Thursday, 19 November 2015

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Halflings...

June 23, 3430, Age of Kings

As Grabby arrived home at the cottage it began to rain. The exhausted, shamed, hung-over, rain-soaked, muddy, naked (he may have eaten his cabbage loin cloth at some point) and love stricken halfling walked in, and threw himself face down on the rug by the smouldering hearth.

Sitting nearby, Ander tried his best to ignore the whining halfling that was complaining about his heartbreak to anyone who would listen (no one). After vomiting into the fire place, Grabby picked himself up and decided he would attempt to win Audry Wachs (we'll call her Miss Wachs to avoid confusion). After calling out Miss Wachs' name several times, this of course awok Audrey from upsatirs who then came down to see what was going on.

Over the course of breakfast—and Ander fashioning a burlap sack into clothing to cover Grabby's shame—Grabby convinced the others to help him get back his belongings. And he would also hope to win back Miss Wachs' affections.

They set out after breakfast and made the hour long trek to West Leedshire. Grabby's first stop was to pick up some clothing—the medieval fantasy equivalent to Gap Kids. Grabby then devised his plan: Ander and Audrey would go past Miss Wach's townhouse to she i she was home while Broak and Grabby stayed out of sight down the street.

Still raining, Ander and Audrey approached the door and saw some halfling-sized leather armour, clothing, and other items piled in the wet, refuse clogged gutter—but his weapons were not present. Carefully tying the wet mess together into a bundle, Audrey knocked at Miss Wachs' door. Eventually Miss Wachs opened the door, perplexed as to why a burly north-woman and an elf would be calling. Audrey confronted her about stealing Grabby's belongings which quickly escalated into Audrey punching Miss Wachs in the face. Seeing the assault, three bystanders ran to Miss Wachs' aid to see what was going on, one of them quickly ran off to get the local watch.

After a tense standoff while Miss Wachs struggles to try to close the door on her assailant, two memebr of the watch and a sergeant showed up to break up the scuffle and determine what was going on. Demanding to know why Audrey struck a defenseless citizen, the watch demanded Audrey and Ander drop their weapons—this did not go over well with Ander.

Ander threw the soggy belongins at the sergeant a brief, but non-lethal melee broke out between the watch and Ander and Audrey. Seeing they might be overwhelmed, Ander cast a magical fog over the area, obscuring everything around them in a thick, white fog.

Despite not be able to see one another, the melee continued on between the five of them, and Miss Wachs was finally able to slam shut her door. At one point, the sergeant gained the upper hand and managed to force Ander onto the ground and pin him down in attempt to place manacles on him.

Watching this from down the street, Grabby decided to rush in and help his comrades, while Broak approached from a back alley. Groping blindly, Grabby manged to find his things and even deliver a shocking grasp to one of the watchmen.

While fog shrouded melee carried on, Broak decided to break in through a side window into Miss Wachs' home in hopes of retrieving Grabby's things. Seeing a dwarf smash a window and crawl in, Miss Wachs—naturally—began screaming hysterically. Not wanting to draw any more attention the situation, Broak made an attempt to silence the terrified woman by slamming her over the head with butt of his hammer in hopes of knocking her out. It worked a little too well: he rolled a critical. Miss Wachs fell to the ground unconscious with a bloody gash across her forehead, and due to the arcane nature of his weapon, Broak succumbed to its power (he failed his Wisdom saving throw).

Out on the street, those involved in the street fight could hear the terrified screams of Miss Wachs inside, suddenly cut short, then immediately followed by another, more Dwarfish scream. Broak fell to his knees screaming in emotional agony as he relived that fateful killing blow so long ago. Eventually composing himself  and wiping the tears away from his cheeks and beard, he set about ransacking the home in hopes of finding Grabby's things.

Outside, amid the dense fog, Ander managed to squirm free of the sergeant's grasp and crawl his way out of the fog. Audrey easily evaded the other two guards and ran head-long into a wall before finding her way out. Grabby, with his gear in hand, also managed to feel his way out of the fog. During this time two more watchmen arrived from the south side of the street and couldn't see through the fog and could only hear the angry yells and the confused state of their allies within. Audrey fled through back alleys and met up with the filth-caked Ander, both unaware where their two allies were.

Meanwhile, Grabby disturbed by the horrific scream that came from Broak crept down the space between the two townhouses to peer into Miss Wachs' home, which had a broken window on the first floor. He peered in to see Broak (who had just finished scouring the home and come up empty handed) and Miss Wachs—slumped and motionless with a face covered in blood against the front door. Broak forced his way out the window after convincing Grabby Miss Wachs was just unconscious.

By this time some of the watchmen had organized themselves and started moving out down the back alleys to make their way around the mysterious fog. Just as Broak had pulled himself out the window and was standing next to Grabby one of the watchmen passed by the alley and saw the two standing there—curiously close to the melee that had just occurred. Without hesitation—and the quick thinking worthy of a 90s action film—Grabby grabbed Broak by the face and said, "Quick! Kiss me!" Disturbed by the sight of a dwarf and halfling kissing passionately in a dirty, rain-soaked alley, the watchmen simply yelled out, "'ey! Get outta there!" They had avoided the watchman successfully, and perhaps taken their friendship to a new—and most likely uncomfortable—level.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Grabby Scores!

June 21–23, 3430, Age of Kings

After a quick rest, the party moved down the north hall that ended in double doors, flickering candle light could be seen from between the door cracks. Cautiously opening the door the group gazed into a 20x20 foot room, brightly lit by hundreds of lit candles along the walls. The centerpiece of the room: a massive stone statue of Orcus, Demon Prince of the Dead. Several human skulls were scattered about the bloated demonic statue's cloven feet. Infront of the statue sat a stone altar, stained dark from long dried blood, and sitting atop it: a copper goblet with Orcus' visage carved onto it.

Broak, with great subtlety, decided to approach the altar and bring his warhammer down upon the goblet, smashing it, then exited the room. From here, the rest of the party noticed a wooden chest tucked away into the south-east corner of the room. Opening the chest they found 3 dark, hooded robes—similar to the one worn by the mysterious man in the other room that Ander caught a glimpse of—and 2 heavy iron medallions on chains depicting the icon of Orcus. Odd findings for a goblin lair, indeed.

Taking the robes and medallions with them, the party doubled back to the chamber they had entered through, and continued down the unexplored south hall.

The hall wound around to 2 more rooms that lay in ruin: a small chapel devoted to St. Eliah, now destroyed and desecrated, and a small room that was once the personal chambers of a priest. Finding nothing they headed down a hall that lead further to the south that opened up into the woods.

Satisfied with what they had found, they decided to journey back home for some much needed rest, and to cash in on their sack full of goblin ears.

*   *   *
Deciding to go out and celebrate and resupply, the group left for West Leedshire. Before hitting the taverns, Ander decided it was time to purchase a new war dog, luckily he managed to find one, named Skoobius, and bring it along with him and met up with the others. Deciding to tavern-hop between The Pale Lamb Barroom, The Silver Rose Tavern, and They Grey Cauldron Inn (all randomly generated names, by the way!) to do some drinking, gambling, and other random carousing (ie: I used the carousing random table in the DMG).

Audrey and Broak managed to have an uneventful, but profitable night playing games of chance and even managed to find a new friend named Bartlen Gormell, a local labourer.

Grabby managed to find himself wrapped up in a whirlwind (and drunken) romance with a woman named Audry Wachs, which ended rather poorly the next morning when she awoke to find Grabby trying to leave her townhouse with armfuls of silverware and other bric-a-brac.

Meanwhile, Ander, wanting to take a darker turn, sought out the pleasures of illicit substances—which seemed to have worked. He awoke the next morning, his head pounding, in a barn in the outskirts of the village, his weapons and brand new war dog were nowhere to be seen. It was a long walk back home.

