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Infiniti2000
Brother of Venom
(2/11/04 8:50 am)
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ezSupporter
Re: Ideas after Session 3
"It'll make the final battle huge..."

And also extremely deadly. Are you gonna have him say stuff like, "Is that you, Jaroo? Come on out and show yourself!"

Btw, is Kale turning evil? He seemed to be enjoying raising zombies.

ieri
Tolling Bell Cultist
(2/11/04 12:47 pm)
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Re: Ideas after Session 3
Well, he only actually raised one, but I made sure the player was aware that it was an evil act. He's already changed to neutral (by choice).

Honestly, I think there might be a bit of metagaming involved. They've already seen two different enemies use protection from good...

-Ieri

ieri
Tolling Bell Cultist
(2/11/04 2:44 pm)
Reply
Re: Ideas after Session 3
Hmmm, Jaroo... why hadn't I thought of that. Excellent idea.

I have a few other developments I'm planning as well.

First of all, the goblins that fled are nearly defenseless (only a few combatants left), and Jot (the quasit) is waiting at the top of the chasm to get even with the party. Well, I don't think he'd miss the chance to have some fun with a virtually defenseless group of goblins... I imagine a scene where the women and children start running in terror as he tears them apart, turning invisible after each kill...

And when the party's ready to leave, not only will he cut the rope... he'll hurl dead goblins down at them.

Also, the dragonpriest troll... they cut his head off, and burnt the body. After much deliberation, and a thread in D&D rules, I decided that the troll can regenerate from just his head, but it'll take a while. I'll throw the troll at them again on their way out as well.

Then there's Padlin. The player who's running Padlin has decided to quit... however, he's not going to just leave, he's going to have some fun first. His plan is to try to convince the party (subtly) to store as much treasure (especially gold) in the bag of holding as possible, until they get back to Verbobonc, and split it up there. Then, he'll make sure he has a watch by himself (which is fairly common) when they spend a night at Oakhurst. He's planning to slip off ahead of time to buy a horse (though, I'm not going to have any horses available in the small town... he'll get a mule), and then steal the bag of holding, Magus' book, and anything else he can grab, and run off.

That's the point where he becomes an NPC. His reasoning is, he has no real loyalty to this party - they have been through a lot, but his only focus is destroying goblins (way too big of a revenge complex). So he'll use their wealth to help wipe out goblins. So he'll run off in the middle of the night, with the party's stuff (if he can pull it off).

Meanwhile, Belak sent an animal messenger (a bat) to the cultists, asking for help. Of course, before help can arrive, he'll be dead, but help is still sent in the form of a few more troglodytes from the earth temple.

Also meanwhile, there is another band of elite goblins (I'm going to give quite a few of them player class levels), travelling towards Oakhurst from their home in the Kron Hills. Just a raiding party, but one that's much more sophisticated than most. I haven't decided exactly what should be leading them (suggestions are welcome). So here's how I plan for things to happen.

Padlin spots the troglodytes on the road between Oakhurst and Verbobonc. Being alone, he tries to sneak past them (reluctantly abandoning his mule). Normally he'd turn back, but since he just robbed a group who could easily kill him, he decides that isn't wise. He hides sucessfully from the Troglodytes, sneaking through the woods nearby... but he's no the only one in the woods. The goblins have spotted the Trogs, and decide to attack (the trogs are disguised as the one they met before was... Padlin guessed they were troglodytes, seeing the similarities, but the goblins just take them for travellers). End result, Padlin is hiding in the middle of what becomes a battlefield.

In the end, he's found, and killed... the Troglodytes, being outnumbered heavily, are killed, as are some of the goblins. Then the goblins, with losses much heavier than they anticipated, not knowing their foe, decide that the treasure Padlin was carrying is enough loot for one trip, and start to head back. An hour or two later (assuming the party wakes up, realizes they were robbed, and starts after Padlin post haste), the party arrives, Kale deciphers what he can from the tracks, and they head after the goblins.

That's the plan anyway... of course, knowing this group, something will get fowled up.

-Ieri

Infiniti2000
Brother of Venom
(2/12/04 10:41 am)
Reply
ezSupporter
Re: Ideas after Session 3
I strongly advise against letting the player of Padlin do that. It is a bad idea both IC and OOC. Padlin is CG, not evil, not even neutral. The party, in particular Leon, has saved his life at least twice. I don't know why the player decided to quit, but I don't really care. He's quitting. A player leaving the game doesn't deserve to screw the party over like this, whether or not you decide to screw the PC-turned-NPC. The rest of the party would then need to reevalutate their 'friends' and probably give up adventuring altogether. The DM should not encourage such strife, particularly badly roleplayed strife.

ieri
Tolling Bell Cultist
(2/15/04 9:50 am)
Reply
Re: Ideas after Session 3
I disagree. He's giving me complete control over his character after the theft, and he's not stealing anything the party needs, just their loot... which they will retrieve in full if they try (and don't get killed).

Also, I erred in his original alignment. He's CN, not CG. If he was actually CG, as I had originally thought, I'd agree with you.

