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

  1. #11
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    Default Session 20 Loot Notes

    From the Lily Knight:
    +1 Breastplate
    +1 Greatsword of Frost

    From the Thorn Knight:
    +1 Keen Rapier
    +2 Chain Shirt [Pidjit keeps]
    +2 Ring of Protection [Caran keeps]

    From the Skull Knight:
    +1 Unholy Heavy Mace
    +1 Breastplate [Caran keeps]
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  2. #12
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    Default Spectre of Sorrows - Session 20 - The Corrupted Tear

    /\ Session 21! Oops!

    Hey everybody! I know that it's been awhile since the last update and things have gotten pretty irregular, mostly due to our work and personal schedules. We've also taken a hiatus for the fall holidays yesterday and next Wednesday, but that means I'll have time to catch up on the notes! What follows is perhaps my favorite session in the campaign thus far, but I'll let you read that for yourselves. Speaking of reading, I need to take a minute to say thanks to UngainlyDodge here on the forums for writing out or awesome campaign journal entries for us. Even when this time of year leaves her slammed, they are better late than never, and ALWAYS appreciated. Couldn't do it without her. Thanks! Let's get into the notes with the cast of characters, as always:

    Caran Hith LN Male Qualinesti Paladin 8.
    Accepted into the arms of Chislev, the grieving slayer has a new path. What mysterious spirit inhabits Redeemer? Played by Mark.

    Jhandra Magfen NG Female Qualinesti Cleric of Chislev 8.
    A servant of the Wild Mother. Can this daughter of Chislev, and the offspring of two Elven Nations, save her people? Played by Michelle.


    Almarden Soth NG Male Ergothian Wizard 5/White Robe 3.
    A member of the White Robed Order of High Sorcery, and wielder of the Shard of Light. Whispered about in the Tower of Wayreth, what part will he play in the troubles fast approaching Krynn? Played by Ernest.


    Krusk LN Male Kazelati Minotaur Fighter 6/Rogue 2.
    A mighty minotaur mercenary, Krusk has recently begun courting the assassins of Khur. Will their skills make him deadly enough to protect his friends? Played by Rob.

    Kara NG Female Irda Oracle 8.
    Blessed and cursed by something close to Mishakel (?), Kara bears her Tear on a quest to save the Elves of Ansalon. Played by Becca.


    Pidjit LG Male Tinker Gnome Bard 8.
    The chosen protector and student of the mysterious music box, the little Gnome may learn more than the meaning of music. Played by Sam.

    Notable NPCs

    Wikkle
    LG Female Gnome Alchemist ?/Tinker ? (information to follow)
    Pidjit's "Research Assistant", assigned by the Gnomes of Mt. Nevermind, has a two-fold purpose. Here to evaluate the possibility of Pidjit's Madness, where will her loyalties lie when the time comes to decide? Sam's Leadership Cohort.

    Session 21

    In Darkhaven

    The intimidated Dark Knight soldier uses his key to open the door to the room supposedly containing the Tear of Mishakal. Caran curtly dismisses him and he flees.

    Superball, here. I need to interrupt here. What the other Heroes weren't paying attention to in game at the time, was Krusk gently agreeing to let the Dark Knight trooper live, in exchange for information. He gave the Dark Knight trooper his life back, on the understanding that he would pass on any scraps of information that he discovered about the Dark Knights to the Thieves' Guild in Flotsam. He agreed, and scrambled away, quite lucky to be alive. Rob is setting up Krusk to be at the head of an information network that tracks down people who've committed war crimes. This is also the in game reason that he's working toward the Assassin PrC, so that he can kill those people pretty effectively. Pretty interesting way to take a character, if you ask me. Back to the good stuff. -SB.

    Inside is a dim hall (Check. -SB) with several black marble pillars (Check. Check. -SB) and a faint sickly green glow (The color of EVIIIILLLL. -SB) emanating from around the corner (Having completely painted the picture of a place strong with the Dark Side of the Force, we continue. -SB). After Jhandra places a light spell on his halberd, Krusk checks the area for traps but finds none. The whole party enters to find the chamber reeks of death and decay (I knew I forgot something. There it is! It is NOW a den of evil. Moving on... -SB). They move around the corner into a small room lit by four coal braziers in the corners (At this point, a short conversation on demons sparks up. I briefly consider using a different stat block. -SB). The red firelight spills over an evil-looking altar along the back wall (Now I'm just being hammy. -SB). On a wrought iron stand in front of the altar is a gem that is shaped exactly like the Tear but is glowing with malevolent green light (It's just like the Tear, but with an eye patch and a goatee. -SB). Almarden’s arcane sight reveals a necromancy aura of corruption and evil. Briefly the party discusses what this might mean and comes to the conclusion the Tear must be rescued and purified (Horay! -SB). Caran places a sack over his hand and goes to scoop up the Evil Tear.


    Before he can grasp the Tear (Naturally... -SB), there is an outpouring of some kind of inky black shadow tentacle. The mass stretches and twists into the humanoid shape of a looming Greater Shadow with demonic red eyes. The monster swipes a claw into Caran’s face and its touch saps his strength [-7 Strength] (Can I just say, no save on a Paladin feels like young love. -SB). Pidjit sings a rousing march and boldly moves closer (Yeah...okay. -SB). The Greater Shadow shows uncanny speed, clawing Caran again and further weakening him [-4 more Strength, 11 lost] (It was at this point they realized that having two initiative counts was something that they hadn't expected. Mythic Simple Templates: When your party is just that good. -SB) Caran swings back with his luminous holy sword Redeemer to smite the wicked abomination and dissipates some of the Shadow’s body. [Critical “Armor Damage” double damage and normal damage to armor.] Caran’s second strike obliterates even more of its form (Smite sucks for me in this campaign, where there are a lot of evil things. -SB). Kara prays for aid from Mishakal to bestow divine insight on her allies (Insight of Yarus: don't leave home without it. -SB). Jhandra summons shimmering healing energy in her palm and jabs the undead Shadow (cure critical). Almarden summons a sun-like radiance (daylight) from the legendary Shard of Light, preventing the Shadow from concealing itself in the flickering firelight. Pidjit keeps singing and whips the beast twice with the Hellfire Lash. Krusk wraps his burly arms around Caran and hauls the elf out of the Shadow’s reach behind him. The minotaur suffers the Shadow’s strength-draining touch for his efforts (-10 Strength), and the Shadow immediately rakes at him again, further sapping his might. [-4 more Strength, total 14 lost.] Kara bolsters Krusk’s flagging muscles with a prayer (bull’s strength). Jhandra conjures the wrath of Chislev to smite the evildoer (Hero Point to recall holy smite spell) in a flashflood of pure energy and incidentally catches her two mercenary companions in the radius. Caran stubbornly advances and swings Redeemer, haphazardly at first but then delivering a solid blow with help from Pidjit’s song (gallant inspiration). Almarden (Hero Point to take multiple standard actions) swings twice with the Shard of Light with its blade converted into pure radiance (brilliant energy) and succeeds in dispersing the shadow. [Critical “Terrible Gash” double damage plus 1 Cha drain.] The Greater Shadow dwindles into a funnel cloud and flies back inside the haven of the tainted green Tear. Kara and Jhandra cast restorative spells on Krusk (lesser restoration) and then Kara harnesses the power of the pure Tear to completely replenish Caran (Restoration) and further repair Krusk (lesser res). Jhandra channels Chislev’s power to heal the mercenaries wounded by her smiting spell and apologizes, praising their bravery in the face of a monster that nearly slew them both and would have converted them into weaker shadows under its control. “My favorite part of that battle was when you tried to drag me away and it hit you,” Caran tells Krusk, who quips back “I did it for riveting conversation like that.” In a lower tone the elf thanks his mercenary pal for saving his behind (Daww! -SB).

