A Fire and Darkness

Game 6: | Scouting Mission

With so much loot on hand, the group decides to split up. Half the group to carry as much as possible back to Lord Dreary’s rooms to negotiate the safe keeping of their loot with Lord Dreary himself; while the other half of the group to continue on and scout ahead.

This is the Scout’s story. (Scouts: KC, Phineus, Ru’ah, and Sky)
After much debate, the scouts decide to investigate a small door off the dragon room (like the previous room, the dragon room also has a far wall with large double doors facing north). They notice that the door is cold but decide to pick the lock anyways triggering a cold trap. When the frost clears, Phineus open the door to a room of snow and frozen mammoth. He gently closes the door and proceeds to search of the observation deck in the dragon room for a hidden door sharing the same wall as the cold room. When he finds one, Sky joins him and gets flash frozen while unlocking it. The door is open though so Phineus takes a look. He sees the back end of the frozen Mammoth. After shutting this door too, the group reconvenes (and thaws). They noticed that there were ruins over both of the trapped doors but quick arcane checks determine that the traps were meant only to detour the dragons from bothering the occupant in the cold room.

Ru’ah volunteers to approach the Mammoth first, and does so with Fey Step at her finger tips. Its trunk snakes around her, picks her up, and as it proceeds to slam her onto the floor, she transports out of the room. There is no time to prepare though as the Mammoth smashes, and shatters, the wall around the door. After which it bellows out very cold air smelling of cold, death and grassy rot. Phineus rushes through the hidden door to get behind the Mammoth.
Battle Highlights: Ru’ah uses lightning attacks that should have prone the beast, but instead gets thrown across the room. KC casts many ‘happy’ spells, of which two succeeded. Sky uses elevated harmony which also dealt damage. Mammoth moves, trampling Ru’ah, Sky and Phineus (pinning Ru’ah under foot). Sky uses Bull Rush to shift the beast off Ru’ah and ends up pealing some of the flesh off the Mammoth’s face. Ru’ah switches positions with Phineus, and Phineus strikes the final blow with a fire attack.
The Mammoth crumbles into a pile of hide and bones (kinda like a ’child’s tent’), and out of the heap rises a screaming ghostly shade. However, after only a little spector mocking and guided strike on KC’s part, the shade vanishes. KC heals everyone.

The group notices a blue glow coming from within the Mammoth tent. Sky investigates to find a blue foot-ball sized crystalline structure which must have been the shade’s home and the Mammoth’s heart. He passes the ‘heart’ to KC, who can also see ruins on the inside of it and decides to decipher them later. Also of note is the well preserved, high quality of the hide and the solid fifteen foot long ivory tusks. Sky volunteers to take these back to the stash with the rest of the group, and does so with the aid of Ru’ah’s floating disk ritual. The temperature in the snow room noticeably warms.

After a much needed extended rest, the remaining scouts check the doors in the snow room for more ruins but only discover that they are weatherproofed. KC decides to unlock the small door (this room also sports a set of double doors facing north) while Ru’ah and Phineus back to a safe distance. This door, however, proves untrapped. Using Mage Hand, KC opens the door to reveal a room with a pool (with water so high that some spills out when the door is opened). He then got closer and used Mage Hand again to dip a mammoth rib into the water. As he does so, a sea of black tentacles surface and wraps KC. Without much pause, Ru’ah swaps KC with a mammoth thigh bone using Dimensional Warp and witnesses the crushing of the bone. A tentacle reaches into the cold room. Phineas attacks this while Ru’ah and KC get their bearings. Then Ru’ah attacks with a lightning strike, making the tentacle withdraw, and KC uses Mage Hand once more to slam the door closed.

KC: “Wait… a fire room, an ice room, a water room…”
Ru’ah: “The dino room could be considered earth with the egg and mushrooms. So what’s
left. Air…”
KC: “And lightning. I’m guessing these are elemental rooms.”
(We all look at the GM smiling, “I love it when my players give me ideas”)

The scouts take a short rest. Since going back into the water room was not a particularly appealing notion, the scouts decide to check the double doors to the mammoth room. They are heavy to open but not impossible. On the other side, they find a thirty foot wide tile balcony stretching at least the length of all three of the previous rooms – and indeed three sets of double doors can be seen along the same wall. The balcony drops off into a huge room which room opens up to a dark sky, but is still fairly well lit. To their left the balcony drops off to the room’s floor, where a small river can be seen starting at a set of metal and glass double doors leading from the water room. Although huge wheels are embedded in the wall, – which are meant to lift the water room doors – these doors are currently closed. The group suspects that the creature inside would likely be too large to fit in the river anyways.

Ahead (north) in the distance, the group can see another balcony. This one has steps leading up from the floor below and supports a few water falls. Beyond that is a set of four jungle covered step pyramids. Between here and there, the scouts can see moving things in water, huge spiders in trees, and lizard people in swampy areas.

