This is the original party, which is going through the "Adventure Path" series of modules.
(We Ain't Afraid of No Goats -- formerly Takin' Care of Business.)
This is the second party, which is going through a collection of adventures from Dungeon
and other places.
This is a party which involves Ben and George (or Ben and Steve) each playing two brothers. It takes place in the Forgotten Realms.
The Burning Sage's Demense/Ever Changing Fortunes/Raiders of Galath's Roost [Melissa]
The beginning of my adventuresome career is not something I really care to speak of. It is still a painful, bitter memory and the lowest point in my life. I will record the terrible deeds here, as I am recording all of my experiences, but I will not go into much detail.
Shortly after meeting Stumpwater Jack, we heard about a suspicious disappearance of an ancient and powerful wizard. This sounded like an interesting mystery and one that both of us wanted to investigate. While gathering information at a nearby town, we met two other adventurous sorts who were also interested in discovering the whereabouts of this old wizard and to see if there was any treasure or reward in the process. These two individuals were Phelps, a human fighter, and Kobort, a dwarven ranger. I got the impression that Kobort and Stumpwater knew each other, but I am not certain. Maybe it was just because they were both outdoorsman that I got this impression. I said that I was going to make this short, so here it goes: we encountered a nasty and vicious troll, more than we could handle, obviously, which quickly killed our two new companions. Stumpwater summoned some of his nature’s allies to distract the troll after Phelps and Kobort went down, and I tried to save Phelps by dumping a healing potion down his throat, but he was too far gone. While the troll was still occupied, Stumpwater and I fled this awful scene. I still wake up with nightmares of Kobort and Phelps' demise.
Stumpwater and my second adventure together was much more successful. Eager to mend our wounds and try to forget our awful last campaign, we headed for one of the nearest towns. There was some sort of fair at this town and I was eager to get inside and start scrounging for information about this city and see if I could use my charming personality to get a nice room and meal for practically nothing. With many people going to the fair, there was a long line to get through the front gates of this city. While waiting in line, we met a couple of adventurous sorts and we started recounting our individual histories and tales of battle. I, of course, avoided mentioning Phelps or Kobort. These two new “friends” were Kerrick, a human fighter, and Percy, a human fighter of some sort. Shortly after meeting these two, a commotion started toward the front of the line and one of the guards began to chase a kobold away from the city. As the kobold neared our place in line, we heard him asking for help. There wasn’t time to question him as to what sort of help was needed since he was fleeing from the guard at the time. Percy joined the chase after the guard tripped, but the kobold was too far away and quickly disappeared. Shortly after Percy rejoined us in line, the kobold appeared again. I guess he knew I was not intending to hurt him because he cowered by me, using my skirts to hide from Percy and the guard. I was then able to learn his story.
He told me that his people, who I assumed incorrectly to be a band of kobolds, were in trouble and that we should accompany him to the nearby mountains to their lair to help him. I took pity on this miserable creature and convinced my comrades to help me in this quest. Along the way to the mountains, we were ambushed by some bandits who we quickly dispatched. I was beginning to feel more confident in my new companions abilities after this brief encounter.
The kobold led us to a mine in the mountains and we quickly became involved in several combats with kobolds. It was then that our friendly kobold told us he did not consider himself a kobold at all, but a dwarf. He was raised and nurtured as a dwarf in the hopes that he could help control the kobold prisoners held captive by the dwarves. The kobolds would not accept him and were able to rebel and enslave the dwarves. After a few pitched battles, we were able to defeat the kobolds and free the dwarves. We received a reward of a little coin and, more importantly, a finely crafted weapon of our choice from the dwarves. I chose a masterwork short spear, my weapon of choice, which I still wield today.
