541 CY, Escaping the Cells

When last we left our intrepid adventurers, they had been captured by the Set cultists and imprisoned, to be sacrificed later along with the remaining caravaneers.

As Bearatrice regained consciousness, she could conceive of no plan to escape or rescue the others, so she feigned sleep. Onoch tried to take Raylene to the sacrifice, but then remembered the water monster in the way. He was stuck, and so she was returned to her cell. Eric annoyed the guards by constantly squirming out of his gag, hopping about, and attacking Onoch when he entered the cell to put the gag back in place. He received a few kicks for his efforts, and a tighter gag.

The guards talked about killing one of the prisoners to take out their irritation, but decided that Avvakris demanded all prisoners to be sacrificed by him. But there was a bear, and they figured they could kill her. Just shoot arrows at her, right? Bearatrice changed back to human at that, and cast Obscurement. Vashalla cast Protection frmo Evil on her, but Onoch came into her cell and knocked her unconscious.

In the next cell, Moram healed Hors by laying on hands and together they broke the lock on the cell. The plan was that they would attack Midod, the closest guard, but at the last minute Hors decided to sneak past them instead. Moram kept his word and attacked Midod. This kept the guards busy for a time, and Hors managed to free Eric and Raylene, and they gathered some weapons and shields from the storage cell. Moram meanwhile was killed by the guards.

Together the three party members attacked Onoch and Ishpemo. As Onoch was next to the cells, Vashalla and then Virdonitii attacked him with their fists as he came close, doing some damage. Hors went down, but so did Onoch, and he fell close enough to Vashalla’s cell that she could pull the body closer and search for useful items. She found a healing potion and poured into Beatrice again. When Beatrice came to, she went to Hors and healed him, as Vashalla continued to search Onoch’s body.

Midod was the next to fall, but only after Eric had disengaged from battle and cast a few heals on himself and Raylene, who protected his withdrawal from combat. Beatrice then cast Insect Swarm on Ishpemo, who had been about to stop fighting and join the party in return for his life. Instead, he swatted at insects and was stabbed to death by the vindictive party, who also did the same for Midod and Onoch.

Lisri was revived and freed. Vashalla and Virdonitii were also freed, and joined the party for an escape. Some of the gear was recovered from the storage cell, but the Favor of Mitra was gone, as were all other magic rings, the best of the magic weapons (save Whelm, who had protected itself with alignment shock), and Lisri’s spellbook.

Heading south, the party chose not to descend further into the tunnels but went by the pool, trying to stay as far away as possible. The water monster attacked Raylene but was discorporated by a Magic Missile from Lisri. They took the first exit they could but found a dead end. All searched unsuccessfully for a secret door, and then retraced their tracks.

They were again attacked in the pool room, but again drove the water monster off. Travelling down a large corridor, they ran into three Hill Giants in a dice game, namely Abe, Clarence, and Jocko. Virdonitii ran through the room for the exit, and ran up the stairs to the first level. Jocko hit him as he passed but was unable to follow upstairs. Raylene was the next to try this, and was also hit but escaped. Meanwhile, Lisri was using his wand of cold on Abe and Clarence, and Beatrice was using her rod of paralysis. Together they dropped the two giants, but Jocko came running around the corridor. Beatrice paralyzed him just in time.

Hors and Vashalla had retreated to the Pool Room and were being attacked by yet another water monster. Eric declared his love for Beatrice, but then ran to help Hors, who had been pulled into the pool and was drowning. Vashalla entered the pool but Eric stayed out.

Lisri was carving away at Jocko’s ankle trying to get him to fall so he could be killed. Eric used his wings of flying to grab Beatrice and fly her to safety on the first level. Hors called on the giant owl Juthra to rescue him and Vashalla and did the same. Frustrated and left alone with the hill giant, Lisri reluctantly followed.

At the head of the stairs, they hoped to find themselves in familiar passages, but instead they found themselves in a room filled with undead guardians. The party pushed Eric the Cleric to the front, and we ended there for the night.

Posted in Dungeons and Dragons, Session Summaries, Shield Lands Campaign | Leave a comment

541 CY, Captured!

The party stayed outside the White Tower for two days, healing completely. They gave the shield and armor they had found to Vastavaar. Holomir would not aid the caravaneer, but neither did he harm him. The swordsman depended on the kindness of the party, and their concern for him was improving Holomir’s view of them.

