Navah: Arriving in Paoren

The party again mounted their camels and joined a caravan headed southeast through Tajjib to the city of Pao. The trip was long but relatively uneventful. Lions, rhinos, and dikdiks were seen. A survivor of a bandit attack was picked up, one Regili Anslan by name. Evan killed a skunk that wandered near camp, and forced the camp to move in the wee hours of the morning.

One night on watch, a Droad seized control of Lizbetta and one of the caravan guards and began walking them back to his lair. Another guard came out and tried to stop Lizbetta, and she cut off his left arm for his troubles. Then Augeise tried the same thing, and went down with a cut foot. Finally, Kenshin wrestled her to a halt and held her until she came to her senses. By then the Droad had returned to its lair with its latest prize, and the party advised the caravan leader not to attempt a rescue. He agreed, and they decamped and fled east.

On the last day of the journey, a rider was seen heading west on top speed on a Nightmare. Then the great wizard-shaped walls of Pao came into sight. The caravan halted at the tent city of Respite outside the gate, the Ligan settlement derisively called Goggle City by the Paoji.

Deeply guilty, Lizbetta led the party inside the walls to find a Restorer to heal the guard she had mutilated. They found Paoren (the true name of the city) to be deeply divided between rich and poor. Many guards protected the neighborhood of Hightown, and a good number also protected the Merchant’s Quarter, but there were few patrols in Midtown and almost none in the Docks. Augeise clutched his bags of coins and thereby made himself for the thieves that abounded in the city. A gang of fifteen youths made away with his smallest bag, which they thought might contain jewels. It only held a few silver coins. A more desperate man tried to wrestle away his huge bag of pence, but failed miserably as Augeise pushed him to the ground. The guards took him away and the party later saw him outside the walls in a slave coffle headed for Ordi.

None of the characters could speak Pao beyond asking for food and bathroom, so they resorted to Eskrendi, which Augeise and Evan spoke poorly but functionally. Pao had long ago been founded by Eskrendi exiles, and it still retained not only links to that culture but also trade relations that had been re-established over the centuries. Indeed, there were enclosures of Eskrendi mercantile interests in the city, to which the party would later be directed when they went in search of a translator.

They spoke to an apprentice at the King’s Fixers, a Sorceror’s covenant in the Merchant’s Quarter, and she pointed them towards the Awakenings, a covenant of Restorers housed in the Palace Grounds. The party made it past the gate guard into the Palace Grounds but when they inquired as to the location of the Awakenings, the ranger they asked brought them instead to the barracks, where a Knight Protector who spoke passable Eskrendi questioned them. When it became clear they were on a mission of mercy, he allowed them to continue and the ranger escorted them to the Awakenings. There were two masters in residence. Neither would have anything to do with the Ligan but Baldwine She, a soft-hearted journeyman went with them, albeit with six guards who surrounded him. Lizbetta paid him 12,000 p. for his services before he left. He successfully restored the arm, which would regrow over the next three days. He suggested alcohol or Body Controlt to control the pain, and returned to his home.

At this point, the party sought an inn and were directed to The Stinking Fish, which they found to be one of the finest in the city. Perhaps something was lost in translation? They ate a fine meal but the inn was full so they went across the square to The Guard Lizard, which showed a vicious lizard standing on its back feet, each of which featured a long curved blade. These lizards, they learned, as well as much larger beasts, roamed the jungle of Kimmhay. Most of the world had been taken over by Terran creatures, but in Kimmhay, little had changed since the time of the Seveysas.

The inn was again a fine one, and they took two rooms. The food there was even better than at The Stinking Fish, but so expensive the party resolved to eat mostly at the food stands in the market as they had limited funds. Kenshin continued to borrow money from Augeise.

The next day, they found a translator at one of the Eskrendi compounds. Sucheta Kikuju was large, strong, and lean, with long earlobes, hooded dark brown eyes and very short straight fine black hair. Dressed in fresh blue & yellow intricately embroidered fine linen clothing, she spoke not only Old Imperial, but also Eskrendi and Pao.

With her guidance, they also hired four guards to keep the thieves at bay and then went to the house of the Gazers of Infinity, a covenant of Seers in Hightown. They paid one of the masters to send a telepathic message to Strnad in Deybadon:

“Greetings! Saviors of dragons here! Have arrived in Pao. Near Khim-Hay, but have lost heroic, dead spiritologist Brennett. This is Kenshin, hero of Deybadon. How much time do we have until dragons are all dead? Need to train new spiritoligists, and all the locals are weenies.”

