Using My Monsters

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Latest Session - Post War Campaign - 29/9/09

09:45 – The group, slightly recovered, move back into the crumbling Aelwyn corridor, and head towards its far end. A low flight of overgrown steps leads back up into the forests; the stillness of the snowy forests and the clean smell of the air a welcome change from the reeking darkness of the Blackgob tunnels.

09:50 – The group calculate their position within the forest, and begin to move towards the distant location where they suspect the bandits lair.

09:50 – 10:40 – The group move with great caution through the woods, alert for ambushes, or any traps left by the Black Gobs. After a while what appears to be some kind of structure, concealed within a huge holly bush is seen ahead, the forest deliberately thinned somewhat in front of it.

10:42 – After a brief deliberation, it is decided that Emmiven and Schnecke will charge up to the structure, whilst the rest of the group either hang back, or (in the case of Gorthias) creep around the back of it.

10:43 – The barbarian and warlord charge! Schnecke makes it to the structure (which he can see is a wooden hide, which holds some sleeping bags, barrels of clean water, an uneaten ham (from the inventory of the merchant caravans the bandits hit), and some wooden furniture). Emmiven however suddenly goes down screaming, a bear trap fastened to his leg!

Emmiven manages to rip the trap free, and Grigori uses his magic to heal the worst of the wounds it has inflicted. By the time they have done this, the Barbarian has torn the insides of the hide to pieces, uncovering some coins hidden in the sleeping bags.

The group conclude that whoever was in the hide left in a hurry.

10:50 – 11:30 - Varracuda finds tracks heading to the northeast. The group follow them and after 40 minutes of tromping through frozen forest, the group come to a series of low limestone cliffs, studded with evergreen bushes and trees.

From somewhere beyond the top of this ridge is heard distant sounds of battle; gunshots, and even a few screams.

11:40 – The group climb on their bellies to the top of the cliffs, and crawl forwards. Soon they spot a wide clearing, in which a shattered Aelwyn tower (only 3 stories remain), is seen rising from behind a circular wall of crumbling, overgrown stone.

It is from somewhere within this place that the sounds can be heard.

Silent, still figures stand guard in a circle outside the place, unmoving in the cold wintry light, and Serren quickly realises that they are some kind of animated undead, almost certainly some kind of Zombies.

11:42 – The group decide to attack, and a plan is drawn up that involves the tougher party members forming a defensive line, whilst the weaker characters attack from behind.

11:45 - Battle begins, and the undead shamble forth, revealing themselves to be Zombies wrapped in black bandages.

Initially the group does very well against them, the warriors cleaving and ripping into the animated corpses with great skill, whilst the sorceress and priest call down holy fire and radiant energy which turns their foul flesh to ash in a moment.

However, suddenly two more undead - crouched and intelligent – appear, racing with frightening speed to join the fray.

Ghouls!

Poor Varracuda is grabbed by a Zombie, and then paralyzed by the bite of one of the Ghouls. Shortly after, he is brought down (Grigori rants and raves about “proper strategies”, but no one is listening).

Most of the zombies are down, and one of the Ghouls – burned, slashed and limping – runs back to the safety of the courtyard, where it gives a barking call, summoning another four Zombies!

These monsters shamble to attack and the battle becomes slightly more desperate (Schnecke and Serren prove themselves to be powerful allies, as they destroy masses of the undead)

But. Then.

Another undead appears from the hidden courtyard; another zombie, clad in black bandages, but also bearing a rotted spear, and a tabard depicting a grim standard; a skeletal raven with a halo of five black flames.

Serren recognizes the standard, but at this time cannot share her horror as the monsters continue their attacks

This monster however does not last long, despite its dark ability to heal damage inflicted on it, it's deadly spear and its diseased strikes, for Emmiven closes with it, and finishes it with several deadly blows.

With this monsters death, the fight swings once more in the groups favour, and the remaining undead are slain.

Victory!

Serren informs the group that the standard the spear wielding Zombie bore is that of the Ravensoul Cabal, a foul cult of necromancers, diabolists and madmen who seek to return dread Jantherak to the living world; a splinter group of the universally loathed Order of Ravens.

