Useplanb's RotRL Game - Player Journals Included

Rise of the Runelords

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Moxie wrote:

(Wiping tears from my eyes, whispering and gesturing with hands)

Shh! Come close and I'll give you my secret!....

There is this , not so wee 10 year old, ginger haired girl back at home that I have watched grow up from an infant, she is special to me and I make sure she is well cared for. I see alot of me in her, some day she will do wonderful things. THAT IS MY SECRET! :)

So what's my excuse? Mine two are boys, including Mr. "Quote of the week":

"Abominations are tasty"
"The Irish potato famine was useful because it killed Irishmen"
"You see little Timmy's skeleton" (in passing when Hi's character asked what they saw down a dark well)
"Why doesn't she just pick up a gun and kill somebody?" (in seeing a woman running a red light while texting and driving)

Yeah. He's a *special* boy. But I doubt there are many 12-year-olds who can reduce a roomful of adults to helpless laughter with an offhand quip, so I'm a proud papa anyway...

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Tis a gift! (Smile!)

As to your young-lings, I offer my most heartfelt congratulations on their ability to co-mingle with their elders in a meaningful way. In my life's journey this is difficult for many, and as long as it is used in context the *special* quality is a priceless commodity! Your troupes influence will scar their psyche in a manner that will serve them beyond measure in years to come, just ask Frederich/Hayseed. Well done Noble Harm....Truly!!

(Waves and smiles to Noble Harm, and crazy faces at the young-lings!)

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Again wit da ritin. Mob made it to Magnimar without losin anyone, amazin. Took two long days(with mandatory tavern breaks, of course) just to unload da heap of loot. Should have enjoyed it more cause da next part was worse den a honest job. Just wanted to trade some old gear and a pile of coin for some useful tings. First, I know dis is a big town and ya can't swing a dead goblin without hitin 50-60 roundears. Second, several of dem don't care much for dose whose skin ain't pasty pink. But really, does it always have ta come to bloody beatdowns and duckin da law just ta do some bisness? All I wanted was a bow dat's harder on giants(enuf is never enuf!) and armor of fornication(no wait,dat's Simon, da future father of Somebodies country) defnitly an F word, ta take some of da sting out of impalement. Lost a week while da rest were coolin dere heels in Sandpoint. Not my favorite place, but da Girl has a soft spot for it and our path leads back dere. Somethin bout another hole in the ground, dead guards, and dogs. I know we'll get back to snuffin bigguns soon, thank da Maker Amiko still stocks da good stuff.

Sooooooo dropping "Armor of Fornication" on my party as a cursed item!

I suppose we can forgive the half-orc's slight faux pas of jumping the gun on Useplanb. But maybe HE won't.

For the record, Simon's armor is (now) plain old run of the mill +3 Comfort Plate Mail. No fortification in sight. I prefer just "not getting hit" and trusting in my re-roll boon (from writing the journals) and a Jingasa of the Fortunate Soldier to save Simon from crits. :D

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
NobodysHome wrote:
Sooooooo dropping "Armor of Fornication" on my party as a cursed item!

Ah, that brings back memories of when I still was a player in games and ran across the most sadistic bastard of a GM who pretty much turned me off of ever wanting to be a player in a game again. He had the Longsword of the Golden Paladin who would shout "Foooornicator!" at any wielder who'd had sex. Nevermind if the wielder had been, say, Dominated or Possessed and forced to have sex (ie, magical rape) when the player was unable to attend the game because of work or the like. (No, that didn't happen to me. But I was regaled with the story).

I must admit I was a tad miffed when the sword didn't go flying out of the current wielder's hands to vanish into the distance when the sword forced its wielder to punish (ie, smite) a chaotic good 1st level character who voiced his skepticism about the sword, dropping said 1st level character (that I was running) to -10 HPs in one blow. Seems fornicating is a far greater sin than murdering a skeptic.

Still, this campaign definitely sounds far more interesting and fun than those old games. Or even the ones I'm currently running. ^^;; Armor of Fornicating. Heh.

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

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

In my "Skyrim" (RoW) campaign, one of the half-elves is basically asexual. She grew up in isolation, her father was most of her life, and then he told her go go off and have an adventure. She still has no idea what she's doing.

The RotR campaign has a priestess who took a vow of chastity and temperance, and a half-orc who has no real interest in sex (amusingly, he's played by the girl in the Skyrim campaign who seduced the NPC Druidess and is now in a relationship with her, so it's not even the same player in these cases).

As for the campaign I described above, it was an AD&D campaign setting that had a very Catholic-like priesthood. Thus no sex when you enter the priesthood. I have no idea why, but then I consider that chap to be an inferior GM due to my personal biases.

Grand Lodge

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Essentially the game was more fluff than anything. They spent most of the night spending their hard earned loot. I gave them a holiday gift by just allowing that to have full value on all their gear, which amounted to 41,000 gp each.

I told them it took two days of Diplomacy to move the items into gold or promises of trade with merchants. From there I had each player roll an additional d6, this number representing the amount of days it took to find said item(s) and broker a trade. In my campaign the bazaar of sails resets magical gear daily since its a port city and the biggest one in Varisia to boot.

Those that made it in a day rode horses back to Sandpoint, while the rest teleported in with Xandu after day 3. By random rolls they arrived in Sandpoint at exactly the same time. (I had each group roll a d4 and the difference in numbers was the difference in who arrived first and by how many hours. They both rolled 4s.

I had Ameiko treat them to a nice dinner and then direct them to the sinkhole. One of the pickets was the guard that helped search one of the suspects in the Sawmill murders. Don't remember name of NPC or want to look it up.

I also have Aesrick spending time with the two giants who are still located in Sandpoint. This way next years toys will look better. Did some RP with information about Jorgenfist/Mokmurian/Conna. That was fun. I also am working it up that Shalelu is trying to convince the giants to go with her to Fort Rannick to help work on the stonework there.

At that point we did a minor poke into the sinkhole and the grisly discovery of the dead guards. From there they waited until the others arrived back in Sandpoint, via teleport from Xandu.

We also introduced Flak's replacement. Mother something (don't remember) who was Annies mentor. Pure witch class and old as dirt. We ended the night with them in the stairwell looking into the web filled stairway.

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After action report, 30 Kuthona, Simon Roque reporting.

1) Spent a few hours figuring logistics, then Xandu teleported us back to Magnimar in stages. Spent two days arranging trades in the Bazaar of Sails, and an additional day shopping for upgraded gear. For once, I have some cash left over; I’m sure I’ve forgotten something important.

2) Lynn finished shopping around the same time, and we decided to ride out to Sandpoint. I had an overdue appointment at the Pixie’s Kitten, while I believe Lynn plans to sit around the Rusty Dragon and make goo-goo eyes at the proprietress. While others seem to find Lynn abrasive, I had to change my opinion of him on the ride. He is surprisingly good company if you don’t want a whole lot of jabber all the time. At the Half-Way Inn the first evening, he said, “Two rooms, and your finest bottle of wine.” When we got to Sandpoint and saw Xandu bampf in with Rikert just up the street from us, we both said, “Damn.” That there is my kind of travelling companion. He also looks spiffy in his new robes; covers up the armor and makes him look more elfy.

3) Two captured giants still in town. Earthquake opened up a sink-hole next to the town garrison; 5 men sent in to look around never came out. Bad sounds were heard, and no one has come or gone in several days. After Xandu and Rikert wasted some time yapping at the town bigwigs, the four of us present took it upon ourselves to go in and Lynn and Xandu knew where they were immediately; it was a portion of the tunnel complex that Xandu hadn’t shown me before the giant attack. Found the 5 bodies, and pulled them out for burial.

4) Xandu headed back to Magnimar to gather the others; looks like we have a little side job to take care of before we figure out how to assault Xin-Shalast (wherever THAT is).


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! :-)

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

No idea who Crawford is. Sorry.

