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@Rowdy: So? :)
I doubt anyone truly thinks Moxie's player is a three-foot tall green-haired girl (or whatever hair color Moxie has...) ;)
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No spoilers needed. I know not what all this is about. Moxie is the kindest sort of female I have ever been around. She's shy and loving with a mean streak a mile wide. I love to tease her and enjoy our time together. I like Ameiko also and she's a female too. Next thing I know you brutes will be denouncing the Tooth Fairy.
We had fun last night. Everyone was there. I can't wait to read the write ups. I of course made lots of good rolls but failed the "important" one. hehe so we (the four that teleported) took a side trip, what's the big deal.
Flying again, cross country. Hathom and his companion, flew Simon, and myself, and Sheldor flew Moxie over five days to the mountains close to Jorgenfist. It was cold, it was no frills and we got there basically without incident.
We saw 4 goblins and the remnants of what appeared to be a giant scouting or raiding party returning. When we got close to the giant stairs that lead to the plateau, there were giant guardians watching it and another group on top that appeared to be stationed there. We found a place to land and make camp that was reasonably safe to make contact with Zandu via his scrying and message spell. Once he made contact, they teleported to us and we began our surveillance.
What we saw was seven giant camps on the outside of a large walled compound. The compound had a tower of some sort and a large pit with some other buildings. One had either mastodons or mammoths in a stable like setting and frost giants pulling security and escort duty to anyone coming into the complex.
There was one oddity that we noticed. All the giant camps were young giants. According to Davok, giant tribes are run by elders. There was only one elder, in any of the campus. We got Hathom to risk some surveillance into the various sections, and he found some insect swarm producing undead spiders, and several magically enhanced wyvern.
On a sequential trip into the pit, he spotted the single elder, sitting and thinking and an altar of some sort.
We’re planning now, but can’t wait too long.
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An Ariel Reconnaissance
Lynn, Brisket, Hayseed, his pet Roc whose name I will NOT even attempt, Sheldor and I were escorted across the bridge by the remainder of the troupe where we said our farewells and made arrangements with Xandu to communicate through his divine spiritual conduit. I gave him a ringlet of my hair to make his attempts easier. Both Sheldor and Haystack transformed into Rocs as well providing Lynn, Brisket, and I with mounts. I grabbed hold for safety sake as my previous experience of flight was, well too exciting! After winging our way to the heights allowing for a more relaxed glide I learned the rhythm of Sheldor’s flight habits and found it a bit chillier this far above the trees. So I donned my goggles, facemask, gloves and scarves and began to enjoy the experience.
The wonders one can take in all at once from the sky. The ranges at which one can see! I now appreciate flight not only for its rate of travel but it is a wealth of knowledge and freedom! The entire river valley was visible for miles. There were boats, wagons, wildlife, none of whom knew of the others existence for the expanse of distance or terrain, and the breathtaking immensity of the forests, all at a glance or turn of one’s head, amazing. Flight is a gift of peace, beauty and grace!
We flew until the light of the day began to fade and searched for an appropriate sight to set camp. After a meal and pitching the small tent I inherited from Ramad, Xandu made his first contact and I made report of an uneventful day. Early the second day we struck camp and took to the sky for another vista view of Varisia. The second report matched the first, uneventful. The third day of flight we spied four goblins, four! Oh and a large fire pit with giant tracks heading north, no giants! That was day threes report. The fourth day came and went, it wasn’t until later in the evening I realized, I may have missed Xandu’s attempt but paid it no mind, as no one seemed to remember or ask about it with my half of the troupe. The fifth day saw us to the Storval Stair, the cleft and giants. We landed some distance away from the stair. Some spied giants along the stair. A quick reconnoiter found a small garrison and piles of boulders guarding giant sized stairs and fortified towers bracketing the stairs. Not the way I desired to approach this endeavor! The troupe elected to take the scenic route into the mountains to the east and approach from the east. This took more of the day than we had hoped and found ourselves landing within a mile of the giant rendezvous but high above on a mountain side with a decent camp sight. The giants camp was obvious by the number of fires in the early evenings light. As we were on our approach to our campsite, I clinched to Sheldor as best as my little frame could to avoid injury as this was going to be no soft, gentle landing as we had enjoyed the rest of the voyage. It was a luxury we could not afford. We needed to get to ground and secure our position, if at all possible! As we swooped in, I barley heard Xandu’s voice above the whistling wind. “YES XANDU WE’RE LANDING NOW IN THE MOUNTAINS ABOVE THE GIANTS CAMP…WHA?....YES WE’RE THERE, WE FOUND IT!!! WHASSAT YOU SAY? LIGHT!?! WHOOOA!! WAIT A BIT!!”
After we landed I rummaged for a light source, knowing he was intent on coming to us now, this very second but we had to be somewhat careful of giving our position away! I activated my torch stone and found myself enveloped by our giant raptors wings as my stone gave a mild strobe affect. Xandu said to expect them in a few brief moments so there we stood looking stupid with our posteriors exposed counting 5….4….3….2.…1……..1........1? (GRIN) As I looked around I saw smiles on everyone’s faces as we fought off the laughter! I deactivated my torch stone and we settled in for the night. Our half could not hope to gain much in the dark and our flyers were tired. I pitched Ramad’s tent with my bed roll and winter blankets. I stripped off the uppers of my armor and put on my heavy sweater and laid my coat over the feet of my bed. I kicked of my boots , ate from my prepared meals and warmed my bedding with a minor affect and snuggled in for the night. A few hours later, in the midst of an enjoyable dream I heard Xandu calling me again, and again, and again, and then realized it was him calling again…FOR REAL! In my horrid state of unkempt half sleep I stumbled from my tent, dropping my torch stone, luckily I was able to follow its path and activated it. Standing in the cold mountain breeze I told Xandu to make it a very quick trip because the light was not in our best interest, especially if he missed. I also told him to use the compass this time…and wooorble-pop!! The troupe was whole again. Now then…back to sleep!
At first light we began to survey the predicament in which we were invested. Indeed there seemed to be seven tribes, some larger than others one solely comprised of ogres and another of the fierce female amazon variety which quickly established dominance for any transgressions by other tribes. However all tribes present seemed to be mustered with younger, less disciplined folk. Only one tribe that we saw had an elder in attendance and she was of a smaller tribe. There were patrols about the plain with giants, bears and mastodons too!! The collected giant moot was camped surrounding an impressive fortress with an enormous central tower, natural seamless stone walls with strategically placed towers, a gate house, a huge building close to the river gorge and a big pit between this building and the central tower. A raiding party not unlike the one sent to Sandpoint return as we spied on the encampment met by a muscle bound female giant of a type as yet unknown to me but she was far and away bigger than the frost giants Duh’rock had pointed out, that exited the compound to greet them as well. And we have yet to spot any sign of their leader, Mocmurian.
We sent scouts out to reconnoiter in the form of crows and small birds of prey. They scouted the pit, and two caves in the gorge. All presented harrowing obstacles. On a side note one of the druids set out to find a cave far away whose existence had been questioned and become a bone of contention earlier in the day. Upon his return, he confirmed its existence and may be a potentially lucrative investment of time!! However we stand now formulating a plan in the full light of day. A decision is required. Our time is limited and we have no maneuvering room here. Our decision must come quick and our action must be swift and powerful.
OH AND BY THE WAY…who brought the half crazed lunatic half-blooded orc!?!? What is his area of expertise and what is his malfunction!?!? I SWEAR… if he gives us away I'll have his head for a bird feeder!!! OH HE’S THE NEW GUY? UHUH!?! GREAAAT!!!
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Action report, 21 Kuthona, Simon Roque reporting.
1) After consulting the map, we decided that rather than walk for two weeks we would fly and teleport to the Storvall Stairs (having two druids and a Roc companion aided in this decision). Haytham carried me, Verthfjolnir carried Lynn and Sheldor carried Moxie on a five-day flying trip to the Storvall Stairs, and Xandu contacted us on a daily basis through magic.
2) On day four we spotted some evidence of a raiding party of giants, and on our arrival at the stairs we discovered them to be garrisoned with hill and stone giants well-supplied with throwing sized boulders. We elected to divert our course to the northeast, into the Iron Peaks, and just after dark stumbled upon what appeared to be the main encampment of the giant army. We found cover in the mountains above and west of the encampment just about the time Xandu contacted Moxie; she made a small light as we set up camp, but Xandu, Davok, Rikert and Flak failed to materialize. One of these days that teleport spell is going to drop him into the ocean; no more Xandu and whoever’s fool enough to go with him.
3) Sometime after midnight, the teleporting party arrived; Xandu had taken them to Fort Rannick. He claims that there is some sort of “magical convergence” between there and Sandpoint, and I think he’s so full of shiat his eyes are brown.
4) We spent the next two days with a cold camp, watching the activity in the encampment below while Sheldor and Haytham took turnabout turning into crows and scouting around. The encampment was layed out around what had to be the Jorgunfist fortress; we thought that Sheldor had found us a back door into the place early on the first day, but Haytham found those caves to be full of nightmarish creatures we really had no urge to tangle with (of course, we have no urge to tangle with upwards of 350 giants in order to get in the front door either). Sheldor also located what has to be the lair of the dragon that attacked Sandpoint; an otherwise empty cave full of coins in the mountains a mile or so on the other side of the fortress from us.
5) I’ve been spending the idle time playfully goading Rikert toward walking into the giant camp alone, which Flak seems to find amusing. Waiting around while everyone scouts things out and then endlessly discussing what may or may not have been found is wearing. I obviously didn’t bring enough ale, and I’ve yet to figure out a way to keep a doxie breathing in the Haversack. At least the main army from Magnimar had a supply train and camp followers. Beef jerky and hardtack for dinner again, with plenty of water to wash it down.
Rikert Krupt – Paladin of Iomedae
Our mission to strike Mokmurian began with the druids flying most of the party to the Storval Plateau. The rest of us, which consisted of myself, Davok, and Flak would teleport with Xandu after the flyers arrived and we contacted them with magical scrying.
We filled the days spent waiting with getting some much needed rest and down time following the past weeks of action. When the time arrived, Xandu gathered us together and cast the teleport spell.
However, the spell went awry and we found ourselves at Ft. Rannick. We explained to the surprised rangers that we would be leaving as soon as Xandu could cast the spell again.
The second time, Xandu succeded and we found ourselves on stony mountain top overlooking the enormous camp of the giant tribes. Their individual camps were circled around an ominous, walled fortress with a large black tower jutting up from its center.
The surrounding area was filled with activity as all manner of giants and other large creatures prepared for the coming battle. We spent the first few days observing their movements and sending the druids in bird form to scout the fortress and search for a way in that would avoid the army of giants camped outside. The druids found a couple of caves that seemed to lead inside, but were filled with creatures that would prevent easy or quiet access. Across the valley, they also located an empty cave that seems to be the former lair of the dragon we killed in Sandpoint.
We have found the location of several of the leaders, and one of the few giant elders that exists in the camp.
Our plans continue to develop as we work to find a way inside to kill Mokmurian.
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It was decided after much debate that half would fly to at least above the stairs and if Desna willing they’d find the Jorgunfist Fortress. Once they were ready I was to teleport the rest of us to their location. I was very uneasy about splitting up the troupe this way but was made a bit at ease when they said I would contact Moxie every evening so she could give us a quick report of the day.
That would leave me with five days here in Sandpoint to help out with repairs and write some scrolls. I was hoping that Friedrich would make his way back to Sandpoint also. So we all gathered for morning breakfast then went a little way out side of town so Haytham and Sheldor could change into Roc form and carry the troupe on their backs. Moxie handed me a ringlet of her hair to help with my scrying and a lump formed in my throat has I watched them all soar into the early morning light.
I tried to busy myself all day anxiously waiting for the time to scry on Moxie. The hour came at a snails pace and I had all the items I would need for the scrying and messaging spells easily an hour ahead of time. I gathered the troupe that remained with me, Rikert, Davok, and Flak (our newest member and another half orc) into my room at the Rusty Dragon for the first meeting. I was ready to teleport us all there immediately if necessary but as it turned out Moxie and her crew had a wonderful and uneventful day. It made me blush that I had thought any harm might come of them. I said goodnight and cut of contact. Feeling much better with having seen and heard that they were doing so well that I rushed out to inform the Mayor and Sheriff of our success thus far. Mayor Deverin was more pleased than the Sheriff but she’s closer to Moxie than he so it’s understandable. I also sought out Father Zantus and tell him and to ask for prayers. He was exited to hear the good news and seems to have a greater interest in Moxie these days. She does make a person feel important when she talks to you and she leaves you with a feeling that all is well and everything is going to be okay.
