Gold Community Okay -- Your Turn
    > Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil
        > The Return of the Dwarves! (Campaign Log)
New Topic    Add Reply

<< Prev Topic | Next Topic >>
Author Comment
Jesse Lowe
A cup of coffee
(6/8/03 11:06 am)
The Return of the Dwarves! (Campaign Log)
Hi, all. This is the beginning of the second time through on this mega-adventure for me and my group. I hope you enjoy their misadventures.

A few things to note: First, as most of the players had played through the first part of the adventure with me, I decided to skip Hommlet, Nulb, and the old Temple, and jump straight to the Crater Ridge Mines.

Second, the group is entirely composed of dwarves from the same hold. I'll post the player handout (and my notes on Rastor) later, but essentially, they're on a mission from Glod. Er, God. Well, Moradin. They've been tasked with finding the Memory Stone (the dwarven item in area 65) and with finding a place to colonize, as the dwarven hold they're from is a bit crowded. The Stone was stolen by a dwarf prince named Flosi, who later joined the group that founded the CRM and Rastor (IMC).

Finally, we're playing this pretty casually. Not a lot of deep roleplaying or intense strategizing. So far, that's what everyone's enjoying.

The player characters are:
Hrothgar Broadan, dwarf male cleric of Moradin 7. (de facto leader of the group)
Matilda Broadan, dwarf female fighter 7 (second cousin of Hrothgar; the Broadans are the leading family of the Clan Broadan)
Artin Ungart, dwarf female rogue 7; trap specialist
Argh the Unclean, dwarf male wizard 7 and a bit of a nutjob.

All are Lawful Good, though there's a good bet that Argh is going to lose the Lawful alignment soon. All are also worshippers of Moradin.

The Return of the Dwarves -- Campaign Chronicle, as recorded by Artin's player

[I've included some commentary in brackets.]

Day 1.

Four dwarves walk into a tavern: The Gray Lodge. The bar keep, a human named Yarew, offers them food. They accept and sit in the corner. Yarew has not heard of Flosi, but points to the old dwarf quaffing ale at a table with another dwarf, a pair of humans, and a half-orc. The old dwarf is named Hammersong and wearing a symbol of Moradin. The PCs relax and talk.

Hrothgar goes to Hammersong's table and says a blessing. The locals greet him and offer him a seat when he mentions Flosi. Hammerson says he was young when his family settled with Flosi. Flosi is since dead, died 90 years ago when the mines were overrun.

The Hammersongs, Urkarts, Deeperdarks, and Broadans founded the community of Rastor and heard of diamonds in the Stalagos. The Broadans established a mining community there; a few years later it was overrun by gnolls and orcs. The dwarves were unable to get back into the mines. Hammersong is a depressed old dwarf.

At the table are: Thandain Deeperdark (dwarf warrior woman), Tal Chammith (human male, sly), Tymerian (human female wizard), Rerrid Hammersong (dwarf male cleric of Moradin), and Jardeth (half-orc male constable of the town, has a big puppy vibe).

Hrothgar points to the PC's table, introduces the rest of the party. Someone (Tymerian or Tal Chammith) mentions that powerful mages are in the mines with the gnolls &c.

Hrothgar asks Hammersong where to investigate? 12 miles down the road. The townsfolk will open trade with the Broadan clan after the mine is opened, but not before -- can't risk it.

As the evening wears on, more townsfolk (humans, dwarves, and gnomes) file into the tavern. Night falls. The party gets rooms for the night. A pair of elves walk in. They are dressed as wood elves. One surveys the room and notes the new arrivals. The other walks straight to Yarew's wife and trades animal skins for soup and bread.

Hrothgar talks to one of the elves; Artin tries to follow the other one, who is leaving with the bread and soup, but loses him in the trees. Hrothgar asks the first about the mines. The elf says they don't go there, as it is an offense against nature, and warns Hrothgar not to go there either. Hrothgar makes stubborn noises; the elf wishes him luck, says that he and his companions protect the wood, and refuses coin for the information. Leaves with the saying "Walk softly, speak wisely, and listen well."

[I'm interested in seeing what goes down with the elves later; I've got them set up as a druid and a pair of rangers who are fairly liberal environmentalists, and may or may not object to dwarves opening up the CRM again. OTOH, they will know and fear the unnatural forces there now.]

Artin takes in the common room when she returns. She notices that most of the townsfolk seem desperate; from snatches of conversation she gathers that the farming is bad, the mines are failing, and so on. Only Hammersong and Jardeth are left at that table after the rest ate and left; Hammersong is drinking and Jardeth is looking worried about it.

[IMC, Hammersong's the last of his clan in Rastor and a clinically depressed alcoholic. This is one of the reasons Tal Chammish is able to operate so freely.]

Artin also notices two figures come to the side door; Yarew's wife waves them off with a significant glance at the PCs, and then trades bread and soup for skins just outside the door. Artin realizes the strangers are a pair of full-blooded orcs.

Day 2.

In the morning, Hrothgar blesses both mines, and receives thanks from the dwarves in town. The party also wanders around town, basically being nosy. They find the following information:
~There is a little trading with the folks from the mines, usually strange robed humans.
~A caravan comes in every month from Verbobonc; the next one arrives in about two weeks.
~Winter is coming on, and the caravan after next will be the last until spring.
~There are trappers, but they're not in town and people change the subject when it's brought up.
~The elves are recent arrivals, within the last ten years, and encourage the dwarves to not mine and support Mother Earth.
~The old mine is called the Stalagos or Crater Ridge Mines.

