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Zagig
Here for a while
(1/8/03 2:51 am)
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Re: The Bloody Swords (Campaign Log)
Just wanted to add something that happened over the weekend. Kind of ironic actually. All of my players are friends of mine, some better than others. Two of the players are friends with the guy who left (see first post). According to them, he wants to play again. Just after he left that night, he realized that he was being immature. Apparently his problem was that he had a character concept and what I wanted to do was going to screw with this. But he was too proud to come back in.

Something else I forgot to mention. After the last game session, I checked the CRM overview while mentioning that they encounters were developed for a 7th level party. Imagine my surprise when I found out that it was for a 6TH-LEVEL PARTY!!
:eek :eek :eek No wonder they kicked butt.

Siobharek 
Still here? Wow.
(1/8/03 3:00 am)
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Re: The Bloody Swords (Campaign Log)
Are you going to take him back? To me, it sounds a little dodgy that he based his character concept on items, but by now he knows you to be a consistent DM, so he'll probably have more respect for you from now on.

Siobharek
...it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Zagig
Here for a while
(1/23/03 6:05 am)
Reply
Re: The Bloody Swords (Campaign Log)
Sorry I didn't respond to your question right away, Sio. Was going to think about it first, then I forgot. No, the player won't be coming back right away since I am happy with the group that I have.

The party was grouped in the room where they had defeated the trog with the piercing fetish. After casting detect magic on a group of items, they were just about finished packing the stuff that they wanted.

Then, Elvowyn noticed the floor about 40' away rippled, like the surface of a pool of water. He threw a rock in that direction, thinking that it might be some sort of trap that the rock would set off. Nothing happened. The rest of the party, observing this strange action and thinking that something might be wrong, moved into defensive positions. The ripple moved closer to them and the party hesitated, not knowing what was happening.

Suddenly, from out of the ground, charged a big stone-skinned creature with three legs, three arms, and three legs spaced evenly around its body (xorn). It's skin seemed to writhe as if something inside of it was twisting, trying to get out and it had a huge mouth on top of its body that it used to try to bite Jerrick. Jerrick's armor withstood the attack and battle was joined.

Pelizar, chanting the words to one of his favourite spells, flung 4 acid orbs at the creature. The creature, however, paid them little mind which was not surprising considering that the acid did not harm it. Darla, seeing that she was right beside the beast, turned her two weapons on the creature, but was only able to deal out minor damage. The creature, seeing Jerrick in his full plate and believing him to be the threat, turned all his attacks on him. Jerrick, however, was much too quick and well-protected. Vall, staying out of melee combat, shot two fiery arrows at the monster. Both bolts hit and fire washed over the creature but it was completely unharmed by the spell. Jerrick, finally getting to attack the creature that had already attacked him twice, swung his longsword in two mighty blows. The first ripped into the creature but, alas, the creature's skin was too tough for the second. Elvowyn, the most deadly member of the group, was ironically the last to act. He loosed two arrows in quick succession, managing to wound the creature with one of them.

Pelizar, now realizing that he had no spells to hurt the creature with, turned to his bow but, unfortunately, his skill was not enough to harm the beast. Darla then continued her attack, nearly killing the creature. However, it still had one trick left. In a sudden burst of energy, it exploded into a writhing mass of black tentacles, grotesque to look at. All were somewhat surprised at this sudden turn of events but Vall still had the presence of mind to let one more spell go. A flaming sphere landed on the creature, ending it's life. With a loud scream, it exploded into nothingness.

DMs Note: I added the pseudonatural template to this xorn and the one the party encounters in the temple. The reason I used two xorns in the temple is because the party is so much more powerful than the EL and because the temple is prepared.

Relieved to be rid of the beast, the party searched the area for clues as to it's purpose and type. Nothing was found. So, the party ventured further into the Earth Temple.

