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(10/15/02 2:17 pm)
Re: Sierk's Saturday Sessions
Believe it or not, we played. Session for 5 hours or so on Sunday.

Same cast of characters, but we found a player for Urzin for this session. She was a novice, we'll see if she has enough interest in continuing the module.

OK, so the party finished the previous session by finishing off the Water Temple. They had Urlurg in tow, his arms tied but his legs free. They didn't bother to talk at all with him, just trussed him up. They considered giving him to Zeityan, but didn't really consider that seriously.

Before they got out of the Water Temple complex, Ukemil showed up with his lions. Isvindel continues to avoid striking at animals, but managed a flaming sphere which Ukemil managed to fail savings for 3 times in a row. The pouncing lions did some damage, nearly taking Xym out. But a few lightning bolts and arrows and whacking by Urzin took 3 of them out. Ukemil whistled for the remaining one, but he was held and coup'd before he could escape.

They continued onwards, following the tracks of the lions back through the bugbear area. They avoided all of the bugbears, but hit the darkmantles (they didn't enjoy fighting in darkness). The corpsebomb went boom when Lorien tried to disarm it. The displacer beasts didn't wreak much havoc either.

They explored the unstable room (152), which crumbled, injuring them a bit and notifying the Bridge Complex. One of the human warriors from 148 went to warn the rest of the complex while the troll and the remainder of the warriors remained behind to defend the area.

The party fears trolls, but this one didn't do much damage. The warriors didn't hit at all. That part of the battle ended quickly, and with it ended the session. They heard noises (listen check of 36) from the grey render's area. We'll see if they investigate there.

Should be another session in a week and a half.

(10/31/02 7:12 pm)
Re: Sierk's Saturday Sessions

Another session, more progress, though less than one might have expected given the length of the session.

So, when we left the group, they were in room 148, having just killed everyone in the guardpost.

Well, everyone except the guard who left to warn Eeridik. Right, Eeridik. He had plenty of time to buff himself and Tac up. They both got Endurance and Bull's Strength and Expeditious Retreat. Eeridik got the troll from 143, and Bull's Strength'd him. Eeridik was also hasted and improved invis'd.

Reokallitan was also there; he was kept in the dark about the Earth Temple's destruction, and was told it was the Water Temple attacking.

So, before the party investigated the Render, Eeridik and crew popped out of 144, and began smacking away. The extra strength on the troll caused some damage, but Tac had a hard time hitting. But the big damage came from Eeridik's hasted lightning bolts. He was able to get a large portion of the group twice before they had a chance to scatter. Birgitte's latest dog went down, despite Xym's attempt to carry it to safety.

Isvindel (lion form) pounced onto Reokallitan, but then drew a pair of magic missile attacks from the still-invisible Eeridik. That took his hitpoints down a chunk, and caused his retreat.

Speaking of retreating, it didn't take long for Tac to get hammered by Urzin and a couple arrows. He used his 120' move to get out of there, spring attack Lorien, and get out of sight to use his wholeness of body (back up to 25 hp).

By then, Reokallitan had decided he'd been snookered, and buggered out of there. Eeridik was getting lower on spells, so he left as well. Tac tried running back through the room, but couldn't make it the whole way, and was dropped by a few arrows.

With no known opponents, the party looted the bodies, and headed back to the mine area to find a place to sleep. They made it through the night, and headed back the next morning, all ready with protection from lightning and such.

They now knew about the Render, as Chatrilon's wand was used to invis Xym, who snuck around and looked at it. The next morning they snuck back to look at the Render, and found it missing. Eeridik recruited it, and managed to squeeze it through the door to 144.

Anyway, the party was all prepared for Eeridik, but he didn't immediately appear. Instead, the party opened the door to the Magic Circle room. They clustered inside, and then Xym tossed a copper piece into the circle. Oops. Big spider-like thing shows up, wanders over to attack Xym and pin him in the corner.

Bite for damage, Fort save. He made it, but was well within its reach. Urzin went up and drew an AoO (bite damage, Fort failed). Mighty whack with a greater magic weapon greatsword (+2) for 20 damage. Uh... doesn't look to be affected at all.

Time to retreat. Xym backed away, but Urzin was still in range. Full attack by the Bebelith, resulted in a bite (Fort failed), and whoops, there goes the Mithril Full Plate +1. By now, Urzin was pretty well beaten up, between Con loss and hp damage. He went negative, was healed back, and everyone was able to escape out the door. Birgitte arcane locked it, and they went back through 144 trying to find another way around.

Well, once they got into that room, Eeridik and the Render attacked, with a couple lightning bolts and assorted nastiness. Eeridik went down before he managed to escape, and the Render went down without too much trouble.

The Bebilith was still active in the summoning room, and the party was still trying to get to the Fire Temple. So they were going to try sneaking by it, hoping it didn't pursue. The dire bear was unconscous, and Xym and Isvindel tried to heal it. I figured an extremely high handle animal may have done something, but no luck there. It was still chained, so they were able to leave it before it bite them more than once.

Well... By now Hedrack had sent the Invisible Stalkers, who decided to take advantage of the situation by goading the Bebilith into attacking the party. It was beginning to work, and the Bebilith was headed south as the party went that way too. Well, as they passed, they could hear it muttering to itself. Isvindel was wearing his Helm, and was able to decipher its babble. It was babbling about being summoned and wanting to go back, but the dang dimensional anchor spell, etc. Isvindel told the party, and Birgitte managed to dispel the anchor. And it went poof, returning home.

Well, now it was the Stalkers' turns. They hovered 10' up and started smacking the party. Invis purge didn't work. After a little wandering, Isvindel managed to faerie fire one of them. They then shot arrows and drove it off. A flamestrike finished it. The other one was outlined by a glitterdust scroll, and then didn't last much longer.

Whew. Mostly done there. A little more poking around found the human warriors on the far side of the gate to the bridge. They could hear them talking amongst themselves, hoping the demon wouldn't come that way, etc. That became a slaughter once the party opened that door.

The remaining 3 trolls, 2 ogres, whatever didn't last long either. Session was over, next one will start with cleaning out the bridge complex. Well, I guess that really was a lot that happened. ;-)

(11/10/02 1:45 pm)
Re: Sierk's Saturday Sessions

So the session began with some cleanup around the Earth Bridge. There was one guard who had been pummelled into submission. He was revived and questioned. He knew less than the party, so that wasn't very effective. They eventually smacked him back unconscious and locked him onto the Earth Bridge. He'll be picked up by the Spider Eater Riders, and placed in the Outer Fane prison. Failure is not tolerated.

A bit of exploring took them to the Northern entrance to the Fire Temple. They tried to bluff by the salamanders, but not too much success there. They wear a collection of Obex and EEE symbols, but didn't have a good explanation for them.

The salamanders and the hound didn't do much damage, but they shouted for Tessimon. What, did they think she'd come help? Nah, she retreated to the Temple, taking Firre and others with her.

Tessimon's quarters were looted, including the cache in the trunk. Isvindel and Lorien looted the reliquary, getting blasted (though the scythe fumbled). They took the emeralds (didn't inform the rest of the party on those), and found the Book of the Dark Eye.

They then decided they were too low on resources to take on the Fire Temple, so they decided to retreat and rest for the night. But, eh, why not explore first? It was fairly early in the day. So they found the crypts. Isvindel was able to read the warning, so they knew what they were getting into.

Still, they proceeded. Eventually making their way to Unariq's crypt. Isvindel poked his head into that room, saw the pool fill and the statue shoot him with magic missiles. They ran back the other way. I could have launched the spectres at them, but they didn't really step into room 128, just looked into it.

Fianlly prudence prevailed, and they decided to rest. They were thinking of camping in room 131, but eventually the dripping water (portrayed as a regular "Plop. ... Plop." by the DM) and Tenaris lobbying for more comfortable quarters convinced them to go back to the barracks in 137.

A couple of random encounters were some Fire Temple guards on patrol. They didn't open the door to the chamber, and the party didn't pursue.

Morning and time for an assault on the temple. Lots of Endure Elements (fire), Protection from Elements (fire) going around. Since they had the map of the temple, they decided to go through 118 (they have a morbid fear of going through double doors).

