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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Default The Big One-Campagin Log

    Longest Running Campaign –D&D 3.5

    I have completed 2 full campaign recaps, and have partial shorter recaps for two additional ones. Some of my friends who actually participated in these campaigns have read them and urged me to fully write up the events from our longest running campaign. I am not entirely sure how to summarize this sequence of adventures. It’s akin to an open sandbox campaign and it is sprawling in scope, tone, and in-game time span. Most campaigns we have done are encapsulated within a manner of days or maybe a few months. This one is something like 15 years. I think what makes this stand out is the characters and nature of the gameplay. If you polled my gaming group on their favorite characters ever played nearly all of us would agree this set of characters was hands down the best. This is also a currently running campaign. We play much less consistently but when time permits and we are able to "get the band back together" we play in this setting with these characters.

    House Rules:
    *No Flight,Overland Flight, Psionic Flight etc. No carpets of flying, no potions of flying. Basically no flight what-so-ever. Levitate is fine. This is a long standing house rule and nearly universal rule for our games.
    *No reincarnate, no raise dead, no resurrection. This is a DM Rule. Dead is Dead…unless its undeath. He heavily frowns on rolling into a new character, generally when someone is killed we end the campaign. If it’s a strange circumstance then sometimes players get a pass and can start a new character.
    *If you roll a 20 on a skill check…you roll again and add the results together.
    *When you roll for HP you are guaranteed at least half. So a d10 that rolls 3 is bumped to 5, or a d10 that rolls 7 keeps 7.
    *During character creation we rolled stats for about 15 races…4d6 reroll 1s. If you rolled 4 natural sixes that means you get a 20 for an ability score, four 1s was a natural 19. We like bloated stats and sometimes a player would drop a 19 or 20 in an odd race/stat combo and feel compelled to try something quirky.
    *Every character got a cool starting item or unique characteristic, mostly to balance some race disparities.

    The Cast:

    Spoiler
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    Characters:

    Marilius Antinaius(Me) (human) Rogue2/Bard1 Str15 Dex19 Con14 Int16 Wis12 Cha 21 HP 25. Feats:Point Blank Shot, Rapid Shot, Precise Shot.

    As a bonus Mar got an extra +2 stat bonus and a pretty cool bow to the start the campaign. A comp longbow (modular to match strength bonus) that added another d8 of damage on a roll of 8.

    Marilius was created as a wandering minstrel that was the lone survivor of a mountain bound caravan. In this campaign setting there is a giant sanctuary called New Jotun that acts as a safe haven and apolitical zone for all giant races. He was part of a caravan seeking New Jotun that got ambushed. He managed to survive in the wilderness and reach New Jotun where he was admired for his story telling and over the top bravado. He was forced to make a hasty exit when a dalliance with a Cloud Giant Maiden got interrupted by an angry father. The moment I bring up his brief affair with a cloud giant I get a chorus of juvenile comments about long-spears and mechanics of size. My response “She was quite amiable to making special accommodations...a timely scroll of Enlarge Person…a wine goblet laced with Reduce Person and anything is possible”. Marilius was the definition of a free spirited CN and a true wanderer who wished to seek out and visit places of legend and story in person.

    The Silent One (githerzai) Monk3 Str16 Dex25 Con14 Int10 Wis18 Cha13 HP 28. Feats:Stunning Fist, Combat Reflexes, Short Haft, Weapon Focus:Spear.

    The Silent One started play completely mute. Not voluntarily mute…
    completely unable to speak or write in a decipherable manner. He also had a strange extra-planar tattoo in the shape of a chimera that imparted him a permanent Greater Magic Fang effect. It also rendered him able to understand every language and written symbol possible. He just had to pantomime or play charades to communicate with us. My hats off to the guy playing The Silent One…he rocked.

    From what we gathered he was githerzai royalty and had spent years wandering the Planes in search of his wife and children who had been abducted by Githyanki slavers. He was eternally optimistic and had a constant smirk on his face. During his travels he had received his tattoo and had no idea as to it’s origin or ultimate purpose. An oracle of sorts had told him that his journey would only end once he met a scholar wrapped in stone. Played by ranger from Adversarial Process.

    David Allen Coe-Nan (human) Fighter2/Barbarian1 Str21 Dex15 Con15 Int11 Wis14 Cha14 HP36. Feats: Two Weapon Fighting, Weapon Focus Axes, Power Attack, Cleave, Improved Iniative.

    Coe-Nan was played by the guy that DM’d Adversarial Process. If you read that whole log you know the end villain was Dayvid Allain Koe…Well David Allen Coe is a country singer and that name creeped into this campaign as a proto Robert e Howard barbarian/fighter. He started play with a spirit totem that could be called upon 1/day to bring forth a wolf companion…it would evolve to other functions later on

    Brave to the point of stupid he refused to backdown from any fight. We started joking after a while that if he could charge from 60 feet that our only chance of diplomacy would occur from 65 feet out or further.

    Kemen Sarn (dwarf) Fighter1/Abjurer2 Str14 Dex10 Con24 Int19 Wis14 Cha10 HP:34 Feats:Scribe Scroll, Improved Initiative, Spell Focus Abjuration, Sculpt Spell

    Kemen began play with a family heirloom heavy pick. It was intelligent and able to detect gems and minerals, it also granted him levitate 3/day.
    Kemen was cut from a different material than most dwarves. With an out of this world Con and huge Int, he focused heavily on crafting skills and magic item creation. Morradin came to him in visions and dreams and urged him to travel the world and create a new testament to his protective hand for his dwarven followers. Kemen was more cleric than wizard in his beliefs and functioned as a sour and belligerent merchant prince. Glory paled in comparison to the forge and the world was simply a workshop to be sifted through for new materials. He was played by the Paladin from Adversarial Process and this was in my opinion his coolest character ever.

    Paddock Shiningstar (gnome) Paladin2/Cleric1 Str14 Dex 12 Con19 Int12 Wis15 Cha19 HP:33 Feats:Mounted Combat,Ride By Attack

    Paddock began play with a stone horse. It was treated very similar to the magical item with the exception that he could only voluntarily be knocked off it.

    The only reference for this character was played is Reepacheep from Chronicles of Narnia. Paddock was a shining knight who reveled in jousts and feats of prowess. Trial by combat was a religion unto itself for him. Appropriately Strength and War were his domains. Against evil he was a beacon of virtue and courage, unstaunched in the face of oblivion. Outside of combat he was compassionate and kind. He was also an uptight elitist prat. Those who viewed life differently than he were patiently sought to be converted.

    Party Items:
    *Everyone has mundane gear appropriate to their build
    *There is about 500gp in coin available in the party coffers.
    *We have a group Bag of Holding II
    *We also have a serviceable Wagon and a pair of decent draft horses.

    Little House by the Mountain:

    Spoiler
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    We began the campaign deep in the north of the campaign world’s central continent. It is rough frontier forest in the shadow of spiraling mountain ranges. Paddock our jousting cleric is on point atop his stone steed with shield cradled on his left arm and a gleaming lance held vertically in his right. A pennant flying his tournament colors flies as a flag from his lance. My rogue, Marilius, brings up the rear sweeping in circles around our position for signs of tracks or danger. The fighter Coe-Nan is driving our horses from the Wagon’s seat, Kemen is in the wagon bed fumbling with his books and some small stone carving while the monk meditates beside him.

    During my surveys of the surrounding areas I pick up signs of orc footprints heading south. From the initial descriptions given to us…this isn’t exactly orc country. We turn to start following the trail south and after a mile or so, the trees are thick enough to prevent forward progress from the wagon. Kemen doesn’t want to leave the wagon, but he is outvoted and he grumpily stomps after us.

    The tracks take us to a General Merchandise Store and Tavern/BunkHouse that is more or less in the middle of nowhere. There is a band of 12 orcs standing patiently outside the store with sleds being loaded with sacks of flour,grain, barrels, and all kinds of generic building supplies like nails, hammers, planes, and rope. The owner, an average looking middle age man seems a bit unsettled, but the orcs are paying in coin and are not outwardly aggressive. An orc scout barks something we can’t make out and what we presume to be their leader turns to hail us with open hands.

    Kemen: I want to make a closer inspection of these orcs for anything unusual.
    DM: There is actually something that stands out to you…as you speak Orcish..it is somewhat surprising that their dialect is not Orcish.
    Me:Do any of us understand the language?
    DM: The Silent One does…(he hands the monk a small note)
    Silent One (out of character): uh…
    At the table he stands up and dangles all of his fingers just under chin and makes a slurping sound. We all just kind of stare at him blankly. He then moves to the player next to him at the table (Coe-Nan) and pantomimes putting a straw into his head and then makes a sucking noise…
    Paddock: They are speaking the same language as Mind Flayers???
    The monk snaps his fingers and gives a thumbs up…
    Kemen:I’ll make a Knowledge check…Dungeoneering.

    The wizard rolls well enough to figure out why “orcs” would be speaking a form of Illithid (to be fair it is the spoken version of a telepathic language and truthfully has probably never been heard before) and he determines these orcs are actually Sharakim, a race of orcs more akin to Atlantis than the wilds. The leader approaches the gnome and hails him in Common…

    Sharakim leader: Peace upon you little one. We wish no quarrel only supplies.
    Paddock:You must have travelled far to reach a place like this.
    Sharakim: Farther than we ever desired, and still too close to the place we came from. Dark tidings ride the currents of the underdark and soon the foul air will reach the surface.
    The Paladin states that he is going to discreetly detect evil…and he gathers nothing in the process.
    Me: What are you referring to?
    The Sharakim leader looks to his comrades and converse for a few moments…a consensus is reached and they start to open a bag…as they do so the monk hastily writes something down on a sticky note, crumbles it and tosses it to the DM.

    DM: You all notice the monk stepping back quietly but quickly as the bag is opened. As the bag opens the biggest of the Sharakim takes out a long hooked pole from a sled and starts to drag something heavy from inside the bag…a sizeable cage is dragged from the now apparent bag of holding, it is wrought iron, and each bar is nearly ¾ inch thick…despite the blunt strength of the bars…the slavering creature inside the cage has managed to bend some of the cages supports. It is tightly held inside and its hard to gauge its accurate size…you have seen dire rats before…this by your recognition is closest in nature to a dire boar that has been exposed to forces beyond this Plane. Sores and festering wounds dot it’s hide, but the snapping and hissing creature shows little ill effect from them.

    Sharakim Leader: A few days ago…a pack of things like this attacked the Illithid hive we call our home. This was one of the smallest. Most illthid bear a horrid reputation, our community was (he stumbles looking for the word) progressive. The Mind Flayers bought us enough time to escape, but I fear everyone else is lost. We have a sister community far to the south that we are seeking to reach overland and warn.

    Our group all falls back to parley and figure on either joining them overland or picking up their back trail and trying to discern more about these creatures. The presence of settlers being mostly unprotected decides it in favor of following back trail and figuring out what is happening. We make arrangements for Meskeet, the store owner to alert most of the surrounding settlers and get them to evacuate pending our return. The Sharakim give us a rough of idea of where to head based on landmarks from the closest mountain range.

    We move at a hustle back to our wagon and make quick progress towards the mountains. Towards nightfall we make camp a mile or two from the mountain and hunker down for the night. During our second watch loud drums and wood snapping brings us to attention. Kemen and myself take up positions in the wagon for cover as Paddock runs to his horse. Coe-Nan draws a pair of battleaxes and plants himself in the path of the noise, the monk gets himself into a sprinters starting position under the wagon, with his spear held flat against his back. Within minutes a band of grimlock warriors are visible in the flickering light of our campfire. Each is armed with crude stone axes and stone tipped throwing spears. Being driven before them on leashes are some of the leanest and most predatory dire rats we have ever seen.

    Coe-Nan charges the lead Grimlock with a roar and starts hacking like mad with his axes. The monk sprints from his position to a spot at Coe-Nan’s back and uses his spear like a surgeon with reach looking for AOO’s and trips. I start putting arrows into the rat handlers, hoping that if they drop the leases the rats might scatter. Kemen tries to drop some well placed sleep spells and Paddock starts to clip at their flanks from atop his mount. The grimlocks are not particularly organized and poorly equipped. Coe-Nan eats damage from his overly aggressive position but the rest of attack with near impunity. We break up the raiding party in quick order and the gnome starts to harry some of the runners along with Coe-Nan and the monk.

    Kemen keeps some of the more unusual stone axe heads, but there are no spoils of note. Pressing out into the dark is deemed too dangerous and maintain sentries without further pursuit. Or at least we tried to.

    Paddock: I am not going to sit idly and nap while maruding bands of savages pillage the forests and neighboring homes. If you all lack the conviction to work through a bit of tiredness than so be it. I am going to follow them…alone if I have to.

    Me: They don’t need eyes to see…we do. Attacking them in the middle of the night in terrain we are unfamiliar with is foolhardy at best and more likely suicide.
    Kemen: Go on alone…we will follow you in the morning. I would love a chance to make a decent headstone…I got some nice patterns that I can chisel out from granite on short notice.

    The headstone comment reigns him in and his character pouts about being rebuked, but he waits for morning with the rest of us.

    Come dawn we prepare spells and pick up the trail of our grimlock marauders. We track them right back to the mountain and find a rock facing that was recently exposed from the inside by some kind of explosion or great force. Kemen examines the rock facing and owing to his ranks in just about every craft skill, knowledge check and his bonuses to stonework he announces there used to be a structure carved from the mountain that someone magically sealed by his estimations, at least a few thousand years ago. We put Coe-Nan on point, Kemen, myself and the monk in the middle, and Paddock as rear guard atop his stone horse.

    Strong grimlock signs litter the tunnel like hallway going into the mountain’s base. We are working our way deeper in, when a handful of small shapes emerge from an alcove above us and swoop down to attack us. The Monk gets one stuck to his head and the small leathery creatures constricts his face. We identify the creatures as Darkmantles and the monk ends up having to pummel himself in the face to get the little bugger away.
    The long hallway opens to an antechamber with five different paths leading out, the central path and most straightforward enters a room that is obviously surrounded by elevated archer slits. From the central path a high pitched feminine sobbing is audible and Paddock almost immediately attempts to wheel his mount around us and charge in. Coe-Nan throws himself in front to slow him down and we have to talk down our over anxious paladin for a second time.

    Paddock: There is a woman in peril I HAVE to ride to her aid.
    Me: There is the SOUND of a woman in peril, and that room is a sniper’s paradise…a round room with elevated cover? You are vulnerable from all angles.

    This time he ignores us and spurs his mount to charge into the room. The moment he breaks the plane of the room’s entrance a portcullis comes crashing down and milky white kobolds pop up at every slit and start peppering him with blowgun darts.

    Coe-Nan tries to lift the portcullis and fails…we also start taking some fire and back off. Kemen and Coe-Nan make the snap decision to take the passage left from center and the monk and I peel right to try and find a way to reach the murder hole area.

    As we search, the paladin is taking a steady stream of Dex damage from poison darts. Both passages we follow are heavily seeded with caltrops. Both split groups encounter further albino kobolds with blowguns and between my arrows and Kemen’s sleep we plow through, more slowed by the caltrops than the kobolds. We do manage to locate the room’s that overlook the trapped chamber in which the paladin is stuck and we are start cleaning house from kobolds. Just about everyone takes some Dex damage, and by the time we are able to force a cease fire the paladin is rigid and reduced to zero amount his stone horse.

    With no means in which to cure ability damage or negate the poison we have little choice on what to do with him. He mentally commands his stone horse to follow the wizard and instead of having a mounted lancer…we have a pack mule with a helpless pc.

    The two adjacent passages are unconnected to whatever lays beyond the central room and we end up having to smash our way through the walls to get to the paladin. We advance towards the origins of the sobbing and press forward. The center opens to an alcove with a stone coffin in the center of a room supported by four pillars. At the rear of the room is a bloating and diseased barghest. The bones of grimlocks and other underdark dwelling creatures are scattered around it. The creature is sick in a bad way and is in a constant state of vomiting. What we think to be the remains of the creature the Sharakim showed us in the cage lays half eaten in front of it. It addresses us in Goblin…

    Barghest:Kill me quickly maggots. A clean death is better than this misery. It matters little…these things (he gestures to the half eaten corpse) will kill you in ways far worse than I can.
    Coe-Nan: I can take your head off clean, but I want to know how you ended up in here first
    Barghest:My grimlocks and kobolds became startled when a band of strange orcs went past our cave to the east. When I gathered them to follow we found this place…then these things attacked us. Whatever was locked in that coffin…made it’s way out before we got here.
    We all start conferring on what to do as Coe-Nan takes off the barghest’s head and then proceeds to smash every pile of bone on the floor “just in case”.
    Me: So something/someone broke out of a mountain side tomb and blasted it’s way out. On it’s heels come a pack of mutated boars that can poison a barghest and wipe out a hive of mind flayers.

