Primum Nocte

Adventure Log
Campaign blog

T-1 – The Roll-up Party – 7/22/2009

The final tally for the upcoming game is:

  • Sarah – human Wizard
  • Corey – 1/2 orc Fighter
  • Brian – 1/2 elf Ranger
  • Jamie – 1/2 elf Cleric (Lathander)
  • Elena – 1/2 orc Paladin (NG Holy Warrior) (Lathander)
  • Jason – human Monk
  • George – moon elf Druid
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13 Tarsakh, The Claw of Storms, 1374 DR, The Year of Lightning Storms
Session 1

Diverse individuals, all seeking their own ends, gather in the market town of Asbravn hoping to attain a place among The Riders of the Red Cloaks. As the crowded town square empties, a small group remains unchosen. One, Gheril, loudly makes his displeasure known, speculates on the heritage of the recruitment master, and invites the other unchosen to join him in many drinks. And so, they join him: Buurk’Duz the towering half-orc; Caleb the monk; Tayeohnaas moon elf druid accompanied by Wolf; Father Jön of Lathander; and Perill the ranger. Over beverages of choice conversation touches on the history of Asbravn, the ruins supposedly beneath, and the opportunities that might lay there.

Perill notices an elderly man gesture in the group’s direction while speaking to a young woman. The pair approach, and the man offers a job to the festive group: deliver a chest of components of the Art to a practitioner in the small village of Thurmaster, some distance to the northeast. 150 gold will be the pay, and the use of a stalwart pack-mule to carry the chest. The young woman is introduced as Tiria; she will be accompanying them to effect the delivery.

The group decides to take him up on the offer, and check into Asbravn’s possible ruins on return. Gheril offers to poke around for info while they’re gone, as the barmaid has his interest at the moment, and he’s not inclined to leave.

After Perill and Father Jön briefly check out the Horse headed pillars in the town square, they meet up in the stable, to set out. Tiiria’s master tells them that Asbravn sits on the ancient site of the main city of nomadic Horsemen.

They hit the road immediately, and pass a quiet 6 days. On the 6th day (19 Tarsakh) they see some farmers approaching. As they near, arrows come from the nearby woods, striking Buurk’Duz & Father Jön. The farmers panic, yell “Bandits” and close in to the group for assistance. As they step within range, the farmers draw weapons, shout “Get her!” gesturing at Tiiria, and attack the others.

Tayeohnaas takes out the farmer with the pitchfork then heads to the woods. Burrk”Duz smashes the head of the farmer with the sword, then moves between the woods & Tiiria & the chest. Perrell also moves to shield Tiiria, and looks for a target, but can’t see into the thick growth. Caleb rushes into the woods, entering to find himself face to face with a chain-mailed swordsman guarding two archers, sword at the ready. He strikes a grievous wound to Caleb. Father Jon, hearing the cry, summons a celestial giant fire beetle to aid Caleb. As the beetle coalesces from a golden light, it snaps it’s mandibles onto the swordsman’s hip. The two archers drop their bows, draw clubs and charge towards Tiiria. Wolf hamstrings one, tripping him. Buurk’Duz shatters the skull of the other (with the first critical strike of the game!), and his mace continues in a sweeping arc, coming to rest nestled snugly in the face of the archer lying on the ground. Tiiria jolts the still-standing swordsman with a Magic Missile, Father Jön closes in and snaps his shoulder with his morning star, and Tayeohnaas finishes him off with his greatclub.

Silence returns. Father Jön channels Lathander’s healing light to close the wound in Caleb’s abdomen. Perill searches the swordsman and finds nothing but a few coins… and an odd, fishy odor. Tiiria searches the other men, and finds fewer coins. All except the swordsman are wearing simple peasant garb, and have the look of common laborers. Tayeohnaas does a circuit, looking for other ambushers, and gets just a glimpse of pale gray fur disappearing into the undergrowth. Perill investigates, and finds the fresh tracks of a wolf. Buur’ak takes the swordsman’s chain mail, and they prepare to move on.