11:50 – After the group catches their breath, Emmiven reveals something to them that shocks them – he's a shape shifter!

11:55 – A plan is hatched (once everyone has got over the warlord's reveal); Emmiven will change shape to resemble one of the Ghouls and scout ahead a little ways.

11:57 – After (with the group's help) avoiding the hidden bear traps set in the courtyards (somehow the shape shifter managed to miss the fact that all the undead had trekked around certain areas of the yard), Emmiven enters a low, crumbling stairwell that goes under the tower, and enters a narrow corridor.

At the end of the corridor, the wounded Ghoul wimpers and hisses, but Emmiven does not go in far enough to be spotted, returning to the group.

11:59 – The group decide to make out that they are chasing the “Ghoul”, and with the shape changed Emmiven running ahead feigning panic, they charge in.

The wounded Ghoul at the end of the corridor launches itself at the group, but is dispatched by Emmiven with a quick sword thrust.

12:00 – Spiral stairs stand at the end of the corridor, going up and down. Wet marks suggest that whoever is inside went down. The group follow (but several members badly fluff their Stealth checks, and those downstairs hear them approaching)

12:01 – Reverting to their “We're chasing a Ghoul” plan, Emmiven charges down, and enters into a low, pillared chamber, flanked by alcoves. Grim figures, wreathed in tattered black bandages, and bearing the symbols and standards of the Ravensoul Cabal wait there; one a hulking figure wreathed in shifting shadows and bearing a rune scratched sword, two bearing execution axes, and another wearing the mantle of a magic user; a foxfire nimbus playing about their bandaged head.

A strange fog hangs low in this room – a vapour that seems to move of its own volition and which faintly shines with unholy, rotting light.

A battle starts as the group enter the chamber, and though the shape shifters ruse holds for a shirt while, soon all hell breaks loose.

The barbarian receives a horrible suppurating wound from the sword wielding man (for they are all humans), but slays him with a truly horrific blow that all but chops him in two.

The necromancer is unlucky and almost perishes when his fear spells fail to drive the frenzied barbarian away. Luckily for him, one spell takes hold and he runs.

The sword wielders (a third is found soon after battle begins), fight valiantly, and inflict serious wounds on the group. However, they are ultimately slain.

12:02 – With the dark ones here slain, the group turn to face another stairwell at the end of the chamber.

During the battle, the fog had flowed towards the stairs. Now it flows back in, and the group ready themselves as bestial roars and more footsteps approach...

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

The Other Game

I think I should point out here that the game with Ormid and the gang is not my only campaign at present. I also run another regular game with five players, and would also, when I get time, like to stick a bit about them up here too.

So, from now on, I shall try to use the labels, so its easier to tell which entry refers to which group.

Right, a bit of background!

Our characters are; Emmiven ("Human" Warlord), Seren (Dragonborn Sorcerer*), Schnecke (Human Barbarian), Grigori (Human Cleric), Varracuda (Water Genasai Swordmage) and Gorthias (Human Warden)

Up to this point I have not been keeping detailed notes of the games (we are only three in - though I appreciate it's bad that I have not been writing things up; I intend to get a digital recorder to I can tape the sessions and transcribe them later), however to summarise;

(21/3/1472 - Third Age)

Our heroes are supposed to be chasing down some bandits who recently attacked a caravan that was carrying certain components needed to create a cure to an unnatural plague that has swept through the characters base of Greenford. However, after being ambushed by Black Gob Gorgryn (a local tribe of Goblins well known for their addiction to "Gob Root"; a local herb that stains the users mouth black after repeated use and instills a dreamy, stimulated state), they got side tracked, and decided to hunt the vermin down to their lair and wipe them out (lots of justification found for doing this, despite Gorthias' annoyance at his companions lack of ability to stick to the specified mission).

The group located the monsters muddy lair and set about attacking, engaging in a number of brutal skirmishes with Gorgryn, Dire Boars, strange reptillian Gorgryn Hounds and eventually, the monsters boss; a bloated little maniac (accompanied by several fanatical females and a fungus worshipping shaman) named Blacksnot Ripgutz. They also tripped off several traps on their journey (including a pit trap with a Dire Rat in it, a trap that spilled flaming oil everywhere and a traditional logswing trap that did as much damage to the monsters as it did to the group).

