearsome skeletons, clad for battle! Two skeletons held out their polearms, losing the head of one polearm, and the head of the other skeleton in the process. The first skeleton lost its armor; the fourth skeleton, already missing an arm and a leg, tried to raise its sword, but only managed to pivot a full 360 degrees. The priestess turned them easily, though frankly, a loud shout could have put those fellows down. They were a single hit point each, and likely would have killed themselves trying to wield their own weapons. Interestingly, the skeletons were not human, but orcish.

The wooden doorway was trapped with two magical sigils: a 12d6 fire trap, and an enervate trap, both of which were dispelled.

Inside was a somewhat homely room, with three occupants. First was what was obviously a mage of some sort, wearing rotting robes, sitting in a broken wooden chair, his feet propped on a casket. Second was a huge orc, crammed into a defensive position. The third, after some investigation, was inside the casket - a desiccated priestess. Additionally, there were a number of items in the room; a large rug, a fold-up table, and a huge pile of various items, from swords and armor to boxes, bags, and brooches. Most importantly, there was an anti-magic field that filled the entire room...

The entombed priestess was wrapped in some sort of ritual-level binding, a black rag with fine text written on it. The party attempted to communicate with her, but learned something else important: the Staff of the Dead has a 25% chance of raising the corpse as a zombie. The corpse stood, moaning, and began to lumber towards them. Laurita quickly Turned the corpse, and it was blasted into dust... or, rather, it started to blast into dust, but the magical bindings held the corpse together, so it was merely un-zombified. The second cast worked much better, and they asked the dead priestess three questions, which I should have written down but did not. The priestess answered Gróin's suspicions: she was Ajeela!

Meanwhile, the other party members managed to find a pair of secret exits, one of which was a deathtrap, and the other of which lead outside. After successfully triggering the deathtrap and plummeting to his doom, Harvey was rescued and healed by Gróin and company. Using Rhea's Gloves of Curse Prevention, the party gathered the various rings (including the two on the hands of the huge orc), dropped them into a bag, and lugged them through the secret tunnel. Gróin and Laurita, left in the room to talk with the corpse, found themselves suddenly very interested in some of the treasure; Gróin picked out a dashing pair of glasses, while Laurita picked a lovely amulet. After a bit of back and forth, the rest of the party returned, and found that they, too, wanted to grab some items for themselves. Rhea, still wearing the gloves, found that none of the items satisfied her; she picked through them all, finding nothing. Finally, irritated, she tried on a belt, and finally felt relief. Curious at what it did, she crawled out through the exit, stepped away from the anti-magic field. She read the word written on the belt, presumably the command word: "Behold!"

In an instant, the belt activated, and she found her clothes flung open! Startled, she quickly re-dressed, and looked up to see a small child staring open-mouthed, and a pair of very large rabbits rolling on the grass in laughter. Embarrassed, she rejoined the group. The belt, by the way, is enchanted with the Knock spell, self-targeting, usable three times per day. The others chose magic items as well: a scroll for the polydoctorate, a smooth rock for the ruinguard, and so forth.

In the chamber, Laurita had asked Ajeela's corpse if she wanted Atonement; she agreed. Laurita placed her hand on the corpse's forehead to begin the spell, but before she could even start, she found herself suddenly switched into Ajeela's body! And, worse, Ajeela herself was in the priestess's body! (As an aside, this was actually an ideal situation; Ajeela, being a 14th level priestess, and Laurita, being a 9th level priestess, were able to keep all their spells and such in each other's bodies.) After much consternation and accusation (from both sides), they figured out a possible method to return everyone to normal: go to Ajeela's church, and return her eyes, and from there cast the Atonement spell.

Gathering up the various magical items, they stuffed them all in a bag, sorted out which ring was the anti-magic field, and stuck it back into the chamber. Additionally, they added a few more traps, and re-hid the secret exit. They told the farmer, and he didn't seem as shocked as they expected... He rushed back to his house, and returned with simple NDAs for them to sign - non-disclosure agreements. Adventure-tourists frequently came by, and the village made a significant amount of money from them, from selling goods and from recovering their gear if they all snuffed it in the hill. The non-disclosure agreement ensured that the party wouldn't tell anyone that they actually managed to escape the traps... there had been a number of adventurers that had actually made it through, but it was much more mysterious if he could say that none had ever returned. The party was a little leery, until he explained that the signs were there to keep people out, and if anyone went it, it was their own dumb fault; he couldn't stop an adventurer if he tried. They agreed, and signed.

