Sundry information, thoughts and links to sort us out

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Yeah, "20-Lots" Hits

Cathy and Ken, when Ken decided to move his character past two others in combat: Your friends goose you as you go by. - I clang.
Cathy, paraphrasing the module when the group noticed what was most likely a trap icon on the map square: A natural pool filled with unnatural stars....
Ken, as the party tried to figure out how to cross a pond: Water, very dangerous, you go first.
Katy and Cathy, as the party searched a room relying on clues from a previous room: Do we see any 4's? - What, are you playing Go Fish?
Cathy, about Bruce's roll: Yeah, 20-lots hits.
Cathy and Katy, after Bruce's animal companion (a dog) missed its attack: Magic Dentures of Biting + 3 - In this case, -3
Katy and Cathy, about the Dwarven zealot the party had defeated: Does he have a masterwork loincloth? - No, but he's got a masterwork something else!

The party decided to explore the tunnel whence the Yellow Musk Zombies had entered. They followed it into the undying garden. Other than the footprints left by the meandering Yellow Musk Zombies, there was nothing in the room. Next they continued into the adjoining chamber (3-8).

Three Vegepygmies were working away at digging through the wall. They noticed the adventurers arrival, dropped their picks, grabbed their longspears, and took up aggressive stances.

"What are you doing? We rescued some of your companions from the Violent Fungus?" Felan said, bewildered.

"Stay away from tunnel!" replied one of the Vegepygmies in broken Common.

Admiral Barky held his action; Anaka moved in closer and threw a spear, hitting Vegepygmy-1 for 6; Vegepygmy-1 closed and retaliated against Anaka, but missed; Asteriskes closed with Vegepygmy-1 and attacked, but missed; Vegepygmy-2 charged Anaka and attacked, but missed; under F's guidance, Admiral Barky closed with Vegepygmy-1 and attacked, but missed, then F himself charged and attacked Vegepygmy-2, punching him for 7; Vegepygmy-3 closed and attacked F, but missed.

Anaka drew her dagger and slashed Vegepygmy-1 for 7, taking him down; Asteriskes closed with Vegepygmy-2, but missed; Vegepygmy-2 retaliated against Asteriskes, but missed; Admiral Barky moved to flank and attacked Vegepygmy-2, hitting for 10 and taking him out; Felan moved to flank Vegepygmy-3 and attacked, hitting for 2; Vegepygmy-3 attacked Admiral Barky, but missed.

Anaka closed with Vegepygmy-3, but missed; Asteriskes closed with Vegepygmy-3, hitting for 16 and taking him out.

Knowing that they had now finished exploring the area, and that their cleric was injured, the group decided to head back to the secret passageway to rest. They made it safely there and secured the area. Felan healed himself, then he laid down for a nap. Two hours later, he woke up, memorized some new spells, cast Lesser Restoration on himself, and then the companions were ready to go on. They left the secret passage, headed through the mushroom village room, and eventually reached the tunnel which they had determined led further into the cave complex.

A natural pool filled with inky black water sat prominently in the center of the cavern. Rising above the dark waters in the center of the pool was a tall marble stature of a draconian archer. The archer's bow pointed toward the cavern ceiling.

Looking where the statue pointed, no one noticed anything specific, the Dragon's bow simply seemed to be pointed towards an arch in the ceiling. After a few moments, however, Anaka suddenly said, "Oh, it's JUST a bow! WE have the arrow!" And realization dawned on the party practically in unison.

"Well, how are we going to get across the water, does anyone have any way of testing how deep it is?" Felan asked.

"I have a 50' rope, if I attach my grappling hook, it will sink..." Anaka suggested.

"Good idea," Asteriskes approved.

Standing at the edge, the thief did her test, the water turned out to be 2' deep there. After some discussion, Anaka said, "Do you want me to just go?"

"Yeah, that sounds good! After all, I'm the only one who can heal so I definitely should stay behind." Felan answered.

"OK, hang on, I've got an idea. I'll tie my rope around my waist, and you guys can hold the other end. That way if the pond is suddenly deeper, you can pull me back in if needed." As her companions nodded, Anaka untied her grappling hook and affixed the rope around her waist. They navigated around the pond to the lip that was closest to the statue and the thief headed in. The water turned out to be 2 feet deep all the way across. She carefully climbed up the statue and fitted the arrow into the bow. A low ominous rumbling sound started coming from the statue. Anaka climbed back down into the water at the base of the pedestal.

There was a low, ominous rumbling sound. Suddenly images of numerals formed all around the perimeter of the pool. The archer aimed his bow at four different numbers -- 4, 7, 9, 2 -- with careful deliberation. After a moment, he did it again, before resuming his original pose with his bow aimed back at the ceiling. Anaka climbed up to retrieve the arrow, but it was now solidly attached to the bow. She climbed back down and rejoined her friends. After removing the rope from Anaka's waist, they party headed out the tunnel nearest them.

