Scales of Justice

And that's all he wrote

I'm going to try very, very hard to resist the urge to go back and edit this for completeness. I hope to preserve this as is for a long time for reference and stealing for future campaigns (and maybe even one day… a return?)

Until then, I leave you with two things: first, Danny (Knolan)'s sketch of the party which will be updated as he completes more of it, and a list of all the humorous quotes we wrote down. Enjoy.

 

Scales_party

 

    * "Bacon!" in response to the question about what heals wolves
    * "It's an Owlbear; it's only attracted to death."
    * "The One-Eyed Dog Inn."
    * "Tree orcs are delicious!"
    * "McKrogles. Ba dab a da ba!"
    * "The former keeper of the Red Dragon's name translates to 'He who is supposed to be cooked.' "
    * "Put it in my chest!" –Dulin
    * "I really want to f* the Gelatinous Cube…"
    *  "Did you forget your character's paralyzing fear of gelatinous cubes?"
    * "Eye-ray of Opportunity"
    * "It's the wang of returning."
    * "George Forman Portable Forge."
    * "Alright, everyone can flirt!" – Dave
    * (nerd voice) "To the Player's Handbook!"
    * "Gentleman Warlock- dark magics in one hand, brandy snifter in the other"
    * "Sleeping, Sliding, Ceridan…" – Josh
    * "I'm well aware of your pushing & dragging statistics." – Dave
    * "Wait, can I touch myself and then attack?"
    *  "It loves you by hitting you with its hammer-hand!"
    * "Roll a strap-on check!"
    * "Second Breakfast the dragon."
    * "Make half-dragons, not war." – Dave
    * "You're in your Inn."
    * "Monk / Fighter-pilot"
    * "No, he full-orc, he just half-brained."
    * Lopslap (danny), Dumbkof (becky), Dimsum (jacob), and Upchuk (josh) from the town Smashkroblunkzerk. The Orcs will never pick up on the fact that those are fake names.
    * "Put the whores in the table."
    * "Good thing the monks didn't study Iron Body."
    * "What could be more useful than a quadriplegic Bard?"
    * "Do the Chewbacca."
    * "Altivar Alimus Knollbutt"
    * "Josh farts blood of virgins."
    * "Warlock spell:  Why is it raining spiders?"
    *  Player: "Is she still having sex?"  DM: "Yes."
    *  "The Bronze Order is known for their tasty Bards."
    *  "Gin burps are delicious"
    *  "You're on the ground and a shark."
    *  "It's 4th Edition: more nudity, showers, and peeing."
    *  "Scales of Just-ass"
    *  "The Benevolent Hippo – or Bella Popo in Elven."
    *  "Elf + bathtub of hot water = chamomile tea"
    *  "Are you ready to….ROCKS falling on your head!" – Knolan
    *  "Snuffleuppagus the Elephant" the Druid's final animal companion.
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Epilogue
Elsewhere...

Elsewhere…

The fighting could have lasted days. Though confused by all the dragons fighting around them, the armies of Fitzleon had their orders: kill the Orcish army.

That is, until the Order of Heironeus arrived from Fitzleon and gave new orders to stand down: the Orcs were in the right. The army of Fitzleon surrenders.

The Orcs find themselves with a power vacuum, with their King and Queen dead and Malevictus nowhere to be found. It briefly looks as though a new power struggle could erupt among the Orcish forces, until two young men step forward.

“Excuse us,” says Grob Zerk, “but we are sons of the late Queen.”

“I'm the one who's a Prince!” says Draube,

“We're both Princes!” says Grob. “We're both mom's sons!”

“I know, but they actually called me a prince! You were dead at the time!” Inside his ear, a voice urges: “Become the Orcish King so you can order them to fight, man!”

Elsewhere…

It took some work to detach Ceridan from the body of Klorphaxius. He did use Sovereign Glue to attach themselves to each other, after all. But as befits a pirate, there was only one option: his hand was cut off, and replaced with a hook. 

Afterwards, the abbot approaches Ceridan. “I think we can safely say that your quest to investigate the lair of Virivis has met with some success. Now that we're not at war with the pirates, we're looking to set up branches all over, and I need a good trainer for all our new members. Interested?”

Elsewhere…

A group of Dwarves approaches Rathgarr. They were Fitzleon soldiers, conscripted into battle. They wonder if you would be interested in leading a group of them into the old country up north to retake the ancestral homelands, especially now that the Gnolls have been routed.

Over in the distance, Rathgar spots three ghostly figures. One, the cleric Verdigris, smiles. Next to him, a dwarven man and woman, dressed in fine clothes. They exude a warm and familiar feeling. They hold each other, smile, and all three fade away…

Elsewhere…

“We have to tell your mother about Nadin. She'll be heartbroken, pumpkin, but you did what you had to do. At least we had one daughter turn out right.” Elrick of Astley saddles back up on his griffon, humming a familiar tune to himself.

Dulin stands there for a second, before a Lizardman emerges from the bushes.

“We await your command, m'lady. We live to serve the granddaughter of the great one.”

“Have a new royal outfit ready for me when I come. For some reason, I keep getting them destroyed. Extra jewels! As many as you can fit on!”

Elsewhere…

Three figures emerge in the royal inner city: one that is completely unguarded. Richard Chelton and his two compatriots from the thieves guild make their way into the Royal Treasury, bags of holding in hand.

“This should be plenty to retire on,” he says.

Elsewhere…

Haladorr Boro directs the Treants on construction of his new home. A large open area is home to Snake Slayer and his pack, the deadliest known wolf pack in the world. Another area contains plenty of space for a mammoth to graze. Various other animals live in harmony. Haladorr smiles, and changes into bear form to enjoy nature. Howe gallops up, beer in hand. He looks at it for a second, before tossing it aside and running after Haladorr.

Elsewhere…

The hobgoblins spread the gospel of Lumin and the Illuminatar. Soon, they are ready for his return, and to hear the word. The hobgoblin nation has always lived in the shadow of the Orcs, and thrived on their hatred of the Elves. Now the tribes can unify once and for all.

But he will not return for many years. Kyuzo wants to show her son the world, and wants the Godfather along for the ride.

Elsewhere… 

His heart troubles sent him a clear message: the eternal wanderer should settle down. He has a few more stories to tell now, and he's settled into Bel'Arnoth where they appreciate a good singer.  For the second time in his life, Knolan has found a place where he doesn't feel the need to travel. But it is the first time where he has a wife and a son: a family that loves him.

Of course, the wanderlust can only be subdued for so long… 

Years pass…

Life has been peaceful by and large for the former scales. Each one has settled into their lives, the adventures of the past becoming stories to tell when they are able to meet up and reminiscence about their days as world saviors.

It is a rare day where each and every one of the companions meet for dinner. It is a day away from the responsibilities of wives, children, kingdoms, and domains.

Then a figure approaches from the shadows, his pitch black skin looking the same as it did all those years ago. He addresses the assemblage. “Hey hosers, remember that favor you owe me?”

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Adventure 18
The Finale (AKA The Bard Must Die)

KROGLAND VS. FITZLEON 

The forces of Krogville line up against the forces of Fitzleon. The orcs are outnumbered 3 to 1: to them, a fair fight.

Flying Sir General King Emperor Admiral (he bought a boat) Mardek Krog the Orc the Dragonslayer Bandit addresses the troops from his flying carpet.

“They look down on you. They call you savage. They call you evil. They call you weak!

But it is they who are weak! It is they who are ruled by an evil dragon! It is they who are not free!

We fight today for freedom! We fight today because we have beaten dragons before, and will do so again! We fight today because WE ARE ORCS!”

MORNING'S BREIFING 

Though they have powerful allies on their side, the forces of good are still beseiged by forces converging on Morning on Crescent. The Scales have to split up and take each army down… however they can.

RATHGAR & HALADORR VS. THE VEIL OF WINTER

An army of gnolls and constructs heads towards the Crescent Forest with the intent of chopping and burning it down.

