D&D 5E Intrepid Adventures of Legend or Hobo Murderers on the Loose (a pogre storyhour)(11/3/15)


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Legend
Intrepid Adventures of Legend or Hobo Murderers on the Loose (a pogre storyhour)

Episode 17
Ancient Enemies

“So that’s how old Harry died?” Lant Marrowkind said.

“Aye, but we avenged him,” Cabo replied.

“Funny, never thought of Harry as the heroic sort. He was always a kind fellow, but sometimes people will surprise you with their actions,” Lant mused.

“Indeed,” Osbourne muttered.

“One of the Landgrave’s people came limping in here yowling about the attack and assassination of his master. It might be good if you headed out of here for a while,” Lant suggested.

“We were thinking the same thing,” Gideon said.

“What about the hold the Dark Elf mentioned? Does that ring any bells with ye’?” Brodek asked.

“Mayhaps,” Lant said thoughtfully. “There is an old dwarven mining hold a couple of days from where the late landgrave was camped.”

“Draw me a map,” Brodek demanded.

Lant complied, but warned the group that it was some pretty rough terrain “This whole area was under the dwarves’ reign a millenium ago,” Land added.

“This is known to me,” Brodek replied.

“It could be one of several holds is all I am saying,” Lant said.

“Fair enough,” Brodek replied. “What can you pay us if we bring the head of this dark elf back to you?”

“Not much I’m afraid. I could give you some healing potions, but the cash reserve is rather low at the moment.”

“It will do,” Brodek replied. “When it comes to hunting elves my rates are particularly low.”:

*****

The group was in its second day of travel and learned, if anything, Lant’s description of the terrain as rough was understated. The last few hours had involved a steady hike up a gradual incline and it was wearing on the group. In the distance the adventurers spotted the foundation of some old ruins.

“Probably was a watch tower for the hold,” Brodek commented.

“I would like to take a closer look,” Helja said. “Perhaps it could provide some additional shelter for our camp tonight.”

As the group closed on the ruins they could see clearly that something else was already using it for a shelter!

5th_edition_9910_wyvern.jpeg


Osbourne launched a series of magic missiles at the beast while the dwarves closed and hurled handaxes. Gideon and Cabo pushed ahead the best they could in the rough terrain.

“Watch its tail!” Helja called out. “The sting of the Wyvern is deadly!”

“Forget the tail, look at the size of the teeth on that thing!” Gideon replied.

The Wyvern attacked the group in a flurry of wings claws and teeth. The creature’s tail struck out at the dwarves, but narrowly missed. Clawing attacks raked Gideon, but the halfling monk managed to shrug off the blows. Brodek had closed to where he could do some real damage and his blade did its work, wounding the wyvern deeply. The creature appeared ready to take flight and the group renewed its efforts double. Cabo managed a meek strike, but it was Osbourne’s magical onslaught that brought the beast crashing down.

“Hurry Brodek! Help me!” Helja called out as she rushed towards the fallen wyvern.

“What’s the rush lass? It’s dead,” he replied.

“I want to harvest the tail stinger poison,” Helja called back. “It can be worth a lot of gold in the right market.”

Brodek immediately set off at a sprint. “Don’t dawdle lass!” he called out.

Helja expertly peeled back the enclosing chitin and made a slight incision with her dagger. Placing pressure on the internal poison sac, she squeezed. A few globs of gelatinous green stuff spilled out. “Curses!” she yelled.

“What is it lass?” Brodek asked.

“It’s ruined,” she replied dejectedly.

“What happened?” Brodek asked.

“I’m not sure. It is the first time I have tried to harvest wyvern poison,” Helja said.

Brodek sat back on his haunches and put a gnarled hand to his forehead.

“I’m sorry,” Helja said.

“No worries lass,” Brodek replied with a weak semi-smile.

A high voice broke out from behind the dwarves. Cabo had retrieved his imp corpse puppet held aloft by a mummified hand. “Nice going fumble fingers!”

“Shut it peck,” Helja spat.

“You may have just earned a starring role in the next Spot and Cabo puppet show!” the high squeaky voice replied.

“Peck you have been warned. Put that thing away,” Brodek growled.

“Alright, alright,” Osbourne said. “Let’s keep moving. We have a little daylight left and it looks like there is a valley over the next rise.”

Cabo reluctantly put his macabre toy away and the group began trudging along again.

*****

There was a valley, but it was occupied - a pair of large ogres were arguing loudly in the middle of a stream.

5th_edition_9911_ogres.jpeg


Cabo and Gideon snuck down ahead of the group and before the ogres realized what was happening, Cabo had sunk a short sword to the hilt into one of the large humanoid’s backs while Gideon had disarmed the other. The melee that followed was a lop-sided affair with both ogres falling quickly.

The group moved up the stream a bit and set up camp.

*****
Early the next morning the group found an old paved path. Brodek reported to the group that it was certainly of dwarven construction. Helja and Brodek muttered something to each other about the lost empire and the group began following the road.

Every mile or so the group encountered a stone pylon marker next to the paved path. The pylons were similar and marked in ancient dwarven runes. Though weatherworn, the runes were still legible to Brodek and he announced the pylons warned that the hold was closed. Further, some of the pylons’ runes had been reworked or added to - these pylons carried dire warnings of elemental evil. Undeterred, the group continued up the path.

Late in the morning they could see that the path led to a large cavern mouth and as they closed the distance they could see the cavern was guarded.

5th_edition_9912_orcs.jpeg


“Orcs,” Brodek spat. “I hate me some orcs. Very nearly as much as elves.”

The group quickly closed the distance and the orcs roared out to meet them. Many of the orcs flung javelins before closing with nasty-looking weapons. A couple of the orcs went down immediately, but a big orc gave a loud war yell and the other orcs redoubled their efforts. When the orcs managed to hit, the blows were heavy. Still, the melee was going against the pig-snouted humanoids and the big orc began a tactical retreat.

The group pursued into the dark cavern. Osbourne paused long enough to cast a light spell and Gideon lit a torch. They caught the big orc and finally managed to bring the hoary, swine-snouted foe down. As the group tried to catch their breath, they looked up and saw the fun was only beginning!

5th_edition_9913_more_orcs.jpeg


Helja and Brodek yelled dwarven war cries as they closed that bespoke of their ancient and congenital hatred. The halflings followed in their wake, with Osbourne hanging back just slightly. Osbourne unleashed a mighty fireball, and in an instant half the orcs fell. The orcs still standing came forward in spite of the fiery blast and the clang of metal against metal soon filled the large cavern.

5th_edition_9914_orc_combat.jpeg


Helja’s whirling attack caused the orcs much consternation and they seemed so distracted by her fury that the rest of the group found ready openings in their foes. Orc heads were smashed right and left and Brodek was in full battle throat, maniacally laughing as his blade cut through the enemy like a scythe through wheat. Cabo and Gideon took a terrible toll on the orcs as well and soon the cavern was full of orc blood and orc corpses.

As the group breathed heavily catching their breath, Brodek said, “Good fight.”

“There’s a tunnel beyond,” Helja announced.

“I need to rest a bit more,” Gideon said. The halfling had a length of cloth out and was dressing a battle wound.

*****

The group retreated from the cavern and found a resting place concealed by some boulders not far from the entrance. Around dusk that evening, Cabo whispered loudly at the group, “Gods’ teeth! What is that thing?”

Everyone followed the halfling rogue’s eyes to the sky and saw a massive winged creature flying out from the mountain. The creature had a lion-like body with huge bat wings and a tail bristling with spikes.

“I think it is a manticore,” Helja replied. “But, that thing is huge.”

“You’ve seen one before?” Gideon asked.

“Yes, but it was dead, and no where near that size.”

The group followed the creature’s flight for a while, but it eventually glided out of sight. They bedded down for a tense night of fitful sleep.

*****

The following morning the group followed the tunnel out of the back of the entrance cavern. The tunnel emerged onto a stone landing with twin staircases flanking it leading down into an enormous cavern. The cavern showed signs of construction on the far side. The group descended the stairs for a closer look and saw that a number of cages or pens were being crudely constructed out of stone.

“Slave pens?” Cabo wondered aloud.

“Could be,” Osbourne replied. “We may be on the trail of our dark elf after all.”

“This place is where they used to process the ore coming up from the mine,” Helja remarked.

“Aye,” Brodek confirmed. “over yonder is some old mining tracks leading down into the mine.”

The group followed the dwarven pair to the tracks and down deeper into the mine. Following the tracks for a few hundred feet they found themselves confronted by a group of ogres.

5th_edition_9915_ogres.jpeg


Not only were there twice as many ogres, but these ogres were prepared to fight as opposed to the pair the group had encountered in the valley stream earlier.

Brodek dashed in and swung his blade at one of the ogres. Cabo followed up with a lightning strike with his shortsword. Osbourne centered a fiery blast of fireball in the ogres’ midst that had the huge humanoids reeling.

“I love that trick!” Cabo called out.

Helja took some damage from one of the ogres nasty clubs, but her fury once again distracted the enemy allowing the rest of the group to quickly put down the giants.

It was clear that this area served as the ogres’ den. It was also clear that the mine was caved in beyond this spot.

“Why would the ogres cave in the mine?” Gideon asked.

“They didn’t,” Brodek replied. “This was done a very long time ago. Remember the pylons? The mine went dry and they ran into something.”

