Muddled Pasts - Pathfinder 3.5

jydog1

Explorer
Session #46 - October 31, 2011 - All Around the Town

Notes: had to ply at GM's apartment as we had no power due to the freak storm (getting home to a freezing cold house at 11:30PM? Not awesome). We're still one player down as he continues to not show up and not answer any of our attempts to contact him - not really sure what's going on. We're giving him every chance to get in touch with us and either show up or quit, but not getting an answer either way is somewhat frustrating.

This writeup will be somewhat brief and fragmented as were split into four separate groups. A bit of miscommunication between myself and the GM - I had See invisible but along with my 5 other buffs, but he missed it and thus Grezz didn't see someone he should have seen. As between the 4 PCs we had approximately 24 buffs up it's not surprising one got lost in the shuffle. Given how I was rolling and how the GM was rolling saves against me it probably wouldn't have mattered anyway.

Dinner was damn good chili.

From the journal of Baron Grezzalik M'rethen:

I had the power gathering in my staff, a Spiked Pit ready to open up under the giant's feet, to gobble up both him and that thing he'd picked up.

The some woman in plate came from nowhere, grabbed the giant and the elf, and teleported away as I shouted in powerless frustration.

Dammit.

To step back a bit, Trixie and I had examined the tower and found nothing extraordinary about it. Collapsed in fromt he top, it seemed empty. I launched a pair of lightning balls at the dragon as Londis - I think it was Londis - harried it.
OOC: Londis nailed it with Terrible Remorse, which is just a brutal, brutal spell, then peppered it with arrows until he killed it before it could run. That's getting a little ahead in time, but it was that kind of combat
Triixie started casting and another red dragon appeared, screeching at the first one. Whethe ror not it took notice I'm not sure, because it took more arrows from Londis and fell, crashing into the Tunadoc Academy.

I wanted to stay by the tower, but I saw five giants marching up a street with bags filled with something wriggling and couldn't just sit by watching. One was hearing heavy armor and clearly the leader - time for me to try my new spell out. He froze in mid-stride and I swooped in to deliver the coup de grace - which didn't exactly go well.
OOC: Time to carry a weapon for killing - I did a whopping 3 points of crit damage with my staff and he saved against death. Time to stick a longspear into my haversack. This is actually a rule that irritates me somewhat - why on earth wouldn't a Scorching Ray or a spell like it be just as effective as whacking a helpless foe with a mace? Silly.
But with 4 other giants gathering around the leader and my invisibility about to expire, I had to get out of there.

behind me Trixie had spotted a large stone giant coming up the street with an elf in silks and a Ulfen we'd seen before at the Hidemarches. By the time I'd gotten there the elf had dim-doored up to Londis and in addition to clobbering his griffon also zapped the hell out of the inquisitor
OOC: a magus who cast an intensified shocking grasp through his rapier and critted - he would have done it again the next round but Londis grabbed him and I stuck a disruptive on him via a lightning ball
. The Ulfen had squared off with an already battered Tofa (who had already taken down a giant and several cave bears with only a little help from Eurayle) and that was a frothing snarling mess that ended with Tofa staggering away
OOC: we thought she'd died - reduced to negative hits while raging means you're a goner - but later realized her DR hadn't been applied to the final blow
. I froze him in place with Hold Monster before he could finish her off, but this was after the teleportation of the others.

Trixie had set up the illusion of guards that the giant had actually wasted time fighting through before it grabbed some sort of stone from the base of the tower. Then it ran back to the elf, and that's when the other one appeared and the zapped away. I was furious at our failure and webbed the five giants when they showed up, but Eurayle's snakes reported that giants were leaving with Gavrin Deverain and other townspeople in sacks, and as low as I was on spells that wasn't going to happen. Tofa was barely standing and Londis looked exhausted. Trixie was three apples high again and nobody had seen Reznak at all. Shalue's husband had been incinerated by the dragon and she's gone nuts, so with a curse I zipped up in the air and raced off after the giants. Wasn't exactly sure what i was going to do when I caught them, though . . .
 

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jydog1

Explorer
Session #47 - November 21st, 2011 - Harder They Fall

notes: Work and other issues have made for a spotty playing schedule, but we should be on track for a few sessions in a row come December. This turned into one hell of a fight and the front-liners unleashed ridiculous amounts of damage on the young, dumb giants. Don't take our people, young dumb giants! We managed to look like Big Damn Heroes despite being low on spells and other fun stuff. Seriously, we had to go save the people that had been taken. They're giving us a freaking statue. And I can't wait for next week to have the interrogation continued. The inquisitor is a hoot. A batshit crazy hoot, but a hoot nonetheless.

Probably in the session after next we'll be introducing a new PC. I hope it likes killing bad guys, because that's a great way to fit in with us. Dinner was lasagna and garlic bread.

From the journal of Baron Grezzalik M'rethen:

Okay, I was torn. There had been townspeople taken, carried away in burlap sacks by the marauding giants. Alma's kids. Gavrin Deverain. Titus Scarnetti's wife. Several others. They needed saving.

On the other hand, those were Thassilonian runes carved into the dragon's scales. I could read most of them, and there was a pattern I . . . no. We needed to go. As my mates healed up from the fight and made sure the Ulfen was secured, I flew up before my spell expired. There would be no trouble tracking the wide swath of destruction and discarded loot they'd left behind, and I dropped back down and started trying to hurry them up.

Trixie emerged from the nearby magic shop with a couple of scrolls under her arm, almost as big as she was. It took her two tries but suddenly she was back to her still-not-very-large size. She looked at me, back to the door of the shop, and then back to me. "What?"

I was saved from trying to decide if any sort of response would keep me from getting hit by the arrival of several guards bearing horses, presumably for us. We mounted up and started moving through town, having to take our time picking through the chaos. After a bit Titus Scarnetti pulled up next to us, accompanied by several of his house guards.

"Baron? A word, if I could?"

I refrained from rolling my eyes. "Ride with us and speak, Titus. As soon as we clear the gates we're going to be moving significantly faster."

"Da," said Tofa. "Do we need to tie you on your horse, Grezz?"

I ignored that. She was in a bad mood anyway plus that sword of her was muttering loud enough to be heard from here. Glancing over at Titus I said, "Yes?"

"Well, you've no doubt heard my wife was taken. I would do or give anything to have her back. I'm also going to send my four best guards to go with you, to help."

I looked at the men, none of whom looked particularly enthused to be here. "I'd never say no to help, Titus, but I don't want your men to come because they've been ordered. If that's the case, keep them here."

One gave an audible sigh of relief. Nodding his head, Titus said, "Fine, fine. If you can bring my wife back, I would consider all bad blood between my house and yours to be absolved. I would make sure all of my family was of the same mind."

Despite the morning's horrors, I had to chuckle. "We're going to get everyone back, your wife included. And while I appreciate your offer, I think you greatly overestimate how much House Scarnetti plays as a concern in my life."

With that we cleared the last of the rubble of the Academy and kicked our mounts into a canter, leaving the noble behind in the dust. House Scarnetti. I couldn't tell you the last time I worried about them.

We made up ground quickly. As we rode more and more debris - furniture, signs, metal - began to show up. The Storval Reach was visible in the distance, but we caught up to them long before they got even remotely close to that particular safe haven. As we drew nearer our pace increased and I struggled to stay mounted while putting on protective spells. Before us our quarry scrambled to higher ground and turned to face us, a number of giants accompanying something that looked a little different. As I cast Fly and kicked free of my horse I got a good look at one as he began to throw a large rock at us, and while I'm no expert on giants it wasn't a stretch to say that he looked . . . scared.

Before I zipped away I managed to remember to cast Haste on myself and the others, and we blurred into battle.
OOC: I should get CAST HASTE tattooed on my arm so I remember
A multitude of large rocks came our way and I heard Eurayle yelp in pain. I made sure the next few aimed at her and Trixie were altered via spell.

In the middle of the stone giants was something giant-like, but old and odd looking. It cast a few spells in a language I didn't know, but I was still able to identify what they were - magic is sort of like food, and different spells have different flavors, so to speak. The first was stone armor, which, okay, was pretty obvious, but then it cast Protection from . . . Evil? Against us? Really?
OOC: Can't wait to hear what this one has to say in interrogation. Is that a spoiler? Yes, yes it is.


The clash and clang of melee combat filled the area as Tofa and Londis waded into battle, and soon screams of pain followed. Bear and giant screams, of course. I couldn't actually see if Tofa was frothing at the mouth but her crazy-ass sword flickered around and a huge crescent of ice appeared behind the giants, cutting off any means of escape. Trixie has started yelling back at the caster in his tongue, whatever the hell it was (OOC: Ignan) and I, full of the confidence that having Mirror Image and Protection from Missiles up provides, yelled at him in common. Since Trixie was behind a tree he focused his ire on me and sent a spell screaming my way, but he'd made a poor choice. I'd had Dispel Magic sitting in my Ring of Counterspelling for quiet some time
OOC: so long the GM had forgotten I had it - his expression was priceless when I said, "Well, just a second there . . ."
and the result was his pretty armor vanishing in a smoky poof. Not being an idiot and seeing his escort being carved to pieces, he grabbed a wriggling sack and held it up in front of him.