Rathgar Maelstrom and Haladorr Boro are to protect it. They are dropped off ahead of the advancing army. Leading the charge is a massive machine of threshing blades and spitting flame.

The druid and the nature cleric immediately start entering their normal combat routine, and begin to cut down gnolls and constructs. As Rathgar strikes down creature after creature, his hammer thirsts for more. Soon, it is time for the ghostly Maelstrom clan to have their revenge. The army marches in from behind chanting "MAELSTROM! MAELSTROM! MAELSTROM!" and wipe out the army, leaving only the large machine.

 

Haladorr uses his staff of the crescent forest to summon Treants to his side, who tip over the machine. Crescent Forest has been defended.

KYUZO THE SILVER VS. CALIFYRA THE WHITE

High in the skies, the battle between the two ice dragons is joined.

“You trapped me in ice for centuries. It's time for me to do the same to you.”

ZORGIN & MALEVICTUS VS. THE HOBGOBLIN TRIBES AND THE EYES OF GRUUMSH

 

The hobgoblins are forging an alliance with the Eyes of Gruumsh. Zorgin’Skeet Rahban and Malevictus are taken by Stampy McSkittles (named by Zorgin), the electrum dragon. Zorgin appeals to the hobgoblin Chief to call off the alliance, promising wealth and power. After a particularly impressive display, the Chief agrees to call off the aliiance. Meanwhile, Malevictus distracts the leader of the Eyes of Gruumsh, who claims to recognize Malevictus. A signal passes between Zorgin and Malevictus, and the Warlock blasts the unsuspecting Eye, and Zorgin finishes it off. 

EDEN THE COPPER VS. DAUDHIR THE BLUE 

The copper dragon engages her old foe, the blue dragon. But something is different about her. Daudhir, after being killed in the pyramid, has been brought back as a fearsome Dracolich. With the increased power, Daudhir is unbeatable.

DULIN VS. THE LIZARD PEOPLE 

Dulin faces the army of Lizard-people who worshipped Daudhir. As they rush at her, she transforms into her blue dragon form. She commands them to stop, having proof of her claim that she is Daudhir's granddaughter. This sparks an internal battle between those who believe Dulin and those who don't, but the army is effectively stopped.

A loud crash nearby startles Dulin. She investigates it to find Eden dying from her wounds. Daudhir can only die if her phylactery is destroyed. Dulin knows of only one thing that it could be: the talon she received. She destroys it, and completes her transformation into half-dragon.

Daudhir crashes to the ground. Dulin takes her sword out and moves towards her. There is some last glimmer of recognition in the dragon's eyes. Dulin finishes the job, before shedding a tear.

THE ELVEN DUCHIES VS. FITZLEON ROYAL FAMILY

The many green dragons face off against the Griffon calvary of the Elven Duchies, lead by Elrick of Astley himself. The Elven soldiers ready their arrows, spears, and spells. They charge at the draconic horde straight on. Then, upon closing, the order is given:

“Do an Elrick Roll!”

The griffon calvary rolls as one to the side, and lets off their attacks.

CERIDAN, THE PIRATES, AND THE BRONZE ORDER VS. THE ABERRANT HORDE 

Ceridan De’Arunsel is dropped off on the lead pirate ship, captained by Captain Cloudreaver. Cloudreaver explains that the Sahuagin and Kuo-Toa are fast approaching, riding Dragon Turtles and deformed Kraken. The cannonballs from the ships seem to be having no effect.

Ceridan takes out his scroll that shows the weakpoints of those creatures, and spreads the word to the Bronze Order. Monks leap off the pirate ships onto the sea-creatures, and begin to dispatch them one by one.

XEN VS. VIRIVIS 

Xen faces off against his former ally, once and for all. Xen pleads with him once and for all to abandon this and redeem himself- especially now that his phylactery has been destroyed and he can be killed.

“There's just one problem with that,” says Virivis. “I finally finished the DragonGate, and I can use it on any dragon.” Xen recoils, but it is too late. “Tiamat calls you home.” says Virivis, and within seconds, the mighty Bronze Dragon is gone.

KNOLAN VS. MUTA

Knolan Alvaar Altimus arrives at Muta, where the Mutans have been ordered by Virivis to wage war. Knolan tells an inspiring, epic tale that convinces the Mutan peoples that Virivis does not care about them, and has become evil.

Malakai informs Knolan that a horde of mutants are on their way through a nearby mountain pass. Knolan ascends the cliffs, and strikes an epic chord, causing the rocks to fall on the horde, stopping them.

MORNING THE BRASS VS. FITZLEONIKON THE GREEN 

Fitzleonikon watches as his children are casually killed in the distance by Griffons. “I can always make more,” he snorts, circling to find the primary base within the Crescent Forest. He spots the large structure in the center, and begins to descend.

Morning spins out of her adopted home to face Fitzleonikon.

“It's been a long time, Morning. I trust you've gotten enough sleep?”

Morning replies, “Yes, and now I'm rested enough to end the Fitzleon Dynasty once and for all.”

The immense green dragon laughs. “You? A brass dragon? Everyone knows the brasses are the weakest of all the dragons. I stand second only to Klorphaxius himself! Not even Lumin could have beaten me!”

Morning circles the green dragon again. “Yes, but Lumin didn't figure out the sleep spell that Virivis cast. However, I did, and cast it before I came to face you. Now all I have to do is keep you busy until it takes effect.”

Fitzleonikon snarls in disbelief, and then finds himself give out an immense yawn. He growls, and charges at the small Brass dragon…

THE SCALES OF JUSTICE VS. THE TALONS OF INJUSTICE

 

While Morning battles Fitzleonikon in the center of town, she mentally tells the Scales that the Talons and Virivis are headed for them. The scales need to stop them all, or else he'll be able to use the DragonGate to defeat both dragons.

The Scales face off against the final Talons:

There are few tense moments, and then the battle begins!

Virivis, flying high above the battlefield, casts a spell to prevent anyone from teleporting out of the area. Then he floats forward, and puts a Prismatic Sphere around himself.

Tazex impulsively charges across the battlefield, and hacks away at the Scales. Farizir manuvers into place, and fires off a cone of acid.

Rathgar summons a massive meteor to strike the Black Talon and the Blue Talon… but the Black Talon uses his deductive powers to move out of the way.

The Blue Talon casts a quickened spell to swap places with Knolan, and puts herself close to her sister Dulin. She yells, "This is for ruining my 40th birthday party!" and blasts at her. Hemlock uses his detective skills to exploit a crucial weakness in Knolan's stance to stab him.

Teamwork by the Scales kicks in, taking their chance to finally get revenge for the destruction of Morning on Crescent. Red is the first to fall, followed by Blue, and the Black. The Green is taken out using a variety of anti-dragon equipment. The White is crushed in by blows from the Maelstrom hammer.

The bodies fade away, just as they did before, but the party is sure they won't be back this time. But Tazex fades away… only to re-emerge nearby Malevictus.

 

The Scales turn their attention to Virivis the Archmage, who seems to be able to cast spells through the Prismatic Sphere somehow. The Dispel Magics start to fly, getting rid of the Lich's fly spell and Prismatic Sphere. As the Lich descends, the Scales begin to pounce on the Lich. He uses a Time Stop to fire up some protective spells, but he is soon battered by the combined might of everything they have.

Malevictus floats nearby, occasionally aiding with an Eldritch Blast. As the Lich reaches the end, there is a sinister laughing noise from his direction. All eyes turn to the Warlock… as he grows and changes into a Colossal Red Dragon. Malevictus reveals himself to be Klorphaxius the Red!

Klorphax picks up the Lich and drops him in his mouth. With a big CRUNCH, the Lich (and the DragonGate) is crushed in the dragon's mouth.

Klorphaxius explains how he has engineered this entire war. He helped the Scales free the good dragons so that they would fight the evil dragons. Once his rivals had wiped each other out (or at least weakened each other), he would swoop in and finish them off, and declare uncontested rule over the entire continent. The Scales helped him remove the only other thing he feared: the DragonGate. 