I see your argument about it being a little out of character, but on the other hand, it provides me with a hook to a valuable sidequest that can help them reach high enough level to handle RttToEE before they get there.

That, and I already did it in last Friday's session. I hope to post the summary of that session later today.

-Ieri

ieri
Tolling Bell Cultist
(2/15/04 9:56 pm)
Reply
Session 4, 2-13-04
We last left our adventurers up a tree and somewhat desperate...

Once they had all regained consciousness, they climbed up to the ledge above again. They rested a bit more, and headed back down the tree. They had yet to see anything from the goblins and bugbear that had run off... it was almost eerie how quiet things had become.

They reached the bottom, and helped Leon and Erky back into their armor (which had been carried down in the bag of holding, again). Just as Padlin was putting the last touches on Erky's armor, he heard something from the passage. It sounded like screaming. He told everyone to ready themselves, then saw four goblins run from the passage, a look of panic on their faces. Before anyone could react, a small hole appeared in the chest of one goblin, and the flesh was torn from one side of another's face. Both, of course, fell dead, with no obvious cause for their sudden wounds.

Padlin sprang into action, killing one of the remaining goblins. Then a small creature rushed past the other. He was blue skinned, looked somewhat dwarflike, and was completely nude other than a bandalier he wore which held a small pouch and a dagger <<This was a Derro sorceror>>. When he gestured and spoke the remaining goblin fell dead, and Leon was wounded by some force, as if someone had hurled an invisible brick at his chest <<I gave the Derro magic missile, but made all his missiles invisible... had the party terrified>>. The creature kept shouting in some foreign language as he fought, much like a madman.

In the next few moments, Leon was hit a few more times by this unknown spell, but the blue creature was outnumbered. Before long, he was forced to retreat... but he did not retreat far before three more of the creatures, carrying daggers and wearing leather armor, charged forth to protect him. The battle raged a bit longer, but soon there were only two of the leather clad creatures left, both terribly wounded. One of them pulled a small crystal from his shirt and crushed it in his hand... it exploded in a ball of flame, killing him and his comrade, and wounding everyone in the room, except for Padlin.

Erky and Leon called on the powers of their gods to heal everyone's wounds... in the end, Leon was spent and Erky had used much of his power, but everyone was well, so they moved on.

As they explored this level, they found many things abandoned, as if everyone had left at a moment's notice.

There was a dead dire rat strapped to a table, garden implements lying next to upturned soil, even fruits halfway prepared to be distilled into some form of liquer. They also happened upon a strange wormlike creature that burned with an inner fire. It wounded Leon, but they managed to kill it, and Padlin noticed something shining through a gaping wound. Somehow, there were gems within the creature's belly.

Erky was nearly spent after healing Leon's wounds <<He had two cure minor wounds spells left>>, but again they were well, so they moved on. They came upon a room with a stone statue of a dragon rearing, and a tile with draconic lettering upon it. Kale, fearing a trap, again pulled out the strange piece of wood he was carrying and tossed it onto the tile. A shadowy form appeared and attacked him. Erky charged forward, and was struck by the creature. He felt the strength go out of his arms, and even after the creature had been dispatched (mostly by Magus' magics and Leon wielding the morningstar they had found on the corpse of the bugbear), Erky's weakness continued. Magus translated the writing on the tile, which read "Let the sorcerous power illuminate my mind." Immediately he felt different, as if he could speak more commandingly, and to his comrades he seemed to have more of a presence, and perhaps even be more handsome than before <<he gained a +2 charisma bonus for 24 hours>>.

Still, they were undaunted, and continued on. They went down a long tunnel, and near the end found a locked door. It took every bit of Padlin's talent, but he managed to open the door. Inside was what was obviously some sort of study. It was filled with books and scrolls. Most were about local climate, weather conditions and various flora and fauna of the area - excessively dull to everyone, but there were a few divine scrolls, a book in a language none of them could read, and another book, with a title in draconic that translated to "Treasures of the Fire Lords." Magus, being the only one fluent in Draconic, eagerly opened the tome - which set off a fire trap that nearly burnt his eyebrows completely off. Erky used what little power he had left to heal some of the wounds caused by this trap, as Magus looked more closely at the book. It was entirely blank.

They left the room through a southern door, and stepped into an enormous cavern. This room was full of plantlife. Mostly it consisted of various funguses, and odd plants they had never seen before, but a few surface plants grew in the dim light produced by the glowing fungus. However, every one of these had a pale, sickly look to it. The luminescent fungus gave the look of perpetual twilight to the entire underground grove. The party could sense danger here. This had to be the abode of Belak. And in the distance they saw a large tree growing.

