Monday, December 19, 2011


(A few days after the defeat of the sea serpent)

Whist his adventuring companions are drinking and whoring, Vogir seeks out Rhold: the vendor of magics that Dokan had discovered.
Walking into the stone building, Vogir takes in the secure door and guards sitting at the far end of the shop front.
An old and hunched man comes through a side door at the sound of the entrance bell ringing.
“Hello my young sir. How may I help you on this brisk morning?”
Laying both his swords and his leather armour on the counter, Vogir returns the shopkeeper’s smile.
“I’d like you to increase the enchantments in these items. And if possible exchange one of these swords.”
The wrinkly skinned wizard casually examines the items laid before him.
“Hmmn, dark magic.”
Vogir lets his smile drop and leans forward.
“Yes, but can you do it?”
Rhold also leans forward until his face is mere inches away from Vogir’s.
“Not for money, but if you’d run an errand for me….”

Thursday, December 15, 2011

It ain't heavy, it's my backpack

Can anyone shed any light on encumbrance rules in this glorious new 4th edition?

All I could find was in the PHB stating that Heavy Load (greater that 10xStr) means that you are slowed.

Is there any other effect - maybe on your to-hit or AC or movement speed or skills?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Gobble, Gobble, Goblin Christmas Treasure!

As the Party seethes at the unresolved judgment against the crooked magical vendor Rhold, they take solace in dividing up their spoils from their misadventure…

+4 Vicious Backbiter from Rhold. (65,000gp)
(6,500gp to have CURSE removed!)

200gp from Eyulf.

30,000gp from the tribe chieftainness Unreeka.
Ring of Free Movement from the tribe chieftainess Unreeka. (25,000gp)

Frost spear +3 from the tribe chieftain Dovmont. (17,000gp)
Razor Scale armour +3 from the tribe chieftain Dovmont. (13,000gp)
Crown of command from the tribe chieftain Dovmont. (65,000gp)

Short sword of Wounding +3 from the tribe sub chieftain Grundel. (21,000gp)
Dwarven chainmail +2 from the tribe sub chieftain Grundel. (2,600gp)

Rod of first blood +3 from the tribe Hexer Brindor. (17,000gp)
Bloodthread cloth armour +2 from the tribe Hexer Brindor. (5,000gp)

Gauntlets of Destruction from the Bugbear strangler. (85,000gp)

8 x +1 Longbows from the Hobgoblin archers. 360gp each (2,880gp)
8 x +2 Flails from the Hobgoblin soldiers. 1,800gp each (14,400gp)
4 x +2 Morning stars from the Bugbear warriors. 1,800gp each (7,200gp)
5 x +2 Hide armour from the Bugbear warriors: 1,800gp each (9,000gp)

Total value: 372,780gp!

Monday, December 12, 2011

The real goblin war camp

The whole camp sits within a rough circle of woodland (Half movement).
The inner circle is an incomplete circle made from fifteen foot high stone menhirs.
Each menhir is spaced a couple of feet apart. Too small to squeeze through, but you could fire arrows through the gaps if it weren't for the rush matting strung between each of the stone blocks.
There are five fires burning outside the stone fort. The four big ones are surronded by tall wooden stakes, each one topped by a blackened skull. Most of them human.
Inside the fort are several crude wooden and thatched huts.
There is also an unlit fire.
The strange building in the northern part of the map looks like a huge termite nest. It's well over twenty feet tall, but has only one hacked out doorway.

Green dots are Goblin soldiers.
Cyan dots are Hobgoblin archers.
Magenta dots are the party.

Three stooges

The dark haired Eyulf smiles as he sips the red wine in front of him.
“Do you think those three adventurers will give Dovmont much trouble?”
The hunch-backed and grey Rhold bares his yellow teeth in response. “Unlikely. There were only three of them with no magical support. Their only healer is a Paladin and I hobbled him with that cursed sword!”
Staring through his crystal glass into the roaring fire of the living room, Eyulf falls silent for a moment. “This little wheeze of yours has served us well for the last few years. Tricking small groups of idiot adventures into facing a much larger force than they had prepared for, having them killed and taking their stuff but…”
Rhold smiles again. “What’s wrong old friend? Do you have one of your ‘bad feelings’? Don’t worry. Not one adventurer has returned in all the years we’ve been doing this. Dovmont’s Redshirt clan has never failed us. ”
Eyulf’s smile slips now though. “But these three were part of a larger group. A group that was able to kill that sea serpent. What will we do if they get help? What will we do if they return?”
Rhold’s smile falters a little. “They will not survive, but even if they do, we have my guards, my magic and your knives. Trust me, we’ll be fine.”

Monday, November 28, 2011

Deliver us from Egil

Whilst nursing their injuries and recounting the more and more exaggerated stories of the sea monster they’d killed, the Party find themselves in a temporary calm.
Those that knew Egil, feel a deeper understanding of their stoic ex-kinsman.
They all want to be gone from this freezing, barren place; Egil’s homeland, but they are forced to wait until they hear more news about the sea monsters driving away all the herring.
Ghanash however finds himself fascinated by the hardship these humans endure and yet complain little, if at all. The Humans he had known up until this point, even the ‘heroic’ ones seem to whine about most everything.
Dokan wastes no time in discovering the local vendor of magical trinkets. He is invited by the grey and hunched Roald to come by his shoppe the next morning.
The local Lord is also entertaining one of the neighboring nobles: Vidar. A large and bearded blond man, dressed entirely in black. He’s well into his middle-years but he still stands tall and broad.
Rodha-an is content to drink and eat the free food supplied by the grateful locals. He does win the confidence of the Innkeeper though. Linnea likes a man with a good appetite, and it seems to her that the Shaman could do with putting on a few pounds.
Indigo is absent a lot of the time. He has discovered the library of the town leaders and spends his free time buried in the ancient tomes.
Vogir however seems to literarily have disappeared. No-one’s seen him in days.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Halfway there

He had killed a Sea-serpent.
A Sea-serpent!
Although not a ‘real’ dragon, it was close enough to temporarily sate his hatred of the blue dragon despot.
His companions had been useful in deflecting the creature’s attention away from him, but his own growing skills and abilities were such to give him confidence for the battle that was destined to come.
That mysterious floating woman would have to be dealt with first though...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

All of the treasure from the Vedics...

Listed below is ALL the magical treasure from my last adventure.
Some of it may have been taken by some of you already.
Please have a look through and list all the items you've already taken or want...
Everything left behind automatically defaults to Vogir.

Armour and shields…

Chainmail +3 Formidable Lvl: 14 21,000gp. Taken by Orestes
Black Iron armour +3 (Scale) Lvl: 14 21,000gp Taken by Ghanash
Battle forged plate mail +3 Lvl: 15 (25,000) Taken by Dokan
Stoneskin robes +3 Lvl: 13 (17,000)

Bashing shield (Daily… Lvl: 5 1,000gp Taken by Ghanash


Poisoned Longsword +3 Lvl: 15 25,000gp Taken by Orestes
Battle-axe +3 (Frightful) Lvl: 12 (13,000) Taken by Ghanash
Shortsword +2 Berserkery 5,000gp Taken by Orestes
2 x Maces of Aftershock +1 Lvl: 2 520gp

A Crossbow +2 of Thundering. 3,400gp Taken by Dokan
22 x Spider (Crossbow) Bolts +1 Lvl: 3 (30each)

Neck slot items…

Frostwolf pelt +2 Lvl: 9 4,200gp Argued over by Indigo and Rudha-an
Cloak of Resistance +1 Lvl: 2 520gp

Waist slot items…

Iron skin belt Lvl: 15 (25,000)
Belt of Giant strength Lvl: 15 25,000gp. Argued over by Dokan and Ghanash

Feet slot items…

Dwarven greaves Lvl: 7 (2,600)

Hand slot items…

Holy gauntlets Lvl: 8 (3,400) Taken by Dokan

Head slot items…

Helm of battle Lvl: 9 (4,200)


Pure spirit totem +3 Lvl: 15 25,000gp Taken by Rudha-an

Finger slot items…

Ring of the Dragonborn Emperor Lvl:15 25,000gp Argued over by Ghanash and Idigo


5 x Potion of Alchemists fire: lvl: 6 75gp 1 taken by Dokan
20 x Potion of Alchemist’s acid Lvl: 6 75gp 4 taken by Dokan
13 x Potion of healing Lvl: 2 50gp 2 taken by Dokan
5 x Potion of vitality Lvl: 15 1000gp 1 taken by Dokan


Scroll of Water breathing Lvl: 8 680gp
Scroll of Knock Lvl: 4 175gp
Scroll of Raise dead Lvl: 8 680gp
Scroll of Cure disease Lvl: 6 360gp
1 taken by Dokan
Scroll of Hallucinatory creature Lvl: 8 2,600gp 1 taken by Dokan
Scroll of Magic circle Lvl: 5 250gp

Wondrous items…

Battle standard of might Lvl: 4 840gp Taken by Dokan
Darkskull Lvl: 9 4,200gp Taken by Dokan
AND... The Shield brooch of Robot command!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Attack of Incompetence

As expected, Team Apocalypse battle furiously and the four Hellrazors are sliced open by swords and scolded by primal spells.
Vorland and Belial frantically try to defend themselves while reviving the already unconscious Azazel and Mastema.
A fortunate miss from Pestilence allows a counter attack that leaves the Shaman leader down…
The four Tieflings laugh in joyous celebration.
‘Now everyone, let’s teleport the fuck out of h….’
Too slow in thought, Famine rushes in and slices Belial, Mastema and Azazel with a truly mountainous attack.
A perfect attack.
Mastema and Azazel are downed and Belial severely wounded.
Through gritted teeth, Belial chokes out ‘Bastard!’.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Deadly Game of Whack-a-Mole

Thorns flying from War's hands pierced Mastema's and Azazel's body and while Azazel was managing in pain to stay on her feet, Mastema fell into the shallow water unconscious. Azazel was clearly not able to defend herself while under the thorny attack and War looked over to Pestilence with a wide smile. At this moment, a burst originating from Pestilence's totem, hit Azazel setting free a burst of primal energy, filling Pestilence and her eagle spirit with energy.
The body of the second female slumped to the ground.