The party headed out in the morning, rather fearful of the kobold sorceror. They didn’t run into him, but they did find a dead man and recovered a signet ring, which they could not identify. They encountered 3 rock lizards and handled them easily with a fireball and then a wall of fire. But their nest was filled with rags and dead dried rats and the resulting fire filled the chamber with a disgusting smoke. The mist from a region nearby formed into a humanoid figure, walked to a tunnel revealed by the fire, and then returned to mist. After the nest quit burning, they found a silver dagger there.

They then retraced their tracks and headed south. Raylene almost went down the teleportation corridor again but was recalled. The party marked that corridor with a big “NO.” They found a stairwell leading up, which greatly encouraged them. It ended up in a wine cellar with two wine tuns. Lisri spotted a secret panel behind them, and the party headed down that, ignoring the more obvious passage east. They came to a small room with a trapdoor in the ceiling and Raylene listened. They heard voices above, and chose not to go up, which was fortunate because they were under the constabulary and one of the deputies was standing on the trapdoor.

Instead, they went east and found themselves in the abandoned tower to the east of town. Raylene and Hors killed the giant rats that lived there while Beatrice sang fruitlessly to them of Animal Friendship. The tower had no doors and only one window 45 feet up. Beatrice changed to an owl and flew up carrying a rope, and then descended down the exterior while Eric held the rope inside. One by one they all climbed out while Lisri kept asking, “Why are we climbing out? What if the village is evil?” The others ignored him, as they wished to buy more supplies. Eric slipped as he descended and took a great deal of damage. After healing, they headed over to the cottage of Cornelius, head priest of Mitra.

Instead of finding their friend, they found his grave. As they would learn later, Cornelius was murdered by his false acolytes after he told of the secret passage under the first set of pews. His acolytes served Set, not Mitra, and they filled in the tunnel after the adventurers and then locked the secret passage. The party did not know this yet, so Bearatrice took a dump on Cornelius’s grave, earning herself the ire of Mitra (which will play out in upcoming sessions).

The party could have returned to the tower, or even bought supplies if they had played dumb, but Eric could not contain himself and rushed to the shrine to confront the acolytes. Metrutata wove a smooth tale of how Cornelius had locked the passage himself to protect the party and then had expired in his sleep. Eventually Eric called forth George, the Lion of Mitra, who immediately saw that all three acolytes were evil. Larkin and Petrovich took off at a run. “Hey,” said Hors, but Bearatrice got an attack in at Larkin, missing badly. Eric successfully cast Hold person on Metrutata, while Lisri killed Larkin with a magic missile and George immolated Petrovich with a Javelin of Lightning. The screaming eventually brought Merth the Sheriff, his deputies, and a large crowd of ne’er-do-wells. Also watching were Rhyddeus and Nerthnydd, the party’s teamsters. Eric didn’t recognize them after several days underground and gifted Nerthnydd with his horse in return for their aid. “Hey, what about me?!” yelled Rhyddeus, so Eric was forced to give away another. “Well, thank you very much!” the two men shouted back, and went back in the stable to celebrate.

Beatrice made a run for it, taking about 20 points of damage from arrows as she did so. Eric and Raylene gave themselves up and were tied, gagged, and stripped of their equipment. Hors and Lisri hid behind the giant statue of Mitra and climbed up into a Rope Trick, where they hid for many hours.

The townsfolk searched a long time, thinking the two had gone invisible. Hors and Lisri descended and returned to the tower, where Lisri worked to regain his Fly spell. In the meantime, Beatrice failed an INT roll and returned to the Shrine, wasting time looking for her comrades there. Then she returned to the tower and rejoined them in time for them to fly back into the tower and head for the secret passage to the constabulary, hoping to rescue their comrades.

