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Thread: Superball's Age of Mortals Campaign - Spectre of Sorrows

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tauren_Kai-Jere View Post
    It brings me great pleasure to see our noble build attached to an actual stat block!
    I totally agree. I am also a bit proud to have reminded the intrepid GM of the Castigate ability during a phone call a few weeks ago. That pesky Bard character ruined our moment, lol!
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  2. #32
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    SESSION 24

    In the Ruins of Micah


    Wikkle takes both of Mishakal's Tears for safekeeping and a potion of fly to keep her well above danger and speeds back the way they came (They did the math, she'd make it out with rounds to spare. I really should have done something to make this scenario more tenuous. -SB). Kara shifts into a gnome and she and Pidjit hide in the bag of holding so Almarden can teleport the rest of them to the location of the amphidragon eggs that he found with his scrying spell (Another good move by the players. Even less likely to get buried alive. -SB). The adventurers reappear beside an empty mucus covered nest (Where'd the eggs go?? -SB) and a grotesque statue---half disir and half insectoid outsider---that appears to be a variant of Morgion, the god of disease responsible for the elves' sunblight. On second glance the party realizes they have landed in the midst of four tough looking disir dressed in tattered black holy order robes. Jhandra mentally names them Xash (#1), Vazzak (#2), Dazrak (#3), and Rathak (#4). Kara babbles in fright. But she still manages to summon a spiritual ally that manifests as pure force in the form of an avenging angel wielding Mishakal’s staff. Seconds later, Xash counters by dispelling it. Almarden fires an empowered magic missile into Xash's face. Caran charges and drives Redeemer into Xash's stomach. [Crit slash "gut slash" double +d4 bleed and target cannot swallow whole.] Krusk swings his halberd overhead and roars (dazzling display), intimidating the whole cleric quartet. Vaz and Daz raise their unholy symbols and channel negative energy. Rath touches Jhandra with a contagion spell but she resists ($#!& -SB). Pidjit climbs out of the bag of holding and plays an inspiring tune.

    Jhandra fires a radiant ray (searing light) into Vaz. Kara blesses Krusk's halberd to strike harder with divine wrath (
    weapon of awe). Almarden's branches of lighting (shocking spark) catch Xash in an electrical storm. Caran delivers another vicious slice across Xash's gut. [Crit slash “Rupture abdominal cavity“ double damage +1 Con bleed.] Krusk charges and uses a maneuver designed to shatter defenses against Vaz, throwing him off balance (flatfooted). Daz casts soundburst which stuns Jhandra and Almarden [1 round], and Pidjit whips at him but misses. Rath shoots Pidjit with searing light. Xash bites and claws Caran while Vaz bites and claws at Krusk. Pidjit full attacks Rath with his whip and lands a hard snap. [Crit bludgeon “Crushed Trachea" normal damage and target cannot breathe or speak. DC 20 heal check ends condition.“]

    Kara casts earthen shield summoning a five foot high wall surrounding the as yet unharmed cleric, Daz (This spell, has gotten ridiculous mileage. It's great. -SB). Caran chops into Xash. Krusk impales the off kilter disir Vaz through the head, killing him, then whirls about and (Hero Point) charges Rath, goring him with his horns. Rath claws and bites Krusk. Daz climbs to the top of Kara’s wall. Xash bites and claws Caran and poisons him. Pidjit attacks Daz on the wall with his whip, tripping him backward into pit where he flops onto his back. Jhandra and Kara both channel healing energy.

    Almarden batters Daz with an empowered blue magic missile. Caran sweeps Redeemer in an arc that lops off one of Xash's fingers and stabs him in the throat, finishing him off. [Crit slash "Finger Tipped" normal damage and 1 Dex.] The elven warrior faces the wall and waits for Daz to re-emerge. Krusk stabs the gasping Rath with his halberd and the disir retaliates by ripping a hunk out of Krusk's shoulder and poisoning him [-1 Dex to BOTH Caran and Krusk so far]. Daz climbs back atop the wall and narrowly dodges Caran's sword only to be tripped backward again by Pidjit. Jhandra shoots Vaz with her bow.

