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Darby
Unregistered User
(4/4/02 8:29 am)
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just my opinion. :)
It seems to have turned out very well. You have set the stage for an epic encounter when they discover that Lareth is still alive. I shudder to think of the inner conflict that will wrack through Lathander when he relizes what choice he will be faced with.

And your players seem to get into the whole, inner conflict thing. Otherwise they wouldn't have such cool backgrounds.

Please do drop a post here when you make a new journal entry. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens.

SolidSnake
Registered User
(4/13/02 5:08 pm)
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Update
Just put up a session on ENWorld and my website...more to come by the end of the weekend hopefully!:)

SolidSnake
Registered User
(4/18/02 3:55 pm)
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Update
I posted the next session on EN World, but not my website just yet...I will wait until I get the next installment before modifying the site...in the meantime, enjoy!

TrinityDM
Registered User
(4/18/02 5:20 pm)
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Re: Update
Solid, would you mind posting a direct link? I'm trying to find it in all the Story Hour postings there, but don't know the title (I've been following on the web site)... :)

SolidSnake
Registered User
(4/18/02 6:46 pm)
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Re: Update
It's on my first post to this thread, but here it is again;) ...

www.enworld.org/messageboards/showthread.php?s=455b1d70f629d7151cbcb98e50b4e11c&threadid=114&pagenumber=1

Forar Weiler
Registered User
(4/19/02 6:14 pm)
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Your campaign website
Hey there, Forar Weiler here, first time poster to these boards.

I LOVE your opening intro. Keep up the good work, seriously! I've yet to read of your party's exploits, but the opening alone was enough to make me finally get an account and fight with that bloody EZ board thing.

(EZ? As in "Easy"? Then why the hell wouldn't it let me get back to this forum without wasting ten minutes fighting with it?)

Anyways, not to end on a bad note, so I love the flash, and shall have to peruse your site. I'm a fledgling 3rd ed DM who'll be running RTEE in the next few weeks, and am loving the stories I'm finding on this board.

Forar Weiler

SolidSnake
Registered User
(4/21/02 9:08 pm)
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Re: Your campaign website
Forar, welcome to the boards! I'm sorry that your initiation into the boards was so painful, but I'm glad that you are here in order to offer your incite into the game for all of us to read:) I am honored that you think so highly of my site...thank you. If you get a chance to read up on my party's exploits don't hesitate to offer your 2 cents!;)

DeathHeadJester
Unregistered User
(4/22/02 1:32 am)
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Fantastic.....
Wow... the flash intro is awesome...

Please please please oh master... tell me how I can show my players this without ruining the dungeon for them......

SolidSnake
Registered User
(4/22/02 6:39 am)
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Re: Fantastic.....
Thanks for the kind words DeathHeadJester, I am glad you like the intro! As for it ruining the dungeon, I doubt very much that it reveals anything but an underlying doom. Also, the Ravenloft spin is unique to my campaign (I think so anyway:) ) and wouldn't really threaten to reveal any information about the original campaign...I already showed the intro to my players and they still have no idea what is going on;)

SolidSnake
Registered User
(4/25/02 9:09 pm)
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Re: Update
I put the latest session up on EN World in preparation for tomorrow's game...dragons, umber hulks, and trolls...OH MY!:)

I'll try to get 11 and 12 on the website soon.

SolidSnake
A resident
(5/16/02 5:48 pm)
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A pause in the fight against evil
Well it looks like my group didn't make it after all!:) The end of college has finally caught up with us and now my gaming group must go its seperate ways. I must admit that I am rather sad as we have spent such a long time on this campaign and we aren't going to even get close to finishing it. The university is also shutting down my personal website, so that will be gone shortly as well. In any event, I just wanted to thank everyone who read the campaign, provided me with support, and solved all of my gaming dilemmas. This board has been so helpful! Thanks again and I hope to revive this thread once again;)

Traulen 
A resident
(5/17/02 12:32 am)
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Re: A pause in the fight against evil
Hello,
Sorry to hear that ! This was one of the best campaign I've read on this board.
Is there a way to read sessions 11 and 12 ? They are not on your site :(
Btw, I am going to copy your logs on my computer before they disappear... I want to be able to give it to my players for them to read it when they finish my campaign...

Siobharek 
A resident
(5/17/02 2:12 am)
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Flash Intro
SolidSnake: Sorry to see your campaign go, man. How large is the Flash Intro? Would there be any way to put it on the Yahoo Group? If so, please tell me, and I'll be happy to help.

Siobharek
Denmark
...it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

SolidSnake
A resident
(5/17/02 8:11 am)
Reply
Re: A brief pause in the fight against evil
Traulen: Thank you for your support! I am glad you enjoyed the campaign thus far. I suppose I could get around to writing up sessions 11 and 12 and posting them here on these boards to tie you over until we get around to playing the game;)

Siobharek: It appears that the website can be saved after all! I may be able to secure some space on the net to put it on...I will post the address as soon as it is up and running.

Again, thank you all for your help in making this adventure more fun to play!:)

SolidSnake
A resident
(5/18/02 9:47 am)
Reply
Session 11
Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil, Session 11- An Unexpected Ally (or “Everyone close your ey-”)

The party recoiled, caught off guard as the chimera’s dragon head spewed frost on everyone, chilling them to their bones. Merk nearly collapsed from the initial blast, but the others ignored the great pain to engage the monster.

Sentian strode into the battle with his gleaming sword poised and his shield raised to ward off the snapping heads. Boosted by many of Lathander’s spells, Sentian’s armor was nearly impenetrable and his attacks were greatly enhanced. With huge chops of his blade, he cut deep into the chimera’s chest and pushed it back. Merk’s cast a spell to no avail while Lathander cast Prayer to aid the party, dropping the silence spell. Elias moved to the creature’s flank and shot in deep into its side. Bandar positioned himself and used Stomp, almost shaking the creature off its feet. Cornered, the terrible beast struck back at the towering warrior before it, all three heads and two claws trying to maul Sentian. The brave paladin deftly blocked most of the blows and let his armor guard him from the rest.

