Stocking Stuffer: Pirate or LARP coins

I’m not getting a commission or anything on this — I’m just a satisfied consumer. I ordered a pack of 200 Pirate Coins on Amazon from Beverly Oaks. I got about 60 gold pieces, 60 silver pieces, and the rest in antiqued metal (not copper, but good enough). They are about the size of a quarter (too small for doubloons) but have some heft and a very satisfying clink. I was looking for something metal and as cheap as possible. I’m highly satisfied and recommend them to anyone else who wants to use some clinky coins in their game. In fact, I ordered another 200 so I’ll have plenty. One never knows when one will find stuff like this again!

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Role-playing (Immersion) vs. Social Gaming (Pizza & Pretzels)

I was reminded last night that there is a difference in how I play in different campaigns. When there is a deeply detailed fantasy world that I can buy into, I emphasize role-playing over social gaming. That means I enjoy most the immersion into the fantasy world and the development of a character. What happens to that character matters a lot to me and I take very seriously the decisions he/she makes. Middle-Earth Roleplaying (MERP) is like that for me, as the world is one that is very familiar and beloved to me. Stars Wars is another. Runequest’s Glorantha is detailed but it is often too silly for me to take seriously. Harn, C&S, and EPT are very detailed worlds, but I find it much harder to immerse myself in those. For me, those are just kind of boring, though that might change if I found a DM who could overcome those issues. Then there are the other types of games, the ones where I really don’t care about the characters so much, but instead enjoy the social aspects of the game. Let’s call these pizza and pretzels games, for lack of a better term. Gamma World, Savage Worlds, D&D, Pathfinder, and others are like this, where it is the fun one has with one’s friends that is most important. Unrealistic elements like 18 pound swords or gaining wings as a result of radiation poisoning don’t bother me in these, because it is a game, first and foremost. My characters become more flamboyant and extravagant.

As an example, Call of Cthulhu is a pizza and pretzels game for me, but I know others for whom it is an immersion game. Part of that choice lays in one’s preferences as a player, and part is the DM’s ability to run the world. Running an immersion game often takes a lot more preparation time, but there are of course DMs who are wonderful at improvisation and can go pretty deep without a lot of preparation.

The interesting thing to me is that I used to really dislike the folks who emphasized the role-playing over the gaming. They were taking the whole thing much too seriously, as far as I was concerned. And now I’m one of “those people” and encountering the issue from the other side. Most disconcerting! I feel myself moving to a more literary bent, and perhaps writing novels will be the next step.

For now, I have to remind myself why I’m playing a certain game, so I don’t invest so much into the roleplaying that I ruin the fun for myself and the other gamers. My current character in Savage Worlds is Jimbo of the Highfolk, and he is pizza and pretzels kind of guy, an overblown heroic warrior of little brains and mighty thews. But I find myself slipping into immersion even with him, which is a mistake. I have to keep reminding myself what type of game it is, and remember to have fun. After all, I still love games like that!

Posted in Advice to Beginners, Call of Cthulhu, Dungeons and Dragons, Empire of the Petal Throne, Gamma World, Middle Earth Roleplaying, Pathfinder, Runequest, Savage Worlds, Thoughts | Leave a comment

Savage Worlds Greyhawk: The Tale of Meepo

The party stands at the base of the stairs to the Sunless Citedal. A sandy ledge overlooks blackness. A rough hewn stairwell descends into the darkness. Large ROUS prints lead downwards and humanoid footprints. Also some small tiny humanoids footprints. Jimbo remembers that goblins sometimes ride giant rats. Ted says, “I knew that!” Ted says, “I sense magical energy too!” Pierellen hears nothing.

3 giant rats about five feet long leap out of the trash on the edge near the stairs. The party is surprised! “Ooh!” Jimbo and Ted parry the attacks of the rats. Jimbo then smashes one of the rats. Gertie says, “You guys take care of those rats.” She holds her turn, saving herself heroically. Jimbo is shaken by the second rat’s attack. Ted theorizes that the rats are larger because of magic. “Why don’t you hit one? asks Jimbo. Ted strikes and squashes one. “That’s better,” says Jimbo. Ted begins to call on Pelor to aid Jimbo, who is about to be eaten by the last rat, but then realizes he has taken too many actions already. The rat fumbles. Jimbo shakes off the attack. Then Gertie makes a Nature roll, and learns that giant rats are pretty common, and that they are larger than normal. 

“Let’s gang up on this SOB,” shouts the cleric. “Agreed!” shouts Jimbo. Ted kills the rat before Jimbo can strike. “Darn!” mumbles the warrior. “What?” says Pierellen.

