Sunday, 27 July 2014

Xac-Yel Obliterator - Level 19 Controller

Shnecke and the gang are soon going to be knee deep in fiery enemies, so I have been statting up all sorts of things. I always quite liked the Energons from 3.0's Planar Handbook as they seemed a nice  extension of AD&D's Xag-Ya and Xeg-Yi. Wanting to get these weirdos into my games I decided to stat up a tough version of the Fire Energon, the Xac-Yel. 

I appreciate that this is a spoiler for my players, but hey, it's not often they have any idea what they face, and I trust them to play their characters properly in spite of prior knowledge.



Friday, 25 July 2014

Shamosk, Alien Swamps and Lifeforms, Facing the Soul of the Splinter

(For a description of the Crystal Villa, click HERE. Also, I know that fungi are not plants, but belong to their own kingdom. However, for the purposes of magic, they are considered plants - I'm fairly sure I'm the only one that cares about this lol)

(2/9/1472) 20:20 – 21:40: His name is Shamosk, and he is a Chattur – a humanoid raccoon like creature. He speaks in a high-pitched, rapid fire manner, communicating using the Gorgoth language (the closest thing to a universal language there is due to its immortal source). Although there are many merchants in the vast realm of the Villa that stock the materials the group needs, most either cannot communicate with them, cannot be perceived by them, or are in areas currently under quarantine due to an outbreak of “Warp Plague”, and Shamosk is the first that they can deal with.

He runs a strange little shop that seems to specialise in alchemical materials and formulae. Bottles, syringes and pouches of materials, both exotic and mundane hang from hooks in his tent, or stand clustered on shelves, and the air is thick with a mingled aroma of herbs, chemicals and ozone.

“IndeedIhavetheverythingsyouneed. Buthardtocomebytheyare. Ihavenoneedforyourgoldorgems, astheyareoflittleusetome. HoweverIneedsuppliesthatyoumaybeabletogetforme.”

Everyone stands dumbstruck, trying to filter through the hgh pitched barrage of speech. Then, once they have worked it out, they ask what Shamosk wants.

“Ahsoyouareinterested, goodgood. Ineed...”

“Slowly! Please.” Snarls the warlock, his irritation flaring. Shamosk probably looks annoyed or sorry (it's hard to tell), but fights hard to slow his speech down.

“I need Blood Stalks. They areakindof....a kind....of....toadstoolthatgrowsononly....on only a few worlds. Fortunately, my brother, Namoshk, is a gatecasterandhe....*nnng*....and....he....can....open a portal totheworldwhereitisfound!”

Shamosk gasps as if he has been casting a spell, clearly exhausted by the effort of slowing his speech.

“So, we go to this place, get you the toadstools, and you'll give us the radiant essences we need?”

Shamosk nods madly.

The group agree, and the chattur tells them more about the fungus' habitat. What the group learns makes them increasingly uneasy, for he tells them that they only grow on the scat of a certain species of giant beetle, something he calls an Aratha. When asked how big, the merchant waves a dismissive paw. “Biggish.”

Thatari growls, and Varracuda feels that sharpness within him stir angrily.

Soon, are stood in the claustrophobic interior of another tent, owned by another, almost identical Chattur. It seems that Namoshk will accept more mundane currency, and the group frown at the price of transport to the world where they will hopefully find these Blood Stalks.

“Out of interest,” Asks Grigori as the furry spell caster prepares to cast the portal ritual, “how many others have gone through to get these fungi and returned?”

Namoshk seems to wince a second, his head bobbing down as if he is trying to physically duck the question. However, he waves a clawed hand dismissively, as he answers “”Quiteafew, butyouknow, youlookbetterthantheywere.”

Everyone looks uneasily at each other.

Namoshk is as good as his brother said he is, and effortlessly opens a shimmering portal of misty greenish light before the group. The smell of hot swamp wafts into the tent, thick with the stink of rot and mould. He gestures towards it with a sharp-toothed smile.

21:41 – 22:30: The group walk through...

