Monday, January 26, 2015

Session 16: 1/16/15

Your faithful chronicler has been a bit lax about posting updates. However, suffice it to say, things have been happening: at the present, the party, having discovered the nefarious plots of the cultists encountered in session 13, went on to disrupt their diabolical plans as much as possible. Unfortunately, in the session previous to this, the high priest, via an ancient secret ritual, transformed before their eyes into a salamander, which led to a hasty retreat to regroup.

Party: Curate Burkey (C:5), Polarion the Conjuror(M:3), Taylor (F:1), Durbin (F:2, hireling), Elf (E:1, hireling, I forget his name), Ogre(HD:2, lost 2 HD to a wraith)


A few days of healing and brainstorming were spent on coming up with a way to stop the bad guys from opening the portal to the Abyss.

Due to the threat to the village of Gorgoroth, the village notables were willing to throw in to help - Gar Draka, the sage: potions of fire resistance, Sister Ingrid of the Shrine of the Punishing Ox: promised healing and possible reincarnation for casualties, and Sheriff Arnax and Deputy Gygenson rounded up some volunteers to operate crossbows and provide covering fire for the party during their assault.

With their ranks filled out, the troop cautiously approached the hill where Trelleborg sits. As the neared the site, they could hear a dark and wild rite being performed. They spied on the proceedings undetected, their approach covered by the frantic drum beats and wailing. 

It was then that they caught glimpse of some of the cult's hired muscle hiding out in the entrance of the tower ruins watching the main event.To the party, this was a slap in the face.

The ruins of the tower are their ruins.

Rather than a frontal assault which would expose them to clerics of various levels and the salamander, they took the hidden side entrance to the 2nd level, worked their way up to the tower, and surprised the unsuspecting berserkers completely.

Polarion and the Elf worked their magic (literally) and one sleep spell and one charm spell later, the party prepared to attack the priests, with one charmed berzerker in their ranks (offered glory in battle to persuade him and also took his shield from him, convincing him of the need to gift it to another in the party. It is the first magic armor the party has found - a simple Shield + 3).

The crossbow-armed militia were sent to the roof of the tower, while the remainder moved back through the dungeon, out the hidden entrance and around to the front of the hill and charged. 

A hail of crossbow bolts rained down on the cultists and were incredibly effective. The battle was fierce and when it was over, the ogre and the charmed berzerker lay dead, along with all but one of the priests (who was held by a spell cast by Curate Burkey), lay dead. 

The salamander was destroyed and the portal closed.

A victory for the party, who headed into the dungeon to look for the cultist treasure, which they found after not too much searching. So much was found that they headed back to town with what they could carry, and returned for the rest later.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Session 13: 11/12/14

Party: Xero (T:5), Braggle (H:3), Taylor (F:1), Polarion the Conjuror(M:3), Curate Burkey(C:5), Durbin (F:2, hireling), Ogre(HD:2, lost 2 levels to a wraith, charmed), "Snow Ball"(white ape, charmed)

On their return to the land of the Nezumi (i.e. the 3rd level), the party lost a good many of their number. They were suspected of either having gotten lost in the tunnel on the way back, or to have gone off exploring the 3rd level, despite the agreement not to. In any case, their whereabouts are uncertain.

It was with much gut wrenching deliberation that Polarion opted to leave"Snow Ball" at the far end of the tunnel, rather than risk bringing his charmed white ape into the realm of his enemies.

When the party presented the heads of the white apes they had slain, along with some enormous centipede heads, The Shogun Empress Toyoshi was quite pleased, and with the blessings of her advisers, agreed to an alliance and trade agreement with the party.

One of the stipulations of the latter was that the party was to avoid interrupting the Nezumi trade with the other inhabitants of the complex, unless the party could offer an alternative supply. It was in this way that the party learned something of the variety of "nations"in the area, including the Three Sisters and troll lords, and heard of the Dark City, which some of the party suspected may be the famed golden-spired city of Frinnestad, which they had seen in several murals in the levels above.

The Nezumi also shared with the party some unusual statuary left by the dwarven builders, and a strange map of a room in the bottom of a fountain, which the ratfolk had never found in their search of the levels above.

A return to Gorgoroth allowed Taylor to level up to 2nd, and for that he breathed some relief, having survived harrowing excursions against undead and white apes aplenty but by the skin of his teeth.

On their way back to the dungeon for an attempt to clear out the white apes entirely from the 4th level, they noticed a thin column of smoke, as a campfire makes, coming from the woods near Trelleborg. This is not the first time they had experienced such a thing and so they approached cautiously but ready for a fight.