“Elemental evil,” Helja reminded the group.

“That means we missed something,” Cabo said. “We need to look around for concealed exits or another cavern on the mountain face.”

*****

The group’s close inspection of the walls of the caverns finally yielded fruit in the entrance cavern. They found a cleverly concealed portal there. Cabo did a close inspection of the door and discovered that it was trapped. Following a bit of work he announced that he had disarmed the trap. Brodek took the halfling at his word and opened the door.

The room beyond was full of boxes, crates, and sacks.

5th_edition_9916_treasure_room.jpeg


An inventory of the contents yielded several potions, nearly three dozen gems, including a magical one, and a bag that held far, far more volume than it should have. Due to all of their searching it was getting late and the group needed to make camp. They collectively decided they should bed down in the ‘treasure room’ as it had only one egress and was easily defended. As the group bedded down for a rest they heard a strange scraping at the wall opposite the door they had entered. Suddenly, a secret door swung wide open revealing a nasty-looking orc shaman and the dark elf!

5th_edition_9917_darkelf_shaman_ambush.jpeg


The orc shaman muttered a few arcane words and a bright fiery orb appeared in his hand.

Cabo managed to yell, “Oh no, I hate that trick!”

The room exploded in brightness as the shaman’s fireball struck home.

to be continued….
 

pogre

Legend
Intrepid Adventures of Legend or Hobo Murderers on the Loose (a pogre storyhour)

Episode 18
Down the Rabbit Hole

The adventurers dove for cover as the fireball exploded in the enclosed room. Everyone managed to evade most of the blast save Brodek. Brodek shook his head and patted the small flames out of his beard and yelled, “I hate orcs!”

The Dark Elf then cast a spell and half the treasure room fell under magical darkness. “I really hate elves!” Brodek yelled.

Helja dashed into the darkness and through the secret door. She emerged from the darkness and found that the orc shaman and the dark elf had retreated halfway up a flight of stairs. Cabo sprinted into the darkness next and managed to emerge near the orc shaman.

5th_edition_9918_fight_up_stairs.jpeg


Gideon, Brodek, and Osbourne followed. The group managed to quickly cut down the shaman and the dark elf made a quick fighting retreat up the stairs.

“Maybe we should regroup?” Gideon suggested.

“No way,” Osbourne quipped. “I want to see where this rabbit hole leads!”

The group dashed after the dark elf and was dismayed when it reached a room at the top of the stairs that held the elf’s latest ally.

5th_edition_9919_manticore.jpeg


“Gods’ teeth! Look at the size of that thing!” Cabo exclaimed.

The massive manticore promptly launched three tail spikes at the pursuing adventurers. Helja and Brodek charged the manticore. The dark elf went past the manticore and was attempting to escape. Cabo quickly pursued him, dodging through the beasts four legs and tackled the dark elf. Gideon followed Cabo. The halfling monk and thief kept the dark elf pinned and managed to pummel him to death.

5th_edition_9920_end_dark_elf_noble.jpeg


The manticore, which had been heavily wounded by the dwarves, perceiving the death of its master, tried to escape. Gideon focused his mighty ki and struck the manticore. The beast was momentarily stunned and lost its footing. The opening allowed the rest of the adventurers to slay the beast.

*****

The group’s exploration of the rest of the complex led to a pair of living quarters. The shaman’s quarters held nothing of interest. The dark elf’s quarters on the other hand contained a small box with three documents. The first document was a grant and contract from Dackia authorizing raids in the area and promising payment for slaves.

“Lant will be highly interested in this one,” Osbourne stated.

The second parchment was an agreement with the Sacred Stone Monastery that called for the sale of slaves in lots of a dozen.

“What monastery contracts out to buy slaves?” Osbourne asked.

“None that I know of,” Gideon replied. “I have never heard of the Sacred Stone Monastery. I will send a message to my masters to see what they know.”

The final document was written in a script none of the group could translate, but Brodek recognized it as the dark tongue.

Gathering the documents and accumulated treasures the group headed out for the long trek back to the Old Ox.

*****

A fortnight after their return Gideon received a return message from his brothers at the monastery. The message was not reassuring:

The monastery was a mystery to his masters. Further, a brother sent by the monastery sent an initial report back that the monastery was not what it seemed and he sensed a greater evil there. There have been no further reports from the brother and the high master is convinced he has been killed.

The high master asked Gideon to retrieve the brother’s body to join the ashes of the ancients.
 

pogre

Legend
Intrepid Adventures of Legend or Hobo Murderers on the Loose (a pogre storyhour)

Episode 19
My Brother, My Enemy

***** SPOILER ALERT *****
The next few episodes will contain parts of the adventure Princes of the Apocalypse. I will include a spoiler alert such as this one at the head of each episode containing material from the published adventure. I am only stealing bits and pieces from the adventure and no inference as to the flow of the actual product should be made from the depiction herein.

***** NOTE *****
I recently finished painting a new miniature to represent Brodek. Here is a quick picture from the tabletop:

5th_edition_9930_new_brodek.jpeg


*****

The group set off for the Sacred Stone Monastery. During the first couple of weeks of their travels they brushed off a clumsy ambush by a group of gnolls and defeated a land shark that burst up from the ground near them. They stayed at a couple of coaching inns and a village or two along the way.

The group then set-off across the mountainous terrain that would lead them to the monastery. It was rough country and Cabo misstepped and injured his ankle. The halfling thief could barely walk and certainly could not practice his craft. It was decided to return Cabo back to the village as he would be more of liability than an aid until he healed up enough to move properly. Cabo bedded down comfortably at the local inn, the group set off again into the mountains.

*****

A long gorge led to a secret valley wherein an ancient building of stone lay.

“This is it,” Gideon said.

“What’s the plan?” Osbourne asked.

Gideon strode forward and knocked on a huge pair of double doors.

“So much for a plan,” Osbourne groused.

“What do you mean?” Brodek asked. “It’s the same plan we always have.”

“You have a point,” Osbourne admitted.

There was a 90-second wait until finally the adventurers could hear the soft padding of someone walking directly to the door. The double doors cracked open and a human in a hooded tan habit appeared. “Yes?”

“Greetings brother, my name is Gideon and I have travelled a long way, seeking knowledge,” Gideon replied.

“You seek enlightenment in earth?” the human replied.

“I seek enlightenment in many ways. I travel far and wide in search of knowledge,” Gideon replied.

“What of the others?” the human asked.

Gideon looked back at the rest of the group.

“Not us,” Brodek barked.

“What are they here for then?” the human asked.

“They were kind enough to help escort me through the wilds,” Gideon replied.

“They must leave,” the human stated. “You can come in.”

The human ushered Gideon in and closed the door.

“Let’s make camp,” Brodek said.

“I thought he said we had to leave,” Osbourne said.

“He did and I plan on leaving about 25 yards from here and making camp,” Brodek replied.

*****

Gideon was led by two monks through an entrance hall, into a courtyard, and then into a large temple. Here he was confronted by two masked monks and an elderly gent who called himself Qarbo. Following a multitude of questions from Qarbo, Gideon was convincing enough in the interview to be admitted on a probationary level to the monastery.

The same pair of monks took Gideon to a dormitory wherein a number of other young intiates lay their head, meditated, and generally ignored the halfling. The following day Gideon settled into his routine of kitchen work, cleaning, and return to the dormitory. He saw little of the overall structure in his daily travels.

5th_edition_9931_gideons_rountine.jpeg


*****

Meanwhile, Osbourne, Helja, and Brodek camped mere yards from the monastery in the hidden canyon. They were approached three times by a young initiate telling them they must leave and that they were violating hallowed ground. Each time Brodek replied simply “no” to the request. However, the group decided they might be endangering Gideon’s efforts with their continued presence and decided to move their camp out of sight of the monastery.

On the third evening Osbourne mused, “How do we know Gideon is alright?”

“We don’t,” Helja replied.

“Maybe we should try to check on him,” Osbourne suggested.

The group snuck back to the monastery and circled the building. No one stirred around the building in the late evening and Brodek checked one of the side doors. The door was locked.

“Are we ready to get it on?” Brodek asked his companions.

Both Osbourne and Helja nodded in the affirmative.

With a snap Brodek forced the door open.

The group slipped inside a hallway in the building. The first door they came to led to some sort of combat exercise room. They continued exploring and found a number of doors that had some sort of arcane locks cast upon them. They finally found a regular locked door and Brodek forced it open.

A woman in a simple white tunic kipped out of her bed looking fully alert. She growled menacingly at the group, “Who dares violate the sanctity of the Abbess’s private quarters.” She vaulted herself at Brodek and hit him with a fury of blows.

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Brodek struck back but the monk remained standing. Helja struck ineffectively at the abbess and Osbourne missed with a magical bolt. The monk again hit Brodek with a series of lightning blows that shook him to his core. He teetered, but remained upright.

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Helja was enraged by this time and her furious attacks now came down on the abbess. Osbourne peppered her with magical bolts and Brodek helped. It was Helja’s last desperate strike that brought the abbess down. They began searching the abbess’s quarters.

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The adventurers found a few valuables, but most intriguing was a Bag of Holding and two keys - one near the room door, and the other on a necklace around the dead abbess’s neck. The group crept out of the room and back into the hall.

*****

The group stumbled out into a garden with a number of statues. The adventurers were prepared for the statues animating and were not disappointed when a pair of gargoyles flew to the attack.

