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  1. - Top - End - #31
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Jeargroth's Avatar

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    Sep 2014

    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    [QUOTE=Picanet;19879675]Puzzle has installed some very real paranoia in me/Sona during the game. Thank goodness for a cranked out listen skill to try and keep ahead of the nasty Scrag who I assume in time is going to get himself a name and story at this rate. FML. [quote]

    I offered the GM, Viate, if he would bring the Scrag back in while we were all doing our damnedest to fight the boss... A wet hand slowly creeping around Sona's necks and got turned down. No love for the Lock.
    Last edited by Jeargroth; 2015-10-02 at 01:11 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #32
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    No love for any of the PCs, for I am a cruel and capricious Overlord.

    And now theme songs! Some of the players have given me their selections, but the rest will have to suffer with my amusingly inappropriate choices until they choose their own. Then and only then will I change it.

    Maybe.

    Angelena:(GM's choice)
    Sonne

    Janath:(Player's choice)
    Please allow me to introduce myself

    Puck:( Player's choice; Reassuring, no?)
    Dun-dun Dun Da-Dun

    Sammael: (Player's choice)
    Caught by the Light

    Sona:(Player's choice)
    Storm Song

    Talvosh:(GM's choice)
    Here comes the...

    Edit: A player chose a song! Huzzah!
    Edit the 2nd: Another one!
    Last edited by curious-puzzle; 2015-10-31 at 01:36 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #33
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    And we have a painted mini, courtesy of Puck's player:

    Spoiler: Sona
    Show


  4. - Top - End - #34
    Orc in the Playground
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    Galveston, TX

    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Dangit, I'm going to be checking back every single day now to this thread, just to see if there's an update. :D
    I love it so far.
    The beatings will continue until morale improves!

    Vaz approval for the best backstory. Villainous Competition 16: Burn Baby Burn
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/shows...&postcount=114

    Honorable Mention Villainous Competition 22: I Am The Night
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?http://531199-Villainous-Competition...e-Night!/page6

  5. - Top - End - #35
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Glad you're liking it Prismcat21! We play every second Saturday (so next game is this coming Saturday), but there'll normally be other stuff posted occasionally.

    And another mini is complete! Here's Talvosh (and Talvosh's axe):

    Spoiler: Talvosh
    Show

    Last edited by curious-puzzle; 2015-10-04 at 06:38 PM. Reason: Mixed up a name

  6. - Top - End - #36
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Sweet Mother of Orcus!!
    He's Gruesome. :D
    The beatings will continue until morale improves!

    Vaz approval for the best backstory. Villainous Competition 16: Burn Baby Burn
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/shows...&postcount=114

    Honorable Mention Villainous Competition 22: I Am The Night
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?http://531199-Villainous-Competition...e-Night!/page6

  7. - Top - End - #37
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    And we've got some more painted minis, because Puck's player is silly fast and talented!

    Spoiler: Janath
    Show



    Spoiler: Angelena
    Show



    Spoiler: Puck
    Show


    Spoiler: Sammael
    Show


    And a group shot!

    Spoiler: The Fearsome Five
    Show


    EDIT: Sammael is complete and added! I'll add a full group shot once I've got it.
    Last edited by curious-puzzle; 2015-10-11 at 02:19 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #38
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Session the Fourth!

    Spoiler: Leaving the Compound
    Show
    The trading in the morning goes smoothly, with Radovan revealing an assortment of scrolls and a wand that they've scrounged up. It's a near empty wand of Blur, and scrolls of Righteous Might, Rainbow Pattern, Summon Monster III, Cure Serious Wounds (curiously as a bard spell), and two others that I've completely spaced on (the group happily trades the weapons and armor they've been dragging around for the scrolls, the wand, and a wheelbarrow). Radovan also finds two sooty and burnt (but still legible) maps! One is half of what looks like a world map, and the other is a rough layout of the jungle. Going over the forest, Radovan warns that Whip Panthers are quite common in multiple areas of the jungle, while dinosaurs tend to stay closer to shore. There's a ruined fortress by the river that bisects the jungle, and he's fairly certain that there is a Bonfire there.

    The other piece of info (and the reason they don't go further than within several days of their camp, and NEVER across the river), is that a large green flying creature has been spotted north of the river - most likely a dragon.

    Puck wanders the small compound while the trading is going on, and awkwardly chats with one of the hunters (Teodora). She mentions to look out for blue ribbons in the jungle, as they mark traps the hunters have set (giving a +10 to spot said traps). He also notices the young boy, Zivko, peeking from the upper walkway, and climbs up to confront him.

    Puck: "What are you staring at, boy?"
    Zivko: "...You're really big."
    Puck: "And you were burnt before. *grabs arm* You seem fine now."
    Zivko:"...Do you kill people?"
    Puck:"Would it bother you if we said yes?"

    Zivko rummages in a pouch, and pulls out a drawing. It's a surprisingly detailed face sketch of a pretty young woman...or she would be pretty if not for the cruel expression across her face. Zivko solemnly hands Puck the sketch, a distinctly non-childish expression on his face.

    Zivko: "If you see this woman, the one who burned me and tried to burn our home...will you kill her?" Unsurprisingly, Puck agrees to the request, and tromps off to the group with the kill bounty, and the sketch of Jezelle. Meeting back up, the group is thanked profusely again by Andrej, and they set out again into the jungle.


    Spoiler: The Jungle
    Show
    Ambience
    The party debates for a while whether to press forward, or travel back the day or so to the last Bonfire they attuned to and perform the Torchbearer ritual. They decide for bigger risk/bigger reward, and press forward. The first day of travel passes uneventfully, but during the night, there is the sound of drumming, far off to the northeast for several hours. It's incredibly faint, but it must be a massive drum to be heard at all at this distance. Also, this is the first night that isn't overcast and cloudy, and the moon is clearly visible.