They found a storeroom full of goods and weapons, and burned as much as they could, so as to deny the Earth Temple any of its resources. Deeper in the caverns, they found a hallway leading off in a different direction. Darla had everyone wait while she explored it's direction. Halfway down the hall, a group of six darts shot out of the walls, but Darla was too quick for them and they all missed. She dropped to the floor, testing the floor around her for pressure pads. Finding nothing, she ascertained that only those standing would set off the trap and crawled down the hallway and into a room. This room was entirely draped in black with two posts near a bed of black cushions. The posts had skulls hanging from them and sigils painted on them. However, Darla found what she was most interested in, a locked chest sure to contain treasure. When she returned to the party, after crawling back down the hallway, she neglected to mention the sigils, something that Pelizar would surely have been interested in.

DMs Note: The description of the trap says, "Crossing the room normally activates all six..." I took this to mean standing and in the center. If you crawl or go around the edge, then the trap is not set off.

The party continued deeper into the caverns soon arriving at a large cavern with a well-worn path running through the middle of it and loose boulders and rocks throughout the rest of the room. Not sure what to do, the entire group stood there for a moment looking from the cavern to each other and back to the cavern again.

DMs Note: This was kind of funny because, once I had described the part of the room they were seeing, the whole group just sat there looking at me. I didn't say anything for about 15 seconds then made the comment of imagining them looking at the cavern and each other, back and forth. Someone said that, yes, that's pretty much what they _are_ doing.

Darla, finally taking the initiative, moved into the room, being careful to stay off the path. The rubble underfoot made sneaking and hiding difficult, but she made it look easy. She moved a short ways into the room and stopped, listening for any sound. Somewhere in the back of the cave, she heard low, rapping breathing. Turning, she tried to communicate this to Pelizar, the only person who could still see her, with hand signals. However, he did not understand. Now expecting an ambush of some sort she tried to sneak farther into the room. However, this time the rubble betrayed her.

The beast spotted her at the same time as she saw it. It was a huge monster, with the head of some humanoid beast, the body of a lion, the wings of a dragon, and a tail that ended in a cluster of deadly spikes (manticore). Darla, having the advantage, leapt to the path and raced back to her companions and was able to tell them that some monster was coming. The creature, using its powerful wings, flew to the path near enough to the party to use its spikes. It let fly with all six spikes at Darla. Darla's quick reflexes saved her again, as only one spike penetrated her armor.

Pelizar, standing near Darla, let loose with an incantation and four sonic orbs flew at the beast. The orbs hardly seemed to bother it, however. Elvowyn, standing at the back of the party, could not see the battle so moved forward in order to lend his bow to the fight. However, he had to move quite close to the creature in order to see it. Once there, he let fly an arrow right at the creature's head, wounding it severely. Jerrick, unable to see the beast since he does not possess darkvision, moved about twenty feet ahead of Elvowyn and readied an attack to strike the creature if it came close to him. The creature then let loose with another volley of spikes, this time directed at the man most responsible for harming it, Elvowyn. Elvowyn's mithral chain was too difficult to penetrate, however, and every single spike fell to the ground leaving Elvowyn unharmed. Vall took this opportunity to through a fireball at the beast's head. The fire exploded around it, bringing the creature near to death. Pelizar then finished the beast with a burst of electric orbs.

With the danger passed, the entire group searched the south part of the cavern for any treasure. A brief discussion about the value of monster parts took place over the beast, which was in the middle of the cave, but the creature was deemed too large to be worth hauling back to Rastor. The rest of the cavern was searched, with Darla searching the area with the severed hand and missing it entirely (she has the best Search skill in the party).

The party then formed up near the tunnel leading off to the right and marched into the room at the end. Finding nothing of value in the room, a thorough search ensued. Elvowyn was able to find a stash of items in a small niche behind a rock, which he shared with the party. Pelizar, still believing that there was a secret door somewhere in the room or in the adjoining hallway, used his wand of detect secret doors to discover that he was wrong. In a hurry for some reason, the party left the cavern behind and delved even deeper into the Earth Temple.

At an intersection of two hallways, the party stopped. Jerrick headed down the hallway that seemed not to head deeper into the dungeon, with Darla and Vall close behind him. Pelizar and Elvowyn followed behind a couple of rounds later. Jerrick stopped at the entrance to a room whose walls, floor, and ceiling crawled with bugs and insects of all kinds. Not fearing a few bugs, Jerrick stepped into the room, prepared to cross it into the room on the other side. However, he was surprised to find that much larger bugs lived here.

