Wednesday, November 15, 2017

OLD SKOOL CAMPAIGN DIARY: VILLAGE OF HOMMLET, PT. 2

The Heroes:
  • Anton Loyalar: Oeridian Paladin of Heironeous
  • Coppyr: Halfing Monk
  • Eli Pendar: Flannish Cleric of Pholtus
  • Tharn: Dwarf barbarian of the Fireforge clan


Our heroes spend the evening hours in the Welcome Wench.  Anton Loyalar retires early to get a bath and the others go to the dormitory later.  Prior to this, however, a few of them hung around the common room to try and gather information.  Eli spoke with Ostler Gundigoot, the proprietor of the inn, and learned that the structure being built is a fortress that is being funded by the viscount of Verbobonc to try and stabilize the area.  Eli also learned that any attempt to start up a temple in town would probably meet fierce opposition by the local chief cleric of St. Cuthbert, Terjon.  flaming eye symbol belonged to a cult of “elemental evil,” which caused trouble a decade or so ago that culminated in the Battle of Emridy Meadows.  That costly battle resulted in the army raised by the cult being destroyed and the cult’s leader’s driven back to their headquarters, a temple near the town of Nulb.  The Knights of the Hart called in powerful wizards and priests to lock down the temple to prevent any from entering or exiting, and such has it been for the past 12 years or so.  The news of bandits bearing that symbol concerned Ostler, who summoned the town council for a meeting that night at the inn.  Eli tried listening in, but heard only concerns and skepticism on the validity of the claim with no affirmative action being decided.

The following morning, the heroes arise and meet Spugnois in the common room.  They eat breakfast and Eli hits up Ostler with the idea of hiring adventurers to look into the bandit/cult connection, but Ostler said the council wouldn’t pay for such an effort without more solid proof. 

The heroes finish their meals and hit the trail to the moat house, following Spugnois, who had already done some research on the place.  Just outside of town, the moat house was an outpost used by bandits and brigands and caused much trouble to Hommlet, but it was basically destroyed and the bandits scattered when a connection to the Temple of Elemental Evil was made.  It has been a crumbling ruin ever since, but Spugnois believes it to be the likely hideout of the brigands troubling Hommlet currently. 

They travel through some woods and some bog, finding prints along the way suggesting recent traffic to the moat house.  A trail leading up to the structure comes into view and Coppyr tries sneaking up to get a better look.  The moat house looks very dilapidated and unlikely to host any groups within, but the heroes approach to check it out.  As they near the moat house, several giant frogs emerge from the moat surrounding the structure and attack!  The heroes manage to fight off and kill the frogs and then enter through the front opening.  Eli checks out the dark tower at the entrance and is confronted by a giant spider, who gets the drop on the cleric and poisons him with a bite!


End of session.

Monday, November 13, 2017

OLD SKOOL CAMPAIGN: VILLAGE OF HOMMLET PT 1

It is a time for adventure!  An eon after the Twin Cataclysms reshaped Eastern Oerik, referred to as the Flanaess, opportunity abounds!  Ruins of old are being discovered, ancient treasures unearthed and the spirit of exploration has been rekindled.  As a tentative peace is maintained across the central Flanaess, adventurers take to the hills, valleys and mountains searching their fortunes. 

One such group gathers in Verbobonc.  Drawn together by happenstance, the group find common ground in a tavern, where so many such compacts are formed, and together they hit the road to learn what troubles the village of Hommlet. 

Anton Loyalar, Oeridian paladin of Heironeous and member of the Knights of the Hart
Eli Pendar, Flannish cleric of Pholtus
Coppyr, Halfling monk, and
Tharn, dwarf barbarian of the Fireforge clan

Together, this group travels the trade road from Verbobonc in to the Kron Hills and towards Hommlet, but they encounter a group of brigands in the road, intent upon relieving them of their purses.  The heroes quickly show them the error of their ways.  Though one escaped the scuffle, the others will harass travelers no more.  Hidden upon one of their number was a strange parchment bearing a symbol of a flaming eye.  Not knowing the significance of this, the group tuck this away for future reference and continue onward to Hommlet.

Upon reaching the village, they are immediately accosted by a member of the local church.  Calmer greets them upon the road, hands full of the writtings of St. Cuthbert of the Cudgel, and attempts to lure them into the nearby temple to fill the offering bin.  The heroes bypass the cleric and continue on into town towards the large inn. 

