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  1. #231
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    The Crypt of the ShadowTaker - Chapter 10

    The Crypt of the ShadowTaker - Chapter 10

    OOC Notes:
    Exp is 5000.

    Loot:
    There was some. Let’s cover that after the story what say.

    This Week’s Adventure:
    The torchlight flickered over the polished marble chamber for what seemed like an hour. On the raised dias in front of the throne stood the ShadowTaker, or what we were no doubt supposed to believe was the ShadowTaker. He wore slightly tattered wizard’s robe, and his eye glowed red in his skull. I quickly relayed that the lich was not alone, despite the appearances to the contrary. I could only hope that the assorted fiends would be revealed once they attacked – it would be a lot of work to glitterdust them all.

    The figure on the dias spoke. “You should not have come here. I gave you the final warning, and now the time has come for your death.”

    Before he could do anything else, we attacked. Scorch’s Mass Haste washed over us, and we wasted no time moving in. The scene went from calm to chaotic in a heartbeat – fiends began appearing as they attacked, and magical energies were flying all over the room.

    I flew in to one side of the room and loosed a volley at a nearby marilith, who collapsed in a heap with four arrows piercing straight through her chestplate. Then behind me the telltale grey-green cloud of a cloudkill spell appeared. The poison was inconsequential but it did keep the entryway hidden in gas. Which side that helped more I can’t really say.

    We were still moving into the room when the two fiendish commanders shimmered and the illusions surrounding them dropped. They were revealed as two golems. One was made of amythyst vitaesis and metal fused together, while the other one was clearly isometril. The vitaesis golem fired a ray at me, and several of my weaker spells fell away. Rather annoying really. Just after that one of the gelugons teleported behind me. My lip lifted slightly into a small wry smile as I glanced at it over my shoulder, barely turning my head; it would never live long enough to finish the attack it had started. My faith was not without basis – Aethramyr charged in and dealt the creature a blow solid enough to knock the creature to its knees. It looked at him, its hideous teeth clenched in pain, and said “This wasn’t my idea.”

    Aethramyr shrugged. “Then go.” The devil just grimaced – things didn’t work that way.

    The ShadowTaker used a Mass Haste on several of his own forces, and then started blinking into the Shadow plane. I counted myself lucky that was all he did. With the haste in place, the isometril golem charged at Aethramyr, its massive fist smashing crater into the marble floor as it crashed down where it thought Aethramyr was. With the closing of another marilith, this left me in the thick of the fight much more than I was comfortable with but there was little I could do about it for now.

    Dravot entered, with Zera and Thorkeld on his heels. He cast a symbol of persuasion and many of the demons and devils were now friendly to him. However this didn’t make them any more friendly to the rest of us. Zera lunged with her naginata and ichor spurted from a devil despite his invisibility. The devil returned the attack, catching her hard with his spear.

    There was a black flash near the door, and in its wake was Beryldn, Valanthe’s shadow cohort. With him was another shadow – a gnome or halfling female. I wasn’t sure what it meant but I had bigger worries at the time. They joined Valanthe and Verilunda and rushed one of the mariliths. The demons swayed a bit as half her strength left her in a rush while Valanthe cut into her.

    A whirlwind tore through the cloudkill, dispersing most of it, and settled near the ShadowTaker. Apparently Bolo had shifted into an air elemental form. Bolo threw a Summon Swarm at the lich, but it just rolled off him and he laughed, taunting Bolo. “What is this? This is nothing. Where are the real spellcasters?”

    Oh that was the wrong thing to say. Scorch screeched into the room “Real spellcasters?!? Real spellcasters?!? Why hello!” Then the air rippled as a chain sonic spell rebounded between some of the outsiders and the ShadowTaker. A magical shield surrounding the lich absorbed most of it, but the fiends didn’t fare nearly so well.

    Back on my side of the chaotic battle, I decided to stay close and support Aethramyr. I finished off the injured gelugon who had teleported behind me, and the advancing marilith right after him. This gave Aethramyr some room to deal with the isometril golem.

    Then a wave of white washed over the battle and then another – apparently the devils were throwing cones of cold. Lucky for me they were just out of range but most of the others weren’t so fortunate. It wasn’t enough to stop the fight, and the fiends continued to exchange blows with the shadows and the Pelor followers.

    [We are now referring to the collective groups as “Team Shadow” and “Team Sun”.]

    The ShadowTaker chuckled a bit, having something special in mind for Scorch. He spoke words that should not be spoken, and the ceiling above Scorch cracked and shattered. A black light shined down on Scorch, and then a rain of black fists descended from above. The flurry knocked Scorch to the side, but the wicked light and rain of fists continued. Dissatisfied with the results, the ShadowTaker caused Scorch to disappear – probably in the Maze.

    Aethramyr was focused on the golem. Shatterspike, having tasted of the Pyre of Pelor, would likely penetrate into the machine. But my arrows had no such advangate. Aethramyr smiled, and tossed me a small brooch – the Scarab of Golembane that we had rattling around. I could only laugh, and after a wink Aethramyr turned back to the golem and they traded a fierce set of blows. As the golem smashed into Aethramyr’s armor, white hot sparks burst forth, but Sehanine’s champion gave as good as he got, and the infused Shatterspike cut chunks out of the golem. Aethramyr might be holding, but even he couldn’t take that kind of punishment for long. I muttered a quiet invocation and started firing at the golem. Despite the golem’s incredible power, it was still vulnerable to the simple magic of the scarab, and my arrows sliced through the solid metal in a rather unnatural way. The golem shudders as the arrows destroyed joints, and things started looking better.

    Dravot was still hard at work, and waves of light washed over the room, causing mayhem for the fiends. Then he teleported with Zera near the ShadowTaker. Zera flexed her knees and was ready to strike the moment the ShadowTaker tried to cast another spell. The ShadowTaker didn’t care for being so close and immediately tried to teleport away. His casting got him assaulted brutally, but a lich must be immune to pain because he still managed to complete the spell, and reappeared on the other side of the room. But rather than vent himself on Dravot (who I think he was starting to fear) he instead focused on me. He let loose another black spell and viscid tendrils of oily blackness reached out and began tearing at my bow. But before they could tear it apart, I focused my magic and my training – I am a Champion, chosen of Corellion and if that lich thought he could destroy my bow that easily he had another thought coming. The wash of energy sent the tendrils recoiling and they sunk back to the shadows they came from.

