Friday, July 29, 2011

Averlorn Campaign: Return to the Halls of the Blind - Part Two

Recap from 7/15/2011

This is part two of a two part recap and picks up where part one left off.  The stealthy scouting party on the left with the ranger and assassin leading the way had just opened up the door into the fountain hall of Athena within the Halls of the Blind, and managed to surprise a large group of twelve of the goat like demonic Beast Men and six Minotaurs and things were about to get very interesting.  Some of the Beast Men and Minotaurs were actually blindfolded and we presumed that they were indeed blind but that their other senses were heightened to make up for it (they had blind fighting abilities).  We were convinced that there was something in this place that made some of them blind but had yet to ascertain what that was. 

So Evelyn the human assassin waded into the room and headed towards the right to attempt to carve a path to the other group and link up with them.  She successfully assassinated one of the blind goat men on the way and it blinked out of the prime material plane and was transported back to its plane of origin.  Since some of the Beast Men were already blind and she was carrying the dagger with the silence spell cast on it, she automatically succeeded in her stalk and hide roll and had no problem dispatching one of the blind ones with her bow as she waded into the fray.  Taleth also waded into the Fray and headed off to the left to try and draw some of the creatures away from the rest of the party.  Meanwhile, since Ferris couldn’t cast any spells because of the silence spell, he headed back the way they had come to inform the other invisible group at the main entrance that they should move into the fountain room and start the attack from that side as well.  Kalaneikos and Kaira waded into the room after Evelyn and formed a line with their backs to the door while Teth-en-Aire headed deeper into the room surrounded by foes and hacked away with his sword Cold Cleaver.  As he did so, he bellowed “I’m heading for the fountain” as he eyed the magical waters thirstily, even though it was still beyond his reach due to the beastly occupants spread out throughout the room.

Meanwhile, Ferris reached the silent and invisible group of adventurers waiting for the signal and motioned for them to start their attack.  Gradwin dropped his coin of Silence so that he and the others could cast spells and the unseen group slipped in and attacked the unsuspecting creatures from the main entrance side as their attention was directed to the threat to their left.  As they entered the room and attacked, this group became visible (the Invisibility 10’ Radius spell was dispelled) and they formed a line with Cyrcla on the right next to the wall with Lucias to her left and Bellinorn to the left of him as they faced off against their opponents and started hacking away with their swords.  The spellcasters in the rear began to lend their magical assistance to the fray as well and hurled magic missiles and fired arrows into the opposing throng.  Gradwin cast the cleric spell Sticks to Snakes on a handful of sticks he had picked up outside and cast them amongst the hapless creatures and they sprang to life and began to crawl towards our foes and bit some of them with their poisonous fangs.

Meanwhile, Taleth quickly found himself in a fine pickle as about four or so Beast Men and one or two Minotaurs quickly surrounded the ranger and he found himself being attacked from three sides at once.  Quickly seeing the predicament he was in, he withdrew from his attackers around the corner into an alcove and fought with his back to the wall so that he couldn’t be flanked by his foes.  He was still outnumbered three to one and was sorely pressed despite his impressive armored protection.  Back at the door, Teth-en-Aire managed to cast a lightning bolt across the room through the group of monsters that was stacked up against us several layers deep and killed and badly burned a number of them as the acrid smell of burnt ozone filled the dank dungeon air.  Evelyn threw her silenced dagger across the room so that the spellcasters in the first group could cast spells and it landed on the floor next to a door across the room from the fountain.  Kaira was not in a spellcasting mood though as her and Kalaneikos were pressed from all sides by the throng but they held their position and fought on with their spears.

Back on the right side at the main entry, the main force was starting to make some headway through the mob due to the exertions the three strong sword arms of Cyrcla, Lucias and Bellinorn and with the magical support and archery of Asclepius, Ferris and Gradwin behind them.  Gradwin continued to direct his little poisonous snake swarm into the midst of our enemies and their poisonous fangs began to take a toll on them.  Evelyn had managed to cut down a few more victims and met up with Bellinorn who likewise had hacked his way to her to link up the two groups even though the group at the door was still not quite fully in contact with the group on the right side yet.  Teth-en-Aire finally managed to hack his way past the giant statue of Athena to the fountain and jumped in screaming “come in after me you dogs!” while swinging his sword Cold Cleaver wildly in the air.  We knew that the water of the fountain was somehow poisonous to the evil inhabitants of the place since a couple of them had been turned to stone previously when they had tried to drink from it, and their stone statue like forms still remained standing next to the pool in the midst of all of the fighting.  It was a smart move on his part as they would be reluctant to enter the enchanted waters of the fountain and it wasn’t likely to harm him since he was of a lawful nature.