The message was sent successfully, but it did little to build good feelings locally. Fortunately, the Seers maintain a high level of confidentiality in such messages. Waiting for a reply in the inn, Sucheta relayed some of the rumors heard there:

  • The Malanga and Mongbwandi families are the oldest of the crime families still around.
  • There was a customer who treated the King’s Fixers poorly after being healed. He was buried under a pile of Roc poo the next day.
  • A ghost haunts the docks. People who go out at night there are sometimes never seen again.
  • The Fifth Street Gang is looking for a mage who has been using a spirit to steal in their territory.

Sucheta also has shown a disquieting affinity for booze, and often drinks too much. In other respects, however, she is a skilled and valuable translator.

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Greyhawk: 542 CY

Still in the Dark Tower, the party began by figuring out how to carry a dragon hoard 100 miles back to town without any horses (their horses had starved to death in the stable, because no one had cared for them in weeks). In the end, Lisri cast Mount three times, using 3 draft horses to carry most of it. Maevdelle and Eric (in giant size using the Belt of Giant Strength) carried the rest, except for the silver, which was given to the White Tower.

Overburdened, they moved at quarter speed, only making five miles per day. As such, they had several encounters. The first was on the first morning, when several Leprachauns considered stealing from them, but then luckily decided not to. From then on, Beatrice took owl form and scouted ahead. She spotted 12 Giant Bombadier Beetles building a nesting area on top of the old trail. Lisri considered attacking, but eventually was talking into going around them. Then the party stumbled into a Treants’ Grove. They were allowed to leave unharmed after promising not to reveal the location to anyone. When Beatrice returned, having seen nothing, Lisri told her all about it.

Each evening, Lisri cast Leomund’s Secret Shelter, which was greatly appreciated. On one night, a ghast outside the Shelter sickened Lisri, but was driven off by Beatrice’s Ring of Fire. On another night, the party discovered a merchant caravan of 150 men heading south. The party purchased four oxen and used them to finish the trip to Archer.

At Archer, they purchased equipment, including new plate mail for Maevdelle. Lisri found a potion expert at the mage’s guild and paid him 50 gp. to identify each potion. Lisri was somewhat rueful when he learned he had a Potion of Red Dragon Control. That could have come in handy earlier.

Eric donated money to the Shrine of Pelor and they purchased horses and headed back to Mitra’s Fist.

Once there, they wandered back into the mind-swap room, having forgotten what it was. Beatrice’s mind was sent to Maevdelle’s body, and vice versa.

Eric was paralyzed by Glyphs of Warding but was healed by Orestes, who had interned with a witch doctor in his earlier years.

As they moved forward, they searched each room. One room they bypassed because Wave felt “creepy” about it. In another they began searching while Eric opened a door into another room. The sole remaining troll surprised him and attacked, but did a poor job of it. Beldar fireballed the creature and Lisri followed up with a Magic Missile. Eric and Beatrice were singed by the fireball, but pulled the troll into a corner and burned ith with oil.

Moving forward, Eric encountered the Hyenadons kept by the trolls as pets. Beatrice joined him in the battle and both received a good deal of damage. Eventually Eric withdrew to heal. Beldar killed some more with another fireball, and then Lisri and he finished off the rest with Magic Missiles. They found three pups whose mother they had killed, so Lisri fireballed them as well, while Beatrice cast an approving eye. The DM let Beatrice know she was getting an alignment check next week, as she has been using “the balance” to rationalize the party’s violence for too long.

Finally, Lisri and Beldar jumped into the pile of Hyenadon dung to search for treasure. Beldar contracted Rot Grubs and was dead in 10 minutes because Eric had not taken Cure Disease that day. After he was dead, a worm poked out of hi eye and looked around before going back in. “Wait,” shouted Beatrice, “I have Cure Disease. Can I heal him?” “Nope, it’s a little late,” replied the DM. As the body was infested, the party left it there on the dungeon floor.

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Navah: Below Tehjj

The party continued exploring the tunnels. Brennit fell into one of the underground rivers and was swept away. Rock jumped into the water after his master, while the Dikdak frantically ran through the tunnels to find him. In the end, all three were lost.

Later, while Kenshin was scouting ahead, the rest of the party was taken captive by Trogs and taken to their city. Kenshin eventually tracked them to their city and joined the rest. While Augeise translated, Lizbetta explained their mission to the city leaders, and it was decided to send a group to speak with the Kalif of Tehjj. The party was richly rewarded, and Tehj and the Trogs began to lay the foundations for peace. The party now heads for the city of Pao.