Tangent, you're probably better off that way!

Now, that's not really fair Mordean. As far as I know, the near forcible rape of a PC only happened once in the Mighty Cron's game, and that was instigated by other players and was defused before the "deed" could be, ahem, consummated.

And wow, I sure did misread "Armor of Fornication" above, didn't I?

Huh!?!? See I went the other way to a more recent and memorable former member of the table...Jesse! In the same light as Tangent 101 described, I recall a similar character who would would scream in his bass toned voice..."WHOOOORES!" Thanks for digging that up from the dusty shelf of things I could go without remembering...forever! :)

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Finally got back to Magnimar. Checked in, spent a couple days at my temple working out the aches and pains and rejuvenating. Got my share of the loot and went shopping. Picked up the few items I wanted and decided to go to Sandpoint.

Simon had finished his stuff as well and wanted to go back also. So we rode back together. He can be loud and obnoxious in certain situations, but otherwise is an ok companion. Not a lot of talk.

We got back to Sandpoint evening of the second day. We were just dropping off our horses when in popped Zandu and Rikert. Simon and I looked at each other and said Damn.

Apparently, a large sinkhole opened up by the garrison. The giants we left there were still working in the town.

We were told about the hole and that evil sounds were coming from below and that a group of soldiers were sent in to investigate and after screams and other sounds were heard, they never returned. Guards had been standing watch since.

We went down and did a little investigating and it's part of the underground that we've investigated before and much looked the same, but some other things had changed. We'll get the entire party back and find out what's going on down there.

In the meantime, I went and spoke with the giants with the help of Shelelu. She wants them to go to Fort Rannick and help rebuild etc. I told them they were now free to return to their tribe, but traveling there may not be safe, at least until the army returns.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I've missed these!

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We're back to playing on Tuesday. No one went for my plan to play last Tuesday; I think I'm the only one with my priorities staight sometimes.

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What a Homecoming!?!

I took to the rudimentary task of learning the Thessalonian tongue to try to remove myself from the recent drama with Xandu, and ya know what? I worked it out! Its complex and wordsome but if you stick with it it’s not too hard to decipher! I was reading a bit of history when Xandu returned from Magnimar…without “HANNA”… and the troupe began to make ready to leave Jorgenfist. We made our way out to the bailey to find some winged creatures pummeled and broken lying dead in the open. It was apparent the giants had the last word in the relationship! As the troupe filtered about I took a look see, but never too far from rescue as many things unseen and unknown may have lurked or laid in wait of our troupe and I did not wish to be the bait for ransom or worse! I found myself mesmerized by a work of sculpted stone relief and tried to comprehend the telling. The troupe had moved on a bit but I was in earshot and could hear their murmurings of a plot of some insignificant sort. It wasn’t until their voices had quieted and the crack of lightning was to be heard that I was torn from the stone telling only to find the troupe pretty severely beat up. The culprit had been an undead priest of old. A chance encounter I had no regret in missing I admit…EGADS!! I was presented with a puzzle locked scroll tube using Thessalonian runes. With a few moments to study it I found the combination on the very first try (HUZZAH! Thank you, thank you, deep scraping bow!) The contents within were a special trove indeed though some saw little boon in them!?? A work entitled the Anathema Archive which causes a worrisome groan of angst from the troupe and a hand full of stout scrolls of divine magic. They were in poor condition but were mended quickly to ensure preservation. Lastly a writ containing the password for the library!!! After some needed mending and a bite to eat we were off to fight dragons, only to find they had been laid low by our benevolent giant brothers, Shelyn bless them! After some unpleasant collecting of Dragon parts we scooped up the hoard and made haste for civilization. Xandu whisked some of us to Magnimar. While I delight in the ability to travel instantaneously, the method is a bit spooky and unnerving. Praise Shelyn, we arrived intact and on target!

MAGNIMAR!!! How I do love to visit the City! We few troupe members made our way to an inn agreeable to all. A good nights rest in comfort made all the better by waking to the sounds of the City and the sight of the ships in the harbor! We spent many a day in the Bazarr of Sails and I spoke with Sabriyya “Princess of the Market” as time allowed. I learn so many things from her! After moving our loot we divvied the haul into equal shares…EGADS WHATTA SUM!! I must admit I found myself a bit overwhelmed with that amount of coin! I removed a generous portion for Father Zantus and reflected on the information gleaned from our Mocmurian adventure. I would need to acquire some new equipment to include some new armor and spectacles allowing me to pierce the veil of darkness at the very least. But first things first! I went to the tailors and clothiers and bought a disgusting amount of performance clothes, shoes, boots, accessories, perfumes, powders, paints, etc. My evenings were spent at establishments of fine entertainment dressed for the best, with good food, wine, company and dancing…IT WAS HEAVENLY, IT WAS DELIGHTFUL!! Did I say I have come to love Magnimar…cuz I do! After all was purchased and the time had come to leave for Sandpoint I packed my treasures into a new chest and met Xandu and the troupe for our attempt for Sandpoint, which went uneventful, thank you Shelyn!

We were met with a hero’s feast at the Rusty Dragon Inn. I requested help from two handsome patrons to heft the chest of new clothes to my room and bought them a drink on my return. While in my room I removed Flukes clacky wooden shoes from my pack and threw them in the corner of the room before going to eat. It was my intent to perform, but we learned after dinner the town had experienced an earthquake and it had collapsed a hole in the area of the garrison. Five town guards had been lost in an investigation of eerie noises emanating from the sinkhole. Before we could take a look into that Xandu requested assistance in speaking with Annie’s mentor who had taken up residence in the wilds outside of town. So by dark of night we found our way to a creepy hut in the sticks. There we met “Mother..” what was it…Knot? No…umm….Gnawed….nooo! Naught….nooo! Nod….NOOO! Dammit but I hate meeting new folks for the first time! OH YAA…Mother Not…that’s her name! Anyway she grilled me on Annie’s demise and like a dimwit Xandu invited the Old Crone to accompany us so she could determine whether we were worthy companions of Annie?!?!? WHAT THE DUCES??? OK!?! Then we went back to town with GrAnnie in tow and by way of introductions to the troupe found ourselves led to the sinkhole. We found it to be familiar territory, unfriendly memories lurk here for me! It seems the earthquake opened formerly blocked passages. Nothing good can come from this!!!

Friedrich's Journal:

Twenty Fifth Day of the Month Kothuna
Well it has been an eventful few days. My time spent at the wizard’s college in search for answers was… fruitless. A few days ago one of the acolytes comes to me saying there is a strangely dressed man inquiring on my whereabouts. I asked him to describe the man and he gave me such a chaotic picture of patchwork clothes and random hues it could be no other than Xandu. I must admit I like the man’s complete lack of subtlety, it is quite refreshing compared to the mad hunt we have been on. He mentioned that the group had stumbled upon an ancient library, with an automaton acting as librarian. I was ready to depart in minutes, and was quite disappointed when he explained the trip would have to wait until tomorrow.
I was prepared for a long journey till Xajndu showed me a new trick he had learned, and before I knew it the city streets turned into a large hallway. A massive doorway emanated a warm glow and I could nearly smell the secrets creeping out from its old tomes. The next day was spent in a miasma of research, books upon books of knowledge I could never have dreamed of, and now I prey I never do. I learned much of Karzoug and his city of Xin-Shalast, his empire, vast strength, and possibly even a weakness.

The troupe has been very busy in my absence. Dismantling a giant army… well that doesn’t sound right… an army composed of giants (much better) by infiltrating the encampment and finding a powerful friend who provided helpful information allowing the group to remove the leader without significant loss to either side. I feel as though I should have been with them, though they have done very well in my absence as I believed they would.

Now we head back to Magnimar, believing we have a little time to figure out how to proceed and perhaps enjoy some of the spoils they have obtained.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

GrAnnie! :D Hee!

