Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Session 41: Return to Valdemar Woods

The party returned to the cave Thornlet told them about, where Boreas was trying to establish a forward base to strengthen his hold on the region. They may have lost last time, but they were stronger now after their defeat of Markessa's kobolds. The first cave had been refortified in their absence, but only with myconids, which posed no threat to the seasoned adventurers, though Goblin was befuddled by the spores for a moment. Further in, they came to a large, moss covered cavern, with a single Domovoi in the middle. As they moved to attack, the moss came alive to defend the faerie. Once this fight was won, they continued on deeper into the complex. Three tunnels led to different parts of the base, north, west, and east. The Abolitionists went north.

The next room appeared to have once been a garden, with a reflecting pool, now drained, in the middle. North, the party found goblin breeding pits, but none of those foul folk were to be seen. They turned east, and entered a bedchamber, guarded by a Domovoi and an Aridni, an evil pixie. This fight proved to be the most difficult so far, but the party overcame the threat. They then had to consider which exit to take -- the door to the northeast, or the passage south-east.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Session 40: Markessa Lives!

After a short rest, the party regrouped in a room with 3 exits. Moving straight ahead, they found themselves in a wide cavern with a bridge crossing it. Up and to the right, sharp eyed Tywill spotted a group of 10 kobolds waiting in ambush. Reacting quickly, Flint smote one with a guiding bolt, illuminating the rest. Lynnya unleashed the fury of nature on one with a hail of thorns that tears him to shreds along with 4 of his small comrades. Tywill climbs to the ceiling with his spider boots and bolts across the deep crevasse surprising one of the lieutenants with a backstab, only to be ganged up on by the remaining leaders. One of the kobolds knew enough magic to send scorching rays at Flint, which singed his whiskers. Goblin killed the caster with a radiant attack, and Volodemir and Lynnya finished the last few before they can act again.

Tywill explores the exit behind the ambush, while the rest of the party crosses the bridge, only to meet up again on the far side at an intersection in the tunnels. To the west, there is a large dark cave full of bubbling mud and a path of stepping stones across. Sensing danger, Tywill once again takes to the ceiling, and notices a sleeping kobold floating near the center of the cave. A few shots in the dark dispatch the would be ambusher. Not wanting to risk the safety of the rest of the party, Flint attempted to cross the stepping stones, bravely triggering the perilous trap. After falling in the thick mud, he was helped out of the mud, sputtering but unfazed, by Goblin with the help of his entangling rope.

Moving ahead, the party came to a room with a mural of Cerberus and about 20 prone bodies of kobolds seemingly sacrificed ritually. As they were feeling there way through the dark abattoir, four kobolds jumped out to ambush the party. Two were killed by Flint's spirit guardians and spiritual weapon before they could act. The leader fell victim to hideous laughter followed by an Eldritch Blast and sacred flames. Adreham's servant was further protected by the spirit guardians as they dispatched several remaining kobolds who were only pretending to be sacrifice victims but were in fact lying in wait.

Within this room there was a collapsed exit which sadly held the body of a dwarf of a local noble clan, cut down by kobolds but had apparently triggered a collapse to hold them off.  Some investigation showed him to be of a local noble family. Flint noted the identity and laid her body to rest at the site of her noble sacrifice.

Passing by the rubble, the party noted an ankle high rope connected to nothing, and stepped past it to avoid any traps. Half way up the slope in the following passage, the sound of a tumbling boulder gave way to the snickering of a group of 6 kobolds who thought they had set a cunning trap. The boulder bounced off of Flint, and the party did not flee, but after dispatching the kobolds, discerned the true purpose of the tripline they had passed.

After this, they came upon a large room with 5 colored pillars surrounding an altar, and 5 colored tapestries on the far wall. On the altar, a young blonde man stricken with agony tried to warn the party to leave, just as his heart was replaced with a stone and he transformed into a demon. Accompanied by an invisible tormentor, the demon did battle with the party, at times breathing fire upon them. Tywill found his way past the circle of pillars, which appeared to deal elemental damage according to color, and disengaged the acid trap from the black pillar. After some more hideous laughter and a long fight involving many missed attacks, the demon was dispatched, and after some more blind lunging about, it was determined that Markessa had escaped for now.

Some thorough searching after disabling the pillars found some treasure. Perhaps this was an altar to Tiamat, the many headed dragon goddess? The party took a moment to regroup and decide what to do next...

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Arden Est's Planar Cosmology

Arden Est lies at the center of the universe, and all other realities revolve around it. It is known. Arden Est is a flat disk, at the center of which lies a great lake of lava with a whirlpool in the middle. The dimensions of the Land are unknown -- some sages have speculated that there lie lands beyond the Last Sea, but these have not been seen. Underneath Arden Est lies the Underdark, a land hundreds of times more vast than the surface world. Here are countless tunnels and caverns and the civilization of the drow. Here too winds the river Styx, leading to the realms of Hades, and the river Lethe, leading to the Hells the devils conquered from the Lord of Death. Further down, mad titans delve more tunnels and angels and devils both beat back attacks of demons seeking to free their mistress from Hades's prison. Even further below lies the elemental chaos.

The elemental chaos is divided into six semi-distinct areas. The planes of fire, water, air, and earth blend together at their edges and at their borders with the positive energy plane above and the negative energy plane below. At the center, all of the elements combine in a maelstrom of primal energy, and at the very midpoint, a whirlpool stands, leading the way down into the Abyss. The abyss, it is said, has no bottom. But it is also said that Fayon made his infamous bargain with Tiamat at the bottom of the abyss, so who can know the truth of these things.

Above Arden Est are the heavens. On the moon sits Fiat Lux, home of the Valharim. The moon rotates, shining most when Fiat Lux lies directly overhead, and not at all when the fairest city looks the other way. The sun makes a circuit around Arden Est's disk, renewing her energy from the positive elemental plane each night. Beyond the sun are other worlds, such as the platinum sphere of Bahamut and the copper sphere of Ares.

Two planes exist coterminous with Arden Est. Faerie is the cumulation of the hopes and dreams of the people of Arden Est. Here the Courts of Winter and Summer war with each other, causing the seasons to change as Koschei is first ascendant followed by Titania before Koschei takes the crown again. The fears and dark urges of the free folk, on the other hand, create the realm of nightmare, also called the ethereal. The edges are largely safe, but horrors lurk in the depths.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Session 39: Kobold Kapital


The party continued their exploration of the mines under the Tower of Bells. While resting Marcus the warlock comes through (or kicked out) of a portal he claims was from the Land of Faeries to rejoin the party, cheerfully asking what they have been up to, and if they speak blink dog yet. The party immediately sees a use for the sometimes slow (but not mentally handicapped) warlock and have him go back to the frightening looking black device in the other room inscribed with runes. Casting comprehend language Marcus is able to tell them is says that "he who opens this will be damned as is the demon trapped inside." The group decide to leave the demon trapped and move forward in the mines.

They quickly come across a kobold and an evil looking imp creature, Marcus thinks it is a quasit, meaning the kobold has a demon familiar. This is quickly confirmed when the kobold himself transforms into a demon. The party begins an attack, Flint is grabbed by the demon, but quickly drinks a potion of enlargement to break free. Marcus attempts to slow the demon, but it resists the spell and goes on pummeling members of the party, the next to get grabbed is the rogue, Tywill who had been backstabbing him. The party further their attack until the demon is slain, saving Tywill and collecting a map that the demon had on him. The map leads to the kobold headquarters.

The party quickly patch themselves up and go on their way to the kobold stronghold. Outside they see rows of Viking heads put on spikes. Undeterred they walk up to the guard kobolds and ask to see their master. The kobolds are pretty skeptical of the party and despite the amazing charisma tell them to stay put while they inform their master of the groups arrival. Despite trying to talk their way in, the group quickly abandons peaceful solutions and sleeps some of the kobolds and slays the rest as to not ruin their surprise on the other kobolds.

