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    The Temple of Elemental Evil (Ragnar's PBeM)
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    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 09, 2001
    Posts: 655

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    Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:36 am  
    The Temple of Elemental Evil (Ragnar's PBeM)

    CAMPAIGN JOURNAL - The Temple of Elemental Evil

    Cast of Characters:
    Banshee: Dark elf Bladesinger/Song Mage
    Berenn: Half-elf Priest of St. Cuthbert/Ranger
    Derry: Halfling fighter/thief
    Elrae: Human Bard
    Gotrek: Dwarven Battlerager
    Hepla: Human Mage (semi-1st ed Witch from old Dragon magazine!)
    Thorgrim: Dwarven Cleric/Fighter (stays behind in Hommlet to fix up the Trader's Post)
    Hung Lo: Human monk (using OA rules for martial arts, which was very fun!)
    This is the map of the Viscounty which I drew years ago.


    The pleasant and seemingly peaceful village of Hommlet turned out to be filled with intrigue, with agents of Chaotic Evil hiding within the hamlet. The supposedly deserted and ruined moathouse nearby held a new champion of the nearby Temple of Elemental Evil. All of this brought danger and difficulty to the members of your group, but it also offered adventure, experience, and wealth. You have either slain or driven off the evil men and creatures, and the able guardians of Hommlet— Jaroo, Terjon, Elmo, and the rest of the sturdy militiamen — can surely see to it that their area remains clean of the taint of Evil hereafter.

    Having accomplished most of your goals, you must now look elsewhere for yet greater challenges (and commensurate rewards). If agents of the Temple were still active in Hommlet, then there must certainly be work for you at that fountainhead of wickedness. Just a day's journey afoot, east along the High Road, lies the disreputable community of Nulb, and the Temple hidden in the hills nearby. This vile place spawned much suffering, ruin and death before the hosts of Good brought it low and bound its power. It is evident that the place was wounded but not slain, for dark things crept into Hommlet under direction of someone or some thing still lurking in the shunned edifice of Evil. The upper works of the Temple were thrown down and destroyed in the final siege of the war against its hordes. Because of its great power and evil, however, the conquerors did not actually raze the Temple proper, instead sealing its great doors and placing mighty wards of all sorts upon the place and the black labyrinth beneath. Even as great a force as overthrew the Temple could not cleanly deal with what lurked below.

    Since that great battle, the Temple area has been shunned, its ruins deserted. The nearby village of Nulb has returned to a semblance of normal activity —questionable at best, for the place has always been rumored to house thieves, brigands, smugglers and pirates. But as Nulb stinks of garbage and filth, the Temple area reeks of the foul corruption and pervading Evil from whence it was spawned. No wonder that both places have again been left to their own devices.

    When the Temple of Elemental Evil flourished, earthquakes, storms of all sorts, great fires, and flash floods struck areas nearby with seeming capriciousness. All that ceased when the Temple was assaulted and sealed. You have been advised of all this, and urged to go elsewhere to seek your fame and fortunes. The unease which prevails upon those merely passing near the ruins shows that some wickedness still haunts the place. There are many bad folk in Nulb, and still greater perils amidst the fallen Temple. Yet the lure of such adventure beckons to you, drawing your party as surely as a lodestone draws iron. Warnings against loss of life — or even worse fates — cannot counter the irresistable pull of treasures secreted deep underground, of monsters still unbeaten, of mysteries to be unraveled. There are whispers of occult places beneath the interdicted Temple, where mighty Evil is yet wrought and noble folk are imprisoned. With care and cunning, luck and great deeds, caution mixed with boldness and daring, you and your associates can win through to achieve exploits of the stuff of legend! The journey of a hundred leagues begins with the first pace, and the time for your sojourn has come.

    How you and your fellow adventurers plan to overcome the perils of the Temple is a matter that you must decide for yourselves. Is it best to reconnoiter from Hommlet? Base your activities from the village of Nulb? Try to make a secure wilderness camp somewhere near the ruin? Or perhaps lodge somewhere within the foreboding Temple itself? The decision is now. It is certain that both vast treasure and horrible death await, so you must gain the one while cheating the other. Fortune and the gods must smile upon such an undertaking.

    Temple of Elemental Evil (Background info you learned in Hommlet)

    For many years, a cult of Chaotic Evil flourished somewhere on the shores of the Nyr Dyv. Although the location of their Temple is lost, these facts regarding it and its followers are known. The cult was based on the premise that the elemental forces of the universe are Chaotic and opposed to mankind, and are thus (from a humanocentric viewpoint) Evil. The Temple of the cult sought to destroy all works of Good and to disrupt order. Its members were thieves, assassins, brigands, and the like. Fire was regarded as the first elemental evil, and its penchant for Chaos fitted the premise of the cult. Water was likewise worshipped as an even more powerful force of Chaotic Evil, in the form of floods, storms, and raging seas beating upon the land and ocean vessels. The epitome of Chaotic Evil, however, was regarded as a combination of air and earth, represented by blackness and corresponding with the demonic Abyss. This combination was regarded as a complete negation of matter.

    The cult grew powerful and rich, attracting followers of the worst sort and offering them safety within the walls of the Temple stronghold. From this fortress would the followers ride to rob, pillage, and lay waste the lands about, tithing the cult from the spoils of the carnage. Captives from those raids were brought back to the Temple to serve as human sacrifices (children to the fire, men to the water, and women to the blackest Evil) or to slave their lives away in bondage. Besides the extensive upper works of the Temple, a deep labyrinth beneath the place was constructed, but virtually nothing is known about these dungeons except that they were inhabited by a plethora of creatures serving Chaos and Evil. It is rumored that the demon-queen, Zuggtmoy, took up abode in the deepest level, to better receive the sacrifices to it.

    Eventually the neighbors of the Temple grew tired of these depradations. All Good, both Lawful and Chaotic, banded together to form a mighty host. Their army marched to the Temple, fighting two battles along the way. The first was conclusive, thought the forces of Good who held the field afterward, so they gained the reputation of victory, and their ranks swelled with local men. The second battle saw a great slaughter of kobolds, goblins, ores, hobgoblins, evil men, and the like. The Temple was thereafter besieged, fell, and its inhabitants put to the sword. It is reported by some sources that the Temple and its precincts resisted complete destruction, but the majority state that the whole was razed so that the cult could never emerge again nor could any find where it once flourished.

    [That was all pretty much straight from T1-4. I thought it fitting to post, just for the sake of understanding and continuity. :) ]

    You are heading towards Nulb, along the High Road. This is the road by which you entered Hommlet, almost two months ago now. The road passes by some outlying farms, which then become more and more sparse. After a couple of hours the road turns northward. You now only pass a farm bout once per hour. A few hours after midday, where the road bends back toward the west, you reach a familiar point. This is the place where you crossed the road while following the fleeing orc tribe from Canyonford to the north. Here the road is quite unkept, and you are on your guard for Ettercaps, which you remember inhabit the area. A cold wind begins to blow from the north, bringing the first chills of the coming winter. Within another month or so, the first storms will appear, bringing rain and even snow. Will the elements themselves turn against you as you investigate their temple, is it just your imagination? You pull your cloaks tighter as you continue in silence.

    Your guide has little to say, and in fact can barely be coaxed into conversation at all. Most of the party walks along the road, while Berenn, Banshee, and Derry follow just off the road and keeping their distance. When you reach the track which leads to Canyonford, you see a man sitting in the middle of the road. He carries a strange-looking weapon over his shoulder. As you approach, he says, "I have been waiting for you."
    [This is a new character, Hung Lo, a monk from distant lands. I know, don't laugh. This player stuck around for a while, and while he ends up leaving shortly, his character ends up being very important later....]

    He doesn't share his history, except to say that he is from a monastery far to the south. His superiors have sent him north to investigate the Temple of Elemental Evil. They wish to know if it still stands and is active. Basically, he's on an information gathering mission. The party agrees to let him join, and together the group continues on to Nulb.

    The village of Nulb is filthy, ramshackle, and still fairly active despite the destruction of the Temple. The buildings are of turf, mud brick, crudely hewn logs, and old timbers from boats. One or two have stone foundations and proper boards, but even these are in need of repair. The inhabitants of the village are boatmen, fishers, herdsmen, farmers, and the like. It is apparent that no one manages to make much of a living in Nulb, and as it is such a poor place, it is generally ignored by lords and bandits alike.

    A small amount of commerce moves along the High Road, as well as into Nulb from the Velverdyva, as Imeryds Run is wide and deep enough for the small river vessels to use for offloading cargo and likewise embarking it from Nulb, north of the ford there.

    As you cross the Imeryds run, you notice a couple of very sleek looking riverboats, built for speed and battle. Dozens of unsavory characters hustle about them, getting them ready to sail. [they are kinda like longships, though not as well-made]

    Across the stream, you pass the Waterside Hotel. This place is one of the more substantial buildings in Nulb. It has a foundation of field stone and walls of sawn timber, but is nonetheless a scurvy place. Its main trade is in its tavern room, though occasional travelers stop to spend the night.

    Your guide takes you right past the place, and you take the first right, following a small road out of town.

    The road leading from Nulb to the Temple is rutted and spotted with rank weeds—thistles, burrs, thorns, nettles, etc. Some foot and animal traffic has been using the track, but it is not a busy thoroughfare. (Most traffic between these points avoids using the road, so as not to leave a discernable path. ) As you approach the Temple area, the vegetation is disconcerting—dead trees twisted and unnaturally colored, all unhealthy and sickly looking or exceptionally robust and disgusting. The ruins of the Temple's outer works appear as dark and overgrown mounds of gray rubble and blackish weeds. Skulls and bones of humans and humanoids gleam white here and there amidst the weeds. A grove of some oddly stunted and unhealthy looking usk trees still grows Temple compound, and a stump of a tower juts up from the northeast corner of the shattered wall. The leprous gray Temple, however, stands intact, its arched buttresses somehow obscene with their growth of climbing vegetation. Everything surrounding the place is disgusting. The myriad leering faces and twisting, contorted forms writhing and posturing on every face of the Temple seem to jape at the obscenities they depict. The growth in the compound is rank and noisome. Thorns clutch, burrs stick, and crushed stems either emit foul stench or raise angry weals on exposed flesh. Worst of all, however, is the pervading fear which seems to hang over the whole area — a smothering, clinging, almost tangible cloud of vileness and horror. Sounds seem distorted, either muffled and shrill or unnaturally loud and grating.

    Your eyes play tricks. You see darting movements out of the corner of your eye, just at the edge of vision; but when you shift your gaze towards such, of course, there is nothing there at all. You cannot help but wonder who or what made the maze of narrow paths through the weedy courtyard. What sort of thing would wander here and there around the ghastly edifice of Evil without shrieking and gibbering and going completely mad? Yet the usual mundane sounds of your travel are accompanied only by the chorus of the winds, moaning through hundreds of Temple apertures built to sing like doomed souls given over to the tender mercies of demonkind, echoed by macabre croaks from the scattered flapping, hopping, leering ravens.

    There is no doubt; you have come to a place of ineffable Evil. Still, it is most certainly a place for high adventure and untold treasures. It is time to ready spells, draw weapons, check equipment, and set forth into the maze of peril that awaits you.

    [ooc: gotta give credit to Gygax and Mentzer!]

    The track you are on loops around the temple complex, entering the grounds from the south. There is a western gatehouse, though it has completely collapsed. Even in the fading light of day, you can see that some recent work has been started clearing the debris though it still seems impassable. You continue around to the south, and enter through the primary gatehouse. As with the western one, this is also in ruins, but the path has been cleared of any debris. Once you enter the temple grounds, you involuntarily shiver. Looking around, you see that all ground in and around the place is overgrown by weeds, so observation is restricted to 15 feet in any direction with regards to objects of six feet or lesser height, except on the remains of the road and path. In these two areas, weed growth is scattered and shallower. The pale blue uskfruit growing on the trees is small, misshapen, and splotched with angry red patches.

    The oddly peaked and gabled roof of the temple seems to set the viewer's teeth on edge. The gruesome visages glaring from the walls are everywhere—as projecting ornaments, as supports, in bas-relief, etc. The place is huge. It extends over 450 feet north and south, and is nearly 450 feet across at its widest. The walls rise about 30 feet, supported by arched buttresses and many pilasters. The roof peak is about 20 feet higher than the walls, making the whole edifice no less than 50 feet tall.

    Only three doors are visible, all at the south end of the Temple. The narrow windows appear to be barred. As you pass through the old ruined portcullis, you are surrounded by a half dozen men, armed with a variety of weapons and armor. Another couple with heavy crossbows are behind them, their weapons trained on you.

    The leaders sees the courier and holds out his hand to stop you. He questions him about bringing you here, then nods his head at the answers. He looks over at Elrae, Hepla, and Gotrek, and Hung Lo; then motions to a couple of his men.

    "They wanna see Colvin, fine, but first we take their weapons," he says to his guards.

    [ooc: I put Hung Lo with them. We can continue to assume that Berenn, Derry, and Banshee are stealthily following behind.]

    "Colvin is expecting us and he doesn't want any delays," says Elrae. "Disarming ourselves is a rather unnecessary formality especially with the rather important news I have to tell him. Do you wish to explain to him why we were held up?"

    The guard captain puts his hand on his sword hilt. "It wasn't a request."

    Gotrek growls and step towards the guard. He holds his axe straight out towards the guard. "I DARE you to take it from me! The only way my weapon is being taking from me is over my dead body. And trust me, YOU, are not capable of such a feat!"

    Hepla looks at the guard and says,"Please Mr. Guard, what we have to say is very time sensitive, we need to see him now."

    "Besides," adds Elrae, "veryone knows that no member of our sacred temple would go in unarmed. It's blasphemy. With all of those other factions running around ready to slit one's throat without a blink of an eye. So I suggest you let us in or my comrade here will become very angry. You won't like him when he's angry."

    The guard captain backs down from Gotrek's threat, seeing nothing but a quick death in the crazy dwarf's visage. Looking to Elrae, he nods hesitantly. "Uh, you've the right of it there." Seeing a chance to save face, he motions you to continue in. "Take 'em to Colvin right away." He steps back, eyeing Gotrek warily, and allows you to continue.

    Berenn, Banshee, and Derry all take a drink from Derry's invisibility potion, and then they follow more closely.

    The courier takes you around the right side of the temple itself, through the grounds to the tower in the northeast corner of the old ruined walls. The jagged stub of the large tower stands up from the razed walls. Two small black birds are perched on the tower top, about 25 feet up. One heavy door can be seen, barred and chained shut from the outside. Arrow slits are visible on either side of the door, but peering in reveals only blackness beyond.

    The courier raps on the door twice, then once, then twice. A small latch flips open, and a pair of eyes peer out. The courier talks to him, and you hear heavy latch and bars moving inside. The doors swing open and you see that the outer bar and chain are fakes. The man inside steps back and allows you to enter. Entering by the door, one sees low stone walls, a little over waist height, leading from the exterior wall to support columns. These serve to channel entrants through a passage some eight feet

    Elrae follows the courier in, followed by Hepla, Hung Lo, then Gotrek. As Gotrek passes through the door, the guard grabs the handle and begins to shut it behind him....
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 09, 2001
    Posts: 655

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    Sat Feb 23, 2013 3:37 pm  
    Brigand Tower

    CAMPAIGN JOURNAL - The Bandit Tower

    Cast of Characters:
    Banshee: Dark elf Bladesinger/Song Mage
    Berenn: Half-elf Priest of St. Cuthbert/Ranger
    Derry: Halfling fighter/thief
    Elrae: Human Bard
    Gotrek: Dwarven Battlerager
    Hepla: Human Mage (semi-1st ed Witch from old Dragon magazine!)
    Thorgrim: Dwarven Cleric/Fighter (stays behind in Hommlet to fix up the Trader's Post)
    Hung Lo: Human monk (using OA rules for martial arts, which was very fun!)

    Gotrek will make a comment to the guard about the weather, just enough to delay him. Hepla also makes a fuss, hopefully long enough so that the others can get in, "Please, I get scared in closed up places, please Mr. Guard can't they leave the door open? Fresh air is good for you." As long as possible she will try to keep them from closing the door.

    The invisible party members slip through, careful to not let the guard notice.

    The guard looks at Gotrek and agrees, glancing out at the gathering clouds, then turns back to Hepla. After her plea, he stares for a few moments, then starts laughing, actually having to lean on the open door for a bit. You all stand there watching until he composes himself. Shaking his head and chuckling, he shuts the door, muttering something under his breath. Gotrek and Hepla feel a hand brush their backs just as he shuts the door, but they glance back and see nobody there. Gotrek feels cold, and wonders where the chill came from.

    The interior of the tower is lit by a dozen torches, casting bright light throughout. The tower itself is huge, about 100' in diameter with roughly 10' walls. A stone stairway winds up the left wall of the tower, disappearing above. The ceiling shows recent construction. The entire area is open, except for one quarter of the circular tower which has two walls radiating out from the central support column to the outer wall. There are two doors entering into this walled off section, one on each wall.

    There is little in the place other than the rude tables, benches, chairs, and stools. Heaps of old blankets and brown cloaks lie by the walls, and several sacks near them are filled with foodstuffs. On the tables are bottles of cheap wine (mostly consumed), knucklebones, dirty plates and mugs, and nothing else.

    The brigands obviously live in the place, eating, sleeping and gaming while awaiting further raids. If the rafters are examined, various smoked meats, sausages, and bags of onions and herbs can be seen. Under the ascending stone spiral staircase are five large barrels. A bale of blankets is stuffed under the stairs, evidently loot from some hapless merchant.

    There are approximately 20 men in the room, and they all take instant notice of your entry. A few reach for weapons, while others continue with what they were doing--eating and dicing--while keeping a wary eye on you.

    One of them, a large warrior in chain mail, comes over and grabs your "guide" by the collar, pulling him roughly forward. "Who are these men?" he demands, nearly lifting him from the floor.

    The guide begins stammering about Hommlet, Lareth, and the traders when he is backhanded, a trickle of blood dripping from his split lip.

    "We really don't have time for this," says Elrae. "We're here to speak to Colvin and no one else. If you wish for me to unleash my companion here, he will kill each and everyone of you. It's your choice."

    Gotrek growls, stepping forward and brandishing his axe. The guy dodges back from Gotrek, whipping out his longsword in a smooth, easy motion. He clearly is one who knows how to use a blade. Elrae speaks up as a dozen men spring to their feet, grabbing weapons. A tense standoff ensues, with both sides ready to spring into action, but neither willing to back down. Suddenly, a deep authoritative voice rings out from the other side of the room.

    "Stop!" Everyone except Gotrek and the guard, who have locked stares of undisguised hatred, look to see the new warrior step through one of the doors and enter the room. Armored with gleaming chainmail, plumed helm held in his left hand and his right hand on the hilt of his sheathed longsword, he strides into the room with an air of one used to command. "What is this?" he demands.

    Hepla gives the crossed arm salute and keeps an eye out for what's happening around her. She says, "We have important information and are having trouble getting it to the man we need to get it to."

    Gotrek replies, "We come hear bearing information, and all we get in return is this dog's rudeness."

    Banshee has moved behind some barrels under the stairs, while Berenn gets ready for trouble. Derry slips around behind the leader's back, ready to backstab him with his short sword.

    The leader walks up to you, pulling the courier to his feet. "What news?" he asks him. Looking over at you, he adds, "and who are they?"

    Elrae steps up, putting a hand on the courier's shoulder. "First of all," he says, "my message is not for the ears of all these brigands. Those cut-throats and ruffians would surely sell us out for a few copper to the ugliest whore in Nulb. This is urgent matters for the ears of Colvin and him alone. This is important temple business and not any concerns with the likes of these." Elrae stares with disgust at the bully guard.

    He looks you over carefully, "You're talking to Colvin," he says, "and I don't know you."

    "About time we have met!" exclaims Elrae. "We have been sending you messages from Hommlet for a long time now. Can we talk in private? We have some urgent news to tell."

    "First," and he pulls out his longsword as he speaks, causing a stir amongst his men who also rise suddenly, drawing weapons, "you will tell me who you are and how you know of us?"

    "Well maybe this will show our true intentions and those who we truly follow." Elrae flashes the small scarab with the TZGY etched on it. "Now if we can go to your private chambers to discuss these urgent matters. There are just too many ears about to hear words I have to speak."

    He seems to be momentarily thrown off-balance by Elrae flashing the scarab, but he quickly recovers. "You still haven't answered me," he says, "and my patience grows thin." As he speaks, the other brigands spread out.

    "Allow me to introduce myself. I'm Ewen Davl, cousin of Ranos Davl the shop keeper in Hommlet. He sent me here on urgent temple matters and to let you know of most dire circumstances."

    Hepla begins to say something, but Elrae interrupts her, threatening a backhand. "Silence! You are not to speak again!" He then turns back to Colvin. "Anyway it was brought to our attention that your seargent," Elrae points at the bully guard, "Is a double agent for the Viscount of Verbobonc. It was he that sold out my cousin Rannos and temple assassin Gremag."

    The bully's eyes open wide in shock as you make the accusation, and Colvin glances at him sharply. As he begins to stammer that it's a lie, he is cut off by a wave of Colvin's hand. The man's mouth is agape as he stares at Colvin, then Elrae, and he takes a step back, bumping into two other brigands who each grab one of his arms.

    "We'll have the truth of it soon enough," says Colvin, his gaze silencing any further comment. Turning back to Elrae, he continues. "You and I shall talk." Sheathing his sword, he gestures to the door from which he entered. "After you," he says with a grim smile.

    Without looking away from Elrae, he continues. "Alaric, make sure they are, comfortable."

    "Sir!" replies another of the brigands sharply, perhaps indicating previous military experience. The man steps forward, and Colvin waits for Elrae to move.

    Elrae moves toward what appears to be Colvin's chambers. "This way I assume?" He feels a small hand on his back, and Derry's voice whispers. "I'm right here."

    Gotrek moves to follow Elrae, but Colvin says, "Just him dwarf," as Elrae begins to walk. As two guards step up in Gotrek's way, Colvin steps away to follow Elrae.

    Elrae walks across the tower and enters the room with Colvin. Meanwhile, Alaric motions for you to have a seat at the round table between you and the rectangular table. "Hofred," he calls," bring ale.

    Gotrek and Hepla sit, while Elrae enters Colvin's quarters, Derry right on his heels.

    Colvin follows Elrae into his private chamber. He has a comfortable bed heaped with quilts and pillows, a table and two chairs, a small desk and stool, a chest of drawers, and a padlocked iron box. On the table are a few pewter dishes, a bottle (full of good brandy), and some slightly wrinkled apples. He takes a couple of small glass out of a drawer on the desk and sets them down on the table, filling them with brandy from the bottle. He then pushes one across to Elrae before taking a sip from his and sitting down.

    "So, what's this news?" he asks, "and what happened to Rannos and Gremag?"

    Elrae pretends to take a sip of the brandy, "As I alluded outside, someone from within your organization, sold my cousin and his partner out in Hommlet. The council sent adventurers to snoop around the shop and some hero by the name of Elrae and his band of do-gooders beat my dear cousin Rannos and Gremeg to an inch of their lives. These are the same adventures who burned down the moathouse and chased the Spider-Queen priest Lareth out from that lucrative operation. Rannos and Gremeg are to be dangled from the hemp in Verbobonc in less than a fortnight. In the dead of night I was able to visit my cousin in the dark dungeon of Hommlet. He told me everything, and that it was of utmost importance that I seek out Colvin and let him know that the trading post has been compromised and his sergeant is a spy for the Viscount."

    "Well, can't say I'm surprised," he says, taking another drink. "That bastard Lareth was getting too bold for his own good. We've been quiet here, careful. No raiding but what old Tellub does on the river. Still, even he's being more...subtle than normal."

    "Too bad about the traders," he says, running his finger around the lip of his glass idly, though his piercing eyes never break from Elrae's. "Took a lot to get a spy in town, and even more to spy on Lareth."

    He finishes his drink and leans back in his chair. "So, they tuning Gremag over to the assassin's guild in Verbobonc? They'd love to get him back after pulling that job against his own guild."

    "That I don't know, it's up to the Viscount to decide their fate. Last I saw, the two of them were taken off by the Mounted Borderers." Elrae stares back at Colvin with a sly look in his eyes. "So you've said that business has slowed down. Staying on the down low. Why's that?"

    "Don't want to attract too much attention," he says, pouring another drink. Seeing you aren't drinking, he gets up and takes the bottle. "If the brandy is not to your liking, I have some fine elven wine from Celene."

    "Ooohhh that sounds nice. Brandy gives me heartburn."

    Colvin comes back with some wine, and pours a new glass for Elrae, taking Elrae's glass and drinking from it. "So," he asks, tapping his fingers on teh table. "what do we do with you?"

    "My this sure is fine wine. Let's toast to our endeavors for may they be profitable." Elrae pretends to drink, while Colvin is already on his third beverage.

    "I don't know," he replies. "You still haven't answered my question."

    Elrae sips the wine but doesn't swallow "Oh what you plan on doing with me? Why haven't you thought what we are going to do with you? Ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!" Elrae laughs so hard he spills the wine out of the cup. "Seriously you are going to let me and my companions walk right out of here. We can set up shop back in Hommlet and pick up where my cousin left off. Of course I expect a bigger cut say 25%. There's more danger now that that pesky hero Elrae is around."

    "And if I don't?" he replies.

    "That's too bad," says Elrae. "Why, we'll have to kill you."

    Colvin stands up, drawing his sword. He starts to talk, when Derry stabs him in the groin, his invisibility ending. He doubles over, and Elrae casts magic missiles into his face. He yells as he is kicked in the head by Berenn, who also appears.

    [The Derry player remembered that Gremag was from Dyvers, NOT from Verbobonc. Thus, he knew that Colvin had led Elrae into a trap, to catch him in a lie. He planned to strike at the first opportunity. Colvin also knew that Elrae was lying, so he drank a potion of Speed when he got up to get the wine. That's how he was so fast.]

    In the other room, the yell from Colvin startles the rest of the brigands. Banshee, casts a readied sleep spell which drops a handful of the brigands. Hung Lo Swings steps towards a brigand archer on his right. With his Dragon Whisker Fork he catches the archer's bow, while he leaps up, kicking another footman in the face knocking him out!

    The bully guard shrugs free of the other two, and steps forward, only to have his head suddenly severed from his body by a swing from Gotrek. Blood sprays forth, and the head flies into Hepla's arms. She laughes and tosses it on the table and begins to cast a spell when she is stabbed in the back by the brigand guarding the door! [8] Two more move up and attack her from the front, hitting her once with a short sword [5]. The courier goes runs away and is felled by a blow from Gotrek's axe.

    Alaric backs off, as the remaining brigands form up. One rushes passed Banshee, and heads up the stairs. Nobody notices that Gotrek has one hand on a small pouch of Dust of Disappearance.

    Derry will do his best to try and keep Colvin between him and Elrae during the fight. He also says, "Don't make me burn you like I did Lareth."

    "You did us a favor then," answers Colvin through clenched teeth. He is backed into the corner, with Derry and Berenn boxing him in and Elrae standing by the closed door.

    The fight in the large room quickly devolves into a swirling maelstrom. Gotrek uses the dust to go invisible, and the brigands all freeze as the nearest one to him suddenly is chopped in half at the belly. Hepla is lying on the ground, bleeding, and Banshee casts another sleep centered behind her, taking out the brigands there. This causes some to finally notice her behind the barrels, and they charge.

    In the other room, Colvin begins to fight with Derry and Berenn, and they quickly realize that he is a master swordsman as he hits them both. Elrae draws Maerthorlear, but has no way to advance. Instead he mocks Colvin. "I gave you a chance," he says. "Now, you must die."

    Berenn takes a few steps back and says a quick prayer [casts aid upon himself]. As he does so, Elrae fires another pair of screaming magic missiles, which streak into Colvin's chest [9], driving him back against the wall. Colvin strides forward and slashes Derry with his longsword [11] while he shield bashes Berenn [3] knocking him backwards. Derry lunges forward again, but his strike is easily parried, while Colvin misses with a quick repost and another shield bash.

    Meanwhile, in the main room Banshee dances away from the scoundrel’s blades, while weaving another sleep spell over them. Their eyes roll back in their heads, and they fall across the barrels, behind which she is standing.

    A leg sweep by Hung Lo takes out a sword-wielding brigand, who slams the back of his head against the stone floor and is knocked out. He smoothly follows his move with a wicked uppercut with his palm to the chin of the brigand archer next to him, snapping his head back and sending him flying backwards. When he hits the ground, he doesn’t move.

    Hung Lo is then quickly flanked by two more men, making a total of four who have him neatly surrounded. All are armed with short swords, and they attack him in a flurry of stabs and swings, which he deftly avoids. He smiles at them, knowing he has them right where he wants them!

    Meanwhile, Gotrek steps to the side as Alaric blindly swings his morning star wildly through the area where he was just standing. He follows his sidestep with an arcing blow, right onto the stop of Alaric’s head, which splits open like a ripe melon. [3x dam crit which kills him instantly!] Blood and brains fly everywhere, and Gotrek must grunt to pull his bloody weapon free. For a moment, his position is evident as his axe is nearly stuck in the gory mess. Quickly, Gotrek yanks his axe free and prepares to kill more foes who; if they could see his wild grin, would likely flee in terror!

    One of the brigands decides he's had enough and runs to the main door, throwing it open, but he is knocked backwards by a sharp kick in the midsection. Striding into the room is Thorgrim. “Sorry I’m late, boys,” he says as he buries his pick in the prone mans chest. “Had a hell of a time catching up!”

    As Thorgrim enters the room, the plate armored lieutenant fires his crossbow across the room at Banshee, hitting her [4]. She swears as her spell, another sleep, is disrupted mere seconds before its completion! “ Get the wizard,” cries the lieutenant, as he throws his crossbow down and draws his sword.

    Hung Lo strikes with a Fanged Punch, knocking out one opponent, then switches quickly to the Dance of the Deadly Dragon, landing a spinning kick to the head of one of the ones behind him. The poor guy’s head snaps back and he is flung against the pony wall, also knocked out. “Down to two,” say Hung Lo grimly.

    One of the men attacks Hung Lo, finally nicking him with a short sword [1], while the other disengages to deal with Thorgrim.

    One of last guards scrambles over the pony wall to get out, only to have his way blocked by Thorgrim. The other charges across the room at Banshee, but misses when he reaches her. Of the two crossbowmen, one fires a bolt across the room at Banshee, but it misses, thunking into one of the barrels behind which she is standing. The other is reloading.

    Finally, Gotrek moves up towards the stern lieutenant. As he’s pulling out his sword, Gotrek hits him in chest [15]. The man stumbles backwards, raising his sword when he’s hit again [15]. He falls backwards, against the tower wall, stunned by the ferocious blows, but still not down.

    Inside Colvin’s quarters:

    Derry stabs at Colvin again, but his blade is deftly avoided by the unnaturally quick man [he drank a potion of speed].

    He stabs back with his sword, hitting Derry again [8], and the Halfling slumps to the floor unconscious. He takes a step forward, and shield bashes Elrae, missing badly as he tangles his shield on Elrae’s cloak [fumble-he can’t use shield next round either!]. Seeing his opening, Elrae stabs with his own longsword, this time getting past Colvin’s useless shield and hitting him hard in the belly [8].

    Reeling from the blows, Colvin doesn’t see Berenn’s swing, which splits right into his knee [12]. He screams in pain as his destroyed knee gives way, and the man falls hard to the floor. [Berenn got a good critical--knee split and no movement!] From the floor, he stabs up at Berenn, hitting himself [4] [another fumble: hit self for 1/2 damage! Man, tough round for Colvin!]

    Berenn pulls Derry back, healing him with the blessings of St. Cuthbert[7]. While he doesn't cure all his wounds, he can see the blood stop, and Derry opens his eyes again. Colvin drops his tangled shield, and whips open his door, slamming it into Elrae who falls back against the wall. Colvin crawls out into the main room where he suddenly stops, stunned by the carnage before him.

    The lieutenant drops his sword and throw up his hands, only to have one lopped from his arm by a sweep of Gotrek's invisible axe. He falls the ground, as the two crossbowmen drop their weapons to surrender. Banshee makes her way over to Hepla to check her wounds. She finds the young witch barely clinging to life, and bandages her wounds.

    Meanwhile, Hung Lo whips his Dragon Whisker Fork around, catching his last foe's weapon. He then leaps over him, twisting and landing behind him, and attacks from behind, missing. The guy fights to get his weapon free and turns again towards Hung Lo.
    As Thorgrim kills the guards in front of him, the one fighting Hung Lo also surrenders. Hung Lo grabs him by the head, and twists suddenly, snapping his neck.

    Elrae sheaths Maethorlaer and grabs his crossbow, as Berenn heads out after Colvin. Colvin attempts to drag himself across the room, but Gotrek, still invisible, leaps upon his back and slams the butt of his axe handle into the back of his head, knocking him out.

    The party took quite a beating, but they won through, capturing two crossbowmen and the brigand leader, Colvin. The brigands never had a chance to spring their big trap. The party actually discovered the trap themselves, with Gotrek using engineering proficiency to figure out how it works, what's safe, etc. They decide that this is a good place to hole up, considering how nasty that trap seems. After investigating the rest of the place and looting it, they settle down to heal their wounds and interrogate their prisoners.

    While they investigate the place, Hepla moves among the fallen, finishing them off with her bone dagger and collecting more eyes. Nobody notices as everyone is off searching the place, and when they come back, they find Hepla has killed all the wounded and sleeping brigands and taken their eyes.

    "Jordan REALLY wouldn't have liked that," says Elrae.

    "Nor do it," says Berenn, striding up to Hepla. He takes the bag of eyes from her, drops them all on the floor, and steps on them. He then shoves the bag back into her hands. "This stops now, or by the Gods you will leave this group, one way or another.

    When the party stays out of it, most not really even wanting to match her gaze, Hepla sees that she is on her own here. She looks especially downcast, as she notices that they seem repulsed by her. She realizes that her witchy ways just aren't understood by these people, but she does not want to leave. She looks back up at Berenn and nods, but doesn't say anything.

    Thorgrim breaks the awkward moment when he walks over to one of the fallen brigands, not quite in view of the crossbowmen. "This one's still alive," he says. "So, you wanna join us?" he asks the corpse. "No?" he continues, "Fine by me." He then slams his pike into the man's chest. Berenn is about to storm over to him, but a very sly wink from Thorgrim makes him stop.

    Thorgrim then repeats this with another body, just out of the crossbowmen's view. He then approaches the crossbowmen. "So," he says, laying his pike over his shoulders. "You two want a job?"

    They both absolutely jump at the opportunity, swearing by a half-dozen Gods their obedience to Thorgrim. Thorgrim nods, "Good." Nodding towards their fallen weapons, he orders them sternly, "Grab yer stuff ya lugs. Y're workin' fer me now!"

    As they fumble to gather up their weapons, Elrae walks over to Thorgrim. "Thorgrim, I just couldn't picture you as a shopkeeper," says Elrae. "It is great to have you back."

    "No laddie, nor I," he replies. "As such, I made a deal with Mar (the teamster) and Melubb (banker)."

    He watches the crossbowmen as they gather their gear, stripping the bodies of the bandits for better arms and armor, as he continues. "Mellub will see to the finances of the store, while I gave Mar a contract to haul all goods for us. His son Jost will run the store for us for a 10% of the profit."

    While the crossbowmen don't really have any useful info, they are able to question Colvin when he wakes up. They learn that Colvin is working for an elf assassin named Smigmal Redhand. Smigmal wears leather armor, and wields a short sword. She is thoroughly evil and depraved. She hates humans and loves to make them suffer. Though Colvin and his men have been taking orders from her, they fear her greatly. They have never seen her come and go, though she clearly uses the tunnel. They cannot summon her; she comes to them when they are needed. She meets him in his quarters, through a secret tunnel. It's accessed under a loose flagstone in the back of the room which the party had missed. Colvin's been forbidden to use the tunnel, so he doesn't know where she's located, but it must be down that direction. In mean time, they generally pursue their standing orders, sending out patrols to waylay travelers and caravans. He has never seen anyone else with her, nor has she ever seemed to report to anyone else. She does have a strange interest in bloodstones, always taking any that were found.

    Meanwhile, Derry and Berenn scout out the tunnel and finds that it goes a long way, eventually coming out in a ruined farmhouse tucked back in the woods. When they return, they question Colvin further, especially about the secret tunnel, but he continues to claim that he doesn't know anything. He has seen many men and humanoids come and go to the temple over the last year or so, but has never been inside. He and his men have spent most of their time robbing caravans. The last few months they were sent to search various places in the surrounding area, old temple outposts, towers, etc., all ruined. About three weeks ago, they discovered an iron box which they were unable to open. They gave it to Smigmal, and haven't heard from her since. As for the box, it did have a lock, but nobody could pick it. They gave it to Smigmal, and that was the last they saw of it and her. That was three weeks ago.

    "Do you have any other dealings with the temple?" asks Derry.

    "No," answers Colvin curtly. "Nobody comes around here except those who belong here."

    "Good," says the halfing, who promptly stabs the man in the heart.

    Berenn gives him a hard look, but the rest of the party agrees that Colvin was too dangerous to leave alive. They then lock the place up best they can and settle down to rest and recover. It's dark, and they wish to wait for morning before exploring the temple itself. The rest through the night, and when the sun rises they prepare to move on.

    [This adventure is hard to summarize as it's so big. I don't like just giving quick and colorless summaries, so I try include some of the role-playing. I'll attempt to only go into details of the big, more important, fights too. Unfortunately, there are certain things that happened in PMs and such, so they get left out. Like Derry getting ready to stab Colvin in the groin. I actually forgot about that until I read about it again. Incidentally, there is also a long joke going on about who the real battlerager is, Gotrek or Derry. Certainly, they both seem to get the party into one fight after another! Anyway, hopefully, I strike a decent balance between summarizing and giving full accounts of role-playing and combats, and I hope you guys enjoy it.]
    Master Greytalker

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    Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:19 am  
    The Temple


    Cast of Characters:
    Banshee: Dark elf Bladesinger/Song Mage
    Berenn: Half-elf Priest of St. Cuthbert/Ranger
    Derry: Halfling fighter/thief
    Elrae: Human Bard
    Gotrek: Dwarven Battlerager
    Hepla: Human Mage (kind of a witch)
    Hung Lo: Human Monk
    Thorgrim: Dwarven Cleric/Fighter
    2 crossbowmen (ex-brigands)


    Careful inspection of the structure, including a trek around its exterior, reveals the following.

    The oddly peaked and gabled roof seems to set the viewer's teeth on edge. The gruesome visages glaring from the walls are everywhere—as projecting ornaments, as supports, in bas-relief, etc.

    The place is huge. It extends over 450 feet north and south, and is nearly 450 feet across at its widest. The walls rise about 30 feet, supported by arched buttresses and many pilasters. The roof peak is about 20 feet higher than the walls, making the whole edifice no less than 50 feet tall. Only three doors are visible, all at the south end of the Temple. Large double-doors at the front, and two smaller doors, one to each of the two wings. The narrow windows appear to be barred.

    The bronze doors of the entry (23 ' high, 20' wide) are held fast by huge iron chains, and all cracks are sealed with soft iron. Graven upon these massive valves are runes. You note that the writing glows and seems to burn with silvery radiance, making your eyes teary.

    Those of you not examining the main entry have noted that the vile stained glass windows of the place are intact. The smaller bronze-wood doors around the corners to the east and west are heavy, think, and also locked. The windows are high and too narrow to permit passage to a man in armor. Each is barred and spiked with bronze.

    When you approach the front doors, everyone feels powerful magic emanating from the silvery runes. Hepla and Berenn recognize it as some kind of antipathy magic. Nobody except Gotrek and Thorgrim can even approach within 10 feet of those doors. Those affected by the antipathy cannot even bear to look upon the silvery runes.

    Hepla steps back a couple feet casts READ MAGIC and tries to make out the words and the type of magic. You already could tell it is some kind of antipathy spell, and there is strong emanations of both priestly and wizardly magic. You cast Read Magic, but find you still cannot even look at the words.

    Thorgrim looks from the Hepla then back to the doors. "There is some kind of powerful binding magic here," he says, touching the chains. "Very powerful."

    Gotrek goes to hit the chains with his axe, but Thorgrim stops him. "I do nay think that wise, lad." Looking at the doors, he shakes his head, "We do nay know what be contained by such magics. This time we show prudence."

    The party decides to leave the sealed doors, and try to enter through the smaller side doors. Derry makes short work of the lock on the right hand door, but finds the door is also barred on the inside. Looking up at one of the windows, he thinks he can squeeze through it as the bars aren't small enough to keep out a halfling.

    Derry takes off his armor, folds up his nice clothes neatly, then crawls up to the window above. He slips through the bars, barely, and enters the building. A few minutes later you hear the sound of a bar sliding, and then Derry pulls the door open with a smile.

    The floor of this area is reddish brown slate-like stone squares, each about 2 feet square. The walls are plastered and painted with scenes befitting the nature of the Temple— disgusting acts, killing, torture, enslavement, robbery, thievery, and unspeakable things. The creeds of the worshippers here are all too evident. Evil is flaunted and lionized. Dim light filters through the stained glass windows, casting revolting colors upon the greenish stones of the floor to the north.

    In that direction you can see the nave of the Temple. The pillars to either hand are of a pinkish mineral, shot through with worm-colored veins. Their arches lead to an unremarkable pair of lesser side aisles. The columns supporting the archways, as well as the arches themselves, are worked in bas relief. As with the frescoes in the entryway, the scenes here are ineffable, vile, filthy. It is probable that this area was reserved for the lowliest of worshippers. The area beyond is better lit and more open, though it also has more of the nauseating pinkish pillars supporting the roof high overhead.

    You proceed carefully to the north, into the central area of the temple. The pillars here are white marble, veined with ugly red. There is an altar block of pinkish white marble, roughly oval and something over 7 feet long by 5 feet wide. Its top has a hollowed out portion resembling a human form, with legs apart and arms away from the body. This depression is stained a darker color than the rest. Just north of the altar is a circular, marble-lined pit—a well of sorts—20 feet in diameter. Shards of broken crystal vessels lie about the well, near the altar, and scattered about the floor. A crystal knife with a broken blade lies atop the stone block. Careful examination of the well reveals a one-foot wide ledge beginning 15 feet down from the mouth of the shaft. It circles the northern face of the well, leading to narrow, steep steps which spiral down clockwise from the east. The shaft is very deep, disappearing into darkness.

    To the east is a large transept, its thick stone columns a deep green, with blood-red striations. The paving blocks are mossy green, with a circular dais-like area about 20 feet in diameter in the center part of the wing. To the west is another large transept; its supporting pillars are sandstone, resting on a red slate floor. Bits of broken pottery and sharp bits of rock cover the floor here, making walking about a risky business. The stump of a granite monolith, and chunks of brownish-red rock around its base, indicate that the altar was violently assaulted and destroyed. A few links of bronze chain, a twisted manacle, and a bronze-wood maul with a snapped haft add to the impression that the enemies of the Temple who did this must have found the altar very hateful indeed. There is a small door at the far end of each transept, as well as a small door along the west wall.

    Further to the north, a flight of steps, 20 feet wide and each step broad and tall, delves down. The stone is a dull gray, but flecks of color—white, blue, red, green, and black — dot its surface. Further to the north of the staircase is a stone railing, with supports of white, brown, and green stone alternating; its upper portion is cinnebar. The floor beyond is paved with three-foot squares of highly polished red granite. The square columns of some type of yellowish stone are carved in bas relief, and painted to show scenes of fire and suffering with demonic creatures leering on.

    The dais is two-tiered; each rises about 18 inches, the inner being 14 feet in diameter, thus forming a three feet wide step along the rim of the lower tier. The lower disc is greenish black stone; the upper, blackish green. The center of this altar is a depression about eight feet across, filled with scummed-over black liquid. Several pieces of smashed shells are scattered around the area, along with a broken bronze knife. There is an ornate door on the back wall of the dais section.

    Thorgrim picks up an old candleabra and swishes it around the pool in the east transept. It seems to just be an inky water. He hits something with the candleabra, and drags it over to the side before hooking it and pooling it up. The black water pours off a very delicate skeleton, seemingly of a child. Thorgrim lets the candleabra go, dropping it and the skeleton back into the basin. "Tis nay right, this place," he says, stepping back from the basin.

    The party examines the side rooms, finding strange colored cloaks which Elrae says they should take. Though they still have the cloaks with the flaming eye, they guess these must be cloaks of the various temples. Beyond the two rooms, they also finds stairs winding down into the darkness.

    "I'm not wearing those filthy things," says Derry.

    Hepla uses some clean Cantrips, magically removing the various stains. "There," she says, "good as new."

    Isilme casts Detect Magic. You sense no magic except around the front doors; there magic radiates at an incredible level. Even though you cannot see the writings on the outside of the doorway, the doors radiate magic so strongly that you can barely look at them for longer than a moment. Though you haven't examined the area to the north, beyond the grand stairway going down, strong magic radiates from the bottom of the stairs as well as from the area beyond them where there is a large dais with a throne that is faintly visible.

    Beyond these columns is another altar. A huge bronze vessel chased with copper stands here. Its six legs hold it slightly more than a foot above the floorstones. The basin-like pot is eight feet in diameter. Its bottom is filled with old charcoal, bits of blackened bone, and undefinable lumps. A piece of chain still hangs over this altar, and evidently others similar once also hung there, but their bronze links were broken, and short pieces lie on the floor around the area. The altar's rim is dented and cut, as if struck by many hard blows.

    Just beyond the altar is a large dais. The dais extends south into the Temple, forming a circular area. The floor, steps, and walls are black basalt, highly polished and gleaming. Four steps lead to the upper platform, and upon it is a great throne of purplish basalt, with leering demon faces and carved grinning skulls. Above the throne, the following words in the common tongue are chiseled into the curving wall:

    The flagstones upon which the throne sets are ten-foot squares of granite, set in a mosaic pattern: [see image].

    Banshee is just able to see that it is the throne itself which radiates magic before her spell ends. She moves up to the throne, conducting a thorough search and finding nothing. Gotrek paces anxiously near the grand stairs, then moves down them while the rest of the party finishes their search. He doesn't go far before coming across another pair of doors like those outside. Though his instinct is to smash them, he remembers Thorgrim's warning. He stands for a moment, then shrugs and heads back up to the main level.

    When he returns he finds Isilme, Derry, Hepla, and Elrae are messing with the throne. Berenn seems quite upset, and you barely hear him. " Skulls and Demons on the throne and you actually want to try to activate it?"

    "I've seen worse," says Isilme, thinking back to Erelhei-Cinlu.

    They try various combinations of robes, seeing if there's a pattern. "If there is," says Thorgrim, "I doubt we really want to find it." After a bit, the party gives up and decides to descend the smaller stairs.

    "Just as well," mutters Thorgrim.

    The party decides upon their order. Derry will scout ahead, with Thorgrim and Gotrek following about 50' behind him. The two crossbowmen follow behind them, followed by Elrae and Hepla. Berenn and Hung Lo follow them, while Isilme takes up the rear. She casts Invisibility which, coupled with her magic amulet will make her undetectable. She stays about 50' behind the party. She feels she should be the scout, that the party doesn't respect her innate drow abilities, especially in the dark. Plus, she figures that if Derry finds trouble, he's more likely to rush into it like the battlerager, rather than use his head. She sighs, thinking that at least from the rear she can escape more easily, if necessary.

    With that, the party descend into the lower levels.....
    Master Greytalker

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    Sun Feb 24, 2013 7:22 am  
    The Temple Dungeons (Level One-1)

    CAMPAIGN JOURNAL - The Temple Dungeons (Level One-1)

    Cast of Characters:
    Banshee: Dark elf Bladesinger/Song Mage
    Berenn: Half-elf Priest of St. Cuthbert/Ranger
    Derry: Halfling fighter/thief
    Elrae: Human Bard
    Gotrek: Dwarven Battlerager
    Hepla: Human Mage (kind of a witch)
    Hung Lo: Human monk
    Thorgrim: Dwarven Cleric/Fighter
    Fric and Frac: 2 crossbowmen (ex-brigands)

    Map of the 1st level. There are a lot of temple maps online, so I thought I'd link to one.

    They take the right stairs, which wind down and turn to the right, ending in a corridor. Derry checks them carefully for traps, finding none. They do seem to have had quite a bit of traffic though. He continues on carefully.

    [Unless noted otherwise, corridors are of dressed stone blocks or worked from the natural limestone or granite. Walls and floors are smooth and polished wherever possible. The 10' wide corridors have gothic arches, peaking at about 17' height. The 20' and 30' passages and spaces have roman arches, about 30' tall. Unless otherwise described, doors are of oak, hornwood, or bronzewood. Each is about three inches thick, bound with bronze, and set with a large ring on each side. Cressets and sconces are along the walls, and unlit torches rest in most of the latter. In 10' wide corridors, sconces are at 10' intervals. Cressets in wider passages are at 30' intervals. Both are staggered left, right, left, right (etc.), and unlit unless specified.]

    Those without infravision cannot see anything unless you decide to make light. That is Hepla, Elrae, and the two crossbowmen. Elrae lights a torch, and Hepla carries it.

    You come out into a corridor which runs straight ahead 30' to a 4-way intersection. From there the corridor to the north as well as the one continuing west go out of sight, while to the south it goes 10' and then makes a T with a passage going east and west. You go down to the T, and there the corridors goes east and west 40' before opening into a pair of chambers.

    You head down to the west chamber [I'll add numbers, for everyone to follow: room 101]. This plain chamber is filled with wooden racks for various spears, pole arms, and smaller weapons. The walls have many pegs indicating where other weapons and shields once hung. All that remains now are broken weapons, sundered shields, and ruined coats of mail. Several skeletons, both human and gnoll, lie scattered here and there, as well as odd skulls and bones. Cobwebs hang in places; if any creatures have been here, visits are not frequent.

    Elrae smashes the skeletons into a fine powder. "You don't want these guys raising up and stabbing you in the back."

    Hepla feels her back, where the guard in the tower stabbed her, but says nothing. She gathers some powdered gnoll bone, careful not to get any human bone in it. "Purity is important." Is all she says.

    While she is doing that, the others go down the east corridor, you find another chamber pretty much like the first. The only difference is you find an old quiver with a dozen good arrows in it. Finding nothing of interest, they retrace their steps back to the 4-way intersection. You head north for a bit and hit another 4-way intersection. To the north the passage continues, with a slight bend. To the west there's another intersection. To the east is a large chamber. You can see some columns.

    Derry heads off to the east, checking out the chamber. This 70 'x 30' chamber appears deserted. It has probably served as a privy, for the place has a foul fecal odor and filth is scattered here and there on the floor. The columns which support the ceiling 40' overhead are thick, four or five feet in diameter. A few skulls and bones lie around the pillar bases. There is a door in the north wall as well as one to the right, on the west wall. As he enters, Derry sees a pressure plate on the floor, just inside the room. Looking around, he sees two more, off to either side. He warns the party, adding that he doesn't know what they do, nor does there seem any way to disarm them as far as he can tell.

    Derry says, "we could throw a heavy weight on them to spring it, thus disarming it, if you wanted."

    "It might also alert whomever is here of our presence. I'm against triggering it." Hepla suggests.

    While they discuss what to do, Derry finds a worn strip of flooring in the threashold and above the bottom of what seems to be a raised portcullis. Apparently it will drop and seal off the room, probably when the pressure plate is tripped.

    "Hold on," says Thorgrim, and he turns and runs back down the hallway. About a minute later he returns with a couple of poles from the old armory rooms. He jams them under the portcullis. "That should hold it up," he says.

    Hepla goes to enter the room now, but Banshee snags her by the back of her ridiculously large robe and holds her back for a moment. "Let someone else check it out," she says, wondering how these humans live even their own short lives.

    Berenn will enter the chamber, avoiding the pressure plates and staying to the shadows. With his elven cloak and boots, he is nearly undetectable. He will also do his best to stay along the walls and will start by going to the right. He checks out the room, then returns to the hallway. There's nothing noteworthy in the room, except some of the bones appear to have been gnawed upon. He reports back to the party.

    "Whatever it is, it ain't stupid," says Thorgrim, looking at the blocked portcullis. "Suren I don't like leaving enemies behind me." Looking at Gotrek he smiles grimly. "Shall we?"

    Derry makes his way to the north door, listening before it. He hears indistinct growling sounds inside. Hung Lo will open the door and stand behind it, waiting for what happens. Gotrek and Thorgrim stand before the door, with Elrae certainly back by a column with his crossbow ready, flanked by the other two crossbowmen. Hepla stands by Banshee, at least she hopes she does as she can't see her! Berenn and Derry will stand to either side and a bit behind Gotrek and Thorgrim. When they are in place, Hung Lo pulls the door open.

    This place is another room abandoned to new tenants, four ghouls growling over a body. The noisome place is littered with rags and bones. A broken chest stands in the northwest corner. A door to the west is in the west wall near the south corner. They look up at the opening door, then rise ready to attack.

    Berenn holds his holy symbol before him, and the ghouls immediately begin to hiss, taking swipes at the air in his direction as they back out of site away from his field of vision.

    Berenn holds his holy symbol before him, and the ghouls immediately begin to hiss, taking swipes at the air in his direction as they back out of site away from his field of vision.

    Thorgrim glances at Gotrek, "Ghouls, I hate ghouls. Why'd it have to be ghouls."

    "The elves should be able to handle them," says Elrae. He will attempt a kill shot and go for the brains if he get's a chance. He addresses the two henchmen, "Fric and Frac, fire at those ghouls when you get a clear shot, just don't let them bite you."

    Gotrek laughs, and charges forward. "Ghouls. PAH!"

    Thorgrim sighs and follows him. They charge in and attack the two nearest ghouls, killing them with their first blows. [The players also asked if I doubled the ghouls like I did in the moathouse. "Doubled?" I responded. "I tripled them!" ]

    Berenn followed them in, and the three fight the ghouls. They kill them in short order.
    Suddenly a scream erupts from Fric and everyone in the large chamber turns to see the wall where he had been standing has opened, and two ghouls emerged through a secret door. One has sunk its wicked teeth into Fric's neck and ripped out a chunk of skin, sending blood spurting out from his severed artery. It lets the dead man slip to the floor as the two see the rest of the party in the middle of the chamber.

    "This is for Fric," Elrae shoots at the sneaky ghoul. He misses.

    Hung Lo steps out and prepares to defend against the ghouls. Derry lets out a battle cry and charges. He gets close to them and wretches at the ungodly stench! He then misses as the GHAST bites him [6]. The other Ghast charges at Hung Lo, who attempts a Deadly Desolation Throw but fails. The ghast claws him [5] as he attempts to grab him for a throw, and Hung Lo is paralyzed. He is also bitten [2].

    "Go!" yells Gotrek, fighting the last ghoul. "I've got this."

    Thorgrim rushes outside to help as Gotrek finishes off the last ghoul. At the same time the southern door opens in the main chamber. Six more ghouls enter the room. Berenn attempts to hold off these evil creatures, but fails. Elrae and Frac reload, while Isilme moves out of the way, wondering what she can do with song magic against these things.

    Berenn draws his long sword and attacks the nearest ghoul. [OOC: By my count that is 6 ghouls and 2 ghasts ... good lord!]

    Elrae fires a pair of magic missiles into the Ghast attacking Derry, hitting it for [8].

    Banshee decides she cannot sit back, and she attacks the closer ghast even though she will become visible. She hits it [6], but she is clawed by the ghast in return (4). She grins, knowing the paralysis will not affect her, but suddenly she feels a chill spread through her. Her grin quickly turns to a grimace as she fights against the strange sensation and then is fully paralyzed herself.

    The other ghast bites Derry again [6], who then tumbles back out of the way, and drinks a swig of his potion of invisibility, disappearing.

    Berenn rushes over and grabs Banshee, pulling her back out of the way and thrusting his magic longsword, taken from the brigand leader Colvin, into the ghast’s belly [6]. Thorgrim comes back out into the room, and seeing the danger he immediately charges forward, yelling a dwarven battle-cry. He hits the ghast attacking Berenn slamming it to the ground with his pick (14). It’s dead, well, deader I guess.

    Gotrek kills the last ghoul fighting him, and proceeds into the ghast’s room. Seeing no other foes, he continues through the room and emerges through the secret door, behind the ghast fighting Derry.

    Hepla backs around a pillar, casting Grease in the way of the 6 ghouls attacking from the south. They hit the area, and all but 1 slip and fall in a tumble of slobbering undead.

    The remaining ghoul continues forward from the south, going after Frac who fires his crossbow at it but misses. The ghoul hits him with two claws (3) and (2), he is paralyzed, and then bites him (4). Frac goes down in heap with the ghoul atop him, clawing and gnawing him.

    [so much for Fric and Frac! There is one ghast left, just inside from where the secret door was, with Gotrek coming up behind it. Gotrek can't help himself, and he starts to sing! 5 ghouls slipped on Hepla’s greased floor, and the other killed Frac. Thorgrim and Berenn just killed the other ghast. Derry’s invisible. Elrae and Hepla are behind a couple of columns. Banshee and Hung Lo are paralyzed. Gotrek is the only one not affected by the ghast stench.]

    Elrae takes out Maethorlaer, and begins to sing.

    Thorgrim steps out in front of the ghouls on the ground, and attempts to turn them, but fails. Berenn steps up beside him and succeeds, making all of them back off, slipping and sliding to the south.

    Gotrek attacks the ghast, hitting it [15]. The ghast whirls and attacks back, flailing futilely against the dwarf’s armor. Gotrek then hits it with another blow, felling it!

    The other ghoul continues to eat Frac.

    Hepla moves back, away from danger, and checks on Hung Lo and Banshee. They both seem ok, just paralyzed with fear. Berenn keeps the other ghouls back, but Gotrek charges down the room at them. He hits the greased area but somehow barrels through it and into the cowed ghouls. He kills one, and has two of them attack him, missing. He then kills another. Thorgrim moves over to Frac, and attacks the ghoul there, killing it.

    Elrae moves forward, standing beside Berenn who slowly moves forward, driving the other ghouls back through the southern door from which they had entered.

    He stays back as Gotrek finishes off the ghoul, then turns, snarling as much as the ghouls, and heads off after the last two.

    "Gotrek wait!" yells Elrae, but the battlerager doesn't hear, or doesn't want to hear. He charges after the ghouls and disappears into the southern room.

    Soon, Gotrek emerges from the room, covered in ghoul gore. "And I thought they smelled bad, on the outside!"

    You find the mechanism to reset the portcullis trap in the ghast room, so Thorgrim knocks the blocks out and drops the thing down, closing the rooms off. He then drags the ghouls and ghasts into the southern room, as well as Fric and Frac, and spikes the door shut. "No sense taking a chance."

    After Berenn says a prayer for Fric and Frac, he runs his sword through their brains. "No sense taking chances," he says. [My players have watched too many zombie movies!]

