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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default [3.5] The Chosen: DM's Journal

    I decided to start recording a journal of my evil campaign. We've had 4 (or 5?) sessions so far. The last one happened two days ago and is still fresh in my mind so I've written that one down. Everything that happened previously will be explained under "Campaign Background," and "The Story So Far." Tell me what you think!

    Campaign Background:
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    An evil empire of undead and fiends called The Chosen have just finished conquering all the lands on their planet and have asserted near-total domination. This war was called The Glorious War. The big bosses of the empire, called The Ghost Council, discovered a ring-shaped relic that can activate a portal to another world with an identical device. They have named this ring a Gate.

    The Chosen spent a great deal of time cautiously studying the planet that the Gate was connected to, sending only their best spies onto the foreign land with strict instructions not to draw any attention to themselves. They gathered as much information as they could about the lands they traversed, a planet called Azhara. After they felt comfortable enough to progress, The Ghost Council elected their most brilliant general, a gorgon named Chandra, to lead an invasion army into the new land. Chandra was an unknown player in politics until the Glorious War gave her an opportunity to display her unmatched tactical prowess and she quickly rose in ranks. During her conquests in the war, she personally met and enlisted each PC to her personal elite squadron.

    The task of invasion is incredibly difficult. Spies have reported that the two strongest nations on this new planet, an elf kingdom called Lorwyn and a dwarf kingdom called Thaladun, both have a firm grip on the landing continent. To make matters worse, the Gate that The Chosen are using to mobilize their army can only transport a dozen medium-sized humanoids per day. To gather at full strength on the other side would take months. The Ghost Council is understandably nervous about Chandra rising so quickly in power and see this as a perfect opportunity to either exploit their asset or dispose of her should she fail. Even if the invasion doesn't work, The Council wins.

    Chandra has a plan. She enters the new land with her elite squadron (the PCs) and decides to mobilize her army in secret, using the party for ghost missions to weaken her opposition as much as possible before the armies inevitably collide.


    The Party:
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    Dunsten, Human Mineral Warrior Barbarian 2 / Warblade 6:
    Was the most powerful and vicious barbarian of his tribe when Chandra came with an army and conquered them. She saw his love of bloodshed and violence and offered him a chance to keep fighting for her, which he took.

    Tank of the group. Smasher of the group. Likes the Bonecrusher maneuver, a lot. Often does around 40-50 damage on his swings. Has a Mineral Warrior template (DR 2 Nat Armor 2 though).

    Jimmy, Halfling Rogue 5 / Assassin 3:
    The halfling nation that Jimmy lived in was one of the first to fall to The Chosen's full-scale planetary invasion. They were the victim of mass genocide to be set as an example for anyone that opposed The Chosen. Jimmy was the only survivor, having traded in his humanity by taking Chandra's offer of killing his family in order to live.

    Sneaky scout, silent killer, and trap disabler. Uses his anklet of translocation and rogue's blade to teleport all over the place (when he remembers that he can).

    Don, Human Favored Soul 8:
    Don has always been a strong supporter of The Chosen's campaigns. A devout worshipper of Nerull, he had no qualms about genocide and fit nicely with their campaigns. He worked up the ranks until he eventually started serving directly under Chandra.

    Support. Likes combat control. Favorite spell is Summon Undead II for skeletal owlbears. Also likes Dispel Magic. Has bat wings and a brilliant energy scythe.

    Syn, Drow (elf stats) Scout 8:
    A prince of the drow on his home planet. He bargained for his people's lives by offering them up as slaves and now personally works for Chandra as well.

    Sneakiest scout of the group. Often hides / moves silently for 30ish and his eyes and ears are the best too. Can mimic Hawkeye pretty well with a diverse array of special arrows and his seeking spellstoring bow.


    The Story So Far:
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    Chandra and the PCs enter the gate into the new world, Azhara. An advisor of The Ghost Council, a strange construct named Fazeer, accompanies them and immediately lets the PCs know that the Council has their eyes on Chandra and to report any strange behavior. The PCs do not like Fazeer.