*   *   *

Deciding the previous night was a source of wholesome entertainment, they decided to head into the village of West Leedshire once more for a night of carousing. Not wanting to tempt fate a second time, Ander simply purchased the last available war dog, Skrapeth, and headed back home for a night in.

That night Audrey made out the same as the previous night and Broak manged to make another friend, a visiting dwarf merchant by the name of Baern Krondar. The 2 dwarves headed out on their own and Broak wasn't seen again until the next day.

It seems Grabby didn't learn much from the previous night and sought out Audry Wachs in a desperate attempt to redeem himself... and "git some." He managed to find her and once again the 2 got drunk and wound up back at Audry's home...

*   *   *

Grabby awoke early the next morning in a stinking alleyway strewn with garbage. The horribly hung over halfling then realized he was completely naked, apparently robbed of everything by his vengeful lover. Slowly making his way to his feet, Grabby managed to find a piece of cabbage to cover his shame and fashion himself a makeshift cabbage loincloth. 

Furious with the thought that someone else had Mr. Shiney (his trusted magic dagger) in their possession he made his way back to Audry's home, thankful it was still very early, and few people were in the street this early in the morning. 

Looking through a first floor window he looked inside, and only saw a man, fast asleep on the floor by the smoldering fireplace. Deciding it might be wisest to retreat back home to get some clothes and nurse his hangover (that and it is a well known fact that hungover halflings wearing nothing but a cabbage leaf are not very intimidating) he wandered off down the lonely road back home. 

A small halfling, a giant walk of shame.

Monday, 19 October 2015

A Bad Day for Broak and Grabby

June 21, 3430, Age of Kings

After spending the day in town to resupply and gather themselves, the party set back out to find the goblin burrow in the woods.

After traveling for the day, Ander managed to lead his companions to the entrance. Lighting a lantern the party squeezed down the narrow passageway, clogged with stones and deep tree roots. The pathway twisted and turned as the party pressed on through the claustrophobic space until the found a hole that dropped into a flagstone room. Tied to thick roots were three chains that hung into the chamber below—the means by which the goblins could come and go.

One by one the party descended into the chamber 40 feet below. Once there, they found themselves in a 20 by 20 room, with a corridor leading to the north, and another to the south. From the north, the sound of goblins speaking could just barely be heard—so they headed towards the sound.

Coming around a corner the voices got louder, and the hall descended down a staircase that ended in a set of double doors—the voices were coming from the other side. Several goblins could be heard talking with one another, and another 2 or 3 could be heard squabbling of a game of cards (Ander speaks Goblin). Realizing the goblins were unaware of their presence, the party burst into the room to launch an attack.

Sitting around a table, playing cards, were 4 goblins, and in the far end of the room were another 8 goblins relaxing among a pile of dirty animal furs—jumping to their feet when the doors burst open.

The party launched their attack, with Broak and Audrey leading the way. In an epic—an somewhat comical—feat of agility, Audrey leapt into the fray by launching herself off of Broak's helmeted head with her foot. As they began cutting down the goblins, 2 broke for a corridor that led to the east.

Positioning himself near a group of goblins and the table, Grabby made a gesture with his hand and spoke some arcane words that unleashed a thunderous crack that shook the chamber, dislodging small stones and dirt from the ceiling—and alerting everyone in the area—sending several goblins flying through the air, landing on their backs. In addition, the heavy oak table flipped through the air, sending cards and shillings all over the room. The table landed squarely on a goblin that was knocked onto his back, crushing him with a crunch and a muffled scream.

The 2 goblins that had fled were making their way to a door, and out into a corridor heading to the south. The party tried to chase the 2 down as they fought their way through the goblins, Ander chased them in to the hall just in time to see them escape through another set of doors at the end of the hall. Just before they slammed the doors behind them, Ander got a brief glimpse of what appeared to be a human wearing dark robes move in the room beyond.

With the rest of the goblins laying dead on the floor, the rest of the party spilled into the hall and down to the doors to continue their assault. From the other side of the doors and argument could be heard between what sounded like a human, and deep, gruff voice that spoke with a Goblin accent. 

"We need more time," said the gruff voice.

"We need more, just get it done!" responded the human voice, which followed by the sound of grinding stone.

Not wasting anymore time, the party was about to charge into the room, but the gruff voice, speaking in Goblin, shouted, "Get back out there!" and the doors swung open by 2 goblins suprised to see the party standing right there.

Inside the room were several more goblins, and 3 hulking bugbears. In the room sat a table with a sizable pile of random loot on it.

Ander fell back down the hall to provide cover from a distance as Audrey and Broak fought the goblins hand-to-hand, while Grabby provided support against any that got through. Eventually the bugbears manged to make their way to the front line to engage Broak and Audrey, dealing devastating hits to them both. Broak suffered a horrible cut to his abdomen that bled profusely (House rule: criticals with slashing weapons cause d6 bleeding at the end of a character's turn, unless they use a standard action to staunch the wound).

As hits were delivered between goblins, bugbears, Audrey, Broak and Grabby, a goblin who was lurking in the room made several failed attempts to cast spells on some of the party, who eventually resorted to blasting them with magic missile spells down the hall.

Broak, realizing he was in a bad spot with his wound still bleeding, hastily pulled a vial out labeled "VAPORS" in Dwarvish that he had found from their previous adventure, took a chance and chugged it down. The gambit payed off as is body suddenly became ethereal, and his smokey incorporeal form bagan floating back down the hall away from the battle so he could be healed by Ander. But Broak's tactic quickly turned south, despite being ethereal, his mortal flesh was still bleeding profusely, as he floated back he suddenly felt woozy and passed out from the blood loss—causing his form to revert back to its physical form. Everyone in the hall, ally and foe alike, was shocked to see the dwarf that had just escaped in a puff of smoke suddenly rematerialize just 10 feet away, and fall flat to the ground with a heavy THUD.

As the battle carried on Grabby also fell unconscious from his wounds with, when things looked their darkest, the tables were turned on the Bugbears with some well placed arrows from Ander, and a critical strike from the now raging barbarian, Audrey.

With the bugbears defeated and the few goblins left (that had now retreated into the room) Audrey and Ander roused their uncnoncious friends and led the charge back into the room. They found one goblin trying to grab as much as he could from the loot on the table, and another that was standing in the corner of the room in the opening of an open secret passageway—the spell casting goblin was now already long gone. Killing the goblin in the passageway, the party chased after the last on as he dodged past the party and down the secret hall, but was felled by one of Ander's arrows.

With the battle over, and Audrey very exhausted (she had gone into her barbarian frenzy twice so far), the party looked through the spoils. Finding plenty of coin, some red gems, and an iron ring set with a diamond bearing the icon of the demon prince of the dead, Orcus.

The party decided to find a safe location to rest and heal their wounds...

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Predator and Prey

June 20–21, 3430, Age of Kings

Grabby managed to get close enough to the entrance of the hidden tunnel to hear Ander's response when he called out for him. Ander and Grabby then hid in the narrow passageway and waited for their companions, not daring to call out and reveal their position.

Meanwhile, Broak was (rather foolishly) trying to make it past the dragon to get back to the camp site to reunite with his chainmail as Audrey blindly ran through the darkened forest, avoiding goblins, and more importantly, the angry, acid-breathing dragon. She managed to find a large tree to hide next to as she heard the dragon descend upon an unfortunate goblin—one that happened to be close to the hole. Ander and Grabby hid silently as they heard the dragon tearing the goblin apart just yards away from the entrance to the hole.

