(D&D) Fall Season Wrap Up

Today I’m catching up the last few session to the end of the fall season. We’ve had great participation by our players, and two new regulars have appeared (Sawyer and Sander). Rob Johnson and his kids Axel and Soren are eager to return next season as well. A few brave parents have also offered to come to games as well (Mark and Rob).

Our heros have split into two groups: Liam, Jesse, Carl’s characters were attacking the cairn in Botilo. Shane, Allan, Henry and Brendan’s characters were still in Anitus, attacking the orcs around the cairn in that town.

In Botilo:

Our northern group defeated Wiri Bentspear fairly easily, and then fought some beefy orcs. One of them pushed the obsidian pyramid off the cairn, threw it in a backpacke and then out of the cairn, the stones fell and up rose a deamon. The fight was fierce, but they bested the demon. Then they freed a hundred slaves and helped defeat the remaining occupying orcs in the town.

In Anitus:

Our southern group captured Fray Underhof and ultimately killed him in a tense grapple where his throat was slit. The captain of the orcs went down next. Rushing out to the pavilion, Henry’s character climbed the cairn and pushed the obsidian
pyramid, which fell to the grouund, and cracked open. A circle of fire slowly spread from the point of impact and grew into a pentagram–being obsured as the sooty wings of a horned devil rose from the ground.

A horned devil is a vicious foe that could easily destroy them all. Devils, hating oathbreakers and betrayers above all others, strive to punish the unfaithful first, though. Levelling a firey gaze on our motley heros, he growls “Who imprisoned me for so long?”

Thinking fast, the group said, “It was the drow! In the gravel pit!” Making up a name on the spot, they said “Fasmere the drow wizard, below Galentaspar in the caverns of the drow!” The devil thanked them, stretched its wings and launched into the air trailing sparks and a sulferous stink.

The dark clouds over the region, familiar to all whom have seen the pyr1amids
at work, drifted away on an easterly breeze. Mist rolled in from the western
foothills and the first rain in two hundred years fell on Anitus.

Soon, fifty elves on horses and a hundred and fifty more on foot routed the orcs and drow that fled east to Galentaspar.

Everyone returns to Oaksparrow Camp in the mountains.

In a few days the heros had walked back to Oaksparrow camp where Feltor gladly greeted them and a feast began. Magical weapons were bestowed and our characters outfitted in better elven boots and cloaks. Feltor addressed the group:

Good has triumphed and the eastern slopes of the mountains are as safe as they have been for hundreds of years! But…our western slopes and our access to the bay are blocked by the same filthy evil creatures we bashished in the east! We are fewer, but now we are wiser…and we are stronger!

You freed from slavery are invited to our ranks, you will be fed, trained and outfitted. Our chances are good, but we are still outnumbered–enjoy tonight and we fill find our strengths renewed to liberate Sing’jar on the morrow!

Congradulations!

The future of the campaign

  • Level your characters up or draw up a new character–but bring only one character
  • You may NPC your second character and the DM will keep them near
  • The plot will head west and liberate Sing’jar from the orcs occupying it
  • It will likely involve geurilla tactics
  • players are encouraged to draw maps with building for encounters
  • We hope to play in the Library, but not all times will be available, so we will have to use the hallway occasionally
  • STILL WANT A SECOND ADULT, I see no sign of this group ever being smaller. You will be encouraged to play, contribute or participate–because it is fun :-)

 

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(D&D) Close Enough to Shave a Ghoul

This session, our adventurers began in a bind: surrounded by the orcs and undead of the drow. Whirling around, the party began to sense that this fight was going downhill, and as Vino, the vile necromancer above them, waved his hand and whispered to the void, things got even worse when he shouted, “Purge the outsiders!” And the sky grew darker…

First skeletons rose from the five graves before them….then a putrid stench rolled across pavilion as  bugbear ghouls followed from four of the graves. Our party, cut off the easiest route of escape–was clearly outnumbered. As the dirt fell from the bones of the skeletons, it became clear they were thicker of bone and clearly battle scarred, rattled forward quickly with their swords drawn.

Lothric began to feel his palms sweat. Just when we thought all was lost, Wiri piped up, and everyone turned towards him. “Wait.. They ‘elped me,” Wiri said, stepping in front of the drow. Wiri then raised a staff, and with it saved us from the undead, just as they approached us–they suddenly stood still: Wiri had restrained them.