Right. Protection from Evil from US. You might want to reconsider that one, chief.

A giant charged forward and got to the edge of copse where Trix and Eurayle were, and I turned away from the caster long enough to drop a Spiked Pit under him, albeit one of shadows. He evidently couldn't tell the difference and plummeted out of sight with a shout. Trixie stepped up, and, after fixing me with a 'I could have done that too' look, zapped her Rod of Wonder in there. Even at my height I caught a whiff of the horrible Stinking Cloud she'd created, and it was hard not to laugh at the ensuing series of coughs followed by howls of pain as the giant battered itself to death.

Then she pointed that blasted Rod of Wonder at caster and let loose. To my horror a lightning bolt sprang out, blasting though an unlucky fellow on the way to hitting the caster and his hostage . . . no. It fizzled just before it got there.
OOC: if the range of the Lightning bolt was 70 feet, then he was 75 feet away. 5 feet from splatting a bag full of civilians. What's the phrase, 'Acceptable losses?'


I threw a couple of spells at the caster that he negated, but I was more than content to do so while Tofa and Londis drew closer.
OOC: Have I mentioned hasted rage prophets before? Tofa did 108 points of damage in a single round. The giants were terrified.
It realized that and tried to sink into the earth after throwing a bag of people at me - Feather Fall - but Londis grabbed it and wouldn't let go. I pulled a scroll of Sands of Time from my haversack and, after swooping in, made him even older. He sagged as Londis knocked him out, and suddenly the battlefield fell quiet. One giant lay off to the side, hurt and weeping, and as Tofa struggled to keep her blade from vivisecting him Trixie growled, "Go. Run and tell the others that we're coming for them."
OOC: I don't think this actually happened, but it works cinematically. Shut up a little
. The dead giants all had, surprise surprise, sihidrons branded on them, while our unconscious buddy wore the markings of Minderhall, which of course Trixie was able to identify as some sort of ancient god. Interesting. I scrolled up a floating disc to haul his big fat ass back to town while keeping him out of contact with the earth. Opening the bags found people a little bruised and bloody, but none seriously hurt. And all accounted for. The legend grows, I suppose.

Back in town I got to study the dragon for a bit, and it was fascinating. The wyrm had used dozens of the things to make an actual spell of sorts, making its body a magical rod - healing, in this case. Amazing. And . . . doable. I could do this to myself. My mind staggered a little at the possibilities.

Meanwhile Londis and the others were doing their usual brand of information gathering, which was why I found it best to be on the other side of town. Trixie distracting, Londis being terrifying, Tofa hitting things, and so on. A quick walk past let me know they'd either broken or made a deal with the Ulfen, who revealed he was part of a Magnidaar-based mercenary company called the Laughing Bones that had been hired to escort the giant that had taken the keystone from the tower. Nice enough story, but he had a big sihidron rune on him too. Still, it probably wouldn't hurt to have a word with the Lord-Mayor and have the Bones brought into the Hellknight tower for some questioning . . . perhaps being a baron wasn't so bad after all.
 
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jydog1

Explorer
Session #48 - December 5th, 2011 - There Goes the Neighborhood

notes: A disjointed session, forced to start late due to a dinner mishap. I can't really describe how incredibly funny Londis' interrogation of the Ulfen was, but I'm going to try. here's what I didn't write into the last entry - Londis threatened Heimeral that unless he told us everything he'd find himself with his hands and feet amputated, wearing a dress and being wheeled around in a giant baby carriage. Certainly a terrible fate for an Ulfen warrior, but we all just figured it was some creative bluffing.

Don't ever underestimate Pete's genius!

It was a roleplaying only session, with our new player showing up later in the session and making Eurayle an absolute pain in Grezz's ass. It appears he'll be joining us as a ranger concentrating in archery, which as Calefalas proved in the Fellnight is a good fit for our party. We're still healing challenged (although Tofa is getting there) so I invested in a bunch of healing scrolls Grezz can't even read.

Dinner ended up being pancakes and sausage.

From the journal of Baron Grezzalik M'rethen:

I was walking back into town with a heavy coffer under my arm - Titus Scarnetti had been most appreciative of the rescuing of his wife, and in addition to the fairly generous cash reward he'd tossed in several heavy duty healing potions and the assurance that the Scarnettis would let our quarrel die - as if I gave a flying dragon's scaly ass about them anymore. He did confirm that the assassins in Magnidaar had been their hire - next time, spend a little extra cash and get some good ones.

Anyway, Londis came up to me with a wild gleam in his eye. "There you are. I need to you help with my interrogation. Can you do this?" He then launched into a detailed description of what he wanted done. It was outlandish to say the least, but I shrugged. For what he wanted I only needed a single charge from my crook, and I had . . . well, 3 left. And maybe 3 or 4 total spell slots left. It had been a day.

The Ulfen woke up as Londis healed him and took in his situation. He was wearing a giant pink dress, lying in a baby carriage, and lacking hands and feet. Understandably he was quite upset. First he started with the yells of anger, then switched to threats, then to pleading, and finally agreed to tell us everything we wanted to know, a broken man. I sat just out of view, using my Major Image for the carriage and to make him think he'd had amputations - in reality Londis had tied off his limbs and had me make the extremities invisible. It was diabolical and fiendish and completely effective.

Londis is a frightening man.

Heimeral spilled what he knew - the Laughing Bones weren't just a blind hire, but traitors who'd signed on with Mokmorian for promises of positions of power when the giant invaded and conquered us. Lovely. After we finished with him and had him taken away, we switched to the giant. He was much more eager to talk and open to making a deal. It made sense, as Cyrdith had been an Elder supplanted by the magically-juiced runt. He filled us in that raids like this had taken place at the same time up and down the coast. The stone the giant had taken hadn't been specific - any stone from the tower would have done. The dragon had been one of the few not dominated by Mokmorian but had come of its own accord, smart enough to see which way the wind blows. He went on about how Mokmorian has somehow gathered the power of the Thasselonians and was dangerous beyond words.

He also made it fairly obvious he wouldn't mind the runt being removed and was more than happy to help us make that happen.

"Mokmorian is basically a living siege engine. We were sent down to retrieve those stones and pave the way for his coming." He made a wry chuckle. "We certainly didn't expect to hit resistance such as this. It'll take a while for word of this to get back, and I'm glad I won't be there for that."

Londis grunted. "There were other Elders such as yourself that were shoved out - would they be of the same mind as you about hoping for Mokmorian to be removed? And have followers on that line of thought as well?"

Cyrdith nodded. "Of course. Not enough to openly oppose him though - he's got giants of all types there, plus dragons and those stupid lamia bitches."

"Yes, we've met a few of them."

His eyes widened. "And you're still here to tell the tale. Impressive." He paused, shifted in the chains that held him aloft. "I sense you have an offer in mind."

The inquisitor offered one of his horrible smiles. "Indeed. You will provide us with all the information you can about this Mokmorian, his strengths and weaknesses, his followers, his magic, and so on. The dragon I killed - "

'Longtooth."

"Longtooth. Do you know where his lair is?"

Cyrdith frowned. "Well, yes. I've seen it from afar, but I haven't been in it or anything like that."

"Good enough. You can draw us a map."

"Uhm," said Eurayle, "I could teleport us there, if I could see the place."

I spoke up. "You've seen the place, Cyrdith?" At his nod, I grinned and dug a scroll of Share Memories out of my haversack. "Okay, we should be good for the Storval Plains express."

The giant was quiet for a second, then asked, "And what is my benefit for all of this?"

"Grezz," said Londis, "What's going on with Hook Mountain?"

"Hook Mountain? There still some ogres up there, but for the most part they either died or fled."

"Excellent. Surely Cyrdith and his friends could handle the stragglers."

"You want him to take over as Black Arrows?"

"Oh, no no no, Grezz. I want them to move in and become citizens of your barony."

I looked at the giant, who has the same stunned expression I did. "Seriously?"

"oh, I'm quite serious. Everything they need is up there, and you get a northern buffer. plus I'm sure a few would love to join my guard."

Tofa cursed loudly. "Da, the Ulfen will not like that!"

Londis smirked. "I'm well aware of that."

