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Here to stay
(4/27/03 8:34 pm)
mirrorsh's log of the Wyld Stallyns campaign vs EE: spoilers
Well everybody seems to be doing this so I thought I'd join in the fun. I hope its obvious that a campaign log is going to have lots of spoilers in it....

Ok first off the cast and crew. As you can tell from my players' adventuring party name, this is NOT a serious group of adventurers.

Zoshana - Elven druidess, emissary of the Druidic Council (Dru 6) TN
The cautious PC, initially given the task of investigating Hommlet by "The Druidic Council" of Kandelbereth Forest. She tries not to get into fights, likes to scout ahead, and doesn't believe in activating horrifying artifacts of dead gods in dungeons dedicated to evil, but the rest of the party usually ignores her advice.

Moldiavor (Moldy) - Elven "wizard" (Ftr2/Wiz3) CG
The stupid PC who couldn't role-play his way out of a paper bag (an elf with a crotchety old man voice? huh?). He has a 7 Cha. The Druidic Council was BEGGING Zoshana to take this crass and rude "wizard" (he has a 17 Str and 17 Con and is the official party tank, with the most hit points out of the bunch) away from the forest and on a long, long adventure far away from home. His familiar, a mouse, is named "Cheesy". I'm amazed he's an elf because from his character history his dad sounded like a drunk orc who thought magic was for sissies. At least he's amusing.

Keed, Follower of Ro - Human ranger, acolyte to Ro (Rgr4/Clr1) NG
Keed had the misfortune of dying in the first adventure. And getting raised. And dying again. And again. Through no fault of his own. In his many trips to the Happy Hunting Grounds in the underworld (he's probably died more than any mortal) he caught the attention of "Ro", a magical polar bear who was entrusted by the gods to defend the Northern Wastes of Gyor from the encroaching hordes of orc hordes. Never appreciated for his efforts, Ro has decided to ascend to godhood and entrusted Keed with spreading his message. He also gave him dozens of cheap brass trinkets that he can hand out to people who agree to convert to the new religion.

Rance - Human travelling priest of Gobni (Clr4/Mnk1) LN
The resident munchkin. Rance took a level of Monk for one reason and one reason only: Evasion. He theoretically follows the travelling god Gobni, a wise old god who wanders the world, teaching the ancient craft of healing. Nothing Rance does is for anything except the maximization of his character's abilities and equipment. However he often acts as party leader and is a good force for making sure the party actually goes out and DOES SOMETHING in each adventuring session. Thank god for the "Lawful" descriptor to keep him in line.

Wizzit - Halfling pest (Rog4) NG
Used to be the diplomat and chief role-player of the group. Now he's on a quest for teh f4tz l00tz and is "as real as the streets." You couldn't have a more obnoxious halfling rogue who annoys chief evil NPCs that I'm trying to form alliances with the party into attacking. Real-life prevents perfect attendance at DnD sessions. He loves dual-wield sneak-attacking things to pieces and stealing the party's treasure.

Blane Blastonitz - Corrupted elven sorceror (Sor5) CE/N
Found bound, used, and abused as a prisoner of the Sunless Citadel goblins, he's an elf from the shining elven nation across the Golden Sea. He doesn't really remember much of his past, and spends most of his time in a drunken stupor, and is often an unwitting ally of the party at best. His "friend", a "pixie" who was "cursed" by an evil wizard to have the "form" of an imp, often provides him with useful advice and the location of powerful treasure that his "contacts" have knowledge of. He's recently turned CE but no one knows about it. Except his "friend" (whose name is... Jot!)

Timothy - Dark priest (Clr3) NE
Timothy serves an evil god and he's not afraid to admit it. He offers healing in return for characters' shameful secrets or a bit of their flesh, hair, etc. He was deus ex machined into the group as he entered mid-campaign and we're working out the details. His god is interested in EE, obviously, and this char will be a good way to convince the PCs that evil isn't always the bad guys. (Some of the evil gods in the world are interested in STOPPING EE, because they darned well like Tharizdun where he is!)


I'll start with past deeds leading up to the RtToEE:

First they were to investigate this mysterious "apple" that had magic powers in Oakhurst, which for obvious reasons interested the Druidic Council. They forged an alliance with the Hucrele family, became honorary members of the kobold clan, reimprisoned a poor dragon, and destroyed the Gulthak Tree and its keeper, Belak. They also rescued Hucrele caravan members from a nearby hobgoblin tribe. Highlight: freeing Jot from his "prison", then capturing Jot through inventive use of faerie fire and caltrops after several nights of him pestering them, and believing his bogus story about really being a pixie who was cursed by an ancient mage. Other highlight: Blane selling his soul to Jot's dark masters to restore his magic missile supply as they were about to be obliterated by Belak, in return for delivering the last remaining fruit to the Assassin's Guild. (They know what it does at winter solstice).

They then went back to the Druidic Council for further instruction. On the way they were contracted by a young lord to accompany his fah-tha on an expedition into a nearby forest to investigate the murders of local woodsmen. A poorly planned ambush lead to a confrontation with a goblin shamaness (druid), an ensorceled grizzly, and goblin scouts. Through remarkable use of hidden spiderwebs, they prevailed, and found on the druid's body a magic necklace.

The necklace turned out to be an extremely powerful device (quickly confiscated by the Druidic Council), stolen from some mysterious shrine near a little town called Hommlet. Apparently the goblins had contacted a lost god calling herself "The Ursine Goddess", who gave them a powerful mini-artifact, but were later kicked out by a tribe of powerful hobgoblins. They were looking for a new place to establish themselves, but not before falling to the hands of the Wyld Stallyns.

So next they were off to go to the hamlet of Hommlet, to figure out where this little "shrine" might be (ToEE the obvious choice), and along the way foiled a plot by an inept group of orcs piloting a dragon turtle boat who were making raids on local coastal towns.

Here to stay
(4/28/03 4:59 pm)
Update #1
Hmmm ok here's my writeup. I do writeups at the end of every session so that next time people know what's going on. My players have atrocious memory (they kept calling Spugnoir "Spleugorth" for example) so this helps them a bit.

Unlike many campaign logs, mine tend to be a bit uh abstracted and generalized. Very few blow-by-blow descriptions of what went on, and usually lots of in-jokes, sorry.


So the Wyld Stallyns travel in two groups from Kandelbereth Forest to the hamlet of Hommlet, to investigate the claims of the captured goblin druidess concerning the "shrine" from which she obtained her powerful artifact. After a brief stop in the misty town of Fogly, and in the bottom of the Shaolin-style martial hole, the Stallyns arrive at Hommlet to conduct their investigation.