He also explains how he deliberately mislead everyone to think he had been trapped by placing the real Red Talon in his place at a crucial point, and setting up the "trap" to get in Krog's good graces, and eventually rule his country from behind the scenes.

Now that all his goals have been accomplished, he has no more need of the Scales… and will destroy his former "allies" once and for all.

That is, until he hears a familiar voice:

"KLORPHAXIUS! ROUND 2!" shouts Krog from atop his magic carpet. Krog's squad arrives on the scene. Mama Zerk, Captain Ishae Vorlas, Sister Helena “Handbasket”, and Wonko the Sane are with him to help stop the great wyrm red dragon. Sister Helena retrieves the Staff of the Dragonslayer from the Scales, and tells them to recover while they hold him off. Krog's party will try their best, but should they fail, the fate of the world rests on the shoulders of the Scales of Justice.

They hop into the Tent of Ultimate Dream, a powerful item from before. They rest, recover, and pick spells to fight the red dragon menace. They cast a variety of "buff" spells before emerging. Knolan casts a spell that he had been saving for a special occasion: Hide from Dragons, which will allow them to start the fight undetected.

 

As they emerge, they see that Krog's party has fallen. Krog looks over at the party and winks before diving into Klorphaxius's mouth. His wife and he grasp the edges of the Staff of the Dragonslayer, and snap it, releasing the energy within with a flash. Klorphaxius bites down on the orc and dwarf. 

Heroes fallen. Evil on the verge of triumphing. A trusted ally has betrayed them. The final battle begins!

 

The party shimmers with magic. They've been enhanced, displaced, and enlarged to the size of giants. If there was ever a time they would be ready, it was now, at the hour of the most need.

A summoned water elemental, Dumbo the Mastodon, and an unnamed Treant are the first to engage the Dragon. The dragon scoffs and wipes out the Mammoth with a series of brutal attacks. The druid gets first blood by unleashed a Sunlight spell on the dragon.

At the edge of the battlefield, a mechanical crab-like construct enters the battle. Emerging from within are Grob Zerk and Draube Zerk who have built an Apparatus of Kwalish, enabling them to move through the brutal flames surrounding the battlefield. They ask how they can help, and they are told to fetch someone who can summon cold. They scuttle back through the flames. 

 

The Scales move into position, and assault the dragon. Their tactics kick in once again, setting up an advantageous situation to surround the dragon. Ceridan uses his knowledge of weak points (as well as his pirate abilities) to land a series of vicious blows. A gaping wound appears in the dragon's side, causing him to finally taste fear. 

But what the Scales do not realize is that Klorphaxius still possess all the Warlock powers that Malevictus used. He uses a clever illusion to slip away and spend a round recovering, and dispels some of the effects of the Dragonslayer staff, making himself more fearsome AND healing some of his wounds.

The Apparatus of Kwalish returns twice more, to drop off Colin Whittmore and Richard Chelton to aid in the fight.

Before long, the party surrounds the dragon on the other edge of the battlefield to prevent it from healing even more. To try to escape, the dragon takes flight straight up. Knolan and Ceridan look at each other, and nod: a Dimension Door spell teleports them to the dragon's back, high in the sky.

In a desparate move to stay on the thrashing dragon, Ceridan uses his flask of Soveriegn Glue to attach himself to the dragon's back. Knolan quickly casts feather fall to try to soften his blow when landing. Meanwhile, Dulin and Zorgin take to the skies to pursue the dragon.

 

Klorphaxius is not content to be swarmed again, and decides to plummet towards the ground, and on top of Rathgar. This crushes the dwarf, the monk, and the bard beneath his massive scales.

The three believe they are trapped as long as the dragon stays there. But Haladorr has a plan: he changes shape into a Bullette, and digs under the ground to unearth the three trapped companions. Zorgin and Dulin swoop in to provide a distraction to let the others escape.

Klorphaxius grows mad with rage as more and more blows are rained upon him from all sides. He decides enough is enough, and stands up to unleash his breath weapon down upon those he had trapped. Several of the party are caught in the blast, but thanks to the foresight of the spellcasters, those caught in the blast are unharmed.

Using his free hand, Ceridan continues to pound away at the dragon's back. The dragon starts to feel light headed. Then Knolan knocks his dragon-slaying crossbow, and fires off one important shot: right into a crucial wound. The massive red dragon's eyes roll back, showing one last look of surprise… who then collapses.

The Scales are victorious!

Knolan's heart pounds quickly with excitement at having fired the final killing shot. He then realizes that his arm feels tingly and numb. He feels a tightness in his chest, and collapses to the ground. The flames surrounding the battlefield die off. Knot, Knolan's son, runs to his side. "Knolan… Knolan… DAD!" he yells.

Knolan's vision fades to black… 

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Meanwhile...

Meanwhile…

Krog's retinue arrives at the dragon's war room. The orcish army forms up around the new structure that has become Morning on Crescent. 

Krog carries with him a large package, with a simple card that reads "To Knolan, my finest work. Signed, Fendarr." 

In the surrounding area, Knot Altimus plays a rousing Orcish song on his Son of Gibbs guitar to bring up the spirits of the Orcs. However, no amount of Death Metal takes their mind off the fact that they soon will face a larger and better equipped army…

Meanwhile… 

Howe pulls Haladorr Boro aside. "Son, after that whole mess with the ogres, I'm afraid I'm not going to be much help in this fight. Heck, some have even talked about putting me down after I got this bum leg. I told 'em to screw off and had another drink.

"So I wanted you to have something. See, my family's been looking after these woods for generations. In all this bruhaha, there's not going to be anyone looking after the forest and the animal life here. I'm sure you care about that more than any of these other guys. So I'm passing the honor of Warden of the Wood to you, and the appropriate Staff of office. Do your best, and good luck. Got anything to drink?"

Meanwhile… 

Mama Zerk grabs her two boys close to her, and squeezes as hard as she can. She doesn't know what's going to happen in these next few hours, but she's happy that she can see both her sons at least one more time. Draube Zerk and Grob Zerk show her around the rebuilt smithy, on the same location where their father's smithy was. They get to work providing extra weapons and armor for their side. With Draube's injuries, and Grob's inexperience, they can't stay on the front lines. And what else is there for two master blacksmiths to do in a war?

Meanwhile… 

Kyuzo the Silver and her son give audience to Zorgin’Skeet Rahban. The young electrum dragon immediately bounds over to the hobgoblin, and begins to nuzzle against him. How he's grown these past months, from egg to a young dragon. Kyuzo says that as the Illuminatar, he should have the honor of naming the child. As Kyuzo goes off to battle, she does not want her son involved. Zorgin is charged with taking care of the child, and he will prove an important ally in the upcoming fight…

Meanwhile…

Eden the Copper sniffs around Dulin. "You still smell of her, and you desire to be like her burns in your mind. I can help with that. I can complete your transformation, but should I? What side will you chose? I have the feeling you will stick with us, but at the same time, I have gravely misjudged who I should trust before. Why should I give you this gift?"

Meanwhile…

A fleet of griffons flies above, leading the way for the rest of the army. A song carries through the ranks. No one kidnaps one of the Elven Dukes. Fitzleon has long oppressed the nation of Elves, and now they will pay… 

Meanwhile… 

An army marches south. Unlike their allies, this army need not eat, sleep, or even rest. It is the perfect army, lead by one single traitor who sacrificied thousands of lives in the pursuit of his creations.

Spirits hover, thirsting for vengeance. They know it is soon, and the instrument of their revenge springs to life in preparation of the upcoming battle… 

Meanwhile…

"By decree of the Order of Heironeus, I demand you open this door immediately!"

Farizir calmly opens the door, as a massive green dragon and dozens of smaller green dragons burst through the roof of the palace. Citizens point in shock as the flight passes overhead. The horde of dragons flies to the southwest, startling hundreds of merchants and their pack mules.