    Superball, here. WOW! All that I want for Christmas this year is an Advanced Greater Shadow with the Agile Mythic template. Yikes! I had them on the ropes in a huge way, here. Had Krusk not gotten Caren out of the way, the Paladin would have risen next turn and assisted in the TPK of everyone else. Having won through to the other side, the encounter had the impact of taking the Tear out of commission for several days while it recharges, and things would seriously have sucked if they had to fight their way out for any reason. Still, any encounter where I can present a reasonable challenge to these guys is a win for me. "But Superball!" You say, having read the above account, "That was super-mean!" For which, my only reply: You aren't there. You don't see how massively BA this group is as a group. Running the campaign as written for these guys would be like D&D Nursery School. I'm just trying to stay relevant. Back to the good stuff. -SB.

    Jhandra praises and thanks Almarden for ridding them of the Shadow in the nick of time (I'm calling the Shard of Light the 'Encounter Ender' in my head. -SB) and she and Kara discuss with him whether the fiend might escape the Tainted Tear again. Almarden theorizes the Shadow could have been called, and/or trapped inside as part of the Skull Knights’ rituals, in which case it would almost certainly return (The hand-rubbing ensues. -SB). Almarden tries to detect a curse or soultrap spell on the Tear with his arcane sight, his eyes glowing blue. He muses, “It could even be some kind of demi-lich phylactery.” Kara asks if a lich could change his phylactery’s form, thinking of the traitorous Caeldor, and Almarden says it would be an almost impossible feat. Almarden pronounces the curse on the Tainted Tear is divine and not arcane, and might be able to be purified again with a special rite, not unlike Hurim, though it will require research. Kara speculates Takhisis is behind the corruption of the Tear, somehow having orchestrated a return after her death (Eyebrows. Eyebrows all the way up. -SB), but Almarden thinks Chemosh more likely. Krusk takes the drug vials out of the lockbox and uses that lockbox to store the corrupted Tear. The party debates whether to take the corrupted Tear to the Phaethon or the Tower of Wayreth and choose the Phaethon’s aerie as their first stop. The party hustles out of Darkhaven and back through tunnel and out of the crack in the earth. They are met by a few Phaethon who escort them back to the hidden vale of their aerie.

    In the Aerie of the Phaethon

    Talinthas asks, “Did you get the Tear? I want to lay eyes on the complete set.” Almarden warns him not to touch the Tear and explains what happened to it. After everyone readies a spell or sword strike in case of attack (Love my job. Love it. -SB), Krusk opens the lockbox. The green light within the artifact pulses like a heartbeat (Because WHY NOT?! -SB). Talinthas studies it and seems drawn in. Kara places a cautionary hand on his shoulder and he comes back with a start. “Put it away!” (My PRECIOUS! -SB) the elder cries, disturbed. “Bring my oracle!” A really young Phaethon dressed in similar robes to his hands Talinthas a box. The elder sits and tosses out semiprecious gems, bird bones, and stone chips (China is here, Mr. Burton. -SB) to see how they fall for divination, then pours over them with concern.

    At last Talinthas prophesies, “You are caught in a web of deception and betrayal. Mortal and spirit try to guide you, but your own choices will determine your path. You must bring forth the song.” Pidjit obligingly brings forth the enchanted music box and opens it and Talinthas is suitably impressed. Still he shakes his head and says, “The key is not the music box, but the melody. Used at the proper location, it will open a portal to the burial place of the dragons of light. You must travel to Nordmaar to seek out the entrance to the Dragons' Graveyard. Use the key to unlock your destiny. Several forces are moving against you and each other. One but a pawn who will find the strength to break free. One marked forever by betrayal (“Caeldor?” they speculate) who is a great enemy and a great ally. One who cares not what you do but shall use you as an instrument of vengeance if need be. (“Takhisis?” they wonder.) One shall have something which is not his own torn from him. And one who seeks protection and is willing to destroy the world in order to secure it. In working against each other they may aid you, if you accept your destiny and the price of fulfilling it. The Tear’s twin will be needed in the dragons’ graveyard and may help you heal the world. Lastly, be warned that the Lord of Bones himself corrupted the Tear (i.e. Chemosh).”

    Almarden repeats that he is never doing anything for Takhisis if she is the one who wants to use them as her instrument (We'll see about that. -SB). In his ear he alone perceives her familiar taunting voice whispering, “That’s a shame!” Caran asks how the Tear may be purified and Talinthas recommends they seek the knowledge of how to cure it in the town of Floatsam on the coast of the Desolation in the mansion of the undying hobgoblin. Pidjit recognizes the nickname of the hobgoblin Lord Toede or Fewmaster Toede, once a minor officer in the red dragon army and rumored to have been rejected and spat out by Hell itself. Toede’s huge, renowned library specializes in restoration and resurrection magic (Bardic Knowledge, or as I like to call it, "What hidden plot?" -SB).

