Thursday, September 22, 2022

Shattered Star - Book 3: The Asylum Stone

Landing page for the Session Notes for Book 3 of the adventure path.  The GM has modified this book, possibly significantly, so comparison to then published material may vary.


Session 1 - Retcon of a previous meeting and getting on a boat.


[This page will be added to as the Ratpack makes its way through the book.]

Ratpack - Shattered Star Adventure Path

Landing page for the Ratpack playing through the Shattered Star Adventure Path.

The Ratpack started as a group of ratfolk adventurers looking to improve their fortunes.  They stumbled on a mystery that lead to one of the fragments of an ancient relic.  Now they seek the remaining fragments, not yet certain what they are going to do once they have all the shards of the Shattered Star.

[This page exists because each book has a lengthy list of session notes and it would be overwhelming to put them all on one page.  Therefore, I will create separate pages for each book.  I didn't decide to do this until I started Book 3, so Books 1 and 2 will follow when I can take the time to create them.]


Book 1 - Shards of Sin

    Completed adventure, 32 sessions.  [Landing page not yet created.]

Book 2 - Curse of the Lady's Light

    Completed adventure, 49 sessions.  [Landing page not yet created.]

Book 3 - The Asylum Stone

    Active adventure.  Landing page created.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Covid, Mark 2

 My plan was to use the Labor Day holiday to resume writing blog posts after taking August off from my writing schedule.  Unfortunately, I came down with Covid August 26th and ran a fever for the next week.  This was much worse than my first run in with Covid, but it could have been much, much, worse, so I still consider myself lucky.  My immune system seems to be able to handle it, especially after getting the vaccine and 1st booster.  My wife has lingering side-effects, probably due to her asthma, but did not need to be hospitalized.  This round gave me significant headaches, such that I couldn't concentrate enough to read or write at all and just watched TV and slept.  [This led to a minor NCIS addiction as it is available, in order, on Netflix now.  I'm up to Season 9 now.]

I'm feeling better and I'm over the infection, but I'm still pretty sluggish about doing things and tire quickly.  This will likely be the only post this week.  I hope to have a session write-up posted next week [Shattered Star AP, Book 3]and then consistently each week after that.  I'm also resuming the Draft D review of Book III of my OD&D clone, Adventures in the Green.  I very much want to get that to a completed state so I can publish this year.

That's it for now.  Type more at you later!

Monday, July 25, 2022

Delvers Guild – Arc 2, Session 17 – Meanwhile, Back at the Guildhall…

[December 21st – Ozrel, Ricky, and Zarek enjoy a quiet evening at the Guildhall during the Royal Winter Ball.]

[This game uses the Fifth Revised Edition of the Hero System rules along with the Fantasy Hero supplement.  This session happened May 30, 2022.]

 

Player Characters:

Jala – human female – a person of discretion, studier of Pact Magic with a focus on shadows

Ozrel Runeweaver – human male – Pugilist and Rune Magician

Zarek the Red – fox male – Golem-mancer

Vorgand – human female – Guildmaster and Chief Combatant for the Delvers Guild

Ricky the Astrologer – human male – Newly-minted specialist in Magic Circles and Teleportation Gates

 

Non-Player Characters:

Torsten, Fish, Harek – ex-bandits, now The Torchbearers for the Delvers Guild

Lars – Seneschal of the Delvers Guild Guildhall in Aegea City, very competent


 

Yggsday, December 21st, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman

8:00 PM

With Vorgand and Jala away for the Royal Winter Ball, Ozrel, Ricky, and Zarek pursued their own activities.  Ozrel was on the first floor in the Common Room [also the Ballroom and the Rental Party Room] doing practical exercises as part of his training to learn Research.  The few guards on duty were playing dominos over by the closed and locked freight door.  Lars was in the Guildhall office updating records and finances.  Zarek was doing magi-tech experiments on the second floor in one of the small rooms without a window [he was paranoid about the elves spying on him].  Ricky was sitting up on the roof of the Guildhall, above the 6th floor storage room.  He was wearing the Invisibility Pin and dividing his attention between the Royal Palace [visible across the city], reviewing some start charts against the sky, and eavesdropping on the elves using the magical earrings to communicate between their various spy posts in the city.  It being a Yggsday, he could also hear various parties happening across the student quarter.

9:30 PM

Ricky hear three sets of soft thumps coming from the Guildhall’s lower roof [he both has a very high Perception and he rolled very low, succeeding despite a -8 to his roll].  Curious and suspicious, he stepped over to the edge of the upper roof and looked down to see what he could see.  He did not see anything unusual but due to the angle [and an intervening sub-roof] he could not see the part of the Lower Roof directly below him.

He could, however, hear the quiets sounds of oil being applied to the shutter hinges on the shuttered windows of the 4th floor.

Ricky shadow jumped down to the 4th floor, which was an open area and not yet in use.  There are steep stairs up in the northeast corner and regular stairs down along the southern wall with the top being I the southwest corner.  There were two windows each on the east and west walls, the windows on the east wall providing access to the lower roof of the Guildhall.  Three people were in the process of breaking in through one of the windows on the east wall with one of them already inside, one outside, and one crossing the sill as Ricky arrived.  All three were wearing concealing dark clothes and were roughly human sized.