At the same time, Death turned towards the other devils who started to attack him, vanishing in the process. Swinging his sword angrily he demanded to know where they went. Famine who was temporarily immobilized turned his head to see one of the devils administering a potion to one of the females while the other one ran behind one of the walls. "Are you blind? One of them is just healing the female! Stop him" "What are you talking about?? There is no one!". For lack of a closer target, Death ran towards the female on the ground who indeed seemed to start becoming conscious again. Azazel's moment of consciousness was brutally ended by Death's fullblade who now started to run around the wall to search for the two male devils.

Within the next few moves, the devils seemed to only focus on healing their comrades while Team Apocalypse started to become more annoyed by the second having to play whack-a-mole with teleporting devils. Loosing concentration the inevitable happened. Two of the devils used a miss of Pestilence who failed to take a newly conscious Mastema down again, to focus their attacks on Pestilence almost completely killing her.
While the body of the shaman fell slowly to the ground, the war cry of Famine silenced all other noises on the battlefiled. The warden, assuming his mother to be dead, dodged two devils while building up primal energy. Surrounded by air crackling with the energy of the spirits of thunder, the massive form of the guardian materialised in between the 3 devils standing close together. The broadsword appeared to grow in size while it drew a full circle, hitting all three opponents which were concurrently hit by flashes of lighting emanating from the air around Famine. Two of the devils were knocked off their feet and only Belial who had dealt the blow on Pestilence managed to stay upright.

While Famine slowly turned towards Belial he could feel the blow that Death, now filled with the rage of the Rage Drake, dealt to Vorland. Facing Belial next to him directly, he could sense a fierce boar closing in. "War, leave him to me. As the oldest of us, it is my duty to revenge our mother!"
The grunt he could hear did not sound like agreement.....

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Time for Revenge

Last time these evil bastards had knocked him out before he could do anything.
He had underestimated them last time.
Won't happen again.
Time for revenge was near.

He followed Pestilence round the corner. He had no idea where these devils were, but trusted Pestilence's powers. Only few people could keep out of Pestilence's spirit companions' sight.
He was halfway between the two walls when the first crossbow bolt flew past. Pestilence had told them to stay inside the walls until these devils were close enough together to be attacked all at once, but his anger grew too fast.
Enclosing the two devils in golden fairy fire, he could hear Pestilence sigh from near the tree. He just wanted to throw her an apologetic glance when he noticed the eagle already bearing down on one of his targets. These creatures from hell were still far away from the wall in the open, but why should they wait? The devils got lucky the first time, they clearly had the power to crush them wherever they are on the battlefield.

A bit further away, Famine looked through a gap in the wall and could see all four victims clearly. With his left hand he was holding the lions fur surrounding Death's neck, to keep him from running out alone again. After the last two battles, Pestilence had made it quite clear that is was his task to make Death stick to the plan. His knuckles were already white and Death clearly not willing to wait any longer.
He could see the golden light of War's fairy fire and let go of the fur. Seems that it was time and while the fairy fire distracted the two females they might get easy hits on them. He could hear the roar building up behind him and also started running. He was about half way, when something hit him and almost made him miss his hit. He pulled the broadsword out of the female's body and tried to hit again, but some magic distracted him. He could hear Death's broadsword coming down hard on the other female who had killed his brother the last time when suddenly both devils vanished.
Annoyed, he looked around and saw them materialising again near Pestilence. For a second he was shocked and wanted to run to protect his mother, but then he saw the smiles on War's and Pestilence's face. Seems as if they had everything under control.

He turned around and tapped Death on the shoulder who was more than annoyed that his target had just vanished into thin air in front of him and also seemed to ponder whether to come to Pestilence's rescue. When the massive barbarian looked at him he pointed over Death's shoulder where two devils were standing within a few feet of them.
"Pestilence is fine, but can you remember these two? How about we split them evenly"

Before he could finish the last word, Death was already on his way shouting back
"Only if there is something left by the time you are there..."

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Turning tides

Sprinting forward, the four manic Tieflings fire at the only target they can see. Two accursed crossbow bolts sail toward Pestilences ethereal Spirit Eagle. The first misses by a wide margin but the second passes through it, while releasing its accursed power. The Spirit Eagle is disrupted and disappears. A hundred feet away, Pestilence gasps in pain. Of the others, only the Druid is spotted just as he’s about to duck behind a ruined wall. Mastema fires a reactive shot off, but just misses.
Then the Druid: War turns and smiles.
The four Warlocks frown in response at the realization that they may have just rushed into a trap.
War sends a powerful wave of primal energy at the scantily dressed Tiefling females.
They are both caught, but one only glancingly.
Then the Shaman: Pestilence re-summons her Spirit Eagle and sends it into the still reeling Mastema.
Taking full advantage of their opportunity, they both strike again, leaving Mastema seriously injured.
The remaining two Warlocks: Belial and Vorland realise with an icy trickle of fear down their backs, that the two Human warriors are about to charge from their covered position.
They also realise that a group as organized as the Humans are going to try and take out the weakest of them.
Moving into a better position, the two male Tieflings wait.
Sure enough, Famine: the Human Warden breaks from cover and charges at the injured Mastema.
Belial envelopes him in Witchfire as he passes. This flaming mass, envelopes him and spoils his aim, causing him to falter. Two hits but minor ones. Undeterred he tries again, but, with flame in his eyes, misses with his massive sword.
Death: the Barbarian also rushes forward only to be covered in Witchfire by Vorland. On seeing the effect, he slows down and turns instead toward the two male Tieflings.
Vicious, even in pain, Azazel and Mastema teleport away from the Human Warden and the Spirit Eagle causing them some harm.
Famine in slightly hurt but the Eagle is disrupted again.
Azazel is slowed by War’s early attack, but just manages to blast Pestilence with a minor blow.
Mastema, despite being bloodied, follows her teammate and teleports into the middle of the pond close to War and Pestilence. Once within range, she laughs as she blasts the female Shaman leader of Team Apocalypse...
With a sinking feeling, Mastema watches Pestilence’s smile widen.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Changing sides

Appearing in a burst of sulphurous smoke and flames, the four demonic combatants gaze around themselves.
They had appeared at the opposite end from the last time they faced the apocalyptic humans.
Vorland smiles at each of his team in turn.
Now is the time for thought.
Now is the time for strategy.
Now is the time for cleverness.

Fuck it!
Watching the humans run for the cover of the ancient ruins, the four Hellrazors’ charge forward, firing their crossbows indiscriminately and laughing.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Hellrazors vs Team Apocalypse II

A gout of flame wakens Vorland from his slumber. Sliding out of both the bed and the still sleeping Mastema, he pads naked to the beacon.
It’s been a while, but they are being summoned once more to the field of battle. Of all the teams that they’d fought, only the Humans had tested them.
He had been conceited and arrogant and the Humans had taught him a vital lesson.
A lesson he’d applied to every subsequent engagement…
Never underestimate your opponents.
Thanks to that, the Warpigs, the Knighty Knights and even the Denim recruits had been dethorned.
Looking deep into the flames, Vorland smiles.
It seems his Hellrazors’ are to be given another chance.
The humans it seems, were also able to brush aside their competition and so the gods have demanded a rematch.
Standing naked and proud, Vorland strides back to the three sleeping Tieflings.
Shaking them roughly, Vorland shouts: ‘Wake up my fine fiends. It seems that tonight we'll finally get to shaft somebody other than eachother!’

Friday, July 8, 2011

A New World Order

After ordering all the remaining Gnomes and the surviving Vedics to assemble in the main amphitheatre, Gerromy strides boldly up to the central lectern.
Coughing slightly, he addresses the hundreds of faces present.
Faces hungry for new leadership…
“Friends, Gnomans, Hamstermen…”

An Uncharacteristically Happy Ending!

Slowing down as he approaches them, Vogir waves to the approaching crowd.
“Welcome back friends! I’m so glad you made it. Petra and Vin explained that you’d come after me. I’m so sorry I didn’t wait a day longer.”
Vogir sweats for a moment as he waits for the coming response.
“Where did you get to Human?”
Grateful that it’s Ghanash that replies, Vogir explains that he’d waited as long as he could and eventually led a small group of Gnomes to sneak into the mountain and spirit away the captive Gnomes of the village.
Vogir repeatedly thanks the group for coming and congratulates them all on successfully rescuing so many of the Gnomish prisoners.
After escorting everyone back, the Party and children are made welcome. Even the thirteen Human children are taken away to be washed and dressed.
A great feast is laid on and dozens of the adult Gnomes play music and organize games.
Everyone is happy.
Even Vogir smiles as he watches the laughing children.
Later on in the evening, he calls everyone over.
“Ghanash, Orestes, Rudha-an, Dokan… And you too Lukas. I have something for you.”
Pulling out a heavy wooden chest from behind him, Vogir hands out a small leather purse to each of them in turn.

They only seem to contain a score of coins, but when the bags are opened, the coins glitter like platinum!

Treasure: Everyone gets 20pp (2,000gp) each as a reward for surviving and successfully rescuing the Gnomish children!

Experience: Everyone is 11th level!