Realizing her spells were not of much use against such a foe, Merk drew her healing wand and used it on Lathander, who had been hit by frost and shared Sentian’s pain from the battle through his Shield Other spell. Sentian went furiously on the offensive, crushing the goat head, severing the lion head and carving the chimera from all angles with sweeps of his powerful sword. The monster howled in agony, on the brink of death from only a few seconds of fighting. Bandar’s Stomp knocked the beast off its feet, where Sentian cleaved it in two [Sentian had a +18/+13 to hit and +12/+12 to damage! Priest spells rock.].

The paladin emerged from the fray covered in gore, having almost single-handedly slain the powerful foe. The rest of the party looked at him in awe – truly, his prowess with the sword was even greater than when they had first fought alongside him! While Merk used her wand to heal herself, Bandar and Elias spread out, watching for new foes. They saw a bridge crossing over a pool of water beyond the chimera’s lair, and wondered where it led.

Just then a door down the hallway from which the group had come burst open, and their large goblinoid opponent reappeared, the one that had let the chimera loose on the Band the last time they had ventured into this area. It called over its shoulder to someone. Thanks to Sentian and Lathander’s spells, the chimera proved an easy target, but the fight was far from over. Knowing the goblin’s weakness, Lathander surrounded himself with a Magic Circle Against Evil and called the party to him.

While the group fired on the goblin, Sentian strode in front of Lathander to cut the creature down. It looked with concern down the hall from which the party had entered, but the party did not know why. Bandar moved up and started to scramble the goblin’s molecules with psionic power, catching it by surprise. Lathander stepped forward and healed himself for the coming fight, preventing the goblin from approaching any of the group because of the Magic Circle. It growled in frustration, a growl which turned to a cry of agony as Sentian charged forward and tore into it with his biting sword, sending it reeling.

The Band seemed on the verge of another quick victory thanks to Sentian when suddenly a new foe came charging in, larger than anything they had faced before. Barreling through wooden doors and stone walls with little effort, a brutish-looking giant charged into the fray, it’s head scraping the fifteen foot ceiling! It wore hides over its greenish skin and carried three huge clubs. The enormous Athatch stopped in front of Sentian, unconcerned with Lathander’s magical barrier. Sentian blocked its powerful club swing, but the blow made his arm burn with exertion. He gulped as he faced off with the hulking foe.

Given a reprieve, the large goblin stepped aside and nursed its wounds while the Athatch occupied the whole hallway. The party desperately went to work in fighting the newest and most dangerous monster, relying on Sentian to hold the brute back. Elias rolled a Ball of Fire around the giant’s legs while Merk crept forward and healed Lathander with her wand, knowing he would need the strength since he was sharing Sentian’s pain through Shield Other. Bandar continued agitating the goblin’s body with his mental power, causing its chest to smoke and boil. It screamed and ran down the hallway to escape the dwarf’s power. Lathander meanwhile focused Pelor’s holy energy on the towering Athatch and roasted it painfully while Sentian cut into it with his blade.

The Athatch struck back hard, pounding both Sentian and Lathander with its clubs, which was especially painful for Lathander. Elias continued rolling his magical fire and shot the creature with an arrow as Merk moved forward and healed Lathander from behind with her helpful wand. Moving into the fray, Bandar tried to knock the monster off its feet with Stomp but instead he knocked both Lathander and Sentian prone while the huge beast remained standing! Lathander scrambled to stand and moved to Sentian, readying a spell to heal the wounded warrior. With that fresh energy, the paladin stood and cut deeply into the dangerous monster, causing it to howl in pain.

Sentian skillfully blocked all the Athatch’s clubs with a flurry of parries, but he fell victim to the beast’s unexpected painful bite. His magically enhanced muscles sagged, causing him to realize that the terrible bite was accompanied by potent poison. Sentian began to slump, but Lathander boosted him with a powerful healing spell. Elias’s ball of flame petered out while he wracked the monster with magic missiles. Merk moved forward still further to heal Lathander, well into the distracted Athatch’s reach, using her final charge (which rendered the wand useless). Bandar pounded the creature with a psionic Concussion that added to Sentian’s pair of telling sword blows to its gut.

The party was in desperate straits, but they took heart that the Athatch seemed to be greatly weakened by their combined attacks. It roared and used its last strength to land blows on both Sentian and Lathander as it bit Sentian again, though he resisted the dangerous poison this time. Elias pulled back his eleven bow as fury burned in him – he knew that the creature must be killed immediately lest it slay some of his brave companions. He let fly his best arrow, and the shot was straight and true, puncturing the Athatch’s thick forehead and killing it instantly. The towering beast collapsed with an earth-shaking crash, and the entire group breathed a sigh of relief.

Lathander caught his breath, then remembered their remaining, wounded goblinoid foe. With the Magic Circle still functioning, he called the others to him and told them to keep their eyes peeled for the last enemy. Merk spotted the wounded creature floating in the hallway beyond with its claws ready and informed the group. It seemed to be waiting for the Band, but it was glancing nervously in both directions, as if it feared some other opponent. As the party gave chase as best they could while remaining in Lathander’s circle, the goblinoid dropped to the ground and ran off. As it rounded the bend, it seemed to bump into someone or something and reacted by biting it viciously. It paused long enough that Bandar came in range to start burning it again with his psionic agitation, which spurred the goblinoid to bypass whatever it had found and ran off yelling something in a foreign tongue.