The party moved inside, with Tywill scouting ahead, he finds a trap in the hallway, disabling it for everyone else and moves into a large cave with a guard tower in the middle. Immediately he is set upon by a band of kobolds. The rest of the group runs ahead to catch up, with Flint falling into a pitfall trap that had been undetected. After pulling him out the party engage the kobolds and after a bit of effort chasing down stragglers, they defeat the kobolds and begin to look around to get their bearings.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Session 38: Kwaint Kobold Kennels

After emerging from the underground lake, the party walked up one of the side paths to a room dominated by a large pool. Flint's sharp eyes noticed a shimmering in the water, which on closer observation turned out to be a gelatinous cube. Several rounds from his wand of magic missiles took care of that creature, and he dove into the water to see if it led anywhere. The silvery walls of the tunnel led to a new room, and so he went to bring the rest of the party along. Goblin in his heavy armor had some difficulty traversing the waterway, but was able to hold his breath long enough to make it to the other side.

In this room, 6 dwarves and 22 kobolds were mining a wall at the far end of the chamber. Their attention was focused on a strange black mineral deposit, but as the Abolitionists filed into the room, their attention turned to the party. But they were quickly turned to ashes. The zombies, meanwhile, had continued to mine, but were quickly put to rest. Upon examination, the black mineral deposit turned out to be the same material they had seen earlier, where it was in a cylindrical shape with a hatch -- this appeared to possibly be one end of the object. But, not having anything useful to do with it at the moment, the party explored the caves further. They eventually came across the entrance to a warren, with side passages leading to three obviously trapped rooms.

The main passageway led them to a guard chamber, where some elite kobolds awaited them. As always, they were no threat to the party. After wiping them out, the party decided to retreat back to an easily defensible room to recover their resources for what must be the central chamber of this complex.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Session 37: The Kobold Gem Mines


Making our way into a cave, we came upon a great hall that appeared to be of Dwarven craftsmanship, wherein lay a number of piles of rubble, most likely leavings from whatever mining operation the Dwarves had undertaken before they had been beset. In the distance, we could hear the faint scrape of metal against metal. Flint suggested it may be the sound of mining carts on metal track. After a quick examination of the rubble, we discovered a trap door in the floor with a steep slope leading downward.

Following the shaft, we found ourselves in a large, perfectly octagonal room hewn from the rock. There, at the eastern end of the room, a great forge lay. Flint explained that forges of this nature were typically used by Dwarven smiths to infuse their crafts with magic, normally through empowered elemental gems set into the sides of the forge. In this case, however, it appeared that some thief had pried the gems loose. The thieves didn’t seem to get far however as there were two scorched skeletons lying near the forge with six rubies strewn about them.

Striding forward to investigate, Flint was suddenly engulfed in the fury of a fire elemental, presumably freed from the rubies when the thieves pried them loose. If not for his Ring of Fire Resistance, the dwarf would surely have perished under the elemental’s anger. Nonplussed, the dwarf summoned a hammer of faith and called upon a spiritual guardian to aid him. As flashes of holy light burst from the ethereal hammer, the rest of us lashed out with arrows, bolts, and spells to send the creature back to its fiery plane. The elemental was clever, however, and surrounded Flint, hoping to prevent us attacking for fear of harming the dwarf. Luckily, the creature found one of my spells particularly amusing, allowing Flint to maneuver outside the elemental’s corona. With another flash of holy light, the creature was banished to its plane.

Having dispatched the elemental, we gathered the gems and explored the two passages leading from the octagonal room. We discovered they led to either side of a large subterranean lake. One led to a room containing a cylindrical object, with a wheel that looked like it would open up the tube. A rickety raft lay nearby in the other room but, looking at it dubiously, the goliath called upon his god to grant us the ability to traverse the lake as if it were solid ground. As we crossed, a black mass of goo rose up from the lake ominously. The amorphous creature, no doubt attracted by our footsteps, hungrily attacked us. The rogue, Tywill, struck the thing with his straight sword and caused it to rift, splitting it in two. Much to our horror, the two halves surged forward independent of one another. The rogue had only managed to double our enemies. One of them then surged forward, trying to envelope the rogue in its acidic touch. While Lynnya and Tywill, fearful of increasing our foes, ran to shore, the two clerics and I combined our magic to burn away and disrupt the ooze. We quickly joined Lynnya and Tywill on shore in case our battle stirred more of the creatures.

On shore, found several tunnels that had been hidden by the darkness of the cavern. Following one shaft inside, were all at once beset by three kobolds with their hunting dog. We managed to get the drop on them. Though it pained me to do so, I was forced to injure the poor canine in my efforts to destroy the kobolds. Weakened by my thunderous spell, the kobolds were quickly dispatched. Luckily, Flint was able to heal the dog. The dog, who he has named Petey, has taken a liking to him. I’m certain little Petya will enjoy living with us a great deal more than the kobolds.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Session 36: Medusa Cuckoo


Upon reaching the summit of the cliff, we surveyed our surroundings and spotted a small tower rising out of the forest below. After a quick search, we found an old trail leading into the forest. The tower appeared to rise from the rock almost organically for there were no visible doors to be found. Following this trail further led us to what appeared to be an old, dilapidated villa. With the tower looming nearby, we surmised that there may be a passage leading to the tower within.
Approaching the gate house, we noted a number of lifelike statues of dwarves littering the area. The status were of incredible detail and might have been true works of art had not the expressions of the dwarves conveyed such horror. Tables had been overturned to form a barrier but appeared to have had little effect in halting whatever force had overrun the manor. Moving further in, the manor was largely empty and appeared to have been ransacked of any of its valuables.

Eventually in our searching, we discovered a passage leading down into the earth beneath the manor. There we found ourselves in a large antechamber whose primary feature was a titanic column in the center. As we surveyed the antechamber, we were ambushed by the slings of four kobolds who had hidden at the top of the column. We weathered their first volley of stones and then took action while the little ingrates reloaded. In a flash, Lynnya and I teleported to the top of the column through a gate of magic. Meanwhile, the rogue, Tywil, made his own magical relocation, disappearing in a puff of mist and appearing in the midst of the kobolds an instant later. The goliath, being half the height of the column to begin with, merely climbed up to join us. Startled as they were by our sudden appearance, the kobolds fell quickly to arrow, spell, and sword as they fumbled with their slings.

The battle ended, we now saw how the kobolds were able to sneak upon us. A spiral staircase rested atop the column and led upward, seemingly into the tower. Mounting the stairs, we found they indeed rose up into the tower. We only found one chamber, all the way at the top of the tower. It was a semi-circular chamber with a wall cutting through what would have been the center of the circle. Upon this wall, there was a great clock face looming ominously over us.

Just then, the clock struck midnight and began to chime. As part of the clock’s display, a small door opened twenty feet above where we stood. Expecting a small animatronic dwarf, as is customary within their craftsmanship, we were instead horrified to see a medusa step through the door. Suddenly, the dwarven statues near the gate house made much sense. I felt the lethargy of the medusa’s gaze grip my body just as I was able to look away. Thinking quickly, I unstoppered the Eversmoking Bottle Flint had given me (and he thought I would never find a use for it!) and the room quickly filled with a quick smoke, obscuring the medusa. Tywil leapt up to the platform where the medusa stood to engage her directly but was nearly brought low by the short sword she wielded and the poison of her writhing, serpentine hair. While the rogue fought her directly, Lynnya, Goblin, and I engaged her with spell and arrow. Certainly, the smoke filling the chamber made the battle more difficult but it protected us from the medusa’s deadly gaze. The odds against her, the medusa retreated back through the door which closed tightly behind her. We refused to be deterred, however. Mustering his strength, the goliath moved the hands of the clock to the top of the hour, causing the chimes to thunder through the tower and thrust the startled medusa back into the room where we quickly made short work of her.