    The large, burning moon. It's as if there is an eclipse, with a ring of sullen flame enveloping the moon and brightening the night. Looking at the black Marks on the back of their hands, there is an eerie similarity.

    The next day of travel through the increasingly dense jungle goes smoothly as well, the remnants of the road having become a well used game trail from the looks of it. The dirt has numerous tracks and marks on it. In the evening, the drumming is heard again, on and off throughout the night. In the morning, Sona finally makes the (not particularly difficult) Intelligence check to use the scale on the map to estimate how far from the ruins they are. It looks like another three days of travel or so, one without the benefit of the old road.

    Mid-day, the random encounter gods are no longer pleased with the party, and they are ambushed by a pack of Megaraptors. They rush out of the bushes with a screech and tear into Sammael, Talvosh, Puck, and Janath!

    Clever Girl

    Unlike piddly normal Deinonychus, Megaraptors actually have an impressive damage output, and they lay into the group pretty quickly. Sammael fights back, but is taking far more damage than he's dealing out, and goes to pull back towards the rest of the group. Unfortunately, he didn't quaff his defensive tinctures (what with being ambushed and all), so his AC is not high enough to protect him from the attack of opportunity (even with Mobility). The Megaraptor gashes him across the midsection and he drops. The party tries to fight free of the other raptors, but can't get close enough before the raptor savages the helpless Sammael, killing him. The party takes out the Megaraptors without any further casualties, but not without getting bloodied in the process. The stench of blood is heavy in the air, and the party quickly decides to make the half-day trip back to where they made camp and rest back there, hoping Sammael will be able to catch up quickly.

    Seeing as how Sammael's land speed is 50 ft/ rnd, and he has a high Con score, he arrives at the camp site only a couple hours after the rest of the party, what would be an utterly punishing pace for anyone else a moderate jog for him. As the party is still kind of beat up, the group makes camp for the night.

    By the time the party reaches the spot where they were attacked, there is nothing left of the Megaraptor corpses but bloodstains and drag marks. Shortly afterwards, the whole party gets the hair-raising sensation of something watching the group from the undergrowth. Once or twice, they catch glimpse of dark forms prowling out of view again, but no solid spottings. A knowledge (Arcana) check reveals that Whip Panthers are most likely Displacer Beasts, magical feline predators with barbed tentacles, a natural light-bending displacement power, and a bloodthirsty disposition that makes them kill for pleasure as much as sustenance. The feeling of being stalked continues for most of the day, and the party finally reaches the break in the road the map warned of in the evening. There seems to be a glade just off the road, and what looks like a clean grotto. However, Sammael spots a flash of blue, and looks closer to spot the very large log studded with numerous spikes hanging from vines. It's set up to give a very quick and brutal greeting to anyone who wants to claim the water for their own, so the group decides instead to make a (large) fire at the end of the road for camp. They've just managed to pile the logs and start the fire (Eldritch Glaive and 2 big freaking axes make super efficient lumberjacks) when the sensation of being watched returns in force, and eyes gleam in the jungle.

    Large, feline eyes (the party gets 2 rounds to make stealthy preparations, either buffs or sidling in one direction slowly - Puck gets enlarged, AC enhancements go up, and Janath drops a cloud of mist). Then with a spine rumbling growl, an absolutely massive Displacer Beast prowls onto the road. It's Huge (as in the size category), easily 10 feet high at the shoulders. It's even more hideous than others, with bone plates and spurs jutting and bulging out from its ebony skin, and massive tentacles whip-cracking back and forth. As everyone squares off, the large beast lets out a dull coughing roar!


    Spoiler: BOSS FIGHT: TWISTED DISPLACER BEAST
    Show
    Fight Music
    The Twisted Displacer Beast (who is a Dire Spellwarped Displacer Beast) goes first and smacks Puck. Puck almost manages to trip the Twist-beast (alarming!), and Talvosh misses his attack. The 3 other displacer beasts rush out of the woods, and Janath gets hit (while Sammael deflects the blows aimed at him). The miss chances are flying fast and furious, with the displacer beasts 50% miss, the 20% or 50% from obscuring mist, and Sona's Blur spell.

    The Twist beast goes again, and lays into Puck and Talvosh! The third Displacer beast also sneaks up and smacks Puck as him and Talvosh lands a couple hits, while the other two keep advancing and flailing at the tightly packed quartet of Sona/Janath/Sammael/Angelena as they slowly shuffle away. Janath lashes out with his Eldritch glaive, Sona deflects some things with Wings of Cover, and then Angelena tries to hit the Twist-beast with a Doom.

    She fails the Spell Resistance, and the Twist-Beast's strength increases further! Things are looking a little tense...the battle rages on, with the Twist-Beast hurting Puck more and dropping Talvosh to single digit hit points. The Twist-beast is down to 90 hp after Puck's last two hits, and then Talvosh rolls a natural 20.

    And confirms to deal 90 points of damage, decapitating the Twist-Beast on the spot. Curse you, x3 crits! There's a bit more skirmishing, and one displacer beast bites it before the other two are wounded enough that they flee into the jungle. Angelena uses every single spell she has remaining for healing, and Sammael skins the Twist-Beast as the group makes camp to recuperate.

    During the night, Puck notices something strange. One of the jungle birds, a larger looking parrot, is sitting at the edge of the firelight, staring. He throws a rock, thwacking it, and it doesn't move. Pointing it out to Sammael, the paladin peers closely at the eerie parrot. It's undead, so Sammael rushes up and destroys it with a flash of divine turning.

    Several moments later, the drums start again. Boom Boom Boom


    Spoiler: To the Ruined Fortress
    Show
    The travelling is harder going without the road, but they make it to the ruins of the fortress by the end of the day. It looks like it was quite a stout little castle in the past, but all that remains now is part of a wall, and a single tower. Moving closer, the group discovers a new ability - they make an ability check using whichever trait they chose for their Vitae score. Passing the check, they can feel a tugging sensation towards the tower. The iron gate blocking the door has been sliced open cleanly, and it's a simple matter of stepping over. Going up the stairs, they find a Bonfire...and a lone stranger.

