Re: [Campaign Log] The Underachievers

The "bail out" is a nice touch smile "If the players want to have nothing to do with it... let them" wink

With kind regards
Gregorius21778
__________________
My blog

Re: [Campaign Log] The Underachievers

Session 13

The players that said they would be there were Tanya, Rob, Rebecca and Jonathan.

I started them on Better than any Man.

Jonathan called me at the last minute to cancel and I told him I'd use his dwarf as an NPC.

When I talked with him we spoke a little about my plans for the session and that one PC might die right away at the beginning.

When the players gathered I told them that the PCs might be under-powered for the scenario so I gave them two choices:


1. We just play the adventure with the PCs at current levels.

2. We assume there was another scenario that happened in between the previous one and the one we are about to do. And, they got enough XP to go up one level...but one of the PCs currently at the table (thus including the dwarf) died during the adventure.

I had them do a secret ballot. One person voted for option 1 and two people voted for option 2. So, I made a random roll and the lucky stiff was...(drumroll)...Adam D'Vyne, elf extraordinaire. I had a thief pre-generated so we could start play right away. And, of course, Rob decided he would be a diseased degenerate known as Poxy Dick.


I'll give the actual account of the action when I get a chance.

Re: [Campaign Log] The Underachievers

Session 13 continued


Note: Just to keep things simple and easier for myself I photocopied page 4 and the top of page 5 of the module and gave it to the players to read before we started to play. 


The set up was that Simon Edgington had hired the group to take a well-sealed coffer to Vienna and deliver it to a colleague that lived there. On the way back they were taking a boat down the River Main with the intention to get to the Rhine River and travel to the North Sea so they could get back to England. The boat stopped in Karlstadt and the boat captain talked to some locals about the situation. He then informed the PCs he was going back upriver and would take them no further.

So, the group took a look at the refugee camp. They found a makeshift tavern someone had set up in a large tent, talked to folks about what was happening and eavesdropped on some conversations.

I took Rebecca aside and told her she overheard someone say they thought the Karlstadt witches were somehow connected to a village to the West that has an unaccountable shadow that falls over it as if there were a tower stretching into the sky. The person said there is a normal sized tower in the woods to the West.

I took Rob aside and told him he overheard a person speculating that the Karlstadt witches might have something to do with an old mound in a marsh South of the camp. The person said that the mound is supposed to be so old that it was there before any Christian missionary ever came to this part of the world.

I took Tanya aside and told her she overheard a man saying that the Karlstadt witches must surely be have something to do with Goblin Hill to the East. The man indicated that it has long been thought to be haunted.


I'll write more soon.

Re: [Campaign Log] The Underachievers

session 13 continued

The three of them discussed the rumors that they had overheard a little bit but then they were interrupted by a man who came up to their table at the tent-tavern. He said he was looking for mercenaries to rescue his son. He explained the situation and showed the instructions he had found on his boys bedroll concerning the 1000 silver ransom. He offered 50 silver as that was all he had.

The group dickered over what they would do for a few minutes. Tanya made some comments about it being small reward for something that was not their problem and some comments about leaving the region to avoid the Swedes. But, after awhile the party decided to help the farmer.

Thus, they headed out to find the hideout of Gunther Mohl's gang. The arrived near the farmhouse at night and did some scouting. They observed from a distance but did not see anyone so they went back near the refugee camp and made their own camp half a mile north of it.

In the morning they went back to the farmhouse. While at some distance from it they travelled around to the back side so that they approached it from the woods in the back. Rebecca's fighter went to the barn while leading the mule owned by Poxy Dick. The mule was laden with bags of small stones since they had no intention of paying a ransom. She looked around the interior of the barn and tried to climb to the hay loft. When the two cadaverous fellows made their presence known, Rebecca panicked and dragged the mule back into the woods. Their were several more trips made by the fighter to the barn and to the well. The other PCs made scouting trips to the main house to peep through the shutters.

After messing around for awhile, the fighter went to the door nearest the well. Poxy Dick and Tanya's elf Ra'thel went to the door at the other side of the house. Dick picked the lock and stepped in only to find three ruffians; one with a spear, one with a short sword and one with a hand axe. A fight ensued and the fighter (Treasa) heard it so she busted in the door near the well. Two ruffians were killed and the last one surrendered. He was bound with rope. He got interrogated and spilled the beans. Tanya opened the trap door and pushed him in. I decided that he would not be killed but had his leg broken by the fall.

My assumption was that Gunther and the gang would be in room 7 but they would have the secret door open a little so they could see into room 6. When the bandit was dropped down the shaft I figured Mohl would come to the conclusion that he was dealing with hardcases and just flee. So, they closed the secret door, went to the barn and fled into the countryside. The PCS looked around for awhile and found the kid and the brass tubes. They searched and found the secret door to room 7. They went through it to the barn but Mohl's gang was long gone by that time.

Since I am a forgetful and crappy GM, I forgot to have Old Man Braasch grab the kid.