There were still more than half of the original number of occupants fighting in the room but the Minotaur bodies were starting to pile up and the Beast Men that were cut down merely vanished when they died and returned to their plane of origin in Hades or Tarterus.  Taleth the Ranger was still holding his own with his back to the wall but was starting to get pretty beat up and the two characters at the door were still desperately trying to hold back the mob which surrounded them on all sides.  Eventually, the group on the right felled more foes and began to swing their way towards the others at the door and towards Teth-en-Aire at the Fountain.  The tide of the battle was finally turning in our favor as it ebbed and flowed like the churning waves of a tidal sea of steel and bloody carnage.

Evelyn, Bellinorn and Gradwin finally managed to link up with Kaira and Kalaneikos at the door.  The rest of the group on the right including all of the other arcane spellcasters made their way to the fountain as the remaining Beast Men and Minotaurs either fell back or were cut down where they fought.  Lucias hacked his way past the group at the door and around the corner to link up with Taleth and helped him to dispatch the three remaining creatures that still had him hemmed in around the corner.  One of the Beast Men who saw that their plight was desperate at this point ran away from the group and went into a room on the left of the fountain through a door and promptly closed it behind him.  Another one ran into a room opposite the main entrance to the right of the fountain on the far wall.  Meanwhile, Ferris cast Summon Monster I on the door on the left in the hopes of ambushing the Beast Man and any reinforcements he brought with him through the door.  We knew the evil Maenad was here somewhere but didn’t know which door she would emerge from.

With most of the arcane spellcasters now either standing at or in the fountain (Teth-en-Aire, Asclepius, Ferris and Cyrcla), Cyrcla took the opportunity to cast Mirror Image on herself as a precaution against reinforcements and suddenly there were five Cyrclas standing there.  As if on cue, the door on the right far wall opened up and five demonic looking bestial creatures with acidic spittle frothing from their cruel fang filled mouths came out of the room and three surrounded Cyrcla on three sides.  The other two Acid Beasts headed towards Gradwin, Kaira and Kalaneikos near the door.

At about the same time, the door on the left opposite the fountain opened up and the Maenad emerged with a few Beast Men escorts and started singing her horrible song of enchantment.  The song was the spell like equivalent of Confusion but we got lucky and everyone but Asclepius and Gradwin made their savings throws to ward off its affects.  The group was also fortunate that Gradwin turned to face the two Acid Beasts to fight them rather than turning on the group and engaged them in melee as they belched forth noxious and corrosive acid all over him wounding him horribly and burning most of his belongings including his armor and sword as it smoked and sizzled along with bits of his flesh. 

Gradwin did manage to do one thing for the Maenad though while under her spell – he directed his swarm of poisonous vipers into the fountain where Asclepius, Teth-en-Aire and Ferris were now standing.  Asclepius just stood in the fountain gibbering like a madman while the snakes swarmed all around his legs and the other two, startled at this development, jumped out of the fountain just as fast as their happy feet could take them (they did the snake dance LOL).  Meanwhile, Cyrcla who had been facing the three Acid Beasts single handedly, withdrew to safety on the far side of the room after they eliminated three of her four mirror images and Ferris managed to cast web on them which kept them from attacking Asclepius in the fountain or any of the others at least for the time being.

The group was also fortunate that the two strongest fighters in the room were around the corner where Lucias had just helped Taleth to eliminate the last of his attackers and so they were spared the affects of the Confusion spell.  The two quickly sprang into action along with Bellinorn and Kalaneikos to attack the Beast Men who protected their master the Maenad.  It didn’t take long for the four fighters to cut down the escorts and finally, the big bad boss monster Maenad.  The rest of the group directed their fire on the five Acid Beasts and quickly dispatched them with a combination of arrows, magic missiles and sword strokes to finally end the massive swirling melee.  In all the group managed to defeat some twenty or more Beast Mean (including some blind ones), six Minotaurs, five Acid Beasts and a Maenad in a brief but savage melee that lasted no more than fifteen minutes or so of game time (but 2 ½ hours of action packed melee in real time).  We were fortunate to have taken no serious casualties as well – once the Maenad was dispatched Asclepius came to his senses and jumped out of the snake filled pool and Gradwin likewise came to his senses and stopped concentrating on his Sticks to Snakes spell as well.