Well done everyone!
No deaths and the successful completion of your mission.
(I’m pretty impressed and have to grumblingly admit that 4th edition does ‘encourage’ teamwork.)

Welcome Gnome

Vogir thankfully accepts Petra’s gifts. The boots and amulet are amazing, but the quiver is by far his favorite.
He and his team of six Gnomes had rescued all of the children of the village as well as half a dozen others. They will be welcomed and cared for here, especially considering the amount of treasure they’d managed to take from one of the Sneafang vaults.
Criz and Vin look up at the tallish Vogir with a strange feeling of pride. They knew his Grandfather when they were barely grown and now they’ve helped him save their village again, just as they did a century ago.
Suddenly a call goes up and an alarm bell rings…
A large group of people are heading towards them!
Clambering on top of a large pile of crates and barrels, Vin pulls out a pocket telescope and peers into the distance…
"It’s your friends… And they’ve got about forty Gnomes with them!"
Vogir looks up at the precariously balancing Gnome.
“They’re not my friends. I barely know them other than the Dragon born. Frankly after sharing a couple of adventures with them, I can’t believe they survived.”
Vin prods Vogir in the thigh.
“They didn’t just survive; they seem to have rescued dozens of our people. Perhaps you were wrong about them? Perhaps they were more than just a way of distracting the Vedic forces away from our rescue attempt?”
Already turning to fetch his horse, Vogir mumbles a reply…

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Additional Treasure of the Vedics

Six magical scrolls from the Library…

1) Water breathing Lvl: 8 680gp
2) Knock Lvl: 4 175gp
3) Raise dead Lvl: 8 680gp
4) Cure disease Lvl: 6 360gp
5) Hallucinatory creature Lvl: 8 2,600gp
6) Magic circle Lvl: 5 250gp

Battle Magic from the Crettin…

Belt of Giant strength Lvl: 15 25,000gp.
(+2 Athletics and strength checks. Daily (free) If hit *add 10 power damage to attack)

Frostwolf pelt +2 Lvl: 9 4,200gp
(+2 Fort, Ref, Will / Resist cold: 5 / Daily: IR. Hit by adjacent enemy: Knock prone)

Cloak of Resistance +1 Lvl: 2 520gp
(Minor Action: 5 resist all until the beginning of next round)

Chainmail +3 Formidable Lvl: 14 21,000gp.
(Daily: Immediate interrupt: Damage becomes minimum.)

Two Maces of Aftershock +1 Lvl: 2 520gp
(+1d6 if criticals and all enemies adjacent to target are knocked prone.)

High Vedic Liebniz worn equipmement…

Black Iron armour +3 (Scale) Lvl: 14 21,000gp
[10 res fire/necrotic]

Poisoned Longsword +3 Lvl: 15 25,000gp
Daily sword: If hit: 10 ongoing poison damage until save.
(+3d6poison on crit)

Bashing shield (Daily… Lvl: 5 1,000gp
if hits: free 1d4 push)

Potion of vitality x1 Lvl: 15 1,000gp

AND The Shield brooch*
(The ‘Robot’ is yours to take if you want it…) Lvl: ?? (??,???)
How much would it be worth and how does it heal?

From the Balcony guards:

Alchemists fire: x5 lvl: 6 75gp
Burst1/Range10/Attack+9vsRef/Dam2d6onhit/1d6on miss

High Vedic Liebniz’ Secret stash…

In the puritan styled room of the High Vedic can be found several magical items.

Potion of healing x12 Lvl: 2 50gp
Potion of vitality x4 Lvl: 15 1000gp
Pure spirit totem +3 Lvl: 15 25,000gp
Alchemist’s acid x 20 Lvl: 6 75gp
Battle standard of might Lvl: 4 840gp
Ring of the Dragonborn Emperor Lvl:15 25,000gp
Darkskull Lvl: 9 4,200gp

There was a lot more stuff, but time constraints and an unwillingness to be derailed, meant that some fairly decent stuff got missed.

Change at the (Mountain)top

Standing wounded and burnt in the would-be throne room of High Vedic Liebniz, Orestes, Dokan, Ghanash and Rudha-an look around themselves.
The rat-faced leader of the Vedics lies dead in the flames of the still raging furnace. Both the burly guards and one of the flaming orb throwers from the balcony are also beyond saving. The remaining Vedics seem to have had the fight taken out of them at the sight of their supreme leader having to resort to using the now idle automaton.
Dokan prods it cautiously, but after its initial assault, it now stands silent.
A cough from behind, reminds them of the collection of Gnomish children as well as the ginger furred Head librarian: Godel and the turncoat: Gauss.
Gerromy, the seemingly eldest of the Gnome ‘teenagers’ coughs again.
‘Er… Before you slaughter any more of the Vedics, you may want to consider what the best solution for the future is…’
As soon as it’s established that the Vedics have surrendered, Lukas turns up with his not-so-merry band of Human children atop a floating wooden door.
After much debating, it is agreed that whatever Gnome children want to leave with the adventurers can, but whoever wants to stay will equally be allowed to.
The Vedics themselves will work with the older Gnomes to continue their work, but without the use of any additional Human children. The Human children already converted will be rehabilitated as best as possible and treated in a more ‘Gnomane’ way from now onwards.
Head Librarian Godel offers them the military equipment on ex-high Vedic Liebniz’ body plus any thing they want form his private safe.
On looking they take it all, realizing the value and that some of it might be useful.
The Party can hardly believe the change in demeanor that’s come over the Vedics. These clever if not powerful warriors seem to convert into butlers and servants with a shrug of their furry shoulders.
The adventures wash, eat and rest as the Gnomes decide amongst themselves, who will stay and who will go.
It’s early on the third day when the five adventures travel out through the stunningly crafted upper levels to the main, mountaintop entrance.
Each of them is momentarily blinded the brilliant arcs of electricity as the large hatch is opened.
It is guarded by just two Vedics manning the ‘lightning shield’ and ‘lightning cannon’. Dokan does flinch though when he passes a chained, but massive Snowlbear. He looks twice when he notices the mechanical devices surgically connected to its claws, beak and the thick, dark lenses over its eyes.
Squinting against the painful light, he even wishes he had a set of them himself!
It takes five days to walk the downward journey back to Finklestone and although none of the thirty-eight Gnomes are originally from there, they all wanted to leave Mount Snaefang. All the Finklestone Gnomes escaped during the time the adventurers were battling through the Vedic forces.
The journey is relatively easy and they have at least twice the provisions they need.
It’s on the last day that they see a surprised looking Vogir riding up to meet them.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Two mace-heads are better than one

Heading towards the captive Gnomes, Pauling leads the Party along side corridors as long as he is able.
It is only when they enter a grand hallway, that Dokan realises that they’ll have no choice but to fight from here onwards. The corridor has been blocked with barrels, furniture and everything else the Vedics could get their paws on.
It’ll take hours to get through that way.
This only leaves a large ornate door leading to one of the many libraries.
With Dokan and Orestes leading the way, Dokan carefully pushes the door open…
The massive room inside is truly impressive. An octagonal shaped room with doors in four opposite walls. The walls themselves stacked with thousands of books.
The room itself cascades downward, level-by-level, like the inside of a staggered cone. Each level holding more books and tomes.
The lowest level has some sort of ornate cupboard in its centre and whatever it contains must certainly be precious.
All of the upper tiers contain human children strapped into painful looking devices. The purpose of these devices seems to be the force-feeding of information into their eyes, ears and minds. These machines are connected by entrail-like tubes and wires into eight, much more comfortable looking, chairs at the penultimate level, each of them containing young Gnomes.
This is all that Dokan can take in before his attention is pulled to the sight of the enormous, two-headed, chainmail wearing giant.
“At last; sumfing for us to hits!”

Orphan Crossbow Gunship of Doom

The frightened orphans listen intently to Lukas. He is promising them a chance to fight back against the horrible monsters that have abducted and hurt them, and done horrible things to their friends. A couple of them voice some objections, but the rest are excited by the chance of getting to handle real crossbows and fly into real battle with real heroes.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

10th Level up!

After the last skirmish, everyone (Including Rudha-an) zooms up to 10th level!
New Feat and new Utility power.

After my adventure finishes, all survivors will rise to 11th level.
I've decided this for two reasons...
1) We might as well restart after the summer at 'Paragon' status.
2) Starting a 10th level would make it very hard for the next DM to find a balance.

Vogir gets: 'Adept power' and 'Resume the Hunt'.

From the dead Vedics...

Spider (Crossbow) Bolts +1 x 22 Lvl: 3 (30each)
Chainmail armour x 18
Longswords x 18
Large shileds x 18
Crossbows x 18
Regular bolts x 340

A Pauling behavior

While both in awe and frightened of the strange psionic Gnome, Pauling explains what he can of High Vedic Liebniz’ plan.

“A millennium ago, our people were created by the Gnomish elders. A slave race. Our ancestry was certainly lycanthropic, but we were made to be so much more than that. The Gnomish Lords gave us the intelligence to understand their very work. To build it. To maintain it.”
Pauling falls silent for a moment before chittering on.
“But then they disappeared. Our ancestors were too timid and simply failed to seek out the truth. As a race we survived, but little more. Our salvation didn’t come until a little over a century ago. And then by the hands of a band of adventurers much like yourselves.”
The tri-coloured Vedic smiles at the irony.
“The Gnomes we discovered though weren’t the all-powerful race that they once were. They were reduced. Unimpressive. All the old knowledge had been lost to them.”