The intruder already inside noticed the effects of Ricky’s shadow jump and swung a quarterstaff where he thought Ricky was standing.  Ricky was not standing there.  [The intruder rolled an 18 on his attack and barely held onto his staff.]  Ricky took the time to drink a potion of speed [raising his speed to 4].  The intruder on the window sill finished entering the room.

The intruders were quicker than Ricky, even with the potion of speed, and the two inside moved to block the stairs and waited, realizing they faced an invisible opponent.  Ricky started casting Dark Leaching, intending to target the intruder blocking the stairs down.  The intruder blocking the stairs up realized roughly where Ricky was and attempted to move through on Ricky and disrupt his spell casting.  The intruder just missed Ricky, who completed the spell and hit the intruder blocking the stairs down [draining that worthy of 8 Body].  Once done casting, Ricky called out “Guards!” and then attempted to scare the intruders [Presence attack] by saying “This is your chance to leave.”  The intruders were not impressed [Ricky had few dice and rolled low].  Two floors down, Zarek’s ears perked up, hearing Ricky calling out for guards somewhere above him and cast Stoney Skin upon himself.  [Ozrel and the actual guards heard nothing.]

The intruder guarding the stairs down, angry at Ricky due to the Dark Leaching pulled a device out of his clothing and pointed it at Ricky.  Ricky recognized it as a type of lightning pistol just in time to be hit by a bolt of lightning from it, which stunned Ricky.  The other intruder in the room attacked Ricky with his quarterstaff but missed again, even though Ricky was stunned.  The intruder outside on the roof spoke in Elven, calling out “Remember objective one,” and then moved out of sight to the left [he was trying to leave the clearly botched mission].  Zarek, Ozrel, and even the guards heard the sound of the lightning bolt and were now all on alert.  Ricky shrugged off the stun and Zarek started flying to Ricky’s rescue, making it to the top of the third floor stairs.

The angry elf with the lightning pistol shot at Ricky, who aborted to shadow jump down to the third floor.  Ricky was not quite fast enough and was hit before teleporting.  He fell to the floor very unconscious where Zarek could see him.  The other elf pulled out his own lightning pistol, but thought Ricky had been disintegrated and instead started climbing back out the open window.

The elf in the window finished climbing out and the angry elf moved to the window to start exiting.  Ozrel teleported to the Upper Roof for maximum visibility and started looking for trouble.  Zarek continued flying up the stairs, reaching the top of the stairs on the 4th floor and saw the intruders leaving through an open window.

The elves moved over to the edge of the Lower Roof where ropes were waiting and prepared to start climbing down the ropes.

Ozrel heard the sounds on the Lower Roof and teleported down there to engage the intruders.  Zarek flew out the open window and cast his own lightning spell at the elf about to descend the rope [designated as Elf2 – angry elf is Elf1 and the other elf, now at the bottom of the rope, Elf3].  Elf2 released the rope and let gravity move him down to the ground, falling 3 stories [and taking some Stun as Hero System is very forgiving about falling damage].  This left Zarek’s spell destroying the rope, cutting off angry elf’s escape.

Angry elf switched the setting on his lightning pistol to hit a line of targets and shoots both Ozrel and Zarek [Ozrel, thinking it was AoE: 1 hex, dove for cover closer to the angry elf, but it didn’t help].  Elf2 stood up and waited for Elf1.  Elf3 ran, escaping the fight entirely.

[Ozrel had no action due to aborting to a dive for cover.]  Zarek, believing Elf1 was trapped, flew over the edge to attack Elf2.  Elf2 tried to dodge the attack but Zarek hit anyway, knocking him unconscious.

Angry elf, tired of this mini-golem, switched his lightning pistol settings again and shot at Zarek point-blank.  He missed.

Ozrel kipped up from being prone and through a Branding Strike at the elf, missing the elf.  The elf shot at Zarek again, tagging the fox in the legs, which kept him from being stunned.  Ricky regained consciousness at this point.

The angry elf pocketed his lightning pistol and climbed down the side of the Guildhall to the ground.  On the ground, Elf2 woke up from being knocked unconscious.

Ozrel performed a blind teleportation from the Lower Roof to the Ground and arrived in the same space as the angry elf!  Ozrel was shunted aside in a huge release of energy that knocked both of them unconscious.  Zarek, noticing Elf2 was awake again, hit the elf with a lightning bolt, knocking him unconscious again.

Zarek flew down and relieved the elves of their lightning pistols, piling the pistols against the Guildhall.

Elf2 woke up again and dodged Zarek’s attempt to zap him unconscious again.  Ricky shadow jumped to the Upper Roof to find out what was going on.

Elf2 kipped up and ran down the street, just getting around the corner of the Guildhall, all the while yelling out in elven.

Zarek chased the elf around the corner, switching up his lightning spell and using it against the elf, but he missed the shot. 

Ricky worked out where the elf was running and shadow jumped to the front porch of the Guildhall, at the mouth of the alley the elf was running through.  This put him in position just in time to see the elf, running for all he was worth, pop out of the alley, run down the street slightly, and duck into another alley.  [Elf2 was running at non-combat speeds, which doubled his movement.]  The angry elf woke up, stood up, and moved over to where the lightning pistols were stacked.

Ozrel woke up, stood up next to the angry elf, activated his runes, and then punched the angry elf back into unconsciousness.  Ricky shadow jumped to the mouth of the alley Elf2 had run into and hit the elf with Dark Leaching.  Zarek flew out of the alley beside the Guildhall but failed to see Ricky down the street, so he had no idea which way the elf ran.

