Soanso's Fireside Chat: Rise of the Runelords (AE)

soanso

First Post
We rode straight to the Cathedral, where Father Zantus greeted us and restored our health. We told him of our tribulations, and he was kind enough to listen. We left his good grace for our beds at the Rusty Dragon. The newness of the adventuring life is wearing off, and we sat together and created a crude memory-map and discussed the goblin warren at Thistletop.

“Ya should’ve doubled back to me,” Mundin said, his eyes meeting mine.

“We couldn’t, between the goblin dogs and the great cat,” I paused, looking into my wine before lifting my eyes to meet his steely gaze. “We’d have perished, all of us.”

“The cat shoulda been your target, what happened?” he asked. And he was right to. Uncle Max was our leader when swords were drawn; he often marshaled us to strike the greatest foe in unison, to show our own ferocity and bravery to whatever bandits or monstrous creature assaulted our caravan. A strategy that worked well until the giants struck near the Storval Plateau.

“We couldn’t hit it. Between the cramped space, the druid’s spell, its own natural grace, and the angles in that warren, we were trapped,” I said.

“I’ve fought many battles,” Mundin said, draining a healthy portion of his ale. “Take out the biggest hitter first, and you survive the longest.”

“Mundin,” C interjected, “though your strategy is viable for a platoon of warriors, we were a trio simply outmatched at the end of events. Everything was in hand until the druid cast its spell. Perhaps we should have retreated.”

“Aye,” said Shaiira. “Though I cut the cat good, it was stronger than its master.”

“I’ve met many druids,” I said, “And their pet is their strength. But the pet is nothing without its master. The entangling magic is of great concern-”

“The master is of no consequence,” Mundin interrupted, “The spell would still stand, druids can pass through such difficult terrain should-”

“But entangle affects everyone, including the caster,” Vohoi added. “Movement would likely be as difficult for them as for us. Perhaps retreat was an option. Maybe it would have dismissed the spell if we came together.”

“Or you could have moved to us,” I said, feeling stung by my poor tactical choices. Singing about fighting is easy; doing it is proving harder than I thought. An awkward silence hit the table. We had survived, but at great cost. Perhaps I am cursed. It was my idea to take C and Shaiira to quell the goblin dogs; the druid and the great cat were a deadly surprise. I sometimes forget I am not all the Farateldis, just one who knows them all.

Bethanna, as always, waited patiently in the corner. I waved her over.

“Yes, Madam?”

“Ugh, call me Siv, I’ve never run a whorehouse in my life,” I said, winking. I have taken to teasing her for her impeccable manners. I respect how hard she works, so I try and have some fun. She blushed. “If we could have a round of brandy, an ale for the dwarf, and are there any sweets in the pantry tonight?”

“We have cocoa-infused angel food cakes filled with a tart cherry and toasted hazelnut butter-cream,” she replied.

“We need some angels, if the staff is still about,” I said. “Chocolate makes everything better.”

“Yes Mada- Yes, Siv,” she said, smiling broadly.

Bethanna returned with brandy, ale, and cake. “You are an angel yourself, dear,” I said. She bowed and retreated to her corner, always vigilant. We were the last party in the main hall. I stood and raised my glass.

“To Mundin and Vohoi,” I said. “Because if not, we’d be dead. Your bravery accounts for our lives, and for that I vow to keep us all safe, and to sing songs of your valor should the fireside ever present a moment of rest. We have left Sandpoint and now walk with the wolves. What awaits us is unknown; what we have is skill, steel, and soul. Salut!”

Mundin then stood, raising his mug. “Aye, here’s to us. Nothing can keep us apart, and ev’ry battle brings us closer together,” he paused, odd since the dwarf never spoke more than one thought at a time. “I’ve kin, too, but I raise a mug to you all, you are my brothers and sisters. Together we fight the dark tomorrow.” He drank a long haul from his tankard. I looked askance at Shaiira; she also recognized the gravitas of Mundin’s words.

Caramour was next. “A great trial lies before us. This druid is of great concern. Perhaps we should try to recruit another to our cause.”