Lukas can’t help but feel a small measure of sympathy for this prostrate creature. It had been created to fulfill a purpose no longer available to it.
Lukas listens as the creature continues its tale.
“Despite our disappointment, many of us went out into the world to explore its wonders. Many died but we are fast breeders and some of us stayed to guard the wonders of the Elders.
My ancestors.
It was then that the High Vedic: Leibniz came to realize that maintaining what was there wasn’t enough. We had been created for a purpose.
To serve our Gnomish makers.
The answer was so obvious, I’m surprised it took us a hundred years to reach the conclusion.
It has become our mission and our sacred duty to raise the Gnomes to their former glory.
We have the knowledge; all we needed were the Gnomes. A few came willingly. Too few unfortunately. Not enough to make a difference.
We needed more.
We needed a lot more.
We needed them young.”

Monday, June 27, 2011

No one makes an ape of the head librarian

“They’re coming this way?” Questions the Head librarian. “Are you sure?”
The young Vedic nods at his orange furred superior. “I’m afraid so Head librarian Godel. They might go another way, but according to Pascal’s notes, this route is the invaders most likely with a probability of over sixty percent. I’ve been told that we must interrupt lessons for today.”
Looking over to the dozens of Gnomes and Humans strapped into the inculcation chairs, Godel makes a decision. “It’ll take too long to unharness them. Send for more reserves. We’re staying put. If the invaders come this way, they’ll not harm the children.”
The young Vedic scurries off to raise whatever reinforcements he can.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Scholars not soldiers

Everything is quiet as the handful of Vedics wait behind the closed door. It’s sturdy enough, but they know it won’t hold. The enemy at the bottom of the stone steps are too strong.
Panini looks around at his fellow soldiers.
“Soldiers?” he chitters under his breathe. “Hardly”.
Still, they have to hold the line as long as they can. Hold the invaders back until support can come.
Raising his voice, Panini tries to rally his troops.
“I know you’re scared. I know we can’t hope to defeat them. But we don’t have to. All we need to do is delay them. Stay alive and hamper their advance. We can do it if we’re clever, and frankly, who’s more cleverer than us?”

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Digging for victory

In the tunnel, the lead Gnome glances back over his shoulder at the man crawling in the gloom behind him.
“Are you sure this is a good idea?”
“Yes Criz, I’m sure.” responds the man. “By now, the Vedic forces will be spread too thin to stop us. Hopefully the map's correct and we can save your children while avoiding any more violence. If we do encounter any more resistance though, let me take the lead this time. You’re already wounded and I promised your wife I wouldn’t let you get killed.”
The grizzled, bald-headed Gnome scowls, but continues to move forward.
Looking at the map, he stops and rubs his well groomed beard… “Now where do we knock through again?”

Monday, June 13, 2011

Little problems behind

Scurrying back across the pit room, Velinsk is dragged back through the door by his fellow kitchen slaves.
“What did you see?” snaps one of his fellows.
Wide eyed, Velinsk responds…
“They’re all dead. Scores of them! Frick was able to tell me that it was a mixed band of adventurers. They came up through the washrooms and slaughtered everyone. In his dying breath though, he mentioned that one of them was a Dragon-born.”
Several of the Kobolds spit on the floor in disgust.
“They think they’re so much better than us. Bigger doesn’t mean better.”
The one that had asked the original question though, looks slyly down the corridor.
“Did you say they came up through the, corroded shut, down pipe?”

Big troubles ahead

On hearing the order, the massive creature heaves itself from it’s reinforced bed. Its begrudging spine, cracking with the unwanted movement.
Gripping the bedpost, it rises slowly to its feet and gropes around for its weapons amongst the armour and helmets lying in the corner of the room.
“Where mees needed?” it asks in a deep and gravelly voice.
Once instructed by the cowering Vedic, the lumbering creature heads off after it to crush the tiny invaders, beneath the spikes of its twin giant maces.
“Hurry up. Big clubs wants to squash little skulls!”

Friday, June 10, 2011

Summon the Crettin!

High Vedic Liebniz is sitting on his stone throne now with his clawed fingers, white with the pressure of his grip on the rough armrests.
He looks up sharply as yet another of his minions rushes in.
“What is it now?” he chitters to his underling.
“There’s been another attack my lord.”

The red robed Vedic shuffles his feet nervously.
“The secondary vault.”
High Vedic Liebniz is on his feet, faster than the messenger can see,
“When? How many guards did they get past?”
“Perhaps less than half an hour ago… They killed the two guards at the vault door.”
“Only two guards? On whose order were these Vedics relocated?”
“On Pascal’s my lord. He needed them to secure the possible entrance points from the cavern below.”
High Vedic Liebniz sits back down to consider.
“Where is Pascal now?”
“Dead sir.”

High Vedic Liebniz sighs…
“Well I suppose that’s punishment enough. Tell me, who have we between us and these various factions of what now appears to be an invasion?”
“Well my lord, we have all of the Vedics stationed in strategically defensible positions, but…”
“But what?”
“Well my lord, these invaders have cut a swath through our ranks. We are not a match for them and they kill everyone they encounter… Even the slave kobolds!”

Sighing again, High Vedic Liebniz comes to a decision.
“In that case Gauss, I think it’s time our idiot earns his keep… And send the remainder of our reserve soldiers to protect the primary vault.”

Thursday, June 9, 2011

New character, Dungeon Master and what’s for sale Magical debate

As my adventure’s coming to the end and I’m starting to think what magical goodies I’m going to ‘buy’ for Vogir, I’ve come to the realization that we haven’t really set any rules for any of this stuff.

How about this:

New characters: I’m not sure about this. They certainly should be able to choose whatever they want… but… They shouldn’t really have much as the characters that have ground their way up the levels. These characters won’t have had the option to choose their magical items so should offset that by having more. I can’t find any rules about this so need some help/criticism/debate.
(I always assumed the 'character builder' on your PCs gave you a set amount...?)

Dungeon Master bonus: An equal amount of gold of the average Party member total got is allocated to the DM who can then spend it on whatever he chooses. (No limits).

Buying: As an easy rule, why not say we can buy anything of half our experience level or less (assuming enough gold to afford it)?

Selling: Sell whatever magical item you like for 1/5 it's book value. (Or sell it to another Party member for whatever you agree on.)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A (Brute) Force for Good?

Puffing from the exertion of the battle, Dokan looks around himself. The defending forces are all dead. Even their leader lies dead in the corridor ahead.
He should feel happy, but instead he feels a sinking dread that he’s been responsible for the deaths of scores of mistreated Kobold slaves and worse, the death of a mind-controlled human boy.
Something else as well…
He feels hot and a little giddy.
Meanwhile, Ghanash has busied himself pulling the hoods from the faces of several of the red robed figures. They’re some sort of giant, bipedal rodent…
They’re familiar somehow…
It’s only when he notices the pale and shaven headed child, that his memory serves him.
He’s seen these collars before. Over a year ago, just after he’d met up with the human Vogir.
Opening his mouth to speak, he realises that none of his fellows were with him back then. Adventurers and mercenaries tend not to last too long in this world.
Orestes looks uncomfortable. Although he relishes a fight, possibly a ‘little’ too much, their current path seems certain to draw the attention of all the Vedic’s forces.
They couldn’t have been less subtle even if they’d taken the main entrance…
Could Niema have been captured and given them away?
Still, a fight’s a fight. The worse the odds, the greater the glory!
Rudha-an glances up from his effort to separate the dead boy from one of his pallid ears.
His teammates don’t look happy.
Don’t they realise that the child had gone for him?
In the corridor, Lucas telekinetically drags the body of Pascal back towards the others. The corridor he was in lead to a flight of stairs going up. No rush now though as the Vedic’s surely know they’re coming.


From the Otyugh’s fetid lair:
(The dead from disease and asphyxiation dwarf)

Dwarven greaves Lvl: 7 (2,600)
Holy gauntlets Lvl: 8 (3,400)
Helm of battle Lvl: 9 (4,200)
Battle-axe +3 (Frightful) Lvl: 12 (13,000)
Battle forged plat email +3 Lvl: 15 (25,000)

From the Kobold slave quarters:

Bizarrely nothing.

From Pascal and the Hamstermen/Vedics

9 x Long swords
9 x Crossbows
8 x Chainmail armour
Iron skin belt Lvl: 15 (25,000)
Stoneskin robes +3 Lvl: 13 (17,000)
Potion of healing Lvl: 2 (50)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Spreading the Red

Another of the Redrobes rushes in to the see the High Vedic.
“We’ve just got word from the inflativator, that a group of people were seen heading toward the abandoned Gnomish village.”
Leibniz shifts in his massive stone chair. Although it resembles a crude throne, he’d never refer to it as such.
“How many were seen Bernoulli? Was it an army?”
“Apparently not, but from where he was, it was hard to tell.”

Scratching his chin, High Vedic Leibniz considers the problem.
“How many troops have you sent out already?”
“About two dozen so far.”
“Send out another group from the hanger to have a scout around and another squad out the top on foot.”

The red robed creature bows and retreats from the room.
“At once sir.”

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Down in the Stenches

In the dark and malodorous cavern beneath Mount Sneafang, the Party find themselves trapped.
What little light there is, is coming from the flickering torchlight of the two ever-burning torches casually tossed on the floor.
The Gnome Lucas floats high above the islands of refuse and rotting corpses of children. The ‘water’ that separates these small islands is ‘pure’ sewage.
The noxious gassy air chokes and blinds, but despite this Lucas examines the downward pipes looking for a way back up.
Aside from the large central one that leads back up to the trap rooms, most of them are too small for any of them to enter, but there are a few that might allow his small frame entry. There might even be one or two that would allow his bigger teammates passage...
If they could just get up here…
Rudha-an stands alone one of the smaller islands while his spirit panther swims around the outer walls looking for a way out.
In the central island, the unseen Niema burrows further down under the decomposing slime of the dead children.
Dokan, struggles for breath as the disgusting tentacle tightens around his throat. He’s being pulled lower into the brown sludge, but with direction and purpose.
Just behind him are his heroic teammates: Orestes and Ghanash. Can they see well enough through the gloop to follow or is Dokan lost?

