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Raistlin

MordeanGrey's page

79 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Rikert Krupt – Paladin of Iomedae

Following our rest and regrouping after the battle with the dragon, we moved on into the upper reaches of the city to the immense spire with the circular path climbing high up into the sky.

We slowly made our way up the seemingly endless ramp until we reached the top. Here, we once again found our way blocked by more giants. The battle began as usual with a hail of boulders crashing amongst us as we moved to close the distance.

We killed several of the giant and pushed them back through the clouds of fog to a large doorway at the top of the ramp. The huge, double doors led into another large area that was filled with more giants, including a black-skinned behemoth who seems to be the leader.

Combat continues as we target the immediate threats while trying to reach the leader. Sheldor once again surprised us all with another powerful spell which drove the dark-skinned giant back against a wall and pinned him there.

The giants aren't alone in the fight, as there is a woman in plate armor who fights with a golden scimitar. Her armor is nearly impervious, and she wields the scimitar effortlessly as though it is a natural part of her body.

In addition to the woman, there was a sighting of Karzoug (possibly an illusionary image) that also appeared. I told Xandu to take me to him as I hope that cutting the head off of the snake may shorten the battle.

But for now, the fight continues...


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Rikert Krupt – Paladin of Iomedae

The past days have been a blur as we deal with the altitude and the enormous scale of the city.

The fight with the giant spiders grew in scope as devils joined the fray. I tried to target the devils specifically as the power of Iomedae protects and strengthens me against their kind. We eventually destroyed the spiders and most of the devils. Their leader teleported away after taking several grievous wounds. We then opened the doors of the giant building and spent several hours exploring the maze of hallways. We encountered more of the spiders, but they caused us few problems as we were once again grouped tightly and could use our numbers to an advantage. Eventually, we found the devil's lair and various belongings that included a Sihedron ring similar to the amulets worn by others in our group.

We rested a few times, using Mother Not's spell to create a hidden, safe place to recover and prepare.

Our next challenge proved to be another dragon. We saw the creature flying in the distance, and followed it to the crumbling ruins of an ancient cathedral. After searching through the debris while trying to find a path to the dragon, the group had lost its discipline and once again spread out in a long line. We were out of position and Xandu and I were at the back of the line, far from the opposite end where Moxie and some of the others were ambushed by the dragon which had been hunting us.

The dragon was immense and fast! It covered large spaces quickly and used its great size to power through the stone walls and other debris which would have stopped a lesser creature. In addition to its formidable physical weapons, it also used strong magical spells against us.

The fight was brutal and hard to follow as it crossed the battleground repeatedly, striking us along the path with little effort. We finally managed to injure it enough that it chose to withdraw rather than risk being destroyed, and the last we saw of it was its silhouette disappearing in the distance.

We found more of the Sihedron amulets and rings in the horde of treasure it left behind. I think we now have enough of them to allow us all to pass through the magical barrier that protects the upper reaches of the mountain.

Our path to this point has been brutal and draining on all of us. The group has been pushed near the breaking point on multiple occasions, and I can see the effects on everyone. The dark circles around their eyes and the grim set of their jaws, and the general lack of light-hearted banter that has always accompanied us in our travels but is now missing or rarely appears are all signs. Kori'el is the newest member of our group, and the relentless horrors we have encountered seem to have hit her the hardest. She seems removed from our group, and I often hear her talking quietly to herself as she tries to deal with the stress.

We are all tired. We are all bruised.

But ... we are all determined to finish this!


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Darn it, Kori'el! I was going to tell him that Useplanb lost his copy of the adventure book and we were on hiatus until he found enough change in his couch cushions to buy a new one!

:)


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Rikert Krupt – Paladin of Iomedae

The forest seemed like a good place to hide from those pursuing us ... for a few minutes ... until the vegetation came alive and attacked us!

A strange mixtures of vines and roots formed the roughly humanoid shapes of the creatures that appeared almost without warning from the dense undergrowth. The creatures seemed driven by a feral hunger as they encircled us like a pack of wolves. Combat began and a confusing melee continued for several minutes as I moved through the tangling growth to cut down several of the creatures. I barely saw the others in the party as they were hidden by the thick brush and limbs that surrounded us.

Suddenly, the entire forest dwindled in size almost instantly. The trees and brush shrunk down as though they were struck with a fast-acting disease that shriveled them down to nearly nothing. I found out later that Sheldor was responsible for this instant clearing of the forest all around us. I briefly saw a creature that looked like one of the lamias we had encountered much earlier run along the edge of the clearing and retreat back into the town.

With the trees and brush removed, it was easy to spot and fight the remaining plant-like creatures. As the last of them fell, I turned and saw several enormous creatures, much larger than the first ones, advancing toward us from across the clearing. The spell casters and ranged combatants cut them down quickly at a distance.

We regrouped and decided that fighting a continuous battle against the forest itself would be more of hassle than returning to the open streets or causeway.

We moved back to the causeway and followed it farther into the city until we spotted a large, sihedron-shaped building nearby. We decided to investigate this building in hope that it would provide us with clues or tools we could use to penetrate the occlusion field protecting Karzoug.

We moved up to the building in two groups, one on each side of a pair of normal-sized stairs flanking a set of giant-sized stairs that led up to a large, covered stone entrance. As we ascended the stairs, a pair of monstrous, red spiders with long, thin legs dropped from above and landed on the open area at the top of the stairs. The creatures used their long front legs that ended in sharp pinchers to attack the party from a distance as soon as they landed. Their claws seemed unusually sharp and caused wicked, bleeding wounds on several of us as we organized ourselves to fight back...


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Rikert Krupt – Paladin of Iomedae

The battle in the creature's lair continued as we forced the undead back into gaseous forms that they used to escape from the room. It turns out they were moving back to their hidden coffins in a chamber below us. Unknown to all of us, Moxie had used the token given to her to travel through the stone to the chamber below and killed the helpless vampires before they could regenerate.

Morgiv appeared again following the battle and led us back to the chamber where we had originally talked to tell the other Skulks that the hidden creature had been destroyed. After discussing our plans with him regarding Karzoug, he provided some additional information that may prove helpful as we travel through the city.

We rested in the dimensional space created by Mother Not before venturing farther along the road into the city. We followed the path until we found an area where the pavement was broken and churned. It was here that two more of the giant frost worms appeared to attack us. We dispatched them quickly, but still have not found a way to avoid their explosive deaths which have proven fatal or nearly so to several in the group.

After the enormous explosions, we healed our wounded and moved quickly off of the causeway in an attempt to avoid the giants and whatever else may be searching for us in the city.


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Rikert Krupt – Paladin of Iomedae

The figure introduced himself to us as Morgiv, and he proceeded to tell us about his peoples' problem with a creature that preyed upon them. He seemed to think that we were the chosen ones who would destroy the threat based on an ancient mural found in their caves.

We eventually agreed to follow him and hunt down the creature. He led us through a maze of caverns that cut through the rocky lava flow that had buried a large section of the city. After getting thoroughly lost, we finally came upon a room that held a large dais with a skeletal figure seated on it.

The whole roomed seemed to be a trap, and this was quickly confirmed as numerous creatures that looked like corrupted versions of whatever Morgiv was attacked us, along with a gross, tentacled creature that cast spells before dropping from the ceiling to grab and strike at us with its long, tentacled arms. The skeletal figure was only a lure to bring people into range of the creature.

A mass melee erupted and continues...


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Rikert Krupt – Paladin of Iomedae

The bird men swarmed toward us, filling the sky with their winged shapes and a hail of huge arrows that rained among us. I leapt into the sky to take the fight to them rather than waiting for the relentless barrage to scythe us down.

Individually, they were no match to my sword blows, but they fought tactically and withdrew as soon as I moved to engage them, allowing their comrades to also fire at me. Iomedae answered my repeated calls for her aide to fight them by shielding me from the worst of their attacks while providing her healing powers to keep me in the battle. The next minutes were a haze of combat as I spun through their ranks, twisting and turning in the air to meet them in combat while avoiding their giant arrows.

Eventually, the efforts of my comrades on the ground combined with my direct attacks to drop the rest of them. I saw that Kori'el had also used magic to fly into combat, while the others had cast spells, fired arrows, and threw bombs into their ranks. The resulting explosions had caused the herd of giant cattle to stampede away from us. They broke through the pen opposite our location and retreated up the gilded road.

We regrouped and continued our advance along the road through the city. We came upon a group of large, primitive huts constructed in an open area. It was here that we witnessed a confrontation between two groups of giants. A smaller group of cloud giants faced off against a larger group of stone giants. The tension was obvious between the two groups, but it was interrupted by our arrival on the scene. The cloud giants immediately charged to attack us and managed to injure several of us before Davok left his traditional pile of giant corpses on the battlefield. He truly is an awesome weapon when his attention is focused on giants.

