Friday, February 1, 2019

Learning To Spell

Dara 16, 6639 - A'chiad 4, 6640

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 (retired)
  • Laurita Gomez, Priestess
    • Herman Thorpe, Ectomancer
      • Baelnar Grimtor, Dwarven Sapper
  • Crolack, Thrassian Gladiator
    • Kurt Steinbacke, Dwarven Deep Monk
  • Mor Gibs, Wonderworker (on hiatus)
  • Saphira Moonstone, Gold Skinscribe
    • Pentzkin Singletossle Pocketspringer, gnomish beastmaster
    • Alun Tsornyl, Sylph Ranger
  • Te'a Tsuki Megumi, Elven Polydoctorate (on hiatus)
    • Harvey Usagi, Rabbitwere
  • Fayleen Ross, Darklord (on hiatus)
    • Zai-car, Zaharan Ruinguard
  • Aingeal Bàs Eleonara, Witch

After spending some time in Elven Las Vegas, checking out temples and relaxing in the garishly bright lights, the party decided to return home for some general maintenance - making sure their cities were kept up, and in Caranthir's case, scoping out a new realm to rule. The first stop was the old mansion of Lady Dracul; there, they found a variety of somewhat jovial bandits and ruffians. Inside, they found the house redecorated in a much more militaristic style. They were introduced to Baron Vostvos, a towering, gruff man, and as it turns out, cousin to Lady Dracul. He re-took her lands from the invaders after some "trouble at home" left the place mostly unguarded.

That trouble was, in fact, Quetgar, who had been hired to wipe out the royal houses of those that attacked them. Of the four, two survived, and two were wiped out; the first that was wiped out was little more than a ghost town. Without a town guard (paid for by a ruler), there was nothing to stop the near-weekly bandit raids. At this point, almost anything not nailed down was already stolen. The second decimated city, a little farther east, was still kept up; a seneschal was trying to keep the place in hand. The poor man's wife met Caranthir at the gates, and was immediately cut down, having been mistaken for an ogre. Neither the town guard nor her husband were much upset. The seneschal, realizing someone else was going to take over, was all too happy to leave. Caranthir paid the town guard to restock, and vowed to return with the rest of his... well, everything.

That taken care of, they returned to the strange elf-city, and learned a little of what the mage they hired had found: namely, a list of information on the Old Gods, most of which they had found already, but with a few new things, specifically that this Chaos was mentioned as one of the Old Gods, and was possibly the reason for the cataclysms in the first place. Returning to the Temple of Chaos, Saphira managed to solve the riddle. They entered the code, and walked down the steps into the tomb-like interior...

At the bottom of the stairs, a well-hewn door stood; pushing it open, the party found themselves in a well-lit hallway, clean and almost homey. There were seven doors in the hall: three on each side, and another at the end of the hall. Door number 1, first on the left, contained a small library, though the text was entirely unreadable, even with a Helm of Comprehension. Across the hall behind door number 2 was another library; this one, at least, had understandable books. Interestingly, the books started as written in stone, then continued on animal hide, then treated leather, and eventually well-bound, hardcover, paper books. The books seemed deceptively small; after reading several minutes, no progress was made towards the end, as if the pages were enchanted to contain more than physically possible. Reading parts of the various books revealed nothing more than a dry narration of someone, as if the writer had simply watched someone all day and wrote down every action they took.

At the other end of the hall, doors 5, 6, and 7 were opened; door 7 opened into utter blackness. And, worse, the other door slammed shut. Doors 5 and 6 each contained shelf after shelf of tiny lights, some glowing brightly, some dimly, some gold, some white/gray, and some purple. Aingeal decided to go poke one of the lights, and found herself the victim of a life-drain spell! Luckily, it was only temporary. She poked around some more, and realized that each point of light was a tiny spell - and that by touching it, she not only experienced it, but gained an innate knowledge of that spell!