The PCs took the kid back to the parents. When they made the original deal with the parents Dick had added a provision that in addition to the 50 silver the father would have to go into Karlstadt and perform a task for the group. Dick set that up because he heard about the magically enforced no-weapon-policy. He wanted to be able to get something done in town without having to give up his weapons.

There were more details to this whole thing but that is the gist of it.

That was the end of the session. The players indicated they were interested in checking out those rumors about the three places. I think there is a very good chance they will all die next session.

Last edited by Solon (2017-04-09 04:56:51)

Re: [Campaign Log] The Underachievers

I made a mistake with the last post. It was Rebecca's fighter Treasa that pushed the guy down the hole.

Re: [Campaign Log] The Underachievers

Session 14

Rob, Jonathan and Tanya were the players at this one. I had used Jonathan's dwarf as an NPC the previous session. The dwarf was there for Jonathan to run him in person this time. Rebecca was not there so her fighter became an NPC for the session.

After talking about the three mystery places they decided to go to the mound. Poxy Dick kept talking about hoping to see naked witches performing a ritual at the old mound so the others gave in to his prurient hopes.

They traveled South and made their way to the mound. They scouted all around for a long time then approached the door. After getting through the door they looked in and could just barely make out the steps and black liquid. They were not quiet about the door so Schwartz easily heard them. He approached down the corridor to see what was going on. I decided that Schwartz had kept himself well informed about all the events in the region.

When Schwartz saw that they intended to proceed further in, he called out to them and told them to stay where they were. He approached so they could see him and a long conversation ensued. The PCs learned that the Karlstadt witches were mere novices. They learned about the Insect God and that The Mother is now a devotee but the other witches don't know about that. Schwartz told them there was a way to stop the Incest God and he would search for someone to handle it. The PCs offered to try it but he said they were not powerful enough. They insisted they could do it so he gave them the details and the time travel scroll. Ra'thel the elf cast read magic on it.

The PCs went back to Karlstadt to spend the night but still not entering the city itself. In the morning they went to Goblin Hill. They naturally approached the hill from the South but did not choose to walk around the hill see other parts of it. They found a trail leading to the caves and made their way to the entrance. I did mention the increased population of normal insects. They moved down the tunnel until they could see it opening into a large chamber. They had left the fighter right outside the entrance to watch for anyone entering after them.

They each made use of a light source and decided to split the party. Rob's thief would move along the right wall. Jonathan's dwarf would move along the left wall. Tanya's elf would walk into the middle of the room. When the dwarf got to the beetle lair it charged out and attacked. After two successful bite attacks the dwarf was at -2 HP. Poxy Dick fired both of his pistols, did some damage and charged in for melee. Ra"Thel shot the bolt of her heavy crossbow, did some damage and then charged in for melee. A single bite took Poxy Dick down to 2 HP. His short sword attack merely glanced off the carapace (even though Rob got a total of 18 on the attack). Rob was taken aback and called for retreat. The thief and elf made a hasty exit while dragging the dwarf outside. The beetle did not follow.

They had no cleric or healing potions. Ra'Thel did have the purple lotus powder from Death Frost Doom that she had not yet used. She put some in the dwarfs nostrils thinking that the breathing process would draw it further in to take effect. I decided to let that work. I had Jonathan roll percentiles and he rolled 22. He rolled the 2d8 and got all his HP back but lost the little finger on his left hand. Rob decided not to try the powder since his PC was already missing a two fingers. Rob made some comments about needing lots of guns if they came back since the pistols worked much better that a sword.

That's where we stopped the session.

Last edited by Solon (2017-05-03 21:41:18)

Re: [Campaign Log] The Underachievers

Session 15

Still working on Better than any Man.

Andy R. was the new player to join the group with this session. He decided to make an elf (his name is Bergelon). Rob was the other player for this session. Tanya, Jonathan and Rebecca were unable to make it to this session so their characters became NPCs this time around.

We left off the previous session with the party just leaving the cave at Goblin Hill after having been savaged by a giant beetle. Bergelon had not met the group yet so it was just Rob making decisions. He decided to go to Wurzburg to find a place for his PC to heal up and maybe buy a petard. The group travelled South to get to the road that goes from Werneck to Thungen. As they moved out of the woods and onto the road they saw another person who was travelling the same direction. Ra'thel took one look and knew that he was an elf. She approached and began a conversation. She explained the mission to stop the Insect God and the new elf (Bergelon) decided to join them and help. The moved on to a village called Thungen. It turned out that a group of brigands and taken over the village and demanded the party give over all their valuables. The men were standing near to each other so Bergelon cast Stinking Cloud on their area. Being frightened by an obvious show of witchery, the bandits fled the village.

The party decided not to stay there for the night. They proceeded on to Zellingen village. There they found that most houses had been abandoned. They did talk to one of the few remaining residents and Poxy Dick (We learned his real name but I can't remember) got tricked into forking over 3 silver pieces in order to sleep in a house not owned by the man who tricked him. the group slept in the house and got a good night's sleep. Poxy Dick had stolen a chicken so the party ate it.

