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warjournal
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From:
Insane since: Aug 2000

IP logged posted posted 05-30-2007 17:40 Edit Quote

Here we go again.

Last champaign we ditched. We saw everything was a bad deal so we bailed using Rope Trick and Deep Pockets. It's a neat trick for low-level spells if you ever get into that kind of a demon-infested mess.

Next!

Next champaign we both rolled up outdoorsie-types. She was a part swanmay druidess and I was a half-elf rock-hopper. Quiet village in the middle of no where in particular.

Some of the usual rumours and things going around. A girl comes up missing, monster spotted in the forest, evil tower in the middle of the swamp, friendly stand-off with the kobolds in a near by cave system - that kind of thing.

Just a couple of funny things that happened in the few sessions we had in this champaign. Or maybe most of it because it was rather short.

The swanmay befriended an elven cat. Whatever they are called, this one was named Kitty. For the short time we played, Kitty was a big part of the party.

We had a very hard time getting into the evil tower in the middle of the swamp. Everytime we tried to get in, we would fail our saves and run all the way back to town in fear. "Did you see that?!" "No, but it was scary!"

Too funny.

The kobolds were being supplied with weapons and they decided to let their presence be known. In our first fight with them, I made off with the leader in two rounds. They attacked in perfect ambush formation, I ran straight for the leader without breaking stride, grappled him into an armlock, and kept on running with him. The rest were left scratching their short-furred heads.

Too funny.

After a bit with the leader, we learned that some of the weapons that they were being supplied with were magical. I strung him up in a tree for safe keeping. Didn't kill him because we needed him for further ... stuff.

Somewhere in there we got into a fight with a disembodied hand that used to belong to a local lumberjack. We thought about keeping it as a pet or using it as a grapple, but we gave it back and he burned it.

Then the kobolds decided to attack the village in ernest with wardogs and everything. They sure were pissed.

When I got to the fight, a crazy kobold just went down. Another kobold grabbed the spear and started getting crazy, too. Chanting, stomping feet, frothing, and displaying the spear. Before the new kobold could get a full-on frenzy with the magical spear, I disarmed him with my whip and he was left standing there with a look of disbelief.

Then there was a mad scramble to get the spear. It was between myself and two other kobolds. One kobold skewered the other kobold, which left me free to recover the magic spear. Suckers!

The swanmay had one hell of a fight. A wardog grappled her and was doing automatic damage to her leg with it's massive jaws. What does she do? She grapples back and starts chewing on the dog's ear. Of course, we were laughing pretty good. That dog breaks off to lick it's wounded ear and another one grapples her in it's place. What does she do? She grapples back again and starts chewing wardog ear all over again. Then she did a called shot to shove her fingers up it's nose and got it! By this time we were almost falling out of our chairs with laughter.

This petite little dinky swanmay druidess grappling with wardogs as big as her - vicious little minx.

We did eventually make it into the evil tower. We held hands and kept reassurring ourselves and each other. It was a touching moment of friendship.

And what we found inside was so not cool. In the room in the tower, we found bodies hanging from meat hooks by the backs of the heads. Two of them snapped awake, tore themselves off of the hooks, and attacked. Then we heard a glutteral sound from the stairs where we came up. Yeah, we went out the window pretty quick.

We also found a teddy bear that belonged to the little girl that had gone missing days before. We eventually took the teddy bear back to the parents for a truly gut-wrenching episode.

After that, we had had enough. We did an impromptu attack on the evil castle and ended up on meat hooks.

Game over.

warjournal
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From:
Insane since: Aug 2000

IP logged posted posted 05-31-2007 07:29 Edit Quote

Next champaign started awhile ago with some awesome set-up.

We both decided on grey elves. Both a bit more academic and more city-oriented. She is Zir, a mage and priestess of Mystra. I am Luke, a fighter/thief/mage.

Nothing like a party going all multi-classed right away for a total of 8hp between the two characters.

The bulk of our childhoods was together in Evermeet. When we started displaying an interest and a propensity for the magical arts, we were shipped off to Luskan to study at the High Tower of the Arcane.

Luskan is a port town in the frozen north that is very human dominated and predjudice. In constant battle with Waterdeep for shipping lanes and contracts. Also known for killing demi-humans on sight. Did I mention that they are predjudice?

We were kept under constant watch in the High Tower and we were never more than a single room apart. The only "freedom" we had was in the mornings out in the courtyard where did our shaolin-style exercises with our big sticks. Oh, and we also have our shared chambers. But even the privacy of our shared chambers are suspect at times.

One thing to note about the High Tower of the Arcane is that it is mostly run by the various specialist schools.

We did eventually receive an assignment outside of the High Tower and outside of Luskan. Some folks from Waterdeep were spotted a few miles to the east and we were to investigate. Why us? Because we are elves and that's what elves are good at apparently. They did send some pudge guards with us to "keep us safe". Basterds.

Our trip with the pudgy human guards was fairly eye-opening to my partner. The level of predjudice and stereo-typing became *very* apparent to her. The guards were very explicitly ordered not to harm us, but they were sneaky about about putting us in harm's way while turning a blind eye.

We were sent out into the frozen wild with a handful of 1rst level fighters and mages that hate us as our guards. That's not right.

Isn't lawful evil grand?

We even played some jokes on them when it came to the stereo-typing. Not to mention the constant talking between us in elven. We even have these little prop signs with "In Elven" written on them that we hold up when we speak in elven.

---

Captain Philip to Luke: You scout that area ahead of us. You are an elf and you are good at that kind of thing.

Luke to Zir in Elven: We are mages, not scouts, right?
Zir to Luke in Elven: Last I checked.