...And immediately find themselves sinking up to their thighs in warm, stinking swamp, their movement impeded by thick rafts of moss and slime. Dense fog shrouds the world they now find themselves in, the air resonant with the buzz of insects, the croaking of unseen amphibians and the distant thumping of primal drums. Toadstools cover almost everything. Many are of normal size, most emitting some kind of cold glow. Others however grow to various other heights. Some are 5', 15' or even taller, the largest being as huge (and possibly as ancient) as the Elderwoods of Arbel'Verdaniss, and the party quickly realise that all the ambient light is being shed by these massive fungi; a ghostly radiance that seems alive with shadow as it filters through the concealing fogs.

Visibility is actually a real issue, for no one can see more than a little distance before detail is lost in the thick gloom, and the party worry that they will not be able to find their way back to the portal (which is now in some kind of dormant state, ready to be activated when the group return). To prevent this, it is decided that Thatari will wait behind, so he can call to them should they get lost...although this assumes that they can find one of these Aratha within a short slog of the portal.

After bidding the warlock farewell, they begin to slog through the mire in a random direction, struggling and sweating in the thick, sucking bog. Thatari quickly vanishes into the green tinged fogs behind them, and the group try to identify any possible way markers in the environment. After only a short while a horrific insect stench, mixed with the reek of bruised mushrooms and a vague, unpleasant energy in the aether, hits the party, and they stop suddenly, all senses alert. Ahead, they can see a huge hill rising from the murk, covered in slime and moss, and can hear the rush of pouring water. With horror, they quickly realise that the hill is moving towards them, a sludgy pressure wave surging through the muck ahead of it.

“GET READY!!” Screams Jaeger, already seeking the safety of a tall fungus nearby.

The Aratha erupts from the fogs; a house sized beetle with crushing jaws and a nest of 20' long tentacles at its blunt head, each tipped with shivering blades of chitin, which rip the air around it constantly. Worse, it appears to wield psionic energy, its insect mind agitating the very fabric of Shnecke's armour, making it smoke and burn, his flesh reddening beneath. The group face the monstrosity, though the warriors quickly discover it's carapace is incredibly resilient, turning aside their blades as if made from solid rock. They also find that the flailing bladed tentacles cleave armour and flesh with equal ease, leaving them bleeding and staggering. Magic flickers out at the horror, blazing through its armour, and slowly, the warriors begin to pick out chinks in its surface where they can land a solid blow. For its part, its jaws chew through armour leaving it in near ruins, and more than a few times Grigori is forced to invoke potent spells of restoration just to keep his allies alive.

Roaring and bucking, the huge insect begins to slow, the group closing in on it with a vengeance. Hope blossoms in the party, and they press the advantage, riding the tides of battle to a fairly easy victory...

….Except....

...It's at this point that the other things attack.

They are staggering, leaping, skeletal things, made from bone and debris, held together and apparently animated by thick rhizomorphs. They leap and skitter almost silently, seeming to dance over the surface of the bog as if it was solid ground. Jager spots them first, charging from the parties right flank, thorn like claws extended and held low, ready to strike. He screams a warning as they leap to attack, their claws piercing armour and opening wounds in the swordmage, barbarian and cleric. Both Shnecke and Varracuda feel their wounds burning with an intense pain, and smell immediately the corruption within them.

Reacting to this new threat, the group are forced to move some of their firepower to these weird vegetable foes. The beetle lunges and nearly decapitates the barbarian, only a timely pulse of magic from the struggling swordmage helping him keep his head on his shoulders, and Shnecke repays the debt by using one of the many strange trinkets he has accumulated on his travels – a bone wand, carved with primal sigils he knows to make it the bane of all plants – to obliterate four of the skittering things; an invisible pulse of magic simply blasting them into fluid and whirling bits.

