Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Reason I Hate Rogues

As Sven noticed, there will be a three week gap between sessions.
This weeks delay is due to my house being broken into on Monday. The back door was wrecked and my wife doesn’t want to be alone with the children until the house is secure.
Fair enough really.
So please accept my apologies and I’ll see you all next week.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Corsairs of the Furnace Coast

We are left with no choice.”, the gravelly voice of the ageing patriarch seemed to carry a tone of resignation. High Patriarch Rothgart suddenly felt old, years of protecting the people of the Furnace Coast against the predations of those who would flaunt law and order for their own selfish ends had taken its toll on him. He looked at the two others seated around his council chamber. The young, still idealist, Knight Commander Therion, head of the order of Cuthbertite Paladins, was stroking his stubble, bag under his eyes betraying the sleepless nights caused by recent events. At his side, the older Admiral Flaertes, seemed more composed as he studied the maps of the treacherous archipelagos of the western coasts.


Meanwhile to the north....

Captain Reshag surveyed his ship. Repairs were already underway as his men scuttled around trying to repair the mast so that it would support the main sails. It had been a close one. He had no idea who the pirates were or how they had managed to navigate the dense fogs of the archipelago with such precision in their hunt for his cargo. At least he was only 5 days of sail away from Febril and close to the protection of the Naval forces of St. Cuthbert. With the recent political upheavals, they were the only ones he could trust for protection. Still, could the the Cuthbertites protect anyone from this new threat?. He shuddered as he passed a wounded sailor, his face badly burned from the boarding attempt by the pirates.


...but adventurers?” Flaertes looked up from his maps, “Surely this is an internal matter. My..I mean... Our...Navy can easily apprehend this renegade.” The admiral pointed to the points in the map where he had carefully marked the sites of the reported attacks. “We can easily hem in the renegade at these points and then slowly close in on him, protecting the shipping as we go along. After all, it was the lack of centralised control that caused this in the first place. We should have known better than to give an outsider control over a Naval vessel.


There was a shout from the lookout. A ship had been spotted to the south. Reshag gave the order for his men to man combat stations. He could take no chances, if there was to be another battle they would need every advantage they could get. Personally supervising the loading of their last heavy Ballista, he cursed his luck. This shipment would have made him rich, if only he could get it to Febril.


An outsider? May I remind you that you are speaking of a sworn Paladin of St. Cuthbert?” Therion snapped at the older Admiral. “He took his vows years ago and risked his life repeatedly defending the people of the Furnace Coast against all threats.

Flaertes shrugged and smiled joylessly as he responded, “Paladin he might have been, but now he is a renegade. He has fallen, Therion, he has become nothing more than a common pirate. Reports keep coming in of his ship preying on shipping, and all our attempts at apprehending him have been met with violence. Whatever he is, he is no longer your brother-in-arms, Therion, don't fall into the trap of mercy, when administering St. Cuthberts Justice.

Therion sighed, looking down. “I blame that witch-consort of his, Belit. I regret every day that I authorised their union. A paladin of St. Cuthbert, wed to a sorceress? She must have twisted his mind with her foul magics and unholy ways.


Reshag relaxed as he spotted the banner of St. Cuthbert flying from the approaching ship. Safe at last, finally he could start concentrating on how to get the best price for his cargo. Ordering his men to stand down, he started organising his wounded into groups. Hopefully, the clerics would not charge too much for healing his crew. He could ill afford anything else eating into his already diminishing profits.


It is decided then.” The High Patriarch stood up. “We will request the aid of Eolar and his ...companions. He is a cleric of good standing in the Church, and he will be accompanied by a Paladin, at least, so Therion's order will be appeased. Flaertes, you will provide the adventurers with a ship and at least some instruction in its use, and we will handpick the crew for it ourselves.

Therion, nodded “Shouldn't we at least instruct them to try to catch him alive? St. Cuthbert's gift is justice, and this renegade should be tried in our courts.

Flaertes groaned “Why should we risk more lives trying to save this fallen paladin? I say we tell them to sink his ship and leave the survivors to the sharks! Also, in a high court, we cannot use magical ways of detecting falsehoods!

The Patriarch raised his voice, drowning out his bickering councillors “We will instruct them to use their discretion.” He glared at Flaertes as he continued “St. Cuthbert tries the judge and jury in the court as well as the defendant. If they fail to see the truth without St. Cuthbert's aid, then they are not worthy of their place. The taboo against divination in our courts is there for a reason.

He paused before continuing “I will dictate the letter to the adventurers this afternoon.


