Friday, December 13, 2013

Campaign Resumes

So I took November off for a couple reasons.  Primarily, I wanted to spend the month writing Draft 3 of my novel.  What actually happened was that work got crazy busy with the end of a four-year project and after spending 8 hours working on field study documentation everyday, I wasn't really motivated to sit in front of my laptop at home.

I did resume work on my novel.  My steering committee and I reviewed a new storyboard for the first three chapters and talked over the new scenes being added and the ones removed and why.  Mostly this was focusing on seven point of view characters (POV characters) to make the timeline that is Draft 2 into a story as Draft 3.

Talking out the storyboard and explaining what I'm thinking to my steering committee helps set the ideas in my mind and provides feedback on what works and what needs work.  It also helped clarify what the point of each scene was and how it progressed the story.  It also brought back two scenes I was planning on cutting as none of the POV characters were there.  The committee members argued that the scenes were important to show and provided greater impact than if I tried to relate them happening off stage.

We have another storyboard review scheduled this weekend to go through (hopefully) the rest of the chapters.

But first, the Blood, Gold, and Lizards campaign Friday Group meets (on Friday, natch).  I've reviewed my notes of what they were up to, but it remains to be seen if they pick up that thread or go off on a different tangent.  I'm looking forward to finding out.

That's it for now - Later!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Blood, Gold, and Lizards - Friday Group - Session 6

[This was a relatively short session as we started a bit late and there was a good deal of discussion during the first half of the session.]

Hugo Underwood – Wood Elf shaman
Felix Lutsk – Human “acquisitioner”
Albrecht Artyom – Human Grey Wizard
Fritz Schmidt – Human scout
Alset Alokin – High Elf mage

Before heading out into the wilds again, the group spent time dealing with business in town.

Fritz became the patron of the owner/operator of a general store in town, Ditmar Lumm.  Fritz directed Ditmar to start growing contacts and a supply chain to support the colony (when established).  [Fritz spent experience points to buy a Follower.]

Uncle Felix’s Armor Shop opened for business and Felix started making plans to bring in weapons smiths as well as the high quality armor smiths he had hired.  [Felix spent experience points to purchase a base with "followers" of it's own - the employed smiths.  Note: the smiths are loyal to the shop, not Felix.]

The loot from the treasure closet was divvyed up*.  The sealed lead chest was investigated and determined to have no traps on it, but it was sealed with a lump of lead instead of a lock.  "Morrsleib" sounded familiar to the adventurers, but most could not remember why.  Hugo remembered it was the name of the green moon, but could not quite remember the significance.

After the lead lump was removed, Felix opened the chest.  Inside was an oversized skull made of glowing green crystal – it was pure warpstone!**  As it’s corrupting energies washed over Felix, he could feel it trying to change him.  Made of sterner stuff, Felix resisted its effects and slammed the chest shut.  He then set about resealing it immediately.  All the exposed skin on his front was red as though sun-burned.  This triggered Alset’s memory: Morslieb was reputed to be the source of all warpstone, so the symbol embossed on the chest was a warning.  [GM wearing an evil grin here.]

Alset commissioned two sets of three copper-covered iron rods from Felix’s smithy and was told they would be ready in a week and a half.  He has plans for them relating to his teleport spell...

Finally, Albrecht decided to bring two handfuls of the unmagic dust with him on the current expedition and Fritz chose to bring three.  The remaining three handfuls were left at F&A Holdings.

The next morning the group mounted up on their horses and headed east along Quarry Road.  At Watch Tower 1 they turned off the road and headed northeast across the plains, aiming for the southern of the two towers out on the plains on their map.  As they got near, their path crossed the fringe of the Wedge Wood, where the forest was growing around a barrier that only seemed to affect the forest.  The adventurers searched the area, finding an abandoned logging camp.  Hugo was able to determine that the camp had been abandoned for at least a year, but there was no indications as to why it had been abandoned.

The adventurers then continued on to the lone hill with a tower on it.  Just like its neighbor to the northwest, Alset was able to locate lines of force emanating from inside the hill.  One line headed to the northwest, directly towards the tower the adventurers had previously explored.  One line of force headed northeast, to possibly link up with one of the lines from the other tower, and the third line headed due east, where the adventurers theorized another tower could be found.  They deduced that there were a total of six towers with something at the center, possibly a seventh tower.

The adventurers examined the tower they were at.  Like the tower to the northwest, it had no windows or doors.  Albrecht teleported to the top of the wall and verified that the tower was completely hollow inside, just like the one to the northwest.  Searching around the hill, they did not find the illusion covered cave entrance where they were expecting it [on the "inside" of the area delineated by the lines of force].  They did find a one on the southeastern edge of the hill, set into a low cliff face.

As it was getting late in the day, the group decided to camp, but back at the abandoned logging camp three miles away.  They rode there and set up in the largest standing building [about the size of a barn].  The doors were long gone on the building, which was significant later, but the building provided cover for the adventurers and their mounts.

On second watch (Alset and Albrecht), Alset spotted a small group of creatures approaching.  The creatures looked similar to the Cold Ones that Dark Elfs ride and were directly approaching the camp.  Alset had Albrecht wake the rest of the group.  The adventurers clustered at the front entrance and readied for the creatures to attack.  All three wizards cast enhancing spells on Felix, increasing his Dexterity and armor protection significantly.  He stood in the front center, ready for the rush of the beasts.

The beasts had been making clicks and trills at each other while approaching and when the rush happened, it did not go as expected.  Two of the six beasts charged the front entrance, but the others broke off into two groups and moved around the sides of the building, heading for the wide open rear entrance.  Felix stood his ground and fended off the two attacking the front, barely scratched by their ferocious attacks thanks to the magics protecting him.

As the fight progressed, the four flanking beasts charged in through the rear entrance and fell on the horses stabled in an adjacent side room.  Horrible sounds of horses dying could be heard by the adventurers at the front, which angered the adventurers.  The group started peeling off from the front fight to stop the slaughter of their horses.  Felix cut down one of the two beasts at the front, driving off the other [who suddenly found its sense of self-preservation], ending the front fight.

The adventurers killed the rest of the attacking beasts, but not before losing all but one of their horses.  With one horse left, the group decided to return to town.  Alset could teleport the group back to town with the horse, but not if they found any significant treasure under the tower as the horse put him at the edge of of his teleportation spell’s capabilities.

Back in town, the group waited a few days until the full moon for the next monthly auction to happen.  They sold off several items they had been holding on to: the wraith crowns, the ceremonial gold bowl, and the gold torc.  They then split up the proceeds and made arrangements for Quetzal and Zoglug to get their shares.

End of Session

* The treasure consisted of:
1. Large dragonhide shield [50% resistant ED damage reduction to fire attacks, 11- Act.]
2. Pendant charm (minor magic) [2rPD hardened vs. missiles, 1 Turn per day]
3. Fingerbone charm (minor magic) [+5 DCV once per day]
4. Potion of Vitality [LS: aging, sleep, and food, plus 0 END Running and STR, lasts 1 hour]
5. Unmagic dust - took a while to identify [Dispel, 10d6 per handful of dust, bag of 8 handfuls]
6. Bronze torc with opals set in the caps (old-style Jicarilla work) - 350-450g
7. 10,000 copper coins, triangular in shape, with the face of an Elf on one side and the phrase "Through Darkness, Light" on the other.
8. 1000 silver coins, triangular in shape, with a skull on one side and the phrase "Through Darkness, Light" on the other.
9. 600 gold coins, triangular in shape, with the face of a Human wearing a crown on one side and the phrase "Through Darkness, Light" on the other.
10. Small lead chest with the Elf symbol of Morrsleib embossed on it.