    The combat continued to rage, and more of the fiends were getting sent back to the hells that spawned them. Dravot then began his assault on the ShadowTaker, and using the Light of Reason as a focus, sent a sunbeam bursting forth and it utterly destroyed the lich, leaving only tattered robes and ash behind. After a moment, a glow settled in, and a flashing iscosohedron floated out of the ashes, and then burst in a flash of light as it was drawn through the back wall on a red cord of energy.

    The fiends looked at each other for a long moment. But even the blood war was not enough to make them want to stay. Uttering a few foul curses at each other, they retreated to their home planes. That left only the golems standing.

    I turned another volley on the isometril golem, and it creaked and tiny fractures spread over its surface. A sudden light began shining from the fractures and the inherently unstable isometril blew apart, sending a wave of searing heat over everyone in the area. As for the vitaesis golem, Bolo and Thorkeld had been holding it back. Bolo’s rusting grasp had some good effect on the metal parts of the beast but Thorkeld was overmatched. Valanthe, now free to tend to this, ordered them back, and casually dodged her way to the golem, dropping an opposing vitaesis crystal into one of the rusted holes. As she slid away from the golem, it lurched and then exploded, leaving little more than smoke in its wake.

    Staring at the lich ashes, Scorch started mumbling something about “eidolon”. When we got him to speak common again, he explained it was some kind of construction like a simulacrum but more powerful in ways.

    Then a slow, deliberate clapping started. An obvious illusion formed in the center of the room, slowly and patronizingly clapping in applause at the grand melee. The figure was almost completely hidden in robes and a deep hood. The hands, oddly, were different colors and my gaze narrowed as I saw the archer’s nock on one of them. The face, when I could see it, was a puppet’s mask with two different colored eyes. One, I noted ironically, was the color of Scorch’s proper eye.

    The ShadowTaker continued his applause. “Well done. Well done.”

    I looked at the illusion with all the innocence I could muster and asked “Has this gotten expensive yet?”

    Even through the puppet mask I could tell a sneer. “You continue to vex me. But you cannot stop destiny. My offer still stands – you can leave now. You cannot stop the one I serve.”

    Dravot looked at the illusion coldly. “Therizdun” he spat.

    “Aye, of course Therizdun. Why the chaos that has been sown in the last year alone has been excellent. And it would have been much better, had it not been for you, bumbling about in matters you did not understand.”

    Dravot replied quietly. “We have come this far to destroy you. We will not turn back now.”

    “Destroy me? You cannot destroy me. But you will learn for yourselves. Come into my maze, if you dare. We await you.” The illusion faded.

    The wall through which the energy went was solid and real. However it did seem a bit thinner, as if designed for a passwall to allow passage through it. We didn’t have a passwall, but I wasn’t about to waste time with it. I took some of the vitaesis left from the shattered golem, and piled it by the wall. Then Aethramyr handed me a piece of the opposite vitaesis, and from the far side of the room I tossed it at the pile. There was a suitable explosion, and a set of stairs were revealed.

    Before we set onto the stairs, Dravot focused on the lantern. His eyes glowed with a yellow light and he spread the protection of Pelor upon us all. We quickly felt emboldened, and ready to face the evil that lie below. Dravot and Bolo made other preparations, Bolo summoning a veritable swarm of earth elementals, forming out of the cracked marble around the chamber. Wasting no further time, we descended the stairs.

    The stairs ended in a short passage, and at the end were walls of energy that flickered on and off. The entire area beyond the passage seemed to float in space with stars twinkling in the blackness, reminding me of the starfields under Castle Greyhawk. The stars were disturbing, not comforting. Scorch breathed something about the Far Realms. There were successive walls of the flickering energy, one inside of the next. There was no floor or ceiling but clearly something supported the figures we could see ahead.

    Ahead was an elf who was completely black. He was not entirely dissimilar from Aethramyr, and indeed sounded like the dark champion he had seen in his dreams. He slowly drew a wicked elven blade in challenge. Behind him and to one side was another dark protector – this one carrying a bow like the one made for Rackhir, though the wielder was certainly not him. He too was black as night, but still reminded me of myself somehow.

    And in the center, on a small dias, was the ShadowTaker, looking just as he had in the illusion, save being coated in a shimmering energy. But here his robes were in constant motion, rippling and flowing. He reached up, and took the mask aside with one hand. Under it, there was nothing but worms flowing and wriggling. Bolo gasped. “A worm that walks. Ehlonna protect us.”

    I remember thinking “It’s too late for that. We must protect ourselves, and each other.” Then I looked at the mass of crawling worms and thought “Correlian protect us.”

    Not knowing what the walls would do, I fired an experimental volley. Some hit the wall but one did make it through and stuck in the dark champion, who grunted and pulled out the arrow. He tossed a potion and dropped the vial on the floor – it bounced once then fell through the floor into the blackness below.

    Valanthe flickered into the shadows and was able to flow through the walls with minimal difficulty. Inside the air was cooler and thinner, as if up a vast mountain. Fortunately Pelor’s blessing lessened the impact of this unusual plane, and provided some degree of protection. We each tried to move through the walls and only luck seemed to make the final choice as to success. Aethramyr managed to move through during a flicker, and rushed the dark archer.

    The ShadowTaker hasted himself, and then produced two pieces of vitaesis in the severed hands he carried. The stones cracked and evaporated and his head rolled back with unconcealed menace as he was encased in a black shadow, the effect of which I could only guess at.

    After having tried to push through the wall several times, I gave up and some of us teleported through the wall and moved around the next wall to engage the defenders. That’s when the ShadowTaker amusedly opened a hole in the inner wall, and cast a horrid wilting. The screams only made the worms wriggle faster.

    The shadow champion came forward to meet Aethramyr. They seemed evenly matched. Or perhaps not. How could they be? Aethramyr had something the dark champion did not – friends. The champion sliced quickly with his blade, but found only the displaced image of Aethramyr. To make sure it wasn’t an even fight, I fired at the champion – he avoided some of them, but could not duck them all. One shaft bit deep into his shoulder and he fell back a step.