Sure enough, the brigands they stumbled upon were neither friendly nor welcoming when Curate Burkey played up his persistent low-level inebriation and the battle was joined, for a moment at least. Polarion's sleep spell and some unrequited violence done by the party made fast work of the villains. Those brigands not slain were bound and stacked in the buckboard they so obviously had stolen, like so many cords of wood, to be brought to town so that justice might be served.

A dead merchant was found in a tent, and there were signs of struggle and hints and clues that others had been lead away into the woods down a trail familiar to at least half of the party. This time, motivated by the possibility of saving innocents from cruelties unknown, they followed the trail to a large rock. Like a giant hide-a-key, it was revealed to be a cap for a  tunnel straight into the earth, or more technically, a chimney.

Too narrow for the Ogre, he was left to guard both the entrance and the prisoners, with an admonition not to eat them. 

Down the party went, lead by the diminutive Braggle and the dexterous Xero,  where they encountered two separate groups of black robed cultists led by men with skin as red as a tomato.  The cultists were no match for the well armed party, who slaughtered them in the kitchen and the adjoining space. 

An investigation of the kitchen lead to the discovery of a brilliantly shiny and sharp dagger with a pommel of the head of a snake buried in a pot of sludge. Runes inscribed on the blade were translated by Braggle to say "Snake Bite."

To their surprise, the next room the party entered was the very one depicted in the map shown them by the Nezumi. Although the map failed to mention the 24 skeleton guards.

After the last of the bone horde fell to a few hundred silver coins of holy water and burning oil, the party commenced exploration of the immense dwarven hall. On a raised platform at one end, before a roaring bonfire, they found a burned victim of sacrifice which increased concern for the safety of the hostages and the necessity of expediency.

From a chest  that was atop a dais in the middle of a wide pool, the party recovered much coin, a vial of a weak poison, and a dagger with the pommel and guard fashioned to resemble the head and tail of a fox making up its handle.

Unfortunately, having used up their spells, and suffered some injury from their encounters with the cultists and skeletons (some of that was self inflicted with rolls of "1" to hit), the party could not continue further, but instead, holed up in the kitchen for the night.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Session 12 : 10/17/14

Party: Braggle (H:3),  Xero (T:5),  Taylor (F:1), Polarion (M:3), the Ogre (charmed, down to 2 HD, thanks to level drain), Grinrut (D:1), Curate Burkey (C:5), Durbin (F:1, hireling), Jezebel (the mule)

The party, having picked up a new member, Grinrut the dwarf, in the traditional spirit of adventurer fellowship and unquestioned acceptance of total strangers, returned to the dungeon beneath the ruins of Trelleborg.

Upon reaching the third level, home to the Nezumi people (a term loosely applied here), they found two black metal goblin ashigaru and a large hairy goblin-ish type waiting for them. Xero wisely displayed the pass they had been given during their previous visit and the party was allowed to pass.

Immediately inside, a celebration of sorts took place as the Nezumi welcomed the party in a way typically reserved for diplomatic envoys - paper lanterns, music, dancing, drinking.  

After the celebration the party was led by a young samurai Nezumi and an escort of goblins and bugbear to the entrance to white ape country.

For the first time, they found themselves in caverns and caves, rather than paved and finished corridors and rooms. A pale blue glow, produced by an abundant fungus lit the walls, floor and ceiling. 

The Curate gave the fungus a bit of a taste and experienced only minor hallucinations.

Proceeding left (this time determined by a die roll), they entered into a cavern with faint writing on the walls, and a niche, some 15' up the caver wall, which Braggle and Xero explored (and which Grinrut tried to climb to and fell, but was caught by the Curate) and which appeared to be a lair of some sort.

They would meet the resident of said lair a moment later, when, in the adjacent cavern, a sudden shriek was followed by a brutal attack from a bipedal feline with midnight blue fur and yellow eyes.

The caterwaul (see Fiend Folio) was vicious and strong, and things looked rather bleak for the party, and bleaker still for Taylor, who knocked on death's door. Fortunately, fate turned the tide in their direction and the hellish beast was slain.

In no condition to continue they retreated to the land of the Nezumi, where they received, and were confined to, accommodations and spent the next two days resting for their return visit to the land of the apes.