[I'm not sure what I'm going to do with Tal Chammish here. The party needs to resupply soon, and I think he'll try a couple things; chief among these will be getting the party bad supplies. He might also try to get the wizard and the fighter hooked on Tanbrosh, but he's pretty intimidated by Hrothgar. The fact that the party's made a pretty good impression on the townsfolk won't make his life any easier. He'll try to avoid ambushes and open combat until he can get some muscle aside from Thandain Deeperdark. Any suggestions?]

Day 3.

The dwarves set out for the Crater Ridge Mines. A mile out of town they find a trail branching off to the southwest and see Tal Chammish on it. He waves (nervously) and heads south. A mile out, the characters get the feeling that they're being followed but see no one.

[They were being trailed by one of the elf rangers; Artin guessed this, but they don't know for sure.]

It takes all day to get to the mines. On the way they catch sight of the Stalagos -- it looks like the mountain in their dreams. Near evening, they come to a fork in the road. One road goes north up to the mountain, was once paved but is now mostly overgrown. The other goes south and is more heavily used. At the fork is an obelisk with humanoid bones scattered around it and a triangular sigil on the stone itself. None of the PCs recognize the symbol.

[The symbol is a very artistic interpretation of the EEE sigil.]

It being late, the characters camp off the road in a clearing near an old barrow. The barrow looks very ancient -- much older than the town of Rastor. It's a 30' long by 20' wide by 10' high mound with a monolithic arch facing the clearing to the west. It is covered in grass and shrubs.

While the rest of the PCs are setting up camp, Artin scouts the south road, travelling along it for thirty minutes. In the distance, she can see a large cave that the trail leads into.

Day 4.

Hrothgar casts detect undead on the barrow and feels the presence of one strong undead.

[I may go somewhere with this if the PCs show some interest. Any suggestions? I'd like something a little ambiguous -- maybe an undead they can negotiate with.]

Hrothgar also casts divination and asks "How can we get to the Memory Stone?" The answer is "Seek my holy place between the gates."

Artin meanwhile scouts the less-traveled road. She sees a cave with a broad gate inside it. On the left door is a knocker, on the right a skull staked to the gate.

After some discussion, the PCs break camp and head off-road, going straight up the mountain between the two roads. After a morning of searching, they find some unusual stonework. Artin carefully searches the area with the stonework and realizes that this is a secret door into a dwarf hold -- there's a similar one back home. An hour of searching later, she actually finds the door. The rest of the PCs eat luch while she searches. After finding the door, Artin successfully disables the trap and unlocks it.

[I'm kinda being easy on them here. Artin rolled a pair of natural 20s on her search rolls, and IMC, the architect of Moradin's temple and the secret door in question was trained by the Broadan clan in their home hold.]

The party enters a temple of Moradin. As they enter, the tiled stone in front of the altar rises up, turning into a golem shaped like a quite large dwarf. The golem regards them peacefully. Being devout worshippers of Moradin, the dwarves all pray at the altar, then Hrothgar addresses the golem. It only nods yes or no in response to his questions, and all he finds out is that the golem guards the temple. Hrothgar dismisses it and it sinks back into the floor.

Exploring the temple complex, the party finds the Memory Stone hanging from a chain in a domed chamber. Matilda and Argh the Unclean touch the stone, and are filled with the knowledge of their lineages and ancestors. Past the room with the Memory Stone, they find a small barracks-like room and a pair of double doors. Attempting to open the doors, Artin triggers a trap that drops a huge slab of stone on the party. Luckily, dwarf heads are tough, and nobody dies -- though a couple of dwarves are close to it. After a quick round of healing, the party explores the room and discovers it to be a treasury. Hrothgar restrains Argh's greed and the party decides to leave the treasure there. They explore a little further and find the banquet hall. It being late, they then decide to call it a day and sleep in the barracks.

Day 4

The PCs spend this day resting and healing up, as well as reading the few books that were left in the sleeping quarters by the previous residents. They also send a message to Broadan Hold: "Found Memory Stone. Flosi founded mine near Rastor. Mine overrun by evil 90 years ago. Secret entrance to Moradin's Temple found. Stone in temple."

[Any suggestions on what to do with this? It might be fun to have a caravan of colonists show up in a month expecting to set up shop in the CRM.]

Day 5

The characters begin the day by exploring the rest of the temple complex. They find a door at the south end of the complex near the banquet hall that has the marks of being a secret door; they leave it locked and don't open it.

On the northern side of the temple proper, they find a long hall with a pair of orc corpses in it. The orcs look charred and have been thoroughly looted. Two doors in the corridor lead to a small room with a holy water font -- later experimentation reveals that water poured into the font becomes holy water -- and a room containing six small spheres (hammerspheres) on a large pedestal. The group decides not to interfere with the spheres for the moment.

At the end of the long hall is a large double door which Artin (the rogue) investigates. She finds that the door is both locked and trapped, and carefully triggers the trap. A pit opens just inside the door, revealing the remains of a pair of orcs. The group loots the bodies, taking an urgrosh, some gold and silver, masterwork thieves' tools, and some masterwork crossbow bolts. While the rest of the party loots, Artin takes the time to memorize the workings of the door and trap; she can now get through it very easily, and if she gets access to the right tools, can make a key for it.