Following this adventure, Stumpwater, Kerrick and myself decided on some good R&R in a nearby town. Percy had some other pressing matters to attend to and left our company. I have not run into Percy again in my travels and hope all is well with him. While lounging at a local bar, we met a couple of strangers who seemed decent enough and we struck up a conversation with these two. Both of them were races I had never encountered, but had read enough about, but I will talk more of that later. One was named Roondar Nackle and seemed to be some sort of priest. He seemed likeable enough and I had more than a few good conversations with him that evening. As soon as I met our second companion, I was taken aback. There in front of me, wearing the guise of a high elf, was a drow. From all that I had read of this race, their sadistic, chaotic and thoroughly evil nature left them shunned by all of the surface races and most of those who live underground. And yet, here was one sitting right in front of me and acting like a normal, proper, elf. Not knowing the proper etiquette for dealing with one such as he, I decided to hide my knowledge and act as if his true nature were unknown to me. I thought I had been raised and schooled so that I would know how to deal with most situations involving anything socially. Obviously, I was not. I will just have to keep an eye on this one and see where his intentions lie. By the way, this drow’s name is Stryker.
Later in the evening, we overheard a couple of conversations that were of great interest. It seems that drow raiding parties have been coming above ground recently. The people are afraid to go out at night. Some of these raiders had been seen heading toward an old abandoned castle. I wonder if Stryker is here to find how much these villagers know and to start trying to infiltrate this town. Although he seems like a worthwhile companion, his motivations are much more of a concern to me now.
The following day we decided to head out to the abandoned castle. Once again, I was a bit concerned by Stryker and his eagerness to accompany us on this trek. It was easy for me to convince my companions that I needed to stay more toward the rear of our group so I would not end up involved in hand to hand combat. This had the added benefit of keeping Stryker in plain sight and not at my back. We had an uneventful hike to the castle, but were immediately intrigued by many scavenger birds flying low over a hill behind the castle. This became our first stop. We bypassed the castle itself and headed over toward the hill and noticed that the birds were actually circling at the base of the hill. We easily found two shallow graves, one of which had already been exhumed. Only small pieces of bone remained from this body as the forest animals had already had their dinner. There was a brief argument about digging up the second grave to try to gain some more information. I was not really keen on seeing or smelling a dead body, so I was against digging. Roondar lent Stryker his shovel, however, and the body was removed from its grave. On close inspection, the body was that of a drow. None of us felt the need to return the body to its grave, but I was especially surprised by the disgust on Stryker’s face and his utter refusal to bury the body.
We then turned out attention back to the castle. We headed back to the front gate and crossed the bridge over the dry moat. As soon as we entered, we were set upon by some small birdlike creatures that used their needle beaks to try to drain blood from our party. We dispatched these creatures after taking minimal damage from them. We then moved deeper into the castle proper and Stryker barely leaped out of the way as a part of the castle grounds caved in, revealing a lower level to the keep. We moved on to one corner of the castle where a large pile of what looked to be dirt or sand was piled. This was almost a disastrous mistake. As we got closer to the mound, two enormous ants rushed toward us. I tried to put them to sleep, but they were too powerful to be dropped by such a spell. Hmmm, perhaps I should try to learn to use my powers to damage my foes instead of simply making them friendly toward me or putting them to sleep. I will have to concentrate on this. Stryker and Roondar both fell quickly before the powerful pincers of the ants. Kerrick was much more successful and dealt powerful blows to the ants with his halberd. Kerrick’s onslaught, with some help from myself and Stumpwater, felled the ants. I quickly poured a potion of healing down Roondar’s throat and, after a moment’s hesitation, poured a second down Stryker’s. This was enough to bring both of my companions back to consciousness. Both were still considerably injured. Our priest, Roondar, had also seen through Stryker’s disguise and forced him to reveal his true nature to our other companions before he would use his healing gifts on the drow.
With the party fully healed, we continued our search of the outdoor, upper level of the castle. Only one other area in this level proved eventful. As we approached a large tree growing out of one ruined part of the castle, acorns were pelting us, thrown from above. Stryker climbed the tree to find a small dragon type creature as the culprit. It communicated with me using some sort of telepathy and I was able to use my charming personality to gain useful information about the beasts roaming the lower levels of the castle. This creature intrigued me and I will have to learn more about its kind when I get the chance in the future.
We also learned from the pseudodragon that raiders were often seen near the castle and that a group would probably be heading past that very afternoon. We made our battle plans at the front of the castle, each of us holding a position where we could gain the best advantage against our foes. Not long after, a group of human and half-orc bandits came riding up to our ambush.