In close pursuit of their quarry, Lathander and Sentian reached the corner and found a slim, dark-skinned elf in front of them, his crossbow pointed toward the ceiling as he gestured his non-hostile intentions. Sentian rushed on to the next doorway, effectively blocking the goblin’s reentry and also the drow’s escape. As the dark elf locked Lathander’s gaze and spoke in Common:

Drow: “I wrote you the note telling you what you would find in these tunnels. I mean you no harm.”

As Lathander considered this, the other three adventurers caught up and were surprised to find the drow. Elias hissed some elven curses while Bandar had to hold Merk back from killing the dark elf outright. The drow realized the full extent of his peril and spoke clearly and directly with Lathander:

Drow: “I am no agent of the Temple. I seek to destroy it. I’ve helped you before and plan to help you again. We fight the same foe. We should work together – let me join you. Don’t let their hatred cloud your judgement.”

Elias: (through clenched teeth) “I am using all my energy just to hold back. Get out of sight before I kill you!”

Elias and Merk grew more impatient with restraining themselves while the drow pleaded his case, and they warned the others not to listen to his lies. Lathander gave the drow as fair a hearing as possible while Sentian glanced out toward the owlbear cavern, looking for any sign of the goblinoid. Lathander and the dark elf agreed to meet in a day’s time at the front entrance of the Temple to discuss the matter further, much to the displeasure of the two surface elves. The Band and the drow parted ways to go and recover from the tense and draining battle.

Upon returning to the party’s rest area, they broke out in a tense debate:

Merk: “Lathander, what are you thinking? You’re going to go talk to a drow?! He’s clearly some Temple agent – if he’s helping us, it’s only some inter-Temple rivalry, like the Water Temple aiding you against the Earth Temple. He is full of lies!”

Lathander: “I had considered that Merkaeytl, and I have a way that will help. My spell Zone of Truth can discern his lies.”

Elias: “Drow are well-known to talk around such spells. They cannot be trusted.”

Lathander: “Well, to use his aid in giving us information like before would be wrong. We can plan out questions where he must answer yes or no.”

Bandar: “I agree, he’s either with us or against us. We can’t use his help if he can’t join the group, and if he’s not with the group he can’t be trusted – he’d be with the Temple.”

Merk: (smugly) “As long as we don’t say that this test will be our sole consideration for letting this drow join the group, I’m game. I assure you, he will fail to answer the questions we ask!”

By the following morning the group was rested and had healed to recover from the last fight. Lathander had to use much of his granted power just to return Sentian’s strength to him after the Athatch’s poisonous bite. The Band went to the front entrance area and found the drow waiting. Surprisingly, he was willing for the group to cut off his paths of escape and allowed Lathander to cast his Zone of Truth.

Lathander: “My name is Lathander, and I will be asking you questions. Answer truthfully, for I will be able to tell if you lie. First, what is your name?”

Drow: “My name is Rizzen.”

Lathander: “Do you worship Lloth or Tharizdun?”

Rizza: “No.”

Lath: “Are you affiliated with the Earth, Fire, Air, or Water Temples?

Rizza: “No.”

Lath: “Are you alone?”

Rizza: “Yes. My companions were killed on their way here from the Underdark.”

Lath: “Why have you come?”

Rizza: “The priestesses of Lloth sent me here as punishment for something that was not my fault. They told me to find and kill two priestesses of Lloth who defected to Tharizdun.”

Lath: “What did you do?”

Rizza: “I can’t tell you that, or you will be in great danger.”

Merk: (scornfully) “Tell us everything! You expect to earn our trust if you don’t tell us something so important and basic?” (to the others) “I told you he wouldn’t be straightforward!”

Rizzen: (coldly) “I am not dodging the question. That knowledge is a danger to you. You risk a fate worse than death if I told you what had happened.”

Merk: (angrily) “We risk our lives daily against powerful foes. What is worse than that?”

Rizzen: “You could be turned into a drider or they could torture you and heal you up to torture you more for eternity. There are fates worse than death.”

Merk just scowled back, but held her tongue. Returning to his list of questions, Lathander asked:

Lath: “Would you ever help us for the sake of helping us, if it weren’t in your interest?”

Rizza: “What do you mean?”

Lath: “If one of us is in peril and you can help, but you put yourself at risk in helping, would you do so? Each member of the Band puts his or her life on the line for the others without hesitation. Would you do the same?”

Rizzen: (uneasily) “I am unaccustomed to your ways, since I am not a surface-dweller. I am used to two groups together for mutual assistance. But if something goes wrong, neither party expects the other to stay to help.”

Merk: “Ha! He can’t see beyond his interest, he’d leave us in a heartbeat to save his skin. He can’t be one of the Band.”

Rizzen: “And you?!? Could you be trusted to treat me as your fellow, and save me from danger?” he snapped.

Bandar: (calmly) “She does not need to prove herself. The issue is whether you should join the group, and the fact that Merk and Elias would have a hard time treating you as a companion does not help you. It is more reason that you should not join us.”

Rizzen: “I will say this: I hate the drow. I hate them and what they stand for.”

Elias: “You hate yourself?”

Lath: “It comes down to this: if we cannot trust you, you cannot be one of us. We put our lives on the line for each other without hesitation, and it is dangerous to have someone else with us who does not act in that manner.”

Rizzen: “How can you start this amazing level of trust? Is there some sort of trial period?”

Bandar: “We cannot have a half-member or trial member. You’re either with us or not. We can’t test to see if you’ll lay your life down for us, because by the time we know it might be too late. You’ve answered the questions well, but you cannot join.”

Rizzen: “I’ve heard your claims to total sacrifice and I don’t believe you. Such a thing is not possible.”

Lath: “This interview is over. Best of luck to you.”

