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Topics - fraz

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Out of Character Discussions / Erinalia's hawk (Aeith)
« on: May 22, 2005, 12:12:41 AM »
Shall I assume that you read this post, Dray, and that you're okay with it?

Out of Character Discussions / Erinalia's hawk (Aeith)
« on: May 22, 2005, 12:12:41 AM »
Hiya Dray,

I've been reading up on the details of a druid's Animal Companion and the Handle Animal skill and have only just figured out the relation between the two!

Ok, so Erinalia's hawk, with an intelligence of 2, can learn up to 6 tricks.  Plus, as an Animal Companion, he gets 1 bonus trick that requires no training time or Handle Animal check (from PHB p36).  Kewl!

So... I would like to take Defend (PHB p75) as my hawk's bonus trick.

Also, I am wondering, since Erin has been on the isle for a week now (which is the training time of a trick), if you'll allow me to choose another trick also.  If so, I would choose Fetch (which I'm assuming will allow her to send the hawk to catch and retrieve fish).  Fetch has a DC of 15 and I'll be happy to make the roll at the beginning of our upcoming session if necessary.

That leaves the hawk with 5 more tricks to learn which we could then play out normally over the course of the campaign.  Does this all sound okay to you?  Please let me know what you think.  Thanks!

Out of Character Discussions / meditating for druidic spells
« on: May 21, 2005, 11:29:27 PM »
Hey all,

This is primarily a question for our intrepid GM, Dray...

Erinalia will need to meditate to regain the spells that she used during our day off excursion.  She still has one unused spell left, though.  Is it acceptable to replace that with a different spell during the meditative process?  I would assume that the answer is yes, but I don't like to assume things...

Game Log / Episode 03: Visions in the Night
« on: May 18, 2005, 01:24:44 AM »
Episode 03
Visions in the Night

[Saturday 07 May 05]

Cast of characters:
Hafaeveraal: Phin
Jarmok: Johan
Kit: Dray
Laren: Matt.
Maal Brengain: fraz
Ragnar: Rob C.

Sythus [Spring]
Valley Year 237
Duthash Albyr Fehy [02 May]: Morning

Jarmok: Everything seems much larger than you remember it being. The trees are taller, the bushes are bigger but your step is shorter. You run in an even stride and your balance is much keener than you?re accustomed to. You easily duck and dodge any branches that appear before you. With feline grace you jump upon a rock blistering through the ground. You look around not really knowing where you are. You descend from the rock and continue on your way through the night. Slowly your vision fades out. You wake up at dawn to find yourself stretched across the woodpile just outside of your back door. Your back is a bit creaky and your head aches a bit. You are suddenly hit by a wall of hunger and thirst.

Maal: you are out on your daybreak patrol enjoying the delicious solitude and peace of these quiet hours. To the east is the humble glow of Kossuth waking from it?s slumber. Soon it, and all of the folk, will be up and about on their daily toil. There is a delicate and even sheet of mist gently wrapping this river valley in it?s embrace. Walking in determined strides you begin to make your way to the Overspan. In the distance you can hear the pounding of the waterfall known by the locals as ?The Hammer?. As you walk across the Overspan and look to your left and see the waterfall. You can barely feel the spray of the water kissing your face. It is cool and soothing offering you a bit a peace on your vigilant march. You continue to the other side of the bridge and further ahead on the road you see a small silhouette emerging from the thin morning mist. You hold fast your spear and grip the handle of your shield just a little tighter. You?re ready for anything. The silhouette becomes more distinct. It?s a little girl. She is in a torn and dirty underdress and her face is filthy with dirt and blood. Her blond hair is mussed and greasy looking. Her feet are bare and painted with dried blood. She looks at you blankly and shaking as if she?d seen a ghost. She looks familiar.

Laren: a blinding light fades and you see amidst the trees a dark cave before you with skewed rusted rail tracks coming out. You hear piercing death screams. The light fades in and out again and you then see a busted and broken carriage and two bloody and hacked horses surrounded in purple mist. The light blinds you once again then fades to reveal the face of a beautiful raven haired woman in a dark cloak reaching towards you. The screams come again. With a start you wake up with breathless and with an awful headache. Your sheets are tossed about and you see that they are torn violently.

Kit: you see his face. his sneering ratty face. he says ?I will  find you. You know I will. And when I do I?ll do it all over again?.hahahaha?. a deep bass humming starts to fill your ears. Your blood gets hot and heart starts to race. Rage fills every fiber of your existence. With determined focus you release your rage. You aim to destroy him utterly and without mercy. You wake suddenly to the sounds of splintering wood and shattering glass. You find yourself standing in the middle of your room looking at a blown out window and a destroyed ceramic pitcher and mug. You feel your face is hot and you?re heart is pounding uncontrollably. Your sleeping gown is soaked with your own sweat. Your eyes are filled with tears and you begin to sob uncontrollably.

Ragnar: you look down and you see the brands on your hands bleeding. You see shackles bound with chains on your wrists. At your feet is a candle burning with white light. Around you are dancing shadows laughing and snickering. Slowly the shadows creep closer and closer. They lash out scraping and scratching you. You swing back with your bound hands hitting emptiness. The shadows come ever closer surrounding you, embracing you. Then the light from the candle goes out. Your eyes snap open and you see that you?re swinging at the air with your wrists pressed against each other. You also hear a deep muffled hum and then glass shattering from within another room.

Maal approaches the dirty and bloodied little girl and asks what has happened, but the only words that she will speak are ?Momma and Poppa?.  The wildlander hesitates for an endless moment and then grabs the girl up into her arms.  The little girl clings to Maal as the wildlander woman carries her through the town heading to the Council House.

However, on the way, Maal runs into Jarmok who is returning through town to his cabin.  She briefly explains the situation and Jarmok tells her to go to Julius' house instead.  Maal follows him through the town.

Yet, as they approach the Rosewalk bridge they hear a loud crash from the nearby Thornhedge Inn.  Jarmok looks over to see that splinters of wood and glass have fallen to the street from a second story window.  He moves to investigate while Maal continues onward to Julius' home.

Jarmok enters the inn, climbs the stairs to the room from which the glass window had been broken and pounds upon the door. Kit is still shaken from her dream, though, and fails to answer, but recognizing the possibility of danger she loads her crossbow and levels it at the door, intending to shoot whatever might be outside her door. Jarmok, becoming increasingly concerned, breaks the door in and enters hastily, fearing that something is wrong. He only finds Kit in her night clothes, however. Kit, thankfully, recognizes Jarmok and pulls up her weapon, asking what on earth he is doing breaking down her door.

"Broken window." Jarmok explains, indicating the...broken windw. "In trouble?"

Kit is embarrased a little, and hastily explains that she was only trying to open the window and accidentally hit her head, shattering the glass.

Jarmok apologizes and withdraws out to the hallway.  He returns downstairs somewhat perplexed.

Kit follows to talk to Keltan and explain about the noise and mess.  Ragnar and Laren have also appeared to investigate the noise.  Kit returns to her room for a bath and Jarmok leaves to catch up with Maal.

Laren leaves and heads directly to the Mushroom o' the Stump tavern expecting to get some breakfast. However, he arrives and finds that they haven't even opened for business yet.  He sees someone moving about inside and knocks upon the door.  Garret answers, dressed in a loin cloth (his bed clothes!?) and Laren immediatley apologizes for calling at such an early hour.  Instead of leaving, though, he offers to help out in the kitchen and Garret welcomes him inside.

Meanwhile, Maal arrives at Julius' house with the little girl and pounds loudly on the door. The housekeeper eventually lets her inside and Julius appears to find out what is going on.  Maal explains that she found the girl on the south-east outskirts of the town.  She recognizes the girl as belonging to the family that had entered the inn on the same morning that Kit and Ragnar had saved the boy from drowning (on Gorrish Arek Arkus 237).  Maal is very uncomfortable holding the little girl and finally hands her off to Julius.  The wildlander then leaves abruptly to gather the others.

She meets up with Jarmok again as she is crossing back over the Rosewalk.  They return to the inn together where they find Ragnar eating his breakfast.  Jarmok leaves to find Laren, while Maal climbs the stairs to call on Kit.  Maal pounds on Kit's door.  Kit, finally in the middle of her relaxing morning bath, calls out and Maal answers that there is trouble.  Kit begins to explain about the window, but Maal answers that there is another problem.  She tells Kit to meet them downstairs and leaves.

Returning to the common room, Maal explains the situation to Ragnar as they wait for everyone to gather.  A strange bald-headed, tattooed man [Hafaeveraal] listens intently as he eats his soup.

Meanwhile, Jarmok enters the Stump and calls for Laren who emerges from the kitchen wearing an apron and wielding a hot pan full of fried eggs.  Jarmok indicates that Laren should follow him and leaves.  Laren passes the pan off to Garret and exits quickly, following Jarmok back to the inn.