Leaving the bodies where they lay (as a warning), the group continues on, arriving in Oakvale. Perill goes to check out the docks, seeing if any fishy-smelling activities take place there. Tayeohnaas & Wolf have quick rinse in the river. Everyone meets at the stables of The Baron of Mutton, and are approached by a female half-orc wearing a holy symbol of Lathander. Her father is the local smith, and she just returned from abroad. Some awkward introductions take place, and we end with Csoka meeting the group.

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19 Tarsakh, The Claw of Storms 1374 DR - The Year of Lightning Storms
Session 2

Having left off with everyone meeting at the stables of The Baron of Mutton, and Csoka meeting the group, we resume our tale after relating the Legend of the Dirty Gnomes. This colors the rest of the night.

Over dinner at The Baron, the group notes some locals eyeing them. Tayeohnaas overhears some farmers talking about another group of adventurers disappearing lately. A old dwarf is seated alone, and Tayeohnaas starts a conversation. The dwarf is gruff, but seems to enjoy having someone to talk to. Tiiria speaks Dwarvish to him, which delights him to the point he has the barkeeper serve her a tankard of his special dwarven ale. Tiiria has no head for alcohol, and gets lightheaded from the powerful stout. It turns out the local Huclere family has recently lost two “children” who joined a couple of outsiders for adventure. They went to explore some ancient ruins southeast of town about 3 weeks ago and haven’t returned. A reward is offered.

The group hits the sack, after arranging a rotating guard on the mule & chest. The next day they set off, and other than a few tense sightings of farmers that turn out to not be ambushes, they arrive in the hamlet of Thurmaster. They deliver the chest of components to the senile mage Tauster, who notes his apprentice hasn’t shown up, so he can’t offer them tea. Instead he offers to buy them lunch at the local tavern, The Hounds and Tails (ever after known as the Pounding Tails). He warns them off of the mutton pie. Burrk’duz eats a mutton pie, much to his stomach’s concern, but his orcish blood defeats the questionable pie (barely). They make it back to Oakvale just at sunset.

Tayeohnaas goes out to hunt some dinner and encounters a feral human druid accompanied by a pair of wolves. She comments on another member of the Circle who descended into dark places and never returned. She warns Tayeohnaas that his new pack should be careful, and let him know a ranger named Kuiper in the “city” (Oakvale) knows how to contact her, if necessary.

After dinner and more dwarf conversation, they hit the sack. After breakfast on 21 Tarsakh, they head to the Hucrele manor and meet with the matriarch. Her grandchildren (in their 20s) are missing, and she wants either their return, or proof of their fate. She gives names and descriptions, and describes the signet rings they wear. If found and returned, she will pay 150 gold each; if the rings are returned due to their demise, she will pay half that. They set off on the Old Road, without the mule, and arrive at ruins at midday. A slightly weathered rope is tied to a pillar at the edge of a ravine. After climbing down to a ledge, they see the ravine opens into a cavern with ruins below. They avoid antagonizing the huge rat living in the debris on the ledge, successfully navigate the uneven path & switchbacks, and reach an entrance to a stronghold that appears to have sunk beneath the earth. It appears lightless and deserted, and a cold, dank breeze blows into their faces from the depths, hinting at dark places and death.

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21 Tarsakh, The Claw of Storms 1374 DR - The Year of Lightning Storms
Session 3

Having stopped with the group reaching the floor of the cavern by way of the ravine, we continue.

Perill approaches the door into the tower to search for tracks, but before getting there, steps into a pit trap. His reflexes enable him to avoid tumbling in. He sees a few small skeletons, one small dessicated body, and a giant rat squirming from the pit into the pit wall, moving through the spaces in the rubble. After a moment, the pit lid closes (perhaps some kind of spring-type mechanism). He searches the stone door into the tower, finds nothing, but is reluctant to open it. Tiiria casts Open, and the door swings open, revealing a dark chamber. Inside are several more corpses, recognizable as goblins. One goblin corpse is pinned to the far wall with a spear. Those with darkvision go inside, those without stay outside and light a torch, and Tayeohnaas stands in the doorway. The roof overhead is composed of packed shards of rubble, and doesn’t look very comforting.