    The monk gestures to some very faded symbols on the coffin and tries to get our attention. As he can read and understand every language he knows exactly what they mean but he has no real way to tell us. He makes a “sounds like” gesture and then starts scratching his arm.
    Kemen: Sounds like scratch *no*…sounds like itch? *emphatic yes*
    Paddock: lich?
    DM: You can’t talk right now.
    Me: lich?
    Monk: *nod yes* then he gestures for more description. He gets up from the table and stands in front of the DM and takes up a boxer’s stance looking all around him….then he actually puts his arms out to the side like a crossing guard.
    Me: Protect? *kinda* Guard? *snaps fingers yes*
    Kemen: A guardian lich?
    Monk *yes*
    Kemen: guarding what?
    Monk *shrug* points to a symbol in the shape of a necklace
    Coe-Nan:So a guardian lich protecting a necklace makes a runner after a couple thousand years and within hours a pack of hellspawn boars hauls ass from the underdark laying waste to everything in their path.
    Kemen: and it sounds like they are searching. I got a feeling we are in for company soon.
    Me: So let’s get the heck out of here and get any settlers in the area out of here. Maybe we can pick up the lich’s trail.
    Kemen: Screw that! I don’t want some twisted pig trying to tear me apart in the middle of nowhere. We have a defensible position with elevated cover, a great supply of caltrops and plenty of rocks to make traps with. If they are coming let them come where we can corral them and control them.
    Me: We still have two passages unexplored.
    Kemen: So if anything wants to come from there and raise trouble we will still be in a raised and covered position with good protection. If we get tied up in trouble exploring these things could take us from behind….

    No one voices much dissent and we go into a hurried barricade mode. Caltrops are redispersed to slow down advances through the halls, the stone coffin and any other loose rubble are used to blockade entrance from the passages that lead to murder holes and the dwarf tries to make a cursory attempt to mask the hasty stonework as being permanent. We also make some rudimentary collapsing traps from the pillars in coffin room. All the carcasses from the grimlocks, kobolds and anything else we found are piled into the trap room as bait.

    We have plenty of blowguns and poison tipped darts, the monk has shuriken, and Coe-Nan carries a longbow for emergencies. Kemen has a light crossbow and the paladin…well he is still rigid and helpless. We barricade his stone horse against the coffin lid to help secure middle trap room. Then we settled in to wait.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Axinian's Avatar

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    Mar 2010
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    California
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    Default Re: The Big One-Campagin Log

    And, once again, this looks like it could shape up to be one of the best campaign logs ever.

    You should probably push for a campaign archive along the lines of the SilverclawShift one.
    Spoiler: Campaign Journals
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    Axinia: My campaign setting.
    Avatar by Elder Tsofu

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Aug 2011

    Default Re: The Big One-Campagin Log

    Bacon that Fights Back:

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    As we wait in our ambush positions a truly disturbing noise starts to echo down the hallways and we hear some of the grossest liquidy squishing sounds possible. A quartet of bloating disease ridden boars file into the trap room. When all four are completely inside Kemen pulls the lever that lowers the portcullis and we launch a full assault. We start pelting them with arrows, bolts and shuriken. The majority of which are not doing a whole lot of damage.

    The hell-pigs (our name for them) literally start climbing the walls and begin to tear apart the stone at the archer slits. Coe-Nan and the monk leap at a chance to get melee actions up and running and I can barely miss at this range. Unfortunately…they are tearing very quickly and these things are big enough and strong enough to tear through pretty quickly. Kemen tries a sleep spell, but they are too big for any effect.

    With four arrow slits there is a pig tearing at each one. The pig closest to the coffin chamber breaks through first and he blocks off our escape route. Coe-Nan rushes him and starts hacking but once tusks and hooves are brought to bear he begins taking nasty damage. We focus everything we got on the pig in the room and try to drop it so we have someplace to back off too. A second pig makes it through and he bull rushes the fighter over. The monk makes a desperate trip attempt and fails miserably, losing his spear in the process. From beyond the ambush room we hear a gnomish voice cry out “For Kord! For Glory!” and our helpless gnome paladin atop his stone horse makes a charging lance attack which skewers the 1st pig.

    The monk and Coe-Nan get a flank on the 2nd pig and I manage to start landing sneak attack aided arrows. The second pig is in it’s death throes when the third pig breaks free and with the gnome wheeling around to get some charges in we turn the tide against the second pigs with no casualty. Paddock recovered 1 point of Dex and woozily got back into the mix which probably kept things from getting real ugly. The monk is spearing the downed pigs when we hear additional squeels and grunts coming from outside.

    With the left side of the structure decimated our master plan…move to the other side. We hastily exit and fight through our own barricade and rush to make it to the other ambush room. We try to close the barricade behind us with little success, and end up appointing Paddock as the sentry to watch for incoming danger.

    Kemen: (In a whisper to me) I got a bad feeling about leaving the guy with 1 dex to guard our backs…

    A trio of additional pigs make their way into the bait room and trailing behind them is something that is almost a drow. It is towering in height, close to nine feet, and gaunt beyond all belief. Bile and puss drip from gaping wounds and where the creature’s heart should be is a sucking empty wound that pulses with a purple liquid. It’s face is very elven in nature and it has the ebony skin and white hair of a drow. It has what we can only guess is a whistle around it’s neck. It looks like it is fashioned from a dark bone material and leathery sacks are hanging from at least five spots on the whistle. As the pigs start rooting amongst the corpses and nibbling he raises it to his lips and some of the sacks inflate and as they fill a piercing bass sound fills the room and the pigs snarl in anger and recoil back to his side.

    I blurt out something that comes back to taunt me for the next 2-3 years in real life
    Me: If we lose this fight don’t let whatever that is take me alive…
    Paddock and Coe-Nan both give me looks at the table like I just abandoned them in a bar fight.
    Coe-Nan: Don’t worry buttercup…we won’t let the bad man hurt you…
    As I am getting chided the gnome has discreetly inched his figure into a position where he can charge and as I am trying to defend my dignity he YELLS from the table…
    Paddock: For Kord and for Glory! Charge!!!!
    Kemen: Are you fu***** kidding me! If I had Grease prepared I would 100 percent be dropping it in front of him right now.

    Paddock is laughing himself silly at the table as we pelt him with crumbled up paper and the odd die, he laughs threes times as hard when he rolls a 20 for his attack roll on the bizarre drow thing. He confirms a crit and absolutely levels the thing with a lance charge. He rolls damn close to max damage and from what I had listed its close to 50 damage.

    DM: The gnome comes bursting into the room as the gaunt figure turns to address the shout…the whistle is still pursed to his lips when the lance enters just below the navel and seperates his spinal cord, a death rattle like gasp escapes his lips causing a fell note from the whistle that enrages the remaining boars and drives them into a frothing berserker state.

    The rest of us alternate between cursing him and high fiving him as we launch our own volleys into the hell-pigs. Coe-Nan goes barreling down the hall to get into the thick of things and the rest of us pepper them with projectiles. Paddock is getting gored with tusks as the pigs try to knock him from his mount. He leaves his lance buried mid torso on the drow and shrugs shield and Morningstar into his hands and starts swinging.

    Coe-Nan comes charging in himself the following round and lays into the most damaged pig. Kemen puts a crossbow bolt into the lead pig that brings it down and the gnome eats a tusk that drops him to zero exactly. Coe-Nan absorbs the brunt of remaining aggression, but is saved by one of the pigs attacking the now stationary stone horse…the hardness and therefore DR make most of the attacks harmless.

    We finish off the remaining pigs with Coe-Nan at 4 health and Kemen out of spells except for a shield.

    Our examination of the drow turns up little aside from the whistle and a shimmering onyx map made from a flexible metallic parchment. It is constantly in flux, but an image that can be discerned as our location fixates on the map. A white hue inside the coffin room is visible from the map and stands out. We are offered an INT check to try and guess it’s purpose and owing to a long standing tradition…we make the dumbest character go first. Ages ago we ran a Dark Sun campaign where we needed to break open a door and our burly half giant failed his strength check…and the skinny defiler rolled a natural 20. From that point on we always made the least likely roll first. It actually rolls all the way around to Kemen who reasons out it is a sort of tracking device for whatever was presumably in the coffin, but it is based on on strength of aura, and as it moves the map is constantly adjusting, but hones in on a place where it stayed for a length of time.

    We barricade ourselves in the coffin room and aim to recuperate…sadly our healing is knocked out, but once he regains consciousness we drain him of all healing available then rest for the night.

    The following morning we cautiously make our way outside to survey the area. With no obvious or imminent threats approaching we turn our sights to completing the exploration of the mountain structure.

    We start progress down the far left passage and emerge into what was once a mine. The well made and solid walls give way to supported rough passages, complete with rail system and mine carts. The mine tunnels run for miles and delve deep into the mountain. Kemen puts some pebbles and small stones into the remanents of old lanterns we string a crude alarm system that should make some noise if anything lumbers out from the mines.

    The path on the far right leads us a long ways back to the same tunnel system and we find our own crude alarm which leads us to believe the whole structure was built from the mines or long after the mines were abandoned. Kemen wants to explore the whole tunnel system and map it out, but he gets vetoed.

    Without much else to go on from the mountain we decide to check in with our tavern owner/general merchandise contact Meskeet. We arrive at his store early evening and find it a beehive of activity. Lots of settlers and small camps are moving all around. Meskeet himself is directing most of the traffic but no one is outwardly the worse for wear. They are assembling a wagon train which will depart the next morning for a larger village 25 miles southeast aptly named Frontierville.

    Kemen inquires as to the legal status of land ownership in the area, and that seems to take our DM aback. He boils it down to saying that land ownership in these parts is in legal limbo, with no real organized government or tax system occupation and improvement imply owernship. That seems to work well with him, and while we all ask why…he plays whatever he has brewing close to the chest.

    The group decides to act as a bodyguard for the caravan heading to Frontierville based on our lack of knowledge on further hell pigs or straggler grimlocks. Paddock reaches new levels of annoyance as he insists that we have all proven ourselves unworthy. We can no longer be trusted to act with valor based on our previous cowardice and he adamantly refuses to rest. He actively patrols the entire caravan non-stop rebuking all attempts at relief.

    Thieves in the Night:

    By the end of the first day…
    DM: Alright Paddock you are soaking in sweat and swaying in your saddle from exhaustion. The only thing keeping you mounted is the magical nature of your bond. You are officially exhausted and in desperate need of a break.
    Paddock: Not going to happen, I would rather pass out than leave the safety of these fine citizens to such dubious comrades as these.
    DM: Alright…

    That night we try to organize a sentry schedule but Paddock refuses to dismount and rest and continues to patrol the camp. The rest of us tuck in for the night (and discreetly maintain a secondary watch as we are sure he going to drop from exhaustion at any time).

    That night a few small humanoids creep up on the encampment. They stealthily begin to steal anything not nailed down, and our sentry with his lousy Spot checks and exhaustion is oblivious. Coe-Nan manages to make a listen check that doesn’t reveal them but his investigation drives them from the camp. Not to be easily dissuaded they start stealing little things right from the nearly catatonic paladin riding in circles.

    DM: Make a Spot check…
    Paddock: 3…
    DM: Alright they just unhooked your Morningstar. Make another check DC 15, give yourself a +5 bonus as they are taking your shield which is strapped to your back…
    Paddock: 4…
    DM:*sigh* alright make ANOTHER check…this time they are actively attempting to steal the saddle off your horse with you still riding it…
    Paddock: *rolls natural 1*
    DM: Make an INT check to realize you are now riding saddleless DC5
    Paddock: *rolls natural 3*
    DM:So…come dawn the barbarian starts a quiet check of everyone’s possessions and most of the settlers report small trinkets and family jewelry missing. Coe-Nan has a faint trail from where some small humanoids dragged off what he is guessing is a shield…the shield dragging left marks on the ground. As you coordinate and compare notes the Paladin comes back into view…his weapons and shield are gone, his horse is saddleless and he is slumped in his saddle snoring loudly.
    Paddock: I don’t care if I rolled a 1…how would I not notice my saddle being taken?
    DM: You have about 2 dex right now from the numbing poison you got soaked in, all your reflexes and reactions are operating on empty, coupled with EXTREME exhaustion and the fact that you rarely have to worry about your balance while mounted and you aren’t exactly keen on recognizing changes to your riding.
    Paddock: These vandals will pay dearly…I will not rest until…
    Me: until you pass out again? *snickers*
    Paddock:…until they answered for their crimes at the point of my lance.
    DM: They got your lance too…
    Kemen: And your Morningstar…

    The paladin ends up roaming the camp looking for any kind of weapon… he ends up with a club and spear. Grumbling under his breath at the table the whole time he is ready to march out and track down our thieves.

    Coe-Nan and myself take point as between us we have the best chance to follow the trail and potentially spot ambushes/traps.

    Paddock grudgingly takes rear while the monk and wizard are in the middle.
    We follow the trail to a very small mountain (or large hill) with a winding path leading to a plateau…(think Weathertop from LoTR) and as we are working our way up the paths I spot a trap. Kemen and I examine it (craft trapmaking being a maxed skill he has) and figure it is based around a tripwire triggering a sliding boulder. We all successfully circumvent it and continue on. We find five more similar traps on the way up, and evade each of them. It is approaching early dusk as we reach the plateau and atop the hill is a Stonehenge like formation, in the center atop a stone crop is a pile of stolen goods. 8 small grubby gnomish figures are celebrating. The Paladin’s lance if functioning as a spit for a stag that is being turned over some glowing coals. His shield is being used as a serving platter for wild berries and nuts. Each gnome has a dagger at their hip and spread throughout the grass are a number of large spears.

    Me:They haven’t spotted us yet?
    DM:Correct.
    Kemen: I can try to sleep a tight batch…might get 1 or 2.
    Coe-Nan: Fill me in on the details later, im charging before the gnome gets to…charge attack at the nearest one…
    Kemen and I: Damnit!
    Coe-Nan steals a page from the paladin’s book and goes roaring in axes whirling to assault the nearest gnome.
    Kemen: There is something you probably should have known before charging.
    Coe-Nan: Why they are just gnomes…
    Kemen: Actually I’m pretty sure they are Spriggans.
    Me: Oh crap…

    As Coe-Nan swings his axe all the gnomes drop whatever they are doing and dart for their spears…and then they transform into towering 9 foot slavering beasts. The Paladin who was already announcing his own charge attack ends up galloping into the thick of 3 towering giants.

    I take a move up to get within point blank range on Coe-Nan’s target and put an arrow in it’s back. Kemen adds a magic missile to the same target and Silent One darts in to complete the flank on 1st target. As is becoming customary at this point the barbarian and paladin start taking big damage while the rest of us plink away.

    The 2nd round large spriggans pile up on the melee combatants and a pair start loping towards the wizard. The flanked spriggan drops to a pair of hits from Coe-Nan, and we shift focus to support Paddock. His huge dex penalty is wrecking him. He is quickly dropping to dangerous territory.

    Paddock: This is how it ends? Torn asunder by filthy beasts atop a desolate hill?
    Kemen: We aren’t dead yet…
    Paddock (maybe out of character im not sure):What are the rules for trying to bugger a large sized creature?
    DM: Uh…I don’t think those exist.
    Kemen: Grapple check+pin would be close.

    Paddock forgoes the attempted “grappling” of a spriggan and instead does a 180 and runs from the encounter, he takes an AOO that knocks him to 2 health but manages separation. As the gang that was pounding on him advances Kemen makes a small move and launches a perfectly placed (and timed) color spray that leaves five of them blinded and stumbling. Paddock puts some healing into himself and then moves to help assist Coe-Nan. With several targets incapitated the tides turn and we start to gain control. The Silent One is dancing between blind target launching AOO’s and is a whirling dervish with his spear. We still scramble a lot and everyone takes a beating by the time the last spriggan goes down. Paddock gets himself into decent shape and does some triage on Coe-Nan. We are in rough but passable shape and now faced with another dilemma.

    In the course of searching the spriggans and the plateau I readily discover the stone slab is actually a door that blocks a tunnel into the hill. The hill is their lair. We are hesitant to part ways with the caravan but there is a chance they will actually reach town before we do. We vote to further explore the hill. We all sleep on top of the stone slab so that anything inside will have a heck of a time getting out.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Default Re: The Big One-Campagin Log

    Into the Spriggan’s Den:

    Spoiler
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    The entrance to the spriggan’s den is actually quite ingenious. It would require considerable size to move the cap stone to their lair, but once inside the confines are very tight. The gnome very hesitantly is forced to leave his mount outside, and we are all cramped trying to shoulder our way through the narrow passage winding down. The initial entrance is windy and hard to navigate, and eventually gives way to a rope ladder that descends down a vertical hole.

    Paddock goes down first and Coe-Nan brings up the rear. The hole leads to a common room. Picture the nastiest, most sleaze ridden bedroom possible, and add 8 bedrolls that could just as easily be called nests. From there is a second passage with a rope bridge that descends at a slight angle. We do a cursory search of the bedrolls and aside from filth and refuse nothing of value is located. The rope bridge is somewhat shabby and we don’t trust it to hold very much weight. Kemen puts a light spell on a copper piece and flings it off the side…it falls the better part of a 100 feet to an underground pool. We go across the bridge 1 at a time with the dwarf (who is actually the heaviest) going first. We figure he has the most weight and worst case…he can cast levitate from his pick.

