Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Loot and XP

You sell what weapons and armour - taken from the kobolds you've encountered so far - upon your return to Winterhaven. You also get your reward from Lord Padraig for destroying the kobold lair and killing their leader, Irontooth (100gp). Furthermore, you equally split up the gold that Irontooth was hoarding (420gp).

In total, each of you (Egil included, Velorien excluded) can now add 110gp and 6sp to your personal stash - on top of what you may already have gotten throughout the course of our adventures so far.

You also have an Orcus idol and amulet. You may or may not wish to sell these: Zahig discovered that the idol, at least, could be employed as a ritual component... Let me know what you choose to do. Also, please let me know who is carrying those items ;-)

Winning out against numerous foes (barely) has taught you some important lessons. Not quite enough to hit third level, but not far off either. Each of you (Egil AND Velorien included) now has 2000xp - just 250 short of the next level...

Please let me nnow if you're going to purchase anything or want to ask any more questions of any of the townsfolk. Hint: Have another look at the letter you found on Irontooth if you like intrigue...

Safety in Numbers

Vogir sits in the tavern with his three surviving comrades. Food and ale cover the table as they plan their next move.
“Iron Tooth and his Kobolds were more vicious than I’d imagined. Without Egil or Ghanash to stand behind, we were barely a match for them. I suspect it’ll be much worse if we face Kalarel’s forces in the keep without a suitable replacement for Argent.”
Daelagor and Bayern say nothing but Zahig interrupts.
“What happened to Egil? He seemed keen to help us; perhaps he will again?”
Bayern leans in, “He was a useful shield true, but we could still use a couple more.”
It’s Daelagor who finishes the conversation.
“Do they need to be warriors?”

In the Shadow of the Keep

As Daelagor heads out of the kobold lair he hands the chain mail over to Bayern. Obviously of Dwarven origin, though not limited for use by such, the cleric would be best placed to identify it. Daelagor continues on to Irontooth's body.

Bayern carefully turns the mail over through his hands. It is of outstanding quality - any fighter would be proud to wear it. The beautiful finish is more than skin deep, however. Bayern recognises that the armour would grant perpetual bonuses to AC (+1) and Endurance (+1) and would also allow the wearer to regain health once per day (spend a healing surge as a free action).

As Daelagor stoops to search Irontooth, Zahig's young voice peals out from behind him "I've already done that." In deference to this interruption, Daelagor continues anyway but finds nothing of interest. "Told you." jokes Zahig "Aside from his axe and armour all he had were this silver key and letter. Have you any idea what a goblin could possibly want to have kept locked?!" he adds, insightfully.

"Most likely the treasure chest I managed to pick - the key looks to be of appropriate shape and size. Be assured that all it contained was the armour, now in the hands of our dwarven companion. Let us rejoin the others and then you can tell us what is on this letter..."

The group reconvene near Argent's body. Bayern performs what he considers to be the appropriate rites for a fallen warrior, and a funeral pyre is lit. Vogir breaks the silence: "He had this bottle of wine in his pack. It's a good one; carefully wrapped. I guess he was saving it for something. Let us drink it in his honour."

As the bottle is emptied and the fire burns low, Daelagor turns to Zahig. "Tell us about the letter you found on Irontooth."

Zahig unfurls the curl of paper and reads "My spy in Winterhaven suggests we keep an eye out for visitors to the area. It probably does not matter; in just a few more days, I'll completely open the rift. Then Winterhaven's people will serve as food for all those Lord Orcus sends to do my bidding. It's signed 'Kalarel'."

The party decide to return to Winterhaven, now certain that this Kalarel - whoever, or whatever it is - must reside in the Keep. It seems obvious that unless they act soon Winterhaven will be overrun with unspeakable horrors from the Shadowfell.

*You are all back in Winterhaven and it is mid-evening on the same day that you attacked the kobold lair. What would you like to do?*

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Some time ago, in a forest far, far away ...

Velorien ran his hand over the bark of the old mothertree while he ascended the spiral staircase that would take him high into the foliage. Those trees contained the soul of his people, and hic acute senses felt the slight tingle of arcane energy that passed into him. If he wanted, he could tap into that energy and use it to fuel his magic, but his concentration was fleeing, distracted by the summons into the hall of the elders. ‘Why would he be summoned to meet the lady of their clan?’ he wondered as he entered, only to find the hall empty but for his aunt. She had her back turned to him, looking towards the city ruins at the edge of their forest.