Eventually, they were successful in slaying the Black Gob leader and his minions, and sore and battered the group rested, happy with the trinkets they found amidst the filth in Black Snotz lair.

(22/3/1472)

After this the group (again despite Gorthias' protestations) decided to check out a corridor they had noticed glowing the day before at the far end of the Black Gob's home cavern. Entering the cavern again, they were amused and dismayed to see that the death of the leader had lead to some kind of struggle amongst the wretched humanoids, which had seen some kind of massed battle amongst themselves, and lead to most of them being either driven off or slain. After a brief exploration around the edges of the cavern the group moved towards the glowing corridor and discovered the source of the pale greenish-white radiance to be aelwyn stonework; the frontage to a crumbling corridor of ancient aelwyn architecture.

Unfortunately, the Black Gobs have been using the depression in the caverns floor in front of the corridor as a midden (and to tan the skins they obtain), and a horrible pool of Gorgryn waste bubbles foully there; the ground either side slick with unmnentionable slimes.

Well, the group decide to leap over, and most manage it without even rolling a dice...

...Grigori though...*sigh*

At first the party are all highly amused as the uptight logic priest falls into the stew. However, amusement turns to horror as a vast monster, all mouth and tentacles emerges from the mess and attacks! A Groth'Ergulg (Otyugh).

A difficult battle ensues, which sees Varracuda slipping into the stew, and the monster lashing madly out at the group. However, the thing is brought down, and the group - keeping a good distance from the two shit smeared ones - carries on down the corridor.

After a short distance, they realise that the corridor leads back up into the Borderwoods. However, the group find a section of the corridor where the white stone has been torn away, and a tunnel dug down into the packed earth and tree roots. Curious, the group explore.

A little way in, and they see several large beetles moving amongst patches of unpleasant looking fungi (which Gorthias identifies as Choker Cap; a toxic, spore blasting species). Varracuda identifies the beetles (which are clearly agitated by the group but not aggressive) as Fire Beetles.

The group decide it's time to go, and turn to do so...only...

A huge scarab emerges from the tunnel floor directly beneath Varracuda, and bites him with its massive jaws. This agitates the other bugs, and they attack. One of the bugs unleashes a sheet of chemical flame, badly burning Gorthias and Emmiven, whilst the other leaps to attack, setting off a patch of the fungi.

The scarab burrows away into the ground, and vanishes, only to reappear (and be slain a moment later) by the swordmage. The beetles and fungi are also dismantled by the group, though a few good hits are taken by the weary adventurers.

As the beetles die, a strange, bubbling wail is heard from further down the tunnel; similar to the wail of a gorgryn, but deeper and strangely, sounding as if it has come from two mouths. The group follow the wailing and weeping, and find themselves in a large root chamber deep underground.

There they spy a mutated gorgryn (I used a Dolgrim), clearly upset about his pets being slain. The mutant is accompanied by three more giant bugs; two that drool acid, another that spits ropy slime. All attack!

Another battle (and the group feel kinda' bad about attacking the gorgryn, for it wails and weeps everytime a beetle - or one of the grubs that crawl aroud the room - is hurt), and sobs piteously when wounded. However, it is dangerous, and eventually, with a despairing cry, it limps to a wall, and dies from its wounds. Magic and swordplay (and the barbarian's axe) soon see the beetles ended.

Several items are recovered from the lair, including an enchanted dagger, a strange shard that trembles with power, and two aelwyn power crystals; batteries for certain aewlyn devices and sites.

And that is where we are. Game time is 09:30, 22/3/1472, and the group have a long day ahead of them yet. Stay tuned to see what happens next!!!!!

* The Dragonborn in my world are the results of tampering, and initially do not in any way resemble the reptillian brutes depicted in the PHB. All appear to be members of another race, though they clearly bear some stigmata that give away that there is something different. However, as they go up their levels, they begin a slow metamorphosis into the familliar "man dragon" form that you all know - although many only partially complete this, taking on certain traits but not others.

