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Topics - Griznuq

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General Info / Current Events
« on: February 23, 2005, 07:57:18 AM »
Current Events

Current Year: Valley Year 237

?   Seven years ago (VY. 230) the independent state of Maruchek joined the City-state Alliance becoming the fourth city-state. *Wildfire?s Note: the other city-states are Rhohannus, The Tri-State of Vychia, and Kazbourne.

?   Recently (Queltoin Albyr Voldyn VY.236), the city-state of Rhohannus has declared war on the Wildlanders. The Prince- Garron Ravenwood- feeling that since the Wildlands were once a part of the Old Kingdom that it is, by right, his to reclaim. Some of the Baronies in Rhohannus are sympathetic with the Wildlanders feeling that the Clans were there long before the Old Kingdom and have simply claimed what was theirs? all along. The divide between the Baronies of Rhohannus in this regard has caused a civil war. The neighboring Tri-state of Vychia (consisting of the Duchy of Jarla, The Duchy of Kerr, and The Duchy of Aldebaron) and the city-state of Maruchek have yet to determine their official position on the matter.

?   Inexplicably, many clerics (of all faiths), and arcanists have died off from an unknown illness.

?   There is widespread speculation that the armies of Xanthakos, known as Shadow Riders, are planning to wage war once again.

?   Last Brak on Pimurz Gyth Syncath vy.236 a great voice echoed across the land announcing, ?I HAVE AWAKENED!!?

?   Last Rynnyx on Verindock Dracum Aryor VY.236 the moon of Istisha briefly deviated from its standard path and a beam of green light shot down and struck somewhere in the northwest.

General Info / Brief History
« on: February 23, 2005, 07:56:19 AM »
Elsenban History

Wildfire's Note: The history as detailed here is a brief overview of major events as they are known by the typical commoner. There are usually more vivid details surrounding historic events but these would have to be researched by the individual or passed on from a knowledgeable individual. Some events overlap but are mostly chronologically written. This is by no means a complete history but it is what most commoners know.

At the forging of the land The Valley of Mist was a hallowed ground some sages say was the soul of Mahiya. It was a valley with such beauty that even the gods wept at seeing it.  The four talismans;

    The Horn of Mahiya,
    * The Medallion of Paladine,
    * The Crystal of Sardior,
    * The Obelisk of Takhisis[/list]
    ...were kept here and were the most holy of divine objects.  Without explanation the talismans were suddenly gone (about 700 years before "The Great Rejuvenation"). The Valley fell into oblivion. It became a place of the darkest nightmares with morose beauty.

    The Kingdom of Vychia expanded as far south as the Dragonteeth Mountains, as far east as the Emerald Gulf, and as far north as present day Ghoul Swamp. The Empire of Xanthakos (Land of Shadows) grew in equal power. These two great cultures were in a constant, foul rivalry.

    Many centuries later the Talismans were found by "The Chosen" and, with much struggle, returned to the Valley of Mist. The Valley was transformed back to its' original beauty. This rejuvenation was the catalyst of the Shadow War. It was such a significant event that the Calendar is now measured by it. (Wildfire's Note: Many Scholars believe that it was the design of Takhisis clerics to steal the Obelisk and hide the Medallion, the Crystal, and the Horn, especially the Horn).

    The Shadow War, which was fought between the Kingdom of Vychia and the Empire of Xanthakos, was a harsh and bitter war that lasted for 20 years. It was eventually won by Vychia but at a terrible price on both sides. The Vychian royal line was severed, the borders shrunk and chaos was law. The Elven Land- Kaaryn'Zyth was the front for many battles and the elves became extremely reclusive from human contact believing that as a race they couldn't be trusted. (Wildfire's Note: The elves to this day are extremely xenophobic towards humans and carry an extremely racist attitude towards them. The people of the present day city-state of Kazbourne (which is very close to both the Kaaryn'Zyth and Xanthakos) also have a racial bias against the Elves and to a lesser degree any non-humans and many citizens have sworn a blood oath against any and all Xanthakians).

    Quickly after the war, Arcanists became the ruling power. (Wildfire's Note: The Arcanists during the Shadow War were building their power and influence knowing that they would be looked to for leadership. The arcanists became drunk with power and they sought to take control from each other. Thus igniting the Arcane Wars in Valley Year 35

    Over time, the Arcanists began to destroy each other. In one last stroke for power, opposing arcanists met in an attack obliterating each other in year 47. The Tortured Land is the result of that final battle. Much of what was known about magic was then lost. (Wildfire's Note: The Tortured Land is a place of great danger. Many go in The Tortured Land and few of them return from it. Those who do survive are mad with fear).

    The once great Kingdom of Vychia fell into severe decay. The usually quiet but watchful druids decided that this dark time was their chance to set the stage for the future by picking up the pieces of this broken land. They brought the magic arts back from the brink of extinction but did it with their influence. The "Elementalists" became a new revolution in magic. It was still magic but it was magic of the four divine elements. The Kingdom was reformed into three city-states and there was a new understanding and respect for the ways of nature. It was indeed a social revolution. The old Clans of the Wildlands reclaimed their sovereignty and returned back to the clan life that once was. Hope replaced despair and times were now on an upswing. (Wildfire's Note: Even now, magic (not divine magic) is greatly mistrusted and in some places Arcanists and Mages  (DM Note: 3.5 ed. 3.5 Sorcerers are Mages and 3.5 Wizards are Arcanists in my campaign) are actively "witch hunted". Many Elementalists view "old art" arcanists with suspicion but have a measure of respect for their magical endeavors. Mages- intuitive spell casters- are fairly recent. It seems that magic being redefined by Druids somehow tapped an intuitive magical reserve in some people. There is a theory that the Mages form of spell casting was the original foundation of studied spell casting it just happened that it was a for many years a dead art.

    During the recovery of the Kingdom, the Empire of Xanthakos was also in decay and took many years to recover- quiet all the while. (Wildfire's Note: Not much is known about the rebuilding effort of the Empire as not much information ever comes out of there).

