GM AbyssDancer's 'Ire of the Storm'

Game Master AbyssDancer

Drawn by tales of long-lost temples and the abandoned riches of long-dead heretical cults, the PCs are not the first treasure-hunters, fortune-seekers, or troubled souls hoping for a fresh start at the frontier town of Pridon's Hearth. But dark threatening stormclouds are gathering beyond the horizon, for both the colonists and for the wider region. It is far from certain that this mixed group of heroes and chancers will survive to make their fortune, and in so doing shield the growing colony from raging tempests and hostile monsters. Dare they brave the Ire of the Storm?

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Turn 001 - The Kaava Cutter

Turn 002 - Little Tiger Docks

Turn 003 - The Drunks

Turn 004 - Sheriff Praet

Turn 005 - Exploring Pridon's Hearth

Turn 006 - At The Gates Of Fort Breakthrough

Turn 7 - Dino Attack!

Turn 8 - Breakthrough Courtyard

Turn 9 - The Sniper

Turn 010 - Seeking Cover

Turn 011 - Atop The Ramparts

NW Tower – Shooter’s Hide
Chest Thumper and Iradyiel examined the axe which had been abandoned in Francis’ chest, and the masterwork dagger from the well. Both were well crafted, razor-sharp and of sturdy construction despite their simple design. However, they appeared to be dissimilar in nature – the dagger had more in common with the spears found embedded in the militia dead.

DC17 Kn Local check on the dagger:
The dagger could belong to one of the local Halfling tribes in the area, the Songo’o.

Inspecting the room, Iradyiel found little of immediate interest bar the large locked strongbox. It appeared that the frog creature had been using this room as its accommodation in the Fort, drawn perhaps by the fact that the tower is airy, and (unlike the two western tower rooms) does not stink of overripe decomposing bodies. Given the otherwise emptiness of the room the lockbox appeared to have been taken from elsewhere in the Fort. It is of medium size, of sturdy oak construction bound with metal strips, and securely locked. It does not appear trapped.

NE Room
Next, Iradyiel moved back to the office room to inspect it more thoroughly than had been possible in the heat of battle. The dead, decapitated woman on the table was yet another militia member. The paperwork on the desk about her is all manner of mundane reports, describing local water sources, plants, animal migrations, and daily weather reports.

It is while inspecting the papers that Iradyiel finds a curious footprint on one of the papers knocked to the floor - a single footprint left in the victim’s blood on a piece of scattered paperwork; the footprint is human-sized with clawed toes.

DC12 Heal check on the body:
The woman here bears puncture wounds, and a DC 12 Heal check confirms she was killed with a spear.

DC17 Heal check on the body:
All the wounds were delivered from above, as if she were stabbed by someone her height or taller.

DC15 Know Local check on the footprint:
The footprint is that of a lizardfolk.

In the courtyard
After picking himself up, Pious dragged the burst body of the shooter round the Fort walls back to the courtyard. As he entered through the shattered gates, Aza arrived back through the training room ground floor, SW room door, past the barricade, into the yard. Together they rummaged through the shooter’s equipment. Much of it was of a good quality, well made from local jungle resources. It was clear that these items were crafted in a style and at a level of quality which was quite different to that of the spears the party had found embedded in the Fort’s militia.

Aza bent over the arrows and potions which Pious had retrieved from the frog’s body. Apart from two potions of CLW, she identified one potion of ‘pass without trace’, a flask of defoliant and a flask of antitoxin, and three +1 arrows of animal bane.

Throughout this, the small dino looked on curiously from a distance, keeping 10’ or 15’ away but neither aggressive or too familiar. When Chest Thumper emerged from the Training Room, the dino trotted closer to accept some food, but still seemed a little nervous in the company of the party.

The party discussed the idea of taking a rest. Given that the afternoon was now turning into early evening and the light was beginning to fade from the sky, it was possible to take a break from exploration. The obvious candidate for such a rest was the NE room, the shooter’s hide. It was clean and secure with two intact doors, it was to the windward side of the Fort, and it did not stink of decaying corpses unlike all other rooms the party had explored. It did have an open ladder up to the roof and down to the room below, but apart from this could be made to be easily defendable.

The key argument against this was that the party had no tools to adequately bury the various bodies scattered throughout the Fort, and there was a good chance that (as with the Dinos) the smell might attract predators.

Those who considered the burying of the Fort’s dead were swiftly overcome by the practicalities. The bodies consist of three dinos, the goats and pigs in the animal pen in the courtyard, the frog and the nine militia members found dead so far. Transporting that volume of carrion outside the Fort as the evening starts might attract larger predators. As for burial; this would be a significant task even with the right tools and daylight in which to attempt it.

Please decide whether you want to continue to explore for a while yet, or to settle down for the night to recover from your wounds (if so, where, how are you securing the room, and what arrangements are to be made for keeping watch), or to explore certain areas only to secure a room before resting. Your call !

Male Human Witch 1 [HP:9/9 | AC: 13 T: 13 FF: 10 | F: +4 R: +3 W: +2 Init: 3, Perc: 7]

Jamba snooped around the Fort with the others. He stood wearied as they gathered back together. "Jamba be thinkin' dat rest be good? Wat say ya dat we sleep here tanight?" He looks at the others.

ranger stuff

heal: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3

After inspecting the two towers, Iradyiel picks up the piece of paper with the bloody foot print on it and joins the others in the courtyard.

He nods his head in agreement with Jamba. "I think you right Master Mumbata. We should block the gate as best we can and set up a watch to stay the night here."