By this time Broak had managed to grab his armour and made his way back into the forest, avoiding the dragon's path. As he was doing this, another goblin fleeing the dragon had doubled back to the camp, only to have the dragon come crashing down upon it. The dragon began investigating the campsite, rooting through the things the party had abandoned, and destroying some of their wolf pelts in the process. Both Audrey and Broak were too scared to make move, but knew they had to find the hole where Ander had fallen, but not entirely sure of its exact location.

Feeling pressured to move, knowing the dragon would likely eventually find her, Audrey decided to light a torch and drop it at the base of the tree where she was hiding and make a run for it, hoping the fire would draw the dragon's attention. She ran towards the area of the hole, tripping and stumbling her way through the forest as the dragon turned its attention toward the fire.

Once Audrey was close enough to the hole, she managed to find Ander and squeeze herself into the narrow tunnel with Grabby. Periodically Ander would peek out to look for their dwarven friend, still unsure of his location, having last seen him at the camp site gathering his armour.

Unable to find anything, the dragon took to the air and began circling overhead, looking for its prey. Scanning the forest for movement while Broak stayed hidden, not daring to move, the dragon eventually gave up and flew off into the night.

Lighting a torch and calling out to Broak, Ander managed to get the dwarf back to the party. At this point, exhausted and beaten, they decided to spend the rest of the night sleeping close to the tunnel's entrance in case the dragon returned and needed to make a quick escape.

The next morning they gathered their three viable wolf pelts, collected 11 ears from the fallen goblins, and made their way back home to regroup before returning to the hole to explore what must be the goblins' lair.

They arrived back home in the evening and went to bed.

*   *   *
In the morning they set out for town to collect their bounties on the pelts and ears.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Where's That Goblin Hole?

June 19–20, 3430, Age of Kings

(note: Boots' player was away this session)

After dispatching a pack of wolves for their pelts to sell to a buyer back in town, the party got a fire going and Audrey and Ander set about skinning the wolves. Well after midnight they managed to get six pelts worth selling and strung them up in a tree to start drying them and decided to get some rest.

While the party slept (or meditated in Anders' case) Grabby sat up on a low tree branch to take watch. Just as he was getting ready to wake Audrey for her shift, he noticed the flicker of torch light moving through the dark forest. Through the darkness of the woods, passing behind trees and bushes, he could see two distinct torches, and soon heard the chatter of goblins.

The torches stopped, and so did the chatter: the band of goblins seems to have noticed the party's camp fire. Grabby used his new Mage Hand spell to rouse Audrey awake, at this point, Ander was alerted to the approaching goblins and awoke the snoring Broak.

In the darkness, one torch moved to the left flank, the other to the right as Audrey, Grabby and Ander all dug into ambush positions—and Broak made an attempt to hurriedly put his armour on.

Without warning, four goblin arrows whistled from out of the darkness, not from either torch's location, but from the south—three of which sank into Broak's armourless belly (one of which was a critical hit) causing him to stumble back. Realizing a force of goblins was hidden in the nearby tree line, Ander cast a magic fog onto the campsite to provide cover from the attack.

 From within the fog the sound of several confused goblins could be heard and even more began to come out from the dark tree line, having avoided the fog. The torch bearing goblin clambered up the boulder near Audrey, and another two emerged from the trees, weapons drawn, rushing at the barbarian. Audrey broke into a frenzy and swung her halberd wildly, cutting the two rushing goblins down (rolling a critical and maximum damage on both dice) and scampered up the boulder to skewer the third goblin, and flung his corpse into the middle of the fog (once again rolling maximum damage).

Soon, more goblins began to make their way out of the fog to engage the party. Broak, the half-dressed dwarf, quickly found himself swarmed as Ander fell back to a position of cover to pick off goblins with arrows, and Audrey and Grabby jumped into the fray to help Broak.

As Ander was leaping to and from cover to take down the goblins from afar, his quiver got snagged on some of the ruins he was using as cover, snapping its strap, sending his arrows spilling all over the forest floor. Embarrassing. As he was ducking back into cover, an ominous rush of air passed by overhead—something large had passed by over the treetops, sending leaves and small branches raining down. All the others engaged in melee hadn't noticed anything.

Just then a large dark shape came crashing through the forest canopy into the midst of Anders' fog, thinning it out. A roar could be heard and a large, shadowy form moved violently from withing the fog, and the death screams of goblins could be heard. As the fog dispersed, a dragon stood amid the terrified goblins, the body of a limp goblin clenched in its jaws—the dragon from their encounter under Orespire Mountain. The dragon, seeming to be only aware of the goblins, now glanced around, realizing the presence of the party. Its eyes then locked with Audrey's, seeing the thief who stole from its treasure hoard, the dragon narrowed its eyes at her and yellow-green fluid seeped from around the goblin in its mouth. Acrid fumes whisped from the dragon's flaring nostrils and the goblin's body who was dissolving it its mouth, which then fell into two separate heaps in front of the dragon.

Not wanting to wait around to be next, the party and the goblins all began to dash towards the dark forest to escape the enraged dragon. In the confusion and dark, Ander tripped and fell into a narrow passageway. As he stayed hidden. Ander could hear the goblins running and shouting something about "finding the hole," and "it's around here somewhere."

Thursday, 20 August 2015


Sorry for the lack of updates lately, it's been a great summer here on the west coast, so it's not always easy herding the nerds on Sunday nights. Hopefully we'll be back soon for the next thrilling installment.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Wolves in the Night

June 18–19, 3430, Age of Kings

After a few awkward questions to Boots from the party about the stink of sulfur coming from the cellar, the party got on with day and settled into their new home.

The next day they geared up and traveled back to West Leedshire to take a look at the bounty board to see if Ander's bounty sheet had showed up, pick up Broak's chain mail (which was being repaired from his run in with a grey ooze in the kobolds' lair) and to look some work (to test out their new level 3 abilities). On the board they found postings for a few things:

"The nearby forest be infested with goblin-folk, the town of Leedshire will give a bounty of 5 shillings for every left ear of a goblin brought in."
—The Noble Houses of Leedshire

"In the last month several people from West Leedshire have gone missing, usually while in Leedshire Forest. It is thought they may have encountered goblins coming down from the mountains. We seek anyone's help in bringing them back, or discovering what befell them."
—Families of the missing

"Six of my sheep been melted into sum kind of glop! Nuther 8 vanished. Gives you 50 shillings and a sheep to find out what's done this en stope it!"
—Farmer Giles Ackermann

"I wish to procure six wolf pelts in fine condition for winter clothing, at a price of 100 shillings each."
—Devis Starck, Leatherworker, West Leedshire

 Grabby and Audrey decided to set off to the village's tavern, The Pale Lamb, to see if they could gather any information on the missing people. With some breakfast ales and pottage in them, they spoke with a server and the bar keep, but weren't able to get much information other than a few names of some of the missing people (two of them being the Sprecher brothers, Hans and Fritz).

With Anders' knowledge of goblins and forest survival skills, they eventually opted to hunt down the marauding goblins in the nearby woods.

They set out and late in the day, once deep in Leedshire Forest, Ander picked up the trail of some goblins that had passed through in the last day. Knowing the goblins wouldn't be out during daylight hours they decided to find a spot to make camp and wait for nightfall. Still wary of the dragon they encountered, and wanting to get the jump on the goblins, they decided to go without a fire.

Broak decided to take first watch after nightfall while Audrey and Grabby slept (Ander and Boots would meditate when they felt like it). A couple of hours later the howls of wolves could be heard throughout the forest drawing nearer and nearer. 

Soon a pack of ravenous wolves led by two alpha worgs stepped into the clearing and quickly set upon the party. The worgs led the charge, attacking immediately. Audrey quickly awoke and woke Grabby with a swift kick, then shed some light on the area with her lantern.

