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Prince Imrahil
Here for a while
(2/5/03 7:53 pm)
Re: Session Thirteen - Part 3/3
This has always been a good read, but the description of Sylvan's nightmares...

Ditto. I'm EXTREMELY impressed with your writing. Beats the hell outta the crap that RA Salvatore churns out. I swear, that guy only exists because he had some really cool characters as opposed to good writing.:rolleyes

Plus, that bastard killed CHEWIE!>:

But anyway, reading your campaign log is a delight. Keep up the good work!

Here to stay
(2/5/03 8:49 pm)
Wow, Thanks!
Thanks a lot for the encouragement and the compliments! :D

I hope to be around for a while. However, we are rotating DMs this weekend, so I have only two more sessions to post before a hiatus (dunno how long, maybe a few months). I need this, though, because I need some prepping before the party hits the CRM. I have a lot of minis to ready, etc. I will finish my pass through the errata, though, and post a number of bad guys in the Splat Book Changes thread. I hope you guys don't lose interest, and wait around for me to continue! :)

Here to stay
(2/6/03 1:37 pm)
Session Fourteen - Part 1/2
The Paladin in His Cups
Before deciding to leave again for Nulb, the party finishes up some last minute details in Hommlet. Verilia picks up her ceramic holy symbol of Obad-Hai from Asherm, the skilled gnomish potter. Kale makes a few more masterwork arrows for use with his masterwork mighty composite longbow. And the others divide the previous treasure and liquor up.

Verilia suggests that the group visit some of the shops in Hommlet in order to find more rumors of the ochre-robed priests and their strange cult. Against her wishes, however, the first choice is the Temple of Ehlonna. Jennithar Rhengold looks over the party as they enter, appreciatively at Corwyn, distastefully at the druid and her large wolf. The cleric looks past the party members, apparently expecting someone not present, and talks to them anyway.

Verilia asks, “To cut to the chase, have you seen anybody wearing those ochre-colored robes lately?” Holding out a symbol of the Elder Elemental Eye, she adds, “Specifically, ones wearing a holy symbol that looks like this.”

Turning her lip up at Verilia’s symbol of Obad-Hai, Jennithar answers, “No, I haven’t. By the way, tell Sylvan I said hello.”

Verilia mumbles under her breath, “Yeah, right.”

Zerosh Nubric the scroll maker also hasn’t seen anything. Neither has Todariche Nem the sage, who also reports little progress on the research of the ring. Before selling the ring for such a large amount, Todariche had taken notes on its design and makeup. Things take a turn for the interesting, however, when the group enters Terrigan’s.

Even in the daytime hours, the place is loud. It is not the sound of music that fills the ears, however, it is the sound of drunkenness, of brawling, and the cacophony of gamblers. More obnoxious than the sound is the stench. The front, swinging doors open up into a dimly lit room covered in soggy sawdust, damp from last week’s vomit. The burning tallow candles come nowhere near masking the wretched smell from the rowdy bar.

“Aye, lad, smells like me home. Surein this place brings ye back to the hills of Karacul?” Shangor grins as he steps into the bar, breathing deeply and only coughing a little.

Corwyn, his elven friend, nearly gags on the stench and covers his face. “I’ll wait outside.” He then climbs to the roof of the tavern and waits. Corwyn enjoys the spider climb ability of his cloak, although he is unsure if the cloak as additional properties.

At a table in the center of the room, Kale notices a heavily armored figure in a dirty, white tabard. The human is unshaven, unkempt, and his body odor is as strong as the puke-stained floor, if not stronger. What’s important to Kale, however, is the symbol of Heironeous around his neck. Otherwise, he looks like he fits right in with Terrigan’s clientele.

Adriana looks at the man in disgust. “Aren’t you that paladin, Zed, Say Odd, or something like that? What do you think you’re doing? You’re a man of the cloth!”

“Xaod,” Xaod clarifies. He burps unceremoniously and continues, “There’s nothing in the scriptures, hic, against a man enjoying a gallon of ale!” He scratches at his armpit, probably filled with fleas. “Or two.”

A long conversation ensues about the nobility of paladinhood, about the righteousness of fighting evil, about the goodness of clean living, and then Kale interjects, “Well, you know, actually he’s right. Heironeous has no requirement against enjoying ale. Barkeep! Pour me one!”

The party tells Xaod of their tale and their impending return journey to burn what’s left of it down, thereby hopefully eliminating all of the evil forever. In the spring, as promised, Verilia plans to plant trees in the ruined town, turning it into a grove for the benefit of Obad-Hai and all of nature. She asks Xaod to accompany them to Nulb.

“Of course I’ll come with you. First thing, hic, first thing, hic, first thing tomorrow morning...eleven, or twelve. Maybe one.” Xaod staggers to his feet, with Kale’s help. He smiles benignly at Kale, applying a little healing to an old scar on the archer’s face. “That’s a good lad.” He then promptly blacks out.

Kale and Aldoroc drag the paladin outside the bar and toss him on a huge black warhorse that appears from around the corner of the building. Verilia uses her torc to talk to the horse and finds out that his name is Thunder and the smelly paladin is his bonded rider. Back at the Inn of the Welcome Wench, Kale drops Xaod into an empty cot in the common room.

Here to stay
(2/6/03 1:42 pm)
Session Fourteen - Part 2/2
The Burning of Nulb
In the morning, the party forcibly wakes up the still drunk paladin. With a heavy dose of coffee, Xaod manages to mount his warhorse, though he sways alarmingly in the saddle. Fortunately, Thunder is a skilled warhorse, and adjusts his position to stay underneath Xaod every time the drunken paladin sways. The horse is so graceful that it looks like he is dancing down the road, while in reality he was trying to keep Xaod from falling on his face. While the group journeys the three days to Nulb, Sylvan remains at Spugnoir’s potion shop so that he can learn haste from a scroll. He will also entertain requests from townsfolk to create minor wondrous magical items.

