Campaign of the Month: April 2014

Tyellador

Knockout Fight
Saps are completely legit.

Our intrepid band of adventurers are neither yet a band nor really that intrepid. However, they all were on their way to Healwud, and they all did get knocked-out. Well, almost all: Angelica Starfist was led off by a dashing young completely legitimate town guardsman for what we can only assume will be a nice hot drink and crumpets. On the southern road to Healwud, Bragi Hammerfell ripped apart a female bandit’s net, and on the northern road, Runa Egilsdottir sicked her F-22 stealth-attack owl on some poor girl while putting two other bandits to sleep. Though she initially escaped the bandit attack, a mile or so outside of Healwud she was met by a wolf and a man clad in leather armor. While he appreciated her song for 5 coppers, she was not allowed to travel further, and was brought down by the wolf whilst making a daring escape.

We leave most of our adventurers tied up in a camp. What fate shall befall them?



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Slaughter them all!
Kill ALL of the bandits!

Our band of yet-to-be intrepid adventurers slowly woke up, hog-tied under a tarp. As Shil McTire awoke, he pulled a dagger from his boot, freeing himself and the other captives from their bonds. Shil immediately started sneaking around the outside of the camp to the chest with his equipment. Simultaneously, Runa Egilsdottir started sneaking around the other side of the camp (hiding behind a tree) while Lina Bowman walked up to the bandits to cast a fog-spell. Runa stepped on a branch just as finished her spell, alerting the bandits to the party’s presence while sending them into mass confusion.

The bandits immediately tried to escape the fog. Two escaped back towards the tarp, one of which was immediately induced into sleep by Runa. The third attempted to escape the fog away from the fog, but was stabbed through the face by Shil, dying instantly against the tent next to him.

At this point, Bragi Hammerfell finally awoke. Seeing the confusion around the camp, he took the only sensible option left to him: try to turtle under the canvas tarp above him. However, despite jumping and successfully grabbing onto the canvas, not even our mighty Dwarf could wrest it from the trees’ grasp. Upon being shot by a scared young woman (presumed to be one of the bandits), Bragi let go of his rope and charged the frightened archer, swinging his spike gauntlets so hard that he pirouetted —though he missed her face. At this scene, the bandit woman decided that her best course of action was to bolt.

Now at a lull in the fighting, the not-quite-yet-a-group banded together to reclaim their weapons from near the trunk, and then turn their attention to the sleeping bandit. At this moment, a sound from the woods alerted them to an animal running towards them. Shil killed the sleeping bandit, and all of the group prepared to fight.

As the wolf leaped from the forest, Lina, Runa and Bragi all shot, and missed, the lunging wolf. The wolf attempted to pounce on Lina, although she managed to stay upright. After getting stabbed by Shil, the wolf decided to go for a softer target, and made a run for Runa. (A tasty snack that the wolf knew from before.)

At this point, Angelica Starfist arrived on the scene with her guard-companion. She quickly jumped into the fray, attacking a wolf who was harassing Runa. Her guard-companion, confused and concerned at the scene, ran off into the woods.

Simultaneously, Lina was shot by an arrow from the woods. As Shil moved in to defend Lina, he was struck down by another arrow and collapsed to the ground.

The wolf, now surrounded by two enemies, decided to make a quick break for it, returning to the woods from which it had come. Runa and Angelica were able to trade some quick words as Lina began magically healing Shil. Braggi took this opportunity to transpose himself between the downed Shil and the unknown attacker.

As Braggi took a look at the downed Rogue, he was attacked from behind. Summoning all of his primeval instincts, he bravely ran away to behind the fire to reassess the situation. (A tactic of which the unconscious and dying Shil was very disparaging.)

At this point, the stranger cast Entangle, revealing himself to be a Ranger. This ranger spell, befitting of its name, entangled the party in a multitude of small grasping plants. Shil, now healed to a full 1hp, decided that his best tactic was to run as fast as he could away from the battle. The Ranger’s wolf, who had circled around the back of the camp to a flanking position, saw the wounded Shil run away, and decided to take up the chase of its wounded, bleeding prey.

Runa was able to move out of the entangling vines and throw acid at the Ranger, and Lina escaped their grasp as well, summoning a Celestial dog which attacked the Ranger, dealing massive damage. Angelica took this opportunity to take up a flanking position and stab him with her spear. From this onslaught, the Ranger was quickly brought down.

