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Sunday, 6th July, 2003, 09:46 PM #1
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
The Furious Fated - The World of Low'verok (Updated 10-26-03)
Ok, I recently became a DM, as detailed in this thread. It was suggested that I start posting a story hour, so here it is!
Our cast of characters:
Rianna - the female halfling rogue
Annabell - the female gnome sorcerer with her orange tabby cat familiar, Spunky.
Jon - the human fighter
Jon was played by my D&D veteran boyfriend, while Rianna and Annabell were played by my D&D newbie roommates (Annabell's player saw what we were doing and wanted to play too, ).
The party started out outside the town of Deepwater (so named for the Deepwater River that is about a day's march to the south. The river isn't used for trade because it is swift, rocky, and in a 100 ft. deep gorge.). It's a trading town, exporting semi-precious gems, wool and linen cloth, and wood, and importing food. However, the trade recently has dried up. The last ten caravans have been attacked, at night, by swift raiders shooting poisoned arrows. Sometimes up to half the guards are slain, and the wagons (with horses attached) are driven off. The surviving guards want nothing to do with such vicious raids, and have been charging such a premium for their services that most merchants can no longer afford them. Since unguarded caravans never leave Deepwater, trade has slowed to a trickle.
A very few caravans have made it through to the neighboring town of Redhaven, but they have been so heavily guarded that the raiders didn't even bother attacking them. The trail between Deepwater and Redhaven is hemmed on both sides by thick forest, so the raiders could be hiding anywhere. Attempts to find the trail of the stolen wagons have come to naught. Also the raids have been coming closer and closer to Deepwater.
To top it off, the town had recently gotten a potential new source of income. Master Alchemist Keylaran settled here because of superior ingredients that could be found in the woods. Her alchemical products were in demand because of a war brewing to the north.
In an attempt to stop the raids, the town paid a group of adventurers to get rid of the bandits. They claimed they had, showed a few arrows of raider make for proof, and claimed the reward. The next caravan that went out, full of Keylaran's alchemical products, was raided.
The town's trade has virtually dried up, and food is starting to become scarce. Enter the PCs. The only thing they knew of Deepwater was that it did launched a lot of caravans and guards were always in demand.
As they entered Deepwater, they saw three roads, one straight ahead, and two to either side. Rianna suggested going to one of the side roads to look for an inn, as the ones on the main drag were always expensive. She paid a small urchin to lead her to the Empty Barrel. Thrak, the half-orc innkeeper greeted them.
They sought a room for the night, and Thrak asked them if they had come to claim the reward, being they looked like adventurers and all. He explained what was going on, that there had been raids and trade was bad. The caravan master, one Teggis Tosscobble, was offering a reward for anyone who could stop the raids. The party thanked him, and purchased food and rooms for the night.
The next morning they went to the main square, and sought out the caravan master. Teggis Tosscobble explained further about the raids, about how they were lightning fast and caused devistating casualties. A 500gp reward would be theirs if they could stop the raids and offer proof. Bringing back Keylaran's alchemical products or any of the other stolen goods would be proof, as would showing him the bandits lair. The party questioned him and learned that the stolen alchemical supplies (stolen almost a month past) had not been sold in Redhaven.
The party asked for further information about the raids. Tosscobble pointed them toward the Two Swords inn, where one of the surviving guards was staying. He also suggested they visit Keylaran to get some antitoxin, as the raiders used poisoned arrows.
The party visited the Two Swords, and after being shocked at the prices (it was a rather expensive inn), spoke to a half-orc guard called Regis. He mentioned the raiders were small, mounted, and came from the general direction of the river. The party thanked him, and went to visit Keylaran.
The master alchemist was in a bad mood, and nearly gave Jon a black eye when she threw open the door in his face. They explained their mission and she calmed down somewhat. She offered antitoxin to them cheaply, and told them how to use it. If they could recover her goods, she would sell them future products at a discount. With a scolding that they were burning daylight, she shooed them out the door.
After offering a prayer at the shrine to Fharlahgn, they left the city, intending on searching for clues at the closest, and most recent attack site. Almost halfway there, they passed under a next of hungry bloodhawks, that attacked them. Rianna was able to put an arrow in one, but it kept coming. Jon and Annabelle missed their shots (Annabelle had a crossbow), and another arrow from across the road also missed. The bloodhawk tore at Rianna's throat, causing a great wound. Jon's next arrow took the second bloodhawk down, and Rianna's second brought down the first.
The unexpected arrow came from a half-elven priestess of Fharlaghn, who called herself Jenna Seben. She felt she was responsible for the safety of the road, and had been looking for a trustworthy group to join to aid in this quest. She tended to Rianna's wound, and the party (after a brief discussion) agreed to let her come along. They camped for the night, and reached the attack site the next morning.
The tracks from the stolen wagon were fairly obvious to Jenna, who was experienced in woodcraft. They followed the tracks most of the morning, only having one surprise encounter with a giant tick that though Jon might make a good meal. They reached a cave, finding splinters of wood, and parts of broken boards. The party deduced that the wagons had been destroyed here. They also noticed some partially buried large bones, like horse bones, at the base of a large vine.
They decided to go in the cave, and were surprised when the assassin vine started moving. It grazed Rianna, and Jon charged it. Annabelle and Jenna peppered it with arrows, while Jon chopped at it, getting severely hurt for his troubles. Annabelle took the final shot that killed it. They found a potion (of expedious retreat) and a mighty (+1) composite longbow (remains of former adventurers and caravan guards).
They entered the cave, a very dark and wet place, and went in the leftmost passage. Rianna explored a hole in the wall (one of two on either side) and was surprised by a pair of cave morays. The slimy creatures got a few good bites in on Rianna and Jon before they were slain. A few bits of gold were recovered from their holes (remains of unlucky kobolds).
Jenna noticed a slimy trail, which the party decided to follow. Entering the next cavern, they surprised a family of centipedes, which were quickly dispatched, but not before trying to gnaw on Rianna. The party continued on following the slime trail.
In the next cavern, they found the author of the slime trail. It was a large flail snail, moseying its way toward a slime pit in the corner. As the thing was enormous, the party gave it a wide berth, and it ignored them. The found a secret door at the far end of the room.
It opened into a man-made corridor. Rianna successfully searched for traps and avoided a pit trap with a gelatinous cube at the bottom. As they entered the next room, a huge natural cavern, Annabelle heard the sound of running water and voices talking in Draconic, "Hurry up, load faster, hey, where's that light?" Then they heard a squeaking and scuffling and a spear nearly hit Jon as it was thrown out of the darkness. The loan kobold was quickly dispatched by an arrow from Jon, but they could hear that a boat was being rowed away. The entire party charged across the cavern to catch them, and Jon, Annabelle, and Jenna were all hit by piercers on the way there. Jon ripped the piercer out of his body and chucked it at the rowing kobolds, but missed terribly. Rianna fired an arrow, and dropped one kobold. Annebelle tried a ray of frost, but missed, and Jenna killed one with an arrow. The other two kobolds, terrified, jumped out of the boat and tried to swim, but were shot by Annabelle and Jon.
The boat started drifting across the lake, and Jenna noticed there was an underground river on the other side. Jon shucked his armor and dove in to get the boat. After nearly being swept away by the current, he manage to get to the boat and row back to shore. The boxes in the boat contained cloth and gems from Deepwater. The kobolds also carried poison and poisoned arrows, so the party was sure they were the raiders.
A bit of searching around uncovered another secret door, which led to the kobold barracks. The sleeping kobolds presented no challenge, and the party mopped the floor with them. A bit further up the passage, they found the mess hall, and slew the kobold cook. In the armory, across the hall, was one old kobold polishing weapons. Jon demanded his surrender, and he complied. He told them what little he knew, that the kobolds were raiding, and that their chief, Kaazzk, was getting paid. They knocked the old kobold out, tied him and and put him in a kitchen cupboard.
The next room down proved to be a kennel full of riding dogs, along with their tack. The stablemaster was taken by surprise and quickly slain. In one of the stalls, the party found one surprised and very greatful flumph named Gorf. (So sue me, I like flumphs!) He insisted he was a "great and powerful wizard" if he could just get his wand back, and that the kobolds had imprisoned him some time ago. The party agreed he could follow them.
The final room in the hallway was a heavy stone door. Upon opening it, they found a very hot room with a very hot pool of water in it. A magmin sat on the edge of the pool. He asked if they had come to play, and held up a flaming ball. The party didn't want to play, and tried to leave, but Gorf had spotted his wand near the edge of the room. The magmin tried to play catch with the party, but his fiery projectiles missed. The party agreed to leave the door open, and the magmin wandered away to find some "fun."
Upon a quick search of the end of the hall, the party found a badly-hidden secret door. They found two doors, and opened the first. It was a lit corridor (the rest of the complex had been dark), which made them suspcious. Rianna searched and found there was a fiery trap (stepping on a pressure plate caused oil to spray through the torches, it's from Traps and Treachery). They avoided the trapped plates and pressed on.
Rianna opened the lock on the door at the end of the hallway. Inside, the room was full of boxes, most of them bearing the symbol of either Deepwater or Keylaran. However, one box was both magical and unmarked. However, it was guarded by an iron cobra. Jon and Rianna both managed to hit it, but Annabelle was the one that slew it. The chest, unfortunely was trapped, and Rianna got shocked opening it. It was full of gold and silver, as well as a few art objects, and an arcane scroll. On a shelf above the chest were a few gems, unfortunetly guarded by an executioner's hood. It had Annabelle's head all wrapped up for a time, but eventually it was slain.