Following the battle, we searched through her chambers behind the wall and found a small chest with an array of treasures, including a magic ring of protection. We then rested, anticipating the battle against whatever foul force  was holding this kobold rabble together into an army.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Session 35: Alice in Chains

As we continued our search of the caves we entered a large chamber with a pool. Before we were able to check the room thoroughly we were set upon by a group of Kobolds. Unlike groups we had encountered in the past these few were up for a fight, and they had magic to aid them. Through coordinated attacks we made short work of them. After the battle we took some time to examine the room properly. We saw a staircase leading out of the chamber but were more interested in a rough rock staircase on the other side of the pool. We could not reach this staircase without passing through a shark filled pool. Goblin suggested dumping the bodies of the Kobolds in the pool to feed and distract the sharks. This worked just long enough for us to cross the pool and continue up the rocky slope, where we arrived at a platform covered in mushrooms. Our stout dwarf friend thought it best to examine the area first as the mushrooms wouldn't affect him if they were toxic. As Flint entered the mushroom patch he was attacked by two myconids. Flint was able to hold off the creatures while the rest of us took turns striking from afar. After the fight was finished we all joined Flint on the mossy platform and Tywyll took the spoils - a pair of boots of spider climb. 

As we continued our climb upwards Flint stepped on a stair that was booby-trapped and fell down into the shark pool. Goblin came to his aid with a water walk spell and Flint rose out of the waters before the sharks came after him. Goblin and Tywyll anchored themselves on the next platform and dropped a rope for the rest of us to climb up. Flint, annoyed that he had fallen for the booby trap, left it to the rest of us to search the area. We found a door and, though we didn't hear anything from inside, we decide it best to not leave our backs open to unexpected assault. We entered the room and found a human waiting for us (according to him). He tried to convince us of his desire to punish those that try to stop others from achieving their desires, even if those desires are to enslave others. Eventually Flint had enough of this blasphemy and attacked. Much to our surprise this creature defended itself with chains. Flint and Goblin knew then that this was a devil and needed to be destroyed. The gods favored us and we were able to dispatch our foe without any of our group getting hurt. Examining the rest of the rooms on this platform we found three humans who claimed to be buying supplies. Goblin was eager to kill them if those supplies turned out to be slaves. Eventually we let them go and they went down the stairs. If they lied to us the Gods would punish them and let them fall into the pool of sharks. The final doorway we came to led out of the caves and we decided it was time to take a rest and recoup our strength. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Session 34: Up the Wall

Image result for stairs in rock faceThe Liberators spent the night at Falcon Keep, and in the morning, received the maps they needed from the knights. They showed the escarpment running along the south-west side of the territory controlled by the kobolds, and where the path up the mountain lay. After two uneventful days of travel, they found themselves at the foot of a cliff, looking up. It looked possible to scale, but they decided that it would be safer to climb the stairs that had been carved into the cliff's face.

They proceeded cautiously, and when they were just two flights up, Flint discovered a secret door. It led inside of the wall, curving around to a carved hallway. One of the doors turned out to be a jail, in which were interred two hill giants. They were no trouble for the party, and they continued on to a larger room with a long ladder in the back. It was guarded by kobolds, and a spiritual weapon helped them see the error of their ways. At the top of the ladder, another party of kobolds was waiting, but twin spirit guardians proved to be too much for them. After that, the Liberators took a breather to prepare themselves for the second half of the ascent.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Session 33: Spyders and Hags

Image by Unded
After recovering our strength and nursing our bruised and battered egos we decided it was time to complete the second of our three tasks. We decided to take the spider house to make better time through the countryside. On our journey we ran into the knights of the local keep riding their bear mounts. We brought them up to speed and asked what brought them to this area of the forest. They told us of the witch they were hunting and of the mischief she was creating. We figured this was the same witch whose house we were using for transport so we decided to help our allies. Flint surmised that the best location to find the witch would be where we first came across the spider house. We returned to the ridge where we were immediately set upon by the witch. Rather than fighting us directly she cast a summoning spell and brought forth three demon spiders to battle for her. The knights took on two of the spiders, leaving just one for our group to dispatch. Luck was on our side, or so we thought. Just as we felt the battle was won the demon summoned six more spiders to its aid. Though not as large they proved no less dangerous. First Goblin and then the rest of our group were bitten and paralyzed by their poison. Fortunately they were less powerful than their master so we were able to shake off the effect pretty quickly. Through our combined efforts we were able to take out a number of the smaller demon spiders and then concentrate our attacks on the true monster. After a lengthy battle the demon was killed and sent it back to its own dimension. Once the largest was dead, the smaller ones disappeared as well. We had destroyed these demons but were still on alert in case the witch returned. We were all too spent to engage in yet another battle. We took time for a brief rest before returning to our original quest.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Session 32: Caverns of Boreas

Blemmys
Once again unemployed and hoping for a way to speak with blink dogs, the band took up Thornlet's advice and tried to clear out a horrific feyhole the north wind was using to try and establish a base.
Finding some rough-hewn stairs leading out of a tree, Flint was immediately suspicious. Stalwart as ever, he barreled in, only to notice two horrible Quicklings. Luckily he dispatched one with extreme prejudice via divine might. The second quicklinged its way up and stabbed him in his ribs, shoulder, and kidney in a split second.

About the same time, a monstrous Domovoi emerged from beneath the threshold, behind him.
Well and truly screwed, Flint hoped his companions could drop at least one of the two so Adreham could guide his hammer home on the other.

Lynnya was also briefly downed by one of the Quicklings, but Volodemir remedied the situation rapidly. That fight ended in some way. The haze of battle makes it hard to recall. Flint was good enough to delve deeper, thinking the worst was over.

Girl, it was not. Don't stumble in to a storeroom with a roughspun cot against the wall and assume you're good. A flippin' Blemmys jumped out of nowhere and pummeled the shit out of Flint as he protected his less blessed companions with some divine guardianship.

The group did their usual pummel/magic/shoot business on the awful beast for a while, but eventually Flint found his head potato rattled against his brain box and couldn't move. This was a real first. To be followed shortly by another first. Being swallowed whole by a Blemmys. Without many options, Flint chugged his emergency major healing potion and hoped for the best from his companions. Just as he was about to open his ever-smoking bottle just to see what would happen, Goblin struck down the beast and Flint started acting like being eaten and digested wasn't the scariest thing that had ever happened to him. In unrelated news, he advocated for a retreat, to see what Thornlet Thistlekin had actually known about what she had sent the Abolitionists in to in the first place.

Gotta find some sort of ring of stomach acid resistance...

Friday, May 12, 2017

Session 31: Falcon Keep and Winter Wolves



The next morning, Flint prayed to Adreham that he would heal the gypsy child, so that they might see the benefits of civilization, so one day they might come to settle down. The gypsy child was healed, and so the Abolitionists climbed into their spider vehicle, Volodemir following behind on his otter.

After about a day of wandering, they came across a battered keep, with a pennant bearing a black falcon on gold. They asked for entrance and a place to sleep, and after verifying that they were not evil, the knights let them in. The castle was rundown, but still sturdy, and Volodemir marveled at the stable of bears the knights kept as mounts. They had an excellent meal in the dining hall where, despite the thick accent of the knights, they were able to learn the location of the priestess of Ryanna. They discussed the problem of the kobolds, with the knights indicating there had been some minor skirmishes, but no real contact.

 The next morning, they set out to the west, and near nightfall came across the small cottage that housed the hermit, Thornlet Thistlekin. She was blunt and abrasive, but allowed the party to stay the next morning. The next morning, she told them "I know why yer here. But you gotta prove yerselfs first. Three quests. There's a pack of werewolves laired in the woods. If you take them out, I'll tell ya the next one." Needing to learn the language of the blink dogs, the party set out towards where Thornlet had indicated the werewolves had their lair. Before going there, the party returned to Falcon Keep to buy silver arrows to aid them against the werewolves.