Three oversized centipedes crawled out from the teeming hordes and proceeded to try to bite him. Darla and Vall jumped into to help him but all three were soon swarmed by over a dozen of the creatures (small and medium monstrous centipedes). While Elvowyn and Pelizar stayed near the entrance to the room, apparently watching for even bigger and badder bugs, the three companions made short work of the multi-legged critters. The only damage suffered was a small bite that Vall took to his big toe.

The room beyond was gruesome, with vile pictures on the walls and a human body hanging from the roof by chains. The three comrades divided up duties, with Vall searching the bed, Darla the chest, and Jerrick the coffer on the table. Vall did not find anything, to his dismay. Darla searched the chest for traps, finding none. She then opened the unlocked chest, only to find a few personal possessions but not really anything of value. Apparently, she should have taken the coffer, for when Jerrick opened it, he was hit by a blast of freezing cold air. Fortunately, Jerrick is very healthy, so the magical trap barely injured him. Inside the coffer he found ten gems and an amulet. The ten gems were donated to party treasure, but Jerrick insisted on wearing the amulet.

DMs Note: The amulet is an amulet of inescapable location!!!! Wait until Hedrack starts scrying on them!!!

Leaving this room behind the party moved farther down into the caves. They came to a fork in the caves and were debating which cavern to follow when their decision was made for them. Pelizar and Darla, the only people with darkvision, saw some earth-type winged creature down the right fork taunting them with crude actions (earth mephit). Darla took two quick shots with her two hand crossbows, hitting with one while Pelizar activated the true strike ability on his bow. However, he did not get to use it right away as the creature ran around a corner and out of sight.

The party decided to slowly follow the creature, but Darla searched for a trap the entire length of the cave as they went. Behind her, Pelizar activated his true strike every round, just in case. As the party came out from the hallway, two more creatures attacked them by shooting rocks and pebbles from their mouths. Darla, however, was too quick and dodged out of the way. The earth creatures did not stand a chance and were killed and a short battle. The only injury suffered by the party was a claw that managed to scratch Jerrick.

DMs Note: We had a long discussion about surprise here. I had initially given the mephits a surprise round when the party came out of the hallway. After about 10 minutes of debate, we backed up the game and proceeded as if the party was still in combat mode while moving up the hallway. This allowed the mephits to ready an action, which accomplished the same thing. Darla was even willing to put herself in harm's way because that was the logical thing to do. I have such awesome and honest players!!!!!

The group continued even deeper into the caverns of this area. When they came upon another cave leading off to the right, they moved towards it, intending to explore it before continuing deeper. Elvowyn, however, moved just a little farther into the caves, taking up a rear guard position. This was when he heard chanting coming from somewhere in front of him, not that far away. However, he could only see 40 feet with his low-light vision and ring of continual flame, so he could not see what was happening. He alerted the rest of the group that something was happening and moved closer to the sound of the chanting, now joined by drum beats. He got close enough to see a trog in full plate with large shield nearby and an Elder Elemental Eye symbol on its chest (Snearak) sacrifice someone on an altar at the top of a three-tiered ziggurat. Then a creature, like the one fought at the entry to these caves, rose up through the floor (xorn). Elvowyn took a quick shot at the creature with his bow, doing a huge amount of damage to it.

Elvowyn moved closer to the ziggurat, now seeing dark-robed figures standing to the sides, and then fired at the robed figure at the altar, hitting him. Meanwhile the rest of the party moved towards Elvowyn, some still unable to see what was going on. The creature suddenly exploded, as it had done before, into a mass of black tentacles. The figure at the altar then reveals himself to be a cleric by casting a spell that heals his wounds.