The three elves, the wizard and the cleric wizard all turned their attention to the fountain at this point.  Before we entered the Halls of the Blind, Kaira had cast a Divination spell on the place to ask her god Athena for information about the Temple of Athena and Hall of the Fountain of the Confessors.  Athena had replied with a booming voice in her mind “Our Temple has been infested by Minotaurs and their hellish cousins the Beast Men.  Beware the Maenad, she is a powerful spell caster and is a creature that is native to the plane of Faerie.  Only those who are of a good nature should drink from the fountain.”  So with this warning in mind, Teth-en-Aire read the inscription on the scroll held by the giant statue of Athena that stood before the fountain.

The inscription instructed the reader to recite the Litany written on the scroll in Promethean (the language of the Angels) before drinking from the water that flowed out of the horn held by the Dryad statue that was the source of the water that poured into the fountain.  So Teth-en-Aire read the Litany and drank from the fountain and his Intelligence was increased by one.  He was followed by Asclepius, and Cyrcla and they were likewise rewarded.  Ferris was reluctant to drink from the fountain since he was of a neutral alignment but threw caution to the wind and read the litany and drank the flowing water from the magical fountain as well.  As the pure, cool and cleansing water washed through him, his body and spirit were purified and he was swept with the lawful will of Athena – he did not receive the benefit of a raised intelligence but instead, his alignment was changed from Neutral to Lawful and all of the dark and shadowy fears, motivations, inhibitions and thoughts that had resided in his mind were swept cleanly away as if by a refreshing spring breeze.  Kaira also read the litany and drank from the fountain as well and was rewarded by her god Athena for helping to free the place of the vile infestation with an increase to her Wisdom score.

So the group searched the Maenad’s room and found a rather large hoard of gems and jewelry.  It was obvious that she was quite fond of fine jewelry due to the large number of precious jeweled items that were found there.  We also found a few potions as well along with an enchanted longsword which was given to Gradwin to replace the one that he had been carrying that was destroyed by the acid.  We opened up the door to the Acid Beast room but quickly closed it when we discerned that it was full of the corrosive acid and was dangerous to both our well being and to our equipment and magic items.  So with our immediate quest at an end, we fell back to the safety of Slagford for a well deserved rest and revelry for our successful second foray into the Halls of the Blind.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Averlorn Campaign: Return to the Halls of the Blind - Part One

Recap from 7/7/2011

During a previous session, while the rest of the group was busy carousing in Medea’s Gate, Kaira and Asclepius instead sought out the Oracle in Herarii run by the Confessors Guild in that sleepy mountain town near the pass at Hell’s Peak.   They traveled here to seek the advice of the Oracle prior to the events that took place when the group traveled to the Vault and Caverns of the Dweomerblade.  The question that Asclepius asked of the Oracle was where he could go to find a way to magically increase his intelligence.  He had failed to learn several key spells and having his intelligence raised through some magical means was the only way he could attempt to learn them again short of attaining named level.  So the mortal mouthpiece of the gods, also known as the Oracle of Herarii, told him to seek the magical fountain within the Halls of the Blind to find that which he sought.  We knew a little bit about the fountain having seen it once on a previous trip to the Halls of the Blind that almost ended in disaster:  The Halls of the Blind
Kaira also asked the oracle where she could go to find a similar way to increase her wisdom and the Oracle told her to seek the Chasm of Nightstone.

Since we had previously journeyed to the Halls of the Blind and knew where it was, we decided to go there since a magical fountain that could raise the intelligence of those who drank from it would benefit the elves and our newly met friend the human Wizard Ferris as well.  So we purchased provisions and set out towards the Halls of the Blind within the complex known as the Maw of Torment near the small village of Slagford.  Slagford is a small Hamlet which sits in the shadow of the giant statue of Hephaestus on the Limus Town side of Hell’s Peak pass in the mountains southeast of Medea’s Gate.  It is only a few hours hike from the village to the ruins below the giant statue.  The Deer’s Perch Inn is the only Inn in this small farming community and we supped there the night before our departure before we left the following morning. 