He then looks quickly to the unopened doors and back to the others. "I would rather not try and sleep till we've made sure the rest of the fort is secure, how long do you thank would take?"

Nodding back to the two towers, "The room that we found the frog in, looks fairly secure, and I would like to try and pry the lock off of the chest. Also the North West tower has another corpse in it, and I found this footprint, but didn't know what it was."

He holds the paper with the human sized foot print with the clawed toes up for all to see. "Does anyone recognize it?"

He then wrinkles his nose, "Are we going to bury the bodies or burn them? They really do smell bad."

Grand Lodge

Male Half-Orc Male Half-Orc 3rd level Druid CG Medium humanoid (orc) Init +1; Senses darkvision, scent; Perc: +12 Francis - Init +4; Senses Lowlight vison, Perc: +1

Chest Thumper looks to the room that the frog thing used as a hideout and shrugged. "If it was good enough for it, it is good enough for us. Let us search the room below it to make sure it is clear. I don't want to search anyplace else, just in case there is something danger in one of them that is content to stay undisturbed but will attack us if we bother it. We can wedge the doors closed and put the chest and our gear on top of the trap door to keep anything from opening any of them."[b]

He rubs his chin thoughtfully as he considers the problem of the bodies. [b]"Burying them will be very difficult but we might be able to build a pyre out of the remains of the gate to burn them. I fear only that we might offend the spirits of the halflings further if we do not provide them the proper send off to their afterlife.

"I suggest we check the bottom room of the northeast tower first, then deal with the bodies."

He went to the Northwest Tower to take a look at the corpse they had all rushed past on their way to the frog sniper. "Another overly violent death," he said sadly and thoughtfully.

Heal check: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (8) + 10 = 18

"Someone used a spear on this woman. But it wasn't the halflings." he points to the wounds for anyone who cares to see. "These came down at her, not up. Whatever killed her was at least as big as she is."

He then waited to see what the rest of the group thought of his plan, or what they thought the group should do.

Female Human Oracle 3
Init: +8 | HP: 22/25 | AC: 16 | FF: 14 | Tch: 12 | Fort: +2 | Ref: +3 | Will: +3 | Perc: +3 | 1; 0/6 Spells Left

"Hmmm..." Aza sighed as she looked over the equipment. "These arrows might come in-in handy... considering we are in the forest and all." She stood, taking one of the cure light wounds potions. "I d-definitely can't use them, but do you mind if I at least take th-this? The fight has me w-w-worried."

Back with the others, Aza nodded at the mention of sleep. "I suppose if b-burning is the best way to take care of the bodies, th-that's what we should do. Perhap-perhaps we could build a separate pyre for the halflings and say a few-few words? Just enough to send-send them off to the l-lady of graves in peace..."

Aza followed the group back to the northwest tower, looking at the human-sized footprint. "Wh-what could have done something lik-like this?"

Ai, though it pains me, I think we should rest. There are some among you who require recuperation. The frog's hide seems as good a place as any."

Pious will spend some time investigating the areas above and bellow the planned resting post.

ranger stuff

Rest instead of secure the perimeter, I hope they know what their doing.' Iradyiel shrugs his shoulders, "Like I said I would feel safer securing the entire fort before we rest,"

He looks from Chest Thumper to'Pious.' "But you gentlemen seem to know what your doing. How do we want to set up a watch? I will take any shift."

He nods toward the southwest corner. "Once we decide, I will go explore the southwest rooms we rushed through earlier. Also, are we dragging the bodies out now, or in the morning?"

Shortly after the conversation is over, Iradyiel will go finish searching the rooms in the southwest corner.

He will take 20 (27) searching the room. How many minutes/hours of sunlight do we have left?

Dusk arrives suddenly in the tropics. As the sun approaches the horizon, it seems to linger only briefly at the horizon, and the creatures of the jungle raise a chorus of noise to speed it on its way. In the hour and a half or so before the passing of daylight, the party work hard to make ready for a night spent at Fort Breakthrough.

A consensus formed to spend the night in the north-eastern tower room that had so recently housed the frog-creature. Together the party worked to bolster the flimsy doors to the ramparts with struts from the shattered gateway below; a make-do affair, but enough to grant some measure of security.

Before retiring, the party considered their options regarding disposing of the bodies. A pyre seemed the most practical approach; the storms experienced at the coast had yet to penetrate as far west as the Fort, and there was abundant furniture to serve as kindling and firewood. It would be possible to use the hand cart to transport the bodies just outside the Fort, and there to erect a pyre built from the remains of the gate to respectfully dispose of the bodies.

If it was to be done then burning into the night sky atop the hill on which the Fort stood, such a fire would be visible for miles around. It would certainly raise the alarm back at Pridon’s Hearth that something was amiss at Fort Breakthrough. Other eyes across the jungle would also see it; the party could not be certain what other attention it might attract…

Chest Thumper and Pious
Before settling down, Chest Thumper and Pious scouted out the areas above and below the northeast tower. Lifting the trapdoor to the room below, they catch a waft of overripe meat from the darkened room below… Lowering light into the room, they see three beds lie along most of the northern wall of this wooden chamber. A large wooden trunk along the eastern wall is opened, exposing haphazardly tossed clothing. The odour of spoiled meat wafts out from under the clothing. A cabinet runs across the southeastern walls, and a ladder ascends down fifteen feet from the trapdoor, the only entrance.

Examining the trunk?:
Gingerly examining the trunk reveals another militia member’s body. This one however has not been pierced through with spears; instead it has been maimed with claw marks and a chunk of its shoulder is missing. It appears the trunk was a clumsy attempt to conceal this body from view.