In the meantime, Tessimon had rousted the troops and arrayed them around the perimeter of the Temple. Skassik, Zert, Firre and Arlainth were there, along with the skeletons. Tessimon was on the platform along with 4 archers. The platform was 50' up when the party entered.

One change I made was that the entire ceiling was illusory. This changed the flow of the battle, but I made up for it by forgetting Tessimon's Spell Resistance spell.

Okay, the party managed to gain initiative and had their plan going into the battle of letting the spellcasters do their thing first. Let me say, this party is brutally powerful when they are spelled up...

Isvindel launched a water ball (MotW, similar to flamestrike, but a ball and subdual damage) on the platform. The archers went down, and injured Tessimon. Birgitte (hasted) launched a pair of shape-sculpted lightning balls onto the platform. That collection very nearly took out Tessimon, but she was still alive.

Urzin barged into Skassik (his collection of spells brought his AC to 29 -- without armor) and started hacking. Lorien and Tenaris started shooting at Firre and Zert. Xym headed over to Zert, drooling over his flaming shortsword.

On their turn, Arlainth shot a fireball, which was absorbed by everyone's protection spells. Tenaris only had an Endure Elements going, which would come into play later... Firre tried to Hold Urzin, but that failed. Zert didn't do much to Xym. The burning skeletons couldn't hit anyone (slam +4, bah). Tessimon shot a flamestrike at the party (half fire, so not too much damage there), and raised the platform up to the ceiling (I made it a move-equivalent).

Next turn, Isvindel waterballed Arlainth, taking him down for the count. Urzin was handling Skassik. Xym was taking out Zert. Lightning bolts, magic missiles galore.

The party was in the midst of massacring the Temple troops, when spells started raining down. Tessimon had healed herself almost all the way, and was firing spells through the (IMC) illusory ceiling. More flamestrikes from scrolls, unholy blight... fun stuff.

Well, not fun for Tenaris, who didn't have as many hp as the rest of the party, nor as good protection. She failed a save and was dropped to -16. Isvindel got there the following round and recited a scroll of Last Breath (MotW), which effectively does a Raise Dead if the person died within the last round. She went away to whimper for the rest of the battle.

Birgitte used her slippers of spider climb to try to climb up to the ceiling. A couple rounds later, she was right near the ceiling (never touched the ceilling, though). She started climbing down, but Tessimon's dispel magic suppressed her slippers, dropping her for 5d6 falling damage.

By now the ground floor was emptied out. Isvindel shifted into an eagle to test his theory that the ceiling was an illusion (the party was pretty confused by the whole thing). He flew up there and poked his head through the ceiling, and saved on a command (fall) spell. Birgitte, seeing this, recited a scroll of fly on Urzin. He flew up and managed to smack Tessimon.

Uh-oh, fire shield (cold) was going. 10 damage back on Urzin. Tessimon didn't have too much left by now. Tentacle rod attack missed three times. Next round she was dead.

Whew, fairly epic battle.

As a wrap-up, the party debated using the altar to get a magic item (having read through the book explaining the process). Isvindel tried to convince the party, but the good characters weren't going for it.

So, Birgitte blasted away at the altar with lightning bolts, no one wanting to risk seeing whether touching the altar with a weapon counted as a "touch" for all the ookiness.

But wait, session not over. They also cleared out the rasts, remaining hellhound and two remaining guards. They wanted to go through the smoke-filled room, but Xym fell into the pit (Urzin almost did, but still had the fly spell going). A dispel magic cleared it up a little, but it came back soon after. They eventually decided to abandon that, since they already destroyed the altar.

A little more discussion, and the party decided to head back to Verbobonc, sell their loot, and restock on scrolls/potions.

I'm not going to restock the CRM in their absence, though I'm thinking of adding a few strategically placed unintelligent monsters. Maybe a pseudonatural fiendish hit-die enlarged gibbering mouther, or something along those lines.

Following session will take them into the Outer Fane, but they are only blessed by the Water Temple altar, but I'm not sure they have any association between that and heading through the right bridge. They also have the Bard from the Iron Maiden in tow, but I'm not sure if they'll pay for his restoration. If they do, they'll get some info from him...


(11/17/02 9:17 am)
Re: Sierk's Saturday Sessions
Session begins on the road to Verbobonc. A couple of issues to resolve.

Birgitte and Isvindel get in a big row over Tessimon's tentacle rod. Birgitte wants to destroy it because it's use is for an evil ritual. Isvindel wants to hang on to it as maybe it will come in use later. Nobody else cares passionately about it. After a long discussion, Birgitte decides not to attempt to destroy it, and Isvindel along with it.

Another loose end was the bard from Firre's torture chamber. The group took him to a temple, which determined that a Greater Restoration was the only way to go. The party members that were there balked at the price 3500gp for the spell, but eventually the temple agreed to provide the spell gratis as a favor to one of their clerics. A bit of manipulation here, as the cleric to be taken was a new character into the party. The person who had taken over Urzin the last few weeks decided to create a character of her own, a cleric of Pelor.

Recap of the party:
Xym : 10th level elven Ranger (shocking longsword, flaming shortsword)
Isvindel: 8th level human Druid / 2nd level shifter (currently usually fights in bear form, magic fang'd)
Birgitte: 10th level gnome Sorcerer (spell focus evokation, loves lightning bolt, and now cone of cold)
Lorien: 8th level elven rogue / 1st level wizard / 1st level Arcane Archer (flaming shortbow, rarely gets in melee)
Anarell: 8th level half-elven cleric of Pelor (somewhat naive, with extensive book learning, but hasn't really been adventuring, despite her level; fights with a quarterstaff as a double weapon).
Urzin (NPC): 8th level human cleric of Kord / 1st level Barbarian / 1st level Templar (Fights with greatsword, uses a lot of buffs and rages a lot)
Tenaris (NPC): 5th level elven fighter / 1st level Order of the Bow Initiate (modified from the original Tenaris to replace mounted feats with archery feats).

Okay, so the party is up to 7 members (The party overwhelmingly wanted to keep Tenaris and Urzin around, despite diluting exp and all that). Strong in healing spells now.

The party got a little info out of Jurrikath the bard. He warned them of the red dragon by the fire door, mentioned Hedrack and Naquent, told them it was cold in places in the Outer Fane. Basic info, though he didn't know much about other defenses (he did mention minotaurs). The party wasn't sure if they believed him.

Off to a shopping trip, Isvindel got an animated +1 shield, Lorien got bracers of archery, Urzin repaired his armor (I ruled that his mithril full plate still was worth 9000 gp, the worth of the mithril), Xym upgraded his Mithril to +3. A couple of Handy Haversack's were purchased, as I had been lax with the "retrieving is a move-equivalent action", and I warned them that I'd crack down on that. We're a bit light in 3rd edition rules knowledge still, and I don't always remember these things in the middle of a battle.

Okay, finally back in action. The party wanted to clear out the remainder of the CRM (between the Air Temple and the Fire Temple, I think to make sure they wouldn't get attacked from behind).

Well, in the interim, Hedrack recruited the Troll Village to guard the gate. When the party arrived, there was a scene with 3 spider eaters giving the trolls a large chest of gold and gems. Lorien managed to overhear enough of the conversation (a description of the party, promises of another 10k gp if they killed the party, plans to call the trolls if the party was spotted on one of the bridges in order to surround them). Well, based on this, the party decided it'd better kill these trolls now rather than encounter them later.

Birgitte improved invis'd Urzin, Xym and Anarell. They'd take care of the 6 trolls, while the archers and Birgitte would take down the Spider Eater riders. Isvindel turned into bear form. The fun begins...

Well, I stocked it with not just 6 trolls, but 21 (a number weren't visible, being inside the South Entrance. There were 16 common trolls, 3 elite troll war 3's, a troll shaman adept 4, and the troll leader, F4, wielding a Huge Greatsword +1.

<Details of fight intentionally omitted, it took around 4 hours real time, very slow fight>

In short, a couple riders got off, but were shot down. None of the melee fighters took much damage, as they were really hard to hit being invisible. Regeneration made it take a while, some trolls would go down only to come back up a couple rounds later. I allowed Xym's flaming shortsword and Lorien's flaming shortbow to coup de grace the trolls, though techincally it probably shouldn't work.

