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EDIT: The original adventure was completed in 5 session (the first page) and is quite fun and hopefully an enjoyable read. HOWEVER... we have now resumed to play! If you wish to check out the next adventure, continue to page 2. currently ongoing, not yet finished
hello playgrounders! about 2 months ago our group finished a long campaign for which i've written a long, detailed, and in detail log about design thoughts and the like.
This is not such a log. In this one i'm a player (yay! ) and i intend to write it mostly as an musing story. part of it from my character's point of view, part of it as a general story teller. hope you like it!
so what is this about?
it's 3.5 and is supposed to be a filler till i get another campaign ready. so it'll be fairly short... 4? 5? 6 sessions? something around that.
we're starting at level 1, but we're supposed to level fairly fast. i expect level 4-5 till we finish
since this is a short adventure, the Dm wants to try all kind of new rules. and despite some grumbles, we intend to give them a go and see what happens!
we're here mostly for the fun. we like rules, as much as they don't get in the way. most of us are experienced players, with one utterly new player. (the wife of another player). we're not optimizers, and play more by feel than by efficiency.
the bad news: we're all in our 30 with life responsebilities and such (yuck!) so we meet only once every 3-4 weeks. so... slow updates.
the story begins at the second post. this one details all kind of other stuff (characters, world, special rules and the like) but you might skip those if you want. i'd suggest to read the prologue at least.
about the world
it's a homebrew of our Dm's making. a few major points:
the PHB races have been made quite different from each other. this was done mostly by increasing the racial adjustments and a few other stuff. also, the races are mostly isolated from each other, with minimal contact. think Middle Earth like.
humans are the dominant race, and they think that arcane magic is evil, corrupting, almost demonic like. arcane magic is outlawed and there is even a militaristic organization called "The Fist" responsible on hunting arcanists down (divine magic is tolerated)
this also means that magic items are quite rare and often expensive. in general the campaign feels as if it will be poor on resources. bring on the challenge!
first and foremost, the races adjustments are much bigger, which makes the fast faster, the weak weaker and the like.
Dexterity is used to hit! this makes it a much more important attribute.
we're using "armor also grants DR but only half AC" rules that are in the Unearthed Arcana. this makes hitting easier but causing less damage.
action points: you begin with 1 only, and get 1 every 2 levels. they are a precious, precious commodity.
since magical healing is hard to come by, there is the healing kit. it enables healing some hp after every fight depending on the skills of the healer. this became REALLY important in our first meeting.
there is a nifty table for when you crit stuff. yay! but there are also fumble rules when you miss, with an equal table for that (grumble grumble)
Characters! Travian Killpi: this is sort of the Belkar of the party. a low life conning thieving smug scum halfling rogue (yeah, feel the love!) who fights with a spiked chain. he is modeled over the Le Quack character from Courage the Cowardly Dog show. in the previous campaign this guy played Ipiks and Gabriel. (he wanted to be more Ipiks like)
Glimji surefoot (a.k.a. Cutthroat Bill):a gnome beguiler wh owanted to hide his magical talent (and criminal tendencies) and therefore chose a life away from the law- the life of a pirate! But he found out that life too long at sea do not approve with him, and therefore returned to dry land... for now. This guy played Danves in the previous campaign.
Lynn Ardent: my character! i wanted to make a character that is somewhat unlike me, a bit of a challenge to play, i also wanted her to cause some friction in the group (leading to good roleplay?). Lynn is a serious, dependable and slightly stuck up human fighter, specializing in a heavy flail. she was once a member of The Fist but leftfor reasons of her own. she is a bit racist, and still distrustful of magic.
Ayla: she's a human favored soul of Candra- goddess of love, passion and the like. she's supposed to be a hottie, and she's like a super healer (skills, feats and the like). i don't know much about the character yet. her player played Google and Grum in the previous campaign. so he... um... chose a different route.
Teal'c: he belongs to the previous player's wife, which is utterly new at D&D (and roleplay for that matter). it's her first character. this guy is a huge half orc fighter with a big axe, with tremendous strength. so far plays the silent brooding intimidating type.
with 3 players playing characters of of the opposite sex this became abit confusing at first, but we managed.
(damn, i just realized the DM wrote it in Hebrew, i'll translate it briefly. forgive me Guy)
We each got on The Lazy Baloon for our own reasons. it was an air ship of slow measure, floating through the uses of 3 gas inflated baloons. a small elemental engine gave it it's power, but a slow progress it was (from which the ship got it's name). the captain, a crusty old guy by the name of Eshton Snipe acknowledged his ships nature and compensated by offering low prices, and a discreet voyage...
The winter was approaching fast as the Lazy Baloon lifted from the port city of Arlan towards the city of New Tesh on the other side of the Kaular mountains. few ships dared cross the mountains and the Lazy Baloon was no different. Eshton directed the ship towards the northern hills, to circumvent and then head south.
on the morning of the second day rising storm clouds appeared in the distance. Esthon (who looked like an old pirate) grumbled and called his three crew man to try and move around the storm, while most passengers hid below deck. but no such luck, the storm hit, taking the little ship and tossing it left and right. the captain and others tried to fight it, but to no avail.
something hit Eshton hard, probably a flying branch and he lost consciousness. soon after the people saw something dark approaching fast, a looming object and then there was the crash...
Session 1 In which our protagonists find themselves in quite a predicament, try to make a journey, and personalities come at odds over snow, sorcery and goblin necks.
Lynn awoke. she was feeling cold and aching all over. she lay still for a moment feeling the pain. good. it means i'm still alive. what in Chrone's name just happened? as she tried to catch her breath, flashes of the last day and few hours passed in her mind.
there was the voyage, to New Tesh. there was supposed to be work there. work would be good. i'm down to my last silvers. who was on the voyage? there was the captain and... that woman, the pretty one, who danced on the deck "for beauty to be shared". Lynn almost threw up. she started to get up, achingly. the storm seemed to have passed, and from the holes in the ship it was still early morning.
and there were others... the sneaky shifty looking baby robber, that skinky halfling. and the other short fellow, the one that looked like a sailor. gnome! if any of these buggers did this! Lynn rose and found herself in the wreckage of the ship. she started moving about, despite the pain, looking for survivors. and then there was that big fellow who never left his chamber. but then She heard a voice, a cry! Lynn rushed towards the sound.
A challenge worthy of any fighter!
The cry seemed to have come from... a baby. Rudy Kingstone. where is his mom? Lynn found her nearby, but the woman was unconcious. the crying baby was... outside of her normal expertise. she tried to calm him, with partial success. only her furs helped warm him down a bit. but she did not know how to calm the wailing beast any more.
I better try find the others. she went to try to find help. ANY help.
Teal'c rose up in his shattered cabin, put on his cloak and checked his extremities. the huge half orc came out and tried looking for survivors as well. Ayla the priestess of Candra which was thrown outside the ship saw two of the dead crew and started to scramble up towards the ship. Glimji the gnome woke and found on of the other passengers, a guy named Tom Pierce and captain Eshton, with a badly twisted and broken leg.
meanwhile, near the back room the halfling known as Killpi wakes up. he asses the situation, and smiles to himself "Where there is trouble, there is opportunity!" and immeidately goes to the captain's chambers (or what its left of them, and tries to rummage through them. the chest however proves quite difficult and frustrating to the little thief.
the rest gather near Eshton, with Ayla being able to heal and wake the unconcious Diana' Rudy's mother (thankfully!) but Ashton is alarmed "we must contain the air elemental before it escapes! there is a stone in my chambers that can calm it if brought to it's circle. but we don't have time, hurry!"
Teal'c reveals himself, and Lynn nearly wields her flail at it. "halflings and gnomes, and now an orc?! lovely!" but they don't have time to change blows, and rush towards the captain's room
"why didn't you say so?"
where they find the suddenly very innocent Killpi. "did you find any special stones?" asks Ayla. "stones? me? i was just trying to recuperate." the desk yields no stones. "forget it yells Lynn, we'll have to deal with it ourselves" they open the door to the elmental room where they see it going half berserk in it's containing circle. Ayla cursed "we can't contain it without the Stone!" upon which Killpi volunteers it "oh... you mean THIS stone? i found it near me, thought someone might miss it".
at the table
we knew the player stole the stone, but we rolled along with it. much more fun like this we think. there will be similar examples in the future.
as they rushed to the elemental however it was allready to late. the circle broke and the little storm cloud charged at them!
A short winded affair
Lynn threw the stone at the elemental's feat, hoping against hope. it shattered. Killpi's eye twitched a bit ("Was it worth much?", "you'll never know now, will you?") the airy creature was hard to hit, but as Lynn and Teal'c flanked it they were able to hit it powerfully with flail and axe. Killpi unfurled his hidden chains and lashed at the creature as Glimji (looking slightly weary of Lynn and her Fist emblazoned armor) shot at it with his crossbow. a few hits afterwards the windy storm flew past Teal'c towards the outside.
"It might get to the others!" Lynn shouted and ran after it. Ayla and Teal'c closely behind. the halfling and gnome stood behind impassive. "stupid tall folks..."
a secret partnership
Glimji eyed the halfling with an expert eye. "so what were you doing here?" Killpi looked innocent. "oh, i just like to... look". "really? i like to... look as well." there was a slight stanoff between the two before Killpi let out a curse, took out his thieves tool, trying to hide the burglary from the gnome. but Glimji spotted him.
"if you're going after that, i want my share!". "allright! we'll be partners!" said the sour halfling as the chest clicked. "i just want the fare for the ride. i didn't count crashing on my flight trip!" Killpi smiled widely and gave the gnome his due, when they both heard some commosion outside. "stupid tall folks got into new trouble?"
meanwhile, the other 3 reached the outside to see the air elemental flying free, but there was new trouble- green skins! near the opening to where Eshton and the rest lay, 6 of the buggers!
"halflings and gnomes and orcs, and now goblins? by Chrone!" Lynn waded through the snow to block the 3 nearest goblins, with Teal'c closing in to fight back to back. the gringy green skins through javelins at them, most of them hitting but partly blocked by the armor (see the rules above). but 6 against 2 was not an easy fight. Lynn has a terrible time hitting them, while Teal'c slices goblin limbs left and right (nice crits!)
But Ayla helped both by curing and by casting guidnace. the fight went well, but the wounds were many. finallythe two short folks (I knew I couldn't trust the cowards!) came and shot croosbow bolts and struck with spiked chain to end all but the last of the filthy goblins.
outnumbered, the green bugger panicked and ran behind a snow fall, with Glimji's bolt hitting it, but not killing it.
the first "serious" battle was over.
at the table
this battle was actually quite tough. due to the "dex to hit" rule they almost never missed. the DR of the armor prevented this of being brutal. these new rules take a little to get used too.
Decisions, FAST decisions
"nice to let that last one run away gnome. any votes as to how fast this place is going to swarm with goblins?" the party returned to Eshton Diana and her baby and Tom. "nice fight Orc, you seem to know how to swing that axe" says Lynn, a bit uncomfortably. "It's half orc, and you're almost ok, for a human." Teal'c replies.
while outside Ayla and Lynn noticed some small village in the valley. "oh, i found some maps in the snow, perhaps they could help?" volunteered Killpi. it looked to be the village of Far Reach. "I can lead you there" said Tom "I have some woods experience" (not a ranger, just woodsman skills) "but we'll have to move fast if we want any chance of arriving there before dark. and it will be FREEZING here come night fall!
while a small heated discussion started, of whether to take Diana and/ or Eshton Ayla found a healing kit and started using her considerable skills at healing the worst of the wounds (see rules). Tom and Killpi (who never said it) were for leaving at least Eshton behind- the broken leg was just too much, but the rest objected.
"We're leaving no one to either the cold or the goblins Pierce!" said Lynn. "we're taking them with us. anyone objects?" loomed Teal'c menacing above. that... settled the issue. Glimji with his makeshift carpentry skills and Ayla quickly sets Eshton leg, and build a makeshift harness for Teal'c and the party sets off quickly. there is little time and goblins surely behind!
riders on the snow
... or perhaps just in front. Glimji, weary of ambush checks the snow every once inawhile, and notcies some wolf prints near a snow bank. just in time he alerts the groups from 3 goblins on wolves in ambush!
the party take cover behind the snow back, but the wolves start to circle it. Lynn curses "halflings and gnomes and goblins and now wolves?! by Chrone!" and draw a spear to skewer one of the goblin. the rest follow suit with ranged attacks and take off the riders fast, while the wolves become afrenzy at their master's death and close in.
once again Teal'c and Lynn fight hand to hand, with Glimji mumbling something behind "i could have taken them all by now you racist egocentric b**ch"Teal'c slices wolves as he slices goblins. "We work together, yes? grins Killpi as he maneuvers swiftly amongst the wolves for a flanking position, only to be bitten severly and retreating fast behind "i'll... support from the back."
in the end however the threat is done with. Ayla uses her Healing kit to patch up the party a bit. Killpi takes a crossbow from one of the halflings, and even Eshton takes another. Diana is beside herself, trying to hush little Rudy, while Tom looks worried.
Should i stay or should i go?
and he is worried for a reason. "we won't get to the village at time. we need to move faster. we can keep Diana, but we need to get rid of Eshton. sorry Captain- it's either you or us!" Glimji gets mad at him, and tries to threaten him but succeeds quite poorly, his voice breaking and stammering in the cold (lousy influence roll) but the party won't do it non the less...
so they make as much possible distance as they can as the sun starts to set. then, under Tom Pierce's instructions they quickly build a small Lean- to to house themselves for the night. there is a bad feeling in the air, and the cold starts getting at people. a fire and the furs help, but the night holds other dangers.
on the identity of sorcery
Lynn's watch is the first, while there is the briefest of lights.Chrone help me! what a tangled mess this is! if we can only reach the village so i can be off of that bastard halfling, scoundrel looking gnome and... the rest. i just want a job. hopefully the gobli...
several small javelins fell in and on the lean to. a green flame burst far and shot towards the cover as well! "Wake up everyone! there is a sorcerer!" gritted Lynn (from somewhere in the distance came a complaining voice. "i'm not a sorcerer!"
Can't let him cast more spells! must close with him and kill him fast! that's the only way to deal with mages! Lynn rushed on, trying to make way in the snow and taking cover from the trees. Teal'c followed close behind and Ayla in tow.
Meanwhile Killpi tried to sneak throgh the snow at a... slightly different route. Glimji also stayed behind, but without the others seeing cast dancing lights towards the origin of the flame.
more javelins came, more accurate this time, and again the flame, most missing. "you won't win sorcerer! you've shown your hand! your time has come!", "but i told you- i'm not a sorcerer!"
the goblin caster was revealed by the lights, a crafty and witchy goblin, wielding a club that glowed slightly ("maigc loot" thought Killpi) and Lynn was finally getting close to it, when the snow erupted goblins!
Lynn, Teal'c and Killpi started fighting them, disposing of them most when the not- sorcerer came in and bashed Lynn strongly on the head (Shillelagh). she was flanked by him and his cronies.
by Chrone, don't let me end here! not like this! and Chrone came to Lynn's help might be said, giving her quick responses to a quick jab. Teal'c faired bad, fighting in the cold performing much worse than in the morn (bad fumbles) while Killpi struck true time after time, but the enemy was still strong.
when suddenly a sleep spell struck the enemy, toppling one goblin and failing to affect the chief. "your tricks won't help you now Sorcerer, by Chrone you will die!" , "but. i'm. not. a .sorce..." heavy flail to the face.
the battle was won.
"damn it was his spell... it isn't magic after all" said Killpi disapointedly.
pin the magician
the goblin spirit shaman (i mean sorcerer) had a tattoo of a black leaf on himself. the party tied the sleeping goblin and dragged him to the lean to when Killpi innocently remarked "i wonder who cast that sleep spell? there must be mages about... nasty stuff!" Lynn (tended by Ayla) grumbled. "indeed. one sorcerer from outside, and one from within. we cannot abide by this! magic is evil" (Glimji shifts a bit), "corrupt", (more shifting), "and must be stopped!" (discreet coughing and going to the side).
" the gnome did it! everyone knows they are mages!" Tom said. "you tryto put the blame on someone else so soon?" inquired Killpi. "they always say that the first one to blame... well, you know what i mean". "does it matter?" added Glimji. "it must have been some off the sorcerer's magic items or the like. magic can go off, doesn't it?"
"enough!" said Lynn. "halflings, gnomes, orcs, goblins, wolves, sorcerers without and now secrets! i'll have no more! i won't persecute you mage, whomever you are. you have helped us in this fight, maybe saved my life. when we get to the village you can go free, but i don't want anything to do with you, and i demand to know ho i'm traveling with!"