Pelizar, close enough to see what is happening, hits one of the troglodytes with his bow, nearly killing the creature. Elvowyn, now seeing the black mass of tentacles before him, again severely injures the creature with his bow. Vall, like Pelizar close enough to see the priest, takes a shot at him with his bow, but the priest is too well protected and the arrow doesn't even come close to injuring him. The tentacled creature now moves underground, having taken so much damage that it seems the safest course right now. Darla and Jerrick move up near Elvowyn, with melee weapons in hand. The dark-robed figures then threw off their robes, revealing symbols of the Elder Elemental Eye and Earth on the robes and the figures themselves as troglodytes, and moved towards Elvowyn.

Three of them throw javelins at Elvowyn, choosing him in retaliation for his attack on their priest, while a fourth moves up and attacked Darla, now closer to the ziggurat than Elvowyn. The priest at the altar, seemingly not surprised by the appearance of more intruders, uses a scroll to cast hold person spell on Elvowyn and Elvowyn was frozen (the most damaging guy taken out first round, sweet!!).

Pelizar, choosing the most strategic spot to place it, casts fireball. He hit all the troglodytes in the room except the one attacking Darla, and only the priest and one lone trog survived out of seven, with the priest taking no damage at all. Vall then moved up and took out the lone trog with a well-placed shot from his longbow. Darla killed the other troglodyte with a rapid series of blows from her weapons. Now, only the three-armed creature and the priest remained. Jerrick, still too far away to be any help, moved closer to the priest. The priest, seeing this heavily armored tank coming towards him, decided to try another hold person spell. Again, it worked. The priest was now feeling good. Two tough fighters taken out in the first two rounds.

Pelizar then came up with a brilliant idea. He cast minor globe of invulnerability on himself, encompassing Darla, Vall, and Jerrick as well. This allowed Jerrick to move within the confines of the globe. Vall then used his last remaining attack spell, ice storm, and bombarded the priest with ice. The priest was now hurting a lot, but wasn't going to back down. The three-armed creature chose this moment to reappear, attacking Pelizar. While the three claws missed, the mouth did bite deeply into Pelizar. Darla, thinking fast, killed the creature with a hasted blow from her handaxe, then moved up so she was standing at the base of the ziggurat. Jerrick, staying within the globe, sheathed his longsword and drew his throwing axe, preparing to fight from a distance. Alas, his freedom was short-lived. The priest then cast dispel magic on Pelizar's minor globe, removing the globe and re-instilling Jerrick's hold.

Pelizar, now getting quite annoyed at this guy, threw four fire orbs at the priest. However, some kind of protection enabled him to take only minor damage from them. Vall then used the same spell he had used to kill the winged demon by the fire bridge, phantasmal killer. Fortunately, the priest was able to avoid being killed by the spell, but he was severely injured by it as he saw his greatest fear, calling out "NO!!! NO!!! Don't leave me here!!!" Darla, still hasted, climbed the ziggurat as fast as she could and killed the priest with a quick blow to the head.

The group spent the next few minutes exploring the temple area. Pelizar took the drum, suffering through the feeling of being disturbed and afraid, hoping that Rerrid in Rastor could destroy it. Both Vall and Elvowyn decided to take the tapestries on the wall with them, possibly to sell later. The tapestries showed dark brown and black images of demons and other hideous creatures. As soon as Vall and Elvowyn grabbed a tapestry, they saw a momentary vision of their own death by crushing suffocation deep under earth and suffered a loss of wisdom (obviously not too bright in the first place!!). After informing the rest of the party, no one wanted to touch another tapestry.

Darla then came up with an idea that I was afraid that no one would think of. She decided to destroy the altar. No one helped her so it took about 20 rounds to finally destroy it.

They were unprepared for the cave-in that followed, though. Darla and Jerrick escaped unscathed, but Vall, Elvowyn, and Pelizar could not move fast enough. After the roof had finished caving in and the dust had settled, the rest of the party decided to camp for the night, in the hooked hallway to the south of the temple.

Pelizar still had something to do, however. Taking his wand of detect secret doors, he checked the whole eastern wall for secret doors, finding none. However, at the north end of the, now partially caved in, temple, he heard a voice crying out for help. He rushed back to the rest of the party and told them of this.