The Band let Rizzen go, and he headed off to the south end of the Main entrance, towards the unexplored mining tracks. The group returned to the area where they had fought the chimera, where the hallways were strewn with charred, bloodied, and burnt bodies from two massive battles on the same spot. There was no sign of the goblinoid, but all the other beasts were accounted for. They found a series of empty living quarters for their vanquished enemies, including barracks, a dining hall, food storage, and kennels for the dogs. The party took the valuables they found. Bandar got the duergar warrior’s magical full plate armor. It was black as night and covered with dwarven runes, but missing the right arm that the chimera had apparently chewed off the dead body. Sentian took the duergar’s bracers and strapped on the dwarf’s magical axe to sell or give to someone who could use it.

The Band discovered a map of the local rooms and tunnels, most of which they had already explored. The map did note that there was a hag in the direction the party had left unexplored, because they thought it was the Water Temple and had given their word not to enter there. The only place they had not gone in the immediate area was a room off of the dining area. Merk picked the lock to the door, having practiced the skill in her free time now that she had her lockpicks back. The door opened, revealing an antechamber and another door beyond. She stepped forward and unknowingly triggered a pressure plate, which peppered her with arrows. Lathander rushed to her aid and healed the elf, who then cautiously picked the lock to the last door.

The area beyond was evidently the personal chambers of the duergar fighter they had slain. Lathander and Merk took one look at all the books on his shelves discussing Tharizdun and the Temple history, and they both chortled in joy. What a treasure trove of information! Just flipping through one tome, Lathander found that the Elder Elemental Eye was just another name for Tharizdun. The book also claimed that Tharizdun had apparently ruled the Temple behind the scenes in its previous of power, although Iuz asserted that the Temple was his.

While the rest of the party found gems and potions, Lathander read a note addressed to “Masters” and signed “Omarthias,” which was apparently the duergar’s name. The short letter complained of the encroachments of the Earth Temple on one side and the Water Temple on the other, in addition to the recent arrival of dangerous Raagen (the dire apes). The author wanted to send a force to destroy the Raagen, but could not spare the troops without endangering the Northern Bridge Complex to the Outer Fane. This valuable message confirmed the party’s guess that they had found the Water Temple beyond the Earth Temple, in the area where the map indicated a hag. It also indicated that this area that the group had just cleared out was an important bridge guarded by servants of Tharizdun as opposed to followers of one element or another. It protected the important central area of the Temple, called the Outer Fane.

Lathander suggested that the Band cross the bridge into the Fane to catch those within off guard and to get to the heart of the Temple quicker. Bandar disagreed, saying the group should return to the front entrance they had cleared and explore to the opposite (Southern) side, which he assumed was the Fire Temple. Bandar wanted to avoid Temple agents from the South blocking the Band’s escape out the main entrance – without exploring in that direction, the group had no idea what could happen while their backs were turned. Lathander approved of the plan because if the other side was the Fire Temple, they could fulfill their obligation to the creature that had freed them from captivity in the Earth Temple. It had told them to destroy the Earth Temple, stop at the Water Temple, and await instructions at the Fire Temple. They had done the first two, and now could complete the last part of the orders. The group agreed to retrace their steps and venture south of the main entrance. Before they left, they destroyed the bodies of the largest monsters they had encountered in the northern bridge complex so they couldn’t be raised as the howler had been. It was gruesome but necessary work.

After returning through the Earth Temple to get to the main entrance, the group headed in the unexplored Southern direction, soon finding a flawless statue of a gnoll. They moved beyond that curiosity and soon found another, similar statue that had been toppled over and broken. They could see movement in the cavern beyond, right at the edge of the torchlight, but they had no idea what lurked beyond. Sentian called out a challenge, and in response a lizard-like creature charged into view. Lathander realized the group’s blunder and tried to call out, but the basilik’s eyes turned the brave priest to stone. The rest of the Band closed their eyes immediately, cursing their stupidity at not guessing how such perfect gnoll statues had been created. Merk, Bandar, and Elias were of little help with their eyes closed as they fumbled forward to engage the monster in battle. Sentian took it head-on – he was a formidable foe even without his sight. With little help from the rest, the paladin dispatched the foul creature.

The situation harkened back to Strider being turned to stone by the cockatrices in the Moathouse, an event that seemed like ages ago. Sadly and shame-facedly, the group gathered up their treasure as Sentian hauled Lathander’s statue back to Rastor with great care. Merk led them to the house of Tymerian, the wizardess in Rastor. Burne had introduced Merk to Tymerian through a letter of introduction, and the wizardess proved a helpful resource. Tymerian quickly surmised the situation and agreed to contact Burne for help in returning Lathander to flesh. While the wizardess relayed the message, Merk had to find a priest capable of casting such a spell. Tymerian introduced Merk to Thandane Deeperdark, a female dwarven warrior of few words. Thandane learned of the problem and took the group to meet the local cleric of Moradin, Rerrid Hammersong. Hammersong heard Merk out and agreed to cast the spell on the scroll when it arrived.

The party waited two days for the scroll from Burne to arrive. In the meantime, Elias used Tymerian’s lab for a simple fee to identify some of the items the Band had collected. Once the scroll arrived, Hammersong came and cast it, returning Lathander to health. Very grateful, Lathander insisted that the dwarven cleric take the duergar’s magical axe. Hammersong accepted, and asked the group to do him a favor. There was a Temple of Moradin in the mines before they fell to the evil forces, and some dwarven artifacts were lost with the dark conquest. Hammersong asked the group to return those artifacts when they found them, to which Lathander quickly agreed.

From what Hammersong and Tymerian told the group about their knowledge of the Temple, the party could surmise much. Merk put everything they had learned and that she had guessed together: The complex was a rough circle around a dormant volcano. To the East and West were entrances to the outside world. To the North and South were bridges to the Fane in the center of the volcano. Each of these four locations was guarded by the servants of Tharizdun himself, since their protection could not be left to the squabbling followers of each element. The four elemental temples each held a quarter of the temple’s outer ring, with Earth having been in the North-West, Water the North-East, Fire the South-West, and by default Air in the South-East. The Band had therefore conquered more than a quarter of the outer ring, having destroyed the Earth Temple as well as the West Entrance and the Northern Bridge areas. Merk assumed that the Temple would be symmetrical in construction to guess all of this from what little the party had seen thus far.

