Friday, December 30, 2011

Game Notes: How it Ends, Part II

Having defeated the Tarrasque, the party turns its attention to the High Elven Empire, where the High Elven Emperor stands as one of the final impediments to getting on to the fight with Visgoth. The party travels to the shores of the Empire (where they meet the surviving remnants of a "B" game that we would eventually play when multiple party members were unavailable on game nights), and fight an entire battalion of elven soldiers. Having defeated them, they are transferred to the Emperor's throne room, where they fully engage him in his true form - that of the Great Red Wyrm, long in hiding. At this point, Numnar, fully engulfed by fear, abandoned the party and ran away. After a brutal fight, the party kills the Emperor, and so eliminates the final roadblock to Visgoth's road to ascension.

At this point, it becomes necessary to clarify the reason for these actions - Ethan's dying request to the party was that they would defeat Visgoth once and for all, and the party agreed to this request. However, Visgoth would not deign to fight the party unless they defeated the High Elven Emperor on his behalf (this being to amuse Visgoth more than it served any practical purpose; Visgoth himself would probably be more than a match for the Emperor). The party was powerless to access Visgoth against his wishes, so old and well constructed were his defenses against any he wished to keep out. In exchange for this service, Visgoth granted the party the right to try and stop him.

With the High Elven Emperor defeated, all that remained was the final showdown with Visgoth. The party returned to Dreia to amass their forces, but once there, discovered that a camp city had been set up outside Dreia with Mitchell as their leader. A furious Floyd confronted Mitchell, and at long last slew him, whereupon he had his remains processed into a jar of jam which he carried with him ever after. The party traveled to the Warrior's Rest to recruit Goldschmiddt and Rumplemintz to the planning, only to discover that Rumplemintz had been a long-standing spy for Visgoth, and had finally departed to join his master, presumably as one of the "Ten" in the Ten vs. Twelve fight.

Goldschmiddt and the party met in Dreia to discuss the strategy of the Ten vs. Twelve fight. Many were considered for the roster (especially since anyone, living or dead, was eligible to join), including Scaramouche, Garam, Vain, Axe Bludgeonfist, Eric, Terick, Bjorn, and others. Ultimately, the roster settled upon was as follows: Guy, Brix, Virgil, Floyd, Pskenart the wizard, Pierce Thundar, Oak the druid, Sebastian, McGrath, Samared, Goldschmiddt, and the resurrected Hemis, holy warrior of legend. Doogal is chosen not to fight, but to stand by for the fight with Visgoth that follows, as Doogal is the only other bard who can play the Lay of Lugh with Floyd. Ethan is also not chosen for the fight, as his combat skills are negligible, but he is resurrected so that he can watch the fight.

The party discusses its strategy based on what it knows of the Ten - Harves Raeth, Malus, Jarrod, Elliot, Rumplemintz, Raven, Blaine, Mutric (the bandaged halfling from previous encounters, including the quest to unite the pieces of Visgoth's soul), and two unknown combatants - the Pagan and the Death Spectre. From this formidable group, Goldschmiddt assigns himself to combat Elliot, believing any fight with Elliot to be too personal for Virgil, who is the only other person that would logically be able to fight him. Brixmore, Virgil, and Guy concoct a plan to isolate the spellcasters and eliminate them from the board, although they suspect that this will be the strategy of the Ten as well.

The Twelve arrive at Visgoth's castle for the fight. There, they are joined by the Ten and an epic battle ensues. In the course of the action, Hemis is defeated and re-killed, his fighting style leaving much to be desired (kind of like watching George Mikan play in the modern NBA). Sebastian, Pierce, and Samared are also taken out of the fight - though not killed. In the end, though, the party is victorious, as they take out all members of the Ten, finishing appropriately with Malus. Shortly after, Goldschmiddt and Elliot fall to earth, Elliot dead and defeated, and Goldschmiddt on the brink of death. Goldschmiddt refuses healing, and wishes the party well before passing on to the next world.