Addendum note: I'm reminded slightly of a previous D&D 3.5 campaign I ran (back when I was starting to suffer burnout, but before it got too severe). One of the players lost his character, but rather enjoyed the personality of his character so came up with a fun concept that I ran with: he would wake up in another body after death, with different stats and classes but still being that same basic person.

Another player figured this out quickly enough and after... I think it was two more deaths? (I'd stopped being nice by that point and started killing characters, though not maliciously) I described the group finding a camp... and there was a man in front of the fire. The metagaming player immediately went down to the camp and greeted the guy with welcome arms.

I'd chatted with the first player previously and on a whim we decided to introduce a Rakshasta to the group. The bet was that I'd end the game before his betrayal occurred. Sadly, he won - while I was less lenient at that point, when the group ran into another Rakshasta who was legitimately in the module... well, they couldn't touch it. And I got bored and had the Rakshasta just leave, having become bored with the group. The game ended there.

So, Moxie (the Gnome, not the player behind her), keep your suspicions up! You never know when a ringer or Rakshasta might appear in the group... and you are such a little gnome, the Rakshasta might think of you as a snack and want to gobble you up! =^-^=

Grand Lodge

A lot late in posting this as we are slated to play tonight but the holidays and personal issues have kept me from updating the post.

We started with the troupe, sans GrAnny and Sheldor, entering into the webbed corridors and using a flaming sword burned there way to the bottom of the stairwell. They quickly found the secret door and moved inside. The started by going towards the "birthing chamber" and eventually figuring out that the doors were concealed with a magical illusion to look like stone. I did have great delight in describing the birthing chamber once they realized what it was (high Kn: Religion rolls). Sadly no one had drank from it first for the perfect *gurgle urp* face after the fact.

While some were investigating the chamber I had the Scribbler make his introductions. The constant fog in the hallways and natural stone preventing any detection as to "where" his voice was coming from. I hate the idea of a Perception roll to know all. Especially when there are players who can't roll lower than 30. This at least gives the idea that there are still things to worry about. Essentially I had him standing in the hallway leading to the large room with the Glabrezu demon. Once the party began moving on towards that room he ducked into the side hallway before emerging again. Lynn was the only one to initially interact with him with Xandu finally speaking as well.

The fun part, and Im not sure if I ran it wrong or not but it was fun, was that every time they entered a fog filled hallway I rolled percentile dice and any roll of 51% or higher and they turned around not sure of why they did so or why they were going to go into the fog in the first place. This ended up splitting up the party as only Rikert who I rolled for though in retrospect should have been immune to it, Moxie and Simon made it through. The rest kept rolling high or were specifically staying behind as all the soft squishy casters were in the back.

The main three ran into the glabrezu demon and I skipped its tactics for one round as they all stumbled into his reach. So two rending snips on the Paladin (which hit), a hit or two on the fighter and a bite on Moxie had them all reeling. The next round I used the reverse gravity ability which ended up nullifying the Paladins granting smite to the others because they were now stuck to the ceiling. Sadly every one of them had a featherfall item sans the Paladin who cast the Angelic spells for wings. I did tell them that a jerk GM might have used the "fall" into the ceiling as movement that provoked attacks of opportunity but I didn't do that.

By this time the others decided to help their friends who were screaming for help and only Davok made it through the fog. It was at this point that the Scribbler made his move and jumped the others. For every instance of the fights the glabrezu and Scribbler were advanced and with max health. The summoned demons from the Scribbler were just plain with no advancements. I did finally get a small level of enjoyment as Friedrich tossed 3 precise bombs on one of the demons using electricity and learned that they were immune. I also cheated HUGELY as I misread the Scribblers attack block and had him two weapon wielding with 6 attacks a turn. I learned half way through my error and stopped doing it. In the end, the additional attacks didn't really do much more than remove some mirror images from Lynn.

The group was able to rally and kill the glabrezu and move back in to assist on bringing down the Scribbler. When it was all said and done my dice got stupid cold and he only critted twice in the long fight. In the end though they killed everything and was able to heal up in the process.

They took their time and eventually found all the stanzas within the scribbles on the walls. I gave them a narrative kill on the hounds as a CR6 fight was not going to slow them down, just add unneeded dice rolls. The fun part was with the trap on the door leading to the final room with both Moxie and Simon running off thinking the others were going to kill them. I think one other person ran as well but I can't remember who. The secondary trap inside the room did some horrible damage. Both the goody two shoes Xandu and Rikert saved for half damage of 12d6 and Lynn failed his save and ended up taking more damage with 6d6. But in the end they gained all the info they could.

At this point ONLY Xandu remained (Moxie had to go home) and was the only one with a Perform skill to figure out the stanzas true meaning. Along with several rerolls since he couldn't roll higher than a 5 on a d20 at that point (4 rolls) so I just gave it to them. New Years present and all.

After Action Report, 30 Kuthona, Simon Roque reporting.

1) Once gathered, the group headed into the underground complex. Moxie kept up a running commentary on what had happened where on the previous foray for the benefit of us “newcomers.” Arrived at what seemed to be a recently cleared stairway choked with webs, descending into the darkness.

2) Rikert led the way with his flaming sword; I don’t believe that the webs gave a crap about the “holy” bit. At the bottom was a partially collapsed room with two corridors leading off with obviously magical fog. Scribbled gibberish was on every available surface, and a disembodied voice held a conversation in some ginzo language with the brainiacs who go in for that stuff. The smaller corridor led to a hidden room with (Friederich said) a Lamashtu (ptui!) birthing pool. Interesting thing, whenever someone approached one of the walls of fog, about half the time they would just turn around and head the other way. Annoying, epspecially when we decided to head (three abreast) into the larger corridor. Rikert, Moxie and I led the way but the others had trouble, and the three of us wound up stepping into what was obviously a temple; complete with an 18’ tall four-armed demon occupant.

3) The new gear came in handy; Rikert did some sort of spell (and the demon laid into him for it), I drank an enlarge potion, and then the world turned upside down (yay, snapleaf). Moxie and I drifted to the new “floor” on what used to be the ceiling; Rikert wasn’t so lucky. The boy had two more days to shop than I did; apparently he doesn’t know how to do it. Maybe servants always did that for him. Anyway, Davok arrived late to the party, and fell to the ceiling just as the demon flipped things around again. I had the sense to drink a Fly potion in between, Moxie had vanished (oh, me too come to think of it. I turned that off as I flew to attack); Rikert and Davok landed like two tons of ironmongery. Rikert grew wings (again) and glory shone round about (again; is he always gonna use the same trick? The bad guys are going to wise up one of these days, they seem to have a line on us), and I took the opportunity to Shield Slam the demon over to the wall, and followed up to keep it there. Moxie’s gun was barking, Davok’s bow started thrumming, and Rikert got into the action too. I think all of us got hit at least a couple of times, but we were all still standing when the thing went down for the count.

4) It became clear that there was an altercation going on back where the others had stayed. Without thinking, I charged right through the fog; only to get stopped short by some falchion-weilding lunatic on the other side. Long story short, the disembodied voice had got tired of talking and brought some demon friends to play with Xandu, Friederich and Lynn. The amazing thing was that the good guys were all still standing when I got there. With all of us in the fight, falchion-boy found out right quick that he hadn’t brought enough guys.

5) Falchion-voice had apparently let slip that the key to the Runeforge was hidden in the wall-scribblings. It took us several hours to track them all down (did I mention that the fog was annoying? It was), and a bit longer to piece together what it all meant: where it was, how to get in, etc. In the meantime Moxie, Friederich and I got hit with some sort of magickal trap. I don’t know about the others, but it made me… just a little bit paranoid. I remember being ready to attempt to kick Rickert’s holy a$$, when he kindly stepped aside and I made myself scarce. (Player note- I was looking forward a bit to that fight, it would have been a good one).