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542 CY: Argun the Conflagulator

The party began by avoiding the dragon’s lair and exploring a ruined temple. The room was blasted with fire and smelled of burnt and rotted meat. The altar was festooned with bones and the statue of the god was defaced so much its nature could not be seen. A gray ooze was found and after several spells were wasted on it, Maevdelle ran in to fight it hand to hand. Lisri summoned two large toads to aid her, the first dying almost immediately. The gray ooze, however, was defeated without harm to any of the party.

There followed a battle between Maevdelle and a stone guardian in an arena on another plane. Maevdelle emerged victorious and the party then moved into a sanctuary with a solid gold statue of Mitra, a map to a healing room, and an amulet that Eric respectfully removed from the statue.

The party then spent a great deal of time planning an assault on Argun the Conflagulator, the red dragon they had earlier avoided. Beatrice returned to her plan to unleash an insect plague, a spell she had been longing to use all year. Ultimately, her plan was put on hold and the party decided to explore other areas and leave the dragon for later.

When they walked out into the temple area, they discovered that Argun was waiting for them. Surprised, they took a full blast of his flame breath, which destroyed the handy haversack, the platemail of etherealness, and several other valuable magic items. Lisri and Beldar immediately took a powder in the sanctuary, while Maevdelle prostrated herself and tried to lure the dragon away from the others. Beatrice turned into an owl and fled to the staircase.

Argun says hello.

In the second round, the battle began. Beldar threw a magic missile and Lisri cast Mirror Image. Maevdelle began to attack, and Eric summoned forth Charlamack the Just, the Lion of Mitra.

In round three, Lisri summoned the warriors of the Silver Horn of Valhalla, sending them into combat. Charlamack threw a Javelin of Lightning but missed. Maevdelle ducked the lightning and continued her attack. She would miss the first four or five attacks and be forced to reload Roll20, at which time she would finally hit. Eric cast Prayer and Lisri decided to immolate the warriors of the Horn in hopes of hurting Argun with a fireball. Argun by then had cast Minor Globe of Invulnerability and was unaffected. All of the warriors were killed instantly. Eric cranked up his Belt of Ogre Strength and he and Charlamack joined Maevdelle in attacking Argun hand to hand.

At this point, Beldar cast Rope Trick and scuttled upstairs. Lisri cast Wall of Ice and from its safety, cast Polymorph Other (into a Giant Sloth) at Argun. Argun made his save, but the warriors finally felled him before he could cast Invisibility and escape.

The party (sans Beatrice) then went to his lair and tried to figure out how they could transport his horde without the use of the Handy Haversack. Ultimately, they moved the coinage into the ruined temple and set up camp so the mages could prepare new spells in aid of that effort. They checked out the scrolls and taste tested the potions. Lisri discovered that the potion he tasted was a rather deadly ingestive poison and fell to the ground with a swollen throat, unable to breath. Eric saved him with Slow Poison and Neutralize Poison, and all began to rest.

Four hours later, Beatrice returned to the area and was dumbfounded to find the dragon dead and her comrades asleep near a huge pile of treasure. Maevdelle shushed her, and explained the situation.

Next time, the players try to keep the DM from screwing them out of the treasure. Good luck folks! 🙂

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542 CY: Merth, Hoogrosh, Rufo, and Argun

The party began the day by investigating the secret door next to Ompholous. Only Lisri and Eric could enter the sacred area guarded by Ompholous, and Eric failed his save vs. the magic of the Tomb of Mitra, so Lisri was left alone in the room after guiding his comrade back to their waiting friends. When Lisri returned, he chatted briefly with Mitra, who gave only vague responses. Then he investigated the items on the dais but left the reliquary alone after being warned by Omphalous, who creepd out the mage by watching him carefully. After casting Detect Magic, he decided to leave the items on the dais alone and returned to his friends.

Omphalos, from Otherworld Miniatures

Then they went upstairs to the Overlord’s Inn, where Eric sobered up Beldar with a Neutralize Poison. Lisri convinced a reluctant Beldar to join them, and Beldar convinced a reluctant Lisri to share his magic books with him, so that he could regain his spells. Beatrice suggested preparing Insect Plague (again!) and Eric suggested casting it on an orc settlement. Lisri asked if there was one nearby, angering Hoogrosh (the orc ghost).