A melee quickly ensued as the pack worked their way into the campsite. Boots was able to cast Mirror Image on himself to confound the attacking beasts (and to defend himself). One by one they managed to kill the wolves, and with a few well placed arrows from Ander, managed to kill several with minimal damage to their pelts.

At one point Grabby was separated from the rest of the group when a wolf started to drag him off into the forest, but he managed to wriggle free and slay it. When the battle was over, seven wolves and two worgs lay dead at their feet.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

The Yattering and Boots

June 16 – 18, 3430, Age of Kings

After a harrowing night spent shivering deep within Leedshire Forest, the party awoke to find themselves all at level three. Oh yeah, and Boots was there, too.

*   *   *
Grabby went with the Arcane Trickster path, presumably to cause mischief more than anything else.

Ander went with the Hunter path, taking the Colossus Slayer feature which should come in handy should one of his arrow's actually find its mark. He can also cast heal light wounds now, so that should help everyone out quite a bit.

Audrey took the Berserker path because, well, she's a barbarian. She also realized that when she rages she gets significant damage reduction, that could have helped earlier.

Broak decided on the Battle Master path, granting him access to maneuvers, which I'm curious to see in action.

Finally, Boots took the Pact of the Chain path, selecting an imp (of course) as his chosen fiendish familiar.

*   *   *

After traveling another day, the party reached Leedshire and returned to Albrecht's estate. They dropped off some of their gear and were beckoned by a guard to report to Albrecht.

Going into the manor they passed by a familiar guard named Willem (a guard friendly to the party) who was standing outside of Albrecht's study. Upon entering the weary party was greeted by  Albrecht who was anxious to discover if they were successful in their task or not. Audrey pulled out the Forge Hammer much to Albrecht's delight, which he greedily took from her and carefully studied it. He quickly composed himself and handed the relic off to Gotri, his dwarf bodyguard who was standing nearby, to place it in a secure location somewhere in the manor.

Quickly dispensing with pleasantries, the got right down to business: payment. True to his word, Albrecht puled out a formal looking piece of parchment, signed it, scribbled down a note, folded the two papers together and put his wax seal on them and passed them off to the party as well as the keys to the manor. They were now the custodians of a manor on the outskirts of the village of West Leedshire, about a three hour march outside of Leedshire. In addition, they were given a horse, cart and a cask of ale to celebrate with to carry them to their new base of operations. 

As the party left the study, Albrecht asked Ander to stay back so he could speak with him in private. When the two of them were alone Albrecht called Willem in to the study to hand Ander a folded parchment...

It would seem Ander's past had caught up with him. Surprisingly, Albrecht seemed unconcerned by this turn of events, and simply warned Ander that Willem had found the bounty posted early in the morning in Mercenary Square, which he quickly brought to Albrecht. 

Knowing that the bounty was most likely posted at all of the gatehouses leading out of town (Ander did notice a gate guard staring at him when they had returned earlier) it may be difficult for him to leave town.

Returning to his friends, he found them packing up their belongings in their new cart and Ander informed them of his situation. They decided to leave that night under cover of dark knowing that the gates would only be lightly guarded—but more suspicious of travelers.

Both Ander and Boots covered themselves in gear in the cart (Boots didn't want to be mistaken for Ander) and they headed out the town's west gate. They managed to roll through without incidnet, and Audrey and Grabby enjoyed the cask of ale as they traveled down the road.

After a few hours of travel they past through the village of Elmshire and onto West Leedshire. After traveling for about an hour to the outskirts of West Leedshire they found their small manor near midnight where they rested for the night.

They woke early in the morning (Grabby and Audrey a little later due to their road ales) and were greeted by Petterlen at their door, the former custodian who lived in nearby West Leedshire. The old man took the papers from them and looked them over. Satisfied, he showed them around manor and the small plot of land and offered his assistance with any matters that might come up. With that he wished them well and headed back to his village.

Needing to replenish their gear, as well as make some repairs, the party left for West Leedshire to trade and purchase goods. Once there they split up and went about their business of purchasing gear, repairing armour (from Broak's run-in with some grey ooze), cashing in on some art items, and food for their larder. Boots found the supplies he needed to cast his find familiar ritual and quickly rushed back home before the rest of the party.

Back at the manor Boots descended into the cellar and locked himself in the second room. There, he he added the components he needed into a brazz brazier, lit some candles and cast the ritual. Soon the contents of the brazier becan to smoke and burn. They began to coalesce into a black mass of tissue and bone and smelled of burnt flesh and sulfur. It bubbled and smoked and suddenly two leathery bat-like wings snapped out from the mass, and the small creature stood to its feet, ready to serve its master.

Calling itself Yattering, the demonic imp showed its willingness (if somewhat reluctantly) to serve its new master. Upstairs Boots heard his allies coming home, and he immediately dismissed the imp... for now.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

A Narrow Escape

June 16, 3430, Age of Kings

After narrowly escaping a horrendous encounter with an acid breathing dragon by winding their way through a narrow cave tunnel, the party returned to the kobolds' lair. Momentarily they could hear the enraged roars of the dragon behind them, but it was soon replaced by that barks and screeches of hoards of kobolds in pursuit.

They fled through the winding corridor back to the ruined smelting chamber and up the immense, winding stone staircase. Once at the top they were relieved to find their rope still in its place on the oil-slicked ramp, which they all hurried up as the sounds of kobolds echoed all around.

They quickly moved into the Great Forge Hall to make their way to the stairs up to the first level. Just as they ran past the Great Forge a set of doors ahead of them swung open and a small group of kobold warriors jumped out, accompanied by two sentries mounted on disease-ridden giant rats.  Simultaneously another, larger group poured out of the doors to the south-west.

Concentrating on the kobolds blocking their path, the party managed to fight their way through, pressing on towards the stairs. Broak slowly fell behind as he tried to beat back the oncoming wave of kobolds to give his allies more time to escape. Audrey, still severely wounded from her encounter with the dragon downed a healing potion—most of which she wound up spilling on herself.

After felling several kobolds, reinforcements continued to stream from the south-west corridor and as Ander and Audrey made their way up the stairs. Seeing Broak greatly outnumbered, Grabby stood by the dwarf's side to help him fall back. Broak then decided he needed to bolster his efforts. After a quick discussion about player knowledge, Broak quaffed his potion labeled "Dragon's Breath." He stood blocking the entrance to the stairs and mercilessly crushed kobolds with his hammer, Dwarven Despair, and spewed fire from his mouth (singeing his beard hair a bit) causing sever kobolds to fall to the ground engulfed in flames.

As Grabby and Broak ran to join their allies, Ander tossed caltrops on the stairs to impede the kobolds' progress. Between the caltrops and a fire-breathing, enraged dwarf, the kobolds backed off, knowing they had another force already waiting for them in the next chamber—led by their chief.

The party quickly moved through the chambers with the statues of Moradin and other dwarves then through the corridor that opened to the Great Hall. They burst through the doors to find the kobold chief and his elite guards (all mounted on giant rates) and a retinue of warriors, as well as a robed kobold who stood close to the chief.

Knowing the only way out was through the group of kobolds, the party charged forward, using the pillars and well for cover as they moved up. Audrey and Broak off to the right while Ander and Grabby moved up the left flank, meeting the kobold force in the middle. A fierce melee ensued, with Ander trying to make his way toward the chief and Grabby finding himself in sufficient cover to deliver a killing blow from the shadows on an unsuspecting kobold going after Ander.

Ander managed to weave his way past the pillars, stowing his bow and drawing his gleaming, razor-sharp dual scimitars, he dove into the fray with a searing ferocity... and missed, and missed, and missed again, turn after turn he was an elvish whirling dervish of failure. Seeing his elvish friend not faring well, Grabby moved into flank the chief and his guards, eventually the two of them managed to bring them down. With the kobold chief lying in a heap on the floor, Grabby decided to throw caution to the wind and leap on the back of the chief's rat-mount.

