(5/14/02 11:44 pm)
Re: Help in Hommlet? OR Ambush Time|
Great read! Know that I as well as many others look forward to your next installment!
Remember that Dunrat is a sneaky bastard, and easy to use in hit-and-run tactics! Chat will be a perfect aide for this. Also remember that he will probably fall quickly in such close quarters as the artifact room. Besides, he probably dont care about the artifacts anyway.
(5/21/02 7:58 am)
Deeper they Delve OR “I think I hear water…”|
((Beware! The following depiction of game play is real. Many would-be DM’s would give up without trying once if they read this post. Do not let yourself dishearten, or better yet just hit your BACK button if you don’t want to be disillusioned about the D&D game. Only the brave or those who wish to make fun of me should continue on… NOTE: Three asterisks surrounding text means a small amount of embellishment on my part. The rest is as it really happened.))
First it is important to note that Doug (plays Eli, halfling Rogue 4) and Carlos (plays Randelar, Ranger 3) are on vacation. They are being played by Scott (Zane and now Eli) and Scotty (Stoneheart and now Randelar). Eli and Randelar become very brave…
After finishing off the undead in the courtyard from Gren (human, Cleric of EEE 2) and Garrik’s (gnoll, Ranger, Monte variant 3) bad ambush plans, the party decided to immediately enter the dungeon again and search for…
The Dragon’s Treasure. Yes. Still Looking for the Horde.
Almost immediately there is a glimmer of hope for a good game. One of the players proclaims that he is a tad curious about finding another cleric in ochre colored robes before he is drowned out with chants of, “treasure, treasure, treasure!” He quickly succumbs, never-mind the ochre robes, there is treasure to be found!
“Wait! We forgot to search the corpses… for treasure!” OK, you find blah, blah, blah.
“Alright, we put the mundane stuff on the wagon and keep the magical stuff with us.”
“Sure, no problem, just mark the Detect Magic off of your spell list. Ok, as you make your way into the keep/dragon’s lair (area 6), you immediately notice that the bodies of the dead cleric and the female thief are missing. Small splatters of blood are trailed from where they lay, towards the steps leading to the dungeon.
“Oh, hmmm, well is there any treasure here?”
“Are you sure?”
“Oh yeah. How could I’ve forgotten to tell you! There are heaps and heaps of coins scattered about! Oh, and one of every item in the DMG, no wait, I mean two of every item. Yeah, and there are potions with your names on them and if you drink them you will become gods and rule all of Greyhawk in your divine wisdom. Furthermore, I would like you to know that the deeds to your kingdoms, err, planets are on the wall. Well done, you win.”
***Now we are only ten minutes into the gaming (one hour and a half into the session because they had to discuss all of the good and bad merits of the Spiderman flick) and I crack. I would have killed myself with the broadsword on my wall right then if they hadn’t pulled me from it and gang piled on me. I think they might have feared for their own lives, but really, as I explained later, I was only trying to put myself out of my own misery.***
After we righted the tables and chairs and picked up the books and dice, play, I use this term loosely, continued.
The party decides that they are going to head for the dungeon and look for Spugnoir. He still is a priority; Scotty (playing Randelar, i.e., the pseudo note taker) says so. He has found this written down in Carlos’ notes.
“Did you jot down that bit about the ochre colored robes and the holy symbol to the EEE that Vexander figured out?”
So down the stairs they go. Now things start to go a little better. They are in the dungeon and years of play has forged their search and destroy system of dungeon delving. They quickly get into the mundane routine of leaving no stone uncovered; no creature (big or small) left alive. These guys are a dungeon ecosystem’s worst nightmare. Nothing will survive (even logic is doomed).
Ok, so they start the systematic search of… everything. And soon thereafter, find a man huddled behind a barrel in the northwest corner room. INITIATIVE I declare. And Spugnoir is probably dead meat. But he wins! And to save myself the trouble of the party missing any more clues, he quickly surrenders. The party is (of course) extremely paranoid, but after introductions and lengthy questioning (what’s your daughter’s name, I admit that this was a good thought, another glimmer of hope?), they decide that he is the genuine article. Spugnoir proceeds to tell the party about a little of what he has seen and heard.
Mainly, a lot of gnolls about, some undead, clerics, a dragon has them all trapped for days, they have pulled up some kind of statue, I know of a secret way in, it’s to the east of the keep, about three stone throws away. And, I also know of a secret door in a column in the torture room to the south. Look for a small wire about head high, and pull on it, the door will open.
He thanks the party for his rescue, talks about things in town briefly, and then starts to depart. He offers the party the discount on potions in his shop (I think 30%) tells them to be VERY careful, and then leaves.
The party feels good about accomplishing their mission and decides to…
Head back to Hommlet.
((I am NOT making this up))
“Yeah, wasn’t finding Spugnoir why we were here? Yeah we should head back, I’m pretty close to training anyway.”
“You’ve got to be kidding?”
“No, were heading back.”
((I try trickery)) “Umm, ok, I suppose your just going to give up on finding that dragon’s horde…”
“Wait a sec guys,” Carlos steps in, “What about the clerics in the robes and all of the undead?”
((Again, quick thinking)) Xaod chimes in, “Yeah, undead… Right… I should do something about that… yeah.”
“Oh, alright, let’s start searching again.”
And again, they start uncovering every stone. “Yeah, there’s moss under that one too…”
Until… (bah, baa, BUUMMM!!!) they come across (area 24) the columned room that has the artifacts in it. Except, there are no artifacts there. (I’m going to let you in on something. Secretly, I changed the module and moved them behind the secret door, and guarded them with the large skeleton, shhh, don’t tell them… he he he)
“Umm, you find a secret door.”
“Cool, how does it work?”
“There is a discolored stone on the floor just to the left of the door outline, if you step on it…”
(Eli) “Ok, (excitedly) I open the door and look inside!”