The party gives their important documents and all items they do not need for the next fight to Pskenart, and request that he take them back to Haven for safe-keeping. Then, Guy, Virgil, Floyd, and Brix, accompanied by Doogal and Dr. Ethan, march into the castle to face Visgoth. They eventually find him in a room with a high ceiling, and an orb over a table set for a ceremony - the ceremony that will permit his ascension. After a brief bit of banter, the fight begins, with Floyd and Doogal playing the Lay of Lugh to lower Visgoth's magical defenses and suppress his spellcasting abilities. Virgil, Brix, and Guy engage him, with Floyd joining in the fight as soon as the song reaches a point where Doogal can play the tune alone. Even with his defenses weakened, Visgoth is a truly awesome combatant, and the party begins to falter in their efforts to defeat him. Sensing a need for an exit strategy, Virgil leaves combat and begins the process of ascension himself. Visgoth, not about to let that happen, takes the orb and flys to the top of the room, where he can be pursued only by Guy, Virgil, and Brix. A spectacular melee ensues at the top of the room, between Virgil, who is trying to co-opt godhood, Visgoth, who is trying to stop him, and Guy, who is attempting to destroy the orb, even though the ensuing explosion will result in a blast so powerful that no creature for many miles around will be able to survive the impact. Guy advises Floyd to escape, telling him that someone needs to survive to tell the story. Floyd, in a desperate effort to save himself and his friends, contacts Alvin, the spirit from the fey realm who can reach out to the material plane through stone surfaces. Floyd asks Alvin if there is a way that he can create an escape from the imminent explosion. Alvin says there is, but there will be a price. Guy warns Floyd that he cannot stave off destroying the orb any longer, and Floyd agrees to the price. Guy strikes the orb as Visgoth desperately tries to stop him, and everything flashes white.

And that is where the story ends. Or, at least it is the ending for those who hear the story. As it turns out, Alvin saves the party by casting Time Stop, and with his four rounds of action, he takes Floyd, Guy, Brixmore, and Virgil into the fey realm, leaving Visgoth to expire from his 25,000 year life in the explosion (Ethan and Doogal are also killed in the explosion, presumably, but Ethan was already dead, and Doogal - well, you never can truly count Doogal out). As his price for saving the party's bacon, Alvin charges these four incredible heroes with guarding and protecting the fey realm for the rest of their days, which are extended far beyond the realm of their kin by the characteristics of the Fey realm. Only on rare occasions is the party allowed to venture back to the Material Plane, to view the world that they saved, and, in Floyd's case, to tell the story of their grand adventure.

As a residual from the explosion, the characteristics of this world resonate with shock waves through several other planes of existence, meaning that on any given day, in any given campaign, one may encounter a magic hat, hear a mythic puppet musical, or even run into a fellow like Linus, Charles Fox, or even Harves Raeth.


Floyd Fiftynames,

Licensed Bard

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Game Notes: How it Ends, Part 1

Completing the hole in the notes that takes us to the very end of the game. Some details and plot points may be lost, conflated, or confused. If someone else remembers them differently, pray, speak up. Otherwise, this will serve as Floyd's dry-notes on how the game came to a conclusion.


After completing the challenges in the Tomb of Lugh (no small task, as there were three chambers in total, and one of them was full of undead creatures who wouldn't let the party sleep), Brix, Floyd, Guy, and Virgil collect the treasure at the end - a considerable payload. In addition to the music to the Lay of Lugh, there are many, many weapons, suits of armor, and magical items, a few of which come in sets. All of the primary party members end up wearing a full set of something; notably, Floyd stops wearing (though he doesn't get rid of) the Boots of the Jester to wear the Mal Nar set, a development that if it continues through to the fight of Visgoth, negates the prophecy of Future Virgil.

Virgil figures out a way for the party to bypass the challenges involved in exiting the tomb. The party returns promptly to the Eastern Lands, where Virgil is offered a position as a professor in the Arcanum, which he accepts. The party discusses what some perceive to be a lack of focus in completing their task, and the tendency to get bogged down by other responsibilities, side projects, etc. The party refocuses their effort on finding the lost page of Ethan's journal, and getting Guy's axe re-forged so that they can complete their next task. Amidst these goals, the threat of war between the prominent Eastern Lands houses looms.

Guy manages to get his axe remade, although the details of how exactly are somewhat hazy (sorry, folks), and the party makes its way to a side of the Eastern Lands yet unknown to them, where they encounter a society and culture so foreign to them that they know little of what to make from it. Their quest leads them to a confrontation with a Tojanida, who's diplomatic style causes the confrontation to escalate to the physical level. The fight proves to be tricky, as the Tojanida is housed within a magical water wall. To make matters more complicated, Harves Reath and Jarrod show up with Raven, a monk, an Blaine, a rouge, two warriors recruited from the Eastern Lands to be part of Visgoth's retinue in the Ten vs. the Twelve fight. The skirmish shifts to the party fighting them, but the party is forced to retreat before a satisfying conclusion can be reached.

Moving forward, the party finds and fights its way through an ancient temple devoted to a serpent god (not one the party has encountered previously) where they find the last page of Ethan's journal hidden. They also find an adventuring party that had been turned into stone. They are able to restore two of the adventurers, one who thanks them and helps them fight their way out of the temple. The other is the gnome wizard Numnar. Numnar is an evil, murderous psychopath with delusions of grandeur, and the party decides that it would be foolish of them to let Numnar out of their sight, where he could become more powerful, or spend time terrorizing some group of unsuspecting commoners. Also, Guy is out voted on the option of killing Numnar because the group finds him so damned amusing.