    The party rests overnight and the next day Kara successfully trades with the Phaethon 1000 steel worth of obsidian for 1000 steel worth of diamonds. Kara is thus able to cast Restoration to cure Pidjit of the permanent effects of the wight’s corrupting touch. (*Now only Jhandra still has a negative level.) Almarden feels his power restored to normal as the lunar calendar progresses (i.e. he gets 9 days of “regular sanction” at his normal caster level). The Phaethon give the party a lift to the edge of the foothills. From there the party hikes to Floatsam.

    In Floatsam

    At edge of the Blood Sea is the Blood Bay, and the town of Floatsam, where the walls and buildings in a zany mix of architectural styles appear battered and covered in snow. Floatsam was once a fishing village but is now a town of survivors and scallywags that endured many occupations including those of the dragons and minotaur pirates. Hills and bluffs surround the horseshoe-shaped town, as do fallow fields and mushfens the farmers struggle to reclaim.

    Floatsam contains a thriving marketplace and Pidjit strikes up a conversation there with a gnome. He learns to his delight (and Almarden’s dismay) that a community of almost 400 gnomes led by Foreman Manifew has sprung up in a quarry outside town (This was a great couple of minutes. -SB). Lore Toede is said to welcome the tinkers and the wonderful instruments and clocks they provide him, plus they were instrumental in fending off the minotaur pirates. Pidjit tries to soothe Almarden by saying, “You’ll love it, you’ll fit right in. You’re very smart for your height.” (Spit take. Sam for the win. -SB) “Damn gnomes, “Almarden mutters, “now we’re stuck with a whole town of disbelievers! Like a tiny Mt. Nevermind on the edge of true civilization.” The friendly gnome further reveals to Pidjit that Lord Toede misses his old companion, the amphidragon Hopsloth (i.e. frog-dragon) and receives shipments on a weekly basis, usually books and scrolls probably on the topics of rejuvenation, necromancy and healing. Lately Lord Toede has been trading with the Dargonesti elves through an official arrangement and they brought him some sort of eggs, possibly amphidragon eggs. There are also rumors of hunchbacked humanoids breaking into townsfolks’ basements but none have been captured nor ever seen in daylight. Lastly there is a persistent rumor of a monstrous whale named Malmanas whom sailors have spotted along the coast. Pidjit asks for more information on the Dargonesti and learns that Zeboim the queen of sea and daughter of Takhisis is their new patron deity. She is an evil, tempestuous, and destructive goddess of the weather and waves. Zeboim is said to be “salty” over Habbakuk, god of animals, having the dominion over sea animals which she craves to solidify her control over the ocean (If you have a Bard in your party, you might as well get used to running the entire 'rumors' chart. -SB).

    When Krusk moves about town he gets some stares, but not glares for being a minotaur and he walks next to Pidjit for good measure. The Irda chooses her Kagonesti form as her disguise. Around town the party is surprised to see no guards, no one in any kind of livery or iconography, perhaps indicating there is no town watch (Hmmmm... -SB). Soon enough they are intercepted by some sort of plain clothed unit of keepers of the peace (Like the Flotsam version of the secret Disney-police. -SB), consisting of a half-elf and two humans and two gnomes with their hands lazily resting on the hilts of their weapons. “Hello, strangers, what’s your business in Floatsam?” the half-elf Silver Fox inquires. Caran replies, “I’m looking for a blacksmith” (and is in fact wishing to remove Dark Knight iconography from his new armor). “You’ll find them on Smith's Way, but stay out of trouble. You are under the eye of the Floatsam thieves’ guild,” the half-elf cautions. “We’re not looking for trouble,” Caran assures him (In Mother Ansalon, trouble look for you! -SB).

    The group walks on, but Krusk tries thieves’ cant to communicate a secret high sign to the half-elf. Silver Fox whispers, “We hope you won’t practice your craft here” and Krusk insists he only wants to chat. The emissaries of the local thieves’ guild escort Krusk away after he promises to contact the party at their inn later.The guild members take Krusk to the Brown Pelican Inn past the bar and through a series of secret doors and passages requiring code signals and hidden levers and finally into a room with a table and chairs and maps. Krusk speaks first.

    Krusk: “I would like to set up an information drop to communicate with a contact of mine who should coming along in a few weeks.

    Silver Fox the Half-elf: “That could be arranged. We are not a thieves’ guild in the traditional sense. We are honorable men and women for hire, an unofficial constabulary and escort service, able to quickly mobilize and protect the people. We even make sure the taxes are safely collected and delivered for Lord Toede. We are the Vigilance Force.”

    Krusk: “Do you know if any of the Brass Tigers are in this area?”

    Silver Fox: “No, they are in Kern for the hiring season. Were you one of them?”

    Krusk: “Yes, until I took up with my current assignment.”

    Silver Fox: “Detached duty, we understand that. We expect wars will start again once winter is over, as it always does, and there will be plenty of work then.”

    Krusk: “I should warn you, my contact is with the Dark Knights.”

    Silver Fox: “Intriguing news! It could benefit the Legion of Steel if a Dark Knight in good standing cooperated with us.”

    Krusk: “I will set up a money drop here, too to keep this contact in good faith.”

    Silver Fox: “If you give permission for the Legion to use his information too, we will pay this contact of yours.”

    Krusk: “I can’t promise his intelligence will be useful, but any information from their Tower is better than none.”

    Silver Fox: “We look forward to the day you join the struggle. You have the heart of a Legionnaire.”

    Krusk: “Thanks, but I have the purse of a mercenary.” (Rim-shot. -SB) He provides a description so the Dark Knight contact can be flagged down. “Is there anyone here in Floatsam willing to be part of my information chain? I come from Khuri-khan and Pashin, Ak-Khurman and Port Balifor.” (In his recount Krusk leaves out the elves of Pashin, Hurim, and the Phaethon and Tears.) “Most recently I come from Darkhaven.”

    Silver Fox: “What really brings you to Floatsam?”

    Krusk: “My associates seek knowledge and I wish them success. I am here for their protection. They want to repair a cursed artifact.”

    Silver Fox: “You will need Lord Toede’s library for that. Make an appointment, or you won’t be admitted to the manor on the bluff known as the Rock where he abides. I will notify the staff at the town administration hall to expect you.”