Elf2 continued to run, ducking down seemingly random alleys with Ricky in pursuit, but the elf quickly lost Ricky in the maze of the Students Quarter.

Meanwhile, Zarek went back to where Ozrel and the angry elf were.  He took a magic earring off the elf and stashed the earring and pistols in his back pouch.  Ozrel fetched some rope and they tied up the elf.  Zarek also tracked down the abandoned quarterstaves and discovered they had defensive magic on them [+1 DCV].

Once the elf was tied up, Ozrel carried him inside and they waited for Ricky to return.  Once he was back, Ricky questioned the elf.  The elf didn’t share much, but Ricky got the impression they were looking for evidence the guild was grave robbing.

Midnight

A patrol of the city watch finally arrived.  The city watch claimed the elf.  When Zarek protested, the watch told him to take it up with the magistrate in the morning.

End of Session

 

Guild Postings

[This session covered what happened while Vorgand and Jala were at the Royal Winter Ball.  For a couple of reasons, I’ve paused the campaign after this session.  One of the reasons was that I needed to run a playtest for my OD&D clone, testing out the wilderness exploration rules.  Running the playtest with my weekly group meant I could get the testing done quickly with minimal rules refresh time each session.  The other reason was that the players have gone beyond the prepared material for what was supposed to be a place-holder campaign.  I was ready to shut things down once the group found the ship on the moon and we’ve gone months past that.  I need some time to plot and plan if I’m going to keep running this campaign.]

[The other reason I need a break is my mom’s medical condition has gotten suddenly worse due to her contracting Covid.  This is causing financial and emotional burdens that I’m struggling with.]

[So I might be going silent for a couple weeks after this post.  I have a couple of new monsters to post to the Creature Catalog and the updated Guild Organizational Document I promised a while back.  When those get posted depends on how much headspace I have available over the next few weeks.]

 

Delvers Guild

Guild Organizational Document

Arc 1

Arc 1 Landing Page – Links to all Arc 1 sessions

 

Arc 2

Arc 2 Landing Page – Links to all Arc 2 sessions, as they post

Last Session: Arc 2, Session 16

 

Next Session: Arc 2, Session 18 [Not Scheduled]

 

Friday, July 15, 2022

Delvers Guild – Arc 2, Session 16 – The Royal Winter Ball

[December 21st – Jala and Vorgand attend the Royal Winter Ball.]

[This game uses the Fifth Revised Edition of the Hero System rules along with the Fantasy Hero supplement.  This session happened May 30, 2022.]


Player Characters:

Jala – human female – a person of discretion, studier of Pact Magic with a focus on shadows

Ozrel Runeweaver – human male – Pugilist and Rune Magician

Zarek the Red – fox male – Golem-mancer

Vorgand – human female – Guildmaster and Chief Combatant for the Delvers Guild

Ricky the Astrologer – human male – Newly-minted specialist in Magic Circles and Teleportation Gates


Non-Player Characters:

Victor Yakovovich – Delver in the Delvers Guild and younger son of the Baron of Five Griffins Barony

Bellinus Dragonkiller – Provisional Delver in the Delvers Guild and maybe heir to Dragonsfall, once a duchy in the kingdom


Schedule of Events for the Royal Winter Ball

Time                 Event

7:00-9:00 PM Arrival and drinks

9:00-9:30 PM Entry to the Ballroom for Entertainment

9:30-11:00 PM Entertainment

11:00-11:30 PM Entry to Grand Hall for Supper 

11:30-1:30 AM Supper – multiple courses, dinner music played

1:30-2:00 AM Return to Ballroom for dancing and drinks

2:00-7:00 AM Group dancing and drinks

5:00-7:00 AM Breakfast available in the Grand Hall

    7:00 AM         Ball ends



Yggsday, December 21st, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman

7:30 PM

Bellinus arrived at the Guildhall of the Delvers Guild in a horse-drawn open carriage to pick up Jala as his +1 for the Royal Winter Ball.  Previous discussion between the two had set the time he was to arrive and their plan was to show up to the Ball at 8:00 PM.  They also had agreed on wardrobe, so their clothing was complimentary to each other.

Jala had to admit that Bellinus appeared respectable, if a bit nervous.  She did not accept his assistance getting into the carriage as the dress her aunt had forced on her was surprisingly comfortable and allowed her motion.  It also had concealed pockets Jala put to good use, hiding her Dagger of Returning and two sets of lockpicks in them.  She also had enough room to conceal her rope of entanglement.  Jala wasn’t entirely certain why her aunt had required Jala be Bellinus’ +1, but she was ready for trouble if it presented itself.

Jala had a moment of regret for the small coat she was wearing as it was winter, but Bellinus had arranged for furs with the carriage so they would be warm.  He apologized for the need, but all the covered carriages were in use by everyone else attending the Ball and this was what he could get by the time he had received his invite.  Jala told Bellinus to be cool and things would work out.

Bellinus instructed the driver to go.  They exited the Student’s Quarter on the left side of the University and rode past Embassy Square to Potemkin Street.  They turned onto Potemkin Street, which was heavily decorated, cleaned, and lit by large lanterns, presenting the best face of the city.  They followed Potemkin Street to the gates of the Royal Palace, where their invitation was checked.