"it's know that sorcerers need their magic pouches for their spell materials to cast spells. so whomever has it is the one. Lynn was then quite expertly distracted by Killpi as Glimji secretly transferred his pouch to him, and later unto Tom. (nice thievery rolls). upon finding it on the bewildered Tom Lynn looked on him with disgust. "i'll keep your secret sorcerer, but leave us be at the village." "it is good that we've found him out! sorcerers are a nasty thing to keep about!" said Killpi, giving Glimji a meaningful look.
a new char... acter
and then there was the matter of the goblin prisoner. "Char hope he did not annoy you! Char can go, yes?" Glimji tried to question him. "us? we goblins? we live in big caves, up mountain!", "how many? many many! more then fingers even! more than many many fingers!", "village? uh... we have understanding. we don't go to village, village don't come to us. Char be helpful, yes? Char can go?" and so on and so on. some say to kill him, but Glimji is vehemently against it so the party decides to take him along.
Lynn knelt By Glimji, putting her hand on his shoulder. "Char, this is what you get for following sorcerers. sorcerers are never good. sorcerers are a blight on the land, upon people's souls. they are a foul thing that must be cleanzed and purged from the earth. why are you shivering Glimji?"
"you don't kill Char? ooooohhh good! Char so relieved! Char help carry stuff! Char be helpful, you don't kill Char, yes?" Glimji tucked the goblin to the back of the lean to. "i'll take care of you Char. even if that b**ch is around"
a Knife in the Dark, and a secret conversation as well.
Back to sleep, it's Killpi's watch this time (though most of the party is somewhat... weary of letting HIM guard). but the surprises never end! at his watch, Killpi suddenly feels a thump on his neck (the DM fumbled the Sneak attack) he turns to find Tom!
the grin on Killpi's face was precious. "why Tom! I was so hoping you'll do something like this." at fisrt he sliced the traitor with the spiekd chain, and then shot him with a cross bow as he ran. then he looted the corpse, and THEN he alerted us to the situation. "i caught the sorcerer trying to escape. it's good to have me around, yes!"
Lynn said a little prayer "and good riddens to bad magic.". oh, and i've found this blood encrusted letter on him, is it important?" added Killpi.
Day 3, month of the drawing down.
It seems that we cannot achieve an understanding about the way you should behave as part of the crew aboard the Sea Raven. We have spoken about this several times, yet you have not changed your ways. Your unfitting behavior as part of the crew on the Sea Raven is unacceptable and I have no choice but to end your service on the ship.
Please meet me at The Lost Drunken Inn at the docks for the rest of your payments at a total sum of 1 silver and 24 copper.
captain of the Sea raven
the party examined the letter but decided to deal with it once they reach Far Reach. apparently there was more to the late Mr. Pierce than met the eye.
as the party returned to the lean- to Killpi and Glimji stayed in the dark. "the letter was all you found on him?" asks Glimji. "that and his wepaon". "that all? no coin, valuables?" Killpi narrowed his eyes. "ok, i'll give you half, it was my kill!" (handed quite less than half) "very well, just as long as we know each other, thief and burglar". "well understood, sorcerer" finished Killpi, handing him the component pouch back.
last leg of the trek
thankfully, the rest of the night passes without trouble (wounded, no healing spells, only 4 uses of the healing kit left). the party heads twoards the village. on the way Char grumbles and complains about some of the stuff they give him "oooh! heavY ooohh! lots! Char small! heavy load! ooohh!" and so on. the party tries to threaten/ cajole him a few time, and he becomes silent for about 10 minutes, after which he begins again. Glimji is half amused half worried about this.
finally the party reaches Far Reach. as they near the village Char seems nervous "Char keeps his words, he goes now, yes? human might be angry!" some in the party want to free him (Glimji mostly) the others want to take him inside, curious.
a bad village to be a goblin in
(just in day light)
as the party enters the village a group of men come to meet the group. a burly strong men introduces himself as Ed Weiner (snicker snicker), the village's sheriff. he hears some of the party's story and his men help Eshton and Diana and Rudy to safety.
"The goblin, his kind are not allowed here. give him to us." Char is fearful, and the party is suspicious but they give the goblin over. "don't stray too far. you can find lodging at Rod McPool's place. he'll take care of you for a little while."
but the party stays, wanting to see the fate of Char, when suddenly a rope is brought, thrown over a tree and a noose is prepared. Killpi and Glimji immediately interfere, trying to trick and persuade the town people to let the goblin go.
halflings, gnomes, orcs, goblins, wolves sorcerers and treachery, and now this? he tried to kill us not 12 hours ago! has the world gone crazy oh Chrone?! exasperated, Lynn approaches Ed and his men and tries to persuade him too. "allright! if all of you want him alive so badly he'll go. you green skin loving freaks!" Char is let loose, and with remarkable speed runs out of the village.
a matter of assurance
Ed groups the party together. "look strangers, we don't get many of you here in our little village. especially not people like... these" he eyes Teal'c, Killpi and Glimji wearily. "so i want you to vouch for each other while you're here. you're all responsible for each other's actions.
"what? no way i'm responsible for that b**ch!"
"the orc and the human Mrs. Cheerful? not on your life!"
"the gnome and the halfling? those theiving basterds!? like hell i will!"
and so on and so on...
in short, we're off to a GREAT start!
so that was our first session, written quite differently from how i usually write. hope you like it, would love to hear comments. till next time!
Session 2a In which our protagonists explore the mystery of a disease, courtship and grieving father.
(This has been a long meeting so i might separate it into two posts. also, quite a bit of the meeting included an investigation. if you're uninterested skip ahead to So what have we got so far or even further to A town's warm welcome. as always, comments are welcomed.)
At Rod Mcpool's brewery
As you may remember, our party has just gotten to the city after a long trek through the snow, harrowed by goblins. all they wanted to do was rest their aching bodies a bit. before heading to Rod's place, Ed the Sheriff told them he wants to see them later on, and that they were all responsible for each other. (this last statement was meant with some resentment)
Rod's place turned to be a big brewery. Rod itself turned to be a sour grump who would accept only the humans. after some haggling he agreed the rest could stay at the barn, but for the same price. he let the party drink in a corner table, to "not spoil the mood for decent folks".
At this Killpi rallied. "I sir, am a respectable business man! and I'd like to be treated as such! i will not sit at a corner table, i will sit where all sit, like a person!" this led to some low toned arguing. Rod was finally swayed by some extra coin from the little halfling. most of the party was surprised at such coin (which came from the captain's chest and Tom's body) but Killpi simply explained "i told you i was a business man!" Glimji gave him a weary eye, knowing exactly what kind of "business".
So they drank well, and ate well, and prepared to make their way out of the valley, when Rod laughed briskly and commented "good luck! The Fist blocked the way! no one in, no one out!"
explanation: The Fist
as may have been mentioned in the first post, The Fist is a sort of militaristic organization that seeks out arcane magic users and unnatural occurances and... um... "deals" with them. Lynn once belonged to it, her arms braces still bear their mark.
"What? but why?". "there's a sort of plague in town, Fist don't like it" Rod got back to waiting people. knowing they might have to stay awhile, Killpi inquired working as a kitchen help, dishwasher or the like for some coin. Rod finally agreed, while Killpi in his mind allready planned to scan the place for a vault.
Visit to the healer. "did you say...?"
The party decided to make their way to Ed, but stopped by the village's healer (Judith) to check on Ashton and the mother and babe. they were fine, and the little hut was packed with all sorts of herbs, materials and the like. Lynn inquired of the blockade. Judith gave a startled worried look. apparently a soft spot. Glimji sensed she was hiding something.
apparently there is a small plague in the village. about a month ago a young women died, and people started dropping after. all falling to some sort of strange wakeless sleep till they died. So far they lost 9 people.
they called for a "gifted one" (divine caster) from Gordian, the closest town and Harry Ferrar came and turned away quickly, only to bring with him a force of the Fist.
"Were there any survivors?" asked Ayla concerned. "why yes! there is that boy, Eric. he suddenly woke from his sleep and started talking crazy. about orcs or something. But the Fist came and got him as well. they keep him in their blockade"
"was there anything unordinary about the dead, or any one in particular?" asked Glimji. Judith hesitated. most of the party saw that, but she denied.
the party grimaced. unless the Fist came to their satisfaction this town could be blockaded for a long time. Lynn knew that very well. they asked a bit about Far Reach, who was orignially a gold rush town. but once the mine dried out those that remained were those who couldn't afford to get away. they turned the mines to their burial places.
Ayla bought a few more healing bandages (for the healer's kit, see the rules. help restoring hp), while Killpi inquired about various herbs and the like. he asked till he heard the magic word. "Did you say... laxatives?" he bought two, grinning.
Sheriff and son
As they walked to Ed the party agreed they might have to try and investigate this, despite a great dislike to come near to anything disease related. Upon getting to his cabin, Glimji notices a heavy weight on the Sheriff's soul. Ed wanted to interrogate them about the sorcerer they met on the way. "maybe the goblins did it?" he wondered. Ayla responded gently, telling she want to help figure out the mystery. Lynn was... less pleasant. Ed scoffed at them, telling them to live it in capable hands.
Killpi tried to gain his favor, surrendering Tom's short sword "maybe it's a clue?" and watching very carefully as the Sherrif put it under lock and key, thinking of this place' vault as well.
they decided to ask about the Fist. "this force is led by Alex Feber, a tough and resistant to argument kind of woman. Ed gave Lynn a questioning look, but she told him she was no longer part of the Fist. this came as a surprise to the party, and Killpi and Glimji inquired immediately. " lets just say... i had some disagreement with my superiors. they let me go". "interesting, interesting" mumbled Killpi...
Ed suggest they seek out Mike Wood the hunter for some directions of the place.the party tries again to persuade him to reveal more, and he finally relents. "My son, Mark died to this plague, less than a month ago. him and that fool Eric tried to court the Mayor's daughter, Kate Grunt. she was the first to die. you might learn more of her friends Natalie Rogers and Naomi Sid, though i got nothing from them.
There was one strange thing... usually when we bury people the casket is open so people might give their respects. but not in Kate's case- her father had her coffin close. it's his right as father and mayor, but still odd..." finished the suspicious sheriff. "his name is Andrew. if you find out anything peculiar, i want to know. everything. but come to me first, it's a matter of... politics".
the party thanked the grieving father, and got outside.
Two tries, two strikes
the party went to the hunter's house next (Mark Wood) but the place was locked ("why are you with me NOW?" thought Killpi) so they progressed to the mayor's house, the Grunt home.
The door was opened by a suspicious old woman, looking between them at the halfling, gnome and half orc. they tried to persuade to get in, but were rebuffed, especially when Lynn tried to brandish her arm braces. the old woman got edgy, when Killpi suggested they "only want to open Kate's coffin".the door closed. Ki
Splitting the party!
Lynn erupted "you little insensitive bugger! you irritate people, we'll never do this!". the halfling fumed in return "i'm trying to get to the head of the matter. we all know that little harlot wench did this! perhaps she seduced those who are dying, perhaps she's an undead. i want to get out of here! besides Miss-Fist, you weren't helping much yourself!".
perhaps it was the heated atmosphere, perhaps we decided to cover more ground and intimidate people less by going single. we decided to split up. we each got ourself a target, and agreed to meet at Rod's at the evening.
the party mood
was quite good! all these arguments are in jest and roleplay. Killpi's player and myself are best friends, we thought it would be fun to have characters that butt heads all over.
Lynn and Teal'c
lacking high social skills, the two warriors headed back to Rod's and tried to gather rumors and information, attracting people by telling war stories. however, the gloom of the place and the cold outside meant that few people were interested. the town's blacksmith, a grumpy drunk big human called Shawn Ashley told a strange tail. "ya see, one night, i be coming back late from the forge when is see this thing flying in the air! creepy and all dark like!" (he took a swig from his ale, eyes half glazing) "it was a vampire i tell you!"
we take his words with many, many grains of salt.
Ayla and Judith
knowing the healer is hiding something, Ayla though to talk to her personally, healer to healer. but despite her best efforts the healer doesn't spill up. she only learns that the Grunt family has been here since the village was erected, and they got their own sect in the catacombs.
the family has a great apple grove near the village from which they derive much of their riches.
Killpi at the hunter's house
Killpi came to Mike Wood's house, and upon recieving no answer at the door, smiled to himself. he found a back entrance, and a lock picking roll later, he was in. Killpi was in some sort of a laundry room, and looked towards the main room.
there was a dog there. big dog. big black dog (think German Shepard). thankfully sleeping. hhmmmm... right... Killpi very very slowly got out and decided to wait for the hunter. but being bored he thought to test the hunter's skills, and hid in his lumber pile.
Ayla and "girlfirneds!"
being a young stunning woman, Ayla decides to try to the hearts of the young friends of Kate. she awaits them till they return from the apple grove, and try to strike a conversation. but... she sort of takes the tone of a responsible, concerned elderly maother, and late teenagers as they are, the girlfriends makes a face and shuffle her off... Ayla sighs (the player got bloody bad rolls)
Glimji and the Grunt Matriarch
Glimji decides to return to the grandma's house. he explains he is not associated to us ("especially the Fist woman") and calmly wins her heart slowly, talking to her grief, reviving memories of Kate when she lived and so on. he learns a few important things. first, Mark has obviously courted Kate to harshly, and she nearly broke up with him, till he brought her some sort of a "make up" gift, days before she died.
also, she did not sleep for a day or more before dying like the others have. she was dead when her father found her in her bed.
also, her father was the one to find her dead, and he made all the arrangements of her burial, quite quickly. he was the only one who saw her before closing her in the coffin, only one except for... Judith.
after winning the poor grandma's heart (beguiler or no beguiler?) he asks to see Kate's room. as she leads him he quickly casts detect magic behind her back. and there it is- the tiniest amount of magic in the room, faint traces, but there was something magical here.
He asked to atalk with Andrew but the grandma said he asked to see no one.having talked with the grandma for hours, Glimji makes hi way to Rod's.
Meanwhile with Killpi
the sun lowers, and it's getting cold, very cold. nto willing to give up, Killpi takes some of the wood and makes a fire to warm by in front of the Hunter's house.
Ayla, take 3
back at Rod's everyone gathers except fro Killpi. they exchange stories and info. Ayla notices the two girlfriends of Kate here, and decides to make a distraction fro the men and give Killpi (who obviously has more skill) a chance to talk to the girls.
so she dances, erotically, sensually, as only a priestess of the goddess of love can. the dance has the desired effect- most men are entranced, but so are the girlfriends! "wow! that is the coolest thing ever! how did you do that! teach me! teach me!" Ayla has groupies!
using this new found adoration Ayla now easily talks the girls to spill some info. Mark took Kate to the Lizard's Grove (a small forest about 1/2-1 day walk from Far Reach) where he courted her too much. he gave her a beautiful large green gem as a present. that seemed like an important clue!
Also, upon questioning about Eric the girls said he stalked and followed the couple. "he was sleazy, obsessed. he became crazy after that sickness".
Killpi and the Hunter, finally!
Mike finally came (from drinking at Rod's) to find an odd little halfling drinking on his front porch. "who are you?". "i'm am a business man, unfortunately stuck in this valley, where upon i might use your assistance?" Mike lets him in, the first person in the village unconcerned that he is a halfling, which Killpi finds reassuring. the black dog welcomes Mike, and growls at Killpi, recognizing his smell from somewhere.
Mike brings out coffee, while Killpi shares his tobacco. Killpi tells of his "businesses", and Mike shares rumors from the village. "some say Kate was a sorceress, but that is an evil thing to tell of someone. she has a kind heart that girl".
Killpi buys a map of the Valley! the catacombs are about 3 hours away, (east of the grove) while the blockade is about 1/2 a day away (blocks the opening in the south. "i wouldn't go there, they have squads to ambush people".
Killpi offers to rent Mike's services, but mike refuses. Killpi hints at getting into the catacombs, and mike cautiously replies that if they do so, make sure no one knows.
finally Killpi thanks Mike for the welcoming, and heads to Rod's.
