So, Tax Season is done.
People’s schedules are beginning to clear up a bit.
DM Stonehammer has found FourthCore and is twitching to go old school 2E type of world usinf the mechanics of 4E.
LoA is going to get shaken up a bit.
So, Tax Season is done.
People’s schedules are beginning to clear up a bit.
DM Stonehammer has found FourthCore and is twitching to go old school 2E type of world usinf the mechanics of 4E.
LoA is going to get shaken up a bit.
Well, we are currently on hold since one of our gamers is now working on weekends and can’t get the time off and two other members have started their own business and do taxes. So, yeah, maybe the remaining players will play some Risk or something.
In order to just catch up on the action here is a summary of everything that went down
1 – The party began fighting the undead and quickly took out the shamans but could not stop the
flow of undead in these catacombs. The warpriest figured out that the braziers were actually feeding the undead and allowing them to come after the party. They then setup a box around the warpriest as he used a blessing of Cathos then doused the flames to stop them. The strategy worked excellently and in a few minutes the last undead collapsed as the final fire went out.
2 – The party, after looting everything they could, finished mapping out the catacombs, finding a stairwell down into a cistern. At the cistern, they investigated and found a large supply of noxious green glowing gems. The group was able to discern that these gems had been exposed to the evil necrotic magic for such a long time that they had begun to hold residual amounts. As they were leaving the cistern they heard splashing noises but could not determine from where and what caused it. They left the area planning on coming back to investigate further.
3 – The last area they came to had a locked and trapped door. The trap randomly teleported the individual who tried to open it and also set off a loud bell inside the room. It took the efforts of the rogue, wizard, and ultimately the Druid smashing the door down to get inside. As the party entered they discovered a powerful Gobliness shaman who was in the process of raising a group of death knights to finish of the party. Also in the room were two flaming skeletons that acted as guards to the shaman and the zombified bodies of the remaining transport wagon members. The fight was the most extreme that the party has faced and the Druid was almost killed twice, while most party members were downed a few times. Ultimately, the party did survive after the shamaness escaped. After the party took a moment to lick their wounds they discovered a huge trove of treasure that had been stored in this room which after further investigation began to look more and more like a war planning room then a ceremonial place of worship.
4 – The party found that there were more noises coming from the cistern so they blasted the walls of the stairwell and caused it to collapse, sealing whatever was down there. The warpriest began to sanctify the temple and the rest of the party packed up in preparation to return to Arcdale.
Thus ended the saga of the Temple of Nerilous – for now…
I know I have missed a bunch of write ups for the Adventurer Log but there are 4 sessions worth of stuff to write up and I need to get some time to sit down and go through my notes to put them together.
Working on it. Will be updated soon(ish).
Lessons learned in this session
1 – Wizards are really good at destroying minions
2 – Deva’s make great night lights
3 – My players can roll a 20 only at the most dramatic times
The party listened to the floor doors and heard some scratching noises coming from the opposite side of the door. Preparing for an attack most of the party went to the far side of the room and the rogue pulled the door open. When nothing happened or came out the party cautiously made their way up the doors which was an entrance to a long stairwell down into deeper caverns. Due to the lack of light, the Deva began radiating a soft warm light for the party to see down the stairs.
Many Barney the Purple dinosaur night light jokes were made at the Deva Warpriest’s expense
As the party made their way cautiously down the stairs they quickly found what was causing the scratching noises. There were dismembered hands manacled to the walls that were still trying to free themselves from the manacles, slowly scratching at the walls and the cuffs. The warpriest and the wizard both took a moment and felt the magick that filled this area. They both quickly found a strong sense of necrocrotic and the foul corruption of Nerilous. This now steeled the warpriest’s, a follower of Cathos, resolve to root the evil from this place. At the base of the steep stairs they came to a fork going forward or to the left. The party also noticed how much more damp and heavy the air was in these deeper caverns, and they also heard dripping coming both passageways as well as the scratching of the hands.
The party took a moment to look around at this junction and the druid, getting bored, leaned back against the wall to the right which triggered a secret passage to open up.
Remember those 20’s I was mentioning earlier, here was the first one on a Dungeoneering check.