Searching the room?:
A cursory search of the room uncovers a large, fragrant package of dried and pressed jungle plants with a note saying, “Quinn, please drop these off with Heri. Make sure she pays you up front for them, and tell her I’ll have more red fern soon!”

Once the room below was examined, they ascended the ladder above the tower room, to emerge atop the Fort. The platform was bare, bar a single chair facing eastward. As the sun set, the darkening jungle canopy stretched for miles into the distance, and the echoes of hooting monkeys hunting in the trees competed with the clatter of birds settling to roost. It seemed a peaceful spot, far removed from the butchery carried out in the Fort below.

Meanwhile, Iradyiel travelled back through the south westerly rooms the party had moved through quickly. Examining these more carefully revealed some things new to Iradyiel, but nothing that had not been noticed by the party before:

  • the green scaly severed hand found by Pious in the barricaded training room
  • the strange blackened burns on the body Chest Thumper found in the bunkroom, and
  • the unquiet spirits in the room with the halfling bodies.

Fetching water for the evening ahead from the well, Aza noticed that the bucket appeared to be jammed on something heavy at the bottom. Whatever it was was less heavy than a body; besides the well smells clean. The well is 30' deep, and it would be an easy DC10 climb down...


Action 1:
Please post any reaction to my post above, and anything else to be done before settling down to rest for the night. Is anyone searching any other part of the Fort? Anyone making claims on the loot gathered from the frog? Anyone making knowledge:local rolls on the dagger or the footprint?

If you are holding a pyre, give me some RP so I can understand the tone of the event. It might be important…

Action 2:

Ahead of the night's rest, you need to make some decisions on how you make the tower secure, who takes which watch? Any other business?

Please actions 1 and 2 in your post, as they should be independent of each other, and it will help to maintain speed if you post both.

Grand Lodge

Male Half-Orc Male Half-Orc 3rd level Druid CG Medium humanoid (orc) Init +1; Senses darkvision, scent; Perc: +12 Francis - Init +4; Senses Lowlight vison, Perc: +1

Action 1:

With Pious' hope you don't mind the assumption, Pious help Chest Thumper manages to get the body they find in the lower out and into the upper tower. It doesn't take a genius to figure out what happened to this person.

"I think whatever made that footprint killed this person,"[b] he says. [b]"I think there must have been 2 attacks. The halflings then whatever this is."

He and Francis help build the pyre and transport the bodies out to it. He does not know much about religion and does not know about these particular individual's personal beliefs, but he does know the beauty and wisdom of nature. He looks around at the others before speaking.

"Life feeds on life, feeds on life, feeds on life. The ashes of these creatures will serve to feed the soil. Plants will grow from that soil and animals will eat them. Animals will eat those animals and those animals will die and feed more soil."

"All that is, ever, ever was, will be, ever twisting, turning through the never. Who we are lasts forever. These beings physical forms have expired but their spirits will live for eternity.

"It's the circle of life."

Action 2:

Once the pyre is built and lit, Chest Thumper and Francis will watch for a time before going back into the fort. The half-orc can actually see the shadows racing across the ground as night comes onto the fort.

He tries to get the little dino to go into the barricade. He doesn't want to bring it into the room with them. It's not comfortable with everyone and he doesn't want it to get worked up in the night. It could actually attack one of them. It will be relatively safe there.

Handle Animal: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 4 = 9

The two of them head up into the room that the party (after much debate) has chosen to hold up in for the night. He slides the chest onto the trap door then settles down for the night.

"I'll take the late night watch. I can see in the dark," he says, pointing at his eyes.

Male Human Witch 1 [HP:9/9 | AC: 13 T: 13 FF: 10 | F: +4 R: +3 W: +2 Init: 3, Perc: 7]


Jamba casts detect magic on all of the items and bodies that are found. He knocks around during the day and helps with the bodies as much as possible.

During the "funeral", he listens quietly until the end and then adds: "May da sky faddah be wid ya..." He lights a rolled up cigarette at the end of the ceremony and takes a puff to the dead.


After the funeral, he starts thinking about the plans for the evening. "Jamba an' Bobo can take da first watch. Jamba be needin' da sleep tah help wit da spell tamorrow." He looks around at the others, Yah all be doin' da good job taday. Jamba tankful fah ya company." He nods and heads to their safe location.

ranger stuff

so did we build the pyre and light it just before we went to bed or the next morning?

I got the impression we were making sure the tower was safe and going to bed.

Building a pyre and lighting so it burns into the night is a terrible idea. I assumed, first thing in the morning, we would finish clearing the fort and then take all the dead bodies and put them on a pyre.

Female Human Oracle 3
Init: +8 | HP: 22/25 | AC: 16 | FF: 14 | Tch: 12 | Fort: +2 | Ref: +3 | Will: +3 | Perc: +3 | 1; 0/6 Spells Left

Action I
Aza looked down the well with some curiosity, before grabbing some of her rope from her pack. "I'm going to ch-check this out. There's some-something in the well holding up the bucket-et." she called out to her companions, just to make sure that if something went wrong they would know where she was. As she said this, she took a few moments to knot her rope, before tying it off to wherever looked the most secure on the well, before climbing down.

I take a 10 on the climb down, which easily puts me over the necessary DC 5 of the knotted rope.

Later on at the fire, Aza offered her own condolences, pulling a long black cloak on over her scholarly robes. As the pyre was lit and Chest Thumper spoke, she went about drawing a spiral on the ground in front of the burning bodies (be it with chalk on the hard ground or using her quarterstaff in the dirt), waiting to simply say, "May you be judged well."