    His name is Drokon, and the party settles down after a bit of nervous chatting. Drokon has been here for months, but it seems he hasn't been travelling in any particular direction, or with any sense of urgency. He traveled north along the shoreline, and then gradually cut east through the jungle to end up here. He seems quite self-assured (Puck and Talvosh get the vibe of a trained warrior off him), but he's not particularly ambitious seeming. He hasn't heard of or seen anyone resembling Jezelle, however. He does seem quite interested in everyone's goals and motivations. After some more discussion, Drokon shares his knowledge of a new ability using Vitae:

    "Center yourself. Focus inwards, upon your heartbeat. Now focus on the space between the heartbeats, the absence, the void. That is the Curse. That is the strand winding through you. Now reach, and pull from that absence within yourself. You can strengthen your flesh, at the cost of your spirit."

    The party now has the ability to heal using Vitae. As a standard action, they can burn a point of Vitae to recover all their HP.

    With that, we call it a night. Everyone else levels up to 7


    Spoiler: DEATH COUNT
    Show
    3
    Last edited by curious-puzzle; 2016-01-12 at 01:02 AM.

  9. - Top - End - #39
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Doorhandle's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Ahhh, that jungle boogie. *bangs drums while chanting*

    Excellent to see another campaign journal on these fine forums... particularly a dark-souls inspired one. Just mentioning that immediately makes my mental image twice as twisted, which is pretty great.
    Can't write. Can't plan. Can draw a little.
    Quote Originally Posted by Craft (Cheese) View Post
    "In his free time, he gates in Balors just so he can kill and eat them later!"

  10. - Top - End - #40
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Hope that twisted mental image brings a grin to your face, Doorhandle!

    Game tomorrow night, and I think I'm all prepped for multiple choices on the part of my test subjects!


  11. - Top - End - #41
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    The fifth session, and no one has thrown anything at me yet, so I'm taking it as a success

    Spoiler: Below the Ruined Fort
    Show
    Drokon departs in the very early morning, before dawn. Wishing the party well, he ambles off towards the northwest. I'm certain that is the last we'll ever see of this fellow.

    *crickets*

    The group goes over the map, and decides that first they're going to check out whatever's in the hatch leading below this tower, and then they're going to follow the river east and check out the tiny islands in the river. The hatch is sealed with a heavy lock and chain, but it's no match for Puck. Heaving the hatch open, a narrow staircase leads down into darkness. Puck and Talvosh go down first (which plays perfectly into my plans, mwaha) and tromp down the stairs. It curves around tightly after just a few feet, and ends abruptly around the corner - the rest of the stairs seem to have collapsed. And just then the combined weight of the two largest characters pushes the barely-holding-together stones past their tipping point. Puck and Talvosh fail their reflex saves and go tumbling into the black amid a groaning shower of stones! Crashing to the ground, the two find themselves in what seems to have been a storage room - or possibly a prison. They peer about in the cloud of dust stirred up by the impact of their landing (and the stone might have contributed also), while Janath floats partway down the 30 ft drop and starts to light a torch. Hearing a crunching at their feet, Talvosh and Puck notice that there are a lot of bones beneath them. Bones, and ashes. Talvosh is the only one who makes his Spot check, and notices that in the flickering uncertain light, there is one more shadow than there should be.

    He's the only one not surprised when the four shadows and a greater shadow surge out of the walls and floor! Puck only takes one point of strength damage, I miss Talvosh somehow, but Janath gets nailed by the greater shadow and another shadow for 8 Str damage total in the surprise round...Talvosh's return swing whiffs harmlessly through a shadow. Sammael and Angelena were preparing to lower Angelena down, so Sammael is able to evaporate the one shadow floating next to Janath with his destroy undead (and hurt the greater shadow). The greater shadow then wraps its dark fingers around Janath's heart and hits him with another 7 strength damage, killing him instantly. As his body crumples to the ground, his shadow rises up, horribly animate! Talvosh and Puck make their incorporeal miss chances and pop several of the shadows, Puck takes some more strength damage in return (many jokes and threats are made due to it being "Janath's" shadow that hits Puck), and then Angelena is up. Leaning fearlessly over the edge, she unleashes a Greater turn undead. The entire room is bathed in blazing sunlight, and every remaining shadow is blasted instantly into nothingness.

    A moment later, Janath is reborn a few feet away from Angelena, with his strength returned to 1. Life is just a little bit of pain for poor Janath at the moment, but a max blast from the Rod of Bodily Restoration puts him back up to max strength. Sammael and Angelena descend into the pit, while Sona and Janath decide they're having none of that creepy place and chill out topside. Searching the room, Angelena and Puck discover several things:
    1) there's at least 4 bodies worth of bones strewn about the ash and stone
    2)there's a collapsed passage in the one corner - There's a skeletal hand poking out from the rock, and Puck finds a black gleaming ring (a ring of protection +2)
    3) in the other corner, Angelena finds a bunch of scrapes and gouges on the wall...and a fingernail fragment embedded in the stone, with a message carved into the rock:
    So cold
    So cold
    So dark
    So hungry
    Let us out


    Puck decides to try and dig out the passageway, and manages to open a small tunnel in the top part of the hallway without collapsing the whole thing. The opening is too small for anyone wearing armor - Sona, Sammael, or Janath would be able to fit carefully. Peering in with a torch, Sammael can see a small room, and a small crate in the corner. He also see the cracks spiderwebbing all down the sides of the hallway, and can hear the ominous groan of the stone shifting. He asks Janath if he can come down to use his Haversack so Sammael can slip in and out quickly with whatever's in the room. Instead of a Janath, the backpack soars down with a thud.

