Monday, December 29, 2008

The Valley at War

Ned opened her eyes and saw Chen kneeling over her. "What happened??"
"There was a blast of energy soon after the white lady disappeared! It was so strong that you passed out!" Her headache seemed to confirm the last bit. Chen helped her up and they went to the nearest window. The battle seemed to be over and the ground was covered with slain wolves. There was a moment of relief when they saw Durin and Mendez walking from body to body to make sure it stayed that way.
They walked down the tower, constantly watching out for the night hag. They met Durin and Mendez near the portcullis where the guards were carrying the bodies of their dead friends towards the tower. They spent half a day carrying and burning bodies before going back up the tower where they decided to stay over night. Ned led them to rooms that she remembered from the earlier search and that looked like guest quarters. Mendez who was the first to look out of the window urged the others to come and look.
In the distance to the west they could see the battle. The twilight was illuminated by huge magical lights and explosions; the whole north-western part of the valley was a warzone. After watching the spectacle for a while they were able to make out huge elementals and even the giants near the green tower. It seemed as if they slowly moved north.

The next morning they decided to leave. The war was still raging in the distance and the party wasn't good at sitting and waiting. The grateful guards gave them horses and only Ned decided to fly and scout. After half a day they reached the village they stayed at the day before. Slowly riding through crushed defenses and smoldering ruins they saw women and children crying over the dead bodies of men lying in a row near the village centre. They had had no chance and the wolves had completely raised the village in under an hour. Filled with rage the four heroes moved on, determined to join the forces who fought against this abysmal evil. They met a few stray wolves who seemed to have fled the battle, most of them heavily wounded. The travelers made short work of them and moved on quickly. Resting on a small upheaval later afternoon, they saw the battle concentrating on the area around the black tower. The rest of the valley seemed calm with only columns of smoke giving evidence of the recent fights.

The next morning they reached the black tower. Throughout the night they had hunted down wolves that tried to escape the battle or had assisted hunters and druids taking down groups of fugitives. The ground was covered in bodies - humans, animals and wolves alike. Every creature seemed to have joined the fight. Groups of fighters moved towards them checking the bodies on the ground indicating an end of the fights. They arrived on the yard of the black tower just in time to witness the final showdown. They could see the white and the green lady together approaching a huge werewolf lord who was kept in check by five huge earth elementals. One of the giants was lying heavily wounded near the group, surrounded by at least 30 dead werewolves. With the elementals opening a corridor, the lord slowly turned, looked at the two women and with a roar started to charge. The two women stopped, looked at each other and in unison, raised a hand. The werewolf, suddenly surrounded by white and green energy, slowed down in agony and was forced to the ground a few yards further. Slowly, his convulsing body started to levitate. As the two women moved closer, they raised their hands, moving the hybrid body upwards. With a sudden burst of energy emerging from the two, the body was dashed against the wall of the black tower where it was fused into the obsidian material, leaving behind a grotesque wolf shape above the entrance.
"Looks good, don't you think?" The white lady started to smile. Both women looked at each other and bowed. They turned and while the elementals vanished one by one and the remaining fighters cared for the wounded the white lady approached the group. "Loranna told me about your heroic actions. Without your help, this valley would have descended into darkness. We owe you a great debt of gratitude! Please join us for the celebrations at sunset the day after tomorrow."
Lorna appeared next to her "My mother invited you to stay at the green tower till then!" Surrounded by so many beautiful women, Mendez immediately accepted the offer in the name of the group. Lorna bowed to the white lady and turned to the group. After a few debates, the group decided to be eagles this time.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Cry Havoc and Let Loose the Dogs of War

It didn’t seem like much; Rescue the ‘White Lady’ before the wolf army arrived.
What Mendez hadn’t bargained on was the swiftness of the wolves and the impregnability of the ‘White tower’.
The daughter of the ‘Green Lady’ summoned huge creatures of earth, wind and fire to block the innumerable wolves, but hundreds still made it to the outer wall.
Torn between running and trying to save the human soldiers, Mendez looked to Durin. The choice was clear; Mendez and Durin had to hold the gate while the unarmed Chen and Ned attempted to rescue the powerful ‘White lady’.
His life in the hands of the Monk and the Druid, Mendez fought with bow and sword until exhausted. Durin lasted longer but they were soon overwhelmed. Death was imminent and while still defiant, Mendez was weak with fatigue and facing too many opponents.
Submerged under a pack of wolves, Mendez anticipated the fatal bite…
And then there was light. Blinding but liberating. The wolves that weren’t killed instantly, fell back or fled outright.
Mendez and Durin were saved.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Saved by the Belle