Exploring beyond the door, the dwarves enter roughly hewn tunnels. They first come to a chamber from which two other tunnels lead off. In the center is an orc skull and an arrow pointing back to the temple. Artin scouts ahead down the northern tunnel and sneaks up on four orcs in a chamber watching another tunnel, with their backs to her. She sneak attacks one, dropping him, and the rest of the party rushes up behind her. A short combat later, all the orcs are dead, but one has shouted for help. The characters shortly hear noise, as of padding footsteps and shouts, from the tunnels. They quickly form up, having established that only two of the four tunnels in this chamber lead to areas they haven't explored.

A few minutes pass, and Artin spots an orc sneaking towards them. Before he can do anything, she shoots him dead with her crossbow. A few minutes later...

The orc horde rushes at the party from two tunnels, opening up with a small volley of arrows. It avails them not; a combination of mighty magics and deadly axes makes fairly short work of the orcs, though Matilda is wounded and poisoned by their leader. Hrothgar quickly heals those that need it, they loot the bodies (taking five similar potions, a different one on the leader, and some gold), and then try to track the few orc survivors. One trail leads southeast to a wall crudely made out of shields.

Artin sneaks up on the wall and looks through: she sees three orc warriors, a passel of orc women and children, and a few kobold slaves. She reports back to the group. After a short discussion, Matilda steps forward and shouts (in Orc) "The clan of Broadan has reclaimed this mine. Leave or be slaughtered." Then the group backtracks to the battlefield and checks out the other unexplored tunnel. This leads them to a hewn stone wall with a door in it, as well as an alarm that Artin disables. The door being untrapped, Artin listens and hears footsteps, gutteral yips, and whines behind the door. The group forms up and gets ready to bust on through.

Argh opens things up by casting knock, opening the door. This reveals six surprised gnolls. In the surprise round, Matilda and Hrothgar take out two gnolls, while Artin misses with her shot and Argh hits one with a magic missile. In the first round of combat, the gnolls get a 1 on the initiative counter, and so are pretty much doomed. Matilda takes down one and wounds another, while Hrothgar kills a third. Argh magic missiles a fourth, and Artin misses -- again. The sole remaining gnoll runs away and ducks into an alcove on the left side of a long hallway leading away from the door.

Rather than pursue, the dwarves get ready for the inevitable. A few seconds later, six more gnolls, a dire wolverine, and a hill giant emerge from the alcove and charge down the hall towards them. Matilda steps forward to draw fire and plinks the giant with her crossbow. Hrothgar drops a sound burst into the crowd of gnolls, stunning them all. Argh and Artin shoot and miss with Melf's Acid Arrow and the hand crossbow, respectively. The wolverine jumps over the gnolls and attacks Matilda, puncturing through her armor. The giant steps forward and swings his club at her, but misses.

Matilda goes mad dwarf on the wolverine, badly slashing up its shoulder and flank. Hrothgar calls upon the power of Moradin and tosses a holy smite into the melee -- this kills all of the gnolls and wounds the giant and the wolverine. Further, the giant is blinded. Argh hits the wolverine with a magic missile and drops it; Artin shoots at the giant with her crossbow... and misses. The giant blindly flails with his club and slugs Matilda.

Matilda steps forward and tries to kneecap the giant, but misses. Hrothgar hurls a spray of knife-like ice shards at the giant, peppering his hide with small lacerations. Then Argh summons up his mystic might and polymorphs himself into a dire bear. (oopsie on my part -- it's against the rules, as it has too many HD). Finally, Artin hits! Not just a hit, but a critical! Of course, since she's using a hand crossbow, it doesn't do much anyway... The giant, able to see, bludgeons Matilda.

Matilda kneecaps the giant, carving into his calf. Hrothgar steps forward and casts a healing spell on Matilda. Argh unleashes his ursine fury, but isn't used to the new body and misses. Artin misses again. The giant, startled by the big ball of fur in the corridor, swings at Argh but misses.

Matilda swings again, but misses; Hrothgar casts aid on Argh who swings in and mauls the giant with his claws. Artin gets the kill, however, with a crossbow quarrel in the giant's throat.

Unanimously, the group decides that this would be a good time to withdraw. Not even stopping to loot the bodies, they beat feet back through the door, and Argh casts hold portal on it. Back at the temple, they rest. Hrothgar uses the holy water font and Argh spends the evening writing a scroll. Artin and Matilda... I dunno, play craps or something.

[So any suggestions on what I should go with next? The western bridge complex has been badly wounded, and I can't imagine D'Gran taking that lightly. Here's what I'm thinking will happen next unless the PCs interfere:

Investigating the battle scene, D'Gran comes to the conclusion that a powerful wizard of some sort is helping the orcs (axe wounds, holy smite, etc.) and decides on a retaliatory raid. He pulls almost everyone in the complex and tries a sweep of the orc caves. They come upon the few remaining orcs and slaughter them. They'll also find the doors to the old dwarven temple, and the orcs the PCs slaughtered.