Phineus: “It’s a nature preserve.”
KC: “Or an arena.”
(We glare at KC for giving the GM more ideas)

Just off the balcony, two huge statues stand guard. Both are blank of face with four straggled tentacles where the chins should be; and both are covered in ruins. The ruins read “The Faceless… all glory to the Faceless”. Ru’ah and KC know that according to common history there was once a great god who tried to kill the god of the sun. However, the sun won and imprisoned the Faceless. Conflictingly, according to Phineus’s knowledge of history, the Faceless tried to destroy darkness, lost, and was imprisoned. For the moment the scouts agree to disagree. KC takes a closer look at the statues and finds a plaque that reads “fear is the mind killer”.

Instead of continuing further, the scouts decide that it is time to return to the rest of the group and report their finds. They return to the cold room and securely shut the door.

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Game 5: | The Three D's

After the comfort of Lord Dreary’s hospitality, the group decides to continue their quest by confronting the tunnels behind Lord Dreary’s rooms. Everyone wears a badge and Oriole takes point. At a fork in the tunnel, Oriole turns left and freezes as her torch light reveals a room full of blue and tan bodies. She yells and clawed hands reach out, pulling her sideways from the doorway. As the rest of the group come into view, they see dead things rising out of piled of more dead bodies in the room.
Battle Highlights: Saryn chops an undead to pieces with her flying seimintar, but it gets back up.

After clearing the room, Oriole takes point once again and follow a hall branching off the back wall of the dead thing room. To her left is a door which she opens to find a closet containing a blue bucket with ruins, mops and shredded towels. Concerned that this could be another undead nest, she closes the door; but then immediately pulls a 180 and opens the door that was to her back. She has just enough time to register a large room containing a huge roaring dinosaur skeleton before someone slams the door closed in her face. She then attacks Sky for asking “are you trying to help the undead”, but her attack misses. Before anyone can respond, the door is busted outwards – slamming Oriole into the closet – and the top of a huge skeletal skull is seen in the doorway. The group attacks.
Battle Highlights: Somehow during the battle Oriole finds her way onto the dino skeleton. She was still standing on it after Ru’ah used a thunder attack that knocked it prone.
Finally, the dino skeleton falls to pieces and the group can investigate the room. They find a large non-magical egg and a bed of mushrooms. They also discover that one of the walls is warm.

After a short rest, the group decides to proceed through a door embedded in the warm wall (another door, a set of large double doors, lines the back wall of the dino room). There they find four piles of smoldering charcoal with gold coins scattered around them. Quintos encourages further ‘investigation’ of the coins and half the group follows him into the room. As if triggered by their approach, four big winged creatures – with what appears to be cracked black rock hides with red showing through the cracks – rise out of the charcoal piles. With just enough time to identify these creatures as dragons (lvl 5 wormlings) the group launches into battle.
Battle Highlights: Quintos gets severely bitten and transported out of the room, but promply turns back into the room for more. Saryn shoots off a lightning attack which ignights the air in the room.
Four dead dragons later and the group opts for a much needed extended rest.

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Game 4: | The Ruin Tunnels

The Adventurers travel into the underground ruin tunnels where they find bugs, bugs, and all those bug babies. They clear these and continue deeper underground. Then came the whispers; “The master is displeased… flee from the master”. Shortly after the first whispers, the group is attacked by little blue monsters that appear out of the walls. Looting these leads to the discovery of enchanted skull broaches, darts and dart guns, and a “voodoo” doll. The adventurers take a short rest.

About two more miles deeper underground, the tunnels dead ends at a door. On the other side of this door is a room with dead animals hanging overhead and an ancient skeleton, dressed in an even more ancient robe, ahead. Suddenly, the skeleton sits up and introduces himself as Lord Dreary; “Oh, visitors…”. In a British accent, he offers the adventurers tea and proceeds with non-stop small talk. The group learns quite a bit; the broaches are enchanted for safe passage through the tunnels; Lord Dreary’s rooms are enchanted to protect those within; Dreary mentions an old powerful girlfriend whom he misses; and he mentions a sorceress with powerful mind control powers and a need to unpack his things. (our DM informs us that he is a level 24 elite controller). The adventurers also learn that there are two doors off this room, both of which open to a dungeon; and beyond that dungeon, is a gated area into a tower. The group decides to take an extended rest before traveling further.

Aside: Once again, two new adventurers joined our group. From my understanding, Elka went back to her temple, found these two, and sent them our way. She remained at the Temple for a short time and will join us later.