After the battle, the leader of the stone giants spoke with us and shared information regarding the city and additional threats we may face as we traveled toward the towering mountain at the end of the valley.

From there, we again started up the road, only to be interrupted by the sudden appearance of a strange humanoid who seemed to step directly out of one of the buildings near us.

He held up his hands and asked us not to attack him...


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Rikert Krupt – Paladin of Iomedae

We advanced farther into the cave, seeking the giants who had attacked us.

Eventually, we found them, floating overhead and attacking anyone who walked below them in the mist. I used my winged-form to fly up and meet them. The thick mists obscured vision for everyone in the room, so it was a slow process as I located and fought each of the remaining giants. A gout of flame from Friedrich cleared the air and the mist, and accelerated the pace of the battle. Eventually, we dropped the last of the giants and took time to bandage our wounds before continuing on the road to Xin Shalast.

Mother Not proved to be useful as she created an extra-dimensional space where we could shelter from the effects of the high altitude and rest safely. We used this several times along with a protective spell from Xandu, Sheldor, or Davok to avoid altitude sickness.

We eventually found the deep valley and steep cliffs that were part of the fabled city of Xin Shalast and began our descent toward the golden road that wound through the city. The ruins of the huge buildings and carved stones were amazing to behold.

Near the entrance to the city, our way was blocked by a large pen containing giant cattle of some type. As we moved closer, a host of ugly, flying, bird-men swooped down and began to attack by firing huge arrows from enormous bows they gripped in their talons where their feet should be...


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Rikert Krupt – Paladin of Iomedae

The days at the cabin passed quickly as I finally had a chance to read the tome given to me by Moxie.

We were relatively comfortable after making some repairs to the damaged parts of the building. On the final day, we fasted, gathered our equipment, and made our way to the ice fens using the misty, cloud form granted by Xandu.

Upon arrival, we split into groups to search for the "path" after the sun went down. A few of us stumbled onto the hidden way early on, but had to wait for hours until the rest of the group was able to join us. Traveling in the misty form at night made it hard to see everyone after we had split up.

We took turns resting briefly until everyone was assembled, and then moved along the path which became a road leading up into the mountains with a steep cliff on our left.

We didn't get far before being attacked by giants hiding in a cave above the path. One of them jumped down to fight the party in hand to hand combat, while several others rained boulders down on those unlucky enough to be their targets.

The party scrambled to take out the first giant who was among the lead elements. Davok is a fierce weapon when he takes on giants of any type. His volleys of arrows dropped one of the rock-throwers instantly, and helped take down the axe-wielding giant on the path.

The rest of us joined in with ranged combat or moved into position to assault the ones in the cave. I flew up above the cave entrance, and then dropped down in beside Davok who was eager to find the rest of the giants. We encountered a thick wall of fog that slowed our progress and completely blocked our sight. The giants were waiting just beyond the fog and swatted the two of us like flies as soon as we were in range. The huge mace knocked us both back and off of our feet. It took a few seconds to stand back up and make sure all of our body parts were still working!

We moved forward cautiously into the fog, supported by Xandu and others who had entered the cave behind us...


NobodysHome wrote:

LOL. Rikert, Paladin of Comfort!

not bad ... I've been called worse! :)


Player note:

The whole roleplaying of the discussion about where to spend the two weeks waiting for the path to open was really funny. I did ask for a party vote, and jokingly warned Sheldor's player that he better not raise his hand!

When Mother Not failed her save and started having breathing problems I was quick to say, "See, I told you so!"

Good times!

:)


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Rikert Krupt – Paladin of Iomedae

The creature attacked immediately, brutally striking Xandu and biting at Kori'el, nearly swallowing her whole. As we moved to attack it, Kori'el freed herself using magic, and the creature pulled back onto the porch and flew up into the sky.

Kori'el yelled for us to stay in the building, but waiting inside while the creature tore it apart and picked us off one by one wasn't an option. I immediately called upon Iomedae's powers to assume a form where I could fight the flying demon on equal terms. During this time the creature flew by and raked Davok with its claws. Other members of the group were now outside and began to engage the creature at range.

I flew up and attempted to follow the demon, but it was incredibly fast and it disappeared from view as it moved behind the building. It soon reappeared and charged me, raking me with its claws as it moved past. This time I was ready, and followed it closely, striking it with all of the power Iomedae granted me to fight this evil. My sword tore a long, deep gash in the creature's side, and as I drew back for another strike, I heard Xandu's voice over the sounds of combat, carrying clearly and more powerfully than I had ever heard him speak. His words crackled with energy and struck the demon like physical blows, each word causing the creature to recoil and seemingly fold in upon itself and fade away until there was nothing left. He had banished it back to whatever hell it had escaped from to terrorize our world!

Xandu has always focused his efforts on healing, but seeing him unleash his holy power to drive away an otherworldly foe filled me with real joy and reaffirmed my belief that our mission to stop Karzoug will succeed.

Following the fight, we returned to the ruined room where the haunts of the dwarves were still swirling together in their own battle. Finally, one emerged victorious and told us of the dangers we faced while providing the missing pages from the journal to help us on the next step of our journey.

We learned that the next step involved traveling to the ice fens where we would have to wait weeks for the path to open. (Oh, joy!) Just the name of the place assured me that those weeks would be spent huddling miserably in the snow, using magic to keep ourselves warm and fed.

We traveled there using the misty forms granted to us by Xandu. Upon arrival my suspicions were confirmed. It was a frozen tundra broken only by open pools of freezing water and slippery, deep muck.

We were visited by some type of female creature who first appeared as an otter (of all things...) and then transformed into a water nymph of some type. She spoke with Xandu and some of the others about an event in the past where they had helped her sister. I was unfamiliar with this incident, so I began looking for a decent shelter.

Of course, there wasn't anything more than snow piles and low areas filled with frozen mud anywhere within sight. I suggested that since we knew the location, that we use magic to teleport back to Magnimar where we could wait out the two weeks in relative comfort and have a chance to resupply as needed. Most of the party listened as I mentioned this, except for Kori'el, who immediately began berating me for being soft and not wanting to camp in the frozen muck. I am a firm believer in working smarter, rather than harder for no apparent gain, but she would have none of it. I'm starting to think that she prefers to be miserable as a self-inflicted punishment for whatever imagined shortcomings she believes she has. Either way, the drab, cold conditions in the fens certainly fit her personality lately.

I finally asked for a vote.

"Who wants to stay here and camp in the ice fens for two weeks, rather than teleporting back to Magnimar where we can sleep in clean, warm beds and eat real food?" (Rikert surveys the party and sees several nodding in agreement, Kori'el scowling and looking bitter as usual, and Sheldor sheepishly starting to raise his hand...)

"Sheldor! I know you are a "snow elf" and nature lover, but I swear to Iomedae if you raise your hand I'll..."

In the end, the matter was decided for us as the altitude sickness began affecting us all. We reached a compromise and teleported back to the dwarven mining camp to wait out the two weeks there.


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Rikert Krupt – Paladin of Iomedae

Our brief reunion with the other members of the party was short-lived. The knocking continued and then suddenly the entire building shook and rattled as if there was an earthquake. Everyone scattered as they moved away in an attempt to avoid the relentless shaking. I chose to exit onto the upper porch and into the snow rather than stay inside the building in case it should crumble and fall off of the cliff.

Even outside the structure, the surface shook and I was thrown to the ground. I saw what seemed to be a thin dwarf trying to crawl out from under the foundation of the building. The vision quickly faded as I called upon Iomedae's gift to fly up off of the ground on angels wings. I surveyed the area around the mine building, but could see little because of the heavy snowfall.

I flew over the edge of the cliff and saw Xandu below me, standing away from the lower entrance. He saw me and beckoned for me to join him, so I flew down and entered into the circle of protective magic that surrounded him. He said we needed to call upon our link to the gods and end the haunt by channeling energy into the building. It took two tries before the building finally settled back to normal. During this time, several other party members had arrived outside in the snow, but I didn't see Moxie or Kori'el. Just as I realized this, I heard a shriek of agony from inside the building.

I flew quickly into the doorway and through the entry room to the stairwell that led up to the top level. It was here that I came upon Kori'el, carrying the lifeless and bloodied body of Moxie. To my horror, I saw that Kori'el had fresh blood upon her face, and was in the process of spitting out a chunk of flesh that matched the bite mark on Moxie's neck.

"What have you done??!!" I yelled as I moved closer.

Kori'el turned, and seemed to be in shock as she babbled about not meaning to do it, and that everything was going to be fine. She wouldn't let me examine the body, and pulled away on the verge of madness as the other party members arrived on the scene. It took Xandu's reassurance and healing power to calm Kori'el. He then turned his full attention to trying to revive Moxie. I know how much he cares for us all, but Moxie is his favorite and I could tell that this was incredibly difficult for him.