Inside the gates their carriage turned right and followed the line of other carriages to the doors of the palace.  They disembarked and walked up the front steps to the entrance, where Bellinus again presented his invitation.  The two were announced just at 8:00 as Sir Bellinus, Baronet Dragonsfall, and Dame Jala, Master Delver and Founder.  This drew a small amount of attention from those already inside, mostly to Bellinus’ title, which Jala also asked about.  Bellinus admitted it was a temporary title while his claim was evaluated.  They both agreed that some drinks were in order and moved to the chamber on the left where the growing number of guests were congregating for exactly that purpose.

8:15 PM

Meanwhile, Vorgand and Victor met up at the stables of The Blooded, the kingdom’s military academy, and picked up their horses.  Both being attendees of the academy and defacto military officers, they wore dress uniforms [with long coats] with swords at their hips.  Vorgand had her magic rapier along with her magic sash, her skull ring, and her newly crafted guild signet ring [this made her the more piratical looking of the two].

They rode their horses down the main street to the market square, turning right at the corner, following the Government Square edge of the market and then along the edge of the Sacred District before entering Potemkin Street.  Riding towards the palace after the majority of the guests were already there, they made good time on their horses [being able to move around slower carriages].

At the entrance to the palace they handed their horses over and strode up the steps to the entrance.  Just after 8:30 they were announced as Grand Master Dame Vorgand of the Delvers Guild and, slightly to Vorgand’s surprise, the Honorable Victor Yakovovich of Five Griffins Barony.  The small number of elves attending the Ball noticed Vorgand arrive, as did several guildmasters.  As Vorgand and Victor made their way over to the rooms on the left where the drinks were, a few of the other guildmasters approached Vorgand and greeted her, forcing her and Victor to pause and make pleasantries.  [As the head of the newest guild and this being the first major social event Vorgand attended as Grand Master of the Delvers Guild, several guilds were interested making friendly contact with Vorgand for political reasons.]

9:00 PM

King Vladik addressed his guests, thanking them for attending.  He recognized a few of those in attendance, thanking them for their contributions to the Ball and the kingdom.

Once the king was done addressing the guests, his seneschal announced that the Ballroom was open for seating and the evening’s entertainment would commence in a half hour.  This precipitated a general movement of the attendees towards the Ballroom, drinks in hand.  [You can’t rush nobles anywhere.]

9:30 PM

The entertainment consisted of three acts.  The first act was a troupe of Aegean Jugglers, who juggled as a group.  They juggled a mix of rings and swords, going through three different juggling patterns, ending with the rings one by one being tossed onto a rod in the center of them, leaving the troupe juggling only the swords.  Jala and Vorgand both noticed at this point that members of the elven delegation were watching Vorgand.

The second act was a choir singing a mix of songs, including an elven song of friendship, which they performed well.  At the very least, the elven delegation showed appreciation for the performance.

The third act consisted of Baridoki Acrobats from the Kingdom of Baridoki [southern side of the Opal Sea, east of Arkoi Island], famous around the Opal Sea for their skills.  They performed a series of increasingly complicated maneuvers, including leaps onto metal poles held up by the other acrobats.  The entire [human] audience was quite impressed, and the acrobats received a standing ovation.

11:00 PM

Once the entertainment was done, the seneschal announced that the Grand Hall was now open for seating for Supper.  The attendees gradually got up and made their way to the Grand Hall, talking and politicking along the way.

Checking the seating charts at the entry to the Grand Hall, the attendees found their way to their assigned seating.  Vorgand and Victor were seated at a table with senior members of other guilds, notably the Scriveners Guild, The Company of Cutlers, and the Society of Master Mariners.  During the meal, the head of the Company of Cutlers asked if the guild might make an appointment to examine her sword.  It was of a very old elven make and the guild would like to increase its knowledge of elven blades.  Vorgand agreed to an appointment on Cromsday the next week [December 26] to let the Company perform some non-destructive testing on her sword.

Bellinus and Jala were seated at a table of other minor nobility and government ministers, including Ranger-Captain Borani Theophanous, head of the Cle Elum Ranger District at the far north of the kingdom, and Slean Thibault, eldest son of Countess Yera Thibault, ruler of the Duchy of Sperrin.  Ranger-Captain Borani had a tendency to tell stories of how the rangers were keeping the rest of the kingdom safe at great expense.  Victor and Sloan knew each other, and Victor finally explained to Vorgand he was a younger son of the Baron of Five Griffins, which owed fealty to Countess Yera.

11:30 PM

Supper was a seven-course meal served over two hours while a string quartet played in the corner.  The meal consisted of:

1. Appetizer – Baked Brie with Golden Raisin Compote, served with a white wine

2. Soup – Mussel and garlic soup, served with a red wine

3. Vegetable dish – Spiced Potatos

4. Main Course – Prime rib with cranberry sauce, with Hertsgate Dark Lager

5. Salad – Apple and sultana salad (apple and sultana served on a bed of lettuce)

6. Cheese selection, served with a fruity red wine

7. Dessert – individual apple crisps, matched with a dessert wine

[I’m not a drinker, so my drink matchings are a bit sketchy.  I went with what seemed OK.]