BAAAMMMM! Something whacks you across your face. Eat bone, half-man!”
“INTIATIVE, you dogs!”
And the party kills him in one round. (This happened so fast that later I forgot to give them the XP’s for it.)
((They did not find the secret door on the other side because there is treasure to be counted and they didn’t bother to look.))
So, they get the artifacts that Gren (not too bright on Gren’s part) left in trust to ONE skeleton, (she did send the gnolls to Hommlet after all) and cast another Detect Magic spell and determine that the small sphere and the iron torch (with fuel) is magical. They don’t open the scroll tube because
1. They didn’t care.
2. They forgot about it as soon as I told them, or
3. I didn’t have the document about the horrid ritual ready, and so I told them that the tube was sealed except for a couple of holes on one end, and that there was some squishy (insert sound effect) noises coming from inside.
Drum Roll Please.
DING! DING! DING! The answer is door # 3, Monte! Thanks for playing!
So the party left it alone and starts to shove it all in a bag. Finally, treasure.
“Hey does that ball bounce…” ((I’M NOT KIDDING)) but the party hollers “NO!!!” in unison and the miscreant stops and whines, “Just fooling around. Stop taking me so serious guys!”
“What if you broke it!”
A general argument breaks out here…
***Meanwhile, Tharizdun, who only needs the force of great stupidity to release him from his prison, gets out and appears before the party. They all die in horrible, horrible pain and the world vanishes with a small audible “pop” and a tiny puff of smoke. The End. I then reach for the axe I’ve taped under the table for special occasions. I figure that if I pull it up slowly and behind the screen, I might be able to whack myself in the head before anyone can get to me. Wrong, somehow they hear the tape ripping over the sound of themselves bickering about a bouncing ball and start to sedate me with tequila. I gladly comply.***
Ok, back to the story.
“Last chance fellows. What are you going to do?”
Scott (playing Zane and Eli, halfling Thief 4, eater of large skeleton paw) decides to have Eli search the stairs that lead up from this room. The rest of the party meanwhile starts a VERY long discussion about the “meaning” of the graffiti in the room to the south. “It’s probably an anti-ogre cult…”
Eli discovers the secret door and the small lever built into the doorframe. He searches, taps, listens, and opens the door. “Ahhh, very interesting.”
Justin (plays Talus, Psi War 3, Fighter 1, my resident LUCKY, LUCKY, LUCKY hack n’ slasher and min/maxer) decides that it is time to hack or slash something with his min/maxed character. He leaves the party and heads towards the torture chamber muttering something about undead. Of course this starts the “don’t split the party” argument from Opie (plays Admir, elven Fighter 3, Wiz 1, our rules lawyer). Talus and Admir, ooops, Justin and Opie start to argue about telling each other what they can and cannot do.
“You’re not the boss of me!”
“If I were, I’d fire you!”
((That was an actual exchange))
This argument subsides and I realize that there is about an hour left of game play.
OK, LETS MOVE ON!
So they head for the torture chamber making sure to look for secret doors in each of the cells on the way (even on the walls that are between the cells).
They can’t remember what Spugnoir told them about the mechanism to open the door but after a few attempts they manage to find the door.
***My face has turned a new color and my neck has started to make a slight grinding noise. Wait that’s my teeth.***
As the door slides open the smell of decaying flesh rises. The party uses scarves to cover their noses and prepare to enter the tube. I describe the iron rungs that disappear into the darkness below. The group then takes a huddle. They occasionally do this to try to “trick me” from their plans. They definitely take the “us against you” approach. Anyway, they decide that it is probably best not to touch the iron rungs at all and lower a rope to get down. They have “deduced” that the rungs that I took a moment to describe are trapped.
So they get to the end of the “ghoul tunnel” and find themselves in the crypt. Now there is about 45 minutes left and they are finally getting in to it. So I start to describe how dank, dirty, and OLD this crypt is. I spare no detail in describing the thick cobwebs, the decaying stonework of the sarcophagi and the tracks of shuffling feet through the dust on the floor. They also find muddy footprints coming form the earthen tunnel to the south and decide that this is the way to go after they search the tomb. (The eastern entrance to the crypt is choked with cobwebs.) Finding nothing of importance, the group VERY cautiously enters the tunnels and starts to follow them. They make the first cavern and find bones that have been picked clean, cracked and drained of even the marrow. The smell of death has been getting worse since the torture chamber and this is obviously the source. They are actually quiet and look worried. I describe how the bottom of the tunnel is muddy in spots and how as they pass the clawed out earth bits of it fall on them from above. Stoneheart (dwarf) comments on how he prefers stone… Eli is (bravely) leading the search and quickly deduces the nature of the tunnels. They branch and fork every which way. They could easily get lost. They decide as a group that they should regroup in the crypt.
30 minutes left…
Randelar (bravely) starts cutting the webs. None of the others will do it. As he finds the back of the crypt he reports another exit and the party quickly moves from the area. They again regroup in the tunnel corner. The search and destroy method comes back into play and they start moving down the tunnel, Eli leading (sneaking and moving silent), the rest of the group one bend in the hall behind. Eli comes to the T-junction that leads north-south and sees light to the south. Listening he hears noise. (The ghast has been pulled back off of the stairs to stand guard with the clerics.) He decides to move the other way up the long northern route and finds the door and the dead end. He moves back to the party and reports. (Eyes are on his back as he treads down the hall…)
“I think I hear water. Let’s move ahead, cautiously.”
20 minutes left…
Eli takes the lead again and moves down the stairs and to the south end of the hallway. Poking his head around the wall he spots them, trouble… Rolls are made, no surprise on either side, and I call for INTIATIVE…
First the bad guys.
My number one change here was Ysslansh (troglodyte, cleric of EEE 2, Psion 1). I gave him one level of Psion for this encounter and equipped him with a crystal capacitor (extra 3 PSP’s). I liked making him a tad more powerful to help explain why he was in charge (over the rest of the Cleric 2’s). This also allows for a psionic magical item for Talus.