    Everything holds their breath a bit as we make it across and the monk makes a big show of scrutinizing the ceiling for signs of darkmantles. The other side of the bridge leads to a path that circles down deep into the bowels of the barrow. As we circle down we start finding statues of various warriors, wizards, thieves and clerics sculpted from various races.

    Kemen: I am going to examine these from a spellcraft stand point and a stoneworking standpoint.
    The DM nods and just hands him a note.
    Kemen calls all of us to a halt and frantically gestures to us in silence to come back. In a whisper he pulls us close and says “I can’t find a single toolmark or seam on these statues”
    Paddock: So they are valuable?
    Kemen: No they are people. Petrified.
    Coe-Nan: Spriggans can’t petrify…
    Me: Could be a basilisk.
    Kemen: Basilisks don’t keep decorations.
    Paddock: A medusa would. Who has the best fort save?
    Everyone as one: You do…

    None of us wants to end up a statue, but we also feel compelled to go forward, if there is a medusa and she is collecting statues of victims then we can’t let her continue to do so. Most of us are CN/N but the monk and paladin are definitely good at their core. With the gnome out front and the rest of us staring at our feet we creep forward on pins and needles deeper in.

    Crystalline formations are casting strange patterns of light off the walls, presumably being reflected from the pool of water deep within the hill. The winding path finally gives way to level ground amidst the shallow waters of a natural spring, stalagmites traced with quartz dot the shallow water and upon a rise in the center of the water is an island, the paladin sees something slip into the water and small ripples set everyone on edge. Kemen puts light on a few more copper pieces and tosses them in various directions to help visibility.

    A pair of arrows come hissing from the shadows and Kemen takes two hits from an unknown attacker. Paddock and Coe-Nan both instantly react by saying they are charging the direction it came from.

    DM: Give me spot check results and from that we will determine where you think it came from.
    They both end up tearing off in completely separate directions, and neither of them locates the attacker. Paddock does manage to fall into an submerged pit trap, and with horrid swim ranks and plate armor he sinks like a stone.

    Everyone else readies and holds actions to return fire or fire once they see a target. The medusa manages to get behind us and nearly sneak attacks the wizard, but Silent One gets the drop on her and with his reach he lands an AOO as she gets within range of Kemen. I put a close range arrow into her and move to a stalagmite for cover.

    Coe-Nan comes charging back towards us in the correct direction and hits a submerged trip wire which sends him flying face first into the water. The Silent One flurries and lands another shot on the Medusa who then tries to petrify him. He makes the save buts it close. Kemen puts a magic missile into her then moves for cover at a different stalagmite.

    Paddock is scrambling below water to try and climb his way out from the watery pit, but his check penalties are nasty and he keeps sinking back in. Luckily he has a huge con and can stay underwater something like 2 minutes with no ill effect. I miss with my next arrow and the medusa slips towards my position, she eats a nearly max damage from the monk in response but then she launches a gaze attack at me…I roll a 5 for the save and get petrified. Coe-Nan makes it to his feet and then takes a move to get within closer range. Kemen draws his crossbow and gets ready to put another shot into her…the monk charges her and lands another solid shot that rocks her. That is enough to get her spooked and she knocks my petrified form over and pulls a runner. The monk makes a dex check to react and slide under him to break my fall.

    Kemen puts a crossbow bolt into the fleeing medusa and rolls a 6…the medusa screeches and drops in her tracks face down into the water. At the table he pantomimes blowing smoke from the barrel of a gun and holsters his imaginary missile weapon.

    Kemen: Don’t mess with the dwarf baby

    The monk dives down to bring a rope to the paladin who is basically sitting at the bottom of a 30 foot pit just holding his breath while fuming. We drag him out and get him back above water. Cautiously we begin a search of the Medusa’s lair and finally find some valuables. On her island are several nice gems and a chest of coin. We also find a scattering of magic items. A +1 morningstar, a +1 light crossbow and a belt of giant str+2. A few potions of cure light wounds and a wand of magic missile with 7 charges (CL3) are nice bonuses. What we don’t find is anything to break enchantment or remove my affliction.

    There is a certain relief in finally getting treasure, but that is short lived once the question of how to get me out of there is raised. A couple hundred pound statue that is non maneuverable through the narrow tunnels is going to prove next to impossible to get up a rope ladder and out a narrow winding tunnel system.

    Kemen: We could split him into pieces and I can put them back together…
    Coe-Nan: We could just leave him…
    Paddock:How about we find a different way out?
    Me: I like Paddock’s idea!
    DM: In the interest of saving time…and tons of un-needed search checks, there is not a separate means of egress save for a long swim underwater.
    Kemen: Then we will just have to make one. Time to start digging…

    In lieu of digging straight through the hill, they drag my petrified self up to the rope ladder than begin the long tedious process of expanding the exit to get me out. It uses up nearly five days in game time, but they work through the various layers and manage to get me out.

    They load me in the wagon along with our loot and continue on (now long overdue) to Frontierville. It is a good sized village with functional militia and fortified walls, it is also woefully empty of casters that can un-stone me. We have 3500 in coin and try to hire out someone that can break enchantment to no avail. A town five days from there should have the necessary materials and resources and without wanting to operate fully a man down we make our way to the nearest true town. Word reaches us that the settlers did in fact arrive unharmed at the village and no further hell pigs had been sighted at that juncture. Kemen does a lot of note exchanging with the DM and he continues to play things close to the vest.

    Travel from Frontierville to Skara (the town name) goes uneventfully. We have to cash in almost 1500 to get a scroll of break enchantment and the means in which to cast it. We are back to true full strength and have a bit of money and some upgraded items to show for it. As we relax in our tavern room we examine the map and compare to a rough overland map of the area we purchased. If our reading of the map is correct than whatever was in the crypt with our potential guardian lich is heading east like mad. The decision is made to head east as well.

    Kemen takes the crossbow, Paddock the Morningstar and Coe-Nan takes the belt. We leave Skara heading east with no clear objective other than seeking clarity on our would be lich. We figure on being 10-15 days behind our quarry and for all appearances he/she is heading for the coast. We travel with little incident up until day 3. Mid afternoon we are coming towards the edge of dense forest and as we come to a bend in the road a wagon 110 feet ahead of us, is turned on it’s side and a band of elves are fending off the attack of multiple ogres.

    Paddock spurs his mount and takes off at a trot to engage and Coe-Nan leaps from the wagon while tossing the reins to the monk. The monk tosses the reins back to the dwarf who is riding in the wagon bed and he too jumps off the wagon and starts running to the fight. In character and out Kemen and I look at each and shake our heads

    Me: The recklessness is spreading…

    None of them can reach even with a charge, and Kemen halts the wagon and the two of start sniping from a good distance off. The 3 elves are trying to defend themselves but with the ogres drawing in and hurling javelins that have enough force to penetrate the 2 inch thick siding of the wagon their situation looks grim. From the wagon we count five ogres.

    The following round Coe-Nan wins init and he finishes his charge towards one of the ogres only to have a volley of five arrows land all around him from the treeline beyond our sight. Paddock has already declared his action and he is screaming his battle cry at the top of his lungs as he charges, he is targeted by another 5.

    The monk redirects himself to the trees and he can see 10 goblin archers supporting the ogres from the cover of the woods. While he knows that, we don’t have those facts as of yet. The monk makes a running dive into their midst and lands surrounded by five goblins. He is grinning like it’s Christmas.
    The next round sees an elf get his head bashed in by an ogre greatclub and our two melee combatants get into the thick of things with the ogres. Kemen starts moving the wagon closer and I am targeting the ogres closest to my position. Paddock lines up a nice charge that brings down an ogre and Coe-Nan puts a bad hurting on a 2nd that was already sprouting arrows. As the goblins start to panic and disperse the monk goes into full blender mode with his 7 AOO’s and reach with his spear.

    When the third ogre drops, the goblins all try to full scale retreat, and the monk manages to kill six of the ten all told. He get close enough that Kemen puts a sleep spell on one of the last remaining ogres and he barks out for everyone to leave it. The fourth ogre goes down in a flurry of spear, arrow and axe, and the elves are able to relax and take a breath. They started with six, and only 2 are still alive.

    We hold a brief parley with the elves while Kemen and Coe-Nan bind the remaining ogre with a ton of rope. They tell us that they are bound for Frontierville, the leader of their community asked them to investigate an oddity he saw in his crystal ball. He described it as “an ancient evil serving a greater good sending a distress call”. Now 4th wall antics aside we are positive this can’t be coincidence. We also know that 2 elves aren’t going to accomplish much of anything. They share what their master has gleaned and we share what we ran into. Unfortunately there are no breakthroughs in terms of knowing what is going on. The elves are ultimately of a mind to return to their community to update their leadership and provide proper funerals for their fallen comrades. Pern, the defacto leader of their band gives up a glass leaf, he tells us that if we do discover anything of great note to make a pot of tea and drop the leaf in the kettle, drink the tea and they will be able to contact us.

    The ogre comes around and tries to break his bindings, but he is practically mummified. Kemen walks up to the ogre and squats by it’s side. He tries Goblin, Common and Giant. And the ogre recognizes Giant.

    Kemen:I got me a good problem. I really want to find the rest of your friends and I really want to try out this new collapsing tree trap. So you can play this 1 of 2 ways. Tell me how to find the rest of your band and their lair and I will leave you close enough to a fire that your ropes will burn and you will be free with nothing too severe or permanent. OR I can rig up my new trap and see just how many trees collapsing on a ogre it takes to turn you into pulp. Your choice.
    Ogre: Big Boss wants more sacrifices…I just follow orders. Big Boss going to break Metal Man..bring big mojo to tribe. Big Boss is half day north from here. Me no want to get smashed.
    Kemen:How many?
    Ogre: 1 Big Boss…that why he Big Boss
    Kemen: how many in your camp?
    Ogre…lots

    Kemen gets a few landmarks to ensure we can track the tribe down and then true to his word he lights a campfire right next to the ogre and leaves it to presumably burn through it’s bonds.
    Normally I would allude to a sense of duty in tracking down maruding humanoids. Our reasons are much more pragmatic…lairs=loot.
    The DM ends session at that point and we make level 4.
    I take a 3rd level in rogue and bump Dex
    The Silent One bumps Dex and takes another level in monk
    Kemen bumps Int and takes a 3rd level in abjurer and takes Web and Flaming Sphere
    Coe-Nan takes barb and bumps str
    And Paddock takes cleric and bumps wisdom

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Default Re: The Big One-Campagin Log

    Quote Originally Posted by Axinian View Post
    And, once again, this looks like it could shape up to be one of the best campaign logs ever.

    You should probably push for a campaign archive along the lines of the SilverclawShift one.
    I have gotten positive feedback, which has encouraged me to keep writing. Having said that I would be hesistant to put these on same level. I absolutely loved reading them and that is what got me started on these. I don't think there is quite the same following for what I have written. That may change as I get deeper for this one.

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

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    Jan 2012

    Default Re: The Big One-Campagin Log

    I've enjoyed all of your game recaps, even the ones that only got one post or so in, and would definitely put them on the same level.
    A thing I made! The Spirited Blade; warrior of the mind come by and tell me what you think.

    May glory flow forever more to The Mad Hatter for bringing Haeros; Master of the Transcendant Style to my avatar box!

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Apr 2010
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    Default Re: The Big One-Campagin Log

    This is looking like an epic campaign so far. Though I have to wonder if your Paladin is a newer player?

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Default Re: The Big One-Campagin Log

    Quote Originally Posted by Endon the White View Post
    This is looking like an epic campaign so far. Though I have to wonder if your Paladin is a newer player?
    In all honesty, no. He has been playing since 1st edition. His desicion to play his paladin as an over the top nearly suicidal idiot was deliberate. He wanted to have fun and this was a way for him to do so.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Aug 2011

    Default Re: The Big One-Campagin Log

    He is the Champion:

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    We trek through the wood’s and arrive towards nightfall to a large encampment in a small shallow valley. There are well over 50 goblins, 10-12 ogres 3 of which are clearly better equipped, and from our observations we are guessing 10 plain ogres with two elite bodyguards and a chief (Big Boss). In the center of their camp is a Warforged straining at his bonds held to a pair of thick trees like King Kong. From what chatter we can pick up the Metal Man is going to be sacrificed the next night as part of a dark blessing performed by the Big Boss. I think my favorite aspect of this description was the guy who was playing the Silent One coming to the table after grabbing a drink and him coming up behind Paddock’s player and covering his mouth as if to prevent him from charging.

    We observe from a distance as they begin preparation for their ritual. Four enormous bon fires are lit and the goblins all take up positions around each fire. The Ogres form a cordon around the metal man as the Big Boss ceremonially sharpens a huge and heavily weighted axe. Against all reason we decide on making a rescue attempt to free the Warforged. Kemen memorizes a lot of color sprays and a pair of webs with a flaming sphere. He and Coe-Nan are going to make a beeline for the chief and try to free the Warforged. Paddock is given free license to ride like a maniac through the camp causing as much confusion as possible. The Silent One is going to follow in Paddock’s wake and tie up as many mooks as possible, while I trail behind them to snipe targets. If Paddock can get a clear shot he is going to try and lance the chief.

    Everyone moves into their position on the map and as all eyes are on the ritual Kemen drops a web right amidst the ogre leadership, as his spell is landing the gnome comes stampeding into the camp skewering a goblin and riding off. The monk comes tumbling with his spear whirling in the middle of the camp, and Coe-Nan with axes swinging starts his bee line straight for the chief….dwarf wizard plodding behind him. I put an arrow into a goblin from the tree line…one that was within sneak attack distance and drop him where he stands.

    Most of the goblins are panicked and a good number are unarmed, those too close to the monk get speared trying to run for weapons. The chief begins bellowing out orders as he and his bodyguards start to break free from the web. Kemen color sprays a pack of goblins and tries to keep pace with Coe-Nan but he is lagging behind quickly. Paddock makes a ride by attack at a fringe plain ogre and lands a solid hit. I move in and drop another goblin with’s back to me. Coe-Nan makes it to the web fringe and attacks his first ogre. The Silent One keeps picking off targets of opportunity and the mook goblins are dropping on any damage roll 3 or better.

    By the end of round 2 they are getting their act together and the ogres at fringe of web are getting free. The goblins are starting to organize and begin to fight back. I shift focus to the chief and start plinking him. Kemen puts up another web atop his first to pin down the ogres. Paddock makes another ride by attack on an injured ogre and comes close to dropping it. I make it a point to target him on my next turn. Coe get flanked by a pair of ogres and he eats a pair of attacks for 16 damage. The Silent One abandons his harrying tactics and moves to support the barbarian.

    The next round Kemen drops a flaming sphere on the chief and lights the whole web. I drop the most heavily wounded ogre and Coe and Silent One are tearing into the next closest one. Where the web gets consumed Kemen follows up with additional color sprays and I keep putting arrows in the chief’s direction barring a badly wounded target. Paddock gets a line of attack on the chief and makes a charge attack on a tight line through the flames. The chief then grapples him and start to pummel his small self. We start absorbing arrows from the goblins and Kemen is becoming a primary target, the ogres getting free from the flames start sending javelins at him. Coe-Nan makes a 5 foot move to get adjacent to the Warforged and manages to cut one of its hands free. The Warforged who has remained quiet until that point roars in appreciation and stands up horizontally against the second pole pulling with everything he has. A bodyguard ogre gets position on Silent One and he clocks him for 17 in a single hit. The Chief shifts with his own five foot move and puts a 19 point attack into Coe-Nan. That puts him dangerously close to single digits. Silent One lands a spear jab from reach on the chief and Paddock lands a lance jab in the same round. Kemen lines up a color spray to hit the bodyguard that hasn’t acted and a few fringe ogres that are now burning.

    The Warforged breaks free and acts first the following round…he snatches an ogre club from the ground and lays into one of the bodyguard blocking his way to the chief. We have four ogres in total down and substantial damage on the chief. A dozen or so goblins are down and they are cautiously firing into the chaos at the center. The next round Coe-Nan gets cracked on the head and he drops to -1. Kemen eats a trio of attacks, a club and two javelins and he is reduced to single digit health. Silent One is below half health and Paddock is real banged up too. With no obvious wounded/near death target and things looking real ugly I toss a daze at a plain ogre that has been swinging on Paddock, I manage to take away it’s action for a round and Paddock dives from his mount to where Coe-Nan is dropped and he puts his full 10 point LoH into him. Kemen takes his five foot move and drops a color spray to try and buy himself time. Silent One keeps jabbing at the chief as our Warforged ally drops the bodyguard he was fighting. He steps up and comes face to face with the chief who is ready to finish off Coe-Nan. As the Warforged steps up the collective chaos and shouting goes silent.

    The remaining ogres all back off and shout at the goblins to stay their hands. Paddock takes the lull as a chance to put a cure spell on Coe-Nan and our whole group backs up and regroups, as the Warforged starts circling the ogre chief.

