Ebon Hand Cultist
(2/7/04 8:16 pm)
The Narrator's Campaign Log|
Seems to be the thing to do, and I'd like an excuse to write something that doesn't involve rhet-comp and theory.
In another thread, I brought up an issue I had with one of the players (Jondar's) using Out Of Character information he is getting from playing a concurrant RttToEE game. The other players and myself like the guy, so i don't want to kick him out ... but I came up with an IC reason for him to have OOC information.
And a very good reason for him not to ever use it.
The party make-up is as follows:
Hanaur - Half-Orc Bbn 1/ Clr 3 of Kord
Laurana - Elf Rog 1/ Clr 3 of Olidammara
Jondar - Elf Wiz 4
Marcus - Human Ftr 4
Aramil - Elf Rog 2/ Ftr 2
Here's their story ...
Ebon Hand Cultist
(2/7/04 8:18 pm)
Re: The Narrator's Campaign Log|
“Perhaps the others were right,” Jondar thought, “and this is a really bad idea.”
The swirling mists within the amethyst altar parted, revealing a baleful eye.
“How … baleful.” He thought.
The pupil of the yellow eye contracted, focusing on the elven wizard…
Laurana reclined awkwardly against the side of the rough-hewn tunnel. Her wineskin was empty. Her last bottle was empty. Her hip-flask was empty.
Hanaur looked over at her as he did push-ups, his neck muscles rippling with the movement. His muscles rippled with any movement, which meant he rippled often.
“I’m out of wine and I’m out of whiskey.”
Hanaur shrugged and did another push-up, which was moderately impressive.
“Yes,” Laurana replied, “but I won’t ENJOY it. I would say Olidammara is testing me, but I’m fairly sure he wouldn’t want me to be wine-less, either.”
“Would you two be quiet?” Aramil hissed, “I’m listening for a squamous blast or a squish.” The elf had been listening intently since the group retreated down the tunnel from Jondar.
“Or, perhaps, the clink of gold and the tinkle of jewels?” Marcus asked. He was the only human of the bunch and, he thought, the least greedy. Or the least foolhardy. Or both.
Jondar frowned … “Seek me?” He was about to ask “who?” but he noticed the floor rushing toward his face with rather alarming speed and instead asked: “Eep?” He scraped on ear-tip rather badly on the stone floor and banged his cheekbone, coming to rest firmly on his nose. The silver chime slipped from his hand and rolled several feet away. He could hear pounding boots echoing up the tunnel and struggled to turn his head, succeeding only in rolling it slightly onto his bruised cheek.
Hanaur and the others pushed into the strange old shrine, weapons drawn, and looked about for whatever blasphemous ancient monster had killed Jondar. There was, unfortunately, nothing in the room but the corpse.
“Could someone help me up? I seem to be a bit … drained.” Jondar asked, trying unsuccessfully to move one arm.
“You’re not dead.” Hanaur said as he picked the elf up by the robe with one hand.
“Obviously.” Jondar said.
Hanaur set the elf on his feet, and Jondar immediately collapsed bonelessly on the floor.
“You seem even less muscular and toned than usual, Jondar.” Hanaur noted.
“Again, your powers of observation amaze.” Jondar said.
“Move over, boys.” Laurana said and shouldered her way past the others, pulling her battered holy symbol from a vest pocket. She closed her eyes and formed a prayer of restoration to Olidammara, ending with an officious-looking but entirely unnecessary smack on Jondar’s forehead with the metal pendant.
Jondar felt strength flow back through his body like an electric current. A rather weak electric current, granted, but entirely noticeable given the fact that he could raise an arm to swipe at Laurana. He stood slowly and adjusted his robes.
“Thank you. While I don’t exactly feel hale and whole, at least blinking is no longer an aneurism-inducing feat of strength.”
“Nothing of it. C’mon, lets get out of this joint before you manage to summon something stronger than a hangover.”
The group turned and made their way back along the low-ceilinged tunnels to the crypt they had entered them from. They were deep beneath the abandoned keep the locals called “The Moathouse”. They had arrived a day and a half earlier, looking for the potion-brewer from Hommlet named Spugnoir, who they had found hiding from the dragon in the cellar room.
The dragon had been troublesome. It had slithered over the courtyard wall as they investigated the front entrance of the keep and attempted to melt Marcus with its acidic breath, very nearly succeeding. Aramil and Laurana had launched several arrows into the beast as Marcus battered it with his sword and axe, but it was Hanaur who landed the final blow, sending the beast’s head flying. It was then that the others decided that making Hanaur angry was generally a bad idea, man of the cloth or no. Granted the “cloth” was minimal, at best. The priest of Kord generally preferred to be as unrestricted as possible.