So the party now has a chest of gold (2500gp, haven't decided on the gem value yet).

The party went east, and went up to the disused passageway up to the spectre's chamber. Poor Anarell (who had a tough time hitting the trolls during the battle), ended up with 4 negative levels before it was killed.

They also managed to find the entrance to Tulian's eye, and found all the traps, but Lorien missed a spot against the mimic's disguise. It attacked and hit Lorien and Urzin, and got them grappled with that mimic adhesive. Eventually it was killed, and they used a couple of spells to try to dispel the adhesive before the it broke down (as they didn't know that would happen). They now do have Tulian's eye, though it is stored in a bag of holding.

Continuing on, they met Poolidib, who asked them if they were looking to be transported to the water door. They said they'd come back later.

Session over, and we'll be taking a couple weeks off until after Thanksgiving.

(11/17/02 10:06 pm)
Coup-de-gras Trolls
The flaming weapons will work for the coup-de-gras; it's more a matter of what you allow for damage.

[from memory]
As written, only the fire damage applies on the autocrit, as the regular damage can be regenerated (but is bonus damage, not multipliable).
So the fort save is 10 + 1d6 for both weapons.

If you're being nice, then the fact that they're flaming weapons is enough to allow the full damage to be used on the coup-de-gras; so 2d6+2*str+1d6 fire or 3d6+1d6 fire.

'Neath Southern Skies

Here for a while
(12/17/02 3:25 pm)
Re: Coup-de-gras Trolls
To continue the issue from a month ago, yeah, I'd rule the Fort save as 10 + 1d6 (fire). The trolls aren't going to miss all that many saves, so it'd take a while...

Anyhow, we did finally play again this past Saturday. Split session, as one of our players had to leave for a couple hours.

We began the session just outside of Poolidib's quarters. The party wandered into the Cloakers, who managed to Hold both Xym and Lorien, but the rest of the party dispatched them without too much trouble.

Next up, heading back the hall to the Arena Pit. The tried talking with Claagingred a little, but he played along with them long enough to try to separate them and capture all of them. They wanted to see the prisoners to see who they should place their bets on for the following day. Birgitte and Xym went into the cell area with Claagingred, who tried to smack them into unconsciousness.

Well, they found Harchol and his dog. Xym and Isvindel smacked the rabid dog, knocked it out. They freed Harchol, and agreed to return him to his village, since he was understandably leery of wandering about on his own. IMC, this was a 3-day journey, so it was a bit of a decision.

Next day, Urzin took care of Anarell's negative levels, and cast a cure disease on the rabid dog. That worked, and everyone was happy. On the way, they saw a couple Spider Eaters on patrol, but when you have a Spot check of 36 from the rogue, you're going to spot them before they spot you. They just ducked under the cover of some trees, and avoided the issue.

They got to the dwarven village (smallish city), and found a thriving trade district. Nothing to the level of Verbobonc, but still a strong temple of Moradin, a weaponsmith with a couple magic weapons and the ability to custom make other magical weapons. They didn't ask, but they won't be able to get anything over +1 there. Scrolls limited to level 2.

Isvindel and Lorien went about town, looking for some info, doing some business (exchanging and appraising some gems, Lorien purchased some PURPLE gems, I'm trying to decide if there's anything Tharizdun-ish there).

Interestingly, the rest of the party went to the common room of the inn and began drinking. After a while, Xym asked if they had anything stronger, and what-do-you-know, they did. Expensive stuff, dark and very strong.

The party got completely toasted. The players had a blast playing their drunken characters. Xym began staggering through town looking for Lorien and Isvindel. He was stopped by a dwarven constable, who wasn't thrilled with the behavior. He eventually escorted them out of the town, and they went willingly. They wandered a half a mile, then collapsed.

This segment featured such things as: Tenaris trying to get, er, "close" to Xym ("Geroff me, woman!"). Birgitte the gnome attempting to build a timepiece out of twigs. Urzin singing. Xym seeing Chatrilon's face in a cloud, so of course he shot an arrow at it (natural 20). Tenaris tried too, but missed. Anarell began swinging her quarterstaff, and narrowly missed smacking herself on the head.

Isvindel and Lorien located them, and spent the night observing/watching them/ contemplating leaving them. But, by morning, the party resumed their normal course.

As they approached the CRM, they noticed a low-hanging cloud over the Stalagos and interior. Unbeknownst to them, the growing influence of Tharizdun has caused the corrupted lake of the Stalagos to begin emitting small purplish flames, which in turn caused the cloud. I'm thinking of having the flames/cloud have a different effect on Birgitte, the only character to have eaten the Fruit of Tharizdun from the Obelisk.

Back in the CRM, the South Gate hadn't been repopulated yet(the West Gate will have some Gibbering Mouthers or some other unintelligent guards).

So they waltzed (not literally, they were sober) Eastward, finding their way into the lair of the Blade Spirit. That was a fun one. I chose a weapon per foe, so almost everyone got whacked (side note, a gave the animated weapons AoO's, but I'm not sure that was the intent). The spirit only lasted a couple of rounds, taken mostly by Lorien's Arcane Archer arrows. Urzin made his save vs. weapon domination.

They didn't go to the two Destrachans, though they did find an overlook to the Stalagos, showing them the source of the cloud. They continued on through the lone destrachan (1 arrow and 1 empowered lightning bolt took 62 hp off it, splat).

They missed Tarren the druid, and continued through the ants (quickly killed). Finally, they got to the back end of the Fire Temple, meeting the remaining mephits, who summoned the elementals into room 106. A little bit of a battle there, again it didn't last too long. A party of 10th levelers isn't going to find this section very challenging.

That's where we ended, at 1:30 AM.

Here for a while
(12/22/02 3:22 pm)
Outer Fane or bust

After a little blundering around near the western side of the Fire Temple (mephit lair area, 106-110), the party turned back from the smoke room and decided to head back around to Poolidib.

Well, the party likes to complete its maps. A part of the open map included Tarren's abode. Of course, they are still wearing temple amulets and such, so Tarren shouted, "Die, temple scum" and sent his bear to attack. A round later, the bear was dead, and Tarren was at -3 hp (lightning bolt for 38, failed save). Isvindel healed him back to consciousness, and began questioning him.

Well, I gave Tarren more knowledge than he'd normally have by the book. He agreed to help them for 300 gp. He wasn't really in a position to negotiate, but they gave him the money. He gave them some information about the defenses at the various gates. They were interest in which gate was the easiest. He told them either the Water or Air bridges. By now they were kind of thinking that they'd like to use the bridge instead of the boats. They kept Tarren around for a guide, thinking he knew more of the Outer Fane than he did.

They began the long trek all the way around the CRM, moving clockwise. Nothing much interesting here; for the most part the CRM has been abandoned. A couple pockets of original defenders still remain, but no reinforcements will be added from this point on.

Boring trek up until the Fire bridge. They weren't sure about D'Gran, if he was still alive (he's dead), and there was still a giant that they knew about (they hadn't brought melons for Rau). So, a couple more spellups, and they entered the complex. Empty, except for two giant heads left at the foot of the bridge (death for failure). Onward, all the way to the western gate.

Here was my last restock: A Fiendish 12-HD Gibbering Mouther. He was actually a little bit fun. Hopefully I advanced him correctly, I hadn't written him out beforehand. He only sucked Con out of Xym, which was quickly lesser-restored. Still, with the advance to Large size, his bites did a lot more damage.

Farther up, farther in. They were getting a bit low on spells since this was still the day they fought the Blade Spirit. But they continued to press on. They got to the Air Bridge, which they hadn't yet encountered, except for Axred (they wandered through the back caves).

They saw the guards in 214, and asked to join them for dinner. After a little talk, they rang the gong for Oamarthis (now known as Martha Stewart). Oamarthis recognized them, but decided his force couldn't take them. So he escorted them to the bridge. They saw the chimera chained up, but Oamarthis released its chain once they were on the bridge. Retreat suddenly is a bit more difficult.