I prayed to Desna that night thanking her for keeping the troupe safe and for the wisdom to write more scrolls in the morning. The second day was much like the first, though I was much more relaxed. After that nights scrying on Moxie, I didn’t need to go find the Sheriff or Mayor, they were in the Rusty Dragon talking to Ameiko. They all three looked at me as I came down from my room. The army had informed them that they would be heading out first thing in the morning and had asked for a great deal of food and provisions. The Mayor seamed a little agitated at the amount they requested but said the towns people came through. She mentioned that the Scarnetti’s had helped a great deal in getting all the goods that the generals had asked for. Even in going so far as to help reimburse some of the peoples cost. The way she said it with a sideways glance to Ameiko lead one to think this was not normal behavior for the Scarnetti’s. Anyway I didn’t need to go find them they were right here waiting for my report. They even stayed for a little entertainment after I had told them of the days events via Moxie.
The third day Moxie had some new news to report and was all excited to do so. Apparently they had spotted a raiding parties camp and the party had and was going north. They were all still going great and moxie almost seamed bored with my wanting more information. She answered all my questions but looked like she wanted to be done so Again I bid her a good night and ended the scrying. Like the day before the Mayor and Sheriff were waiting for my report, which I gave. We sat and talked for a while after but there were lots of things I needed to do before I left so I excused myself.
Day four and still no Friedrich. I wasn’t worried because I knew that he wasn’t coming straight back to Sandpoint, in fact he was planning on staying in Magnimar for a while. I just thought that if he heard that an army was on it’s way here and then beyond, that he would come and check on things. Besides I wasn’t the only one checking the gates for his arrival, I spotted his young herbalist friend more than a few times and when she saw me she would go about her business as if I didn’t know she was waiting for him but I watched her look out across the river and down the road to Magnimar as if waiting for someone to return. I left it alone, no sense in making a point of it, I missed him too. Speaking of girls, Simon’s Kitten stopped me on the street and asked of him.
Apparently he failed to inform her that he was going away for a while. I told her that he was gone on business and he’d hopefully be returning by the end of the month. I asked her if she could dance or sing but she laughed and said no. She told me to check with the theater group for help, she didn’t think Ameiko or I would like her kind of performance at the Rusty Dragon. With Simon it’s different and that’s why she likes him. Before Simon came she had only once been a customer and never since becoming a “Kitten“. She said all of the girls at “The Pixie’s Kitten” respect Ameiko and would never go uninvited. I must of blushed. She said don’t worry Ameiko has had words with me and I understand her position. She runs a good shop and has helped the town beyond repay. I’ll say this though she has also softened a bit. Take me for instance. Someone of my standing would never have thought to go, or think she’d be allowed, into the Rusty Dragon before, not saying it’s common now but after that first day, when the misses came to us girls and asked who wanted to go to the Dragon for a day (and night) most girls refused thinking it a cruel joke but my heart soared. I thought joke or not I wanted the chance.
I would do anything to go out and be like a real person on a real date. Say what you want about him. Simon Roque is a good man. Sure he pays me but he’s the only one that lets the world see me too and I in return see a different side of Sandpoint. I know why Ameiko doesn’t allow “girls” in her establishment and I applaud her but I also know that she doesn’t mind me being there. She told me so herself, mind you I’m not allowed to go solicit business there. She told me that too. But she said that me or any of the girls was welcome there. Just no working the gents or she’d throw us out. If we dressed appropriately and behaved she would have no problem with a visit now and again. Right nice, she is.
Feeling a bit uneasy (knowing now that I changed all the rules, all of Ameiko‘s rules) Desna, may she never find out it was me who hired that first Kitten to go to “The Rusty Dragon”. I stayed just a bit for some more small talk but I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. Finally there was a lull in “her” conversation (do all girls talk so much, no, Moxie never has two words to say, well maybe two) so I made my exit and I bid the Kitten a good day and down the street I went. I turned the corner and dimension door’d back outside the gates. That was unexpected, I knew I wanted to get away but really? Moving away and just thinking about Friedrich brought me right back to where I was a few minutes ago. Looking down the road towards Magnimar. Then I spotted a cart. Friedrich! It must be him why else would I return here so sudden, Desna be praised. I walked faster as the cart got closer. It wasn’t Friedrich but it did contain an old friend or at least his remains.
The wagon was hired by my friend Friedrich but I forgot there was another reason Friedrich had gone back to Magnimar. It was to return another friends body. Ramad. I hopped onto the wagon as it drove us into Sandpoint. I saw to the remains of the fallen Ramad. I handed him over to Father Zantus and went to find his other friends in town. My day had taken a turn for the worse. That night I failed at contacting Moxie. I was already in poor spirits and now this. What had happened to the troupe? Where were they? To make matters worse Rikert, Davok and Flak had not joined me in my scrying. They were to busy getting ready for tomorrow. That’s when we were to teleport to their location. So I was alone when I couldn’t reach Moxie. Scared I prayed to Desna, please let them be alright and safe. I got a simple reply that they were okay. So little information but at least I knew they were alright.
Even with the prayer and reassurance I had trouble sleeping. Dreams of Ramad’s death on the barge. Friedrich exploding into cinders those cinders catching a field of scarecrows ablaze, and a Giant Black Man rising out of the burning field raising a huge sword and cutting down all of humanity. Fire, Death and Giants. I woke in a pool of sweat. I sure hope that wasn’t one of Desna’s dreams for me.
The next day flew. It seamed there was not enough time to do everything that needed done. Four days that crawled then the last day was here and I felt unprepared. Gathering up my gear and collecting the troupe we entered my room. The wash basin my scrying device, was filled with water and the guys were all ready. Davok with his bow out and Flak, practically hunched and ready to pounce waited for my word. At first the contact with Moxie was difficult. I could tell she was still flying and it was hard to make out her words but she finally landed and brought out an ion stone so I could see her location and BLINK.
We were in a fortified location with a familiar feel about it. Fort Rannick, and the rangers we had left there were just as surprised to see us. We let them in on what was going on and told them that in an hour I’d be teleporting out and to our friends. Rikert didn’t seam so sure and laughed and joked with the rangers while I rested and spoke again with Desna. I can’t say for sure because I don’t ever really see her face but I had a strong feeling that Desna was smiling the whole time I prayed to her. Just a feeling.
When I had finished my prayers and got the troupe ready to teleport I saw Davok hand one of the rangers something when I started the scry on Moxie. She lay in her bedroll fast asleep. I felt uncomfortable calling to her as she slept. I didn’t want to wake her she looked so peaceful. She is more adorable when she sleeps than I could have ever imagined. Rikert slapped me on the shoulder and asked what was going on? I said she’s asleep. Then wake her or not we need to go. Alright I’ll try but you’re right we’ll go either way. It would be easier if she could give me some light. Moxie I called but no response. I called again, nothing. I called several more times with no response and as I was about to give up she answered. It didn’t take her long before there was the ion stone and Rikert Davok, Flak and I joined hands and BLINK.
We were on the ground, hard and rocky but the rest of the troupe were around us and a field of camp fires way down below us. Welcome to Jorgunfist. Now get some rest we’ve a busy day ahead of us. “Farking teleport my arse. Good to see ya kid.” Simon said with a grin. “I told ya he’d fark it up” he told the others.
I sometimes wonder if your GM pulls you off course on purpose! =^-^=
Well, Xandu casts the spell and misses the target, then Useplanb rolls the miss distance and looks at the map of Varisia on the gaming area wall, and says, "Huh." The first time, he gave Xandu a vision of a whipoorwill (messenger of Desna), dropped him in Sandpoint and left it for him to figure it out.
This time, I just think he thought it was funny. It's his way of messing back with us when we monkeywrench the adventure by literally flying and teleporting past a significant portion of it.
And yes, I did say he'd fark it up.
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The mountain air was clear and clean. It was cold here in the mountains but warmer than I had expected. It was good to be reunited with the troupe and after everyone had their laugh at my teleport mishap we settled down for the remainder of the night. I watched Moxie’s ion stone shine in the night as I fell asleep. It seemed to get brighter as I closed my eyes and giving thanks to Desna for delivering us to our friends. I remember praying to Desna, Moxie’s ion stone became a brilliant white light, warm and comforting, I knew it was Desna come to visit me. As she spoke to me I saw a shadow flitting within the light or against it. Desna said she was very pleased with my progress and she was going to send me a tutor to teach me how to better channel the divine power she grants me. The shadow looked more and more like a butterfly as it came closer and the brilliant light behind it faded.. The butterfly became colorful now that the light wasn’t blinding my sight. Desna’s voice said “This is Hanna, she will teach you and be your guide. She will show you where to go when you do your morning prayers. Do not be afraid.”
The light dimmed to a glow and a strange landscape took it’s place. A rolling, soft landscape with white grass and white trees. I was now standing mid way on a hill not far from a strange white tree. A silver stream flowed behind me. It’s shining water bubbling past white rocks and reeds the sound was soft and musical, very calming. The creature, I could now make out, wasn’t a butterfly but that of angelic origin. A humanoid with flowing wings and robes. From my view, as it landed near the tree, it’s (her) wings warped and were gone. Her robe’s were much like the scarves of mine. Brightly colored and sheer but as she touched the grass they muted to white. Her curvaceous feminine outline was petite but obvious. As she stood on the hill, she took in her surroundings and then her gaze landed on me. My words would fall short if I tried to describe what I saw. The most beautiful song I know wouldn’t capture her. Hair as black as night eyes that shined like stars. Skin that had never seen the sun shined like the moon. Her movements flowing. The garments barely concealing. I stop in modesty. I will not try, words just fail.
I looked down and at my clothes, even with my nice new traveling attire I felt unworthy. There was dust on my green shoes. I couldn’t look back up. “As you wish” I said to Desna, in a short little prayer. I could hear Hanna slowly moving closer to me. I saw her bare feet stepping closer. Her legs shown through the white robe. She walked all around me. I could feel her looking at me. As she came back around she bent down and looked into my eyes and said in a teasing voice “It is going to be very difficult to teach you if you’re only going to stare at the ground.” Her words were in common but with a thick accent that gave each word authority. Then she reached out with her hand and smiled as she raised my head by the chin. “That’s better. What a clever hat you have and that scarf. Why do you wear such a thing?” Keeping my eyes on hers, Oh crap, I thought.
Oh, Desna. I reached for the scarf and raised it. The red scarf that tried to strangle Uther. Why had I kept such a thing. I knew the reason and said “It reminds me that anyone one of us can die at any time but we don’t have to. It is like a security blanket you give to a child to make her feel safe.” Why was I telling her this? I thought. “Every day I wear it and don’t die, I’ve cheated death.” She released my chin and stood straight up with one hand on her hip and the other holding the scarf. She let the scarf flow out of her hand as she pulled her hand back, the scarf fell back onto my chest. “Cute” she said, “and somewhat endearing.” “That hat, did it try to kill one of your friends as well?” I could tell now that she was in deed teasing me. I laughed and said, “No, I actually like my hat. It’s magical but mostly I just like it.” She took a step back and studied me again and finally said, “It suites you. My name as you no doubt heard is Hanna. I am an Avoral and a messenger of Desna. And you are Xandu, a Varisian orphan who has adopted a whole village to fill that hole in your heart. Many Varisians pray to Desna but she insists that you are special. What do you think?”
I didn’t know, Simon had said that I was special too. He said that Desna had chosen me, what do other people see that I don’t. “I’m not special.”
“Good. At least we both agree on that.” Again she walked around me. “Lets start with some basics, I am thirsty would you please get me some water?”
Instinctively I reached for my wine skin. Hanna raised an eyebrow. “Oh you mean create some water.” She smiled. I prayed and water flowed from the stream and into my hands. I looked at it, my hands cupped and held them out to Hanna. “Thank you” she said then took my hands in hers and drank the water.
That’s how my night went. It seemed to me that we were in that strange place doing spell after spell for hours. All spells I conjured in some way had a tie to this place. I knew now that every spell I did originated here. Desna had created this place and through me it could effect my world. I didn’t want to leave. I had never felt so alive as I did here. I could feel the positive energies flowing under my feet, through my whole being and out of me as I called spell after spell. I brought forth beings and animals that played and ran about as I did more spells.
At some point Hanna said it was time for me to go back. “Back? You mean I’m not in a dream?” She cocked her head and said “Yes, you are in bed on a mountain side overlooking a valley and it’s time for you to go back to your body.” All the magic’s and animals faded out of view. “When you return you will remember but you can’t speak of me or this place to anyone. When you pray tomorrow you will again come here. Remember the light, the tree and me, I will come and teach you more. It has been a pleasure to meet you Mr. Xandu of The Storm Guard, humble servant of Desna.” She bowed and did a flourish in a complete copy of Moxie, hands sweeping. She leapt into the air and colorful wings spread to give her flight and her clothes again brightly colored as well. She soared into the light. The light turned color. Almost red and I could see blue skies and mountains. I rubbed my eyes. It was morning, early morning and some of the troupe was already moving about.