Outside of the large structure, a sign bearing a smiling, buxom young lass and the words The Welcome Wench Inn, greet them.  They enter the structure and find a few patrons partaking in food and drink.  They are welcomed by a young lass who escorts them to a vacant table and takes their orders with a smile.  They survey the room and see a number of locals and a few others that appear to be passing through as they are.  A couple of Flan or Baklunish  travelers speaking in a tongue none of them are familiar with, give them an unfriendly glare before returning to their private conversation.  Another fellow seems to be trying his luck in convincing the serving girl to return to his chambers.   Another sits alone dining in the center of the room, casting glances back towards the heroes’ table. 

Eli, skilled in reading lips, tries to discern any interesting conversations, but abandons that for a more direct approach and goes to the bar when a couple of locals speak animatedly with the barkeep.  Near these three, a stranger watches and listens to that conversation with great interest as they speak of the financial troubles of Hommlet due to the reduction in traffic thanks to a rash of bandit attacks on the roads. 

Eli and the stranger, who introduces himself as Spugnois, talk and the latter reveals himself to be a mage seeking adventure so that he may grow in his magical prowess.  He tells Eli of rumors of activity in a structure on the outskirts of town that the locals call the “moat house.”  Apparently, some time ago, the moat house was used as an outpost for a cult of evil doers, but that cult was wiped out and the moat house has been abandoned ever since.  Spugnois believes it to be a perfect hideout for the bandits that have been plaguing town and has been looking for others to go check it out with him.  Eli takes the mage to meet the others and as a group they agree to accompany Spugnois to the moat house.  The group agrees to meet at first light, and the mage excuses himself to study and to get some rest.


End of session.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

SOTDL CAMPAIGN DIARY: THE END IS NEAR PT 3, 10/24/17 - THE FINALE

The Heroes:
·   Ecna Lubma: dwarf priest grudgebearer healer
·     Gruntbelly: dwarf magician sorcerer wizard
·     Kane Arroway: human warrior fighter sharpshooter
·     Mathias: jotun jotun juggernaut spirit warrior

Picking up where we left off, our heroes had just confronted Katandramus and the Brotherhood of Shadows as they performed a ritual that tore a hole in the sky above Crossings in order to let the Demon Lord into this world.  Gruntbelly had been killed by a spell cast by Inquisitor Masivar and Katandramus himself was in the center of the town square, surrounded by a protective field of magic as he completed the ritual while his Dark Brothers and demon servant attacked the heroes.

Ecna recovered from his injuries enough to restore Gruntbelly to life.  Gruntbelly used his magic to get out of the danger zone and, after healing up, they provided support to Mathias, who was fighting the demon and the cultists toe-to-toe, while Kane rained down arrows from his perch.  As they whittled away at the cultists, the tear in the sky widened revealing a great, red eye (the Demon Lord?).  Also as they fought, Kane saw several cultists disappearing across the square as a blur moved from building to building apparently taking them out. 

To make matters worse, the ground begins to tremble, and at a distance outside of the city, they see the enormous bulk of the Destroyer of Worlds, approaching Crossings. 

Katandramus completes the ritual and focuses his attentions on the heroes.  Using the Eye of the Demon Lord, he unleashes wave upon wave of destructive energy upon the heroes, forcing them to use every resource at their disposal to avoid being disabled or killed. 

Gruntbelly uses his magic to pound away at the barrier protecting Katandramus and finally brings it down.  Mathias risks moving away from the demon to confront the cult leader and draws the Sword of Unmaking to end his threat, but as the weapon comes down upon Katandramus, it stops and refuses to hit him!  Katandramus laughs and explains that the sword and the eye are brethren and will not harm each other.  But his amusement is short lived as Gruntbelly strikes him with magic that stuns the cultist and then the blur that had been aiding them throughout the battle, emerges from a building and reveals herself as Lucretia!  She attacks the defenseless Katandramus, tearing out his throat and feasting upon his blood.  As he dies, his connection to the ritual maintaining the tear in the sky ends and it begins to close, locking the Demon Lord away once again.

At this point, the tremors become so intense that its all the heroes can do to stand and they see that the Destroyer of Worlds is at the city gates.  Buildings around them fall, and the very earth erupts in stone and magma at the demon prince’s approach. 