Jerrick, feeling very noble, decided that he must help whomever it was. Everyone but Vall went along, and so they found a female elf and two male humans in chains in a cave behind the temple. The elf gave her name as Tenaris Glimmerdawn and a quick conversation ensued with Tenaris asking about her friends (sacrifices to Earth, the latest the sacrifice that Elvowyn saw), and wanting to join the party in order to see justice and vengeance done. While Pelizar and Darla were quite rude to her, Elvowyn treated her nicely and with dignity and convinced her to return to her home of Celene and inform the families of her friends of their fate. She is determined to return to the CRM, however, and so may show up again in two months or so.

Everyone leveled up at the end of the game so they are all 9th level now. Should be pretty much a cakewalk for a little while. Next game session, the party intends to return to Rastor briefly, then venture deeper into the mines. Boy, will they be surprised when the Earth Sword turns out to be dead. Also, I hope Jerrick keeps that amulet. That's going to be fun.

Zag:rollin ig

Edit: Boy, it's amazing how many spelling mistakes a guy can make at five o'clock in the morning. Also, tried to make it easier to read.
Edit Again: added the monster names to their descriptions. For those who aren't this far yet.

Edited by: Zagig at: 1/25/03 5:35:59 am
Siobharek 
Still here? Wow.
(1/24/03 2:39 am)
Reply
Re: The Bloody Swords (Campaign Log)
Sounds like a great session, Zag. I take it your players remembered that a minor globe is immobile?

9th level, huh? Are you gonna let them waltz through the CRM until they hit 10th and stand a chance at the Fanes? My crew's decided to take out the Temple of Air - that should be a riot. They haven't really got the layout of the CRM down pat, so they're just gonna plod through the Fire Bridge (they've downed all the forces and plan to send D'Gran to the Elemental Plane of Fire) and my Stoneheart/Jigsaw complex (Yay!) before meeting Fachish.

Anyway, another great post. Looking forward to see more :)

Siobharek
...it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Zagig
Here for a while
(1/24/03 2:51 am)
Reply
Re: The Bloody Swords (Campaign Log)
Thanks, Sio. It's nice to know when someone reads this so everyone else, feel free to comment.
The globe was dispelled the same round that it was cast, so it didn't move. I think that Pelizar knows it can't move, but I didn't. Thanks for that.
Probably going to let them wander around, yeah. They are going in the opposite direction as your guys, but pretty much doing the same thing. The only difference is that they know of the three bridges and plan to take out the areas between bridges, one by one. I am not boosting anything except hp, so it will take a while for them to reach 10th anyway.

Infiniti2000
Here to stay
(1/24/03 6:56 am)
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ezSupporter
Re: The Bloody Swords (Campaign Log)
"Wait until Hedrack starts scrying on them!"
It'll be hard, but I'll try. :D
Great post, Zagig. I look forward to see how your party does. I feel that my group will be in the same boat XP-wise (high level rampaging through the mines) and I don't plan on boosting it either like that maniac Siobharek. ;)

Siobharek 
Still here? Wow.
(1/24/03 7:01 am)
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Re: The Bloody Swords (Campaign Log)
Hah, no one does the boosting like that maniac Siobharek! Good one :)

Actually - as I've said a lot (no, really: A LOT) of times - the only way I see boosting as being a viable alternative is if you give out ad hoc xp.

Siobharek
...it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

ShadowmageIX
Here for a while
(1/25/03 2:14 am)
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Re: The Bloody Swords (Campaign Log)
Just like to say I'm really enjoying all of your campaign logs... I hope to be able to run RttToEE some day soon now...



poor players ;)

Zagig
Here for a while
(1/25/03 5:29 am)
Reply
Re: The Bloody Swords (Campaign Log)
Thanks, shadowmage.

Infiniti2000
Here quite a while
(3/5/03 8:47 pm)
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ezSupporter
Re: The Bloody Swords (Campaign Log)
Zagig, are you still around?

Zagig
Here for a while
(3/13/03 4:26 pm)
Reply
Re: The Bloody Swords (Campaign Log)
HOLY!!!