“It makes sense,” Vohoi said. “We were taken for dead last night; another sword might benefit our cause.”

I smiled; men who think before they act are a rarity in my circle.
 

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Abciximab

Explorer
Here’s Tae Us – Wha’s Like Us – Damn Few And They’re A’ Deid

Here's to Us! Who's like us? Damn few and they're all dead!

For a moment I thought that's where Mundin was headed ;)

(Anyone know the video game reference for a cookie? (The translation, not the original Scottish))
 


soanso

First Post
A New Blade

My thoughts traveled to Aldern, wondering where he might be; alas, he had left the previous morning, presumably to his family holdings near Magnimar. I must make a point to call upon him there; such a tree might bear fruit should our travels take us west. After a breakfast of boiled bread, soft-cooked eggs, rashers and cantaloupe, we headed to meet Father Zantus for Desna’s blessing before we once again took to Thistletop.

Zantus met us in the apse, excited to see us. “Friends,” he said, exuberance spiking his tone, “I’ve great news. Two itinerants sheltered here last night, thank Desna- an elf and a dwarf- I made mention of your trial, and both were eager to lend their service.”

“Did ya broker their wage, too?” Mundin said as he spat to the ground.

“Easy, he’s here to help,” Shaiira said. “We need what we can get.”

“Rest yourselves, both tarry less than a fortnight in Sandpoint. I can tell you the elf is quickly gone. Likely a stock-and-supply visit; he is an outrider for a group I do not know fully, but know they battle goblins and strive to keep the northern woods friendly for the farmers and merchants living and traveling through the region. He carries a token from Shalelu, and bears no malice in his tone. The dwarf…” Zantus paused, his loss of words not lost to us.

“Go on,” Mundin said.

“She does not speak. At least, not to me. Her weapons and armor have seen little battle, but are not new. She bears the crest of Sarenrae on her armor and on a chain about her neck. I’d wager she is a holy warrior of the goddess, but if she speaks the trade tongue- she hides it. She has respected the cathedral itself, and prayed to each of the gods housed here. Ah, here is the woodsman,” Zantus raised the greeting of Erastil to a tall elf exiting the shrine of Old Deadeye.

I felt Desna smile upon our band. We Farateldis never turn away a hand; the road is too long for disdain. One day at the markets in Riddleport, we were having incredible unluck. The supply wagon’s axle had split, and our guide, a Kellid sellsword, sprang from the lead wagon and disappeared into the crowd when a gang of three Izaraldo thugs sauntered up. Of course, PopPop put them in line and they went on their way; he was never afraid of the Sczarni. But we were without a wagon and a guide. “The Abyss can take cowards, give me a dwarf any day,” Grandy Vin said, spitting into the dusty road. “Jaff, you’ve the hand at cards and ale, rustle the leaves and find us a craftsman.” Sure enough, Shadow Jaffy found a dwarf cartwright at a taphouse around the corner sober enough to mend the axle. Krodar traveled with us for a few weeks, leaving us at Janderhoff.

To add an elf to our family history is a grand thing; the elves are not the kind to meddle in our petty affairs. C was first to engage him, greeting him with an antiquated but respectful flourish.

The elf was at least amused, if not impressed by the gesture, as archaic as it was. “Those who know me call me Jae,” he said plainly. “I am only passing through Sandpoint, but the good Father said you might need an experienced guide.”

“Aye,” Caramour said, “We could use one familiar with the area. Though we dodged goblins yesterday, today leaves no promise.”
“Eyes and ears are yours, then,” Jae said. “I frequent the wilderness north and east of Sandpoint, and am familiar with the cruel habits of the Thistletop tribe.”
“We face grave danger, your presence is timely,” Vohoi said.
“Jae, welcome. We will be fighting goblins, and who knows what else. Your guidance is Desna’s grace,” I said.
“Aye,” Shaiira said. “But you have no bow, elf.”
“She was sundered a few nights back fighting a werewolf,” Jae said. “I have commissioned another here in town, till then I’m yours.”

