540 CY, The Rust Riders

Lisri sent fliers to towns throughout the Shield Lands, asking for comrades to join him in glorious adventure, and then on the appointed date, threw a pig roast at the small inn named Soldier’s Joy, in the small group of buildings outside Castle Mukos. He was rewarded by the arrival of five experienced adventurers, whom he quickly recruited.

  • Havic Hammerbell, a 3rd level dwarvish fighter and 4th level thief from the hills of Grimford in the Principality of Redhand. He wore +1 Leather armor and brought a potion of Speed.
  • Griffin, a 4th level Flannish fighter from Axeport. He wields a +1 Bastard Sword and carries a potion of Extrahealing.
  • Raylene Mavrini, a 4th level Flannish ranger from Eastfork. She carries a +1 Longsword and also a potion of Extrahealing.
  • Kragsheer of the Whitestone Clan, a 4th level Dwarvish fighter from Stubstaff in the Griff Mountains. He wields a +1 Battleaxe, and again had a potion of Extrahealing.
  • Barrish Lowbrenn, a 5th level Oeridian cleric of Pholtus from Critwall. He wears Boots of Elvenkind, and has a potion of Invisibility.

After an evening of celebration, the party headed out on the trail, guided by Lisri. Griffin rode the horse Target, which had survived its master in the last adventure. Barrish’s steed was Neighdeen and Raylene’s mount was named Stella. Three mules had survived the previous party’s demise, namely Eddie, Lucky, and Fran. Havic rode Eddie, Kragsheer rode Fran, and Lisri led Lucky.

The first night was spent in Lastwater, a ghost town beyond the pale of the Shield Lands. Kragsheer tasted from the well and pronounced the water good, whereupon Griffin drank his fill and regretted it instantly. He lacked a Dwarven constitution, and only a Slow Poison from Barrish saved him from the worst effects. His night was… unpleasant.

Beyond Lastwater, the land turned barren and blasted. Trees seemed blasted by fire, or worse. As they continued on, the terrain became rockier and more desolate.

On the second night, Barrish cast a Continual Light on the firepit, the glare of which attracted a giant snowy owl that carried Lucky away to the north. Kragsheer managed to hit the owl with his crossbow, and the next day, Raylene tracked the creature east and then north. When the owl’s trail departed from the trail to the mine, the party gave up their pursuit.

On the third night, Barrish refrained from casting Continual Light, but insisted on a roaring fire. This time it attracted a swarm of Stirges (14 of them) that sucked Fran dry and badly injured Eddie. Lisri put them to sleep and the party killed them while Barrish healed Eddie. The fires were small thereafter.

On the fifth night, a roaring was heard from the forest. Lisri and Havic were on watch, so Lisri kicked the others and then fled up a tree, while Havic enacted a rearguard action to protect the remaining pack animals. Griffin and Kragsheer drove off the Black Bear by making loud noises.

On the seventh day, the party turned north, and Lisri once more discovered the Lost Mithral Mines. After a great deal of discussion, the party entered and descended to the first level. Lisri sorely wanted to recover the equipment of the last party, which meant killing the Goblin King. This included:

  • +1 mace
  • +1 longsword
  • A suit of plate mail
  • A golden ladle worth 100 gp
  • 7 cp
  • 48 sp
  • 424 gp

Kragsheer came up with a plan to lure out the goblins, and Havic went in as the lure. He discovered the defenses had been strengthened. He avoided the first trap, which apparently would drop a large section of the roof, but then triggered a scything blade that was only barely turned by his magic armor. He then yelled out insults in the Goblin tongue, and fled back to the party’s barricade, enraging two goblins (No-Luck and Bumsnert) who were slaughtered after leaving the security of their base. The rest of the goblins could not be lured out, and Havic could not disarm the traps, so the party nailed the doors shut and explored other avenues.

In their exploration, Lisri annoyed the mountain Dwarf by finding the secret door first. Inside, he repeated his performance by finding the hidden treasure, namely a battleaxe (+2) and seven bottles of liquids.

The party then went west and discovered a series of Dwarvish shrines, including a mithral bar on the anvil of a statue of Moradin. Lisri showed an interest in the bar, but left it alone. Havic explored ahead and found a number of goblin corpses in a Dwarvish crypt. Dwarvish ghosts appeared prepared to beat him to death as they had done to the goblins, but refrained when his Dwarvish nature was revealed. Together, Havic and Kragsheer removed the goblin bodies from the holy place, and then lowered again the portcullis that protected it.