So... I can see a couple things happening from this base:
1. Instead of slaughtering them all, D'Gran interrogates a couple of orcs and learns about Clan Broadan. He draws the obvious conclusion and makes plans to assault the old temple or whatever is beyond those obviously dwarven doors. This would actually probably be the easiest one for the PCs in the long run, as they could retreat to the temple and use the golem there to help them.
2. D'Gran slaughters all the orcs anyway and assumes that the Air temple launched the raid. I'm not sure what he'll do, but it will probably involve fomenting conflict between the Air and Fire temples.
3. Instead of lashing out, D'Gran withdraws and makes plans to reinforce. He tries to recruit some new goons and calls in a favor from the Fire temple to get the giant (Rau) raised. Meanwhile, the orc survivors vanish from the mines -- maybe they get eaten by the hydra, disappear into the Underdark, or hook up with the orcs near Rastor.]

The guy from Belgium
A song from the sixties
(6/9/03 1:29 am)
Re: The Return of the Dwarves! (Campaign Log)
first of all: welcome

secondly: great log, great read!

thridly: D'Gran has a responsibility to hold the fire bridge complex, he's not going to abandon his post and empty the complex to get some payback... he'll report the incursion and reinforce his troops... next time, the response time will be lower

fourthly: keep them logs coming!


A song from the sixties
(6/9/03 2:57 pm)
Re: The Return of the Dwarves! (Campaign Log)
Is this the campaign formerly known as "Dwarven Roar"?

Jesse Lowe
A cup of coffee
(6/9/03 4:49 pm)
Re: The Return of the Dwarves! (Campaign Log)
Umm, no. Totally unrelated.

A song from the sixties
(6/10/03 12:20 pm)
Re: The Return of the Dwarves! (Campaign Log)
[I'm interested in seeing what goes down with the elves later; I've got them set up as a druid and a pair of rangers who are fairly liberal environmentalists, and may or may not object to dwarves opening up the CRM again. OTOH, they will know and fear the unnatural forces there now.]

My take on Druids in the area is that they really don't mind the CRM and may even help supply it with food. The reason is that the CRM is a draw for all sorts of evil humanoids and monsters, which due to the chaotic and warlike nature of the mines never come back out. The Druids don't really care what goes on in the mines because the mines actually have a positive effect on the environment in this area.

A guitar
(6/10/03 3:22 pm)
Re: The Return of the Dwarves! (Campaign Log)
Great log, Jesse! I certainly hope you write it up in a separate editor before copying into ezBoard.

"I'm not sure what I'm going to do with Tal Chammish here. The party needs to resupply soon, and I think he'll try a couple things; chief among these will be getting the party bad supplies...."

The last thing I think he would do is give the party bad supplies. He might certainly try to hook them on Tanbrosh, though dwarves are notoriously difficult to addict (he probably had a hard time addicted Thandain). Anyway, Tal should be confident in the drug and not be too worried about Hrothgar, as long as he addicts someone in the group. Once that is accomplished, as far as he knows, that person becomes his pawn. To eliminate the party, he could send in his pawn (an addicted PC) with drugs for the CRM and then inform members of the CRM that the drugs were taken, and "keep what you find, I just don't want to see those accursed dwarves around here anymore."

"[I may go somewhere with this if the PCs show some interest. Any suggestions? I'd like something a little ambiguous -- maybe an undead they can negotiate with.]"

That's pretty open-ended. Perhaps a corpse-gatherer from the MM2? Maybe there are a number of these barrows around where the corpse gatherers will arise and wreak havoc in the world upon the release of Tharizdun, otherwise they lay dormat.

"I'm kinda being easy on them here...."

I have no problem with it, but I think that is the first (and only) group to ever go right into the secret entrance without even bothering with the two gates or over the top! Amazing! Good job!

"[Any suggestions on what to do with this? It might be fun to have a caravan of colonists show up in a month expecting to set up shop in the CRM.]"

Someone else has done this, actually, so check out some of the logs hereabouts. Kind of cool, actually, but fraught with peril once the Outer Fane is awakened and irritated. Chymon eventually can put a stop to any colonizing, if you know what I mean. But, it gives your players a good, local place for refuge while they work on the CRM and "grow."

"1. Instead of slaughtering them all, D'Gran interrogates a couple of orcs and learns about Clan Broadan. He draws the obvious conclusion and makes plans to assault the old temple or whatever is beyond those obviously dwarven doors. This would actually probably be the easiest one for the PCs in the long run, as they could retreat to the temple and use the golem there to help them."

This is primarily what I think D'Gran would do. Moreover, he might associate the dwarves with the Water Temple, if anyone, being currently the second strongest. I don't think he would ever expect an attack from the weak Air Temple. So, therefore, it's quite possible that the party's description is given to the Fire Temple and that the Fire Temple (and fire bridge) is put on watch for an attack by the Water Temple. Maybe a preemptive counterattack occurs? I mean, think about it this way, nothing else has been hit except the fire bridge. How the heck could this happen unless the attackers came through the water? No one knows about the dwarven temple or much less that there is a secret door. Some quick questions will reveal that no one in either gate has seen or even heard of the party, which leaves only one entrance.

D'Gran might trade some stuff (some of Descritad's stuff perhaps) to Fachish or Tessimon for use of a raise dead scroll for the giant. Or, hey, about a reincarnate from Tarren?

Just some ideas.

Jesse Lowe
A cup of coffee
(6/11/03 12:20 pm)
Notes on Rastor & the campaign setup
As promised, here are my notes on the setup for the game, and some elaboration on the town of Rastor.