During this time, Shil managed to scurry up a tree away from the wolf that was also being harried by the talons of a small owl. He drew his knife and was able to stab the injured wolf during one of its lunges, landing a final killing blow.

Once Shil returned to the campsite, our adventurers were reunited amongst their inflicted carnage, safe for the time being, but completely unaware as to their location and the (all told) merciful bandits’ original purposes.

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Bear Cave
The fuck is there a bear!?

Our adventure starts at the bandit camp. A sore and bloodied half-elf stumbles into the now somewhat decimated campsite. A tarp is hanging low on its lines, a tent is collapsed by a dead body.

As our group of adventurers begins to converse for the first time (for most of them), Shil McTire opens the locked chest in the middle of the campground. Finding a nearby sack, the party fills it with coins that the chest was containing, keeping a sharp eye out to maximize the gold and silver thrust into the back. Runa Egilsdottir and Shil also took this time to search the rest of the camp. Shil finds himself a nice new piece of leather armor, and a fancy new bow for Lina Bowman. Runa finds a letter on the dead Ranger, along with a few arcane scrolls in the camp.

Upon receipt and acceptance of this notice, you are to stop any person(s) from entering the provincial area of Healwud from the West and South for a period of two weeks. Killings of any person shall be avoided unless completely necessary, and even in these circumstances appropriate measures should be taken to heal said person. For each person killed, a penalty of 2 gp shall be levied on your final payment. For each person captured alive, a bounty of 1 gp shall be given.

Every 2 days a man will be sent to gather the captured. He will claim to be a cleric of Vecna. (I advise you inform your men that this is not the case.) You are to hold the prisoners and to keep them ill-informed.

You shall receive half-again your usual daily rate: 24 sp a day. You shall further hire an additional 12 men to be paid a base of 3 sp per day, with bonuses for bounties split as you see fit and given above. The roads are to be guarded at all times. Sloppiness will not be tolerated.

-L.X.

The group all took a look at the letter as the rain started to become heavier. Angelica Starfist found part of the seal familiar, but wasn’t able to place it. As the thunderstorm began to grow, the group decided to begin heading towards Healwud, and hopefully find shelter along the way.

Following the calls of Who, the group made their way to a cave. While talking amongst themselves, Bragi Hammerfell found a very slick, yet very not-locking stone-door of Dwarven make at the back of the cavern. (Noting that the locking mechanism to the door has simply worn away or broken with time.) The group decided to make camp in the cave to wait-out the rain. A random stranger is able to identify the seal as probably belonging to the Soulaxe family, and explains that each member always incorporates an axe into their seal’s motif in some fashion.

However, a few hours after the group fell asleep, Who began hooting up a storm. The group quickly jumped up to battle, as a large bear burst through the cave entrance. Upon this sight, the group quickly funneled their way into the passage previously found by the Dwarf, and were able to wedge the Dwarven door closed. After Shil went ahead (setting off a trap with a tripwire set just over 5’ off the ground), the group explored their new area, finding a total of two illusionary doors (I), as follows:

To cave entrance
| |
| |_________________
| I______X_______ |
| | | |
| | | |
| | | |
| |______________| |
|________ _________|
| I |
| |

The group decides to camp at X, to regain their strength, the door to the cave entrance being barricaded successfully against the bear.

Treasure!

While at the camp, the group has time to count out the coins collected form the bandit camp in peace. As a group, you count a total of 352gp, 3,476sp, and 964cp. (A total of 709gp and 2.4sp.)

The group also has four flasks of some unknown liquid. (With a roll of 17,) Angelica is able to tell that these are flasks of Holy Water. She informs the group that Holy Water is known for it’s ability to cause great harm to the undead or evil creatures, and are usually used by simply throwing the flask at said creature, where they shatter upon impact.

