Monsters Rule!

Session 20
Underneath Fort Wyvernskull

Recap
Amazingly, the guards believed our story and didn’t recognize us from the reward scroll. After a few more lies, and a great deal of Bravado from Joelo, we talked our way past the ogre blocking the basement stairs without bloodshed.

Our trials were only beginning, however. The dwarves had left traps to guard the entrance to the underdark. A pair of lightning glyphs had been inscribed on the floor of the first chamber, and several suits of armor came to life to block our path. To make matters worse, as we fled past the constructs into the next chamber we heard horns and footsteps echoing from the fort above. It seems our ruse had been discovered.

The next chamber held a shrine to the dwarven god … and a secret door that opened onto stairs descending even deeper. The stairs gave way to a large cavern split by a deep chasm. Out of the pitch black shadows, several feral , blind humanoid creature rushed at us. But that was not what made my blood turn cold.

Out of the chasm rose something only seen in nightmares. A floating brain adorned with beak and numerous barbed tentacles. It darted forward with astonishing speed, grabbed Tor in its tentacles and tried to drag her back over the edge of chasm to feast! A pitched battle ensued, as we balanced precariously on the edge of a deep chasm and our enemy tried to drive us over the precipe to certain death.

We camped for the night and in the morning descended into the chasm. After two days of winding our way through a labyrinth of tunnels and caves we came across an amazing sight . Ahead of us the cave opened into a massive cavern filled with a forest of mushrooms, some as tall as trees!


Party: Lusherina, Tor, Joelo

Status: fully rested

Current treasure (5416 gp)
Gold: 3806
Amethyst bracelet (250 gp)
2 sapphire necklaces (500 go)
4 pearls (100 gp)

1 Potion of cure moderate wounds
Raise dead scroll (ritual)

new items:
+ 3 vicious axe (+ 3d12 on criticals)
storm shield (resist 5 lightning, thunder; daily: melee attacker takes 2d6 dmg)

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Session 19
Out of the thornwaste

scorpion.jpg
The dragon followed from a safe distance as we made our way out of the thorn wastes. Still wounded from our fight, he was waiting for us to get into open ground where he could easily strake us with fiery breath. But dragons are cunning, and it had also convinced a band of greedy bird men (and their giant scorpion!) to ambush us in case we stayed in the cover of the canyons. The fight with the bird men was brutal, and Keth was incapacitated before we finished them off.

Somehow, I doubt we have seen the last of that dragon.

Our next destination is some place called the underdark. A world beneath ours, the underdark is entire subterranean civilization built in giant caverns deep underground. There we hope to find a band of duergar who breed exotic creatures. They must know what the queen is using the cloakers for and maybe they know something that will lead to a weakness.

Lusherina remembered reading about a supposed entrance to the underdark: a deep crevasse in the bottom of a dwarven fort that was now occupied by red hand goblins. We made our way to the front gate and bribed / bluffed our way inside.

fort.png

We were slowly walking down the central courtyard under the watchful eye of archers above when we noticed it. A simple piece of parchment nailed to the second set of gates.

WANTED: for treason against the queen. 2000 gp reward
* human warrior, possibly a werewolf
* half-orc knight
* elven sorceress, red hair
* barbarian shaman
* wood elf, archer
* Halfling charlatan (pretending to be a priest of a false god)

Our blood ran cold. Did they know? Were they only luring us into a better ambush spot?


Party: Lusherina, Tor, Keth, Steve

Status: fully rested

Current treasure (4316 gp)
Gold: 2706
Amethyst bracelet (250 gp)
2 sapphire necklaces (500 go)
4 pearls (100 gp)

1 Potion of cure moderate wounds
Raise dead scroll (ritual)

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Session 18
The vault
  • battled a beholder, and recovered the sword (flames champion)

Beholder1_t.png

  • EPIC battle with the dragon and it’s minions. Tor rode the dragon and lept a 30’ over a pit of lava !!! Sadly, the dragon escaped …

Current treasure (3956 gp)
Gold: 2306
Amethyst bracelet (250 gp)
2 sapphire necklaces (500 go)
4 pearls (100 gp)

2 Potion of cure moderate wounds (2d8+10 hp)
Raise dead scroll (ritual)

Enchant item ritual
object reading ritual
limited telepathy ritual
circle of protection ritual

Status

name Dailies used surges left
Lusherina All all
Keth all 10
Tor all 10
Steve all 5
Joelo all but spirit weapon and divine vigor 9
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Session 17
Dragon!

