KidCthulhu's Scarred Land story hour

Morgaine

First Post
Piratecat said:
Ah, yes. This would be the first wave of stirges.

Heh, heh, heh.

It was funny....P'Cat made this awful buzzing noise. And to this day, all he has to do is start that noise to start Morgaine on a stream of expletives.
 

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Morgaine

First Post
Once again, you've already read this...it was the first story I posted. This is just where it was supposed to be in the storyline.

*******************************

Thomas arrives at the inn shortly after daybreak to find an elf who doesn’t sleep eager to get started. Unfortunately, some of the party does not share Deke’s proclivity for limited sleep and stagger bleary-eyed into the common room one by one. Borin is wolfing down breakfast when Marja makes her way downstairs, still rubbing sleep from her eyes. She is still feeling the lingering effects of her hangover from the previous day. Once again, she argues with Garnet over the choice of her recent tattoo. Morgaine is also a late-riser but since she has spells to prepare, spends breakfast studying and pouring through her spell books. Deke swipes some of the meat from Borin’s plate and receives a grunt and a smack for his efforts.

Deke: “You were done with that right?”
Borin: “I’m done with it when my plate is clean.”

With Thomas is a young man in full plate armor with the holy symbols of Corean emblazoned boldly on the breastplate, helm and hilts of his gleaming long sword and great lance. He introduces himself as Kelley, a cleric and fighter for the Church of The Iron Gate (the local Church of Corean). The party members warily introduce themselves. Given all their recent tribulations, they are less than eager to embrace a stranger into their midst, even if that stranger looks young, strong, powerful and righteous. Especially because that stranger looks strong, powerful and righteous. Borin – as the troupe’s meat shield –does, however, gratefully acknowledge the addition of another healer in their fold.
Thomas seems to sense the party’s hesitation and vouches for Kel’s trustworthiness. “Besides, two guides are better than one.”

Xenia comments on Kel’s plate mail and how nice it looks. She also points out his lack of spikes but that she doesn’t hold it against him.

Finally the heroes are ready to head out. Kel’s steed is massive and outfitted to match his armor, replete with sparkling holy symbols. Deke tries not to shudder in the face of all the virtue oozing out of Kel’s pores. Backtracking to Penderwen’s Rest they retrieve the horses “borrowed” from the bounty hunters. Borin has a second breakfast, then he, Deke, Gemma, Kalina, Marja, Morgaine, Kel and Thomas wave goodbye to Fergus as he plays his poorly tuned bagpipes in honor of their departure. Taylor howls in unison from his perch atop Morgaine’s horse and the sounds are indistinguishable. Fergus has opted to remain in Otenazu to work for the local tavern and promises to keep his eyes peeled for any strange happenings in their absence.

The winds are brisk as they whip down from the Keldar Mountains, rustling the trees and leaves overhead. In Otenazu, the natives have 15 different words for the air currents that buffet the town on either side of the Canyon of Souls. It is a mild zephyr that blows today and the adventurers take in the warmth of the rising sun and the still-damp morning mist clinging to the air. Gemma scouts ahead of the party, keeping an ever-watchful eye and alert ear for anything amiss. Her vigilance pays off when she hears the faint whispers of a guttural language not far off in the distance. Deke and Gemma sneak forward to assess the situation and discover 14 Goblins lying in ambush just over the next hill.
 

Morgaine

First Post
Deke becomes one with the grass while Gemma reports their findings back to the group. Kalina asks the rest of the party to wait while she casts entangle into the middle of their foes. She manages to ensnare several of the Goblins in the roots, brambles and hedges that begin to snake their way around the hapless creatures. At this, the Goblin leader jumps onto the road and threatens the party, while an illusionist behind him creates his much-enlarged image – ostensibly to intimidate the group. Borin dismounts and picks up the transmutation club, grows to 12 feet tall and taunts the Goblin in front of him. “Mine’s real,” he growls.

Morgaine casts sleep and triumphantly listens as several loud snores fill the air from over the hill. At this, the Goblin leader scolds Morgaine and threatens that the “King” shall rise up from the earth and seek his vengeance. Gemma plants two arrows neatly into his throat and his guttural warnings gurgle and die with him. Ironically, his enlarged image still shimmers above him. In an impressive display of cooperation and tactical maneuvers, the adventurers manage to dispense with all of the goblins in seconds without a single injury to party members. Thomas lauds their efforts and they continue on their way to the hunting lodge of Lord Duncan of Wyndhill.