This enormous cavern had been transformed by hammer and chisel into a wondrous work of art. Elaborately carved murals of Dragons and Dwarves engaged in an epic struggle covered the walls. Faded, tattered tapestries of Dragonkin warriors flanked each of the five exits. A large, natural column of stone rose from the floor to the ceiling in the southeast corner. Standing vigilant by this column were two armored Dwarves holding crossbows that were cocked and loaded.

Anaka moved into the room and threw a spear at the closest Duregar, hitting for 4; Admiral Barky charged and attacked Duregar-1, hitting for 7; Asteriskes moved into the room and shot with his bow, but missed; Duregar-1 attacked Admiral Barky, but missed; Duregar-2 closed with Admiral Barky, and missed; F moved into the room.

Anaka moved and threw another spear, but missed; Admiral Barky continued battling Duregar-1, hitting for 6 and taking him down; Asteriskes moved in closer and shot at Duregar-2, but missed; Duregar-2 attacked Admiral Barky, but missed; Felan closed with Duregar-2 and attacked, hitting for 3.

Anaka threw a spear at Duregar-2, hitting for 5; Admiral Barky retaliated against Duregar-2, hitting for 10, and taking him down.

They headed out the tunnel immediately on their left. They hadn't gone too far when they were faced with two large black birds, flying towards them. (Fiendish Ravens)

Anaka moved in closer and threw a spear, hitting for 3 and knocking the Fiendish Raven down; Asteriskes moved in and shot at the remaining Fiendish Raven, but missed; Admiral Barky ran into the room; Fiendish Raven-2 flew towards Anaka; Felan charged and attacked Fiendish Raven-2, hitting for 1.

Anaka closed and slashed the Fiendish Raven with her dagger, taking him down; Two Duregar came around the corner; Asteriskes stepped forward and targeted one of the Duregar's, hitting for 4; Admiral Barky closed Duregar-1 and attacked, hitting for 5; Felan charged and attacked Duregar-1, hitting for 4 and taking him down; Duregar-2 attacked Admiral Barky, but missed.

Anaka moved up closer and threw another spear, but missed; Asteriskes charged and closed with Duregar-2, hitting for 8; Admiral Barky attacked Duregar-2, but missed; Felan attacked Duregar-2, but missed; Duregar-2 retaliated against Asteriskes, but missed.

Anaka threw another spear, hitting for 8 and taking out Duregar-2, she then retrieved her spears, including nipping back into the outer chamber to pick up the 2 spears she'd forgotten to grab from before.

Towering above them were piles of massive bones, some looming taller than a fire giant. The bones appeared to be quite brittle. A thick layer of fine white powder completely blanketed the entire floor. Toward the southern end of the gargantuan section of the caverns they could also see small clouds of white dust billowing between the piles.

As the group stood discussing their options, 4 Kobold Skeletons came charging out from behind the various piles of bones, heading straight for the party.

Kobold Skeleton-4 charged attacked Felan, hitting for 3; Anaka came up and flanked Kobold Skeleton-4, striking critically for 10; Kobold Skeleton-1 charged and attacked Asteriskes, but missed; Felan attacked Kobold Skeleton-4, hitting for 4, and taking him out; Admiral Barky moved to flank Kobold Skeleton-1 and attacked, hitting for 5; Asteriskes retaliated against Kobold Skeleton-1, but missed; Kobold Skeleton-2 charged and attacked Anaka, but missed; Kobold Skeleton-3 charged and attacked Anaka, but missed.

Anaka attacked Kobold Skeleton-3, hitting for 8; Kobold Skeleton-1 continued his combat with Asteriskes, but missed; Felan attacked Kobold Skeleton-1, hitting for 8 and taking him out; Admiral Barky flanked Kobold Skeleton-2 and attacked, hitting for 10; Asteriskes closed with Kobold Skeleton-2, hitting for 14 and taking him out; Kobold Skeleton-3 attacked Anaka, but missed.

Anaka attacked Kobold Skeleton-3, hitting for 7; Felan closed with Kobold Skeleton-3 and attacked, but missed; Admiral Barky closed with Kobold Skeleton-3 and attacked, but missed; Asteriskes flanked Kobold Skeleton-3 and attacked, but missed; Kobold Skeleton-3 attacked Anaka, but missed.

Anaka attacked Kobold Skeleton-3, hitting critically for 21 points and taking him out.