Pierellen creates a vibrant new salsa from the rat blood. “Ew” says Everyone Else. The mage then ponders on the rats, realizing that most giant rats are made by magicians though some occur in nature. Jimbo  hopes Pierellen will finish so they can start down the stairs. The mage then waves his hands and detects faint traces of magic. Jimbo starts down the stairs.

The mage ponders some more and falls behind the party again. Jimbo sings a merry marching song. Gertie tries unsuccessfully to get him to shut up. When they reach the base, they see a mighty citadel ahead. A refreshing cold breeze blows up from below with the scent of dust and rot. The party arrives at a crenelated battlement (the citadel having sunk deep into the ground). To the west is a surviving tower.

Ted finds a pit trap. “A pitch trap!” he says. “What?” says Pierellen. “A pit trap,” says Jimbo. Gertie is uncertain how old it is. “Why don’t we go around it?” asks the cleric. “It’s too narrow,” says the DM. “Jimbo could jump it,” suggests Gertie. “Or I can throw a dwarf through that door,” replies the warrior.

Jimbo dances agilely to the door. He opens it inward. “It’s open guys!” Jimbo throws a rope to the others and helps them through. They each dance easily in the footsteps of Jimbo. The party finds itself in a circular room with six dead goblins killed by spears. Three doors lead off (including the door the party just came in). The goblins have been dead a month. “Let’s loot the bodies,” says the cleric. He finds six short swords and a spear (holding one of the goblins against the wall). 1 short sword is a sword of quality (+1 to hit). The cleric snarfs it. “I noticed it!” says the cleric, in answer to Jimbo’s accusing gaze. The sword is made of a strange form of bronze. The cleric and the mage compete to figure out what it is. The cleric wins, and explains that it is Elysium bronze, made by Fey Folk. It is hard as steel. Ted gives it to the mage. Ted then has a waking dream. Then he investigates the speared goblin.

Jimbo stealthily opens the left door. A room beyond has a collapsed end at the far end. Jimbo stealthily goes to the door at the other side. The rest of the party unsuccessfully looks for footprints. Jimbo backs up when he spots a dire rat (another name for ROUS) in the rubble. “Form a shield wall,” he cries. Ted goes first and considers the occult knowledge of the place. He sees the door in the shape of a dragon’s mouth. It contains a key hole in the grinning dragon’s open mouth.

Gertie taunts the rat. Gertie, Ted, and Jimbo hold the line. Pierellen hides behind them, as he is a mage. The rat runs away. The party investigates it. “It was just another giant rat?” says Jimbo. “Why’d you describe it as a Dire Rat?” he asks the DM. “They’re the same thing,” says the DM. “Well, how was I supposed to know that?” complains the warrior, who missed a chance of smashing another rat.

The party then searches for a key. But doesn’t find one. Pierellen checks for traps while Jimbo goes to the right side door from the previous room and Ted uses his smartphone to search for terrifying stories he can shape into dreams to tell the others.

There are two doors down the corridor. Jimbo goes down the corridor, and fails to obscure the footprints in the dust completely, while Gertie looks at the prints. “Somebody went this way,” says Gertie. “It was me,” says Jimbo.  “And look, there’s a secret door” says Gertie. “I helped,” says Pierellen.

The secret door is stone and locked with a carved stone fish on it. “There are a lot of carvings on the walls,” adds the DM, having failed to mention that before. “Including a draconic rat. There’s a lot of draconic influenced carvings, as a matter of fact.” Jimbo opens the door opposite the secret door. There’s a lot of rocky debris in the empty room. Jimbo goes to the last door while the rest of the party unsuccessfully searches the little room for treasure. Ted looks for traps but finds none.

Jimbo opens the door at the end of the corridor. Pierellen changes his character sheet, exchanging Taunt for Lockpicking. “You are a despicable human being,” says Ted.

The room has crudely executed glyphs with a large pit in the center of the chamber. A metallic cage is on the southern wall. A small wooden bench draped with green cloth sits in front the cage. Whimpering comes from the bedroll near the cage. “Where’s the fire,” says the warrior. “It’s in the pit,” says the DM. “Huh,” says the warrior. “It’s a firepit.” “Oh.”

Jimbo investigates the whimpering. Pierellen notices that a lot of the glyphs are crude draconic. “Guys, the walls says there are dragons here,” says Pierellen. “Are you ok,” says Jimbo in Draconic. “OMG,” says Pierellen.”We can be Draconic BFs.” A kobold head peeks out of the bedroll. The kobold and Pierellen start talking together in Draconic. “WTF!” says Jimbo in Draconic. “I’m the one next to him!” Jimbo grabs the kobold and interrogates him. “I am meepo, keeper of dragons. Goblins stole Calkrix, our dragon. goblins do goblin things. Bad stuff. Meepo take you to leader, Wusdrayl, if you play nice nice. If you promise not hurt Meepo and promise rescue dragon.”