The party determined to tunnel into the Goblin King’s refuge, and sought pickaxes in the mines. They went deeper and deeper, until they were assaulted by 13 Goblins and 3 Rust Riders (Goblins riding on Rust Monsters). The fighters were understandably dismayed as Kragsheer lost his shield and magic axe and Havic lost his hammer. Barrish used Sanctuary and Talk to Animals to slow one of the Rust Monsters, but ultimately he was forced to flee. Lisri began casting Sleep again, which seemed to be working until goblin reinforcements came and slapped most of the sleeping awake. He continued his Sleeps, gave his staff to Barrish, and cast Haste on the warriors. Havic killed several with a flaming oil, and Barrish killed another two after his throw went badly off target. Through it all, Quinn fought on the front ranks and was missed time after time by the Rust Monsters, so his sword and plate armor survived the encounter. He picked up on one of the clubs of the dead goblins and used that to attack. Raylene poured in arrows and Kragsheer used his crossbow. The goblins died long before the Rust Monsters, but in the end, those monstrosities fell as well, with Havic delivering the coup de grace to the last one with a final punch. On the dead, the party found 3 diamonds, a banded agate, an eye agate, a moss agate, and one potion bottle. Havic gave the battleaxe they had found earlier to Kragsheer, who was delighted to find it was +2.

And there we ended for the evening.

Here is the mini for the Rust Riders…

A goblin riding a rust monster; aka. a Rust Rider

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Our Other Campaigns

I typically write up the results of the campaigns I run (Navah & the Shield Lands), but I don’t have time to write up everything I’m playing in, and that actually is a lot. I’m very fortunate to be party of several gaming groups. From oldest to newest, here’s a list of the campaigns I’ve had a chance to play in over the last year or so:

Sea of Rhun, Arda: Matt1 ran this Middle Earth campaign using MERP, which was a lot of fun. We were off in the east playing around the Rhun Sea, and I played Drogo, a hobbit mage who abused the teleportation rules. He later retired to one of the islands in the Rhun Sea. Line of sight includes straight up, right? Our enemies suddenly found themselves 200 feet up. Splat. We fought the Sirens and reclaimed and then hid their palantiri, for the betterment of mankind.

Beleriand, Arda: Matt1 ran this one, using my Journeyman system. This was a great test for the system and after being a player, I’ve made a number of changes. The conversion of the system to Middle Earth was not easy and frankly I found Beleriand to be a failed test for Middle Earth. For me, it definitely deserved to be sunk into the sea.

Jaerdunia, 5e: John is running this one in his world, Jaerdunia. It met over at the library until the plague hit. While I was in it, I played Reynaldo ni Dracuul, a cunning  Transylvanian fighter.

Cheers Boston: Jack is running this one, in which the players (based in the Cheers bar) are having a Groundhog Day experience while Boston is ravaged by monsters. Peak experiences were driving the Maserati down the railroad tracks, getting blown up by the aircraft carrier, and biting off my rival’s ear. I have no idea where this campaign is going. Jack is running his own system, and it changes every so often, just like mine used to.

The Isolation, 5e: Loren is running this one, where the players have been sentenced to life imprisonment on a magic-guarded island prison. The players are much the same as in Jaerdunia. I played Nelerion of Brookwood, an elvish arcane trickster.

Paranoia: Matt1 ran this one using the Paranoia system. I never had the chance to play this before, and it was a lot of fun, for a while. Matt1 got tired of killing players after a while, and the campaign ended with the players taking over Alpha City and becoming the new Programmers, with the aid of the Friendly Robot, a mobile version of the Computer (or a copy thereof?). POS-G-NOB-3 (my character) was the only one of the Computer’s original clones to survive. The rebellion was bloody.

Greyhawk Adventures, 1e: My wife (a fighter-mage-thief) and I (a paladin) are the only players, and we’re running through some very old adventures based out of Orlane in the Gran March. Some good old-fashioned fun!

Quest in Dark Sun, 2e: David is running this. Again, I have never played in Dark Sun, but so far it is fun. I’m playing a Thri-Kreen psionicist because I always wanted to play a Phraint in Arduin and never got the chance.