    The Gate is located within a swamp at the southern tip of the continent and the immediate area is unoccupied, so Chandra uses her "symbol magic" to summon fortifications. The party doesn't know what magic it is, but know that it isn't divine or arcane. They decide that the swamp will be their base of operations. Chandra gives Don magical stones called "Recall Stones" that let them teleport back to base easily.

    The party is attacked by a lizardfolk raid and counterattack, wiping out the lizardfolk's encampment and recruiting a single survivor to their cause. They also "recruit" a lizardfolk prisoner, an elf cleric they physically and mentally tortured and renamed "Scyther."

    The group finds out that the lizardfolk worshipped a black dragon that mysteriously vanished years ago. His lair, which is still occupied by vicious kobolds (Tucker's Kobolds) that mined for him, is also in the swamp. They break into the trap-crazy lair, loot everything, and enslave all the kobolds. Among the loot are two things of particular interest: a piece of a rod that nearly blinded Don when he used Detect Magic on it, and a seemingly uninteresting gem that gave off strong necromancy. When they return with the bounty, Chandra takes the rod from them.

    The group then investigates the elf community called Autumn's Edge Outpost, a few day's journey north in a forest called Cinderbark Forest. They blend in with the crowd and find some juicy information about the area. Cinderbark Forest is a contested area between the dwarves and elves. It's technically within the dwarves' domain, but the elves has moved in to the forest on the grounds of trying to heal a "terrible blight" in the forest that has been slowly decaying everything around it. This dispute has caused tension on the continent and there's rumors of a looming war. The dwarves have sent Prince Thaldir to meet with an elf ambassador at the blight to hold a peace conference. Eventually the group's chaotic insanity gets the better of them and they end up burning half the place down in a successful attempt to find out the route, date, and time of Prince Thaldir's meeting. They barely escape, butt-naked, with their lives.

    With the prince's schedule in hand, the group intercepts the dwarf noble's caravan en route and massacre everyone, planting clues to make it appear that the elves had carried out the ambush. Then they're off to visit this blight in the forest.

    The group disposes of everyone in the blighted area and find the source of the corruption, a terrible cyst on the forest floor (DMG2). Inside the cyst they see a demonic figure with bat wings holding a scythe and a piece of a rod. The cyst is surrounded by strange carvings on the ground. Chandra mysteriously shows up and asks the group to destroy the symbols, which they do. Chandra then advances to the cyst and explains that the person inside was "a co-worker" of hers and explain the cyst's magical powers. The PCs absorb the dark energies of the cyst and Don gains bat wings and wields the brilliant energy scythe. Chandra takes the rod.

    Chandra instructs the party to rescue another co-worker of hers, a lich named Xykon, from a maximum security prison called Elfcatraz. Then they are to enter the Underdark Forest and recruit the drow that live there to bolster the army.

    The PCs decide to take a detour and go back to Autumn's Edge Outpost, split up, and start slaughtering innocents. This disorganized stupidity results in Dunsten being killed and, after a heroic escape, Fazeer resurrects him as a mineral warrior, which binds him to his will for a year. The group then rescues Xykon from Elfcatraz, but not before Jimmy is hit with Dominate Person by the warden and tells him all about the invasion.

    The group escapes to safety with Xykon, but the lich refuses to go back with them. He tells them that Chandra is working for someone other than The Council and that they shouldn't trust her. He was also on this planet performing "tasks" for her until a group calling themselves "The Knights of the Sacred Seal" warned him about her true motivations and told him to meet them in the Wyrmstoke Mountains to the west. He was going there before Chandra caught on and eventually the elves captured him and threw him in jail. The PCs begin to piece things together. Why is Chandra building that rod? How did she meet them at the cyst in the forest? Is she spying on them? Don casts Detect Magic on the recall stones that Chandra gave him. Divination aura detected. The group discusses their next move when they notice that Xykon disappeared.