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Dwarven Ruins
Inside the ruins

The adventurers start from their campsite and head down the doorway to their South. After descending a type of spiral staircase for about 60’ down, they encounter a somewhat large room from the North with webbing at the ceiling, a pile of sacks towards the North-West, and a pile of rubbish in the center. Shil, playing it safe, throws a flask of Alchemist’s Fire towards the ceiling, burning the webs. 4 tiny husks fall to the floor, along with one small conflagrated spider, which begins crawling towards the party. Lina fires at the small spider, her arrow hitting just towards its side. Bragi picks up his mighty hammer, swinging at the spider and knocking it 5 feet to the left, the spider dying from a combination of fire and blunt-force trauma soon after.

The party searches the rest of the room. Searching the sacks in the North West, some yellow mold is dispersed which hits Runa, giving her a coughing fit (and a decrease to her constitution.) Searching in the middle of the room, Shil finds some gold pieces. The party listens to each of the doors surrounding the room (coming in from the North, they listen to the West, South and East doorways.) They hear some moaning, windy noise from the West door, so decide to search the East door. Opening it up, they find a large room with four doors inside. Opening each of the doors they find 4 wooden bunk-beds, with chests full of old clothes. The ragged clothing is the correct height for a Dwarf, but too narrow for a dwarf’s rugged frame.

The party then leaves the dormitory area and heads down the south corridor. The corridor is about 100’ long and goes down about 60’, where they find another, even larger room. Once again there are doorways to the West, South and East. The party finds a variety of Dwarven weapons, along with some practice targets/dummies in the main room. They decide to go back up to the previous dormitory to make a temporary camp.

A quasi-map of the area:


Back towards the cave
_________| |_________
| |
__ | | ___
Windy | Dormitory Area
Noises_ ___|
| |
|________ _________ |
| |
|_ |
100’ passage
|
_|
__________ | | __________
| |
| |
_ | | ___

__ ___
| |
| |
|___________ ____________|
| |

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Dwarven Ruins Part II
Door Bangin'

From the dormitory the party made their way south again. Seeing a cracked stone door, Bragi Hammerfell begins to pummel the door with his mighty hammer. Within a matter of minutes he creates an opening large enough to squeeze through. Carefully making their way through the passage, Shil McTire notices a magical trap triggered to go off at anyone over 5’ tall. Telling the rest of the party to crouch, they make their way further down the hallway into a small dark room with a semi-circular console set in the center, glowing glyphs appearing on its face.

Of major note was a set of glyphs in the center of the console. Two blinking red. 3 D, 2 O, one IG, and numbered.

Making their way back to the room, the party decided to head dungeon-East, finding a living area. Opening the North door, Bragi found some Dwarven full-plate to wear, while finding Angelica Starfist a new longsword.

Opening the East door, Runa Egilsdottir steps in, noticing that Who seems very uneasy about this room. After stepping back to have the party regroup, Runa walked in further turning around, seeing a ghoul behind the door that she opened. Shil tries to wedge it behind the door. (A few times.) Bragi smashes it with the hammer. (Lina shoots it with her bow?)

Angelica notices another ghoul in the far corner. Shooting, Shil throws dagger.

Group break.

A quasi-map of the area:


Back towards the cave
_________| |_________
| |
__ | | ___
Windy | Dormitory Area
Noises_ ___|
| |
|________ _________ |
| |
| _ _ |
100’ passage Small room
| _ _ | with armor
__________ | | __________ _____| |_____ ___________
| | | | | |
| | | | | Room |
_ | | _ | |__| with |
Unknown beds |
__ ___ __ and |
| | | | | ghouls |
| | | | | |
|___________ ___________| |______ _____| |__________|
| | | |
Room with glyphs Unknown

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Dwarven Ruins Part III
Fuck the Bear

Our band of adventurers regroups after slaying the ghouls, and decides to quickly finish exploring the ruins. Searching the small southern room, they find a room very similar to the small room to the north. They once again find very fine Dwarven armor, a Dwarven longsword, and a gem.

Heading west, the party enters an empty room with complex glyphs and a large circle on the floor. Runa Egilsdottir is able to determine that the circle is arcane, and belongs to the Conjuration school of magic.

Leaving the room and heading north, the party decides to check out the room with the howling/windy noises. They find a stream running from north to south with a small pond towards the southern end of the room, and they see some old water barrels. Finding nothing of interest, the group decides that it is time at last to leave the ruins.

Winding their way back to the entrance, Lina Bowman has a moral quandary on whether or not she should take the cubic locking device that is keeping the door sealed. Shil McTire, who suffers from no moral dilemmas, tries to take the cube.