Perill finds runes on the wall behind the goblin, Tiiria comes in and recognizes them as Draconic, spelling out the word, “Ashardalon.” She messages her master, and he replies that Draconic is often used by sorcerors and dragon-kin.

After much discussion about which way to go, Buurk ‘Duz strides to the left door and knocks loudly on it. With this, Caleb moves up to the right door, so does Perill, who then opens it. Buurk ‘Duz goes ahead and opens the one he knocked on, since, apparently, no one’s home.

The doors open to reveal a hallway to the right, and a rectangular room with a single stone door to the left. After some more discussion, they go to the right. Down the hall a bit they encounter a stone door on the left, a wooden door on the right, and ahead the hallway appears to enter a room.

Perill looks at the door on the left, Tayeohnaas the door on the right. Caleb heads up to room. The stone door on left has a carving of dragon-ish fish swimming in water. Perill listens, and hears a faint slosh/gurgle. The door on right opens into a ~15 X 15 room with nothing but some debris. The room ahead is oddly shaped. Along the left wall, there is a metal cage ~6-8’ on a side, with the bars violently twisted & apparently shattered in the middle. In front of it, there is a crude shrine, with a stained purple cloth and some small items. Bright green paint or dye has been used to crudely paint runes along the lower part of the walls. Caleb makes a Knowledge Arcana & Tiiria a Spellcraft check and they determine they are very roughly reminiscent of arcane runes, but don’t actually resemble any they’ve seen. Everyone comes to the room, and they note a pile of soiled blankets near the “shrine” twitching slightly. Inside they find a kobold, who they awaken. He panics, but Buurk ‘Duz grabs his head and holds him off the ground. The kobold (Meebok) is babbling (in crude Draconic). Tiiria speaks back to him, trying to get him to calm down. Perill uses some herbal smoke to mellow him out.

They take Meebok back to empty room to question, people get frustrated, things get disorganized, and Buurk ‘Duz finally knocks the kobold out. Before being knocked unconscious, Meebok reveals that other humans came through and went “below”, and he offers to lead them to the clan leader to sort things out. Then it’s lights out, courtesy of Buurk ‘Duz. They head back up to the large room, find several other doors which open into hallways, and a final door that Caleb opens to the sound of multiple arrows firing.

He makes a Ref save, and does a Neo Matrix dodge bit, as a volley of arrows come flying out at him. He spots 5 kobolds rising from bedding around a ember-filled pit. Total chaos breaks out as Caleb pulls the door shut, and tries to block entrance to the room, telling Tiiria to communicate. At the same time, Perill and Buurk ‘Duz are frothing to get in and kill the kobolds. Perill moves up to the door and tries to kick it open, but Caleb manages to hold it shut. Perill takes up station to the side of the door with his scimitar ready. Buurk ‘Duz moves to the other side of the door, while Tiiria continues to try to talk the kobolds down in Draconic. Ultimately, Perill goes in to attack, followed by Buurk ‘Duz. Caleb moves in and attempts to disarm a kobold, who’s AOO grievously wounds him. Everyone piles in and gets a hit in before the last kobold falls. C ends cut to within an inch of his life.

And with that, things come to a tumultuous close for the night.

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21 Tarsakh, The Claw of Storms 1374 DR - The Year of Lightning Storms - Part Two
Session 4

We left our stalwart band of Unchosen with the bodies of kobolds dropping to the floor.

After taking a deep breath, and collectively gathering their wits (and their sanity), the group plans for what comes next.

Buurk’Duz keeps the unconscious Meebok tied to his front in a baby carrier/meat shield arrangement. He then smashes his weapon into a kobold corpse to gain everyone’s attention. Once the floor is his (in accordance with Rognar’s Orcish Rules of Order), he makes an impassioned speech regarding the need to act like one in combat. A decision is made to backtrack a bit and check out the bypassed areas before venturing deeper into the Citadel. First up, the stone door with the carvings of a dragon-like fish swimming. Perill heard faint gurglings at the door before. As they inspect it anew, they discover it’s locked. Buurk’Duz braces, flexes, and with a brittle snap, the locking pins break, and the door swings open.