As they drew closer, they began to notice forms around that tree. One was obviously a druid, wearing the holy symbol of Obad-hai. No doubt this was Belak. Behind him were two humans, a male and female. Their skin was completely covered with what looked like bark, but there was no mistaking one of them for Leon. It was Sir Bradford, whom he had trained with in Verbobonc for a time. The other, they assumed, was Sharwyn. To one side of the tree was a grove of twig blights... at least a dozen of them. To the other side stood eight goblins, and behind them, two bugbears. And directly in front of the tree, right behind the humans, stood four dire rats and three skeletons. All of them obviously looking to Belak for commands. At this point Leon at least realized their mistake... Magus was slightly wounded, and many of his spells were spent. Leon had no healing power left in him, and Erky had only the smallest amount of magical resources to call upon. Their enemy, however, had a small army to back him up, and it quickly became apparent that Sir Bradford and Sharwyn were not captives, but a willing part of that army.

Belak stepped forward, boldly calling out to these intruders in his domain. But they were baffeled when he asked where the druid was. Kale said there was no druid, but Belak would not be dissuaded. He called out to someone named Jaroo... and after a few moments of babbling, it became clear that he believed the Oak tree they had created was created by a druid named Jaroo (or perhaps WAS Jaroo, in tree form). After a few moments of ranting, during witch the party remained silent, and Padlin began to look for an opportunity to hide, Belak's face lit up. "Of course, you must be one of the animals!" He waved to Sir Bradford, who systematically slew the dire rats. Only after no animals were left in sight did Belak begin to relax, and begin to speak to Kale again.

Kale, begining to understand something of the situation Belak was in, claimed that they were not sent by the druid, but rather had faced him in combat, and slew him. Belak refused to believe this, claiming that Jaroo could easily kill all five of them. Kale claimed that Jaroo had claimed one life, that of Boo.

Leon, no longer willing to remain quiet, stepped forward and demanded that Sir Bradford and Sharwyn be released. Belak laughed at this, and said that they were not held here by force, and could leave if they so wished. So Leon asked Sir Bradford to come with him, calling him a brother under Pelor. Sir Bradford's response was to tear the holy symbol he still wore from his chest, and state clearly that he served Gulthias now.

Kale spoke again, telling Belak that they only needed Sharwyn's ring to earn the reward that had been promised to them. He tried to sympathize with Belak, stating that he understood his point of view, and using his new found appreciation of undead as a common point between them. Eventually, Belak was convinced that they were probably not sent by the druids, but he still did not believe they could have slain Jaroo. He brought forth the body of Boo, which he said he had been saving as a bargaining chip against Jaroo, when he believed that Boo was one of Jaroo's servants. Kale offered to tell everyone that Sharwyn and Sir Bradford were dead, and Belak seemed to consider it. He asked each of them for their word that they would not return (except Kale, who he said would be welcome back, by himself), and that they would tell anyone who asked that Sharwyn and Sir Bradford were dead. Kale promised immediately, as did Magus. Erky was reluctant, but finally told Magus he would make this promise, but if he did so his debt to Magus was paid. Leon promised only to tell those he met that Sir Bradford was dead to Pelor, for that much was true. Then Belak noticed that Padlin had disappeared. He asked where their fifth companion was, and Padlin stepped out of the shadows, and immediately gave his word to tell those he met that the two were dead. Breathing a sigh of relief, and carrying the corpse of Boo, the remaining adventurers headed back the way they had come.

A goblin began to follow them, but Padlin heard it. They stopped, and Padlin and Kale pulled out their bows. When the goblin appeared around the corner, it threw up its hands, and explained it was only asked to make sure that they left, as they had promised. But, when Kale threatened it further, it left <<the goblin only went back a short way, then continued following them from a more discreet distance>>.

They left Boo's corpse behind once they were confident they were not being watched, then made their way back to the tree, and climbed back up the hole. There they stopped, to discuss things.

Kale's promise had been a ruse... one that had fooled not only Belak, but most of his companions. Now they discussed strategy. It was decided that they would empty their bag of holding in the room where they had rested with the kobolds, then go down and retrieve the ten flasks of goblin brew they had found in a small distillery earlier. Kale had learned a trick from his sister, who was part of the Verbobonc militia. By dipping a rag in a full bottle of alchohol, lighting it, then throwing the bottle, they could make a potent weapon. When the bottle shattered upon impact, the alchohol would ignite, burning anything it splattered upon. With those, they could decimate the twig blights quickly. While they did that, Magus would call upon a new found magic to create a rolling ball of fire, which he would roll straight up the Gulthias tree. They hoped that this would free Sharwyn and Sir Bradford from it's influence, saving them and turning them from enemies to allies. Even so, they knew it would be a hard battle against the remaining forces (though Erky seemed confident he could deal with the undead easily).

So, with a plan set, they set up watch over the hole, and Magus went to dump the bag of holding. This was his last mistake. Whoever said that what you don't know can't hurt you has obviously never dealt with the regeneration power of trolls. It had been over a week since they had defeated the dragonpriest, and burnt its body, but not its head. What they did not realize was that a troll can regenerate from a small fraction of its own body. The burnt body was properly destroyed, but over a matter of days, the head regrew a body, and went in search of food (regenerating an entire body makes one hungry, after all). When Magus arrived in what was once the hall of Yusdrayl, he found the troll feasting on the corpse of a goblin. It saw him as well, and in a matter of seconds, tore Magus asunder. Magus barely had time to scream before he died.