    Game Log / Session 3 - Spelunkering
    « on: February 22, 2005, 12:50:37 PM »
    Third Session:

    Mel?s nicknames:

    T?Riad: Teary-eyed
    Elberrin: Elbow Room
    D?Kall: Decal
    Dhaige: Dave
    Amaril: Amy
    Amallia: Honey, babe, darlin?, sunshine, snowflake?
    Ivellious: Ivan
    TreTorn: ThreeHorn
    Captain whats-his-name: Takamaddah
    Itallics mean that someone (Mel) is thinking this sentence

    Afternoon at August 3rd, Year 591

    T takes a monkey skull, an arm bone, and a thigh bone from among the various bones that litter the bottom of the pit. He also claims one of the copper pieces; they are all odd in that they have a tree on one side and an eye inside of an ellipse on the other side.

    This day is relatively subdued. ? Need to insert Dray?s descriptions of the tunnels,?including that Decal had gone up the scaffolding at the murder wall and found that the wall did no go to the ceiling, but stopped five feet shy.

    Specific oddities:
    1) The battering ram, which is 6-inch diameter and has two pair of crossbars for mobility, broke the murder wall as though the assailants were heading south
    2) The bars in the 5? tall portcullis were cut so that someone could head north. Hmmm?

    Grush is nowhere to be found upon egress of the tunnel.

    Give report and resolve to come back the following day with tools to make crossing the pit easier as well as to scale to the far side of the second murder wall. Ivan signs our request form, which we must take to the secretary who controls the supply cabinet.

    Grush is found after we give report; it appears that he wandered off and found a pearl high up in a mountain stream. HA!

    This particular item is entertaining based upon earlier (and undocumented) conversation in which Mel insists that pearls are mined by dwarves in the upper reaches of mountains, and they either roll down the mountain sides or are carried by streams and eventually find their way into the ocean. Once there, oysters mistake them for food and try to eat them. This is why pearls are found inside of oysters.

    Note: This conversation originally occurred in a different game, and the theory is righfully attributed to Kulgar the Barbaian.

    Dinner is had around one of the campfires (people are not as energetic as they were the previous night as they are tired tonight) we find and flirt with a few new people: Amallia has girlfriends! Mel?s checklist: Female (check); Alive (check); Interactive (check). They?re even fairly attractive (bonus!) T?Riad plays his pipes.

    August 4, Year 591
    After breakfast, the companions go to the supply closet and request:

    (1) 25? X 1? plank
    50? rope (got hemp rope)
    Pitons and a Mallet
    12 torches
    grappling hook
    grappling bolts (for large crossbow - Elberrin)

    Today?s companions include Mel, T?Riad, Elberrin, Decal, Amy, and Grush (who we actually find after we visit the supply closet). Grush carries most of the equipment (and Mel) to the tunnel.

    Despite Mel?s argument that the laws of physics and the cosine affect of the force required to keep the far end of the plank hozorontal would make it too difficult to simply lay the plank across to pit, Decal is able to place the plank in place with relative ease. Then, the flapping begins. We are beset by giant mosquitoes (stirges)!! Gahh!!

    There are only two of the beasties, and one of them never even makes it near us as elbowroom wings it with a crossbow bolt. Mel missed. T?Riad is stuck by the stirge, which clings to him like a giant winged tick. T tries to carefully remove it from his shoulder. The stirge is too slippery however (T?Riad missed), so Mel tells the monk to be still and Mel will stab it off the monk?s shoulder. The stirge is also very nimble, we find out (Mel missed). Amy then attacks, cutting the stirge in half, spilling thick black blood down T's shoulder. The beast still clings until elbowroom throws a knife that impales the stupid, hapless creature, carrying it off into the pit.

    Mel recovers the knife, leaving the stirge at the bottom of the pit.

    More of Dray?s descriptions.

    Decal makes an errant note that Dwarves would hate the way these tunnels are designed.

    After the murder wall, the companions are moving through a large hall that constricts down to a 10? square passage. Mel, fortunately, spots a trap! It is a replicate of the damaged one that the party just spanned with the plank. Mel studies it and attempts to disarm it.

    Damn, this is one tough trap. I can?t do this. [He fails the roll]. "Guys, I can see what we need, but we don't have what it takes to do the job. And I don?t think it?s really necessary, because if you look at the map that T?Riad has been making, it looks like the other end of this tunnel will bring us pretty much to the room into which the other pit trap tunnel opens.?

    To confirm this T?Riad Jumps the pit, tumbling in marvelous style with feline dexterity and grace (then hacks up a fur-ball) to a halt on the far side of the pit and explores beyond it. He comes to a dead end. Thinking?searching?he finds a secret door that pivots open (right to left) the door opens up onto the 30' hall near the original trap. By gum, we were (I was) right!

    T?Riad enters that room and looks for another secret door opposite wall (figuring that the east-bound passage mirrors this round-about) CHECK - it's there and it seems we're correct. Mel is a genius.

    Back to the hall behind the first murder wall (over the second wall and back around the corridor) the companions check the eastward passage, believing that it?ll end up as a mirror of the first, and it does.

    South, Dray?s description, upon close examination, Mel notes that the statue appears to move on a track of some sort. Mel tries to move it, but he is too scrawny. Everyone lends their back to the effort (except for Decal, who says that there is not enough room at the statue for him to get at it with the rest of us in the way ? we all know that he is simply lazy). Together, we are able to slide the statue northward about six feet. Under the statue is a stairway that descends into darkness.

    Discussions. T?Riad wants to investigate the huge room to the south before descending a stair. Mel, on his way down the stair, notes that it would probably be most prudent to put the statue back where it was, investigate this southern hall, and then when we know that there are no enemies to be had up here we could investigate below. Elberron and Amy go down the stair with Mel.

    T?Riad goes into the south room and throws a sling stone into the darkness and hears something move.

    Mel, El, and Amy go down the stairs and find a coffin. Dray?s description Leave (let?s not mess with the dead guy).

    Amy carries the torch into the south room, where it illuminates Dray?s description and 4 skeletons (Dwarf skeletons with war hammers). Amy turns them and they run away. They head as far south as they can, and then turn east.