    Warforged: You should have killed me when you had the chance.
    Ogre:Doing so now won’t take very long.
    Me: Should we take advantage of this to re-attack or just wait?
    Kemen: I’m all for letting people sort out their own problems…

    As discreetly as possible (given we are still in the middle of a hostile battlefield in which we have just straight up killed more than a dozen of their allies) we do some cure-light wounds triage and get everyone a little less worse for wear.

    The ogre chief and the warforged captive start laying into each other with a fury and perhaps owing to the number of wounds he sustained from our party the chief is not faring very well. The Warforged gets the upper hand and ends up kneecapping the chief, then using his head like a little leaguer would play teaball. There is a sickening *crack* as a final brutal club swing snaps the ogre’s neck and he falls to the ground inert. The surrounding ogres and goblins don’t cheer, instead they kind of look around at each other and most eyes end up on an ogre who take just about no wounds and is built pretty sturdy. He glances at the angered warforged and lowers his club slightly. It is described to us as not exactly a submissive gesture, but at least a complacent gesture.

    With a shout the Warforged barks out orders to the goblins who drag the dead chief to the largest bonfire, they strip him of everything he has and unceremoniously toss him to the flames.

    The Warforged approaches us and gives us a small salute with the ogre’s huge axe.
    Warforged: I appreciate the assistance. I challenged that pile of gnoll dung to a trial for dominance of this tribe and he had his guards tackle me before I could proclaim it to the tribe.
    Paddock: Wait, I thought you were being sacrificed.
    Warforged: I was. We serve harsh gods, they demand real sacrifice and voluntarily slaying a tribal champion is a strong offering.
    I sense a big old cliff coming up on the horizon and something tells me that a gnome sized locomotive is about to go full steam towards it.
    Me: Well we are glad to see justice served and will leave to celebrate the change in leadership. Other pressing matters weigh upon us and we shall take our leave.
    Paddock: Screw that!
    *sigh*
    Paddock:If this guy is taking over the tribe then he is responsible for the murders of those elves on the road…he must
    DM: I am afraid that Paddock has just fallen asleep…
    Paddock: WHAT!?!

    The DM then hands a note to the gnome with Kemen’s handwriting on it.

    The second the gnome tries to start any sign of additional hostility or confrontation I am dropping my last Sleep spell on him.

    Paddock: I should at least get a saving throw.
    DM: In the future absolutely. But this is a trusted comrade and ally, with no reason to doubt his intent the first spell he cast on I am ruling is not subject to a save. Any additional spell cast upon you even by an ally you can choose to save or not. That is if you determine what happened to knock you down.
    The group makes some hasty “gotta go’s” and we are moving out at top speed to try and get some distance. Or at least we intended to.
    Kemen: Have Coe-Nan grab the gnome and lets run out of here as fast as possible.
    DM: Coe-Nan will find that rather difficult to do.
    Coe-Nan: Uh…no he is well within carrying capacity.
    DM: Paddock is. The HORSE is not.
    Me: Just yank him off.
    Now Paddock who is brooding at the table gets a **** eating grin to end all **** eating grins…
    Paddock: I can’t be dismounted save by my own decision. Too bad I’m asleep.

    We very haphazardly try to explain our soon to be predictament to the presumptive new ogre chief who is absolutely flummoxed at the turn of events.
    Warforged: I think I may need to kill you all. I will feel bad in doing so, but you have badly injured my clan, and while my gratitude is enough to let you leave, it is not enough to accommodate any notions your small friend may have about our future.
    Me: Then let’s settle this in a notion that even Paddock will have to accept. If the two of you can’t come to an accord then you settle your differences in a trial by combat. I must admit that I am not familiar with any of the customs of your kind. Perhaps…and I might be wrong…but perhaps *hint hint* there is a prescript in your customs that demands 1 year must pass before the trial can be carried out.
    (Warforged were something we knew of, but in the context of character creation they were not allowed and from table chat the presence of was considered extremely rare)
    Warforged: So you are suggesting that I accept an offer to fight your little friend, but tell him that we must wait 1 year for the actual challenge?
    Me:Precisely. You gain status as not backing down, he saves face for finding a resolution and well all move on.

    The gnome starts to come around at that point and Coe-Nan is quick to move in front of him.

    The gnome is very confused and steadfast in challenging the tribe and their new leader to follow him to the nearest town for a fair trial. A request they firmly deny and weapons start to get hefted and arrows are put to bowstring. Any dissension from the shake up in management vanished in the face of a renewed threat. The Warforged makes the commitment that a trial will take place…between the two of them, but per his customs, 1 year must pass. We all haggle back and forth in character and out and agree that we are not in a territory with clear laws or governance and that we should meet in the middle ground and have a trial in 1 year’s time.

    Paddock: So be it. In 1 years time, by my oath and dedication to Kord, we shall meet upon a field of battle and let providence deem the worth of our actions and stance.
    There is a group sigh of relief as we all move on and head back to the main road. Tensions are high, as we expect some sort of potential retaliation in the coming days.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Aug 2011

    Default Re: The Big One-Campagin Log

    The Road Goes Ever On

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    We are banged up and there is some real lingering tension in the group…the gnome is not entirely sure what happened and is acting much more leery and even more paranoid than ordinary. A lot of distance is put between the ogre encampment and ourselves and we travel without incident for 3 further days. Everyone gets back to full health and periodic examination of our metallic map leads us to believe we are on the right track.

    The thick forests have given way to plains with high grass and the occasional copse of trees. More Savannah than farmland. Paddock is out front, with the monk bringing up the rear. Coe-Nan is at the wagon’s reins with Kemen and myself once again in the wagon itself. Its lazy going until early evening and maybe an hour before we would normally call it a night and make camp a streaking form sprints from the grass and knocks Coe-Nan off the wagon. A second blur comes sprinting out and tries to tackle Paddock off his mount, and instead ends up entangled on the mount with him.

    A trio of arrows thud into the wagon and the wizard, 1 hits the wagon and two hit him. The streaking attackers look an awful lot like the boars we ran into, except in cheetah frames. A disease ridden and plague infested gnoll of staggering height rises from the grass furnishing a bramble laced, thorny longbow.

    Paddock is stuck in a bizarre grapple situation where he is getting raked by the hindclaws of his mutant cheetah. Coe-Nan manages to get to his feet and draw his axes and the Silent One charges to intercept the assailant from the brush. I draw to return fire at the enemy archer and concealment from displacement sends my first shot stray. Kemen puts a shield up on himself and ducks down for full cover in the wagon. There is some back and forth archery from the wagon to the brush as the Silent One tries to force movement and create AOO’s the enemy archer proves to be quite elusive. Kemen jumps from the wagon on the side away from enemy fire and lends some flanking assistance via his heavy pick to the paladin. The Silent One and myself are both absorbing arrows and Coe-Nan manages to slay his cheetah, he moves to help Paddock finish off his target.

    The monk is constantly working to close distance as the gnoll archer is frenetic in his actions. He has major displacement effect that makes him damn tough to pin down. The barbarian and paladin finish off their cheetah and we bring everything to bear on the gnoll…who immediately bugs out and flees. The monk and paladin give chase, but he is moving well beyond what they are capable of and we lose sight of him in short order.

    Paddock starts to remain much closer to the wagon and everone piles up inside with missile weapons at the ready. As true night approaches we begin to hear howling from various directions in the distance. Uneasily we are afraid of being surrounded and ambushed in our sleep. Kemen comes up with a plan … he casts light on a handful of crossbow bolts…then levitates about fifty feet into the air…he takes four pot shots in different directions to cast out lighted torch-bolts in the compass directions. From his elevated position he confirms our suspicion. We have about 3 dozen cheetahs all creeping in a circle around our position. I feel obligated to mention something about our particular DM. He made this campaign with no resurrection, and with that he plays things on the edge but rarely throws something at us that we can’t handle. 2 dozen cheetahs feels overwhelming given the trouble we had the first time. 2 dozen cheetahs with ranged support seems overkill. When presented with a scenario like this he is saying 1 of 3 things.
    1.You need to run or evade as there is something planned down the road
    2. There is something I have foreshadowed that you can abuse
    3. I am tired of running things and I want to play as a PC again so I am wiping you guys out to end the campaign.
    Guessing wrong on these facts has TPK a few adventures.

    As he starts to shout to us…arrows from a long distance hiss past him and he rapidly descends back into the wagon…
    Kemen: We need to move and now…lots of cheetahs and they have us surrounded.
    Paddock: Then let us stand and fight!
    Kemen: We need to draw them somewhere they don’t have cover. We gotta run and hold out til morning when we have some visibility.

    Coe-Nan puts the wagon in motion and we move at a good clip with everyone scanning for incoming cats like our heads are mounted on swivels. You never know when #3 could be the factor and its always nice to make a strong showing of yourselves.

    The cheetahs strafe in and out harrying us from all angles, and after about 2 hours of cat and horse…they attack the horses directly.
    Me: No horses…no movement they are trying to hamstring us.
    Coe-Nan: Why not hook up the paladin’s stone horse to the traces and let it pull us? It never wears out right?
    Kemen: That is a great idea. It should be able to pull the wagon we don’t have a lot in it.

    The stone horse is jury rigged to the wagons traces after we slice the two draft horses free. Judging from pained whinnies we hear, we assume the horses are killed off screen and can’t help but feel a bit saddened. We are also greatly pained by the constant stream of cats leaping from the high grass. I’m not if we actually killed many as they relentlessly moved in and out and it was hard to tell injuries from disease marks. When dawn comes there is a short lived sigh of relief. Short lived because the attacks don’t cease. If anything they intensify. From the vantage of the wagon more than one gnoll is visible and we catch glimpses of cheetahs everywhere.

    Everyone is low on spells and health. The paladin’s limited supply of healing is spent and we are all fatigued. We stubbornly keep plinking away with missile weapons and the paladin takes the reins to allow Coe-Nan and his better BAB to start dropping arrows. The Silent One is out of shuriken and he resorts to acting as a defensive asset to spear incoming cheetahs. The wagon moves up the crest of a hill and we spot a fortified hillock a mile or two away. A ragged cheer goes up at the table as the wagon turns and we head for the fort.

    The attacks finally let up as we approach the fort. A strange but familiar face greets us as we come within hailing distance. The sharakim leader we parleyed with back at Meskeet’s tavern and bunkhouse waves to us from the fort walls.

    Sharakim Leader: Fate does strange things in bringing people together and tearing them apart. I hope we are as well met the second time as the first.
    Coe-Nan: Any face that does not resemble hyena or cheetah is welcome to us.
    Sharakim Leader: We feel much the same.

    In retrospect we probably should have thought to ask more questions, but when a chance to enter a fortified position and meet up with potential reinforcements arrives you just go with it. Oops.

    Turns out the Sharakim have been harried and attacked by the same forces that have been nipping at us for the better part of a day. The survivors of their band found this hillock which had been over-run and barricaded themselves in. Of the 12 that initially set out, 5 remain. While we thought we were approaching a safe place, we really just steered ourselves into a siege scenario. The cheetahs and gnolls backed off because we were entering a place they already had bottled up. The Sharakim thicken the plot when they tell us that the gnolls went to pretty drastic lengths to avoid killing any of them, and have tried to take the fallen or wounded alive whenever possible.
    We join the Sharakim atop the fort walls to survey our situation. Cheetahs in plenty and 7 gnolls or similar stature and raiment are casually setting up patiently in the grass surveying the hill.

    Coe-Nan: Why do I feel like putting on the Alamo right now?

    More cheetahs and gnolls arrive in the course of the next day and while the paladin is getting most of the Sharakim and ourselves back to full health the dwarf takes stock of our resources and starts improvising traps. The fort is well built and direct assault will prove taxing. The gate itself is rather weak and with little rainfall the wood is dry and will burn eagerly once lit. Whatever force was occupying the hillock left it well provisioned, we are not lacking for torch oil, wood, rope, food and ammunition. They were even kind enough to leave us spare timber and tools. The Sharakim fill us in a bit on their training and abilities. At heart they are two handed fighter who favor the falchion. In our vernacular…power attackers with crit weapons. Kemen and I load up all 10 light crossbows in the fort’s equipment room and rig a simple trap that will let us fire all five at once. We rig them on either side of the gate and set the trigger to be a cut rope. Nothing elegant…but should work in a pinch.

    Kemen builds some rudimentary fire traps in shallow trenches surrounding the front gate, he sets up a ring of five grooves with torch oil that can be lit and form a burning circle. There are two sets of stairs that lead up to the fort’s walls. He takes off about 20 spear heads from the equipment room and pounds them through flat panels of wood, he adds nails and some broken glass then slides the panels pointy end up under the stairs. The stairs themselves he cuts most of the supports down to almost nothing, so that weight on them will cause it to to break…and the person falling should land on the pointy side of his panels. He also hammers in footholds and handholds directly into the wall so we can climb up and down. At the rear center of the hillock is a stone and wood cellar…he removes the roof from it and places all our water barrels inside. We stretch a rope net across the cellar with the intent of jumping from the walls into there as a last ditch effort.

    Coe-Nan and myself both have comp longbows and with a good supply of arrows we set up shop as snipers from the fort walls. Most of the cheetahs and gnolls are well back from the walls, but with range penalties not precluding us from taking potshots we start lobbing arrows and forcing them to back up several hundred feet.

    With a bit of a buffer zone we start to wrap arrow heads in oil soaked rags and pot shot out flaming arrows as far as possible. Our intent? Smoke em out from the grass and remove their cover. Its not exactly ineffectual and its hardly game changing but we manage to get a fair blaze going and we push a lot of movement on their part. Day 3 sees the biggest development. A hulking hill giant….and I mean HUGE hill giant is seen from our elevated position. He is at the helm of a monumental wagon being pulled by four wooly mammoth all stricken with the same affliction as the cheetahs and boars.

    Paddock: You know that big rock guy in Never Ending Story? The one that rides the granite tricycle? I feel like that guy just went all stay puff marshmallow on us. What is the one thing that could never hurt us? The nice rock guy from Never Ending Story and now he is coming for us…
    Kemen: Well its been a good run…
    Me: We could just run for it.
    Paddock: Cheetahs run faster.
    Coe-Nan: If they hesitate to kill us we stand a chance.

    The monk has an idea and owing to his limitations he is forced to get outlandish. Figuring it would be too easy to just let him say “ well my monk acts out the following without talking” the DM made him play his character as a true mute and in exchange he got a constant magic fang effect, shoring up a major weakness in the class.

    At the table The Silent One pantomimes taking a deep drag on a cigarette then exhaling all over the place…he then raises his hand to brow and squints as if to see through the haze. He then takes a red 20 sided dice and starts rolling it all over the map and making burning noises. I love the fact that he follows his restrictions and is creative enough to get his point across. Basically “no one can see well in the smoke…so just use flaming sphere to light up everything and we move out in the smoke”
    Kemen: I think cheetahs can track by scent…
    *Sniff Sniff* *cough cough* waves hands in front of face to wave away the smoke…
    Me: nice…

    Not wanting to find out what the hill giant has in store the wizard starts lighting up the surrounding lands with flaming spheres and we get a good solid burn going just about everywhere except for the direction we are going to ride out in. The Sharakim go with us, running alongside the wagon. We are told the stone horse can pull it with them in it but at a slow pace. We decide to make as much forward progress as running will allow, then alternate running and walking.

    It works pretty well. We get a good open plains fire roaring them get the hell out of dodge. The smoke does it’s job and keeps most of our pursuers at bay. The wizard is the only one to remain in the wagon at all times as the rest of us switch back and forth to catch our breath. Errant cheetahs do pounce on us and are quickly swarmed and overwhelmed. The pace is pushed until everyone is borderline exhausted and we are forced to all take rest in the now very slow moving wagon.

    Our only advantage (we think it is an advantage, for all we know these mutant cheetahs don’t sleep) is that we can go endlessly with a never tiring horse. We take the extended retreat as an opportunity to really investigate what is going on. The Sharakim and ourselves enter a lengthy discussion and all we can come up as a reason for the assaults on us is the map we are carrying. What we do with that map? That is a tougher question.

    *Side Note:A few weeks later someone casually tosses out this encounter as an example of overkill and our DM replies "well I expected you guys to scour the cellar and find a trapdoor leading to an underground section of the fort. You got so caught up MacGyver'ing traps that you never really bothered to search"

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Default Re: The Big One-Campagin Log

    Time to Test Out My Sea Legs:

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    Together we journey un-harassed to our original coastal city destination. The Sharakim once again part ways with us and book a ship for a long passage around the coast of the continent. The City is called LaBrau and its borderline metropolis in size, it is a sprawling and prosperous shipping location and heavy with resources. We seek out some knowledgeable scholar types to examine our map and see what they can come up with. We track down an archivist in a dusty library and he manages to tell us that some of the inlays resemble a very old manuscript he saw about a country/nation called Tempura, a once powerful desert kingdom that fell into antiquity and legend.
    Kemen: Well that does us next to zero good.