    The shadowy archer mirrored my move, and fired several arrows at Aethramyr in a single draw. Unfortunately Aethramyr was easier to find as a mark, and the arrows hit hard. Scorch decided that the archer needed some time out of the battle, and cast Maze on him. It was my hope that we could take good advantage of the time.

    Dravot teleported into the next chamber with Zera and Thorkeld. He brought forth Pelor’s light against the ShadowTaker, and the worm recoiled from it, but was not destroyed. I was amazed he had that much effect, then remembered the shining lantern he carried, which glowed in a golden hunger to destroy the creature that imprisoned it for so long. I suspected the inner force wall was protecting the worm – it didn’t flicker like the others. Bolo forced his way through the outer wall as well, but before he could do anything else, the ShadowTaker uttered an unholy word and Bolo was slain where he stood. But even as his lifeless body crumpled to the ground amid the worm’s chuckle, the golden glow intensified, and the body began reforming, and the old wizard’s chuckle was cut short as he realized that his enemy would be renewed in mere moments.

    Zera and Thorkeld moved in to support Aethramyr and did a fine job at that. The shadow champion reeled under the barrage of attacks. The champion, brave but not foolish, moved back to give himself room to fight. But in his haste he moved past Valanthe, who reached out with one thin blade across his throat. In a single silent movement, she sent the champion tumbling forward, his head half off his neck.

    The ShadowTaker, still recoiling from Dravot, opened another hole and sent rays of colored light forth across the paladins in a prismatic spray, but the powerful enchantment played over them without serious effect. But even as he did so, Valanthe was acting to deny him his defense inside the force wall, and used several crystals to cut off his arcane protection. He just sneered as the wall flickered and fell away, leaving him exposed but hardly defenseless. Scorch seized the opportunity and dispelled several of the worms other protections.

    Dravot then saw his moment. The enemy was exposed and vulnerable. He summoned Pelor’s might and power of the sun, using the Light of Reason to focus and intensify the power. His arm burned with the golden energy but the priest of Pelor had more force of will than any man I have known and he was not about to flinch now. The sunlight finally burst forth from the lantern, and thousands of worms screamed as one. They burst from the holy light and the pieces burned as they fell to the ground, leaving not even a fragment left of the creature. There was an empty clatter as the robes and scrolls fell to the floor, along with the two severed hands, the mask and the eyeballs.

    There was a pregnant moment as we all stared at the fallen worm, not daring to believe it was ended. We might have stood there an eternity, but a shockwave rippled through the walls of force. We looked at each other and knew it would be bad for us if we stayed here. We grabbed Bolo’s reformed body – some kind of centaur now – as well as the ShadowTaker’s remains and ran for the exit as fast as we could. Just as the last of us reached it, the outer walls began collapsing, exposing the area to the far realms. But even this hallway was not safe, and was shaking. We ran back to the marble hall but the connection to the next demi-plane was severed and we were trapped. The shockwaves were penetrating the entire complex and it seemed we would find no safety anywhere. Knowing we could reach the Shadow Plane from here, Valanthe said that’s where we should go, and she had the means to move us there. I knew nothing of the Shadow Plane, but it had to be better than staying here.

    A wash of shadow fell over us, and we were stretching towards the Shadow Plane. We arrived in an instant and were standing in a large group on a street in a city or large town. The buildings were strangely shaped, like it was a dream. The bottoms were sometimes smaller than the tops – it was like a carnival mirror. The entire place looked greyed out, as if most of the color had been drained from it, though a hint remained, like a faded tunic. Valanthe however looked like a black chalk etching, and her outline was fuzzy and blurred. As for us, we were still colorful – in fact we seemed too colorful for this place. It was like when my young sister had on too much makeup. The Light of Reason continued to blaze merrily, seeming quite out of place so Dravot finally shuttered it to draw less attention. Of course there didn’t seem to be anyone on the street at the moment. But I had the feeling we’re going to draw attention regardless of the lantern.

    Then something happened. There was light, and darkness all at once. Scorch’s crystal around his neck suddenly shattered. Lights and glass all up and down the street shattered as well. Somehow, somewhere, something much larger than the death of an ancient lich just happened. Scorch was sure a major planar event had just occurred.

    But what? I’m scared to find out.

    The Return of Loot:
    Spellbook of the ShadowTaker, including many high level spells and two epic spells (epic mage armor and an arrow reflection spell.)
    Scroll of Fireball (10th level)
    Scroll of Teleport without error
    Scroll of Acid Fog
    Scroll of Incendiary cloud
    Scroll of Shape Change
    Scroll of Wail of the Banshee
    Scroll of Horrid Wilting
    Scroll of Summon monster IX
    Potion of Haste
    Amulet of Natural Armor +2
    Bracers of Armor +8
    Ring of Protection +3
    Gloves of Dexterity +4
    Headband of Intillect +6
    Pink Ioun stone (+2 con)
    +5 mithril breastplate
    +4 mithril buckler
    +2 keen vitaesis elven thinblade (this weapon is not evil)
    +5 flaming burst composite longbow (might, +4)


    A note for the gentle reader:
    The characters of this campaign are now all 20th or 21st level, at least as far as the amount of experience they've accumulated. The campaign is now epic-level, however none of the characters are truly 21st level yet. Each will need to undertake some ordeal in order to fully realize their new powers, and that will vary by individual. What exactly that will be, we do not know yet.

    Also, the campaign will take a short hiatus - we will be playing the Avonshar campaign for a few weeks. During that time there will be no major adventures here, but I suspect (you may read that as hope if you like) that things will happen, charaters will have interactions and sidebar events, and assorted smaller updates will be made. Personally, the curiousity is killing me.

    If there is interest, we can probably put up stat blocks in the rogue's gallery for the 21st level Meepites.
    Last edited by Zad; Tuesday, 15th July, 2003 at 03:46 PM.

 

  • #232
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    Hans-Pieter the FireWarden was, simply put, not very smart.

    Oh, it was true, he was a learned man. He had studied the books of reason and magical dynamics. He had travelled to Sigil, and visited the Abyss, once.