    The group is unsure of what to do. They want to visit the Wyrmstoke Mountains to get some answers, but they know that ignoring Chandra's mission would be very suspicious. They also know nothing about Xykon while they have some history with their leader, so they're not about to cast aside loyalties after a quick chat. The group decides to enter Underdark Forest and complete their mission first before looking for answers.


    Session 4, Part A:

    Entering Underdark Forest:
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    The group spot a forest coming into view up ahead, easily dwarfing its surroundings with a treetop ceiling reaching four hundred feet into the air. Though it's a sunny day, it appears as though the forest is significantly darker than its immediate surroundings, with some sort of gloomy haze clinging to it.

    The party spots a dirt road leading into the forest from the south, and decide to land their mounts and follow it in. Dunsten mentions that the path is rarely travelled -- the latest footprints here are months old. It seems this forest doesn't have many visitors.

    There is an immediate change as the group enters the dark haze of the damp jungle. Stepping through the threshold is immediate and total darkness. Dunsten and Syn's darkvision lets them navigate here fine, but Jimmy and Don make do with a torch. Looking up at the forest ceiling, the group sees that the trees don't entirely blot out the light, but oddly enough the cracks of sky between the branches reveals a starry night that offers no illumination to the ground below. With Dunsten's keen knowledge of the land, he notes that the constellations here are all wrong. It's like he was viewing the stars from a different planet. Something's clearly not right about this place.


    Welcome to the Jungle:
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    The party keeps following the path deeper into the jungle. All the plant life seems bigger here. They pass by some peculiar plants, like a glowing mushroom, but are too afraid to interact with them. There's a strange silence lingering around, though Syn's keen ears pick up the echoes of a far-off screech and roar.There seems to be flickers of movement in the undergrowth now and then, but it might just be nerves.

    About twenty minutes in, they come across a horrible mess of a corpse strewn about the road. A halfling's skeletal body has been crushed and ripped apart, with his cloak and even his full plate armor ripped to shreds as well. The group scrounge through the remains and find a wooden holy symbol of Pelor and a skeletal hand clutching a scroll of Daylight. Don takes both.

    Ten more minutes in, Syn and Don feel like they're being watched. They spot two pairs of glowing red eyes in the undergrowth, following them. Two pairs though? Wait, they see three now! The group stops and readies themselves. Four pairs of eyes now. Waiting.

    Don activates his scythe, whose blade illuminates the surrounding area. They see the creatures for a moment -- large, black canines with a malevolent glare and maw filled with teeth that quickly dart out of range of the light, still watching. Don identifies them as shadow mastiffs, beings of shadow. Syn fires an arrow and his seeking bow lets him find his mark despite not being able to see what exactly he's aiming for. One of the beasts howls and they all immediately retreat.

    Unfortunately, the hounds return a few minutes later. Stalking. Growling. Suddenly, one of them emits a bloodcurdling howl that chills the group. Syn lets out a yell and tries to run in a panic, but Don quickly grapples him so he doesn't run into an ambush. The mastiffs strike at once. Rushing forward, their bodies blurred by the shadows clinging to their form, they leap at Don and Syn, infliciting terrible bites, knocking them prone, and retreating to the undergrowth on the other side of the road in one fluid motion. Dunsten and Jimmy are intially dumbfounded, but quickly mobilize and ready attacks for when they pop out again. The fight is fast and vicious, but when one of the mastiffs is killed the others immediately retreat once more. There's silence again.

    Don patches him and Syn up and the group presses onward, now more alert and more wary of those eyes in the undergrowth that watch them.


    The Jungle Does Metal Too:
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    There's rustling in the bushes. Strange eyes in the undergrowth are watching the lit torches pass by. Sounds of shrieks and roars in the distance. Jimmy's not allowed to touch the sparkly mushroom. The gang all agree not to touch the silk thread dangling above the road. Party poopers.

    They arrive at a small stream with a 6ft. long bridge crossing over it. The party is afraid of both the water AND the bridge. Don decides to start carrying everyone over, one by one. Halfway through the gang decides this is stupid and impractable (Don can't carry zombie pegasi) so they ditch it and try their luck crossing the bridge. Aaaaaand... It works just fine.