** Yes, Kasey, the party just found a crystal skull.  ;)

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Song of the Jackaroos Delayed

I wanted to alternate between adventure logs from my Blood, Gold, and Lizards campaign and the Adventure Earth! campaign I play in, but the Adventure Earth! write-ups take longer as I do them as journal entries made by my character (as opposed to a simple listing of what happened).  So the Session 6 notes from the BG&L Friday Group will post this week instead (already queued up for posting Tuesday morning at 7:00 AM Central).  I should have the first installment of the Adventure Earth! notes next week.


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

BG&L - Saturday Group - Session 5

Marcus of the Shield – Human priest of Shallya, Goddess of Healing, Mercy, and Childbirth
Felix Lutsk – Human “acquisitioner”
Zoglug Ironhide – “civilized” Orc warrior
Quetzal – Lizardfolk scout
Belladonna "Frongle" Leagallow – Halfling of many talents and follower of Manann
Jacien Ghel-Aurum –Human wizard, member of the Gold Fellowship
The group decided to make the Sea Cave their forward base.  To this end, they spent two days gathering supplies to store there and they commissioned the construction of an iron bound door with a frame to hold it.  Jacien requested a large number of eyebolts be embedded in the frame on both sides and across the top.  Felix strongly advocated a good lock be included and this was incorporated into the plan.  The local craftsmen had a door already made that met the necessary specifications, so they only needed to craft the stout frame and embed the eyebolts.  In two days, all the necessary supplies were gathered and stored in Jacien’s shop and on Zoglug’s cart.
The group then boarded the Spider Walker and headed west, walking on the waters just off shore.  The rode for six hours before putting in to shore find shelter for the night.  As they arrived on shore, they spotted a ship moving along the coast, heading east towards Lucan’s Clock.  As it passed, they identified it as the Hellborn Strumpet, flying a Sartosan flag.  As the crew of the ship chose not to engage the adventurers, the adventurers chose to not engage the ship.  Frongol was unable to find a good cave for their camp, but she was able to find a good cliff overhang that was low enough to provide cover from the elements.  Watches were set and the group settled in for the night.
On the final watch, Zoglug and Marcus should have been alert, but fell asleep.  The other members of the group were awakened to the sounds of large animals rummaging through the stores on the back of the Spider Walker.  Two large beasts with heavy armor and a tail like a mace are eating the foodstuffs the group brought with them.  Quetzal talks to them in a lizard tongue and convinces the two beasts that there is better food a bit further on.  The beasts (not being too bright) agree to move on.

Once the beasts leave, Marcus and Zoglug were woken up and an explanation was demanded.  Zoglug just rolled back over, said it was Marcus’s watch, and went back to sleep.  Marcus claimed he had fallen into a meditative state communing with Shallya and had not noticed the beasts as they posed no threat to the group [that was his story and he was sticking to it].
The next day, the group continued heading east on the Spider Walker, out on the waters following the coast.  Two hours in, sharks were spotted circling something further out and the adventurers decided to go investigate.  Jacien directed the Walker further out to sea, slightly disturbing the sharks circling pattern (which changed to now include the Spider Walker).
Deep down in the water some of the adventurers could just make out the top mast of a ship.  They suspected that the Hellborn Strumpet had attacked and sank the ship.  Wanting to see what might be down there Quetzal was willing to swim down, but not with a bunch of sharks circling, so the adventurers decided to clear out the sharks by shooting them from the safe confines of the Spider Walker.  This started out OK, but eventually the sharks got riled and one made a leap out of the water and bit Frongol (who was leaning over the edge to get a better shot).  Frongol was yanked off her feet and fell into the water, bleeding from a serious shoulder wound.
The sharks started circling closer.
Quetzal dropped a rope end into the water and then dove in to help Frongol escape.  Unfortunately, three of the sharks decided Quetzal looked more like food than Frongol did and attacked her.  Quetzal lost an arm to the initial attack and then lost a part of her torso and one of her legs from the thigh down.  She immediately fell unconscious and started bleeding out.
With lots of blood in the water, the sharks started frenzying.
Frongol was able to grab Quetzal’s unconscious form and drag her over to the dangling rope while the other adventurers concentrated attacks to kill sharks faster.  Felix hauled up Frongol and Quetzal once Frongol wrapped the rope around the two of them.  When another shark approached to attack, Zoglug jumped onto the shark and attacked it!  [Yes, that’s right – Zoglug jumped the shark.]  Other sharks attacked the Spider Walker, doing serious damage to it, threatening to pull it under the waves.

In the end, the adventurers killed six of the eight great whites attacking them, driving off the other two.  Four of the dead sharks were harpooned with ropes attached and were dragged to shore with the Spider Walker as it limped back to shore, the two others sank into the gloom of the bottom.  Marcus was able to keep Quetzal from bleeding out and dying during the fight and a regeneration spell cast once back on shore regrew Quetzal’s lost limbs.  A sheltered spot was quickly located and secured.  Jacien spent the rest of the day doing repairs on the Spider Walker while Quetzal skinned and butchered the sharks with great gusto.
That night, everyone had shark steak for dinner.
That night, Zoglug and Jacien saw some klakkers (pterodactyls) fly by high overhead.  A little later, after Jacien’s watch finished and Marcus had joined Zoglug on watch, three more of the mace-tailed beasts started wandering towards the camp.  Zoglug woke up Quetzal so she could talk the beasts into leaving peacefully (everyone had had enough fighting for a while with the sharks).  After a fairly short conversation with the beasts, Quetzal redirected them away from the camp.
In the morning, the group reviewed their map of the area and discussed possible routes they could take to the Sea Cave.  To speed things up, they decided to cut through a nearby part of the Valley of the Landsharks (where they could make better time with the damaged Spider walker) so they could reach the Sea Cave by sunset.  Along the way they found some wild plants Quetzal recognized as edible, watched some more klakkers fly by (except Frongol, who stayed out of sight), and spotted a cow-herd skeleton partially buried in the ground – obviously a victim of a landshark attack.
The adventurers arrived at the Sea Cave just in time for one of the rare rain storms to come by and drench the area.  Quetzal checked the cave for tracks and found signs a Lizardfolk patrol had camped in the cave since the group had last been here (so, sometime in the last week).  The caves were quickly verified to be empty and dry.  After some discussion, the adventurers decided to claim only part of the caves, leaving a few off to one side for others to use (meaning the Lizardfolk patrols).  The group then camped.
After breakfast, Jacien went about the business of opening a temporary warp gate to his laboratory back in Lucan’s Clock.  This magic is still experimental for him and there was some concern about the consequences of failure.  Once everyone was ready, he completed the ritual and the gate opened successfully.  The plan was followed and folks rushed through and pushed Zoglug’s cart full of supplies through the gate from the lab to the cave.  The time necessary to do this was under the minute the gate lasted and all the supplies made it safely.
While the others unloaded the cart, Jacien had Zoglug haul the door from the Spider to the cave entrance the adventurers wanted to be their front door.  Once the door was in place, Jacien made multiple spell castings, filling the gaps on the sides and top with steel chains summoned from the warp.  The chains linked into the eyebolts along the sides of the doors and drove into the stone walls, anchoring the door firmly in place.
With Sea Cave Base established, the adventurers started going about the business of making it comfortable.
End of Session

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Song of the Jackaroos - Dramatis Personae

In the past I've provided an adventure log for the Pulp Hero game a friend runs periodically.  She's recently started running again and I've decided to post my notes again.  I write them as a journal kept by my character, Andrew Ezikial Crawley, Ph.D.  Think "Daniel Jackson, Ph.D." from the Stargate SG-1 television show (specifically) or the same character from the Stargate movie, but mine is red-haired.