In the final room, they met Kaazzk, along with his liutenents, Kish and Rot, and Kaazzk's mount Lok. A fierce battle ensued. Annabelle tried to hypnotise Lok, but it was to no avail. Rianna, Jon, and Jenna all managed to hit Kaazzk, while Kaazzk hit Jon, poisoning him. Jon's next blow took the kobold chieften through the heart, and Jenna's arrow slew Lok. Kish and Rot surrendered in fear.
The party found a good sword, some poison, and some platinum on Kaazzk's body. In his desk the found a letter of orders. In it it mentioned someone called Kenshar coming to oversee the next shipment, and someone called J'jon initiating the next phase. It was signed Kish-mar Redclaw. Jenna recognized the name J'jon of being a wizard from Redhaven, and Gorf recognized the name of Kish-mar as being a draconic name.
The party returned to Deepwater with proof, and was able to claim their rewards.
The session overall went really well. The players had a good time. Rianna's player even had a character background (a classic); her family was killed by goblins. She decided she had met up with Annabelle with the sorcerer had rescued her with her magic. The had met up with Jon at a tavern, and they all have the common goal of gold and glory!
The party did pretty well. They had several tough fights. The assassin vine in particular was nasty, but aside from Jon, the party decided to plink at it from a distance rather than get within range. The executioner's hood could have been nasty, and it might have dropped Annabelle given another round, but Jon got an excellent grapple (and I rolled poor for the hood). The fight with Kaazzk was also good. They concentrated most of their firepower on the leader, so when he dropped, the other kobolds surrendered.
A couple of times during the night it got really funny. When they captured the kobold weaponsmaster, Jon asked him how many kobolds there were. "A clan," he replied. "How many are in a clan?" Jon demanded. "A clan is a clan!" the kobold insisted, shaking in his boots. Before Jon could spit the guy out of pique, Jenna broke in with, "I don't think kobolds can count." Hiliarity ensued. They tried to get him to name every person in the clan, but had to stop when he began babble and repeating himself. They also couldn't keep a straight face throughout the recitation. ("Kish, Rot, Mik, Tog, Hik, Ep, Wik, Bip, Not...")
The magmin was also a fun. When they asked it about how long it had been there, it said it had tried to play catch with the kobolds, and "they couldn't catch very well" so they locked the magmin in the room. Hee hee!
Having Gorf the Flumph in there was just pure whimsy on my part. I love flumphs. And he really is a wizard, though not as mighty as he claims.
The party was able to secure a good chunk of cash from the unmarked chest for themselves (it was Kaazzk's pay), as well as the reward, the discount of alchemical items, the riding dogs, and the gratitude of the town.
The party has a lot of options on what they can do next. Will they explore the underground river? Search for more information on Kenshar and Kish-mar Redclaw? Go to Redhaven and speak to J'jon? We'll see!
Last edited by Ray Silver; Monday, 27th October, 2003 at 04:46 AM.
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Sunday, 6th July, 2003, 10:02 PM #2
Defender (Lvl 8)
Saturday, 12th July, 2003, 07:43 PM #3
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
Hail and well met! It's been three weeks since our intrepid band of heroes defeated the kobold raiders, and now our story resumes. Our cast of characters remains the same:
Annabelle: female gnome Sor2 with orange tabby cat familiar
Rianna: female halfling Rog2
Jon: male human Ftr2
Jenna Seben: female human cleric of Fharlanghn2
Gorf: male flumph Wiz1
(Jenna and Gorf are still NPCs)
The party had just finished defeating the kobolds, and decided to take as much of the stolen goods back to the town of Deepwater as possible. By a bit of creative work with blankets, ropes, and the five riding dogs they found, they got at least all of Keylaran's alchemy products back to Deepwater (in addition to their three kobold captives). They went directly to Teggis Tosscobble, the halfling Caravan Master, who was overjoyed at their return with both the goods and the captives. He was very annoyed that the raiders were kobolds, and remained quite mad at the caravan guards that had refused to guard further in the face of the raiders. He then proceeded to curse out the captive kobolds in three different languages, then tell the PCs to take them to the City Watch jail, with the mention that the mayor may want to see them to thank them. He also gives them their 500gp reward.
The PCs took the kobolds to jail, and then proceeded on to the house of Master Alchemist Keylaran. She threw open the door in their face (which was aptly dodged), but was happy to see the party. She was even happier when they had her products. She then let them pick out 500gp worth (in total) of alchemical products as a reward, and they only had to pay half-price. The party selected their items (Jon chose truth wine from Dragon #280 as part of his), and in the interim, asked her about the vials of poison and an unidentified potion. She identified the poison, and took it off their hands. The potion she identified as a potion of expeditious retreat. They also asked her about the names of Kish-mar Redclaw and J'jon.
Kish-mar rung no bells, though she thought it sounded draconic or origin. She did think of someone who might be able to help them. She knew a dwarf named Tegren Fireaxe, who was a trader that worked in a town called Quiet Dawn (just outside of the major trade city of Albon). Tegren heard a lot of things, and he might know something about Kish-mar. Also she mentioned that if they ever found a red-haired halfling with one blue eye and one green, that they could give him her name, and he might talk to them about... things. However, about J'jon she knew a lot.
J'jon is a Negatai necromancer, and an all around powerful wizard. He's also a powerful member of the Mage's Guild and somewhat feared. (Necromancy is not illegal in Low'verok, though most folk view it as creepy. Bodies of executed lawbreakers are given to necromancers so they can animate them for public service. They typically do things that would be hazardous to live folk, like cleaning out sewers. Some are also used as household servants). Keylaran isn't sure why his name is attached to the raids, but warns the party to tread carefully around him.
During this time Teggis Tosscobble comes to tell the party that the mayor will see them as soon as they're ready. Keylaran takes them to the building in the center of town, which is decorated with woodland scenes (carvings) of trees, animals, elves and humans, etc. She takes them to a meeting room with a large round table. The back wall has a huge tapestry of Low'verok on it. Across from the door is an elaborately and expensively dressed beautiful elven female. She's quite overdressed compared to the rest of the people in the room. She greets them with overly eloquent words and melodramatic gestures. I give the party the hint that she kind of seems... overbred. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge ("it's a bad idea when cousins marry in the royal family...")
She introduced herself as Yasmira D'hansi, the leader of the town. The other members of the council were Teggis Tosscobble (Caravan Master of the Traders Guild), Liam Greenleaf (male elf proprietor of the Two Swords Inn, the finest in town), Quinton Stonefist (older male dwarf, Master Miner of the Miner's Guild), Ursela Welfast (elderly female human Master Weaver of the Weaver's Guild), Haldora Pinscott (middle-aged female human Master Jeweler of the Jeweler's Guild), Winso Blagorn Opnorbit (male gnome priest of Pelor), Kit Walker (older male human priest of Fharlanghn), and Keylaran Fairweather (Master Alchemist of the Brotherhood of Alchemy).
Through careful questioning, the council learns of the kobolds, the underground river, Kenshar and J'jon. Also the party agrees to lead a group of the remaining caravan guards to the kobold caverns to get the rest of the goods. The council is dismissed, and Jon stops Haldora Pinscott and asks her if she can take a look at some treasure they had gotten and appraise it for them. She agrees to do it in the morning. The party spends the night at the Two Swords Inn, having excellent wine, food, beds, and baths.
Jon goes in the morning and has Haldora appraise several gems, a silver hand with ivory fingernails (an elaborate fake hand), a silver inkpot with moonstones, and an ivory scroll case. She identifies it all, and the party pays her for her trouble. Then the party goes to Teggis' store, where he has assembled a dozen former caravan guards, as well as a donkey and a fruit cart (the only pack animal and cart in town, as most were destroyed by the raiders). Teggis put the party in charge, claiming he'd be checking the chests against the manifest and he didn't want to see any "misplaced" stones or other such nonsense. He also had a few choice words for the guards as they had been frightened of kobolds.
The party had an uneventful trip to the kobold caverns, though they noticed the flail snail was still in the large cavern, happily playing in a pool of slime. The party helped load the cart (and backs of the guards) with the chests, as well as taking the unmarked chest for their own ("finders-keepers" as Teggis had told them). They also took the body of the iron cobra, as Annabelle thought that it might be worth something to a wizard. They went back to Deepwater, and had a note waiting for them at the Two Swords Inn from Ursela Welfast (the master weaver).
The party went there, and was slightly surprised to see both Ursela and Quinton Stonefist (the master miner). They had a joint proposition for the party. Since they were both masters in their guild, they had been entrusted with the percentages of profits due to their respective Guild headquarters in Albon, collected from the entirety of eastern Low'verok. However, the 'tithes' were usually in the form of coin, gems, or occasionally other things like magical items. For some reason, this year both guilds had sent the tithes in song pearls. They had gotten the pearls just after the raids started, and hadn't wanted to send them until they were absolutely certain that they would be safe.
Ursela and Quinton wanted the party to take the song pearls to Redhaven, and then from there to Albon. The party agreed to do this, and both masters were much obliged. They also stopped off to talk to Teggis Tosscobble again to see how he was doing. He said he had about a third of the goods here, which was more than he had expected. He also mentioned that since the party was going to Redhaven, they might as well get registered at the Adventurer's Guild. He'd happily give them a recommendation, as would Keylaran and Yasmira (the mayor). The party was much pleased by this.