1:30 AM

The seneschal announced that the Ballroom was now open for dancing and drinks.  Gradually the guests left the tables and walked back to the Ballroom.  There the chairs had been moved to tables surrounding the dance floor.  The stage where the entertainment had performed now held a small orchestra, currently playing light chamber music.

2:00 AM

Musicians start playing music to dance to.  At about hour and a half intervals some of the musicians would switch out with replacements to keep the performers fresh.  The dances were traditional group dances and Vorgand and Victor got in some dancing between times when various guild masters wanted to speak with Vorgand about guild politics.  Jala and Bellinus were able to get some dancing in, the limiter being the small repertoire of dances that Jala knew.  Much talking and politicking happened during this period.

While sitting out a dance, Vorgand was approached by one of the elves, who introduced himself as Ardru of the Elven Delegation.  He explained that he had noticed Vorgand was carrying an elven sword and wearing a sash of elven make and politely inquired about how she came into possession of them.  Vorgand told Ardru that they had been acquired on guild activities, all within a day or two of travel from Aegea City.  Vorgand caught a quick flash of epiphany in Ardru’s expression at this answer before he hid it.

Ardru asked Vorgand if she knew any of the history of the sword she carried.  She admitted that she did not know much about it other than it was of an imperial style and elven.  Ardru told her it was named Hwindor and his people had lost track of it some time ago.  He then asked if perhaps the guild might have located other items of elven antiquity and whether the guild might accept compensation for their return.  Vorgand allowed that the guild might find other items of elven make, but the guild had yet set a formal policy on the matter so she could not make any promises right then.  At this point the current dance ended and Ardru excused himself and left.

Later Bellinus and then Vorgand each had an informal audience with the king.  This was more the king politely glad-handing his guests than anything else, but he knew their names and faces and seem pleased to see them.  The king also mentioned that he would be calling a meeting of the guilds to vote on some policies soon.  He seemed to specifically avoid mentioning the elves.

Bellinus fielded several inquiring conversations about his position on various political topics.  Jala was impressed by his ability to recognize the people asking [KS: Nobility] and his ability to provide non-answers that they would accept [Conversation].  She started seeing the need for those skill sets [part of the reason her aunt insisted she attend the Ball].

5:00 AM

The seneschal announced that breakfast was available in the Grand Hall until the end of the Ball.  Dancing continued in the Ballroom, but small groups started making their way to the Grand Hall for some breakfast before returning to the Ballroom.  Vorgand and Victor made a brief trip before returning to the Ballroom, but Jala and Bellinus ate heartily before leaving the Ball early.

7:00 AM

The Royal Winter Ball formally ended and guests started leaving.  Vorgand and Victor retrieved their horses and made their way back to the academy fairly quickly, able to move around the logjam of fancy carriages.

End of Session


Guild Postings

[This session covered the Royal Winter Ball.  Next session covered what happened back at the Guildhall during this time.]

[I feel I should explain about Jala's aunt.  She is the head of the exchequer for the kingdom and uses Jala as a contact when she needs unofficial things to happen for the kingdom's benefit.  She is tired of Jala acting like a street urchin and wants her to start gaining some manners and couth so she can be deployed in more social environments.  Jala doesn't like any of this and resists, but does owe her aunt.  In game terms, Jala has the Social Limitation: Someone Else's Contact as one of her Disadvantages, meaning that her aunt can call on her at times to do things.  This is the first time I've made use of it during the campaign.]


Delvers Guild

Guild Organizational Document

Arc 1

Arc 1 Landing Page – Links to all Arc 1 sessions


Arc 2

Arc 2 Landing Page – Links to all Arc 2 sessions, as they post

Last Session: Arc 2, Session 15


Next Session: Arc 2, Session 17 [Not Yet Typed Up]


Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Delvers Guild – Arc 2, Session 15 – Divvying Spoils and Preparing for the Ball

[December 15 through 20th – The Delvers Guild divided up the unclaimed magic items they had and then we scrolled time to the Royal Winter Ball.]

[This game uses the Fifth Revised Edition of the Hero System rules along with the Fantasy Hero supplement.  This session happened May 23, 2022.]


Player Characters:

Jala – human female – a person of discretion, studier of Pact Magic with a focus on shadows

Ozrel Runeweaver – human male – Pugilist and Rune Magician

Zarek the Red – fox male – Golem-mancer

Vorgand – human female – Guildmaster and Chief Combatant for the Delvers Guild

Ricky the Astrologer – human male – Newly-minted specialist in Magic Circles and Teleportation Gates


Non-Player Characters:

Torsten, Fish, Harek – ex-bandits, now The Torchbearers for the Delvers Guild



Sunday, December 15th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman

Morning

In the morning, Vorgand handed Lars 100 gold coins and the list of supplies Torsten requested the previous night.  She also requested Lars have a proper banner quickly made for display at the Moon Manor.  The banner would signal that the ruins were now owned and occupied by the Delvers Guild and hopefully keep the Torchbearers out of trouble with any law in the area.