    The party pays for two rooms at the Brown Pelican. Jhandra retires to a room and casts sending to relay an instant message directly to Speaker of the Sun and Stars Gilthas Pathfinder. “We found two Tears of Mishakal to cure the sunblight that imprisons Pashin’s elves underground. But we must purify one corrupted Tear. Update soon.” Gilthas sends back: “Congratulations. Our hopes go with you We have waited for word every day. Do what you must.” Then she brews a potion of lesser restoration and meditates. Almarden goes to the market along with Pijdit and Kara. While the wizard buys scrolls Pidjit spends time with the local tinker gnomes and helps Kara haggle in the market. Kara asks a gnome whether there has been news about the villages on the peninsula of Kern, which is near Floatsam, especially regarding attacks from pirates or other aggressors. (Secretly she is trying to suss out whether there has been trouble or violence near the secret Irda village hidden on an island.) “There’s been no word of raiders,” the gnome reassures her.

    Back at the Brown Pelican an outgoing female gnome called Wikkle with a horn cup in her hand sits at the bar in the Brown Pelican and immediately greets Pidjit when he returns. She is short with white hair like his, and fresh out of college. She wears a bandolier of tools with odds and ends of indeterminate purpose, and a messenger bag that clinks with glass. The two gnomes launch into their formal long names and talk for hours (What else do you expect? -SB).

    Almarden and Caran and Krusk go to the administration office building to make an official appointment with Lord Toede (At least, they hope. -SB). After they ascend the long staircase they are greeted by a teen page wearing the city’s colors. The page recognizes Krusk and says, “You were spoken of. If you wish an appointment, come right this way!” He leads them into a bustling office amid a flurry of opening and closing doors and foot traffic illuminated by many lanterns and all the way to a particular cubicle with a tall medieval writing stand. The young human girl at the desk tears through piles of pages and spills inkwells in her hurry to process the mound of paperwork. Almarden uses the prestidigitation and mage hand cantrips to clean up around her desk and she scolds him for touching her things. Her nameplate reads “Subordinate Tahl” and her speech is very harried.

    Subordinate Tahl: “May I help you, uh, gents?”

    Krusk: “We seek an audience with Lord Toede. I was referred here by...” He lowers his voice to a whisper, “Silver Fox.” [Diplomacy 2.]

    Subordinate Tahl: “I don’t have time for this! Go see Subordinate Hedge. You, page, escort them!”

    The Heroes are led all the way across the busy hall to a cubicle on the extreme other end.

    Subordinate Hedge (well groomed and unctuous and taken aback by Krusk’s massive size) : “Can I help…YOU?”

    Krusk: “I am looking to make an appointment with Lord Toede.” [Diplomacy 2.]

    Subordinate Hedge: “I don’t have his schedule…Page, take them to the desk of---!”

    Almarden (interrupts) : “Enough shuffling around! Could you please tell Lord Toede a representative of the Tower of Wayreth would like to see him about an information exchange! My name is Almarden Soth.” [Diplomacy 26.]

    Subordinate Hedge: “I can write you a request…that’s a Form Echo-27, and that’ll be a 30 steel processing fee, thank you!” He scribbles on a scroll speaking aloud as he does so, “Master wizard Almarden Soth requests an audience…” He gives the page the wax sealed form. “Take this fine gentleman and his companions to see Underclerk Malcolm, go!”

    Underclerk Malcolm (has his own office, and a stern face with thick eyebrows and impatient tone. "Sam the Eagle". -SB) : “Yes?” he demands and reads the scroll. “You wish an appointment with Lord Toede. I suppose…”

    Almarden: “I am a wizard from the Tower of Wayreth and our business with Lord Toede will be mutually beneficial.” [Diplomacy 26.]

    Underclerk Malcolm: “We’ll have to clear it through a subcommittee…Page, come here! There is also a 50 steel processing fee. The wheels of civilization must turn, after all.” Having been paid, he copies a form.

    Caran (muttering) : “I think we found the thieves’ guild.” (Solid Gold. -SB)

    Underclerk Malcolm (to female page) : “Take this form and these gentlemen to Clerk Samson.”

    Clerk Samson (who has a finer, bigger desk and office and appears old and grey, bushy eyebrows and hair and an annoyed tone) “Who do you think you are, barging in on a busy man’s honest day's work?” He reads the latest scroll.

    Caran: “Behold, it is I. The Bearer of the processing fee.” (They are actually being ground down by the faux-bureaucracy. I'm winning. -SB)

    Almarden: “It is urgent we speak to Lord Toede.” [Diplomacy 23.]

    Clerk Samson: “Well I guess just anyone can ask to see Lord Toede! As if we didn’t have dragons falling from the sky and other important things to attend to."

    Caran [Diplomacy 11 to assist Almarden, new total 25.] “We represent someone who makes excellent mechanisms and we understand Toede is interested in those?”

    Clerk Samson: “I’ll notify the subcommittee, but first Senior Clerk Lucia must sign off on it. But it’s closing time, so you’ll have to come back tomorrow.”

    Caran: “No.” (At this point, I'm concerned that my group is going to become a very "Basic" D&D party. -SB)

    Clerk Samson: “Too damned bad, as they say in the provinces. Some of us want to sleep, it is 10 p.m already. Now get out, or I’ll have you arrested.”

    Almarden: “We come to you as the saviors of the desolate lands like Hurim and Port Balifor, politely seeking an appointment that will benefit both your Lord and our cause. Why do you feel threatened?”

    Clerk Samson: “You will be accommodated tomorrow! Also I require a 100 steel processing fee.” (You know, because I can. -SB)

    Almarden pays him. Samson locks the payment up and fills out paperwork and hands a new scroll to the wizard.

    Clerk Samson: “In the morning be here at sunrise and take this form to a page at the door and you’ll be taken to Senior Clerk Lucia’s office.” He gets up and leaves. “If you harass me further, I’ll summon the Vigilance Force. If you’re annoyed with the fees now, just wait till THEY arrive!”

    The trio leaves the labyrinthine administration offices and trudges back to the Brown Pelican. Pidjit and Wikkle are still chatting away, and the bard introduces his new assistant to the returning party. Almarden is curt, having dealt with bureaucrats all day and in no mood to socialize (YES! -SB). Pidjit takes a hint from the death glares of Caran and Krusk and says “Another time, perhaps!” Jhandra joins the gnomes at the bar along with Kara and listens with interest. During a rare pause Jhandra asks Wikkle how she feels about heights, thinking that keeping her flying the next time there’s a skirmish might be the best way to keep her safe. Wikkle rambles about views from Mt. Nevermind but otherwise not having much experience and begins talking so rapidly it is incomprehensible to anyone but Pidjit. Caran invites Kara to tomorrow’s meeting with Senior Clerk Lucia. Then he and Krusk get drinks.