Monday, 21 September 2009

A Big One

So, here it is, the last two sessions in one. This last weekend was an all dayer, and a lot got done.

03:30 – 03:50 The group of heroes and villains plough through a massed battle that rages in the hangar, leaving a wake of death behind them.

03:50 – The group battle their way onto their ships, and an alliance is forged; the Void Wolves will escort the Wanderer and Jack-Of-Swords to Dal'Shen by way of payment for the freedom of Fangyrd, the Void Wolf Lord. Also, Void Wolf pirates will fill out the crews on the two ships, ensuring they can be operated at full power.

04:00 – Crew mates and space pirates fight to keep the decks free of attackers whilst the ships are prepped for exit.

04:05 – The ships pull free of the docks and fly free of the Neogi ship...

04:10 – With the massive bulk of the Neogi ship shrinking behind them (from space, the mad swarm of battling vessels is clear to see, as are the fires that are clearly raging in many parts of that colossal vessel), the group think they are free.

But...

Three crimson Gorgoth Uggs hove into view; vile things of overlapping metal, spikes of rusted steel, flying ragged standards daubed with foul symbols, and draped in severed heads and bones.

From the standard, it is realised that they are Gorgoth of the Gore Tusk Tribe; a deadly clan of spacefaring Gorgoth native to the Segmentum Mortalis.

04:12 – 04:30 – A huge space battle ensues. Halfway through, our heroes board one of the Gorgoth vessels (nearly getting themselves killed when The Wanderer – unaware of their allies presence there open fire on it and scores a good hit), and find themselves battling a Gore Tusk Ugg Boss; a hulking beast of a greenskin that wields a cleaver made from some alien metal which suppresses hope and healing.

Cannon fire ravages all the ships, and although the Wanderer and Jack-of-Swords are ultimately successful, the latter vessel takes some severe blows from the Gorgoth Boomer Cannons.

7/12/49 – 9/12/49

The two ships, under the protective watch of several Void Wolf vessels, arrives at Dal'Shen.

11:45 - The group, glad of a long rest after their harrowing day on the 6th, activate the teleport circle once the ships are ready to dock in the legendary space port, and return to the apporters guild in Lorehaven (Gyllithed chooses to stay with the ships crew)...

LOREHAVEN – Continual Blizzards

Enduring the hardest winter in memory. Misery and fear clouds the festive atmosphere, as do a whole host of terrifying rumours and real life tales of misery.

13:30 – Group return to Ormids home (this is an epic task through the snow bound, blizzard wreathed streets of the city), and after getting it dug out the snow, warmed up and dried out, make plans about what to do next.

Decide that Ormid will use the university library to research the eastern guild and the clues in his notebook.

Go over the ancient story of the great Guild War, including the early exit of the Eastern Guild, the incredible mechanism it activated to hide it from its enemies, and the final conflict between the Southern and Northern guilds.

All have a well deserved rest.

The next morning, Brundorson is gone, a roughly scribbled note explaining that he feels he has somehow offended his ancestors and gods, and has left to atone for whatever crime has seen his blows land so rarely.

10/12/49 – Continual Blizzards

06:30 – Ormid, Llewellyn and Warforged head out to the university

08:00 – 19:30 – Ormid uses the library, and the help of a local scholar to research the Eastern Guild; the legends, locations and possible facts. Ormid also learns that he is to be asked to be a professor at the university when he can be, due to his growing fame (and the apparent dropping of all murder charges by House Shakem)

Whilst Ormid is busy (under the watchful eye of the Warforged), Llewellyn wanders around the campus, noting that inside all is warmth and festive decorations, but that the bleak mood and fear about the unnatural weather has infected the townsfolk with an unshakable despondency.

Llewellyn bumps into a member of the North Ward Procurer's Guild. He learns that his bounty has now gone up to 750 gold, and that he is being hunted.

21:30 – Group return home after a painful, freezing slog through the snowbound streets.

22:00 – A knock at the door...

Outside stands a powerful looking young man; human with short, centre parted black hair. He has a fairly short but powerful build, and is wrapped in a snow encrusted cloak of black and gold, edged in what at first appears to be some kind of fur or feathering, but is quickly recognised as metal filaments. He has pale blue eyes, and although he does not appear to wear armour, he radiates the quiet aura of man wrapped in awesome protections.