I had decided that Bergelon should start with some magic items. I gave him a potion of healing, some other potion I can't remember and a magical Invisibility/sleep ring like the one in Forgive Us but this one is so powerful it works on elves. Bergelon decided to let Poxy Dick have the healing potion so that brought him up to full HP. In the morning they set off back to Goblin Hill.

I'll finish the account of session 15 sometime soon.

Re: [Campaign Log] The Underachievers

Continuation of session 15 report

They left Zellingen in the morning and made their way back to Goblin Hill. They arrived at the tunnel and entered it. When they got to the "great intersection" they walked to the right and went all around the chamber to first map all the tunnels leading out. When they saw the mold they made sure not too get to close to the beetle tunnel and went back around the chamber. They decide to check out the tunnel leading to room 8. when they were still outside Ra'Thel had cast Continual Light on a small rock. when they got to room 8 she tossed it out into the chamber and thus they all saw the 50' diameter sphere of black liquid that was floating in the air. They worked their way all around the walls of the room to map it but would not get close to the sphere, at first. Once they had the layout of the room, Poxy Dick poked his 10' pole into the liquid. Nothing of interest happened so they left the room using the tunnel that lead directly to room 6.

The group went to room 6 and walked all around the perimeter to map it. Eventually, they noticed that the liquid was pooling around their feet in a weird way and left to go back to the intersection chamber. they then went down the tunnel to room seven. They found the cat-sized blob creatures each with an uncut gemstone in the middle. Poxy Dick wanted to get some gems but Bergelon commented that they could come back after dealing with the Insect God.

They went up back to the "intersection" then up the tunnel that leads to both the cesspool and the temple entrance. It was at this point that I realized that I had forgotten about wandering monsters. I did all the rolls I should have done previously. Only one of them created an encounter. I made the required roll and it came up 4 giant horseflys. The party killed two without trouble and the remaining two failed a morale check and fled down to the tunnel that leads to room 9.

They party then went up to the cesspool. There was 1 giant horsefly up near the roof. When it started to fly down they backed away from the chamber. That prevented the three giant maggots in the cesspool from getting to them. They moved back down the tunnel but the horsefly caught up to them and they killed it.

They then went down the tunnel to the Insect Temple. The module indicated the lights at the entrance should be as bright as daylight but I just had them as bright as torchlight. I didn't want to fool with that other crap.

They entered the Hall of Statues and moved down it see all the different kinds of insects. Before going further into the Temple, Poxy Dick decided to search the cockroach statue. I made the required roll and I rolled a "1". So, the cockroach started moving.

At that point, Rob suggested we end the session and so we did.

Next session has a good chance of having a brief skirmish followed by 30 minutes of character generation for everyone and starting on a whole new adventure.

Last edited by Solon (2017-05-25 01:23:09)

Re: [Campaign Log] The Underachievers

Solon wrote:

Next session has a good chance of having a brief skirmish followed by 30 minutes of character generation for everyone and starting on a whole new adventure.

Sounds like your troupe is a little "fed up" with this module wink. But tell me, did they still enjoyed the ride?

With kind regards
Gregorius21778
__________________
My blog

Re: [Campaign Log] The Underachievers

Session 16

The characters (and associated players) currently in this scenario are as follows:

Urli Redhelm the dwarf   (jonathan L.)
Ra'Thel the elf                (Tanya W.)
Treasa the fighter            (Rebecca C.)
Bregelon the elf               (Andy R.)
Poxy Dick the thief           (Rob H.)


Only Andy and Tanya were at the session. The other characters got used as NPCs.

So, the giant cockroach had gotten surprise on the party. In the surprise round, the monster bit Poxy Dick for a little damage. In the first round, it bit again for a little damage. Treasa and Urli had short bows; they shot their arrows to no effect. Ra'Thel had a heavy crossbow and shot but missed. Bregelon cast Mirror Image. Poxy Dick used his action to run away from the thing.

NOTE: if you go back and look at post 32 in this thread you will see info about the magic ring Bregelon had in is possession.

In the second round, Bregelon closed the distance and wrestled with the giant insect. He successfully placed his magic ring on one of its appendages. It became invisible, fell asleep and fell to the ground. The fight was over.

Much to my surprise, they won the fight. It was a clever tactic on Andy's part that had not even occurred to me. Considering that the Stoneskin Cockroach had armor class 25 and 66 hit points, it could have easily been a TPK.

They talked of healing Dick somehow but the only option was the purple lotus powder and I told them that it was clear from previous sessions that he would not use it. So, they proceeded into the Temple.


I'll continue the account of session 16 soon.

