The Survivors of Lemuria

Real Date 6/28/14
Deadly Ladies on Nabor

The same trio met with me at the Reaper Game Store as had met the last time: Dallas, playing Nallia (elf CLC/RGR) and Barlyn (dwarf CLC); Don, playing Barton (half-elf M-U/THF); and Steven, playing Alex (half-elf FTR/THF-Acrobat) and Cain (human M-U). We were therefore able to pick up right where we had left off.

Where we had left off had been the party slowly withdrawing from the cave of Azufullalaz, a blue dragon who was testy because a piece of her property had previously been stolen (and not by our heroes). At this point, although they had made a tentative deal to seek out her property (a rod of some sort made of gold) they determined that, because as a blue dragon she was evil, she had to go. The group was somewhat low on spells, but concluded that as the dragon herself had been in a fight previously (in which she had clearly used her breath weapon at least once) they would be better off not giving her a chance to renew her full capabilities, so they chose not to rest and renew their own spells. This is a trade-off that has no clear right answer, but in this case it worked.

They crafted a somewhat complex plan involving using the prisoners they had taken from the pirate band as a distraction. These prisoners consisted of two fighters, a female assassin, and Hooja, a barbarian. In an effort to secure the greatest cooperation, Barton used his charm person spell on Hooja. Following his spell, Barton appealed to Hooja’s natural sense of vanity by asking whether he was courageous enough to taunt a dragon. In the process of this discussion, Hooja revealed that he was not a pirate per se, but had been recruited by this particular band not long previously, as he had recently fled his own tribe after they had been taken over by a particularly nasty character named Terkoz. [Note: Barton was extremely careful and circumspect in the way he spoke with Hooja through the entire process, and as a result when the spell was lifted Hooja didn’t realize he had been ensorcelled, so there were no unfortunate consequences as there could easily have been.] Without using magic the group put the same proposition to the remaining prisoners, offering them their freedom in exchange for helping to taunt the dragon. They all agreed (although the assassin was planning to bolt immediately and to hell with anybody’s plans.)

The group then positioned Cain and Barton across the ravine from the opening to Azufullalaz’ cave, planning to use enlarge to put an avalanche on her, while the rest of the group hid just behind the tree line, with Nallia and Barlyn prepared to fire at the dragon when she came out, and Alex hoping he could position himself for a backstab. Although the group later commented that it can be a mistake to do your planning in front of the DM, Azufullalaz’ tactics had already been determined — and were based on the fact that the party didn’t know there was a back door to her cave. As a result, when the taunting began, instead of coming out the entrance all in a rage, the dragon looked outside, saw the taunters, and then proceeded to roll a huge boulder across the entrance (locking the door before she left, as it were.) She then climbed up a vertical shaft, emerged, and was airborne before they could do anything about it. The arrows began to fly, so she came down and used her final breath weapon against Nallia and Barlyn. They survived this attack, and were prepared with a grappling arrow tied to a tree, which Nallia fired successfully. Unfortunately, the tree had been fried by the lightning breath of the dragon, so a large piece easily snapped off. At that point one of the mages enlarged it (using the spell that had been prepared for their avalanche attempt) and the dragon, who had been planning to swing the log around into her tormentors, decided to land and deal with them on the ground. Unfortunately for her, at that point she ran headlong into two wyvern watch spells and failed her save against one of them, which left her paralyzed on the ground, and gave Alex the perfect opportunity to backstab her. Azufullalaz did not survive for one more minute, and soon enough she had been butchered, skinned, and had various internal organs removed (and the heart eaten by Nallia and Hooja.)

The party then searched for the rear entrance to her cave and found a vertical shaft easily enough. The shaft led directly into her hoard room, where a goodly amount of gold, some valuable gems and jewelry, and a magic ring and helm were discovered. In addition, the group discovered a small patch of skin (apparently scraped against the side of the cave) containing a number of very coarse and curly brown and black hairs. [It was to be discovered later that this was the skin of the halfling — a currently deceased fellow named Goflee Stickyfingers — who had stolen the “property” several months previously.) It was a group of adventurers almost insufferably pleased with themselves who camped out in the dragon cave, ate dragon meat, discussed what to do with various parts of dragon anatomy, and looted the dragon’s hoard prior to setting off on the trail back to Jamsin.