On the way there, the party was astonished when Flint tripped over his own shoelaces. They heard laughing in the bushes, and went to investigate. There was a small purple dragon! Flint reached for his warhammer as it hummed angrily, but Volodemir told him to leave it alone. It was a faerie dragon which, while puckish, were generally friendly creatures. They were able to befriend him, and he offered to help distract the werewolves.

So, while the party snuck up on one side of the werewolf camp, the faerie dragon created a huge light show on the other side. It worked, and the werewolves were quickly decimated, not least by means of Lynnya's silver arrows. They turned to head back to Thornlet's cottage. The way back was not uneventful, however, as they were ambushed by three winter wolves! The Abolitionists nearly succumbed to the cold breath of the wolves, but survived, and were able to defeat them. On returning to Thornlet's cottage, she told them that they were servants of Boreas, the north wind, and it was probably related to the next question she had for them...

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Session 30: The Blood Hag


After saving the cursed centaur from killing himself and convincing him to help us, we continued on our quest to save the pregnant woman and child. Approaching a ravine we saw on the other side of the water several child size coffins. Knowing that time was of the essence we left the area without investigating this strange site. Sadly, the gods took issue with this and we were set upon by small wooden constructs. In all my years I have never seen their like and the effect they had on my comrades took us all by surprise. Poor Volodomir became so full of himself I thought it may take a mountain to crush his ego. Lynne was stuck with the complete opposite affliction, overcome by sloth. Luckily we were able to destroy these creatures and their magic had no long lasting effect. Undaunted we pushed on.

Eventually we came upon a house that looked like a huge spider hanging over the ravine. Flint attempted to climb down to the spider house but lost his balance and landed in the fast moving river below. With the use of his magical rope Goblin was able to rescue Flint and get him to the spider house safely. Searching the house turned up nothing but a strange chest. The odd device was larger on the inside than it appeared as poor Volodomir soon found out. As he stuck his hand inside the chest, searching for a vase to help us save the women and child, the magical box swallowed him. We looked to the Imp to help us free Volodomir but this creature was of no use. Thankfully the quick thinking of Flint saved the day and together we were able to stop Volodomir from suffocating -- it took eight arms to make anything inside the chest solid. After finding the vase we knew it was time to return.

At this point the Imp proved its usefulness, telling us that this house was indeed a spider like structure we could use as a transport to cover more ground. We must have been quite the sight for anyone wandering by. Arriving at the inn we gave the vase to the gypsies but thought it best to wait outside as the exorcism was performed. Waiting, we prayed for salvation but planned for damnation. Sadly, events went as we assumed they would and after the screams stopped we entered the bedroom. Once in the room we saw all of the gypsies dead and a ghastly hag covered in blood. Through our combined efforts we were able to defeat her but not without severe cost to Flint. With time his face will heal but we were blessed that no soul was lost to damnation that day.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Session 29: The Gall Crone


The party had just defeated the decidedly non-vegetarian werebats, including their leader, El Aviador, taking some heavy damage and expending a lot of resources in the process. The party took some time to search their lair, finding a nice tiara for Volodemir in the process. Alarmingly, they also felt a sickly feeling as the castle began to fall from the sky as whatever arcane power held it aloft wore off. Wasting only a little time, the party bolted for the rope they had used to ascend, with Lynnya leading the way. They all climbed down the now sagging silk ropes as the castle and rock below plunged into the water. They then kept running to avoid the inevitably large splash it produced. Standing clear, they saw the entire structure sink into the lake below.

The party next rested up for a little to pray to remove the curse from Flint to avoid dealing with any unexpected consequences of the werebat bites he suffered, then made back for the inn in the forest. After checking on the horses, the exhausted party went to bed for a well deserved rest. On waking, however, the inn seemed a bit creepier than before. Dark rain fell outside to intermittent thunder. The innkeeper was in denial, however, claiming that the lighting of black candles and setting of knives point up were merely local customs. Hearing screaming and seeing a woman coming by with bloody towels sealed the deal for the party to intervene, however.

Upstairs, they found a woman in a birthing bed, but where a pregnant belly would be, instead there was a large parasitic gall. She said her name was Jedza, and claimed that there was a demon within her that would surely swallow her soul when it emerged and begged us to help her by retrieving a special jug from her sister nearby. Flint recalled the bizarre wizard creation that is a magic jar and asked the woman how having one would help her now. She said she was far more concerned with her soul being devoured than her body destroyed. Tucking that info away for now and hopefully remembering to warn his comrades about the danger this plan entailed later, Flint held his peace. He would research whether protection from evil would suffice as a defense/deterrent later.

A gall
 She claimed that some other gypsies had been sent for it but had not returned. Another woman was nursing a sick child, and claimed that they wanted the woman to survive so she could cure the babe. A little disturbed by all the demonry and unlicensed and decidedly secular medical practice, Flint decided to cast a spell to cure the cut on the woman's abdomen, and provide a potion of keoghtosis to the babe. As a precaution, he left behind an additional one for the demon hostess, to prolong her survival if the party were delayed.

In order to get to the sister's house, they were warned that a magical seal would not let them pass without the woman's imp familiar by their side as the party was not family. The dying woman produced a cage from the innkeep's wooden leg and handed it to Goblin.

After some debate, the party hurried off to find the sister to retrieve the jar to store the woman's soul while they would do what needed to be done with the demon and her body. In the woods along the way, they found a man dressed in gypsy clothes clinging to some vines and badly injured. Assuming he was being pulled into a bog or quicksand, they went around and pulled him to safety. He confirmed that he had been sent on the same errand and was attacked by some horrible lizards. He was confident that he could make it back to the inn unharmed and set off to return.


Not long after, the party came across a centaur graveyard and some unruly centaur skeletons attacked. The party dispatched them with a combination of bludgeoning and magic and kept going towards the location of the sister's home. Along the way, they met a suicidal centaur with some form of body dysmorphic disorder. They managed to talk the creature out of suicide and attempted to enlist its help on the mission at hand. Hopefully within a few hours, the jar will be in the hands of the party and a plan will be hatched for how to deal with the demon and its hostess. [Surely, nothing else will happen to complicate things! -ed.]

Monday, April 10, 2017

Session 28: It'll drive you batty


Bats are curious and magical creatures. Despite their cute and fluffy appearance, they carry many diseases and are much less fun to play with than they appear. As night fell at the inn, we resolved to set a trap for whatever corrupt force plagued our friend Bickle. I dressed myself as Mickle and rode out into the darkness on horseback while the others trailed behind in secret. Otters are very protective of their friends so, naturally, Dmitry was resistant to trailing behind with the others but, with a perturbed chitter, he agreed.

Everything seemed quiet at first but then, as a cloud obscured the moon, I heard a high pitched shrieking and a loud flapping sound swooping down toward me. I narrowly dodged to the side as two were-man-bat monsters tried to grab me. I quickly found my voice and screamed for the others to spring their attack while the were-man-bats hovered overhead. I then conjured a cloud of choking vapors amidst the creatures. While one of them managed to keep its focus, the other was taken by the vapors and, retching and convulsing, plummeted to the ground. While Lynnya loosed arrows at the flying were-man-bat, to reduced effect, Flint charged forward to attack the grounded monster. As Goblin unleashed magical fire, our new friend Marcus unexpectedly brandished a giant weasel from a small pouch and tossed it at the grounded were-man-bat.

So distracted was I by the sudden appearance of the giant weasel that I was taken unawares when the flying were-man-bat caught me in its talons and prepared to wing me to certain doom. Rallying, my friends mounted a vicious attack against the creature until I was able to thrust upward with all my might to end this threat. Meanwhile, Flint worked to destroy the other, which had since recovered from my spell. The creature, in a flutter of wings and fangs, managed to bite the dwarf, no doubt hoping to corrupt the cleric with its impurity but, due to his stalwart nature, he merely growled and bashed the monster to a pulp.