After everyone has finally gathered in the common room at the inn, Maal encourages them to follow her, promising to explain the details on the way.  As they are heading towards the door, Hafaeveraal, the tattooed stranger, stands and offers to help them.  Maal gives him the once over - he is a tall, well-built warrior, wearing a kilt - and then invites him to follow along.

The party walks southward to the spot where Maal had found the little girl.  Here, Jarmok takes the lead, following the girl's tracks along the old road.  They soon come across a ruined carriage.  Crossbow bolts stick out of the wooden sides of the cart and two dead horses being eaten by crows lie on the ground ahead of it.  Large chunks of flesh are missing from the dead beasts and after talking a closer look Jarmok notices talon marks in the horse flesh.

Jarmok investigates the area as the others stand around waiting, trying to be careful not to tramp on any of the tracks.  Jarmok eventually picks up the trail again and the party follows him deeper into the wilderness where they soon discover a cave entrance set into a cliff face.  There are also mining rail tracks here leading into the cave entrance.

With weapons at the ready, the party decides to enter the cave and investigate.

The marching order is thus:
Kit (carrying the torch)

The interior of the cave is a mine tunnel.  The floor has one set of rails and the roof and walls are supported by wooden beams and trusses.  Jarmok follows the rail tracks about thirty feet eastward, but halts when he notices a trip wire across the floor of the tunnel.  After a pause to investigate, everyone steps over the trip wire and continues onward.

They soon enter a 30' x 30? chamber.  The mining rails continue straight ahead through the chamber and onward down another passage.  Three rusty sets of rails split off to the right, where there are five mining carts.  There are also forges on left side of the chamber and several skeletons (a few of which are recognized as dwarf-sized) - quite probably the remnants of a battle.

Maal and Hafaeveraal stand guard looking down the passage ahead while the others investigate the chamber.  Kit cautiously approaches one of the mining carts, but as she closes in, a small lizard-man [kobold] suddenly jumps up from inside the cart and fires a crossbow bolt at her.

The bolt misses the intended target, though, striking the ground near Kit's feet instead.  Kit fires back quickly and then immediately drops the torch to the ground as she reloads her crossbow with a fresh bolt.  Hafaeveraal charges in to attack with his shortsword.  The kobold screeches loudly as it dies upon his sword.

The scream fades gradually into the distance, leaving only silence.  However, Maal and Hafaeveraal soon hear some distant sounds coming from down the passage.  Something or someone has been alerted to their presence.

Kit, Hafaeveraal and Ragnar continue to investigate the mining carts.  Laren searches over the dead kobold and secretly filches a pouch.

As Kit and Ragnar approach two more of the carts, two more kobolds suddenly leap up from within!  Ragnar exchanges crossbow fire with one, but they both miss each other.  Kit kills the other with a bolt through the neck.  Ragnar abandons his crossbow and impales his kobold adversary on his spear.  Hafaeveraal is disappointed to find only rocks in his cart.

Jarmok and Maal hear louder sounds approaching from the passage now.  Jarmok moves off to one side of the passageway in a good position to ambush whatever or whoever may enter.  Maal likewise moves off to the opposite side.

Meanwhile, Kit investigates the kobold she has just killed.  She finds a large belt pouch.

The sounds from the passage are getting louder now.  There seem to be several kobolds whispering to one another as they approach the chamber.  Kit hides quickly in a mining cart, while Laren blends into the murky shadows at the back of the cavern.  Ragnar hides behind one of the mining carts.

Hafaeveraal approaches and stands before the passage with only his studded cesti as weapons.  He is hoping to lure them into the chamber allowing Jarmok and Maal to ambush them from the sides.

Several arrows suddenly whistle by.  Hafaeveraal is struck twice and retreats quickly, hamming it up, trying to draw the kobolds into chamber.  He runs off to the side out of the line of fire and hides behind a cart, pretending to cower from his attackers.  Kit is concerned for his welfare, but he is too far away for her to check on him.

Eventually, Maal spies a kobold poking its snout into the chamber.  She shrinks back against the wall, hiding, hoping that they will all enter into the trap.  The kobolds proceed very cautiously, though, as they enter.  Laren and Kit suddenly open fire just as Jarmok launches his own attack from one side with his axe.

A brief, but bloody battle with several kobolds follows.

Maal and Ragnar attacks with their spears while Hafaeveraal fights with his sword.  Maal is struck in the toe by a sword-weilding kobold, but the kobolds are quickly slaughtered without any further injuries to the party.  Kit finally recovers her torch following the battle.

After a brief discussion on how to proceed, Jarmok and Laren sneak about thirty feet down the passage, while the others wait patiently in the chamber.  The torchlight fades behind them, though, and Jarmok finds it necessary to lead Laren carefully in the darkness.  Jarmok soon finds that the passage turns left, yet opens into a chamber straight ahead and to the right.  The chamber is similar to the other room.  There are two sets of tracks with mining carts here.

Jarmok sees the carcus of a huge spider just within the entrance way to the chamber.  Laren hears a slight creaking noise and Jarmok notices a movement in the dimness at the edge of his vision.  They quietly retreat to the first chamber, rejoining the party.

Jarmok explains as best he can what he has seen, drawing diagrams in the dirt at their feet.  The party formulates a plan.  It is decided that they will all advance to investigate the next chamber, but that Jarmok will go well ahead of the party and their torchlight to take advantage of the darkness and his low-light vision.

Putting the agreed upon plan into motion, Jarmok sneaks ahead and the party follows behind at a distance.  Jarmok approaches the chamber as quietly as possible and peers within.  Suddenly, he sees a kobold dart out from behind a mining cart, heading to a passage on the opposite side of the chamber.  Jarmok reacts by throwing an axe at the fleeing kobold, but he misses.

Jarmok then charges in, yelling loudly, so that the others will be sure to hear his attack and will hopefully come quickly.  He is caught flat-footed, however, and hit twice by a much larger lizard-man attacking with club and claw.  Jarmok recovers in time, however, to block another set of attacks and then stands fast to fight back.

The others hear the commotion and charge down the passageway to help.  Hafaeveraal arrives first and attempts to grapple the lizard-man.  He succeeds in grabbing the lizard-man just as Jarmok strikes the creature with his axe.  Maal arrives and stabs it viciously with her spear.

The lizard-man (which is actually a troglodyte) suddenly exudes a cloud of gas!  Kit, Jarmok and Laren are all affected by the poisonous gas [fail save = -2 on rolls for 10 mins].  Hafaeveraal manages to pin the troglodyte down to the ground and Jarmok slices its belly open with his axe, killing it.

The battle is not over however, as three kobolds have emerged from the mining carts and begun firing crossbow bolts at the party.  Ragnar, Kit and Laren return fire, but all miss (Kit just missing due to her queasiness from the troglodyte's gas).

Maal charges across the room at the kobolds and kills one as they fire off another volley of bolts.  Ragnar closes in and engages the nearest kobold with his spear.  The kobold abandons his crossbow and slashes Ragnar with a shortsword.

Kit fires another bolt, missing again as Hafaeveraal charges in and hacks down one of the kobolds.

Jarmok notices three other figures moving around in the darkness.  He suddenly runs in the direction of the first fleeing kobold that he had spotted.  Kit, carrying the torch, follows him.

Ragnar and Hafaeveraal team up on the last kobold, but he manages to elude them.  Laren finally hits the kobold with an arrow.  The kobold, badly wounded, drops his weapon and cowers on the ground.  Maal steps in and brutally murders the unarmed kobold with a thrust of her spear.

Meanwhile, Jarmok and Kit see three more troglodytes approaching.  Jarmok fires an arrow while, at the same moment, Kit blasts the same troglodyte with her psi power.  The troglodyte explodes just as the arrow strikes it's mark!  This time, though, Jarmok senses a peculiar buzzing emenating from Kit's head.  Laren?s mouth drops open and his eye's widen upon seeing the troglodyte explode.  He is also just close enough this time to notice the strange buzzing.

There is no time for immediate discussion, however, as the two remaining troglodytes close in quickly.  Laren fires off a poisoned arrow, striking one of them and Jarmok strikes the other with his axe.  Kit blasts the same troglodyte with another burst of psi power.  The troglodyte is hurt badly, but not dead.  It is in quite a lot of pain, though.

Maal, Ragnar and Hafaeveraal close in and join the fray.  Ragnar and Jarmok both miss.  Kit moves back from the melee about fifteen feet and prepares to fire her crossbow.  Maal strikes the poisoned troglodyte with her spear while Laren misses the other one with an arrow.  Hafaeveraal strikes with his sword, killing the poisioned troglodyte.

Ragnar tries demoralizing the last troglodyte with his psionic powers.  Jarmok and Maal both miss as one of Laren's arrows whistles by and strikes it's target.  Jarmok deflects the troglodyte's club, but is then bitten by the creature.  He falls down to one knee, hurt badly.