On the trail back to Jamsin they encountered the second deadly lady, in this case the ever-popular gynosphinx. [Note: i like to roll for random encounters using the tables in the 1e DMG, and generally just keep rolling until I find something appropriate. This has led to players commenting that sometimes the random encounters are more dangerous than the planned ones. I don’t mind that. This gynosphinx — Stephanie by name — was one such.] Rather than fight, however, she preferred to talk, and ended up beginning a contest of riddles with the group. She went first:

“I wear a red coat and have a stone in my throat. What am I?” [See answer at the end of this entry.]
The group was stumped with this one, but being a jolly well-fed gynosphinx, she asked for a riddle in return:
“Thirty horses in two columns, they crush and stomp but nowhere go. What are they?” [See answer below.]
This one stumped the sphinx, so she began a new round:
“Aethelstan has four daughters. Each daughter has a brother. How many children does Aethelstan have?”
They got this riddle successfully, and the sphinx let them pass without incident [Note: The group got full experience for this encounter, because they were able to best the sphinx in her preferred method. Kudos to noncombat approaches from time to time!]

Upon arriving in Jamsin, however, there was extremely bad news: The Razorwind had been attacked in their absence by two ships that had sailed into the harbor at night, and its upper structures burned. None of the crew was slain, although one Marine was unconscious and required help from the clerics to heal him. Monophos, the ship master, and Lamitha, the mate, had organized the defenses and damage control, but it was going to cost considerable time and money to repair the damage, and the pirates had sailed off into the night, leaving no prisoners. Fortunately, there was a cantankerous old magic-user in town available to train Cain, who had advanced a level, and due to obtaining the dragon’s hoard the group had sufficient cash for training expenses and ship repairs. [Note: When a party gets a dragon hoard they might expect to have something happen that takes some of it away!] At this point they decided to explore inland some more, and to search for the prisoners they had released, as they felt these individuals might have had something to do with the attack upon their ship, and also to search for Terkoz and see if they could find the golden rod the dragon had been on about, and also possibly to find the pirates’ base; previous interrogation of the prisoners had indicated the existence of a pirate base somewhere east of Jamsin on the south coast of Nabor.

After setting out the group traveled for several days before encountering anything interesting, and the interesting thing was a falcon that paced them for most of a day. In the evening the falcon’s purposes became clear, when the group was ambushed by Terkoz himself and a number of Terkoz’ minions. A melee ensued, and the clerics held several of their opponents. At this point the opponents’ nature became clear: Two of the three of them changed form into animals and continued to attack. In fact, Terkoz’ band consisted, with one exception, of lycanthropes, with Terkoz himself a were-smileodon. In addition there were a were-tiger, a were-komodo lizard, a were bear, and a were-gorilla, in addition to the were-falcon (who was the group’s shaman and who, unknown to the party, successfully cast a pray spell at the beginning of the melee.) As the melee wore on Nallia and Barlyn both took bites from lycanthropes, but Terkoz and his band were having the worst of it, despite being able to get in some healing anytime they changed form. In addition, an invisible Barton sneaked around behind Terkoz and managed to filch the golden rod away from him!

Suddenly, a voice like that of an angel shouted/sang “STOP RIGHT THERE!” and brought the entire melee to a halt. Everyone turned to see a completely nude woman running toward them out of the forest, and she must have had a Comeliness score of 22 or more! As she approached all the characters had to attempt to resist her charm, and only Alex and Nallia succeeded. She demanded the return of the golden rod to her, and Barton immediately gave it over to her. At that point Nallia, who, along with Alex had been pretending to be under the woman’s sway, began to attack her, but Alex launched a flying tackle to stop her — and in the process prove his bona fides to the woman. The woman herself decided that Nallia needed to kiss and make up with her, but as she approached Nallia for the kiss, Nallia and Alex both attacked, both hit, both crit’ed, and then she died. As she died, she muttered “Thank you. I’ve been on this stupid plane waiting to perform the last service for two thousand years, and now dying makes it over. I’m sick of this place.” [Note: Yes, the woman in question was a succubus, and the dying words were a clue. And no, she isn’t really dead, just banished back to the Abyss.]