The Wyld Stallyns spend a week questioning the locals, asking about the history of the area and the location of any possible ruined shrines or temples. Quickly making a reputation for themselves as a band of heroic adventurers and child frighteners, their week-long stay culminates in a mass gathering at the Inn of the Welcome Wench to listen to "Blane the Conqueror" detail the innumerable conquests of the Stallyns under his ingenious command. This sufficiently impresses the local ladies and men, and a local treasure seeker by the name of Chatrilon Unosh mentions that he'd like to join a brave band to attack the hobgoblins at the ruins of the Temple of Elemental Evil.

Of course, before setting out to accomplish this, our band of heroes get sidetrekked at a visit to Spugnoir's Shoppe of Powerful Potions and Extraordinary Elixirs. They hear the sad plight of the proprietor -- a little ten-year old girl -- who mentions that her potion-making dad (Spugnoir) has been missing for several days and that she's worried. Her
story moves the stout-hearted Stallyns, terrified that they might have to conduct an entire 200-page long adventure without anyone restocking the supplies at the local potion shop. They set off east towards the Moathouse, in the last direction he was seen travelling, ignoring the complaints of
Chatrilon that there's nothing at moathouse because he was just there last week and that this is a waste of time. Along the way they meet "Ol' Dell" (who I just realized should have been a perpetually smirking blonde guy who says "Dude!" a lot) who claims to have seen a DRAGON fly into the moathouse.

Putting the Dragon back into D&D, the Stallyns fearlessly assault the moathouse, provoking the wrath of a huge blue dragon (well, wolf-sized) that eviscerates the Stallyns with claw/claw/wing/wing/bite and bolts of charged lightning. Blinding the dry, overly sensitive eyes of the Stallyns with
powerful buffets of wind, the dragon (named Utreshimon) leaps from meatsnack to meatsnack, downing or almost killing our heroes up to two or maybe even three times per character, saved only by the diligent curing of Zoshana and
Rance. In the end, though, nothing can stand against the combined might of the Wyld Stallyns (and a poisoned sneak attack arrow shot from Chatrilon).

Here for a while
(4/29/03 7:12 am)
Re: Update #1
Cool start to the campaign. Sounds like Big U was just about as nasty as they could survive.

Tell me you didn't tell the PCs that Chat's killer arrow was a 'poisoned Sneak Attack' arrow?
You're just sharing that snippet with us in-the-know types, right? :)

I look forward to hearing how the Wyld Stallyns save the world (through their music? - no bard in the party, darn it).

Grumgarr - Spleugorth, he-he-he :)

Still here? Wow.
(4/29/03 7:45 am)
Re: Update #1
Very fun, mirrorsh! Keep it up! My party calls him Spug-nor, or sometimes Spuggy.

Here to stay
(4/29/03 1:06 pm)
Re: Update #1
Tell me you didn't tell the PCs that Chat's killer arrow was a 'poisoned Sneak Attack' arrow?
You're just sharing that snippet with us in-the-know types, right?

Actually the party has since advanced quite a bit (by our interminably slow standards), they've "finished" (or so they think, they'll be back) with the moathouse entirely. The writeup is a little old. They pretty quickly found out ol' Chat was a bad guy, so I let them in on it after they dealt with him.

(through their music? - no bard in the party, darn it).

Yeah I was a little disappointed :( They do the air guitar thing often enough but it's just not the same. I even brought in Monte's alternate bard to ratchet up the "cool factor" but no one took up the offer. At least a few party members took up ranks in perform.

Here to stay
(4/29/03 6:25 pm)
Update #2
Ugh I'm sick, here's a quick summary: The Wyld Stallyns found some stairs leading to a dungeon. They had used nearly all their spells/hit points fighting the dragon, so they decided to set up camp for the night in the ex-dragon's lair, and then go down below at full strength. At first watch, Rance was felled by a dagger in the back from Chatrilon, who hid and rushed into the basement. His scream awoke the Stallyns who healed him and learned of Chatrilon's treachery.

Flying down the stairs with with Moldy in the lead, two snarling hyena-headed beasts leapt out and battered Moldy with axes, but their ambush was short-lived, as with one whirling motion he lopped one in half with his mighty sword and decapitated the other. (Probably THE ONLY successful use of Cleave in the campaign so far).

The Stallyns then searched for Chatrilon, but ended up finding Spugnoir (the missing potion-merchant) and a foul-smelling ghast and his three ghoul friends. The ghoul's stopped to slay and feast on Wolfy's corpse, and while the Stallyn's looked on in horror, Chatrilon came out of hiding the feebly lob an arrow towards Zoshana, which missed.

The Stallyns mopped up with several turn-undeads and some hacking on Chatrilon. A mad desire to kill unfortunately overcame more rational instincts, and they coup-de-graced the poor fellow before they could ask any questions. They then decided to investigate an adjoining room before resuming their rest, but found a room teaming with skeletons, two more gnolls, and a female cultist dressed in ochre robes. The battle was fierce, and even fiercer when a squad of six additional gnolls joined the fray. One gnoll and the woman fled through a secret passage, and the Stallyns reinforced the doors to finally rest.

They also got a crapload more XP than when they fought the dragon. ??

Here to stay
(4/30/03 6:27 pm)
Update #3
Next several updates will come in waves, as the players are quite advanced beyond the stage that I'm updating this log.

(DM: Ok first off, the player's kill a dragon, chase an assassin down into the dungeon, slaughter gnolls, ghouls, skeletons, more gnolls, and a cultist; and then after the cultist and a gnoll flee down a secret passage what do the players do?

They close the door, "bar" it, and go to sleep. In the room that a cultist just escaped from. Well boy I hope she doesn't come back with reinforcements! sheesh... I figured the cultists would attack at full strength with a full complement of gnolls since 1) the party closed off the only known exit from the moathouse, 2) the party just killed a dragon and was obviously hurting, 3) attack now before they have a chance to get all their healing spells back!)

So after reinforcing the doors and setting up camp, the Stallyns were rudely interrupted by reinforcements sent by the cultist who had fled an hour or two earlier. Using a "stone shape" spell the cultists carved a hole through the barred secret door and attacked. The Stallyns slew them all, but not before three of their own were slain. They set up camp (AGAIN) in the evil cultist stronghold, and sent Blane back to town to fetch some horses or mules to carry the dead (and treasure) back to town.

Blane braved the dangerous countryside and farmlands of Hommlet alone, collapsing onto a barstool at the Welcome Wench in exhaustion. Feebly reaching into the coinpurse the recently deceased Moldy had kindly lent him, he scattered gold coins across the barstool... "Please... so... hungry... tired... I'll buy everyone in town a drink if... if you just... ..." and then collapsed into the bosom of the innkeeper's comely daughter.

Soon a throng of people came to the Inn to hear Blane's harrowing tale of near-death. Elmo and the militia, concerned at news of a dragon and ochre-robed cultists, left with Blane in tow in a wagon to pick up the Stallyns at the moathouse.