WRAAAAAA! WRAAAAAA! WRAAAAAA! WRAAAAAA! WRAAAAAA!

Danen quickly walks past the party to silence and deactivate the device.

The entrance door is slowly opened, and a sleeping bear is noticed towards the side. Bragi Hammerfell stealthily walks up towards the bear, keeping himself between the bear and the rest of the party.

The rest of the party… not as stealthily. Loudly and rudely waking up the bear, various party members futilely attack the bear until Bragi hefts his mighty hammer, bringing it solidly down on top of the bear, staggering the bear under the mighty blow. Shil takes this opening to stab the bear, which he does. The bear is quickly ended.

The bear is thoroughly searched by Shil, and skinned by Runa, who also takes some bear-meat for rations. Their foe now being thoroughly defeated, they venture forth from the cave and ruins 25 hours after entering. (Though to some, it seemed like months…)


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Clerics on the Run
Disguises and drinks. What could go wrong?

After exiting the bear cave, Shil, Lina, Runa, Angelica and Bragi rest briefly and consider where they are headed post-kidnapping. Angelica decides to report the scheme about the bandits posing as guardsmen posing as priests of Vecna to the authorities in Eastethgeat, and Bragi follows on the same path, heading to his next secret quest. Danen Gandalf Moniker declines to head towards Healwud, deciding instead to ply his wares elsewhere. Lina and Shil have business in Healwud, so head away in that direction, and Runa tags along, hoping for a good story. The three decide to pose as the people-posing-as-clerics-of-Vecna mentioned in the letter found in the bandit camp. Shil disguises everyone using his knowledge of…disguising people, and Runa changes the color of everyone’s cloaks 15 minutes from town so that the party better fits the intimidating description of clerics of Vecna.

Once they reach the town gate, Shil intimidates the guards, who appear unsure whether to treat the party as VIPs or wanted criminals. Runa shows the guardsman the seal on the letter found at the bandit camp, and Lina uses diplomacy to convince the guardsman to let them in— but the guardsmen call both the head of the guard and, potentially, the person to whom the seal belongs. Leaf, the Sheriff of Healwud, is alerted from her conversation in a pub to the presence of three people claiming to be clerics of Vecna.

Once in town, the three adventurers abandon their clerical disguises and split up. Briefly, Lina walks into the Grainary, before being redirected into a local inn/bar. In that same bar, Shil buys rounds of stout for everyone, talking the barkeep into a price of 1s7c/pint, and meets a couple of mysterious strangers. Unfortuately, Shil also gets into a fight with the Sheriff Lyfalia Greyelm at the bar by making a “your mom” joke, and then is goaded into a drinking challenge by Ra’s, a charismatic stout wild elf, with the loser headed to the stocks for the day (it is only noon, after all). At the seventh drink, Leaf and Shil agree (sort of) to meet at the Temple of Ehlonna in four hours, as Ra’s has passed Shil a note saying to meet at the Grainary nearby as soon as possible. A barfight breaks out, incited by Ra’s invisible pushing, and Lina and Runa take this as a cue to cast obscuring mist and to sing up some swirling lights, distracting that bar patrons further as everyone makes their escape.

In the pub, Runa poses as a devotee of the god Obad-Hai to Ra’s, claiming to have been in town for three weeks, and retires to that Temple after the barfight. She learns from Ra’s that trade has been disrupted to the South and West, and from the other bar patron she speaks to she learns that his shipments have been disrupted for at least a week.

After the barfight, Lina heads to the Temple of Ehlonna, gaining both local favor and potential places to sleep at night for the whole party. Runa heads to the Temple of Obad-Hai, and Shil heads away secretly to his secret spot and/or the Grainary.

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Schemes'n'Things
In which no one trusts anyone else.

At the Grainary, Ra’s the wild elf has bought the use of the space from the owner till 10 at night. Not too long after the fight breaks out in the bar, Shil enters the now-empty Grainary, casing the joint and hiding behind the door frame as best he can. When Ra’s places a letter with the seal of Lord Xavhorn Soulaxe the Rising Hawk on the Grainary counter, all potential trust between the two evaporates, as the seal matches that on the order to kidnap people from the forest, keeping them alive and away from Healwud for no doubt nefarious reasons. Shil thus greets Ra’s with a dagger in the face, but although Ra’s does not give satisfactory reasons to produce trust despite his working for the Soulaxe family, Shil puts faith in Ra’s word, promising to return to the Grainary after conducting some business.