The PCs are members of the mighty Broadan clan of hill dwarves from Broadan Hold in the southern Lortmils. Furthermore, they are all associated with the hold?s temple to Moradin. They have been ordered to look for the Memory Stone, a holy artifact of Moradin, by the high priest Bothvarr Ormr. While they are doing so, the king of the hold (Skeggi Broadan) has asked them to look for a good site to place a colony, as the hold is getting crowded and needs to expand.

The Memory Stone was lost when Broadan Hold experienced internal strife; two brothers competed for the throne. It ended badly, as Flosi Broadan murdered Finnr Broadan in a fit of rage. Flosi was banished, and a distant cousin, Skeggi, became king. The banished one left with his household and headed north, and took the Memory Stone with him. The legality of his doing so was unclear, but after much debate, the hold elders have decided that the Stone must be returned to Broadan Hold.

A few letters and other communications from the household indicate that they had taken up with a mixed community of dwarves intent on settling in the central Lortmil Mountains. All communication ceased about ninety years ago. (This is when the last member of the household died in Rastor of old age. She never revealed that the household had failed so badly.)

Rastor is a very small human/dwarf community with ties to a nearby tribe of peaceful orcs. It was founded by the dwarf expedition that found the diamonds in the Stalagos. When the mines fell, Rastor was left on its own, with a small core of non-mining dwarves forming the bulk of its population. Over the last century and a half, many dwarves have left and some humans and others have migrated here. Though Rastor still has the look and feel of a dwarven surface settlement, dwarves are (barely) a minority.

The hamlet is supported by farming, mining, and trapping, the respective domains of the humans, dwarves, and orcs. A small and well-guarded trade caravan comes by once a month to buy furs, gems, and ore, and sell trade goods and other luxuries. Though the hamlet is self-sustaining, it is failing. This failure is in part due to the unhealthy influence of the Temple of All-Consumption a mere twelve miles away, and in part due to the

Geographically, the hamlet is a bit spread out, and is more or less indefensible. It was never meant to be a permanent settlement. Nevertheless, being built by dwarves, its architecture is quite sturdy, and each house can act as a small fort if necessary. Almost all the buildings are constructed of stone in dwarven style, with massive walls and long, low profiles. Almost all the houses are abandoned dwarven dwellings from the hamlet?s heyday; about two dozen remain empty. The Temple of Moradin and the Gray Lodge are the largest buildings in town, aside from a few communal barns used by the farmers of the community. There is a large common area in front of the Gray Lodge where the monthly caravan sets up a small market. The farms are scattered throughout the hamlet, and are planted with diverse crops. One family maintains a small orchard with a variety of fruits and nuts. None of the farms are particularly fertile. There are two poor mines nearby (within a mile of town), one of which is primarily iron and a few other ores, the other producing gemstones of low quality.

Demographically, the hamlet is populated by two extended dwarf families of the Tegnar clan: the Urkarts and the Deeperdarks. They are on good terms and have intermarried a bit. The Urkarts run the iron mine, the Deeperdarks the gem mine. The humans are almost entirely farmers with the exceptions of Yarew (who runs the Gray Lodge), Tymerian (the local wizard), and Tal Chammish (who often acts as a general laborer and contact for merchants, as well as the TAC?s spy and the Tanbrosh dealer). There are three extended families: the Brendareds, the Moidons, and the Sigors. Each runs a farm and has a few half-orc members as well. A few orcs make up the local trappers, liasons with Kreugna?s tribe, and general layabouts and laborers. The Bullknockers, a family of surly gnomes, maintain the orchard and do minor craftwork. Finally, a trio of elves (a druid of Ehlonna and two rangers) have taken up residence south of town and are acting as self-appointed guardians of the natural world. (They were banished from Celene for being too moderate.) They have ?persuaded? the orcs to moderate their trapping activities to a sustainable level and are working on the dwarf miners. Unfortunately, one of the rangers has become addicted to Tanbrosh. They spend much of their time wandering the area or idling away the hours at the Gray Lodge, and are slowly being accepted by the community. Understandably, the elves are most accepted by the humans.

Important areas or buildings and their associated NPCs are as follows:

The Temple of Moradin: As the spiritual heart of the community, it?s significant that this small, sturdy building is usually empty. It is manned by Rerrid Hammersong, though he spends much of his time in the Gray Lodge. The temple has an assembly area, a storehouse, a small workshop, and a few rooms for Rerrid and his sole acolyte, Murid Urkart (Tunraug?s son). Murid can often be found here, cleaning, though he would rather be at the Lodge with everyone else.

The Gray Lodge: The tavern is the most active building in the hamlet, and at any time up to a dozen locals can be found here. During the day, Rerrid Hammersong, Thandain Deeperdark, Tymerian, Tal Chammish, and Jardeth can be found here, talking about various subjects and drinking ale. The Lodge is owned and operated by Yarew with the assistance of his wife Madge and daughter Tyree. They live in an attached house. Guest quarters are the large common room and a quartet of small rooms in the back of the tavern.

The Urkart Smithy: This is the home of the Urkart family and their mining operation. It consists of a pair of private dwellings, a smelter, a large storehouse, and a smithy, all surrounded by a low but defensible wall. It?s usually busy from early in the morning to late in the afternoon.

The Deeperdark?s House: Like the Urkart smithy, the Deeperdark?s home and workplace are one. It consists of a single large house, an attached workshop, and a very sturdy storage shed. There is also a training area used by Thandain Deeperdark, matriarch of the family.