Last edited by Solon (2017-06-18 22:36:04)

Re: [Campaign Log] The Underachievers

Continuation of session 16 report

After determining that there would be no valuables on the monster, they proceeded into the temple complex proper. They went into the wide corridors and right to room 2 (storage room). Finding nothing of interest, they went to room 3 (storage room). They saw a glint reflected from their lantern light and Ra'Thel went in to search. She found a skeleton with a glass eye. She put the eye in her belt pouch. They proceeded down the wide hall to room 7 (the sacrifice pens). They noted that there was a sheer drop of 15' to the floor of the vast room. They saw the cage structure in the room and that each cage held a giant earwig. They peered at the cage in the middle area in front of them and saw the skeleton and the gemstone. They peppered the giant earwig with arrows and bolts until it was dead. Then they lowered Urli to the cage floor to get the gem. Deciding that they had insufficient ammunition to kill all the possible earwigs, they left.

They went down the narrow long tunnel and wound up in front of room 8 (junior priest's quarters). They went in the room and found the small jade statue of the caterpillar. Poxy Dick put it in his coin pouch. It was many hours later that he found his coins gone, a hole in the pouch and no sign of the jade figurine.

At this point, they decided to have Ra'Thel cast the time travel spell but they went back to room 3 to do it. The spell was cast and they found themselves in a room full of storage shelves. Urli peaked out the door and saw two hobbits in strange robes walk down the hall. He saw that the whole area seemed to be well illuminated with oil lamps on the walls every ten feet so. The group walked out into the wide hall and looked down to room 7. They saw how big the cage room was and saw a hobblt walking on top of the cage structure and then out of sight to the right side of the room. He did not see them.

Poxy Dick then snuck down to the wide tunnel they had not yet been down. He looked around the corner and saw a huge "cathedral-like" room with huge pillars. He saw an altar at the other end but saw that there was no gemstone-idol on it. But, he did see a group of 30 hobbits gathered around a hobbit who was preaching to them.

He then snuck to the statue room/entrance hall and saw that there were no statues but just the pedestals they would one day occupy. He went back to the group.

The party again went down the narrow hallway towards room 8 and went in. They found no hobbits but only hobbit-sized beds. They skipped rooms 9 and 10 and proceeded to the intersection at the end of the hallway. They sent Poxy sneaking down the tunnel to the West where he found the back entrance to the cathedral. They then moved down the tunnel to the East then north and found the next intersection. They saw the long tunnel to the door and guessed correctly that it led to the cage room. So, they took the tunnel to the East and found there was an elaborate door to the East and a short tunnel and normal door to the North.

They heard the chanting of many hobbit voices from the north door so decided to look at the elaborate door. Treasa and Ra'Thel stayed at the intersection to keep an eye on the noisy North door. The others went to the East door and saw it was stone and had insect heads carved on it. They saw the mouths of the heads were holes big enough to put one's hand in. They saw the handles inside each mouth. They assumed the holes were trapped to chop the hand off if one put it in and decided not to mess with the door. Right at that time a hobbit came out of room 16 (the sacrifice pit).

NOTE: Previously I had told the players how the scroll spell worked. Ra'thel would know this from having read it. The spell would last for one hour then snap the people back to their own time. Or, when they had "achieved their goal" it would snap them back.
Whichever came first.

So, the hobbit opened the door. Because of the layout of the room, the hobbit priests could see out the door to the intruders. They panicked and threw the idol into the sand pit. Ra'Thel and Treasa saw the giant ant-lion surge up and drag the idol under the sand. At that point, the spell snapped them back to their own time.

They all went into the pit room. They made ready with range weapons and had Treasa throw one of her iron spikes in the pit to lure the thing up then everyone shot it. They spent time reloading (Poxy Dick had flintlock pistols and heavy cross bows were held by the two elves). Then, they repeated the process until it was dead. I had rolled up HP for it and only gotten 27.

Then, Bregelon went down in the pit to find the idol. I had decided it was only a few feet under the sand so he found it before too long. They broke the idol thus ending the threat of the Insect God.

They carefully avoided trouble and made the long journey back to England. They sold the gem fragments and each got 9020 silver.

At the beginning of the session I brought up the fact that Tanya had not been at the last session when we began this dungeoncrawl. So, I let her retcon and decide if she wanted to have drunk the potion of deep wisdom from The God That Crawls. She decided that she had done so. Thus, she got double XP award for the dungeon.

Last edited by Solon (2017-06-21 03:40:14)

Re: [Campaign Log] The Underachievers

Session 17

Tower of the Stargazer

The players (and PCs) at the session were as follows:

Tanya                      Ra'Thel, 5th level elf
Blake                       Edward Thackery, 3rd level fighter
Andy                        Bregelon, 3rd level elf
Rebecca                   Treasa, 4th level fighter

Blake had not been to a session for a long time. His fighter was 2nd level but we just assumed he had been on adventures separate from the other PCs and bumped him up a level.

It was May of 1632 and the PCs were contacted for a meeting with Simon Edgington. He told them he had found a book indicating a portal to the Nexus World was in Cornwall and would open in a couple of weeks. It would be open for 3 days and he wanted to explore as much of that world as he could. He needed the PCs to be his bodyguards.