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The fight was over quickly and the adventurers made their way back into the building. It was getting late by now and the group continued going from door-to-door. They found many arcane locked, but finally came to one which the key they had absconded from the abbess fit. The room beyond contained a distillery and a quantity of brandy. Following much rejoicing by Brodek, the group quickly shuffled the bottles in their new Bag of Holding.

*****

The adventurers found their way down the dormitory hall. When they burst into the next room they received good news and bad. They found Gideon, unfortunately they also found a bunch of hostile monks!

5th_edition_9936_monk_fight.jpeg


Punches were thrown, kicks were made, most of the monkish violence was directed at Gideon whom they realized had turned coat. But, like an inexorable death machine, the coordinated efforts of the group with their reunited friend made short work of the accumulated enemy monks.

“The other dorms are down the hall with a score more!” Gideon said.

“Make haste,” Osbourne replied. “We have to get the jump on them to have a chance.”

The group rushed back into the hall. Brodek retrieved a number of the precious bottles of brandy and soaking a ripped rag and affixed a wick to a half dozen creating flaming grenades. As soon as the dorm door opened the bottles were heaved inside and an inferno ignited in the room. The monks inside were consumed silently by the flame and the sickly, sweet smell of burnt flesh issued forth from the cracks around the door. The third dorm door opened wide and Osbourne deposited a fireball in the chamber, instantly crisping seven of the monks.

5th_edition_9937_monk_fight_2.jpeg


The three that managed to stumble into the hallway were dealt harshly with by blades and fists.

‘We need to get out of here,” Osbourne stated.

“Go,” Gideon said. “I’ll stay behind.”

“What?” Brodek replied. “You must have been hit more times that I realized.”

“Look,” Gideon began, “I am pretty beat up. I’ll feign unconsciousness and when they bring me to I can stay inside and get more information about this place.”

“We came here to get you,” Brodek remarked.

“Besides, you don’t have the means to pull off such a deceit,” Osbourne added.

“I can take care of myself,” Gideon retorted. “Now go. I will be in touch shortly.”

“You are a fool,” Helja remarked.

The trio flew from the monastery. Gideon stumbled back into his dorm and collapsed amongst his departed brothers.

To be continued...
 

Cabo recovering well!

Me want you know, Cabo recovering well. Be good soon. My name Chew Me, am his nurse take good care Cabo. He very horny patient.
 

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pogre

Legend
Intrepid Adventures of Legend or Hobo Murderers on the Loose (a pogre storyhour)

Episode 20
What’s Got Your Tongue?

***** SPOILER ALERT *****
The next few episodes will contain parts of the adventure Princes of the Apocalypse. I will include a spoiler alert such as this one at the head of each episode containing material from the published adventure. I am only stealing bits and pieces from the adventure and no inference as to the flow of the actual product should be made from the depiction herein.

*****

Gideon felt a pair of strong hands grab his ankles. The halfling monk had returned to his dormitory after the rest of the group had left to feign unconsciousness. Gideon’s head bounced on the flagstone floor as he was dragged down the hallway. A door opened, and Gideon could feel the sun shining on his face and sense he was being dragged outdoors now. Another pair of hands gripped his wrists and he was lifted off the ground. His body was being swung through the air and suddenly Gideon coughed harshly and opened his eyes. The shocked pair of monks dropped him.

“We have one alive!” one of the monks called out.

“Which one?” a voice from the monastery asked.

“A new initiate, the halfling,” the monk replied.

“Take him to Qarbo,” the voice ordered.

Two men dragged the halfling monk back into the monastery, while Gideon continued to feign half-consciousness. The two escorts wore heavy armor of black splint and roughly jostled Gideon into the altar room. Awaiting the party was a pair of monks and Qarbo.

“What do you want with this initiate?” one of the dark-armored men asked.

“Take him to Jurth and have him thrown in the pen,” Qarbo replied. “We will question him later.”

The men dragged Gideon from the altar room, through some halls, and down a set of stairs to a dank, stinking room with several straw pallets on the floor. Three huge, filthy orcs and an enormous, flabby ogre occupied the room.

“Jurth,” one of Gideon’s called.

“What you want?” one of the orcs replied.

“Qarbo wants him thrown in the pens.”

“Grab him Drool,” Jurth commanded. The flabby ogre rolled to his feet and grabbed Gideon. Drool draped the halfling over his shoulder.

The men in dark armor exited and the orcs and ogre began ambling out of the chamber and down a rough-hewn tunnel.

*****

Gideon came to in a dark room with a score of pitiful souls. Quick interrogation of the imprisoned soon educated Gideon to their plight. Plucked from the roads and villages from far and near they had been interred in this prison. Each day they were marched out and forced with pick and shovel to mine. Yet, they observed no valuable ore or gems for their efforts - just stone and more stone.

Satisfied he had learned all he could from these poor wretches, Gideon lay claim to a vacant pallet and rested.

*****

Gideon woke to be hauled yet again on Drool’s massive shoulder. He bumped along on this living perch as the ogre plodded down rough-hewn passages back to the original chamber he had descended to. Awaiting him were the dark-armored men. The men each grabbed a halfling arm and escorted/dragged the halfling back up the stairs and on to the altar room.

Gideon discovered a new addition had been added to the room since his last visit. A large table was now set in front of the altar and steps. Dangling from the table were four leather tethers. The function of the new furniture was soon made apparent as Gideon was strapped to the table by his burly escorts.

5th_edition_9940_Gideon_questioned.jpeg


“What happened here last night?” Qarbo asked in his slightly screechy, unsteady voice.

“I do not know,” Gideon lied.

“How did you come to be injured and knocked out?” Qarbo interrogated.

“Someone hit me in the head,” Gideon replied.

“Someone?”

“Yes, at least I assume so. I never saw my assailant.”

“Your wounds bespeak of a struggle. You were not knocked out while still dreaming.”

“No, I was awake.”

“You seem reticent to relate this sad tale. Who knocked you out?”

“I don’t know.”

“Were they men?”

“I don’t know.”

“What awoke you?”

“There was a blinding flash of light that awoke me and my brothers.”

“Where did this light originate?”

“The hall beyond our dormitory.”

“The door was open?”

“No, the door was closed. I suppose I perceived it through the cracks around the door,” Gideon began to sweat. The halfling could sense this exchange was not going well. Qarbo’s voice dripped with disbelief and each question had a tone of rising sarcasm.

“What kind of light did you perceive through the cracks of the door?”

“It was just a bright burst of light.”

“And then what?” Qarbo screeched.

“I don’t know, everything went dark.”

“Your mind has been dulled by the blow. Your eyes saw so much more I think,” Qarbo paused for a moment. “Bring me his eyes - they will reveal what images they caught.”

“Wait, no, no,” Gideon pleaded. “I think I remember something else.”

“Oh?”

“I think I remember it was a raiding party of some sort,” Gideon spat out.

“How many in this raiding party?”

“At least 15.”

“How do you know?”

“It just had to be at least that many as fast as they overtook us.”

“I see. So now we have 15 raiders. What of the bright flash of light?”

“I believe it may have been a magical fireball of some sort,” Gideon explained.

“What race were the raiders?” Qarbo asked venemously.

“I don’t know. I never saw them directly.”

“So, through a crack in the door you ascertained that there was a raiding party of at least 15 accompanied by some sort of fireball-wielding mage and suddenly your world went dark.”

“Well, no,” Gideon began. “when the bright flash of light went off…”

“The fireball,” Qarbo interrupted.

“Yes, when the fireball went off we all dashed from the dormitory to investigate. No sooner had I emerged from the dormitory and I was knocked cold from behind,” Gideon was talking rapidly now.

“The fireball stirred you from slumber and you leapt up from your dozing state and burst out of the door and not suspecting a nearby enemy, because fireballs get flung around in the dead of night is such a common experience in your history, you were cowardly and suddenly struck down from behind.”

“I would not say it was common in my experience,” Gideon qualified. “However, as for the rest of my experience, you are entirely correct.”

“Anything else to add?” Qarbo asked with a low, velvet, menacing tone.

“That’s the entirety of my memory,” Gideon replied.

“Nothing else to say?” Qarbo probed.

“Not a word,” Gideon stated.

“Such a recollection must be rewarded,” Qarbo exclaimed, clapping his hands together. “As you may know the next step in our brotherhood calls for a vow of silence. Many of our brothers struggle with this stricture. I am going to aid you immeasurably in this task. Bring me his tongue!”

Gideon strained and writhed against the tethers bounding him as the two burly guards in splint walked towards him. Gideon, even in his panicked state, could hear the telltale sound of a dagger being drawn from some secreted scabbard.
 
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pogre

Legend
Intrepid Adventures of Legend or Hobo Murderers on the Loose (a pogre storyhour)

Episode 21
Death that Comes Up to Your Knee

***** SPOILER ALERT *****
The next few episodes will contain parts of the adventure Princes of the Apocalypse. I will include a spoiler alert such as this one at the head of each episode containing material from the published adventure. I am only stealing bits and pieces from the adventure and no inference as to the flow of the actual product should be made from the depiction herein.