Call of Cthulhu: Matt1 is considering this for his next campaign. Since Matt’s hero is Stephen King, this one should be memorable.

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Navah, Gull Island

Jomen Strokmos decided to leave the party, and his brother Strassvy joined them. Strassvy was a Spiritologist, and was served by a small earth elemental, a medium fire elemental, a foot-high pouka chameleon named Sirilo, a Will ‘o Wisp, a small red salamander that radiated cold, and a glowing blue fungus that he keeps in a bag. He is not sure what it does.

The party was at a low ebb of their finances, and they still needed about 8,000 s. to purchase two carts, four draft horses, and other supplies to move the waftwood north to Spicer. Lachlyn had that money to offer, but the party resolved to build up a reserve, as they had plenty of time to recover the waftwood. Hearing tales of mystery and treasure from a crusty old fisherman named Taerk, they resolved to visit haunted Gull Island and see what could be seen. Taerk mentioned a possible temple to Geird the Hawk (servant of the Great Eagle), and suggested they take a sacrifice. They purchased a goat for that purpose.

For 2 s., a fisherman ferried them over, and they arranged to be picked up a week hence. They landed at the mouth of a salt marsh and were immediately assaulted by mosquitoes and flies. Kjarik used Domination to drive the nuisances to bay, and Strassvy sent his fire elemental to scout. He was not yet familiar with the limitations of elementals for scouting, but this effort taught him much. The elemental went in the general direction he had indicated, towards the cliffs to the east, but it celebrated its brief freedom by setting fire to the forested regions of the island, and smoke and heat soon filled the small island. The party was relatively safe in the salt marsh. The fisherman who had ferried them there stared in wonder, but with the reputation of the island, he dared not return. He was not sure he would return in a week, but the fires were the talk of the town in the meantime, and he earned several free drinks from telling of the party who had set them.

When the fire elemental returned and calmed down, it mentioned seeing a ruined temple in the region that Strassvy had indicated, and the party slogged through the marsh to the northern shore of the island, and then progressed east, avoiding the worst of the fires.

Once at the temple, they found the markings of Geird and an altar, under which the earth elemental affirmed were tunnels. The party sacrificed the goat and the altar ground aside, revealing stairs downward. They descended and found a flooded temple, though not of Geird, but rather Farren the Frog, the Delver in the Dark. A pack of Frogfolk assaulted them as they went deeper, but were destroyed handily, with the exception of one who fled successfully, and one who was transformed into a cow by a fumbled Sorcery roll by Kjarik. The party searched but found little else. Kjarik Shaped a large roasting pit under the cow, which the fire elemental cooked. Kjarik has shown a disturbing tendency to eat sentient humanoids, and the Imperial laws against eating transmogrified people are unknown in this northern quarter. So the party ate heartily, though they will regret it later. The transmogrification was only for five hours, and they will not have a pleasant night, if they survive that long. While searching another room, Kjarik moved a cabinet to make room for another of his Shapings, and discovered behind it a hidden passage and a large, voracious, and obscenely scented demon. The party are a hearty bunch, however, and only Sirilo was affected by the stench.

And there we stopped for the night. Will the party survive? Probably. Will Kjarik, who happens to be standing next to the demon? Maybe not. And where does the secret passage lead? All this and more when we return in three weeks.

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CY 540, The Roll of the Honored Dead

This campaign has claimed a lot of heroes. In fact, only two players remain alive — Lisri the human mage who claims he’s actually an elf, and Quaal, who has not been seen for several months. The list of the dead is much longer:

  • Adrian, Cleric of Pelor
  • Cael, Ranger
  • Keeva, Elvish Fighter-Mage-Thief
  • Rotanan, Ranger
  • T’ilnor, Druid
  • Turfen, Dwarvish Thief
  • Ruften, Dwarvish Thief
  • Morgroth, Dwarvish Fighter
  • Izzis, NPC Thief
  • Tanus, Cleric of Pelor
  • Gragen, NPC Fighter
  • Lug, Thief
  • Beolba Rillid, NPC Fighter
  • Shadow, a Good Dog
  • Torin McCreath, Ranger
  • Ralden Falren, Cleric of Pelor
  • Alarnna Pandorne, Paladin
  • Tebin, Druid

May the gods look over them!