Searching the room determined that the bones were those of long dead Dragons, which had been so picked over or so long aged that they were no longer of any use for spell components or of any other value. The room was a dead-end, so the adventurers returned to the outer chamber and followed the center tunnel out of it. They reached a fork, one of which ended in a door, and chose to go down the open passageway, away from the door.

Signs of ancient battles filled the area and broken bones and shattered blades were strewn about the floor. A sickly yellowish-white powder covered the floor. The powder was vaguely moist and stuck to the adventurers shoes.

They returned to the path that ended in a door. Felan listened at the door, but heard nothing. Anaka searched the door for traps and found none, it was also unlocked.

As they stepped through the doorway, they realized that had indeed left the wilds of the caverns and entered the remnants of an ancient civilization. The rough, craggy cavern walls gave way to smooth, worked walls of white marble engraved with a myriad of ornate, cryptic symbols and numerals. The northwest corner of the room was filled with a large pile of rubble comprised of white marble and rough stone. It appeared that the recent cave-ins caused part of the ceiling to collapse. A Dwarven warrior stood between the pile of the rubble and a door along the western wall. He was carefully examining the cryptic symbols, but he stopped upon noticing the group's entrance, turning to face them with his sword drawn.

Admiral Barky closed and attacked, but missed; Felan closed and attacked, hitting for 1; Asteriskes moved closer and fired his bow, but missed; Anaka moved a little closer and threw a spear, but missed; D scrambled up on the rubble to gain some height and attacked Felan, but missed.

Admiral Barky closed and attacked, hitting for 8; Felan attacked, hitting for 6; Anaka threw a spear, hitting for 7; Asteriskes closed and attacked, hitting for 13; D attacked Felan, hitting for 4.

Admiral Barky attacked, but missed; Felan attacked, but missed; Anaka threw a spear, but missed; Asteriskes attacked, but missed; D attacked Asteriskes, hitting for 8.

Admiral Barky attacked, but missed; Felan attacked, but missed; Anaka missed; Asteriskes hit for 21 and took him out.

Next the companions began investigating the runes the Dwarf had been so avidly studying. They easily picked out the Roman numerals the statue had indicated to them, but no one was sure what the symbols interspersed therein might indicate. Felan asked Anaka for a piece of the parchment they'd taken from the bedroom they'd camped in a few days ago. When she handed it to him, along with a quill, he hastily scratched down a copy of the carvings on the wall for future reference.

Felan listened at the door heading west, but heard nothing. Anaka searched it for traps and found nothing. It opened into a small hallway that led to another door. Felan listened, and heard very faint rhythmic thwupping sounds. Anaka searched and found no traps. Asteriskes drew his bow and took a defensive stance, Anaka opened the door.

A large, garish stone statue of a red dragon sat against the southern wall. Piles of rock and debris flanked both sides of the statue. Its gigantic wings spanned well over 40 feet. Kneeling in front of the statue was a grizzled, muscular Dwarf clad only in a loincloth. His back was scarred and the source of those old wounds was obviously the bloody flail he wielded, striking himself forcefully as he continued his murmured prayers.

Admiral Barky charged the D, hitting for 7; Anaka threw a spear, hitting for 6; Felan charged, hitting for 7; Asteriskes moved into the room and shot, but missed; D turned around, "Smite heretic!" and attacked Felan, hitting for 12.

Admiral Barky attacked, hitting for 10 and taking him out.

They turned their attention to the runes behind the statue. Almost simultaneously they came to the conclusion that this was a sort of religious graffiti. Felan cast Lesser Vigor on himself. Anaka searched the room, but found nothing else of interest.

They moved to the other door in the room and Felan listened. He heard nothing. Anaka searched the door for traps and found none. She opened the door.

A macabre collection of skulls lined the walls. Strange symbols were crudely scrawled on some of the skulls. Most appeared to be humanoid, although a few larger ones were as tall as a Dwarven warrior -- these skulls were actually forming an archway around the doorway of the room. The party realized immediate that this was a burial chamber for priests of Xhitigal.

The group retraced their steps back to the room with the runes, where they'd fought the Dwarf on the pile of rubble. While Felan was listening at the door on the eastern wall, Anaka retrieved the spears she'd thrown in that battle and forgotten to pick up. The druid opened the door to reveal a hallway with a door at the far end. As he led the way, the party advanced. Felan listened at the door and heard nothing. Anaka searched for traps and found none, so she opened the door. Another hallway lay beyond. At the far end was a door with a pile of rubble in front of it. Anaka searched the rubble and found nothing. Felan listened at the door and heard nothing. Anaka searched for traps and didn't find any. She opened the door. They were faced with yet another hallway with a door at the end. Felan heard nothing and Anaka found no traps. They opened the door.