6) So now we know where this Runeforge thing is, and how to get in, and that we can use it to make weapons that this Karzoug guy might be vulnerable too. Looks like we have a little side trip ahead of us.

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Nuther fine day shot to heck! Go inta some dark, promisin tunnels lookin for mayhem and get parlor tricks. Da bad guy parently made "spooky halls" by tossin bales of halflin leaf on a bonfire. People ar runnin round shoutin at thin air, goin the rong way, an genrelly not preciatin a good buzz. Tired of this, herd some good screamin up ahead. Tru the fog, found the floor was rely above me, den was back wher it belonged(sprained my ankle worse runnin for an open bar). Da large, ugly(ugliest?) one took sum time to drop wit only minor bloodloss. Da quiet let me hear a fight goin in da furst room, but parently got a big lunful of weed. Was tinkin bout da furst giant I loped da heds off of(good times!) wen da shriekin draws me to da uder room. Mor uglies and sum fury guy wit a bent sword, so waded in. All had grat fun choppin dem to stewmeat, but den it got borin wil all da clarks did dere redin. Say dey found portant stuff, just hope its a fight worthy of da caluses on my butt! Ya no, dat sur is a fine lookin bent sword.

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.

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We entered the new found, web filled sinkhole with Rikert using his flame blade to clear the way. The darkness was exacerbated by fog in the corridor! We found our way to a pillared room covered in ancient liturgical markings of Lamashtu. Some of the prose seemed out of place and the more familiar with the Thessalonian scripture noted the exceptions. I followed Brisket down a narrow fog filled corridor to find it had collapsed and had been assumed to be fruitless. I inspected the walls closer as in was bothersome to me that the fog, darkness and close quarters simply didn’t quite mold to the perspective of what I felt along the walls. I found an unlocked and mostly safe doorway and retired to let others investigate it. It was found to be a “birthing pool” of pristine quality….to myself, I called rubbish!! If the hallway could be magically disguised I did not want to imagine the potential of the truth of this pools contents. Memories of the inbred Ogre farm came to mind and I gagged and left the room!

No sooner than we collected back in the pillared room then a disembodied voice spoke to the troupe, chiding some and tempting others with knowledge we desired. When the conversation became fruitless I advanced with the troupe and found myself alone in the fog bank for a brief moment. I lingered long enough to ensure I was flanked by Brisket and Rikert and we advanced through the fog. Evidently we three were the only ones inspired to venture to the opposite side. Lucky for them, they chose wisely! Brisket, Rikert and I exited the fog bank into a large chamber…occupied by an enormous creature, at first I thought it another giant, but as my goggled gnomish eyes took in the detail of the beast it became painfully obvious it was an otherworldly, unfriendly bastage!! It was truly painful as it immediately lashed out with massive nasty claws, and a bite of which I can testify to, is significantly hurty!! I quickly resigned from sight and scampered along the wall to the left, only to watch the foul beast watching me and inflict yet another painful strike in my state of unseen…AAAAAAGH! E-GADS!! To their credit Brisket and Rikert provided a magnificent diversion in the way of significant melee blows, allowing me to exit the beasts sphere of physical influence. I my state of, the wrong side of the room, I made the tactical decision to changed weapons and recover from my new found pain. To add insult to injury, I was suddenly cast headlong towards the ceiling until my ring of “No Falls” kicked in…whew! Upon reaching a more clarified mental state, I poised to deliver a single well placed shot. By this time Duh’rock had arrived and received as warm a welcome as we had and returned the favor in kind. Annie was true to the mark placing the most favorable shot I have ever loose in the bastages backside… there was spatter, and crunching emitted from the entry and exit wounds…Huzzah!??? Then it fell from the combined blows from my three troupe mates would had had the fortitude to accompany me through the fog.

As our combat subsided, a new sound was now evident coming from the fog we had just left so off we headed to assist in their survival. As I attempted the return through the fog I was buggered by some effect which caused me to turn away. Curious and distracting I attempted a second time without happenstance advancing on the fight. I arrived at the edge of the fog and could barely make out an abnormal body type for our troupe stabbing at a troupe mate with a spear. I cleared Uther and laid a moderately successful shot only to watch it explode with a shower of sparks and splintered lead! EGADS…NOT GOOD! The ruckus sounded as though the number of foes was more numerous but as I stepped into the clear the fight seemed well in hand and going our way…for the most part.

The intensely grotesque critters afforded us some scant loot and we endeavored the magical fog banks which seemed to vex others more so than myself. We spent some time deciphering the ”non-scripture“ from the enormity of writing on the walls and found a bit of knowledge with each new discovery. Finally we came to another doorway and this one appeared to be trapped! I attempted to disarm it and while in the commission of my duties I had an epiphany. The troupe had planned this whole damned event! They had brought me to this very spot with my help no less, to use me as some blood sacrifice for Lamashtu! I don’t understand why it took me so long to finally figure this out? I mean Rikert showed his cards at the Foxglove Manor!! How many times must one be back-stabbed by the paladin before it sinks in?? E-gads but I am a fool!! I reported the status of the door and politely excused myself from the troupe and scurried away through the fog!...(SOMEONE FOLLOWS!!!!? This will not be how I meet my end…not this day!!!)

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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.

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Wat da hek?! Were'severbody at? Howd i los a week? Wat did i drink, an is dere any more. All i member is goin to a lak, lookin at som roks, an... a lizerd, a big wite lizerd. Everbody wus blastin an hakin it, but i wuz only hitih it wit litl twigs. It finly lef an we heded for a cav. Maby i tiked off hier, or mayby da likor jus went bad(beter khek both).

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Action Report, 2 Abadius, Simon Roque reporting.

1) After recovering from the paranoia trap in the Lamashtu temple beneath Sandpoint, we were determined to go to this “Runeforge” and obtain weaponry with which to defeat Karzoug. Since Haytham and his pet Roc were no longer around, we couldn’t use the flying/scrying/teleporting scam we’d used to find Jorgenfist. The spellcasters decided that Wind Walking would be the best option. While they were hashing out the logistics, some of us took a brief trip to Magnimar to sell Falchion-boy’s junk and replenish consumables (If I’ve got the money, I’m never again going ANYWHERE without a Snapleaf).

2) The next morning Xandu cast his Wind Walk spell on us and we spent the next six hours looking like clouds and speeding north to where my map indicated a mountain with a skull carving in it. Once we arrived, we found that there was indeed a skull carved into the mountain, with a cave for the mouth. A stairway led down from the mouth to a hill with a circle of seven standing stones carved with faces. Friederich said that they matched with what he’d learned about the entrance to Runeforge, so we gathered there so that the various spellcasters could do their thing and get the keys that we would need up at the real entrance inside the cave. Davok and I stood guard.

3) We didn’t do well as guards today, because we were taken completely by surprise. A huge white dragon came out of nowhere and proceeded to kick our a$$es. Breathed on Xandu, Rikert and Moxie first thing, then made a flying pass and bit me. I thought that little guy we fought in Sandpoint had a nasty bite; this fellow took me completely off the ground and dropped me a good ten feet away. Barely kept my feet. I turned to face him, and braced for the next pass, but he diverted to the east, swept around and breathed on Friederich and Sheldor. I drank an enlarge potion (you know, maybe I should look into getting another trick too. Rikert ain’t the only one in a rut) in an attempt to draw his attention from the casters, and succeeded beyond my wildest dreams. I thought that his first bite hurt; the second one nearly left me in two very large pieces.