The first snows had already fallen in the lands far below the heights of the pass, but up here the snows had been falling for some time and it made for slow going.  As we neared the giant statue of Hephaestus, we were attacked by a pair of Frost Giants traversing the snowy terrain with their giant pet polar bear at their side.  The great icy brutes sicced their pet polar bear on us, then threw their boulders at us from a distance and withdrew to the edge of the woods.  Taleth, Bellinorn and Beorn were in the front so they skirted the bear and gave chase, while the archers and spellcasters attacked the giants with magic missiles and arrows.  We were withholding our heavier magical firepower in an effort to save it for what was awaiting us in the Halls of the Blind but it became apparent that without magical assistance, the giants would take a heavy toll on the group.  Taleth was gravely wounded by a couple of boulders and had to withdraw and the other fighters were taking a pounding too as they tried to close with them.

Meanwhile, Lucias moved up to engage in combat with the Polar bear with the aid of the mighty spear of Kalaneikos and a few of the others.  This group eventually overcame the polar bear staining the snow and its great white fur coat red and then started moving towards the Frost Giants that were still some distance away at this point.  Finally, Cyrcla and the Wizard Ferris grew tired of watching the giants get the better of our fighters with the boulders before they could even close with them and hit them both with a fireball and a lightning bolt and wounded the giants badly.  When Bellinorn, Beorn and the others finally did close with them they had little trouble in slaying the two evil giants with their swords.  So after Taleth was healed up and we recovered the giant’s loot, we continued on to the Halls of the Blind.  We had no trouble making our way through the numerous snow and ice covered petrified stone monsters leftover from some previous battle fought long ago.  This scene was even more eerie in the quiet of the icy snow covered pass.  It was obvious that some wizard long ago sitting atop the now destroyed tower where we were going was responsible for the strange scene.  Numerous orcs, trolls, ogres, giants and even a dragon were turned into stone as they attempted to retreat from the savage magical onslaught of the wizard’s tower and the statues were all that was left to tell the tale.

We walked through the forest of spooky denizens of the pass to the hill overlooking the area that was our destination.  The tower was mostly destroyed and all that remained were a few walls and piles of rubble, a stone floor and the foundations of the once mighty tower that had been reduced to a meaningless pile of rocks.  We searched through the snow covered floor of the ruin until we located the secret trap door that we knew was there and opened it up in order to descend the winding spiral staircase that led to the Halls of the Blind below.  Our plan was fairly simple but designed to make the most of our knowledge from the previous foray.  When we went in before, once we engaged the numerous Goat Men and Minotaurs from the front in the larger hall, we were waylaid by a flanking force that hit us from the rear and nearly killed Asclepius and Kaira with arrows.  We decided to have Gradwin cast invisibility 10’ radius on the main group that would wait before the entrance to the large hall of the fountain.  They would not enter or attack though until they received a signal from the other group that was tasked with taking out the flanking force.

Both groups carried an object with the cleric spell Silence cast on it (a dagger carried by Evelyn in the group on the left and a coin carried by Gradwin in the other group) so as to not give away our presence too early.  The group on the left that was to take out the flanking force was led by the Ranger Taleth and the Assassin Kaira with the rest of the group a short distance behind them so that they had the best chance of surprising the flanking force.  They went into the first room on the left and found it mostly empty except for some kind of a summoning circle on the floor and all manner of offal and filthy excrement – they had no doubt found the latrine of the Beast Men.  The next door they opened was occupied however, and a pitched but strangely quiet battle ensued.  They fought about twelve or so of the demonic beast like Goat Men in the guard room and eventually slew them all.  They went through the next door and Taleth was stung by a poison needle trap mounted in the door jamb but luckily made his savings throw against poison and was unaffected.  This room also contained a summoning circle inscribed on the floor which they skirted before opening the door on the other side of the room. 