I started to protest, then stopped and thought for a minute. The giants weren't actually evil, and to be honest the Lord-Mayor would possibly crap himself when he learned I had a cadre of giants under my mantle. It would certainly shift the balance of power between us a bit. Raising an eyebrow I said to Londis, "You are one devious son of a bitch." To the giant I said, "We'll have to hammer out details, but does this sound like a reasonable deal to you?"

He stretched and dropped to the door as if the chains had never existed at all. "I think we can work something out."

Silent all the while, Trixie tapped her Rod or Wonder and muttered, "I'm not excited about this."

Londis' chuckles echoed throughout the mill.

EDIT: I forgot this - Heimeral had a gigantic sihidron rune carved into his chest - as we were finishing up with our interrogation it started to pulse with a black light and I - making dinner at the time - managed to bone, with help from the others, a good 5 or 6 Dispel magic rolls, allowing the Ulfen to melt into a puddle of black goo. The sheriff wasn't pleased.
 
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jydog1

Explorer
Session #49 - December 12th, 2011 - Datsa right! It's irrelephant!

Notes: a little late with this writeup - sorry. This past week we gave Duane the Gm a break and I ran We Be Goblins instead, which was fun if a bit flawed and had the final fight end with 2 PCs down and other beat up, just the way it should be. This session introduced our new PC/player Linc/Chris. Both seemed to fit in well! We continued our quest to get ourselves killed being Big Damn Heroes. Grezz can't help himself. I managed to pick up yet another metamagic rod - Intensify - which means I know have 5 along with Silent casting as a feat. it's like Grezz is a pure caster or something.

From the journal of Baron Grezzalik M'Rethen:

After the celebrations in Sandpoint, muted as they were, we headed into Magindaar for a bit to do some shopping. I visited with the Lord Mayor and requested he put out a grab order on the Laughing Bones, which I'm sure he'll do if it fits his agenda. I did manage to refrain from letting him know I was looking to move a few giant elders in as new citizens. If I survive, of course.

While we were in town I spent some time wandering around with Eurayle, trying to get to know my . . . daughter a bit. I finally remembered to give her a large chunk of spending money, which she seemed excited about. I gave her my protection ring as well, and that choked her up a bit. i didn't mention I was doing so because I was switching to a ring of cold resistance given where we were heading.

Getting back to Turtleback Ferry, there were the usual passel of problems waiting for me but all in all, not too bad. My staff was doing a good job. After Londis and I debriefed the military - you're doing great, see you in a little while - Jacardos pulled us aside.

"I know you won't take me with you because you need me to run things here," he said wistfully, "but I know someone else you should maybe consider. One of the Black Arrows who was on personal leave when we were overrun. Goes my the name of Linc, and he's a demon with a bow."

I looked over at Londis, who shrugged. We'd done well with the addition of an archer - Calphelas in the Fellnight - and it couldn't hurt. When we gathered to head up to the valley that was Mokmorian's stronghold, he was there with us. For once we went in armed with a great deal of knowledge - various giant tribes, Mokmorian's general abilities and powers, the features of the valley. It was going to be an extremely nasty bit of business, as we were walking into a bad situation. But that's what we did.

Eurayle was going to serve as our means of transport via her Teleport spell, but as she could only cast it once per day there wasn't going to be a quick escape available. Trix, Linc and myself were reduced so we could fit in the Bag of Holding and thus allow Eurayle to move all of us at once. Thus I was helpless when I heard her muffled, concerned voice exclaiming that there was some kind of protection over the valley and . . .

She punched us through. She's probably be able to get us out again, but as for moving us laterally on the plain - not a chance. Off in the distance we saw the massive fires surrounding Jorgenfest, studded with towers. But that wasn't our destination yet, as Longtooth's lair desperately needed to be found and looted. So off we set in the cold and snow, in a valley that fairly tingled with ancient magicks. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, running into a frost giant patrol was a starter. Through the storm I saw a giant nearly 15 feet tall lumber toward us, and a winter wolf came out of nowhere as well. It covered me with a blast of frozen breath and I was ever so thankful for my choice in rings. I countered by Hasting everyone, and Trixie pointed her rod of Wonder at the barely visible giant and lit it up like a Desnan Candle.
OOC: Giant had concealment from the storm and Trixie rolled Fairie Fire with her RoW. Can't make this :):):):) up
I heard Linc's bowstring thrum three times and the giant grunt in reply.

The wolf lashed out and bit me, and I stepped back and blasted it was a couple of shocking rays. It did not care for that a bit. Tofa and Trixie squawked as they were hit by thrown rocks, and then I noticed that the ground seemed to be shaking. Before I could figure out what was happening a giant riding a mammoth - a MAMMOTH - came charging through. Somehow I dove to the side to avoid being trampled - others weren't as lucky.
OOC: Grezz dove aside because I rolled a nat 20 - yes, i changed out d20s again - and JUST made the reflex save. Also, Tofa's player was deliberating whether to hack something or heal, which prompted the following question - 'Aren't you a barbarian?' heh. She hacked.


Rolling through the snow, I stood up and threw my most powerful spell at the beast, which stopped in its tracks
OOC: Hold Monster, natch. DC20 save with a will of +5 and finally the rolls went our way
. Other giants had appeared but between Tofa and Londis carving them up and Linc peppering them with arrows they were going down fast.
OOC: Linc hit on 14 of 15 shots. Not too shabby
The one on top of the mastodon jumped off and ate shocking rays for his trouble. Things were under control.

Then I noticed it was getting colder. Looking around, I saw Tofa with that crazy-ass sword over her head and her teeth bared as the storm intensified. Blue light played along the blade and she howled with bloodrage. Yikes.

We did some skinning of the quickly slain mammoth to construct tents out of its skin and the broken longspears of the giants. We huddled under our makeshift shelters until the storm abated, then moved off as quickly as possible. Shotsie was clad in warm barding but clearly not pleased at the cold.

Soon we reached the base of the mountain and started climbing. I turned myself into an air elemental - it's getting more and more difficult to find the will to turn back, because dammit it feels so natural - and scouted ahead, finding the entrance to the lair at the top of a sheer cliff. No doubt great things await inside - we just have to get all of us up there.
 

jydog1

Explorer
Session #50 - January 9th, 2012 - Smaug Just Had His RIGHT THERE

notes: back after almost a month off - two weeks of GM vacation and one for my sorry ass GMing We Be Goblins, which went from really easy to super-difficult in a moment. When last we left our intrepid (and greedy) heroes they were hoping they had indeed found the slain Longtooth's lair.

Dinner was pork chops, rice, and corn.

From the journal of baron Grezzalik M'rethen:

I looked up the face of the sheer cliff in front of us. "You sure you want to do this?"

Trixie shrugged. "Why have you waste a spell? Shotsie can take us right up, no problem."

The gecko looked at us. "I'm not sure you're aware of this, but it's really cold here." I was getting better at reading his expressions, such as they were, and he looked miserable. With a sigh I reached out and tossed a spell on him that took away the chill, more or less. My reward for this was a big slurp, leaving behind drool that instantly started to freeze.

The bard and her mount skittered up the rocks, reaching the summit and disappearing from sight. Seconds later they returned, jumping off the edge and plummeting toward us. I was ready to stop their fall but could see Trixie was already all over it. Besides, we had an more pressing issue - the reason she'd jumped.

A trio of wyverns, mottled black in color, came screaming down to attack. We managed to defeat them and I'll spare you the details, aside from a frothing Tofa jumping up, grabbing one, and more or less dragging it to the ground.
OOC: I managed to take a 10d6 fireball and do a whopping 24 points of damage. it would set the precedent for the evening's rolls for me


I told Linc and Londis to harvest the poison for me, and to my amazement they did so without an argument. Well, I was amazed with Londis. Linc seems okay so far, but one doesn't get made a Black Arrow for burning the cookies you were making for orphans.

Speaking of the inquisitor, he took the opportunity to needle Tofa once again over ownership of the griffin figurine by pulling it out and ferrying all of us up to the top - all of us except Tofa, whom he made climb a rope while he flew under her delivering backhanded compliments the whole time. She responded to that and his bragging about how many wyverns he killed by tearing the head off one, shovering her arm up inside it, and using it like a puppet to say, "Londis is an :):):):):):):)." Ah, my stalwart companions. So loyal to one another. She then lobbed it at him.

Inside I was immediately struck by the walls and the runework within. They were covered with repetitive carvings that I realized, after a bit of study, were an extremely powerful set of wards against scrying and teleportation. I pulled out my journal and started taking notes because this would be just what I needed for the interior of the keep, or at least my rooms.

I was snapped out of my reverie by a finger flicking against my head. "Come along, unless you just want to keep standing amid the piles of dragon :):):):)," said Londis.

"yes, but this will make a terrific base of operations, as . . ." He was already striding toward the back of the cavern. Seriously, did I expect anything more?