So what have we got so far
Kate was courted by Mike and Eric. Mark pushed Kate too hard (in the lizard grove) and gave her some green gem as a "make up gift". Eric followed them, stalked them.
a few days later Kate died. she did not fall to sleep like the others. her father and Judith are the only one who saw her as she was buried in a close coffin. Mark fell asleep soon after as others in the village, who died.
the only exception is Eric who awakened crazy, telling wild tales about orcs. the Fist who blockades the valley have taken him.
after sharing tales and thinking up what to do, Killpi goes to wash the dishes. he notcies a stew brewing for tomorrow, and adds his laxatives to the pot. Rod decree that Ayla and Lynn will sleep in the rooms, and the rest in the barn.
in the middle of the night the barn door is rattled. as Teal'c, Glimji and Killpi prepare to fight, a frightened elderly woman enters. "please help me! you're my only hope1 you're outsiders, i've heard the tale about the goblins, you must save my son!" a short talk after they realize this is Jennifer Swanson, Eric's mother. she takes them to her house (Ayla and Lynn still sleep) and meet his father as well- Gavin the wood cutter.
the parents want the party to save Eric from the hands of the fist. they have a friend in town who can hide him till they are gone. "we will give you everything" says the crying mother, but Killpi surprisingly refuses any payment. "I will do this for the pleasure of Screwing the Fist!". Teal'c however is not pleased. "If you go against the Fist, only the gods can help you!" while Glimji is more interested in the prize...
the parents bring w shiny jewled necklace, a family heirloom. "come to think of it" quickly adds Killpi "i'd like my share". they discuss matters as Gavin brings some coffee (which Killpi recognizes, and understand who the "friend" might be), but finally agree, though they have no idea how. the Swanson family also offers their house as a more comfortable residence from the barn, which the 3 happily agree to.
what do the fortune call for in the next day?
that is about 2/3- 3/4 of the meeting. i hop i get to write the best soon, but comments are still welcomed on this part alone
I got excited when I saw Kol had posted and thought it was another campaign update....I'll be looking for the next part Kol. Good stuff, really good stuff
The streets are extended gutters and the gutters are full of blood and when the drains finally scab over, all the vermin will drown. The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout "Save us!"... and I'll look down and whisper "No."
Session 2b In which some of our protagonists fall victim to mischief (of their own), secrets are reveled, and bad mood is spread, down to the underground.
Still with us? good. so, the next day.
Laxatives. for some reason i didn't see that coming in a fantasy game. next morning, soon after breakfast, everyone at Rod's place had a sudden urge for the lavatory. including Lynn and Ayla. ample use of the country side (freezing as it was) was had. Killpi needless to say, was quite pleased.
neither of the humans connected the little halfling to the deed, (it was tricky to decide, so we let the dice decide for us) and quickly demanded compensation of Rod, like many others. but the poor owner was himself quite distressed.
which is just as Killpi had planned. hurrying from the Swenson house he planned on visiting the vault when everyone was away. but he had a not-so-chance encounter on road.
the best defense is attack
Judith the village healer rushed on him. "you! you did this! you used my remedies for this?!?" but Killpi's player is a lawyer, he knows how to circumvent accusations- by making ones himself! "and you! you are keeping a secret! a secret that could save the village! what do you say? what do you say?"
Judith was surprised at this tunr of events, and tried to state her initial displeasure again, but Killpi wouldn't let her. "does the village know? does the dead know? what are you hiding? eh Judith?" all this in hushed town to the sound of people happy to relieve themselves.
finally Judith relented. "not here, in my place. come in 5 minutes." Killpi looked at Rod's place, the vault beckoning. "what? now? can we talk a little later?" the halfling begged. "no! now, or never! you're a strange little man" Judith said, looking at him oddly, as she strode away. Killpi whimpered as he weighted his options. finally he cursed some small gods of benevolence and hurried after the healer. "why yes, yes i am..." he said somberly.
a disturbing secret
"Kate was not killed by the plague" confessed Judith. "there were no marks on her. 3 or 4 years ago Andrew came to me, to seek my help with the unnatural. Kate was... developing powers. things floated, strange lights, sorcery stuff." Judith Sighed heavily, this being a major secret apparently.
"it might have something to do with this. Kate showed no marks of the plague when i examined her. nothing to compare to the rest. instead there was some great wound at her neck. bite marks of claw, i don't quite know. Andrew swore he heard nothing. he found her as if she died while still asleep."
Judith turned to Killpi. "so now you know, but this must never get out! do you realize?" Killpi smiled "but of course, and my little amusement shall remain hidden as well, yes?" the two stared at each other, and seemed to have come to an agreement.
Decisions and plans
Killpi, Glimji and Teal'c told Ayla and Lynn everything (well, except for the laxatives) the two humans were a bit pale and in a sour mood. "i'm never eating here again!" vouched Lynn. they checked what they've found and decided on the following course of action.
first they will go to the catacombs. too much is unknown about Kate, they must see for themselves. they will alert no one, not even Ed. then they will continue to the blockade and see if they can somehow get Eric from the Fist (though they had no ideas how). Glimji told the Swensons of this, and they arranged for their friends to wait for them under the bridge 1 hour after dark for Eric.
preparing for the small Journey Killpi bought 2 tents for them, which Lynn and Teal'c carried. ("where did you get so much money?" "i told you, i'm a business man!") and they received several packages of herbs that can emit great heat if pressed.
(In hindsight we sould have inquired more about the Fist, their composition, maybe a map of their position from the hunter and the like. in hindsight)
Our XP rules grant XP for achievements, not just killing monsters. how you achieved those is immaterial.
we are now level 2. several more hp are nice thing. Lynn also gained the improve trip feat. i'm unsure what the others got.
A town's warm welcome
So our town trudged off in the sunny snowy mornin. about 2-3 hours have passed with all the "festivities" at Rod's place and the tent purchasing, but they had a good start. instead of going through the apple grove they circumvented a bit to avoind looking going to the catacombs.
but soon enough they realized they were followed. Glimji and Killpi went to hide, while the rest "moved on". But Glimji was seen, and the 8 coming hillbilly humans quickly called to him. "yo! midget! get out of there!" Glimji quickly extracted himself, a bit fuming. "I'm not a midget, i'm a gnome!". "Gnome's belong in lawns!"
this fabulous shaksperean level conversation continued as Ayla, Lynn and Teal'c made their way back to the rest of the humans. "what do you want?". "we don't like you in our town! you are scum! we take out the scum!" to which Ayla returned "We are but travelers strung out here, we mean you no harm". this was responded by a leering and some whisteling. "and we take out who sleep with scum!"
at which point the battle broke. Lynn called out "don't kill them!" while Killpi and Glimji almost took personal offense at this suggestion. Teal'c took out a sap (??) while Lynn tried "cushier" places to hit.
1 of the village people lunged at Glimji, another At killpi (which climbed the rock he was hiding on, grinning) while the rest forcused on the remaining trio. Tealc' fell 1 or more, but they clubbed him heavily (including a crit) and Ayla hd her hands filled healing him. Lynn avoided most strikes but her merciful techniques proved lousy with hitting. Killpi on the other hand shot the men freely, but let them run away disabled or the like. "how is that "not killing?" going for ya?"
the trio was surrounded by 4 of the crowd, when suddenly a sleep was cast, and they all fell slumbing. at first they were revealed. well, all except for Lynn. "another sorcery?! another sleep?!"
there was no hiding it this time. there were no other people here, Killpi was busy shooting the entire battle, and in this battle as well as the one with the goblin sorcerer ("i'm not a-") Glimji was the only one unaccounted for.
Lynn progressed on him like vengeance. "you did this?! you cast that spell? you are the sorcerer?! tell me the truth! enough with lies!" Glimji stammered and bumbled, not finding the right words. "those spells saved me once, and now Teal'c, but they are still sorcery! are you behind this?" finally the miserable gnome mumbled. "maybe..."
that was enough for Lynn, she turned from him, moving a few paces, fuming, breathing hard. after a few seconds she responded. "i don't know if i can trust you no more. but so far you saved us. i don't want to talk about this, lets just get this over with".
meanwhile one of the 4 (now unarmed) was woken. "don't follow us, or you'll turn up bleeding or face down in the snow." Lynn added "i'm not in a good mood, you really, REALLY don't want to make it worse! now git!"
the party continued on their way, this time in silence.
Brink of death, the revelation of secrets
after 2 more hours walking the party reached the entrance to the catacombs, the arch displaying symbols of Lilk, goddess of death.
they entered the first door but then found the next doors locked. they were frustrated, when Killipi, in a most nonchallant way produced his thieves tools. Lynn hissed at him "a sorcerer and now a common thief!"
Killpi checked his tools, not quite looking at her "oh, and sorry for the... misshap at the morning, couldn't be helped- you chose to sleep there.".
Lynn and Ayla realized what he was talking about. Lynn got angrier. "trickery, theft of vile magic. and you wondered why i distrusted you both earlier, you prove to be the worst example of your kind."
At this Glimji and Killpi did not remain aloof "oh yeah? well it's society's fault. we have to make a living somehow. quite impossible with all you humans hogging everything for yourself."
Lynn turned on Teal'c, who didn't desreve it "what about you... orc? you have any secrets as well?" to his credit Teal'c did not rise to the bait.
"Secrets? what about yours?" demanded Killpi. "no longer with the Fist? how did that happen? eh?"
Lynn fumed for a few seconds, and then hissed back "i thought they were wrong. i tried to save people. halflings and gnomes, your kind of people, but they proved cowardly and spineless. so i was let out of the Fist. biggest mistake i made."
the gnome and halfling exchanged wondering looks, when Killpi's attempts gave the door a "Click". the bad air was full around. "let's just get over with it."
some of you might wonder why we went this way with the party. it was from 3 reasons:
first it felt quite the natural thing to do, and the way to progress. we played the "hiding a secret" for a session and a half now.
it enabled Killpi and Glimji to act freely. Glimji's player was going bonanza at being unable to cast spells.
it enabled the characterss to start developing. (especially Lynn i think. perhaps i'm a drama queen?) but everyone seemed to enjoy it.
exploring the catacombs
the party came to the ritual chamber, one large door to the east, two to the west. the party explored to the west first and found one door locked, which Killpi lock picked quickly (Lynn: "just like a thief". Killpi: "just like a traitor". Ayla: "just like a virgin". group: "... what? um, no!") it proved to be mainly supplies.
the two remaining door opened to burial caches on the west, and burial sections for wealthier families on the east. the party went on the east, and searched for one that included the Grunt's name and crest.
then they came upon an open door to the Coral family. they saw a walking skeleton disappearing to another opening. "Chrone protect us!" whispered Lynn. "do you know anything about this?" she shot Glimji. "no! these are the black arts! not my expertise." there is a small argument of whether to check it out, but they decide that they must check any anomalies.
a few steps later Lynn and Teal'c got to explore the anomalies of the pit they were falling to as it opened up between them. then they explored the spikes at the bottom, and then the venom they were laced with.
Cold furry trickery
meanwhile, 6 white small figures jumped at the 3 above figueres from side chambers with hungry teeth and claws.
"dwarven Yeti!" yelled Glimji. Killpi swiveled his spiked chain and downed one. Ayla shot arrows while Glimji cast distracting spells. Teal'c picked himself upp, and with great speed climbed over the short pit. Lynn however hurled spear after spear after the creatures, those that came close to the pit's edge at least.
the party were too much for the yetis, and after 3 were killed they ran to one of the sarcophagus in the room and... jumped in? lynn climbed out as well and they explored.
apparently the creatures duge from underneath to one of the sarcophagi and used it as their tunnel. they also saw strings and rings through which they marionated the skeleton. "they are known for such trickery and foolery" added Glimji. they decided not to pursue the 3 dwarven yeti in the tunnels. the cramped location will be difficult for them to fight in.
thoughts of the encounter
I think the Dm might have had a few things to say with this encounter:
things are not as expected: no undead in a dungeon.
things are not as expected: dwarven yeti? what? i mean- what?
expect fights with more complications: deception, trap. nicely done. made the party face enemies with their two front lines dropped
Kate and one other
the party continues the search, acutely aware that Ayla is at the end of her healing power. they find the Grunt section, and search though it, mostly choosing doors that Killpi is sure are free of traps. more lucky than thorough perhaps, but the party finds Kate's Sarcophagi quickly, opens it (after asking forgiveness of Lilk) and found that Judith was right. the body is shriveled but well preserved (due to the great cold).
there is a great wound at her neck, and upon checking it Glimji speaks in hushed disturbed tones. "nothing natural could have made this. there are lots of sharp sharp teeth in scores. i've seen something similar on sharks at sea, but nothing on land. this was done by something supernatural" ("Outsider" in D&D terms). the party gives a prayer, suddenly feeling very much at unease.
They decided to get out, but think of making one last comparison- they seek out any of the other dead from the plague, and find the one belonging to Mark. it looked shriveled, bad. definitely not the same cause. after putting everything back in place, the party decides to head out.
Judith story was now backed up, but what killed her? and how is that connected to the other killings?
so this is where the session ended. it was a long yet fun one. we have a mystery to solve, but first thing- next time there is the Fist. some of us already make guesses at what we might encounter, but i guess we'll see next time. the interaction between characters is starting to become interesting (or so i hope) and i'm looking forward to where it will lead.
i don't yet know when the next session will be, or the update, but hopefully not too long.
"Kate was not killed by the plague" confessed Judith. "there were no marks on her. 3 or 4 years ago Andrew came to me, to seek my help with the unnatural. Kate was... developing powers. things floated, strange lights, sorcery stuff." Judith Sighed heavily, this being a major secret apparently.
"it might have something to do with this. Judith showed no marks of the plague when i examined her. nothing to compare to the rest. instead there was some great wound at her neck. bite marks of claw, i don't quite know. Andrew swore he heard nothing. he found her as if she died while still asleep."
Judith turned to Killpi. "so now you know, but this must never get out! do you realize?" Killpi smiled "but of course, and my little amusement shall remain hidden as well, yes?" the two stared at each other, and seemed to have come to an agreement.
Emphasis mine. You mean "Kate" there, right?
Im enjoying this so far.
I must admit, Im not a big fan of Killpi. This kleptomaniac stereotype would drive me nuts, as a player and as a DM. But if you guys have fun, its all fine, I guess
And confronting Judith in this exact moment was really smart. Kudos to the player.
Seeing as you play in what is called a "Frostfell" environment in D&D, does your DM use stuff from Frostburn, like the expanded rules for the harsh climate?
Last edited by Zombimode : 03-10-2012 at 05:40 AM.
I must admit, Im not a big fan of Killpi. This kleptomaniac stereotype would drive me nuts, as a player and as a DM. But if you guys have fun, its all fine, I guess
i can't speak for the DM or the other players, but i quite like it. (and as far as i can gather they do too). his thefts are not major game wrecking ordeals, and the players knows well enough to play with the party, having his little fun on the side. notice he never stole from the party, helped Glimji with hiding his identity, and the main reason for the laxatives was so he could get to the vault, not to aggravate players.
he wanted to tell Lynn and Ayla about it, but when they chose to sleep in comfy rooms while he slept at the barn, well...
I was actually more concerned at first at Lynn pissing people off.
Seeing as you play in what is called a "Frostfell" environment in D&D, does your DM use stuff from Frostburn, like the expanded rules for the harsh climate?
I don't know really. he has lots of books, so he may have that one as well. The DM is quite an outdoors man, so i think he mostly uses his own knowledge, expanding on the basic knowledge in the DM guide.
Zombimode, about Killpi, I know players can ruin your game due to this kleptomaniac behavior, but this is all different. The player is a really team player and none of his action, as a kleptomaniac role player, agitates the group. I believe we all enjoy his little humorous scenes.
I must admit I haven't heard of Frostburn, and I'm making my own roles as the DMG roles are lacking. But thanks for the tip, I'll look into this book.
a very short update in case someone (anyone? ) is waiting.
one of our players (Glimji's player) had an accident and minor operation. he's fine, no need to worry. (don't ride motorcycles kids! it's not worth it!) well, due to waiting for his pains to subside and other scheduling issues we'll only play in two more weeks, on the Saturday of April 7th. (we prefer not to play with missing players. tried that a couple of times, and it just wasn't it)
so that is why there is no update, yet. in compensation i'll try to upgrade my wit. (Nooooo! run for the hills! run for your lives!). yes, yet another fine example.
so see you in about two weeks, hope you're with us.
Session 3a In which our protagonists break an ancient rule of gaming, suffer the consequences, and the plot thickens in an... unplanned way
hey folks, we played yesterday and it was a blast of a meeting, although quite a bit of it improvised (but on a solid base, which makes good improvisation). due to the length, i again split the meeting to two sections. i'm reposting the map at the first spoiler since it becomes quite important!
hope you'll enjoy!
Um, what is our plan exactly?