Saphira, eager to test out a hypothesis, began poking other spells, and managed to call an Efreeti! She bid it only to return to its plane. Which it attempted, only to blast itself into nothingness! It seems nothing can teleport, plane shift, or otherwise exit this area. Saphira was somewhat upset by accidentally ordering the creature to destroy itself... However, not so upset she didn't keep poking. After some non-starters, including a Cancellation spell that cancelled all her tattoos, she poked what may well be the last thing she'll ever poke - a spell of Tempral Stasis! While the spellcaster has the option of adding a trigger to end the stasis, she was unfortunately already under its influence before she could do so, which trapped her in a timeless shell...

Door 5, it appeared, contained divine spells, while door 6 contained arcane spells.

Meanwhile, doors 3 and 4 were opened, each revealing treasure! The room beyond door 4 was filled with carefully organized coins and gems, while the room behind door number 3 was filled with various magical items.

  • XP from encounters:
    • Ogre-like wife of the seneschal (5)
  • XP from treasure: none
  • Total XP earned: 5
  • XP per PC: 1
  • XP per Henchthing: 0

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

One God, Two God, Old God, New God

Dara 9, 6639 - A'chiad 4, 6640

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 (retired)
  • 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

In Dimhaven, Rig, Crolack, Laurita, and Caranthir (and henchbeings) explored the museum for a while, learning a little more about this strange new world. Specifically, they learned a little about the old gods: one that looked rather a lot like Thor; another that looked like a 6-legged cow (named Old Mother, and still worshiped today); one known as the Unseen One, or Görünmez (also still worshiped, with a surprisingly large following); and finally, a fragment of one that was only ever represented as a disembodied hand. They also learned a little of the surrounding area, including where a few ancient ruins were: one at the end of the long river (a great citadel), one in the far north (rumored to have great riches), and one in the middle of the plains, once a great city.

After the museum, they went looking for a ship, hoping to get out into international waters and do a bit of teleporting. They found a merchant-adventurer, one Captain Alphonse Calleel, who agreed to take them out to sea. The journey was fairly easy, as the Captain's ship (a huge galleon named the Etcetera) was outfitted with strange, fire-spitting weapons. They encountered some pirates early on, and easily blasted them to pieces.

Their first stop, still within the bounds of the weird magic-eating area, was to an island a couple hundred miles off the shore. As the ship restocked and the captain made a few purchases, the adventurers went exploring again. Crolack got in an arm wrestling contest with another lizardman, and lost. They found a church, and attended the rather generic service, then spoke with a Father Lorden about his order. The Order, actually, as that was the name of his religion; he refused (though not unkindly) to explain too much, as his was a fairly secretive religion, and only those who were members could join. As they left, one of the Order pressed a religions icon into Rig's hand - a stone toad.

After much more traveling, they were finally in safe waters, and teleported south, to warmer climates - but not before asking Bear a few questions:

  • Are the cataclysms related to the old gods? No, but yes (Bear sounded as if the question could, perhaps, be asked a different way)
  • Does anyone in Lushea have knowledge of the nature of the cataclysms? Yes! (emphatically)
  • Does anyone in the Dark Continent have knowledge of the nature of the cataclysms. Yes... (much less emphatically)

Their next visit was to Dinas Masnach, the City of Trade of Lushiea; Crolak got high on red fish, and the party learned that these people were far more magical than those up north. The people were a group of tribal, blue-skinned Elves, similar to the True Elves, but apparently much more violent and much less civilized, as they had recently attacked another tribe and returned with about 300 slaves!

The party asked about research opportunities, and were told to go to the capital. Dyffryn, capital of Lushea, turned out to be... essentially Las Vegas. Tall buildings, bright lights, and noisy people filled the streets. Rig found an information booth, and was able to get directions to the local Mage Guild (guild? Yep, guild, not college), which was in charge of much of the city's magical light display. After taking an elevator ride to the 5th floor, they met Elias Wibblethorn, Esq., Theological Archaeologist, and paid him 500 gp to research the old gods of Nobira. He was, of course, happy to oblige, and said he should have something by the next week. The party left to look at the temples of the city, and find out what they could about other gods. Their finding are detailed below:

  • Old Mother, a six-legged cow, Old God of the earth, strength, and cattle
  • Gyda Dyn (Glance Left, Glance Right), Old God of thieves, conmen, charisma, and Get Rich Quick Schemes
  • Moenga Moe, an islander god of Dreams, the Elderly, and Judges
  • Sof Zamd, god of sand, feebleness, heatstroke, and dehydration - not so much worshiped as cursed, in the desert to the north
  • Görünmez, the Unseen One, god of Invisibility, Minding Your Own Business, and Staying Home.
  • Oose Becky, Cubic Grace, Who Digests The World, goddess of... well, she's a gelatinous cube, draw your own conclusions. You can pet her for two copper pieces.

Along with the temples above, there was one further temple. Or rather... one missing temple. It was the Temple of Chaos; where it should have been, there was left only a placard, on which was engraved:

The Path to Chaos
Starts with the end of you
Continues with the first of nothing
Makes way for the eye
Places only the start of foundation
Appends that which is found inside you
And inscribes the cry of a pirate
To finish with the end of calm 

A series of letters and numbers followed the inscription:

123456qwerty
asdfghzxcvbn
7890uiopjklm

No XP was gained during this session; anyone starting a new character starts as King, with 620,000 XP and 815,000 gp, because that's how we roll.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

New World Meets Old World

Naoidheamh 36-Dara 9, 6639 (this includes waiting for some magic teeth to be built and, er, installed)

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

Crolack, overjoyed in his newfound wealth, quickly spent every last penny to order some +3 teeth; while waiting around, the others talked with the Council, asking about the true Elf Vampire and the Brass Dragons of the desert. The brass dragons were gone, and the tower empty; the vampire hadn't been heard from, but was assumed to be out and about somewhere.

(This is a holder for the rest of the writeup - went to the Old World, met a fellow who offered to be their guide, visited a museum, and the Council of Three; also got anti-magic wards and sacks)

  • XP from Encounters:
    • Time Guardian (800)
  • XP per PC (Rig, Caranthir, Laurita, Crolack): 107
  • XP per Henchthing (Noona, Llarm, Rhea, Elenora, Herman, Baelnar Grimtor, Kurt): 53

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Godsmite

Naoidheamh 35-36, 6639 (yes, you repeated a day)

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

The final scale destroyed, a mage suddenly showed up, teleporting in with a CRACK. Gróin recognized him immediately - it was Chancellor Lucious! Though he seemed about 20 years older than last they had met, only a year and a half before. He waved it off as "something about time travel," and suggested that the group "meet some friends of his." A wave of steam washed over the plains, and when it cleared, the party found themselves standing in a dark, spacious, indoor amphitheater. On the stage are twelve podioums, grouped in sets of three, dark apart from a light that glowed over Chancellor Lucious's head. Interestingly, the entire party was there, including those that had teleported away to destroy the scale. He introduced the Council of 12:

  • Human: Chancellor Lucious, lvl 14 Mage; middle-aged fellow, looks familiar, because he's the time-traveling fellow that killed a dragon turtle.
  • Nobiran: Evelyn Archiater, lvl 12 Nobiran Wonderworker, one of the head Instrumentalists, with an obvious Instrumentalist brand on her forehead.
  • Zaharan: Emir Yazdi, lvl 12 Zaharan Ruinguard, one of the head Seekers, obvious from the symbols on his gear.
  • True Elf: Dwyn Vispasial, lvl 12 Elven Courtier; one of the newly-risen True Elves.
  • Dwarf: Thorfridh Oakenback, lvl 13 Dwarven Vaultguard, a member of the Ruling Council of the Dwarves (she waved at Gróin).
  • Dragon: Angura Whitefang, Venerable Amphithere; demigod of Lawful Dragons.
  • Beastwere: Standing Bear, lvl 9 Wolfwere; aka Mother Bear, granddaughter of Bear (the god).
  • Treant: Larch Hardwood, 14 HD Treant; last of the First Trees (though he spent thousands of years in a valley, and didn't really see much during that time).
  • Magic: The Phares, a sentient +4 sword.
  • Thrassian: Filesh Toggrodh, level 11 Thrassian Gladiator; descendant of the original Thrassians.
  • Fae: Prince Fenix and Princess Maedhe (Fall/Winter), of the Summer and Winter Fae, respectively; they are sharing the podium, since it is Beastnight, the Fall Equinox.
  • Gnome: Panderick Rumblefine Monkeybloomer, lvl 12 Gnomish Trickster, a deadly serious Gnome with a scar over his left eye.