Ragnar fires a bolt, but misses.  Jarmok lurches forward from one knee and strikes the troglodyte in the gut with his axe, finally killing the beast.

"See!? You all see that? That's what happened last time!" Laren cries out.  He looks at Jarmok, "What the hell are you doing to these things? How do you make things explode!?"  Laren looks at Kit, "And what the hell is that buzzing?" Laren waits for some replies but gets none.  "You all saw that, yes?"

"Don't know," Jarmok replies as he rises unsteadily, badly wounded.  "Is good, though, yes?" He smiles a little looking at the ground, then winces and shifts uncomfortably and leans heavily against the tunnel wall.

"W...Y... I ... I guess," Laren answers.  "But why to things explode like that? How do we know one of us won't be next?  Last thing I need right now is bits of my head all over the place!"

Jarmok's only reply is, "Don't bite me."

Laren stands there, mouth closed and eyes wide.  He looks one by one to everyone else.

Finally, after a moment or two of silence, Laren sniffs loudly, shakes his head and rubs his temples. He looks about the room for anything interesting so he doesn't have to look at anyone else. He clearly does not want the attention of the group anymore.

Jarmok eventually forces himself to continue onward and the party follows.  They eventually come to a huge 60 x 100 foot chamber.  The party pauses and listens carefully...  They hear some groaning from not far away - possibly captives.  Jarmoks leads the group forward and they finally find eight human captives tied to the cavern wall.  Five of the humans are missing body parts and, after some investigation, only two are actually found to be alive.  The living folks are cut loose.  Jarmok looks around quickly.  The passage continues on through this chamber to yet more unexplored areas.  However, all in the party agree that they need to return these wounded folk to the town and recouperate themselves before continuing onward.

Ragnar carries the woman and Maal takes the boy as the party makes their way back towards the town.  Jarmok runs off ahead to warn Ash of the incoming wounded.  He also pays Julius a brief visit before heading home to clean himself up and rest.  The others eventually arrive and drop off the injured folk at Ash's house...

Erinalia & T' Riad conversation
[conducted through e-mail 17-21 Mar 05, edited by fraz 10 Apr 05]

07 Goodmonth (Aug) 591: Nightime at Beachstock:

Erinalia sits alone on the outer fringes of the usual "beachstock" festivities.?She notices T' Riad approaching and, after speaking softly to her hawk companion, thrusts her left arm upward to launch the bird into the air.?The hawk flies away gracefully as T' Riad addresses the small half-elf woman.

T? Riad: "Erinalia, I?ve noticed that in the brief time that we?ve been affiliated that you seem remarkably in tune with nature. We are not so different, you and I. I also seek to be one with nature and maintain a universal balance?in and outside myself. I have the discipline to defend and attack which lends itself to pain and injury by me and to me. I find that this causes imbalance at a basic level. I would like to learn the art of healing through nature so that as I cause pain so too I can heal it. This will help maintain the universal balance that I embrace with my very soul. I ask if you would teach me your healing arts through the life around us. As you teach me, I gladly offer to teach you an art in return."

Erinalia listens as T' Riad speaks, yet there?seems to be?something amiss. She seems a bit distracted, although the tone of her reply is honest and sincere.

Erin [replying in Elven]:  "Ah.??I would be honored, T' Riad, to teach you the useful, yet small amount of lore that I have acquired on the arts of herbal healing.?I?am still a novice in the arts of healing as well, although I hope to further develop my skills and knowledge while here on the isle.

"However, please keep in mind that there may also be a limit in what I am permitted by my order to teach you.?Some of the ways of my order have been closely guarded secrets for many turns of the seasons, and I would be risking much if I were to divulge too much of our lore.?Yet, I'm certain that we can work around these limitations..."

Erinalia's voice trails off.? She seems a bit shaken as she passes her small hand over her face...

"I...? T' Riad, I feel a bit ill.?There is a matter that weighs heavily upon my shoulders this evening... It would likely seem a small and trivial matter to the others here on the isle, yet I believe you would understand..."

Her voice trails off softly again. Her head is bowed and she gazes down at the sand at their feet...

Concerned, T? Riad approaches closer, ?Are you alright? If there is something that is troubling you, tell me. Some troubles should not be burdened alone. As a fellow kin and kindred I think that maybe I?d understand your concerns better than most.?

Erinalia seems?distraught; her hands seem to be shaking slightly in a nervous manner. She seems reluctant to meet T' Riad's gaze and continues to look downward as she speaks.

Erin: "Yes, you are right of course, yet everyone here is still a stranger to me, so it is very difficult for me to know who to approach and when...

"You see...", she finally looks up and briefly meets T' Riad's eyes with her own before nervously glancing away again, "I've *never* intentionally killed anything before today and I find the experience rather... unnerving.

"While it's true that I did need to defend myself, I find that I am asking myself if I truly needed to use the amount of force that I did on that centipede.? Yet, after my summoning expired and the viper vanished, I... I just lashed out defensively with my staff.? I didn't think I would actually strike the creature, and I certainly didn't think I would *kill* it.

"Does this seem silly to you?  I'm certain none of the others will lose any sleep over our brief encounter today, yet I feel... ill.

"How do you, and the others, deal with these feelings - this guilt?? I have destroyed a creature that was doing only what it does naturally.? We were invaders in *it's* territory - it's world. I feel in some strange way that I have altered or upset the balance of things..."  Erinalia rests her head in her hands...

T' Riad: "I don't find any first experience at all silly. Life gives us challenges and we must rise to meet them. I do this everyday. If it's not a challenge on the outside then it's a challenge from within. Yours is a challenge from within. The struggle of trying to justify your actions...I do sympathize with your struggle. However, you came here knowing what was expected. The fish men died defending their home too. Although you may not have been directly involved you are still a part of that as well. As you take life so too shall you give it...THAT is how you achieve balance. Surviving can be a cruel business. Sometimes that is the way of things. The fact that you are feeling this way is to your credit as it shows how passionate you really are about your devotion. Don't lose heart. You did what was necessary to stay alive without compromising your beliefs...and that is a very difficult path to stay on."

Erinalia lifts her head again, shrugging off her gloom.  "Yes, you are correct, of course, T' Riad...

Indeed, you see a lot.? Yet, the truth is, I didn't really want to come here, you see.? I was very happy back in the forest of my home, surrounded by familiar trees and the animals that I loved.? I was surprised and taken aback when my superiors in the order decided to send me away...? I was hurt a little too.? Yet, I?suppose I need to have faith in my order and trust in their decisions, since they are wiser and more experienced than I.

"I think that they realized that I was too protected within their groves.? That I had, perhaps, reached a limit of sorts and that for me to progress beyond the limits that I had unknowlingly set for myself, I would need to leave - leave and learn some lessons elsewhere.? I believe that they sent me here on this expedition in part to learn these lessons first hand.? It is sometimes difficult for me to accept, yet I try.

"I suppose I did know that I would eventually face this day...? It just happened so suddenly that my own reaction took even me by surprise...? if that makes any sense.

"Thank you, T' Riad, for listening to me.? I am grateful for your words of encouragement...

Erinalia gazes at T' Riad finally meeting his eyes with her own.

T' Riad: "I?m glad to see your spirits lift.

"I think that your superiors saw something in you that you couldn?t see yourself. There?s something about you that the others of your order didn?t have. You have a fantastic chance to learn things about this island that no one else knows. It seems that it would be a severe misjudgment from many wise people to send someone that wasn?t outstanding in her field?so to speak.

"Now, if you teach me herbs I?ll teach you this?" T? Riad picks up three rocks and begins to juggle them.

Afterwards he says, ?lets go to the fest, I?d like to play my pan pipes. I like to play my pipes and make merry. I spend so much time in serious meditation that that I need to balance that off with some pleasant happy tunes.? He begins to run to the party??Keep up with me if you can!!?

Game Log / Episode 02: The Rat Trap
« on: April 25, 2005, 09:40:19 PM »
Episode 02
The Rat Trap

[Saturday 23 Apr 05]
[edited 27 Apr 05 by [i:02872e7cee]fraz[/i:02872e7cee]]

Cast of characters:
Jarmok: Johan
Kit: Dray
Laren: Matt C.
Maal Brengain: fraz
Ragnar: Rob C.

Sythus [Spring]
Valley Year 237
Gorrish Gyth Arkus [28 April]: Morning

Jarmok: the cabin that Mercer left you is comforting as it is now your home. However, with Mercer gone it leaves a vacancy that is deafening. In the corner of the living room sits his mandolin that he would play while warming his bones to the fire. Oh how you long to hear it sing it?s eloquent tunes. It would be nice if he were back so that the two of you could go hunting and so that the cabin wasn?t so empty. ?will I ever see him again?? you ask yourself. Then it occurs to you that he is a descendant of the man carved into a statue on the hill. So in a way, he?ll always be here?at least in spirit.