A huge warhammer is strapped across his back; thrumming with power and struck with golden runes that spell (in archaic midlandic common) “Dismantler”.

He gives a strained smile, and bow, before speaking in a cultured mercantile accent and introducing himself as Lord Edward Smith; Knight of the Esoteric Lodge of Hunters. He informs the group that he has some very important information for them, and asks to be allowed to enter to share it.

After some deliberation the group allow him in

Edward is polite and respectful, even when faced with the most horrific provocation. However, he radiates a palpable aura of menace; a coiled readiness to spring into violent and terrible action at a moments notice, and the group realise that he is a very dangerous man to be annoying.

Edward informs the group that his order has been monitoring Ormid as much as possible since he first returned to Lorehaven with the Veteran. He will explain that the order is dedicated to stopping another guild war, and is determined to ensure that all technologies born of that epic conflict are left to rot in their ancient vaults and silent hangars. He then tells them that they have noticed the direction that Ormid's research has been taking lately, and he bluntly tells them to back off, and give up all efforts to find the Eastern Guilds remains. He does not say directly, but he make it clear that if the artificer continues to pursue his current studies that the Esoteric Hunters will take steps to stop him – fatal steps.

Edward is told to leave in no uncertain terms by the group. He congratulates the group on their recent successes in space, and leaves.


11/12/49 – 14/12/49 - LOREHAVEN – Continuing Blizzard

The research continues. And although it sheds some light on where the Eastern Guild could be located, Ormid feels that more information could be found in the trade town of Garras'Knar, almost 1,500 miles to the east, on the borders of the north republic, Lac'Loriel and the Dundorin Holds of the northern Streaked Mountains.

15/12/49 – LOREHAVEN – Blizzards continue

08:00 - Group leave for Garras'Knar after slogging once more through the streets of Lorehaven.

GARRAS'KNAR – Heavy snow, strong winds, some clear periods which lead to sub-sero temperatures.

08:45 – Group take rooms at the “Broken Door”; an adventurer's inn.

10:00 – Ormid gains access to the library within the Merchant's Hall of the Trade Quarter of Garras'Knar, and begins his first days' study...

23:45 – Ormid has returned by this point, and everyone has gone to bed apart from Llewellyn, who has been gambling and losing coin in the inns taproom.

As the sleepy Vyrleen heads to his room, he hears a commotion outside whilst passing a landing window. Initially he thinks nothing of it – until he hears a rough northern voice raised in anger shout “Destroy the Veteran”.

Looking out the window into a blind alley that runs along the inns back wall, the Vyrleen spots two figures with their backs against the wall, being slowly stalked by four men bearing the uniform of Esoteric Hunters, accompanied by an artifice mastiff.

23:47 – As a battle breaks out in the alley, Llewellyn rouses his allies and gets them to charge down

23:50 – The group charge out into the night, and come upon the battle. One of the Esoteric Hunters is dead, his heads cracked open by the flickering hammer of one of the pair; a Dundorin battle priestess, garbed in the armour and mantle of Thorduin; Dundorin God of Battle.

Behind her, a robed and hooded figure works deadly magic – and all are shocked when they see the face under the hood, for it is the face of a warforged!

23:50 – There is little time to gawp, for the battle goes into full deadly swing. One of the hunters is an artificer, who uses his skills to blast the group and augment his allies, whilst the others are soldiers (clad in armour made from slain golems).

This battle is over fairly quickly, though the group take several good hits. The artifice mastiff is deactivated, and Veteran asks that Ormid keep it with a view to the group using it as an ally at a later date (after some work to reanimate it and re-programme it)

The adventurer's are the Dundorin battle priestess Ardwaine Drunhald, and the Mongrel Aelwyn wizard Sadran Volsh. The mage was mistaken for a warforged as his familiar is a living construct mask, which gives him the appearance of one of Veteran's own kind

The two adventurer's join the party

The warforged finds himself feeling rather introspective with the appearance of so much artifice and magic related to his own origins

16/12/49 – Heavy Snow

The next morning a message has been left for the warforged; dropped off by “a shambling, hooded man who smelt like a tramp”.