Meanwhile, a low conversation crept to me in a dialect I barely knew. The two dwarves had found an alcove just outside Sarenrae’s chapel. Mundin took it upon himself to meet the holy warrior; I watched quietly as the dwarves parlayed and exchanged the formal greetings of traditional dwarven society. I then realized there was much about Mundin I did not know. We had traded stories of our travels throughout Varisia over several brandies, but I knew next to nothing about him. After they had finished their ritual, they strode towards the rest of us, milling about.

“I would like to introduce Noria Rockbottom, paladin of Sarenrae,” Mundin said. Noria bowed low. Her armor showed some signs of battle, and her blade was well-made; she is a dwarven warrior. “Her family traces a holy lineage back to the days of Taargick, the revered king who led the dwarven nation out of darkness and into Golarion.” Knowing some of the dwarves’ predilection for pomp, I bowed low to Noria, a sign of both respect and fealty to her lineage.

“Welcome to us, friends,” I said. “Today we distill hindsight for our journey. We face a tremendous challenge- an unknown evil called Nualia rises somewhere in the Thistlewood. She is at least aligned with demons, and might be one herself. The goblins are her distraction, but also a real blight for the people living here.”

“We’ve already explored part of the Thistletop warren, and were routed by a goblin caster, likely a druid. Its entangle proved deadly, and its firecat accomplice is a fierce combatant. We can expect the same from the druid- a cramped space further complicated by grasping nettles. Our best tactic is to try and break free of the spell and meet master and cat evenly.”

“Aye,” Mundin said, spitting. “We laid low many gobby fighters despite our struggles, but the druid and a few gobby dogs remain.”

We set off for Thistletop once more. Jae scouted ahead, but found no other entrance save the one we knew. We entered and were beset by a lone goblin dog; Jae quickly put it down. We heard the far-off sound of a horn, and were quickly met by a small pack of goblin dogs, the druid and its cat. Though we managed to spread out, the entangle spell still wreaked havoc on the group. We circled around or battled through it as best we could.

Shaiira, Mundin, and I skirted the area of the spell to reach the cat and druid; meanwhile the elf had burst through the spell to land a solid blow on a goblin dog, but was swiped hard by the druid’s pet. The cat then moved to my sister and swiped at her; I saw the blood and gripped my rapier. I wasn’t singing as much as I was shouting verses of The Old Black Rose at this point.

I’ve seen this before, and it won’t happen again.

C appeared out of the briar, a welcome sight. How he moves so quickly is a testament to faith. He healed Shaiira and then made his way to the elf, still standing but the cat was on the prowl. Shaiira dropped to a defensive crouch- she is learning.

Vohoi lobbed magic missile at several goblin dogs, and the druid, helping to weaken the enemy. The cat swiped the elf again, and our guide fell to the ground. Mundin then raised his axes and split the cat twain, finally killing it.

“Where’s Rockbottom?” Mundin yelled over the battlefield as the druid scampered away.

“More like Leadbottom,” Shaiira said to me, a laugh in her eyes. I laughed, too. Where was our new blade? Likely as frustrated by the druid’s sorcery as Mundin was last time we encountered it. “Noria, follow my voice!” I shouted, as I doubled around the spell to where the goblin had scampered. I was met by Jae as the paladin of Sarenrae burst out of the entanglement.

“You call this a challenge?” she growled. “Let’s end this right now,” she lowered her blade, pointing it at the druid.

We had it cornered; I struck first and quickly dealt it a deadly thrust from my rapier. Noria then struck true with her greatsword; I could not help to notice the wave of satisfaction that was Jae’s face as he ran the goblin through with his longsword. He had clearly won a personal battle with the druid’s demise.

We then moved through the compound to the open air; freedom never felt so good. We stood on a precipice about 60 feet above the crashing waves; a precarious rope bridge connected the warren to another island, upon which sat a squat citadel, its guard towers looming. Mundin was the first to cross.
 

Abciximab

Explorer
Nope, sorry ibayboy. I was gonna give you xp just for guessing, but apparently I need to “spread it around”. The game I’m thinking of is pretty old. (Hint) It was a sequel to an old text adventure.