In the end, Moxie was restored and we rested the duration of the storm in the building. The next morning, we moved out to try and find the bones from one of the dwarves that had died near here, and was evidently part of the problem causing the haunt activity.

We moved into a large, open area near where the mechanical elevator led deep into the mines. It was here that we encountered a great, wormlike creature that burst up from the ground and breathed a freezing mist over us. At nearly the same time, a ghostly, dwarven figure rose from the fog and also moved to attack. The huge worm was quickly blown to bits (literally) by Friedrich's bombs. Following that, the ghostly figure also fell to our combined efforts. Moxie had found the missing bones during the fight, and we returned by magic to the upper room of the mine building to lay the bones to rest and end the haunt. The ghostly figures of two dwarves appeared and seemed to argue with each other, when suddenly the wall of the room crashed in and an enormous, horned creature that walked upright surprised us with its quick and ferocious attack.


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Rikert Krupt – Paladin of Iomedae

Following our weeks of rest and resupplying in Magnimar and Sandpoint, we finally determined the rough location of our next part of the journey and made arrangements to travel there using magical means. Mother Not convinced us that traveling through the shadows, rather than using the mist form from our previous journeys, was more efficient and allowed us to instantly act in the real world without waiting.

Our first stop on the road to Xin Shalast was an abandoned mining camp that had been founded by dwarves farther north in the mountains where we had fought the giants.

Upon arriving, we found the camp to be little more than a ramshackle wooden hut perched on the side of a small but steep cliff along with a few other outbuildings. The weather was cold, and snow covered most of the ground as we stepped out from shadow form and made our way closer to the lichen-covered stones and wood of the camp.

A large pile of debris from the previous mining efforts stood in front of the hut, along with a bent, gnarled tree of some type. Sheldor and some of the others seemed interested in the tree itself, and I soon learned why as the entire thing uprooted itself from the snowy ground and advanced on us. Xandu teleported himself, Davok, and Moxie to the top of the cliff to escape its attacks which focused on poor Sheldor. The enormous branches of the tree pounded him again and again until he was bleeding and unconscious on the ground.

Friedrich threw fire bombs which burst and damaged the old wooden body of the creature, while Kori'el and myself moved up to attack it. I called upon Iomedae to grant her power to my companions, and saw Kori'el strike the living tree harder than anything I have ever seen her do previously. The enormous creature was shaken somewhat by the ferocity of her attack, and myself and the others moved quickly to take advantage of the situation. It didn't take long for our combined efforts to fell this foe.

Xandu reappeared and quickly came to Sheldor's aid. It seems the snow elf's time to rejoin nature had not yet come.

After everyone had bandaged their wounds, we split into two groups to enter and search the mining buildings. My group entered from the ground level while the other started above and worked their way down.

We encountered several haunts similar to those in the abandoned cliff house near Sandpoint. Iomedae's hand protects me from the worst of their effects, but my companions are not so blessed. Friedrich found himself following a haunt's offer to try eating gold dust, which turned out to be arsenic, a poison created in the mining process. Luckily, his odd metabolism resulting from his use of alchemical potions rendered him immune to its effects.

We moved up a narrow staircase around the edge of the wooden building that connected the ground level hut with the buildings up on the cliff above us. Another haunt caused an iron chain and the bucket attached to it to animate and attack us. It seemed odd to attack a normally inanimate object, but that turned out to be the solution, and the chain dropped back into its normal, lifeless form.

At the top of the stairs, we entered into the mining buildings and ran directly in to the other group which had just cleared the upper levels, finding only small items and other haunts which had managed to seriously injure Xandu.

We regrouped here, and then moved to investigate the next area where Moxie or someone had found a hidden doorway. At the same time, we heard what sounded like someone knocking on the lower doors in the hut area from where we had just ascended.


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Rikert Krupt – Paladin of Iomedae

I followed the others in pursuit of the Mithral Mage until our progress was stopped at a large door farther into the area. Mother Not turned into a swirling dust form similar to Freidrich and moved through the crack under the door.

She was gone for longer than expected, so we opened the door. We saw her standing in front of yet another huge demon. I immediately prepared for a fight, but it seemed they were just talking. I cautiously looked at the others and found that they were all listening instead of moving to attack. I held my own attack and waited for the inevitable betrayal and sneak attack from the demon.

It never happened.

It seems that the demon only wanted to be free of this place (don't we all!) to return to its home in the planes.

They eventually reached some type of arrangement, and Mother Not was able to magically release the demon from the binding spell that held it trapped in this room. I was dubious of the entire process, but the creature kept its word and allowed us to pass unmolested. I kept my eyes on it as we moved through, and thought that I could feel its underlying contempt for me as a follower of Iomedaae.

Farther down the corridor, the lead members of the group had found the mage trapped in a room with a large pool that contained some type of magical liquid. I called on Iomedae's power to transform into the aspect of one of her angels, only to have the blessing ripped away almost instantly from me by some spell cast by the mage.

The fight ended shortly after as the mage was already wounded from our previous encounter. Xandu and some of the others began to explore the pool, but several of them quickly fled the area as something in the room seemed to rip at their very souls. Only Xandu seemed unaffected, and he spent several moments placing enchanted items in the water of the pool with mixed results.

We rested again after this encounter, and Kori'el and Freidrich spent time exploring the library and its contents.

We then chose to explore the tunnels of Sloth, and quickly found ourselves trudging through what appeared to be sewers filled with unimaginable foulness. Xandu used his powers to once again give us the ability to walk above the ground and pass through gates and other barriers in the form of mist.

As we entered a larger chamber with several levers protruding from the far wall, Davok and Freidrich moved to investigate and were soon attacked by water creatures which rose from the vile sewers and used magic and physical means to engage in combat.

Several of us were still in mist form when this happened, and spent the next moments switching back to our solid forms so we could enter the battle.


Rikert Krupt – Paladin of Iomedae

Following the events at the Runeforge where we enchanted our weapons and battled the animated statue of Karzoug, Xandu and Mother Not were able to find a way to magically transport us out of the Runeforge and back to Sandpoint. This required using spells which allowed us to slip through the very planes in order to escape. The end result after several magical hops was a joyous reunion with our beloved Moxie, who had found her own way through the planes and back to Sandpoint.

Our reunion was made even better by the chance to bathe, change into new clothes thoughtfully provided by Moxie, eat, and rest in a real bed. Our time in Sandpoint was shorter than we would have liked, as our duty to the quest to stop Karzoug required us to return again to the Runeforge in search of additional clues or items that may help us defeat him.

We made quick arrangements to resupply some of the smaller items that were available in Sandpoint, and then teleported back to retrieve the dragon hoard, which we brought back and stored under the glassworks with the permission of Ameiko.

We then returned again to the Runeforge to investigate the final areas that we have not explored.


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Kori'el wrote:

Our party "diplomat" is Rikert (who wasn't in attendance last night), and that's only because he has a high CHA score. I don't think he's wasted a precious skill point on Diplomacy.

Wrong!

Rikert has a 15-16 in Diplomacy. I've spent quite a few of my not-very-many-to-start-with skill points trying to keep his skills balanced, but with a focus on Diplomacy.

(Also, Lucien was putting points into Diplomacy before Nualia killed him.)


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Rikert Krupt – Paladin of Iomedae

The hidden passage led through a small hallway and ended in a room with what appeared to be sewn-together bodies and an old man who was doing the sewing, along with a ghostly figure which floated above the floor in an alcove to the right.

By chance, we had once again entered the room out of our normal order. (I could almost hear Simon's voice chastising us...) I found myself at the back of the party as I had come the farthest distance following our destruction of the mummies in the next hall. I waited in the back, barely able to see what was in the room, while several party members began talking with the old man.

I could tell that the conversation would be short-lived by the maniacal laughter coming from the man at some comment from Kori'el or Freidrich. Not wanting to be caught off guard, I asked for Iomedae's protection against the evil filling the chamber ahead. The granting of her protection was quickly followed by the inevitable attack from the old man, who revealed his dark powers of necromancy and sorcery as he quickly cast spells which washed over the entire group with various effects. I was struck by two rays of color from the spell, one of which seemed to contain some type of acid, while the other had no effect.

The man stepped back into another alcove behind him and cast a spell creating a wall of nearly invisible force to protect himself. I asked again for another of Iomedae's blessings and transformed into the aspect of one of her angels to shield myself and the others from some of his magical attacks.

Xandu turned and asked if I was ready to face the man, and then magically moved us into the small alcove with him to avoid the wall's protection. The space was tight as Freidrich also moved into the space in a swirling storm of dust that was the result of one of his potions.

My first attacks failed to hit the man as he moved backward, swiping a hand against the wall behind him that seemed to melt and release a swarm of ghostly specters which poured into the room. Luckily, we had prepared ourselves with spells to protect us from necromantic powers before entering this wing, and their attacks were unable to hurt us.