*****

Gideon felt the burly guards’ hands baring down on him as they tried to hold his head steady and pry open his jaw. As Gideon clenched his jaw like a toddler refusing cooked peas, he wriggled one hand free from its leather tether. The halfling managed to free his free arm at the dagger-wielding guard and gain a moment of surprise. Gideon quickly scrambled to loose his remaining limbs and wrenched free from the guards’ grips.*note one*

Gideon had only one thought and that was to escape. It turns out a motivated peck is tougher to catch than a greased pig. The monk used all of his skills to flee. The heavily armed guards could not keep pace, but Qarbo’s monk minions kept harassing Gideon. Once Gideon had cleared enough distance where he could face the monks without risking combat with the guards he turned on them and managed to slay both pursuing monks.

A bedraggled Gideon stumbled into the party’s camp. Osbourne rushed up to give the monk a shoulder to lean on and guided him to a seat.

“Are you being pursued?” Brodek asked.

“Yes, I think so,” Gideon replied.

“What happened?” Freja asked.

“They weren’t fooled,” Gideon replied.

Osbourne tended to Gideon’s wounds while the pair of dwarfs stood guard for possible pursuers. A few hours passed and it was clear none were coming.

As the morning light broke Osbourne cooked breakfast and asked generally, “What now?”

“We go back,” Brodek replied.

“And do what?”

“Kill them all,” Brodek replied grimly.

*****

DM Note: As is typical of my story hours, real life has got me by the short hairs in terms of leisure time. So I am going to give a massive catch-up and get a fresh start. Here’s the short version then: The group cleared out the monastery and found a passage into a massive evil temple complex. They largely cleared out a section of dirt worshippers, including a gorgon and captured a powerful magic weapon. They have been rejoined by the peck Cabo and have continued on into another quarter of the deep dungeon.

This, then is where the tale will pick up following our next session a week from Wednesday. Accompanied by many poor photos shot by yours truly.


*note one* - There were loud complaints that I had permitted Gideon’s player to make a DEX save followed by a STR save to get an arm loose and then another DEX save to get the rest of his limbs free. Had he failed ONE of those checks - Gideon’s tongue would have been removed. The other players were cheering for the bad guys the entire time and a situation that might have been tense at many tables was filled with jibes and laughing at Gideon’s player. THAT is the kind of table I have in this campaign!
 

pogre

Legend
Intrepid Adventures of Legend or Hobo Murderers on the Loose (a pogre storyhour)

Episode 22
A Lady with an Attitude

***** SPOILER ALERT *****
The next few episodes will contain parts of the adventure Princes of the Apocalypse. I will include a spoiler alert such as this one at the head of each episode containing material from the published adventure. I am only stealing bits and pieces from the adventure and no inference as to the flow of the actual product should be made from the depiction herein.

*****

Brodek finished kicking the dead wyvern and its rider off the bridge. “Barely a fight,” Brodek grumped.

The group stood on a span over a large moat. The moat moved a large stepped pyramid with a ten foot walkway surrounding it.

“What is this place?” Helja asked no one in particular.

“Some kind of temple I’m guessing,” Osbourne remarked.

“Judging by the doorman and his pet, I’d say it is worth taking a look inside,” Cabo mused.

5th_edition_9950_bridge.jpeg


The group made their way cautiously around the pyramid trying to discover a way in and quickly found a pair of ornate double doors on the south edge. Taking up combat positions, the adventurers burst through the doors.

5th_edition_9951_pyramid_interior.jpeg


The enemies were all levitating above the ground. Cabo quickly made his around the edge of the chamber. Osbourne unleashed a fireball at the enemy, instantly frying one of the mages. The dwarves charged the lesser apprentices and quickly killed one. The remaining mage levitated out over a massive pit in the center of the chamber.

5th_edition_9952_pyramid_fight.jpeg


The floating mage unleashed a lightning bolt at Osbourne, which he countered.

Cabo skulked into position and launched himself with a mighty leap at the mage. The halfling assassin’s blade narrowly missed the mage and the rest of the adventurers watched in disbelief as Cabo disappeared down the pit. All that could be heard was the halfling’s curses fading into the distance.

Brodek launched a couple of hand axes at the mage and Osbourne piled some magic missiles into him. The mage responded with another lightning bolt directed at Osbourne. Osbourne countered the lightning bolt and responded with another volley of magic missiles. The levitating mage collapsed in the pit.

The dwarves and Gideon finished off the remaining apprentices. Cabo searched the bodies and discovered no loot. However, there were a pair of spiral staircases leading further up into the pyramid.

******

As the adventurers emerged from the spiral staircase they found a chamber with a raised dais and a throne. Seated upon the throne was stunningly beautiful, Elfish woman with gossamer wings. The woman wielded a silver spear that radiated pure power. The woman was flanked by a foul looking creature with a vulture-like head with a cruel beak and brutal claws.

Gideon dashed across the chamber and attacked the bird demon.

5th_edition_9953_top_pyramid_fight.jpeg


Cabo sprinted after to attack the bird demon and Brodek charged the winged female.

5th_edition_9954_top_pyramid_fight_2.jpeg


The vulture-like creature let out an ear-splitting shriek. The shriek stunned every halfling in the chamber. The frozen halflings were easy targets for the chain lightning the woman unleashed. The current of electrical charge nearly fell Osbourne and Gideon and Cabo were very crispy around the edges too.

Fortunately, the hardy dwarves had not been affected by the demon-bird’s screech and their blades rent great wounds in the adversary. Soon the female caster was cut down and a short time later her demonic companion was killed.

Looting the enemy corpses, the adventurers found the female was fond of jewelry, expensive jewelry, and snatched all of it up. They also took the magical spear, which Brodek kept. They decided to camp in the upper chamber.

*****
Descending the pit in the lower level of the pyramid proved to be fairly easy. The hole had numerous handholds and eventually formed a crude stairway descending down. The group finally emerged in some rough hewn caverns.

Following a narrow passage the adventurers found a long cavern with a short stone column near the center. Atop the center column they saw a crystal sphere. The cavern floor was generally covered with debris, but the circular area of about ten yards around the center column was swept clean.

5th_edition_9955_swirling_orb_cavern.jpeg


Suspecting a trap, the group backed up a fair distance and began throwing objects at the crystal sphere. One of the objects connected and nudged the sphere. Instantly a mighty vortex rolled up and the bits of armor, discarded weapons, and other debris began to fly around the room. After a minute the vortex subsided.

The group cautiously approached the chamber and crossed avoiding the column and crystal sphere.

They stumbled into a large cavern with a tribe of lizardmen. As a lizardman shaman stumbled through an awkward greeting, he was answered by Osbourne’s favorite parley - a fireball to the face. The fireball melted much of the tribe and the adventurers made quick work of the rest of the tribe.

*****

The passage ran parallel to a fast running, deep stream. The group was travelling downstream cautiously along the wet cavern floor. The swirling waters seem to come alive!

5th_edition_9956_water_weirds.jpeg


Fortunately, the adventurers had been prepared for something to come out of the stream and the water weirds were defeated relatively easily.

The cavern passage way banked left in a chamber where the underground stream cascaded down into a deep pool.

“I’m going to check the pool out,” Cabo declared.

“That water looks pretty turbulent,” Osbourne warned.

Cabo retrieved a length of rope and tied it around his waist. He handed the end to the dwarves. Before anyone could object he dove into the icy waters.

“Maybe we should jig him to get a bite,” Brodek suggested.

A thoroughly soaked Cabo emerged from the pool a short time later. “Water flows hard out an underground tunnel down there.”

“Are you going to check it out?” Gideon asked.

“No air pockets and a very strong current,” Cabo answered. The halfling rogue wrung out his clothes and put his gear back on. “Let’s keep looking around this level.”

to be continued....
 

pogre

Legend
Reserved for Lost Episode

A little snafu with the pogre.com server. Should have it up and running shortly. We are playing tonight - so I will push forward with the story hour and return to fill this in if I have not totally lost the episode's pictures to the ethereal plane.

edit: We are done with Princes of the Apocalypse parts I am going to use for now. So no more "spoilers."
 

pogre

Legend
Intrepid Adventures of Legend or Hobo Murderers on the Loose (a pogre storyhour)

Episode 24
Why Should We?

“Masters Cabo and Gideon the big one is just out of control,” the young stable hand Turk told the halflings. The adventurers were relaxing after finishing a midday meal in the Old Ox Inn of bread, cheese, and mutton stew. Gideon and Cabo had hired the stablehand to look after some dire wolves pups they had found after slaying the mother. Four of the litter had survived and the halflings had paid to have a pen erected and a salary to have the stable hand care and train the wolves.

“He’s been out of control. That’s why I like him,” Cabo replied.

Turk became exasperated and stuttered slightly, “I have started training the other wolves and they have responded well, but I take my life into my own hands every time I feed the big male. Master Marrowkind says the big one must be moved or he might chew up some patrons.”

“He’ll not break out of the pen,” Brodek stated confidently. “Although I did not build it, I did see the plans and completed work. Lant can rest easy.”

“Even just feeding the big one takes me a long time to make sure I’m not part of his supper. Master Marrowkind says he will dock my wages if I don’t spend more time at the stables.”

“As I recall, we’re paying you twice what he does just to take car of the wolves,” Gideon stated.

“You are very generous master, but I am afraid that Master Marrowkind might put me out,” Turk replied.

“By the gawds!” Cabo stood up and brushed the crumbs from his clothes. “Is there no end to my duties. I was going to work on my incredible puppet show, but instead, I am stuck taming a wolf I hired you to train. Fine, I’ll take care of it. Gideon come with me.”