Tymerian?s House: A small, single-floored structure with a basement, this is the home of Tymerian, the local wizard. She spends most of her time at the Gray Lodge, but has a rudimentary laboratory here as well as her bed and meager possessions. She also has a small herb garden.

Tal Chammish?s House: This rather nicely furnished house is the home of the spy. He has a secret basement where he keeps his Tambrosh supply (DC 15 to find the door) and ?kitchen.? He spends about a third of his waking time here, reading, training, or brewing Tambrosh.

Jardeth?s House (and the jail): Jardeth, the half-orc constable, lives here. He has converted the nearest house into a rudimentary jail with the help of Rerrid Hammersong. The jail is usually used as a drunk tank and nothing more. If necessary, Rerrid and Tymerian could make it a bit more secure with spells.

Jesse Lowe
(6/23/03 8:25 am)
Session Update: June 13-14, 20.
Here's the session notes from the last few sessions. Things went pretty well, though I was pretty easy on them. (Completely forgot some of D'gran's special abilities, frex.) As I get the hang of the module, though, that's changing...

Day 7 (Patchwall 24, CY 591)
In the morning, Hrothgar prays for divine guidance, asking "Would it be wise for we four to attempt to retake this mine during the winter before reinforcements arrive?" In answer, he receives "Strike swiftly lest doom befall dwarfkind."

While the team is eating breakfast (yummy trail rations), Artin hears something outside the front door. Then they all hear someone pounding on the door, trying to beat it down. Leaving breakfast behind, the team rushes to the hallway. Argh casts open/close on the door, and a horde -- well, good-sized group -- of villains rushes in. There are eight human soldiers, a hill giant, a troll in armor wielding a sword, and a pair of wizardly-looking types lurking in the background.

Argh opens things up with a bang, casting fireball amid the crowd. The burst demolishes the human warriors and the wizards, but the troll and hill giant are merely irked. They charge forward and trigger the pit trap. Surprisingly, the hill giant is quicker than the troll, and he jumps over the pit as the troll hurtles downward. Staggering forward, the giant bashes Matilda (who is, as usual, at the fore). Matilda feels the effects of some kind of spell, but shrugs it off and looks in vain for the caster. Artin criticals with her attack, but sadly, hand crossbows don't do that much... Matilda swings in and slashes the giant on the legs (where else?), and Hrothgar throws a sword stream at his ugly mug, scarring it a little further.

Argh casts see invisibility, which reveals no hidden foes. To the party's shock, the troll floats up out of the pit, barely the worse for wear, and charges Matilda. Combined with the giant's two swings of his club, Matilda takes a mauling. Artin misses, Matilda strikes back at the giant, and Hrothgar casts a quick healing spell on Matilda.

Argh tosses a Melf's acid arrow at the troll, leaving it with a bubbling acid burn on the shoulder. Apparently, that's enough of a distraction, as both the giant and the troll miss Matilda. Of course, that's no consolation to Hrothgar, who is attacked from behind by a fiendish-looking ogre mage who appears out of nowhere -- though Argh sees him fly up out of the pit. Artin plinks and misses. Matilda retreats while Hrothgar takes an ill-aimed swing at the new foe.

Argh throws a lightning bolt down the hallway, which tags both the troll and the giant and bounces to hit the two mages (who had been slowly recovering but are now, alas, crispy casters). The troll and the demon-ogre attack Hrothgar, with missed success, and the hill giant charges Argh, who doesn't move out of the way quickly enough. Artin ducks back into the font room (behind her), fills a flask with holy water, and dips four bolts into the holy water in the hopes that they'll be more effective agains the demon-ogre. Matilda sucks down a potion and readies her crossbow. Hrothgar swings around and tries to distract the giant from pasting Argh.

Argh proves he can handle himself, though, and casts vampiric touch on the giant, draining a little life force to his own benefit. In retaliation, the giant smacks him again. The troll takes a shot at Hrothgar and misses. The demon-ogre begins casting a spell, but Hrothgar takes advantage of his distraction and hits him on the head with a hammer-blow that stops the spell. Artin plinks and misses. Matilda charges at the giant, gets hit for her trouble, but takes him down with her flaming axe and dwarven rage. Hrothgar steps back, attacks the troll, and drinks a healing potion -- luckily, the troll misses his AoO.

Argh summons a trio of lemures to cover a quick retreat, and runs down the hall towards the temple. The rest of the party follows his lead as the lemures keep the troll and the demon-ogre occupied.

As the party rushes into the temple (and watches the golem rise from the floor, as usual), the lemures keep the enemy occupied.

Argh casts a wall of fire on the two enemy combatants as they strike down his summoned lemures. They charge down the hall towards the party. Artin tags the demon-ogre with a holy-water tipped bolt. Matilda drinks another healing potion while Hrothgar casts bull's strength on her.

Argh drinks a cure light wounds potion and hits the troll with a magic missile from his wand. The troll and demon-ogre charge into the temple. Artin drinks her potion of invisibility and starts maneuvering for a sneak attack. Matilda swings at the troll and hits him; the golem gets into the fight, but misses when it attacks the demon-ogre; and Hrothgar casts shield of faith on Matilda.