0-Bear_skull“They are my sacrifice to Lolth!” Vino responded, and pushed Wiri aside and pointed his finged and whispered upon us words of the nether, sending hero and orc alike running in fear. We quickly regrouped and rallied, and rejoiced at the arrival of Ville the Toad, only to remember our situation, and then we ran.

After spending a night of paranoid watching around the campfire, awaiting pursuit, we decided that, even we couldn’t conquer the camp yet, we could still take action and disrupt supply caravans.

In the morning, Lammanon led the party to a road that carved a path through a rocky outcrop. Lammanon climbed to the edge of the road, and cast an illusion of a boulder. We snuk into bushes and behind boulders…and lay in wait for our prey.

Sure enough, within the hour we heard word from Lammanon, who had gone forward to scout, that there was an orc caravan on its way towards us. As the orcs and their wagon rattled towards us, we lept out; they had walked right into the trap. Four orcs were lead by a large and confident half orc woman in bright chain mail.

One battle and several dead orcs later, we were tying up their horse, and picking the trinkets off their bodies.

(D&D) Lotheric v. Barkar’s Bugbear

The morning after Wiri hired Lotheric, Ville, Ulipa and Alex on a hit contract, they were packed up and walking out of the inn on the Bolitus pavilion–when Barkar, flanked by a huge bugbear and four beefy orcs start jogging toward them. Everyone drops their backpacks and draws their weapons–but unfortunately the party gets separated into two groups.

Barkar and two orcs attack Ville and Alex and the bugbear and other two orcs gang up on Lotheric. The fighting is heavy–Lotheric is unusually slow this morning and nearly hurts Ulipa when he over-swings and misses the bugbear. In contrast: orcs are fresh and cunning, landing piercing and stunning blows to Lotheric and Ville with brutal accuracy. These orcs must be representing for all their fallen comrades, they hit so hard!

Lotheric barely has time to wipe the sweat dripping into his eyes before he is struck again and nearly toppled. This is preposterous. Time for bigger guns, Lotheric says to himself. Putting his left hand to his right, he twists his Ring of the Ram into position and fires a mighty blast into the bugbear–to great effect!

Lotheric has a bit of time to take a few steps back and Ulipa makes it back to him an restores him somewhat. At about half his energy, Lotheric looks over his shoulder and finds that the bugbear, shoved many yards away and tumbling an orc in the process, has gotten up and is shaking himself like a dog to fling the dust off. That orc that should have been killed by a huge bugbear falling on it is nearly back up as well. What the hell?

A little breather is better than no breather, so Lotheric grips his greatsword again. He has a second to look over at Ville, who’s taken a viscious blow and is down, with Alex and Tiberious standing over him, fighting off Barkar and the other two orcs. We’re not winning, Lotheric mumbles to himself. This is bad. Everyone is injured and–amazingly Tiberious lands a killing blow on an orc!

But we’re still out-matched, Lotheric mumbles, and swings at the bugbear again. Finally, a solid hit! But an orc is behind him and strikes at the same time. And Lotheric hears a scream as Tiberious is hit. Ulipa is hit trying to get close to Lotheric. Things are going so rough he barely notices the sound of horse hooves and the jingle of new swords.

Their bouncer orc that introduced them to Wiri was at his side, parying blows from the other orcs! And a half elf ranger he hadn’t seen for months was at his other side–where did he come from? No time to talk…

But the orcs kept hewing at them and the bugbear wasn’t showing any signs of wearing down. Tiberious and Alex were retreating and draging Ville to the mules, but Barkar and an orc were still hewing at them as well. Everyone was going defensive.

Two arrows sang through the air and stuck the orcs before Lotheric, followed by a rough voice, “Hands off! Those people are mine!” commanded Wiri. He stood with his hand on a short sword, and four rouges half orcs on either side of him, two of them with longbows and two brandishing longswords. Before the moment of confusion was over, Wiri was already standing over Barkar, brandishing his sword at his neck. “This one is mine.”

Wiri’s crew pushed away Barkar’s hirelings and they turned and fled, the bugbear crashing right through the leatherworker’s tent to many curses from the vendor.