For the first time, the adventurers approach Nulb from the main road. Previously, they have only come from the south via the temple or the path through the forest. Walking across the bridge over the frozen Imeryd’s Run, Corwyn notices a hole in the ice, about twenty feet from shore, and maybe five or ten feet away from being under the bridge. A wide path leads from the hole, or to it, through the snow, up the embankment and down the main street in town.

Everyone moves across the bridge to the embankment. Even upon a closer inspection, the ranger cannot discern the type of tracks that were made or whether they lead to the hole in the ice or out of it. Kale and Aldoroc continue down the street and to investigate it further and realize that the tracks lead to where the body of the evil cleric lay! A cold shiver runs up Kale’s spine as he remembers the dying curse the ghost tried to place on him.

Remarkably unafraid, Verilia wades through the snow to the edge of the hole and peers into its depths. With the snow covering all the ice, the water is too dark to see through. Turning to say as much to her comrades, a lime green claw with a long, spindly arm suddenly reaches out of the water and grabs her! Before anyone can fight off the arm, it pulls her under the icy water and away from the hole.

Kale, Aldoroc, and Corwyn immediately begin stripping off their heavy equipment. Adriana casts endure elements on everyone, obviously allowing the spells to negate the cold. Shangor uses his prayer bead to give everyone a bless spell. Even in the water, Verilia feels the bless effects. With nothing else to do, Xaod dismounts Thunder and moves up to the bridge in order to get a better shot with his mighty composite longbow.

Now grappling the creature underwater, Verilia gets a better look at it, even in the darkness. It is lime green, with a mottled skin tone and dark green splotches on its thick fur. Despite the freshwater of the river, various barnacles and algae cover the marine troll’s body. It is large and very strong. Verilia stands little chance in grappling such a creature, especially being fatigued from the cold, so she attempts to wild shape to something more suitable. Unfortunately, she fails her concentration check and gets pummeled by the monster for her trouble.

Kale strips down to only his chain shirt of invulnerability and his longsword. Protected by the spell from Adriana, he dives into the icy river looking to save his longtime friend.

Kale fails to make any headway against the current, however, and the troll continues to injure the struggling halfling. Verilia makes her second and final attempt at wild shaping, succeeds, and shifts into the form of an alligator! Surprised at this, the troll moves away from the reptile and viciously rips into it with his claws and teeth. Badly injured, the druid alligator swims away from the troll, out of the hole, and onto the ice above, avoiding a subsequent attack. Corwyn drops a line into the water to help the struggling Kale, who has unfortunately drifted within the grasp of the troll. Verilia changes back to halfling form, casts daylight off a scroll onto a coin, and drops it into the water to help Kale find the rope. After being severely battered by the troll, Kale also manages to make it out of the hole, although it is much more difficult for him, not being an alligator and still wearing his chain shirt.

The troll swims closer to the hole and attacks Shangor from just out of reach and underwater. Only Corwyn and Aldoroc are in position to return the attack, but they find it very difficult due to the cover from the ice and the impedance of the water. The party moves away from the hole in order to gain an advantageous position. Xaod moves back to the embankment, putting away his unused bow, and mounting his warhorse. With a flick of his wrist, a heavy lance magically appears from his glove of storing. Adriana drops a fireball on top of the hole, damaging the ice and clearing away most of the snow, but not injuring anything.

The troll then steps out of the hole and moves closer to the shore. At this point, Corwyn notices a holy symbol partially buried in the thick fur of the creatures neck. A cold dread fills the elven ranger as he recognizes the black triangle and upside down yellow ‘Y’ of the Elder Elemental Eye and realizes that this marine troll might also be a cleric.

Another fireball envelops the troll, barely damaging it. Shangor reasons that it might have casted endure elements itself, against fire. Therefore, he targets a dispel magic in the area and unknowingly removes its protection. Feeling confident, the troll moves up to Aldoroc and slashes him with a claw. Kale and Corwyn also help fight the troll while Xaod charges it with his lance. Injured, though not greatly, the troll casts obscuring mist, shrouding everyone near him in fog. Adriana tells everyone to back away, and most do, as she drops another fireball fifteen feet into the mist. Not knowing it at the time, the spell hits pointblank and the scrag is injured badly in the much stronger blast. Unfortunately, so is Verilia.

The fireball has the side effect of also clearing away the obscuring mist. The now visible troll is subject to attack from the whole party and it cannot withstand their combined might. In a desperate attempt, it tries to run back to the hole, almost sixty feet away, but gets cut down before getting very far. Corwyn drops a few vials of acid on the creature, as others begin lighting torches. Verilia casts flame blade and is able to perform a coup de grace on the troll.

Still protected from the elements, Kale dives back into the icy river to search for the monster’s loot. He finds a pouch of gold wedged under a rock near the body. It doesn’t even cross his mind to mess with the dead hermit again.

With lit torches, the party lights up the waterside hostel, the herb shop, and the ship in the bay. Where necessary due to the snow and the dampness of the wood, Adriana tosses a fireball. The group stands around the burning building of the inn for a couple of hours, enjoying the warmth.

While waiting, Corwyn notices a strange, bulbous form float up from the ground down the street. Whether it appeared out of nowhere or made it that far without being seen is unknown. It is bright red and has a number of dangling claw-like arms under its body. It grins evilly, displaying a wide mouth of curved, yellowish teeth.

The rast flies toward the party quickly, attempting to lay its paralyzing gaze on the closest target, Aldoroc. Aldoroc resists the gaze, however, and combat is joined. Aldoroc says, “For once, I am not paralyzed at the start of a fight!”