[As a reminder, the Torchbearers (Torsten, Harek, and Fish) are the remains of a small bandit gang that the Delvers discovered squatting in the ruins when the Delvers first arrived.  The two groups shared camp space for a couple hours before the sudden and inevitable betrayal by the bandits...which lasted all of 12 seconds as the bandit leaders and toughs were very quickly killed by the surprisingly powerful Delvers.  After the first round of attacks killed all but 4 of the bandits, Nick gave the survivors a choice: accept paid work holding torches for the Guild while they explored or join their companions in death.  The survivors immediately accepted the jobs as torchbearers for the guild, happy to avoid certain death.  While one of the survivors (Kol) eventually deserted during a “supply run”, the remaining three are somewhat pleased with the current situation.  They get paid in gold regularly, they are not expected to fight, good food is supplied (to avoid any further “supply runs”), and the work is at most one day out of seven.  With the repair work they’ve done during the slack time and the furniture Jala brought them, the once ruined chapel is starting to get fairly homey.]

The Delvers used Ricky’s Gate to travel over to the Moon Manor and spent the morning going over the magic items they had recovered from various places and not yet doled out.  After spending the morning discussing and debating the items, they were apportioned out.

  • Vorgand took the Circlet of Mindblasting.
  • Zarek took the scroll of Thaumaturgic Harness.
  • Ozrel claimed the Liquor of Will (a potion) and the Necklace of Stormbeads.
  • Ricky claimed the Scroll Covers of Preservation [hoping they would restore the extremely fragile maps in the moon ship], the Belt Buckle of Water-walking, and joint custody of the Pin of Invisibility with Jala.
  • Jala took the Flaming Spear and joint custody of the Pin of Invisibility with Ricky.

The scrolls containing Protection from Air and Lifekeeping were unclaimed and will likely be sold, as will the potion of Clairaudience.  Zarek needs to do research on the magical incense and the rune amulets to determine their functions.

Afternoon

Back in Aegea City, Zarek went to the library of Monarch University to start researching the unidentified magic items.  He spent most of his time in the Elven Knowledge part of the library, which was 5 shelves of books, some of dubious accuracy.  Luckily, Ricky had directed Zarek on which books to avoid.  After spending the afternoon reading, the best he had were references in a theology book to "The 14 Demon Hunters", recognized only by their unique amulets and honored among elves, but no explanation given as to why they were honored, but the pattern on the amulets was the same as on the amulets the Guild had retrieved.  The few references claimed the amulets protected the wearer from “the foreknowledge of the demons”.  Zarek postulated that this was a form of protection from scrying.

Vorgand and Ozrel took the Torchbearers back to the Stone Halls and spent over four hours hauling the remaining 5 sarcophagus lids out of the lowest level of the Stone Halls to the Portal Chamber at the top of the Slanted Gallery.  From there they hauled the lids through the portal to the moon for safe storage.

Jala made use of the Pin of Invisibility, wandering the city while invisible and satisfying her curiosity about the interior of various places she otherwise would not have been allowed in.

Ricky spent time at the Guildhall working on a new spell, one able to magically repair things that were broken.

Early Evening

On his way back to the Guildhall, Zarek stopped at a street vendor and picked up some food.  He delivered the food to the elves spying on the Guildhall.  He then sat with them for a bit before heading into the Guildhall.  This confused the elves [and suggested to them their observation had definitely been noticed].


December 15th through 20th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman

The Guild sent correspondence to the guild applicants, announcing their acceptance into the Delvers Guild.  They also announced the first Grand Gathering of the Guild, set for the evening of December 24.  The schedule of activities include: meals and drinks, membership oaths, and dancing.  Lars was tasked with having the ballroom decorated for the event and to arrange for the display of items recovered by the guild.  Lars and Vorgand would work together to select the proper items for display.  The founders then spent the week either preparing for attending the Royal Winter Ball or pursuing their own research/training.

Vorgand spent the week practice dancing with Victor Yakovovich, her +1 for the Ball.  By the end of the week they could dance well together so neither would embarrass the Guild.

Jala found a capable artisan and commissioned a quality set of goggles for later use as a magical focus.  She also spent time dreading being the +1 for Bellinus Dragonslayer.

Ricky split his days, studying the each of the two scrolls retrieved from the Elven Imperial Shrine and getting a rough location of the Stone Halls based on his view from the moon.  With his ownership of the Sentinel War Hammer of Alertness he no longer needed to sleep and was able to pursue all three goals at once.  Both scrolls seemed to be early histories of the Elven Imperium, but Ricky did not recognize any of the place names given.  Based on his observations from the moon, Ricky estimated that the Stone Halls were somewhere in the desert known as the Dreaded Emptiness.

Zarek spent time working on a spell to control the temperature inside of containers as part of his plan to duplicate the magi-tech devices in the galley of the moon ship.  He took a break from this for a day and hung out with the elves spying on the guildhall, bringing his fancy magic pillow from the moon ship to sleep on.  The elves, under orders to maintain observation of the guildhall, added this to their daily notes.

End of Session


Guild Postings

[I needed a break from writing these up and spent most of my spare time doing an unplanned revision of Adventures in the Green, Book I, Draft E.  I looked over the Wilderness Exploration rules pamphlet I put together for the playtest and discovered I didn’t like a lot of the text.  Rewriting it in the pamphlet required mirroring those changes in the main books and hey, I had a lot of redline edits and changes from the Saturday campaign, so I started including those.  I also started more seriously rewriting sections in my own voice, which I had not fully decided on in the last edit for Book I, but had for Book II.]

[Editing is always a snowball like this – you can never make just one change and then come back later.]

[Anyhoo – that’s why there was no blog post last week.  Sorry about that.]