The heroes lure one of the guards kobold guards away from his post and subdue him, but the other raises the alarm: “Wake the Master! Wake the Master!”

From a dark corner of the cave, a magnificent beast emerges. The dragon shakes gold coins off it’s body as a dog would shake water from it’s fur. In a booming voice demands, “who disturbs my rest! Give me a reason why a should not burn you alive and eat the flesh from your bones!”

red-dragon.jpg

The party choses to parlay, not fight, so the dragon offers them a deal. “Bring me the head of the snakeman leader and deliver a message to his followers: Return with an offering of loyalty by the next full moon, or you’ll share his fate.” In return, the dragon will show them the entrance to the lower caves where the sunsword is kept.

Our heroes, however, are not so keen to take on 200 serpent folk so they devise a different plan. They convince Speelok (the kobold who tried to warn them to flee the dragons lair in the first place) to warn them the next time the dragon leaves to hunt. After two days the signal comes. The party returns to the dragon’s lair, and kills the remaining kobold minions (except speelok). They claim the dragon’s loot, and continue into the lower caves!

Once inside the lower passages they must make their way past a pair of bronze golems that are nearly indestructible (until they used the control from from earlier in the ruins to shut them down), and corridor trapped with poison gas vents.

Finally, their goal is in sight. In the cavern ahead, a sword limned in golden flames sits suspended in mid air, surrounded by a globe of bright light. Unfortunately, to get to it, they must get past numerous bubbling pools of ooze. Horrific creatures with too many eyes, mouths and tentacles crawl out of the pools every few seconds, only to be re-absorbed or eaten by larger survivors a moment later in an endless cycle of spawning and death. Ick.

Status

name Dailies used surges left
Lusherina
Keth
Tor
Steve
Glorfindel
Joelo

Current treasure (1206 gp)
Gold: 956
Jeweled bracelet (250 gp)
Potion of cure moderate wounds (2d8+10 hp)
Enchant item ritual
Raise dead ritual (scroll)
object reading ritual
limited telepathy ritual
circle of protection ritual

new items:
+3 hide armor – Steve
+2 champion’s hauberk (chain mail) – Joelo
+2 amulet of health – Joelo?
+2 amulet of elegy – Lusherina

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Session 16
Are you sure those dice aren't weighted?

Avoiding the serpent men for now, the party heads for the upper keep.

IMG_3139.PNGA trio of tentacled serpent creatures lair in the old gatehouse. It’s a tough battle but Keth strikes two critical blows, sending them to their graves

As they enter into the courtyard and discuss which building to explore first, an ominous shadow darkens the ground. A dragon flies overhead carrying a wild animal of some sort in It’s claws! It circles and flies into the cave on the cliff behind the keep.

Eager to get indoors and out of sight, the party investigate a ruined building filled with statues and frescoes celebrating long dead heroes. It’s infested with giant spiders, but again Keth makes a couple more critical blows to drive back their venomous foes

(DM checks Keth’s dice for weights)

IMG_3141.JPGIn the spiders lair, Tor spots.a poorly made wall that hides a stairwell. The cut stairs turn to natural stone. At the bottom is a cavern full of steam geysers guarded by kobolds. Thanks to another couple of critical blows by Keth, the party disposes of them quickly.

Deeper in the caves, they find a lone kobold feeding scraps of meat to two caged dogs. As the dogs start to growl, Tor assumes wolf form and establishes herself as the alpha. The dogs quickly quiet down. The kobold, Speelock, speaks a little common. He begs them to let him live and encourages them to flee before the dragon eats them. They lock him in an empty cage, and ignore his advice.

As they peer around the next corner, they are assaulted by a wave of heat and sulfurous fumes . A vast lava-filled cavern awaits. Narrow bridges, paths and stepping stones provide access to two raised ledges on the opposite side.