“Where is the key,” says Jimbo, shaking the kobold. “That not nice nice!” Jimbo replies, “Pierellen want kill Meepo. Jimbo nice nice to meepo.” “Look in firepit for key,” screams Meepo. Jimbo looks in the firepit.

Meepo says, “Big Doofus wants key.” Jimbo shakes a bit more roughly. Pierellen prepares fireball. Jimbo holds Meepo at arm’s length. Ted looks in the firepit, and finds a jade figurine of a dragon and enough wood to make a new fire. Gertie finds nothing else. “Is that a key?” says Gertie. Meepo offers goblin treasure to the humans. Ted says, “I use my grapnel hook to get the figurine.” “It is NOT a pit,” says Jimbo. “It is just a fireplace.” “Oh,” says Ted, hooking the figurine. “Is he possessed now?” asks Gertie.

The figurine is of a Forest Dragon, notes Pierellen. “Vines grow together to form a dragon,” he says. Even Jimbo knows this is a lie. “It’s basically a green dragon,” says the DM. “Oh.”

“How big is the hole,” asks Jimbo. “Ok, it is the right size for a wormling,” says Gertie. Jimbo tries unsuccessfully to gauge how big the hole is. Using Meepo as a yardstick. “How many Meepos can fit in the hole?” he asks the DM. “Roll your notice.” Jimbo fails. “Gertie is right,” says the Dm. Pierellen judges it to be a couple of feet wide. 

“How was the hole formed?” asks Jimbo. “several bars were broken inward,” says the DM.

“Are you evil Meepo?” asks Jimbo. “No hurt Meepo.” “Are you good Meepo?” “Yes, yes!” “Ok,” says Jimbo, putting down Meepo.

“We shall help thee!” says Jimbo. “I take you” says Meepo. “Follow!” There are three doors leading from the room. Meepo goes through the south door. Down a long column of entwining dragons carved in marble. There are several patrols of kobolds. Meepo explains that they are guests in Draconic. “Hail and well met,” says Jimbo in Draconic.

“Do I know anything about this kobold organization?” asks Ted. “You know kobolds are tribally organized with a specific leader, usually matriarchal,” says the DM. Ted shares that knowledge with the party. The party comes before the Dragon Throne. A small horned figure in dyed red robes sits on the Throne, with others guarding her. 

Jimbo goes to his knees, and says,”Milady, we come at the bidding of Meepo to aid you in your quest to retrieve Caltrix and combat the goblins.” The koblin queen is impressed, but asks, “Surely you are here to help with Caltrix and not with magic apples.” “Magic apples?” asks Jimbo, who honestly has forgotten about that story line. Gertie says the party came to retrieve

The Kobold Queen says, “The goblins are in league with a renegade human named Baylak who is responsible for the apples.” “If you help us, we will give you treasure.”  “I like treasure,” says the mage.

Piroulin and the queen spar with words. “We will defeat the goblins, or die trying,” says Jimbo. “Can someone go with us?” asks Gertie. “Yes, take Meepo,” says the queen.

“We will give you our key if you bring our dragon,” says the queen. “Let’s cut cards for it,” says Ted. Meepo leads them down several corridors and a trap. Gertie makes her smell roll and is immediately sorry about it. “Goblins!” she says. Ted calls upon Pelor to grant him strength. He gets a +1 on his next attack. Meepo uses Piroloin’s old short sword and prepares for combat. The party opens the door and attacks the 6 goblins within.

Jimbo impales one of them, sending an enormous gout of blood out the other side. Father Ted smashes the head of another. Pirolin fires two bolts, killing two goblins. One goblin runs for the door; the other attacks Ted, missing. Meepo engages the one running away but fails to hit. Gertie warns the goblin of Meepo’s prowess, taunting him into cowering down. “I had a better taunt skill than you,” says Piroulin, “before I changed to locksmithing.”

A goblin attacks Ted again. “Just lay down your weapon and we’ll be friends,” says Ted. “He missed,” says the Dm. “Ok, I smash his head in,” says Ted, and does. “Obviously I was lying,” explains the cleric. “It is just a minor obligation to Pelor after all!” Pirolin taunts the last goblin, trying to outdo Gertie. He fails. Gertie grabs the goblin and interrogates it. She asks Meepo if he speaks Goblin. He replies, “Goblins only speak one language, stabby stabby.” Pirolin interrogates the goblin, but after the goblin sticks out his tongue, Pirolin stabs him and kills him.