Also present is Geynor Ton (human, cleric of EEE 2). Unchanged.
Add the corpses of the two cultists fallen to the dragon as zombies (all dead become undead after a time in the moathouse because of the obelisk IMC), 4 ghouls from the crypt area and the ghast that was supposed to be waiting on the stairs.
These foes lay in wait in the pool room, which remains unsealed. They haven’t quite finished their excavations and haven’t given up on Festrath who is hidden below…
This is how it stacked up.
14 Eyes at the end of the hall…
12 Ghouls and Geynor Ton
Admir readies his bow and takes aim…
Vex casts Mage Armor
Zombies shamble forward towards Eli
Admir shoots and misses.
Stoneheart moves forward
Eli drops his light x-bow, draws shortsword and attacks zombie, hits.
Randelar moves forward (is second closest to battle)
Eyes ready an action…
Ghouls come around wall and move in on Randelar and Stoneheart.
Randelar get AOO on ghoul and misses as it passes.
Ghouls hit both Randelar and Stoneheart. Randelar fails his save and is paralyzed.
Geynor Ton moves forward and casts Protection from Good.
Ghast stays with Ysslansh, readied for attack.
Xaod approaches, he was in the rear.
Zane attempts to turn and fails. I pushed the Unhallow effect out into the hall…
Talus changes weapon (quick draw) to a pole arm and attacks ghoul on Stoneheart, and hits.
Admir suddenly finds Freya’s magical blade shimmering with blue/white light in his hand and bow put away. It urges him forward. He tries to turn the undead with it. (It doesn’t do that!)
Vex attempts to turn and gets the zombies.
Zombies shamble back into the pool room.
Stoneheart attacks and hits the same ghoul Talus struck, it goes down!
Ysslansh moves into hall and tries to blast Talus with Id Insinuation, using the capacitor’s PSP’s up. Talus throws up a defense (Mind Barrier??) and saves.
Eli tumbles out of the way of a ghoul and back behind the battle line.
Randelar is paralyzed and is ghoul food.
Eyes are still waiting…
Ghoul on Randelar eats some more.
Ghouls on Stoneheart both hit but Stoneheart makes his saves.
Geynor Ton casts Random Action on Xaod. Xaod fails his save.
Ghast moves around wall and moves towards Stoneheart and Xaod
Xaod (roll dice) flees and runs down the hallway to the north all the way to the door.
Zane attempts another turn (one left?) and fails.
Talus attacks again and again hits (lucky?) for Max Damage (LUCKY, LUCKY, LUCKY). Ghoul goes down!
A very nasty foe (eyes) that has watched the party’s actions for the last five minutes attacks with an assassination attempt, hits, and becomes visible at the end of the hallway. Xaod the slayer fails his save and is killed!!! He lets out a gurgling cry from the end of the hallway as he drops to the floor. Some of the party (Admir and Vex) turn around to look. All they can see is a backlit silhouette standing over Xaod’s corpse, shadowy blood dripping from a dagger whose edge glints from magical lighting in the room beyond. The dark assailant is unknown…
And here ends another session of Aluvial’s Journeymen.
20 minutes sure goes by pretty fast and I love a good cliffhanger, don’t you?
Edited by: Aluvial at: 9/17/02 2:23:40 pm
(5/29/02 10:44 am)
Trouble With Carlos OR Assassination Time |
So I started this session with combat left from last week. I fill the Players in on what has happened for the last two weeks and then give them some new rules I think we should be following for the combat. I want them to pay attention to the game and when it is their turn, be ready! Pay close attention to what everyone else is doing and that way you won’t get confused or lost. The Initiative Order and the AC’s of their opponents are posted in BIG letters on a dry erase board! If you’re not ready within a reasonable amount of time, I’m going to skip you. Ok, let’s get it on!!
Admir drops Freya’s blade and it disappears. He draws his bow, spins, and lets loose an arrow at the dark figure at the end of the hall. It’s a threat! And a Crit!! 23 hp's!
Vex shoots at he same figure. Misses.
Stoneheart hacks another ghoul and downs it.
Ysslansh attempts another Psi Power on Talus, he saves again!
Randelar is feeble.
Ghouls eat and flail around some more. Talus struck but he makes his save, of-course.
Geynor Ton moves up to attack Randelar and hits.
Ghast closes on the Dwarf (Stoneheart) and hits! Stoneheart is hurt but saves.
All save against the retching except Eli.
Zane casts Remove Paralysis on Randelar! (just in time)
Talus attempts a Mind Thrust on Ysslansh and succeeds! -2 Intelligence.
Very hurt (3 hp left) shadowy assailant—turns and flees. Shuts door behind and uses a certain special magical item. Will flee north and cause more trouble later…
Admir runs down the hall (to the north) and makes it to the door.
Stoneheart wails away at the ghast and hits! Big damage!
Eli steps up and tries to hit the ghast. Misses.
“Where did he go? Hey, Randelar. It’s your turn! Randelar!!!”
from the kitchen… “What!”
“It’s your turn!”
“Wait a sec…”
“Hurry it up!”
“I’m getting a drink!”
“Well it’s your turn and you’re holding up the game.”
“I’ll be there in a second.”
“Hurry up,” cries someone.
“OK, OK,” comes back to table with drink “What’s going on?”
“It’s your turn.”
“Where am I?”
“You’re in the same spot you were in last round. The last ghoul and the human cleric are about to destroy you!”
“I thought I was paralyzed”
“Well Zane revived you, just a few seconds ago, it’s your turn.”
“Where are they?”
“They are the two minis next to your mini. You are about to be killed. What are you going to do?”
“Umm… Hey! How did the cleric get next to me? I thought he was casting spells.”