Delvers Guild

Guild Organizational Document


Arc 1

Arc 1 Landing Page – Links to all Arc 1 sessions


Arc 2

Arc 2 Landing Page – Links to all Arc 2 sessions, as they post

Last Session: Arc 2, Session 14


Next Session: Arc 2, Session 16 [Not Yet Typed Up]


Friday, June 24, 2022

Delvers Guild – Arc 2, Session 14 – Last Crypts

[December 14 – 6th (and last) session for December 14.  The last of the lower crypts are looted while the Delvers form a plan to deal with the blue flame skeletons.]

[This game uses the Fifth Revised Edition of the Hero System rules along with the Fantasy Hero supplement.  This session happened May 16, 2022.]


Player Characters:

Jala – human female – a person of discretion, studier of Pact Magic with a focus on shadows

Ozrel Runeweaver – human male – Pugilist and Rune Magician

Zarek the Red – fox male – Golem-mancer

Vorgand – human female – Guildmaster and Chief Combatant for the Delvers Guild

Ricky the Astrologer – human male – Newly-minted specialist in Magic Circles and Teleportation Gates


Non-Player Characters:

Torsten, Fish, Harek – ex-bandits, now The Torchbearers for the Delvers Guild



Yggsday, December 14th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman

Late Afternoon

After storing the three looted sarcophagus lids on the moon, the Delvers returned to the Stone Halls through the portal.  They descended the Slanted Gallery to the lower crypt area.  At the Hall of Elven Heroes, the group turned right, having looted all the tombs down around the corner on the left.  At the right end of the Hall of Elven Heroes they took the corner.

[I provided the names of all the elven heroes depicted on the walls here and which names also had crypts.  There were 14 heroes in the main hall but only 11 crypts.  The elves depicted but without crypts were: Hefhauer of the Many Shadows (a.k.a.: Jerk-face), Garabed of the Six Rings, and Oroitz of the Cloud Sea.]

This passage had six more potential crypts to loot, but they learned on a previous trip that at least one of them had been looted already.  They examined the plaster artwork over the represented doors.  Two of the six unopened door artworks had plasterwork that was shallower than the surrounding surfaces, indicating that the doors behind the plaster had been replastered after being uncovered previously.  Combined with the other previously looted crypt on this side the Delvers opened on their previous excursion, this left 4 crypts as undisturbed.

The group decided to start opening crypts with the first one on the left wall, the crypt of Zuzen of Ochevyog, and work their way around clockwise.  Using the method they developed raiding the other crypts, they quickly and safely opened and cleared Zuzen’s crypt of the two void skeletons inside it.  The walls of the crypt were decorated to show a countryside with rolling hills.  Off in the middle distance was an elven town.  Ricky speculated it was Ochevyog, where Zuzen was from.  The plant life shown was more of the strange plants the Delvers had seen in some of the oldest elven crypts and tombs, so they were not certain where Ochevyog might be.  The gem covered sarcophagus contained Zuzen’s corpse, another of the magic amulets with the odd rune, and three other pieces of jewelry [another necklace, a gold chain, and a gold goblet].

The Delvers proceeded to the next crypt on the left wall.  This claimed to be the crypt of Berooz of Apheshra.  The adventurers repeated their method of opening and clearing the crypt of enemies and set to looting the sarcophagus.  The wall murals showed rolling grasslands.  When they opened the sarcophagus, it appeared to be empty, which surprised the Delvers.  Zarek cast Detect Magic and saw no telltale auras.  Jala cautiously reached in to search for concealed spaces, instead feeling an invisible corpse!

Carefully running her hands over the corpse, Jala determined it was wearing a cloak of some sort.  She carefully searched for any jewelry, finding a gold chain, a jeweled goblet, another magic amulet with the strange rune, and lastly a lapel pin.  When she removed the lapel pin, the corpse suddenly became visible again.  Zarek checked again with his Detect Magic spell and verified that the pin was magical, not the tattered cloak the corpse wore.

[There was discussion here about whether or not his Detect Magic spell should have “seen” the pin of invisibility while its power was active.  I knew why this was, but could not quote the Simulated Sense Group Rule at the time or point to its location at the table, which caused some confusion with Detect being an Unusual Sense.  We have since resolved the issue.]

The Delvers were feeling the effects of their efforts and took a rest at this point.  The next two tombs on this side of the hall appeared to have been opened and resealed, so they decided to skip them.  On the right wall, they opened the last crypt and discovered it was looted some time in the past and then resealed.  The crypt adjacent to it showed the same signs of being previously opened and resealed, leaving only two crypts on that wall.  The two crypts appeared to hold Kurush the Dry and Assim of the Three Fires.  The Delvers discussed which to open next and settled on Kurush’s.

Once the rest was over, the Delvers approached Kurush’s crypt and put their plan into action, quickly opening the crypt and defeating the two void skeletons inside.  The interior walls of this crypt were decorated to show a rolling seascape.  After removing the jeweled lid of the sarcophagus, they found the corpse of Kurush with two pieces of jewelry that radiated magic and two that did not.  The two magical pieces were the rune amulet found in all the [non-looted] crypts and a belt buckle that Zarek eventually identified as a belt buckle of water walking.  Ricky was immediately interested in it.  [Ricky being physically unable to swim.]