    Our next step is to scour the docks for any information about strange passengers seeking passage just about anywhere. If some kind of lich did emerge from the crypt way back past Frontierville then he must struggle to travel incognito. In game it takes us the better part of a full week to track down a smaller merchant fleet that recalls an odder customer that communicated almost exclusively by courier and written note. He arranged private passage for himself and a consignment of cargo to one of the lesser populated continents. Aside from the strange communication what made him so memorable was his desire for the ship to pass extremely close to a chains of islands known as the Hullbreaker’s Edge. Most ships avoid the area like a plague…he wanted to pass within several miles of it.

    I alluded to the more sandbox nature of this campaign and I meant it. Our DM told us from the onset that we could take the content whatever way we wanted and that he had contingencies for the story for just about every variation he thought we could come up with. From a rail-road or paint by numbers aspect the “hook” is leading us towards travelling to the Hullbreaker islands or booking passage to the same destination our potential mystery guy went to. So naturally we skip that whole thought process and decide to double back to the hillock and re-investigate the area and get some payback on gnolls. This decision also led to some true lawyer-ing. While we the people know there is a whole nother section to the hillock fort, we the characters do not know that information. Kemen ends up making the true legal argument of inevitable discovery. Basically saying that given enough time and lack of an immediate threat we would have searched the area top to bottom before leaving.

    We drop about 500 in coin on restocking mundane supplies and purchasing a second wagon and some serviceable draft horses. Kemen also crafts a custom harness that the gnome can unhook from the lead wagon as a move action. Paddock takes the lead wagon, and Coe-Nan steers the draft horses in trail wagon. Kemen and I split between the two wagons and Silent One walks in between the two. We spend another week backtracking to the savannah and we become over the top paranoid as the landscape grows familiar again. Game time the better part of 3 weeks has passed since we last entered and the place looks a lot different.

    Turns out the whole area was reallllll dry, and we burned down several thousand acres of tall grass. The hillock is a smoldering ruin and there is no sign of our previous pursuers. We cautiously approach the ashes of the fort and get a big shock when…

    DM: As you start to climb the hill towards the still smoking refuse that was once a fortified position a squat and expansively muscled creature steps out from a small tree. It is barely four feet tall and must weigh the better part of 400 pounds, it wears simple robes and is covered in short grey and white fur. Every fiber of your being is insisting that your eyes must be playing tricks but for all purposes you think the creature walking upright and looking very severely in your direction is in fact a dire badger. He crosses his arms and growls lowly at the group…he addresses you in Common…

    Badger: It will take generations for this land to recover from what you have done to it. Few offenses this egregious have been witnessed in the last 100 years. I was fully ready to take all your lives as recompense but my master bid me show compassion. I may let you leave this ground alive and unable to reproduce if you can justify your actions in setting an uncontrolled fire and then fleeing with no regard to the consequence, but that is if I feel very merciful.
    Coe-Nan: Did a talking badger just step out of a tree and threaten to castrate us?
    Kemen: Can I ask your name?
    Badger: I am called SlowHand
    Kemen: Slowhand…if you are knowledgeable enough to know we are responsible then you should be knowledgeable enough to know what we faced, is this correct?
    Slowhand *growling*:Indeed I do not. Whatever perceived threat you thought you faced was non detectable by any means at our disposal.

    We all describe just what it is that we faced and are taken aback when the badger insists no evidence supporting our claims is detectable. Coe-Nan ends up leading SlowHand to the general area where we saw the hill giant arriving. While he can’t locate a single track, scrap of fur, drop of blood, or even sign of dropping, the badger does grudgingly admit it would take a tremendous amount of weight to create the tracks we help him locate. Embedded deep within a wagon tread we uncover a single strand of mammoth hair. Slowhand examines it slowly then licks it. When he does the following torrent of language is something none of can recognize, but as the DM makes a nonsencial tirade in a furious voice he hands the Silent One the translation and his eyes go wide at the table.

    He doesn’t so much apologize, but he no longer threatens to castrate us. Instead he threatens to break our legs if we don’t recover every single detail of what happened and leave nothing out. We start from the beginning and describe everything from the boars to the cheetahs and the creepy drow. He nearly tackles my character to reach Kemen who has the map. As he examines the map, we all step back and try to get Silent to translate.

    Me: Im assuming he was speaking language of druids…
    TSO: *Nod yes*
    Kemen: Don’t let on you can understand…that would be very bad.
    Coe-Nan: Charades aside…how bad is what he was talking about, scale of 1-10
    TSO: *raises all ten fingers*
    Silent One: Give me a couple minutes…I have no clue how to act this out…need to think.
    He kind of mutters to himself for a few minutes then rolls his shoulders and stretches his arms. He makes a moaning noise and bites himself on the arm…a few seconds after rubbing the imaginary bite he kind of lurches around the table Frankenstein like.
    Paddock: Zombie bites…
    He makes the “sort of” hand gesture then he draws a line around his forehead with his finger, makes a creaking noise like lifting a squeaky lid and gestures as if taking his brain out. He fake bites the invisible brain then puts in back in his head and closes the lid…resuming his Frankenstein lurch after.
    Me: Yes zombies eat brains….
    Kemen: I think he means the bites don’t cause infections, but the infections occur inside the head.
    He makes the Bingo gesture!

    SlowHand steps back into his tree and disappears, warning us not to go far. We take the interlude as an opportunity to move into the ruined fort and start searching. It takes not much more than 10 minutes to locate the hidden trapdoor and discover a wooden stairwell spiraling down. We forgo exploring and wait for our badger friends to reappear.

    He comes back along with several other presumptive druids. 5 in total, an elderly elf, a pair of Halfling sisters, an awakened orangutan, and SlowHand (who we assume is also awakended). They all look ticked off. They blister us with yelling and let off a lot of steam but no overt violence is presented. They grudgingly give us the benefit of the doubt that something happened, but while they seem to have a clue as to what it was, they aren’t letting us know. It looks like we are almost off the hook when Elf druid silences all the chatter and simply stares Kemen in the eye.

    Elf Druid: You must atone for what you have done, justification merely obscures balance. Balance is what I am interested in.

    He gives me a frosted crystal, that is cold to the touch, but not painfully so.

    Elf Druid: There is an elixir that can rapidly heal the damage to this area. It is rare and dangerous and is resistive to all magical transportation. A waterfall of pure water falls in a land carved from ice, you must go to this place and submerge the crystal, place the water that you create from this mixture into a wooden gourd, you will then return to this place and bury the gourd. When this is done the fulcrum will return to the position it is meant and the debt will be paid.
    Kemen: I would comply with your demands on one condition and one condition only. Explain why you can’t locate any sign of the infected.

    The orangutan damn near flips out and tries to leap onto the dwarves shoulders…the badger and Halflings manage to restrain him, but it looks like they are itching for any excuse to let him go. The elf druid is bright red from anger.

    Elf Druid:Some knowledge is the exclusive providence of those charged with sheltering it.
    Kemen: Some knowledge is being withheld that implicates us in a matter you deem extremely serious and I am not playing errand dwarf for a group of druids too uptight to be candid.
    SlowHand: Master Carnish perhaps given the circumstance…we could…
    Elf Druid (Carnish): No! Until I am certain we speak nothing of what MAY have happened.
    Kemen: And until I’m certain you are on the level I am not budging from this spot. You want to kill me in cold blood…take your best shot.

    They all start arguing in druidic and the Silent One acts like he is examining his spear VERY intently but he is hastily making notes from a worksheet the DM whipped up.

    Carnish: We have decided that in the interest of necessary disclosure we will inform you of this fact. The nature of what we suspect renders any subject inflicted by this “condition” invisible to all attempts at scrying, divination or tracking. Whether this uniqueness extends to the arcane arts of a wizard is unknown to us, but our magic is useless and their presence invisible to us. Only with our physical senses could we glean their location or real-ness. The map you carry MAY be the only means in which they can be tracked.
    Me: Then why would one of them be carrying the map? I mean it would explain our sudden popularity.
    Coe-Nan: Its like kryptonite radar for superman.
    Paddock: And we are the schlubs getting attacked by the League Of Doom.
    Carnish: The map shows the location of something…*he looks to his colleagues and sighs*…something we have feared for millennia. Some forces are not meant for this world and the affliction you described is amongst them. It also possesses the capability to track more than just its intended target.
    Kemen: Then I propose a trade. You keep the map and the crystal. Send SlowHand to communicate with us, but you can protect the map anyway you want and when you come up with anything that puts us on the right track…we will track down the source.

    The Orangtuan who identifies himself as Wahlloon (hereafter we just think of him as the Librarian) expresses his fear that with their inability to detect anyone afflicted they can’t protect it.

    Kemen: Go to the dwarven capital of Kay-Varn and ask for Grymm Strongarm…a former mentor and respected wise man. The dwarves stone and steel in conjunction with your earth and wood will make strong custodians. Now if you will excuse us…we got a cellar to explore…


    Please leave some feedback on what you think so far. The "story" as it is unfolds starts to take off from here. I will say this...

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    Did a talking badger just step out of a tree and threaten to castrate us?


    I was laughing at myself when I wrote that line down. It is plastered on a manilla folder, written in bold sharpie along with our character sheets.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Troll in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Apr 2011

    Default Re: The Big One-Campagin Log

    Hey, loving the stories. Keep it up. Gotta admit the CalimShaw Shank Redemption and Chaotic Goodfellas are my favorites so far. Keep writing, we'll keep reading.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Dr Bwaa's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Big One-Campagin Log

    Oh man. Lots of reading to do!

    I've been an enthusiastic reader of your other recaps as well--I definitely think you should bring more of your writing over to the snippets thread (sig), if I can convince you to do more in that style I even manage all the archiving!

    /shameless plug

    I'll give you some feedback when I can get through everything!
    Last edited by Dr Bwaa; 2012-07-02 at 05:42 PM.
    For people who enjoy reading or writing.

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    Awesome banner/avatar by El_Frenchie!

    Play chess? Look me up! (bwaa)


    Formerly known as lordhenry4000

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Aug 2011

    Default Re: The Big One-Campagin Log

    The Cat-People Under the Stairs:

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    Our druids antagonists argue with themselves as they leave and they are equal parts intrigued and terrified to have the map. Once we are alone in the ruins of the hill top fort we start pressing the monk for details on their argument.

    *He puts his hand over his eyes and scans the horizon then gestures to the tree they just stepped back into. He then grabs one of the dwarves carvings and makes a “hey I found it!” type expression*
    Paddock: They were looking for something and the dwarf had it?
    *Yes to 1st, no to 2nd.*
    Kemen: It was something like the carving?”
    *Yes…taps metal of spear head then picks up a coin and stretches the circle out further*
    Me: It’s a metal circle they are looking for…”
    *Yes…but he raises five fingers one at a time”

    So we have some mid to high level druids who are freaking out over a strange disease/curse that makes those infected invisible to their magic, and there are apparently five metal discs associated with this disease. A guardian lich who may have possessed one or more of these discs or was instructed to hide them is being hunted or is hunting for them as we speak and he is a good month ahead of us at this point.

    Being PC’s and owing to PC’s having the attention span and focus you would expect in a herd of cats we ignore those tiding and climb into the burnt out cellar of a fort that we inadvertenly destroyed. Priorities right?
    The trapdoor opens to an counter weighted elevator mechanism that takes us more than a hundred feet below the hill. The elevator opens to a complex mine system. Permanently lit torches provide good illumination through the whole area.

    Me: Well this is unexpected.
    Kemen: Quite

    We start moving and exploring and quickly locate a large number of traps. I mean lots. Hidden bear traps on the floor , trip wires, dead falls, nooses on a spring, pit traps with bait laid out, and nets. Nothing magical or targeted….just lots of different hunting traps that have secondary function of causing damage to anyone that stumbles into them. Between my rogue skills and Kemen’s trap knowledge we are granted good synergies on disabling them and avoiding peril. Forward progress occurs at a crawl as we are constantly working to disable and avoid traps. A screeching noise grabs our attention and turn a corner to find a good sized dire rat held aloft in a net trap. It is fighting like hell to twist and bite the ropes that hold it, but it can’t get an angle to gnaw properly and it is stuck solid.

    As we watch the rat in his trap an agile humanoid coming jogging around the corner. We panic at the feline features for a second and fear more diseased cheetahs, but it is an actual Catfolk. The catfolk cuts the rat’s throat and does a quick and effective field dressing with it’s claws, then ties the corpse to it’s back and starts to jog back from the direction it came. Curious we follow after very slowly, not wanting to set off any further traps. The tunnel system extends for what feels like miles. We plod along carefully and methodically alert without trying to appear hostile. We finally began to hear noise from the mouth of an opening a few dozen yards ahead of us. I creep up to the lip of the tunnel and survey what lays ahead. Best as I can tell we have come to the mine’s entrance or central staging area and there are dozens of catfolk scrambling around a makeshift underground village. At the village’s center is a pit splattered with blood.

    Paddock: Alright…the second one of these guys calls themselves Liono or Pathero I am done.

    We are goaded into acting when we spot a very deep pit with a wood fence covering the top. One of our infect cheetahs in inside the pit. The desire to fully examine or even capture one alive for the druids to examine is too much for us to resist. Kemen uses a ghost sound to get their attention and we make our presence known. A detachment of catfolk with bows and spears approaches us with care. Communication proves difficult but luckily Kemen speaks giant which one of them is familiar with. They escort us to meet their Den Leader when we inquire about the infected cheetah. Their Den Leader turns out to be a very old and grizzled Wemic. For those not familiar the Wemic is a lot like a centaur but replace the horse elements with a lion.
    The Wemic greets us in Common and asks just what the heck we are doing there. He identifys himself as Grad

    Me: Well we followed an elevator from a hill top fort and were looking to see where it goes. Not too long ago we were ambushed and assaulted by creatures very smiliar to the one you have in your pit just over there. We wanted to examine it or possibly even buy it from you.

    The Wemic says something in cat language and the whole place goes quiet. Like you can hear a pin drop quiet.

    Grad: You would BUY the creature within that pit.
    Kemen *whispering to me*: I don’t think you should push that idea.
    Me: If I offended I apologize. We are curious as to what is affecting it and just want to help.

    The Wemic stares at us long and hard and finally he reaches into a basket at his side. He removes an arrow that is mostly intact. He gestures to his catfolk who walk up to Coe-Nan and myself and ask for one of our arrows. A little confused we each hand over an arrow. The Wemic for all appearances if comparing the arrows he just confiscated to the one he pulled from his basket. The one he took from my quiver is similar enough that he singles me out. He snarls out something in a cat language and an elderly catfolk is escorted to our audience by a young warrior. She is blind and unsteady on her feet. She sniffs both arrows and nods to the Wemic.

    Grad: My people have made these plains our home for generations. We have lived in peace with the land. Recently fires swept through our lands and one of my bravest warriors endured the flames to find this arrow. An arrow from the person that started the fire and destroyed our homes. Now you come to us with a desire to take Sha-Hatal from his cage.
    Coe-Nan: Sha-Hatal?

    The monk asks if he understood the reference. Nope.

    A slightly built catfolk who has been lurking at the outskirts of the audience overhears the question and steps forth. He is afforded a certain respect from the larger warriors and even the Wemic shows him a degree of deference.

    Catfolk: Sha-Hatal is our god. A spirit that is tied to the land. He comes to us in visions and omens.
    Paddock ooc: If there is a flipping Sword of Omens…I repeat..I am done.

    Catfolk: Recently he came to us injured and corrupted, angered and enraged. We have sought wisdom as to what has happened and it appears our answer has come.
    Me: You gleaned all this from an arrow?
    Grad: Do you deny firing this arrow and being part of what ravaged our land?
    Kemen: Are you acquainted with Carnish and SlowHand?
    At the name drop of the druids the Wemic looks at his cleric (we are guessing) and then at the old wise woman…they all pass glances back and forth.
    Raja (Catfolk Cleric): Yes the druids are known to us.
    Kemen: Good if you want to start passing judgment and lay blame you should get along great. Take up the destruction of your land with them. What lays in that pit is not your god. It is not a vision. It is not an omen. It is a cheetah whose mind has been infected. The mental disease has also altered it’s body. If you want proof…then Marilius will walk himself into that pit and you can let your “god” in there with him. My friend will walk out and leave the very mortal and very dead remains of that thing behind.
    Me: I’m going to do what now?
    Raja: It would certainly stand to reason that if that is an avatar of Sha-Hatal it would not allow the one responsible for his suffering to live.
    Kemen: Such is the nature of most gods. Although…although it is possible that I am wrong and he is your god. In which case if my comrade kills the avatar of your deity it is a sign that your tribe is finished, that your god has grown too weak and that his demise is the prophecy that foreshadows your own doom. Perhaps Marilius is the mechanism to show you that your days have reach their end and his slaying of your deity is the omen you are actually looking for.

    THAT gets them nervous and off center. Kemen goes on…

    Kemen: Amongst my people these sort of no-win situations have a common outcome. I am guessing that most of your people don’t speak Common. If that is the case you have maybe half a dozen folks that understand what we have been talking about. I think those half a dozen are about to find their status in the tribe hierarchy drastically improved. Word of what might happen is curbed and you don’t risk losing anything in the process. We make appeasements to the “Spirit” trapped in the pit and then Raja there proclaims that the search for answers continues.