“He just moved and hit you. You’re lucky he didn’t have time to make a coup-de-grace. He did 7 hp’s. Didn’t you mark it down?”
“I think so, let’s see…”
“Don’t worry about it, it’s your turn and your six seconds are MORE than up.”
“Oh, well I think that I’m going to… Where’s the ghoul? Is it the same one that has been biting me?”
“Yes. You need to go or I’m going to skip you.”
“Ok, let me get out my dice.” rummages through notebook “Umm, have you seen my 20 sider?”
“You don’t have your dice out, jeeze, come on…”
“Can I borrow your 20?”
“Yes here, now roll.”
“Wait, here’s mine”
“Ok, make your attack, quickly, or I’m passing you by!”
“Ok, wait a second.” starts looking at character sheet for bonuses
“Last chance Los, roll now or get skipped.”
“Wait a sec…”
“You should know your bonuses already.”
“I’m going to attack with my sword… I think…”
“OK, I’m skipping you.”
“Ghoul attacks!” I roll “and hits you.”
“Take 2 HP and roll a save.”
still rolling dice and adding things up “What’s his AC?” (which is posted!)
“It’s on the board. Roll a save.”
“Wait a sec… I hit it!”
“Good, but it hit you first, roll your save.”
“But why, it was my turn, you can’t skip me!”
“But I can and I did. You have had fair warning, now roll your save.”
“No, I not going to roll it. I got to go before it did. This isn’t fair.”
“You were taking too long and I warned you, now roll your save!”
“NO, you’re just picking on me. I was getting a drink!”
“You knew your turn was coming and you weren’t close to ready, therefore I skipped you, you had plenty of chances. I’m not picking on you, but the ghoul went first. Roll your save.”
“just roll it” from the peanut gallery
“NO!” starts packing up his things “You’re just picking on me and it’s not fair. I’m not going to roll it, I hit it first.”
“If you refuse to roll, you will automatically fail. Now roll or you will be paralyzed!”
“NOPE, It’s not fair.”
“I mean it, if you don’t roll now you will FAIL your SAVE!”
shakes his head “I’m not rolling.”
“just roll it man, I think it he means it” again from the peanuts
“No, it was my turn…”
“OK, you’re paralyzed!”
“What, THAT’S NOT FAIR!! It was MY TURN!”
“Too bad Los, you had your chance. Let’s move on Ok. Who’s next?”
getting up from his chair “This isn’t fair and I’m just not going to play anymore.”
“What,” I say. “What do you mean you’re going to quit. That’s just stupid. Look, you had you’re chance and you blew it. I’m sorry you feel I’m picking on you but enough is enough. You took too long.”
“Well it’s not fair.”
“OK,” I say, calming down, “let me put it another way, if you can admit to me and everyone else that you were not paying attention and taking too long, I will reverse my decision and let you go first. What do you say?”
“I was just getting a drink.”
“Well you knew that it was your turn, you knew that we were in combat, and you weren’t paying attention. That’s why I skipped you. I was making an example out of you, true, but you did take forever just to roll your dice. It was my prerogative. Now I’m going to reverse it just so you don’t take your ball and go home. What do you say?”
“Well… I guess so. I just thought you were picking on me.”
“Well I was in a way. Do you understand where I’m coming from?”
“Yeah, I’m sorry.”
“Ok, me too. Now you hit it. How much damage do you get?”
“5 points is enough to down it! Good job. It doesn’t paralyze you after all.”
Round 4 con’t.
Geynor Ton steps in and whacks the living crap out of Randelar (Carlos). He is knocked unconscious (-3).
***lots of laughter here, for all of that arguing, this is what he gets***
Ghast attacks and hits Talus, He (of-course) saves again.
Zane hits Geynor and he is pretty hurt.
Talus drops the ghast.
Very hurt (and now invisible) man runs out of moathouse. More to come very soon…
Round 5 and 6
The rest of the party finishes off their foes. Admir and Vex start a small chase but the assassin is gone.
The party starts to lick their wounds and poke around at the bodies. They cast a detect magic and grab up the clerics stuff. Randelar gets a heal and is back up on his feet. Just then Vex gets a message from his owl that is soaring around upstairs and keeping an eye on things...
** wagon is leaving… nobody driving it… leaving fast…**
Vex tells the party and they make a break for it. They pick up Xaod’s corpse and it takes them ten rounds to reach the surface. By then the wagon is gone, dust settling on the trail. The party gives chase.
I say that I don’t think that they will be able to catch running horses but Opie (rules lawyer) steps up and starts to argue. I tell them that I really don’t want to look up the rules right now but… they continue to argue. Ok… we’ll look it up. And after 45 minutes and a number of charts and diagrams, the horses pull out ahead and leave the party in the dust. They are of course split up because they all have different movement with the Con checks. So the leaders of the chase give up and wait for the slower party members to reconvene.
So the party is about ½ of mile out of the moathouse and they decide that they are going to head back to Hommlet. They need to get some things straight and they REALLY want their wagon back. So they leave the moathouse without searching it. By my estimates, the cultist’s wagon should arrive in the morning. I used Andorax’s 2nd Lvl Cleric and 2 Lvl 1 Warriors + the grick. More on them later...
When the party gets back into town, it is VERY late. They go immediately over to the guards (Burne’s Badgers) at the keep. After some small talk they inquire about their wagon. After a few smallish bribes and more importantly a 20 on their gather info check, they discover that a man WAS driving a wagon into town and his name was Chat Unosh! The group immediately remembers the well polished thief from the Inn of the Welcome Wench and head that way. When they arrive, their wagon is in front of the Inn, the horses run nearly to death. A quick search reveals that a number of items were stolen. Mainly, the winter wolf pup (“no!”), the Helm of Opposite Alignment, and all of their rations (34 days worth). A quick chat with Vesta reveals that Chat came and collected his things a couple of hours ago. He left in a bit of a hurry claiming that he needed to be back in Verbobonc quickly.