    With all the undead slain, they investigate the rooms, collecting the scattered loot. The body the ghouls were gnawing turns out to be an elf, recently slain. He is wearing elfin chain mail, and Banshee takes it. Banshee takes the remains and softly sings an elvish lament. Everyone is surprised at the beauty of Banshee's voice, though it has such a haunting side to it. When she is done, she promises to return the elf to the forest. The party rests a bit, safe behind the closed portcullis, before continuing.

    [Note: I left out the harpies because they seemed out of place. I didn't add ghouls this time, having learned my lesson in the moathouse crypts. Their paralysis makes them simply too deadly to add too many. Still, the party did well, though they lost Fric and Frac.]
    Master Greytalker

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    Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:15 pm  

    CAMPAIGN JOURNAL - The Temple Dungeons (Level One-2)

    Cast of Characters:
    Banshee: Dark elf Bladesinger/Song Mage
    Berenn: Half-elf Priest of St. Cuthbert/Ranger
    Derry: Halfling fighter/thief
    Elrae: Human Bard
    Gotrek: Dwarven Battlerager
    Hepla: Human Mage (kind of a witch)
    Hung Lo: Human monk
    Thorgrim: Dwarven Cleric/Fighter

    Map of the 1st level.
    [There are a lot of temple maps online, so I thought I'd link to one. Also, there's a fight coming up which you pretty much need to follow on a map or you'll be lost. Heck, I was lost when we did it, and I was the DM! ]

    The party continues their investigations, taking the passage straight out of this chamber. Derry sneaks down to the square chamber with the giant rats, and the party avoids it, instead going north up a short passage, with doors to either side. Derry goes to check out the right-hand door, but as the rest walk up the corridor, 4 large crossbow bolts fly at the party from the far wall. They go right over Derry's head; two hit Gotrek [9] and two hit Thorgrim [16].

    Elrae takes evasive actions, ducking back around the corner. "Who in the Nine Hells did that?"

    Derry sees a cross-arrow slit in the far wall, with nothing but darkness beyond it. He also hears commotion from beyond it and the door to the left.

    "Someone ambushed us with that trap folks!" says Derry. "I hear nose from the door to the left!" The halfling stands next to the door, ready to backstab if someone come s out of it.

    Thorgrim steps up beside the arrow slit, seeing no movement beyond it, and casts CLW on himself [7] while Gotrek just charges the door, barreling through it. As Gotrek throws the door open, he comes face to face with a huge bugbear wielding a bastard sword. Beyond him are a half-dozen gnolls armed with battle axes. One is standing in the open doorway in the south wall, calling for help!

    [Room 128] Perhaps this was once a reception room or minor council chamber. Bits of wall coverings still dangle here and there, and a once fine hardwood sideboard is centered along the north wall. Atop it are various dirty dishes, a cask of beer, and bits of stale bread and dried meat. The entire length of the west wall is lined with piles of bedding, divided into eight pallets. A small wall font still trickles a sulfurous smelling water into a stone basin in the northwest corner. A stack of wood lies by the south door, possibly for use in some nearby fireplace. A five foot wide alcove can be seen in the east wall, near the northeast corner.

    Hung Lo watches their rear, as does Banshee, invisible once again. Meanwhile, Elrae sings his lullaby and Hepla adds her own, simpler version of a sleep spell. You each cause two gnolls to fall asleep.

    “Yum,” says the bugbear. “Dwarf meat!” It swings its bastard sword at Gotrek, hitting him in the head [7].

    Gotrek swings back, hitting it in the gut [35] with a triple damage critical! He pushes into the room as the bugbear falls back in a pile of its own entrails.

    The other gnoll swings at Gotrek but misses, its axe clanging off Gotrek’s armor.

    Derry tumbles in past Gotrek, rolling over the sleeping gnolls in the corner, and slices the throat of one as he turns, looking back into the room. He sees a gnoll in a small alcove, working over a large strange-looking crossbow mounted on a tripod. The gnoll sees Derry, drops the bolts it was loading, and grabs its battleaxe.

    Berenn enters the room, and directed by Derry turns and attacks the gnoll in the alcove, but misses.

    Thorgrim follows Berenn through, and seeing the sleeping gnolls, takes a swing at the one fighting with Gotrek. He drives his pick into its skull, splitting it like a ripe melon.

    Gotrek can now see three more gnolls in the other room, coming to their kin’s aid.

    Thorgrim and Gotrek stand and await the charge of the gnolls to the south, as Berenn hits the one in the alcove, wounding it.

    Derry kills another sleeping gnoll, and moves over to the next one.

    The gnolls charge out, and Thorgrim and Gotrek each take one out with a swing of their weapons. The two remaining attack, miss, and are killed by quick by quick strikes. The one in the alcove misses Berenn, who hits it with his second attack, killing it.

    That’s it, they’re all dead except the two sleeping ones. Elrae finds a large Quadruple-crossbow, mounted on a tripod in the alcove. The quad-crossbow weighs 40 pounds, so it's not light. It is basically two extra heavy crossbows, stacked, and each fires two bolts. It takes two rounds to reload and fires at +5 "to hit" as it's very hard to avoid 4 simultaneous crossbow bolts. If you fire it without the tripod, you don't get the bonus, nor can you reload it without the tripod or setting it on the ground. There is a crate of bolts next to it. "Sweet!" he says. Other than normal loot, they find more brown cloaks with a triangle.

    You suddenly hear a door slam open back in the L-shaped room, and a deep bellow in ogre coming from it. It rushes out and attacks Gotrek, who laughs and meets the thing just inside the doorway as he starts to sing. Elrae finishes loading the crossbow, then fires it over Gotrek's head. All four bolts slam into the ogre, and Gotrek finishes it off with a blow from his axe.

    "Don't you be stealin' my fun!" he says to Elrae.

    The other door opens, and a couple of men look out into the hall, where they see the party and the dead gnolls across the way. They slam the door shut before anyone can act. Gotrek drinks a potion of speed while still singing, and then starts to bash in the door, hacking it apart with his axe. He splinters it open, just as he enters his rage.

    Thorgrim reaches out one last time before Gotrek goes berserk, healing his wounds. "Go get 'em my boy."

    Gotrek smashes the door in just as the area of the doorway ignites in flames. Everyone draws back, but Gotrek just laughs and charges beyond, oblivious to the flames licking at his clothes. [Actually, he learns here that his armor provides Endure Heat as well, so that's why the flames didn't bother him. Well, that and he's berserk!]

    The room is a 20' square, with a corridor heading out from the opposite corner. There are 4 men in the room. Two are holding crossbows, one has a flask of oil, and the other is standing behind them with a sword. Another is standing just up the hallway. They look scared.

    Everyone assumes Gotrek can handle things, and they don't want to get anywhere near the raging dwarf, so they finish looting the gnolls and ogres.

    The two crossbowmen fire at Gotrek, both missing as he charges in. He hits each one with a couple of swings, dropping them with ease. The one with the oil flask drops it, breaking the oil on the floor around him. Gotrek wades into him, the flames around him igniting the oil and causing the man to scream wildly. Gotrek barely looks at him as he passes, cutting him down with a wild swipe. Ignoring the flames, Gotrek goes after the swordsman.

    Meanwhile, Thorgrim comes back to the hallway with a large cask of beer above his head. He throws it onto the fire, largely putting it out and washing away the flaming oil from the floor. "Too bad," he says, shaking his head. "Waste a beer."

    Banshee and Derry round the corner down the hall just in time to see Thorgrim put the fire out. The party follows Gotrek into the room, but very cautiously.

    The guy in the hallway throws a javelin, missing, and turns to run away but Gotrek catches him easily and guts him. He sees another 3 guys down at the end of the hallway, snorts away the smoke coming from his burning clothes, and charges.

    The man furthest behind throws a javelin at Gotrek. Gotrek doesn't know exactly what happened, but there's a huge flash and he is blown backwards about 5 feet. The fires on him are out, but he's smoking and his hair is standing up. He knows he just took a major blow, but all he sees is red! He gets up and charges down the hallway, and before the guys at the end can run, he is among them. He chops the front two swordsmen down, and then he's on the javelin thrower.

    Gotrek roars, but can't hear himself. He is deaf from the bolt blast, though he knows it not. He continues on, roaring louder than ever(if possible), for this new affront. He looks for the wizard who cast the spell, and settles for the enemy in front of him

    Thorgrim sees a flash from down the hallway, and a bolt of lighting bounces down, off the angled wall, and smashes against the wall next to him.

    "Crap," he says and runs after Gotrek.

    Gotrek continues charging north, into a 20’ square room with 6 more men [room 130]. Two are standing with spears set to receive him, and there are two more behind an overturned table. One has a crossbow, the other a longsword. Another man is in an open archway, leading to another room to the north while the last is in an open doorway leading west.

    The crossbowman fires, missing Gotrek who charges the two spearmen. They both miss, and he takes off the head of the first man with an impossibly swift swing. The men in the doorways turn and run as Gotrek kills the other spearman with another swing. He then charges the two behind the table.

    Gotrek blows through the table, knocking over both men. The swordsman tries to hit him, but misses, while the crossbowman fumbles for his sword. Gotrek doesn’t give him time, as he takes two more quick strokes and sends each man to their ultimate rest.

    He sees the other man out the western door, running away.

    Thorgrim and Berenn race to catch up with Gotrek, entering the room as he is charging into the table. They are stunned by the carnage the enraged, hasted dwarf is leaving in his wake.

    The guard to the west opens the door by which he is standing. "They're coming!" he shouts, as he enters.

    As he tries to slam the door, he finds Gotrek already there, moving with incredible speed.

    "How..." is all he has time to say before he is cut down by the rampaging dwarf.

    This 10 'x 20' hall [room 133] is lit by two torches, and contains a bench, and a stool. The walls are plastered. Several pegs and hooks have been recently added, from the look of them, and support a brown cloak, a quiver with 9 arrows, and a hand axe. Several eye bolts are mounted horizontally along the west wall; a wire runs through them and into the north wall. Of course, Gotrek doesn't really see any of that. All he sees are the four guards stationed here. One has a short bow, his shield being set nearby ready for use if melee occurs. Each of the others has a javelin ready to hurl before closing with opponents. Each wears chain mail armor, a brown surcoat with a black triangle sewn upon it, and a shield covered in brown leather, whose boss is also a triangular metal device.

    The three throw javelins while the archer pulls a rope causing a bell to ring in the next room further north. Gotrek feels the sting of one of the javelins, but shrugs it off, charging the men. As they draw swords, he attacks them like a whirlwind, killing all three javelin throwers before they can even draw steel. The archer drops his bow and scrambles for his sword, but he is cut down as well.

    Meanwhile, way back in the other room [130], Thorgrim enters the trapezoidal room and trades blows with the warrior therein. "Go after Gotrek," he says to Berenn as he fights the man.

    Berenn moves out into the hallway, and he can see light coming from the open doorway to the right which Gotrek entered. He hears the sounds of men screaming inside. As he approaches, he sees light appearing at the end of the hallway, as two men with torches come running around the corner. The rest of the party struggles to keep up, taking time to make sure the dead are dead and Derry searches for anything useful or valuable.

    Back to the north, Gotrek continues his mad charge into the next room [room 134]. This 20' square plastered room is lit by two torches and a lantern, the latter fixed to shine upon the south door. The room has been converted into a barracks, as can be seen from the four double bunks to each side. A mantlet stands between this room and that to the north, giving solid protection to the defenders there. Several brown cloaks hang from pegs driven through the plaster into wall cracks. A jug and several cups are on the table. Eight small chests are shoved under the bunks.

    The door to the room is open, and two men take up a position in the doorway, swords drawn. There are two men with crossbows in the nw corner, only half dressed, while you can see two men behind the mantlet, wielding glaives. There are still more men beyond them, in the next room [135].

    Elrae stays back manning the quad crossbow in the original alcove and covering the party's rear with Hung Lo as support. Derry and Hepla slowly make their way following the three warriors, while Banshee follows them. She is invisible, and her presence isn't even noted by them, as they've totally lost track of her.

    [This was an extremely difficult period to follow, as the action flowed so fast. Gotrek, raging and under influence of his speed potion, was terribly effective. Thorgrim and Berenn could keep up, taking care of those the dwarf missed, while the rest of the party was left hopelessly behind. It was crazy, and not yet over!]

    Kill!! Gotrek roars, looking for more foes to slay beneath his axe.

    Gotrek charges into the two swordsmen, killing one before they can react. The other one misses, as well as the two crossbowmen. Gotrek then kills the other swordsman. From the lower half of the mantlet, two more crossbow bolt are fired by kneeling men, one of which hits Gotrek, who stumbles, a bolt sticking out from his leg.

    Berenn charges down the corridor, and kills one of the two men with a quick thrust. The other runs around the corner and to the north. Berenn hears a loud thud and a cry of pain around the corner where the guard ran away. Berenn looks around the corner and sees that the corridor only goes another 20' or so, then ends in a door. In front of the door is a large open pit, about 10' deep. Moans of pain are coming from inside the pit, and when Berenn look in, he sees the man at the bottom, impaled on spikes. Berenn just turns and walks away, as the man's life drips from him and pools up on the pit floor.

    Meanwhile, Thorgrim finishes off the warrior he is fighting, and then moves to the door to the hallway as Hepla reaches him.

    “We’ve got to help Gotrek," he says. "He’ll kill himself if he keeps this up.” Taking Hepla by the arm, he adds, “Go get the others. We can’t split up like this.”

    Hepla nods and runs back to the south, unsure if they could even stop the crazed dwarf. When she gets back to the others, she tells them to hurry to the north. Hung Lo and Derry rush back with her, while Elrae moves half as fast, lugging the quad crossbow.

    Back inside the north room, Gotrek charges the two crossbowmen in the corner. As they are attempting to reload, he hits each one, killing them both. He turns towards the mantlet as two more crossbow bolts come shooting out, but they both miss. Gotrek charges against the mantlet, somehow avoiding the two glaives, and chopping at the men behind it. He misses the guards, while the two crossbowmen fires again at him.

    Thorgrim enters the room, but stays back, out of the way.

    Gotrek pounds furiously against the mantlet. Unable to reach the two men behind it who attack with their glaives or the crossbowmen behind the slit, he starts to hack the thing apart. He takes a hit from a glaive, as he continues to chop away at the mantlet.

    "Oil," cries a voice from behind the mantlet. "Quickly!"

    Hearing the cry, Thorgrim rushes up behind Gotrek, casting Resist Fire upon him. Lucky for Thorgrim, Gotrek doesn't notice as he continues to hack away the mantlet, which is nearly broken through. Hung Lo enters the room just in time to be fired upon by the two crossbowmen, but he deflects the bolt fired at him. The other misses Thorgrim.

    A couple flasks of oil are dropped over the top of the mantle, one breaking on the floor, the other over Gotrek. They are quickly followed by a burning torch, which ignites the area. Thorgrim rolls out of the way, but Gotrek just continues to hack away at the mantlet, sundering it in the center and splashing burning oil over the rest. The men retreat back into the next room, away from the fire, though Gotrek seems to simply ignore it.

    Gotrek busts through the burning mantlet, trailing flames in his wake, and attacks the men in the next room [room 136]. Two are standing holding a large cask, and he strikes it, breaking it open. It spills oil over the floor, which immediately ignites! The men are instantly engulfed in flames which quickly spread over this entire side of the room. There are three crossbowmen against the far wall, along with two men with swords who barely made it out of the flames. A half-orc warrior stands in the back, behind whom is a man dressed in one of the brown robes you found. He is just finishing casting a spell upon himself as Gotrek emerges from the flames as well.

    Everyone else reaches the room, but the way is blocked by the burning mantlet. They stand there, trying to see Gotrek through the flames and smoke, as Derry pulls on Hepla's robe. "This time it's not my fault!"

    Derry takes out a potion of Fire Resistance, drinks it, and charges through the flames. He sees about 6 men burning to death, but gives them barely a thought as he clears the flames and reaches the other side of the room. The flames are much more intense than the fires in Lareth’s room, as Gotrek just destroyed an entire keg of oil which has spilled everywhere. Gotrek is also on fire! There is no way across the room without going directly through the flames. While Thorgrim, Berenn, and Hung Lo look on, Elrae runs up, huffing and puffing!

    "The battleragers are in there," says Berenn, pointing at the flames.

    "Battleragers?" replies Elrae, confused, then realizes Derry is missing too. "Oh," he adds, shaking his head.

    Hepla can barely see, but she can see the priest and fires a pair of magic missiles that streak through the flames and slam into his face. He swears as his next spell is disrupted.

    The crossbowmen drop their crossbows and pull out their swords, just as Hung Lo does Whirlwind Leap of the Wyverns, running and clearing the flames, landing amongst them.

    Derry slings burning oil towards the swordsman , hitting him and lightly splashing the half-orc, who retreats back behind the priest.

    Meanwhile, Gotrek steps forwards towards the swordsmen, hitting one of them and killing him as the other misses. He then follows up with another stroke, killing him as well. He takes a final swing at the priest, cutting him down. He faintly feels a dizzy sensation as he suddenly seems to be a little slower. The loss of his magic speed just makes him more angry, and if there is one thing more scary than a raging battlerager, it is a raging battlerager covered with raging fire! The half-orc turns and runs into the next room [136].

    Thorgrim and Berenn stand back from the flames, and wonder what they can further do to help. Meanwhile, Elrae moves into the doorway and sets up the crossbow.

    [There are still three men in this room with swords, facing Hung Lo who had leapt over the flames. Derry was throwing burning oil around, and forced the half-orc to retreat to the next room. In that room are the half-orc, two plate-mail armored warriors, and another priest behind them.]

    Gotrek rushes to attack the half-orc, hitting him a wicked blow with his axe and killing him. The two warriors both attack, one with a battle axe the other with a longsword, though both miss. The axe warrior then hits Gotrek, whose flames finally go out.

    Hung Lo hits one of the crossbowmen with a Fanged Punch, then a Whipping Tail Sweep knocks another to the ground where he smacks his head into the stone and knocks himself out. Derry throws more burning oil on the other man, who reaches up to his face screaming in agony and dropping his sword.

    The priest goes through the doorway to the north and slams it shut behind him.

    Meanwhile, Banshee has moved up the passage to the NE in an effort to outflank the defenders. The passage simply bends back to the south, but as she reaches the corner she finds a secret door. Turning a wall sconce opens the panel, revealing a corridor running back to the NW, a couple of doors on the right wall. [She moving along the corridor outside room 138]

    Berenn creates a bunch of water, which drops over the burning oil and puts much of the fire out, though the oil is spread throughout the rooms. Little bits of flame cling tenaciously to the surface as oil burns in various places, but the majority of the flames are extinquished, at least where the sundered mantlet was burning. (Hey, this isn't a science class!)

    [Gotrek is now facing the two plate-armed warriors in romm 136. Hung Lo and Derry are in the previous room [135], with just one wounded and blinded guy facing them. Thorgrim, Hepla, and Berenn are in the next room (134). Elrae is guarding the passageway to the south, while Banshee is off to the NE somewhere.]

    Hepla steps into the room and stabs the last guy in back, killing him and freeing Hung Lo to move up and assist Gotrek.

    Derry is way ahead of him, and rushes into the room, moving around to flank the warrior to the right. Hung Lo moves to assist Gotrek, moving to Gotrek’s right.

    Berenn rushes past the diminished flames and through the next room, taking up a position to Gotrek’s left.

    At about that time a half-dozen men appear at the end of the corridor near the open pit. Elrae hears them running, and when he looks he sees them coming around the far corner.
    He quickly turns the crossbow to aim at them and fires it, sending 4 bolts down the corridor and taking out the front two men. He shouts for aid.

    Thorgrim and turns and retreats back down to Elrae, where he sees the men at the far end of the corridor. He quickly heals himself as he prepares for their charge.

    The axeman misses Gotrek as the swordsman misses Derry. Gotrek swings at the axeman and misses, and in the fight has his axe knocked out of his hands. It flies ahead and to the left about 5’, landing behind his foes. The axeman grins and swings again, hitting Gotrek again while the swordsman swings at Hung Lo.

    Banshee follows the passage and comes out into a large north-south hallway. This corridor is sheathed in polished brown marble, veined with black. Inlaid in the floor are triangular pieces of polished yellow marble, forming a definite path leading around the corner to the north. The brown of the marble shades toward beige as it proceeds northwards, but deepens to a dark chocolate hue southward. Large bronze cressets are staggered at 10' intervals on either side of the hall; someone or something obviously keeps them fueled and burning brightly. She moves back to the south, checking the wall for a secret door which she assumes must be there.

    [ooc: Elrae and Thorgrim are in the hallway south of 133, facing about half-dozen men coming from the west. Gotrek, Berenn, Hung Lo, and Derry are facing the two warriors in 136. Hepla's in the room south of them where she just killed the last crossbowmen, and Banshee's now up in the corridor above [144], trying to find her way behind the enemy. This crazy fight just never ends!]

    Thorgrim takes up a position in front of Elrae, waiting for the men to charge. They do so, and when they reach Thorgrim he quickly kills one with a swing of his pick. The other misses him and more swarm around him. He kills another who tries to move past him to reach Elrae, and the rest decide not to attempt that again.

    Elrae reloads his crossbow.

    Berenn hits the axeman [8] who hits him back [10]. Gotrek moves over to pick up his axe, and is hit by the axeman as he does so.

    Derry stabs the swordsman [6] and Hung Lo does Dance of the Hateful Dragon and kicks him in the head with a spinning kick [11].

    Hepla then levitates the axeman, raising him up to the ceiling where he smacks against it. [1]. She can’t move him fast enough to do much damage.

    Berenn steps back, sheaths his blades, and takes out his bow.

    Derry stabs the swordsman again [3], while Hung Lo punches him in the face [9], hearing bone crunch under the blow. The man slumps back to ground as Hung kicks him in the neck, finishing him!

    Hepla smacks the guy into the ceiling again [1: I declared that the max damage she can do with levitate this way.], and he swears at her in impotent rage, as he takes out a dagger.

    Gotrek attempts to come out of his rage, and succeeds. He looks around, gives a quick salute with his axe, and falls over backwards unconscious.

    While Derry goes through the concealed door to the north, Berenn fires a few arrows into the floating guard, who slumps dead. Hepla ends her spell, and man and dagger drop to the floor. Hung Lo then goes passed them, following Derry into the next room.

    The door opens northward, swinging west. The walls herein are hung with tapestries and rugs, and the floor is covered with several layers of carpets. A pair of bronze lamps light the place, suspended on chains from the ceiling. A brass brazier on a tripod makes the room both too warm and too stuffy from the smoke of incense. A divan, small table, two chairs, and a cupboard stand along the east wall. A large armoire with side drawers stands by the west wall. The table holds a silver flask, several ceramic dishes and cups, and some foodstuffs — fruit, shelled nuts, and sweetmeats.

    Behind the large tapestry on the north wall is a four-foot-wide archway leading to a 10' x 20' alcove. Two hanging lamps illuminate the area. A pillow-strewn bed is here, as well as a small desk and padded chair, a brass stand with several staves in it, a low table, two stools, and a wardrobe. A fountain in the southeast corner trickles a stream of clean water into a wall basin. The walls and floors are draped and carpeted.

    Down in the long hallway, Thorgrim hits one guy, killing him, while another moves up. The three attack him, and he is hit by one swordsman [5]. He then hits and kills another.

    "Duck," yells Elrae as he finishes reloading. Thorgrim hits another as Elrae fires the crossbow. He hits both warriors, sending pitching backwards to the ground.

    [All the enemy is finished, or are they...?]

    Banshee continues looking for a secret door, moving back up the hallway when she hears a sound to the south. Turning, she sees a section of the wall pivot out and a man in brown robes of the temple steps out. She quickly casts Phantasmal Force, and a half-dozen illusory drow come out of the shadows in front of him. He quickly turns around and goes back through the secret door.

    Inside the room, Hung Lo hears the secret door open. By the time he gets up there, the priest is running back through the secret door, right towards him. The priest runs straight into Hung Lo, who use his Deadly Desolation Throw. Grabbing the priest, he uses his own momentum to somersault him back over his head, throwing him about 10' away where he slams into the wall [16] and is knocked unconscious.

    Banshee enters through the secret door and says "Thanks, Hung Lo, he almost got away!" She then hogties (hunter skill) and gags the priest and has Hung Lo help her drag him into the room and close the secret door. Once inside she will strip and search him, all the while humming an elvish victory tune and seeming way too pleased with herself.

    [And so ends one of the craziest fun fights I ever DMd. I've never seen what a battlerager can do, and a hasted one is absolutely scary! The badguys were all killed, with the party really not getting hurt, except for Gotrek who very nearly killed himself. The party uses up some healing, and then gets to interrogating the priest.]
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    Sun Feb 24, 2013 2:18 pm  

    Wow. What a fight.

    In the words of the Hitchhiking Hatchet Hero: "Smash, smash, suh-maashh....(yeah)"

    <youtube up the unedited version. It's classic>
    Master Greytalker

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    Sun Feb 24, 2013 3:38 pm  

    CAMPAIGN JOURNAL - The Temple Dungeons (Level One-3)

    Cast of Characters:
    Banshee: Dark elf Bladesinger/Song Mage
    Berenn: Half-elf Priest of St. Cuthbert/Ranger
    Derry: Halfling fighter/thief
    Elrae: Human Bard
    Gotrek: Dwarven Battlerager
    Hepla: Human Mage (kind of a witch)
    Hung Lo: Human monk
    Thorgrim: Dwarven Cleric/Fighter

    Map of the 1st level.

    page 109

    After some needed healing, Gotrek wakes up. He looks around at all of the enemies slain, and smiles. He raises his axe in the air, thumps the symbol of Clangeddin on his armor and screams to the Heavens, "Clangeddin! I have kept my promise! And there will be MUCH more blood of vermin spilt in your name! This, Gotrek Goreblade, swears!"

    "Gotek, by the gods that was impressive," says Elrae. "I will chronicle your exploits in tales and song. But first what treasure is around, let's start with the priest, what does he have?"

    Derry finds all his stuff, included a gem-studded ceremonial robe. His eyes get really big when he finds it, but Elrae stops him from taking the gems out. "We may need that," he says. They also find a locked chest, which Derry quickly gets to picking. Not checking for traps first, he pricks himself on a small needle. He feels the strange burning in his fingertip, moving up his arm, and has to reach out to steady himself. "Um, help," he says, but before anyone can reach him, he takes [20].

    "Damn, that hurt!" says the halfling (now with 2 hit points). He sticks his finger in his mouth to suck out any remaining poison. Thorgrim heals him, then lectures him on sticking his finger where it doesn't belong.

    Continuing to loot the bodies, they find that the leaders all have rings with Earth signs. They match the symbols on the robes and elsewhere and must be the symbol of the temple, though different than the flaming eye you discovered in Hommlet and the strange broach found with Rannos Davl and with Colvin.

    "It seems there are at least 3 different groups operating here," says Thorgrim.

    You also find a note on the priest's desk, "Remember to check Augury Chamber to see if Belsornig was lying." Finally, they find a book about the Earth Temple and its rituals. Elrae sits down and starts to read it.

    Inside the chest you find more items, another potion, and a scroll. The party gathers up all the stuff they've found, and does a search with Detect Magic to identify special items. They are also totally out of spells now, while only half-healed.

    Hepla looks up from going through a corpse's pockets, and says,"Any thoughts about a place to rest and recover? Perhaps our new friend has a nice private room we could hold up in while we recover. He does seem of a high enough rank that he would not be bothered by common troops." She points to the priest. She gigles,"We could then question him for as long as we want."

    Banshee ends her invisibility, appears, and sings her siren's song (Signature Charm Person) to charm the priest once he wakes up.

    They learn that the priest is named Romag, head of the Earth Temple. Banshee will tell him Elrae is here to relieve him of command and destroy the factions he is warring with, bringing glory back to this sect.

    "I am one of Elrae's commanders," she says. He really needs to relinquish command for the good of the sect. He is being replaced because he had thus far failed to bring about the destruction of his enemies. But she wants to see him returned to glory, and the only way he can gain favor is to lead troops to victory against his rivals! He needs to turn over command of all troops to Elrae, gather and turn over his sect's treasure to Elrae that we might inventory our holdings and strengthen our position. Then lead some troops in an assault deep into the temple on the other factions!

    He is unsure, and wonders why they attacked his men, but she spins a tale of treachery, that they were going to switch sides and go to the Air Temple. Romag gets more confused the more she says.

    She then steps up and cuts him lose, whispering into Romag's ear, "Romag can't you see we need to use the new leader to destroy the other sects? Then I will help you strike Elrae down once our sect is dominant! With the loyalty of the troops and the favor of the gods from your great victory who could deny that you are the greatest priest of the temple!"

    Romag's look of confusion slowly transforms into a triumphal grin, which he quickly tries to hide under a facade of subservience. He winks at Banshee, then turns to Elrae and formally hands over command of the Earth Temple.

    "Death!" shouts Elrae, donning the ceremonial robe. "Death! Death to all who oppose us!"

    Romag also reveals a map of the next level, and the general layout of the various factions.
    He also is sent to gather the rest of the Earth Temple forces, while Hepla goes to check out the library. Romag tells her it's pretty much destroyed, but she wants to check it out anyway. They also learn about the room full of stirges, and Gotrek and Thorgrim decide to go clean it out.

    Gotrek and Thorgrim go to the ruined throne room, and find the door barred with a makeshift bar on the outside. They open the door and enter. Thorgrim closes the door behind them, setting a small keg against it. A partially destroyed stone chair dominates this hexagonal chamber. It is hewn of brown marble, veined with black, and stands near the middle of the north wall. Both arms have been broken off, and the seat is chipped. A piece is missing from the back, and the whole is fractured. Rubble and broken furniture are strewn about the room. The ceiling overhead is at least 35' high — possibly more, lost in the shadows of the supporting arches. The stench of rotting flesh faintly lingers throughout the area.

    Thorgrim rushes in and jumps up on the throne, shouting loudly and throwing a chunk of stone into the ceiling rafters. A bunch of large birdlike things take flight and then swoop down to attack.

    It doesn't take too long for Gotrek and Thorgrim to take out the stirges; they really are not too tough for them. They do take a few hits each, and one particularly nasty one latched onto Gotrek's arm for an extra turn! Still, after about 10 minutes of frantic jumping, rolling, swinging, and cursing, the two dwarves easily finish off the stirges.

    Thorgrim lights a torch and then goes and retrieves the keg, sitting down on the throne with Gotrek to share in some well-earned ale! Gotrek then destroys the throne, and they find a Star Sapphire ring amidst the ruins. He picks it up and puts it in his pocket.

    Derry, Berenn, and Elrae go with Romag to check out the prisoners. They go along the grand processional corridor [148] and then are stopped by three bugbear guards at [147]. Romag orders them to take you to the prisoners, and to release them to your custody. They take you to the turnkey [152].

    Lurid light from a flaming cresset and a glowing brazier full of charcoal reveals a 30 'x 20' chamber containing a rack, iron maiden, cage, and all the other unspeakable devices common to a torture chamber. Two adjacent 10' square alcoves, one to the south and one east, are barred, their doors held fast by chain and padlock. Two prisoners are in each, obviously here to await the tender mercies of the torturers. Two female humans are in the south alcove, and two orcs in the east. The turnkey and his bugbear assistant are busy torturing a human on a rack.

    You also find a gnome, in another cell. His name is Wonillon, and he's from the Greenway Valley. He was trying to take a small caravan of gems to Dyvers by the shortcut through Nulb when they were set upon by gnolls. He's the only one left, the rest being all killed.

    Elrae talks to the gnome, "You know one of your kind liked my singing so much he gave me this." Elrae flashes his ring he got back in the tavern in Canyonford.

    He immediately recognizes it. "I am from the Greenway Valley myself," he says. "It is a pleasure to meet a friend of the Noniz."

    "Glad to meet you Wonillon, Elrae's my name. We've got the high priest Romag under a powerful charm and does the bidding of the Drow, Banshee. She seems to be the rare good sort of Drow. I know, unheard of, but she's been fighting loyally by our side. Anyway let's get you equiped with armor and weapons and show these foul templars a thing or two. Just give Gortek a wide berth when he starts singing; he's a Battlerager, and a damn fine one at that."

    Romag tells the rest of the Earth Temple forces to prepare for battle, before heading to the temple shrine, an earthen pyramid, with Banshee and Elrae. There he shows them the Earth Temple treasures and explains how they are protected by elementals. Once they verify that the treasure is secure, they return to Romag's quarters. Banshee secretly returns and gathers up all the treasure.

    Finally, the party gives Romag back all his gear, while they prepare to descend to the next level. Romag tells them everything he knows about the Temple. The following information comes from Romag:

    When the demoness Zuggtmoy initially conceived the plan to establish her own rule on a portion of the Flanaess, she decided to use as many "tools" as possible, just as did her competitor Lolth. Consulting some of her clerical servants, Zuggtmoy decided that Elemental Evil would have more appeal than a cult dedicated to her beloved fungi. Recruiting was not difficult, and soon the rudiments of the Temple of Elemental Evil were flourishing.

    The beauty of the quadrate system was obvious to Zuggtmoy; each type of Elemental Evil would appeal to a broader base of servants and followers, and certain ones would actually serve her directly. The four separate elemental temples would also compete, spreading evil more effectively and also serving to check one another if any grew too powerful—Zuggtmoy, of course, desiring to retain all real power in her own grasp. The appeal of elemental destruction and demonaic aid attracted many malign and twisted creatures to the Temple, and it grew ever more rapidly.

    Everything worked until the temple was thrown down and Zuggtmoy bound. Afterward, the weakened elemental temples fought more amongst themselves. Some of them remained faithful to the demoness, despite their not knowing where she was or how to free her. This Greater Temple, lies somewhere deeper beneath the dungeons. Few have ventured below, the last to do so was Ashrem, once Chief Cleric of the Air Temple and brother to Kelno of the Fire Temple. Their forces joined together to learn what lurked below, but only Kelno returned, and he would never speak of it.

    While some have remained true to their Elemental Deities, others actually turned to Lolth in desperation, for many drow visited the Temple after its fall. After the Drow left, Lareth was one who remained in the service of Lolth, and he sought to serve both the Temple and the Spider Queen. He left the temple a year ago, and set up his own operations in the Moathouse near Hommlet.

    The Temple is thus factioned into six competing groups: four serve Elemental Evil principles, one Lolth, and one still loyal to Zuggtmoy. Romag leads the Earth Temple, and controls this entire level of the Temple dungeons. His faction was the fastest growing, and it worked closely with Colvin's bandits, who answered to someone else of whom he was unawares, possibly from the Greater Temple.

    Prefect Alrem is Chief Priest of the Fire Temple. He has been in contact with Romag recently, and in fact has sounded increasingly desparate. His faction (having lost power when it led the Temple to defeat) now has few adherents and no particular strength in troops. He claims to need the forces being gathered by the Earth Temple to counter those of the Air and Water Temples.

    Canon Belsornig is the chief cleric of the Water Temple. He is a vile person filled with hubris and wickedness. He uses guile to dupe anyone, strikes whenever he has an advantage, and never admits anyone to be his better unless his life is at stake. He is set on becoming chief cleric of the whole Temple when it once more sets forth upon a course of open warfare against the land above. He claims to have captured a valuable hostage which will change everything. That's what Romag wanted to verify at the Augury Chamber.

    Kelno, is the only remaining priest of the Air Temple—his apprentices having been slain by rival factions. He is bitter and full of great hatred for both the Fire and Water Temples, against whom he has recently lost two fights and is quite weakened. Belsornig is working to subvert the humanoids of the Air Temple while threatening Kelno — not with harm from the Water Temple forces, but rather with the machinations of Alrem and the Fire Temple.

    The Lolth faction fell apart when the Drow left the temple, a few years ago. Shortly thereafter, Lareth took the remainder of the Lolth faction and left the temple altogether.

    The party determines that the best course of action would be to head to the Air Temple and get Kelno to join them against the hated Water and Air Temples.

    While waiting, they examine the magic items they have collected. The weapons are split amongst the warriors, while the scrolls go to those who can use them. Gotrek remembers the ring and gives it to Hepla, who always shows a strange fascination with Star Sapphires. Finally, there are a handful of unidentified potions.

    "If we spend the night here," says Hepla, "I can identify some of these items."

    "I can just taste the potions," says Derry. "What's the worst that can happen?"

    Before anyone can stop him, he takes a sip of the first potion. He suddenly grasps his throat and collapses, foam coming from his mouth. Thorgrim and Hepla rush to his side, as he reaches out and gasps, "Hepla...." before dying.

    Elrae comes back happy that he sent the prisoners home with an experienced escort, when he shock and sadness overcomes his face as he lays eyes on dead Derry. "Whaaaat??? Our brave little thief poisoned by his own hand. How cruel fate is." He then begins playing a very sad funeral dirge and a tear wells up in his eye. "Damn you Temple of Elemental Evil! Damn you! Derry you will be avenged!"

    Hepla kisses Derry on the forehead, "We will miss you, friend."

    [OOC: I have to say, that was the strangest death. I give my players a break most of the time with death, since I make coming back VERY difficult. However, when they act stupidly, I generally don't pull any punches. This was a potion of poison, with instant death as the result if you fail a save. I guess that's why you don't identify potions by tasting them. Plus, you have to admit, the character's last words were absolutely perfect!]

    Joined: Jul 26, 2010
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    Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:06 pm  

    I'm looking forward to your first TPK. Evil Grin

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    Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:25 pm  

    My players aren't! Evil Grin
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    Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:24 pm  

    CAMPAIGN JOURNAL - The Temple Dungeons (Level Two-1)

    Cast of Characters:
    Banshee: Dark elf Bladesinger/Song Mage
    Berenn: Half-elf Priest of St. Cuthbert/Ranger
    Derry: Halfling fighter/thief
    Elrae: Human Bard
    Gotrek: Dwarven Battlerager
    Hepla: Human Mage (kind of a witch)
    Thorgrim: Dwarven Cleric/Fighter
    Vestron Orcburner: Elven Fighter/Mage
    Wonnilon (Woni): Gnome Fighter/Thief

    Map of the 1st level.

    Map of the 2nd level

    So, the party has gained quite a bit of magic, though most was of low-power variety. The best item was probably the Stone of Controlling Earth Elementals, but the druid Sal had that, and he left the party, staying behind in Hommlet. Still, they have quite a lot of stuff. Anyway, three important things happened here. First, Hung Lo left. The player pretty much just disappeared, so I had his character do the same thing. He'll be back, someday.... Second, Derry's player created a new character, Vestron Orcburner, who will arrive very shortly. Third, a new player joined. He took over Wonnilon, the gnome fighter/thief they rescued from the Earth Temple prison.

    So, when we left off the party just distributed magic. They secured Derry's body, intent of giving him a proper burial later. They have a Wand of Identify, but because they still need 8 hours for cleansing objects, just like the spell, they haven't been able to use it yet! Anyway, they then began discussing how to attack the other factions.

    "I think recruiting the weekest to help us would be wise," says Hepla. "It sounds like air to me."

    "I think fire and air will join to fight water. But remember they aren't charmed - so it would have to w convincing," adds Banshee. "I was considering using a potion to make myself black and look like a drow again while negotiating with Romag at my side. These people are evil, so remember, once water is gone if one is strong enough they will probably turn on us unless too weak."

    "Going to air first will give us more chance when going to fire," replies Hepla. "And of course they will turn on us, but isn't that our plan for them?"

    "Not like we plan on letting any of them live anyway," says Thorgrim, as he cleans his pick.

    "Good," says a low voice from somewhere in the background.

    Hepla, dagger in hand and starting to prep a spell turns to the voice.

    "Who said that?" says Elrae, jumping around.

    Hepla says,"Whos there and what do you want?"

    "A friend. We have mutual interests it seems. I have been following you for some time and you seem goodly, so I hope I can trust you," says a slender grey elf who steps out from the shadows and lowers the cowl of his cloak.

    The two dwarves grab their weapons instinctively, and only relax a little bit as they see the elf appear.

    "Mutual interests, you say," says Hepla, still a bit cautious of the new elf,"What are those interests? < My name is Hepla might I ask you yours?>" The last was said in perfect Elven.

    "Bah!" exclaims Thorgrim. "If'n you want to bring down this vile place," he says, walking over to the elf, and extending his hand, "Then you be most welcome."

    "My name is Vestron Orcburner, of late esquire to the court of Celene, defender of the innocent and the forests and foe to evil," he replies in a highly refined form of elven. He continues in Common. "I came here tracking two nobles who have gone missing on a journey. I did have a ranger for a companion but he perished fighting ghasts. Since then, I have followed you and have been impressed by your progress. Your dwarven battlerager was particularly impressive and is to be commended. If you will assist me in the rescue, I will in turn ally myself to your cause."

    "Aye," says Thorgrim. "We released some prisoners yesterday, but did nay find no Elves."

    "Then they mayhaps lie deeper in this infernal place. Let us bring the steel and fire of retribution to cleanse this foul place."

    Banshee just nods to the elf. Singing a song in drow, hood down as usual.

    You head back to area the Banquet Hall, where the rest of the Earth Temple forces have been summoned. There Romag gives a rousing speech about how they will strike back at their rivals. Everyone is excited and wants payback, for they think the attack yesterday was caused by the other factions. Finally, you begin the march, eventually reaching the stair down at area 153. Elrae has the two orcs they freed lugging the quad crossbow for him, a couple quivers of bolts strapped on their backs.

    Romag marches at the head, with Banshee and Elrae following, everyone wearing cloaks of the Earth Temple as well as rings of its leaders. Following is the rest of the party, then the Earth Temple bugbears, then 15 men-at-arms with the other 10 staying behind to guard the Earth Temple.

    "To the air temple," says Banshee. "They will join us against the forces who attacked us or die." Banshee starts singing loudly a battle song in drow elvish

    You march downs the spiral stairs and enter a corridor (246). Romag calls for silence, looking at Banshee with a smile. "I appreciated the sentiment," he says, "but we must be wary." You head down the passage to the SE, past the door to the cistern, and enter the end of the large corridor. You hear Romag whisper, "The Hall of Triumph."

    This huge, echoing hall was evidently once the scene of great revels celebrating the triumphs of the Temple. The floor of the place is littered with skeletons, skulls, and bones of humans and various humanoids. Here and there are parts of broken chairs, stools, tables, benches, sideboards, buffets, cabinets, and cases. Much of the wreckage has probably been carted off for firewood, the rest shoved into piles against the walls. Tapestries and trophies still remain on the walls in spots. The former show scenes of raiding, looting, pillage, and rapine; trophies include mummified heads, torn battle standards, hides and skins, battered shields, sundered armor, and a broken broadsword. Dozens of empty cressets and sconces line the walls. The broad steps in the middle of the north wall are of dull black stone, and the descending stair seems most depressing and horrible — though passable.

    Straight ahead, you see a large hallway going south. The walls of this 20' wide passage are painted with scenes of gross evil, death, and destruction. Some also depict parties of worshippers and their sacrificial captives; each is led by a robed cleric. The great doors along the southern part of each wall are polished brass, with many more vile scenes and runes. Huge rings hang from their centers, for opening and closing. You don't head that way, however, but instead go to the southwest. Romag sends the bugbear leader ahead, to contact the bugbear guards of the Air Temple. He heads down the 10' corridor in the southwest corner, heading south.

    "What opposition can we expect in this hall?" asks Vestron.

    "None," replies Romag, "Or everyone."

    He looks down the hallway, peering intently into the darkness at the edge of your torchlight. "The Greater Temple lies somewhere at the other end, past the prisons of the Water Temple. Our way lies here, and hopefully to a quick meeting with Kelno."

    Shortly, the bugbear comes back with 6 more wielding wicked-looking glaives. They look very uncertain at the large group before them, but bring all of you into the chamber off to the west, an old kitchen.

    This place is dirty and full of litter, but has been used of late. Ashes are in both fireplaces on the west wall. The long trestles which run down the center of the room are filled with earthenware dishes and food scraps. Four barrels stand along the south wall. Some large blackish sausages are strung over the ceiling arches. Heaps of old rags and skins are piled helter-skelter in all the corners; this place is apparently used as a camp as well as a mess hall. The pantry area to the northeast likewise shows evidence of use. The shelves are filled with unappetizing foodstuffs, plus sacks of millet, beets, and meal.

    The bugbear leader leaves you there while he goes to report to Kelno.

    "I'm not so sure of this." mutters Elrae, "Won't Kelno attack us for belonging to the Earth temple."

    Romag looks at Elrae as if he were truly stupid. "You think I did not consider that?" he snaps.

    "So what do you have in mind, oh great Romag." Elrae feigns servitude, he then goes up to a bugbear guard. "Just let this be known, my comrades have very little patience and hate to wait. Can you go back there and see why Romag the magnificent is waiting like a commoner."

    Berenn makes sure his weapons are easily accessed and melts into the background. He fears there is going to be trouble.

    Elrae then has the two orcs set up the quad, covering the room.

    The bugbear comes back with another larger bugbear. This one wears a scale mail jack, gray kilt and cape, and carries a large bardiche. He is one of the personal guards of Kelno, and says that Kelno will meet with Romag. He may bring his personal guard (which is the party). They follow the bugbear around the corner and into another room.

    This 20 'x 20' chamber is the quarters of Kelno's personal guard. 4 bugbears here, and they are all standing at the ready. Each is clad in gray kilt and cloak, the latter with a large black square sewn upon it to indicate the personal retinue of the Air Temple. Each has a large bardiche and a mace. The large bugbear points to a door, and you go through into the grim chamber of Kelno, chief priest of the Air Temple.

    The entire room is gray — carpeting, plaster, wall hangings, furnishings, etc. — and spartan. Lamps of grayish metal on a small table and a wall shelf dimly light the room; a pair of upholstered chairs are by the table. On the table are some pewter dishes and a plain crock half-filled with mead. The shelves hold some foodstuffs, a few scrolls and books, and several human and demihuman skulls. A narrow bed is in the northeast corner, with a small stand beside it.

    This is the residence of Kelno, the only cleric of the Air Temple—his apprentices having been slain by rival factions. He is bitter and full of great hatred for both the Fire and Water Temples. Kelno bargains with anyone if he sees profit for himself and harm to these rivals. He has spent all his funds on hiring and bribing bugbears, for he hopes to amass a sufficient force to turn the tables on the other Temples. Kelno wears finely crafted chain mail and a white cloak of fine make, with the same black square of the Air Temple sewn onto it. He has a black mace at his belt.

    "So Romag," he says in a deep voice. "You have come to your senses at last."

    Romag seems to bristle at Kelno's comment, and leans into him menacingly. "You are the one who is in dire straights, Kelno, not I. The Earth Temple is stronger than ever."

    He steps over to a candle, then pinches out the flame. "I could do the same to you any moment I wish," he continues, "and you know it."

    As Kelno's face flushes with sudden anger, Romag holds up a hand. "Calm down," he says, "I have not come to insult you, though it is entertaining. No, I come to offer the alliance you have desired since your last acolytes were killed by Belsornig. Together we can take him down, and that arrogant **** Alrem too."

    He walks up to Kelno, and offers his hand. "Join me and we shall unite the Temple, as it once was. Fire proved to volatile, and Water has no form. What we need is strength, and that comes from Earth." Kelno's face twists in anger, but before he can reply, Romag continues. "But strength is not enough," he says. "We've seen that. No, we must be guided by subtlety, and that is the purview of Air. Together, we can do it."

    Kelno stands mute, his mind racing as he considers the posibilities. Then he smiles, a grim, heartless smile, and takes Romag's hand. "To victory," he says, grasping it tightly.

    The party then gets a general layout of this level, as they plan the assault against the Fire Temple. The idea is to hit the Fire Temple from multiple directions in a great pincer, using forces from the Earth and Air Temples. Meanwhile, the party will free the prisoners from the cells. This will hopefully split the Fire Temple forces between both groups. Secretly, the party hopes that most of their enemies will just kill each other!

    Banshee removes all the earth temple "gear" before taking a sip of her potion and changing her skin back to black. [Remember, though she's drow, she's a pale white color, not black.] She then pulls Romag aside. "Good friend, here is the moment of truth. You should show the fire temple no mercy. It would also be in your best interests to find a way to kill Kelno in the heat of battle when he is weak or his back is turned. You should see what you can do to ensure his troops take the brunt of the damage. The key here is to bring personal glory to yourself - kill Alremm and his clerics and slay Kkelno. If you have to slaughter your troops to the last man to do this so be it. Fear not, because with you as the heroic destroyer of both air and fire temples we can rebuild with the return of my people, laying low all pretenders. Together a new era will dawn at the temple, with Earth in its rightful place at its head!"

    She puts her head to his and whispers, "Kill the leaders of the other temples, fight to the last man, but ensure you survive to meet me back here." She kisses his cheek and says " find a way to delay long enough for me to try and remove the prisoners before you cause alarm. I am heading there now, give me time." Banshee pulls her new elvish hood over her head [found sometime earlier and taken in the treasure picks.]

    Banshee will creep off heading to the dungeon. She casts friends upon herself, and then enters the jails, prepared to bluff the guards, charming them if necessary. As Romag and Kelno lead their combined forces south against the Fire Temple, Elrae tells the two guards with the Quad to set it up in the hallway. He then hurries off after Banshee, as he assumes she went to the prisons. Thorgrim and Gotrek enter rooms 207 and 208 nearly simultaneously, surprising the Fire Temple guards there. Hepla, Vestron, and Woni take a position about midway between the two, ready to assist either. Vestron is anxious about the prisons, but he is assured that Banshee and Elrae can handle things. Berenn follows behind Thorgrim.

    Banshee strides in like she owns the place. An large table and two matching chairs stand in the northeast, along the diagonal wall. A cask and several leather jacks are on the table, amongst small hunks of cheese and dried meat; some food scraps have fallen to the floor. Nearby is a barrel and a huge pot. Brackets and lit torches line the walls. A great pile of hides and skins is in the southeast corner — a bed of sorts with a sleeping ogre upon it. Four bronze-bound oaken doors, each with a heavy bar, padlock, and small barred port, mark the cells. Standing at one of the cells, locking the door and turning around, is a large bugbear with a jumble of keys in its hand. The bugbear wears a chain shirt and has a flail and large dagger.

    Thorgrim pounds through the door to 207 from the west. This small room was evidently meant for visitors of the Fire Temple, for shreds of red draperies still hang from the walls, and part of a dirty red carpet remains. Four heaps of material, evidently used as sleeping mats, are evenly spaced on the floor. Inside, he finds 4 men, sitting around a table dicing. The whole room has a strange, feral scent.

    Gotrek and Berenn were going to burst in through the other door, from the East, when Berenn noticed a secret door in the north wall. Twisting a wall sconce opens it, revealing a 20' square room.This bare-walled 20 ' square room is permeated by a feral odor (like 207). A pair of nestlike heaps of cloth and pillow lie by the east wall; bones and litter cover the floor. A large cupboard stands against the north wall. A pair of rust-red cloaks hang on pegs by the secret door, the only apparent entrance. A few pieces of dirty pewterware are on the cupboard shelves, along with two bottles of wine and a bunch of cooking herbs in a glass bottle. Standing in front of a large glass window looking through it into a room to the west (207) are an armed man and a woman. They turn at your entrance, and a snarl escapes their lips.

    In 207-208:

    In the meantime, the men react far faster than you'd have thought possible, and all four jump to their feet and draw weapons. Thorgrim quickly steps forward and hits the first man solidly with his pick. As he pulls it out, the man laughs, and Thorgrim is amazed as the wound seems to simply close back together. The other men join in the laughter, and Thorgrim watches in horror as they begin to transform, their faces elongating into a vermin-like snout with darting yellow eyes, long ears, and wicked fangs: Wererats!

    [As you can see, I changed things!]

    Gotrek and Berenn face a similar problem, except their foes quickly transform into larger creatures, about 1-foot taller and stronger than their human forms. The bodies are fur-covered and have short tails, wolflike legs, and heads that are combinations in varying degrees of human and lupine features. The smile evil grins as they draw wicked looking swords and daggers. Werewolves!

    Berenn charges the female, thrusting with his longsword. His blade goes right through her right eye, and she is killed instantly. [good critical!] Gotrek steps up and flanks the male, who goes into a rage at the death of his mate.

    In the JAILS:
    Banshee steps up close to the bugbear guard and pulls off her hood, giving it her haughtiest evil drow look. The bugbear's face drains and its eyes show pure fear. It stumbles backwards, dropping the keys as it backs against the wall.

    "I am Smigmal Redhand of the greater temple," says Banshee in Drow-accented common. "A war is about to break out among the temples and these prisoners are too important to loose over mere squabbling. You WILL release all prisoners to my custody IMMEDIATELY!"

    The bugbear fumbles to pick up the keys, as it hastens to obey Banshee's commands.

    In 207-208:

    Thorgrim is hit by one of the wererats (3), while the others move to surround him. Thorgrim tosses his pick aside and grabs the magic mace he had found, taking a swing at the wererat which hit him. He slams it in the side of its face, and he can hear the bones break in the thing's jaw (11) as it is knocked backwards over the table and onto the floor.

    The werewolf in the other room leaps at Berenn, dropping its weapons and raking him with its claws as it tries to bite him. Gotrek slashes it across the back with his axe, but like Thorgrim he sees the wound immediately close up again. Cursing, he tosses aside his war axe and grabs the magic battleaxe Thorgrim gave him [I don't recall where this came from anymore]. Berenn stabs at the werewolf himself, and score a good hit against it's side (10: he has Colvin's +1 longsword). The thing hisses in pain, unused to dealing with a foe that can actually hurt it.

    Berenn and Gotrek both hit the werewolf, which continues to attack Berenn without hitting him. Berenn takes another swing, and lops off the beast's head!

    In the other room, Thorgrim hits the wererat again, killing it, while the others all attack, two hitting him in the rear (5). Gotrek and Berenn can see Thorgrim fighting in the next room through the window. You open the door and enter, just as Thorgim rolls under the table, knocking it backwards as he does so. He comes up on the other side, using the table to fight behind. One of the wererats, attack over the top of it, missing him, while the others move around to flank him again. They see you come through the door, and one moves up to fight Berenn.


    Meanwhile, the Bugbear opens the jail cell for Banshee. It holds three humans, two of which are merchants from Nulb while the other is a former guard of the Fire Temple. The bugbear moves around to the other cell, waking up the ogre as it moves by it. Your story is repeated to the ogre, which nods dumbly. In the other cell are three elves. All the prisoners are out, and the bugbear and ogre shove them over towards the front of the room, where Banshee awaits.


    The sound of fighting can be heard to the south.

    In 207:
    The wererat hits Berenn (3), and Berenn hits it back, (7) forcing it to retreat. Berenn steps up and Gotrek charges in behind him, chopping the wererat down with a stroke of his battlexe.

    The one attacking from across the table turns and flees out the doorway, while the other attacks Thorgrim and misses. Thorgrim swings back, hitting it (8).

    Gotrek charges out, and sees the wererat slammed by 3 crossbow bolts and flung back to the ground! It gets up with a snarl, and turns to run down the hallway when Gotrek attacks it, hacking it with his axe. It turns to flee and Gotrek finishes it off with a final swipe!

    Inside the room, Berenn moves up and thrusts his longsword into the wererat's side just as Thorgrim slams it in the head with his mace. The thing crumples to the floor dead.

    Berenn casts cure light wounds on Thorgrim and himself. He then looks closely at Thorgrim, wondering at the scratches.

    "I'm good," says Thorgrim, picking up his pick again. "Ain't never heard a no weredwarves!"

    Banshee eyes narrow as she spots the elves and she backhands the nearest one. "I shall take great pleasure in torturing you ELF." she turns to the bugbear "bind and gag them all". Once this is done, she tells both the bugbear and the ogre " QUICKLY, run to the fire temple and tell Alrrem the earth temple moves to attack, and assist him!" Banshee stares at them imperiously waiting for them to go.

    "What we care," asks the Bugbear. "We not part of Fire Temple."

    Banshees eyes bore into the bugbears. "The greater temple wants no single temple to become too strong. Now GO! Or would you prefer they find out a single bugbear defies the will of the greater temple....your choice, reward for your obedience or punishment for your disloyalty..." She grins wickedly, using her innate ability to line the bugbear in glowing red faerie fire.

    The bugbear is surrounded in glowing red fire, and nearly wets itself as it runs out of the room while the ogre laughs. A quick glare from Banshee shuts it up, and the ogre heads out, running after the bugbear. They head south to join the fight. Banshee walks out with them, then motions for Vestron and Hepla, and they all re-enter the prison.

    The elves show absolute revulsion and fear when they see Banshee return. It is then that Vestron sees the elves. Two are part of the Countess Tillahi's retinue while the third is her consort, Sir Lenwe Tallradian. They were captured by raiders while traveling home through the Gnarley Forest. Vestron was looking for them, and had tracked them here.

    Banshee cuts them loose, saying " "Sir Tallradian, you are free. I apologize for the subterfuge. Sometimes there are more efficient solutions than fighting. And yes," she adds, as the elves stand there slackjawed. "I am a drow, but do not be concerned; the followers of Elistraee are not just a rumor. We serve the light and fight against the demon queen."

    Vestron stands beside Banshee. "She speaks true," he says, placing a hand on Banshee's shoulder. "And is a true elf, regardless of color."

    "My Lord," says Sir Lenwe, shocked to see . He recovers quickly, giving Vestron a quick bow. "I am sorry for this," he continues, "I failed to keep your sister safe."

    "Your sister?" says Hepla?

    "Yes," replies Vestron. "The Lady Tillahi is my sister, and I shall find her if I have to tear down this entire accursed place!"

    "Well, we can continue the pleasantries later," says Banshee. She then tells the elves, "We have set the factions of the temple warring against each other that the evil here might dealt with. Return home, you can either wait and see if we succeed so perhaps we can guide you home, or leave now. The upper level is cleared in these areas, though take this brown robe just in case. I am willing to give you each a sip of my invisibility potion if you wish to exit immediately."

    The two elf maidens step forward, before anyone else can speak. "No, we are Daughters of the Moon, Children of the Great Goddess. We shall not cower like orcs!" says one of them.

    "By blade or bow," says the other "we shall remain, until our Lady is found alive."

    Sir Lenwe looks as if to argue, but the determined elf maidens leave no room for discussion. He nods to them. "Very well," he says. Then to Vestron and Banshee, "we will need weapons."

    "That shouldn't be a problem," says Berenn, coming around the corner. "We found a whole PILE of stuff with the werewolves."

    "Werewolves?" says everyone at the same time!

    [So, the party got the temple factions to fight it out, while they rescued the prisoners. Everything worked out just about perfectly. The elves all stay to help, while the humans leave the temple, returning to Nulb. Now they have to decide if they should go and join the fun to the south. Berenn and Vestron take the elves to the werewolf room, while Elrae comes in with the Quad. He tells you that a bugbear and ogre rushed them from the north, and though they shot the bugbear, the ogre killed the two orcs.