Argh gets out of the way. The bad guys miss both of their attacks and suffer for it. Artin puts a crossbow bolt in the demon-ogre's throat, Matilda cuts off the troll's head, and the golem crushes the demon-ogre into the floor with powerful blows from its tiled fists.

The group has survived its most dangerous combat yet... and so Hrothgar sends a prayer of thanksgiving to Moradin. Meanwhile, Artin goes to work on the door, making sure it's undamaged and can still be rigged. And then they finish breakfast.

After eating, Argh, Matilda, and Hrothgar get to the task of looting the bodies and clearing them out of the temple. They drag them all into one of the former orc caves and leave them there to rot. Meanwhile, Artin scouts back along the raiders' path. Unsurprisingly, it leads to the area where they fought yesterday. She explores, carefully, and hears voices -- four humans, talking abou the raid and blaming the incursion on the Water Temple. She heads back to base.

That afternoon and evening, as the party relaxes, Argh casts identify on the various looted items.

Day 8 (Patchwall 25, CY 591)
After breakfast, Hrothgar sends a message to Broadan Hold: "Need help clearing mines. Send priest, four acolytes, three stone masons, one carpenter, two smiths, two laborers, two scouts, ten warriors to Verbobonc. More tomorrow." Then he casts restoration on Matilda, and speak with dead on the demon-ogre. The following questions are asked and answered:

?        What organization is your amulet a symbol of? The Fire Temple of the Evil Elemental Eye.
?        How many members of your organization are here and acitve? I don't know.
?        What does "Fire burns my enemies away" mean? It is the motto of the Fire Temple.
?        Who are the other organizations in this mountain? The Water, Earth, Air, and Fire Temples, and the Doomdreamers in the Inner Fane.
?        How strong are they? The strongest are the Doomdreamers, then fire, water, earth, and air.
?        What is the central power of all the organizations? The Doomdreamers.
?        What god do you worship? Tharizdun.
?        Why are you here? I guarded the Fire Bridge
?        What large event is happening this week? No event.
?        Dreamers seek to release Tharizdun from his prison. (No idea what the question was.)
?        What significant event is going to happen soon? The Champion of Elemental Evil shall be found.
?        Who is Tharizdun? He is Tharizdun.
?        What is the name of your most powerful champion? The First.
?        What are the names of the heads of the organizations in the area? Tessimon leads Fire Temple, Uskathoth leads the Earth Temple, Kelashein leads the Water Temple, Fachish leads the Air Temple, and The First leads the Doomdreamers.
?        Have you infiltrated the village of Rastor? I don't know.
?        Where is Tessimon? She is in the Fire Temple.

After the questioning, the party heads back to the site of the first battle with a hill giant. The door is barred, but that's no obstacle. Neither are the eight human guards who seem to be the area's only inhabitants -- they're quickly killed or retreat in a single round and a half of combat. Exploring the bridge complex reveals a wealth of loot, including rations fit to feed an army. The party hauls a load full of rations back to the Temple of Moradin and then returns. Further exploration finds more supplies, a wide variety of loot, a pair of caged dinosaurs (who are sensibly left caged), and a book that seems to be a record of the Temple of Elemental Evil. To Argh's delight there are also a pair of spellbooks.

Having explored as far as they dare, the party returns to base. That evening, Argh opens one of the spellbooks and is unpleasantly surprised at the magical trap that blows up in his face. After a potion or two, though, he's okay, and Hrothgar is kind enough to dispel magic on the other spellbook. Argh is successful in deciphering almost all of the spells, save only gust of wind and daylight (which he'll have to wait until he gains another rank in Spellcraft before he tries to learn again),

Day 9 (Patchwall 26, CY 591)
Having rested, the party begins a thorough looting project. Using the orcish war-wagon, they gather up all the bodies in the caverns, which have by now gotten rather ripe, and after stripping them of anything remotely valuable, they toss them into the lake. While doing this, Artin and Argh see something in the water diving after the corpses.

Day 10 (Patchwall 27, CY 591)
The looting project continues. The party finishes disposing of the bodies and strips the bridge complex clean. The dinosaurs are left alone for the moment and seem to have plenty of meat. The party finishes the looting and rests for the evening. During this time, Argh has been identifying items and working on his spellbooks, using the two captured spellbooks to make notes and record spells in his own hand. That evening, Hrothgar sends another message to Broadan Hold: ?Will meet party at Verbobonc in three weeks. Mine attached to evil temple complex. Information on Temple of Elemental Evil Eye, or Doomdreamers, welcome.?

Day 11 (Patchwall 28, CY 591)
Having stored away all the loot (including plenty of provisions) in the treasury and banquet hall of the temple, the party begins to explore further. Heading out the secret door at the southern end of the temple, they hear something large to their left. Fearing the worst, they approach cautiously and surprise a seven-headed hydra munching on some of the corpses they had thrown into the lake the other day.

Argh opens things up with a sonic-enhanced fireball, which certainly gets the creature?s attention. Matilda moves into position for a charge, while Artin plinks away at it. Hrothgar sends up a prayer to Moradin.

The hydra attacks Matilda and cannot get through either her deftly-wielded shield or her armor. Argh tosses his other sonic fireball, badly wounding the beast. Artin moves to set up a sneak attack. Matilda finishes the beast off with a furious attack that chops off two of its heads, the shock of which loss kills it.