On return, they found a well groomed fungal garden, with tools scattered as if dropped in a hurry. A short time later, they found two cave bears feasting on the remains of a large human-ish creature, which explained why the tools were abandoned in haste. The bears weren't interested in the party other than to growl in warning and pull their meal closer to themselves. Since the party wasn't in the mood to go at it with 2 large ursine, they carefully passed by, keeping a safe distance.

In the next cavern, they came upon three white fury riders mounted atop enormous centipedes (around 15' long, 3' wide) shouting and grunting at a small band of cowering Neanderthals.
A hail of arrows and sling stones gravely wounded one of the riders and the white ape riders turned to face their assailants. As luck would have it, Polarion managed to charm one of them, and added to his odd menagerie. 

Chaos would ensue:

  • The ogre had to be restrained from attacking the Neanderthals
  • Polarion really wanted to feed one of the Neanderthals to his ogre. Curate Burkey was decidedly against this.
  • The ogre feasted on white ape instead.
  • The party rounded up the centipede mounts and took them and the Neanderthals back to the garden
  • Lacking any means of communication, Curate Burkey attempted to sign to the Neanderthals to farm and feed the centipedes, which amazingly they understood and were wiling to do.
  • Ape reinforcements arrived and were cut down - and the difficulty of communicating with Polarion's charmed white ape became quite apparent.
  • The party explored a cavern with a large fungal forest (The Fungal Jungle), wherein they were attacked by giant grey worms. One was killed and the other badly injured, but not before swallowing Jezebel whole (and then spitting her out from some height).
  • Runes were cast (I'm not sure if that was in character or out of character)
  • Desperate for some kind of treasure, the party cut open the worm hoping to find some coins or gems in its guts.
  • Grinrut decided to start a fire and make worm kabobs which drew the attention of the tuatara in the jungle.
  • While the rest of the party went to take down the tuatara for eating, Polarion and Grinrut sat around enjoying kabobs.
  • At some point THREE more party members arrived, making them a small army.
  • The party drove the tuatara right back at Grinrut and Polarion. Fortunately for them, the lizards ran towards the garden and the Neanderthals.
  • Some of the Neanderthals cowered in fear (a recurring theme) while others scattered.
  • Polarion redeemed himself by casting an illusion of a wall of fire to drive the tuatara back toward the party and several of the lizards were cut down.
  • Some eight white ape cavalry attempted to ride down the party, but Polarion noted they could retreat down the 5' wide passage and limit the apes to riding single file. 
  • This eventually led to the ape slaughter, although one was allowed to escape, presumably to report back to their friends that they don't want to mess with the party.

Victorious, the party turned to head back to the Nezumi, leaving behind several Neanderthals and some roped together enormous centipedes.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Session 11: 10/8/14

Party: Brother Burkey (C:5), Durbin (F:1, hireling), Jezebel(the mule), Braggle (H:3), Xero (T:5)


With Theonod (NM:0, tanner) left in town to begin selling the party's excess (mostly weapons and armor taken from fallen comrades) out of his tanning workshop, and word being spread about the party's new Adventurer's Guild to bring in some new blood hireling wise, the group set off for Trelleborg.

After sweeping the first and 2nd levels beneath the tower, they used their rope of climbing to descend the elevator shaft to the 3rd level, rather than take the stairs. 

Braggle and Xero climbed down, one after the other. Almost as soon as they reached the bottom (the elevator platform itself) arrows launched out of the darkness. There was some confusion as they didn't know where the shots were coming from and indeed, they assumed it was from an area beyond the portcullis to their front. 

Durbin, not knowing what was going on below, climbed down, only to be pretty badly shot up. 

Although Xero and Braggle found the arrow slits and attempted to use Molotov cocktails to attack whoever was on the other side, things weren't going well for the party. They beat a hasty retreat up after realizing the lever in the middle of the floor was the elevator control. 

Brother Burkey cast some healing spells and the party rethought their approach and took the stairs. 

The first thing of note on the third level, now that they weren't under attack, was that the walls were white washed.

Making their way through the dungeon, heading left as always, they stopped and listened at doors, and then used wooden wedges to, if not fully stop the doors, at least give them a heads up that something had entered or left the room.