Amidst the din of battle, a great crashing of stone and wood could be heard from beyond the doors to the west, and the bellowing of the enraged dragon followed—he had come down the lift room (from where the party was attacked by the bats). 

Meanwhile, Broak and Audrey stood side-by-side defending their position from the onslaught, but while Ander was rolling miss after miss, I was rolling critical hit after critical hit. First Broak fell from a well-placed spear thrust from one of the warriors, and despite drinking another healing potion given to her by Broak just moments earlier (most of which she also seemed to spill on herself) she was also cut down by a kobold's spear.

After seeing their chief brought down, many of the remaining kobolds darted back into their tunnels to escape, while a couple remained fighting, but were quickly dispatched by Grabby and Ander after Grabby realized he couldn't control the rat he decided it was best to drive a dagger into the beast's brain.

The kobolds slain or retreated, Ander and Grabby rushed in to help rouse their unconscious allies, with the sound of the dragon drawing ever closer down the corridor. Once everyone was on their feet, Ander ran to the doors to set his warhammer through the door handles in attempt to slow down the beast.

Just as the party was leaving the Great Hall, the group looked over their shoulders to see the doors from the west corridor explode into a shower of splinters and buckled iron as the dragon smashed its way through, stick it head through and roar in fury.

The group rushed up the long staircase with Ander falling back slightly to unleash arrows should the dragon make its way to the stairs before they could reach the safety of the surface. Once at the top of the stairs they found the trap door to the surface held fast (if you recall, the entry only appeard in moonlight, it happened to be about 8:30 in the morning now). Broak put his weight into it, and while it was heavy, he felt the door had some give to it. With Audrey helping (and Grabby standing nearby unable to help), Broak put his back into the door and it began to move, spilling earth and stone on them as they pushed with all their might.

Soon the dragon stuck its head into the stairway, roared, and began charging up towards the party with Ander firing off arrows as he moved up the stairs.

All eyes were fixed on the charging dragon that filled up the stairway as Audrey and Broak continued to force the door open, until at last a stream of morning light started to break through and they could smell the fresh air. With one final heave, they pushed the door opened and leapt out, quickly followed by Ander and Grabby with the dragon close behind them. Although the opening would be too small for the dragon to fit through, they didn't take any chances and pushed the pile of earth and stone into the opening to seal it off.

After taking a moment to catch their breath they found a smoldering camp fire, and a cart laden with gear, tipped over, still roped to a horse who lay dying on its side, ripped open by a pair of immense claws. They also found the remains of the other guard that Boots had come with: reduced to a pile of melted organs  and exposed bone, only his forearms, lower legs and the top of his head were recognizable, an obvious victim of the dragon. Seeing nothing of value that could help them in the cart, they quickly moved on knowing the dragon would most likely be coming to the surface exact his revenge.

The party moved on quickly but cautiously, staying in cover until night fall. Occasionally they stopped and hid when they heard the ominous roar of the dragon echoing of the mountains, and on a few occasions saw it soaring overhead, searching.

With night upon them they set about making camp (with no fire, of course).

*   *   *

All of the characters will be at level three where they get to select their class' path, and Boots should be back in the mix.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

No, there wasn't a total party kill

To the followers and creepers of the page: players have been away on holidays, but we should be back May 31.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Even the Bravest Adventurers Know When to Flee

June 16, 3430, Age of Kings

Hearing the dwarf trying to sneak by, the kobolds in the chamber quickly turned their attention to the party. Spilling out into the hall were to kobold sub-chiefs and 10 warriors, while a couple of she-kobolds and their whelps huddled in a corner.

A melee quickly ensued. Ander stayed back firing arrows into the fray while Broak and Audrey cut the diminutive creatures down with Grabby weaving his way through the battle... foolishly finding himself separated from his allies with a swarm of kobolds between him and his friends.

Realizing his folly (and getting seriously wounded) Grabby made haste and fell back to the smelter room in hopes of finding a hiding spot while his friends did the heavy lifting. He scampered into a pile of rubble: broken stone, an old work bench and a tapestry wold act as his cover. Unbeknownst to him his large, hairy halfling feet were sticking out obviously from cover. Two kobolds chased after him into the large chamber, one looked around for their quarry while the other immediately noticed the feet sticking out from beneath the tapestry. Driving his spear through the tapestry in hopes of striking the halfling cowering behind it, the kobold instead brought the rubble down on himself (oh natural 1 rolls), knocking him prone—and leaving Grabby very exposed.

Back in the corridor the fight continued on, with Ander noticing another small group of kobolds come out from a chamber to the south. A kobold dressed in shabby robes and a larger, somewhat regal kobold (at least for a kobold) dashed further down the corridor away from the fight, while 2 sub-chiefs and 2 kobolds armed with insect filled clay jars tried to flank the party.

As the fight ensued, the she-kobolds and their young escaped to the smelting room and up the stairs. The vermin-throwers hurled their insect-filled vessels at the part but missed continuously. At this point Ander sent his limping war dog Bloo down the south corridor to attack the kobolds defending their leader's escape.

Back in the smelting room Grabby found himself distancing himself from the 2 attacking kobolds, biding his time until Broak could move in to assist. Once the dust had settled, the she-kobolds and their young has escaped up the stairs, and poor Bloo lay in a puddle of blood—his neck hacked to shreds by a kobold's blade. (Ander is banned from owning pets now)

From behind a padlocked door in the west wall of the corridor, the sounds of several kobolds could be heard clawing at the door and screeching maniacally. They sounded "off" to the party—unnatural and almost feral.

Moving on, they entered the chamber to the east where the kobolds ran from. It was a simple, make-shift throne room: a dwarvish chair adorned with metal and bones acted as a throne, and dirty animal pelts covered the floor. Finding nothing of value, the party moved further down the corridor, finding another room filled with candles mounted on dwarf skulls and filled with furs, dwarvish weapon racks and furniture, as well as a small chest acting as a dining table—the kobold chief's personal quarters. The party knocked the pewter ware off the chest and opened it up. Withing they found a pouch of shillings, small statues of dwarf warriors carved in a white stone, some potions, and a bundle of crossbow bolts. After further searching the room they found nothing and moved on to the south.

Around the corner where the other kobolds had fled the cavern corridor quickly became narrow, fornicng the party to squeeze through sideways in single file through the dark, winding passage.

Eventually they came out into a massive, dark chamber. They stood on a ledge jutting out over the open space close to 50 feet up. Around them they could make out strange structures of unknown design: the walls seemed to be carved from a strange grey-blue stone that was extremely smooth. High up the walls were small openings, presumably windows. This seemed to be an ancient, long-forgotten city built by unknown hands, now long abandoned and used by the kobolds. Further ahead in the inky blackness, down below the party, they could see the flicker of candle light coming from a chamber to the west, and the dim flicker of more light further ahead. Broak felt uneasy as his eyes adjusted to the darkness and began to recognize the stone work to be similar to the ruins where he and his troops had a fateful encounter with a beholder years before (see Broak's back story).

Ander prepared a rope with his grappling hook and the party descended to the chamber floor. Once they were all down, Ander scouted up ahead past a chamber filled with candles, to a set of massive, iron double doors, one of which was open far enough for a person to slip through. On the floor nearby a large iron slat lay, broken off from the doors, obviously used to set in place to seal the doors. He glanced in quickly only to see stairs leading down a short way to shallow water. He returned to the party and relayed what he saw.

The group then cautiously moved into the candle filled chamber, Broak becoming increasingly anxious. In this brightly lit room the floor was smeared with stained blood, and against the west wall was a relief carved into the stone wall: that of a great, five-headed dragon.

