Bloodstone Falls

byxbee

Explorer
Broccli_Head said:
Being a DM in the Forgotten Realms myself , I am naturally drawn to another story set in Faerun.

Like the beginning...miss the halfling...like the dwarf. What is he? Dwarven barbarian?



Hey Broc,

Thanks for reading! The dwarf is a mix of ranger and rogue. He is a big fan of poison and a hardy wilderness traveler, as you will soon see.

Oovie will be back soon. He wasn't in my notes for these past few sessions, but is in most of the one's once they get to Bloodstone Pass.

From Lela: I'm thinking just about the only one able to remain perfectly calm in a fight would be a Monk (of at least 5th level).


That would be a good way to look at it. Maybe race would help too, a halfling is more easy going and wouldn't have much trouble (for example)

Also, the more agitated a person becomes, the higher the DC.

combat = DC 22
Argument = DC18
Physical Activity (running, dancing, love making :) ) = DC 20 (or 26 w/ a succubus!)
 

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Lela

First Post
byxbee said:


Also, the more agitated a person becomes, the higher the DC.

combat = DC 22
Argument = DC 18
Physical Activity (running, dancing, love making :) ) = DC 20 (or 26 w/ a succubus!) [/B]

Hmmm, to make it eaiser to read:

  • Argument = DC 18
  • Combat = DC 22
  • Rage (BBN or similar) = DC 25
  • General Phisical Activity = DC 20-26 (depending on situation)

There could also be adjustments based on situation but this would be WAY complex.
 
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Broccli_Head

Explorer
Lela said:


Hmmm, to make it eaiser to read:

  • Argument = DC 18
  • Combat = DC 22
  • Rage (BBN or similar) = DC 25
  • General Phisical Activity = DC 20-26 (depending on situation)

There could also be adjustments based on situation but this would be WAY complex.

So what is this poison called again? Any 'official' mention of it anywhere in the 2nd ed. products?
 

byxbee

Explorer
It isn't an Official Poison, just something I read somewhere about a real world poison that worked in a similar fashion. Not an immediate kill, but if a persons heart rate reached a certain threshold, the poison would shut down the heart. I modified it a bit.

In fact, it is more a TYPE of poison than any one specific poison.

You could add the "Agitation" handle to any of the 2e or 3e poisons to say that it did not kick in until the subject got excited enough to trigger it.
 

Lela

First Post
Overall, I like it. This will really mess with a group. They may never even figure out what is going on. They mess with Gnolls, they faint; they mess with Drow, they faint; they mess with a dragon (or two), they faint. No consistancy, just a "your food was salty" before hand.

I know I'll get beat up by ticked off players though, have to keep it fun for everyone. Hmmmm, how to do that and still have fun myself. . .;)
 
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Ishkrom

First Post
I like running games in the FR and the "Bloodstone Lands" was one of the most memorable games I DM'ed. That was 11 years ago. I still like taking players there. Nice harsh conditions with lots of fun around every mountain range.
Keep it coming dude, it's great.
 

byxbee

Explorer
Chapter 8
“Out here on the perimeter there are no stars…”


While Durnae spent a few moments gathering his thoughts and his possessions, Mirny cleaned up his supplies and emptied the Griffon’s pockets. They packed in silence.

Durnae was a bit unnerved by this Dwarf. In just the past hour since he had met Mirny, he had been arrested, had his hands tied, fought a Silver Griffon, been unwittingly poisoned, and then laughed at for his naiveté. The dwarf was jovial at times, gruff and unpredictable at others. Durnae wasn’t sure he could trust him, or that he even liked him.

Mirny, on the other hand, showed no signs that any of the wild events of the past hour had had an effect upon him. He hummed the same tune now as he had during the fight.
He wore rugged, shabby garments that spoke of weeks spent on the tundra. He spent a few moments applying salve to his injured shoulder.

Durnae considered his options. Traveling alone didn’t seem like the best idea. The tundra was frigid and empty, and an outsider could easily starve or become lost. He certainly couldn’t travel back to Valls and into the hands of Speck or the snake-like man or the horse trader that wanted him arrested. He needed to get far away from this shack as possible.

It seemed that following this strange dwarf was his only option. He could only hope that their path together led someplace quiet, lonely, and safe. Plus at the moment, he feared what would happen to him if the poison he had ingested were to kick in.