So the encounter with the Goblin Druid (Take #2) had seven PCs! One was only a one shot addition as peteinmaine’s son was around for that game. The other add on should be more permanent, Seth has returned to our game table after a long absence! He bailed just after the end of our Kingmaker campaign (in which he played a witch) due to real life time conflicts.

So now the heroes are:

Mundin Ironhand - Dwarf Fighter 3 (Mundinironhand)
Caramour - Human (Vudrani) Cleric of Good 3 (Peteinmaine)
Vohoii - Human Stormborn Sorcerer 3 (Brent)
Shaiira - Half Elf Rogue 3 (Dave)
Sivoulette - Human (Varisian) Bard 3 (Soanso)
Noria Rockbottom – Dwarf Paladin of Sarenrae 3 (Seth)

They should hit 4th in tonight’s game. Soanso’s running about 1.5 sessions behind at this point.
 

soanso

First Post
As Mundin lumbered across the rope bridge, Jae scouted the fortress.

“Two towers, of course, and a main gate with no guards. I see a circuit of heeled grass around the fort that suggests regular patrols. No windows, no lights from the arrow slits. I see some activity atop each tower, but it appears we have not yet been spotted.”

As Mundin reached halfway across the bridge, a pair of goblins atop goblin dogs rounded the corner of the fortress to our right.

“Ready?” Vohoi asked me.
“Ready,” I said, chanting a soulful lullaby across the chasm, focusing on the patrol. The goblin riders noticed our presence, but not before their dogs succumbed to Vohoi’s sleep spell. The riders were tossed from their mounts, and Mundin charged towards them; his axe struck true and one goblin was dead.

Jae and Shaiira next stepped onto the swaying rope bridge, and then I. When I was but a few paces along, the left side of the bridge’s supports gave way, and we were turned to the crashing sea below. I instinctively grabbed at the bridge; being raised in a bucking wagon has its advantages. I looked to my companions, relieved that they, too, clung to the bridge, dangled precariously over the rocks and heaving surf.

I moved back to Vohoi and C, and made landfall. There, the three of us pulled in enough slack to make possible a repair. I remembered the tool kit Sha had given me after our battle with Tsuto; his was of finer quality and she kept it, and we made a joke of her gift to me as it being our first heirloom. Using a few pieces of wire, a short iron bar the length of my fourth finger, and a small wad of resin, I was able to repair the rope enough to shore up that support.

Meanwhile, Vohoi cast sleep once more, causing the goblin sentry to drop to the ground.
Shaiira scampered to the far side with Jae, where Mundin assisted and together they, too, repaired the bridge in a similar fashion. C, Vohoi and I decided to traverse the void singly, and each made it across. Noria Rockbottom brought up the rear, and C cast mending on all the rigged supports for good measure.

The commotion had alerted two goblins stationed atop the right tower; Vohoi and I combined forces to lull them to sleep. A beaten path circled away from the main doors to both sides; predictably another sentry appeared from the left, goblin riders atop their foul mounts.

Vohoi and I again connected on a tranquil note, putting all four to sleep.
We made quick, deadly work of our foes. I felt an odd twinge inside me, and my mind leapt down a dark hole tacked with memories I had long wished forgotten.

“Sivoulette, is it?” A voice brought me out of that dark place. Noria stood next to me. “You seem shaken, are you fit for battle?” Her words weighed heavy with dwarven context, but her tone was gentle.
“I, I have suffered much death. I wonder how dealing it makes anything right,” I said. “Death is like a stone in a placid pool, the ripples travel forever.”
“Aye,” Noria said. “Death is ne’er jocular. But there are times when we must understand that we each create our own ripples in the placid pools of our lives. Sarenrae teaches we are each a stone in the pool of Life, that each action affects another. These are times of peril,” the paladin said, sheathing her sword, “And Evil must be swept aside to keep balance in the world.”

“Is it wrong to meet them unaware?” I asked.
“Would they not do the same?” Noria countered. “There is a time to judge, a time to act, and a time to reflect. We are asked only to do what is right and just when we can. The goblins of Thistletop harbor no good will towards Sandpoint; our actions will help keep safe the town and its surroundings for years to come.”