‘My Lady’ Velorien bowed.

‘Don’t be silly, nephew’ she turned around and looked at him. ‘Do you remember your cousin, Dealagor, my oldest son?’

‘Yes, my lady’

‘I want you to take a message to him. Tell him that his mother longs for him to come home. Tell him that every day, at noon, I walk to the city ruins and climb the highest tower, and look over the land in the hope of seeing my child return.

Velorien looked up and frowned, ‘Surely, if his father ordered him to return, there would …’

‘His father is busy, and on his way to the council,’ she interrupted him. ‘He believes that good leadership is to never give a command that will not be obeyed, but he will not reign our house forever. Dealagor needs to start behaving like his position commands him to do, and with your understanding of duty, you are just the person to remind him of this.’

Velorien bowed his head, to indicate the acknowledgement of the compliment, and a rare smile crept on his face. What honour.

‘Oh, and if Dealagor decides not to come back, just yet, I would be pleased to see it that you take care of his safety. There is no need to come back without him!’

‘As you command, my Lady’ Velorien was stunned, this could mean exile for many years. He just hoped that Dealagor would see reason, soon. As he looked up he saw that the lady was already walking towards the door, readying herself to depart.

‘I regret that we have to end this here, but the sun nears its zenith, and its time for me to walk to the ruins.’ She looked straight into his eyes, and her face was empty of all the warmth and light she used to radiate. Her stone cold face of duty looked at him, and there was no doubt that she would keep her promise, just as he would keep his. Before she left she turned just once more, and remarked with a smile,

‘Velorien, do not let yourself be ordered around by Dealagor, he is not your lord, yet.’

Friday, July 23, 2010

When Kobolds Die

The last shuriken had just left his hand towards Irontooth when Daelagor already started to move towards the cave entrance again. He takes his eyes off Irontooth as he can see him going down. The boy should be capable to finish him off completely in case he is still alive.
Shuriken and longsword ready Daelagor stepped back into the cave ready for the next attack. Looking around the empty entrance area he slowed down and started to listen. Kobolds are shady characters and some might still be hiding, waiting for the right moment to strike. Daelagors senses worked overtime. Only the sound of Zahig outside who tried to revive Vogir and the dwarf! Judging by the number of blows the body of the Dragonborn took Daelagor would guess it would take more than a few healing words to get him back.

He started to move towards the opening on the right. Using all shadows Daelagor moved through the chambers always ready to attack whatever might still be lurking there. He could not hear the others behind him. He shook his head. Mourning the dead within a battle was a character flaw that had cost many good people their life. Normally by the hand of Daelagor who considered an enemy's glance towards a fallen friend a perfect opportunity to strike.

He had reached the last chamber in the north eastern corner in the back of the cave without encountering a single creature or threat. Also this last chamber was empty except for a pile of gold coins in one corner with a wooden chest on top. Daelagor relaxed a bit and sheathed his sword after poking the pile of gold to make sure there is nothing hidden underneath. He looked at the chest: It was a sturdy wooden chest with a standard metal lock. He hunkered down next to the chest and after searching for traps around the chest took out a few small metal items. He wasn't proud that it took him 30 seconds until he heard the click he was waiting for. Still cautious he opened the lid and looked inside. Opening the lid fully and taking out the content, he looked at the chainmail. It was of exceptional quality and from the looks of it it was of Dwarfen origin.

Within a split second he was on his feet next to the wall and had the shuriken in his hand. The footsteps came closer and Daelagor relaxed again. He could clearly make out the different walking patterns of his three companions. He stored the shuriken again under his cloak, took the chainmail and started walking. He met the others in the small corridor.
"The area is save, no more Kobolds left. I've already checked the caves. And Mr. Dwarf consider yourself lucky, your god seems to be in a giving mood today".
He tosses the chainmail towards Beyern who catches it. Passing the others on his way out he points towards the chamber behind him.
"The Kobolds also left us some money to cover our expenses..."
With these words Daelagor walks towards the cave entrance.