    " Carrying that quad crossbow seems to be bad luck," says Berenn.

    In the werewolf room, Sir Lenwe takes a Longbow, Longsword, dagger, and the quiver of silver arrows. The elf maidens take a short bow each, split the remaining 22 arrows into the two other quivers, and each takes a short sword and silver dagger. Sir Lenwe also picks up a silver holy symbol of Corellon Larethian from amongst the pile, kissing the shining crescent moon before hanging the necklace over his head. Berenn also sees a silver starburst symbol of St. Cuthbert and takes it.

    Gotrek pulls at his beard, a little more jumpy than usual, with all of these elves around..

    Vestron quietly tells the elves, "When the battlerager gets into a frenzy, it would be best if you were not too close to him. I watched him singlehandedly destroy an entire company of the enemy."

    Speaking of battle, they can hear it raging in the south, along with the roar of an ogre. Banshee just smiles.

    "Let us see what destruction is taking place there," says Vestron.

    The party then heads towards the Fire Temple.
    Master Greytalker

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    Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:15 am  

    CAMPAIGN JOURNAL - The Temple Dungeons (Level Two-a)

    Cast of Characters:
    Banshee: Dark elf Bladesinger/Song Mage
    Berenn: Half-elf Priest of St. Cuthbert/Ranger
    Elrae: Human Bard
    Gotrek: Dwarven Battlerager
    Hepla: Human Mage (kind of a witch)
    Thorgrim: Dwarven Cleric/Fighter
    Vestron Orcburner: Elven Fighter/Mage
    Wonnilon (Woni): Gnome Fighter/Thief

    Map of the 1st level.

    Map of the 2nd level

    Banshee scouts out the fight, and reports back to the party. "Down this hall ends in a curtain. It has been ripped aside, revealing a 30x30' room. Inside of which there is a crazy melee going on. There are a score of men and bugbears fighting, and a good dozen dead scattered around. The ogre has joined the fray, and is plowing through the men of the Earth Temple. One fire priest down, as well as Kelno, while Romag is fighting another fire priest in melee combat. The ogre jailor is going nuts down there, killing everyone, regardless of their temple faction."

    Berenn wants to go fight the ogre, as that's his racial enemy. Vestron takes out a wand, saying he could drop walls of fire around the room, roasting everyone.

    "How much stuff do we have to destroy," says Thorgrim, "'fore we learn not to burn everything? Let's just sit back and let our invisible spies report on things. Or lets go check out the actual Fire Temple while everyone else is fighting. It doesn't serve usto get involved; let them kill each other. We can always kill whoever's left."

    "Thorgrim you make a good argument there. Let's loot the fire temple." Elrae grunts as he lifts up his quad-bow and moves towards the Fire Temple.

    "You know?" says Thorgrim thoughtfully. "We could also slip back into the Air Temple while all of them are over here dying and loot THEIR temple?"

    "One fight at a time," says Hepla, and the rest nod.

    Even Gotrek, who seems unhappy to be avoiding a fight, especially with an ogre. The party moves south towards the Fire Temple, though Hepla (also invisible now) and Banshee decide to hang back and keep an eye on the fight. They will report if anything bad happens.

    The walls of this 20' wide passage are painted with scenes of gross evil, death, and destruction. Some also depict parties of worshippers and their sacrificial captives; each is led by a robed cleric. The great doors along the southern part of each wall are polished brass, with many more vile scenes and runes. Huge rings hang from their centers, for opening and closing. Close inspection of the walls reveals inset symbols of bronze adorning the pictures of the priests — a square on a figure wearing silvery gray robes, a circle on a green-robed cleric, and an eight-pointed device on the figure in red. The hinges of the huge doors are wellgreased, and they swing open easily.

    pic from the video game, disregard the big demon in the middle! No really, the video game is totally different. Seriously!

    There can be no doubt that this huge hall of red granite, lit by scores of flambeaux and pervaded by the odor of heated metal and sulfur, is the Fire Temple. The great doors of beaten brass reflect the leaping flames. Tapestries adorn the walls of the north (wider) section, depicting scenes of fire in evil form. Despite the many torches and flaming cressets, the air seems to carry motes of rust-colored luminescence, and the streaks of blue and mica flakes in the polished granite walls appear to leap and dance as if flames, caught within the rock. A brass tube, 20' long and 2' in diameter, is suspended from the ceiling by chains of the same metal. Just to the north of it is a shallow fire pit; and to either side of the tube are low stands of brass, upon which are many small blocks of charcoal. To either hand, east and west beyond lines of pillars, are great copper cauldrons, flanking the main area of the Temple. Before each such vessel is an octagonal brass table; on each table are 16 bowls and a copper dipper.

    A glance into the huge pots finds them filled with some sort of glowing amber liquid. At the south end of the Temple stands a translucent block of golden apatite, three feet wide and high and nine feet long. Skulls grin from its sides, their forms inlaid with hammered gold. Atop the altar is the eight-pointed fire symbol, set in wrought gold. Before this altar is a fire pit of diamond shape, ten feet long north-south and eight feet broad. It appears to be several feet deep, and its bottom is covered with glowing hot coals. Tiny forms seem to cavort atop these coals — perhaps small denizens of the Elemental Plane of Fire.

    "Umm... does anyone have protection from fire or elements spell handy?" asks Elrae. "Cuz I'm not going in there without some sort of fire proofing."

    "Aye lad," says Thorgrim, "though only more powerful blessing can do the job. Fear not, I've protection scrolls should they prove needed."

    "Bah!" says Gotrek. "If there's a fight, I gots ta be in it!" He starts to sing and retraces his steps back to the other room to get into the fight.

    Thorgrim shakes his head as Gotrek walks away singing, but he doesn't follow.

    "Sure," says Berenn. "When Gotrek wants to charge into danger, everyone lets him go. When I want to kill an ogre, nobody lets me."

    "You're not a battlerager!" replies Thorgrim. "We can talk sense into you. "

    "Those that wish to fight follow Gortek," says Elrae. "Those that want treasure, prep yourself with fire resistance spells and potions and go into the temple. Man, I wish Derry was still here."

    Thorgrim takes out his scroll of protection from Fire Elementals. "Just in case," he says to Elrae.

    Vestron looks around, then follows Gotrek, the elves right behind him.

    Banshee and Hepla hear a faint sound behind them, which gradually grows louder. Soon they can hear the familiar sound of Gotrek's crazed singing. They look back up the hallway as he comes around the corner, a wild grin on his face. With a bloodcurdling roar, he charges down the hallway towards them. They push themselves back against the walls as he flies between them and bursts upon the combat.

    Nobody notices him arrive, and he splits the head of a bugbear as he barrels into the thick of the fight. Swinging right and left, spinning, kicking, even biting, he whirls around the room engrossed in the throws of martial ecstasy.

    He pushes onward, this cannon of maelstrom, into the fray. He kills all he comes across. His mad laughter echoes loudly over the granite room. Spittle flying, he presses on.........

    Banshee casts summon swarm and centers it on the enemy clerics. While Gotrek continues to wreck havoc, thousands of spiders converge on the far side of the room. Both priests stop fighting and start slapping at the swarm.

    Vestron's magic missles slam into the back of Romag, who crumples to the floor. The other priest tries to escape out of the insect swarm, but falls, still being bitten by the nasty things!

    As all the priest goes down, most of the bugbears stop their fighting to concentrate on the humans, killing the last of them. Gotrek continues to hack away at anything that comes near him, and when two wounded bugbears of the Earth Temple back up to him, thinking him an ally, he chops them down with a pair of strokes.

    Six bugbears attempt to overbear Gotrek, and succeed in knocking him to the ground beneath a pile of smelly fur. There are four other bugbears, and they turn towards the direction of the magic missiles. Seeing Vestron, they growl and charge him. Obviously, they cannot see Banshee and Hepla, sitting there invisible.

    Around the corner behind everyone comes Sir Lenwe and the two elf maidens, firing their bows. One bugbear goes down with 3 arrows in it.

    In the fire temple, Elrae grabs the scroll and ventures towards the alter at the end of the room. "Thorgrim how much holy water do you have? Perhaps we can quench these flames."

    "Not nearly enough," he says, looking around at all the burning braziers and the fire pit."

    He and Wonillon follow Elrae. After passing about 10' into the Fire Temple, the double doors behind slam shut!

    "Well that's ominous," says Elrae. "Can you guys open the doors?" Elrae slowly proceeds down the temple looking for any sort of treasure. He goes towards the alter and firepit, but first he looks in one of the pools of liquid amber.

    "This place is creepy and I doubt it is without its guards," says Berenn. "Don't touch anything and we should leave as soon as possible."

    "I agree," says Thorgrim. "I think I hear some fighting going on up north. Let's loot this place when we have our full strength."

    They leave and join the fight, which quickly ends with the party victorious over the few remaining bugbears. Romag and Kelno are both dead. You also find Alrrem and another priest of the Fire Temple, both dead. The ogre is dead along with all the Earth Temple men and all the bugbears. If you strip all the dead, you get a good deal of coins. You also find a dead half-orc. He is wearing a black cloak with the flaming eye of Elemental Evil, but underneath, embossed on his plate mail, is a grinning skull, the symbol of Iuz.

    "Isn't this the same as those cloaks we found in the moathouse? Mmmm Lareth may be around. I've got some unsettled business with him."

    Berenn seems unsettled by the symbol of Iuz. He angerly scratches this symbol off the plate mail. "That armor is evil and I would recommend it would be destroyed. Having anything carrying the mark of Iuz can only lead to peril."

    They do find a ring on Alrem. In response to Elrae, Thorgrim says, "Let's test that ring."

    Taking the ring, he places it on his finger. He then places his hand over Elrae's lit torch.

    "Huh," he says, "kinda tickles!" He pulls his hand back and takes the ring off. "It's not even warm," he says, handing it to Elrae. "Now, don't be scared next time we enter the temple!"

    Vestron shakes his head at their manner of testing the magic ring, but his concerns are shrugged off. The party then loots all the bad guys, gathers what they can or want, and then heads back to the Fire Temple. Berenn and Thorgrim cast a few protection from fire spells on others, before they enter. After you all enter the room, the doors behind you shut, again. Vestron's Detect Magic is still working, and magic is detected in each of the braziers; it seems the amber liquid itself is magical. Also, the firepit before the altar radiates very strong magic. The altar also radiates magic.

    Banshee gives Elrae some small vials to collect some of the liquid from the braziers. He grabs a copper dipper and pours some of the liquid amber into a bowl. He then pours the glowing liquid into a clear glass vial. "Hey look I just made a lantern."

    Banshee then investigates the fire pit up close trying to identify what's magical about it and detecting inside. She can feel the heat of the firepit, though it is much lessened by the spell. It doesn't seem that the spell would offer complete protection from the fire. You cannot make out what the creatures in the pit are, not without getting much closer to them, as they are very small.

    "Tiny forms seem to cavort atop these coals," she says. "Perhaps small denizens of the Elemental Plane of Fire." She tries to poke them with her sword, but cannot quite reach them from the sides of the pit, as they are in the heart of the coals.

    Vestron stays off to the side, far away from all the fire sources. "I recommend you all stay away from that one," he says, pointing to Banshee.

    Banshee looks over at the elf "A life in the sun seem to have made you scared and weak."

    Vestron looks down his nose at Banshee and says in elven in a cool and haughty noble elven voice, "It is not the place of lesser elves to question my motives."

    Banshee laughs and stare evenly at him and replies in perfect elvish " I am the daughter of a noble house, and I will question a petty noble of the surface elves anytime I see fit."

    Vestron looks at her and says, "There is nothing noble about your kind, grubbing in the dark like fetid worms. Until you prove otherwise, you are beneath my notice." He then joins Hepla and Berenn in checking for secret doors, turning his back on Banshee in contempt.

    "Strange, because I recall having to save your friends. So much for the "noble" elves. Pah! Yes turn your back, it's what your breed does best". She takes some of the gold liquid, and dumps it on the fire to see what happens.

    The liquid erupts into flame as it hits the coals, the smoke that billows from it is very aromatic. The little creatures in the fire pit dance more energetically. When the fire dies down, the little creatures basically stop. Banshee sees that it takes 5 minutes before the coals heat back up again, in the mean time, putting your hands out, you feel no heat whatsoever.

    Banshee then casts Burning Hands, and once the pit cools down, she leaps in, using the ring of fire resistance just in case. The coals are actually cold to the touch as she quickly begins to dig through them. The little creatures start to grow as she does so, and you can now see that there are over a dozen of them. By the time you notice (the end of the round you jumped in) they are now about a foot tall. The move very sluggishly, not moving towards Banshee at all, but simply growing. The next round they are about 2' tall, still ignoring Banshee who continues digging through the firepit. They are mini-salamanders [though the party doesn't know what salamanders are, at least they pretend not to know!]

    Banshee is certainly making progress, but there are a lot of coals. As the detect magic fades, you notice that the coals themselves are magical. However, now that some are thrown out, you sense even greater magic underneath one particular spot.

    "Keep digging! We'll handle those little fire slugs." says Elrae.

    Thorgrim gives Gotrek a resist fire, and he jumps in hacking at one of the creatures. When he hits it, it just disappears.

    The creatures are about 4' tall now. Banshee's fingers hit something hard in the coals, but she is torn....she found something....this thing is about to burst back into flame soon...dig one more round....or flee......grrrr! She pushes more coals out and tries to grab whatever the **** is in here. perspiration starts to form on her brow, she is getting nervous. Her work reveals a large stone box, about 6 feet long by about 3' wide. She can't lift the lid.

    Hepla reaches forth her hand and levitates the lid from the box. Inside, Banshee sees a longsword with a blade made of some kind of bluish steel.

    Now the creatures (let's go ahead and just call them Salamanders) are full grown and move to attack. Three move towards Gotrek, four towards Banshe, while 8 begin to move out of the pit towards the others.

    Banshee yells "Get out! its gonna catch back on fire Gotrek!" She seems about to spring but hesitates grabbing the longsword with both hands and flinging it outside the pit - then goes defensive, uses her tumbling skills to leap out of the pit and roll as far away from the pit ledge as possible and get away!

    "Drop the lid on em' hepla!" she yells.

    The sword lands next to Elrae, who looks down at it questioningly before picking it up. The blade springs to life with a blue flame, that isn't a flame. All 8 salamanders that came out of the pit turn towards him......

    With her knowledge of illusions, Banshee realizes that some of the Salamanders are not real. When she tells the others, they see through the illusions as well. You all see that there are only 4 salamanders. Two are attacking Elrae, one attacking Gotrek, and one attaking Banshee.

    Simultaeously, a man wearing a cloak of the Fire Temple comes through the double doors to the west, wielding a flaming longsword. With him is a huge troll pulling a chain connected to the neck of a hydra.

    "Kill the intruders," he says, and the troll releases the chain letting the Hydra go.

    Hepla , wearing the robe of the fire temple, says,"Hold, my lord, we were trying to find the treasures here and save them from the water temple. We are not the enemy, the water temple is, we thought we were the last survivers of the battle." She has a spell prepared and bone dagger out, but figures against this trio talking might be best.

    "I serve the Fire Temple," he says, "and I know that you do not. You..."

    Before he can say anything else, Vestron points his wand and a wall of fire erupts over the man, troll, and hydra. All burn, and the troll seems seriously unhappy.

    The three elves back away, firing arrows at the Hydra and hitting it a couple of times in one of its five head, which droops to the ground dead. Berenn moves up to defend against the new threats, and Thorgrim steps up beside him.

    Gotrek hits a salamander with his magic axe (12) and the salamander attacks him, hitting him with its bronze spear (4). He can feel the heat from the thing, but doesn't take any damage due to the resist fire spell. It also tries to constrict him with its tail, but fails. The coals begin to heat up again, so Gotrek backs out of them, just in case.

    [Gotrek is trying to get out of the pit, while fighting a salamander. Banshee is out of the pit, and one salamander is coming for her. Two are going after Elrae. The hydra, troll, and man are all burning in a wall of fire.]

    Hepla lays a grease down under their feet, and the troll and man both fall, though the hydra makes it's way out. It takes 2 more arrows as it charges forward. Berenn hits it, finishing one head while Thorgrim hits another. The two remaining heads attack each one, hitting both times. Berenn takes (6) Thorgrim (5).

    The Salamander attacking Gotrek misses and Gotrek backs out of the fire pit, feeling the heat as his spell is fading. The Salamander also fails to constict him again. Gotrek attacks back twice, hitting the thing both times (10 and 12).

    Banshee successfully blinds the salamander attacking her by conjuring darkness in its eyes. It attacks wildly, missing.

    Elrae hears the sword speaking to him in his mind. He points his sword at the Salamanders and a Cone of Cold springs forth from it. Both salamanders take it full force and are blasted back into the firepit. [I don't have the PMs, but the sword is sentient, and longed to get payback!] The two salamanders stand back up in the firepit and begin advancing upon Elrae once again.

    Hepla fires a magic missle at the troll, slamming it back to the ground where it burns up in the flames. The man rolls out of the flames, tendrils of smoke trailing behind him. He tosses his burning cloak aside and stands, and you can see the blisters and flaps of skins hanging from his face as he glares towards you. He is then instantly hit in the chest by two flaming missiles [just magic missiles, but Vestron's look like rockets!].

    The elves fire arrows at the Hydra, but they don't seem to harm it as they slam into its body. The hydra hits Berenn (4) and Thorgrim hits it, taking off another head. Berenn misses.

    The salamander misses Banshee as she attacks the Salamander. She engages the blinded salamander, sword humming as she moves it deftly through the air, a faint ghostly silver glow trailing from it, she begins the steps of the blade dance....... As she swings, the salamander parries with it's spear. Banshee is shocked to see her sword shatter against the Salamander's bronze spear.

    Banshee is visibly staggered, her eyes wide open in shock and pain as if she had been struck by a bolt of lightning. Her skin slowly and visibly turns darker, swirling into color as ink into a pool of water becoming visibly darker each moment. She falls to one knee. In a rush her situation hits her.

    "FREE! FREE OF THE BLADE AT LAST!" she cries like an insane woman.

    Gotrek gets constricted by the salamander (10) but he hits it at the same time killing it.

    Banshee uses he Dagger of Venom (filled now with the amber liquid) but as the salamander misses her in return. Elrae yells to Banshee as he draws Maethorlaer and throws it to her. Skipping away from the Salamander, she snatches the sword from the air. Instantly she feels something she didn't sense before, a sense of purpose. Her cursed sword must have been blocking her from receiving the call before, but now she knows that Maerthorlaer is hers.

    She hears the voice of Ellistrae in her mind, "You are free, now become a Bladesinger!"

    Meanwhile the warrior charges forwards only to be blasted by two more sets of magic missiles from Hepla and Vestron, slaming him backwards. He drops his flaming sword and he falls back into the wall of fire.

    Thorgrim and Berenn finish off the hydra, as the elves fire arrows into the salamanders approaching Elrae, but the arrows seem not to bother them in the least. They reach Elrae, who slays one with a slash of his sword.

    "Feel the bite of Snowfang creatures of the Abyss!" he shouts!

    "Hear the song of Maerthorlaer fiend!" shouts Banshee, as she spins and slashes twice at the salamander, the dance taking over......she begins to sing in elvish....

    Elrae takes a hit from the salamander (5), and hits it in return, killing it. Meanwhile, Banshee hits the salamander she's fighting. Gotrek moves over and hits the thing in the back as well. It turns to attack in that direction, but misses, blinded. Gotrek and Banshee finish the thing off.

    "Nice song," Gotrek says to Banshee, a wide grin on his face. "Didn't even have a chance to sing myself."

    Banshee returns to the party and smiles. She appears as a true drow now, long flowing silver hair, violet eyes, and inky black skin. You seem to notice something like a stormcloud has lifted from her. She seems happy and lighthearted, her voice musical with the occasional tinge of laughter. She says "I am Isilme of the noble house Everhate. Long have I struggled with that accursed blade and today it's blight has been lifted from me. I am a bladesinger, defender of all that is elven, called here by Eilistraee herself to right the wrongs of that wretched creature Lareth! I hope I have earned your trust fighting by your side even while I faced these demons. Now let us go forth and forth an destroy the evil in this accursed place!

    Isilme picks up the metal spear of the salamander she fought and straps it to her back, then looks over at Hepla winks and smiles....."Care to join me?" she asks, as she pulls out her magic dagger and starts skinning the salamanders. "I hear some of their squishy parts are good for components and potions!"

    Hepla indeed helps harvest some of the good squishy parts and some of the skin."Great for gloves when you are cooking," she explains, "Isilme, before entering this temple I gave you, as Banshee, my two wands and just before this last battle the ring of fire resistence, which was not mine but the parties. When we leave this Temple, I would like my wands back. I know I can trust you, but I do not know if you remember all that happened while fighting the sword's influence. And please, at some point will you tell us the story of that cursed blade and how you came to have it?"

    "It appears that Maethorlaer has found it's true master," says Elrae. "May the Song of the Warrior serve the Bladesinger well."

    "Indeed!" says Gotrek.

    Even Vestron comes to Isilme and bows, "You have proven your worth in my eyes. There are times when we elves are blinded by the colour of one's skin. Let us lift this veil of animosity from our eyes and view one another as true elves, good, whole and hale. I would be proud to count you as a companion."

    [Thus ended the fight in the Fire Temple. The party gained a very valuable weapon, even companion. Snowfang, a sentient Frost Brand. It claimed Elrae as much as he it, and with Banshe (now Isilme) bonding with Maerthorlear and Berenn taking the dead man's long sword Flame Tongue (which he also named Bonefire), everyone was quite happy. The party could search the place at their leisure, heal, and then consider their next move.]
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    Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:20 pm  

    Some amazing adventuring here Ragnar! That's quite a party!
    Also, kudos to you for taking the time to share this with the GH community. It's much appreciated!
    Master Greytalker

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    Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:38 pm  

    The best thing about the party is that it really is made up of all these different people. I step in and make combat actions for people who arent around, if we want to just push forward, but for the most part, everything you read is from them. I think the online format actually encourages role-playing, as you can thoughtfully write out things, type what your character is "thinking", etc. The more we have played, the better we have become.

    In fact, the role-playing is about the best I've ever been a part of as a DM. When I created Maerthorlear, I totally had Banshee in mind. Of course, the player had this odd idea of his character, which was changing as we played, but that's ok; it was all history/backstory. Anyway, he didn't have her take the sword when Elrae first handed it to her, and it turns out it was the curse of her silver blade. In fact, before Maerthorlear was around, she couldn't use any drow innate abilities, and had only gradually been regaining them. She didn't know why, but it was influence of Maerthorlear telepathically trying to reach her. Anyway, the players did a good job with their role-playing, and we went a good 6 months before she ended up with the sword. The only real reason she did was because Elrae ended up with Snowfang, and tossed Maerthorlear to Banshe when her sword broke. It actually was cool how it turned out!

    I'm glad you like it!
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    Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:00 pm  
    Snowfang and Maerthorlear

    These two swords were my own creations. Snowfang replaced a sword found in the Fire Temple, which I believe was also an int sword, but I like things to make more sense. So, I tweaked it. :) Also, Maerthorlear was unique as well. I have not made histories for them yet, but the players have been making history WITH them!

    Snowfang: Longsword, frost brand + 3/+ 6 vs. fire creatures. It is Neutral Good (Int 16, Ego 17) and speaks common, fire giant, red dragon, and salamander. It grants constant protection as a Ring of Fire Resistance. Will extinguish any normal fire into which it is thrust and has a 50% chance of extinguishing any magical fire. Detect Evil 10’ radius (always on). Detect Magic 3/day. Wall of Ice 1/day as the 4th level spell. Cone of Cold 1/day as the 5th level spell: both at 10th level ability. It also glows with a soft blue light, illuminating a 15' radius.

    Maerthorlaer "song of the warrior": +2 Defender (longsword) However, it does not reveal its true nature except in the hands of a bladesinger.

    In the hands of a bladesinger - Chaotic Good. Int: 15, Ego: 10. Telepathy (elven).
    Detect Evil 1" radius. It hums telepathically when evil is near.
    Detect Lie 1". It must be pointed at the individual.
    Humming: provides a defense against psychic attacks or spells. The "singing" of the sword would cut through and clear the mind of the attacker. This is equivalent to an Iron Mind spell making the wielder immune to all charm and hold spells. You automatically disbelieve all illusions of 3rd level or lower. You gain the +2 bonus of the sword to any other spells that attack the mind, as the magical attack adjustment based on high wisdom.
    Singing: The sword actually sings in the minds of others, through its telepathy. The effect is as an Emotion spell, usable 2/day.
    With its semi-sentience it can be mentally ordered to be quiet.
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    Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:57 pm  

    Some of the best fun I've had DMing came from roleplaying intelligent weapons. They can be great foils (pun intended) and great ways to move the plot forward, or open up choices fro the players that were otherwise unknown.
    Without going into much detail, there was a sword that led a paladin into losing his paladinhood, a staff that nearly started a war, and a dwarven throwing hammer that almost led to a TPK. (yes, I use fumble tables!)
    Again, I commend you for the great care you've gone to as DM. I'm sure you've been playing long enough to know what a rarity that is.
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    Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:14 pm  

    CAMPAIGN JOURNAL - The Temple Dungeons (Level Two-2)

    Cast of Characters:
    Isilme: Dark elf Bladesinger/Song Mage
    Berenn: Half-elf Priest of St. Cuthbert/Ranger
    Elrae: Human Bard
    Gotrek: Dwarven Battlerager
    Hepla: Human Mage (kind of a witch)
    Thorgrim: Dwarven Cleric/Fighter
    Vestron Orcburner: Elven Fighter/Mage
    Wonnilon (Woni): Gnome Fighter/Thief

    Map of the 1st level.

    Map of the 2nd level

    "Things were moving pretty fast, but didn't that guy who got greased and burnt have a flaming sword? Berenn you could use that." Elrae looks down the blue blade dripping with Salamander icor, "Snowfang, what else is around?"

    Snowfang detects magic in all the braziers. It seems the stuff is scented oil with continual light cast upon it. The coals of the fire pit are magical AND evil. There is magic and evil emanating from the altar as well.

    Hepla, after getting some good Salamander parts, goes to the troll body and says,"A little help please, this thing must be burnt to nothing." She grabs a leg and tries to pull it over to the flame. After a moment, when she goes nowhere, she pushes some of the burning hydra over to the troll.

    "Hepla," says Elrae, "there are some truly amazing components for your collection. Legends have it that rings of fire resistance were created from the tridents of the Salamanders, and their ichor is useful in the creation of potions of fire resistance. Troll blood is used to manufacture both poison antidotes and healing potions and Hydra blood is used for regenerating lost limbs."

    Hepla giggles as she finishes searching the man she will take some of the Hydra's blood, she already has some salamander blood. She will not take any troll blood, "Much as I would like to take some, we do not have the safty spells to keep it from regenerating into a troll."

    Vestron says, "The main ingredient for a healing potion is troll's blood. As longas there is no flesh with it, there will be no regeneration."

    "No it all," says Elrae. As if controlled by another force, Elrae plunges Snowfang into the coals of the firepit. "Evil fire begone! Your time on this realm are over. Taste the cold steel known as Snowfang and extinguish these unholy flames!"

    The coals instantly hiss creating an intense steam which billows forth, filling the entire area. Everyone ducks away from it and soon you are all immersed in what is like a wall of fog. Gotrek scratches his head, and looks around.

    Hepla looks at Elray and says,"Very nice,, where did that come from. That sword could be great against cold blooded things like we will find in the water temple. You might be able to freeze them solid." Hepla, finishing getting the trool's blood says, "Can someone near the doors open them for some fresh air?"

    "Let's leave this accursed place then, grab that flaming sword and whatever else is of value." Elrae uses a gust of wind cantrip to blow the fog out of his way so he can see. "Stupid eternal flame, we'll show them Snowfang, won't we."

    Vestron asks Elrae, "You speak as though your sword has a soul. What can you tell me of this woundrous weapon?"

    "Snowfang sings to me in my head, telling me when there's magic or evil around. When I picked up the blade, there was a strong bonding between us, one that will last a lifetime. I now feel cool as if no regular fire can harm me. When I was fighting the Salamanders I could understand their hisses and screams as if it were Common. When I pointed my blade at them and said 'cryo' a cone of cold blasted from the tip. I am told if we need protection to point the blade and say 'rhigosis' and a wall of ice will appear. This weapon is wonderous indeed."

    When the party is done, they return to the Air Temple area, and loot Kelno's room, as well as those of his underlings. They don't find much, but they get a few more potions and scrolls. Gotrek is frustrated at not finding anything useful, and he kicks over a table as he looks around.

    Isilme puts her hood down and approaches Gotrek," Noble dwarf, I have not forgotten your kindness to me." She hands him a Gold goblet studded with gems (2500gp), if your going to drink your gutshaker, you should do it from something that befits you!"

    He takes the goblet, but doesn't quite know what to say. He stands there, then mumbles, "Bah!" and walks off. As he does, he wipes a bit of dust from his eyes.

    Meanwhile, Isilme relates more of her tale:

    Isilme (Banshee) was a blade singer of Eilistraee, one of the goodly drow you hear rumors of. She was of the noble house Everhate, but never felt right about evil, and was trained in all the typical evil drow arts, she was a blade singer mixing song magic and battle dancing prowess as one of the drow elite. She abandoned the life of evil as it broke her heart to see so much murder, hate and war and left the underdark to hunt under the light of the moon and walk in the sun. she is a chosen favorite of the goddess (much like lareth was a chosen of lolth) She was called to the keep for that very reason. During her travels there she heard rumors of a banshee, and felt called to destroy that evil. Defeating the banshee, she found amongst its treasure a silver seemed to be calling to was a cursed intelligent blade. The blade has been slowly draining her life force and abilites from her, and attacking her mind, she has been slowly breaking free...then slipping... held...her mind a chaotic swirl of believing she was an ancient elf, a banshee, and having various other mental illnesses. The sword and its curse broken, her strength and mind have returned! "I am grateful the weapon shattered," she adds. "It was only a matter of time before my soul was lost to the blade and it turned on you."

    As this is going on, the rest go out into the large corridor, and cross to the double doors which Romag had indicated lead to the Air Temple (room 212).

    Illumination in this large octagonal room seems to come from everywhere — ceiling, walls, floor — a milky radiance which gives a dim and eerie glow to the whole scene. The floor of this place is 15 ' below the level of the normal dungeon floor, with short broad stairways leading to it. The ceiling vaults to a height of 40 feet. The walls and floor of the room are of polished gray stone with whorls of glittering mica; the floor is partially obscured by swirling, eddying, softly glowing mist.

    In the center of the area is a great pierced square of bronze, ten feet on a side. A dome is pierced in the northern ceiling, a circular shaft some 20 feet wide opening directly over a pit of the same diameter and five feet depth. Immediately to the south of the pit is a block of alabaster two feet wide, four feet high, and eight feet long. Atop it are two knives and a bowl of finest crystal. Ranking the pit are two crystal braziers, suspended from tripods by chains of silver. Each emits a faint sickly-sweet perfumed smoke.

    The doors to the north are bronze, sealed with iron, chained, barred, and bear a familiar warning inscriptions in runes.

    Another screenshot from the video game!

    Hepla goes toward the bronze doors so she can try to read the runes. They have the familiar antipathy magic as the other two sets you hav come across. You cannot get closer than 10' and can't really even look upon them. Isilme cannot approach them either.

    Thorgrim scratches his head, then walks up to the doors. "Suren they look just like them we saw upstairs."

    They leave the doors alone and return. Isilme says, "The only things of value here seem to be made of crystal....lets take them and go." Isilme searches the room thoroughly as usual for secret doors and things with her elf sense. She detects a couple of secret doors. On in the SW wall and one in the SE wall. You don't see how either of them open. After a bit, she looks at the braziers. " HEY ELRAE YOU GONNA EXTINGUISH THESE FIRES WITH YOUR BLADE OR WHAT?" she calls.

    Elrae walks up to one, thrusting Snowfang into the coals. As soon as you disturb the braziers, they start pumping out a dense fog which falls to the ground. You back up, and they continue belching forth the stuff which takes about a minute to fill up the whole pit and then starts spreading across the rest of the floor.

    Everyone leaves the Air Temple, as it slowly fills with vapor. You notice that the fog doesn't come through the open doorway, and continues to build up until it has filled the room to the height of the doorway and beyond. It lasts about 10 minutes, and then there is a sudden pull of air into the room. The fog seems to suck in for a second, then fades away completely in about a minute.

    Isilme goes back in to take the crystal braziers, but when she touches them a strong breeze starts up, swirling around. As she backs off, she is confronted by an air elemental. It doesn't pass the doors, but remains in the chamber.

    "Aye," says Thorgrim. "But let's see what it thinks of its counterpart."

    With that, Thorgrim takes out the Stone of Controlling Earth Elementals. [ooc: now, the other player who played the druid Sal had this, and he quit. Thorgrim player made a pretty big stink about it, being that was the best item the had found, and he eventually succeeded in convincing me that he got it from Sal. I finally relented.]

    "Salamander gave it to me before he left," he says with a wink. Suddenly from the stone floor something starts to rise. Made of the earth and worked stone, it does not seems as large or strong as the last elemental he summoned, nor the ones from the Earth Temple. However, it certainly is daunting.

    Isilme backs out of the way as the Air Creatures materialize around their oppositional elemental, and they begin to fight. At one point, the Earth Elemental slams its fist into the altar, shattering it and causing the two secret doors to open. The two fog creatures make what sounds like a scream of some kind as they fade slowly away, leaving the Earth Elemental standing by the broken altar.

    The party decides to leave the Water Temple for later, while they carry all their loot back upstairs. The Earth Elemental carries a couple of chests full of stuff, while the party lugs the rest. They return to Romag's quarters, and there settle down to rest. The mage's all work at identifying the magic they found.

    OK, I scrapped the 8 hours of "cleansing time"; however, assuming each wizard cast Identify, you each have temporarily lost 8 constitution points. After a six hour rest, that bring you back up 2 points. That's a -6 to each wizards CON (temporarily). You are all visibly weakened from the effort, and a bit shocked at the toll the spell takes on the caster. Maybe Vestron should have warned you first!

    [ooc: sorry, I made a separate thread with treasure, so I never really can find this stuff easily. I did see this post by Elrae though:

    items remaining:

    +2 Ring Mail (human-sized)
    4 Potions: Poison (Type J)

    +1 Dagger
    Short Sword +1
    +2 shield

    Here's the picks:

    Isilme--+2 Ring of Protection, Potion of Invisibility (9/9), Potion of Rainbow Hues, The Snowflake Obsidian Ring , Censer of Controlling Air Elementals
    Berenn--Rope of Climbing, NO MORE INTEREST
    Elrae--Ring of Sustenence, Oil of Slipperiness, Philter of Glibness, Potion of Fire Breath
    Hepla--Wand of Paralyzation, Scroll Pro-Fire Elementals, Wand of Identify (1 charge), Potion of Claivoyance
    Thorgrim --+2 Morning Star, Scroll Pro-Elementals]

    So, they got a pretty good haul actually.

    Meanwhile, Gotrek stands next to Vestron and grunts. He then walks over to Thorgrim.
    He then walks over to Isilme, and grunts again. He has noticed something about his armor. When Thorgrim asks him, he says, "It's the durndest thing. It gets cold around elves, colder the closer I get." He knew it got warm in the presence of orcs, but the elf thing, that wasn't expected. "Must be 'cause a the axe," he says.

    The party decides that they have done enough, destroying three temple factions in a couple of days. Now their time of subterfuge is over; they shall simply anyone else they come across. Isilme wants to summon an Air Elemental while Thorgrim summons an Earth Elemental, then they can just let them wreck havoc. The rest of the party talked them out of it, both on account of it seemed unlikely to work, using elementals against the elementalists, but also because they figured the DM would not want them to find a way around his adventure! :)

    When they are ready to leave, Elrae summons the 10 Earth Temple guards left. While wearing the High Priest Robes with his hood pulled up to hide his face, Elrae commands the Earth Temple loyalists. "Any of you who wish to bring ruin to Water Temple follow me, for now the time is nigh to show them that Earth is the most powerful. We will soak up the water into our cracks and crush all that oppose us."

    The remaining earth temple forces, while not all that enthusiastic, are nonetheless won over by Elrae's "performance." They are ready to follow you to destroy the Air Temple!

    With their small army, the party heads down the stairs towards the water temple, Vestron scouting ahead with his Cloak of Invisibility [dang, too many of these things around!]

    Joined: Jul 26, 2010
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    From: LG Dyvers

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    Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:39 pm  

    Ragnar, I love making up histories for magical weapons and other items. The two you described are excellent examples of fun weapons that make sense.

    My first foray into such attempts was in the module, Against the Giants (G1-3). I wrote backstories, riddles, etc. for every magic item in those adventures and tweaked their abilities a bit. I also equipped the giant leaders with the ones that made sense for them to be wielding. Evil Grin

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    Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:47 pm  

    CAMPAIGN JOURNAL - The Temple Dungeons (Level Two-4)

    Cast of Characters:
    Berenn: Half-elf Priest of St. Cuthbert/Ranger
    Elrae: Human Bard
    Gotrek: Dwarven Battlerager
    Hepla: Human Mage (kind of a witch)
    Isilme: Dark elf Bladesinger/Song Mage
    Thorgrim: Dwarven Cleric/Fighter
    Vestron Orcburner: Elven Fighter/Mage
    Wonnilon (Woni): Gnome Fighter/Thief

    Map of the 1st level.

    Map of the 2nd level

    As the party heads back down the stairs, Vestron rushes back up them. He had slipped downstairs to scout things out. He made it to the Y passage north of the cistern when he saw the light in the Hall of Triumph. He sneaked closer with his cloak and saw about a couple dozen men and bugbears, along with a priest and another leader-type. They were exhorting the troops about destroying the Earth Temple, killing the newcomers, and how the Water Temple would reign supreme. They were about to march, so he filled the hall with a wall of fire from his wand before hastening back to report.

    Gotrek snorts, like a mad bull. His nose ring shakes violently, as he goes deeper and deeper into song. Spittle and violent laughter fly out, as the throes of madness engulf Gotrek. But of course, he swallows the potion of speed before rushing off................. With Stonecrusher and Shield, he goes forth. A Lawful Good Battle Rager, here to eradicate all he deems evil. May Clangeddin give them a swing in battle before they fall.

    Hepla asks, "What color were their cloaks?"

    "The men wore black," he says. "The bugbears wore black or green. The priest had a green robe."

    As he is explaining things, you hear a loud rumble, and you feel the ground seem to shake.

    "Cave in," says Thorgrim.

    The party is still on the 1st level, west of the Earth Temple, when a cloud of dust billows out of the 10' corridor which goes to 149, just to the south of where you are standing. You go down the hallway, and find that the entire area has collapsed, with gaping holes opening to the level below. Flames are still burning below, and they cast an eerie light into the collapsed area. The firewall in the hallway below has caused a cave-in which has collapsed some of the ceiling, including part of the 1st floor.

    You can hear the faint sounds of men and beasts crying in agony from down below. You also hear what sounds like an ogre roaring.

    "Isilme, Vestron," says Thorgrim, looking at the collapsed area. "Why don't you go back downstairs, take measure of the damage Vestron did, then report back?"

    Hepla goes over to Gotrek and says,"I heard the sounds from at least one ogre down there, just thought you would like to know."

    [Gotrek OOC: Bad call!]

    IC: Gotrek will see if he can get down to attack the ogre and company. If he can, he will sing, and before raging drink the speed potion, and drop down(or whatnot).

    Gotrek begins to sing as he looks for a way to get down. Berenn takes out the rope of climbing, commands it to secure itself to the sturdiest object in the room and lower itself down the hole. "There you go Gotrek, after you."

    Gotrek heads down the hole, more slipping and sliding than climbing, finally leaping and tumbling the last few feet where he lands amidst a bunch of rubble. He sees a scene of destruction unparalleled. Much of the area for about 30' square has collapsed, and large boulders block the two passages to the north. All around him are burned and crushed men and bugbears; there must be over a dozen. He is no longer singing, as it's hard to get into a rage while climbing through rubble. It's a good thing though, as the half-dozen bugbears, helping another wounded bugbear out of the rubble, are hardly worth his potion of speed and rage.

    Gotrek plows into the already stunned bugbears, plowing through them like a runaway bull, while Vestron and Isilme find no way through. They continue to investigate the other corridors, attempting to find a new route.

    Meanwhile, back above Thorgrim hears a roar to the south. He, Hepla, and Elrae head that direction, avoiding the collapsed floor, and find themselves in the large barracks [149]. Looking beyond the doors, the see a green-robed priest and a couple of trolls moving north towards them. The trolls see them and start to charge, but Hepla casts Grease on the floor before them. They both slip and slide the last 10', right into a huge pit trap. Before they can get up, Thorgrim takes out a couple flasks of oil and throws them in, followed by an extra torch from Elrae's pack.

    "I love the smell of burning trolls in the morning," says Thorgrim. "Smells like...victory."

    The priest starts to cast a spell, when Wonillon steps around the corner behind them and fires his crossbow, hitting the priest in the back of the head, the bolt blasting out through his face and killing him instantly.

    "Great shot Wonillon! I was wondering when you would show up."

    "Thank you kind sir," he replies, "but I prefer Woni for short." He comes up and looks down at the burning trolls. "On my way I passed bugbear patrols to the south and seen orges and bugbears fighting skeletons in that big bone-filled hall."

    The group makes their way there, to the corridor which Romag had called the Corridor of Bones, and there they find some ogres and bugbears fighting a bunch of skeletons. They sit back and watch in amusement until a loud pounding is heard behind them. Coming down the slanting passageway from the north is a hill giant carrying a wolf in its arms. He seems to be crying.

    Woni and Elrae ready their crossbows and Berenn and Thorgrim step up to block the way. However, this time it is Hepla who boldly strides out into the front of the party.

    "Did those nasty Water people hurt/kill your friend?" she asks "We can help him."

    "No, he fall in big hole," says the giant, stroking the wolf's back. The thing is whimpering, and you see it's leg is broken. "Hurt leg bad." He looks at you, big giant tears falling. "You help poor, poor, Petri?"

    "Usually I would avoid assisting giants," says Berenn,. "but I don't like to see animals suffer." Berenn starts, "I am a forest guardian and a healer if you will allow it, I will try to do what I can for your wolf." The giant lays the wolf down as Berenn approaches, saying a prayer not just for the wolf, but for himself as well....

    Berenn heals the Dire Wolf (just an ancient wolf species, not evil!) and it licks him in the face. The giant is so happy, he kisses his wolf as he lets it down. It still kinda limps, but it can at least walk. The giant then turns to Berenn and wraps him in a big bear hug!

    He then lets him down saying, " "Me Gungk. No friends here. All mean to Petri, kick him, so Gungk leave." Petting the dire wolf, he continues, "Ballsnore say all good if I come squash people, give Petri snack, so I come. But Ballsnore no come, and everyone leave. Other man laugh when Petri fall in hole, so Gungk SMASH!"

    Elrae picks up a severed bugbear leg and gives it to Petri to eat. "Who is this Ballsnore fellow that makes these empty promises to you? Where can we find him?"

    "He High Priest of Water Temple," says Gungk. "He downstairs. Maybe find new place for Petri first? Then Gungk Smash Ballsnore! he adds with a hopeful grin."

    Elrae points back down the bone hall, where the newly dead bugbears and ogres lie. "This room is full of bones, he'd be able to snack to his heart's content."

    "How about the old throne room?" says Thorgrim. "Where we found killed the stirges? Lets take Petri over there, and he'll be safe until we come back?" After everyone agrees, we go do that, then we're ready to move on.

    "Say," asks Thorgrim to Gungk, "how'd you guys get up here anyway?"

    "Oh, we came by birdbear," he says, then up ramp. "Me show?"

    "Birdbear, I think he means an Owlbear. Legends have it a mad wizard mated a giant owl with a grizzly bear. I've never seen one before."

    You guys follow Gungk down to the south, during right and down the sloping corridor. You then turn right again and follow the large sloping corridor back down to the north. This passage is evidently one of importance, for it is plastered and painted with the evil scenes typical of the Temple. The passage is barred by a huge sheet of bronze, the surface of which is covered with bas relief faces of evil leering creatures. It is evidently placed to bar further progress north, though 10' wide corridors lead east and west. This portal is too massive to even attempt to raise by brute strength.

    "Five head lizard is there," says Gungk, pointing to the right. "Birdbear this way," and he points left.

    Hepla, finally able to speak says,"WOW,gigle, you are the biggest person I have ever met. My name is Hepla. I grew up in a forest and that wolf of yours is really great."

    He laughs, and the sound is deafening. You then hear a wierd hooting sound from around the corner to the west.

    "Good thing we aren't trying to be sneaky," says Thorgrim, rolling his eyes as you walk around the corner.

    This area was once of some importance, or its walls are plastered and painted, and evidence of carpeting can be seen inthe corners, though such is now a ruin. The floor is covered with litter, filth, bones, and possibly much more. The walls are dirty and stained, with great chunks of plaster pulled off and gouge marks everwhere else below ten foot height. The room stinks. An eight-footlong chain is bolted to the center of the floor, the other ending in a metal collar around a strange looking beast. The owlbear is a cross between a giant owl and a bear, covered with a thick coat of feathers and fur, brown-black to yellow-brown in color. The 8-foot-tall male, which weighs between 1,300 and 1,500 pounds, is very dark colored. The beak of the creature is yellow-ivory and its terrifying eyes are red-rimmed. As soon as it sees you, the owlbear begins hissing, clacking its beak, and sounding its strange hooting roars.

    Berenn tries to calm it, but it doesn't work. Gungk strides in and smashes the owlbear, which bites him and the two grapple for a bit before Gungk comes back. He shows you his left hand, with two fingers missing. "Gungk no like anyway. Stupid birdbear eat fingers."

    Berenn casts CLW on Gungk, though there's nothing he can do for the missing fingers.

    In essence, the party has split into three forces. The main group with the Hill Giant, Gungk, is on the first level, and are making their way back down to the second level via the owlbear and hydra chambers. Unbeknownst to them, they are getting ready to enter the Water Temple. Gotrek is killing a seemingly endless supply of bugbears, which then run away from him. Meanwhile, Isilme and Vestron are on their own on the 2nd level as well, trying to find a way around the collapsed area. They use their invisibility to slip by the guards there, and their magics to then slay them by surprise. Isilme charmed the leader, Feldrin, but he was then killed by a minotaur guarding another passage. After a sharp fight, the two defeated the minotaur, claiming its magical axe for Gotrek. They then followed the sound of his singing, eventually coming out in the Hall of Triumph where they joined up with the dwarf.

    [They are all about to meet up in the Water Temple. This one is tough to describe, because of the collapsed dungeon as well as the party splitting up. Often, I do things via PMs when people are off by themselves. That way, the rest of the party doesn't know what's going on. Incidentally, this is one are where playing via a forum or email is superior to FtF; you can really handle this kind of situation easily. However, just keeping track of things is a chore.]

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    Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:30 am  

    So, is Derry fond of Bacon and Mushroom sandwiches or not? Confused

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    Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:57 pm  

    Poor Derry. He was a good halfling.
    Master Greytalker

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    Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:44 pm  

    CAMPAIGN JOURNAL - The Temple Dungeons (Level Two-5)

    Cast of Characters:
    Berenn: Half-elf Priest of St. Cuthbert/Ranger
    Elrae: Human Bard
    Gotrek: Dwarven Battlerager
    Hepla: Human Mage (kind of a witch)
    Isilme: Dark elf Bladesinger/Song Mage
    Thorgrim: Dwarven Cleric/Fighter
    Vestron Orcburner: Elven Fighter/Mage
    Wonnilon (Woni): Gnome Fighter/Thief

    Map of the 1st level.

    Map of the 2nd level

    Woni finds the door, artfully concealed in a frescoe on the wall. You open the door and find entrance to the Water Temple.

    Hall of Verdigris (213)

    This huge hall, 40 'x 90', has an arched ceiling some 30 feet overhead. The many buttresses and arches form a tracery of shadowy dimness; the ceiling's exact height is not discernible. The floor and walls are covered in slabs of polished stone, apparently azurite-malachite from the swirls of blue intermingled with the deep green. Some magic has evidently been placed here, for a soft cloudy greenish luminosity seeps from the walls and floor, seemingly floating in the air, making the whole chamber appear as if deep underwater. This impression is enhanced by the bronze doors, fountain, and other work; all are covered with verdigris. Even the damp air seems to smell of the sea. Several weird things in this place come to your immediate attention.

    In the middle of the west wall is a great sheet of bronze, a bas relief of an underwater vista — seaweed, shells, and various forms of marine life. The head of a fish-like thing projects from this, a most hideous visage. Its ghastly maw emits a stream of water, which falls into a tiered series of four basins. The fourth and largest never overflows, so it must have a drain system somewhere.

    Near the mid-portion of the hall, some 40 feet distant from the east wall and 30 feet from the north wall, is a bronze altar with many marine creatures sculpted in bas relief upon its sides. It is about four feet high and round, with a ten-foot diameter. Its top is concave, and a shallow basin apparently about two feet deep is filled with water. The bottom of the basin is filled with coins, a sprinkling of gems, and many small seashells.

    In the mouth of a 20' wide alcove south of the altar basin stands an idol or statue of serpentine stone, expertly sculpted to depict a writhing, amorphous agglomeration of fish, eels, octopi, and other marine monsters. This horrid thing is about eight feet high and nearly as broad, the whole forming a globular mass standing about four feet from the altar basin. The alcove to its rear is ten feet deep, the back wall of which is covered by a drapery apparently fashioned from seaweed and water! Each corner of the hall is filled by a triangular plinth, filling it and extending about 20 feet upwards. Atop each of these columns is a gargoyle-like statue made of bronze and coated with verdigris.

    Near the central altar lie the bodies of an ogre and a priest with a green robe. The priest has been torn in two!

    When the party enters the temple they hear Isilme's voice clear and melodic, "Welcome friends! I can't become visible right now, I have three very powerful elementals hunting just me."

    When the party just stands there dumbfounded, she continues. "We headed down to recon for the party and found ourselves immediately in battle with the leaders of the force that died in the collapse. We then heard bugbears coming down the main hall but of course Vestron set another fire and torched them. We heard more troops coming from the temple and prepared to do battle and here is where things get crazy, I used the censer to summon an elemental and turns out it's cursed and three elementals show up trying to kill everything in sight. But thank the gods I heard Gotrek singing, because I put the censer in my bag of holding and they are gone - for now. I am worried that when I take the censer out of the bag of holding, I am going to have to deal with some pissed elementals though."

    "If you look next to the priests body you will see a pile of treasure, please grab it: there is a ring of protection +2, +1 short sword, magic minotaur's axe, magic plate armor, magic rod, +1 leather armor, and a potion of healing along with mundane valuables like 6 pearls, gold pieces, candelabra, etc (you see it all moved into nice ordered pile). "We got this from my charmed friend, Feldrin. Alas, he was slain by the elementals I summoned. Anyway, everything here glows magic, the altar most powerfully so."

    [That was all Isilme's way of filling the party in on everything that her and Vestron did while "scouting alone" earlier.]

    Gotrek walks in too, blood dripping from his axe. He looks around at the air, and grunts. "Excellent job! Now what do we do?"

    The party is back together, and with a good bunch of stuff brought by Isilme and Vestron. They spend some time dividing the goods, especially the magic weapons. The party is much better armed now, in weapons and magic. They investigate the room rather thoroughly. At some point Woni messes with the fountain, where he sees a large ruby in the water. He gets in to retrieve it, when causing the idol creaks. Hepla looks at it, and she sees the tentacles and pincers begin to move. The eel head looks at her....

    This caused a long, drawn-out fight with the juggernaut, which the party was badly losing. They got the juggernaut to barely miss Woni, and Elrae used Snowfang to throw a dome of ice around it once it stopped. With no speed, it couldn't break through.

    "We have maybe an hour, 'fore we should worry," says Thorgrim. As he says that you hear multiple thumping from inside the dome as the idol slams against the ice.

    "Or maybe not," he adds.

    [The party then continues.]

    As the party walks through the small hallway, you glance to left and right. Both areas are apparently the rooms of priests, as you can tell by a quick look.

    Left room (214): This 20 'x 30' room is furnished in rich green — rugs, carpets, draperies, furniture, etc. Four bronze pedestals (one in each corner of the room) hold green globes of some odd sort, which provide a greenish illumination for the area. Two upholstered armchairs and side tables are to the north. The center of the room is dominated by a long table with four chairs. Upon the table are green vessels — a decanter, six goblets, several bowls and plates, a basin, and a small box. A high desk stands against the west wall just south of the door; upon it are a few scraps of parchment and writing tools. A large wardrobe stands by a door in the south wall.

    Right room (215): This place is swathed in rich green, even the ceiling being obscured by gossamer green hangings. Tapestries on the walls show scenes of undersea cruelty and death. A large bronze brazier stands in the middle of the floor, sending off curls of sweetish fishy-smelling smoke, flanked by hanging bronze lamps which shed a green glow throughout the room. Six plush armchairs are here, each with a matching footstool and low "table. On each table is a small decanter, a bowl of nuts and fruits, and a stemmed cup of serpentine. In the center of the west wall is a couch of green velvet piled with pillows. A round table before it holds an ivory tray, upon which are heaped many seashells. An armoire stands to each side of the west door.

    There is another room straight ahead through the double doors (216): This large room is fashioned of great blocks of polished serpentine, save the domed ceiling of polished crystal — made to reflect everything in the room in a distorted way, concentrating light upon the center of the large oval pool of water in the center of the chamber. The whole place seems to be lit with a bluegreen light from this pool, and at the same time the pool seems to absorb light, capturing it in its heart. Pale green flames come from eight bronze cressets, four on the east wall and four west; the flames shed light but not heat. Tapestries of vilest sort cover the east and west sections of the north wall. The south wall shows a mosaic of some great ten-armed octopoid monster, holding a sacrificial victim in each tentacle.

    Isilme and Hepla head into the left room, checking it thoroughly, while Woni and Berenn check out the right room. The small box on the table holds sugared fruits. The decanter holds wine. The entire service fills two large sacks and is worth 2,000 gp if undamaged, being fashioned from fine malachite. Unfortunately, Isilme knocks one of the plates on the floor, where it shatters into pieces. [Incidentally, she did this on purpose!]

    Woni doesn't find any traps, so they open the wardrobe. It holds several unremarkable garments and two green robes of watered silk, each with golden embroidery showing a squid-like creature with ten arms in a circle.

    Thorgrim follows Isilme through the south door, frowning at the broken plate. Seeing nothing interesting in the wardrobe, Gotrek follows as well. it contains a pair of beds separated by a folding screen. By each bed is a small stand, a bronze brazier, a low stool, and a chest. One is locked, the other has been pried open.

    Meanwhile, Berenn and Elrae move into the other room. Gungk tries to follow Berenn, but it's too cramped so he stays in the hallway with Vestron and the elves. The room clearly, seems to have been Belsornig's chamber. Other than what was in the description, there is another door to the south, leading to Belsornig's bedchamber.

    Berenn looks over, "Looks like we found Belsornig's room," he says as he opens an armoire. Stepping aside, she can see a robe of watered green silk upon which a ten-armed octopoid creature, stitched in gold thread, writhes from back to front. Where the tentacles reach the breast is a gold circle set with 12 peridots — four small (each worth 100 gp), four medium-sized (each 500 gp), and four large (each 1, 000 gp).

    Elrae looks in the other one and finds a suit of plate mail, a shield, a mace, and a green cloak.

    Isilme also checks out one of the lights. The globe is a very thin glass, and when you pick it up you feel and hear something rattling inside. Breaking it open, you find a small piece of quartz which seems to be magiked with a continual light spell. She wraps the continual light rock tightly in a swath of cloth and puts it in her pack. She turns to Thorgrim, "maybe the party should gather a few of these for the lower level? "

    Islme gathers all the treasure from the two rooms and places it on the table. She does a good search of the desk and armoire also. she points to the table and asks "Anyone intrested in candy and wine?"

    "Ladies first," says Thorgrim, as he goes over to another globe and breaks it open, picking out another quartz light.

    "Join me then" she says as she finishes her search of the desk and armoire. She then pours herself a glass of wine and relaxes on the silk cushions, waiting for the party to figure out their next move. "I do miss the heated scented baths of the family palace," she adds, tasting one of the candies. It's the best she's ever had, and she quickly east a few more.

    Hepla looks suspiciosly at the candy,"We only got candy on really special days," she says, "but its not proper to turn down an offer like this and let Isilme eat alone." She pops one into her mouth, as she works at pinning up the robe she's wearing so it doesn't drag.

    While the others continue to search the rooms, Isilme spends a good deal of time in chatty "girl talk" with Hepla, suddenly bursting out in an old song Woni recognizes about a gnome who fell in love with his pet rock. The song doesn't end well and really isn't for mixed company, as it ends with the rock getting molested by the gnome! She suddenly giggles and watches the light reflect in her empty glass. "Ooohhh, pretty colors!" Isilme pours herself and Hepla another cup and grabs a bunch of dishes......whereby she proceeds to take a swig of wine followed by "DRITAL, DRITAL, DRITAL" and then the crashing of a plate against the wall followed by another round of musical laughter.....

    Hepla looks at Isilme and gigles,"I never realized how handsome our boys are. I think I will have some more candy, no it would not due my figure any good. But it is hot in here." With that she unties the cloak, with difficulty and lets it hang over the back of her chair.

    Thorgrim looks over at the girls questioningly , as he walks over to another globe. He and Gotrek break the other two, getting two pieces of magically light quartz.

    "And those vwardes are vlery strong," says Hepla.

    Woni wonders to hisself how good the girls will be in any upcoming fight when they are drunk and horny.

    "Which one of you fools took our candy?" cries Isilme. "Bring it back for miss Hepla NOW!" she giggles some more.

    "It's a good thing my ring of sustenance has curbed my appetite," says Elrae.

    Thorgrim actually seem to turn red, more than usual, looks from Hepla to Gotrek, and hurries from the room.

    Vestron says, "All of those stone have continual light on them. They will be useful and lessen our load rather than carrying a bevy of torches."

    He approaches Hepla and Isilme and says, "Fair ladies, I do think that these candies may be poisoned in some way. Methinks ye should abstain from their consumption."

    "POISIONED!!!?" Islme starts to choke and roll around in the cushions convulsing like she is about die....then breaks out laughing so loud and musically you're afraid any nearby glass might shatter. "Dont be silly! Bring us our candy!"

    She seems to take great joy in destroying more dishes...."Look Hepla at how pretty the shards are when they fly through the air!"