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Okay so the army figured out a way to enter into The Pit without setting off any alarms but it took a while to formulate the plan and get started. The initial plan was for the two druids to shape change into crows to poke around.
Here is an interesting tidbit that Paizo missed out on. You have a giant circular pit full of sacrificed carcasses. That pit is roughly 80 ft. in diameter and its description lists it as full of crows, vultures, carrion eating birds. FYI, that many birds would be LOUD. You also have a number of dire bears who would probably drag a carcass or two up to their dens to eat. Which means they would sleep. A lot.
Shape changing into crows was a perfect way to get in and scout around. If Mokmurian had been there for at least two years (as per the timeline description of when he offed the clan leader at the altar) and had been sacrificing on occasion and more so as of late, the giants of the area would be numbed to the sight of crows moving about their caves. They would probably only notice them when they were being bothersome.
In this case I role-played out the scenario of the group trying to interact with Conna to figure out if she was receptive to the idea of an introduction. My general description I gave of her was that she seemed distracted, would pick at her food and spent time at the alter attempting to "quiet" the spirit of Vandarrec. Eventually, she spotted the crows that were eyeing her and she tossed them food from her uneaten plate.
It wasn't until Xandu scryed on Haythem and with message asked him questions and Conna made the perception check to hear his voice. At first she looked around thinking there was someone in the halls, speaking common. Thats when she sat down and realized the crow was the source of the voices. Great role-play here. Long and the short they decided to teleport into the altar area to go after Mokmurian with all the dialog coming straight from the AP.
The only caveat was that they needed two people to cast teleport. One of them was from a scroll. Lynn was the only one able to do it without having to make a Use Magic Device check. But in order for him to teleport in, he had to see it for himself. So he cast Fly and Invisibility on himself and followed the druid in crow form into the caves to look about so he could pinpoint his teleport. They did so without telling Conna first, and she wasn't there.
The haunt triggered on Lynn as Haytham made the Will save. Lynn also failed the Fort save and was at -3 after it was done. He was also paralyzed for 8 rounds. So Haytham had no idea anything was up until a sudden wash of blood seemed to coat an area of the dirt. Fumbling around he found the prostrate form of Lynn and healed him, but he was still invisible and paralyzed. Because of this I said that he "studied the cave VERY CAREFULLY" and as such would have a better chance of teleporting in. Xandu had only viewed it once through his scry. As it turned out Lynn rolled a 94 on his teleport and they made it in, barely. I described the outer camp (Conna's tribe) as something they began to see coalesce into view before snapping into the altar.
From here they made their way past the great hall without alerting anyone and because of speed and just how it worked out the coolest thing happened. Flakk the newest member who decided to stay 10 levels of monk before "falling" to barbarian ran into Enga, who was now a max health advanced Enga. Their fight lasted 2 rounds before Enga dropped Flak to -8 and dying. She charged on the "surprise round" and hit (with power attack). He went first and failed two grapple attempts. She went three times and with power attack dropped him. At this point it became a general fight where Enga was slowly whittled down. But after having been healed back up by Xandu, Flak had his epiphany. For all the perfection of self he had trained in, this tiny creature of pure 'rage' ended his existance, if only for a moment before Xandu intervened. This formed the character background catalyst where the half-orc realized that the rage he has suppressed all his life was what he really should do.
We ended the evening there.
I must say it's gratifying seeing your group use intelligence and stealth to get in. There was another VERY depressing thread on the number of groups that saw the valley full of giants, thought, "We can't possibly kill all of THEM! What were the AP writers thinking?!?!?!" and quitting outright. (Yes. Seriously. According to that thread, more than one group quit the AP because they couldn't think of a way to kill every single giant in the valley.)
Depressing when the notion of stealth never crosses a party's mind.
Nice job, gang!
I must admit some curiosity as to what my group would do in that situation. They might try hit-and-run tactics against the giant camps, or they might go for stealth... or even just want to build an army of golems to fight them! ^^;; (I'll laugh at the last and say "you don't have enough money for that.")
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Well, my group is so huge and to dissuade the idea of trying that I doubled the size of the army camped outside. So in effect, my army was twice the size listed in the AP.
Davok still wanted to go after them.
They quickly got the idea that that was not a good plan.
Mastadon cavalry (WTF OVER?)
Rocs (the really big ones, not the puny Huge sized one the druid shape shifts into)
oh, and a crap ton of giants.
As it turns out a cave of undead mosterous sized spiders so effectively creeped them out, the mighty Sandpoint Heroes™ turned into little girls and said nope. Not going in there.
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Also, the idea that we sold to the Lord Governor of Magnimar was that we would go in to cut off the head of the snake. Simon was hoping that we could sneak in somehow, not realizing that Lynn could cast the teleport spell from the scroll. If it had been up to Moxie, our odds of all getting in on the first try would only have been 56% (yes I did the math, I'm a little weird like that).
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Action report, 22 Kuthona, Simon Roque reporting
1) The brainiacs planned the operation to death, and it still had an uncomfortable stench of “if” attached. Druids both shape-shifted into crows, and flew right into the central pit of Jorgenfist during daylight. Neither of them died, even though they made several trips. Eventually, Xandu did his magical viewing trick on Haytham while he was inside, and did a bunch of mumbling. Afterward, he announced that we had an ally in the female giant Elder, and that we would go in after dark.
2) In order for all of us who couldn’t change into crows to teleport in, Lynn had to cast the spell from a scroll; to do that he had to see the destination. So, he turned invisible and apparently flew after Haytham (still a crow. Did I mention that that guy is useful to have around? If I didn’t, he is) into the pit and cave complex. When they got back, it became apparent that our plan was very nearly stillborn; something in the cave, a “haunt” had come about a hair’s breadth from killing Lynn dead. I began to have significant doubts about our ally. Haytham healed him up with a wand he’d picked up in Magnimar.
3) The time came for the spells, Lynn did his thing, and we saw a vision of the giant’s camp…but just as it started to solidify it kind of shimmered and changed to the inside of a cave. Some kind of shrine, with images on the walls of giants stepping on dwarves and shiat. Elder giant lady was there, and made us promise to not kill any giants we didn’t have to. We all agreed; Davok looked like he was chewing persimmons the whole time. She’d given us a more detailed map of the complex, and showed us where to go, and off we went. Since this was a sneaky-type mission, we ditched our lights and I drank a potion of darkvision that I had thought might come in handy. Thus, I wound up leading Rikert by the hand. That boy is useful in a fight, but he ain’t the sharpest knife in the drawer if you know what I mean.
4) We managed to sneak right through a mess-hall with some help from Moxie. I felt like an idiot tip-toeing around in plate armor, but we made it through. Down a fairly short narrow tunnel with a creepily quiet spot in the middle and into a fight with a cross between a kobold and a tornado. Crazy little biatch was foaming at the mouth and jumping around like she was on wires or something. The new guy, Flak, got hit hard and so did Lynn; we wound up surrounding her against a wall and just pounding her down. Flak actually got her into some kind of weird wrestling hold a couple of times, but she wriggled out so it didn’t help much.
5) According to the map, the next room is full of something the giant lady called “red-caps;” she also told us to kill them all. From what I’ve heard about them, that might not be the easiest thing we’ve ever done…
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Sneak About in Force
We sent the druids in yet again to a better ascertain an understanding of the interior and maybe to actually attempt contact. And somehow….it worked! HUZZAH!! So a time and location was set for our insertion, however our planners debated as to the entry method in ad nauseam. At one point suggesting I should utilize a scroll to transport half the troupe! I was quite uncomfortable with this option as I had personally experienced the miscasting of the spell and did not wish to be the reason for half the troupe’s potential demise in the event of a catastrophic failure! Luckily it was realized Lynn could use the scroll without my needing to interpret it…WHEW! However this required his knowledge of the location and that required yet another covert visit to the interior of the Fortress pit. While fully capable of doing so unobserved he needed the druids to guide him to said location, and it seems a haunt also lurks in the confines of our destination, and well it did not receive Lynn well. He returned in a much more grievous maligned and battered state then he had been when he embarked.
As Lynn’s wounds were addressed I committed the map offered by our inside source to memory. As I pondered the “plan” we had set upon, I began to feel an uneasy sense of anxiety creep into my gutsack. We are going to enter the heart of the enemy stronghold, correction, a haunted portion of the afore mentioned, and skulk through a length of caverns occupied by an enemy we had difficulty with on our open home ground, with a map provided by a sympathizer?!? Either we are blessed with a silver tongued or extremely gullible druid. I guess we will have the answer to that question soon enough. I excused myself from the troupes plans and set to packing for a proper sneak about. All of my gear was packed in as small a fashion as possible with all but my weapons, pouches, wands stowed in my bag. I checked, refit, and secured all my items needed to perform at my highest ability. I buckled and strapped my armor and weapons for battle. I checked myself for noise and shine, addressing the obvious issues to include my leather and boots. No rattles, sloshes, or clinks and my new elf cloak covered the rest from sight well enough to prevent shine. I ate the remains of a prepared meal but refrained from eating heartily as my stummy was all in knots. I slipped to a point of solitude but a few feet from the troupe and knelt on the mountainside and raised my arms to Shelyn.
“Blessed Shelyn, we embark on a course of action to diffuse a conflict which we believe to be avoided if our endeavor is a success. I beseech you, guide our effort, and provide our troupe with the courage and wisdom to achieve a victory for all the peoples of the lowlands and the massed tribes of unknowing giant-kind. Bless us with peace and grace in action, stealth and strength in execution, and see us through this dark time with the light of your love and beauty. I express my faith in your love and willingly go into harm’s way this night in your warm embrace! All praise unto you my Rose!”
I made the sign of Shelyn in the air and waited on the edge of the troupe as the last arrangements and contingencies were forwarded in the moments before the sneak about began.
I elected to take my chances with Lynn this time. Brisket came along with us, leaving Duh’rok, Rikert, and the distempered clubber for Xandu to magically whisk to the pit. Hayseed and Sheldor elected winged flight as it had served them well so far. Our group was to lead the way…”WHUU!?! Wait, wait, that wasn’t discussed!” The scrolls magic began with the warbles of time and space. The scene traveled down the mountain…and stopped in the middle of a giant encampment, lingering in an all too familiar way! I felt the creep of fear in my stummy and closed my eyes calling for Shelyn’s aid in my heart! Just before the spell closed in the encampment we were whooshed to the pit, to a room with an alter and painted walls, and then the unnerving popping that concludes the spell and hurts my ears! Placing my back to the painted wall I waited for the arrival of our reinforcements to pop in. Thankfully there were no visitations to Fort Rannick or Sand point this night with their timely arrival and soon after the druids.
Once the troupe was gathered The lady elder Giantess gave us her blessing with a request to refrain from unnecessarily slaying her kinsmen, but asked no quarter for the redcap inhabitants. In fact she all but encouraged us to do them in!. Fair enough, it would make sense to do so if we wished to exit….WAIT??? HOW ARE WE GETTING OUT??? Brisket and I are definitely talking about this!!! UGH!!
Disgusted I produced my new percussion staff (GRIN!) and attached a “slate spider” to her. Her name is Annie. Then I applied a dose of silence oil to staff and wand in case the need should arise. As I did, I noticed the Giantess had stopped speaking and was looking at me inquisitively. It was a slightly uncomfortable moment but that was on my behalf, for she was truly gracious to us and for now I believe Hayseed’s tongue to be of solid silver! We traversed the depths as the map showed until we came to a mess hall of sorts. It was occupied by four giants. We had an alternate entry and elected to start this boondoggle from there instead. First I resigned from sight, entered the room, and summoned a minor illusory set of voices in the hall we had initially spied the room and sent the affect down the way we had come from. It garnered some attention and the troupe began its attempt to pass the room. I further added a group of lights to accompany the voices and that did the trick…almost. As Brisket skulked through the mess hall, the trailing giant stopped to check our direction. Finding nothing obvious he finally took the bait and followed his companion leaving us to make our escape.
I accompanied Duh’rok as the rear guard from the mess hall. I was proud of him as this was difficult in the extreme for him! But his displeasure was quickly sated as we found a combat in full bloom some distance down the corridor. We passed a silent area in the hall and found the sounds of combat had been muffled to the mess hall by a well-placed spell. However a wretched, enraged kobold was handing handfuls of the half-blood pugilist’s entrails to him in quick order! EGADS!! Duh’rok and I took no time in delivering what ordinance could be afforded in short order! Interestingly, more than one of my shots ricocheted from her!? While I could not claim her she felt my sting and was a hairs breath away from a perfect shot! In any case she was laid low but not before removing all but the smallest amount of stuffing from that new guy…umm…gees …oh yaa FLAK! He was flat on his back singing hymns to the archons until Xandu saved him from the boatman!! He looked like he’d been savaged by a handful of giants, and when revived his countenance was ravaged as well. As if he had been soul seared! He is a worrisome, unhinged, liability on the verge of lunacy, I’m tellin ya! Maybe its just because he got his arse kicked by a girl. (giggle!) He had best get comfy with that thought real quick! Oh and this crazy wench did have some fine accoutrements! The spear is especially pointy!! I wonder how it works on red caps??