Once the introductions were finished, the Nobiran explained the reason they were brought: "We called you here for a grave matter, of the utmost importance. You've come... rather highly recommended, actually, by Mannanan. And Loki. And Coyote, though you can never be too sure of what he's actually saying. They say that you... assisted them before. And that you are the ideal force for good, regardless of your... er... inclinations. Coyote said something about it being otherwise impossible, because you are the 'player characters', or something?"

The Zaharan interrupted. "Ignoring Coyote's mad ramblings, we have been lead to believe that you are the last, best hope for Mareten, and indeed all of Mor-Thir."

Nodding, the Elf took up the narrative: "Indeed - most telling is that you, and you alone, have managed to destroy the seven scales. Ah - when the sixth scale was destroyed, the Faultless Diamond fell to dust - and thus this meeting was convened."

The Thrassian adjusted his glasses, and finished, "We cannot interfere directly; our power as Council forbids it. We can, however, convey messages, and so gather any willing to assist you. We can only do so at your bidding, however; is this your desire?"

Caranthir managed to get out a "Ye-" before the Thrassian cut him off. "Ah, good, we already did. I hope you will find the people we summoned to your liking:"

  • The Bardbarians, recently having finished their second Beyond The Wall tour.
  • The silver dragon of Mareten Tower
  • The three gargoyles from what is now Quetgar's base
  • Flynn, the mage Arkus, and the cleric Clarence Silverbeak, from the God Squad
  • Grek Trieb ("Grek Trieb! Member Grek Trieb? Yeah!")
  • Hjalmar Greathearth the paladin, Ham the barbarian, Twych the cleric, and Toxwell Dishthunder Galazooks, Gnomish Wizard.
  • The Original Nightblade, who has taken the name Du Ryst
  • Mabel the goat and Winklestem Eustache Bottomwobbler, proprieter of "Another Man's Treasure" (& some of his more... potent items)
  • Ajeela, of course
  • The Airwalkers of the Tower, as well as the Blue Dragon there

The group were given a single day to prepare... the same day, in fact, as they were fighting the battle for the scale! The council transported them back in time...

Ready as they would ever be, the party and their friends were transported to a dim, misty battlefield. The Lawful and Neutral gods were arrayed on one side, with the most devout of their followers at their feet, ready for battle. Soon, across the shallow valley, a horde of chaotic creatures charged down; behind them, great shapes stepped out of the fog: Erklik, Jörmungandr, Serpent, Balor, and Ysbaddaden. Each lead its own group of evil minions. As the edges of the two armies met, and battle began, the party moved to assist Kai-Ra; they quickly cut through the massive war elephant and the men and scorpions arrayed against them.

Moving on, they assisted Thor, though during the battle Loki and many of his followers lost hope and fled. Next, while Caranthir and Aingeal tried to rally Loki's followers, the rest of the party took on Ysbaddaden's minions - Rakshasa and Dao - trying to divert focus from Danu. They succeeded, thanks to Quetgar's quick claws, and Manannán's horde of summoned undead. Manannán fought Ysbaddaden, throwing him into a suddenly-appearing swamp.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the valley, the shape of the Wyrm was taking form. With each chaotic god that fell, the Wyrm seemed less translucent. Indeed, it was the Wyrm who had killed the god in the Pointless Tower; he took that power and split it into the forms of the other chaotic gods, traveling here to there in a soul jar.

The party paused for a moment to watch Bear rip the skull from a stegosaurus, and use it to crush a number of enemies, while Coyote giggled and made trees sprout from the chests of charging men. They didn't seem to need much help... However, Lleu and Kai-Ra seemed to be struggling against Balor; they quickly came to their aid, carving through redcaps and trolls, while trying to avoid Balor's horrible death-ray eye. As they finished off the last of the enemies, Gwydion charged up from behind, his twin swords flashing in the weak sunlight; in a moment, Balor was dead.