Now, to backtrack a minute, we had been offered by the town a reward for bringing in these bandits, more of a reward if alive, but still payment if they were dead. We decided to capture as many as we could alive. And, here, our spells worked to perfection. I used my sleep ability while Stumpwater trapped our foes with the very grass they rode through. Within minutes, the entire group was either asleep or completely ensnared in the grass. With no blood being drawn, we had conquered the entire group!!!
Questioning the group was very productive. We learned that the entire group of bandits were camped hundreds of miles away. But the nearby hill, near where we found the drow graves, had some sort of portal that transported the bandits to their hideout. They merely waved the evil tattoo on their hand on the hill and walked through the portal. Stryker wanted to remove one of the bandit’s hands so that we could open the portal in the future, but the rest of the party wanted nothing to do with this evil act. Most of the trust Stryker had earned from me was lost with this suggestion. We returned to the town with the bandits and turned them over to the local law for our reward. We still had much to explore at the castle and headed back there the next day.
I will try to make this part brief as I have been a bit long-winded through the early exploits in this adventure. The pseudodragon was proven 100% correct in the monsters that lurked below ground. We battled a strange water creature, more giant ants, an enormous snake a man-eating plant, and many giant bees. At one point, we had to leave Stryker in a trap we failed to notice as we searched for another entrance to his prison. Through all this excitement and battle, I became increasingly aware that my inability to inflict damage through my nature spell abilities has left me sometimes defenseless against our foes. All my time as we searched through the shadowy hallways of this dungeon, was spent trying to use my energies to wound my enemies. The more we battled from room to room, the closer I felt to an answer to this dilemma. As I am putting away my ink this evening from retelling this adventure, I am sure now that, with a night of concentration, I will be able to unleash powerful missiles of my energy to unerringly strike our enemies. I feel that I will be that I will be more of an asset to my comrades the next time we must vanquish a common foe.
posted by Jon Grantham 7:30 AM
My name is Melissa Templeton. When I tell you that I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth, that is a vast understatement. I was born into one of the wealthiest families of Silverymoon, the youngest and only female child in my family. Although very grateful for what my parents' wealth granted me, such as the finest tutors and never having to worry about the clothes on my back or food on the table, I have always been very independent. Since the time I was very young, I have always known that I would strike out on my own and not rely on my family’s wealth.
I have also always shown part of my family’s ancestry. All you have to do is look into my golden eyes to know that somewhere deeply hidden in my family history we have had some contact with the gods. At an early age, I also learned that this history gave me innate magical abilities. I have always been a charmer and could smooth talk all my parents' servants into doing whatever I needed (even going against my parents' orders), but after our cook followed me around for an hour like a puppy one day, I realized I needed to learn to control these abilities. From then on, part of my tutelage was in the magical arts.
On my 16th birthday, I kissed my parents and 4 brothers goodbye and headed out into the world. I learned very quickly that life outside our mansion walls would be much more difficult than I first thought. I was hoping that I could get by on my good looks and charming personality until I found out what I actually wanted to do with myself. And while there was no shortage of offers of a hot dinner and a place to stay for the night, the price for this “hospitality” was more than I was willing to pay. I learned quickly the type of land most comfortable for a night's sleep and became quite adept with my short spear for catching a quick dinner. Living off the land was fun for a short time, but I am always most comfortable in a city environ where I can put my skills to best use.
I traveled south down the Faerun coast and spent many months living and earning a respectable wage in several cities. I took odd jobs where my intelligence and education would serve me well. I was a scribe for a short period, a language instructor in another, and even served as a counselor and interpreter for a minor nobleman. None of this really satisfied my need for adventure and to really see the world. I headed farther south and spent many more nights sleeping under the stars. Which is where I learned of a new latent talent.