“Everyone okay over there? ‘Cuz we got a tower to scale, this gate’s barred from the inside,” Mundin shouted.
“So, I take it stealth is out,” Shaiira said, glowering at the fighter.
“I’ll check the left side of the compound,” I said. Moving along, I found no other entrances. Mundin and Shaiira decided to climb the wall of the right tower, since we’d incapacitated the guards there.

“Up we go!” said Mundin. Noria handed over a length of silk rope attached to a grappling hook.
“What’s the wager?” I asked as I approached my sister and the dwarves.
“It’s a sovereign if Mundin can get up the wall before I can,” Sha said.
“I smell whiskey, you two good to go forward?” I asked.
“We’re like Cayden Cailean on a Moonday, relax,” Mundin said. “Besides, I got this.”
“So, if you have one rope, and a fort full of goblins, how is this a competition?” I asked, truly stunned.
“If I fall, it’s her turn,” Mundin said plainly.

Should you ever get the chance, watch a dwarf climb a thirty-odd foot high wall on a dare. It’s hilarious.

And damned if he didn’t nail it.

Mundin heaved his dwarven frame up the rope and hefted his bulk over the crenellation, and Shaiira quickly followed. We heard the sound of steel scratching flesh and the howls of goblins as we each scurried up the rope to the top of the tower.
 

soanso

First Post
Both goblin sentries were dead when I reached the top of the tower. We crouched low, keeping cover between ourselves and any sentries in the left tower. Playing cards were scattered across the floor; none of us was surprised to find the deck short. We saw the other tower, an open courtyard, and the steep drop from the fortress to the sea.

Jae took a moment to scout the area. “There are two figures in the courtyard, likely goblins, crouched by a far door leading back into the compound. Two sentries man the other tower- beyond that, I do not see further patrols. Our approach has likely alerted the compound. I will take post here, to guard your pass through the courtyard; should you encounter resistance, draw them out and I will lay waste to their villainy. At dawn I must send word to Shalelu; my absence is a blessing. You have allies in these woods.”


Jae looked Shaiira in the eye, a gesture missed as the rest worked a trap door leading to the bowels of the tower, but I saw it. The ranger picked a short bow off one of the goblin guards, and up-ended a crate, setting both quivers in it. He looked ridiculous holding the pea-sized bow, but his hands were steady as he nocked an arrow and whipped around, firing the too-small bow at the opposite tower. I heard the arrow ricochet off a helmet or a shield, and the far-off curses of the goblins in the other tower. “Desna smiles,” I said. Jae did not look up, but busied himself with securing the tower.


The trap door led us to the ground floor, and an unlocked door led us to a room decorated with a garish and chilling display of primitive taxidermy. The walls were adorned with crudely taken trophies, mostly horse and dog heads; but a curious pair of black-feathered wings were also pinned to the wall, a pearlescent-handled dagger struck though the left wing. I recognized their span at once.


“Harpy wings,” I said low; not that it mattered. The room was already stirring with goblins.

“A rally or release point,” Shaiira said, nodding to the barred double doors that likely led outside.
“A bottleneck,” murmured Mundin, axes raised to the horde that descended upon us.

The fight was bloody and quick. Seven goblins fell dead on the hard-packed earth of the gatehouse. Of all, one carried a horse-chopper- yet another cruel goblin blade. I tossed it aside for a scavenger’s eye. We had already refused to bring the makeshift dogslicers popular among goblins to market out of self-respect. Though the ‘chopper is a rare find, I’d rather it rust than collect dust in a shop or on a collector’s shelf. Shaiira pulled the pearl-handled dagger from the wall; though exceptionally crafted, it was not magical. She kept it anyways.


We made our way to the next tower, carefully ascending the ladder before bursting open the trap door and surprising the pair of goblins atop the tor. They were quickly dispatched.


“Pickles?” Caramour’s voice was at once surprised and confused.

I looked around. Dozens of pickles littered the floor, most having but one or two bites from it.
“Well, they aren’t magical,” Vohoi said, equally confused and serious.
“Looks like they were licked clean,” Noria said. We burst into laughter.
“Let’s head down to the courtyard,” I said; I tarried long enough to see Noria gather a handful of pickles into her pack.