[OFF GAME]
You can see 420gp of gold coins in the pile with an empty chest on top. Right now you are standing in the corridor towards that chamber and Daelagor was inside the cave for 2mins before you caught up. What are you doing? Please say what you are doing in the comments to continue with the story. Daelagor already is on his way out of the cave with all weapons sheathed.
[/OFF GAME]

Death of a Racist

Vogir blinks up at Zahig. “I’m alive?”
Zahig’s blanched face reflects his own surprise regarding the situation.
Struggling to his feet, Vogir feels the tightness of the field dressing binding his stomach…
The iron-toothed leader of the Kobolds had opened him up.
His memories are jumbled but he can still see the moments when Argent and Bayern fell.
Can it be that he owes his life to the child Wizard and the Eladrin tourist?
The Kobolds lie dead or dying all around him. Bayern is saying a prayer to his God and Daelagor is heading into the undefended caves.
Of his group, only the blue-scaled Argent lies dead.
They were lucky to only lose one member of this group of adventurers…
This group of friends…
His group of friends.
Vogir stands with the cold realisation that he’d stood back to back with the Dragon born. That he’d refused to leave him undefended. When the Dwarven War priest had fallen, Vogir had stood over his prone body rather than flee and save his own life.
With a sinking feeling, Vogir realises that somehow, somewhere along the line, these ‘monsters’ have become his friends.

When Kobolds Attack

Having dispatched the last of the kobold guards - not least the tenacious Dragonshield who would not wilfully leave the magic circle - Argent walks up to the waterfall, pokes his head through, and immediately jumps back aghast! From the other side of the cascade, the kobolds, already forewarned by the Slinger, are spurred into action by the large goblin, Irontooth. "Attack them! Orcus will have much blood this day!"

Ten Minions, three Dragonshields, three Skirmishers, a Slinger, a Wyrmpriest, and Irontooth himself all lunge forward, throwing themselves through the waterfall and surrounding Argent and Zahig. Realising that discretion is the better part of valour, Zahig retreats and the kobolds swarm further to flank Argent and Vogir.

Cutting around themselves, Argent and Vogir manage to thin the crowd of Minions while Zahig and Bayern support their attempts and Daelagor begins to sneak around the back of the kobold lair. Alas, the weight of numbers tells against Argent and he is felled by overwhelming blows from Irontooth's battle axe, the Skirmisher's spears, and the Dragontooth swords.

In an effort to save Argent, Zahig and Bayern combine forces. Zahig creates a huge ball of fire which clears a path through to Argent which the Cleric takes, and he manages to stabilise and revive the fallen Barbarian. Still with the upper hand, however, the surrounding kobolds attack again and knock the prone Dragonborn unconscious once more.

In a bid to save his fallen comrade from a final death blow, Bayern stands over him - protecting him - but is himself ruthlessly brought down by the mob. Vogir too leaps to put himself between the kobolds and his dying comrades. Fighting valiantly, he and Zahig manage to kill the majority of the Kobolds; but Irontooth and a Dragonshield finally overwhelm him. Vogir crumples to the mound already comprising Argent and Bayern.

Daelagor maneouvres his way around the back of the Wyrmpriest and sneakily strikes him from behind. Clutching desperately at any opportunity to send a death sacrifice to his Demon Lord, however, the kobold ignores his attacker and instead unleashes an orb of reh hot fire at the prone Argent. Whilst an unlikely shot, he makes it. Trying to staunch their own wounds, Vogir and Bayern hear the Dragonborn sigh softly as he slips into Oblivion; "Killed by Kobolds... I shall wait by the gates of Hell itself to have my revenge... Rawr..."

Irontooth and the one remaining Dragonshield fling themselves at Zahig who defends himself effectively with his armour of blades and his blazing fireball. The Dragonshield is soon incinerated, but Irontooth shows no sign of stopping - in fact he seems to have become stronger and entered a blood-maddened state.

Dalaegor finally gains the upper hand against the Wyrmpriest - stealth and finesse eventually winning out against magic. He turns his attention to the beleaguered Zahig, and sending off a flurry of shurikens, drops Irontooth finally to the ground. Clutching a crude tattoo in the form of a ram's head on his charred and smouldering arm, Irontooth screams in defiance "KALAREL, PREPARE MY WAY THROUGH THE PORTAL! ORCUS, MY SOUL COMES TO MEET THEE!" and tumbles to the ground - fire still burning his clothing and flesh.

In anger and revenge the young magician stamps on the dead goblin's head - smashing the face into a bloody mess of bone and ligament. He wrenches the iron tooth that gave the goblin his name from his jaw and looks at it ruefully. The tooth symbolises a reward of 100gp from Lord Padraig, back in Winterhaven.

As Daelagor stalks silently off into the lair and Bayern and Vogir come round, Zahig sighs out loud.