The two stealthy scouts crept to the door with the rest of the group still some distance behind and opened it up.  Milling about in the large fountain hall were some thirty of the goat like Beast Men and Minotaurs who hadn’t noticed them open up the door.  The plan had succeeded far better than we could have hoped – we had taken no casualties thus far, eliminated the flanking guards and achieved total surprise against our foes! Unfortunately, it was getting late at this point and we had to call the session.  With the group poised to engage in a massive melee from two directions, we had to wait another week to resolve the tense cliffhanger in the Halls of the Blind.  There were thirteen of us, counting the henchmen and at least thirty opponents that we could see and some that we couldn’t see such as the evil Maenad that we knew was there somewhere.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Averlorn Campaign: Return to the Surface World

Recap from 6/24/2011

So after the big battle with the lizardmen in their lair, we moved into the adjacent caverns to search for loot.  We didn’t encounter any more of the creatures, but every now and then we saw one or two swimming around in the water and watching us.  Our assumption was that the lizardmen that we saw moving on the opposite bank were actually their women, children and elderly and that they escaped through a hidden door or perhaps jumped into the safety of the pool to hide underwater until we went away.  So after we gathered up the loot we found in the leader’s lair, we decided that it was time to return to the surface world since we had been down here for a while, and were fully loaded with treasure at this point and moving quite slowly.

The challenge of course was getting out of the caverns alive – the limited form of access (the Levitating Disc platform) meant that we would have to leave people behind while we moved the others up three at a time.  So we decided to leave the strongest characters in the cavern until the last lift came down to retrieve them, including Taleth and Lucias with Teth-en-Aire or Gradwin acting as the lift coordinator (the one controlling the magically levitating disc).  The first problem we had though was that there was no way to summon the disc from the bottom of the cavern, despite what appeared to be a similar glyph covered circle on the cavern floor where the disc eventually ended up.  So Gradwin, who still had his fly spell going, flew up to the hole at the top and through to the control cavern far above to summon the disc back so we could get out.

Shortly after he took off, the Stone Giants attacked.  We were standing on the peninsula waiting for him to return when suddenly, very large rocks started landing amongst us.  Nobody was hit at first so we ran for cover which consisted of many very large boulders ringing the perimeter of the peninsula sort of like Stonehenge or something.  We couldn’t see what was throwing boulders at us but we suspected they were giants of some sort.  They were out of range of our infravision but their eyes were accustomed to the darkness and they could see us just fine using their “monster vision”.  We were between a rock and a hard place (quite literally) and it was just a matter of time before we started taking casualties.

Evelyn hid amongst the darkness of the boulders and Asclepius the elf cast invisibility along with Teth-en-Aire, and then cast fly on himself and flew out in the direction of where the missiles were coming from to see what was hurling boulders at us.  He confirmed that there were six stone giants standing way out in the river away from shore about eighty feet away, and that they were actively bombarding us.  He didn’t attack them with magic missiles or anything because he would have become visible if he had done so, and returned to the group at the boulders to report his discovery.  Meanwhile, the protection of the boulders proved to be inadequate to keep the lightly armored and visible members of the group from harms way.  Both Cyrcla and Bellinorn were hit with boulders and hurt but not too badly at this point.

The quandary that we had was that we were only moving 10’ per round because we were fully laden with treasure and would be exposed if we made a run for it towards the cover of the waterfall and tunnels beyond.  Then both Bellinorn and Cyrcla were hit again and hurt badly at this point and determined that in order to survive the encounter, they would have to drop their packs and the loot contained therein and make for the safety of the cliff face and waterfall as fast as they could.  Cyrcla removed her spell book from her backpack and her and Bellinorn left their burdens behind and made it to the tunnels behind the waterfall without any problems.

The others were still on the peninsula huddled behind the rocks and the boulder missiles kept coming in but nobody got hit.  We couldn’t charge the giants to engage them because they were chest deep in the water, though it only came up to their shins.  The cliff face along the river bank was also too steep to move towards them along the bank to engage them with spells or missile weapons, so we had no other option but to fall back and join the other two elves at the cliff face.  The rest of the group, except for Evelyn who was hiding, moved as fast as they could while carrying their loads to the safety of the waterfall and managed to make it without getting hit by boulders.

As we were there taking cover, two of the giants moved onto the peninsula towards the two backpacks.  Our ranger Taleth who spoke giant, heard one of them say “We take offering and go away” as the giant waved towards us.  Cyrcla was still angry about being smashed by boulders and forced to abandon her pack containing treasure and even a Potion of Levitation, and started casting a spell before the giants left the rocky peninsula and returned to the river.  Teth-en-Aire did likewise and both elves hit them with a fireball and a lightning bolt and burned them badly but they managed to survive.  Evelyn, who was still hiding nearby and crouching by a rock waiting for her opportunity to strike, was fortunate to have been out of the way of the spell’s area of effect and was unharmed.  After Teth-en-Aire became visible to cast his lightning bolt and Cyrcla cast her spell, Taleth heard one of the giants say “Elves – run!” and they high tailed it back into the river and disappeared into the cavern along with the other four.