About a quarter of a mile from the lodge, Thomas draws the horses to a halt. Down through a clearing he stares at what used to be the house. Perhaps it is the distance or his eyes playing tricks on him, but there doesn’t seem to be a building, just a dense grove of trees. Yet when he turns his head at a certain angle, the building seems to shimmer in the sun. Kel, being more familiar with the lodge, concurs that something is not right. Unfortunately, they are too far away to truly discern anything.

As the entourage slowly makes its way to the hunting lodge, what appeared to be a copse of trees and bush turns out to be a brown shield encasing the entire cottage. Trees, branches, dirt and debris are strewn all over the covering, almost as if to disguise or camouflage the building. Fang smells something unpleasant and the horses begin acting skittish and jumpy. This unease spreads quickly to the humans who hesitate to advance further. The area is home to an unusually large number of spiders, scurrying in different directions as the riders pass by. Several party members shudder involuntarily as they dismount to investigate. After debating for a few minutes about their next course of action, the party decides against Marja’s idea to burn the house down. Kel especially denounces that idea since this lodge does belong to his uncle. (Somehow knowledge of the fact that he is related to Lord Duncan of Wyndhill and Baronet Gobrey has escaped the other members until now.)

Instead, Marja casts spiderclimb on Kel who reluctantly swallows a live spider and then feels his hands and feet stick easily to the tree he climbs to get a closer look at the lodge. The whole cottage is wrapped in this weird casing and he can even see several birds flapping helplessly against the roof, trapped in the sticky substance. Once again Marja voices a request to burn the house, seconded by Kalina and Morgaine. Once again, the others shoot the idea down. Marja casts a second spiderclimb on Deke who swallows the requisite spider with something akin to relish. He then makes his way into the stable building to explore further.
 

Morgaine

First Post
Inside he finds several large creatures encased in webbing and extremely large spider egg sac. There are thick cobwebs covering every surface, blocking the sunlight and creating opaque shadows throughout the small outbuilding. There is a strong smoky stench here, mixed with a foul, rotting odor. He also finds traces of a white foam-like slime throughout the stables. Upon reporting his findings, Gemma and Borin burn the egg sac, then burn away the webbing on the creatures. They find the desiccated remains of two horses and one dog.

Another dog, while terribly poisoned and partially dehydrated, is alive and Gemma does her best to heal and revive the poor canine. When she is fairly certain it will survive, she focuses her attention on the cottage itself. With a torch she begins to carefully burn away the webbing on the lodge, revealing the door underneath. The sizzling sound that accompanies the burning, smoky stench assailing their nostrils again causes Morgaine to shudder. Marja places Garnet in her hair to eat any of the spiders that get in there.

Eventually they are able to open the door wide enough to fit through, though few members are eager to do so. Kel moves into the doorway and hears the raspy, thin voice of something speaking in harsh common from the darkness of the room. After a lengthy discussion, where Kel demonstrates his spiderclimb abilities, it invites him in to search the cabin for his relatives. Morgaine moves closer to the door in an attempt to figure out the location of the voice, using her magically enhanced hearing. The voice floats down from the middle of the ceiling, but is moving slowly toward the door. Once Kel enters the building, he sees the giant spider above the chandelier and gasps as the 8-foot arachnid trains eight eyes right at him.
 

Morgaine

First Post
It casts web at the party, ensnaring Xenia, Morgaine, Kalina and Kel, whom it promptly releases. It expresses excitement over all the “juicy” creatures at its door. Gemma, adroitly avoiding the sticky mass, easily sidesteps inside the door and fires one flaming arrow at the creature. Thanks to Morgaine’s Liliandel’s Flurry that one arrow becomes three, two of which easily find their mark, badly scorching the giant spider. She quickly shoots her second arrow, which also buries itself deep within the hairy, black flesh. Marja, who was already inside the house, was also able to dodge the web and quickly attacks with ice knife which pierces and freezes the creature’s flesh, leaving it shaky and unsteady.

The spider hangs from the ceiling ten feet above their heads and attacks its nearest foe, Marja, with eight legs and a giant mouth. Because of its freezing wounds, Marja deftly avoids the poison-filled pincers. Unfortunately, two of its eight legs find their mark and leave large gashes across her chest, wounding her badly. Kalina casts flame blade and masterfully burns a path through the sticky web inside the cottage, where she uses her slingshot to pelt the creature with stones. Borin also makes his way inside the building, grabbing the transmutation club as he does so. Standing eye to eye with the creature, he uses it for piñata practice and “squashes it like the bug that it is”.