Before they went back to the inn, they stopped off at Keylaran's and let her examine the body of the iron cobra. After careful inspection, she said it was worth a lot intact, but less so disabled as it was. However, she would still pay them a pretty penny for it. She offered to pay them in magic items instead of gold. They were able to get a pair of magical bracer decorated with crossed arms in white and red enamel, and two magical amulets, one made from a bronze dragon scale, and one made from a blue dragon scale. (game mechanics, bracers of armor +1, amulets of natural armor +1)
The party then set out to travel to Redhaven the next morning, with the song pearls, the extra riding dogs (to sell them, there was no market for them in Deepwater), as well as the letter they had picked off of Kaazzk. The first two days were uneventful, but just as dusk crawled up on the third day, they were attacked by a hungry mandragora (mobile, tiny, flesh-eating, slimy plant). None of the party noticed it until it ran up and tried to claw Jon's legs off. Gorf cast burning hands at it, but since it was covered with sticky sap, it wasn't hurt. Rianna threw a dagger at it, and Jon cut it in half. He determined that the sap could be sold, probably to an alchemist, and took the time to force it into a waterskin.
That evening, the party reached the city of Redhaven. The guards asked them if they had been attacked by the "little plant men." When the party said yes, the guards replied "the mandragora tree was spawning, hope it didn't hurt you." Jon asked if they could put up signs or something. The guards said the local druids had just told them today, and they hadn't had time to put up the usual warning signs. Regardless, the party got directions to the Miner and Weaver guildhalls, and the name of a good inn, the Roaring Lion.
The party went to the center of town, where there were several guilds, Miner, Tanner, Weaver, Jeweler, Mage, Adventurer, Gravecrawler (morticians), and the Brotherhood of Alchemy. They went to both the Miner and Weaver's guild and gave them the song pearls. Both were quite happy to hear that trade was now open again for Deepwater, though both were annoyed to discover the culprits were kobolds. But both were also willing to let the party take the song pearls to Albon, as they trusted Ursela and Quinton's judgment. They were both happy to hear that the party was registering at the Adventurer's Guild, and told the party to bring back a contract tomorrow so they could make the transaction all official. Both Guildmasters said they would keep the song pearls in the guild vaults until the party was ready to leave for Albon.
The party asked both if they new anything about Kish-mar Redclaw or J'jon. The master weaver knew nothing about Kish-mar, but warned them that J'jon was not to be crossed. However, the master miner was also a dwarf, and he said he recalled the name of Kish-mar as the apparent author of some "trouble" (raids and whatnot), northeast of Albon. He also warned them against J'jon.
The party then went to the Adventurer's Guild, which was wildly decorated in the skulls, bone, and body parts of various fantastical beasts, as well as drawings of heroic scenes and beautiful tapestries. The person behind the counter was a woman with deep red skin and flame-colored hair, whom Annabelle recognized as a fire genasi. She greeted them heartily, and had them fill out several forms, including their names, places of origin, last adventure, party name and symbol (they decided on a ring with five gems for the symbol) and references (they put down Teggis Tosscobble, Keylaran, and Yasmira. After they finished, she said she would get back to them in the morning after she had contacted their references. When they expressed astonishment that she could do it that fast, she simply responded, with flair, "magic!" The party told her they'd be staying at the Roaring Lion, then departed, after getting directions there.
Jon quickly stopped by the Brotherhood of Alchemy to try to sell the mandragora sap. The gnome proprietor seemed quite happy to take it off his hands, and offered fifty gold for it. Annabelle was able to talk him up to seventy-five. Thus pleased, the party left for the inn.
The Roaring Lion had an actual illusion of a roaring lion above the door, which fascinated Jon. Inside the place was roaring, with lots of ale flowing freely. A game of darts was going on in one corner, several guys were playing knucklebones in front of the fire, and near the stairs two guys were arm wrestling. The party could spot several genasi just from the door, some earth, some fire, and at least one salt. The party purchased rooms for the night, as well as some good ale. The arm wrestling contest ended with the earth genasi being the winner. He roared out if anyone else was going to challenge him. Jon took him up on the offer. Bets were placed and the wrestling match ensued. For the first bit, Jon thought he was going to fail, but eventually put the earth genasi's arm on the table. He grumbled mightily about losing, but after Jon bought him a beer, he raised a toast to Jon. His friends also raised a toast, "To Kenshar! To Jon!" and drank.
Gorf suddenly remembered, and pulled out the note they had gotten off of Kaazzk. He pointed to a name on it, indicating that one Kenshar was to guard the next shipment of goods. Thinking quickly, Jon invited Kenshar to talk in private. When in a back room with the party said they had proof of him being associated with a kobold by the name of Kaazzk, as well as J'jon. He denied both, and was getting angrier, demanding to see what evidence they had. Jon and Rianna knew he was lying, and refused to let him see the letter. Jon verbally backpedaled as Kenshar got angrier, and offered him some wine to mollify him (it was the truth wine). But Kenshar was so angry he just smacked it aside and stormed out.
Rianna followed him, tracking him through the dark city streets. He eventually got to the Saucy Wench, a tavern and a house of ill repute. Rianna snuck up to a window, and briefly saw Kenshar disappear into a room behind the bar before she was spotted and someone threw a mug at the window. She backtracked and tried to go around back, but first had to give some drunks the slip. But she did go back in time to see Kenshar lift open a manhole cover. She attempted to, but was too weak. So she returned to the Roaring Lion to get the rest of the party.
Between the party, they were able to get the cover off, and sent Gorf down to scout, because he could see in the dark. He said it was slimy down there and it stunk, but other than that, it was uneventful. The party descended, using a half-covered lantern for light. Jenna was able to determine some footprints near the edge of the slime going in one direction, so the party went that way. Annabelle spotted a small alcove in which they found a well-made shuttered lantern. They took that one and blew out their own. Eventually they got to a place where four sewer pipes converged, and Jenna had to cast around to find the trail again. As she was doing so, she was attacked by a slime crawler, which grabbed a hold of her and bit her. Jon cut both it and its made in twain, though he ended up somewhat slimy. Jenna was extremely slimy, and both Annabelle and Rianna couldn't keep their feet in the slimy sewer and fell, getting entirely slimed. Only Gorf, flying above it all, was clean, and he was quite smug about it.
Despite that setback, Jenna was able to find the trail. As they walked down it, a voice shouted a word, and they were all plunged into darkness. Gorf cried that he was blind, frightening to someone who can normally see in darkness. In the darkness, they heard an arrow shatter against the sewer wall, and a sword being draw. Jon was hit, and Annabelle tried to throw a dagger but missed. Jenna also missed in the dark, but Jon's return sword thrust connected, and they heard something hit the floor. A few minutes later, the darkness lifted and they saw the body of a human male that had been run through the heart. Further investigation found that he had been hiding in a false wall. Careful searching of the whole area found a hidden button on the wall.
The pushed it and found a small room with slimy boots on one side and clean boots on the other. One of the slimy boots was particularly fresh. Jon took a new fresh pair of boots, as did Jenna, then he chucked the rest of the clean boots out the door into the sewer. Rianna and Annabelle dried themselves off as best they could with their cloaks and empty sacks. Then they opened the door and proceeded down the hall.
The first door they found was to a mundane armory. Ahead, they could see the hall opened up into a room where at least three people were banging things around and moving them. Jon walked boldly into the room, startling them. One demanded to know who he was and asked where his papers were. Jon pulled out some papers... and then clocked the guy. He didn't go down, but then Gorf flamed him with burning hands. He still remained upright, and his two friends were coming toward them. Annabelle tried to hypnotize them, and got the two unhurt ones. She told them it was a good time to take a nap, which they did. Jon then proceeded to knock out other one, and they tied up all three.
They went to the door at the other end of the room and could hear someone thumping things around. They cracked the door and could see two half orcs putting boxes into a room, with the sounds of a river beyond (it was an underground dock, with two storage rooms on either side). Jon was able to create some mayhem, and cut down both half orcs. Both storage rooms were full of supplies from Deepwater, which confirmed these were the smugglers.
The party gave another thorough search of the place, and found two secret doors. One was extremely well hidden, and one less so. Through the well-hidden one, was a non-worked tunnel. As they went down there, Rianna got tangled up in some razor wire and was hurt, but Jenna healed her.
At the end of this tunnel, they found a spring and a large brown and white rat. Before Rianna could kill the rat (she detests them), the rat spoke. He claimed he was nothing less than the god of rats, trapped here by a powerful wizard belonging to a thieves' guild many years ago (he and his kind had been eating their food stores, as rats do). Also with him was the god of the spring, the rat indicated by pointing a paw at the spring. The party was skeptical, but how many times does one meet a talking rat? They believe him, and Jon gave him some food, which the rat ate eagerly. The rat god said he had sent his children after the thieves that had trapped him in here, and that eventually they had left, but he was still trapped. The party said they'd let him go, and in gratitude the rat god said that as long as he was alive (which would be long, him being a god and all) no rat would attack them. Then he scampered off down the passage.
Jon attempted to drink from the spring, but the water bent away from him. Jenna reminded him that often gods of water (springs, lakes, rivers, etc) required a sacrifice before you could take water. Jon flipped a couple gold into the spring, and the water opened up before the coins and closed in after it. He was then able to drink, and felt quite well.