I wander into the woods just far enough to be out of sight, wait awhile, and then wander back.

Luke to Humans: The area is clear all the way up the mountain.
Captain Philip: Okay, up the mountain we go.

We start up the mountain. The other guards start talking amounst themselves in whispers. One of them whispers something to Philip.

Philip to Luke: You did scout this area, right?
Luke: Yes.
Philip: Then why don't we see any of your tracks in the snow?
Luke: Because I'm an elf and we are good at that kind of thing. You said so yourself.
Philip: But you are leaving tracks in the snow now.
Luke: That's because there is no need for me to sneak around all Elven-like with you guys here.
Humans in unison: Oh...
Luke to Zir in Elven: Stupid humans.

----

We did find the Waterdeepians. When we did, they were getting slaughtered by some yeti. It was horrible.

Two of them spotted us and started running to us for help. Philip took one down with an arrow before he got too close to us. The other Waterdeepian got all horrified and ran off in a different direction.

More mayhem ensued. At the end of the battle, not many were left standing. Two yeti survived. The only Waterdeepian that survived is the one that ran off into the woods. I, Zir, Philip, and Victor were barely alive. Actually, Philip was pretty much dead, but he did have a *very* weak pulse. It was pretty funny because it was Zir that Philip down. She broke one of his legs and he went into shock.

Yeah, definitely mayhem.

After a bit, I did go up to the yetis' cave just to see what was going on. I went into my elven sneaky-sneaky mode and scouted it out. What I found inside sucked on so many levels.

One of the yeti had been frozen to death where he stood. Okay, how do you freeze a yeti? Not a good sign. Further in, the other yeti was being tortured by a little blue guy made of ice. Basically, an ice mephit. Ah, so that's how you freeze a yeti. And torture the other one. An ice mephit. Nice.

He gave me his name, but I did't get it all. Just call him Zenisis for short. If you've ever met a mephit, his name might make your head explode.

He said that he had been waiting for us and he showed us a piece of treasure in particular. All around the cave, various pieces had been frozen into to the wall. Zenisis showed us one piece in particular and we took it. We left the rest of the treasure.

Okay, so a lot of things don't make sense. Were we sent out here to spy on Waterdeepians or to recover a treasure? Who is Zen's master? Why send two elves that are despised yet highly regarded in an odd way? The plot suddenly sickens.

There is something special about Zir and I that make us special. We are needed for something and we don't what it is or why us. We do know that someone is using us very specifically. We also know that some folks at the High Tower have no clue.

So we hide the blue gem by swallowing it and limp back to Luskan. Philip was dead by the time we got back. I felt so sorry for Victor for being the only guard survivor. I'm sure he was interrogated rather ruthlessly. In a town like this, being the only survivor isn't always a good thing.

Zir and I were initially greeted with suspicious eyes. Like I said about being survivors. Ugh. When we got to the High Tower, we were rushed into isolation from everybody else. We had about an hour before our debriefing. I told Zir very specially during this time to answers questions consicely and don't give any extra information that may lead to a new line of questioning. Only answer what they ask and nothing more.

Isn't lawful evil grand? Zir is not LE and neither am I, but I am picking it up rather quickly. Scary.

We were escorted to the debriefing room. Quite a few rather high-profile mages around the room. The various schools represented, of course. Various spells are cast and items brought out. You would think these people knew what they were doing when it came to asking questions. Talk about a verbal guantlet.

The guy asking the bulk of the questions was some male human from the necromatic school. Why him, I don't know. Seems like a diviner or enchater would have been more appropriate.

As the questions were asked and answers given, it became very apparent that Cilas only had superficial knowledge of our mission. That is, he had no clue as to what was really going on, and we barely knew more than him. Maybe he was picked because of his lower rank and lack of suave questioning. But I'm sure he was picked on the sly by someone behind the curtain with reasonable sounding rationale.

Ugh!

For us, it went well. Only superficail questions were asked and we passed with flying colours, so to speak. Everything was still queaky clean on the surface - for us and for the guy behind the curtain.

Finally alone in our chambers. So we took a chance to explore the blue gem that we recovered and successfully hid.

Definitely magical. Looking at it just right in the light, Elven writing can be seen through the facets all over the gem, but the writing shifts too fast to be legiable. One second you are looking at one word, next second you are looking at another word. The writing is some how inside the gem.

While I was handling the gem, I could feel it moving towards my chest just below the neck. I gently felt it out and slowly let it go to where it wanted to go. It attached itself to my chest and I was suddenly taken inside the gem. Well, still aware of my surroundings, but I could see what was in the gem. This also caused a blue halo around my head and my partner to freak out a bit.

It turns out that the gem is a spellbook with very ancient spells in them. What we know as Magic Missile, the gem knows as Mattock's Missile. The gem contains the very first incarnations of some very well known 1rst level spells.

The gem also contains other knowledge. It as the history of Anarock in it, the history those one scrolls, and it knows about Arcanism. I think this is what the guy behind the curtain is after.

But there is one more thing about the gem: it wants to seek out more of its own kind. There are more such gems out there, and this one wants to lead us to the next one. Maybe this is what the guy behind the curatain is after.

Too much to think about and I'm sure it will only get worse.

warjournal
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From:
Insane since: Aug 2000

IP logged posted posted 05-31-2007 11:05 Edit Quote

A knock at the door. There is a female human standing there in leathers and thiefly gear. She lets us know that she has been assigned to watch over us and "keep us out of trouble". We said, "Okay," and shut the door. No sense in a dragging out a conversation with her because we knew she wouldn't tell us anything useful about what's going on. But knowing that we have an assassin for a guardain angel is somehow comforting. Somebody really cares about us. It brings a tear to my eye.