    Kara mends Krusk's wounds. Almarden swiftly drains charges from the magic wand and leaps up to slam dunk (Literally. Acrobatics check was made and everything. It was brilliant. -SB) an empowered fireball right over the rim of the earthen shield pit. The fiery blast roasts the disir and severely weakens the wall. Caran readies Redeemer for another swing if the entrapped disir shows his sooty face. Krusk’s condition worsens [-2 more Dex] but he still manages to corner Rath and slay him with his halberd. The final disir Daz stands up, still surrounded by the barrier, and the impatient Caran smashes a path through and leaves the aberration exposed. Through the new gap Pidjit lashes Daz and Jhandra drills him with an arrow.

    Kara patches up Krusk again. Almarden jumps atop the wall and slashes at Daz with the Shard of Light. Caran steps in and chops his ear off. [Critical slash “Missing Ear” normal damage and 1 Cha drain, -4 Percept.] Krusk drops his halberd in favor of the fabled Dragonlance and barrels forward, skewering Daz. The disir cleric desperately leaps on Caran and sinks his teeth into his swordarm, poisoning him again. Pidjit ends the disir's pitiful life with a final whiplash. The adventurers scour the room for magic items and find a whopping fifteen of them plus a large chest. Krusk finds a trap on the chest and the others back away while he tries to disarm it. The trap triggers, unleashing a gout of flame, which Krusk dodges entirely (Why doesn't every fighter have rogue levels?! -SB). Caran shatters Morgion's statue while Pidjit locates a key on the dead disir so Krusk can open the chest. Inside are five amphidragon eggs. The party hustles out of the cavern and reunites with Wikkle. The young gnome lass is astounded by Kara’s apparent transformation into a gnome and then back into a Kagonesti and babbles questions at her. Kara silences her by claiming, “My shifting is just a gift from Mishakal, it’s divine!” (Apparently Gnomes are okay with that, even being creatures of science, and I didn't want to slow down game with dice rolling. -SB) They all hurry away from the fast collapsing ruins.
    The party spends a day hotfooting it back to Floatsam, moving through the night so as not to delay.

    In Floatsam

    They return to Lord Toede’s estate in the early dawn and the guards (And Flotsamian French Resistance dresed in civilian clothes -SB) surround them and escort them to his audience chamber. Lord Toede is upon his throne in his jammies (No lie, guys: Winston Churchill wore footies. I've seen them. Had to put that in. -SB) and ermine cloak and smoking a cigar and mutters unintelligibly to his chamberlain. The chamberlain translates in an aggrieved tone, “You’ve interrupted the Lord’s breakfast! And for what?” Krusk reveals the five eggs and the chamberlain demands “Where is the sixth?!” (In the Robin Leach announcer voice. -SB) Pidjit tries to explain, but the Chamberlain cuts him off yelling “CLIFF NOTES!” (The Chaimberlain is secretly Deadpool, breaking down the fourth wall. -SB) So Pidjit sums up “They used one.” At this the Chamberlain is baffled and must allow Kara to explain about the villainous cleric of Morgion's hideous experiment in simple terms. “Unforeseen circumstances aside, five eggs IS better than none," the Chamberlain concedes and says grandly, "In good faith the Lord Toede will grant you access to his fabulous library and his crafter!”

    Almarden and Kara work to identify the enchanted items. (See Becca loot.) Jhandra, Pidjit, and Wikkle enter Lord Toede's library and start researching, which takes elven hours all told. Pidjit finds a promising passage about the Fountain of Renewal, an enchanted fountain with miraculous restorative powers. He reads it aloud: “So it was that Dereg Reinhold struck North away from the land where his sword had helped defeat Sylvana the Silvanesti Elf Ghoul Queen. He left behind the druid Waylorn and righteous throng of Silvanesti and sought out the fabled Fountain of Renewal in the far north. Great was his sorrow and dark the stains on his sword, but darker still the taint upon his soul. He struggled to overcome the challenges of the guardians of the fountain. Then into the fountain he plunged the sword and his arm, and they were restored.” (But the Ring slipped off Isildur's finger, too... -SB) An elven spirit materializes overhead in the library and in her distress whips up a vortex that sends pages whirling---she is the Spectre of Sorrows. When she speaks, Jhandra and Almarden and Krusk recognize her as Kayleigh who appeared to them in a dream before she was dragged away by her captor. Kayleigh cries, “NOOOO! Go no further! To use this knowledge is to risk ALL! You cannot cleanse this jewel, the Lord of Bones has claimed it for his own!” She wails mournfully and disappears. Jhandra reads the passage Pidjit found and deduces the fountain is in the country of Nordmar, a jungle land far to the North. The party consults a map and sees they will either need to take a long walk around Kern (the ogre lands), or take a boat to Kern and cross it on foot. Kara has mixed feelings about that since her hidden people and her ancient enemies alike inhabit Kern.