It wasn't until the first ballista bolt hit the side of the hull, that Reshag realised that his luck had only changed for the worse. As the Cuthbertite vessel rained bolts and burning pitch on his vessel, he could only order his men to prepare the ship to flee. Cursing St. Cuthbert and all his followers, he grabbed the wheel himself, and turned his ship close to the wind.

A ball of burning pitch smashed into the deck, splattering the crew with liquid flame. The shrieks of the burning men rose to the heavens.

A Fundamental Change

Mendez, standing half dressed with his magnificent upper body still bare, looks down at the collection of expensive silk shirts laid out before him.
Sighing deeply, he takes the scarlet one.
“Grey is soooo last year.” he murmurs under his breath.

Also, Mendez finally realises the folly of acting without thinking and decides Eolar’s way might be the right way.
Mendez takes a five-foot step ‘towards’ Lawfulness.
New alignment: Neutral Good.

So now two characters have altered alignments: Mendez and Thesis. Worryingly both towards Neutrality.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Bird’s Eye (Point of) View

Looking around at all the fine looking ‘hens’, the fantastically good-looking falcon squawks his goodbyes.
“Farewell Ladies, I must go. My pet needs me.”
One of the larger females coos at him, “Does this pet of yours have a name?”
Thinking for a moment, the falcon replies, “I don’t know what he calls himself, but I call him Cuddles.”

Monday, April 20, 2009

Far from Over

Looking down at the smiling Lord Catidsis, Chen feels a shudder of anxiety run through him. The prone, reed thin, greying, unarmoured and unarmed man seems surprisingly uninjured. Eolars religious light seems to have shaken him, but he shows no sign of being burnt by Wer’s fire and there isn’t a scratch on him, despite receiving several, typically ferocious blows from Durin’s mighty War axe.
He's not been able to cast a single healing spell or use any potions as far as Chen can tell.
By all rights this man should be dead several times over and yet he lives!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Wake up in the morning slaving for bread sir .... The Erythulunites

A new banner for your delight ;)

Down/Not Out

Lord Catadsis looks up from his prone position in outraged fury. How have these idiots, women and sub-human freaks managed to get past his War-priests?
Despite being in his fifties, his reflexes are still sharp and he quickly takes in his predicament…
The Acolytes and the easily manipulated Black army fools have been defeated, but they’re no loss.
The giant creatures of wind were powerful but annoyingly too far away for him to affect.
His concerns now though are on the immediate threats. The foolhardy and fortunately clumsy horse bound woman, looms over him, but much more interesting is the Monk.
Could this welcome distraction turn out to be a real challenge after all?

The Mother of all Charges

Finally the evil monk was in front of her and Hasufel. Tightening the grip on her lance, Elogyn put the spurs to her horse and started to charge towards the fleeing monk. She called the strength of St.Cuthbert upon her and could feel his powers running through her veins. Unimpressed by the electrical charge hitting her when she passed the door frame she could see Chen running in next to her and tripping the evil leader. "This doesn't change a thing" she thought to herself and lowered the aim of her lance. Only a few feet now! A bright ray of light suddenly flashed past her, burning the monk who was lying helplessly on the ground. She ignored the flash since the glorious moment where she, Elogyn, Paladin of St.Cuthbert would slain the evil priest was near! Suddenly felt the lance slip out of her hand. She tried to quickly adjust the grip, had to look down, almost lost the lance and just at the moment when she regained control the lance dug itself into the ground next to Cartitsis head.
Surprised by the sudden impact and her gauntlet hitting her chest hard, taking her breath, she came to a sudden halt. Only the exotic saddle enabled her to stay on the horse but the force of the impact and the massive pain in her chest almost made her lose her conscience. Embarrassed, she looked down at a monk that was laughing in pain!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Promise Fulfilled

Mendez contemplates the seductive woman sleeping beside him. He’s not been outside his rooms for nearly a week.
The bandit Quivira has proved to be a willing and able bed mate, but Mendez begins to feel the familiar yearning for adventure.
He smiles, that while in the arms of such a fiery beauty, he finds himself thinking of the less than comely Durin.
Calling for breakfast and fresh clothes, Mendez starts his preparations to leave.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Team Eolar's Future Home

I drew a scamp of the Temple with my daughter this morning and wanted to share...

The Monastery is set into the cliff face at the very 'back' of the valley. (The opposite end to the stone stairs.)
It is made of polished marble and granite.

It is in the middle of a river that starts from two waterfalls either side. (On a sunny day rainbows abound.)

It is surrounded by grass covered islands and each of them have several well maintained copses of Cherry blossom trees on them. (Partial cover available.)