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Five days without my friends was hard and as soon as I get them back, they tease me. I laughed at the thought of all that we have been through together and even though it’s been hard and some have even died the troupe still has a sense of humor.
The early morning air was crisp and clean. A small prayer to Desna and the cold doesn’t effect me. As vain as it may be I like to look sharp. I proudly ware my Varisian clothes with my bright scarves. I was still trying to remember last nights dream prayer with Desna, it was more intense than others. There was something else about it too, a guide of sorts. My mind was fuzzy and listening to the troupe move about and talk of the giant encampment took me away from my dreams. What a sight it was indeed.
Jorgunfist was amazing in itself, a fortress the size I’ve never imagined. And all around it were camps of giants. Even one camp that was comprised of just females. When a male giant tried to enter that camp the female giants would beat him to submission and he would return to his own camp under loud jeering. It was overwhelming the size and scope of the valley floor and the giants encampment around the fortress. Only one camp held elder giants the rest were younger, like those that had attacked Sandpoint. We decided to take some time and scout ahead and to make plans. Getting into the fortress was going to be difficult. We all looked around and formulated different plans. I could see a large cave on the other side of the valley from us.
It was to far for me to dimension door to and I had already used my teleport early this morning. I was saving the teleport scrolls for a more important time. Sheldor was curious and turned into a crow and flew over to see if I was right. I was the only one that could make out the cave and it intrigued both Lynn and Haytham. I’m not sure why Sheldor went, I suppose he was tired of all the talking and needed a break from it. He came back all excited. He said the cave had a pile of coins in it, that’s when Haytham and Lynn told the troupe of the dragon that attacked Sandpoint and a map of sorts to it’s treasure. They said that the cave most be it’s lair and that we should try and reclaim it if we could after defeating Mokmurian.
Sheldor’s flying across the valley gave the troupe an idea. Sheldor and Haytham in crow form would scout during the day and give us information that we could then use to try an entry into the fortress. Sheldor said there were a couple of cave entrances but after Haytham checked them out. He checked out a central pit. One that we couldn’t see very well from up here on the mountain because it was in the shadow of the large tower. Haytham said he spotted a female giant there. The troupe thought it a good idea to have me scry on her somehow. That night it was decided to have them both check out the central pit as the caves did not sound like very good ways into the fort as yet and maybe we could learn more from the giant.
Flak and Davok both said getting down the mountain would be easy and we should stop wasting time and start our attack. Simon calmed them by teasing Rikert, this seemed to ease the tension in the half orcs. Flak actually looked like he was in a trance (meditating) while Davok would disappear for long times before returning to camp. That’s when Simon would engage Rikert in discussing his (Rikert’s) assault of the fortress. Trying to show Davok the folly of one man or a small group doing a frontal attack in this situation. I think it worked because Davok would watch Simon goad Rikert and seem to agree with the attack but then he’d listen also to Rikert rebut. The two (Simon and Rikert) had Davok so mixed up and mad that he’d leave again in disgust. Night came early on the mountain and in the valley. We ate cold meals and the fires from down in the valley looked like stars in the night’s sky. I closed my eyes thinking of the giants camp fires.
I remembered the strange white tree. Desna’s bright but warm light. I prayed to her while I thought of the fires in the valley below me. I was in a void. I floated above the camp fires and above me the stars swirled and coalesced into a bright void, then white rolling hills and the tree. I remembered the white grass and the white tree and I looked for a . . . . butterfly? . . . . No . . . . Hanna . . . . Desna’s guide, my guide. I looked about, where was she, who was she. I was in the right place. The soft grass the bubbling stream the white tree. “Hanna?” I said aloud “Desna?” Was I just dreaming, am I just dreaming?
“Hello, Xandu.” Standing next to the tree was the woman from last nights dream. All in white but also wearing armor. A bright silvery metal scale flowed with her movements under her white robes. It covered her from neck to wrists and ankles but her feet were bare. Her movements were slow and deliberate. “You have a lot on your plate don’t you. You did very well last night and Desna wants me to push you harder.”
“Walk with me. Come with me and I’ll show you something.” I looked around and then started up the hill toward her. She turned away and started walking across the hilltop. Her steps were shorter than mine and I quickly got up to her adjusting my stride to match hers. I saw no weapons or anything other than her armor and robes. She gave me a glance then looked up, into the sky. It was dark then my eyes adjusted and I could see stars as I looked out across the night sky the landscape changed. We were on a mountain top looking out across the sky. Hanna pointed down and I could see the giants camped around Jorgunfist. I looked to the right and saw our troupe camped on the mountain side. I could make out Davok and Flak guarding the troupe. Lynn was reading something. Moxie was in a tent. I could even see myself. Asleep and in my night clothes and bedroll. Davok moved and it startled me. “Can he see me, us?” I asked. Hanna took my hand and said “I hope not. Lets not stay here and find out otherwise” We moved and were among the giants in one of the camps.
We walked past sleeping giants and giants that were up and warming themselves by the fires. I saw them laughing and joking much the same as men do. It was strange to be here this way. Looking at the giants I asked, “Why are we here? Shouldn’t we be practicing or something?” Hanna smiled and said “I just wanted to walk with you and show you and help you.” “Show me and help me with what?” I asked. “Here, I’ll show you something.” She said and took my hand. We walked out of the camps and up to the walls of the fortress. Hanna dimension doored us to another room, I didn’t know where but I could see a giant woman talking to a translucent male giant. He was angry and she was troubled. He could see her but I don’t think she could see him. I felt sorrow for the female giant. I wanted to help her. “Good” Hanna said and squeezed my hand. The male giant looked our way, he may have looked right at us I’m not sure.
I blinked and looked at Hanna. She was smiling at me. I felt, I felt “good”. The walls of the chamber we were in warped and we were again on the hillside with white grass and the tree. “It’s time to begin your lessons.” She said. I let go of her hand and took a step back, “What was that? Why did you do that? Where did you take me?”
“I took you to where you are now, where your body is, but you know that. I showed you something that weighs on your heart. You may not know that. I also put you to a test. While that may not of been fair of me I will tell you only that you passed. Now let’s think about how we can make the best of our time tonight. Do you have anything to ask of me?”
“I don’t know what to ask. Did that giant look at us just then?”
Hanna smiled “I don’t know, I was watching you.”
Heat filled my head and I knew I was blushing. “Never mind let’s try some teleport spells it seems they are difficult for me to control.” Hanna smiled and said “Control is the problem but you need to learn to let go not control. Desna knows why you pray and what your need is. Now I know why she likes you so much. It’s been a long time sense someone has tried to control Desna’s power. It’s amazing that you’re still alive. Do you think that the stream tries to control it’s flow of water when you summon it? Now try to think of yourself as the stream and Desna as the summoner. She has brought you into being with a purpose, to do her will. Yes, you can use her power as you see fit but there is something greater than that. Something you can’t see yet. She wants you to succeed, to grow in her power. I talk to much and this is not helping you. Let’s try some spells. Summon those cats like last night. What were they? Leopards. Summon your Leopards, I‘ll play with them as you practice our teleport spells”
I forgot about the giants, I wanted to please Hanna. I summoned Leopards and laughed as Hanna played with them and fought with them. Nothing made me happier than making Hanna laugh. I had no problem with my teleport spell or any other spell. What was it that Hanna was helping me with? The connection I had with this place was getting stronger, I could feel that. I hoped that Desna was pleased with my progress. Hanna said that Desna was. When Hanna spoke of Desna she beamed. I hope others see Desna through me like that.
I woke to clear crisp mountain air. I remembered a dream with stars and Leopards. Moxie in her tent and Davok on patrol. It was time to have the druids (Haytham and Sheldor) go do some more searching today and if they can find the female giant they saw yesterday I’ll try to scry and learn more about what’s going on.
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We formulated a plan of sorts. Haytham and Sheldor would fly into the pit and search for the female giant. Then one of them would come back and let me know if they found her or something of hers that I could use to help scry on her with. While they were gone the troupe discussed the best possible way for us to get in.
Haytham returned and gave me a feather so I could scry on him. He said that the female we were looking for was there but that there was another giant nearby. We needed to be careful. He flew back in and I gave him a few minutes before I scried on him. I could see him and occasionally I could make out a giants hand and arm. I talked to Haytham through messaging but the giant heard me and went to investigate the source. She then came back and looked at Haytham and asked “Who are you?” Haytham hesitated then said in giant that his name was Haytham and he was here on an errand to stop the giant’s attack on the lowlands. He went on to say that he had hoped that she would be an ally in this venture.
Fearing the gig was up I talked to her also in giant. Telling her that we were interested in only Mokmurian and stopping him. That there was an army of men headed for the stair and we wanted to stop things before a war broke out. I told her that we knew the giants would win but at what cost and what would happen to everyone once Mokmurian gained all the land. That he and his plans frightened us and we felt obligated to stop him at any cost. She agreed that she was frightened of his plans too. And would help us get into a safe place to start our search for him. We agreed to a time for us to teleport into her temple but she would have to show Haytham the temple so we could teleport there. She took Haytham into the temple long enough for me to get a feeling, a picture of where to teleport to. When she did I realized I had seen this place before but didn’t remember why or how so I kept quite about knowing the temple room. My scrying stopped and we waited for Haytham and Sheldor’s return.
It wasn’t long but longer than we had expected before they returned to us. Haytham explained that she had made a map of the lower parts of the fortress and had marked out where we needed to go and even marked places where bad creatures lived that she wanted us to exterminate. We all studied the map and Moxie hesitated about reading the teleport scroll. That’s when we figured out that Lynn could read the scroll but he would need to see the spot to teleport to. He said he could go invisible and fly there with Haytham as a guide and fly back out. This sounded like a great plan. Off they went. Haytham as a crow followed by an invisible Lynn. We waited and waited. After a long time and we were all getting a bit nervous, Haytham and a bruised and battered Lynn returned. As it turned out there was something in the temple that had attacked Lynn when he stepped into the temple. Only by luck did Haytham find the invisible Lynn in time to save him. This brought up a great debate as to weather we could trust “Conna” the female giant. We decided that we would have to trust that she could keep the haunt away from the group. It was time to go.
With great anxiety the druids took flight and Lynn read the scroll. He, Simon and Moxie blinked out. It was time for me to teleport myself, Davok, Rikert and Flak to the temple. Blink
We were in. I introduced myself to Conna and I think she was a bit surprised that I was human. I had forgot to warn her of that fact but she stayed true to her word. As the group gathered in the temple she again asked us not to kill any giants if it wasn’t necessary, to which we all agreed. We left the temple and headed into the depths of the fortress.
Our first encounter was with four giants in a mess hall I could hear others that were out of view (possibly cooks). We decided to try and sneak past the giants and with Moxie’s aid did so. We were in a long corridor and there was a door towards the middle of it so I cast silence on the door. That way any sound that took place wouldn’t alert the giant that might have been in that room and it would keep the noise from the troupe going back down to the mess hall. It turns out that it was very wise that I had done this because as soon as Flak entered the area at the end of the corridor he was attacked by a very angry kobold. She tore into him with a vengeance. Leaving him dieing on the ground as I came to his aid. It took the rest of the troupe to kill the little kobold. I’m glad they did because she kept trying to get to me and Rikert. I healed Flak but I think he’s not the same now as he was before. He has a look about him. A wild look in his eyes, I think I’ll stay clear of him for a while until he cools off.
I’ve finally got a rest from all the chaos of the last week or so. The troupe currently rests atop a mountain looking over a huge encampment of giants, at least seven tribes. We’ll get back to that though.
Last I left off we were in the middle of the skirmish in Sandpoint, more specifically I was foolishly attempting to divert a dragon’s attention from Sandpoint. Though I could tell it was searching for me it was unable to spot me in my small avian form. It continued its destructive path and I lost sight of it in the streets to the north side of town so continued to help Vethrfolnir and my other companions. Verth had one giant down and was toying with a bear so I let him be. For the most part this area, save a few bears, was fairly clear. Further down the river more giants were moving unmolested so I decided to head over and remedy that. I lead more lightning toward the giants and a few bolts at the dragon when the opportunity presented itself. My ranged spells began to run short so I was both relieved and amazed when I watched Lynn strike the dragon down, giving me the peace of mind to change into something a touch more useful. Shifting into a huge roc I gave a quick survey of the town again, more giants to the west but they seemed content to raid the brewery for the moments. Three giants had Zandu, Lynn and Davok rather tied up and Vethrfolnir was now flying toward me, looks like a bear(three actually) must have gotten the better of him for he looked pretty torn up. I met Verth on my way to help Lynn and that lot healing him up a bit on the fly. We each took a giant leaving one free to tangle with the others. Once those three had been dealt with we turned our attention to those at the brewery. I flew Davok to a roof across the street to rain death then went in myself. Once that lot was dispatched there appeared another group had raided a house on the far side of the bay. Vethrfolnir had a live on pinned and I ordered him to stay and hold it there while I threw some quick bindings on it. Taking Moxie and Simon to wing we headed out to stop the last of the giants from escaping to the forest. Luckily Lynn and Davok were flying after us and we were all able to finish the last of the giants off fairly quickly.
