Archive for October, 2011

Captain’s Log: Ithmong-Urbeth

Third-day, Second week of Elesias 1372 DR
We set sail for Waterdeep tomorrow.  It will be a long journey that I shall not be looking forward to, especially after being informed we’ll be taking on a couple of passengers, making the ship a bit cramped as we already have to accommodate the useless cleric of Umberlee and our Rundeen representative for diplomacy.  On top of that, I’m told our passengers are a young medusa, and a half-elf cleric to Corellon.  It’s good to have a medusa for an ally, if a bit suspicious, but I foresee problems between the cleric and my boatswain.  The Rundeen have given me some advice of what to expect; the cleric seems quite sensible but I’m told the medusa tends to be a bit lacking in civilised society, feeling more comfortable when surrounded with animals.
Tonight I plan to enjoy what the city’s finest establishments have to offer, I won’t have the chance for more for many nights to come.

Fourth-day, Second week of Elesias 1372 DR
The first day of the voyage has gone well, with a fair wind speed to keep us at a good pace.  The cargo was loaded easily, mostly consisting of ‘exotic’ food and drink for the Lake of Steam, though I’ll be glad to get rid of the stuff- fish tends to stink up the cargo hold.  The passengers stayed out of the way, and seemed a bit unsure around Bernard- they obviously aren’t used to sailing, Hadozee are a common sight on ships.  I hope they don’t start calling him ‘monkey’ though it may provide some entertainment.  First Mate Ygrette seems to have taken a liking to the cleric, I suspect it’s due to the horns.  I must admit, I was taken aback slightly upon seeing her- I was told she had some alterations, and whilst horns are common features amongst tieflings, the eye is slightly disturbing.  I get the distinct impression it is watching me, though she often stays out of my way so I do not suspect she is acting as a spy.  As expected, she took an immediate disliking to the boatswain, a feeling which I am sure is mutual though I have instructed the orc to leave her unharmed as we are under specific orders that the passengers arrive at their destination safely.  The medusa is proving to be slightly more of an annoyance, getting excited at the mere sight of an Icthyosaur preying on an unfortunate Albatross, and her accursed parrot constantly squawking about ‘useless half breeds’ being ‘good for loving’ and telling Bernard not to eat it.  Since then I have seen little of her as she has retired to the cargo hold, playing with her pet dog.  I hope the cat has the presence of mind to stay away from it, the last thing we want is a ship infested with rats.

Fifth-day, Second week of Elesias 1372 DR
We got some good distance covered last night, thanks to favourable wind conditions, as predicted by the medusa who seems to have some uses.  Our cleric of Umberlee is obviously performing well, though I’ve seen decidedly little of him, as he seems to prefer to stay confined to his room.  During the night there were reports of growls from below decks, and a couple of rat corpses were found in the cargo hold.  When investigating, the medusa claimed to have discovered an unusual stowaway in the form of a leopard.  The boatswain confirmed this, adding that it appeared to be talking in Common to the medusa, but as the orc approached it seemed to revert to being an ordinary feline.  The medusa thought it best to inform me of this creature by summoning it onto deck in front of me, and my crew who were somewhat understandably apprehensive of the cat’s sudden appearance.  I suspect the medusa summoned the creature on board in the first place, though I am mostly unconcerned.  It will do a better job at killing rats than our previous resident feline ever did, and may also deter some of the crew from stealing our cargo.  The medusa tarred the leopard before dismissing it in the hopes it would be easier to find, if indeed it remained on the ship, and I sent a couple of crewmen to look for the creature, with the boatswain’s help.  I am told that after some searching it was discovered, and the medusa attempted to restrain it in a Bag of Holding as it was tied up.  After some persuasion it seemed to be tamed by the medusa, who took it on deck to be cleaned up in the ship’s emergency lifeboat, which I hope will not have to be used any time soon as it’s now full of tar.  I shall ensure it is cleaned out before long.  There is still no indication that this leopard can talk in human tongue, so unless the orc has developed some divine power of talking to animals I am suspecting that he is merely suffering some form of hallucination.
Other than that bit of excitement this morning, the day has been peaceful, the only other noteworthy event being a man-sized crab that was nearly fished up by one of the crew.  I’m sure there will be many more where that came from.