    I admit we kind of congratulate ourselves here. With the ogre tribe and their Warforged we role played ourselves into a trial by combat which we delayed. And here amongst the Catfolk we role played ourselves out of a trial by combat by requesting it. So DM’s take note. When you plan something…we the PC will find a way to screw it up.

    As the leadership of the cat tribe discuss current events a series of alarms begins to sound and catfolk warriors start leaping to attention and rushing to various mine tunnels. Infected cheetahs and dire hyenas even a few dire weasels come barreling into the central area and amidst the hissing and tangled balls of claws the sounds of traps springing starts going off like popcorn.

    The Wemic grabs a large sack which he straps to his back and charges off to the room’s center. Our group makes a hasty retreat to the tunnel we came from and stand fast while waiting for incoming. With a lot of traps disabled from our direction we expect resistance. Coe-Nan plants himself in the middle of the tunnel opening with Silent One on his flank. Kemen and myself set up on the other side with bows at the ready. Paddock is wheeling his horse around the central chamber and riding around like a maniac skewering cats and dogs everywhere. Then the Wemic starts pulling out boulders twice the size of the dwarf and hurling them around with devastating accuracy.

    There are 7 -10 rounds of furious combat with all hell breaking loose in the catfolk village. Our group is making a strong showing and the piles of dead animals is growing rapidly. The Wemic is brutal and he is laying out invaders all over the place. He finally gets swarmed by a trio of hyenas and he starts to go down. As he does Paddock makes a nice dip off the side of his saddle to land a massive critical on a hyena. The moment he does this the catfolk cleric raja reaches out to heal his leader…and instead hits him with an inflict wounds, killing the Wemic chief. The little bastard apparently wanted a big promotion.

    Raja: The deceivers have brought this ruin upon us! They have killed Grad…get the one on the horse he has killed our leader!

    Too much a coincidence for us, the infected animal attack seems to break off the moment this proclamation is made.

    Paddock: 3 to 1 odds say this ass-hat is responsible for the attack.
    Me/Kemen/Coe-Nan: Oh heck yeah.

    Paddock becomes an instant target and under heavy fire he tries to reach us at the tunnel. He ends up moving past us and we keep up a fighting retreat as we back up the way we came in. Kemen puts a down a Web to slow our pursuers and we start to get some separation. Periodically we stop to try and re-arm easy to fix traps and Kemen puts another Web down when we hear the sound of close pursuit. Our arrival at the elevator seems like the logical interlude to this series of events but as we arrive the whole mechanism is broken.

    Coe-Nan: Anyone got a shovel? We might have to start digging…

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Aug 2011

    Default Re: The Big One-Campagin Log

    Back into the Lion’s Den:

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    With no clear means of escape and a sprawling tunnel system laden with traps we are faced with the prospect of finding an alternate route or going back to confront the now very pissed off catfolk. Diplomacy may prove impossible, while we could easily examine the body of their chief and show the alarming absence of a gaping lance wound the chances of getting that opportunity are about zero.

    Kemen: We could hole up for the night and I can prepare some flaming spheres, we can try to smoke out the tunnels.
    Me: I think fire has caused us enough grief so far.
    Coe-Nan: Personally I want to neuter me a catfolk cleric.
    Me: I am all for that.
    Kemen: Then let’s go on offense. We pick a tunnel and smash everything in our way, if at all possible we don’t kill catfolk and we track down Raja.
    Me: If we kill their spiritual leader and most likely their true chief at this point we aren’t going to make it out alive.
    Kemen: We kill him then prove he is guilty.
    Coe-Nan: And how do we do that? Granted Im all for swing first and ask later, but that rarely works out well.
    Kemen: We will burn that bridge when we get there.

    We set our sights on roaming the tunnels and subduing any random catfolk we encounter, but our objective is the harsh questioning of Raja. What follows is a lengthy and grueling tunnel by tunnel extended combat with lots of traps. We start using pit traps as storage for bound catfolk. Lots of small skirmishes end up Coe-Nan knocking out catfolk with the flat of an axe or Silent One pummeling them. Raja remains in the wind and we fail to track him down. What we find instead is a tunnel that moves upward and eventually out several miles from the hilltop fort and above ground. We hunker down for the night still on high alert and try to catch our breath. We get promoted to level 5 and this opens up some big developments for us.

    I take level 2 in bard and select Cure Light Wounds and Grease as my two spells
    Silent One advances in monk
    Coe-Nan takes Barbarian
    Kemen takes Master Specialist to gain Skill Focus Spellcraft and he selects Protection from Arrows and Resist Energy as new spells.
    Paddock takes another level in cleric which gets us 2nd level cleric spells too

    We circle back to the initial fort and find our wagon destroyed. That is like a declaration of war in our campaigns. You can mess with a character’s wealth, his mind, even his manhood but hands off my spellbook and my wagon!
    We spent the next three days moving in expanding circles to locate other entrances to the mine. Day 3 we find a partially blocked entrance to the mine system in the side of a hill. Catfolk activity is high, and with the amount we observe moving around cooler heads prevail and we finally give up on our quest to track down the sneaky catfolk cleric. Which raises the question, where the heck do we go now? You go right back into the lion’s den naturally. For those keeping score at home we have:

    *A broken elevator that descends the better part of 100 feet into the depths of the tunnel system from our burnt hill top fort.
    *A secondary tunnel that leads upwards and exits several miles from the fort
    *A primary tunnel that seems to connect directly to the catfolk underground village that is heavily guarded.

    We re-enter the zone via our secondary tunnel and resume our humane guerilla tactics. There is a small hope that unkilled catfolk being found in the pit traps bound will report just who in fact DIDN’t kill them and maybe undermine some authority or buy us enough doubt to not be killed on sight. The majority of traps are wrecked upon our re-entry and we run into surprisingly light resistance. A few rats and other critters are found in traps but no catfolk or mutant cheetahs/dire animals. We move all the way to the central catfolk village and find a full scale massacre. Something massacred the entire village overnight. Dozens of torn and sliced catfolk corpses are gruesomely strewn about the cavern. We are hard pressed to find a single survivor. We do a top to bottom search and find the elderly catfolk wise woman at the bottom of a pit trap, both legs shattered and barely clinging to life. She speaks a stilted form of elven that I am able to recognize and translate.

    Elder:We were betrayed by our own. His treachery was hidden too long and when they came we didn’t stand a chance. Find Grad’s totem…follow it’s light and avenge our people.

    While none of us is a ranger we have become quite familiar with the infected dire animals and most of the wounds we find are not from cheetahs or hyena. It takes an entire afternoon to sift through the bodies and Paddock makes the elderly catfolk as comfortable as possible. We finally find the body of Grad and at her behest we take his bag of holding and then find a totem in the bag. A wooden tribal charm I locate a false bottom and a small lion’s eye gem rolls out. It casts a pale but distinct light in a direction that leads out from the village. Paddock and Kemen build a basket and Paddock is gracious enough to give the use of his mount to carry her. We follow the light and escort the wise woman to a place deep in the plains. The light takes us to a nearly buried cairn of stones. Once there the lion’s eye gem levitates on it’s own to the center of the alter. It bursts with light and the wise woman levitates out from her basket, as the light bathes her the vision of a massive spectral cat takes shape.

    Me: I think we just found the real Sha-Hatal
    Kemen (mouth hanging open) Uh-huh

    Sha-Hatal speaks in a voice laden with strength and dignity, there is true agony and anquish in her words and they are directed right at Coe-Nan.

    Sha-Hatal: You are a kindred spirit, someone who nature sings to in a voice your kind has long lost the ability to hear. As long as a single person bears the emblem of our tribe then the memory and tradition of our people will never fade. I task you warrior of the wolf tribe…will you accept the bonding of two spirits and honor our tragedy?
    Coe-Nan: Yes?

    As he sheepishly says yes his own personal wolf totem floats out from his belt pouch and joins the lion’s eye gem…the spirit of Sha-Hatal bounds into the light with a roar and a hybrid wolf-cat forms from the light, the proud and savage beast dances into the sky then plummets like a comet directly into the barbarian’s chest.
    Everyone looks around at each other with disbelief and awe.

    Me: Do you feel any different?
    Coe-Nan: Nope.
    DM: You don’t feel any outward effect of the spirit entering you. Physically you feel the same and the only immediate effect you have is a small voice whispering that the traitor must be found if the spirit is to flourish.

    Taking stock of what we have from our encounter with the catfolk, we come away with a bag of holding type 4 with 5 300 pound boulders, each with enchantments placed upon them, and a lion’s eye/wolf’s heart gem possessing the spirit of a tribal god that now imbues our barbarian with unknown properties.

    Our attention next turns to finding a trail to follow Raja. Coe-Nan being our best tracker is leaned on to find a path for us to follow. We pick the merest hint of a trail with feline footprints and start to give chase. Which sheds light on our biggest frustration…time. So far we have steadily been pursued or in pursuit with severe time disadvantages.

    Raja’s trail starts taking us back to the coast, this time further north. Without a wagon for our stone horse to pull all night we make ok time, but not very quick. The world’s slowest chase continues and we plod along to catch our clerical turncoat. As the savannah turns to desert we get a big break. The trail is getting much easier and fresher and we start finding signs of battle, soon the signs manifest as the dessicated and drained husks of dire animals, signs of their infection still evident on their hides.

    Coe-Nan starts to feel a stirring within himself and he starts being asked to make Will saves, generally about 3 per day, some of which he must have failed given his rolls, others we are confident he passed. The consequences remain hidden to us for the time being. As the desert journey grows longer we find a desert compound replete with a tower at the center. From afar Coe-Nan is positive he spots the Catfolk cleric Raja…

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Aug 2011

    Default Re: The Big One-Campagin Log

    You Got Some Explaining to Do!

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    Against all odds it is the Silent One that nearly goes berserk and tries to storm the desert compound by himself. From a distance we creep on our stomachs to survey the location and we confirm that Raja is in the building, from what we gather he is in the tower itself. While we are used to Paddock and Coe-Nan trying to heroically kill themselves it is Silent One that has to be restrained. Why? We spot a group of hooded and slightly built humanoids entering the gate and as they pull back their hoods a tattoo becomes visible. What also becomes visible is their race…Githyanki. If you are not overly familiar the Githerzai and Githyanki have been at war for a long time. To add fuel to a feud that makes Hatfield-McCoy look like a mere squabble, the tattoo he sees is the same tattoo born by those that abducted his family.

    The guild or syndicate for abducting his wife and kids have members not more than a few hundred yards away and if he can’t kill them all singlehandedly he will damn well do his best to take as many as possible with him. When we ask him what he wants to do, he draws his thumb across his throat and then makes a sweeping arm gesture encompassing the whole place.

    Kemen: In due time…you ever the story about the old bull and young cow?
    Rest of us:?
    Kemen: An old bull and young bull are sitting at the top of a valley and the young bull says “lets run down that hill and make love to half those cows. The old bull says “ lets walk down and get them all”.
    *chuckle*

    From our vantage the compound has high walls, sentry posted in all four corners upon wooden parapets and a central tower that holds at a minimum one catfolk cleric and four githyanki. Two sentries are posted in each parapet and amidst the center we pick out five other guards who patrol the inside so 13 visible guards and a five pack inside.

    We plan on storming the compound come nightfall and heading straight for the tower. I am tasked with sniping the sentries on the southwest corner while Kemen immobilizes those northeast rendering the two remaining towers blind spots. Silent One is going to slip over the wall and sneak for the tower and if all goes well we will let Paddock and Coe-Nan in from the gate.

    I stealth up to my sentry parapet and manage to put a rapid shot sneak attack with 1 arrow into each guard, while at the same time Kemen levitates up and Webs his parapet. Neither guard I hit drops, and both Kemen’s targets instantly raise an alarm. Well so much for the easy way.

    Silent One made it over the wall and he intercepts a solo guard running for the webbed tower. He makes a Stunning Fist attack that knocks him senseless and Paddock and Coe-Nan start pounding on the gate. I win init and put another pair of arrows into my targets, dropping both. Kemen puts a second web into a group of patrollers, immobilizing them. Silent One sprints to the entrance of tower and takes up a position with his back to the wall.
    The next round Paddock and Coe-Nan crack the door enough for Paddock to slip through mountless and he does so, he pauses to cast Bulls Strength on Coe-Nan then slips in. Kemen casts a flaming sphere into the webbed parapet and then starts to float his wobbly self down. Guards running across the compound eat shuriken from the monk and have trouble pinpointing their origin.

    Paddock gets the gate open and everyone but Kemen gets inside. The remaining guards all run to the burning tower and aid the burning and shrieking sentries.

    We are forming up to clear the remaining guards and Kemen comes to join us, Paddock casts Bull Strength on himself and remounts. With part of the compound burning, multiple guards down and a group of invaders in the courtyard the Githyanki emerge at the top of the tower and survey what is happening. From the ground Kemen yells up “ we want the cat”
    Raja comes to the window and chides us
    Raja: Remind me to thank you, my coup went much easier with some well timed patsies. The last fleeting glimpse in Grad’s eyes made killing him myself all the sweeter.
    Paddock: I am calling you out sir! I demand satisfaction. You have besmirched my honor and such insults can only be satisfied by strength of arms.
    Raja: Strength of Arms? Allow me to demonstrate strength of arms. My guests were just requesting a demonstration and you once again afford me the perfect opportunity.
    Coe-Nan: That can’t be good.

    That turns out to be a four armed beast that knocks the cap off the tower and emerge with a roar. We are familiar with girallons and from initial descriptions that is what we are facing, except it has 9 inch razor sharp talons and a certain granite aspect to it. It’s like a gargoyle/girallon hybrid and it starts climbing down the tower reverse King Kong style.
    I put a couple completely ineffectual arrows into it and we get ready for an incoming.

    Paddock puts a third and final Bulls Strength on Silent One and Kemen backs up to get clearance. The gar-girallon making a final leaping attack off the tower to pounce on Coe-Nan. Silent One steps in from behind and puts a spear into it’s back, he barely scratches it. Paddock makes a charging ride by attack and his double lance damage penetrates damage resistance much better.

    With the creature flanked and me adding sneak attack damage I continue to pepper in arrows that start to pierce a bit better. Coe-Nan and Silent One are eating some substantial damage and when Coe-Nan eats a full attack it drops him to below half health. Kemen adds a couple magic missiles and Paddock continues to make ride by attacks. The gar-girallon turns and pummels a full four attacks into Silent One that knocks him silly and puts him to -1.

    Coe-Nan rages up and lands a solid hit that crits and the gar-girallon is stung bad enough to turn from the monk and re-focus on the barbarian. Paddock rides to Silent and drops from his mount to put a LoH on him. I get another arrow in that connects and the gar-girallon is staggered. Coe-Nan drops an axe and grasps his remaining weapon two handed and makes a power attack to finish the gar-griallon off. The Silent One shakes off his cobwebs and pauses just long enough for a cure light wounds then he bounds up the tower steps with all of 14 hps. As he clears the entrance a portcullis slams shut and he is cut off.

    Coe-Nan still in enraged starts attacking the blockade with an axe while Paddock grabs his mount and moves behind to heal the barbarian. I try to pick out a target at the now exposed roof but the githyanki and Raja have disappeared from sight. Kemen grabs his pick Thor style and starts to levitate to the roof top. As Kemen comes to the top, so does Silent One who lets out a wordless howl. The tower is empty.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Aug 2011

    Default Re: The Big One-Campagin Log

    Well At least we found…

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    The githyanki and catfolk are gone. The remaining guards basically cop to being hired swords with no real vested interest in their employeer’s from here out and let them load up a wagon and a few mounts with water and supplies and they take off. There is a second wagon that we happily appropriate and enough horses for all of us. We search the entire compound top to bottom, inch by inch and we finally get something worthwhile. Underneath the tower stairs we find a basement laboratory that gets us some much needed clues.

    A whole assortment of odd compounds, formulas, elixirs and herbs is laid out in a fully functional workspace. Some of the finished product is still there and from our examinations we match a few cages with animal dropping and some dead skin to the same afflicted animals we have seen. From what we can deduce there is a potion/poison that when ingested will bring about mental changes that then affect the physical. Everything gets packed into crates and secured in the wagon. In the workshop we also find a cache of valuable gems and platinum coins, easily 30,000 worth. Other than substantial physical evidence that can be connected to this string of bizarre attacks and some nice loot our trail now goes cold.

    Kemen: Well I am going to make myself a pot of tea…
    Paddock: Ok…
    Coe-Nan: Oh yeah the elf gave us that shiny tea leaf.
    Kemen: Yep.

    We brew up a pot of tea at an alchemical workspace that our current villain had most recently been using and sit back for a nice refreshing cup of tea. The dwarf takes a drink first and is immediately brought to full health and given 10 temporary hps. Almost faster than you can blink everyone else is angling for some tea. In order of the lowest Con to highest con everyone starts to fall asleep. Kemen is the last one out and not sure what to do. He ends up passing out as well and we are all more than a bit worried. A short time later in game ( and pretty much instantly out of game) we wake up in a glade surrounded by elves. Pern the leader from the ambushed caravan is there waiting for us.