After some exploring and climbing we found ourselves at the edge of a 40 foot wide chasm, the bottom of which wasn't visible. Londis cast Light on a rock and tossed it in. We neither saw nor heard it hit bottom. "Bottomless," someone said. I started to disagree when the air was suddenly filled with arrows from the darkness on the other side of the crevice. Trixie's Rod of Wonder lit one up - gargoyles in armor. More arrows hissed in and Londis grunted. Tofa produced a salt lamp and tossed it over, bathing the rest of them in light. They seemed perturbed bu that. I stepped forward with a smirk and tossed a fireball which was a tad anemic.
OOC: another 10d6 fireball that did 22 points of damage to the one who didn't evade it. Sigh.


I was suddenly pelted with arrows, all of which were rendered harmless by my protection spell. I crossed my arms and laughed. "Is that all?"

No, it wasn't.

One flew over and grabbed me, which I have to admit I hadn't considered before going out there and essentially waving my junk at them. Dragging me with it as I tried to cast a spell and failed
OOC: concentration check roll - a big fat 2
it got about halfway across and let me go, plummeting down into the darkness. I'm sure in the pebble that serves as its brain the thing was quite pleased with itself. I cast Fly before I fell too far and came back up a bit, at which point with swooped down and grabbed me again
OOC: second attempt at a concentration check? A 5. Bleh
. This time all that did for it was allow Linc to sink several arrows into it, which worked out well for me. No more gargoyles.

After that we ran into a complex maze that utilized various strengths from each of us
OOC: an unusual, cool little skill challenge
to allow us to navigate it. It ended at a pair of huge doors, locked and trapped. Trixie's examination indicated it was loaded up with arrows and wasn't keen on trying to disarm it. I was more than a little surprised when Londis walked over and handed me his adamantine hammer.

"You're arrow-proof, right? Go make yourself useful and bash the lock."

I hefted the hammer, barely. "You're serious?"

"Of course I am. It'll be good for you."

With a sigh I headed over, hoping Trixie had been right. I wound up witht he hammer and gave the lock a mighty smash - at least, I meant to, but I more or less missed it. The glancing blow was good enough to trip a flight of arrows that i flailed at as they bounced away. I took a few more thwacks with the hammer before another flight came, this one numerous and accurate enough to almost wear out my spell. When I paused to renew it Londis' voice rang out, "This is no time for a break!" The spell proved unnecessary as the lock shattered on the next swing. Walking back, I dropped the hammer at Londis' feet and said, "Go open the door, meat."

That proved to be a wise choice on my part as something large and bony was waiting for us on the other side. It turned out to be a bone golem and was going to be a pain in the ass until i made a [pit under it. Trixie and Tofa slowed it down by making ice, and a little Grease spell made climbing out not much fun for the big guy. We finally beat it into submission and as it fell to pieces, Londis spotted the huge pile of coins on the other side of the room. Without a word he ran over and dove in, but before any of us could even roll our eyes he jumped back out, covered with hundreds of scarabs.
OOC: This indeed happened. The GM boned the rolls on the swarm attacks, but kudos to Londis' player for playing his greedy character to the hilt
Once we stopped laughing we helped get rid of them, but the pile turned out to be a disappointment - copper and silver, a few gems, not much else.

"This isn't the main horde."

"No kidding, Grezz. Come up with that all by yourself?" Trixie was irked at me for making a dead Foxglove joke that i just couldn't pass up.

Eurayle looked around. "So, if it's not here, where is it?"

I smiled. "I'm not sure, but I know a good place to start looking. You know what does a good job of masquerading as a bottomless pit? A Darkness spell coupled with a Silence spell." I kicked at a dead scarab, hoping I was right.
 
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jydog1

Explorer
Session 51 - January 16, 2012 - Elementary, My Dear Grezzalik

notes: nothing motivates this group like treasure. There was some Grezz heroics (heroics = stupidity) and elementals galore. The conversation between Trixie and Grezz was actually conducted (more or less) between myself and Trixie's player the next day on IM, which speaks volumes about our productivity levels at work. Linc's player is fitting in rather well and starting to assert himself into the group dynamic a bit more. We've made it to 11th level and at least one excruciating choice is being made for me due to the NPC shuffle. Still plenty to agonize over.

I'd also like to say how very, very nice it is to find the d20 that won the roll-off from the pound o' dice (it appears the Gorram Cat had taken it as a toy) as my rolling was disturbingly good. Dinner was GM made Irish Sausage and Potatoes (and bacon) which was pretty damn good.

From the journal of Baron Grezzalik M'Rethen:

For fook's sake, will I ever understand women?

After resting up, we backtracked toward the chasm. Along the way we found the back door, so to speak, and I was falling more and more in love with the idea of claiming this place for myself after all this was done. Once we reached the chasm i volunteered to be the scout, so to speak, as Trixie took one look down and said, "yeah, I've already done my turn of 'Okay, I'll go up there where it should be safe' for the day." She did cast Heroism on me as I buffed up with a number of spells, including Mirror Image. Londis gave (!) me the Pathfinder Compass, which instantly allowed me to see in the dark. That made it easy to see as he glowered at me and said, "Don't lose that."

I descended with the aid of a Fly spell until i reached a point where the dark out darked my Darkvision. I did a little magic detecting
OOC: the first of a couple of natural 20s for the night
and was able to blunder over to a big sphere known as a Black Luminescence. Once I turned that off I was able to look down and see a bright glow below. As I got closer it got hotter, and I realized it was a lake of boiling or near boiling water.

You know, i think that gargoyle who threw me in here meant me no good.

I flew down to the lake, which was part of a large cave, about 300 feet across. Lava was bubbling up in the middle, and beyond that was a mount of treasure, the likes of which I'd never seen before. No, seriously, it was a lot of coins. I started in that direction but something made of magma popped up and said, "HALT! YOU ARE NOT APPROVED BY THE MASTER!" At least it was speaking draconian. Behind it I saw an air elemental swirling around.

"I'm not approved?" I yelled back. "Of course I'm approved, Longtooth sent me here to check on the horde!"
OOC: 29 on the bluff check


The magma thing hesitated. "I KNOW NOTHING OF THIS."

"Well, imagine that, the Master didn't bother to inform an underling of every little detail. Look, I'm going to check out the horde. If you want to complain to Longtooth you can do so shortly. In any case, quit wasting my time."
OOC: 28 intimidation. Like I said, good rolling night


"YOU MAY CHECK THE HORDE," said a somewhat flustered lava guy. I took a cruise over and confirmed yes, it was a huge pile of money. Enormous. The air elemental watched me the entire time and I reminded myself I really needed to learn how to speak Auran.

Back by the shaft, I looked over at the magma and smiled. "Oh, by the way, we killed your master." I punctuated this message by enclosing it in a hemisphere of ice.

The air elemental streaked over and tried to engulf me in a whirlwind, but I slipped away and shot up the shaft, noticing the magma elemental appearing outside the ice. Dammit.

I raced to the top but wasn't followed, and after quickly filling the others in we cast Fly on just about everyone except Trixie, who tied herself to me and climbed on my back. Down we went to face . . . a whole bunch of elementals. Earth, fire, air, magma, water, mud. Quite the eclectic mix. And really, with a few well placed spells from myself and Trixie (including her confusing the hell out of some of them by making an image of their master appear and yell at them) and the usual chop and slash from Tofa and Londis aided by Linc filling the foes with shafts, we handled them quite efficiently.

Well, there was this one thing. Right as we heade dinto battle I saw a little card with a little red dragon on it appear before me. it spun in place and the dragon huffed smoke at me before it vanished, and for a while after that I felt pretty damn dazed. I assumed it was a special defense the dragon had left behind and forgot about it until we were digging through the ridiculous pile of coins - what else would you call over 400,000 coins? - and Trixie cleared her throat before saying in a small voice, "Uhm, I have to tell you guys something."

It turned out that Trixie had been given a deck of cards from Master Pho, who thought she might find them surprising (of course). It was a harrowing deck, and before we headed down Trixie had secretly done a reading - for all of us. There was some concern from the others but i think their brains had been overloaded by the sheer magnitude of coinage. Londis even checked the deck for evil without tossing them into the lake. Trixie then began to rail on Pho with great venom. I listened for a while then asked, "Wait. Didn't you say he gave you these cards?"

She glared at me. "Yes. The cards and a book. And we almost got killed because he gave us the thing."

"What? Okay, doesn't the book say there might be bad results? Like with your rod of Wonder?"

Londis' head popped up from a pile of platinum. "Oh no, does she have it out?"

"No. Go back to counting money." Trixie rolled her eyes at me. "I skimmed the book and nothing leaped out at me. I mean, it might say something, but I didn't see it. But it's his fault for giving me the things. Look what they almost did!" As Trixie's voice rose Shotsie, who had climbed down the shaft after we gave him the all clear sign, came over and nuzzled her hand.