As a side note, by now the hour-per-level buffs had expired (GMW, Bull Str, Endurance). So, a bit low on spells and undermagicked by now.

Well, on the bridge, some of the Riders spotted them and began questioning them. In last week's session, I mentioned the foggy mist that shrouded the area, formed by the purple tendrils of flame on the Stalagos. Those touched by Tharizdun's power could see through the mist (Fruit-eaters from the Obelisk, etc), but others could not. Sound cool? Don't do it, it unbalanced this section. Birgitte could see the riders, they could see the party, but the rest of the party couldn't see the riders.

After a little consultation, the riders began firing arrows. Oddly, they managed to hit a few times. The party ran for the door, Xym carrying Birgitte the football. There ensued some fumbling around the door. They had Tarren touch the door (nothing happened). They pulled out the water keys from a bag of holding, arrows falling all the while. Stuck 'em together, and opened the door.

Well, the air bridge was a good choice. The stalkers had both been dispatched, so they didn't have anything attacking them as they came in. A little exploring brought them to the Arrowhawk room, who immediately attacked. The party's touch AC's were lousy, so those lightning rays kept on hitting. A number of arrows, a flamestrike, a shaped lightning ball (what, no damage!) and such eventually felled that threat.

Now the ogres in 37 responded, and charged the party. Urzin and Xym charged back, and were hit by some brutal AoO. But then another flamestrike took down all of the ogres.

They explored the ogre area, but didn't go too far down the hall. By now they were looking for a place to hole up for the night. They turned back, to try the east exit from the arrohawk lair. They took the first door on the left, which tripped the elemental summoning trap. They tried shutting the door, but the door shut too slowly to prevent Xym from being attacked by the water elemental. They ran back toward the arrowhawk room, drawing attacks from the air and fire elementals as they ran. Eventually they turned and fought, and managed to get rid of them.

Now Birgitte is pretty low on spells as well as Urzin and Anarell being almost out. So they decide to hole up in the Stalkers' room. They go in and arcane lock the door.

End of session, now I have to think about what happens next. I'll be looking for advice in a separate thread.

Here for a while
(1/5/03 11:25 am)
Re: Outer Fane or bust
At the beginning of the session, they hear a little rumbling which turns out to be a small earth elemental that drops off a hastily scrawled note. "Not safe to rest here. If you stay, you will be destroyed. Hedrack will not extend to mines. It will be easier if you destroy the gate guards before assaulting the Outer Fane."

There was some discussion about this. It was a little bit split as to whether they should pay attention to the note or not. They made the decision to ignore the note, figuring it was a trick from Hedrack. Varachan of course was the one who sent it, but was not about to sign the note.

A listen check (highest of 32) heard a low pitch rumble which sounded a lot like the sound the little elemental made when it dropped the note. But a lot louder and such. That gave them the impetus to leave.

They charged out of the Outer Fane and began running down the Air Bridge. Some of the Spider Eater riders spotted them and started firing as they were running. Not many arrows hit.

Battle for the CRM side of the Air bridge began. The chimera was there, Oamarthis and Riu Lotaas were around, and the human fodders were arranged with the elves kneeling in front of the humans, everyone firing arrows at the party.

Chimera didn't last long, not even enough of a chance to breathe. Smacked Xym around a bit, though. Tarren the tag-a-long shot a flamestrike that got most of the archers.

When they dispatched the chimera and entered, they saw Riu's projected image, and an enlarged Oamarthis smacked Xym. Several spells hit the image, so characters started realizing it was an illusion. A couple smacks by Xym and Urzin, and both of those guys go down. Oamarthis started to run away, but Isvindel ran him down from behind (move rate of 80 as a bear with boots of striding and springing).

A little cleanup and looting, and the party was looking for a place to sleep. They found Oamarthis' quarters, and decided to shack up there.

Varachan was telling the truth. Hedrack wasn't going to send the big guns into the mines. The night passed uneventually. Anarell and Tenaris gained levels, and the rest of the party was getting close.

Next day, the question came up whether to follow the rest of the note (i.e. go to the other gates first). The party was split (including the NPC's... Tenaris wanted to follow the note, Urzin favored straight ahead charge). Isvindel cast the deciding straight-ahead vote.

When they got to the bridge, they found that the fog had dissipated. Not sure how to explain it, but I was tired of it. Maybe passing through into the Outer Fane was enough.

Anyhow, there were a number of Spider Eaters flying patrol. Isvindel recommended taking them out while they had the chance. The archers began plunking away. What followed was a long battle involving lots of calculation of range increments. In the end, they got 6 Spider Eaters before the rest of them stayed farther out of range and where they could mass more of an attack.

The party next decided to make a run for it. Several of the characters spotted 2 riders atop 2 of the beasts. Well, those were a couple sorcerers. 3 fireballs later, the party was fairly injured (except Lorien w/evasion). Tarren was dead. Nothing to do but check his pockets looking for loose change (they knew he was evil, so not going to raise him).

Now they were beginning to explore a little bit. Maracla and Dirass were mentioned as trying to insinuate themselves into temple politics. I decided that meant that they'd volunteer to take care of the intruders. No matter how prepared I am, I find that I could have been more prepared. I should have written out Dirass and Maracla with their full buff sequences. I ended up forgetting Dirass' blur, and not sure I calculated Maracla's AC right.

Anyhow, there was another battle in the Arrowhawk's octagonal room. Maracla opened the door to the west and Dirass had a readied cone of cold that caught the whole party. Good damage, that. Dirass had imp invis'd them, and they had all their buffs going.

Well, Urzin rolled a high initiative, and invis purged. There went part of their defense. Still, this was a pretty tough fight. Dirass was hasted, and in one round let loose his empowered lightning bolt, plus another bolt. Those caught Anarell, Urzin and Isvindel (though Isvindel was now a Kuo-Toa, so got electricity resist 20).

Maracla got off a slay living on Xym, which he managed to save against. Urzin had to save on the last lightning bolt, or else he would have died. A couple arrows got through Maracla's high AC and entropic shield and shield of arrow deflection. A couple spells also made it past SR.

Urzin took out Dirass with a couple heavy whacks (now enraged for the extra hp's). Maracla issued a Greater Command which most of the party failed. They mostly fled. Xym and Tenaris saved, and managed to take her out.

Luckily, the fleeing party members didn't happen to get far. I decided when she died, the spell effect would end. Not sure that's necessarily true, but that's what I decided.

Some quick healing, and the party was mostly back to max. 2 clerics, a druid and wands of CLW will do that. In the meantime, Hedrack was sending the Elder Earth Elemental. He showed up about 10 rounds after the end of the battle with the drow.

How big is it? I showed them the scale picture of Huge compared with medium. Oh, they said.

The battle sequence went something along the line of: flamestrike (Anarell), lightning bolt (Brirgitte), flamestrike (Isvindel), Magic Missile (wand, Lorien), flamestrike (Anarell with Maracla's scroll), 2 whacks with Urzin's greatsword (GMW to +2, he was hasted and had a shield potion quaffed, AC 33), but he did 18 (reduced to 3), and 17 (2) damage. Oh, they said again.

It got a full attack on Urzin. Hit twice for 58 total. Down to 0. Healed by Anarell (absorbed important AoO).

Flamestrike (Isvindel), magic missile (wand, Lorien),
Empowered lightning bolt (Birgitte), lightning bolt (Birgitte), Holy Smite (Urzin), (it was now at 0 hp), whack by Urzin who saw it staggering. Dead.

Whew. That bugger was tough. I kind of thought it would take someone down.

Onward ho, after more charges from the wands. They heard claws coming down the hall (what're you going to do with listen checks of 38?). That was Chymon, who was coming on her own to take a look. Unbeknownst to the party, Varachan ordered her back to her lair.

They made their way to the prison. Daagra didn't do too much before she was dispatched. The lever and the dials looked like a lot of fun. They started dialing numbers and pulling the lever to see what would happen.

They got Athamel, whoc wasn't terribly coherent. He gave them Daagra's name, and mentioned a machine that gave them that arm. Not terribly useful info, but Urzin detected he wasn't evil, so they let him out.

They put a gold coin on the portal and sent it to Reunoux the Azer to see what would happen (it disappeared). They pulled the lever again, and he appeared, holding the coin. A little talk with him gave them more info about what else was there.