    Pern: Greetings friends, what news do you bring me?
    Me: Well we found some rather important mixtures and potions that could very well be the origin of what has been occurring. It would have been nice to know that drinking the tea would cause us to be transported far away as everything we discovered is now sitting unprotected in a wagon.
    Pern: Oh you aren’t physically here, just spiritually. All the same it will be important that you do make it here in person. Our leaders will definitely want to research these mixtures. I am sending you back with a map that will lead you to our glade and community.

    And as quick as that our dream jaunt is over and we are jolted back to our bodies, but Kemen comes back with a map in a scroll case that shows where exactly we must travel to reach the elves.

    Transportation to Pern’s community is going to require some back tracking and we are expecting to be targeted by just about everything that can be thrown our way. In lieu of staying a night in an enemy location we get back on the road and begin the journey towards Pern. We get some miles between us and the tower and make camp. That night we get an unexpected visitor.
    As Coe-Nan is standing watch a chill wind blows through our camp that leaves frost on the sand and makes our breath clearly visible. The sudden change in temperature wakes us up and we all scramble for weapons and cover. A black pool of liquid opens just beyond our camp and a slim hooded figure rises from the pool. A huge medallion, like something you would see on a bed country singer’s belt, hangs from the front, a sigil identical to the sigil we found on the original coffin. The figure pulls back it’s hood to reveal the leathery tight skin stretched over bone one would expect from a lich. It raises open hands as is to signify peaceful intentions and a spur of the moment detect evil from the paladin registers nothing. It speaks…

    Lich: My name is Droka, for weeks now my servant has valiantly sought to elude those that would corrupt that which I helped create so very long ago. What you carried out from the desert is but the merest shadow of a specter that will bring an eternity of darkness to all creation. Forces far beyond the scope of my abilities are now at work and I fear those I left to prevent these tiding will be unable to stop that which comes. Last night my servant was cornered and ultimately destroyed. Time has eroded the safeguards we put into place and new ambitions aid our enemy. I am prohibited from giving direct assistance. There are those who will come to you as allies, but their intent will be to plunge a dagger into your backs. There are also those who would seem enemies, that will ultimately try to aid you.
    Me: Can you tell us where Raja is?
    Droka: I can’t. He has cast his lot in with forces that exceed my own.
    Kemen: Can you tell us what we need to find.
    Droka: You already know what you seek. I can’t speak their description but the druids gave you sufficient information.
    Me: What limits you?
    Droka: A curse of overwhelming magnitude and a geas that has no end.
    Coe-Nan: How do we distinguish friend from foe?
    Droka *fading as he speaks*: A crimson shadow will bring darkness to all below him, he is the great ruin and a living inferno. It is he that shall try to snuff out your lives in order to save the world. A traitor will find his way into your midst and a single voice will announce his presence.
    Paddock: So anyone that seems like an ally we need to be extra paranoid about, fantastic.

    I don’t know how most groups handle this sort of thing, but we basically have a small 4x6 binder with a three hole punch that we fill up with index cards with clues. The binder has a title in masking tape that just reads “Plot”, as the “plot” thickens so do our clues. We keep track of most little details like NPC names etc. Our middle of the night pow-wow with the image of a lich helps us a little bit and we now have some foreshadowing to keep at the back of our minds.

    To reach the elf land we have to skirt the desert and some surrounding mountains and at the end of day 2 we start catching glimpses of something deep in the distance barely visible from the shimmer created from the heat. By the morning of day 3 it is clearly distinguishable from a great distance and from our perception not a mirage. As dusk of day 4 creeps in Kemen levitates up a few hundred feet for a higher vantage point. The DM politely scribbles a description of what we are seeing and the dwarf groans.

    Kemen: Our hill giant friend on the cart with his mastodons is following us and he is getting closer.

    I admit that since a lot of these happened more than a few years ago, the details have hazed but at that time we learned the rules for movement and fatigue in exhausting detail (no pun intended). We had an grueling game of cat and mouse where we fought like hell to avoid getting within range of the giant. A standard hill giant can be nasty on it’s own. With who knows what supporting it, we wanted no part. As we started to make it closer to elf country the giant started to flog the mastodons with something resembling a massive comb. From the fur and long hair of the mammoths a swarm of dust mephitis are riled up and they start flying overhead to come attack us.

    Coe-Nan: The Mammoths have dust mephitis for lice…fantastic…

    The dust mephitis are fast enough to close distance on us and I get relegated to sniper duty, trying to pick off mephitis from the back of a wagon. This was actually an inspiration for our encounter against the ogres during Adversarial Process. The flight from the giant and associated skirmishes against the dust mephitis took up almost an entire session on their own. The chase is going to come down to the wire as we reach the edge of elven forest territory the giant is nearly within throwing range.

    The chase culminates in end making a mad dash for a path that leads into a dense tree line that our giant shouldn’t be able to navigate, as we whip the horses into a frenzy and push whatever they have left the giant takes aim and launches a boulder at us. The high arcing missile clips a wagon wheel as it impacts and our wagon gets overturned. Most of us get scattered by the crash and as we recover the giant in right on us.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Aug 2011

    Default Re: The Big One-Campagin Log

    Are you crazy? Have you seen the size of those things?

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    Without many other options we turn to face our pursuer. The giant jumps down from his wagon and starts to twirl his club as he moves in to finish us off. Kemen and I use the overturned wagon for cover and Paddock gets himself dusted off and back in the saddle. Coe-Nan and Silent One both move off to the sides so they can come at the giant from the flanks. I call out to speak with him from cover…

    Me: I don’t suppose we can talk things out can we?
    Hill Giant: unless you can somehow convince Korlwyn that you weren’t caught with your pants down in his daughter’s chambers then no.
    Me: Wait! You are a bounty hunter?!?
    Hill Giant: A damned good one yeah.
    Kemen: You mean you aren’t here for all of us, just him?
    Hill Giant: The bounty is on his head, but I’ll take out whoever I need to.
    If you skipped over my character background, my character pre-adventure had a bit of a problem in a political giant sanctuary. I got a bit over-involved with the daughter of a ranking Cloud Giant and I had to skip town real fast. Korlwyn being that giantess father, it seems that I left enough of an impression to warrant a bounty.
    Coe-Nan: Then is how is it that you have a quartet of diseased mammoth?
    Hill Giant*chuckles*:I was given them by a gnoll. Told me they never got tired and I all I had to do was deliver anything you were carrying back to him once I got you.
    Kemen: Is he wanted dead or alive?
    Hill Giant: There is a bonus for alive, but dead’s good too.
    Kemen: how much is the bonus for alive?
    Hill Giant: An extra 10,000…
    Kemen: Give us 5,000 extra and we will turn him over to you…
    Me: WHAT???
    Paddock: I can’t condone selling out a stalwart companion for profit.
    Coe-Nan: I am actually ok with it.
    Silent One grimaces and sizes up the hill giant…then he waves goodbye to me.

    Under his breath the dwarf whispers….”cast grease when I yell now”
    Kemen grabs me by the waist and starts dragging me from behind cover…the hill giant lowers his club and while keeping an eye on the gnome he advances with a burlap sack in his free hand. As he starts walking the dwarf yells “NOW!” and he lets me go and I drop a grease spell under the giant. As the grease spell goes off the wizard immediately puts a web over the giant. The suddenly slippery giant is tap dancing himself even more entangled in the web and we start picking him apart from range. The moment he starts to get free Kemen puts another web on him and I re-grease. Shuriken, arrows and crossbow bolts pepper him from all angles and we are chipping away at him pretty good. But web only goes so far against something with that level of strength and we run out web before he runs out of hps. As it breaking free Kemen drops a flaming sphere to ignite the greasy sticky mess and then shouts out again “everyone scatter”

    I break for the woods with the Silent One mirroring me and Kemen and Coe-Nan scatter in other directions while Paddock wheels behind the giant and lines up his favored lance charge. We are out of our best tricks at this point and the giant is pissed off. He comes barreling through the trees in pursuit of me and Silent One jabs him from range with his spear. Kemen is reduced to plinking away with his light crossbow and Coe-Nan is trying to now play catch up to get back in the scrum. Paddock lands a critical hit that rolls max damage and in the process his lance is shattered. The bounty hunter giant still isn’t down…and from our observation he is wounded but not panicked. The giant starts snatching rocks from a satchel on his back and hurling them at us as he maneuvers through the trees. The Silent One and I get pegged by small boulders that do 15-20 damage a piece which is a truckload at level 5. I land a good damage critical from a bowshot and the giant clutches the arrow as blood oozes from his wounds and he shatters a glass vial at his belt...smoke pours out from the shattered glass and the giant vanishes in the smoke.

    We top off our damage from Paddock and wearily try to salvage another broken wagon. It is shattered beyond repair.

    Kemen: Let’s take the giant’s wagon.
    Me: Who is going to steer it?

    A full inspection of the mastadon’s and his cart shows little damage and the mammoths don’t seem outwardly aggressive. We do a full search of the giant’s cart and find some nice bonuses.
    *An alchemist’s chest with 36 compartments all filled with various potions, neatly organized and labeled.
    *A solid silver statue worth a good 5,000
    *15 bounty documents for wanted individuals on the giant’s list, including my own bounty..which stands at 25,000.

    There is a bit of argument on taking the giant’s cart, but Kemen juryrigs the mammoth’s harnesses to attach in single file instead on in pairs and we have a tight slow fit through the forest path…and onward we go.


    Most of these updates have been shorter than my previous recaps. It is easier to manage things in smaller chunks, but i may put a few bigger posts in the next couple days. Hope everyone is still enjoying things.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Rethmar's Avatar

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    Jan 2011

    Default Re: The Big One-Campagin Log

    Keep up the good work. :)

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: The Big One-Campagin Log

    Loving all of these
    Quote Originally Posted by shadow_archmagi View Post

    DM says: WHY!? WHY!? WHY?!
    DM means: NO! NO! NO!!!
    Player hears: GOOD JOB PLAYER! DO IT AGAIN AND AGAIN!
    Pokemon Y, friend code 0146-9846-5809

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Aug 2011

    Default Re: The Big One-Campagin Log

    I’m Not Saying I Would Build a Summer Home, But the Trees are Rather Nice

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    The journey into elf territory plays out like a bad running gag. We come trampling through their forest behind a massive cart pulled by four borderline zombie mammoths. A startled elf at his outpost standing sentry nearly has a heart attack as our convoy comes rolling in and when he hails us and bids us state our purpose we respond

    Me: We are here to help you. We found an important elixir that your leadership needs to examine.
    Elf: What does it do…
    Kemen: We think it corrupts creatures and turns them into something like these ones.
    Elf: And that is supposed to help?
    Me: Well that is what the guy inside the teapot told us to do.
    Elf: Guy inside the teapot?
    Coe-Nan: Well he wasn’t IN the teapot. He was in a dream like world where he gave us a map and said come here.
    Elf: I see…and did anyone else visit you? A fairy perhaps?
    Paddock: Well there was a talking orangutan and a dire badger that threatened to castrate us, but no fairys.
    Me: And don’t forget the good lich…but bringing him up is just going to confuse things. We need to find Pern.
    Elf: Pern…right…just follow me…preferably stay back a ways.

    As our bewildered Elf escort leads us deeper into the forest, he gets a big surprise, waiting for us in a clearing is SlowHand along with Pern.

    Elf: There is a talking badger.
    Paddock leans in off his mount and pats the elf on the shoulder…
    Paddock: Actually he is a dire badger.

    An impromptu Council of Elrond breaks out where SlowHand, the Elvish leadership and a paladin from far overseas join us to discuss and share knowledge of what is happening. The paladin, Vardon the Valorous, is amongst the campaign realm’s most famous and he is considered one of the most influential warriors in the entire plane. The elf leadership consists of a duo called Parsin and Sirip.

    *Vardon ultimately elects to travel overseas in pursuit of the guardian lich’s fate. He also hopes to locate any signs of Tempura civilization and research any association with the tiding we have been apart of.
    *Parsin and SlowHand make a detailed observation and investigation of our mammoths to pick up any futher information on the disease. The one major conclusion they arrive to is that our mammoths are healing. Over time, distance from their controller or a diminished effect of the elixir causes the subject to heal naturally. That is good news for any animal infected, but hurts our tireless work-mammoths.
    *Sirip begins an exhaustive breakdown of the compound we found in the lab and tries to reverse engineer the process. He is able to identify most reagents in the formula and he makes a list of 3 places where the rarest ingredients are typically found. What he can’t identify is the base of the compound. He surmises there is a core item that allows the mixture to react and take effect. Whatever that core item may be is unknown to us.

    Everyone is concerned over Raja’s role in these events and we are encouraged and supported to track him down. To that end we are offered a more or less blank check in resources to aid ourselves. Kemen makes a convincing argument to load ourselves up with as many rare materials as possible, since at level 6 he is going to take Craft Arms/Armor. He figures he can custom design anything we need access to. We wrangle a supply of mithril (15,000 worth) and get a cache of scrolls from their arcanely talented folks.

    More encouraging for us is a story-line merited advancement to level 6, at this point we are 7.5 sessions into this campaign and only level 5. Level 6 is kind of a big deal for our parties future.
    I take another level in Bard and select leadership as my bonus feat. I also pick up Charm Person as a new spell
    Kemen takes Runesmith to gain access to casting in full plate armor, he takes Crafts Arms and Armor as his feat.
    Silent one continues on in monk and takes Improved Trip as a bonus feat and II as his 6th level feat
    Coe-Nan continues on in barbarian and takes Great Cleave
    Paddock takes 4th level in cleric and picks up Spirited Charge

    Our following steps are out of left field. We pack up our things say our goodbyes and make a return trip to the largest city relatively in our path. Our DM is left scratching his head as we make a shopping list.
    Desired:

    Raw Adamantine in bulk
    Raw mithril in bulk
    Wand of Break Enchantment
    Assortment of Scrolls (mostly buff type spells)
    We already have 15,000 in mithril and about 65,000 in total for other liquid resources. The adamantine is tougher to find and we acquire 30,000 worth of adamantine, and another 5,000 in mithril. We spend out 10,000 for a wand of break enchantment with 25 charges and the rest goes towards scrolls and a lyre of building.

    He grows even more perplexed when our next announced action is to return to the Spriggan’s Den.
    DM: Ok…I get that bulk metal can be crafted into arms and armor and I definitely know the appeal of special materials, but why the heck are you returning to the spriggan den?
    Kemen: Well remember all those statues? We are going to break their enchantment and offer them a job…

    All told there are 32 statues in the medusa’s lair and we free up 25 of them. I won’t exhaust detail here other than to say it was fun bantering with 25 people that had lost all concept of time while being petrified and basically turned into underground lawn ornaments. We gave them a simple proposal…come with us put in some work that suits your abilities and we will pay you a fair wage and send you on your way…or stay on and work alongside us.

    DM: Not a combat role, strictly labor and crafts?
    All of Us: Yep
    DM: You just saved them from oblivion…yeah they are willing to help you out…probably at a much reduced price.
    Kemen:Alright then it’s back to the crypt where everything started…
    DM: Are you backtracking looking for more clues?
    Kemen: Nope we are building a stronghold.
    Campaign Logs:

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  22. - Top - End - #22
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Aug 2011

    Default Re: The Big One-Campagin Log

    Kind of Like the First Indiana Jones:

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    The original crypt we started all of these hijinks in is nicely situated in the face of a mountain and surrounded by good forest. With an eager workforce and a lyre of building we set to work fashioning a fully operational workshop and stronghold. Kemen spends his union approved 8 hours per day crafting magic items and then he spends another 8 leading our workforce and helping with the skilled labor. Coe-Nan, and Silent One make excursons to fell timber and bring back wood and other materials to the base. I use bardic abilities and the lyre to inspire competence and boost some morale for our workers. Paddock lends some spell aid for crafting and provides a tireless work horse.

    This is the stuff we love in game. Its our bread and butter. Some of the highlights...
    *The first trap room with elevated archer slits gets some substantial modifications. We hollow out a 50 foot pit below the room and then place a stone floor on a central beam. Any excessive weight off center of the room causes the entire room to tilt and the whole floor turns sideways, much like the lid on a garbage can. We spike up the bottom of the pit and place a small escape hatch for anyone in the bottom, rigged with a grate. The grate connects to a rolling boulder trap. When someone from within the pit opens the grate it triggers one of the Wemic’s enchanted boulders to come rolling down the chute and smash into them. The enchantment on his boulders? Returning. Which means once the rock does it’s smashing it returns to the trigger mechanism to reset itself. Nothing like adding insult to injury.

    *We built a deep underground vault to store any long term wealth or items of value. It is connected from a long descending slope. We rig a pair of grease traps that will turn the slope into a slip n slide and add another boulder trap that triggers once someone is sent sliding down the slope. The vault is connected from the original crypt room.

    * The exterior is flattened and we put some ornamentation to mark it our own. We also add a terrace with crenellations and statues that function to spill boiling oil from.