Last we saw the party they just exited the catacombs, planning on exploring the Fist Blockade next, and try and rescue Eric- the only one who suffered the sleeping disease but lived, although mentally unstable. on the map you see the village of Far Reach, benath it the HUGE apple grove, the catacombs are to the south east, kissing the mountains
(The Dm has informed us between meetings that the Fist is a sizable force. Lynn's acquaintance with the Fist suggested that a unit for these matters will include 50-100 level 1-2 soldiers, plus lieutenenats, a commander and some support. he also quite nicely said that he has no problem killing us all if we act stupid. )
Distraught by the grave Lynn assessed the situation and told the party of her thoughts on the force they might face. she seemed bothered. BAsically the Fist might move the blockade by 1 of three possibilities: the threat it has come for was removed, enough time has passed so it seems useless to stay or if the Fist were given enough... "donations".
the party discusses many options, including hoofing it back to town ("i'm not facing 50+ insane power hungry cue in many blasphemies i can't quite print here like HER, saving Eric or not!" said Glimji). but they needed a way out, so at the end this was the plan:
- the party will come closer to the blockade, about 2.5 hours walk from it. then Killpi and Glimji (who was not quite happy about this) will sneak their way towards the fort (using their superior low light vision over the humans) and learn what they can. then return. at morning Ayla (and perhaps Lynn who also didn't like the idea) will try to talk to the Fist officers, possibly their commander Alex, and at least let them talk to Eric. but no one in the party had ANY idea how to do that.
still in a sour mood, distrusting each other and not liking the options the party trudged until they reached the south west to the apple plantation, about 150m from the crossroads. as Teal'c started to put up the tents, They gave the two short guys some of their heating packs for the cold, and bid them fare well.
it was at this point that we asked ourselves why oh why didn't we gather any info on the fort and the gap from the village, especially the hunter.
The Sneaky Duo
there was quite a bit of argument between the two how to approach the fort (the fort isn't listed on the map. but it's guarding the gap at the very bottom) Killpi wished not to waste time, and approach it hugging the eastern moutnins, but Glimji said "that is what they would expect1" and suggested the western mountains. "that is what they'll expect sneaky people to do!" said Killpi, but at the end they decided to follow Glimji's decision.
they have crossed to the other side and went south. finally they reach the gap at night. it's quite narrow, with various boulders strewn about. in the gap itself there is the fort, to the east of it, next to a great cliff above it, on top of which there is a sort of a gentle slope towards the valley. "they'll have guards there" whisper Glimji. on the west there is a steep slope, and after a bit of observation Killpi notices a carefully hidden guard tower amongst the trees.
when real life skills come in handy
(it might be worhty of note to say that our DM and some of the players served some time in combative army units, and the DM especially is quite good at scouting, navigation and so on, and knows how to prepare accordingly... )
a bit more scouting noticed a sort of a querry in the western wall, building something? Glimji tried to use apples to seduce burrowing animals to talk to them, but it was just too cold. the two suspected more unseen forces. but they were about 300 m from the gap itself, and intended to learn more. "After you!", "no, after you!", "really, i bow to your expertise", "you show me too much honor, i insist!"
at the end Killpi with his superior stealth and perception led the way. the plan was to climb higher than the western watch tower, and perhaps get a look out to the fort itself. they moved slowly, taking their time, observing in the cold night air. getting caught would probably be fatal.
the good news, they got great stealth skills and rolls. the bad news, their perception is not so much. they got 150 m closer, but noticed nothing new except... for what seemed like a newly erected wall about 10feet tall, with some guard towers blocking the exit of the valley... The Fist seemed like serious business.
traps, snaps, and rustling bushes
a small discussion opened in the group (of players) at this point whether to explore further and risk it or go back. but in the end it fell to the two explorers, who seemed to like the thrill (despite Glimji's ramblings) who wanted to see in the fort.
as the duo climbed on, Killpi's honed senses saved his leg from stepping on an animal "close jaws" trap. he disarms it and takes it. on the way they find a few more traps but avoid them (Killpi takes one more_. but as they get close to the tower, Killpi steps on a trap and with only halfling quickness manages not to get his leg seriously wounded.
SNAP! echoes in the night, the tower suddenly has a light put on. "oh crap!" the two mouth simultaneously, and seek hiding quite fast. they expect people to arrive from the tower, but instead after about 2 minutes pass 3 soldier in Fist uniform come mumbling about the cold and "what animal is awake at these hours?"they look around a bit but don't seem to notice much, till they near Glimji's hiding (a low bush) when suddenly one looks straight at him. "what the hell?"
when the S**T hits the fan
Glimji reacts on instinct and cast a sleep spell, that fell two of the soldiers, but not the one that looks like their leader. (the group: now that won't arouse suspicions". "it's from the cold!") this leader seems to draw soemthing, but it's hard to see in the dark exactly what it is. Killpi curses, and sneak attack shoots him, wounding him nicely. the soldier activated a Sun rod! suddenly the are is lit by bright light.
Glimji is baffled and tried to find a useful tactic While Killpi yells at him- "do something usefull gods damn you!" and shoots again. only since the soldier is aware now, there is no sneak attack and Killpi barely if at all penetrates his armor's damage reduction. the soldier tries to wake his fellows, and Glimji cast another sleep, droping the privates but not affecting the leader.
Killpi changes tactics a bit, looking surprised at Glimji and tha man. "what? my head! you... you charmed me? you charmed me?!" (laughter from the party, murderous looks from Glimji) Glimji is down to his last 1st level spell (we were in the crypt this day) and decides to go fro broke, as they start to hear shouts from the tower and the fort. he reches into his spell component pouch and throws colored sands, making bright multicolored light over the three soldiers. but his dice fails him again- once more the leader saves.
"mage! you will die for this!" yells the solder and rushes to Gimli (while Killpi yells: "he charmed me! grab the withc! burn the witch!")
two halflings, one twiceling
the Soldier raises a sword over Glimji, "surrender and throw your weapon, on the ground!" Glimji cowers and complies. "you too!" he shouts ad Killpi. Killpi hesitates, and tries to put on a show of throwing his corossbow and groveling on all fours, crawling to the man, "he charmed me, he charmed me". but this soldier, with Killpi's botls still in him doesn't buy the act and attacks Glimji, who very narrowly evades.
Killpi sees his ruse didn't work and whips out his spiked chain, but barely affects the soldier, due to no sneak attack and Armor DR (and small weapon) Glimji is out of 1st level spells. this doesn't look good...
BUT, there are 1st level spells, and Glimji dazes the soldier, and again while moving to a flanking position totally out of spells. but a flanking position is all Killpi needed, and the chain rips through the soldier, nearly killing him. this soldier seemed tough.
(at the table i immediately say: "kill him, and the two others. they know your faces" Killpi's player looks at me surprised "that YOU will tell me to kill them? that's not right, let's try this) "surrender" said Killpi with pleasrure "and we'll spare your life." the soldier nearly done, agrees and lay down his sword. "just so you know, we are fighting for the greater good!" (at which point i look at him surprised "that YOU would fight for the greater good?") the two take the weapon and start to run, as if their life dependent on it (which they did) and the soldier through one last dagger after them
crunch behind the encounter
these were 2 1st level fighters and another 2nd level fighter. the soldier stood up VERY well, but this is mostly due to poor rolls by Glimji's player's rolls, we make all the rolls, nothing is hidden. we were worried about his hitpoint, which seemed to be slightly above 20. that is till the DM mentioned the feat "toughness" multiple times.
Run you fools!
as they ran they heard shouts from behind, and saw quite a few torches in the night. they were unarmored, so they were just to the speed of the armored tall folks. but how long, how far could they run? and then they heard the barking of dogs, and the hoofs of horses. ("Soldiers and horses and hounds, oh my!")
"so, new character sheets?"
the two decides to make it as diffucult to the pursuers as possible, they head further up towards the western mountain rage, on as inhospitable ground as they can find. at some point they hear the hroses complaining, and hear some shouts of "on foot, take the dogs". they decide to make it even harder, and seek a cliff to go up. thankfully enough they are good enough climbers (or the DM had been a bit merciful) and they reached the top ok. after a few more exhausting hours in the freezing cold they seemed to have lost them. dawn was nearing, but what now?
Meanwhile at camp
(by this point all of the group quite understood that thing got messed up seriously, but the DM seemed to roll with us, and so did we.)
Lynn seemed to have something on her mind, about half an hour after the two short ones left, she came to speak with Ayla and Teal'c. "Ayla, you are chosen by the gods, right? i'm not quite a fan of Kendra (goddess of love) but you'll do. and Teal'c, who doesn't speak much. i saw how you fight and how you avoided killing those village people. i'd value your opinion."
the two seemed attentive. "do you believe the gods speak to us? in signs, portens, or in choices they give us?", "the gods speak to those they have an interest in, in things important enough to them." Lynn snorted "i do n't think i am important, but i wonder- when i was in the fist i was charged to find a gnome sorcerer amongst halfling, as part of my unit. yet i... for some reason... chose to help the gnome and halfling. yet they proved treacherous, and i lost my position. i was expelled from the Fist, and brought shame to my family."
Lynn sighed "and yet this situation happens again- the Fist is looking for a magic user, and i am hiding a sorcerer and a thieving, scheming, conniving halfling. think about it! first he stole the elemental stone, then the issue with the laxatives, and what about Tom? what do we know? we found him with Killpi's bolts in his BACK, without an injury on Killpi, and he tried to frame him from the start! is this the kind of person we'rre associating with? should we not give them both over to the Fist"
Teal'c then spoke "i don't like them. but we're in a tough spot. you need to see if they can help our survival in this valley or not. i can't quite tell you so far. but when we can we should part ways with them."
Ayla was more reserved, but cautious in her words "I don't trust them, but from my acquaintance with the Fist i trust them less, and i would NOT give people away to them and their "interrogations". i suggest to find a way to reconcile your feelings, and give it time."
Lynn seemed more distraught and contemplative "very well, i shall think about this, lets see what they have to say in morning".
In my Defense
The idea was to provoke a bit more interaction and roleplay from Ayla and Teal'c' players, as they'll try to make Lynn be less judgmental and more forgiving, and closer to the Duo. i didn't quite expect Teal'c player to further the split, but it's her first play, and i'm afraid we're setting a bad example on how party should behave.
"By the time you read these lines..."
As dawn started to break, Ayla on guard sudenly heard quite a few horses. luckily the tents were in the woods, and the FIst horsemen (and horsewomen) didn't noptice them. they were riding to the village. "Damn! what the hell happened? Killpi, Glimji!"
she woke the two others. they concluded that something went wrong, and that the two have been either captured or they are pursued. they must look for the rest of them in the village. "we need to get away, to somewhere we can hide. there weren't many choices, and Ayla pointed out the Lizard's grove "it's the only lead we have, if we find there something that might be useful, perhaps that can help us."
they packed, and quickly left. In case Glimji and Killpi were alive, they left a note stuck by a dagger to a tree "we're at the source of the Green Gem". and went off.
Back to the Duo
Tired from the chase, having been awake and on the run all night, the two find a small unused cave, heat up as well as they can and fall asleep, two of Killpi's newly acquired traps at the opening.
"Where are we now?"
The Duo at the moment is located in the mountains just south of the lizard's grove. the trio is just moving from the crossroads on the road between the Fist ant Far Reach towards the lizard's grove.
Fight! and a bit more of Teal'c
after a few hours, while nearing the Lizard's grove, the trio goes through the snow they suddenly hear something, not being stealthy enough they explore, to meet a bunch of 8 orcs! "humans in wrong place! this is orc land!"
Teal'c (a half orc) seems tense, even slightly angry, but he speaks politely "we are lost, we did not mean to interfere, we're sorry". the orcs laugh "you be sorry llright... halfbreed!" gauging the odds, Lynn tries a different approach. "you orc know might! i offer you a chance to prove it! your strongest warrior, against ours!" but the orcs laugh at her. "we honor might in real enemy. you no enemy, you are garbage!"
at which point everyone have enough and the battle start. Lynn and Teal'c fight side by side, each despoing of an enemy a round (Teal'c cleave doesn't succeed) till the few remaining curb tail and run. Ayla heals a bit, and we even find a bit of coin on them.
however, we are more disturbed by the orcs presence here, so close to Far Reach. and Eric have spoken in his delusions of orcs, didn't he?
"You surprise me again Teal'c. you seemed disgusted by them." the half orc stays silent for a moment "they hurt my mother, my grandfather's honor. i don't like them. they are not my people." Lynn tries to goad Teal'c a bit more, but he stays silent.
The Lizard's grove
The trio reaches the grove (there is some discussion whether to go in, can we make it, but we decide we don't have any better lead) the place is quite pleasent, with lizard living in the trees, quite pastoral and nice. they spend the rest of their time searching for anything of importance for many hours, but fail to succeed. with some grumbling they decide to make camp near their entry point, as the sun start to descend
Frodo and Samwise (NOT!)
the duo finally awakes. "i had such a dream!" tells Glimji "we were fighting against the whole fort!". "I had a dream too" says Killpi "of someone using bright magic against the Fist and now they know our faces!" obviously, there was some resentment.
"so what now? where do we go? we have food, we have water, we have... each other?" said Killpi. Glimji began to hurriedly pack. they decided to try and find our camp at first, and then the village.
DM hurrying things a bit later, they arrived at the prior camp and find the note. but... they don't trust Lynn. "maybe she is trying to trap us? give us away to the Fist?" (Then they tried to sense motive the note, at which we all laughed)
Killpi suggests to perhaps seek the hunter, and gain any info from him on how to bypass the mountains. as some roll their eyes he add jokingly "let me complicate about this, i mean contemplate about this".
The duo decide that if Lynn tries to betray them, that they should have a code word for Glimji to cast a sleep spell on her. they decide the ever so popular- B*tch.
They decide to go to the grove (lamenting on how barbaric where these savages who killed and looted the orcs... after trying to loot them as well to no avail). so at the end of the evening, when they reached the grove they stumble upon the trio.
DON'T SPLIT THE PARTY!
A not so happy reunion
Lynn: "what the hell happened?!"
Killpi: "B*tch!" (looks at Glimji who rolls his eyes) "i said B*tch!"
L: did they see you? did you talk to them? did you fight with them?"
K: you know how hard it was? what it cost us? (looking at himself and Glimji) "um, we got better" (throws the traps on the ground) "it nearly killed us!"
L: "you STOLE from them?"
K: "i prefer took..." Glimji: "more like burrowed".
Lynn towards Ayla and Teal'c: "we are all doomed!"
towards Glimji: "did they see you do magic?"
G: "not exactly SEE... they were asleep most of the time"
K: except for the flashy multicolored spell?
Lynn: (face palms)
at which point quite hilarious accusations started all around. it was quite clear- our group held an arcane practitioner,, who spied and attacked the Fist, and we are all probably considered culprits.
As Ayla and Teal'c tried to weather down the storm, the party decided to get some rest, and try to figure out what to do in the morning.
so, i hope you enjoyed so far, i'll probably be able to write the second half later this week or on next Sunday. we felt this takes the adventure in a more complex and problematic route, but i think we're having great fun.
as always, if you have any questions ask. i'll be glad to answer.
Session 3b In which our protagonists are searching for clues, and come to rethink their investigating career, (as does the DM)
"Dream a little dream of me..."
The party makes camp, and assign guards. one die roll later the DM smiles and looks at me with a happy grin. Lynn has a nightmare, a strange one- she hangs around in the grove, there is less snow, but it's dark. it's a bit hard to move, like in slow motion. sh enters a village of halflings, like in the mission where she... disobeyed orders. she sees a gnome and a halfling running away from her. desperately she gives chase.
she keeps feeling as if there is some one behind her. while running agonizingly slwoly after the two she sneaks looks around, but whatever it is, it's just outof sight. but she knows it's there. she reaches the two figures, who turn around "why did you fail us?" they say, just before they die.
that something in the dark reaches her, it leaped on Lynn's back, holding on to her strongly. she panics, tries to turn around, to shake it off, when she sees a sharp, long knife slides at her throat...
An odd conversation
Lynn screams as she wakes up abruptly, coughing a bit of blood. she doesn't feel so well, a bit sick, but she feels as if she should have been sicker (yay successful save). the others wake up too, and she wipes away the blood, but not before Killpi sees it. his eyes widen for a tiny moment, before he proclaims that he'll guard outside. he needs the air.
Lynn understands him, and after getting her furs she gets outside beside the halfling. "shouldn't you... be resting?" he says, carefully stepping from her. "Look, it's nothing, just a strange dream, like something was trying to catch me. i may have bitten my tongue". Killpi studies her, noticing she stands a bit weakly, and that she is quite paler. "i don't think so. you're ill. diseased" he says with cautiousness, with a notion of "keep away". He looks at her coldly "It must be the grove. something in it makes you ill."