IMG_3146.JPG

A a stones throw away, a pair of kobolds with red tinged scales lean against the rocks by the edge of the lava, seemingly unphased by the heat. They don’t notice the party … yet


status

name Dailies used surges left
Lusherina Flame sphere, orb of fiery might 0 used ?
Keth lucky charm, aspect of ferocity 4 used
Tor boiling cloud 2 used
Steve false life amulet, ice javelins? ?

current treasure
(Spent 3000 to enchant Lusherina’s armor)
Gold: 956
Jeweled bracelet (250 gp)
Potion of cure moderate wounds (2d8+10 hp)
Total: 1206

rituals
Enchant item
Raise dead (scroll)
object reading
limited telepathy
circle of protection

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Session 15
Minotaur ruins - Collapsed watchtower

Our heroes continue their search for a lost relic of great power. As the sun rises they get the first good look at their objective – an ancient keep built into a steep hillside. The backside of the hill is a sheer cliff, punctuated by a cave opening nearly 200 feet up. The more accessible front side is divided by walls into multiple tiers.

The lowest tier is made up mostly of collapsed, overgrown buildings. The wall here are partially collapsed and easily passable. The party catches glimpses of wild dogs(?) fighting over scraps amidst the rubble.

A steep overgrown road leads to the front gate of the middle tier. Behind an intact wall and functioning gatehouse, tens of dozens of serpent people have made a semi-permanent camp in what was once a village. A tall tower rises from the center.

At the top of the hill sits what remains of a great walled keep. Several stone buildings remain standing inside the walls. Getting to the keep will require making your way through either the lower or middle tiers (or both).

kenku.jpgAs the last light of the day fades, the party climbs over the ruined wall and into the rubble-filled lower section of the fort. Their attention is drawn by birdmen talking loudly in squawking voices. Their group was hunting for treasure among the ruins when one of their companions fell down a hole into a nest of giant insects. They are too afraid to go after him, and our heroes agree to try and retrieve the missing birdman.

Kruthik_small.jpg Down into the hole our heroes go! At the bottom they have to battle a nest of giant insects, and then navigate a maze of small tunnels on their hands and knees while fending off the attacks of juvenile insects. (Keth does not like me bugs to begin with – this probably gave him a permanent phobia!)

The tunnels lead to the basement of the collapsed tower where they find a black ooze creature hiding at the bottom of a well. It’s a tough fight as their weapon attacks only slice off a smaller version of the whole!

mold_zombie.jpg The main floor of the watchtower is inhabited by several minotaur “zombies” animated by a sentient mold colony.

After defeating the zombies, the party finds a moldy chest holding treasure (see below) and the watch captain’s journal. It describes their arrivals at this keep, and how the relic they seek is locked away in a special vault, with multiple layers of protection. The keys for which have been distributed among the watch captain, the keep’s wizard, and the lord of the keep. They also found unusual gem tipped rod, which controls a type of construct (presumably one of the keys).

Returning to the surface the party is betrayed by the birdme. There is no injured companion. They demand the party leave their treasure and flee. That doesn’t end well for the birdmen, however. In the combat that follows most of them are pushed back into the pit where they are eaten alive by hungry juvenile bugs.

Loot
+2 quick blade
1950 gold

Level up to 7!!


Current Treasure

currency
gold: 2,606
Jeweled crown 50 gp
2 gem studded collars (50 gp ea)
18 topaz (50 gp ea)
2 rubies (100 go ea)
Necklace 100 gp
Total: 3,656

rituals
Enchant item
Raise dead (scroll)
object reading
limited telepathy
circle of protection

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Session 14
Thornwastes

Recap
After leaving the mountains, the party came across an inn where they purchased food, ale, and a good night rest. The barkeep and minstrel also provided them with valuable information about their destination: the thornwastes. Legend tells that centuries ago, a minotaur warlord tried to conquer the wastelands. Unfortunately, the spirits of the land did not take kindly to his scorched earth policy of conquering the natives and ended his reign in a rain of fiery meteors.

The next day, our heroes began searching the wastes for the ruined tower. The very terrain radiated primal energy, and Tor was able to follow the energy to it’s source. Along the way they encountered several of the wastelands more formidable beasts: a giant scorpion, and a pack of hungry sand drakes.

The source of the primal energies was an ancient ring of standing stones carved in the likeness of human faces. Whispered voices challenged their right to retrieve the weapon of light, but ultimately were convinced of their worthiness and guided them towards the ruined Minotaur keep.

On the journey to the tower, the party encountered a pair of thunderhawks hunting for prey. After killing one and scaring the other off, they traversed a narrow path up the side of a cliff. At the top of the cliff they spotted a ruined structure surrounded by half buried stones – the ruins of the warlord’s tower!