The battle is fierce, but quick. Adriana targets a fireball on top of the monster, but it seems unaffected, not even moving to avoid the blast. Although the rast continuously attempts to use its gaze, no one becomes susceptible. Under a blistering attack from Kale’s mighty bow, the creature dies, floating to the ground slowly and dissipating into an insubstantial black mist, apparently returning to its home plane.

Finally, the group makes its way back to the temple. Rarkus is still slowly building his force and currently has over a dozen hobgoblins; some of them being elite warriors. Adriana gives Rarkus the supplies that she has procured from town and gives him additional instructions on maintaining a low profile and not to attack travelers.

Rarkus reports that the temple is nearly cleaned out of debris, and they should have it totally clean by the middle of spring. Of course, he should have a sizeable force by then, and his men are getting restless. Fortunately, the two kegs of ale Adriana brought from Hommlet should be enough to keep them occupied for a while. Should be.

Still here? Wow.
(3/18/03 8:35 pm)
Session Fifteen - Part 1/5
The Entrance to the Capital City, Khorasan
The weary adventurers make the return trip to Hommlet in higher spirits than normal, and not just because Shangor purloined some of the ale intended for the hobgoblins. The defeat of the scrag cleric of the Elder Elemental Eye boosted morale and the burning of Nulb gave everyone a warm and fuzzy feeling. Who knew that trolls could be wise enough to cast divine magic? Corwyn jokingly comments, “The next thing you know, we’ll see a dwarven wizard!”

Sylvan finishes learning the spell haste, but finds no one interested in purchasing a minor magical item during his stay in the small town. The group spends a few days resting, and then decides to head for the capital city of Karacul, Khorasan, delaying the impending trip to Rastor due to the snow and the difficult journey through the mountains. Still, the snow makes the trip southward slower than usual, though halfway to the capital city, the weather improves and the snow starts melting. Verilia points out to everyone that Obad-Hai has begun the spring thaw.

Khorasan is a wondrous and powerful city. Before the fifty-foot walls are even in sight, the party encounters small patrols of town guards, asking about their business, and groups of merchants, some with armed guards, heading for outlying or distant towns. Cresting a tall hill northwest of the city, they see Khorasan. The walls are roughly circular, trapping a river that runs through the city from east to west. Clearly visible from a few miles away are the palace and the Cathedral of Heironeous, both in the very center. Many small towns and farming communities surround the great city.

High in the sky are tiny figures. Corwyn and Sylvan both look up and note that they seem to be dragons of various metallic hues, with riders. Kale, a former guard from a nearby town of Tahmista, points out that the city is protected by an order of dragon riders, guards specially trained in fighting with dragon mounts. Indeed, the city is a very safe place, as might be expected in a well-organized militocracy.

The party approaches the North Gate, through a small town that prospers on travelers and has little in the way of redeeming qualities. A disheveled beggar with a dark scraggly beard stops Sylvan and tugs on his robes, “Milord, could you spare a silver piece for food? My wife and six kids are awfully hungry and we haven’t eaten in days!” Sylvan gives the beggar a silver piece, who replies, “May Heironeous shine upon you, my friend!”

The group then must pass through the gates, but are stopped by the guards. Unlike in Hommlet, Swift is not known and such a large wolf is very unusual. Verilia pays a processing fee of 20 gold pieces in order for the guards to allow her animal companion into the city. Upon receiving the fee, the sergeant comments, “Oh yeah...Verilia...Eldurin said you’d be here...yeah, that’s it. You can find her in the grove near the West Gate.”

Still here? Wow.
(3/18/03 8:37 pm)
Session Fifteen - Part 2/5
The Search for a Place to Stay
The party then passes through the gate and decides to find an inn where they can stay for a few weeks. They first stable their horses just inside the gate at Harnstid’s Stables and then head off to the grove so that Swift would not trouble the city folk. As it is, most passersby look frightened at the large wolf and its halfling rider and move more quickly about their business.

At the grove, Verilia meets one of the druids named Hafez. She is allowed to leave Swift in the grove, particularly after a huge donation in the service of Obad-Hai. Verilia comments forlornly that there are no temples or groves dedicated to Obad-Hai in the Hommlet area, but she is in the process of rectifying that. Later on in the evening, Eldurin promises Verilia help about restocking the forest of Nulb.

Near the grove is a temple to Fharlanghn, which the party stops at momentarily. Sylvan makes a small donation and they continue to the Player’s Inn, thinking it a fitting name for an Inn and a place to stay. Sylvan contemplates the name, preparing to gamble the night away and leave his fortune to the fates. Alas, the inn is actually targeted towards thespians, not gamblers, so the group continues its quest for a place to stay.

Walking east towards the main keep, the adventurers stop at the Temple of Moradin, where Shangor Steele pays his respects, and whopping load of money. He deposits a few hundred gold pieces into the open slot of an unattended iron box. Instead of hearing the satisfying clinking of gold pieces on iron, he hears a belch emanate from the box. The accompanying priest, Hilther (who is strangely a human), smiles and thanks the traveling cleric for his donation.

The party then passes through the Red Dawn Inn, a place located next to the keep. Its targeted customers are visiting nobles, however, and the innkeeper turns his nose up at the dusty adventurers, advising that they should seek more appropriate accommodations elsewhere. Corwyn mutters under his breath things that would probably make a drow smile, but they leave without further altercation. The next choice, the Season’s End Inn is a little too nature oriented, even for Verilia.

They finally settle on the Bronze Unicorn Inn, at the west end of the city, close to where they started at the grove. It’s a respectable inn and one where it seems they cater to the adventuring type. The tired companions take a bath, though not all at once, and sleep the sleep of the dead, their most restful night in a long time.