With her departure Terkoz and his group recovered from their own charm and discovered that they had essentially lost some three months out of their lives. They remained lycanthropes, however, as was demonstrated in some tests, and agreed to go off and live by themselves away from their tribe. (It is possible that they will not do so forever, though, as there are 5 men and only one woman….)

Hooja is at the point of deciding whether to return permanently to his tribe, with his exile no longer in effect, but he might stay with the party. And it remains to be seen whether there were any……permanent effects from the bites Nallia and Barlyn took from Terkoz’ minions.

Answers to the riddles:

A cherry
5 (bear in mind that if you have four daughters and each one has A brother, then since they are all sisters they will all share the same brother.)

XP awards: 2000 xp each to Alex, Nallia, Cain, and Barlyn. 2200 to Barton (awarded for role playing with the spell he cast on Hooja and during the encounter with the succubus) and 1000 each for the NPC’s, Robert the Red and Hooja (standard henchman xp),

Journey to Nabor

Real Date: 6-14-14.

Three intrepid gamers met with me at the Reaper Game Store on Saturday: Steven, continuing the adventures of Alexander Razorwind (half-elf FTR/THF) and Cain (human M-U); Dallas, furthering the career of Nallia (elf CLC/RGR) and Barlyn (dwarf CLC); and we were joined by Don, who is a newcomer to our group, playing Barton (half-elf THF/M-U).

There was a significant amount of downtime & catching up to do as a consequence of the last episode. The party was in the city of Karanga, and most had gained a level (apart from Cain, who was close), but there was no one in that city available for training. So the group sent a courier vessel back to the Razorwind to pick them up and return them to Kajalla for training, being joined in the process by Barton, a half-elf magic-user/thief, and Robert, who was a thief from Karanga who had decided it might be in his best interest to join the band.

In Kajalla, Alex took training as a thief-acrobat, which will change his abilities to some extent. In addition, Nallia and Barlyn, after making considerable donations to the churches of Pyrros in Karanga, made another such donation in Kajalla. Cain contacted the Arcanists’ Guild and made arrangements to take the test for journeyman status. Barlyn and Nallia also completed their training. Alex visited his lady friend, Fedrova, and found her to be in a state of exhaustion from the work involved in raising a baby parrot (whose egg Alex had brought to her previously), but she was pleased by his gift of an expensive necklace, and even more pleased by his gift of caring for her familiar-to-be long enough for her to get a full nights sleep!

After all this was accomplished, and Barton had determined his spells and equipment, the group reloaded aboard the Razorwind and set off north across the Lemurian Sea for the small city of Jamsin, on the island of Nabor. Alex had heard a rumor from Kumar, the captain of the freighter Common Ore, that his merchant contact in Jamsin (one Nickulu) had a number of antiquities in a collection, likely including a fragment of the Lemuriad. Barlyn had received word from an elder dwarf in a village on Jolat that the relic he is searching for may also be located on Nabor.

Before arriving at Nabor the lookout sighted a truly enormous shark (a megalodon, in fact) trailing the ship. Although the shark was only grabbing garbage thrown overboard, the crew scrambled to battle stations, fired a trebuchet at the creature — the first time the ship had fired one — and actually hit it and injured it. After several bowshots an enraged megalodon leaped from the water, bit a large piece of rail off the ship, and sounded. When it came back up it bit enough of a chunk out of the bottom of the keel to cause a leak and then departed, quite satisfied with its revenge. Fortunately, the crew reacted quickly to discover and patch the leak, and the ship was only minimally damaged. This was to serve them well…..

Two days out from Jamsin the lookout saw a bolt of lightning strike up from the water to the sky. As the ship turned to investigate, it found itself facing two ships of the Red Flag Pirates, the Storm and the Tempest, and to make matters more difficult, they had the weather gauge. The Razorwind turned to engage the Storm while working to keep her distance from the Tempest and, after firing a number of fire arrows into her rigging (reducing her speed) and hitting her hull with some trebuchet shots, managed to ram her and the crew boarded. During this time the Tempest swung around to rake them, but their aim was extremely poor. Nallia took out the Tempest’s wizard with a well-placed shot before he could launch another bolt from his wand of lightning (which fell into the sea) and the Tempest fled before the crew could finish the Storm and turn to take them. Interrogation of the survivors — and the dead captain — indicated that there is a pirate base to the east of Jamsin on the coast of Nabor itself, but that the main base is on a well-fortified island of its own to the east; the captain did not know the location, as it is a well-guarded secret.