    At breakfast the next day a red-robed mage appears in a bright flash of light. The half-elf with a trim beard and pointed ears introduces himself as Garn Half-Elven and bows to the Ergothian, asking “Almarden Soth I presume?” Almarden responds, “Welcome, Garn!” “We received your sending, and I came to escort you to Coryn the White.” Almarden fills Kara in on the red tape she can expect at the administration offices and says he’ll be back soon. Garn teleports himself and Almarden away. [What transpired at Wayreth will be included in later notes.] Wikkle is introduced and her speech makes it apparent she is a great admirer of Pidjit, impressed with his skill and tales of adventures. The gnomes have laid out their equipment for each other and he explains how the Hellfire Lash whip exceeds the sound barrier and other scientific marvels (Speed quality. I love DL Gnomes. -SB) until Caran says it’s time to go to the administration building. Jhandra stays behind to brew potions while Pidjit and Wikkle accompany Kara and Krusk and Caran to their appointment. (Caran privately warns Krusk, “We can’t let them go alone. They’d probably end up agreeing to some ridiculous quest for Lord Toede to save the unicorns or something equally idiotic.”) (Here's hoping. -SB)

    At the administration hall with its maze of bureaucracy the adventurers are taken to Lucia’s office, which is beautifully decorated like a home with a couch she can sleep on. She reads the scroll. “I see…a petition for a meeting with Lord Toede. I could be convinced to pass the motion, for the right price.” Kara eloquently presents their case. [Diplomacy 25]. “For the small sum of a 150 steel processing fee, I will cast a deciding vote in the subcommittee to grant you an audience.” Caran pays her but demands, “Do you get a commission doing this?” “No, sir, we are public servants! Why would you think that?” Lucia protests. She opens a big book and says “Lord Toede has an opening two days hence! Arrive at the gates of the Rock...and you should show up after lunch if you want to find him in the best humor.” She gives them a final wax-sealed scroll.

    The party returns triumphantly from the bureaucratic ordeal to the Brown Pelican with an official appointment scroll in hand. Krusk piles steel on the bar and tells the bartender, “Serve us all the alcohol we can afford. Or we’ll drink till we can’t see. Whichever comes first.”

    And that's where we left it! What will their meeting with Lord Toede entail? Will they ever recover from the Legislative branch of Flotsam? Tune in for the answer to these questions and many more! Same Lance-time! Same Lance-channel!
    Last edited by SuperBall; 11-17-2016 at 01:56 PM.
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  3. #13
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    Wow! My favorite session too! Just when I was about to say that Krusk is officially my favorite character in this party (his scene with the Vigilance Force was awesome) and then Caran brings the funny. I genuinely laughed out loud twice reading this. Nice job!

    And hey! Garn!

    I'm eagerly awaiting the next installment! Keep up the awesome work!
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  4. #14
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    Default

    Thanks, Dave! I've got last week's notes in the pipe, and we aren't playing next week, so I was just saving them for later. I'll probably get them posted up on Saturday if there's time. I rolled random personalities for everyone in the Maze of Bureaucrats, and I forgot to keep track of the time. Oh well, I remembered at the end. Hopefully the Audience with Lord Toede goes over just as well.
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  5. #15
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    Default

    Jumping right in, the Greater Shadow fight was the toughest yet, easily TPK material. A perfect storm of circumstances that made it tougher than usual---party's spells were exhausted and hero points had to be spent, monster had touch attacks (and effectively multiple attacks with two initiative counts), no saving throws allowed, monster had a whopping 50% damage reduction, monster directly attacked the Strength stat instead of HP that could be healed as fast as it was dealt, and the normal rules about stat damage did not apply---0 Strength would mean not paralysis, but death and coming back as a shadow that would also touch attack and Strength drain the (not so high-strength) party.

    On the bright side the Greater Shadow fight forced everyone in the party to go as hard on the offensive as they possibly could instead of relying on familiar support roles, and the ending with the Shard of Light's brilliant energy strikes was suitably epic.

    On the downside...well it's not that there was a downside precisely. Just (if you were me) an uncomfortable sweating bullets sensation because both fighters that protect everyone else almost died, and not being able to cure them rapidly enough gave rise to a feeling of helplessness against impending doom. And there was more than the usual amount of rules debating and looking up rules because players were feeling desperate and needing every possible advantage or experimental trick. What a great group to think outside the box the way they do, though, like Krusk thrusting Caran behind him. And it isn't like the other players have a particular fear of their characters dying, just that I get nervous about their characters dying...stupid cleric PTSD. What didn't occur to me then is that the Shadow MAY have been bound to that specific chamber (as shadows sometimes are in modules I've seen) and we might have defeated it by stepping outside and casting lots of lesser res. We'll never know.

    So in conclusion, once in a great while a fight like that, so cunningly built and executed, is exciting...but too often, and the campaign would become a meat grinder and my nerves might not be able to handle it. Kudos on a super challenging fight that went as planned, SB.

    It was generous of you to let the Phaethon help the party with their diamond dust problem so Pidjit could heal his negative level. Hopefully Jhandra can take care of hers soon, but honestly I forgot while were in Floatsam.

    I, too, really admire what Rob's doing with Krusk, very unique.

    And I'm excited for Wikkle the the rogue and I appreciated all the enthusiasm you put into her describing the way she approached and admired Pidjit (and Sam's efforts to flesh her out as well, since he actually voices her). Thanks for being a good sport about the Leadership feat and (so far) not targeting the far weaker Wikkle (but that's getting into next session).

    Then the maze of bureaucracy was hilarious and each personality was so well described and given such a distinct voice and manner, I loved it. Thanks for all the effort you put in, it really paid off. And of course my character wasn't around to react and flounder with the diplomacy checks so it was a fun spectator sport in that regard.