The party searches and find ye old 60 silver. Meepo has a goblin spear, sword, and shield.  

Ted smells for more goblins. So does Pirolin. Jimbo doesn’t. “Not as fresh scent” says Ted. “I bet,” says Jimbo. “The best thing about farting down is here,” says Pirolin, “is that you can’t smell it.”

Ted has another waking dream of a hideous monster.

There are five doors in the next room. There’s 10 columns in the room carved with entwining dragons. The room is empty.  “Do any of you have a phone charger is compatible with Android,” asks the Dm. “Is that arcana or knowledge history?” asks the mage.

Pirolin searches for traps and finds none. The left door has many goblin voices (guttural that is) on the other side. Door 2 has no sound. Door 3 has no sound. Door 4 has some motion but it doesn’t sound like goblins (maybe small goblins). Pirolin detects faint ice magic behind it. Door 5 has no sound. Jimbo picks the lock of Door 4, which Pirolin failed miserably at.

JImbo throws the door open and says in Draconic, “Hey Caltrix, you ok?” A gust of icy breath greets him, which he manages to parry. “Hey!” says Jimbo. Pirolin casts Light on the dragon, who is shaken. Gertie once again taunts. The dragon is now shaken and distracted. Father Ted calls upon Pelor to warm the dragon’s heart. The Dragon falls asleep. Jimbo and Meepo build a box to restrain the dragon. Searching the room, the party finds another jade dragon (of a desert dragon), a crystal goblet, and 24 pieces of fine silver (quince forks are missing though), a sealed scroll case of bone with a Dwarven inscription (“Khundrukar” which translates as Glitterhame).

The party brings the boxed dragon back to the kobolds. The queen gives the party a key. Pirolin and Ted threaten the queen for more treasure. “Forgive them Queen, they are unworthy,” says Jimbo. “Ok, I’ll teach you magic,” says the queen to Pirolin. “What!?” says Jimbo. “Go kill more goblins, and tell the town to start trading,” says the queen. “You go check out the key, I’ll write down the spells I can teach you,” says the queen.

Jimbo begins to think, which is usually not a good idea. He begins to reclassify the queen from a heroic figure to a possible villain. After Pirolin and Ted express capitalistic greed, he starts thinking they might not be heroic either, though he is less certain about this.

Instead of the dragon door, they go to another door in the goblin region. Opening it they find cases of elf pudding (pudding made of elf). Pirolin says the pudding is good. Jimbo begins to question even more. There are 5 containers of lamp oil (pints), which the party takes.

In the next room is a curtain. 2 goblins are throwing javelins at dummies and 2 are drinking. Jimbo attacks the surprised goblins. He kills one. One throws a javelin and misses. The other two attack but both miss. Ted kills another, smashing its head completely off its shoulders and into another goblin, causing it to be shaken. Jimbo kills another. Gertie taunts the remaining goblin unsuccessfully. Pirolin kills the remaining one. They find 40 silver, 8 javelins, and 2 goblin short swords.

In the next room, they find a torture room with three kobolds. Jimbo frees them. Pirolin says “Wait they might be evil.” “So some kobolds are evil?” asks Jimbo. “No, they are good kobolds,” says Gertie. To Jimbo, Pirolin asks, “What was the cave like that you grew up in?” Jimbo is beginning to dislike Pirolin. He reminds him of the elves of the Highfolk who looked down on him. He didn’t like those elves.

There is a gnome in a cage at the back of the room. Jimbo frees him. Ted asks, “Why were those goblins keep you captive?” “I’ve been here for a year. They captured me using the old road,” says the gnome. “Do you know of Baylok?” asks Gertie. “He has the Twilight Grove down below, an enchanted garden of some kind. They come from a Gulfias Tree. They also caught three adventurers about a month ago: Telgin, Sharwin, and Sir Bradford. They were here only a week and then were taken to Baylok, who is a druid.” Once recovered, the gnome (named Erkie Timbers) joins the party.

The next room has a firepit and much stained floor. There are two goblins at the east door, which is a crenelated wall. There the adventure halted for the night, and the characters advance a level.

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MERP: Marcos

The giant crab feast on the bodies at the bottom of the pit, only slightly slowed by the fact that the bodies have reanimated and are attacking as zombies. The players move on and fine a magic fire ring in a small pool. After the giant crab attacks them from a large pool, and eats Helena, they leave the caverns and return by longboat to the ship. Drogo gives the fiery ring to Delcarnon.