The party scavenged the Storm for spare parts and burned her, then continued to Nabor, where they met with Nickulu. When that worthy went to show off his collection of antiquities, of which he is inordinately proud, they made a terrible discovery: Many of them had been stolen and replaced with forgeries! The group interrogated Nickulu’s household and many townsfolk, and concluded that it wasn’t an inside job, but must have been done by a group that had left the city by land going north 5 days earlier. They appeared to be making for a dangerous cave described in a journal which was not taken. The party set out in pursuit, and after several days, caught up with them in a narrow ravine. Here they fought a pitched battle with a group of adventurers who appeared to have already run into something nasty — the episode was climaxed by Barton casting invisibility on himself, climbing the cliff walls, maneuvering behind the enemy, setting a trap, and then, when the entire group had burned its way through the web that had trapped them, missed a backstab attempt on the assassin who was in their rear guard. With an enemy before her and behind her, she fled up the cliff face with Barton in hot pursuit. Cain put a magic missile directly on each of her hands, causing her to lose balance, and Barton caught up with her, grabbed her, and both fell to the ground.

Upon interrogation, the party discovered that the only one who knew anything significant was their cleric leader, who was already dead, but that they had faced something large, reptilian, and electric in the cave. And it wanted its property back. They also had the poem fragment, which the group recovered. Choosing to explore the cave, they used spider climb and ropes to get up the 100 feet to the entrance, and then slowly entered. Upon entry they were challenged by a voice demanding its property back. After some discussion, the voice’s owner revealed herself — and she was, indeed, a blue dragon. She agreed to allow the party to depart if they would promise to attempt to find her property, which was described as a long gold rod with a jeweled head on one end. In addition, Barton purchased the missing Pandava arrows which the other group had stolen (and fired at Azufullalla, the dragon) from her, and the group departed in peace, although some wished to attack her.

The party’s business with Azufullalla and her property is not yet over…..

Real Date 5/31/2014
Assault on Karanga!

Four players showed up to play part two of the Giants attack at Reaper: Steven, playing Alex (1/2 elf FTR/THF) and Cain (human M-U); Dallas playing Nallia (elf CLC/RGR) and Barlyn (dwarf CLC); and Stoerm playing Ban-Mi (howazdon RGR). As Michael’s character, Rye (human RGR) was stuck in the giants’ headquarters caves with the rest of the party at the beginning, Rye accompanied the rest of the group, being run by Steven and Stoerm.

The group had sneaked past the guards invisibly and proceeded to reconnoiter the caverns. They discovered that the caverns were filled with noncombatants — female and young hill giants (in fact, Nallia was knocked head over heels by a running giant child) — who were speculating loudly on when their menfolk would return and they would be able to get out of this stupid cavern. Moving in deeper, the group found a number of empty quarters for giant warriors, and finally shifts of guards who were a different type of giant — one that was larger and cleaner. Four were awake and four asleep — the waking ones were guarding what appeared to be a throne room. The group withdrew to an empty chamber to craft a plan.

They then proceeded to set fire to all the empty chambers closer to the entrance than the throne room and guard quarters, slay the sleeping guards under the protection of their invisibility and silence, after which two of the guards peeled off to supervise the evacuation of the noncombatants from the caverns and fetch water to put out the fires. It only took a couple of surprise attacks to take out the two guards remaining in the throne room, which had a small treasure chamber (with mostly cheap gems inside). Once the other two guards had the fires out, one came after the party while the other went outside for reinforcements. The one that closed was dispatched quickly, but the other brought a group of hill giants as reinforcements and halted them in line of sight of the only way out, and began a missile duel. Given the giants’ missile capabilities, this was an effective tactic. The group put their heads together and began to advance using their portable hole as a shield for the characters who were not as tough as the others.They were able to get into melee range and dispatched all but one of the hill giants, who surrendered and, after giving up as much information as he had, was sent off to take care of the evacuated families.