    Wait, no it doesn't. Ha! Soon after they cross, the gang hears the something in the distance. It sounds like somethings moving towards them, rustling leaves and cracking branches as it moves. Don freaks out, extinguishes the lights, gets Jimmy to climb on his back, and flies straight up... and gets stuck. In a giant spiderweb. Syn and Dunsten hop on together onto a zombie pegasi and fly up to see what's going on. Syn spots what a half-drow, half-spider moving on the web towards Don, and recognizes the beast as a drider. And just then, crashing through the leaves to the east, comes a sight none of the party has ever seen before.

    Three large scaly bears with enormous draconic wings flying right at them. Each with a screaming, bloodthirsty bald dwarf wielding a warhammer riding them. Yeah. Half-dragon brown bears with duegar barbarian riders. We're playing heavy metal now.

    Syn and Dunsten fly up to the drider and quickly end its existence with a bonecrusher smite and a dragonsbreath arrow, smashing its head into its chest, lighting it on fire, and letting it crumple to the ground below in classic arachnid rigor mortis pose. And with the entire group bunched up together, the duegar close the distance and have their mounts let loose three massive blasts of frost, inflicting massive damage to all but Jimmy, who managed to leap off Don's back, dodge that stuff like the matrix, and land right back on Don. The frozen web shatters.

    So now we have some aerial combat. Dunsten gives Syn the reigns to the mount and leaps off, landing behind one of the duegar and quickly taking him out. The bear doesn't like its new rider and tries to barrell roll him off, but the warblade digs his blades into its back and manages to hold on. The bear ups the ante by charging into a tree. Warblade still holds on.

    Two of the duegar riders make a u-turn and start flying back at Jimmy and Don, but the favored soul has a trick ready. He waits until they're about to strike and then uses the scroll of Daylight, temporarily blinding the mounts and riders. The enemies miss with their strikes and begin flying past, but not before Jimmy blinks onto one of the bears and begins infliciting stabbity death on the rider.

    The group manages to send two of the mounts and riders crashing into the ground and cleans the fight up shortly after. They keep one of the duegar prisoner for interrogation.


    Good Idea?:
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    The group performs their usual interrogation method: violence. After knocking him unconscious and reviving him a couple times, the questions start.

    Dunsten: What's your name?
    Duegar: My name is Thak--
    Dunsten: --IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT YOUR NAME IS! *punch*

    Surprisingly effective.

    The duegar doesn't want to die so he tells them everything they want to hear. He comes from a clan that lives deep underground in the aptly named Underdark. The drow invaded his home and took his people as slaves. He was working in the drow city called Rhalak Vel, which is just below the surface of this forest. He and his (now dead) brothers found an opprotunity to escape his captors by stealing their prized half-dragon bear mounts and have been living in the forest ever since, killing drow patrols when they can by setting Alarms in key locations. He doesn't know why this part of the surface is permanently dark and knows nothing of the surface world outside of here. He's been living here for a while though and knows some good pointers, even sketching out a rough map and pointing out fun things like, "this lake isn't water but actually exploding acid," or "these ruins make the rest of the forest look like a candy land," "if you see dinosaurs you RUN!" The duegar then leads them to his crummy cave that he calls home.

    The group now feels that they've extracted all the usefulness from their prisoner and don't believe his bluffs of having a pot of gold stashed away. They plant him neck-deep into the ground and debate how to dispose of him. Don wants to sacrifice him to the gods. Dunsten thinks it would take too long and just wants to kill him. They argue and argue.

    Don: It'd be a waste just to kill him, let's sacrifice him and get buffs!
    Dunsten: It will take too long and it's not worth it just to appease your god.
    Don: It only takes a couple hours, we need to rest anyway, and besides we can make it a multi-religion thing. All dark gods welcome!