Lynn smiled, Is he actually concerned about me, or about the possibility he'll get sick? Am i carrying about him? must be more ill than i thought. "So, you don't think that crashing in the side of the mountain and being unconscious in the snow for who knows how long, or fighting with savage goblins and their defiled sorcerer, or this strange illness in the village, or looking through who knows how many dead bodies in the tomb, or fighting equally savage orcs has any chance to do with it?"
for a moment the halfling seemed surprised, but her retorted in kind "nah. i know a magical voodoo when i see one. it's the grove! check with Ayla.". Lynn woke the healers, but other than obvious signs of great stress, Lynn seemed to be ok. on a spur of the moment Lynn tried to hug Killpi who doubled back yelling "get away from me you contagious b*tch!" at which Lynn laughed, and went back to sleep.
Looking for clues
the Next morning the party discussed their options. they needed more info, which can be either found here, or at the village. Lynn seemed quite better, and they decided to search the grove again, yet found nothing. next they went to the nearby Water bay ruins. the place was the old gold seeker's settlement here, that got translocated later to where Far Reach is now.
they spent a few hours searching the hundred or so ruined buildings, but found nothing except for some odd humanoid(ish) footprints near the bank of the lake, going into and out of it. quite a few footprints.
time was wasting, and we decided to head closer to the village. we went on the road towards the trading bridge, and decided to camp in the patch of wood closest to the road (the edge of Centaur forest). we needed to talk with someone sympathetic in the village, but there were probably still Fist soldiers in the village.
The Sneaky Duo, take 2
Yes, we didn't learn our lesson. Killpi and Glimji were the only ones that can get in without starting a commotion. they snuck towards the wall, nearest to Mike Wood's place, the hunter. yet again Glimji's stealth was not up to par. one of the village people guards saw him!
... and proceeded to signal him to get away. apparently we stil lhad some sympathizers in the village. both hid just as a couple of Fist guards walked over the wall as well, giving the guard some debrief, and going down into the village. after the guard left, the two reached the wall and clambered up, to see a small procession heading out.
there were about 10 Fist soldiers there, talking to a few important guys and heading out. they seem to be led by a woman who seemed to be born to the army (We assume this is Alex, the Fist' commander here) and beside her was a red head guy with simple clothings, the other respected. Adviser? caster? priest? don't know. some got on horses, and others followed on foot as they left the village. was the place free of Fist influence?
Glimji, pissed off and tired of being chased after wanted to cast a quick message spell at Alex, taunt her, play with her, but Killpi stopped him. "are you insane?" he whispered angrily. "here? now? at the one who most assuredly knows how to find and hunt you?" Glimji relented grumbling.
the duo snuck in (Glimji ready to disguise them with magic as children if need be) but as the evening descended, they made their way easily and unnoticed to Mike's home.
Second round of coffee
The hunter was surprised as he opened the door to their knocking, his dog jumping excitedly. "what are you doing here? get in, quickly!" once inside they all exchanged smiles. "quite a commotion you got started! so this is the second one who defied the Fist? interesting..." once again he brought coffee and Killpi the smokes, and they sat to talk.
First of all they confronted Mike about him being the "mystery ally" that the Swansons (Eric parents that hired the group) talked about. he was indeed the one.
Apparently the Fist arrived in force at the village and interrogated quite a few of the people. though this did piss off some people, most quite liked the duo's shenanigans. it's not every day someone tries to embarrass the Fist. "you got a bit of reputation here. not with all, but with some" said Mike.
At first Glimji wanted to be cautious with the info they give, but Killpi decided they need all the help they can get, and shared everything- about the Green Gem, Kate, the orcs ("oh, there are orcs in the mountains. nothing that special unfortunately") and so on.
"well, if you're still interested in helping Eric, there are a few more ways that i can help you." he produced a map of the fort, as well as some of the new "improvements" that the Fist made. did we feel like dumb asses at this point! The Fort was basically a big wall with some buildings inside, that might be access either through it's gate, or from the cliff above it . the place has one central well. also, he might take us in hidden tunnels quite close to the fort itself!
now this opened a bit of a discussion in the group. it was understood the Killpi and Glimji will make the decisions, but we suggested thoughts. the main idea was to start rumors we were seen some other place (either the centaur forest or between the grove and the lake side ruins) which will cause the Fist to send some of their forces to search, in which time Mark we'll lead us secretly to the fort.
only that we still assumed the fort forces are going to be considerable. we needed more information. They asked Mike to call for Judith, the healer.
Running out of leads
As Judith came she was surprised as well, but she assmued we tried to help Eric, and so decided to help us as she can. Killpi demanded to know the full story about Eric (which she partially hid from us) and she told us that he said he had some dreams of slain orcs that he's seen somewhere, but that he had a strange recurring dream, of someone following him, out of sight, and then on his back...
... um, yeah
he some the withered hand of a woman, claw like, knife like. he was taken then. Killpi who heard of Lynn's dream and suspected this asked for her help, but she said that she is not an expert of the occult, and that they should speak with someone who might know.
And Mike seemed to have known such a person- the leader of the centaurs in centaur woods (there are actually centaurs in that wood? ) a centaur called Tall Mane.
that seemed like a plan. Killpi used his "business acquired" fortune to but us quite a few more bandages for a healing kit, and even acquired a few more... laxatives, on the promise he'll use them for good. (the idea is to poison the Fist's well perhaps...) Mike will meet them tomorrow morning at the trading bridge and lead them towards the centaurs.
the duo thanked them, and snuck off the village, on their way back.
moving the game along
I think we messed things up here a bit. and got seriously stuck. my guess is that when the DM saw that we were just messing about desperately and grasping at straws, he provided a few more clues to lead us along.
some think the party should not be helped, and that satisfaction comes from finding things alone. some thinks that looking everywhere and at everything is a waste of time and no fun. the truth lies somewhere in the middle for each group. i think it was done at the right time though- our gaming time is quite precious and infrequent, and so we should make the best of it. i think it was indeed the time to move on.
Killpi was grinning ear to ear. "i good some good news and some bad news". "good news first"- he told us of the new lead. "bad news Lynn, that is a killer dream, you're going to either die or go insane!"
L: "you're wrong, i'm feeling fine".
K: "it was good to have known you. not!"
L: "you little scum bag of a man! you had anything to do with this?"
K: "So, Glimji, think she has any worthwhile loot?"
L: "Chrone, if i have failed you i'm sorry, is there anything i can do?"
A: "it doesn't have to be this way, there may be a way to solve this"
L: "leave me go Ayla! anything went wrong since i boarded that ship. everything so wrong! and now death?"
K: "Hey, don't be a kill joy! no fun if you're all wailing and such!"
L: "you're right, if Chrone wants me to die i shall die. i shall do my best in the meantime."
the night passed quietly. ("no nightmares?", "no special ones, just the normal ones"). We might Mike at early morning, and he starts leading us deeper into the forest. the village trade with the centaurs, mostly small game for manufactured goods. their leader is a powerful spiritual centaur. "treat him with respect" mumbled Mike.
we meet a Centaur called "Long Run", who greets Mike and leads up to their settlement, as Mike returns to the village. at night we reach a big clearing, with huge primitive huts. the various centaurs watch us curiously, but from afar. we are a bit of an attraction, especially the small folks. we are led to a small building, and enter a great hall, with many spears, spears and more on the walls. there we see a magnificent majestic Centaur- Tall mane. he looks at us curious, and declares himself, after which he asks us to declare ourselves.
Lynn: "I am nothing special to declare. just a warrior of my kind that got thrown into the valley."
Tall Mane: "a warrior of your kind says quite a lot about you, it is enough".
Ayla: "I am a priestess of my goddess Kendra, our group found itself in this valley and seek to help cure it's ails."
Tall Mane: "are you one with power?"
Ayla: "only that which the goddess bestow upon me"
Tall Mane (impressed): "all with power are greeted here, even though we know little and worship not your goddess of love".
Tall Mane: "and you half human half tough one?"
Teal'c: (disinterested) "i came here by chance, fell from the sky, trying to find a way out".
Killpi: "I am an honorable business man who happened to fall on bad times. but i, Trivian Killpi, will travel the world, help many villages, and become the Hero of Far Reach!" (hero's pose)
Glimji: "i am one used to travel, used to sail. i'm touched by the arcane but i wish no harm, i wish to get to safety".
yeah, what a bunch of heroes we make.
Info and a quest!
though Tall Mane doesn't seem impressed, he listens to our story. though we try to keep some... less impressive things hidden Killpi once more shares most of our tale. Tall Mane is heard to read though, stoic and respectful all the time. Killpi even tries to bluff him by telling him the Fist have been planting traps in the valley (and produces his traps) we especially focus on Lynn and Eric's dreams, the feeling of someone from behind. Tall Mane asks us to sleep, and that he'll think about it.
we pass one more night without any special dreams, which both worries and reassures Lynn. Tall Mane meets them at the morning. "I have an answer for you. This creature you seek is evil indeed. it hunts and kills through dreams, and is called by the creatures of this realm a Night Hag. (those of us more knowledgeable of D&D gave groans. though the DM changed quite a few creatures in his setting)
"It is a hellish creature, not normally of this world, and if you say it is here, then these are bad news. it must be found and killed. usually it lies in the dream world, but it can reach the real world, where it fights with cunning, sharp teeth and terrible claws."
"how do we find it? how can we fight it in dreams?". "the nighthag can only get to dreams using a special stone- her Heart Stone". ("The Green Gem" we whispered) "if it has it, it can move to the dreams of all mortals it knows, but if not, then it must act in this world only."
"So Mark found it's gem somehow" (we'll need to find out how it got here in the first place) and gave it to Kate, which was then killed by the hag personally, and later she has been killing (feeding?) of the village people." we all mumbled consent, so this was the threat to face, the horror behind the plague. "but how do we find it? this is a big valley!"
Tall Mane nodded. "there is a way, you can communicate with the spirit of the valley itself. it know all that happens in the valley. it might be able to locate the hag. the spirit dwells under Red Smoke mountain, in a cave underneath it. it's a creature of stone, rock and elemental nature powers."
looking at the map (look yourself) that is quit a little journey to make (i assume 2-3 days through the rough terrain) none of us were happy about this. Glimji asks for some escorts on the way, Ayla asks for some... note of confidence, letter of confidence so that the spirit of the valley will know they mean well.
Lynn however asks about her dreams. "am i destined to die unless we succeed?". "no, your spirit is strong, you withstood the nighthag's assault, it cannot touch you again". as the other planned he added "but they had not yet been tested...".
Decision and leveling up
so we basically had two choices: either go to Red Smoke Mountain and try and locate the hag. or we could try and find a way past the Fist, using Mike the hunter's help. we decided on the former.
and we just leveled up! 3rd level now. Teal'c is becoming a hit point sponge (good, since he gets hit a lot) and both him and me took dodge as our 3rd level feat (in our rules dodge gives you a flat +1 AC. we really need it, we're getting hit ALL the time).
Ayla took Precise shot, Killpi hasn't decided yet, and neither has Glimji (who also needs an illusion/ enchantment spell to add to his list) suggestions are welcomed.
aaaand, that's it for now. i assume we have 1-2 meetings left (though i may be wrong?) 1 to reach to the spirit, and one to find the hag and deal with whatever brought her and the Fist.
i'm very curious as to what are the mechanics and implications of dealing with the night hag in dreams, a bit sorry i made the save. (that looked interesting). i also wonder what our journey to the mountain would entail.
swamp of lost souls?
the dead forest?
undead much? (which none of our group are quite ready to face).
hope you liked it, comments, questions and encouragements are welcome!
Question concerning the party split: did the DM cartered to you other guys in the meantime, or did you more or less just sat arround and watched the two sneaky folks?
Party splits do occur form time to time in my group but mostly it doesnt go well. As a DM managing two or even three party-spilts at the same time was a logistic nightmare and didnt go well. The other option was to concentrate on one group at a time, but this led to huge waiting periods for the other. So Im very interested how you guys managed it.
Also, thanks for posting your character sheet. Altough...
[nitpick time] Your flat-footed AC is 12, not 13 (you lose your dodge bonus when your denied dex-to-AC). Your AB with the flail is +7, not +5, and the AB for all the other weapons is +6, not +4. Likewise the touch attack AB for the trip attempt is also +7. The total modifier for the trip Str check should be +6, not +4.[/nitpick]
Question concerning the party split: did the DM cartered to you other guys in the meantime, or did you more or less just sat arround and watched the two sneaky folks?
The log tells it how we played it. first the duo till they escaped, then the trio till they finished in the grove, then the duo again till we met. the same went in the prior meeting where we all split for our investigation. we play things till they have a good stopping point.
<good comments about char sheet...>
you're right. i hadn't sat down and fully updated the sheet (i use a paper one) you are correct about your remarks. corrections have been made. thanks!
Session 4a In which Teal'c shows his guts, Killpi shows his lust, Lynn shows her trust and Ayla shows her... bust
it has been awhile since we met. real life kept plotting against us, but in the end we got together, and it was fun! as we were given the task of getting to Red Smoke mountain, we were kidding on the "journey to mount doom" in emails sent and the like.
while the previous session was composed of improvising and running all over the place, this one was more linear, dealing with one encounter/ situation at the time. as before, this session was long, and so i'm splitting it to two entries. i hope to write the next one sometime this week.
most of the players tried to insert a few minor twists or development of character/ interactions in some small way or another. hopefully you'll like it as much as we have. subtle influences, (on the most part), but they are there.
The map again
A hasty departure
Last time we left the party at the centaur camp, as they were given the quest to reach the Red Smoke mountain and speak with the Spirit of the Valley, in order to get it's help to locate the Night hag.
Tall Mane (the centaur chief) brought Ayla a small bundle. "these are scrolls to help blessed ones to pss the challenges of the mountain. looking inside Ayla found 2 scrolls of mass resist energy and 5 scrolls of sound burst. the first made more sense, but the others? Ayla put them to safe keeping.
Suddenly there was commotion outside. The centaurs gathered in the clearing as messengers came- apparently some humans in armor came into the forest, seeking "strangers". they were battling some of the centaurs. "The Fist" muttered the party. Tall Mane grew tense, perhaps slightly angry. "leave now, go on your quest. you bring danger here."
"you said you'll sent some centaurs to guide us" said Glimji. Tallmane nodded to one of the stronger centaurs "This is strong hand. he will guide you. now leave!" with that he rode with some of the centaurs away, towards the soldiers.
"This will be a long and dangerous journey, is there something here we might use?" asked the party. after a very quick search with Strong hand, Teal'c and Lynn got bucklers (-1 to attack for +1 to defense on these rules is worth it), Killpi FINALLY got a decent crossbow, and we god some food we missed over the last few... um... "wandering days".
meanwhile, we argued:
Lynn- "you're curse followed us here Glimji!"
Glimji- "it followed you! making tracks all over the place in your armor!"
Lynn- "oh, because last time you went sneaking it went SOOO well! (sigh) what the hell are we doing? i was never meant to be an adventuer!"
Killpi- "indeed, and you make a lousy one! perhaps a career change? hhhm?"
A choice of roads
Strong hand led us to the forest. he told us there might be some strange creatures still, the forest was not a tame one. on the way he explained possible routes to the mountain: first, we might go norht, towards the Free horses grasslands. but then we'll have to deal with the elves (who in this world are more a kin to the fey) who do not like trespassers. the second road will be through the ghost hills, that may host some undead, and the swamps of lost souls. the swamps hold a small tribe of gnolls with a powerful shaman. this is the shortest route. lastly we might go through the plains south of the ghost hills, and then cut north. however, the plains are said to have patrols and watches of the Fist on them, looking for us.
the party walked briskly in silence. the choices sounded risky, and not too good. in each route there seemed to be a strong group of potential opponents. Lynn looked at the map, and then asked: "what if we cut through the Ghost hills, but come out a bit south of the swamp, and circumvent it. Gnolls are rumored to be vicious warriors, i don't like meeting them or the Fist if i can." Strong hand seemed a bit surprised, but agreed it might be possible. the group agreed to the plan.
a course was decided upon. Strong hand assumed it would take 4-5 days.
Small feet and huge hands
All this time, Killpi was looking at Strong hand with a determined look on his face. "hey, you look like a mighty strong centaur! can you carry me? i'm so small and little!"
"we do not carry others on our backs. that is disgraceful."
"c'mon,. let me ride you!"
"no one "rides" a centaur."
"my feet, they are small and lazy!"
"then you should practice them more"
"it's hard to when you're so small"
"maybe when you grow up little man!"
"... hey! i'm a serious business man!"
this is when the Trolls broke through the trees. most of us were caught off guard due to the loud conversation, but thankfully the troll rolled poor init.