In Foreston, they visited a church of Alehim, and restored Ajeela's eyes; she and the priestess swapped back into their proper bodies, and she healed Gróin's eyes... though he did get a bird-foot out of the deal. Oh well. Ajeela decided to stay at the temple, for now, but said she would be willing to return if the party had a great need.

While that was happening, the rest of the party took their items to a sage, who looked them over. It was a fairly fast job - most of the items were cursed, and his great tome of reference material meant he didn't have to do much study. Here's the list he came up with:

  • Cursed and evil:
    • Rug of Curse Attraction, which causes anyone who touches it to yearn for a cursed item.
    • Amulet of Infection: once per hour, curses a random item (this is what the priestess chose).
    • Deck of Many Thongs: cursed. Oh, gods. A deck of cards in the style of "nekkid lady" playing cards, except it's all pictures of men in thongs. And orcs. And ogres. And trolls. The curse is the after-effect of that image, burned into your brain...
    • Cursed coins: a bag of 1000 gold coins. Each one causes a point of (one of) STR, INT, WIS, DEX, CON, or CHA damage. Cumulatively.
    • Clown Doll: a freaky doll that always teleports to just ahead of the user any time it is discarded.
  • Cursed, but not evil:
    • Ring of Flight: causes you to be weightless
    • Ring of Unebriation: immune to drunkeness... but not hangovers. May actually be evil.
    • Leather Armor of Hunger: +2 armor, but must eat 4 times a day.
    • Gauntlets of Meager Power: grants strength of 8 (-1) or -5 points, whichever is less.
    • Arrows of Returning: return upon being fired. Instantly. Before hitting the target.
    • Sword of Sarchasm: a sentient sword. "Oh yeah, great job, picked the cursed sword that can talk to you in your sleep, nice work, idiot."
    • Grind Stone: when used for any task, that task must be continued for the next 24 hrs. You will get an XP or stat boost from it, though!
    • Box of Fun: a brightly colored box. When opened, randomly tosses 1d6 cursed items at everyone within 15'.
    • Scroll of Chainmail: reader must make 10 copies and distribute them to his friends, or be at -4 for all actions.
    • Lenses of Powersight: you see everyone as lesser than yourself, and easily defeated.
    • Goggles of Science:
    • Mask of Misplaced Identification: causes anyone within 20' to hear the description of an item in the best light (if bad) or worst light (if good).
    • Belt of Opening: actually has a 3/day knock spell, self-target only, command word "Behold!" Oh, yeah.
  • Evil, but not cursed:
    • Sword of Corruption: deals corruption points instead of damage
    • Bag of Glitter: as dust of appearance, except it curses everyone within 10', and anyone they touch, making invisibility and stealth impossible. Note that it isn't cursed, but casts curse when used.
    • Staff of the Greater Demon: command word 'destroy'. Nothing else is known about the object.
    • Packrat: a stuffed rat. Turns any object it is placed inside into a bad of devouring.
  • Neither evil, nor cursed:
    • Ring of Unsleeping, aka Ring of Paranoia: (the second ring the orc was wearing) grants +2 bonus to AC and saves, and constantly warns you of danger
    • Amulet of Kitten Immunity: immune to all kitten- or cat-based magical effects.
    • Seven League Boots: each step carries you seven leagues*.
    • Helm of Allure: You are irresistibly attractive to anything even vaguely living; automatic success on seduction.
    • Sword of Decay: if it hits a target (0 AC regardless of armor), there is a 25% chance to cause rust as a rust monster.
    • Sword of Healing: causes 1d6 healing on the target. On top of the 1d6 damage it does as a sword. Handy against undead!
    • Sword of Retaliation: magical bonus equal to the number of times the creature hit you; does no damage if never hit.
    • Effreeti Lamp: rub to collect three wishes!
    • Potion of Age Reversal: causes the imbiber to age in reverse.
    • Bag of ???: looks like a normal bag. Has some sort of acid in it. If someone puts something into it, then hands it to another person, the object is gone; holding it again returns the object to the bag. It's magical, but the sage would need to do some intense study to actually figure out what it does.