Action II
Having carefully placed the black cloak back in her pack, she nodded at Jamba's desire to go first. "I'll take-take the last watch. I usually wake up ear-early, anyway." She paused for a moment. "Today was a tough day. I'm glad we were all here, today."

Grand Lodge

Male Half-Orc Male Half-Orc 3rd level Druid CG Medium humanoid (orc) Init +1; Senses darkvision, scent; Perc: +12 Francis - Init +4; Senses Lowlight vison, Perc: +1

I think we decided to light the pyre in the night so the smell of the dead bodies won't attract any carrion eaters. Although, I suppose that lighting it may attract carrion eaters and things that can see the pyre. I'm ok with doing it either time.

ranger stuff

Iradiels last statement to the group in this post was:

Iradyiel Madras wrote:
He nods toward the southwest corner. "Once we decide, I will go explore the southwest rooms we rushed through earlier. Also, are we dragging the bodies out now, or in the morning?"

GM commented in this post about a pyre:

GM AbyssDancer wrote:
If it was to be done then burning into the night sky atop the hill on which the Fort stood, such a fire would be visible for miles around. It would certainly raise the alarm back at Pridon’s Hearth that something was amiss at Fort Breakthrough. Other eyes across the jungle would also see it; the party could not be certain what other attention it might attract…

your Next post said this:

Chest Thumper wrote:

Action 2:

Once the pyre is built and lit, Chest Thumper and Francis will watch for a time before going back into the fort. The half-orc can actually see the shadows racing across the ground as night comes onto the fort

Iradyiel tried to start a conversation about the pyre, by inquiring about when to drag out the bodies, no one answered. instead you listed that “Once the pyre is built and lit,” after the GM listed it might not be a good idea. I don’t remember any conversation about needing to light it tonight.

I agree we should do a pyre, but in the daytime and after we cleared the rest of the bodies out of the fort. The reason we didn’t clear the fort before dark was because everyone was so tired. But instead we loaded up bodies, cleared wood and lit a fire instead. Then were going to have to do the same thing in the morning with the bodies in the rooms we haven’t cleared? That doesn’t make much sense.’

we now have three characters listing that we have loaded bodies and lit a pyre, so that can be what we did. But in the future at least respond to the question asked by other members of the group.

Climbing cautiously down the well, you discover two items which appear to have been tossed down the well: a bandolier of alchemical vials, mostly cracked and spoiled but with one potion of CLW intact, and a masterwork terbutje, a medium-size stone-studded club. Clearly, this is not a halfling or militia weapon.

Chest Thumper
In carrying the bodies of the militia members out to the pyre, you have a chance of noticing something curious about the bodies:

DC15 Heal on the livestock bodies from the yard pens:
The animals (goats and pigs) were killed by claw wounds, and the most useful cuts of meat cut away with knifes. Bite marks from the Dinos are more recent.

DC15 Heal on the militia:
Similar to the halflings, who had crossbow bolt injuries inflicted post mortem, the militia member impaled with a small spear also sustained this injury after death.

Loading the bodies on the pyre, you see once again the burnt body from the courtyard, dressed in Abadarian robes rather than militia leathers.

Together the party worked to erect a pyre at the front of the Fort, large enough to dispose of the remains of the dead. Once this was done, there remained the less pleasant task of gathering the swollen and rotting bodies of the town militia from throughout the explored sections of the Fort. Last of all to be collected were the bodies of the two halflings; cautiously wrapped in sheets and lowered down from the ramparts, the whispering, angry spirits still muttering in the heads of those carrying them.

All the bodies were collected on the hand cart in the courtyard. Iradyiel had assumed that the final disposal of the bodies would take place in the morning, but through a misunderstanding he returned from checking one of the rooms to discover the cart had been taken out front, and the pyre lit. He returned to see the flames leaping high around the base, and beginning to lick the platform where the bodies had been laid.

As the shadows of the night danced about the fire, Chest Thumper and Aza said some words and the bodies were consumed by fire. At one point, as a log shifted within the flames a plume of embers rushed skyward and the whispers of the unquiet spirits rose to a peak – and ceased.
Tired and smoky, the party retired to the Tower for the night.

Crowded together in the NE tower, the party settled down to rest. The night was still and without the light rain that had seemed almost constant since their arrival. For most of the night a light breeze kept the smoke from the pyre from the fort, although occasionally a gust would send a waft of roasting meat in through the arrow slits to the sleeping party. With limited rations to eat that night before rest, eaten cold, this made for disturbing dreams…

Each person in turn passed an uneventful night on watch in the tower. The jungle was noisy, and full of unexpected hoots and clatters, but only once in the night was there any disturbance – some very large lumbering animal was heard snuffling unseen in the darkness outside the fort; a heavy dinosaur of some sort. But in caused no problems, and soon moved away further down the hill.

In the morning the party awake, rested but still fatigued from disturbing dreams of storms, desperate combat and roast dinners.

all spells are recovered; all buffs have faded. CT, you recover one point of lost STR as the dino poison fades from your system.

GM roll:
5d100 ⇒ (45, 89, 94, 58, 30) = 316

How are you preparing for the day’s challenges? Is anyone healing the party? Does anyone want to claim any of the collected loot?

As the party readies for the new day, a discussion starts about what you have seen so far.

What thoughts do you have about the events which overtook the Fort Breakthrough? What news might you take home to the people of Pridon’s Hearth, especially those who requested your help with either specific people or items from the Fort?

Grand Lodge

Male Half-Orc Male Half-Orc 3rd level Druid CG Medium humanoid (orc) Init +1; Senses darkvision, scent; Perc: +12 Francis - Init +4; Senses Lowlight vison, Perc: +1

Iradyiel, I apologize for buffaloing you. That was not my intention. I'll be more careful to ensure that everyone gets their full say in the future.