    The party spends a week in Floatsam. Jhandra crafts potions and writes down their trials and adventures in a journal she has been keeping for some time (But I believe that Aang can save the world! -SB). Krusk secretly binges on his new addiction, allomanya. He runs out and tells the party he is “bored” and wants to go out. Kara notices Krusk’s strange behavior and questions him, guessing the drug may have proved to tempting and powerful. Krusk craftily claims he still has "all the vials" left, implying they are still full of the strange drug when in fact they are empty (It was the truth, from a certain point of view. -SB). Kara apologizes for doubting him. Almarden augments Caran’s sword, Krusk’s halberd, his own headband, and Kara’s headband with stronger magic. Caran visits the temple of Chislev and dedicates the shattering of Morgion’s statue to her.

    Krusk goes to the Vigilance Force (That's what the Flotsamian French Resistance is called! Whew! I thought I was going to have to look it up! -SB) looking for work. They offer to give him three vials of allomanya in exchange for an assassination (As long as you're killing the bad guys, right? It was a roleplay choice. I just wanted to see what he would do. -SB). The minotaur completes the hit and successfully sneaks away from scene of the crime without getting caught. The Vigilance Force puts Krusk into a saferoom while they find more drug to give him his fix, then give it to him ASAP. Krusk returns to party on the seventh day with four vials total of allomanya, which won't last him long.

    Almarden returns on the eighth day and Pidjit fills him in on Kayleigh’s pronouncement and the need to visit Nordmar.

    Captain Swift of the Lucky Maiden takes the party onboard. Pidjit smooth talks him while delivering a versatile lute performance and knocks off half the price (Apparently the bridge to Freebird makes you want to slash prices. -SB). The ship's route is from Floatsam to Ogrebond along the rugged coast. The boat is preferable because otherwise the band is likely to encoutner spotted lions and wild dogs in Kern (Any kind of hunting cat with this party is a rather sore subject. -SB). Umdella Semthal, Captain Swift's Ergothian first mate, takes a romantic interest in Almarden he adamantly does not reciprocate (lol -SB).

    A few days into the journey Almarden spots a bobbing bottle in the waves and telekinetically retrieves it. The parchment inside in Khurish says (rather washed out in spots, creating gaps) “You are respectfully invited to attend a great gathering in the north. Forces loyal to the Lord of Bones...the usurper Lothian and all who stand against…Qwes…ruined city.” On back in Common is a scrawled cry for help: “Under siege by undead on floating kelp forest. Please rescue me. Big reward.” Qwes is a ruined settlement in Nordmar, the site of an epic battle between ogres and humans. The Lord of Bones is of course one of Chemosh’s titles, and his name seems to be on everyone's lips lately. Half an hour after acquiring the note, the fog grows thicker. Pidjit's divination reveals the fog is both divine and magical. The ship comes to a sudden grinding halt as though beached. The "ground" beneath the hull is full of kelp, but also a veritable graveyard of ships with their masts tilted at crazy angles---a sailor’s nightmare from which none of them may awake... (Dun dun DUN! -SB)

    That's all for now, everybody. I tried my best to break up the combats in a way that made a little sense. It's not going to be perfect, but don't say that I don't try. Stay tuned for bonus content! -SB
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  3. #33
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    Default The Ruins of Micah - Loot

    (Half of this was in the ruined temple. The other half was with the evil Disir priests. -SB)

    In the Ruined Temple
    4 steel reliquaries (3,600 stl)
    -Potions
    Cure Serious Wounds
    Cure Moderate Wounds (2)
    Protection from Evil (2)
    Shield of Faith (2)
    Bull's Strength
    Barkskin
    Wand of Elemental Dart
    Ring of the Ram
    Amulet of Natural Armor +2
    Firebane Cloak (RoA, resist fire 10, +5 stealth)

    In the Deep Quarter
    +2 Banded Mail of Cold Resistance
    +2 Holy Greatsword
    +1 Breastplate
    Belt of Giant Strength +2
    -Wand of Identify
    -Wand of Magic Missile
    -Scrolls
    Invisibility, Greater
    Flaming Sphere
    True Strike
    Shocking Grasp
    Mirror Image
    Ray of Enfeeblement
    -Rod of Wonder
    -Headband of Alluring Charisma +2
    Last edited by SuperBall; 01-12-2017 at 02:57 PM.
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  4. #34
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    Superball, here! For any interested parties: The statblock for the pathfinderized (and powered up) Disir Shaman!