The group then determined that the giants’ army commanded by Flint had a five-day head start on the path to Karanga. They determined that, instead of following the army, they would try to travel in a straight line toward the city, after sending an invisible Ban-Mi ahead through the trees (since he’s a howazdon after all) to warn the city. Ban-Mi reached Karanga some four days ahead of the army, snuck into the city and the government headquarters invisibly, and made himself visible inside the Chairman’s office in the middle of a budgetary discussion. Fortunately, between his own persuasion, the letter the rest of the group sent with him, and a bag full of stone giant ears he was able to persuade the Chairman without any problems. They mobilized the city’s militia, which was not extremely large, and they didn’t have enough sealift capability to evacuate the noncombatant population, so they prepared to resist.

In the meantime, the rest of the group arrived only a day ahead of the army. They signaled Ban-Mi their arrival, and met with the military authorities. Then it was time for a plan under a great deal of time pressure. They began by reconnoitering the giants’ camp and determining where the leadership and any of his spell casting shamans might be. Having done so, they obtained as many caltrops and oil flasks as possible, and launched a raid on the camp in which they managed to set most of it aflame and killed the shamans and several of the elite stone giants. In the meantime, Cain and Barlyn were leading the (only low level) mages and clerics of the city to grind up as much glass as possible and memorize the spells Unseen Servant for the mages and Dust Devil for the clerics. When the assault began the next morning the party attacked first, before all the giants could get into missile range. They began by having the Unseen Servants carry the ground glass up to the front ranks, and then having the (invisible once again) clerics cast Dust Devil to distribute it — into the giants’ eyes, noses, and mouths. Flint himself was hit, and in a rage ordered the army to charge. Two of the rangers (Rye and Ban-Mi) commanded archer units outside the city’s walls and poured fire into the army’s flanks from cover, and finally Alex, augmented by a Bless, Prayer, and Strength, took on Flint head-to-head. (Note: Cain in this instance cast his first Fireball, which turned out to be more of a Fire ping pong ball). With Nallia’s aid, Alex was able to defeat Flint in hand-to-hand, take his crown, and the army then fled back into the mountains.

The group was rewarded not only by taking all the (more valuable) gems Flint had on him and his Bag of Holding, but in addition were given two signet rings indicating their relationship with the government of Karanga.

Flint’s crown showed as magic, but its only power, so far as the group was able to identify, is to adjust its size to fit the head it is on. Alex tried it on and was able to remove it, which is not normal for a normally cursed item. More investigation would seem to be required, especially as both the clerics have had a distinct impression that the group should not give it up.

(Metagame notes: Extremely good tactics all around in this one, from evacuating the cave to using Karanga’s resources — which weren’t all that much — effectively. Ban-Mi got a reaction roll of 95 from the Chairman, which accounts for why he didn’t have to perform much persuasion, and their raid went off without a hitch. Of course, it’s really fun to improvise some way to run almost a set-piece battle, especially under something of a real-time constraint — it was getting late by the time the army arrived at Karanga, but we all wanted to resolve it — but it seems to have worked out pretty well. Each character involved received 6500 xp, which will put both Ban-Mi and Rye up to 4th level right away.)

Real Date 5/17/2014
Ranging Westward on Atras

We had five people today including myself — Steven playing Alex (1/2 elf FTR/THF) and Cain (Human magic-user); Dallas playing Nallia (Elf CLC/RGR) and Barlyn (Dwarf CLC); and two new people: Michael playing Rye (Human RGR) and Stoerm playing Bahn-mi (Howazdon RGR). The rule allowing up to three but no more rangers to work together had to be invoked!

The group began in Kajalla, where Cain and Nallia had just completed some training, and Nallia had met her two new ranger friends. After they agreed to join the merry band, Alex gave them a stirring speech as captain of the Razorwind, which ended in “try not to get killed.” Alex was also informed by Captain Kumar of the Common Ore that there appears to be a poem fragment in the house of a wine merchant in Jamsin (on the island of Nabor.) However, the group preferred to return to Atras, not only to allow their new friends to partake of the Silver Spring water, but also in order for them to find a way to make use of the dwarven magic forge they had discovered previously. Upon arriving at the village of Ko-tan, they were feted, and Ko-tan welcomed the newcomers, and did not ask for any particular favors in exchange for allowing them to partake.