More foes emerge, the runners apparently the first wave of a new assault. They are bizarre fungous things. Each is as tall as a man, and could almost be called comical were it not for the deadly and grim purpose with which they advance. They are roughly anthropomorphic mushrooms; palid, bumbling things with bloated stalk bodies, stumpy waddling legs (that somehow cut through the slime and moss of the bog like knives, leaving them unhindered by its terrain), spongy limbs, and atop their forms, slimy, ragged caps. They move towards the group, each bearing thorny protrusions on their arms, and the party quickly realise that they are probably getting used to dealing with aliens invading their world, stealing what could be, in truth, their property.

The myconids close with the party, and prove far more resilient than the spore puppets (though more of those keep emerging from the fogs, their diseased talons sowing ruin amongst the party, and sickness in their bodies). Pressed, the group move to finish off the beetle, and manage, with desperate cuts, to sever something it needs to go on living, the massive thing suddenly stopping, poleaxed, crunching into the bog, sending great pressure waves through the slime and moss. However, as it dies, its tendrils flail madly, and several members of the party are suddenly wounded.

Hearing the group's cries of dismay, the warlock abandons his post, and strides to join them, Hopes Famine leaping with joy as it gets to strike at these unusual entities.

From the depths of the fog another soldier myconid emerges. This one however is huge; easily three times the size of the others, its slimy surface etched with bright lines of yellow energy. The spell casters quickly realise that this is a normal soldier, currently enhanced with magic, and that there must be some kind of mage out there, supporting this group. These suspicions are confirmed when a mass of magically summoned toxins erupt amongst the party – though it is a weak casting, which has no effect other than leaving a foul smell and a slight cough.

There are others out there as well, for soon the group are being hit by luminous masses of corrosive, toxic slime, spat by swaying, slender myconids that are perched atop the massive native toadstools. Varracuda collapses at one point as the filth covers him, burning his flesh and overwhelming, him. His luck become even worse as the battle moves on, the group slowly making headway against these berserk fungi, for, whilst closing in on one of the spitting fungi, he is blinded permanently by a sudden blast of light emitted by the things glowing flesh.

Fortunately, the battle, little by little, wound by wound, moment by agonising, exhausting moment, shifts slowly to favour the party. Though the spore puppets continue to come from their unseen source, the major players in this battle are slowly cut down, or, realising that they are over matched, turn to flee. Eventually, just seconds before the group are broken, the battle ends (with no one ever catching a glimpse of the unseen spell caster). But it has taken its toll on them. All are so tired that they can barely stumble back towards the Aratha lair in order to harvest the Blood Stalks (especially burdened by the infected and blinded swordmage), but they do, and soon they are trudging, dazedly, towards the portal.

22:31 – 03:00 (3/9/1472): Still stinking of the bog, wet, wounded and plastered in filth, the group seal the deal with Shamosk, and head back towards the portal that will take them back to Niba's tower. They have been given several poultices made from the fungi they recovered by the chattur, and carry the relucent materials needed for the arch-mage to extract the essence of the Scheggia from Varracuda....they hope...

On returning to the arch-mage, they are given a meal, healing potions (the swordmage's blindness, and the infections that have also taken root are removed), and then each is given a small vial of Nap Elixir; a flickering, shifting fluid that Niba tells them will grant them the effects of a good night's rest after only a couple of hours. Warned that they will sleep soon after drinking it, the group find comfortable beds in a chamber adjoining Niba's main meeting hall, before knocking back the strong liquorish tasting brew. As predicted, within a few minutes of drinking the stuff all are snoring, their wounds fading as their power restores.

After they wake Niba explains that there will be two rituals. The first will draw the possessing entity from Varracuda, and physically (though not metaphysically) restrain it within a binding circle. The dagger, a prison designed exactly to hold it, will be present, and the group will have to “disrupt” the manifested entity enough, that it will be forced back within it. At that point, it will be trapped, the dagger restored, and the nightmare, finally over. Niba warns them that the essence of the dagger is impossibly ancient and evil, and that it will be a deadly foe. She also reminds them that although it cannot physically cross the boundary she will conjure, it can attack them magically.