"Sorry, no one's home," says the Prince Regent, before he too transforms into a dragon and leaves through the gap… 

Meanwhile…

Many levels below the Palace of Krog, an important prisoner sits inside the ultimate cage. The door to his cell slowly opens. The prisoner looks up slowly, unused to visitors. He stands to face the visitor, and speaks. "I knew this day was coming. At least you came to finish it in person. Do it."

A few minutes pass, and blood trickles out from under the door…

Meanwhile…

"Master, we awaited your return for so long," says Malakai the Elder. "We tried to keep the town, but we were overwhelmed. We had to flee."

"It does not matter, my child," says Virivis. "You kept the secret beneath Muta safe?"

"Yes, master. We told no one of your palace below."

 "Good, good. Then prepare for battle. There are many who seek to destroy me, and have rejected my benevolence. They must be stopped for the good of all, and I need your people to do that."

"We will get ready, and march to war as you command."

Virivis turns to depart, then for the first time in hundreds of years, has a single powerful emotion. It is that of Loss… 

Meanwhile…

"I'll have a double… no, triple order of pork pies. I've had quite a day. Stuffed into a grain cart, forced to testify in a Zone of Truth in front of Paladins… I'm starving! Say, want to hear about how evil dragons have secretly been running all the major countries for the past 200 years? And how I, Mandrake the Younger, am going to be their complete downfall?"
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Adventure 17
Druid in the Big City

We left off last time with the PC's being given terrible news: many of their allies had been kidnapped and taken to Fitzleon, the most well-defended city in the country.

The city's defense were up, so any attempt at scrying and teleportation failed to penetrate it. Morning the Brass teleported the party a bit outside of the city so that they could try to find some way to sneak in while being public enemy #1.

The party spotted a long line stretching out from the city gates, a consequence of the increased security measures. Much discussion followed about how to make their way in, when every part was defended by Paladin patrols.  Though they knew of secret tunnels on their way in, they knew they wouldn't be able to navigate them on their own (last time, they had the help of some Theives Guild members with a map.)

Zorgin’Skeet Rahban approached one of the merchants, who introduced himself as Trop from Smashkroblunkzerg, the famous Orcish settlement to the Northwest. Zorgin first gave a cover story of being an animal trainer, but then decided to change his story (and paying off Trop to keep him from asking questions.) Posing as a bounty hunter returning a Prince, a tied-up Mandrake the Younger and Rathgar Maelstrom hid in the grain cart as Zorgin and Trop made their way through the line. Colin Whittmore and Haladorr Boro simply transformed into birds and hid out in a flock flying into the city. Knolan Alvaar Altimus, Dulin, and Ceridan De’Arunsel posed as traveling entertainers. Both the first and the last plans would have failed, were it not for their old friend Threnen being the priest assigned in that shift to help scan the incoming merchants. Rathgar's flash of the holy symbol of Obad-Hai helped pass them by the notice of the guard Paladins.

Once inside, more debate ensued about how to best get into the inner city. Knolan spots Teena, who has finally suceeded in her dream of becoming a famous actress. For whatever reason, Knolan chooses not to reveal his true identity and comes off looking like a creepy stalker. Through a masterful acting performance of his own, he manages to convince her to help get them into the theater in the inner city… a plan that the party abandons.

Rathgar finds some members of the theives guild, whom they had worked with before. After haggling on the price a bit, the theives agree to take them inside and get them out afterwards (if they aren't killed in the process.)

Lured into a trap

They emerge in the dining hall where Farizir had tried to get rid of them using his son many months ago. Through a combination of an Obscuring Mist spell and a Zone of Silence spell, they are able to slip into the main castle undetected. Upon approaching the hall to the main door, they hear the sounds of torture going on. Though they want to clear out the side rooms, they decide there's no time to waste (except, you know, casting some buff spells before going in.)

The door is kicked open… and suddenly, they are stuck! A forcecage from Farizir's wand freezes the party in place. It was a trap, the hostages were not in the room at all. Farizir says that he could waste time placing the party in an elaborate death trap, but instead, orders the Green Talon to kill them. The Talon knocks his arrows… and does an acrobatic roll and hits the wand, freeing the party!

Yes, the Green Talon is actually Richard Chelton. Farizir flees, but orders some relatives (green dragons) to finish them off. By now, the Scales are efficient and destroying dragons, so they take them out before catching up with Richard.

Green Dragon Battle

Morning wanted someone inside Fitzleon to report, but needed someone who was willing to mostly do whatever bad acts were necessary to not raise suspicion. Additionally, they couldn't tell the Scales in case they were captured or mind-read. But now he needn't keep his cover any more. He has big news: he knows where Virivis's phylactery is, the key to removing his immortality.

Chelton also helps rescue the hostages from their cage, including Elrick of Astley who sings for the party again. They find Grob Zerk alive and well, who explains that he too was ressurected as a scale, but earlier than the others and was captured by the Talons. He's been in the prison the entire time. 

Everyone runs back through the tunnels, and escapes from Fitzleon succesfully. There's a quick return to Morning on Crescent to drop off the hostages before going to the location of Virivis's final sanctum: located all this time below Muta.

Muta has been razed by the Eyes of Gruumsh and left a lifeless husk of a village. Finding the entrance wasn't difficult, which made Knolan remark that he wished he had explored the town earlier.

Slaad Battle

The first floor resembled some of the various markings and statues that the party had previously encountered, guarded by power frog-like creatures. They both had the ability to kill just with a glance… which Ceridan fell victim to quickly, but was restored thanks to an old scroll of Revivify.

Slaad Battle

A fierce battle ensued, with the frog-creatures proving to be quite a challenge and possessing quite a few death attacks. The combined beatings of the party, combined with a couple lucky saves, finally made the creatures, dare I say it, croak.

Using knowledge gained from previous dungeons, they descended into the second floor. A glyph in the front room warned of a terrible creature inside: a Beholder. Prepping once more, the door was tossed open. Strange tentacled creatures guarded the edges of the room, but no Beholder was seen. Using the new Dimension Door manuver, Knolan teleported a group in, where they were ambushed by a ray from the ceiling.

Beholder!

Ceridan wasted no time using his new Cloak of the Montebank to teleport on top of the Beholder and wrestle its eye-stalks away from the party. Several still managed to fire. Zorgin was sadly caught in one, being instantly turned to stone. Another one convinced the flying, charging Dulin to attack her own party instead. But it was all irrelevant as Ceridan pounded the creature as hard as he could. Ceridan, the Aberration/Arcane slayer, was built to take on precisely this kind of foe, and squished the eye tyrant to a pulp…. which then landed on Rathgar.

Beholder Defeated

The book shelves were searched, and among them contained a scroll of stone to flesh, restoring Zorgin to life (with all limbs intact.) The party split up to explore the rest of the chambers. Zorgin found himself almost killed again by stepping through a portal to the Elemental Plane of Fire, and thanked his Dragon God that he was immune to fire. Another room contained frozen versions of all of Virivis's monstrous creations. Another room contained the legendary portal to Gelatinous Cube Land. Another door gave off an ill feeling, bathed in a sickly red hue with the occasional flash of light. 

Virivis's Sanctum

No dungeon was complete without a secret door behind the bookshelf, which lead to a pile of treasure: a massive pile of expensive objects that could all be phylacteries and all registered as magic. Not wanting to take any chances, the entire pile was fed to some escaped Gelatinous Cubes. However, they knew that their work was not yet done.

Teleport Temple Battle

Taking a chance, Dulin plunged into the red-hued room, and found herself in an expansive room, the edges dotted with glowing portals. One very large demon stood in the center, an obvious amulet hanging from his neck. But before she could react, he disappeared into one of the portals. New demons began to come out, and she disappeared back through the portal.

Quickly, everyone took the plunge, appearing at different areas as demons popped in and out of the room. Knolan's holy whip finally got to lay some smack-down on some demon ass. Then a few Vrocks happen to appear each other, and got together to dance…

Teleport Temple, Demons, and my DM stuff

The big demon emerged from the portal again and charged at Dulin. Spotting the amulet, Knolan fired off a quick Mage Hand spell to grab it from its chain, and everyone fled back through the portals as the demons continued to spill into the room.