    Disir Shaman CR 10


    XP 9,600
    LE Advanced Medium aberration Cleric 6 of Morgion
    Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +14
    AC 26, touch 18, Ff 22
    HP: 165
    Defense resist fire 5
    Fort +13; Ref +10; Will +3
    Speed: 30 ft.
    Melee 2 Claws +13 (1d6+5 plus poison)
    bite +12 (2d6+5 plus poison)
    Special Attacks channel (3d6) 4/day, DC 22 Will save
    Domain Spell-Like Abilities (CL 6; concentration +10)
    (7/day) - destructive smite (+3 damage)
    - disgusting touch (nauseated 1 round)
    Unholy Carrier touch to infect w/disease
    Cleric Spells Prepared (CL 6; concentration +10)
    3rd - Contagion, Searing Light, Dispel Magic, Inflict Serious Wounds
    2nd - Summon Swarm, Sound Burst, Spiritual Weapon,
    Inflict Mod. Wounds
    1st - Doom, Divine Favor, Endure Elements
    0 (at will) - Bleed, Stabilize, Create Water, Mending
    Domains Pestilence, Destruction
    Str 16, Dex 20, Con 21, Int 16, Wis 19, Cha 12
    BAB +7; CMB +6; CMD 21
    Feats Alertness, Weapon Focus (claws), Selective Channel,
    Improved Natural Weapon (bite), Dodge
    Skills Climb +11, Escape Artist +21, Stealth +13, Perception +14
    SQ light-sensitivity, disir poison (DC 16)
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  5. #35
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    Thanks for breaking up the combat paragraphs like that, SB. Much easier to read!

    I love the fact that you actually have a PC who's addicted to allomanya. That's going to really interesting to watch develop.
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  6. #36
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    Default Dice-y good times in Session 24

    More notes, squee!

    Some nice teamwork with the strategy before we headed into combat, though Ernest/Almarden was the mastermind, natch. It was nervewracking letting Wikkle take those Tears out of our sight even for just a few rounds of combat, and I'm sure Becca/Kara was getting the shakes being away from them.

    You provided another varied and tough combat scenario against the disir cleric posse that gave rise to some memorable moments and let everyone shine to boot. Personally I always think fighting spellcasters is scarier because you have no idea what they've prepared and they are far more likely to hit (and maybe incapacitate) multiple people at once. For similar reasons it's better fighting multiple opponents, though much more work for you I know.

    For instance, it was an uh-oh moment when Almarden and Jhandra were stunned by soundburst. And I was sweating at least mentally when I rolled the save against contagion, which would have meant instantaneous stat drops and penalties. And what's not to like about channel negative energy---an automatically successful attack that gets everybody, and at a level where death ward is not in our back pocket all the time. Almarden's slam dunk spell over Kara's earthen dike was a very interesting bit of teamwork. The Crit deck was amusing and flavorful as always (and it adds an extra thrill of ancticipatioin, wondering whether the nasty Crit card will be drawn against the party or in their favor, particularly cards we've seen in the past like the time displacement one or throat crusher). And the imminent collapse of the whole underground complex made it all more urgent yet again.

    Some truly wonderful RP when Wikkle was trying to help Krusk jimmy open the lock on the dragon eggs box. She is now a favored NPC and I hope maybe we'll see more of her in future games...

    Fun as the fight was, the RP in Floatsam was much anticipated. Just getting to see and hear the Chamberlain again was a huge bonus. Pidjit interacting with any NPC is sure not to disappoint. And the dramatic appearance of the spectre who was sorrowful, I see what you did there. I found the mythology of the Waters of Renewal and how they were presented (as a legendary pool in an obscure history that reads like a Beowulf -esque epic) just awesome.

    Downtime was welcome and useful and some characters took it in very interesting directions (Caran and Krusk in particular), but I should really brainstorm what Jhandra would do with free time. Having her chronicle their adventures is a nice touch that has influenced my presentation of the notes, but that isn't developing her character, really...at least not until she shows it to someone. She needs hobbies or goals or something that deepens her relationship with one or more characters---that is my job to come up with.