The party then went to the second door, which was a short corridor with a door at the end. While going down the corridor, Jon inadvertently set off a trap, as a log swung down from the ceiling and knocked him back into the pit. As he was crawling out, the door at the end of the hall opened, and out came an extremely mad Kenshar. "You!" he howled, pointing his warhammer at Jon. A fierce battle ensued, in which Kenshar's dog, apparently also touched by the plane of earth, wreaked havoc alongside his master. Jenna, Rianna, and Annabelle used arrows and thrown daggers to help Jon with Kenshar and the dog, while Gorf flew above the dog and impaled him on his acidic spikes. Eventually, both lay dead, and the party was able to claim a great deal of treasure from both. Also they found a wadded-up note from no one less than J'jon, telling Kenshar about his task in guarding the kobold's next shipment, and other incriminating information.
What will the party do next time? Will they visit the house of J'jon? Will they go immediately to Albon? Will they ever find Kish-mar Redclaw? We'll see!
Last edited by Ray Silver; Sunday, 13th July, 2003 at 06:33 AM.
Tuesday, 15th July, 2003, 07:23 PM #4
Myrmidon (Lvl 10)
how many more installments?
OMG! The SKY IS FALLING! --JoeGKushner
Myself, I plan to masturbate less -- der_kluge
I know that I've never really liked d20. I think it was designed by a bunch of hacks --- Monte Cook
I am sickened beyond belief. The half-orc wizard is obviously the best possible PC, and I only had to read 10 pages of the book to figure it out. D&D is dead to me! -- Mike Mearls
FWIW, I'm on the design team and I pretty much find WoW as fun and interesting as banging my head against a brick wall. -- Mike Mearls
you happen to say that 4E reminds you of the reasons you decided against a career as a special-Ed teacher--noted rpg author Darrin Drader
Tuesday, 15th July, 2003, 07:46 PM #5
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
Probably none with this group unfortunely; but Rianna's player is interested in gaming again when school starts up. I'll probably ending up merging her into the Low'verok senior campaign. But I think that's going to work splendidly.
Monday, 8th September, 2003, 12:14 AM #6
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
Ok after a hiatus of two months, the World of Low'verok newbie campaign is back on track! We've lost two of our original group (Jon and Annabelle), so we're left with only Rianna. I asked a couple other people I knew had some gaming experience, and both were interested in gaming, so the group stands at three again. One of the new people, a woman, has had minimal 3e experience, and the other, a guy, is a history buff that plays several historical games, as well as having played Call of Cthulhu.
Our new cast of characters is as follows:
Alarian - male half-elven fighter 3. The player wanted him to be a black-sheep noble's sun, searching for a way to redeem himself in his father's eyes. The player modeled him after a Russian boyar, so he's a horseback rider and archer.
Uianya - female steam para-genasi druid 2. When I told Uianya (apparently that's pronounced EE-ana) about the prevalence of genasi, she was interested, and so picked the steam para-genasi out of Dragon #297. She also wanted a squirrel for a companion. Now, while I'm playing 3.0, there are some bits from 3.5 that I think are good changes. Scaling animal companions are one of them. I decided to give her a dire squirrel companion, using the dire template from Tome of Horrors (slightly modified). For instance, anything smaller than Small was supposed to end up Medium, at which I put my foot down. I didn't want her riding the squirrel, or the squirrel to be bigger than her! She wields a mighty (+2) nagaika (from Masters of the Wild, glass-studded whip), which I allowed for her as a druid. It doesn't do a lot for damage, and it's only useful at 15 feet (can't do anything outside or inside that range), and I felt it imitated enough of an animal's natural attacks to allow it. And it's cool.
Rianna - female halfling rogue 3. The only player from the original group. The player plays Rianna as very interested in wealth, quite afraid of oozes, and rather happy and cheerful.
Jenna Se'ben - female half-elven ranger 1/cleric of Fharlaghn 2. NPC healer that provides a little archery support in a pinch.
Gorf - male flumph wizard 2. Rianna's party saved him from imprisonment by kobold raiders, and he feels he has a life-debt to her.
Because we ended up shuffling the group around so much, I had to come up with some plot or plan as to why Rianna had parted ways from Jon and Annabelle. I basically decided they (the original party) had gotten to Albon (where they had been supposed to deliver two bags of song pearls to two different guild halls). They tried to deliver their stuff, but the guilds said the song pearls (a collection of payments and fees from the guilds in the eastern part of the country) were needed in some different locations. The miner's guild wanted theirs taken north, while the jeweler's guild wanted theirs taken south. Rianna decided to go south with Jenna and Gorf, while Jon and Annabelle went north.
I recently purchased a Dungeon Deck from Gamers Rule (home of the 30 second dungeon, it's pretty sweet, give them a try), and decided to use that as I had little time to prepare due to the beginning of the semester. And what better way to introduce two groups of adventurers than by discovering a "dungeon," beating the snot out of some monsters, and getting some loot? We played on Labor Day, because we had it off.
I decided to have the two groups (Alarian and Uianya, Rianna, Jenna, and Gorf) meet randomly as they were walking on a road, and discover the recently uncovered archway to an old tomb.
Alarain and Uianya had fought side-by-side in a goblin raid; Alarian was camping with members of a caravan he was traveling with, and Uianya was traveling in the woods, coincidentally nearby. A clan of goblins attacked the sleeping caravan, hoping to steal gold, better weapons, and horses (for food). Uianya saw the raid coming, and was able to give some warning, which prevented a slaughter. When fighting the goblins, she ended up back-to-back to Alarian, who saved the life of her squirrel companion by cutting down no less than three goblins. Uianya has been traveling with Alarian as he searches for some ways to redeem himself in his family's eyes. They were on their way to Andeluvay (the capital of my world) to try to visit his father.
Rianna, Jenna, and Gorf were on their way south to Port Lyalee, a trading town on the coast, to deliver the song pearls to the jewelers' guild. There had been a recent rainstorm with a great deal of lightning the night before, and thus the road was somewhat wet, and branches and leaves were strewn everywhere. Both groups of travelers came upon each other at the same time, but more importantly, they also come up upon an usual sight.
About a hundred feet off the road was a long, almost fifty-foot high cliff, which followed parallel to the road for almost four hundred yards. The trees along the cliff were fairly sparse, and the one rather large one had fallen down near the base of the cliff. However, it had revealed something wondrous. There was a large, arched doorway with pillars flanking it carved into the face of the cliff. (I gave them the visual cue of, "Think of the Temple of the Grail near the end of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. But smaller. And carved out of gray granite instead of red sandstone.") It was a ten-foot high doorway, recessed into the cliff face, the sides of it carved with tall men in robes, wearing crowns.
The two groups met each other, exchanged their names and bit of their history and profession, then both expressed great interest in this terribly unprecedented door. They went to it, and inspected it carefully. Alarian thought that it might be a very ancient tomb of some long-forgotten king, as the style of the carvings tickled his memory.
Curiosity got the better of them and tried to open it. Rianna couldn't get it open the first couple of tries, so Uianya tried to stuff some grass in the lock and had Gorf set it on fire with magic to try to deform it enough to get it to open. Alarian just shook his head at this however. He had some knowledge of weaponsmithing and realized that there was no way a bit of burning dried grass could deform the lock enough to have any effect. When the grass burned out, Gorf tentatively touched it, and found it to be cold, not the slightest bit warm at all. Rianna tried to pick it again, and this time succeeded.
They pulled open the doors and lit a torch. Inside was a long hallway with thirty-foot high vaulted ceilings. There were two doors on the right, two doors on the left, and one door at the end of the hall, all carved out of stone.
Jenna suddenly cried out in fear, as she saw some utterly enormous spiders on the ceiling. There were three really big ones, and two slightly smaller ones. One was coming down from the ceiling, so the party fired their arrows at it, and Gorf tried to land on it with his spikes. He got it once, and so did Rianna, but then it landed and bit Uianya and Gorf. The party kept firing at it and another came down, the but last big one and the two little ones scuttled along the ceiling and left. Alarian tried to shoot at them as they left, but missed. One of them managed to bite the squirrel before he died. The poison seems to make all three of the bitten somewhat clumsy, so all had to move carefully.
After the spiders, the party did a more careful inspection of the ceiling and corridor. Jenna also detected magic and found all the doors were somewhat magical. The party moved to the first door on the right. It took Rianna several tries to pick the lock (it was magically enhanced).
When they got in, the room was sparse except for carvings on the walls of robed kings and warriors. There was a stone sarcophagus in the middle of the room, from within came the sound of moaning. Alarmed, the party decided to open it. Alarian and Jenna went to take off the lid while the rest of the party stood back with weapons readied. Between the two they slid the lid off, and the rotting, moaning corpse of a helmed warrior dressed in chain mail and wielding a mace sat up.
The party reacted with arrows, magic missile, and nagaika, while Jenna tried to turn (failed) and Alarian finished it off with a sword thrust to the chest. Jenna told them they had to cut off the corpse's head, and she had to bless it to return it to rest. This was done, and the party removed the corpse's jewelry, lapis lazuli-inlaid mace, and helm with a sun-in-glory along with them. After examining the sarcophagus they discovered it had the name of "Lord To-maj of Wedefar, King's Champion" carved on the side.
They went to the next room, which, after picking the lock, was filled with cobwebs and a standing statue in the middle of the room. The party threw a torch in there, then opened it up a minute or two later when all the cobwebs had burned. The room was somewhat blackened, but now free of debris. The party walked into the room, were startled, yet unharmed, as several darts flew towards them. Investigation of the floor found there to be a pressure plate that had triggered the trap. The party moved more cautiously after that.