"100gp. No consolation for the loss of a friend..."

Thursday, July 15, 2010

How much does Bayern?


Scale may be odd...

Daelagor, largor, largor, Shandy


More evil than the paranoid Human?

Sweet Ghanash


As you were soldier.

Arrrrghgent!


Just a quick fix.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The latest Vogir



How low can he go?

Keep on the Shadowfell II (Valthruns Histories)

Valthrun the Prescient invites Zahig into his tower. The top three floors of this tall building have been given over to a magnificent study. The first floor contains a huge desk of rich mahogony, a large sumptuous leather sofa, numerous matching arm chairs, and a couple of chaise-longues. As Zahig looks up he can see that the second and third floors consist only of balconies following the inside line of the walls which are full completely of bookshelves. Light filters down through the center of the atrium from a large skylight in the ceiling.

The shelves are crammed full of historical tomes and parchments. It seems to Zahig that the answer to every question ever devised could be found in such a collection - though little does he know that this study would have fitted a hundred times over within the library at Febril. His mouth agape, he sinks slowly into the large sofa as the servant hands him a glass of deep red wine and Valthrun begins to speak.

"Ah, my dear boy, the very picture of curiosity - I welcome your safe return. While I can shed no light on the identity of this 'Kalarel' you mention, your discovery of the Orcus cult idol is... unsurprising. I was not forthcoming when first we met. I shall redress that balance now.

"All that Parle was able to tell you about the Keep and the Netheril empire was, no doubt, true in general terms. The Keep was indeed a stalwart outpost designed to keep Winterhaven safe during the reign of the empire. I doubt he was able to tell you from what we were saved, however...

"You see, the veil to the Shadowfell has always been thin around Winterhaven - which might go some way to explain why it remains so cold even in summer, but I digress. Around two hundred years ago, a cult of the demon prince Orcus raised an army of undead - skeletons, zombies, and worse - and led them through a rift into our world. So powerful was the cultist army that the Netharil leaders were forced to despatch their best legionnaires to combat them. Eventually, at a cost of many thousands of souls, the legionnaires finally succeeded in turning back the undead and blockading the rift. The empires greatest mages were then sent to seal the rift with their most powerful magics and finally the Keep was built to guard over the seal itself."

"So that explains the Orcus idol we found!", Zahig exclaims.

"Indeed so, young man - the discovery and location themselves are not surprising. Especially once one digs a little deeper into the Keep's more recent history. Despite the importance of the Keep, two short decades after the fall of the Netheril empire it had become abandoned. Sir Keegan was the last knight-commander of the Keep and his story plays testament to the evil lurking beneath the surface - pressing to re-open the rift once more.

"Sir Keegan was an honorable paladin, yet even his dedication slowly crumbled under the maddening whispers of Orcus’ minions from the Shadowfell. When his mind snapped, he suffered paranoid delusions that the people of the keep were all spies plotting to open the rift and he began to systematically slaughter every resident of the keep. His own wife and children were first to fall to his blade, then his trusted advisors, and finally many of the soldiers under his command. Sir Keegan was too skilled for any one soldier to defeat, yet eventually the garrison managed to respond with an organized defense. Although many brave soldiers died, they were able to drive the mad knight into the passages beneath the keep and finally dispatch him."

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Dragon Tales Cup

After the ‘Epic battle’ between Sven’s ‘Team Apocalypse’ and my ‘Hell Razors’, I wondered if everyone fancied a tournament?

Simple rules:

Create a team of four 3rd level characters: Standard attribute buy. Any race, any class.
7,700gp group total to spend on whatever you want… Magic or mundane.

The map could be standard for all games or various random settings on a set area size (30x30).
(I’m guessing the ‘Maptools’ can do this.)

The four characters are placed facing each other at opposite ends of the ‘pitch’.
No surprise round but a free ‘move’ round to rearrange your team as wanted.

No need for referees from now on either. The Maptools ‘chat’ box can roll for us.

We’d need an extra player but that should be simple enough to organise for the University players.

I also think that we’d need the University server.

After we’ve recruited an extra player, we could draw lots for who faces who.
Winners go on to ‘Semi final’ and those winners battle it out in the ‘Final’.

I’ll be sticking with my last team (slightly altered), as despite drawing, I really liked them and I imagine Sven with stick with his.

My battle with Sven was great fun and taught us both a massive amount regarding the rules of movement and combat.