    While Isilme yells at Vestron, he takes the remaining candies and gives them to Gungk. The giant takes them and tosses them all down his huge mouth. "Yummy!" He then starts to cry, thinking about how he abandoned poor Petrie. He turns and runs away, ripping down the tapestries as he flees back to his pet.

    Thorgrim looks over at Berenn, the only other priest, and shrugs his shoulders. "I could try and heal them," says Thorgrim, "but I do no recall dwarves ever curing drunkeness." With a grin, he adds, "'Tis a natural state fer many!"

    "I would say so," replies Vestron. "You holy water is actually Dwarven Ale. No wonder dwarves revere their priests so."

    Gotrek picks Hepla up and brings her over to the bed and.....puts here gently down.
    "My dear, it is time to take a nap, and then we can go do some more good. Ok?"

    Berenn produces a small tailsman which he found. It looks like the large idol in the other room, and on the bottom is inscribed with a word, D'LYSS. "Anyone recognize this word." Berenn gives a return shrug to Thorgrim regarding the current mental state of certain members of the party. "I think we should rest here until the effects of whatever they have consumed has worn off."

    "Oh boo" says Isilme, and gives Gotrek the thumbs down sign. She whispers to her sword as if they are the best of friends and smiles.

    Hepla "oohs and giggles" as others look over. Suddenly everyone hears singing in their minds. The two elf maidens start to sing, dancing an ancient elven dance. Berenn cannot help but join in, as well as Gotrek, who goes and takes a big gulp of wine as well. Vestron almost seems to be able to resist, but then gives in to merry music in his head and joins the dance with the other elves. Hepla grabs Isilme and gives her a kiss, making the Drow's eyes go wide with surprise, then she spins off to go dance with Gotrek.

    Only Thorgrim and Sir Melwe resist, as do Wonillon, and Elrae, off in the other room. Elrae rushes out, seems to yearn to go dance for a moment, then shakes his head.

    [The drunk and drugged Isilme is using the emotion power of her sword, Maerthorlear, on the rest of the party.]

    "Someone dance with me," Hepla says as she lets the music set the pace for her dancing.
    When Gotrek put her in bed she tried to hold onto his neck but the music started.

    Woni raises his voice, "We need to see to our drunken friends and be on guard as there is evil about. We need to regroup we have no time for dance or song at this point!"

    One of the two elf maidens lean down and gives him a kiss, right on the tip of his long nose. "Awe, don't be such a sourpuss." She then spins off to dance with Vestron who is really cutting a rug! She takes Vestron on a merry dance, and they pass through the bronze doors to the south where their minds suddenly clear. Vestron shakes his head, looking back into the hallway where the others are carousing. Sir Melwe and Woni follow them.

    This large room is fashioned of great blocks of polished serpentine, save the domed ceiling of polished crystal — made to reflect everything in the room in a distorted way, concentrating light upon the center of the large oval pool of water in the center of the chamber. The whole place seems to be lit with a bluegreen light from this pool, and at the same time the pool seems to absorb light, capturing it in its heart. Pale green flames come from eight bronze cressets, four on the east wall and four west; the flames shed light but not heat. Tapestries of vilest sort cover the east and west sections of the north wall. The south wall shows a mosaic of some great ten-armed octopoid monster, holding a sacrificial victim in each tentacle. The monster is fashioned from dark purple tiles, with reddish highlights and green orbs.

    The pool is an oval, 20 ' across and 30' long, set in a basin of small lapis lazuli tiles. The crystal-clear water allows vision to the very bottom of the basin. The edge depth appears to be about four feet. The floor slopes steeply to the middle, to 12 foot depth.

    Meanwhile, Hepla dances over to Isilme and says ,"I love to hear you voice, it makes me all goosepimplly all over."

    Islme yells "dance with me Elrae-elf friend" and looks for him! Seeing Hepla, Islme says " Dance miss hepla! " and begins to dance rather suggestively. Looking like she may jump on the table at any time.

    Elrae starts to sing a song, countering the singing of Isilme's sword.

    Islme says "oh boo" and gives elrae the thumbs down sign. She kisses hepla again anyway, then plops down on the cushions for a final drink of wine and starts playing with the box of pretty pearls.

    Hepla sits down with you, giggling and talking about the boys. She does her best to be seductive, but it is more funny!

    Sir Melwe turns back and yells from the southern room, "The effect went away in here!"

    "Where did it go?" calls Elrae. "This madness must stop."

    "Whatever happened seems to be over," says Thorgrim. "Woni, can you watch over the ladies while we finish up here? We should hurry, before that idol gets free." The thumping from the other room punctuates his comments, and the rest of you nod (except Hepla and Isilme, who really need to nod off).

    Elrae looks at the pool of water in the other room. Is there anything inside of it? "I have a feeling this water is not fit for consumption."

    Islme yawns, and she's feeling really good. She grabs all the silk out of the armoire to cover her and Hepla with and snuggles up with her to pass out.

    Sir Melwe shakes his head and cries, "Get out of my head!" Woni and Vestron look at him, wondering what's going on. Woni makes ready his crossbow.

    Meanwhile, Thorgrim gives Hepla and Isilme his potion of extra-healing to share. "Here, drink this ladies, it's me best!" They split the potion, and instantly recover a bit, now suffering only the effects of of MODERATE intoxication. I will hold off from posting the EXACT effects on stats and such. Suffice to say, the effects are about half. You also recover sufficiently to get your regular dispositions back.

    Vestron says, "Will one of you clerics purify that water, please? Or cast destroy water? I don't care who but I am certain it is the source of this evil."

    Sir Melwe stretches out his hand and does as Vestron suggests, calling upon the power of Deep Sashelas to purify the water. "You hear a cry of pain in all of your heads, followed by anger.

    Thorgrim and Elrae rush into the room, "What is happening?" asks Thorgrim, looking at Sir Melwe in astonishment.

    "The power of Sashelas compels you," cries Sir Malwe, as he continues to call down the blessings of the gods. Thorgrim does the same, and calls on Berenn to help. Berenn moves up to the pool, but to everyone's astonishment, he dives into the deep end! [The pool creature was tricked him!]

    Berenn goes all the way to the bottom of the deep end of the pool. Vestron throws down his pack and dives in after him. He immediately comes back up, screaming and scrambling for the side of the pool. It looks as if wisps of smoke are coming from him. Suddenly, Berenn's rope reaches out of the pool and wraps around one of the cressets on the wall. You see Berenn struggling to pull himself out.

    Elrae not knowing how to swim, stays outside and uncoils his spidersilk rope. "Here grab on to this!" as he throws an end of the rope into the pool.

    As Elrae starts to pull Vestron out, he too suddenly leaps into the water! Gotrek tries to grab him, but misses, and Elrae leaps into the shallow side next to Vestron.

    "It is acid!" yells Vestron. "Purify or neutralize it before they are killed!"

    Sir Melwe and Thorgrim both continue to cast purify food and drink, as it seems to greatly harm whatever this is. Vestron and Berenn pull themselves out as Elrae comes up screaming in agony.

    As Elrae scrambles to the side, Thorgrim shakes off the effects of the thing, and continues to purify the water, along with Sir Melwe.

    Vestron hepls to pull Elrae out. He says, "Can you freeze this stuff, Elrae? The purification should still work then since ice is just frozen water but we cannot fall in."

    "Something is evil in that pool," says Berenn. "It suggested a girl was trapped in the bottom of the pool and forced me to dive in to save the illusion." Berenn then joins the others in Blessing and Purifying the pool.

    "%&$# it burns!!!" Elrae points Snowfang at the evil pool and speaks the command word "cryo" and a cone of cold shoots from the tip. The top of it freezes over, clear across the pool. Then as the priests continue their blessings, there is a terrible shriek in all of your minds, and the entire pool seems to explode, ice flying everywhere. The crystal dome shatters, inflicting 1-12 points of damage to each creature in the room (no saving throw). The lapis lazuli basin shatters at the same time.

    Sir Melwe rushes over to Esethiel (that's one of the elf maidens), praying over her (CLW heals 6, bringing her awake). Thorgrim does the same with Elrae (healing 6, he's awake). Further, you have to strip your stuff off, and you find that much of it has been ruined.

    Berenn: 40/ 38 left (Items destroyed: plate mail, +1 great helm, +1 longsword, half his arrows, 4 +1 arrows, mace, backpack, mirror, grappling hook, tent, tunic, breeches, soft books, food and water, 2 vials of holy water, scroll dispel Magic/Flame Strike/Tongues)
    Vestron: 26/ 26 (Items destroyed: longbow, +1 longsword, javelin, dagger, cloak of elvenkind, fine clothing, potion ex-healing)
    Elrae: 28/ 26 (Items destroyed: lute, spider-silk rope, jeweled dagger, poison, ring of sustenance, chainmail +2)

    [You can see how many hps some of the party had at this point. I keep all the combat notes on another thread, which I constantly update, so I don't have those old figures. You can see, however, that they lost a lot of good stuff to that acid pool! I posted all this because it was a ridiculous part of the campaign, and the Isilme and Hepla players really rolled with it when I told them how they were drugged and should role-play accordingly. Then, of course, the acid pool was quite deadly. Good thing there were three priests in the group! Anyway, after this the party left and returned to the moathouse. They brought Gungk and Petrie with them, and left them at the moathouse where they wouldn't be bothered. They then refitted at Hommlet, healed up, and identified their magic, before returning to the ToEE. They also gave Derry a proper burial.

    Despite their protests, Sir Melwe will NOT let the two maidens return to the temple. Rather, he plans to send them off to the Fey Realm of Celene, there to report on their Lady's abduction. The party wants to take their time, but Vestron is adamant about returning to find his sister, alone if he has to. They quickly finish their business and then return to the Temple.]

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    Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:04 pm  

    ragnar wrote:
    Poor Derry. He was a good halfling.

    Sure, that's what you say now! But we both know you poisoned him for stealing your Bacon and Mushroom sandwiches! Razz

    Nice campaign, Ragr. Keep it coming! Wink
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    Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:37 am  

    Nice touch with the drugged candy Ragnar, it gives Belsornig an additional seedy aspect!

    Sounds like your party really role-played it well which is great!

    Joined: Oct 06, 2008
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    Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:47 am  

    Wolfling wrote:
    Nice touch with the drugged candy Ragnar, it gives Belsornig an additional seedy aspect!

    Only if he gets into Politics and passes it out to children! Shocked

    The only thing worse than a Politician who steals candy from babies is a Politician that passes out poisoned candy to babies! Evil Grin

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    Master Greytalker

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    Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:03 pm  

    CAMPAIGN JOURNAL - On the way back

    Cast of Characters:
    Berenn: Half-elf Priest of St. Cuthbert/Ranger
    Elrae: Human Bard
    Gotrek: Dwarven Battlerager
    Hepla: Human Mage (kind of a witch)
    Isilme: Dark elf Bladesinger/Song Mage
    Thorgrim: Dwarven Cleric/Fighter
    Vestron Orcburner: Elven Fighter/Mage
    Wonnilon (Woni): Gnome Fighter/Thief
    NPC: Sir Melwe, elven ranger/priest

    Map of the 1st level.

    Map of the 2nd level

    Page 280

    The party rides along the road, heading towards Nulb. Berenn, Isilme, Elrae, Sir Melwe, and Vestron were riding horses. Thorgrim, Gotrek, Hepla, and Wonillon were riding in a wagon. When you get to the crossroads where you first met Hung Lo, Berenn notices the glint of sunlight off something in the trees to the side of the road. As he looks, he sees a hint of movement and recognizes the doglike face of a gnoll. "Gnolls!," he cries, just as a voice in gnoll shouts "Fire!"

    Vestron casts a web into the trees, as the gnolls simultaneously loose their arrows. More arrows than you can count shoot forth from the trees on both sides of the road, for a pretty long distance right and left. There are lots of gnolls! [btw, you are in the middle of a road about 0' wide? The trees and brush are about 5' further back from the road.]

    Elrae gets hit with two arrows (2,4).
    Gotrek gets hit with one (6).
    Thorgrim got hit with two (14,2) Damn, the first was a critical that blinded him in the eye! Actually kind of ironic, since his picture shows him with a patch! [Incidentally, the player LOVES that Thorgrim was blinded in one eye!]
    Berenn gits hit with one (8).
    Isilme is hit once (7).
    Vestron is hit twice (8,3).
    Wonillon is hit three times (6,1,7).

    As you were all riding, nobody was carrying weapons drawn. Berenn is in a horse up front, and Sir Melwe is next to him to the left. Berenn grabs his bow and prepares to fire. Elrae draws Snowfang and charges into the trees. He charges into the trees to the left, Vestron cast his spell to the right side of the road. Elrae gets in-between a couple of trees, with gnolls behind each one. He sees at least a half-dozen more. Sir Melwe draws a sword and plunges into the forest to the left alongside Elrae.

    Isilme was riding behind them, and Vestron was behind her. Isilme was about to cast sleep as she slipped from her horse and pulled her hood up and wrapped herself in her cloak. Her spell fails, but she goes invisible due to her cloak.

    Wonillon, riding in the cart, fires his crossbow at a gnoll but misses. Hepla ducks down behind the side rails where she is out of sight, casting a sleep spell into the trees to the right. She can't tell exactly what effect it is, as it's hard to see into the trees, but she thinks she sees a gnoll fall asleep.

    Thorgrim and Gotrek leap off the wagon, Thorgrim to the right and Gotrek to the left. They draw weapons, preparing to charge into the trees.

    Gotrek yells, "Come on ye, pansies! Quit hiding in those trees and die like the dogs ye are!"

    The two gnolls shoot arrows at Elrae, one hitting him square in the chest (8) and knocking him back off his horse. He hits the ground awkwardly (2), and Snowfang flies from his grip while his mount bolts off into the woods.

    Two more arrows come out of the woods to the right and behind the wagon, one just nicking Thorgrim (1) while the other thuds into the wagon. Another comes from the right side well ahead down the road and just past where his web spell ends and hits Vestron (6).

    From the left side of the road a further couple arrows are shot at Sir Melwe, one hitting (4). Three are shot at Hepla, but they miss her as they hit the side of the wagon. Four are fired at Gotrek, but they all miss. Four are fired at Berenn, and 2 of them hit (4,5).

    Berenn fires a shot at the furthest gnoll on the right, hitting it (4).

    Vestron throws up a wall of fire to the left, starting from just to Sir Melwe's right, and going for about 100'. The screams of gnolls can be heard from the trees! Berenn's mount panics and it takes off down the road at a gallop, with Berenn frantically trying to regain control.

    Hepla takes out her potion of Extra Healing, but Thorgrim yells at her to duck back down as he slips under the wagon, using the wheel for cover. He casts CLW (+8) on himself as he tends to his wounded eye. He still cannot see out of the eye, and when he feels it, he can tell that it is destroyed.

    Isilme slips off to the right, sneaking into the woods to the right of where Vestron created the web spell. He sees a handful of gnolls struggling in the webs, as two more are just back enough to not be stuck. They are moving around to flank Vestron. To the right there are three more gnolls with bows, each spread out about 10' apart, firing at the wagon. She uses a scare spell, becoming visible as she casts it [this is a vague area, I agree, but this is too direct an attack form so I'm saying she has become visible]. The three gnolls to her right all fall into fits of shaking and trembling.

    The other two gnolls coming around the web spell spot Isilme as she casts her spell and take shots with their bows, both missing.

    The two gnolls by Sir Melwe turn and flee deeper into the woods, as the other two fire at the scrambling Elrae, missing him both times. Four more arrows fly at Gotrek, all missing or bouncing off his armor.

    The gnoll that Berenn hit disappears back into the woods before he can shoot again.

    Sir Melwe calls upon the very plants, and they reach out entangling the fleeing gnolls as well as the two firing at Elrae.

    Elrae tumbles towards his trusted blade. "Stupid gnolls, stupid horse, wait until they get a taste of this." He grabs up Snowfang, spins, and unleashes a Cone of Cold at the two shooting at him. They are frozen solid by the blast, which continues past them through the trees and catching a couple more of the ones which just shot at Gotrek.

    Gotrek runs straight into the woods there, and kills one of them with a blow from his hammer. The frozen gnoll actually shatters! Wonillon pops up and fires a crossbow bolt at a gnoll in the woods, but it hits the tree which it's using for cover.

    Vestron leaps from his mount, draws his sword, and lights the webs on fire. They erupt in flames, and more gnolls begin to burn. "Heh, heh, fire, fire!"

    The two gnolls facing Isilme, now that they see she is Drow, turn and flee into the woods.

    Gotrek kills another gnoll and moves off to his left, looking for more. He sees two gnolls running away into the woods. He is about to give chase, then he thinks about his friends, and how his rash actions have at times put them in danger. Cursing, he returns to the road.

    No gnolls seem to be firing, and any surviving gnolls have all run away. There are actually three sleeping gnolls. The two affected by Isilme's scare spell surrender as well. Vestron wades into the webs and cuts down a gnoll, and sees a few running away, flames trailing their burning forms. There are two more gnolls stuck in Sir Melwe's entangle on the other side, and they surrender as well. You take a total of 7 gnoll prisoners.

    We disarm and herd them back together and begin questioning them, "Why did you attack us, did anyone put you up to this?" Hepla hopes that those who have the ability to read minds hear the true answers before the gnolls give us maybe true answers. "And don't try to pretend you do not speak common, we all heard the command FIRE in common."

    Gotrek grunts. "What are we going to do with 7 of these scum?"

    Hepla says,"Have a contest to see who most wants to have a chance to live. And we can double check their answers by having more then one."

    Actually Isilme will wait and see how they answer other peoples questions first - using her sword to detect lie. If that gets nowhwere then she will use charm (-3 save and only if it speaks common) The gnolls actually prove rather forthcoming, especially when they see the two angry dwarves, especially the one-eyed one with the pick!

    You notice the gnolls wear the same black armor with the flaming eye symbol that you had encountered before, so they are clearly from the temple. You learn that they are part of the Bloodfang tribe, which has allied itself to the temple. Their mission was to guard the crossroads, kill any who approach towards the temple, and report back promptly. The gnolls were to report back to the temple if anyone came this way, especially a party of dwarves and elves. They clearly know about you guys now, which isn't surprising considering you've been away from the temple for four days now!

    After Berenn heals the party, Isilme jumps on her horse and travels triple speed to the temple, hoping to cut off the gnolls, knowing they are traveling on foot in rough terrain right now. If the steed dies she will cast mount and continue.

    Gotrek kills the prisoner gnolls, and anyone that intervenes. He seems unusually upset, and nobody steps in. Even Berenn gives him a wide berth.


    Isilme rides on ahead, pushing her mount hard to outpace the gnolls. She is about to pull off the road and perhaps set up an ambush of her own, when she begins to smell smoke. Riding up around the next bend in the road, she sees large clouds of black smoke rising in the distance.

    Isilme knows she needs to stay focused on the task at hand. She figures the smoke is coming from the general direction of Nulb. Nulb, she thinks. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. Let it burn.

    As Islme has secondary skill of hunting and tracking, does she feel this would be the best lace to lay in wait, or does she remember a place closer to the temple that would be easier to catch their approach.

    Isilme sets up in a place to hopefully ambush the gnolls on their way back to the temple, when she hears loud horns just over the hill, towards the temple. She creeps up the hill, and peers over the top. She can see the town of Nulb, with a handful of buildings on fire. There are a few military camps around the town, just between it and the temple, with thousands of forms milling about. As she's watching, a large group of soldiers, about two hundred, with a couple of ogres and what looks like a giant, begin marching down the road towards the party.

    Isilme checks the distance.... She dismounts and tethers the horse in the woods. She takes a swig of her invisibility potion and goes down to meet them on the road on the far side. When they are within two rounds she will cast protection from evil (just in case) and light the cursed censer of summoning hostile air elementals. She then starts walking down the road toward the enemy, staying close the side of the road.

    Two elementals form and quickly move off down towards the soldiers moving up the road. They lay into them, and scatter the vanguard in all directions. The ogres and the giant move up and face the elementals, as a wicked battle begins between them.

    Islme moves up, casting Phantasmal force to make it appear as two more air elementals join the fray.... The remaining soldiers see two more elementals appear, and they turn and flee back towards Nulb.

    After the men have run away, another group of a dozen men come up to assist the ogres and giant, which have already killed one elemental as an ogre is killed as well. The elementals (real and illusory) kill another ogre, as the giant kills the second elemental. Suddenly, a fireball streaks out from the group of men coming up the road behind the giant, exploding on the phantasmal elementals.

    Isilme smiles and lights the censer again.... This should be a blast, she thinks.

    "Blast is right," says the DM. When the next elemental appears, another fireball flies down the road, exploding right on top of the elemental, and right next to Isilme.

    [Now, all of this had been taking place in PMs and in a chatbox. We don't really do much of that, and I usually don't have records of them, but I have the following chat log, which I'll share because, well, it's funny!

    From shoutbox:
    Ragnar: unfortunately, Isilme just failed her saving throw
    Tempus: did you forget my 58% magic ressistance?
    Tempus: Tempus: I would have to fail two...
    Tempus: we will see
    ragnar: I will roll damage after
    Tempus: and I am sure you accounted for the additonal +2 of my spell to the save...which means all I needed was a 6 to save?
    Tempus: I have a total bonus of +6 right now, and my spell save is 12
    Tempus: if your going to kill me, do it legit
    ragnar: I don't fudge rolls to kill party members
    ragnar: in fact, I have fudged many to keep you guys alive!
    Tempus: well - the extra +2 wouldn't be on the character sheet...its part of protection from evil
    Tempus: wouldnt be the first time you needed reminders
    ragnar: Isilme's saving throw was a "2"
    Ragnar: now I gotta roll 9d6 damage
    Ragnar: you should have split a looonnnngggg time ago
    Ragnar: 38 damage
    Ragnar: ouch! Isilme took 38 damage from the fireball. I don't know what to say except she is now a very crispy critter.
    Tempus: but no biggie. just make another one. you felt like I had too much stuff anyway
    Tempus: good news is, I am still invisible because of the cloak, so I doubt they get the gear
    Tempus: well that and the amulet would make me undetectable!
    Tempus: WTF 9d6? you know we are supposed to fight odds we have a chance of winning? Since Temple of Elemental Evil was made for levels 1-8 I bet there isn't even a 9th level magic user in there!
    Tempus: maybe I should have stopped, dropped, and rolled. wow. you got me, im dead. good job! LMAO
    Ragnar: It's not like I was trying to.
    Tempus: Hey Rags, now that I think about it, are we actually fighting people we have even a chance at beating?...if i average out the damage this mage is 12th level....if I assume he rolled all 6's that would put him at MINIMUM 7th level and probably 8th-9th being reasonable....cmon dude, these are 4-5 level characters we are playing with!
    Ragnar: Sure, when you are together as a party! That's why individuals should be careful when they are on their own.

    Thus ends the Death of Isilme. Now, there is more to her story, which I'll get to in a bit. Suffice to say, I didn't want her dead and the player really didn't want to be dead. So, I considered things for a bit and came up with a solution, something I had wanted to do for a while anyway....]


    Meanwhile, the party continued, with Berenn scouting ahead. He heads up alone, with his cloak and boots and skill keeping him hidden and silent. He follows the road for a bit, then where it passes out of a draw between a couple of hills, he skirts it and heads up the hill to take a look beyond. From the top of the hill he sees the village of Nulb in the distance, a few of the buildings burning. A few thousand figures are milling about in military camps between the village and the temple. Directly below him, along the road, he sees a large group of about a hundred or so soldiers along with a couple of giants in a defensive position. There are a couple of large charred circles in the roadway. He sees no sign of Isilme.

    The party catches up, and they camp behind the hill for a bit, watching the army gathered in Nulb. At first, the general consensus is to attack the army; however, Wonillon disagrees. "We are not thinking about fighting an army are we, I mean I expect to die but I don't expect to die in a stupid manner?"

    After considering the situation, Berenn finally comes to a decision. "I have a duty to Hommlet and the surrounding area as its guardian. The army is too large and powerful for our band and Hommlet must be warned immediately as well as the Viscount. If we are lost and Hommlet is not informed, a good portion of these lands could fall into darkness. I am returning to Hommlet to warn them."

    Berenn mounts his horse and spurs it to Hommlet, not at a rate that will kill it, but fast none the less. Berenn will make a bee line for Rufus and Burne.

    Thorgrim looks to the others, "Aye, we best be returning as well. Perhaps we should also warn the good folk of Canyonford to the north?"

    Hepla sighs and says,"Maybe it is for the best that we warn the rest of the towns what is coming." She casts MOUNT and summons a light horse with a sidesaddle. She takes one last look for Isilme and then is ready to ride.

    Gotrek spits. "I am staying. I am not leaving until I find Isilme. And if she is dead, I will avenge her. Will not ANYONE stay with me?"

    Hepla is willing to stay but just to find Isilme. Woni looks at the crazy dwarf, then the little witch, and says, "Let me get this right. You want to fight all that with half our party headed out to warn these folks and them other folks and so on and so on and you ask us to stay and help? I think we serve our fallen comrade better by living than dying a fool's death!"

    Vestron says, "Master Gotrek, are there no dwarves in the area who you might assemble to protect the innocent? I will do my best with Sir Melwe to gather elven forces in the area."

    Gotrek looks at Thorgrim as he speaks. "My dwarf brother would know more about such a thing. A lot of my kin don't trust my kind, a battlerager."

    "I won't leave my comrades behind," says Elrae. "There will be a tale to tell I'm sure."

    The party decides to move up towards the top of the hill, and Sir Melwe finds a small stand of trees and brush where you can watch without being seen. Wonillon has moved down around the hill to scout the area more closely, as he claims such activity is his specialty. From your vantage point you can clearly see that there are a few different races. Along the road where the burned areas are you can see men, gnolls, and the two giants. What is further away is impossble to tell in the growing darkness. The sun is now setting, and darkness is falling. Fires spring up in the two camps and you wonder how Woni is doing.....

    Woni returns, and here is what he reports:

    Wonillon sneaked down around the hill, and saw that the soldiers on the road are mostly gnolls. There are a few humans as well, and they are wearing black cloaks with a flaming eye. The gnolls are dressed in hide armor, typical of their race, while the giants seem to rather well-armed for their kind. They seem to be hill giants.

    Wonillon skirted around them and checked out the camps. There is one of gnolls, numbering about 400, with a large banner showing a long bloody fang. The other camp is orcs, perhaps 500, with a banner showing a skull impaled by a curved tusk through its eyes. There is also a corral with about 100 worgs, and you notice orcs riding them around the perimeter as well. They are white-skinned northern worgs, and are certainly not from this area.

    He then checked out Nulb. The humans seem to be mainly gathered within the village. There are a few of them that wear the black cloaks, but most of the soldiers seem to be village militia. The black cloaked men do a lot of shouting and threatening, and he noticed the villagers do not seem very happy.

    Towards the temple, there are great fires lit, and it seems the very place is burning. When he got closer, he could see that the fires are the areas of the temple grounds that have been burned clear of brush, and there are large pyres burning outside the temple walls. Light pours from temple's stained-glass windows, casting eerie shadows across the grounds. There are a couple of stone giants which are hard at work around the main gate, with about twenty men as well, rebuilding the place. A wizard seems to be casting spells to further the construction, though from his vantage point he could not be certain.

    "It will certainly not be as easy to sneak in as it once was," he says.

    " I think we should avoid this army," says Elrae. "White worgs can only mean that they came from the frozen lands up north, and serve the evil lord Iuz. If we plan to infiltrate back into the Temple of Elemental Evil, we can't break in from the top like we did before. Not with Stone giants fortifying it. Wasn't there an abandoned shack that has a tunnel that leads back to the where Colvin and the bandits were? The ruined tower. Maybe that will let us sneak past all of these guards."

    The party quickly agrees to use the secret tunnel. They also decide to send somebody back to Hommlet, to tell Berenn of their plan. Woni volunteers.

    "Verily, smacks of cowardice to flee," says Thorgrim, "but senseless death serves naught. Woni has the skill to return to yon village of Hommlet and inform Berenn of our plan. Methinks he hath the skills to get through." Going to Woni, he clasps his hand. "Take care, my friend. Suren' you shall return on the morrow, and all the hounds of hell shall not stave off our righteous retribution!"

    Woni turns and heads to Hommlet to find Berenn, hoping not to die on the way.
    Master Greytalker

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    Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:21 am  

    CAMPAIGN JOURNAL - The Temple Dungeons (Level Three-1)

    Cast of Characters:
    Berenn: Half-elf Priest of St. Cuthbert/Ranger
    Elrae: Human Bard
    Gotrek: Dwarven Battlerager
    Hepla: Human Mage (kind of a witch)
    Isilme: Dark elf Bladesinger/Song Mage DEAD?
    Thorgrim: Dwarven Cleric/Fighter
    Vestron Orcburner: Elven Fighter/Mage
    Wonnilon (Woni): Gnome Fighter/Thief
    NPC: Sir Melwe, elven ranger/priest

    Map of the 1st level.

    Map of the 2nd level

    Map of the 3rd level

    The rest of the party returns to the abandoned farmhouse in the woods, where they can sneak under the tower. Sir Melwe scouts it out, (good to still have a ranger), and he quickly returns.

    "There's someone there!" he says. "A woman, by the look of her, maybe an elf. She certainly seems up to no good."

    "It could be the bandit's leader," says Hepla. "Redhand is supposed to be one nasty elf lady. We need more info on what this lady is doing."

    You sneak back up to the farmhouse, and find that she has gone. Sir Melwe says there are tracks heading to the east. Whoever it was has left. As you search around, Thorgrim finds a small bloodstone on the ground next to the well.

    "Smigmal Redhand," says Thorgrim. As he bends over to pick it up, Elrae stops him. He checks for magic first, and when he doesn't find any, he nods. Thorgrim picks it up and looks at it, then hands it to Hepla. "Here," he says.

    Hepla takes the bloodstone, looks at it carefully to see if anything is etched on it, then puts it away and checks out the well. The ladder is still within in the well, and the party heads in. According to Sir Melwe, the female elf that he saw did not go back into the tunnel but rather to the east. The only other sign of passage is our own, from a few days ago.

    The party carefully heads down the long tunnel. Gotrek and Thorgrim take the lead, using their infravision. About 100' behind them are the rest of the party, using the soft blue light of Snowfang to see. When you are about halfway down the tunnel, you find an open secret door, one you didn't see before. Beyond the door is a dark hallway heading off into the distance.

    "Let's go," Gotrek whispers. Well, a whisper for him.

    I do hope our two wandering adventureres figure out where we are. Hepla lays her 5' pole in the doorway so the door cannot close and trap us inside, especially since we didn't even see this door before. She has her Wand of Paralyzation in one hand, her bone dagger in the other.

    "Should we leave a sign for the others to follow?" asks Elrae. "Mark a spot for them?"

    Vestron offer to lead the party, as he is the only one here of noble birth accustomed to leadership. He also offers to scout forward when the party needs it, as his Boots of Elvenkind will afford him some small bit of stealth.

    Thorgrim shakes his head and mutters something about haughty elves.

    "Good priest," replies Vestron, "I meant no disrespect and should the group wish another to lead, I will play my part. I merely offered because I possess the skills and experience to handle the position. I am likely older than any others here, apart from Sir Melwe, and have seen much in my lifetime."

    "You can count on my steel," says Thorgrim, yawning. [BTW, it was nearly dark when you arrived outside of Nulb, and then had to make a rather long and quiet detour to the farm, which you did not reach until well after dark. It's probably close to midnight now, and you've all be up for nearly a day and a half.]

    Vestron says, "Remain here. I will move ahead without a light and explore. Perhaps you can take a short nap."

    "Just don't end up like the last elf who went wandering away from the rest of the party." Elrae yawns and attempts to catch a bit of shut eye. "Wake me when it's my turn to watch. One thing I can guarantee, I'll be able to wake the whole party."

    Hepla does not like the idea of him going alone and offers to follow him, about ten feet behind. If the party still has some light and the corridor is straight, she should be able to see for a long way. If someone else who can see in the dark wants to go, she if fine with that.

    Thorgrim is willing, but the dwarves make quite a bit of noise. It will be slow going indeed if we attempt to follow. He then has an idea. He takes out the glowing piece of quartz. It doesn't give off much light, especially if cupped. He can cast Silence 15' radius on it and then you can move out. If you stay just behind him, cupping the light so as to not affect his infravision, you can hustle down the corridor. The spell would last for about 10 minutes. "Or we just wait for Vestron to return," he adds.

    "Either we all go together or we don't," says Elrae.

    The party waits, while Vestrons scouts the new tunnel. After a few minutes, you catch the faint echoes of strange, eerie laughter from down the corridor.

    "OK, let's move on out," says Elrae. He unsheathes Snowfang and heads towards the laughter.

    Thorgrim gets up. "Sounds like trouble," he says, and quickly heads down the corridor. Anyone following must do so single file, as it's only 3' wide. Sir Melwe races along behind him, his bow drawn and ready to fire over Thorgrim's head. Gotrek goes ahead of Elrae, who uses Snowfang to provide light for himself and Hepla. As she takes up the rear, she hopes that nothing comes up behind her.

    As you move forward, Vestron comes running down the corridor screaming in panic. Most of what you hear from him is gibberish as he is stricken with fear. Thorgrim grabbs him, as much to avoid being knocked over as anything else. He shakes him, and eventually has to cast Remove Fear to clear the elf's mind.

    "This doesn't look good," says Elrae.

    Vestron's breath still comes in gasps as teh unnatural fear leaves him. He looks rather embarrassed.

    "I came upon a chamber with a fountain and sconces and a huge skeleton. I cast mount and a horse appeared inside the room. The room immediately lit with flame and the skeleton rose and attacked the horse. I cast lightning bolt to destroy the undead menace but it was unaffected. I did then try to disbelieve the creature for I thought it to be an illusion but it is indeed real. It must have some ability to instill fear even in elves for panic beset me and I did flee. I fear that it follows me."

    Vestron draw his sword and causes it to burst into flame. [Ah, I forgot that Vestron, who is primarily a Fire Mage/fighter, took the Flame Tongue sword they found in the Fire Temple. I had thought Berenn took it. The blade is called Bonefire. I started to name magic items, especially weapons, to add a unique flavor to them."

    "Undead falls easily beneath this blade," he says grimly. "Let us destroy this abomination."

    "We should let Gotrek lead," says Thorgrim. "I will follow closely, ready to turn this foul abomination."

    Hepla switches to her rod of Smitting and has a spell prepared. Vestron charges forward, close behind the battle rager, singing an elven battle song. Here's the single-file order: Gotrek up front, then Vestron, Elrae, Thorgrim, Hepla, and Sir Melwe guarding the rear. Bonefire illuminates the tunnel with its flaming brilliance as you move.

    As you move down the passage, you see a sudden burst of light ahead. There is really nothing anyone can do except cringe as a lightning bolt bounces down the passage, striking everyone! I'll just use this list to go from:

    Gotrek made his save: took 13
    Vestron failed: took 32! (I'll have to roll for his items now too....)
    Elrae made his save: took 19
    Thorgrim made his save: took 20
    Hepla made her save: took 15
    Sir Melwe failed his save: took 35!

    The corridor goes dark as Vestron is blasted to the ground and drops his sword, extinguishing its flame. Everyone is temporarily blinded by the flash, and the corridor is left dark except for the most pale blue light from Snowfang, which only gives about a 10'radius of light. Hepla and Sir Melwe were also knocked to the ground by the blast.

    Gotrek charges down the corridor, and will be berserk after this turn; he's been working himself up for a few rounds now! Thorgrim follows behind him, casting a Prayer as he runs. Hepla takes a drink of her Potion of Extra-Healing [heals +8], crawling over to Vestron and administering some to him as well [heals +7]. He opens his eyes, wondering what happened.

    As the others all head off, Elrae helps Hepla up. Suddenly, Snowfang sends a surge of danger to Elrae's mind. It senses evil, close. Elrae begins waving Snowfang around, "Don't be alarmed, Snowfang senses evil amongst our ranks. Perhaps there is an invisible force around." Snowfang doesn't give you direction or anything like that, but it seems to be coming from ahead of you, not behind.

    He casts glitterdust in front of he and Hepla, where the evil seemed strongest. A small form appears, about a 2' humanoid with leathery, bat-like wings, a barbed tail, and sharp, twisted horns.

    "Kill that demon!" Elrae swings Snowfang at the creature.

    "Lord Vestron, defend yourself from a small demon," Hepla tells him as he wakes to find her laying on him and putting away a potion bottle.

    Hepla fires magic missiles at the thing, but they seems to simply fizzle when they hit it. You hear an evil laugh as the thing takes to the air and flies back down the passageway. Elrae is caught indecisively for a moment, when suddenly a burst of webs shoot forth from the prone Vestron's outstretched hands. The thing gets totally stuck, and its laughter quickly turns to curses.

    "That's right," says Elrae. "Who's laughing now?" Elrae grabs Snowfang and delivers a coup de grace on that little bastard demon "Who's laughing now?" he says again.

    "Pleassssse," it hisses in an evil-sounding common. "No hurt ussss. Kriitch helpssss."

    Just the sound of its voices sends shivers down your spine, like a centipede with hooks for feet crawling down your back.

    "Foul demon from the Abyss," says Elrae. "Taste the power of Snowfang as it rends flesh from bone and freezes your black heart."

    Vestron gets up and picks up Bonefire as Hepla moved forward. She cannot get to the thing with the 3' wide passageway, but Elrae stabs it solidly with Snowfang (10). The thing screams, an otherworldly scream that seems to rip at your very souls.

    Simultaneously, you hear another scream from the far ahead, coming from the chamber beyond the archway in front of Gotrek and Thorgrim.

    "Pleasssse," it cries, looking longingly at Hepla. "Do not lets it kill usssss."

    Hepla then pulls out her wand of paralyzation and zaps Elrae with it. Elrae looks back at her shocked, as he feels his body start to stiffen. Vestron then grabs Hepla from behind, pinning her arms at her side as Elrae shakes his head clear of the wand's effects.

    Hepla, if she can, drops the wand at her feet, so she cannot use it again and yells,"Kill it quickly, it has a controll on me."

    Elrae again stabs at the creature with Snowfang. "Don't let it speak for it is evil and filled with lies." Elrae stabs the small demon through it's chest, then chops off it's head. The quasit's head drops to the ground, while it's hangs dead in the webbings. There is a hiss as abyssal ichor pours forth and black smoke belches out around Snowfang as the thing dies. An even louder cry resounds from down the hallway. "That is it's evil master, bonded by blood and soul," says Elrae, as the quasit slowly dissolves into ashes. We must strike now while he is weakened."

    Hepla stops her efforts and says, "What was I thinking? Suddenly I felt like I had to save it. I'm sorry for whatever I did. Now it is dead and I can think clearly again. Thank you Vestron for stopping me. Our friends might still need our help, we should go to them. You can let go of me now, please."

    Vestron waves his free hand, and the webs blocking the passageway drop to the floor, disappearing in little etheral whisps. The party quickly moves forward. Before Vestron leaves, he kneels down next to Sir Melwe. He is dead.


    Gotrek charges forward, and can finally see the end of the passage up ahead, where it turns to the right. Light is coming from that direction, and as he turns the corner he goes into his rage. He is now in a 10' wide corridor of worked stones, which continues about 60' before ending in a blank wall. To the left about halfway down the hallway is a large 20' wide arch with a chamber beyond, from which comes the bright light. Standing just outside the archway, barring his way, is a large skeleton, seemingly of a minotaur. [basically, he is in room 335]. Just before going berserk, he drinks another Potion of Speed; here we go again!

    Gotrek charges ahead, hitting the skeleton with Stonecrusher, his +2 Warhammer (10) and sending bone chips flying. The skeleton hits him back. Thorgrim hears bone crack, but whose he cannot tell. Thorgrim comes in, joining his song to Gotrek's. He is wielding Boneripper, a +2 morningstar of dwarven make, and hits the thing as well (10).

    Gotrek faintly feels something tugging at him, his limbs getting heavy, like he's wadding through mud, but then in a nearly mindless craze he shakes it off and keeps fighting. He is vaguely aware of Thorgim standing motionless beside him and wonders why he stopped swinging at the skeleton monster.

    The thing hits Gotrek again, making him refocus on the task at hand. He then hits it twice more (12) (12).

    Gotrek roars, swinging Stonecrusher at the Minotaur Skeleton once again. He feels an alien force in his head, and he shrieks in anger.

    They DARE to try and control him!!

    He roars, spittle flying, and Warhammer singing...........

    Gotrek misses the thing again, and he sees a man step into sight in the chamber beyond.

    "I have no time for you," he says, and raises his hand.

    Before you can act, a streak of lightning erupts from it. It slams into the skeleton, Gotrek, and Thorgrim , knocking Thorgrim backwards about 10'. Thorgrim lies very still, smoke raising from him in little wisps. The bone thing seems unaffected, and it hits Gotrek again.

    Gotrek shakes off the blows and hits the thing twice more. Bones go flying and the thing seems to shatter into its component parts. Beyond it, the man seems horrified at the sight.

    The man in the other room simultaneously screams again, this time dropping to his knees and putting his hands on his head.

    Gotrek leaps forward as the man reaches up weakly to cast a spell. He hits him with his hammer (12). He then hits the wizard a second time (11) and then a third (14). The wizard is in a heap on the floor, his head a hopelessly smashed gooey mess. Bits of skull and hair are stuck on Stonecrusher, and blood has splattered everywhere, covering Gotrek's face.

    Hepla runs down the corridor. She quickly leaves the light of Elrae's sword, but the light at the end of the tunnel guides her movements. She turns the corner at the end, and sees a terrible sight. Thorgrim lies on the ground about 20' down the corridor, crumpled against the right hand wall. Smoke still rises in little wisps from his twitching body. A bunch of bones are scattered around the hallway, and through the large archway to the left, she sees Gotrek savagely smashing his hammer again and again into something. Blood and bits of bone and flesh fly at each stroke, and the constant squenching sound that it makes as it strikes the bloody mass that was once a man makes her cringe.

    Hepla runs to Thorgrim and checks for a pulse. She keeps her eye on Gotrek, just in case. He's still alive, but barely. You can bind his wounds. Thorgrim groans, and Gotrek turns around. His eyes go wide, then narrow as he sees Hepla, and he stands up. His hammer is held down in his right hand, and he is completely covered in gore, blood dripping from him like raindrops.

    "Gotrek," Hepla says as fast as she can speak," It is Hepla, I must help Thorgrim, he is a dwarf who is badly hurt. Have you betten all the bad guys? It is Hepla and we are friends."

    Gotrek then blinks and looks in surprise, as if seeing Hepla for the first time. His hammer then drops from his bloody grasp, as his eyes roll back in his head. He crumples to the floor like the pile of bones he so recently destroyed.

    "Thorgrim," she says, not taking her eyes off Gotrek,"you are badly hurt, can you cast a healing spell on yourself? Please try."

    Hepla then hurries over to Gotrek and feels for a pulse from him. He yet lives, but is near death. You are able to stabilize him as well and add a Healing check [+2].

    She runs back to Thorgrim and pours the last of her extra healing potion into his mouth and helps him to swallow[+8]. "Thorgrim, Gotrek is in bad shape, if you can wake up he needs healing." You bring Thorgrim back to 1hp. He barely has the strength to sit up, and as he stands, he collapses again. His muscles just don't seem to work right after that second blast. Hepla looks at her herbs, takes out the Terbas and places it on the spot where Thorgrim got hit by the lightning,(It doubles the healing of nerve damage.) "Come on Thorgrim, we need you to save Gortrek, just one good healing spell."

    The herb seems to work, and after a bit, Thorgrim heals himself (7). He then moves over to Gotrek and attempts to do the same for him. His first spell heals only (5) so he casts a second (7). That brings Gotrek back to consciousness with 4hp.

    Hepla puts her herbs away and looks around again to see that some of the others begin serching the bodies and the area. She looks through the archway to see what she can see. She notices that Sir Melwe is not around. She asks where he is. Vestron's only answer is silence. Perhaps that is answer enough.

    The light in the chamber is provided by burning oil which runs down from the fountain on the wall through troughs that light wall cressets. There is nothing to see except the dead Bone Golem and the dead mage.

    After carrying the dead body of Sir Melwe into the chamber, the party sits down and takes stock of their situation. Hepla feels bad that she hadn't notices Sir Melwe when she might have been able to save him. The party rests, with Thorgrim setting up wards behind them.


    When Berenn and Woni reach the moathouse, they hear a loud singing from inside the courtyard, from two very deep voices. Peeking through the blocked gate, they see Gungk sitting on the ground petting Petri. Standing behind him, drinking from a huge mug, is another giant. This one giant stands just over two stories in height, has violet skin, blue black hair and purple eyes. He wears a loose tunic, sandals, a headband, two anklets and several rings. He is also carrying a rather large two-handed sword slung over his back.

    Woni walks in and says "Hi Mr. Gungk, how is you and your fine puppy doing today? We are here to see if you are ready to return with us to that mean old temple that hurt your nice puppy Petri, oh and who is your new friend he is quite a large chap isn't he?"

    "This is Byleist," he says. "Byleist my friend." The large giant looks at you as it takes a drink from a huge mug and burps.

    "How are you Mr. Byleist you are a big fellow arent you, I am Woni and the sullen one here is Berenn. He healed the wolf friend of Gungk"

    "Well met," says Byleist. He explains that he flew by and noticed Gungk here, playing with his wolf. He decided to stop and rest and talk to him.

    "Gungk told me all about you," he says. "Some of your band seemed the same I met once before, on the trail of some orcs. He didn't mention the young halfling, Derry. What happened to him?"

    A sad look passes over Berenn's face. "Derry perished by his own hand ... he finally drank something that didn't agree with him. We were investigating the ruins of the Temple of Elemental Evil. It is definitely not abandoned, and there is an army near the temple, which includes a handful of."

    Byleist is VERY upset about Derry's death. "If you desire," he says, "I shall carry you back on the winds, for I would see this army you speak of."

    "Sir Byleist," says Woni, looking WAY up at him. "What do you know if anything about that large army, they have other giants gathered with them? They seem to be evil and sir you seem to not be."

    "I know nothing," he replies, "but I intend to find out!"

    Byleist flies you to the temple. He sets down on the hills beyond the town, towards where the farmhouse was. He is very unhappy with this turn of events, the large army and everything. He sees a couple of stone giants working on the temple and shakes his head. "This will not do. I cannot take more direct action here, but I will remove the giants, which should make your tasks that much easier. "

    "Lets get those stone giants!" says Berenn.

    "Berenn Giant-Friend," he says, kneeling down next to you. "I will return them to the mountains, where they will be no harm to man. Any other of my kind that I may bring, I shall. The rest, well you will find a way. I am sure."

    "Come on Berenn," says Woni. "Lets go find the others."

    You say goodbye to Byleist, and thank him for bringing you here so quickly. He nods before flying off, and Berenn and Woni head for the farmhouse. They sneak in themselves, find the open secret door, and follow the tunnel until they reach the party, resting after their ordeal.

    "You guys look like you could have used my help," says Woni.

    [So, the party is back together, and they just killed Falrinth. It "may" have gone totally differently, but Elrae slaying the familiar happened at the perfect time. The stunned wizard was no match for a raging Gotrek. Still, they lost Sir Melwe and nearly lost three others. I made some serious alterations to this encounter.

    First, I was keeping track of the Temple's actions in a separate notebook, making up their actions and also making some random rolls about what may and may not happen. Smigmal and Falrinth had a "falling out" and she left, leaving the secret door open. This allowed the party to find their way in, as they had previously missed the secret door on their way out. Then I dropped the whole illusory basilisk and unseen servant. It all just seemed too much, when something much more simple was preferable. Sometimes, these older modules were just like that. Anyway, I replaced them with a Bone Golem from Ravenloft.

    Golem, Bone

    Bone Doll
    Climate/Terrain: Any Any
    Frequency: Very rare Very rare
    Organization: Solitary Solitary
    Activity Cycle: Any Any
    Diet: Nil Nil
    Intelligence: Non-(0) Non-(0)
    Treasure: Nil Nil
    Alignment: Neutral Neutral
    No. Appearing: 1 1
    Armor Class: 0 4
    Movement: 12 15
    Hit Dice: 14 (70 hp) 10 (40 hp)
    THAC0: 7 11
    No. of Attacks: 1 1
    Damage/Attack: 3d8 3d6
    Special Attacks: See below See below
    Special Defenses: See below See below
    Magic Resistance: Nil Nil
    Size: M (6’ tall) T (1’ tall)
    Morale: Fearless (20) Fearless (20)
    XP Value: 18,000 6,000

    Bone Golem
    The bone golem is built from the previously animated bones of skeletal undead. These horrors stand roughly 6 feet tall and weight between 50 and 60 pounds. They are seldom armored and can easily be mistaken for undead, much to the dismay of those who make this error.

    Combat: Bone golems are no more intelligent than other forms of golem, so they will not employ clever tactics or strategies in combat. Their great power, however, makes them far deadlier than they initially appear to be. There is a 95% chance that those not familiar with the true nature of their opponent will mistake them for simple undead.

    Bone golems attack with their surprisingly strong blows and sharp, claw-like fingers. Each successful hit inflicts 3-24 (3d8) points of damage. They can never be made to use weapons of any sort in melee. In addition to the common characteristics of all golems (described previously), bone golems take only half damage from those edged or piercing weapons that can harm them.

    Bone golems are immune to almost all spells, but can be laid low with the aid of a shatter spell that is focused on them and has the capacity to affect objects of their weight. If such a spell is cast at a bone golem, the golem is entitled to a saving throw vs. spells to negate it. Failure indicates that weapons able to harm the golem will now inflict twice the damage they normally would. Thus, edged weapons would do full damage while blunt ones would inflict double damage.

    Once every three rounds, the bone golem may throw back its head and issue a hideous laugh that causes all those who hear it to make fear and horror checks. Those who fail either check are paralyzed and cannot move for 2-12 rounds. Those who fail both checks are instantly stricken dead with fear.


    I thought this was the perfect substitute for Falrinth's protection. Vestron was lucky he didn't die outright, but the raging dwarf armed with a magical warhammer was ideally suited to fight it. Of course, Falrinth was ideally suited to deal with the players, especially after his first lightning bolt. The quasit familiar Kriitch was his eyes and ears, which alerted him to their presence. A lightning bolt down the tunnel hit everyone, killing Sir Melwe, while it didn't harm Kriitch at all. However, it was Snowfang's ability to Detect Evil which saved the day! This was the first "truly evil" creature they had yet encountered, and Snowfang immediately recognized it. Elrae killed it before it could do much, and that timed perfectly with Gotrek destroying the Bone Golem. Kriitch's death stunned Falrinth, and the mage was literally mashed to pulp by an enraged Gotrek. I know I took some license with the rules as far as the familiar goes, but it all worked out. Besides, that's what we DMs are supposed to do! :) ]

    Last edited by ragnar on Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:50 pm; edited 1 time in total

    Joined: Oct 06, 2008
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    Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:56 pm  

    Nice action, Ragnar. Looking forward to more.

    The module does require some adjustment, depending upon the levels of your characters. No need killing off the whole group as a "learning process."

    Again, nicely done! Cool
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    Wed Mar 13, 2013 6:33 pm  

    CAMPAIGN JOURNAL - The Temple Dungeons (Level Three-2)

    Cast of Characters:
    Berenn: Half-elf Priest of St. Cuthbert/Ranger
    Elrae: Human Bard
    Gotrek: Dwarven Battlerager
    Hepla: Human Mage (kind of a witch)
    Isilme: Dark elf Bladesinger/Song Mage DEAD?
    Thorgrim: Dwarven Cleric/Fighter
    Vestron Orcburner: Elven Fighter/Mage
    Wonnilon (Woni): Gnome Fighter/Thief

    Map of the 1st level.

    Map of the 2nd level

    Map of the 3rd level

    Elrae examines the smashed up pile of bones. "A bone golem you say. I have heard legends of such that these creatures can give off such a frightful and vile laugh that it can scare you to death. Really, you'll die. As a bard I would prefer that my audience would die laughing figuratively not literally. Next time we encounter such a creature remind me to sing a song to counter act that heiness ability. An extremely powerful creature indeed, still no match for our two brave dwarves. Next time we reach a pub, I will buy each of these heroes as much beer as they can drink with my share of the treasure. Now where is that mage's treasure."

    Gotrek laughs. "Ha! You better hope we find some coin in this adventure then, laddie! The two of us will make you a pauper!"

    "I think the bar will run out of beer first. Still you guys deserve it."

    Vestron says, "I think we need to spend a fair amount of time here before moving onward. So many of us are hurt that Thorgrim's spells might not be enough for all."

    "True," replies Elrae, "but what is on the body of that magic user? He's right here and he has to have some good stuff."

    While Elrae and Hepla rummage through the dead wizard's stuff, the others check out the room through the north door. This plainly furnished 20' square room is obviously the residence of someone interested in weapons of unusual sorts. Hanging on the wall are a man-catcher and several sorts of punching daggers (sprouting from metal gauntlets, doublebladed with sharkskin crossgrip, and others). There are wavy-bladed knives, double-pointed knives, center-hilted knives, falchions, and a semicircle of seven matched throwing knives around a buckler with a wicked center spike. Barbed javelins, a short spear with a very broad leaf-shaped blade (capable of dealing an axe-like blow), an array of maces with oddly shaped heads (a wolf with an open mouth, a clenched draconian forepaw, and others) are also here. A light crossbow with a double track, for firing a pair of bolts simultaneously, hangs on one wall. Furnishings include a narrow cot, a small stand, a table, two chairs, a bench, a stool, a bucket with lid, a wardrobe, and a heavy chest with iron hasp and padlock. Dishes and foodstuffs are on the table and on a nearby shelf. Several bottles are also on the shelf.

    Woni goes and checks out the chest, and finds that it is trapped. He takes his time disarming a particularly nasty needle trap. Opening the chest, he finds 2 garrets, a vial of acid, potion of poison (marked as Wyvern poison), a female elf-sized darksuit, charcoal, grappling hook and 50' rope, 2 wrist sheaths, and a bag of marbles.

    "Hmm, thief stuff," he says.

    About this time Hepla hears a magical message from Isilme, saying she is at the door. They go and open the secret door, and find her there. She is visibly shaken, and her clothes seem to be stained in black smoke as if exposed to a large fire.

    When everyone asks where she has been she explains:

    I rushed ahead to set a trap hoping I could keep then Gnolls from reporting to their masters. I ran into that large force you saw outside Nulb and then a large contingent of men, giants, and ogres heading down the road in your direction. I decided to engage them, lighting the censer, hoping my air elementals would cause them all to disperse. During the battle I was hit by a very powerful fireball. I remember dying, and then my goddess kissing me and telling me to reap the rewards of my faithful service. But then suddenly I was lighting the censer and summoning air elementals again. As if I was re-living that moment of time. I knew what was going to happen, so I immediately drank my potion of fire resistance. I was still knocked out by the blast. I think I remember seeing a strange blue man looking at me wounded in the road, but maybe it was a dream. When I woke, my horse was gone, and then I saw Berenn and Wonillon coming this way and I followed them here.

    [So, it became easier to bring Isilme back than have him make a new one, for a variety of reasons. Plus, I had plans revolving around her, so I didn't really want her dead. Finally, I also wanted to do this foreshadowing for some time, and this was a good opportunity. In the end, it worked out ok. He did learn his lesson about running off half-cocked though. Still, pretty much a DM do-over! Sometimes, what can you do?]

    Thorgrim looks Isilme over, checking her wounds and seeing the burn on her side makes him wince. He then grabs her in a big bear hug! "Thank the Gods," he says. "We thought we lost ya lass."

    Gotrek gruffly says, "You almost had me worried, drow." He smiles, and hugs her fiercely. "Welcome back!"

    Hepla looks with awe at Isilme,"WOW, you died and came back WOW. Oh, and welcome back." as she runs forward and hugs her. She then casts a cantrip to clean and mend Isilme's clothes.

    Thorgrim lays his hands on Isilme, healing her wounds (8). He frowns when he sees the scar on her neck and the side of her cheek, and uses another, completely healing her. The scar still doesn't totally go away, but it is all he can do. "Mayhaps you will nae be so impulsive next time," he says with smile.

    Thorgrim thinks he can almost detect a hint of red in her ebony cheeks, as Isilme looks a bit embarrassed. "It was the curse of censer, I could not avoid it! You have an eye patch, and now I am scarred on my face and neck. Our adventures seemed to be getting carved into our bodies, who knows what stories they may tell by the time this adventure is over!"

    Elrae crumples up a piece of parchment, "I guess I won't be needing to keep writing Isilme's requiem."

    Islme gives Elrae a hug and thanks him for his thoughtfulness, she carefully picks and smoothes up the crumpled piece of paper to fold and put with her gear. I will treasure this always.

    Vestron asks Isilme, "You won't be lighting that censer anymore, I hope..."

    She smiles and says to Vestron "The censer was destroyed, but nothing would keep me from throwing it in the pool of acid right now if it wasn't. Damned cursed items."

    Elrae takes the double crossbow off the wall, loads it and fires it at the bucket. He smiles, "Don't worry Snowfang, you're my weapon of choice, but I do love them crossbows." He then gives the crossbow to Woni, and feels a soothing empathic response from Snowfang.

    Isilme takes a bunch of the stuff from the thief's quarters, since much of her clothes and equipment was burned up. Meanhwhile, the party detects magic and evil, discovering lots of good stuff in the dead wizard's stash. They also find that his staff was evil; it is made of bone, like the Bone Golem, but it seems to be carved from one large piece, perhaps the leg bone of a very large creature? It is topped with a jawless skull with two obsidian eyes. They set it aside for later.

    Continuing their search, they find the wizard's study. This 10 ' x 30 ' room is certainly where the magic-user inhabiting the room to the north actually studied his works. Here are all manner of magical apparatus. To the north, a workbench runs about 15 feet along the wall near the door. The wall here is lined in shelves, with all sorts of bins and containers. Over a small fireplace hang several kettles; a brazier, furnace, and bellows are nearby. Along the south wall is a high writing desk, flanked by a pair of bookstands, each with an unopened tome. At the far end of the room are a table, high-backed chair, and an open cabinet. Upon the table are a green cup, an iron box, a scattering of gems, several potion bottles, and a leather case. The cabinet holds three iron coffers, a crystal ball, a tall pointed black hat, a box of reddish wood, a long brass wand, five large books, and a small ceramic statuette. The tomes on the bookstands are magical. Potion bottles are magical. The scroll tubes radiate magic. The leather case radiates magic. The crystal ball radiates magic. The ceramic statue radiates magic. The back of the cabinet radiates magic. Finally, the iron box radiates magic and evil, VERY strong evil.

    They put the books aside, for now. However, the reddish wood box is an unfolding shrine, inlaid with gold, with a black interior upon which is inlaid a silver spiderweb, mother-of-pearl stars, and a garnet orb. As the doors of the shrine unfold, an ebony statuette rises from a cavity in the case to stand before the web: Zuggtmoy, the Demon-Queen of Fungi!