    Mel cautiously enters and heads towards the throne. As he nears it, he notes that one of the gems is glowing. Suddenly, the gem erupts in a collumnated ray of light & heat. Mel is under attack!!

    [fail save vs. reflex] Mel is hit for 3 points (heat damage). He falls screaming! Writhing in pain (he hams it up quite a bit) and screaming he examines the throne and the room. The skeletons have fled towards what looks from this distance to be a steel door in the south wall at the southeast corner of the room. Another of the blue gems lights and [Mel, the highly dexterous hobbit, fails another Reflex save] it zaps him again ? he falls unconscious (5 points, he is now at 0).

    Elberrin & T?Riad run in to get the brave unfortunate hobbit out. T?Riad, heroically trying to draw the fire of the astro-blasters is zapped at, but the phenomenal monk deftly evades the searing rays and the bolt misses misses. Elberrin hauls the limp hobbit onto his shoulder and they exit the room with Mel.

    Amy heals Mel (to nearly max). he asks Mel if he needs more healing, but Mel starts telling him it?s ok. ?I?ll be alright. It only hurts when I breathe, but you should keep your spell in the event that we *really* need it. The spasms will stop soon enough, I expect?? Amy heals him again (now to max). ?Should this still be a little tender??

    Amy rolls his eyes and says, ?Um?no.?

    The fourth torch is lit.

    Down the stairs: Mel, Decal, and Amy return down the stairs, but there is nothing to be seen. Decal and Amy think that it?s not wise to open the sarcophagus, nor should they take the warhammer. It is agreed that we should go and make our report.

    At the exit to the tunnel, Grush is playing with two pearls, but at least he's there.

    Report ? Ivan says that he will talk to ThreeHorn regarding the hall in the dungeon and how we might get safely past. He suggests that we spend the afternoon looking for source of Grush?s pearls:

    I: ?You?re telling me that the half-orc is finding pearls in the mountain??
    M: ?Yep, because they haven?t yet washed down into the sea.? (There?s a collective eye-roll from the rest of the group)
    I: ?Why don?t you have lunch and then go looking for the source of the pearls.?
    M: ?I?ve been just about killed once today, I thought I?d get some rest.?
    I [Turning to the other companions]: ?Then could you guys have Grush take you to where he found them??
    M: ?I?ll go.?

    Elberrin talks rather cryptically with Ivan regarding a meeting that the two had set up to ocurr in the next day or two.

    E: ?Gosh, Ivan, what a beautiful ?bow? you have.
    I: ?I?m still looking forward to seeing you the day after tomorrow to discuss ?archery?, Elb.
    E: ?I?m counting the hours.? *blush*

    The companions eat lunch in a mess tent that currently houses but a few adventurers, then go looking for Grush ? he?s nowhere to be seen.
    Talk to the quartermaster: ?Where?s Grush?s tent? We?ve been ordered to have him guide us somewhere but we can?t find him.
    QM: ?He?s in tent 4.?
    M: ?Where Amallia?s tent??
    QM: ?Why?? [suspicious glare]
    M: ?Because Grush would likely be with her.?
    QM: [Can?t figure a way around that logic] ?Tent 12.?
    M: [Grins widely]. (T?Riad asks for the name of the Head Priest)

    Look, look, look, can?t find the half-orc, even after a protracted search of Amallia?s quarters (we took a 40). Suddenly Mel has an(other) phenomenal idea: there were adventurers at the mess tent, let?s go see if one of them was a ranger and ask that he or (preferably) she can help us track the giant half-orc.

    Everyone is awed by the halfling?s genius, and they return to the mess tent, but find only Ivan there.

    M: ?Oh, woe. No one is here! Just our luck, there were people here just a short time ago who might be able to help us in our hour of need.?
    I: [Sensing the charismatic halfling?s vacuum] ?What are you looking for??
    M: [Explains in pained tones how they were hoping that there might be a ranger in the tent to help] ??but here we find only you, you over-worked wonder, you.?

    Fortunately, Ivan is a good man, and has a sense of humor. He says that he was just about to go walkabout and volunteers to help us track Grush. Mel and Elberrin look closely (although figuratively) over Ivan?s shoulder and ask many questions regarding tracking. Elberrin, even gets to talk once or twice. The group tracks Grush far, wide, and into his tent where he is sleeping. Mel pounces on Grush?s chest.

    Grush carries Mel and leads the group out towards the water where he is finding the pearls. En route, Elberrin sees something slightly shiny poking out from under a loose rock. Upon investigation it is found that there is a rail, like those used in moving mining carts, indicating that once upon a time a mining operation used this exact route to move raw materials along the edge of the mountain. Suddenly the troupe espies in the distance behind them a small swarm of giant mosquitoes; they are attacked by 7 stirges! Twang, thwip, throw, twang, thwip, heave, heave, they are defeated before ever being a real threat. By the time that we get to the water it is dusk and we must return to base camp.

    Report again, eat again, sleep again.

    August 5th, 591: today?s group is once again complete with all cast members, including Dave.

    Mel gets a loadstone and a broad-rimed black leather hat (for the rain that had pelted us yesterday) at the supply closet and head back to tunnel.

    Dave utters a common Dwarf prayer in front of statue and the statue moves!!! *Doh!*

    Mel and Dave go down the stairs and Dave asks for a "check for traps". Mel looks, but there are none.

    Dave picks up the hammer and says a Dwarven word, after which and seemingly caused by which the hammer glows blue in a 20 foot diameter. Dave claims that the word popped into his head when he took hold of the hammer. As a matter of test, he hands the hammer to Mel, who also hears the word.

    This good.

    Back up stairs. Dave and Decal tie a rope around themselves in preparation for going into the room with hammer glowing. We are interested in whether the skeletons will respond to a couple of dwarves and if the lasers are only interested in infidels. If they are attacked, then we can haul them out via the rope. No response.

    Elberrin steps in and the skeletons spring up. They stop when E steps out.