The heroes find their magic carpet nearby and use it to fly to the Destroyer of Worlds.  They fly above the enormous abomination and Mathias drops down upon it from above, attempting to use the Sword of Unmaking on the monster.  But Mathias is unable to get a good strike on the demon prince initially, and the Sword of Unmaking begins to unmake him instead!  Finally, thanks to assistance from his friends, Mathias gets two solid strikes on the Destroyer of Worlds, and the demon is unmade and disappears.

The heroes scoop up the falling Mathias, head back to the partially destroyed Crossings and take stock of what has happened.

Kane’s family are found safe.

Ecna recovers Stohk Ironbrow’s body and uses his magic to restore the dwarf to life.

Most of the town’s leadership is dead, along with the inquisitors that had imprisoned Randofus, Crowley and many others.  Randofus remains alive, but gives up his title of Inquisitor to wander the land seeking a deeper truth. 


At this point, the heroes settle down for a well-deserved rest, as they have saved the world from certain destruction.  But elsewhere, the Great Dragon stirs in its mountain, awakened by these disturbances, and a great hunger burns in its belly…

Friday, October 20, 2017

SOTDL CAMPAIGN DIARY: THE END IS NEAR, PT 2, 10/17/17

The Heroes:
·     Ecna Lubma: dwarf priest grudgebearer healer
·     Gruntbelly: dwarf magician sorcerer wizard
·     Kane Arroway: human warrior fighter sharpshooter
·     Mathias: jotun jotun juggernaut spirit warrior

The heroes finish off the cultists in the tower and spot out the windows activity happening outside.  They look and see that the wall that had prevented them from entering the central part of town was going down, probably as a result of their stopping the cultists.  But as this occurs, the glowing fey spires begin to glow brighter and then each emit a bright beam of power that converge upon a central location in the skies above Crossings.  There, the space begins to warp and a dark hole appears in the sky, unnervingly similar to the hole that the Destroyer of Worlds emerged from just days earlier.  The heroes also spot activity on the ground directly below the hole in the sky.

The heroes rush down to the ground level and take their flying carpet towards the area where this is occurring.  The turbulence caused by the energy beams and the hole in the sky causes the rug to go haywire and it bucks the two dwarfs and jotun off.  They fall roughly to a nearby rooftop.  Kane holds on to the rug for a few moments, then drops to another nearby rooftop.  The group converge in an alley and spot the area where they saw activity and see more cultists in the town market square.  They also spot someone having been crucified in that area, likely being sacrificed in the ritual that is activating the fey towers.

Mathias moves in first, sneaking up to the nearest building and climbing in the 2nd floor window, surprising the cultist there.  Kane follows and the two fight the cultist while Ecna and Gruntbelly proceed on the street level.  Gruntbelly spots a spellcaster on a nearby roof and uses his magic to summon a burst of wind, knocking the cultist off the roof.  This alerts other nearby cultists, who proceed to move in on the two dwarves and attack. 

The market square is a flurry of activity.  The center of the square is a whirlwind of energy with the leader of the Brotherhood of Shadows, Katandramus, at its center, apparently driving the ritual.  Surrounding him are several cultists, many appearing inhuman with red skin and horns, others appear to be normal humans, but all bearing the robes of the brotherhood.  Among them the heroes spot Inquisitor Masivar and they also spot a large demon on a rooftop. 

Mathias and Kane finish off the cultist in the building and the joten changes into a bird and tries to fly to Katandramus, but is stopped by the barrier created by the energies swirling around the cult leader. 

Ecna and Gruntbelly manage to kill some cultists, but the numbers pressing in on them result in Gruntbelly going down.  He survives for a time until Masivar casts a spell in that area and the dark tentacles he summons kills the dwarf!

Kane, Ecna and Mathias are left and things look grim as the cultists and demon bear down upon them and, as they look  upward, the see an impossible large, red and inhuman eye peering through the widening hole in the sky…


End of session.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

SOTDL CAMPAIGN DIARY: THE END IS NEAR, PT 1, 10/10/17

The Heroes:
·     Ecna Lubma: dwarf priest grudgebearer healer
·       Gruntbelly: dwarf magician sorcerer wizard
·       Kane Arroway: human warrior fighter sharpshooter
·       Mathias: jotun jotun juggernaut spirit warrior

The heroes traverse the mountain paths rapidly, attempting to get far away from the massive demon that tore away from the Void and devoured the keep they had just left.  Having successfully acquired the Sword of Unmaking, the heroes seek out their ride, but sadly find the wreckage of the airship and the bodies of the crew and the captain, Corin Ironmonger.  They take the body of Corin, wrapped in funerary fashion, and continue their journey on their enchanted rug, flying over the Iron Peaks and on towards Foundry.  Mindful of the creature that took down the airship, they scan the skies for any signs of predators and as they leave the mountains they spot a dragon flying in the distance, but the heroes manage to duck into a cloud to avoid notice.