Fortunately, there was no one in the office when they arrived (I rolled a 00). However, they did not find Raylene and Eric, as they had been moved to a cell for sacrifices down on the second level of the tunnels below the town. They did find Whelm, who had given Vorgrim quite a lot of damage from alignment shock. Lisri poked the dangerous hammer into a bag with a stick, and took it with them. They also found a lot of weapons, which they dumped down the hole. Hearing the sheriff and his men return, Lisri and Beatrice climbed down but Hors stayed to listen. As the door opened, he managed to get down the ladder and close the trapdoor (some excellent rolls there). But Merth saw that the room had been ransacked and opened the trapdoor in time to see Hors, who had paused to pick up as many weapons as he could. The Sheriff and deputies climbed down and rushed after them. Han, Scarvonii, Hannon, and Vorgrim were hit with a fireball and then a wand of cold for their trouble, as Lisri had prepared an ambush. They charged on, and Scarvonii struck the mage. Beatrice then hit them with a Wall of Fire, which again did not put them down. Beatrice and Lisri now fought against Scarvonii and a hasted Merth. Lisri retreated and was replaced by Hors. As Lisri could not hit them with magic missiles (they were out of sight behind the tuns), he cast first Mirror Image and then Otto’s Soothing Vibrations. “No!” growled Beatrice, who had just changed to a bear. Indeed, things did not go well. Most of Merth’s men made their saving throws, and Merth himself was completely unaffected and knocked Bearatrice unconscious. Hors managed to put Scarvonii down but then retreated. Lisri hit the bad guys with a wall of ice that made Gerstead retreat. Hors knocked Hannon unconscious but Merth then knocked Hors down to -9 and ran after a fleeing Lisri. Merth chopped down one Mirror Image after another until he got Lisri. Lisri shot one last Magic Missile, which rebounded and did 11 points of damage to himself. “I was worried that would happen,” he groaned as he collapsed. Vorgrim and Han had been killed. Scarvonii and Bolt were knocked unconscious and had to be revived by Merth (after Merth and Gernstead chose the most obvious magic items, of course).

The evening ended with Raylene and Eric gagged and tied in the sacrificial cells of the second level, while the rest were tied, gagged, and unconscious. Bearatrice was at zero hp, Lisri at -5, and Hors still at -9. Several members of the caravan still survived, including Virdonitii, Haltashaar, Vashalla, and Moram Infidel Bane. The party’s magic items were distributed among their captors, and three guards were on duty: Midod, Onoch, and Ishpemo. Preparations were being made for this evening’s sacrifice to Set. The rest of the caravaneers had already died that way. Haltashaar and the other caravaneers are not gagged, so he explains the situation to the players in whispers, including confirming Vastavaar story of the caravan being attacked by bandits while camped next to town. Meanwhile, the three guards grumble about being stuck here while Avvakris and his lot attend the ceremony. Vashalla (Cleric of Ishtar) is in the cell next to Bearatrice and manages to reach through the crumbling wall and heal the bear 7 hp, then retracts her arm quickly in case it attacks.

And there we will start next session.

Posted in Dungeons and Dragons, Session Summaries, Shield Lands Campaign, Thoughts | Leave a comment

Labyrinth Lord & Call of Cthulhu

Thanks to COVID we have several other campaigns running besides the ones I typically report on here.

In Labyrinth Lord, we are exploring Barrowmaze in Mystara with a bunch of first level characters. The party consists of:

  • Joszivu: Poor human paladin
  • Mirella Farkas: Noble human paladin
  • Bombar: Dwarven fighter
  • Janun Buhrodar: Dwarven cleric
  • Elliot Cangard: Human thief
  • Ferris: Elderly human mage

Comedic relief is provided by Janun (impetuously aggressive) and Ferris (senile). Of course, the whole party is constantly joking, which is fun.

So far, less undead than I expected, though there were zombies and an angry spirit. A fair amount of treasure, which is good, as we are still trying to get decent armor. The only magic item we have so far (aside from some potions) is a +1 mace, which gives us some protection from our enemies.

Labyrinth Lord by the way is a combination of Basic D&D with AD&D but with simplified rules. My favorite rule is that there are no weapon proficiencies. Makes a ton of sense to me.

In Call of Cthulhu, we have a much smaller group of players so we each play two characters. They are:

Harry Oswald: The magical clone of the original Harry Oswald, a detective. The new Harry has a sense of his status, and is enormously dubious of everything around him. To him, everything is a lie.

Abigail Seaton: A muscular female arborist and mechanic who has somehow survived in this group of crazies.