The Stallyns came home heroes, for they had slain a dragon. After selling a significant portion of their loot to raise the dead, they began an investigation into why Jaroo (the local druid) had failed to properly reincarnate Rance from the dead. (DM: Being a doppleganger incapable of actually casting the spell, Jaroo faked wracking pain during the "ritual" which interrupted the spellcasting.)

They soon learned that Yundi (the local druid's assistant) had administered POISON to Jaroo after he collapsed from the aborted reincarnation ceremony, and was currently awaiting trial for attempted 1000gp property damage (that's all that death and murder amounts to in the D&D universe anway). (DM: In the confusion Jaroo planted an empty bottle that once contained poison on Yundi's body and managed to pocket the healing flask Yundi had attempted to give to him, thus deflecting suspicion).

The Stallyns questioned Yundi in his prison cell, watching him hem and haw (sp?) and feebly deny his involvement in any attempt on Jaroo's life. (DM: They didn't believe him!) Not entirely sure what to make of the situation, the intrepid adventurers decided to investigate claims that cultists were hiding in the town's local mill.

At the mill, they met three brawny workhands, who mentioned that the owner hadn't been around for several days, and that there were no cultists here at the mill. The Wyld Stallyns, too crafty to take "no" for an answer, returned in the dead of night to investigate the mill in private. There they were greeted by one of the brawny workhands, apparently an eldritch mage of some kind, firing a crossbow bolt from behind cover.

The fighting was intense, for soon this brawny eldritch workhand was joined by a fierce orc dressed in full-plate armor, a lightly armored man with a guisarme, and a mad red-cloaked black-haired man who conjured a sphere of pure force to withold Keed and Zoshana from joining the fray.

The fight would have been more fierce, and the Stallyns would have actually EARNED their mad loot and XP's, if Moldy had not blinded the powerful, high-level red-cloaked cultist in the first 20 seconds of combat, making him ineffectual, and deathly vulnerable to Wizzit's "blades
of fury."

One of the cultists escaped, setting the mill on fire in the process. With the help of the town militia, the Stallyns put down the fire, and retrieved a chest full of loot and a written message to one of the cultists: The Temple of All-Consumption is near the mining town of Rastor. (Located waaaaaay north, north of Oakhurst).

(DMs note: Rastor seemed to be located a far distance away from Hommlet, closest to the city of Verbobonc than Hommlet. So I placed "Mining Town/Rastor" north of Hommlet in my campaign world, near the small town of Oakhurst and the capital city of Pavia.

HOWEVER I intend to move Rastor back down nearer towards Hommlet, if only to actually use that huge detailed description of Hommlet from the adventure rather than some nameless, faceless city I have little information about.)

Here to stay
(5/1/03 3:47 pm)
Update #4, er no 5
Hmm... after getting raised and all the Stallyns investigated Jaroo's murder. They questioned Yundi in prison (and again did not believe his story!

They actually spent a few days in Hommlet. Having killed a dragon, Elmo sent some Badgers to the moathouse to check it out. Well the wagon from Rastor arrived, and the gnolls/cultist slaughtered the Badgers and were trying to grab any artifacts they could find and flee. As luck would have it, the Stallyn's returned to the moathouse the day the cultists were going to pack it up and leave.

Moldy used Cheesy to scout ahead into the moathouse (he's a mouse, very good Hide/MS!) who managed to Spot the grick hiding in the dragon's lair. It was a stormy day (I rolled) and Zoshana used the storm to her advantage to zap the grick with some call lightning. The Stallyns then stormed through the courtyard and mopped up the gnolls.

They went in the dungeon, killed some ghouls, maybe opened the cultists' chest.. hmm... they followed a turned/fleeing ghoul into the ghoul caves and managed to stumble upon the secret altar. (Yes I made them maneuver through that accursed maze, listening to my feeble descriptions of passageways and T-sections and turns and they tried heroically to draw a map to guide there way through it all but to no avail. How they hated it!! :)

Anyway they found the things in the 4-sided statue, then went upstairs to rest.

phew... and now for the long part.

So the Stallyns rested in the upper part of the moathouse, and then once again delved into the dungeon, travelling through the cavernous maze to the weird altar and the four-sided column. They inspected the altar, Rance tried beating the black drum, but nothing happened except that the altar changed color from black to amethyst again (whether from drum beating, or Wizzit searching it, or Moldy playing with his marbles, who knows).

The Stallyns left, maneuvering through the ghoulish maze of twisty passages, managing to escape after quite a long expedition. They then decided to investigate the mysterious "pool" mentioned in Geynor Ton's letter, and found a room with a shaft in the floor, a smaller version of the four-sided column, and a wooden platform that acted as an elevator through the shaft via a rope-and-pulley system.

The elevator descended into a huge cavern, black as night. Water fell from a stream above, descending into the darkness. In the middle of their descent, from the darkness above, lurked a floating many-tentacled horror with the consistency of some aberrant jellyfish, that lashed out at Rance and drew him into hits tentacled embrace. It quickly paralyzed him and floated away, drawing his motionless body into its maw to devour. The Stallyns quickly lashed out with spears and bows, as Rance drew on the free spirit of Gobni (his god) to nullify the paralyzing venom (Travel domain, technically only works against magical effects but I forgot that). The beast was felled, and began to slowly float towards the bottom of the immense cavern, with Rance entangled in its tentacles.

Rance dropped his torch, and watched it fall, hundreds of feet, to the surface below. But nearby was a black platform streaked with veins of violet, directly below the wooden elevator, that Rance could leap towards to safety. He barely managed to land on the platform, but as the rest of the Stallyns descended to the platform, the violet veins moved through the rock to form a nexus around Rance's feet, sapping him of his physical strength, before he was able to find safety on the elevator.

They saw another wooden elevator on the edge of the circular black platform, and ran to it and descended the rest of the way to the cavern floor. The black-and-violet platform, they learned, was the top of an immense inverted obelisk, its entire weight resting on its point at the bottom of the cave, supported by a rock pillar tiny in comparison.

At the cavern bottom they found two symbols engraved into the floor and colored jet black: an "obex" (two-tiered pyramid) and a flaming black sun. Also a pool of water formed by the falling water, and an archway depicting snakes and tentacles behind which stood a wall of pure black (like a 2001

The symbols in the floor did not appear to do anything, but as Wizzit learned, staring at the black sun for a period of time wracked his mind with visions of pain and insanity. The black archway appeared to be a weird gate to another dimension from which, when Wizzit touched it, another jellyfish-like horror came from to attack. At just that moment, the Stallyns heard a maniacal voice that cried "Now you've done
it! Mwahahahahaha!"