Outside the inn, they searched for Merth. Lisri used his crystal ball of clairaudience and spotted Merth in the inn they had just left (1/10 chance; Merth needs supplies from time to time for his hidey-hole).

They rushed back in and began combat, with Eric, Maevdelle, and Beatrice in the front line. Lisri was about to cast Magic Missile when Hoogrosh appeared and attacked him, aging him 10 years and sending him running in panic. Beldar followed Lisri; he wanted no part of Merth.

Merth got in some good licks on Beatrice but ultimately went down. The party found a number of rings and also took his platemail, shield, and shortsword. Eric tried healing Beatrice and others but failed (his Girding of Mitra was acting as an anti-Magic shell).

They found Rufo dead (slain by Merth) and buried him next to Cornelius. They buried Merth as well, but Bearatrice pooped on his grave.

The next day, Hoogrosh attacked Lisri again, this time taking another 30 years from his life (Lisri is now 94 years old, a tottering ancient hobbit) but the rest of the party managed to destroy Hoogrosh.

Lisri then Identified a number of new magic items: a ring of spell turning, a ring of Haste, a +3 shortsword, and a +2 Platemail (STR:17, human-sized). He also Identified a number of the powers of the Girding, and they finally understood why so many spells had failed. Beatrice wore the Girding from then on. Lisri took the ring of spell-turning, Maevdelle the ring of Haste, and the rest went into the Handy Haversack.

The party decided to end the evening by visiting the dragon on level 4 and talking with him. Bolstered by the girding, Beatrice went to talk with Argun the Conflagulator (a red dragon). The dragon slashed her with both claws, and when the party fled into a nearby tunnel, blew his flames down the tunnel. Eric’s oil flasks exploded, Maevdelle’s backpack disintegrated (spilling its contents on the floor), and Lisri was knocked unconscious and his Wings of Flying and Robe of Many Items were destroyed. Everyone took off at a run, with Eric grabbing Lisri and running with him.

They fled back near Holomir, and healed.

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Navah: The Market of Tehjj

The party finally reached Ordi, where they received an audience with The Young Queen, Tedue Othigtth-fa. A beautiful girl just at the edge of womanhood, she entranced them all with her charms. More than that, she was able to switch Brennit and the Dikdak back into their own bodies. But as they learned more, they realized she was a powerful mage, at least 300 years old, who used condemned criminals to Enchant magic items. Still, they did not turn their noses up at this, since they could buy enchanted items in Ordi at 10% off.

Brennit still had his focus crystals for Banish and Bind, two Witchwood Teas, and a gold necklace that might be haunted. He bought nothing new. Augeise purchased an Air Grapnel, Helm of Clean Air, Earth Key, and Weylan’s Cloak. Kenshin purchased Boots of Silence, Weylan’s Cloak, a Helm of Clean Air, and still possessed his flaming broadsword. Lizbetta purchased a Helm of Clean Air and a +2 Earth Shield. She also has a +2 to hit Flamebrand. Even purchased a Helm of Clean Air and two +2 Air Daggers.

Thus equipped, the party headed south to Tehjj with the next caravan (6 weeks later). In their trip south, they spotted a medium fire elemental roaring across the savannah. Augeise woke up Brennit who immediately pursued the elemental and successfully bound it. He then Enchanted his longsword, placing the fire elemental within to create a Flaming Sword. Unfortunately, he used a point of his MASS to do so, which dropped him to M:3, which was too small to wield the two-handed blade. He gave it to Even in exchange for Even’s backsword.

A week after, they were attacked at night by two Boag demons (six armed warrior demons). Augeise and Evan were on watch, and most of the others did not have armor on as they slept (Kenshin did, but it gave him a rash that meant -2 in combat). Augeise was eviscerated by one demon (two major wounds and a grim wound) while Evan’s leg received a major wound and he dropped to the ground. He had managed to kick Kenshin awake and in the next round both them took down the first demon. The second demon attacked Even from the rear but did not major damage and Brennit managed to Banish it before it could do more damage. Even closed Augeise’s wound and his own, and Brennit gave Augeise one of his Witchwood Teas, which brought him back from the brink.

The next day they continued their travels with Augeise on a travois behind a camel. They were joined for the day by Jondu the Golden and his five attendants. Jondu was obviously a powerful mage, but he was also an arrogant SOB and no-one was unhappy to part company with him the next day when the caravan arrived at a small shrine of Shor the Avenger.