I refocused my second round of attacks and struck him three times as he staggered backward from one of Freidrich's bombs. I moved forward to press the attack, but once again another foe evaded us by using a magic portal to disappear from the room. We turned our attention back to our friends behind the wall who were locked in combat with one of the shades and the ghostly figure that had floated in the alcove when we first entered the room.

We were able to destroy the undead menacing our friends, and then moved quickly from the hidden room, back into the outer rooms in search of the necromancer and the missing Moxie. Xandu seemed almost frantic as he called Moxie's name. We split up to search and I moved back to the chamber with the walkways above the deep pit, while several of the others moved to another door across from the area with the narrow hallways and the bodies of the mummies. One door remained on the walkway that we had not searched, so I moved up to it and entered the room beyond it, followed closely by Xandu.

Inside of the room, I found several large stone coffins that were guarded by a hulking, armored creature that seemed to be made of rough clay. The golem moved immediately to attack, and I stepped up and struck it several times, carving away chunks of whatever passed for flesh. Suddenly, the creature disappeared from my sight and I heard Xandu yelling, "It worked!" from back in the hallway behind me. His exclamation was followed by an enormous crashing and splattering sound as the golem evidently fell into the pit below the walkways.

I moved forward and removed the heavy stone lid from the coffin at the end of the chamber, but found it empty!

I turned and left the room, finding Xandu healing a badly wounded Davok on the walkway.

What had happened to him? It didn't look good. Parts of his skull appeared to be missing and blood was gushing from the grievous wounds.


Xandu has always used some interesting language, but I just couldn't let this one go...

Lint wrote:
"...as I got a glance at the man that they were talking to, the very old and pale man with a crown on his head, the man that had just finished sewing up a patch work corpse. This is the man the troupe was so eagerly talking to. I couldn't believe it but I didn’t want to seam rude so I to engaged it in conversation also.

Likely unintentional, but quite witty!

:)


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Rikert Krupt - Paladin of Iomedae

"POOF!!!" What do you mean, "Moxie disappeared??!!"


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Rikert Krupt – Paladin of Iomedae

After resting and regaining health and spells, we moved into the next area controlled by the Runelord who used necromancy powers. I knew that it was likely that we would face undead and prepared accordingly.

The entrance area itself proved to be the first challenge, as we moved into a small, round room with skull carvings on the walls. As we moved towared the door, secret panels opened in the walls and several mummies attacked the party. Their overwhelming fear aura froze most of my comrades in place, leaving only Moxie and I to face them. I spent the next moments moving amongst the party, using Iomedae's healing touch to free my friends from their paralysis. The mummies are strong, but seemed to focus their attacks on Xandu, leaving me free to move through them for the most part, cutting them down as I advanced. As more of my friends joined the fight, the mummies fell quickly under our combined efforts.

We passed through the doors and found a chamber with a deep pit, crossed by two stone paths in an "X" shape. The drop was very long to the sides, so we moved carefully and kept away from the edges. We looked into one of the rooms and found a strange gateway created from dark energy. We decided this didn't look like a good area to enter, so we moved to the next doorway.

The next area appeared to be an alchemist's lab, filled with various chemicals and equipment. We moved on through the room to a hallway at the back which had alcoves filled with large ceramic urns. We hadn't gone far when the urns crashed to the floor and broke as we were again attacked by mummies hidden behind the urns. Their aura once again affected many of my friends, but this time, Kori'el and myself were both unaffected and in good positions to lead the combat. This fight was more methodical as we dealt with the mummies one at a time since they were constrained by the narrow hallways. We soon destroyed the last of them and moved to explore more the rooms.


Rikert Krupt – Paladin of Iomedae

We moved from the practice room into the passage to the left from where we initially entered. We found another set of teleportation circles in the room, and divided into two group to enter like we had done with the previous circles.

This time, we found ourselves stepping out into a roughly circular room with elaborate carvings and runes covering the walls and ceiling. In front of us was a wall of dark smoke. We moved off of the circle to make room for the second group to teleport in, and then formed up and moved toward the wall of smoke. When we passed through the smoke, we found an enormous room with tall columns and a roof high above, covered in fire. In the center of the room was a large seven-pointed star laid out in glowing runes on the floor.

We were immediately confronted and attacked by a woman, who magically flew up to us and blasted our party with two freezing waves of cold that damaged everyone to some degree, and actually dropped Mother Not to the floor. Luckily for me, Xandu had previously cast a protective spell on me that shielded me from the cold.

Just as the woman attacked, two enormous demons on either side of the entrance also moved to attack. As I stepped up to fight the closest one, it spoke some horrid word in the twisted, demon tongue, that left me frozen in place, unaware of what was happening. Evidently, I was in this state for some time, as I became aware and able to move later, but found myself alone in a different location with one of the demons preparing to strike me. I called on Iomedae's power and launched several furious attacks that destroyed the demon almost instantly. I was still somewhat confused as to my location, so I moved our from behind the pillar and saw that I was near the opposite end of the room from where we had entered.

My comrades were still engaged in combat with the flying woman, and the other demon was threatening Moxie and others close to her. I moved quickly to engage the woman, recognizing her as the real threat, but was intercepted by the other demon who teleported directly into my path. I focused my attack on him, and once again called upon Iomedae to smite the demon. This one was protected by false images of itself, and it took several rounds to destroy it with the help of Freidrich and some of the others.

As I moved again toward the woman, I saw Freidrich turn and launch several of the deadly bombs he carried at the woman. She seemed to take the full impact from these, and crashed to the ground as she died. We soon noted that the mark on her forehead and disappeared from her, and now was visible on Freidrich's head.

At this point, we helped our wounded companions, and then went back through the teleport circles to clear the rest of the area. In the opposite chamber, we found a few more of the magus that we had fought previously, but they proved to be ineffective foes. We quickly cut them down, and then gathered everyone together to take stock of our situation while we rested.


Rikert Krupt – Paladin of Iomedae

Xandu grabbed me and magically moved us to the top of the platform so I could engage the iron golem. The creature struck with its heavy fists and it succeeded in injuring several of us before we were able to defeat its armored body and knock it to the ground.

In the next room, we found two magical circles marked on the floor. One had red runes and the other had blue runes. As we were attempting to determine their purpose, Moxie hopped first on one with no effect, and then moved to the other one where she promptly disappeared. We immediately moved toward the symbol where she vanished, and stepped onto the runes. "POOF!"

We found ourselves standing on an identical platform in a new area, facing a line of armored sinspawn creatures. Xandu once again grabbed us and we magically moved farther into the next room where we instantly came into combat with a group of fighters who used magic in a similar fashion to our own magus. Kori'el called out that they were using magic to enhance their abilities, so I called upon Iomedae's power to gain the aspect of one of her angels and the magical defenses that are innate to those creatures. The radius of protective magic surrounded us, and turned off the enemies spells, which greatly weakened their martial prowess. As the rest of the party arrived back on the teleport rune and engaged the sinspawn, we began to cut down the fighters surrounding us. Without their magical augmentation, it was only a matter of time until Kori'el and myself, supported by Sheldor and Xandu, finished off the last of the foes.

For once, it seemed that we had managed to win a fight without extreme injury to ourselves.


You're all just jealous! :)

Yes, it's powerful, but it's only once per day, so picking when to use it is important. It does a great job against low-level riffraff, but higher spells still blow right through it.

Also, sooner or later we'll hit a mage who shuts it off with a dispel. (We'll see how high up I am flying when that happens!)


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Lint wrote:
The only torch that would be carried for Xandu would be accompanied by pitch forks if they knew I had healed the dragon. Bwahaha Bad Xandu! :^)

Ain't that the truth! lol

Rikert Krupt – Paladin of Iomedae

The dragon moved to attack us immediately. There would be no dealing with this one.

The small room and the huge dragon put us at a tactical disadvantage that Kori'el was quick to notice. She reached out and touched Freidrich and me and we found ourselves instantly transported into the large hall near the giant peacock statue.

Within seconds, others from the party arrived with Xandu's help. We began to move toward each other to regroup, but our motive was interrupted by the appearance of the dragon close to our location. Another freezing breath from the dragon enveloped us, and I saw Kori'el falter and nearly fall. I grabbed her to move her to safety, but only carried her a short distance before the dragon moved in on me. I pushed Kori'el farther out of reach and bestowed Iomedae's healing touch on her as I turned to the dragon. The great beast's head snapped out with a suddenness that I did not expect, and nearly swallowed me into its fanged mouth. The bite from the creature rent through my armor and felt as if it would crush me completely.

The dragon shook its head and spit me back out onto the floor where I somehow managed to keep my feet. I swung around to face the creature, only to be transported away once again by Kori'el who had stayed close to help. She took us out into the entrance area with the large statues of the Runelords.

I tended my wounds and made sure we were both somewhat whole before we began moving back down the mirrored corridor to find our friends who were still fighting the dragon.