    "A Dreadful place, that", he thought to himself.

    He was tall, even for an Oeridean, and his name owed as much to his dusky appearance and bright red shock of hair as it did to his talents with magic. His name was impressive, and it certainly had won him the affection of the many a sweetling besides...though more often of the bumpkin variety. Hans-Pieter's almost criminal lack of ambition, at least in the eyes of his peers, led to him getting duties within the guild that were otherwise difficult to assign.

    It was because of this that the FireWarden found himself maintaining the Source Majere. Few arcanists cared to worry themselves with the maintenance of the Source, let alone to tarry for hours within the center of Pyramid Arcane doting upon it. Nevermind that it was the center and heart of the power of the guild, or one of the most compelling reasons to join...it was a inconvienence. And wizards hate to be inconvienenced.

    Thus, Hans-Pieter found himself tending to the Source more often than not. As a member of the Onyx, he had a group of twelve apprentices to order about, all charged with it's maintenance. It was an easy stipend from the guild for little work...and he did get free access to the spell pool. For an unambitious man such as he, it was a worthy calling.

    When one of the apprentices suddenly called down from the catwalk over the third level, saying he had noticed an irregularity, Hans-Pieter was unconcerned. He glanced up at the giant azure gem-stone, a tear-drop some forty feet high, and shook his head. Foolish boys, he thought. He thought this of the second and third, as well. The Source was the eye of a dead god, it was believed, captured from the Astral. Quite unpredictable things, really.

    By the time that the sorceress known as the Slaker of Thirsts (although not Hans-Pieter's, it should be mentioned, which may have been why he was disinclined to her) arrived, he was starting to become agitated.

    When all of their crystals shattered, as one, genuine concern had finally started to dawn. One apprentice, an unruly boy, ran from the room in unconcealed hysteria. Obviously, it was time that he put his foot down.

    "Now see here, all of you! This is quite unaccept..."

    Before he could finish the sentence, the room was filled with a sound of a great CRACK. All heads turned to look at the Source Majere, it's perfectly smooth form now marred by a vicious crack. Suddenly, there were dozens of cracks expanding outwards.

    "I say! That's not quite..."

    His babbling was this time interrupted by the scream from the Slaker of Thirsts, whose eyes began to bleed. A madness overtook her, then, and she began screaming random phrases...and then teleported somewhere else. Rather than being afraid, the FireWarden merely felt pleased that she was gone. This momentary revery was shattered as a sound like thousands of pieces of glass washed over him.

    "Well....that's not right."

    As the container for all the collected energy of the spell pool cracked, Hans-Pieter simply watched in horror and fascination. One fleeing apprentice was struck down by a maximized magic missle spell. What fool had put that in there? Another was turned into an Umber Hulk, then petrified. He couldn't see what the prismatic spray was doing to the others.

    As a Sonic Meteor Swarm, Empowered Acid Ball and Ice-admixtured Lightning Bolt all flew towards him, the last thing that Hans-Pieter would ever think was, "Why is everyone so obssessed with sonics, honestly?"

    Hans-Pieter, as we have mentioned, was not very smart.
    "I'd say it's more appropriate to say that videogames are RPG-ish, wouldn't you?"

    Have you read our current Zad/Wizardru's New Story Hour (Updated 9/8)

    or our older WizarDru's Story Hour?
    You Should.
    I ain't linking to Piratecat's story hour...no sir, I just won't do it. He can just get the next half-million reads on his own.

    Did I mention that I have a Livejournal? It's possible that I have.

  • #233
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    Originally posted by Argent

    geek.
    Hahahaha! Good stuff.

    I've blown it on this story hour because I've read the last dozen or so posts prior to starting from the beginning. Now I can go back and blissfully waste more time at work.

    Curious - did you cats decide as a group to go Epic, or did Dru make that decision, or was it some other combination?

    I'm a bit torn right now in my own campaign whether to go beyond 20th or start a new one. Still have a ways to go, I s'pose, but I'll babble about D&D 24/7 if I have the chance. No motive needed.

    Thanks for writing!

    The Notorious D
    VALUS Maps, downloads, and sample excerpts from the doubly ENnie-nominated campaign sourcebook.

    Sins of Our Fathers - A Valusian tale.

  • #234
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    Originally posted by Destan
    Still have a ways to go, I s'pose, but I'll babble about D&D 24/7 if I have the chance. No motive needed.
    Ain't that the truth.

    The decision was a mutual one, after some discussion. No one wants to lay their characters down, and I have still have some stories to tell, yet. It wasn't an easy decision, at the end. In the beginning, when the ELH came out, I considered it a simple matter....but a year later, with many session of high-level play under my belt, I had some doubts.

    In some ways, the ELH is very, well, NON-Epic. In other ways, it's very much the opposite. It's rather fun to throw things like a Mithral Golem or Winterwight at the party, but at the same time, finding reasonable challenges within the context of the campaign can be quite challenging. The cumulative power of the party is massive, and we'll be adapting some of the ELH rules changes (particularly to saves, and the like).

    As it is, the timing was just right for the arrival of 3.5. It dovetails with some major campaign changes, and 3.5's changes will just seem part of the 'new order'. Astute readers may have already guessed part of the catastrophe that's occured, as the foundation was laid months ago, when I first determined that Epic would be viable. One of the things that this means is that we'll be going back to fewer combats, but more meaningful ones. While I've laid reasons for lots of powerful foes to be around, I don't want to stretch verisimilitude to the breaking point.

    Ultimately, I still see an end-point for the game; it just slid away from us as we approached it (in the manner of approaching the speed of light). It was always my idea that the ShadowKing would be the ultimate big bad, but that conflicting factions of evil would alternately support or oppose him. Chavram rose and essentially took the place of Iuz in the game, becoming a much better, more personal threat to the party. He also works better in that he has motives the party can follow and fathom, if not necessarily appreciate.

    Of course, now we hit that "I could talk about this all day" threshold. I don't really think you're here to hear me babble about campaign design all day.

    Short answer is this: Dravot said to me the other day, at the close of the game, "You know, if I didn't turn 21st, and stayed 20th for the rest of the game...I really wouldn't mind that much." I take that as a big compliment. Consider that epic or not, the game can continue. A carrot can still be provided, possibly in the form of occasional "swap-outs" of skill points or feats...such that the PC never technically advances, but refines.