Exploring this cavern a bit, they find that the southern portion is unstable. Avoiding that, they find a masterwork longsword and shield in some rubble next to old bones, and a large hole filled with water that they assume leads into the Stalagos. The dwarves head back south, dropping off the sword and shield on the way.

Coming to a Y-junction, the party takes the leftmost path and wanders into an ambush. Artin and Hrothgar hear the gnolls just before they attack, but Argh and Matilda are caught flat-footed by a volley of arrows from their right. The rogue and the priest both move to get some cover and/or a better shot.

Argh fires his crossbow at the orc who appears to be leading the ambushers and misses horribly. Matilda shoots and misses with her crossbow and then moves forward. The orc looses an arrow at Matilda and misses. Artin moves to set up a flanking move. This proves to be unfortunate, as two of the gnolls attack her successfully. The other two shoot at Matilda, but can?t get through her defenses. Hrothgar casts a hold person spell on the orc, but it fails to take hold.

Dropping his crossbow, Argh magic missiles one of the gnolls attacking Artin. Matilda charges the gnolls that shot at her and cleaves two of them with her waraxe. The orc drops his bow and charges Matilda with his great axe, slashing up her left arm a bit. Artin slashes at the gnolls attacking her, wounding one. That one hits her back, while the other remaining gnoll tries and fails to hurt Matilda. Hrothgar steps forward and casts bull?s strength on Matilda.

Argh casts shatter on the orc?s great axe. Though it doesn?t shatter, he is forced to drop it. Matilda takes down a gnoll and cleaves to the orc, doing some serious damage. He responds by whipping out a knife and trying to cut her throat, but her gorget stops the blade. Artin knifes her sole remaining antagonist, wounding him a little more. Suddenly, six human warriors rush in and loose a volley of arrows, two of which get through Matilda?s armor. In response, Hrothgar holy smites the lot of them, and the collateral damage kills the orc as well.

Argh kills the only remaining enemy, the gnoll attacking Artin, with magic missile.

The party loots the bodies quickly, grabbing some gold, some potions of cure light wounds, and the orc?s equipment (which they toss into the bag of holding). Heading west where the human warriors came from, they find a largish room with a low tower in the center. A quick search reveals nothing of interest, so they head south. Here they do find something intriguing.

They enter the northwest corner of a large rectangular room. White and silver tapestries depicting foul things line the walls, while a large dais in the center supports a circular white and silver altar. Kneeling at the altar is a fat, bald human in ochre robes wearing some kind of symbol around his neck. He looks up at them as the enter with alarm on his face. Not waiting to talk, the party attacks at range.

Artin shoots him with her hand crossbow, but the bolt bounces off of armor beneath his robes. Hrothgar casts holy smite on the evil priest, but he shakes off the effect with little damage. Scowling at the intruders, he takes up a horn and a smoking censer from the altar and blows the horn. A swirling mass of air and vapor appears next to him with a malevolent cast to its vague features. Argh decides to take out the priest hard and fast with a pair of flame arrows which hit him squarely. As his robes burn, Matilda steps forward with the bow she just took from the orc warrior, and puts a clothyard shaft through his chest. The evil priest drops to the ground beside the altar.

Artin moves quickly to one side, while Hrothgar attempts to turn the air creature. It seems shaken, but rushes forward and attacks Matilda. Argh fires a Melph?s acid arrow at the creature but misses, and Matilda swings at it with her axe, which seems to do a little damage.

Artin steps and aids Matilda, trying to distract the creature. Hrothgar turns the creature, though, and it retreats from his brandished holy symbol, disappearing in a rush of air down a distant hallway.

Rushing up the dais steps to the altar, the party finds the evil priest still breathing. Hrothgar fixes that real quick-like, and he searches the body. The most interesting thing is probably the symbol around his neck, which matches one in a pouch in his robes. Meanwhile, Artin is searching the altar and dais. She finds that the altar moves aside, but she can?t budge it. Then she hears someone running away down the southwest hallway. With a new urgency, the dwarves push aside the altar and find a longsword in a white scabbard in a recess beneath it. They grab the sword and the body, and rush out of the room.

Heading back to the temple, they enter through the secret door. Artin takes the time to trap it, and they plan to interrogate the priest?s body in the morning. That evening, Argh identifies most of the loot and scribes a scroll of lightning bolt.

Overall, pretty good gaming. Everyone had fun. The PCs are planning on heading to Verbobonc quite soon, so I'm going to need to whip up a few "random" encounters for them, plus figure out what they'll run into in the city. I'm thinking one of their dwarven reinforcements might have run into legal trouble and they have to bail him out; a bit of a change from all the combat they've been doing lately.

The other thing I'm worrying about is the reinforcement of the Western Bride Complex, which, incidentally, my PCs believe was the fire temple. Heheheh. I don't think Hedrack would leave something that crucial unreinforced for long. At the moment, I'm thinking about bringing in the tribe of trolls that are mentioned in area 38 (on the map) under some charismatic leader who agrees to work for loot or something. Any other ideas?

<< Prev Topic | Next Topic >>

Add Reply

Email This To a Friend Email This To a Friend
Topic Control Image Topic Commands
Click to receive email notification of replies Click to receive email notification of replies
Click to stop receiving email notification of replies Click to stop receiving email notification of replies
jump to:

- Okay -- Your Turn - Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil - Home -

Powered By ezboard® Ver. 7.246k
Copyright ©1999-2003 ezboard, Inc.