And so they enter the conjurary, and the ritual begins.

It is horrible.

The ritual needed to draw the essence out of Varracuda almost kills him, his flesh tearing as a swarm of tiny, shrieking blades of malevolent energy are pulled, like splinters, from his body. Gargling and shrieking, he arches backwards until the flesh on his belly bruises and his back almost snaps. Eyes rolled into his head, ichor splashing and fogging the air around him, he is unable to scream as Niba draws the horror from his soul like a poison, the tiny fragments being pulled towards the heart of the 50' diameter circle engraved within her conjurary; an incredibly well crafted rune circle designed for a variety of functions depending on what magic is worked around and within them. The group stand on the outside of the circle, watching in horror as the growing cloud of splinters begin to boil and seethe into something tangible. Protected by the bounds of the circle though they are, they all feel the horrific pressure of the entity gathering within its heart; pure malevolent evil, sharp as a knife, hungry for blood. Slowly, a 14' tall, slender, humanoid form begins to manifest, composed from shifting layers of razor like blades. Baleful eyes, glowing a sullen yellow, glare at the party, the air sharp with the susurrus of sliding blades, and as they watch, long, slender spikes begin to protrude all over its form; a deadly defence against those that must battle it. There is a thunderclap and a wave of ethereal pressure, and suddenly Varracuda begins to vomit, weakly rising to his feet, and rolling, coughing, away from the rune circle to join his allies. As this happens, so the thing bound within the circle gives a mind-slicing scream, raising a hand and unleashing deadly magic towards the group; a field of arcane blades immediately appearing, all but eviscerating all but the swordmage, and holding them within its deadly embrace. Indeed, the battle is almost lost in its opening seconds, as the group are overwhelmed by the entities magic, only the priests healing chants and the warlocks arcane skill (he shatters the zone with a sheer effort of will). Fortunately, they recover, and soon, they are on the offensive, desperately battling the horror whilst Niba strains and fights to keep it constrained.

Shnecke charges Scheggia, but to his horror is unable to hit it, his axe simply slipping off its hide. In response, Scheggia strikes back, laying the barbarian's back open to the bone.

“We can't fight this!” He screams, anger and despair vying for dominance.

Shadowy bolts shatter against its hide, a few finding purchase as the assassin launches an attack, and the warlock tries in vain to blast it with balefire. Varracuda is similarly unable to hurt the thing, his attacks simply missing it. Grigori calls upon his power, but also finds Scheggia beyond his ability to harm.

“He's right!” screams the cleric, “This is hopeless!”

And then the copper drops.

“The dagger!” Bellow Varracuda and Thatari together, “It's the perfect weapon against Scheggia!”

Sensing the shift in their attitudes, the entity hurls another zone of shredding blades as them, and once more, only their iron will and the reflexive healing powers of Grigori (who is tiring already) stops them perishing. This time it is Varracuda who pits his will against Sheggia's casting, and shatters its substance, and whilst it is distracted by this, the assassin grabs the dagger and hurls it towards Shcnecke.

Grabbing it out of the air, the barbarian feels a shock of power surge along his arm and a burst, like icy pins and needles through his chest. In the presence of the entity it should be binding, the blade is alive with magic, almost jumping out of the Ulnyrr's grasp in its eagerness to strike and absorb the thing floating before them. With a bellow he charges, slowing somewhat as a blade of raw magic slices bloodily along his arm and shoulder, narrowly missing taking off his head. As more bolts crawling with shadow energy slam into Scheggia, aided by a wave of divine magic, he get in close and stabs, the blade pretty much guiding itself into the monster's form. A flash of chaotic light erupts around the chamber, and Scheggia emits an agonising metallic scream. Foul energy crackles and warps from the huge wound the tiny blade has struck, arcing into its very substance. Seeing this, Shnecke gives a whoop of joy, and realises that the blade now has a taste for its quarry, and is even more ready to strike.