Maal: in the week that you?ve been here you?ve found the townsfolk quite eager to accept you in Threshold. You know that few Wildlanders ever venture this far from their home so to them you must be an interesting sight. Many look at you and some have approached to greet you. Their warm smiles seem to make the harshness of your travels disappear.

Ragnar: the brands on your hands are a painful reminder of what you escaped. The image of the eyes seem as if they are always watching you and never offer any release from the servants of the shadows. Upon seeing the black scars the towns folk tend to keep their distance leaving the impression that they are wary of what they mean. Despite their reticent reactions you have seen that they are good people and mean no ill will towards you.

Kit: the morning bath was quite refreshing and you applaud yourself for such a great idea! As you?ve wandered the town you notice that many of the men have concentrated some time on you. Some have stopped in mid sentence to watch you and more than a few have gotten a smack on the shoulder from their wives for looking. The people have welcomed you with great enthusiasm knowing that you jumped in the river to save little Peter but also because of the charm of your face and your meekness.

The morning breaks open, although judging from the thick fog it?s hard to tell. The mist clings to the trees shrouding them in a mercurial web. This is why the river is called the Fogveil Vein. The brisk air is almost chilling but offers up a sense of rejuvenation. It is still reasonably early in the Sythus season but the budding trees and greening of the grass betray the arrival of the planting. The snows of Venric have begun their retreat and the Fogveil is running high. The smell of damp ground is nearly intoxicating as it begs to the farmers to give it their seeds. Over the past week travelers have arrived only to quickly continue their journey to the Valley of Mist. However, with the thickness of the fog it seems doubtful that they?d ever find it.

You come down for breakfast and Keltan greets you, ?ah, how was your sleep? Good I hope. I don?t want to leave a reputation that a night here is night not well. We have some breakfast here for you, Venison with some bread and spiced cheese. It?s very good cheese from Percy herself! And the bread?oh the bread was brought from Lady Belshazzar fresh this morning! I can?t wait for the fresh fruit and vegetables to grow. These dried versions although good aren?t nearly as good as newly harvested.?

Halfway into your meal Julius Hawkhaven and a finely dressed man enter. ??this is the second time this week!? the man says sternly. ?I give a lot of my money to help support this town and I expect to get at least a little help from you. It?s bad enough that you let ragtags and vagabonds stay in this town. You then go and hire them to help protect it too! They?re probably the ones guilty of stealing my things!? Julius looks at him sharply and says, ?that is quite enough of your ranting, Getty (Coryndar)! I will not listen to your wild accusations against innocents. And need I remind you that it?s these ?ragtags and vagabonds? that work your fields and make you rich? Not to mention that Annalee?s, Stagrakes?s, and Rasthavyn?s son?s have been missing. So, the matter of some missing forks, spoons and some gems doesn?t hold much concern for me right now. Go home and be thankful that it?s not your children missing.?

After a week (or more in Laren's case) in the frontier town of Threshold, newcomers, Kit, Ragnar, Laren, and Maal are now more familiar with their new surroundings.  As they eat some breakfast in the common room of the Thornhedge Inn, they easily overhear the conversation between Julius and Getty as they enter the inn.  Kit immediately asks Julius about the missing children and Julius explains that they are teenagers and have been missing for about three days now.  Some discussion follows.  Maal listens as she continues to eat while the others get the details from Julius.

They are soon interrupted by a half-elf (Suath) who enters and addresses Julius.  Suath explains hurriedly that there is trouble around the corner at his stables.  He opened the stable doors in the morning only to discover a pair of giant rats within, feasting on one of the horses!

The party exits immediately to investigate the scene.  Suath leads them to the nearby stables.  They approach the building cautiously.  There is a rock placed in front of the door, blocking it from opening outward.  Maal hoists Laren up to look in through an open window.  Laren sees a horse's butt, yet cannot see much beyond that particular stall.  However, he can clearly hear some cruching noises from within.

They soon return to the entrance.  As discussion continues, Maal boldly moves the rock aside and opens the door.  With the door opened, the party clearly sees two giant-sized rats munching on the remains of a horse.  There is also a swarming mass of smaller rats around them, also feeding on the carcus.

Maal, unfazed, charges into the stables with a high-pitched wild scream and strikes one of the giant rats with her short spear.  The rats respond by swifty turning on the wildlander woman.  One succeeds in biting her in the leg.  The smaller rats swarm around her feet.

Laren fires an arrow at one of the giant rats, but misses.  Kit plugs one with a bolt from her crossbow, killing it.  She is so pleased with herself that she begins jumping up and down and actually drops the spent weapon.  Maal misses clumsily with her spear as Ragnar fires a bolt from his crossbow.  The bolt whizzes just past Maal's head.  Maal, without looking back, yells, "Watch it, Kit!"

The smaller rats quickly scatter away from the battle as Laren fires again, missing.  Kit has recovered her weapon, but then misses with her second shot.  Maal misses horribly again with the spear, but Ragnar comes through with a great shot that kills the second giant rat.  Maal, thinking that Kit is firing all the bolts, calls back, "Great shot, Kit!"

Maal struts back to the entrance where Suath thanks them for taking care of the situation so swiftly.  The party discusses the situation:  How did the rats get into the stables?  Suath claims that he closed up all the windows and doors the night before.  The party begins to search the stables for large rat holes.

A messenger finds Jarmok at his cabin.  He reports that there is an emergency and that Julius Hawkhaven is requesting his presence.  Jarmok departs quickly, leaving the messenger behind.  As Jarmok nears the council house, he sees Hawkhaven a little further down the street and approaches. Hawkhaven tells Jarmok of the goings-on and Jarmok approaches the stables.

The battle over, Jarmok joins the party in searching the interior of the stables. He finds a hole in the wall at the rear of a newly-empty stall, but it is blocked by a wood pile outside. He exits to investigate the woodpile and soon discovers some giant rat tracks leading away from the stables. The group gathers to follow him. It is clear to Jarmok's trained eye the the woodpile had been moved to grant entry for the rats, and then the wood was replaced.

Jarmok shows off his impressive tracking skills as he tracks the rats through the town towards the river.  He also soon notices that the tracks are those of two-legged rat people!  He tracks the rat people to the riverside cliffs.  Further investigation indicates that the rat people probably came across the water.  The party follows Jarmok across the Rosewalk Bridge to the Foot (an island in the center of town).

As they set foot on the isle, a man approaches asking about his son, who is apparently one of the missing children.  Maal supplies some terse answers as the party quickly passes him by.  Kit, however, stops for a few minutes to talk to him and get some information while the rest of the party continues onward, following Jarmok down to the island riverside.

Jarmok soon discovers that the rat tracks do indeed emerge from the water here on the island, right across from where they disappeared on the opposite bank.  He heads off, fresh on the trail again, with the others falling in behind.  Kit eventually catches up to the party as they pass The House of Crimson eyes and circle around the foot of the cliff beneath the Circle of All.  They continue to follow Jarmok as he eventually enters a lightly wooded area on the edge of the island and they soon discover a large crack in the cliff wall.  The tracks apparently lead straight into this cave.

The party moves back to the river's edge to plot and plan.  After much discussion they decide to set traps and wait until night to spring an ambush on the rat folk.

Laren, Kit, and Ragnar leave to investigate the disappearances of the children, while Jarmok and Maal remain to plan and build the necessary traps for the ambush.  Ragnar also needs to pick up a pair of leather archer's gloves.

Jarmok and Maal have a brief discussion of the rat people while they plan the ambush.  The rat folk could have kidnapped the children, and may have them in the cave.  Waiting for night may not be the best solution if the children are in danger.  They also wonder if there is another connection...  Are the three rat people that they have tracked actually the missing children?

Jarmok decides that he is in need of trap building supplies and equipment.  Maal remains to keep watch while Jarmok returns to his cabin to get his supplies.

Meanwhile, Laren and Kit gather information about the missing children.  It seems all of the teenagers were apparently acting very strange for a few days prior to their disappearance.  As they stand in the street discussing this new information, Laren notices Jarmok running past.  The halfling is suspicious of Jarmok and is worried about the strange man's behavior.  What if Maal is in trouble?

Kit: "You can go back if you want... You're just looking at my bum anyway!"
Laren: "Hey, I'm just gathering information!"
Laren leaves to check on Maal.

Maal patiently keeps watch over the road, until, Ragnar, Laren, and finally Jarmok all return in succession.  The setting of the traps then proceeds.  The plan is to hide and wait until the rat folk are passing through the trap area.  Jarmok will suddenly light a torch, which will be the queue for Maal and Ragnar to light their torches.  It is hoped that the sudden torch light will surprise and frighten the rat people and perhaps even cause them to panic in the midst of the traps and thereby trigger some of the traps.  As this is happening, the party will have the opportunity to fire missile weapons at the them and then charge into melee if necessary.

Kit eventually returns and then departs again to retrieve some lunch for the group.  Upon returning with the food, from Lander Leofric at the The Cliffside Inn, information about the missing children and the rat people is exchanged.  Finally, once the traps are set, the waiting begins.