Chest Thumper noticed something odd about the bodies as they were being moved. But then, it seemed everything in this fort had suffered a strange death so he was not surprised. He studied first the livestock bodies then the body of the Militia member as they were taken out.

Heal Check Livestock: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (5) + 10 = 15

Heal Check Militia: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (17) + 10 = 27

"These animals were killed by animals but butchered by humanoids. Then fed upon by other animals. Likely the little dinos that attacked us. But they were probably not the first ones to attack them,"[b] he says, pointing to the claw marks then knife marks then fresher bite marks.

[b]"And this pour soul, like the halflings, was damaged after his death. Very bad things happened here.[b]

He is tense the whole night through, especially on his watch, though he is pleased when he senses that the spirits of the halflings passed on. The sound of the dinosaur outside the fort is more than a little disconcerting, but there is a good chance that it is an herbivore and, as it does not attack them, it does not matter.

He contemplates and communes with nature, settling into a sort of trance as the sun begins to come up. He changes some of the blessings of nature that come to him, this day, deciding that the group needs more healing than for Francis to potentially be more dangerous.

Chest Thumper takes 2 cure light wounds spells, today.

He immediately utilizes one of these spells as soon as he comes out of the trance, calling Francis to his side and imparting some healing energy into him.

Cure Light Wounds: 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4

He looks through the resources they have gathered from the fort so far.

[b]"I suggest Pious, Iradyiel and Jamba take one each of these," he says, separating out the healing potions. "Aza and I can reproduce the effects ourselves."

He picks up the antitoxin and holds it out toward Pious and Iradyiel. "One of you should likely take this as you are the two most likely to get close enough to be bitten or scratched by something poisonous."

He won't touch the defoliant and pays little mind to the pass without trace potion.

With his suggestions for what to do with the loot so far out of the way, he goes to one of the arrow slits facing into the fort and contemplates it. "Where should we start? I hope we can finish our search, today. I do not like this place and don't want to spend another night here. Too many bad things have happened in this place."

"This man is Quinn Vanicus"

Pious bends over the body of the robed acolyte as he assists with the building of the pyre

"The bank of Abadar will mourn him when we return. But the week pass on from this realm that the strong may flourish."

Without another thought he continues with the preparations. Once the pyre is lit he steps up and is about to say a few words when CT opens up.

CT wrote:
It's the circle of life.

"And what has been will be again"... again and again.


The following morning Pious rises early, stomping about the fort, retracing steps.

"So the humans are here... minding their own. When they are attacked. Door smashed in and slaughter... but not the halflings, They come later. The hand and weapons... Lizardfolk? Then the halflings turn up? Then the dinosaurs and the frog? But when were the dead mutilated? And who used magic..."

How does everyone see this as going down, I'm sure I missed something? What did the first attackers want? Did you open the frog's box Iradyiel?

Pious graciously accepts the CLW potion from CT, almost as if it is a gift. Iradyiel should have the antitoxin, he's the most useful frontliner

First thing in the morning, the party turned to the strongbox which had been used to block the trapdoor overnight. Made of thick hardwood, bound with steel, and with an robust lock and internal hinges, it appeared impregnable DC30 disable device. Rattling it revealed little; the contents inside were cushioned in some way. They concluded that without either a key, or the repeated application of extreme force, they could not force it open.

Male Human Witch 1 [HP:9/9 | AC: 13 T: 13 FF: 10 | F: +4 R: +3 W: +2 Init: 3, Perc: 7]

Jambree takes a potion. "Tanks." He looks at the box. "Should I an' I take dis box back ta da town?" He thinks for a moment after hearing Pious' question. "Any of ya be knowin' how ta track? Maybe whoever did da dirty left footprints I an I could be followin'"

ranger stuff
GM AbyssDancer wrote: discover two items which appear to have been tossed down the well: a bandolier of alchemical vials, mostly cracked and spoiled but with one potion of CLW intact, and a masterwork terbutje, a medium-size stone-studded club. Clearly, this is not a halfling or militia weapon.

two items; the bandolier is one is the other a MW terbutje a martial weapon that does 1d8 and crit @ 19-20/x2 or a MW club a simple weapon that does 1d6 and crit @ x2?

last night
'huh, that's a suprise' Returning from checking one of the rooms to discover the cart had been taken out front, and the pyre lit. Iradyiel returns to see the flames leaping high around the base, and beginning to lick the platform where the bodies had been laid.

'Well, they probably know what their doing.' Iradyiel returns to the north eastern tower, quietly laying out his bedding resting until it's time for his watch.

in the morning
In the morning he quietly eats some of his dried rations, he listens carefully to Pious' idea, eventually interjecting, pointing to the green hand and the foot print. 'What if those are from the same thing, and they did the raid, then planted the bodies of the halflings. We know the humans were killed and then the halflings weapons stuck in them. We also know that the Halfling spirits were very disquieted. Wouldn't being moved after death cause that?"

Iradyiel picks up the two potions and points to the weapons? "What about the weapons??"

He then points to the Chest, "I was thinking about trying to knock the lock off, but I'm afraid I will break my club. Can we finish searching the fort and see if we can find a key?"

answering Jamba
"If we can't find a key I will carry it back to town. and I can track a little. But I would like to search the fort before we leave."

After the conversations
Iradyiel then heads out the south door of the northeast tower, exploring the palisade and then opening the door to the southeast tower.
Iradyiel is willing to explore the palisade and tower alone or with the team, so if others follow that's fine, if not that's fine too.