Treasure: Just in case I forget:
12 large opals: (Value 50gp each)
Splintered and cracked large opal bits: (25gp)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Rise of the Vedics

Turning his astute ears to the sound of the distant siren, High Vedic Leibniz calls to his underlings for an explanation.
After a few minutes, two red robed individuals scamper in.
“What’s the meaning of the alarm?”
One of the deep red-garbed underlings squeaks with fear before clearing his throat to respond.
“My apologies High Vedic Leibniz. The alarm from one of the unused secret entrances has been tripped.”
Vedic Leibniz stares at the speaker before responding…
“So Fibonacci, they got past your little test did they? How far have the pushed in?”
The other creature steps forward.
“They proved their intellectual ability by solving my colleagues mathematical problem, so they’re not just opportunist orcs or goblins, but they set off the alarm in the uncanny valley. We’ve sent some troops down to secure the final exit, but even if they beat the machines and get through the steel door, I doubt they’ll find the correct exit.”
Dark eye’s narrowing, the obvious leader hisses.
“You doubt?”
“Well High Vedic, I can only say that the odds are against them to correctly guess the right path… Considering the number of options, I’d say it was only one in sixteen!”
Speaking quietly, High Vedic Leibniz sighs.
“The trouble with probability Pascal, is that eventually, someone always beats the odds. Double the soldiers guarding the correct door… and send some guards to the outside of that entrance, just in case they find their way out of the stench below.”

Monday, May 23, 2011

No more Paper Tigers


Just our Lucas

And then down again.

Changing classes is just plain Rudha-an

The average height of the Party just went up...

Can you see the light?

Leaving the four ominous black boxes and the corpses of the human thugs and snowlbears behind, the Party ride on towards the mountain itself.
During the night, as they make camp, a constant bright light can be seen crackling at the peak of Mount Snaefang.
Dokan squints against the painful brightness…
He can just make out a smaller separate light, seemingly in orbit around the primary one. It’s path seems quite slow but takes it beyond the width of the mountain itself.
Drawing his fellow tiefling towards him, he asks Niema what she can see at the mountain peak.
“What mountain?” is Niema’s unhelpful reply.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Owlbearly alive

Waking suddenly, the paradoxical demon/paladin opens his eyes to see Ghanash standing over him. Looking past the massive Dragon-born, he can make out the mortally injured but still wheezing snowlbear lying in a pool of it’s own blood.
Dokan had foolishly let his thirst for battle, cloud his judgment. He would have been safe in the ominous black box. Instead though he almost got himself killed trying to prove himself against a thousand pounds of fur, feathers and psychosis.
Still, four snowlbears…
He’d heard of them of course, but never actually seen one.
Everything he’d heard though, had been proven true. When he looked into their freakishly oversized eyes, all he saw was unrelenting hatred. The only way a battle with a snowlbear will end is with the death of either it or you.
Niema had finished off the last remaining human. No conversation. No interrogation. Just a quick and cold assassination.
The five humans were all big, muscular men, but not particularly skilled. Niema realises though, that they didn’t have to be with the snowlbears to do their fighting for them.
Orestes examines one of the massive black metal boxes. His father had been a carpenter, so he knew the difference between good and bad quality work. The engineering involved in these boxes though was beyond the best that he’d ever seen.
The box is about twelve feet long, by eight feet wide and eight feet tall. Inside it’s divided into two compartments. The larger one for the snowlbear, the smaller one for the handler.
The cog, ratchet system was amazing. Despite the sheer weight and strength of the murderously insane animal, he was able to drag it back quite easily.
Strong as he is, Orestes realises that he’d been very lucky breaking out of their hugs as often as he did.
Inside the handler section, Orestes realises that the human’s must have been living there for a while. Each tiny cabin had it’s own folding bed and store cupboard for food and personal belongings…
Lucas settles down to go through what they’d found…
The humans all had leather armour, long swords and crossbows. Pretty standard stuff, but they also had a fairly substantial amount of gold.
Each of the five had a purse containing 50gp. (250gp total)
(Exactly 50gp.)
The four brass horns they had were worth 5gp each.
The leader also had three more things of interest.
A silver whistle, worth 10gp.
A Shortsword +2 Berserkery 5,000gp
A Crossbow +2 of Thundering. 3,400gp
Off to the side, the disturbingly thin and tall Rhudha-an laughs as he plays with the amputated claws of the four snowlbears. Suddenly quiet, he looks to the bodies of the five human mercenaries…

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Short cut to the chase

The Party ride on towards the massive mountain rising up before them. It’ll still be a good four days ride but they are well rested and well supplied.
It was surprising how much food the Gnomes had. Despite the Dragon taxes, their lack of farm workers and the current warm and dry spell, their crops and livestock are in abundance.
The road soon becomes a path, as it hasn’t been maintained in decades if not centuries.
Ghanash looks at the map Vin had given him.
It shows the way to a ‘secret’ entrance. It seems to be about a third the way up the mountain near another old Gnome settlement.
It also shows the way to the topmost and main entry point.
He’s puzzled by the weird drawing and labeling using the words ‘Snow catcher’ and ‘Lightning shield’. What could they be?
At the bottom of the map is written the number ‘42’. Apparently this is the code solution to get them through the ‘secret’ entrance.
Ghanash smoothes down his forehead frills.
Why would Vogir leave the code if he was planning to meet them there?
Humans. Always so bloody unreliable.

Monday, May 16, 2011

There's a light, over at the Finklestone place!

After waving the adventurers off, Petra Looks up at Vin from her mechanical chair. Adjusting her thick blanket, she smiles at her old friend. Since Sokoloff died, she’s relied on him more and more to run the village.
“Do you think they’ll succeed?”
Vin looks down at her impossibly wrinkled and leathery face.
“If what Vogir’s told us is correct, they’ll need to if we ever hope to see our kin again.”
Petra smiles and sucks on her corn pipe.
“Such a good boy. He reminds me so much of his grandfather… That Orc though… He reminds me of someone too… Someones?”
Vin waits for a moment before he realises that the old lady has fallen fast asleep.
Turning to the gate, Vin wheels her slowly back in.

That’s life guards

Standing in front of their commander, the two gate sentries look determinedly at the floor.
“Yes Sir. Sorry Sir. It’ll not happen again Sir.”
The commander lets the colour drain from his face until it’s closer to its normal beetroot.
“I understand that it’s just six gold pieces, but it’s the principle of the thing. If we just let these things go, the Black cloaks will start taking a more active interest in our affairs… Our finances.”
The older of the two guards coughs and stammers more of an explanation.
“Calm down, I realise you were bewitched in some way. It doesn’t take a genius to work out these adventurers took advantage of you. The only question is why?”
Pacing around his office, the large commander stops and as if talking to himself mutters, “Keep your eyes open for this group of monsters. What were they? Two Tieflings - a male and a female, a Dragon-born, an Orc, a Gnome and a seven foot tall tall Human? Shouldn’t be too hard to spot.”

The Sundered

Orestes, finishes his business in Vornak and sets off after his comrades. Atop his horse, he thunders along the dusty roads, ignoring black cloaks and beggars alike.
It is with a sense of shame that he perceives the multitude of orc women and children lining the verges.
Of all the races to have suffered under the merciless claw of Thereanthor, the orcs have suffered the most.
After the Demon’s armies were destroyed and Fissa won, the Dragon came down hardest on them because they had provided the main armies against both her AND the demon.
All the surviving tribes were broken up and banned from reforming as anything larger than small groups of less than a hundred. Of that hundred, only thirty of them were allowed be males of fighting age.
The many destroyed tribes are called collectively: The Sundered.
Orestes knows his history; members of his family had been involved in battles against both the invading monsters and their diabolic armies.
What he doesn’t know however is how the orcs became so organised and who their leader was. He was never seen or caught.
After a few days Orestes comes to a roadside shack/shop. It’s easily and quickly ‘disassembleable’ and seems to be selling furs and animal skins as well as a few hanging meats.
There are several orcish youths hanging around, but it’s an older, larger one that steps out in front of Orestes and beckons him to stop and buy some of his wares.
“Buy some skins, my brother?”
Orestes waves the request aside and instead asks about the group he’s pursuing.
The grizzled orc Artors, snarls and spits.
“I ran into them. Are you looking to kill them?”
Orestes pauses for a moment while he considers the question and the half dozen, armed orcs now on their feet.
“Er… yes?”
With wishes of ‘May Gruumsh drink the blood you spill” behind him and some free slabs of horsemeat in his saddlebags, Orestes gallops on towards Gon Dulat.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Parting Shadows

He could see the slender woman sitting at the desk facing the opposite wall. Only a few meters and a quick kill separated him from reaching the next level in the guild. He had chosen to remove Chada-Ky from her position since she was feared amongst the younger members as the best on her level and this kill would bring him extra fame. He had never gone for the easy career moves! He adjusted his position carefully, fastened the grip on his curved dagger and, with a powerful jump, left his hidden position.

The bolt embedded itself deep in the head and started to tilt the body, which was still mid-air forwards. Just a second later, it slammed into the ground just a foot from the chair. Chada-Ky turned and looked up towards Niema who stepped out of the shadow next to the place where the younger assassin had appeared.
"Nice shot!"
Niema looked up "Thank you! I can't believe this guy really thought he could attack you after just a minute-long observation of the room. He didn't even consider the possibility of somebody standing next to him!"
The Shadar-Kai woman bowed down to pick up the dagger and place it on a shelf with an assortment of exotic weapons.
"Yes, the quality of the younger recruits hasn't been high lately. But this one should have known better! I taught him myself and he had potential, but he was always aiming higher than he should."
Niema started laughing
"Seems that your reputation is fading when these guys already consider you an easy target for career advancement!"
"True! But isn't that the beauty of our system? The idiots making those immature decisions free their space in the hierarchy rather quickly and you don't have to deal with them anymore. Let's just hope the one taking his place learns from his mistake. I would like to be targeted by somebody who poses a challenge for once!"