The current story arc starts before the last one (The Butterfly Effect) has completely finished, but the switch over happens quick and early in the first game session.  The GM has not told us her name for this adventure, so I've come up with one of my own: Song of the Jackaroos.

Main Characters
Andrew Ezekial Crawley, Ph.D. – red hair, blue eyes, average height, speaks 15 languages and is an archaeologist by training.  Andrew is leader of a team for Adventure Earth Company now, but has developed suspicions about the true nature of the company.  He has developed secret ties to The Planetary Society through his friendship with Elijah Snow, the Society’s founder.

Jack Thompson – tall, short blonde hair, safari clothes and boots, Jack is a Big Game Hunter and ex-French Foreign Legionnaire.  He excels at tracking and his quarry rarely escapes, man or beast.  Also handy with a stick of dynamite.

Kurt Morison – brown hair, tall and lanky, Kurt is the quintessential cowboy, from his beat up hat all the way down to his well worn pair of boots.  He is quick with a gun and able to ride any beast that can support his weight.

Bak Mu – short, aged, white-haired Chinese man, Bak Mu is learned in Chinese Medicine and surprisingly agile for a man of his advanced years.  He is known to be able to punch through a tree with his bare hand.

Helen Amelie Victoria Bridgette Whitney, tPh.D. – red hair, green eyes, and beautiful, Helen was born to an old money family and raised to be a proper lady, but she was also the favorite of her grandfather, who taught her all sorts of non-ladylike skills and instilled a strong desire for adventure.

Reilly Burell – raven-black hair, steel-grey eyes, and ruggedly handsome, Reilly made his money as an engineer early in his life – now he looks for thrills he cannot get with just money, women, and alcohol.

Simone Chevalier – drop dead gorgeous petite blonde from France, Simone’s background is a bit of a mystery.  She is also a member of the Society of Psychical Research and a die-hard skeptic of things supernatural.

Supporting Cast
Colonel Yarborough – Owner of the Adventure Earth Company, the Colonel is apparently well-connected and has extensive resources at his command.  His company provides safaris and excursions to exotic parts of the globe for the wealthy, usually with a twist or a side-job for his employees.  He is rarely seen by the employees of his company, usually only on their first day with the company, if then.

Amanda Decker – A young, shapely, blonde woman, she is Colonel Yarborough’s personal assistant, and an employee’s main point of contact.  She also introduces the clients to the team that will be arranging whatever excursion the client is paying for.

Pamela – Secretary at the New York Office of Adventure Earth Company

Harriet Godwin – head of the Brisbane Office of Adventure Earth Company, she is currently overworked and over-stressed due to a missing team with clients.

The Client

None – sort of. (Again.)  This is more of a rescue mission, but we suspect some damage control will also be necessary.

Previous Adventures:
The Mayan Expedition - never documented. Includes the "finding" of the crystal skull.
The Kilimanjaro Safari - introduces Mr. Parks and our "issues" with him
Berlin Book Blitz - never documented.  We are in the Reichstag when the fire starts.
Tomb of the Lost Pharaoh - never documented.  Cursed tomb of Herihor found.
The Mountain Kings - an incomplete log as I never wrote down Chapter 3
     Chapter 1
     Chapter 2
The Butterfly Effect - never documented, but that might change.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Blood, Gold, and Lizards - Friday Group - Session 5

AttendeesHugo Underwood – Wood Elf shaman
Felix Lutsk – Human “acquisitioner”
Albrecht Artyom – Human Grey Wizard
Fritz Schmidt – Human scout
Zoglug Ironhide – “civilized” Orc warrior
Quetzal – Lizardfolk scout
Alset Alokin – High Elf mage

After some discussion, the group decided to return to the Hollow Tower and finish investigating the caves under it.  The took the familiar path of the Estini Road and then along the northern edge of the Wedge Wood to arrive at the Hollow Tower shortly after mid-day.  There was some discussion about whether or not to descend and explore for a few hours before camping or possibly exploring some of the nearby plains.  It was decided to descend and explore.

Hugo had an idea for bypassing the Black Chandelier and getting to the areas beyond it.  He cast his Cloud of Moths spell, pouring huge clouds of blue moths into the room.  The chandelier immediately started burning them away, but Hugo’s spell poured enough into the room to temporarily completely obscure the chandelier.  He was able to successfully run from the door to the passage out the far corner without getting burned by the chandelier’s magics.  Impressed with the success, the group had Hugo cast the spell twice more so the rest of the group could safely make the transit (except Albrecht, who teleported himself and Alset across – wizards).

The passage beyond descended down a flight of stairs and curved to the left slightly before opening to a small chamber with an ornate door.  The door was made of stone and carved with undulating waves across its surface.  Layered onto the surface were metal triangles about the size of a child’s hand.  They triangles were tinted various shades of metallic grey, creating a sense of flowing colors across the door.  Albrecht checked the doors for traps and declared it safe, so Alset turned the (triangular-shaped) handle.  This set off the trap that Albrecht missed.  The metal triangles on the door surface stood up on one edge and then flew off, filling the room with spinning, flying metal!

Luckily, the edges were dulled by time and while some received scratches from triangles, no one was seriously hurt.  [I rolled near minimum damage on the original barrage.]  While the rest of the group scooped up the metal disks, Albrecht took another look at the door.  He determined that the metal triangles on the door were replaced by a new layer, this one looking much sharper than the original disks [because, frankly, I had to roll better damage if the trap went off again] and that there was indeed a trap on the door.  He took his time to disable the trap without breaking it, thinking they might want to take the door with them at a later time.

Beyond the door was a larger chamber: half cavern, half finished stone.  The right wall of the chamber was finished stone and decorated depicting the flows of the winds of magic, with a door in the center surrounded by symbols.  The left wall was cavern wall and had a passage leading out.  Albrecht and Hugo identify the symbols as warning symbols, symbols usually placed to remind apprentices to leave a summoned creature alone.  Alset activated his See Magic spell and saw purple light leaking around the door.

As purple is the color of magic associated with Death Lore, the group decided to hold off on investigating beyond the door.  Heading down the passage on the opposite wall, they run right into two wraiths lurking in a side alcove.  The wraiths grab Felix and Alset, withering them both.  [It is possible that at this point, Felix screamed like a little girl, but it may have been the elf.  Hard to say.]  Fritz recognized the wraiths for what they were and called out that only magical attacks would harm them.  Few in the group of adventurers had magical attacks.

The following fight was touch-and-go at the first.  Albrecht cast his protective spell upon as many as he could.  This benefited the group two ways: it provided a [minor] measure of defense against the withering touch of the wraiths and made their fists slightly magical.  The tide was turned when Fritz and Quetzal individually called upon their respective faiths and were able to imbue their weapons with a measure of holy power.*  With these weapons they were able to harm and drive off the wraiths [but not destroy them].