    So they end up making a big ritual of sacrifice in the cave, desecrating the place with the intestines of the dead duegar and bears, throwing the holy symbol of pelor into the mix, the whole nine yards. And when the sacrifice is done, the gods are pleased. Dark energy seeps from the bloody altar and infuses all the participants with divine power. Seems like everyone worked out fine and the group was ready to sleep. Then I'd say the definitive question of the session was asked.

    Syn: So, should we clean up the bloody cave now?
    Don: Nah.

    Yeah, there's nothing wrong with sleeping in a cave filled to the rim with fresh blood. In a spooky forest with dinosaurs. Yep.

    ...


    Clever Girl:
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    Syn takes first watch. It's only two hours into his vigil when he hears something in the distance. It sounds like trees are falling over. Violently crashing, rather. And it's getting louder. The ground begins to tremble. Thud. Thud. It's getting louder, and the ground beneath him shakes more violently. THUD. THUD!

    The players are watching a shocked looking Syn whose staring at me as I build this up. Dunsten's player snaps.

    Dunsten (Out of Character): WAKE US THE %^&$ UP!
    Syn: I WAKE THEM UP!

    They book it out of the cave and run in the opposite direction. They see trees crashing and the horrible sound of multiple roars but don't see anything. After a while of running they feel safe and stop. And they want to go back to their bloody cave. So Syn heads back first.

    The scout is sneaking forward when along the way he spots an ink-black megaraptor lying perfectly still in front of him. He practically almost stumbled into it. The megaraptor hasn't seemed to notice him yet though. He turns around to sneak back to the group.

    Except there's another megaraptor right behind him. SCREEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!

    The rest of the party hears this and runs to help. Syn manages to get away from the sticky situation by going invisible just long enough for the group to reform. They take out the megaraptors pretty easily with the blessings of their dark gods. As they're congratulating themselves on a job well done, however, the comes the familiar sound of goddamn trees being ripped down. Oh right, they didn't deal with the real threat..

    A huge, reddish-black lizard with twelves heads sprouting from its body is charging for them. Don tells them to run, because he knows what it is: a 12-headed pyrohydra, and one that's warped with evil (fiendish!). The thing roars with its twelve heads. Dunsten wants to kill it. The rest of the group runs. Dunsten sulks and flees as well. They manage to dodge the creatures flames as it chases after and they begin to outpace it, probably because all the trees the hydra is knocking down in its path is slowing it. The gang finally decides that maybe they should sleep somewhere else.


    Session 4, Part B

    Session 4, Part C

    Session 4, Part D
    Last edited by Dralnu; 2011-03-17 at 12:23 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Chosen: DM's Journal

    Hahaha that sounds like a riot, please do post the rest.
    Quote Originally Posted by flabort View Post
    Burnheart, thanks to you, everyday reality is just a little less desirable. Until this happens, I am just this much more insane.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [3.5] The Chosen: DM's Journal

    Session 4, Part B:

    "Safe":
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    The group decides that sleeping anywhere in this jungle probably isn't safe, so they keep moving. The duegar had told them to just follow the main road if they wanted to meet the drow, so that's what they do.

    Suddenly after two more hours of walking, someone yells at them to halt. Looking up, they see crouched on branches are four cloaked drow with arrows pointed down at them. Syn hails them and one of the drow, a female named Layla, goes down to speak with him. The group, posing as Syn's slaves, shows her the heads of the rebel duegar while Syn explains how he's a drow prince from a different planet, comes leading a vast invading army, and wishes to enlist the help of the drow from this world to do so. Unfortunately, Syn can't answer the obvious follow-up question, "So where is this army?"

    Still, Layla is pleased that they have dealt with the runaways and escorts them to the drow city of Rhalak Vhel. The group enters a heavily guarded cave, go through a deliberately confusing maze of narrow tunnels, and eventually reach an enormous cavern that houses the fortified drow city. Outside the walls they see all races of slaves mining or harvesting food, along with giant spiders observing from the walls. Inside it's your typical drow settlement. A bustling marketplace with a fairly diverse array of slaves, 'guests,' and wary drow, statues of Lolth, seedy ghettos, an imposing church, etc. The group passes by all this and meet with Matron Lilandra in her high security palace.