A deadly serious game of “Pass the Blade” ensues, with the steadily empowering dagger being passed from one to the other to allow them to strike at Scheggia's essence. Each blow lands with a power and force far beyond the physical, and the entity soon begins to become less solid and formed; ragged at the edges like a painting sinking into water. This does not mean it goes down quietly, and the group bear the vicious brunt of its most deadly attacks. Shnecke's armour is all but destroyed by the horror's unnatural blades, and everyone is almost ready to drop from its attacks; their blood and ichor thickly spattering everything.

However, with the dagger, they find themselves, bit by bit, strike by strike, defeating Scheggia, and suddenly, in a blast of raw chaotic energy that sears its image into their vision like a snapshot of madness, the humanoid form is destroyed and drawn, still screaming with an ancient and primal rage beyond anything the group can tolerate, into the blade.

Suddenly there is silence, and, with the sudden shifting in metaphysical pressure caused by the entities departure from the physical plane, everyone drops to the ground, and lets the pain and weakness of their wounds take them into darkness...

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Gustor - Son of Skrung - Level 20 Elite Soldier



Two things to bear in mind (with all my monsters)
1) The defences assume you use the Escalation Die rules from 13th Age. If you don't, I would drop them by 3
2) You need to add half the monster's level to the ability mods to get the total score. So, Gustor's Strength mod is +23.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Zuggob, Son of Skrung - Level 20 Elite Controller



Zuggob, Skrung's daemon magic wielding youngest Son is here for you to see. Next, we will meet Gustor, his tiny brained, strong armed brother...they're the Raistlin and Caramon of Vulgorim!

(By the Way, Daemonstep was to be a reactive teleport power...for some reason I forgot to add it, and given how he totally avoided any direct combat, it was never noticed. It's an immediate interrupt when Zuggob would be hit by an attack. The Effect is that the triggering attack's damage is negated, and Zuggob teleports to a square within 12. Creatures adjacent to him when he leaves and re-appears suffer 8d4 fire and necrotic damage).