“Why me?” Gideon complained.

“They are your wolves too, or are you ceding the lot over to me?” Cabo asked caustically.

Gideon stood up from the table and marched behind Cabo. The pair brushed roughly past Turk towards the kitchen.

“What do you want?” Bilkeera the cook asked the pair of halflings as they came into the kitchen.

“Lant told us we could get a couple of soup bones in here,” Cabo replied.

“He did?” Gideon asked.

“Shuddup,” Cabo whispered out of the corner of his mouth to Gideon.

“Mutton or beef?” Bilkeera asked.

“Beef, and preferably the biggest ones you have,” Cabo replied.

“There’s a couple of nice ones I was saving in that bone bucket over there. But broth bones like those could easily bring a silver for the pair,” Bilkeera said.

“We’ll take them,” Cabo went over and grabbed the large bones. He turned and flipped a gold piece at the cook. “That should cover it and then some.”

Bilkeera snagged the gold out of the air and smiled widely and bit the coin. She made an awkward curtsey towards the halflings as they went out the back of the kitchen.

Cabo and Gideon went to the auxiliary coach house and entered the side door. “Where’s the falconer’s glove?”

A servant looked up and pointed dumbly at a thick leather gauntlet posted on a wooden peg. Cabo stomped across the room and grabbed the glove off its stand.

“Hey, that belongs to Hunt Master Jamison. Besides it won’t fit you,” the servant said.

“Master Jamison said we could borrow it for a few minutes,” Cabo replied.

“He did?” Gideon asked.

“Shuddup,” Cabo whispered.

Cabo flipped another gold coin at the servant which landed near his feet. The man stooped quickly to pick up the coin and gave the halflings a toothless smile.

“That’s a gold you owe me,” Cabo said as they marched towards the wolves’ pen.

“What?” Gideon asked.

“Incidental expenses for taming this alpha wolf,” Cabo answered.

“Oh,” Gideon replied. “I didn’t know you were an animal trainer.”

“Trainer? No indeed my fast-fisted brother, but I am an expert in taming,” Cabo stated.

As the halfling pair came towards the wolves’ pen they could see it had been divided into thirds. One third held the male runt, the middle third the two females, and the final third the alpha male. The Alpha male was an enormous creature, it’s neck fur bristled and it gave a menacing growl as it bit and pulled at the enclosure’s walls.

“No wonder he’s a mess,” Cabo said. “One of the females is in heat.”

“Are we going to let the alpha mount her?” Gideon asked.

“Certainly not. First of all, we are not breeding her on her first cycle. Second, we are going to let the runt have her when it is time again.”

“Why would we let the runt mate her?” Gideon asked.

“As a fellow runt, I am surprised to hear you ask that question!”

Suddenly, Gideon looked very distraught.

“It’s not a big deal,” Cabo assured him.

“Oh, it’s not anything to do with the wolves. I just have my own mate issues.”

“Really? Who is she?” Cabo asked.

“I would rather not talk about it,” Gideon replied.

“Is she another race? One of those saucy serving females?”

“I don’t want to talk about it,” Gideon replied.

“What happened? You would not have mentioned it if you did not want my outstanding expertise,” Cabo said.

“I did not bring it up. You asked what was wrong. I told you and now I am done talking about it.”

Cabo slipped on the falconer’s glove. “You really aren’t going to tell me?” Gideon shook his head in response. “Well, maybe after we finish this and grab a pint you will let me help you in this matter.”

Cabo pulled hard on the glove, but his fingers barely reached the fingers of the glove. It was sufficient for him to grip one of the beef bones he brought in. Cabo handed the other bone to Gideon. “Bait him to the back of the pen with the bone so I can slip in.”

Gideon grabbed the bone and went to the back of the pen and began to rattle the bone between the slats of the pen. The huge wolf turned and pursued Gideon’s proffered bone, savagely yanking it from the monk’s grip. While the wolf was preoccupied, Cabo slipped into the pen. The wolf’s massive jaws crunched the beef bone in two and whirled around and charged Cabo.

Cabo held out his gloved outstretched hand wielding the large beef bone. The wolf madly seized the bone and his massive tooth snagged a finger of the falconer’s glove and ripped it off of Cabo’s small hand. The wolf madly shook his head as though trying to kill the glove and bone. Babo jumped on the massive beast’s back and slammed his magical dagger into the wolf’s neck. The wolf convulsed and then collapsed just as Cabo jumped from its back.

“I thought you were going to tame him,” Gideon said.

“I just did,” Cabo said. He retrieved the shredded falconer’s glove from the wolf’s dead maw.

“The Hunt Master is going to be mad,” Gideon said.

“He will never know,” Cabo replied, throwing the glove to the side. “Come help me now.”

“I suppose it could not be helped - he was a mean devil,” Gideon said resignedly. Gideon went into the pen and the halflings began to skin the wolf.

“So what’s with this woman?” Cabo asked.

“Just drop it,” Gideon replied.

The pair finished skinning the wolf. They cut up the meat and threw it in the other parts of the pen where the females quickly ate it, but the runt turned his nose up at it. Cabo went into the runt’s pen and petted the wolf. “That a boy. Get your attitude up. You got to rule these two ladies now,” Cabo laughed softly. Cabo tossed the falconer’s glove into the female’s pen where they began tugging it apart.

*****

“I want a wagon,” Cabo announced at the dinner table.

“What for?” Helja replied.

“I have a mind to create a traveling medicine and puppet show,” Cabo stated.

“A what? What possible medicine could you offer?” Brodek asked.

“Pure snake oil,” Cabo responded proudly. “However, with good Father Erik’s help we could cure a couple of folks and convince them it was my sludge that did the trick. What say you good priest?”

“As long as it involves healing - it is the lord’s good work,” Erik responded.

“Amen!” Cabo exclaimed.

“I want in,” Gideon interjected. “I can be the show scout. In fact, I’ll run ahead and bust a few heads for ready made customers.”

“I like it,” Cabo said.

“Why would you bother to do all this to make a few coins from a con game?” Helja asked.

“One, the world deserves to see my amazing puppeteering talent. Two, the world needs to be educated that real healing comes from the high power of Erik’s god.”

“How are you possibly educating them?” Helja asked incredulously. “You are selling them worthless potions while Erik discreetly prays for them from a distance. When you leave they will have the worthless potions and no healing power whatsoever.”

“Sadly, I’ve always found the best education comes from the hardest lessons,” Cabo replied. “Now, once I get this wagon…”

“What would you two know about my falconer’s glove?” Hunt Master Jamison was towering over the table and glaring at Cabo and Gideon.

“Hunt Master, a civil tone when you are speaking to my dwarven compatriots please,” Cabo demanded.

“I am talking to you,” Jamison replied.

“Me? Well then treble the reason to remain civil Hunt Master! What is it you want?”

“My falconer’s glove. My man tells me you came by and took it,” Jamison stated. “So where is it?”

“Wolf spoor,” Gideon said.

“What?” Jamison asked with an arched eyebrow.

“That’s a monk’s way of saying we have no idea where it is,” Cabo said. “Your man lied to you.”

“My man said you came in and said I said you could borrow the glove and then you threw him a gold crown,” Jamison said.

“I told you he lied,” Cabo said levelly. “Look around this table where I sit. A pair of noble dwarves, known as oath-keepers in the north, a priest of unparallelled character, a brother of the noble monastery, and Osbourne here all in my company. Not a dishonest soul amongst them and you dare to accuse me of such devilry?”

“Here’s the gold crown,” Jamison announced holding his evidence high for all to see.

“Let’s see if I got this straight Master Huntsman?” Cabo stated. “You found your glove missing and your servant suddenly enriched. Your next step was to ask your servant what happened. He says I took a glove I had no need of and would never fit my wee hand besides. The servant makes up a treacherous tale and you take his low, mean word for it and come here and besmirch my good name with your accusations in a public place. Is that about right?”

The Master Huntsman stammered and his high cheeks went red. “I’ll get to the bottom of this and you better be clear or you will answer to me.”

“I look forward to it,” Cabo turned his back to Jamison and retook his seat.

The huntsman stormed out of the tavern.

“Why didn’t you just pay him for the glove?” Gideon whispered to Cabo.

“Certainly not,” Cabo replied. “I gave him something far more valuable - information that he has an unreliable servant on his hands. That unveiled treachery is worth ten fold the cost of a mere falconer’s glove.”

“Ye’ came very close to having me vouch for ye’ Peck,” Brodek stated to Cabo. “And I don’t think I need to tell ye’, that’s not something I’m inclined to do.”

“See that’s the kind of brutal honesty your kind are known for,” Cabo bowed towards Brodek. “Now about this wagon - I was thinking of mounting puppets on springs on top the carriage and…”

*****

The owner of the Old Ox, Lant Marrowkind, came towards the table. “How was everything tonight?”

Everyone heaped praise on the Innkeeper.

“You’ve got my huntsman tangled in a knot,” Lant stated looking meaningfully towards Cabo. Cabo shrugged. “Anyway, thanks for getting rid of that big wolf. He was causing me worry.”

“What’s new?” the human priest Erik asked.

“Thankfully, all is quiet around here. Just drinking and eating. The way I like it. I did catch a tale of some trouble down the way though,” Lant replied.