Both Rye and Bahn-mi received their water and a benefit therefrom. Then the group set out toward the dwarven forge. In this trip they encountered some tasloi who were dispatched almost effortlessly, some trolls, also dispatched with a bit more effort, and upon arriving at the cave where the forge is located they encountered a pair of ettins. Cain used his Web spell effectively to pin the ettins in the entrance of the cave, and the groups archers turned one of them into a pincushion before the other was able to break through the web. Although the second ettin got in a good pair of shots on Nallia, it was dispatched quickly. The group then proceeded to use the last of the coal and oils they had enchanting Rye’s short bow, Bahn-mi’s paluldon club, Nallia’s new trident and her second shortsword.

At this point the group determined to travel to the village of Es-sat, north of the village of Ko-tan, to see if they were being menaced by giants. They were welcomed, though not so effusively, upon their arrival, and Es-sat’s hunters commented that there had been some giants moving around at the extreme western edge of their range. The group set out to investigate. This trip led to a set of discussions of the ethics of launching a preemptive strike against giants that may not have hostile designs on anyone, so a plan was crafted to find out. They searched out a pair of giant scouts, and Cain then case Enlarge on Barlyn, who also cast Comprehend Languages on himself. Due to Caine’s level and Barlyn’s height, the spell made him look more or less like a fat giant with better than normal equipment. Barlyn hailed the brace of giants and spent a couple of hours chatting them up to learn their plans. He learned that they were under the sway of a powerful giant called Flint, who was uniting a number of giant clans and seems to have designs to march on a “human village with walls” which is almost certainly a reference to the small city of Karanga.

The group then proceeded to ambush and kill the two giants without any real difficulty, and began following the trail westward to the mountains where Flint should be located. They encountered a large group of trolls and had a fight that began to appear desperate — Rye was nearly taken out — before the trolls succumbed. Since the group of 6 characters expected to find a really large number of giants they crafted an unusual plan to at least be able to scout them out: Cain would cast Invisibility on each character, and they would try to sneak into the giants’ lair. When they arrived at the entrance to a cave in the mountains they saw it guarded by four giants. The group created a fire near the entrance, and Cain’s Unseen Servant proceeded to throw pebbles to attract their attention, and all but one of the guards eventually left the post. At this time, all 6 characters managed to sneak successfully past the remaining guard, and into the giants’ cavern…..

To Be Continued——

Real Date 5/03/2014
Lots of those Big Beggars

I apologize for the late posting; my work has been insane the past week.

This time we had 3 attendees at the Reaper Game Store. Dallas returned, playing Nallia (elf cleric/ranger) and Barlyn (dwarf cleric); Steven also returned playing Alexander (half-elf fighter/thief) and Cain (human magic-user); and my wife Viji made an appearance playing Pan-at-Lee, a howazdon druid who serves as an apprentice to Om-at, the shaman of the village of Ko-tan. Pan-at-Lee is a potential NPC, as Viji will probably not join us often, but this time was a special case.

And it was Pan-at-Lee who had made a discovery while ranging through the jungle gathering various useful herbs: There were a number of very large human-shaped creatures stomping about through the jungle of Atras, to the west of the village. But they seemed to be moving eastward. Naturally, as friends of the village, the group volunteered to investigate, with Pan-at-Lee accompanying them to show the creatures’ location.

Soon enough the group found a pair of human-shaped, eight foot tall beings who did not want to talk. In fact, they wanted to fight, and managed to inflict some damage on the group before being put down. The party was very happy about doing this, until it occurred correctly that these might be advance scouts for a larger band.

Nallia and Pan-at-Lee managed to find the remaining 14 of the creatures camped for the night, and their sentries’ decision to locate themselves back-to-back in the center of the encampment so that they could both watch and converse in low whispers dictated the group’s tactics. Using Silence to prevent the sentries from giving the alarm, and a normally defensive spell (Wyvern Watch) to paralyze the two sentries, the party managed to kill the majority of the giants while they slept. Only a few awakened in time to defend themselves, and although they gave a somewhat good account of themselves, before succumbing.