Anyone interested?

I may even spring for a prize...

Friday, July 9, 2010

End Game

Belial looks up at the at the rapidly advancing Famine.
The plants around him seem to shoot up but they give him no protection from the Spirit bear suddenly at his side. A savage attack leaves Belial bloodied before Famine has even arrived.
Thus weakened, Belial falls before famine’s powerful thrust. The sword impales itself deeply into the demon’s chest.
...
Azazel finds himself standing alone against the two Humans.
Defiant to the last he throws another gout of Witchfire at the Warden.
Despite it being backed by his Warlock curse, he fails to hit.
Worse, the Human seems to be fully recovered from the injuries he sustained just moments before!
Pestilence takes the opportunity to try to kill Belial through an act of will. Unfortunately for her the demon’s willpower is phenomenal, even while unconscious.
Famine rushes forward to engage the last demon standing. It’s too far to enable a strike but he does catch Azazel in the frosty ground around him.
“You might have killed Death but you won’t escape him!”
In response, Azazel pulls something from his pouch, blows a loud raspberry and calls down yet more Witchfire.
Famine take the opportunity to lash out and scores a great blow with his sword. It’s not enough however and Azazel staggers away northwards as the demonic flame burns Famine.
Pestilence smiles and waits. There is only one way this battle can go now.
Famine however pursues Azazel and attacks him again with the full weight of the Earth. Azazel is quick enough to evade it though.
Deciding to help, Pestilence sends her spirit bear into the fray. Azazel is ripped open by the bear yet again while Famine receives yet more healing.
Azazel knows he’s beaten but can’t help going for a final gambit.
Counting on the still burning Witchfire to interfere with Famines aim, Azazel sprints back to his downed team-mates. He’s hampered by the frosty ground surrounding Famine though, and the Human manages to cut his back open.
Despite this, Azazel makes it to Mastema and forces the potion of healing he had palmed earlier down the throat of his downed comrade.
The effect is startling.
Mastema blinks awake in a moment and springs to his feet.
Taking in the situation with incredible efficiency, he blasts the surprised Pestilence with Eldritch rain, pulls out his own potion and force feeds it to Voland.
Voland also springs to his feet and blasts Pestilence.
She’s flailing backwards but is already badly hurt.
Azazel smiles…
Three against two.
Pestilence tries to rally and she manages to take down Mastema before he can blast her again.
Famine also rushes to her defence.
Ignoring his own safety, Voland takes more damage while taking Pestilence down.
The final three combatants look across the swaying grass at each other…
The Human is fully fit while the two Tieflings are each a blow from death.
‘Draw?’

This battle (and Assif’s attempt at fairness) was to try and resolve the argument that a group of Monster-race, Spell-casting Strikers were more powerful than a well-organised, balanced group of Humans.

Although we called it a draw, the Hell razor’s had to ride their luck (heavily).
I have to concede (at least partially) that Sven was right.

I sent my team in blasting aggressively with no thought to defence.
Sven played more cautiously and a great deal more cleverly.
Would I have done better if I’d used my range advantage?
Possibly but Sven’s Human’s had several ways to counter it.

Overall I have to admit defeat. I thought it would be an easy victory but instead I was lucky to get the (generous) draw.

On the plus side, it was great fun and a fantastic way to learn the rules.

Does anyone else fancy doing it?
No referees necessary, the Maptools thingy will do everything for you, including fairly rolling the dice.

I’d be up for another game… after changing my team… a little.
;)

Keep on the Shadowfell II

The party accompany the rescued Douven Staul back to Winterhaven whereupon they collect their reward money from the Captain of the guard and Douven hastily packs his belongings and gratefully returns to his beloved wife - many miles away.

A number of questions still remain unanswered, however:
What was Agrid doing at the dragon burial site?
What was the significance of finding a Death Cult Orcus totem on Agrid?
Who is the 'Kalarel' he mentioned in his battle cry?
Could the increase in Kobold activity have anything to do with any of this?

*You can ask questions of:
Salvana Wrafton - the owner of Wrafton's Inn.
Eilien the Old - the charasmatic old man at the inn.
Valthrun the Prescient - the academic who promised to investigate the Keep's history for you.
Lord Padraig - the Lord of Winterhaven.
? - the unsociable female elf whose name you have not yet learned.
Delphina Moongem - the flower seller at the market who often picks flowers near the keep.
Thair Coalstriker - the smithy (who you have not yet met).
Bairwin Wildarson - the shopkeeper with the mockney accent.
Rond Kelfem - the Captain of the guard.
Sister Linora - the priest in the Temple to Avandra.