“Which way?” Marcus asked.
Forward was the secret hatch up to the higher portions of the dungeon and the stairs out. To the right were the ever-downsloping passages further into the bowels of the keep.
“Well, we found Spugnoir, which was the task at hand. We explored a little, got mobbed by undead, found a blasphemous old temple, and Jondar got himself stricken.” Laurana said.
“Yes, but there’s also the burning question of what the red-robed priest was doing here. Y’know, before he got eaten.” Aramil suggested.
“And what these ritual items are meant for.” Jondar said. He shook his pack helpfully. They had found some strange items on a blanket, abandoned. As usual, Jondar figured they were part of some arcane ritual.
“True. Those gnolls certainly didn’t want us coming down here.” Hanaur said.
“And the matter of that ghast that mauled me earlier up and disappearing …” Marcus added.
The others looked around. Only a few hours before they had fought a pitched battle with several ghouls and a ghast. Now, however, the badly-hacked bodies were suspiciously missing.
“Right.” They said in unison, and turned down the hallway.
Ebon Hand Cultist
(2/7/04 10:54 pm)
Ahead they found two communal bedrooms, suggesting that several individuals had been in residence. At least two of them human, though most of the beds smelled like wet dog. A quick bed-check told them that the gnolls they had fought upstairs had been staying in the dungeon for a few days. In the more well-tended bedroom they found a chest, which Aramil opened, narrowly avoiding a spurt of acid aimed at his eyes from a glyph hidden on the inside. He rummaged around. A small amount of gold and a sheaf of papers were the only real items of consequence that he could find. He handed the journal to Marcus and continued looking the chest over for any hidden caches of jewels. One can always hope.
Marcus looked the papers over, flipping through them. They seemed to be a journal. A very disturbed journal. He read a few select passages aloud quietly to the group before stuffing the mass in his pack.
“’I hated him – He stole my lunch two days ago, and it was an excellent boiled egg and some of Tashi’s delicious spicebread. Take his soul, Dark Lord, and crush it beneath your contemptuous heel’?” Hanaur repeated.
“This Geynor fellow seems to have a few socialization problems.” Laurana said.
Jondar tapped a finger against his pointed chin, thinking back to a passage mentioning a “Chatrilon”. They had met a Chatrilon in Hommlet, a shifty looking man who had attempted to ingratiate himself with them. His major interest seemed to be finding “items of worth; to oneself or others …” That sounded a lot like wholesale bare-assed thievery to them … Aramil and Laurana didn’t need the competition.
“I think we need to have a short talk with Chatrilon. He was pretty insistent about coming with us, and now it seems he’s working with some of these cultist fellows back in Hommlet.” Jondar said.
A noise from down the hall distracted him. Quickly, they readied their weapons and crept toward the door. Down the corridor was a flight of stairs they hadn’t explored yet. Aramil moved forward and motioned for quiet. Down the stairs, he could hear sounds of movement, something larger than the rats that scurried throughout the cellar network. They moved out of the bedroom slowly and moved down the steps, alert for enemies, though so-far they hadn’t seen anything since the ghouls they had fought several hours earlier. At once, the three elves smelled a familiar heavy charnal stench in the air.
“Careful … I smell another ghast somewhere ahead.” Aramil warned.
“I don’t like it when they come back … twice.” Marcus grumbled under his breath. He edged around Aramil on the last few steps and spun around the corner at the end of the stairs, axe and sword ready.
The room at the end of the stairs was rather small, most of it taken up by a yawning stone pit. Cold air and mist wisped up from the hole, giving the whole scene an otherwordly cast. Expectedly, a ghast hissed and advanced as the rest of the group ranged out behind and beside Marcus … unexpected were the two individuals in ochre robes with crossbows crouched behind a large, rectangular statue. Both fired, but their bolts went wide of their marks.
“DIE!! … Again!” Marcus growled and pushed forward into the ghast, both tearing at eachother with abandon. Hanaur took a step forward and beconed scornfully at the human in robes, the other seemed to be a foul reptilian beast and most likely subordinate at best. “Come, try your might against mine, in the name of Kord!”
“If you would kindly step aside, Marcus, I’ll summon a sphere of firey doom to … er, hey!” Jondar yelled as he was pushed aside by Aramil and Laurana.
The ghast managed to slash Marcus several times on his unprotected arms. He struggled against the foul poison in the thing’s touch, but he could feel his joints quickly stiffening up.
“Not again …” He ground out from clenched teeth.