Another knock at the door and we were summoned. We were told that we were to go back out into the wild because our mission was deemed incomplete. One guy from Waterdeep survived and that's one guy too many. We were to capture him and find out why they were in the area to begin with. Or maybe we were to go back out and recover the treasure that we did indeed recover and hid so well in our digestive tracks. Yeah, that.

Two days to prepare, which is plenty of time for the guy from Waterdeep to go elsewhere.

This time we were given seriously proper guards. Ten fighters properly armed with good weapons, damn fine armour, and magical items. Wow. We were also equipped with several Potions of Warmth and Potions of Healing. Super wow.

We head out on our horses. The yeti cave to be our first stop.

Several hours out, I catch wind of an attack. As soon as I whisper in Elven to my partner, "We are about to be attacked," the fit hits the shan.

A group of humanoids in all black break out and attack the front and one side. When I say all black, I don't mean dressed in black, but black. Shades - oh man. first a guy made of ice, now several guys made of shadow. What was next? Efreet?

When the guards circled around us, my first thought is that they were apart of an attack on us elves. I was certain that we were about to get hacked by our guards and the shades. But after a round, they were indeed on our side and trying to protect us from the shades.

In the next two rounds, some spells came flying in from some unknown assailant. Black lightning type stuff. Judging by the in-coming spells, Zir and I would be toast if we got hit.

Zir and I decided to make a break for it and we broke formation. One of the guards, Chuck, followed us.

As soon as we were out of the circle, tons of guards, shades and horses just plain fell down stone dead. I mean, they just died in one round. Fell down. Dead. Not cool.

Judging by the sudden deaths of guards and shades, it was an area spell. Whomever cast it, waited until Zir and I were clear of the area. So, the assailant was after the guards and not us.

The plot sickens even further. Someone wants us to do our thing, but unimpeded by the prying eyes of others in the High Tower.

All said and done, I, Zir, and Chuck where the only survivors. Everybody else, including the horses, got toasted extra crispy. The battle scene was smoking black bad.

From the battle scene, I did manage to recover a magical sword from Edwin. I managed to do so without Chuck noticing. I also managed to recover a good set of lockpicks, something I wasn't able to have in the High Tower.

Chuck wanted to go back to Luskan immediately. We were insistant on not going back yet again as the only survivors. We had to move on and hope to find more answers before going back. Chuck was under orders, so he did have to concede.

We went to the yeti cave and found it stripped of all treasure. Upon seeing no treasure, Chuck became very insistant again on going back to Luskan.

We told Chuck that the treasure was taken by orcs. We had seen orcs on our previous jaunt, but we avoided them and didn't think anything of it at the time. He immediately insisted on going after the orcs to recover all of the treasure.

We told Chuck that we have the real treasure. He changed his mind again and started insisted on going back to Luskan.

Apparently Chuck knows far more than what he's letting on. Basterd.

We set up camp in the cave. While they were sleeping, I caught someone sneaking in. It was the guy from Waterdeep that had survived the battle the yetis. He wasn't too happy. But I talked him down and filled him in on some of what has been going on. He immediately insisted on taking us to Waterdeep. We call him Andy.

Can you feel the love?

So we tied up Chuck while he was sleeping and I left a single Elven word written in the snow: East. It was the direction that the gem wanted to take us, so that's the direction we headed off in.

Taking several things into account, it would take Chuck and Luskan reinforcement about 2 weeks to catch up with us.

As we traveled east, we got to know Andy a little bit better. His girlfriend was a priestess of some kind and she was sent on a holy mission to seek and destroy the gems. He wanted to destroy the one we already had, but we convinced that we needed it to seek out the gems...for him to destroy later. Too easy.

We eventually caught up with the orcs that took the treasure from the yeti cave. A pretty decent fort with around 20 orcs including a chieftain and a shaman. The chieftain with literally a flaming skull for a head. Literally.

How do three little low-level pudges take on a fort filled with 20 orcs? Guerilla warfare. I would sneak in, one of us would create a diversion, then we would hit them for a few rounds. I would be hand-to-hand in the fort and they would snipe with arrows and Magic Missiles from a distance. Retreat, do it again later. We had some damn awesome coordination going on.

By the third sunrise, the chieftain and the shaman went down in a hellish toe-to-toe battle. As soon as they went down, the remaining 3 orcs ran for it.

We took on 20 orcs in a fort and won. Mind you, I, Zir, and Andy no more than 3 hit dice apiece.

We took on 20 orcs in a fort and won. It still blows my mind.

Time to celebrate and take the pick of the treasure. Yeeehaaa!

(Edited by warjournal on 05-31-2007 11:12)

warjournal
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From:
Insane since: Aug 2000

IP logged posted posted 06-04-2007 13:20 Edit Quote

Okay, so us three pudges took on nearly 20 orcs and won. If we would have had Chuck, the little war we waged would have been much shorter than almost three days. That is, Andy is a pudge like us and Chuck is not.

We took the bulk of the platinum and left the rest of the coins. We took the bulk of the non-magical gems including some much needed pearls for Identify. We also took a few art pieces.

Zir, being a good priestess of Mystra, cast Identify using a huge pearl. Mystra smiled down upon her and she was blessed with the knowledge of the items we wanted to identify.

The chieftain's flaming skull was a mask with some unusual abilities. Not only did it confirm a flaming skull, but would tell the wearing the state of living of anything looked at. That is alive, that used to be alive, and that was never alive. Weird ability.

There was also a helm worn by the shaman. If placed upon a corpse and then worn, the wearer would see the last few minutes of the corpse's life.