Sixth-day, Second week of Elesias 1372 DR
I am surrounded by imbeciles!  All night I have been piloting this ship, thanks to my first mate and boatswain’s inabilities to handle a moderate increase in wind speed.  I hope we have not strayed too far off course, but that is Ygrette’s responsibility today.  I need more sleep…

…We have now docked in Urbeth.  I have decided to withhold punishment for now, as it would not do to show weakness in the crew’s immediate superiors.  Instead I have docked their pay slightly, the Boatswain receiving 75gp and 90gp for the first mate.  Apparently we had a brief encounter with Kumbhakarna, the feared Rakshasa pirate easily identified by his ship shrouded with a never-ending rain.  The medusa thought she was doing us a favour by illuminating his ship with lightning and faerie fire, I just hope that hasn’t given us unwanted attention.  I am sure we shall soon find out.  Where I am sure we could have set sail tonight, I would like to put some distance between him and us, so we have stayed in Urbeth for the night.  The facilities leave a little to be desired, but our passengers and officers seemed to enjoy themselves by having a small picnic on the beach after buying some precious stones from the natives, and with the first mate presenting wildflowers to the half-elf.  I hope she doesn’t fall for her too much, especially if this cleric does have traitorous intent.  I am sure a mutiny led by her would be unpleasant, especially on her part.
Our cargo has been reloaded with books and dyes, as tomorrow we set sail for Calimport, where hopefully the weather will become a little cooler.

~from the journal of Legendary Captain Theodore Tutor, of the Queen Alassa’s Revenge.

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Some Time Later…

Hey guys, so I’ve had people tell me to come back to the blog… my intention was to put the blog on hold as I concentrated more on my novel, especially as we started playing every week rather than every fortnight- but due to popular demand, I’m back.  This post will be an abridged update on what has happened between the Roc’s Fall and now, and the action will resume probably tomorrow, as I continue my commenting- but with a twist.

The Arcane Archer

After clearing the wreckage of the ship that was destroyed by the Roc, the Dread Pirate… Daniel… (no it’s not self-insertion, he is an established NPC from Complete Adventurer) didn’t seem particularly distraught.  In fact he was quite excited at the prospect of the gold this Roc corpse would fetch, and as the party were at a slight loss as to what to do, the Rundeen Consortium decided to hire them to act as caravan guards as they delivered the Roc to Ithmong, where it would await a prospective buyer.  Meanwhile, an Arcane Archer who happened to be passing by noticed the unusual combination of a medusa and… whatever the cleric is.  In the spirit of investigation, she decided to tag along with them where she could analyse their behaviour and perhaps get cheap passage to centres of magic for her to conduct her research.  After doing yet more shopping (seriously, all female parties always seem to end up like this :p) the group were slightly seperated as the cleric had wandered off, but in her place came a centaur paladin who claimed to be looking for her sister.  Deciding they couldn’t waste any more time, the group met up with the caravan guarded by lizardmen and a human who didn’t particularly want to be there.
The first obstacle on the journey was a Basilisk that had taken residence in a coastal cave, with the party wary after seeing the various statues scattered around the landscape.  Sure enough the prty’s curiosity got the better of them and they investigated the cave, stirring the basilisk from its’ sleep, where it managed to catch a lizardman who acted as a decoy as the rest bravely ran away.  Further down the road they encountered a group of aquatic elves who were headed to the market to sell their harvest from the sea.  On reaching Sammaresh, the group did yet more shopping, mostly for the rare green pearls that were farmed there.  Spending the night, the paladin received a strange visitation from a ghostly Couatl that acted as royal advisor, and in the morning the paladin had gone as quickly as she came.
The next leg of the journey took them to Malaxer, a little further inland and bordering the jungle.  The cleric managed to catch up with the group, and the medusa realised she was heading into an area where snakes were outlawed, so made sure to disguise herself- though she knew another group of medusas claimed this territory as their own.  They arrived in Malaxer to find a small commotion going on in the centre of town as someone had apparently been turned to stone, and as the village cleric turned him back he was evidently traumatised, only able to babble incoherently about snakes.  The medusa quickly decided to enhance her disguise by wild shaping, and the party stayed for another night.  Unfortunately, a guard spotted something rustling amongst the remains of the Roc, and then was brought to the attention of the elf’s snake familiar leading the party to be quickly exiled.  Deciding they didn’t want to hang around anyway, the group continued on, remaining cautious of medusas, to the next village of Abreon.  They left the jungle and headed through fields littered with ancient barrows, before being ambushed by a pair of hippogriffs with unusual riders- two gnomes, a halfling, and a subrace of dwarf.  When the group led by the halfling quickly found themselves on the losing side, the two parties decided to call parley and in fact decided to travel together as the female gnome was sick and they were just trying to get some coin from passing travellers.  They soon arrived at the small farming community where they stopped for the next night, after hearing tales of undead that arose from the barrows every couple of months, and sure enough they arose on this night providing some small arrow fodder for both adventuring parties.  The villagers were grateful, though a reward was lacking, and so the groups continued to their next destination, Uzurr.  The large numbers proved a deterrant to any wandering monsters, and on arrival in Uzurr the elf immediately headed to the priest’s libraries for research, and the gnomes attempted to get the clerics to heal their ill companion.  Unfortunately it was found to be incurable, and probably related to a cursed item, which the medusa generously decided to take off her hands.  There was no way of telling which item was cursed, so she took all four possibilities and the gnomes parted company, leaving the medusa, elf and cleric to finish their journey to Ithmong, passing through Lhazanthal, a gnomish community.  Once out on the open road, the party encountered an Athach that was singing about being a ‘bad troll’ as he was polishing some gems.  Naturally a fight broke out, resulting in the Athach’s death, and the party’s journey was nearly complete.
Upon finally arriving in Ithmong, the group travelled through a series of underground caves before eventually reaching the Rundeen Consortium’s warehouse, where they dropped off the Roc and claimed their reward.  They were told that as part of their reward, they could have free passage on either of the Rundeen’s trade voyages- a short trip to the Lake of Steam, a slightly more dangerous trip to Calimport, or a long haul trip that could take several months to Waterdeep.  Naturally, the party (well, the medusa) chose Waterdeep.  But first, they would have to go to the temple of Umberlee in Ilyaport to pay their respects in the hopes of bribing her for a safe trip across her domain.  Deciding it could wait till morning, the party temporarily split up to explore the city and do various duties.  The elf headed for the library for more research, the medusa attempted to find information on the cursed item as well as get her bow upgraded, and the cleric decided to brush up on her knowledge of the local area and Umberlee.  As the medusa searched for a wizard, she came across a shady looking sorcerer who said he could help.  As a demonstration of his magic, he produced a small flame which hardly impressed the medusa, as she produced a somewhat larger flame of her own.  The sorcerer quickly ran off as the city guard came to investigate the now burning building, only to find the medusa.  They gave her a warning as they set to extinguishing the building as the medusa put on her cute little girl act and found a stray pug dog to accompany her which she promptly named Little Jimmy.  Continuing on to the higher class area of the city, she found the only wizard that could help the medusa was busy, and his assistant (identifying himself (itself?) as Igor) arranged an appointment for the next day.  Bored, the medusa headed to the library to meet up with the others and idly started playing with the small fish tank there.  Experimenting with summoning sea creatures, she quickly managed to break the fish tank, mend it, then break it again, eventually finding herself wild shaped in the form of a fish inside the tank, forgetting she couldn’t shrink to a size smaller than a halfling.  She was chased out the library, and found a room for the night in the posh area of town, and before long the cleric and elf found a somewhat cheaper inn of their own.