    BTW, I also talked to Becca about trying to develop "something Kara wants" that she can actively use downtime to pursue or achieve as well, because I think Kara plays second fiddle---or maybe sixth---all the time and could be more fun to play if she were more pro-active. Except when there's a moral decision to be made (read: a decision to be argued with our mercs, which is also Jhandra's lot as someone who wants to stay in her god's good graces), that is, or an NPC to schmooze, then Kara steps up like a champ.

    Rob/Krusk takes an adventurous, experimental approach to in-game addiction and is willing to go farther and darker with it than the average player, who is anxious not to be at too great a disadvantage. You responded to that well, reining him in on ideas like "What if Krusk killed a random stranger in a fit of rage" and turning it into "What if Krusk took a job to kill a specific stranger to get more drug," which was much less likely to lead to arrest and/or execution for an RP whim unrelated to the main plot.

    That message in a bottle was very intriguing and a fun plot hook. I wish we had thought to ask Master Yap about those scrawls regarding Lord of Bones...but it's not too late to ask him, is it? He's coming to Nordmar, right? And your description of the kelp island/ship graveyard was excellently spooky, at atmosphere I tried to keep intact in the re-telling.

    Thanks for another great session and great re-cap, keep 'em coming!
    Last edited by UngainlyDodge; 01-12-2017 at 11:43 PM.
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  7. #37
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    So I'm guessing this game isn't dead, just the journal?
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  8. #38
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    Journal's not dead either. I just have to get the time. All of my big projects are looming for the end of the semester. I have all sorts of good intentions.
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  9. #39
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    Hooray!
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    Post Session 25 Notes (straight from the presses, commentary could be added later)

    Session 25

    The Kelp Isle of Doom, en route to Nordmar


    Almarden goes below decks to fix the bottom hull of their boat that just ran aground. The smitten first mate lingers nearby to supervise "repairs," or at least the repairman.

    In broad daylight a trio of undead sailors carrying greataxes and covered in dripping kelp clamber over the rail, baring their broken teeth in a rictus snarl. Caran slays the first one with Redeemer and whacks another. Pidjit recognizes them as draugr, drowned sailors reanimated by strong necromancy or evil spirits who do not easily burn (resist fire 10) and whose rubbery flesh resists piercing (DR 5/bludgeon & slash). Pidjit strikes up a ballad that inspires great feats (+2 all around). Krusk stops one dead with a halberd thrust to the face. Almarden hears a disturbance overhead and starts for the ladder. Kara channels Mishakal's life energy, exploding the draugr hit by Caran. Jhandra readies a searing ray of light if another draugr comes into view, and the second one does she blasts it to smithereens.

    Four more climb on deck, however, and then a fifth which is wearing a captain’s tricorner hat and packs a cutlass. Caran gut punches the closest draugr with Redeemer. [Crit “Surprise Opening” double damage and another attack at -5.] After that foe falls the elf's second sword swing opens up another's abdomen. Pidjit steps back and whips at one but falls short. Wikkle whacks one with her heavy mace. Krusk slides past one draugr and positions himself between two, then slays one of them with one blow. Almarden pops up the stairs beside the fearsome draugr Captain and lets fly an empowered shocking grasp. Kara channels again, killing the one Caran hit and harming the others. Jhandra channels and one more crumbles. A draugr chops into Wikkle and its Captain steps around Almarden and slashes cruelly with his cutlass. [Crit Slash “Leg Swipe” double damage and target knocked prone, 28 damage + negative level.] Pidjit tries a tripping maneuver and flips Wikkle's attacker on his back. Wikkle shoots an exploding arrow that destroys the draugr Captain. Krusk impales the one still on its back. All is still, except for the slight bobbing of a mostly sunken and destroyed ship with a stern that nearly touches their own ship's.

    The party clambers onto the adjacent derelict ship and their search turns up nothing interesting except a locked chest in the captain’s quarters and a soggy manifest. Krusk picks the lock and inside are coins and magic items (See Becca loot) like potions for walking on water. One of the life boats on the busted ship is missing. There’s a break in the kelp shaped like a path, indicating someone left the ship. The ship’s manifest identifies the boat as a passenger ship called the “Rampant Spirit" but the only passenger listed is a wizard with a luxury cabin. Caran takes the manifest and the party trudges alongside the stream trail left by rowboat moving toward the middle of the island. They're hoping to locate the wizard who sent the message in the bottle before it's too late to help him.