    And there I go again. Hope that helps.
    "I'd say it's more appropriate to say that videogames are RPG-ish, wouldn't you?"

    Have you read our current Zad/Wizardru's New Story Hour (Updated 9/8)

    or our older WizarDru's Story Hour?
    You Should.
    I ain't linking to Piratecat's story hour...no sir, I just won't do it. He can just get the next half-million reads on his own.

    Did I mention that I have a Livejournal? It's possible that I have.

  • #235
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    Liar Liar Pants on Fire

    As promised, (ok it's late) here's the Great Big List o'Liars

    I went back through the story hours and looked at any NPC with which we had significant interaction and looked for which ones lied to us and which ones didn't. Note that key word "significant". If there was no deep conversation, then they really couldn't have lied to us. In some cases I have to make assumptions about what the NPC knew, and therefore if they lied.


    The Sunless Citadel
    Lord Gelban - lied his pants off from day one.
    Hercrule and the Mayor - lied about the fruit
    Meepo - lied like the day is long
    Kobold Queen - lied
    Goblin shaman - probably lied about something, but can't be sure. Questionably "significant"
    Bellaq - no real conversation

    A Well Earned Rest
    Drawmij - didn't really say anything
    Ariadne - lied by omission
    Mordenkainen - didn't really say much
    Olidamarra - lied - duh
    Ralishaz - lied I bet

    The Forge of Fury
    Aran'gel - what a dirty liar
    Duregar Leader - lied and got busted
    Succubus - lied - said Scorch was sexy
    Nasir - lied and a doody head besides

    A Family Affair
    Marcus - lied - not even his real name
    The Silverring - lied. Dragons seem to have a mutal aversion pact with the truth.
    Weasely clerk - liar, and a poor one
    Bellamy - had been lying for years
    Sebastian - lied
    Euphamis - lied but just a little
    Roget a.k.a. Bubba the Bebblith a.k.a. the Black Archer - what do you think?
    Chavram - lied
    The Brazen - very likely lied by omission
    Hammer and Tongs - likely lied by omission but maybe not.

    Flight of Arrows
    Nobody really

    Heart of Nightfang Spire
    Silent Brother - probably lied about something
    Zera/Zara - lied

    Divine Wrath
    Queen of Celene - oh sure
    Haldrin - lied
    The Owl....

    And here we have it ladies and gentlemen. The first instance of an NPC who I don't think ever lied to us. It took many chapters and a year or two worth of adventuring to find one honest gnome.

    The Egg of Coot -lied
    Priest of Wee Jas - lied surely
    Fraz - hell yeah
    Ravenna - lied

    The Grand Tour
    Ralishaz's avatars - probably lied about somthing
    Sumez ben Taal - the liairest liar that ever lied a lie
    Mortimer Fuvex-vex-vex - almost as big a liar as Sumez
    Ember - probably lied - sisters do
    Bugbear shaman - lied

    The Green and the Black
    nobody really

    Shadow of Winter
    nobody

    The Durance Vile
    nobody really

    The Crypt of the Shadow Taker
    The Dreamer Prime - probably about something
    The ShadowTaker - ever since day one


    So in about three or four years worth of adventure we have one NPC who was truthful. What a world

  • #236
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    Just an update for those interested. The details with the epic and 3.5 conversion are settling down and we will be resuming play shortly - probably the weekend after Labor Day due to Shorecon.

    Meanwhile, we promised stat blocks, so let's do that. I think Kayleigh's is finally just about settled.

    Unfortunately I'm not sure how to do a table, so you'll have to live with this.

    Kayleigh Drake
    Female medium humanoid (Elf)
    Ftr 4/Sor 4/Arcane Archer 11/Eldritch Knight 2

    Hit Dice: 21(188 hp)
    Initiative: +15
    Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares), fly 60 ft.(12 squares)
    Armor Class: 38 (+11 dex, +8 bracers of armor, + natural armor, +3 ring of protection, +4 earring of shield), touch 36, flat-footed 27
    Base Atk/Grapple: +19/+24
    Attack: Bow: Dawnfire +38 (1d8 + 13/x3)
    Full Attack: Dawnfire +38/+38/+33/+28/+23 (1d8 + 13/x3)
    Space/Reach: 5ft./5ft.
    Special Attacks: Spells
    Special Qualities: Elven traits
    Saves: Fort +26 Reflex +27 Will +18
    Abilities: Str 20, Dex 32, Con 18 Int 16, Wis 12, Cha 16
    Skills: Climb +11, Concentration +11, Craft - Bowmaking +30, Diplomacy +7, Hide +36, Knowledge, Arcana +7, Listen +36, Move Silently +37, Ride +18, Spellcraft +17, Spot +36, Tumble +14
    Feats: Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Weapon Focus: Longbow, Weapon Specialization: Longbow, Rapid shot, Improved Rapid Shot, Improved Initiative, Iron will, Manyshot, Great Fortitude, Improved Precise Shot, Holy Strike
    Treasure: Dawnfire (+1 keen fiery blast mighty composite longbow, mighty bonus adjusts to wielder, wall of fire 1x/day 7th level caster, summon greater fire elemental per summon monster VIII 1/week 15th level caster), Special Quiver of Ehlonna (creates endless normal arrows), 300 cold iron arrows, 200 silver arrows, 20 adamantite arrows, visual/audible signal arrows, 50 feet elven rope, masterwork bowmakers tools, Hewards handy haversack, journal, masterowrk harp, assorted flasks and bottles, wide assortment of clothing, belt of resistance +5, bracers of armor +8, rod of lesser extend spell, amulet of natural armor +2, ring of protection +3, gauntlets Dex+6/Str+6/Con+2, earring of See invisible/+5 spot/+5 listen, vest of Entropic Shield, ring of chameleon power, earring of shield, ioun stone +2 cha, ioun stone: pale green prism, luckstone, boots of flight (use activated fly spell), 2 potions of heroism, potion of blur, 3 potions of cure serious wounds, 3 potions of cure light wounds, wand of mage armor (20 charges), wand of magic missile (25 charges, 7th level), wand of fireball (25 charges, 6th level), wand of silence (20 charges), wand of mirror image (20 charges), wand of blink (20 charges)
    Alignment: Chaotic Good
    Spells Known: 0 Level: Light, Dancing Lights, Ghost Sound, Mending, Open/Close, Detect Magic, Prestidigitation, Read Magic. 1st level: Obscuring Mist, True Strike, Charm Person, Silent Image, Aran'gel's Edge. 2nd Level: Glitterdust, Blur, Mirror Image, Darkvision. 3rd level: Protection from Energy, Fly, Haste. 4th level: Elemental Infusion, Dimension Door
    Languages: Common, Elven, Draconic, Sylvan, Orcish, Ignan
    Notes: 1. This is a modified version of the Arcane Archer, wherein Wizardru removed many of the special abilities and added a few levels of +caster level. 2. Yes, the epic feat is holy strike. While smite evil is a requirement for this feat, Wizardru waived that requirement for campaign reasons. 3. Kayleigh will be creating a new bow shortly, based on 3.5 and epic changes. Dawnfire is a +1 keen fiery blast mighty composite longbow The strength bonus will adjust to the wielder, and additionally it can do wall of fire 1x/day and summon an elder fire elemental 1x/week. This weapon has not yet been made by Kayleigh nor has it been approved by Wizardru but it will probably be dealt with as soon as the game resumes.