Once the wraiths had fled into the walls, the group stayed where they were to re-gather their strength and decide what they wanted to do next.  Those touched by the wraiths slowly recovered from the withering touches, but patches of their skin remained devoid of all color where the wraiths had touched them.  Zoglug dug around in the alcove the wraiths attacked from and found two dented golden crowns.  Alset declared the crowns still had wisps of necromantic energies attached to them.  Zoglug did not care and put them on to wear.  While the debate of whether to advance or retreat continued, one of the wraiths returned and attempted to grab Albrecht.  It failed to grab him, but this motivated the adventurers to return to the surface to camp for the night.

Alset used his long range teleportation to make several teleportation jumps to return to town that night to get the crowns blessed (or at least cleansed).  He went to the Temple of Sigmar and cheerfully explained what he wanted.  The High Priest of Sigmar was not very impressed by this vagabond elf and his wants.  The priest suggested the elf try at the Temple of Manann [god of the sea] if he wanted anything unclean bathed.  The priest did agree to bless the elf’s weapon to fight the undead.  He was even less impressed with the elf when the elf admitted to not having a weapon.  A loaner hammer was secured.  A small one.  And he had to sign for it.  Alset then donated a single gold piece for the temple’s assistance.

Alset then went over to the Temple of Manann and talked with the priest there.  The High Priest of Manann was a bit gruff, but much more helpful.  At first he suggested Alset throw the crowns into the sea for purification and Manann would return them when they were purified.  Alset wasn’t quite ready for that level of deific intervention and asked if there was something that could be done without throwing the golden crowns into the sea.  The high priest then invites Alset in and has him stand in a large pool of salt water.  The high priest then starts invoking the name of Manann and the water in the pool reared up as a wave and then broke over Alset.  Alset checked the crowns and they were now clear of any necromantic energies.  Surprisingly, Alset was not drenched with sea water.  He thanked the high priest and gave a 10 gold piece donation to the temple.

Alset then cast his teleportation spell several times to get back to camp.  When he returned, he related what he had done in town.  There may have been some forehead slapping at this.  Fritz was very interested in the blessed weapon…until he learned it was a hammer from the Temple of Sigmar, whom he and his sect consider heretics (though well meaning heretics).  Felix took control of the small hammer at that point.  Watches were set and the group rested.

The next morning the group descended back down into the caverns.  Working their way back to the location of the wraith ambush, they quickly stepped past the area (ran, actually) and down the passage beyond.  That passage started curving to the left.  At the base of a set of steps leading up, they found a small side room with cloaks hanging from pegs on the wall.  The robes were black with symbols stitched on them.  No one could identify the symbols, but some of them seemed similar to those on the wall of the wizard’s laboratory they found previously.  Quetzal quickly took one of the robes and, determining it was not covered in mold, rolled it up and packed it away.  The other four robes were quickly packed away by other members of the group.

Going up the stairs, the group found a nexus of passageways.  One passage led back to the cavern with the wizard statue and altar.  Another led to a dormitory, long abandoned.  Searching the remains of furniture, the group finds two lengths of gold chain and two skeletons stuffed in two chests.  Zoglug quickly packed away one of the skulls.  Hugo was able to examine the skull of the other skeleton and determines it was human.  Felix carefully packed that skull away.

Having come full circle in the caverns, the group decided to go back and check door with the warning.  Albrecht took his time to check the door and verified it was not trapped.  He then opened the door.  The room beyond was large and square with worked stone.  In the center was a very large and intricate ritual circle with a skeleton lying in the center.  There were three pillars in the room, each in a corner (one to the immediate right from the door and the other two in the corners on the opposite side of the room) and covered in symbols and glyphs.  To the left was a wide passage out of the area.

Alset activated his magic sight and was nearly blinded by the purple energies contained inside the ritual circle.  After a few moments adjusting to the intensities, he was able to determine that three beams of power emanate from the circle, each striking one of the pillars.  The pillars crackled with energy and then each emitted a line of force into the corner behind them.  The lines went through the walls without damaging them and looked very much like the lines of force he had seen emanating from the hill the Hollow Tower sits upon.

Hugo heard a quiet female voice asking him to free here.  He did not mention this.

The group broke up into sub-groups at this point, each investigating a different part of the room.  The three wizards and Felix checked the side passage, finding it ends in a set of double doors.  Albrecht checks the doors and declares them safe.  Meanwhile, Zoglug is poking at different areas in the room with his crowbar and Quetzal is contemplating the skeleton in the circle, which she identifies as Lizardfolk.

Over at the door, Albrecht opens them and the wizards and Felix are hit with a mind blank spell, draining away their minds and memories while they are affected.**  This renders all four of them into drooling idiots for several minutes.  Once they have their minds back and are told what happened, Albrecht re-checks the door and says the door is safe – the trap must have disused itself.  The rest retreat out the original door and tell him to go ahead and open it.  He does so, getting mind blanked again, but opening the door.  While his mind is gone, the rest of the group enters the room beyond the double doors.  This room appears to be a workshop for the final casting of the ritual circle – there are mostly empty bottles of reagents and paints and some test drawings of the trickier bits of the circle.  There is also a small door on the far wall.  Zoglug starts collecting the glass bottles and beakers, emptying them by the simple expedient of drinking the contents.  He regrets the taste of some of them and his tongue ends up plaid at one point, but none of it kills him [immediately].

The group starts discussing what to do at this point.  It comes up that Hugo and Hugo only is hearing a female voice asking to be freed.  Quetzal is also interested in breaking the ritual circle as she is convinced that any mammal ritual that puts a Lizardfolk in a circle to die is inherently bad.  Most of the group moved back into the ritual room to discuss the merits and possible dangers of breaking the ritual circle.  The “Don’t Break It” group eventually convinced Quetzal that the potential dangers of breaking the circle and releasing unknown amounts of energies are too high to be safe right now and more knowledge is needed first.

While this debate was raging, Zoglug got bored and attempted to kick open the small door back in the workshop.  This detonates a large fireball that filled the workshop and flooded back into the ritual room.  Only those furthest from the explosion were still conscious and standing afterwards.  When the wizards awakened, the first thing they checked was the ritual circle – it was still intact.  They all breathed a sigh of relief at that.

Once the entire group was again awake and Albrecht had regained his mind (and been brought up to speed), the next room was checked.  It was a treasure store with several crates of gold coins and other valuables.  The destruction of the lab glass by Zoglug setting off the explosion was instantly forgiven and the group immediately set to looting the treasure room.

Seeing no reason to stay and not wanting to break the ritual circle yet, the group hauled their loot back out of the caverns and camped for the night.  The next morning they rode back to New Zwicke.

End of Session
* Both PCs have faith-based skills: Fritz a Knowledge Skill in his faith and Quetzal has a Professional Skill as a shaman.  Fritz’s player made his roll by a lot and I allowed he remembered enough of the appropriate ritual to make his bow able to smite the undead.  Quetzal made her roll by less, but has practical skill in being a shaman, so she too was able to bless her weapon enough to deal serious damage to the wraiths.