I was trying to keep in mind that Trixie was a little younger than be, maybe 19 or 20 or so. But in the past six months I'd had both a barony and a 16 year old daughter dropped on my shoulders, and considering all I had to deal with along with trying to keep peace among our own merry band of loons her refusal to take responsibility was rubbing me the wrong way. "No, you need to understand that no matter what Pho did or didn't tell you, it was still your choice to keep the deck from us AND to use it on us without our knowledge or permission."

Here eyes got big and her lower lip started to tremble. "Don't you think I feel bad enough?" she yelled as she burst into tears. Spinning on her heels she stomped away through the pile of cash. I followed her and kept talking although it was clear she was steadfastly ignoring me. "You should feel bad, because what you did was wrong. If you didn't feel bad I'd be concerned. It's remorse, and that's good. Everyone seems to have forgiven you, so what you do after this point is up to you. If you feel the need to focus anger on Pho that's up to you, but I imagine those cards have a tremendous upside as well. I, for one, feel like Shelyn smiles on me when -"

Shotsie bumped against me. "Man, she is not listening to a word you say, you know that, right?"

I sighed, watching her shoulders heave. "Yeah, I know." I turned around and almost knocked over Eurayle, who glanced at Trixie and then back at me. "Uhm, can I talk to you about something, Dad?"

"Sure." I sat on a chest loaded with mithril bars. "What's up? Need ideas on what to do with your share?"

She looked uncomfortable. "No, Dad, it's just, uhm, I think maybe I want to go home for a while, if that's okay with you. I kinda miss Mom and my friends and I feel like I need to work on my magic some." She paused. "It's kind of dangerous around you and your friends."

I smiled. "Fair enough. I will ask one favor, though. Think you can teach me how to teleport?"

Treasure:
360,055 copper
23145 silver
3403 gold
125 platinum
water opal 1000gp
blue diamond 1600gp
53 gems - 3500 gp
mithril ingots - 9000 gp
4 silver idols - rider/wyvern; centaur in plate; human warrior standing on demon; leaping fish. 600 gp each
platinum statue of Karzugh - 5000gp
iridescent blue Ioun Stone +2 wisdom - Londis
+2 heavy steel sihedron shield of blinding - Tofa
 

jydog1

Explorer
Session #52 - January 30th,, 2012 - Do I Tell You How to Torture People?

Notes: And we're back - well, most of us anyway, as Tofa's player was ill and stayed home. With her being NPC'd we took care of some preparations, said a goodbye and a hello, and began our assault on the aerie of the slave lor - errm, the giants. There were some intra-party fireworks as Londis took exception to Grezz's conservative approach to spellcasting, but as he increases in power Grezz is getting less afraid of others.

Speaking of, 11th level brought the usual load of agonizing choices. In the end I took Teleport (5th), Stoneskin (4th), Flame Arrow (3rd) and Eagle's Splendor (2nd). For his feat he took Expanded Arcana again in his never-ending quest to basically be a spontaneous wizard and grabbed, after MUCH deliberation, Hungry Pit. The pit spells are just lovely. LOVELY.

Dinner was huge portions of chicken parm, spaghetti, and GM-made bread. Nom.

From the journal of Grezzalik M'Rethen:
My daughter proved quite adept at teaching me Teleport and soon we popped out of Longtooth's cavern and back to Magnadaar. While the others did some shopping and checked in on various things Eurayle and I popped up to Turtleback Ferry, she so she could gather her things and me so I could check in on my barony.

I was pretty obvious the barony was doing just fine without me and that my poking around and muttering was more of a hindrance to them than anything else. I contented myself with making notes about what would need to be done if, say, Malgreaves was let go and replaced by someone of my own choosing. Just a thought.

I'd spent some time with my mother, who actually seemed at ease. She liked the area and walking in the woods, which made me nervous until I confirmed from Jacundos that someone was always shadowing her in case an ogre or two was hanging around. After telling her I'd be back soon I was in my room hiding money when there was a knock on my door. Before I could answer Eurayle slipped in carrying her travel bags.

"So, I'm ready to go, Dad. Thanks for letting me tag along."

I shook my head. 'You didn't tag along. You more than held your own out there and I'm very proud of you."

She smiled and said, "I'm sorry to go now, but I need to get back. School starts soon. Plus I miss everyone." She came over and gave me a tight hug before stepping back and starting her teleport spell. Or maybe it was a dimension hopping one- I'm not sure where Avalon is.

"Tell you mother if she wants to see me she should show up as herself and not as a snake under a chair I didn't see," I said, half-joking.

"Oh! Okay! I'll tell Mom you want to see her! Bye, Dad!"

"No! That's not what . . ." She was gone. I sighed, gathered my things, and popped back to Magnidaar. Once there I grabbed Linc and headed up to Windsong Abbey. For some reason I felt like checking in with Master Pho and the group had a feeling we might be able to talk him into joining us. The garden of Surprises lived up to its name but Linc wasn't taken unawares, and soon we found Pho waiting for us, pretty much ready to go. In chatting I discovered the Fates are a huge deal to him. I imagine this makes me a person of special interest to him.

Teleport, rest and teleport again found us at the base of the cliff to the evil horrible valley. We were going to try to sneak in through the sewers, so to speak. I was flying while the others were climbing, but Tofa surprised us all when her ravens appeared and swarmed under her feet, lifting her up.
OOC: she got levitation as one of her Rage Prophet powers, and the ravens were a nice GM touch
I was a little nervous about Tofa and her bugf*ck crazy sword, which lived to kill giants. If it won control over her we could find ourselves in a bad situation. Once we all made the entrance I studied her, seeing if she'd gotten the crazy eyes or not. She noticed and said, "Grezz, we have discussed, you are not my type. besides, you are too easily breakable."

"Geez, Grezz," chimed in Trixie, 'show some class. This isn't the place or time for that."

I shot her the hairy eyeball. Unless Tofa suddenly grew snakes out of her hair I wasn't afraid of her. Not that she was my type anyway, but . . . sigh. Sidetracked again.

The cave we were about to enter was a carpet of teeming insects, but a long long time ago I'd made numerous does of vermin repellent, which came in handy now.
OOC: made 'em at 3rd level, been toting them around ever since. felt good to use them. Now I just need something that requires alchemical solvent


Moving on, we began to see old webbing fallen into disrepair. In a large cavern we came upon a massive dead spider, easily 25 feet long. It was covered with countless spiders, and when Trixie used her pipes to clear a path the thing shuddered and rose - undead! I managed to get off a decent fireball before it webbed me.
OOC: I failed a DC14 save. really, d20? You thought this was a good time for a 1?
I got free using some alchemical solvent
OOC: ha!
and finished the fight with a wall of flame. Afterwards, Londis started chastising me.

"Where was the haste, sorcerer? You always forget the haste."

"Why? So you would have been able to fail at it ineffectually with more speed? I'm not made of magic, Londis - well, okay, maybe I am, a little bit - but I can't waste spells. there wasn't much you or Tofa were going to be able to do to it."

He grumbled and stalked away, muttering something about boots. I did use haste not too much later when we were attacked by miserable little Redcaps, and Londis did something that caused a light to shine down from above and make a blow that should have hit Tofa miss her instead. After driving them off we continued down the tight fissure until Londis bade us stop. his sharp eyes had picked up something on the floor ahead of us - something shiny. We eased closer and saw it was a necklace, but we couldn't move it with our combined Mage Hands. I was thinking about a different approach when Londis started being all Londis-y and stalked forward. he had just reached it when a red gem flashed out of the darkness ahead, and the ensuing fireball set off the rest of the fireball contained on the necklace.

I felt the heat but avoided any burning. the same could not be said for Londis, who looked like a mess as the smoke cleared
OOC: brutal trap - 12 fireballs of varying strength. If the whole party had been there Grezz and Trixie surely would have died. Londis made 9 out of 12 saves and still took 76 points of damage
. Up ahead was a fearsome and horrible . . . kobold. Just one, armed with a short sword and buckler. Londis first messed it up with his Terrible Remorse spell, then charged and clobbered it,
OOC: using his Boots of Haste, he did 94 points of damage
at which point the kobold grinned and said, "Not good enough. Now Enga shows you how it's done."

And Enga did, dropping Londis with a single blow. Linc then put several arrows into it, and while it staggered Tofa rushed forward and almost cut it in twain. It fell with a surprised expression on its face.
OOC: This was a 15th level kobold barbarian in full rage, but Tofa critted 2 attacks and almost did an auto-kill - 20/20/19. the regular hacking was good enough, though.
After we got Londis back on his feet (and listened to him bitch more about me not using spells) we discovered Enga's home - he was the ratcatcher - and two corridors that rang out with the voices of giants. We had a decision to make. Eying Hadarga, I hoped we'd be the ones doing the choosing.