Kenshin recognized the god as a version of his own deity, Shuri the Avenger, and hit it off with the priests, who healed Augeise over the next four days. In the meantime, Kenshin undertook the path of suffering, a five mile crawl to the Great Shrine of Sibbisid, God of Death and Nature and father of Shor. On his crawl his path was blocked by a rattler but an eagle (sacred to Shor) seized the snake and took it away. When Kenshin came to the Great Shrine, he decided to join the priesthood of Shor, and began proselytizing as soon as he rejoined his friends.

They continued on to Tehjj, observing a coffle of prisoners going north from Pau to Ordi. It was explained to them that prisoners were sent to The Young Queen in return for the magic items she sent to Pau. The party also met an arrogant and well-heeled Healer of Grom, who undertook when he left them to settle The Young Queen’s hash. All were certain that he would fail.

Once at Tehjj, the party spent a great deal of time in the marketplace buying rhino hide shields, dried White Lady mushrooms, and vials of Deathblast Shroom Dust, among other things. When they were done, they were summoned before the Kalif, who requested they investigate recently open caverns under the Cave City and try to make peace with the savages who apparently dwelt there. The Kalif recognized that the cave dwellers were much like his own ancestors before they found Arka the Sun God, and hoped to avoid an unholy war with them as a result. He offered the party members 100 Florins each to arrange such a peace, and the party descended into the caverns.

For a long time, they explored and found nothing. Eventually they made camp in a closed off room, but in closing it off, the earth elemental caused a cave-in that trapped most of them and knocked Lizbetta unconscious. After much difficulty and several more cave-ins, they healed Lizbetta and escaped and made camp. Lizbetta sealed the main entrance with her Earth Shield.

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542 CY: The Amulet and Girding of Mitra

Glorfingel explained that the ring of Mitra was held by Cornelius (though the players knew that Eric had received it from Cornelius and then lost it). The girdle of Mitra’s location was revealed, and the Amulet of Mitra was now held by Avvala, the daughter of Avvakris. When Lisri searched for the ring of Mitra, he felt he should have seen something. The ball seemed to be working (he was getting fuzzy eyeballs, which usually signaled success (or eye cancer)). But it was as if the item didn’t exist at all, so the party understood that it had probably been destroyed by Avvakris.

Descending to the second level, the party fought three orcs. Two were slain almost immediately, but the third, Hoogrosh, surrendered. “No kill I!” he exclaimed, “me good!” Since his Imperial was execrable, those of the party who could speak Orcish switched to that. “My word! Thank goodness some of you are educated,” said Hoogrosh. “I understand your deep antipathy to our initial assault, but my unfortunate comrades have paid the ultimate price for their audacity. You have defeated us fair and square, so I yield. As heroes, I’m sure my word of honor to leave this place is sufficient.” It wasn’t. He stayed bound but he did share that Avvakris the High Priest had hired him and others, and that they had been told not to go down the hallway if they valued their lives. With this information in hand, the party tried to shove him ahead of them as a meat shield, but he groveled and fought so hard they gave up. This was fortunate for him, because in the next room they encountered a cockatrice that turned Whisper to stone with a single peck. After slaughtering the hideous chicken, they wrapped Whisper in their cloaks and shoved him into their bag of holding, into which he barely fit. Then Beatrice tried to dance Animal Friendship for a giant scorpion. Failing, Maevdelle and Lisri killed it. They found the Girding of Mitra where Glorfingel had described, and Beatrice wore it thereafter.

They then took a week off to go to Wheatfield and get a Restoration for Whisper. Returning to Mitra’s Fist, they found Hoogrosh dead, his throat slit open. His ghost now follows Beatrice, though Beatrice is not yet sure why. The reason is simple. At the moment they found his body, Hoogrosh was new to the ghost experience, and when Beatrice said, “He should have followed us,” Hoogrosh decided to take her up on the offer.

Eric ran into a room of darkness alone, and no-one followed (He really should have known better. See A Gelatinous Cube eats Three Heroes). There he heard a squelching noise approaching, so he summon the warriors of the Silver Horn of Valhalla. Four were killed before Eric killed the Gelatinous Cube with Whelm. Eventually he was able to find his way out of the room and return to the party.

The party found the tomb of Rakon, a paladin of Mitra, and chose not to steal from it. The legion of skeletons that guarded him helped that decision, but only a little bit. The body of Hoogrosh had been dragged into Sam’s room, but an investigation of that was put off for another day.

They then were going to talk to Omphalus again, but on the way they found Avvala praying to Set in the temple, guarded by a troll. Eric got the drop on them and cast Hold Person successfully on Avvala. The troll attacked but soon went down under superior numbers and was fully burned. The Amulet of Mitra was found on Avvala and she was taken back to Holomir.