    Satisfied that a couple of Dwarves with a glowing hammer can move about in the hall safely, Dave and Decal take the rope and go over to the iron door. The other companions can hear them talking to each other. "Neat." "We'll never get through the door." They both seem to have gotten a heavy case of the woodies. There?s a cool lock in this door. Let?s get the scout to see if he can open it.

    Dave and Decal return to the others and escort Mel into the throne room. As soon as they enter the room, the skeletons spring to life. Dave, in an inspired thought, hands the hammer to Mel. The skeletons make like they were only kidding and no longer pursue the Halfling. They go and play rummy and knucklebones instead. Mel carries the hammer the rest of the way through the hall.

    Mel examines the hall, and comes to the conclusion that if he had about a gazillion years he might be able to open it. ?We?ll it looks like this might take a moment or two?waitaminnit: why don?t we check inside the coffin for a key?? [holds his breath]

    Everyone agrees that this is a good idea and Mel breathes easy once more. While Mel goes downstairs, Dave and Decal examine the throne and spurt inside their armor some more.

    T?Riad-the-trusting escorts Mel down into the crypt. Mel mumbles Dave's prayer (in his best Dwarven), then looks for traps. None. Mel opens the coffin and the statue slides back into place. [Damn]


    Mel spots a trigger device and investigates. It's a trap and a release: he defeats the mechanism. He does good. A drawer opens at the bottom of the sarcophagus, and inside the drawer is a beautiful shield and leather pouch with a key in it. Yahoo!!

    Close the sarcophagus (hoping that this will cause the statue to slide open, but it does not), Mel mounts the stairs. At the top of the stair Mel says Dave?s prayer again and the statue slides open once more.

    Dave and Decal escort Mel into the hall.

    Mel checks the door for traps before opening it (he?s beginning to suspect that the dwarves that built this place were a bit paranoid) - there appears to be none. Offer Dave the privilege of turning the key (Mel actually was offering this to Dave as a privilege, but he couldn?t help screwing with the pious dwarf:

    "Dave, you should have this honor. There probably - I mean, definitely no traps.? He says while backing away from the door.

    Dave manipulates the key in a very odd series of twists, turns, pushes and pulls, and the door unlocks easily and opens, flooding the hall with a breeze that combines fresh air with an acrid smoky scent.

    The dwarves escort the others across the hall one-by-one while Mel waits just inside the now-opened tunnel.


    Game Log / Session 2 - What's Behind That Rock?
    « on: February 22, 2005, 12:49:17 PM »
    Second Session:

    Please note that as I recall, the river was north of the beach where we landed; if this is not correct, then all my directions may be off. You are correct, the beach is almost perfectly with, and facing, west. The river runs from east to west, it's outlet in the bay on the northern end of said beach.

    Camp was made on the shores of the ~1 square mile landing site. The plan for the morning was to ?rake? the landing area with groups of explorers to ensure that there was nothing evil lurking in the sparsely vegetated (brush-like) land. Mel, Elberrin, and T?Riad and Amaril were assigned the far southern edge, against a rising wall. The closest party was about a hundred yards to the north (all parties were pretty evenly spaced).

    About mid-day, while taking a bit of a nap (group decided to break for a short while), a secret (hidden) cave entrance was spotted by eagle-eye Mel. There was a large boulder that set in front of an obviously worked tunnel entrance. The upper corner of the tunnel was evident peeking out around the edge of the boulder. Upon inspection it appeares that the boulder was engineered to slide to one side, out of the way, to gain entry to or egress from the tunnel. Peering through the revealed corner of tunnel (over the edge of the obstructing boulder) revealed ought but darkness. The party noted the anomaly and decided to continue the brush raking.

    Nearing night, the sun hanging low, barely cresting the densely jungled mountains to the north, across the river. The group is nearing the eastern wall that demarks the edge of the landing pad [landing pad for what? - heh]. The thick air is split by a scream that overlaps fear with pain. It comes from the North, presumably by one of the other rake-parties. As a unit, the companions run to render aid. In the distance ahead, silhouetted against the dusky light of a dimming sky, we are able to see a huge bi-pedal form [ape-like creature with 4 arms and two legs] speeding eastward towards the edge of the jungle that abuts that plains that we?ve been experiencing. The beastie appears to run blazingly fast. T?Riad angles easterly to intercept the beast before is makes it to the jungle. Mel heads towards where it came (west, back towards the beach). The beast, which appears to have an ape-like face, gains the jungle before T?Riad can intercept. It disappears into the dense foliage and is swallowed whole by the jungle. T?Riad, wisely, does not pursue it.

    Mel encounters the group from which the yelling and screaming had originated; they are trying to chase the beast, but are falling too far behind. They say that this creature pounced upon them seemingly from nowhere and seized Ensign Smith [halfling fighter named J'higzhin - not as talkative as Mel (who is) but was a good kid]. It picked the young halfling up like a rag doll and swung him against a nearby tree (presumably, Mel thinks for tenderizing) two or three times. J'higzhin was dead very quickly. Then the beast tucked its dinner under its arm(s) and ran away. Very fast.

    There?s nothing to be done. We dare not follow the critter with daylight fading. We all collectively go back to the beach outpost and report. Mel reports the hidden tunnel and is asked to go back there in the AM and investigate it. See if they can get it open. He requests back up in the form of a couple of dwarves and fighting capabilities. [It may or may not be important to remember who you talked to for these orders. Who was in the tent when you reported? What was there reaction to your news?] With luck, this will not matter, because I do not recall.

    As the group is leaving the tent some mucky-muck shows up and enters. Mel plops down just outside the tent, trying to remove all the day?s loose stones from his shoes while intently *not* trying to listen to the conversation that?s going on inside the tent. It?s a good thing that he doesn?t really want to hear the conversation, because Elberrin decides that this would be a great time and location to play his damned harp. Mel gleans nothing and the mucky-muck [griznuq] pokes his head outside the tent to ask if they need anything further. Mel slinks away.