Loot:
Greatsword +1
Halberd +2
Druid's Spell Staff with Rusted Grip (CL12)
+3 short sword - taken by Trixie - this is inscribed with decorations expected for a Thasselonian Noble
+1 buckler
+1 small steel breastplate
 
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jydog1

Explorer
Session #53 - February 6th, 2011 - I Do Not Think That Word Means What You Think It

Notes: ye gods. I had the perfect plan, the perfect approach, the perfect arguments . . . and the worst die rolling EVER. Unbelievable. Still an awesome session, with brave and fantastic work by Trixie and a mission saving act by Linc, which earned him a promotion. Good job, newbie. Tofa's player was sick again and we started late anyway, but still got a good deal done.

Dinner was fairly crappy pizza as the really good place is closed on Mondays. What's with that, really good place?

From the journal of Baron Grezzalik M'rethen:

I have been learning the Giant language from Linc and Trix over the past few days and felt reasonably confident I could speak it fluently enough if the need arose.

Perhaps I was a bit overconfident.

We needed to get some scouting done and in a somewhat surprising moment Trixie volunteered. I say surprising because the compound was filled with Giants and Trixie is terrified by large things, but she shrugged and said, "Just cover me with the good stuff." When I felt the heat rush to my face she rolled her eyes and said, "The good spells, Grezz. Dope."

Between Londis and myself we cast a number of useful things on her - invisibility, cat's grace, heroism, and so on. She left - well, I assume she left, because we had no idea where she was - and be began the difficult waiting part. After a few minutes I jumped as strong fingers tickled my waist. "Off to the right is a cavern filled with ogres tanning leather in piss. It's disgusting. See you." A much longer period passed, long enough that we started to get concerned before the fingers attacked me again. "Hoo, I have a lot to tell you. Here, I'll draw it over here."

"Wait. Did you go past the ogres?"

"No. And I'm not going to because there's - "

"Trix, you should still have a few minutes of invisibility left. Please go check it out, we need to know everything."

There was a sigh and no doubt the rolling of eyes but either she was being really quiet or she'd gone off to look. After a bit she popped back into view and, after giving me the stink-eye, motioned us over to an open bit of floor and started sketching.

I'm not going to try to recap everything. There were two horse-sized red dragons collared over by a blood-soaked temple to Lamashtu inhabited by a lamia matriarch. A large steel door covered with a big sihedron rune was a little further past that. A pathway with broken tiles seemed to head downward, and not too far from where we were was a war room. A giant fitting the description of General Galenmir was inside, and after some deliberating we agreed that appealing to his sense of logic and enlisting him as an ally was our best bet.

"Now," said Londis, "we need him not to feel threatened, so we should send our feeblest, most feminine member. Grezz, this is a job for you."

I favored him with an obscene gesture even as I agreed. Trix cast heroism on me and I added a little Eagle's Splendor. She came along with me while the others waited in the hallway - Tofa and the vibrating Hardarga a little further back - and used a cantrip to part the heavy bearskin curtains out of my way so i didn't have to struggle to get through them.

OOC: Okay. With a diplomacy skill of 8 and +3 from heroism/ES, I was at a decent +11 before the GM added any bonuses for good ideas. No problem, right? right?


the room was covered with charts and dominated by a war table. A very large cave bear in the corner farted in its sleep. I spread my hands wide as the giant gaped at me. "Greetings, General. May we parley?"

His hand fell to the giant pick on his hip and he started to yell for his guards. "Please," I interrupted in what I hoped were smooth tones, "if I meant you ill will I would have come through flinging spells instead of words. Why don't you hear what I have to say first and if you don't like it we can fight afterward?"

OOC: First diplomacy roll - a 7. Little did I know that was the high point


Galenmir's eyes flicked over to well done sketches of our party. "You're . . . you're the Baron. And you're here." He grunted something and the bear sat up, regarding us with piggy little eyes.

"Yes, it's me, and yes, I'm here. And I believe we have a mutual problem we can help one another with, or so Cerdritm led me to believe. He mentioned that you were an intelligent and thoughtful leader, so i thought it best to come to you."

OOC: Nice, right? Diplo roll? 1. a ONE.


I'd tried to used a few idioms and clearly gotten them wrong, as his brow furrowed. "Cerdritm? He's alive?"

"He is. We spared him after we crushed his attack and killed Longtooth." His eyes widened a bit. "It's terrible, what has happened to your elders because of this Mokmorian. And we both know this war is a terrible idea, General. Our people are going to get mauled on both sides, and for what? Is that what you really want for your tribe? I've been led to believe you're smart enough to know it's a bad idea.

OOC: diplo roll - another 1. Seriously. The GM was aghast. Meanwhile, trixie was trying to bail me out with an inspiration spell each time I screwed up, but it wasn't going well


there were two phrased I could have used for the last bit and clearly I chose the wrong one as Galenmir's face purpled and he drew his pick. Waving it at me he shouted, "You shouldn't say that to me! I will draw out your innards and festoon the halls with them?"

I felt the situation slipping away. "General, listen to reason. Forget Mokmorian and how he's taken away everything you hold dear from you. Let's talk about that lamia matriarch. Do you enjoy having that temple to Lamashtu in here? What happens when she runs out of humans to sacrifice? Will she come after your tribe to fill her insatiable lust to kill?"

I was getting through - he clearly hated that thing. The pick wavered and I could see him thinking. So I added, "We can help put an end to this vile threat to your people."

OOC: Diplo check - 6. yep, that was the last straw


At least that's what I meant to say, but later Trixie told me I mixed up a few words and actually said, "I'm threatening to put an end to your vile people."

Semantics.

He bellowed to his guard outside the other doorway to get help and looked at me with murder in his eyes. The bear rose up and roared, which elicited an 'eeep!' from Trixie and a flick of the Rod of Wonder - a fireball that lit up that half of the room. Londis came running in and swung at the giant's pick, but wasn't able to break it. In reply Galenmir drilled him with the pick and sent him sprawling back.

The bear charged and grabbed Trixie, lifting her up in a massive paw. I took a quick glance at the General, who was heading for the door, but shook my head and Held the bear before it could gobble her up. Pho and Linc came in as the General pushed through the furs on the other side. Pho cast something that blew them open and I tossed a pit at the general's feet, but he leaped back against the wall, tottering on the edge.

OOC: Even dice that weren't mine were screwing with me. I'm tossing a Hungry Pit with a DC of 21 and a GIANT makes the reflex save.


Before he could do anything else three flaming shafts slammed into him, courtesy of my flame arrow spell and Linc's skill. In a voice I wouldn't have expected from a skinny little elf he bawled, "So, do you want to reconsider our offer now?"

OOC: Brilliant playing by Linc's player - his Intimidation saved the day. buit seriously, he's like 5'3" and 115 pounds. it's like being scared by Prince


For just a second I saw it in Galenmir's eyes - fear - and then he cursed and said, "Yes, just get rid of this damn pi-" right before he fell in. It sounded sincere, so I dispelled it right before he would have hit bottom. he looked up at us with wary eyes and told the approaching troops to stand down. I told him to get Conna the Wise, and the surprise on her face at seeing us and at Londis' blessing from Minderhall almost made me laugh. She confirmed that we'd been getting scryed on my Mokmorian and also that she'd like to see the runt wiped out. They wouldn't help us directly, but given some time they could get us a safe route to whatever we wanted to go after.

They weren't, however, interested in moving to Hook Mountain. My plans for an independent Grezzsylvania took a serious blow.

more notes: we managed to find a way to rest while in the compound and it looks like we're going to try to bypass the lamia for now and go after Mokmorian and his two pet War Trolls. Oh, the runt knows at least Disintegrate. ick. And he's living in the library of an evil god of knowledge. What could POSSIBLY go wrong? Seriously. Disintegrate. At least 22d6 at this point. Yipes
 

jydog1

Explorer
Session #54 - February 13, 2012 - I Love What You've Done With the Place

Notes: Looks like we have a real meatgrinder going on here, a nasty dungeon crawl to soften us up and burn up our spells and resources before we make it to the big bad guy. Trixie's player sat out the session and we sort of group NPC'd her. I can never understand discussion threads that call bards useless - her character is indispensable in so many ways.

Dinner was GM and GM wife chili and cornbread. Mmmmm.

From the journal of Baron Grezzalik M'rethen:

I felt someone kicking my foot and I started awake, confused to not be hearing the sounds of combat. I glared at Londis and said, "What?"

He jerked his head and said, "We have a problem." Following his gesture I saw Tofa covered with blood that she was serenely attempting to wipe off. Her sword was finally sheathed but it could hear it humming contentedly from here. I rubbed at my brown and muttered, "By Shelyn's Grace," as I scrambled to my feet. Then we headed to the barracks. Those were painted red with the blood of six slaughtered giant. At least they seemed to be young ones from what I could make of the pieces, but it was an unholy mess.