We crept through the open-air courtyard to an outbuilding; Jae’s surveillance was spot-on. Two goblins lay dead in front of a large door that had been nailed shut. It appears they had died from the crushing blows of horse’s hooves. Knowing their hatred of the noble beasts, we decided to pursue the interior of the fort before forcing open the doors.


We swept through the north and west sections of the fortress, finding only the unholy commode of the Thistletop goblins, and a stairway to the depths. We abandoned this place to further explore the fortress. Nothing of note save a goblin-dog kennel. We released the rabbits held there and threw the tack and harnesses to the ground. We pressed deeper into the compound.


“It’s locked,” Shaiira said, a light dancing in her eye.

“Well, open it,” Mundin said, bringing his axes to bear. Noria unsheathed her sword and C calmly meditated. I drew my rapier, and Vohoi fell into a short trance before life again filled his skin. Shaiira deftly manipulated the tools she’d lifted from Tsuto’s body. In the silence, a soft click made my sister smile; she quietly opened the door.

A few goblin dogs suddenly shifted from sleep to attention, and five goblins’ heads snapped to our intrusion. One sat upon a throne of bones, itself topped by a bleached horse skull. A battered metal crown sat on his head and a large gecko lashed its tail at his side. Three goblins held weapons, while one stood off to the side.


“You there you, interruptingness! Say what is and unless okay we chop so hard!” The goblin wearing the tattered crown spoke in halting Varisian, and then sat back in his vile throne, expecting a reply.


My companions stood, eerily silent. I waited but a moment before I understood.


My cares were always Grandy Vin’s, my fights were always PopPop’s, or Uncle Max, or Cheevie, or Ant Grazine. My lessons were market days with Lizelle, or card halls with Shadow Jaffy, spellcraft with Jarna. And they are all gone. I can never depend on them again, they will never step into my mess, my fight, my victory, my growth. They are gone, and it is only me, looking after me. So now I am their mouthpiece, their guiding star, their history, their record, them. I am them. I am the last of me. My voice struck the air.


I looked at the goblin king, and I knew what fate had spun for us. I chose to spin another tale; I kept my rapier drawn, but dropped it to my side. He would fall, but perhaps I could convince him to concede first.


“Ripnugget, we seek nothing from you but parlay. We are looking for the one called Nualia. We know she has been seen in the area, and we seek to bring her to justice. Many deaths can be avoided if you help us.” As I stepped into the chieftan’s lair, I knew my words fell on deaf ears. I repeated them in the goblin tongue, which impressed him.


“Inside you go and we get talky,” he said in my native tongue. Quickly, Shaiira and Mundin filled the small chamber by my side; Noria waited at the doorway. As we entered and lowered our guard, Ripnugget hissed, “Stabby!” The goblin chief leapt onto the giant gecko as his guard advanced; the goblin dogs bayed and nipped at us. The goblin at the back of the room began inciting a terrible war-chant I recognized from my youth.


“Kill the bard!” I yelled to my allies.

“Will do!” a goblin grunt chortled in his own tongue as he brought his blade to me.

The battle was a flash of movement, shouts, and blood. Ripnugget took to coursing the walls and ceilings on his lizard mount, slashing at us as we fought his minions. Vohoi was the first to go down by the chief’s blade; C was able to bring him back up to fight. Vohoi’s magic missile proved potent against the lizard, while I sang a Kellid ballad recounting revenge against evil winter fey. Mundin waded through the mire to meet and drop the goblin bard; unfortunately that prompted Ripnugget to slash me at the knees. Desna keeps Caramour close, and I was back in the fray. Noria, Mundin, and Shaiira made quick work of Ripnugget’s guards, and one of Vohoi’s missiles dropped the chief’s mount. Surrounded, I cast ear-piercing scream on Ripnugget, waffling him while the dwarves flanked; Ripnugget fell to Mundin’s deadly axes.


The Thistletop goblins were defeated. We celebrated briefly, and Shaiira went to signal Jae; the elf was already gone, likely delivering the news to Shalelu. Noria shuttered their eyes, so Pharasma could judge them.