The last of the chaotic gods destroyed, Alehim stepped onto the field. He approached the Wyrm, his massive sword at the ready, his golden armor flashing in the sunlight. The Wyrm, with a dark cry of rage, hurled itself at Alehim; Calmly, the god raised his sword, and caught the Wyrm on the tip, the sword stabbing into its throat and all the way down its insides. The Wyrm's mouth began to close over the god's arms, but a crack of light shone through the creature, then another, and in a sudden, blinding explosion of light, the Wyrm was destroyed. Good had triumphed! The Wyrm was no more, and its followers were routed, fleeing the battlefield.

Speaking of the battlefield... now that the mist had cleared, the party could see the sun, a dim light, far in the distance. A massive shape was rising on the horizon - the Devourer, also known as Yiyen Biri, or Devorat, a massive gas giant! They were no longer on Terrarum, but one of the great planet's moons; Daelna, in fact.

Danu came to speak with the party - in part, to ask why Gróin only ever used the teleportation aspect of his god-staff. The staff has, as he knew, greater planar teleport once per turn with no downside. It also can (temporarily) turn stones to gems (and vice versa), and can cast illusion spells at will, similar to phantasmal image or illusory terrain, except they are permanent until dispelled. Caranthir wondered what their reward would be for all this; Danu replied that while the gods had little use for treasure, magical or otherwise, she would see that the party were aptly rewarded for their role in the battle.

Indeed, the party had played a pivotal role; had they not assisted Kai-Ra, he would have fallen before Erklik. Of course, had they assisted Loki, he would not have fled; but in helping Lleu, they saved him from destruction by Balor.


I pondered how, exactly, I would award experience. While the party did, in fact, destroy 14 men, 5 scorpions, 1 elephant, 6 wyverns, 6 fire giants, 3 hags, 3 rakshasa, 3 dao, 40 redcaps, and 10 trolls, they also assisted in what was essentially a mass battle. Assuming each was treated, technically, as an independent hero in a mass battle, everyone would get a cut of the entire battle's XP. To that end, I present the XP gained from killing a single chaotic god: as a roughly 68,600 hit dice creature, a god such as Balor would have in the vicinity of 154,321,750 XP. Assuming an epic-scale battle with groups of 10 HD or more creatures, single units would have nearly a million XP. To that end...

Each PC and NPC will gain enough XP to be within 1 XP of their next level. Additionally, each PC present in the battle will receive the following, free except for upkeep, plus 150,000 gp:

  • Rig Bigny: 1 unit of 120 trained battleshrews battlebadgers, and a Cloak of Protection +3
  • Caranthir: 1 unit of 120 dwarven mounted crossbowmen, and a Ring of Spell Turning, with 10 charges
  • Gróin: 1 unit of 120 dwarven mounted crossbowmen, and a Ring of Djinni Calling
  • Crolack: 1 unit of 120 heavy infantry lizardmen, and Boots of Levitation
  • Mor Gibs: 1 wonderworker of each level from 1 to 5, and Eyes of Petrification
  • Saphira Moonstone: 1 skinscribe of each level from 1 to 5,
  • Te'a Tsuki Megumi: 1 polydoctorate of each level from 1 to 5, and a Ring of Command Animal
  • Fayleen Ross, Darklord: 1 unit of 120 Heavy Infantry Hobgoblins, and Eyes of Charming
  • Aingeal Bàs Eleonara: 1 witch of each level from 1 to 5, and a +3 Vorpal Sword (while she can't use it in her usual form, a polymorphed form certainly could!)

Of special note, Sorvald managed to actually hit Balor with an arrow; for that, he is rewarded his own thieves' guild, in the city of his choice, for free.

And thus ends this chapter of The Fourth Age; we will be taking a break from ACKs for a while, to go through a new, unrelated campaign - LeTourneau: East Texas University!

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