Trudy Perkins: A German astronomer who does most of the library research and actual non-violent investigation.

Alistair Climbings: An obnoxious rich hunter who seeks the most deadly game.

Zabdiel Cabot: Zab is the mage and has a great number of spells, most of which take a long time to cast, can only be cast in a certain place and time, and which involve the loss of a lot of sanity. He’s slowly sliding into madness but meanwhile is defeating evil, even if there are a lot of collateral deaths. He controls a powerful monster called the Dead Lights which he uses for mystical assassinations, but it requires a great number of harvested souls, which he acquires by killing many many dogs. He is cleaning out all the ASPCAs in the Boston region. He also has an arrangement with Estelle Abernathy (a librarian at Miskatonic) to trade valuable first editions of literature for spellbooks from the library’s collection.

Floyd Metcalf: A moronic tramp who Zab recruited as a bodyguard when John retired. A rangy sort of fellow with a lot of physical skills.

John Smith (Giancarlo Melfizi): Classically trained in oil painting, he is a heartless mobster who is now retiring the monster-hunting game in favor of marrying a pretty but vacuous young heiress. Sounds like a good gig to him!

There are of course former members. Martha Thompson (plucky Girl Reporter) never really stood a chance, while Rip Von Tearington blew himself up with all the grenades he was carrying. Dr. Johannes Meier and his ex-cop companion Luther Hurley retired early and are living decent lives in Boston.

We also just played a one-off adventure based on the Clue boardgame. Mr. Boddy was ritually slain, and we had to figure out who done it or be trapped forever (or until eaten by the ghouls in the basement) by an ancient and evil trickster god. Col. Mustard II solved the problem first and traded his companions to the god in return for escaping. Easy decision for him, even though his gay lover Mr. Green was also left behind. It was Green who had killed Boddy, but Mustard didn’t mind that. Mustard had been looking for an opportunity to do it himself anyways. Mustard was a thorough scumbag who had used Ms. Peacock and Prof. Plum as human shields during their exploration of the mansion. Peacock managed to kill one ghoul with a butcher’s knife, and Plum killed another with a volume of Encyclopedia Britannica. All in all, an entertaining evening.

Posted in Board Games, Call of Cthulhu, Labyrinth Lord, Session Summaries | Leave a comment

541 CY, Rats and Kobolds

Ban was not in the game tonight, but the rest of the party persevered on in the Dark Tower.

Starting in a narrow tunnel only five feet high, they discovered themselves in a huge giant rat lair. They fought 3 groups of them before hitting a well-organized kobold group. The kobolds were hasted, with magical support and the party took a great deal of damage before Beatrice put up a Wall of Fire, allowing the party to retreat. They headed back into the rat lair, where they fought more giant rats, including an enormous rat bigger than Bearatrice. They defeated them all and then decided to rest in a rat hollow with a single entrance. In the first watch that night, another swarm of rats poured in and attacked everyone ferociously. Hors was on watch but was surprised and then attacked (unsuccessfully) with a backstab. He drove off the rat master, while Lisri climbed into his rope trick and Owltrice flew in there as well. Two rats followed, so Lisri used Otto’s Soothing Vibrations to calm the rats. A slaughter of the helpless rats followed, and the party decided to try to get back to the safe area by Holomir. By this time, they had killed 50 giant rats. The kobolds had dug in further and sought revenge, taking Raylene from 44 hp down to 4 in the first round. At that point, the kobold monk fumbled and then was knocked unconscious, and the enemy mage retreated. The remaining four kobolds fought to the death but lost. The party’s reward? 108 cp. Dejected, they returned to the room near Holomir and rested.

Posted in Dungeons and Dragons, Greyhawk, Session Summaries, Shield Lands Campaign | Leave a comment

Navah: Exploring the Dungeon

NOTE: For the new character, Melian, we designed a new vocation — the surgeon. This will probably prove a popular vocation for player characters, as it fills the need for a healer type without having to be a Gromite Healer. It also serves a potential beginning mage for the middle-class. Melian then filled in with combat skills using her added experience points. I also gave everyone an additional 16 experience points to distribute, since there are only 3 “people” in their party.