    Isilme's stomach turns, she quietly closes the box and throws it in the fireplace. If it's not already lit (I think it is) she casts burning hands to light it.

    The books are the wizard's spell books, which really makes Hepla and Isilme happy! They deal with the magical wards on them, then check them out. [The are like kids at Christmas!] Finally, they cannot open the iron box, though they also are not sure if they should even try. They put it aside as well.

    Thorgrim remembers what Colvin said earlier. Clearly this is what Smigmal and Falrinth had the bandits searching for, and it must be of great importance.

    After a lot of effort, they figure out how to open the box anyway. Inside the iron box is a gold sphere three inches in diameter, shaped to resemble a human skull without a lower jaw. Atop the crown is a raised diadem with four small depressions as if something is designed to fit in them. After doing all kinds of experimental things with it, like pouring holy water onto it, they find that they just don't know what to make of it.

    Elrae finally remembers something he once heard, about an artifact called The Orb of Golden Death. It was an item of great power lost during the Elemental War (that's what locals call the war between the Viscounty and the Temple). It's powers are unknown to him, as there are only a couple of cryptic references to it. One was a part of a poem, written by the half-elven bard Calen Sirithe.

    "A key without a lock they made
    of gold and gems, and overlaid
    with spells, a tool for men to wield
    to force the powers of Good to yield."

    "The rest of the poem was never discovered," he says, "or it wasn't finished." He looks carefully at the orb, "This Orb of Golden Death is the key to defeating Zuggtomy, for that I am sure. But how? The next time we leave this accursed temple we should take this to the elders of Hommlet. They probably know a way to destroy it. But we had enough trouble to get back here and there is no guarantee we can return the same way, especially with that army of darkness marching around outside. So I propose that we press onwards here for as long as we can."

    They put the skull back in the iron box, and continue looking around. Isilme finds a tall, full-length magic mirror, hidden in a cabinet. With much trial and error, she finds that it is a scrying mirror which may also open a portal to the place scried.

    She tells the party "This is a portal mirror, with the command word I can see and travel anywhere and return. Should I take this golden orb back to the wise council of hommlet and ask their advice? We can also all take this mirror and golden skull back to hommlet - the mage in the council knows Verbobonc and can take the orb all the way there if that is what we desire. consider what we should do with this new option."

    The party opts to return with it to Hommlet, seek out Burne, and learn what they can. At least, they send Isilme back through the mirror to do that. :)

    She asks the party to carefully write down all the questions they would like answered from the council, and she suggests they identify the items while she is gone. Isilme takes the gold orb box in one arm, and asks Gotrek to take her other hand (In case we run into real trouble)...... She then says the command word and focuses on the back room of their trading post, so she will know where she needs to walk through when she wants to return.

    She checks first to make sure it is empty, then walks very slowly through letting Gotrek's fingertips brush the mirror lightly first to see if she can join her. It works, and he goes through with her, with both ending up in the store. They look back and see nothing. However, those back in the room find they can still see them in the room, and can hear them. Thorgrim slowly reaches out to the mirror, and his hand goes through. Gotrek and Isilme see Thorgrim's hand suddenly appear in midair, and then his head sticks through.

    "Looks like the portal stays open," he says with a grin.

    [Incidentally, I later will change this, such that ONLY the person who used it to scry can go through. The abuse potential was just too big, and really, I wasn't sure I was doing it correctly anyway. ]

    Thorgrim steps all the way through. "Kinda tingles." He then reaches back and finds that his hand disappears, and he steps back through to the other side. "Interesting."

    You find that the portal remains open, and allows two-way passage until the one who opened it returns. You don't know if there's a limit to the time it remains open, but until you know for sure, you should assume there is and leave someone behind, or a group. Those on the mirror side can also hear what happens on the other side, but those being scried cannot see the portal or hear anything through it.

    Isilme hurries off to find Burne and Rufus. She sees the militia is out in the street, and you find that the mounted borderers have sent scouts out, while also sending for reinforcements. Homlett seems relatively safe, for the moment. You go to see Burne, and when you show him the Orb he is shocked, almost falling out of his seat.

    So, you share with Burne everything, and he is most interested. He knows of the wizard you defeated, Falrinth. He was the apprentice to the Temple mage, Ralaith who was killed when the Temple was thrown down.

    The Orb was created by Zuggtmoy, some thought with the help of Iuz. The presence of His priest there, and the winter wolves, does seem to provide further proof of this. The Orb was certainly the source of her power, and provided great benefit to her priests. Lucky for all that it was Falrinth who had it, and not her priests. Still, it does not realize it's power without the gems, nor can its wielder.

    Burne also takes out the identify wand that he got from Hepla, having finally recharged it. He gives it to you to return to her. He then answers other questions. [This wasn't role-played, due to lack of time, so they just listed their questions and I answered them.]

    The Antipathy spells were placed by a combination of priests and wizards, with direct help from St. Cuthbert himself. The magic is far beyond anything anyone can duplicate or dispel, and cannot be repeated. Burne believes you should keep the Orb with you, but not ever touch it. It is undetectable by any scrying, so long as you do not hold it. It does not gain its power without the gems, but they are also the secret to destroying it. Only by completing it can it be destroyed, and then only by following a specific sequence. The Death Orb can only be destroyed if all of its gems are properly inset. It must then be subjected to the following effects, in quick succession and in the proper order: a wind of 50 or more mph force; the strike of a maul made from a solid piece of granite; a very hot flame (1,000 degrees R); and immersion in very cold water (32 degrees F.).

    In response to a request for help, will get a granite maul made right away, from Tom the mason; it will be done within the day! Also, he can provide a Gust of Wind scroll. You seem to have the flame and icewater covered, so that should provide everything you need. But you have to find those gems! She asks if it's better for him to hold it, but he says no. Zuggtmoy cannot harm the holder of the Orb, so it is also probably very important to keep it with you.

    Isilme then visits Jaroo, and find that he is missing. She speaks with Canon Terjon, but he has nothing to add. He agrees that the Orb must be destroyed. After Isilme returns, they make one more trip, bringing the body of Sir Melwe back to Hommlet. They then finish their treasure splits, some level-ups, and then are ready to move on.

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    Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:55 am  

    ragnar wrote:
    So, it became easier to bring Isilme back than have him make a new one, for a variety of reasons. Plus, I had plans revolving around her, so I didn't really want her dead. Finally, I also wanted to do this foreshadowing for some time, and this was a good opportunity . . . He did learn his lesson about running off half-cocked though. Still, pretty much a DM do-over!

    Not a "do over" by any means! Not at all!

    As I said in another thread, the publication Deities and Demigods, page 17, makes clear that the Gods of D&D (Greyhawk) are "Active Gods," meaning that they intervene on behalf of themselves, or their favored servants, on a "regular" basis. They are not "Distant Gods," who no one ever "bumps into."

    In fact, the publication points out that, if a particularly favored -- and high ranking -- character runs into trouble, his/her God might very well send its Avatar to fight on behalf of that character! Shocked

    Personally, I like when that happens! Evil Grin

    Glad to see you using this aspect of the game. I like it when "my" God crosses my path, now and again. Wink

    Keep it coming! Happy Cool
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    Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:57 pm  

    Actually, that was somebody else, altogether. Any guesses?

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    Thu Mar 14, 2013 5:22 pm  

    Not following you. You mean some else other than Isilme? Confused
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    Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:20 pm  

    No, I mean she wasn't saved by her deity, nor by any minion, servant, or follower of her deity. :)
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    Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:39 pm  

    CAMPAIGN JOURNAL - The Temple Dungeons (Level Three-3)

    Cast of Characters:
    Berenn: Half-elf Priest of St. Cuthbert/Ranger
    Elrae: Human Bard
    Gotrek: Dwarven Battlerager
    Hepla: Human Mage (kind of a witch)
    Isilme: Dark elf Bladesinger/Song Mage DEAD?
    Thorgrim: Dwarven Cleric/Fighter
    Vestron Orcburner: Elven Fighter/Mage
    Wonnilon (Woni): Gnome Fighter/Thief

    Map of the 1st level.

    Map of the 2nd level

    Map of the 3rd level
    Page 354

    So, the party is ready to head deeper into the dungeons. They have rested, recouped spells, and healed damage. They also found some very good items. They found Falrinth's staff to be a Staff of Withering, consecrated to the demoness Zuggtmoy. They also found an Eboy Fly figurine, which Elrae most happily took. He will shortly take Riding (air) as a proficiency. With new spells courtesy of Falrinth's spellbooks, and new weapons and magic, they proceed. Isilme casts invisibility upon herself, as usual.

    They head out through the secret entrance into the rest of the dungeon, and make their way to the triangular room of eyes (314). This and all the rooms around it turn out to be barracks for bugbears, ogres, even hill giants, but they are all empty. The party backtracks, heading back down south towards a distant circular chamber which Woni scouted out, a chamber with a bunch of cool statues. (311. Chamber of Statues)

    This circular chamber, some 40 feet in diameter, is lit by four weirdly glowing globular cressets of ancient bronze. The light reveals nine monstrous statues, whose stoney visages are still sufficient to strike fear into the heart. Beyond a smallish blue dragon is a beholder; a fire giant, manticore, and medusa seem to stand in frozen conversation; and off to one side are a mummy, an ogre mage, a wight, and a rakshasa.

    Isilme (dark elf, fighter/magicuser) casts detect magic. She also takes a close look at the blue dragon to see if she can tell what kind it is (she is feeling frisky and may try out the wand of wonder!)

    STATUES: (results of detect magic are in parenthesis)

    Beholder: This statue seems to gaze fixedly on a scroll tube lying before it. (scroll's magical)

    Dragon: From the head formation, this must be a blue dragon. It seems to be admiring a copper bound box which is filled with gems. (box is magical)

    Fire Giant: The mighty right hand of this statue bears a spear, held like a dart. (magical spear)

    Manticore: This stone monster appears to be poised over a crossbow. (magical crossbow)

    Medusa: This figure wears a velvety cloak of deep black. (magical cloak)

    Mummy: This detailed sculpture holds a staff in one hand and a ceramic bottle in the other. (magical staff)

    Ogre Mage: This statue is adorned with a silver chain around its neck, from which depends a silver globe with the face, in bas relief, of the moon. (magical necklace)

    Rakshasa: One of the stoney digits of this horrid statue is circled by a golden ring. (magical ring)

    Wight: This stone figure crouches before a silver urn, perhaps some form of funerary vessel.


    Vestron (elf wizard): Should we consider trying to take on teh easiest of teh statues? I suspect if we take the item, the staue will come to life. Maybe the ogre mage would be the best choice?

    Woni (gnome fighter/thief) draws his dagger and stands behind the ogre mage so if it comes alive he will backstab it

    Isilme OOC: Rags, is using a wand on an inanimate object an attack to you? my two cents - Wouldnt these statues glow magic if they were able to come to life?

    DM OOC: Maybe, maybe not. I told you what glowed magical. Don't question the gods!

    Vestron: One way to find out. I remove the necklace from teh ogre mage.

    Hepla (human wizard) preps a spell.

    Vestron is reaching for the necklace, with Woni behind the statue. Everyone else is spread around, watching. Suddenly Berenn (half-elf Cleric/Ranger) notices that from his vantage point one of the lights from the cressets has moved. He shouts a warning, and when Vestron looks, he doesn't notice anything.

    "It's moving towards you!" he shouts, and then Vestron notices that the light is approaching him, subtly dimming as it does to remain undetectable. Good thing you have that ranger!

    Vestron casts Protection from Evil 10'r. from his scroll while Berenn draws his broad sword, shouts "Will-o'-wisp" and attacks!

    Thorgrim (dwarf cleric/fighter) blesses the party and then joins the battle.

    Fine, all the lights suddenly go out, throwing the room into total darkness. Those with infravision cannot see yet, as their eyes must adjust.

    There is then a series of crackling discharages of what looks like lightning flash around the room, momentarily lighting it and four ball of light which just as suddenly are invisible again.

    Vestron takes 4.
    Berenn takes 13.
    Elrae (human bard) takes 4.
    There's a flash next to Gotrek (dwarven figher), but it misses.

    In addition, you are all effectively blinded right now.

    * Next Round *

    OK, everyone who has infravsion, which is everyone except Hepla and Elrae, gradually regain their vision as they act. Everyone casts their spells first this time. Elrae draws Snowfang (the Frostbrand taken from the Fire Temple), providing a light blue glow in about a 10'r. Hepla steps over next to him, holding her rod in front of her.

    Gotrek swings his hammer, hitting nothing. Two will-o-wisps try to attack Vestron and Woni, but they are blocked by the protection from evil spell. One appears in front of Gotrek, but fails to hit him. The other attacks Elrae, again missing. Elrae and Hepla swing back, but miss. Isilme is also invisible, so nothing is attacking her.

    * Next Round *

    Vestron calmly goes about collecting the magical stuff, starting with the necklace. (after consultation, the order of collection is same as that listed in the earlier description) Woni stays close, protected by Vestron's spell. Isilme is invisible, protected, and casts strength on herself, going up to 18 (91-99) level.

    The wows attack Elrae, Hepla, Berenn, and Gotrek. Elrae is hit (8), Gotrek is hit (12), Hepla and Berenn are missed. Elrae, Hepla, Gotrek, and Berenn attack back as the things now appear again, and all miss. Thorgrim moves over to Hepla and touches her, giving her Protection from Evil.

    * Next Round *

    Ok, Isilme jumps out and attacks one of the WoW, but misses, becoming visible for having made a melee attack. Elrae fires magic missiles, which scream into the one attacking him [9].

    They then attack Isilme, Elrae, Gotrek, and Berenn (all miss!)

    Hepla then fires magic missles at the same one attacking Elrae, hitting it for [12]. It starts to blink rapidly.

    Berenn then misses while Vestron and Woni move over to collect the next magic item.

    Thorgrim cannot cast a dispel magic, because if he uses an area one he risks destroying potions and spell effects. No sense wasting it on just one either, so he just attacks the one fighting Gotrek, but misses. I think that's everyone.

    Berenn: OOC: Maybe they are harder to hit than I thought ... or the DM sucks at rolling! Berenn will continue to attack.

    It didn't take long for their frustration to start creeping in!

    * Next Round *

    So, next round Isilme attacks a WoW and hits it [10]. Elrae and hepla both fire magic missiles at theirs [12] and [8]. It blinks out is a small flash!

    Everyone else then misses while Vestron grabs the next item, the box. The box is 2x3 and 2' tall and is full of gems. He takes it and hands it to Woni.

    The WoW then attack. One hits Isilme [9]. The other two miss Gotrek and Berenn.

    Isilme OOC: I thought they couldnt hit us with protect evil up?

    DM OOC: Protection from evil says it goes away if you make a melee attack, which you just did! But really, that's the LEAST of your worries right now!

    Berenn OOC: Crap! I got a bad feeling about this.....

    * Next Round *

    Vestron grabs the urn, which crumbles into dust when he touches it!

    A cloud of dust blows out and down, engulfing him and Woni and spreading to Elrae, Hepla, Isilme, and Thorgrim. They fall to the floor in a fit of sneezing and choking!

    Isilme OOC: I dont have a map, but isilme goes defensive and casts gust of wind to blow the cloud away from the party and out of the room.

    DM OOC: Being that rounds last a full minute, that's not necessary. It's magical dust, and quickly disappates once used. You guys are SOOO LUCKY! Everyone made their saves! Still, they are all incapacitated by the dust for 5d4 rounds!

    Isilme for 16 rounds!!!
    Vestron for 13 rounds!
    Woni for 10 rounds.
    Elrae for 14 rounds!!
    Hepla for 14 rounds!
    Thorgrim for 16 rounds!!!

    That leaves Berenn and Gotrek still standing.

    On a good note, the WoW that was attacking Isilme died. The other two, fighting Gotrek and Berenn were also out of the cloud, though who knows if it would have affected them anyway.

    Elrae OOC: "Cough cough!" Another good move by Vestron. DM may get a TPK this time!

    DM OOC: Hey, I am nothing if not a benevolent DM!

    Isilme OOC: Well, it's Vestron's fault, again.

    Elrae OOC: So far he's got us ambushed by gnolls, lightning bolted by an evil wizard, and now was messing around with a cursed statue while the rest of us were fighting a very tough battle against 4 will-o-wisps.

    Isilme: "damn surface elves."

    Berenn OOC: Way to go team! Gotrek, you better starting singing (guess I should have mentioned, I let the gotrek player be a Battlerager from 2nd ed: by campaign is a strange amalgam of lots of systems!)

    As you can see, player frustration just peeked! So, just a few rounds into the fight, and the party is down 6 of 8 characters. Remarkably, none died from the dust. Best round of saving throws ever rolled! Still, with two WoW still attacking 2 fighters, it's not looking so great.

    * next Round *

    Berenn misses, while Gotrek takes out his Musk Oil and splashes it out all over him, raising his STR to 18-00. He also starts to sing! The WoW's miss.

    * Next Round *

    Berenn casts Protection from Evil, and the WoW draws back from him, blinking wildly. Gotrek and the other WoW continue their struggle, Gotrek not able to hit it while the WoW fails to hit with further electric discharges. Meanwhile, everyone else is sneazing and coughing uncontrollably!

    * Next Round *

    Berenn OOC: Berenn will attempt to pin the one on him in a corner and break out his bow. Not very sporting but these things are tough. BTW, I think I was wrong about the AC ... I think it is more like -8 ... yikes!

    The WoW flies up into air, and then attacks Gotrek. Gotrek takes an electric shock [10] while failing to hit the WoWs. Berenn puts away his sword and draws his bow.

    [ooc: that's 3 rounds since the others were incapacitated and Gotrek is singing.]

    * Next Round *

    Berenn OOC: Has the dust settled? Is it possible for me to stand by the rest of the party and protect them? Otherwise I could use a suggestion from the party ... I think it would take a crit for me to hit one of those things.

    Berenn takes a shot, misses wildly, and the WoW's continue their attack on Gotrek, hitting him again [6]. Gotrek takes out his potion of Ex-healing and drinks it while trying to avoid being hit anymore. Berenn misses with another shot.

    Hepla: Hepla, coughing and sneezing, tries to say,"Mag(cough) Missl(ah-choo) works(hack, hack)."

    Berenn: Berenn will go back to his broad sword, since he didn't miss wildly with that.

    DM OOC: that was just role-playing flavor. i rolled a 1!!! Don't change because I said THAT!!!

    Gotrek: "Clobbering time." Before Gotrek goes berserk, he throws Stonecrusher and shield down, and grabs his axe from his back. He will be easier to hit, but he will cause more damage when he hits....

    Isilme OOC: if you corner the creature or attack it with your bow you are negating the protection. Isnt berenn a cleric? So he could be sitting safely in protection casting buffing spells like bless, aid, then chant or prayer! Which you may have done bless which gave everyone +1 to hit an saves (if you did) already! keep going! its cumulative! Gotrek, take that Speed potion!

    Gotrek OOC: Srength +2 to hit, Axe+1, Specialize +1, plus rage +1, don't know what the musk really does. DM Help!

    DM OOC: Musk Oil makes your STR 18/00 (+3/+6)
    Speed and rage start simultaneously, so you'll be at 3 att/rnd

    Against AC: -8 you will need a 17.

    Gotrek OOC: ##$%&!!!

    OK, there was nearly a full day of OOC posts, as frustrated players figured out what the two remaining fighters could do, and argued about how they got in this mess in the first place!

    * Next Round *

    OK, Berenn casts CLW, curing 7hp from Gotrek as he takes his potion of speed and goes berserk. The two WoW attack him, both hitting him for 5 and 12. Gotrek takes the double zap, and goes berserk, spittle flying everywhere as Berenn rolls out of the way of his axe.

    * Next round *

    The two WoW circle around Gotrek, zapping him, but he just whirls around in a rage, avoiding their electric shocks.
    Berenn says a prayer (+1 to party, -1 to WoW).
    Gotrek attacks twice more, missing both times.

    * Next Round *

    Gotrek hits one of the WoWs [20]. That's how you do it!
    Berenn starts to Chant (another +1, another -1 to WoWs)
    The WoW both hit Gotrek, whose body sees to convulse, or maybe it's just his rage.

    Gotrek OOC: Don't know what else to do but fight or die.

    DM OOC: Well, not like there's much to decide with Gotrek now. Kill everything!!!

    Hepla OOC: How long till we begin to recover, or how long have we been sneezing and coughing?

    DM OOC: coming up on round 8, and you were out for 10.

    * Next Round *

    Berenn has to keep chanting, so that takes care of him.

    Gotrek scores another hit on the WoW [14].
    The two WoW's both miss, and Gotrek mises with both his next attacks.

    * Next Round *

    Beren keeps chanting.
    Gotrek gets hit again, he just keeps attacking, spittle flying.
    He takes three swings, and hits again on the last one [20], killing the Wow. Just one left.

    * Next Round *

    Berenn keeps chanting.
    Gotrek takes another hit. He's starting to look bad, but he feels good.
    He then takes three more swings, hitting once [14].

    Hepla finally stop coughing and can now act!
    Berenn's aid spell expires.
    Berenn's Prayer also ends.

    Hepla: If Hepla can concentrate again she preps and fires Magic Missiles till the wow dies or "her fingers bleed.."

    * Next Round *

    Hepla fires a magic missle [8]
    Gotrek hits it [21] and it blinks out!

    They are all dead. Gotrek makes is wis check and comes out of his rage. Hepla takes out her quartz light so she can see. Over the next few rounds everyone else comes out of their sneazing and choking fits.

    Berenn OOC: Berenn will heal up Gotrek and himself. Good call on prayer and chant spells. I really need to find a decent weapon.

    DM OOC: It's not your weapon, but they were AC -8!

    Berenn OOC: I need a better one than +1 is what I was implying ... like a +5 ...

    Isilme OOC: That was the toughest fight ever. Those last Willowisps could easily have killed Berenn and Gotrek, and we're all lucky nobody striaght died from the dust.

    Veston OOC: Yeah, that room is not fair.

    I think that's a fitting end to the recap. Maybe the room isn't fair, but really, the party prevailed. It is lucky that nobody died. I wouldn't have thought the dust would be an issue for the fight, but with a greedy Daffy Duck "mine, mine, mine" player like Vestron's player...well, that's what happens! Still, with the party levels being all around 6th, and there are what, 8 of them, that encounter was not out of their reach. Without the dust, I think the magic missile spells would have taken down the WoW much faster. Still, they were very worried, and there was a good amount of frustration, recriminations, etc. I think that shows the room is just right! I know over at dragonsfoot forums, there's a thread for this particular room, claiming it to be a TPK room. I guess it certainly could be, it nearly was here. Had the WoWs bee a bit better at hitting, they may have taken out Gotrek and Berenn while the rest of the party was sneazing/coughing. Yes, it's a tough encounter.
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    Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:10 am  

    CAMPAIGN JOURNAL - The Temple Dungeons (Level Three-4)

    Cast of Characters:
    Berenn: Half-elf Priest of St. Cuthbert/Ranger
    Elrae: Human Bard
    Gotrek: Dwarven Battlerager
    Hepla: Human Mage (kind of a witch)
    Isilme: Dark elf Bladesinger/Song Mage DEAD?
    Thorgrim: Dwarven Cleric/Fighter
    Vestron Orcburner: Elven Fighter/Mage
    Wonnilon (Woni): Gnome Fighter/Thief

    Map of the 1st level.

    Map of the 2nd level

    Map of the 3rd level

    [BTW, you should start to see less and less out of context stuff, as this is about when I started having players post such comments and discussion in another thread. I wanted to keep my game thread more clean and simple. Hopefully, I can still do these updates without any problem! The party returned to Falrinth's rooms and rested there a bit, before continuing. Also, Isilme took the Leomund's Labile Locker (LLL in future), which will turn into one of the most important items ever found by any party. She also took the Mirror of Mental Prowess and put it into the LLL. In fact, they start to put a lot into LLL, which allows them to gather a lot of stuff. Amongst the other things they found were a couple more useful wands, a couple magic books which they simply store for later, being afraid to open them, and Wine of Eternity. Vestron is amazed by this latest find. He knows that the wine was created so long ago that its secret is forgotten. Rarely has any ever been found. Even one drop puts the imbiber into a magical slumber from which it is impossible to awaken them.]

    They end up going back to the barracks rooms, where they found the secret door to area 301-305, the troll rooms. They find them empty, and the wicked stench makes them just hurry through the area. They find the ettin's chamber (306) but it too is empty. Actually, many of the creatures are gone, as the temple is quite busy at the moment, and most of the temple forces have gathered outside, knowing the "jig is up!"

    Leaving the ettin's room, they head north, eventually reaching the Laboratory (room 330). The wizards go absolutely bananas over this room, and most of the contents end up in the LLL. In fact, Isilme loads the LLL before sending it to the Ethereal. Then she uses the mirror to go back to the Trading Post in Hommlet where she recalls the LLL and empties it. Then she returns. [Wash, rinse, repeat until the room is empty. You can see why I soon will make a change as to how the LLL and Mirror work!]

    The party continues on, and Vestron notices a secret door on the left-side of the corridor. Woni finds the mechanism to open it, swinging the stone doorway open and revealing a chamber beyond. The black stone of this small area is draped with several white hangings, edged in silver. A small broken altar here was made of bone in the manner of Nerull the Reaper, God of Death. Nearby is a reliquary, containing ashes of some sort. A silver votive lamp hangs over the altar. Recessed into the west (diagonal) wall is a golden sun symbol of Pelor, God of the Sun. It seems to be made of gold.

    "It seems strange that the creature would have an altar to Pelor in here," says Vestron. "Nerull, to be sure, would make sense but why the sun god, the antithesis of such evil?"

    Isilme investigates the altar and pelor symbol closely. The altar was an altar of Nerull, and the symbol of Pelor is built into the wall. She also notes the telltale sign of a secret door in the wall bearing the symbol of Pelor. Woni checks it for traps, but finds none. Everyone draws weapons, as Woni presses on the holy symbol of Pelor, pushing it in and turning it to the right. The wall slides easily to the side, revealing another chamber.

    This bare hexagonal room is dusty, cobwebbed, and forgotten. Near the door is a rag-clad skeleton — probably some cleric who met his end herein, from unknown causes. The remains obviously harbor no treasure. A vague feeling of unease creeps over all who gaze into this place of darkness overlong. Snowfang detects a strong pulse of magic comes from the northwest, and the whole room is found to give off a dim radiation of malign power. A black iron coffin stands by the northwest wall. It is sealed in silver, and inlaid into the lid is another golden symbol of Pelor.

    Isilme creeps up carefully and takes a look at the coffin. she casts strength on herself and prepares to throw open the lid of the coffin. Song of the warrior defend my mind. This is the moment of truth!

    "Crap, a vampire for sure!" says Thorgrim. [there is a short discussion as to whether or not they really want to do this, but there's no way the clerics will let such an abomination live, er, unlive. So, after casting many protective spells, they decide to open the coffin and deal with this thing. It's god to have players who do NOT have the adventure memorized!!!]

    After scraping the silver seals from the lid, Hepla casts levitate. She lifts the lid, and Isilme looks inside. You see a white corpse, clad in black and appearing hale— except for the stake through its heart.

    "Something isn't right," says Berenn, as he takes out his scroll of True Seeing. Berenn gets out his scroll and reads it. Your powerful magic reveals a figure completely different from the vampire form. You see a handsome mail-clad human man with golden hair. He is clad in a white surcoat, quartered by the arms of Furyondy and Veluna and the antlers of the Knights of the Hart, in red. He wears a gold belt at his waist, with a dagger. About his neck is a gold chain with an emblem of a crown and crescent moon; on his left hand is a gold ring with a similar device. His shield rests under his feet, and his hands are crossed before him, resting on the pommel of a sword.

    Vestron recognizes the heraldry, "This is Prince Thrommel, Grand Marshall of Furyondy! He was going to be key in uniting the regional powers under an alliance, if not outright fealty once again. At one time Veluna, Verbobonc, and Dyvers owed their fealty to Furyondy. Furyondian kings even used to be crowned in the city of Dyvers. The Prince was supposed to marry the Lady Jolene of Veluna, and thus reunite the two noble houses once again. It may have been the first step in true re-unification, but he disappeared a few years ago."

    The party attempts to revive him, but cannot. Isilme reasons that he has been given the Wine of Eternity you found earlier. You also find that he wears an Amulet of Proof Against Detection and Location, which ends up going to Isilme. [I think I showed her having it earlier, but this is where she found it.]

    "We should take him back to Hommlet," says Isilme. She attempts to scry Jaroo with her mirror. The mirror reveals a dark, forested area. You see Jaroo sleeping, and you see two others. A woman is curled up asleep next to him. Beyond them is a very large warrior, wearing a suit of chainmail and a longsword on his hip. He sits with a bow across his legs, arrow ready to be drawn. Berenn instantly recognizes both of them, Cannoness Y'Dey, of the Church in Hommlet. She disappeared a few months ago. The other is Otis, Elmo's brother and a Ranger Lord. He taught both Elmo and Berenn their craft!

    You cannot speak through the mirror, but can hear. When Berenn steps through, Otis issues a quick shout and springs to his feet, bow drawn and pointed at Berenn's head. Y'dey and Jaroo also jerk awake and roll away and to their feet, Jaroo lifting his staff and Y'dey a mace.

    At Berenn's greeting, Otis puts up a hand, holding the others back. He then recognizes Berenn and lowers his sword. Y'dey, an old woman, rushes up and grabs Berenn by the ear. "What in the Nine Hells are you doing here young man?" she asks, with the demeanor of a mother scolding her son. "Answer quick! You are never to old for me to put over my knee!"

    Thorgrim chuckles back on the other side of the mirror.

    "I have used a scrying mirror to come here from the Temple of Elemental Evil," stammers Berenn, trying to regain a sense of dignity, which is difficult with Y'dey holding his ear. "We have found Prince Thrommel of Celene within the temple in a sleep; we can't wake him from. We were hoping by scrying Jaroo, we might locate him and give us directions on a safe place to send the sleeping prince."

    Y'dey looks over at the others, and they all stare at each other, then Berenn, not sure what to say. "It appears my arrival might have been ill timed, where are we and what is wrong?"

    Y'dey ponders for a moment before letting go of Berenn's ear. Lucky for everyone else he can't hear the laughter from the other side of the mirror!

    "We are in the Gnarley Forest," says Otis, stepping up and taking Berenn's arm. "You are a welcome sight, son." We are hounded by Temple forces, and have been hard-pressed to stay ahead of them. Murfles is dead."

    [ooc: that's Otis's adventuring companion, an elven fighter/thief who used to frequent Hommlet.]

    "She fell protecting me," says Y'dey, "giving me a chance to escape from Nulb.

    "We were spying on the temple's recent activity," says Otis, "from Nulb. There was some kind of skirmish outside of town, then hundreds, thousands of humanoids showed up. They issued from the temple like swarming ants, along with ogres, giants, and fell priests and wizards. They must have found us out. We were lucky to escape with our lives."

    Y'dey continues, "They drove us deep into the Gnarley, to keep us from getting back to warn others. That's when we ran into Jaroo."

    Otis then stops, looking you in the eye, "Wait, did you say you found Prince Thrommel?"

    After Berenn explains again, Otis tells you to take them to him. You find the portal again, and they step through it ahead of you. After Berenn steps through, Isilme closes the portal. You are all now in the false crypt where you found Prince Thrommel.

    Otis kneels next to him, and Y'dey whispers a prayer to St. Cuthbert. Berenn joins Y'dey in prayer. "Perhaps my appearance was not ill timed after all," he adds afterwards. "I warned Rufus of the army on the march and some reinforcements have arrived from Verbobonc. I believe Elmo has returned to get more. Hopefully they will arrive in time to save the village."

    Otis is shocked that you have found Prince Thrommel. "All efforts to scry his whereabouts, had failed. Even communing with higher powers did not yield any results. And he was here all along."

    Isilme hugs jaroo and says "I am glad to see you well! I had been told you traveled to Verbobonc; though If you were hard pressed by evil forces I am glad we were able to bring you here, that you all might still carry out your mission and assist with returning the prince. I am hoping one of you can scry the city the prince needs to be taken to, so we can get him there immediately. Once we have taken care of the prince we can send you back to Hommlet or anywhere else you may wish to go."

    Otis agrees, he should bring Prince Thrommel back to Mitrik right away. Once you instruct him on the mirror, he uses it to envision the palace of the Kingdom of Furyondy. The vision clears, and you see what must be the throne room, though it is empty. "I shall deliver the prince, but can you keep the gate open for my return? I will hurry, but I do not know how long it shall take."

    [Some of the trip to Furyondy took place in PMs, so I lost them. I'll sum up.]

    Eventually, they come back. King Belvor was going to send soldiers to Verbobonc, but they will take some time to get there. You also have the gratitude of the King of Furyondy, for bringing his son home. You use the mirror to scry Hommlet, and Jarro, Y'dey, and Otis go through to join in the defense, as well as to share their intel. Before they go, Y'dey and Jaroo heal the last of your wounds.

    Isilme asks Y'dey before she leaves, "Please, do you have the power to restore Thorgrim's eye?"

    Thorgrim looks at Isilme, "What's wrong with my eye?"

    The party continues on, wandering the level and eventually coming to the Leucrotta grotto. (area 307)

    This circular chamber, some 40 feet in diameter and 40 feet high at the apex of its dome, is made to appear as if it were a natural setting (albeit bleak and disquieting). The walls are hewn to appear as boulders, and detritus is spread by the walls. Jagged rocks likewise protrude from the perimeter in seemingly natural manner. Even in the relatively open center, the floor is uneven, with cracks, ledges, and loose rock. The whole area is dimly lit by a gray light, with no apparent source but nonetheless leaving pools of shadows near the walls. A cold, damp breeze moans and sighs throughout, and the air smells foul. A bone projects from a fissure to the east, and near it is a full skeleton clad in chain mail. A leering skull atop a low slab of rock to the northwest seems to taunt you. You hear a woman crying from within the fissure.

    "Ha ha, don't be fooled by that so called damsel in distress." says Elrae.

    Vestron takes out his wand and fires a fireball into the fissure.

    Tempus player OOC: Vestron enters the fissure to find his sister a smoking husk..... poor Vestron. [You know, some day I have to put a REAL damsel in distress in an adventure, so when the party just attacks and kills her, thinking she's a medusa or something, it will backfire!]

    It erupts in a fire, which spills out in a scorching jet! You hear a growl from behind some boulders, and two strange creatures jump out. Each stands 7 feet tall at the shoulder and about 10 feet long. The body of the leucrotta resembles that of a stag, with a leonine tufted tail and cloven hooves. Its head resembles that of a huge badger, but instead of teeth it has sharp, jagged bony ridges. Its body is tan, with the neck gradually darkening until it turns black at the head. The so-called teeth are sickly gray, and its eyes glow with a feral red light. The smell of animals, decomposing on a hot humid day follows the leucrotta, and its breath is especially bad.

    They are 10' from the two leading dwarves, with the invisible Isilme off to the left a bit. Just inside the chamber are Berenn and Vestron. Behind them are Elrae and Hepla, with Woni somewhere behind, covering the rear with his prized double-crossbow.

    Gotrek attacks the one on the left with his axe, and hits it a wicked blow [21]. Berenn slips around the left and joins in, hitting with his broadsword [11]. Thorgrim hits the one on the right with his newfound +3 footman's pick, Souldrinker, finally reveling in the chance to use it! [13]. Hepla fires a trio of magic missiles, two hitting the one on the left [7] and one hitting the one on the right [4]. The one on the left rears back in pain, and is hit by another magic missile from Elrae [5], knocking it over backwards. The other is hit by two more [5]. Vestron also fires trio of magic missiles which streak into the creature [14]! It falls over dead, without even making an attack!

    Isilme holds her action, seeing the creatures both dead. "Hm, just fancy horses," she says.

    "That was fast, good job everyone," says Elrae . "Snowfang my dear friend, what magic is detected around here?" Snowfang leads them to a small cave, wherein they find the body of a dead dwarf with the following: a magical suit of dwarven-sized chain mail, a dwarven waraxe, a magic cloth (turns out to be a Portable Hole), and some crossbow bolts.

    Woni calls out, "Hey, I found a secret door back here." This leads them to the jails (area 319). You get to the jail, and find the oak door is heavily bound with bronze and secured by bar and heavy padlock. Woni fails to quickly pick it, so he must take his time. As you are waiting, you hear a noise behind you. You hear the lock behind worked in room 306 and a deep rumbling voice, though you can't make out what it said.

    "Sounds like the giant is back," says Isilme.

    Woni works on the lock, as the other door is opened. Isilme, invisible, spies around the corner and sees a couple of bugbears come through. They move down the corridor, and when they get to the corner, Gotrek and Thorgim leap out at them, chopping them down with a quick stroke each. Berenn never has to cast a spell, as the two bugbears fall easily. They find keys to the lock, and are able to open it.

    The room is 20' x 30', littered with straw. Herein are a gnoll, a bugbear, and two ogres. All are malnourished and weak.

    "What did you guys do to get thrown in here?" asks Elrae.

    They growl at you and attempt to grab Elrae. Gotrek chops down the first ogre with one shot. The other ogre attacks him and misses, falling down at Gotrek's feet. Gotrek then slams his axe down on the ogre's neck, lopping off its head.

    "See what you get for trying to be nice," says Elrae. "You just can't negotiate with evil."

    The gnoll is only too happy to surrender, weak as it is. In fact, it is less a surrender, as it sees you as it's savior. Speaking with the gnoll, you find that it was a subchief of the Bloody Fang tribe. The son and daughter of the chieftain were taken by the temple as hostages for the tribe's cooperation. This gnoll had infiltrated the temple to find them and been discovered. They threw him in jail last week, and he has gone all this time without food. He also reveals there were other prisoners, including an elf woman. They were taken downstairs a few days ago.

    "Let us go downwards then," says Vestron. "My sister remains in danger and dallying further could have the direst of consequences." He turns and starts to walk towards the leucrotta den. Everyone else stands there and watches, glancing uncertainly at each other.

    "If I go to my death, so be it," he says, seeing nobody following. "but I will not stand idly by and allow my sister to suffer any longer."

    "You know I am with ye," says Thorgrim, "to 'ever end. Let us get ourselves hence."

    Isilme lets the gnoll go, sending it towards the stairs heading out. "Be free then," she says. [see? they don't ALWAYS kill everything after all!] The party then follows Vestron, heading for the next level.....
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    Sun Mar 17, 2013 2:33 pm  

    CAMPAIGN JOURNAL - The Temple Dungeons (Level Four-1)

    Cast of Characters:
    Berenn: Half-elf Priest of St. Cuthbert/Ranger
    Elrae: Human Bard
    Gotrek: Dwarven Battlerager
    Hepla: Human Mage (kind of a witch)
    Isilme: Dark elf Bladesinger/Song Mage DEAD?
    Thorgrim: Dwarven Cleric/Fighter
    Vestron Orcburner: Elven Fighter/Mage
    Wonnilon (Woni): Gnome Fighter/Thief

    Map of the 1st level.

    Map of the 2nd level

    Map of the 3rd level
    Map of the 4th level

    The exit south from the leucrotta chamber opens into a 10' wide corridor leading west, which ends in a set of stairs. The stairs descend 20 feet and turn northward.

    Vestron looks at Isilme intently and says in a level voice, "My sister is down there and everyone seems content to lollygag along while she may be dying. Perhaps you cannot understand such pain but trust me when I tell you that it is all consuming."

    Isilme player OOC: I'm invisible it's hard to look at me intently - you may have been staring at the wall where you thought you last heard my voice.

    "It was your impatience that nearly got the party killed last time," replies the invisible Isilme. "For an elf you seem preoccupied with time. Storming ahead without thinking things through could well cost you your life, and in return your sister's. As a future leader you need to consider more."

    Woni looks at Vestron and says "I will go and help you." He then sneaks off to investigate while Vestron and Isilme aruge. He returns a few minutes later with a report.

    The descending stairways empty onto a large landing. From there, a passage 20 feet wide and 30 feet tall slopes slightly downwards to the north, leading to more stairs. The walls of the landing are covered with mosaic murals depicting a nauseating scene of frolicking demons, vile goops and molds, and giant humanoids, all capering about amidst a field of their fallen, torn, and tortured victims. This stair seems often used, with fresh and old footprints of large humanoids all about. Small scraps of food and bits of bone lie in the dusty corners of the stairs' risers. The whole is lit by torches blazing away in wall cressets on both sides of the corridor. Standing at the foot of the stairs are two large trolls. Each wears armor, emblazoned with the symbol of Iuz. They are alert, watching the stairs down which you are treading.

    Vestron drops a fireball down where the trolls are using his wand, making sure the party is far enough back in case there is a back blast. The fireball goes off with a roar, with flames only spreading about 10' down the hallway and about 20' up the stairs.

    "Now, don't run in there!" Vestron says, mainly to Gotrek. "I am going to do this again!"

    Gotrek is obviously interested in running down the stairs, but Thorgrim holds him back as Vestron fires another fireball down the stairs. The screams of trolls can be heard, then interrupted by another roar as the second fireball encompasses them. As air sucks back down the stairs, the screams are gone.

    "Damn, I never get a chance to use my Melf's Acid Arrow. A double blast of fireballs that's pretty cool. Do you think anyone heard us?"

    Vestron draws his flame blade and causes it to burst into flames. He makes his way cautiously down the stairs. "Probably," he says. There are two more trolls at the top of the next stairs, coming towards you....

    Hepla steps out and fires a lightning bolt, which hits the left-hand troll [25] before bouncing off the wall and continuing, where it hits another just stepping into the hallway from a chamber to the right [15].

    Elrae casts Melf's Acid Arrow, which flies into the troll on the left [6]. It screams in pure pain as the acid burns into its strange flesh. Gotrek rushes up, hitting the one on the left with his axe [20]. It flies backwards and lies unmoving on the ground. He can clearly see two more trolls entering the hallway down on the next landing.

    Woni steps over to the left side of the corridor, firing his crossbow at the far left troll and hitting it [5]. "Hah, I finally got to use it!" he says.

    "Me too," says Elrae, a grin spreading from ear to ear.

    "Stop the love-fest!" yells Thorgrim. "We've work ta do yet, lads!"

    Berenn moves up, hitting the troll with his sword [12].

    That troll ignores the two bolts and charges up the steps, taking them 4 at a time, and barrels into Gotrek, clawing and biting and trying to push him back, but the stubborn dwarf doesn't give an inch. The other troll attacks Vestron and Berenn, missing with both claws but biting Berenn [7].

    Thorgrim charges up next to Gotrek and hits the troll as well [12].

    Before anyone can do anything else, Vestron snaps his wand at the trolls again; a wall of fire erupts over the trolls. They scream in horror and attempt to flee the flames. One tries to get out, but is cut down by your front rank. The others run screaming the other way.

    When the wall stops, you approach and check all the trolls. They are well and truly crispy critters! However, you see an ogre peak its head around the corner from the chamber ahead and to the right. A couple ogres followed by a half dozen bugbears then rush out of the side chamber up the stairs towards you.

    While Isilme casts Audible Glammor (preparing a good illusion), Thorgrim and Vestron move down to the top of the next flight of stairs, fighting the ogres from there. As the ogres charge, they each hit [12] and [8]. Woni can't get a clear shot over everyone's heads, so he holds his action.

    The two ogres miss.

    Gotrek steps up beside Thorgrim and hits an ogre [21], felling the beast. It falls back down the stairs, taking out two bugbears as it tumbles down.

    Berenn step up next to Vestron and hits the right ogre [7]. You now have Gotrek, Thorgrim, Vestron, and Berenn all fighing side-by-side at the top of the stairs in this large 20' wide corridor. The bugbears behind the ogres scramble over, past the falling ogre on the left, and attack Gotrek and Thorgrim, each missing. Behind them you see a large group of ogres and bugbears entering the hallway from the right. However, when they enter the hallway, they turn right and run away, down the further stairs and away from you.

    Gotrek hits a bugbear, killing it, as Thorgrim hits the other one [12]. Vestron hits the ogre [12] and the ogre hits Berenn [8]. Berenn then hits the ogre, killing it.

    The other bugbear hits Thorgrim [5]. The two bugbears at the foot of the stairs get up and charge back up, one attacking Vestron, one attacking Gotrek.

    Gotrek swings again, hitting the bugbear that just moved up and killing it. Thorgrim then finishes off his bugbear. There is just one bugbear left, attacking Vestron.

    Vestron and Berenn both hit the bugbear as Gotrek chases the retreating ogres and bugbears down the stairs, singing his battle song. When he gets to the landing, he sees trolls the left and rushes into that chamber attacking them.

    Isilme finishes her phantasmal force, bringing some phantasmal air elementals into being.

    [I had Isilme's illusions appear on the landing between the two stairs. This would have been right behind the ogres, had the party not killed them. When they appear, they also surprise Thorgrim, Vestron, and Berenn, who really have no way of "knowing" they were created by Isilme who is invisible back in the rear of the party? As far as Thorgrim, Vestron, and Berenn know, they are evil elementals summoned by their enemies.]

    The elementals move into the left room, and Isilme will have to move up where she can see the area in order to manipulate their movements. In the meantime, Berenn goes down to the landing, after the elementals have passed, and he sees a couple trolls and a couple ogres in the right room. He shouts a warning to Vestron as he and Thorgrim come down the stairs.

    Before he can enter, Vestron drops a fireball into the right room with his wand.


    As the flames subside, you see the trolls are horribly burned and in very bad shape, but still standing. A couple ogres are burned as well. Piles of bedding along the walls are on fire, as is a tapestry along the back wall. The trolls jump around trying to put out their flames, as the two ogres angrily move into the room where they are met by Berenn, grimly ready to take them down.

    Suddenly the area of the landing goes dark, as a globe of darkness encompasses the entire area, partway up and down the stairs and just into each room. Thorgrim falls, stumbling on his way down the stairs and ends up in a heap on the landing. [conjure images of the neighbors from Christmas Vacation!]

    In the left room the elementals moved to surround the two trolls, one of which turns to attack them, while Gotrek continues to sing and fight, missing and being missed.

    The others move up the hallway, but stop short of entering the area of darkness. Woni turns to guard the rear and switches back to his crossbow. "Grumbe grumble grumble I want to fight too."

    The trolls in the room attack, and Gotrek takes a claw [7]. Another moves up and attacks the elementals. The trolls are perplexed when they see their blows go right through the elementals. Isilme isn't there to continue to manipulate the illusions, so there are slight inconsistencies. Vestron casts light, dispelling the darkness, while Berenn attacks the ogre in front of him, missing.

    Isilme moves down the stairs, and she can now continue to direct the actions of the elementals, which begin to attack the trolls. Gotrek attacks the troll ahead of him, missing twice! Thorgrim gets up and moves over to help Berenn.

    Woni guards the rear while and Hepla and Elrae move down to flank Vestron. The burning trolls finish rolling on the floor, while the ogres attack. One attacks Berenn, the other attacks Thorgrim. Both miss. The ogre in the back begins chanting, but is then hit by a ray from Hepla's wand, paralyzing it.

    The party can now see the hallway goes about 100' further, and there is a large chamber there with lots of movement, looks like large creatures!

    Berenn and Thorgrim both hit their ogres, when Vestron creates a wall of fire, totally encompassing the rest of the room, immolating both ogres, the ogre spell-caster, and the two remaining trolls which had just put the flames out! All creatures die a horrible death.

    In the left room, Gotrek hits a troll, which hits him back with a claw [6]. The newly arrived troll in the back shouts something in troll, then moves right through the illusory elementals and attacks Gotrek, clawing and biting him [20]. The other troll goes down under the blows of the elementals.

    Woni then hears the sound of running footstesp, and sees a troops of bugbears coming down the stairs behind the party! He counts 6, and it sounds like there are yet more behind them!

    If that's not enough....Gotrek finally goes berserk!

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    Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:30 pm  

    Okay, I'm gong to ask. I told myself I wouldn't, but I'm going to. Where does Isilme come from? Confused

    I was always under the impression that Drow Females were trained as Clerics of Loth and magic was left to "mere" Males. Shocked

    Give me some background here. Neutral
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    Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:34 pm  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    Okay, I'm gong to ask. I told myself I wouldn't, but I'm going to. Where does Isilme come from? Confused

    I was always under the impression that Drow Females were trained as Clerics of Loth and magic was left to "mere" Males. Shocked

    Give me some background here. Neutral

    Isilme comes from Erelhei-Cinlu. Isilme is one of the goodly drow of which you only hear whispered rumors. In GH that isn't quite as strange and crazy as it became in FR in the post-Drizzt days. She was of the noble house Everhate, but never felt right about evil ways of her kin. She had no real affinity for priestly arts, but was quite adept at magic. Thus she learned wizardly ways. She was also trained in all the typical evil drow arts, including the most deadly of Drow fighting arts (Drow version of the Bladesong/Bladesinger). She abandoned the life of evil as it broke her heart to see so much murder, hate, and war and left the underdark to hunt under the light of the moon and walk in the sun. She spent many years in the forests and mountains, and learned song magic from fey beings whom she befriended. She learned of Ellistraee (how has not yet been revealed), and became devoted to the Goddess.

    During her travels Isilme heard rumors of a banshee, and felt called to destroy that evil. Defeating the banshee, she found amongst its treasure a silver seemed to be calling to was a cursed intelligent blade. The blade has been slowly draining her life force and abilites from her, and attacking her mind. She has been slowly breaking free...then slipping, her mind a chaotic swirl of believing she was an ancient elf, a banshee, and having various other mental illnesses. This is why she originally was called Banshee. She was called to the keep by Ellistraee, through dreams and prayer, to face Lareth, a servant of Lloth.

    I think that pretty much sums everything up about her.

    The sword and its curse were broken in the Fire Temple, and her strength and mind have returned!

    I have to add, I was a bit disappointed to have a player pick a good drow. Don't get me wrong, I love Drizzt. However, this has been done to death now. I was like, "Great, another Drizzt clone!" However, the player has created a very different and distinct character. She's not great with a sword, at least not compared to the warriors like Gotrek or even Thorgrim, and she can't use any high-power offensive magic, being a song mage. Her skills are all of the more subtle variety. This makes her quite unique, and it's been very fun to DM her. The player has gone through great pains to make this character interesting, and you'll see much more in the future.

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    Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:08 pm  

    Excellent! Happy

    Looking forward to reading more! Cool
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    Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:45 pm  

    CAMPAIGN JOURNAL - The Temple Dungeons (Level Four-2)

    Cast of Characters:
    Berenn: Half-elf Priest of St. Cuthbert/Ranger
    Elrae: Human Bard
    Gotrek: Dwarven Battlerager
    Hepla: Human Mage (kind of a witch)
    Isilme: Dark elf Bladesinger/Song Mage DEAD?
    Thorgrim: Dwarven Cleric/Fighter
    Vestron Orcburner: Elven Fighter/Mage
    Wonnilon (Woni): Gnome Fighter/Thief

    Map of the 1st level.

    Map of the 2nd level

    Map of the 3rd level
    Map of the 4th level

    Vestron fires a lightning bolt down the main corridor, bouncing it off a wall and rebounding it up the stairs. It seems to take out about 4 bugbears, maybe more. More come down the other stairs, followed by an Ettin!

    Woni takes a shot at the Ettin, hiting it [8].

    Knowing that her illusions are not affecting this last troll, Isilme sends the elementals back down the main hallway, to deal with the new threat. She follows, moving up to the top of the stairs to better control their movements.

    Hepla moves up the stairs and fires her wand of paralyzation at the Ettin, but it has no effect.

    Inside the left room (409), Gotrek and the troll are fighting as the other troll gets back up and hits him in the back.

    Berenn comes back into the hallway and sees a fireball coming down the corridor from the north, exploding at the foot of the lower stairs. He dives back into the other room (402), as flames fill the landing [12]. Elrae dives into the other room, and he is barely singed, thanks to the protection provided by Snowfang [8]. [ooc: both made their saves! Luckily, everyone else moved off the landing.]

    "This is what I am talking about!" shouts Berenn. "Someone should take that wand of fireball and shove it up your $#% for save keeping!"

    "That wasn't friendly fire," says Thorgrim. "That fireball came from the north, from the far end of the lower corridor! Looks like we are surrounded." He then smiles. "Again."

    Elrae fishes in his satchel and pulls out a small ebony fly figurine and speaks the command word "Ker-Euli." It quickly grows to a giant fly.

    Isilme sends the elementals south, towards the Ettin and bugbears advancing down from the upper levels and in the party's rear, but then they reached the limit of her spell's area of effect. She thus leaves them there, and awaits the Ettin's charge. Before the Ettin closes, a fireball rolls down hallway and erupts around the elementals, the explosion ripping down the hallway into Woni [16], Hepla [15], and Isilme [16].

    Berenn peaks out around the corner, trying to see where the fireballs are coming from. Someone in the large room (419) at the end of the main hallway shot the first one. There is also someone back by the stairs to the third level, behind the Ettin, who fired the other one. Flames linger all around, as Elrae steps back up to the landing. "Damn, we're in a tight spot."

    Elrae points Snowfang towards the north where the fireballs are coming from and casts Wall of Ice. "That should slow down the bombardment for a bit."

    Letting her illusion of the elementals end, Isilme goes back down the stairs and tumbles into the room past the trolls, which don't notice her entrance. Meahwhile, Hepla fires another lightning bolt up the corridor, before she enters the eastern chamber (402). There she is healed by spells from Berenn and Thorgrim, healing all her damage (she had been down to "2"]. Woni follows, a bit at a loss as to what to do against such foes as these!

    Meanwhile, back across the landing in the other room Gotrek strikes down a troll, but one of the others gets back up. He quickly lops off its arm and it goes down as well. He is taking some hits in this never-ending conflict. There is only one troll left standing, but the others still writhe on the floor, and even the severed arm attempts to grab him.

    Vestron throws up a firewall down the southern corridor, before backing into the east room as well. Gotrek and Isilme are in the room to the left of the landing (409), while everyone else is in the room to the right (402). Elrae's Wall of Ice is blocking the north passage, and a wall of fire is blocking the south passage. Time for a brief respite.

    Thorgrim rushes across the landing and barrels into the troll in the other room, and both of them go down in a heap. Isilme is about to cast her Summon Swarm spell, then curses as Thorgrim gets in the way, ruining the opportunity. Gotrek leaps upon the prone troll, hacking away at it with abandon. Soon it is in pieces, though the pieces still show signs of life.

    Back across the landing, Berenn heals Woni, as he rapidly pats out the flames on his clothes. Hepla watches as Vestron considers another spell, then decides not to cast it. "It is my last lightning bolt," he says. "We may need it."

    Elrae also holds his Acid Arrow, as it no longer seems necessary. [ooc: All three trolls are down, though they are regenerating. You also hear a pounding on the ice wall blocking the lower hallway going to the north.]

    A quick grease spell over the trolls, followed by some fire from Bonefire, and the troll parts go up in flames. Gotrek comes out of his rage and gets some quick healing from Thorgrim while Berenn is able to heal the others. The party is considering how to deal with the situation, when suddenly there is a shimmering in the air above them. Looking up you see the image of a man. He is clearly a wizard.

    "I am Senshock, Lord Wizard of the Greater Temple," the image says. "Surrender now and your lives will be spared."

    Vestron says, "Ah, look a cringing dog. Why don't you come out and prove your worth instead of yapping at your betters."

    "So be it," he says. "The beloved of Zuggtmoy shall feast upon your souls."

    The image disappears, and you hear a tremendous noise from the hallway. Woni, looking down the hallway to the north, sees a couple of giants beyond the remains of the ice wall. They are wielding huge maces, with which they destroyed the wall. You are on a landing 15' above the level of the corridor at the bottom of the lower steps, but the coridor is 30' high, so you can still see, though the top 10' is arches and buttresses. Woni sees the giants clearly, and they back off out of the way as a bunch of ogres charge down the corridor, looks like a half-dozen. He also sees something flying through the buttresses, swooping down the corridor above the ogres and heading right for him. Looks like gargoyles.

    Vestron throws up a wall of fire, and the ogres run right into it! Two come running out the near side, armor smoking and hair burning, while the others must have turned around or burned up. These two make it to the bottom of the stairs. In the mean time, Berenn and Thorgrim continue to heal Gotrek.

    Isilme finds a concealed door in the room with the burning trolls, and head through it. It leads to an old and dusty hallway that goes 20' and turns left (to the south) another 10' and ends in a blank wall. Isilme will make sure the concealed door has been closed and locked. She goes to where the hall turns (so she can ditch either way) and summons her Leomunds Labile Locker so she can get her Mirror of Mental Prowess. Her plan is to scry the party and call to them to enter through mirror portal. Then she will immediately scry a safe room and send the party there. [You can see why I started to question how they were using this mirror. I don't like teleportation in general, and I certainly didn't like them having a way to still basically do it. Don't worry, change is coming....]

    Meanwhile, the ogres bound up the steps faster than you would have thought possible. One hits Vestron [10] and knocks him to the ground. The other overbears Woni, knocking him to the ground [8] and passing right by him into the room with the others. Woni's crossbow goes flying. Thorgrim, Gotrek, and Berenn surround the ogre, but all miss. Then the ogre hits Thorgrim with its morning star [10].

    Hepla and Elrae step back from the combat, but don't throw any spells just yet.
    Vestron decides it's no use to use a fireball now, and he backs off from the ogre, towards the other room where Isilme went, since the ogre is in-between him and the room now. The ogre slams his morningstar down at the prone Woni but misses.

    [One ogre is IN the eastern room (402), fighting Thorgrim, Gotrek, and Berenn. Elrae and Hepla have backed off behind the fighters. Another ogre is standing in the arched threshold between that chamber and the landing between the stairs. Woni is on the landing, fighting the ogre. Vestron has moved off the landing to the troll room (409: the greased fire is out, but it finished off the "dead" trolls). Isilme is in the secret hallway.]

    Woni attacks and misses. Berenn hits the ogre with his longsword [7]. Gotrek misses. Elrae takes out his crossbow.

    The ogres attack. One attacks Berenn, hitting him [13]. The other attacks Woni, hitting for a triple damage critical [24]. He is knocked down the stairs where he lies in a crumpled heap. [OUCH!!!]

    Vestron is about to cast a spell when two forms swoop down from above. Intent on the ogre, he didn't see them until too late. Gargoyles! They flew through the buttresses, above the wall of fire which only reaches 20' (ceiling is 30'). He is clawed by one [3] and bitten [3]. The other gores him with a horn [4]. His spell is cancelled. There are two other gargoyles, and one lands on the prone form of Woni while the other flies right over the ogres and attacks Elrae, who was swapping to his crossbow. The gargoyle misses.

    Ready with her wand of paralyzation, she uses it on the gargoyle but it makes its save.
    Thorgrim attacks the ogre and fumbles, falling and is stunned for 3 rounds!