    Ever so carefully, Sammael shimmies his way through. The hallway doesn't collapse and insta-kill him, yay! Digging through the box, he finds rotten cloth, a ruined set of leather armor...and a heavy metallic brick. Scrubbing the caked on dirt and grime away, the gleam of gold shines through. Sammael wriggles his way back through, and I collapse the tunnel out of a sense of dramatic timing. Scrambling back out of the tunnel, they examine the brick more closely. It's got a reddish hint to it; not rose gold, more the edges of of the brick shines red. None of the heroes have the appropriate skills to understand what it is other than unusual-seeming gold. My smug know-it-all-grin peeks out eeeever so slightly.


    Spoiler: Down the River
    Show
    Travelling further down the river, the group keeps a low profile - so I don't roll the required % for the dragon to spot them *overdramatic sigh*. They do however encounter a gigantic crocodile sunning on the shoreline, and against Angelena's vote, kite and demolish the Croc after it manages to bite Talvosh once. Puck becomes convinced that there's something inside the crocodile, and splits it open. The gore flows down the river, and everyone unanimously votes that Puck has to wash himself off in the river before continuing onwards. Janath does some scouting up in the air, and notices a huge tree (double the height of the surrounding jungle) around a day to the north across the river...that's roughly in the direction of where they think the drumming has been coming from.

    The river's widened quite a bit by this point, and the group lashes together a makeshift raft. Puck takes hold of some rope, and drags the raft across to the small spit of land in the center of the river. The drumming starts up again at this point, louder now that they're closer than before. The drumming continues even as they hop to the slightly larger island and decide to make camp until the next morning. There's about 100 feet of river between them and the north shore, but those on watch notice something slightly unnerving across the river. There's a least a dozen of those parrots and other animals sitting at the shore/perched in the trees at the edge of the water. Not moving, not making noise, not breathing. Just watching. Janath takes aim and burns several of them up, and the remaining ones shuffle further into cover. Their eyes still shine in the light, unblinking.

    After a not overly restful night, the group has had enough of that damnable drumming, and decides to head north towards the big tree Janath spotted and see what they can discover. Puck tromps into the river again, pushing against the lazy but massive current and tugs the raft along with him. As soon as the party steps foot onto the northern shore, the drumming stops. So do any ambient animal noises. The only noise is their own breathing, and the faint gurgle of the river. Girding their loins, they head north.

    The jungle is much wetter, almost marsh-like, and everyone is thoroughly soaked and miserable by mid-day. Sammael and Angelena are intensely uncomfortable in these woods, like someone's brushing the back of their neck constantly. A zombie monkey goofs up his one job and rolls a 2 on his hide, and Sammael puts an arrow through his neck, but the sensation is even stronger by late afternoon. Sammael uses his Detect Evil on a hunch, and nearly blows a blood vessel as he staggers backwards.

    The whole jungle is desecrated. The soil itself reeks of undeath and darkness. The party decides to keep going (Sammael votes along with Talvosh to just try and burn the whole jungle down at this point), and everyone starts catching glimpses of figures out of the corners of their eyes, flickers of movement behind trees. Finally, at dusk, firelight fills a large clearing ahead. Creeping ahead, Sammael peers through the jungle carefully.


    Spoiler: The Hanging Tree
    Show
    It's a large dirt clearing, with a crackling fire (not the special kind) at the base of a ridiculously large Mangrove tree. Dozens of bodies hang from the tree, or are nailed to the branches and roots, or are sprawled about the base of the tree. There's quite possibly a hundred bodies strewn about. 20 feet up the massive mangrove there's a broad flat platform...with a giant drum mounted on it. One of the hooded figures rolls a natural 20 on his listen, and catches a noise.

    "Who's that? Do we have...guests?"

    Sammael steps into the clearing, and everyone else follows behind. Another hooded figure steps into view, and cheerfully hisses out a greeting in the stereotypically "evil" voice. Sammael gets close enough to use his Lenses of Revelation, and woooww. Both hooded figures are undead, as are almost every body hanging off the tree. A third figure steps up into view.

    "Well, hello! You must be the ones who have made so much noise in the forest lately. Have you come to admire my art?"

    Angelena: "You did this? Your...art?!"
    Totally not a necromancer: "Why, yes! Did you like it?"

    Aaand Sammael pushes past Janath to start climbing the roots with violence on his mind. Initiative!

    MINIBOSS FIGHT: SHAKE DEM BONES

    Sammael makes it partway up the roots, while Angelena casts Air Walk on Puck, who makes it partway up to the platform. Sona zaps a Greater Thunderclap, and the Totally-not-a-necromancer is Stunned (the two undead figures are fine). Undead Drums starts the beat!
    Boom boom boom!

    Janath flies up and tries to Shatter the drum, but it is magical and about 10ft long by 6 ft across. Undead Vocals steps up and lets out a Horrific Shriek, causing strength and dexterity damage to a large chunk of the party. Then the bodies hanging off the tree drop down, many of them still wearing the remnants of the nooses, and stand up from the ground. The one Mob of ghouls gets charged by Talvosh, who deals an absolutely hideous amount of damage to them, and the other horde of undead shambles towards Angelena. Puck makes it to the platform, and I realize the error of the three baddies standing close to each other on a small platform. Vocals spends most of the rest of the fight being smashed to her bony posterior and shoved to the ground by Puck, while an enraged Sammael blasts Destroy undead attempts at them and hacks at them with his scythe. The dread necromancer does manage to hit Talvosh, Janath, and Sammael with a Wave of Exhaustion at least. This plus the strength damage taken previously drops Janath to 0 strength. We rule that his fell flight is mental however, so he feebly floats towards Angelena.