They pulled Vister and Maluccus the lammasu out. The troll they pulled out, but sent him right back in (they knew he was in there somewhere).

A talk with Malaccus, who really didn't know much of anything. The party was hoping they had killed Hedrack and Naquent, and were looking for confirmation.

In the end, Vister was interested in joining the group. Maluccus took Athamel and Reunoux to safety after a couple of healing spells freely given to the party.

Session ended here. They gave Vister some of the leftover equipment from the bag of holding, and so she'll be added to the party. 5 PC's, 3 NPC's now...

Here for a while
(1/26/03 11:29 am)
Outer Fane, Eastern Half: Buff and Grind
The session began with the party leaving the prison complex.

First up, Naquent's bedroom. Lorien the rogue entered first, going for the chests. The spectre attacked and hit, granting 2 negative levels. Even incorporeal, it didn't even get a chance to act again.

The party kept going around the eastern half. Storage room (boring, next). Next, tentacle room. That didn't last long, either. In retrospect, I should have had Thrommel show up. But I was expecting they'd proceed into his lair, where he'd rather have the unhallow and silence.

They didn't. They take left doors, which took them down the corridor to 25, with the spiral stairs down to the Infernal Device. Well, they didn't take the stairs, they continued onward to the four-sided statue outside of Hedrack's room.

Birgitte entered Hedrack's room (made the forbiddance save). Isvindel and Lorien tried to follow, but failed their saves. The rest of the party decided to let Birgitte rifle through the room. Being unable to move Hedrack's trunk herself, she cast reduce on it, and dragged the mini-trunk out into the hall without trying to open it. Next, she found Hedrack's journal.

I don't know about you, but in my campaign the players found the journal very enlightening in some respects, and very confusing in others. There is a lot of knowledge there, and the players were having a tough time assimilating it.

Anyhow, I forgot about the greater glyph on the bookcase, which was fortunate for Birgitte. She pulled all the books out and started handing them out the door. Isvindel began scanning each one. Well, then he got to the Vacuous Grimoire. Made both saves, but was freaked out by that. They made a fire and started tossing the books in there.

By now the chest had returned to normal size. Lorien searched for traps, and found and identified the greater glyph. Birgitte read magic to determine the type of glyph. Oh, spell glyph with Slay Living? Heh. Lorien backed far away. 2 dispel magics, and Birgitte was able to get rid of it. The (filled) platinum ewers threw them for a loop. What liquid is that? Eventually, they tried things like pouring it on dead bodies and such.

Well, here's where the dead bodies showed up. Well, they didn't show up dead of course.

Backtrack to my theories on the Outer Fane. In the last couple of days, Hedrack has discovered that Lareth is the Champion. Not wishing to risk assigning this to a minion, Hedrack has been dealing with this personally. He brought Lareth into the OF, tested him, gave him the rings and rod of force. He was introduced to the Doomdreamers in the Inner Fane, then taken to the Recovered Temple.

So he isn't in the OF right now. The Champion is the only thing more important to Hedrack than the defense of the Outer/Inner Fanes. Defenses have been left to Naquent and Varachan.

Well, Varachan managed to get Naquent to go try take care of the party. Since she isn't into soloing anything, she collected basically all of the mooks in the OF: The Minotaurs, Elite Guards, Bugbears and Ogres. Next she buffed herself up as far as she could go. AC 31 (32 vs good), hasted, SR 22, flying, etc.

Anyhow, the mooks charged around the corner of the room, making enough noise that the party had 1 round to prepare. In the meantime, Xym had wandered down the South hall, and heard the elite guards coming that way. The rest of the party was going to deal with Naquent and company.

Really big battle ensued. The mooks charged around the corner and the party got some whacks into them. A few arrows, a sword, and a really big lightning bolt got almost all of the ogres and minotaurs. In the meantime, Xym's door came open and guards started trying to pile out, only to encounter his swords.

On her first initiative, Naquent flew into the area (feet nearly 15' up, head near the 20' ceiling). She cast Greater Command (die!), then unholy blight. Urzin, Tenaris, Vister went down. Isvindel had Shifted into an Annis Hag (they just met Daagra), and she didn't beat his SR.

The remaining mooks moved in to try to beat up the infantry. Anarell was trying to guard Urzin's body.

Birgitte tried a lightning bolt (spell immunity: LB and Magic Missile, she knew the spellcasting preferences). Lorien loosed an arrow from her flaming bow which hit (no flame damage, prot from elements (fire)). Isvindel tried a flamestrike (didn't beat SR).

Okay, next initiative, Naquent cast Hold Person on Lorien (failed save), and summoned a fiendish wolf which immediately bit and tripped Birgitte.

Things weren't looking brilliant here: Lorien, Urzin, Tenaris and Vister were out of commission, and Anarell, Xym and Birgitte had melee opponents to deal with.

Up comes Isvindel to save the day. He ran from the far side of the room, jumped into the air (jump check check 29, boots of striding/springing), avoided Naquent's AoO (stupid AC with mobility and a bunch of spells), grabbed her ankles (melee touch), and beat her grapple check.

Birgitte (on the ground) cast Improved Invis defesively, then crawled away to get away from the wolf. Xym was still busy with the elite guards, Anarell was trying to kill the bugbears before they killed Urzin. The commanded characters kept failing their saves (and despite Urzin's +15 will save while enraged).

Back to the grapple, Naquent tried to Command Isvindel (Verbal only). Other hasted action, managed to squirm out, but couldn't get far. Next round, Isvindel smacked and got a improved grab to grapple her again.

Now Urzin was up, started cleaving bugbears. Birgitte magic missiled the wolf. Vister was up, started hitting bugbears as well.

Next round, Isvindel used the Tear attack of the Annis Hag. Brutal. Dropped her down 65 hp that round. Dead.

Cleanup mode, the rest didn't take long. Birgitte LB'd the elite guards that Xym was fighting, and they fled. They couldn't outrun the party in their Plate Mail.

Whew, very long battle, over 3 hours real time.

Next up, continuing down the hall. Victor was stuck in his room, as he was trying to join the assault that Xym prevented. He studied Xym through the peepholes, and made a death attack as he entered. Xym saved, but took 23 from the sneak attack.

Next, the secret door to the grinder. Xym and Urzin were in front, failed their reflex saves. Grind, grind. The party was trying to think of ways to get them out, but there wasn't any way. I ruled that disable device would only disable the triggering mechanism, not the actual spinning blades. Urzin made a concentration check to heal himself twice. Lots of damage later, the blades stopped. Xym and Urzin were still alive, but hurting.

Healing spells later, they made their way to the water door. They saw the Tojanda coming, and quick tried to go through the double doors to the north. 3 of them made it (diving through the door as it opened, making a pileup ;) ), but the rest were still back there.

Isvindel was still an Annis Hag, and grappled the tojanda. And won. Urzin whacked it, Birgitte MM'd it, a couple arrows came in, etc. Turned into an easy encounter.

Next, they unlocked and entered the Bugbear's room. AH! Place to sleep.

Well, they got through the night unscathed. Remember, Hedrack wasn't there, and almost all the mobiles were dead. In retrospect, I should have had Thrommel attack in the middle of the night, but I forgot about him.

Next morning, the party mostly levelled up. Then they went and found the nagas, who captured them between a portcullis pair and started launching fireballs. Xym and Urzin tried to lift the portcullis, but couldn't. A couple arrows hit, and then Birgitte tried a Mage Hand cantrip to pull a lever. I thought 5 pounds would be enough, and she ended up guessing with her pull and opened the back door, not the front.

Another fireball, Vister almost died, but was healed by Anarell. Soon, the Nagas were dead as the party closed in and also got a chance to fire arrows.

Long session ended there.

Here for a while
(2/2/03 4:46 pm)
Storytime with Varachan and Hedrack's cameo
Player recap:

Xym: Elven Ranger 11 - dual wielding shocking longsword and flaming shortsword.

Lorien: Elven Rogue 8/Wiz 1/Arcane Archer 2 - Flaming shortbow, ridiculous spot/search/disable/listen checks

Isvindel: Human Druid 8/Shifter 3 - Preferred forms are now Annis Hag and Girallon. Spells are mainly flamestrike and barkskin.