Tymerian warned the Band against trying to bypass the outer ring by going over the top of the volcano – she had done as much with a group of companions, and most of them had died. Lathander asked her to watch over the party through scrying. Tymerian agreed, asking for a keepsake for each person to allow the spell to function.

The Band of the Rising Sun prepared to reenter the dreaded Temple of All Consumption to confront what dangers awaited them.

SolidSnake
A resident
(5/18/02 9:50 am)
Reply
Session 12
Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil, Session 12- Homecoming (or “THAT’S NOT A COCKROACH!!!!”)

The Main Gate, a portal that had stood open ever since the great battle with Strider, now stood closed. The Band had expected many things, but not such a sudden fortification by the enemy. Creeping up to the door, Merk noticed movement behind most of the arrow slits and heard noise beyond the doors. After informing the party of her discovery, Lathander offered to shape an entrance through the stone itself with divine power. Everyone agreed; however, that Lathander’s plan would be far too dangerous with each of the arrow slits manned by experienced archers. Many plans were put forth, including another variant on Lathander’s wherein he would drill a hole through the mountainside with his divine power directly into the Mines…but of all these plans Sentian’s produced the most commotion.

Sentian: “Why don’t we just go see if the door is actually locked?”

Stunned, the rest of the Band agreed that this would be the best course of action provided that it was quick and bloodless. Lathander quickly cast Silence upon Sentian and Sanctuary on himself to prevent the archers from harming him. The plan worked nearly as expected; the only surprising feature was that Sentian’s armor did not protect him from the incredible accuracy of the archers’ hail of arrows…the door was indeed locked.

The party retreated to a safer distance in order to come up with a better plan. Elias listened patiently to all the solutions, but decided on his own that action was the only real solution. Using ancient arcane secrets, the elf summoned his globe of fire and had it collide with the great doors again and again until it ignited in flame. With options quickly fading from their repertoire, the Band had no choice but to back up its most junior member’s decision. Bandar waited until the fire died down before pummeling it with powerful waves of psychic force. It wasn’t long before the doors were blasted from their hinges, exposing the familiar entrance to the Crater Ridge Mines.

The men guarding the entrance had not stood idly by while the fire raged, instead they had overturned a wagon near the entrance and stacked as many supplies as they had around its edges in order to create a makeshift barricade. The enemy did attempt to make a valiant effort to resist the righteous forces of good, but in the end it was utterly futile. Lathander opened the battle with a ray of Searing Light and things just seemed to fall into place from there. In a matter of a few minutes the enemy force had been reduced to three prisoners. Not one to be without mercy, Lathander attempted to warn the men what would happen if they were seen here again. The soldiers turned out to be mercenaries who were new to the organization…apparently times had become hard with many of the great Kingdoms waging war on Iuz’s dark Empire; men took the jobs they could. This gave the priest of Pelor much to think about as Merk grilled them about the “cargo” they were transporting into the temple. It was mostly food and replacement clothing, but the men did confide that they had turned over a corpse to a strangely robed a day from the Mines. After turning the prisoners loose, the Band went to rest up in the cave where they had defeated the Basilisk [DM Note: evidently they are beginning to think that staying in the same place every night may not be such a good idea…go figure:) ].

The next morning the party made its way down the tunnel they had begun to explore before Lathander was unceremoniously turned to stone. The tunnel had many branches that led to empty caves and even a few connecting passageways, which coupled it to a parallel tunnel containing similar tracks for supporting an ore cart. To make sure that all of the possibilities had been explored, the Band made every effort to check all of the branches so that they would not face enemies from the front and the rear should they ever begin a battle in these tunnels. On one such exploration, the group did not take the necessary precautions to ensure safety before heading down a passageway. This particular corridor was one of the few connections between the parallel tunnels and unfortunately housed a malicious life form. Bandar and Lathander only had time to look up as green slime sloughed off the ceiling and covered the pair of adventurers. Both men screamed in agony as the slime began to eat away at metal and flesh while they rolled about on the ground. Bandar had the right idea by scraping the substance off with his gauntlets, but it wasn’t coming off fast enough so Elias had to step in once again. Conjuring his burning globe of fire, Elias watched as the orb rolled over his companions numerous times to purge them of the ooze that was digesting their flesh [DM note: this was hilarious…I guess you had to have been there]. Needless to say after this confrontation much had been consumed by the slime: shields, backpacks, a spear, a crossbow, banded mail, some vials of holy water, Redithador’s note, and most importantly: pride. The bedraggled Band returned to Rastor once again to heal up and re-equip themselves with whatever was available in the village.