Meanwhile outside, a few of the party starts to talk to the druid of the grove, Jaroo. He is pretty quiet at first but soon offers to help the party out of their bind by giving them some healing salve. “Yeah, I saw Chat. He went thadda way.” Only Randelar and Eli are in need of healing and they follow Jaroo back to his hut to retrieve the salve. He gives both of them a leaf with a black sticky substance rolled into it. Jaroo then instructs them to pour a bit of wine into the sticky substance and then rub the salve into their wounds. The salve works best with a good night’s rest and that it should be used right before they go to bed. The druid bids them farewell and they go to bed. At least most of them do. One of them decides to stay with the wagon. He’ll sleep with the animals in the stable. Guess who this might be?
Eli rubs the “salve” on his wounds and tries to get some sleep. He ends up failing both saves and loses 9 points of Dex overnight. He wakes feeling a tad “stiff”. Guess who wakes up stiffer…
Chatrilion slowly crept up the street moving from shadow to shadow. No one heard him move across the road from the grove. He quickly moved to the stables, his intent to slip up on to the roof and enter a window on the second floor. Master Dunrat wanted one of them dead. Tonight. Oh well, no rest for the weary. When he moved into the stable, he sneered when he saw the infiltrator’s wagon. Oh, they would find that in the river tomorrow. Wait a sec, what’s this. Ahh, well this will be easier than I thought.
Moving slowly so that he wouldn’t disturb the horses, Chat moved up to the sleeping Ranger. There wasn’t another soul in sight. He drew his blade, and slowly applied a brownish liquid to the blade. That would insure that if his blade missed the mark, the poison would do the work. He moved silently into position. How easy this was. Then he struck! The knife split the neck wide open.
Randelar suddenly was unable to breathe, he felt as if he were drowning. What a very strange dream. His neck burned and he saw a man’s face frowning. Wait, smiling. His face is upside down, he’s saying something to me but I can’t hear anything. And, I can’t breathe! I must wake up! WAKE UP! WAKE UP! I CAN’T BREATHE!! I can’t… I can’t…
Randelar slipped quickly into death’s embrace.
In the morning Eli confesses his injuries. The party reacts immediately. They put together a small warband and start for the grove. Eli, Stoneheart, Vexander move into the druid’s sanctuary and split up to search. The rest of the party is putting on armor and searching the Inn. Behind Jaroo’s hut they find the body of his assistant loosely covered in debris. His throat has been cut, and he has many scratches on his chest. They quickly move inside and search the interior.
Meanwhile the stable hand has made an unsettling discovery. The Ranger is dead in the back of the wagon. His neck has been cut from ear to ear. Admir quickly sums up the situation and the militia is called for.
Back at Jaroo’s hut, Eli and the others find some loose floorboards that cover a small hole in the ground. Inside they found some gems and wrapped with cloth, a holy symbol of the Elder Elemental Eye. They retreat back to the Inn where they meet with Elmo (just arrived) and the other Journeymen. Randelar has been assassinated. Elmo quickly searches the grove and tracks down Jaroo’s body buried in the glade. He comes back tearful. Jaroo’s corpse shows decay for a man that has been dead for weeks. His neck had been cut. There is no way he will be revived. It is too late for a Raise Dead. Just like his brother and now his friend. “Jaroo must be avenged.”
Elmo calls for a meeting. He sends militiamen to gather Burne and Rufus, and another to get Y’Dey. He doesn’t wish to interact with her but the situation has become dire. With two of the party dead along with Jaroo and his assistant, all of the town leaders need to be informed. Besides, there is the matter of the strange symbols that the party has found in the moathouse. Y’Dey may know what they are. With the evidence of a cult operating in the moathouse, Elmo knows better than taking chances.. Although it is out of town, the old fortress will have to be investigated thoroughly.
Elmo leads the party to the Inn and has a small chat with Vesta and Maridosen. He requests use of the secret room below and a cask of ale to be brought. Maridosen thinks, *What room?* Vesta immediately complies and takes the party and their dead comrades below to the basement. She orders Maridosen to bring down ale. When the reach the cellar, she moves to the far wall. Near the fireplace and coal pile she hits the latch nestled between loose bricks for the door. The brick wall swings away, opening into a large meeting room. Inside an ornate table and twelve chairs reside. But it isn’t this furniture that catches everyone’s eye. It is the large store of arms within that is stacked from floor to ceiling. Arms of all types fill the room. Weapons, shields and armor lie neat and orderly, all well polished and oiled. “Enough arms for a small army,” says Zane. The party members take a seat, leaving the dead in the basement. Soon the requested town elders arrive and the meeting begins…
Edited by: Aluvial at: 9/17/02 8:18:52 am
(5/29/02 12:34 pm)
Re: Trouble With Carlos OR Assassination Time |
Just c&p'ed the entry to word for later perusal (5 pages BTW) as I use a modem and the phone bill is starting to kill me...
One thing though about previous posts: Relax! Everybody is most likely having these kind of player-problems, they're just to ashamed to say so.
One instance the last time I got to play (about a month ago now, as the group dissolved afterwards ):
The rogue decided to take a little solo scout furter into the dungeon. He came upon an area were there used to be a pit trap, but were now a rust colored liquid. "I stick my finger into it to see what it is". I say he takes 1d4 -3- (normal splash dmg were 1d6, immension 10d6) acid damage from the incredibly corrosive acid. He protests wildly, saying (now) that he were only holding his finger above it.... and were wearing gloves anyway. I get _this_ close to animating the thing as a Gelatinous Acidblood Cube.
So you are not alone.
(5/29/02 2:26 pm)
Re: Trouble With Carlos OR Assassination Time |
Oh, I'm fine. This is just kind of my "style." I thought that it would be interesting to show other DM's the types of troubles you can have with a campaign. My story still remains interesting to me; the players rarely give me headaches anymore. Like I said, we're friends and I like to bust on them now and again. I'm sure when the campaign is done, I'll turn this into a book that they can read. A little edit here and there...