So after our close encounter with the Stone Giants, Gradwin finally re-appeared with the disc after what seemed like an eternity.  We managed to load everyone up and get them out of there two at a time, plus the lift operator until everyone had safely returned to the surface world so very far above.  We knew once we arrived in this underdark like area that the most dangerous part of getting in and out would be that we would be vulnerable when using the lift since some would have to remain behind.  This encounter made that perfectly clear – Gradwin was our primary wizard and one of our healers (he’s a cleric/wizard) and was completely unable to assist us in that encounter.  The other thing we realized is that while waiting for the lift, we would have been better off waiting within the shelter of the tunnels behind the waterfall because the peninsula was far too exposed to attacks from the river.

The giants kept looking over their shoulders behind them towards the river as did the other lizardmen we encountered previously.  One member of our group spoke with a captive lizardmen that was captured after we first arrived, and it told us that there was a very large lizard or even a dragon of some sort living nearby in or on the other side of the river.  That just makes the entry and exit to these caverns all the more dangerous but this is the subject of a future tale...


Averlorn Campaign: The Caverns of the Dweomerblade

Recap from 6/17/2011

The next day when we awoke, the arcane casters learned the spell Read Magic and took another look at the glyphs carved into the stone circle around the 6’ diameter hole in the floor.  They confirmed that it was a spell and that it was a variation of Floating Disk combined with elements of Levitation (more like Levitating Disc).  We surmised that it was used as an elevator of sorts to gain access to the caverns below.  We did not know who the masters were, and knew nothing of their realm below that we had been warned about in the inscription on the wall in the other room.  Nevertheless, we decided to check it out.

Gradwin read the glyphs to cast the spell and sure enough, a 6’ diameter floating disc appeared over the hole in the floor.  We debated a bit as to who should go down first and finally, Gradwin volunteered with a pair of his animated skeletons.  First, he cast Invisibility on himself as a precaution.  He stepped on the disc with his undead companions and said the command word, and the disc began to lower itself into the shaft with the trio aboard.  Then the group above waited for some sort of signal that we should follow.

Gradwin slowly descended into the darkness for a seemingly long time.  When he got past the first 120’ of the shaft through the solid stone, the disc continued to lower itself magically into the open area of the cavern below.  He could hear the sound of rushing water far below that got louder as he descended further into the darkness.  Finally, he got close to the floor of the cavern and suddenly, he was under attack!  Arrows began whizzing by him obviously aimed at the visible skeletons.  When he got further down, he could discern several creatures on a ledge overlooking the peninsula below that were firing arrows at the skeletons.  One of the skeletons was destroyed and went tumbling off of the disc to the bottom of the cavern with a rattle of bones.

When the disc got to the floor, he stepped off of it and moved away doing his best to stay quiet.  He ordered his remaining skeleton to play dead (or undead) and fall to the cavern floor as if it too had been dispatched.  He then said the command word to make the disc return to the surface world and it started going back up through the air of the cavern.  He watched in silence from behind a boulder as three large lizard men crawled down the rocky cliff where they had been firing at him from, to investigate the skeleton that was on the ground.  It was carrying one of his backpacks and the lizard men immediately started rummaging through it.

Meanwhile, after about ten minutes or so, the disc reappeared at the top without Gradwin or his two skeletons.  We took this as the signal to send down the next group and Lucias the human fighter and the two elves, Cyrcla and Teth-en-Aire jumped aboard and said the command word to lower the floating disc into the cavern below.  Again, it took about five minutes for it to descend and again, the trio on board the disc came under attack from the archers on the ledge and at the bottom of the cliff on the peninsula.  Lucias couldn’t do much but the other two spellcasters cast mirror image to protect themselves for the rest of the descent.  As they got to the bottom, they cast a few magic missiles as well and then hopped off the disc to engage the three lizardmen at the bottom.  At about this time, the other three on the ledge scampered down to join in on the fray.