At one such door, while the rammed the wooden wedges into the space between frame or floor and door, the door opened suddenly.
Before them, in safron and white robes, stood a 5' 6" bipedal brown rat with grey whiskers. He was not at all surprised to see humans before him, and after a brief exchange, Daishi escorted the party to meet the shogun of the Nezumi, her Ladyship Toyoshi and her advisers.
Toyoshi, more suspicious than the monk, was unconvinced of the party's good intentions, but she was impressed with how they had slaughtered her goblin ashigaru, and agreed to allow the party to prove themselves to be friendly by conducting a raid on their enemies, the white apes. The party, sensing an opportunity to gain a potential ally in the dungeon (especially helpful as they plan to rehab Trelleborg and make it their base), happily agreed, but needed to return to town for some final preparation.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Session 10: 9/26/14

Polarion the Seer (M:3), Brother Burkey (C:4), Tailor (F:1), Braggle (H:3), Xero(T:4), Ogre(Charmed), Durbin (F:1, Hireling), Jezebel (the mule)

Having rested an healed for a few days, the party prepared to re-enter the depths of Trelleborg. 

Prior to doing so, Xero spent a little time and a little coin at the Mournful Phoenix, where he managed to hire, Theonod (Normal Human : 0), the somewhat down on his luck tanner, for his appraisal abilities. Basically, if the party kills something, Xero wants Theonod to tell them if he can make its hide into armor before they go through the trouble of hauling it out of the dungeon.

After a quick check of the tower and first level, the party made their way to the last crypt they explored.

Highlights  (possibly not in order):

Seeing one of the crypts filled with a fungal garden, the party assumed the worst, threw oil into it, ignited it and waited. To perhaps no one's surprise, a dwarf-sized creature completely aflame stumbled out of the room, and was easily brought down from a distance. The burned out room yielded a little treasure.

In another niche, the party encountered a ghostly apparition of a human looking for something. He wore the livery of Hedeby. He seemed to have some quest for them and the party left him for a minute to finish their mapping of the perimeter.

Listening to a door, they heard crunching and munching sounds, so using swat team tactics, Polarion ordered the ogre to open a door and then Brother Burkey hurled his Headlamp of Continual Light into the space beyond. Nothing was there, in fact it was further down the hall. It being a pack of ghouls who upon seeing the party tried to attack them. Brother Burkey turned three of the five. 

The two that remained did quite a number on the party including paralyzing the ogre and Brother Burkey, which allowed the other three to approach. Things looked bleak and hearts pounded as the battle raged and Theonod with Jezebel started the fall back. When the last ghoul was destroyed, the party retreated behind the safety of the door.

They returned to the ghost, found his remains beneath the floor and promised to return his body to town for a proper burial.

Two dwarven mummies proved a bit of a problem, but yielded a nice little treasure, including some potions.

This necessitated a return to town, as the mummy's disease had made magical healing impossible for Tailor, who was more or less unconscious and for the badly wounded ogre.

Brother Burke negotiated with Sister Ingrid for the cure (at a rate double she would charge others, given his 4 charisma)- pretending that the ogre was made to look that way by the very disease for which he needed the cure. Healed, they returned.

The party discovered a second way into and out of the dungeon.

A secret door led to a small passage through which Braggle and Xero crawled to find a room scribbled with an unknown language that told something of a history of the dungeon.References to "the thing below" stood out.

A chatty skull in another room annoyed the players enough to bag it up and leave him in there.

They found a tomb containing two lifelike iron statues, who of course turned out to be animated, but not until the mummy in the sarcophagus stood and attacked the party. Another nail biter of a battle, but the party came out victorious and treasure laden.

They returned to town in need of more disease curing so that the magical healing could be used, and set about converting their treasure to coin with the traveling merchants who stop in Gorgoroth.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Session 9 : 8/15/14

Polarion the Seer (M:2), Brother Burkey (C:4), Batok (MU:1), Braggle (H:3), Xero(T:4), Zrax (F:2), Thoul (Charmed), Durin (F:1, Hireling)


Having enjoyed the accolades of the people of Hedeby, the party set out on foot for Gorgoroth and the dungeon beneath Trelleborg.

The first night, they spied a campfire in the distance and, sensing potential danger, set up a watch schedule. Braggle drew the lucky straw and consequently was the first to hear the crashing through the brush. A giant of a humanoid of hideous proportion, one might say ogre-ish, attacked the halfling as a 2nd swept around the flank of the party.

Battle ensued, with a naked Zrax swinging his sword. (read that how you may) and Braggle, irked at having been attacked, going toe-to-toe with the brute, perhaps far longer than a halfling ought. After the 1st was killed, somehow, and I don't recall the details, the second ogre was forced to surrender. They bound him as a prisoner and Polarion began the first of many many many attempts to charm him into his service. 

You'd think with a charmed thoul he'd be happy, but apparently he has grander schemes.