In the process of spying on the giants prior to killing them, the group overheard snippets of conversation indicating that this group had fled from a domineering presence called “Flint,” who had apparently found a hat which gave him delusions of grandeur. Each of the giants wore a crude tattoo upon his neck.

On their return to the village of Ko-tan, the group encountered a large party of trolls out looking for prey, and had a much more hard-fought battle to kill them than they had had against the giants, but triumphed in the end, burning the bodies as usual. One might mention that the two clerics of Pyrros were very happy to do so. Experience was high due to the number of giants killed, although loot was on the paltry side, but Pan-at-Lee and Cain managed to level up in the process of all this, and the non-howazdon characters returned safely to Kajalla.

(Metagame terms: The group worked out an extremely effective set of tactics to use against the giants and was rewarded by great success for using them — I hadn’t expected the offensive use of a defensive spell which the clerics had been using every time they camped for some time. While in the previous adventure the random encounter dice were active, this time there was only the one with the trolls — who rolled an inordinate number of critical hits, and as a result hurt the good guys more than the giants had.)

Real Date 4/19/2014

Due to the holiday weekend the turnout today was on the low side — only Dallas showed up. Fortunately, that gave us two characters to work with: Nallia the elf cleric/ranger and Barlyn the dwarf cleric.

We took a return to Kajalla for the rest of the group as a given, and Barlyn proceeded to complete training as a fifth-level priest of Pyrros. While meditating as a part of the training he had a brief vision of dwarfs killing other dwarfs to the south, with the sound of running water in the background.

Hoping to be in time to stop fratricidal conflict, Barlyn gathered Nallia and began heading south. While there is a river that runs through the length of Kajalla, the river itself consists of two separate rivers which only join together within the city’s walls (where they later divide again into two main courses.) One branch goes to the southeast, the other to the southwest. Hoping to avoid taking the wrong path, Nallia and Barlyn chose to split the difference, as long as they could remain within earshot of the rivers.

Their trip to the south was punctuated by a number of encounters with animals: a herd of buffalo, a herd of elephants, a leopard, and a tiger were all avoided either by the use of the Speak with Animals spell or, in the case of the snoring leopard, by simple stealth.

However, a mighty rhinoceros did not want to talk, and was slain with dispatch. Shortly thereafter (and after carving off a supply of rhinoceros meat) the intrepid pair arrived at the dwarf village of Dhavadhi, where a local woodcutter explained that a feud was brewing between the premier family of that village and a poor family of a nearby village called Khotivak. It seemed that a young dwarf from Khotivak had spent years of work saving up the standard bride-price to pay the family of his beloved (this being a standard dwarf custom) whereupon the bride-to-be’s father had only asked for a pittance amounting to 1% of the normal amount. The groom-to-be’s father had taken that as an insult, and stormed back to Khotivak to begin sharpening weapons.

Barlyn spoke with both the young lady dwarf in question and her father, and offered to act as a go-between. Traveling for four days from Dhavadhi to Khotivak, he and Nallia negotiated their way past a large pack of deadly Komodo lizards by using the rhinoceros meat as an appropriate bribe. Arriving in Khotivak, Barlyn managed to secure an interview with the aggrieved father, and convinced him to travel, with the young swain, back to Dhavadhi to negotiate a settlement before matters came to violence. They arrived safely, having slain an attacking group of carnivorous apes on the way, at which point Barlyn cleverly spent a good deal of his own money obtaining sufficient drinkables for the two patriarchs, each of whom agreed to drink with Barlyn, but not with his rival. Barlyn offered to pay the normal bride-price himself, but a compromise was eventually struck whereby the poor young dwarf would pay half the normal bride-price, and honor was satisfied for all parties. After this point Barlyn spent some more money throwing a party for both villages, and performed the wedding himself — is is a priest after all!

Real Date 3/22/14
"The Next Fifty Miles

Note: We had to play in the downstairs portion of the Reaper store due to an event they had scheduled in the room we usually use; it was not as good an environment due to noise and foot traffic, as well as being somewhat cramped, but was all right. These things happen.