Back at Virivis's lair, the group wasted no time in destroying the lich's phylactery. However, the wall keeping the Gelatinous Cubes back begin to buckle, and raw gelatinous goo spilled out into the lair. The Scales fled back up the stairs, and out of the lair. 

The party returns to Morning on Crescent to prepare for the upcoming war… 

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Adventure 16
I'm freezing my purple worm off out here!

(April 27, 2008)

After the epic escape from the Temple of Daudhir, the party boards the pirate ship to sail to the Veil of Winter to follow up on some leads from earlier and to investigate Rathgar's mysterious past. A quick stop in Freeport for supplies brings rumors of war. It is said that Krogland has invaded and annexed a town called "Crescent" something, and a combined force of Fitzleon and Veil soldiers were moving to battle the Orcs. The pirates of Freeport, of course, were more looking for a quick coin to be had in the midst of war, and didn't have much to say about the politics of it all…

The ship lands at the easten edge of the Veil mountains, at a spot previously marked "Dwarven Enclave." There, they are met by Wonko the Sane, a hobgoblin cleric of Vecna. He claims to have been sent by Flying Sir General King Emperor Admiral (he bought a boat) Mardek Krog the Orc the Dragonslayer Bandit, but his worship of Vecna and his general creepy nature make the party instantly distrust him.

He leads them through the abandoned Dwarven tunnels in pitch-blackness. There are strange sounds, always in the distance. After hours of traveling, the caven opens up into a larger area, with the first signs of life being a band of Gnolls. 

 

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The party approaches cautiously, but the Gnolls react quickly and begin to move on the party, and send out a Stone Golem working for them to aid in the harrassment. Lack of light leads to some problems, and the gnolls are a bit tougher than expected.

 

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The gnolls are eventually wiped out, but the battle against the Stone Golem takes a bit longer. The spellcasters are stymied against the magic-immune construct, and the warriors lack the equipment necessary to inflict heavy damage. Eventually, Rathgar and Ceridan get pumped full of enhancement spells, including being enlarged. A massive slugfest between the enlarged Ceridan and the Stone Golem ensues (not unlike a game of Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Golems) until the combined weight shatters the Golem.

Meanwhile, Wonko starts raising the dead Gnolls as zombies. Ceridan "accidentally" destroys one of them, but Wonko uses the rest to guard the area. The party, exhausted from the fight, wants to rest in the area to recover. Wonko warns against this, telling of dire spirits that roam the mountains. After some debate, they press on.

After another few hours of travel through the dark tunnels, an insignia of a Granite Warhammer containing an Acorn is spotted to the entrance of a ruined Dwarven town, matching the insignia on an amulet left with Rathgar since birth. Upon investigating, they are greeted by a ghostly army of Dwarves… and one human druid, Verdigris, who died in the attack on Morning on Crescent.

He explains that an evil dwarf by the name of Freizen betrayed the town by giving away their location to Califyra, the white dragon. They were wiped out, but sent the baby Rathgar away with Verdigris to be safe and protect him from the massacre. Rathgar was presented with The Maelstrom Hammer, the legendary weapon of the town. It would not function fully until the honor of the Maelstrom clan was restored.

Some ghostly questions later, the party also figures out where Kyuzo the silver dragon lay sleeping: in the middle of the arctic tundra. Before venturing on, the Scales decide to stock up on Adamantine weapons to fight against Freizen's constructs. Dulin's teleport scroll takes a disguised Knolan and wildshaped Haladorr back to Fitzleon, where he quickly stocks up. Knolan also gets some gossip about the war, and how Elrick of Astley has joined with the Orcs against Fitzleon.

Knolan reappears at the party (using another purchased teleport), and the Scales have two choices: free the dragon in the wastes, or go after Freizen by following the gnoll and golem tracks back to town. After some discussion, they stick with the primary mission to free the dragon. Wonko takes the lead again. 

Battle in the Frozen Wastes

Heavy snow and winds batter the party. While some use magic to protect themselves against the cold, others rely simply on some heavy weather and their own perserverance. In the middle of a frozen snowbank sit two Frost Giants. One is relaxing on a stone bench while the other patrols on a Mastadon. Curled up nearby is a Purple Worm. Though at first stealth is attempted, Ceridan rushes forward and takes out the seated Frost Giant. That Frost Giant will never get a chance to get up: after being stunned, Knolan inflicts Tasha's Hideous Laughter on the giant. 

Ceridan got swallowed

The Purple Worm uncoils, and sees its first meal: Ceridan. The elf is quickly swallowed, and many more would soon follow him. However, the Monk would not be easy to digest, laying flurries of blows into the inside of the Worm. Rathgar and Knolan would be swallowed soon after, and spend their time keeping Ceridan alive as he lay into the belly of the beat.

The rest of the party worked on disabling the Mastodon-riding Frost Giant by blasting him with Flamestrikes and gold dragon breath. In the process, Haladorr's new companion (a dire ape, way out of his natural climate) was tragically speared by the Mastodon's tusk. Dulin's Bladesinging helped bring down the giant rider, and the druid used his animal skills to calm the furry elephant.

Ceridan eventually burst out of the Purple Worm's stomach, and all the guardians were defeated. Then came the question of how to free Kyuzo?

Unlike the other four dragons, the silver dragon's prison was a simple one: many feet of ice. Though running low on energy from the battle, the party had enough fire left to blast their way down to free the dragon, who erupted from the ice. She had some questions, and offered the Scales a ride to their next destination (even scooping up the Mastodon with her hind claws.)

Wonko cursed at the party: "What about me?" They offered him a chance to raise Frost Giants and a Purple Worm from the dead, which he seemed to take as fair trade. 

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The party is dropped off outside of the Gnoll city, where their foul workshops spit smoke clouds into the air, dirtying the otherwise pure white landscape. The Veil of Winter's war machine was in full swing, and one cursed Dwarf was at the center of it. Most of the city was on the march, so finding the workshop of Freizen didn't prove difficult. It was also the only building in town patrolled by four constructs.

As what often happens to their plans, the Scales found themselves arguing about the best course of action. While some concentrated on taking out the exterior guards, Zorgin wasn't content to wait outside and peeked in the doors to the workshop. A research lab, filled with different metallic humanoid figures (and one massive construct with many spikes, seemingly powered by blood) waited for their entry. Sitting in the chair was a Dwarf whose skin had been changed to a pallid, cold color. 

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"Surprise!" yelled Knolan, as one of the Scales new battle tactics came into play. He cast a Dimension Door spell and brought himself, Ceridan, and Rathgar face to face with the dwarven traitor. They set upon him before he could react, and make short work of him… until they realize that this was not the real Freizen, but a construct replicant.

Still, they have to deal with the guards, which the voice of Freizen calls "warriors of the future."

In the fight are five constructs: Blood Golem of Hextor, an Inevitable, and three "Warriors of the Future", who display strange combat abilities like "Split the Tree". They all could self-repair. Even the spell-casting golem was to be feared: he can cast Magic Missile every round! (Though sometimes it misses.)

The warriors of the future are no match for the Heroes of the Present. The Blood Golem that had caused so much damage to them way back when was not as much of an issue either. The Inevitable posed the biggest problem, between its self-healing capabilitie, enervation rays, and immunity to non-chaos infused weapons. But when the might of the combined Scales is on you and you alone, you don't stand a chance. 

Outside, Kyuzo was waiting to take them back to Morning right away. There was bad news: Fitzleon had captured many of the Scales allies.