    All in all another great and memorable session, thanks SB!
    Last edited by UngainlyDodge; 11-18-2016 at 11:28 PM.
    "Fall into my pit trap, shame on you. Fill my pit trap with bloodthirsty sharp-toothed goblins with abyssal templates, shame on me." ---SuperBall

  6. #16
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    I love the Maze! Fun times and less murdery stuff for a different game experience! And yay Garn. I miss him.
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  7. #17
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    Default Session 21 Loot Notes

    Session 21 Loot Notes

    From Treant's Stash:
    Bolt of Fancy Silk
    Electrum Flask Set with deep green spinel gem
    Pendant with Peridot
    Tapestry (large, rolled up)
    2 Rare Books - History of Lands [Almarden keeps]
    Sable Cloak
    Leather bag with crystal dice
    silver choker
    Scroll of Pass Without Trace [Almarden keeps]
    Scroll of Flaming Sphere [Almarden keeps]
    Potion of Lesser Restoration


    From Ruined Temple:
    4 Solid Steel Reliquaries - 3600st
    Potion of Cure Moderate Wounds x2
    Potion of Cure Serious Wounds
    Potion of Protection from Evil x2
    Potion of Shield of Faith x2
    Potion of Bull's Strength
    Potion of Barkskin
    Wand of Elemental Dart (15 Charges) [Almarden Keeps]
    Ring of the Ram (35 Charges) [Krusk Keeps]
    Amulet of Natural Armor +2 [Caran Keeps]
    Firebane Cloak [Krusk Keeps]
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  8. #18
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    Default Session 20 - Meeting with Toede/The Ruins of Micah

    /\ Session 22. Ack! /\

    Hey everybody! Superball here! I know that it's been awhile, but it's the holiday season, and I sell things for a living, so you can imagine what a hellish time it's been for me over the last several weeks. Here's the cast of characters, like always:

    Caran Hith LN Male Qualinesti Paladin 8.
    Accepted into the arms of Chislev, the grieving slayer has a new path. What mysterious spirit inhabits Redeemer? Played by Mark.

    Jhandra Magfen NG Female Qualinesti Cleric of Chislev 8.
    A servant of the Wild Mother. Can this daughter of Chislev, and the offspring of two Elven Nations, save her people? Played by Michelle.


    Almarden Soth NG Male Ergothian Wizard 5/White Robe 3.
    A member of the White Robed Order of High Sorcery, and wielder of the Shard of Light. Whispered about in the Tower of Wayreth, what part will he play in the troubles fast approaching Krynn? Played by Ernest.


    Krusk LN Male Kazelati Minotaur Fighter 6/Rogue 2.
    A mighty minotaur mercenary, Krusk has recently begun courting the assassins of Khur. Will their skills make him deadly enough to protect his friends? Played by Rob.

    Kara NG Female Irda Oracle 8.
    Blessed and cursed by something close to Mishakel (?), Kara bears her Tear on a quest to save the Elves of Ansalon. Played by Becca.


    Pidjit LG Male Tinker Gnome Bard 8.
    The chosen protector and student of the mysterious music box, the little Gnome may learn more than the meaning of music. Played by Sam.

    Notable NPCs

    Wikkle
    LG Female Gnome Alchemist ?/Tinker ? (information to follow)
    Pidjit's "Research Assistant", assigned by the Gnomes of Mt. Nevermind, has a two-fold purpose. Here to evaluate the possibility of Pidjit's Madness, where will her loyalties lie when the time comes to decide? Sam's Leadership Cohort.

    The Chamberlain ?? Male Human Aristocrat ?
    Lord Toede's Majordomo and aide. All of Toede's edicts issue from this spindly man hunched over the hobgoblin's throne.

    Session 22

    In Floatsam

    After lunch the next day the party hikes to the Rock and hands over the paperwork to Toede’s toadies. They pass through the gatehouse into Lord Toede’s opulent sprawling estate. Lord Toede is a pale elderly hobgoblin with skin like a raisin, bedecked in jewels and surrounded by finery. The Lord whispers to the chamberlain standing by his seat, who then speaks for him, throughout the entire interview (I did my best impersonation of Robin Leach through this whole thing -SB):

    Chamberlain: “Greetings, persevering supplicants! It is my great honor to present to you Lord Toede, the Duke of Flotsam, the undying dragon-rider, and Hell’s Bad Taste.” (I can't remember everything verbatim, but I feel like there were at least two other title here. -SB)

    Kara: “It is an honor to be admitted an audience with your eminence.”

    Chamberlain: “Lord Toede acknowledges your politeness and graciousness. He wishes to know your request that he may deliberate upon it.”

    Kara: “We wish to cure a divine corruption.”

    Chamberlain: “At least one of his books has a section about removing corruption from a holy item. He would be delighted to afford you and your companions an audience in his library. But without a solution to his current problem he cannot possibly tear himself away and grant you access.” (Things that make you go, "hmmmmmm" -SB)

    Kara: “What problem? Perhaps we could help.”

    Chamberlain: “His lordship has had his amphidragon eggs stolen and is most distraught. The investigation has turned up only one piece of information, the hiding place of the thieves.”

    Kara: “Where is that?”

    Chamberlain: “A ruin called Micah a day’s ride away. Surely a brave party of adventurers has nothing to fear from a band of robbers and ne’er do wells. For the safe return of his six dragon eggs Lord Toede would offer unlimited use of his library and laboratory space.”

    Kara: “May we get that in writing?”

    Caran: “There are processing fees involved for retrieving dragon eggs.” (Spit take. Absolutely serious. -SB)

    Almarden: “What does Lord Toede usually charge for the use of his library?”

    Chamberlain: “His library is exclusively for his own personal use, and he has NEVER let another soul inside.”

    Caran: “Not even you? Not once?”

    Chamberlain: “Never! I did not have permission.”

    Caran: “So nobody has ever gone in to clean it?”

    Chamberlain: “No one may enter the library except himself!”

    Caran: “We are not risking our necks for you without some kind of compensation. As it stands we would be better off just claiming the eggs for ourselves.”

    Almarden: “The Tower would certainly be interested in obtaining some dragon eggs.”

    Chamberlain: “You wouldn’t!” (At least, I hoped that they wouldn't. Hard. In character. -SB)

    Jhandra: “May we be excused to confer?”

    In a huddle, Caran insists they should ask for a greater reward. They debate what that reward should be (the market value of a dragon egg, etc.) and decide on access to magical crafting services. Almarden sends a private magical communiqué to the Tower to ask if there is anything the Order wishes to access in Lord Teode’s library. Almarden requests a piece of straw or something where the eggs were kept to help him locate them. The chamberlain sends a servant to fetch one of the pillows the eggs rested on.

    Caran: “As payment for undertaking the risks of recovering the priceless dragon eggs, we ask one week of access to magical crafting services.