Once the fighting was done I took Lynn aside to speak with him of the dragon. I had much interest in studying it, as well if the rumors are true I may be able to locate its horde. We took the corpse outside town a little ways and I carved a map from its scaly hide. Far to the northeast a mark in the mountains spoke of wealth. Perhaps once all is said and done we may share this amongst us, however there are more pressing matters at hand; stopping this giant threat for one. I spent the next few days tending to the town’s wounded and doing what I could to help here and there. Those were full days, I went to bed late, woke early, and slept dreamless nights. Meanwhile a few of the troupe were busy attempting to extract information from the two giants we had managed to capture. We found the location of their base as well as general information on what they were planning.
We decided to fly most of the group there, hide in the mountains and teleport the rest in; in other words more days of flying with some up-armored git on my back (and I say that with the utmost respect). The plan eventually worked, with only one teleport hiccup. Now we sit, watching and planning our attack. All but one tribe consists of not but young adolescents attempting to gain some feel of glory from a foolish war. The last tribe on the other hand had more adults as well as at least one elder.
Sheldor and I took turns flying about as crows trying to find the best means of surreptitious entrance. A chasm ran along one side of the fortress, possibly providing ingress via caves. Indeed there were two caves in the rock-face, neither proved to be inviting. One housed at least three wyverns, amazingly they seemed fairly keen on eating a single inquisitive crow, I was luckily faster on the wing then they were and escaped with my feathers intact. In my short time in the cave I noticed no means of venturing further inland. The second cave was crawling with vermin of every sort, any crawly creature as ever skittered into your nightmares resided in that cave… as well as their masters. At least two of the blasted monstrosities, spider-like creatures with multiple cavities in their spiny structures spewing forth crawling filth, one could distinguish the creatures from the rest of the cave when they sat still, and they had the ability to launch a net-like web substance that I barely dodged on my flight out of the accursed area.
Reporting my findings it was decided I should investigate the fortress itself. A massive pit in the center of the encampment demanded the most attention. Within I found the entrance to yet another cave system. This one resided in by giants, a foe I am at least familiar with. The outer walls held small alcoves with six dire bears resting within. The ground was covered in the carcasses of beast and man alike, large mastodons, at least four dragons, wyverns and many other indistinguishable shapes. The swarms of crow and vulture alike gave me all the cover that was needed. The elder from the “main” camp was down here. Her brow deep in thought, can’t explain why but I got the feeling she was not fond of the goings on of late. Upon voicing my discoveries with the group they agreed it would be best to attempt to contact the elder.
Zandu wanted to keep an eye on us as when we made contact, this way any questions the group may have could be relayed through me. Sheldor and I went in figuring if anything went wrong we should be able to get out without too much trouble. We found her in a shrine that made my feathers stand on end. The walls adorned with images of giants stomping on dwarves and the like. Well as we entered (in crow form) the images appeared to shift and move, we were able to shrug off a sense of paralytic terror. She became aware of a presence in the room, she said something to the lines of “so-in-so be calm it is only birds.” After that short encounter we left that room and waited for her to come back to her room. Again she spotted us, mentioned we were inquisitive and threw some of her food towards us. I motioned for Sheldor to head back so Zandu could begin his spell. I stayed keeping an eye on her, hoping she would be here for some time. She continued to lure me closer with food until I was on the table within arm’s reach. I acted as much a bird as I could and for the most part I believe it was successful. At least until Zandu contacted me with the spells success. Apparently his talking to me is an audible thing as she immediately looked up went to the corridor, looked around again, not satisfied what she saw/failed to see, she came back, leaned in really close and asked me what I was. Past the part of no return I replied with an insinuating question about her outlook on the army’s plan. At first she was taken aback, I suppose a talking crow can have that effect even if one expects it, then declared she had asked me first. Not wanting to give out too much information I said simply that I was an interested party. Again she studied me, mentioned she had a place safe for us to talk and took me to the shrine. Again the walls moved and she calmed the restless spirit. After a short discourse she showed us the best way to reach our goal quietly. Hoping we could go about our business as deftly as possible, with as few casualties as possible. It would appear our quarry had been at one time cast out of her tribe but then came back changed in some way, wielding ancient magic. He slaughtered her husband (the disturbed spirit of the shrine) and took over the tribe, gathering those he can to take the lowlands back from the humanoid races. We agreed to meet back there to begin our assault as it would be the quietest entry point.
At dusk we went in. Sheldor and I flew in, the others teleported, no errors. With her blessing we began our trek, sneaking past the first four giants only to come face to face with a rabid kobald in the next room. She proved to be quite the foe, hit hard and hard to hit. She danced around us deftly piercing armor and flesh alike with a short spear. It took a majority of us to surround and ultimately fell her. We are about to continue to the room with the redcaps. All’s to hoping we fare better against those vile creatures.
Rikert Krupt – Paladin of Iomedae
After the long planning session, where we considered our means of entering the underground caves without being seen, the druids and Xandu made contact with the female giant elder.
Using magical scrying as a way to communicate with her, Xandu (and Haytham in crow form) told her of our plan to kill Mokmurian which should lead to the dissolution of the giant army and their plans to march on the human kingdoms.
Conna (the elder giantess) was receptive to the idea, and has no love or loyalty to Mokmurian because he killed her husband and has taken power over all of the tribes who have lived peacefully in the past.
Following their conversation, we made plans to teleport into the shrine in the caverns where Conna would give us more information. The group teleported in two groups, and both successfully reached the target area. Conna then drew a map showing the best path to Mokmurian, and warned us of some potential dangers along the way.
We set off as quietly as possible. We used no obvious lighting to guide our way, so myself and a few of the others had to rely on our friends who could see to lead us through the dark. We encountered a small group of giants in a kitchen-type area, and were able to sneak past them using magical misdirection provided by Moxie to keep the giant's attention while we moved down the next corridor.
The room at the end of the corridor held a small, crazed, lizard-like creature that immediately attacked the first members of our party to enter the area. Despite its tiny size, the creature proved to be a greater threat than we thought possible as it dropped Flak in a few rounds of combat, and then delivered brutal wounds to several others, including myself.
Iomedae's healing kept me in the fight, and I was finally able to force my way to the front of the combat and help kill the crazed foe.
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Last night the group continued on past Enga's cave and pushed towards the tunnel leading to the library and eventually Mokmurian.
While certain members stealthily scouted ahead the rest trailed at 60 ft. or so. I allowed for those familiar with leathercrafting and Moxie to recognize the smell that came up from the tannery where the ogres worked but being studious and good little heroes they avoided this cave. The passed by the small tunnel that led to the forge where I gave the description that a small amount of light (from the forge that was not being used since it was night) and the sounds of low talking from the giants that were posted in that room.
I filled the barracks with eight giants scattered about the room sleeping and snoring. Davock wanted to start slitting throats but he moved past them. I had everyone roll a stealth check and took the lowest roll as my DC for the sleeping giants to hear the party moving past. This was a 6 from Flak the monk. Even the paladin was quieter in full plate. I added 10 to the difficulty because they were sleeping, in a "safe" area and because of the snoring. So of course my giants rolled a 6 which added to their Perception was no where close to what they needed to wake up. I only had them make one roll for stealth because I didn't want the game to bog down with the entire party testing every 20 ft. so they could move as a group. One roll and a narrative gave them the tension the scene should portray.
Davok and Moxie though then entered into the tunnel area with the animal pelts lining the walls. Thinking they were past the immediate dangers, Moxie retrieved her small light source and continued on. This allowed for the one troll on guard to notice them, even though they were whisper silent.
I had made both of the trolls advanced and gave them max health for the encounter and in the end it worked out pretty good. They gave as good as they got before being brought low. Because of their close location to the sleeping giants I made it easy on myself and just rolled a d20 to determine if they would hear the fight through their snoring and the heavy animal pelts covering the murder holes. If I rolled a 20, a couple giants would see what was going on. Instead I rolled a 19, two rounds in a row. The first 19 resulted in the giant yelling down there to keep the racket down, the second 19 brought a warning that they would come down and teach you two (the trolls) some respect. Xandu understanding giant knew what was said and cast a Silent spell in between the two rooms to hopefully guarantee their safety.
After that combat I advanced their characters to 11th level and next week they begin entering into the library complex.
I'm surprised that everyone (who doesn't have it innately) doesn't have Goggles of Dark Vision! ^^;;
That has to be the most hilarious encounter with the giants ever. I so want to use that when my group eventually gets that far. Probably won't be for months (we're not even up to Xanesha yet) but I will hopefully remember! :)
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Action report, 22 Kuthona (about 15 minutes later), Simon Roque reporting
1) Took stock and consulted the map after defeating the demon kobold from hell. Narrow passage to the southwest led to the redcaps that the giant elder had mentioned, but it would have been out of our way to deal with them. A wider passage to the east led to a smelly area, and then to an apparent bunkroom. Who in their right mind puts a bunkroom right next to something that foul? We managed to sneak through without incident, though how a barefoot guy in a sackcloth robe can be louder than two guys in plate armor I have yet to determine.
2) We had doused all lights before leaving the kobold chamber, and Davok and Moxie were leading the pack. Haytham (in rat form) and I followed about sixty feet back, with Xandu clutching my left elbow and Rickert hanging onto my pack (both blind in the total darkness) with Sheldor and Flak (who can see in the dark) bringing up the rear. As we neared the end of the room of sleeping giants (Davok’s self control in that situation was nothing short of remarkable), there was a muffled cry from out front (Moxie and Davok were around a corner from us) and Haytham squeaked that they had found something. Not being completely stupid, we continued to sneak forward around the corner. As we came in view of a weak light that Moxie was carrying, Xandu did what he does and he and I were suddenly standing next to her and Davok. We were now in a corridor about twenty feet wide lined with various skins and furs, and the next instant I was being stabbed through those skins by an extremely large ranseur! It quickly became apparent that there were creatures stabbing at us through murder holes in the walls, completely out of our reach. Davok stepped up and began firing through one of the holes in the right-hand wall (and was taking far worse than he gave); Xandu stepped up behind him to heal him (and got stabbed for his trouble as well), and I thought it best to hustle on down the hall in an attempt to get out of range (no luck, I got stabbed again too. Ouch!).
3) Farther down the passage, I could see a branch on the right-hand side which I hoped would bring me into range of the attacker that was engaging Davok and Xandu (and would incidentally move me out of range of whatever was stabbing me), so I headed in that direction. Rounding a corner, I came face to face with the biggest troll I have ever seen; and it was wearing full armor! I was hurt badly, and knew that Davok had to be nearly dead, and I was wondering if I was looking my own death in the face when the troll did something incredibly stupid: it dropped its ranseur and charged me, engaging with teeth and claws! I very nearly laughed in its ugly face! Xandu did his healing thing, and I engaged with sword and shield, forcing the monster back. Shortly, Davok rounded the corner behind me and started firing into the troll; Moxie got into the act too, having somehow snuck around into a flanking position! Davok’s arrows were hitting like ballista bolts, and the three of us made short work of the creature. It took us a moment to figure out how to burn the body (Moxie pulled out a wand and said she would take care of it), and I moved across the hall to assist in the fight against the troll on that side.
4) The troll on the left was being grappled by Verthfjolnir (and was being maniacally pummeled by Flak while it was helpless) with Sheldor and Rickert stabbing at it as well. I was a little surprised that it was taking them so long to kill it. Meanwhile, Xandu was calling me back into the main hall; I was afraid that we were about to be charged by the recently sleeping giants we had snuck past, but it turned out that Xandu had cast another spell of silence to cover the noise of battle. I have to give him credit, he’s really coming along well; not once has he run out in front of the battle since our little talk on Hook mountain, and he’s always got the spell we need without having to be asked. He and all the rest are developing into an effective team. I just hope it’s enough to beat Mocmurian, and whoever’s using him as a sock-puppet, this “Karzoug” guy.
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Butt to the head!