Still here? Wow.
(3/18/03 8:40 pm)
Session Fifteen - Part 3/5
The Day of Worship
Everyone wakes up late the next day; and even the elves trance longer. This day everyone plans to join the services of each of their respective temples. Well, almost everyone.

In the morning, Kale heads over to the Cathedral of Heironeous to pay his respects, and make some donations. Many clerics of Heironeous attend the main doors, answering people’s questions and gentling asking them to return at noon and discuss more involved issues with the high priests after the service. Kale tries to hand one of them a large donation (over 300 gold), but the cleric, Yatil by name, instead leads the archer into the building to talk to a high priest directly.

Kale meets a high priest Ivan, who gladly accepts the donation and takes Kale on a tour of the beautiful cathedral. During the tour, Kale mentions his indecision in choosing a path in life. Should it be archery? Should it be the life of a cleric? Perhaps even paladinhood would be the proper choice. Ivan attempts to persuade the archer to join the ranks of the paladins, encouraging him with the splendid training grounds and vast resources of the temple. One whole floor is dedicated to training paladins and other holy warriors in their arts. Another floor is dedicated to the clerics of Heironeous, offering state-of-the-art laboratories and other facilities.

The most amazing part of the tour, however, is the sun platform. A small, seemingly empty room contains a teleporter. A person stepping into the teleporter and reciting a prayer to Heironeous or Pelor will be teleported to a platform on the roof. Built with help from the temple of Pelor and wizards from the Silver Consortium, the circular platform is about ten feet in diameter and built onto the roof of the cathedral. A few stone benches provide surprisingly comfortable seating. From the platform, one can see the entire city and remain unaffected by the weather.

By the time the tour is finished, it is time for the service, which is given by the head priest Granley in the main altar. About three thousand people attend the service, more than at any service Kale ever attended. It is nearly enough to sway Kale into paladinhood.

Corwyn attends service at the temple of Correlon Larethian, a rather plain building on the east side of town, just south of the market. Inside the temple, however, Corwyn sees a wondrous garden, complete with a running stream and a comfortable gazebo. An attending cleric, Cremeera, takes Corwyn to see the high priestess, Loreena, who is talking with a noblewoman. Corwyn asks how to make his donation and is told to deposit it in the stream. As he does so, the money fizzles into a cloud of bubbles and disappears. Fascinated by the effects of the donation, the ranger reaches into his money pouch for more coins and tosses those in as well. He does this again and again until Cremeera, chuckling, finally tells him that no more donations are needed, there will always be another day. The noblewoman leaves and Corwyn is introduced to the high priestess. He confers with her about entering service to Correlon Larethian, obtains the blessing of the temple, and leaves.

Shangor Steele visits the temple to Moradin again and specifically attends the “service”. The temple is a rather large building jus northwest of the Cathedral to Heironeous and southwest of the main keep. The services are usually split up and the attendees go to different rooms to be lectured by the priests. As a powerful visitor in his own right, Shangor is invited to attend service with the high priest Geldaran. He pays the cover charge as a donation and then is lead to a small room with about twenty other worshippers, mostly dwarves though a few humans and one halfling also attend. Once everyone gathers around, the high priest taps a keg of dwarven ale and starts filling mugs. The sermon consists of retelling exploits of his adventuring days and of Shangor telling everyone about some of the adventures he has recently had around Hommlet, the moat house, and Nulb. The service lasts until well into the wee hours of the next day, with Shangor heading back to the Bronze Unicorn sporting a hangover.

At midnight, Verilia and Swift join the other druids, clerics, and common worshippers of Obad-Hai in the grove. Hundreds of worshippers pack the grove. Verilia is astounded by the attendance until Hafez tells her that the high druid puts on quite a show. During the service, Eldurin changes shape frequently, mesmerizing the common people and impressing the not-so-common people. She shifts shape to match her sermon and emphasizes her points very effectively. She ends the sermon in the form of a silver dragon and thanks everyone for attending. The applause is loud and the clink of coins in the donation bins is very satisfying. After the service, attendees swamp the clerics and druids of Obad-Hai and not a few new converts are obtained.

Still here? Wow.
(3/18/03 8:45 pm)
Session Fifteen - Part 4/5
The Coffee Shop
The next day is a busy day for the market and for the city in general. However, the group first decides to visit Betham’s Coffee Shop, a quaint and very cozy restaurant/library that caters to spell casters of all types. It has many tables littering the two-story building, divided by rows of bookshelves. Books, scrolls, and papers of all kinds cram each bookshelf. Upon entering the shop, the group overhears the tail end of a discussion.

“I’m telling you, divine casters get short shrift with air walk. Fly is much better!”

Verilia, being a divine spell caster herself, interjects, “Maybe so, but we get silence.” She then sticks out her tongue and brushes past the other patrons to find an unoccupied table. As the group sits down, an elf approaches and introduces himself as Heust. He takes drink orders and asks if anyone wants a daylong pass that provides full access to the library. Only Sylvan accepts the offer, and the fate spinner starts poking through the many books looking up information on memory loss and restoration, hoping for a cure to his amnesia. The group then asks to see Betham the Sage, but they are told that the sage is a very busy person and that it would take weeks to arrange an audience. It would be wise to partake of what the library has to offer in the meantime.

Although the shop is filled with wizards and their familiars, Verilia spots one beautiful black cat in particular. The cat is sitting on a nearby table, calmly watching the patrons, and perhaps looking for its master. Verilia uses her torc of animal speech and communicates with the cat, “Hi, my name is Verilia. I’m not a wizard, but...”

“I know you’re not.” The cat interrupts, “You are a druid. That’s a nice torc you have there.”