The group made their way to where the portal would purportedly be and at the designated time. The portal did open and they all went through. They started to look around and then the portal closed. Some of them estimated that it had been open 3 minutes. They demanded to look at Simon's book and he showed it to them. It did say 3 days. There were some comments about Simon having unreliable information and how much he would owe them if it took a long time to find another portal. Treasa noticed smoke like from a village a few miles to the East and they headed in that direction.

I'll finish the account of session 17 later.

Re: [Campaign Log] The Underachievers

Since Rob (Poxy Dick, thief) and Jonathan (Urli Redhelm, dwarf) were not at the session, I used their characters as NPCs.

Re: [Campaign Log] The Underachievers

Continuation of the account of session 17


The group proceeded East and did find a village. Simon talked with a few people from the village and asked where to find scholars of arcane matters. He was told that there was a town about 2 days walk to the East that might have someone like that. He was also told that a wizard had built a tower some 15 miles north of the village but he had disappeared some 50 or 60 years ago. Simon talked the PCs into going to the tower first.

They set off across the fields and woods to the North and before long they heard the sound of thunder. They followed it, rounded a hill and saw the tower in a shallow valley. It was a partly cloudy day with ample sunshine and no storm but they saw that there was lightning hitting the tower. They did architecture rolls to figure out details of the tower. Urli made his roll so I told them it was a five story tower with the first 3 levels having a 30' diameter and the top 2 levels having a 40' diameter. They also saw a couple of abandoned farm houses not too far from the tower. I had decided that Uravulon would have had a few tenant farmers back in the old days.

The party went to one of the farmhouses and looked around but found nothing of interest.

The group decided to watch the tower for awhile to try to figure out any pattern connected to the lightning. They thus learned that lightning bolts hitting the ground was less likely than the ones that were hitting the rods.

The party talked about risking the lightning or not and finally Bregelon decided to make a mad dash for it. He did not remove his metal armor beforehand. He got a lucky dice roll and made it to the door. The others then followed one at a time and all made their dice rolls. I had described the area such that there was a ring of lightning-scorched ground around the tower but once you got past that you were safe since no lightning hit close to the tower or on the steps. So, the group was now crowded on the steps. They saw the snake head handles and Andy made some comment about an obvious trap. Blake decided to use a knocker and the doors opened for them.

They saw the furniture of the entrance room and walked in. They spent a moment looking around the room and I told them the doors were swinging shut again. Edward Thackary quickly grabbed a chair and rushed it over to the doors. He placed it between them so that they could not close. Treasa left a candle on one of the tables but did not light it. Bregelon light his lantern.

Bregelon opened the door to room 5. Seeing only cloaks and coats, they did not bother with it further. They went into room 6.

After I described the contents, Tanya and Andy became concerned about the statue (not surprising since they had encountered the cockroach statue from Better than any Man). Ra'Thel got a cloak from the cloak room and put over the heads of the amorous couple. That way none of the party would be petrified immediately if the statue should animate. Then, Treasa searched the china cabinet while Ra'Thel searched the pile of boxes. Treasa found nothing of interest and Ra'Thel found that the pile was fake. Looking under the "pile" she found a trap door in the floor. Bregelon opened it and stuck his lantern down to see what he could see. He a huge number of wooden boxes and a door leading to another room.

The party made their way down to room 23 and looked at labels on boxes. They looked at about 5 or 6 labels. Not sure what to make of such strange descriptions of body parts, they decided to leave the boxes alone. They moved to the door and saw it was an iron door with a keyhole and a handle. Edward Thackery attempted to pick the lock and failed. Poxy Dick did the trick without problem.

They looked in to see tables full of dead bodies; mostly small animals but there was one human. They walked in to looks around. They noticed light was being reflected from the alcove to the North. They saw the opening leading to what they would later discover to be an elevator shaft. The bodies looked like they had been dissected then sewn back up. The human had been sewn up with thick gold "thread" ( or, more accurately, wire) and this caught the attention and greed of Edward Thackery. Rather than unthread the gold from the body, Edward decided to cut skin out around the mass of thread since that would be quicker.

I had belatedly told them that they heard groaning from behind the South door. Bregelon was on his way to open the door when the guts from the corpse reached up and attacked Edward. The guts attempted to grapple and strangle Edward but failed the attack rolls every time. The group converged on the corpse and hacked up the guts thus flinging blood and gut bits all over themselves and the immediate area.

Bregelon then went to the South door, opened it, and shone his lantern in. He saw many cell doors in a row. He saw 4 rotting bodies walk through the doors as if the doors did not exist and each of them screamed "free me" at the elf. Bregelon stepped back in the lab room and closed the door. I had decided the undead would not follow out of the cell area so they went back to groaning.

I forgot to mention the microscope and other stuff on the other table so I'll have to retcon that when we meet again.

At that point, Bregelon began looking at the elevator shaft. He found the dial with numbers ranging from 1 to 5.