    Combat: Kayleigh is a hard hitting ranged combatant. She will use defensive spells early as the situation warrants (mirror image, protection from energy) and then move closer, remaining airborne to avoid ground combatants. She will direct her fire as needed, usually focusing on the most serious threats or supporting party members who are in melee. For foes with exceptionally high AC, she will use manyshot, coupling with true strike if needed. She carries a variety of arrows to bypass DR.

    Personal Information: Kayleigh is the eldest of two daughters of a minor noble and Knight of Luna in Celene. She was only 82 when the Hateful Wars erupted and she (and many of her fellow elves) took up the bow to defend the elven nation even though she was not yet of age for such things. While she was not deep in the thick of the war, she did see enough of it to color her attitudes towards the evil races and orcs in particular.

    Her father is at odds with Celene’s isolationist policies. When a recent political storm erupted, he requested she depart for a time to let things settle out. He hoped this would also relieve some of the restlessness he had observed in her recently. He arranged for her to work with Lord Gelban in Greyhawk on unknown terms.

    Since that time, a great deal has happened. With the rest of the group, she has died, faced down dragons and demons and creatures even more powerful. She has gone from a daunted girl swept up in events beyond her understanding to a confident figure with both the ability and the will to change the world around her. With the demise of the ShadowTaker, she has come to to finally accept that she and her companions are a force in the world that can do great deeds, and those things need doing.
    Last edited by Zad; Friday, 29th August, 2003 at 07:06 PM.

  • #237
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    Scorch's Stat Block

    Scorch
    Male medium humanoid (Human)
    Wizard 10/Mage of the Arcane Order 10/Arch Mage 1

    Hit Dice: 21(160 hp)
    Initiative: +3
    Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
    Armor Class: 21 (+3 dex, +4 mage armor, +4 ring of protection)
    Base Atk/Grapple: +10/+5
    Attack: None
    Full Attack: None
    Space/Reach: 5ft./5ft.
    Special Attacks: Spells
    Special Qualities: Arch Mage High Arcana
    Saves: Fort +16 Reflex +16 Will +29
    Abilities: Str 10, Dex 17, Con 21 Int 30, Wis 13, Cha 8
    Skills: Appraise +23, Bluff +3, Concentration +30, Craft Alchemy +23, Diplomacy +3, Heal +6, Intimidate +5, Knowledge Arcana +35, Knowlege Planes, +28, Listen +8, Move Silently +13, Profession Scribe +4, Ride +6, Search +13, Spell Craft, +38, Spot +8
    Feats: Skill Focus(Spellcraft), Spell Focus(Enchantment, Evocation), Spell Penetration, Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Craft Wondrous Item, Empower Spell, Extend Spell, Maximize Spell, Greater Spell Penetration, Cooperative Spell, Energy Substitution (Sonic), Improved Spell Capacity, High Arcana: Mastery of Shaping
    Treasure: Belt of Health (Con +4), Ring of Protection +4,Ring of Wizardry Type 1, Bracers of Resistance +5, Cloak of Intellect +6, Boots of Elvenkind, Boccob's Blessed Book, Leomund's Secret Chest, Wand of Mirror Image (5 Charges), Staff of Frost (15), Rod of Greater Silence, Necklace of Adaptation, Crystal Ball, Pale Green Ioun Stone

    Alignment: Chaotic Good
    Spells Known: Lots and lots

    Personal Information: Scorch has a sister called Ember. That's all you need to know.
    Scorch's Nightmare:
    Scorch: I finished my miniature! Took me hours. Look: I even modded the right eye with an eye patch!
    WizarDru: Uh... you know that your character had lost his LEFT eye?
    Scorch: NOOOOOO!!!!!!

  • #238
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    Personal Information: Scorch has a sister called Ember. That's all you need to know.
    Too funny

    But I can't resist....

    Combat: Scorch is the arcane backbone of the party. While he personally enjoys dealing out both focused and widespread arcane destruction, his spell choices are not overly specialized. In fact, he tends to have a good variety of prepared spells, ready for almost any occasion. (How he always has the right thing up his sleeve amazes me to this day.)

    Personal Information: Scorch has revealed almost nothing in the way of personal information to even his closest associates. He does indeed have a sister who is currently apprenticed to The Owl in the Land of Black Ice. Scorch is the youngest son and hence there were nearly no expectations of him. And that's about all we know.

    A powerful arcane caster however would have heard of Scorch, who, due to a series of "regretable accidents" is now the head of the Grey Guild - the main guild of magecraft centered in Greyhawk. Scorch had no aspirations to this role, and would prefer the guild went on doing its business as usual, but given the collapse of the guild that accompanied the death of the ShadowTaker, Scorch seems to be ready to make a serious attempt to restore the guild.