** This was a big INT drain and knocked all but Albrecht down to 0 INT.  I ruled that this wiped their memories of the events just prior to the drain and during the drain.  If the trap had gotten everyone, no one would have remembered the trap going off, just a sort of blink and then they were just standing there wondering what they were up to.  This could have kept them occupied for quite some time in that case.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

BG&L – Saturday Group – Session 4

Felix Lutsk – Human “acquisitioner”
Marcus of the Shield – Human priest of Shallya, Goddess of Healing, Mercy, and Childbirth
Zoglug Ironhide – “civilized” Orc warrior
Quetzal – Lizardfolk scout
Belladonna "Frongle" Leagallow – Halfling 
Jacien Ghel-Aurum –Human wizard, member of the Gold Fellowship

Jacien had been busy since the last outing.  He finalized the shape and form of the Spider Walker, turning it from a prototype into the thing itself.  He also worked out a formula for turning troll’s blood into something useful: potions of Troll Hide*.  His initial batch was a great success, but something went wrong with the second batch and it completely fouled up his apparatus.  Worse yet, even after a thorough cleaning, some residue remained and it spoiled the third and last batch of potions.  This used up all the troll’s blood and left Jacien with 6 potions of Troll Hide and a smelly mess (which he dumped into the bay).

Once the group of adventurers re-assembled, it was decided to give all six of the potions to Marcus, the person most in need of protection in a fight.

The group then discussed their goal for this outing.  Quetzal was firm that she wanted to make it to the end of the Valley of the Landsharks in order to find the ruins rumored to be there.  The others agreed, pausing only to discuss whether or not to thoroughly explore the areas they traveled through or not.  They decided to do so.

Once everyone was loaded into the Spider Walker, Jacien drove it across the surface of the bay, taking the direct route to the Old Colony site.  From there they headed up the Valley of the Landsharks.  They paused to explore the first part of the Valley and then headed up into the hills to the west of the Valley.  While searching that area, several people noticed a landshark attacking a herd of large lizard-beasts in the Valley (suspiciously near where they last parked the Spider Walker).  While he missed seeing the landshark attack, Jacien found a seam of tin ore that should be minable.

The group headed south to Good Cave, a safe and dry cave they discovered previously.  Last time they were here the cave was empty, but this afternoon it had occupants – Felix spotted some local Lizardfolk guarding the entrance to the cave.  Having made peaceful contact previously, Jacien parked the Spider Walker a bit away from the cave but in view of the Lizardfolk (who couldn’t help but notice the noisy contraption).  Quetzal then made her way to the cave on foot and parleyed with the Lizardfolk.  This was another patrol of Lizardfolk from much further south, but their leader had heard of Quetzal from the other patrol.  She learned from the patrol leader that the Lizardfolk to the south had decided there was good reason to start paying attention to the goings on here in the north.  Quetzal then negotiated a sharing of the cave for safe camping that night.

After a quiet night, the Lizardfolk left, continuing their patrol towards the east.  The adventurers head west, moving down into the Valley to look around some.  While exploring the area, Frongol is grabbed and nearly carried off by a Clakker, a flying reptile with a large beak and huge leathery wings [pteradon].  Several of the adventurers reacted at the same time to stop this, but Zoglug was able to cut the beast’s head off with a thrown axe, definitively stopping it.  The group then spent some time cutting off the edible meat while Jacien created a framework over the top of the Spider Walker to stretch the leathery wings, providing relief from the sun.

The group then decided to make better time and traveled along the Valley floor for several hours, scaring a few herds of what they now called Cow-herds [pronounced just like “coward”].  Late in the afternoon, they moved out of the Valley and located a camp site in the hills.  While setting up camp, several notice three landsharks circling around in the valley below.  That night, Zoglug hears a Cow-herd stampede down in the valley, suggesting a landshark attack had happened.

The next morning (after some discussion), the group headed further up the Valley.  They got far enough along that they could see the end of the Valley ahead and the beginnings of a mountain chain far in the distance.  Felix, using the spyglass, was able to spot some ruins at the end of the Valley, including one that reflected light.  He also spotted a landshark approaching from behind.  Jacien immediately drove the Spider Walker into the rocky hills again, but only to the edge this time – the adventurers wanted to get a better look at what was chasing them.

The landshark followed the Spider Walker to the edge of the stony area and then circled a little, not surfacing but its fin was visible plowing through the ground.  Felix decided to try and get it to surface by throwing rocks at a patch of ground off to one side.  Frongol moved closer to watch and see what surfaced.  Felix had little luck until he threw a stone directly at the landshark’s fin.  This provoked it into attacking and it surfaced and charged at Felix.  The adventurers responded quickly, attacking back.  Frongol was able to throw one of her shrunken swords directly into its eye, nearly killing it in one blow and stunning it.  After that, the fight ended quickly.  Felix was raked by the beasts claws, but the rest were not damaged at all.  Then the adventurers made landshark steaks and landshark jerky while Jacien and Quetzal harvested many useful bits from the carcass, including claws, teeth, armored plates, and quite a bit of the creatures blood.

Once that was done, they spent the afternoon on the Spider Walker searching the hills that formed the southern end of the Valley.  They found a set of caves, the last of which was full of salt crystals of immense size.  They made camp there for the night.  During the night, the sounds of animal life was heard often in the area, but nothing bothered them in the cave.  [I rolled three night encounters, but chose not to run them as we were starting to run short on time for the session.]

In the morning, the group took a closer look at the ruins in the valley head.  One structure was a step pyramid with six tiers; it appeared to be completely covered in dark glass.  An adjacent structure was a hill of stone rubble, that might once have been a step pyramid as well.  To the side of the Glass Pyramid was an L-shaped stone platform, 100 ft a side and five feet thick.  Adjacent to these structures was a field of metallic statues set out in a grid 200 ft in diameter.  The adventurers were intrigued, to say the least.

The rode up to the complex on the Spider Walker, which they parked on the stone platform (after having Quetzal verify that it was not likely to be sacred space).  Much closer now, they could see that the statues were the heads of an amphibian creature or creatures.  To Quetzal, they looked exactly like what the gods were supposed to look like; to everyone else they were frog heads of some sort.  They could also now see that in amongst the statues were large egg shells and nesting debris.

Felix, Quetzal, Marcus, and Jacien walked over to get better looks at the statues.  There was a path between the platform and the rubble hill outlined by metallic pillars 20 ft tall.  Closer inspection indicated that the pillars extended down into the ground as well.  The same thing appeared to be true of the statues when they got over to them.  Closer inspection also revealed that all of the hundreds of statues appeared to be of the same being.  Jacien was able to determine that the statues were of zinc or heavily clad in zinc.  The adventurers deduced that the egg shells were probably those of the Cow-herds.  The area was also devoid of landshark furrows, sparking the suggestion that maybe landsharks avoid zinc.

Meanwhile, Zoglug and Frongol investigated the Glass Pyramid – Zoglug had circled it on foot and noticed a worn patch on the fifth tier.  The first thing they noticed was that all the edges were sharp.  Then Zoglug noticed that the glass did not crack or scratch when he walked on it in his hob-nailed boots.  There were steep, shallow steps up one side of the pyramid, which Zoglug found awkward to climb, but Frongol found easy (with her smaller feet and such).  Zoglug stopped at the fifth tier to work his way around to the side with the worn area while Frongol continued to the top.

The top was 30 ft square, with a 10 ft diameter circle inscribed and decorated with gold in the center.  It appeared to be a sunburst of some sort.  Zoglug found a lightly trail leading around to the side, where he found a worn patch on the wall.  He suspected there was a door, but could not find it, so he called Frongol over.