    The ghouls and Talvosh tear into each other, but him plus Sona throwing out blasts of electricity manages to put the one mob down. The other horde claws and bites at Angelena, and she attempts to smite them in Pelor's name with a Greater Turning. A poor roll plus the desecration of the area (and that mobs are 30HD worth each) prevents them from being sublimated though. The Dread necromancer is about to try and hit Sammael with a Fell Draining vampiric touch when Puck interrupts and sends him crashing into Drums, stopping the beat. A negative energy blast prevents the necromancer from dying, but that clues Sammael into a weakness. He sears the necromancer with his Lay on Hands (who has tomb-tainted soul), and then Puck chops his head off. Sona saves Angelena from being mobbed, and [I[Benign Transpositions[/I] her and Talvosh. The ghouls pry Talvosh's axe away in a grapple, so he starts pulping ghoul heads with heavy punches. He's down to 3 hit points before Sona's magic missiles, Angelena's Searing Light and Deific Vengeance, and his max-power attacking punches put down the other mob. Drums and vocals try to make a run for it! But Sammael chases Drums down and cuts him apart, while Puck does a flying bodyslam from the platform and utterly pulverizes Vocals. Our heroes pull through with no casualties, but a LOT of ability damage and general pain. The two priestly sorts can already feel the aura of desecration starting to lift somewhat.

    We'll see if they have the chutzpah to sleep in the clearing...


    Session complete!

    Spoiler: DEATH COUNT
    Show
    Four
    Last edited by curious-puzzle; 2016-01-12 at 01:02 AM.

  12. - Top - End - #42
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    wink Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    You're still an ass. ;)

  13. - Top - End - #43
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Slander! Baseless, unprovoked slander, I say!

    Note to self; increase frequency of Wisdom eating monsters.

  14. - Top - End - #44
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Thumbs up Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Quote Originally Posted by curious-puzzle View Post
    Note to self; increase frequency of Wisdom eating monsters.
    Thanks for proving the point... ;)

  15. - Top - End - #45
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    A player finally chose a theme song for their character, edited the theme song post appropriately.

    And I had forgotten about this clip from Shrek, but it sums up my DMing this game far too accurately:


  16. - Top - End - #46
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    NinjaGirl

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    May die? MAY DIE?!
    All of us will die! At least once, just to earn the achievement and see the black bar and red writing flash before our eyes.

  17. - Top - End - #47
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    tgva8889's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    I'm still greatly enjoying this.
    Thanks to araveugnitsuga for my Pika-tar!
    5e: Orianna OOC IC
    PTU: Alyssa OOC IC

  18. - Top - End - #48
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Yeaaaahh.... this is just going to keep bouncing around in my head until i incorporate some of it into my game the next couple of weeks. :)
    Keep up the great game. :D
    The beatings will continue until morale improves!

    Vaz approval for the best backstory. Villainous Competition 16: Burn Baby Burn
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/shows...&postcount=114

    Honorable Mention Villainous Competition 22: I Am The Night
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?http://531199-Villainous-Competition...e-Night!/page6

  19. - Top - End - #49
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Thanks, tgva8889 and PrismCat21, glad you're enjoying it!

    Lemme know what you spring on your players, PrismCat. I may counter-incorporate

  20. - Top - End - #50
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    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    You are Session Six. No Janath tonight due to family stuff, so he is in silent follow mode (he's still there with the party, just in the background)

    We pick back up right after the party defeated the necromancer and his malevolently musical minions!

    Spoiler: Examining the Hanging Tree
    Show
    Drums, Vocals, and the necromancer's remains are looted, and the party scores themselves some finely crafted (and incredibly light) chainmail, along with some other magic items. Angelena takes the Vitae from the necromancer's corpse, and is unnerved by the sheer rush of it. While climbing back up to the platform, Puck notices that there's something unusual about the base of the tree (you know, besides the numerous corpses and body parts nailed/tied/strapped to it). The base of the tree is split, so if you pushed your way through the hanging roots/branches, you should be able to walk right under the tree to the other side. Except Puck can see nothing but darkness past the roots...and he has darkvision. Chopping some of the roots away, he calls Sammael over to examine. Sammael uses a Continual Flame and extends his hand forward to reveal that there is a curtain of solid black stopping any vision from going through, and a closer look reveals that it's a Portal. With a high enough Knowledge (Planes) roll and a close examination with Detect Magic, Sammael's educated guess is that it's a portal to the plane of Shadow (or something similar). I wait with bated breath for one of them to walk through, but they act all conservative and careful and don't go charging forward carelessly Talvosh lobs a rock in, and the portal ripples lazily, thick oil over water.

    Puck and Talvosh clamber up to the platform, and decide to push the massive drum off the platform. It's quite heavy, but together they do so and it crashes to the ground. Hurray vandalism! The presence of the creepy portal, plus the whole tree of corpses and dozens of bodies strewn about the clearing convince Sammael and Anne that fire is the only solution, so operation Start the Fire begins! The exhausted party members chill out for an hour or so, while dry vegetation and wood is gathered and stuffed into the highly treated drum-log. With a high enough Survival check, the drum is crammed into the roots of the creepy hanging Mangrove-esque tree, and it catches fire. As the flames build in the night, the party realizes that they should probably vacate the premises as to avoid being surrounded if the fire spreads too much. They hustle off into the darkness to the Northwest.

    However, the fact that they just torched the tree that is notably taller than any of its neighbours means that the % for the dragon to take notice increases to 10%...and I roll a success.


    Spoiler: The Dragon
    Show
    About an hour or so away from the necro-clearing, Sona hears the rush of something large winging overhead at high speed and rustling the treetops...then it loops back around. Everyone hastily takes cover / hides in the jungle just before the dragon crashes through the canopy and lands with a crunch. Everyone's eyes and noses start stinging and burning as a horrible acrid scent fills the air. The dragon scans the surrounding area, and easily spots Talvosh (who rolled a 3 on hide).

    Dragon: "Little rodENTs...was It yOu who Lit the fIRE?"