The captured list included:

Though war is coming to Morning on Crescent, and the battle between good and evils dragons is about to begin, the party must make a rescue mission into the heart of enemy territory, that is almost assuredly a trap…
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Adventure 15
Daudhir Park is Frightening in the Dark

(April 20th, 2008)

After the epic fight last time, the party sets sail for the Elven Duchies to follow up on a few leads, and for Dulin to finally visit home. Arriving in the city of Bel'Armoth,  the party is escorted  to see Elrick of Astley and Celendíon, Dulin's parents. After a rousing rendition of Elrick's famous song, Ceridan De’Arunsel is taken off for treatment for the serious Gas Spore disease he has contracted.

Dulin explains the party's mission, and accuses one of her parents of being half-dragon, a charge which they deny. They then explore the grounds a bit to find some clue as to Dulin's heritage. During the search, Knolan is slapped by one of the maids, who turns out to be Knot Altimus's mother. He offers to pay years of back alimony. 

Rathgar and Haladorr Boro chat up Ceridan's healer, an ancient elf named Gral, but find him nearly incoherent. After Ceridan is good to go, they explore the city. In one of the fine taverns, they overhear someone bragging about valiantly defending Morning on Crescent. The crowd parts, and they spy Mandrake the Younger stuffing his face. Mandrake was presumed dead with the town, and upon seeing the party, attempts to flee, but is easily stopped.

He explains how he was given advance warning by Fitzleon to flee the city, and how it was his duty as Mayor to inform Fitzleon whenever anyone came close to uncovering the dragons. The party takes him back to the ship as prisoner, in case he would be handy later.

During the night, Dulin is approached by her sister Nadin, who reveals herself to be the Blue Talon. She offers to make Dulin a Talon as well, and join her (despite a lot of residual bitterness.) Dulin is given a piece of Daudhir's talon, which allows her to transform for short periods into a blue half-dragon. It also points the way to Daudhir.

In the morning, the party leaves for the Sands of Daud, the mysterious desert to the southwest.

Laying the smackdown on a dino

The trail leads to a stepped Pyramid in the middle of the desert, which is surrounded by an unnatural jungle. Worshipping at the temple are many Lizardmen, Yuan-Ti, Troglodytes, and the occasional dinosaur. Dulin approaches and declares that she is the grand-daughter of their God… to which they don't take too kindly to, and the battle is joined.

 

The Pyramid

A fierce battle later (wherein Ceridan spends some time as a snake), the party is victorious. They naturally assume that there is a secret entrance under the altar, and so take their time before descending. Dulin is the first to plunge on, descending into the empty first floor of the pyramid. She quickly determines that the pyramid isn't all that well made, and gets some assistance dropping heavy objects down to smash through the floor.

The next floor featured a Couatl, who happily offers to teleport the party down to meet the dragon. This is a trick to get the party eaten by raptors.

 

Raptor snacks on Dulin

However, they are more than a match for some mere Raptors. The next level down leads into a massive chamber, where Daudhir, great wyrm blue dragon, stays confined.

 

Blue dragon on the prowl

Dulin converses with her grandmother, but receives only nonsense about the "coming of the 4th age." According to Daudhir, the 4th age:

  • Will see her dragon children take over, and gnomes and half-orcs wiped out
  • Sorcerers making pacts with infernal powers
  • Halflings becoming taller
  • Many of the metallic dragons will go away (or be replaced), while chromatics will still reign supreme.

Clearly, total nonsense. Occasionally, the party approaches, and she takes a swipe at them.

 

Zorgin vs. a Great Wyrm

Near the dragon's horde, they discover a passageway to a reverse-gravity chamber on the other side, which contains Eden, the Copper dragon. After waking up Eden in the requisite way, she explains that she cannot escape while the above chamber holds, and they will have to knock out two important pillars to collapse the pyramid and free her.

Waking Eden alerts Daudhir, who flies into a rage and begins to attack. While trying to avoid her powerful jaws, the Scales hack away at the pillars. Rathgar, an expert in stonework, uses a Stone Shape spell to simultaneously break a pillar and slow down Daudhir. The party then takes a few pot shots at her, and ends up standing in a line… and she unleashes her mighty lightning breath. Heavy damage is incurred, but it also strikes the other pillar, finishing it off.

Eden breaks free, and scoops up some of the party. Knolan grabs Rathgar's unconcious form, and uses his whip to grab a hold of Eden's leg as she takes to the skies. Beneath them, the pyramid collapses in on Daudhir, burying her beneath the sands… 

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Adventure 14 (and 14.5)
Garycon '08

(This game was dedicated to the memory of Gary Gygax)

Dragon in flight

The Black Talon offered an ultimatum, backed up by a huge, flying black dragon. But the party would not back down, and prepared for battle. The Drowfather granted the party a favor, healing them back up to full strength before the big battle, and allowing them two rounds to prepare.

The party blinked back into existence, and got the drop on the Talon and the Dragon. Ceridan De’Arunsel knocked several arrows, and struck true into the Talon, inflicting some critical damage. They try to take out the Talon before he has a chance to strike, but he manages to slip into the shadows to recover. Then, the dragon swoops down and surprised the party by bombarding them with a cone of acid. The damage is minimal, but it’s enough to terrify several party members, who run off in fear…. leaving the party at less than half strength, alone against a huge dragon.

Dragon Crushing Dulin

Dulin stands her ground, equipped with all manner of anti-dragon equipment. Unfortunately, she is squished below as the dragon lands, pinned under its enormous girth.

Fred Fade comes down from his perch to help, and asks his riding dog to sniff out where the Talon was hiding. The bloodhound’s keen sense of smell lead them to the shadows, where Fade starts firing off using his patented double crossbow skills.

Dulin, Zorgin’Skeet Rahban, and Knolan Alvaar Altimus continue to hold against the dragon as it bites, rends, and tail-whips. The rest of the party shakes off the dragon fear and charges back to the fight, crashing into the newly revealed Talon. Soon, revenge is had against another one of the evil talons.

The full force of the party is able to focus their attentions on the black dragon. Using the staff gained a long time ago, Dulin continues to use anti-dragon spells on the black dragon, as the rest just concentrate on dealing as much damage as they can. The dragon manages to take down a few party members, but they’re saved just in the nick of time by Rathgar managing to cast a scroll of Mass Heal.

Healed again, attacking en masse, the dragon weakened by spells… the party is victorious! The dragon is dead!

Dragon Defeated!

The Scales grab the Talon’s body and head back to the Bronze Order. (Conveniently, they hadn’t moved the monastery very far.) Entering the hall, the monks give the party a respectful ovation for finally stopping the scourge of the Black Talon.

Sister Helena “Handbasket” and the Abbot fill in a few details about Ceridan. He was captain of the White Wind, hired by the Order to deliver a piece of the Dragongate from an order of Dwarves in the Veil of Winter. But during the voyage, there was mutiny by the crew, lead by the Black Talon (then known as Shard), his first mate. The ship crashed, and Ceridan died… but was brought back by Xen, the Brass Dragon, as a scale. The two washed ashore at the Order, where they were both trained, unaware of Shard’s nature, and Ceridan missing all of his memories.

Shard tried to kill Ceridan again, but was stopped by the order. He escaped, and eventually came to be the Black Talon in the employ of the Pirate King (secretly the dragon Munwirthiax.) He made it a mission to destroy the Order and Ceridan.

Ceridan was trained in the ways of the Order, and was not told of his past for fear he would try to take on the Talon.

The tale clued the party in on one important piece of being a Scale: they can only be brought back in proximity to the dragons. Ergo, Xen must be near where the White Wind wrecked. A quick trip by Fred Fade to Freeport later, he returns with their old friend Captain Captain Cloudreaver and his vessel.

The site of the wreck is a strange outcropping of rocks, with a powerful whirlpool underneath. Knolan is overjoyed that he finally has a use for the anchor Quaal’s Feather Token. After some consternation, the party plunges into the whirlpool one by one.

Kuo-Tota, Bullette, and the Party

They land in a mysterious underground chamber, immediately set upon by frog men (of various occupations) and an (underwater) land shark.

A single door leads out from the chamber, as they explore the underwater lair. They soon discover that many of the passageways contain deadly traps, including a sliding corridor into acid, a reverse gravity pit trap, and much more.