    *The left hand mine system is hollowed out in a large open area that becomes a masonry work space, and several sculpted stone horses take place (long term plan)

    *The right hand tunnel for the mines is converted to a full scale barracks and living space. Nothing too extensive or complicated aside from the traps in central area, but we stage a lot of things for future growth.

    From my logs we are spend the better part of six months making modifications to the structure and creating magic items. Kemen makes an adamantine spear for Silent One, Adamantine Lance for Paddock, a pair of adamantine battle axes for Coe-Nan and adamantine full plate for himself, all masterwork quality. He also puts together a mithril breastplate for Coe-Nan and Mithril Chain Shirt for my rogue/bard. Paddock keeps his own full plate+1. With what resources we have remaining we get a +1 enhancement bonus on the lance and spear.

    Plot wise not very much happens during our extended vacation. Too coincidentally when we complete our crafting, SlowHand arrives to inform us that Kay-Varn the dwarven stronghold has been invaded by otherworldly creatures and is nearly over-run. Of remarkably great alarm…he has been infected wit the disease we have contended with now for 8-9 sessions and is slowly losing control of himself. He has arranged for us to be teleported to a spot near the city and provide what assistance we can.

    What scares the piss out of us is that Kay-Varn is in the context of this campaign an unconquerable stronghold and seat of power for the dwarven nation. If invading forces crippled or leveled the city we aren’t sure what a group of level 6 characters is going to accomplish. Insecurities aside we are still PC’s and it’s time to get out of home renovation and into some adventuring. We gear up and ship out via SlowHand’s arranged teleport.
    He brings us maybe a full mile from the city. Kay-Varn looks really cool from the exterior. Imagine the Cliffs of Insanity from Princess Bride but with a waterfall that seem to fall endlessly from on high. In the middle of the Waterfall is a towering dwarf statue with a pair of shields held over head parting the waterfalls and making a clearance through the water into the city gates. It is an imposing sight and meant to display their dominance. There is an alarming pallor over the whole area. Unsettled we set foot into a city that no longer belongs to the dwarves.
    Campaign Logs:

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  23. - Top - End - #23
    Troll in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Apr 2011

    Default Re: The Big One-Campagin Log

    Love the "Building a Stronghold" bit. Definitely something that should be done more often.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    HalfOrcPirate

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    Jul 2012

    biggrin Re: The Big One-Campagin Log

    This is amazing. This is the first campaign log I've ever read. I have never played d&d but after reading this, and realizing the possibilities, you have motivated me to start playing. (even though I have no idea where to start and have no friends to play with). I've been reading order of the stick for years, but have never registered on the forums (nothing against the comic, I love it and check regularly for updates), but your actual d&d experiences have inspired me. Keep writing, you have a gift.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Aug 2011

    Default Re: The Big One-Campagin Log

    *skitter skitter*

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    As we tip toe our way into the ancient dwarven stronghold there is a palpable chill in the air. The central chamber of the dwarven city looks like a full scale war has been waged. No bodies of any kind are visible, just the occasional scrap of armor, broken shield or punctured helmet interspersed with broken weapons and patches of dark liquid. Some of the liquid is clearly blood…the rest…its hard to tell. There is considerable structural damage to nearly everything within sight.

    The city is organized into five tiers, each going deeper into the heart of the mountain. The first tier is where most smaller shops and lodging for outsiders is present. The second tier is a manufacturing terrace where the true work is done, the workshops that supply the store facings. The third tier is residential and expansive. The fourth is where the majority of the city’s military and militia housed and trained. The fifth tier is where the true merchant princes and city leadership make their daily decisions, it also where the most valued items and most prized treasures are held. The fifth tier is the most likely home for our specialized map.

    As we start a slow search of the 1st tier, what grabs our attention are holes through the plaza from something that burst from belowground. A crude anthill tunnel system is branched throughout the tier, and Kemen who is quite familiar with the city confirms they are recently added and not an intended element of the structure. A full scale scouring of the 1st level only shows us that whatever happened was devastating in scale.

    There are three paths that lead to the second tier and take the most southern passage to the second tier. Multiple workshops, some built into the walls, others free standing in the cities center give us our first glimpse of what awaits. Scattering from our view like cockroaches are hordes of small skittering worm-like dog creatures. Paddock actually rolls a natural 20 on a Knowledge Religion check and follows it up with a 16. Without that roll we would have been in even more serious trouble.

    Paddock who has consistently been bold and reckless reads his index card from the DM and he shifts uncomfortably at the table.

    Paddock: Most of us are familiar with the Blood War?
    Lots of nods yes. Demons don’t get along with devils…millennia of warfare against each other etc.
    Paddock: So…there were a group of devils caught within the Abyss that tried to breed a hybrid species of sorts. They were partially successful, but the resulting creatures could not be controlled and were discarded to the Material Plane. Any further references are exceedingly rare. I happened to squire for a knight that had discovered a colony of these creatures and he was one of the very few to face off with their kind and live. What I know comes from him and it isn’t good. They are called Kythons…

    If you aren’t familiar with Kythons they are about as nasty as a monster can be. I would highly recommend reading a campaign log from SilverClawShift, something I became familiar with much later. If you know what Tyrannids or Xenomorphs are then you are on the right track. They are from the Book of Vile Darkness and this was our very first encounter with them in game. They have DR, lots of immunites and resistance and they deliver poison attacks, suppress abilities and can move like lightning. They come in different stages, the smallest being worm-like dog creatures called broodlings. Juveniles are more like demonic Halflings with razor sharp claws and sometimes bio engineered weaponry like scaled down acid rocket launchers. The Adults are lethal, like bidepal gargoyles with more resistances and speed. Above the adults are SlayMasters and SlaughterKings. If you were to combine Jabba the Hut with Bane from Batman that would be a good approximation of a SlayMaster. A SlaughterKing…well we are fully expecting a TPK if we encounter one from what we read in the entry.

    Mostly hidden amongst the second tier are swarms of broodlings. They are constantly in motion, darting in and out of workshops, and disappearing into enlarged rat holes. With no clear objective we start a room by room search for survivors and information. In most respects I think we get lucky on the first building we go into. A juvenile is at the center of a makeshift nest assembled on the floor of a jewelry shop. Three of it’s four legs are shattered and we are able to get close enough to inspect it without being torn to shreds. The tell tale sores and infected patches from the compound are visible. What is also evident…the disease is advancing and receding intermittently. The kython were affected by the substance, but they are naturally fighting it off.

    CSI-Kython gets interrupted when a stream of acid comes flying towards us from a corner. A second juvenile along with broodlings aplenty comes spilling into the room to assault us. Kemen angrily draws his pick and start dutifully whacking away at broodlings. Most of his spells are fire based and neigh unto useless. He constantly mutters at the table while pantomiming his swings. “Fireball…why bother? Hey Acid Arrow…nope immune.” We are swept up into some frantic melee and with the confines of the building Paddock is reduced to swinging from his saddle and I can barely get range to shoot from longbow so I am reduced to wielding a dagger for emergency situations. With more and more broodlings swarming we make a controlled retreat and back out from the shop. As we do the second juvenile pounces on the shattered peer and breaks it’s neck. I manage to make a spot check amidst the scrum and can decipher the second juvenile as being free of the affliction.

    Me: I think the one’s that fought off the disease are taking out the ones too weak or too afflicted to shake it off themselves.
    Kemen: They are bayoneting their own wounded?
    Coe-Nan: Or culling those too weak to adapt.
    Paddock: Is that good for us or bad?
    Me: Well if the afflicted ones are being driven to a purpose then the ones that shook it off are going to disrupt that purpose. I don’t think that will stop any of them from tearing us apart, but at least they are a double edged sword that hurts Raja and his minions.

    There is a great deal of movement on tier 2 as we move building to building to search for survivors and try to avoid full scale engagement with the kython forces at war with each other. On the map of tier 2 is a larger foundry and smithy. As we work our way into the building we encounter our first adult which tries to go berserker on my rogue. I get sliced and diced as everyone else jumps to defend my squishy character. With the dwarves bloated Con and full plate I am actually the most fragile member.

    As we kill off the adult (at considerable harm to ourselves) we hear groaning from a cellar in the building. As juveniles and broodling start pouring in through the cracks of the building we scramble towards the cellar and locate a quartet of dwarf survivors. From the bones and refuse we find in the cellar it is nakedly apparent they were being stockpiled as food. Banged up but in good health they are eager to get free and assist. With axes and hammers just about everywhere on the ground they are quick to re-arm themselves and join ranks with us.

    We circle three other large buildings on the map and make a path to those buildings. The death of the adult has stirred up lots of activity and movement in the streets becomes hampered as juveniles with weapons start to sting us from distance. Acid is launched, bone darts come hissing for exposed flesh and the number of kythons on the battle map grows rapidly. There is a borderline desperate leap into the next larger building as we hope for a natural blockade to the swarm of little ones.

    Once again we encounter an adult defending a stockpile of dwarven snacks. This time we are on fumes when we manage to kill it. My few meager healing spells are gone, the healing from our paladin/cleric is spent and everyone is limping with ability damage and significant hp loss. On the plus side our allies swell in ranks and we now have eight dwarves in tow. They are mostly experts of 2nd or 3rd level, a few have a level of warrior thrown in as well. Sleep and rest are imperative, but a swarm of agitated juveniles and broodlings is still skittering above us. We decide to rest in pairs and try to keep up a resistance to buy time for others to recover.

    We end that segment of play pinned down in the cellar of a workshop surrounded by kythons while low on resources and health.
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  26. - Top - End - #26
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Aug 2011

    Default Re: The Big One-Campagin Log

    More than one use for web...

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    As Silent One and Coe-Nan take point at the cellar steps the rest of us try to recover. Our dwarf allies are busy hacking away at a pair of support beams, while a few others are arguing amongst themselves while they take measurements at one of the walls. We manage to overhear a bit of their argument.

    Dwarf Warrior: We have no idea if the armies held and reinforcements are coming. You risk the city to save yourself.
    Dwarf Expert: No I am risking myself to save the city. I take full responsibility.
    Warrior: Bah! Have your way.

    The dwarves all come together and hold a small-council (no pun intended) in the cellar center. They then give us an option.

    Dwarf Warrior: There is a seldom mentioned and even more seldom used passage from this building to the fourth tier of the city. Anrick Anvilson the owner of this building paid to have it connected sometime ago. We have the support beams for his shop ready to go and we can bring the whole building down once everyone is in the passage.
    Me: Everyone?
    Warrior: Me and Errol here are going to make the final strikes, with a bit of luck we can dive into the tunnel before getting smashed. IF not…well we were going to be these bleedings things dinner without your help anyway…we owe you.

    Paddock comes up with a means to avoid dwarven sacrifice and uses a Spiritual Weapon spell to attack the columns once everyone is in the escape tunnel. The building comes down, but not cleanly and we are left scrambling through the tunnel in a tight fit as broodlings start to circumvent the rubble and give chase. Paddock is real banged up and the stream of broodlings is not non stop. Kemen ends up taking rear guard and he lays down web spells to stop up the passage behind, just clogging them with webs. It buys us enough time to reach the tunnel’s end which emerges above a check in post at the army level.

    The fourth tier is a hell come unto earth. From our hatch in the escape tunnel there are hordes of kythons swarming in a thrashing mass as hundreds of the creatures claw at each other. SlayMasters and Adults are in full pitched battle against each other and the ones not tied up in a kindred death struggle are hurling themselves with reckless abandon at the last bastions of dwarven defense. The most stalwart and seasoned of all troops have taken a defensive position at the entrance to the fifth level of the city. Their numbers are small, less than a 100 in total, but they stand as a wall of steel and stone stemming the kython tide. Standing in the middle of the maelstrom is Raja along with a cadre of gnoll archers.

    Held aloft above his head is an amulet emblazoned with a dark light. From his waist a liquid swirls upwards and into the amulet where it is emitted as rays of light piercing the skulls of kythons all around him. The liquid become light sends the affected creatures crashing to the ground where the disease runs rampant, and shortly after they rise up to follow his commands. Proxies of the amulet are held by each of the gnoll archers and they seem to have a lesser control at directing their forces.

    We have a real pickle of a problem here. Our villain is before us and clearly the cause of this devastation. We can see the amulet which HAS to be the core item of his abilities and this affliction. We are desperately low on resources and wounded heavily, assuming we can survive the writhing mass of claw and talon that is the kython civil war unfolding before our eyes what will we have left to challenge him? If we are spotted, which is almost a certainty… the gnoll archers will pin cushion us.

    Me: What do we do here? Suicide run and hope for the rest?
    Kemen: Well we know he is headed for the fifth tier of the city. What defenses remain are heavily strained and not likely to hold out much longer. We need to get ahead of him and get ready to ambush him once he comes through.
    Paddock: But he is RIGHT THERE
    Coe-Nan: What are you going to do? Ride the Kython’s like a crowd surfer and charge attack him from the roof?
    Paddock with a huge grin starts to grab some dice…
    Me: Oh no…
    Paddock: What would the ride DC be to ride the wave in and make a spirited charge?
    DM: Serious?
    Paddock: Yeah…
    DM: You would have to free fall at least 30 feet before landing, rendering any ride attempts mute.

    Paddock does not try to crowd surf the kythons atop a horse while charging with lance. He instead joins us in making the climb down into the check point and slowly working our way around the worst tangles to try and reach the dwarven defenders. They are dug in at their position pretty well and we don’t have much of a path to reach them.

    Kemen: I am going to put a web up in the joint of the wall leading to their position, angled up high towards the ceiling. We can climb the web laterally and wall shift our way above their position.
    Me: That will leave us wide open to archer fire.
    Kemen: Not wide open…
    Me: How do you figure?
    Kemen: Web gives us cover…

    Our scheme works like a terrific catastrophe. We are able to maneuver through the web and work our way to the dwarf battle line. The dwarfs see us and a reserve force of crossbowmen and wizards lays a suppressive fire in the direction of the catfolk’s cadre. The Catfolk and his gnolls see us and start sending volleys of arrows at us in return. We get lit up. Kemen drops a Protection from Arrows on Paddock who is our most injured party member and the rest of us get skewered.

    I actually hit negatives and literally drop from the web into the battle formation, taking another 1d6 falling damage that puts me to -7. Paddock reaches the other side without further harm but minus his mount who can’t climb the webs.

    Kemen makes it across at 3 hps. Coe-Nan reaches the other side on fumes…he made it conscious from rage, but passed out into negatives on the other side. Silent One was our best finisher with 9 hps. They have a few low level clerics hanging back that manage to stabilize our wounded and they drag us back for a briefing.

    Turns out that for days now the dwarf city has been under constant barrage from the kython invaders. A colony of kythons far bigger than anything previously believed to be in existence was hijacked and redirected to Kay-Varn by Raja and the whole city was plunged into chaos. During his siege of the city Kython began to resist his control and most of his other infected creatures were utilized as food by the kython. A good portion of the population was evacuated to the fifth tier and most of the ranking arcanists and clerics are presently securing the premise below. We are urged to continue on and provide support at the fifth tier.
    Campaign Logs:

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  27. - Top - End - #27
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Default Re: The Big One-Campagin Log

    Quote Originally Posted by MintyNinja View Post
    Love the "Building a Stronghold" bit. Definitely something that should be done more often.
    We always pushed for getting something like this. A lot of the times fate (DM fiat) intervened and prevented such things from happening, but for this one we got a thumbs up and got to have some fun. A bit of foreshadowing for something that happens around level 10...we get something much cooler and much more mobile.

    This is amazing. This is the first campaign log I've ever read. I have never played d&d but after reading this, and realizing the possibilities, you have motivated me to start playing. (even though I have no idea where to start and have no friends to play with). I've been reading order of the stick for years, but have never registered on the forums (nothing against the comic, I love it and check regularly for updates), but your actual d&d experiences have inspired me. Keep writing, you have a gift.
    That is a great compliment...much obliged and humbled by this. I will keep writing until I run out of binders to go through, my hands fall off, or people stop reading...whatever comes first.
    Campaign Logs:

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  28. - Top - End - #28
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Rethmar's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2011

    Default Re: The Big One-Campagin Log

    If your hands fall off, I am confident that the community will chip in and graft you a new pair.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Big One-Campagin Log

    Quote Originally Posted by Rethmar View Post
    If your hands fall off, I am confident that the community will chip in and graft you a new pair.
    I agree with this statement.
    Quote Originally Posted by shadow_archmagi View Post

    DM says: WHY!? WHY!? WHY?!
    DM means: NO! NO! NO!!!
    Player hears: GOOD JOB PLAYER! DO IT AGAIN AND AGAIN!
    Pokemon Y, friend code 0146-9846-5809

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Deepbluediver's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    The US of A

    Default Re: The Big One-Campagin Log

    I love reading these things; gonna check out some of your other stuff while I wait for the next update.

    Also, is this an ongoing campaign, or have you completed it and are just doing a write-up now?
    Quote Originally Posted by Rater202 View Post
    It's not called common because the sense is common, it's called common because it's about common things.
    Homebrew Extended Signature!

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