Upon reaching Foundry, the heroes make their way to the Ironmonger compound to take Corin’s body to his younger brother, Basch.  The young dwarf seemed unaffected by his brother’s demise and simply orders the guards to take him in.  The heroes inform Basch that Corin had promised the return of the Iron Titans to take back to their father in Crossings, but the youth simply told them to check back with him later.

The heroes spend the night in a lodge and the following day they head to where Corin’s offices were located.  Trying to get in to see Basch, they get the run around and have to force their way into the office, where Basch seems to be laying down his law of how things will be run.  The heroes again insist on the return of the Iron Titans and Basch initially refuses, but is convinced by the heroes’ insistence and his production manager’s reminder that Basch’s father wanted these in Crossings as defense against orcs.  Basch reluctantly agrees and the manager takes the heroes down to the hangar where the titans were being  fixed.  The titans remember the heroes and seem eager for battle, so the heroes ride upon them through the city of Foundry, drawing stares of awe and amazement from the citizens along the way. 

The journey back to Crossings is long and so the heroes take the titans through the Silver River country and go through a few orc villages.  Word of their heroism against the orc resistance tribe that had been sacking the orc settlements looking for and forcibly taking recruits for the resistance preceded them and they were allowed passage without hindrance.  It seems allowing the orc captive they found in the caves to live worked to their advantage.  They cross the Silver River at the only bridge that traverses it and pass by several small human settlements, where they hear the news that the invading orcs from the south have made it up to Thorpe and are making their way to Crossings.  The heroes continue on their journey and make it to the Crossings countryside where they see the orcs had just arrived before them – hundreds of them at the East and South Gates.  As they approach the city, they also note that the fey spires that have been dormant for centuries, are now glowing.

Mathias, somewhat hungry for battle, spurs the team on towards the East Gate where the orc force is smaller, and the three Iron Titans tear through the orcs in a bloody scene of mass carnage.  Many of the orcs flee to the South Gate to alert their army’s leader and the heroes manage to free the East Gate, which opens and allows them entry.  They are celebrated by the guards within the walls, but don’t stay long before moving towards the South Gate to deal with the main force of orcs.  As they move through town, the fey spires begin arcing magical energy from one to another.  When they get to the South Gate, they decide to leave the Iron Titans with the captain of the guard and they head towards the Purse district where the energy began emanating from.  The group goes to one of the spires and find it glowing so brightly that they cannot look directly at it without risking blindless.  They also note that a barrier of energy is preventing anyone from passing through the spires, and some who had tried were in the area, horribly burned.  

As they pass the West Gate, they note a force of orcs there as well, but the heroes continue on to address the activity with the spires as Gruntbelly has determined that this amount of power being summoned could only be for one purpose, which is to punch a big hole into the Void. 

They reach the Purse district and notice the tower of the wizard Caribdus is open and light is emanating from its peak.  Gruntbelly goes to investigate and finds the tower, which is normally larger on the inside than the outside, due to dimensional magicks, is now a normal stone structure with a stair leading up the wall to the peak of the tower where the light is coming from.  He rushes up the stairs, the others following behind, and bursts into the room to find several of the Brotherhood of Shadow involved in a ritual, and four demons protecting them.  The demons attack Gruntbelly and when the others arrive to the peak, they all fight through the demons and kill  off the cultists to disrupt the ritual, whatever its purpose.

End of session.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

SOTDL CAMPAIGN DIARY: PRINCE OF DARKNESS, PT 3. 9.26.17

The Heroes:
·     Ecna Lubma: dwarf priest grudgebearer healer
·       Gruntbelly: dwarf magician sorcerer wizard
·       Kane Arroway: human warrior fighter sharpshooter
·       Mathias: jotun jotun juggernaut spirit warrior

The heroes continue their fight against the powerful demon Nareesh, and as they trade blows they realize that the Demonstorm is nearly upon them as the ceiling above rumbles dangerously.  Finally, they manage to destroy Nareesh’s mortal form and the demon’s essence is sucked back into the Void from where it came.  But Nareesh’s pets, the horned ogres, join the fight now that the demon is gone.  But before the pair could do much, the ceiling begins to crumble and the heroes rush to exit the 2nd floor of the keep to the relative safety of the 1st floor.  The ogres are first crushed by falling chunks of stone, then sucked up into the Demonstorm. 