It was decided to avoid the redcaps if possible in the hope of conserving our strength for our intended target. We skulked from the room of the late insane female kobold assassin avoiding the section of the map provided marked “redcaps”. Duh’rock and I lead the way by a putrid stinky pit, which reminded me of the intense aroma that was common from the Sandpoint Tannery…yick! Then past a modestly lit room with giants conversing in a low casual voice which led to a bunk house where a worrisome number of giants lay sleeping. Duh’rock and I managed the crossing well and waited but briefly to ensure the troupe had started through the room before advancing down a hall whose walls were draped with furs. With no lingering light from any direction and assuming the furs to cloak us from view I produced a torch stone to provide a small amount of light to ascertain our location and situation. This was a poor choice on my behalf as it allowed our discovery. We heard a guttural call followed by an immediate attack on Duh’rock by an enormous pole arm doing him no kindness. He rushed to the wall where the attack had originated, threw back the pelt and tried to engage with his bow, only to be ravaged again by the pole arm. Meanwhile Brisket and Xandu arrived at my side in a wave of magical flare. I in turn resigned from sight after avoiding an attack from the opposite wall and advanced to Duh’rocks aid. Finding the wall to have carved arrow slits too narrow for me to slink through I followed Brisket’s lead around a corner to see if it led to our assailant.
Butt to the head!
I, curse my short legs, was third to the room following Duh’rock. Still clinging to the veil of the unseen, I crept to this armored trolls backside and leveled my still silenced musket at his upper back. POOF! A flash and puff of smoke engulfed him as he arched in a grunt of pain. Then he bit me despite my attempt to dodge from his snapping maw. Brisket was slashing at it, Duh’rock was piercing it, I had shot it and still it lashed out with claws and teeth! At its return attempt at a second bite, I braced myself producing the steel butt-strap on the end of the stock, stroked the war troll in the face and watched the eyes rollback in their sockets at the crunch of the impact sending the beast to the floor…HUZZAH!
Brisket and Duh’rock ran to the sounds of combat. Xandu arrived offering to light the troll in divine fire. I preferred arcane fire summoned from a wand, and pleaded he save his fare for our larger concern. He acquiesced and I activated the wand scorching the troll carcass with a brilliant ray of light. Happily Xandu found the brute’s armor, weapon and a gauntlet in his pouch to be magical in nature…HUZZAH! The gauntlet was offered to the fringe lunatic Flak who has finally lost his mind. Who’d a thunk someone with a life time of monastic training would break at first contact in the real world. Odd indeed!! Anyway, the troupe regrouped quickly, healed up and made ready for a big fight!
And no one as yet has addressed my concern for an exit strategy!!!!!
Once the vile Kobald was dealt with we continued down the main passage. Davok took the lead with Moxie to make sure we didn’t run headlong into anything we should be avoiding. The next chamber held many passages with possible foes; however we were able to make it across without alerting any of them.
The next challenge was sneaking past many sleeping giants. Dear gods I was afraid the fighters in all their armor would surely wake the dead, but was pleasantly surprised that we made it through with no major incidents. Davok and Moxie hit the next encounter a little unexpectedly. Trolls hiding in the walls of a great hallway with dire bear furs lining the walls ambushed the duo striking Davok fiercely with some kind of nasty oversized pole-arm. I scurried as fast my little rat paws allowed, found a way into the room with one of the trolls and figured Vethrfolnir could probably help me out a bit here. When the troll’s attention was elsewhere I brought Verth from his rest and cast a spell to make his strikes more potent. The troll proved a fierce opponent as Verth took a lot of strikes getting him to the ground and it wasn’t till Flack joined the grapple that they were able to pin the troll down so we could burn the rest of him away.
Our map shows no further into the caves so from now on we’re on our own. I healed Vethrfolnir up and returned him to his stone form to keep him close. I pray there isn’t much more to deal with; our foes have been few but strong and ready for violent action.
Rikert Krupt – Paladin of Iomedae
The next step of our journey into the caves began again in the dark. I followed closely behind Simon with my hand on his shoulder so I knew when to stop, and was close enough for him to whisper instructions if we came across something unusual.
We moved as quietly as possible, passing several areas, including one where giants were sleeping. My plate armor is good at keeping me safe, but creates a challenge for me when trying to move quietly. I managed to take my time and passed through the area without alarming the giants.
As I exited the room with the giants, the party seemed to move forward quickly and I heard the sounds of battle beginning in the hallway ahead. I had to move carefully for a little longer before I could charge ahead and join them. I didn't want to be responsible for waking the sleepers and trapping us between two groups of enemies.
I reached the spot illuminated by dim torchlight in the hallway ahead, and heard the sounds of battle that were somewhat muffled by thick animal pelts hanging on the walls. The battle was taking place in rooms to either side, hidden by the pelts. I chose the room on my left, and entered to find several allies engaged with a large, armored troll. I pushed my way forward, and joined the attack. Within a short time, we dropped the creature and applied the necessary fire to keep it from regenerating and coming back to life.
We rested briefly and bandaged the wounded before preparing to move farther into the caves. We've reached the end of our map provided by Conna, so now we have to proceed even more cautiously than before. Mokmurian lies somewhere ahead!
Ack! I knew I forgot something.
So last week the army entered into the library level to begin their hunt of Mokmurian.
It began with a few technical errors on my part as I forgot to output the Runeslave Hill Giant and discovering that my newly rebuilt laptop was missing Acrobat to read the PDF, and no internet as the wireless router was no longer working. So I winged it and using my cell phone and the d20pfsrd site was able to get the stats to, but not the special abilities of the RSHG. I altered the fight by just using two of the giants instead of one, at max health.
As it turned out, almost everyone failed their Fort save and were affected by Reduce Person and so I have an army of littleings running around. I think it was just the paladin and moxie that made their saves. Might have been a few others.
They eventually wore down the giants and made their way into the room with the stone golem and the fight could have been better on my end. I was so flustered by the missing info on the earlier fight that I was missing multiple things and having to retro them into the fight (aka - the cauldron which I also forgot to print out). Thankfully it was also online so I could get the stats.
After there they made their way into the Gallery where I altered the encounter to an advanced and max health headless lord (of which I once again realized I forgot to output the rules for the Runechill Axes) and 4 max health zombie hill giants. I also increased the number of suits of armor to 12 suits, of which only 5 were in the heavy armors as described in the encounter. This made for three rows of large frozen meat popsicles. I then had the party move into the room and then randomly rolled which suits were the zombies. The Headless Lord was the closest to the exit where the tunnel was 10 ft. wide. As Haythem was investigating one of the bodies to see if he could determine anything about their death or how long they were there its eyes bolted open and attacked. Turned out one of the random rolls was the one someone was actively looking at.
Their low ACs meant the combat went relatively quickly, the fear effect from the Headless Lord was no where near threatening and so he just diced and sliced into the group. The zombies got a couple of good hits in but in the end, the fight went quick.
Hopefully I will be more prepared for our Tues. game this week and I will remember to have this post updated after the session. /sigh
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Action report, 22 Kuthona (about an hour later), Simon Roque reporting
1) We reassembled in the main corridor, doused the lights, and headed on along a sloping corridor that corkscrewed deeper into the earth. The walls gradually changed from roughhewn stone to a type of stonework that resembled what Xandu had shown me beneath Sandpoint and had claimed was Thassilonian. Everywhere else we’ve been has been linked to that ancient empire in some way, and if one of the old Runelords is somehow using Mocmurian as a sock puppet, this seemed a fitting place for it.
2) As the corridor leveled out, it split into branches. The eastward branch was blocked with rubble a short distance along, while the southern branch seemed to open into a dimly lit chamber. As Davok and Moxie stepped across the threshold, Davok quickly shrank down to about Moxie’s size. As we moved into the room, some of us were affected by the shrinking magic and other’s proved immune. I found myself short as well, and joked to Moxie that it was a sign from the gods that the time was right that we should be “together.” Her response was quite unladylike. The walls of the room were disconcertingly warping in the peripheral vision, making some of the group nauseous as well, which made the fight with the two occupying distorted giants more difficult than it might otherwise have been. Still, we were able to dispatch them in short order, and move on to a pair of double doors in the southern wall. Lynn (also short now) claimed that we were affected by a “mass reduce person” spell, and that it should wear off shortly. Deciding not to wait, we pressed on.
3) The next room held a truly enormous cauldron, and a stone golem. The cauldron was emitting fumes that made some of the group gag and choke, groping blindly about. I was not affected, nor were the druids, Flak, Davok and Rikert. We went to work surrounding the golem, and destroyed it in short order (it didn’t hit as hard as the giants, though it was harder to hurt). Credit where credit is due, Rikert did most of the damage to the thing.
4) We assisted our choking comrades to a corridor on the east side of the room, and entered another chamber; this one filled with ranks of frozen giants in armor, as though on review. We all knew it was a trap, but moved in anyway. Sure enough, several of them animated when we came into range, and we went to work. Moxie and Davok took the brunt of the damage, since the zombie they were fighting wielded magical axes of some sort. Everyone accounted for themselves well, and the fight again didn’t take long. I hope that we get to Mocmurian soon, these minions seem designed to sap us of our healing magic more than to kill us outright, and I fear that when we reach the enemy, we will not have enough to finish the task.
We scouted for a while and with the druids turning into crows and such we decided to try to make contact with the elder. I wasn’t involved just an observer, but apparently we made contact and she wasn’t behind Mocmurian’s plan and agreed to speak with us. It turned out that we basically agreed to not kill any more giants than we had to, while we tried to take out Mocmurian.
Our next task involved us finding a way to sneak everyone in. The only way to do it involved me reading a teleport scroll. This meant that I had to see the place I was going. I cast fly, and went invisible and followed Haythem, as a crow, into the cave. Nobody told me about the problems with the room. Next thing I know, I’m paralyzed and all I see is a giant foot stomping on me. Next thing I know, Haythem has brought me back from unconsciousness and near death. I study the room while I’m still unable to move. As soon as I’m able, we fly out again.
The group sees to my wounds and we do the teleport. I was distracted as I didn’t want to return and nearly didn’t make it to the room, but my god was with me and we arrived safely. We got the map and started our journey down.
We crept past a dining area and a couple giants, then ran into a some sort of evil, hopped up, lizard type creature. That was an ugly fight with our newest half orc member getting severely wounded before we were able to take her down.
Now the next few things that happened, I wasn’t paying any attention. I missed the barracks and the trolls. (player went to Colorado Springs and played with wolves)
Traveling in the dark is tough. I’m going to have to invest in something that allows me to see in complete darkness. Our sneaky members found a room with a couple giants in it and the room was odd also, but I didn’t know that until we could see it. Attacks started coming from the giants and Moxie lit a light. The fight continued, I tried to help from outside but the giant was immune to my spell. We did manage to finish them off and as we moved through the room many of our party was reduced in size including myself. I know it’s not permanent, but I don’t know how long it will last.
We entered into another room with what appeared to be frozen undead ogres and giants. We progressed so far and several of them attacked. There was a headless fighter that seemed to be in charge, and he was bad, using two hatchets. We were victorious, but it wasn’t easy and we continue down toward the library.
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Action report, 22 Kuthona (about an hour later), Simon Roque reporting..using Mocmurian as a sock puppet...
tee hee hee hee hee hee
I found myself short as well, and joked to Moxie that it was a sign from the gods that the time was right that we should be “together.” Her response was quite unladylike.
SOOOOO cannot wait to see HER writeup of this! :-P
I followed quietly behind Simon as he led me on a path that seemed to wind deeper into the earth. In the total darkness, I had to focus on the sounds and instructions from others as they guided us to our unseen goal.
After a time, the floor of the passage seemed smoother, and the others who could see noted that we were entering an area where the stone had been worked.
Not long after the change in our surroundings, we heard the sound of battle ahead of us and light was once again visible as we used our magical torches and stones so all of us could see.
Just ahead of me, a doorway led into a room where the sounds of battle could be heard. I moved to join my friends, just in time to see several of them shrink to a size near that of Moxie. I don't know what magic caused this, but I knew I had to help them regardless of the risk to myself. I whispered a quick prayer for Iomedae to protect me and moved forward into the room.
A brief, tingling chill swept over me as I entered the doorway, but Iomedae's power kept me safe from the enemy's magic and I moved unhindered into the room. The walls seemed to shift and make it hard to focus, but the immediate concern was two large, bloated giants that we're engaged with the party. I moved to help in the combat, and we quickly cut them down. We found that they both had the Sihedron rune carved into their flesh.
It seems that most of the party were affected by the spell, and I found myself one of the few who had not been shrunk upon entering the doorway. Lynn assured everyone that the effect would pass with time, so we moved into the next room.
Here, we found a colossal iron cauldron that was taller than a man. From behind it came a stone creature brought to life by magic. This guardian moved to attack the party, shrugging off many of the attacks against it like a man would ignore bugs. I knew that I needed to close quickly with the creature and strike hard and sure to destroy it. After a few rounds of combat, the creature lay broken in a pile of rubble, its supernatural life essence gone.
We continued on to the next area in search of Mokmurian, healing our wounds as we moved.