4) Xandu blipped over with Rikert and laid some healing on me, Friederich came over and hit me with something weird that made me all… bendy, and the fight went on. I got in a couple of hits, but the dragon didn’t seem to care. GrAnnie conjured up something, and the dragon shredded it in a blink, but that gave me and Rikert a chance to rush over and engage, we got breathed on for our audacity. I got in a couple more hits before my player’s damn dice froze solid, but then Rikert, Friederich and Davok all got in solid hits and the dragon bampthed away. It looked like we had all the keys, Xandu and Sheldor had already turned to clouds and fled up the mountain, so I gave the order to follow…

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Friedrich's Journal:

Second Day of the Month Abadius

The last few days have been, eventful to say the least. Once we cleaned up at the giant camp Xandu was kind enough to teleport us back to Magnimar where we spent the next few days restocking and acquiring new gear. Simon and Rikert had me locked away brewing potions for them, so my time was spent mainly isolated in my room. They were quite active during this time and it was left to Moxie to inform me that some had already gone to Sandpoint and found all was not well.

A large sinkhole had opened next to the jail and collapsed a corner of the building. A small squad of the town guard was dispatched to investigate but never returned. When a few of our party went down they discovered the hole opened into the old light’s structure. The guards were found mutilated not far into the complex and a quick search revealed a staircase that had formerly been covered in rubble. It was decided that the entire group be present prior to the decent.

So the next morning I once more found myself in Sandpoint, enjoying the scenery just momentarily before descending once more into the Thassilonian ruins. The stairway lead to a room with a wealth of scratchings and prayers to Lamashtu in thassilonian covering the walls. Hidden within the mess a few short phrases stood out, it appeared to be a riddle of some sort mentioning the runeforge. Just as this phrase was discovered a disembodied voice rose and began asking us questions, also in thassilonian. Lynn was the first to respond, it wanted simple information about the world above; what were the nations; who was in charge; where were the seats of power; and so forth. Lynn replied with a sharp mind answering ambiguously, through this short back-and-forth, we were able to glean that this was the betrayer spoken of on a map of the Sandpoint area, that he no longer feared or worked for Karzoug, and that he worshiped Lamashtu, hence all the prayers on the walls. I inquired how we would access the runeforge, the betrayer explained the secret was hidden in the walls and that we already had one part.

At this point I heard Rikert call out for Xandu. It would seem as we were talking, Simon, Rikert and Moxie had become bored with waiting and proceeded down a foggy hall and encountered something rather nasty. We tried to go assist our friends, however, every time I made an attempt to enter the fog I found myself simply turned around. I was about to make a third attempt when out stepped a wild looking man with a wicked falchion in one hand and a dagger in the other, with which he proceeded to hack wildly at Xandu, Lynn and me. Stepping back I found three more creatures had materialized behind us, Babau demons with long spears. I put a pillar between the wild man and myself then proceeded to lob a handful of electrically charged explosive towards the three demons. All three hit their mark but I was dismayed as I watched the energy simply wash over the unaffected creatures. They eyed me joyously, one called out for my death, and they nearly had it as the betrayer moved in and landed multiple fierce blows to me. My displacement did naught to help me as I was left gasping for air.

Again I put the pillar between us and concentrated on one of the Babau; this time I threw targeted fire bombs and three of those removed the threat. The rest of that fight did not last long, I spent some time healing as we got reinforced by Simon and Rikert returning victorious from whatever they had encountered.

Every wall in the ruin was a mass of twisted words. I suppose one might get a little bored spending thousands of years locked in a little space. After spending a considerable amount of time meticulously scanning each room we were able to piece together a poem of sorts explaining the secret of entering the rune forge. We needed to Stormount Lake far to the north. There we would find seven stone heads, each representing a Runelord and more importantly their favored school of magic.

We spent a day recuperating and once more hit Magnimar hoping to glean a little more information about the area we were heading for, maybe pick up some cold-weather gear. Earlier this morning Xandu cast a couple of spells allowing us to cover a vast distance as a group and we made it to the lake around one in the afternoon. It didn’t take us long to find the stones and I began inspecting them. Coincidently the first stone I identified was Karzoug’s (Transmutation) followed by Zutha(Necromancy), Alaznist(Evocation), Xanderghul(Illusion…Xandu’s ancester perhaps?), the fifth I did not recognize, sixth was Belimarius(Abjuration), and lastly Krune(conjuration); meaning the one I missed must have been divinity (wait for it).

As we hit each stone with its attuned magic there was a brief tremble and a piercing cry from the stones followed by a golden key resting in its mouth. Xandu and Rikert were having trouble with their stone, they had both cast divination spells but nothing was happening. I finally remembered that divination was not a recognized school by the runelords and had completely forgotten enchantment in all my excitement. No sooner had the words escaped my lips than the world around Xandu and Rikert erupted in white. An ancient white dragon swept down from the grey sky and emitted a breath so cold the very air turned to ice.

Step one: further protect self against extreme cold. Step two: if still alive attempt to aid the fighters…… Well step one was simple enough, unfortunately the dragon was doing passing attacks, never staying in a single spot for longer than the time it took for it to turn around. I tried to hit it was a bomb during one flyover and swear it should have hit but the dragon’s form kept shifting, it was displacing. So not only is it an ancient white dragon, it is a spell-casting ancient white dragon.

I saw Simon attempting to strike the creature as it came by as well. I decided to try something new, a method of injecting a formulae into another being so it didn’t have to actively drink one. To make things better I was using it on another formulae I had not gotten an excuse to try yet; so we had an experimental formulae administered with an experimental delivery system. I intended to calm him as my hand reached out and the fluid forced its way through his flesh and violently altered his physical structure, however, I may have just said something along the lines of “Don’t fight it!”
He became almost transparent as the fluid began to take effect, his body began to shift in a way most improper for a solid creature of flesh and bone; his limbs stretched and twisted in unnerving angles allowing his reach to far outstretch what it had been and the more malleable form was much more resistant to physical injury. Most importantly his fluid state did not freeze in the extreme cold, complete success.

Fortunately during this time the crone, mother-not as she has taken to call herself, was able to distract the beast long enough for our fighters to move in on it. While they occupied it for a few seconds I prepared to do something utterly foolish. I stepped from behind my stone just as the dragon breathed again. I felt my shield waver and knew it would not survive another arctic blast. My resistance did not go unnoticed by the creature either. A hateful icy glare from the creature told me I was its next chew-toy. Fear gripped me as I threw a quick volley of targeted electrical bombs, they must have sensed my desperation for they struck louder, brighter and with more energy than I have ever seen before. As the dragon recoiled from the blast a doorway opened behind it and it vanished as it stepped through, but not before it once again locked my gaze, promising icy vengeance.

Now, where in the infinite planes has Xandu gone?

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Free Flight….I highly suggest it!

After some time stirring about in the shadows of the Sandpoint Cathedral entrance, I went in to take the time to offer my gratitude to Shelyn for delivering me safely from the day’s events. Whilst I sat in a quiet hymn of praise, a peace came over me. I felt washed of all anxiety and I felt Father Zantus place his hand on my shoulder. He looked at me inquisitively and then we both smiled as if we had been relieved of some unknown burden. He shook his head and walked away with his smile, while I returned to my hymn in confusion. What had transpired and why did I react with such mistrust of my troupe?!? When fully at ease I returned to the area of the Garrison sink hole to wait for my troupe. I did not have to wait long at all before they climbed from the depth. As I helped them from the hole they explained I had fallen victim to the magical deterrent placed on the door I was attempting to bypass. E-gads how embarrassing! Thankfully I had not been the only one affected! After some chiding I was informed we had in all probability collected all the dastardly prose required to divine the information from the riddle-speak of the demented. I made my peace with my fault and retired to the Red Dragon Inn for some reflection….Ok… I lied. I took a nap!