Mirny came back into the hut after checking on the mounts. “We’ll be headin off the path and across the flats about a half mile up the road.. It’ll be cold fer ya at night, of course, and the ground will be unstable. We’d better let that colt of yers go, it’d just twist a knee in the first badger hole anyway,” grumbled Mirny. “It’s a shame too, cuz from the looks of him, he’d fetch a healthy price in Bloodstone Pass.”

“I am indebted to you, Mirny. You saved me from all sorts of trouble here tonight. I have little to offer you besides the colt. He’s yours if you want him,” replied Durnae “and I’m afraid I’ll make a terrible traveling companion.”

“Naw, don’t you worry friend. By the time we get to the Pass, I’ll have you countin hare sh%t and tastin the wind,” Mirny chuckled. “And that horse of yers is stolen property. Valuable property. I’d be stupid to ride that thing. Sh&t, and Moradina would kick me in the nuggets if I tried to ride another…”

Moradina, it turned out, was Mirny’s brakk, the unsavory mount tied to a pole outside the shack. Even the Griffon’s powerful steed, tied to a pole next to Moradina, found the creature an unfit companion. The horse was spitting and pawing at the ground and trying for all its might to back away from the aromatic beast.

“She has no friends but me, it seems,” said Mirny as he adjusted the saddle. “People. Horses. Plants. Very small rocks. They all seem to take unkindly to her. Don’t know why, really, she’s as loyal and sweet as they come.” He stroked the creatures tangled fur for a moment. He laid his axe across his lap and watched as Durnae gathered the soldier's horse by the reins. This would be the second horse he had stolen since dawn.

“Ye should probably leave everything official lookin’ here with the Griffon. Don’t want to stir up any suspicions where we’re goin’” suggested Mirny. “And keep yer eyes open. All sorts of nasty critters live in these parts.”

“Wonderful. I can’t wait to make their acquaintance,” smirked Durnae. He had slowly regained his composure. It helped to be away from the body of the Griffon, who they had left near the dwindling fire.

They rode slowly across the frozen ground away from the shack. The night was calm and quiet, the sky overcast and forbidding. Only the occasional gust of wind broke their pace.

Durnae paid special attention to his surroundings. He was unfamiliar with almost everything in this country, from the people to the geography. Several times Mirny guided him around a patch of frozen ground.

“Ground’s so frozen here that the stone can splinter when it’s stomped on by a horse.” He picked up a needle thin piece of jagged stone to illustrate his point. “One of these splinters gets deep into a hoof and you can forget about riding that horse for a while, maybe ever again.”

They rode in silence, talking only when necessary. It was a comfort to Durnae that Mirny seemed to know where he was going. He wasn’t sure how the dwarf knew, as there were no stars visible in the sky, but Mirny rode confidently into the night, watching the ground and the surrounding rocks.

Durnae did wish, though, that he could ride upwind of the ill smelling beast that Mirny rode.

“She may be sweet and loyal to you, Mirny, but does she have to smell like a rotting ogre?” asked Durnae with a grimace when they had stopped for a moment.

“Aye, she does. That stench keeps the wolves away. They love brakk meat fer some reason. Track one for miles and miles, they will. I lost half a dozen mounts to the pack before I traded for Mora. All ya gotta do is mix in some stinkroot in her feed, and she reeks enough that a wolf would rather eat its own leg.”

“You’ll get used to it in time,” Mirny smiled. ”By the time we get to the Pass, you’ll be huddling up next to her at night fer warmth.”

“Oh, I’d rather not,” replied Durnae.

“Suit yerself.” Mirny said with a knowing wink.

Hours passed and dawn broke majestically over the mountains, spreading the glow of the suns through the haze above and illuminating the dusty terrain around them in a maroon bath.

Durnae slumbered as he rode, waking only when Mirny said something or if his horse stumbled. He was still dozing heavily when Mirny whistled.

The dwarf was squatting behind a boulder off to Durnae’s right about fifty feet. His brakk was lying on her belly next to him. He gestured quickly toward a column of dust rising from the ground in the distance. The fast moving cloud glittered in the afternoon sunlight as it bore down upon them.

“WHAT IS IT?” Durnae shouted.

“TUNDRA STORM!”
 
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byxbee

Explorer
bump?

strange, my previous post didn't move the thread to the top of the heap. But this bump did... hmmmm.
 