Sometime during night:
After much patient waiting, Jarmok finally sees three humanoid shapes moving from the cave towards the waiting traps.  However, the figures pause just before reaching the traps.  The leader looks around cautiously and stoops to sniff the ground. It becomes clear to Jarmok that the trio of mysterious creatures has become aware of the traps that lay in wait. Although Maal suspects that they have detected the members of the party rather than the snares. Jarmok responds quickly by lighting his torch and grabbing his axe.  Maal and Ragnar also light their torches, but the rat-men aren't quite in the trap area and immediately retreat towards the cave.

Jarmok moves immediately to cut them off as the others close in.  Laren gets a shot off with his bow, but unfortunately hits a tree.  As the three rat-men retreat they morph into four legged giant rats (bigger than the two killed in the stable).  Jarmok closes in and swings the flat of his axe at one of them, but he misses.  It's obvious to him that the rats are too fast for him to catch up to, so in a last ditch attempt to stop them, Jarmok drops his axe and tries to grapple one of them.  He misses, and gets bit, and the rats soon disappear back into the cave.

The party investigates the opening.  Though the entrance is only about three feet wide, the tunnel appears to widen significantly further in.  They decide to follow the rats inside.

You come through the trees to a slight clearing. The cliff rises above you and you can hear the river behind you. In front of you is a crack in the cliff wall with an opening 3?wide. The smell of mildew and dung punches you as you enter the opening. Ahead of you are some weathered stairs descending into darkness. The walls were once crafted but are now broken and cracked. Dirt, roots and moss grow from between the wallstones and the sound of dripping water echoes from below. The stench of offal gets stronger as you get to the bottom of the stairs.

The marching order is thus:
Kit (carrying a lit torch)

The tunnel at the bottom of the stairs turns to the right and leads to into a chamber littered with offal.  The chamber is lit dimly by a candle and Kit's torch.  There are three giant rats (which seem to be similar in size to the stable rats) feeding on the offal in the center of the chamber.  There is an old wooden door on the opposite wall, just past the rats.

Turning to the right (north) you see a dim glow coming from a room down the short hall. the room is 20x20 with a crude door on the north wall on the western side. There is a candle sconce on the western wall and some raw meat being devoured by three large rats in the middle of the room.

Jarmok begins to cross the chamber, cautiously heading towards the door, but the rats turn on him and attack.  Laren quickly fires an arrow, but misses as Jarmok fights off a rat trying to bite him.  Laren dodges an attacking rat while Maal charges in and is quickly bitten.  Ragnar fires a bolt past Laren and nails one of the rats right between the eyes!  Only two giant rats left.  Maal misses with her spear and Jarmok misses with his axe.  Kit fires a bolt at Jarmok's rat, but misses.

Laren changes tactics and flanks around the rats in order to get a clear shot.  He hits!  Jarmok, meanwhile, is bitten badly.  The rat teeth tear into the flesh of his leg.  Maal avoids being bitten and then spears a rat to the floor, leaving only one remaining giant rat.  Ragnar and Jarmok miss. A deep low drone fills the chamber and the last giant rat suddenly bursts [from Kit's still secret psionic power], spewing it's innards all over Jarmok who was battling with it.

Laren's jaw drops as the rat seems to tear into Jarmol's leg, withdraw, and then explode! Not being quite as shocked as he appears (he has seen a lot of wildly strange things!), Laren allows a couple of seconds to pass (just to add to the drama) before stating, "Jarmok, I don't know what's coursing through your veins, but I think it disagreed with the rat's digestive system."

Jarmok is actually in a lot of pain from the wound and does not respond to Laren's quip. He looks wildly at the rat and its guts splattered all about the little chamber and himself. He gimps backward a step and looks for something else to occupy him.

The moment passes and Laren marches over to the wooden door, determined to open it, but halts at the last minute at Maal's urgent request.  She and Jarmok are both very injured, and are against continuing onward.  Jarmok cleans himself up as Ragnar bandages his wounded leg.  Maal wedges the door shut with several rat bones and rocks.  She seems unfazed by the blood and gore.

The party exits the cave and collects the torches from the trap area.  The traps are left intact without worry, since this is a very low traffic area.  Everyone then walks back towards the Wolfsong Bridge.  Jarmok notices that Maal is limping and indicates that she should follow him.

Maal: "Where?"
Jarmok: "To healer."

While the rest of the party returns to the inn to rest, Maal follows Jarmok to the healer's house.  Jarmok knocks upon the door and the healer, Ash, eventually answers.  Upon recognizing Jarmok he lets them inside and graciously makes them as comfortable as he can.  He carefully examines their wounds and then spreads an ointment over both the wounds and the bandages that he applies.  A side effect of the medication is apparently drowsiness, as Jarmok and Maal soon fall fast asleep.

Gorrish Gyth Basque [29 April]: Morning:
Jarmok and Maal awaken to find their wounds fully healed.  They talk with Ashe during breakfast, describing the rat-man encounters on the isle.  Ashe reveals some history of the caves beneath the island.  In ancient times, before the Shadow Wars, there was a temple to Grumbar there.  The caves were also used as a place of hiding during the Shadow Wars.

Jarmok and Maal return to the inn and meet the rest of the party for breakfast.  They send for Julius Hawkhaven.  Julius soon arrives and much discussion follows.  The party ultimately agrees to build a net trap in front of the cave entrance, with the hope that they can lure the rat-men out into the trap and subdue them.  If the rat people truly are the missing children, then capturing them will be preferrable to killing them.

Laren suggests that Ashe could have a light poison or something similar that could be used to help subdue the rat folk.  He and Kit leave to pay the healer a visit.  After a brief visit, they come away with some Blackmoss (15 applications) and some healing salve (5 applications).

Meanwhile, Jarmok, Maal, and Ragnar collect the equipment necessary for the net trap and make their way back across the Wofsong and down to the cave to set up the new ambush.

Laren and Kit eventually catch up to the others down at the cave.  Kit notices that Jarmok has a hole in his armor and she offers to fix it for him.  Jarmok hands over the damaged piece of armor and Kit spends part of her day working on it.  She also retrieves some lunch for the party again while the others continue to work on the trap.

The net trap is eventually completed.  Everyone then applies the Blackmoss syrup to their missile weapons.  Their arrows, bolts, and Maal's spear tip (which takes three applications) are all treated.  Jarmok then goes down into the caves alone to unwedge the door.

He finds that the candle has burned out completely now. As he approaches the wooden door he notices a very dim light escaping from beneath the door. Before opening the door Jarmok investigates the scene to determine whether anyone had tried to open the door. Satisfied that the door has been left alone, he very carefully removes the wedges from the door and then leaves as silently as he entered.

Finally, the whole party spends the remainder of the day working on their hiding spots in the woods surrounding the net trap.

The three rat-men eventually emerge very slowly from the cave. The first one, carrying a sickle, sniffs at the night air and peers into the darkness with considerable caution. He is followed out of the cave by the other two, both bearing short spears. They proceed forward, creeping very slowly across the net, seemingly unaware of the trap that has been set. The first rat-man actually steps over the trip wire, but the second rat-man trips it, springing the trap. All three rat-men are hoisted up as the net closes around them. They all struggle madly to be free. The rat-man wielding the sickle tries desperately to cut through the net with the weapon.

Jarmok lets fly an arrow at the sickle wielding rat-man, but misses.  Ragnar fires a bolt at the same rat-man and strikes him!  The rat-man passes out from the Blackmoss, dropping his sickle to the ground.  The party approaches and knocks out the remaining rat-men by striking them with the poisoned weapons.  The net is then lowered, but as the unconscious rat-men are removed they do indeed morph back into human form.  They are indeed human teenagers!  Most likely the very same ones that have gone missing.

Jarmok suggests bringing them straight to Julius' home, despite the late hour.  Ragnar carries two children while Maal carries one over her shoulder.  Jarmok runs ahead to awaken Julius and inform him of their apparent success.  Upon awakening, Julius suggests taking the children to Ashe for immediate treatment.  Jarmok runs off and intercepts the party, redirecting them towards Ashe's home.  He then runs off ahead to Ashe's house and awakens the healer to give him the news.  Ashe is excited and more than willing to help.  He immediately goes about looking for certain herbs and whatnot on his shelves.

Maal, Ragnar and the others finally arrive with the children who are secured onto beds.  Kit and Laren offer to assist Ashe in the preparation and healing.  Ashe does his work and soon announces that the children will be fine after their recovery.

A couple of days later:
The party returns to Ash's house and talks with the children to get their story.  They were apparently bitten by a rat-man named Rawling outside of town.  Rawling was dressed in rags yet clearly had the symbol of Kazbourne on his tunic.  The children reveal that Rawling was also living in the caves beneath the isle.  However, they have not seen him since before the party's first ambush.