Two very odd magical items to be out here in the middle of nowhere and in the hands of orcs. Considering our fight with the shades, not exactly a coincidence. Everything is starting to stink of necromancy and I don't like it. Not so much the necromancy itself, but the heavy use of a particular school. The only thing that would concern me more is if everything started to stink of enchantment/charm.

And it turns out that the short sword that I got from Edwin is a Sword of the Planes. I'm sure it will come in damn handy.

Andy wanted to destroy the treasure that we didn't take with us, but we didn't let him. We didn't even burn down the rest of the fort. No real sense in taking the time to do either. We took what we needeed and we left.

As we trekked, we met an old guy ice fishing with a Wand of Fireballs. Drill a hole, blast, run, and collect fish. Yeah, and older guy. Bald and eccentric. Very Da Vinci in his fiddlings. Lots of overly ellaborate gadgets and what-not. Also schooled in the arts of magic. We did chat about magic for a bit, but we couldn't really offer an exchange of magical knowledge because he was just way over our heads.

We decided to spent the night. Zir and I had a little revelation. At our stay in the Host Tower of the Arcane, we were giving tokens. These tokens act as passes for the various defenses. We still have these tokens. Egads! We should keep the tokens so Luskanites can track us with ease, but I was mad that neither of us thought of it sooner.

If we really wanted to ditch the Luskanites, we could have done so back at the yeti cave. There is something special about the yeti cave that I didn't mention earlier. That being magical portals all over the place. With the proper key, we could use them. However, one was open without a key. All we would have to do is dig it out of the ice and :poof: gone. No worries. Well, no worries from the High Tower, because you just never know what you will find on the other side. Or what will find you.

The old guy tried to prank us in the morning. The last thing he said to us before falling asleep was, "If I die in my sleep, don't take any of my stuff." In the morning, he appeared dead. That is, until my partner grabbed his package and gave him a healthy squeeze. No, not dead. "I can't pull one over on you guys, can I?"

(Oh, we did learn that Andy can speak Elven. We still do our Elven murmurs to each other, and Andy always says in common, "Hey, I can speak Elven.")

Before leaving in the mornining, we warned the old guy that some orcs might come looking for us. He seemed unconcerned. We also warned him that some folks from Luskan might come looking for us. Again, unconcerned.

We continued east.

Eventually a commotion in a clearling. I went to investigate. This rather large man was sitting by a fire and eating horses by the legs. Grab a dead horse with one hand, tear a leg off with the other, and eat. Flesh in his beard and a few recent battle wounds. The horses with harnesses and stuff, so they used to belong to somebody, but no obvious banners or anything. The giant was wearing simple clothes and had some stone and wood impliments. He might be eating like a savage, but definitely some intelligence.

I did spot what appeared to be a cave and his obvious dwelling. I went back, grabbed Andy, and we went sneaky-sneaky way around the giant and into his cave. Hopefully Zir would be okay without us while we scouted. She's so good at sitting still, observing, and helping from a distance. We might have to hook her up with some heavy-duty sniper power one of these days.

The entrance to the main chambers of the cave was a mess. Bones, armour, weapons, and all sorts of stuff thrown about. This giant has had a lot of practice with fighting, killing, and eating.

Once to the main chamber, we spotted the hostages that used to ride the horses that the giant was busy eating - the far end of the cave in a make-shift cage. We also spotted three wolf guards. Andy got full of spunk and took one out with a single arrow. The cool thing is that the other two wolves didn't notice the shot and kill. Man, I got two snipers for awesome side-kickness. Or maybe I'm their side-kick. Either way, we are rocking for the pudges that we are.

One wolf down all sneaky-sneaky and we go back to collect Zir.

On our way around the giant, I decide to test him with a backstab. I'm confident we can engage for maybe two rounds and get away with it. So I go for a backstab and do a called shot to his ankle. Not only do I make my sneaky-sneaky rolls, but I also rolled a natural 20. I ended up doing 14pts to his ankle.

Then the fit hit the shan.

As I was running away from him, he picked up a horse and hit me with it. Man, was he pissed. Can't say I blame him, though. Well, getting hit with a horse kind of hurts.

Andy and Zir both right on que with ranged attacks to cover my escape. Unfortunately, Andy gets targeted by the giant. The giant starts picking up logs from the fire he made and starts chucking them at Andy. This is a giant, so the fire made was more from whole trees and a mite bigger than elven- or human-sized logs. Andy takes a beating.

Zir and I both engage the giant in a defensive manner to get him away from Andy. This actually works. The giant gives one last display and hobbles back to his cave.

Once Andy got the beat down with a flaming log, I didn't think we stood a chance. I would like to think that the damage that I did to the giant's ankle had something to do with his retreating. And the fact that the giant was already wounded from a recent battle. But you never know.

As much as I would like to leave the hostages, we are going to try to rescue them. So, our immediate goal is to rescue. This may or may not include trying to kill the giant. I'm hoping that we don't have to engage the giant again. How am I hoping to accomplish this? Take out the last two wolves from a distance, sneak in, and sneak out.

And that is where we are at.

If we can pull this off, it will just plain be awesome. First a troop of orcs, now a giant. Remember that defeating doesn't neccessarily mean killing or face-to-face brute force. Play to your advantages and to their disadvantages.

The DM did table-talk that the giant is a frost giant. If we do pull it off, defeating a frost giant with a small group of pudges will be one to talk about for years to come.

(Edited by warjournal on 06-04-2007 13:21)

warjournal
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From:
Insane since: Aug 2000

IP logged posted posted 06-11-2007 11:16 Edit Quote

Things started out pretty okay, but we knew it was going to get bad when we heard the horn.