Mind Flayers vs. the Party

Some of the party fall back, but others press on. Splitting up to explore some of the more interesting rooms, Ceridan, Colin, and Haladorr encounter some dominating mind flayers…

Rathgar and Zorgin in combat

..while Rathgar and Zorgin discover a research chamber, and are ambushed by an intellect devourer (who had been cleverly hiding in a jar.)

The mind flayers manage to influence Haladorr into walking into a crushing trap in preparation for eating his delicious brains. But a combination of Colin’s energy attacks and Ceridan’s arrows puts a stop to them, so they can run across to the other chamber and help against the big brain.

They are triumphant, and find a variety of potions of energy protection and grenades of different energy types. Exhausted and beat up, they rest.

(This is where we stopped for the night, to be picked up three weeks later.)

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The party barricades themselves in the ex-mind flayer room to rest for the night. Then venturing out again, Knolan takes point to look for traps, with Ceridan doing the actual opening… leading him to be zapped time and time again. Then while trying to avoid a lightning trap, he falls into the clutches of a Gelatinous Cube!

After making a pin cushion out of the cube, the party investigates… only to be ambushed by a Carrion Crawler from the ceiling.

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A secret door leads to another passage and another door… behind which is the distinctive sound of Owlbear snoring (wwhoooo….grrr….whoooo…grrrr….). The door slides open slowly, and the party spot what appears to be the back of a sleeping beholder.

Ceridan charges in and strikes the helpless beholder… which then EXPLODES! It was a gas spore! (Ah, I love those things, though I was apparently the only person that remembered them from previous editions.)

The explosion awakes the owlbears, who attack!

Another short fight later, their incessant hooting is laid to rest. They search the room, finding some illusory fires, below which is some pitch black. Knolan investigates, and thinks about jumping in. He decides instead to lower a rope down, then brings back up the rope… to find it eaten. Yes, the statue contained a sphere of annihilation. The bard once again narrowly escapes certain doom.

My Mini-Tomb of Horrors Tribute Dungeon

(the whole dungeon- click on the picture for all the details)

The exploration continues, including encountering a particularly devious magic trap. The trap makes those who step onto it succumb to overwhelming greed, leading to a big scuffle (and spells being thrown) between Ceridan, Knolan, and Zorgin, as the rest amusedly look on. The next room is open to reveal… treasure chests! The greedy party members dive in to grab the money all for themselves, only to find that the chests are, in fact, disguised Umber Hulks.

Greed and Confusion intersects, and there is a hard fought battle with lots of mental derangements against three umber hulks. In time, all is shaken off, and there are no hard feelings (yeah, right.)

The dungeon explored, the party returns to a blue glowing door, which proceeds to test each party member’s knowledge. No one completely passes, but some do better than others. Regardless, they make it through, and descend the staircase to the next floor.

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A strange shrine greets the party one floor down. Five statues in different colors stand in the corners, with a big statue to Tiamat looming over the room.

The naturally inquisitive members investigate the statues, which then begin to spring to life, one at a time. Energy attacks appear to have no effect, but enough damage turns them back into statues.

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After all five statues of dragons have come to life, the shrine to Tiamat lurches forth, and begins to attack, belching out different breath weapons every time. Though the party has been damaged and trashed by the dungeon before, their anti-dragon arsenal once again comes in handy, and the Aspect of Tiamat is returned to statue form.

Two spouts form, one to return to the surface, the other goes downward. Of course, they head downward to more adventure!

Underneath, they discover the slumbering Xen, bronze dragon, in a massive chamber filling with water. Knolan’s last 0 level spell, Message, is used once again to wake a dragon. He comes awake with a massive yawn, and is quickly filled in by the party. They promptly forgot to ask him about many things.

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The up-spout goes to the surface, back on to Cloudreaver’s ship… which is being watched by the Pirate King and his massive, heavily armed ship. The Pirate King demands the Dragongate immediately, shifting into his full gargantuan black dragon form to threaten the party with extended death (as opposed to immediate death.)

The party tries to stall and weighs its options. Toss the dragongate overboard? Try to alert Xen? But the plan ultimately is for Knolan to pull out the Dragongate and try to use it. He focuses all his arcane knowledge. Soon, his head is filled with various whispers, at first nonsense, but then stating “Tiamat calls you home.” Knolan, hesitantly and inquisitively, says “Tiamat calls you home?”

Clouds form above, and energy streaks across the sky. A rift forms, leading to a dimension of madness and despair. Winds pick up, but seem to only grab a hold of the Dragon and some of his draconic crew. Even in the face of terror, the black dragon does not cry out and he is sucked away.

The portal begins to close… but not before something can escape. Virivis, “The Creator”, has left his prison. A quick “Power Word Stun” incapacitates most of the party, and a Telekinesis retrieves the Dragongate from Knolan’s frozen hand. The Creator informs the party that now that he has returned, he has the tools to conquer the world. He begins to cast a spell to eliminate the party… but is interrupted by a cannonball off his port bow. The Creator teleports away as the party is rescued by a pirate fleet.

The explanations come quick: The Pirate King is dead, and he was a big dragon. The Pirate Council holds an emergency meeting to find a successor. A new Pirate King has never been chosen before, but according to the lore, the honor goes to the registered pirate with the biggest fleet. At first, it is thought that this would be Captain Ishae Vorlas, but in fact it turns out to be Cloudreaver who commands the mercenary merchant fleet in Krogland.

Cloudreaver is quick to offer some proclamations during his new rule. Peace is declared with the Bronze Order, to finally unify Pirates and Ninjas. The party is to be given the Pirate King’s old vessel, the Skullripper. Captain Vorlas will captain it and escort the party where they need to go. And on the way out, they recover a treasure map that contained much of the King’s treasure.

Another dragon freed, treasure and a boat gained, the Scales of Justice set sail for the Elven Kingdoms, to find a clue for the whereabouts of the penultimate dragon…

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Adventure 13
Fear and Loathing in Van Legas

After the last disturbing adventure, the party decides where to head off to next. But as they rest and recover, Richard Chelton disappears, taking with him a share of the profits. He’s even covered his tracks from the party. Where is he headed? No one is sure…

Betrayal aside, the party decides to head to the Bronze Order to report on the revelations from Inn-is-mouth. Morning offers to teleport the party directly there.

A short pop later, they arrive on the slope heading up to the monastery. Ceridan De’Arunsel says that it is traditional to bring an offering to the Abbot, usually a pail of water from the well at the base.

After a few difficult climbs (it’s hard to climb a mountain with a bucket full of water in 1 hand!) the party made it to the monastery… only to find it deserted. From the looks of the crops, it hadn’t been deserted long.

Venturing inside, the party begins to investigate, unaware that they are being watched. As Ceridan investigates something interesting, he is grabbed from behind and placed into a choke hold. A female voice said “If I wished you harm, you would be dead now.” He is released, and realizes that he was just grappled by his old teacher, Sister Helena “Handbasket”.

She explains that she and another member of the order Colin Whittmore stayed behind to wait for Ceridan. The order had to move because they are being hunted by Black Talon. She has a mission for them: to head to the city of Van Legas, a city of crime and corruption. There, they would hire a private detective to help draw out the Black Talon and take care of him once and for all. As part of bait, Helena sends along a piece of the “DragonGate”, though they don’t know what it is.

Upon arriving in Van Legas, Knolan Alvaar Altimus decides to head into a bar to get the word on the street. It isn’t until inside that the party realizes that it’s a drow bar they have walked into… and they don’t respond too well to the elves in the party.

The party then begins to split up to explore the cursed city (it appears to be in a state of perpetual cloudiness.)

Dulin encounters Perot Hercules and is taken for a bit of a ride. Meanwhile, the rest of the party finds lodging for the night in one of the more reputable establishments, and finds out from the innkeep that Hemlock Domes is the greatest detective. And so, everyone meets up to hire his services.