Orin is the last Mendocian alive, but they also bring the body of Mellie the Ranger for later burial. The pregnant woman turns out to be a half halfling named Nina Harfoot, a Holf (half hobbit, half elf) trained as a blacksmith. Her mother has gone to the Grey Havens, her hobbit father lives in Pesterwin, Nabal Mayzri. She is from Shrel-Kain.

Oldahr’s thrush brings a message that Elentaria has taken over Shrel-kain, Brilthen, and now beginning in Lest. The party stops to meet Oldahr in the Smiling Crocodile and delivers Orin and the body of Mellie. We also meet Wendell, our contact who gave us a bounty on the cultists, from whom they collect the bounty of 750 gp.

There’s a slender blond man with tired eyes and black clothing watching the Smiling Crocodile intently. To avoid him, the party goes in the back door. Inside, they meet Logoth Escarion with Oldahr. They deliver Mellie’s body to Oldahr, and are leaving with Logoth to give him his book at the ship when the slender man with tired eyes enters and insists on having them hand Logoth over to him. The party refuses. Drogo drags Logoth out the back door while the rest of the party blocks the man’s advance. The slender man’s black sword cut the leg off one of the bouncers, and cut the other in half. Grafarlig and Feldenkraith attack the man and Delcarnon hit him in the chest with a flamestrike. In the next round, Feldenkreith severs the man’s neck and carotid artery causing intense bleeding. Then the man disappears.  He was probably Marcos the Enforcer and is loyal to Elentaria. Elentario and Demetrios the Gardener are the only sirens left. Morlamen was known as the Nightmare. Lofalmas was the Princess and Lomeilinde was the liar.

Outside, Drogo teleports Logoth up to the roof and then leaps after him. He questions the man and learns that Redmane’s brothers buried it on one of the eastern most islands in the Mayzri archipelago.  There is a secret entrance (a rocky outcropping) on the cliff face and it is on the east island. Need to cross the shallows without grounding. Oldahr want him to get it.

There are screams of horror out in front of the inn as the man flees, bleeding profusely and teleporting himself away. Delcarnon pursues him, but loses him at the sea.

Drogo lowers himself and Logoth down and calls for Grafarlig to join them. Together they head for the ship, while Feldenkraith talks to Wendell. Drogo tells Logoth not to tell any of the others about the palantir, as they might be either servants of evil or would wish to use it for corrupt reasons. Logoth agrees.

Then the party talks further and works out that Delcarnon’s black sword should be destroyed (as it may have many souls locked within it). They also decide that the cold ring they found should also be destroyed, as it was a tool that sirens used to transfer their souls. Drogo hides it very well, and tells no one where it is hidden.

When they arrive in Dilgul, the party goes ashore into two separate groups. Feldenkraith, Delcarnon, and Nina go ashore and rent a smithy for an hour to try to destroy the sword. They manage to do so, but Nina goes into labor. The baby reminds Delcarnon and Drogo of Lomeilinde. Is it possible?

Grafarlig and Drogo go ashore next, and sell the ancient gold coins for a great deal of money to Lord Windsor and survive to split it with the others. With the money, the party buys top of the line gear, and prepares to sail for the Mazry islands.




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The Map of Barony Rodes

I decided I needed a map of the entire barony for this campaign, so I created county maps of Martabus, Ruthven, and Braedt, and then stitched them together to create a 30×30 inch map of the barony, then printed it for our use. It turned out too dark, but it is still pretty.

A Map of the Barony Rodes, composed of the Counties Martabus, Ruthven, and Braedt

The detail of The Pass (located at the southwest corner of Braedt) show what it looks like up close.

Map detail of The Pass

The party’s base is at Restwell. They are currently in Kukgul and will visit Amidst next, which will require a long trip through the underground tunnels that lead to it and the potential danger of Trog attack. Like I said though, the map is dark, so I made up an easier to view version of Braedt County.

Easier to read map of Braedt County

The red lines are the county borders, the yellow lines mark the major trade routes. As one can see, The Pass is a very tiny part of the county. If, however, the party is able to reopen the underground Pass, it would open up trade from Hawk’s Vale and Fenthor, and even divert a good deal of trade from Blem itself. Since Blem is the county seat, that might not be very popular with their Count, but since Alexios received his title from Baroness Rodes herself, the Count may not have much to say about it.

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Navah: Don’t Touch That Sword

The giant Begbones limped desperately away from the cave entrance, but the two archers pursued him relentlessly, eventually downing him for good. After searching him and finding nothing, the party returned to the caverns and explored the area beyond his mate Godeva’s corpse. They found a pile of bones, weapons, and armor and piled what was still usable outside the entrance to the cave. The best of these items was a broadsword of quality (+1), which they presented to Sheriff Humfreyye. He was suitably thankful.