Ra’s heads forth to meet with Leaf. When she inquires about his location and injury, he lies and states that he was injured by orcs outside the south gate of town, and sends her guardsmen on a wild goose chase after orcs in the Ieldranweald.

Lina Bowman, Runa Egilsdottir, and Shil McTire meet again in the woody sanctuary of the Temple of Ehlonna. Aware that a man-hunt is ongoing for both Shil alone and for three strangers, two female and one male, they agree that Lina, the most respectable of the group and the only one with a public face of good standing, should meet with Sheriff Lyfalia. Lina agrees to signal when it is safe for all to reappear (and, presumably, charges with violent outcomes are dropped) after the 4pm meeting, and the party disperses.

In this brief window before meeting with the Sheriff, Shil decides to test Ra’s’s ability to be trusted by giving him an assignment. Despite having just promised the Sheriff he would be on the southern side of Healwud’s wall, Ra’s is to accompany the Sheriff to the meeting at the Temple of Ehlonna at 4 and ensure that all goes well. Ra’s smooth-talks his way into accompanying the Sheriff. Arriving half an hour early with an armed guard, Leaf is much surprised to see a lovely cleric of Ehlonna instead of the rowdy bar-patron who she agreed to meet at 4. Lina diplomatically explains Shil’s and the party’s predicament, and alerts the Sheriff to the ill-happenings beyond the town limits and Lord Xavhorn Soulaxe’s potential part in them. After Ra’s offers to pay the bar fine, and Shil appears from his tree to vouch for himself, Leaf agrees to let the party investigate Lord Xavhorn Soulaxe without armed supervision from the town guardsmen.

With permission granted from the Sheriff, the adventurers decide to have Ra’s, who is part of Lord Xavhorn’s court, introduce Runa as a wandering bard seeking to write the deeds of the Soulaxe family— and thus have her pepper him with questions on all of his doings. Shil plans to sneak in and raid Lord Xavhorn’s papers, but also perhaps to make an appearance in court himself. Lina, as a person of import to the Temple of Ehlonna, may also drop by the Soulaxe hall, but may also stay at the Temple gathering information, networking with the other clerics of Ehlonna, and formulating an escape plan in case Xavhorn becomes wise to the party’s scheme.

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Putting pieces in place
Our adventurers do all the prepwork.

Deep in night’s darkness, a shadow sleuths around the edges of the Xavhorn manor…

Having rested overnight in the Temple of Ehlonna, Runa, Shil, and Lina meet their second day in Healwud. Eager to uncover the mystery surrounding the kidnappings on the roads to Healwud‘s gates, the three make plans to infiltrate the court of Lord Xavhorn Soulaxe to decipher his involvement. Ra’s Al Ghul, being already employed in the services of Lord Xavhorn, enters the manor first, arranging an interview at an hour and a half past noon for Runa Egilsdottir to meet with Lord Xavhorn Soulaxe. A bit nervous about Runa Egilsdottir‘s capabilities, Shil McTire pulls out all the stops searching for an aid for her awkward singing voice. At Orville Redinpoplar’s General Store, Shil McTire uses all of his persuasive skills to get Orville to part with a potion of Eagle’s Might for a third of the price…

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Shmoozing.

In the late morning, Lina makes arrangements with the elders of the Temple of Ehlonna to become a religious adviser to Lord Xavhorn Soulaxe. Pleased both with her prestige and good looks, Xavhorn accepts Lina’s offer, hiring her shortly before Runa appeared for her 1:30 audition.

At the gate to the Soulaxe manor, Ra’s speaks to Frank the gatekeeper to get Runa in for her appointment. After the usual pleasantries, Runa plays her lute and sings a song of adventure (quaffing a potion of Eagle’s Might before starting, to be more convincing):

-

While not entirely convinced by her surprisingly good performance, Lord Xavhorn is persuaded by Ra’s and Lina to hire Runa at least for a party in three day’s time to increase the morale of the townsfolk.

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