I woke to the predawn glow peeking about the edges of heavy curtains. Pulling the bedding over my head I contorted and streeetched to the squeak. Then I crawled to the side of the bed closest to my clothes and boots and from beneath the covers I claimed them with a giggle. First came the long shirt and unmentionables, then the cotton stockings. I crawled to the edge again. Peeking from the covers I threw warmth about the wash basin and pitcher and gave it a moment to soak in. Then I laced up my trousers, threw off the covers and placed a foot in each boot. I poured the warm water into the basin and washed the night from my face. With a glance into Lucian’s silver mirror the frizzy orange hair needed to enhance its calm! So I poured the remainder of the warm water over my head, squeezed the excess from my locks and combed it back into a horsetail. I belted my sword and Uther and pulled on my Fire pelt jacket and made my way to the kitchen. I asked the Lady for a small basket of whatever was the day’s breakfast fare and made for the fishmonger. I left him breakfast and payment for two pails of bait fish and trotted off to my raft. Upon my return I collected my basket and returned to the Red Dragon Inn to find the lazy troupe still in their beds. So I had time for a bath!!! By the time the troupe was assembled I had bathed in a steaming hot tub melting the knots and kinks from my bones as well as soaping to a squeaky sparkled clean. I was dressed in clean clothes, tight braided hair with a hint of color on the cheeks and fierce eyes. They could sleep late every day as far as I cared, I felt like a shiny gem!

Over breakfast we…ok they….deciphered the riddle and a map was produced. EGADS but the distance to be covered was unbelievable and the instant travel Xandu isn’t good at simply was not a popular option! However he had a back up plan. He would make it so the whole troupe could fly by turning us into clouds! (OOOH! PICK ME! ME FIRST! PICK ME!) So as we gathered ourselves and said our goodbyes I could hardly contain myself! When Xandu cast his mystery divination, we all took the misty form of clouds, it was tickly! When he said we could go the troupe took to the sky following…who am I kidding? I have no idea who was leading as I was flying in loops and dives…until my stummy decided that wasn’t all it was cracked up to be! I now have an idea of the lands north of Sandpoint. It is wild and beautiful!

We flew until early afternoon into what I think is the coldest part of the world period! We found a flat topped hill with a stone circle whose seven monoliths were carved into screaming faces. I lit upon the one closest to the mountain peak which was our destination, and also had a similar carving scratched from its slopes. The thinkers found the stones matched up with the different flows of magic and that casting at them may produce a desired effect. Oh boy, this could be fun! I bounded from my perch atop the stone face to the ones I could activate. Each in turn would consume my effort, flash, then scream and produce a tiny golden key! AWESOME!!! So I didit again…grin! I did it a third time but after collecting the key I was covered in a cloud of extreme cold causing an instant and hurtful layer of frost and ice to collect on my frail person…shiver! When I realized what was going on I resigned from sight and RAN behind the nearest stone to collect my senses. “NASTY WHITE DRAGON!” I found myself screaming aloud as I removed the frigid phlegmy ice-frost goop from my limbs. I decided to attempt a shot with Annie. After a quick check I hustled to a better vantage from which to take my shot and took careful aim. After Annies kick, smoke and report there was a flinch…HUZZAH! I immediately took cover, reloaded and moved to a new location. All the while the troupe was giving and receiving blows…errr…fighting the serpent as it flew back and forth over the stones. As I presented Annie a second time…POOF…the the winter wyrm disappeared! EGADS Xandu is missing as well! I had heard him calling to me as if he had wanted to leave but….he went into the mountain, and all alone. I'M TELLING BRISKEEEEET!!!!!

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

Where you you find these players, UsePlanB?


Note: For UseplanB's players who are (hopefully) not reading my campaign journal, I'll post a rather ludicrous link as to what happened with my gang and the dragon once you've gotten a bit farther. Right now there are too many spoilers in that post.

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Nope I can only read common and Thessalonian, I can't read this stuff! (Wink!)

NobodysHome wrote:

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

Where you you find these players, UsePlanB?


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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MordeanGrey wrote:

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.



My best friend committed suicide (many, many years ago now, so condolences are no longer necessary) and my high school and college friends have never gamed together since.

So it took a silly movie ("Gamers: Dorkness Rising") to get my kids (and my wife) interested in gaming again, and then a spectacular set of circumstances (a lifelong GM trying to join an Aikido dojo and recruiting gamers from it before deciding that rolling around on concrete wasn't his forte) to get us back "into the fold". And now we have 3 gaming groups that meet 2-3 times a week, and our kids ask for "more more more". Life is good!
(Other than the fact that I GM most of the sessions, and am asked to be the 'frontline brick' in sessions I don't GM. Which kind of explains why I love playing Leilani so much. "No. I'm a Life Oracle. I don't carry a weapon. Sorry.")

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I know that my efforts to start up a third group ran into massive roadblocks. But I suppose it's easier to start running a game with people you know than trusting some stranger who wants to start up a game.

I'm glad you were able to get back into the game (as it were), NH.

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Player note- we got Useplanb's permission to go ahead and post updates last night, so here goes my combined update for the last two sessions:

Action Report, 2 Abadius, about 20 minutes later, Simon Roque reporting.

1) After the dragon retreated, those of us still on the hill returned to cloud form and wafted up the mountain to the cave entrance. Two very large earth elementals were standing guard, and Freiderich just had to talk at them. They spoke back, but we continued past; they obviously couldn’t stop us. We found Xandu and Sheldor some distance down the tunnel, dropped back to human form and got healed up. Freiderich spread some darkvision around, and we continued on into the mountain.

2) Encountered an area of freezing fog obviously left behind by the dragon. No trace of the dragon fear, so it didn’t seem to be nearby; however, the other side of the fog was a trap: really slippery ice at the lip of a downward slope. I was still embiggened, and luckily was the only one to fall victim to it, and I slid down the slope as the others scrambled onto a ledge and desperately tried to help me. Weighing well over a ton, I had to slap Lynn’s hand away; he was flying and I knew that he wouldn’t be able to stop me, and might well be dragged to his doom. I wasn’t particularly worried, as I had replaced my snapleaf. The only real worry I had was whether the “deathslide” would end at a precipitous drop or simply jagged ice and rocks.

3) The correct answer was ‘a’, the precipitous drop. I managed to latch onto the edge and spent a few seconds dangling over what seemed to be a bottomless pit before I was able to clamber back up to my feet. I shrank back to normal size about then, and Lynn and Rikert (also flying, as he still had the wings and glory shone round about and all that jazz) were able to assist me over to the ledge and the others. Bracing, I tell you. (Player note- I let out an Archer-esque “WOO-HOO” as Simon went sliding)

4) The ledge spiraled down about 300 vertical feet, and ended in a cavern containing a) seven heavily carved standing stones set around b) a large central pillar of ice with c) a dragon horde off to one side. Seven keys, seven stones, eight of us. Freiderich assigned the keys to the stones, and we set off the BIGGEST TRAP EVER. The keys turned, the stones vibrated and glowed, the central pillar changed into some sort of portal, and like fools we stepped in.

5) A short almost normal stone corridor led to an immense chamber, with seven 20 foot tall statues of what could only be the Runelords Themselves. Right vain bastiches, every last one of them. Something that looked an awful lot like what had been described to me as a “runewell” glowed and bubbled in the center of the chamber, and seven corridors led off into darkness.

6) We wandered around a bit, and settled on the corridor that seemed shortest to explore first. As we stepped across the threshold, a voice boomed out, something about the abjured halls of striving and we weren’t worthy and would die, blah blah blah. I did feel some sort of disquiet, like I wasn’t welcome there, but I just shrugged that off. The corridor opened up into a partly collapsed chamber, where it looked like some sort of magical battle had taken place. A silvery rod fizzed and crackled in the center of the floor, and I was all for just checking out the passages that led away, but the brainiacs just had to screw with it. It took notice and pulsed out some sort of wave that cancelled out nearly all of my magic stuff. THEN they decided to vacate that area, and we went on exploring. We had to stop while some of us dug some suddenly inconveniently large and heavy stuff out of our haversacks and leave it in a pile.