Then they began the exploration of the rest of the cave. The passages to the rear of the cave were so narrow they had to go single file. When they ran into an underground river crossing the passage, Josette climbed over Ian, Brendan, and Alexios to shape footholds in the wall so they could avoid the water.

Pressing on, they unknowingly reached the region where the Necromancer Sely once lived. In one section of the river, Alexios spotted something the size of a dog or larger in the water, moving against the current, though he couldn’t see exactly what. They found several old narrow wooden bridges crossing the river, and were careful on them. Most supported the weight, but one collapsed.

They came to a laboratory and torture room, with a suit of plate armor in each corner, posed with arms resting on a broadsword. The cage and manacled torture table in the center of the room were the marks of a necromancer, though the party did not know that. Alexios voiced a fear that the armor might animate, so no one touched anything, for now.

The next room was a well-appointed ladies bedroom, with four poster bed, chaise lounge, chest of drawers, two chairs, and a chest. Everything was neat and tidy, without dust, but the linens were very old and rotten. A shield of quality (+1) leaned against one wall. The party was puzzled and worried by this strange find. Who lived here? And where were they now?

Greed quickly won out, and Alexios de-activated the steel scorpion sting trap on the chest and then opened the lock. In the chest they found a pile of silks and jewelry. Alexios pushed this back and forth with a sword, looking for another trap within, but found nothing. As the chest was connected to the floor, Ian decided to find something to pry it up with. He went to the previous room and tried to grab a sword from one of the armors, at which point they animated and attacked him.

Brendan was looking in that direction and saw two suits of plate rushing to attack Ian, and alerted the rest of the party. Approaching the room, he found Ian surrounded by the four suits, and taking multiple wounds, including a grim wound on his right thigh as he broke free of the circle. Brendan considered nocking an arrow, but seeing that Ian had done no damage with his longsword and that Ian needed help to return to the narrow passage, he helped Ian instead. Brendan supported Ian from the back, and Ian fought a rearguard action against the armor, which now had to attack him one at a time and could no longer penetrate his defense. Brendan searched his brain for lore of the creatures, and remembered that these were Guardians of Blackwile, creations of a necromancer. He did not remember that they were made by binding a poltergeist to a suit of armor, but he did remember they could not be hurt except by elemental, faerie, or demon weapons.

Behind them, Alexios was waiting to help. Josette sensed danger (based on her Telepathy skill) but realized that it was not from the armor but from behind her. Whirling, she found herself under attack. Two air elementals were trying to suck the wind from her lungs, making her unable to speak. And around a corner was running a large ugly woman in mithril half-plate with a broadsword. Josette forced the elementals from her with a wave, but could not banish them entirely. She then scuttled away from the attacker as best she could. Luckily, the woman was an atrocious fighter (skill of 5) and she could not land a blow on Josette (fighting skill of 2!) while Josette was retreating so quickly. The next round, Alexios and Humfreyye came to Josette’s aid, both striking the woman. Josette considered sending her fire elemental into the air elementals (which would have caused an explosion) but instead sent it against the Guardians. Brendan shouted back what he knew of the creatures, confirming the action.

Unfortunately, the fire elemental was a small one and could not do anything to the Guardians. Brendan took Ian’s place and held the corridor as Ian sank to the ground from blood loss. As the only medic in the party, Ian began once more the now familiar act of performing surgery on himself. It is a good thing he has a high WILL. Meanwhile, the attacking woman fumbled an Intelligence roll and continued to fight. Bad move. Alexios landed a major wound on her chest, enough to put her down. She quickly bled to death. Josette then turned her attention to the Guardians and tried banishing them. She did so successfully for all four Guardians, though it took all of her fortunae to do so.

Alexios began stripped the woman of her valuables. Her mithril half-plate was built for MASS:10, and Alexios was only MASS:9, so it was a bit big, but it was wearable, and he replaced his old Jacke with it. He also appropriated her Weylan’s Cloak (it flutters impressively around one, powered by an air elemental), and her broadsword of quality (+2 to hit, +2 damage). The woman herself was very ugly, and her clothes were old and rotten like the rest of the linens, and heavily stained. While everyone’s attention was on Alexios, Brendan explored the chest and found silks worth 500 s., 12 emeralds, 3 necklaces worth 120 s. each, 300 s., and a golden chamber pot worth 20 F. He immediately claimed the chamber pot as his own.