They then pushed on to the opening of the iron doors and all peered in. They saw a massive chamber, filled a couple inches of water. Here and there piles of rubble jutted up, and a mist of sickly green-yellow mist sat on the water. A cool breeze with the smell of forest could be felt blowing down from high in the ceiling. Every wall of this vast chamber was filled with hundreds of kobold holes at various heights, many of which held lit candles. At the far end of the chamber was a raised square of stone with a large, ancient dried up fountain in the centre. Something had made its nest in the fountain: it was filled with various scraps and animal remains. In front of the fountain the glitter of loot could be seen, a loose pile of coins, gems and various items sat, unguarded. In the pile they saw the handle of what might be the object of their quest: the Forge Hammer.

Broak refused to enter the chamber as memories of that fateful day flooded into his head: this was the chamber where his life changed forever. He glanced around an noted the bones of his fallen allies, still in the place where they had died. He warned the other that this may be the lair of a beholder.

The party, now sufficiently paranoid by Broak's ramblings, devised a plan: Audrey would run to the loot pile, grab what might be the forge hammer, and rush back while Ander covered her, Broak sweated, and Grabby thought positive thoughts.

Audrey secured her halberd to her pack, slid between the great doors, glanced around, then dashed through the flooded hall. She quickly came to the loot pile and saw the handles of 2 dwarvish items sticking out so she grabbed them both: one appeared to be the Forge Hammer, the other a dwarvish warhammer. Moments after picking up the two items stones crumbled from high above. As Audrey glanced up the torn body of a man plummeted from the darkness above and crashed into the loot, scattering coins all about. Before her lay the body of one of Albrecht's guards (one of the thre that had accompanied Boots to the dungeon). His body was ripped open and great claw marks raked across his flesh. Audrey then heard an ominous hiss as a caustic yellow-green fluid dripped onto the pile of coins, melting the silver and fusing it to the stone floor. She looked up and saw the glint of two green eyes high up in the dark ceiling.

Not wanting to wait to see what would happen, she turned and ran for the iron doors. As she raced back to her allies she saw a look of fear cross their faces as they watched a great shadowy shape rapidly descend from the ceiling. Just before hitting the nest a pair black, leathery wings snapped out from its form to ease its fall. The dragon hit its nest, sending bones and debris scattering about and it let out a ferocious bellow, obviously displeased with the thief in its lair.

Ander managed to hit the dragon with an arrow, but it simply shrugged off the wound and rushed after Audrey. Halfway back to the doors it raked its talons across Audrey's back leaving a terrible wound, but she managed to push on ahead and found herself leaping through the doors to narrowly avoid a second attack from the charging beast. As this happened Broak began closing the door and Grabby grabbed the iron slat to seal the doors. Now the dragon was trying to push the door open, and Ander leapt in to help Broak close the door. Audrey grabbed the slat from Grabby and slid it into place just as Broak and Ander narrowly got the door closed.

A quick decision was made to flee back to the rope. As they turned to run they could hear the sound of many—perhaps a small army—of kobolds yelping and screeching from the dragon's lair, presumably streaming out of all the kobold holes. Audrey quickly snatched up the Forge Hammer from the floor (she had dropped it and the dwarvish warhammer to help with the door) and Broak grabbed the warhammer.

As Broak tightened his grip on the warhammer, it felt oddly familiar, then, just as he realized he was holding his old warhammer from that fateful encounter with the beholder, a flood of emotion swept over his mind. He suddenly saw flashes of his comrades being slaughtered as he stood by helpless, he fell to his knees screaming in horror, closed his eyes tightly to try and block out the images. As he opened his eyes again he experienced the killing blow he brought down on Dain's head all those years ago as if it were happening all over again.

At this point the rest of the party had already dashed most of the distance back to the rope, turning around from Broak's scream to see the dwarf composing himself and run to catch up with the rest of them. One by one they ascended the rope, going as quickly as they could, while nervously glancing back at the iron doors. The doors shuddered from repeated blows and powerful blasts of the dragon's acid breath started to weaken the door. Once the last party member was up the rope they quickly began to navigate the narrow cave corridor, confident that the dragon was too large to squeeze through after them. Broak, the last one to enter the corridor, started to squeeze through just as he heard the iron doors falter and smash from the dragon's rage.

They were safe... for now.

*   *   *

 Broak now carries his old warhammer, now infused with arcane energy brought on by the pain he suffered from his encounter with the beholder. His hammer, Dwarven Despair, is a +1 warhammer. In addition, when he lands a critical hit with the hammer he deals an additional die of damage but must also make a Wisdom saving throw (DC 15) or be stunned for his next turn, as his critical hit forces him to experience the death of Dain again, as if was killing him again with that strike.

*   *   *

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

The Moral Dilema of Killing (Kobold) Children

June 16, 3430, Age of Kings

Note: Boots's player is once again on a month long work excursion, so... let's say Boots is just studying in the dwarven study or somethin'...

*   *   *

Our brave adventurers then headed out of the doorway past the dead shrieker and back into the great forge hall. They crossed the expansive chamber and through the double doors on the east wall. These doors opened into a long corridor lined with doors (3 on the north, 2 on the south) and ending in a set of double doors.

Sitting in front of the doors at the far end of the corridor was a strange contraption of kobold-make: a frame of wood and iron holding several tubes of iron, with several leather bellows' at the rear, and copper wires running down into the floor—obviously a devious trap of some sort.

So Audrey and Grabby immediately stepped into the hall.

This immediately caused the contraption to shudder and a bellows compress, launching a dart at Audrey, striking her in the arm and causing her to become poisoned. At this point they decided to be more cautious. Taking Broak's shield for cover, Grabby dashed down the hall towards the strange device, with the occasional dart flying out to harmlessly hit the shield. Once behind the device he set about dismantling it, only to discover all of its ammunition had been fired.

With the hall now safe, the rest of the group moved in and they began systematically checking the doors for traps and seeing what lay on the other side. The 3 doors to the north led to the remains of ancient dwarf dormitories containing nothing of value. 

The first door to the south was another dormitory, but this one was the resting place for several dwarf corpses. Broak said a little prayer.

The final door led to yet another dormitory, but this one had been mostly cleared of debris. In the center of the floor, drawn with soot, was a large dragon skull encircled by several unlit candles. On the south wall the kobolds had also drawn an image of a dragon in a strange and alien-looking city-scape in a mixture of soot and dried blood. The party couldn't make anything of it. Partly because of the crudeness of the drawings, partly because of bad rolls.

Not seeing anything of value, they decided to press on towards the double doors to the east. At this point Grabby stayed behind in the room and drew mustaches on the two dragon images with his Ander's chalk when everyone had left.

Grabby caught up with the others as they entered the room beyond the double doors. Here they found the mine's mess hall and kitchen. A small compliment of iron cookware was scattered about (obviously used by the kobolds) and in the center of the room was a small cooking pit, with two giant rats on spits cooking over red hot coals. Doors to the north and south led out of the room.

Beyond the doors to the south the sound of kobolds could be heard, but it sounded as if they were attempting to be quiet. The group moved into position and Audrey moved to open the door... Before she could get any closer a door swung open and a she-kobold leapt out brandishing a cleaver, waving wildly at Audrey.

She quickly dispatched the creature and moved into the room. Within they found a cask room filled with broken and smashed ale casks. In one corner another she-kobold stood in front of a huddled group of 4 kobold whelps. Ander quickly notched an arrow and struck the she-kobold in the neck, killing her outright in front of the (kobold) children.

Not wanting to kill the whelps (and Grabby not being pleased with Ander's willingness to kill them) Audrey and Grabby moved in to try and subdue the whelps by grappling them with bedrolls. Naturally the creatures would have none of it, and carried on quite loudly, which of course atracted more kobolds to the area. Soon 3 kobold warriors were entering the room through holes in the walls.