The ghast shoved him over and stepped into the breech, facing off against Hanaur as Aramil moved into position. The reptilian priest raised a black triangle and began to growl words of power in a dark tongue … Hanaur’s mind was filled with thoughts of doom and death, but he summoned the inner strength of Kord and banished them to the end of his great two-handed sword, which he buried in the ghast. The human priest ran over to the failing ghast, mumbling more dark words of power. He reached out a hand and touched the undead thing, black energy coursing from his hand and binding the wounds in the dead flesh.
“Just a little to the right and they’ll taste burning, rolling dea-OW!” Jondar was shouldered again by Laurana as she took aim with her bow.
The ghast managed to sink its teeth into Hanaur’s shoulder as they struggled, and he too succumbed to its poison, his body stiffening like a plank. Seeing the two most well-armored individuals out of commission, the reptilian cleric moved out from behind the cover of the statue and skirted the pit, swinging a heavy mace and eyeing the prone Marcus. He waved a taloned hand and spoke a word. With a puff of smoke and a thrumming detonation, a squealing, writhing mass of spiked tentacles appeared on Marcus’s chest … a second later, his joints began to loosen up … and the tentacle-thing wrapped itself around his neck and arms. Laurana stepped forward, facing off against the human ochre-clad priest with the ghast between them. She chanted several words and pressed her palm against the ghast’s shoulder. White light streamed from between her fingers and out of the ghast’s mouth and eyes. Just as quickly, the human priest spoke more words of dark power and pumped dark power to bolster the creature’s unlife. Laurana’s eyes narrowed.
Hanaur limbered up just in time to deflect the lizardman’s swinging mace, but gagged.
“Holy Kord, that’s worse than the ghast!” He coughed and swung wide.
“What’s with these people and hygiene?” Laurana asked.
“Trog!” Aramil yelled, loosing another arrow into the fray.
“What gave it away?” Hanaur shot back.
The troglodyte priest tried to cast another spell. Which spell, they never found out, as Hanaur took the opportunity to run the creature through.
With the troglodyte down, the tide of battle swung rapidly in the party’s favor. Aramil dove behind the ghast and rolled up next to the human priest, stabbing him under the arm with his rapier. He seemed rather surprised to die. The summoned monster released Marcus and returned to where it had originally come. Between the three swordsmen, the ghast was quickly dispatched.
“This time … stay dead.” Marcus said.
(Tired, sick … I’m going to bed.)
Brother of Venom
(2/10/04 7:47 am)
Re: Entry 2|
Great Battle! I hope you feel better and I look forward to reading more!
Ebon Hand Cultist
(2/10/04 2:57 pm)
Entry 3: Or "How We Hate Chatrilon".|
“So what did he say his name was, again?” Aramil asked, prying the plate of the corpse.
“Fester, I think.” Laurana replied. She examined a curved short sword for magical auras. “Bingo.”
“Could you toss that over this way? Looks weighted about right for me.” Aramil told her. “Guy was batty. ‘The Dark Lord comes. He will destroy EVERYTHING!’” He mimicked.
Jondar walked around the slender column on which the hundred-foot purple obelisk rested. He knew there had to be SOME secret to it, some magic … some power. Hanaur, on the other hand, knew there had to be some way to knock it over … some feat of strength to prove that Kord was mightier, indeed, than some nameless forgotten god of destruction. Yet again, if the obelisk came off the pedestal it would fall and grind around inside the columnar cavern like a mortar and pestle. Hanaur figured it’d be worth it, but the others weren’t so much devoted to self improvement as self servitude. He flexed and thought about it as the others stripped the corpses down for anything even remotely saleable. Wasn’t the glorious legend they would leave behind worth being squished?
“So all these cultists are wearing this black and yellow triangle thingy, right?” Marcus asked.
“Yea. I think it’s called the Elder Elemental Eye. I think.” Hanaur replied, distractedly.
“So what’s this black Pelorite symbol here for? And this … zigguraty thingy?” Marcus continued.
“Dunno. Guess we could ask him.” Laurana cocked a thumb at the corpse of Festrath. “But seeing as he’s dead, I doubt he’d have much to say about it.”
“Well … “ Jondar said.
“Yea yea, I know. We COULD ask him. Olidammara isn’t quite that fond of me yet, however. We could go back into Hommlet and see if one of the other churches would do us a favor, but is it really that important?”
“Nah. I guess not.” Marcus said and turned away from the disturbing inlaid symbols.
“Hey, I’ve got a note over here …” Aramil said.