My belief is that the Players and the Characters drive these stories. I mean, we all understand that, but my perspective shows the crap you can run across when you DM. The Players themselves can influence things more than their characters can at times.
My players (read my first post) are sometimes thorns in the campaign. Years ago I asked them to take turns DMing to get an idea of how hard it was. Only one guy did a good job out of the bunch of them (9 at the time) and he killed off 5 characters that night. Maybe I should take that approach again. But probably I won't.
I'm not complaining (much), but it is a bit of venting on my part to write out the tale and then post it here. Makes me feel better.
Anyway in the end, when the dust settles, I'm sure at least a few of my players will be standing on Imix's hack n' slashed belly...
Aluvial--cool as a cucumber in the shade...
(6/5/02 8:34 am)
Meetings and Signs OR More Moathouse Malaise|
Nods and hand shaking commence with Burne commenting about the party dead. He nods to Rufus and they share a knowing smile about that particular outcome. When Y’Dey walks in, the party sees that Elmo, who has kept to himself for the most part being upset about Jaroo, straighten up and put on a severe grimace. Stoneheart notices and vows to ask him about it later. A fire is lit to take the chill out of the basement and the meeting commences with Burne taking the lead. Talk about where the party is from and why they are here is brief. Basically the party confesses that they had heard rumors of the old Temple and thought to come out and explore the area. It sounded like fun. Talus, the main catalyst for the move here, kept his true motives quiet, and his silence leaves a question in Y’Dey’s mind. Her Discern Lies gave her a twinge but didn’t register as a Truth falsely given. She cocked an eyebrow when Talus finished taking his turn introducing himself. Nothing else was said.
News of the party’s victory over the young dragon is obviously known by everyone in town due to the corpse being hung from a tree near the General Store. Nearly everyone in town has come by for a peek in the last few days and the party’s deeds are well known. Redithidoor has come up with a few (badly sung) but well written songs on the incident and lately, is a bit of a hero in town. Business is up at the Inn of the Welcome Wench and that has made Vesta happy. In fact, Rufus was planning a small gathering for them when the time was convenient to acknowledge their accomplishment. The Journeymen would have to wait for the honor though because of the meeting’s events. Talk quickly turned from the pleasantries of dragon slaying to the subject most pressing; an assassin making strikes in town and the death of Jaroo. Elmo swears revenge, and surprisingly to him, Y’Dey agrees. The villain must be flushed out of hiding and dealt with as soon as possible. A plan soon comes together involving the powers to be in Hommlet for capturing the culprit. The party agrees to help, but is reticent due to the fact of their other important and connected news.
Elmo interrupts on the Journeymen’s behalf and then brings up the fact that the party has run into a cult operating out of the moathouse. The holy symbols of the Clerics of the Elder Elemental Eye are brought forth and are further identified by Y’Dey. She then goes on to add to the history and legend of the god revealed. ((IMC I have made the Elder Elemental Eye one of the creation deities, a Greater God, with a domain overseeing destructive elemental forces. This is important for my whole Tharizdun story, which I will detail at some point. He also was a greater deity at the time of the creation, jealous of the other gods' power. His plan to destroy what they had created led to his imprisonment.))
Then the “artifacts” the party recovered are shown and the Elders become silent and the excitement of the party settles down. Both Burne and Y’Dey seem to know what (and who) the artifacts represent. They nod at each other and pull away from the rest of the group for a shared whisper. Admir, sitting closest, overhears Y’Dey say, “the Unnamed One.”
After the quick huddle, the two return to the table and pen and parchment are asked for. When received, Burne writes down a single name and makes sure that all can see it. As soon as all acknowledge that they have viewed the name, he quickly throws the parchment in the fire. As soon as the parchment starts to catch and burn, a flash a violent, indigo energy burst from the hearth and into the room! The blast washes over everyone in a rush, and as quickly as it appeared, it is sucked back up the chimney. No one is injured but they are shocked. The shaken wizard then exclaims, “Look here! Be quick!” Peering in the fireplace, the assembled group sees the name of THARIZDUN left floating over the logs in the hearth. The name is the burning afterimage of what was written on the parchment and its letters are made of the flame itself. Rufus acts quickly and douses the fire with pitcher of ale that was left for them by Vesta. All that remains, are damp logs and Burne’s immediate warning to not speak the name that they had just viewed. “To do so would bring down the gaze of the god of Destruction and spell your ruin!”
After the prophetic nature of the shared vision, the gravity of the situation lay heavily on all of their shoulders. Y’Dey then began the discussion again. “This vision and the holy symbols of the Elder Elemental Eye,” she confides, “helps confirm what I have always feared. It seemed so unlikely that Zuggtomoy could hold together such a strong force and it was known that Iuz had no involvement before the temple’s first fall. The Elder Elemental Eye fits right into place. I am uncertain how evidence of his involvement with the Temple remained hidden for so long, but it might be explained with the inability to ever be able to scry on its (the ToEE) location directly. Perhaps the Elder Elemental Eye hid the nature of the structure and all of his worshipers of evil within too. That god represents destructive elemental forces of nature that wrack the world. Volcanoes, oerthquakes, tidal waves, hurricanes and tornadoes are his calling cards. One can only guess at the motives that the evil Clerics of the Elemental Eye have. Regardless, it is obvious that the Unnamed One is irked by their presence. They must be insane to be fooling with that one and his hidden treasures! Woe to them, if they succeed in provoking the essence of that dark god.”