    The dragon (who is the size of a large draft horse...that also has wings, a long serpentine neck and a long tail) seems a little...unusual. Its head tilts back and forth erratically as it speaks, and there's an unnerving light in its eyes. Sammael speaks up to confirm that they started the fire and stands slowly. The dragon's gaze snaps to him.

    "TribUtE! yOu must pa, pay me TRIbute foR haRMING MY juNgLE..!..Or i wILL Eat You."

    Sammael: "We were purging your jungle of foul undead."

    Dragon: "W h at iF I lIKeD the DeadthinGS?"

    Sammael's eye twitches at that, but before anything else happens, the dragon takes a closer look at Sona hunkered down behind a fern.

    The dragon rears back, mouth snapping open with a malicious hiss. The acrid scent intensifies, and greenish gas starts to waft from the dragon's body. Its luminous eyes blaze, and the surrounding vegetation burns and withers as the wicked claws dig into the dirt.

    "TTTHHHIIIEEEEEFFFFFF!!!!" It screeches in Draconic, spittle flying and sizzling.

    Initiative!

    Puck and Sammael rush forward and cut into the dragon, then it's the dragon's turn. The acidic gas is so potent that simply standing next to the dragon burns Sammael and Puck for 25 damage each, and then the dragon lays into Puck (who had used Shock Trooper to land a mighty blow), full attacking as only a dragon can. Everyone is low on spells/abilities/fatigued/still ability damaged from the previous fight, so the group is more than a little nervous. Sona casts Mirror image on herself, and Angelena casts aid on Talvosh, who charges forward and hacks away while being bit on the way in.

    Sammael falls back as the caustic aura could quite easily kill him outright, while Puck grimly attacks again. The dragon goes and drops Puck, then tears and claws at Talvosh, still howling in Draconic at Sona. Sona tries to distract the beast, cutting her palm and running at an angle (Mirror image stops Sona from being bit), while Talvosh does his best to return the favor of slicing the dragon up before stepping back to force the dragon to have move either towards him or Sona (instead of being able to reach both). It's unanimously decided that the torchbearer needs to retreat, so Angelena runs away into the bushes.

    Sammael keeps backing up, and draws his bow. Instead of turning to focus on either the orc with the painful axe or the THIEFGIVEITBACK, the dragon leaps backwards and spews a cloud of sickeningly green gas! It melts Puck and hurts both Sona and Talvosh badly. Sona starts backing away and shooting magic missiles and balls of lightning (from dragon lineage), rolling like a boss on spell penetration. Talvosh gets off a leaping charge again for disgusting damage, while Sammael casts True Strike from his wand on himself. The dragon stalks Sona, Mirror Image and Wings of Cover keeping her alive while Talvosh keeps fighting.

    Then the dragon kills Talvosh. Sammael's arrow thuds into the creature's head at this point, and Sona is down to using her anklets of translocation and armbands of elusive action to keeping falling back and firing magic missiles. Finally, shockingly, the dragon crumples before it can rip Sona limb from limb.

    Shakily, the party regroups after Puck and Talvosh are reborn next to Angelena. There are some attempts to loot/dismember the dragon corpse, but it's made difficult by the fact that its very flesh seems to be emanating the burning caustic gas still. The vegetation surrounding the body is very quickly dying and burning away (Talvosh is burned as he claims the Vitae). That, plus the danger of the fire catching up to them means the party stumbles ahead for another hour or so until they reach a creek, and everyone collapses into rest and repair.



    Spoiler: Continuing on
    Show
    The party has a late start in the morning, but are looking much healthier on average. Drokon actually reappears, mentioning that he saw the large fire and heard the fighting with the dragon. It seems a little odd, but not overly aggressive. After breakfast, Puck asks to see Drokon's sword, and there's a tense moment where it's unclear if he's going to return it or attack Drokon. The moment passes though, and Drokon mentions that he would be quite interested in a duel with any of the party. It's not as if there's any serious consequences if the duel goes badly, after all...Puck accepts, and the two square off.

    Now, Drokon is a swordsage with a high initiative and a good selection of maneuvers. His plan is to toss his opponent into the creek or taunt them into it, then use Step of the Moth to dodge around and cut away at his opponent while they flail in the water. Unfortunately, Puck cranks his initiative and Drokon flubs his, so Puck trips him and chops him for half his health. Drokon shadow steps away onto the creek and readies an Elder Mountain Hammer as he beckons Puck forward. I leave Drokon too close to shore though, and even with a bonus for floating above the ground he gets tripped again after hitting Puck for heavy damage...and Puck rolls a crit. Drokon unsurprisingly dies, and Puck gets to experience the very confusing sensation of Vitae rushing into him with the killing blow. It seems something about the duel changed how the Vitae acted...

    The group stays camped for the rest of the day to see if Drokon returns (he does not). Sammael returns to the dragon corpse, which the fire didn't spread to, and now that the gas has faded manages to get some hide off the body. Sona and Talvosh notice some signs of the dragon near their current camp, and realize that since its very presence killed and scorched vegetation, the landing points are pretty obvious. The party goes to sleep again, planning on heading northwest towards the road in the morning.

    Talvosh has a disturbing dream during the night...he's sitting in absolute blackness, unable to see anything. There's the unshakable sensation of someone staring at him though. Then something whispers in his ear:
    Be Mine

    It's close enough to morning that he doesn't go back to sleep.

    The party continues in the morning, and as they travel the surrounding jungle quickly becomes drier and more natural as they get further from the marshy region. Sammael also notices that everyone is gradually travelling upwards. They catch sight of some reptilian creatures, but they flee quickly into the bushes. There are also notable streaks and splotches of brown and dead vegetation, where the dragon landed or trundled through the trees. That night, Talvosh has another dream. This time, there's the sensation of a hand on his shoulder along with the darkness and the Voice. Sleep is...difficult to return to. The group guesses they're about a another day away from reaching to Old Road again, and then it's another few days following that before they're out of the jungle. Peering out above the treeline, Sammael sees an inordinate amount of jungle towards the west, and what looks like canyons and possibly mountains to the north and northeast. There's the distant coughing roar of displacer beasts to the south as the party travels, but they stay on target and keep going.

