Wednesday, December 15, 2010

In (his) sights

Vogir shifts uneasily.
Rudha-an and Bayern are talking to the tattooed Dwarves they’d just saved.
Orestes is cleaning his weapons and Niema is counting out the treasure they’d discovered.
She had been badly hurt in that battle.
Vogir had seen her, bloodied and exposed.
It would have been a simple shot. Given the time he’d had, he could have easily sent an arrow straight through her demonic heart.

Instead he had charged and killed the Orc harassing Rudha-an.
But why?
Perhaps it’s the absence of the darkness that had so recently permeated his soul.
Perhaps it’s the uncertainty of her true goals.
Perhaps it’s just the fact that she could still prove useful in assuring his own survival.

Releasing the Chains

Deep under Stonefang pass, having learnt a little of the mighty battle between stone giant and honorable dwarves, the small group of diverse races on a simple mission to re-open a pass and rid it of the orc menace, were to face their most testing time yet. Through it they would find not only more about the truth of their quest but also the resilience of their party and the strength of the bonds building between them.

Cautiously emerging from the stairwell with the stench of battle between the cult of the Shadowed Chain and the orcs so fresh that the blood still dripped off the walls, the party found two orc archers wandering the caverns. Although Niema and Vogir stole a march on them, the tables were quickly turned as they found themselves facing an Orc Troll Shaman and his pet Ogre while somehow becoming surrounded on all sides by more of the bow wielding orcs.

The situation was stranger than that though. It quickly became clear that the area was the scene of a massive cultish ritual. Surrounding a central pit were two altars and four magical circles of different colours.

Orsestes was quick to engage the Shaman and then the Ogre. His force of will drew the battle to him and Bayern drew on all his gods power to shine divine prophesy and might upon the huge ogre. Huge damage was inflicted on the creature by both Vogir and Orestes with the help of the cleric, but the Shaman was dealing big blows himself with phantom claws striking from distance dazing all they struck with their shadowy touch. What was more, it quickly became clear that the mask of the blackened troll that the shaman wore was no mere ornament, but endowed him with the ability to regenerate from his wounds.

At the same time, Niema and Rudha-an were moving through the other side of the cavern dealing with the menace of the archers. Niema was dealing efficiently with her quarry and even found time to cast her devils shadow behind the shaman to give him something extra to think about. The druid however was not able to find his feet - his spells repeatedly missed their target or simply couldn't find their natural power among these cold stones.

However, the straight-forward fight was about to be thrown into confusion. As was becoming familiar, the earth shook as though mighty fists were beating against it. This sent everyone flying off their feet and being thrown in random directions across the floor of the cavern. That no one fell into a brazier, or worse, the pit was a miracle.

Soon the battle started to turn in the party's favour. A few of the archers fell and they were even able to fell the ogre - the luckless Rhuda-an landing the killing blow. They had also discovered that the magic circles endowed those standing in them with enhancements to either their fighting abilities or even to heal their wounds and they were able to manoeuvre the orcs from them and themselves into them.

But the cleverest manoeuvre of the fight was still to be played out as Orestes danced as he fought pulling and pushing the shaman until, at the edge of the pit he was pushed over and into the pit to his death.

Or not.
His Safewing amulet saved him from the fall, but Vogir kicking a brazier down to shine light on him sent arrows thudding into the Shaman, dropping him dead.

Or not. The troll-like shaman simply got up and continued fighting. But this time the earthquake's aftershocks drew their most comic picture as both Vogir and Orestes, damaged as they were were shaken into the pit, 40 feet down nearly to their death.

But this, of course spelt the end for the Shaman as he was burned by a brazier being shoved into his face as he lay dying.

With the battle over the party found more orcs waiting for them, but bloodied as they were they soon were able to kill them and find the rest of the Shadowed Chain dwarves that were holding out against the onslaught.

(more on this in the next post!)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Enemies in low places

Deep in the pits of hell, a Demon roars in anger and frustration.
The Tiefling near its feet trembles and throws itself prostrate.
“What is wrong Master?”
The massive Demon looks down, fury painted like a mask across its broad features.
Snatching up the wretched Tiefling, the Demon raises it to its face.
“Do you mean the Human: Vogir? Surely he’s not worth this much anger?”
Forcing himself to calm down, the demon takes a rattling breath.
“But surely Master, his mission hasn’t changed…”
With that, the Demon bites the head off his unfortunate underling and tosses the remains aside.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Cheating the Devil

While standing in the darkness, Vogir hears a voice whisper his name.
Concentrating, he sees a ghostly image appear before him…
“Daelagor?” Asks Vogir incredulously, “Is that you?”.
The fey ghost smiles, but a look of sadness washes over his translucent features.
“Only now that I am dead, can I see why you’re the way you are. Fate is conspiring against you as it did you Grandfather before you.”
Vogir looks around him, but his companions seem frozen in time.
“I’m here to offer you salvation. Sever the ties that bind you to the dark demon whose fingers already twist around your soul and instead take an oath to the lords of my realm. They will protect you from hellish reprisals and allow you to strike back against both the Dragon AND the Devil!”
With nodded agreement, Vogir feels the darkness torn from within him and the void replaced with something otherworldly but uplifting.
With the veil of darkness pulled from his eyes, Vogir realises that, not only has he been freed from the doomed path he’d found himself on, but that he owed a debt to the very Eladrin he’d let fall.

While working out Vogir’s 5th level changes, I noticed that I’d accidentally cheated.
Apparently you have to have a 13 Charisma to multi-class into Warlock.
I’ve corrected it but it buggered up my chosen pact and my HPs.