Treasure found on the children-turned-rat-men:
3 pp(Dracs-Vychia)
30 gp(15 Crowns-Vychia, 9 Stags-Rhohannus, 6 Torch-Kazbourne)
51 sp(22 griff-Vychia, 19 Uni-Rhohannus, 10-Serpntshell-Kazbourne)
75 cp(33 peg-Vychia, 21 Citypiece-Rhohannus, 21 Fist-Kazbourne)
3 gems (30 gp each, 1 ruby, 2 sapphire)
3 sets (fork, spoon, knife) guilded untensils (worth 15 gp each)

In Character Discussions / Erin & Mel
« on: April 12, 2005, 08:14:28 PM »
[Erinalia stares blankly at Mel...]

Did I just hear you say that you want a tattoo on the top of your head?  Why, whatever on Oerth for?

Out of character discussions / cheat to win!
« on: April 10, 2005, 02:01:45 PM »
Something occurred to me as I was writing up the log for Session 17...

We screwed up a bit when Arlen used his Inspire Courage Bardic Song twice on the same morning (once during the little spider battle and then again during the battle with big momma spider).  Bards are actually only supposed to be able to use that ability once per day per lvl.

Technically, Arlen was still 1st lvl, even though the experience from the first battle (which we received later) was more than enough to put him up to 2nd.  So at least we have a decent cover story for the screw-up.

In my defense, I'm still new to the 3rd Ed rules... especially the bard with all his special abilities!  I guess we just need to keep an eye on that kind of stuff in the future.

Out of character discussions / Mirri pics posted
« on: April 10, 2005, 01:06:08 PM »
Hey, I just posted the pics of Phin's character, Mirri, here on

Thanks for sending 'em, Phin!

Game Log / Session 17 - Arachnid Attack!
« on: April 09, 2005, 10:41:51 PM »
Session #17:
Arachnid Attack!

[Saturday 02 April 05]
[updated 13 April 05 by [i:38af6b1a53]fraz[/i:38af6b1a53]]

[fraz: ?What's the title of tonight's session?"
GM: "Don?t know yet.  Let?s see how it goes."]

Sprouting Grass/Egg -1: Morning:

The party recovers from the battle with the Wendigo.  The body of the Wendigo burns upon the ground before them, set a-flame by one of Valen's Produce Flame spells.  Valen and Zurn move away from the blaze to meditate in peace while Arlen, worried about the flames spreading into the surrounding forest, clears debris away from the fire.

An hour later, Valen and Zurn return from their meditation.  The fire is no longer blazing.  It now smolders, but is abnormally hot, radiating intense heat.  Valen casts Create Water, tossing two gallons of liquid on the smoldering Wendigo corpse, but it only fizzles into steam with no apparent effect.

The party is ready to move on, but Valen and Arlen are very concerned about leaving the fire unattended.  After much discussion the party clears away more debris, baring a large area of earth around the corpse.

After this is done the party finally moves on in a south-east direction, resuming their search for the swamp-witch.  Arlen leaves behind the odd silver-colored dagger that he cast out into the woods at the onset of the battle with the Wendigo.

After traveling a bit, they come to the east-west road between the Forest Keep and Gorna.  The party halts to gain their bearings.  They have apparently gone too far, since Valen, Zurn and Belwar have now traveled two days south in search of the swamp-witch, when they were actually only instructed to journey one day south.  After much discussion, it is finally agreed upon to head north-east now to continue the search.

During the day of travel, Arlen and Himo continue to hear the strange whispering on the wind.  This is quite disturbing to Arlen, since he had hoped that this whispering would cease once the Wendigo was dealt with.

The party leaves the road and spends the rest of the day heading north-eastward.  A camp is set up as night approaches.

During the night, Arlen stays awake during his own watch and then during Himo's watch as well.  He is very concerned that Himo (or even Belwar, who also has been bitten by the Wendigo) could make another attempt for a midnight snack upon his arm.  He attempts to wake Belwar after Himo's watch, intending to remain awake for three full watches, but Belwar only mumbles and turns over, going right back to sleep again.  Arlen awakens Valen instead and finally settles down to a fitful night's sleep.  Nothing odd transpires, though, and the night eventually passes.

First Day of the New Moon: Sprouting Grass/Egg: Dawn:

Zurn sits on watch (the last of the night) when he sees an odd wavering visual effect over the ground at the edge of the firelight.  He reaches down to pick up a pine cone, intending to toss it at the strange visual effect.  However, the pine cone turns out to be a spider!  He swiftly casts it away realizing that there are also many more spiders swarming straight towards their campsite!  He yells for the others to awaken and prepares to defend himself.

The others leap into action upon awakening!  Himo casts a series of magic missiles as Belwar begins wiping out the spiders several at a time with his greataxe.  Mirri is bitten repeatedly as she skewers spiders one at a time on her spear.  Valen casts light to brighten up the battleground, which is still only dimly lit by the early dawn and the campfire.  Arlen backs up from the melee and begins a battle song to inspire courage in his companions.  He is uncertain about how else to help out, since firing arrows into the melee would generally be a bad idea, so he hangs back to keep his bard's song going.  Zurn Blesses the entire party as the combat continues.

The party (aside from Arlen who is still standing safely off to the side) is now completely surrounded by the spiders and the arachnids begin climbing up and onto some of the party members.  The combatants are bitten repeatedly and some notice a loss of strength due to the spiders' venom.

Valen, who has several spiders crawling upon him and has already received numerous bites, decides he has had enough.  After healing himself, he casts Produce Flame and begins seizing the spiders with his burning hands and throwing them to the ground.  Zurn also fights off the spiders with his masterworked flail.

Arlen runs over and knocks one off of Mirri's leg with his sheathed knife.  Belwar kills several more around his feet and then moves quickly over to help Valen.  He expertly slices and dices several spiders that are hanging onto the druid.

The battle finally winds down as Mirri brushes the final spider off of her fur and stomps upon it.  Valen then takes a moment to heal Mirri and himself.

The campsite is cleaned up and Valen, Zurn and Arlen roast and eat spider meat.  Belwar refuses to eat the spider meat and goes out into the surrounding woods to gather nuts and berries.

Himo also wanders off from the campsite on his own to look for food.  However, he soon gets a bit more than he bargained for when he runs into a huge spider the size of a boulder!  He is injured badly from the initial encounter, yet stands fast, casting Color Spray at the beast.  The huge spider seems unaffected by the spell though, thus Himo decides to cast Mirror Image as he flees from the monster.  The enormous spider chases after Himo, destroying a couple of his mirror images during the pursuit through the woods.  But the spider's legs are long and there is no way Himo can outrun it.  Fortunately, Belwar is foraging nearby and hears the commotion.  He hurries to Himo's aid.

Arlen, Valen, Mirri and Zurn also hear the activity and see the Color Spray lighting up the forest.  They all leap up and run towards the source to investigate.  Mirri quickly leaves the others behind and arrives on the scene just after Belwar.  Belwar has thrown an axe at the monster and he and Mirri now close in for melee combat with the beast.

Arlen and Valen finally arrive and Arlen pauses to begin another song of Inspire Courage.  Himo casts another Mirror Image spell as Belwar and Mirri continue their attack.  Valen closes in and strikes with his dagger while Arlen quickly notches and fires an arrow, piercing the spider in the eye and killing the beast!

Belwar recovers his thrown axe as Valen works on removing one of the enormous spider legs, which he plans to cook and split into rations for the party.  The entire group returns to the campsite where the spell-casters meditate for their spells while Arlen oversees the cooking of the spider meat.

[1,150 xp granted for the little spider battle; 360 xp granted for big momma-spider battle]
[Everyone lvls up!  Arlen achieves 2nd lvl]

General Info / MSI character generation
« on: April 05, 2005, 04:05:47 PM »
Below are the char generation steps that Dray e-mailed to me when I joined the MSI camp.  I thought we should post it up here as a guide in case one of us gets eaten by a dragon and needs to roll up a new character.

Character Ability Scores:

-Roll 6 sets of 4d6
-Reroll all ones, then take the best three of that set.
-You can then choose where you want each score.

Please use only races and classes mentioned in the PH3.5, as you will be a traveler of an origin of the eastern lands of Greyhawk.

Game Log / Threshold Game Log Discussion
« on: March 20, 2005, 12:20:36 PM »
Hey all,

I just posted the 1st Episode of the Threshold log.

I think I got most of the events down, but I know there is a lot of missing information.  Each of you should feel free to edit the log to elaborate on and embellish your character's actions or intentions.  It was a bit difficult to follow everything that went on while I was typing.

Also, while I think I got all of the PC names correct, I'm sure I misspelled some of the NPC names (and I didn't even have a name for Jarmok's mentor).  Dru, feel free to make the corrections in the log if you like.

Anyone who would rather just post corrections or info in here can do that instead, of course, and I will be happy to pop in occasionally and work it into the log.