Beneath Abrameowlin and Felix, a pit opened up and they plunged downward. It was only 9 feet across so there was no room for the griffon to fly upwards, but he was able to slow his descent. As Felix fell, he shouted, “My real name is Peter Midnight!” After 90 feet or so, the passage slowly turned to a slide. The angle change was gradual enough that the two comrades fell, they took no damage. the slide bottomed out a quarter mile later, with the two slamming into a colorfully dressed gnome who had been heading upwards. They smashed into him and broke a variety of potion flasks he had been carrying. By the time they all recovered, Peter was invisible and Abrameowlin was 7 inches long. Peter was pleased but the griffon was not amused. The gnome raged at them for a time and then entered a set of double doors and slammed them behind him. The griffon stayed outside waiting for the potion to wear off. Peter followed the gnome by sliding under the door as a shadow.

Inside, the area was well-lit and Peter met three odd creatures as Finkel Irwing (the gnome) exited down a hallway to the right. The three residents were Roger Highrow (a Gull Pouka), Tientem (a living High Chair), and Suniserr (a Black Saklawi Pouka). Peter was wary of all three, but especially Suniseer, whose feelings were hurt by this obvious prejudice. Peter made his apologies and then went outside to convince Abrameowlin to come in. The griffon refused and they waited another six hours. The potions did not wear off.

Eventually they went inside and sought out Finkel to apologize. They found in a well-lit dining hall with a large stone table (no seats) on which was a variety of flavorful foods that were constantly renewed. There were numerous fruits, beans, peas, carrots, and in a bowl at one end, bloody chunks of meat (uncooked). There was also an elemental fire under the center of the table has turned that area into a grill. They would later learn that the dining hall, lighting, and privy (more on that later) were created long ago by Terezini, a wizard who had since left the dungeon.

Finkel would not be mollified, and locked himself in the privy, much to the discomfort of Peter, who was in increasingly urgent need of it.

The two comrades also met Melian, a high elf who agreed to join them in their exploration of the level. The other residents were not willing, as they believed it to be very dangerous on the evidence that anyone who had done so before had never returned.

The party of three was then instructed to pick one of two doors leading further into the level. Roger and Tientem had a standing bet on which door newcomers would choose, based on a deep ongoing philosophical argument about right and left. Tientem won.

The trio explored a number of tunnels, with Peter checking every possibility for traps and listening at every door. It was slow-going, and when Melian found a trapdoor in the ceiling, Peter would not believe it. They put off exploration for the future, and eventually found that it was a secret barracks, now abandoned, above the tunnels. Unfortunately, by that time the griffon’s potion had worn off and the griffon was now too large to enter. Peter went in first and found three small chests. He opened two of them and pocketed the 100 s. he found. He couldn’t open the third so he dropped it down to his comrades, whereupon it opened and revealed 50 s. and 2 large rubies (40 s. each). Peter tried to get the rubies, but the griffon was too quick for him.

They eventually circled back to the start and this time went left in the morning They encountered a well of clear water and spent a great deal of time avoiding it, as they were now quite paranoid about dungeon dangers. Moving on, they encountered a Bladecloud, a metallic demon with nine tentacles ending in buzz-saws. It gave the griffon two minor wounds on its left wing before Melian put it to sleep (just barely!). Peter then reached out of shadow and gave it a good bonk, waking it up again. Fortunately, Abrameowlin knocked its head from its tentacles, and it expired. The griffon continued to squash the head until the sharp bent metal bits began to hurt his paws.

Moving on, they came to a large room with four pools of water. Avoiding them again, they opened a door and found a set of bars holding several small imps in a room. The imps begged for release, offered to fly the party out of the dungeon, said they were being tortured by an evil wizard named Terezini, insulted the griffon, and indicated they knew all about the evil doings of Peter. None of this endeared them to the party, who left them there but did keep the door open so they could look at the pool of water outside. One of the imps was so incensed that he called upon Jesus, whereupon he burst into flame and was not extinguished until he begged Lord Satan for forgiveness.

The party rested and again explored, this time finding a magical lab with a peephole into the imp room below. Beyond they found a pantry in which most of the food had mouldered away. Three barrels of potable wine remained, along with 5 silver jugs. Peter stole one jug immediately. Then he slid under the barred and locked door beyond, in which he found a warrior demon bearing four swords and two shields in his six arms (a Boag). As Peter was in shadow and invisible, he wasn’t worried until the demon spotted him and ran to attack. The Shadowlord barely made it back under the door in time.