The water is cool and crystal clear but deep and deceptively fast flowing. Especially around the falls themselves. (See Plunge pools.)
It can be swam in but with varying difficulties.

Each island slopes into the water and is joined to another by pretty wooden bridges. It is by these islands and bridges that you can get to the Monastery from either bank.

It would be totally serene if it wasn't for the crocodiles lining the shore.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Wait is Almost Over...

We will be playing this Thursday.
7pm start.
Hopefully everybody will be able to make it.
Your lives may depend upon it!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Revenge is a Dishy Girl Best Served Hot

Utilising all of the donkey’s purloined from Baba himself, plus all the camels and horses available from the family stables, Mendez, Tao and Cassim transport the treasure from the cave of wonders back to the city.
Once home, Mendez distributes the treasure to all his brothers equally. He is forced to avoid his Father’s eyes however.
“I’m sorry Father, but your sons deserve some financial independence.”
Mendez then goes to his sister and gives her his share. “I love you Zia.” He says with a kiss.
Then, quietly he slips off back to his rooms.
Approaching the swarthy skinned, naked woman lying on his bed, Mendez smiles Predatorily . “What was it you offered in exchange for sparing your life?”

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Easter Holiday

The next game session will be on Thursday the 16th of April.
I'm DM'ing regardless, if you miss it, you miss it.
The more of you there are though, the more the chance of survival.
This is meant to be Eolar's new church so try not to break it.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Divided you’ll Fall

As we’re taking a short break, here is everyone’s current situation.
The Party is currently split into three groups.
Chen, Wer, Thesis and Elogyn are at the damaged fortress with the Monsters for Good and the Grey refugees.
Eolar, Durin and Bodush are the guests of General Oolf, leader of the White army. They are an hour or so inside the Southern White territory.
Ned is in the secret Elven Township with Joey the Elven warrior.
Mendez is hundreds of miles away in his home city.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Mad Monk

Lord Catidsis glares down at the Black army runner. The Monsters for Good were trouble enough but now it seems they have even stronger help.
“The stunted creature you describe is called a Dwarf. The frail looking one is probably an Elf and the bearded youth a Sorcerer.”
Looking out across the cherry blossom tree islands surrounding the monastery, the greying, self proclaimed ‘Lord’, sighs.
“Send for General Sorel and a battalion of his best men. It’s time he earned his keep.”
Turning his back on the boy, Lord Catidsis goes to meditate and to commune with his God.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Pig Headed Advice

Lefty and Righty, separate from their armour but still always together, sit down next to Thesis. Perhaps it’s his new form, but the Orcs have taken an interest in him since his rebirth.
“It’s right to attack the War priests.” Says Lefty.
“It’s the only thing left to do.” Says Righty.
“But be warned. Monks is tricky.”
“And be watching out for the crocs.”
“Some say there’s a monster hidden in the cellars.”
“I likes monsters.”
“I had a puppy once.”
“Until youse ate it!”
They both start laughing at the apparently funny memory and wonder off with their good arms wrapped around each other.