This theory of course is not entirely right or wrong. But the party bought it, hook, line, and sinker. The Clerics of the Elder Elemental Eye were uncovering artifacts that once belonged to Tharizdun. They began to reason that the Elder Elemental Eye Clerics must be collecting and using the artifacts for their own fell purposes. Those who would screw around with such a negative force must be evil indeed. After a quick unanimous vote, the party agreed to go back to the moathouse and deal with any remaining threat the EEE Clerics possessed. Any evidence of Tharizdun would be noted and brought before the attention of this council alone. Discretion should be used when dealing with any of the black objects within. Destroying those particular items might prove too costly. It was then agreed that the items should be brought before Y’Dey and secreted away by her clergy. On this point the party seemed unsure. Perhaps the items might be magical in nature or be of high value. They agreed reluctantly, but their hearts and minds knew that they would probably keep whatever they found…
As the meeting reached its conclusion the matter of the assassinated surfaced and Y’Dey complied. Burne And Rufus would take on the cost of the Raise Dead spells Y’Dey would cast. This was done in response to the dragon threat eradicated and due to the fact that the Journeymen’s new mission carried great weight. When the group left the secret chamber to prepare the bodies, they encountered Maridosen in the basement struggling with a cask of wine. Elmo quickly moved to help not wanting to be present for the casting. Y’Dey grimaced in knowledge of the past event and the pain it caused the Militia Captain while the barmaid and the militia captain quickly moved up the stairs. Both Randelar and Xaod were revived (both for the second time) and brought back to world of the living. Xaod awoke with a cry of pain and Randelar had a frozen scream on his face and a gurgling in his throat. Healing spells were quickly applied to their wounds and both men fell silent. Both wore the mark of the assassin’s blade across their necks. Those deep scars would remain on them both as a mark of the recent assault. When Randelar next spoke, (and for the time being) his voice was low and rough, as if he had swallowed gravel.
Both men were ushered back into the secret meeting room and the elders departed to start their investigations concerning the assassin in town. The party filled them in on the events of their deaths and both men confirmed that Chatrilion had been their slayer. Both men recalled him and Xaod commented that the man seem to have come from nowhere. Eli explained that he might have come from the shadows themselves but Xaod argued. “No, he seems to materialize right as he struck! I never saw him at all!” The party then deduced that the man might have been Invisible and therefore might be schooled in the magical arts too. A dangerous foe indeed!
The party quickly made plans for what supplies would be needed for the remainder of their exploration of the moathouse dungeons. After a supply list was made up, the group began to plan for the upcoming delve. When Xaod was automatically put into the plan he immediately spoke up,
“No my friends, I cannot accompany you. My mission leads me in another direction. I must head back to that foul temple and deal with the menace within. Heironeous has granted me a strong vision in my death slumber and this is the direction that I MUST head. I am sorry that our paths will split here. I wish you the best.”
The party wished him luck in his quest hoping that they would be reunited. With that said he left the room, off on his own…
Final preparations made, the party, again on the wagon, left town for the moathouse. Adventure lay in their hearts and a battle song was sung by Stoneheart, the dwarf (not a bad one either). At least the winter wolf pup would not be there to cry “NO!” at every turn and bump in the road. The long trip back to the ruined outpost of evil was uninterrupted.
Back in Hommlet another trip to the moathouse was being prepared…
Their quarry had provided the extra provisions for them. Their stay in Hommlet had been long but relatively quiet. That was the case until those damned Journeymen had arrived. Now the Dark One would have their souls to torment for eternity. Master Dunrat oversaw the group as they assembled and smiled. His best lieutenants and spies were all busy preparing their arms and learning what they could about the interlopers from the details that Chatrilion had provided. He was a bit miffed that “Jaroo” had given up his position, but the new plan would rectify that error and bring his dark power to bear again. He and his main bodyguard would follow behind them shortly after the strike force left.
The men sent from Rastor wouldn’t have a chance against so many of them unless they brought the beast with them. Even then there was no one left to greet them. According to the assassin, all of the Clerics of the moathouse were defeated, whether by the dragon or the adventurers. Those idiots that worshipped the Elder Elemental Eye, they know nothing of the real power behind their god and probably wouldn’t even know what was going on when they arrived at the moathouse. Only Master Thaque had shown real promise and knowledge. I even thought he might have suspected where his power truly came from. Had he only finished this mission and survived the dragon attack. He would have been shown the true path then. Curse his failure!
With his soldiers ready for the journey, he ordered their departure. He warned them that he would be watching their progress and that any errors would be their quick demise. The strike force moved from the back of the mill and stole across the small tributary that ran the big wheel. This way they could travel across country and not be noticed leaving Hommlet. They wouldn’t make for the road until they were well out of sight of this cursed town. If all went as planned, the Journeymen wouldn’t ever see daylight again!
The party reached their old campsite a quarter-mile outside of the moathouse right after the sun had set. The glorious late autumn sky reflected an orange cast that would soon fade into deep red, and then violet. The group disembarked from the wagon and made a quick scout of the area. No trouble seemed present and they started to work on their camp. Vexander decided to send his owl familiar out to scan for intruders and send any warnings. After directing his companion on the distances he wanted covered he decided that he wanted to check in on the moathouse. The owl complied and launched itself form his usual perch on the wagon to the sky. Vex received the mental thoughts of the bird and focused on the connection. He helped guide the creature as it scouted around and then led it in the direction of the moathouse. Not expecting much to be around he went back to preparing his spot near the wagon and the fire. He spread out his bedroll and made quick chat with Zane about the past few days events. Suddenly he caught a cry form his empathic link. *men in bad stone nest… a wagon… covered… three men… one orange… a cage…*
Vex shot up straight and quickly gathered the group around him. Quickly giving the party an account of his bird’s scouting the group decided to press on for the moathouse. Perhaps they could catch the men by surprise. He ordered his companion to keep watch on them while the group packed up the wagon and made for the ruined keep. They would work on a plan for ambush on the way…
We have been delayed too many times. The beast was more trouble than it was worth. But then again, his master would be pleased when they were rid of it and carrying back the art objects they were sent to receive. Rain had stopped them out of the mountains and then there was the gnome patrol that diverted them and made them lose a whole day when finally they had reached good road. Damn the gnomes, they harried our progress the whole next day. At least I’m being paid well, the guard thought as he looked over his shoulder at the beast perched up on the wall. Damn that thing too, it almost had my leg two nights ago and my Master struck ME with his mace when I jabbed at it. Curse him and this whole trip. My master promised us a good meal when we arrived but when we got here we found nothing but blood. No bodies anywhere, just lots and lots of blood. There has obviously been a battle here. Skeletons lay smashed in the courtyard and nary a cleric to be seen. Maybe the Elder Elemental god had claimed them. Perhaps whatever was making that stench inside had. Nonetheless, we sleep under the stars tonight. In the morning, my master says we enter the ruins to see if we can find trace of them. Boy if I had only known what I signed up for before this cursed trip. What’s this! A wagon approaches. Perhaps it is our overdue hosts. Finally! Maybe we'll geta good meal out of this... It’s crossing the bridge awfully fast…
“Quick take cover!”