    An Offer You Cannot Refoose:
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    Syn has a nice chat with Lilandra while the rest of the group stands in a corner like good servants. Lilandra explains how she originally came from a much larger drow city deeper underground but "issues" with her House and others resulted in her "honor" to set up a new city close to the newly discovered forest of darkness. Lilandra basically built this city from the ground up and quickly expanded her power. Having full access to Underdark Forest has great potential. Lilandra has been setting up a highly profitable slave trade business, opening her horizons to the surface world.

    Lilandra has a problem, however. A type of aberration called grell have been cutting into her "supply." These creatures dwell in the ruins of Sangkhon Bhet in the northern part of the forest and generally don't cause much trouble, just capturing humanoids for food, but lately they've been expanding their territory and becoming far more aggressive, taking even drow as slaves. Lilandra wants this threat purged. The Matron Mother promises to make Syn an honorary member of her House if he can do this for her and pledge her support to his cause. Syn agrees. The gang restocks, buys a bugbear slave for the road and heads out.


    The Ruins:
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    After two day's travel, the group reaches the ruins of Sangkhon Bhet. Although the entire forest is already pitch black, the area around these ruins feels even darker. Syn and Dunsten's darkvision, while still functional, offers less sight range in this oppressive darkness and the torch light looks stifled and smaller.

    The ruins themselves are in a clearing. The sky is open above them and filled with countless stars, and yet they do not offer any illumination to the ground below. Vines and moss have overtaken the debris of the former buildings here. The group pass by rubble and heaps of junk until they see up ahead two remaining structures: a stone temple that resembles Aztec architecture and, standing before it, a crystalline platform holding up a massive ring-shaped object that rises fourty feet into the air.

    The ring is a strange oddity. A mist of tangible darkness appears to be emerging from its center, shrouding the structure and dispersing into the air around it. The party assumes that this is the source of the unnatural darkness in the forest, but unsure of the exact connection. As the group approaches the ring, Don thinks he spots movement behind them, but sees nothing. Soon, however, the entire party is seeing flickers of movement all around them. Then they spot it; a vaguely humanoid shadow floats over some stone rubble about twenty feet away. Don identifies the creature as a shadow, an ethereal undead that hates the living. As they approach the ring, dozens of these creatures emerge from the ground, not acting hostile but watching from a distance. The group decides it would be best to leave the ring alone for now. The bugbear, peeing itself a little from the encounter, agrees wholeheartedly. The shadows re-enter the ground as the party moves away.
    Last edited by Dralnu; 2011-02-27 at 12:38 AM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Goblin

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Chosen: DM's Journal

    Quote Originally Posted by Dralnu View Post

    The scout is sneaking forward when along the way he spots an ink-black megaraptor lying perfectly still in front of him. He practically almost stumbled into it. The megaraptor hasn't seemed to notice him yet though. He turns around to sneak back to the group.

    Except there's another megaraptor right behind him. SCREEEEEEEEEEEEE!!
    That was my favorite part by far. I literally laughed out loud. You should post more of this, though. You have a very fun and succinct way of recounting this.

    P.S. My gaming group can't go through a session without saying "clever girl" in reference to at least one monster so this post was double win in my book.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [3.5] The Chosen: DM's Journal

    Session Four, Part C:

    Apocalypse Now:
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    The group moves towards the Aztec looking structure nearby. They immediately spot a giant hole in the side of the stone temple and Dunsten notes that multiple fresh footsteps lead into it. The gang, whom have an RPG mentality of checking every dead end for secret loot BEFORE going for the obvious correct route, choose to climb up the temple’s large outer staircase to its peak before investigating the hole. Reaching the top, they find a statue that bears a striking resemblance of the ring in front of the temple, along with runes and carvings all over the floor. Don’s smattering of mystic knowledge helps again and he manages to roughly translate the writings. It appears that this site was built around the ring structure to help carry out a prophecy that would bring “the dark lord of death and undeath” into this world and the subsequent rebirth of the universe thereafter. The ring itself is the portal from which this dark lord would enter. The carvings also depict a scene of a figure with batlike wings and a rod in hand standing in front of the ring, with an incredibly gaunt and tall robed figure emerging from it. Lights start turning on in the group’s minds. Don, a devout worshipper of Nerull, realizes that this dark lord doesn’t fit Nerull’s description and might be someone else. The group also notices that the rod in the figure’s hand looks eerily similar to the one that Chandra has been assembling from their previous missions. And the bat wings? Don has similar bat wings given to him as a gift from Chandra! What’s going on here?


    Heart of Darkness:
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    The group decides to investigate the ring up close. And by “investigate up close,” I mean “tie up the bugbear to a rope and force him to walk into it.” The shadows show up again, dozens of them, watching, waiting. They all move towards the platform holding the ring. From this close up they can see that through the obscuring mist of darkness is an active portal. The gang says that they’ve moved close enough. Time for the bugbear to earn his keep.

    Syn: Okay bugbear, move on in.
    Bugbear: B—but I’m scared.
    Syn: TOUGH IT UP #$%@&! *punch*

    What doesn’t violence solve?

    The bugbear meekly moves forward, rope tied to his waist. Their furry friend yells that he sees a flat plane on the other side of the portal, dark just like the ruins. He moves closer. He sees something in the distance. It looks like a giant --!!!

    Suddenly, a pair of long claw-like shadowy hands reach out of the ground below the bugbear and begin throttling him. The seasoned adventurers saw this coming though and don’t even blink. Psh, clichés. The poor slave screams for help and tries to run, but the creature maintains its grip and the bugbear falls to the ground shortly after. Don remarks that the creature is a greater shadow. Well, bugbear’s job is done. That there portal is dangerous! They drag the bugbear back to safety and notice that he’s alive, but comatose. Dead enough. The gang leaves the body and goes over to the temple to investigate the hole in the wall.


    Take In the Scenery:
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    Inside the hole is a hollowed out barren room with a sinkhole in its center. A spiraling staircase leads down the sinkhole, about thirty feet deep. Going down they find an old cave complex with similar aging Aztec architecture. Nature has been reclaiming these underground ruins as well and the gang notices the ceilings covered with roots of plants, moss and vines growing on the walls and pools of water (OR IS IT???) running off around corners. The group can’t sit around and enjoy the scenery though. Oh, no no. They have to tell me their flat-footed ACs because three large brain-like creatures with beaks and barbed tentacles are floating above their heads and decide to attack.

    The grell have the tactical advantage. They float close to the 30ft. tall cavern ceiling and abuse their ranged advantage with their lightning-shooting rods and their 10ft. reach tentacles. But the adventurers have the badassery advantage, being born and raised to kill things for funsies. The grell manage to dish out some pain before quickly being slaughtered. The group hears a commotion in the tunnels to the south. Syn also hears faint words of undercommon somewhere from the east. The group sees two grell floating their asses as quickly as possible through a tunnel to the south and the gang gives chase.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Dralnu's Avatar

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Chosen: DM's Journal

    Thanks for the feedback! I'll write up the last part of the session soon and then work on the background recap.

    I loved that line in the movie. Our gaming group has a similar thing to yours, but with the infamous not like this. First time was when a PC used an item to bounce a fireball back at the ogre mage that casted it. It stuck ever since.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [3.5] The Chosen: DM's Journal

    Campaign backstory and the story so far are all up now. Final part of the last session is now done too.

    Session 4, Part D:

    It's Clobbering Time:
    Spoiler
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    The group follows through the tunnel and enters a room that is surprisingly well-kept and luxurious, with marble tiles, various vases, a perfectly rectangular pool with brown liquid, and an onyx statue. The group sees it as some sort of prayer room. The statue is of a tall, impossibly thin robed figure. The PCs recognize this as the same figure in the carvings on top of the temple. The sound of shrieks come from a northeast tunnel and the group presses onward.