Soon they were joined in a violent battle between the grell (jellyfish creature) and an insane flying cultist wearing the ochre robes of Elemental Evil. The grell captured Keed and floated into the darkness above to devour him, and nearly did, if it weren't for the quick actions of Zoshana and Moldy. Zoshana summoned a flaming sphere and caused it to leap into the air, illuminating the darkness to allow Moldy enough time to fire arcane bolts of energy, which felled the creature. The cultist summoned a crocodile imbued with bluish energy which wrestled with Zoshana before it was sent back to the fiendish plane of its origin.

The battle with the cultist was fierce, with each side using the shadows of the dark chamber to its advantage, but this cultist, like them all, proved no match for the Stallyn's might.

They found nothing else in the cavern of interest --- the pillar had rungs that one could climb to the tip of the obelisk, but nothing was there; and the archway absorbed the dead body of the cultist without complaint. The Stallyn's took the elevators back to the moathouse dungeon, and sealed the entrance to the cave with a "stone shape" spell, hiding it f forever again from prying eyes.

Finally, right before returning to Hommlet for a well-deserved rest, the Stallyns decided to investigate ONE last portion of the dungeon, through an odd-looking wall at the end of a side passage. Through it they found a door, through which were several connected chambers inhabited by two hideously ugly @#%$(as in rooster)-like birds. The birds closed for battle immediately, but were quickly killed. Unfortunately their feeble
pecks instantly petrified Moldy and Rance. The remaining Stallyns saw another @#%$-a-trice lurking in another chamber, minding its own business, but after being attacked by Zoshana's flaming sphere it flew in and petrified Wizzit.

At that point the remaining TWO Stallyns fled, calculating in their minds exactly how to come up with the requisite FIVE THOUSAND gp they would need to buy "stone to flesh" scrolls to help free their comrades. And such a shame that some of the expensive big ticket items they could sell for tons of moolah had been worn by Moldy, Rance, and Wizzit, and were now turned to stone.

Here to stay
(5/1/03 3:50 pm)
RUpdate #6
Following last week's disaster, the Stallyns decided to mop up the cockatrices and fetch their corpses to reduce the cost of freeing their friends. After resting for a day to let Zoshana "attune with nature" (memorize spells), they prepared their attack: Zoshana summoned a horde of viscious BADGERS to harry (sp?) the cockatrice while Keed and Blane lobbed arrows and magic missiles, respectively. The @#%$ was slain in short order, and the Stallyns looted the area before marching back to town to purchase some scrolls.

They found two of their horses slain and eaten by some mysterious creature, and one had run away towards a (relatively) nearby farmhouse, where they found it well cared for by the farmer, with whom they stayed the night. He told some amazing stories about magical flying wolves and ant-like-arachnoid creatures that ruined his fence.

Back in town, they managed to haggle with Burne for the purchase of three Stone to Flesh scrolls. Then, a short trip BACK to the moathouse, they freed their companions from stone. Unfortunately Wizzit failed his Fort save and died in the transition.

So going BACK AGAIN to Hommlet, they decided to pay a visit to Jaroo for training and a possible reincarnation spell for Wizzit. Alas, he was not there; only Tarim and his son delivering chopped wood. They waited several days to no avail, Jaroo was either on vacation or dead, or ignoring them. Investigating his grove they found nothing, but in the distance Rance spotted a shadowy figure behind a tree. When they arrived at the tree, however, it was gone. Eventually Zoshana adopted an eagle's form, and with her amazing eagle vision spotted a shadowy figure in the treetops spying at the Stallyns. The figure lept from the tree, impaling Moldy through his collarbone; but the attack was short-lived after a `hold person' from Rance. It was Maridosen! the surly bartender from the Inn of the Welcome Wench.

The interrogators at the Church of Siros were unable to extract significant information from Maridosen -- all the divination magic they flung could not overcome her steady resolve. As the Stallyn's turned their prisoner over to the militia to await trial, the shadowy acolyte Derim suggested giving the priests of the War God a chance at interrogation --- being not as constrained by strict moral precepts, perhaps they might extract additional information.

With Jaroo gone, the Stallyn's decided to question his long-time friend Tarim (the woodcutter), and soon discovered something odd about Tarim's appearance at the druidic grove a few days before with his son --- Tarim insisted that he hadn't been there for over a week! And yet his son insisted that he HAD been with him at the grove. Something odd was afoot; even moreso when a thorough investigation of Jaroo's grove uncovered his dead and partially incinerated body buried not far from his hut.

--- (and then, in between gaming sessions)

Nestor (or whatever his name is) the 2nd-in-command of the Temple to Saer (the war god) fetches Maridosen from her cell at the militia and brings her to the Temple's interrogation room in the dungeon of the temple. From there, the clamor of constant construction at the Temple drowns out any possible sounds of the intensive inquisition of her knowledge of cultist activities. It is later learned that after the interrogation Maridosen was secretly transferred to an undisclosed prison far away to live the rest of her days in accordance with County Law. The concealment of the operation was such that none could be witness to exactly where or when she was transferred except perhaps for the senior officials at the Temple. It is also learned, although this information is divulged only to Elmo and the officers of the Wyld Stallyns mercenary band, that Maridosen was party to a cultist operation in Hommlet, to provide support, in the form of intelligence-gathering and murder, for the forces of Elemental Evil in their retrieval of vital relics from under the moathouse. So far Jaroo and the miller's family have fallen prey to their depradations, and though most of the cultists have been slain or have recently fled, still more may remain.

A merchant caravan arrived in Hommlet while the Stallyn's were busy in the moathouse, from Pavia/Capitol-City and on its way towards the West, replenishing the monetary stocks of Joman Dart and providing additional adventuring supplies, including magical hand crossbow bolts and a wand. It was guarded by a largely orc/half-orc mercenary company, including, oddly enough, a half-orc with no right eye.

Here to stay
(5/1/03 3:54 pm)
Update #7
This is getting exhausting! Too many updates in so short time.

I'm playing catch-up here. Once I'm up to speed I'll be updating at a regular 1/week 1/2weeks schedule.

The Stallyns spent some time in Hommlet getting Wizzit raised from the dead, and allowed a new member, Timothy, to join the party. Exactly why/how this happened will be explained sometime in the future, didn't want to spend too much time figuring it out.

Before going on to other, more exciting adventures, they decided to go back to the Moathouse -- again, for the like 6th time -- to explore the long passageway near to the location of their ill-fated experience with cockatrices. It turns out it lead to a hidden cave entrance hundreds of yards from the moathouse. Boring.

But before they could go, Blane convinced them to go back to the ghoulish altar. "There's just GOT to be great power stored in that altar, just WAITING to be tapped by brave adventurers!" he said. And there was! Blane lit the incense, banged the drums, and shook the chimes, and the writhing mass of amorphous black in the altar's center burst into a bright flaming sphere, before opening to reveal a flaming eye. Some party members had the presence of mind to leave the room, and avoided the ill effects of the vile energy spewing from the eye; others were not so wise, and soon Blane and Moldy were drained of their vital essences, and Blane was sent reeling and incoherent, babbling as Rance dragged him away to safety.