The statue was of that of a man wearing a crown, armor, and royal robes, with a sword carved at his side with an elaborate sun-in-glory pommel. The base of the statue declared this to be Prince Rokat of House Kosar. Investigation of the statue found it to have a catch in the back, when triggered revealed a hidden compartment in the statue. Inside was the actual sword that had been carved on the statue, which Gorf declared to be magical. They also found a gold signet ring that had a sun-in-glory with a ruby chip in it.
The went across the hall (second door on the right), and Rianna got that one open. This room was wet and smelled moldy. This one also contained a statue, that of a woman. There was a puddle on the floor in front of the statue. Utterly paranoid at that point, Alarian shot the puddle with an arrow. As the arrow dissolved and the puddle started moving, I suppose the party was justified in their paranoia.
Several arrows later, the ooze died. The statue of a crowned, robed woman held a small box with a butterfly in her hand. The name of it was Princess Melair of House Kosar. Investigation of the base found a similar catch to Rokat's room, along with an actual box like the one represented on the statue, which was filled with pearls and jewelry.
Finally, they went to the first door on the left. This one had some scratches on the lock and was a bit easier for Rianna to get open. This one contained neither statue nor sarcophagus. Three slabs of the tiles on the floor were moved aside, and ashes and bones were scattered about. When the party moved in the door, the bones animated into three slightly scorched skeletons. Jenna turned one, and Alarian and Uianya managed to kill the other one. Gorf and Jenna killed the one that was turned. They managed to find three silver collars, which Alarian recognized as being old slave collars, as well as a silver ring in one of the holes.
The images on the walls were of subservient individuals serving crowned, robed figures. The writing said, "We of the Moon House will serve our lords in the afterlife."
After that, the party went to the door at the end of the hall. Rianna picked the lock, but only with great difficulty. They opened it up, and looked inside. The room had high vaulted ceilings like the hallways. The peak of the ceiling was gold-leafed with a sun-in-glory. The inside had an utterly huge stone sarcophagus, as well as a large statue of a kingly man.
Rianna carefully inspected the room all around, and found a low trip-wire that would have triggered a pendulum blade to slice across the doorway as they went through. She disarmed it and they went on. The statue of the kingly man had the name King Ammel of House Kosar. Alarian finally recognized the name. Apparently it was the name of the noble bloodline that had ruled Low'verok several hundred years ago. The king's two children were slain through treachery, and were buried here where they died, along with the king.
The statue held in its outstretched hands two small representations of the prince's sword and the princesses' jewelry box. He had a box with the sun symbol on it at his feat, and a huge sword sheathed at his side. The statue wore a breastplate with the sun symbol as well as royal robes.
Checking the statue, Rianna found the same catch that she had found on the other two, but there was also a trap. She looked up and saw that one of the ceiling blocks was rigged to fall. Nervously she was able to disarm it, then open the compartment. The only thing they found was the actual box from the statue's feet. They thought that the rest of the things might be in the sarcophagus, but after their experience with the first one, were reluctant to mess with it too much.
They wanted to examine it, and found it airtight and sealed with wax. Between Rianna's knowledge of traps and Jenna's knowledge of burial practices, they thought that there might be poison gas sealed in the sarcophagus. So, while everyone else left the tomb, Alarian made a makeshift fire arrow (tearing off a strip of cloak, wrapping it around the arrowhead, and soaking it in oil) and fired it from the doorway of the king's tomb, then ran. The arrow stuck in the wax, and began to melt it.
The party camped across the road with little incident. Uianya foraged for some food and found some raspberries. However, Rianna's player was so paranoid at this point that she questioned the raspberries. I quickly explained they were normal, immobile raspberries without teeth. And then I laughed for the next five minutes.
Anyway, the next day the party went back to the tomb, and while there was a faint bitter smell, it wasn't too bad. They proceeded inwards to the tomb, and Alarian and Jenna got ready to push off the lid while the rest of the party readied themselves. The two wrestled it off, revealing the well-preserved corpse of a man, his face shiny with resin and his body dry as old leather. He was mostly as he appeared on the statue, though he clutched a scroll case in his hands rather than the small sword and box.
When nothing untoward happened, the other party members came over. Gorf detect magic, and pointed to nearly everything the king was wearing ("This is magic, and this is magic, and this is magic, and this is magic, and this is magic...") as being magical. However, just at that moment, the king sat up. He pointed at the party with an accusatory finger and boomed, "You! Betrayers! You have killed my children!" The party let loose a volley of arrows, which didn't have a whole lot of effect, then ran away. The king shuffled after them, holding his enormous sword in one hand.
The party skittered down the hall, and Gorf tried to burn him with burning hands, which seems to have some effect. Seeing this, Alarian took the time to make a makeshift fire arrow and shoot the king, which had some effect. Rianna threw her torch at it, which clattered at its feet and caused him some harm. Uianya's squirrel dashed to the horses tethered outside and got another torch. Uianya tried her own weapons, but missed. Jenna attempted to turn with bad results, so just continued with archery to mediocre effect.
Alarian ran outside to the horses and unsheathed the sword the party had found in Prince Rokat's tomb. He cried out, "We didn't kill your children!" And then of course the king screamed, "Grave robbers! Blasphemers!" And then Alarian goes, "Oh &*%$"
While the rest of the party did their best with arrows and hurling torches, Alarian got on horseback and charged the king as he was swinging at Rianna. Both missed, and Alarian swung around for another charge. As he hit the king, the sword burst into flames, and the king started burning.
As the kind slumped to the ground he said, "My children, I tried to avenge you." Then he crumbled into dust and the fire went out. The party collected his armor, crown, sword, and jewelry, then hightailed it out of there. They went to a town and paid a sage to identify and appraise their items and discovered they were filthy rich.
The scroll they found in the king's possession essentially outlined the following:
The actual story behind the Tomb of Kosar - King Ammel had two children, the only heirs to his kingdom. Through infighting and assassination, the noble house of Kosar has been reduced to only the king and his immediate family. His wife died shortly after giving birth to his son, leaving him with a baby and a two-year-old daughter to raise. He lavished love on them, giving them the best tutors, and letting them work by his side to learn the intricacies of rule.
Rival noble houses plotted to kill both heirs, as they both were strong-minded and would not yield to the political pressure of the other nobles once they ruled Low'verok. While all three were traveling in the south of the country on a political visit to the southern nobles, the king's party stopped and camped on a long road between two towns, very near the base of a steep cliff that was the only real feature in this forested landscape. During supper, both the prince and princess drank tea that was laced with a deadly poison. Both died within minutes, and efforts at reviving them came to naught. The religion of House Kosar, the worship of a sun god called Gebel, forbade attempts at resurrection.
The king was absolutely devastated by his childrenĺs' deaths, and refused to move a single step until they had been buried. He decreed that his artisans and stonemasons would build a mighty tomb out of the rock of the cliff. He spent years there, supervising the tomb, which also included tombs for him, as well as two other rooms.
King Ammel blamed those closest to his children for their deaths. Four hundred years ago slavery was very common, and House Kosar had an entire house of slaves that served them. They called themselves House Isyrathis, but the nobles called them the Moon House, as they worshipped the mood god Huru, in contrast to the sun-worshipping nobles.
While Ammel's children were ritually cremated, a far bitterer fate awaited the three members of the Moon House that had been serving Rokat (the prince) and Melair (the princess) that night. They were forced to drink some of the poisoned tea that had killed the royal children, then burned alive as they began to feel the effects of the poison. Their flesh was reduced to ashes, but their bones remained whole, unlike the prince and princess, to mark their shame.
In addition, the king's champion, Lord To-maj of Wedefar, was supposed to be the food taster for the king's family, in addition to his other duties as their protector. But due to his duties to the king, he didn't realize the children were having tea before supper. The children felt safe with the members of the Moon House, and often got tired of To-maj having to be around so much. To-maj never showed up, they children drank and died. For his punishment, To-maj had to drink the dregs of the poisoned tea. He was not cremated, but buried whole, a mark of highest disgrace.
The poison in the tea was a magical one, meant to reanimate the dead drinker into an undead abomination. It was ineffective if the person's body was not at least partially whole, which was why the servants animated as skeletons and To-maj rose as a zombie later.
Just prior to the tomb being sealed, one of the members of the Moon House tried to get into the room where the three disgraced servants had been laid to rest (to serve in the afterlife). He clumsily picked the lock, and left scratches on the door. However, he got in, but was surprised as the three blocks that marked the graves of the servants shifted aside and skeletons climbed out, shedding ashes everywhere. Needless to say, he ran, leaving the mess the players found.
The reason Rokat's tomb was trapped was because Rokat had the powerful magic sword. The king arguably feared tomb robbers would try to come for it, so he had the dart trap installed. The pendulum and falling block trap were installed in own tomb more for the necessary prestige of the king than his own insistence. He cared more for the protection of his children's things than his own.
Ammel had his high priests magically mummify his body and allow it to animate if the tomb was violated. It was a particularly ancient ritual of Gebel, and he didn't let anyone else know aside from the priests.
Wednesday, 24th September, 2003, 10:38 PM #7
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
A new week, a new adventure! I call this one:
The Tale of the Shard Wolf
The players were going along the road, continuing south to Port Lyalee. Their next large stop would be the large town of Stone Bridge, which contained the main bridge that crosses the Deepwater river. However, they were still several days away, and today it was raining.