I'm getting hungry so I'll finish the account of session 17 later.

Re: [Campaign Log] The Underachievers

Continuation of the account of session 17


Bregelon was examining the elevator shaft. He turned the dial to 5. He heard some strange sounds in the shaft above him and saw the machinery at the floor below moving. He set it to 1 and watched the disc go down past him to dungeon level 2. He set it to 2 and saw that it came to his level. He and Edward Thackery got on it and went to dungeon level 2. They saw the magical barriers, the chests at the back and the levers. Edward stepped off into the room and Bregelon went back to DL1 to tell the others what was seen. Then, he went down to DL2 to pick up Edward. They then selected 3 on the dial and found themselves in front of a closed door. They decided not to open it and went down to DL1.

The group discussed all they had seen and realized the elevator had skipped the first two levels of the tower. Ra'Thel argued that they should go back to the first level and take the stairway so they did so. They got up to the 2nd level and saw the trickle of blood coming from the stairs to the next level. Bregelon and Edward went to the bloody staircase. Treasa went to look at the servants' rooms. Ra'Thel stood guard at the table. Poxy Dick and Urli Redhelm stood around with blank expressions on their faces and saying nothing as they had been doing for some time. Treasa found the diary and started skimming through it. Bregelon and Edward made their way slowly to the blood-emitting door. Bregelon opened the door with Edward standing close behind him. Uravulon greeted them warmly and begged for their help in getting free. They asked who he was and he informed them of his name and that he was the master of the tower. They asked how he became trapped and he told them it was an accident involving his apprentice. They started talking to each other about how weird and suspicious the situation seemed to be. Uravulon's tone became harsher and he demanded they disturb the salt so he could be free. They did not respond to him but went back to talking to each other. They talked about how demons were known to be trapped in circles of salt. He became angry and started making threats about what he would one day do to them if they did not free him. Bregelon closed the door and they went back down to Tower Level 2.

About that time Treasa went back to the common room and the party was all together. Bregelon and Edward told their tale and Treasa mentioned that the diary talked of the wizard descending into madness and murder. They talked about what to do and decided to avoid the wizard. They went back down to DL1 and the elevator shaft. Bregelon and Edward took the elevator to TL4. They saw that there was a door an each side. They choose the door that was toward the interior of the tower and opened it. They saw a room with a large table and 8 chairs.

I decided to end the session at that point.

Re: [Campaign Log] The Underachievers

Session 18

The players at the game were Andy, Rob and Rebecca. I used the PCs of the other players as NPCs for the session.

Edward Thackery and Bregelon entered the room. The other characters used the elevator in groups to all get to Room 15. They looked at the book with out reading more than the title and Treasa put it in her pack.

They then went into room 16 (Library) and spent 20 minutes browsing the shelves looking for info on portals back to Earth. They found nothing. Treasa went into the cold room, found the blood vials and put one in her pack.

They then went through Room 15 and bregelon opened the door to Room 17. They saw the small table, the chairs and the other door that was protected by a magical barrier. A moment later a spectral figure appeared in the far chair and a board game appeared on the table. The specter challenged one of them to play in order to remove the barrier with the players soul at stake. Poxy Dick decided to try his hand at the challenge. I informed them that the other players could offer advice.

I decided not to use chess for this encounter. I used an abstract game called Pentago. So, Rob and I played a game and he won.

The ghost and barrier disappeared and the party went in Room 18 (eldritch library). They searched for about 30 minutes. The found Uravulon's back-up spell book and the four spell scrolls. They also found a book that made mention of the Zarnguth Codex. The book claimed that the codex was a complete detailing of all the portals on Nexus World and all the details about those portals. It did not specify any location of the codex. I informed them it would be roughly nightfall outside and the PCs were tired. They got out their bedrolls and slept in the eldritch library. 

In the morning, the party decided to see the top level of the tower. They used the elevator in groups of two to get of them up there. They looked around. Treasa dipped one of her arrows the pool and discovered its acidic quality. Bregelon messed with the controls for the telescope. He opened the roof. He extended the telescope. He looked through the eyepiece and saw the strange plant-creatures moving oddly around a weird looking landscape. He tried the last switch, as well. I had decided there would be a pilot light in the chamber so they heard the hissing sound, looked in and saw the pilot flame. Even though they had seen the dust in the chamber and knew of the coal bin they did not put coal in the telescope chamber. Bregelon restored the equipment to the original set-up. They took the book from the pedestal and went back to Dungeon Level 1.

They then took the various stairs to go up to Uravulon's bedroom. They wanted to speak with him. Since this time they were able to see more of the room, they saw the Star Crystal and took it. They conversation with the insane wizard was not fruitful.

So, Bregelon and Poxy Dick went down to Dungeon Level 2 in order to figure out the magical barriers. While that was going on the others were in Room 24 (workshop). Treasa examined the microscope. She wanted to use an unused glass slide to look at blood she had taken from upstairs. She uncorked it and got attacked by the blood. The blood's attacks were ineffective (bad die rolls) and so were her attacks. The dwarf came up and burnt the blood with his torch thus destroying it.