Inside is a ~ 15X15 room with a large (~4’) iron cask with runes engraved on it. Pipes run from the cask into the walls and floor. Atop the cask is what appears to be an inverted iron flask, socketed into a hole on the top of the cask. A chained stopper is attacked to the neck of the flask.

Tiiria recognizes the runes as being from the conjuration/summoning school. Csoka gently taps the side of the keg with her warhammer, and a furious sloshing sound is heard. After a bit of debate, Perill pulls the flask out of the top of the keg. He notes a steady stream of water pours from the flask, which feels about half full. Moments later, the top of the keg explodes in burst of spray, as an indistinct figure flies up and lands in the middle of the room.

A small, madly-writhing humanoid-ish creature stands amidst the group, and ferociously attacks! Buurk’Duz starts the battle, smashing the watery creature with his morning star. A thin keening scream rises, as a portion of the creature sprays across the nearest wall. Despite the effect, Buurk’Duz feels as though the full force of his blow was muted by the liquid nature of the target. Everyone else gets in on it. The creature responds by spraying a cone of liquid on Buurk’Duz & Caleb. Buurk’Duz takes little damage, but Caleb takes more as the acidic liquid burns into their skin. Tiiria freezes a portion of the creature with a Ray of Frost, and Father Jön, Tiiria , and Tayeohnaas all summon creatures (2 celestial fire beetles and a dire rat) to pile in. Perill & Buurk’Duz manage to strike the creature, each injuring it, but feeling as though much of the potential damage is blunted. Caleb attempts to strike it with the burning torch, but fails to connect. The creature lashes out with watery pseudopods, the tips of which freeze into icy claws on impact, slashing at Caleb, Father Jön, and Perill. The creature seems much reduced in size at this point, when Father Jön notices that puddled water on the floor is flowing back into the creature, and apparently replenishing it. Tiiria launches a Magic Missile into the creature, which screams a final time before exploding into fine spray that coats the room and all it’s occupants.

After the battle, Buurk’Duz discovers Meebok took the brunt of the acid spray and is no more. Perill inspects the inside of the tank, and finds 5 small sapphires; also shows flask to Tiiria – cool, fresh water pours from the flask which feels half full.

Father Jön does some healing, & Tiiria id’s the flask. Then, spent, the group barricades the door (with Buurk’Duz) and gets some rest. Buurk’Duz makes an amulet from Meebok’s head, and he finds the result quite pleasing.

After a rest period (presumable the next day, 22 Tarsakh), they backtrack to the entrance tower and inspect the room through the left door. The room is rectangular, about 20’ wide, the far end is collapsed. On the right hand wall is a stone door, with a bas-relief carving of a rearing dragon. In it’s mouth is a keyhole. Buurk’Duz tries to open the door but fails. Caleb gets bitten by a giant rat in the rubble, which he immediately kills. They head back to the L-shaped room, and start opening doors from the left. The first reveals an empty room, next a writhing pile of rats, all penned in with rubble. Next around the circumference of the room is a hallway. Down the hallway, they hear faint chanting. Perill scouts down the hall, and is able to hear the chanting more clearly; it sounds like the yipping speech of kobolds, with multiple voices chanting, and what sounds like a leader exhorting followers (Channel K, all kobolds, all the time). They check a door on the right that is barred on the outside, and find captive goblins. Finally, something Tiiria can’t talk to! They decide to free them as a decoy. Buurk’Duz pulls up the metal stake their chains are attached to.

We end with goblins finding their freedom at the hands of the group, and a planned assault on the main gathering of kobolds they can hear ahead.

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22 Tarsakh, The Claw of Storms 1374 DR - The Year of Lightning Storms
Session 5

We left with the group freeing the goblins, deep in the lair of the kobolds.

Buurk’duz pulls up the metal stake securing the goblin chains. They immediately head out the door, but Csoka snags one chain and jerks the goblin up short before he escapes. Caleb heads out to see where the rest go; he sees the ends of the chains disappearing into the darkness on the opposite side of the dark hall with columns around the corner. Tayeohnaas follows him to keep him in sight. They return to the room. Perill hides in the room, plainly visible to everyone except Buurk’duz, and Father Jön casts Comprehend Languages. They try the door opposite the one they entered, and find it locked, perhaps barred from the outside like the one they came in through. After a brief strategy session, the group splits up! Perfect! Actually, they decide to enter the hall with the pillars from the two directions they’ve discovered, and out-flank the kobolds. Perill, Buurk’duz, and Father Jön head to the end that seems populated, while the rest head around the back where Caleb saw the goblins pass through unnoticed.