As they were riding, Alarian spotted a woman standing on the side of the road, waving at them with both arms. The party halted a distance away, and noticed with some trepidation that there was a flock of six crows in the tree above the woman. She called out to them that she needed help. When the party warily asked her what was wrong, she said that there had been an earthquake a few days ago that had set loose some terrible wolves that are able to kill plants and destroy water with a touch.
When the players asked what she was, she said she was a steward of the land, but was not well versed in the ways of war and combat. She couldn't find a way to effectively fight the wolves. She begged the party for help, as she said they had turned part of the forest into desert. Uianya felt bound to help her, though Alarian wanted to know what was going on with the crows. She told him the crows were here eyes and ears, her familiars. She introduced herself as Ley and said she was a worshipper of the Goddess. Jenna said she remembered "The Goddess" occasionally being a different name for the earth goddess.
Ley said she'd lead them to her cabin where she could give them some things that might aid them against the wolves. She felt such things would be more useful in the hands of warriors, and was willing to aid them that way. Ley picked up a broom from behind the tree (she said she used it as a walking stick), and walked back to her home, the crows following them every step of the way.
When they reached her simple hut, she gave them two jars that she said contained a torrent of water, along with one clay ball, that when shattered would release a wall of wind. She said her crows had flown over the devastated place, not too far from her hut, and said that there was one large wolf that seemed to be made of stone, and about five more normal-looking wolves. They all seemed to come back to a cave in the middle of the wasteland around dusk every day.
Since it seemed that the wolves were attracted to green things and water (so they could turn them to dust), the party asked Ley if she had anything to use as bait. They wanted to lure the wolves back into the cave and try to collapse it and seal them in, as that seemed to be their base. Ley agreed and gave them a token that could be used to create a large tree. The party decided to stay the rest of the night, and go out in the morning.
When they woke up, Ley was gone, and the party went looking for her. They found her apparently doing some kind of ritual worshipping. In the river. Naked. When they disturbed her, she quickly explained that she was doing her own rituals, and that she had lived alone for long enough that she had simply forgotten to tell them where she went. Irked, the party went back and waited for her.
They convinced Ley to come along with them, as she could see through all six of her crows' eyes, and thus would be great for scouting. They traveled a mile from the cabin, and suddenly lush forest became scorching hot barren wasteland with not a cloud in the sky. Uianya paused to talk to some of the plants next to the dead zone, and learned not much than when it had happened (a few days ago), and that they wolves could kill plants and water in a certain zone around them.
They cautiously stepped onto the dead area, and began searching for traps. Some they found were like normals wolves, but one set of tracks was particularly large, with deep, jagged sides. Ley said it was probably from the big stone wolf that her crows had seen. The party looked about and in the distance could see some things moving about. The crows reported that there were four wolves over there next to a still-full pond.
Using the dips and rises of the barren land to hide themselves, they sneaked up near the pond. They watched the wolves for a minute, as they tried to stomp some plants to dust that were growing along the side of the pond. To the wolves' annoyance, for every plant they reduced to powder, another would spring up. Taking full advantage of the wolves' preoccupation, the party attacked. Rianna, Alarian, Jenna, and Gorf all attacked with arrow and spell (Rianna used her sneak attack to devastating effect), then engaged in melee as the irate wolves turned to engage them. They managed to take down two at range, but several party members got bitten before they were able to cut down the other two. The PC's wounds were painfully dry, and they noticed with amazement that the wolves bled sand instead of blood.
Ley suddenly recognized the pond as one of the small gods of Low'verok (she had to think for a minute, as she didn't patronize it too often). She mentioned when she had desired a favor from it in the past, she would make something with her own hands. The more energy and effort she put into it, the more she was rewarded. Since Ley's crows reported that the stone wolf was at the far periphery of the dead area, and the other two smaller wolves were elsewhere, the party decided to stop for a few hours and make offerings to the god in order to figure out what was going on.
After doing that (Alarian writing an eloquent ode, Rianna cooking, and Uianya stitching something) the offered them to the god. The water opened up before them and seemed to swallow the items. Then then asked it how the stone wolf had come to be, and how they could defeat it.
The pond ripped and showed them that the wolf had come from a deep fissure that had formed in the earth, deep in a cave, during the earthquake. It had fought the band of otherwise normal wolves that were there at the time, biting them a turning them into its minions. Then they all went out into the green land and began to turn it to desert with their touch.
When they asked how it could be defeated, the pond showed that the stone wolf was attached to green things, and that once it was driven back into the fissure and either covered with water (or wind, it wasn't too clear) it would be unable to get back out.
Thus armed with knowledge, the PCs set off following a dry stream bed that Ley told them would lead eventually to the cave. As they got to a short bridge, the crows warned them that two of the wolves were running down the stream bed. Preparing for archery action, the party strung their bows and prepared. Rianna's sneak attack took one in the throat and dropped him, while the other tried to jump up at Uianya for hitting him with her whip. Alarian and Jenna finished that one off with arrows the next round.
Slayage done, they proceeded along the way to the cave. The plan was to use some of Uianya's magic to make two people scentless for the while it would take them to place the tree in the cave. Then they would ambush the stone wolf when it came to investigate. Tree thusly placed, the hunkered down in hiding to wait. Unfortunately the crows reported that the stone wolf was coming... right in their direction. No matter where they tried to hide, the stone wolf seemed to be making a bee-line toward them, so making a virtue out of necessity, they ran into the cave. Most took some high ground, and they waited.
As the wolf drew closer, they heard a terribly howl, like stones grinding together. It shook several stones lose from the ceiling, and Alarian got pummeled. As the wolf came in, the party let lose a volley of arrows, but it had little effect. Uianya tried to use one of the torrents of water, which seemed to cause it pain, and it began to retreat, and finally run.
The party dashed after it, as they realized it must be heading for the fissure. Alarian tried to blind it, but even after two fantastic hits to the eyes, it still seemed to be able to navigate fine, which was disturbing to the party. They chased after the party, and while normal weapons had no effect, spells and fire seemed to do something, so the party whittled away at it.
The wolf indeed reached tech fissure and dove in, and Alarian tried to look over the edge to fight it. It had burrowed part of its way in, but was still able to attack. Uianya's squirrel companion finally got the second torrent of water to Jenna, who was near the lead, and she aimed it into the fissure. Ley screamed at them to "Seal it!" and Uianya finally took out the wind wall, and used it to cover the fissure. The wolf tried to paw at it, but each touch broke his body into sand and gravel. As the wind died, the wolf sunk to the bottom of the fissure never to be seen again.
Gorf found three uncut diamonds near the fissure, which Rianna determined to be somewhat valuable. As the party left the cave, it was pouring rain over the formerly dry and dead land.
Wednesday, 24th September, 2003, 11:08 PM #8
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
I'm making up for not updating for several Saturdays in a row, so here's from two weeks ago, the Shard Wolf being from three weeks ago.
The Tale of the Sundered Woman, and her various minions that have caused my druid PC to have a severe fear of frogs.
After dealing with the shard wolf, the PCs returned to Ley's house, where she fed them and sent out her crows to determine what was on the trail ahead. The only report was of some "moving plants" a day or two ahead. Thus warned, the PCs set out.
About a day later, they passed an old man on the road who was bearded, wearing robes and a pointy hat, and carrying a staff. I basically said he looked exactly like Gandalf. He greeted them politely and said, when asked, that though he had heard some rustling in the underbrush a while back, as if something was following him, nothing came of it, so he assumed it was just animals. Shrugging, the party moved on.
A bit later they came to two healthy rosebushes on the side of the road, one was white and the other was red. On the red one they could see red spots, which upon closer inspection appeared to be blood. A closer look showed there to be a trail behind the rosebush leading deeper in the forest. They found some fur, which Uianya identified as bear fur. Quite freaked out by this, but nevertheless too curious for their own good, the party decided to follow the trail. It grew dark before they could find the end of it, and so camped for the night.
That evening their were attacked by two needlefolk, who did a number on Alarian, as they attacked while he was asleep and thus unarmored. The party was able to destroy them, thanks to Uianya and her squirrel, who were on watch. The next morning, they spotted a very large and strange plant on the trail, which was thus avoided. Uianya tried to talk with it and the grass and trees to figure out what was going on.
They determined that a "hurt woman" in a clearing ahead had "her tree killed by darklight under the earth." The needlefolk were killing and taking animals to a clearing ahead for some purpose the plants weren't sure of. But the strange plant was hungry. Uianya tossed it some dried meat, from a healthy distance, which it snapped up but then spat out in disgust.
The PCs decided it was some kind of dryad, and struggled onward. They got to the clearing, hid themselves and watched. At one end of the clearing was a woman with very deep bloodless wounds on her body that shifted and reformed every time she moved, sitting next to a blackened and dead tree with sickly yellow-green soil around it. She seemed to be giving orders to another needlefolk that was feeding an animal carcass to an enormous frog in a pond in the middle of the clearing. And by enormous I mean horse-sized. After the feeding the needlefolk and the woman left.
The party decided to hunt some food to bribe the frog, then they'd talk to it to figure out what was going on. They brought down a couple game birds, then returned. Uianya went to the center of the clearing, and told the frog (using a speak with animals spell) that she had food for it. The other party watched with weapons at the ready. The frog leaped out of the pond and landed less than five feet from her. It snapped up the gamebirds and declared it was still hungry.