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540 CY, Another Massacre

The party advances into the first level of the mines, killing many goblins. They were pleased that for once they were doing so well. They captured a single goblin and kept him alive for his information, which he readily supplied. Lisri, Ralden, and Torin were for killing him as soon as his first information proved incorrect, but Alarnna kept him alive. He guided them to the Goblin Chief’s lair, and Ralden went to scout. He saw a chest with a gleaming jewel on it and announced that it was an obvious trap. He then advanced, fell into the hidden 20′ pit trap, and then was knocked unconscious by goblins firing arrows into the trap. Alarnna, Torin, and Tebin ran to save him. As they did, the captured goblin ran off, his arms still bound. Lisri spotted him, cast sleep, and then slit his throat. Alarna fought on the front lines, slowly killing her way through the Chieftain’s elite goblin guards, Bugbears, and then the grunts. One elite guard fumbled and fell into the pit, and Tebin jumped on top of him. Torin lowered a rope and followed. They defeated the goblin and Torin gave Ralden a healing potion as he reached -9. After another heal by Tebin, he was ready to get out of the pit. Alarnna was still fighting forward, and Torin ached to get into battle, but there wasn’t room. Lisri, Torin, and Ralden ran to the other door, unwittingly taking all of the lanterns with them and leaving Alarnna and Tebin in the dark, fighting the goblins. The three found that hte other door was blocked by breakdown, and Torin ran back in time to give light to them again. They fought their way bravely forward. Torin took a dart in the back as Lisri tossed a dart into melee. Ralden re-entered combat. As they were finishing off the last of the goblins, the goblin Chieftain entered the combat and knocked first Alarnna, then Ralden and Torin unconscious. Tebin told Lisri to run, and then tried to do so himself, but was struck down from the back. Three goblins chased Lisri, who scrambled up the rope to the upper cave. The goblins followed, but Lisri cut the rope, killing two of them. He considered resting and returning to save the party, but ultimately left and travelled the eight days through the wilderness himself. The party was killed relatively quickly by the goblins. His take for this venture? 15 gp and a mule and horse from the other players. As the sole survivor, he gained significant xp and is now 5th level, and recruiting new comrades.

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540 CY for New Players

We have a couple openings for players, but since there’s a wait list, I’m working through that first and will go for an open call on Roll20. The party is based in Yellowreach in the Shield Lands, but is currently north of White Plume Mountain in the Bandit Kingdoms, investigating a lost mithral mine and battling goblins. The current characters are:

  • Torin MacCreath, a 4th level Oeridian ranger
  • Ralden Falren, a 3rd level Oeridian cleric of Pelor
  • Lisri, a 4th level human mage who claims to be elven
  • Alarnna Pandorne, a 3rd level Oeridian paladin of Heironeus
  • Tebin, a 3rd level Flannish Druid

If you plan to join, please roll up a 1e D&D character with 4300 xp (and whatever level that makes you). For details on the campaign, see the original call for players. Roll the stats on your own (be honest now!) but roll the HP with us in the game.

Campaign Rules:

  • No evil characters
  • No bards
  • No psionics
  • Characters must work for the benefit of the party
  • No stealing from the party
  • Straight 1e Rules (Player’s Handbook, DM’s Guide) with extra magician spells from Unearthed Arcana (no cantrips though) and from Greyhawk Adventures.
  • HP are rolled as follows: Thieves 1d2+2, Fighters 1d5+5, Clerics & Druids 1d4+4, Rangers 1d4+4 (after the first level).
  • For stats, roll 10 sets of 3d6 and pick the six you want to use and put them where you would like to have them.
  • Beginners welcome

If you would like to be added to the wait list, please contact https://app.roll20.net/users/28199/dakin

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540 CY, The Lost Mithral Mines

