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!”