(the left most one)
As the hulking brute roared and advanced, Glimji quickly cast a Disrat spell on his dimwitted mind. "Strong hand, prepare to flank!" yelled Lynn, and cursed as the Centaur charged dead on. she came close to his reach, Killpi right behind her ("covering your back!") as suddenly Teal'c rushed forward and cut deep into the troll's hide. yet it seemed to barely faze him.
The Troll swung and missed the Centaur, who then indeed move to flank. As Lynn missed the troll Killpi shouted from the back "career change?" She and Teal'c formed a wall on the other side of the troll, flanking with Strong hand, while Killpi swung his chain behind them. Glimji meanwhile tried to distract the troll again and again, but his magic failed him.
shaken like a rag doll
The troll was easy to hit, and easy to dodge, but when he hit he hit hard! once Lynn critted the beast, smashing it's knee, looking back in fury "career change?" only to be hit by a tree trunk arm with a blow so powerful it sent her back flying nearly on top of Glimji, who quickly dodges, and snickers slightly.
The troll healed, but the attacks were proving useful. Lynn got up to face the monster, when it suddenly struck Teal'c powerfully with one claw, then the other, and then a horrible reaping sound was heard as it rended poor Teal'c and throwing him away (over 50 hp, sent him down to -14. Teal'c would die at -16, his con score. house rule)
As Ayla rushed to save the gutted and severely broken half orc, Killpi swung his chain to the hulk's neck, and ripped some vital arteries and such. it fell to the ground gurgling. dead, yet still regenerating. as some started to alight it afire, Lynn kneeld beside the brave warrior, as Ayla poured much of her healing magic into it.
Bone knitted, flesh healed, and but a few scars and lesser wounds the half orc was back with the living. Lynn gave a wry concerned smile."never heard of someone facing the full fury of a troll and able to live to tell about it. by Chrone! you are mighty strong!" Teal'c looked up woozily, achingly. "i don't feel quite so strong now" he said weakly, as he struggled to stand up.
An explanation about the troll and mechnics
why did the troll barely hit? why did he have SOO much hp? how come he came to so much damage?
Our DM alters monster more, to make them more radical- elves get much more dex, but are considerably more frail, orc are much stronger, but slower, and so on. the troll got MASSIVE str and con, but abysmal dex. now- consider that under this adventure's house rules dex is the "to hit" attribute, even in melee, well- you get the picture.
Killpi turned to Strong hand. "so about what we talked about..."
"if you can kill a troll, you're strong enough to walk".
At night we make camp at the edge of Centaur forest. some hear Killpi mutter "i will ride the horse!" at morning we find him tied to a tree. apparently he tried to climb a tree and jump on Stronghand's back in the night, but the centaur moved. Killpi however, would not be deterred.
On ghosts' front door
The journey next day went without much to say. Strong hand is worried about his tribe, but remains true to his mission. we see goblins some distance away ("i'm not a sorcerer!") but they don't engage. near evening we reach the border of the Ghost hills. apparently the old mining colony that was here fought with the elves, mostly through this territory, and many died here, their ghosts still lingering in the hills.
to say the party was uneasy would be an understatement. as camp was made Lynn faced the hills and said a prayer to the dead, and to Lilk, goddess of death and undeath. "i have little to offer, but coins that pay the way, and a weapon for the when coin cannot help." she buried a small sack with one of her daggers and some coin (we didn't have nearly any coins). and hoped that would help.
The Goddess (DM) liked it, and granted me a small boon through the night (a small modifier to some rolls). meanwhile the two rascals watched closely, and thought to perhaps dig it up. they didn't do it not because it would offend the gods, but because they thought Lynn was so poor that anything she buried was just not worth it...
This time we decided to guard in pairs. the first watch was of Lynn and Glimji. oddly enough she grew close to him, not scowling or the like.
L: "you did some interesting magic there with the troll. impressive sorcery."
G: stays silent. ("why is she talking to me?")
L: "you know, it is strange, but in a way you remind me of my brother. he was a sorcerer too."
G: (silently surprised, not showing it) "oh? did you chase after him too?"
L: (sigh) "no, the Fist did. he ran away, and having a sorcerer brought our family to ruins. that is..."
G: "that is what?"
L: " that is why i joined the Fist. tried to relieve some of the bad tidings on our family. i never quite..."
G: "you're telling me, you've actually joined forces with those that pursued your brother, and you're doing the same?!"
L: "It's not that simple! i was angry, confused, and..." (stands up angrily) "look, i was just trying to say thank you for sticking with us despite all this, and fighting alongside." (walks away)
On the second watch Ayla talked to Teal'c about beauty, love, gentleness and sophistication, as the half orc listened intently, his gaze fixed on the Ghostly hills.
it was on the third watch when things got interesting.
Dark night, Dark maiden
Killpi tried to persuade Storng hand to let him ride, and he pestered the centaur, till the centaur made him halt. someone was coming. a blackstallion (with a horn). as to the DM, the pic is nealy identical to what they saw.
Killpi was in love! Storng hand alerted the sleepers, and they got out (Lynn without her armor). "Strenagers! are you robbers?" Killpi was offended. "I am a respectable business man!" and then he bowed "my lady"
"I'm Deneel, a guardian spirit of the hills, who are you?" Ayla, noticing a woman of similar respect for beauty and womanly... features, spoke to her reverently "greetings noble one, we seek not to rob, but just to pass. we are on our way to Red Smoke mountain, please come speak with us, share with us."
Deneel prepared to unhorse as Killpi offered his help, groveling. "I am here to avenge against the Gnolls, they have wronged our people. will you stand with me against them?" at this Lynn interjected, face grim and suspicious. "we have no business with the gnolls!" Killpi straightened up and took pose "a spirit in distress, having been wronged so badly and you will not help her? Lynn, i'm surprised at you?" he tried to sneak smiles at Deneel. "what my friend means is that we might help... for a suitable price" smiled Glimji. "but how would so few face so many?" Deneel smiled a cold (yet warm for Killpi) smile "you can use your mind and trickery to avenge, not just brute strength."
Disliking this sudden affection on the spirit ("some sort of fey, they are tricky the fey!" she mumbled to herself) she looked at the "unicorn". it was a big sturdy wild looking stallion with a dim look in it's eyes, and a big horn on it's head. Killpi started arranging a fire, and most people decided they would talk in the morning. Glimji cast detect magic and noticed Deneel flimsy nearly nonexistent garment radiating powerful magic, though he couldn't tell what kind.
as Killpi started to romanticize Deneel, most got back to sleep. soon will be morning. Lynn however did not trust this, and sat in her tent with the furs tightly tucked, flail ready, watching the courtship. Strong hand continued a patrol around the little camp, troubled himself.
you won't bring her home to your parents
"see Lynn? she trusts no one!" muttered Killpi as he brought Deneel a bit to drink, to eat, fawning over her. the fire grew warm, and so did the atmosphere. she caressed his cheek "you lovely little naughty man! come, i want you to kiss me."
and a kiss it was. sensual, monumental, and... debilitating. Killpi felt bliss fill his senses as the strength left his body (9 str damage) making him fall helplessly at Deneel's feet. (1 str remaining). noticing he sudden slump in the springy little guy, Lynn jumped to her feet, raising her flail. "get away from him you foul wench!"
Deneel's eyes suddenly flared golden, and Lynn felt as if she is the most beautiful creature in the world, that she should protect her, kill the... Lynn shook her head "fiend! you will not fool us!" (i used an action point, a VERY rare resource in the game and barely made the save)
Lynn rushed to the creature, shouting to wake the others. on the ground Killpi tried to breath "what a kiss!" as Deneel draw a heavy flail herself (such a tiny creature hodling such a weapon) Lynn disarmed her, but it then drew another short sword, somehow coating it with a glistening fluid. it called out, and the unicron tried to rush to her help, only to be engaged by strong hand. the two equines started battling each other.
as the others got ready, Killpi slowly slowly armed his cross bow to fire at Deneel, meanwhile she battled Lynn. the warrior averted her eyes and fought her blindly, missing again and again. meanwhile, Deneel with inhuman speed struck the unarmored warrior, poisoning her slowly, sapping her strength away. Lynn was yet to land a blow on the horrific beauty. "you're afraid to look at me darling? c'mon, i've got a lovely smile my dear." Lynn grunted "and they call me a bitch!"
Ayla cast bless, and Glimji tries a lulliby, but fails. Teal'c tries to get close, and see her gaze, but withstand it. Killpi however does not. "my love!" he says as he shoots at Lynn, missing widely. Glimji thinks in his memory (knowledge check) and remember some sort of an odd creature- Black Temptress Medusa (i have no idea if there is such a published creature or if the DM made it up)- a medusa that coats her arms with poison, has the ability to infatuate lookers with her gaze, and some other abilities. (some flight)
Glimji cast his distract spell on her and fails. she laughs delightfully as her blade strikes lynn again, making her weaker, weaker. Teal'c misses her as the centaur and black unicorn clash. Killpi yells "do not hurt her! my love!" and Lynn has enough. "Killpi! bags of spilling golds! rubies big as your fist! diamonds as big as your head!" the... diversion, helps Killpi break off the charm.
and yet, the black temptress was not yet hit. averting eyes, highly powerful will save. one party member down, another coming fast. it seemed grim.
sorcery has it's uses
again Lynn and Teal'c miss ("change the dice!") and Killpi tries to roll aside, unsuccesfully. Ayla reaches the heavily wounded Lynn and heals her. "alone i would fall, together we shall vanquish you!" Deneel laughs. "oh, but fall you shall!" this strikes makes lynn falls to her knees, feeling weak and feeble. (Str 5)
The black unicorn falls, and strong hand comes in and hits her a bit, though he is heavily wounded. This is when Glimji finally comes close enough and casts color spray, using all his skill and power (action point) and stuns her for around. the sword falls from her hand (poison vanishing),and a delighful look of shock comes on her face. Glimji grins satisfactory.
Noticing this, Killpi with his last strength, pull a dagger and sneakattacks her foot, driving the blade right through! Lynn decides on a different tactic, and lunges her slef on her, pushing her unto the fire (bull rush with action point) "burn the witch!" Deneel screams in pain at the fire (but Glimji notices her garment doesn't catch the flames).
before she can return to her senses, Glimji uses his powerful magic once more to distract her (again an action point) which give Teal'c just the opening he needed. with one mighty swing he guts the temptress, the glow in her eyes fading as she falls down dead.
upon killpi "ahhh! one last embrace." (sniff) "i'm sorry it had to come to that my love!"
Didn't we see it coming? didn't Killpi's player?
of course we knew something was iffy with this. (especially with this DM which i hear loves to use "beautiful, enchanting creatures"). but... on one hand we could all gang up immediately and smash it, which would have been quite boring, or we could play along- Killpi falling in love (he knew very well he was getting screwed over this), the rest going to sleep and so on. we kept a way out after things got interesting (Lynn).
for a dark fairy story to work, you got to at least partially play the fairy's game.
thoughts of the encounter
I wonder what the DM planned here. did this creature try to trick us to fight the gnolls? or was that just a distraction? was the Dm prepared for both (or more) possibilites? i guess i'll have to wonder.
i wonder if the black unicorn was initially planned, or was it added just to negate Strong hand for most of the fight. if it was planned and we didn't get Stronghand with us... oh my!
i loved this unexpected creature, though it was damn difficult to fight. despite the difficulty, we weren't close to the TPK we were filling (at least me) but it required about 4 action points total (we get 1/ level, and we're level 3) to take it down.
Aftermath and loot!
The party breathed slowly for a few moments. before Lynn rose to her feet barely. Ayla began healing (especially Strong hand) and the party started to take stock of the situation. Killpi was nearly disabled (str 1) and Ayla close to that (Str 5). they had no way of quickly reparing ability damage. should they rest? or continue?
Glimji came with an idea- to make a stretcher for Killpi, to allow him to better rest, to be pulled by Strong hand. "you see? i can't move? can you take me now? please?", "your friend made a good idea. i'll tow you, but not carry you".) Lynn exchanged her armor with Tealc's (studded leather for scale) for the time being. Ayla could use her healing kit to enhance our ability healing rate- 2/day for Lynn, 4/ day for Killpi. (house rule). the party decided to move on- the Fist were after them, and staying at the foot of the Ghost hills might promote more danger.
which left us with... the loot. and contrary to the rest of this adventure, this was indeed some loot. a word of explanation: by our house rules "high quality" item is like the traditional master work (+1 to hit), while masterwork items also added +1 to damage (and cost around 1000gp i think). the temptress was loaded with weapons (mostly on the stallion, but not just):
- MW heavy flail (went to Lynn)
- MW short sword (group treasure)
- high quality long spear (went to Teal'c)
- 5 high quality daggers (2 went to Lynn, rest group treasure. for some reason no one wants them).
- battle axe
- 2 earings, 300 gp each
- necklace, 230 gold
- 5 gems, 50 gp each.
- annnnnnd... the magical garment. obviously all eyes go to Ayla. she tries wearing it in the tent, and felt it gives her quite a bit of protection, but ONLY when this is the only thing she wears. the garment is... partially transparent, and she can alter this quality, but only till NEARLY not transparent. also, there is some sort of a mind to the item (intelligent item?) which she communicates with. (The DM gave the player some notes. which made the player grin... widely) Ayla decides to return to her natural garments for now, pondering this new find.
Days of travel
next day with Killpi on the stretcher, the party start to cross the Ghost hills. Lynn, still weak, walks by Killpi's stretcher, and tell him stories from her academy, from her village and so on. Killpi groans and rolls his eyes. on the way we notice a pack of wolves trailing. at night, reaching the other side of the hills (but south of the swamp), we make camp with a few fires around it, to keep the wild pack at bay.
next morning Ayla decides to change to the new magical see through garment. needless to say it attracts a few stares. Glimji sneaks a look, Lynn groans but shrugs it off, and Teal'c politely avoid looking.
Killpi however, gives quite a few smiles and lustful looks. ("i'm going to ride SOMETHING tonight!" he tries to court Ayla from his stretcher as she tends to him, but Ayla is for some reason very glum, silent, even depressed? "It will soon be over Ayla, we shall find this spirit, end the killings and be done with it. trust me" says Lynn, but Ayla doesn't respond.
they travel north and make camp, nothing special happens. on the last day Killpi and Lynn change places, as he is quite better. Ayla again is quite bummed out, and doesn't respond even to Killpi's enthusiastic ventures, but she is silent. we make camp that night at the foot of Red Smoke mountain, feeling tomorrow will be an important day.
what? no encounters?
i think the DM didn't put any more encounters for 2 reasons:
- the path we chose. i think each "location" had an encounter and we went around it.
- more importantly: we allready had enough encounter to make this "feel like a journey". the feeling in the group was "ok, we're ready for the next part", which is what the DM provided.
that concludes our journey to mount doom. all that is left is to climb it and throw the ring in. will Killpi be our Golum? the next part is a bit shorter (at least according to my notes), but holds an interesting twist at the end. care to join us?
as always- comments, question and the like arewelcome. the DM readsthis logs as well, so you may ask him in private (Jerret Gwathmor. there! i've sent the hordes at you! ) and you can ask me.
Session 4b In which our protagonists venture into tunnels, riddles, and meet a Fiery Death!
the muse inspires me, i'll try and do it all at once!
A... "joyous" complication
As the party wakes they notice Ayla's dance more exuberant, enthusiastic, colorful. she even sings! Killpi claps at her while the others raise eyebrows. "are you ok Ayla? has the stress gotten to you?" asks Lynn worriedly. "can't you see? that life is wonderful, joyful! i just want to spread out The Love!" she says with a big, on the border of damn stupid silly grin. "well, ok, but keep sharp- we need to keep focused!". Ayla nods enthusiastically "don't worry, all is fine, all is wonderful!"
Glimji mumbles to himself "cursed? must be!" We say our goodbyes to Strong hand and start climbing towards the little cave that leads to the Spirit of the Valley.
Don't you know it's cursed?
(sigh) of course we know. the player rolls some dice on some table and that determines Ayla's mood for the day it seems. why don't we force her to take it out? because it's more interesting this way... at least for now.
read the lesson about the black medusa temptress
Why this kind of magic item?
i'm not so sure, but here is my guess. the player has expressed some difficulties roleplaying, especially this character. i think he may find it uneasy to relate to the character so personally.
i think the DM gave this sort of an item as a sort of "easy access, not really your fault" roleplay tool- focus on simple extreme behaviors (though extreme in nature) which you can play that are not "really you". a sort of roleplay inside roleplay?
i may be over analyzing this. in any case- the player seems to have a BLAST with this. good call!
klutz and thunder.
the tunnel is narrow, and there is some heat from it. Ayla remembers the scrolls Tall Mane gave the group at the village. she keeps them at ready. the party goes single file, with Ayla humming some song at the back, Killpi in front of her, keep looking back and saying sweet nothings.
the party reaches some sort of big cavern, with pillars in it. some distance away they see a hole in the floor, glowing with hit, around it gathered many rats... but not ordinary rats- rats on fire! Glimji recognizes them as Ash rats- sort of part fire elemental rats.
backing away, the party discusses things briefly, and decides to try and sneak past them. (there is some distance and cover, and they look distracted) however, Teal'c smacks his long speak against a pillar who partly crumble, and the rats takes notice. Ayla however cast a soundburst from a scroll (which was readied) and kills off nearly all, a few run away.