Once again, the Band of the Rising Sun entered the Temple of All Consumption to test their mettle against the forces of evil. This time; however, the Band chose an alternate tunnel to test their bravery. The path they chose didn’t seem any safer than the last one when armor-plated magma worms burrowed out of the floor directly beneath them in their explorations. Armor of any kind seemed to little avail against these fiery foes, but the Band soon left their burning blood to pool on the ground as they continued onward. The tunnel continued downward for quite sometime before it opened up into an enormous cavern. An overturned cart lay next to the tracks that traveled through the cave and a smaller cave was attached to the larger cavern a few paces from the tunnel. Directly above, the party noticed (through a rather large hole) that the parallel tunnel they had traveled before crossed over the one they were currently using. Spreading out the group began exploring the cavern…this didn’t last very long as everyone was abruptly jerked away from their respective examinations when a large scream erupted from the smaller cave. The party conglomerated quickly as a screaming Ettin emerged from the darkness wielding two impressively large clubs. Bandar had barely enough time to bring his shield up as the behemoth brought the club down on his shoulder, emitting a sickening crunching sound. Merk reacted quickly to the situation by planting an arrow in the ettin’s belly, while Sentian attempted to shove his enchanted sword into the giant’s leg. Sentian’s attacks were effortlessly blocked by one of the monster’s clubs, while it continued to pummel the retreating Bandar. Merk and Elias paid the ettin back in kind by peppering it with another volley of arrows. The battle became a bit more complicated with the emergence of a large cockroach. None of the party paid it any attention, as they were more concerned with the ettin…this proved to be a fatal mistake. With both Lathander and Bandar supporting him, Sentian began to find his rhythm in battle and severely wound the ettin. Before long, Sentian was predicting every swing the ettin could conceive of and counter it with swift sword strokes. The paladin barely noticed the insect’s feelers as they lay themselves upon his armor. The paladin watched in horror as the armor his family had handed down for generations dissolved into a pile of rust right before his eyes! Sentian remembered his father telling him how Heironeous himself had blessed the armor and that it was an invaluable heirloom only given to the greatest of champions the Thann family had to offer. The armor had not only absorbed the impact from many foes, but also served as a mantle of courage Sentian had always carried…he felt helpless without its comfort. In blind rage, Sentian lashed out at the creature that had robbed him of his heritage with Ice, the weapon taken from Strider’s fallen body. With a scream of anguish, Sentian saw the blade crumble before him as the metal touched the foul monster’s carapace. The ettin took advantage of his this distraction to inflict more pain upon the paladin and with his armor gone it was an easy task. It took all of Lathander’s healing powers to keep the great warrior aloft as the giant beat down upon him with a savage fury. Bandar attempted to reverse the tide of defeat by sending blasts of sonic power into both adversaries. This coupled with Elias’ most powerfully destructive spells were enough to send the Rust Monster back to the hell that had spawned it. The ettin succumbed shortly thereafter to Sentian’s mirage of steel and hatred.

With their most powerful warrior without any fitting protection, the Band was forced to return to Rastor to think of ways of overcoming their obstacles.

Elias: “Well, what now?”

Lathander: “We must travel to Greyhawk. There we can restock our lost equipment and maybe find something that will help us against in this struggle.”

Bandar: “That is foolish. We cannot leave this place for such a long time.”

Lathander: “What can they possibly do?”

Bandar: “Plenty and we would have no idea until it was too late. We have the initiative here, let’s not lose it.”

Lathander: “Sentian will not last out there without proper armor.”

Sentian: “I fear Lathander is right…I will be no use to you in our battles if I am dead.”

While the Band argued as to what they would do, Merk talked to Tymerian and asked her if Burne had been in contact with her. The great wizard had told Tymerian to inform the party that he had left for the kingdom of Furyondy as well as the fact that Aramek was on his way to Rastor. With this new information, the party agreed to let Sentian travel to Greyhawk to obtain new armor while the rest of the members waited for Aramek.

It wasn’t long before the familiar dwarf entered the village. With a warm welcome, the Band embraced their oldest member and dearest friend.

Aramek: “Sorry I’m late…had to pay me respects.”

Lathander: “It’s good to see you Aramek. What did you do with Dr. Noh’s body?”

Aramek: “I gave it to Yether like ye said…and I gave him the letter ya gave me. You priests of Pelor sure have strange burial rites…never known a priest ta stab the earth with a spear.”

Lathander: “What are you talking about?”

Aramek: “I found a spear with a note attached to it stabbed in Strider’s grave. I didn’t think it was proper for no Moradin-loving man, so I took it out.”

Merk: “We didn’t do that!”

After a slight uproar, it was determined that the spear belonged to the strange man known as Tresh who had disappeared after the initial encounter with the Band. The note was also his…

It was good traveling with you for a time. I am beginning to understand where Strider’s strength came from. Be careful because the Brotherhood is looking for your friend Eblis…I tried to delay them. Good luck.
                                                -Tresh


This produced even more confusion as the man had never met Strider before and no one knew what he was referring to with the word “Brotherhood.” This seemed to make little difference to Aramek as he informed the group that he was going to systematically destroy everything in that Mine. Lathander spoke up against this idea, citing Pelor’s scripture in reference to “mercy” and “compassion.” This didn’t sway the dwarf from his policy of “give no quarter;” he even threatened to go in alone if he had to.

Bandar: “You won’t survive alone. We need you just as much as you need us.”

Aramek: “A dwarf’s gotta do what a dwarf’s gotta do. If you don’t like my me methods then find yerself another dwarf.”

Lathander: “Is this what Strider would want…your death? You know it is suicide out there by yourself.”

Aramek: “Maybe…maybe not…who knows until ye try.”

Bandar: “Don’t do it. We need you.”

Aramek (with a slight grin on his face): “Alright lad, I’ll tell you what. You get Merk not to go in with us and I’ll play nice.” That one is for you old friend.

Bandar: “Fine with me.”

Lathander: “Thank Pelor you’re here!”

Elias: “Whatever.”

Of course Merk wasn’t too happy with these arrangements. The Band tried to comfort her with “important” jobs she could be doing in town to gain valuable information, but the perceptive elf saw right through the ruse. It took all the persuasion skills Lathander could muster to convince her that this was “for her own good” and that it was “what Strider would have wanted.” Her replies, when not in curses, alluded to the fact that “she was her own woman and not some dead man’s property.” However, at the end of the day Merk finally agreed to stay in Rastor on the condition that if she found out that the party died, she would go into the Mines by herself and finish the job. No one had any problem with that, as they would all be dead at the time.

Aramek (with Merk out of earshot): “Let’s go pick up another man…it’s suicide to go in there with just the four of us.”