By this time, Xenia has struggled free of the web, sword drawn, ready to fight and makes her way inside the building, carefully following Kalina’s path so as not to entangle herself again. Thomas has burned a path for Morgaine, burning her in the process. Deke, using the still powerful spiderclimb scampers to the ceiling that is draped in cobwebs and draws his dagger, hoping a berserk Borin does not mistake him for one of the spider-creatures. Meanwhile, three more giant spiders scuttle down from the ceiling and attack.

Marja casts ice knife at the one closest to Borin. The frozen dagger arcs from her hand, puncturing the giant arachnid to its hilt. Bursts of frost sweep over the creature and it seems to shiver, hindering its movement. Kalina then scores holes into its abdomen with her flaming sword, making a wide sweep into the burning flesh.

Morgaine casts Melf’s Acid Arrow at another, the glowing green shaft searing a hole in the spider’s soft underside, as it shrinks back in pain. Gemma sinks two arrows into its hide, the feathers quivering with the impact. Deke shimmies across the ceiling, cuts the creature from the silk threads suspending it and watches gleefully as it crashes to the floor with a splat, nearly landing on Kel. Borin (in Ogre form), feral and raging, swings the heavy club with such force that the giant spider in front of him is driven into the wall, where it splatters messily. Xenia swings her long sword with a vengeance, piercing the creature closest to her between several of its eyes. This last spider attacks Kel who finally gets upset enough to fight back and neatly slices it in half.

Barely catching their breath, they notice an enormous, gorged, slimy spider making her way into the room, leaving trails of white, foam-like slime in her wake.
 
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Morgaine

First Post
Her stench is almost unbearable and the party watches, horrified, as she moves towards Borin with huge dripping pincers clacking wildly. Morgaine surges forward and uses her wand of color spray to stun the creature, giving Borin a chance to attack it with the club. Unfortunately, when she tries this a second time, Borin is in the line of attack. Yelling to close his eyes, she fires the wand again and watches the brilliant cone of scintillating colors explodes from the end of the wand. Of course, what she doesn’t realize is that this mama spider also speaks common, follows her directions and is therefore unaffected. Morgaine realizes lamely that she should have called out in dwarvish. Mama arachnid grabs Borin in her giant pincers and he feels the poison quickly spread through his body, causing his muscles to seize and shake violently.

Up close, they can see that her “skin” is moving. She is literally alive with millions of tiny spiders wriggling all over her massive form. Kalina uses her avalanche sling shot to hurl a small stone at the spider. Just before it hits its target, the stone expands ten times its size. They watch as a large boulder catches the hulking mass squarely it its engorged abdomen. Morgaine casts cat’s grace on Borin to help reduce some of his shaking. Kel commands it to sleep. Instantly, its limbs go limp, the pincers stop clacking and the soft sounds of sleeping fill the room. Borin pummels the creature with the club and Kalina finishes it off with a brilliant use of cold snap, sending hundreds of thousands of spiders scurrying in all directions. Instinctively, she and Morgaine back up.

Once they are sure the creature is dead, Kalina (with the aid of Gemma and Morgaine) successfully draws the poison out of an exhausted, weary Borin, applying their healing arts to Marja as well. Sure that neither is in immediate danger, Kel, Gemma and Kalina scour the house in search of the caretakers and any other survivors in the lodge. They discover the horribly poisoned caretaker and his wife, barely clinging to life. Between Kel, Gemma, and Kalina they are able to stabilize the couple who remain unconscious and in grave condition. Deke, Marja, and Morgaine burn away most of the cobwebs in the main rooms and begin the arduous task of clearing away the spiders’ remains. The sun is very low in the sky by the time the party finishes cleaning the whole lodge. Once done, they search the building for the clues they originally set out to find.

Love letters from Gobrey to Lady Cosette Slaint are hidden underneath the floorboards in Gobrey’s room. It is obvious that Gobrey is consumed by a fierce love for her, yet the flavor of some letters is a wild jealousy that she has had other lovers in the past. One letter even mentions his slight hesitance to be married in her faith, but that he would “defy the Gods if need be to be with her.” The party stores this information away for later use.

The obvious next step is to talk with Lord Duncan of Wyindhill, Gobrey’s father. A day later, the adventurers arrive at his manor, with Kel seeking audience with his uncle.
 

Aravis

First Post
KidCthulhu said:
Nice image with the pine needles. Very pretty.