Tell me who you asking your questions of each time!*

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Lakshmi

She was beautiful and serene with clear amber eyes that could see through a man and stone alike. Soaring above the fell she was magnificent and a messenger for hope and all that is free and good.

Lakshmi was no ordinary owl, but a projection of Zahig's very soul. In her Zahig had left boyhood behind and become not just a man but a complete human being.

A serious look came over Zahig's face as he polished his new found staff. War mages before him would now be his role model and no one would doubt his power ...

Zahig has zagziged


Now that I've started...

Egil's Egalitarian Entrance

Egil's breathed a sigh of relief as he entered the Highmarsh inn. Swamps were never the most healthy environments, and this one seemed to have been plagued by the undead. Still, it seemed like he had found the group he was looking for. At Lakeport he had heard of the mercenaries who had singlehandedly destroyed the Kobold Slavers and their Goblin henchmen. Mercenaries who had not fought for the glory of a jumped-up nobleman, but rather to save and protect defenseless children. A group that Egil could tie his fortune to.

Pulling up a chair to join the bragging adventurers, he introduced himself.

-I am Egil, sworn paladin of The Mighy Kord, mercenary and currently in search of new and exciting challenges. I hear rumours of your prowess and would like to offer my sword to your cause!

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Egil has landed


As Assif's absence has delayed the 'Epic battle' between Sven and me, I thought I'd draw Dag's new character...

Friday, July 2, 2010

Round three

Azazal turns to the impudent Human Druid. It makes him smile to smell him burning but it’s still not acceptable that he’s still on his feet.
Sending a blast of eldritch energy, he’s gratified when the Human falls.
Feeling the power of his death, Azazal floats back towards a nearby tree.
Mastema also sees the human fall but he’s not satisfied. He moves swiftly over and sends another blast of eldritch energy.
There can be no doubt, the boarish Druid is no more.
‘Horray!’ all four Tieflings shout gleefully.
Their joy is undampened as another of the Humans rounds the wall. This one seems to be a poorly armoured Fighter covered in sheepskin and frost.
The Tiefling’s laughter soon dries in their throats however when the human charges. He smashes past the overly confident Vorland, pushing him backwards. The Human then unleashes a burst of power that hits Mastema like a hammer. Even Vorland feels its resonance.
They both also find themselves rooted to the spot.
Vorland’s in a very bad way; It’s only his fiendish resilience keeping him conscious.
His reaction though is typically unreserved.
Spitting defiantly at Famine, he attacks with everything he has, despite being in range of his sword. He rains multiple waves of Witchfire down on the Rammish Human.
Famine takes the opportunity to retaliate and slices Voland’s chest deeply but it’s not enough.
Famine burns!
The Shaman: Pestilence stops them toasting their success though by making her spirit presence felt in the form of a gigantic bear.
It appears instantly between Mastema and Belial rending them terribly and knocking them prone.
The great translucent bear also transfers some of that spirit energy into a healing force for the still burning Famine.
It’s then that Death makes his appearance.
Mastema makes the mistake of slashing at him with his dagger as he passes and narrowly avoids Famines instant retort.
Death slashes around himself, his sword arcing through the air rips flesh and blood from both Mastema and Vorland.
Both Demons collapse in devilish and bloody heaps…
But Death hasn’t finished yet.
Lowering his lion maned head, he charges wildly at the distant Azazel. His initial sword thrust misses but he whirls madly and strikes again!
The sword embeds itself deeply into the tree Azazel had dodged behind.
Belial can’t believe Azazel's luck and unleashes his most powerful curse, filling the Barbarian's mind with hellish Dark dreams.
The huge Barbarian staggers back clutching his head.
Azazel grins showing twin rows of razor sharp teeth.
Howling like a banshee he also throws the same curse at the obviously weak minded Human.
The Barbarian reels under the two forked assault and tumbles to the ground by Azazel’s cloven feet.
The temptation is too much for the demon to resist and he drives a spike of eldrich energy right through the helpless Humans fleshy heart.
Then with a wink at Famine, he turns and runs before the Human can get any ideas.
His laughter lingers behind him ringing out loud and long.