Friday, 11 July 2014

The Once King, Hidden Ways, Meeting the Usurper

00:28 – 00:50: Frowning, the group carefully limp towards the doorway, and peer down the huge steps that drop away beyond it. Below is a (relatively) small chamber, lit by a huge smoky brazier. The acrid stench of ammonia and faecal matter assails their nostrils, and they hear once more the plaintive plea, coming from the east of the steps. Cautiously, they descend, weapons at the ready, soon finding themselves stood before a gigantic cell, who's bars are as thick as tree trunks, the spaces between them wide enough for two men to pass through. However, it is immediately obvious that this cell was not built to hold men, for the monstrous thing that begs for aid can be seen, huge as a mountain, in the darkness beyond. It is another gigorim, though even more massive than the Vulgorim, its flesh stony and grey like granite. Hairless, it seems to be hewn from rock, though its impressive form is covered in sores and wounds, and seems diminished in its misery and infirmity.
“It's a Morgog'Gigorim,” whispers Ormid, eyes wide, “A stone giant.”
“Malogg.” Rumbles a voice, deep as stone, “Once King, now....th-this...”
The morgogorim's words trail off into a dribbling wail – though only Llewellyn understands what he says. With further questioning the group learn that this giant was once the King of this place. However, his clan was small, and when Skrung attacked, backed by a huge army as well as the dark magic of his youngest Son, they did not stand a chance. The morgogorim fought the Vulgorim as best they could, but ultimately, they were overwhelmed and Malogg taken prisoner – a play thing for the new “King” of the keep. He knows not the fate of the rest of his clan, or his wife and two children, though he was told that if he resisted his captors, they would be the ones to bear the brunt of Skrung's displeasure.
A Bargain is struck. The group agree to free Malogg, and in return, he will show them an ancient portal that leads directly to the throne room from a hidden section of the stronghold – that is, assuming that the Vulgorim and their allies have not already found it.
The first obstacle however is freeing the morgogorim King, for he is shackled with Tenebrium infused Cold Iron, which has been enchanted in such a way that any serious disturbance of its substance will result in a deadly jolt of necrotic energy passing through his body, wreaking terrible ruin (it also drains the giant's strength, removing his ability to break free). Removing it requires Ormid to apply every last bit of his skill as an artificer, alchemist and spell caster, and even then, he makes several mistakes which see Malogg scream and writhe as his flesh suddenly fills with corruption and blisters. Choking through the stench of the unnatural decay, the artificer is able, eventually, to unpick the magics within the bonds, and they fall away with a sigh and a rush of foetid ash.
00:51 – 00:15: It takes Malogg some time to get up, his limbs wasted and sore from being held in the same position for so long. The stink that comes from his wounds is incredible, and all fear he will not be able to last long. However, he seems to kindle his fires as he recalls the terrible fall of his keep, and the theft of Gruniir – the Mountain' Heart – a crown of old magic, and the taking of his Queen and children. Speaking through the rogue's translations, he guides the party along the death haunted corridors of the keep, smirking at every vulgorim corpse they pass, and eventually stops by a section of slime streaked wall. With a deep grunt, he gestures towards the wall, in an “off you go then” type way, and Orimd quickly realises that an illusion covers a hidden corridor. One by one, with Malogg in tow, the group pass through the glamer, and find themselves in a steeply sloping tunnel of ancient, crumbling stonework, the air strangely fogged by shadowy mists.
“What is this?” Wonders the warforged out loud, sensing the tenebrous energies around them.
“He says this area does not strictly exist within the physical plane, but in a shadow of it.” Replies Llewellyn after conferring with the crouching behemoth. “He says it is nothing to worry about. Just one of many such 'shadow paths' in the keep”.
The Veteran and Ormid shudder, memories of Black Hook and its horrors, as well as the mad shade Maelphazan rising unbidden.
As the group move deeper into the gloom, they become increasingly aware of the stink of oxidised metal and rot. Their growing suspicions are confirmed as they enter a series of massive chambers filled with grimy piles of rusty dung, and moments later, the ones who made it – Rust Monsters – arrive, attracted by the noise and the smell of fresh, refined metals.
There are quite a few of the wretched things, one of which has grown to truly monstrous size and learned a nasty trick; somehow able to briefly emit potent magnetic fields, drawing anyone carrying metal (all the group) towards it with brutal, disorienting speed. Fortunately no one loses any armour or weapons to the monsters, as they are ripped apart with magic and the morgogorim's stony fists, and soon the group stand before a massive portal, carved in Adaric glyphs, into the stone of the wall.
Malogg warns the group that the portal will take them directly to the throne room where Skrung will be waiting with his two sons. He tells them that one son – Zuggob – is daemon sworn, and wields foul magic born from the dark planes. The other, Gustor, is a young and aggressive lout, all muscle and no brain, who adores his father and has the raw power and skill to seriously ruin their day. He also warns them about Skrung's chosen warrior; a canny and deadly monster called Gulk. A veteran of many battles, this brute wears the armour of his slain foes, worked into a single massive suit of plate armour, and wields a great maul of stone and ebonwood. Indeed, although Skrung, especially with his stolen magic and sons, represent a deadly group, it is Gulk that worries Malogg the most.
01:15 – 01:30: Taking a few moments to centre themselves, the group enter the portal...
….The throne room is vast beyond reason, dominated at one end by a colossal throne carved from the heart of the mountain. Simply decorated, it bears runes in the Adaric alphabet that even Llewellyn does not understand, and bears the symbol of Morgorath; Adar of the Living Stone. Huge pillars, carved with the grim visages of Morgog'Gigorim hold a high vaulted ceiling aloft, the huge space litten by several huge braziers. The throne sits atop a high platform, and the portal exits between the foot of this, and the massive double doors that lead from the area, roughly 70' from each.
The room is thick with smoke from the braziers, and the stench of unwashed giant, rotting flesh and ordure. Several piles of tacky bones – unmistakably those of gigorim – rise in rough pyramids either side of the chamber, alive with gnawing rats and swarming roaches, and blood, both old and new, spatters many areas.