    The trio takes up residence for the night at one of the larger fires. They eat, talk, and play their respective instruments. Within the hour, more bards and performers make their way to the fire to lend their talents. The result is ?Beachstock?: five stages, no waiting. Eventually the gala fades into the night as people head for rest. Only Elberrin remains to keep people awake with his sad harping. [Elberrin Unplugged]

    Morning. The Companions are approached by a couple of dwarves [Dakahl & Durghe - adventurers who hail from the ship "Persuit"] who are to help them with the secret passage. Grushnek is there as well. We lead them to the boulder. The Dwarves clean the slot in the ground that I failed to mention earlier. While the dwarves are cleaning the slot, Mel climbs to the top of the boulder to once again try to peer inside. Amaril casts a light spell upon a stone that Mel tosses into the hole. The tunnel goes straight back. There?s nothing interesting to see. Abruptly, the dwarves apparently finished with the cleaning, Grushnek pushes the boulder aside. To keep from falling, Mel clings to the boulder and goes along with it. The tunnel is indeed worked, with no real interesting elements save for some strange tracks (footprints, like Dryders). The tracks are so dense in the center, that the dirt is quite compacted and approaches the proverbial beaten path, while there are but a few errant vestiges of creature passage.

    The group decides to find out where the tunnel goes. Grushnek is apparently a bit of a claustrophobic, and won?t enter the tunnel. As we are entering a very dark area, it makes sense that the vanguard be someone who can see well in the dark. Thus it is that the two dwarves are in the front as the party punctures the tunnel darkness. The tunnel goes straight back into the mountain. No variation in slope, direction, or d?cor. The hall is a 10 foot wide, 10 foot tall corridor that goes due South straight into the mountain.The walls and ceiling appear to be pre-cut stone squares that have been put in place to hold back the earth. It smells slightly arid in here, as if a fire had occurred long ago.

    50 feet down the passageway, a massive corridor wide, 10 foot deep block trap in the ceiling has been sprung and is damaged. The block is half lowered from the ceiling and is resting on a large boulder that has broken through the western wall of the corridor. It is approximately 5 feet above the false-floor pit trap that is also sprung and completely open. From your vantage point 20 feet away you cannot tell how deep the pit is. Beyond the failed traps you can see the corridor gets wider and appears to exit into a larger room.

    The party approaches the failed trap(s) for closer inspection, they are beset by a pair of giant centipedes. The battle does not go particularly well. Mel?s crossbow is useless, and one of the dwarfs is badly hurt and apparently poisoned. The battle is at length won, however, and now we just need to deal with a dying dwarf. The plan: most of us aid the dwarf in return to HQ; T?Riad runs ahead to ready the medics.

    T?Riad learns from the medics that the dwarf is in no danger. The poison is mild and will only make the recipient dopey (tired, listless?). We go back to the tunnel less one dwarf. [This took a considerable amount of time. And although I should ask this and should already know, how long has it been since you set out for the tunnel in the morning with Grushnek and the two dwarves in tow? If we could I would like to put in more recollections of time passing in this session entry.]

    The tunnel is long, but overall quite easy. The other side opens into a vast (mile wide) deep (how deep? ? so deep the mice were hunch-backed; ?twould be a long drop indeed) chasm. The chasm is well-vegetated, and in the far wall the sharp-eyed can detect that the tunnel that the companions are in seems to continue. It leaves the observer with the sense that the earth had been split asunder by a quake or perhaps the Axe of the Gods.

    Up to the point before this last paragraph, Mel has done an admirable job in his recollection of events. However, with this paragraph he combined to different occurences, named the dual event George, and then cross-dressed it. I believe that at some point, whether before the initial exploration of the tunnel, or while you were waiting for T'riad to "prepare" the medics, you investigated the fissure. But it was not by means of the tunnel. You got beyond the pit trap in the tunnel, but I'll handle that in a second.

    I think a couple of you (or all?) climbed about the boulder entrance and made your way up the hillside to the fissure. Someone (the monk?) looked down in the fissure by hanging on to the vegetation that overhung the deep chasm (with rope?). What they saw when they looked down was a hallway that ended on the cliffside, this side of the fissure, and continued on the other side. You decided that climbing down to the hallway was not a good idea until you explored the tunnel entrance next to the "landing pad" which is hundreds of feet away).

    Now, in regards to the tunnel. I think we left off when Mel climbed down the pit (and under the half-sprung block trap), found some monkey remains (centipede supper) and climbed back up the other side. He then entered the other side of the corridor which was described thusly: After the pit, the corridor walls and ceiling rise up in the next ten horizontal feet to form a 30 foot wide immense hallway with a ceiling 60 feet above the floor. Except for the fine lines between each large mason brick and the noted size of this corridor, the passage is otherwise non-descript. It expands east, out of your field of vision.

    Game Log / Session 1 - All Ashore That's Going Ashore
    « on: February 22, 2005, 12:47:58 PM »
    First Session:
    April 07, 2004

    Morning broke, hanging purple over the inner bay. Seven long boats have been made ready and the adventurers transfer from the larger ships into them. They row towards shore, adopting a flanking formation (like the flight of migrating geese), with Torlann in the point boat.

    As we near shore (100 feet out, as I recall) a shout is heard from Ivan alerting the wayfarers of ambush. A score and a half Sahuagin erupt from beneath the shallow water; they all bear heavy crossbows and are lined 3X10 (I recall three lines, I assume there were 10 columns). Battle is joined, with initial rounds being bow volleys and spells (magic missiles, create flames?).

    The Sahuagin are very military. The third row is handing crossbows forward so that the front rows have the opportunity to shoot every round. While the second row is reloading, the first row stands in front of them, providing living shields. Torlann crashes his boat straight into them and melee is joined.

    Heavy crossbows are abandoned by the Sahuagin in favor of the stick-and-chew methods.

    Battle is won, but with casualties. All the Sahuaginthat were seen were downed (although some may yet live). We have gained the beach and some precursory investigating of the sparse foliage that lines the flatlands had been undertaken.

    Torlann high tailed it back t o the Endeavor to ensure that they too were no under attack. Laborers are expected soon, and the intent is to set up a BOO (base of operations) replete or complete with tents and chain-link fences. A few parties were sent north around the river bend to see what they can see.