I was eating a very pleasant rabbit meal one evening when several rough looking men brandishing even rougher looking weapons stepped into my campfire light. They threatened all sorts of vile acts and joked about how lucky they were to have found my campsite. As they stepped closer to me, a new noise emitted from my throat and my hands seemed to be moving on their own accord. The next thing I knew, all four men were sleeping heavily, almost comatose, at my feet. I quickly relieved them of their weapons and purses (and boots for good measure), packed up my gear, and continued my journey by moonlight while enjoying the rest of my rabbit. I knew I had been lucky, however, and decided to find some traveling companions at my next opportunity. My luck continued to hold during that same evening as I stumbled upon a traveling companion and made my first real friend since leaving Silverymoon.
Not wanting to encounter the same vile men twice in one evening, I continued my walk throughout the night, hoping to find some shelter to sleep part of the day away after sunrise. About an hour before dawn, I noticed a clearing in the woods through which I was traveling. Hoping to find a spring to refill my water skins, I approached the clearing. As I approached the clearing, I had the uneasy feeling that I was being watched. I slowly put my back to a large tree I was next to and began to scan the area. I quickly noticed, something my Aasimar heritage helped me with, a large owl with unusually intelligent eyes staring at me, watching my every move. I approached it cautiously, but was stopped by a short, squat figure when I got within ten yards of the owl. I had been so curious about this owl that I had not seen this figure move out from behind the tree on which the owl was perched. I guess my charming personality won over this aloof dwarf and he invited me back to his camp where I got some badly needed sleep. I woke to some savory cooking smells and talked much of the day away with this unusual dwarf. We quickly became friends and have been trusted adventuring companions ever since. Although misadventures is a better title for the way our career began…
posted by Jon Grantham 7:15 AM
The Dying of the Light, Part One
This summary of the first two sessions is provided by George.
We had travelled to a town because a "sign" appeared. The sign was a cat that fell from the sky that had a note attached to its collar. The note asked for a group of adventurers to go to a village to help them with a problem. The problem turned out to be a castle that is infested with vampires. We went to the castle and killed 3 or 4 of the 7 vampires that were living there. [The party later learned that only 2 of the vampires had been killed; the others were vampire spawn.]
Other things happened when Biggen and Artemis went into the village to meet the cats owner, but I'll let Martin explain why he killed half of the town.
The next session started with Zook, BlackJack and Biggen in the castle now with less of a vampire infestation. With the loss of Artemis we no longer had the ability to cast daylight (he was the one holding the scrolls). A discussion erupted over what to do. As a group we didn't like the idea of leaving the vampires alone, but we didn't feel like we could go on without being able to keep daylight on them.
We left the castle and attempted to go back to the village to spend the night. The guards at the gate told us that the last time visitors appeared at the gate there was a great disaster that befell the town, so they would not let us in. We then camped in the woods.
During the first watch, we were attacked by what appeared to be 17 wolves. I got the first attack and used chain lightning to attack 13 of them, destroying 11. On the wolves' turns, 3 of them changed to their more normal form, revealing 3 vampires. Two females and one male (one of the females being the girlfriend of the two tough vampires we killed previously). As it turned out, the girlfriend was a pretty tough fighter and the other two were wizard types (used some pretty mean magic on us).
The fight was well fought by all involved. Biggen was his usual crafty yet ineffective combatant. Strangely enough BlackJack wasn't very useful with his axe but effectively used his wand of fireball. Zook of course had smoking fingers casting fireball, chain lightning, and cone of cold (well maybe not smoking fingers).
The battle was going well. Zook had dispatched the remaining 3 wolves and dealt a fair amount of damage to all remaining combatants. BlackJack using the wand caused great pain the the girlfriend sending her packing, and our 3 heroes felt that the battle was won.
In the next round, the remaining female vampire positioned herself in a way to cast fear on all of us. The spell affected BlackJack and Biggen. Zook, unaffected, continued to battle as he was surrounded and could not run.
Zook blasted the female hoping that she would die leaving him a one on one duel with the male the he felt he would surely win. Unfortunately, it didn't work, and he found himself bitten by the male and severely weakened. Fearing a most untimely death he bargained with the vampires. As part of his surrender he was then drained of his life force and became a vampire.
Upon their return to the battle scene, our friends found the remains of some wolves but no Zook. They went to Greyhawk to plan the rescue and hopefully find some assistance.
posted by Jon Grantham 10:10 PM