Tofa leaned against the cavern entrance with an expression like the cat who had found the open bottle of cream and lapped it all up.
OOC: Tofa's will-vs will roll to keep Hadarga from going berserk on giants? A one. She Grezzed it!

After hushed discussion and the discarding of tossing the bodies into the piss vats we had Pho do a little stone shaping to get rid of the bodies. Then we cleaned up and managed to make it back just before Conna showed up. Oh, and we managed to hide the NINE SHAVED NAKED DWARVES Tofa had freed. They were anxious to get out but not so anxious that they wished to head down with us. "For fook's sake, laddie," one said, "are ye daft?"

I'll spare you the details of our conversation with Conna (although I did manage to secure the right to return to do research in the library we were going to kill Mokmorian in. Easily. Way too easily. Clearly, we aren't expected to survive). Masked by illusion and moving under a silence spell we snuck by the temple, hearing the snore of dragons but not seeing the lamia matriarch - which might be a bad thing.

OOC: As I'm doing this writeup I'm realizing we made an epically bad mistake here - if the dragons were asleep, we should have gone in and snuck attacked them while under the cover of silence. One round of flatfooted attacks by Tofa, Londis, and Linc might well have taken one out and not even woken up the other. Crap. I never even though of it.


We made it downstairs unnoticed, but that didn't last long. The war trolls were on duty but really, it didn't matter all that much. The first one feel in seconds as my rays were unusually accurate for once.
OOC: three attack rolls: 18, 19, 20 confirmed. Meanwhile Linc did 108 and 114 points of damage in his two rounds. Flame arrow sounds like a measly d6 of fire damage, but when he's cranking out rapid shot arrows it starts to add up. Plus Giants are his favored foe


After a while we put up a wall behind us with an escape hole just big enough for us. Soon we found ourselves at the edge of a large, very strange room. The walls were okay if you looked directly at them, but the ones to the side would seem to shimmer and fall away. While we were examining it what looked like a pair of very small giants suddenly got much larger. They were hideous things, covered in sickly-green colored glowing runes. Linc plunked one with an arrow and it nearly doubled in size. Wonderful.

Trix moved up to the edge of the room and said, 'Oh! It's a temporal trap! A Thorrassic Monk thing. Totally distorts time and direction." She poked me in the ribs. "You can disable it, unless that redhead was in that class as well."

Cute. As the battle rages I stepped forward and extended my senses, feeling for the magic. It was easy to see, and I went to work on unravelling the multi-layered web it was designed as. Tricky stuff, but once I had the right strand it was easy to pull it apart.
OOC: Rolling a 20 on my spellcraft check didn't hurt either.
Masty stuff - in addition to everything else it would try to permanently shrink you if you entered the trap.
OOC: DC 24 Fort save. Geez.
I finished it as combat ended, but as I watched it slowly began to weave itself together again. "We've got about 10 minutes before we don't want to be here any longer."

Opening the large double doors across the room, we discovered a pair of massive creatures standing next to an enormous smoking cauldron. I had turned myself into an air elemental and studied then a few feet in the air. "Look like ogres, I said, causing Trixie to snort. "Are you dense? they're stone golems."
OOC: Trixie rolled an 18 on the die for her knowledge check, while I rolled a . . . one. This led to me purposely doing something very dumb in the near future
before I could answer something came from the rubble on the far side of the room, a horror I'd read about but hadn't really known existed - a Scanderig. A real forge fiend who immediately attacked Tofa and tried to eat her magic shield. I yelled and made a pit under it, and it hit bottom with a loud thump. Before I could gloat it vanished, and I looked back to the cauldron and the fire and decided the best thing to do was get a closer look because they REALLY looked like ogres to me
OOC: roleplaying that fumbled roll and hoping they didn't mush me


Nope. Stone golems. I got the hint when they rushed forward as I entered the room and tried to pulp me. One hit, and that wasn't fun. As battle broke out again Linc ran into the smoke coming from the kettle and dropped immediately, heaving. Pho raised a wind and swirled the mist away for the moment, but it was going to be a problem. I dropped one of the golems into a pit and Londis and Tofa battered away at the other.

Then Trixie came into the room, riding Shotsie as he walked on the ceiling. She started muttered the runes on the walls and the fire under the cauldron abruptly went out.
OOC: An insanely high Use Magic Device roll. Trixie's diversity makes her awesome. AWESOME.
Once we finished off the golems I was able to really examine the thing, and with a laugh I called Trix over. "You're definitely not going to be Mokmorian's best buddy."

"Why?"

"This thing is a Runeslave Cauldron. He's using it to make dead giants into those runed things we fought in the trapped room."

"So what? All I did was make the fire go out. Surely mister big-shot wizard has a fire spell or two."

I tapped a series of runes on the side of the kettle, wincing as the necromantic energy stung my finger. "It takes a crazy list of ingredients to get the thing to ignite - gallons of water from several open graves, a heart harvested from a virgin of no less than 70 years taken at a crossroads at midnight during a thunderstorm . . . a nightmare to gather." I chucked again. "You screwed him over."

She shrugged and flashed a pretty smile. "Doesn't matter. He'll be dead soon anyway."

Pushing on to the next room we found a gruesome sight - the cooler in which Mokmorian kept his dead giants, waiting to be transformed. Then it got a little more gruesome as several proved to be not waiting to be changed but already processed, including one brute with no head but two huge axes . . .

Loot:
+ 2 Ranseur
+ 1 Giant breatplate

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jydog1

Explorer
Session #55 - February 27, 2012 - The Smaller They Come, the Harder They Fall

Notes: You can plan all you want, you can work together flawlessly as a team, you can come up with new and clever ways to attack your foe, but the real key to success is making your saves. Seriously. The next time I make up a character - which won't be for a while, as the campaign I'm running starts next week (!) - I'm going to grab all the save feats. I'll print out the saves made, but in the final battle we only missed a couple. Essentially, we got all the breaks and were able to take the Big Bad down with only one near-death. Actually, things were a little hairy in the fights beforehand, but at the end of our Mokmorian fight I had exactly one 1st level spell slot, one 4th level slot, and one 5th level slot left. Running on empty is an understatement. Plus most of my 4th level casting were used on lower level spells - for Grezz it was all about buffing and Dispel Magic in this fight. I'm not sure what Mokkie's SR was but I didn't even bother.

Dinner was hot dogs, homemade coleslaw, and half of Idaho converted into tater tots. I was roundly mocked for the copious amount I made and by the time all the savages were done with them there were exactly 6 left. Ahem.

From the journal of Grezzalik M'Rethen, Baron of Turtleback Ferry and Jorgenfist:

So, afterwards Londis was kind enough to explain to me what a GraveKnight was. He said to imagine a lich designed for melee instead of tossing spells, and there you are. Well, whatever it was, the thing was brutal and along with a group of undead ogres that liked to explode when re-killed made life difficult for us. Tofa dove past the mooks to get at the big guy and he greeted her with a savage hello
OOC: 66 points of damage
and gave the same greeting to Londis as well. They were resolute, though, and with a little help from Pho's Flame Strike the horrible thing finally fell to one of Londis' strikes. True to form, the barely standing Korvosian then pointed a finger at Tofa and said, "And that's how you do it!" Which of course set off another round of bickering and sniping at one another. By Shelyn's Grace, I wish the two of them would just jump one another's bones and get it out of the way already. Although then I'm sure we'd have to listen about which one had better prowess in bed. I don't need to know that.

We took the nasty weapons with us and moved along through the partially collapsed complex. It was odd in that the halls were all cylindrical. Thasselonian runes were everywhere. I know I'm a little slow on the uptake but this place was special. Trixie rode over to me on Shotsie and gave me a poke. "Can you read this stuff, or did you screw up that class too?", she said with a grin.

"Yeah. This is an important place. Once we get Mokmorian out of here I'm going to have to spend some time studying to hopefully find some info on what's behind all these attacks. It would be nice to actually go after someone instead of just reacting."

"Maybe." She sniffed. "I'm just sick of all these damn giants."

We wandered to a massive round door that appeared to be made of brass. In the center there was an oddly shaped indentation with a sihedron rune. The frame that surrounded it was covered with Thasselonian runes that I realized were a summoning ward. "If you try to do anything except use the correct key to open the door it summons a . . ." I squinted, trying to make out the exact phrasing - " . . . a 'shining child,' whatever that is. Does anyone know what that is?"

There was a chorus of shrugs. Then, from a rubble-filled corridor off to our right, there was a small red bead streaking in our direction. There was no time to shout a warning as the fireball detonated in our midst. The illusion of the rubble flicked off and a small figure, maybe a gnome, stood about a hundred feet away with some truly horrible-looking dog-like creatures behind him. "So," he yelled, "these are the mighty heroes, come to slay us. You don't look like much."