We camped outside for the night so we could be ready in the morning with Magic Missiles and what-not. During the night, we heard a huge horn being blown. Very low and loud. We knew it wasn't a good sign, but we were going to go ahead with the plan anyways.

In the morning, we prepared for our assault on the giant's cave. All fresh and magiced up as much as we could be.

Andy and Zir got into position outside the cave to snipe and cover my escape. I took point and snuck in. As I was sneaking in, there was definitely something different in the air, a smell or something that I couldn't quite put my finger on. Not being the outdoorsie type or a real tracker, I couldn't quite get it.

I got far enough in to see that the two remaining wolves were guarding the inner cave. I alerted the wolves to my presence and they took chase. As soon I was clear of the entrance, we ambushed in earnest. We took some minor damage, but not much. Both wolves went down no problem. Phase I complete.

That's when I heard the giant and his friend. Looking back into the cave, I could see a huge, blue and white, almost silvery lizard thing leading the giant out to the fight. The giant was behind the giant with one hand on the lizard for support.

I got out and we decided to make a run for it. Too bad for us that the giant is an accomplished tracker in the snow-covered northern lands. Egads. The giant pointed in our direction and the lizard took flight. Egads!

Giant lizard? No, his friend is a white dragon.

We ran like Nine Hells, but it wasn't enough to escape a flying dragon. The dragon caught up with us in to time at all and went into a power-dive.

Next thing we know, Andy grew some adamantium balls. He drew his sword, braced himself, and told us to keep on running. We did. It was nice knowing you, Andy.

The dragon basically landed on Andy's face. Andy took the breath weapon like a man, and then he got munched. The dragon bit Andy's upper-torso and flung him like a ragdoll.

Now, we did take our remaining Potions of Warmth before we started our assault. A Potion of Warmth will actually heal cold damage. So, the DM ruled, since the bulk of damage that Andy took was cold-based, there was a small chance of saving him. But we would have to be damn quick about it.

We ran for cover in some rocks. The dragon, now in flight again, turned around to bear down on us. As it turns out, one of the rocks we were hiding behind happened to be a galeb-dur. Next thing we know, we are running for Andy while the giant and dragon are fighting with their new opponent. Well, you know, the galeb-dur didn't exactly appreciate being breathed on by a white dragon.

We did manage to save Andy. And we would have stayed to watch the fight, but we decided not to because we were all at exactly 1hp. Gotta love the dice sometimes.

Once at an extremely safe distance, we stopped to camp.

Andy got all fussy about wanting to go back to save the hostages. Zir and I were very adamant about not going back to save the hostages.

And then things got really funny. We decided to let Andy go back by himself while Zir and I pressed on. Before parting, Zir spent the remaining of her healing on him and gave him a "good luck token". Said token being the ward token from the High Tower.

Zir: Take this for luck.
Andy: A Luskan token...?
Zir: Yeah, for luck.
Andy: Um, okay.

What will the Luskanites make of the tokens being split up? What will they do with Andy if they catch him first? Will we even see Andy again?

Giving Andy the ward token is just too funny. Talk about tossing out a wild card. Could be a stroke of genius, could be the dumbest thing since tinker gnomes. I'm sure it will turn out interesting.

At the end of this little session, the DM was a bit disappointed. He thought for sure we would go back to the old guy with the Wand of Fireballs for help. A classic case of what the DM envisions happening versus what actually happens.

Either way, it's fun.

warjournal
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From:
Insane since: Aug 2000

IP logged posted posted 06-29-2007 11:58 Edit Quote

Some pretty lazy sessions, so not much has happened.

We pressed on without Andy. Just me and Zir. We did a lot of running from local animals and what-not.

Local animals having a distinct advantage and neither of us in any condition to fight. They are adapted to the environment and used to hunting in such conditions. Both of us city elves and hurting pretty bad with no real escorts. Nothing like two wimpy little elves trying to fight a group of wolves on their home turf. We ran. We ran a lot.

We did eventually make it to a small abandoned fort. Actually, the fort looked like it was taken by wolves or similiar. Make-shift baracades, holes in the outer walls, and corpses chewed to the bone. No fresh tracks in the snow, so whatever happened here happened awhile ago. A good a place as any for us to camp for two days and heal up.

We did manage to find some alcohol still in barrels. Not the greatest fuel, but will serve for the time being. Also a few piles of wood. A few other things, but those being the most useful to use.

Also ran through the place with Detect Magic. This was fairly easy because Zir is a priestess of Mystra. Nothing like a granted power. We did find a magical spy glass. Apon using it, we noticed that it could see *very* far without the effects of weather. That is, we could see the ground as it would be without snow. We are sure it can also see through fog, rain, bizzards, and the like.

Far to the west, the direction we came from, we saw a small group of humans. They appear to be from Luskan, but hard to tell due to protective furs. Not entirely sure, but one of them looks like he might be Andy.

They appear to be about two days away (yes, the spy glass can see that far). So, we are getting ready to leave and cover our tracks. By 'cover our tracks', I mean something a bit different than hide our recent presence at this little fort. I mean leave blatant clues behind as to which direction we are going. We know that they can easily track us, but I want to give the impression that we want them to find us and that we haven't realized that we still have one ward token being used to track us. Hopefully these blatant clues and appearance of ignorance will help us defend our actions much later - and still be legit, so to speak.