After going in seriously undermanned, the situation was looking pretty bleak for Mendez and Durin.
Swamped by supernatural wolves of every description, they were exhausted and bloodied. Both of them were scant moments from death and dismemberment.
If it wasn’t for Chen’s quick thinking and Ned’s support, the 'White Lady' would have remained unconscious and therefore unable to save our skins.

As for treasure?
Well I suppose we are ‘heroes’ and not ‘mercenaries’ after all.

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Reckoning

Another group of paladins arrived in the church yard. Eolar looked down at them from the balcony. "The group from Garontyr just arrived" "Good. Soon the strike force is complete. I just got news from Tlondir. He and his dwarfen knights should be here by tomorrow."
Cabal En turned towards Eolar and the other two priests in the room. "Our informants tell me that the priests of Hextor have taken the bait. We will continue as planned." He looked at Eolar and the others. "My friends of the council, in two days Seawell will be in order again and under the protection of St.Cuthbert. The evil forces that try to destabilise our new major will be destroyed once and for all! Come on, the others are waiting!"
On the way to the great hall the four priests were joined by the remaining members of the council. They entered the hall through the small side door and immediately the noise that was audible even in the corridor, died down. Cabal En went to the main podium while Eolar and the other council members took seats to both sides of it.
"Brethren and sistren! Many years have passed since the forces of St.Cuthbert and Moradin were united under a common cause: The defeat of evil and the upkeep of order!" He looked to the left side of the hall which was populated by around 50 dwarfs. "Thank you for coming all the way from the northern mountains my brothers! Both of our churches have fought the priests of Hextor in many battles and many good men have given their lives. Now the day has come to strike back. Seawell is in turmoil and the church of Hextor is feeding the flames to establish their own evil order. Thanks to brother Eolar, we were able to reconstitute the old and respected major in the nick of time. Needless to say that we have his trust. The last step now is to remove the forces that threaten this, as yet, fragile order in Seawell. Tomorrow you will spread out and take your strategic positions within the city. Your group leaders are going to instruct you. The day after, at sunrise, we are going to strike. May the power of St.Cuthbert and Moradin be with you!"

After the congregation, Eolar was on the way to his quarters when Elogyn caught up with him. "Eolar, wait!" He turned round and saw her running towards him. They walked a few steps before Elogyn started talking again.
"You knew of all the plans? Now I know why I barely saw you the last few days!"
"Yes, we worked on the plans for a long time and since the others arrived it was difficult to keep up!"
"How strong do you think they are?"
"They are not to be underestimated! But so far they don't seem to expect our attack. We have a good plan and with the guidance of St.Cuthbert victory will be ours! You are in my group which is leaving tomorrow morning. Get as much sleep as you can get tonight, you will need it!"
"What are our orders?"
"You'll find out tomorrow. But it will be difficult and much depends on our success!"

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Death of a Bard Banner

'A victory is twice itself when the achiever brings home full numbers.'

Monday, December 8, 2008


It's Christmas after all soon :)
Durin has a good look through all the boxes and chests in the mine and after looking at every gem twice is left with a pile of valuable items (and a huge pile of stuff of questionable value) that he presents to the party.
Wer casts detect magic and the items with an (m) glow blue.

From the encounter with the wolves:
- 2617 gp
- 2 potions
- 3 scrolls (2x 1 spell, 1x 3 spells)
- composite longbow STR+1 (m)

From the dwarfes bodies:
- 5x Waraxe (dwarfen)
- Urgrosh (dwarfen) (m)
- Chain shirt
- 2x Full plate
- Full plate (m)
- Hide armour (m)
- 2x Shield (heavy/steel)
- 3x Shield (heavy/steel) (m)

From the dwarf mine (boxes/chests) after Durins evaluation:
- A fine selection of pickaxes, shovels, wheelbarrows, hammers, etc... :)
- Studded leather (m)
- Solid gold idol (10 lb.) (300gp)
- Cloth of gold vestments (130gp)
- Gold and topaz bottle stopper cork (1700gp)
- Carved harp of exotic wood with ivory inlay and zircon gems (500gp)
- Finely wrought small gold bracelet (10gp)

- And a list of valuable gems which Durin identified and estimated:
- 1x Emerald (500 gp)
- 1x Fire opal (800gp)
- 2x Blue Saphire (950gp)
- 3x Fiery yellow corundum (1200gp)
- 1x Star ruby (1500gp)

Christmas after all! :)
And as I said, Eolar is not there to calculate values and make an inventory! :)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Hi Hooligans!