Niema looked at the small crossbow in her hand. It was carved out of matte black wood and covered in intricate golden patterns. "Indeed a nice weapon you have there. Perfectly balanced and I could barely hear the trigger myself when I pulled it. Where did you find it?"
"I found it in the weapons collection of one of my targets a while ago. He was totally into small crossbows and had an exquisite selection. I used one of his own weapons to kill him."
Niema smiled "I thought so. You were always into these kind of details! I have to get myself one of those! You wouldn't know where I can find another one?"
"Keep this one, I hardly ever use it. I'm more into direct body contact as you know!" She moved towards Niema and pushed the hand with the crossbow aside! "It's a shame we already have to part again. I wish I could stay longer, but I only have a small time window for the next job. Will you still be here when I come back?"
"I don't think so. I also have to leave and head back towards the realm of my own guild. There was no good job offer so far and maybe I should also use the free time to look whether one of the senior guild members is tired of his position and wants to vacate his or her space for an ambitious and good looking tiefling. I also have to see what my heroic group of travellers are up to and whether they also travel back. They are fun to travel with and seem to constantly attract training possibilities!"
The two women hugged each other tightly for a long time before Chada-Ky loosened the grip and turned her head towards the middle of the room.
"Would you mind giving me a hand with the body?"

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A friend in need

Ghanash wakes up bleary eyed from yet another drinking challenge from Dokan and Orestes. Battle hardened warriors that they may be; they never can keep up with a true-blooded Dragon born.
After quickly licking both eyes clear, he rolls from his bed and notices an envelope posted under his door.
Without waiting to dress, Ghanash rips it open with the tip of his clawed thumb.
It’s a message from Vogir.

‘Dear Ghanash,
I hope I find you and the others well. As you already know, I left Vornak two weeks ago without word. Please forgive my rudeness; it was family business. I need your help. Bring the others to Gon Dulat as fast as you can. Book into the ‘Fallen Angel’. I shall either meet you there or leave word of where I’ve gone on to.
Don’t worry about gold; I’ll make sure you’re suitable rewarded.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Vornak... Today

The package goes from Highmarsh to Winterhaven, from Winterhaven to Lakeport, from Lakeport to Timbervale, from Timbervale to Stonefang, from Stonefang to Rottingham and finally from Rottingham to Vornak.
Vogir is surprised to get a package and hurriedly reads the letters inside.
Messages from family known and unknown, messages from friends and a message from strangers to his ancestor.
Folding the various sheets of paper back up, Vogir calls for his horse.

Three months ago today in Highmarsh

Stavro sniffs the envelope suspiciously. It’s addressed to his old partner Vogir but as he’s not here…
Slitting open the course paper, he pulls out its contents. A letter for Vogir and another, already opened, envelope addressed to someone called Mendez.
Stavro reads the letter, his lips moving as he struggles to decipher the ornate script.
Vogir was much younger than Stavro, but they’d been like brothers when they were smuggling together. He’d left nearly a year ago with the very same Dragon-born he’d idiotically got into a fight with outside the tavern.
A fool.
A heroic fool though.
Stavro knew vaguely where Vogir had gone to and so he sends word to find another messenger.
Writing a note of his own, he adds it to the bundle and stuffs it all into a fresh envelope.
When the teenage messenger arrives, he orders the young man to take the letters to Winterhaven and deliver them to Vogir personally.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Yet more treasure

Orestes gets the Sacrificial Longsword +3.

Vogir takes the Long bow +2.

Lucky Dokan gets the Fey-Blessed Circlet.

The remaining two adventurers: Rhudha-an and Ghanash get 500gp each.

Poor Indigo gets nothing as he's staying to help the Rottingham resistance.

Someone new's coming though to help us out in a non defensive way...


Treasure Update

From Rob Inwood and Demise:

You only find two magic items on the bodies and surprisingly not a single coin:

1. Sacrificial Longsword +3 (Lvl11, 9000gp)
Crit: +3d6
Daily: (Free) On hit spend healing surge but gain no HP but target is weakened until end of next turn

2. Fey-Blessed Circlet (Lvl8, 3400 gp, Slot:Head)
At the start of an encounter you gain temp HP equal to your Cha modifier

Happy bargaining!

Completely forgot:

From the Lord of Rottingham on delivery of Rob's head:
Flaming Longbow +2 (Lvl10, 5000 gp)
Crit: +2d6 fire
At Will (Free) All damage is fire damage. Repeat power to return all damage to normal
Daily (Free) On hit, deal +1d6 fire damage and ongoing 5 fire damage. (Save ends)

On showing the filled out and signed forms from the general to a black cloak in Vornak who asks you to fill out 3 more forms: that you've received the money, that you were never affiliated with a terrorist group (ticklist with known groups), and a form praising the Dragon and its offspring:
1000 gp

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Spoils of adventuring

Vogir divides up the loot from the last few encounters. Despite his nature, he tries to be fair....

Battlecrazed Battleaxe +2. (840gp)
1 potion of healing (10gp)

Boots of Quickness +1 to Reflex Defense. (680gp)

Periapt of Recovery +2. (680 gp)
1 potion of healing (10gp)

Irrefutable Hide Armor +2AC. (520gp)
1 potion of healing (10gp)

1 Potion of Regeneration (32gp)
1 Platinum ring (50gp)
1 Silver Circlet (250gp)
5 pp

Value wise, everyone is equal. If you really want to check though, I've left the values of items up next to them. Actually, Vogir's 1gp down on everyone else. :)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Treasure Update

Ok, here is the treasure you've found the last 3 evenings:

Battle while protecting Rotting Ham's tax cart:
1. Boots of Quickness
Lvl 8, 3400gp, +1 to Reflex Defense

2. Irrefutable Hide Armor +2
Lvl 7, 2600, +2 AC
Free Action. Use this power when you miss with an attack that targets Will defense. Reroll your attack with a power bonus equal to the enhancement bonus of this armor.

You also found:
3 potions of healing (50gp)
1 Platinum ring (50gp)
1 Silver Circlet (250gp)
4 pp
50 gp

Fight with Will Crimson:
1 Potion of Regeneration (160gp)
(Consumable. Spend healing surge but don't gain HP. Instead gain 5 regeneration until end of encounter when bloodied.)
1 pp
75 gp

Attack on the Fort:
1. Battlecrazed Battleaxe +2
Lvl 9, 4200gp, +2 Attack/Dmg rolls (critical +2d6)
Deal +1d6 damage when bloodied
(Daily) Minor Action. Deal damage to yourself equal to half your level, ignoring any resistances. You are considered bloodied for all purposes (including beneficial effects, such as Dragonborn Fury and this weapon’s property) until the end of your next turn.

2. Periapt of Recovery +2
Lvl 8, 3400 gp, +2 Fortitude, Reflex, and Will
Gain a +2 item bonus to death saving throws.

600 gp from the fort's office.
52 gp from the dead bodies

Ok, some of the things were already taken by people but I didn't write it down. So please check your notes! I know that Rudha-an has the hide armour currently.

99..100...Here I come!

Jen got up when she heard the voices outside. She looked next to her, but Vogir was already gone. With a smile on her face she got dressed and stepped out of the small tree house. When she looked down she could see the group of adventurers sitting together near the main fireplace drawing sketches into the dry ground and arguing. Undoubtedly planning their fake tax cart journey to find Rob Inwood.
She looked over to where the voices grew louder and more agitated. She could see Bernard, one of the youngsters that acted as messengers between the hidden outposts, talking to Fry and a few others. He was very exited about something and Fry tried to calm him down it seemed. She started to climb down the ladder and thought about the last few days. The attack on the fort was more than successful. They had already started to distribute the food,tools and weapons the adventurers had brought back, to the other camps. Enough weapons to train people and defend their hidden settlements.

She had reached the group and started to pick up some of the words when Fry saw her approaching and turned towards her.
"We have to have a gathering! This news calls for a quick decision! Send out the other boys to get the camp leaders together tomorrow night!"
When Jen looked at him with raised eyebrows he seemed to remember
"Ah, sorry, the camp at the lake thinks they've found Rob Inwoods main base of operations. Or at least one of their hunters was stupid enough to follow a raiding party back to a fortified camp built into one of the old keeps. He claims to have seen people training inside the camp and that it's definitely not one of their resting outposts..."
Jen stopped him
"If what that guy claims is true, we have to indeed decide what to do with this information. If the location is far enough from our hideouts, we could tip off the Black Cloaks and even get the money. But I think also the adventurers are looking for him for that reason. I'll get the leaders together for tomorrow."