The party put the pale dead woman on the bed, along with a partially-healed but now sleeping Ian, and set Humfreyye to guard them as the party completed their sweep through the local tunnels. They found the passage unexpectedly blocked, and Josette searched for a possible earth elemental in the area. She found it, and happily bound it to her service, naming him George. He was a grumpy and resentful elemental, especially when they used his head as a stepping stone to cross one of the creeks, but he reopened the passages he and the other earth elemental (still on the loose) had closed. The party found nothing of worth. The most interesting element was four empty chests. But they went far away from the chamber with Humfreyye. And for some reason, the referee kept asking Ian and Alexios (who controlled the NPC Humfreyye) to make some rolls.

Returning to the room, they found Humfreyye bleeding out and astride Ian’s body (Ian had not awakened). Alexios tried to sew Humfreyye’s wounds, but instead made them worse, but they prodded Ian awake and he was able to sew them closed. Josette could then heal the Sheriff, who told of being attacked by five emaciated men with long nails like daggers. He fought them off, though he doesn’t know how. Nothing he did to them did any damage (the warriors in the party noted that Humfreyye’s sword was not silver coated) and they were so strong he is amazed to be alive. They took the woman’s body and left, thank Grom, but he didn’t see where. He was too wounded. Alexios searched the area for tracks and found wet footsteps leading back to the underground river.

After Humfreyye mentioned that there were werewolves to the north, the party decided to return to Kukgul with their booty and heal. Aig the squire and the Selkie rejoined them. While at Kukgul, they consulted the wise woman of the town, a midwife. She told them the caves were the ancient haunt of Nicrodemos, a powerful dragon. After Brendan and Ian chortled at the fabrication, she got very huffy and flipped off the party. Alexios made some amends, but she was on the whole displeased with the rest of them.

Alexios and Brendan toasted Humfreyye’s deeds and all had a marvelous night at the inn, though Ian was chagrined to discover the limitations of the kitchen. He had wanted to buy Humfreyye a royal meal for saving his life, but that was beyond the cook’s abilities. It was, after all, a very small village. They also gave a suit of plate from the caves to Humfreyye, who then gave it to the blacksmith to clean, refurbish, and prepare for his use. The party plans to return to the caves and clean them out, and then visit Amidst, the third village of the Pass.


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MERP: Sirens, and the Cult of the Long Night

Feldenaith goes back and gets more crabs from the room, and then the party moves on.

Feldenaith finds a rotten flooring in the next cavern, and Drogo flies across and secures a rope to the wall so the rest of the party can get across. He doesn’t seem to have died by traps. His body has leather and broadsword (rusted), and several Sylvan scrolls on him. They read the scrolls, which talks about not killing someone because she is so beautiful. The party decides to continue down the corridor, but discover that it has become endless in both directions, and they are seized by a great fear. In reality, they have been put to sleep by four priests and each experiences their worst fears. Drogo casts Batsight and closes his eyes. He knows he is the original chamber and the tunnel is an illusion, but then he finds himself in a large cavern, with 30 Children of the Long Night on a trapdoor over a pit, held up only by a rope. Galen appears and tries to convince him to help him cut the rope and kill the Children, but Drogo resists. Ultimately Drogo realizes this is yet another illusion, and becomes infuriated. He hates dark sorcery and even more than that, he hates being controlled. He has never been this angry. Drogo finally tires of Galen and kicks him hard in the groin. Drogo immediately wakes up, realizing he is kicking a robed priest in the groin instead.

The rest of the party begin to wake up. Grafarlig gets up and slices off a priest’s leg. Feldenaith knifes another priest. Delcarnan sets a priest partially on fire. Drogo finishes him off with a blow of his staff. Grafarlig hits Delcarnan’s priest and Delcarnan finishes him by boiling his blood. Feldenaith then kills his. Drogo continues beating his priest with his staff long after he is dead, screaming, “Don’t EVER do that to me!”

When they come fully to their senses, they retrace their steps. Chel & Del have died in the corridor with the rotten floor, and their smashed bodies are being eaten far below by crabs. Drogo flies across the cavern and secures a rope on the other wall. He flies Grafarlig and Delcarnan across and Feldenaith climbs across.

In the next room a thin membrane covers the floor, with a chest as an obvious trap near the center. Drogo flies over, opens the chest, grabs a bone scroll case, 100 s. and 3 human hair robes. He then flies over to the other side. The others follow.

The party then finds a large worship chamber with 30 cultists, which looks exactly like the room in which Galen tempted Drogo. A slender ascetic man (Morlamen) is talking to Galen, Oren, and Elena. Two strong Northmen are next to him (Tarfaluth & Grimly). Lomeilinde appears next to the party as they peep in. Her face is next to them, in a barred window in the wall. “Destroy his staff!” “Where is Meli?” asks Drogo. “She is an empty shell, a backup for my current form. She took my soul a while ago,” replies Lomeilinde, disappearing again.