Grand Lodge

Apologies - the weapon is the former, a masterwork terbutje.

-Posted with Wayfinder

Grand Lodge

Male Half-Orc Male Half-Orc 3rd level Druid CG Medium humanoid (orc) Init +1; Senses darkvision, scent; Perc: +12 Francis - Init +4; Senses Lowlight vison, Perc: +1

Chest Thumper nods at both Pious and Iradyiel's analysis of things. "I think the attack by the bone head dinosaur that brought down the gate was no accident. And I think the hand and footprint belong to the same thing. I also think whatever did the lightning magic guided the first group of dinosaurs and may have done the bad juju to the halflings and other people after they were dead. If we find that person, we find the key."

"I have no use for them," Chest Thumper answers Iradyiel's question about the weapons. "If anyone else can benefit from them, then so much the better for all of us."

He looks at the trunk with the rest of them. "I think you are right, Iradyiel. I think the key must be here. If someone found the key they would have taken the trunk with them, or opened it. But, if it is not, we can take it back to town. Better that than try to hack or bash it open. Unless we have some reason to want to hide the fact that we have it. And if we do, we can wait until we are sure there is no key before making that decision. I can track, too but I'd also like to search the rest of the fort before leaving."

When the half-elf moves to explore the rest of the fort, Chest Thumper and Francis are ready, the ape by the man's side and the half-orc a pace behind with great axe in hand to support them.

Didn't someone find a pouch of herbs with Heri's name on them? At some point we can check them against the list we got. I'm betting it's the same.

Female Human Oracle 3
Init: +8 | HP: 22/25 | AC: 16 | FF: 14 | Tch: 12 | Fort: +2 | Ref: +3 | Will: +3 | Perc: +3 | 1; 0/6 Spells Left

Aza considers the various theories being thrown around, nodding - they all made sense to her. Not being the military type, she had only been in one or two fights, so the deconstruction of the clues was a bit over her head - but the way the others explained it made sense to her. "It is cruel-cruel to disfigure someone after death. Even if the raid was just, which I doubt, I feel as though whatever dese-desecrated the bodies is certainly not in the r-right."

She glances at the chest. "I think that if we find-find the rest of the fort empty, we should pur-pursue the tracks, and perhaps set-t a t-tr-trap or block the doors so nothing-g else tries to claim it. We can stop by here ag-again to re-open the chest or take it back-back to town. Not like anything else is g-going to get to it first." Aza joins Chest Thumper and Iradyiel on their search of the fort, activating detect magic and looking around for any interesting auras. (Re-activating detect magic whenever it expires, as it's a cantrip)

Shortly after sunrise the party exit the tower where they spent the night, braced for the exploration of the last few rooms of the Fort. Overnight no changes can be observed to the Fort, the yard or the surroundings, except that the small Dino (who refused to be lead into the barricade room last night) appears to have disappeared.

A thin drizzle falls on the marsh and jungle to the west but has yet to reach the Fort. Looming on the horizon, however, are a gathered host of ominous black thunderclouds. None of you have seen such a storm before; you hope that it remains at sea and does not make landfall anywhere near you.

The party move down the rampart. Arriving at the door to the SE room, the party listen carefully but hear nothing. Pushing open the door releases a small cloud of tiny flies; the interior of the room appears infested with them. Recoiling from these and then peering inside reveals what appears to be the quarters of the Fort Commander, but the room is in a state of some disarray.

A small table with two chairs sits in the southwest corner. In the southeast corner sits a large bed with a noticeable bump under its rumpled sheets. A bookshelf lies face down in the northwestern corner of this wooden room, partially concealing a heavy trapdoor beneath. An open window looks out onto the yard below, and a second doors exits to the west.

Looking more closely at the bed reveals two things; firstly, a sheet of paper pinned to the lump under the sheet with a small, halfling-sized knife; and secondly, more sinister, that something underneath the sheet itself appears to be moving, writhing slightly, along the contours of the lumpen shape…

GM rolls:

Iradyiel: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24
Francis: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (10) + 1 = 11
BG: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (19) + 12 = 31

ranger stuff

Iradyiel picks up the terbutje, testing the balance. "This is similar to a weapon my father trained me with, may I use it? Or does someone else want it?"

'Writhing, I wonder what surprise they have left for us.' Seeing the sheet move Iradyiel lifts his polearm out of it's scabbard and using the lengthy weapon to stay back, pokes at the blankets, trying to lift them off whatever is writhing. "Prepare to be disgusted, this will not be pretty."

Iradyiel will move to 'Q17' and attempt to remove the blanket with his glaive.

Grand Lodge

Male Half-Orc Male Half-Orc 3rd level Druid CG Medium humanoid (orc) Init +1; Senses darkvision, scent; Perc: +12 Francis - Init +4; Senses Lowlight vison, Perc: +1

Chest Thumper was a bit disappointed, but not surprised to find the little dino gone, especially after it had not gone into the erstwhile pen.

Now, he prepared himself for a fresh day of horrors, the first one of which seemed to be whatever was under the blanket with the body. He expected anything from a mass of insects to a serpent, but had little doubt that whatever it was would be annoyed by being interrupted in its feast.

Francis seemed no more eager to see what was under there, but Chest Thumper cajoled him into joining Iradyiel in the room, and readying himself for whatever came out.

Handle Animal: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (7) + 8 = 15

Reluctantly, the great ape obeyed, moving up next to the half-elf.

Francis is moving to Q16

Chest Thumper did not want to overcrowd the room and remained at the doorway, though he tightened his grip on his axe in his hands.