Surprised by the perception of the cat and stammering for a response, Verilia can only nod, “Thanks.”

The cat continues, “Are you going to be using the library? I recommend it. Even a druid of Obad-Hai can learn much by perusing the works on these bookshelves.”

“Er, I wasn’t planning on it.” Verilia, still flustered, takes a gulp of her drink. Although she loves animals, the intelligence of this familiar really caught her off guard. “Where’s your master?”

“Well, now, that’s awfully presumptuous of you. I have no master, though my familiar is likely rummaging about one of the bookshelves.” The cat looks offended at Verilia’s question and proceeds to clean his face with a paw.

Verilia says, “I meant no disrespect. Do you have a name?”

“Of course, how silly of me.” Extending a furry paw, he introduces himself, in common, “My name is Betham the Sage and I own this establishment. Is there something I can do for you?”

After the group picks up their collective jaws, a conversation ensues about the Temple of Elemental Evil and the symbols that they have found. Requiring a small fee, Betham then tells them what he knows about the Elder Elemental Eye and Tharizdun and how the dread deity was imprisoned. He answers as many questions as he can, every once in a while momentarily pausing while he “looks up” the information (apparently he has some telepathic connection to the library itself and can access it at will). Although the sage answers a lot of questions and otherwise confirms the party’s suspicions, he is unable to provide further assistance. The group heads out to the market, leaving Sylvan behind to continue his study.

Still here? Wow.
(3/18/03 8:47 pm)
Session Fifteen - Part 5/5
The Market
The first shop is Jala’s Emporium. A dwarf in full plate armor and tower shield stands out front in the sweltering heat and invites potential customers into the shop. The group (not Shangor) is nearly repulsed at the entrance to the shop by the overwhelmingly awful smell from inside the shop. Shangor merely thinks it is a strong dwarf smell, shrugs his shoulders and walks inside. The others reluctantly, very reluctantly, follow. Despite the smell, the master weaponsmith and armorer clearly makes superior items. Everything in the shop is masterwork or better. Adriana decides to further enchant her mace and Corwyn has his mithral chain shirt enchanted. Both items must be picked up in two days.

The party continues shopping in the market, visiting Nib’s imports (Shangor buys a fancy silver candle knickknack to be magicked with continual flame) and other stores and stands. They finally reach the Silver Consortium, where Corwyn pays a high level mage named Tharivor to cast analyze dweomer on the cloak he got from the hermit. Corwyn’s suspicions are confirmed when the mages reveals the garment as a cloak of arachnida. While waiting, Tharivor asks if Adriana would be willing to meet with Juelihm, the archmage of the Silver Consortium. Adriana agrees and the next day she has lunch with the conjurer, with another sorcerer by the name of Zachary. The conjurer encourages them both to join the Consortium, specifically in order to become elemental savants. Zachary agrees wholeheartedly, but Adriana respectfully declines.

In turmoil since entering Khorasan, Kale finally makes the decision. Thinking hard upon the high priest’s words, Kale nevertheless decides to join the ranks of the elite archers, the Order of the Bow Initiate. Using the magical card that Patilion gave to him, he summons the archer and is directed to the shop of Ulmyrios. Kale pays the two thousand gold piece entrance fee, and very happily surprised to find out it was only a test to determine his steadfastness. Ulmyrios, a master bow maker instead uses the money to enchant Soul Mover, Kale’s darkwood masterwork mighty composite longbow that he created himself.

The group rests for the next couple of weeks, waiting until spring has really arrived. They finish purchasing supplies and prepare to head back to Hommlet on their way to Rastor.

It’s time. Tharizdun and the Elder Elemental Eye will not sleep forever.

Still here? Wow.
(3/18/03 8:51 pm)
DM Rotation
Well I hope you enjoy the last and long-delayed session log (#15). I took good notes so I didn't miss much. We are rotating DMs, which gives me the opportunity to really prepare the CRM (thus all my posts on errata and splat book changes). The player for Sylvan is the current DM, in which campaign I play a 7th level cleric named Zeke; but that's a tale for another time. :)

We'll pick up RttToEE in another month or two and probably not switch again until they reach the Outer Fane. Thanks for reading this far!

Prince Imrahil
Here for a while
(3/18/03 10:00 pm)
Re: DM Rotation
It's always great to read your logs- your group seems fantastic and really into their characters. Best of luck with all your preparations et al!

Still here? Wow.
(5/6/03 10:38 am)
Session 16 (Intro)
This session is outside the module. In our DM rotation, the DM couldn't show up, so I wrote up a little something for the four players who could (Verilia, Shangor, Kale, and Aldoroc). I uploaded this mini-adventure to ZansForCans's RttToEE Resources. The specific link is Goblins of Io-Rach. To discuss this mini-adventure, I created a topic.

Still here? Wow.
(5/6/03 10:39 am)
Session 16 - Part 1/4
The Call to Service
On the following day, Worship Day, Kale was asked by one of the priests of Heironeous to look into a particular incident in the poor section of Khorasan. There are a couple of reports of missing people and one sighting of a deformed goblin within the city walls! Knowing that Kale is a former town guard of Tahmista and has a number of comrades-in-arms with him in the city, he will be able to resolve this problem with a minimum of attention. No one wants the locals to get upset at seeing town guards poking around. There are very few reasons for town guards to be in force in that section of town, and it might very well cause a bigger problem. The priests of Heironeous are coordinating this effort with those of Moradin, so Shangor Steele will be filled in on the task.

Kale and Shangor meet up, gather Aldoroc, and head over to the grove to get Verilia. They find the halfling druid in a beautiful flower garden, seemingly talking with the plants and a number of woodland animals around her.

Shangor coughs politely and says, “Not to interrupt such a stimulatin’ conversation with the local plant life, lass, but we got a job ter do.”