The Amulet and Girding of Mitra went to Eric, so Eric’s Girdle of Ogre Strength went to Whisper and the Silver Horn of Valhalla went to Lisri.

And there we paused for the night, on Coldeven 4, 542 CY.

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542 CY: The Ghost

Joined by Whisper, who had reached their lair through mysterious means, the party exited their safe room. Pulling apart a boarded-up door, they entered into a dusty and cobwebbed space. Searching, Lisri found a secret door, but it was wizard locked, so he cast Knock to open it. Maevdelle entered first and immediately returned, fleeing in terror. Beatrice tried to stop her but failed, and then followed, tried to tackle her and ended up being dragged behind the 18 Strength dwarf.

Meanwhile, Lisri cast Mirror Image while Eric and Whisper prepared to enter the room. Within was a ghost, who tried to Magic Jar Lisri and failed, then materialized tried to touch the mage. Whisper failed his save, aged four years from fright, and took off running. Maevdelle had aged 5 years. On his second try, the ghost succeeded and Lisri aged 14 years. Whisper struck at the ghost while Eric created a Protection from Evil ring. Lisri continued to fire Magic Missiles into the apparition. Eric entered battle and struck a mighty blow with Whelm that caused the ghost to turn towards him.

Lisri and Eric finally put the creature down and searching its lair, they found three chests, but cautiously decided to leave those for another time. Instead they Hasted and tried to follow the rest of the party. Somewhere they took a wrong turn and found themselves in a red dragon’s lair, so they decided to give up the chase and return to Holomir, where they hoped the others would return.

Maevdelle could not open the great doors herself, so she climbed up the Fire Giant’s exhaust pipe and then headed north, with Beatrice in tow. She ran through a group of zombies that failed to hit her but pounded Beatrice, who was unable to dodge. She ran upstairs and hid in a corner, while the zombies slowly followed. Beatrice climbed on the dwarf’s back and cast Ring of Fire, but the dwarf panicked and burst free, running through the fire and hid behind the sarcophagus. Nine of the zombies went for Beatrice’s ring and burned to cinders. The last zombie looked behind the sarcophagus and attacked Maevdelle fruitlessly. Maevdelle took off again, followed by the zombie and Beatrice, who was able to get close enough to the zombie to burn it up as well. Maevdelle next ran into a red dragon’s den but thankfully took one look and retreated behind her sarcophagus. Beatrice was barely able to move out of her way and avoid burning her. Much later, Maevdelle recovered and Beatrice healed her, and the two exited their hideout. They immediately encountered a minotaur on patrol, but he fled as soon as Beatrice said, “Hello.” The two wayward souls eventually returned to Holomir.

Whisper’s panicked flight was much more fortunate, leading him up two levels until he recognized the path to safety and ran straight to Holomir.

After resting a day, the party returned to the fourth level and to the three chests. Opening them, they found 9,000 sp. and three potions. Eric tasted each in turn. They were:
1. A tempting tangy yellow watery goop that made Eric think briefly of his dear ol’ mum and what she might be doing.
2. A smoky sour pea green lumpy liquid that made his armor loose for a moment. “I think he just got a bit smaller,” said Lisri.
3. An acrid tangy bluish-silver fizzy liquid that Eric immediately recognized because of their recent escapade. “It’s a Haste potion,” he said.

They next investigated the sarcophagus behind which the dwarf had sheltered. A mummy emerged. Everyone but Lisri saved vs. fear, but he was petrified with fear. Beatrice, ever watchful, prepared to tackle him, but Eric cast Command “Fight” and Lisri, in a quandry, had a minor heart attack and fell down. Beatrice prepared to jump on top of him, but examined him for wounds. Lisri came out of his panick, slapped Beatrice’s hands away, stood up, and prepared for battle. Eric and Maevdelle were already fighting the creature, and Whisper used the opportunity to backstab the mummy, carving deep into the aged flesh. Lisri joined the fight with a Magic Missile and under the onslaught of all four, the creature died. The treasure it guarded was truly paltry, a mere 200 sp.