They rested the night and set off for the ruins in the morning.


current treasure
gold: 656
Jeweled crown 50 gp
2 gem studded collars (50 gp ea)
18 topaz (50 gp ea)
2 rubies (100 go ea)
Necklace 100 gp
Total: 1706

rituals
Enchant item
Raise dead (scroll)
object reading
limited telepathy
circle of protection

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Session 13
Lower Caverns

The ghost of the Minotaur high priest tells them the secret to opening the sealed door: speak the name of the Minotaur god, baphomet. He also reveals that the minotaurs once possessed a weapon forged of pure sunlight but renegade minotaurs stole it and fled into the wastelands centuries ago.

One beyond the door they find a chamber filled with explosive steam vents (ouch) and a pair of iron cobras.

After that they come to the chamber where kurzag keeps his slaves. A pair of magiical beasts called cloakers keep the prisoners docile. Seeing them triggers a repressed memory in lusherina. This creatures were used by her captors!

Finally. they reached the ritual chamber where kurzag is getting ready to animate the bronze golem with the souls of the prisoners. He is conversing with a projected image of the queen. They make plans to use the warders to crush some rebellious villagers outside tarrelton.

Kurzag nearly kills the entire party, but somehow they emerge victorious. They burn the only copy of the ritual to animate the golems

Now they have a choice to make:

  • search the wastelands for lost Minotaurs in hopes of recovering their weapon
  • go to the aid of the rebels outside tarrelton
  • delve further into the underdark and find the duergar who are breeding cloakers and selling them to the queens forces

level up to 6!


Treasure
500 gold
18 topaz (50 gold)
2 rubies (100 gold)
+2 staff of withering
+2 amulet of false life
(Free enchant item: +1 to +2)
wrathful spirit (blessing from Minotaur ghost)

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Session 12
Proving Grounds

The party continues searching a long abandoned shrine to a Minotaur god in hopes of finding out why Kurzag was so interested in the place.

They find a room filled with large flaming braziers, a magic circle, and an altar. The book they need is sitting on the altar, but protected by a orb of force. Each round, a rage demon is summoned through one of the braziers. Eventually they figure out to use the magic circle to deactivate the braziers and orb, claiming the book.

The next room contains a vast, mist-filled chasm punctuated by floating islands of rock. The final item (the mask) rests on the ledge on the far side. While they party debates what to do, Tor leaps from island to island, crossing the chasm and claiming the mask. As soon as she does so, flying spined demons rise from the mist and attack!

Having claimed all four items, the party moves on to a chamber that has four magic circles inscribed on the floor. They place each of the four items in one of the circles. The items disappear – replaced by the ghosts of dead minotaur warriors and a skeletal dragon! The front line characters take quite a beating (especially Steve the Barbarian), but ultimately prevail.

As the monster falls a secret door opens revealing an antechamber and another ghostly minotaur …


Resources used

player daily powers used surges remaining
Sergei stalker’s mist; excruciating shot
Steve ice javelin;
Dave flaming sphere, web, orb
Chris G mountain form, blood mist
Thomas
Chris C. paladin’s judgement; ice axe;

Treasure
none :-(

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Session 11
Proving Grounds

Here ’s what the party has learned so far

  • Kurzag’s minions held Valdar Stoneheart (a scholar on Minotaur ruins) captive for months. They seemed particular interested in tales of ancient golems, and a shrine called the proving grounds
  • His captors paid duergar miners to unearth a sealed door (They also recovered a map to the door)
  • The duergar also sold slaves to (dark creepers) beyond the door, and another group is scheduled for delivery in 5 days.

After resting for the night, the party is ambushed by several dark creepers and a bronze golem in the form of a Minotaur. They recover amulet the leader used to control the golem and discover that the golems must be infused with the life force stolen from another being. Now they know why kurzag is buying slaves!

Lacking other ideas, the party heads some ruins known as the proving grounds, where they overcome a number of obstacles

  • The entry chamber has become home to a pair of cavern chokers and a grell feeding of those foolish enough to explore the ruins. One of the items they need (the bell) is hidden in a hollow pillar.
  • The sword they need rests on the far side of the enormous room filled wasit deep with blood. A walkway and two large statues of flail wielding minitaurs also sit on platforms above the surface.
    • The statues are traps that swing barbed flails, striking anything in the room
    • the blood is poisonous to the touch
    • a pair of demons were hiding beneath the surface of the blood

After surviving all that and retrieving the sword, the party barricaded the doors and rested for the night.


Treasure:
55 gp (from dark creepers)

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