The next room was unnaturally cold, and held the frozen corpses of several giants. We soon learned that several of these were in fact, enormous undead creatures led by a headless body that carried two glowing axes. The creatures were slow, and proved little challenge as we cut them down. The only one that was a problem was the headless lord. It took several of us working together to drop it into multiple pieces on the floor.
Once again, we bandaged the wounds of those who needed it, and prepared to move on through this path that will hopefully lead us to Mokmurian.
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Action report, 22 Kuthona (about three minutes later), Simon Roque reporting:
1) We took a few moments to heal some wounds (Moxie and Davok had fought the headless thing and were in bad shape), and went east along the wider of two corridors. No more than fifty feet along, some…THING moved out of the stone wall to our right and rear; and when I say “moved” out of the stone, I don’t mean “burrowed” or “dug” or “smashed through,” I mean it moved through the stone the way we move through air. It appeared, and its swollen belly gaped open and spouted…lava…on several of us. Up until now, the worst I’ve ever been hurt was when the dragon hauled my ashes back in Sandpoint; this lava hurt way worse than that. After that it hit me with claws, and then bit me with that gaping maw in its belly; which seemed to intentionally grind away at my nice new armor, and that REALLY pissed me off. We all went to work as well as we could (the thing seemed to have a bit of a hard-on for me for some reason) and just as it seemed we might be doing some damage, Lynn and I found ourselves walled off from the others. I was really hurt bad, Xandu seemed to be out of healing bursts, Rikert was well back from the fight inspecting the straightness of his sword or something, and I was starting to get a bit anxious when Lynn said, “Don’t worry, I’ve got this. Which way do you want to go?” At that point, “anywhere but here” was a perfectly fine option, but I really hate to pay for the same real estate twice, so as I drank a healing potion I hooked my thumb in the direction we’d been headed. “That way would be great,” I said, and then we were back in the corridor near Xandu and some sort of column of light (he said it would heal us if we stood in it for a moment). I took advantage of that, just as the thing appeared again, this time from the wall to our left, and blorted more lava on us. Not as bad as the first time, thank the gods, or I would have gone to join them. Everyone who could tore into the monster again, and it fell out of the wall as an empty suit of armor just as Rikert came pounding up the hall brandishing his (now glowing with, I can only assume, “holy light”) sword. I really must find the opportunity to speak to that boy about timing.
2) I stood next to Xandu and soaked up the healing light for a good half-minute while the others moved on down the corridor, and into a bigger hallway it emptied into. Flak was running around in his clogs yelling about “no doorknob” (I swear could hear Moxie’s eyes rolling 80’ away), and Lynn was mumbling about calming rituals engraved in the walls, but everyone seemed to be observing the “buddy system” I’d harped on for weeks. By the time Xandu and I had rejoined the group, they had opened a new door (not the big knobless one that had confused Flak), reformed the line, and were fighting some very creepy floating dogs. Flak had thoughtfully grappled one, and I got a good swing in on it just before Rikert (early to the party for once) put an end to it. I stepped up to the one Haytham (I guess it was Haytham, who else of us would turn into a wolf that big? Not Sheldor, as that would require being useful) was fighting, and put the -Fu down on it. Not quite enough to kill it, but it and the one chomping at Davok vanished or teleported away.
3) The room we were in was kind of odd; no corners anywhere, and only one other exit through a pair of double doors. Flak and Rikert went through first, and disappeared into a fog bank just inside (uh-oh, we've been here before. Those Anais-hags were a stone biatch to fight in fog). Lynn and I were next, followed by Xandu and Haytham, with Moxie and Davok hanging back for once (I’d no idea where Sheldor had got to. Maybe ate up by a floating dog). I drank an Enlarge potion to get back to normal size, and Haytham conjured up a howling wind that nearly took us off our feet but blew the fog away in a couple of seconds. BIG room, ceiling lost in shadows, 10’ columns and a stage at the far end. On the stage was about the biggest giant I’ve ever seen. Rikert and Flak were well ahead of the rest of us, when we were engulfed in choking green fumes. Luckily, Haytham had kept the wind going, and it quickly blew away but damn that was awful. I moved up to Rikert’s left to form the line, Lynn came up to just behind my left shoulder, and the ranged guys went to work. I saw hits from both Moxie and Davok, as well as a lightning bolt from Lynn (none of it seemed to faze him much; I guess this is Mocmurian), and then Haytham did a trick we haven’t seen, conjuring up some kind of hot sandstorm that covered that end of the room. I think that got the bad-guy’s attention, as he didn’t stay there long; he walked right off the stage (40’ up in the air, dammit!) and moved toward our right flank…
We gathered up again and went n down the passage. We were attacked again by some sort of fire creature. It came out of the wall, literally and vomited fire. We continued fighting with it going in and out of the walls and attacking until we finally destroyed it. We lost some armor but were basically intact. Once some healing was done, we went down the hallway until we came to a hallway with Thasilonean runes written all over. The runes were a repeated spell to offer calming affects if allowed. There was a mirrored door at the end which after studying revealed that it was infused with a summoning spell of greater strength.
At the other end of the hallway, the group found a room which had been smoothed out and rounded corners. Inside they found some sort of magical hounds. Several of the party engaged in melee and I followed eventually. I shut the door as I entered. The hounds blinked out of sight and we spent a bit looking for them before going to the other doors in the room.
We went through and found Mocmurian, finally. Now the fight is on. After a few quick salvos, I’ve learned that he has lightning protection of some sort and no apparent spell resistance. He can be damaged and the druid threw a spell I hadn’t seen. We’ll see how it goes, I’ve got a couple things to try.
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HAH!! Welcome to my world!
As I clung to Duh’rocks cloak as descended into darkness. As the passage leveled out I heard someone in the troupe comment that the passage looked as though the area we were in was worked to a degree similar to the Thessalonian ruins we had encountered before. From the darkness appeared the faintest of light from an opening to a camber ahead. Not from a single source emanating out so much as the chamber walls were reflecting a meager aura of some sort. Duh’rock and I entered the room at which point he shrank to my size…ODD GOBLINS!! The troupe gave audible questioning grunts of amazement as he and I scattered to different areas of the room. Suddenly all was surreal! The rooms dimensions elongated in the periphery of our vision, very disconcerting, but manageable. Then came the rune marked lumbering behemoths, swinging knotted clubs…proficiently! I shot the one interested in me and moved to the advance of the troupe. The brute ravaged me with three successive thumps one of which spun me in a complete circle. As I attempted to reload I was wholly entertained at the shrinking of the troupe except for good Rikert! I was now among equals so to speak watching as the change in dynamics of effectiveness set in…(giggle!) “NOT SO FUNNY NOW IS IT LONGSHANX!!” This melee was protracted by the sudden onset of vertigo apparently caused by the oddity of the room. It took a bit longer than expected and sapped a good portion of Xandu’s healing surges. But in the end the entire wee troupe emerged victorious and vertical.
No sooner than combat had subsided than the realization of size came to full fruition! As if on cue each of my heathen troupe in turn waxed poetic on the now obvious lifting of the size restriction formerly prohibiting a union between them and myself. There was no wooing, no romance, OH NOOOOO!!! Just innuendo, vulgarity, winks, nods, gestures, and the usual fare I have come to expect from this troupe of amoral miscreants!! Brisket, as he is accustomed to do, took great satisfaction in the potential opportunity that presented itself inquiring as to the time (NOW), location (HERE), offering me the choice of wall or floor. At which I advanced offering the business ends of “UTHER” and “ANNIE”, looking about the troupe and saying for all to hear with my best crazy…”WOW, I got more respect from these two devilish oafs than you snollygosters. Let me be clear one FINAL time! I would take on the entire male litter of “Kittens” before bedding ANY of you foul excuses for a suitor. Just because we have a matched set of puzzle pieces does not EVER….EVER mean mine will find a match with any of you rump-bumpers! Stick to your whores and hero-worshipers….I SLEEP ALONE….SAVVY!” After the mean mugging was over, I searched our former assailants and we continued on.
Continuing in awkward silence down a dark hall to another chamber with a reddish glow I noticed the difference in the size of the troupe from the subtle and not so subtle bits of noise they make. Standing shoulder to shoulder and eye to eye is a discomforting change which I find difficult to adjust too! I let others advance in this room before hazarding this new danger and I was not disappointed in my decision. This room contained an enormous cauldron spewing some foul steaminess which cascaded down its sides and wafted a fumie haze about its circumference. As the troupe entered the room an enormous animate stone statue ravaged the troupe. I resigned from sight and ventured down the wall which led straight into the exit of this room. It was my intent to attack from stealth behind this stone “golem” and gain advantage with precision strikes from a wand of acid arrows. Alas, we all know the outcome of the best laid plans! As I crept by the cauldron I was overcome by the noxious fumes which expelled the contents of my stummy. After the complete evacuation garnered no attention I continued down the wall slowly as the fumes disoriented me, requiring me to lean into the wall for stability. After reaching the exit and clear of the vapors I sat in time to watch the troupe cut the “golem” down. We spent some time healing and retrieving our good countenance as the cauldrons affects wore off.
This hallway led to a dark chamber requiring my torch stone (lesson learned-a new set of goggles is in order!). This chamber was cold and lined with three rows of frozen giants. We ascertained one of the rows obscured the exit to the room. Duh’rock and I led the way between two of the rows. As the troupe packed in the row, Haybail decided to poke about and inspect one of the frozen meatsicles in the center of the row. At which point a third of them came to life and began to wail freely amongst us. There we stood all but encircled attempting to burst through to the exit. A headless variety ravaged Duh’rock and me. We were determined and stood our ground as the rest of the troupe occupied our flanks. Duh’rock performed savagely against the headless beast as it produced two icy cold axes! As the combat unfolded he struck me but good! The axe blow having left a chill in my bones, I took aim and loosed ”Annie’s” furry and laid two blows with the shoulder stock. The first blow snapped its leg below the knee, sending it to the floor. The second blow was a grievous blow mid-spine ending its existence.
Once again we took a moment to recuperate and let Xandu tend to our wounds. He vexes me, tender and compassionate in the healing arts, and a talented musician. UGH!! We set out down this hall to find yet another wildly frightful creature! Some molten metal spitting, fire wielding, walking stove with claws and teeth!!! EGADS!! And of course, wouldn’t you know it can walk through the stone at will as if the walls that contain the troupe did not exist! This creature was heinous!! To my good fortune it had entered the hall just before me as spewed its molten vomit on the troupe ahead of me. I retired from its immediate area and scored a hit with “Annie” and vaulted past its position once it had ravaged the troupe. Thinking the beast had fled I lingered too long only to have it appear near me but luckily spared from a second gout of molten spewage. However my armor was all but rent to shreds by a metallic spike toothed bite, needless to say the armor was not the only thing mauled!! WOOUCH!! Retiring a second time I punched another hole in the mobile cooker with a solid shot, and again he ducked into the stone. I was fortunate as Xandu had placed a pillar of healing energy in the corridor which I took advantage of before coming to the conclusion my efforts would be better employed in an exploration of the now newly illuminated end of the corridor as everyone else made better use of the brief healing light. My wounds were not nearly as grievous as the others. I had thus far avoided the molten mass evacuations and as the largest of my metallic possessions had been obliterated along with other things I am still quite fond of, I was doubly enthusiastic to exit this moths flame and seclude myself from yet another barrage. Mission accomplished! No sooner than I had made the intersection of the new hall way and activated one of the few remaining “Lucien” sun rods (The fancy schmancy high coin kind!) and tossed it across the hall, the beast returned to the a troupe still milling around the healing light. This time the struggle ended quickly with the beast clattering to the floor.
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To kill a Mocmurian
As the rest of the troupe soaked the last bits of healing energy from Xandu’s column….(** BLUSH**)….Apologies, please excuse the phraseology!!....Ahem… I ventured left down the corridor cautiously as the walls seemed to be inscribed with ancient runes. No sooner than I reached an enormous sihedron marked metal door in complete quietude, then Fluke clacked up to a skid in his wooden…shoes(?) and began inspecting it with his hand, nose, cheeks and tongue. Incensed I wheeled and sped back after the troupe who had taken the other direction except for Lynn who was deciphering the runes. I left the Fluke in his capable hands, (giggle!) asked him to retrieve the sun rod and rejoined the rest of the troupe. I was followed by Xandu and Brisket who had stayed to heal until the expiration of the spell. At the end of the corridor we found an open door with Duh’rock, Hayfevor, and…RIKERT! Rikert was in the front rank! Oh joyful day! As Xandu, Brisket and I stood in shock, stupefied by the sight, those inside the room were assailed by odd looking dog creatures. Lynn would not have approved!!! An arcane affect swirled in a portion of the room and snow was seen falling and swirling about. I readied “Annie” from the hallway as a struggle ensued. Then who should appear but….Fluke! He ran and skipped one legged turning the corner into the room clacking his way into the fight. At which point he clutched one of the dogs in some awkward limb lock that somehow…works on floating four legged dog creatures! So I shot it! I never got another opportunity at a second shot as that one was laid low but those inside the room said they hadn’t successfully killed the lot. I approached the next portal and was about to check it for malignant intent when Fluke walked up and opened the doors!Tap...tap...tap...From this point on he is now in charge of evaluating, unlocking and making entry at every door we come to, no exceptions!