    Chamberlain: “Lord Toede says his personal crafter wizard can assist you for two days. But otherwise he is busy turning a profit for Lord Toede and cannot be disturbed.”

    Caran: “I’ll meet you half way. Three days.”

    Chamberlain: “Lorde Toede says he cannot spare his personal crafter for more than two. However, you may keep whatever you find in the bandit’s hideaway.”

    The party agrees (Whew! -SB), a bargain is struck, and the proper paperwork is completed (Ha! -SB). Jhandra asks about the ruins and learns Micah was once a prosperous elven city where they blew glass, but the Dragon Wars tens of thousands of years ago buried the whole city. Now Michah’s ruins poke up from ground and it is only partially excavated, the Chamberlain explains. Almarden activates his arcane sight and uses the egg pillow and a basin of water for a scrying spell. He sees a clutch of eggs and rotates his magic sensor in the darkness. Occasionally he sees a piece of cloth rustle by in a walking gait. His plan to teleport to the eggs and then back is quashed when he remembers the Tears of Mishakal cannot travel (Awww! Dang! -SB).

    In Micah

    The party travels on foot for a day and a half before reaching the high curved white stone wall marking the town boundary. The wall disappears into his the hill like it’s being consumed. The gate hangs open wide and beyond it they see a road paved in flagstone and building blocks strewn about and poking out of the earth helter skelter as if stomped and scattered by a giant child. Wikkle hands a potion to Krusk that will help him find things (alchemical infusion of keen senses). Almarden casts arcane eye and see invisibility and sends his invisible magic sensor hovering around, scanning and broadcasting the view. There are piles of goblin bodies in the rubble but no people. Krusk sneaks forward and checks for signs of life. One of the goblin bodies has a piece of carapace on it the size of a breastplate, shed by some creature (Completely ignored the clue, also, nobody cast Speak With Dead. Oh well. -SB). The party enters a huge natural cavern containing the complex of sunken ruins.

    As they move deeper inside they find petrified trees and stone walkways in some kind of park or garden. More goblin bodies strew the path (Whatever you do, don't touch the trees! -SB). At Almarden’s request, Pidjit goes to scrape a sample off a petrified tree (What. Did. I. Just... -SB). Suddenly the largest tree releases the giant vengeful spirit of a treant monster (See?! -SB). “You dare to disturb the grove of Feolidas!” it howls (And rightly, it should. -SB). The translucent behemoth glares at them all, causing intense pain with its magically charged gaze. Then it barrels toward Pidjit and Wikkle. Kara prays for protection and tactical acumen (insight of Yarus). Almarden tries ghostbane dirge and thinks back about what he has read about treants but only recalls they excel at breaking objects and can speak with plants (And washing away the filth of Isengard. Noone ever gives them credit for that. -SB) . Jhandra prays for bolstered abilities (blessing of fervor) and slides on her smoked goggles. Krusk charges and gores the spirit with his enchanted horns. The enraged treant wallops Pidjit twice, leaving him bloody and unconscious (It was like my favorite part of the Lion King: No Bard, No Bard, Nah nah nah nah nah nah! -SB). Caran charges and chops into the treant with Redeemer. Wikkle steps back and retrieves Pidjit’s healing wand, and tries to revive him. Kara rushes to Pidjit and heals him with a touch (cure critical). Almarden picks up the wand of magic missile and drains it of some magic to boost his own sorcery (That feat from War of the Lance. That terrible feat. -SB). Jhandra too heals Pidjit (cure serious). Krusk skewers the treant with his halberd. The treant wails on Caran with its branches. Caran summons a disruptive ability to his sword and responds with three quick strikes. Pidjit stands up swiftly and launches into a rousing ballad, then steps back. Wikkle retreats and loads and shoots an explosive fire missile at the treant. Inexplicably the creature vanishes, and the adventurers prepare for its imminent return [Critical “Time Vortex” Normal damage and target is sent outside time for d4 (3) rounds.] (That was super cool. I love the Paizo Critical Hit Deck. At the time of this posting, we've completely run through it once. -SB) Kara casts a spell that bolsters Caran’s life force at the expense of her own (noble sacrifice). Almarden conjures a lightning lance and waits. Jhandra summons Chislev’s healing (channel). Krusk readies to attack the instant the creature resurfaces. Caran summons force armor. Pidjit stops singing and draws the Hellfire Lash. Kara repeats her selfless spell on Krusk. Almarden infuses his lighting lance with radiant energy. Jhandra heals Caran (cure moderate). Krusk attempts to set the spirit’s petrified tree on fire, to no avail, but notices there’s something stuffed in the hollow of the treant’s tree. Caran readies his next sword strike. Pidjit readies his next verse, and draws back his magic whip. Kara moves and summons Mishakal’s floating quarterstaff of pure force. Almarden readies his brilliant lightning lance. Jhandra heals Caran a little more (cure light). Krusk prepares a charging attack. The treant ghost reappears looking very confused. Almarden’s forks of dazzling lightning hit first, drowning the incorporeal monstrosity in zigzagging streams of crackling light and showers of sparks. Afterwards there is only a smoking crater where the ghostly treant had been. Krusk loots the hollow of some books and scrolls and a potion (see Becca’s loot). Pidjit hands over the petrified samples to Almarden after the wizard makes sure he’s okay.

    Superball, here. Do this. Please. Please slap a ghost template onto an Advanced Treant. It is so COOL. Reliving this fight, and remembering all of the cool stuff, I have decided that the Ghost Tree Feolildas will be upcoming bonus content! Back to the good stuff! -SB.