New banner to celebrate our victory over the seven dwarves.
(Due to the shocking revelation about Telfis though, I'll be drawing a new one as soon as I can.)


Experience for the run on the dwarfen fortress. No extra points rewarded because you all went for the brute-force attack ;-)

Mendez: Level 11, 59475 xp
Telfis: Level 10, 52353 xp (RIP!)
Wer: Level 10, 50710 xp
Durin: Level 10, 46007 xp (UP!)
Thesis: Level 10, 45174 xp (UP!)
Bodush: Level 9, 40431 xp
Chen Yong: Level 8, 30096 xp (UP!)
Ned: Level 5, 13604 xp

Ok, so everybody but Bodush and Ned leveled now in this adventure with the big showdown still to come!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Mourning After (read the last kiss first!)

Alerted by an immense wave of power followed by a deep, loud bang, the group rushes into the room. The sarcophagus stands open and Mendez, who's gaze naturally went towards the girl first, is almost stunned by the beauty of the women slowly trying to sit up. "It worked!! Telfis, you made..". Just now he realises that something isn't right. The slumped down body of the young bard sits motionless next to the stony structure.
Chen reaches Telfis' body as first and puts his hand on the bard's shoulder "Telfis are you ok?!?"
The body slowly falls to the side. Chen's expression freezes instantly. The body feels cold. Way too cold! He just tries to shake the body again when Durin pushes him away!
"Telfis, what's the matter? Wake up! What happened??"
Thesis also caught up and doesn't need his cleric knowledge to know their friend left to another plane. Sadness and anger mix in his eyes while his head slowly sinks on his chest.

Mendez, as if turned to stone, stares at the group kneeling around the dead body. Why didn't he stop him? Why Telfis? A female voice abruptly ends his paralysis.
"Who are you?"

The Last Kiss

The two dwarfen bodies fall to the ground; the electricity of the lighting that struck them down still in the air. Wer smiles satisfied and flies along the corridor to look for the last two dwarfs that ran this way a minute ago. The only thing she can hear is the distant noise of 4 feet running somewhere in the mine. Impossible to tell the direction. She turns round to tell the others about the girl in the sarcophagus. The battle seems over.
Chen still hangs from the ceiling looking at the slain bodies when Telfis and Mendez enter the room. Apart from the locusts that still attack every person in the room, all opponents seem dead. He turns to see Thesis and Durin enter the room through the fog. The look of relief can be seen on the fighter's faces when they realise there is no opponent left. Finally they can treat their wounds.
Telfis looks around the room. Seven beds, seven chairs and seven cupboards. Seven possibilities to hide gold. As he tries to open the first cupboard, the bird next to him changes into Wer.
"I've found the girl! She is in a chamber not far away."
Mendez looks up from the body he is examining "Is she ok?"
"Can't really tell, she is locked up in a kind of sarcophagus and is either dead or in a deep sleep!"