A great fog bank loomed just inside the doors obscuring sight into the chamber beyond. Hayfevor summoned a gale force wind dispersing the fog exposing an enormously dimensioned columned chamber with a raised area across the room. Upon entry multiple spell affects fired off from the raised portion of the room. One of which was a caustic poisonous gas cloud that was thankfully whisked away by the winds after taking affect for a moment. I scurried to cover at the first column on the left preparing “Annie”, holding her vertically, and reciting a prayer my instructor had taught me to say when the going got tough…”Shelyn, make me fast and accurate!” I prepared for a quick shot from cover. This is the type of shot I had trained so intensely for in our days of scouting in the mountains. Using trees or rocks for cover I worked on my footing and balance as I leaned out to take aim at unsuspecting wildlife and then returned to cover. Never spooked a single critter! Now we will see if it works on the head giant! My first attempt was fruitful but the result was lackluster as it did not prove as affective as normal. EGADS but this one is huge, it should be easy to put the ball in the hole on this one!!! Let us try a different kind of prepared munitions then…
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I'm surprised. Moxie's accounting of the "frivolities" was most... sedate. I was expecting "magnifying glass" references and the like. ^^
Then again, I am evil so....
(You know... it'll likely be a year before you guys finish Runelords. Still, it would be absolutely fascinating to see in the future if you decide to do "Wrath of the Righteous." While I'm sure Moxie's player won't be doing the same character, the troupe will still likely have some most fascinating roleplay and characterization that would be fascinating to watch with that module. ^^)
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Rikert Krupt - Paladin of Iomedae
Our next challenge was soon exposed as a frightful creature that seemed made out of metal and fire appeared from the wall of the passage ahead of my position. I had lagged somewhat behind the group as a result of inspecting my sword for damage following the fight against the stone golem. (player was at a work-related activity and missed the first 30-45 minutes of the game)
Simon bore the brunt of the creature's focus and it damaged his new armor with its relentless, grinding attack.
I called upon Iomedae's blessing to empower my sword and charged down the hall, just in time to see the creature disappear back into the wall. By the time it reappeared farther up the hall, I was once again out of position and could only watch as my companions finally managed to end the threat.
Xandu had summoned a pillar of energy that healed everyone who stood in it or touched it. While Simon and the others who had been injured stood in the healing pillar, myself and several uninjured allies moved up to a large chamber that formed a "T" with our current path. As our light sources illuminated the chamber, we found it to be a colossal hallway with high ceilings that led both directions as far as we could see with the light available. The walls were filled with more Thassalonian writings. Lynn began translating and reading while I moved to the left and found an enormous, mirrored door with the Sihedron symbol etched on its surface. There were no obvious handles, and only a small, Sihedron-shaped opening appeared to be a way to open it. Lacking anything that would work as a key for the unusual lock, I moved back down the hallway to the other end, passing Lynn who was still deciphering the runes on the wall.
Here, we found a doorway that led into a strangely carved chamber that had no obvious corners or sharp edges in its walls. Upon entering, three ghostly hounds appeared in the air in front of us and charged to attack. The hounds unnatural appearance contributed to their horrifying aura, and I whispered a quick prayer to Iomedae to grant us her strength in the face of these supernatural enemies. A quick battle ensued, and we were able to kill one or two of them, and drive the other(s) away. They seemed to disappear into the air, so it was hard to tell what had happened to them.
When the rest of the party joined us, we moved through the chamber and opened a doorway into the next room. This area was filled with a heavy fog that completely blocked our vision past five feet. Flak and I moved forward into the fog, using my sword as a light source, although the fog never thinned until Haytham created a magical wind which blew it away in seconds. As the large room filled with pillars was revealed, we saw a large giant high up on a platform above a set of stairs on the far wall. Mokmurian!
Mokmurian held a blue crystal in one hand, and immediately began casting magic throughout the room. His first attack created a toxic mist back near the entrance of the room that enveloped everyone except for Flak and myself. Luckily, Haytham's windstorm was still blowing, and the toxic gas dissapated soon after it appeared. Its brief existence sickened several of our allies, and I fear it would have been much worse if not for the fortuitous wind. As we formed our combat line near the center of the room, Mokmurian continued to cast spells at our spell casters and other who were firing ranged weapons at him. Our attacks hit him, but most seemed to barely affect him at all.
At this point, he stepped off of the platform and walked out into the air above us, using magic to carry him high above the floor. I braced myself for the coming attack and began another prayer to Iomedae, calling upon her power in a new way that she only recently revealed to me...
You poor dear! Might I suggest a scroll of Terrible Remorse for the lot of them? Or perhaps purchase each of them a scroll of Anthropomorphic Animal and suggest that they have horses, don't they? Of course, with their charm they would probably need Unnatural Lust as well...
Oh, my! I'm afraid that was quite unladylike of me, wasn't it?
I'm reminded somehow of the last D&D 3.5 game with mostly halflings, a gnome, and one human I ran before the group broke up due to a divorce. One player was running a human who was married to a halfling lass. (This is the couple who ended up getting a divorce, mind you.) Actually the group died after I killed the human (-9 hit points, went to -10 before the halfling Paladin could act. That player was b!%#*%#@ at me because I refused to let him Lay on Hands as an Instant or Swift action, after he did a double-move to reach his companion).
There were plenty of "jokes" about that relationship as well. I'm sure the people here can come up with some of them on their own....
Last night the troupe finished up the Mokmurian encounter.
The prior week the group encountered the Forge Fiend which became incredibly hated. Its opening round spit caused 50+ points of damage on a failed save and I did horrible, horrible damage to several members. In the end, even phasing in and out of the walls and attacking did not prevent its death rather quickly. All I had done was make it advanced with max health.
The long room had the group look at but not tamper with the door into the library proper. Only Flakk "knocked" on the door. Since he didn't try and force his way in, there was no encounter.
The hounds went quickly as well. Although I totally cheated by having the dogs move around with teleport on one round. Hooray for reading failure on my part. In the end, I did a little damage but nothing of note. I left the encounter at three hounds with max health only.
The fight with Mokmurian started as listed. Fortunately for the group, Haythem had prepared a Gust of Wind spell which removed the fog bank quickly. I "slowed" its disappearance as Mokmurian cast Solid Fog, but in the end it only affected a few players that had begun poking their heads in the room blindly. The Cloud Kill only had one round of use before the rapidly dying winds removed its presence. Mokmurian for this fight was advanced with max health, so they had a lot of fat to chew through.
The fight really got interesting when Haythem cast a large AoE fire damage spell that caused intense "furnace" like heat on the podium he stood on. The spell also damaged a lot of the treasures in the room. I knocked 1d6x100 gp from the total value of spell components and books that littered the room. I also had every player roll a d20 and the highest roller then made a save for the important piece of paper that contained the map of sandpoint (player handout).
The real fun part was watching a few players faces when he cast his quickened scorching rays and disintegrate in one turn. Player boons for the win as well. I hit Haythem with Disintegrate and he made his save. Which was good because had he failed he would have taken 44 dice of damage as I rolled a 20 to hit him and one of the players made me reroll the attack.
The fight though went fairly quickly once Lynn burned dispell from his spellbook to remove the Electricity resistance he had cast. After having learned from the headless horseman, they loved electricity. Fire Shield also did a fair amount of damage to those that got into melee with him. At one point the fire shield damage (I believe) did just enough to drop Simon to -1, and the subsequent fall would have actually killed him before Rikert realized what he said and used the Paladin spell to transfer the initial damage to himself keeping Simon standing, or flying in this case.
In the end, he ran by casting Dimension Door. The group did a quick scouring for loot and then held up in the small room where the Forge Fiend was listed as being located. After about 15 min or so they heard the arrival of Mokmurian and others. In this case it was Mokmurian, both of the Lamias the group had bypassed from earlier, Conna, and four giants. Since the group was almost out of spells they were hesitant about engaging them but they did.
Mokmurian took the initial brunt and then stepped aside screaming for his help to "Kill them all!" Which was met with Conna (on her turn, which ironically enough was the same initiative as the giants and at the end of the round) saying, "Mokmurian, you would think me a fool to kill the very lowlanders I allowed in to kill you?" This was a fun turn and watching the players faces at this news was priceless. Killing willy nilly isn't always the answer and they were trying to figure out how they were going to kill everyone.
At this moment the new Monk/Barbarian though died. He ran out into the middle of the room and engaged a lamia. FYI, they are mean as hell. I left them as is, no modifiers to their stats as I wanted this part to go quickly. But three attacks with a 15+ for threat and critting once, threatening (but not critting) and then hitting in one round would have killed him, so I allowed him to rage since he said he had forgot. This kept him positive, but a few rounds later when the lamia channeled negative energy hitting everyone (well almost everyone) even with a successful save he went negative which ended the rage and his bonus CON. The group and player will decide if he will come back later on.
I had Conna ask them to remain in the lower levels for a few days while she convinced the tribes to disband and go home. The party agreed and then investigated the library proper. The sad part was, with eight players at the table, no one has Kn. History. So the only thing they learned was the DC 20 Xin Shalast info. Talk of returning with Brodert via Teleport came up but we shelved the idea until we played again. We are taking a break to play our annual halloween Cthulhu game for a few weeks.
After action report, early hours of 23 Kuthona, Simon Roque reporting:
1) Rikert indicated to me that he still had a couple of Protection from Fire potions, and I moved up to him and accepted one, right after Mocmurian singed my beard with some sort of ugly green ray; I tucked the potion away and grabbed my own potion of flight. Most of the group had taken cover behind various pillars (Rikert was sprouting wings, and a “holy light shone ‘round about the jeroboam” or so I should think). Mocmurian had zapped Haytham with that same green beam, and was moving toward the entrance hallway, still thirty feet in the air; he was really too big to fit the opening, but I guess he had a better vantage point there.
2) I saw several of Davok’s arrows sticking out of Mocmurian’s hide as I flew up to him; I think I connected once, but I got swatted with a club for my trouble. I don’t know what he had on that club, but it felt AWFUL, and through the haze of pain I saw several of the giant’s wounds closing up. Rikert flew up alongside me, and he got hit too (this giant is FAST), and Lynn flew up on the right flank. Everyone was in on it now, even Sheldor got a flame strike in; Flak had grown to gorilla size and swarmed up a column, but as he leaped at Mocmurian he seemed to strike some invisible wall in the air, and dropped back to the floor. My own second flurry of blows went better (even though a blast of cold shot through me every time I hit), and I got in a solid shield slam which forced the giant back into the wall and out of control. Everyone was hitting him; Haytham’s lightning was crackling down, Rikert and Lynn slashing and stabbing with swords so bright it hurt to look at. As I raised my sword for what I was sure would be the killing stroke, the bastard blipped out.
3) I suspected that Mocmurian had gone for reinforcements, and that we didn’t have much time. Nevertheless we took a few minutes to heal and make a perfunctory search of the place. The fury of the battle seemed to have destroyed a considerable amount of expensive looking lab equipment, but there was plenty of loot to go around if we happened to get out of this thing alive. We moved back down the corridors the way we’d come, and decided to hole up in a small room with two entrances too narrow for giants. Moxie and Davok were watching the approaches, when we heard voices and the slap of giant feet approaching. I was hoping to catch Mocmurian squeezing through a narrow part of the hall, but Davok started the party right away (I can’t fault him for that. He had a good shot and he took it). I had time to drink another enlarge potion (bringing me back to normal size), and charged around the long way, coming up just out of Mocmurian’s reach; miniature Xandu stepped up beside me, and I growled at him to stay back. Mocmurian, the coward, backpedaled and allowed a lamia to step up, and of course she went all out on Xandu. I waded in, with Davok adding the weight of his arrows from behind.
4) There seemed to be some confusion up front. A number of stone giants had switched sides, and were joining us against Mocmurian and the two lamia! As the biatch I had engaged fell, I saw Flak, sandwiched between Mocmurian and another lamia get pounded to the ground; I don’t think he’ll be getting up from that. The second lamia fell, and Mocmurian pulled out a scroll as he staggered; I couldn’t understand his words at first (I don’t speak giant), but then he began to convulse, and fell to the ground. His eyes glazed and then cleared, and then his dead lips spoke to us in common: “So these are the heroes of the age…” A gloating, overconfident speech from a long-dead sorcerer looking to rise again. Well, I got news for you Karzoug, when we come for you—and we are coming for you—you’re going to die again.