    They enter a spacious cave filled with stalagmites and stalactites, this time spotting the ambush before it's sprung. The grell fight smartly and fiercely, sticking to the stalagmites on the ceiling for cover and firing lightning bolts. Some grell adorned with metal trinkets are spotted as well, apparently adept at the arcane arts. Mists are conjured up on the party, hampering their vision as lightning bolts continue to rain down on them. In the end, though, the sheer badassery of the group dynamic overcomes even the best grell tactics and the party forces them to retreat through another tunnel, giving chase once more.

    As the group chases the grell through yet another tunnel, Syn spots a crystal door and stops everyone. On the door is a carving of a face with protruding tentacles. Odd. Syn hears shouting from within in Undercommon. He opens the door and looks down into a pit with humanoids of various races; gnomes, dwarves, goblinoids, and a drow. Syn calls out to the drow.

    Syn: Why are you here?
    Drow: Brains! They want our brains!
    Syn: ... What?
    Drow: BRAAAAAAAAINS!
    Syn: Goddamn useless. Let's go guys.

    Syn tells the drow that they'll come back for him later, but they've got some more important business (aka killing things) to do. And they take care of business. They slaughter their way through more caves to a final crystal door.


    Showdown:
    Spoiler
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    The group reaches a crystal door. There's a commotion beyond it and sounds of chanting. The group catches their breath and Don begins casting magical protection. Then they spot something written on the door.

    Me: Syn, you recognize the language as Undercommon.
    Syn: Okay, I move up to it and read it.
    Me: *hands a note* here.
    Syn: It says, "I prepared Explosive Runes this morn--"

    The door shatters in an explosion of force, knocking Syn back towards the floor. There's cackling inside the room.

    The PCs are pissed. The gang runs in, Dunsten leading the charge. Inside are four grell: one is a normal looking one they've been killing frequently and two are adorned with jewels that identify them as magic users. The last one, however, towers over its bretheren and is decked out with the most bling of them all. It's also carrying a giant lance in its barbed tentacles. And it attacks, firing a massive bolt of lightning to fry the scout.

    The grell float to the ceiling and begin filling the area with magic, dropping more obscuring mists on the party while magically protecting themselves from physical attacks and arrows. Don, however, denies them of all this with multiple dispel magics and the group starts tearing into them. The large grell conjures up a green fog of nauseating vapors on the battlefield and keeps sizzling the party with bolts. The favored soul, getting a little cocky, flies up to him and slashes at him with his scythe. Apparently the ten barbed tentacles don't scare him. The grell leader rectifies that, knocking him around with seven successful attacks that inject poison into Don's body, paralyzing him and sending him falling into the stinking cloud. Owned. The grell doesn't have much time to savor his victory, however, because a maniacal halfling blinks up on to his back and messily ends his life shortly after. The battle is won and the cavern is more or less quiet.

    We called it here. The party has yet to really explore the cave complex as they were preoccupied with chasing down and exterminating grell. Their looting will have to wait until next time!

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    South East England
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: [3.5] The Chosen: DM's Journal

    I have just read the Campaign Background and Story So Far and man do i wish i was in your group 'cause it sounds like a great campain to in
    EDit: and the I prepared Explosive Runes bit made me lol, good job
    Last edited by Burnheart; 2011-02-27 at 08:33 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by flabort View Post
    Burnheart, thanks to you, everyday reality is just a little less desirable. Until this happens, I am just this much more insane.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Savannah's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Texas. It's too hot here.
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    Female

    Default Re: [3.5] The Chosen: DM's Journal

    It is a quite interesting story. Don't really have anything else to add; just wanted to let you know that at least one more person is reading it

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

    Join Date
    Jan 2011

    Default Re: [3.5] The Chosen: DM's Journal

    This was a very interesting read! By all means continue updating.
    CYNIC, n.
    A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be.

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