While Rhea was interested in the corruption-causing sword, Fayleen was adamant that she destroy it. Luckily, the Packrat had caused the bag they stuffed it in to become a bag of devouring, so they stuffed all the cursed items and the sword into the bag, erasing them from existence. Handy, that! As a note: let me know if there were any uncursed items you got rid of, or cursed items that you kept.

*Seven leagues: a league is the distance a man can walk in an hour; in ACKS terms, seven-league boots essentially cause you to travel a full day's journey in a single step. I mean that literally - these boots are based on your normal (land-based) movement speed. You can take a step in the boots once per hour.

There wasn't any XP to be gained this time, from treasure or enemies, but the party did gain a powerful new friend, and a bunch of dubious magical items. As before, starting XP is 137,669 XP.

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

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Oneshot: The Dead Enders

Còigeamh 3-4, 6639 (about 4 months before the current events)

Party: ...unknown?

Around town, a number of people began to awaken...

A young woman awoke, pain washing over her. She had fallen through the roof of a barn, and though her helmet saved her life, it hadn't saved her life. Drifting in and out of consciousness, she managed to remove the chunk of wood from her face and stop the bleeding, but her eye was long gone. Once she rested, she was able to find her sword, and make a dress from some cloth. Hearing footsteps outside, she quickly left, hoping to find healing at the medical clinic up the street.

Scared, hiding in the dark, a young mortician - Jesper Sharpe - listened to two men as they argued with his boss, then murdered him. Gathering a set of armor, and the coins from a dead man's eyes, Jesper fled to the safety of his friend's shop - George Weapon, a dwarf. The dwarf suited up in armor and grabbed a massive hammer, but by the time they returned, the murderers were gone... as was the corpse!

Who, only minutes before, had sat up with a groan. Again, with no memory, he grabbed what he could, and tried to run to the church for help. The church was locked; turning, he found the front entrance of Mr. Lloyd's Mortuary and Clinic. Inside was the body of the proprietor, and naught but a tangle of medical tools on the ground, scattered through his blood. A single footprint marked the killer's passage. Through the door, he ran into an angry dwarf and a shaking mortician; and, in the middle of arguing with the two, a young woman entered the shop, still in some pain, and seeking medical attention...

A thief gingerly sat up, trying not to jostle his aching head; his "friends" from the thieves' guild had tried to murder him, but did a rather bad job of it. Not that he knew that, the blow from behind had ended his memory. Finding a knife and a note, he stumbled to his feet and wandered down the hill, to check out the barn. Inside, he searched around, seeing a few footprints, and high above... a helmet, impaled on a beam, with a shred of cloth fluttering in the breeze. Looks like someone took a tumble through the roof. He searched the hay, and found a sword - and as nice as it looked, it wasn't, because it zapped him, badly! Leaving it, he wandered into the pub across the street.

Meanwhile, a cleric of a dark god came to, and fell off his chair with a crash. He spent a few minutes trying to remember where and who he was; the potion he had imbibed was meant to kill him, but he managed to survive, losing only his memory. Shrugging, and gathering a broken chair leg to use as a weapon, he decided to head to the pub. Why not?

The third actor in this play is undoubtedly the saddest. Awakening in immense pain, the once-guardsman drank his last health potion, stabilizing himself, though at the cost of his memories. The stroke he had left permanent damage that would never be healed. His memory gone, he could only struggle into his old armor, and go in search of answers. He reached the Mangy Cow the same time a handsome young man, clothed in plate, arrived. The barkeep, recognizing the old man, greeted him by name. "Hey, Burl! You don't look so good..."

He poured some ale, and handed it to the fellow, refusing payment. "You can always drink here for free, good man. You've earned it."

Behind them, a smelly fellow wearing a hyena-skin jacket wandered in. The barkeep frowned. "You, however, pay double."