Gradwin, still invisible, commanded his skeleton to come to life again and attack the lizardmen.  During a brief but fierce melee, the two elves and the fighter then made quick work of the remaining lizardmen but the skeleton was destroyed.  We set up a perimeter and sent the disc back up with Teth-en-Aire aboard to retrieve the others.  After a few more trips, the adventure party was whole again and included around ten or eleven total party members including the henchmen.  We decided to scale the cliff to see where the lizardmen had come from.  It wasn’t too difficult but it was steep and there was a smaller tributary to the main river that was cascading down the cliff face as a waterfall to make the footing a little slippery.

So about halfway up, we found the platform that the lizardmen had been firing at us from which was at the edge of the waterfall.  Behind the waterfall, the ledge continued into the cliff face through a tunnel that went on for a good distance.  We decided to keep going up to the top of the rocky outcrop.  At the top, the small stream leveled out beyond the waterfall into another rocky tunnel with a path on both sides of the stream.  We moved into the tunnel and went down it a little ways, when suddenly, another group of lizardmen emerged from the water and attacked!  There were about twelve or so this time and after another fierce melee, the group of adventurers dispatched them without too much trouble.

We continued down the stream tunnel until the path on the right side ended and the adventurers on that side had to switch over the stream to the path on the left side which continued.  The water wasn’t that deep at this point and they crossed the stream without any difficulty.  Eventually, the path opened up into a larger cavern with a large pool in the middle, a ledge on the opposite side and another waterfall at the other end of the cavern and pool where the stream was dumping its water into the pool.  The group was stretched out in a long single file line at this point and when we were about halfway into this chamber, the water started boiling and about thirty or so lizardmen emerged and attacked the group of adventurers!

The back half of the group was still in the narrower tunnel on the ledge and the front half was stretched out on the narrow ledge next to the pool in the cavern we had just entered so they had us at a bit of a disadvantage.  Bellinorn and Kalaneikos were in the back and were nearly surrounded by a number of lizardmen while Lucias and the ranger Taleth were in the front and similarly surrounded on two sides with the wall at their backs.  During the melee that followed, much carnage ensued in the cavern and tunnel next to the stream.  Kalaneikos and Bellinorn were hard pressed but the two stalwart warriors held their own at the rear of the line and slew many of their attackers.  Lucias and Taleth also wrought much carnage on their attackers in the front but the characters in the middle didn’t fare as well since they were the vulnerable ones the fighters at the front and back were usually trying to protect.

Asclepius was sorely wounded but Kaira stood by his side to protect him, and once Cyrcla killed the lizardmen that she was fighting, she came to their aid.  Evelyn was also hard pressed because she was lightly armored but managed to hold her own.  Gradwin was still invisible at the start of the melee and cast fly on himself to rise up above the scrum.  He noticed a group of shadowy figures moving on the ledge on the opposite side of the pool that appeared to go behind the waterfall and disappear from view.  He flew up above the pool to scout it out and make sure they weren’t attempting to reinforce their comrades in the fight. 

So after a wild battle, most of the lizardmen were slain, including their leader who was killed by Kalaneikos and his body started floating away from the group down the now blood red stream.  Gradwin had the forethought to try and keep his body from sinking or being swept away in case he was carrying loot or magic items, but couldn’t catch him before he was swept away by the current.  He did manage to grab his shield though before it sank into the stream and it turned out to be magical.  Gradwin then flew to the opposite ledge and behind the waterfall and discovered the leader’s lair there along with some loot.  That’s where we ended the session.


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Averlorn Campaign: The Vault of the Dweomerblade

Recap from 6/10/2011

So after dividing up the loot we did some trading and then took some time off for a well deserved rest.  During this time, several of the party members went carousing with the usual zany results.  Cyrcla and Gradwin both met their soul mates and fell in love (not with each other but someone else) but managed to put off the weddings until the winter.  Taleth had a fling with a tavern serving wench and narrowly avoided getting the clap (fortunately, he made his CON save).  Bellinorn got completely smashed one night and woke up naked somewhere in an unfamiliar place with no idea how he had arrived there.  Apparently, he thought it would be fun to streak across the town while inebriated which earned him a well deserved reputation in Medea’s Gate as a drunken lout.

And last but not least, Teth-en-Aire went to a gambling house and once again lost all of his money – he even had to empty out the money he had in his savings account with the Devoted Brothers of the White Caduceus to repay his gambling debts.  This is the second time that he has had such a result at the gaming table (it also happened in Limus Town while carousing), which either makes him incredibly unlucky, very gullible and easily taken by card sharks, or perhaps he imbibed too much during the game which could have befuddled his wits. 