Being the kind of elves that we are in the land of LE kind of sucks. And yet walking that line is kind of fun. I just hope that I don't get sucked into LE too much. No fear of Zir going down this road, but I might. If I get too far out of line, I hope Zir has what it takes to do what she must do.

warjournal
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From:
Insane since: Aug 2000

IP logged posted posted 07-05-2007 10:59 Edit Quote

Oh, one thing I failed to mention is that we picked up a Wand of Wonder. One of the corpses in the little fort was clutching it. We did managet to the command word, Poopsie-Do!, but no idea how many charges. (We had a Wand of Wonder in a previous champaign that was weilded by my chaos mage. It caused a lot of trouble and saved the party many times. In the hands of a chaos mage, indispensible. One time, 'accidentally' killed a Handmaiden of Lolth with it. Good times.)

Before leaving, we used Aoxor's Helm to see how one of the guys in the little fort had died. When placed upon a corpse and then worn, the wearer sees the last few moments of the deceased. Talk about handy in our situation.

The corpse that we used the helm on was a mage. He was backed into a room and reading from a scroll. Behind him, a portal opened. He was reading a spell key for a gate. He then hid the scroll spell key in a table leg. Then a bunch of soldiers ran past him and through the portal. Right before the mage could get through, a giant half-man/scorpion thing got him. Ripped his heart out from behind and chewed his face off. A rather vicious and to-the-point death.

So, we recovered the spell key from the table leg. Inside the table leg, we also found a wand and a ring. We were almost tempted to Identify, but no time at the moment with the Luskanites bearing down on us.

Time to leave. For real this time.

We went outside and used the spy glass to see what was around us. Since it doesn't show weather effects, like snow cover, a good way to scout. Well, we didn't like what we saw. We saw a bunch of yeti one way hidden under the snow, and a bunch of wolves the other way.

We tried to go around the hidden yeti, but they weren't having it. They charged from a hilltop, came sloloming down. Zir used the Wand of Wonder and Fire Walled them into crispy yeti steaks. We actually took a few minutes to carve some yeti steak because elves have to eat too. More yeti coming down from the hill, so we ran back for the little fort.

Yeti to the north, wolves to the south, Luskanites to the west. Damn.

Actually, the Luskanites were coming damn fast. Using the spy glass, we saw one of the Luskan mages cast and everybody started moving damn fast. Like off of the ground kind of fast. We also finally got a good enough of a look to see that Andy is inded with them. Did Andy make it back to the giant's cave before the Luskanites got him? Probably not since no sign of the hostages. Poor guy.

I'm sure the Fire Wall was seen by the Luskanites because that was when they started moving triple-time with a few between their feet and the ground. "Hey, guys! Here we are and in a fight! Come and get us!" Nothing like a flare gun that shoots flames 40' high when you are trying to be a little bit sneaky. Ugh.

No real choice. Back to the little fort and use the portal.

I activated the spell key. Zir jumped through. I grabbed the mage's corpse and jumped through with it. Once on the other side, I scrambled for my ward token and tossed it back through to the small fort. Cut that tie and there is no looking back.

This whole time I've been worried about staying in the Luskanites good graces. Why? Because a few small towns in Evermeet and Luskan is all I've known. I have no concept that there is a bigger world out there with more people and different factions. That is about to change. Time for this elf to grow up a little bit and loose that chunk of naivity.

Once on the other side, we got out bearings, but barely. Hallway made of stone, a few doors, and a window. Looking out the window, we could see snow and a battle raging. Humand and elves fighting side-by-side against a troup of undead.

This human comes running by in a hurry and notices us. At first he is taken aback, but then takes advantage of us. He grabs us, runs into a room, and starts grabbing potions. He hands a bunch to us and yells at us to help him carry the potions to the wounded. We oblige. When we get to the wounded, we tend to them.

Battle is raging just outside. One human in particular is literally destroying undead. I mean, they explode when he smacks them with his mace. Other priests of an unknown god are holding holy symbols trying to hold them at bay while the fighters do their thing. A few are running around gathering the wounded and bringing them behind the line to safety.

Zir decides to entire the battle from a safe distance with the Wand of Wonder. She ends up shooting some kind of Colour Spray and blinding all of the elves and humans. The undead are, of course, unaffected. Some help. So I give the Wand of Wonder a go and end up shooting a Fire Ball. When the smoke clears, only a handful from both sides are left standing.

Um, not good. We both look around real quick to see if anybody noticed our attack. We are both all Bart Simpson-like with "We didn't do it. Nobody saw us do it."

So we decided to wade out and help more hands-on. I draw my short sword and she gets ready with the spells.

Only three skeletons standing and they are frost giant huge. Things don't exactly go well. One of them gets utterly destroyed by the one priest with the mace. Then things go down-hill from there.

In an effort to help, I don the Skull Mask. Suddenly, my head is a flaming skull and the undead attack me and only me. I start running in circles while the remaining humans/elves pound on the distracted undead. I most definitely go down, but they do manage to get the last two skeletons while they are kicking me in the ribs. My tactic worked, even if I did get my ribs cracked. Ouch. The sacrifices I make.

Battle won and the wounded are tended to.

Once I'm conscious again, we get down to business.

The priest with the mace is suspicious of me because of the Skull Mask. So I tell him what the deal was with that and he eases up a bit.

We fiind out we are in a town called Myth Glauvor or something. This town under constant attack because of the mythl, whatever that is. Apparently a mythl is some sort of super strong magic that is a part of the town itself. Folks want it.

Zir hooks up with the human priest with the mace to find out more about where we are and their current situation. While they chat, I go outside and start using the helm on the corpses of the undead army that attacked. I try and do this on the sly as best as I can.

Even though the helm only shows the last few moments of the deceased, I do manage to start to see a few common denominators after viewing a lot of the deaths. The undead army were largely slaves bought for the sole purpose of being murdered and turned into undead by a secret society of mages. I don't know the name of the society or from whom the slaves are being bought from, but I do know that the secret society is to the north in the direction of Hell's Gate Keep.