Bloodied but victorious, with Goblin hoisting the bodies of the were-man-bats on either shoulder, we returned to the inn. Upon our return, we found the corpses had shed their batty attributes and had become men. We questioned the innkeeper and other patrons on the identities of the two men thus revealed and were told they, though somewhat malformed, resembled a certain Erik and Ted.

Not seeing Pickle among the crowd in the inn, we decided to visit his room and inform that he was now safe. To our horror, we discovered the window had been smashed in and Bickle was nowhere to be found. We ran outside to scan the horizon to no avail. Luckily, several passersby informed us they had seen what looked like large birds flying to the northwest.

We gave chase, tracking the were-man-bats and our dear friend Mickle into the forest. After a hard day of travel, we came upon a clearing with a small lake at its center. To our astonishment, a keep, darkened and decrepit with age, hovered fifty feet above the waters. As if from thin air, a large raven appeared on Marcus’ shoulder. With a few words of instruction, the raven flew up to the keep to anchor a rope.

Flint was the first to begin the arduous climb up the rope. He was nearly at the top when a great cry sounded over the glade and its source, a giant eagle, plummeted toward the dwarf. Surprisingly nimble for a boulder with feet and hands, the dwarf managed to scramble the rest of the way up the rope, though not before sustaining a sizable wound from the attacking eagle. Meanwhile, the rest of us began our own climb (except Dmitry, who patrolled the lake). Flint summoned a hammer of light and faith to harass the eagle as we climbed, distracting the raptor from its prey. Though the climb was difficult, we were all able to reach the floating keep intact and, by the time we got there, the threat of the giant eagle was no more.

Making our way into the decrepit keep, we began searching for our friend Bickle. The guard towers, ruined and decaying, were empty so we made our way into the courtyard and the keep proper. We came upon a room where the floor and part of the wall had collapsed in, possibly as the keep was ripped from the ground. In the room below, there was a great pile of refuse and the half eaten remains of what used to be an ogre. Goblin carefully climbed down to the lower floor to see if there was anything salvageable within the remains. Unfortunately, his movements stirred the scavengers, hiding within the refuse, that had feasted upon the ogre and a pack of ghouls emerged.

No stranger to the cravings of the wretched undead, Goblin called upon his faith to castigate the creatures, causing three of them to cower, huddled in a corner of the room as far from the Goliath as possible. The damned hunger of the other two helped them overcome their fear and attack. A quick spell of thunderous potency obliterated the three cowering in the corner while an axe and arrows raining down from above felled the remainder.

Continuing our search for Pickle, we came upon the Great Hall of the ruined keep. There, seated at a large table, with flickering candles casting shadows over them ominously, were two more of the were-man-bat monsters. While one of them, with an air of gentility, plucked pieces of mango from a platter of fruit, the other sipped from a bowl of red, viscous liquid that I hoped was gazpacho but feared was not. To our surprise, the were-man-bat eating mango eloquently introduced himself as El Aviador, and his companion, Bob. They invited us to their table. While Marcus and I sat and chatted at the table, the two clerics quickly made for the kitchen, hoping for a sign of Mickle. Instead of Bickle, they found a human chef stirring a large kettle of boiling red liquid over a fire. He greeted them warmly and, seeing their discomfort with the kettle, assured them that it was only animal blood and, regrettably, claimed he had not seen any sign of Pickle’s whereabouts.

Goblin and Flint rejoined us at EL Aviador’s table where we briefly discussed the nature of were-man-bats. Eventually, the conversation turned to our dear missing friend, Mickle. Sympathetic, El Aviador gave us free reign of the keep to search for Bickle and sent Bob with us as guide. Our first stop was back at the kitchen where we questioned the cook once again. As conversation turned to the pantry, the room became tense. As we made for the pantry door, Bob and the chef attacked. Once again conjuring his magical weapon, Flint harassed Bob with it and then withdrew to meet El Aviador in the Great Hall who, hearing the commotion, was moving in to flank us. Meanwhile, I once again proved my comedic prowess and incapacitated the chef in fits of hilarity. Bob uttered the words of a spell and his fingers began to crackle with electricity. Just then, Marcus hissed a word of power and the corona of electricity Bob held suddenly winked out of existence. Marcus then threw the giant weasel at him for good measure. Out in the Great Hall, Flint fought El Aviador but the creature was a skilled combatant. Maneuvering through the dwarf’s defenses, the were-man-bat sank its fangs into the cleric. This time, the dwarf was not so lucky as he felt the creature’s plague wash over him.  The battle was fierce but, with perseverance, we were able to prevail and, at the end, three were-man-bats were no more.

Suspicious of their sudden tension at our interest in the pantry, we searched it and there, at last, found our friend Mickle. In conclusion, as I said in the beginning, bats are cute and fluffy but much less fun to play with than they would appear. They are best avoided if possible and never to be trusted if confronted.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Marcus the Red Warlock


Marcus was born a noble, but as a third son he was almost universally ignored. His education certainly is left wanting, and he often doesn't grasp exactly how everything works having himself never needing to know anything as he lounged his days away in his family's castle. Eventually however boredom gets the better of him and he starts asking questions of their fiefdom that people don't appreciate, and quite by accident he learns how his noble family has stayed in power by rather dark means, mainly worshiping Mephistopheles. His family brings him to Mephistopheles as an offering. Mephistopheles however sees a charming, rather athletic, and most importantly easily influenced mark and strikes a deal with him, form a pact and become a warlock and he will continue his support for his family. He gladly accepts, realizing the alternative would most likely be murder at his family's hands and tries to take his new found power and find a use for it. He is given an imp as a familiar to be his guiding 'conscience' and he goes out into the world for the first time.

Asmodeus and the Devils

When Hadeth rebelled, and was cast out of heaven, many of the powerful spirits joined her in her rebellion. These spirits had many different reasons -- Asmodeus thought that he could bring a stronger order out of the chaos she would create, one that had him as it's master. Dispater out of loyalty to the dark general. And Mephistopheles out of resentment of the new order that Fayon had created after his ascension. During the war, especially as it grew more desperate, Hadeth grew more crazed, seeking allies wherever she could find them -- most infamously, Miska the Wolf Spider. The devils grew more and more concerned, but they would do nothing. They had, after all, sworn her oaths. They served her loyally during the war, but once she was imprisoned in Hades, they did not believe serving her would bring any more gains. So under Asmodeus's leadership, they crafted realms in the underworld they called hells, and seek to increase their power by corrupting creation.

When they are not engaged in creating enormously complex plots of betrayal and counter-betrayal, the devils are trying to corrupt souls. The economy of hell runs on souls, but the only way devils can get souls is to convince a mortal to freely agree to give theirs up to them (typically, a soul is claimed by Hades upon death). Fortunately for the devils, men are greedy and short-sighted, and are often willing to make a deal. Asmodeus has proven adept at maintaining power despite many upheavals.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Session 27: The Otter-Tack of Senet


Last week the Abolitionists went back into the crypt to finally put to rest whatever was causing the undead infestation. They made their way past the pillar of salt that were the remains of a woman and into a room with multiple alcoves.

Mattock had been keeping to the shadows and once he entered the room he saw three ghostly shapes. Not wanting to waste his opportunity he took a shot at one of the apparitions dealing a bit of damage. Now alerted to their presence the specters turned their attention to the Abolitionists and a fight ensued.

One of the ghosts moved up and let out an unearthly yell to Mattock who had struck the banshee. This was enough to cause him to keel over in fright falling unconscious. As well as causing Volodemir, Gilyf, and Lynnya to flee in terror. Volodemir and Lynnya managed to regain their bearings and turn back to fight quickly so as not to leave Flint on his own. Gilyf however ran for quite sometime before finding his courage and turning back around.

Volodemir gave some healing words to Mattock while Flint summoned spirit guardians to help them defeat the ghosts. Mattock barely had time to stand when the undead let out another terrible scream, this time giving Mattock a fatal heart attack. Volodemir was able to recover and the group fought back against the banshees and specter, finally besting them.