    This night, Talvosh Fails his Will Save. Puck watches as Talvosh sits up, grabs his axe, and wanders away from camp, towards the southeast. Sona and Sammael wake up when Puck tries to get Talvosh's attention as he follows. No response to either Puck or Sona asking questions, but on a hunch Sammael uses Detect Evil. A Shadow hangs about Talvosh, so Sammael winds up with a rock and throws it into the back of the orc's head. He deals 2 points of damage, which is enough to wake Talvosh up. Talvosh needs to make his will save to not frenzy, he just needs to roll a 3.

    He rolls a 2, and whips about. He charge-leap-pounces Puck, and takes off half his health with one hit (and luckily for Puck, misses the other two attacks). Sona Greases the ground underneath Talvosh, hoping to keep him flailing around ineffectually. Puck trips Talvosh, and then crits with a max power attack, nearly killing Talvosh with one hit. On Talvosh's turn, the nonlethal damage from his Frenzy makes him pass out, and he then succeeds on his save to stop frenzying. His rage doesn't end, which gives Sammael and Angelena enough time to disarm the orc and heal him. Once he wakes up, he's not particularly chatty about what happened (partially because he's not sure what happened himself). Inspecting Talvosh, Sammael notices something strange.

    There's an inky black worm, very small, jutting out of the back of Talvosh's neck. Carefully, he reaches out with his death touch and brushes the worm. It swells and thickens in response, and now Talvosh can feel a sucking, pulling sensation on the back of his neck. Sammael uses a destroy undead burst, and the worm evaporates in a puff of shadows. A little creeped out, the party leaves as early as they can in the morning and continues northwest at haste.

    They finally reach the Old Road again, and start following it to the Northeast. After a couple days of uneventful travel (steadily inclining upwards and the terrain becoming more rocky), they notice signs of broken branches and crumpled bushes leading off the road. Scouting ahead, Sammael finds the skinned corpses of several displacer beasts and a Megaraptor. The meat is still on all the creatures, but the heads, claws, and tentacles are all missing. They've all been efficiently and quickly butchered, but only for trophies, the meat was seemingly ignored. Sammael also sees smooth brushed dirt where there should be footprints...

    The next day, Sammael triggers an Alarm spell, and hides in the bushes while the rest of the party hangs back a little bit and prepares for company (Sona disguises Talvosh with a Major Image to not look like an orc, though thinking about it I'm not sure how her character knew it was elves ). Shortly after, a group of harsh looking elves wanders by Sammael's hiding spot. There are three elves with broad heavy looking spears, complicated blue woad patterns smeared across their flesh. There's another elf holding only a bow, his pattern even more elaborate. Finally, there is an elf wearing heavy armor made of bone. His breastplate was once someone's ribcage, and his helmet was very obviously an orc skull once. The hilt of a greatsword juts over a shoulder, and it seems to be bone also. Every last one of them radiates evil.

    Puck is the only one who speaks elven, so he can understand them as they jeer and laugh wandering down the road. In accented common, they ask if the little lambs are lost, and what the Forged is doing so far from his shiny little city. When Puck dismisses them in Elven, the mood turns a little more serious. After a suspicious offer to "hunt" together, and some posturing and threatening between one of the spearmen and Puck, the leader orders his men to step aside and let the travelers pass. Sammael passes his sense motive to notice the leader loosening his sword belt slightly in preparation, and quietly Blesses his weapon. The leader rolls a natural 20 on his Listen (side note, there were a LOT of 20s rolled tonight. I rolled 4 against Puck...too bad he can't be critted :p), and his head snaps to the side.

    "Clever monkeys!" With a snarl, the Fight is On!


    Spoiler: BOSS FIGHT: ELVEN RAIDING PARTY
    Show
    Sammael's readied action gives him a surprise attack, and he shoots the Bonecaster with an arrow - no crit though. The Throatcutter goes first, bursting out of his hiding place in the bushes and he sneak attacks Angelena for an alarming chunk of her health, sinking his heavy pick in the general kidney region. The Raid Leader goes next, barking a swift Bardic music from Song of the White Raven, and he rushes forward and slices into both Puck and Talvosh with a Mithral Tornado. Talvosh goes next, frenzying and raging as he hits the Raid Leader for 40 points of damage or so...his next attack?

    A crit for nearly 100 points of damage, decapitating the Raid Leader . The Bonecaster is up next, and unleashes his Quiescent weaving to give Displacement to the group, and also casts Haste through his Eldritch Tapestry. Puck rushes one of the Ragers, knocking him into the Bonecaster and toppling both of them (Sona throws a Grease where they fell). Displacement is Puck's bane this fight however, as he misses almost 80% of his hits all fight due to it. The Ragers rush various targets, stabbing with their Greatspears and dealing high damage when they land.

    The Throatcutter tumbles behind Talvosh, flanking him (using a sprint ability to move as a swift action), and he does his best to skewer him. Sona blocks one hit with Wings of Cover due to being dragonblooded, but the off-hand hits, and then the haste attack crits for a LOT of damage. The Bonecaster barks another word, and all the elves go invisible. Talvosh is apparently the reason Puck kept missing from concealment, not missing a single time from miss chances and chops into the Rager and Throatcutter. Talvosh's health yo-yos alarmingly the whole fight, with Angelena succeeding on her defensive castings to keep healing him, and all the elves howling about killing the Orc for the glory. Displacement + invisibility allows the elves to maneuver around and land more blows, but a Glitterdust reveals the Throatcutter, and Talvosh finishes him before he can kill Sona or Angelena (or Talvosh for that matter). The Bonecaster hits Sammael with an Enervation, but Puck and Sammael catch up to him, and they manage to strike him down. It takes a while, and Sammael, Puck, and Talvosh all get skewered repeatedly, but the last Rager finally goes down with everyone at LOW hit point levels (and I suspect Talvosh was only alive because of some miscalculations from Rage hit points which I will tease him mercilessly about). It is 1 in the morning at this point (Angelena having already gone to bed with the command being "I keep defensively healing people so they don't die"), so we do experience quickly. Seeing as how I was very suprised they managed to defeat the dragon, there's a lot. Everyone except Sammael (and Janath cause he wasn't there) dings to level 8...the poor death priest is 100 xp away from levelling. MWAHAHAHAHAHA! *cough*

    Still disappointed they didn't try the portal.