While this was going on, the folks downstairs were experimenting with the levers. After making no discernible progress and both of them getting shocked, they gave up. The entire crew went to the entrance room and individually made mad dashes out of the tower to get beyond the lightning range. No one got hit. They collected Simon and went back to the village.

We ended the session at that point.

Re: [Campaign Log] The Underachievers

Session 19

The Seclusium of Orphone of the Three Visions


Because I am so forgetful, I really screwed the pooch on this one. I forgot all about Anguilla the guardian demon right when it was most appropriate to remember.

Anyway, Rob, Andy and Tanya were the players. Thus, Blake, Jonathan and Rebecca had their PCs become NPCs for this session.

I think it was in the 3rd post of this thread that I talked about the setting and how I'll be making use of the alternate history concept. I mentioned the Nexus World which is where the PCs are currently located. The land masses are the same shape as the main setting (early Modern Earth) and time flows at the same rate. So, when they stepped through that portal they were in alternate-England, so to speak. After messing with the Tower of the Stargazer, they travelled a day East to get to a decent sized town. Simon had the elves translate for him and learned that info about the Zarnguth Codex might be found to the East in a city called Laandaria. They heard it was the biggest city on the island. They travelled to it and spent a couple of months there getting info. The upshot is that Simon did not find any solid info in Laandaria but heard that he should either seek knowledge in Vornheim (which is on the continent) or consult with Orphone of the Three Visions who has a seclusium a few days northeast of Laandaria.

Simon thought they should try Orphone and the PCs agreed. So, they followed the directions they had acquired in Laandaria and made their way to a village that was a short distance from the seclusium. They talked to the locals only a little bit and did not ask any probing questions. They then made their way to the seclusium which was on a small island only an stone's throw from the shoreline. They saw a well-made stone bridge joining Orphone's island to alternate-England.


I'll finish the account of this session later.

Last edited by Solon (2017-10-06 00:45:32)

Re: [Campaign Log] The Underachievers

continuation of log entry for session 19


They started across the bridge and got half before they heard a woman's voice yelling for them to stop where they were. They stopped. They saw that there was an iron gate at the far side of the bridge. It was a young guard in armor holding a spear who had called to them. Her name was Meze erp Ammis although the party would never learn her name. They asked to see Orphone and were told that she could not see visitors at the moment. They insisted it was impotant and Meze told them to wait where they were and she went to the seclusium. She came back twenty minutes later with Quish erp Ammis, her older sister. They repeated the request with Quish (never actually learning her name) and were rebuffed again. She told them to move half a mile from the island, make camp and come back in a week or so. Perhaps the mistress would see them at that point.

There was whispering among the party about what to do and it was decided to cast sleep spell on the guards. Ra'Thel the elf cast the spell and they were both caused to slumber. Meze was a 1st level fighter and Quish was a 2nd level fighter. Poxy Dick went forward, easily picked the lock in the iron gate and the party entered the seclusium grounds. They tied up the guards.

The party approached the round building noting that it was a round three story building. The second floor had a smaller diameter than the first floor and the third floor was smaller still. They saw someone in ragged clothing go into the front door and  they approached the door. While the rest of the party waited at the door, Poxy Dick walked around the large round seclusium. On the far side he saw a woman in ragged clothing coming in from the gardens. She saw Poxy and eyed him suspiciously but said nothing. he followed her to the front door and she went in. This was Fern (one of the slaves) but they never talked to her. As she went in poxy caught the door before it closed and the party stepped through. They saw the girl go down the hall and enter a door. There were oil lamps at various places on the walls so the interior was easily visible. The party stood there and discussed options for a moment. Then, a woman walked into view from a side passage. It was Abma Om, the mistress of lands and accounts. She demanded to know who they were and what they were doing. They told her about their need to consult with Orphone. She asked if they had been stopped by guards and they told her they had seen no guards. She told them that since it was getting dark outside that they should stay in the barn and the matter would be settled in the morning. The party agreed to do so since they did not know how many people were in the building. They went back outside. At that point, the group discussed having Ra'thel cast her clairvoyance spell. There was talk of whether to cast it beyond a window of the second floor or the top floor which looked might it be only one room since it was so small.

She cast it beyond a window of the top floor. She saw that there were crystals that glowed and illuminated the place. It seemed to be a wizard's sanctum of some kind. She saw a triptych with mirrors mounted on it. She saw shelves full of books. And, she saw a kind of bath tub full of a strange looking liquid. There was a woman in the liquid and she fit the description of Orphone that the party had heard in Laandaria. She seemed alive and moving; she looked like she was in the throes of ecstasy. Ra'thel informed the others of what she saw.

I'll finish the account of the session later.