When they returned to the start to rest again (they had been in the dungeon for four days now), they inquired about the one door through which they had not gone. “Oh, you don’t want to go through there,” explained Roger, “no one ever comes back from that. We like you folks, and we only send people we don’t like through there.” Abrameowlin wondered aloud if perhaps that was the way out, whereupon Roger and Tientem both said, “Fine, go that way. See if we care. Go on!”

And there we ended for the night.

Posted in Journeyman, Navah Campaign, Navah Game Summaries | Leave a comment

Friday Night by Pauhami from Finland

Just a very lovely illustration I found at inprint. For more, or to purchase, go to Pauhami’s site.

Posted in Thoughts | Leave a comment

Back to Monkey Island

I play two computer games pretty regularly — World of Tanks Blitz and Red Dead Redemption 2. Blitz is a gang fight, but a bloodless one that requires tactics. It reminds me of the old tank arcade game from the 70s. Red Dead has an annoying storyline and good mechanics, typical of Rockstar games, but it is also incredibly beautiful. Once you get to about chapter 4, you have a lot of stuff done and can just ride around the country and enjoy that. But I love rpgs and I constantly am looking for a multiplayer rpg with a decent story. They really don’t exist, so I bought the Monkey Island bundle. They are not multiplayer games, but my wife and I can play like we used to in the 90s, swapping time on the computer, working through the puzzles of the game, and enjoying the humor. I wish they still made games like that, but at least there are still a few games we didn’t play back then. And they’ve renovated the graphics, which helps too. So if you’re looking for some cheap fun, try them out.

Posted in Thoughts, Video Games | Leave a comment

CY 541, The Clown named Sam (Dark Tower)

DMs Note: I created a party sheet in Google where each character’s basic information, equipment, and money were listed, along with the potions they currently had. I had been keeping track of all this but they suggested they could do it and remove some of my burden. It certainly will speed up division of loot and ensure that we all know what magic items they have.

The party debated what to do with Wave, and it was decided to put it in the Handy Haversack until they wished to sell it. Wave allowed them to do so.

After healing outside the White Tower for several days (and after Beatrice made several attempts to get in again), the party headed out to explore more of the level. Wandering to the south, they found a corridor littered with steel wire. Ban scouted ahead, using crane stance to avoid the wire. Once past it, he came back to report and with a misstep was entangled. Out of the illusory wall next to him came a steel spider. Ban tried to break free, but the spider was upon him and its poison paralyzed him instantly and it dragged him back towards its lair.

It did not have time to coccoon him because Raylene came south, and also became entangled. The story was much the same, except that Eric and then Hors came south to try to free her. Lisri slew the spider with two Magic Missiles and Beatrice Neutralized Poison on Raylene, while lecturing Ban on annoying Holomir, the guardsman of the White Tower. The party cut away the threads over the next half hour or so, and discovered a coccooned naked caravan guard named Vastavaar, still alive. Eric gave him his spare pants and a cloth to clean himself. Strapping Ban to Eric’s back, they returned to the antechamber of the White Tower, with Vastavaar following. There the party rested again for eight hours, regaining their spells. By that time Ban had come out of the paralysis.

Leaving Vastavaar in the antechamber, they set forth again. As they explored a long corridor, they found themselves teleported to a room of magical darkness. A Gelatinous Cube attacked but was quickly destroyed, and in it they found a scroll case with the Water Breathing spell. They went south and encountered a strange statue of an ogre. The statue pivoted and the exits from the room began closing one by one, so the party fled to the west. Hors went first and fell into a pit, but was saved from most of the damage by his Ring of Featherfalling. Eric flew the party over the pit with his Wings of Flying, and then sat down against a wall to rest while the party explored the next room.