Kale, Padlin, Leon and Erky came running. They arrived to find the Troll eating the body of Magus. Without a thought, Padlin and Kale charged (Leon, in his heavy armor, had lagged behind... and Erky was even further behind, with his short legs and full plate). But Kale and Padlin managed to keep the troll occupied until Leon and then Erky arrived. The battle that followed was long, as the trolls wounds closed almost as quickly as they were dealt, but eventually they defeated the troll again.

As soon as the troll fell, Leon beheaded it again. Padlin suggested they burn it imediately, but Kale had another idea. They dragged the body and head back to the hole, where they found goblins cutting down the tree. Without a thought for the goblins, they threw the troll's remains down the hole, hoping that it would regenerate again and do great damage to their enemies. <<Of course, while a good plan, this won't work for them. The goblins will tell Belak about the troll, and Belak, being a druid who lives underground, knows a bit about trolls. They are certain to be surprised when they return to find three Gulthias supplicants instead of two.>> Erky used the last of his healing power on Padlin, though he and Leon were both seriously injured, and they quickly decided that, without Magus, they had little hope of surviving an assault on Belak's forces.

Reluctantly, they headed back out of the citadel, but the troll was not the last surprise in store for them.

When they reached the rope, Padlin began climbing. Suddenly, after he was about 20 feet up, he felt the rope go slack. With lightning reflexes, Padlin grabbed the cave wall as the rope fell to the ledge below. Then he spotted the quasit <<named Jot>> they had fought in the Dragonpriest's room. The quasit peeked out, laughing, then flew away from the ledge and began hurling dead goblins down at the adventurers. It seems the goblins that fled the citadel did not get far... apparently the quasit was waiting on the surface, and had some fun with the defenseless women and children, no doubt after quickly dispatching the few goblin warriors Kale left alive.

Afraid they would be hit by a corpse and knocked off the ledge, Kale, Padlin, Erky and Leon stepped under the ledge and quickly discussed their options. They had just decided that Leon and Erky should remove their armor, and they should all four climb the wall to fight the quasit, when the quasit suddenly appeared next to Leon and attacked. They sprang into action, but the quasit quickly retreated, flying above the steps that led down to the citadel. From there, Padlin, Leon and Kale could attack it, but that left Erky with no opening. So, he reached into his pack and removed one of the divine scrolls he had recovered from the citadel - a scroll of magic stone. He quickly grabbed three pebbles and blessed them, then prepared to throw them at the quasit as
soon as an opportunity presented itself.

Meanwhile, it seems the Gods were finally shining on Leon, Padlin and Kale... each struck the quasit, and it tried once again to flee, flying straight up towards the surface. But Erky was ready, and hurled a pebble at it... the blessings on the pebble made it a powerful enough weapon to finish off the quasit, though now Padlin was severely wounded. But they decided they had enough of this place... Padlin scaled the cliff wall, carrying rope in the bag of holding, then tied the rope off and threw it down to those below. Soon they were all on their way back to Oakhurst.

At Oakhurst, they found Lady Hucrele relieved to see them alive after so many days. She said she had sent for help from Verbobonc, assuming them dead. When she heard the fate of her children, she was greatly distressed... but she held out hope for Sir Bradford once Kale informed her that they planned to return and destroy the Gulthias tree, in hopes that this would set him free of it's power over him. Lady Hucrele rewarded them 250 gold each, as she had promised, for they did return the signet rings. Further, she provided them with a mule to carry what treasure they had back to Verbobonc, where they planned to reprovision and equip themselves, and find or hire one or more individuals to help them invade the Sunless Citadel and put an end to the evil they had found there.

However, all this time Padlin had devious thoughts running through his head. The goblins were nearly wiped out, so his goals were finished, and he had not told his companions the full reason he had joined them. He owed a large debt to some very unsavory individuals in Verbobonc... the kind who would gladly accept payment in blood. Now, he saw his chance to repay that debt. While everyone was sleeping, he stole the bag of holding that held most of the treasure they had found, took the mule as a mount, and left for Verbobonc.

When Kale woke and found the bag, the mule and Padlin gone, he quickly realized what had happened. Waking his companions, he tracked Kale's mule out of Oakhurst and down the road toward Verbobonc.

After about two hours, they came upon what could only be a battle site. There were a handful of dead goblins, three dead troglodytes (who wore long cloaks much like the one they encountered on the way to Oakhurst), and Padlin's corpse. There were also many tracks leading back towards the Kron hills, and to Kale's eyes, they looked like goblin tracks...

-Ieri

ieri
Tolling Bell Cultist
(2/24/04 6:53 pm)
Reply
Session 5, 2-20-04
Hope someone's still reading this... didn't get any replies to my last post, but here goes. I only had three players show this week, and the two that didn't were introducing new characters, so their characters just aren't in this summary.

As they overlooked the grusome battle scene, the three heard a rustling in the bushes. Kale stepped forward and pushed aside a few branches, to find himself staring into the eyes of a wolf, inches in front of him. He slowly replaced the branches and stepped back, and then out stepped a man wearing the holy symbol of Ehlonna.