    And there's the session!

    Spoiler: DEATH COUNT
    Show
    Six
    Last edited by curious-puzzle; 2016-01-12 at 01:03 AM.

  21. - Top - End - #51
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    NinjaGirl

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    There is no excuse. I wear the meta gamer medal of shame for the week. :(

    I still like the image of Talvosh decapitating an elf while looking like a short Italian man with a frying pan. I stand by that.
    Last edited by Picanet; 2015-11-08 at 11:36 PM.

  22. - Top - End - #52
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    What was your plan for the portal?
    I know you're aching to tell 'someone' about it lol :P
    The beatings will continue until morale improves!

    Vaz approval for the best backstory. Villainous Competition 16: Burn Baby Burn
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/shows...&postcount=114

    Honorable Mention Villainous Competition 22: I Am The Night
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?http://531199-Villainous-Competition...e-Night!/page6

  23. - Top - End - #53
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Lol, not going to reveal everything, since they might still go back to it, what with several of the players having the goal to slay all bosses, and the fact that they haven't found a Bonfire since the ruined keep by the river.

    Spoiler: But here's what I can say about it
    Show
    Spoiler: Really, guys? I know you read the forums, don't spoil things :p
    Show
    The portal does lead to the Shadow (this world's version of the Plane of Shadow - very similar just with the creepy factor turned up). Also, if you'll note, the Shake Dem Bones fight was labelled a Miniboss fight - the actual Boss of the area is through the portal.


    If you want to know anyways PrismCat, pop me a PM and I'll give you the details.
    Last edited by curious-puzzle; 2015-11-09 at 12:57 AM.

  24. - Top - End - #54
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    ComaVision's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Can you explain the dragon's dialogue a bit? I'm guessing it was erratic in pitch and speed?

  25. - Top - End - #55
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    NinjaGirl

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Quote Originally Posted by ComaVision View Post
    Can you explain the dragon's dialogue a bit? I'm guessing it was erratic in pitch and speed?
    Puzzle accompanied said dialogue with head twitches and weird pauses. It was very.... off. Sona was aware (via backstory) that most dragon's here... you can't have reasonable conversations with.
    Last edited by Picanet; 2015-11-09 at 12:28 PM.

  26. - Top - End - #56
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    YossarianLives's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    This just gets better and better. Thanks for writing this journal.

  27. - Top - End - #57
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    ComaVision, you are correct. The dragon's speech was very inconsistent, with awkward pauses and words at different speeds, and the wrong syllables being emphasized. I overdid it a little in the writing, I think, but the feeling I was trying to convey with the dragon's manner was madness.

    Spoiler: Snippet from the backstory that gave Sona info about the dragons of Artaith
    Show
    “Forgive me, I am still adjusting to speaking with dragons that are lucid and coherent.” The stranger’s voice was aged but still strong. Even through the distance and the magical sensor, both Verlaine and Sona could hear a thread of old sorrow. “There is only one dragon I know of from my home that I could have such a conversation with.”

    “Oh, and is this dragon not someone you’d chat with? Too scaly?” There was the biting tongue of Master Tonitrus, never leaving sarcasm unused. The stranger seemed to stiffen, and her next words were iron.

    “No. No, as he was singularly responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands, I did not.”

    There was an awkward silence, as Kultainen glared at Tonitrus quickly.

    <All but a single dragon gone mad? If Master Tonitrus didn't look like he just bit off half his own tail I'd laugh at her too.> Sona mentally huffed and failed to keep her curiosity from nudging the eye around to where she could see the stranger's face.


    The stranger in that is the Traveler, conversing with Sona's two draconic teachers.

    And thank you again, Masterkerfuffle, for the kind words. You are singularly responsible for me being 33.4% more of an insufferable ass to deal with
    Last edited by curious-puzzle; 2015-11-09 at 01:09 PM.

  28. - Top - End - #58
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Another weekend, another upcoming game night

    A little bit more info on the PCs! I quizzed everyone on which of the Seven Sins their characters would be most likely to succumb to for...reasons. If they're careful, it'll never come up. They're all going down I'm sure they'll all be careful.

    Angelena: Envy

    Janath: Lust

    Kiani: Pride - What what? Who's this? We've had a character change! Janath will be striking out on his own, and his player is instead bringing in the conjurer/master specialist/malconvoker, Kiani! The power curve of the party might have went up a teensy bit. Don't worry though, Janath might reappear in another role.

    Puck: Sloth

    Sammael: Pride

    Sona: Wrath

    Talvosh: Wrath

  29. - Top - End - #59
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    Jeargroth's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Quote Originally Posted by curious-puzzle View Post
    Don't worry though, Janath might reappear in another role.
    I don't think "might" is a strong enough word. I made him, I know what he is capable of... I am not looking forward to going up against him at any point in the near future.

    Jeargroth
    SPOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNN!!!!

  30. - Top - End - #60
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    NinjaGirl

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Pft. Whether or not he shows up again has nothing to do with his build lol.

    Last night was rough. Still lots of fun - but certainly some pouting ^.^
    I'm looking forward to seeing what the forum readers think of this week's entry of douche-baggery *coughcough* I mean cheeky GM tactics and our woeful plight against the forces of gravity. ;)

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