So after all of the drunken revelry and shenanigans, we purchased provisions for a return trip to the Vault of the Dweomerblade.  Before we left, Gradwin contacted Wilfred, our Surgeon’s Guild contact in Medeas Gate.  He wanted to know when they wanted us to repay our debt to them for having Teth-en-Aire raised from the dead after our disastrous encounter with the three Chimera’s outside of the shrine of Zingalis.  Wilfred told him that it was too late in the year at this point for us to undertake that task, so we would have to do it in the spring after the snows melted.

Once we were ready, we set off through the woods to the ruined tower which was only a day or so away from the City of Medea’s Gate.  We arrived at the ruins during a light snow which was a bit early this year.  We knew little about the wizard who built the tower aside from what was whispered in ancient legends and stories.  Three to four centuries ago in the period before the Republic was united, a powerful wizard named the Dweomerblade disappeared and his final whereabouts were never fully explained.  The Dweomerblade was a strange figure from the distant past that was active in and around Lykaedia during "the struggles" – the wars between Grand Oryx and the men of Lykaedia and the Trench.

Apparently, we stumbled upon one of his vaults during one of our previous trips back from the Tower of Zingalis:  The Forests of the Anvil Come Alive and a Surprise Revelation

The tower itself was almost completely destroyed but the ruins of the structure remain.  We found out later that the tower was destroyed during the struggles by the forces of Grand Oryx as retribution for the Dweomerblade siding with the men of the Anvil during the wars.  We ventured into the ruins of the tower and searched a bit on the snow covered floor until we located the hidden trap door that we knew was there.  We opened it up and went down the stairs to the room below.  Previously, we had looked into the room from the staircase and had seen the statues but didn’t adventure further into the complex.

We entered the room and took a look at the statues.  They were of strange looking creatures and one of them depicted an alien being with tentacles on its face.  One of the clerics recognized it as the visage of one of the Elder Gods (Cthulhu no doubt).  As we searched the room, we noticed that there were strange glyphs carved into the right hand wall opposite one of the statues written in a strange dialect of Brimbahri (demonic).  When translated, the glyph said “Greetings worthy journeymen and followers. Congratulations on your daring journey to the Vault of the Dweomerblade. Your reward for daring can be found behind you. Go no further for you will be entering the dire realm of the masters.”  We then searched the statue directly opposite the glyphs and found it to be hollow.  We broke it open and found a large stash of gold and silver coins and some gems hidden within which we promptly placed in the Bag of Holding.

We continued searching the long rectangular room, in particular, a small 10’ x 10’ niche in the back left corner where we found a secret door.  We opened the secret door and it led into a rough stone cavern.  On the floor of the cavern, there appeared to be some sort of summoning circle or something with glyphs carved into the circle at different points.  The circle also surrounded a 6’ wide perfectly cut circular hole in the floor.  The dwarves took a look at the stonework and couldn’t determine exactly who or what made the circle and stone shaft. 

Kaira cast detect traps and we determined that the stone circle was not a trap so Gradwin peered down into the shaft to have a look and all he could see was darkness below as far as he could see.  So he pulled out one of his stones that had continual light cast on it, and lowered it down into the shaft using his Ring of Telekinesis.  The shaft appeared to be a perfectly carved cylindrical hole that went through the rock about 120’ until it opened up into a larger cavern.  He let go of the rock to see how far down it would go and it appeared to travel another 120’ or so before he heard it splash into some water below and disappear.

The arcane spellcasters looked at the glyphs and determined that they were written in Brimbahri and contained some sort of spell, but couldn’t determine what it was without casting read magic on them which none of them had learned that day.  We also found a rectangular panel mounted on the wall at about shoulder height with bas relief sculpture on it in the shape of raised dots and dashes.  It appeared to be some sort of control panel for the summoning circle, although we had no idea how it was supposed to work.  Since there were no other doors in the chamber, and we didn’t want to just start randomly pushing buttons on the panel, we decided to rest up for the night so we could cast read magic on the circular glyphs carved into the floor to try and determine what they said or were for.  So we returned to the previous chamber, setup our lookouts and went to sleep for the night.