They quickly determined that this man, who's name was Navin, was a druid of Ehlonna, and the wolf was his companion. They had been following these goblins for days, since the goblins decimated a small farming village, slaughtering everyone within it. The goblins were cultists of Erythnul, and they had been leaving a trail of death, killing anything they came across, even squirrels and other harmless woodland creatures, and leaving the bodies to rot.

Navin joined up with Kale, Leon and Erky, and they followed the goblins north. About an hour later, they came upon the goblins, who had set up some sort of camp. Kale, Navin and his wolf snuck forward, scouting the enemy, while Erky and Leon stayed back. Soon, Kale heard goblin voices. From what he gathered, they had a troglodyte prisoner, on the brink of death, and had stopped to make a meal out of it. There was a roaring fire, with 10 goblins sitting around it. Four more were sitting to the side, playing some game that involved dice and parchment. On the far side of the fire stood two more menacing looking goblins. Both wore scale mail, and one also held a light shield. All the goblins were carrying morningstars, or had them close at hand, but none seemed to have ranged weaponry of any kind. Navin moved closer for a better look, and one of the goblins seemed to hear something... but after taking a few steps towards the trees and seeing nothing, his companions convinced him that it must have been the wind, or some woodland creature, and they returned to the fire.

From his new vantage point, Kale saw the creature he assumed to be the leader of this cult. It looked like a goblin, except that it stood a full seven foot tall. It was wearing half plate and wielded a morningstar and heavy shield. It also seemed to be wearing a holy symbol, but from that distance, Kale could not be sure.

Kale waved to Navin, who then waved to Erky and Leon, motioning them to come forward. Of course, neither of them are known for their stealth, and it only took a moment for the clinking of their armor to arouse the goblin camp. The goblins all stood, and grabbed weapons, except for the four playing the game, who seemed oblivious to everything.

The large goblin began chanting as he grabbed the troglodyte prisoner and stabbed him in the neck. Soon after he completed whatever dark ritual he was performing, and dropped the troglodyte's corpse to the ground. The goblins charged Erky and Leon's position, which happened to be right next to where Navin and his wolf were hiding. The two jumped out, and after a few volleys of arrows into the disorganized goblin ranks, melee ensued. Meanwhile, one of the goblins in scale mail ran up to the four playing the game and ordered them to join the combat, kicking one fiercely as he did so. As they stood and grabbed their morningstars, Kale overheard one of them speak in their own tongue, "but my cleric was about to level."

Kale, seperated from his companions, remained hidden, and lined up a shot on the seven foot goblin. However, before he could get a clear shot, the goblin cast another spell, and became invisible. So Kale fired at one of the goblins wearing scale, and soon found a small contingent of goblins charging his position as well. The one in scale, wielding his morningstar in two hands, swang at Kale with brutal force, injuring him severely. With no one able to reach him through the goblin lines, he did the only thing he could think of - climbed a tree. Three goblins climbed after him.

Meanwhile, the battle was not going well for Navin. Though he and his wolf (not to mention Erky and Leon) had already felled quite a few goblins, his wolf was dealt a savage blow, and was unconscious, near death. And there were goblins between the wolf and Navin. Then one of those goblins stepped over the wolf and slit it's throat. Navin was enraged, which may account for his insistence on dealing with the goblins toe to toe, slicing through them with his scimitar rather than taking a more defensive stance and calling on the power of Ehlonna to aid him.

Kale managed to fight off the goblins who climbed after him, but in doing so lost his balance and fell from the tree. His wounds were serious, but he fought on. Navin fell, but Leon, seeing how the goblins had butchered the fallen wolf stood over his bleeding ally and defended him against five goblins at once. Erky was similarly besieged, but with the help of a few arrows from Kale, soon there were only two goblins to be seen, both attacking Erky. All three of the heroes still standing were horribly wounded... within one or two strikes of falling themsleves.

That's when the seven foot goblin reappeared. It didn't take a mage to tell that he was brimming with magical power, and they quickly surmised that, while they fought, he was casting all sorts of magics to increase his own power. When he appeared, he was praying to Erythnul, and everyone felt the effects of that prayer... the goblins attacks seemed a bit closer to their mark, while those of their foe seemed a bit worse. At this point, one thought was running through the minds of Erky and Leon... they would die here. And Kale was convinced likewise, that Erky and Leon would die (but he was sure he could outrun this seven foot beast, if it came to that).