Having obtained the Lay of Lugh (which Floyd has spent his spare time feverishly trying to work out) and the page of Ethan's journal, they set about on their next task: finding the Tarrasque to retrieve the Rod of Wonder. Their search takes them to a temple high in the mountains on the Northeastern side of Aggravail, where, once inside, they discover a few important things:

1. the temple grants its inhabitants an unprecedented spiritual closeness to the one true God. In fact, Brixmore is loath to leave the temple, despite his knowledge that he must.
2. this "closeness" grants inhabitants, after a moment spent in prayer or quiet contemplation, a temporary bonus to their abilities, both in combat, and in skills and attempts to accomplish tasks that require dice rolls.
3. Using this bonus, Floyd attempts to play the Lay of Lugh in the hallowed halls of the temple. Played herein, he discovers, due to the temple's unique acoustical structure, that the song is actually a complex call and answer sort of duet, and that playing it properly requires the tremendous skill of TWO bards. Floyd considers the other powerful bards he knows, but chooses not to discuss it with the party at length.
4. There is an altar which can only be approached by characters of a good disposition. Guy and Brix are able to approach, and feel fulfilled by the experience. Floyd is able to approach, but experiences no such fulfillment. Virgil chooses not to approach.

The party leaves the temple, and continues their search for the Tarrasque. The party is called back to the Arcanum, and Guy and Brix are summoned to House Lin to consult on matters concerning the Eastern Lands war. Virgil, meanwhile, susses out the Tarrasque's location - a valley in Northern Issa - and he and Floyd decide to attempt to handle the obtaining of the Rod of Wonder "Floyd & Virgil-style," which is to say, with less combat overall. Floyd hires an artist to come with them to witness the scene and capture it for posterity. The pair arrives near the valley, where they discover the Tarrasque is asleep, and that approaching too closely will wake him up and begin his rampage anew. Virgil decides to bypass this problem (and the problem of the Rod of Wonder being inside the Tarrasque's gullet) by teleporting inside Tarrasque, finding the Rod, and teleporting out. However, much to the surprise of no one, this wakes the Tarrasque up. Floyd provides a minor distraction allowing Virgil to escape unharmed with the Rod of Wonder. The two grab the artist and blip out back to the Eastern Lands, giddy over their triumph. Guy and Brix return, and, after hearing what Floyd and Virgil have done, travel to the valley to see the Tarrasque, but discover that he has begun rampaging, destroying everything in his path between here and his current position in Southern Aggravail. Realizing that the Tarrasque must be fought and destroyed (or at least subdued back into slumber), the party engages it, and finds that, due to the combination of their high level and years of experience fighting together, that killing the Tarrasque is within their abilities, and although it takes a considerable effort, they finish him off without any of the party seriously wounded.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Game Over

Please note that the final session of this game was played January 16th 2011 at Jake's house. It's been a hell of a ride and by far the best game I've ever run.

We started in August of 2007, the month my first son was born and played consistently through with one 3 month break during the summer of 2008 for Joey's Star Wars Game while Dave was out of town. I'll leave it to Joey to tally actual sessions played, but it was extremely long for our group. Inspite of it's length it never felt stale to me, and I hope to the players as well.

This game had it all - memorable villains, stanch allies, political intrigue, mystical happenings, wars of small to epic scope, relics of a bygone age, spiritual and divine struggles, pastoral locations, huge cities, forgotten ruins, dragons, varied cultures, racial struggles, and above all the heroic journey as our PCs went from being orphans of mysterious origin to saviors of creation.

I'm going to take a moment to reflect on some of my personal favorites from this game. I encourage the PCs to comment on my choices or do their own lists.

Villains: Visgoth comes foremost to mind as he was supremely powerful, the main villain of the overarching plot, and the final fight of the game. But there were other advasaries who I felt proud of or just thought were cool.
  • Harvas Raeth - while Visgoth was a cosmic threat, Harvas Raeth was an intimate evil that was not afraid to get personal. Universally hated by the PCs he was also respected and at times feared. And let us not forget- he survived and is still out there.
  • Thumb - I just loved the concept, the poise, and the confidence of the the Fist of Set's leader.
  • Sikator - Ah Sikator. Ultimately a minor opponent in the grand scheme of the plot, I truly enjoyed the sessions where the party interacted with the evil Lizardman's plots to avenge his god's defeat at th party's hands.
  • The Harvester - No being in the entire scope of the game generated such fear in the PCs as the Harvester did, an amazing feat when you consider they defeated him when they were about 8th level. Even up to the end he was mentioned reluctantly and with fear. And I have to say I out did myself with him. A figure of true horror.
  • Dugal - Heh. Possibly the most complexly layered NPC in the game. Villain or ally based on the situation and the opportunity. His redemption sought by Guy, his utter destruction by Virgil, a clear categorization of him (friend or foe) sought by Floyd, Dugal remained his own man to the end, an opportunist non-pareil.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Ten vs. Twelve Update