Verilia sighs, “Yeah, well, Shangor, I’m guessing you just wouldn’t understand. Sometimes the plants seem smarter than most people.”

Not realizing, or not caring, what dangerous ground he treads, Shangor roughly handles a budding gardenia, “Why do ye call this one a flower...”, then pulls at a daisy, though not removing it from the ground, “...and this one you yank out and call a weed?”

“We do not weed. We just ask them politely to move. At any rate, it is much more comfortable than your stuffy underground passages and cities.” The druid says this as she shoves Shangor away from the more delicate plant life. She then gets up and tells Swift to stay, since such a large wolf will cause more problems in the city than the group wants to handle.

“Nay, lass. Tis’ but another kind of jungle.”

“It may be another kind of jungle to you, but to me, cities should be ripped out and the ground should be replanted with forests.”

The group gathers their gear and head towards the poor section in the southwest part of Khorasan. Corwyn will be busy for the next few days at the temple to Correlon Larethian so he will not be joining the team. Sylvan has been in Betham’s day in and day out researching topics related to memory loss and restoration, and cannot be bothered at the moment. Adriana’s best friend Rachel is visiting from Barahd, so she will not be joining them either. In fact, she is contemplating leaving the group entirely for greener pastures in the island nation of mages.

Still here? Wow.
(5/6/03 10:41 am)
Session 16 - Part 2/4
The Investigation
The priests of Heironeous gave Kale a general location of the missing persons and the sighting of the goblin. Arriving at the scene, Kale notices a number of shops and picks one at random. The sign out front reads “Clothes”, though the lettering on the sign seems almost childish, as if the writer was just learning how to write. They enter the shop and notice a few shelves of clothes and one center rack. The clothes are mostly peasant clothing, although some traveling or artisan garments are available.

The shopkeeper doesn’t notice the potential customers at first, as he is busy sitting in a chair, smoking a pipe, and reading a large book bound in red leather. Noticing that the light is being blocked, the shopkeeper looks up and is somewhat startled by the heavily armed adventurers. “Er, what can I help you with, mighty sirs?”

Apparently, he has little regard for the halfling or doesn’t notice her. At any rate, she’s used to it. Instead, she takes the opportunity to get a good look at the shop and the book he is reading. She notices the thick silver lettering that says “Alchemy” on the front. That’s odd, she thinks to herself. Why would a clothing shopkeeper read a book on alchemy? Adjoining the main shop room in the back of the building is a kitchen. Off to the right are two doors, the one in the back slightly open.

Kale replies first. Not being one to beat around the bush, he jumps right into action, causing Shangor to flinch at the lack of tact. “Good afternoon, my name is Kale. Have you heard anything about missing persons or the sighting of a goblin in the area?”

The man closes his book and puts it down, title first. “No, I haven’t. A goblin, you say? Very strange, that.”

Shangor interrupts, “Aye, a blasted goblin. Ye live in this area and ye haven’t heard of nothin’? What’s yer name?”

Handling himself quite well in the presence of the adventurers, the shopkeeper says, “My name is Pidferd and I’m the owner of this establishment. I’ve had quite enough of your questions, so unless you plan to purchase something, please leave.”

Kale steps closer and pulls out a few gold pieces, “Sure, I’ll take a couple of sets of clothes, and then we’ll be on our way. Sorry for the disturbance.”

After they leave the shop, Verilia tells the others what she saw. They contemplate the oddity of the shopkeeper reading up on alchemy while they enter a nearby shop that apparently sells artisan and farming tools. They meet the distraught smith named Drafus who informs the group of his missing wife, Alicia. Only two days missing, she was last seen leaving her friend Sarah’s home just down the street. Kale notes that the clothing shop is midway between Sarah’s home and the tool shop. Drafus tells the group that the owner of the café across the street has a missing son.

The adventurers walk to the café and sit down in the central courtyard for some watered down wine or coffee. They meet the owner and find out that her son Herme has been missing since last night. He had seen a bloated, pale yellow goblin in the street and followed it to an alley alongside the clothing shop, where it disappeared. Neither Herme nor the goblin has been seen since.

The adventurers decide to check out the clothing shop in greater detail. First things first, they head down the alley. Near the far corner of the building, Shangor uses his stone cunning and finds a secret entrance built into the stone wall. It opens into the building so it is easily opened, but it does not look like it could be closed from the outside. Verilia wild shapes into a brownish mixed-breed mutt and enters the building. The transformed halfling sniffs carefully and listens at each door and room inside, but finds nothing worthwhile, except a couple of warm muffins on the kitchen table and Pidferd still sitting on his chair. Verilia wild shapes back into a halfling and leaves through the secret door, but no one is able to close it, so they just go back in through the front door.

They threateningly confront Pidferd, who cracks under the pressure and runs out the front door. A more thorough investigation of the shop reveals a staircase in the back bedroom closet. If only Verilia the dog could have opened doors.

The poorly worked stone stairs descend into darkness below. The dwarven cleric of Moradin takes point. A foul stench accumulates around the heroes after nearly twenty feet down the stairs. The air smells like a combination of sulfur and unwashed goblin armpits. Verilia, Kale, and even Aldoroc stifle their mouths and nearly gag in response to the malodorous assault, but Shangor takes a deep breath, growls, and prepares for battle.

Still here? Wow.
(5/6/03 10:45 am)
Session 16 - Part 3/4
The Pits of Io-Rach
Verilia wild shapes into a black panther in order to gain better senses. At the bottom of the staircase, the corridor continues into the darkness, branching off after about thirty feet into a large side room. The adventurers can’t help but make noise as they travel down the corridor and alert the otherwise inattentive guardians in the side room. Hearing noise in the entryway, eight goblins and two misshapen pale yellow goblinoids prepare for the approach of the party.