The party managed to fend off the small attack force, killing 2 of the kobolds, but not before Audrey fell to a few well coordinated attacks from the kobolds. Bloo the war dog rushed in to subdue a kobold whelp (but wound up snapping its neck) and Broak grabbed a whelp with his shield hand while Grabby escaped the melee to the mess hall with Ander after seeing Audrey fall unconscious.

The last kobold warrior scurried off back into his tunnel seeing he was outmatched, with 2 of the whelps following soon after. Broak, still holding the screaming, clawing whelp, let it go as not to draw any further attention to their location.

Rousing Audrey and letting her consume a healing potion, the group moved into the room to the north—the mine's larder. This room was now be used by the kobolds to store their food stuffs: skinned rat carcasses hanging from meat hooks, jars filled with writing worms, and sealed vessels of animal blood. With nothing of interest to be found they moved out of the area and back into the great forge hall, and continues through the last set of double doors in the south-east.

They entered a long, wide hall with a long slope in its middle. A breeze of wilderness air could be felt coming from down the hall, as well as the sound of chain swaying in the breeze.

The ramp seemed to be coated in a thick layer of animal fat—obviously a time-consuming process for the kobolds. This made traversing the ramp down very treacherous. The jagged iron spikes planted at the base of the ramp made it even more treacherous. Helping Grabby move carefully down the ramp with a rope, he attempted to remove a section of the spikes to no avail. This led to Audrey descending the ramp to smash away at the jagged iron with her sledgehammer. Eventually she cleared away a small portion to allow a safer descent down.

At the bottom of the ramp were to statues of Moradin looking over a vast expanse of blackness. A rough-hewn staircase spiraled down to the west into the darkness below as chains dangled from above.

*   *   *

After a long descent down the party found themselves at the bottom of a deep pit. The ruin of mine carts and equipment lay scattered all about. A large pile of rubble—the remains of smelters—lay to the south of the room. To the west a roughly carved (but well lit) cavern extended to the south and a storage chamber for equipment lay to the north.

The storage room held nothing but the long dead remains of 20 or so dwarves.

The party carefully made their way down the cavern hall to the west, coming across an opening that they could see several kobolds within, and hear even more around the corner. They decided to try and sneak past, but they had a noisy dwarf in chain mail with them...

Saturday, 18 April 2015

"I stick my purple mushroom in the bottle" –Grabby McSnaggems

June 15, 3430, Age of Kings

We find our heroic dwarf fighter, Broak, wandering away from the party to be by himself and cry into his beard while the other decide to take a short rest on the (assumed) safety of the secret sarcophagus chamber.

Broak made his way out into the great forge hall where he sat and moped in the corner and questioned his lot in life. Close to an hour later, a small group of kobolds snuck up on Broak's position and launched an attack. Knowing his only hope was to escape back to his friends traveling companions, he started to fall back towards the secret door, felling kobolds as he went.

But even the somewhat mighty Broak was quickly overrun by kobolds as he tried to make his way down the corridor he suffered a bloody wound that weakened him and he fell unconscious, swarmed by yipping, barking kobolds—his allies unable to hear the melee through two layers of stone secret doors.

*   *   *

As the party's rest drew to a close, Grabby's conscious started to eat away at him as he wondered what had become of Broak, could he leave his friend to certain death in the bowels of the Orespire Mountains?

Boots was fine leaving Broak to whatever fate might meet him in the darkness, but Grabby managed to convince the others to go looking for him. Sliding the open the secret doors, they saw Broak's unconscious form on the floor in the hall, surrounded by kobolds looting him. Broak's allies rushed in to defend the helpless dwarf, killing and driving off the remaining kobolds, some of which managed to make of with Broak's backpack and warhammer (luckily Ander happened to have an extra).

The group (except for Boots who stayed back in the secret room) helped Broak to his feet and helped back to the safety of the secret chamber where he patched himself up.

The group, reluctantly together again, moved down the web-filled corridor to the north which turned to the east and ended in a secret door which led to a study chamber, its walls lined with shelves filled with hundreds of ancient and dusty tomes. To the south a crudely bricked up doorway was visible, and to the east was a short corridor that led to a set of doors. In front of the doors was the corpse of a long dead orc warrior, out of it's body grew an oddly shaped purple mushroom as tall as a man. Not wanting to get to close to the strange fungus, they decided to begin hammering down the bricked up doorway.

Audrey made short work of the crude bricks, revealing a small chamber filled with tables and shelves filled with glass vials and other vessels, many of which were smashed about the room.

At this point, they decided to deal with the strange purple fungus in the short hall. Ander let an arrow fly, striking the mushroom. Immediately the shrieker began emitting an ear-piercing wail that echoed off the stone walls. He fired more arrows at the fungus and its wailing began to subside. Withing seconds the sounds of a kobold force could be heard making their way toward their position, drawn by the sound of the shrieker. The party fell back into the alchemy lab in hopes of forcing the kobolds into a bottleneck.

As they fell back, Audrey was left behind trying to repack her sledge hammer as kobolds opened the doors to the east and poured into the chamber. Left alone to defend herself, Audrey engaged the kobolds with her halberd, cutting through their numbers. Rushing to the aid of his friend, Grabby rushed out past Audrey to engage the kobolds head on. In doing so, as he weaved past Audrey, Grabby tripped over the barbarians polearm as she swung it, causing him to trip and fall forward, releasing his grasp on his magic dagger, Mr. Shiney, which skipped along the floor. Grabby's folly also forced Audrey to drop her halberd to the ground, which a kobold quickly grabbed and pulled it behind him. Even with an unarmed barbarian and a prone halfling thief, Ander and Boots managed to give enough support to finish off the kobolds.

Once the dust had settled and they were sure the area was secured, Grabby—not wanting the possibility of food going to waste—grabbed a bottle from the lab, drew his dagger and approached the dead shrieker, sliced a piece off, to which his player proclaimed, "I stick my purple mushroom in the bottle!"

Mushroom secured, the party sifted through the lab and found several jars of various coloured liquids that seemed to be inert potion ingredients. To the west was another short hall that ledt to another part of the lab. Again, mostly filled with smashed or empty glass vessels, but the party manage to find a few vials of potions. Broak was called in to read their dwarvish labels: Healer (x2), Dragon's Breath and Vapors.

Note: At some point Boots found a scroll of Detect Magic in the study. Using the scroll, Ander ran back to the chamber with the animated iron statues, cast the scroll and only detected the statues—at some point they also destroyed one of the statues that they had seriously damaged in their previous encounter. Back in the alchemy lab he also detected a very faint source of magic from the ingredient jars, as well as the potions they found. I can't recall just where these things happened.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

June 15, 3430, Age of Kings

Note: There's about two weeks between the session and me writing this, so there may be some details simplified, omitted, or maliciously fabricated.

*  *  *

We discover that Boots had remained back in town for an extra day to do further research on the mine the party was heading to. There, he discovered the mine's "moon door"entrance, as well as, as far as he could tell, the Forge Hammer had never left the mine.

Armed with this tiny bit of information (and his flute) Albrecht assigned three of his guards to accompany Boots up to the site to join up with the rest of the party.

Conveniently arriving at nightfall, Boots and the guards easily found the door. While two of the guards set up camp nearby, Boots entered with one of the guards—named Horace— to search for the group.

*  *  *

Shortly after dispatching a small group of kobolds in the Great Forging Hall, the party was met by Boots and Horace. Boots caught them up to speed (it didn't take long, he didn't learn very much). Once done they decided which way to set out.

The hall had four exits, two on each side. The party decided to enter the double doors in the south-west wall. Through the doors they entered a long hall ending in another set of double doors and a set of doors on either side of the hall halfway down. 