Ban was in the lead when a goblin horde flowed in from the north. Ban was surrounded and took a great deal of damage, while the rest of the party was assaulted in the south. Lisri shot a Fireball into the center of the room, forgetting that Ban had already taken damage. He killed 28 goblins outright, including Gnorsh, their leader. Ban was fortunately shielded by the goblins who surrounded him (he made his saving throw) and survived. He sat in full lotus and took a healing potion. To the south, Beatrice laid a wall of fire in front of the heroes, killing another 5 goblins, leaving two. One ran north to take vengeance on Ban, and the other followed, unfortunately passing through the wall and immolating himself. The remaining goblin missed Ban and was killed. And there was much rejoicing. They picked up a sword and shield and some chainmail to take to Vastavaar, and then went east.

The party next encountered a giant clown named Sam, formerly a Frost Giant. Beatrice was terrified. Sam invited them in, but Lisri would not come in. Sam lifted him up bodily and brought him in. Once they were all in, Sam closed all the doors and demanded their belts. After he explained his dilemma, they acceded and were given new belts in exchange. They headed north, found a tunnel up to the first level, and there we stopped for the evening.

Posted in Dungeons and Dragons, Session Summaries, Shield Lands Campaign | Leave a comment

Navah, Team 2 and the Death of Elandra Starmist

Alice, the sole survivor of the Glorious Guard’s investigation of Lord Makkon’s Tower, returned to Weikdeor with Sir Didymus and put out a call for recruits. Abrameowlin the Griffon responded, as did Elandra Starmist and Felix Dim. Elandra was a Silver Elf, while Felix was a Shadowlord who claimed to be a Healer. He was instead a thief, as are most Shadowlords, and the party suffered for his lies later.

The new party went to Makkon’s Tower to continue the investigations there for the missing druid. They were equipped with the maps made by the last party, enlarged from Alice’s notes. They searched the old barracks and mess hall and found a few gold and silver coins. The entrance to the Grand Hall was blocked by the sleeping giant. Felix stole a wagon-wheel sized silver coin from the giant’s belt-purse and rolled it through the shadows to a hiding place past the other two. Abrameowlin heard the huffing and puffing, but could not see the shadow-walking Felix and could not determine where he went.

Felix then snuck under the leg and under the doors to the Grand Hall. There he found an impressive longsword on the wall over the throne. He picked it up and took it, but found nothing else of interest save a staircase that descended to a secret passage, which led to a trapdoor in the ceiling that he could not open. The sword felt very hungry to him somehow, so he gave it to Elandra when he got out. Elandra got the same sensation and abandoned the sword in a corner, whereupon Felix rescued it and shadow-walked it over next to the coin. Abrameowlin heard this again, but this time he had an inkling that the Shadowlord was up to something. The two argued back and forth until Felix admitted taking the sword. The Griffon refused to believe this and continued to distrust his comrade.

Eventually they came to the steel wall again, and ignoring the brass key they once again turned the silver hand, though this time to the left. For the third time, they entered the trap level. Felix fell down a 40 foot pit and took a major wound to the chest. Elandra descended by spider silk rope and Abram pulled them out. They had earlier found some excellent Elvish wines in a combination wine cellar and torture chamber (both loves of Lord Makkon). One of the bottles proved to have healing properties and Felix was restored, though the party now understood there was no healer among them and that their highest medical skill was Surgery 2. Not good.

Elandra fell down a very narrow pit (3′ wide) and managed to stop herself and chimney out, taking only a minor wound to the head. The map showed they were approaching a Weeping Angel, so Felix went ahead to scout. He did not return. Elandra followed, and she did not return. Abram went last and plummeted down the same chute trap as the others, crushing both of them as he fell into the dragon’s chamber. Felix shadowwalked and began exploring the dragon’s cave. Elandra and Abram tried to talk their way out using Elvish and Ault Wyrmish respectively, but ultimately Elandra was so frustrated she shouted, “Eat me already!” and the dragon did. Whereupon Abram asked if she liked the lunch he had brought her. She had, and the two had some tea and chatted. The dragon failed two Listen rolls as Felix put on a suit of Jabberwock Plate (+5), grabbed a +2 Assassin’s Blade, and filled his pockets with 500 Florins. When Abram left, Felix followed.

They returned to the steel wall and Felix used the brass key and observed that it opened more than one passage. The first went down (the party had already gone there last time), the second went up, and the third opened a pit under the comrades that dropped them into a lower level.

Hopefully Elandra’s replacement will be able to help them when next we play.

