Friday, January 19, 2018

Treasure, Really Big Orcs, and Chaos

Deug 6-28, 6638; next holiday, Wintermas, Dara 1

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
  • Quetgar, Thrassian Assassin
    • Zarc, Thrassian Gladiator
  • Sorvald, Thief
  • Mor Gibs, the Wonderworker
  • Gianna, a Gnomish Trickster

After managing to store all their treasure, the party moved on, flying to the Mejastan city of Cuidado Mercado. They identified some of their magic items (a Cloak of Protection +2, Eyes of the Eagle, Ring of Protection +1, Ring of Water Walking, Scarab of Protection (5), and an interesting Brooch of Number Confusion). Taking off alone, Caranthir and Gróin, with Princess Maedhe in tow, went from treasure to treasure, picking up money and magical items.

Finally, picking up Quetgar and Sorvald on the way, the trio (and their henchmen) ended at a large, ruined castle - the location marked Not Worth It on the Fae treasure map. The outer rings of the castle were, indeed, ruined, but inside was something else altogether. As they passed through a doorway, they felt a magical field pass over them. Oddly, a map of the place seemed to fill their heads. Cautiously, they picked their way forward. Caranthir sent Gimli into a pool of water, where he retrieved a strange box. Gróin, using one of many wands of Detect Magic, noted it didn't seem magical. However, when an invisible servant opened the box, it seemed to be filled with a delicious meat-and-gravy-filled loaf of Dwarven Bread! Gimli, his mouth watering, ate a large slice, and declared it the best bread he'd ever eaten. After waiting to see if anything went wrong, Caranthir also took a bite. The bread was indeed delicious - and filling, too!

Further inside, Sorvald padded ahead. Suddenly, he could no longer hear the party behind him! He turned and retreated, reappearing before them. The doorway seemed to be a teleport of some kind; the party progressed, trying to follow the map in their heads, and teleporting around. They found a room full of magical treasure, blocked by a magic field, though little else of worth. In a far room, they found a gibbering Chaos Beast, though were able to destroy it without injury. And upon doing so, they heard a rasping voice calling out a challenge. They shouted back, and the voice merely laughed at them. Further on, they found a series of locked rooms, holding various nasty creatures: a hellhound, a dire ogre, a dire troll, and a creature none of them recognized - a snake, with a woman's head. The creatures were dealt with, and the party moved on, though the voice continued to call challenges to them.

Finally, the party came face to face with the creature. It was a huge monster, towering over their heads, and wielding a massive sword. Over the throne it sat on was a statue of a creature with long arms and a loose, slavering mouth. The monster on the throne - an orc, though larger than any orc they had ever seen - introduced itself as Skadge the Terrible, the Mage-Killer, the Curse-Bringer, and demanded single combat with a member of the group. Sorvald tried to get out, but it seems the teleporters only go one way. He did find a room full of corpses, however. There was quite a bit of conversation, more than Skadge was used to; Laurita contacted her deity, and asked three questions: Can we get out? (Yes.) Without anyone dying? (No.) Can we kill the orc and not get cursed? (Yes.)

Still, the party wasn't terribly interested in a fair fight. First, they attempted to un-curse the orc with Dispel Magic. Skadge burst into flame and burned to nothing, leaving only a glowing orange ring; then, a moment later, he reappeared on the throne, grinning, the ring on his finger. Caranthir attempted to Cancel the ring... and things went sideways, into the Chaos Plane, where the castle was originally from, it seems.

Skadge, the immortal, fearless orc, began to freak out. He grabbed a bundle of items from near his throne, and headed for the room that had the Chaos Hulk in it, the party not far behind. They barricaded themselves in the room as the air began to turn stale and heavy. A feeling of dread seemed to wash over them... and then the skittering started. Scratching at the door, then pounding, and finally, a piercing scream in their minds, followed by a sicking, oily feeling, radiating into their minds. There was a pull on their very consciousness...