Upon inspection of the crypt Volodemir found tack suitable for a giant otter, and the group made their way back to the inn to recover from the ordeal.

Inside the inn they encounter Marcus, a robed individual who seemed to be talking to himself. He smells ever so faintly of sulfur and happily introduced himself as a warlock currently without work. The Abolitionists were down a man and Marcus seemed charming, if not a little dull, and invited him along.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Session 26: Go West Young Man!


Following their defeat of the Fyrsnaca, the Abolitionists decided to go west in search of the priestess of Lyanna who could teach them the language of the Blink Dogs. Their first obstacle, however, was the large swamp just west of Roskilde. The first day of travel was uneventful, but on the second day, they came across a giant otter under attack by a small group of skeletons. The skeletons were easily dispersed, thanks to the power of Adreham, but it seemed the otter wanted to tell them something.
They followed the gestures and chirping of the giant otter, and there they found the trail the skeletons left. The trail led through the swamp to a small mausoleum. The mausoleum was empty, but stairs set between two sarcophagi led deeper into the darkness.

Flint walked fearlessly up to investigate the coffins, and was rewarded for his courage by a bite from a bone naga! The naga and its partner attacked, and a fierce fight ensued, but the Abolitionists were victorious. They then proceeded deeper into the grave, down a staircase labeled with a single word: SENET. At the bottom of the stairs, they found a few side rooms, including one containing the vestments for a priestess of Kilmar. In the main room of the tomb, there was a large sarcophagus, but the tomb was empty, guarded only by a pit trap. However, a couple of natural looking tunnels led deeper into the barrow.

In a large chamber to the left, they fought two spider demons, tougher than the ones they fought several months ago. In another chamber, this time to the right, two umber hulks awaited and were easily defeated. There was still, however, one path to explore, leading upwards into an area of finished stone, and at the base of the path, a stone pillar shaped like a woman screaming, running from that path.

Session 25: Defeating the Fyrsnaca

The records are lost as to the details of the defeat of the Fyrsnaca and the restoration of Thunderdelve to the Brakespear dwarves. It is said that the ancient spirit Chalcidar told the heroes of the secret's of the Heirstone, and they used its power to defeat the vile wyrm, sending whatever bandits had taken up residence in the fortress fleeing to the hills.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Fyrsnaca

The Fyrsnaca is a wyrm native to the cold north, often found in the vicinity of hot springs and volcanoes, which it uses to reproduce. When it enters its reproductive cycle, every 100 years, it dives deep into the heat to lay a sac of eggs. It then stays with the eggs for 25 years until they hatch into the immature state of the Fyrsnaca, a clutch of red worms. During this period, the Fyrsnaca cannot survive outside of the heated water or lava, and it is quite irritable as it cannot hunt. Otherwise it is a fearsome predator, eating polar bear, seal, and whatever else it can get its teeth around. The Nords view the killing of a Fyrsnaca alone to be an exceptional deed, and often if there is a kingship crisis, at least one of the contenders will go Fyrsnaca hunting.

Fyrsnaca
AC: 15 HP: 138 Speed: 60'
Str: +4 Dex: +1 Con: +5 Int: -1 Wis: 0 Cha: +1
Saves: Dex: +4 Con: +8 Cha: +4
Perception +3
Damage: Immune to natural fire, resists magical fire
CR: 8

Actions:
Multiattack Bite/Crush
Bite +9, reach 10' 3d12+6 piercing
Crush +9 3d12+6 bludgeoning
Breath:
Fire, 30' line, 5'. Recharge 5-6
11d8 fire damage, Dex(14) for half.

Originally printed in XS2: Thunderdelve Mountain, by William Carlson, (c) TSR (1985). This content produced under the Open Game License and may only be used under and in terms of that license. The license can be viewed here.

Open Game License v 1.0a Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, LLC. System Reference Document 5.1 Copyright 2016, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Chris Perkins, Rodney Thompson, Peter Lee, James Wyatt, Robert J. Schwalb, Bruce R. Cordell, Chris Sims, and Steve Townshend, based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Singing Sword


It is well known that Alexander enjoyed singing while he explored, There is nothing he loved more than striding through the forests of the north, belting out a popular tavern song or a church hymn with equal vigor. What is less well known is that Kilmar, his frequent companion, was completely tone deaf. Alexander desired someone who could accompany him when they were traveling, so he created the Singing Sword.


The Singing Sword is a Longsword +1. When it is attuned to a character, that character can make the sword begin singing as a bonus action. While the sword is singing, the character has advantage on savings throws made against musical attacks and disadvantage on stealth rolls. She also gains +2 uses of bardic inspiration, if she is a bard.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Pre-Session 26 Rumors


Following their success in claiming Thunderdelve for Law and Civilization, the abolitionists returned to Roskilde. Things are bustling in the port town, and they heard the following rumors.

Kobold raids from the south are getting worse. They seem bolder than normal.
Somewhere in the east lies a singing sword. Supposedly the Lorelei knows where it is.
A giant otter has been seen in the swamp to the west.
The feast of Fayon the Barber is on Solsday.
The forest to the west is home to many strange things, including a priestess of Lyanna who is an expert in various exotic languages.


Sunday, March 5, 2017

Tika Waylan

It's been a while, and I should port more of the recipes from my food blog to this one, but here's the latest D&D themed cocktail: the Tika Waylan! While I was cleaning my bar, I noticed two ounces of lemon vodka in the back, taking up space next to some Chambord. I thought it would be worth trying them together, and getting rid of a large bottle in the bargain. It turned out okay, though not great. I added some mezcal to give it depth and tie it together, but perhaps some creme de cacao would have been better. Nonetheless, here it is for you drinking pleasure. Feel free to share ideas for improvement in the comments!

Tika Waylan
2 oz lemon vodka
1/2 oz Chambord
1/2 oz Mezcal (I used Zignum reposado)
2 dashes Peychaud's bitters

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Session 24: Behind the Crystal Waterfall

Having killed the worms, Flint was able to retrieve the hammer at the crystal bridge. After a short rest to allow Flint to become familiar with the new weapon, the group continued through the dwarven keep. The group made its way slowly south, going through many a burnt and rotten door and taking great care not to set off traps or to walk into an ambush. Deep inside the keep the group entered a room where the floor had collapsed. Not able to see the bottom of the cavern the group smelt the rot coming from the dark abyss below. Along the way the group came across some ghouls and shadow demons but with the gods' help and a strong arm they were able to dispatch the foe. Eventually the group reached a dead end and were forced to turn back. Seizing on the opportunity the group decided to head back via a different route. They returned to a series of doors they had recently passed, finding that the last door was rotten and hanging from its hinges. Assuming that this was the work of a fire breathing beast somewhere in the keep the group entered into the room. They found themselves in a very large room with three exits and a giant statue of a dwarf in the middle. As they headed for one of the exits the statue turned suddenly and attacked. Not wanting to fight, the group ran towards the exit but the goliath wasn't quick enough to evade the stony grasp of the statue. Asking Vassa to intercede on his behalf Goblin cursed the statue and hit it with a thunderous strike. The statue released it's grip on Goblin and he took the opportunity to catch up with the group, which meanwhile had fled to a set of stairs leading to a double doorway.  Where this leads we shall soon find out.....

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Session 23: Thunderdelve Mountain


Finally after a bit of regrouping the Abolitionists decided to enter the lost dwarven mine of Thunderdelve. Following Flint's friend's advice they bypassed the front entrance for a hidden staircase down into the mines. 

The stairs were roughly hewed and caused several of the party members to trip and fall down into a bedroom. The furnishings appeared at one time to be nice, but without any upkeep the years had aged them taking away any value they might have had. Flint noticed the headboard was askew and pried a piece off revealing a hidden stash of gems and a vial labeled "poison." He put that away for later investigation. 