By this point, the rest of the adventurers were done looking at the statues and had moved over to the Glass Pyramid.  Most went up to the top to see what was there before joining Zoglug and Frongol on the side of the pyramid.  Jacien was able to determine that the gold-lined inscribed circle was linked to teleportation magic, probably teleporting into the pyramid.

Around this time, Frongol was able to work out how to open the (very) concealed door on the side of the pyramid.  Beyond it was a short passage (both in height and length) that led to a 5x5 ft shaft descending into the pyramid.  After having Marcus create a light, the group entered the pyramid and started climbing down the side of the shaft, using the metal rungs built into the walls.  At the bottom was another short passage and a door.  Zoglug opened it.

Beyond was a large open chamber, about 30 ft square, but with rounded corners and filled with purple light.  Jacien confirmed the purple light was magical, but was not certain what it did, as it was outside his area of study.  He did know that purple magic followed the lore of Death, but was not necromancy.  Zoglug entered the chamber and said it was fine, but the purple light was “a bit itchy”.

The walls and tall ceiling of the chamber were covered a deep blue, almost black, and constellations were picked out in gems.  [None of the adventurers knew anything about astronomy, so that’s all they got.]  On the floor in the center was an exact duplicate of the sun burst on the roof.  Above it was a depiction of the greater moon done in curved metal pieces, showing the current phase of the moon.

The group searched the room thoroughly for an exit and had trouble finding any until Frongol noticed three gems in a diamond-shaped constellation on one wall were worn and no longer as reflective of the light.  She pushed them in clockwise order and another concealed door opened up.  It was also low and led to the left and then around the corner of the chamber to stairs leading down.  The group descended.

The stairs ended at the backside of a concealed door, which opened into a mostly empty storage room, full of shelves.  The group searched around and was able to find an odd assortment of small figurines, probably game pieces of some sort, but not a game any of them knew about.  They were pocketed for later review.

The door exiting the store room was much larger and wider than the concealed doors and opened on a hallway with an open lounge across the hall from the storeroom.  In the lounge were three very wide but low chairs.  They reminded Quetzal of the chairs the gods were supposed to favor – however the stories she had heard never mentioned the comfy cushions.  The hallway went left and right about 30 ft and was painted in abstract patterns of soothing greens.  There were two doors across from one another at each end.

Following the Left Hand Rule, the adventurers turned left and walked to the doors on the left.  One door was of the over-large size, the other much smaller.  They tried the larger door and found a room with rounded corners almost completely filled with a large round pool, nearly four feet deep.  The water was pure and clear.  They looked around and found little other than the pool.  There was some discussion about the room and its possible use, but they could not come to any conclusions.

Moving across the hall to the smaller door, they opened it and found a kitchen and food preparation area.  Seated at a table were three motionless skinks that looked partially decayed.  Jacien looked at the skinks with his Alchemechikal Eye and found the skinks to all be heavily infused with purple magic.  Zoglug went up and poked one of them to see if they were squishy or leathery – it swatted his hand and told Zoglug not to poke it in the tongue of the skinks.

This surprised everyone.

Quetzal stepped forward and had a conversation with the skink in the skink tongue.  Afterwards, she said the skinks were servitors of “The Masters,” who seemed to have been gone for a while, she was not certain how long as the skink described the amount of time in a way she did not understand.  She also said that the skinks suggested there might be interesting things in the Antiquities Building adjacent to this pyramid.  The adventurers believe they mean the ruined pile next to this pyramid, which suggests the skinks have not been outside in some time.

Not seeing any profit in attacking the skinks (and suspecting there might be significant danger in doing so), the adventurers left the kitchen and closed the doors.  They then went and investigated the doors at the far end of the hall.  The doors there were of the very large style and both led to rooms almost identical to the first room with the pool.  This led to speculation that “The Masters” needed the water for either rejuvenation or rest, based on the frog-like appearance of the statues outside.

Unable to find any further means down, the group retreated back up and out of the pyramid.  With many questions and few answers, the adventurers decide to head back to Lucan’s Clock.  [Also, it was starting to get late.]  They chose to head due west, deducing from their partial map of the coast that the coast may be nearby to the west.  After two hours of riding in the Spider Walker, they find the coast was in deed where they thought it might be.  They searched that area and found an excellent gave with a good view of the sea.  They set up camp in it.

The next morning, they use the Spider Walker to follow the coast on the water.  After riding for most of the day, they turned towards shore again to search out a good place to camp.  They found a mostly hidden inlet adjacent to a large cave full of bats.  There was a primitive mooring post in the inlet near shore and they found some guano mining tools near the entrance to the cave.  They looked relatively recently used, suggesting someone was using this cave surreptitiously.  Jacien was very excited to find this cave, as there are many things he can alchemically make with bat guano.

Two days later, the group finally arrived back at Lucan’s Clock.  They found precious little in the way of wealth this trip, but a good deal of knowledge and many useful locations.

End of Session

* Potion of Troll Hide:
6 PD / 4 ED Armour     19 Active Points
OAF: Potion Bottle, Fragile (Easily Spilled) -1 1/4
1 Hours Extra Time, Startup (Brewing) -1 1/2
1/2 DCV Concentrate Throughout -1/2
Gestures -1/4
Incantation -1/4
6 x 1 Minute Charges -0
Charges Never Recover -2
Independent -2
RSR: Alchemist Skill (-1/2)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Adventure Log Delayed

Working on the log for the Saturday Group, Session 4, which happened last Saturday.  This being the Year Everything Happens at Once, I've had several other things in front of it in priority.  At this point I'm going to punt - it'll be up when it is up, next Tuesday at the latest.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

BG&L – Friday Group – Session 4

Felix Lutsk – Human “acquisitioner”
Hugo Underwood – Wood Elf shaman
Albrecht – Human Grey wizard
Fritz Schmidt – Human scout
Zoglug – “civilized” orc warrior
Quetzal – lizardfolk scout
Alset Alokin – High Elf magus
As it was the full moon, the New Zwicke Monthly Auction was being held at the start of the game session.  Looking over the various things up for auction, five lots catch their eyes:
  1. A large boulder (5 ft in diameter) carved into the shape of a stone lizardfolk head.  It was being offered by the Imperial Estini Logging Company.  Zoglug estimated its worth at 20g.
  2. A short feathered cloak covered in colorful and rare bird feathers.  It was being offered by The Jade Hand Explorer's Club.  Zoglug estimated its worth at 100g.
  3. A collection of jade beads.  They were being offered by The Jade Hand Explorer's Club.  Zoglug estimated their worth as a group at 20g.
  4. A wood plank covered with lizardfolk glyphs, part of a larger whole.  It was being offered by The Copper Wolves.  Zoglug estimated its worth at 1g.
  5. A fancy blowgun, heavily carved and lacquered.  It was being offered by The Jade Hand Explorer's Club.  Zoglug estimated its worth at 15-20g.

The players took some time examining the items and determined the following:
  • The cloak, the beads, and the blowgun are grave goods, possibly from the tomb of a famous skink hero (Quetzal couldn’t remember the name – it’s a skink).
  • The Jade Hand Explorer's Club has probably looted the tomb, but might not have cleared it.
  • The wood plank carvings are incomplete, but Quetzal was able to determine they were warnings about “triangles of power”.