    Game Log / Intro
    « on: February 22, 2005, 12:47:20 PM »
    After four months at sea, your long awaited destination lies just ahead of you. From far away you had stared in wonder and amazement at the mountain island?s massive, almost, unbelievable size. Now, only a few hundred yards from the Strait leading to the Isle of Brennen Inner Harbor, you are intimidated by the sheer towering height of it.

    With the protection of the reef you left behind this morning, these mountains meet the ocean in calm tranquility. Erosion from crashing waves and pushing currents have never kissed the edges of the massive towers that plummet uninterrupted to the ocean floor. The mountains facing the ocean have little foliage on their steep incline, but are still home to many species of ocean birds. Many have taken flight on the morning?s warm zephyr to begin the daily hunt for fish below.

    As you approach the Strait you realize that it?s anything but. It appears that Kord, the god of strength, himself reached out of the heavens and split the mountain range in two, Leaving two ripped apart cliff faces that, facing one another. They seem to yearn to become one again. Even though you are a few hundred yards away from the true entrance, you already discern that the strait veers to your right ahead, leaving the promised inner harbor hidden from view.

    The water of this bay is even clearer than on the beach of the tropical island you last stepped foot on more than a month ago. It looks water warm and inviting. Since your arrival yesterday, every other soul on the ship has commented on going for a long swim upon making beachhead, which is kind of ironic you think.

    The calm waters also are teaming with life. The massive catch of fish and its subsequent feast of the previous night still sit pleasantly in your bellies. What a grand celebration it was. Each ship tethered close together in the oh-so calm Reef Bay. Adventurers, crewman, laborers, craftsmen, warriors, all were in high spirits for the first, and most uncertain leg of the journey was complete. Bereft of any storm, pirate attack, terrors from creatures below or above, or ill-luck of any kind, the massive fleet made it?s way to the Isle of Brennen on strong winds. The fortune of the Gods shined down upon this venture. The unease, fears and questions all quelled as more and more time passed during the long voyage. There was much to celebrate. Although the next day would begin a new adventure, and with it a new leg on this journey, it will be one of beginning. A new outpost, a new town, and new hope for many people, tired of the wars in the continents left behind.

    As you sail on into the strait, ships comfortably traverse two-by-two in the passage. The cliffs yield to the calm water, facing each other from hundreds of feet away, one estimates that most of the fleet could fit side by side through here.

    ?Those cliffs aren?t natural.? A calm dwarf mutters in wonder, snapping the gawking passengers of the Windright back into the reality of the moment.

    ?What was that Rurik?? replied the captain.

    ?The cliffs, they?ve been cut by master stoneworkers, to look natural. But they aren?t.?

    ?Are you out of your mind? Those cliffs must be a mile high before they begin their natural summit. And the cliffs match each other in the way they were torn apart. It would take hundreds of Dwarves centuries to cut and move that much rock. And to what purpose to make it look like a quake caused it?? the captain questioned, still in disbelief of Rurik?s claim.

    ?What purpose indeed captain,? replied Rurik. ?But I am telling you sir, as Moradin, is my witness. This mountain was dismantled rock by rock, boulder and pebble, and made to look like a natural occurrence.? Rurik stated sternly.

    ?If you were anyone else but the Master Mason of Dullstrand I would question your sanity Rurik. But you must understand that your confidence does not leave me at ease.? Replied Whalen.

    ?How long ago do you think it was done? Was it Dwarves?? asked Amallia, sitting on a barrel all this time and thought to be in her daily ritual of reading.

    ?Over 400 years ago I think, naturally the rock has eroded with time. It was definitely done with dwarven hands, but the accent of the work baffles me. Not to mention why the Dwarves did it in such a way in the first place.? Rurik states with a mildly confused look. As he talks you can see his eyes dart over the surface of the cliff with almost a child-like wonder and perhaps even glee.

    ?Accent?? asks Amallia.

    ?Yes, pretty one. I have traveled many kingdoms and worked along side many dwarves. To a master stonecutter, cutting into stone is like writing one of your beloved books, along with that writing comes along the idiosyncrasies of the worker?s dialect, accent and basic working language if you will.?

    ?Pretty one not an iddeawt,? says Grushnek confused and in defense of his charge.

    ?That?s not what he meant Grush?, says Amallia in a soft tone.

    You continue on through the Strait. At its narrowest, during the initial turn to the right, the pass gets 150 feet wide. The captain doesn?t appear worried about depth however, as the Captain of the Windright doesn?t even bother to slow the ship down.

    After the turn, the head of the fleet moves east approximately 1 mile before again having to turn west and towards the presumed center of the isle and the inner harbor. As this turn is made the passage widens slightly to approximately 200 feet. About a half mile from this turn it appears the Strait ends and the harbor begins. And what a grand sight it is.

    On this perfectly clear and calm day you can see for miles. If this island is as Councilor Tretorn Kayb described, having a circular harbor inside a protected ring of mountains, then this isle must be enormous. For on the ?other side? of the harbor, you only see the watery horizon. The water is even clearer here, and you can see many fish swimming lazily bye, who do not appear disturbed by your presence. Despite the clarity, and even though you are a few hundred feet from shore, you cannot see any sign of the bottom harbor floor.

    Reading your thoughts Captain Whalen says, ?Not to worry my young elven friends. Captain Shakar assures me that this be the perfect future seaport. He?s says this harbor has a deep underwater valley with the bottom far below are ship.? He then barks off orders to the crew to slow down alongside the leading flagship Endeavor, at front, while waiting for the remaining fleet to make their way through the Strait.

    As you anxiously await the other ships, the dwarf Rurik speaks to your group again. All of you squint to where he points high up on the mountainside, leaning over the rail. ?I can almost make out the line of the rail they used to transport the rock up there.? Moving his hand from right to left, he traces while he says, ?That?s where they moved the rock. But where did they bring it I wonder?? You almost think he?s going to jump ship and swim to the mountain for a closer look.