It's been a while since I checked out the RttToEE forum. I've got like 6 pages of posts to look through. we had our last game session at the end of January and then life interfered. I got sick for 2 weeks (actually had to take time off work, which I almost never do) with a sinus infection that only now is getting better. Then I took vacation time to visit friends in Victoria (Canada not Australia) to the end of February. Then one of our players, my brother actually, left for Sydney (this time I do mean Australia) until the end of March. So, no game at least until April.

Also, while I was in Victoria I made some plans with my friends there. One of my friends, and one of our group, is moving down there in a month. Also, I am going to be moving down there in Septermber. Since we always take the summer off from gaming (July and August) and we can only play twice a month we won't be able to finish the campaign by then. We are still trying to decide if we should continue or not.

Thanks for asking Infiniti. Nice to know someone noticed my abscence.

Zag:rollin ig

Infiniti2000
Still here? Wow.
(3/13/03 4:34 pm)
Reply
ezSupporter
Re: The Bloody Swords (Campaign Log)
Here's hoping you get back into the swing of things at some point and I hope you are able to continue, even with a whole new group. Best of luck in moving to a new place, I know how stressful an event it can be. I've never been to Victoria, but I've been to Toronto a bunch and Canadians are wonderful people. :)

Zagig
Here for a while
(4/1/03 11:54 pm)
Reply
Re: The Bloody Swords (Campaign Log)
Well, it's now official. Our campaign is dead. With impending moves, one friend in a few weeks and mine in September, and with taking the summer off, we always take the summer off, we will not be able to finish the adventure and one of the guys does not want to play if we can't finish. Since we use his house to game at, suffice to say the adventure is done. It was fun, and I will be running it again after I move.

BTW, I haven't been here in a while (probably a couple weeks since I bought a newer computer which took a while to fix up among other stuff going on right now) and will only be checking in occasionally from now on. Without an ongoing adventure, it seems pointless to be checking every day.

Thanks for the compliment Infiniti, I think Canadians are wonderful people too.

Zag:rollin ig

Siobharek 
Still here? Wow.
(4/2/03 2:29 am)
Reply
Re: The Bloody Swords (Campaign Log)
Bummer, Zag :(

It was a great campaign log. I hope you get to run the adventure at your new home. Stick around, though. We can't have too many Mad Archmagi!

Siobharek
...it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Zagig
Here for a while
(4/5/03 1:50 am)
Reply
Re: The Bloody Swords (Campaign Log)
Thanks, Siobharek!! It really sucks that we arent' playing anymore. In fact, we have no plans to play RPGs at all. I tell you, it's been 2 months since the last game session and I am going through severe withdrawl pains at the moment. CRPGs don't cut it. I'd join an PBEM or PBMB but I would have to cut out when I move. I did suggest a one-shot adventure or a winner-take-all tournament but I'm not sure how well that went over. Here's hopin'.

I also thought that I would post some stuff that I did really wrong and really right. Would anyone read this or should I find something else to do with my time?

Zag:rollin ig

Kylearanon
Here for a while
(4/5/03 3:24 am)
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Re: The Bloody Swords (Campaign Log)
Forgive my ignorance, but what exactly was that Xorn exploding into a mass of tentacles ? What does the pseudonatural template do ?

Kyle

P.S.: Quite a bummer that you have to quit your campaign. It was a great read so far. Good luck in the new place !!! :)

Zagig
Here for a while
(4/9/03 8:35 am)
Reply
Re: The Bloody Swords (Campaign Log)
The pseudonatural template is in the Tome & Blood splatbook. According to the book they "dwell past the eons that lie between the stars, beyond the planes as we know them, nestled in far realms of insanity." This makes them especially appropriate to this adventure. The template is applied to a summoned creature for the Arcanist prestige class. Andorax suggested applying it to summoned creatures in the temples, and I, somewhat liberally, decided to apply it to called creatures as well. At will, a pseudonatural creature can assume it's true form, which is a grotesque tentacled mass, and retain all of it's abilities.

Thanks for the support.

Zag:rollin ig

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