Posted in Navah Campaign, Navah Game Summaries | Leave a comment

CY 541, The Party begins Dark Tower from Judge’s Guild

The next module chosen was Dark Tower, a classic module from Paul Jaquays (now Jennell Jaquays) and Judge’s Guild back in 1979. It was one of the best of that period, and I ported it from the world of the City State over to Greyhawk, northeast of the Shield lands. I should mention that Judge’s Guild put out the similar titled Duck Tower for Runequest the next year, again with Jaquays art. Again, it was a fun module, though it had nothing to do with the plot of Dark Tower. Only the covers were similar.

There’s going to be a lot of spoilers in these session summaries, so if you want to play in it, stop reading now. It was a long set-up. It took me about 40 hours of work to make all the minis, populate the dungeon in Roll20, and completely understand the dungeon. I ran it poorly back in 1979, and I wanted to get it right this time. It looks like it will be at least as much fun as White Plume Mountain, City State of the Invincible Overlord, and the Halls of Tirian Teyzuren. I also realized that Lisri (our elf mage who had been reconstructed as human while in the Dying Earth) had survived all three of those modules. It would be interesting to see if he could make it through this one. Frankly, I doubt it!

The party had 17 days before they would reach Mitra’s Fist, so they stopped at Hallorn and bought more healing potions and other supplies. Then they headed on, catching up a large caravan the night before reaching Mitra’s Fist. They chatted with the caravaneers. The monk Virdonitii was exasperated by Ban’s behavior, while Vashalla (Cleric of Ishtar) and Eric (Cleric of Pelor) argued long into the night on the relative strengths of their two gods.

The next morning the party arrived in town, and the caravan made camp on the northern edge. The party met Cornelius, the ancient priest, and arranged to chat with him in the morning. Lisri casually snooped around the shrine and spotted a secret trap door, which he told the party about that evening at the Overlord’s Inn. They tried to talk to Beldar, but Alfonse took the drunk mage home, and Rufo seemed too nervous to chat and ran into the kitchen. They met Avvakris and were unimpressed by the fat greasy merchant. Ban went upstairs with Malicia seeking “jerky” and did not return. The rest of the party figured he was having too good a time and went to their rooms. Eric talked them out of searching the temple in the early morning.

The next day, Ban returned, but two levels lower and very tired. The party went to talk to Cornelius, who gave Eric the ring known as Mitra’s Favor. Cornelius also revealed the presence of the secret trap door to the party so Lisri went over and opened it up. The three acolytes were amazed — they had no idea it was there. Hors went down first and encountered Holomir Goldheart. The rest of the party came down and chatted with him. Eric finally put on the ring and was recognized as a friend of Mitra by Holomir, who was going to let the party into the Tower of Mitra when Ban mentioned they wanted to sell its holy relics. That stopped Holomir in his tracks. Meanwhile, Hors heard hammering from the tunnel and when he investigated, he found the tunnel caved in though he still heard pounding in the distance. They were trapped.

The party headed south and met ghouls, which Eric Turned but not before Raylene was paralyzed. Eric considered summoning George but ultimately just cast a heal, which did nothing. Raylene came out of it twenty minutes later. The party then grabbed 7,000 cp and took the lifesize silver statue of Mitra to Holomir, who had a squad of eight gnomes take it into the tower. Lisri opened the scroll they found and discovered a map, though they did not yet recognize where it might be. They did, however, discover a secret door and were able to continue southward.

The party then advanced down a tunnel sloping down to the next level and were jumped by four gargoyles, who did a good deal of damage to Lisri and enough damage to Beatrice that Wave could take her over. Beatrice then used the Cube of Force to push everyone out of the way and charged forward, attacking the gargoyles. Once they were down, she continued to charge forward, looking for glory. Eric cast Command but then said “Let go” (two words) and the spell failed. He then cast Hold Person and stopped Beatrice in her tracks. Ban tried to knock Wave out of Beatrice’s hands but failed, so Eric in desperation grabbed it away, taking 40 hp of damage from alignment shock in two rounds before dropping the weapon.

We ended there, with Beatrice planning to shape stone around the trident and bury it forever, and with others counseling patience.

Posted in Dungeons and Dragons, Greyhawk, Session Summaries, Shield Lands Campaign | Leave a comment