We certainly could write a story hour about Borin. Of course, it would have lots of pictures and very small words. Erudition is not Borin's job within the party.

I know this was posted LONG ago, but I have been away from the boards for a while...

Anyway, READING is not Borin's job. He is not DUMB though! Harumph is right...*grin*

Hey (Contact), in an upcoming storyhour posting you will come very close to getting your wish...

-- Aravis
 


Iron Chef BBQ

First Post
Morgaine said:
She does happily point out her new tattoo encircling her navel. A small green snake weaves in and out of a circlet of colorful flowers. Morgaine asks in dismay why choose a snake design and Marja’s response is that it was a compromise. In her mind, continues an ongoing argument with Garnet. “I don’t see why it had to be a snake.” To which Garnet replies haughtily, “the tattoo was not my idea. You could not be dissuaded of that. And if you’re going to have one, it may as well be attractive.”

Realizing she is in no shape to prepare spells, Marja spends some time in the room attempting to harness the powerful magic coursing through her veins. After meditating for several minutes, she knows she can command the few spells she mastered yesterday and hopes this will suffice.

I think the quote was, "I don't know where I got it (the tattoo), but I know who picked it out!" And the flowers are violets, for those who are interested.

Just to clarify, Marja is a Sorcoress so doesn't 'prepare' spells, as such, but since she got no sleep the night before, she had no energy to 'recharge' her spell slots.
 

Morgaine

First Post
Iron Chef BBQ said:


I think the quote was, "I don't know where I got it (the tattoo), but I know who picked it out!" And the flowers are violets, for those who are interested.

Just to clarify, Marja is a Sorcoress so doesn't 'prepare' spells, as such, but since she got no sleep the night before, she had no energy to 'recharge' her spell slots.

Thanks for the clarification. Sometimes I lose details. And thanks for the bump, Kosh.

I've been away and went through a little creative drought (spelling?) recently so I've not had much luck with the writing. I should have something for tonight or tomorrow, though, and I appreciate all of your patience. And all of you reading it.

--M
 


Aravis

First Post
Kosh said:
You're welcome...

Have you all stopped playing?...

Hi Kosh,

No, we have not stopped. In fact, tonight when we play KidC will take over the run and PC will be playing a new character. Things have been really busy with Morgaine lately. Given the choice of having her be at the game and having her post here, I am afraid that I have to go with having her at the game. *grin*

I would expect that as things settle down a bit for her we will see more posts. We have been doing some pretty cool stuff...

-- Aravis
 

Jobu

First Post
We just finished our first KidC run game. We had a bad priest, a dead kid, a new PC played by PC, and lots of Ale; what more could you want from a gaming session..
 


Morgaine

First Post
<Pokes head in...looks around> Wow, it's good to see things haven't changed in here.

Thank you all for being patient for so long. I've been extremely busy with life and haven't had time to write or post in ages. I thought that once I was done with school I'd have more time but it turns out that this full-time job thing is a lot of work. Who knew? And with the wedding in two months things have been hectic. But I haven't forgotten about you....I have written up the next few games in the sequence (we're still about 8-9 games behind the current game) and will try to post them in rapid succession over the next week or so. I've also asked for help from Marja's player so I won't be so overwhelmed. Thanks again for bearing with me.

Happy reading.

--M
 

Morgaine

First Post
The group has spent the last thirty minutes making vain attempts to look presentable but the dust and grime from travel and battle tenaciously clings to their clothes and hair. They are waiting with some trepidation in Lord Wyndhill’s sitting room in tense silence. The walls are adorned with ornately framed portraits of ruddy noble men and women, presumably related to Kel. A large fireplace occupies the far wall, though with the warmth of the day, no fire is lit. The décor of the large room is tasteful but sparse, giving the impression that the lord places a great deal more emphasis on function than style.

“Where’s that milksop nephew of mine?” booms a thunderous voice from somewhere deep inside the manor. Seconds later, a large, burly man in a long purple cloak bursts into the room and embraces Kel in a giant bear hug.

“Kel, my boy, good to see you! Did they make you a sissy at that church?”

Lord Wyndhill is an imposing figure, his towering height matched only by his impressive girth. He has a neatly trimmed, bristly beard and close-cropped hair of the same salt and pepper gray. His very commanding presence demands respect and he gives the impression of one who is used to others doing his bidding.