It was clear that whatever power was contained in the altar was for ill, not good. But Blane persevered, he was convinced that there was yet more power to be had under the now-sealed pool in the obelisk chamber. The Stallyns, however, gave a vote of no confidence, and they left for Hommlet to regroup and plan their next adventure.

(DMs note: Blane stared at the "flaming sun" and suffered intense Str drain. So he decided, well golly it must only work if you have ochre robes and a black cloak and BOTH holy symbols on! THEN it'll give me great power! Well I rolled "insanity" on the chart, and figured, you know, what the heck, with a guy throwing on cultist robes and unholy trappings and just dying to get in touch with Tharizdun's hidden magic -- sure bub, you can get in touch with him. You're now insane ---- as in cultist insane.)

Here for a while
(5/1/03 7:28 pm)
Re: Update #7

I think the next time someone starts a thread with that recurring question: "How do I get my players to try all this cool, nasty, evil stuff Monte put in here", I'll have to answer: "Simple, get some of mirrorsh's players to join your party."


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Here for a while
(5/2/03 6:08 am)
Re: Update #7
BTW Break Enchantment will restore people from Petrification and it is only a 4th level Cleric spell.

Still here? Wow.
(5/2/03 7:18 am)
Re: Update #7
Break enchantment is a 5th level cleric spell, but otherwise you are correct. It would work better than stone to flesh because a fort save is not needed. It is automatic. Good reading, though, mirrorsh, please keep up the logs.

Here to stay
(5/5/03 7:01 am)
Re: Update #7
BTW Break Enchantment will restore people from Petrification and it is only a 4th level Cleric spell.

Doh! Don't tell my players, they'd be so pissed. They had to sell so much crap to un-petrify their party members. Actually I was nice and let them take the cockatrice corpses to a high-level mage to act as "power components" which reduced the price a little bit (5gp per XP point saved) but it was still a big hit.

Here to stay
(5/5/03 10:06 am)
Update #8
Now the Stallyns finally decide to check out the ToEE (what they're _supposed_ to be doing, at least officially).

First, the druid shapechanges to an eagle form and scouts out the surrounding area. In a flyby (I stole a bit of this from the best of the boards) she sees Nulb, ToEE, and ruined desicated area surrounding them, and manages to spot a small patch of well-tended vegetation in Nulb, currently being tended by a black-robed man with a staff. (Lareth!) She thinks it is a friendly druid but decides not to say hi until she has the full backing of the rest of the party.

She lands in the forest, chats up some animals, and manages to find a decent campsite/hiding-place near an outcropping of rocks that provides a defensible position and protection from rain, etc. Then flies back and tells the Stallyns.

They travel north, stopping at "the Drowd's" -- an inbred backwater family living as far north from Hommlet as any partially sane individual would (everyone knows about toee and I figure it gets progressively more infested with monsters, hobgoblin raiders, and awful insects and pests that prevent anyone from maintaining a decent farm). They live in a wooden compound resembling a fort, are incredibly xenophobic, and tend to resent/hate the townsfolk from Hommlet because they (townsfolk) enjoy the benefits of good land, regular armed patrols, and so on. However they depend on them for their livelihood (buying seeds, selling things, etc)

Keed (the ranger, and recent convert to the magical polar bear religion of "Ro") had scouted this area and "converted" most of the Drowd's to his new religion. They liked it because they are 1) gullible/backwater but more importantly: 2) it's a new religion that NO ONE from Hommlet knows about, and they're itching to put the townsfolk into their place and lord the new god "Ro" over them since, as devout believers, they'll inherit the earth. Or, at least, Hommlet. Or so they think.

WELL anyway, the Stallyn's stop by at the Drowd's on the way up. Apparently in the time elapsed since Keed last visited "Ro" has taken on a life of its own. Without any real guidance from Keed, everyone at the compound has come up with their own ideas about what Ro is like and wants. The elders aren't too keen on the whole concept, it is really the younger generation that is excited about the new god. A snot-nosed 16-year old "scout" and "ranger" uses his recent encounter with hobgoblins as evidence of "Ro's power."

Supposedly he encountered a group of hobgoblins and slew them all with the help of two of his friends. The head of a hobgoblin, nearly crushed in half from some powerful weighty blow, lies on a spike outside his house. The Stallyns find this a little odd and unbelieveable, but press on to their campsite in the forest near Nulb/ToEE.

(DMs note: random encounter, Ogres. So I decided that a clan of ogres has recently moved into the area and are competing with the ToEE hobgoblins for hunting/raiding space, etc. They are lead by a fairly powerful ogre druid/shaman, and the Drowd kid actually witnessed a fight b/n a hobgoblin raiding party and some of the ogres. The head is the result of an ogre clubbing. He looted the remains well after the ogres left and grabbed a head for bragging rights.

This is intended for the players to bargain for additional aid at the temple if they so desire it. I boosted the temple hobgoblins, they are now lead by a werebear (werebears are evil in my world, nyah) and, well anyway you'll see.)

SOOO they first travel to Nulb and go to the tended patch of vegetables to find the "druid." No luck, but two shadows ambush them and without the main party cleric (couldn't show up that night) two of the PCs are almost Str-drained entirely. They limp back to their camp to rest.

Here to stay
(5/5/03 6:26 pm)
Update #9
Ok, for real now, this is the last of the backlogged updates:


The Stallyns limped back to their camp from their encounter with the shadows, and rested the night. In the morning, a huge grizzly bear came poking around their site and lo! it was not a grizzly bear but an attractive, yet dirty and smelly, druidess named Kella! She greed to watch the Stallyns' campsite and heal them, since they would soon be invading the temple to destroy the hobgoblin menace.

But first, they decided to go back to Nulb and try and find the mysterious plant-growing fellow. And find him they did, walking towards them along a major road of Nulb. He hailed, identified himself as "Lawrence", and revealed a hideously disfigured face.

He suggested they get a meal at the local inn, abandoned yet still functional as an eatery, and he had several rat corpses (yum) for lunch.

They up-righted a table and sat down to eat, while Wizzit explored the bar to find some forgotten liquor. He noticed an unnatural coldness emanating from a bar, but was unable to warn anyone before being killed, or, not, by an apparition of an insane, dessicated man, before he vanished into thin air as a volley of missiles and arrows were fired at him. As they regrouped and debated what to do, the ghostly man struck again, knocking Rance to his feet and crushing his heart. Rance died.

Lawrence suggested they leave and go to his place, and as they fled the tavern the Stallyns turned to him, and peppered him with questions, in the manner that an annoying 3' tall man might splash dave's insanity sauce in your eyes while mocking you and dancing on your toes. Like that, except with questions instead of insanity sauce.