Anyway, thanks for GMing, Dru!  That was fun and I'm definitely looking forward to more!

Game Log / Episode 01: A Cold Sythus Morning
« on: March 20, 2005, 12:06:37 PM »
Episode 01
A Cold Sythus Morning

[Saturday 19 Mar 05]
[updated 26 Apr 05 by [i:3bc271e6ab]fraz[/i:3bc271e6ab]]

Cast of characters:
Jarmok: Johan
Kit: Dray
Laren: Matt C.
Maal Brengain: fraz
Ragnar: Rob C.

Sythus [Spring]
Valley Year 237
Gorrish Arek Arkus [22 April]:

Threshold, the frontier town. The last settlement on the edge of the Valley of Mist.

Jarmok's Introducton:

To you the cold season has been almost unbearable. However, the kindness of Mercer?s hospitality has kept you warm and fed. In the time that you?ve been with Mercer he has taught you the details of hunting here. ?to feel the skin of the land?, as he says.

While out on a hunt Mercer stops and says, ?Jarmok, my years are coming to an end and I must move on. I need to go to the valley and make my peace. You?ve been a good friend and an excellent learner. I will miss you. I?ve spoken with the town council to let them know of your story. I have corrected the innocent mistakes of your method to survive during the cold. You are now, once again, truly free. Come let us finish the hunt??

The two of you make your catch and go back to the cabin. After supper while sitting at the fire Mercer takes out his pipe and stares into the flames. At length he says, ?Not all of my kind are bad. Of the ones here most are quite friendly. Usually many outsiders come to make a fresh start. They seek to find acceptance.? He gets up and walks to a chest across the room. He reaches in and pulls out an axe. He walks to you and hands it to you. It?s an axe the likes of which you?ve never seen. As it gleams in the fire light you notice that it has a wood grain look to it. The flat of each blade is gilded with the gold leaves from the trees on the ridge across the river. Mercer says, ?once every year the druids allow one single goldleaf tree to be felled for certain crafts. Only the most gifted of artisans know how to work the ?bronzewood? as it is called. Only the most trusted are ever given such a crafted item. There are events taking shape Jarmok. I feel that this land is at the dawn of a new age and Threshold will need your help. I would ask that you become my successor. The people no longer have any reason to fear you. Your axe is a sign of your trustworthiness. The statue of Havigaard stands tall over on the hill, watching. As I am a distant child of his so to have I watched as a protector. Again I ask that you carry the torch that I have for so long. Will you?? Jarmok accepts the offer.

?I have a friend across the river who can help you if you need healing. His name is Ashe. He lives on the river below the goldleaf trees. His cabin has a symbol of the tree of life. <Mercer shows the symbol> Ashe is an old friend of mine and can be trusted just as you trust me. Do not despair good Jarmok, someday you may return to your homeland but for now please accept Threshold as your home. I?m leaving early in the morning and like me the night gets old so now I will sleep.?

Jarmok stays awake all night reflecting on the sudden change and cooks Mercer a fine breakfast for his journey beyond.

Gorrish Arek Basque [23 April]: Morning

Jarmok accompanies Mercer as he leaves town.

They talk further:

Mercer explains vaguely that changes are coming to the town. The guards will be called away, though they and the people of the town don't know it yet. This is the dawn of a new age. As Jarmok knows, several months ago a great voice was heard over the land: "I have awakened". Mercer explains that he believes the voice is that of Zebulon, Mahiya's champion.

They walk through the town and surrounding woods to stand before a statue of a winged man wielding a sword. The statue is that of Havigaard a distant ancestor of Mercer. Havigaard once lived in Threshold during the Shadow Wars. He was the champion of Threshold and the grandson of Pak Savage who was one of the Chosen.

After continuing onward, Jarmok and Mercer finally say their farewells as they reach the edge of town. Mercer departs and Jarmok turns to head home to his cabin.

Maal Brengain's introduction:

The cold winds of Venric start to give. It?s lucky for you because the bitter frost blowing off of the Dragonteeth Mountains was nearly the death of you. It isn?t usually so bad when you?re being protected by the sod dwellings of your kin. However, that is a luxury you had to go without. Through the seasons slow travel you saw new lands and things unknown but alas, you have finally come to a place that reminds you of home. Until you saw it you didn?t realize how much you really do miss the Wildlands. Then again, that?s part of the price you know you must pay. Still it?s the most inviting place that you?ve seen since leaving. You arrive into the town and see a tavern just across Angelhawk Bridge called the Mushroom o? the Stump. Smoke floats up from the chimney and the smell of warm food fills your senses you then realize that this is the first warm place that you?ve seen in weeks.

Cold and hungry from many days of travel, Maal is tempted to enter... Yet she knows that she has nothing to barter with or offer in return for any food. She approaches the entrance, yet hesitates again before entering.

The tavern door suddenly opens and a very small man (a halfling) stands before Maal, startled by her unexpected appearance. He introduces himself as Garret and kindly invites her inside where she is also introduced to his twin brother Eldon.

Eldon and Garret welcome Maal warmly (though she has yet to introduce herself or even provide them with a name) and offer her food and a warm fire in the hearth. Maal explains that she has nothing with which to compensate them, but they insist that she not worry about that right now. They insist that they can work out any details later. Maal accepts their kind hospitality and finally sits down to eat a warm meal by the fire.

Laren's introduction:

That dark vision keeps jumping through your mind. ?maybe I should have gone back?I should have at least tried?? you keep thinking. ?I?ll wait here just as he said.?, you say under your breath. ? what if they find me? What if he doesn?t arrive? Oh dammit! What if the sky falls? I?ve got to push this out of my mind or it?ll get in the way!?, you think loudly to yourself. Hmmm?.they?ve got some excellent mead over at the Mushroom o? the Stump?I had some last night and it was divine. Those twin brothers are laugh riot... and they?re my kin which is even better. Sounds like a plan. To the Stump I go?

After making his way up the street from the inn, Laren enters the tavern and chats with Eldon and Garret. He soon has his food and drink and settles down at the bar for his meal. The tavern is empty, except for the twin owners and a tall stranger chowing down her food near the blazing hearth.  She appears to be a Wildlander from the northwest.

Maal listens (while eating somewhat sloppily) as Laren chats casually with Eldon about this and that.  A family with several children enter and are served some food...

[Laren is beset by a powerful vision]

Kit and Ragnar's introduction:

Kit, your travels have allowed you to see much of Vychia. Being on the move during the Venric seasons isn?t easy but you always managed to find a warm place with food, some good and some bad. The snow break was just what you were waiting for. Finally you got the chance to travel far and wide without the cold biting into you. You had been told of the beauty that the Valley of Mist and thought that might be a nice place to visit. Maybe you could actually have some time alone to sit in the sun and get out of your mind for while? something you?ve never done before. Along the way, while stopping in Sukys, you saw a face that you?ve only seen back home? the face of a Xanthakos slave. Odds are that he escaped his slavery given his remarkable strength. Something strikes you as oddly familiar about him, though, and he seems he would offer great protection if it?s needed. Quickley you become acquainted and he tells you his name is Ragnar. As you arrive over the bridge you hear a splash and terrified cry for help.

Maal, Laren and the others within the tavern also hear these noises, but Maal and Laren non-plussed. Maal continues to eat her meal, the first solid warm meal she has had in days, while Laren casually moves to the window and peers out, trying to see what is going on.

Kit and Ragnar run to the end of the tributary where it meets the larger river where the boy is out of arms reach and quickly floating away.

Kit, reacting quickly, ties Ragnar's rope around her slim waist and leaps into the icy river water to save the drowning boy.  Ragnar pulls them out of the water and the boy's mother appears and takes her son, Peter, thanking them.  Many townsfolk have emerged from their homes to witness the rescue and now applaud.

Laren, still peering out through the window sees the townsfolk looking and pointing to something out of view and hears their applause. He relates this information, adding that the crisis, whatever it may have been, seems to be averted.  He soon returns to his meal.

Garret has run out to investigate and help out.  He introduces himself and invites the heroes (especially the wet and shivering Kit) to the warm inn to dry off and rest.

Kit and Ragnar follow him inside where Kit immediately settles down in front of the blazing hearth.  She is soon aware that a very rough-around-the-edges woman sitting close by is staring at her.  She uncomfortably avoids Maal's gaze as Garret brings her a blanket.  Laren approaches the hearth and takes a seat in between Kit and Maal (much to Kit's relief). Maal is done eating and sits cleaning the dirt from beneath her fingernails with her teeth, while casually listening to Laren's, Kit's and Ragnar's conversation.

The family asks where the closest inn is and Garret directs them to the nearby Thornhedge Inn.

Meanwhile, Jarmok sees the rescue activities from a distance. Upon noticing the large, shiny skinned man he knows that he?s seen his kind somewhere before but can?t exactly recall where.