Guarding our rear

Vogir stands beside the Dwarf Bayern.
Gripping his bow, he waits about two hundred feet back down the tunnel from the others.
The plan was a simple one: Break the group up and trap them in the fortified Dwarven control room.
Still they had decided that some of the Orc horde might run straight past.
It was Vogir and Bayern’s job to stop them.

They waited as the sounds of battle echoed down the giant corridor.

‘Perhaps we should go help them?’ Volunteered the Dwarf.
‘Not yet. They’ll call if they need us.’

It’s a good fifteen minutes later when Rudha-an appears out of the gloom.
He is bloody but intact.
With a grave face he asks, ‘Are you two alright? How many came this way?’

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


The party looked at the giant hand made of keenly articulated stone. The Orc had used it to easily pull apart the bars of the portcullis - it must contain some primeval power that gave it the strength of a giant. In fact it looked real enough to be the hand of a actual giant.

Later, when the party had moped up the remaining orcs they found the bodies of six of the cult clan that Rangrim had mentioned - the Shadowed Chain. It was clear now why they were so called: tattoos of chains ran down from their eyes, down over their shoulders, down their arms ending in manacles on their wrists. Iconography of servitude and submission an anathema to dwarven kind could only mean that they worshipped the got of prisons and torture - Torog. But, why had this cult developed?

Killing the orcs that were in the room beyond the secret door, and taking the treasure they were fighting over, the party descended a circular stairwell where they saw more ominous clues as to the hand's origin.

An epic story carved into the walls of the stairwell depicting the dwarves battle against the a mighty stone-skinned colossal giant played itself out as the stairs descended deep below Stonefang Pass. The stone giant was seen killing dwarves by the hundred but as the stair turned, so did the fortune of the dwarves. First a spear gouged out the eye of the giant. Next it's colossal hand was severed. Then it's rib was broken by a hammer and pulled from it's chest. Finally the heart of the titanic giant was ripped out and Stonefang was subdued.

What on earth lay in store for them now ...

The Onslaught of the Orcs

Niema stood ready at the foot of the stairs, orc head severed and held high ready to taunt the orcs as they came rushing through the opening. Osertes and Ghanash stood at the back of the corridor now turned killing field, ready to face the onslaught. And Rudha-an waited to give the command to the construct both to open the gate and to lower the slab on the heads of the orcs as they came through.

The slab opened, Niema taunted and the orcs came, throwing hand-axes and charging. She turned and drop-kicked the head but failed miserably to connect properly and the skull came down on a pressure-plate and triggered the crossbow trap. Not a problem for Niema, she breached the 5 feet of wall back into the chamber and was out of they way before the orcs could get to her.
** DM Note: No rubble or obstacles in the killing field to slow them, tsk tsk

The orcs reached Orestes and Ghanash suffering some losses but none significant and the slab came down killing a few more. Now it was the turn of the front-men to show their mettle.

They fought bravely and Rudha-an assisted with area-effect spells through the crossbow slits, but missed more often than hit. Soon Osertes was close to death, but inspiring words from Ghanash kept him going.

Now was the time to put the next phase into action. Orestes held the hoard including the leader wearing a terrifying burnt cave-bear mask designed to strike fear into all around him. Ghanash fell back over the pressure-plates of the portcullis and the orcs were cut off. But so was Orestes.

One of the Reavers had joined Ghanash but he was soon killed. But, having died he, as was becoming familiar now, had one last dying strike. This time it was enough to drop Ghanash to the floor, who proceeded to bleed into the stones of the gatehouse.

Left to fight on his own, Oresetes pushed back his attackers, gave the order for Rudha-an to lift the portcullis, and squeezed back through before it came down again between him and the orcs.

Soon the orc leader was dead, but another orc took the large stone hand from his grasp and used it to prise apart the bars of the portcullis.

With Ghanash unconscious, Orestes close to death and no healer, it looked dire for the party. But Niema now transformed to demon took the front-line and Rudha-an as a vulture finally had success with his area attacks. Rudha-an, ominously perched atop the dying Ghanash administered healing to the Warlord.

From this point things turned in favour of the party. The orcs numbers had dropped and Ghanash now fully healed also healed Orestes, and they surged forward to kill the orcs before they even got into the gatehouse.

Success. But how long before one of them did die?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

So after only two adventures...

If looks could kill

Keep your friends close and your Niema's closer

I'll pronounce Rudha-an however I like

Looking suspiciously like Moses...

I Orestes

In the name of the law!

Monday, December 6, 2010

The pitter-patter of tiny orc feet

The heroes readied themselves as the slab slowly rose up. Crouching and looking across the 10 foot thick hunk of stone they saw not dwarves waiting to come through, but what they most feared - lots and lots of orc feet, probably attached to angry orcs.

They quickly shouted up to up and the automaton began to lower the slab again.

With a sickening slowness the slab came down crushing two orcs who were still half way across but letting one quick thinking orc through. He was dispatched easily but the heroes realised that they needed better tactics before raising the slab again.

With Bayern and Vogir out of action, they had neither the ranged firepower nor their beacon of hope and healing.

Could they use the killing field of crossbow turrets to their advantage?
What would stop the orcs from running through the pass and commanding the far end of the pass as they had the citadel end?
Could the automaton do anything other than pull a lever?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Epic battle league shows the challenger…

Sven’s ‘Team Apocalypse’ won a surrender from Josh’s surviving two Warpigs.
It was down to a brutal initial assault that scored the victory.
The Warpigs made it a hard won battle though.

So Team Apocalypse climb the ladder to second place. Two more victories and they’ll go top!

Who’ll Sven challenge next?
Dag’s Denim recruits or Assif’s Knighty knights?

As for my Hellrazors…
Scott, Hagen, fancy a kick about?