Lathander and Elias had to restrain Bandar from throttling the headstrong dwarf. It seemed as if the dwarf’s trip to Hommlet hadn’t changed him one bit: he was still brash, lewd, and knew exactly what to say to piss everyone off…

Sacremas
A visitor
(5/18/02 1:23 pm)
Reply
Thanks!
I have been enjoying your logs very much, and will be sorry indeed to see them go...

Never will I find out what happened once Lathander met the Champion of Elemental Evil...

BTW, (late) congrats on the Lareth/Nulb session, It was an incredibly cool read... I just hope my players will do half as good roleplaying, and I will be in gaming heaven!

Even though I had doubts indeed from the start (a cleric named Lathander? A ranger named STRIDER??!!?) It proved to be well worth my time!

Is there any chance of you starting up a new group? If so, I among others will be here waiting!

-Sacremas, blurry eyed...

SolidSnake
A resident
(5/19/02 5:03 pm)
Reply
Re: Thanks!
I am glad you enjoyed the sessions as much as I enjoyed DMing them. It is funny, as an after thought, the choice of names my player picked for his character...at first I thought he had some gall to choose Lathander (the name of the FR God of Good) as the name for his priest. Strider was chosen before the Lord of the Rings came out, so it may have been from the video game:)

I don't know about finding a new group to run through this module with, but if I do I will certainly let you guys know. However, I will be posting 3 more sessions (i found some notes my player neglected to mention)...so keep a lookout for them here.

SolidSnake
A resident
(5/28/02 6:08 am)
Reply
Session 13
Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil, Session 13- “The dead friend will not really die until tomorrow, when silence is round you again. Then he will show himself complete, as he was--to tear himself away, as he was, from the substantial you. Only then will you cry out because of him who is leaving and whom you cannot detain. “ -Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (or “And another one bites the dust…”)

The search for an additional member to the party was more difficult than the Band had anticipated. Most of the local men had no wish to travel into the "cursed mines." Everyone was about to give up when a halfling melded away from a roving crowd of human loggers. With audacity uncommon for a man of that stature, the halfling walked straight up to the Band and introduced himself.

Halfling (addressing Elias): “My name is Stacy and I would be interested in joining your party.”

Aramek (between bouts of laughter): “Your name is Stacy??!”

Bandar (ignoring Aramek): “How do you know of us?”

Stacy: “Your fame has spread through the village like wildfire…the daring group of adventurers that continuously risks its life to quell the evil in the mines.”

Bandar: “Are you sure you want to join? It is no easy task and many of our members are dead already.”

Stacy: “I understand and accept this responsibility.”

Bandar: “What skills do you have that could be useful to us?”

The halfling seemed to ponder the words for a moment before his face contorted in a mask of distress at something approaching the group from behind. Needless to say everyone turned instinctively only to find that there was no danger at all. When their gazes came back to the halfling, he was gone!

Bandar: “He's in.”

With its newfound strength, the Band entered the Crater Ridge Mines once again. Their travels took them past the cavern where they had fought the rust monster and its ettin master, into an even greater cave containing a dwarven device used to scoop rock onto a raised track. A quick inspection revealed that someone had recently used the ancient track. The inquisitive party decided to continue onward past the great machine, but was stopped cold by a booming voice that spoke from the darkness ahead in Common.

“STOP!”

Elias was the only member of the Band who had a gift with languages and so it was he who recognized the accent inherent in the voice's pronunciation.

Elias (in draconic): “Who are you?”

Dragon (in common): “An educated man…impressive. However, your education has not prepared you for a battle with me. I suggest that you not jump to conclusions about your current predicament and proceed to attack me.”

Elias: “What would you have of us then?”

Dragon: “A simple sign of respect for gracing my lands would be sufficient to allow your passage to remain unmolested.”

Not wanting to do battle with another dragon, the Band quickly relieved themselves of a few choice gems. This seemed to appease the dragon and allow the party some respite against violence.

Elias: “I am curious as to what kind of dragon you are.”

Dragon (with a chuckle): “You mean what breed don’t you? Well I’m sure that I could teach you a thing or two about Dragon Lore, but I must say that I am a…costly tutor.”

Bandar: “Which elemental temple rules now?”

Dragon: “The fire temple of course.”

Everyone agreed that traveling towards the dragon was a mistake, so they took a tunnel that traveled in the opposite direction. The roughly hewn stone began to show growth as the party continued onward until the Band found themselves in a veritable underground fungal forest. Some mushrooms were as tall as a man; the Band gave those a wide berth as they traveled forward. The tunnel began to descend rapidly, until the party came across a narrow staircase. At the base of the stairs was the maggot-ridden body of a decapitated umber hulk. No one in the party had ever had any experience with the creature, but everyone was sure from Aramek’s stories that it was a monster not to be trifled with. The group huddled closer and pressed on cautiously, some of the members having second thoughts about continuing. These doubts proved to be well founded as the party rounded the bend of a rather narrow tunnel and found themselves in another cavern. The cavern was fairly sparse, save a huge pit in its center filled with bones and feces…but this wasn’t what attracted everyone’s attention. The sight of two giant scaly humanoids with razor-sharp claws and daggers for teeth was enough to cause the Band to forget their own names.