The thief saw a young woman, who introduced herself as "Sin" - short for Cynthi, the name on his note, perhaps? "What? Cynthia? That witch!?! No! It's short for Sinda'alellechna, my great-grandmother's name!"

The well-armored man set off for the inn; the old man followed, and the thief brought up the rear. They arrived just as another unlikely three were heading upstairs to their rooms - a thin, pale man, a frightened mortician, and an injured woman, missing an eye, but still carrying a sword.

The group retired for the night. In the morning, the thief went for a stroll, looking for some nicer clothes with all the money he had. Walking past the thieves' guild, he was recognized by the two members, who attempted to kill him again. They failed, and lost their lives for the trouble... but he gained a few more knives, a bow, and a handful of arrows, so there's that, right?

Back at the inn, they met with the others. Confessing they had lost their memories, they began working together to find out what was going on. The only clue they had was the thief's note, which lead them to a woman named Cynthia. Still wondering what the sword did, the thief suggested the well-armored fellow try it out. The armored man, reaching to pick it up, felt a jolt of energy, twice as powerful as the one the thief had felt; he nearly fainted, then and there! Dropping the sword, he suggested no one ever do that again.

The group moved to the church, to speak with the vicar; the cleric felt a case of the willies upon entering, and the vicar demanded the ex-corpse leave immediately. He kept his eye on the thief, but reacted with surprise and happiness upon meeting the swordswoman. They seemed to share a connection of some kind. That symbol of the church - a rising sun or starburst - seemed familiar...

Recognizing the design from the sword, the thief suggested the woman try it out. As she lifted it, a flood of warmth and happiness suffused her. Not only was this sword her own, but she could wield two swords at once!

The six descended on Cynthia's. Distracting some guards, they allowed the thief to slip around behind, where he found Cynthia! He threw a knife at her, and she returned in kind a magic missile, and the battle was begon in earnest. The two guards at the front went through the building; the party ran around the sides, charging in. The ex-corpse, having cast a spell into his weapon, swung at the first guard. His blade cut deep, tearing the mail, then blasting the female warlock, her imp familiar, and the other guard with burning fire! The first guard crumpled to the ground, dead, as the others - ineffectually - swung and missed. Cynthia fired another magic missile, striking the thief again, but then the greataxe of the Ruinguard - for that is what he truly was - sliced again, the blade passing through her familiar, the other guard, and finally embedding in Cynthia's spine.

Cynthia dealt with, the party moved into the shed, where they found a great cauldron, guarded by a young girl. The girl took the arm of the Ruinguard, and began to lead him out, but the mortician - really an Ectomancer - began casting a spell, and she changed form. No longer a little girl, but a desert ghoul! All but the ruinguard were paralyzed in shock; she clawed at him, but her touch was not paralyzing, oddly. The others shook themselves from their shock and attacked, the old guard finally stabbing a hole cleanly through the ghoul.

Outside, two more foes were waiting: a bulky barbarian fellow, and a pale-skinned man in a cloak. Between them was Lt. Mangrave, of the city guard - and Cynthia's lover. The fight began as the barbarian began to shift into a werewolf...

Mangrave managed but a single strike before he was brought down. The blade-dancer, two swords flashing, struck down the werewolf, and together, they brought down the cloaked man - a vampire! The cleric struck last, jamming his broken chair leg into the heart of the foul creature, and in a moment, the campire was naught but ash on the wind.

They turned to the casualty - the old guardsman, fired for doing what was right, now struck down by the vampire. A good death, after a long life, full of hardships...

The ruinguard's memory came back slowly. He remembered a conversation; the men who had kidnapped him had said they were going to control him, then swap him for someone he looked like - a lord's son. However, he was that man! The son of a lord of Zahar, sent to earn his battle-scars.

The thief was part of it from the beginning; he had kidnapped the young lordling, and his "friends" turned on him, hoping to be paid more for it. The cleric, too, had assisted with the ritual in bringing the dead man to life again, though none had counted on the man having a bloodline from ancient Zahar, and becoming not only more powerful, but retaining his independance.

The guard, old and tired, had overheard the plot, and tried to stop it, and was fired for his troubles. His suffered a stroke because of it.