I also pull out the blue gem to see what direction it wants to go in because we have no idea of where we are in relation to where we were. Of course, the gem wants to go north towards Hell's Gate Keep. It looks like the portal took us far to the east.

The human priest with the mace gives us some local history and things. He tells us that we don't want to go to Hell's Gate Keep because a mythl was destroyed there and it has become a prison for demons. Apparently the mythl there was destroyed with crystals and it caused a huge flux of magical energy. Right up Zir's alley.

And that's where we are. Time for the questions and what-not.

Will the Luskanites still be able to track us? I'm sure they can, but it will take them some time to figure out how since we don't have my ward token anymore. I kind of wish I could be there when they bust into the small fort and see my ward token on the floor.

Will I get over this guilt for cutting that tie with the Luskanites? Sure they were basterds in general, but they took us in and educated us. I don't like feeling like an ungrateful child.

In the orc fort, we found two magical items heavy with necromancy - Aoxor's Helm and the Skull Mask. Is there a connection between these two being at the orc fort and the undead attack here in Myth Glauvor?

In the same vein, is there a connection between The High Tower of the Arcane and the secret society of mages buying and killing slaves?

Does the gem we are carrying have anything directly to do with the crystals destroying the mythl in Hell's Gate Keep? Considering what Andy told us about the gem and the end of the world, I'm thinking so.

Speaking of Andy, is he okay? As soon as we settle for a bit, going to see if I can find a way to get him a message. Poor guy. We really did a number on him.

Aside from those questions, there are a few things I am looking forward to.

We are young elves from Evermeet. Our only contact beyond Evermeet has been 100% human dominated Luskan. Now that we are in the mixed company of humand and elves, things could prove interesting. "Are you tall for an elf or short for a human?" Hahaha, our first real encounter with a half-elf. Yet another chance for this naive elf's eyes to be opened a bit more to a wider world.

I am also looking forward to going through this castle for things magical. Not so much items, but learning. Being that there is a mythl here, there has got to be an awesome laboratory or library or something. Pilage for knowledge.

Cheers.

warjournal
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From:
Insane since: Aug 2000

IP logged posted posted 07-10-2007 12:48 Edit Quote

I'm feeling the need to talk about the DM and our history together.

I started playing AD&D 2nd Edition at Michigan Tech. It was a blast. The DM was uber awesome. The stories were great and he had this way of manipulating the party. The best DM ever. Hands down.

Then I went home and hooked up with one of my high school buds. The subject of RPG came up and I told him about it at MTU. He was all like, "You play?" And I was all like, "Yeah, been having a blast." And he was all like, "I know someone that just started, wanna meet?" And I was all like, "Sure". And he was all like, "Let's go right now." And I was all like, "Alright."

So we went and I meet the party with their budding new DM. This was his second time running a session, but it seemed to be going well. He had had an interest and decided to buy the books and Undermountain and give it a go.

A few minutes later, I was Denny the elven fighter and a part of the party. About two hours later, the bud that had brought me over bailed and left me. I ended up staying until the sun came up.

They were all new - not just the DM. They were the basic fighters and thiefs. Since I had a few months of experience on them, I decided to mix it up with a chaos mage from the Tomb of Magic. A seriously crazy mage with a crowbar for a weapon. If it was frail, he would break it; if it was a book, he would take it.

I basically introduced them to the magic side of D&D. Even did some nasty spell combinations, like Fist of Stone and Shocking Grasp. That can be some serious hand-to-hand damage for even a low-level mage.

A few sessions later, they were getting the hang of things in Undermountain. Then a corner-stone encounter happened.

We walked into a room and the DM went into this big thing describing the monsters that were about to attack us. These lumbering, rail-thin green things with nasty claws and teeth. He really went all-out describing them to put the horror into us.

When he was done, I said, "If those are what I think they are, the party is dead."

He challenged me with, "What do you think they are?"

I wrote "troll" on a piece of paper and handed it to him.

When he read it, he got this look on his face. It was classic.

He said, "Nah, the party can take them."

I said, "Okay. We'll see."

So, we low-level pudges went into combat against four trolls. It was an absolute slaughter. The only one that came close to surviving was a priest that got lucky with a Flaming Sphere, but he got munched anyways. I was ever so slightly giggling to myself the whole time.

Stop. Rewind. Do over.

What did he learn? That there is more to a monster than just hit points. Sure, we could deal some damage, but the trolls could deal out more damage due to THac0, number of attacks, and damage dice. Not to mention regenerating. There is a reason a troll is wearth more xp than a 4HD ogre.

The do over? We walk into the room, the priest immediately casts Flaming Sphere for cover, and we run.

Several sessions later, there was another hall mark encounter. This one had to do with drow. Previously, mostly mindless monsters, but drow are intelligent. That is, they don't just wander looking for food. For the first time, we had to think about motive of our adversaries. That is, motive beyond basic survial.

From that point on, the DM started layering in things. Small things at first, but they started getting more elaborate and involving. He gained his sense of looking at the bigger picture and how various characters fit together and interact. He can get particularly nasty when thief and assassin guilds are involved. And that's not to mention the ethos of various gods with those things as domains.

We had to constantly ask questions. Why is the assassin guild constantly trying to plant a mole in our party? Why are they smuggling weapons to a bunch of kobolds? Why are the murders being pinned in a particular party member? Why is the militia of that militant city after the deck of cards? Who stole my boots?

He's gottan damn good at it. He can even free-style several layers of intrigue with no preperation. I've seen it, and it's amazing. No matter what happens, he can pull a story out of his muscular buttocks. Even if he does make a mistake, he can make the mistake make sense.

warjournal
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From:
Insane since: Aug 2000

IP logged posted posted 07-11-2007 07:23 Edit Quote

Here we go with a shining example of just how twisted he is.