The group decided to buy all five items of interest for the purpose of returning them to the Jicarilla.  Fritz did most of the bidding with some assistance from Zoglug (mostly by staring at competing bidders) and was able to get good deals on the jade beads and the blow gun (10g each) and fair prices on the rest (18g for the stone head, 100g for the cloak, and 1g for the wood plank).  Fritz decided to pay for it all out of his own funds.  He gave the blowgun to Quetzal, but took the rest to the lizardfolk enclave outside the town walls and presented it all to the Jicarilla representative as a gift.  The representative was generally impassive (as most lizardfolk are around colonists), but Fritz may have gained some good will, something he wants for when he establishes a colony of his own.

The next morning, the group headed out of New Zwicke, intent on investigating the hollow towers they discovered just beyond the Wedge Wood.  They took the Estini Road north and then cut east, following the northern edge of the Wedge Wood.  They found the site where they had seen an orc camp and stopped to look around.  The orcs had left heading north east several days ago and left little of value.  After poking around some more and finding little, the group moved on to the nearest Hollow Tower.

Those who had been to the Hollow Tower previously brought Quetzal and Zoglug up to date on previous learnings.  Zoglug insisted on investigating the interior of the Hollow Tower himself, and they let him.  Once that was done, they entered the hidden cave mouth and followed the stairs down, down, down.

The spiral of steps eventually ended at a small cavern/landing, where they found the remains of a small campsite long abandoned.  Before following the only passage out, they searched around the small cavern and Alset located a well concealed secret door.  He outlined it in chalk so Albrecht could locate it.  After verifying that it was safe to do so, Albrecht opened the secret door.  Beyond was a bedchamber with some furniture and a regular door on one wall.  The group searched the room and found a cursed fountain pen in the writing table.  Alset examined the magics on the fountain pen and pronounced them extremely dangerous dark magics.  Everyone agreed to leave the pen alone and meant it, even the orc.

The door led to a wizard’s laboratory with some tables, a few chairs, and a set of shelves full of books.  Suspecting the books were very old and probably fragile, they left them alone and investigated the rest of the room first.  One of the walls was covered with slate and had chalk writings covering most of it.  There were several large triangles drawn on the walls with varying symbols drawn at the corners.  The symbols were arcane in nature but not recognizable to spellcasters present, suggesting either a cypher or a new type of magical symbols.  Many notes were made.  The triangles seemed to tie into the writing Quetzal had been able to read on the wooden plank back at the auction and she suspected there may be a link between the two.

Felix decided to perform a test [I think it was Felix – I was not feeling well and hardly took any notes].  He took one of the less valuable looking books off the shelf to see if it would crumble at his touch.  It did not – in fact it was in very good condition.  Alset was able to detect some preservation magic on the room, so Felix stepped outside the room and observed the book.  It started weakening immediately, with pages becoming loose and brittle.  He immediately stepped back into the workshop and the decay stopped, but was not undone.  All agreed that the books should stay in the room for now.

The group then exited the secret rooms and reclosed the secret door, erasing the chalk outline afterwards.  They then followed the only passage out, descending further.  The next chamber consisted of a larger cavern with a sloping passage hugging one wall.  Halfway down the ramp was another passage out of the cavern.  At the base of the slope they could see an ornate wooden door.  At the bottom of the cavern, laying on the floor, was a very large skeleton chained to the wall below the ramp.

The group slowly moved down the ramp.  They paused at the passage out to see what they could see and saw the passage continued a short ways and then split at a T-intersection.  They continued to descend to the floor.  Before touching the door in any way, they investigated the large skeleton.  They determined it was a troll skeleton and the chain was still in good condition.  One of the adventurers yanked a bit on the chain to see if they could get it off the leg bones easily.  This, of course, animated the troll skeleton, which stood up and attacked.

The fight was short but potentially dangerous as even without flesh, the troll skeleton was fiercely strong.  Combining their might, the adventurers put down the bones into a pile.  Felix then collected the now-loosened bones in a sack and the chain was pulled out of the wall (which took some combined effort by the characters).

Beyond the door was a hallway that turned to the left after two separate bends in the path.  Between the two was a door to an old storage room with three wooden crates.  The adventurers took the contents (including some iron spheres the size of their heads) and moved on.  [Again, I hardly took any notes as I was feeling poorly.  I will update this once I work out everything that was there.]

At the end of the hallway was another room.  The room was mostly empty, with a door in the far corner and a wrought iron chandelier hanging from the ceiling.  The chandelier is twisted into the shapes of skulls, with each skull holding a black candle that was lit.  The eyes of the skulls glowed faintly red.  This did not look safe at all.  Felix has Zoglug throw one of the iron spheres at the chandelier.  As soon as the sphere entered the room it burst into flames, quickly burning away as it flew across the room towards the chandelier.  By the time it reached the chandelier is was about the size of an apricot pit and it barely budged the chandelier.  The adventurers immediately closed the door.

They then backtracked to the side passage from the troll skeleton room.  They took the left branch at the T-intersection and found a series of partially completed rooms and passages.  One partially finished chamber had three walls painted to give a view of a pleasant garden.  Another’s floor was covered in thousands of needles standing on their points.  If pushed over (by, say, an iron bowling ball rolled across the floor), the needles would immediately resume standing on their points once free to do so.  A few needles were taken for later study.

Once they reached the end of the unfinished passages, they reversed course and took the right passage from the T-intersection.  The next chamber had a raised platform on the left side and a passage out at the far end.  On the platform was a stone statue of a man dressed in robes holding a plate out in one hand with an altar in front of the statue.  On the altar was a large metal bowl full of sand.  The stone plate that was part of the statue was deeply stained a dark color and had “magical splatter” that Alset could see with his magical vision spell, suggesting some sort of sacrificial offerings had been placed on the plate in the past, and often.  There was gold writing around the base of the statue that no one could read.

The group decided that the statue was bad news and left it alone.  The writing around its based was copied down for later investigation.  Hugo decided that while the statue was likely dangerous, the metal bowl wasn’t and he took it, dumping out the sand in it.  The group decided it was time to return to new Zwicke to see if they could learn more before going any farther.  [It was late and they didn’t want to roll on the Table of Doom by not being back somewhere safe at the end of the session.]

They returned to the surface and immediately rode back to New Zwicke.  Pushing it, they arrived at New Zwick at dusk, thoroughly exhausted.

End of Session
Thoughts: I may make the New Zwicke auctions quarterly, rather than monthly.  This would make them more significant and allow them to be fairs as well.  Once I have a proper calendar up and running, I’ll probably do that.  The Lucan’s Clock equivalent will still be monthly as it is more of a swap meet rather than a proper auction.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Computer Issues

Post for this week delayed as:
A) I am getting my laptop fixed from software issues.
B) I had a cold over the weekend and did little involving higher brain functions.

The laptop had to be restored to factory start, so I'll be pulling down/reloading software this week in my spare time.  I should have a post for the game I ran last Friday by the end of the week, but it may be next Tuesday as this weekend is booked solid for events and I'll have little free time if I don't get it written by Friday.

On the positive side, my laptop has been running for more than 20 minutes without locking up, so there's that.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Blood, Gold, and Lizards - Friday Group - Session 3

Felix Lutsk – male Human “acquisitioner”
Hugo Underwood – male Wood Elf shaman
Albrecht Artyom – male Human Grey Wizard
Fritz Schmidt – male Human scout
Alset Alokin – male High Elf mage

Penrith the Steeplejack (Sergeant)
Lukyan the Fat
Fredek the Hare

Felix, recently returned from his sojourn to Lucan’s Clock (having received word that the heat had died down), told many stories about how different things are over in the Sartosan colony.  He now has a healthy respect for orcs and the lizardfolk, having seen examples of them in action.