Ricky brought up an idea of using the void skeletons to de-power the blue flame skeletons up in the Stone Forest.  The positive would be that the Delvers would no longer be subjected to the explosive attacks.  The negative would be that Vorgand and Ozrel would be the only ones able to fight effectively against the mass of skeletons.  The question of how to transport the void skeletons was discussed and use of the rope of entangling that Jala carried or even normal rope to tie down the lids of the spirit jars would allow transportation of the skeletons.  Jala or Ricky could teleport with the jars into the room, remove the rope, and flee before the blue flame skeletons arrived and the void skeletons established their magic suppression field.

The Delvers discussed this plan at length, including asking the Torchbearers if one of them would help hold a spirit jar closed until they could get it tied up.  The trio held a short huddle, played a quick round of Rock-Paper-Scissors [which Fish clearly lost], and Fish stated he would do it for an extra 5 gold coins.  The Delvers Readily agreed to this.  After some further discussion, they decided they were not certain it was entirely viable, but they were willing to give it a try.  They took another rest to let Zarek prep some spells and get everyone fully ready for the last crypt.  They decided that the second spirit jar would be the one to keep and put their now standard crypt opening plan into motion.

The plan went well, up to the point where they let the first spirit jar open so they could quickly defeat the skeleton inside.  When Vorgand let the lid open, instead of a void skeleton standing up a skeleton with orange flames engulfing its skull stood up.  It being a skeleton still triggered Zarek’s prepared lightning burst spells.  One missed completely, but the other hit the orange flame skeleton twice for minimal damage.

Ozrel continued to hold down the lid on the second spirit jar while Vorgand swept and hit the skeleton three times for no effect.  The skeleton threw its flaming skull at Vorgand, missing widely and hitting the wall behind her, where it splashed and kept burning.  Jala stepped in with the ready rope of entanglement and entangled the spirit jar Ozrel was holding and the active skeleton [the ropes entanglement is Area of Effect, Selective, and Does Not Block Attacks].  Ricky cast Dark Leaching on the active skeleton, withering it significantly.  Zarek altered his spell [to make it Armor Piercing and Half Endurance] and hit the skeleton with it to noticeable effect.

Ozrel, no longer needing to hold the second jar closed, stood and punched the skeleton to no effect.  Vorgand struck at the skeleton with her sword and hit but to no effect.  The skeleton attempted to break free of the rope and failed, which sealed its fate.  When Ricky hit it with Dark Leaching again, the skeleton crumbled to dust.

After everyone caught their breath, they prepared to attack the skeleton remaining in the last spirit jar.  Zarek reconfigured his lightning spell [to be Armor Piercing and Burst, which would spend a whopping 21 Endurance when cast].

Once everyone was ready and in place, Jala dis-engaged the rope of entanglement.  When the orange flame skeleton formed up, they all attacked it with Zarek getting in the final hit with his spell, destroying the skeleton.

While Zarek panted from the effort, Ricky inspected the sarcophagus.  The lid depicted an elf holding a gold bowl in one hand and a spear with a flaming blade in the other [I should have also put the elf in a Grendel mask (from the comic Mage) but I only now thought of that].  Notable jewelry was a ruby covered cloak clasp and the rune amulet.  Inside the sarcophagus they found the expected elf corpse with the spear, bowl, clasp, and amulet.  Zarek inspected the spear and found a command word in Ancient Elven on it [“Burn”].  He asked Ricky how the word was pronounced and tested it out.  The spear’s blade lit up with orange fire, the same color as the flames on the two skeletons the Delvers had just defeated.  Further testing would need to wait until later.

Out of a sense of completeness [and not wanting to leave any potential loot behind], the Delvers spent the next hour breaking into the remaining three crypts to verify they had been looted in the past.  They had been, but a small gold cup was found in one where it had fallen behind the stripped lid of the sarcophagus.

Tired and hungry, the delvers finally decided to call it a day and return to the Moon Manor.  They made their way up the Sloped Gallery to the portal room at the top, set it for Moon Manor, and stepped through.

7:00 PM

After an exhausted 30-minute climb back to the surface, they discovered that the sun had long set.  Vorgand asked Torsten what supplies the Torchbearers needed.  Torsten requested a small keg of tar to finish waterproofing the repaired rooves, 20 feet of gutters, more fresh food and goats, and chicken wire to make a proper area for the chickens to graze.  Vorgand agreed to bring those back inside the next week, depending on how long it took to gather it all up.  Torsten also suggested getting the outer walls of the ruins repaired for better security, something Vorgand agreed with.

While the Torchbearers returned to old chapel to make their dinner and rest, the Delvers went back under the ruins to Ricky’s gate room and used the gate to return to the Guildhall in Aegea City.  Very tired and very hungry, the Delvers made their way over to The Library for drinks and dinner.

After the meal, Zarek asked Ricky for advice on researching elven magic items.  Ricky told him where the relevant books were in the University Library [an actual library, as opposed to The Library, which was a student drinking place].

After the rest went to sleep, Ricky spent the evening studying the various orbs and scrolls the group had looted from the crypts for useful information.

End of Session


Guild Postings

[Sorry this was late.  It’s been a week where focus has been hard to maintain, especially today.]


Delvers Guild

Guild Organizational Document

Arc 1

Arc 1 Landing Page – Links to all Arc 1 sessions


Arc 2

Arc 2 Landing Page – Links to all Arc 2 sessions, as they post

Last Session: Arc 2, Session 13


Next Session: Arc 2, Session 15