Once they made their way to the single doors they opened each on in turn and found the same thing on either side: old weapon rooms, now filled with rusted and decrepit dwarven weapons covered in cobwebs and dust. Most noticeably, however, both rooms were covered in long dead creatures—mostly kobolds, dwarves, and giant rats. A blanket of ominous fungi carpeted the floor and bodies. Not willing to tempt fate, they party closed the doors and moved on towards the end of the hall.

Moving on they reached the end of the hall and swung open the double doors at the end of the corridor to find a equipment storage room lined with rusted blacksmith's tools and old shelves. in the north wall of the room there were also three kobold holes in the wall. Soon after entering the room the sounds of kobolds moving through their tunnels could be heard. 

As kobolds attempted to attack from their holes both Horace and Audrey struck them down as they entered the room. From the north "fungus room" a group of kobolds spilled out into the hall that Ander and Broak attacked and the party's sole spell caster was finally able to use his mastery (well, first level mastery) of the arcane arts.

During all this excitement Grabby decided to just hang back and search the room... which paid off! He found a secret door against the west wall.

Once the dust had settled and several kobolds lay dead, Grabby pointed out his discovery to the others. The party readied themselves then moved through the secret door. They found themselves in a short, narrow hall ending in another secret door. Passing through the second door they entered a small room, lit only by their torches. The chamber was filled with a thick layer of dust and webs—obviously the dimwitted kobolds were unaware of this area, as it had not seen any traffic in what must have been hundreds of years.

In the centre of the room was a wide stone sarcophagus with a relief of a dwarf warrior lying atop its lid, carved lying down, at peace, with his battle axe grasped in his hands. Pitch black corridors extended to the north and south.

Thinking that the Forge Hammer might (or other treasure) be withing the resting place of the dwarf warrior, the party—particularily Boots—felt it would be wise to pop it open and take a look.

This did not go over well with Broak.

Tired of arguing, Boots decided to take matter into his own hands and began smashing the top of the sarcophagus, damaging the carved dwarf image.

This also did not go over well with Broak, and resulted in a swift punch to Boots' kidney, dropping him to his knees. 

After a long argument discussion they decided to leave the sarcophagus undisturbed, for now at least. They decided to then move on down through the cobweb infested south corridor while leaving Horace in the room to watch their rear. Eventually the hall opened into a long room. Set into the floor were the lids of six more sarcophagi, also with stone images carved into their faces of dwarf warriors, weapons clasped in their hands. Obviously warriors of great renown. In each corner of the room were iron statues of heavily armoured dwarf warriors armed with massive weapons. On each of their breast plates were a different carved single dwarvish ruin of unknown meaning. 

Again, another discussion began on opening these tombs to see what they held, and again, Broak would have none of it, preferring to respect the peace of his dead brethren. When Broak finally began to realize he was on the losing side of the debate, he did what any respectable warrior worth his dwarvish salt would do: he stormed off in a huff back towards the secret door they had entered, with Grabby running after him to convince him to stay.

With the dwarf leaving, it was time to crack open some sarcophagi. 

When Audrey and Boots began prying open the first sarcophagus, the runes on the iron statues began to glow with an eerie arcane light and slowly the statues came to life.

A melee quickly ensued as the animated statues moved in to defend the tomb and Horace moved up to help his allies. As blow after blow to the statues seemed to do very little damage, the party decided they might be outmatched so they started to fall back to the other tomb chamber.

As they fell back, Horace started to fall behind as he continued to attack the statues then found himself surrounded. Despite his heroic attempt, he was seriously wounded by the statues' attacks before he could fall back to the rest of the party.

As all of this was going on Broak was still continuing on his way out, but as he entered the hall, he opened a door to be greeted by a group of giant centipedes (an ill-timed wandering monster encounter).

As Broak and Grabby fought off the centipedes, the rest of the group engaged the statues in the tomb chamber, their attacks seeming to do little, but they did manage to concentrate their efforts on one of the aberrations to damage it significantly.

Overpowering the group in cramped quarters, the statues managed to fell poor Horace and trample over his crumpled corpse as they pressed their attack. Seeing this the group fell back further to join in the room with Broak and Grabby. The dwarf and the halfling eventually managed to kill all of the centipedes—probably with the help of some of the other, I can't recall.

Once the party had all entered the room through the secret passage, the statues seemed to pause then cease their attack. They then turned around and mindlessly shambled off down the hall, presumably to return to their eternal posts. Audrey and Boots cautiously returned to the smaller chamber to crack open the sarcophagus, slid the lid open only to find... nothing. Barely a speck of dust.
The dungeon then fell silent, only the sound of Broak shuffling off back down the corridor could be heard, nursing the critical hit to his feelings...

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Deeper into the Depths of Orespire

June 15, 3430, Age of Kings

After their harrowing encounter with bugs and kobolds, the party decided to make an attempt at regrouping and healing their wounds with a short rest in the hall. Shortly after sitting down to and pulling out their healing packs, the sound of chittering and chitinous feat on the stone floor could be heard from within the nearby pit. When Audrey approached to peer over the edge she was met by four giant centipedes making their way up the pit's walls.

The party quickly dispatched the vile creatures, with Audrey taking some bites during the melee. The group's wounds adding up they decided to find a more secure area where they could rest for a longer period of time to recover. They continued through the door to the north, which lead to another small T-junction. They decided to head west into a small storage room, filled with rotting wood shelves and old, rusted metal-working tools. Within the refuse they found a sledge hammer and a crowbar, which they took.

They then moved back out into the hall and traveled east. Checking the door for traps, Grabby indeed found a trap mechanism attached to the doors. Using his tools he carefully fiddled with the mechanism and... maybe disarmed it? He wasn't sure. Broak moved up to push the door open with a javelin, which triggered a massive axe blade to swing out from inside the room, which he managed to avoid.

Once inside this small room, they found it was once used as a larder, again filled with rotten and destroyed wooden furnishings and food so spoiled and old it didn't even hold Grabby's interest. While searching the room to secure it, Audrey found to small casks of dwarvish ale (which they decided they'd come back for later)... and more centipedes!

Taking more damage from the centipedes, Audrey beame more weakened, but they manage to kill the creatures with Bloo managing to grab hold of one and turn it into a doggy chew toy-ipede.

With the three centipedes dead they set about rearming the doors' swinging axe trap to make an attempt at taking a nice, long rest. During their rest they heard the sound of scratching at the door, that eventually stopped (I rolled some giant rats for a random encounter). When Audrey woke from her rest, she felt much more level two-y.

Fully rested, the party set out again, returning to the large chamber with the statue of Moradin to bash down the bricked up doorway with a sledge hammer. Audrey did the honors and took the sledge hammer to the bricks while the others stood guard. This only took a few minutes (I increased the odds for an encounter because of the noise... nothing. Dammit.)

Beyond the broken bricks they peered down into another steep staircase leading down into the dark. Ander and Grabby snuck down first to make sure it was clear, it seemed to be, so the others followed.

The group entered into another massive, vaulted great-hall, lit by wall sconces: The Great Forging Hall. Adorned with statues of Moradin, strewn rubble, and a large, circular forge pit near the opposite end of the hall, the party cautiously entered the hall. Along the east and west walls were two sets of double doors leading out of the hall, and, of course, several more kobold holes.

Audrey and Grabby walked the length of the hall to examine the forge, now filled with old coal and soot. While examining the pit, the silence was interrupted by the sound of a sling stone clumsily cracking against the stone wall as a kobold attempted a sneak attack, and instead swung his sling too close to the wall (I rolled a 1).

Within moments three more kobolds emerged from their holes firing off slings at Audrey and Bloo at the other end of the hall. With so few worthy adversaries, the party managed to make short work of the kobolds, none of them managing to escape into the darkness to warn their allies...