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Game 3: | Vampire Jak, Angelica, and that Crazy Barbarian

Traveling in the dark and keeping watch. Ru’ah (Eladrin Swordmage)is at the end of second watch when out of the dark an Eladrin appears with a particular interest in the adventurer mage (again, sorry about missing names) and throwing rocks. She nudges Saryn (Thiefling Swordmage) awake and then steps between the intruder and the mage. Short conversation yields little information; aside from Jak’s (the intruder) extreme interest in eladrin mages. Saryn attacks from behind. Her attacks, and those the other adventurers make once wakened, are fruitless. Even the attacks of Oriole (a wild Barbarian who appeared out of nowhere and seems to have a vendetta against anything inherently evil) fall harmlessly. Eventually the group learns that Jak is a vampire. But Jak has no interest in harming the group, and instead offers a warning in exchange for the group taking the wild barbarim with them. He warns that the necromancer they seek is evil and a powerful sorcerer capable of swaying even the stoutest of mind; powerful enough to worry even one such as himself. Then he leaves.

With Jak’s words fresh on their minds, the adventurers continue their journey. Bypassing giants and mammoths, they eventually stumble upon some ruins. After a bit of cursory exploration, they are once again attacked by the undead and prevail. And, thanks to KC’s ‘heroic climb into the tower window and gallant rescue of the imprisoned maiden’, the group meets Princess Angelica; who proceeds to heal the adventurers of their battle wounds. But there is suspicion. Where did this woman come from… and why are the guys being so accommodating to her? (males are making regular will checks). A door is found leading to some underground tunnels.

T hose most suspicious start meeting privately outside, and begin planning ways to test those they fear are enthralled. Quintos is tested first. After admitting that he would be willing to die for Angelica, Saryn knocks him out, and his unconscious body is promptly hidden. The suspicious ones return to find that the others have found another room of chests, KC and Oriole are enthralled, Johaan is partially enthralled, and Oriole has fallen through the hole leading to the underground tunnels. Sky and Phineous, who are not enthralled, choose to remain outside. The swordmages approach. Suddenly Saryn pushes Johaan down the hole and smashed Angelica’s ruby. A battle ensues. Many people get pushed down the hole – Ru’ah falls down the hole when she batches a roll during an attempt to push KC. In the end, Phineous kills Angelica, but the enthralled members still need to be knocked out to remove Angelica’s hold on them. After all of the adventurers have been returned to their senses and freed from the underground depths, the group takes a much needed extended rest.

Aside: In the chest room, there are scrolls and tablets with ritual ruins: Raise Dead(8), Speak with dead(6), Detect secret door(3), and Gentle Repose(1). The Scrolls (there were six) contain correspondences and modified rituals written in diamond dust. These rituals are modified to make them easier for lower level ritualist; they contain a supplication to the lord of the undead to ask questions. Due to the ritual of Amanuesis, a few of the scrolls have been copied and destroyed by group members; there are four left.

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Game 2: | Where did that Dragon come from?

Before having a chance to leave for town, a huge dragon flies in demanding a reason for disturbing the blue box. A battle ensues. From his superior position on top of the column, the dragon seems to have the upper hand and is way out of reach of the adventurers. But the adventurers are resilient, and eventually find a way to ground the dragon. After a long, grueling battle, the dragon is slain-ed. The heroes proceed to loot the carcass – taking away blood, the teeth, the heart, and even some hide for potential armor – before proceeding to Rochrun.

In town, they sell some of their loot, rest, and take the time to update their gear and hone their skills. They also hear rumors of the horrible Temple of Tehuuue in the swamps; home of a necromancer and his zombies, and the adventurers next destination.

Aside: Three new adventurers joined the group around the time that the dragon appeared. They came floating in on a boat and choose to stay and fight. At the end of the battle, two choose to remain while the third floated away in her boat muttering something about …”those crazy people”.

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Game 1: | The Beginning

A big blue flash beams from the lands under the Five Mountains. Wary travelers see this and travel toward it’s source. A recently escaped prisoner and an Eladrin from above joins them; a Thiefling follows from behind. They come upon a odd set of structures; a gray building and a tall column with a blue glowing box balancing at its top.

The adventurers approach the building first. Inside they find couches and tables, odd gray knives, empty books and pens, and a puzzle box. A large room with many walled off tables lies before them. They don’t get far before they are attacked by zombies. These are relatively easy to dispatch. Some of the adventurers find expensive glasses and bottles of liquid behind a counter (oddly this building seems to be set up like an outback steakhouse). Three doors lead from this room to the next; a room with long tables and wicked looking knives hanging from the ceiling. Here, they are attacked by two more zombies, who have the knack of blowing up upon true death (there was something about an explosion in another room during this battle, that I missed). Some if the adventurers choose to take up some loot, and the group takes a short rest before leaving.

Once outside again, one member of the group sprints into the column to check out what is inside (sorry, I don’t know everyone’s names yet). There is some crashing a a battle is fought with a glowing specter on the ground. In the aftermath, it is determined that the glowing blue box is filled with blue glowing two foot long tubes and that while some are broken, others are not. It is decided that some of these tubes need to be taken to town (The Town of Rochrun) to be studied and identified by more knowledgeable scholars. Many questions are left unanswered.

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