    Shortly past the grove the party spies a ruined temple of Astarin (a.k.a. Branchala, patron of wine, women, song, music, & gentle trickery). Almarden notes there are lots of outcroppings and piles of rubble behind which someone could hide (Due to the GameMaster's drawing of a map...-SB), and casts temporal shield (Also due to the drawing of a map. -SB). Caran moves up and takes a defensive crouch, and Krusk does the same. Pidjit readies his next song and Wikkle readies her light crossbow. Kara casts sacred bond on Krusk. Jhandra grants flight to Caran. Almarden gives himself flight and ascends as high as he can, and Caran flies diagonally toward the ceiling looks down. Redeemer glows like a silvery torch and illuminates a demon (Nopt a demon, but I let that happen. -SB) almost nine feet tall skulking behind a nearby section of wall. It has a long spiked tail and scythes for hands and its body is a mixture of segmented carapace and gray scales (On second thought, that's pretty damn close to a demon. I forgive them. -SB). Almarden sees the backlit monster and warns his allies. Krusk drinks one of the most potent vials of allomanya (YES! YES! YES! -SB), becoming like a demi-god for the next twenty-four hours. Wikkle gives Krusk a potion that doubles the size of his body. Pidjit advances and sings a triumphant hymn. Kara imbibes a potion and flies above the rubble. Jhandra grants Krusk flight. Almarden slams the nearest demonic creature with an empowered magic missile. The first scythe-hander swings at Krusk, who ducks. A second scythe-hander starts circling around. A third, smaller scythe- hander approaches the spellcasting adventurers from the rear, and from their opposite side another just like him boxes them in (I'm crafty, and using low light rules to my benefit. -SB). Kara’s everburning torch reveals their maneuver. Caran slashes Almarden’s first target with Redeemer and Krusk flanks him and finishes him off with a gut punch from his halberd. Pidjit lashes the first miniature scythe-hander with his flaming whip. Wikkle moves back and shoots a bolt but misses. Kara summons her spiritual quarterstaff and it swats the air by their foe’s head. Jhandra shoots searing light at the second little scythe-hander and gives it a nasty limp. [Critical “Nerve Damage”: normal damage and target is slowed d6 (2) rounds.] Almarden bombards the remaining larger bug-lizard (This is my favorite description of Disir. Ever. -SB) with another empowered magic missile. That demon swipes his blade hands over Krusk’s head but snares his shoulder with its bite, pumping poison into the wound which the minotaur resists. The limping little demon advances and Pidjit snaps it with his whip. The third smaller scythe-hander moves up and swings for Caran but misses. Caran whirls around and draws a devastating gash along its spine with Redeemer. [Critical “Sapping Slash” double damage and target is fatigued.] Krusk plunges his halberd into the largest foe. Pidjit conjures an ear-shattering burst of sonic energy on two small scythe-hands clustered together and both tremble in place, stunned. Kara thumps a stunned scythe-hander with her spiritual weapon, then flies over to Krusk and casts bull strength. Jhandra’s lightning zings the foe facing Caran. Almarden slays the second big demon with his third potent magic missile. The demon facing Caran fails to bite him but claws him twice, poisoning him on the final rake. [-1 Dexterity.] The two smaller who are stunned continue to vibrate in place. Caran kills opponent with three well placed sword thrusts to the face. Krusk charges and overruns one stunned scythe-hander, knocking him on his back, then gores the one behind him to death. Pidjit whips the prone demon three times, striking once. Wikkle shoot a fire bomb rigged bolt that sets the final scythe-hander aflame. [Critical “Combustion” double damage and if the attack was fire, target catches fire taking 2d6 fire per round until extinguished.] Kara redirects the spiritual quarterstaff to rap the final demon soundly. Jhandra shoots it with lightning and Almarden finishes it off with another spectacular blue magic missile barrage.

    Superball, here. Newsflash. Disir are awesome fun. I have decided to also include the Disir statblocks as bonus content. -SB.

    After the exhausting brawl the adventurers discover some abandoned treasures in the subterranean temple to Astarin including 9 potions, 1 wand, 1 ring, 1 amulet, and 1 cloak (see Becca). It is a wonder Toede’s fragile eggs survived a trip into the monster infested ruins, and still a mystery as to who was brazen enough to hide them there…

    Superball, here. I have finally begun to recover from what was one of the most arduous times in my life. Christmas being well and truly over, expect these updates to begin again, hopefully more often than usual until we catch up! As a thank you and an apology combined, please enjoy several statblocks for use in your own Pathfinder-ized games to follow.
    Last edited by SuperBall; 12-27-2016 at 09:28 PM.
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  9. #19
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    Default Feolildas, The Ghost Tree

    Feolildas, Ghost Treant CR 10
    XP 9,600
    N Huge undead (incorporeal)
    Init +3; Senses low-light vision; Perception +20
    AC 10, touch 10, Ff 8
    HP 114
    Fort +13; Ref +3; Will +9 (Reroll 1/Day)
    Defense incorporeal, rejuvenation, channel resistance +4
    Immune undead traits
    Speed: fly 30 ft. (perfect)
    Melee corrupting touch +8 (10d6)
    draining touch +8 (1d4 ability damage, +5 HP)
    Space 15 ft. Reach 15 ft.
    Special Attacks Corrupting Touch (Fort DC 21), Draining Touch,
    Corrupting Gaze (Fort DC 19)
    Str -, Dex 8, Con -, Int 12, Wis 16, Cha 17
    BAB +9; CMB +9; CMD 18
    Feats Improved Initiative, Improved Iron Will, Toughness, Iron Will, Ability Focus (Corr. Touch),
    Weapon Focus (slam)
    Skills Diplomacy +9, Intimidate +9, Knowledge (nature) +9, Perception +20, Sense Motive +9,
    Stealth -1 (+15 in forests)
    SQ animate trees, double damage against objects, treespeech


    A DC 25 Perception check uncovers what Feolildas was safeguarding in the spectral garden: a collection of Silvanesti treasures placed in a hollow in the treant's trunk for safekeeping. The trove was never found, and rests in the hollow of the dead treant's trunk still.
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  10. #20
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    Default The Ruined Temple - Disir Rogue

    Disir Rogue CR 6
    XP 2,400
    LE Advanced Medium Aberration Rogue 3
    Init +9; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +14
    AC 22, touch 16, Ff 20
    HP: 84
    Fort +6; Ref +6; Will +7
    Defense resist fire 5, evasion
    Speed: 30 ft.
    Melee 2 Claws +10 (1d6+4 plus poison), Bite +9 (1d8+4 plus poison)
    Full Attack: 2 claws and a bite attack
    Special Attack Sneak Attack +2d6
    Str 18, Dex 14, Con 18, Int 15, Wis 15, Cha 11
    BAB +5; CMB +7; CMD 21
    Feats Alertness, Stealthy, Acrobatic, Weapon Focus (claw),
    Improved Initiative, Ability Focus (poison), Dodge
    Skills Acrobatics +11 Climb +15, Escape Artist +22, Stealth +16,
    Perception +15, Survival +11
    SQ light sensitivity,
    poison (Injury; Fort DC 18; 1/rd. for 6 rds. 1d2 Dex)
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