Anarell: Half-elf Cleric of Pelor 10 - Dual-wields a quarterstaff, but has shown a tendency to think spells before melee.

Birgitte: Gnome Sorceror 11 - Evocation specialist, with empower spell. Lightning bolt, cone of cold, magic missile.

Urzin (NPC): Human BBn1/Templar1/Cle 9 (Kord) - Greatsword wielding meatgrinder. Doesn't think much, charges most of the time.

Tenaris Glimmerdawn (NPC): Fighter 5/Order of the Bow Initiate 5. Wields a longbow, doesn't do much else.

Okay, so the session began in the Nagas' lair. A little bit of searching found the hidden potions. Lots of healing from wands, then out into the corridor.

At this point, Varachan walked up, hands up. Credit to the party that they didn't immediately attack him. They began talking, and eventually came around to trusting him. He explained that Lareth had been found, and Hedrack was away taking him to the Recovered Temple.

Well, he began suggesting courses of action. He recommended that the party should deal with all of the Outer Fane, and gave the particulars of what they should expect.

First, they headed back to Varachan's room to collect his goodies. During this time, he was giving them all the information he had. Which was considerable. In short, the party now had the inside scoop on the remainder of the Outer Fane, plus the ways into the Inner Fane, plus the big goody objects (Orb of Silvery Death, Talisman of Pure Good).

Well, first off the party wanted to deal with Thrommel. Vister recognized the name, and was startled to say the least. But of course my party doesn't know the history of the world, since neither do I. Didn't mean as much to them.

The party charged into Thrommel's room, but he gained initiative and tried to start whacking away. Xym had a stupid AC from a potion of shield, barkskin, Magic Circle against Evil, etc. So he missed on his full attack. And actually, didn't end up lasting too long. Without anything to distract the party, they managed to kill him fairly handily. He did hit on a couple of AoO's, and did a fair amount of damage.

Well, when he went gaseous, the party freaked a bit. I'm still confused by this a bit. Anarell, Xym and Birgitte fled down the corridor. They were looking for the coffin, somewhere. The rest of the party (in the silenced room) tried looking for the secret button to the coffin chamber. Lorien picked the right wall and had a nice high search check. Button found.

In a fun twist, Xaod was hanging up in shackles in place of the corpse. He had been turned over by someone in the temple Heironeous heirarchy. Thrommel claimed him to attempt to turn him to a blackguard. So far, he hadn't been successful, nor had he infected or drained Xaod. Vister had been captured trying to find out what happened to Xaod.

Anyway, Thrommel's gaseous form was returning to the coffin. And Urzin was angrily slashing at midair because he missed with his attacks on Thrommel, and was angry about it. Well, he missed a reflex save and fell into the pit. Lorien and Isvindel jumped down into the pit. Urzin took his anger out on the coffin, which he smashed into splinters. They then made a fire and began feeding the coffin pieces in.

Meanwhile, the remainder of the party was spotted by the flesh golems, who started following them. Missed the part about the golems not leaving the hallway. They ran down the stairway leading to the Infernal Device. They killed the golems fairly easily, and searched for a way to Thrommel's coffin, but figured they weren't anywhere close. They went back up the stairs, giving the Device a good lightning bolt before they left.

By now, the coffin crew was done and Xaod released. Cleanup, then back to Varachan's chamber. They planned to rest the night, and tackle Chymon in the morning. Meanwhile, Hedrack showed up.

He had his 10 min/level buffs going, having seen Thrommel's room. But he wasn't expecting them to be in Varachan's room. He was smacked a couple of times by Xym and took a couple of arrows before he got a chance to act. When he did, it wasn't good for the party. First, blasphemy. No save, gained him a round, and took the party pretty low in strength. Next round, Greater Command (die). Birgitte was the only one who was up. She gave him a lightning bolt (spell immunity). Next round, flamestrike by Hedrack. Following round, Birgitte got a couple hasted Cones of Cold, which took him down over 80 hp in one round.

Touch and go for a bit there, he could have cast destruction on Birgitte, but went with the flamestrike to try to take out more of the party.

Next morning, attack on Chymon. They buffed up with Protection from Elements, and charged in. Chymon caught them all with a breath, which disturbingly to her didn't do any apparent damage.

Again, the melee fighters were AC buffed up to the upper 30's. Chymon hit Xym with one attack in a full attack sequence. A couple of rounds later (Chymon didn't have time to open the door), she was dead. A couple Cones of Cold (failed save for double damage once) brought her down most of the way.

Now the party pawed through the coins, taking plenty of time to sort through the gold coins. They found the hatch, and went down. By now, when taking 10, Lorien can't get search or disable checks lower than 27. So we ignored the rolling and she disabled all of the traps, leading to lots of fun loot.

Session ended there, and we'll be having to take a few weeks off now.

Here for a while
(3/3/03 5:11 pm)
Re: Storytime with Varachan and Hedrack's cameo
Yet again, real life has intruded. I don't know when we'll be able to play again next. End of the month, maybe.

Here for a while
(3/4/03 2:59 am)
We will wait for ya
I like the Xaod bit. Didn´t get around to use him much in my campaign.

Here for a while
(3/16/03 9:29 am)
Outer Fane emptied, Verbobonc, Blasted Yard
After dealing with Chymon, the party began wandering around and filling in the blanks in the map. They were looking for Satau, who they knew was in the SW quadrant.

Anyhow, they found the Purple Robes, torch of revealing, censer, etc. Thought about touching the Black Sun, but decided not. Looked through the library. They did find Satau's room, but Xym lost the battle with the door demon. So he went to collapse on the couches in the library.

Urzin made the save and opened the door. The room was empty. Well, if you were an oracle, you'd have a pretty good idea it was time to leave. Birgitte cast light on a copper and tossed it down. No reaction.

They decided to fetch Xym and then ask Varachan if that was Satau's room. On the way, the Cornugon told them to fetch Hedrack because he wanted to go to the Inner Fane. He wasn't particularly suspicious of the group. Well, the party told him that Hedrack had gone to pieces (read: was chopped up and fed into a fire) and couldn't help them. They did say that they could take him to his replacement, Varachan. He agreed.

Along the way, Lorien sneak attacked (not much through the DR (come on, 3.5)), and Isvindel attacked (magic fang +2 claws). That brought it down a bit. Next round I rolled horribly on his initiative (that becomes a theme for the day). Basically, he was killed before he acted. (DM Note: Perhaps he could have been more suspicious, but I'm trying to encourage at least talking with other creatures before they whack their heads off.)

After visiting Varachan, they went back to Satau's room and wandered around the lower chamber, trying to get a reaction and received those disturbing mental pictures when they neared the walls. No Satau still. They did find the secrect door. Birgitte went through and got the wis drain. She then went and dumped out the healing dust. Still no Satau.

They decided to camp for the night. By morning, no Satau. Varachan later said that he must have "read it in the bones" that he should leave.

Back to filling in the rest of the map. The Rune Circle room was the most interesting. Isvindel failed his fort save, was transported to the grell area. Only Lorien made the spot check, so everyone else thought he'd been polymorphed. Birgitte tried to polymorph him back (failed save). Others didn't want to attack it (except Lorien). I had Isvindel's player roll the attacks of the grell (missed 9/10 on Lorien). Isvindel made his will save the first round, so no wis drain.

They also found the magmin, who wanted food NOW! Battle ensued when the party was slow about it. Not much damage done, the Fort saves of 11 were mostly too low for danger.

More rooms, they recognized Dunrat's name in his room, but nothing of real interest there. The only other interesting room was the Chamber of Hate. Lorien spotted the succubus almost immediately, and again the bad guys didn't have time to do much else besides die (low initiative). She got off an unholy blight, but everyone saved.

Now, the party decided it wasn't quite ready for an assault on the Inner Fane, so they decided to detour back to Verbobonc and empty out their bags.

Plenty of stuff in the bags, but only a bit of it was claimed by the party (amulets of Natural Armor +2, Boots of Speed, Lens of Detection, and a few other things). The rest of it was sold off, making lots of money in the interim.