(DMs note: No, really, the annoying halfing in the party with no charisma and no ranks in any diplomatic-like skills was just asking THE MOST ANNOYING questions to Lawrence and totally pissing him off. sigh. Blane was really trying to chat him up but... ohwell.)

They also suggested the existence of strange artifacts dedicated to Tharizdun, the banished god, from beneath the moathouse, and a resurgence of Elemental Evil. Intrigued, Lawrence demanded they turn over the artifacts to him, so that he could learn more about his own dealings with Elemental Evil -- for it became apparent that he was a follower of the demoness Lolth years ago, and an ally of the cultists, before they abandoned him and left him to rot, deformed, in a vile town called Nulb. And he had since been yearning to know why the Elemental gods had lied to him.

(DMs note: slight modification from what Lareth's official backstory is. in the module I believe he knows he really worshipped (and still worships) Tharizdun. In my world he doesn't quite know yet that Tharizdun is behind everything. It is in fact a bit of a mystery to him why he even has any clerical power left within him, since he hates Lolth, elemental evil, and all the rest that "betrayed" him. But anyway, he gets killed so... ohwell.)

The Stallyns would have none of it. "Hand over teh mad lootz?" Keed exclaimed. "Nay! Teh mad lootz is MINE!" And so a raging battle ensued, and an odd thing occured: Rance came back from the future, fully formed and alive, except he was an elf. uh... no good excuse for that, Rance died at the start of the night, and he needed to keep playing. So.. they go back to camp eventually, pay to have him reincarnated, he finds someway to travel back in time. I don't know I don't care. Retroactively void his death? Ugh who knows.

And so the battle was joined.

Stuff happened and then....

The Stallyns won. They took Lawrence's stuff, burnt the inn down (vindictive bastards), and cast some healing spells.

Before going to camp, they decided to check out the rest of Nulb. They found an herb shop (Lareth's) which contained (bonus) a very small cellar with a warded door and chest. Blane was foolish, and was in the tiny cellar room when the chest was opened... zap, death, good bye Blane. He has an 8 Con so... boy even when he made his save, too bad, gone. But they found a huge gem inside and some other minor item (the Stallyn's desperately need gold).

I figured they'd rest up by now, but no, they went to the pirate boat, and proceeded to get nearly annihilated by the jelly and wraith (I cut the # wraiths down to 1, else they'd have been completely hosed). It was a pretty fun battle though. Highlights:

*) The Stallyns kept splitting the jellies apart. I mean, really, they split those jellies down to 1 hit point jellies. I don't think the rules really "allow" for it, but I ruled basically that they had an assortment of 20 or so odd jellies ranging in size from tiny to medium. I mean SHEESH guys don't you learn?!?!?!

*) Timothy, grappled and being drawn into the water, spending most of his time......trying to escape? No. Attacking the jelly? No. Trying to wrest the heavy iron chest from the back of the boat? Yes. He miraculously survived.

*) Moldy, nearly dead from multiple jelly attacks, turned to flee, but there was no way to go: jellies all around on one side and an angry wraith not too far away. So he turned and tried to bash his way through the (wood-rotted) walls of the boat and made it! 21 Str (17+bull's) ain't shabby! Taking multiple AoO's as he fled from the jellies, none of which managed to grapple and draw him into a deadly embrace, but DID manage to knock him unconscious as he fell into the water of the stagnant Nulb river and would have died if not for...

*) Zoshana shape-changing into an alligator, leaping after him, and carrying him to safety.

*) The player of Blane (he was dead) saying "Arrrr!" and swinging around on ethereal ropes and cutting ethereal chandeliers as his wraith pirate's "attacks". I let him control the wraith during the battle since he had nothing to do.

In the end they retreated into the sun with the chest but without killing either the wraith or the jelly.

(DMs note: In the meantime, Jot parlayed with this dark masters to arrange for someone to raise Blane. Boy.. the deus ex machina really kicks in big time now...)

So FINALLY the Stallyn's go back to camp to rest up. Then in the middle of the night Kella comes bursting onto the campsite, yelling about how some insane wraith is flying towards them cackling about how the landlubber's have stolen his gold and they need to flee as fast as they can.

They race away through the forest. I make a note of how Kella can't keep up with Zoshana (the druid) but she makes a big show of being "tired." Well at some point she yells out a command to "get them", and most of the Stallyn's are abruptly covered in sticky webbing.

I had intended this to be a diversion to hold the Stallyns' attention long enough for some "friends" to show up at the campsite and raise Blane (`summoned' by Jot) and loot any corpses at the site and then flee.

(DMs note: This "Kella" is actually a doppleganger -- the doppleganger that fled from Hommlet, just to make it interesting. The PC's hate this doppleganger, and they need a recurring enemy. The doppleganger has gained a few levels, 2 wizard, and is a freelance agent. Just coincidence that it had been hired by the cult, and now again hired by Jot+pal's to "help" raise Blane. The PC's have also confused this doppleganger with Vacra from the mill (a shapeshifting wizard?? they must all be the same), and now possibly will have confused the doppleganger with Kella who, in fact, really likes the PCs),

Well it didn't work out so well, the druid (Zoshana) made incredible use of her various druidy harrassing spells (spike stones or whatever, entangle, and on and on to trip up and interrupt spellcasting). The doppleganger brought help (random wizard friend), and pretty soon it came to a stalemate. Both sides retreated into the night.

Meanwhile Blane was in the afterlife, standing on the multi-spoked stone wheel waiting in line to meet Siros, lord of the dead, to damn him to hell. A shining light flies up --- your typical messenger celestial which typically asks the PC if he'd like to get raised by his friends when they cast the spell. Except it was Jot in disguise, telling him that a strange lizard would be raising him, just to let him know.

He awakens into life to see a foul-smelling reptilian lizard leaning over his body, who grunts at him, loots some of the Stallyns' treasure, and then leaves.

10-20 minutes later the Stallyn's arrive back, astonished to see Blane alive. And the adventure ended.

(DMs note: Who was the weird troglodyte? Why the hell did that all happen? Ok well I had to make crap up on the spot, and I figure there are various servants of the Abyss that have an inkling about EEE's plans concerning the resurrection of Tharizdun. Some of them (for example, those still loyal to Zuggtmoy) are really pissed about it. They're itching to get back at the cultists and stop the Big T's resurrection. Blane meanwhile is on the road to Big T-ism: right now he has an unhealthy interest in Big T and acquiring Big T's power, artifacts, etc. for himself. Though Jot thinks Blane's change of heart/alignment can be properly steered towards official Abyssal interests.

Blane is currently being followed by a half-orc assassin/ranger/rogue, an often-times servant/hired-help of Jot's friends, who managed to procure a ring of mind shielding to prevent Blane from lighting up every time the party priest casts "detect evil." He's being followed because he still owes money for the ring. But this means that Jot+pal's have at least two ways of knowing where Blane is and getting to him.