Most of the large room was empty and barren. The exception was a statue of a dragonkin archer, similar to the one back in the pool in the room they'd found earlier. However, this one was not alone -- it was being examined by a living, breathing Dragonkin warrior clad in red scales and leather armor. A jeweled rapier hung from his belt. The warrior was staring with great fascination at the statue's bow as if trying to unlock its secrets with his gaze alone.

Anaka stepped into the room and threw a spear, but missed; Admiral Barky attacked Cyvorak, but missed; Cyvorak used his breath weapon to blow a cone of fire at the party, only Anaka and Admiral Barky were in range, Admiral Barky Evaded and Anaka Saved for half; Asteriskes entered the room and shot, hitting for 6; Felan charged and punched, hitting for 1, plus a point of Dex damage.

Anaka moved into range and cast Ray of Frost, hitting for 2 points of Cold Damage; Admiral Barky attacked with Smite Evil, but missed; Cyvorak drew his rapier and targeted Felan, hitting for 11; Asteriskes closed and attacked, hitting for 20 and taking him out.

Asteriskes examined the statue. It appeared to be a duplicate of the statue in the pool. Among the items found on Cyvorak's body was a silver scroll case. It was empty. There were no runes or any symbols anywhere in the room.

Felan listened at the far door. He heard nothing. Anaka searched for traps and found none. The door was unlocked so she opened it.

The stone face of a dragon peered forth from the ruined northern wall of the chamber -- it was contorted in rage and anger. Although quite life-like and nearly the size of a man, it was quickly obvious that this was a carving by master stoneworkers rather than the macabre remains of a once-living great wyrm. Apart from the large face there was nothing else of note in the chamber.

Anaka searched the room. On her first pass, she found nothing, but she was sure there was something. Going back over things more thoroughly, she touched walls, floor, and the dragon head with exploring fingers. When she touched the dragon head, a cloud of gas billowed out of its mouth with an ominous hiss. Everyone Saved and avoided the Sleeping Gas which wafted away on the air. There was nothing else in the room.

The group returned to the room where they'd fought Cyvorak. They cut off his head and stuffed it into one of their Handy Haversacks so they could prove his demise to King Reginald. Anaka retrieved the spear she'd thrown in battle. Then they headed back to the room with the runes. Anaka pressed 4, 7, 9, and 2 and was heading back to repeat the sequence when a door opened revealing a short corridor leading to a chamber full of glittering treasures. Platinum, gold, and silver completely covered the room, obscuring the floor. Twin silk tapestries, each depicting a red Dragon rising triumphantly in flight, covered most of the southern and western walls and stretched from floor to ceiling. In the center of the room was a large wooden chest, its led flung wide open. A smaller, closed wooden chest was just a few feet away from the larger one.

Suspicious, Anaka continued the sequence, pushing the numbers again in the order the statue had indicated. Nothing changed and the secret door remained open. Anaka used the spikes they'd picked up from one of their victims and wedge the door open. Felan did a visual search from the doorway, but saw nothing.

"You know, "Asteriskes said, "Cyvorak supposedly stole King Reginald's gem, but it seemed like he was trying to figure out how to get in here. I'm guessing the gem is not in here."

"You're probably right," replied Felan, as he prepared to cast some spells. After a moment, he cast Lesser Vigor on himself and each of his companions. "This is going to take a bit," the druid said, "I suggest we wait here for a few minutes."

Anaka entered and performed a meticulous search. There were no traps or secret doors, even the small box (which was locked) was not trapped. In the big chest was a parchment. "Oh, geez!" Anaka moaned.

"What?" said Felan and Asteriskes in unison. The thief proceeded to read the practically sarcastic letter to her friends. When she had finished, and they had also groaned in frustration, she moved across the room. "I'm gonna check out this little locked box now, just to be sure."

Inside were 3 bottles of liquid and the jewel encrusted hilt of a broken longsword -- a few of the large settings were empty. As they were counting the coins and trying figure out what to take and how to take it, they heard the sounds of knocking and digging coming from just beyond the pile of rubble in the rune room. Several creatures of some sort were obviously trying to dig their way in. Just then, the wall broke apart and about 20 Dwarves came through -- they were all wearing the chartreuse sashes of the king.

"Stand by in the name of King Reginald of Othia!" bellowed the first guard.

When the adventurers stood up, the guards recognized them, "Oh, good, you're all right. His majesty sent us to find you - he didn't think an earthquake would defeat you, but he didn't want to leave it to chance. Well, that's quite a horde. I think we have enough extra hands to help carry it."

"Look what we found in one of the caved-in rooms back there," said another guard, brandishing the Royal Sceptre with its sparkling peridots.

"Wonder if the king is going to ask for his advance back?" whispered Asteriskes to his companions, as they all began to gather up the items in preparation for returning to Montrill.

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