The battle is fierce, but quick. As Shangor is momentarily taken aback by the foul malformed goblins, the panther leaps over his shoulder and pounces on the front goblin, tearing it to bloody pieces. Aldoroc steps up next and cleaves his great axe through a number of goblins. The malformed goblins injure Aldoroc and although the wounds seem minor, the dripping green poison reacts painfully with his non-goblinoid blood. Kale fires three arrows into the bad guys, killing both malformed goblins. Shangor then pulls out his hammer and crushes the last remaining goblin.

A quick search of the bodies recovers very little treasure, perhaps four gold pieces for each goblin. The heroes then continue down the corridor maybe another thirty feet where it opens up into a large chamber.

A foul green pool of poison dominates the center of the chamber. The stench in the room is nearly overwhelming, but the heroes grit their teeth and move forward. On the short walkway to the right of the pit are two winches that hold ropes and harnesses over the pit, suitable for lowering goblins into the pool. As the party watches, one goblin is being lowered into the poison. On the other side of the room, two goblins control a much larger winch that is used to pick up, swivel, and dump vats of the poison into the pit. The goblins hoist a vat and are ready to dump it with the rest of the slop.

Before the goblins can react, Aldoroc moves to the left side of the pool and hacks through two goblins. Kale moves to the corner and fires an arrow at the goblin controlling the winch that is lowering the other goblin. As the arrow takes the monster in the throat, it releases the winch, dropping the other one into the pool. With a silent scream, it disappears into the poison. Shangor casts bless, and draws his hammer. Verilia raises her panther paw, growls some command words, and casts regenerate light wounds. In reaction, a couple more goblins move into flanking position around Aldoroc while a third attempts to bull rush him into the pool. Unfortunately for the goblins, Aldoroc slays the third goblin outright and cleaves into the others, clearing the area around him. The two goblins controlling the winch rotating the vat over the burly fighter and dump its contents. Aldoroc cannot avoid the poison, however, and feels its affects. The remaining goblin behind the second winch launches a javelin across the room and manages to hit Kale’s armor. The chain shirt of invulnerability turns aside the blow and the point breaks off the javelin as it clatters uselessly to the floor. Two malformed goblins emerge from the pool and amble up to Shangor and Verilia. Some more goblins move up as well, while two run down side passages.

The party handles the threat of the goblins relatively easily, but the heroes are unnerved by human-sounding screams emanating from the passageway at the other end of the large chamber. Aldoroc runs forward down the passage and into a bloody torture chamber. On the right, a woman is strapped into a rack while a malformed goblin tightens the mechanism. A young man is manacled to the back wall next to an iron maiden and another misshapen goblin applies pressure on some small device to his hands. Both victims are screaming in agony. A fire pit is near the center of the room with various tools sticking out. Two vats filled with poison are also in the room. A few more goblins stand around, watching the torture with glee apparent on their hideous faces.

As Aldoroc moves further into the room, a shape materializes out of the area behind him and a red hot poker is jammed into his ribs under his armor. The heat from the poker sets his cloak aflame, but the fighter ignores the fire and looks menacingly at his assailant. The attacker is less a man and more a monstrosity, gaunt to the point of emaciation. The master of the torture chamber, the creature is no more than half the weight of a normal goblin, although he is the same height. He is also covered with lacerations and scabs, as if through ritual scarification, perhaps by practicing his craft on himself.

Hearing the screams, the rest of the adventurers follow. Kale fires an arrow under Aldoroc’s arm and into the gaunt torture master, who seemingly delights in the pain and moves up to jab Kale in return. The poker is still red hot and Kale’s cloak also catches fire. Shangor moves over to the rack to engage the malformed goblin in melee as the other goblin tortures the boy on the manacles. Verilia is about to enter the fray as magic missiles hit into her back and burn terribly. Turning around, she sees a reptilian goblin step aside and two humans step protectively in front of it, lobbing alchemist’s fire on the heroes.

Aldoroc angrily curses at he gaunt form, “You filthy beast!” He then lops its head off with his battleaxe, ignoring the burning cloak. As Shangor moves to help the victims, the malformed goblins attempt to run away and all but one get ripped to pieces from an attack of opportunity by Aldoroc. Worried that his arrows would kill the humans, Kale drops his bow and turns to engage the new attackers from the rear with his sword drawn. As the two alchemists move down the passage, two more humans step out and launch more alchemist’s fire at the group. Kale is burning brightly now, but trusts to his chain mail to keep the damage away. Alas, its magic only protects from weapon blows and not energy. The green scaled goblin at the rear then casts another magic missile, hitting Kale. The damage from the magic missile seems worse than normal, however, and where the missiles hit large welts appear, like blisters.

Aldoroc and Shangor continue freeing the victims and killing the goblins while Verilia moves back to help Kale with the alchemists. The human alchemists are taken down easily, but the scaled goblin is considerably more difficult, lashing out with various nasty spells. However, he cannot long withstand the combined assault from the heroes and Shangor and Aldoroc also eliminate the rest of the goblins in the torture room. One goblin, however, escapes down the passage out of the torture room during the fight.

Still here? Wow.
(5/6/03 10:48 am)
Session 16 - Part 4/4
The Goblin Leader
Gathering together in the torture chamber prior to the final assault, the adventures cast preparatory spells like delay poison and additional curing. The goblinoid bodies are looted of money, though items (magical or not) are left on the bodies for now.

The passage continues for twenty feet, turns left for another sixty, then left again for another twenty ending at a slightly open door. As the party comes around the last corner, a goblin face disappears from the doorway and shuts the door. Aldoroc takes the initiative and charges the door, knocking it down, to reveal a barracks and nine goblins. These goblins are no match, and the party handles them easily, though some escape to the adjoining chamber.