7) We soon found a small room with a floor covered in some kind of silvery liquid, and the brains spent a minute or so putting it in flasks. They seemed pretty excited about it. Back to the main chamber with the rod, and we waited a few minutes for it to pulse again. After it did, we hustled across to a passage on the opposite side. More collapsed stuff, and a room covered in nasty smelling goo. Davok went in to scout it, and found some kind of hidden panel, so I went in to watch his back; fat lot of good that did either of us. A big ooze-thing humped up in the middle of the room, and swatted us both hard, then bound us up in blorps of itself, and it was stupidly strong; neither of us could break away, and the weapons we could bring to bear didn’t seem to hurt it at all. Luckily for us, the others came to our aid (Xandu first, the idiot, poking the thing with his pointy stick). Eventually, Freiderich threw enough bombs onto the thing that it gave up the ghost.

8) Behind the panel we found a lever and some potion bottles. We gathered up the stuff and threw the lever, but despite it taking considerable effort nothing seemed to happen. So back to the first chamber, where we once again waited for the rod to pulse, gathered up our stuff and headed back to the central Chamber of the Seven. Lynn said that the effect that turned our magic off would wear off in a few minutes, so we waited a bit and it did. Man, is plate armor ever hot and scratchy without that comfort feature; I really don’t know how I got along without it.

9) Counterclockwise around the chamber to the next corridor. No magic warning this time, and after a short walk we came to an enormous (lit) space that could only be described as a temple or a cathedral to the more carnal delights. Part of me felt right at home there, but again part of me was repulsed (I really don’t get that part, it wasn’t THAT much different than any number of cat-houses I’ve patronized). There were gargantuan statues of the Naked Runelord (Freiderech said she was named Sorshen, but he could be making that up for all we know) held up the roof, and there were gilded “human cages” I guess, spaced around and some sort of silken pavilion in the center. Most of the cages held bodies (which was UNLIKE any of the cat-houses I’ve visited), but there seemed to be a survivor in a cage off to our left. Xandu (of course) led the way, and I cussed and followed along with the rest. Four flying seductresses jabbered at us (and made motions that did not need any translation), but I stayed focused on the job; maybe if they didn’t force us to kill them all, we could have some fun before we went back home. Rikert, of course, was having none of it (various thoughts ran through my head having to do with how monastic orders seemed to draw poofters like sewage draws flies), and did the angel thing, and flew up to engage…

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Does any other GM channel Izma's voice from The Emperor's New Groove every time a party approaches that lever?

"Why do we even HAVE that lever!?!?!"

VERY much looking forward to their adventures in the Iron Cages...
Rikert's player sounds like he's having fun with it (as well he should).

And, as promised, now that the players have defeated Arkrhyst and gotten to his hoard, is the link to the travesty that was my player's encounter.

Useplanb's players: It's safe to read that entry (and the 292 before it), but not past there; my group is done with the runeforge, so a bit ahead of you.

- Shiro = Kitsune bard
- Raesh = Drow paladin
- Hi = Gnome sorcerer
- Halek = Human barbarian (GMNPC)

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I know I've been lax about posting but thanks for the link. It's fun to see how others fare in this game. We had a couple of weeks off because of weather and I can't wait to get back in the game. I hope to post but have been very busy. See everyone tomorrow. May Desna be with us.

Hurray! The group's alive! I was worried my group was going to have to scale the Pinnacle alone!

Welcome back! Hope the weather holds out for you!

I keep forgetting that most gamers have actual "weather", rather than the, "Oh, my goodness! It rained half an inch and dropped to almost 40 degrees! That was nasty," nonsense we get here.

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.

Friedrich's Journal:

Second Day of the Month Abadius

After the dragon took off we decided to head up the mountain towards the cave we had seen when we first arrived. Apparently that’s were Xandu headed. At the cave mouth there were two elder earth elementals, I tried to talk to them but all they said was that we were not permitted to enter and as they moved to engage us we simply sped past.

Xandu was waiting for us a few hundred feet into the cave, he mentioned hearing what he believed to be another dragon flying down the tunnel. We told him of how the white dragon disengaged us earlier and we hope it is the same one . We continued into the cave cautiously, eventually we came into contact with a white fog. Crossing was a slow and frigid process, every step felt as though I was pressing through some resistant material and if my protection from cold wasn’t still up I feel as though the cold would have done serious damage to my person. Soon as we left the fog there was a sudden slope, icy and slick, that disappeared into the darkness. Davok called me over to a safe ledge on one side, and I could see Simon sliding away out of sight as Lynn and Rikert flew after him. I walked cautiously to the ledge waited for the rest of the group and headed down to see what became of Simon and the others.

Simon was hanging from a ledge while Lynn and Rikert got in position to help him up. We could not see how far the pit he was hanging over went down but I imagine he didn’t want to find out the fast way. With the threat of the dragon still looming we decided to walk the ledge down as a group. At the bottom we found ourselves in a large cylindrical room with eight massive stones. Seven surrounding an eighth massive stone in the center. By one of the stones was a massive pile of coins and other shiny objects, this must be the dragon’s den. We quickly went about identifying the stones and getting the corresponding keys to them. Once all were turned (twice) a massive portal of swirling colors opened by the center pillar.

After the awe had worn off we gathered and quickly headed through the portal. We found ourselves in yet another massive hallway, the portal still open behind us. Continuing down the hall we came into a massive antechamber with seven large statues each depicting a runelord. Behind each statue was a hallway, we decided to hit the two opposite Karzaug first.

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Following the dragons exit we marshalled our troupe. I assumed my windward aura and away to the ledge we flew. At which point we were greeted by two massive stone creatures. Desiring not to embark in open melee with such folk in our state of dragon spanked, Frederich engaged them in a conversation on safe passage. They were not as surly as one might expect and we managed to pass without incident…HUZZAH! Regaining our bold Xandu, the troupe advanced down the stone passage to another wall of fog. We slipped through to find a slippery surprise upon exiting the fog. One that Brisket would not be fortunate to extract himself from as he slid down an icy decline into darkest expressing his delight in the ride all the way to the bottom followed by those capable of flying. In hindsight the ice slide was probably the quicker choice to achieve our objective, as the rest of us took a long time traversing a narrow ledge around the wall of the large open chamber to the floor. Brisket was rescued by the flyers from the ledge of an open pit at the end of the ice slide. (Still, woulda been fun!)

Once at the bottom we found another stone circle of carved standing stones with a great column of ice at its center. It was discerned that the keys from the previous circle were needed to activate these great stones in order to achieve access to the forge, so we set about it. The display was a fantastic experience of light and sound that coalesced into a mystical portal! There was some consternation at the decision to activate the stones when a trove of loot was discover with items and gemstones buried amongst a pile of coin. Alas the focus was getting to the forge….Hrumpf!

Passing through the portal was similar to Xandu’s instant travel…except…without the anxiety. As I stepped into the arcane shimmer I was immediately swept in, followed by a moment of focusing on the destination and then gently expelled to… the forge. The chamber was extreme in nature to behold. Everything was over sized and opulent. Immense ornate statues ringed the forge which lit the chamber. The discussion commenced as to the identity of each of the Rune Lords.

As the troupe wondered about, I felt unease about the place. It was decided to enter one of the halls of the Rune Lords, and at that suggestion my feeling compounded! I couldn’t go! I slipped away from the troupe and let them pass. As they moved away I found myself alone with the Rune Lords. As I looked on them I found myself overcome with a flood of emotions that overwhelmed me. I recalled the plan the troupe had made as to the order in which they intended to investigate the Rune Lords Halls. Thankfully the next one they intended to visit was of the Rune Lord(ess) Sorchen, The one whose likeness we had first seen in the tunnels beneath Sandpoint. Of them all she was the most familiar and least threatening to me, so I trotted to the base of her statue to await my troupes return…

After a moment I was at ease, after all the portal was close at hand and an escape would be quick. Then I felt a warming comfort envelope me, a warmth I hadn’t felt since my last sunset swim with the raft at Sandpoint beach. I sat beside the statue, removed my hat, and loosened my armor as I felt the warmth wet my neck with a dew. I pulled my armor from my shoulders and laid back on the cool stone which caused me to take a deep breath…it felt really nice. I wiped the dew from my brow, running fingers through my hair…that felt good too! The warmth was comforting but too much with my armored shirt so I removed it and began to wipe away the dew from my back, and stummy when all of sudden I couldn’t control my state of new found bliss. My shirt was soaked, the floor was cool and the warmth was strangling my hips and legs, the leather boots and trousers had to go! I took my dagger and cut my boots and waist belts, kicking my them away with complete abandon. My only regard was for the sensation of the cool stone floor on my skin. It overwhelmed me. I labored for breath, my heart raced, and I was burning from the inside out. I felt as though I was fighting to live, really live, but still an arduous struggle to win!...