“Seven ninety-nine, eight-hundred.” Joman Dart, the small Halfling owner of The Olde Trayding Poste placed one last golden ‘Sheaf on the counter. “You boys have cleaned me out.” He said. The pile of armor, shields, and weapons on the floor beside the counter shifted with a clink.
“How much for that good-looking longbow over there?” Aramil asked.
“I could give it to you for three-thirty …” Joman offered.
“Three-fifteen …” Aramil countered.
“Deal.” Joman smiled and started counting coins back off of the pile and into his strongbox.
The party walked back out into the street.
“Y’know the little bastard took us for a ride.” Laurana said.
“We’re in a hurry. I want to head over to the Welcome Wench and find our friend Chatrilon.” Jondar said, starting off for the inn.
“Wait. We don’t know that he’s done anything wrong, really.” Laurana said.
“Well we know he’s working WITH the cult, and he looks like a dirty little thief. A few broken fingers and he’ll spill the whole thing.” Jondar countered and kept walking.
“That’s exactly what I mean!” Laurana yelled, and hurried after. “I mean, unofficially, he’s probably part of my congregation.”
“Don’t get all ‘Holy Olidammara’ on me. You wanted to ditch him as fast as any of the rest of us. First opportunity, he’d have probably stuck a knife between my shoulders. Er. Your shoulders. Anybody’s, really. He has that shifty knife-sticking look.” Jondar said.
They rounded a corner and drew up in front of the fenced yard of the Welcome Wench Inn. Aramil and Laurana scanned the area for anybody taking an overt interest in them, and looked up and down the street for Chatrilon.
“He’s probably inside.” Hanaur said.
“Yea. I guess we can go and get him.” Marcus said.
“I’ll dip around back in case he tries to come out a window …” Aramil said and started around the back of the building.
“And I’ll stay out here in the front …” Jondar said. “Y’know … in case he, uh, gets past you." He self-consciously scratched at his upper back.
“Alright. I’ll go in with you boys and see if I can’t talk him down before one of you breaks his teeth.” Laurana said, and led the way into the main room.
Chatrilon was, indeed, there. He took one look at the adventurers coming in the front door and bolted from his seat, scampering up the stairs toward the rooms.
“Something’s spooked him.” Hanaur yelled, and the three of them stormed across the room after him. They pounded up the stairs, drawing weapons … and came upon an empty hallway.
“Where’d he go?” Hanaur asked. All of the doors were closed onto the hall, all of them normally locked.
“Here Chatrilon … c’mere …” Marcus said, crouching low and reaching out in front of him with his sword. He swung it back and forth searchingly and moved forward. “I know you’re here … even if I can’t see you.”
Hanaur moved back toward the door. Marcus continued forward, swinging his sword high and his axe low, looking.... And finding.
With a shimmer Chatrilon appeared. Even as his invisibility dropped, his rapier plunged into Marcus’ shoulder. With a strangled groan, Marcus dropped limply to the floor. Chatrilon turned and bolted down the hallway with Hanaur right behind. Without pausing, the assassin leapt out the window at the end of the hall in a crashing shower of glass. Hanaur stopped short and stared down as Chatrilon tucked and rolled, landing easily and springing to his feet. With a shout, Aramil charged from the rear yard of the Inn. Chatrilon smiled coldly and dropped into a crouch, his rapier weaving back and forth like a viper, still dripping with Marcus’ blood.
“Watch him, Aramil, he’s dropped Marcus with a single stroke!” Hanaur bellowed … They had underestimated Chatrilon. If he could take Marcus down so easily, Aramil would certainly not stand a chance. Hanaur took a few steps back, breathed deeply, and dove out the window. Unfortunately, he caught his foot slightly on the sill and fell to the grass in a tangle of limbs and greatsword. Jondar had heard the commotion and was running around to the side of the building.
Seeing three enemies converging on his position, Chatrilon lost a bit of that cocky sneer. Suddenly he spoke a few words and tossed something at his feet. Within a few seconds, thick roiling mist filled the area and concealed him from view. Jondar and Aramil tried vainly to catch the assassin, but he was immediately lost. Carefully they made their way out of the mist with Hanaur and back to the front of the inn, where a crowd of people had gathered in response to the commotion.
“Has Chatrilon come this way?” Aramil asked. “Y’know, shifty knife-you-in-the-back looking fellow.”
“Nobody’s come out of that fog buy you boys and ole Brill.” A local said.
“Brill?” Hanaur asked.
“Yea. Feller as works part time over at the mill.” The townie replied.
“Great. The mill.” Aramil said.
But nobody was listening. They were staring at Jondar, who had suddenly fainted.
Edited by: fjeTheNarrator at: 2/10/04 3:06 pm