Upon reaching the small village of Skalafell (for readers of my other blog, yes it's the same Skalafell, but an alternate timeline), and receiving a concerned welcome (a disguised thoul and a bound ogre don't exactly merit red carpets) the party learned of a cave not far from the village, rumored to contain the treasure of a long dead wizard. Long avoided by the townsfolk, our band of heroic merrymakers could not resist the allure of promised wealth.

Leaving the ogre tied up outside, the party moved rapidly through the small complex - decimating a band of satanic black dwarves and destroying a massive cephalopod wraith. The wraith dropped the thoul's level not once but twice!

 A pack of ghouls attempted to take advantage of the otherwise engaged party, but Zrax was there to meet them. Once the wraith was dispensed, the ghouls were easily dispatched.

In an otherwise plain room, sat a bowling ball-sized star saphire. Convinced that it might be magical, Xero used a sack to pull the large gem stone from the small pillar upon which it sat.

Now, you're probably thinking, "Wait! Check for traps!" but alas, you are too late.

The moment the huge stone left the pillar it began to slide down into the ground and the whole place shook and started to collapse. A mad dash began as the party raced for the exit - the Thoul, Xero and Batok were struck down, Batok and the thoul never to rise again.

After some farewells to their lost comrade, the party turned northward again and made the trip to Gorgoroth without additional attempts to earn extra gold: the price was too high. The crowning achievement of the remainder of the trip was Polarion's success at charming the ogre. Finally.

In Gorgoroth they met a new friend, a magic-user I believe, but his name escapes me. After gearing up, they proceeded into the dungeon where they pretty much rolled over everything in their path and made further progress on the 2nd level.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Session 8 : 8/1/14

The Party: Braggle (H:3), Xero (Th:4), Dac'Ti Nooge (E:2)


Xero poked around town trying to find someone who could take them to Hedeby by boat. As fortune had it, Cuccio, "Captain" of the riverboat Jaded Seamstress, was headed down river in 5 days time with a full load of timber for the ship yards of Hedeby. Prices were discussed, and Xero rather generously offered several gold for the assistance.

After five days, and unable to convince the rest of the the party to travel by river, Xero, Braggle and newcomer, Dac'Ti Nooge, boarded the Jaded Seamstress, along with Captain Cuccio, his first mate Gonzo, and 8 rowers, for a 3-4 day journey. In his bag, Xero kept the famed standard of the last garrison of the fort at Trelleborg.

The trip started out uneventful, but early one morning, a swarm of 3' long mosquitoes attacked the party and crew. The little buggers were viscious and tough and were only driven off after half of their number were killed, along with two of the crew, while another crewman, Braggle, and Dac'Ti  were severely wounded.

Cuccio was beside himself and begged his generous passengers to permit him to land and take the wounded to a temple for assistance. The party could see no reason not to, and so the boat anchored not far from Fort Hael, and the village of Hael's Shadow.

In Hael's shadow, Xero and Braggle made a generous donation to the shrine of the Iron Tiger there to procure healing for all parties in need. After a night in the inn, they returned to their trip but bad weather overnight had turned the water choppy. Poor Xero and Dac'Ti spent much of the morning hurling breakfast into the river.

During one such expulsion, Dac'Ti noticed a large dark shape beneath the surface of the river and, seeing nothing wrong with this plan, poked it with his 10' pole.  In doing so, he succeeded in angering a very large crocodile. 

The creature thrashed and crashed into the ship, and finally managed to gain a foot hold, all the while Dac'Ti slammed his dagger into it's head. It was of little use though, despite assistance from Xero, Braggle and the captain. The great beast grabbed hold of Dac'Ti in its powerful crushing jaws and descended into the murky river with the body. All that remained to be seen of Dac'Ti were the blood clouds that billowed up from below like peones on the water's surface.

The remainder of the trip was unexceptional and the party arrived finally at the docks of Hedeby. After turning in their weapons with the Ministry of Safety, they entered the city and set off straight away to Castle Hedeby at the city's center, to meet with the Jarl. Penn Dixon, one of the rowers from the Jaded Seamstress tagged along for giggles.

Of course, one does not simply walk into Castle Hedeby and the usual confrontation with the guards came to pass. 

Xero however, in great dramatic fashion, unfurled the lost standard and demanded entrance. Their request was granted but only conditionally - the standard would have to be examined by their expert.

Sure enough, it was the real deal and with that news came great celebration.

No. Seriously. A HUGE celebration.