[The shiny skinned man awakens something inside of Jarmok; visions swim murkily at the edge of his memory. This outlander, or this [i:3bc271e6ab]kind of[/i:3bc271e6ab] outlander represents a piece of Jarmok's past.]

Insatiably curious, Jarmok heads that way to investigate. He enters the tavern quietly and unnoticed and moves off to the side to observe the newcomers. However, he sees Ragnar and immediately notices the marks upon the backs of his hands.  Those marks, an eye on the back of each over-sized fist, ellicit more images in the depths of Jarmok's mind; violent images. Disturbed by this, he exits very quickly.

The others notice someone exiting and Ragnar, who is quite paranoid, decides to investigate. He hurries outside, yet the only thing he sees is a few branches swaying.

Maal (still staring at Kit): "Where's your friend going?"

Kit, a bit flustered at being left alone with the strangers, exits quickly, still cold and wet. She finds Ragnar just outside looking about and convinces him to come back inside. He follows her back in, glancing back one last time as the enters. Kit sits back down at the fire again (this time a bit further away from Maal, though).

Garret eventually approaches the group and asks if they are planning to stay in the town. He recommends the Thornhedge Inn. Maal reminds him that she has nothing to offer in way of compensation, but he insists that she not worry about it for the present. He takes her aside a bit and produces a piece of paper which he carefully stamps with his signet ring. He hands the paper to Maal, instructing her to pass it on to Keltan Kym at the inn. Maal accepts this, quietly thanking him.

Laren knows the way to the inn, so the others follow him there. They soon enter the inn (a "V" shaped building with the entrance at base of the "V"). They meet the innkeeper, Keltan Kym, who welcomes them, offering room and board. All accept the offer, except Ragnar, who needs to think about it. He leaves to explore the town, seeking out Threshold's leaders.

Maal explains that she would like to stay for at least a few days, yet has no way to compensate Keltan. She produces Garret's stamped note and hands it to the innkeeper. Keltan examines it closely and then tells her not to worry about the compensation.

Keltan hands room keys to Kit and Maal. Kit takes hers gladly and immediatley heads off to her room as Keltan promises to prepare a bath for her. Maal stares at her key... She doesn't actually know what it is for, since keys are generally unnecessary in the small Wildlander villages. Keltan kindly explains and then demonstrates its use to her. Maal plans to rest for a bit. Laren, meanwhile, already has a room here at the inn and leaves to explore the town a bit more.

Jarmok observes the companions from the Stump moving southward through Threshold. He moves to watch them from a distance. Watching them enter the Thornhedge Inn, he moves in that direction. He takes up position in the thickets out in front of the temple across the street from the Thornhedge Inn and settles in to watch.

Ragnar is undecided regarding acommodations at the inn. He decides that he needs to look around the town, and to talk with someone in charge.

Ragnar wanders through the streets and finally finds and speaks to the Town Officials in the Council House. Jarmok, sticking to the shrubbery and following the large newcomer, watches as Ragnar enters. He also sees Garret enter.

A well dressed man named Julius Hawkhaven appears to speak with Ragnar. Ragnar explains that it was he and his friend that saved the boy from drowning in the river. The Council wants to meet Kit and the others that were present at the inn this morning.

Jarmok watches as Ragnar exits with Garret and Julius Hawkhaven, who happens to be one of the Council Members. Garret heads back towards the tavern while Ragnar and Julius enter the inn. Keltan and Julius talk briefly and Keltan heads upstairs to summon the rest of the newcomers.

Keltan summons Maal and Kit, who had both been resting in their respective rooms. Laren is nowhere to be found. Maal and Kit are introduced to Julius Hawkhaven who mentions their heroic deed of rescuing the boy from the icy river that morning. Julius notices that there are only three of them and asks where the fourth is. Kit explains that they all barely know each other, having only just met very recently. Maal further explains that she and the halfling, Laren, actually never had anything to do with the rescue. She is uncertain as to why she has been summoned to join them.

Julius reveals that he has a proposition for them. He explains that the Vychian guardsmen that have watched over Threshold are unfortunately being called away and that the town needs new recruits to take their place. The Council is offering free room and board at the inn and a salary of 15 gp per month to those who will agree to help guard the town. Kit is a bit dubious; she asks how the four of them are supposed to "take over" for an entire malitia. Julius states that they can do only what they can do, and that there is another that is coming as well.

Kit agrees, although Ragnar seems uncertain. Maal, listening intently, never says a word either way...

Laren eventually returns and enters the inn. Keltan immediately summons him over to the group and he is brought up to date. Laren has several questions regarding what will be expected of him. He had not planned to stay in the town long, but is willing to sign on for a week or so initially. He requests payment up-front, but Julius gently tells the halfling that they are paid in arrears. The conversation concludes and Julius rises to leave. Kit returns to her room to prepare for her bath. Laren and Maal remain seated at the table, enjoying the ale that has been provided for them free of charge.

?Drinks are free?, quips Laren, "Well then, drinks all around!?

Meanwhile, Jarmok has been eavesdropping outside of the window of the common room. He recognizes Julius' voice and is intrigued by all the discussion. Feeling that the conversation is winding down to a close, he departs and walks back to the Council House to await Julius' return. Julius soon arrives and recognizes Jarmok.

Jarmok asks about Ragnar, but Julius doesn't know much about the large man. Jarmok questions the councilman regarding the tattooed eyes on the back of Ragnar's hands, and Julius tells Jarmok that those are the symbols of slavery to the Empire of Xanthakos.

The Councilman believes that Ragnar (and the others) can be trusted. He is aware of Jarmok's situation and makes the same offer to him that he has made to the others. Jarmok is uncertain.

Jarmok takes his leave and, returning to the inn, finally enters.

Seated in the common room of the inn are Maal, Laren, and Ragnar, who is seated off in the corner by himself. Enter Jarmok: a lean figure standing roughly five-and-a-half feet tall. He wears well-worn armor, carries a small shield and bears a magnificent battle axe. His face is round and his large eyes are somewhat bulbous. Pointed, somewhat cupped ears stand high on the sides of his head and protrude out from under thick black hair that is crudely tamed, pulled to the back of his head through a leather collett to fall past his shoulders.

Jarmok looks about the room and approaches Ragnar slowly and deliberately. Ragnar tenses - tightening his grip on his spear. The tension is thick.

Jarmok seats himself across from Ragnar and begins asking simple, straightforward questions.

Jarmok: "You a rider?"
Ragnar: "No."
Jarmok: "Where are you from?"
Ragnar: "Here and there."
Jarmok: "Why are you here?"
Ragnar: "I came with the woman upstairs."
Jarmok: "You work for Hawkhaven?"
Ragnar: "Yes."

Satisfied that he has heard enough information for now, Jarmok rises and backs slowly away from the table.

Kit, coming down the stairs, notices this stranger, and calls to him, saying, "Are you the new guy?" Jarmok takes no note of Kit, however, and quickly exits.

As he crosses the town, finally returning to his cabin, he briefly notices in the distant evening sky, what appears to be a winged serpent...

Character Info / Maal Brengain
« on: March 20, 2005, 12:57:55 AM »

Maal Brengain is a 6'2" young human woman. She wears a black leather breast-plate and kilt, and heavy knee-length boots. For weapons, she carries a short throwing spear, a round wooden shield, and a branch of stag antlers common to the wildlander folk.

Maal Brengain's long, straight, black hair is parted in the middle and hangs down loosely over her broad shoulders. Her pale skin contrasts sharply with her dark hair and black eyes giving her an almost ghostly appearance. Her facial features are odd and not generally attractive. She has hard angular features with high cheekbones, a cleft chin, and a prominent nose (with an odd bump near the bridge, probably from a past break). She also has a small, serious mouth with a vertical scar across the upper lip. Beneath this scar is a chipped upper front tooth.

Her muscles are well defined despite her lean and slim build. Her hips are narrow and her chest small and flat. Her stern and humorless demeanor is such that she rarely seems to smile or laugh (but when she does the corners of her mouth barely move, while her upper lip tends to curl up into an awkward sneer).

Character Info / Arlen Galentia T'Saequal
« on: March 17, 2005, 06:37:28 AM »

Arlen is a thin half-elf man standing about 5'3" tall.?His elvish eyes are green and his long, blonde hair is tied back in a loose pony tail. He has high cheekbones with no facial hair at all and very little body hair in general.

Arlen tends to dress in dark green and brown forest colors.? He generally wears a loose tunic cinched at the waist and dark snug-fitting trousers. His tunic is trimmed with golden colored elvish embroidery.

His long, slender hands and fingers do not seem to have seen much heavy or hard work.?He carries, slung over his back, a bodhran drum and appears very much the wandering minstrel.?An elvish longsword hangs at his side and he carries an elvish longbow in his slender hand.

Arlen can often be heard humming or singing a tune as he walks along his merry way.? He seems very much to be a friendly, happy-go-lucky individual and is quick with a story or anecdote.

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