    Berenn makes his second attack, hitting the ogre for [15]. Gotrek spins around and attacks the gargoyle attacking Elrae, hitting it [16]. It screeches in agony. The ogre steps up and hits Berenn getting ANOTHER critical! Berenn's weapon arm is broken [12] and he can make no attacks with it. He also drops his longsword.

    [Isilme calls the chest back from the etheral and is setting up the mirror this round.]

    Berenn will draw his broad sword with his off hand. OOC: This is looking bad.

    This round the gargoyles go first. One attacks Elrae, clawing him [3] and goring him [4]. It then flies up, away from Elrae. The two attack Vestron. One fumbles and claws its companion [3] but also bites Vestron [1]. The other turns and claws it back [3] and bits it [5]. The last gargoyle picks up Wonillon and flies back off to the north, over the wall of fire.

    Vestron stumbles back into the room, and drops a fireball in the middle of the landing using his wand. It hits both the gargoyles there as well as the ogre in the archway. The first gargoyle takes [9] but the second takes [24] and blows apart in a shower of rock! The ogre takes the blast in the back [8].

    Elrae was going to magic missile, but it was spoiled. Hepla meanwhile levitates the ogre in the archway, the one that just took the fireball, and raises it up to the top of the archway. The other ogre hits Gotrek [12], and is hit in turn by Thorgrim and Gotrek simultaneously, chopping it in two!

    Finally, the southern Wall of Fire goes out.

    Hepla keeps the ogre levitating, while Berenn hits it with his broadsword [8], killing it. Elrae fires magic missiles at the gargoyle [10] and his ebony fly attacks as well. The gargoyle and the fly lock each other in a grapple, 20' in the air.

    Across the corridor, the other gargoyle flies off over the wall of fire. Vestron can see that the first one is already gone, and has doubts that a wall of force can accomplish anything, so he does the unthinkable. He pulls out the gargoyle cloak.

    Vestron says, "I swore I would never do this...." and puts it on, instantly turning into a gargoyle himself! He then takes off in pursuit of Woni.

    Gotrek, now back to normal after coming out of his rage, comes out of the room with Thorgrim, just in time to see the transformation. They have little time to react, however, as they realize the southern wall of fire has disappeared. As that hallway is 15' higher than the landing, they don't see all the smoking bodies on the floor at the far end, but they DO see the two ettins which are charging down the hallway towards them!

    Hepla gets up and moves to the archway, casting a Grease spell on the top of the stairs. Gotrek and Thorgrim guard their positions, waiting for the ettins. The two ettins hit the grease. One slips and slides right off the top of the stairs, tumbling down to Gotrek and Thorgrim who both lay into it. Gotrek hits [20] and Thorgrim hits it with a critical for triple damage [31]!

    The gargoyle inside kills the ebony fly, which disappears in a wisp of smoke. Elrae fires another magic missile, and the gargoyle explodes. Elrae picks up the fly figurine from the rubble. "You did good Ker-Euli, I will call upon you soon."

    You also hear a voice down the southern, upper hallway. It shouts commands in common, "Get them. Alive if possible. Dead, just as good!"

    Hepla takes her small crystal ball out of her backpack and tries to scry Woni. She sees him being dumped on the floor, inside a strange, shimmering symbol. He then suddenly disappears. Further, Isilme has now scried the party, and sees the situation. She pokes her head through the mirror to get Hepla's attention. "I have opened a gate for you to escape through," she says.

    Hepla says, "It's Isilme. Find the portal!" Putting away her crystal ball, she finds the invisible portal. Berenn tells the party to retreat, as they all head through.

    Outside, Thorgrim hits the ettin on the ground, killing it! He then yells at Gotrek and retreats into the room as well, intent on going though the portal. Unfortunately, Gotrek ignores Thorgrim as he starts to sing. He moves up to the top of the stairs attacking the ettin. He hits it once [10] and the ettin misses him. Now that he is up there, he sees about a dozen bugbears with maybe a dozen gnolls behind them coming down the hallway. He stays over to the side, using the ettin for cover, as he chops at it.

    Thorgrim is about to head through the portal, when he decides he cannot leave Gotrek to his fate. He turns and rushes back out, using his Stone to summon an Earth Elemental at the top of the stairs. When nothing happens, he stares at the stone dumbfounded. "Well," he says, moving up the stairs, "looks like we do this the hard way."

    [The party is now split in three parts. Woni has been taken by the gargoyles, and has been chased by Vestron, using his gargoyle cloak. Gotrek, Thorgrim stand shoulder to shoulder at the top of the stairs, facing the onslaught of temple minions. The rest of the party has fled through Isilme's mirror portal, and they are all in the secret hallway between rooms 409 and 416.]

    Meanwhile, Gotrek attacks the ettin, missing. Thorgrim attacks it as well, hitting [9]. The ettin swings at both of you. It hits Thorgrim [10] and Gotrek [8]. The bugbears rush up the hallway, two of them attacking Thorgrim, but they both slip on the grease, and slide down the stairs. Thorgrim gets an attack of opportunity on one, and kills it. Two more bugbears behind them hit the grease and slip too, but are still in the greased area.

    Thorgrim then takes another attack, missing while Gotrek drinks his potion of speed! Further, the northern Wall of Fire now goes down.

    The ettin misses both of them. The leader down the hallway who looks like an elf, calls to them, "Surrender now, you are hopelessly outnumbered."

    Thorgrim calls upon the gods again, casting his old Battle Cry and shouting, "I say thee NAY!"

    The battle cry echoes down the hallway, knocking 6 gnolls back and to the ground. The 6 remaining bugbears look extremely angry and charge. Five slip and fall on the greased floor, sliding onto the stairs. One makes it across and attacks Thorgrim, missing.

    Gotrek hits the Ettin twice [9] and [22]. The leader is about 40' away. Behind you from the north are a handful of ogres coming towards you and 4 gargoyles flying above them.

    Isilme recommends using the mirror to return to the wizard's secret lab, but Berenn disagrees. "If we can come up from behind them quickly," he says, "we might still save those who were left behind. Unfortunately, my sword arm is useless. Could have been worse, he could have knocked it completely off my body. Should have Vestron use that wand as soon as we come up on them and blow them all to hell."

    Isilme decides to scry for Vestron, but cannot locate him. She tries Woni, and fails again. She then scries Gotrek and sees the battle in the corridor. Hepla says she saw Woni disappear while lying on some magical circle. It's possible Vestron followed him. She can scry the room again. They find the strange symbol on the floor, but no sign of Woni.

    Berenn then asks for a portal back to Hommlet, recommending the party retreat. Isilme provides the portal, though only Berenn goes through, looking for healing there. Isilme and Hepla both stay, and use invisibility spells to head back out safely. Isilme makes a portal to the Leucrotta den, and the three of them (Isilme, Hepla, and Elrae) head there.

    Elrae decides this is as good as a time as ever to do this. He opens up his potion of firebreath and downs the entire bottle. "According to the instructions I have one hour to expell that firey liquid."

    He leads the way down the stairs, and comes up behind the elfish temple leader. He belches forth a cone of fire which fills the entire corridor, engulfing everyone. The leader also takes the blast right in the back and is blown forwards to the ground burning. The bugbear in front of him dies, and the grease, down to its last round, catches fire in an extra blaze. The gnolls which were stunned by Thorgrim burn as do a half-dozen more that joined them from the far stairs.

    Gotrek continues to sing and hits the ettin [15]. The ettin hits him and then hits Thorgrim [12]. Gotrek takes two more swings and hits the ettin both times [24] and [20]. It falls back dead, into the flames, which gradually fade out as the grease spell finally ends.

    "Let's go," yells Thorgrim, pushing Gotrek ahead of him. "The way is clear!"

    The party retreats back to the wizard Falrinth's secret chambers, there to rest and devise a plan.

    "As dire as it sounds," says Elrae, "we should rest and recover and hope that Woni and Vestron can fend for themselves for 12 hours. See if you can scry either one of them. United we stand, divided we're numbered."

    Hepla will take out her crystal ball and try to scry for the place she saw Woni disappear. It is difficult, but she succeeds. A large magic circle (about 15 feet across) is
    inscribed in the center of the floor made of brown tiles, and within the circle is a triangle. "That is where Woni disappeared," she says.

    Neither her nor Isilme with her mirror can scry either one of them, something that frustrates Isilme to no end.

    "Brown circle triangle symbol sounds like Earth to me," says Elrae. "Perhaps I should put on my Earth Temple high priest robes. We do need our strength or at least the spell casters do. Going to rescue them without the firepower from Hepla, illusions of Isilme, healing of Thorgrim and even my miscellaneous spells will make it darn near impossible. Or we could look for them without rest and try to recover once we get the party back together. "

    While you rest up, you can regain full spells. You also have hours to peruse the books. In one, you come across a reference to "The nodes."

    "The elemental nodes form the basis for the whole evil operation. They are as cauldrons, used to mix evil and elemental forces in an unholy recipe concocted by Zuggtmoy and luz over a decade ago. Within the nodes are special creatures, to be used as future troops and specialists. Zuggtmoy once used to to send screaming sacrificial victims to their dooms in these places."

    "Mmmm," muses Elrae. "So maybe Vestron ended up in an Earth Node instead of the Elemental Plane of Earth. If that's the case he might have a slight chance of survival. Does it say anything about how one gets out once they enter a node?" He then remembers the poem:

    "A key without a lock they made
    of gold and gems, and overlaid
    with spells, a tool for men to wield
    to force the powers of Good to yield."

    "If the Orb was the 'key' then maybe it opens the nodes?" proposes Hepla. "We know they didn't have it all this time, until a few weeks ago," she goes on. "Maybe we got it before they could use it, and maybe we can use it to rescue the others."

    "I just remembered the second verse" says Elrae, jumping up!

    The Two were split; one got away
    but She, when came the judgment day,
    did break the key, and sent the rocks
    to boxes four, with magic locks.

    "That makes me think that the clerics and mages do not have the gems and that they are located somewhere in the elemental nodes," he adds.

    " I don't see how you get they were sent to the elemental nodes based off that," replies Isilme. "However, you're a bard, and I trust your judgement. I still think it's foolhardy to jump into these nodes without any real certainty on how to get out. We could be as bad off as Vestron and Woni. But they are our friends so we need to do something."

    [so, Vestron and Woni are off in the nodes. Berwenn has limped back to Hommlet nursing his broken arm. The rest of the party has managed to regroup in Falrinth's old chambers and plans their next move.]
    Master Greytalker

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    Fri Mar 29, 2013 9:35 pm  

    CAMPAIGN JOURNAL - The Temple Dungeons (Level Four-3)

    Cast of Characters:
    Berenn: Half-elf Priest of St. Cuthbert/Ranger
    Elrae: Human Bard
    Gotrek: Dwarven Battlerager
    Hepla: Human Mage (kind of a witch)
    Isilme: Dark elf Bladesinger/Song Mage
    Thorgrim: Dwarven Cleric/Fighter
    Vestron Orcburner: Elven Fighter/Mage
    Wonnilon (Woni): Gnome Fighter/Thief


    Map of the 1st level.

    Map of the 2nd level

    Map of the 3rd level
    Map of the 4th level

    While the party rests, Isilme scries the rooms where they fought. Those rooms have various forces moving in and out: giants, ettings, ogres, etc.. She then decides to scry a priest which Isilme had seen briefly during the fight. She uses the mirror, and sees a bedroom. Two normal beds stand along the north and south walls, nestled tightly into the western corners. Beside each is a wardrobe and a small table, the latter bearing a crystal ewer and cup. The east wall of the room is dominated by a great brick fireplace with marble mantle, upon which are various knicknacks — shrunken human heads, religious paraphernalia, carved figurines, and other interesting items. Decorative tapestries flank the fireplace on the east wall. The priest is standing before the fireplace, eyeing the flames, his back to you.

    After casting a bunch of protective spells, including Elrae's new Haste spell (yes, I let people level-up any time I do exp, which allows them to increase levels even in the middle of an adventure) and a Silence spell cast by Thorgrim, they go through Isilme's Mirror [I'm getting more tired of it by the minute now....] to get the priest. You move through into the room. Suddenly the man looks up from the fire, then spins around, eyeing the room. He tries to say something, but of course, there is no sound. Gotrek and Thorgrim pounce on him, pummeling him down and grappling him, coming invisible as they do. He shouts silently, struggling futilely against the dwarves as Elrae takes a piece of cloth and gags him, then uses some rope to bind his hands and feet.

    Gotrek and thorgrim drag him through the portal. Elrae uses Snowfang to seek out magic before returning. The priest's boots are magical. Also, in the room are his plate armor, shield, and staff (all magical). A pouch lying on the bed holds two potions, which Isilme takes as well.

    Once back through the portal, Isilme uses Maethorlear to impose a sense of devotion upon the priest, before charming him. She then asks about the orb and the gate; he recognizes it as the gate to the Earth Node. As for the Orb, he doesn't know anything about it. It was lost in the original sacking of the temple, when he was but a minor priest of the Earth Temple. He now works towards the greater glory of Zuggtmoy!

    "Ask him what he knows about the Earth Node," says Elrae. "He should be familiar being a former Earth Temple priest."

    He knows nothing about the nodes, except they were originally populated by Zuggtmoy for her amusement and pleasure. They were also to be the foundation of her elemental shock troops. There are gates in the Greater Temple, to the nodes as well as to the Elemental Planes themselves. Nobody has ever returned from them, not since the temple was thrown down, though the temple has continued to toss sacrifices into them, for the glory of Zuggtmoy, and the appeasement of the Elemental Gods and their minions.

    Isilme takes him into the private room, away from the rest of the party. "We are servants of the elemental god of earth! We discovered senshock had found the gold skull and hidden it for his own purposes. We came to confront him but were attacked! I am pleased i was finally able to talk to you as we thought you had betrayed the temple and were part of the plot!"

    "Senshock has the Orb?" he says. "That bastard! I am the Ordained of Zuggtmoy! I must have the Orb. The Orb is the key to everything, to freeing our Lady of Fungi."

    After a long session of questioning, which I'm actually going to skip, Isilme learns the following:

    1. There was one gemstone tuned to each element, and they all disappeared with Yellowskull. The gems are large (a little bigger than a golf ball). The Earth gem was a Carnelian.

    2. There is only one route to each Node; you must go through the Greater Temple. The Gate to the Earth Node is through the first passage to the left.

    3. Senshock is the Dread Emmisary of Iuz himself, and was sent as a counter to Falrinth, ever loyal to Zuggtmoy before all others. He serves alongside Commander Hedrack, High Priest of Iuz. Long ago, as an apprentice in the local wizard's guild, Senshock learned the business of potion and wand making, and has brought those talents here. Senshock combines his attention to detail with grand strategy planning, and is the actual source of many of the better tactics used by the Temple forces. He had been assured of the position of High Commander and General of all the Temple's mighty forces once the reconstruction is complete. Now that Iuz's hand has been forced, he will take charge of the army gathered outside and wage war against the surrounding region.

    4. He also knows about Vestron's sister, Countess Tillahi of Celene. She was thrown into the Fire Node.

    5. His magic items are: +1 Plate Mail and +1 shield (both embossed with the Flaming Eye of Zuggtmoy's Temple). His staff is a Staff of Striking. His Potions are Ex-Healing and Speed. His boots are Boots of Levitation.

    After answering a bunch of questions, he then demands the Orb. "I am the ordained of Zuggtmoy, High Priest of the Elemental Eye. You will untie me and bring me the Orb now!"

    "Certainly," she says, opening the door. She calls in Gotrek, who beats him unconscious. She then uses the Mirror to open a gate back to Hommlet, bringing him there and giving him to Berenn and the other town leaders. They can use his knowledge to plan their campaign against the Temple's army. She then returns to the party. [man, I'm REALLY getting tired of that danged mirror....] She also brings back Berenn, whose arm has been healed by Y'dey.

    "I think we are armed with enough information," says Isilme upon their return. "We really need to get to our friends. We have to trust our allies above they can handle the problems above (we have even given them inside information). Let's get our friends. Let's head to node entrance using invisibility 10' and silence."

    Elrae has never thought to be silent and invisible. That just seems unnatural to a bard," he says. Still I'll make sacrifices to ensure the rescue of our friends. I guess we should go to the Earth Node first."

    Hepla looks worried," I just worry about how we will get out."

    "We probably won't," answers Berenn dryly.

    "Thank you," she says. "You make me feel much better."

    Isilme looks everyone in the eye and says, "I will not lie. There is no guarantee we are returning. There is no telling what creatures are down there, or if we will even find one of these jewels to return home with. But we must try; our friends are most certainly doomed as they have no hope of escape without the golden skull. It is certainly any persons choice to remain behind. the time to act is now. Let us rescue our friends and bring an end to this place."

    St. Cuthbert tells me he can get me out of this mess," says Berenn, "but he's pretty sure you're #$%&ed." BTW, Just wonder, do we have put Gotrek to sleep before, in case there are more ogres, giants, and ettins? Getting him to sneak by would be like trying to get BA Barracas on an airplane! After about a day's worth of comments about Gotrek, he just snarls, threatening to throw the next one to say a word into the Plane of Fire. Everyone shuts up, but Hepla can't help but giggle.

    Isilme scries the room with the gate to the Earth Node, and the party rushes through, overpowering the two bugbear guards. They then all step onto the symbol, and they are transported to the Earth Node. Once they are there, they find Vestron waiting there with a very tall plate-armored warrior. There is no sign of Woni.

    After they catch Vestron up on what they learned about his sister, the gems, etc., Vestron catches the party up on what happened after he and Woni arrived. To sum up (which I have to do since this was all done in PMs, which I don't have), the two of them were stuck in the Earth Node. They didn't go too far, before they ran into a Basilisk, which turned poor Woni to stone. Vestron escaped, barely, and wandered around until he met this fine warrior. He introduces himself as Taki, of the Hill People, from the Bluff Hills far to the north. He and his group were thrown into the nodes some time back, and only he remains, as far as he knows. Incidentally, this Taki was one of the NPCs which are available to use in the Nodes. The Woni player wanted a big warrior like this, and I was going to use Taki anyway, so he chose to simply take him as his own.

    So, the party is now back together and in the Earth Node. How they fare now is anyone's guess, and the players really were showing a lot of apprehension. Music to a DM's ears!

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    Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:50 am  

    ragnar wrote:
    "St. Cuthbert tells me he can get me out of this mess," says Berenn, "but he's pretty sure you're #$%&ed!"

    Couldn't pass up a chance to get in a quote from Braveheart, eh? Laughing

    ragnar wrote:
    "Let's head to node entrance using invisibility 10' and silence."

    Personally, I don't like my PCs to speak in this manner. "Game Mechanics" shouldn't be a part of their vocabulary. I prefer something like this:

    "I'm going to caste a spell upon myself that will make me silent and invisible. Anyone who stays close to me will also be protected by the spells. This will allow us to sneak up on him." Happy

    Such language seems more "in character" then Game Mechanics lingo, which seems too "scientific" for the medieval "flavor" of the game and better fits the "role" playing description. Evil Grin

    But that's just me. Wink Cool

    Also; I agree the Mirror is too powerful an item for them to have at this point. If their characters were powerful enough to really "wield" such an item, then -- in this adventure -- they wouldn't need it. Confused

    But then, this observation too is . . . just me! Laughing
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    Sun Apr 07, 2013 10:05 am  

    CAMPAIGN JOURNAL - The Temple Dungeons (Earth Node-2)

    Cast of Characters:
    Berenn: Half-elf Priest of St. Cuthbert/Ranger
    Elrae: Human Bard
    Gotrek: Dwarven Battlerager
    Hepla: Human Mage (kind of a witch)
    Isilme: Dark elf Bladesinger/Song Mage
    Taki of the Hill People: Human fighter
    Thorgrim: Dwarven Cleric/Fighter
    Vestron Orcburner: Elven Fighter/Mage

    NPC: Elmo and a bunch of men (scouts from Hommlet)

    After finding Vestron and Taki, and taking time to catch each other up on events after their separation, the party decides they must move on. The Earth Burrows are dark and slightly damp—a typical cave-dungeon setting. The temperature is a constant 45 degrees, with little or no air movement. The environmental damage comes from the ever-present heavy dust in the air, and from occasional rockslides, minor cave-ins, and so forth. Those arriving in the Burrows appear in the center cave, a large broad area 50 feet tall at its center tapering to only 10-20 feet at the side corridors. The corridors have no light, and the dusty air permits only half normal range of sight, whether normal or infravision. Slopes are few, and the stone is dug out, rather than worked.

    Vestron says, "Cover your mouths with some sort of cloth. The air here in these tunnels can really hurt your lungs. It is almost like breathing sand. There are many creatures here, including some sort of stone bear and a black dragon. There are also earth elementals. I killed the dracolisk that turned Woni to stone. We've tried to explore here but it is very hard as the dusty air prevents us from seeing easily. The more light we use, the less we see. Magic also seems to attract some creatures here, I think."

    "Great," says Isilme.

    Hepla stares at Taki, about belt buckel high, and says,"Wow, giggle, you are taller then me standing on a dwarfs' shoulders. My name is Hepla." She offers her hand hoping to get it back.

    Taki shakes Helpas hand and meets each person.

    Hepla looks at Taki's hand as he shakes hers and that his fingers reach her elbow and is amazed. giggle"Well lets start finding out how to get out of here. We know how to get in, perhaps that gate can be reversed somehow. And there could be a magic stone here somewhere for the skull. Have you guy seen any magic stones?"

    Before you can answer, you hear a loud roar, from beyond the other side of the large cavern. Vestron begins speaking the incantation for a spell, but Taki, knowing the nodes and the Black Dragon that is coming, grabs his hand. "Perhaps we should flee, as we planned before?," he says. "The beast likely smells the blood of the bugbears (Taki and Vestron killed some before the party arrived). Let's leave it to its meal."

    He then points into the other direction. "There are many tunnels this way. Follow me!" he says, moving quickly in that direction. [I didn't allow any mapping in here, as it would just be too difficult for the party to attempt. Of course, when there were fights I created maps using MapTool! :) ] As you are skirting around the left side of the great cavern, you see and hear the dragon enter and approach the central caverns, where it makes a very contented growl, followed by a roar of defiance!

    "Think it might know we are here," says Berenn.

    "Maybe," says Vestron quietly. "I bet the gem we are looking for is in its hoard though. I wonder if there is some way to track this beast."

    "A dragon as black as the dead of night," says Elrae. "Those types breathe acid, so protect your valuables. Did anyone see how big that lizard is?"

    "Big," says Taki before moving on. Everyone follows, as Taki and Vestron lead them to where they killed the dracolisk. They find that this cavern is roughly 100' wide, but oblong and with lots of small cubby-holes around the edges. The only exit is the way they came. In the center, by the body of the dead dracolisk, stands Woni's statue.

    I actually posted this pic to my players! :)

    "Poor Woni," laments Elrae. "He was a badass gnome. I will miss him. Did his equipment turn to stone as well?"

    Vestron looks at Elrae with disdain. "Yes, it did. I had not thought you the type to rob the corpse of a companion. This disappoints me."

    Thorgrim looks quizzically at Vestron. "Says the guy whose first reaction to the death of Sir Melwe, whom you knew for decades, was to go through his stuff!" He shakes his head and walks away.

    "Master dwarf, if you will recall, I insisted it be returned to our people. I only ask the same for our poor lithographed friend. I only hope my sister has not suffered a similar fate. I fear she may have been thrown in here like the other sacrifices."

    Hepla, looks up and says, "Oh, Lord Vestron, did no one tell you? We hear that she is in the fire node. We thought to come here first to get your help, and now his (she points to the almost giant), to go rescue her, once we find out how to rescue ourselves."

    Upon hearing this, Vestron becomes agitated. "Thank you mistress Hepla," he says after he calms down. "Your news is not unexpected but shocking all the same. I fear her spirit no longer shines in her eyes but travels now to the resting place of our ancestors. If the fire node is as inhospitable as this place, there might be nothing left to do except exact revenge. If this is the case, I vow upon the spirits of the Eldar that I will not rest until this abomination of a temple is pulled down and its worshippers destroyed."

    "Destroy this temple indeed, but do not give up hope, we will continue to do all we can to rescue her. She is still part of our mission." Hepla says as she puts a hand on his shoulder. She takes it back at once and apologizes for her over familiarity with her hand.

    Vestron takes Helpa's hand gently and responds in elven, "Mistress Hepla, gestures of kindness are never inappropriate. You are a true elf friend." He then touches the back of her hand to his forehead as he bows and releases it.

    Hepla stammer, wiping tears from her eyes, "Thank you."

    Vestron gently smiles and wipes the tears from her cheeks. "No thanks are needed, little sister."

    "We should be on guard here while we figure out what is best to do," says Taki. "Perhaps a lesser monster has moved into this monsters area?"

    "Taki, there are no other creatures here," replies Vestron. "We must head back. From the main cavern to this, there is only one small side tunnel, the one in which Taki had hidden. It didn't go anywhere. It seems the Dracolisk has a very isolated lair, and was likely pretty well left alone by other residents. Even a dragon would be wary with a dracolisk.

    Berenn sures up the courage of his scouts ... although ... they are all probably wondering why they didn't volunteer to take the priest back to Rufus. Oh, and Elmo came along with him. I think I forgot to mention that.

    Vestron looks to the scouts Berenn brought with him. "Fear not for my magic is strong and will protect you. Let us return from whence we came and explore side tunnels." Vestrons walks away. Since there's nothing to do where you are, the party follows. You head back to the main cavern. When you get there, you do not see or hear the dragon. BTW, you find that Elrae can use Snowfang, which illuminates only a 10' radius here with the pale blue light. From about 50' away you cannot see it. Taki's dagger only illuminates a 5' area dimly, and you can't see it 30' away. So, if you want light, those without infravision can decide how to manage. Taki recommends not drawing your sword unless necessary, as light in this place generally means food to many of the residents.

    Vestron leads them along te wall to teh right in search of another cave.

    "We also have the light crystals and the bottle of glowing oil I got from the Fire Temple to help see," says Elrae. "They won't shed as much light but also be less detectable from afar. Anyway let's steer clear of any dragons if at all possible. Our goal is to find the gems and get to the fire node."

    "Were we sure what kind of dragon it was?" asks Isilme. "If we can find an intelligent creature we may be able to convince them to help us. They are just as trapped as we are. A dragon would certainly be a good ally in a place like this.

    " It was a black dragon from the description and it definitely would not be friendly to our cause," says Berenn.

    Staying close to the wall of the large cavern, the party gradually edges along it, eventually finding a large tunnel heading off to your right."

    Isilme is still invisible, and goes scouting in the front. She sees that a little ways ahead the corridor opens into a small cavern with four other exits. One immediately to your right, another further ahead on the right, one straight ahead from the opposite side of the chamber, and one on the left.

    Hepla wonders if any of the ways looks more used then any others. She will mark the floor with wax from her candle, one drop for the one to the right then two up to four for the one to her left. "This will help us if we get lost," she says.

    Taki lets her that he used to drag his maul, but even that rut was blown away and filled in, after a few short hours, by the incessant dust in the air. While you are looking around the "crossroads" you are attracted to the screams of two of Berenn's men. Turning, you see them wrapped in some kind of tentacles. They seem to simply go limp, caught in the grasp of something that lies beyond the range of anyone's vision.

    [well, those with infravision can only see 30', and they cannot see where the tentacles are coming from. Two are wrapped around each man, and there are two more whipping about; they just missed Gotrek!]

    The two men wrapped in tentacles are pulled out of sight, while two more tentacles flail about wildly, missing the other scouts. A tentacle hits Gotrek, who grunts as it wraps him before he chops it in half. He stumbles to the ground, his legs suddenly weak. Thorgrim continues forward, as he hears a scream from one of the men. He sees what looks like a large stone pillar with a half-dozen tentacles and a huge central mouth. It has just bitten one man in half, and the two tentacles which were holding him retract, to attack others.

    Taki and Vestron move up in line with the dwarves. Only Taki, Thorgrim, Gotrek, and Vestron can see it now. Nobody on the other side of the chamber can see anything, through the dust and dirt in the air.

    The roper pulls the other guy into its maw, taking a large bit out of him, as it attacks with its other tentacles. One hits Elmo, who moved around the flank with two of his scouts. The two chop ineffectually at it.

    Thorgrim avoids a tentacle and charges the thing, hitting it with his pick [13].

    Taki is hit by one tentacle, and he is wrapped up. He hits the tentacle with his maul, but it just sort of knocks it away. Meanwhile, Vestron sees that Gotrek is ok, just weakened (1/2 str) and moves to the attack, missing.

    Gotrek gets up, shrugs off the effects, and charges the thing. "Outta me way, elf," he yells as he goes around to Vestron's right. "Gots me a roper to cut down!"

    Vestron causes his sword to burst into flame before the next attack. "I killed a dracolisk single handed, battle rager," he says. "Elves aren't as weak as you think."

    The rest of the party stays back, except Berenn and Hepla, who edge forward until they can see what's happening.

    Considering that it is 9' tall, it's pretty easy for Berenn to fire over everyone's heads, especially the dwarves. Elmo goes pretty limp, and suddenly Gotrek slumps as his strength totally leaves him (cut in half-down to 9! The two scouts hack at the tentacles holding Elmo, but fail to hit it as he is dragged closer to the slavering maw.

    Hepla fires a barrages of magic missiles, which streak from her extended fingers and slam into the thing. [11]

    The roper also finishes with the other guy, and continues to attack with it's tentacles. It swipes at Thorgrim, Vestron, and Gotrek, while two whip out to attack Berenn and Hepla, who are surprised by its reach. Only Hepla is hit, wrapped in a tentacle and half her strength immediately drained. [down to 5]

    Gotrek and Thorgrim both miss, and Vestron hits Gotrek with a wicked slash to his arm. [12--double damage critical fumble!] Gotrek and Thorgrim take their extra attacks that round, both missing.

    Berenn fires two shots with his bow, but misses, distracted by the tentacle attack.

    Isilme rushes over to Hepla and attacks the tentacle holding her, losing her invisibility. However, her sword wounds it enough to make it let go, and Hepla collapses into Isilme's arms.

    Elrae tells the other men to guard the rear, keeping an eye in each direction, as he moves up to protect Hepla as well.

    Taki steps up to the thing's trunk and slams his maul into it. The impact is actually felt by everyone around. [44--Triple Damage Critical!] He follow it up with another swing, but misses, slamming into the cavern wall and sending chunks of rock flying.

    Hepla staggers up, says thanks to Isilme, and drops her dagger (too heavy). She and Elrae fire simultaneous magic missiles into the beast, Elrae's singing through the air. They all strike unerringly, and it lets out a strange gasp. All the tentacles drop to the ground, as it starts to topple over.

    "Great hit Taki," Hepla weakly says,"I'll just sit here for a moment." Hepla picks up her dagger, does not quite need both hands to do this, puts it back into her belt and sits on her backpack trying to get her energy bak, everything seems twice as hard to do. She takes out her crystal ball, both hands needed, and tries to see back into the normal world; however, she sees nothing but swirls of color.

    She then scries Vestron, and instantly sees him in the crystal ball. "Looks like we cannot see in or out of these places," she reasons.

    Vestron approaches Gotrek and says, "Noble dwarf, I apologize for striking you. It was unintentional. I hope I did not to grievously wound you."

    Gotrek grunts. "Happens," he says, and walks away.

    "Let us see to our friends and move into the tunnel," says Vestron. "Away from this battleground. We surely will attract attention here."

    The dwarves find that their direction sense doesn't work, almost as if there isn't really a north here. So far, they haven't noticed slopes either. They look around the crossroads , checking out the corridors. There is the one you came in from, there was one going to the right, one straight ahead, and one to the left.

    The party goes straight ahead, and you find yourselves in a large cavern. As usual, you cannot see much, but as you creep through it, you figure out the size. It's about 60' wide, and about 100' long. While you are crossing it, pretty much in the middle of the room, a sudden gust erupts from the floor, pushing the dusty air away as a cloud of spores engulfs those at the head of the group. Two of the scouts immediately scream and collapse, as the rest of the party backs away. Isilme and Elmo are at the head, and they are able to hold their breaths and cover up, rushing back out of the cloud.

    Thorgrim moves up, flips his eyepatch to reveal the quartz with the continual light that he secretly chiseled into a false eye. It emits light from his eyesocket, illuminating the ground ahead. "Yellow mold," he says, looking at the dead men gravely. "We need fire."

    Vestron steps up with his sword and lights the stuff on fire as hepla casts grease over the area. The entire patch erupts in flame, which illuminates the room in a strange ghostly light. As the flames die, you see the mold covered an amazingly large area, maybe 30'x30', larger than any ever recorded, by at least three times! Bones litter the area, as do other bits of metal and such, things the mold couldn't affect. A quick detect magic reveals a quiver with 12 magical crossbow bolts and a potion.

    Elrae cautiously approaches the quiver and grabs it while holding his breath, just in case a spore escaped the flame. "Let's get out of here. I say we should head south far away from any black dragons, ropers, and yellow mold."

    The party returns to the crossroads. Vestron suggests they take the left tunnel. "This tunnel would lead between the two we already explored. If there are creatures there, they can be eliminated and we can then know that this area of the node has been cleansed and can act as a refuge, should the need arise. We can then systematically make our way through the entire place."

    "This dust bowl would make a lousy refuge," says Elrae, "unless you like being pelted with rocks. C'mon lets head south east from the junction."

    Taki goes to follow Vestron, while Isilme moves with Elrae. Everyone else waits, wondering which direction they are taking.

    "I don't want to split the party," says Elrae, "but Vestron your leadership skills have been less than satisfactory. I won't even go over the numerous times you nearly killed us all. We risked everything to rescue you from being trapped here on this Earth node. You've been "north" and there's nothing left but Woni's statue. I would like to explore south east from the entry way. If you want to crawl through each nook and cranny, that seems to be a waste of time especially in this inhospitable realm."

    "Good Elrae," replies Vestron. "I forgive you for your misguided comments. Unfortunately, commoners do not always understand the ways of teh Eldar nobility. I lead because it is my right, not because you wish it to be so."

    Vestron goes northward, regardless of what the others say in a show of stubborn noble pride.

    "Fine," says Elrae. "Let's venture north for a bit, fearless leader, but after that we should explore where I suggested." Elrae gives a deep overzealous bow to the gay elf with lots of gesturing and hand twirling, then follows.

    "ONce we have cleared this area, our backs will be safe adn we can indeed explore those areas that interest you. Though I do believe the dragon may reside there." Vestron orders the redshirts (I mean Berenn's scouts) to lead the way, single file.

    "My men will not lead the way," says Berenn.

    "But they are expendable," replies Vestron coldly. Berenn takes a step forward, hand going to his sword hilt, when Vestron smiles. " "Very well, Berenn, you lead us forward."

    Hepla uses her Ring of X-Ray Vision [found earlier, but obviously not noted], but cannot see through the walls.

    "Don't use the ring of x ray vision too often, little sister," says Vestron. "It can cause madness."

    "Thank you, I will be carefull," she replies with a giggle. "Wouldnt want anyone thinking me mad."

    With six scouts left, Berenn has them position themselves in the center of the group, where they can use their bows if they encounter trouble. Elrae sheathes Snowfang and loads his masterwork crossbow with a +1 bolt. He pulls out a light crystal so he can see and merrily joins the scouts in the center. Taki joins Thorgrim and Gotrek in the front, while Vestron and Hepla also stay in the center. Elrae gives himself wide berth from Vestron and moves near the rear of the party. He is joined there by Isilme. She refuses to scout and allows vestron to be in the front. "Stupid noble," she says to Elrae.

    This passage goes on for a long time, making a large loop before opening into a very large cavern. You hear loud, deep voices speaking in a giantish language coming from the other end, out of sight.

    " Probably stone giants," says Berenn. "Hold, and I will move ahead and check things out." Berenn scouts out the place, and he sees a small group of Stone Giants. There is one large male and female, two young males, and two very female children. They seem to have a small camp set up, with a rock wall made of stacked boulders blocking the approach to them.

    He returns and tells what he saw.

    "Maybe we should talk to them," says Hepla.

    "We can sneak up and take them by surprise," says Vestron.

    "How about we leave them alone and head towards the south east as I suggested," replies Elrae, looking at Vestron.

    "I am NOT in favor of attacking children no matter what size!" says Berenn harshly. "Let us go back, as Elrae suggested."

    Vestron nods, and the party returns the way you came. At the roper crossroads, there is only one other tunnel, heading 'south.' You head that way a short distance, before you reach another crossroads. One tunnel goes left and the other goes right. The left tunnel goes a short way and then ends. You take the right passage and continue along for a while before it ends in a T intersection, with a tunnel going to your right and left.

    Vestron scouts out the left tunnel, to see if it meets up with the main cavern. It doesn't, but rather runs into another junction cavern, with 3 other exits, one of which immediately branches in a Y, so consider there to be 4 exits. There is a large northern bulge to this cavern, just out of sight, and in the center of the cavern are 4 shriekers, which immediately begin to howl when you near them!

    Vestron backs off from the cavern, and quickly is out of sight of the shriekers. They stop their sound about a minute later. Vestron returns to the T and starts down the right tunnel. He goes only a short distance when he hears loud footsteps. Peeking around a corner, he sees an earth elemental coming towards him from the other direction.

    Vestron quickly takes out one of his scrolls and reads the Wall of Force spell. He places it across the corridor, and the elemental seems genuinely upset as it bumps into it! Vestron returns to the party quickly, reporting that there are only two ways on, back through the roper crossroads to the arrival cavern, or past the shriekers.

    The party returns to the roper crossroads, and Hepla indeed finds that the wax doesn't seem to work, as the dirt and dust keeps covering it. However, the dead 9' tall roper makes a pretty obvious landmark. You are back in the roper crossroads. You have three routes which you have chosen not to take. The north passage to the Stone Giants and the south passage which leads to an Earth Elemental or to a bunch of Shriekers. So, unless you want to change your minds, there are no more places to go from this area. Your only other option is to head back to the central cavern and take another tunnel.

    The party heads back to the main cavern, and checks out the three smaller tunnels at it's "south" end. They still avoid the large tunnel which Taki said leads to the dragon. They reach the three tunnels and see that the two outer ones only go about 30', while the inner one goes about 30 before getting to a VERY narrow squeeze point. Virtually nobody in armor can fit through it, though even Taki could make it if he took his armor off. Someone like Hepla could slip through it rather easily, as could Isilme, without taking off her armor, even though they would still have to take off things like backpacks.

    Hepla, who would only have to take off her backpack is willing to take a look.

    "Be careful," says Elrae. We can't go after you. Do you want us to tie a rope around you?"

    "Yes, please." she says as she takes off her backpack and cloak. She takes only her wand of paralyzation, ties the end of the rope aroud her 20" waist and asks Isilme to be ready just in case. She then goes into the crack far enough to see what's on the other side. She crawls along about 30' before she finds a backpack blocking her way. She pushes it aside to reveal a small 20' chamber, inside of which sits a young human, sword in hand, pointed at her.

    Hepla says,"Hi, looks like you are hiding here also. I am not alone but with a large party, My name is Hepla, whats your name?"

    With the crawlspace blocked, the air in here is also not all full of dirt. It is a refreshing break from the conditions throughout the rest of the node.

    "My dear, how suprising to find beauty in this dreadful place" begins the man's silvertonged introduction. "My name is Neuton, or Noot as my friends call me." I hope we can be friends."

    [Welcome to a new player. Noot, a young human thief. Noot, an only child, was born of parents who were innkeepers on the edge of the village of Eagle Peak (not a big place to start with). His parents were Phrab, a half-elf, and Melda. They arrived in the region about 2 years before his birth. They seemed to be mysterious travelers on the high-road who arrived at Eagle Peak from an unknown point of origin. They found the town barely surviving. Using their gold, they rebuilt the inn and the town prospered for a period of nearly 10 years. However, the town was overrun shortly after Noot's eighth birthday by a renegade band of Orcs who got in to town as far as the inn, killed his parents and burned the building to the ground. The orcs were successfully repelled, but Noot was left homeless without a family. (he now hates orcs)

    From this point on he lived from hand to mouth, using his quickness, good looks and glib tongue to talk his way on to caravans or to join with bands of travelers. He generally left with more wealth than he started with and no one was the wiser. One year after following the river downstream to the end he discovered a hidden port used by pirates. Rather than running, he walked into the middle of them and hitched a ride. They saw his long fingers and put his dexterity to work mending sails. After about a year at sea, where he perfected his swimming and diving skills, Noot decided that he wanted to see more land and less water, so he took his last dive from the ship and headed for land. He hooked up with a group of adventurers, but they were captured and ended up here. They encountered the dragon, which slew his companions. Noot barely escaped, and has been using this cubby hole ever since.

    He wears 4 daggers and 2 dirks which are his weapons of choice and he carries a short sword more for show than use. He is always eager to open locked boxes or doors or whatever. He also has a small pet ferret, which generally stays inside his coat or on his shoulder.]

    I think that's a good point to stop. The party got bigger, and they are now considering what to do. They really do not like this place!

    Joined: Oct 06, 2008
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    Sun Apr 07, 2013 11:05 am  

    Great minds really do think alike! A Roper will be making an appearance in my game log as well. Evil Grin

    Not right away, of course. Wink

    Nice work Ragnar! Cool Happy
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    Master Greytalker

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    Posts: 655

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    Sun Apr 07, 2013 12:44 pm  

    CAMPAIGN JOURNAL - The Temple Dungeons (Earth Node-3)

    Cast of Characters:
    Berenn: Half-elf Priest of St. Cuthbert /Ranger (6/5)
    Elrae: Human Bard (7)
    Gotrek: Dwarven Battlerager (6)
    Hepla: Human Mage (kind of a witch) (6)
    Isilme: Dark elf Bladesinger/Song Mage (5/5)
    Noot: Human Thief (7)
    Taki of the Hill People: Human fighter (7)
    Thorgrim: Dwarven Cleric/Fighter (6/6)
    Vestron Orcburner: Elven Fighter/Mage (5/5)

    NPC: Elmo and a bunch of men (scouts from Hommlet)

    Having met their new friend Noot, the party rests, recovers spells and such, and then moves on. They move back to the shriekers, use silence spells, and cut them apart. They are surprised by some violet fungi, but destroy it as well. There are two tunnels out of this intersection, going left and right, and branching off the 'east' tunnel which goes back to the central cavern is another tunnel heading to the right.

    Following Vestron, you take the SE tunnel for maybe 100' or so, and eventually it dead ends. At the end of the tunnel are a half-dozen statues of people. They all look petrified. No pun intended! There are a couple of broken statues, or at least pieces, scattered about.

    The party wisely decides to leave this area, and takes another route. The southwest tunnel runs for a while and then it has a Y. They take the SE branch, and it goes a bit, then hairpins back to the left and opens into a cavern. There are some more statues in this room, and right next to you, over to the left, is a half statue, seems to be a warrior from the waist down. Next to it is a very alien creature. It is about 5' tall and made of a pebbly, stone-like material. It has a large, powerful mouth on top of its head with three long arms, tipped with sharp talons, symmetrically positioned every 120 degrees around it. Between the arms are large, stone-lidded eyes that see in all directions. At its base are three thick, short legs, each directly beneath an eye. With a couple of claws it breaks off a chunk of the statue, and drops it into its mouth. One of the eyes looks right at you, focusing intently, though it doesn't otherwise move.

    Again, the party backs off, leaving the strange thing to its rocky meal.

    "We should go and slay the creature which turns things to stone," says Vestron. "Perhaps we could use it to turn the dragon to stone."

    "It seems that many of the creatures here aren't outwardly hostile if left unprovoked," says Elrae. "Perhaps we should leave this petrifying creature alone as well."

    Looking at Vestron, he adds, "This will only lead to our doom. When you grow tired of this you may find me in the main central cavern." Elrae heads back towards the central cavern.

    Gotrek and Thorgrim are a bit unsure of what to do. "We should probably do the opposite of whatever Vestron says," says Gotrek.

    Vestron quips good naturedly with a wink, "I'm surprised a battlerager would fear combat."

    Gotrek looks at Vestron with a frown and a "hrumph." He walks up to Vestron, "Let's go!"

    Vestron and Gotrek follow the passage with the statues, followed by Taki and the others. The passage continues out of sight. There is another statue here, lying on the ground, frozen in the act of running away.

    Isilme says, "I have no confidence in Vestrons leadership. I will stay with elrae." She then turns and leaves.

    Vestron says, "Let us continue onward, companions. We can deal with the betrayal of Elrae and Isilme later."

    Everyone else hesitates, unsure of what to do. Noot slinks behind at a distance, softly whispering to his ferret. He wonders if these new friends will be his salvation, or his doom.

    Vestron says in an exasperated tone, "They may have betrayed us but I cannot let them die. They were fools to run off but we must find them. To the central cavern. Maybe they will start to respect the rest of us if we demonstrate loyalty to them first."

    You return to the main cavern, and as you enter, you can smell something very foul. A bit of smoke is wafting out from the right, and as you go over there you find Elrae and Isilme standing over a burning patch of ooze. [They destroyed a wandering ooze in PMs.]

    "So, were you trying to attract the dragon?" says Vestron in a haughty, mocking tone.

    "I'm glad to see that you didn't get stoned," says Elrae back.

    "Perhaps we should go," says Thorgrim, "before that smoke summons the Black Dragon again?"

    "Let us try a tunnel we haven't tried before?" says Vestron. "I went down one of these tunnels before you arrived but there are a couple of branches I didn't explore. There were a couple of earth elementals in there when I fireballed a nest of green slime and the stone bears were there. Taki killed one. Maybe if we kill the other, we can have a place to rest, heal and regain spells. The alternative is the dracolisk cave; nothing would go there. "

    "My cave was at least clean," says Noot.

    Isilme continues to ignore Vestron's suggestions, looks over at Elrae, and rolls her eyes. "What would you like to do noble bard? I am sure when the reek leaves the cave the dragon will be interested in what got roasted! We should be on our way soon."

    Hepla, still thinking of Vestron's sister's plight, looks around for a passage they have not yet tried. "Seems to me the eastern one we have not tried," she says, "but I'll admit to being turned around in here."

    Taki looks at the party and says "I have seen what happens to small bands of folks in these caves, we need to work our problems out and work together, or we will all die. You all can settle debts later."

    Eventually, the party moves on, finding the body of the dead earth bear. Berenn sees that it is just like a normal bear, only larger and with a body of earth and stone. As Berenn searches futilely for tracks from the other one, you hear a roar behind you, echoing down the tunnel from the central cavern.

    "Where is the dragon's den?" asks Elrae. "Maybe we can have some of our stealthy type sneak in there while we distract it. This is of course if that is where the gem we need to get out of here resides."

    [Interestingly, I found a note on hit points. It gives you a good indication of party strength, if not levels. Actually, levels can be gleaned from the spells:

    Name: hp/hp's left spells and spells used
    Berenn: 50/ 50 Spells: 5,5,1 Used: 0/0/0
    Elrae: 36/34 Spells: 3,2,1 Used: 2/0/0
    Gotrek: 79/60
    Hepla: 20/19 Spells: 6,4,3 Used: 2/0/0
    Isilme: 28/28 Spells: 7*/4*/3* Used: 2/2/0
    Taki: 75/75
    Thorgrim: 48/38 Spells: 5,5,2 Used: 0/2/0
    Vestron: 32/32 Spells: 5,4,2 Used: 0/0/0

    So, Berenn must be a 5th level priest (Ranger level would be 4th or 5th, depending.)
    Elrae is a 7th level Bard. Gotrek is probably 6th level. With 30 bonus hps for con, that seems about right. Hepla is a 6th level wizard. Isilme is 5th level song mage. Probably a 5th level bladesinger to go with that. Taki is a 7th level fighter, right from the module. Thorgrim is a 6th level priest, so he's probably a 6th level fighter too. Finally, Vestron would be 5th level, and probably a 5th level fighter too. So, we now know the party's current levels! :) As you can also see, I was not using my spell point system yet.]

    The party now decided that the gem they seek is inevitably going to be with the dragon. Yes, that's a bit of meta-gaming for their characters to come to that conclusion, but it's also not likely to be wrong. All the arguing between characters spilled over to the players, and they voted for a new leader, nominating Hepla. They plan to lure the dragon out and ambush it.

    Once they finish their plan, Hepla says she is excited about her first plan as a leader.

    Thorgrim gives her a kiss on the cheek. "Let us just hope it is not yer last, lassy."

    She turns a little red and giggles, "Thanks".

    Elrae tries to summon his fly, which they plan to use to lure the dragon, but nothing happens. Seeing this, Isilme tries to summon her LLL (Leomund's Labile Locker) and finds that she cannot.

    " I guess we need to be back on our own plane," she says.

    Vestron tries to summon some monsters, but he finds that his spell does not function either. After some more planning, they arrive at a consensus. Isilme plans is to be invisible, use her boots to levitate to the ceiling and stay there for the battle, casting spectral force to create a party like ours in the cave. Once the dragon is lured in, Elrae will try to talk to it, using his bardic charisma. If it doesn't work, he will wall it in with a wall of ice, with Snowfang, and then Vestron will hit it with Wall of Fire from his wand. Hepla will cast Lightning Bolts. All the fighters will hang back using ranged weapons, with Taki and Gotrek ready to attack with melee weapons.

    You head back to the main cavern. You don't see or hear the dragon. Elrae strides out boldly to be the bait. "I mean what can go wrong dealing with a dragon right?" he says.

    As the party hides, Elrae begins to sing a song about dragons.

    Isilme player OOC: "Elrae rings the dinner bell."

    After a bit, you hear a great rumbling, and a huge dragon enters from the large northern tunnel that you have yet to investigate. The dragon is a large, thickly-built creature with a massive chest and a long, sinuous neck. Its hide is a rich, lustrous black with large scales that are supple yet hard as rock. A crest made of peaked bone spikes runs from its head and down its back. It leaps when it enters the cavern, and lands right in front of Elrae, sending up a blinding dust cloud throughout the place. As everyone cringes, shielding their eyes, Elrae stands like a stone wall.

    "Greeting oh great and mighty one," says Elrae. "My aren't you a fine specimen of power. I am blessed to lay eyes on a creature as awesome as you." Elrae bows but keeps his eyes upon the dragon.


    "Far from it Arrhenius, I am a mere gnat named Elrae. Though far from equals we are both in the same predicament, that of being trapped in the Elemental Node of Earth. Don't you long to return to your glorious swamplands to raise your younglings in a better environment than this sterile and boring place filled with rock and dust? Don't you desire revenge upon those that condemned you here in this unnatural world? We are looking for a piece of a puzzle so to speak, a key to get out of here, a large gemstone about yeah big."


    "Did the dragon say 'we'," whispers Hepla, getting worried.

    "As a mere gnat in your prescence, I give you my word as Elrae of Woodstock to help release you from this prison. Now where might this gem be?"

    Hepla, all dressed in black, and with a spell prepped, walks out and stands next to Elrae. She stares at the dragon and says quietly, "He's spectacular and pretty and awesome."

    The dragon looks over at Hepla with a piercing glare that makes her feel even shorter. When the dragon smiles at her, it seems as much a snarl with the rows and rows of sword-like teeth.


    "Very well Arrhenius," says Elrae. "Fair Hepla shall remain as collateral, but swear that you will not allow any harm be done to yon virgin Now where might we find this gem that shall free us all?"

    "COME CLOSER LITTLE ONE," says Arrhenius.

    Hepla looks around, swallows once, and moves towards the dragon. Arrhenius picks her up with a quick sweep of a clawed arm, causing Hepla to gasp in surprise at the wyrm's swiftness. He then points a claw towards the "southern" tunnel.


    "Don't worry Hepla," says Elrae. "We won't let you down."

    The dragon turns, and flies off back down it's tunnel, carrying Hepla.

    "GO AND PROVE YOURSELVES MORTALS," it calls back. Then it is gone.

    The party follows the dragon's directions, and takes the tunnel indicated. Eventually the area opens up into a pretty large cavern. There is a large pile of boulders, maybe 10' high, and extending quite a ways ahead. There are passages to the left and right of them.

    You hear a strange, rhythmic sound from the distance. A sort of musical harmony, though not like anything you've ever heard, and very deep; you can actually feel it reverberating in the ground beneath your feet.

    The party heads around to the left, and finds that the boulder field is about 50' long. Isilme, invisible, heads around to the right. When you come out past the field, you see the other path up ahead and to the right, entering the cavern from around the other side of the boulders. The cavern is more clear than others here, and extends about 50'. It appears empty.

    Suddenly you hear a rumbling behind you. The boulders begin to move, and a few tumble into the two passages, effectively blocking them. The party is trapped.

    Noot quietly examines the boulders blocking the door, looking for an opening. There is none, except to maybe crawl over them. However, they seem to move as you approach, as if they were alive. A rumble behind you attacks your attention. Turning back towards the other end of the cavern, you see two large boulder-like creatures rising up from the ground.

    "Great, says Vestron, "Getting us all killed with hasty leadership."

    "Lords of rock! Please accept our apologies for this foolish mortal's actions! We wish only to leave this placed having been wronged by the evil doers who sent us here."

    The do not respond, except to move menacingly forward.

    Vestron casts a web, covering the area where the Rock Lords rose up. One is virtually encased in webbing, though the other seems completely unaffected. Meanwhile, Elrae casts Haste on the group.

    Berenn and his scouts fire arrows at the creatures, but they just bounce off harmlessly. He shouts, "swords!" and they toss their bows aside drawing blades.

    Meanwhile, behind the party the boulders which blocked your way roll forwards, two from each side. Behind them more boulders fall down into the pathways. One rolls towards Noot, who suddenly disappears, reappearing about 10' to the left. [He has a ring of Blinking.] The other rolls towards into one of Berenn's men, bowling him over from behind. He falls prone and the boulder rolls right over his head, squashing it like a melon. From the other side two boulders roll forward, another hitting one of the other scouts, and knocking him to the side. The last boulder rolls into another scout, knocking him to the side as well.

    Taki and Gotrek start to approach, but then must stop or else move into the webbing. Gotrek holds his position, starting to sing and chewing on his shield as he takes out his mace, Stonecrusher. Taki turns back and moves towards the rolling boulders, slapping his maul against his palm.

    Thorgrim slams one of the boulders with his pick, taking a nice chunk out of it [15]. He then misses with his second attack.

    Isilme drops a globe of darkness over the Rock Lords.

    Elrae holds until one of the Rock Lords emerges from the darkness, then casts Magic Missile, sending them screeching across the cavern and slamming into it [9]. Berenn and Gotrek both lay into it. Gotrek hits with Stonecrusher [10] and Berenn hits [10].

    Vestron casts grease on one of the boulders, which skids off pasts Elrae.

    The boulders keep rolling. One hits another scout [10] knocking him down as well. Two attempt to smash Thorgrim between them, and they each hit him [9] and [12].

    Thorgrim attacks three times, hitting each time and destroying one of the boulders.

    Meanwhile, Noot blinks again, this time appearing further away!

    Elmo and the two remaining scouts drag their wounded comrades back, away from the boulders and check them out. One is dead, the other nearly so.

    The Rock Lord that emerged from the darkness hits Berenn with two great fists [10] [19].

    Taki attacks the boulder that just knocked down the scout, hitting it three times destroying it.

    Isilme will stay against the ceiling, she will cast spectral force of Hepla "blinking in" (like the thief) and using a wand - that blasts the closest rock lord with a cone of cold (like elrae). The rock lords does not seem to even notice.

    "Great," sighs Isilme.

    "It looks like we'll have to take these guys down the old fashion way, with steel." Elrae says rapidly, sounding like a chipmunk.

    Isilme uses her singing abilities to project her voice: "These are servants of the demon queen! Stop this foolishness at once! Give them the jewel, the time to open the nodes is at hand!"

    She holds Maerthorlear and has her sword project the emotion of shame into the rock lords. She then hopes that Maerthorlear's emotion power works on them.

    [OOC: I can't believe it, but the Rock Lords BOTH failed their magic resistance AND their saving throws!]

    They immediately stop and back up. They kneel down in shame, pleading for mercy from Zuggtmoy. The boulders also stop as well.

    Taki is about to smash another when he is stopped by Elrae, who sees what has happened. Berenn goes to his men, and casts CLW on each. Only one is dead.

    "Give us the gem as demanded by your queen," says Elrae.

    "We serve at Zuggtmoy's bidding," adds Thorgrim, stepping up besides Elrae. "Let the emissary appear before us, bearing her seal, and we shall comply."

    Isilme crosses her fingers. She uses her innate ability of faerie fire to line herself in the purplish glow of fungi and descends down from the ceiling amongst them, presenting the talisman taken from the traders. "The time is almost at hand to release the nodes, in the name of the queen I come for the jewel."

    The Rock Lords seem quite taken aback, and nod before Isilme. They then create an opening in the far wall of the cavern, and one of them goes through, returning a few minutes later with a large Carnellian in its rocky hands. He hands the gem over to Isilme with a bow, "For the glory of Zuggtmoy."

    Isilme takes the gem. "You have served the queen well, and you will be rewarded for your loyalty. Be prepared, the time to release the nodes is approaching."

    "We wait and obey," say the Rock Lords in unison.

    Isilme then turns and flies back the way you came. The boulders all move out of the way, and the party walks out of the near deathtrap. When they reach the central cavern, takes out the box containing the golden skull. Luckily, she didn't put it into her LLL, or else they would not be able to access it. She takes out the golden skull and places the carnelian into a slot. "I hope this works," she says.

    Isilme's eyes widen in shock and amazement, and she stands there stunned for a few moments. She seems to involuntarily shiver than says "Truly this is a thing of great evil, and its use must be carefully judged. I can sense its power, and if it is this powerful with one gem, woe befall anyone who crosses the bearer with all 4 gems! Lets us ensure it stays out of the hands of evil!" She carefully tucks the orb away safely in her satchel where she can reach in and touch it if need be, but not advertise to every monster in this hellish node they have the key to escape.

    You guys go to the dragon's lair, and find that there are actually TWO dragons; they are a mated pair. Your worries about Hepla seem unfounded, for she certainly seems to have made an impression on them. When you get there, she is taking riding lessons from Arrhenius's mate, Accerbia, and laughing like a child. From Hepla, you learn that the dragons only want to get out of the nodes so their egg may safely hatch. Hepla trusts them. She also says there is not much in the way of treasure, as this wasn't supposed to be their home for so long. What they DO have they will give to the party if you get them out! When you tell the dragons that you have fulfilled your part of the deal, they agree to show you the gate to the Air Node. They will also go with you. They take you to the gate to the Air Node, which is just like that which brought you hear, but with the symbol of Air instead of Earth.

    " All you need do is stand in the center of the gate, as you did to get here," says Accerbia to Hepla. "You will be transported to the Air Node."