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Lela

First Post
Something new every time. This could really be a resource for DMs. All these little chemical ideas. I could really use it on the Druid playing in the campaign I'm DMing. She likes wolves.
 

byxbee

Explorer
I was fascinated by science as a youngster, especially chemistry!

I'll post stats for a brakk one of these days, but it looks like a yak but has the hair of those dogs with the matted furr, that look like long tear drops. I've always loved those dogs, but they tend to stink beyond belief.

Thanks for reading ya'll.
 

byxbee

Explorer
Chapter 9

" Riders on the storm... there's a killer on the road"

He gestured quickly toward a column of dust rising from the ground in the distance. The fast moving cloud glittered in the afternoon sunlight as it bore down upon them.

“WHAT IS IT?” Durnae shouted.

“TUNDRA STORM!” was the reply, barely audible over the howling winds.

Unfamiliar with this foreign landscape, Durnae stumbled around looking for shelter. He found a small pile of medium sized rocks stacked in a triangle. Underneath the pile he spied a small ledge, barely big enough for him to crouch under. He darted inside just as the storm swept over him. He pulled the horse in after him, hoping to protect its head from the storm, but the stubborn beast would have nothing of the tiny hole under the overhang. It fought him with all its strength, nearly pulling Durnae from his sanctuary and into the screaming winds.

And then the sky fell.

Fist sized rocks began showering down upon Durnae, striking him in his outstretched arms. The stones struck his hideout like a thundering symphony, bouncing from rock to rock before falling to the ground before him, spinning on the dusty ground. Durnae, tiring from his struggle with the horse, let go of the reins when a particularly large rock struck his right temple.

The pain was intense, his vision blurred. He staggered backward holding the side of his skull and screamed in agony. He fell to one knee, pulling his cloak up to protect his head from further attacks. The horse, flanks pelted with stones and eyes brimming with fear, reared up on its hind legs and whinnied in horror.

Suddenly, Mirny was there. The dwarf appeared from behind the rocks, blanket in hand. In a flash the ragged dwarf threw the worn cloth over the horse’s head and grabbed the reins before the beast could bolt. Reaching into his tunic, ignoring the rain of earth about him, Mirny snatched a sharp looking object and jammed it up under the blanket. It was bloody when he drew it back and stabbed the horse again.

Durnae, body reeling from the pain, watched this scene unfold before him as the wind began to howl even louder. Swirling eddies of frozen dirt and ice danced before the makeshift shelter. It was suddenly very cold. Each breath was a challenge. His struggle for survival was made harder still by the stinging blasts of wind that coated the hideout with a thick layer of earth, threatening to bury Durnae if he did not move soon.

Seconds after being stabbed, the horse calmed down, its tail swishing lazily in the maelstrom, ignoring the rocks and pain. Mirny, holding his cloak above him, tumbled over next to his fallen companion. He looked for all the world like he had tumbled out of Hell itself, covered in ash and clothing ripped in a dozen places.

“CAN YA WALK BOY?! WE HAVE TO GET YA ON YER FEET OR YOU’LL BE BURIED ALIVE!!”

“Nay, Mirny… go on…” was all he could manage to whisper as the pain swept from his skull down through his spine, sending daggers of stinging pain into his hands and feet. A severe gust of wind blasted the shelter at that moment, filling Durnae’s mouth with tundra soil.

The last thing he saw as the darkness claimed him was Mirny reaching for his dagger.
 



byxbee

Explorer
Chapter 10

You're as cold as ice, are you willing to sacrifice...?"

The last thing he saw as the darkness claimed him was Mirny reaching for his dagger.

And then his senses failed him and all he could see was complete blackness. The sound of the howling winds, the stinging sand, and the smell of the scattered earth all faded as he slipped into unconsciousness.



Meanwhile… In another part of Damara

The caravan moved slowly. The road they followed was merely a wide path of frozen soil from which the larger boulders had been removed. Potholes and snowdrifts still covered the road in spots, forcing the wagons to detour off the road, where there was always the risk of breaking a wheel.

Only those riding on horses were spared the roughness of the road, the bounces and lurches that made wagon travel uncomfortable. For some, however, wagon travel was unplanned and most definitely unwelcome…

“I don’t know what you’re so worried about, it isn’t like I’m gonna run away or anything. Look at these tiny little legs, how far do you think I’d get? I mean, really, can’t you at least loosen the ropes a little bit? They’re damaging my outfit! I don’t know what kind of halfling-nappers you guys think you are, but you’re doing it all wrong. When I was captured by Zhents outside of Mistleda…”

“Oh would you shut up! I can’t imagine anybody being more annoying,” said the man Durnae had called Speck, “and I’ve told you multiple times how you can get out of those ropes. Perhaps you are much more skilled at prattling than you are at listening.”