    After a good hour, the ships all make it safely into the harbor and re-align themselves for the trip around the edge of the harbor. As anchors are raised and the Endeavor starts to make its way tracing the shore. A crewman is overheard questioning the indirect route; Captain Whalen offers only ?There?s something Councilor Tretorn wants the adventurers to see.?

    Hours go bye, as the fleet makes it?s way slowly around the harbor in the light wind, you are still amazed by what appears to be an island untouched by civilization. Although you have yet to see a welcoming beach with white sands, the shore is still beautiful in it?s own right. Only a few feet from the water?s edge, the rocky land makes a steep incline into a dense temperate jungle. Which starts with a few feet of underbrush near the water until it is met by towering jungle foliage that defies the mountain slope. You can see why the journey continues, for there is no land with enough berth to give any outpost a strong purchase without almost completely building over the water, and you did not bring enough materials for that.

    Some gasps of awe from the front of the ship grabs your attention as men scurry to the front of the ship for a closer look. With the Endeavor and Windright coming around a bend, in the distance is an oncoming sight not expected. A small, fortified city that appears to be built out over the water on an imposing column of rock. As you get closer you make out the base of it?s once fortified but now crumbling walls, which begin at least 50 feet over your head. With the upper ramparts at least fifty feet above that. This outer wall surrounds multiple stone structures, towers and additional fortifications that appear to be built on an incline that reaches its summit in the island city?s center. An impressive structure that must be a thousand feet across and almost hundreds of feet high at it?s center.

    As you drift bye, you watch the Endeavor as it heads under a single, tall, stone bridge that once completely traversed the distance between the city gate and the jungle beyond. It?s connection to a plausible road lost from view in the dense foliage. The route of the Endeavor takes the ships directly under the one massive gap in the 20? wide bridge that spans hundreds of feet. Going under the bridge you can make out the destroyed front gate and portcullis, the damaged ramparts, and massive holes in the outer walls.

    The entire place looks abandoned to the elements, with only the rock walls left behind.

    Rurik is the first to speak, again, ?Massive siege happened here, and it looked to be some time ago. Glad the humans decided against it. If it fell once, it can fall twice.?

    After passing the island fort, the shore becomes returns to its same mountain jungle motif. Occasionally a waterfall, a small pocket of marshland, or some other natural phenomenon is seen, but no sign of the civilization that once existed in the city behind you.

    Another two hours go by as the Endeavor continues its lead around the harbor, and everyone on the boat becomes increasingly more anxious.

    Off in the distance South/Southwest of you in what you surmise may be the center of the harbor, a small island appears to be in the distance. You can just make out what could be a small structure, possibly a Keep, built upon it.

    After another hour, your destination of these many long days comes into view. Passengers of each ship scurry topside for a look at their new home. The Endeavor makes itself ready to lay anchor a few hundred yards from the cove.

    Facing the area from this vantage point, you examine the site you?ve waited to see for many months.

    A natural formation of rock begins it?s descent high in the mountains on your right hand side. As it descends towards your position it curls in front of your vision as it expands and rises in height to your left. It?s as if nature made a conscious decision to form an outer wall for the cove. Where it ends on your left, and before it closes and reaches back to the mountain side from whence it came, there is a 200 yard gap that allows the Isle Of Brennen Inner Harbor water into the, temporarily named, ?Outpost Cove Bay?. You see through this gap that beyond the Outpost Cove Bay there is an large expanse of higher flat land that appears dry and, more importantly, easier to clear for the Outpost than anything you?ve seen up to this point. Tracing the mountains edge on the side of this valley is a large river that appears to be level of the Cove?s water. It looks like that the river cuts into the mountains about a half mile inland, where the flat land ends, and runs in between two cliffs until it reaches a waterfall of significant height about a mile inland from here.

    Just as your taking this all in, some enthusiastic clapping is heard from the Endeavor as the men applaud the Councilor and Captain Shakahr for a safe journey. With a stern, but rye look from Captain Whalen, the crew of the Windright applaud in earnest.

    ?Damned right.? Captain says with a smile.

    Yet another hour goes by as the many ships take anchor in the area. As the sun starts to set behind you. Rowboats are made ready for fording an Adventurer?s representative of each boat to a meeting, pre-scheduled months ago, to be held on the Endeavor.

    The actual decision on who would be the one to represent the Windright was made by everyone on board a few weeks ago. You see, this is considered a position of pride since most the people on each boat have become fast friends on their ships, and, have competed and played sea-going games against the groups on the other ships over the past few months.

    A decision was made that Mel would be the best representative to go, only one vote on the boat was for a different individual, and that was the one that Mel cast: he thought Grush should go.

    Finally, a signal is given from the Endeavor and Mel makes his way into the sturdy, large rowboat that is gently set down on the calm water just shortly before dinnertime. He is accompanied by three warriors who help him row to the Endeavor. Once adjacent to the ship, [PC] climbs a rope ladder up to the welcoming crew who are in good spirits this warm beautiful afternoon. Course, the celebratory liquor helps. Another warrior assigned to Endeavor leads Mel down to the mess hall where a decent hot meal has been prepared for the occasion. You are one of the first to arrive, but the other adventurer?s soon make entry, most with a smile.

    Meanwhile, back at the Windright, the 7 adventurer?s also find themselves catered to a hot meal aboard. ?Our weekly, comes early!? jokes Amaril. He is quickly humbled when a woman enters to pour all gathered a nice glass of wine.

    At the Endeavor, Councilor Tretorn Kayb, Torlan Torkanius, Captain Shakar and Ivellios Nailo, make there way into the mess hall along with a cook and two of the thankfully many wenches that accompanied all of you brave men across the Solnor Ocean. As the women and the cook layout food fit for an Aristorcatic Conference, Councilor Tretorn addresses you.