After the passage opened they quickly decided to explore that direction since, in their varied thoughts, “All secret passages held good stuff.” The party lined up following the rogue as she made her way down and around the side tunnels. The party did not find anything other than a large figure eight that was probably designed more for hiding than anything else. As they were leaving the side passage and heading back out to the base of the stairs, the rogue felt the floor loosen and begin to give way. She quickly leaped back from the stone and watched it tumble down revealing a four foot wide pit that led into some body of water much further down.
And yes, she rolled a 20 on her Acrobatics check
The party decided to continue straight (what would have been a left at the beginning) and head down these tunnels. As the party moved along the southeastern side of the catacombs they found a number of natural caverns and more tunnels. They frequently ran into ambushes of gravehounds that seemed to be perpetually patrolling the tunnels. In one of the larger caverns they, literally, ran into a pack of zombies when getting away from a pack of gravehounds. The party used the same tactic as earlier by finding a choke point to slow the hounds down while the shaman, druid, and wizard began tearing into the zombies.
This is when the wizard rolled his 20 and cleared out 9 minion zombies in one blast – Just when I thought I had the party in a bind and would see them really have to slug it out.
The fight was finished quickly but the party was beginning to tire out so they took a quick break before continuing along the eastern side of the catacombs and swing around to the northern end. They came into a passageway that led to a huge room that had been carefully carved out of the rock. Within this room where two large mausoleums and a dozen large braziers with sickly green flames burning and noxious smoke slowly rising. The wizard and the priest both were able to note an increase in the necrocotic power emanating from the fires and the mausoleums. They carefully entered the room and began to examine one of the crypts and to their surprise found markings of Cathos, not Nerilous on it. The priest quickly moved onto the second crypt to confirm what he saw on the first, that they were corrupted resting places for the fallen heroes of Cathos when the first crypt door began to open and a large skeletal warrior came out with a number of zombies. That is when the party also noticed two goblins shamans with staves raised that glowed with the same sickly green glow as the braziers, chanting towards the crypts. Then the second crypt door swung open.
And at that point the entire party said, “Oh shit” simultaneously. I knew I had done my job that day.
End of Session 4
The fighting was fast and furious as the goblins attacked the adventurers. The strategy of setting up a choke point worked quite well as the goblins tried to pour into the cavern room and the heroes attacked each one as they charged in. There were a dozen goblin sentries and 2 shamans, one of which ran back down the tunnel and led the group to another larger room. This room had been man-made and carved from the cave since it was fairly rectangular in shape. Within the room were a number of fire pits for cooking or heating and had cleverly designed smoke stacks leading up and away from the caverns. Also in the room were a number of tables and benches.
The group caught up with the lone surviving goblin at the far eastern side of the room and quickly dispatched him. They then examined the room, wondering if the goblin was just running or if he had another escape route. The Halfling rogue happened upon a secret door in the northeastern corner, which once opened led to a stairway downwards and low chanting was heard.
The bestial Druid took off down the stairs in his bear form and the party followed after him, and interrupted a rather large gathering of goblins including a number of shamans and zombies. Up front with the 2 head shamans (or at least they were assumed to be with the big head dresses and standing next to an altar) was a large dusky blackish red skinned Culuz.
Upon seeing the adventurers, the Culuz looked down at the goblins and said, “Finish them” as he disappeared. Apparently teleporting from the cavern complex.
Another vicious battle began and ended quickly with our heroes felling all the goblins, and zombies quickly – which turned out to be the members of the caravan and the search group that the party was originally established by Lord Brenton to find and rescue. The 2 shamans put up more of a fight but eventually they were overwhelmed. The adventurers quickly took stock of the room and having fought in a number of pitched battles during the day decided to back out of the cavern and rest far outside and come back in to explore during the next day.
The group of would be adventurers stayed outside of the cavern for the evening and camped approximately 100 yards from the cave entrance. It was a cold uneventful night and despite the rainy weather as they awoke the party was ready to venture back into the caves to see what they could find of the Red Culuz Sorcerer and of the goblin shamans that were worshipping at the statue of Nerilous with the caravan drivers turned into zombies. The warpriest of the group, a dedicated servant of Cathos determined he needed to push on into the cavern to clear out the blight of Nerilous. The party decided to continue with him and see what they could find, some for coin some for experience.
As they worked their way back into the worship room of the cavern the party noticed that the bodies of the goblins they had killed the previous day were all gone. The shaman and warpriest also noticed that there were goblin sized tracks and drag marks all over the floors and they all headed to the one room they had not explored the day before.