    In the distance they spot the rowboat and its child-sized lone occupant swathed in a black hooded cloak surrounded by dozens of draugr, half of them frozen in place by some arcane means. The black robed mage is snarling what appears to be spells and more draugr keep emerging from the mist to encircle him. Wikkle casts a spell on Krusk that doubles his size (enlarge person). Kara casts a spell to blunt the draugr's claws (blunted blades). The small mage draws a dagger which is also blunted and glares at it, squawking “What the blazes?! What in the nine hells is going on?!” Two draugr climb into his life boat. Almarden drains magic from light wand and casts a spell of ethereal cerulean flame which damages the very essence of the draugr and banishes their life sparks back into the River of Souls while their undead forms disintegrate. Only six are left, two of whom did not have their claws blunted.

    The strongest undead climbs into the boat facing the little mage. Jhandra grants Caran flight and urges, "Go, save him!" Caran flies forth and slashes the boat's intruder across the face. [Crit slash “Lip cut” double damage and 1 bleed and 20% fail on spellcasting.] Pidjit plays and moves closer while Wikkle scores another hit with an explosive acid arrow. Kara casts weapon of awe on the minotaur's huge halberd. Krusk overruns one draugr and gores the next, destroying the second. The mysterious mage scrambles back five feet. Almarden casts empowered magic missile and hits three of them with blue spheres. Jhandra shoots her sling and beans one. Caran stabs Redeemer into the ground and sends spectral wolves scattering outward (channel positive energy), slaying two draugr and startling himself as much as anyone. "What the hell was that?!” the others hear him exclaim. Pidjit advances and plays close behind Kara.

    Krusk steps nimbly and drives his halberd through the last draugr's head, killing it. [Crit Slash “Ugly Wound“ 1d3 Cha damage and 1 Cha drain (Fort negates drain).] Kara walks up to the mage to assess him for wounds but can’t see past his robes. Their quarry stumbles back and his hood slips to reveal a reptilian kobold.

    Master Yap: “I say, unhand me lady!”

    Kara: “I am only trying to help.”

    Master Yap: “I need no help!”

    Almarden: “Oh my stars, a kobold.”

    Yap: “Oh my stars, a human.”

    Kara introduces herself and Almarden.

    Yap: “I assume you got my note.”

    Pidjit: “How long have you been here?”

    Yap: “Hours.”

    Pidjit: “What happened to the rest of the people on your ship?”

    Yap: “They transformed into something ghastly.”

    Caran: “Why?”

    Yap: “I assume this place is cursed.”

    Pidjit: "Let's get back to our ship before it happens to our people."

    Kara: "Maybe we could eliminate the curse that’s causing this?”

    Almarden: “Don’t let curing Hurim go to your head. You may be too optimistic.”

    Yap: “My name is Master Hieronymous Yap. I was on my way to Nordmar.” He can tell by Almarden's expression that his name is familiar.

    Kara: “Us too.”

    Yap: “May I go with you?”

    Caran: “Your note mentioned a big reward.”

    Yap: “Ah, yes, that reward. I lost most of it when we hit the island but I do have something.”

    Caran: “How much is he worth to the Order?”

    Almarden: “Technically priceless, he’s the only kobold.”

    Yap gives Kara a pouch of gems.

    Jhandra: "What draws you to Nordmar, sir?"

    Yap: “Tower business. Private.”

    Jhandra: "Have you ever met a dragon?"

    Yap: “Every morning, in the mirror! Now, I’m afraid your ship will be stuck fast like mine, and that won't be easy to undo."

    Pidjit: "Any idea what’s causing this curse?"

    “Yap: Afraid not.”

    Caran: "Perhaps your magic went awry?"

    Yap: "I never! What are you implying?"

    Almarden: "Let’s head back to the ship."

    Yap notices their boats are adjacent and asks if they recovered the Captain’s steel, perhaps including his passage fee of 100 steel, adding drily, “I’m not satisfied with his service!” Kara returns to him 100 steel before they return to their own boat and check on the crew, who are all still fine and still human. Almarden uses arcane sight to examine the ship and the isle. The whole kelp island radiates strong necromancy and is obviously desecrated. The aura becomes denser further inland. The party decides they must break the curse because the kelp will probably keep generating and more ships could be grounded in the meantime.