As we neared the end of the corridor we found Mother Not trying to find a way through a wall of thick ice that completely blocked the passage. Kori'el and I both tried to hack through it, but it was taking too long. I asked her if she could take us all back to the other side, and she said she could do it. We discussed where to go, and decided on the original location where we had last seen the rest of the group. Kori'el touched us both again and we transported back into the area near where the fight still continued. Upon arriving, the dragon's cold aura and another blast of his icy breath knocked Kori'el and Mother Not both to the floor. I turned to engage the dragon, just as Davok struck the killing blow and it crashed to the ground.

After the fight ended, Xandu once again revived our fallen friends and healed their wounds. We rested for several hours to recharge our health and our spells.

We then moved into the next area of the Runeforge. Here, we found a large room guarded by a giant, metal statue that walked through the air toward us, firing bolts of energy from a large bow it carried in its hands. The party spread out and began to advance on the statue, casting spells and firing ranged weapons as we moved...


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Rikert Krupt – Paladin of Iomedae

It seems that my prayers for a chance at retribution have been partially answered!

Moxie and I led the way through the next doorway, her checking for traps, and me opening the door. We found a ruined library where most of the contents had been damaged or burned. Three doors led from the library, and we checked the closest two and found that they opened into small rooms with many cloned bodies of the dead man seated at the table in the previous area. The bodies were stacked in piles and it was impossible to count the total number in each room.

The final door was at the far end of the room from the entrance, and after Moxie examined it for traps, I opened it and looked into the next area.

Inside, I saw multiple creatures that all looked like the she-demon, Delvahine! Some of them quickly vanished from my sight, but the one closest moved to attack me with her claws. I immediately called on Iomedae's blessing to smite the foul demon, and swung my sword with great strength, as my own enmity for these creatures combined with Iomedae's power and dropped the first one quickly in front of me. I spun around and saw that the other demons had passed through the walls and were attacking my companions.

I moved quickly from demon to demon as they became visible, lost in a blur of vengeance as my frustration at the loss of Simon and Lynn strengthened my blows. This time I was in control, and didn't have to bow to the will of the demoness. During the later stages of the fight, I was struck by a shot from Moxie's rifle that penetrated my armor. I instantly knew that my little friend was once again under the control of one of the demons. I fought with renewed strength after seeing this, and the battle was over in a minute as I finally met our foes on my terms, ending their wretched lives and their corrupting influence over my friends.

Following the fight, we checked on Moxie and found that she was herself again. I assured her that I held no ill feelings toward her and her actions while under the control of the demon. We gathered back in the room with the large table, and began to treat our wounds and rest. It was here that Moxie came up to me and presented me with a great tome she had found beneath other burned books in the library. She told me she thought it would benefit me to read from its pages, but when I tried, I found the words were written in Thassilonion, and I could not understand them. It seems I have a new goal now whenever we have time to rest.

It was soon after this that the hidden doorway from the great room outside opened and a man with white hair and bright blue eyes entered. His sudden appearance brought all of our attention to him, and we watched as he smiled at us with a wicked, toothy grin, and then began to change into the white dragon, Arkhryst!

It seems that Iomedae has once again provided us with a chance to even the score with another of our foes...


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Rikert Krupt – Paladin of Iomedae

Our entry into the large room was followed by a verbal warning (for those who understood it) and then a deluge of incoming magical attacks. Fiery explosions and worse blossomed amongst the party despite our attempt at spreading out to make us less of a target.

We immediately broke into smaller groups to pursue the unseen attackers farther back in the room. As I followed Davok into the fray, I quickly found myself unable to see any sign of our enemies. His half-orc senses seemed to find the invisible attackers, so I followed him closely. Iomedae's angelic aspect provided me and those close to me with protection from many of the offensive spells. I spent the majority of the fight trying to find someone in combat and using clues from their positioning to launch my own attacks.

I moved to help Kori'el and Freidrich with an enemy they had pinned against a wall, but this allowed one of the spells to affect Davok and he fell behind me. We eventually hunted down all of the attackers, and dispatched them.

At the end of the battle, I learned that several of the party had fallen during the combat, but were able to be revived by Xandu.

Additional searching led us to discover a hidden door in the back of the room that concealed a library of some type with a corpse wearing a gaudy cloak of peacock feathers. The body was seated in a chair at a table in the room. Those who could read the writing in the tomes began to investigate their contents while the rest of us kept watch or searched the rest of the area and the body.


Rikert Krupt: Paladin of Iomedae

Well, after an evening of prayers, and a night of rest, my mood has improved slightly. I'm far from being ok with the events in the pavilion, but we need to move on now. It is my intention to even the score with the demon after we have dealt with Karzoug.

Xandu surprised us all the next morning with a huge feast that he claimed was a gift from his goddess. No matter the source, it was a welcomed and needed meal that seemed to improve everyone's moods.

We moved off into the next Runelord's wing, and walked down a long corridor filled with mirrors and lighted candelabras. The mirrored walls were distracting, and we were forced to concentrate on the floor to avoid being sick.

We reached a corner and turned left, only to have those in the front yell a warning that there were impostors dressed as our group members rushing to attack us. It turns out there was a trap using mirrors that caused a reflection of the person to come alive and rush to attack its source.

We scrambled to identify the real threats and avoid attacking our own friends. It was a confusing melee that eventually went in our favor, but not before several members were injured, and Freidrich was nearly killed by a bomb from his reflection. (How ironic!)

I killed the last of the reflections by splitting a copy of Xandu nearly in half with a blow from my sword.

As I moved up to join the others who were entering the room ahead, I saw what appeared to be a huge bird or realistic statue of a giant peacock looming above my friends.


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Rikert Krupt – Paladin of Iomedae

Hollow ... like a vessel drained of its contents.

Empty.

That is what I fear I have become.

Through all of the battles and foes and difficulties we have faced on this journey, none have left me (us?) questioning the true costs of our losses, and forced me to confront the unimaginable results of what will come to pass if we fail. For the first time, we are defeated. For the first time, we are not the victors.

We have suffered together along the way, and paid the toll of the reaper, but never before have we been shaken to the core of our beliefs. Never before have we been forced to choose which of our friends to save, and which to sacrifice.

The events in the silk pavilion will haunt me forever. Being forced to negotiate the terms required to release my companions from the demon, only to find that one of us would be left behind, has made me question my worthiness in Iomedae's eyes. The fact that Lynn volunteered to trade his life for the release of Moxie and Friedrich only complicates my feelings. A truly noble sacrifice was made, but I wonder if he would still be alive if I had found a way to defeat the demon.

We entered the pavilion as the conquering heroes, self assured by our record of success. But in the end, it was the fiend who emerged victorious. She controlled the events and negotiated her desires from a position of power. To continue our attack against her would likely have led to the failure of our mission. At the very least, several more of us would likely have fallen.

Instead, we were forced to choose the lesser evil. This demon would not have had her place and her power were it not for the Runelords. They are the true enemies here. If Karzoug is allowed to return, the entire world will suffer the consequences. Our mission must come first, but it remains to be seen whether our decision and Lynn's sacrifice have saved us, or damned us all for allowing it to happen.

But for now, I turn my judgment inward, and force myself to confront my own failures and flaws. Never before have my feelings and beliefs been laid open so brutally. I strive to be the example of virtue and strength of will to my companions, but my greatest fear is that I am not worthy to carry the fate of the world on my shoulders.

And so, on bended knee, with my helmet and sword lying before me, I pray to Iomedae...

for mercy for my fallen friends...

for guidance in the coming days...

for judgment on those who have caused this...

and for strength to finish the task set before us.


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Lint is so fired up about this he's changed the spelling of his character's name yet again! :)

I think he has been Xandu, Xando, Zandu, and now Xanadu! lol

From what we know of the character (colorful silks and other questionable male clothing choices...), we're guessing that the Xanadu he is using refers to the campy, 80s nightclub disco roller-skating movie with Olivia Newton-John, and not the summer capital of Kublai Khan's Yuan Dynasty in China!


If we stay together and QUIT SPLITTING UP, I think we should be ok. :)

Xandu has a high will save, and Rikert is immune and grants everyone around him an additional +4 to saves against mind-affecting stuff.

We need to kill the leader who dominated Moxie and Friedrich, and that should release them.

The other good news is that Friedrich IS actually out of bombs now!

Party conflict that pits the various characters against each other is always bad and potentially lethal.

Friedrich probably has the capability to do the most damage against about any target. Having him dominated and fully armed with bombs is BAD!

Davok destroys giants because of his ranger feats.

Rikert is the one to send after undead and demons.

Lynn's spells can push a solid amount of damage as well.

If Xandu can keep the rest of us alive, the six of us can hopefully end this.


Actually, Lynn is alive. He was one point from being dead and Xandu saved him with a healing burst.