“Tell me where the boy went and you’ll have your freedom.”

Speck sat back on a comfortable looking pillow as Oovie flopped around on the hard wagon floor before him. Speck was whittling a large piece of wood.

“I don’t see what is staying your tongue, master Oovie, you barely know the boy and you can’t possibly have any loyalty to him. I’ve promised you gold, women, and a horse, and still you resist. Tell me, what is it about the boy that makes you so steadfast in your resolve?”

“Trust me, Mr. Speck, I don’t know a thing,” said Oovie “except that he has no stomach for ale or a pipe. Your assistant, who I might say is the most hideous looking thing I’ve ever seen in my many years, scared the boy away before we could even talk business. Really, if you just wanted to capture him I can think of many better ways than charging through a door. When I was part of a Sembian pirate brigade, I once captu…”

“Zyn, untie his hands.” Speck nodded at Zyn with a disgusted look. Zyn stood at the edge of the wagon near a small metal cage. Occasionally, Oovie had seen the creature reach into the cage and draw out a squealing mouse and devour it without hesitation.

The snake-man moved quickly, appearing to untie the rope from Oovie’s hands. Whenever the snakeman moved, his scaly skin rustled against his clothing in a way the halfling found unnerving.

“Well now we’re getting somewhere, Mister Speck! You finally saw the error of your ways and have decided to release me. I think I’ll head back to Valls and get some rest. Leaving in a hurry isn’t my style, you know. And I think I left my favorite pipe on the table at the Roasti… HEY!”

Oovie hit the frosted ground with a tiny yet resounding thud, his wrists attached to the back of the wagon by a 10’ rope.

“Maybe a few miles of ice and dust will shut you up, maggot.” Speck laughed from the back flaps of the wagon, arms outstretched. “After an hour or so, I think you’ll be ready to talk.” He laughed again and let the flaps close behind him as he headed back to the warmth of his chambers.

The wagon continued to bounce and rattle its way north into the forbidding tundra, the wind and horse’s hooves drowning the sound of Oovie’s cries for help.
 

Lela

First Post
Unless that horse is galloping, I doubt he's in too danger of serious injury. But, dang, that would be slow torture.
 

byxbee

Explorer
Chapter 11

"Still sometimes I get a strange pain inside ... Durnae if you're hurting, so am I" - Concrete Blonde, Joey

Oovie wasn’t the fastest member of his race, nor was he the slimmest. But, if he sprinted, he found he could run upright at the end of the rope that was securely tied around his wrists. These exhausting bursts of speed bought him a minute or so of respite from being dragged and tortured by the rough ground beneath him. It was during these fleeting moments of peace that he worked to earn his escape.

He was a crafty halfling and had learned countless lessons from many harrowing captures and miraculous escapes. He always carried several knives and tools hidden on his body for situations just like this. Speck’s snake-servant Zyn had found those hiding places fairly quickly. It had failed, though, to notice the tiny sword point sticking out from the front of Oovie’s right boot. Oovie’s first action after he hit the ground was to click his right heel to the ground twice to trigger the one inch blade’s release.

It took several minutes, and he fell to the icy tundra many times as he tried to maintain his balance, but he was eventually able to saw his way through the thick ropes that bound him. The rope finally gave way and Oovie bolted off to the side of the road, hands still tied but a rush of adrenelin welling up inside of him. He was free!

Immediately surveying the area around him, he found a hiding spot behind some rocks and struggled for a moment to cut through the binds on his hands. He peeked back over the rocks to see that the wagon was still bouncing at a steady pace ahead of him.

Before Oovie had earned his freedom, Zyn had opened the back flaps of the wagon several times to observe the halfling bouncing and scraping at the end of the rope. He would stare at the captive with uncaring but curious eyes, head tilted to the side as if in contemplation. Oovie resolved to cut the creature’s throat someday soon.

Knowing he had only a few minutes to escape before Zyn looked again, he hurried from rock pile to rock pile, looking for a secure place to hide.

Finding no suitable hiding place on the empty expanse, he resigned himself to running back to Valls. They had been in the wagon less than a full day. That put him, by his estimation, two days of hard running before he could reach safety and warmth and a huge dinner.