“Lotheric!” Wiri announced, “That was disappointing. I’m going to have to reduce your rate. I expected more of you and your crew. Don’t hang around here, go do your task, and return promptly–I want to see evidence of your task soon!.”

Lotheric sighed. Day is off to poor start. Getting harassed by evil crime lord is embarassing…

And the team gathered their packs and headed south, looking forward to a short night of rest halfway to Anitus. The offer of 800 gold for their job getting cut somewhat–how much? Very frustrating. If they don’t develop a reputation for working with the crime lords in the cairn towns, though…how will they learn where the evil power in the region actually resides?

(D&D) Adventures in Anitus

barrel-head

Thorfinn, Eliza, Petal, Arjanir, and Grigor return south to Anitus, passing by the trading pavilions after Lotheric, Tiberious and A__ followed Atala who insisted on freeing the captive elves in the slave caravan heading north.

Our party wanders into the Rock Pub near the south end of the cairn trading pavilion. The half orc bouncers at the door are not impressed with the clean and legal look of our party. At the bar are a cloaked mage, a wiry ranger and a steer sized half orc. The other patrons are mostly humans with service aprons on, tossing coppers on the floor to bet on arm wrestling matches. The wiry ranger teases Grigor about not being able to beat Knuckles (half orc) in an arm wrestling match.

Grigor is so nervous being in this entirely evil place that he jumps the gun on the first match and pins the half orc’s arm in a quick moment. The next round, Knuckles squeezed Grigors hand into a sausage and won. The pressed on with one more round and Knuckles won in a more matched challenge.

Eliza was challenged next by the ranger. Eliza introduced herself and likewise the ranger introduced himself as Daturan. The high-elf and the half-drow were equally matched. Ever the advantage seeker, Daturan surprised Eliza with a leg sweep and Eliza lost her footing off the top of the big wrestling stone—but recovered by spinning and landing on her opposite leg. The crowd cheered and threw more coin on the floor. Eliza dodged a shove, and then did a kick at Daturan’s knee. Daturan swung away from the strick but over-extended, and Eliza threw her off the wrestling rock.

With the winnings, Eliza bought the part another round of hard cider. It tasted like fermented goat piss, which was probably pretty good—by orc standards. Conversation was rather strained between the two parties. The skinny hooded half-orc next to them chipped in with bitter jokes and private out-loud laughs. Thorfinn would ask where to get some good jobs, and Daturan would respond with an evasive answer that showed kind of a patronizing distrust of the party. Knuckles would joke about how Thorfinn and Grigor seemed too clean and smelled like pine cones. Maybe they liked elves?

Time to go, decided Thorfinn. As they walked to the door, the half-orc bouncers were joking about easy marks. Thorfinn, sensing a trap preemptively twisted out of the way when passing the bouncer on the left, but Grigor got struck in the ankle by the opposite bouncer. They fought—but Thorfinn, Eliza and Grigor were subduing the half orcs but really not hitting them effectively. Petal flew out of Eliza’s hair, and started entangling the fight with ground vines and a sleep spell on Knuckles who rushed out to the melee rather late.

Thorfinn and Eliza wrestled free of the vines and finished subduing the half orcs. Daturan and the hooded figure, Allda, started golf-clapping–”Not bad, forest lovers. Grab a hold and let’s sell these suckers to Trader Sam’s”. Grigor, Arjitan, and Eliza agreed that people should not be sold into slavery, even if they were evil half-orcs, and said to meet up with them north of the cairn. Daturan continued to loot the bodies and placed 8 gold pieces into Thorfinn’s hand, saying “I’ll get more from selling these chumps then I’m handing you. Let’s go!” Thorfinn silently but grudgingly agreed—mostly to see the process this place considered normal—and helped Daturan drag the half orc around to an adjacent tent with an orc banner hanging over the entrance. With a few more gold in their purses, they left north.

At Daturan’s camp, the group discussed what they thought the plan was. The evil in the land is the power of a network of curses on a group of cairns around Galentaspar. The whole region is unhallowed. Additionally, each cairn is a desecrated area. The most powerful people in the region are necromancers and unholy clerics. The drow really only admit trade with peoples obeisant to Lolth.