The party then moved down into the next room, which was similar to the one they had just left except half of the room looked to have been torn up by something. The party investigated, with Gylif checking out the destroyed half when what they thought had been a pile of furs turned out to be an emaciated bear. Mattock surprised fired an arrow that went well wide. Volodemir attempted to talk to the bear offering it food, but the bear in its crazed state attacked. The bear was quickly dispatched without injury to the party and they ventured out into a hallway.

Image result for flat bear



Listening at a door Flint heard some talking, and the party decided to open it, hoping to find non-hostile people inside. Instead they found a group that was very clearly bandits. Volodemir cheerfully introduced himself, but the bandits appeared to be readying weapons in response, so Flint slammed the door shut. The party took up strategic positions around the door waiting to see if the bandits would follow them, but after about 5 minutes of waiting they determined the bandits weren't going to walk into their trap. They peeked back into the room to find it empty. 

Deciding to make sure they weren't getting flanked they opened the door opposite from the bandits. Inside they found another bedroom, this time appearing a bit more lived in. Upon a bit of searching they found a page boy hiding under the bed, and Mattock found a chest that had been trapped, after moving the chest away from the pitfall he opened it finding a bit of valuables as well as a small silk bag that contained a ring. Mattock passed over the valuables for safekeeping, but curiosity got the better of him and he slipped on the wolf ring. The party tried to get information from the page, but all they discovered is he was kept there by a red faced man, possibly a bandit leader, who trained wolves. Promising to come back to free the page, the party moved on to the next door in the previous hallway. 

As Flint went to open the door it was pulled open causing him to fall and end up surrounded by four bandits. They looked at the party and said since they were on break if they were each given 50 gold, they would forget they saw the party. Flint agreed and stood up, and immediately starting attacking. The bandits were hardly a match for the party and once again they were taken care of with no injuries on the part of the group. They searched the room and found a bit of scattered coin, but nothing of interest. 

Finally they went back into the hallway and went to open the final door, finding there was yet another pitfall trap in front of it. The party dodged this trap and opened the final door. Inside they found a grand hallway, the floor was ruby quartz, and there was a bridge passing between two waterfalls. As they walk by this bridge Flint noticed a gleam in the waterfall and fished in finding a golden ladle connected with a mithril chain. The ladle said "drink" in dwarven, so after a moment hesitation Flint did drink, his wounds closed and he felt better and re-energized. Each of  He party then drank to feel the effects, with Mattock filling a flask from the ladle, just in case the magic would hold. 



They passed through the next door finding a collapsed bridge across a pit. Gylif being athletic made the jump, but in doing so more of the bridge crumbled and fell into the pit. Mattock, using his roof climbing skills, took a running jump and managed to just clear the gap. As soon as he looked up he saw a ghoul like creature in the mist reaching for Gylif. Shouting a warning Gylif looked up and turned undead, causing whatever creature it was to flee. With the two of them on the other side of the pit they were able to support a rope and let the other scale across. 

From there they opened a blackened door finding an armory and another bridge. Inside however were two more ghouls. Volodemir threw a bead of force, trapping on, while the other was taken down with some arrows and fire. The trapped one was pushed down into the pit. While they didn't find anything interesting in the armory, Flint noticed a hammer across the bridge. He rushed toward it, pushing the others out of the way, recognizing it as the Hammer of Sorin. Before he could reach for it several worms popped out of the ground biting him, he took a couple bites, but he was able to fend them off with some help from the party. Finally he reached up and claimed the Hammer of Sorin as his own, as Gylif looked on with envy. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Session 23: Onward to Roskilde

[Sorry for the brief post, but work has been busy, and the session was rather uneventful.]

Once they arrived in Darkshelf, the Abolitionists met with Arquestan, who told them of his search for the Rod of Seven Parts. He indicated that he was unable to find the Rod in Darkshelf, so the party might want to check in Roskilde. Alternatively, there was a cleric of Ryanna in the forest to the west who was able to teach Volodemir the language of the blink dogs. 

They decided to head to Roskilde, to the northeast, on the shore of Whitewater Bay. Just as they were settling in to town, an old apprentice of Flint ran up to them, telling them that the fabled city of Thunderdelve had been found! However, it was now occupied by darker things, and they could use the abolitionist's help in liberating the settlement. So of course the party got on a boat, to see what they could find on Thunderspire Island. The trip was uneventful, and they quickly arrived at a ramshackle village at the foot of the island. The entrance to Thunderdelve was about 20 miles north of town, and they got there around nightfall. The group settled in for the evening, preparing for their delve in the morning.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Session 22: Clearing out the stockade


Following the flight of Markessa, the party considered resting to be the better part of valor. While they camped, they met a roguish fellow named Mattick, whose own hatred of the slavers led him to want to work with the party. The first door they opened led to a suite of rooms. They entered the first room on the right, and found it contained an alchemist busy at work. "Hello, I am Volodemir," they greeted him, and he turned around with a quizzical look. "Aye, and what be ye wanting?" "We are looking for Markessa. Do you know where here rooms are?" "Nae, no sensible creature would be wanting to go there willingly. But I think they may be to the south." Volodemir thanked him and left.

They went south, all the way to a natural cavern, where they saw drow loading up a caravan. They backed away slowly, and instead entered one of the doors on the east side of a hallway. There was a busy kitchen behind it, and the chefs didn't seem to take notice of the party. Turning to the other side of the hallway, they entered a nicely appointed room, occupied by none other than Markessa! They moved to attack. Markessa managed to get off one volley of magic missiles before she lay dead at their feet. In the rooms that followed, they killed a beautiful elven male in a training room, and eventually came to a secret door. They couldn't open it, so Gyfli smashed it open with his mighty shoulder.

Behind the door was a lavishly decorated room, where clearly no expense was spared. In a corned was a wall safe, which Mattick was able to pick. Inside, there was some treasure, largely in the form of expensive jewelry. They found another secret door, but were unable to open it. To the north of this suite of rooms, they found the slaves. The slave pen had three rows of five-foot cells, and three larger cells on the north end of the room. All except the very northwestern cell were filled with slaves, and orcs oversaw the slaves from a platform on the western end of the room. Gyfli charged forward while Lynnya and Mattick loosed arrows, and the orcs were swiftly slain. The party forced the chefs in the kitchen to provide them with food, which very few of the slaves threw up. From there, they left the stockade the way they came in, and traveled back to Darkshelf.

On the way back to Darkshelf, however, they paused. Some sort of thunder, or an earthquake, was making everything quiver. Volodemir was the first to spot it -- a stone giant, lumbering towards them through the hills. "Hello, I am Volodemir," was the first thing out of his mouth, though he couldn't avoid a slight quaver.

"Hello, children of men. I am Rodimus."

"H-hello, Rodimus, what brings you out of your mountains?"

"I seek the rod of seven parts."

"A rod?"

"Yes, it is a potent symbol of Law. In the first demon war, Mishka was one of Hadeth's great generals, a powerful leader of the armies of Chaos. Soren smote him with the rod, and imprisoned him in limbo. Only the rod can free him, and only the rod can slay him. His minions, the demon spyders, are here seeking for it. So I also seek it, so that Mishka might be slain and chaos weakened. Will you help?"

At the mention of Law and Chaos, Gyfli perked up, and now speaking for the group, "Of course, just tell what we must do." "Go to Darkshelf," Rodimus replied. "There visit Arquestan, an elf who has been working with us to find the rod. He will guide you." There the party took their leave, and made their way back to Darkshelf.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Session 21: First Fight with Markessa

Having learner of the lower levels of the keep and assuming we had dispatched all of the hobgoblins, our group pushed on. Galathil rejoined the group after having kept watch in the keeps tower and was quickly brought up to speed on events and our new adventurer.