“The man is mad! He’s charging us!”
The party arrives at the moathouse and darkness has settled in. They then start to discuss how they will enter. Vex reports that nothing has changed, his owl still spies on three men in the courtyard. The party starts to develop a marching order and a plan of attack. When everyone climbs down out of the wagon and is forming up an argument breaks out over how they will enter. Eli and Randelar favor a stealthy approach and a quick scout ahead. Admir argues about keeping the party together. In the confusion, Talus takes action. As the wagon driver he spurs the horses back on the trail and whips them up to speed. Issuing a battle cry, he leads the wagon across the bridge and into the courtyard (makes drive checks). I constitute this as a round and call for initiative. The cleric wins and gets off a spell, which of course Talus passes his save on. He then drives the draft horses into a charge right for the EEE Cleric (lvl 2) and his two fighter (each lvl 1) guards. I call for another Ride check and then an Animal Handling Check. He fails the second role (finally) and I rule that the draft horses decide to just stop dead rather than run anything down. The wagon’s momentum carries it into the back of the horses and the linkage breaks and drives into the ground. These actions make the wagon buck up and tip over, throwing Talus off the wagon and driving one of the horses to the ground. He fails a Dex check and takes damage as he falls right into the midst of the Cleric and his two fighter guards. The guards attack him while he is down with their longswords and both hit. Whackity whack!
The rest of the party is stunned at Talus’ brash action and runs forward in pursuit. It will take them two rounds to get into the battle. In the meantime, the cleric and his two guards start wailing away on Talus and bring him to zero hit points. At that point, the rest of the group gets there and Zane casts a Hold Person and the cleric fails. Admir moves to the southwest corner by the tower door to draw his bow and lines up a shot. He, and the others, are surprised by the grick that slips off the wall to attack. Stoneheart flanks it (w/ Admir) and strikes, but misses. Randelar and Eli approach the battle on the far side of the courtyard with the guards. Meanwhile, Talus makes an Autohypnosis check to stabilize and manages to leap up and strike at one of the fighters. He hits with a critical leaving the man sliced from shoulder to hip. The other guard grabs the cleric and starts to drag him up the stairs…
And it’s eleven o’clock and time to end…
We finish the battle next week. Cleric is Held, Grick has Admir cornered, but is flanked and the other guard is pulling his master up the stairs… Talus is on the ground again.
Until next time…
Aluvial—still a week behind in posting.
Edited by: Aluvial at: 9/17/02 8:40:05 am
A frequent patron who knows what to expect
(9/17/02 5:00 am)
Re: Meetings and Signs OR More Moathouse Malaise|
Getting a bit far behind in your update Aluvial... you are still here right?
In anyway, I just had to bump this one, as it were only a few lines away from the end of page 20 and the start of oblivion...
"I think, therefore I am... I think"
A mysterious guy in the corner
(9/17/02 6:12 am)
Re: Meetings and Signs OR More Moathouse Malaise|
Agreed! Just began reading (read the whole thread) and it's great - I'm in envy!
...it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
A local, not looking for any trouble
(9/17/02 8:00 am)
Re: Meetings and Signs OR More Moathouse Malaise|
Didn't realize that I was so near the edge of oblivion... Well, I do have some real tales to tell. My party JUST got to the CRM and we've been playing regularly every week...
So I have a lot to fill in. I may miss a few spots, but I've taken good notes and I've got some even better stories...
I start soon and fill you in till I get to the present.
Here for a while
(12/31/02 2:10 pm)
Re: Meetings and Signs OR More Moathouse Malaise|
Boy close to the edge for a second time.... Things must really be cooking around here...
I have been writing some of my tale up and will post some of it soon.... It is extremely hard to take the time and go back to where I left off and write it up... I may just have to pick up where I left off and continue from there... Anyway thanks to those who have enjoyed my story to this point, your input had kept me going for some time... Sorry to leave you hanging but we are still playing... Fire Door encounter comes up tomorrow... knowing my guys I'll have a TPK by the end of the afternoon!
I hope to have some more for you soon.
Here quite a while
(3/5/03 8:20 pm)
Re: Meetings and Signs OR More Moathouse Malaise|
So, Aluvial, is your definition of "soon" different than mine?
Hopefully you didn't have that TPK.
Still here? Wow.
(3/5/03 11:59 pm)
Re: Meetings and Signs OR More Moathouse Malaise|
Aluvial's crew is in the CRM now. And doing a good job of it (it's in another post). I miss the logs, though.
...it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
(3/6/03 10:51 am)
Re: Meetings and Signs OR More Moathouse Malaise|
Umm, --embarrassed-- yeah soon, that's the ticket...
umm, umm, umm,
Yeah I suppose I owe a story or two... I'll see what I can do... at least I have good notes...