4 such scrolls left.
Klutz and thunder... and fire
a corridor leads down, smoothly. Ayla tries to SLIDE down it which freaks Lynn out, and amuses Killpi. "She's hot! look at those curves!". Lynn grabs Layla "look! get a hold of yourself! what's the matter with you! you're the most dependable one in the party, you can't freak out now!" Ayla nods and smiles, reassuring Lynn. having no choice she accepts.
going down the air gets hotter, the party begins to sweat. after some twists and turns, and a few dead ends, they reach another cavern, on it's ceiling bats... on fire. again the party tries to sneak past, but Ayla tries to do so while doing an expressive dance... furious, Lynn shouts at her "are you mad woman?! get a grip for god's sakes!"
which makes the bats descend on her, they burn Lynn nicely before Ayla manages to break another sound burst and bring the bats down, but with nearly deafening Lynn and shocking her as well. Burned, bewildered, Lynn's gaze bore into Ayla as the priestess of love heals her. "you see? nothing to worry? a bit of fire, a bit of noise, but now you're alllllll better!" (wide happy grin).
Lynn just don't know what to say.
(At this point i look at the player: "hey, i know this! here, take Lithium!" it's a med for Bi-Polars. i should know, since i am one. some of this reminded some old times of my own. the party laughed at this.)
Riddle me this, riddle me that
more twisting tunnels and such, we keep going lower, lower, and the heat intensifies. at the end of a long tunnel we reach a strange circular room, very well built, in which there are 13 black pillars in the circumference, and one huge black pillar in the middle. "trap" we think. Lynn notices some delicate etchings under the surface of the main pillar. we are hesitant to enter the room
Killpi volunteers. "i can find traps, and i can avoid most of them." Lynn puts a hand on his shoulder "you have proven your skill more than once. if you wish to, i trust your capabilities" to which, of course, Killpi rolls his eyes. he enters the room but finds no traps.Ayla and Glimji come in to try and decipher the writing, without success. Glimji casts read magic, which just happens to be the trigger...
suddenly the door starts to close. Teal'c swiftly glides in while Lynn barely makes it. inscriptions appear on the 13 pillars, and an odd echoing voice echoes in our heads "find the four pillars of the world" and some sort of warning about being wise or hastening our doom and so on.. at the base of the main pillar several holes appeared, from which came scalding water! and they were rising fast! Ayla read her scroll of mass resist fire (also from Tall Mane) which saved our lives.
on the 13 columns were 13 riddles. though the water rose (and the higher they were the more damage we took) each wrong answer would make the rising faster, while each right answer lowered the water. some pillars (the correct 4) started to glow as the answer was said. every about 20-30 seconds in real life we threw damage dice to see how much we scalded.
(i do not remember the exact order in which we solved these, but here goes)
voiceless it cries, wingless it flutters, toothless it bites, mouthless it mutters
this we solved immediately, and the pillar glowed. this was our first clue, and if you guessed the riddle, than like us i assume you know the other pillars.
never ahead, ever behind, yet flying swiftly past, for a child i last forever, for adults i'm gone too fast.
embarassingly enough, we mistook this twice (day, life) and solved it only after the riddle which begins with "it cannot be seen"
it has a golden head, it has a golden tail, but it doesn't got a body.
Killpi got this one. and if that isn't a clue, i don't know what is.
i am always hungry, i must always be fed, the finger i lick will soon turn red.
this we guessed quickly.
some riddles stumped us though: turn us on our backs, and open up our stomachs, you will be the wisest of men though at start a lummox
this puzzled us so we moved on.
one tooth to bite, he's the forest foe, one tooth to fight, as all healers know.
we were clueless as to this
bury deep, pile on stones, yet i will dig up the bones
we thought this might be a dog? death? undertaker? earth?
a leathery snake with a stinging bite, i'll stay coiled up, unless i must fight
we had no freaking idea... someone made a remark about a BDSM... instrument, which was close to home, but was only made in jest.
as you see, we had ample opportunities to get the water up, and killpi and Glimji started swimming, and the protection was only partially helping. Ayla was burned badly, and had to start healing herself.
luckily enough we figured other riddles out.
to be gold is to be good, to be stone is to be nothing, to be glass is to be fragile, to be cold is to be cruel
Teal'c, appropriately guessed this one.
three lives have i. gentle enough to soothe the skin, light enough to caress the sky, hard enough to crack rocks
had we not known what we were looking for, this might have been a tough one, but we soon found it out. 3 pillars alight, 1 to go...
it has roots as nobody sees, is taller than trees, up up it goes, and yet never grows.
this helped lower the water to managable bits
it cannot be seen, cannot be felt, cannot be heard, cannot be smelt.
it lies behind stars and under hills, and empty holes it fills.
it comes first and follows after, ends life, kills laughter
after a bit of confusion (time) Lynn guessed this, and immediately the riddle we missed near the beginning.
it counts time, stops clocks, drinks and is always thirsy. you eat it's children and it embraces you in the end
the last pillar was answered.
Aren't riddles considered bad play?
usually riddles either get players completely stuck, or the players find their solution easily. at list simple "guess what i am" riddles. here i think the DM struck a nice balance- some riddles were quite easy (especially the ones needed to actually progress) while some were less so. (at least to us, i know some of you geniuses guessed them all! ) thus giving a challenge, but not a "do or die" kind of challenge.
into the volcano
the water poured out, and steps appeared to lead below. we breathed out, tried to partially dry our selves of the heated water. glad that we passed this test, we decided to press on while the Mass Resist energy spell still persisted.
we went deeper, and the heat intensified considerably. breathing was hard, a bit steamed. we came upon a sort of wide ledge, overlooking... something below we could see the haze from the heat in the air over the edge. this cavern/ ledge had 3 creatures in it- some sort of fiery looking small humanoid.
Ayla and Teal'c went to engage and the creatures came to breath fire on them! thankfully the protection was up. with swift determined coordination, Killpi moved behind them to flank, killing one, but also gazing over the edge. he could see the volcano down below, and in it's magma- some sort of humongous fiery creature!
the fire mephits were killed swiftly, though 1 ran down. with the protection up their effect was minimal. we collected fire opals from the dead.
once more a tunnel, circling the volcano to another ledge, with 5 mephits who flew away. the heat was becoming incredible, and we were perfusing swiftly. we were getting deeper, closer to the fire creature. this ledge held no tunnel, but a hole in the floor, like a slide down.
Lynn wiped the sweat off her forehead, smiling a weird little smile. "Think about it a second- just a week or so ago i was flying to another city, to get a job as a guard. and now i'm down some crazy volcano, fighting fire spirit, seeking some divine entity in order to find the location of a fiend who hunts through dreams." she laughed a short laugh. "well, we've come this far!" and jumped down the tube.
she slid about 50 meters vbefore falling in another large tunnel that overlooked the belly of the volcano. a few seconds later she heard "Whheeeeee!" as Ayla landed on her, and Teal'c on them, followed by Glimji ("Teal'c will be the softest to land on!") and lastly Killpi "no one lands on me!")
which is when everything became blurry. the cavern was not the same cavern. instead they were in a big underground, with a huge pile of treasure on the ground, but a much more urgent matter directly above it.
they felt fear, awe, terror, and prostrated themselves in front of the mighty being. "Mortals! I am Glaurnag, known as the Fiery Death. Why have you dared enter this place?"
The party was stunned, Lynn tried to gather her voice, to face this creature, and spoked softly: "Great Glaurnag, he did not seek to intrude on you. we are strangers to your valley, there is a sickness in it, a creature from another realm, one who kills through dreams. we have sought your help in finding it, cleansing your valley. saving the village." however, her voice came croaked, weak, stammering, the fear gripping her to her stomach. (influence roll= 4) the party closed their eyes, ready to accept the flames.
damn, not again!
It was at this point that i have fallen back to my general role when playing a character- a sort of paladinish party leader. i especially tried to avoid it with Lynn, but oh well. it's still fun!
yet that would not be the case. "you are noble young one, even if your words and your manner represent you poorly. Such young spirits walk this mountain, this grave. Yes I am dead for too long to remember, I can remember the elven, young and frightened wondering the great forests around those mountains, and I can remember the gnomes seeking their first magic in their great underworld realms…. But my memories are fading.
I am not the spirit you seek however... I am someone else. Maybe you have come here for more reasons than even you understand. I will help you but you must promise a help in return. Are you willing to trade favors with an old and tired spirit?"
to this Ayla responeded with "of course we will, with all our joy!" the party was stunned, but Glaurnag seemed nonplused. Lynn gritted her teeth. "what is it that us poor mortals can do that the great Glaurnag cannot? i wish no disrespect but our power is feeble compared to yours". Glimji wanted more "what help will you grant us exactly, oh mighty dragon?" the little gnome proving to be bolder than he looks.
The dragon seemed to consider "I shell remove the guardian from the entrance, and you, you must kill what left of me mortals. There is a great opal stone lying beneath us. The elements of fire bound my spirit to this place for eons now. Destroy the stone, free my spirit and you shell be rewarded."
"He tries to trick us! i do not trust the words of dragons!" claimed Glimji. "why have they bound you here? what will happen when we free you? how do we know you won't return as an undead abomination?" demanded Lynn, her voice cracking.
"Foolish mortal, the dragon kind are not easily raised by petty necromancy. i was bound here to torment me. and i wish release. i wish peace. will you do this for me?"
Killpi in the meantime was trying to scoop treasure, only to find it illusory. he looked at the dragons "can there be something else? is there... a treasure room somewhere? could you give directions to a hoard? a small one will suffice"
"i have not laired here but miles away, and it was eons of times ago. even if i gave you directions, the place must be looted by now. will you assist me mortals?"
the party discussed things briefly, Glimji strongly against, the rest in between, but in the end they agreed. "we shall be honored to assist you great Glaurnog, the Fiery Death, may your sole know peace."
at that the vision ended, and they were back at the cavern. they went to the ledge, and saw the gargantuan elemental, when a great draconic spirit appeared, they had battled fiercely for a few rounds, but the battle was one sided, when the elemental spirit died.
we found another hole (this time not doing a pile up) coming to another cavern where the elemental might have attacked us easily. a tunnel led to the side wall, towards which we moved
a bit of a railroad yes. the path down the mountain was straight forward without many options. but it's ok by our group. some parts are more open (for example the possible routes to the mountain, or the infiltration failure) while some we're comfortable at being more linear.
i don't think the dragon was one sided though. knowing the DM we could have refused- we could have run from the elemental towards the tunnel, i think we would have made it.
but being messed with the spirit of an ancient dragon is more fun! (by the way, in our campaigns dragon's alignment aren't bound by color) but... i had another incentive to want to do this deal with the dragon, which will become apparent later on.
isn't the adventure about to be over?
indeed, i think we have 1-2 more meetings. but i think the DM is planning on building forward in case we might later resume this party and adventure. something to look forward to?
we followed the tunnel deeper, oddly enough it was getting not cooler, but less hot. we were in the bowels of the mountain. at some point we noticed an opening to the right of the tunnel. Killpi snuck there and looked inside. he saw one large circular room, with a great big opal in the center, and a fiery/ magma elemental in the center.
he snuck back and told us the news. "time forthe second scroll Ayla". the creature seemed strong. we discussed whethere some should distract it, and some break the stone. maybe when the stone is broken it will leave this plane? or shall we try and destroy it? we decided to try and see. Ayla cast the second scroll of Mass Ressit fire, and Killpi and Glimji snuck in through the shadows, getting in place.
as the rest of us got closer, the creature crackled and hissed, and launched at Teal'c bashing him roughly. Ayla cast a sound burst scroll (2 left) that cracked the stone a bit, as well as the creature. Glimji cast his distract spell and baffled the creature, which Teal'c used to charge atthe stone and land a crushing blow. as the stone showed new cracks, so did the creature! the course was apparent now- obliterate the stone!
Lynn attacked the creature, trying to draw fire (literally!) but hurting it but a bit. Killpi tumbled out of the shadow and struck the creature's leg with a well aimed lash, knowing he can't pass the stone's hardness.
The fiery women next pummled Lynn nicely, the resistance blocking most of the fire. Glimji continued with his distracting spells while Ayla and Teal'c kept focusing on crushing the stune by spell scroll and mighty axe!
the creature, alarmed and heavily wounded turned to stop the half orc, but it brought the axe one final time and shattered the opal to pieces. with a great wail the creature dissipated into ash, fire and lava.
Rewards, some unexpected
Elated, the party felt the vision cave again, and saw the great dragon trailing into mist. "Thanks you. I can finally go to the behind, almost completely. I grant you a drop of what I have learned over the years. I shall be watching from the behind."
Elated, the party felt themselves grow stronger, more powerful (we leveled up! level 4, yay!) as well as gain some glint of wisdom, of secret knowledge (free feat! yay!). however, as the mist traield off, some of it lashed and struck at Lynn, coiling into her mouth and nostrils, going in!
Lynn fell on the floor, coughin, rigid, feeling odd... she felt different, more... present. the others could feel the change as well. a presence emenating from her, a presence of power, of fire. a tiny fraction of what they felt with Glaurnog. she rose up, afraid and the others saw the glint of fire in her eyes. "what's happening to me?" she asked.
Glimji looked at her with a wry smile (humor at who'se expense no one knows) "well well... ain't that a turn of events?"
Free feat as reward
i think this was the reward for 3 reasons:
- it befits the gift an old spirit with no material possesions can give.
- it is a cool reward
- as the adventure is ending soon, i doubt it if we'll use the 5th level feat (IF we get there)
What's the matter with Lynn
not telling yet. gotta leave some tension for next meeting. a few things though:
- it's legit. a mechanical addition that will hopefully put a bit of a tiwst to things
- She didn't become a half dragon or dragon born or the like.
- it's not powerful, but hoepfully will fit well with the party, and more than that- with the story.
so this is where we ended the meeting. all in all a very bust meeting, but also quite fun. we were quite exhausted at the end of it (as i am at finishing telling it all) next meeting (or the one after that) is the big finale.
i may have character sheets of everyone at 4th level (more or less) before next meeting, though at very different formats (we all do different things) if you guys are interested. can't promise though!
first a request for help. i'm trying to find a more suitable pic for Lynn for the lat leg of the campaign. you can help by checking this thread here. contributions will be appreciated!
also news! unlike with usuall meeting times, he have actually scheduled to only 2 weeks from now! not sure how fast i could update (i'm supposed to do reserve army service) but i'll try getting it up as soon as i can.
also, some longer term news (not dealing with this adventure): if you liked this log, or the previous log (in my sig), you might be interested to learn that after this adventure ends, we shall embark on a sea faring (most likely pirating) campaign i've been working on for a few months now. the players (at least some of them) have started making characters. they have... interesting and colorful ideas. the campaign has it's own special flavor.
Session 5 In which our heroes are pursued, a riddle is given surprising solutions, the last adversary is met, and negotiations lead to an ending... of a sort.
so yeah, that's the longest we've gone without a meeting i think. real life can be a bit of a hassle at times. this is the last session of this adventure, hope you'll like it as we did. I had the worst luck playing Lynn, so other than roleplay she barely contributed, while Killpi's player shined. still, it was fun! at the end i will give some closing thoughts.
"What happened to me?"
last we left the group they just freed the spirit of the long deceased Glaurnog the red wyrm. he has blessed the party with some knowledge (in the form of free feats) and they leveled. but Lynn seems to have gone a an extra change...
she rose to her feet, a red glimmer in her eyes, holding her head, as if struggling with something. "did you do this?" she snapped first at Glimji, then Killpi. the party felt some sort of power emenating from the warrior, making their sking tighter, stronger, like armor? then Lynn turned to Ayla "is this sickness? i feel ill, voices... the dragon... in my head". "hearing voices now Lynn?" smirked Killpi. "now that IS a career change!" they suddenly felt angrier, mirroring Lynn's sudden rage. all of them.