Lynn, GrAnnie, Sheldor, Davok, Xandu, and Rikert are all still up and going. Most of us are pretty healthy except possibly for Davok who took the uber-bullet from Moxie. I'm not sure if he had taken much damage before that. Xandu has been healing Lynn.

GrAnnie's (Mother Not/Naught?) player was gone last night for his wife's birthday!


Tangent101 wrote:

Damn. I really liked Simon. But I know his player was interested in branching out with other characters so...

Good luck with your next venture. (I just wonder how you'll recruit a new character from within the Runeforge...)

Maybe we will find another withered survivor trapped in one of the cages in this area? Sounds like a good excuse to justify Thessalonian knowledge and some other background skills. Otherwise, who knows how we will find him.


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Rikert Krupt – Paladin of Iomedae

As I leapt into the air to engage the flying demons, I saw that others in the party were also beginning to move into combat or firing from range at the flying enemies. I closed with the first demon and struck her with a powerful blow. The holy power of my sword sliced through her demonic defenses and left severe wounds. She altered her attack and discarded her pole arm and turned to her natural claws that bypassed Iomedae's holy aura around me. We traded blows with me getting the best of the results. Friedrich also began to use his bombs against the other demons as they turned from the other party members to focus on me.

I was quickly surrounded and fought a whirling battle against multiple foes as my friends rushed to my aid. I called upon Iomedae's powers to heal the damage from the creatures as the combat continued. Our combined efforts killed two of the creatures outright, and caused the other two to retreat using magic to gate themselves away.

I landed near Xandu, who proceeded to treat my wounds since I was scarred and bleeding from multiple cuts caused by the demon's claws. During this time, it seems that the other party members split up into smaller groups and began to investigate the cages and the large pavilion at the center of the chamber. (Simon will not be amused by this breakdown in tactics!)

After resting briefly while my wounds were tended, Xandu and I moved quickly toward the large pavilion, following several of the other party members who had gone on ahead. Davok had waited in between the two groups to keep watch in case another threat surfaced.

It didn't take long until it happened. Lynn and Moxie had already entered the pavilion as the rest of us moved up to join them. Suddenly, the sounds of combat rose from the tent and Lynn's voice was heard calling out, "Davok! Giants!"

As we arrived piecemeal at the opening to the pavilion, I pulled aside the curtained entrance and paused to look inside before charging in as the others arrived. (Player note: One round by the way. Not exactly being a "wuss" taking six seconds to assess the situation and enter as a group. I actually like my current character and don't have a death wish for him...or another character designed that I'm itching to play!)

Inside, we saw several giants and the fallen form of Lynn just beyond the entrance. His body lay unmoving in a pool of blood. There was no sign of Moxie.

Davok fired a volley of arrows into the first giant, and Friedrich followed this quickly with multiple bombs. Xandu had disappeared from outside, and I assumed he had once again used his powers to enter the tent by other means. Sheldor and I moved in the next round, along with Davok and Friedrich, as the giants engaged us in combat. We were able to kill some of the giants and create more space at the entrance. Simon arrived soon after and pushed inside the opening, making a brief attack before charging past the combat as he went in search of the missing party members. We dropped the last of the five giants and I followed Simon, who was just leaving the area through another doorway.

I warned him not to get too far ahead of the group, but his cursed reply was the last thing I heard him say as he ran around the corner into the next hallway. Seconds later, several bright flashes and the roar of multiple explosions burst from the corridor. The whirling electrical energy matched the bombs that I had seen Friedrich throw on multiple occasions. What was happening?

Davok had also followed Simon to the corner, and I saw him pause, a confused look on his face for split second, before he raised his bow and fired arrows down the corridor. Immediately after firing, he was struck by the meaty "thwack" of a bullet impact that staggered him backward away from the hallway.

I grabbed a potion bottle from my pack and drank it as I moved toward the corridor.


Rikert Krupt – Paladin of Iomedae

We met up with Xandu farther back in the cave, after traveling in cloud form to avoid the stone guardians near the cave entrance. Xandu told us that he had heard the sound of huge wings, and that he believed the dragon had moved farther on into the cave after leaving the battle. We proceeded cautiously through cold fog that obscured our senses until we suddenly stepped out onto an icy slope that disappeared down into the darkness. Several of the party members lost their footing, and began to slide down the slope away from the rest of us. While we managed to grab most of them, Simon was out of reach and we couldn't stop his descent. He slid away into the darkness, his yell echoing off the walls.

We moved slowly along a narrow path above the icy surface until we came to an enormous pit that was located at the bottom of the slope. It was here that someone noticed two hands, grasping onto the edge of the cliff. Simon had somehow managed to save himself from a long drop into the darkness below. I was still in angelic form, and was able to fly over to him and, with help from the others, pull him up and carry him to the safety of the ledge.

After insuring that he was in good health, we reformed and began to walk down the sloping path which circled the pit. It took us some time, but we eventually made it to the bottom of the enormous cavern. The bottom opened up into a huge area, filled with seven stone columns in a circle around the edges, and a large, central pillar made of, or covered in, thick ice.

We also discovered a hoard of treasure that the dragon had gathered and left in this area. The party spread out and searched through the pillars, until they found keyholes in each of the seven pillars that matched the keys we carried. I grabbed a couple of items that looked useful from the treasure pile, as those with keys activated the columns. The columns began to vibrate and hum, and then a glowing portal appeared in the middle of the circle. We moved through the portal, wary of what we would find on the other side.

It turned out to be another large chamber filled with seven statues of the rune lords themselves with seven passages leading from the room. We identified those we knew, and then chose a passage behind one of the female statues. It led to a room still glowing with dim fires from what appeared to be huge explosion of some type. Burned corpses littered the room, and a crackling metal staff still sparked in the middle of the floor where it had been stabbed into the stone. We investigated the bodies and the rod for a short time until Lynn warned us that the power level of the staff was surging. Too late!

A silent explosion of energy washed over all of us in the room. The energy did no physical harm, but seemed to shut down many of our enchanted items. These results were largely temporary, but I lost a couple of personal items permanently that will be expensive to replace. After the explosion, we vacated that chamber quickly to avoid further damage. Friedrich and some of the others found a pool of silvery liquid in a short passage just outside of the room. They deemed it important enough to begin filling any empty vials or bottles with the substance.

We then checked the opposite passage, and found a room that contained an enormous slimy creature that used long tentacles to drag the first party members to enter the room into its body. The "thing" proved to be a tough foe as it seemed impervious to some of our attacks. Eventually, I was able to strike it with my sword as Friedrich and others hit it with magic that finally killed it and freed our friends. In the back of the room, we found a hidden panel with a large lever. Simon was eventually able to push the lever to a new position, but there was no obvious effect. We retreated back through the room with the staff, timing our exit to avoid another blast of its power.

We went back to the main chamber with the statues and picked the next tunnel, and once again moved forward. This passage led to an enormous chamber that contained many metal cages hanging from chains or placed on stone blocks around the edges of the area. We were immediately challenged by a vile group of naked, female, winged demons who descended toward our group, calling out all manner of obscenities as they moved toward us. I wasted no time in calling on Iomedae's power and once again changed into one of her avenging angels and flew to engage the demons.


NobodysHome wrote:

Wow! A party that actually read the journal and followed the directions?!?!?

Where you you find these players, UsePlanB?

:-P

Actually, we found him!

The majority of our players have known each other for 20+ years now. Several of us worked together during college and started gaming together then. A couple of them played together in high school before that.

UsePlanB has been "one of us" for a long time. We met in college, and he joined our group then. Although, he was already a gamer when we found him.

:)


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Rikert Krupt – Paladin of Iomedae

After we gathered all of the information available about the location of the Runeforge, we again used Xandu's divine powers to travel a great distance in little time. He called upon the goddess and turned us all into misty, ghostlike creatures that could travel through the skies at an incredible rate of speed. We traveled this way for several hours, until we located the plateau where the seven stone heads were located. High above the plateau, a long stairway led to a gaping cavern set into the side of the mountain.

We landed in the midst of the stone heads, and divided up to examine the various heads to determine the type of magic that would grant us access to the individual keys to the Runeforge. Perhaps we all were too relaxed, or too focused on obtaining the keys, because the huge, white dragon that appeared and attacked caught us all by surprise. The immense creature repeatedly dove on our group, breathing its icy breath across us all, and sweeping through our lines, attacking several with its claws. Wherever it went, one of us suffered.

Simon bore the brunt of the attack (what is it with him and dragons?) as the creature targeted him first with its physical fury. We all hurried to join in the fight, except for Lynn who I hadn't seen since we landed. Xandu moved quickly in the early stages of the battle, healing Simon and some others, before turning back into the misty form and disappearing from my sight.

The battle was intense, and I thought that several of us may not survive, as this foe was devastating in both power and ferocity. Luckily, Iomedae once again protected us, and through a combined effort we were able to drive the beast away. The dragon called upon its ancient arcane powers after being seriously wounded, and gated away from us to an unknown location.