The next evening Orestes, Vogir, Ghanash, and Rudha-an were looking at the others. Dokan had left to help in one of the other outposts. Vogir was the first to talk
"So you definitely want to tip off the Dragon's errand boys and get them to attack and destroy the mercenary's camp? But they fight on the same side as you!"
One of the older leaders looked at Vogir with a serious expression "Rob is on nobody's side but his own!" He rolled back his sleeve to reveal the mark of the Merry100. "Believe me young man, I was fighting for him a long time ago until I became sick. Not being able to fight anymore, he dropped me like a foul apple. I'm only alive today because I knew the guys who were ordered to dispose of me. This bastard does not care about people. He only cares about his own coffers and does whatever the highest bidder asks for. When the Merry100 came back again after working outside the valley for years, they were more brutal than ever. I think Rob Inwood made a deal with somebody way worse than the Dragon...."
Fry put his hand on the old man's shoulder
"Yes, there is no question that we have to get rid of the Merry100 if we want to stay hidden. The Dragon already concentrates troops in Vornak and word has it that more are on their way. They will actively start searching and, knowing their methods, that will cost the lifes of many innocent people! Our families! Our friends!"
He looked at the adventurers
"As we've said, if you want to use that information to take him down and collect the bounty then go ahead! You have done more for us than we've imagined, so we are in your debt and are more than happy that you collect the Dragon's money. But Rob Inwood has to disappear and we might not get this information again for a while after he changes camp. We can't wait! What do you say?"

Four months ago today in Redford: Part 2

Tito looks at the letter in his hands for the umpteenth time.
He has his hands full running the town but Rafael had been insistent he read it.
Despite Mendez being long dead, Tito still recalled several of his grandfather’s stories about the Gnome queen. Despite the time passed since the letter was first sent, he can’t help wanting to somehow help her.
Many members of the family left Redford after the gold started to run out.
Several of them heading toward Gon Dulat and the Region discussed.
A few of them seeking adventure.

One though stands out in his thoughts.
His Grandfather’s favorite.
The cynical but still reckless Vogir.
“Rafael, call for a messenger!”

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Four months ago in Redford

The dark eyed Rafael looks through the bundle of mail in front of him. Though it bores him, his father has allocated this task to him.
Despite the almost complete depletion of his great-grandfather’s riches, Redford still stands prouder than all the surrounding townships and villages. It's population has swelled and a few of the wealthier members of the community contribute generously toward the entire towns anual tithes
Most of the letters are typical tax demands and commerce, but then he gets to an envelope that makes him pause.
It’s addressed to his dead uncle Benedicto, but more interestingly it’s come all the way from Shalalah...
Shalalah from over the sea...
Shalalah… The original home of his family.
Everyone knew that his great-grandfather had left there under a cloud and equally, everyone new that he had left his large family behind.
No one, still alive, knew why though.
Opening the envelope, Rafael finds a note and another letter…
Addressed to his great-grandfather!
Reading the note, Rafael discovers it’s from an aunt he never new he had.
An aunt looking for answers to questions he’s unable to answer.
Reading the letter within, he finds himself as confused as she was.
Standing up, he goes in search of his uncle…

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Six months ago in Shalalah

Leaving Eris’ funeral service, Amaranta heads back to the old woman’s room.
Clearing up a little, she opens the bedside draw to tidy away the few personal things left on the dresser.
Amaranta stops though when she notices the drawer full of letters. Unable to resist, she takes out the bundle bound with an emerald green bow.
Scanning them hungrily, she realizes that they are all from her infamous uncle Mendez.
Settling down on the luxurious double bed, she begins to read through them.
They speak of his love for his family and of his own life. The raising of an army against the Dragon, the great battle and of his ultimate defeat. They then go on to tell of his resignation to the fate of Fissa and his retreat to first the city of Seawell and then to the small township of Redford. They tell of his love and marriage to a woman called Etta and then of the orphanage, the adoptions and the many children they had together.
The letters span decades but become more and more infrequent. They tell of his mayorship and of his decline.
Finally they stop entirely…
At the bottom of the pile, one envelope remains and Amaranta recognizes it as the letter she’d read to her aunt over a year before.
Without stopping to think, Amaranta scours to letters for an address and the name of Mendez’ oldest son.
Her cousin: Benedicto.
Snatching some paper, an envelope and the quill from the ink bottle still on the dresser, Amaranta seals the letter inside a fresh envelope, addresses it to Benedicto and calls for a servant.
Perhaps Mendez is still alive?
Perhaps he can be the hero one more time?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I don’t know, what do you want to do?

Vogir lays in little Jen’s bunk. He’s happy. The happiest he’s been in years.
Looking down at the young woman beside him, he feels a yearning for home and a normal life.
It’s with a bitter tear that he remembers that his home in Redford is but a distant memory. What family remains there are living a very different life to what he had.
The question is what to do now?
Despite numerous conversations, he is still conflicted in regard to the bandit Rob Inwood. Should they go after him and attempt to kill him?
He’s a thorn in the Dragon’s side; true, but he’s also a menace and attracting the wrath of the Black cloaks down upon the innocents…
Sitting up, Vogir decides to discuss it one last time with his monstrous companions.
Little Jen purrs and roles over, exposing her not so little breasts.
Smiling, Vogir leans over her. Conversations can wait until morning.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Two years ago today

Slicing open the raggedy envelope, Amaranta scans through the letter.
‘Mendez’? Why is that name so familiar?
It’s obviously the diminutive of her grandfathers name, but it’s more than that...
Hurrying to find her great aunt, she finds Eris sitting in her favourite wicker chair in the jasmin gardens.
Her aged aunt pales when she hears the name.
Due to Aunt Eris’ failing eyesight, Amaranta reads the letter aloud to her.
After she has finished, Amaranta is surprised to see the old lady crying.
“Mendez was one of my older brothers. Your great grandfather tricked his friends into going on a dangerous quest and then rewarded them by killing every one of them. Although just a girl at the time, I’m ashamed to admit that I helped with the attack.”
The old woman pauses for a moment.
“That was the day I died.”
Amaranta’s eyes widen with shock.
“That’s right. I died. Your great grandfather Estaban had me brought back to life, but by then Mendez had gone. I never saw his handsome face again.”
The younger woman can’t help but interrupt.
“What happened to him? Who is Petra?”
"Swearing he’d never return, Mendez sailed across the ocean to the savage lands in the north. Here he raised an army to battle the Dragon whose presence we feel even over here.
Some said he died, but others believed he survived and started a life in a small town called Redford.”

Eris pauses again to wipe a tear from her eye and catch her breath.
“It matters not now though. He was several years older than me and will certainly be dead by now. Help me inside child. I don’t want to be in the sun any longer”.

Conflicted we fall

Enjoying the revelry, Vogir settles back by the fire and watches the happy community of outcastes. The raid had been successful and no-one would be going hungry for a while. Weapons had been stored and they had enough gold to survive for years if careful.
Best of all, was that he had managed to kill a Black cloak and several of the Dragon guards.
It had sickened him to realise that he was the only human battling in that fort. His allies had been true, but it was disturbing to see the Tiefling transform like Niema had done.
Can all Tieflings do that?
The Dragon-born and the Orc had fought nobly but they seemed more interested in the fight than for the cause. The Tiefling had been frightening, but his priorities instantly changed when he saw the Dragon-born fall.
The only problem now involves the bandit Rob Inwood.
He’s no freedom fighter, that’s for sure, but...
He’s a thorn in the Dragon’s side.
That alone makes the thought of killing him difficult.
Unfortunately he’s apparently happy to attack human merchants as well.
He’s in it for himself.
Still, as long as the Black cloaks and the Sherriff target him, it gives the ‘real’ resistance cover to hide behind.
Will he bring the Dragon’s wraith down on everyone in the town of Rottingham?
Possibly, but so what?
Let the innocent villagers flee and hide.
Every copper piece lost to the Dragon is a small victory.
Pulling himself to his feet, Vogir seeks out little Jen. “Fancy a dance? I promise to keep up”.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Fort to the end

OK, let’s see what we’re facing...

Our target is a well built rectangular wooden fort. I’m guessing it’s about one hundred feet along the longest sides and maybe sixty feet at its most narrow?
It’s surrounded by a ten foot patrolled palisade and it seems there is a construction inside the wall since the guards can be seen over the palisade..
The palisade has two gates in the centres of the two shortest walls on opposite sides of the fort. These gates are fortified and have small guard towers on either side.
Do we know how tall these towers are?
The sturdy wooden gates open outward.
There are eight buildings inside.
The one near the north gate seems to be the troop's quarters. They are in two lines along the road in between the gates.
There are at least ten regular guards, but that’s including their commander and an accursed black cloak.
The road passes in the west while there is forest on the other sides.
There's about a fifty foot distance from the palisade to the forest's edge.
Carts normally seem to enter at one gate and leave through the other after being loaded or unloaded by the people that are with the cart and just supervised by a guard.

There also appears to be a kind of quick response group stationed there to protect the roads near the fort. Ten mounted fighters who control the roads and pass the fort on two regular passes throughout the day and stay there over night.
Annoyingly these cavalrymen don’t were helmets and are well known and easily recogniseable by the men in the garrison.

The fort act as an intermediate storage facility. The are carts bringing and taking stuff. They mostly supply troops that are passing through and get re-stocked when necessary.
The fort is simple though. A wooden construction and no moat or slope to worry about.

I still think fire’s our best option. If we could get Indigo in somehow, he could stealthily poor oil on the thatched roofs . In fact he could set the fires AND help open the gate..
Then it would be a simple matter for archers shooting fire-arrows into the fort to light the place up.
Wooden fortifications are always susceptible to fire. A few buckets of water and damp leather are no match for burning oil and bloody mindedness.
As the fire spreads, those living inside would be forced to flee, thereby allowing us to take them prisoner or kill them.

Our main problem though is still the matter of getting in...
Do any of us have any abilities that would help?

As for the problem of not destroying what we’ve come here to get. We don’t have to target every building. The guard house and one or two others would do.
I’ve thought about what Orestes had said about their fire defences. They are very unlikely to be keeping the wood damp as that would lead to it rotting.
And regardless of that, it would distract at least a few of them.
Interestingly, as the garrison is so lightly defended, there should only be six or so defenders initially as at least a third of them will be asleep preparing for or recovering from the night shift.