Re: [Campaign Log] The Underachievers

Continuation of the account of session 19



The group all went to the barn. Then it was decided that Poxy Dick would climb to a window on the third floor and see what could be accomplished. He sneaked over to the building and climbed the exterior. There was some failed climb rolls and a little bit of damage taken. He made it to a window and went into the sanctum. Poxy lowered a large loop of his rope into the water and moved it under Orphone so that it was under her waist. he pulled her out of the liquid.

She, of course, died.

Poxy Dick looked around, snatched up the silver bowl and made his way back to the barn. He told the others that the sorceress was dead. They mounted their horses and made an escape across the bridge as the people in the seclusium were leaving the building and carrying weapons.

While Poxy had been making his entry, one of the guests who had been strolling around the island to pass the time had found the tied up guards. He untied them and they ran to the house. They alerted the household and the guards passed arms out to the various residents. They went outside in time to see the party riding off.

That was the end of the session 19

Last edited by Solon (2017-10-12 02:46:48)

Re: [Campaign Log] The Underachievers

Session 20

Vornheim

Andy, Rob and Blake were the players that showed up for the session. You know the drill.

After leaving Orphone's seclusium, the party went back to Laandaria. While there, Simon picked up a clue that the Zarnguth Codex was in Vornheim. They bought passage on a ship and travelled to the mainland. They made their way to the outskirts of the City of Vornheim. They continued into it and saw the Hands of Vorn far up ahead.

The group decided to go to an alehouse and chat with locals for info about scholars in the city who might know about the Codex. One person suggested that they could get information from the Wyvern. Blake asked for clarification and the local person told them how the wyvern can answer any question but each person gets only one question during their lifetime; and, the person has to pay 700 silver. The group decided they would visit the Wyvern in the morning.


I'll finish this log entry for session 20 when I get a chance.

Re: [Campaign Log] The Underachievers

Here is more about session 20.

Note: I forgot the part about the Wyvern asking them a question in turn so maybe I'll retcon that at the next session.


The party went to the platz where the Hands of Vorn reach to the sky. They found the well and discussed who would go in and what the question should be. One of them went in, paid the 700 silver and asked where the Zarnguth Codex was located. The Wyvern told him it was in the library of Zorlac. Another one went down and asked how to find this place. The Wyvern gave simple directions and they followed them.

Poxy Dick began looking at the place with an eye to breaking in. But, they decided to just knock on the front door. Zorlac opened the door after several minutes. He inquired after their business and they told him they wanted to see the Zarnguth Codex. He let two of them in to discuss further. They made a deal where he would let them copy info out of the Codex but it would have to be done there in his house. In return, they would first have to deliver to him one of two items he had been wanting.

One of them was the Tome of the Grey Observer. He told them that his research indicated the book was in the ruins of the City of the Dark Moon. This city was said to be in the middle of the Great Desert that is known to be in the southern continent that is across the Middle Sea from the lands where they were currently located.

The other possible item for trade was the Beautiful Agony Scroll. He knew that it was currently in the possession of Eshrigel, a daughter of Medusa. He told them she lives in Vornheim.

They decided to try for the item that was close by rather than the one that would require a journey of many months.



I'll finish the story of session 20 later.

Last edited by Solon (2017-10-20 03:35:36)

Re: [Campaign Log] The Underachievers

Here is more about Session 20.


Zorlac told them how to get to Eshrigel's house. They walked over there.

[Note: I can't remember how it happened but they had already learned that Eshrigel's daughter was missing.]

Before knocking on the door they had talked among themselves about offering to find her daughter in exchange for the scroll. They knocked on the door and she answered wearing a lacquered wooden mask that had yellow crystal lenses in the eye holes. They said they had vital business to discuss. She agreed to let one of them in to discuss it. Poxy Dick was the one who went in. as soon as they sat down to talk he blurted out that he was there in regard to her daughter. Her first thought was that he was a kidnapper who wanted a ransom. She grasped her mask as if to remove it and told him to make no sudden moves. He complied. She told him to slowly move to the foyer and lay face down. He complied. She told him to explain himself and he gave a full explanation. She told him to get up and walk out the front door and he did so. She told the others she would speak with another of the party but not Poxy Dick. Someone else went in (maybe Edward Thackery). She told him that her daughter (13 years old)has been gone a week. She had some people looking but there was no success. She thinks her daughter ran away to find the the Immortal Zoo of Ping Feng. The girl had become obsessed with freeing the creatures inside after she had heard the legends about it. A deal was made for the scroll if the party could return the daughter.

They left Eshrigel's house and decided to use the wyvern again. Another party member went down and asked where the zoo was located. The answer was that it was at the intersection of Half Moon Street and Silver Street. The party made their way to that intersection and started looking around the neighborhood. I had them all make architecture rolls and only the dwarf made it. He noticed that the southeast bloc looked strange. There were buildings packed tight around the perimeter of the bloc facing outward. It seemed as if there would be space in the interior of the bloc but no apparent way to get to it. They guessed that that might be the location of the Zoo.


That is where we ended Session 20.

Last edited by Solon (2017-11-04 18:30:37)