We regrouped, healed the injured to the best of our abilities without Xandu who was still missing, and acquired the rest of the keys to the Runeforge. We then turned toward the stairway and the cave that loomed about us.

It seems we will find our next clues there.


Rikert Krupt – Paladin of Iomedae

After assembling our entire group, we once again moved into the damaged tunnels under Sandpoint that had been exposed by the earthquake.

We located a tunnel that went down deeper into the earth. I led the way, using the flames of my sword to burn away the thick cobwebs that filled the stairway.

We soon came into a room where all of the walls and floors were covered in a strange script as though written by a madman. Some of the others recognized it as Thassolonian. We spent some time looking at the writing, and then someone located a small passage off to the side that narrowed down so that Simon and myself could barely squeeze through the opening. I didn't see anything on the other side, but Moxie or Xandu found a hidden opening concealed by some type of spell. Through this doorway was a room that contained a magical pool on the floor. I could sense the evil emanations from the pool and the surrounding room. It was the unmistakable foulness of Lamashtu.

Back in the main area, Lynn seemed to be speaking with a ghostly voice in the Thassolonian tongue. Those of us who couldn't understand the voice, moved up to investigate a fog-filled passage on the opposite wall. There seemed to be some magic in the fog which caused some of the party to be unable to enter. Moxie, Simon, and I moved forward around 20 feet into the fog, passing some stone pillars, until we entered a large chamber that was a temple or shrine to Lamashtu. All thoughts of exploring farther were interrupted by the presence of a huge, grossly deformed demon that loomed over us and immediately attacked. Its large crab-like pincers both grabbed on to me and twisted, doing great damage. I yelled for Xandu and the others to join us as we needed their help against this unholy foe.

I quickly chose to call upon Iomedae's power to smite the evil creature and used an extra boon from the goddess to include my companions in the room. However, the foul demon's actions interrupted our attack as it somehow reversed the gravity where we stood and sent us flying toward the high ceiling. Moxie and Simon each used magic to break their fall, but I didn't have time and took the hit from impacting the ceiling.

I immediately called upon Iomedae again to become the angelic form which allows flight and shields me from various other evil effects. At this time, we all engaged the demon and the fight was on. Davok arrived around this time and joined our attack. It took several rounds for us to kill the demon, during which none of the other party members arrived.

As the demon fell and the temple became quiet, we heard the sound of combat from back in the first room behind the fog. We rushed back into the fog to find a bestial, savage man and several smaller demons attacking the others. With our strength added to the combat, we quickly finished off the remaining foes.

After tending the wounded, we moved farther into the ruined tunnels, eventually finding and solving the clues that led to the location of the rune forge, and a possible way to enter the forge.


Tangent, you're probably better off that way!


Quote:

Uther Eld Yesterday, 02:45 PM

Wait, people (or characters) have to be FORCED to have sex? What planet were you guys on when this happened?

I thought maybe Tangent also used to play with Crawford! :-)


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Rikert Krupt – Paladin of Iomedae

Several weeks have now passed since the battle(s) with Mokmurian, where we successfully ended his life and his influence over the giant clans gathering for battle at his fortress. It seems that once again, he was just another pawn being played by Karzoug. Throughout the bloody path that we have followed, the one thing consistent has been the overall leadership of Karzoug and his behind-the-scenes direction of all of the pawns and players from Sandpoint to our current location in the ancient library. It is now clear that Karzoug is the real threat, and that the Sihedron runes and sacrifices are a vital part in bringing him back to life and power. It is to this end that we now gather our strength for the final push to the lost city of Xin-Shalast which is rumored to lie even farther north in the Kodar Mountains.

While the others searched the library for more clues about Karzoug and his former empire, I returned to Magnimar with Xandu to inform the Lord Mayor of our success in stopping the army of giants, and our plan to venture farther North in search of Karzoug. While there I stopped briefly by the Church of Iomedae and informed the priestess of our success and future plans. I then rejoined Xandu and Freiderich who wanted to return with us to use the library, as his knowledge of Thassilonian history would help us learn more of Karzoug.

Friederich once again proved to be invaluable as he quickly found details most relevant to our pursuit of Karzoug.

After we left the library, we searched the towers of the fortress for any additional threats or information that might be of assistance. We came across an icy "tomb" of sorts that held a foul undead creature which nearly proved to be our undoing. The dark necromancy of the thing left many of our party helpless and stunned. Iomedae's holy power shielded me from the sorcery, but the creature was still a formidable foe that struck with unnatural power. It took the combined efforts of Xandu, myself, Lynn, and several others to destroy this abomination.

The creature held a magically-sealed scroll tube that we will have to open.

From there, we explored the abandoned dragon hoard and claimed it for ourselves. It will be useful for equipping us in our next step on the path to Karzoug. Now, we will return to Magnimar for supplies before venturing farther north in search of Xin-Shalast.


You're welcome!!! Simon makes a great punching bag!

;-)


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Rikert Krupt - Paladin of Iomedae

Our next challenge was soon exposed as a frightful creature that seemed made out of metal and fire appeared from the wall of the passage ahead of my position. I had lagged somewhat behind the group as a result of inspecting my sword for damage following the fight against the stone golem. (player was at a work-related activity and missed the first 30-45 minutes of the game)

Simon bore the brunt of the creature's focus and it damaged his new armor with its relentless, grinding attack.

I called upon Iomedae's blessing to empower my sword and charged down the hall, just in time to see the creature disappear back into the wall. By the time it reappeared farther up the hall, I was once again out of position and could only watch as my companions finally managed to end the threat.

Xandu had summoned a pillar of energy that healed everyone who stood in it or touched it. While Simon and the others who had been injured stood in the healing pillar, myself and several uninjured allies moved up to a large chamber that formed a "T" with our current path. As our light sources illuminated the chamber, we found it to be a colossal hallway with high ceilings that led both directions as far as we could see with the light available. The walls were filled with more Thassalonian writings. Lynn began translating and reading while I moved to the left and found an enormous, mirrored door with the Sihedron symbol etched on its surface. There were no obvious handles, and only a small, Sihedron-shaped opening appeared to be a way to open it. Lacking anything that would work as a key for the unusual lock, I moved back down the hallway to the other end, passing Lynn who was still deciphering the runes on the wall.

Here, we found a doorway that led into a strangely carved chamber that had no obvious corners or sharp edges in its walls. Upon entering, three ghostly hounds appeared in the air in front of us and charged to attack. The hounds unnatural appearance contributed to their horrifying aura, and I whispered a quick prayer to Iomedae to grant us her strength in the face of these supernatural enemies. A quick battle ensued, and we were able to kill one or two of them, and drive the other(s) away. They seemed to disappear into the air, so it was hard to tell what had happened to them.

When the rest of the party joined us, we moved through the chamber and opened a doorway into the next room. This area was filled with a heavy fog that completely blocked our vision past five feet. Flak and I moved forward into the fog, using my sword as a light source, although the fog never thinned until Haytham created a magical wind which blew it away in seconds. As the large room filled with pillars was revealed, we saw a large giant high up on a platform above a set of stairs on the far wall. Mokmurian!

Mokmurian held a blue crystal in one hand, and immediately began casting magic throughout the room. His first attack created a toxic mist back near the entrance of the room that enveloped everyone except for Flak and myself. Luckily, Haytham's windstorm was still blowing, and the toxic gas dissapated soon after it appeared. Its brief existence sickened several of our allies, and I fear it would have been much worse if not for the fortuitous wind. As we formed our combat line near the center of the room, Mokmurian continued to cast spells at our spell casters and other who were firing ranged weapons at him. Our attacks hit him, but most seemed to barely affect him at all.

At this point, he stepped off of the platform and walked out into the air above us, using magic to carry him high above the floor. I braced myself for the coming attack and began another prayer to Iomedae, calling upon her power in a new way that she only recently revealed to me...


I followed quietly behind Simon as he led me on a path that seemed to wind deeper into the earth. In the total darkness, I had to focus on the sounds and instructions from others as they guided us to our unseen goal.

After a time, the floor of the passage seemed smoother, and the others who could see noted that we were entering an area where the stone had been worked.

Not long after the change in our surroundings, we heard the sound of battle ahead of us and light was once again visible as we used our magical torches and stones so all of us could see.

Just ahead of me, a doorway led into a room where the sounds of battle could be heard. I moved to join my friends, just in time to see several of them shrink to a size near that of Moxie. I don't know what magic caused this, but I knew I had to help them regardless of the risk to myself. I whispered a quick prayer for Iomedae to protect me and moved forward into the room.

A brief, tingling chill swept over me as I entered the doorway, but Iomedae's power kept me safe from the enemy's magic and I moved unhindered into the room. The walls seemed to shift and make it hard to focus, but the immediate concern was two large, bloated giants that we're engaged with the party. I moved to help in the combat, and we quickly cut them down. We found that they both had the Sihedron rune carved into their flesh.