Daturan hates the mayor of Anitus. Not really a yaor—more like a charismatic evangelist. Such a clever talker, Fray Underhof tricked Daturan out of a caravan full of slaves by selling Daturan right to another slaver an opposite route. Daturan has tried to assassinate Fray many times, but had failed repeatedly Fray has only increased his influence and has his own cadre of cairn keepers and henchmen. Fray lives in a tiny gap between the rocks at the base of cairn. According to Daturan, only pawns can now get close enough to Fray to be effective—and Daturan is too well known to get close.

Eliza says it is probably important enough to buy a hawk as soon as possible to let Feltor know what he’s up against. Where would they find a hawk? Should they rather go back to the rock wall? Or should they just continue to infiltrate Fray’s organization and complete Daturan’s revenge?

Faroth: ship is taken! 

The attack on the Jobin’Gahr pressed below decks. Thorfinn, Lothric, Cordelia and Girion immediately were sprung on by even tougher orcs below decks. Girion was hewn multiple times and Thorfinn was always able to heal hom up again. At the end of the corridor, they took down the captain, and the rest of the pirates cleared the remaining orcs out of the bilge deck. 


Interrogation revealed that both the senior orc wizard and the original captain, Garnoc Darkblud, were killed in the bombing attack by Eliza. Garnoc Ja’mail, Darkbluds son, took over. The crew of the ship was badly treated and down by 100 hands from raiding the Straight od Sing’jar the previous few weeks. Garnoc thought that taking on a puny lawful town would be fun. Unfortunately the old wizard on board was sickening, and the galleon was falling apart. 

There was treasure in the captain’s quarters : rings, wands and rods. There was about 100gp to go around for all who boarded and fought in the battle. 

Faroth: Gabindoor on the Alley Cat

Jon Gabindoor escaped from a mundane life of farming and hired on as a hand on a trading vessel years ago. He learned that a life of honest work was for suckers, his true skills were being strong and playing a poker face that could trick a soft captain. Until he met Captain Binlep Lavalier and crewed on the Alley Cat.

Captain Lavalier sat before him in the captain’s quarters as Jon gripped the gold piece that Lothric gave him to show sincerity of the fight against the orcs. Binlep, one of the few people who could read Lavalier during a game of cards, was not impressed. In fact, was so not impressed he was clearly hiding something. “Jon, I’ve faced off the Jobin’Gahr before, before she was supposed to have bought her chasers…and this was just to get by her when she was harassing Willow island. We had orcs swarming our deck before we were halfway past her.”

And why didn’t he hate orcs? “Cap’t…never have I seen as many of the other unlicensed going against the orcs before! There’s a good chance we’ll win!” But Binlep just gave him a flat look that soured into a frown and brushed his hand in the air, dismissing him. We’re not working for the orcs, are we? 

Faroth: Attacking the Jobin’Gahr

Session 4/8/17 (Sea Battle) from the landlubber Thorfinn’s perspective. Provided by Jesse Pickard.

Thorfinn was glad to be amongst is compatriots. Recent weeks had bonded them all in a short time, yet he was very uneasy about today’s turn of events: they were to take to the sea again and this time to join battle with notorious pirates…Thorfinn shuddered at the thought. He could think of very few places he would less rather be than bobbing around on the the thrice damned ocean let alone in a battle!

Thorfinn, a farmer turned priest of Chauntea, still had deep ties to the land and agriculture. He had never been in water past his chest until the terrible day that he had to flee to Faroth with all the other refugees. The fate of his dear parents still unknown to him. On that panicked voyage he had quickly discovered he had no stomach for sea travel (his stomach had let him know with a burning vengeance) and he had mostly lain in a miserable heap at the bottom of the boat. Coming above deck to see if the fresh air would help his condition only to be driven back below by weakness and nausea.

This subsequent voyage had gone somewhat better but still battled waves of nausea. Now he was heading into battle against notorious pirates and lives would be depending on him…he shuddered again. He boarded the Toothless Skull along with one of his newer companions, Eliza, a capable looking elven fighter. Apparently she was responsible for keeping that elven wizard, Simon, safe–so by proxy that would be one of his tasks as well.

Eliza bounced her two swords against her legs in anticipation. Even though she hailed from the forests of Sing’jar, she seemed at home on the rolling deck. Jealous, Thorfinn sighed to himself and unsteadily walked towards the bow, gripping the railing with each step.