Keep on the Shadowfell

Once back in Highmarsh, and having returned all the children safely, the party decide to reward themselves the only way adventurers know how: by blowing their gains on wine and wenches. Ghanash and Argent quaff ale by the barrel and argue heatedly about the demise of the Dragonborn empire, Bayern, Zahig and Vogir glug down their froth-topped pints and discuss the relative merits and dismerits of hooking up with such monstrous allies, and Daelagor does what Daelagor does best - he watches from the shadows.

For the first few days, word circulates Highmarsh of the adventurers' success and they enjoy a brief respite from the stigmatism traditionally faced by the non-humans and those who seem to sympahise with them. All good things must come to an end, however, and soon the locals become less receptive of the brash members of the party - lodgings are harder to come by and the whores less welcoming. The party realise it may soon be time to move on again.

Parle Cranewing, local historian and academic, realises this also and lures the party to meet him with the promise of an interesting, exciting, and lucrative job offer. Once all are seated comfortably in his study, Parle opens a large leatherbound volume and begins to relate a history of the Nerathi empire - fallen long before even the dragon had forced his will upon the world...

In the fog of hangover very few details of Parle's story stick, but the main picture remains clear enough - copper domed cathedrals and golden spired towers, unparalleled works of art, riches and wealth beyond measure.

Sharply closing the book with a 'snap' which rouses the party from their collective daydream, Parle smiles. "I suppose you'd like to know what any of this has to do with the job then..?"

*Roleplay from here... Would you like to know why Parle asked to see you...?*
*Ask him some questions - in character.*

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Round Two

Indifferent to such trivialities as strategy or tactics, the four Tiefling Warlocks rush Northwards and rashly manage to box themselves in between a tree and small lake.
‘Whoopsy’ says one of the identical quadruplets.
They're unperturbed by this however and merely count on their Shadowy forms and fiendish resiliance to carry them through.
The pesky Humans have all run and hidden except the big, dumb Barbarian.
‘Shoot him’ shouts Mastema.
Focusing his Warlock’s curse, Azazel does just that, with his crossbow… but misses.
‘Dumbass’ mutters Mastema.
‘If you’re sooooo clever, why don’t you do it?’ responds Azazel.
‘OK then I will’ and with that Mastema also shoots and misses.
Azazel laughs. ‘Double dumbass!’.
From behind the wall facing them one of the Humans hurls over a glowing rod. It clearly illuminates the area they’re hiding in.
‘Fuckity!’ they all shout.
Voland, gets bored of waiting. ‘It’s already been over six or seven seconds!’ and charges forwards.
The others look at him. It’s a stupid plan but at least it’s a plan.
One of the Humans, the Druidy guy tosses something ineffectual at Voland but misses.
‘Treble dumbass!’ jeer all the Tieflings.
Belial though finds himself annoyed at the brash impertinance and focusing his curse on the Druid, he then blasts him with two waves of hellish Witchfire.
Looking through the haze, Belial is suprised to see the Druid is still standing.
‘He didn’t fall? Inconceivable!’.

In the same time at the other end of the arena.....

Pestilence follows the other three behind the wall. The moving tendrils near her feet make it look as if the ground is carrying her where she wants to go. "Death! Famine! Let them come closer. They might be good ranged fighters, let them move into the reach of your swords. War, you'll go round the other side of the wall and fall into their back!" The three males nod respectfully. Famine moves round the corner and a voice comes back "I can see their outline in the shadows. They are coming round to the right". There is a hissing sound and sudden bright light flies through the air immersing the whole area in white light.
Death moves round the corner to get a glimpse of the enemy when two bolts shoot past him. "Ha! Good ranged fighters? If they can't hit me on that distance they couldn't hit a barn!"
A stare from Pestilence keeps him from charging. He nods with a smile and falls behind Famine who is standing in the corner. He holds up a sword full of runes and sharpens it with a small stone. "You'll soon taste their blood my friend! Be patient!".

War had started moving at the same time as Death while just to see the back of one of the creatures pressed against the wall opposite where he expected Famine to stand. Surprised by the distance this one has already covered he decides to return the favour for the surprise. Moving towards the center he hurls a flame seed towards the creature which bounces off the wall next to the creature's head. Cursing, he can see one of the others move towards him and starts smiling "What could these creatures possibly do to him? Him! Let them shoot a few arrows..". The pain stopped the thought in midair. Suddenly realising his arrogance he looks over to Pestilence who seems to be talking to the spirits.