Lynn tried to check her. "i'm afraid it's nothing in my capability. it doesn't seem to be physical, but spiritual. you are aware you're projecting your emotions like a sort of an aura?". Lynn shook her head, a bit more mellow. "yes, he tells me, tries to explain to me, Glaurnog, it's his power..."
"Ooooohhh, draconic power? in your head? affecting others? sounds like ARCANE magic to me! evil stuff!" it was Glimji's turn to smirk, and they could feel Lynn's anger washing them, making them more combat ready. Lynn growled. "it's not like that! it can't be! it's.. different, i think." she went silent for a moment more. "i need to think, but later. we don't have any time for this." as if settling the matter she lifted her flail and strode on. "we're not out of this mountain yet.
mechanics and behind the scenes
Lynn has leveled as a dragon shaman. (duh). the free feat was used for a house rule feat enabling strengthening the auras by 1 point.
i wanted to draw Lynn a bit more towards magic, but in a way that is not obvious, and could be interperted between magical/ natural/ divine/ spirit world or the like. the original idea was to use the dragon shaman mechanics and gain the powers from the spirit of the valley, but since the DM planned on Glaurnog, we went with it.
another reason i chose the dragon shaman is the low dependency on attributes for later on, if and when we may continue this.
on our trail
we continued down the tunnel till we reached the opening of a huge cavern whose edxges we couldn't see. "stop!" whsipered Killipi, his ears pricking. "behind us, i'm going to see!" he said an went back. the rest stood to the sides of the opening, preparing for an ambush.
Killpi snuck back not a long way, when he notcied a lethal looking lightly armored red head man leading 3 Fist soldiers! they had a look about them that they were better than most, and he had seen the red head along with Alex, the Fist commander in the valley.
too close to back away, Killpi tried to hide, but the red head noticed him. Killpi bolted and ran back, a knife thrown after him, but no pursuit, yet. the surprised persuers were regrouping. the party rushed to Killpi who explained the situation in a few words, and they decided to put the (expected) ambush (now more like a choke point), when Killpi decidedto hide in the corridor, closing on them from the back.
and they came, the rogue in front (red head), who immediately threw something in, some sort of a... stun grendade? but only DC 13, so all made it. um, all except Lynn that is. he got close and sneaked attacked her severely, taking about half her hit points, and she'll be stunned for 3 rounds...
just as long as i'm useful
the party, alarmed moves to try and neutralize the rogue, and stop the others getting too close. Glimji wiht a distract spell, Ayla throws her net and entangles the rogue, but needlessly, as Teal'c comes and crits with his axe.
what a lovely shade of Red you wear today Lynn! (and the poor DM sobbed at all the tricks he had prepared)
Killpi attacked one of the remaining soldiers from the back, SA him "surrender!" but to no avail. after some sparring with the soldier he treis to tumble back, fegining injury, trying to get an AoO, and the soldier buys it.
meanwhile the other soldiers spread their attention between Lynn and teal'c, hitting him nicely as well. but all in all the battle is one sided, ending with all dead except one heavily wounded soldier who surrenders!
loot and interrogation
Killpi, still worried about a possible pursuit, goes back to check more thoroughly. he gives Lynn a knife- "to make him talk". Lynn and Ayla plays a bit of bad cop/ good cop with the soldier, but yield little info from him. the rogue was called Steve Morris, he led them here, an elite group to hunt them down.
meanwhile Teal'c and Glimji take the loot from the corpses, including a chain shirt for Teal'c some poisons and another stun grenade (later taken by Killpi) and a healing potion or two. quite a bit of gold though!
the interrogation seem to come to somewhere, as the men blurts about them being only TWO of them left. but as Lynn tries to question him further, an arrow is shot from INSIDE the cavern and pierces the soldiers eye. the party immediately comes on alert. Killpi arrives moments later, disappointed. "i told interrogate, not kill!"
Spirit of the land, hunt in the dark
the party immediately takes cover near boulders and rocks in the cave. the place seems strangely like the site of a meteorite crash or something, even being miles underground... they start a careful search of the cave (it's about 500+ meters wide) there seems to be no exit. "I'ts Alex!" proclaims Killpi, but Lynn doubts it "Alex wore full plate last you saw her. she doesn't sound like the stealthy type!". ""it's her, i tell you!". "will you two shut up?" Glimji hissed.
however, the mystery assailant did not seem interested in attacking. "she's playing a game" said Killpi, when Glimji came upon a strange find- a rock of a peculiar composition, like made of many materials, and warm to the touch. as he checked it it suddenly spoke. "oh well, that is nice!". the party quickly guessed this is the Spirit of the Valley. "can you tell us of the night hag, where it is, how to defeat her?". "it is a very nice thing you did freeing that pour soul. kept up too long. too long. and it's not a night hag, but a sort of a hag".
Killpi barged in. "is she in the cave? the one who hunts us?". "yes it is, but i can't sense it's exact location, only that it's in the cave." Killpi resumed his searches. "can you tell us the hag's location?" "i can't give it to you directly, things work in their own balance, i can give you a general direction, but you have to find the destination." Glimji rolled his eyes- "more riddles". the spirit then intoned a fairly... simple riddle. "seek the wet spot at the end of the circle".
blank stares. blinking eyes. a few seconds later the stone says "your pursuer has left the cave". "damn it" cursed killpi silently. "i can show you another way of travel." voiced the spirit. "step through the mushroom at the end". weird? not after some of the things here. Lynn rushed through, the rest after.
guessing the riddle
only to appear near the bridge of Far Reach! now that IS a nifty way to travel. hopefully faster than our tracker. but still no closer to the riddle. "It's the well of the fort! the mountains form a circle, they are at it's mouth, and a wet spot is a watering hole" thought Lynn. "It's in the nameless Keep" said Teal'c "the circle is the day, the end of it is the sunset, as in the west." Ayla seemed deep in thought. "no, i think we need to go to the catacombs again, the circle is life, it's end is death, we need to seek a wet spot in the catacombs". and so on...
we decided Killpi will go and call for Mike the hunter and Judith the healer. from the village. a few sneaking later (in which he saw the Fist has left the village) some more coffee, more tobacdco and chat the two village elder were with us. we were more or less settled to the idea of the Fist fort (mainly because we thought it a fitting end to the advanture) and inquired with Mike if he can get us close to it, if the village can make a distraction, and if we can get any allies (the centaur came to mind, and Mike suggested to also talk with the Goblin King in the mountains.
However they kept telling us that they think it means something else (gentle DM nudging) till we considered other options, when it finally struck us- the village! it has a watering hole! the end of our journey here? is that why the Spirit of the Valley brought us so close? Mike confirmed there are some cavers underneath, mainly of shocker lizard and fungus. we decided to go for it.
"guess my intention" meaning
these kind of riddles have the tendency to screw things up since the players will almost certainly think of something else than you did, which happened here. but i think it was fun. saw we gave as bit more meaning to the valley.
i wonder if the DM prepared several "answers", as he did entertain the "attack the fort" plan quite a bit, and seemed to have some thing planned that route. did he chose the village due to the meeting's time running a bit short? i don't know. it did feel a bit like we were pushed towards this solution, but not majorly.
Down the well, herding lightning
first we slept, it was a long day. Lynn dreamt of dragons, and Ayla woke her own self today, which creeped some out after her being so chirpy yesterday. (see previous session). it enabled our casters finally access to 2nd level spells, which we needed going after the hag.
on the way to the village Killpi brought up the arrow of our stalker again. VERY high quality, elven made. this alerted us a bit. elves? "do the Fist hire the fey folk?" asked Glimji. "well, on rare occasions they rare specialists from other races". Killpi grimaced, and then grinned wickedly. "a specialist eh? i like a challenge!"
we got some long cloaks and into the village, and waited till most people scurried to their daily chores. then we got to the well, and slid down our ropes to the pool below. the last one was Ayla, who was spotted by a young girl coming to her. "what you doing?". the player was a bit stumped. " I'm climbing down the well to save the world. please don't tell anyone!"
group face palm.
anyway, we let it slide and splooshed to the pool below. a natural cave with many mushrooms. the temperature a bit warmer. connection to Red Smoke mountain? we started exploring, and soon met some shocker lizards.
we tried to move pass them without alerting them. and found a little maze with pools, mushrooms and other shocker lizards. Lynn, the only one with skills in handle animals tried to calm the little critters, with the rest helping, but perhaps they sensed the draconic influence- they were edgier most times, and the party once fled an angry mob of 14 shocker lizards. "Hey Lynn, don't make a career change just yet!" laughed Killpi. "we should herd them all to the hag's place, and then- kabloom!" however Lynn's attempts seemed to verge on the nearly catastrophic. we let it go.
that look in your eyes
finally we seemed to be making headway, and got into a little cavern. perception rolls later, and some of us notcied the critter hiding between the mushrooms- a basilisk!
Lynn failed her saving throw. this usually means dead, but our house rules subvert most "save or die" effects to ability damage (dex in this case) so she became heavier, stonier, but lived. the party tried to close the distance and chose simple bashing down tactics, with Lynn failing another saving throw, nearly becoming stone. the rest (bastards) kept making their saves.
Lynn turned away from the creature as Teal'c and Killpi (flanking) rended the beast dead, but not before a light and ominous laughter could be heard from the back of the cave.
final battle, or "just as long as i'm useful" part 2
Ayla started casting lesser restoration on Lynn (takes 3 rounds) while Killpi cast obscuring mist to protect us, while Killpi took a hiding behind the Basilisk's corpse. Teal'c advanced close to the end of the obscuring mist.
When Killpi saw the hag, slightly hovering over some of the mushrooms. "looks more like a fey than a hag." he said. (adding as a player- "all the enemies are hot babes?"
the hag cast a silence power, breaking the lesser restoration. Lynn motioned to the ones closest to her to move to the edge, and draw the hag to us. which is when Teal'c and even Glimji (!!!) ran the cave towards her, Ayla in their heel, Killpi joining at the fray.
Lynn was about to join when suddenly all the giant mushroom started grappling and entangling us all! and according to this session's brief tradition, everyone succeeded their saves, except for Lynn. Glimji comes close and fails a color sprat, Killpi tries the other stun grenade from the rouge in the cave, and fails. the hag uses ray of enfeeblement and Teal'c dodged it easily.
Lynn tried to break free.
Teal'c and Killpi due a recurring bash duo on the hag, whne GLimji hits her with a touch of idiocity, while Ayla calls the light of lun (i don't know this spell). the hag moves aways and drinks a potion of restoration, negating the touch of idiocity.
Lynn tries to break free.
another nice touch of idiocity, 6 down all mental stats! Killpi and Teal'c maneuver to keep the flanking, and dish out more nice damage. Ayla looses her light of luna andhits. the hag tries some attack that misses.
the party laughs the Lynn in entnalged, in myst, and can't make a noise (my characters have a tendency to miss out on the big fights) when Lynn breaks free! she moves out of the troubled zone. finally, in the fight!
when Ayla commands the hag to come to her, which provokes AOO all around, Killpi delivering the last strike to fell the hag/ fey.
even my bonus from auras didn't help them- were out of range.
not out of this yet
we take the hag's body and basilisk's head with us, as well as some treasure and the hag's dream amulet. we explore the caves more and find the have an out about a mile away, but decide to sleep in the caves first, regroup, and get lynn's dex back (lesser restorations). Ayla woke up glum this morning, her vestment still controlling her disposition.
Level up! i took a level of fighter this time. level 5. we climbed up the well back to the village, the whole village people there- the Fist are coming! we came to the wall and talked to Andrew, the mayor. it seems the Fist were amassing some force, in intent to wipe up the village. we decided to try and parley with them.
we went towards them with Andrew, and splayed our findings on the floor. at the head rode Alex, 3 elite fist soldiers, and an elf to which Killpi quickly hissed. "specialist".
Lynn tells the story, emphasizing our desire to help the village, risking our selves and having come to this by mistake, there is no need to the village to suffer. as to the magic of the gnome? well, he was touched by the hag. Glimji tried to weave a sad tale of heroism, sacrifice and altruism, while Killpi was more practical, seeking to "end the needless and pointless circle of death". Ayla tried to touch the compassionate side of Alex, her humanity, while Teal'c remained silent.
Alex seemed to think. "I will consult with my advisors, Shaina (the elf) and others. we have watched you through her eyes and others for quite some time. it's a nice little tale you tell. But you (she motioned Lynn) have long forsaken our ways, and even become a traitor. more than that- now you're contaminated by some dragon spirit? and the gnome who's magic confuse, befoul and alter the thoughts of those he meet? and the holy woman? wears a powerful magic item that makes her an idiot or a fool, and she wear it gladly! and as to YOU (she leaned towards Killpi) "talking about ending the circle of death when you're nothing but a happy natural born psychopathic murderer ("i'm but an honest businessman!")" ALex straightened up "the best one of you is the orc for Chrone's sakes!" she trumpted her horse a few more steps. "your aim is to protect the village, mine is to eradicate all foul magic here. i just don't see how it will coincide. i shall talk with my advisors, and we shall talk with in the hour".
yay. we rolled our influence rolls, it seemed to be pretty high, but Alex demeanor seemed to be hard to beat.
"do we even stay?" said Glimji, let's run!". "No!" said Killpi, "we stay and fight, and kill the bitch!" quickly we thought to fight, but we needed help. again we thought to get help from the centaurs, and possibly from the goblin king Mike mentioned earlier (but that wouldn't work, as it will take too much time). we made some preparations (traps and the like) and send Mike to the centaurs. we'll try and sell some lie to buy some time.
but we didn't really need it seemed. our influence was better than expected. "despite my reservations" spoke Alex as if it hurt her. "my advisors agree the magical danger in the village is gone. it is free." yay! we rejoiced. "you however are a different matter. some of my advisers said you did real good here, while some of my... people (Shaina leaned over) would like to test their skills and some of these new found powers of yours." we prepared for a fight, though it seemed helpless against the 80+ Fist assembled. "you have 2 days. 2 days to try and run. you are outlaws now. hunted, till found dead. flee now, for in 2 days there shall be no reprice." Alex leaned down at us. "run fugitives, run little tainted dogs. the hunt is on!"
not quite the ending we were hoping for.
Ayla talked to Andrew, the guy we wanted to free from the fort (see session 2/3) "i hope you'll be well from now, and that you mess not with the arcane".
Killpi offered some laxatives in a cookie to Shaina "a present for a good hunt?" but she smiled and waved it away. "we shall meet again". "I'm stuck with you guys?" Glimji groaned, bemoaning his fate.
Lynn seemed thoughtful. she pulled out her armbraces from her back pack, the ones that held the worn mark of the Fist on them. she held them. "i have often wondered whether my choice some time agao, a choice that cost me my position in your order was the right one. i wanted to go back, to find my place, my meaning..." she threw the arm braces to the snow. "i prefer my new meaning, and my new people. they are so much better than i could ever be in this pathetic sham called the Fist. thank you for liberating me."
and with that the party started to make haste towards the opening in the mountains.
so this was the closing session for this little adventure. a bit of an odd one, not the classic ending, but in a way i think it was a good one. i did miss a good final fight but it was also nice that our influence could affect things. i'll summarize thoughts in the next post. hope you liked it!
various thoughts of the adventure
- all in all a great score on fun.
- i think it was seperated to 3 sections: down from the crash to the village, investigations up to the Centraur forest, and the last part of finding the hag.
i liked the second part the most- it had the mostopportunities for roleplay, interaction and options of play. the last bit was fun, but a bit linear to my taste- a series of obstacles (i do this as well sometime as a DM unfortunately)
- the final battles: the hag was won due to impressive rolls and action economy, i think that on hind sight, it would have been cool to do with the basilisk (or some minions?) but i'm the last to talk about finalbattles (see the Fury, Devourer and Aboleth from the previous campaign). this is a fine art.
as to fighting Alex and her troops. initially i don't think we cared so much, but after her speech? people were vying to kill her. so that may have been a bit of a miss, but i also liked how we could circumvent this battle to get to a different results. when we get back to the campaign, it just builds up some antagonists even more (Alex and Shaina)
-living NPCs: at the end we all remembered who is Mike and Judith. they stuck nicely in our memories even after such a long break.
- one of the main strengths of the campaign came from characters NOT getting together, but players knowing how to play it to allow each other to express themselves (especially Lynn- Killpi- Glimji) i'd like to preserve that, preserve a "gentleman's conflict"
I'm Dming, a pirate campaign! more of a sandbox thing, very central themed, with some hopefully nifty houserules. Teal'c player won't play (she likes the game, hates learning it). and if i have time i will write a campaign log, though probably less detailed than this one- i won't have time running notes, i'll be DMing...
if you enjoyed, please say! if not- please say! if you have questions or anything- please say! (enough hints? )