When they returned to the worship room, they all examined the area where they saw the Culuz disappear. The wizard, Dil; the shaman, Katherine; and the warpriest, Sered, all searched the area and reached out with their minds to see if they could find anything that would indicate how the Culuz had disappeared and what was it doing here. After a number of minutes, they concluded that the Culuz was some kind of sorcerer and he had used some kind of teleportation spell that was triggered off a device that he carried. During this time, the Halfling rogue and the shifter druid wander throughout the room, looking for something to do, out of their minds with boredom.
The adventurers moved to the western door and after checking it for traps and listening for any discernable sound they cautiously entered the room. They found the room empty, save for a bolted shut steel door on the floor, like one would expect to find in a farmhouse cellar.
(( Played on April 17 2011 ))
A few days have past and the adventurers have spent a little time around town reaping the benefits of “winning” in the arena when the Lord Mayor summoned them to the keep. Lord Brenton III had found another way for the Arena champs to work off their debt. It turned out that Breton had a controlling interest in a local silver mine to the north of Arcdale and that a transport wagon and its crew had not returned in a week. In addition to this, he had sent out a second group to search for the first and to gather the minerals from the mine just after the Arena fight. This group has also not returned or sent word. The Lord Mayor pointed out that since the adventurers had done so well in the arena, that they were the logical choice to find out what was happening. And, as a bonus, they could work off more of their debt by finding what was happening at his mine and where did the previous two groups disappear to.
In less than an hour, the group had gotten the few supplies they needed and headed out of Arcdale, down into the valley to the north and out towards the mines. About an hour passed from leaving the valley and into the northern highlands they came across two wagons. One was flipped down into a 10 foot deep ravine and seriously damaged and the second was parked next to the ravine. Both were completely stripped of anything of value. The party began searching around the area and found small humanoid tracks in the dirt and rocks. Luckily for the group, it had rained so hard the day before the arena fights and hadn’t since so the tracks were easy to find and follow. During a more thorough search, the druid and the shaman found a set of these tracks heading away from the road to the mines and into the sparse forest of tundra bushes and hardy trees. Within a few dozen yards the group spotted a human male tied to a tree in a clearing. Expecting the worse, the adventurers slowly moved forward towards the man and as they prepared to cut the ropes that held his arms behind him and remove the gag stuffed in his mouth, a quartet of arrow strings twanged from above them.
Now that the trap had been sprung that the group half expected, they began to look up into the trees to find the snipers. The avenger, Sered, cut the ropes and ungagged the human who turned out to be a wizard from the previous group sent out by Lord Brenton. He was also in the Arena fights, who survived the fight along with the dwarf just before these four fought. A moment after the wizard collected his orb and cloak that was on the ground, four more goblins and a hobgoblin stepped from behind the trees to join the fight on the ground as their fellows attacked from the trees.
For a minute things looked very bad for our adventurers, even with the additional help of the wizard that had been held captive. The goblins on the ground harried them as the sharpshooters in the trees rained down arrows on them and the Hobgoblin commander directed the attacks and used his flail with deadly precision. The wizard, who went by the nick name Dill, started focusing his attention on the goblins in the trees once spotted and blasted them far into the air to fall from that point down to the ground melee. Two never survived the fall. At the same time, the rogue, the avenger, and the shaman’s totem spirit, a ghostly bear kept the hobgoblin on his heels and finished him off as the goblins began falling from the sky.
(( DM NOTE: It was a nice bit of combat where all but one of the PC’s were hurt, some to the point of unconsciousness. But they slowly turned the advantage back to the players. ))
After the combat was finished, the bodies were gone through finding a bit of copper and some low grade equipment which they brought with them, the group figuring every little bit helps, they began searching the area. Again the shaman and the druid found more tracks heading in a different direction, towards the hills that eventually become the Icespine mountains. The group, now including the wizard, quickly and quite successfully tracked the path back to a cavern that had a small plume of smoke coming out of it.
(( DM NOTE: Stupid skill challenge – I set the success to-hit level entirely too low and the group hit five for five without a failure. I have to increase the level for the next one. ))
After much discussion and bickering, the group decided to have the druid assume his bear form and do the recon of the cave as to not give away the fact that there are adventurers looking into it. Even after convincing the shifter that they would be right behind him, the rest of the group held back and let the “bear” explore the opening of the cave. Toby, the druid, in bear form found the mouth of the cave empty except for a fire burning inside of it to provide light since the cave quickly shifted directions to cut off any natural light from the outside. He rounded the corner and ran into three goblins that were as surprised at seeing a “bear” as he was to find them. Thinking quickly he roared and them and managed to scare them off.