The trog priest maybe should have just been drow. It's a servant of of either Llolth, Zuggtmoy, maybe Iuz, or some other demonic entity. Or maybe a servant of one of the evil gods. In any event, they managed to get this guy here to raise Blane from the dead, probably with a scroll and a diamond, though (repaid at least two-fold from looting the campsite). How did they get him all the way out here? Oh who knows. uhm, maybe the assassin has a clerical helper who tags along with him who happens to have a raise dead scroll! yeah that's it!)

A trophy
(5/17/03 12:21 pm)
Update #10
After their harrowing ordeal with "Kella" and "her" companion, the Stallyns rushed back to camp to check on Blane. Rance was with them, somehow. They found him sitting up, a bit dazed. The blue sapphire they had liberated from Lawrence's house was missing, but (dunno if this is really common knowledge) Blane found a magical black pearl in his coinpurse.

After some discussion, the Stallyns decided at long last to do what they had come here to do: investigate the Temple of Elemental Evil. The inner cathedral was surrounded by crumbling walls choked with huge thick black thorned vines, dangerous to climb. There was a break in the walls about 30' wide at the front of the temple, which the Stallyns knew to be guarded by hobgoblin sentries.

Approaching the entrance from either side under cover of the outer walls, the Stallyns took up position as Rance, empowered with Gobni's blessings, drew the attention of the sentries.

"Halt! Who goes there!... This is the bastion of Rarkus' Bloodfangs, come any closer and we will fire! S-Stay back! AARRGH, ... I can't bring myself to fire he's... .SOME sort of TERRIBLE SORCERER!"

Rance advanced bravely, immune to the aggression of several of the sentries. Behind him came his Wyld allies, desperate to lure the hobgoblins out into a killing zone but they were not quite so foolish.

Before long reinforcements from the inner cathedral arrived, its huge bronze doors opening to spill them out to engage the trespassers. Alas an explosion of searing flame from Blane Blastonitz sealed their fate before they could even leave the confines of the temple.

The Stallyns advanced at rapid pace into the dread sanctuary of evil, dispatching a pack of war dogs and deflecting the numerous flights of arrows coming from behind smashed stained glass windows. They chased their quarry towards the western wing of the Temple, weaving among the vile pillars and columns to avoid incoming arrow and javelin fire from hobgoblin defenders.

Towards a well-positioned group of archers Blane advanced invisible, before flinging open the still-bloody cloak of Lawrence to encase them in a mass of sticky webs. Zoshana alighted a blade of flame and met the greatsword-wielding guards in melee with Moldy's swordarm at her side. Rance advanced far afield of the rest of the Stallyns, emboldened by Gobni's sanctuary which made it all but impossible for the weak-willed goblinoids to attack him, and chased down the strongest guardians. From the rear Keed feebly lobbed arrows in the direction of his enemies, littering the floor at their feet with dozens of misplaced arrows.

Their progress so swift and merciless, it worried the mighty Rarkus and his personal bodyguards. They awakened their mascot, Drunvrul ("Bloodfang"), causing crystalline blood-spikes to erupt from his flesh with arcane magic. Enraged, he flew to the Stallyns to reciprocate his pain as a scarred and tattooed "priest" armed with spiked mace advanced in the rear, firing a searing white line towards Moldy that missed wildly. Rance countered with a paralyzing curse that rendered the mighty priest useless for the rest of the fight. sigh. This ALWAYS HAPPENS TO MY TOTALLY AWESOME PRIESTS. WHERE ARE THEIR WILL SAVES!?!?!?!??!

Moldy and Zoshana bravely stood their ground as Drunvrul rushed them, and though Zoshana was more than capable of burning its flesh with her flame blade, they soon learned a valuable lesson about large monsters with reach, high Strength scores, and bonus unarmed damage due to spells like blood spikes. Two claws and a rend quickly knocked Zoshana down to below -20 hits points from max.

One hero point spent later, and Zoshana instead decided to NOT bravely stand her ground, but to run away and summon a black bear to harass the viscious beast. It quickly fell from a barrage of Keed's arrows, the fury of the summoned bear, and glittering light from Blane that blinded it.

But as the rest of Rarkus' bodyguards descended the grand staircase and more reinforcements arrived from the west wing, the Stallyns' knew they were in trouble. With only a half minute left of his paralytic curse, Rance grabbed the priest and put a knife to his throat.

And with a mutual standoff --- the hobgoblins unwilling to lose one of their commanders, and the Stallyns embattered and unsure of continuing the fight against fresh reinforcements (and with the player's quite tired as it was three in the morning) --- the session ended.

A trophy
(5/28/03 4:17 pm)
Update #11
Rance lead the negotiations with the Bloodfangs, exchanging their "war priest" for the Stallyn's safety and a preliminary investigation of the temple. The Stallyns pleaded with the hobgoblins to leave the Temple --- for their own safety! --- because the cult of Elemental Evil was making a comeback and could decide to reconquer their old dwelling at any time. Alas, the wily hobgoblins would not fall for the Stallyns' dirty tricks, and refused to relinquish their hard-earned fortress so the Stallyns could loot the place for themselves. The parties mutually agreed on a 3 day truce, after which the Stallyns would return to thoroughly loo---investigate the Temple regardless of its inhabitants.

When returning to camp, they found Kella waiting for them (or she met while she was training with Zoshana, or whatever), who expressed distress that her most treasured companion "Bjoring" the Boar was missing. Keed's expert tracking soon located Bjoring's trail, which lead to a scene of a battle, and some incredibly large heavy box-shaped object that was dragged far off to the west.

Kella wandered off, muttering something about how masters of the 9th circle are not allowed to associate with initiates of the 5th circle, and that she'd have to give up her animal companions if she left the forest, or something, and the stalwart Stallyns proceeded alone through the dangerous wastes to what they hoped were Bjoring's captors.

They found an outcropping of large rock and dirt hills, covered in scraggly bushes and grass. Zoshana scouted ahead in eagle form, pinpointing the location of a large cave with her eagle eyes. The Stallyns approached, quietly, and saw a large tunnel boring deep into the earth of the hill.

At first they hoped to use guile and wit to lure the inhabitants of the caverns out into the open for an ambush. Unfortunately the cavern's inhabitants were a lackadaiscal sort who happened to take naps for much of the day, and this plan was quickly foiled. So in they crept, secretly, two of their party hidden with magic and stealth, until they heard the thundering steps of a hideous beast twice the size of a man, yet astoundingly gaunt for his height.

Parley quickly confused the befuddled manbeast, who lead the party deep into the cave to meet with John, or Chon, or someone. A tremendous ogre covered head to foot in the skins of huge lions and bears, their heads dangling about his shoulders, and wielding a massive silver-headed spear, John-Chon was mightily angered at the Stallyn's impudence for disrupting his pleasant slumber. As he argued with the Stallyns about the existence of a boar, Wizzit crept silently towards the back of the cave, finding a boar of tremendous size sleeping fitfully in a well-constructed cage.