As we patted off flames Tofa shouted, "You are not the first person to say that who was soon dead. Happened to one of your friends, da?"

He laughed. "Jack of the Laughing Bones isn't frightened by scary words!"

"Your name is Jack?", I asked.

I couldn't be sure with the distance between us but he appeared to scowl. "No, I'm THE Jack. And these are my friends." He gestured with his hand, and something weird happened. The dogs seemed to flatten and vanish, and suddenly they were among us, snapping away and fixing us with a gaze that I knew carried some ill effect. Trixie yelped and cursed as one sort of folded her up for a few seconds. Grabbing at my chest bandolier, I settled a hand around my rod of selectivity and cranked out a massive lightning ball right in the middle of the battle.
OOC: rolled really well, too. like high 40s or something
My friends looked with wide eyes as the electricity arced all around but did not harm to them. the dog things weren't as lucky, with one simply exploding while the others were badly hurt and quickly finished off. One of Linc's arrows proved the Jack to be an illusion - not afraid of us, eh?

At the end of the hall we found a warded room that was probably the kennel for those things. A pair of massive doors sat on the other side, and as we discussed what to do they creaked open. The head of the scanderig popped out, looked at us, and then ducked back in while closing the doors again. This was repeated a couple of times before we finally just said the hell with it and opened them ourselves.

And there waited our foe. Mokmorian. He really was pretty runty for a giant, maybe 10 feet tall, hiding across the massive room behind a windwall and next to a table with the head from that GraveKnight sitting on it, encased in ice. Of course he had a bellyful of yapping to do, calling us insignificant worms who had been allowed to get this far and our bones were going to be paste and blah blah blah ye gods these meglomaniacs like to hear themselves talk! Before I could retort he tossed a fireball over, which was pretty rude, and followed that up with a solid fog. But Trixie scampered out of the entryway and up the back wall, brandished her Rod of Wonder, and blew the solid fog away.
OOC: I :):):):) you not on this, she rolled the gale force wind needed to blow the thing away. One of our very lucky moments of the night
. I had cast a couple of protection spells on myself
OOC: okay - I already had up Mage Armor and Prot/Arrows, but in addition I cranked out the following: Prot Evil (and one for Trixie as well); See Invisible; Shield; Mirror Image; and Elemental Body II. No wonder I was out of spells
and I flew in and dropped a Haste on everyone. It was pretty much chaos and I focused on Jack, who might have been invisible but wasn't to me. Tofa tore into the scanderig and her crazy-ass sword threw an ice ring over at Mokmorian. Linc shot arrows that somehow made it through to hit the runt but from they didn't seem to do much to the fire-wreathed giant aside from pissing him off - although I knew what the black glow that shot from his finger was. The disintegration hit link and the elf glowed for a second . . and dropped to a knee, gasping in pain
OOC: He made his save versus death right on the nose. i mean, we had a back-up with trixie and her lucky halfling feat which would have given him another save chance, but man, it was close)


meanwhile Jack tossed some sort of bomb at me that missed and I countered by blasting him with a trio of shocking rays. He screamed and tried to scramble away, but Linc's wolf made short work of him as another hastily thrown bomb sailed by to explode by Tofa as she killed the scanderig right after it disgorged magma all over the place
OOC: 15d6 if you blow the save - yeesh
. Whatever was int he bomb set Tofa to coughing and hacking, but I had no time for that as I turned to Mokmorian.

"So. Done hiding and letting others do your fighting?"

He sneered, cast something at me that made one of my doppelgangers vanish. "Fool! Worm! I will crush you!"

I tossed a Dispel Magic at him, peeled off something. "Right. You're kind of puny for a giant. Is that why your wife threw you out? Because you're not just puny in height? Boy, I bet if I had a wife who told everyone I was lousy in bed I would have killed her too. You know, if I were a loser. like you."

His face turned purple and he sputtered some colorful curses at me. Trixie sent her spiritual weapon after him but it wasn't getting through. He started to cast something else at me but Linc drilled him and ruined the spell. I canceled another of his protective spells as Trixie dropped his windwall. He flew backward as Londis charged across the room on his griffin - and smacked solidly into an invisible barrier. I dropped that as well and flew toward the enraged Mokmorian.

"Really? is this the best you have?" I took off another of his spells
OOC: My rolls were phenomenal
and laughed. "I mean, seriously, I'm starting to get annoyed here. I have IMPORTANT WORK to get done in Turtleback Ferry and I came all the way up here for this? It's like a training exercise!"

He howled in fury and pain and Linc put 5 arrows into him, then swung at me with a nasty looking club. It popped another of my images but just made me laugh again, even louder when his juiced up magic missiles splashed harmlessly against my shield spell. Linc shot him up again as Mokmorian first trapped Londis in a forcecage before nailing Linc with his club. The elf grunted and Mokmorian looked a little healthier, and Linc's situation worsened as he stepped into some sort of gravity trap that left him dangling upside down. He still put another arrow into the giant.
OOC: Linc did the majority of the damage with some incredible luck - at times his arrows are being forced to get through 20% and 30% concealment rolls each time, and he never missed. He reduced stoneskin to nothing and just kept drilling him with gravity-bowed arrows that I'd flame arrowed as well


I kept taunting the twerp, but he was more concerned with Linc and brought him near death. Londis was trapped in the forcecage, but I spotted Tofa trying to make her way over via Levitation and knew that wasn't good enough. Swooping over to her - I do very much enjoy being an air elemental - I gave her the ability to fly and her mouth set in a tight grin as she roared off after Mokmorian.

It didn't take her long. She damn near cleaved his head off, but the body didn't fall, instead glowing with a sinister light. An otherworldly voice came from the corpse.

So, worms, you think you've won. Worms! Every one of my losses has been a sacrifice, every sihidron-marked kill you've made bringing me back to life. And now, swine, you shall understand the power of Karzoug, Runelord of Greed, you will suffer greatly when I crush you under my heel!

then it was gone, without even an opportunity for me to mock him back. Mokmorian's body dissolved into goo on the floor and we looked around the chamber, empty except for us. Still standing, yet again.

Loot: (so far, we didn't get to the mother lode description yet)
2 Runechill Battleaxes (+1 battleaxe, 1 per day 1d6 neg energy on hit for 5 rounds, DC12 Fort save or lose 1 STR)
7 Large masterwork shields
4 large suits of half-plate
3 large full suits of plate

more notes: Mokmorian had over 400 hits and was casting two spells per round (quickened). Grezz didn't cast a single offensive spell at him as I doubted I could punch his SR, but the others were more than up to the task. Trixie and I didn't get touched much but the others took a beating, especially Linc. We now have an incredible library at our fingertips and we out-of-game killed everything else and Grezz raised his banner over the Dark Tower (the giants think the place is cursed and left - no word on whether any of them are coming down by us). I will list what treasure we know of below but we ran 5.5 hours and finished up at 12:30 so the ending was a bit abrupt. Below are the spells we peeled off him with Dispel Magicks and the saves we made(some of which I missed in the write-up, of course) - also there was another spell Linc canceled with a delayed-action shot. He was scary and we were very lucky - but also very well prepared. I might take some creative liberties with some other bits of cleanup but will be focusing on the new campaign for a while - It'll be centered on Jade Regent and the site for it is here: kit jade regent | Obsidian Portal
We'll work through the entire first book plus whatever I add in before returning to this campaign - gives Grezz plenty of time to study!

Saves and spells:
[FONT=&quot]Solid Fog – Cancelled by trix and the rod of wonder[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Reverse Graveity – Dispelled[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Wind Wall – Dispelled[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Fire shield – dispelled and destroyed via trix/tofa combo[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Contingency – Dispelled[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Stoneskin – Dispelled[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Cat’s Grace – Dispelled[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Linc was on fire. For the first 3 rounds every arrow he fired had a 30% miss, then another 20% miss. After that every arrow had a 20% miss. And he still hit with 5 arrows every round. Simply ridiculous rolling. [/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Spells used on party:[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Fireball – Everyone – 2 party members fail[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Stone to Flesh – Trixie (saved)[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Disintegrate - Link (saved)[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Baleful polymormph – Ruined by Linc’s readied action[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Baleful Polymormph – Link – Saved[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Scandering Slag Eruption – Link Evaded, Londis, griffon and Pho burn. [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Forcecage – Londis FAIL[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Fireball #2 – Trixie fail, everyone else succeed[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Nausea bomb – Tofa fail, londis, Pho, Linc and griffon succeed[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Magic Missile – Grezz. Blocked by Shield spell[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Maximized Magic Missile – Link -> eat 25 damage[/FONT]
 
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