Then I felt a gentle hand on my shoulder and heard a familiar voice as I was ripped from a waking dream “What are you doing in here?” I was shocked, confused, embarrassed and relieved at the same time to be standing before the statue of the Rune Lordess still fully clothed and fainted in weakness into comforting arms. When I regained my bearing, I prayed to Shelyn for forgiveness and salvation and returned to my troupe in a state of distraction and shame.

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Action report 2 Abadius, moments later, Simon Roque reporting.

1) Once Rikert engaged, the… whatever they were, they quickly swarmed him. Freiderich tried some electrical thing which didn't seem to affect them, and the rest of us joined the assault. I drank a Fly potion followed by an Enlarge potion, and managed to flank one of the… women for Rikert and Lynn; we all got in good hits. Two of them fell dead from the combined attack (I sort of wanted to save one for -ahem- "interrogation," but the other two blinked away, and I heard Lynn grumbling once again about enemies that did that.

2) After that, the group went all stupid. Xandu was healing Rikert, Freiderich and I went to examine the cage with the "living" occupant, Moxie and Lynn headed for the big pavilion, and Davok had an arrow nocked and was watching for more enemies. As Freiderich said something about a 'powerful Force Cage', I heard Lynn shout, "Davok: giants!"

3) Lynn and Moxie were no longer to be seen and the opening that had been in the silk of the pavillion was closed. Everyone headed that way (Xandu out front AGAIN), and I could hear giantish voices and the sound of clubs pounding away inside the silk walls. It certainly seemed that the main doorway was a trap, which I planned to play turnabout on. I headed at full speed to the nearest of the silk walls, shouting "gods dammit, Xandu" and slashed at the fragile silk intending to run through and flank the giants in the doorway.

4) Whatever that stuff was, it wasn't silk. My sword hung up, and it felt like a brick wall when I slammed into it; I barely managed to keep my feet. Xandu was inside now, and Rikert was hesitating for some unknown reason; I've never met a Paladin as unwilling to engage the enemy as this kid -maybe he plans to live forever. Even Sheldor was in front of him, trying to get at the bad guys. I charged for the entrance. Davok was pouring arrows into the gap, and by the time I arrived all but one of the giants was dead.

5) Inside, there was another opening to the left, so I asked Rikert (who had finally found the guts to close) if he had the last one, and headed deeper into the interior. Lynn had managed to extricate himself, but he looked pretty banged up and Xandu was seeing to his wounds; Moxie and Freiderich were nowhere to be seen. I heard Rikert flapping up behind me as I turned a corner to the right at a dead run, and spotted Freiderich. What the...

Simon Roque, a soldier, R.I.P.

Nooooooo! Brisket! Are fellow GMs going to get to see what happened in the obits?

'cause I know what dwells in the tent, and I've got the obit in my thread to prove it...

Now I'm just going to fret about poor Moxie all night...

I hope at least some of the party survived, and will be able to rectify the situation!

Simon Roque. A father to me, will be missed. We may not make it through this encounter without him. He had asked me not to try and awaken him if he fell. He explained that he has had a full life and not one regret that needed rectified. He lived and loved his way and was content. I pray that he wasn't as mad at me as he sounded when I ran to the aid of our fellow troupe mate. My only regret is that so many of us fall before we see the end to this plight we find ourselves in. Desna keep me strong.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

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...)

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Pixie Kitten Monthly: I never thought this could happen to me…

We entered into a truly massive well lit chamber of red and white marbled floors and enormous ornate and elaborate column- statues of Sorchen in a variety of poses supporting a domed ceiling covered with a mosaic of unmentionable lewd and lascivious acts. Most of which I could have never even imagined were possible and many I found simply disturbing, but to look away was all but impossible! The center was dominated by a great white silk pavilion.

The combat had already been engaged before I realized what was going on around me. Then I heard a kind woman’s voice speaking gently in tongues I could not discern. This is when I saw a beauty of a woman flying above me, gesturing me to her. I cocked my head to try to understand her meaning and then I found that the troupe had entered and was in the throws of full melee with these creatures! I unslung Annie and fired at the winged female who had spoken to me and loosed a volley striking her well…but the affect was not as good as had been expected. Taking little notice she moved in with her sisters to gang attack Rikert who had assumed an angelic aspect. I sent a second shot to my initial target and the result was much the same. Before I could loose a third volley two of the sisters had been cut down and the other two retired by magical means form our area of combat.

While the troupe took a minute (literally) to heal Rikert, Lynn and I advanced on the pavilion on the sneak…well, I was on the sneak. The entrance was open. I resigned from sight and entered to find no less than five full sized giants advancing to hold the entrance. I let them pass and continued to an exit from this room and into a hallway. An arcane conflagration took place at the entrance of the pavilion compliments of Lynn and I could hear the rushing of the troupe and occasional muffled curses on Xandu. I proceed to the corner of the hall and was ready to sneak a peek when I was startled by a crashing noise and more flagrant cursing of Xandu, presumably from Brisket. I steeled myself from the start, and managed the corner peek-a-boo. The hall opened into a large room with comfy looking framed beds with ropes, straps, and all manner of ligatures and restraints attached to the bed that was in full view. Suddenly the head of one of the sisters looked around the opposite corner of the hall. I prepared Annie, steadied myself, took note of the continuing giant melee, and slowly swung out with Annie to take careful aim. I picked my moment and fired striking the head of the she-devil sending her back with a hand over her face.

From my vantage point I was calculating whether the shot had done the job and had come to the conclusion that it had likely left a welt and nothing more when from the ether I heard a soothing calm voice call to me in the ancient tongue. She bad me to come to her side and embrace her as only a mother could. With teary eyes I rounded the corner to behold the most beautiful creature I have ever laid eyes upon! I ran to her arms and hugged her vigorously.

The room was filled with sparkly perfumed incense. The winged woman I had just targeted was nearby rubbing her forehead but somehow I knew that no longer mattered and we would no longer be at odds with one another. My beautiful new friend mussed my hair and pulled my chin up so I could behold her perfect face and asked me to do her a favor. She asked me to dispatch anyone who rounded the corner towards us with extreme prejudice…to which I agreed whole-heartedly! She gave me license to use all my skills and freedom to prepare for, and repel the attack as I saw fit. This is what I had trained for but never been able to utilize to full affect and now I was free to unleash my talent. I prepared my nest and gave thought to future locations and actions. I laid out munitions for my initial shots and gave thought to use of the unguents and tinctures supplied by Frederich long ago. I prepared Annie and Uther with the oil of silence, and lay in wait for the attack to commence. Luckily I found Frederich had arrived to assist, and just in the nick of time…HUZZAH! We heard the first of the attackers lumbering in the hall. There was much cursing as he round the corner and was summarily incinerated by Frederichs fire bombs…HUZZAH! The second hesitated to round the corner, then presented a bow, hesitated again to momentarily take in the visage of his companions smoking husk, and then shot Frederich. I returned the favor by shooting him squarely with a digger round opening a cavity, splattering the floor before him with his vitality, and taking the wind from his chest! The digger round is in FULL AFFECT and will remove his attempt at concerted effort for a moment….

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