While most of the party resisted, Rhea and Elenora suddenly broke into smiles. "There's nothing to worry about!" Rhea cried, heading for the door. She began trying to pry it open, and Elenora jumped up to help. Caranthir, realizing this was likely Not A Good Thing immediately grabbed Elenora, and the Princess grabbed Rhea. The two struggled, but eventually, were knocked out. After some time, the oily feeling eventually pulled away, followed by the skittering claws. The air cleared, and Skadge roused himself. The party followed him back to his throne room. Finally, Caranthir decided that he would step forward to fight the huge creature. Skadge grinned, picking up a huge helmet and slamming it onto his oversized head. The face-cover creaked open, and he slammed his head onto the side of the throne, bending the face-cover back in place. A green energy field surrounded them. With a roar, Skadge charged forward; Caranthir, in dragon form, breathed his icy breath onto him. The two traded breath and blows; though he was magically enhanced, Caranthir was fading quickly. Skadge was well-armored, well-armed, and wearing quite a few magical items; for once, it was a fair fight. Down to the last blows, the two were evenly matched, but Caranthir finally managed to bring Skadge down. The green energy field sparked and arced to the ground, and Caranthir, as Skadge's body burst into white-hot flame. Moments later, Skadge reappeared, laughing. "It's been 200 years sine anyone defeated me! Well fought, dragon-man!"

Quetgar, meanwhile, was camped outside the castle. He was minding his own business, watching the flying carpets and such, when suddenly... the castle vanished. One moment, it was there, towering against the backdrop of the ocean, and the next, it was gone! He waited all night, and in the morning, it finally reappeared with a wet "thup" sound. Curious, he wandered in, through the teleport maze, nodding appreciatively at the corpses of the fallen monsters, and eventually ending up in the throne room, just as Caranthir was finishing off Skadge.

The party was treated to a magical buffet, full of delicacies from home. After their repast, Quetgar asked if he could face Skadge, who accepted immediately. Again, the fight was close, though ultimately, Quetgar was the winner. Skadge, pleased at having found two able to best him, handed the party a bulging sack of gold - 20,000 gold, in fact, with some loose gems in the bottom. He implored them to find him a worthy foe, something that he could battle forever, and offered them incredible treasures if they could do so.

Bidding the orc farewell, they returned to Cuidado Mercado and sold their last treasures.

  • Magical treasure:
    • Cube of Illusion
    • Amulet versus Crystal Balls and ESP
    • Box of Create Food (10 meals, once a day)
  • Treasure:
    • 79,000 gp
    • 20,000 gp
    • 28 rare books, worth 150gp each (1 stone per 2 books)
    • 10 crates of armor and weapons, worth 225gp each (10 stone each)
    • 1 emerald regalia (6,000 gp)
    • 1 Flawless facet cut diamond (8,000 gp)
  • Encounters
    • chaos hulk (3650)
    • dire ogre (790)
    • dire troll (1300)
    • hellhound, greater (790)
    • Child of nasga (3100)
    • Skadge (2700)
  • Treasure sold: 175,200 gp
  • Because this XP is combining a lot, here is each individually:
    • Rig: 16686
    • Midnight and Noona: 8343
    • Caranthir: 45609
    • Rhea, Elenora, and Laurita: 21454
    • Gimli: 12677
    • Gróin: 42909
    • Quetgar: 42333
    • Zarc: 8343
    • Sorvald: 25353
    • Mor Gibs and Gianna: 16686

And, because it's the new year, and some of these quests may be getting long in the tooth: a list!

  • The dragon-people of the desert: destroy the scales
  • The Seekers: protect knowledge and... well, actually they haven't said a lot. Huh.
  • Gutsack's "friend" the Efreeti: find the fire plane
  • Artemis' other things
  • Elrik's other things
  • A disturbance in the mountains of the north
  • Skadge: find a fearsome opponent he can battle forever, without having to leave his castle