The trolls charged screaming into the party’s ranks. Aramek barely had time to raise his shield in defense as one of the troll’s claws ripped through his dragonscales, tearing bone and flesh indiscriminately. The sturdy dwarf retaliated by introducing his warhammer to the troll’s face, smashing its jaw into thousands of pieces. Elias attempted to burn the troll’s companion with a rolling ball of flame, but the creature proved to be too quick for his spell. Bandar’s powers shook the earth and knocked one of the trolls to the ground, buying time for the rest of the party to gain position. Arrows from Elias and a Color Spray from Stacy wore away at the troll’s resolve. Just when victory seemed eminent, the battle was joined by another troll wearing armor decorated in the religious symbols of Tharizdun. This creature carried a massive double-bladed sword that stretched nearly twenty feet in length! The confrontation became more desperate as the Band adjusted their strategy for this new enemy. Both sides spilled much blood, but the trolls seemed to have the advantage as their flesh instantly restored itself after every blow. Daggers and arrows protruded from all the trolls, but somehow it didn’t seem to faze them. Attempts by Bandar to scramble the troll’s molecules did show results, but it was not enough to destroy the creature. Eventually the Band was able to win the encounter by the sheer physical trauma they inflicted upon the enemy, but at the cost of a mortally wounded priest of Pelor. While some of the members cut the trolls into pieces, others doused the remains in oil and set them aflame. The armored troll; however, did not burn like the rest so the solution was to sever the head and chop the body into a fine paste. Bandar called a retreat knowing the situation the party was in: Bandar and Stacy had expended most of their powers, Aramek was exhausted after his berserker rage, and Lathander was unconscious. The plan was to allow Stacy to scout ahead, while Elias and Bandar covered Aramek as he transported Lathander.

Stacy knew that he was all but invisible and silent as he ascended the stairs past the dead umber hulk body, but it didn’t seem to matter. As he moved away from the top of the stairs, the wall behind him exploded in a shower of rock. The halfling reacted quickly by flowing with the force of the impact and rolling beyond the reach of the umber hulk that had now made its presence known. Yelling a warning to the other members of the party, Stacy ran, attempting to draw the umber hulk away from the party. The plan did not work as the umber hulk was interested in weakened prey. The colossal creature shambled forth, its mandibles clicking menacingly.

Elias reacted quickly, calling for both Bandar and Aramek to run past it while he would keep it busy. Aramek understood the gravity of the situation and did not argue with Elias on this point; tossing Tresh’s spear to Bandar, he heaved Lathander’s body over his shoulder and ran towards the stairs. Bandar followed him, but more slowly as he became fascinated with the lights that had begun to illuminate the haft of the spear. What is this? When both men reached the stairs; however, they simply stopped dead in their tracks. Neither dwarf seemed to care that a battle raged between Elias and the umber hulk.

Stacy came back to the party only to find Elias in single combat with the umber hulk and the dwarves essentially paralyzed in a stupor by the stairs. The halfling watched the elf dance about the umber hulk’s claws and land blow after blow in the creases of the monster’s carapace. Blood was streaming down the man’s arm and leg, but he didn’t seem to notice as he moved graceful from one stance to the next. Frustrated by the skill its prey showed, the umber hulk lashed out more furiously at Elias. The elf nimbly dodged both claws, but had not anticipated the speed of its mandibles. Stacy watched in horror as he saw the pincers rip through his new companion. Elias dropped his weapons in shock and attempted to free himself of the creature’s grasp, but it was too late…a massive claw ended the elf’s agony by tearing out his throat.

Stacy: “NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!”

The umber hulk had just enough time to turn so that it could see the dagger imbed itself into its compound eye. Stacy wasn’t sure if it was his scream that awoke Aramek from his stupor, but frankly he didn’t care. It was one of the greatest sights he had ever witnessed when the dwarf dropped Lathander’s body to the ground and swung his warhammer into the unprepared umber hulk’s back. He could hear the crunch of its armor even from where he stood. That pleasure was short-lived; with a casual swipe, the umber hulk dropped the great dwarven warrior to the earth. The monster grabbed Bandar’s still motionless form and proceeded to walk towards Stacy; it paid him no mind whatsoever, even as the halfling peppered the umber hulk with his remaining daggers. The umber hulk was about to enter its layer when the halfling managed to strike the creature in a particular sensitive area at the base of the head. The umber hulk dropped Bandar and rounded on the terrified halfling. A single swipe from its claw was enough tear into Stacy’s torso and fling him nearly ten feet into the air, but the halfling just laughed as his body rebounded from the ground. In its anger, the umber hulk had made a tactical miscalculation: it had presumed that there was only one enemy remaining, when there were actually two. Coming to this realization to late, the umber hulk only shuddered as Bandar’s new spear impaled it through the chest.

Both wounded men took some time to check on everyone’s status before hauling the bodies back to a secluded cave. Neither Stacy nor Bandar slept that night to ensure that nothing got the drop on them. Bandar wasn’t sure if he was hallucinating from sleep deprivation, but during the night he thought he saw Stacy weeping. Whatever the facts, Bandar was not about to inform anyone of this, so he simply waited until Lathander awoke before he passed out from exhaustion. By the time the dwarf opened his eyes, the rest of the party (saved Elias) was restored. No one talked as they marched Elias’ body back to the grove where they had buried Strider. Only one person had dared to interrupt their procession through Rastor, a strong-looking bald human man with strange tattoos covering his body. The man had asked to speak with the party, but Lathander informed him that they would be indisposed for the rest of the day and asked him to meet them tomorrow morning. The strange man obviously did posses some form of tact as he bowed his head with understanding and left the Band to bury its fallen comrade. Although Lathander was the only ordained priest in the party, Merk vehemently asked to give Elias the last rights herself in an elven tradition. Aramek relieved Elias of Shatterspike and his signet ring and sword were given to Merk to give to the Elven Nation of Celene along with his ashes. The Band had lost another valued member, but no one had lost the will to continue…in fact, Elias’ heroic death only hardened their resolve against Cult of Thazidun.

SolidSnake
A wanderer
(8/21/02 6:36 pm)
Reply
Guess who's back?...
That's right, I found a new home! You can find the campaign website at the following address: www.duke.edu/~nah6

And on an even better note, we WILL be continuing with the campaign! The problem is we have to wait until november to get the group assembled so it will be a while until updates are forthcoming. However, if I can get my lazy players to get a move on, we can actually catch up on where we left off!

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