    ?I was originally going to start this speech, with the words, ?We have journeyed long and hard?.?. But those words, thank the gods, seem almost foolish now.? Tretorn states with a smile. Tretorn, a human aristocrat from Dullstrand, is a bit tall and lanky. He has worn a fairly poor looking wizard?s robe the entire trip, and does appear he would be just as happy with his long nose buried in an ancient arcane tomb, as he would debating taxes with the mercantile guild. He is a man in his mid-years, who although appearing reserved and not one to bark orders, seems capable of giving orders regardless. Most of the men back on the Windright however, would rather put their trust and lives in the hands of Torlann.

    Torlann Torkanius, self-proclaimed Paladin of Freedom. At 6?5? tall, this handsome human, is the epitome of a future Lord Paladin and possible King. Although young, he has a commanding presence that has helped move these ships across the Solner. In Torlann?s Outpost Boot Camp, you briefly experienced his command back in Dullstrand. You found him to be stern, but fair, and expecting the best out of all of the adventurer?s. Torlann, with his long straight jet black hair, bronze Baklunish tan skin, and muscular physique has turned all the heads of the women aboard the ships as he visited each one during the journey.

    Tretorn continues.

    ?First and foremost, please convey all that is said and discussed here to your fellow adventurers of your respective ships.?

    ?We have finished the first leg of the journey and have now reached a key reason the lot of you have been hired. Tomorrow morning we require you to disembark by rowboat under the command of Ivellios. The 56 of you will land 7 boats in the cove and secure the beach. Our warriors will stay behind for the security of the fleet. Once on land you will investigate the surrounding area as directed by Ivellios and confirm the safety of the beach.?

    ?I do not mean to sound callous about your lives, they are no less important than any of the men and women waiting behind. But this is what you knew you were hired for. Nevertheless, on the rare chance that a dangerous situation develops that cannot be handled, and the order is given by Ivellios to retreat. You are all to make every effort to make yourselves safe. The first obvious option being the return to the fleet. If that is not possible, then a retreat into the cover of the dense foliage. You all know your own skills. Just let it be known that no one will be left unaccounted for. If able, we will send search parties for anyone missing.?

    ?You may now sense that we expect something. Well, quite frankly, we do.? He states grimly.

    ?After the discovery of this cove, the Endeavor left 10 volunteers. Well-bodied men who were skilled with the sword. At the time, 6 months ago, this was the only way to lay political claim to this land. A task they will be paid handsomely for when we retrieve them.?

    ?They were instructed to keep an eye on the cove and if they encountered danger, to stay within eyesight of it if possible. Since they are now nowhere to be seen we are forced to assume the worst. That whatever drove them off is still in this area and a threat to you and this mission.?

    ?We will retrieve them.? Captain Shakahr states with much emotion.

    ?One of them, is the Captains son.? Tretorn solumnly states. ?After the beach is secure and the laborer?s start to make there way to you, Ivellios will ask for volunteers to track and investigate the disappearance of his son and the men he commanded.?

    ?Any questions thus far?? Tretorn pauses.

    There were no questions; all seemed very clear and straight-forward. After the meal the representatives were ferried back to their original vessels (with much honor, I might add) and the information that was communicated to them was then relayed unto their shipmates.

    Game Log / Session 1 - Leaving Home
    « on: February 20, 2005, 11:32:07 AM »
    First Session: April 25, 2003

    Early spring, the first days of the first new moon of the new season (New Year’s day for Himo’s people). Himo has left home (given all the newness to the timing, this is considered a good day for starting a new journey), following the urge to see the world. He has headed southwest, where it is rumored that there is another forest similar to the one where he lives ? where he has thus far spent his entire life.

    He and his cat spend three days walking across the plains that separate his forest with this new one. Investigating, he finds that this forest is basically the same as his own, except that where his home forest is full of life (elves, sprites, and the like), this one is apparently void of life.

    He has been in the forest for several days. The moon is large and gibbous, and casts quite a bit of light through the skeletal fingers of the branches above, when he espies a shadow moving among the trees just at the edge of the light shed by his campfire. Hi cat takes to the trees. Presently, three men jump out from behind trees and attack Himo. The first falls to a well-placed crossbow bolt, and a battle ensues.

    Other men come to the aid of the brigands, and the battle leaves Himo badly wounded, two of the assailants dead, and another shot in the leg. Himo is taken captive.

    Himo awakens later. It’s unknown how much time elapsed while he was unconscious. He finds that his hands are tied together behind his back and to his ankles. He is laying face-down on the dirt floor of the forest.
    Near by, there is a large campfire, and men are carousing about.

    “Our guest is awakening”. Says one of the men, drawing Himo to his feet. The men (there are more than ten of them all told) gather around. One man is calling to the right to kill Himo; this man has a bandage on his thigh and he is limping badly.

    All of the men are filthy, drunk, and stink. They play with Himo, the apparently leader making a show of trying to decide what to do with him. Suddenly, a sword erupts from the leader’s chest and his eyes fly wide. Another man dies before knowing what was going on.

    Himo finds himself face to face with the chest with the tallest man he has ever seen or heard of. This man is almost two heads taller than Himo, and at least twice as wide as the elf. He is covered with chain mail, and wields a double-bladed sword. He yells at Himo to turn around. Himo does, and feels a momentary pull on the ropes that bind him; he is free. The large man yells at Himo to run (“Run, fool!!”) Himo runs.

    The brigands, drunk as they are, are no match for this new man, [That's one tough griznuq] but they are numerous; the big man delays the brigands a bit, and chases after Himo. What follows is a flight through the trees in the dead of night.

    A man steps seemingly from nowhere to block Himo’s escape, and an axe embeds itself in the man’s forehead. Himo continues to run, the sounds of pursuit dying in the distance.

    Someone is still following him, however; heavy boots fall near on his heels, and the sound of metal chains continues behind him. It is also falling behind a bit.

    Presently, Himo is surprised to come upon a side rode. The forest floor dips suddenly, and the elf stumbles out onto the road and in front of Belwar.

    Edited 6-6-2009

    Out of Character Discussions / Welcome!
    « on: February 16, 2005, 08:50:17 AM »
    If you can see this, you are among a small group of friends who get together semi-regularly to almost never to play D&D... You know who you are! This forum is for members of the Griznuq gamining group eyes only!

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