Three craft of about 30 souls each sailed purposefully out of the harbor. The Red Hook and the Swinging Arm escorted them. Had the two other ships been commissioned by the mayor? That little gnome, Bogan, seemed to organize this right in front of Lothric, Eliza, and himself…yet somehow the mayor appeared in charge when they met at the harbor master’s office. Was Hollycrown really was in charge of this, or just good at showing up at the right moment? With all these acrimonious, distrusting sea merchants–somehow this mission unified them. Maybe orcs have that effect on people…

…by Chauntea, that ship is a behemoth! Thorfinn thought, forgetting his nausea, as he gazed across the presently placid waters of Bibbon Bay to the menacing, dark and tattered three-decked galleon in the center of the bay. Cannons lined its dark wood and metal hull. He didn’t need to make out the name Jobin’Gahr…it wasn’t there–the only markings were a crude silhouette of a skull and the orc runes for J and G. As the they drew closer, the hulking ships became hives of activity: sailors sprang up the rigging, cannons were packed and soldiers were mustering on deck…and staring at the orc marines packing the deck of the  Jobin’Gahr–Thorfinn’s nausea returned.

The ships quickly closed the distance: at 200 yards the three ships from Bibbon Bay turned broadside and let loose a volley from their broadsides, and cannon balls screamed towards the Jobin’Gahr! With a satisfying crash they struck the ship and orcish howls filled the air as debris crashed down upon the deck and into the sea. As the smaller and more agile ships turned back towards their target, brilliant bolts of energy streaked towards the galleon and into the horde on deck. More grunting bellows and cursing filled the air. But where one orc fell, seemingly two more would take their place…Thorfinn’s spirits started sinking again. How badly are we outnumbered?

Magic ripped through the air back and forth between the vessels, then another volley of cannon fire! Sailors and soldiers–screaming–fell into the water–or onto the decks. As the ships were about to collide a noxious green cloud of gas settled amongst the orcs. Only coughing and cursing could be heard from them until the cloud was blown away…and paused…and blown again by the sea air. Failed wind spells by the orcs? But its terrible toll was revealed: a pile of bodies…contorted, faces stuck in rictus agony. Thorfinn bent his head and whispered…or tried to, between urges to retch…prayers to Chauntea…our Great Mother…prayers asking for forgiveness for the suffering caused and prayers for the strength of heart to do what must be done.

The ships collided with explosions as their bowsprits splintered against the tin-plated hull of the galleon. The violence threw junior sailors off their feet to the decks, but the leather-skinned pirates that suffered the hate of the orcs cheered fiercely! Quickly overpowering them was the orcish roar coming from the deck of the  Jobin’Gahr. Men, elves and minotaurs from the islands swarmed up the sides of the galleon and onto the decks to take the battle to the pirates.

All…except Thorfinn, Eliza and Simon. Simon, swaddled in what must have been four cloaks and standing between two braziers on the aft deck of the Toothless Skull, was trying to continue his magic assault on the galleon. Thorfinn saw an opportunity to call down a sacred flame on a orc barking orders–but just as he was about to begin his incantation, bile and vomit filled his mouth and he gagged and vomited, his vision blurring… Chauntea, please…not now! He groaned as the sea sickness overtook him again.

As Thorfinn recovered, to his horror he saw three large orcs had jump aboard their ship,  advancing on him! Then two flaming spheres streaked down from the crows nests of the Jobin’Gahr and rolled along the deck towards Simon…so close behind Thorfinn he was convinced his own cloak was on fire! He spun to hear a pain-soaked scream from the aft of the ship as Simon was briefly engulfed…but Simon smartly flung off one of the burning robes to escape. With smoldering hair and scorched skin, Simon groaned but started casting another spell. Spinning…no…swaying…forward, Thorfinn hefted his mace and faced the boarding orcs.

A horrible cacophony filled the air as sailors and soldiers bellowed, screamed, mewled and weapons crashed. Thorfinn’s senses were overwhelmed with the chaos of the battle…but twisting back towards the bow, he saw Eliza battling for her life! He snapped back into action: holy words of life and healing were an effortless response to the jagged wound across her shoulder. Grateful for the Grain Goddess’s power, and seeing  Eliza healed with sacred energy, he shook his mace and loosed a primal howl!