In the next, larger room, the adventurers find a similar barracks, though this one is dirtier and smells of the sulfurous poison so prevalent in the pit room. No pool is present, but the greenish liquid is smeared over the walls and bedding on the floor. A number of malformed goblins await the heroes as they enter the room and engage in combat.

With the might of Aldoroc’s battleaxe, Shangor’s war hammer, Kale’s longbow, and Verilia’s sickle, the goblins are quickly overwhelmed. At one point, Aldoroc is surrounded by six goblins only to cleave through them all in a single swipe of his axe. With only three or four malformed goblins remaining, the tide is turned with the appearance of Kezzerug, the goblin leader. Wielding nothing but a hand axe, the leader steps up to Aldoroc and deals a couple of fierce hits, almost taking him out immediately.

The other heroes step up to aid their comrade, and Verilia provides flanking for Aldoroc. Afraid that his enchanted longbow would be destroyed by an attack, Kale drops it and draws his long sword, and attacks Kezzerug. The goblin leader is far more powerful than his small frame suggests, and he absorbs the heroes’ attacks more easily than the heroes themselves. Aldoroc turns to escape to the other room, pulling a potion out of his belt pouch. Unfortunately, pulling the potion from the pouch distracts him, provoking an attack from Kezzerug. The resulting slash into his lower spine critically wounds the big fighter, who falls to the stone floor, dead.

Kale briefly considers leaving the fight as he realizes that a single swing from Kezzerug would kill him. Valor gets the better part of judgment, however, and the archer instead attacks, hoping that his last blow would take down the monster goblin. He gasps in horror as Kezzerug takes the hit and is still standing and ready to return the favor with perhaps a more permanent result. The halfling druid strikes at the goblin in a renewed vigor, and the villain finally falls to her sickle. Shangor futilely checks Aldoroc and gives the obvious bad news to the others. Shangor and Verilia then turn to administer curing spells, but surprisingly some of their wounds do not heal. The blisters from the vile magic missiles are particularly painful and do not respond entirely to the curative magic.

Verilia then continues into the final chamber, apparently the leader’s bedchamber to search it. She triggers three traps in the process, but survives them all. With a detect magic on all the items in the pits, the party recovers everything and carries Aldoroc to the high priest of Heironeous in the cathedral. The high priest is willing to exchange a true resurrection spell for the magical hand axe, and Aldoroc is brought back amongst the living. The goblin’s prisoners are returned their families and the heroes are celebrated by everyone on the block.

The guy from Belgium
Here for a while
(5/7/03 8:01 am)
Re: Session 16 - Part 4/4
“Well, now, that’s awfully presumptuous of you. I have no master, though my familiar is likely rummaging about one of the bookshelves.” The cat looks offended at Verilia’s question and proceeds to clean his face with a paw.

Verilia says, “I meant no disrespect. Do you have a name?”

“Of course, how silly of me.” Extending a furry paw, he introduces himself, in common, “My name is Betham the Sage and I own this establishment. Is there something I can do for you?”

absolutely brilliant infiniti!

my jaw also dropped while reading this, great imagination you've got!

love it!

good luck in prepping the CRM's!


Still here? Wow.
(5/7/03 8:56 am)
Re: Session 16 - Part 4/4
Pull the gaming terms out of this, and it's publishable as a fantasy novel! Great writing! My campaign log was mostly a "tell it like it is", but this...this is literature in the making, and it's going to be one whale of a great read when all is said and done.

"Whadda ya mean, Orcs get levels too?!?"

Still here? Wow.
(5/8/03 5:00 am)
Re: Session 16 - Part 4/4
Thanks a lot, guys! :D

Sometimes, the spur of the moment ideas are the best. I can wing a pretty good game every once in a while and my players seem to like it better when I "look at the module" the least. So, I tend to study it hard, then put it aside during the session except for referencing stats for combat. I plan on putting all the logs into a single document, primarily for my players to review prior to starting up again (minus the earlier DM notes).

It's real hard to remove the gaming terms, let me tell you! Btw, don't knock the "tell it like it is" style. (1) it allows you to talk "DM to DM" and give the really great pointers that you do. Without that style, I (and many others) could not be the DM I am today, running this module. (2) it takes FAR less time, which is necessary for those with families (we have no children...yet). (3) it is more succinct, prompting a larger audience.

Thanks for reading! If you have any comments for the players, let me know, and I can forward them. I'm sure they'd love to hear it! Adriana, alas, has left the group, and Corwyn's player is swapping out a previously played character (in my previous campaign, in my same homebrew world, so continuity is easily maintained), the dreaded Dragon Disciple (gold).

The guy from Belgium
Here for a while
(5/8/03 6:17 am)
Re: Session 16 - Part 4/4
say infiniti, i have a few questions about the dragon disciple in your game

i have one running around too

sorcerer / dragon disciple(silver: cone of cold breathweapon)

how do you like the power of the character?

combat-wise, he's weak enough in the beginning, but once he enlarges and takes a large weapon, he quickly becomes a powerhouse

mine's about to come back as lvl 12 total:
sorc 5 / DD 7 i think it was (or will be)

the breath weapon is ok, but the power the guy will wield might unbalance things a little with his favorite spell, thunderlance... 20 foot-reach force-weapon that can dispel minor force effects like mage armor and stuff

and how do you let him roleplay? he cant possibly show himself in the open in half-dragon form (large, teeth, claws, scales, wings eventually)

mine is circumventing it all with repeated polymorph spells...

what's your opinion about Dragon Disciple within this campaign (and in general)

pardon for asking non-specific rttToEE questions, but i need to know too.

Philip, who dislike Dragon Disciples.

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