Pious calls Iradyiel to pause for a moment (Assuming that is ok with him?) and takes up a position stood over the bed, blade readied.

"The steel of man bust be readied against blasphemy" Casting true strike and readying an attack, triggered if the thing revealed is a malicious foe

Readied Attack:
Attack: 1d20 + 5 + 20 ⇒ (14) + 5 + 20 = 39
Damage: 1d8 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7

Female Human Oracle 3
Init: +8 | HP: 22/25 | AC: 16 | FF: 14 | Tch: 12 | Fort: +2 | Ref: +3 | Will: +3 | Perc: +3 | 1; 0/6 Spells Left

Aza shrugged. "I have n-no use for weapons..." She raised her shaky, burnt hands and sloppily clenched her fingers, a small smile on her face. "I'm pretty sure a bl-blind person could use a-a weapon better than me."

Aza bit her lip, trying not to throw up from the disgusting scene before her - the knife and note were intriguing, but she certainly did not want to enter the room - especially as something was moving in there. She clutched her quarterstaff closely, trying to peer over the crowd of people in front of her.

ranger stuff

'A blind person?' Iradyiel smiles at Aza, "My father told me about a blind monk that fought with a staff. He would say "I am with the ..." he stops speaking for a second, 'That probably wasn't her point.' Smiling wider, he picks up the stone edged terbutje or do you like this one? telling Aza, "Hopefully there will be no need."

Hearing 'Pious' call 'Hold' Iradiel pauses for a moment, nodding "Certainly Master Shepard." As the holy man positions himself, weapon in hand, Iradiel attempts to lift the blanket with the pole arm.

Do you want a roll for this? Not sure if it's an attack or acrobatics of just str. or dex. So I will leave it to you to apply the proper bonus ;)
apply proper bonus here: 1d20 ⇒ 8

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The party shuffled into position, cautiously advancing on the grisly bed and trying to ignore the flies choking the air in this room. Slowly Pious advanced on the bed, sword held high. Irayiel ‘s glaive looped under the covers, poised to jank the blanket off the bed…and answering his prayers, a divine vision flooded Pious’ head, an insight into the future! the eyes, the many eyes are vulnerable, strike the eyes! Pious’ skin crawled in horror, guessing what was to be revealed...

With one sweeping motion, Iradyiel lifted the blanket half off the bed. Only halfway, for the small knife holding down the paper note was jammed into the breastbone of the cadaver under the blanket and held fast, pinning knife, note, blanket and corpse. For under the blanket was the desiccated, dried husklike-body of the camp commander, Marcus Pendallion. It was missing its head, as had the other militia corpses, but here the rest of the body had not begun to dissolve into decomposition.

Here, the rot had been drained by a nest, a carpet, a living writhing mass of hundreds upon hundreds of glistening coin-sized red-backed spiders. And disturbed by the motion of the blanket, that arachnid swarm surged forward in a fluid stream to seek new food !

It was from here that things started to go south, because it was whilst the party were recoiling in horror at this gruesome sight that they got their second surprise. With lightning speed the colony’s mother, a black-and-red backed monster of a hunting-spider a full six foot in length, leaped up like a coiled spring from behind the bed onto the ceiling above Pious, striking down on him with poisoned fangs the size of kitchen knives.

GM rolls:
Stop looking !
Aza: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (13) + 4 = 17
Iradyiel: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5
ChestThumper: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (12) + 1 = 13
Francis: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
Jamba: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8
Pious: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (17) + 0 = 17
Swarm+Mum: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6

Surprise Round
Mum’s attack on Pious: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5 damage + poison: 1d6 ⇒ 2
Warned perhaps by his divine vision, Pious instinctively ducked away from the giant spider's fangs...

Round 1
>> Aza
>> Pious
>> ChestThumper
>> Jamba
Swarm + Mum

With Iradyiel and Francis paralysed in shock, it falls to Pious and the rear of the party to act first. The swarm are diminutive in size. Pious, you have your 'True Strike to use on your first attack. Please note the new map added above.

Please post reaction RP, and actions from the 4 PCs above. Go !
go !

Grand Lodge

Male Half-Orc Male Half-Orc 3rd level Druid CG Medium humanoid (orc) Init +1; Senses darkvision, scent; Perc: +12 Francis - Init +4; Senses Lowlight vison, Perc: +1

"Waaugh!" Chest Thumper cried out with bestial disgust. He gapes at the hideous display and recoils for a moment but recovers himself quickly. He knows there isn't much he can do about the little spiders. Granted, he could squash dozens or hundreds of them with each blow of his axe but there must be thousands of them.

He can do something about the mother spider, though. He pushes past the still stunned Francis, smacking him on the shoulder an hooting out an urge to action.

Handle Animal + Link: 1d20 + 4 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 4 + 4 = 24

Having little care for furniture, anyway, he knocks aside and tumbles the table and chairs in his way and moves to the head of the bed. Ignoring the macabre remains still laying there, he takes a swing at the big spider with his big axe.

Chest Thumper moves to T17, if possible.

Great Axe: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
Slashing: 1d12 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7

Attack: 1d20 + 5 + 20 ⇒ (11) + 5 + 20 = 36
Damage: 1d8 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10

Time slows for pious as the spider strikes at him. He fends off its viscous fangs eight the side of his blade, gauntleted hands holding it at each end; before ramming the point of the blade at the beast's abdomen as it relented.

"Die spawn of Mazmezz! You have met your vanquisher. 'Unto the fires with the twisted and the pitborn.'