It's from Ebon Eye, and reads;

“Brother. You have already seen how much the flesh machines fear us, and have seen the depth of their contempt for us. I know you have imprinted on that human in some way, and that at present you feel he and his soft bodied allies are special to you. However you must trust me when I tell you that if you were not of use to them as a weapon, they would cast you aside with nary a second thought. You should not be their slave. You are a Veteran. You are the Veteran. There is much I could tell you if only you would listen. Seek me out my brother, at the site of the Battle where master Zerrakiel slew his traitorous half-brother. Seek me out, and join the awakened fellowship.”

The group decide to ignore this letter (though Sadran identifies the area – a dank swamp to the north of the Pit of Fallen Gods – mentioned in the letter), and Ormid continues with his research.

17/12/49 -Clear at first, then more heavy snow

Llewellyn accompanied by the Dundorin and wizard try to locate the one who brought the note to the Broken Door. They learn that they were seen heading to a mercenary inn called the “Band of Brothers”

In the inn, Llewellyn finds out that a fractured sewer pipe at the back of the property may be where the individual came from.

The Vyrleen and companions check the pipe out, and find it stinking and steaming as described. However, they wisely decide not to enter the stewing deeps without Ormid and the warforged, and return to their inn.

Ormid continues to work on his research and eventually learns that the Eastern Guild was probably located to the south east of this very place, though this would now be in an area known as the Gly'Tokth Vale – a place of tainted radiations, mutation and madness.

Realising that overland this would not be reachable until the snows recede, Ormid has located a possible alternative course; ancient Dundorin tunnels that connected a line of forts in the early 2nd Age that were built to keep watch on the horrors Thrashaz was sending out from Lac'Loriel.

Unfortunately, the best place to possibly access these tunnels is through the Thruk'Dun – the settlements prison.

A number of ideas about how to get into the prison to access its basement are thrown about; some sane others a little less so. In the end, the group decide to try and arrange to meet with the Lir'Aelwyn Saede'Thaeryn; the prisons' warden.

A request is sent to the prison, and accepted. They meet the next morning.

18/12/49 – Heavy Snows; growing colder

08:00 – Guards from the prison arrive to escort the group to meet with Saede'

08:20 – The group are introduced to the warden who like all of her alien race, is coldly beautiful, with long silver hair, pale green luminous eyes and skin like moon-touched marble. She moves with ghostly grace, and speaks with a hypnotic, musical voice.

08:20 – 09:00 Negotiations go relatively well (Llewellyn helps a lot by grassing up a number of local criminal activities he has spotted whilst in the settlement) and although the Aelwyn does not grant immediate access to the prison's basements, she agrees to do so if the group hunt down Altair “three mouths”; a mongrel Gorgoth who is wanted for several crimes, but who the local guards fear to approach.

The group accept and are given letters or marque for the task

09:40 – Group arrive at the “Shattered Banner” and spot their mark; one of the ugliest Gorgoth half-breeds they have ever met, resplendent in bear hide armour, and clearly showing the two scars around his almost non existent neck which give him his moniker.

Aware that they need to take Altair alive, they try negotiations, but violence erupts and a brutal fight ensues.

Despite his massive strength (which he uses to hurl party members into each other), the group prevail and bring the brute down.

10:15 – The group have returned Altair to the prison and collected the 750gp reward on his head. They are told that guards will collect them early the next morning and escort them to the prison, where they will be allowed into its basements

19/12/49 – Blizzards

06:00 – Two guards arrive to escort the party to the prison. They both seem on edge, and the groups' suspicions only increase when they talk about an “alternate route”, through some warehouse.

The group intimidate them, and they reveal that they are to lead the party into an ambush set by the Esoteric Hunters (and lead by their local captain; Franz Kaupfman).

They also explain that the hunters have two of the guards allies held as hostages, and have threatened to kill them unless they bring the party into the ambush. The group gleefully decide to meet with the hunters and to “speak” with them.

And so, in the basement of a warehouse, the group enter a vicious battle.