Resting when he could in safe locations, Oovie ran as fast as his little legs could carry him, puffs of labored breath escaping as frosty clouds into the bitter night.


Meanwhile, out on the frontier…


His first sensation as he drifted back into the conscious world was an acidic burning in his veins so intense that he wanted to scream in agony. Unsure of his surroundings or whereabouts, though, he bit his tongue as quick as he could to stifle a whimpering cry. He felt hands prodding his side below the ribs and became aware of a putrid stench as he took his first breath since waking. Strangely, despite not knowing what had become of him since the tundra storm or who was touching him, he felt an odd sense of comfort and safety. He was certain, without knowing why, that he was going to survive this pain and that he would not die in this horrid country. Durnae slowly opened his eyes.

He was laying on the ground, wrapped in a filthy, blood soaked blanket made of canvas. Sitting directly next to him was a human he had never seen before, dirty and unkempt. It had a hideously bent spine and crooked shoulders. Uncut hair hung down to completely cover its face from view. It was wearing ripped clothing similar to the rags Mirny wore, speaking of a life spent on the unforgiving tundra.

The creature was leaning forward over him, frail arms reaching under the blanket, unseen hands tending to his wounds with care and attention. Wherever its hands touched him, Durnae felt pain ease and disappear.

“He stirs again” it said with a voice as gravelly as the ground beneath him. “He will fully awaken soon, I think”

“Well that’s damn good news.” Durnae heard Mirny’s familiar voice from somewhere behind him. “Thought maybe I had killed the boy. He’s not as hardy as folk around here,” the dwarf said with some relief.

Durnae opened his mouth to speak, but before he could formulate any words he was wracked by a series of coughs that brought with them incredible waves of pain, both from his boiling blood and the stab wound in his stomach. He convulsed a few times and screamed. The comforting hands were suddenly upon him again, clutching his temples, and he drifted back into a painless world of darkness and relief.
 


byxbee

Explorer
Chapter 12


She stood near the opening of her cave, cloak wrapped about her in a futile attempt to maintain warmth. She surveyed the jagged piles of rock and scraggly bushes nearby for signs of movement – scavenging beasts or goblinoids or worse. She was worried about the changes that came with her visitors – they had undoubtedly left a visible trail of blood behind them as they traveled. It was certain there would be unwanted company before the suns rose again. The cave was well hidden under a giant slab of rock and until Mirny had approached with his wounded friend, it was fairly unknown. But there was little doubt that her carefully hidden home was no longer safe.

Her time in her underground cavern was at an end. It had served her well for years, a peaceful sanctuary where she could live without intrusion from the culture of man. A few short hours ago she had been blissfully alone, writing in her journals and summoning a sumptuous feast for dinner – to be shared with Zeus, her companion-bear and longtime friend.

But Mirny’s arrival had changed all that. She knew of Mirny, of course, long before he was aware of her. He had spent decades traversing the flat expanses of Damarra, crossing through her territory countless times. One starless night, needing supplies and maybe a bit starved for company, she made herself known to him as he wandered by and they struck a fast friendship - sharing the kindred spirit of survivors and wanderers. After a brief, friendly exchange of supplies and information, Mirny had rode off into the night. She had hoped he would forget her location.

Wan-Rakka-Al-Zarnah had hidden herself away for many years, hiding in the depths of the tundra where nobody chose to live. Long ago she had lived among men in a distant city, shunned and ridiculed for her physical deformities. She lived a poor life, a crippled orphan in a superstitious, depressed serf village. When her gifts of natural healing became known, she was cast out as a witch – sent out from the village with the threat of death should she ever return.

The tundra was the only land sparse enough to provide her with the kind of solitude she sought, forbidding enough to keep others away but hospitable enough to survive. She had settled on these plains, in various spots, for the past sixty years.

She thought of her past and uncertain future as Zeus rumbled up next to her and sat on his haunches, head even with her shoulders. She could sense that her only friend understood that they would be moving on before too long.

“Worry not, gentle friend. I know of a place where we can rebuild our lives yet again. A hidden natural cave formation in the foothills many miles west of here, near where I found you as a cub. We’ll be happy there, though it may not be empty when we arrive.”

She sighed and headed back into her home. Durnae was strong enough to ride and the longer they spent here the greater the danger.
 


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