When questioned it said basically the same story as the plants, plus that the hurt woman was feeding him and letting him grow. He didn't know the purpose of it all, of course. But every other word out of his mouth was "hungry" and eventually he started leaning closer. Uianya, failing to take the hint, ended up getting swallowed by the frog.
The party attacked in earnest, Alarian almost getting swallowed for his trouble. Rianna, Jenna, and Gorf all attacked from afar, while Uianya tried and failed to cut her way out from inside. It only took a matter of seconds before the poor, unfortunate frog lay dead at their feet, and they cut it open, releasing Uianya.
Shortly after that, the "hurt woman" showed up again, along with two needlefolk, arriving from opposite sides of the clearing. They asked her what was wrong, and how they might help her, but as she drew near, they realized her words made little sense. She tried to claw at Uianya (she kept drawing the short stick for combat that day) to poison her, but failed. Then she turned invisible and tried to claw at them while they used keen eyes and ears to determine her whereabouts. A few lucky hits eventually made her dead. The needlefolk never attacked, they simply bowed to the party and then left.
After investigating the tree, they found some weapons and armor along with the remains of two bodies (one of them probably a druid), near the base of the dead tree. Uianya also found a small jade frog carving in the frog's stomach.
Upon reaching town they had the items appraised and identified, while Uianya got very drunk (and teased the next morning about it).
One funny thing that happened this time was that Uianya's character kept making really bad jokes and puns so I said to her, "A random badger comes up and bites you on the ass. Take two damage." Thus now whenever I point at her and ask for a listen check and tell her she hears a badger, she starts to cringe. Same with frog sounds. Very funny all around!
Wednesday, 24th September, 2003, 11:54 PM #9
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
And finally, the most recent chapter in the World of Low'verok!
We have a new PC, a buddy of mine from another game. He's playing:
Helios - wild elf Ranger 4
He comes in later, so hold your horses.
This week's tale is:
The Tale of the Mudmen Summoned by a Very Strange Earth-Priest or what happens when too much magical waste goes into the sewers
The party's final days of travel to Stone Bridge (the first big stop on the way south to Port Lyalee) was marred only by an inexplicable evening attack by a death dog, a two-headed slavering beast that took exception to them being in the middle of his hunting grounds. After an irksome fight during which Alarian got bitten, the dog was dispatched and buried a distance away.
In another day, they got to Stone Bridge, only to find the gates opened and the walls unmanned. Going inside cautiously, the found the street to be deserted.
Unknown to them but known to Helios, a veritable horde of mudmen had boiled up from the sewers and had laid siege to the town. He had been fighting them all day. He was tracking one when he practically ran into the party. He told them was was going on, and pointed out the muddy tracks that led to and from the large sewer grate.
But before he could finish his explanation, five mudmen oozed their way up through the grate and began to attack, throwing balls of mud that stuck Jenna and Uianya to the ground, and slowed Rianna, Alarian, and Helios. The druid and cleric tried to wiggle themselves free (in Uianaya's case she had her squirrel help), while Alarian, Gorf, Rianna, and Helios attacked. Gorf's fire spell reduced one to powder, but Alarian and Rianna's arrows did nothing. Helio's quarterstaff seemed to work though.
During the fight the mudmen entirely encased Uianya and Alarian's horse, but the horse managed to break free. Between spells and blunt or magical weapons, the rest of the mudmen died, and then Uianya and Jenna were freed.
When Helios told the party what was going on, they agreed to go into the sewers to try to stop this at the source. As they descended, the found themselves nearly attacked by a hoard of rats. But they stopped when the saw Rianna, as she was under the protection of the rat-god.
Through Uianya, they determined that there was one "spiky thing" beyond the gate, along with two things with sharp teeth, and some slimy things. Then the rats left, because they were making it hard to live down there. The party moved through the sewers, first investigating a mirror-like puddle on the floor, which tried to eat Helios. He tried to fight off the deadly mercury ooze, but had to have some assistance from Alarian when it wrapped him up. They managed to get it off of him, but Alarian's sword-cut did as much damage to Helios as it did to the ooze.
When going a bit further, they saw a boat in the sewer (a canoe) that was swaying in a most suspicious manner. But they didn't see the crocodiles that pulled Uianya under and tried to do the same to Helios. Yelling, the party attacked them with spell and sword and club, eventually bashing in their heads.
Disturbed, they forged ahead, finally finding the gate, though it was across a short distance of water. While they were figuring out what to do, they found themselves under attack by what appeared to be crawling human skulls. After smashing them to smithereens (though Uianya got poisoned a bit), they found that were some kind of large spider in them using them as mobile homes.
They heard some kind of roaring from inside the gate, and found a lever, but though they wanted to check a side passage first. While going along, they saw a sword that seems to be floating in a shimmering field. Upon firing at it, their arrows stuck in the field too, and the gelatinous cube advanced to mow them down. Retreating like mad, they pumped it full of arrows and spells until it puddled into goo. But then the sword, released from the cube attacked them. After trying to shoot at something invisible that might be holding the sword, finally Helios knocked the sword down, and Gorf jumped on it (the flat side).
It didn't move any more, and finally they picked it up. Gorf declared it to be magical, and they decided that Rianna should use it. Feeling that they were on the wrong track, the party went back to the gate. The roaring they were hearing reminded Uianya of the tales she had heard of thunder-lizards. Cautiously, the party opened the gate, which was quite noisy. Then went up a ramp, past some dirt, and into a room paved with paving stones, some of which were missing. There was a pit in the corner, dirt all around, and some glowing blue mushrooms in the middle of the floor.
Feeling adventurous, Uianya picked one, smelled it, tasted it, then ate it (after each test seemed to provoke no ill effect). Her skin glowed blue like a candle for an hour, but there was no other effect. Just then, a stream of water came from stage left, running across a place of bare earth. To no one's surprise, after a minute a pair of mudmen appeared. The party fought them and killed them (with more success for having better tactics), then searched for the source of the water. It appeared to be a small spring, which they tried to block by putting paving tiles on it. As the were going back to get more, they found the roaring was getting louder, and something seemed to be climbing up the pit.
The party stood their ground while a huge, angry steogocentipede crawled out of the pit and demanded to know why they were interfering... in Terran... which no one spoke. The Earth-Priest (for that's what it was), did a number on the party, nearly dropping Rianna, Alarian, Jenna, and the squirrel. Gorf used a flaming sphere on it, which seemed to help, and the squirrel did some serious damage. Many desperate sword-cuts later, the mighty beast fell to the mighty fangs of the furious squirrel as it took the final blow.
The Earth-Priest dead, the party investigated. They decided to use some paving tiles to divert the stream around the mud patch, as well as collect all the mushrooms. After Jenna and Uianya nearly fell down the pit trying to get close, Gorf just flew down and managed to find a bag of alchemical items. Further investigation of the room above found a trap door that held a chalice with Hoar's symbol on it, some platinum, and a small cat figurine.
After going to the surface, the party determined that their slaying of the stegocentipede had halted the mudmen. The town thanked them, and urged them to go to the Adventurer's Guild to claim a reward.
The Guildmaster would be happy to register them for free, as well as get their items identified. Of course room and board would be provided. The guild identified the sword from the cube as a magical one made from icesteel, and the figurine as one of wondrous power that would allow one to see through the living cat's eyes.
The party, having had a good beginning, named themselves The Furious Fated, but in private insisted on calling themselves Rocky the Squirrel and the Furious Fated.
Saturday, 4th October, 2003, 06:24 PM #10
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
A new week, a new story. 9-27-03's story I call:
The Tale of the Heros' Festival and Ensuing Hunt or why court wizards should never accept gifts from red-headed halflings
Our cast of characters remains the same.
Picking up right where we left off last week, our party had just cleaned themselves up and were eating a late lunch at the Adventurer's Guild. Just as they were finished eating, a man in noble's clothes came in, and spoke briefly with the Guildmaster. In time he introduced himself as Lord Tallon Seventhson, the noble lord and mayor of the city of Stone Bridge. He thanked them heartily for being courageous and clever enough to stop the mudmen at their source and thus saving the city.
He said the city wanted to throw a festival in their honor, and if they would but stay two days they would do so. They needed a day to prepare, and a day for the festival itself. The party was glad to stay for that, and Lord Seventhson said he would put them up at the finest inn, the Sun and Moon, and have a tailor sent there to measure them for new clothes. Thusly impressed, the party agreed. Within an hour, Lord Seventhson's messenger arrived to take them to the Sun and Moon.
They went to go clean themselves up, and Rhianna found the following note in her belt pouch:
I saw you make the lift in the marketplace today. Not too bad, though your mark was dense as clay and probably won't even miss it. Though trying to hide something that large on yourself is a good feat, and I must commend you. I know you and your friends will be here for a few days, and thought you could spare some time for the Guild.
You need to be careful about making lifts in cities, my dear, as we control all those kinds of activities. The Guildmaster wants to meet you, to bring you into the fold. Come to the end of the Shadow Walk on the north end of town when darkness falls tomorrow evening, and come alone. Bring a little present for the Guildmaster too, something to show your skill. I'm sure your friends won't mind your absence for one night; they shouldn't even know youĺre gone.
As she had lifted a sunrod from the marketplace the previous day, she was startled by this note, and also concerned that she hadn't realized it had been placed in her belt pouch. She told her friends about it, and they were rather concerned. They finally decided to do as the note suggested, but use Gorf and the squirrel to tail Rhianna from the rooftops to keep an eye on her. They wanted to know what this was all about.