Moving on, they encountered a strange creature and wondered, “What is it? Is it a giant cockroach?” Eric was closest and struck at it. Whelm screamed, “No!” as he descended but fortunately Eric missed and Lisri yelled, “Rust Monster!” (Lisri was the last survivor of the Rust Rider encounter so long ago). With Lisri’s Magic Missiles and Maevdelle’s crossbow, they finished it off before Bearatrice was able to take it apart. The druid moved it into the corner away from everyone and they went upstairs, where they next came up on the room of carnivorous apes. Beatrice sealed the room with a wall of fire and Lisri shot a fireball inside, killing all but two of the apes, who slipped through the southern door to avoid further damage. When Maevdelle advanced through the door, they attacked. Despite a slingshot to the back of the head (Whisper’s) and a poorly flung flask of burning oil (Eric), they killed the two apes and rescued the chained paladin in his cell, who had been burned by Eric’s oil. Glorfingel, as he was known, returned to Holomir with them and there was much rejoicing. Next session, Glorfingel will reveal the location of the three Mithraic artifacts to the party. The date is now Readying 16, 542 CY.

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Ten Years of Blogging!

Ten years ago I started this blog to force myself to write, and to record what we did in our game sessions. We played a lot since then — Mutant World, MERP, COC, Pathfinder, AD&D, and Jack’s unnamed Boston game — but we’ve also played my own system (Journeyman) for another ten years. We are now conducting the 10th campaign in Navah since we started in 1982. In the last 10 years, I’ve completely redesigned Navah and began mapping it with a much more detailed mapping system. I published the first edition of Journeyman through under the name of Playful Tiger Press, and though we didn’t sell many copies, we sold a few and at least we had published rules for the players. I then published the Price Lists for free, and the map of the Barony of Rodes as well. Now I’m again refining the rules and preparing for the second edition, so watch for them. Now normally in a post like this, the blogger says, “so I’m stopping the blog and watch for my sales.” But don’t worry, you few but elite followers of this blog, I’m going to continue to blog. I hope you enjoy what goes up here, and that you get something out of it. And by the way, thanks to all those other bloggers that I read. I really enjoy your posts and look forward to them every month!

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Navah: Grandmother Ewan

Kenshin took the lead down a long corridor after they found an initial trap. Fortunately, he discovered the major trap (an enormous pit fall) in time to save the entire party from the death trap. He then ran into a spear trap at the end of the corridor and was knocked unconscious. Lizbetta used a grappling hook to pull him to safety, though doing a bit more damage.

After Augeise healed him, they explored a room with two pristine sarcophagi. As soon as Kenshin moved towards them, a Yaksha appeared and joined battle. It was a very near thing, but the party survived and took as booty two solid gold face masks worth a great deal of money. After healing upstairs, paying the caravaneers, and storing the masks, they returned downstairs, where they smelled a horrific smell. Scouting ahead, Kenshin saw an enormous demon, fat and redolent. Kenshin uncharacteristically snuck away.

Deciding not to go that way, they instead went back to the end of the pit trap corridor and this time Kenshin successfully disarmed the spear trap. Moving forward, they found two doors. One led to an antechamber and another set of double iron doors, trapped with a great rock above it. Kenshin disarmed the trap and unlocked the door and within they found another sarcophagus and an intricately locked chest. Kenshin tackled the chest first (-8 to lockpick) and was successful. The lid was very heavy, so Lizbetta and Kenshin approached to lift it together. Augeise ran forward to help. When they opened it, three disembodied hands (Hands of Hosk) leapt forth to strangle the robbers. Kenshin drew his sword so quickly that his attacker impaled itself and died (it fumbled). Lizbetta dodged her attacker and then finished it off. Augeise’s throat was gripped tight and he struggled to get it off. He pulled out an oil flask to pour over the hand so it would slip off, but he fumbled and poured it into his own eyes (blinding himself) and hair instead. It took Evin and Kenshin together to pull it off and even then it managed to get a grip on Augeise’s middle finger and folded it the wrong way. Lizbetta offered to slice the hand in half but the others screamed, “No!” as they were terrified she might injure one of them. Finally Kenshin snapped one of the demon hand’s fingers and it tried to flee. Kenshin followed up with a sword cut, finishing it.

After Augeise failed to fix his finger with First Aid, Evin came over to give it a try, but failed as well and hurt it worse. Evin wanted to keep trying but Augeise turned into a tiger and pinned Evin down so he couldn’t try again. Augeise then used Body Control to heal himself, and then changed back to human. However, he was still seated on Evin, so Evin now found himself under a naked Augeise and both scrambled apart, whereupon Augeise put his clothes back on.