“What’s this then?” Brodek asked.

“Seems folks around Streamington claim some weird monsters have been bubbling up out of the old Dwarven barrows down there. Maybe you want to have a look and get some action.”

“We might,” Cabo replied. “What’s it worth to you?”

“To me?” Lant smiled. “Not a thing. I have no claim to those lands.”

“Yet,” Cabo said with a wink.

“No, no lad. Those could be rich lands, but my days of taking on the true rough lands are over.”

“A dwarven barrow you say, we’ll head there tomorrow,” Brodek declared.

Everyone quickly agreed.

“That’s settled then,” Cabo said rolling his eyes. “Now, Gideon what about this woman trouble you are having?”

*****

A few days of rough travel through the hills led the group within sight of a broken down barricaded group of hovels surrounding a water mill. A pair of locals were standing in front of the gate watching the adventurers approach. Following a friendly exchange the group was led into the meager village. Inquiries eventually led the adventurers to the miller.

“Greetings. What brings you to our bump in the road?” the miller asked.

“What road?” Cabo asked.

“A fair point my friend. My name is Delvan Stams and this humble spot we call Streamington,” the miller replied.

The adventures introduced themselves to the miller and explained that they had heard there were some odd things going on a few miles away near some ancient barrows. Delvan Stams was unfailingly friendly and had an easy-going character, which of course set the group’s collective teeth on edge. He explained numerous strange, insectoid-like humanoids had been seen around the barrow

“How much are you paying us if we clean up the old barrow?” Cabo asked.

“I’m afraid we have very little in the way of currency,” Delvan the miller replied.

“I’m afraid we have wasted a trip then,” Cabo said. “I could be working on the world’s greatest traveling puppet and medicine show right now.”

Delvan gave a quizzical look at Cabo. Helja stepped in and said, “Surely it would help your community if we ridded it of these odd creatures. What of value do you have to possibly offer us a barter?”

“Me? All I have is this Mill and these lands,” Delvan replied.

“How much land?” Helja asked.

“Well, the village you see here is mostly mine and a lot of the wilderness surrounding us. Not worth much at present due to its wildness. However, if you were willing to clear these barrows I will put some of these tracts up against your efforts.”

Helja turned at the rest of the adventurers and raised an eyebrow. Nods from the rest of the group gave her the confirmation she sought. She turned back to the miller, “Delvan Stams you have a deal.”

*****

There were three mounds spaced evenly apart. Each mound rose vertically with cliff-like sides and a rounded hill of grass atop each one. The middle mound had a huge oak that had fallen against it and as the adventurers watched from a distance they spied a creature with six limbs and a triangular head scramble up the trunk.

“You and me,” Gideon said pointing at Cabo and then pointing at the first mound. The two halflings scrambled up the far edge of the first mound and gained the top.

“Why didn’t they go straight up the middle one?” Brodek asked.

“They’re just getting a lay of the land,” Osbourne whispered back.

*****

“That thing is looking this way,” Gideon whispered to Cabo as they both lay in the grass atop the first mound.

“Yeah, but it cannot see us,” Cabo whispered back. “I’m going to go around and stick it. In half of a watch you get that thing’s attention.” Gideon nodded.

Half a watch later Gideon stood from his hiding place in the grass and waved at the insectoid-humanoid. The creature perked up in his guard station of the old oak stump. Gideon next witnessed a flying blur emerge behind the creature and it slumped forward lifeless. Cabo stood up and waved at Gideon with a green-blooded dagger.

*****

The group trooped up the long trunk and found Cabo sitting on the edge of the tree’s enormous stump. “This thing is hollow and there is a tunnel down. There’s a set of steep stairs that lead down,” Cabo reported.

“Lead on Peck,” Brodek boomed.

“I think not lover of dark and dank places - you and the lass should take point,” Cabo retorted.

Gear was double checked, light spells were cast, and then the group descended the interior of the hollow stump into the darkness. The wood surroundings quickly gave way to rough cut stone and the group found themselves in a large cavern facing two of the insectoid creatures.

old_ox_01_entering_mound.jpeg


>D.M. Note< I am aware, and was reminded - nay, berated - by my players that these miniatures are clearly not Thri-kreen, and in fact, have very little semblance to said monster. In my feeble defense at least they were painted and metal. I now must ask you to do something that causes an uproar at my table - please imagine these lizardmen as thri-kreen. I do hope to avoid another incident as this in the future.

Gideon vaulted into the chamber and rained punches down on one of the chittering creatures. Seeing the insectoid engaged, Cabo ran up and finished it off. Brodek threw his mighty axe at the other guard, which Helja followed up with an attack that killed it.

Just as the group was ready to congratulate themselves on taking out the guards so quickly, it became clear the pair of guards were not alone. Five more Thri-kreen emerged from their camouflaged hiding places and swarmed the trio in the middle.
old_ox_02_fighting_thrikreen.jpeg


The ambush caught the adventurers off guard and both Gideon and Helja were wounded in the resulting exchange. Fortunately, no powerful blows were landed by the foe, and in short order the group overcame them.

Once the exertion of combat passed the group began to explore the cavern. They immediately noticed numerous egresses, but Erik the cleric found something more disturbing - spiked to one wall was an upside down, flayed, bloody elf. A huge pool of blood was below the unfortunate soul covering what remained of his belongings. Erik searched the deceased elf’s items and found a few trinkets of treasure.

“I admire their decorative style,” Brodek said with a wink.

Erik shrugged and handed the dwarf several of the elf’s bloody coins for keeping in the endless bag. Brodek grabbed the coins and tossed them in the bag.

“I should have washed them off a bit - sorry,” Erik apologized.

“Nonsense,” Brodek replied with a dismissive wave. “A bit of elven blood on items is like spices on food - it makes it more appealing.”

*****

The party went down a side hall and found a chamber holding a pair of old, smelly trolls.

old_ox_03_trolls.jpeg


Thanks to the sorcerer Osbourne’s opening fireball salvo the adventurers made short work of the trolls. They also discovered a narrow shaft that led to the outside of the barrow, about two-thirds the way up the sheer side of the mound.

*****

The four ogres in the chamber roared a challenge at the adventurers.

old_ox_04_ogres.jpeg


Brodek’s magical axe bit extra hard into creatures with giant blood.Each time he threw the magically returning axe at a creature he muttered a small prayer that the target had giant blood. This time the dwarf knew the ogres did have giant blood and the axe did devastating damage. Very quickly one ogre was killed and the other was in serious trouble facing the monk and rogue.

old_ox_05_ogres_fight.jpeg


Cabo stabbed the ogres repeatedly accompanied by his high-pitched war cry. Gideon traded punches with the ogres kneecaps, with the added bonus that the force of the punches frequently led to his foes falling prone. Thus it was here, with the whirling monk slamming, kneecaps, shins, and ankles causing the ogres to fall prone. Where the vulnerable brutes were quickly dispatched by the rest of the group.

*****

Instead of delving more deeply into the complex the group decided to return to the entrance area and explore another of the side chambers. There the adventurers ran into a chamber with a pair of Hill Giants.

old_ox_06_hillgiants.jpeg


Brodek squealed like a toddler on a gift-giving holiday and did horrific damage with his axe. The giants managed to wound Helja and Gideon, but were vanquished quickly. A quick search of the area turned up a few coins in one sack and yet another side shaft leading outside the barrow mound.

*****

A horde of goblins was spread before the adventurers. There were easily three score of the wee miscreants, guarded by a pair of orcs.

old_ox_07_goblins.jpeg


Gideon and Cabo charged into the mass and goblin parts were soon flying around the room as they became miniature whirlwinds of death. The goblins had seen enough and fled. The resulting rush led to a bottleneck at one of the chamber’s exits as one of the orcs attempted to hold back the receding green wave.

old_ox_08_goblins_flee.jpeg


To say it was a tempting target for Osbourne is a vast understatement - the sorcerer was nearly salivating at the prospect. “Stand clear!” Osbourne shouted. Then came the fireball. An explosive WHOOSH reverberated through the room. The mass of goblins fell as incinerated ash. The remaining orcs fought well, but were quickly killed.

*****

The group had made their way to an interior chamber and were confronted by a huge orc, a pair of large warriors, and a couple more orcs.

The huge warlord orc bellowed, “Who dares enter…”

The massive orc’s diatribe was interrupted by Brodek’s axe clipping off a piece of his skull.

>D.M. Note< Here endeth the parley.

old_ox_09_orcs.jpeg


The group slew most of the orc party before they could even bring their weapons to bear.

Following a brief debate, it was decided to take a short rest at this point.

Cabo addressed Gideon, "So tell us about this female problem you are dealing with..."

old_ox_10_dungeon.jpeg


to be continued….
 


pogre

Legend
Intrepid Adventures of Legend or Hobo Murderers on the Loose (a pogre storyhour)

Episode 25
Where Did It Go?

The group caught their collective breath and sat down to rest.

“So what’s the problem with this lass?” Cabo asked Gideon.

“For the last time, I don’t want to talk about it!” Gideon retorted.

Cabo began rummaging around his bag. Eventually, the halfling rogue brought forth the desiccated imp body and fixed it to his hand as a macabre puppet. Cabo said in a high squeaky voice, “Maybe, you won’t talk to Cabo, but Spot is here now. Spot can help you with your female problem. Spot has a way with the ladies.”