Kel politely replies that he studied fighting as well as clerical works, which seems to appease Duncan considerably; he claps Kel on the back violently,

“Good to hear, boy. A good sword and a strong arm can get you far. Not to be rude or anything but why the hell are you here?”

Kel informs his uncle that he and the others fear Gobrey is in danger. Duncan is not surprised to learn this and asks everyone back into his conference room where they can talk privately. He strides away purposefully and the group hurries to catch up.

The room is dark, with rich mahogany furniture. The drapes are lush, velvet hunter green and the air is thick with the sweet scent of pipe weed. After brief introductions, Duncan gestures to the group to sit. Borin sits in the large wing back chair in the center of room that obviously belongs to the Lord, who startles to see someone with the audacity to affront him. After a brief pause, Duncan laughs heartily and acknowledges the dwarf’s pluck then takes another seat nearby.

“What’s this about my son? Run in with a bad crowd, has he? I knew that woman was no good. I could use a drink, anybody else?”

When several party members agree enthusiastically, Duncan bellows to a fidgety, nervous looking servant who startles noticeably

“Cringe, we need ale!”
“Yye..yes sir, right away sir.”

In moments, Cringe returns with tankards and ale in several pitchers. Marja gratefully accepts the first and takes a long draught from the tasty brew. Duncan looks obviously impressed.

They spend some time discussing Gobrey and their own unfortunate incarceration. Duncan frequently interjects with loud comments or advice after the fact. Twice Marja replies with witty comebacks that cause him to guffaw loudly. After the second such event, Duncan rounds on her and says,

“How’d you like to be my wife. I need a wife now and you’re pretty enough.”
 

Kesh

First Post
Very nice story! I just read the whole thing, and it was quite fun.

I especially liked the scene with the stream. ("The water's happy, man! It sings!" :D )

Keep 'em coming! I'd love to learn more about the characters and where the story leads. I've become interested in the Scarred Lands setting recently, and this just whets my appetite more.
 

Jobu

First Post
Kesh said:
....I'd love to learn more about the characters and where the story leads.

I think some of us still have our background stories hanging about somewhere if you're that interested. As for the Scarred Lands itself, we really have fun playing in a land ravaged by god wars. It's quite a world setting.

I don't think even we know where the story's heading...I can tell you that you will soon be reading of our adventures in another realm and our encounter with all sorts of creatures we were pretty sure were only imaginary. :eek:)

Thanks for the interest, though. It means a lot to know someone's reading.
 

Jobu

First Post
Marja deftly sidesteps his proposal, indicating she can’t commit to anything until this whole matter is resolved and her name is cleared. Duncan sees the wisdom of this and drops the subject for the time being.

Eventually, the group asks the Lord for a list of Gobrey’s friends. Once again he bellows to the timid Cringe who cries out and jumps forward. He provides the party with several names - Whimsy, Willenforce and Cotter. Both Kel and Morgaine recognize the latter two but no one knows the former. Duncan also indicates that he has business interests in Amalthea, a forge, and the group suspects this is the motive behind Cosette’s “attraction” to Gobrey.

“Kel, find my boy. Break this enchantment. Throw some money around and tell people you didn’t do what they said you did and I’ll back you up.”

Duncan offers to fund this bribing spree and then says he’ll write a letter of diplomatic immunity should they be caught by the guard again.

“Now, I’m hungry. It’s dinner time so you all go get washed up and meet me down here for dinner in an hour.”

They spend the evening eating a savory meal with more ale, mead and wine then retire to the study for after-dinner drinks and some entertainment courtesy of several local bards. Duncan once again proposes to Marja then tells her to think about his offer before answering and making a mistake. They retire to their rooms late in night.

Duncan is awake obnoxiously early and his booming voice quickly destroys any further hope of sleep for anyone within earshot - a full half the town. He greets Kel on the stairs and hands him several sacks of coins.

“Fifty pounds ought to be enough to bribe the right people, don’t you think?”

Deke is out of his room and on the landing before the money hits Kel’s hand and Borin charges up the stairs, bacon in hand. They revel in the sight of all that gold at their disposal.

After a hearty repast for breakfast, Cringe helps Marja write the diplomatic letter, Duncan signs it with his seal and offers them horses for their journey. Gemma, who healed the dog at the lodge, inquires after it, relieved to know it will survive. She asks the Lord for a pup, when she is done adventuring. He readily agrees and they bid him farewell. The party makes its way through the morning streets, en route to find Cotter, the moneylender’s son. They plan to change most of the gold into gems for easier travel and find information in the process.
 

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