In short time the conversation turned into an argument, and then to a shouting match, and before long a fight. Wizzit quickly began cutting the cage's ropes to loose the boar -- who would undoubtedly turn on his captors -- while the Stallyn's prepared for a viscious fight of immense proportions....


... that was instantly transformed into a short fight of disappointing umm... lownesses, with Blane's casting of a little spell I like to call "Glittering Instant Death". Two failed saves equals two combatants flailing around uselessly unable to wield their insane damage and incredibly cool reach and trip attacks with their spears and everything.

By the time Wizzit unleashed bloody death in the form of an enraged boar, the ogres were dead and the Stallyns were looting their corpses. In a side-cavern on a makeshift altar of remarkable craftsmanship they found a huge marble goblet, and in another chamber a terrified female ogre guarding the tribes' cantankerous screaming future. Oh well, the males of the tribe were all dead, the other female was in critical condition, and all their gold had been appropriated. C'est la vie!

The Stallyns grabbed their loot and ran, beating feet back to Kella to return to her the (barely calm) Bjoring.

(7/1/03 7:56 am)
Update #12
And so our brave heroes packed up yet again and marched off to the Temple to confront their hobgoblinish foes. Scouting overhead in form of eagle, Zoshanna saw a new set of hobgoblin corpses littering the courtyard of the temple, and signs of a confrontation at the northeastern tower, its door splintered and dead goblins in its interior.

After reporting her findings, the Stallyns crept towards the Temple entrance. The doors were closed, and there were no offensive volleys coming from within the Temple, so the Stallyns conducted an investigation of the surrounding courtyard: it appeared that something attacked the hobgoblins since the Stallyns had left, and some kind of huge vicious beast had attacked the tower -- perhaps one similar to what had destroyed the Lemworth compound.

As they were about to explore the Temple proper, Moldy yelped in pain, and grasped his left foot frantically as his foot experienced the most terrible discomfort of a hostile pebble invading his shoe.

"Go on without me!" he cried, tears streaming down his face, "I can handle this..... MYSELF." And with grim determination and master lacing skill he valiantly tended to his feet while his compatriots entered the dark sanctum, its eery silence interupted only by Stallyn footsteps on its weird and corrupted flagstones.

Under cover of pillars the stout-hearted Stallyns advanced, with Blane cautiously in the rear. Sweat dripped from the collective Stallyns' faces, unsure whether the Bloodfangs had left since their last conflict. Any doubts were soon displaced when Blane dashed from pillar to pillar within range of Bloodfang bow, and soon a hail of arrows from hidden archers flew and a band of elite warriors rushed forward to engage the heroes.

Keed took cover behind a pillar and fired back at his adversaries while Rance, under sanctuary of his god, advanced to the frontlines. Blane held in the rear before conjuring a webbed mass to trap the elite warriors rushing towards him. From the upper altar and throne came a familiar guttural roar, and soon Bloodfang himself came to wreak revenge, crystalline spikes of blood puncturing his flesh much as before. Alas his revenge was short-lived, for his mind was still that of a simple ape, and he fell to Zoshanna's wicked sorcery, his rage twisted against his will to the hobgoblins of his own tribe.

The war priest Krebbich made his way towards Blane unseen by his visibility enchantments, determined to neutralize the fireball-flinging sorcerer as soon as possible. Flinging instructions to his mates and friends, warning them of Bloodfang's treachery, he engaged Blane. He was shocked to see Moldy burst into the Temple, his shoes free of foreign objects, his feet wrapped snugly in fuzzly socks, and especially shocked when Moldy spilt his guts on the ground with a slash to his gut (that miraculously failed to damage the mithril shirt he was wearing).

"Good things *DO* come to those who wait!" Moldy said, as he hacked Krebbich apart with his sword. "It's a good thing I didn't rush in here before my feet were appropriately comfy..."

At the other end of the Temple a band of terrified goblins were pressed into service, given spears by Rarkus the Captain of the Bloodfangs and lead up the stairs to battle the enchanted dire ape that was coming for their captain. He charged, and the goblins dropped their spears and ran, one of them accidentally spearing Bloodfang through the navel before he eviscerated them with his claws. From the throne-bearing dais Rarkus fired his demonic longbow, dropping his precious mascot. His mascot finished, Rarkus unslung his trusty axes, Swift and Sure, and ascended the staircase to see the Stallyns' bloody work.

Instantly the camera zoomed to his aghast face, and then rapidly did a flyby over the carnage of the battlefield to frame Moldy hacking the limbs off Krebbich's disgraced body, ripping his armor and accoutrements from his still fresh corpse.

A dark feral scream permeated the temple chambers: "YOU KILLED KREBBICH!!!" Rarkus shook with uncontrollable rage, growing in size and might, bursting through the confines of his rusty scale mail before erupting forth as a bear of terrible proportions.

Keed whipped his head around, "No wonder these hobgoblins were so especially VILE and DESPICABLE, " he sneared, "their leader was nothing more than an UNGODLY shapechanger, my most favorite of enemies! You shall not defile the sacred visage of Ro, SHAPE-changer!" A volley of arrows flew at the lycanthrope.

Rarkus-bear roared and charged to meet Keed's challenge, as a dire weasel frantically attempted to pierce his powerful hide. More arrows flew from Keed. And then more. And then just a few more. And then Keed realized that firing nonmagical arrows at a lycanthrope is pointless and drew his magic shortbow.

Battered by bear claws, Keed struggled to stand, before Rance was at his side with the healing graces of Gobni. From atop his webbed mass, Blane stood locked in the "position de sort malheureux" and prepared to unleash missiles of his magical fury. Moldy lunged towards the fray. Zoshana directed her fiery spongeball. Rance expired as his body was mauled by tooth and claw.

But before Rarkus could claim another victim, he collapsed, dead from the Stallyns' efforts. In his last act of defiance he bled and stumbled back to the dais of his throne, collapsing in a pool of blood and ichor on his bow, his hand reaching towards the bear skull that had been placed atop his seat of power.

(Then a bunch of stuff happened and Keed got a spiffy bow but I can't remember the details about it).

The Stallyns then quickly turned to the task of loot, and found a bunch of crap. Grishnar, the young carpenter who had been at the wrong place at the wrong time, appropriated arms and armor from fallen hobgoblins and joined the party, vowing to track down the goblin slaves who had tormented him in his jail. I-love-ya explained what had transpired in the hobgoblin stronghold, that their was a mutiny amongst the tribe that was put down through force by Rarkus and his men. And then walked to Dargengard, the dwarven settlement whose name means "Mining Town."

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