Brodek gave a disgusted snort at the dead imp/puppet. Helja wrinkled her nose and Erik watched Cabo with a bemused smirk. Osbourne was deep in concentration on some arcane concern and ignored the whole thing.

Gideon, however, was not amused. The halfling monk had a look somewhere between burning anger and complete bewilderment.

“Spot loves you and wants to make you all better. You can tell Spot the problem,” Cabo squeaked in a high voice.

Gideon stood up and gathered his sparse belongings. “I have to go.”

“What?” Brodek asked startled by the monk’s abrupt action.

“I have to take care of some things. I will see you in a few days,” Gideon was striding purposefully out of the chamber. Gideon walked quickly away even as Helja was calling for him to come back.

“Spot did not mean to scare him away,” Cabo said in a pitiful high voice.

“Peck! Put that thing away before my hammer smashes off your hand and the imp and burns both in the fire!” Brodek barked.

Cabo shrugged and put the imp back in his traveling bag. “I don’t know what’s more pitiful - a monk in love or your personal equipment issues.”

Osbourne snapped out of his deep arcane trance-like state, “What happened? Where’s Gideon?”

“Spot scared him away,” Cabo replied.

“I think it is a little more complicated that that,” Helja interjected. “He went back to deal with some personal issues.”

“So we’re killing monsters and taking loot and the monk left to have a good cry and settle up some woman issues,” Brodek declared. “Where are his priorities?”

“Love is like fire: It brings warmth and yet it burns,” Erik pronounced.

“And on that note, let’s go kill something,” Brodek stated.

*****

“What is that awful smell?” Helja exclaimed.

“That’s Brodek - I thought you knew him, let me introduce you,” Cabo said.

“Shut it Peck,” Brodek replied. “The chamber is piled high with rotting refuse.”

A light was brought up so the rest of the group could see what Brodek was talking about. The dark cavern was indeed piled high with rotting garbage.

“The odor of gold is seldom sweet,” Erik pronounced.

“True enough priest,” Brodek replied and commenced wading into the piles. Cabo crept in next to the dwarf.

“Wait! There is something moving…” Osbourne yelled. His shout was cut short by the emergence of a pair of ghastly tentacles from the refuse.

old_ox_11_otyugh.jpeg


A hooked and suckered tentacle lashed out and dragged Cabo towards the creatures yawning maw. Cabo jerked away, but not until the creature bit into his arm flesh. Helja rushed to the attack as the priest Erik prayed for a blessing. The creature now distracted by the charging female dwarf soon felt the painful bite of Cabo’s magical dagger. Brodek let his hammer fly at the beast, which smacked it with an audible thud. Osbourne poured magical bolts into the creature. The Otyugh soon collapsed, dead.

“Medic!” Cabo wailed. “I mean, Erik!”

Erik the priest made his way over to the halfling rogue and inspected his weeping arm wound. “Hmmm,” Eric droned as he inspected the wound. “Already infected, likely disease in the blood as well.”

“Praise the deity! save me,” Cabo whined.

“I do not have the supplication available now. It will have to wait for the new sun,” Erik replied.

“What? After all the single-hearted devotion I have shown your god, and this is the thanks I get,” Cabo said.

“My god?”

“Our god, I mean our god,” Cabo quickly corrected himself.

“In either case, the supplication of our god must wait until morning. You will survive until then,” Erik replied.

“Suck it up Peck. Let’s move on,” Brodek declared.

*****

“What are these ratlings?” Brodek cried out.

old_ox_12_jackalwares.jpeg


“They are desert jackalwares. They should not be here!” Erik exclaimed.

“Let’s send them to their final home then!” Brodek cried charging across the cavern.

“Beware of their gaze!” Erik called out.

Brodek caught sight of one of the creature’s gaze and in a moment he was snoring face down on the floor.

The rest of the group was more cautious in their approach and quickly halved the number of the enemy. Then from a side corridor emerged a creature with the upper half of a beautiful woman and the lower half of a beast. She unleashed her rage on Helja like a lioness who has returned from the hunt to find her cubs dead.

old_ox_13_Lamia.jpeg


A trio of the jackalwares merged on Cabo and sorely pressed him to his limit. “Wake up Brodek!” he yelled at the massive dwarf’s slumbering form. Helja stepped in and gutted two of the jackalwares. and Osbourne poured magical bursts into the lamia. Finally, the room was cleared of enemies and Erik shook a groggy Brodek awake.

“A lovesick monk, a priest who won’t cure, and a dwarf who sleeps through fights - what kind of special hell am I in?” Cabo complained loudly.

“The worst hell is one of your own making,” Erik pronounced.

Cabo could only chuckle in response.

Helja called out from the sidehall, “I think this may give you some relief, come see.”

old_ox_14_treasure.jpeg


The group sifted through a sizable treasure made up mostly of coins.

*****

As the group prepared to take a short rest a presence appeared at the doorway.

“Look not this way,” a female voice called out from the shadows. “It is not my intention to ossify you, but to treat shortly.”

“Why should we speak with you foul gorgon?” Brodek called out.

The medusa replied, “There is no need for hostilities. My master is mightily impressed with your prowess and wishes to avoid a costly engagement.”

“I bet. What’s in it for us?” Helja asked.

“You are learning lass,” Cabo whispered and winked at the female dwarf.

“Treasures,” the medusa replied.

“Like what?” Osbourne asked. “Gold and silver hold no special appeal to us.”

“Magical arms and armor, magical implements of great power,” the medusa cooed.

“In exchange for what?” Osbourne asked.

“My master gets three days to leave these halls,” the medusa replied.

“What kind of magical treasures specifically?” Osbourne asked.

A spinning hammer went swishing over Osbourne’s head and made an audible thud as it struck the medusa.

>D.M. Note< Here endeth the parley.

Helja and Cabo jumped into action. The dwarveness braved the gorgon’s gaze and landed two terrible blows. Her efforts distracted the medusa enough to allow Cabo to deeply plant his dagger in the creature’s spine. In mere seconds the medusa lay twitching in a pool of her own blood.

“We could have at least heard what she had to say,” Osbourne complained.

“Look peck, it would have lied about the treasures. If it didn’t lie, we’re going to kill its master anyway. That treasure either does not exist or it does and we will get it anyway,” Brodek explained.

“I hate to admit, there is a certain logic to that,” Osbourne admitted.

“Right, let’s move out,” Brodek said.

*****

The group went through a small chamber and slayed a buzzing demon with little effort. The next chamber caused the group to pause. The octagonal chamber contained several chests, ornate candelabras, and implements of torture.

“There is a foul presence here,” Erik stated.

“It’s Brodek, you’ll get used to him,” Cabo said. “I’ll check it out.”

old_ox_15_naga_lair.jpeg


Cabo crept cautiously into the chamber.

old_ox_16_naga.jpeg


An enormous snake-creature appeared behind Cabo and struck. Poison coursed through the halflings body and Cabo felt the life blood leaving his body. Cabo stumbled like a drunken sailor. The giant, snake-like creature prepared to strike the defenseless halfling again. The rest of the adventurers were galvanized into action. Brodek launched his hammer, Helja rushed in and struck with her pick, Osbourne unleashed magical missiles, and even Erik rushed to the attack.

The cumulative weight of the group’s attacks grievously injured the creature. A moment later it disappeared.

“It has gone invisible!” Erik shouted.

“No, it has cast a minor transportation spell. It cannot be far away,” Osbourne corrected.

A brief debate followed on what to do. Treasure was gathered and it was decided to take a long rest in the Lamia’s lair. Following the rest the adventurers began scouring through the halls. They opened hall near the snake-like creature’s lair and found four ancient mummies.

old_ox_17_mummies.jpeg


A great, wicked grin spread across Osbourne’s face. The wee mage called forth a massive fireball and the shrouds of the mummies burst into burning balls. Soon all four fell to their final rest.

The search continued for many hours, but the group could find no sign of the “master”.

old_ox_18_whole_dungeon.jpeg


“Let’s head back to Streamington my lords and lady,” Osbourne announced.

“Lords and lady?” Helja queried.

“Sure, we’re all landed nobility now,” Osbourne replied.

to be continued...
 

Bearking87

First Post
I love that my job is just to tell people so shut up via hammer, it saves us so much time, my hammers name is now "Here-endeth-the-parley" if silence is still a status effect I need to figure out a way to make my hammer cause it.
 

pogre

Legend
Intrepid Adventures of Legend or Hobo Murderers on the Loose (a pogre storyhour)

Episode 26
Oil and Chicken

The adventurers gained a grant of 5,000 hectares between the rivers south of Streamington. With the deed in their pocket the group headed back to the Old Ox Inn.

*****

“That was a fine meal Lant,” Osbourne said to the proprietor of the Old Ox Inn.

“Except as newly landed gentry, we should be dining in the upper inn,” Cabo said.

“It would cease to be the upper inn if you dined up there,” Helja retorted.

“Actually, I may have a problem in the upper inn you might help me with,” Lant Marrowkind said. “I have a guest I have not seen for a couple of days.”

“We leave for weeks at a time,” Brodek pointed out.

“This is different. He went up to his room and has not emerged. He does not respond to knocks at the door. I’m worried. He seemed like a nice gentleman.”

“You will take me to his room and allow me entry,” Erik stated.

“Why?” Lant asked.