Due to events beyond the group's control (namely Floyd's understanding of a calendar) the session has been postponed to Sunday January 9th. This has altered the Twelve's roster due to availablity. The roster is the same except:

Axe Bludgeonfist has been replaced with Pierce Thundar (human fighter, PC)

Oak has been replaced with Pskeenart (elven wizard, PC)

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Ten vs. the Twelve

Destined Location: Castle Visgoth

Prophecy: "...and lo in the castle of the serpent on the day of ascension shall twelve enter to do battle with ten. And there they will fight to the death; none shall leave until all opponents are slain. In victory shall the course of the world be determined henceforth: freedom or tyranny."

The Ten
Elliot the Necromancer (wizard)
Harvas Raeth (monk/sorcerer)
Jared Shadowsmith (swordsman, shadowdancer)
Mutric (bandaged halfling, sorcerer)
Malus AKA Captain Evil (warrior)
Death Spectre (unknown abilities)
Raven (monk from Eastern Lands)
Blaine (shortsword wielding assasin from Eastern Lands)
The Pagan (unkown abilities, divine caster & melee combatant)
Rumplemintz (wizard)

The Twelve
Floyd Fiftynames (bard/duelist extraordinare - PC Joey)
Brixmor Baldon (cleric - PC Ben)
Virgil Deathbow (ranger, wizard, arcane archer - PC Dave)
Guy Fiftynames (barbarian, knight protector, holy liberator - PC Chris)
Axe Bludgeonfist (fighter - PC Aaron)
Oak (druid - PC Max)
Goldschmidt (druid)
Hemis (paladin)
Klepos (eldritch knight)
Sebastian (paladin)
McGrath (warrior)
Samred (barbarian)

Bench (to swap out with NPC pending availiblity)
Liam Strongbow (fighter - PC Greg)
Pskenart (enchanter - PC Justin)
Pierce Thundar (fighter - PC Daniel)

Brixmor's Game Plan (assuming full NPC roster)
Goldschmidt on Elliot
Guy on Harvas Raeth
Klepos on Jared
Floyd on Mutric
Samred on Malus
Hemis on the Death Spectre
Sebastian on Raven
McGrath on Blaine
Brixmor on the Pagan
Axe on Rumplemintz
Virgil and Oak in back for support

Friday, December 3, 2010

Other Game Blogs by the Group

To any loyal readers out there - while you are waiting for updates or posts to this blog check out these other campagin blogs featuring the same players:

or check out the group's poorly contrived website at

Friday, August 20, 2010

Game Notes - August 8 & 15, 2010

Gameplay begins as Guy joins the party (having arrived via separate transportation), and the gang starts off in search of the tomb of Lugh. After walking for a while and encountering some general nastiness, Guy realizes they have been under the effects of an illusion, and have wandered far off course. The party doubles back, but is forced to camp for the night before finding the tomb.

During the night, on Floyd's watch, a tribe of Driders (that's a drow / spider hybrid, folks) happens upon the party, and in exchange for some extra equipment the boys picked up along the way, the Driders tell the party the location of the tomb, which they know to be the realm of Bahamet, the spider god. The Driders inform the party that no one who has entered the cave where the tomb of Lugh is suspected to be returns, and those who do are usually killed by the Driders.

The party heads for the tomb in the morning, finding the cave fairly easily. Inside, they deal with all manner of giant spider business, including the destruction of Bahamet. Much rejoicing. Having cleaned out the giant spiders from the top of the cave, they find a lever which opens a porthculis to the next part of the cave, a long, LONG bridge. Brix casts Airwalk on some of the party (those who can't polymorph to fly), and the group passes over the bridge and all its terrors quickly and easily. Once on the other side, they find themselves in front of three doors.

Here ends the August 8 Session; the August 15 Session follows:

The party chooses their path through the gray, stone door which is the least adorned of the entryways. The path is lined with exceptionally deadly traps, but Floyd's trapfinding ability allows the party to circumvent most of them (one exception is a trap that nearly kills Brix, arguably the party's hardiest member). Finally, they reach the end of the hall, but are dismayed to see a door guarded by what appears to be ten iron golems. The party tries to rest and re-memorize, but regular attacks by shadows and wraiths make this effort impossible, so they charge into the room, hoping to get through the door before the iron golems can do considerable damage. To their great relief, only four of the golems are active, and Guy, Brix, and Virgil manage to dispatch them (with limited resources due to their depleted spell slots) while Floyd picks the lock to the room. The party opens the door and prepares to face their next challenge.

End of Session