Out come the miniatures and the map tiles! First battle using figs and map.

As they approach more closely, Perill, Buurk’duz, and Father Jön realize there are quite a few kobolds present. Father Jön can understand them now… the masses are chanting “Blood of the Dragon” while the leader is ranting about the superiority of those descendents of Ashardalon, and how they will wipe the interloping goblins away. Perill steps into the room, crouches down, and mimics the motion of the kobolds. Thanks to a combination of excellent rolls on his part and terrible ones on the DM’s, this subterfuge succeeds! How long it could last is in doubt, but that doesn’t get put to the test, as he takes the opportunity to fire a pre-emptive arrow into the leader. All hell promptly breaks loose.

The leader, wounded but not dead, calls out, and more kobolds come flooding in from surrounding areas. Caleb, hiding behind a pillar at the back of the room, gets off 3 AoOs as they run past, wounding several. Buurk’duz strides into the mass of kobolds laughing. Immediately, 5 or 6 of them pile in around him, not actually attacking him, but throwing him off balance (aid another actions). This pays off as a final kobold comes rushing in, barely survives his successful AoO and trips him! A mass grapple ensues. Father Jön summons his celestial fire beetle in the midst of the melee, Tayeohnaas summons a wolf in as well, and Csoka engages kobolds without success. Caleb noted the ones rushing in from the back were better armed/armored than the rest. Tiiria cast Hail of Stones, targeting the leader and other nearby kobolds. The resulting crash of stones finish off the leader and sorely wound several other kobolds.

Kobold fury erupts as attacks are made with spears, short swords, and daggers. In particular, Buurk’duz gets rather savagely shanked by the multitude of kobolds grappling him. Perill drops his bow and draws his scimitar, taking out a kobold with one neat slice. Father Jön’s beetle & Tayeohnaas’ wolf start biting away, and distracting some of kobolds. Caleb, Csoka, and Tayeohnaas start pounding the kobolds in the back half of the room, as Tiiria starts picking off distant ones with Magic Missiles. Father Jön steps up beside Buurk’duz and smashes the skull of one of the kobolds on him (narrowly missing smashing Buurk’duz instead). With two of the squirming wrestlers taken out, Buurk’duz successfully stands, and swats away 2 more. The tide has definitely turned, as the group at the rear starts moving up the hall to meet their comrades. The incensed kobolds fight to the death, which doesn’t take very long.

Upon more leisurely searching, they see a makeshift throne, the back of which sports a piece of stonework with a carved dragon’s head. in the mouth, a key! Caleb also finds 2 scrolls, 3 flasks, and wand on the dead leader. Tiiria Identifies the wand as a Wand of Magic Missiles, and the scrolls as arcane spell scrolls; one Mage Armor and one Spider Climb.

The group decides to head back to the water tank room for a well-deserved rest before going back to the dragon key door and discovering what lies beyond.

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Buurk's toughts

Friday, November 20, 2009 Me so shoked

Me so shoked me not hit big smely ting lik fiting smok

bigger dan me, me no can hit, but litle stinky ding tore it up me tink twice now maybe me won’t splat him da next time he stand dare with hiz tumb up hiz arse

even pajama boy noked da monster arond sum da only ting me gud for waz getin hit and me gots hit alot

but me wory fader jon maybe no priest but a tieve he tuk all da shiny tings and me not understand how da bracers fit hiz skiny arms so well me not turn me bak on him anymore

me made me first puch out of da dragons head, it turned out nice me gave to da crazy elf to put his stinky weed in, me had no meed for da puch but me tought it would calm him down, me no want him to stab Jon in da back

Buurrk’s Blog

me also wunder what will be in da rest of dis place me no like fiting tings me cant hit me just wish we get a leader and spend les tym talking and more tym adventuring

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