Five individuals showed up to play in “The Next Fifty Miles:” Steven, playing Alexander Razorwind (Half-elf Fighter/Thief) and Caine (Human Magic-User): Dallas, playing Nallia (full elf Ranger/Cleric) and Barlyn (Dwarf Cleric); Albert, playing Aquarion Wavestrider (Human Paladin); Jeremy, playing Karl (Halfling Fighter, just starting out); and myself as DM.

The group had originally planned to revisit Atras in order to pay a visit to the nymphavas (nymph-like beings with an unusual reproductive cycle) due to some potentially beneficial effects of said cycle. In addition, there was the hope that Aquarion, Barlyn, and Karl could also benefit from the one use only effects of the Silver Spring near the village of the Howazdon.

The visit to the nymphavas was successful; in addition to the other pleasantries of the visit each of the characters was given a lump of coal. Then it was time to move on to the Howazdon. Upon arriving in the Howazdon village, however, our heroes were informed that a number of members of the tribe had gone missing. While Ko-tan, the chief, did not have a good idea who could have done it suspicion rapidly settled on some nearby villages of Lizard Men.

While traveling in the direction of the Lizard Man villages, the party was ambushed by a patrol of some 8 of the Lizard Men themselves. The group was able to dispatch them rapidly, and they took one prisoner, whose brief interrogation led to the information that the Lizard Men had been kidnapping other creatures as sacrifices to new “gods” who had just shown up. After Aquarion commented in an appropriately disgusted tone “There are only FOUR gods,” the group prevailed upon this surviving Lizard Man’s better nature, and his instinct for self-preservation, to lead them to the site of the Lizard Men’s gods. Upon arriving, they discovered that the “gods” in question consisted of a pair of Yuan-Ti and a number of Ophidian servants, and those were slain with more or less dispatch. Among the available loot were discovered a +1 scimitar (used by the Yuan-Ti leader) and a fourth fragment of the Lemuriad.

Having returned the Howazdon (including their old friend, Ta-den) to their villages, the group was informed that another villager had been slain by a large flying creature. Following up on this incident led to a nest of 3 wyverns, which were also slain with dispatch. However, the wyvern lair was close to the cave referenced in the poem fragment discovered earlier, and the group soon found the entrance to the cave. Defeating the ettin which had set up its lair there, they discovered the following riddle:

I am a weighty matter.
I have no head, but I have one horn.
I was made; i was not born.
I have a neck, but I have no head.
They beat on me while the fire is fed.
Say my name and open the door.
Say another and suffer more.
I am a weighty matter.

The group got the answer on the first attempt, thus avoiding being wounded by any magical traps. The door opened, unveiling a device which used the coal, along with doses of two different potions the group possessed, to enchant 6 of their weapons to +1 status.

Time was running out for us, so at that point experience was assigned, and the group is now still located in the environs of the cave in the deep forests of Atras.

Welcome to your campaign!
A blog for your campaign

Wondering how to get started? Here are a few tips:

1. Invite your players

Invite them with either their email address or their Obsidian Portal username.

2. Edit your home page

Make a few changes to the home page and give people an idea of what your campaign is about. That will let people know you’re serious and not just playing with the system.

3. Choose a theme

If you want to set a specific mood for your campaign, we have several backgrounds to choose from. Accentuate it by creating a top banner image.

4. Create some NPCs

Characters form the core of every campaign, so take a few minutes to list out the major NPCs in your campaign.

A quick tip: The “+” icon in the top right of every section is how to add a new item, whether it’s a new character or adventure log post, or anything else.

5. Write your first Adventure Log post

The adventure log is where you list the sessions and adventures your party has been on, but for now, we suggest doing a very light “story so far” post. Just give a brief overview of what the party has done up to this point. After each future session, create a new post detailing that night’s adventures.

One final tip: Don’t stress about making your Obsidian Portal campaign look perfect. Instead, just make it work for you and your group. If everyone is having fun, then you’re using Obsidian Portal exactly as it was designed, even if your adventure log isn’t always up to date or your characters don’t all have portrait pictures.

That’s it! The rest is up to your and your players.


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