    Yap offers to accompany Almarden, his "brother in the magical arts" to resolve the mystery, eager to address the necromancy which is his “speciality.” Yap speculates that the effect may be centered on an idol or two. Yap sees his formerly dulled blade is suddenly sharp and murmurs, “Of all the damndest thing you’ve ever seen!” Kara apologizes for catching him in her spell, of necessity, and Yap seems impressed. Caran tries to convince Yap to stay behind but he refuses and Kara proposes Yap might prove an asset. Caran whispers to Krusk "I don't trust a necromancer on an island lousy with the stuff." Takhisis whispers into Almarden's ear “I LIKE this one!” and he gives her a dismissive snort, refusing to engage. Almarden uses the destroyed boat pieces to fuel a secure shelter spell from his staff.

    With that precaution in place, the party takes off for the center of the mired island. They find a hedge of kelp twenty feet high, too tall to see over and it reeks of blood. There’s a mound of green black vegetation and fog boils away from it, the air thick with despair and desolation. Caran picks up Master Yap and lifts him up to climb the kelp, then tosses him. Yap grabs hold and climbs the rest of the way up the hedge and looks down. From his vantage point he sees four massive mounds of shambling seaweed. Pidjit identifies them as shambling mounds, which are resistant to fire like the draugr.

    Pidjit sings a rousing tune. Wikkle shoots an acid bomb arrow at the second mound in line (Shambler #2). Caran charges Wikkle’s target with Redeemer and performs aggressive pruning. Shambler #2 grapples Caran. Shambler #1 shuffles up and lunges at Wikkle. Shambler #4 grapples Almarden in its crushing grip. Shambler #3 swipes over Krusk's head. Almarden frees himself. Krusk moves up and is struck but not grabbed. [Caran and Wikkle make Con checks at the end of the grappled round to avoid choking.] Kara casts insight of Yarus (attacks, AC, saves, and Skills). Yap casts a spectral hand to deliver his spells. Jhandra taps Almarden and infuses his limbs with Chislev's un-containable wild energy (freedom of movement), assuring him, "Naught shall restrain you again!" Pidjit tries to free Wikkle in vain, then uses the silver and cold iron dagger to try to sunder the tendril grabbing her, and succeeds. Caran is constricted but not choked.

    Pidjit whips Shambler #1. Shambler #3 flails at Krusk but can't get past his armor. Shambler #4 swats Almarden. Almarden casts defensively, shooting radiant forks of electricity (Dalomar’s lightning lance) [Hero Point reroll 1] to which the Shambling Mound proves immune...and worse, the plant beast seems invigorated (bump to Constitution score). Krusk swings with his halberd twice with devastating force. Kara moves and gets hit and nearly grappled. Yap casts chill touch into the skeletal hand infused by life force, which it delivers to a shambler. Jhandra shoots Almarden's adversary with her last searing light.

    Pidjit whips Shambler #1 again and Wikkle lobs another acid bomb. Caran slays the foe that grappled him and it melds back into the island. The acid scorched shambler turns away from two gnomes and wails on Caran. Krusk’s foe fails to land any of its strikes. Shambler #4 attacks Almarden, trying to knock him out of the way, but misses. Almarden casts river’s ravages on #4 and it withers a bit. Krusk slays his foe and moves near Almarden, getting grappled in the process. Kara channels to heal her allies. Yap attacks with chill touch again. Jhandra channels Chislev's mercy.

    Pidjit hits thrice with his Hellfire Lash. Wikkle spackles a mound with an acid bomb. Caran approaches and for his trouble gets whacked and ensnared, but undaunted he weedwhacks with Redeemer. Caran and Krusk are constricted. Almarden draws the glorious Shard of Light, slides up and activates a unique emblem of power: a blood reservoir of physical prowess which boosts his might. With a giant's brawn he hacks into the Shambler and sends it sinking, lifeless, back into the ground from whence it came. [Crit slash “Carve Your Initials” normal damage and target humiliated and only attacks you unless makes Will save but it fails]. Yap's next grap with the spectral hand misses. Jhandra prods the final shambler with her spear. Pidjit whips the last foe thrice and Wikkle chucks her last acid bomb into its center.

    Caran, although still grappled, drives Redeemer through the closest appendage the shambling mound has to a head, destroying it. [Crit “Concussion” normal damage d2 Int and Wis.] With this latest threat vanquished the party has only to surmount the hedge and identify the source of the evil desecration that has corrupted the vegetation and doomed the unfortunate souls whose ships were marooned.

    Assuming that same corruption does not steal over them first...
    "Fall into my pit trap, shame on you. Fill my pit trap with bloodthirsty sharp-toothed goblins with abyssal templates, shame on me." ---SuperBall

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