“If he has passed, I want to give him final rites,” Erik replied.

“Oh gods forbid! No offense Father. Surely not that,” Lant exclaimed.

“Lant, we will all go,” Helja reassured the inn keeper.

*****

Lant knocked on the room door. Receiving no answer he keyed the door open and the adventurers came inside. The room was unoccupied.

old_ox_20_upper_room.jpeg


“I promise you he came in here and has not left,” Lant said.

Cabo started going through his personal effects and found a sash, a sabre, and a black overcoat in a bed chest.

“Hey, those are his things,” Lant protested.

“I know,” Cabo answered as he continued rifling through the chest. “I’m just trying to get a clue as to what happened to him.”

“Was this mirror and pitcher part of the room decor?” Erik asked.

“No,” Lant replied.

“Take it off the wall,” Brodek said.

“I don’t think it can be removed without damaging the room or the mirror,” Erik said.

“Don’t disturb it,” Lant said.

“What’s this on the floor?” Osbourne asked. Everyone edged closer to see the puddle of clear liquid on the floor between the mirror and the bed.

“Taste it,” Cabo suggested.

“You taste it,” Osbourne retorted.

“Alright, what’s in the pitcher? Maybe it spilled,” Erik volunteered.

“Not this,” Helja said. She pulled down the pitcher so everyone could look inside to see the oily, green liquid within.

“Lamp oil maybe?” Brodek asked.

“Not any oil I use,” Lant answered.

“I need two bowls and a chicken Lant,” Cabo demanded.

“What? Lant recoiled.

“I have to figure what this stuff is,” Cabo replied.

*****

“What are you doing with that chicken?” Are you choking my chicken?” Lant asked.

“Relax Lant. I’m not choking your chicken,” Cabo replied. Cabo continued to daub oil on the chicken.

“Be gentle. You are choking my chicken,” Lant protested.

“Lant, I promise you I would never choke your chicken,” Cabo replied. The halfling thief took the oil smeared chicken and threw it at the mirror. Something remarkable happened. The chicken slipped through the mirror and for a moment everyone in the room saw a ship at sea next to a tropical island. “Now, I do owe you a chicken. And, now we know where your guest went.”

“What now?” Lant asked.

“Lock the door and do not let anyone come in here until we come out,” Osbourne replied.

“Why?” Lant asked.

“Because we are going to go find your guest,” Osbourne answered.

*****

The adventurers piled it one another as they tumbled onto a wooden floor. They found themselves in a cabin on a rolling ship. There was a knock at the door and then it opened. Brodek moved quickly and wrenched the man entering the room down to the floor. Two quick fists to the belly knocked the breath out of him. As the man lay gasping on the floor Helja tied his arms and Brodek gagged him.

Erik whispered something to Cabo and then sank on one knee before the man. “I am going to cast a spell on you. It will force you tell the truth. If you resist the spell I will have you killed, and then, I will talk to your corpse and get the truth anyway. It is really up to you.” Erik then took a dagger and cut the man’s palm and rubbed his finger in the blood. He then made a strange symbol on the man’s forehead and withdrew mumbling.

Cabo withdrew the man’s gag and began asking questions. The man told Cabo his name was First Mate Goyle and that he was aboard the sailing ship Lucretia. He also revealed that the Captain was with a group of sailors at the nearby island seeking the Idol of the Shaded Moon. Further questioning revealed that the captain’s cabin was a summoning circle that had a complicated ritual attached to it. Finally, First Mate Goyle told the group where to find all of the navigation charts and maps in the cabin.

Erik rushed over to the maps to ascertain the ship’s rough location. It was a great relief to the cleric to find that indeed the group was still in the same world or plane of existence.

“Looks like we have a ship and a map home,” Brodek declared. “I would say our work is done here.”

“You mean just abandon the captain! That’s mutiny!” First Mate Goyle protested.

“Mutiny infers that we owe some sort of loyalty to your captain, which we do not,” Cabo countered. “Impress upon us it is worth our while to go after the former claimant of this vessel.”

“First, you came here looking for him,” Goyle offered.

“Actually, we were trying to solve a mystery, which we largely have,” Erik stated. “But, please, go on.”

“The captain is on the trail of the Idol of the Shaded Moon, and he believed the idol was right here on this island. Even if the captain is gone, can you pass up a chance at such a fabulous treasure?” Goyle asked.

“Now, we’re talking. How much is it worth?” Brodek asked.

“I don’t know,” Goyle admitted.

“What is it’s power?” Osbourne asked.

“I don’t know,” Goyle admitted.

“What religion or god does the idol serve?” Erik asked.

“I don’t know,” Goyle admitted.

“I must say, you pretty much a failure in the temptation department,” Cabo noted.

The group huddled up and decided to go to the island and look for the captain - mainly because the alternative sounded fairly dull.

*****

The trip in the row boat to the island was eventful in the harbor as a number of large toothy creatures kept zooming past. The ship pilot used a harpoon to steer the creatures away from the boat. The group made landfall on a white sand beach. They adventurers quickly found another rowboat pulled far up the beach. Next to the boat they found a dead sailor.

“An inauspicious beginning,” Erik declared,

“For him at least,” Cabo agreed as he rifled through the dead man’s clothes.

The adventurers found the remnants of a trail leading away from the boat and set-off into the jungle.

*****

The adventurers continued to scale the mountain in the hopes that a higher vantage point would give them the lay of the land. Passing by a small cavern nestled near a rocky outcropping they were confronted by a large mountain troll.

old_ox_21_mountain_troll.jpeg


The fight was an extremely one-sided affair and soon the scent of burning troll flesh permeated the mountain air. The group used the small cavern as a campsite and the following morning they continued their trek around the other side of the mountain. There they caught a glimpse of several smoke columns rising from several campfires in a small village in a clearing beyond the mountains in the jungle.

*****

Invisibly, thanks to Osbourne, Cabo scouted the village. He found little evidence the huge shaggy creatures that occupied the village had interacted with the captain and his men. Then, Cabo entered a shaman’s hut and found what appeared to be human skins. Cabo returned to the group at the edge of the jungle and revealed what he had found.

Osbourne cast invisibility on Cabo and Helja. The duo snuck around the village and found their way to the shaman’s hut. They launched an attack on the shaman.

old_ox_22_shaman.jpeg


The twin attacks of the duo quickly struck the shaman down. They then snuck around and set two of the huts on fire. The hairy villagers came running towards the fire.

old_ox_23_shaggy_villagers.jpeg


As the villagers bunched together Osbourne stepped from behind a hut and lit the villagers and all of their huts up with fireballs. Soon, the entire place was a conflagration.

Cabo jumped and danced in the great shadows of the tall flames.
 

pogre

Legend
Intrepid Adventures of Legend or Hobo Murderers on the Loose (a pogre storyhour)

Episode 27
Enemy of my Enemy is my Enemy

Helja perked up and called out to the others, “There is an old road or foundation under here.”

“Maybe this is related to the old temple mentioned in the shaman’s scrolls,” Osbourne volunteered.

“Only one way to find out. Let’s make a road trip,” Brodek remarked.

*****

As the adventurers struggled through the lower jungle, following the old road, a large flock of bat-winged creatures with large proboscis descended toward the group.

“Stirges!” Helja cried out.

Erik murmured an invocation and an aura of radiant light rose up around the group. The stirges crashed into the holy light and fell to the ground.

“Holy flyswatter!” Osbourne exclaimed.

Erik merely smiled and gathered his pack to continue the travels.

*****

Following the road through a few miles of jungle the adventurers spied a large volcano looming up ahead of them. As the group came closer to the volcano they spied a large temple entrance built into the slope. After a short discussion the adventurers decided to fall back on standard procedure - charge!

Charging up the old road they were confronted by a massive fire elemental. A huge voice rose up from behind the flaming elemental, “What sacrifice did you bring to the temple!”

The group unleashed hell on the elemental and it’s life energy was quickly extinguished.

A great Efreeti dressed in black robes appeared in the temple. “Why have you slain my servant?”

“Your next flame monkey,” Brodek retorted.

The fight was brutal and short and the Efreeti fell just as his pet had.

Cabo explored the inner shrine and weathered the extreme heat to see a man strapped to a pole on an island in a lake of lava. Cabo returned to the group and reported what he had found.

“There is no way to get to him,” Cabo remarked.

“Was it the Captain?” Osbourne asked.

“No idea,” Cabo admitted. “He was too far away to see.”

“Well, let’s allow him to keep cooking while we look around,” Helja offered. “We cannot get to him right now anyway.”

“Fair enough,” Brodek stated. “Back to the road.”

*****

The road led to the other end of the island and a fire giant lair. The group quickly killed the giant and looted its lair. They found evidence that the giant was a rival and of the Efreeti and was seeking a way to overthrow him.

“Do you suppose the giant was immune to harm from heat and fire?” Osbourne asked.

“Undoubtedly,” Erik replied.

“I guess we should have parleyed,” Osbourne mused.

“Well, I guess the captain’s dead,” Brodek quipped.

The group headed back to the ship.

*****

“The captain’s dead?” the mate asked.

“Burned to a crisp,” Cabo replied.

“How do you know?”

“We saw him die in a lake of lava,” Sabo explained.

“Oh dear gods!”

“Yeah, it was just terrible,” Cabo dead-panned. “Well, let’s get this boat rolling.”
 

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