    [The dragons have 100 random gems and 10 random jewelry. I'll roll them all later. They also have the following magic items. They don't know what they are. I will assume you use identify wand on them:

    Bracers of AC3
    Scroll of 6 magic-user spells (levels 2, 2, 2, 4, 5, 7): bind, irritation, vocalize, shout, dolor, forcecage
    +2 Dagger
    Cittern of Calen Sirithe (acts as a ring of spell storing for a bard, and can hold 4 spells, 1 of each level from 1-4. It's currently empty. It also gives +1 to the bard's inspiring ability and counter-song ability.)

    You also find the full poem which was written by Calen Sirithe. Apparently he got stuck in the nodes too, and while here finished his poem. It is stuck inside the cittern.

    Song of Sirithe
    The Two united, in the past,
    a Place to build, and spells to cast.
    Their power grew, and took the land
    and people round, as they had planned.
    A key without a lock they made
    of gold and gems, and overlaid
    with spells, a tool for men to wield
    to force the powers of Good to yield.
    But armies came, their weapons bared,
    while evil was yet unprepared.
    The Hart was followed by the Crowns
    and Moon, and people of the towns.
    The Two were split; one got away
    but She, when came the judgment day,
    did break the key, and sent the rocks
    to boxes four, with magic locks.
    In doing so, She fell behind
    as He escaped. She was confined
    among Her own; her very lair
    became her prison and despair.
    The Place was ruined, torn apart
    and left with chains around the heart
    of evil power—but the key
    was never found in the debris.
    He knows not where She dwells today.
    She set the minions' path, the way
    To lift Her Temple high again
    With tools of flesh, with mortal men.
    Many now have gone to die
    in water, flame, in earth, or sky.
    They did not bear the key of old
    that must be found—the orb of gold.
    Beware, my friend, for you shall fall
    unless you have the wherewithall
    to find and search the boxes four
    and then escape forevermore.
    But with the key, you might succeed
    in throwing down Her power and greed.
    Destroy the key when you are done
    and then rejoice, the battle won.

    Elrae takes the cittern, wiping a tear for the legendary bard as he reads what must be his last work. He strums the cittern. "What a glorious instrument, well worth venturing into the Earth Node to retrieve."

    The dragons show you the circular air symbol, etched into the stone floor of an adjacent cavern. When you stand on it, you are enveloped by the familiar shimmering you experienced before, and then reappear in the Air Node.
    Master Greytalker

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    Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:25 pm  

    CAMPAIGN JOURNAL - The Air Node - 1

    Cast of Characters:
    Berenn: Half-elf Priest of St. Cuthbert /Ranger (6/5)
    Elrae: Human Bard (7)
    Gotrek: Dwarven Battlerager (6)
    Hepla: Human Mage (kind of a witch) (6)
    Isilme: Dark elf Bladesinger/Song Mage (5/5)
    Noot: Human Thief (7)
    Taki of the Hill People: Human fighter (7)
    Thorgrim: Dwarven Cleric/Fighter (6/6)
    Vestron Orcburner: Elven Fighter/Mage (5/5)

    NPC: Elmo and a bunch of men (scouts from Hommlet)

    You arrive on a plateau atop a central spire, standing 200 feet above the floor level and reaching to within 50 feet of the roof of a massive cavern. A steep slope down spirals widdershins from the peak to the cavern floor. The cavern itself is easily a half-mile wide, and more than a mile long. Light seems to come from the ceiling of the cavern, casting a soft twilight glow throughout the area. The visibility from the peak is fair; and many cave entrances can be dimly seen in the distance, some along the ground, some high in the cavern walls. Dense clouds of random shapes and sizes drift in the great cavern. Though they are constantly pushed and torn by the winds, they do not disperse easily. Within the Air Caverns, the atmosphere is cool and windy. The relatively constant 60 degree temperature (F) is comfortable to all herein, but the winds range from mild gusts of 10-20 mph to full gales of 100 + mph.

    "Well it looks like we are walking," says Elrae. "Time to find the Air Lords and get a gem from them."

    There is a shimmering behind you, and suddenly the two dragons appear. Almost immediately, there is a frightening roar from the north. You see nothing, but Arrhenius takes off with a roar of his own. A few hundred feet away, you see the shape of another dragon, pure white of color, as it crashes into Arrhenius. A great gnashing and clawing occurs, amidst their midair twists and tumbles. You have trouble following what's happening.

    "That is the dragon that slew my companions," says Taki grimly.

    Hepla looks at Taki and says, "Are you sure that is the dragon that slew your people? If so I can fly to help our black friend but if I do that then we might have a white enemy coming at us."

    "I say that we should stay out of official dragon business," says Elrae. "Let's get down this spire."

    Accerbia, the female dragon, looks at Hepla. It's hard to read dragons, but her look seems one of respect. She then takes her egg from her mouth and curls up around it, looking to the north, as the fight continues.

    "Do we help or do we run?" asks Taki. "I have unfinished buiness with that white dragon."

    Hepla casts fly on Taki, who is free to fly after the dragon. Accerbia lowers her head to Hepla's level. "I would take you upon my back young sorceress," she says, "but for the safety of my unhatched offspring."

    Thorgrim steps up, winks at Hepla, then gives the dragon a stare. "By Berronar Truesilver, Mother of Truth, Home, and Safety," he says, kneeling before the dragon, "I shall watch over your egg with my life."

    The dragon looks at Thorgrim, then nods its great head before looking back at Hepla. "Truly you have great friends," she says. "Shall we ride?" she asks, lowering her head and neck to the ground so Hepla can climb on?

    Hepla bows and jumps onto her back, secures a hold, and says "Lets fly! Beware his cone of cold," she yells a Taki,"it comes from his mouth."

    "Well I know," replies Taki, taking off and trying to circle around the to the dragon's flank.

    The two battling dragons are pretty far away, so it'll take him awhile to get there. Their combat is rather ferocious. While he is approaching, Taki sees a blast of frost, very similar to that from Elrae's sword, shoot forth from the white dragon, hitting the black. It responds with a jet of acid which splashes alongside the white's head and neck, blistering even it's scales. They then grapple back together, each blasting the other with their breathweapons, which explode against each other in a flash.
    image posted for my party

    "I will write a song about this," says Elrae, watching in amazement.

    "If we live," says Elmo dryly.

    The dragons continue to fight each other, and Arrhenius takes a vicious bite to the neck. He lets out a howl, and as the white lets go, Arrhenius tumbles wildly to the ground. A roar from Accerbia makes the white turn to face the new threat, and as it does, Taki flies at it and slams it from behind with his maul [22].

    "We need to hurry," says Hepla to Accerbia. "I think your mate is hurt bad."

    The dragon tail swipes Taki who takes [28] and is knocked across the sky. It then takes a breath blast from Accerbia as Hepla blasts it with Magic Missile [8].

    The dragon roars in agony as it is hit with a second blast of acid, this one from below. It now sees it is outnumbered and outmaneuvered, and turns to flee.

    If finds Taki square in its way, and fles right at him. He hits it with his maul simultaneously as the dragon bites him. Taki takes the full claw, claw, bite of the beast. The first claw hits [15], the second claw hits [15], and the bite hits. [25: That's 45 total. Taki has 2 hit points left!]

    Taki hits the dragon back with another massive blow [22

    Hepla also hits it with a lightning bolt as well, as Accerbia closes in on it. The lightning seems to just fizzle as it hits. Still, the white dragon is clearly wounded badly. It is hard to follow the action, back on the spire.

    "Taki", Hepla yells,"Get some healing" as she holds tight to Accerbia.

    The white has Taki stuck in its mouth, and Taki can feel the sudden intake of breath as it prepares to breath. Just then Hepla slams it with another magic missile [7], and Arrhenius bites it, having surged up from below. It lets go of Taki, who floats back stunned as the two dragons spiral out of control.

    Accerbia howls as she watches them spin back and forth, cold and acid flying from their spitting mouths, before slamming into the ground far below in a meteoric impact that sends a cloud of dust into the air like a huge mushroom.

    "Some of my friends can cure," Hepla yells into the dragons ear and then at Taki, "get some healing, you were wonderful."

    Taki ignores Hepla and dives down, slamming the dragon in the back of its massive head with his maul [20]. He hears the sweet sound of bones cracking, and the entire beast convulses once, before its neck stretches out and then falls limply to the ground.

    Accerbia tells Hepla to hold on, and goes into a dive far faster than anything she could have pulled off on her own. They reach the ground in no time, and the dragon goes into an instant hover, landing gently beside her mate. Arrhenius is severely wounded, but when Hepla pours the potion of vitality down his throat, she sees life flow back into its eyes.

    The two dragons are shaken by Taki's disregard for his own safety and for Hepla's courage to fight alongside them.

    "MAYBE I HAVE BEEN WRONG ABOUT HUMANS," says Arrhenius weakly. "YOU HAVE EARNED THE NAME DRAGONFRIENDS." The dragons rest there, as Taki makes sure the white is dead. By now, the others have made their ways down the spire, and have reached the crash site. Thorgrim has taken a backpack and placed the egg within it, and he holds it over his chest protectively.

    "Sur an you don't see that every day," says Thorgrim.

    "Thank you my friend," says Hepla. "Taki, great work but please be careful of your life, any one of those blows would have killed me!"

    She then looks at Accerbia and says,"Your egg is safe."

    Accerbia takes the egg back while Taki slumps down, tired and hurt. Berenn tends to him, while Thorgrim tends to Arrenhius.

    "No," says Gotrek, slapping Thorgrim on the shoulder. "You don't see this every day."

    Taki drinks his last Extra-Healing potion, then holds his maul high. "Today, I name thee Frostbane."

    "Very impressive and Frostbane is an appropriate name for that maul," says Elrae. "Long will this day be herald as the mighty Taki and brave Hepla flew to slay the evil white dragon."

    The dragons will retire to the Earth Node to heal. Taki also knows the way to the gate to the Earth Node, so the party can head there if need be.

    "Be well," says Hepla to the dragons. "We shall not leave without you."

    "And you, little one," replies Accerbia. "Be careful."

    The dragons then fly off towards a large cavern to the "south" at the base of a cliff, disappearing inside.

    Taki fills the party in on some details he knows of the Air Caverns. "The cave next to that was full of rats. Darley blasted them with a fireball, which attracted the dragon. After a brief fight in which everyone was slain, we retreated into the cave with the gate to the Earth Node. I accidentally stood on the gate and was sent to the Earth Node. I never saw my companions again."

    "The dragon seemed to come from that large cavern to the north," says Thorgrim. "Why don't we go across to it and see what we find?"

    You make your way across the large cavern. About half-way across the wind starts to build up, slowly at first, then more quickly. Debris hurls past you, picked up by the increasingly strong winds. Hepla is knocked to the ground [1] and debris hits Thorgrim [2], Elrae [1], and a scout [2]. Visibility has dropped to only a couple hundred feet, as the "storm" picks up to near hurricane winds!

    "Let's skirt the cavern along the walls," says Vestron. "Maybe the wind is less intense there."

    The others agree, and you notice a bit of a sigh from Vestron. As you are skirting the wall, a large rock falls and hits Vestron in the head [4] while more hit Berenn [2] and another scout [4]. You see a cavern up ahead to the left where you can take cover.

    You enter a large cavern with a ledge high above on the right. You see a couple of strange creatures about 100' ahead of you, feeding on something. They have the bodies of lions, but the wings and head of hawks. When you stumble into the cavern, they let out a shrill cawing and turn to towards you threateningly.

    Before anyone can act, one charges across straight at you. It his hit by a lightning bolt from Vestron's outstretched hand [9] as it does. Taki swings his maul, missing, and it attack him with two claws and a bite. Taki takes a claw hit to his face [8] and the thing bites him hard on the arm [10].

    As the other took to the air, Elrae casts Melf's Acid Arrow but it misses its target. The thing dives right down at him. It is hit with a magic missile from Hepla [15], as it slams into Elrae. It hits him with both claws [6] [4] [7], and Elrae is knocked prone, the creature landing atop him.

    Gotrek move over to help Taki, but misses. Thorgrim moves over to help Elrae, but misses.

    Berenn notices movement above, and looks up in time to see two more of the creatures appear on the ledge above. He and the four scouts fire arrows at them, and the creatures duck back out of sight.

    Noot slips around behind the thing attacking Elrae, drawing two daggers and watching for an opening.

    Isilme creates an illusion of a white dragon, flying into the cavern. The creature attacking Elrae panics and flies away at full speed. The other doesn't see, and continues to attack Taki. It claws him for [2] more and is slammed by Taki twice and suffers two wicked blows from Gotrek's axe, felling it. You hear a bunch of cawwing from the ledge above.

    "Thanks," says Elrae. "Sounds like there's company from above."

    Isilme has the dragon land by the party, since she is so limited by the area of effect. Still, it seems to have worked, and the creatures do not return.

    You wait a bit, and the sounds of the wind lesson enough to leave. Without anyone else objecting, you return outside and make your way to the large cavern where the dragon lived. Its entrance is nearly 100' wide and it goes back and up, curving out of sight to the left.

    There are a series of ledges, each about 20' high, which you have to negotiate. Noot climbs one, and uses ropes to help the others climb. He easily climbs the wall, and when he gets to the next level, he heads over to a small rock outcropping, to tie his rope off. There he see Berenn's rope snaking up and wrapping around another rock, actually tying itself. By the time he has finished his rope work and tossed the end down, Berenn is already up on his level, his scouts working their way up behind him.

    "Nice trick," says Noot wryly, as Elrae climbs up as well, showing off his skills.

    As they set about helping the rest of the party out, a bunch of large gray giant rats scurry across the floor of the step and attack you. There seem to be about two dozen, so there are maybe six attacking each of you.

    Berenn, Noot, and the scout draw blades while Elrae casts a quick color spray which takes out 5 rats attacking him. The last one leaps up at him and bites him on the leg [2] while the others attack as well. Berenn is bit for [2], Noot bit twice for [1] and [1], and the scout is bit twice [2] and [2].

    [OOC: Only the four of them can even see anything, as all the action is occuring on the next shelf up, 20' above and away from the edge.]

    "Stinking rats!" says Elrae, drawing Snowfang.

    Elrae hits the rat, which explodes in a small cloud of noxious vapor. He fails his save and is left wretching on the ground. Berenn hits one as well, and it too releases an awful cloud of fumes. He is overcome by the vapor as well, stumbling to one knee as the other rats swarm over him, though none get through his armor. The scout kills one, and he too is overcome, with the other 5 rats all biting him [1][1][2][2][2] (total of 8, and he is unconscious!). Finally Noot hits one with his dagger [6] and the rats attack him, none hitting. He stabs the wounded rat with his other dagger, killing it, but he is not overcome by the fumes. He rolls away, coming up ready to fight the other 5.

    Hearing the sounds of fighting, another scout grabs a rope and starts pulling himself up, while Thorgrim starts climbing the other rope. Isilme gently grabs Hepla around the waist and uses her boots to levitate them up slightly higher than the ledge (in the air away from physical combat). "Try using Magic Missles on whatever they are fighting" she whispers.

    Hepla casts her magic missiles, which streak into a rat attacking the scout. It dies and explodes in a vaporous cloud. A couple rats keep gnawing on him, while two rush over and leap at Hepla. One flies past her, but rather than fall it turn gaseous and just keeps floating away. The other lands square on Hepla's chest and takes a large bite out of her neck [2].

    Taki hits a rat, killing it with one stroke. It explodes, and he falls back, overcome with fumes. Berenn is hit by a rat [1]. Noot hit another rat, and take two hit in return [2][1] before stabbing the rat again. When it explodes, he is overcome in a fit of choking.

    Taki is attacked by 5 rats, and takes three more bites [1][1][2].

    [OOC: Combat Summary:
    Taki is overcome and being attacked by 5 rats. Nobody even knows how the hell he got up there!
    Noot is overcome and being attacked by 3 rats.
    Elrae is overcome and there are 5 unconscious rats near him.
    One scout is overcome and being attacked by 2 rats.
    Berenn is overcome and being attacked by 1 rat.
    Hepla is being carried by Isilme, and has 1 rat attacking her.

    By the end of the round, Thorgrim and the other scout have climbed up.]

    Hepla grabs the rat and throws it off her as Isilme lowers them back down. They see the rat turn gaseous before it hits the ground and just go floating off with the wind currents.

    The other scout draws his sword and rushes over to his companion, kicking a rat off him. The rat turns gaseous and begins to float away as the remaining rat attacks but misses.

    Thorgrim steps over to Berenn and hits the rat biting him, killing it. Though it explodes in a stinking cloud as well, Thorgrim seems unaffected.

    The rats continue to chew at Taki who is bitten twice [1][2], and Noot who is bitten once[2].

    Vestron climbs up, along with another scout.

    On the level of the fight:
    Taki is overcome and being attacked by 5 rats.
    Noot is overcome and being attacked by 3 rats.
    Elrae is overcome and there are 4 unconscious rats near him. One wakes up.
    One scout is overcome and there is 1 rat attacking the other scout protecting him.
    Berenn comes out of his coughing.
    Thorgrim is ready to attack another rat.
    Vestron and another scout are up there.

    On the next level down:
    last scout

    "Cough, cough," says Elrae, as Vestron casts Magic Missiles, and the struck rats go gaseous. In fact, all the remaining rats do the same, and the wisps begin to float off back down the cavern.

    Vestron blows the rats away with a Gust of Wind, or at least the rat vapor. Soon there is not the least trace of them anymore. There is nothing on this level.

    "Vapor rats," says Elrae. "Be careful of what else is around, they were probably scavaging the remains from some more powerful creature."

    With the threat gone, Berenn and Thorgrim minister to the group. Between Healing Proficiencies and a few spells, most the damage is taken care of. You can now repeat the process to go to the next level, and then the one after that, and finally the last level. Isilme uses her levitation and invisibility to scout above and make sure there are no more surprises. She sees nothing as far as she can see. It takes a couple of hours to get up the 3-4 tiers, and by then some in the party are rather tired.

    At the top of the last tier there are two ways to go. Off to your right there is another cavern beyond this one, and to the left, about 100' above, is another. The latter is reached via a small ledge, running along the left wall of the cavern. Isilme sneaks into the next cavern and sees another white dragon, much smaller than the one that was killed earlier. Curled up in a ball, it seems to be asleep.

    She comes back to report. Isilme isn't "for" attacking the dragon. But she can't deny the gem we seek may be in thier horde. "We need to tread carefully," she says. "If there is a small young dragon in there that means the big one we killed had a mate."

    A sudden wind picks up, blowing from the entrance towards the great central cavern. Berenn looks around, then downwind towards the cavern with the sleeping dragon. "Crap," he says, just before you hear a roar from up ahead. " I think we just ran out of time."

    Elrae draws Snowfang, prepared to what may come. Thorgrim touches Taki, placing a Resist Cold on him while Gotrek drinks his last potion of speed. Berenn, Elmo, and the scouts fan out to the far left side of the cavern, and Noot heads for cover. Isilme levitates herself up to the ceiling. Hepla casts Fly on herself.

    Isilme are up near the roof of the cavern, just over 100' up in the air. Thorgrim casts Resist Cold on Gotrek, while the four of them stand in the center of the cavern, waiting. Vestron moves over to the side, over next to Noot. Berenn and the scouts are on the opposite side.

    Suddenly the dragon flies out from its cavern, swooping over everyone (and under Isilme) as it flies by.

    Vestron run into the dragon's lair, looking for treasure. He doesn't see anything there, but there is another cavern beyond the one where the dragon was sleeping.

    Isilme casts spectral force: a large black dragon roaring it's challenge and slamming into the white before it leaves the cavern exit. (a copy of what she has already seen and heard)

    The dragon flies right through the illusion. It makes a big sweeping turn back where you fought the vapor rats and prepares to come back. Taki and Thorgrim spread out from Gotrek, as Thorgrim casts Resist Cold on himself.

    Noot follows Vestron. "Better to be away from the Dragon for now," he thinks.... "and then there is the lure of Treasure."

    The dragon flies back breathing a cone of cold as it does so. It hits Elrae [6] and Taki [7] as it swoops overhead. Hepla hits it with a lightning bolt after it flies by [14].

    Berenn and the scouts all fire their bows, but fail to score a hit..

    The dragon roars in pain and begins to turn around when it sees Vestron and Noot enter its lair. Rather than turn around, it takes off after them!

    Vestron turns and casts a Fireball at the dragon [16] which roars in agony as the flames explode over it. Noot blinks away, as the dragon swoops in trying to snatch him. Hepla casts a set of Magic Missiles at the dragon, which slam into it [10]. The fighters charge into the room.

    Hepla and Elrae both cast more Magic Missiles, but they seem to just fizzle when they hit. Noot continues to blink, just trying to stay out of the way.

    The white dragon lands right atop Vestron with a huge crash! [18]. Vestron is pinned beneath the dragon. The fighters begin to charge. Suffice to say, Vestron spell (Mirror Image) is cancelled. Both Vestron's potions as well as his Wand of Fire break when the dragons lands on him! The wand explodes [doing 19 damage to Vestron and 10 to the dragon.]

    [OOC: I decided that a broken wand, perhaps any item with charges unless specifically specified otherwise though I'm not sure of that yet, will do 1 dam/charge remaining. That's why Vestron's wand did 19. He failed his save and took the whole thing, but the dragon made it's save for only 1/2 damage. Just wanted to expain that. I also only let it affect a 5' radius, as it's not like they are Staves of Power or Magi, something like that.]

    The dragon, sweeps its tail behind it, hitting Noot [20], Taki [25], and Thorgrim [20], and Gotrek [25] before leaping into the air again. Noot is stunned for 4 rounds, Taki for 4, Thorgrim for 3.

    Gotrek rushes in and goes berserk, leaping for the beasts's back. He grabs onto a damaged scale as the thing takes off into the air! Hepla and Elrae cast their last Magic Missiles, all of which fizzle again. Elmo and the scouts stay back, guarding the other directions, as Berenn makes his way over towards the cavern entrance.

    Gotrek dropped his axe jumping on the dragon's back, but pulls out Stonecrusher! The dragon continues into the next cavern, out of sigh. There is a large herd of some kind of bison there, and it flies around behind them, roaring so loudly that they stampede back out into the cavern where the others lie stunned or unconscious.

    Gotrek hits the flying dragon with his hammer [13] and the dragon does a quick spin, trying to flip Gotrek off. The stubborn dwarf refuses to let go, and hits the dragon again [9], this time breaking a couple of scales right off the beast!

    The dragon soars off, and Gotrek hits it one more time [11] before the thing manages a tight barrel roll that sends him flying into the wall of the cavern. He slams into it [??] and drops to the ground [??], Stonecrusher flying from his grasp. He shakes his head and takes out the minotaur's axe, strapped across his back.

    Berenn runs up to Vestron, and is shocked at his horribly maimed left hand. That must be the one with which he had been holding his wand when it broke. He casts a CLW, and is happy to see that the grave burns instantly begin to heal, until all that he sees is a slight reddened area.

    Hepla flies closer, keeping up to the ceiling and casting invisibility on herself as she does. Isilme sees her disappear, she pushes herself along the ceiling slowly and carefully.

    Elrae sees the stampede, and uses Snowfang to create a wall of ice in the path of the stampede, blocking the rest of the party. The animals, which look like some kind of cows, though with strange, wispy clouds trailing around them, rush through the cavern and are almost upon the characters in the center when the wall appears. They surge around like a wildly flowing river, and continue towards the cavern entrance.

    [These are not necessarily round-by-round posts. I'm just making smaller, shorter ones, to give people time to respond and to keep things kinda separate and moving along. Boy, tail sweeps can be brutal!!! Gotrek and the dragon are in the last cavern. Gotrek is against the back wall, with the dragon about 50' away, towards the middle of the room. In the closer room are Vestron (unconscious), Taki, Noot, and Thorgrim (all three of them still stunned). Berenn is kneeling over Vestron, having just used a CLW. There is a Wall of Ice between them and the rest of the cavern, just enough to divert the stampede around them. Elrae is in the entrance to the cavern, pretty much at the point of the noth-east wall of the entrance. The scouts are out in the next cavern, guarding the rear and generally staying away from the dragon! Hepla is in the entrance, though about 100' up flying along the ceiling. Isilme is about 50' behind her, slowing propelling herself along the ceiling while she levitates with her boots.]

    The stampeding herd runs right out through the entrance, and Elrae can barely get back out of the way before they run him down. Elmo and the scouts all take cover off to the side too, and the herd runs towards the stepped area.

    Berenn uses another CLW on Vestron, curing another [6]. Vestron's eyes flicker open, and he sees Berenn smiling down at him. "What happened?" he asks.

    Berenn laughs, "The dragon decided to use your for a chair!"

    Hepla flies across the cavern, while in the last room the dragon lands and breaths a cone of cold directly upon Gotrek [??]. The dwarf shrugs off the blast, and charges the dragon, missing with his axe and then hitting [12]. The dragon roars in pain, clearly stunned that this stupid little dwarf has withstood two blasts of his freezing breath!

    Thorgrim sits up, shaking his head.

    The dragon bites Gotrek [??] who responds with a massive swing of his axe [17]. The dragon lets go, and Gotrek hits it again [22] and again [20]. It cries out as it falls over, its long neck dropping limply to the side. Gotrek continues to hack at it, until Hepla flies into the cavern. He looks up and sees her, and comes out of his rage. He looks back at the dragon with a sigh, then slumps over himself, exhausted.

    Hepla lands next to him and administers some healing, while the others gradually make their way inside as well. They find nothing here except the half-eaten carcass of one of the weird cow-like creatures. While the party regroups, being pretty much out of spells and half of then near death, Isilme flies up and checks out the upper cave. Her eyes light up at the stuff she sees inside the cave! Lot's of coins, gems, jewelry, and stuff. Isilme looks like Daffy Duck with the pearl! Unfortunately, there's really no way to carry everything, so they split up the platinum, and take the gems. None of the gems fit the Orb.

    The party rests up in the high cavern, posting lookouts on the ledge. For the first time in days, they actually feel safe......

    Joined: Jul 26, 2010
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    Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:31 pm  

    That's a great poem and those were some epic dragon battles, Ragnar. Happy

    Keep it coming!


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    Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:58 pm  

    Wow! Ragnar's turning on the steam! Going to be a lot to read tomorrow, but I'm finished for the night! Laughing

    I'll catch-up . . . promise! Cool
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    Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:04 am  

    Sounds pretty epic Ragnar with all that dragon slaying!

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    Mon Apr 08, 2013 6:31 am  

    Well, there is most definitely going to be some leveling up before they get out of the Air Node. Wink Laughing
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    Mon Apr 08, 2013 6:10 pm  

    Well, they were younger dragons. Actually, the dragon vs dragon fight was fun. Also, I can't recall a party making friendly with a black dragon. They did good there.

    The nodes, for all their danger, were shaping up to be good fun. I really embellished a lot, bringing in Planescape creatures, elemental animals were an obvious choice, etc. I thought the stampede was actually the coolest part, well, other than Gotrek riding the dragon. That was pretty cool. But the stampede, it was going to very likely kill a few characters. I think a couple of the stunned ones were down around 10 hp. Elrae showed some quick thinking, using Snowfang to create a Wall of Ice and divert the stampede.

    Yep, Nodes are good fun. I think at this point I really started to contemplate expanding them even further.

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    Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:10 pm  

    ragnar wrote:
    Well, they were younger dragons . . . Also, I can't recall a party making friendly with a black dragon. They did good there.

    Yes, the use of Black Dragons was particularly interesting. Given that all Black Dragons can inherently breathe underwater, they are obviously much more “comfortable” in a wet/damp environment. Trapping them in the dry and dusty Earth Node would be suitable punishment for a misdemeanor against Zuggtmoy. (Draconomicon – The Book of Dragons, page 201) Wink

    A Black Dragon would have an overpowering urge to escape this place, which is what your characters needed, considering the following statement: "Mean as the proverbial polecat, fiercely territorial, vain and perpetually hungry {a Black Dragon} tends to breathe acid first and consider the consequences later." Shocked

    The publication goes on to state: "{A Black Dragon is} bloodthirsty, ill-humored and rapacious . . . treacherous and unforgiving . . ." Yep! The use of Black Dragons for this was an intriguing choice. Being trapped in the Earth Node served as just the right motivation for the Dragons to overcome their natural desire to simply slaughter and eat the PCs, leading to a cooperative effort to escape the Node. Of course, when you consider that "treacherous" part, there's no telling what might happen before these mismatched "allies" finally escape the Nodes! Evil Grin

    ragnar wrote:
    The nodes, for all their danger, were shaping up to be good fun . . . Yep, Nodes are good fun. I think at this point I really started to contemplate expanding them even further.

    And the Nodes definitely offer some interesting possibilities and opportunities for expanding the module. Nicely done, Ragnar! Cool
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    Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:58 am  

    CAMPAIGN JOURNAL - The Air Node - 2

    Cast of Characters:
    Berenn: Half-elf Priest of St. Cuthbert /Ranger (6/6)
    Elrae: Human Bard (7)
    Gotrek: Dwarven Battlerager (6)
    Hepla: Human Mage (kind of a witch) (6)
    Isilme: Dark elf Bladesinger/Song Mage (5/5)
    Noot: Human Thief (7)
    Taki of the Hill People: Human fighter (7)
    Thorgrim: Dwarven Cleric/Fighter (6/6)
    Vestron Orcburner: Elven Fighter/Mage (5/5)

    NPC: Elmo and a bunch of men (scouts from Hommlet, actually I think there are only three left!)

    After the party rests, Elrae will take a souvenir from the dragon, a large tooth to impress the ladies with back home. "We should salvage as much of this dragon corpse as we can, so many spell components to choose from."

    Hepla looks unhappy, but says nothing. However, Thorgrim points out that they have no way to carry anything, so they must leave the carcass.

    "Too bad," says Gotrek, holding a scale that he ripped off. "These make good armor."

    While you are getting ready to leave, you see two large creatures flying into and through the caverns. As they get closer, you see they are griffons, and riding on each one is a large giant.

    Islme casts spectral force of a big black dragon, standing over the white dragon corpse and looking none too happy about the intrusion. It will issue a challenging roar and leap off the ledge towards the intruders. The giants turn and fly away as soon as the see the dragons appear.

    Isilme then casts Invisibility and follows them to another ledge on the far side of the large cavern. She comes to realize that it's getting very cold here. The wind is blowing pretty strongly, and she sees ice beginning to appear along the walls. The ledge itself is fully covered in snow and ice, and the temperature is extremely cold. Isilme wraps her cloak tighter and keeps moving, muttering something about hot chocolate and a warm fire. She returns and fills the party in on what she found.

    There are two frost giants guarding the ledge, and in the cavern beyond are a half-dozen griffons. In another chamber to the right are more giants. There is a way to walk up to the ledge, but it's a long and risky walk along a ledge which gets covered in snow and ice up above.

    Vestron says, "I can think of no creatures more potent than cloud giants to guard such a treasure. Apart from djinn, but djinn are not creatures of evil."

    "I say we should avoid those giants at all costs," says Elrae. "One swing of a club and you'll have to be scraped of the floor. All of the encounters here are distractions from out goal. We need to find the Air Lords of this node. I suggest looking in another cavern."

    "I see some options," says Isilme. "I can hit the giants with a dragon illusion as that is pretty believable at this point, or I can we try to convince them we are trying to help them leave - either like the dragons or the rock lords."

    "Why not fry them," says Taki?

    "My wand is lost," says Vestron, "and I fear I have not the power to deal effectively with giants. Deception would be best then. However, if this does not work, then we shall bathe them in fire."

    The party makes their way over to the long climbing ledge leading up to the giants, using an Invisibility in 10'r spell provided by Hepla to sneak across the node. Unfortunately, the players then fall into a long argument about how to proceed. As is typical, Gotrek solves the problem with another rash act.

    Gotrek looks at Thorgrim and then at Taki. "Screw it!" He sprinkles his dust of disappearnce on himself as he runs up the sloping ledge, singing his war song.

    "He didn't take his speed," says Elrae, who then casts haste on the other fighters.

    Vestron ignites his flame blade and joins the charge singing an elven battle song.

    At first the giants come up to the edge and look around, but with everyone standing around Hepla and her Invis 10'r spell, they can't see anything. The just hear this strange singing getting closer. Soon they see the flame of Bonefire far below them, as Vestron too starts up the ledge. Laughing, they pick up boulders.....

    "Hmmm .... charging up a hill with boulder throwing giants on it?" mutters Berenn. Berenn will wait a moment and see how this pans out. Preferably under a ledge so no boulders or bodies will fall on him.

    Elrae ducks with him, nodding his agreement, followed by Noot, also nodding emphatically.

    Islme flies up, but stays back because attacking stone-throwing giants who have uphill advantage is dumb, even for a battle-rager.

    [Cormac player OOC: Yeah, but he isn't dumb. He is using his dust of disappearance, so they can't see him. All they can see is poor, poor Vestron. ]

    [Isilme OOC: Touché. I forgot he used the dust, it was Vestron who plays the elvish battle rager.]

    The giants throw two boulders down the cliff-face towards Vestron. Hepla attempts to levitate one, but the force is too great; the strain was more than she could bear. One crashes into Vestron [17], and the giants roar with delight! Luckily, he doesn't fall off the ledge.

    Vestron sheathes Bonefire, casts Camoflauge, leans back against the wall, and disappears. The giants throw their boulders, which just bounce off the wall without hitting anyone. The then start scratching their heads, while one calls out to others in the next cave.

    Berenn will use the rope of climbing and his elven cloak and boots, hopefully scaling the wall unnoticed.

    The next thing you know, there is a loud commotion at the top as Gotrek begins to lay into the frost giants with his axe. Isilme sees one of the giants fall off the ledge, his leg cut in two. She can't see Gotrek, but he kills another Frost giant just in time for four more to come out from the rear cavern.

    Out of a bottom cavern off to the right of you come two more giants, even bigger than the frost giants. They look around, but since everyone's invisible, they can't see anyone. The giants at the bottom split up. One stands guard down there while the other moves up along the ledge towards the top, coming up behind Vestron.

    Berenn climbs up over the edge, just in time to dodge to the side as a frost giant topples over him. There are four frost giants there on this large ledge/cave, and they are fighting against an invisible Gotrek, whose passage is obvious by all the footprints in the snow.

    Suddenly a lightning bolt erupts amongst them, cast by Vestron who also has reached the top. It hits two of the frost giants [10] [8], who don't seem very happy about it. They look where it came from and grin when they see Vestron standing in the snow at the far side of the ledge.

    Down below, the large giant looks up when it hears the sound of the lightning bolt. The other giant is still moving up the ledge. Taki charges out and hits the giant from behind [22] with his maul, becoming visible.

    Berenn moves up and attacks the giant, hitting for [15]. Vestron casts mirror image, and the giant moves up and slams one of his duplicates, nearly falling over. Gotrek keeps attacking the other two.

    Down below Taki hits again, slamming the giant in the leg [16]. Noot slips his other dagger out and moves up behind the giant, backstabbing it twice. He hits both times, doing [14] and [14] with nice double-backstabs! The giants stumbles to one knee, swinging behind him at Noot, who rolls out of the way. Taki then hits him again on the top of his head [20], crushing it. With a crack, squish, and groan, the giant slumps to the ground!

    Elrae will sing a song of encouragement, +2 now because he plays the Cittern of Calen Sirthe.

    Noot slips back under the rising ledge, as Taki looks around for another enemy. Up above, he sees the giant moving up towards Vestron, so he starts up the ledge himself.

    The giant sees him and throws a boulder at him, hitting him for [12]. Taki keeps moving forward.

    Elrae starts to sing, but Hepla stops him. "Sshh. They can't hear you anyway. Let's go check out these lower chambers where the other giants came from." Together, you start moving that way.

    You also notice, now that Hepla and the others have moved off, that Elmo and a scout have begun climbing up the rope, while the other two are firing their bows at the cloud giant about half-way up the cliff face. Each hits once [2] [4].

    Vestron draws Bonefire, which ignites and quickly gets the giant's attention. Vestron then hits the frost giant that is trying to attack him [9]. Berenn hits the giant he is facing as well [6]. Berenn is struck in return with an axe [13], and then misses with his 2nd attack.

    The giant attacking Vestron hits another mirror image, which disappears as his axe swings through it. He curses in giantish! [BTW, you created 5 images, and now there are only 3]

    The other two frost giants are still fighting Gotrek, or at least so it seems, since you can't see Gotrek!

    Berenn casts Aid, gaining [7] hp back. The giant promptly hits him again [16].

    Vestron misses the giant, which strikes another mirror image [down to 2 left].

    Taki closes on the giant about half-way up the ledge, and attacks. He misses and the giant slams him hard with the boulder it was holding [14], then draws its mace. Taki's helm is twisted around by the blow and dented. [he is blind until it's fixed which requires a dex roll!]

    Vestron slips under the frost giant's legs, and fires a lightning bolt straight up [28]. The giant roars in pain and stamps off, hitting another one of Vestron's mirror images in the process. He REALLY looks mad now.

    Berenn hits his giant again [10] and is hit in return [15]. Meanwhile, another frost giant goes down, it's leg cut out by Gotrek.

    Suddenly two griffons fly out past everyone and take off into the large central area.

    On the ledge, Taki fixes his helm, and is hit by the giant againn [17]. The scouts have continued firing, and hit the giant once [6].

    Berenn casts Cure Moderate Wounds, healing [10], as Isilme makes an illusion of a white dragon, rising up over the cliff edge. The giant sees it and flees back into the interior. It is hit by the invisible Gotrek, who takes it's right foot off with a swing of his battleaxe [38]. Nice critical! It falls flat on its face, rolling in agony and screaming.

    Vestron casts another mirror image, creating 4 more duplicates. The giants swears as it swings and destroys another one. [5 left now]

    Elmo and the scout have come up the rope this turn, joining Berenn at the edge. They seem just as afraid of the dragon as anything else, until Berenn says "It's just Isilme," he hopes....

    Halfway up the sloping ledge leading up the clifface, Taki take another blow from the cloud giant [19], and he fails to hit it back. One of the scouts hits the giant with another arrow [4].

    Elmo and the scout fire arrows, hitting the last giant [6] [6]. [Nice job redshirts! ]
    Berenn runs up and finishes off the fallen giant with a thrust through its wide open mouth! The other giant turns to hit Berenn, and it is hit from behind by the invisible Gotrek. It swings wildly backwards, connecting solidly with something [?]. You hear the hit as well as the thud about 20' away where Gotrek must have landed.

    Isilme drops the illusion and casts a reduce (reversed enlarge) on the frost giant. He immediately shrinks to 50% his size and looks around with a confused and fearful look!

    Vestron fires Magic Missiles from his fingertips which hit the cloud giant again [10] as he rolls through it's legs. The giant hits another image [4 left].

    On the ledge, Taki hits the giant [15] and is hit again himself [17]. The scouts fire, hitting 4 times, including a critical! [5] [5] [1] [12] He is riddled with arrows and not looking so good, though neither is Taki. However, it just grunts and continues swinging, though with less strength and greater abandon.

    Elmo and the scout fire at the frost "non-giant" hitting him once [3]. Berenn backs off, casting another CMW [10] on himself. The shrunken giant flees back into the other chamber, and is hit by the invisible Gotrek as he does [20]. The archers fire twice more hitting him again [4]. It is then hit again [15] by Gotrek.

    Vestron moves away from the giant, firing more Magic Missiles at it. [11] The giant charges up into the mirror images, and hits another [3 left].

    Isilme flies over, steps onto the ledge, and takes in the scene.

    On the ledge, Taki hits the giant, blasting away part of its lower jaw and sending it toppling backwards. Taki then leans back against the cliff wall, exhausted, as the cloud giant falls from the ledge.

    Vestron fires more Magic Missiles, which streak into the giant [7]. The giant hits again, taking out another mirror image [2 left: Vestron has gotten quite lucky!]. Berenn charges behind it and buries his sword in the thing's back [15]. It drops to its knees, and Vestron finishes it off with a slash of Bonefire, opening its neck!

    Elmo and the scout take a couple of shots at the last giant, one hitting [2]. They also hear Gotrek grunt, apparently hit by one of their arrows. Gotrek and the giant continue to fight.

    Isilme, still invisible, slips off to check out the further caverns.

    Suddenly, the two griffons dive back in behind Elmo and the scout, attacking them from behind. Both are hit pretty bad, and are held helpless, grabbed in their talons.

    Berenn turns to tell Elmo to fire on the lower giants, when he sees the him and the scout each being attacked by griffons. They drop their bows and draw swords as the griffons continue their attacks. The scout has his face nearly bitten off, and he drops his sword from his dead fingers, but Elmo seems to fend off the griffon, and even delivers a good blow with his sword [12]. Berenn rushes over and attacks the griffon, hitting it with his longsword [12].

    Meanwhile, Gotrek finishes off the last, shrunken giant.

    Simultaneously, Vestron, seeing the giants dealt with, takes out his scroll and reads off the fireball spell. He sends it below, where it erupts around the two frost giants [13] and killing the one that Taki just hit with the rock!

    Berenn and Elmo both hit the griffon, killing it, while the other griffon flies off carrying the other scout with it. Vestron then hits it with his last Magic Missile which brings it down. Whether or not the scout was dead before, he is now after about a 100' fall!

    ***Meanwhile, down below***

    Down below, Hepla and Elrae go around the corner and can see that there are 2 more frost giants in the left cavern, guarding a stockade with about a dozen prisoners. Ahead is a large cavern which gradually slopes up towards the steep steps leading up to the last few caverns above. There is another large giant (yes, they are cloud giants) in this cavern, moving towards you.

    Down below, Hepla and Elrae hold still as the cloud giant approaches. The cloud giant comes to a point nearly on top of the invisible duo and calls out to the frost giants guarding the stockade. They rush over to join it, preparing weapons. Each picks up a small boulder, while holding a large axe in its off-hand.

    As they move on passed Hepla and Elrae, Elrae whispers, "Hepla we should rescue those prisoners while the giants are distracted. Just be prepared to use that fireball if any frost giants come by. Snowfang won't be as useful here but we'll have to try."

    The cloud giant and two frost giants move off towards the exit of the caverns, leaving them free to check on the prisoners. Before you can make your way over there, Thorgrim, whom I forgot, but was sneaking around with Hepla and Elrae, uses his Scroll of Flame Strike, dropping it on the three giants. [10] [14] [39] The Cloud giant takes the brunt it, and the giants look around outside for what happened, and see only the two archers.

    Unfortunately, Thorgrim appears, not realizing how invisibility worked. "Crap!" mutters Thorgrim. Then to the others he says, "Hepla, check on the prisoners. I've got this." With that, he prepares for battle, though it seems the giants have not seen him yet, as he is actually standing behind them.

    The archers fire their bows at the giants, hitting the cloud giant once [6]. The two frost giants throw boulders, each hitting a different scout [9] [11] and knocking both out of the fight with sickening crunching sounds. Suddenly, a dead giant slams into the ground with an immense thud, making the three giants look that way. [This is the giant Taki knocked off the ledge!] When the dust clears, they see the dead giant, and the wounded Taki halfway up the sloping ledge, leaning back against the wall bruised and battered [and down to about 10 hit points!]

    The cloud giant sees Thorgrim out of the corner of his eye and turns just in time to get a pick in the groin [30]. The cloud giants crumples over and drops to the ground. Thorgrim barely rolls out of the way, losing his pick under the giant. The two frost giants turn towards him grimly.

    Noot is still hiding....

    Taki drinks a potion of EX-Healing healing [25], then begins to move back down the ledge. Hepla lets the invisibility disappear, as Elrae uses Snowfang to destroy the lock and open the gate to the cage in which the prisoners are being kept.

    Outside at the foot of the cliff, Thorgrim casts Strength of Stone on himself, raising his strength to 20 as he grabs his battleaxe from his back. The giants move up against him. The first swings and hits the other giant as Thorgrim ducks under its swing [22], but the other hits Thorgrim [13] with an axe.

    Taki looks around and finds one small boulder which he can drop on a giant. He lifts it above his head with two hands and hurls it out. It slams into one giant's head [20] and drops it to the ground.

    Thorgrim leaps atop the downed and burning giant, swing his axe at the last one and hitting it with his axe [22]. The giant smacks him off him [15], sending Thorgrim flying back towards the cliff face.

    Thorgrim gets up and retrieves his axe, as Taki, unable to find anything elses to throw, makes his way back down. Standing beside Thorgrim, the two nod to each other as the wounded giant grimly waits. They then turn back and charge.

    The giant hits Thorgrim with his axe as they approach [20], but Taki takes a swing at the giant, hitting for [22] and caving in its knee. As if falls to the ground, Thorgim hits it in the back of its head, burying his pick in its skull. As it twitches, Thorgrim twists his pick savagely.

    "Fights over!" he says, stepping up on the thing's neck and wrenching his pick free.

    Taki slumps down, wounded badly/

    Thorgrim, leans against him. "You look like I feel!"


    Inside the cavern, the others move up to the stockade where they find a half-dozen half-starved people, including a female elf matching Vestron's sister's description!

    [ooc: I know the fight's confusing. There are two frost giants up top, one shrunk down fighting Gotrek now and the other fighting Vestron (and his mirror images). Also on the top ledge are Isilme, Berenn, Elmo, and a scout. Taki is on the narrow ledge which leads from the ground floor to the top. At the foot of the cliff face are two frost giants facing Thorgrim, the two scouts being knocked out. Inside the left-hand cavern on the ground floor, Hepla and Elrae, still invisible, have found the prisoners.]

    Elrae addresses the prisoners. "We have traveled far to rescue you. M'lady I am with Vestron Orcburner, your brother, I assume. I swear to protect you all as my brave comrades engage these giants in mortal combat."

    The elf maiden comes forward, declaring herself as the Countess Tillahi of Celene, sister of Vestron. She asks that you please take her to her brother."

    With the battle ended, the party checks on each other, especially the two scouts down below. One is dead, the other nearly so. Thorgrim is able to save him, and a couple of spells later he is up and around, but shaken. Berenn moves deeper into the upper caves, following Gotrek's footsteps in the snow. "Don't worry, laddy," calls Gotrek. "I ain't berserk no more! Just lookin' fer more giants to chop down. Nothing here but a couple more a dem birds though."

    Berenn sees two more griffons yet chained up in the back of the cavern. They are younger griffons, and have not been broken by the giants yet. There is also a griffon egg in the nest.
    Lots of PMs happened, and then there was a site outage which caused us to lose some stuff. So, a quick summary. Berenn calmed the griffons, and with spells and ranger abilities gained friendship with them. These two are brothers, and the egg will be a younger sibling. They are very sad about their parent's deaths, but blame the giants who captured them and beat them often. He promised to set them free and help them get out, and they agreed to follow him. Vestron also reunited with his sister. Too bad I don't have those posts! :( Finally, Isilme found the gem they were seeking, as well as another gate, this one a water symbol which indicated that it lead to the Water Node.

    The party rests, then makes their way back to the dragons, which agree to come with them, especially after some more healing. One note is that they used Falrinth's staff which Hepla had been carrying around. It was a Staff of Withering, and she offered to use it on the black dragon, Arrhenius. He took her up on the offer, and amazingly you find that expending two charges heals him completely as it ages him! Arrhenius is amazed, not just by the staff's healing, but that Hepla and the others are so eager to help him.

    Islme approaches Vestron. "I think someday you will be a great leader for your people, but at times it seems you rush headlong needlessly into destructive situations and actions like the humans I have met. I admire your bravery, but in I think in order to lead your people well someday you will have to temper your actions with patience and careful planning. Perhaps born under the sun, your passions burn more wildly than myself who was born in the underdark, a world more cold and calculating. Now that you have found your sister I hope you will find that balance, for the worry could be seen in your eyes since the day we met. Regardless, I offer you these guantlets of ogre strength, all I ask is that if you leave us to return to your people or go to your final rest that they be returned to me. I have much to learn from my sun raised brother and sister elves, perhaps a little of your passions and valor? Until then, I think they would be far more useful in your hands." She hands him the guantlets, then smiles and bows.

    "Well," says Vestron, "That's mighty white of you." [sorry, had to include that quote, as it cracked me up!]

    The party takes stock of their items, looking for things to help in the Water Node. Hepla wears a cloak of the Manta Ray, while Isilme has a Ring of Water Walking. They also have three wizards (including Countess Tillahi now) and can cast lots of water breathing if needed. So, they move back to the gate to the Water Node and prepare to move on. Actually, they need to spend some time while they share spells.

    Elmo and the remaining scout stay behind to guard all the freed people, while the rest of the party prepare to enter the Gate to the Water Node. Thorgrim takes off his armor, leaving it with Elmo and borrowing Hepla's spare Bracers. Elrae follows his lead, stripping off his chainmail too, though Taki and Gotrek refuse to do so.

    "We'll take our chances," says Taki.

    Gotrek just grumbles. "You kin have me armor when you take it offa me stinkin' corpse!"

    "Dwarves sink you know," says Elrae.

    Gotrek just shrugs.

    The party steps together into the large Gate symbol, the air around them shimmers, and then, SPLASH!!! They find yourselves in the Water Node!

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    Sat Apr 13, 2013 8:11 pm  

    Excellent battle with the giants, Ragnar! Happy That was one mighty critical hit in the groin with the pick! Shocked

    My own players are looking forward to the chance to go toe-to-toe against some giants, but are only 5th level at the moment, so they are willing to wait.

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    Sun Apr 14, 2013 7:00 am  

    I have had some problems with the power of this party. It's not the magic items, for natural item attrition takes care of that. It's the 2nd ed rules and the number of characters. It makes them extremely tough.

    In light of that, I've made two adjustments. I either up the number of foes for certain battles, if I want them to be more "epic", or I up creature hit points. I basically just use max hit points for monsters now. No more rolling. It's easier, and it does add that little bit of difficulty which has leveled things out a bit.

    At times, however, I take this even further and use 3rd ed hit points. For instance, when they fought the ettins I used 3rd ed hit points. Rather than 80 hit points (max in 2nd ed), they now had 100. It's a small change, but it helps. However, on some creatures, like the dragons, it was a huge change. The white dragons in the Air Node had HD 5 (hp 10), 6 (hp 42), and 6 (hp 48). Those were actually 1st ed numbers. I went all the way to 3rd (and dropped them from 3 to 2 dragons. The first was killed primarily by the black dragon in an epic dragon vs dragon battle; however, the party (i.e. Gotrek) killed the second. It had 3rd ed hit points. Here it had 142, being a young adult. Had I gone with the original hit points, the dragon would have died almost instantly.

    I just let my players know that I do this, and that they should NOT rely on their D&D knowledge to assume anything. I "may" go by-the-book, or I "may" totally change things. Rather, I want them to consider how their characters would REALISTICALLY react in a situation. The players may think, "hey, it's just a young dragon, no sweat!" However, it should still cause concern and a bit of awe for the characters. Because of my stat and hit point changes, many thing now do have this effect.

    It's a slippery slope though, and takes quite a bit of tweaking to maintain the balance. Usually I succeed. They only time they REALLY were upset was actually when I tripled the number of ghouls in the moathouse crypts. I very nearly had a TPK there. Somebody who had the module looked it up afterwards and complained that I doubled the number of ghouls. I said, "Doubled? I did NOT do that!" The, even more emphatically, I added, "I TRIPLED THEM!!!"

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    Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:38 pm  

    SirXaris wrote:
    . . . but are only 5th level at the moment, so they are willing to wait.

    Hey! Are you the same guy who contributes to TPK Games? Confused

    I'm watching you! And reporting any such weakness! Evil Grin

    ragnar wrote:
    It's the 2nd ed rules . . .

    Bah! Hum buggery! Razz

    ragnar wrote:
    I either up the number of foes . . . or I up creature hit points.

    Don't forget the AC! You can always increase the creature's AC. I do that often, along with hit points. The "basic" monsters are "made" with 1st and 2nd level characters in mind. Never be "scared" to increase their individual ACs when pitting them against "stronger" PCs. Especially when you have some "fighter" type with a +12 to hit . . . or something equally ridiculous. rolleyes

    And remember, even though 2nd Edition is my favorite, I'll be the first to tell you that they are merely guidelines -- even suggestions -- bend them as you will! Wink

    ragnar wrote:
    However, on some creatures, like the dragons, it was a huge change.

    Forget Editions "here" and add it on! Dragons should never be easy, irregardless of the Edition used.

    ragnar wrote:
    The white dragons . . . had 142 (hit points), being a young adult.

    So? Change it! Why does it need to be a "young adult?" White and Black Dragons are not among the most powerful of the Metallic Dragons. Older Dragons of those types could just as easily be trapped in one, or more, of the Nodes. Wink

    ragnar wrote:
    I just let my players know that I do this . . .

    Doh! Don't give them a "heads-up!" And don't let them game with the Monster Manual at their side! Only your Core Books should be there, for your use! Razz

    ragnar wrote:
    Somebody who had the module looked it up afterwards and complained that I doubled the number of ghouls.

    So? Razz

    You're the DM! The Moat-house has as many ghouls as YOU say it has . . . not the Module! Which is just another "guideline," by the way. Any Module needs to be adjusted and fitted to your campaign and your PCs' abilities. Wink

    Altogether, an excellent read! Laughing Laughing Laughing

    I'm enjoying your campaign immensely, so keep it coming! Happy Cool
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    Tue Apr 16, 2013 3:21 pm  

    I totally get what you're saying. I actually do tell them that I can, and will, do what I want. Rules are only suggestions for the DM. They hate that!

    I like the AC thing. I do that too, by giving things a bit of a dex bonus or better armor. Whatever it takes. Of course, sometimes they fight good old-fashioned kobolds. I mean, they are tough; they should wade through adversaries sometimes!

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    Tue Apr 16, 2013 7:13 pm  

    ragnar wrote:
    Of course, sometimes they fight good old-fashioned kobolds.

    Remember -- for your players, irregardless of their level -- the problem with Kobolds is that they wait for your party to go to sleep to attack and the tribes will unite whenever their "mountain" home is invaded . . . meaning they will attack in the hundreds!

    Even a 20th level Fighter can't swing his sword that many times before he's exhausted and . . . kobold dinner!


    So, no need to disparage kobolds, or to quit using them . . . just add more of them! In attacking your party, they are just a little suicidal. Evil Grin
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    Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:16 am  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    ragnar wrote:
    Of course, sometimes they fight good old-fashioned kobolds.

    Remember -- for your players, irregardless of their level -- the problem with Kobolds is that they wait for your party to go to sleep to attack and the tribes will unite whenever their "mountain" home is invaded . . . meaning they will attack in the hundreds!

    Even a 20th level Fighter can't swing his sword that many times before he's exhausted and . . . kobold dinner!


    So, no need to disparage kobolds, or to quit using them . . . just add more of them! In attacking your party, they are just a little suicidal. Evil Grin

    True, very true. Wait until you read about their foray into what they subsequently named the Impenetrable Kobold Fortress of Death! A few were short a couple-hundred exp from a level-up, so they sought out some easy pickings. It really didn't work out that way......

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    Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:11 am  

    ragnar wrote:
    True, very true. Wait until you read about their foray into what they subsequently named the Impenetrable Kobold Fortress of Death! A few were short a couple-hundred exp from a level-up, so they sought out some easy pickings. It really didn't work out that way......

    Nice! Laughing I'm looking forward to reading your PCs version of being handed their egos back to them by kobolds.

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    Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:21 pm  

    "By the gods! What just happened? They were just . . . kobolds!" Shocked Evil Grin

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    Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:48 pm  

    CAMPAIGN JOURNAL - The Air Node - 2

    Cast of Characters:
    Berenn: Half-elf Priest of St. Cuthbert /Ranger (6/6)
    Elrae: Human Bard (7)
    Gotrek: Dwarven Battlerager (6)
    Hepla: Human Mage (kind of a witch) (6)
    Isilme: Dark elf Bladesinger/Song Mage (5/5)
    Noot: Human Thief (7)
    Taki of the Hill People: Human fighter (7)
    Thorgrim: Dwarven Cleric/Fighter (6/6)
    Vestron Orcburner: Elven Fighter/Mage (5/5)

    NPC: Elmo and one scout. Vestron's sister, Countess Tillahi. A group of freed prisoners of the giants. Two black dragons. Two griffons.

    The Water Maze is a great indoor ocean, a magical place suitable to both salt and freshwater beings. The ceiling of the great cavern casts a soft moonlight-bright glow. From the central pool, one might imagine the place to be a tropical atoll; but danger lurks throughout. The air is changeable, once a lilting warm breeze and then suddenly a chilling draft. Swirling eddies in both the water and the air produce sudden changes in waves at any time. Mists rise from the water, adding an air of mystery and suspense to the visually peaceful setting.

    Newcomers to the Node land with a splash in the central pool area, which is only 10 feet deep and protected from most of the sea dwellers by a coral reef. A coral ridge surrounds this area, fencing a pool about 75' by 450' in size. Within the area are several rock and coral outcroppings, jutting 10-30 feet above the surface of the water.

    Everyone in armor immediately sinks. The scouts only have leather armor, and can swim to the nearest land. The non-combatants get there too, with some help as it turns out only one can swim. Berenn uses his Rope of Climbing to tie a line and get them to shore. Taki and Gotrek, glad to have water-breathing ability, see where people are swimming and start to walk that way. About the time you guys all get up on dry land, the dragons appear, making a huge splash. They swim around the area a bit before making their way towards you. Berenn's griffon's don't seem to like the water, but they take off flying and then land next to him. While walking along the bottom, Gotrek and Taki find a potion and a rod. The Rod is engraved with the symbols of Zodal, God of Mercy and Hope, a man's hand partially wrapped in gray cloth.

    ""A rod engraved with the holy symbol of Zodal," says Elrae, taking a look at it. "I've heard of these. They will heal those that are gravely injured or maybe even raise those recently slain from the dead. Let's guard this powerful and goodly item."

    Accerbia will offer to take Hepla around. She flies her in a large circuit around the node, and Hepla takes note of a few things she spots. In the NE part of the node, where it is much colder, she sees a couple of frost giants enjoying a swim. She sees some other creature which she doesn't recognize, and once they see a huge dragon turtle which glances up at them before diving back underwater again. The sheltered lagoon directly to the east has a large shelf of dry land, where they spot some people. There is a large star-shaped gate there, with a symbol matching that found in the Fire Temple. At least you now know where that is.

    She also figures out that there are underwater shelves scattered around. She sees movement underwater of things on and around some of them. There are a few relatively flat areas, and those rocks which break the surface are almost all universally steep, sharp crags.

    Hepla goes to the water's edge and while waiting for the party to decide where they want to go looks down at the water plants to see if any of them would be good to add to her herbs. If she sees some she will jump in and pick some. Anyone looking at her sees that her hat stays on even underwater.

    "The dragon turtle would seem to be the most logical guardian for the next gem," says Berenn. "The problem will be getting enough of us close to it. We might be able to harass it into coming on land ... perhaps strafe it a few times from above?"

    "I am fluent in draconic," says Elrae. "Remember when dealing with dragons flattery will get you farther than anything else. Complement them on their shiny shells and marvel at how wonderful they are."