It seems that most of the party were affected by the spell, and I found myself one of the few who had not been shrunk upon entering the doorway. Lynn assured everyone that the effect would pass with time, so we moved into the next room.

Here, we found a colossal iron cauldron that was taller than a man. From behind it came a stone creature brought to life by magic. This guardian moved to attack the party, shrugging off many of the attacks against it like a man would ignore bugs. I knew that I needed to close quickly with the creature and strike hard and sure to destroy it. After a few rounds of combat, the creature lay broken in a pile of rubble, its supernatural life essence gone.

We continued on to the next area in search of Mokmurian, healing our wounds as we moved.

The next room was unnaturally cold, and held the frozen corpses of several giants. We soon learned that several of these were in fact, enormous undead creatures led by a headless body that carried two glowing axes. The creatures were slow, and proved little challenge as we cut them down. The only one that was a problem was the headless lord. It took several of us working together to drop it into multiple pieces on the floor.

Once again, we bandaged the wounds of those who needed it, and prepared to move on through this path that will hopefully lead us to Mokmurian.


Rikert Krupt – Paladin of Iomedae

The next step of our journey into the caves began again in the dark. I followed closely behind Simon with my hand on his shoulder so I knew when to stop, and was close enough for him to whisper instructions if we came across something unusual.

We moved as quietly as possible, passing several areas, including one where giants were sleeping. My plate armor is good at keeping me safe, but creates a challenge for me when trying to move quietly. I managed to take my time and passed through the area without alarming the giants.

As I exited the room with the giants, the party seemed to move forward quickly and I heard the sounds of battle beginning in the hallway ahead. I had to move carefully for a little longer before I could charge ahead and join them. I didn't want to be responsible for waking the sleepers and trapping us between two groups of enemies.

I reached the spot illuminated by dim torchlight in the hallway ahead, and heard the sounds of battle that were somewhat muffled by thick animal pelts hanging on the walls. The battle was taking place in rooms to either side, hidden by the pelts. I chose the room on my left, and entered to find several allies engaged with a large, armored troll. I pushed my way forward, and joined the attack. Within a short time, we dropped the creature and applied the necessary fire to keep it from regenerating and coming back to life.

We rested briefly and bandaged the wounded before preparing to move farther into the caves. We've reached the end of our map provided by Conna, so now we have to proceed even more cautiously than before. Mokmurian lies somewhere ahead!


Rikert Krupt – Paladin of Iomedae

After the long planning session, where we considered our means of entering the underground caves without being seen, the druids and Xandu made contact with the female giant elder.

Using magical scrying as a way to communicate with her, Xandu (and Haytham in crow form) told her of our plan to kill Mokmurian which should lead to the dissolution of the giant army and their plans to march on the human kingdoms.

Conna (the elder giantess) was receptive to the idea, and has no love or loyalty to Mokmurian because he killed her husband and has taken power over all of the tribes who have lived peacefully in the past.

Following their conversation, we made plans to teleport into the shrine in the caverns where Conna would give us more information. The group teleported in two groups, and both successfully reached the target area. Conna then drew a map showing the best path to Mokmurian, and warned us of some potential dangers along the way.

We set off as quietly as possible. We used no obvious lighting to guide our way, so myself and a few of the others had to rely on our friends who could see to lead us through the dark. We encountered a small group of giants in a kitchen-type area, and were able to sneak past them using magical misdirection provided by Moxie to keep the giant's attention while we moved down the next corridor.

The room at the end of the corridor held a small, crazed, lizard-like creature that immediately attacked the first members of our party to enter the area. Despite its tiny size, the creature proved to be a greater threat than we thought possible as it dropped Flak in a few rounds of combat, and then delivered brutal wounds to several others, including myself.

Iomedae's healing kept me in the fight, and I was finally able to force my way to the front of the combat and help kill the crazed foe.


Rikert Krupt – Paladin of Iomedae

Our mission to strike Mokmurian began with the druids flying most of the party to the Storval Plateau. The rest of us, which consisted of myself, Davok, and Flak would teleport with Xandu after the flyers arrived and we contacted them with magical scrying.

We filled the days spent waiting with getting some much needed rest and down time following the past weeks of action. When the time arrived, Xandu gathered us together and cast the teleport spell.

However, the spell went awry and we found ourselves at Ft. Rannick. We explained to the surprised rangers that we would be leaving as soon as Xandu could cast the spell again.

The second time, Xandu succeded and we found ourselves on stony mountain top overlooking the enormous camp of the giant tribes. Their individual camps were circled around an ominous, walled fortress with a large black tower jutting up from its center.

The surrounding area was filled with activity as all manner of giants and other large creatures prepared for the coming battle. We spent the first few days observing their movements and sending the druids in bird form to scout the fortress and search for a way in that would avoid the army of giants camped outside. The druids found a couple of caves that seemed to lead inside, but were filled with creatures that would prevent easy or quiet access. Across the valley, they also located an empty cave that seems to be the former lair of the dragon we killed in Sandpoint.

We have found the location of several of the leaders, and one of the few giant elders that exists in the camp.

Our plans continue to develop as we work to find a way inside to kill Mokmurian.


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Rikert Krupt – Paladin of Iomedae

Following our decision to contact the Lord Mayor of Magnimar, I traveled magically with Xandu back to the city.

We arrived with no problems, and I quickly made contact with my family, the priestess at the church of Iomedae, and the captain of the guard in Magnimar to arrange for a meeting with the Lord Governor.

I told the story of the events in Sandpoint, and the information we had gathered in the aftermath to each of the three audiences.

The meeting with the Lord Governor included the guard captain, and two military officers in addition to myself. The news of the army of giants assembling at the Storval Plateau was a shock to all of them. They all showed concern about what would happen if a host of giants were to descend on Magnimar. Even the entire military forces of Magnimar would not be able to handle such a powerful opposing force.

While we looked at maps of the surrounding areas and they drew up battle plans to mount a defense, I explained to them that our plan was to travel as a small group and try to kill Mokmurian. We would travel quietly and quickly, and arrive unnoticed to make a surprise attack that cuts the head off of the snake.

My announcement seemed to catch all of them by surprise, and there was a moment of silence and shared glances between them before they gave their response. They discussed the plan and the possible alternatives, but came to the same conclusion we had already reached. There is no hope in attacking the giants head on. The cost would be too high, and the results far from certain. If they committed the entire army of Magnimar to the battle, they risked leaving the city unguarded against possible attack from rivals (i.e. Korvosa) who might seize the moment to try and capture Magnimar for themselves.

It was decided that the Storm Guard (as we have been labeled) should strike against Mokmurian and the leadership of the giant army, while the military marched to set up a defensive position near the base of the Storval Plateau in case we should fail. The city guard, and some reserve troops would be kept in Magnimar to guard against an opportunistic attack from Korvosa, or as a final line of defense if the other plans all failed to stop the giants.

After the meeting, I left with the guard captain and we discussed some small issues before I headed back to meet the rest of our group to finalize our plans and buy the supplies that will be needed for the journey.

May Iomedae bless this mission, as the future of this area depends nearly entirely on our success.


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Quote:
My brain hurts at the concept of a Monk/Barbarian.

Hey Tangent, what would you expect from the former ninja/witch! ;-)

He seems to wear metal gauntlets and fight hand-to-hand from what we have observed. (No obvious weapons carried, etc.)

Flak, the giant-puncher!


Rikert Krupt – Paladin of Iomedae

After saddling my horse, Sheldor and I hurried up the road to the Scarnetti mansion, only to find that the battle really was over. It was here that we heard of Annie's demise at the hands of one of the giants in the woods. She and several of the other party members had hurried to stop several giants from leaving Sandpoint with live captives and other stolen items. During the course of the skirmish, Annie got too close to one of the giants and paid the ultimate price.

She was a quiet and odd girl, but her stealthy abilities and hedge magic aided us many times against our foes. She deserves a place of honor along with the other fallen heroes.

Following the immediate cleanup and healing of the most seriously injured, we turned our attention to the two giants who had been captured alive. Threats proved to be ineffective in persuading them, so Moxie and I were charged with questioning them over the period of several days to gain information about the reason for the giants' attack on Sandpoint.

During this time, troops from Magnimar arrived to provide security, along with several other traveling paladins of Iomedae who immediately began to help the wounded townspeople. This freed up my fellow party members to focus on gathering information and prepare for our next action.

The information we gathered wasn't what we wanted to hear. It seems that this attack was only a small raiding party sent to scout the surrounding areas while an army of giants and creatures was being raised by Mokmurian, a name we had heard before.

The army is gathering north of us at the Storval Plateau, so we now have to warn the Lord Mayor of Magnimar, and then prepare ourselves for the inevitable conflict with Mokmurian. We hope to strike the head of the snake, so to speak, and avoid a drawn-out confrontation against a host of giants.

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