    As a personality, he is a curmudgeonly, grumpy, reclusive, power-hungry wizard. Certainly that is what he's always strived to be. However he does have a underlying tendency to do the right thing, a fact which I believe has surprised even him. Given different associates, this might have been suppressed, however the influence of the rest of the group has caused that kernel of goodness to grow within Scorch. Granted, it's not like he feeds the homeless or helps elder basilisks across the street, but he will work for the greater good with slightly less complaining than you might expect. This may be in part due to the fact that while he complains of the constant interruptions to his work, the adventures have opened the door to riches, magical treasures, and knowledge he would otherwise not have encountered.

    He does however have a long memory for enemies.

  • #239
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    ø Ignore Argent Silvermage
    My communities:

    There's a place for me...

    Bolo Brandybuck
    Elf, 19th level Druid/ 1st Level Divine Agent of Ehlonna
    Medium Humanoid (Elf)
    Hit Dice: 20d8+20 (140 hp/ 160 with belt.)
    Initiative: +2
    Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
    Armor Class: 29 (+2 Dex, +5 Dragonhide Breastplate, +2 heavy shield, +3 ring, +2 natural armor), touch 15, flat-footed 27
    Base Attack: +14/+9/+4
    [B]Attack: MW Scimitar +1 melee (1d6/18–20/x2) or MW Comp. Longbow +3 ranged (1d8/x3)
    Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
    Special Attacks: Magic, Wildshapes
    Special Qualities: Elven traits, Druid Abilities: Animal companion, Nature sense, Wild Empathy, Woodland Stride, Trackless step, Resist Nature’s Lure, Wildshapes [Tiny to huge, plants], Venom Immunity, 1000 faces, Timeless Body. Bolo has access to the Good Domain through his Divine Agent class level, Casts “Good” Spells at +1 level.
    Saves: Fort +15, Ref +11, Will +21 (23)*
    Abilities: Str 11 (13), Dex 15, Con 12 (14), Int 16, Wis 25 (29), Cha 15
    Skills: Knowledge Nature +30, Listen +18 (20), Search +5, Spot +15 (17), Diplomacy +6, Sense Motive +13 (15), Concentration +9 (+10), Craft Wicker +5, Handle Animal +21 (23), Knowledge Planes +7, Knowledge Psionics +4, Move silently +2, Ride Dog +8, Spellcraft +21, Swim +1 (+2), Survival +35 (37), Knowledge Fae +15, Knowledge Folklore +8, Perform Storytelling +7
    Feats: Leadership, Evolve, Track, Plant Control, Fast Wildshape, Nature Spell, Extra Wildshape (Animal 7/Elemental 3)
    Environment: The Grove in the Land of Black Ice
    Alignment: Neutral Good

    Appearance: Bolo’s basic look is that of a slightly smaller than average elf. He has copper red hair and green eyes. He has tufts of fur on the tops of his feet like a Halfling does. He has a tattoo of a tree on his chest and various tribal style tattoos along his body. Due to Bolo’s 1000 faces ability he can change his appearance at will and does so often. He typically dresses in a mix of Halfling and Elvish styles.


    Languages: Common, Elf, Sylvan, Druidic, Giant, Terran, Auran, Aquan, Ignan, & Blue Bugbear.

    Equipment of note:
    +5 Green Dragonhide Breastplate (Wild ability)
    Coat of Resistance +3
    Glove of storing Right hand (Master work Scimitar)
    Glove of Storing Left Hand (Master work heavy Darkwood Shield)
    Bulette Belt: +2 Natural Armor, +2 STR, +2 CON
    Circlet of Speech: Speak with Animals, Comprehend Languages and Read Magic
    Ring of Feather Fall
    +3 Ring of Protection
    Horn of Fog
    Heward’s Handy Haversack
    Periapt of Wisdom +4
    Ioun Stone (absorbs spells of 4th level or lower Max 20 spell levels)
    Tome of Understanding +1 (Used)
    Quiver of Ehlonna
    Masterwork Composite Long Bow
    Bracers of Mighty Fists +2


    Combat:
    Bolo employs a style of combat based on his ability to Wildshape. He tries to stay in an elemental for at all times now (typicaly Air) and uses spells that will compliment the rest of the party. Bolo is dareing to a fault and has gotten himself into some dire straights due to his bravery. Most recently he was killed by the Shadow-Taker for being the one to breach it's defences first. Bolo is very rairly in his Elven form now a days having "given up the lie" of having a race any longer. Bolo tends to think defensively. He will cast Dispel Magic or Greater Dispel Magic at the largest opponent before they can get an attack off if he can. From there he will switch into an elemental form and combine his combat abilities with his spell casting.

    Background:
    Bolo Brandybuck was the only son or Rose "wild rose" and Danforth Brandybuck. He is the second eldest child , His twin sister Bala being born only minutes before Bolo. He has 2 younger sisters and a cousin named Tickleberry who is his closest relative. Things are a bit straigned now since Bolo's rebirth.
    Bolo has died 2 times in his travels with the Meepites and has been reincarnated twice as a Wood Elf. He sees this as a gift from his goddess Ehlonna but he also feels he needs to stake his own way in the world. His latest "body" has a strong vein of Fae blood in it and he will start the transformation to a fully Fae form as soon as he has the time.


    Personality:
    Bolo is the eternal optomist. He see the good in all people and things and is very attached to Scorch. Bolo finds it a rare thing to find someone as interested in the Planes and the cosmology of the worlds as Bolo and Scorch are.

    Bolo is openly gay. He has not made an issue of it but his friends were stunned recently to find that Bolo has a son named Geo who lives with his mother.
    Last edited by Argent; Tuesday, 26th August, 2003 at 02:09 AM.
    Looking forward to 4E!

  • #240
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    My communities:

    Meet: The Bargainers!

    What was the Bargain, and how was it kept? Perhaps the Meepites will learn sooner than they wish.