    After long discussions, the party decided to check the large land area to the NE, so that's where they went.

    While the dragons offer to carry the party over, being able to take four at a time, Isilme just walks over there, while Hepla decides to use her Cloak of the Manta Ray for the first time. Hepla is amazed how the cloak changes when she enters the water, actually adhering to her and making her look like an aquatic creature. She finds she can breath the water, and enjoys a nice swim about as she heads towards the horseshoe-like island.

    While the others are still moving towards the island, Hepla swims around the entire island, and finds that there is a large underwater shelf, bordered by a stone wall which was obviously built. Inside the area she sees about 100 or so people, well they look like people but with mermaid tails. A patrol of about 20, armed with tridents and some kind of crossbows, swims by her, taking a look as they pass by and then out of sight around the far side of the island. There seem to be another 20 or so guarding the area of the wall.

    As she swims back to report, she sees a shadow overhead. It is the dragons flying overhead, and you see them carrying a couple of characters in each claw. The are carrying everyone except the scouts and non-combatants. They land on the island, dropping off everyone. You see Isilme is already there, and hurry over to her and the others to report. As you do so, you see that there are a couple of "windows" underwater on this side of the island, and you see mermen in them, watching in your direction.

    Hepla goes back into the water, and as her cloak changes, she sees the patrol coming towards her menacingly. There are about 20, and they are about 100' away. You are right at the water's edge. Hepla casts TONGUES and tries to talk to them. "Greetings, we are new here and seek audience with your leader."

    They immediately stop, surprised that you can speak their language. They look at each other, then one of them comes forward, motioning to the side where you see some large deadly looking fish were circling around you. They back off as he approaches.

    "I am Caeruleus," he says, looking up and apparently taking in your companions on the island behind you. He holds his trident defensively, but no longer threateningly. You are amazed at the beauty of his body. His tail is a deep blue shimmering color that takes on a jewel-like sparkle when caught in light. His hair is dark and skin is a chocolate brown. His eyes sparkle like pearls.

    "And I am Hepla, these are my friends. We seek to confer with your leaders as to the nature of this place and how we may leave it. May we have safe passage with you and your patrol? And may I say your colors are some of the most beautiful I have ever seen, if that does not embarrass you."

    He does blush, or what passes for blushing amongst mermen. He signals to the others, and then comes even closer. "Ah, you wear a Cloak of the Manta Ray." He then laughs, "I wondered how a ray was talking to me! Are you from the surface world?"

    "I am, I am from a surface forest where I live with my mother and grandmother. Are you native to this node or are you from another world?"

    "We are from the Solnor Ocean. One day we simply ended up here, wherever this is, in this every growing expanse of water. It is full of dangerous creatures, and only our numbers has kept us safe. Come, I shall take you to our leader."

    OK, the party can move across the island to the other side, where they find an underwater shelf, about 10 below the surface of the water. They can see the mermen moving about it, and the mermen look up quite apprehensively, especially at the sight of the dragons, which happily stay upon the taller peaks of the island where they can look out over the area. They will wait for you there, though they seem very concerned with Hepla's whereabouts, following her movements with their keen vision.

    Hepla pops her head up out of the water, and tells you of her conversation with Caeruleus. Seeing as you have the water breathing spells, anyone who wishes to come may do so. Actually, I think everyone is capable of breathing water except for I think Isilme, who just used her Ring of Water Walking. Anyway, she's invisible, and nobody really ever knows where she is unless she WANTS them to know it!

    Pretty much everyone goes along. Caeruleus and another half-dozen guards lead you through a cavern under the island. You see there are many various tunnels and chambers under the island, all underwater. You head through a larger one, until you come to a chamber that is larger and more ornate, decorated in shells with seaweed curtains and such. Upon a throne made from the skull of some very large sea creature, you find a merman with a coral crown. A trident leans beside him, and he is attended by another half-dozen warriors. Caeruleus introduces you to Ronan, their leader, and you quickly find out that he speaks Common.

    Ronan tells you how they found themselves here, somehow transported from their home in the Solnor Ocean. They have lived here over a decade, though it's hard to tell as there is no day and night here. Nevertheless, it's been long enough for young to have been born to the few females with them. They took this area as their home, and have defended it over the years from the Ixitxachitl and Koalinth, both of whom now seem to leave them alone. They have longed for a way home, and are near to despair.

    "King of the mermen," says Hepla. "We want away from here as well, we seek a gem that could help us all find our way back to whatever we call home. If you do not know of this gem then what is the most powerful water creature here, that would be a good place to start since on the last two nodes the gems were guarded by very powerful beings?"

    "The most powerful creatures are probably the two Dragon Turtles that live here, though there are certainly other powerful denizens as well," says Ronan. "To the west, especially, are the Varrdig Grues. To the NE are the frost giants, in an icy part of the area. To the far south are the Dragon Turtles. To the SE are the Sea Hags. The area to the north is territory of the Ixitxachitl and Koalinth, and a small tribe of Merrow dwell in the island north of them. There are wandering elementals, water weirds, and other aquatic elemental creatures as well, as well as a daemon." He looks at you, shaking his head. "I'm sorry, it could be anywhere."

    The mermen can tell you a little about them. The grue is a sinister, lurking presence in the dark places of the earth. Its favorite diet is adventurers, but its insatiable appetite is tempered by its fear of light. No grue has ever been seen by the light of day, and few have survived its fearsome jaws to tell the tale. The mermen are plenty familiar with everything here, in fact, and will fill you in on any creature. When you ask about the gem, the mermen get into a bit of an argument regarding who has them. There was a human bard here a few years ago, and he seemed to think that there were four gems which are needed to open the nodes. Nobody has actually verified where they are, but the grues and the daemon are the two most likely places.

    Hepla succeeds in scrying the grues, though all she sees is a dark cavern. There is some kind of glowing mold on the walls, which casts an eerie light, barely allowing her to see. The cavern seems mostly full of water, except for a small section towards the rear, a tiny shelf upon which is a short pedestal. Upon the pedestal rests a large aquamarine. You see nothing else, though the mermen say the grues are virtually invisible in water.

    "We need to get that gem," says Elrae. "A distraction perhaps while our stealth team goes in and grab it."

    The party works on a plan, while Hepla talks to Caeruleus about the underwater plant life. Hepla promises that if at all possible they will return. She looks at her new friend and takes his hand and says, "Besides you owe me a swim and a lesson in marine herbology."

    "If all goes well, we can have that swim in the real world," he says. With that, he takes his leave as he must go back on patrol. The mermen take you through a secret stair that emerges on dry land above, and you find the dragons there, talking to an invisible Isilme. You fill her in on the plan, and together you all go across to where the humans are, promising to come back for the mermen.

    When you reach the ledge where the humans are, they run for cover from the dragons, with a couple actually running to the gate to the fire node before you can do anything.

    "SILLY HUMANS!" says Arrhenius as he sets down on the shelf, watching the couple of people shimmer and disappear into the Fire Node.

    As you calm the humans down, Taki recognizes one of his original party, the magicuser Darley whom he thought had been killed. She is a comely female human, dressed in ragged robes that were once a fine wizard outfit. She wears an amulet on her forehead, has a very nice necklace with gemstones, and carries a staff with a large crystal held in its gnarled end.

    Hepla, after Taki has the chance to say hello to Darley, comes to her and says ,"As a friend of Taki, if you wish I can cast a cantrip to repair your gown."

    Elrae bows to the attractive wizard and then realizes he's not wearing anything but some skivvies as a swim trunk. He smiles slyly and gives her a wink. "Greetings fair maiden, we are here to rescue you from these elemental nodes as we unleash all that have been imprisoned here by the Fungi Queen."

    "Hello Darley" says Taki, maul across his shoulders. "I thought you was dead."

    "I thought I was dead too," she says. "Then I realized I was just in Kansas, I mean the Water Node."

    "Darley," replies Taki. "Have you learned much about the gem we was seeking?"

    Invisible, Isilme uses Maerthorlear to Detect Evil on Darley. She detects VERY strong evil from Darley, greater than any she's ever felt. Islme casts a message spell to the entire party including the dragons. "Darley is really the DAEMON. be wary."

    Vestron draws his sword and causes it to come alight, declaring, "We had best be ready for what lies on the other side of this portal once we enter."

    Isilme suddenly appears, sword drawn but hanging relaxed at her side. "Darley, I am Isilme, once of the noble drow house of Everhate - WE NEED TO TALK. I know WHAT you are."

    "And who are you?" she asks, backing away slowly.

    "DEMON," she growls....."I will not allow you to touch my friends. Explain yourself then leave in peace and you have my word you will have the opportunity to leave the nodes as the others. My childhood friend Absinthe abandoned the courts of the lower planes, so I know your kind and will bear you no ill will unless you attempt to do us harm. Otherwise, as you know your essence cannot return to the lower planes from here - it will be final." She smiles, then points her sword at Darley..... "decide".

    Taki steps up in front of Darley and turns back to the party, maul ready. "Back off," he says. "You are all under some kind of evil spell. Don't make me hurt you."

    The dragons are looking on bemusedly.

    Thorgrim takes out his symbol and draws on the power of the his faith to dispel whatever magic was cast upon Taki. It works, and he shakes his head, wondering what just happened.

    Hepla asks the dragons,"That being just on the otherside of Taki, what does it look like to you, please?" She points at Taki then the female.

    "Darley seems to be quite charming," says Elrae. "Why are you so jealous?"

    Arrhenius laughs, which comes out more as a loud growl making Darley and the other humans back away further. "I SEE ONLY ANOTHER WEAK HUMAN," he says. "THOUGH THE SMELL IS WRONG."

    Gotrek steps up, "Oh hell, just drop the staff or I be a burying me axe in your head."

    She frowns and then blinks out of sight.

    Hepla looks up at Arrhenius and asks," What did it smell like?"

    "SULPHER," says Arrhenius.

    Hepla takes out her crystal ball and scries Darley. She sees her crouching on a rocky crag, about 50' above the water. She looks around suddenly, the towards Hepla, frowns, then says something that you are glad you cannot hear. Hepla then looks around and spots the rock she is perched upon, about 100 yards away.

    Taki asks the dragon to fly him to the rocky crag "I owe her and must make things right."

    Arrhenius laughs again. "HUMANS!" he says. "SO IMPATIENT." But for sport, he agrees, and picks you up, taking off towards the crag. Taki readies his maul to strike as soon as the dragon gets him close going for a head strike.

    "Fool," says Isilme. "Someone who cant be charmed should be chasing her." Isilme then rushes after the demon using her water walking ring.

    'Darley' stands up, points her staff, and a bolt of lightning erupts heading right for Arrenhius. It hits the dragon in the head, and just fizzles. The dragon laughs, and takes a deep breath before spitting a stream of acid which covers the promontory. Suddenly there is a huge explosion, and Taki sees an arm fly off into the water.

    Arrhenius circles around and drops Taki on the rocks before settling onto a higher crag.

    "THAT WILL TEACH HER!" he says, sitting back on its great legs.

    Taki moves forward and finds Darley, or most of her. A piece of her staff is driven through her chest, and one arm is completely blown off. He checks her just as Isilme reaches the rock, and they can see that she is quite dead. They glance back up at Arrhenius, who watches with a bored look and, it's hard to tell with dragons, perhaps a bit extra smugness than normal.

    Elrae sings while the rest of the party waits for their return.

    Demon woman
    You cut puppies toes off, pull an animal's nose off
    How'd you magic my clothes off?
    Demon woman
    Take me back to your room, make me howl at the moon
    Make me pray to the temple of womb
    Demon woman, woman demon
    Your breasts are balls of flame
    And I'm burning my hands, playing these ball games
    Demon woman
    Demon woman

    " He may still be charmed," says Hepla, "and if he is we may have to forgive his remarks. A woman still doesn't like to be taken for granted, even as a sister."

    "My dear Hepla you have nothing to worry about," he replies. "Your level head helped the others destroy the demon. Had she lured me in for a kiss I am sure my very life essesnce would be sucked right out. Now let's move on there is much to do."

    Finally, Noot steps up. " I can dive down and stealthily grab the gem without using magic if you others can distract the guardians." He explains that he is quite skilled in deep diving.

    [I actually lost a bunch of stuff in PMs, but the party came up with a plan, was able to distract the guardians, and Noot sneaked in with magical protections to steel the gem. It was actually quite easy, being that they knew where it was located and what was guarding it. A couple people had actually written me, concerned about how the party may have been "circumventing" the module. I don't see it that way. Yes, I have brought it up in the past where I don't want you to do an "end-around." However, this is all just good play throughout a pretty long sequence of events that have led to this. Any combat against the grues would have been VERY difficult, perhaps fatal to some, but the party's friendship with the mermen was critical to learning about them and figuring a way to accomplish their goal without fighting. They did a good job.]

    The mermen come to greet you at the shelf, and they are joined also by some tritons. It is their hope that you return to free them once you have accomplished your goal. To that end, they have the following items to present you to aid your quest, four Rings of Fire Resistance.

    "Please, do not forsake us," says Ronan uneasily. You notice the tritons are none too happy with giving up such precious treasures, but the hopeful looks in all their faces speaks volumes.

    Vestron bows to teh mermen and the tritons, "I swear upon my honour to do all I can to bring you back to a home where you can live long and prosper."

    Hepla also says, "With the help you have given us and the aid our dragon friends have supplied we will do all we can to defeat the evil and to free you."

    "Snowfang gives me fire resistance already so I won't be needing a ring." Elrae takes off the ring of warmth and dons his chainmail and tunes up his cittern. "This is the node we've all been waiting for. Once we get the last gem we'll be able to leave this gods forsaken pocket dimension and return home."

    After hearing from Vestron's sister, the dragons do not think they will be able to get around much of the Fire Node. Thus, they will remain behind. They will stay at the entrance to the Water Node, and keep the area safe. The mermen and tritons, as well as the dragons, will see to the safety of the remaining people. Most of the people agree to stay behind and await your return. Elmo and the last scouts will remain behind as well, to help guard the non-combatants.

    So, that brings your party back to its normal size plus Vestron's sister, who has regained her spells now. You may decide who gets rings of fire resistance. Gotrek shares that he has been virtually invulnerable to fire in his armor, and thinks it must be a side effect of the work he did with Burne months ago. Vestron, his sister, Taki, and Noot can take them. Elrae has Snowfang. Gotrek's armor protects him. Berenn and Thorgrim can each cast an endure heat on themselves, Hepla, and Isilme. That should cover the four of them for 10 hours (2 spells each).

    Having made all necessary preparations, the party steps into the gate to the Fire Node, shimmers, and disappears.

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    Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:13 pm  

    Did the demon end up on the wrong end of an exploding Staff of Power? Razz

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    Sat Apr 20, 2013 6:04 am  

    I forget. I think it was something like that. I have any item which has charges do damage equal to its remaining charges when it breaks, but only in a 5'r. Thus, a fully charged wand is VERY dangerous to the holder, should it break. I think that's what happened.

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    Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:20 am  

    I get the feeling that the Black Dragon shrugged off the effects of Lighting Bolt too easily, almost as easily as a Blue Dragon would have. Confused

    You aren't cheating,are you? Razz

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    Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:25 pm  

    CAMPAIGN JOURNAL - The Fire Node

    Cast of Characters:
    Berenn: Half-elf Priest of St. Cuthbert /Ranger (6/6)
    Elrae: Human Bard (7)
    Gotrek: Dwarven Battlerager (6)
    Hepla: Human Mage (kind of a witch) (6)
    Isilme: Dark elf Bladesinger/Song Mage (5/5)
    Noot: Human Thief (7)
    Taki of the Hill People: Human fighter (7)
    Thorgrim: Dwarven Cleric/Fighter (6/6)
    Vestron Orcburner: Elven Fighter/Mage (5/5)

    NPC: Elmo and one scout. Vestron's sister, Countess Tillahi. A group of freed prisoners of the giants. Two black dragons. Two griffons.

    Into the Fire Node
    The rooms and corridors of the dreaded Fire Pits are humid and hot. The areas are lit, either dimly or brightly, by the occasional pits of burning embers and leaping flames, as noted on the map.

    Those arriving here appear in the central room, faced with a choice of eight doors. They, and all other portals in the Node, are large stone constructions with brass fittings. They stick frequently (-1 penalty to all 'open doors' rolls), but are edged by ample cracks.

    The rooms and corridors, hewn from the surrounding rock, are well-made, perhaps by elementals or magic. Many surfaces are scorched and scratched, but few are chipped. Bits and scraps are rare, only found in small piles and singed on the upper side.

    From Vestron's sister, the party learns a bit of the layout, as she was initially thrown here. She arrived in this same entry room, and made her way north, through an open door, and came to a crossroads. To the south was a long chamber with firepits, but strange reptilian creatures emerged from them so she fled north. There she quickly found a gate to the Air Node where she was eventually captured by the giants. Thus, she doesn't know much about the layout of the place.

    Countess Tillahi points out the door she went through. Noot checks it out, and doesn't find any traps. Thorgrim also mentions that the humans that got scared and went through the gate earlier are gone. After checking for traps on all the doors and finding none, Vestron opens one of the right-hand doors. A passage goes ahead 30' before turning left. It goes another 30' and then turns right. There is a crossroads ahead, with lots of light coming from the right. The party moves that way, and finds that the corridor goes another 30' and then turns right. There is a crossroads ahead, with lots of light coming from the right.

    Vestron looks to the right, to see where the light is coming from. The passage to the north goes into a chamber, lit only from the light coming from the south. The passage continues on to another crossroads, again with light coming from the south. To the south the passage enters a diamond-shaped room, with two 10' square fire pits burning brightly with columns of fire. There are further exits across the room, and seemingly more fire pits to the left, just out of sight. The room is actually a double-diamond room, with four burning firepits. There are to exits to the south, with another 4-way intersection in each about 20' south.

    Isilme creates a phantasmal force of one of their scouts, walking into the room, but nothing happens. Expecting trouble, the party tries a bunch of various things, including divinations, which don't cause any reaction. [Seems I have them quite paranoid!] Elrae steps up and holds forth Snowfang. "Snowfang will let me know if there's something magical around."

    It detects magic from the fire pits to the SE and NE. Simultaneously, Isilme finally detects evil, and whispers a warning to everyone. She then casts Protection from Evil upon herself while Taki strides boldly into the chamber.

    "Snowfang can extinguish any fire into which its blade is thrust," says Elrae. "Eve a wall of fire." Having said that, the brazen Elrae follows Taki and plunges Snowfang into the NE pit.

    When he plunges Snowfang into the fire, you hear a scream emit from it, something that scratches at your very souls. The flames do not die out, but they drop to a very low level. The firepits are about 1' high, and the flames go about 1' above that. The pillar goes out and in it's place is a strange red creature partly made of fire. It stands about 6' high, and wields a spear.

    Both Hepla and Vestron cast Magic Missiles, but their spells fail to work at all. Elrae points Snowfang and fires a Cone of Cold directly into the creature. It is blasted back out of the firepit, with all of its flames extinguished as it tumbles to the ground.

    Taki and Gotrek step up simultaneously and hit it, killing it with axe and maul.

    Thorgrim takes out his Scroll of Protection from Fire Elementals, decides not to use it. As he's putting it away you see the three other pillars of fire in the other firepits transform into similar creatures which step out and move forward. They attack Taki, Gotrek, and Elrae.

    Thorgrim unrolls his scroll out and decides, indeed, to read it.

    Elrae attacks with Snowfang, hitting the creature in the firepit [8]. Hepla then tries to hit again with Magic Missiles, but the spell doesn't work.

    The creature hits Elrae back [8]. The other two creature "blink", one appearing 10' ahead (which puts it pretty much right between Taki and Vestron) and the other appearing exactly 10' behind it's previous location.

    Taki and Gotrek both swing through their previous positions, while both creature emit small jets of fire. The nearer emits it's flame right on Vestron and his sister. Though their rings and spells protect them from all but [2] damage, Tillahi's spell is cancelled by the attack.

    Thorgrim finishes reading his scroll as Vestron summons a Gust of Wind. It is powerful, and makes the flames on the creatures and in the firepits dance wildly, but they are not extinquished. Berenn attempts to Produce Water, but his spell doesn't work either.

    Elrae is hit by the elemental creature's spear [6], disrupting a Haste spell he was attempting to cast. Taki turns to attack the thing that blinked behind him, simultaneously with Vestron and Tillahi, but it blinks out again. This time appearing 10' to it's left, towards Thorgrim. It shoots out fire ahead of it, but nobody is there. Gotrek charged forward to hit the other one, but it blinked out too, reappearing 10' to the right and shooting fire at nobody.

    Thorgrim steps forward, and the creature that blinked towards him squeals and moves away from him. He moves all the way up to Elrae, and the creature in the firepit backs off, away from them.

    Hepla gives up on Magic Missiles and takes out her wand of paralyzation. She snaps off a ray at the nearest creature, but it has no effect either. Frowning, she looks at her wand as if there's something wrong with it.

    Countess Tillahi casts a spell upon herself. The creatures all move rapidly away from Thorgrim, back towards the eastern part of the room as he walks out towards them. They hiss evilly at him, but seem to respond like turned undead, keeping away from him.

    "Gather round," he says, as he moves forward. As long as you get within the 10'r they cannot enter. Berenn casts Strength of Stone on himself, as he moves over to Thorgrim.

    Meanwhile, Elrae thrusts his sword into another firepit, using Snowfang to put out the flames.

    The rest of the party gathers around Thorgrim. Safe within the protection, they area able to systematically put out the flames with Snowfang and defeat the fire demons. Elrae still detects magic from the two eastern firepits. You dig them up, now that they are extinquished, and beneath them you find a Magic Ring and the last of the gems you are looking for, a large garnet.

    As Isilme gathers up the last gem, Thorgrim wonders if you should go back to the Water Node first, before you put the final gem in place. "Who knows what will happen when we do that?"

    "We should get out of here," says Elrae. "I understand how we can free the black dragons, but the water creatures? If we teleport back to the TOEE they'll suffocate."

    "We should go back and collect our friends," says Hepla. "Return rings and then all can get out of the nodes and into whatever trouble awaits us back where we started."

    Taki stares at his maul......he looks at it and shakes his head and says "you never let me down until today" he looks at them in the party that know about magic "What can I do to make this maul hurt demons, I have the heart to fight anything but my weapon failed me?"

    The others just shrug, though Berenn suggests going to Verbobonc when this is all over.
    "First things first," he says. "Let's go."

    Following Tillahi's directions, you make your way to the Air Gate, and run into a Fire Elemental on the way. However, Thorgrim's scroll is still working so you just go by and make it to the gate. You enter and find yourselves transported to the top of the peak where you showed up before. From there you make your way to the Water Gate, then transport yourselves to the water node, where you go SPLASH again, but it's not a big deal and the mermen are there to help you out.

    With everyone together, Isilme gets the orb and places the final gem in it. Elrae begins to sing:

    Seasons change, they rearrange
    So why can't you and I--say why
    Thoughts we find, are so unkind
    We often have to cry--but why

    Celebrate, change your thoughts to love
    Celebrate, what you're thinking of
    Time ain't long, soon we'll be moving on,
    Moving on...

    Nature's way for her to say in perfect harmony
    Find your place, your past erased
    For life's new destiny.

    Celebrate, change your thoughts to love
    Celebrate, what you're thinking of
    Time ain't long, soon we'll be moving on,
    Moving on...

    [Incidentally, I felt singing Earth, Wind, and Fire was quite appropriate!]

    Isilme is rocked by unseen forces when she places the gems into the skull. Eventually she collects herself, breaths deeply, and then speaks. "Now, I am certain I can open a gate to anywhere back home, at least anywhere I have been. If I can I will send the dragons home as promised. I will also send Vestrons sister home to safety if that is her wish. If not, we will have to work out gating back to Hommlet. I can then use the mirror for everyone. I see where we could use the orb to gate the armies fighting evil exactly where they need to go, so consider that - I am very torn, but in all honestly we should probably return to Hommlet and destroy the orb immediately. Having such a great and evil power to use is a burden, the possibilities are endless, but in the end if we only succeed in destroying the dark queen's artifact we have still won an immense victory".

    "I say we help all goodly and helpful creatures escape the node, and then find some way to destroy the nodes and the bad creatures inside of it," replies Vestron.

    Islime remembers seeing some mountains in the distance when she was scouting, before you entered the temple. She could open a gate there since she has seen it. "Maybe Arrhenius and Acerbia would like to deal with the Temple's armies?

    The dragons say they would be more than happy to take out their vengeance on the armies of Zuggtmoy, if you do so. Isilme gives a low bow and opens a gate for the dragons. "Be wary and fly high and fast when you return, for there is a great war going on, and I would not want you or your egg to come to harm, I have come to see you as friends. If you wish to pay the temple armies a short visit, I would think them VERY deserving of it. Just please, protect your child and return to your home safely and enjoy life with your young now that you can leave this accursed place!"

    The dragons thank you, say something privately to Hepla, and then fly off through the gate you create.

    "And I do hope that you now see that kindness can reap its own rewards, o great dragons," says Vestron.

    "You have all given us something to consider in the long years ahead," says Accerbia. "Thank you." They then depart through the gate.

    Berenn wants to return to the moathouse. "If you gate to the Keep, the people from Nulb will happily go with us and settle there. The griffons will be safe there, especially with Gungk around."

    Vestron's sister would rather just return there with you, since she is not comfortable using this evil artifact in the first place, let alone any more than necessary. "Only evil ever comes from such a thing," she says uneasily.

    "Then it is settled," she says. Isilme uses the skull to open the gate back to the Moathouse, and everyone rushes through. The mermen all come through as well, and flop over to the creek. It's not the best water, but it's water. They all look up at the sun with tears in their eyes, it having been more than ten years since they have seen it. You hear Gungk inside, playing with his dire wolf Petri.

    Once there, the mermen all enter the stream surrounding the moathouse. Suddenly an old man suddenly appears before you. He is barely 5' tall, bent over and holds a gnarled old staff.

    "Ah," he says looking at Isilme and the orb, "you have found it at last."

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    Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:56 am  

    At last! Escape! Happy

    ragnar wrote:
    "Ah," he says looking at Isilme and the orb, "you have found it at last."

    Wait a minute! What's this? Another mystery? Shocked


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    Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:39 am  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    ragnar wrote:
    "Ah," he says looking at Isilme and the orb, "you have found it at last."

    Wait a minute! What's this? Another mystery? Shocked

    My vote goes for either Fizban or Iuz. Not sure which, though. Razz

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    Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:39 am  

    That's two votes for Fizban! Happy

    Which means it'll probably be Iuz! rolleyes Razz
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    Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:53 pm  

    CAMPAIGN JOURNAL - The Final Chapter

    Cast of Characters:
    Berenn: Half-elf Priest of St. Cuthbert /Ranger (6/6)
    Elrae: Human Bard (7)
    Gotrek: Dwarven Battlerager (6)
    Hepla: Human Mage (kind of a witch) (6)
    Isilme: Dark elf Bladesinger/Song Mage (5/5)
    Noot: Human Thief (7)
    Taki of the Hill People: Human fighter (7)
    Thorgrim: Dwarven Cleric/Fighter (6/6)
    Vestron Orcburner: Elven Fighter/Mage (5/5)

    NPC: Elmo and one scout. Vestron's sister, Countess Tillahi. A group of freed prisoners of the giants. Two black dragons. Two griffons.

    "I remember," says Vestron "we heard how to destroy this thing. Successive application of the elemental forces of Air, Earth, Fire, and Water are applied to the Orb: a strong wind, the blow from a granite maul, a very hot flame, and immersion in very cold water."

    Not noticing the old man, he continues. "So we need to gather those things. I can cast gust of wind for the first effect. Taki can hit the thing with his maul for the second, assuming it is made of granite, we can toss it in a bonfire or use a flame spell of some sort on it and then we need to drop it in ice water."

    "I believe a gust of wind, we had a granite maul made, fireball, and water hit with cone of cold will do the trick," says Isilme.

    "Ahem," says the old man, interrupting your discussion.

    "Oh ****!" says Elrae. "That old man is Iuz!"

    He bows his head slightly to Elrae, "So nice to be recognized" he says with a wicked grin.

    Isilme ooc: I open a gate back to the water node and live out my days there!

    The old man looks at Isilme, "Why don't we just make this easy. Give me Orb, and I shall leave you be."

    Isilme says, "That sounds reasonable" and steps forward to hand him the orb. When she is almost to him, she suddenly recoils in horror at what she has almost done.

    She steps back and clutches the orb closer to her chest. "I would sooner hand it over to Lolth."

    Berenn produces his holy symbol and cries out for St. Cuthbert! "St. Cuthbert your servant needs you in his darkest hour! Your hated enemy has reveal himself and comes to destroy your worshippers. Please heed the call of thy humble cleric and strike down your enemy with thy holy light!"

    Suddenly another man appears, standing between Isilme and the Old One. He appears as a stout red-faced man, with a drooping white moustache and flowing white hair. He wears a simple suit of plate mail. Atop his helmet is a crumpled hat, and a starburst of rubies set in platinum hangs on his chest. In his left hand he carries a billet of wood.

    "I think not," he says. Isilme stops, shakes her head, and looks around, wondering what just happened.

    Hepla mutters,"Great, now there are two, and we don't know either of them."

    The old man suddenly draws back, his face showing fear for a second as his eyes bore into the newcomer with pure hatred. He also starts to transform, twisting and wracking into something else, a massive (7' tall) fat man with demoniac features, blackish-red skin, pointed ears, and long steely fingers. His cane changes too, into a great two-handed sword.

    "I'm liking the second guy now," says Hepla, looking at Elrae. "We should get to destroying the orb before that choice is taken from us."

    "It's a battle of the gods!" says Elrae, staring in awe. "Berenn's patron, St. Cuthbert vs Iuz the Evil. Oh to witness such is what every bard dreams of. Even better than a battle between dragons!"

    Hepla says," Indeed this is a great event, but lets destroy the orb also."

    "This is none of your affair," screams the demonic Iuz. "Begone from here Lord of Fools!"

    "I say thee Nay," says St. Cuthbert. "In point of fact, 'tis not for mere mortals to see us so. We shall both be gone, to finish our business away from prying eyes."

    "You've no right to interfere," says Iuz, glancing at Isilme. "The Orb is mine!"

    "And yet you were and are powerless to take it aren't you." Says St. Cuthbert, his words a statement, not a question. "You know you cannot force the young elf to hand it over, nor shall I allow you to use her companions to force her. Thus, we are at an impasse. Your bid for power here is over."

    "You tell him St Cuthbert!" says Elrae, before being smacked by a frowning Hepla.

    Hepla and Elrae then move towards Isilme, Hepla grabbing Taki by the arm. When the reach her, she summons her LLL, and Taki gathers up the granite maul crafted by the mason of Hommlet. Hepla, going through her stuff produces a scroll with Fireball on it.

    Gotrek spits. "Throw your spells out, boys and girls, while I start to sing me a little song......"

    "Begone foul trickster or face the holy wrath of St. Cuthbert!", yells Berenn. "The orb is out of your reach forever!"

    "Perhaps," he snarls, "and perhaps not." With a wave of his hand, a shimmering appears next to him and four figures appear, teleported right from the Temple. Two are actually dead lumps of burned, melted flesh that look like they were drenched in acid. One is standing, horribly burned and face nearly melted off. You yet recognize him as the wizard of the Greater Temple, Senshock. The other is a man you only saw once, from a distance. High Priest of Iuz for the Greater Temple, Supreme Commander Hedrack with his jet black plate mail, robe, and two handed sword.

    Iuz curses when he sees the two melted followers, and the severe damage done to Senshock. "The Orb!" says Iuz to Commander Hedrack, pointing at Isilme. "Take it and your place amongst the Boneheart is assured!"

    Isilme giggles out loud when she sees the two lump of acid. She truly hopes her dragon friends made it out okay. Hepla, too, smiles at the damage done by her dragon friends.

    Iuz waves his hand, and all the damage on Senshock is healed. He then laughs, but only until St. Cuthbert waves his. All the party's damage is healed and all spell abilities are returned to maximum.

    "Our fight is not for them to see," he repeats, "and theirs is not for our meddling." With a flash of brilliant light that blinds everyone for this round, the two Gods disappear!

    Elrae quickly casts Haste on the party, as Vestron moves up and attacks Hedrack with Bonefire, missing. Thorgrim moves up and hits him with his pick [10].

    Hepla fires magic missiles at the wizard, and she sees them smack into an invisible shield just before striking him.

    Isilme holds out the Orb to bring down a Flame Strike on the priest [9].

    Taki moves around to attack the wizard, slamming him in the head with his maul. He gains a triple damage critical, hitting him for 30 and knocking him out!

    Gotrek moves up around Thorgrim and hits Headrack [19] with his axe. The man is reeling from the successive blows, and he is knocked to the ground, his spell foiled, and his armor starting to heat up..

    Taki then hits the unconscious wizard, splitting his head open like a melon. Vestron hits with Bonefire for [9], Thorgrim hits again with his pick [17] and Gotrek hits with his axe [16]. Headrack goes down in a bloody mess.

    DM OOC: [Holy crap! Everything went right for you guys! Unbelievable! Now we need someone to say, "Well, that was easy."]

    "That was easy," says Elrae.

    DM OOC: [Oh well, sometimes you're the windshield; sometimes you're the bug!]


    Lets get everyone lined up - Isilme will place the orb against the wall of the keep and cast gust of wind on it, followed by Taki hitting it with the granite maul, Vestron with fireball and Elrae with the cone of cold-chilled water. Agreed?

    Thorgrim kicks the dead priest. "Let's do away with that cursed Orb now, while we've a chance!"

    Elrae draws Snowfang, "Dear trusted sword, it will soon be your time to destroy that which is truly evil."

    Isilme sets the orb down as Hepla casts a Gust of Wind, followed by the Fireball from Vestron and the Cone of Cold from Snowfang. As the dust settles Taki steps up and with a mighty swing slams the granite maul down upon the Orb. Both the maul and Orb shatter in a tremendous explosion. Taki is blown about 20' away taking [57] damage by the explosion. Good thing he can take it! The blast knocks everyone to the ground, and radiates out from where the orb was. When the smoke clears you see a large crater at the base of the wall, about 20' of which has been blown inward by the blast. There is no sign of the Orb, but Isilme can feel that it is destroyed!

    Isilme's voice seems almost tinged with sadness..... "The Orb is destroyed, let the forces of good rejoice at this small victory against evil"

    "We did it," says Elrae. "Let all of Oerth sing. For the evil demon bitch's temple is no more."

    "Well, the Orb's gone," says Thorgrim. "We should check on the Temple."

    "I agree," says Berenn. "We should return there. I tell the scouts they can return to Hommlet and tell Rufus and Burne we have destroyed the Orb.

    You notice the body of the wizard slowly regenerating, until you take the ring off his finger! Thorgrim then happily pours oil over the bodies and Vestron light them with Bonefire.

    On Senshock you find the following: Bracers, two Rings (one must be Regeneration), Wand, Dagger, Magic Cloth

    On Headrack you find the following: Bracers, Plate Mail, Shield, Two-handed sword, Scroll, 3 potions, Rod, Cube

    In Headrack's pouch with the magic cube in it, you also find a small melted lump of black something. It looks like the idol you found on Rannos Davl.

    While you loot the two bodies, Hepla scries the Temple with her crystal ball. The place lies in ruins. It looks like it simply collapsed in on itself, and only the bare remnants of its structures still stand.

    Isilme uses her mirror and Noot, who had sailed with pirates at one time in his life ... he visualizes the ocean. He creates a gate to the sea, which allows the Mermen to travel directly to the ocean. You return all the items they and the tritons lent you, and all go through, happy to have reached the open sea. They are forever in your debt. You then return, closing the mirror. Hepla has a moment with her meman admirer before he leaves too.

    "Don't worry hepla," says Isilme. "I think I might know a way you can visit your merman and dragon friends."

    Hepla and Isilme try to scry some of rooms you have seen in the temple, and they fail to scry any of them. They simply do not seem to be there anymore. It seems all the dungeon levels have collapsed, which also explains what happened to the Temple's upper works.

    Scrying of the area also reveals the armies have disappeared, at least the orcs and gnolls have. All you see are soldiers of Verbobonc, squads of gnomes, some elves from the Gnarley, and the cavalry of the Mounted Borderers. There is no sign of any humanoids, except for the dead scattered around.

    Thorgrim and Gotrek return to Hommlet, enjoying a nice walk back. They bring with them all the rescued humans, along with anyone else who wishes to come. Berenn can leave the griffons with Gungk, who LOVES his new friends! Berenn talks to Petrie, to make sure he is alright with them too.

    Everyone walks back to Hommlet, finding the place abuzz with activity, most of a military nature. They apparently have not received news of the Temple's defeat. Elrae begins to sing a song of victory, and everyone crowds around, anxious to hear of your exploits.

    You learn that it has been three weeks since Berenn left Hommlet with the army. While you were gone, a series of skirmishes were fought near Nulb, but it was obvious that the forces there were far too powerful to defeat. Even after all the giants mysteriously disappeared. Some reported seeing a huge giant riding lightning, but obviously such tales aren't true. So, the forces of the Viscounty set to containing the Temple's forces in the West, while reinforcements made their way there.

    An army of gnomes from the Greenway Valley arrived shortly thereafter, along with contingents of elves and rangers from the Gnarley Forest. They watched the East and South, keeping the Temple cut off from any possible new recruits from the dark recesses of the forests. To the North, the army of Verbobonc arrived a week later, hemming the Temple in on from that quarter. They were surrounded on all sides, and though the forces of weal were yet stronger, they remained strangely inactive. The last word anyone here received was about three days ago, and the stalemate continued.

    You continue down the street towards the Inn of the Welcome Wench. Salamander greets you in the street, and wraps you in a huge bear hug. He just heard from a hawk that the Temple was destroyed early in the morning. [it's now late afternoon] With an ever larger crowd appearing, Elrae revels in spinning a yarn about your adventures over the last month.

    Soon you reach the inn, and you enter the empty common room, anxious for a good meal and fine drink. As you find your way to the tables by the fireplace, the crowd pours through the doors behind you.

    Isilme will remain visible for the return to hommlet. She feels strange now, like being invisible is more natural to her now. She heads in to the welcome wench and enjoys some good wine and the company of her friends.

    Shortly after you arrive, Elrae does indeed start to sing, as usual. The rest of you sit around, wondering at the lack of service. Suddenly, Ostler and his wife burst in, dragging their daughter behind them. The bulge of her belly is obvious to everyone but Elrae, who is absolutely surprised when Oster's wife grabs him by the ear and pulls him into the back room for a little chat. Everyone is quiet until they pass through the rear doors, then the dwarves erupt with thunderous laughter!

    Thorgrim is about to order the Keoish Brandy, when Ostler's daughter comes out with two frothing mugs that smell awful.

    "Gutshaker!" exclaims Gotrek, taking one with an enthusiastic shout! "But where..."

    She cuts him off with a laugh, "My father hoped ye'd return, and if'n ya did, he wanted ta have something worthy thy efforts good dwarf."

    Thorgrim takes a drink and coughs. "Been a while since I had something I couldn't drink in one gulp," he says, laughing. "Cept fer that stuff the giant was drinkin."

    Noot orders ale and proceeds to check out the patrons in the inn, which it seems is most of the town. Half wanted to hear Elrae sing, half wanted to see what happens when Ostler got a hold of him. It seems word does indeed travel fast in a small village!

    Everyone is brought whatever they want, and you eat, drink, sing, and tell tales of your adventure in the Temple and the Nodes. Everyone is amazed. Many people you know show up: Tom the builder, Salamander, Nellub the moneylender, and many more. Even duor Terjon shows up along with Canoness Y'Dey. You find he is no longer bitter, now that Y'Dey is back and in charge of the Church again. He never wanted to the stress of running the church, and he seems much happier. So, except for Elrae, everyone seems to have a very good time on your return to town!

    Thus ends the Temple of Elemental Evil.

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    Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:54 pm  

    Aw, shucks! That was too easy! Evil

    Let's do it all over again! Evil Grin

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    Fri Apr 26, 2013 5:15 am  

    I know, right? I totally felt that way! When I did the final initiative rolls, the badguys rolled 10s, so they both went last. The party just had their way with them. I had this feeling that the end was a bit of a letdown. However, they didn't see it that way. They got out of the nodes, destroyed the orb, had a brief encounter with Iuz and St. Cuthbert, which they still talk about today! So, I guess it all worked out.

    Of course, my favorite part was that Elrae got the inkeeper's daughter pregnant. It did make the end almost like an old Star Trek episode, where everyone gets a laugh on the bridge at the end.

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    Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:16 am  

    ragnar wrote:
    I know, right? I totally felt that way!

    You didn't kill enough of the PCs. That's not to say you should have killed everybody, I hate TPKs, but there should have been a few more "near death" experiences. Several of the players should have been thinking: "Let's get the hell out of here! We're not ready for this!"

    In the computer game, I have to "stop and rest" more often than your PCs did. If not, my characters will start dying off real quick. And resting in the Moathouse? That's not good, not in the computer game. Wink

    The tower at the gate is the only "safe" place . . . and that's only after you kill the giant spider. Somebody always gets poisoned. Evil Grin

    ragnar wrote:
    When I did the final initiative rolls, the badguys rolled 10s, so they both went last. The party just had their way with them. I had this feeling that the end was a bit of a letdown.

    You don't use a DM screen. Razz

    My players NEVER see my rolls, because the NPC rolls whatever I say he rolls. And you just explained the reason why. In the real world there are no "turns," everything happens at once. By doing it the way I do, your two NPCs would have gotten in at least one good attack before they died.

    ragnar wrote:
    However, they didn't see it that way. They got out of the nodes, destroyed the orb, had a brief encounter with Iuz and St. Cuthbert, which they still talk about today!

    Of course not! As long as they "win," it will never be a "let down." You're thinking like a DM and their thinking like victorious players! Laughing

    ragnar wrote:
    They . . . had a brief encounter with Iuz and St. Cuthbert, which they still talk about today!

    That happens in the computer version of the game too. It's great! Happy

    ragnar wrote:
    . . . my favorite part was that Elrae got the inkeeper's daughter pregnant. It did make the end almost like an old Star Trek episode, where everyone gets a laugh on the bridge at the end.

    That sort of thing does make for a good ending.

    Over all . . . a good game! Still, there were some things you could have done differently, but you know that now. Hind sight is always 20/20. You'll be better prepared for your next foray into the Temple of Elemental Evil.

    And that game will be even better! Wink Cool Happy

    So glad you guys had fun with it! I may have to join your next game . . . if I ever get the computer figured out! Wink Laughing
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    Sat Apr 27, 2013 6:56 am  

    Yeah, but honestly, I go out of my way to NOT kill them. The reason is simple; I make raise dead and ressurection difficult to do. If coming back to life is not common, then death needs to be avoided. These are heroes, and shouldn't die needlessly. However, if they are dumb, then I don't mind at all. If the players are generally smart in their actions, then I cheat to keep them allive all the time. In fact, I do that far more than I "cheat" against them!

    There were some "we're not ready for this" comments. I didn't include all of them. IIRC, there were PMs too, with players complaining about Iuz showing up. I actually get that a lot, but I shrug and say, "deal with it!"

    DM's do not need to apologize!

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:

    You didn't kill enough of the PCs. That's not to say you should have killed everybody, I hate TPKs, but there should have been a few more "near death" experiences. Several of the players should have been thinking: "Let's get the hell out of here! We're not ready for this!"

    In the computer game, I have to "stop and rest" more often than your PCs did. If not, my characters will start dying off real quick. And resting in the Moathouse? That's not good, not in the computer game. Wink

    The tower at the gate is the only "safe" place . . . and that's only after you kill the giant spider. Somebody always gets poisoned. Evil Grin

    Well, I guess I do since the game is done via an online forum like this one. They NEVER see my rolls, and I only reveal them once in a while. Like recently when one character rolled 4 straight critical hits. That's rare in any system, but using Good Hits & Bad Misses, it's very unlikely. I believe the chances of rolling them were anywhere from 3-7% on each hit, and he still got 4 in a row. I had to reveal the rolls, because it was so cool!

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:

    You don't use a DM screen. Razz

    My players NEVER see my rolls, because the NPC rolls whatever I say he rolls. And you just explained the reason why. In the real world there are no "turns," everything happens at once. By doing it the way I do, your two NPCs would have gotten in at least one good attack before they died.


    Mystic-Scholar wrote:

    Of course not! As long as they "win," it will never be a "let down." You're thinking like a DM and their thinking like victorious players! Laughing

    I never played the PC version. Actually, that's not true. I had borrowed it for a bit and played the moathouse part, but that was it. I never did the temple itself. Glad to know they left that in there, because it's a cool part of the finale.

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:

    That happens in the computer version of the game too. It's great! Happy

    Thanks. I think everything went quite well. Where the PCs bypassed parts of the adventure, I didn't mind, as it was good role-playing or just luck that allowed it. Like in the Nodes. Gaining friendship with the two dragons was cool and unexpected. Allying with the Mermen in the Water Node also helped them find a good shortcut. In the Fire Node, they simply chose the correct doors! So, I didn't really mind.

    I thought it was a personally good touch, when Iuz transported his four most powerful henchmen to assist at the moathouse, that two were dead, reduced to piles of melted death. It was a way to put a final stamp on the dragons, let the party see the results of their handiwork. It also showed that Iuz is NOT all-powerful. He didn't realize that those two were dead, and was visibly upset!

    The one thing I'd have liked to see is a confrontation with Zuggtmoy. However, the party was NEVER even close to finding her. Well, that's not totally true. Isilme had the Orb, the powers of which I changed quite a bit, though I didn't reveal that openly. One thing she realized when it was completed was that she could use the orb to free Zuggtmoy via the throne, but she was NOT going to do it. So, they just fast-tracked destroying it, and avoided her. I didn't want to push them into a meeting with her; sometimes you have to let the players just take their own paths, and then deal with the consequences. So, they never fought her. However, they did end up sending her back to the Abyss for 40 years, even if they don't realize it!

    And then, of course, there was the funny ending with Elrae finding out he got the daughter of the Welcome Wench innkeeper pregnant. Everyone except Elrae thought that was funny, and there would be story lines which emerged from there. Stay tuned.

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:

    That sort of thing does make for a good ending.

    Over all . . . a good game! Still, there were some things you could have done differently, but you know that now. Hind sight is always 20/20. You'll be better prepared for your next foray into the Temple of Elemental Evil.

    And that game will be even better! Wink Cool Happy

    So glad you guys had fun with it! I may have to join your next game . . . if I ever get the computer figured out! Wink Laughing

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    Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:40 am  

    ragnar wrote:
    I make raise dead and ressurection difficult to do. If coming back to life is not common, then death needs to be avoided. These are heroes, and shouldn't die needlessly.

    You're not "heroic" if you don't risk certain death! Shocked Evil Grin

    But remember, the PCs' "Heal" skill can stabilize a wounded comrade, even if they have no "Cure" spells or potions left. In other words, when a PC is at -6 hp, another PC with the "Heal" skill can stabilize him/her, stopping them from losing anymore hit points. The "Heal" skill also allows the wounded PC to gain twice as many hp from rest/8 hrs.

    "I have the Heal skill, so I'm going to treat Throgrim's wounds." Surprised Wink

    I find that the "Heal" skill is often over-looked; anyone can take it.

    ragnar wrote:
    . . . the game is done via an online forum like this one.

    Forgot about that! No DM screen required! Embarassed

    ragnar wrote:
    Gaining friendship with the two dragons was cool and unexpected.

    Ha! Gaining the friendship of two Black Dragons was shocking! Shocked

    You pretty much "broke the rules" to accomplish that. As an example, oi3.5 Edition Monster Manual I, pages 70 & 71 states:

    "Black dragons are evil-tempered, cunning and malevolent . . . Black dragons are especially fond of coins. Older dragons sometimes capture and question humanoids about stockpiles of gold, silver and platinum coins before killing them."

    3.5 Edition's The Draconomicon, pages 201 & 202, adds this, stating:

    "Mean as the proverbial polecat, fiercely territorial, vain and perpetually hungry . . . favorite topic of conversation is the party's ultimate demise at the fangs and claws . . . bloodthirsty, ill-humored and rapacious . . ."

    It all continues in that vein. Generally speaking, black dragons do not befriend humanoids; though, in a situation such as the one you presented they might be willing to "work together" to "get out." Still, the general impression is that, once you are "out," you're likely to be in trouble. Wink Evil Grin

    ragnar wrote:
    The one thing I'd have liked to see is a confrontation with Zuggtmoy. However, the party was NEVER even close to finding her.

    In the computer game, Zuggtmoy is on the last level, at the back. In the computer game, there are only two ways to reach her:

    1. When you first find the golden skull, you will receive a vision showing the throne in the upper level sliding back and revealing a stairway leading down, into the depths. This will take you directly to Zuggtmoy's chambers.

    2. You have to fight your way past Hendrak and all his minions. Once you defeat him, Iuz will appear. You will fight Iuz for 4 rounds, then St. Cuthbert will appear. Iuz will resurrect Hendrak and a bunch of Ghouls, Cuthbert will perform True Resurrection on all the PCs.

    Defeat Hendrak again and proceed to the rear. You need to pass up the Node entrances, push through some large doors and proceed to fight . . . fungi! Shocked Evil Grin

    I'll let you guess who you find once you defeat all the fungi and spores. Wink

    Yep, all in all . . . a good game. Wish I had been "there." Cool

    Only to cause trouble, of course! Evil Grin

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    Sun May 05, 2013 11:10 am  
    The Death of Woni


    Cast of Characters:
    Taki: Human Fighter
    Vestron Orcburner: Elven Fighter/Mage
    Woni: Gnome Fighter/Thief

    I just found these old posts, so I thought I'd throw them here. They tell a few stories that I skipped during the Temple of Elemental Evil. They weren't in PMs, but were in a different game thread. To refresh your memory, Woni was knocked out and carried off by gargoyles in the big fight in the hallway before the party reached the Greater Temple. vestron used his gargoyle cloak to follow them, and chased them down some side corridor.

    Woni and Vestron
    Vestron follows the gargoyles, which throw the body of Woni onto a strange earth symbol at the end of the hallway. After a shimmering effect (think Star Trek transporter!) Woni disappears. Vestron recognizes a gate, but to where? He decides that he needs to act right now, or the unconscious gnome is dead. He thus flies there himself, and lands on the symbol.

    The same effect happens, and you disappear, reappearing in another place. You are in a large cavern, nearly 100' across. There are two large columns in the center, nearly 20' wide each and you appear right between them. Woni is on the ground at your feet, unconscious. There is no light, but you can see with your infravision. The air is dusty, and you cough almost instantly, though not uncontrollably. Vestron moved to him, and found Woni's potion of Ex-healing, which he quickly gave the gnome. It healed Woni, and the gnome woke up. Both are both pretty well beat up, but alive.

    Woni offers to share what is left of the potion. Vestron does so, you both are semi-healed. Vestron has 21hp and Woni has 7.

    "Thank you for saving me, Vestron," says the gnome in a shaken voice. "Where do you think we are and how did we get here"

    "I think we were somehow teleported," says Vestron. "Let's get a little away from these columns, Usually, if you send someone some place, there is someone else to meet them."

    Woni dropped his shortsword and dagger when he was knocked out. He has his crossbow still, slung over his back, and three regular daggers. He takes out his crossbow, loads it, and follows Vestron.

    You don't have any idea of direction, but there are about a dozen exits from this large central chamber, going pretty much in all directions. Vestron casts Detect Magic. There is a very dim background magic covering everything, but basically the ground is just a dirt floor. You're in a plain, dusty, large underground cavern.

    With no other ideas, Vestron decides they should leave, and he leads them to the side of the chamber. By the time you reach the side, the ceiling has dropped to about 10'-20'. The corridor has no light, and the dusty air permits only half normal range of sight, whether normal or infravision. Slopes are few, and the stone and earth is dug out, rather than worked. The passage continues on for quite a ways, hundreds of feet. You both take 2 damage from the chocking dust. You can make some masks to breath through, and that will help mitigate the effects. Then you press on.

    Woni doesn't like this place, and he keeps alert, his crossbow constantly pointing into the dusty darkness. You come into another chamber. It seems about 50', with a ceiling of about 25' in the center. There are numerous stalagmites and columns. You skirt the edge, looping around. About halfway around, you find a strange column, and Vestron takes a look at it. As he looks closer, he sees it is a statue of a man with a look of sheer terror on his face.

    Woni takes a real close look. "The perfection in the statue is amazing!" he says.

    Vestron grabs Woni's hand and runs full speed to the closest exit, shielding his eyes. He tells Woni to to the same. "Somebody was turned to stone!"

    "Medusa?" asks Woni, thinking about the legendary stories of his youth.

    "I don't know but I do not want to find out!"

    As they start to run, they hear something moving in the darkness.

    "Run faster!" cries Woni.

    Vestron prepares to throw up a wall of fire from his wand in your way is a large, dragon-like beast which blocks your path! Woni, unfortunately, is caught by it's gaze before he can close his eyes. He immediately begins turning to stone!

    Vestron uses his wand to throw a fireball, which shoots out towards the creature. The fireball erupts on the DRACOLISK! It takes [25].

    Vestron OOC: [A dracolisk...oh man. I am dead. Wall of fire to contain it and block its gaze and hopefulyl any other attacks.]

    Vestron throws up a wall of fire, blocking the dracolisk off. Unfortunately, you are on the wrong side and there are no exits on your side! The Dracolisk tries to fly up over the wall of fire, and takes damage as it crosses over, not quite able to make it. Vestron hits it with another fireball [18]. If falls to the ground, its hide and tail smoking. Vestron runs away, firing another fireball behind it, then another, while the dracolisk cries a howl of agony.

    Vestron doesn't hear sounds of pursuit, and eventually the dracolisk cries stop. He sneaks back as the fires subside and finds the charred remains of the creature. He moves to check on Woni, but finds him hopelessly stoned.

    Vestron casts another detect magic, and finds a magical dagger inside the dracolisk remains. Seemed it ate it with its last victim. Vestron takes the dagger and tucks it into his belt. He then says a prayer for Woni and leaves to find a place to rest. Vestron needs to sleep and regain spells, and doubts anything will bother a dracolisk's lair. However, he makes sure to hide in a good spot anyway.

    [So, you now have learned the details of poor Woni's death!]

    After resting, Vestron returns to the central chamber, or at least he begins to walk that way.

    As you are coming out, you pass a small side tunnel you must have missed before. Or maybe you ignored, since it only went in about 30' and was empty. Suddenly a hand reaches out and covers your mouth, surprising you. It is a man, an incredibly large man maybe 7' tall and very strong. With his other hand he puts a finger to his lips, then points further down into the hallway. With your infravision, you see something moving but you can't be sure what they are. They look like nothing you've ever seen before, like big fish or something, 3' long with lamprey mouths. There are a few of them, and you see them go into and out of the rock wall. Eventually they all move on, and the man lets you go.

    "Sir I am Taki," he says. "Of the Hill People. I fear you do not look well." Taki reaches into his pouch and offers Vestron a potion of extra healing "We are safe here for now if you need to regain your health."

    "Why are you helping me?" he asks the huge man as he looks suspciously at the potion.

    "You seem to not be one of the evil ones, and I am here alone cut off from my party and I think they either left of have all been killed. One man alone here is on a short road to death, two blades or your blade and my maul are better than either one alone. Either take my help and in return we help each other or wander off alone and be either killed or captured by the evil of this place your choice. I gave you my name where I am from you give yours in return or are all the folks from where you was born rude?"

    "I am Vestron Orcburner, from Celene. How did you arrive here?" he asks as he drinks a cautious sip from the potion.

    "Well met Mr. Orcburner. We was on adventure to sort this mess out, seems we was not up to the task and yourself is your story the same as mine?"

    "I came here because I tried to rescue a friend from gargoyles. He and I were transported here from the temple of elemental evil into a chamber with two large columns. We explored a little farther along this tunnel and ran into a nasty monster that turned him to stone. I killed it but poor Woni is no more. How is it that you came to this place? What adventure were you on?"

    "The same as you," replies Taki.

    Vestron drinks more potion (will contineu to do so until healed fully).

    "I am a warrior mage of teh court of Celene. From where do you come, mortal? And do you know of a way to escape this infernal place?"

    "I am from a small village in the hills far from here," says Taki. "I have no idea how to leave this place. I was separated from my party about four months ago when we entered the Greater Temple. We were ambushed and forced to retreat down a side corridor, and ended up in these nodes. There is apparently one attuned to each element, this one must be the Earth Node.

    We arrived on a tall spire in the Air Node, just myself and Darley, a sorceress from Perrenland. She was blown off a ledge by a dragon, and I only escaped by taking cover in a cave. There must have been a gate there, there as the next thing I knew I was in the same cavern you described.

    I learned of the nodes from one Ashrem, once chief priest of the Air Temple. We allied for a short while, and he told me of them, and of the existence of gates between them and the Temple. We survived together for a while, but after being tricked several times, my dislike of the cleric grew, and I went off on my own. I think that was two weeks ago. I took this dagger off him," and when he draws it, it glows with a dull light, only illuminating about 5'. "It's been my only source of light, at least that I dared use, and he puts a hand on his longsword. Other lights draw unwanted attention."

    "I think we killed this Ashrem in a fight in the air temple. This must indeed be the earth node. Is there some place where we can find food and water here? Are there structures built anywhere for the temple's use or friendly creatures who we might ally with?"

    "Sir," replies Taki. "I have been mainly trying to avoid any creature I have come in contact with, as there are things here that are very deadly. This hole we are in now has been my home and my protection. I do however suggest we together could find our way out or fight our way out which ever is needed."

    "I had a number of very capable companions who will surely be looking to rescue Woni and I," says Vestron. "Perhaps we can carry Woni's statue back to the cave with teh columns in case rescue comes. Clerics would be able to heal him, I am sure. He was a good gnome. After that, we can take a look around maybe."

    "If you feel up to it then lets be off to recover your friend and I can carry him back here."

    "I am ready and will help bear the load and you can call me Vestron. Trustworthy companions are likely few and far between in this place and we need no stand on formality." Vestron leads Taki to where Woni died. Taki readys his maul and follows.

    They reach the statue, but it is too heavy to move. Vestron looks at Woni one last time and lays a hand on his stone head. He says a little prayer for him and leaves, saying, "You will stand here forever, a monument to your own bravery, Wonillon. I vow that if I can return here and bring you home for healing in future, I will."

    He then looks at Taki and says, "Taki, let's go back to the column room and see if there are otehr passageways we can use to find a way out."

    Together, they make their way back to the main chamber, where they are greeted by the rest of the party when they arrived. They actually fought a few elemental creatures, but they defeated them. So, there you have it. The death of Woni and the introduction of Taki of the Hill People.
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    Sat Feb 01, 2014 9:23 am  

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