After a final look around for more dangers, the group follows Wer to the chamber. Entering the room, Telfis is immediately struck by the unearthly beauty of the slender figure laying motionless before him, enshrined in her crystalline prison. Looking at her it is hard to tell whether she is dead or simply unconscious, held by some evil spell.
He takes a dreamy step forward, overwhelmed; his mind engulfed in a silent contest of awe and sympathy alternately trying to sweep him away. Telfis' hand gingerly traces the surface of the young woman's pristine prison when, suddenly, a sharp tingling feeling, extending from his neck and creeping all the way down his spine, shakes him out of his reverie. His hand remains extended on the crystal surface, frozen, as he once again becomes aware of the room around him. Behind him, he knows his friends are crowding up, with varying degrees of impatience trying to get a look at the sarcophagus. Trap.
Telfis sharply raises his other arm to signal his friends to remain where they are.
"Its trapped. I don't know how but its big."
His friends can see the the adrenaline rush in Telfis' boyish grin. They can also see that he is terrified.
"I think this is a tricky one, it's probably better if I am the only one in the room while I have a look at it."
Telfis can see the objections working themselves through minds and facial expressions in all of his friends. Nearly simultaneously. The train of thought, as usual, travels a bit slower in Thesis and the dwarf. He knows they will be concerned. All but Wer, she will just be annoyed not to see what's happening.
Before anyone can voice their objections, Telfis says:
"Please. Trust me, it's the safest way. Just give me ten minutes to study it. If I can't find anything we think of something else."
Something in his voice, a rare kind of determination for the young rogue, gives his friends pause. Grudgingly, they grant his wish, and close the door from the outside.

The room once again silent, empty but for the dormant lady and himself, Telfis expertly takes stock of the situation. He cannot see any obvious traps. Stone and crystal are both completely featureless, cut and polished to smooth perfection. Telfis approaches the young lady. Once again, the feeling of danger makes the hair on his neck stand. He is sure there must be a trap; quite probably a terrible one.
His eyes closed, he lets his fingers glide over the contraption while his mind probes for any clues he might get from subtle irregularities, mechanical or other. Then he feels something. It is nothing but a vague threat, a lingering sense of dread. He knows he has found something. He probes on, but learns little. Telfis feels both terrified and exhilarated; he knows nothing about the trap but one thing: he is hopelessly outclassed.

Just as he considers to give up and tell his friends that he failed, something, in a vague yet final way, goes the mental equivalent of 'click' and instantly, with a sudden insight he is not sure is entirely his own, Telfis knows he has made a terrible mistake. He has triggered something which cannot be undone. Without moving, he slowly opens his eyes. His numb mind has no capacity to feel surprised that what he sees is no longer the room he knows to be in. Instead, he finds himself on a clearing in the oldest forrest he has ever seen. He looks around, amazed by the intensity of the colours surrounding him. Everything looks somehow more alive than life itself.
Lying in the shade of a tree he can see the familiar figure of the sleeping girl. Telfis approaches her slowly and cautiously when he notices the owl watching him intently from a branch above the girl. The eyes of the owl are of an incredibly deep green. And even though Telfis doesn't know much about forest creatures he can tell that this is no ordinary owl. Its, no, her eyes are too intense, too wise. For a moment he thinks he can see sadness in her unblinking eyes, but only for an instant. Telfis holds the gaze of the owl, and finally he understands. Suddenly he knows exactly where he is and he understands the mistake he made trying to disarm the trap. And somehow he also knows the enormity of the decision he must make under the serene gaze of the watchful owl.
This is his gift from the green Lady. To know the nature of his decision, and to make it in full knowledge of its consequences. He understands that this is all she can do. The rest is up to him.
Telfis hesitates for an instant, but he knows his decision has been made the second he understood. Slowly he walks over the soft and mossy grass, over to the sleeping figure. Gingerly, he kneels beside the girl and brushes aside a lock of her hair. He bends over, his face nearly touching the girl's. Telfis closes his eyes, he can feel the steady warmth of her breath on his face. He brings his lips to hers in a gentle kiss.

The girl slowly opens her eyes. She finds herself lying in an unadorned room, her clouded mind slowly gathering itself. She half-remembers the strangest of dreams. Slowly, uncertainly she looks around. Beside her, slumped backwards on his knees she finds a boy. He looks vaguely familiar. His face is very pale and his lips creased in a sad little smile.
The girl sends a probing thought, but there is no response. Whoever he was, the boy is clearly dead.


Soaring through the chilly air, the handsome falcon searches for its master.
It can feel the mystical connection and seeks to close the gap between them.
Finally, within the confines of an oddly constructed valley, it finds the object of its affection.
Handsome, athletic and proud.
Looking into Mendez’s face is almost like looking into a mirror.
Other humans are just like pigeons.

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it’s off to War we go.

That was scary. Thesis and Durin very nearly died.
Fortunately, they had Chen, Mendez and Telfis to hide behind.
And where did Wer go again?