Skrung is sat on the throne; a truly massive vulgorim. He is morbidly obese, his leathery, filthy flesh folded into thick rolls under his chin, arms and belly. Sores and acne cover his skin, and the group can see that his thin, lank hair is alive with massive lice and swarming maggots. His eyes are watery and bloodshot, and when he bellows his shock at the group's appearance, it is in a surprisingly nasal, wheezing voice for one so huge. He wears floor length robes of once fine cloth, now filthy and tattered, over armour made from stitched together animals hides. Despite clearly being made for someone larger than him, they appear stretched as he pulls them protectively about his bloated form.
To his right and left stand two very different brutes.
To the left is a giant that can only be Zuggob. Small for his kind, he wears layers of animal pelts, dyed in shades of black and dark red. Skulls, daemonic talismans and fetishes hang around his form, and his brutish features are made more hideous by the scars and blood that cover him. His eyes glow with a malevolent light, and he seems to shimmer strangely, as if caught within a constant heat haze. His hair is long and slick with oil and gore, and all can clearly feel the raw evil emanating from him; the signature of one who is given utterly to (and likely possessed by) daemons. He carries a great staff of fused bones, upon which are carved elder glyphs of daemonic power. Just looking at them directly fills everyone with a deep rooted dread, and Ormid knows that prolonged exposure to them would likely instil permanent madness.
To Skrung's right roars a solid brick of a vulgorim. Gustor is much taller than his brother, and has the frame of a pit fighter, his muscles straining against the thick jerkin of drake hide he wears. He wields an impossibly huge triple-headed flail, each of its heads larger than a man, his massive arms sending it swirling with the vengeful howl of a tornado towards the party. Almost neckless, his head is shaved and tattooed with swirling designs. He has few teeth, and bears more than a few scars on his face.
Although they have been killing gigorim all day with nary a thought, the group feel suddenly very small in comparison to these monstrous foes, and feel their confidence drain somewhat. However, last through the portal, Malogg wastes no time worrying, and with a scream that almost flattens the group with its force, launches himself towards the usurper, his face a mask of simple hate. This breaks the spell on the group, and taking advantage of the brief window of surprise, they move to better positions, ready to attack.
The battle is long and arduous. Initially the group struggle, even with the aid of Malogg, for Skrung has mastered some of the Gruniir's magic and uses it to hamper their movement and to enhance both his physical strength and resilience. With their father backing them up, his sons are terrifying foes. Zuggob stands away from the main melee, hurling malevolent spells charged with daemonic evil. More than once he strikes the group with withering blasts of necrotic lightning, or spits hexes that impede them. Gustor wades into combat, his massive flail inflicting truly horrific wounds. Lesser beings would be crushed by the combined might of the vulgorim almost at once. However, bolstered by their own magic and their ascension closer and closer to living legends, they soak up everything the monsters throw at them, and give it back – though all, especially the Veteran, bear horrific wounds.
Things however become even more difficult when, as predicted, Gulk enters the fray. He initially stands back, hurling huge jars of alchemists fire into the battle, the entire room soon ablaze with oily flames. Poor Ormid is particularly hurt by these attacks; his body soaked in flaming chemicals, only his potent healing (enhanced by Tartheld's Rod) keeping him and the others alive. The only one unaffected by the flames is Llewellyn, the Flames Essence protecting him utterly against their bite – though he spends much of his time desperately avoiding the crushing strikes of Gustor's titanic flail.
Gustor is the first to fall however, his bowels torn out by the warforged, his screams of agony lighting the fires of fear in his sibling who, still hurling spells at the party, edges closer and closer to the exit, the rage filled cries of Gulk following him out.
Skrung is suddenly in trouble after nearly killing the enraged morgogorim, when the Veteran leaps up the architecture of the throne, and with a mighty bellow (and despite appearing to be almost physically crushed by several of Skrung's blows) tears the Gruniir free of his filthy head. The crown falls, and Malogg grabs it, seeming at once to draw power from its touch. Skrung seems to shrink, and the spells he cast immediately crumble. He screams in fear as he realises what is about to happen, despite his knight wading into combat, maul swinging, to aid him, and soils himself as Malogg, with trembling hands, places the crown on his own head, the opal set in its front immediately flaring with ancient power.
Usurper!” He growls in his rumbling language, his voice sounding like a thunderstorm to the group, “It is time to right what has been made wrong for so long. I will wash your sins away in your blood!”.
Suddenly healed, his stony flesh alive with deep orange runes of eldritch power, his strength magnified to impossible levels, the morgogorim King leaps to his feet and charges Skrung, smashing him several times with blows that make the very air shudder. Skrung hurls backwards, face caved in, abdomen ruptured, crashing into the throne, his head cracking wide on it. Desperately, agonised, he tries to defend himself, hoping to buy time until his captain can save him. Weeping, he swings wildly at the King. However, his life is ended when the Veteran sneaks behind him and splits his spine with a shattering blow, the once King of the East Mountains dying in a rush of blood and urine, a look of abject horror etched on his filthy, broken features.
Alone and enraged, Gulk continues to battle, roaring his despair and anger. However, he suddenly faces not only the entire group (though Ormid is preoccupied with trying to extinguish the chemical flames that still shroud him, his flesh blackened, his artifice parts melted and glowing), but two mountainous beings of living rock, summoned by Malogg with the Gruniir. He still manages to all but disable the Veteran, and actually smashes one of the elemental's to rubble. However, he is doomed, and eventually, with a cry of anger, he is cut down, his sternum split wide by the Annihilator, his lungs boiling and dissolving as it cuts through them, drowning, eyes fixed in hatred upon Malogg, in his own fluids.
Suddenly the battle is won – though Zuggob has escaped unharmed.


Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Two New Feats

We don't use XP any more, and Action Points, given their many uses nower days, are often a reward. As they are seen as a far more expendable resource in our games, these feats are both attractive and potentially quite useful. 

PARAGON OF ACTION
Prerequisite: Level 11+
Benefit: You start with 2 Action Points after an extended rest

EPIC ACTIONS
Prerequisite: Level 21+
Benefit: You start with 3 Action Points after an extended rest

Skrung - King of the East Mountains - Level 21 Solo Brute

I'll be posting the stats for all the BBEG from Ormid and the gang's latest adventure...let's start with the King himself; Skrung. Skrung is a morbidly obese Vulgorim (Hill Giant), made massive by the power he has stolen from the Gruniir - the Mountain's Heart Crown. Filthy as his kin, he is alive with vermin, covered in sores and is shrouded always with the grimy stink of his poor hygiene. He speaks in a thick, phlegmy voice, often wheezing and coughing out great gobs of infected mucus - especially when active for any length of time. 

A natural coward, he will only fight as long as he thinks he has the upper hand. Once bloodied, he becomes suddenly reluctant to engage further...and will, if allowed, flee.

Anyway, he is only the second nastiest thing that was in the battle...next however, we will look at his sons...



To get the total stat mods, add +10 to those listed.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

My 40th Birthday Cake

My beautiful wife may not be a gamer, but she understands what a massive part of my life and make up my gaming is. This is the cake she got me today for my 40th, and I was, to put it mildly, blown away!!!


How cool is that?

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Stone Soul Stance - Level 25 Boon

The final fight against Skrung and his servants is almost over (after three epic sessions of hellish combat), and, assuming things don't suddenly go horribly wrong (which, given the sheer power of the enemy, they still could), the group stand to get some potent rewards. One reward is a boon that they will be granted by the Morgog'Gigorim King Malogg; the ability, once every five days, to assume the Stone Soul Stance. 

When in this stance, the character becomes encased in heavy plates of solid stone. It slows them down and trashes their manual dexterity, but turns them into a tank. Obviously, for the less tankish in nature, there is an option to end the stance for a butt load of temporary hit points.