We explored the rest of the compound, finding little of interest, unless one is a goblin-obsessed scholar. We came across their larder and their workshop, and their living quarters. In one room we found an ornately carved but sundered headboard, behind which a silver plate carved with the likeness of Lamashtu with garnets in its eyes was hidden.


We doubled back and pried open the nailed-shut door near the stomped goblins. Inside, an irate and beautiful horse stamped and whinnied, obviously distraught. I saw the wild look in its eyes, and prepared Uncle Max’s Harvest Tamp by summoning a small drum, always a remedy for an unruly animal.


But then Noria approached the wild beast, speaking calmly. The horse tempered a bit, and Noria produced- of all things- a pickle, which the steed graciously devoured. With some coaxing and a few more pickles, she was able to lead the horse over the rope bridge and through the briar to where our own mounts rested. As we watched it majestically whinny and kick its forelegs in the air, the name Shadowmist came to mind. We decided to rest- it had been an important day. Ripnugget was dead and the Thistletop goblins are no longer a threat to Sandpoint. Nualia remains, and we know she is at Thistletop; two staircases await us when the morning comes.
 

Abciximab

Explorer
The party did really well here. First they cut a swath through the fortress, and then (after picking the lock to the throne room) take on Ripnugget and his guards. It was a tough fight, even for a party of six. The fortress was on alert, since they had been warned by the Goblin Druid that longshanks were attacking. To challenge a party of 6, I relocated a few goblin dogs to this chamber.

Sivoulette, apparently a rather humble Bard, understates her involvement here, as one of her best abilities (next to Inspire Courage, which was already providing bonuses to all at this point) came into play. Mundin actually went to kill the Goblin Bard only after having failed a Save vs. Hideous Laughter. I was a little surprised he failed the save, what with the Dwarves Hardy Bonus against spells and all. As I went to knock over Mundin’s Mini, Soanso interrupted.

“Wait! I have a spell here… where is it… Ah! Saving Finale!”

As an Immediate Action a Bard can cast this spell to allow an ally to reroll a failed save, which Mundin promptly did with much rejoicing, as he was successful this time.

What a great spell! I was looking for something like this for my wizard in Soanso’s game, but alas, it is only found on the Bard’s spell list (Though Protection from Evil & Dispel Magic came through for me time and time again). It ends the Bardic Performance, but that is easy enough to start up again.

Ripnugget caused the most trouble, charging about the walls of the room slashing at all within reach from the back of his sticky-footed mount. Killing his steed was the way to go. Vohoi’s Magic Missiles did most of the damage and finally dropped Ripnugget right into the midst of Noria and Mundin, the Dwarven Hack & Slash team. That quickly brought Ripnugget’s reign to an end.

Then there was the taming of Shadowmist using goblin supplied Pickles! Who knew Handle Animal (and pickles) could be so useful?

We should Wrap Burnt Offerings and start the next chapter (we’ll skip the spoilerful title for now) tomorrow. I’m sure Soanso is diligently working at his keyboard at this very moment, so stay tuned!

P.S. Return to Zork was the game I was thinking of.
 
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mundinironhand

First Post
Mundin's Kill Count through 1st module is 40!. These are all of the enemies that Mundin Ironhand got the killing blow with his axe Goblins (regular)= 23. Skeleton Wolf= 1. Skeleton =1. Sin Spawn = 2. Korvus (mutated by waters of lamashtu) = 1. Giant Rat=1. Goblin dogs = 5. Tangletooth (Firepelt Cougar animal companion) = 1. Orik Vancaskerkin (human merc.) =1. Yeath Hound =2. Chief Ripnuget = 1. Nualia = 1. (full disclosure, there were probably 6-8 coup de grace due to sleeping enemies, thank you Bard and Sorcerer for your lullaby & sleep combo.)
 

soanso

First Post
Facing Brethazmus and the old contracts

We pressed on, taking the second set of descending stairs near the front entrance; we chose this set over the one near the goblin commode for obvious reasons.

We moved through the hall, noting three doors to one side. Remembering the chilling skeletal remains beneath Sandpoint behind three doors, we pressed through to a natural cavern. Shaiira held her right hand up, and we stopped.