Drogo teleports Delcarnan next to Morlamen so the elf can cast fire on the evil one’s staff. He does so, destroying it. Galen is enraged and screams, “Why don’t you people die?!” Grafarlig runs in but is smashed upside the head with an enormous blow, stunning her for two rounds. Feldenaith runs in to defend her and wounds one of the big men. Drogo teleports Morlamen to the ceiling and drops him 30 m. The old man is tough, and is only stunned. Delcarnan picks up the old man and uses him as protection, threatening to kill him. Galen goes after Delcarnan but misses.

Drogo teleports Morlamen again and this time he splatters on impact. Lomeilinde laughs from the far side of the room and gives Drogo a thumbs up, which he returns with a smile. Galen and Elena menace Delcarnan, who is protected behind a wall of fire. Drogo tries the same on Tarfaluth, but he has been protected magically by the priest, and cannot be teleported.

Feldenaith misses one of the Northmen. Drogo boosts Galen to the ceiling, but the sailor makes his acrobatics roll and only broke a leg in the 30 m. fall. Grafarlig and Feldenaith hit Tarfaluth. The priest casts a protective spell on himself and edged towards the curtains at the back of the room. Drogo flies across the room and strikes him with his staff, blocking his flight. Lomeilinde sings a song that enrages the Children and causes them to tear Grimly to pieces.

Tarfaluth strikes Grafarlig. Oren misses Feldenaith. Delcarnan throws a fireball towards Galen and Helena. He gives Helena minor burns and stuns Galen for one round. He sets Tarfaluth aflame and kills him. Drogo buzzes around the priest and does no damage with his staff, though he keeps him from casting spells. Grafarlig strikes Oren who gives up.

Feldenaith used his acting skill to threaten Helena with further fire attacks from Delcarnan. Helena drops her weapons as well.

The priest tries to cast song of soul stealing against Drogo fails and crumples with a horrendous failure. Galen gives up, but Delcarnan fireballs him but his leg is charred down to the bone. Drogo kills the priest. Feldenaith tortures Galen into unconsciousness. Then Drogo kills Galen.

Grafarlig begins meditation to heal herself. Meanwhile, Lomeilinde approaches the rest of the party.

Lomeilinde is happy that Morlamen is dead. While Feldenaith is distracted by Lomeilinde, Drogo searches the Priest’s quarters, finding 40 gp. and an inlaid golden harp in the chest. He stashes the 40 gp. The party will divide the treasure equally later, though of course the rest of the players assume Drogo is stealing it.

Lomeilinde explains that she is one of the 13 Sirens who possessed lesser rings of Sauron, which he destroyed. The sirens were able to survive Sauron’s death and the destruction of the rings. There are only a few left. Lafalmas was one, and died on the ship. Morlamen was one, and died here in the cave. That left only four, which suits Lomeilinde fine. She would prefer to be the last siren alive. The only ones left are:

  1. Lomeilinde
  2. Demetrios
  3. Marcos
  4. Eletaria, who has taken over Shrel Kain

Delcarnen made a decision; Lomeilinde must die. He burns the rope over the pit and 30 Children, Meli, and Lomeilinde are dropped into the pit. Most fall and are eaten by crabs, but Lomeilinde holds onto the edge, and Feldenaith tries to help her as she screams, “you bastard!” at Delcarnen. Drogo knows there is no going back. He likes Lomeilinde as a worthy adversary, but she is evil and Delcarnen is probably right, though he does not agree with the method. Even more importantly, the die is cast and if Lomeilinde survives now, she will kill them all. Drogo teleports her to the center of the pit, but the spell is only partially successful and will take two rounds to complete. Feldenaith screams, “No! Just break the harp!” But Drogo flies out of reach and the spell goes off in the second round. Lomeilinde pops from Felenaith’s grip, falls, and dies. Drogo then teleports the body out of the pit, though it is badly damaged by the crabs below. He instructs Delcarnen to patch the wounds now that Lomeilinde is dead, and once that is successfully done, Drogo breaks the harp and restores the girl. Then the party tries to save the remaining Children, saving only 7 of them.

The party ends for the night, having broken the power of the Children of the Long Night and having killed two former servants of Sauron. But they are depressed by the deaths of the innocents, and decide to turn Oren and Helena over to the Rangers. The entire team is depressed at the end of the evening. Grafarlig suggests that Drogo use his share of the treasure to get professional help from a therapist. Drogo thinks this is an excellent idea. Now where can he find a white wizard?

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