They were served royally at the Sun and Moon, with excellent food and wine. The tailor arrived that evening to take their measurements, though was given pause when Uianya wanted her squirrel to be measured for a beret. The next morning, the party decided to go out and do a little exploring on their own. They sold their unwanted gear (at a very good price as they were the darlings of the city), and then went bouncing all over the city.
Uianya and Rhianna went to a temple of Uianya's god Obad-Hai, which was not a formal temple, but a lovely grove of trees that butted up against the edge of the deep gorge of the Deepwater River that ran through the center of the city. While Rhianna and the squirrel explored, the resident priest, Father Camwan, asked to speak to his sister in faith alone. He explained that he was, until recently, a traveling priest. He had been in the Unwanted Desert in southwestern Low'verok, and had strayed too close to the Forbidden Lands. He had been viciously attacked by terrible winged creatures with sharp claws and bodies like sacs of ooze. He had been saved by the desert nomads, but had nearly died. He had also had terrible nightmares for months afterward.
He told her he felt there was something very wrong with the land near there, and that it was spreading. Should she find herself in that area, she should be wary of it. Uianya thanked him for his warning and told Father Camwan she would be careful.
Switching to Helios, he had gone out trying to gather information as to where a temple of Hoar could be found, as the party had found a chalice with Hoar's symbol on it yesterday underneath the city. He managed to find a man who could take him to Hoar's priests, but during his search, he was interrupted by a group of four hunters. They told him they were going hunting for deer and boar for the feast tomorrow and wanted him and his friends to hunt with them. They would consider it an honor, and they knew that he would bring them luck. He agreed, and decided to meet them along with the rest of his party at the west gates of the city at noon.
Going back to Alarian, he had gone to a temple of Siamorphe to pray. It was richly decorated, with carved and inlaid woods, inlaid metals and gems, beautifully cut stone, and gorgeous tapestries. Along with the priests, he noted Lord Seventhson already in prayer. As he had wanted to speak with him anyway, he waited until he was finished to greet him. They exchanged pleasantries for a while, then Lord Seventhson asked him about his lineage. He nodded in recognition of the name of Karpov and told him that his own brother had passed through town recently, having come all the way from Andeluvay (the capital).
He said that he had spoken with Lord Karpov, and had actually heard of his disgraced nephew Alarian. Lord Karpov had been getting the letters Alarian had been sent back and was trying to get a letter to him, but Alarian's constant moving had made things difficult. Lord Seventhson said that he could personally vouch for Alarian's valor in battle, and would write a letter to Lord Karpov on his behalf. He could also have the lord's letters sent to Port Lyalee (the party's ultimate destination) so that Alarian could finally read them. Alarian thanked him most sincerely, and then stayed to make his prayers to Siamorphe.
The party met back at the Sun and Moon near mid-morning. Helios told them he had essentially signed them all up for a hunting expedition, but no one minded. However, he did say that he had found a man who would lead him to a priest of Hoar. Taking Rhianna with them, they found the man, who led them into an inn, through the back of it, and down some stairs. At a hidden door in the basement the man knocked a complicated knock and it was opened to admit them all. There were two men in there, both in leather armor and polishing weapons, not looking like priests at all. Helios and Rhianna explained that they had something that was possibly a possession of their church and were willing to sell it back. However, they didn't have it with them at the moment. One of the "priests" considered for a moment, then told them to meet him in the Fountain of Beer tavern in a half-hour.
At the agreed time both of the intrepid adventurers met up in the Fountain of Beer, a dirt-floored tavern that seemed to be the favorite of farmers and hard-working types. The priest met them there, and they showed him a silver chalice inlaid with the symbol of Hoar they had found underneath the city. He looked at it reverently for a moment, then told them that the chalice, along with a great deal of other items from Hoar's temple had been stolen over thirty years ago by the Thieves' Guild. He was very glad to have this back where it belonged. He could give them no gold for their discovery, but gave them a lead coin with the symbol of Hoar on it (a two-sided face). He said they could show that token to other temples of Hoar, and that they could find succor and healing within. They accepted the token gratefully, then left to join the rest of the party.
The party met the four hunters, mounted their horses, and were off. Hunting was plentiful, and they were able to get several deer and game birds before the day got too late. But when they decided to go for boar, things got interesting. A band of lucrotta had killed the boar they were after and were willing to defend their kill (and maybe add a few tasty morsels). The hunters helped where they could, but the lucrotta were fierce and tenacious, and look several bites out of the party before the four could be put down. Resting a moment, Helios cast around and found their tracks. Tracking them back to their lair to destroy any cubs before they could grow (the hunters had noted they had never seen lucrotta in bands like this before), they found a small cave.
The party left the hunters up top with the slain deer and descended underground. They found some shards of bone and bits of shredded armor and Alarian found something buried in the dirt. But before they could dig it up they heard screaming from outside. In the clearing two vicious, huge, stag-headed giant eagles were attacking the hunters. When they saw the party, they dove on them. One of them attacked Jenna repeatedly, ripping at her chest. Alarian got one with his sword as it swooped low, and a hail of arrows from the hunters and the other members of the party. As the second one died, it clawed in the dirt and whispered, "Just... one... more." Rather creeped out, the party swiftly dug out the treasure from the lucrotta lair and departed. It turned out to be the remains of some traveling priest or mercenary, carrying a shield, adamantine warhammer, chain armor, and a holy symbol of Siamorphe.
Taking the deer and game birds back to the town, the party left the grateful hunters and got cleaned up. They had an appointment to keep with Rhianna. She decided to take a piece of lapis lazuli they party had found to give to the Guildmaster. Her friends trailed her over 50 ft. back, being guided by Uianya's squirrel, who was following Rhianna from the rooftops (along with Gorf). Rhianna was met by another halfling woman, who greeted her by name and took her hand. She drug her through a couple of inns, and then up a back staircase.
Here she was presented to the Guildmaster, or so he said. He was tall, thin, with wild pale blonde hair. He called himself Zachar, and told her that all thefts made in his city partially belonged to him. She gave him the lapis lazuli as a gift and partial payment, and he nodded, pleased at her offering. He told her that each time she stole, part of it belonged to the Guild, wherever she went. She could, as part of being a member in good standing, purchase things that aren't available on the open market, or find a fence where it otherwise might be hard to find one. She would also be asked to participate in jobs from time to time. She asked if any of their jobs required killing, to which the Guildmaster laughed. Zachar explained that the Thieves' Guild was the Thieves' Guild and the Assassins' Guild was the Assassins' Guild and there was no mixing of the two. Slightly relieved, Rhianna was given leave to go.
She found her friends, and told them what had happened. The party was mostly just happy that the Guild hadn't tried to pressure her into anything, though Gorf strongly disapproved of whole business. Then they returned to the Sun and Moon to sleep.
The next morning the tailor returned, so they got into their new clothes for the festival. They were going to take party in a brief ceremony that would be the height of the festival, where Lord Seventhson would present them with gifts and thank them for saving the town. The party arrived early to the main square and spent some time looking around. One unusual thing was there were a few gypsies around, one of which was a fortune teller. Uianya, Alarian, and Gorf all decided to get their fortunes. Uianya was told "There is a cloud in your future that you will have to strive to overcome." Alarian was told, "Cleave to you chosen path and friends and they will bring you what you desire." Gorf was told simply, "Beware of fire."
Later that evening the festival was in full swing, and as twilight fell, the party was ushered into a dias. Lord Seventhson's court wizard used a few magical balls of light to give illumination, augmenting the typical torches. Uianya was given the Sash of Morning Glories, made of green, leafy vines with five white and purple morning glory flowers on it, made by Father Camwan from the church of Obad-Hai. Alarian was given the Scabbard of the Righteous Strike, made by the church of Siamorphe. Rhianna was given the Hood of the Sightless, something donated anonymously for the ceremony, but the court wizard found it to be quite appropriate. It was a hood made from a silvery cloth. Helios was given a Storm Sword, made from a metal that had survived a hundred lightning strikes. Jenna was given a Heartwarder amulet, made to look like a shield. And Gorf was given a wand of flaming sphere topped with a fire opal.
As the party was thanked by Lord Seventhson, fireworks were shot off into the dark sky. The two balls of light near the stage began to rise into the air, which was thought to be part of the festivities... until they began shooting magical darts of light into the party. The crowd panicked and began to run. The party sprang into action, some shooting arrows at it, but quickly stopping when they realized that they arrows might hit the crowd. The things turned invisible, and Gorf tried to give it back some of its own medicine, but his spell was reflected back at him. He squeaked and hid under the stage. The court magician tried to use a spell on the place where they had been too, but failed, and joined Gorf in the cowering.
The balls of light, nyth Uianya determined, appeared again in their midst. The druid tried to throw fire at it, but it only seemed to get bigger. The party surrounded them and hacked at them with sword and staff, Alarian and Helios taking care of one, and Rhianna plunging her sword right into the middle of the other, as the nyth tried to fire darts of light at them all the while. But both died, and the party went to find the wizard and demanded to know what was going on.
The wizard protested that the balls of light were a gift from a travelling red-headed halfling adventurer that had called himself Veskar. He insisted that the nyth had appeared both non-sentient and non-hostile when he tested them. Irked but safe, the party spent their last night in the Sun and Moon inn before leaving Stone Bridge the next morning.
Last edited by Ray Silver; Saturday, 18th October, 2003 at 07:08 PM.
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