Friday, April 3, 2009

A Town called Malice

Bodush, Durin and Eolar enter the main room to find a meeting of grim looking men. General Oolf, at the centre, is a tall but painfully thin man. A whispered message from the one eyed guard causes the conversation to cease and General Oolf beckons the adventurers forward.
“I hear that despite your protestations, you’ve helped our cause anyway and killed several dozen of our dreaded enemy.”
General Oolf dismisses his men and invites you to sit down.
“As you know, the war is going badly for us. We are outnumbered and outmatched. It is only due to the help we’re receiving from the priests at the far end of this land, that we’re surviving at all.”
On seeing Durin’s confused face, General Oolf tells the story of the recent history of this land.
“Twenty years ago, this town was called ‘Alice’ after the first founder. Everyone just calls it ‘Malice’ now. The Monastery at the end of the land was run by peaceful Monks and the Fort at the top of the mountain was ruled by the clerics of Wee Jas. Neither group interfered with us or our day-to-day lives. They were more concerned with their own endeavours.”
General Oolf stops for a moment and sniffs.
“Then the War Priests of Erythnul came. They stormed the Fort, over running it very quickly and all the fat and complacent clerics of Wee Jas were executed. Obviously the town elders were concerned and went to the Monks for protection. A group of them went to the Fort and confronted the new arrivals. There was a brief battle and the War priests of Erythnul realised that their losses would be great if they continued.
Things returned to normal for nearly a year and we all relaxed. After all, what did the clerics in a mountain fort more than a days travel away have to do with us?
Then one day a solitary Monk betrayed us all. Some say he was mad, but whatever the reason, he joined the evil clerics against his own people. He led them and a mighty demon through secret passageways and attacked the Monastery by surprise. The Monks had no chance and were all defeated, mostly in their sleep. The evil clerics killed all the survivors.
Our lives were transformed. Struggle after struggle, year after year. We became little more than slaves, but that wasn’t the end.
The mad Monk trained with them and soon learned the path to Erythnul. He grew in power for years until one night; he killed the very people he’d helped, every priest of greater seniority than himself.
After that he declared himself ‘Lord Catidsis’ and we were forced to toil for him and his underlings.”
Eolar looks confused. “But that doesn’t explain why this land is divided, Black North and White South?
General Oolf grinds his teeth and continues. “Lord Catidsis ‘encouraged’ it initially. He spread lies through our community and although I’m ashamed to admit it, it was easier to hate each other than to stand up against the mad Monk. It started out foolishly, ‘You stole our cow!’ or ‘You’re holding back grain for yourselves!’ and then a boy was killed. From then it’s just been a case of escalation. Soon the town became divided by the river and hatred. All the while, the hatred being fuelled by the War priests of Erythnul.”
Bodush scowls but says nothing.
“Don’t judge us too harshly. We have lost this pointless war. It is only the medicines being supplied by the evil priests that enable us to survive at all. We don’t want to fight but we can’t surrender. The Black soldiers would slaughter us even under a white flag.”
General Oolf looks up at you through defeated eyes.
“The Monastery is just over a days walk from here. If you don’t help us, we’ll be stone cold dead before winter comes.”

Thursday, April 2, 2009

My God’s bigger than your God

Still dragging both horses, Elogyn finally gets to the top step to find the massive Ortos and the Lady Lesyeux waiting for her.
After her reassurance that everything is alright, Ortos takes the horses to the stables while the Lady Lesyeux leads Elogyn to the main keep for some food and rest.
“I’ve been thinking about your leader’s suggestion. Whilst I appreciate the notion of a shared church, I don’t believe it would work. Although our Gods have co-operated in the past, their goals are not the same. Either we establish two seperate churches, if you’re succesful in the elimination of the Erythnulites or…” The faceless noble woman hesitates for a moment. “You could reconsider your allegiance to St Cuthbert. Is he really the God for a half Elf like Eolar and especially for as good a woman as you?”*
Before Elogyn can respond though, the reptillian visage of Thesis appears through the door.
“Imbessssilic Dwarf!” is all he mutters before collapsing onto a sturdy leather chair.

*Diplomacy roll: 24.

All White on the Night?

Eolar, Durin and Bodush stand in silence as they watch the barn burn down.
The remaining two White soldiers tie up the wounded prisoners and stand guard. Eventually one of the women makes a decision. “Come. We have to take them to see General Oolf. He’ll know what to do.”
The women’s name is Verdana. She’s only in her early thirties, but looks much older.
The three adventurers look at one another. “What have we got to lose?” mumbles Durin.
Walking through the darkness, they arrive two hours later at the outskirts of the desolate town. A secret knock on the door of an especially fortified building brings a swift response. “What are you doing here Verdana?” And when the owner of the voice spots the adventurers, “Are you mad? Why have you brought the strangers here?” Verdana explains what has happened to the grizzled, one eyed guard. Begrudgingly he lets them in and escorts them to see General Oolf. Leader of the White Army.

God for an Evening

The University Roleplaying group seems pretty well established now. It’s been going for well over a year and we’ve seen several players come and a few sadly go.
There’s even a group B club formed! (How are they doing by the way?)
One thing needs to be established though…
DMing duty.
I’ve taken over the majority of the game running, mostly because I find it fun to throw monsters, walls and the occasional body of water at the players.
I do like to run around blindly as a player sometimes as well though.
This means for every game I’ve DM’ed, another member of the group has had to step up for the next one.
This hasn’t been a problem up until now, but everyone should be prepared to give it a go.
Sven has made an interesting suggestion, which follows on from a conversation I had with Assif a while ago…
I’ll let him explain it to anyone who’s prepared to DM.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Crawl back to the Cave you came from

It wasn’t hard to guess Baba’s reaction to finding his bandits slain.
Mendez waits in the darkness, inside the cave of wonders with his brothers Tao and Cassim.
They remain hidden until Baba comes riding up and with a call of “Open Cinnamon!”, the cave opens.
Panting hard and quivering in his boots, Baba shrieks in fear as he lights a lantern and illuminates the three sons of Esteban.
His pleas for mercy are ignored however as Mendez allows his brothers the thrill of the kill.