Erky's every spell was spent, but he had one last trick up his sleeve. He pulled out a scroll they had found in the sunless citadel, and called upon its power. Every tree, bush and even the grass reached out towards this goblin, holding him in place. <<He used a scroll of entangle. I didn't realize until afterwards that it wasn't on the cleric spell list, but decided that if they had known that, Kale would've carried it and HE would have used it, to the same effect>>

Kale began shooting the goblin with arrows, and after taking out the last two normal goblins, Erky and Leon peppered him with bolts and arrows as well, while the goblin monstrosity struggled to break free of these plants. He was badly wounded when he finally broke free and bore down on Erky, felling him with one hit. Leon stepped forward, and bore into the goblin. With the help of a well aimed arrow from Kale, they finally felled their enemy. He immediately stepped forward and tended to Erky's wounds, but unfortunantely, Navin's body was within the effects of the spell, and long before its effect expired, life had left the druid. <<he had 7 chances to stabilize, but the dice were against him>>

When the goblin died, his body shrank down to half his former size. <<I had a permanency'd enlarge effect on him. It really didn't help him in battle (slightly more damage, slightly less AC), but it sure had a dramatic effect on the players. I never explained (nor do I plan to) where he aquired this effect.> They found their bag of holding, with everything still in it, on the goblin's now oversized belt. Leon helped himself to the goblin's half plate armor (none of his gear had shrunk with him), and after looting the dead, they carried Erky back to the mule and lashed him to it. Then they made the trek back to Oakhurst.

The next morning Erky awoke. He used the power of Garl Glittergold to heal the wounds of Leon and Kale, and it was decided that he would stay behind while the other two headed to Verbobonc for equipment and to find allies against Belak. This time, their trip was uneventful. They spent a full day wandering town and selling the various items they had aquired. Leon purchased a suit of masterwork quality full plate, though it had been previously used by a servant of St. Cuthbert, and he had to have the god's holy symbol removed. The smith offered to make him a new suit to order, but Leon simply didn't want to give Belak that much time to prepare for their return <<I'm SO glad I've got them thinking like that... not expecting enemies to just wait for them. That'll REALLY help when they get to RttToEE>>.

While Leon was shopping for armor, Kale went to the Silver Consortium, home to Verbobonc's mage guild, among other things, to have some things they had found on the corpses of the goblins identified. It turned out that they now had a waterskin that would refill itself with fresh water on command, once a day (though the command word was the goblin word for thirsty), and an amulet that would protect the wearer from magic missiles. The mage who identified these for Kale (at a cost of 100 gold per item), identified himself only as Jack. He said the amulet could protect the wearer from about 25 to 30 missiles before its power was spent.

Kale also asked Jack to help him find a buyer for Magus' old spellbook. However, the spells within it were freely available in the Silver Consortium's library, so only a mage who was outcast from the guild would be interested in it, in Verbobonc anyway. But, after a bit of talk, Jack arranged a meeting for the next morning between Kale and a man who identified himself as Elaith. <<I loved the name, so I stole it from realms... but he's not an elf>>

Kale agreed to pay Jack 15% of the selling price as a commission for setting up the sale. Jack, not trusting Kale, made sure that Elaith agreed to send word to him of the selling price. But, Kale expected this, when he met with Elaith (at a dockside bar that the local constabulary seemed to avoid), he offered to sell the book for 600 gold (Jack told him he should be able to get 700), if Elaith would send word to Jack that he only paid 450 for it. Elaith agreed, and Kale paid Jack only 67 gold and 5 silver commission. Later, after he saw that Elaith kept his word about reporting to Jack, Kale went back to that bar, and found Elaith again. This time, he offered to sell the whistle.

Elaith brought another associate in on the deal, and after discussing it, they went aboard that man's boat. It turned out to be a slaver that was used in the corpse trade. The man, who would give no name, tested the whistle on one of the corpses. When he saw it worked, and asked its limitations (which Kale was honest about) he offered 1500 gold for it. Kale haggled him up to 1750, but at that point, after a not to subtle threat from his customer, Kale thought it best to take the money and run.

He spoke to Jack again, and convinced him to join them in their expedition against Belak. But still, the four of them seemed too few to handle the hoards Belak had supporting him, so Kale and Leon stayed at the church of Pelor for the night, with plans to recruit further (and perhaps purchase an enchantment for the masterwork longsword Kale had bought) the next day.

-Ieri

Edited by: ieri at: 2/24/04 6:54 pm
PerfectParabola7
Ebon Hand Cultist
(2/25/04 8:16 am)
Reply
Re: Session 5, 2-20-04
Looks good. Quick question: Was Navin a new PC or an NPC you threw in?

My Realm

Ramblings of a Sleepwalking Man

ieri
Tolling Bell Cultist
(2/25/04 10:19 am)
Reply
Re: Navin
New PC, Magus' replacement. And Jack is Navin's replacement. I sorta feel sorry for the player, but he seems to be taking it well (and said he really enjoyed the battle, even if he did die).

-Ieri

GM Nemo
Tolling Bell Cultist
(2/26/04 9:17 am)
Reply
Re: Navin
Quote:
As they stood and grabbed their morningstars, Kale overheard one of them speak in their own tongue, "but my cleric was about to level."


:rollin :lol :rollin That is great. I'll have to work this into one of my games sometime.

ieri
Staj
(2/27/04 8:17 am)
Reply
Re: Navin
It was actually a PC's comment... I had them playing a game with dice, but didn't specify what the game was. When they were told to grab their weapons, I said one of the goblins started grumbling something, and Kale's player (Kale's the only one who knows goblin) filled in the cleric about to level comment, so I just went with it.