I'm not sure where the cat found the cigar...

As morning came, the medusa decided to send a message to the others to let them know where she was, first by donating a large sum of money to a street urchin to find them.  Wondering if that would be enough, she also decided to send an animal messenger to the Rundeen Consortium in case they knew where the others were.  Wondering if THAT would be enough, she proceeded to use most of her spells on animal messengers, all with messages to the Rundeen Consortium causing them to create a small totem pole of animals of various sizes.  As it happened, the urchin managed to find the elf-and-a-half easily, and told them the medusa was looking for them and she would be in the rich area.  The elf still had research to do, but the cleric decided to go with the medusa and they met up at the wizard’s tower.  They were let in by Igor, who told the cleric to wait in the waiting room as the medusa had her appointment, which it turned out to be with a Kobold called Tim.  He claimed he’d been experimenting with a polymorph, which the medusa was happy with, and he used a spell to determine which items were cursed.  It was discovered to be the pair of Bracers, and whilst they would give the bonus they were intended, they would also continuously deal constitution damage.  The medusa hurriedly left, donning the cloak of charisma she was given, and found someone to donate the bracers to- a monk that was browsing the market.  Eventually the bow was ready, and the elf had finished her research, so they were ready to go to the temple of Umberlee a couple of hours away, where they would meet up with a rogue that had advertised his services as a dungeon delver in the tavern.
On approaching the temple, it was starting to get dark but they investigated regardless, finding a large room with a few statues and a large religious symbol inside.  The temple was largely overgrown with ivy and looked like it hadn’t been used in some time.  There was a makeshift bed in one of the rooms, and across a destroyed bridge out in the sea was a statue to Umberlee, exposed to the elements.  As they started to leave, they encountered two men who were chatting to each other, a druid and a rogue- presumably the rogue they were going to adventure with.  The party decided to get a good nights rest before heading into the depths of the temple, and the night passed without event, apart from the medusa playing with Jimmy and giving him a Magic Fang to terrorise the local populace.  The rogue, who introduced himself as Al, joined them and the medusa left Little Jimmy with the druid as they started their investigation.  First they discovered there was a small invisible gutter leading from Umberlee to the main temple, so the medusa attempted to make an offering of an eel using the gutter, which the eel happily slid out of, though the water from the pot it was in trickled into the temple, and it became clear the water was inside the large symbol on the ground.  Investigating the statues, they decided they represented Talos, Malar, and Auriel- the deities of Fury, of which Umberlee was a part.  Checking the completely destroyed one first, which was deduced to be Malar, they found a small hole.  It was decided this hole would need an offering of blood, as Malar was the god of rage and blood, and sure enough the symbol was now tinged red with blood.  Next was Auriel, goddess of ice, and sure enough she had a small hole leading down the shaft of her spear, down which the medusa fired an arrow form her new Icy Burst bow, which froze the bloody water.  Finally was Talos, god of the storm and pointing his sword straight down at the symbol.  The medusa knew what to do without hesitation, and used a Call Lightning spell, firing all bolts simultaneously upon the statue, practically destroying it and shattering the symbol, causing a deep rumbling sound below.
As the group headed downstairs, they saw a staircase had opened up in the middle of the room, which they promptly headed down, ready to face the dungeon…