The group of adventurers that comprised F&A Holdings decided they wanted some more information about the areas outside of New Zwicke.  To secure this information, they individually scouted the town for rumors.  The most intriguing rumors they heard suggested that there was something up in the area known as the Dark of the Woods, that the lizardfolk avoided, but no one knew what.  The group decided that that was not a strong enough lead to investigate and instead decided to finish their investigations of the Wedge Wood.

Before heading out of New Zwicke, the group tracked down and hired Penrith the Steeplejack and his two companions-in-arms, Fredek the Hare and Lukyan the Fat.  The three had just about blown through their share of the last outing and were very willing to sign on for the same rate as before: 5s a day or a full share if there was any fighting.

Starting in the morning, the group road the Estini road north(-ish) out of town for two hours and then cut east towards Wedge Wood.  An hour later they were in the Wedge Wood, looking for the tower they had previously discovered.  Felix’s map was not as accurate as he had hoped it would be, but after wandering for nearly an hour Fritz took a look at the map and was able to get them to the correct place.

The tower was still buried under trees and other plant growth.  The path they had hacked to the entrance to the tower was covered again with heavy new growth, despite it having been less than a month since their last visit.  They started hacking through the plant growth again, clearing a path to the entrance to the tower.  Fritz took this time to set out surveying markers around the tower as the first step towards claiming ownership of it.  Hugo noticed the horses were nervous and used his Beast Speak power to ask them why they were nervous.  The horses only said “something big is here” and asked for some oats.  By this time the entrance to the tower was clear and the group moved in.  The interior was exactly as they had left it: dry with a slight coating of dust.  Despite there being no door covering the entrance, there was no plant growth intruding from the outside.  The adventurers also checked the dust for footprints and found there were no extra footprints in the dust beyond the ones they had left before.

They made their way back up to the third floor and found that the moss once again covered all surfaces except the statue.  Alset cast a new spell he had learned, one that allowed him to see the winds of magic and analyze them.  He found the room was awash in green magic, emanating from the statue and flowing out through the missing wall section (see the previous expedition for details of the room). []  Comparing to their map of the areas around New Zwicke, the adventurers are able to determine that the flow of energies follow the centerline of the Wedge Wood in a roughly northeasterly direction.

Albrecht realized that his newly developed Mage Sight had been indicating that while the third floor was awash in green magical energies, the first and second floor were a different magic.  The group retreated back down to the second floor and Alset was able to determine that the energies on the lower two floors were High Magic (suggesting High Elves) and maintaining the environment and keeping the green out.  Alset and Albrecht investigated the summoning circle found in the hidden chamber last time.  It was not active but could still be used.  That room also contained residues on the walls and floors that could only be described as “magical splatter” and reminiscent of Dark Magic (which suggested Dark Elves).  Somewhat mystified, the group returned to the entry rooms on the first floor to camp and give some thought to their next actions.

During the night, an assassin vine moved through the area.  Hugo and Fredek notice it, but decide to let it pass as it just seems to be moving through the area.  Hugo does mention it to Fritz and Penrith when he wakes them for the last watch.

In the morning, the group decamps, having decided to explore the Wedge Wood more before tampering with the statue in the tower.  Over the next several hours the group finds evidence of boars (or something very like boars) living in the forest and an abandoned (and extremely well hidden) elven camp.  By the end of the day they had finished searching about a third of the Wedge Wood and made camp.  During the night, a large shambling mass of plant-life with a vaguely humanoid shape attacked the campsite.  Hugo noticed its approach early and awoke the group prior to its attack.  Even so, the fight was tense if short.  Felix was the first to approach the creature and was nearly felled by its held attack.  This prompted Penrith and his men to step up and physically haul Felix out of danger, forming an impromptu bucket line as they passed the barely conscious man to the back of the group.  After that, Fritz got a good shot in on the creature, stunning it.  This allowed Penrith and his men to quickly and safely chop the creature down to a pile of mulch.  Fritz took the time afterwards to cut out the fibrous heart of the creature, believing that it might be worth something back in town.

The next morning, the group resumed their exploration of the woods.  About mid-morning they come across an elf hanging from his neck on the southern edge of the woods.  Hugo recognized him as Pepin, another Wood Elf who lived here in the Wedge Wood.  Pepin had been clearly killed by violence elsewhere and hung here after his death.  There were some bloody writing on his body, but the handwriting was so bad it was illegible.  Fritz and Hugo searched the ground around the area and found signs indicating that orcs had been in the area and were likely responsible.  This was slightly unusual as there were no orcs tribes known to be in the area.  Later in the day, after losing an hour to heavy rains, the group found a dead orc on the northern border of the woods with three elven arrows sticking out of its back.  It was unclear as to whether or not the orc had been killed before or after Pepin died.  They rolled the body and found a pouch of Old World coins attached to its belt.  After another couple of hours exploring, the group camped again.  The night passed quietly.

The next day they reach the eastern edge of the Wedge Wood.  While exploring the corner of the wood, Albrecht spots a tower on a single hill out on the plains to the southeast.  After some discussion, the adventures decide to finish exploring the Wedge Wood first, then look into the tower.  Exploring the length of the eastern edge of the woods, they determine that the edge is a straight line.  Reaching the northeastern corner of the woods, they spot another tower on a hill out on the plains.  The line formed by the edge of the Wedge Woods runs perfectly between the two towers.

The adventurers begin to suspect that there is more to the Wedge Wood than they originally suspected.  They speculate much as to its shape and form the opinion that there may be another tower near the “point” of the woods that forms the northern boundary to the forest.  They head north onto the plains to get closer to the second tower they have discovered.  They spot some unusual, lizard-like herd beasts grazing on the plains, but have no idea what they are.  Not wanting any trouble or to get too close to the tower while they are tired, the group sets up camp on the plains for the night.

The next morning the group carefully approaches the tower on the lone hill.  It appears to be three stories tall, but has a smooth stone surface with no windows.  Once they get up on the hill, they see two things: there is no door to the tower, but there is an orc camp about 3-4 miles west of them.  Using the company spyglass, they scope out the orc camp.  They can see three large square tents set up and (what they assume are) some orcs walking around the camp.  Initially they were not certain if it was orcs, but Alset spots a banner flying from one of the tents that clearly has orc glyphs on it.  The number of tents suggests 10 or more orcs, which out numbers the adventuring party, so the adventurers decide to avoid the orcs and not pick a fight.

Albrecht teleports to the top of the tower and nearly falls in, all the way to the bottom – the tower is hollow.  Alset casts his magic seeing spell and determines that the magic in the area is sourced from under the hill, not in the tower.  Additionally, he can now see two lines of magical power emanating from the hill.  One line runs roughly SE, but the other line is a surprise.  Instead of running WSW and forming the northern barrier of the Wedge Wood, it goes NE!  [RETCON: There is a third line running due east.]  Alset also notices that there is a cave entrance concealed by magic nearby, leading down into the hill.

After some discussion and checking their rations, the group decides that they do not have enough supplies with them to pursue their investigation of the tower right now.  Now is the time to return back to town (especially as they do not know what the orcs are up to.  They mount up and ride along the northern edge of the Wedge Wood, doing their best to not be noticed by the orcs.  Once they make it to the Estini Road, they ride hard and arrive at New Zwicke at dusk, just before the town gates are being closed for the night.

End of Session