The young Ectomancer, Jesper, learned his true calling from his master; his master had put in a call for help from the church...

...Who sent the blade-dancer to investigated. Pursued by corrupt guards, she hid on top of Mr. Bodb's barn, only to fall through the roof. The injury damaged her brain; while she eventually remembered most of her life, there were always parts that would escape her.

Finally, the cleric never really got his memory back. While a simple Neutralize Poison would have sufficed, he never really got around to figuring that out.

That leaves only the black cauldron, the tool of the enemy, to account for. But, I think, its story may not quite be told...

The Path Less Traveled

Ochdamh 7 - 11, 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

After their defeat at the hands of the earth-mage and the mystic, Caranthir decided that he would hire Quetgar to kill the three surviving lords, their families, their courts, and anyone else in line to inherit their land. He sent word, and is waiting for a response...

Meanwhile, Gróin, Craydos, and their henchbeings continued their trek north to Caranthir. Six days later, Craydos (briefly) had two hyenas as pets, and they reunited at Caranthir's lands. With a little hopping around via teleportation, the party (Gimli and Elenora, Gróin and his crew, Craydos and his crew, Rig and his two pets, and Sorvald) visited the True Elves, and met the wandering gnome merchant, selling his odd magical items again. They traveled to Kanca Sahir, where they attempted to locate a ring of wishes; there were none to be found, however they did hear of a disturbance in the pass through the mountains. After speaking with a guild of merchants, they were given a quest - and a sizeable sum of money at the end, 50,000 gold pieces! Craydos scared off a would-be pickpocket, while another in the party heard of an army forming, now looking for transport...

The trip to the mountains was an uneventful teleport, and so began the underground trek. The first encounter was a group of 10 ghouls; after they were dealt with, they met a group of 6 NPCs, who after a brief standoff went on their way peacefully. Finally, they found a hydra in the middle of the road, staked to the ground. They killed it quickly, and Craydos managed to rescue 7 hd worth of monster parts from it (790 XP worth). They found two legs - one, the main road, and the other, a narrower path, though with many footprints easily visible in the dust. After turning down that road, they camped in a insta-cave made by Gróin.

Cave or no, these tunnels were dangerous, and in the middle of the night, a gray ooze slipped into the camp! Immune to fire, it was nonetheless pummeled into oblivion by the party, and they returned to sleep. They fought a group of four troglodytes, nasty stinky things that they were, and found nothing else until they camped. This time, a black ooze attempted to eat their Mechanical Deathtrap, but was soon overwhelmed by the party's combined efforts. No other creatures were encountered on the next two days, and finally they reached... a city? A wall blocked the road, and a quiet-voiced guard, speaking a language they had never heard before. After a bit of negotiation - including a warning against bright light - they were allowed to enter, and were escorted to a hotel. As it turned out, this was the Deep Dwarven city of Dunklesdorf. A brief search for wishing rings (do you sense a trend, here?), they went to the tavern. Gróin walked up to the barkeep and ordered a pint of his strongest ale, then was immediately overcome with horror - the dwarf behind the bar had no beard! In fact... no one there had a full beard! They were trimmed neatly, or shaved into manageable shapes! Gróin nearly vomited; only his tough dwarven spirit kept his insides inside.

Sorvald, meanwhile, was enchanted by these strange dwarves, and Craydos took many notes. They sampled the alcohol - sweet moss ale, and strong mushroom beer. Deciding it was finally night, they returned to their hotel, and barricaded the door, and slept.

  • XP from Encounters:
    • 1 Dryad (missed)
    • 6 Hyenas (210)
    • 2 NPCs (skipped)
    • 10 ghouls (290)
    • 6 NPCs (peaceful)
    • 1 hydra (10 hd, 1550)
    • 1 gray ooze (65)
    • 4 trogs (80)
    • 1 black ooze (1550)
  • XP from Treasure: none!
  • XP for Gróin, Craydos, Rig, and Sorvald: 394
  • XP for Gimli, Elenora, Midnight, Noona, Laurita, Herman, Baelnar, Pentzkin, and Alun: 197

Additionally, it was Reah's birthday.