“Something’s wrong,” she whispered. “It’s too quiet.”

She led us into a natural cavern. To our right, a curtain of vines and nettles covered the cave mouth; the ocean crashed below. Suddenly two rubbery tentacles lashed out at my sister from the ceiling. We fell to battle, spying a dark blue conical mass perched on the ceiling, covered in small red lights and lashing out at us with two prominent appendages. The battle was swift and the thing was dead; what it was remained a mystery. None of us had seen such a foul creature before. I made a crude sketch and wrote approximate details of its size and description, a squidish thing with red eyes proliferating its body, several smaller tentacles in addition to the pair of larger ones. Perhaps Quink or Ameiko would know more.

We swept aside the natural curtain, and surmised we were about forty feet above the waves. “Good to have an escape route,” C said.

The dwarves looked at each other. “I pray we need not such a course,” said Noria, shifting in her armor.

“Aye,” Mundin chimed.

We followed the progression of the dungeon to a set of double doors that opened on a foul chapel. Stone fonts spewed brackish liquid into shallow pools at the sides of the entrance, and a crimson light dimly lit the room. Atop a dais stood an intricately designed statue depicting Lamashtu, the Mother of Monsters. Each hand held a kukri, one wreathed in red flame, the other in blue flame.

“Illusions,” Vohoi said as he passed his hand over the plane of the statue.

A stone altar sat before the statue of Lamashtu, its surface covered with the burnt remains of a humanoid. I sucked in my breath as I was taken away by the history of the place- this must be where Nualia sacrificed her father’s body.

Before I could say anything, three wiry, hairless dogs attacked us.

These were not ordinary strays. They took to the air and their howl was devastating. The fight dragged on as we tried to gain separation from the hounds; Vohoi dropped before Noria used her divine might to turn the tide to our favor. The dwarves rallied and killed the beasts. C was able to heal Vohoi.

We paused for a moment, weary and worn. Our battles are hard-fought and hard-won; nothing is as simple as it was in Sandpoint. We rely on each other when the thick is thickest; PopPop would be pleased to have these friends fireside.

We circled around to the first chamber, and were greeted by a hulking bugbear and a half-dozen of the goblin version of painted ladies. The nefarious energies in the room shook me to the core, and we waded into battle with a frothing ferocity. The bugbear was none other than Brethazmus, another local terror to end.

We were able to keep Brethazmus stymied as we cut through his harem; his bow was ineffective as the dwarves sliced into him in melee. Vohoi cast flare on Brethazmus, disorienting the thug and I cast another ear-piercing scream on the bugbear, and he fell.

We quickly moved on, opening the next door. A man sat on his bed, his meal of smoked salmon and chived cream before him. He seemed puzzled. I immediately recognized him- the Kellid sellsword. Suddenly something made sense- he was working for the Sczarni, he sabotaged our wagon. He bolted when the Sczarni showed up, not for fear but for payday. And again, here he was.

He seemed genuinely surprised. Hot blood flowed through me; and I made a mistake.

“You, there, sellsword, do you not see me?” I said, reaching for my blade.

“I, eh, I see you,” he countered.
“Did you forget me?”
He moved to his sword. “I’m not sure I’m looking for trouble,” he said.
“Come with me and face justice,” I said. My blood boiled, and I stood alone. I cared not for his innocence, only sensing the treachery in his presence here. I was also angry with myself. Have I always lived so stupidly? Has my vision always been clouded by virtue?
“Who do you work for?” I said, drawing my rapier.
“None of your concern,” he replied, standing to face me. His bastard sword’s hilt found his hand.
“You must be involved with this evil cadre, to be supping here, alone,” Noria said, moving to the doorway.
“If I surrender, can I take my weapon with me?”
“No.” I said.
He sighed. “Then my answer is also no,” he said as he raised his blade high and swung it to me. My heart skipped a beat as the blade crashed into me; I had forgotten my greatest weapon was my voice, my conviction, and my patience. I let anger and wrath control my actions, feeling power through conduits I do not properly understand or control.

Then darkness.
 

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