Markessa
Expecting an ambush, the party set themselves up in a defensive order prepared for battle. Clearing as they went through the hallways the group came upon a set of double doors. Bursting through the doors we were horrified to see two mutated looking humans and in the distance a female elf and a group of goblins. Seeing the cursed creatures that attacked his village and kidnapped him, Gylfi sprang to action. Knowing that the elf presented the greater danger, Gylfi asked the gods to burn her with holy magic. Alerted to our presence the female elf hurled a bolt of lightning at the doors killing one of the mutants and striking the group. Only Volodemir had moved and was poised to react. Galathil had other plans and thought to communicate with his elven sister, but was soon cut down by a second bolt of lightning. The goblins attacked with bows and we were fully engaged in combat. When the tides of battle seemed in our favor, our dwarven companion decided to engage the female elf directly. At this point two owlbears came out of hiding to join the fray, immediately engaging with Gylfi and Volodemir. As Lynnya was busy picking off goblins, Flint was forced to fight Markessa on his own.

Eventually we were able to subdue our enemy, but before we could deal the final blow Markessa fled leaving a stinking cloud to stymie out pursuit. But she didn't count on the hardiness of dwarves! Flint was able to pursue. In his haste to defeat Markessa he took little head of his wellbeing and was almost defeated and left for dead when Lynnya killed Markessa with an arrow.

Patching up Flint and saying goodbye to our dead we decided to rest and recoup, sadly though luck was not on our side. A group of goblins came to retrieve the mutated humans and found us and their dead kin instead. Defeating them easily we realized that we could not remain here with little cover and strength to repel a large force. Onward me move but to where?

Mattick


Mattock grew up a street urchin in a relatively small town. His father was an adventurer who was just passing through, as he was told by the towns people; his mother was a woman of ill-repute, and still spends most of her time hanging out at taverns trying to get drinks out of adventurers. This meant that early on he had to fend for himself. And in time he began to become an accomplished thief, well practiced in the arts of stealth, thieves' tools, and persuasion.

But as his skills increased so did his his sense of morality. He only stole from those who could afford it, and killed those who deserved it, but at a certain point the town was too small, and everything was too easy.

So Matt struck out on his own as an adventurer. Specializing in helping parties who needed a deft hand at picking locks or disarming traps, while trying to avoid any close combat he trained his skills even further. Until he went into a dungeon with a group of adventurers who found in the bottom of a keep a group of slaves. Horrified by a group stealing freedom from others, an ideal Matt valued almost more than anything he convinced his party to follow the trail and disrupt the slavers operation.

However as they tracked the slavers they caught on they were being followed and his party was ambushed and taken down quickly while he was still hiding in the shadows. Swearing revenge he decided to track down any slavers where ever they may be and kill them. But he has been keeping his eye out for any skilled adventurers who can handle themselves in a fight.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Session 20: Showdown with Icar

Having slaughtered some 30 hobgoblins in this small hallway, the group was face to face with their leader, a huge hobgoblin with a greatsword and full platemail. Standing behind two nervous hobgoblin footsoldiers and a burly lieutenant, he took to once more threatening Dyn-Bach, Volodemir, Flint, and Lynnya. Volodemir took the opportunity to snatch some beads that caught his eye among the piles of corpses.

Recognizing them as magical and being out of spells, he threw one in the midst of the enemy. A magical forcefield erupted, killing one of the front line outright, and trapping the leader in an impenetrable bubble. Lynnya shot the other frontliner and after a short fight the party had taken out the lieutenant. The leader was fleeing, however, and he would soon be free from his force field. Remembering the layout of the keep, Flint took advantage of a secret door and circled around in front of the retreating leader, cutting off his means of egress. After about 30 seconds of tense waiting, during which Dyn-Bach wound his crossbow with one hand, the party got ready their attacks for when the shield would fall. Though outnumbered and surrounded, the hobgoblin's leader was a formidable opponent, matching the party's attacks with a whirlwind of parries and attacks. After severely wounding Dyn-Bach, he managed to find a gap in his armor and drove his greatsword home, felling the paladin for the last time.

He nearly felled Flint as well, but for the help of some particularly vicious mockery from Volodemir distracting him. Desperately praying to Adreham, Flint drank his potion of superior healing, rallied and finally dealt the killing blow.

With the massive battle over, the surviving party members looked at the massive hobgoblin riddled with arrows in the joints of his armor as he dissolved into plant matter. All gravely wounded, they barricaded themselves in the store room they cleared earlier and patched themselves up. They said their prayers, set their watch order and warily took turns sleeping. Luckily, the night passed uneventfully and with a renewed purpose, they set out to discover what was wrong with the slaves in the room where the cloaker attacked Dyn-Bach. The death of the cloaker and a night's rest appeared to have restored their wits, especially one massive goliath who seemed rather unfazed by the experience. Gylfi introduced himself as a paladin of Vassa, goddess of tempest. Though disarmed by his captors, he was able to make use of the hobgoblin leader's plate mail and fashion himself a crude holy symbol. He was strangely optimistic that he could help the party clear the remainder of the keep, though there were darker goings on in the layers below. After introductions were made, the newly formed alliance passed through a door that had been blocked by the cloaker and shortly heard the sounds of a hammer and anvil.

The rhythm of the hammering was all wrong. There was no distinctive double strike, the uneven roars of the flame indicated shoddy work at the bellows. It was all too much for Flint. He turned the corner and yelled, "You're doing it wrong!" What he saw was a dirty human working a pathetic sharp piece of metal that barely met the definition of a sword, with two orcs assisting him. The "smith" admitted his inferior skill and agreed that dwarven craftsmanship was second to none. With the work of charming the man out of the way, Flint asked him what he was doing here and what there was to expect in the rest of the keep. The smith told the party what he knew, which was that Icar was the boss on this level and he would be in the kitchens, and impossible to sneak up on. Pressed for more detail, he said he didn't know what went on below, only that slaves were taken there and never came back. He did admit to knowing that there was a hidden ambush room at the bottom of the stairs leading down to the next level. As a thanks for his help, Flint agreed to spare the man and in the interest of civilization and the art of metal working, said that after the keep was secured, he would arrange for some job training for the man with the guild.

Knowing the location of Icar but not knowing a way past, the group walked down the hall past a number of doors, and went straight for the kitchen doors. Beyond, there was the sound of fire and loud laughter. Throwing open the door, the group saw a huge ebon human roasting a lizard head over an open flame. He was wearing a helm without any eye-slit and was cackling. Seated at a table were three ugly redhaired men and there were eight hobgoblins arrayed around the room. Gylfi immediately proved the power of his faith, with thunderwaves and a particularly powerful shatter spell. Lynnya focused on Iccan right away and with Volodemir's help took him out before he could do much more than kick a giant wine barrel at the doorway. The men transformed in to were-boars and charged the party, goring and attacking with mauls in turn. The hobgoblins proved difficult to hit and it took a good amount of time to pick them off. Frustrated, and realizing that the were-boars could not be harmed by mundane weapons, Flint summoned his spirit guardians to help sweep the room of monsters.

After the fight, the group searched the body of Icar and found a note in a form of raised text for the blind man that divulged the location of a nearby holding area for slaves.The party got ready to descend to the next level, knowing full well that an ambush awaited them from a hidden room by the stairs...

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Gyfli, Goliath Cleric of Vassa


Gylfi of clan Katho-Olavi is not your typical cleric. At nearly eight feet tall he looks like he should be leading his troops into battle. However the gods had a different plan for him.

Gylfi was born into one of the few permanent Goliath settlements. He spent his childhood learning how to fight and trading with a local settlement of hill dwarves. Both settlements were under constant attack by tribes of goblins seeking to acquire their rich farmland and mining resources. On one such attack his use of a hammer to smash the heads of goblins earned him the moniker Goblin Skullcrusher.

Shortly before Gylfi reached adulthood the clans of hill dwarves and goliaths decided to come together to destroy the goblins once and for all. While fighting to protect the hill dwarf settlement Gylfi found himself outnumbered. As he was overwhelmed by the little beasts a bolt of lightning suddenly flew out of his body and struck down several of them. Before being completely routed the little beasts cursed Gylfi and swore vengeance on him. Realizing he had been chosen by the gods, Gylfi took up a new path and became an acolyte of Vassa.