(( DM NOTE: The player rolled a natural 20 for his bluff check to roar – what else could I do?! Quick thinking on my behalf would quickly change this around – See the reprecussions in the next paragraph. ))
The bear continued into the cave and found a large room with benches and cook fires going and he could see two passageways from this point so he decided to run back around and let the rest of the party know what was happening. After a quick discussion at the mouth of the cave they all decided to head into the cavern and see what was happening. As they entered the mess hall / entry room a gong started sounding and they heard the shouts of goblins through the passages. The party continued down the two passageways the bear taking the lead in the first and the avenger in the second. The avenger managed to trigger a trap that got him stuck in place until the rogue helped him out. The bear entered another large room in the cavern to find goblins rushing towards the entry room. He quickly turned tail and headed back to the entry room and let everyone know that the goblins were coming. The party began to setup a choke point where the goblins would come through so the adventurers could clear out the cavern.
END OF SESSION TWO
The adventurers, having spent some time in and around Arcdale, a refugee town in the far north, found themselves in a difficult position as their adventure begins. They were all financially indebted to Lord Brenton III, the current Lord Mayor of the town. For various reasons they had needed money, and the Lord Mayor is always generous with his funds, except when it is time to collect the monies due. Sered, a Deva Avenger, Toby, a shifter Druid, Katherine, a human shaman, and Tryn, a Halfling rogue were encouraged while under great duress to accept a job entertaining Arcdale residents as combatants in the Arcdale Arena, a recent addition to the town under the Lord Mayor’s rule.
As these adventurers and others paying back their debts waited in the pits underneath the seats nobody really spoke to anyone. That early spring morning in Arcdale had been overcast and damp from storms coming in from the Aud Sea. The chill in the air had settled upon the contestants and no one was particularly happy about being here but they wanted to be done with their debt.
A hatch door to the arena floor opens up and the arena master came down into the pit. He is an older man, graying but still in good shape. He selected three humans and they grabbed their gear and head up the ramp to the arena. The heavy hatch door crashed back into place as the remaining debtors wait their turns.
Put on a good show for your people and we’ll see what we can do about that debt of yours. The memory of the money collector’s words came to these remaining eight as the first sounds of a fight were heard through the walls. And the cheers began from the crowds. And then the dying screams from those poor souls that got picked by the arena master.
Within a few minutes, the noises had settled and the arena master had returned looking for another group of “volunteers”. Everyone remaining noticed that no one returned with him. He selected a group of four including three humans and a dwarf. As if against their will they sullenly marched out into the arena.
The crowds came to life again with cheers and shouts, noises of creatures quickly followed them. Within minutes the master came back with a very badly beaten but alive duo, a human and the dwarf.
“You four, you’re the last to go. Give them a good show.”
Our adventurers, the final four, headed up into the Arena, preparing themselves for whatever surprises the master had dreamed up for the crowds. The inside of the arena was approximately 60 feet wide and about double that in length. The floor was hard-packed dirt and stone with a number of puddles from the previous days’ rain. The four quickly noticed that some puddles were bright pools of red blood instead of just rain water, but that was the only sign of the previous battles as the arena had been cleared.
The crowds began to cheer as the eastern gate, opposite of where the heroes entered, lifted and a squad of 6 kobolds came running out. They all had crude shortswords and small shields but they looked vicious enough that the heroes were momentarily surprised (( DM NOTE: My PC’s rolled for crap on their initiative and the kobolds rolled a natural 20 )). The kobolds took advantage of this and quickly attacked. The combat was joined and within a minute the advantage had quickly shifted to the adventurers. The group was finishing off the last kobold when the northern gate opened to release three huge wolves. The crowd seeing that the fight was not over renewed their cheering. The fight was much more intense against these wolves and the shifter druid had to assume his bear form to help fight but after a few more minutes the combat had ended, the adventurers wounded but all still standing.
After the combat was done, the crowds began to disperse and the adventurers went back into the pits. The other two survivors had already left. The Arena master let the group know that they had paid off half of their debt and to get out of the arena before he started thinking about new ways for them to finish paying it off.
END OF SESSION ONE