On the way, the 2 neutral, most acquisitive characters (Lorien and Isvindel) (who had pooled some money and bought another bag of holding just for them) said they had to go off, and that they'd catch up later. Well, they went back to grab the Hammerspheres. They used Mage Hand to drop them into the bag

Party is now more equipped (and I forget some things):

Xym: Keened his shocking longsword, Animated Shield
Urzin: Animated shield, keened his greatsword, gloves of dex +2
Isvindel: Cloak of Resistance upgraded to +3, belt of strength to +4.
Lorien: Cloak of resistance upgrade, added distance enhancement to her bow, headband of wisdom (custom location is +10%)
Anarell: +1/+1 double sword, one end is Thundering
Tenaris: Added frost enhancement to her bow, bracers of archery, cloak of resistance upgrade.
Birgitte: Ring of Counterspells (has Greater Command in it), lesser rod of substitution (acid), lesser rod of silence.

Well, I'm fairly cavalier about item creation times, and the general theory is that anything not too weird is available already.

Regardless, several days passed in travel. The party is now considering using Isvindel as a courier in the future, as he could fly to Verbobonc in a night with a bag of holding. He's got boots of striding and springing (IMO, all movement is doubled), has endurance feat, healing spells, etc. So no problem there.

Anyhow, in the meantime, several things have come to pass. Firstly, Varachan was discovered by Tychon (who I figure is the one most likely to take an interest in the Outer Fane). The party finds Varachan several days dead with his throat slit. They considered using a Raise Dead scroll, but decided at the very least to wait on that.

Now the plan is to get into the Inner Fane (they haven't had much interest in getting the Orb of Silvery Death). They weren't keen on the question doors, and though they have 2 tentacle rods, that isn't enough to get everyone in (so says I).

So they knew there was another secret entrance to the Blasted Yard. First place they looked, they found it (Xym pointed right at the area on our map).

So they made their way in, and got to the 40' ledge. They stopped looking for doors. Xym jumped down (feather fall). Urzin started tying a rope. He was slow. The Dark Wights began showing up while the party was split. Frankly, they have a hard time hitting anything with their +5 attack. Oh, and their movement rate should be 20' with breastplates. So they came on slowly, leaving time to pick them off with spells and arrows, and what was left didn't leave a lot of time to finish off.

Two of the three groups have been dispatched, and the third is on the way. Then we ended the session.

Back to the stuff that happened while they were away. I haven't quite decided yet. I think the Orb of Silvery Death has probably been removed. The Inner Fane is probably intact, though I might give Tychon an additional level for disposing of Varachan. I'm also thinking of boosting the Inner Fane's defenses slightly. Maybe some added undead in the Blasted Yard that they haven't seen yet. Maybe the Spider Eaters will show up with a couple sorcerers. Might make for some fun as it might take a little time to get through the door.

Next 2 weeks we won't be playing, not sure after that.

Here for a while
(4/12/03 4:56 am)
Re: Outer Fane emptied, Verbobonc, Blasted Yard
Unfortunately, we won't be playing for a couple more weeks. Dang real life...

Here for a while
(4/24/03 4:43 pm)
Re: Outer Fane emptied, Verbobonc, Blasted Yard
Nowadays I only am updating to say that we aren't playing.

We might not be playing for a few more weeks. In the interim, we might be starting a couple other campaigns with a different subset of people. I don't want to run this unless everyone can make it. So on days where a couple people can make it, we'll be playing something else. And with the group waiting around in the Blasted Yard, a last set of Dark Wights visible through the sulfurous haze...

Reminds me of the times 8 years ago I was a player in an original Temple campaign. 3 separate groups with 3 different DM's, and we never made it past the moathouse. Once I was a female cleric (in character flirting with my wife's boyfriend at the time. Work that one out in your head.) The cleric was knocked unconscious by spiders, and spent the next month real time like that...

A song from the sixties
(5/18/03 7:34 am)
Blasted Yard, trashing the Inner Fane, Urzin has a Tough Day

Wouldja believe, we had a session? Pretty productive one, too.

The session opened in the Blasted Yard with the party running for the door. The last group of Obex Wights was coming at them. Not knowing how many more groups there were, they were looking to just get to the door.

While I thought about doing something cooler for the door, it was pretty plain and ordinary. They heard the door requesting the Master Key in their minds. They started scrambling for keys. The Greater Key didn't work. Hmm.

In the meantime, the group of wights had caught up. The party started attacking them while Xym and Birgitte were fumbling with smacking keys together. One of each type? No? Hrm. They did finally put 2 Master Keys together.

The door slowly raised itself, portcullis-like. Xym dove through the opening of the door. The two half T-Rexes and Tychon had been alerted. I altered Tychon's written description slightly. He cast Bull's Str on himself, used Spell Resistance on himself, and added a whole lot of other stuff to himself. That left 2 shields of faith and 1 Bull Str for the dragons. He cast those and retreated to the 2nd floor to finish his buffs.

Once Xym was in the room, the dinos breathed on him. Pretty pathetic damage. Birgitte got some of the lightning too, as did Tenaris.

Back at the wights, they managed a total of 5 negative levels (3 on Anarell, 1 each on Urzin and Isvindel) before they were killed, which was right about the time the door opened. I rolled 4 20s and a 19 (Anarell has a low AC). At this point the players took away my d20's and made me use some of theirs. Let me tell you, Lorien's d20 blows chunks.

So now there were 2 very large and angry dinos in the room. I had them attacking a bit out of control (Power Attack 5). Xym sucked up an AoO moving around the room (45 or so). Birgitte cast haste, and then started blasting Cones of Cold. 200 hp is a lot to get through.

Some arrows, some spells, then their turns came up again. Xym was hit again, but only by claws. The PA hindered their ability to hit. Urzin was hit and grappled into the mouth of the Blue. More spells, arrows, etc and the Black went down. The Blue made another grapple check and swallowed Urzin.

Birgitte lightning bolted the Blue (oh, oops), then substituted acid (with a rod) and did the same. Isvindel got some whacks in there, but then got a big bite down on him.

While in the mouth of the Blue, Urzin had activated his boots of haste, started his Rage, dropped his greatsword and pulled out his dagger. He even hit it once for good measure. Now in the gullet, he did his Feat of Strength. +10 to damage, so 2 shots of his dagger later he dropped out of its gut. He had taken a lot of damage, and was down to 9 hp. Dropping out of rage would kill him.

Several hits on the Blue later, it was dead. They started trying to heal Urzin, but by now Tychon had shown up. The battle had only taken about 5 rounds.

Tychon's first action was attempting his DD Secret on Birgitte (saved). Next, Greater Command (dance), while he cackled madly. Interestingly, it affected just the 3 elven women (Tenaris, Anarell, Lorien). Tough to hit him with his high AC (and he was on the stairs near the ceiling). Urzin had grabbed his sword and gone up there, and Isvindel moved that way, too.

But before he did anything else, Birgitte (who had Greater Command in her ring of counterspells) cast Polymorph Other, beating his SR of 23 and his boosted Fort Save. He was now a suffocating minnow. They started whacking the minnow (who had the cutest little tiny horns). Soon he was dead and reverted back to his natural state.

They looted his body, then chopped it up and dropped it into the magma cracks. The half-drags were Reduced and then dropped into the cracks as well.

A little searching and they found the studs to the lower levels. At this point, though, there was some confusion with the players. They had forgotten why they were here. A little more recounting later, they recalled the information of the Orb of Silvery Death. They decided to go back to the Outer Fane and fetch that. Lucky for them that Tychon was the only one who really was interested in protecting the Inner Fane.

They made their way back, cast Daylight to negate the Deeper Darkness, and performed the ritual. That went smoothly, and the Orb was still there for the taking. The Champion's equipment was not.

They rested for the night, and Xym, Lorien, Isvindel and Birgitte all went up to Level 12. Feat and stat bonuses. Xym took Blind-Fighting, Lorien took Iron Will (stat bonus Wis), Isvindel took Spring Attack, Birgitte took Chain Spell (TaB). The negative levels were removed.

As a side note, Chain Spell on Greater Magic Weapon is pretty brutal. 6th level spell, and Birgitte has given the entire party +4 weapons.