-Ieri

ieri
Staj
(3/24/04 4:17 pm)
Reply
Sessions 5 and 6
Sorry I'm so long in posting again. I've gotten bad about writing summaries, and my work schedule was turned upside down, which had the positive effect of allowing for sessions on three Fridays in a row. Here's the first two, in one summary. I'll give an updated cast of characters after I post session 7:

**Slight bit of revisionist history included to introduce new party member**

As Kale was returning from the slaver where he sold the whistle, he noticed someone doing a very poor job of shadowing him. Being sick of subterfuge, he took the direct approach - turning suddenly and confronting his stalker. It was a half-orc. They spoke, and soon Kale learned that this man, Vash, was once a slave himself. His master had treated him very well, and they grew close, almost like father and son in some ways. To make a long story short, Vash's master was killed after refusing to sell Vash and some of his other slaves to a visiting slave trader. Vash managed to escape, and vowed to find the evil man who killed his master, and have his revenge.

He followed Kale from the slaver, mistaking him for a slave trader. Once the misunderstanding was cleared up, Kale learned that Vash was in need of work (the revenge business doesn't pay well), and seemed built for combat. So, Vash joined their little band.

After purchasing some alchemist fire, presumably to burn the tree down, and a scroll of entangle, they headed back to Oakhurst to meet with Erky. On the way, they were attacked by a band of wolves. The battle was short, though the pack leader proved a fierce opponent. One of the wolves limped away from battle, and once it was clear his companions were safe, Kale went after it. Kale found the wolf hiding in a thicket. He fed it from his own rations, and over the course of a few hours finally built enough trust that he was able to enlist the aid of Leon in healing the animal's wounds. Once they continuned their journey, Kale noticed on a few occasions that the wolf was following them, from a safe distance.

They arrived in Oakhurst, and met with Erky. Kale and Vash decided to sleep in the woods. Vash was more comfortable there, and Kale wanted to watch for the wolf, who he had begun to refer to as Wookie, at least to himself. The next morning, the five of them (Kale, Vash, Leon, Jack and Erky) set off towards the Sunless Citadel. Along the way, they encountered a small grove. There were six twig blights, rooted in a circle, with six smaller creatures within the circle. <The twig blights were growing their young, reproducing through their roots>

Of course, they decided to destroy these vile creatures. Five of the blights uprooted themselves to attack, but one remained firmly in place <so the children were not completely cut off>. Kale, Leon and Erky were very familiar with how to deal with these creatures by now, however, and soon all six blights were destroyed. And when the last one (the one that remained rooted) fell, the other plants seemed to sag. Erring on the side of caution, they destroyed the smaller plants.

It was late in the day by this time, and those who were not new to the area had learned to respect the Sunless Citadel, so they decided it was wise to spend the night aboveground, preparing themselves for battle, each in their own way.

The next morning, they headed down. The upper floor of the citadel was deserted. The silence was errie, and brought the fate of Magus to the minds of his companions. They were cautious, as they approached the vine covered hole.

All signs of the tree were gone. And, of course, they had difficulty seeing to the bottom of the hole. So, they lit a torch and dropped it, watching as it fell. Only Kale could see the bottom by this light, and what he saw should have immediately proven their folly. Four goblins were at the bottom of the hole. When the torch fell, one ran towards a door, and the others headed away from the hole, no doubt preparing themselves for battle.

Kale told his companions that there was no one down there. I don't know if he realized the need for haste, as Belak would no doubt soon be warned of their presence, and thus decided that deceiving his allies was the best way to encourage speeed, or if Kale was merely being mischevious yet again. Regardless, it was Vash who reached bottom first, and was struck by a javelin from the goblins that were not there.

They made short work of the three goblins, and after a small bit of healing from the servants of Pelor and Glittergold, chased after the goblin. Leon and Erky quickly fell behind, and as Kale watched the tracks of their quarry, he noticed that a larger humanoid had joined the goblin, and both were heading straight for the twilight grove. Those who were not slowed by size or armor soon realized that they would not catch the goblin or his companion before they warned Belak, and rushing into battle while their comrades lagged behind was unwise.

Once Erky and Leon had caught up, they headed down the passage that led to Belak's study and the twilight grove. The path of the goblin led straight into the grove, but as they discussed whether to follow that path or come through Belak's study, in hopes of gaining a slight element of surprise, Vash decided that either answer immediately was better than waiting to decide. So he opened the door to Belak's study, and a burst of fire exploded in his face. Erky and Leon healed him again, but now their healing magic was growing weak. Never the less, they had little choice now. They charged into battle.

Kale charged in first, with the scroll of entangle in hand, and before anyone could react he had cast the spell upon it. Arrayed before him were Belak, Sir Bradford, Sharwyn, dozens of twig blights, four goblins, a bugbear, three skeletons, and to their dismay, the troll who had killed Magus. Its skin was covered with bark, much like Sir Bradford and Sharwyn, and it was obviously under the sway of the Gulthias tree as well.