Thorfinn reversed the words of healing into an ugly cant that made his fingers black with necrotic energy, he lept forward and desperately dug his fingers into the face of a broken-toothed orc, tranferring a burst necrotic energy! Twitching and gurgling, the orc fell to the deck, its face blackened and diseased. With swift and efficient sword strokes Eliza felled two orcs that stepped around and their blood slicked the deck.

From the Jobin’Gahr, Thorfinn recognized a familiar voice rising above the battle: his companion, Lothric, called: “Sailors of Bibbon Bay–press them! Forward and cut them down!” Eliza and Thorfinn glanced at each other and saw each other’s fear…but in spite of the dread in their stomachs, they began to scale the hull of the Jobin’Gahr

Faroth: Avo of Knives

One hundred years before the orc’s sacked Sing’jar, the elven tribes of the Sing’jar mountains ruled out to the plains far to the east. The crops were bountiful, and there was feasting every season. Thoughts of the fire giant were distant and dim. Ginndale the Swift, at five hundred years old, decided he would push the eastern border of further to the river of Y’lima. The quest was worthy and fighters from north and south trekked through the mountains to join up.

I was a child, and my father was tempted to join up as well. His friends would stop by our tree and ask if he were going, but I was always at his knee with my wooden play sword pretending to fight orcs. I’m glad he didn’t leave me, and those are my fondest memories. When the crusade to the east left, I remember trumpets playing to send our troops off.

I must have had two birthdays before we heard from them…of them again. A wildfire was set in the fall when the hay was dry, before winter began, and burned many farms on the east side of the mountains. Maybe a dozen families lost their trees and houses. The eastern foothills were black for years. The place where the fire started, there was a burnt wagon with the skeleton of an elf placed with a red sash over its rib cage, with the symbol of a serpent-haired monster.

My uncle told me that story, because he was right next to my father when they both discovered the wagon. The circlet on the skeleton was of Bindle’ti, a young second cousin that went on the crusade. The wagon was filled with elven skulls. The night my father’s patrol found that wagon, they were attacked by a hundred orcs, and he and the rest of the squad, except Feltor, were killed.

Only magic could have masked the scent or sound of that many orcs from an elven patrol. Since then, the orcs reclaimed the eastern foothills and have pushed west almost right through the middle of the mountains. With our best warriors lost, the camps of the Sing’jar elves retracted and became defensive.

I harnessed my anger and hatred and forsook Ehlonnah and all the spirits of the trees and I looked to the stories of Erevan to help me take revenge on the orcs. Down through the east foothills I traveled, constantly sharpening my knives, shadowing the orcs, flaying and torturing them to find which killed my father, and who led them.

In one midnight fight, a Drow priest of Lolth and an unnaturally ageless priest of Sevarash caught me in a magic circle. Playing up my madness, I tried to convince them we were on the same side: full of vengeance, powered by hatred. The priest of Sevarash said, “You lie, green stick of an elf. You love killing orcs, but you are not mad.” And the priest of Lolth said, “We plucked you up in the night, creature of the day. Your hatred is only a folly. If you drip your blood in this circle, you will be bound to powers greater than Ehlonna, and no orc nor man will stand in your way! But you will sacrifice your vengeance forever.” Faced with this dark choice, I rejected it and they released me.

Halfway to the river, I found a huge pit mine, home to a thousand orcs. The whole countryside stank of waste and was littered with corpses of starved and mutilated cattle and humans. This wasteland was an orc’s dream, but on a scale that no elf had ever told stories of. I only made it as far as the edge of the pit mine before some frightening magic  began to hound me…and I fled. Nightmares for two years drove me to the islands. The sight of trees made me break out in a sweat–trees felt like skeletons to my spirit–all my hope drained away for months.

The mountains have no love of me–I’m a bad example. I have no respect of those cowardly elves, either. These islands are full of survivors, and I respect that. So it is quite a surprise to see Simon here. It is time I related my story to Simon, of the dark evils on the east side of the mountains. The young fighter, Eliza, she reminds me too much of my youth and I don’t want her company. This Lothric and his gang…they can be my hammer to flatten more orcs.