On 221B Baker Street (passing by various pies and breads), they are lead into the study of Hemlock Domes by his assistant Hamish, Son of Wats. Hemlock lists off a number of facts about the party, using his superior deductive skills. All of the observations are elementary, of course.

Dulin agrees to hire the detective at the exorbitant fee of 500 gp plus expenses. She also begins to wonder about her home…

That evening, the party heads back to their lodgings, while Dulin desires more finery and stays at a Grand Casino.

The party is "Inn" Trouble!

In the middle of the night, as Knolan struggles to stay awake on his watch, armed Drow begin charging up the stairs. Knolan quickly fires off a Grease spell, which causes one of the attackers to slip down the steps.

The party is alerted, and they leap into action. Some are in their skivies, and so fight at a bit of a disadvantage. Their new companion Colin activates some fancy powers, but fails to contend with the Drow’s spell resistance. And Ceridan found that the Drow he was fighting was actually a vampire, and thus would prove to be more of a challenge.

Still, thanks to some powerful spells and powers, the party is victorious. Then the thought occurs to them: Dulin is probably in trouble too. Under the influence of haste, they speed off into the night to find her.

Dulin vs. the Werewolf

Meanwhile, Dulin is awakened in the middle of the night by her door being torn to splinters by a Werewolf! She quickly fires up her Mage Armor before it closes the distance. Then she engages in some fancy swordwork to keep it at bay. After a while, she switches to her wand of vampiric touch, which proves more effective then her non-silver sword.

She gets in a few shots while keep the beast’s ravening bites at bay, and the rest of the party bursts in to finish it off.

The party seeks some answers. Knolan tries to get into Hemlock’s abode by disguising himself as a Drow, but is hit by a lightning bolt for his ruse. Then Knolan runs into Fred Fade and ends up receiving his services for free. Fred takes Knolan some places to shop, and explains that The Drowfather is in charge of organized crime, and may have something to do with their troubles.

Some more shopping, including some preparation against vampires, happens in town. Knolan seeks more info, and is asked to accompany some goons to see The Drowfather himself.

The party is lead into a back-alley pizza joint, where some shady doings are happening. A back room conceals the office of The Drowfather… who doesn’t quite have the accent that the party expects! The Drowfather (who comes from the Frozen North) says “It’s aboot time you showed up.” After some quick talk about what he considers bacon and a strange thing called “hockey”, they get down to business.

The Drowfather wants the Black Talon taken out too. He also happens to have come into possession of the other piece of the DragonGate. The problem is, he disposed of it in the same place that he disposes people who become a problem. The party is free to take it, as long as they use it to get the Talon out of the way.

Spider!

Down a deep, dark, cavern is the area where the Drowfather “takes care of” troublemakers. Landing in a disgusting pile of bodies, they move cautiously down the cavern, Knolan taking the lead (as the defacto new trap-finder now that Richard is gone.) He moves out into the darkness… and the darkness coalesces, and strikes! The restless dead strike against the living, sapping their life energy. After a few strength-draining hits, they banish one, and the other retreats further down.

Ceridan fires a light arrow after the creature, then fires more magic arrows to finish it off.

They proceed cautiously into the room, when they finally decide… “hey, let’s look up…”

BAM! A giant spider, discolored and looking especially nasty, descends and sprays the party with webbing, trapping Knolan and Rathgar. Ceridan (who has to resist jumping on the creature’s back), Dulin, and Colin bombard the big spider. The spider rears back, mandibles dripping with dark energy, and critically hits the good Ranger/Monk. They respond by whacking the spider into oblivion as the others finally escape.

Digging through the webbing, they find the other piece of the DragonGate, which fuses to the other piece in a flash of light.

Drowfather’s goons lift the party out. As they step out into the alley, they are greeted with a familiar face: the Black Talon has shown himself. He offers a bargain: in exchange for the DragonGate, he will show the party where Xen the Bronze is imprisoned.

The party demands answers about the DragonGate, but Black Talon gives none. They do notice that he seems to have a particular dislike for Ceridan, even though they didn’t know they had ever met.

Despite being still weakened from the shadows and the spider, the Scales of Justice prepare for battle. The Black Talon gestures, and a huge Black Dragon appears in the sky above them.

The Black Talon flashes a sadistic smile at Dulin, Knolan, Rathgar, and Ceridan.

“I’m going to enjoy killing each of you again.”

Adventure 13 Rewards

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Adventure 12
Your Mom's an Ogre

(February 17th)

During the return sail from the Isle of Inn-is-Mouth Ceridan De’Arunsel and Knolan Alvaar Altimus spoke to Captain Cloudreaver about gathering some of the other ship’s captains together as a fleet for Krog (either in service or as paid mercenaries). The Cpt. made no promises but said he would try talking to some of the other ship captains. The party then saw to it that Flying Sir General King Emperor Admiral (he bought a boat) Mardek Krog the Orc the Dragonslayer Bandit and his new bride returned home safely.

Krog charged his adviser Malevictus to accompanying the party to meet their Dragon friend (Morning) and open discussions about allying. Some members of the party, seemingly from the future, purchased items and alcohol at the merchants in Krogville before (after?) departing.

At the border between Krogland and the lands of Fitzleon the party awoke to find themselves in darkness witnessing ghosts of fallen elves and hobgoblins attacking one another. After a terrifying amount of time they eventually awoke unharmed yet disturbed by these horrifying illusions that seemed to cause the party to attack / trip one another. Not nearly enough grappling was done.

Upon arrival at Morning on Crescent the party found Morning resting happily on the surface with many elementals moving about working to rebuild her former palace. After some discourse and plot, Knolan discovered that Howe was not in his home and the party quickly noticed some horse-like tracks leading off to the north. Morning tasked the party with finding their missing friend, because they’re heartless bastards and wouldn’t do it without provocation.

Ogres and Boars and Bears, oh my

Nearing the north-western tip of the Crescent forest the party heard the cries of an injured bear nearby a river. Approaching they found a hideous Ogre wearing a cloak of various skins with two hunting boars about to kill the bear (that was caught in a trap). Deciding that without a Druid the party really doesn’t care about a lonesome bear being eaten, they examined closer to find that the bear was incredibly well kept and seemingly tamed as if by some kind of person who would tame animals (and perhaps is half-animal himself?)

Ogre with a big spear

After rectifying the situation with the Ogre and boars, the bear was set free and immediately began leading the party along a path towards what appeared to be a boarded up cottage and a nearby barn. A pit trap was nearly walked into, and then climbed around/avoided, as an Ogre playing a giant banjo nearby fled into the barn. Investigating the barn the full might of the party fell upon the four deformed ogres inside and their two trained giant boars.

Battle for the barn

The party then moved to investigate the heavily boarded up house and its grossly engraved wood porch with bone chimes. Eventually entering the house through an eldritch blasted window, the party continued through a series of gross and corpse-riddled rooms. Two child-like ogres were offed, secret doors and a disgusting bathroom were found, then the party decided to venture into the most heavily boarded room to find a Zombie Ogre doing naughty things to some grossly obese female Ogre with two other Zomb-ogres standing guard.

Ewww

Being in a cramped hallway, half of the party ventured upstairs to attempt an assault from above only to find Howe near death, with a missing leg, hanging from meat hooks in a room with a moss-covered Ogre of some kind (Tendriculos). Eventually the mossy ogre was offed, the floor in this room destroyed to expose the gruesome scene below to a pincer attack-like barrage of missle weapons. Also of note is that the female Ogre keeps her rat familiar in her body-folds.

Simultaneous battles up and down stairs

Sensing defeat, the massive She-Ogre teleported out of the room. After a quick regroup, Ceridan suggested checking out the barn again, being the only logical place for her to have gone. Sure enough, there she was in her corpulent glory. The party jumped her (in a slightly different way) before she could recoup or even drink any tasty moonshine.

Monsters killed, Howe rescued (despite being near death), the party quickly fled back to Morning where Howe could be restored back to health. No doubt he will be haunted for a long time by what he was subjected to, and is no doubt an alcoholic (still).

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