…As this blog’s getting a little long, I’ll just sum up the dungeon without going in too much detail.  First floor the group encountered a rust monster which was fried with a classy Combust from the elf; a destrachan which was fried by the medusa (and harvested for food); a room with no floor and an inaccessible chest, which Al managed to access but was discovered to be empty; several grimlocks collecting shinies for their medusa mistress; a hellwasp swarm which came close to killing the whole party twice; and a pack of cloakers that inadvertently caused the cleric to cut off the elf’s leg.  During this time, the group experimented with Al’s magic bag, a bag which pulled out completely random items including a Portal Sword which would come into play later.  They also encountered a strange hybrid of dwarf and dragon and female, who stuck around long enough to see the elf’s leg get chopped off but soon got bored.
The group returned to town to regenerate the elf’s leg, and the medusa decided to play with the bag some more- this time pulling out some greyish ointment which she tried rubbing on a passed out patron, who started decaying slightly.  She then experimented on a rat, who also decayed but then became animated with un-life, draining the medusa’s blood and causing severe strength loss before finally being decapitated and thrown on the fire where it erupted with unholy green fire.  The ointment was quickly given to the cleric that was found to help the elf, and the bag wasn’t touched by the medusa again.
The next morning the party took a drunk dwarf with them, and covered a bit more of the dungeon, bypaassing the arcane ooze that was sapping the elf’s power and headed down to the next level.  Here, they encountered a gargantuan monstrous spider which guarded several scrolls, one of which caused the elf to become extremely vulnerable to the cold conditions; a swarm of shadows that were quickly turned; hundreds of traps, including one which drained some of the dwarf’s power but unaffected Al, causing some dilemma as how they would reunite with the party until Al remembered he had a sword that could create doors (blue and orange ones that led to each other); and eventually a Frost Salamander which didn’t pose too much trouble apart from the help it received from the Greater Shadow that had been turned earlier, which struck those too close to the walls managing to kill the drunk dwarf and the arcane archer, more greater shadows emerging from their bodies and giving chase to the medusa, Al, and the cleric, who ran as fast as they could out of the dungeon.  Unfortunately, one of the shadows got Al who fell to the floor, injured but not dead, and so the cleric attempted a prayer for help to her god for some divine intervention.  Sure enough, her prayer was granted as one of his devoted arcane archers had fallen, firing an empowered ray of light at the shadow, killing it outright allowing the others to escape.

On arriving back in town, the group noticed it was unusually quiet, and when heading to the pub they heard voices inside but the door was locked.  When announcing themselves, all went quiet and a rather unintelligent voice claimed there was noone in.  After a bit of convincing they were eventually let in though with the door hastily locked behind them, and told that security was tight because there were reports of all manner of undead infesting the town- reports of vampires, and werewolves, and zombies, and flying rats- though only the rat had actually been seen, the rest was speculation due to mysterious bites on some commoners.  After conducting some tests involving mirrors and holy symbols, it was determined they were merely confused villagers and after setting up some feline patrols in case of undead rats, the remainder of the gorup rested for the night.  When morning came, they met up with a tiefling and water-borne orc who had come to collect them on behalf of the Rundeen Consortium, who intended on leaving soon.  The party decided to not venture further in the dungeon, instead paying quick lip service to Umberlee at her statue as they sacrificed a stingray, then hastily leaving the undead village, back to Ithmong.

The scene shortly after the party left

And that is where I shall leave things for now, next time I shall resume the more accurate account of our games, as the party sets sail on the high seas.

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