Monday, December 1, 2008

The War Begins

"Master, the scout is back! He says that he found the bodies of the missing group in front of the bridge. They are all dead!!"
The minion cringed as the master jumped up. "Who was it? The guards? The green witch?"
"We do not know, master! But the scout reports that he saw arrow and sword wounds as well as evidence for magic"
"Arrows and swords? Neither the guards nor the witch use them. Goark's group could have easily managed villagers! There must be some other fighters involved! Take one of the clerics and try to ask the dead. But be careful, take Orgol with you to get you there unseen. If the witch got reinforcements, we might have to change our plans! "

Later that same day.....

The black wooden door opened and three humanoids entered the room, two humans and a goblin. The tall shape at the other end of the large hall turned around. After getting closer, the three newcomers could see the wolf-like features of the large humanoid form in front of them.
"My lord, we have the information you've asked for!"
The lord looked at the two humans and shouted at them "Didn't I tell you not to use this form in front of me? Be proud of what you are!!"
Both human shapes immediately changed into their hybrid forms showing the same wolf-like features like their master.
"Good! Now cleric, continue!"
"I've asked the body of Goark who attacked them. It said it was a group of adventurers consisting of fighters, druids and sorcerers."
"Hmm, any information if the guards or the witch were involved?"
"Yes, mylord! The guards and the witch defended the bridge and kept them from coming in, but most of your servants were killed by the adventurers in front of the bridge!"
"So the old witch managed to get help from outside? Interesting! We have to assume that the group entered the valley afterwards. Orgol, send out your scouts! Try to find them, but don't attack without my order. And tell your hunters that they can hunt in the valley from now on to get stronger. I don't think we have to keep it secret any more!"

After the cleric and the goblin left, the lord turned to the last remaining minion. "What is the state of the white witch? Any new information?"
"No, mylord! She hasn't been seen since your ingenious move although the tower is surrounded by thorns ever since. Some scouts tried to get through but were badly injured and turned round."
"Did you ask the people in the villages?"
"Yes, mylord! Nobody has seen her or heard from her. They are all worried. Some of them have seeked protection and help from the green witch, but their petitions remain unanswered!"
"Good, it seems we can move soon! Without the white witch the green witch can't withstand our growing forces. Soon we have enough power to take her tower. Then the valley will be ours!"

The Best a Man Can Get

The beautiful falcon races through the darkening sky.
Every fibre of it’s being yearns to be with his master.
Nothing will stop him…
What’s that?
Oooooh, shiny!


Ok, here is what you got from the barghest battle and the mercenary camp (I don't list bedrolls, blankets and stuff. If you need one, you've found one):

Barghest battle:
125 pp
1 potion
Dwarfen waraxe (m)
Leather bag (m)
Green cloak (m)
3x leather armour

Mercenary camp:
1x Half-plate armour (m)
2x Breast plate armour
1x Chain shirt
2x MwK Chain shirt
1x Leather armour (m)
2x Shield, heavy steel
2x Sword, bastard (m)
1x Crossbow, light
1x Dagger
2x MwK Quarterstaff
2x MwK Longsword
2x Longsword
2x Longbow (Composite/+2)
50 Bolts
138 Arrows
735 gp
5 gems:
- 1 orange spinel (525.4gp)
- 1 demantoid (118.3gp)
- 3 chrystolite (50.9)

That is what you've found after the battles. After using a detect magic spell the items with a (m) start to glow.

And somebody has to sort out how you split the stuff! Eolar is not there ;-)


Ok, sorry for the delay! I decided to post XP as two characters go up a level. Unfortunately the barghests didn't give much XP as their challenge rating is rather low and the mercenaries (who gave more XP) were too easy to defeat. I'll adjust the monsters for tomorrow accordingly to make it more interesting and rewarding.
Here are the new XP levels:

Mendez: Level 11, 55191 xp (UP!)
Telfis: Level 10, 48069 xp
Wer: Level 10, 46426 xp (UP!)
Durin: Level 9, 41,723 xp
Thesis: Level 9, 40890 xp
Bodush: Level 9, 40,431 xp
Chen Yong: Level 7, 25,812 xp
Ned: Level 5, 13,604 xp

Mendez and Wer made it to the next level. Extra points were awarded for playing in character or using special abilities of the class/race in the right moments.