They were pleased to find 3,000 Florins in the chest. After the attack by the Yaksha, Kenshin was a bit more cautious about approaching the sarcophagus, reasoning his god Shutu (defender of the dead) would not want him to steal from it. He made the same choice when they went through the other door and found another sarcophagus.

Returning to the surface, they paid Gyata his share. As they prepared to eat dinner, they saw a tall grey robed figure approaching from the desert. Wearing green-tinted goggles, it walked with the aid of a short black spear. A composite bow, bedroll, and goat skin waterbag were slung over its shoulder.

“May this worthless one enter your camp in peace?” a thin female voice cried out. “Please enter and ease yourself friend,” came the traditional reply.

Entering the camp, an ancient woman stabbed the spear into the ground and placed the bow, bedroll, and goatskin down. She looked to be in her eighties but moved gracefully. She was impossibly slender and had to be very wiry. She stood as tall as Kenshin and Lizbetta but was only half their weight. As she dropped her hood and removed her goggles, they saw her almond skin, white hair, and dark blue eyes. She wore a clean white linen shirt, faded black sarong and leggings under grey robes.

The caravaneers all stood in startlement. “Grandmother Ewan!” they cried. “You honor this humble camp.”

“Bring the best wine and cheese!” Gyata told his men. “Tonight is a great night!”

After Ewan thanked him, introductions were made. All of the men came to see Ewan, so no one was on guard that night.

Gyata explained, “This is Grandmother Ewan, a very wise woman. She has lived a very long time. It is said she was already old when our oldest people were children, and she has always been a great helper of the people. She is a skilled healer and singer of songs, and we are truly fortunate that she has visited us this evening.”

“Thank you Gyata,” said Ewan, “your hospitality does you great credit. I am honored to be sitting with you this evening.” Turning to the adventurers, she said, “I see you have discovered an ancient temple and… some odd things inside?”

After the players explained, she said, “Long ago, when the Aykrian desert was much smaller and much farther to the west, this land was fertile and pleasant. A gentle river ran next to the High Temple of Arakha and the nearby town that served it. It was a building of pleasant courtyards with pyramidal tombs to the north. The temple had space for all the gods. Some, like Radirus were worshipped only in secret, but still they were worshipped. The High Temple was sealed after a curse befell it, said to be an invasion of demons. Eventually the desert took both it and the town. Now you have opened it. Who can say what will happen next?”

“But it was already open,” said Augeise.

“Then… what has come out?” murmured Ewan.

“Something that has been taking our camels!” cried Gyata standing quickly. “What must we do grandma?”

“I have seen many things, but I still don’t understand the nature of demons as well as I would like. What are the symptoms?”

Gyata explained that, “It comes in the night, unseen. It takes one beast at a time and they are not seen again.”

“How many nights has it been to your camp?”

“Five, and we have lost four camels.”

Pointing at Augeise, she called him close and whispered to him. “You look like a mage. Are you?”

“Yes, I am.”

“Can you detect a spirit here that is not human? I fear one of us may be a demon.”

Augeise had Brennit check for spirits in the area (though transformed into a Dikdak, Brennit can still cast spells he knows at 10). Brennit finds nothing, and then one of the Nue brothers says, “Where is my brother? He was just here a minute ago.” The party then tried to confer privately, but the caravaneers pressed close and heard Ewan explain that the other Nue had probably been killed and replaced by a Doppelganger. The remaining twin was horrified and refused to believe this, but Augeise changed into a eagle and after a while located a set of footprints heading into the desert. Changing back, he put on his clothes again and informed the party, which then investigated. They found the prints ended at a dune and Brennit again looked for spirits and found one deep below, nearly fifty feet in.

“That’s it,” stated Gyata. “We leave tonight.” The caravan packed up quickly and fled in the direction of Ordi. Everyone was teamed with another person and all kept watch for the demon or the return of the other Nue. They were successful and by morning could make camp safely, having left the demon behind.

As they fled, Evin asked many questions of Ewan and gained +1 Folklore: Creatures as a result. Augeise was sure Ewan was a demon and questioned her impertinently to no avail. In the morning, Ewan told them stories of the desert and all gained +1 History. After they went to sleep, Ewan snuck away during the first watch and returned to the desert.

The party gained +1 Reputation for surviving the temple and sharing their treasures with the caravaneers, and another +1 because Ewan obviously took an interest in them in front of the caravaneers. The four adventurers also gained +1 Shakti (as a result of the Reputation gain). Everyone who had been to Xoolsh already had +1 Reputation, so everyone but Augeise now had a Rep of 3. The date is now Aquae 17, 931 AE.

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