The commander's room erupts into action. Pious and Chest Thumper swing their weapons at the huge hunter spider on the ceiling, and Pious' sword splits open the monster's thorax, eliciting a screech of pain. Jamba moves in to the room to seek cover behind the fallen bookcase, and directs an 'evil eye' -2 attack hex at the spider. And Aza leaps forward to the eastern side of the room, perceiving that her talents might be of particular help with the spider swarm. Standing braced against her quarterstaff for support, she raises her left hand and a scorching blast of fiery ruin burning hands, collateral damage: 1d2 ⇒ 2, fire: 1d4 ⇒ 3 sprays out, crisping hundreds of the tiny arachnids at a moment and the giant spider too, but also several books on the floor, the bed clothes, and the back of Pious' head 3 damage "S-s-sorry!" she calls out.

On the Commander's body, there is a hiss and pop, as the fire bursts hundreds more of the monster's still unhatched eggs. Very badly wounded, the spider reacts with fury, both to the strike to its midsection and to the destruction of so many of her brood. She launches herself at 1 Pious 2 CT: 1d2 ⇒ 2 the half orc, attempting to pin him with her forelegs and bring her fangs to bear. fangs: 1d20 + 3 - 2 ⇒ (13) + 3 - 2 = 14, damage: 1d6 ⇒ 1. Flailing from the effects of the evil eye, she fails to pierce his hide armour.

Meanwhile, noticeably thinned out by Aza's fiery blast, the spider swarm explodes into movement, flowing out into a ten-foot wide area toards the northern end of the room. Pious, Francis and Iradyiel are each covered in countless biting, crawling spiders, their tiny mandibles drawing scores of cuts. The swarm inflicts piercing damage om nom nom: 1d6 ⇒ 4 plus poison (save Fort DC11 1/round for 2 rounds; effect 1d2 Str; cure 1 save), plus it's plain horrible (Fort DC11 or be nauseated). This attack provokes an aoo from eack of the PC's.

Round 1
Aza: move, burn it all!
Pious: longsword to the thorax
ChestThumper: move, axe miss
Jamba: move, evil eye
Swarm + Mum: bite bite bite
>> Iradyiel: ??? (2 saves pls: Fort DC11 poison, DC11 distraction)
>> Francis: ??? (2 saves pls: Fort DC11 poison, DC11 distraction)

Round 2
>> Aza: ???
>> Pious: ??? (2 saves pls: Fort DC11 poison, DC11 distraction)
>> ChestThumper: ???
>> Jamba: ???
Swarm + Mum

Check out the status sheet - Pious and Francis are both seriously wounded.

Apolgies Aza and Jamba but without a post in 24 hours I DM-PC'd you. Iradyiel, my records say you are holding the alchemist's fire the party purchased back in town.

All PCs are free to post actions and reactions. Go ! go ! go !

Giant Spider 13, Swarm 5

ranger stuff

fort: poison: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (17) + 4 = 21
fort: distraction: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12

'yuck, that is so gross! I have to get these bugs off of me!' Almost loosing his grip on the glaive, Iradyiel dry heaves, covering his mouth with his loose hand. "That is so gross" Removing his hand from his mouth, He draws the alchemical fire that the team purchased out of his pouch and throws it at the spider Swarm.

aiming at R16 can he just pour it on the spiders?
attack: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5 for damage: 1d6 ⇒ 5 in case of miss: 1d8 ⇒ 7

Iradyiel Madras wrote:

He draws the alchemical fire that the team purchased out of his pouch and throws it at the spider Swarm.

aiming at R16 can he just pour it on the spiders?

Iradyiel, read my post on the discussion tab on this. You need to choose an intersection you are targeting the thrown (not poured) flask, where the swarm occupies at least two of the four adjacent squares. This will then do 7 damage to the swarm, and 1 splash damage to any PC in a square adjacent to the intersection (this means at least 2, or all 3 if you like, of those in the swarm).

ranger stuff

I figured it had to be thrown, but couldn't hurt to ask. Since he was aiming at 'R16' and it was the southwest corner of the swarm, I guess go to the intersection to it's north east and give the three of us, Iradyiel, Pious and Francis, one point each. Sorry guys.

Covered in biting spiders and bleeding from scores of cuts, Iradyiel snatched his alchemist's fire flask from a pouch, and cast it to the floor. The resultant explosion singed everyone nearby with a thunderous concussion, and peppered Iradyiel, Pious and Francis with flaming oil. When the blast cleared, the tiny spiders swarming the room were nowhere to be seen - shriveled to husks by the heat.

All others still to post!

Grand Lodge

Male Half-Orc Male Half-Orc 3rd level Druid CG Medium humanoid (orc) Init +1; Senses darkvision, scent; Perc: +12 Francis - Init +4; Senses Lowlight vison, Perc: +1

Francis is extremely angry. Spiders are all well and good when there are few enough to eat. When there are enough to eat him, he does not like it. Nor does he like being burned. He gives Iradyiel a baleful look for a moment but since the half-elf's action took care of the too many spiders, he decides to, instead, attack the big spider.

fort1: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (14) + 3 = 17
fort2: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (19) + 3 = 22

He is neither overcome by the spiders' poison nor the distraction of them crawling in his fur.

He closes the distance with the big spider and attacks, venting his fury on the enormous vermin.

Francis is moving to S18

He slashes with a claw.

claw: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6
slashing: 1d6 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6

Chest Thumper takes a step back so he will not be exposed to his enemy when he performs his next action.

5 foot step to T17

"If you keep getting yourself hurt I'm going to stop doing this," he taunts his brother before channeling the healing power of nature into the ape.

CLW: 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4

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