A long stairwell runs down into a dank cellar, filled with great stacks of crates. Franz (a furious looking blonde haired man dressed in spendid Golem Plate armour, and wielding a flaming waraxe and enchanted pistol, which he augments using his artificer skills) has a number of soldiers in the place. The two guards they took “hostage” are nowhere to be seen, and when the group arrive, Franz, who is standing in the middle of the chamber with a Shield Guardian towering protectively above him, greets the group cheerily as they enter, before becoming suddenly serious and whispering “Execute them”

Backed up by the two guards the group are faced by an awesome array of foes, though they work well to minimise the impact they can have. An eighth ally enters the battle suddenly after a few blows have been struck, and all are shocked to see a genuine warforged – smaller and more sleek than Veteran – enter the fray and lay about opponents with fist and foot.

The fight drains all the parties resources, and ends with several hunters slinking off to seek safety, and Franz detonating a pack of alchemically enhanced black powder he has beneath his breastplate – a final, suicidal attempt to stop the group.

* * *

And that's where we left it. All the guys have just hit Paragon level with that fight, which should bring an interesting upswing in their powers and progress. And now, for your delectation, here are the stats for poor doomed Franz. Enjoy


Friday, 4 September 2009

of men (and dundorin and warforged and Vyrleen) and Mind Flayers...

Suddenly a psychic aura flashes through the air, and five of the brains in jars around the chamber begin to rattle on their stands, before they levitate and begin to attack with waves of psionic energy and psychic lightning.

An alien figure, dressed in gleaming layered robes of white and silver slips into the chamber from a side room, it's tentacles writhing with eager hunger – Oozulg. The Mind Flayer unleashes a potent psionic attack, and all but Gyllithed and the Warforged believe they are being held by barded tentacles. Indeed, so strong is this belief that each victim begins to bleed from their ears and mouths.

What ensues is the most desperate battle that the group have fought, for Oozulg's mental powers are devastating, and those of the brains only add to the groups misery. Friends are turned into enemies, attacks that would slay a normal foe are rendered useless, and slowly but surely, the party is weakened.

At one point, the Warforged is taken down by a wave of psychic energy, whilst later, the Dundorin is knocked out by a savage slash of Oozulg's barbed tentacles.

Indeed, things get so serious that Llewellyn and Ormid cash in their boon (granted by the Earth God after they cleansed his temple of daemonic evil); gaining supernatural healing and resistance.

Things begin to swing back towards the groups favour. Brundorson manages to land two heavy blows on the Mind Flayer, and the Warforged lands a few solid hits on various foes.

Seeing the Illithid is wounded, and knowing their hunger for self preservation, Ormid suddenly addresses the aberration, mantled in divine power, informing it of obscure arcane laws pertaining to ancient pacts drawn up between long dead civilizations and certain elder deities.

Such is the conviction and skill of his delivery (He uses one of the Skill Powers from the PHB 3), that the aberration backs off (glad to be given a chance to live). The artificer tries to reach an accord with the monster, but is betrayed when Oozulg activates a power and teleports away, commanding his pets to finish the job of slaying the group!

The brains attack and slowly, but painfully, are destroyed (The Warforged utilizes one of the Dwaer'Syth tapestries as a net, with which he captures the brains, before smashing them on the floor with brutal effect) – save one, which passes through an apparently solid wall as it flees

Victory!

At this point two huge Clay Golems, covered in glowing runes appear through the illusory wall and move towards the group.

Horrified and weakened beyond their ability to survive, the group look desperately around for some avenue of escape.

Llewellyn, remembering the way the Illithid's communicates mentally “shouts” out to Mulgey, and miraculously, over the general psychic hubub of the ongoing attack on the ship, he hears him.

As the Golems close the distance, a field of teleporation surrounds the group, and they find themselves back with Mulgey, Marix and a bunch of weary looking folks, naked except for a thin layer of greenish slime!

Brief reunions, a short break, and the large group of (now equipped) heroes move towards the ships (it turns out that the attackers are a large clan of space pirates – the Void Wolves – who are here to reclaim their ruler. Luckily their ruler is one of the souls freed from the tanks, so with luck, the pirates may be persuaded to let everyone go (though the Neogi must still be hunted down and slain).