The attack of the undead was thwarted. Yippie. We were thanked for our part in it.

We were told we could stay at a boarding house and the militia would pick up the tab. Yippie. Finally, a hot bath and a warm bed.

We were taken to a 3 story house. We went inside, but the soldiers that led us there didn't even go in. As a matter of fact, they seemed quick to want to leave.

We were met by a very old lady that was polishing everything. Granny Karna or something. Very old and slow. Everything was super duper clean and rather antique. Even the doilies looked polished.

We dropped our stuff at the door after much coaxing from Granny Karna. Strangers in a strange land - we did not want to leave our stuff, but we did.

Granny led us upstairs to our room. Felt like 2 hours just to scale 2 floors. As we went up, things got dirtier and dirtier. Old and unkept. Once we got to our room, it was no exception. Dirty, bare, and unkept. Creepy, to say the least. Why, we couldn't even clean the window ourselves enough to get a decent view.

On our way up, we passed through 1 door. When Granny left us to fetch us some food, we heard 2 doors being closed and locked. At this point, my mantra became "only 'til morning ... only 'til morning ... "

She eventually did bring us some stew. Of course, we saw things in the stew for fleeting moments. Was that an eyeball? Did I just bite into a finger?

Only 'til morning.

We slept for a grand total of 4 hours. Not only were we completely refreshed, but completely healed as well. Then we got the Nine Hells out of there.

Very early morning and a few hours to kill. You would think that we could wander around and get our bearings, even if everyone else was still asleep. But no. There was another attack on the town.

We spotted some flames in the sky. Like flying torches. Headed straight for town. As the flames got closer, we saw that they were flying horses with undead riders. Flaming manes and flaming hooves. Damn it!

I donned the Skull Mask and noted that the riders had once been alive but no longer were. Definitely undead. The horses, however, where not alive and never had been. This meaning that the horses were some sort of conjuration. Out of thin air type stuff.

The ramparts noticed and took fire with ballista. Amazingly enough, one actually hit and blasted the undead rider. I quickly got up on the wall to see if I could spot where the corpse had landed. I *so* wanted to use Aoxor's Helm on one of the riders.

But that idea was no good because the fog started to roll in. Not your average fog, either. As the fog entered the main courtyard, people were gagging and falling down. Heavy fog, hard to breath. The fog was also cover for the advancing undead army. Damn it. Another undead army. Damn it. But this time, some live humanoids with them.

I used the spy glass to survey the area. I spotted 3 mages sitting at a cozy distance and casting. Lightly wooded area, middle of the night, and fog - surely they were safe. Not! Magical night vision totally rocks.

I grabbed some random archer and showed him the mages through the spy glass. He took aim and let fly. Amazingly enough, the one that he hit went down. The other 2 mages took cover. The archer and I snuck down and out to the spot where the one mage went down. Amazingly enough, they left the body and we recovered. We took our sweet time going back with the body because the battle was still raging. By the time we made it back, the battle was won in our favor.

While I was off doing that stuff, Zir was on high ground doing what she could. She did what she could from a safe distance. Good girl.

The body that we recovered? A human female in black robes. Also, wearing a red and white mask. Young, too. Looks like we had gotten ourselves an apprentice. I'm sure someone is pissed.

Then again, it seems kind of odd that the master would leave her corpse behind. Not a very masterly thing to do. Maybe the master really is that dumb. Or maybe they were taken by surprise because they thought they were safe and just plain forgot in their scrammble to get to cover.

On her body, we also found a ward token from the High Tower of the Arcane. Maybe the master isn't as dumb or as easily surprised as we had thought. Maybe, just maybe, she was left on purpose. Not only does someone know our MO rather well, but is willing to sacrifice an apprentice as bait. Seduce an apprentice with dreams of magical prowess, then toss her out for our sake. Man, this sucks. These kinds of villians are the worst.

A few other little things happened. For awhile my ears were smoking and I got shrunk, the results of the Wand of Wonder. Also, I loaned the Skull Mask to one of the priests for further investigation. I hope I get it back. I used Aoxor's Helm and got the same slave for undead army story. I still have yet to use the helm on the apprentice. Who is to say that she wasn't already dead when the arrow hit her?

We just had to find a ward token on the apprentice, didn't we?

Still a lot of stuff do to before heading off to Hell's Gate Keep. With how frantic things have suddenly become, I don't know if we'll ever make it there.


----

Man, everything was fine until we found that ward token on the apprentice. I can't even begin to explain how much that seriously sucks.

(Edited by warjournal on 07-11-2007 07:29)

warjournal
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From:
Insane since: Aug 2000

IP logged posted posted 08-16-2007 13:40 Edit Quote

Well, damn it. Looks like it's the end of this one already. And we didn't even get the chance to die heroically.

Half of my bud's basement is our gaming area. Actually, more like a third. But it's still a decent sized area with an uber table and lots of shelves. Quite a few props, dry erase boards, maps, and a ton of miniatures. He told the boys to clean the table and our current characters got lost in the shuffle. We lost our characters and I lost my PHB. Luckily I found my DM screen with some stuff in it and my Aurora's. All dice accounted for as well.

So, looks like we are going to take this opportunity to start learning 3.5. We've been doing 2nd forever, but times are a changing I guess.

Going to stick to crawling Undermountain while we get the hang of things. Nothing like good ol' Undermountain for cutting your teeth. As long as he doesn't start getting creative with Grimtooth's Traps. Ugh.

Already started making characters, but going