I also think we all now agree that it’s best for us to strike fast during the day, between the cavalry passes and be gone before they return. Killing them can wait for another day.

Of our assets, we have the five of us and the possible support of about 15 untrained men and women. Frankly I’d rather we left them behind to protect their settlement.

We don’t have any belfries, battering rams or catapults and using ladders would prove disasterous. Mining’s out as we don’t have any Dwarves and we haven’t got time for a siege

So unless anyone can offer a better suggestion?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Scribblings in the Dirt

When he looked into the faces of the others, Ghanash sighed. "Ok, I can try and draw how the fort looks!"
He started to draw with a branch Orestes had just provided through his demonstration.

He looked at it quite satisfied with himself. "Well, it shows you the main thing. The road goes past in the west while there is forest on the other sides. It's about 50 ft from the palisade to the forest's edge. You can see the buildings I spoke of. The one with the cross is I guess the commander's office and the quarter of the troops. The palisade is about 10 ft high with torches all way round at night and it seems there is a construction inside the wall since the guards can be seen over the palisade. Carts normally seem to enter at one gate and leave through the other after being loaded or unloaded by the people that are with the cart and just supervised by a guard."

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Among Outcasts

Vogir could just make out the setting sun in between the trees. He was looking down over the small forest camp. It had been two days ago when Little Jen had guided them to this small settlement. Vogir couldn't help but be impressed about what he had seen so far. There were about 40 people living here as far as he could tell. It was difficult to know since most people were out to hunt or to buy or sell goods in the surrounding villages. Only a small group always stayed back to look over the children and to tend to the camp.
But it wasn't only the way they'd managed to live here hidden away from the Dragon's view, the design of the camp itself was impressive. As far as he could tell, it could be taken down within half a day and relocated. The treehouse he was standing in was held up only by ropes and could be lowered and taken apart easily. But although being so mobile, the camp was arranged in a way to be able to defend it with a few good archers.
And there was the problem! There were only some good bows and even less good archers. Crossbows would be much better for the untrained shooter, but they were too expensive and difficult to get without drawing attention.

They had offered to help while waiting for Ghanash and the two youngsters who had left yesterday morning to scout out the Dragon's outpost. Vogir and Dokan had mostly trained the group of women and youngsters to fight with longswords and bows. Rudha-an had spend the last two days travelling around with the two men who tried to grow crops in fields hidden in clearings. From what Vogir could tell, the shaman was convinced they could improve on crop yield by relocating or fertilising some fields and had done his best to teach them. Vogir looked down when he could hear the children running after Orestes again. Although the half-orc didn't really know what to do with them, they hadn't left his side while he had gone around camp with Jen to provide muscle where needed. He had tried to teach them how to fight, which was fun to watch but yielded mixed success.

Although Vogir felt satisfaction for being able to help these people, he also felt unrest building up. He was hoping that Ghanash would be back soon with the information they would need to plan the raid. The youngsters who had left with him to guide him had said it was less than a day's brisk walk away so they might be back later. Also Fry had left this morning to ask his contact in the castle of Rottingham about the possibility of another tax cart and said he would be back before nightfall. Since Rottingham was more than a days walk away, Vogir had wondered how he could get the information so quickly since a contact surely would have to inquire in the castle first. But Fry had just smiled and answered that he had a 'good' contact.
Dokan shouting up to him got him out of his thoughts "Hey! Vogir! Ghanash is back and the hunters brought a good piece of deer! Come down before the meat's gone!"

They sat around the main fireplace and most of the others had gone to bed when Ghanash started to tell what he had seen. "Fry was not joking when he had said it would be impossible for them with the resources they have to get into the fort. I'm not even sure whether our swords will be enough to get in and out alive. It's a well built rectangular fort surrounded by a 10 foot patrolled palisade. The palisade has two gates on opposite sides of the fort which are fortified with small guard towers on either side. From a tree I could count 8 houses inside of which one near the north gate seems to be the troop's quarters. They are in two lines along the road in between the gates." Orestes grunted "That's all interesting, but not important! How many guards to kill?" Ghanash looked at him for a second and then continued "I could count at least 10 regular guards including a commander and a black cloak. With those defenses, a frontal attack would be suicide!" He looked up to Jen who was sitting opposite the fire "I don't think you are hiding an army that you didn't show us yet?" Jen shook her head "You've seen most of them! We have about 15 men and and women who know which end to hold a sword with. Only five or six were ever involved in a fight. Most of our raids were nightly thefts or ended with a merchants surrendering when we promised to spare his life. That's why we've asked you in the first place!"

"But it will be worth your time!" Fry had just come down the path through the dark. "From people that have been inside those forts, we know that they always have a reasonable amount of money and weapons stored. We would mostly need the food and some weapons, like crossbows. Of course we could also use some money, but if that's your price we are happy to pay that in order to get the food." He sat down next to Vogir and urged Ghanash to continue with his report.
"I didn't tell you the best part, yet. Since the attacks on merchants have started, there seems to be a kind of quick response group stationed there to protect the roads near the fort. I counted 10 mounted fighters who control the roads and pass the fort on a regular schedule throughout the day and stay there over night. If we want to take the fort by force, we would have to do it in between those passes and be gone before they return. I don't think we would stand a chance to take the fort in the night while they are there. And from what the boys told me who also know about the nearby forts, this one is the least protected!"

Ghanash looked at the others "What are your thoughts? I wouldn't recommend a full-on attack. Maybe a more stealthy approach or trying to trick them to get in?"
Fry had gotten up again when Ghanash asked his question and was about to leave towards the huts when Dokan quickly addressed him "Before you leave, any news on the tax cart?"
"Yes, sorry, I didn't want to disturb your planning! My contact told me that it would be difficult to explain another tax cart from Rottingham so soon after the last, but the nearby village of Deadwood has to send theirs soon and my contact will inquire when exactly it is due to leave and will recommend you as guards. She, I mean my contact, guesses the cart might be due in about a week but will let me know by tomorrow evening what the exact day is and whether they would accept you as guardians. Of course you can stay here and we are happy to share our food until then! But excuse me know, I'm tired. I will speak to you tomorrow again! Good night!"
When he left, Dokan turned towards the group and Jen who was still sitting there.
"Ok, so what are our plans?"

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Intertwining Shadows

Niema looked down at the guard who had stopped her. "I think I was clear when I said that my business in Vornak is none of your concern! But if you delay me much longer with your meaningless questions, I'm sure that the people I do this business with will make it their concern to contact your superiors!" The guard, suddenly unsure how to react looked up at the woman. She was riding a tall, perfectly black horse and was dressed in a long silken black robe. She looked down on him with a look that left no doubt of nobility. Although the hooded robe didn't reveal much, black hair with a blue shimmer was visible framing the face and bulges to the left and right of the hood hinted towards horns. She didn't look like your everyday traveller in these lands and unlike the noble women he saw regularly, she travelled without guards. He looked over his should to his colleague for help but he had vanished into the guard's hut. He gave up. "I'm sorry mylady, but I'm just following orders. But of course, a lady like you would only do legit business, so please forgive me for asking! Please do enjoy your stay in Vornak!"

Leaving the gate behind her Niema had to smile. The horse was a good buy. She had found it in the stables of Gilderock and immediately loved its dark black coat. The previous owner needed only a little convincing to make her a good price and was suddenly quite happy to sell contrary to his first comment. An expensive looking horse added to her appearance as a noble woman and definitely had worked on the guards.

She had found out that her travel companions had followed a paladin to take a job guarding a tax cart to Vornak. She just had to arrange to 'accidentally' cross their path again. But first she could focus on more pleasurable encounters. She hadn't been to Vornak in a long time. It was territory outside the realm of her guild and the local guild would not take it lightly if she would conduct business here. Under the eyes of passersby who happily made way to somebody dressed in black, she guided her horse to one of the more expensive inns.

She left the inn by foot when it was already dark and started to walk towards the poorer part of town. She hadn't seen her an years but had heard from a friend that she was in town. After an hour walk, she looked down the dark alley she was in. She knew this passage which was one of the darkest places in Vornak. She chose a dark corner and merged into the shadows. Most of her friends had no fixed address which made surprise visits always an adventure. But she always had stayed in this area, so Niema was confident she would find her here if she really was in town.

Only a few people passed by in the next 3 hours, all oblivious to Niema's presence. She passed the time by opening her mind and reaching out into the shadows. She could feel smaller creatures like spiders and rats around her and was just about to give up when she suddenly could feel another presence coming down the small road. Her hope came back when she could feel the person in the alley slowing down and hesitating just a few meters away. Niema smiled and connected to the shadow link of an unsuspecting spider near her. She moved along the Shadowfell connections until she had reached the presence now hiding and waiting behind a nearby corner listening into the night. She hadn't felt her for a long time but immediately recognised the familiar shadow. Stepping out of it, her dagger connected to the skin at the woman's throat, her mouth next to the woman's ear. "I always wonder how you survived that long with such bad reflexes!" The stranger answered in a surprisingly calm voice considering the dagger. "Maybe because people perpetually underestimate me!" She slowly stepped sideways out of Niema's grapple and Niema noticed that her body and arms were held firmly by shadows that had materialised around her. "I see you improved your skills to forge shadows into form!" The woman turned and revealed the pale features of a smiling Shadar-kai. "A noble woman like you in the territory of a hostile guild should clearly do better homework before acting. Don't they teach you anything in this guild of yours? It must be your alluring looks that kept you alive all this time!" Niema started to smile "Yes, and if you release me I will show you what I've learned about how to use those..."

The shadows started to loosen their grip as the slender Shadar-kai stepped towards her to embrace her. "Come on, I show you my place! It has been too long!"