The heroes notice a circle of arcane runes and Gruntbelly discerns that it is a teleportation circle.  He steps on it and teleports into a tower that has a book floating in the center of the tower.  The book’s writing is lighting up as if being read by invisible eyes that cause the lines being read to light up.  As the pages are finished, they turn on their own.  Gruntbelly determines this to be part of the ritual fueling the Demonstorm’s descent, so he tries to grab the book, but in the process activates a magical trap and is rendered unconscious.

Mathias steps on the teleportation circle and ends up in another tower, where a sword with a strange black blade that has exploding stars and worlds being consumed by the Void visible within.  He grabs the blade and tries to find his way out.

Ecna steps on the teleportation circle and finds himself in yet another tower with runes etched upon the floor.  The runes light up in sequence, so Ecna decides to try and stop this by smashing the runes with his hammer.  He too activates a magical trap that causes an explosion, but he gets up and begins to throw his hammer at the runes instead of doing it by hand.  Upon destroying 3 runes in this manner, the sequence of lighted runes ends and Ecna tries to find a way out.

Kane steps on the teleportation circle and finds himself in the same tower as Gruntbelly.  He aids the fallen dwarf and the two make their way out of the tower. 

Eventually they all regroup in the courtyard of the keep, only to find that stopping the Demonstorm’s descent by interrupting the ritual did not close the opening to the Void.  They then see a massive pair of inhuman hands reach through the opening and begin to rip it open wider.  The heroes rapidly depart and as they get nearly a mile away up the mountain path, they see a gigantic demon emerge from the tear and descend upon the keep.  The monstrous creature is identified by Gruntbelly as a demon prince known as The Destroyer of Worlds, and they watch as the lands around it buckle and shift as if in an earthquake, and they watch as it begins to devour the remains of the keep, and they watch as rivers of excrement erupt from the monster’s backside cavernous rear orifice.  They group turn and continue on, anxious to find the  Ironmonger’s airship and out of these cursed mountains.


End of session.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

SOTDL CAMPAIGN DIARY: PRINCE OF DARKNESS, PT 2., 9/19/2017

The Heroes:
·     Ecna Lubma: dwarf priest grudgebearer healer
·       Gruntbelly: dwarf magician sorcerer wizard
·       Kane Arroway: human warrior fighter sharpshooter
·       Mathias: jotun jotun juggernaut spirit warrior

The heroes’ strength was being drained by the relentless wraiths, but they continued to fight bravely and managed to destroy the undead creatures.  Sorely weakened after that fight, the heroes rested a bit, as the battle took its toll on them, particularly Mathias’ sanity.  Gruntbelly was forced to release built up sorcerous energy and in doing so blew holes in two walls.  The heroes entered the keep through the holes, searching for Nareesh and the Sword of Unmaking.  They found many empty and decaying rooms, but then stumbled upon a room full of cursed dolls, similar to the one in Mathias’ possession, and it was trying desperately to join the other dolls, but the jotun would not allow it.

The heroes found several rooms with demons and these encounters put a strain on their sanity.  Eventually they found a way to the second level of the keep.  Mathias found a clockwork person whose key had apparently wound down, so he ripped the key out to ensure it would not be a threat.  The group went up the stairs and found the next level very loud as the Demonstorm bore down upon the keep just above them, unmaking it as it descends.  The group did find a magic circle that seemed to be a countdown timer for the storm’s descent, which Gruntbelly determined would be just a few hours before the entire keep was consumed, driven by a large-scale arcane ritual.  They pressed onward and found a large chamber with a pile of bodies, which had motes of light coming off them and floating away into various parts of the keep.  Next to the pile, a large dark-skinned demon stood and somehow the group instinctively knew that this was Nareesh, the relic hunter that Mathias had been chasing for over a year.  Behind Nareesh, two horned ogres sat and upon the pile of bodies, three small  demons emerged.  Nareesh taunted the joten, driving him into a manic rage and the battle commenced. 


Session ended mid-battle.