Ehlonna was with Kale that day, for as the foliage rose up around his enemies, all were within the range of his magic, and most were held captive by the spell. Vash bravely charged, right into brambles to attack the twig blights near the edge. Leon and Erky moved forward, at a slower rate, firing their bow and crossbow, and Jack cast a flaming sphere at the troll, who deftly avoided it.

The battle was long. Vash soon found himself forced to retreat, as the troll broke free of the brambles and approached him. Sharwyn began countering Jack's spell, effectively removing both from combat, and Belak turned Jack's own tactic against him, creating a flaming sphere. Unfortunantely, Jack didn't prove as nimble as the troll.

Leon tended to Jack's wounds, while Erky moved into combat, bravely holding the troll at bay while his companions dealt with the rest of the horde. By this time, many of their enemies had broke free, with the exception of the bugbear, who still struggled, far behind the line of combat.

Sir Bradford engaged Vash, and struck at the Orcish double axe he wielded. The weapon was nearly sundered. Vash, fearing the loss of his weapon, fell back, and Kale stepped in to challenge the man they were sent to rescue. He struck Sir Bradford down, after his blade had taken some damage from Shatterspike, the weapon Sir Bradford weilded. When Sir Bradford fell, Kale dropped his own damaged blade and picked up Shatterspike, then strode towards the troll.

Erky was still bravely holding the troll off. He had used the last powerful spells that Garl Glittergold had bestowed upon him to heal his own wounds, and the troll's wounds likewise seemed to be closing. But Jack began hurling the alchemist fire he had intended for the Gulthias Tree at the troll. Though his aim was somewhat lacking, he did strike soundly with one vial. And these wounds did not seem to close as the wounds Erky inflicted did.

Belak, saw his forces weakened... Sharwyn's spells were spent, the goblins and all but one skeleton had fallen, and only a handful of twig blights remained (and the bugbear was STILL stuck in the underbrush). He knew that the troll was his last chance for victory, so he spent what power Obad-hai had given him to heal the troll's burns. Then, he withdrew, calling on Obad-hai for speed. Kale was chasing him through the brambles, but Sharwyn, severly wounded, threw herself in his path, and made a futile stab at him with her dagger, just as she lost consciousness from her wounds <she attacked when at 0 HP, willing to sacrifice herself for the tree's shepherd>. Kale ignored her, pulled out his bow and fired at Belak, bringing him down.

Meanwhile, the bugbear had finally escaped from the undergrowth. Seeing Belak fall, he knew he had but one chance of survival. While Erky, Leon and Jack were battling the troll, and Kale was deep in the undergrowth after taking down Belak, he broke for freedom, with only Vash in his way. Vash swung at the bugbear as he fled, but his strike faltered, and the creature escaped.

Vash joined the melee against the troll. And although the troll struck Erky a few more times, he could not face four skilled opponents (well, okay, at least three *skilled* opponents), and soon he fell as well.

They tied the troll to the tree, and burnt them both together. It took hours for the Gulthias tree to die to the flames, but once it did, they saw the bark fall from the unconscious forms of Sir Bradford and Sharwyn. Kale went to Sir Bradford, and found that the spark of life had left with the bark. Sharwyn was dead as well.

Among the various valuables they found on the dead was a note that Belak was carrying. It spoke in vague terms of a meeting near a city called Hommlett, and it bore the strange triangle symbol that made up half of the holy symbol the troglodytes they had enountered had been wearing. It was obvious that there was more to this story than one mad druid and an evil tree.

Weary and wounded from the longest battle any of them had ever endured, they rested in the twilight grove, then took the bodies of Sir Bradford and Sharwyn back to Oakhurst. When they were nearly to the town, they saw a battle raging. A small group of twig blights were attacking the townsfolk. They drew their bows and crossbows, and quickly killed the creatures.

The constable met them at the edge of town, and after Erky and Leon had tended to the wounded townsfolk, she led them to the temple of Pelor, where they handed the bodies over to Corky so that she could prepare them for burial.

Then they delievered the fell news to Madame Hucrele, who personally answered the door. Though she tried her best to hide it, a single tear ran down her cheek. She bade them wait a moment, went back inside, and delivered a sealed letter to them, asking that they take it to the innkeeper.

The innkeeper, after reading the note, seemed to burst with pent up rage. He told them that their debt was paid, and that he did not wish to see them in his inn ever again. It soon became clear he was speaking only to Kale and Leon. He had heard from Corky that Leon and Magus had a bag of holding full of manure, and it didn't take a genious to figure out who must have sullied his outhouse. Apparently, Madame Hucrele had paid for repairs and cleaning, and asked that he keep quiet about it until their task for her was done. The innkeeper made a point of welcoming Erky, however. It seemed his stature in the town had grown somewhat while Kale and Leon travelled to Verbobonc.

Once they had left the inn, Erky bade his friends farewell. Obviously, he could do no more for Magus. His life debt, paid or unpaid, was no more. And the twig blights were still out there. The town needed a defender.

So Kale, Leon, Vash and Jack headed back to Verbobonc to sell their spoils and rest before heading to Hommlett. It seemed the more they learned, the more questions they had. But they at least knew where to look for answers.

-Ieri

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