Upon their return, Arlanna and the rest visited Pomfrey to get her cursed items removed and do some shopping. They then returned to the Halls and journied to the magical college at Zeir-i-Zeif, where they used the giant emerald from the shrine of Kita to begin to refill Lisri’s magic book. From there, they followed the map to the Lost Mithral Mines. Beginning at Castle Mukos (still quite active), they travelled east, staying overnight at the deserted city of Lastwater, where Lisri was bitten by a timber rattler. Paladin, cleric, and druid managed to heal him, and they continued east into the mountains, eventually turning north from the trail and after another day and a half, reaching a dwarven cave in the mountainside. They explored within and found a pit with a rope leading down. Clearing out the original level, they were attacked by 5 giant wolves. They were able to sleep several and beat others, and the wolves retreated into the cavern. Two goblins emerged riding on them and fleeing the cave, but both goblins and all but two wolves were either slept or knocked unconscious. Unfortunately, the party had set up camp at the mouth of the cave and two of the mules (Lucky and Eddie) were attacked, while the horse Target fled into the waste. Eddie went unconscious immediately but the party then took up the fight to protect him. Lucky ran off chased by the other wolf, with Lisri in hot pursuit. Lucky eventually escaped the wolf, who then turned on Lisri. Lisri and his mirror image fled back to camp, where the others had killed the second wolf. The remaining wolf fled. While Tebin went into the barrens hunting for Target, the rest of the party slaughtered all of the sleeping wolves, and searched the goblins, who had a total of 21 sp. The next day, they continued healing everyone (including Eddie, who had survived), tossing the dead bodies over a cliff, and searching the rest of the upper level.

On the ninth day, they descended into the pit and found themselves in the ruins of a kitchen. And there we stopped.

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Navah: Patrons

The party solved the riddle of the vampire, though it took some time, digging up three separate graves, and greatly damaging one marriage. The party reburied the bodies, albeit with their severed heads at their feet, and traveled on to Gaunt, where the brother and sister who ruled the small town (Lord and Lady Fan) put them up for the night. They also got a great deal of information from them, including the existence of the waftwood and their mission for an airship. The Fans became the patrons of the party, with the proviso that the party take on a crew of their choosing, and that they retrieve more waftwood from an Aeromancer’s aerial base that the Fans knew of. Once they did this, they would be free to do what they like. The party agreed, and then went on to Spicer, where they hired a shipwright to build a Karve at double cost. The next step would be to return to the waftwood, anchor it with weights, and bring it north under cover to be installed in the airship. And somewhere they would need to find an aeromancer to control the craft.

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540 CY, Back to Greyhawk

The players headed south on the Megachelodon, fighting off an attack by 30 Fishmen on the way. Once there, they transferred to a yacht, and sailed south, only to be attacked by an enormous pirate ship. Upon being ordered to surrender, Lisri cast Sleep on a few of the pirates and the pirates retaliated with a fireball that injured most, damaged the boat, destroyed several magic books and magic items, and killed Lisri and Shadow. Tebin jumped into the water, enraged, and unsuccessfully tried to attack the boat. Eventually all were taken prisoner, made slaves, and the yacht put in tow. A few days later, the pirates were attacked by an airship manned by androids, who killed the entire pirate crew and took the slaves for themselves. The captain was smitten by Arlana, and freed her companions and took her back to the portal, where they then returned to Greyhawk. He even resurrected Lisri, cloning his genetic material and reconstructing as best he could Lisri’s memories.

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Resetting the Timeline for the Dying Earth

Jack Vance’s Dying Earth series was said to take place in “the 21st Aeon, when the Earth is old and the Sun is about to go out.” Well, we probably don’t have that long. An Aeon is a billion years, and we are in the 5th Aeon of the Earth’s life (it was born 4.54 billion years ago). The temperature of the Sun is steadily increasing, and in 600 million years, photosynthetic life will be dead on Earth. In 800 million years, all complex life will be dead. In 1.1 billion years (the end of the 5th Aeon), the temperature on Earth will be so hot that liquid water will not be available. By the 8th Aeon, Earth will be similar to modern Venus. When the sun goes red giant, it will swallow Mercury and Venus. Then it will become a white dwarf, and the Earth’s distance from it will expand to 1.9 AU because of the dwarf’s reduced gravity. Earth will freeze.

The life cycle of the sun, in 14 Aeons

So I reset the timeline for the Dying Earth. Mankind leaves for space in the 5th Aeon. In the 12th Aeon, aliens reshape the planet and its orbit, then plant new life there. Or humans do, for they also return in that Aeon. The Dying Earth becomes a weird mix of alien and human life, and totters on until the eventual fizzling out of the Sun in the 14th Aeon, the time when the players reach it (and also the time of Cugel the Clever).

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