    Bargainer 1, Skulk; Greater barghest Rog12: CR 17; ECL 21; Size L; HD 21; hp 154; Init +6; Spd 60 ft (base 30 ft), or 60 ft.; AC 23, touch 14, FF 18; BAB +12/+7/+2; Atk: +21/+16/+11 melee (1d8 + 5, Bite), +16/+16 melee (1d6 + 3, Claws); SA Spell-like abilities, feed; SQ Damage reduction 15/+1, scent, alternate form; AL LE; SV Fort +15, Ref +19, Will +15; Str 20, Dex 18, Con 20, Int 26, Wis 21, Cha 19.
    Skills and Feats: Balance +19, Bluff +19, Climb +20, Concentration +17, Craft (Trapmaking) +21, Decipher Script +23, Diplomacy +19, Gather Information +19, Heal +12.5, Hide +19, Sleight of Hand +19, Intimidate +19, Survival +20, Jump +20, Knowledge (Arcana) +15.5, Listen +17, Sense Motive +17, Spellcraft +15.5, Spot +20, Swim +20, Tumble +19, Use Magic Device +19, Use Rope +19; Armor Proficiency (Light), Combat Casting, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Improved Initiative, Improved Unarmed Strike, Mobility, Spring Attack, Stunning Fist, Damage Reduction, Scent, Sneak Attack, Uncanny Dodge, Evasion, Slippery Mind.

    Bargainer 2, Shrike; Greater barghest PsiEgo12: CR 17; ECL 21; Size L; HD 21; hp 153; Init +2; Spd 60 ft (base 30 ft), or 60 ft.; AC 14, touch 5, FF 13; BAB +9/+4; Atk: +16/+11 melee (1d8 + 7, Bite), +11/+11 melee (1d6 + 5, Claws); SA Spell-like abilities, feed; SQ Damage reduction 15/+1, scent, alternate form; AL LE; SV Fort +15, Ref +11, Will +21; Str 24, Dex 0, Con 20, Int 24, Wis 24, Cha 18.
    Skills and Feats: Appraise +14.5, Bluff +16, Concentration +20, Diplomacy +11.5, Heal +11.5, Hide +23, Intimidate +18, Jump +22, Listen +19, Search +14.5, Sense Motive +19, Spellcraft +14.5, Spot +19, Swim +22, Autohypnosis +22, Knowledge (Psionics) +22, Psicraft +22, Stabilize Self +20, Use Psionic Device +11.5; Combat Casting, Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, Damage Reduction, Scent, Extend Power, Inertial Armor, Mental Leap, Persistent Power, Speed of Thought.
    Power Points: 103.
    Powers Known: Biofeedback, Bite of the Tiger, Bite of the Wolf, Body Adjustment, Body Equilibrium, Breath of the Dragon, Chameleon, Claws of the Bear, Compression, Iron Body, Lesser Natural Armor, Metamorphosis, Natural Armor, Painful Touch, Psychofeedback, Rejuvenation, Shadow Body, Shapechange, Suspend Life, Sustenance, Talons, Vigor.

    Bargainer 3 Stand; Greater barghest Ftr2/Def10: CR 17; ECL 21; Size L; HD 21; hp 197; Init +7; Spd 40 ft (base 30 ft), or 60 ft.; AC 36, touch 15, FF 30; BAB +18/+13/+8/+3; Atk: +25/+20/+15/+10 melee (1d8 + 3, Bite), +20/+20 melee (1d6 + 1, Claws); SA Spell-like abilities, feed; SQ Damage reduction 15/+1, scent, alternate form; AL ; SV Fort +25, Ref +18, Will +27; Str 16, Dex 18, Con 20, Int 16, Wis 24, Cha 21.
    Skills and Feats: Balance +4, Bluff +17, Climb +3, Concentration +17, Diplomacy +11, Escape Artist +4, Hide +7, Sleight of Hand +1.5, Intimidate +19, Jump +10, Listen +22, Pick Pocket +1, Scry +13, Search +10.5, Sense Motive +22, Spellcraft +13, Spot +22, Tumble +4, Use Rope +9, Wilderness Lore +12; Armor Proficiency (Heavy), Armor Proficiency (Light), Armor Proficiency (Medium), Blind-Fight, Combat Casting, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Endurance, Terrain Mastery Plains, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Martial Weapon Proficiency, Quick Draw, Shield Proficiency, Simple Weapon Proficiency, Toughness, Damage Reduction, Scent, Defensive Stance, Defensive Awareness.
    Possessions: Full plate +4, Longsword +3.

    Bargainer 4 Slink; Greater barghest Rog6/Sha7: CR 18; ECL 22; Size L; HD 22; hp 118; Init +8; Spd 60 ft (base 30 ft), or 60 ft.; AC 25, touch 16, FF 18; BAB +12/+7/+2; Atk: +19/+14/+9 melee (1d8 + 3, Bite), +14/+14 melee (1d6 + 1, Claws); SA Spell-like abilities, feed; SQ Damage reduction 15/+1, scent, alternate form; AL LE; SV Fort +11, Ref +23, Will +17; Str 16, Dex 22, Con 13, Int 15, Wis 24, Cha 21.
    Skills and Feats: Balance +15, Bluff +17, Concentration +13, Decipher Script +18, Escape Artist +22, Hide +22, Sleight of Hand +15, Intimidate +19, Jump +15, Listen +19, Move Silently +22, Perform +14, Pick Pocket +15, Read Lips +11, Search +18, Sense Motive +19, Spot +23, Tumble +22, Use Magic Device +14; Planar Cohort, Armor Proficiency (Light), Combat Casting, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Improved Initiative, Mobility, Spring Attack, Two-Weapon Fighting, Damage Reduction, Scent, Sneak Attack, Evasion, Uncanny Dodge, Hide in Plain Sight, Evasion, Darkvision, Uncanny Dodge, Shadow Illusion, Summon Shadow, Shadow Jump, Defensive Roll, Slippery Mind.

    Bargainers 5 &6 were never developed as they were supposed to be, and ended up being variants of the folks above. What can I say? Sometimes I get lazy.
    "I'd say it's more appropriate to say that videogames are RPG-ish, wouldn't you?"

    Have you read our current Zad/Wizardru's New Story Hour (Updated 9/8)

    or our older WizarDru's Story Hour?
    You Should.
    I ain't linking to Piratecat's story hour...no sir, I just won't do it. He can just get the next half-million reads on his own.

    Did I mention that I have a Livejournal? It's possible that I have.

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