Next day, they went back and went up a bit and down a bit. On the up-slope, they met the Vrock (whom I played badly and barely had a chance to act). They began encountering the evil of the place (will saves). A couple missed their saves and were knocked out. Some Lesser Restorations helped that.

They went down to the sublevels now, with Xym leading the way. Each stud moved one person, and it took a round to recycle. Xym started talking with Yrthuk, explaining that they were sent to help him. Confused, but unable to win his Sense Motive, Yrthuk didn't attack right away.

The rest of the party came down, including Isvindel in Annis Hag form ("Daagra?", he asked). Still no battle, and Birgitte went over and surreptitiously freed Tamme. Eventually someone mentioned that Hedrack sent them, but he knew that Hedrack was dead. First action, Spike Stones, so he could move but not others.

He still didn't last long... Annis Hag Rends are to be feared. Soon the prisoners were freed. Birgitte shuffled Tamme and Jear off to the teleport buttons because she was afraid that Isvindel would kill them (Tamme said that Jear was her friend).

Slightly later, the prisoners were freed and were somewhat healed. Erdso and Festalon (Uncle Fester) weren't in great shape, especially Erdso. Birgitte dropped a Leomand's Secure Shelter for them to be at least somewhat protected until they could be escorted out.

In the meantime, Xym took some Tanbrush. He felt stronger and more hardy, but with less common sense. He played that up, and started moving down the sublevels one after the other. The rest followed, each a round later. He immediately pressed the down buttons (IMC only the 1st level panel was hidden).

At the 4th sublevel, he took Tychon's mace and smacked the bowl containing the Talisman. He avoided droplets of gunk, but got 2 negative levels when he picked it up from the residual stuff. Anarell created water to wash it off.

He continued down to the 5 sublevel, dropped to the cone bottom and was attacked by the Quasits. When Birgitte showed up (each showed up hanging on a hook), she cast Chain Lightning. They soon made their way to the studs as the Quasits began regenerating.

Next, they began going back up. Xym was leading the way, going up up up.

They ignored the Skeleton's voice on the 6th level. They went into the shrine on the 7th level and burned the tapestries (with the candle, but left the candle lit). Next, the 8th level. Xym and Tenaris saved vs the Symbol of Insanity. Not sure if it's correct, but I took the affected hp to include those who saved their spell.

They kept going to the 9th level, looking in but not leaving the stairs. By now, the real life party was getting tired of empty levels and having no idea what their goal really was. Do we smash the altar?

The Talisman of Pure Good was in Anarell's hands. She suddenly had a vision of Pelor who told her that this area was beyond the power of the party, but there were 2 Doomdreamers on the 8th level.

They still feared the Symbol, and sent Birgitte to cover it up with a cloak (she held the Orb). They opened the door to the Second's room (big water). Next, the Third's room, who had just finished with her toys. She barely lasted, being grappled by Isvindel the Hag. Everyone made their saves (Lorien on second try... actually she shouldn't have gotten a second try I guess, oh well).

Xym opened the door about a minute later to a fully buffed First. Initiatives. Urzin beat everyone and used his Boots of Haste to smack the First once. Failed SR on Birgitte's attempt. Saved on a Greater Arrow of Slaying from Lorien.

On his initiative, he cast Destruction on Urzin. Failed save, he was consumed in Unholy Fire, his equipment dropping down to the ground. He then went and scored 6 hits on Tenaris with his rod.

The rest of the party went, but couldn't do much. Anarell was at the very bottom of the order, and used the Talisman. A crack opened and he was sucked down ("Darn, I wanted his equipment" ;-) ).

Session just about over. More looting, etc. Discussion whether to try to go into the water room. 2:30 AM, so we ended there. It seems that they'll be going back to Verbobonc to attempt to get a True Resurrection on Urzin, probably using the map to get there. Anarell looks to be heading to the Contemplative prestige class (which was why I introduced visions of Pelor). But we'll find that all out next session, which I hope is in just a couple weeks.

A cup of coffee
(5/19/03 7:06 am)
Re: Blasted Yard, trashing the Inner Fane, Urzin has a Tough
Cracking stuff - very inspiring! Keep it up!


I'd rather be defenestrating Chaos Mages.

A song from the sixties
(6/1/03 5:02 am)
Re: Blasted Yard, trashing the Inner Fane, Urzin has a Tough
Another week, no session. No session next week either.

We did have a smaller session with an "alternate" campaign involving the players of Birgitte, Isvindel and Anarell. My intention was to get the characters to 6th level and start The Banewarrens. Unfortunately, Merridie (BBn), Eramis (future Weapon Master (falchion)) and Rivan (melee rogue, future thief-acrobat), all 3rd level characters, met their doom at the bite and claws of a ghast.

My first TPK, and very sad it was. Something about having 3 melee fighters and no arcane or divine support was a little problematic...

(6/15/03 6:16 am)
Back to the original Temple
So, when last we were here, the First had just been killed.

They decided to take another look at the 2nd's room. Birgitte cast a dispel magic on the door (27), so I ruled the force holding the water in was temporarily disrupted. The water came sluicing out for several rounds, leaving about a foot of water once the door reestablished itself. Isvindel wandered in and collected the Pearls.

Next, the party trudged down to the Tourbillion (collecting Erdso and Festalon along the way). The statue animated, and banged them a bit but didn't pose much of a problem. They adjusted the map to Verbobonc, and left.

Birgitte and Anarell got Urzin True Resurrected. Urzin told them that there was only one charge left on the Talisman of Pure Good. And the rest of the group went to sell the loot (which ended up being about 20k per character).

More fully equipped: Xym now has a keen shocking burst longsword, Anarell has acid on the other half of her weapon (plus a charisma boost, cloak of resistance upgrade), Birgitte got boots of flying, Urzin got a belt of flying (10% extra for custom location). Tenaris got SR15 mithril chain. Isvindel upgraded some stat gear. Urzin went up to 12th level, Anarell and Tenaris to 11th.

In the meantime, Xym was suffering from Tanbrush withdrawal. Tenaris found him catatonic and went to get the rest of the party. Eventually, Anarell tried to cast Heal, which worked.

Okay, some discussion about where to go. I thought I had dropped enough DM hints that the Old Temple was the place to go. But apparently not. Urzin put in his 2 cp and off to the Old Temple it was.

They searched around the Old Temple. It had been abandoned after they destroyed the Hobgoblin base several months back (no real purpose in restocking it, it wouldn't have been an interesting fight). After searching around a bit outside the compound, they found the tracks and made it to the old well.

Isvindel changed into a bat to scout things out. Saw the door, so the party all came down. Doo-dee-doo, they travelled along boring corridors until they got to the juicy bits.

They had seen the succubus, who went to warn the ogres. Not too many spells and smacks later, the ogres were all dead. They didn't find the secret doors to area 4.

The description to room 5 seems like it needs some errata. It doesn't really make sense. Regardless, they went up the stairs, and Xym saw a stone flying at him when he opened the door. They all charged after the giant. Next round the Elemental showed up near the spellcasters and whacked Birgitte. Next round it got hit pretty hard, so it melted back into the ground.

Next, they found their way to the ogre workers and hacked their way through them. The Elemental showed up again during that fight and smacked Tenaris. It didn't last through the next round, though. The hobgoblins were ruthlessly slaughtered. I forgot about Kella, so she wasn't even there. Not sure if I'll have her show up at all.

They found their way to the Giant lair. Oops, I had one too many giants show up. Dein made the fight a little more interesting, though, casting blasphemy and unholy aura. Urzin, surprisingly, decided to cast a Greater Command, which affected 3 of the giants. They were eventually all taken out without doing much serious damage to the party.

That was the end of the session. Shopping in Verbobonc took a fair amount of time. It'll be another few weeks before the next session.

(7/9/03 5:09 pm)
Re: Back to the original Temple
Well, I just thought I'd update this to make sure it didn't float into the great recycle bin in the sky.

We haven't played since the last update, nor does it look as though we will again until a weekend extravaganza on August 9. We're all going to be going to my mother-in-law's vacation house for the weekend. We may well finish the module over that weekend.

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