Thursday, December 31, 2009

Erronious' Report (DM Post)

The Universal Church
Erronius’ Report

As dictated by his Holiness and ratified by the Papal Congress, I have been assigned to act as advisor to the Alliance and Director of the Church resources and participation in the war effort. The Church has invoked Crisis of the Faith, declared the war effort a Holy Crusade, and turned control over to the Council with the stipulation that I be allowed to advise. Below is a description of Church resources.

The Order of Radiant Knights

The Radiant Knights are tasked with rooting out corruption in the church, and answer only to his Holiness directly. That task has been set aside and the Radiant Knights are to aide the war effort in whatever capacity I see fit, as directed by the Council. It should be noted that they will not hesitate to slay any member of the Church found to be corrupt or treasonous, even myself. While there are only three of them, the Church respects them and feels that they will be of value.

Human Paladin/Holy Inquisitor
Leader, Radiant Knights
Status: Committed. In Luthia awaiting orders.

Human Paladin/Holy Inquisitor
Radiant Knight
Status: In Luthia.

Human Paladin/Holy Inquisitor
Radiant Knight
Status: In Luthia

Church Crusaders

The following are the troops that have flocked to the Holy Crusade from the faithful, organized into a single Brigade broken into 6 Battalions, and 2 companies of Paladin Cavalry.

Paladins 400 (leveled paladins acting as heavy cavalry)
Crusaders 6000 (unleveled warriors)


This group is made up of those among the priesthood and the faithful who are willing to serve as medics and healers for the Alliance.

Clerics 200 (leveled clerics)
Healers 800 (unleveled non-magical healers with some training)
Volunteers 1300 (un-trained)

Church Property

As a throw back to the fall of the empires many abbeys and monasteries are actually fairly defensible buildings. The Cardinals and heads of the Orders are issuing commands that these buildings are to be put to the Alliance’s disposal. All churches, cathedrals, and enclosed shrines and being converted to serve as hospitals should the need arise.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Klepos' Report (DM Post)

The Adventurer’s Guild
Klepos’ Report

The Seekers
Order of Occult Scholars

Merrill (Halfling Seeker based in Larst focus was Golems) died during the recent Sack of Larst. There are now four surviving Seekers. Doctor Ethan seemed to be the driving force behind the group, and with his death and significant attrition the group is now pretty much defunct. The four survivors are:

Gnome Wizard
Based in Dreia
Focus Fey
Status: MIA. Reports from the Order of the Abbey state that he is currently in hiding.

Human Druid
Based in Nemia
Focus Krakens
Status: Nuetral. He refuses to get involved in the war effort instead focusing on his research. Is not expected to evacuate along with the rest of the Nemian population.

Halfling Cleric/Bard
Based in Nemia
Focus Thoth
Status: Committed. Now under the direction of the Guild; is currently in Nemia assisting with the evacuation.

Elven Sorcerer
Based in Illrea
Focus Morrigan
Status: Committed. Currently in Illrea observing the Illrean front. Making a study of the enemy Beacon Towers.

Fellowship of the Golden Eagle
Adventurers advocating individual rights
and the dissolution of governmental power

The Fellowship is now defunct. Oren (Dwarven Leader and owner of the Shield Splitter Inn) and Petio (Half-Orc Fellow) were in Tutia when the goblins invaded and died trying to recover Gorm’s body. Oren left Soren the Shield Splitter Inn in his will and Soren has retired to run the inn. Guy Axefury and Tempest are the sole active members.

Elven Ranger/Sorcerer
Status: Committed. Last report put her in Luthia. She is now under the direction of the Guild.

The Knights of Dawn
Adventurer’s club made up of Eastern Argravailian nobility

The Knights of Dawn went underground after the expansion of the Meliotic Empire, operating mostly from Barovia. When the Goblins came through Darkenhold the Knights pretty much scattered. Some fell, some are missing. The remaining members have consolidated into a platoon led by Count Vlassberg which has accepted Guild authority.

Count Vlassberg
Human Fighter
Leader of the Knights of Dawn
Status: Committed. Currently posted in Silar awaiting orders.

Baronet Hornsby
Human Sorcerer
2nd in Command of the Knights of Dawn
Status: Committed. In Silar with the Knights.

Viscount Ular
Human Wizard
Member of the Knights of Dawn (Advisor to Vlassberg)
Status: Committed. In Silar with the Knights.

Knights of Dawn
Status: Committed. Stationed in Silar.
Command 3 (Vlassberg, Hornsby, and Ular)
Scouts 2 (Leveled Rangers)
Bards 1
Warriors 24 (Leveled Fighters)

Defenders of Knights Peace
Organization focused on the destruction of undead

The Adventurer’s Guild has had no contact with any of the Defenders since the goblins came out of Darkenhold. At this point I can only assume that the organization is dead.

The Runners
Messenger’s Guild unaffiliated with the Adventurer’s Guild

I have contacted the Runners’ Guildmaster, Elroy, and the Runners have committed to serving as military dispatch for the war effort in exchange for their members being exempt from conscription.

The Shining Order of Gnomish Protectors
Organization focused on the defense of
Gnomes and their communities

McGrath informed me (in his capacity of High Protector of the Shining Order) that, while 50 of the Shining Order are staying to defend Gnomehome, he has recalled all wandering Gnomish Protectors for the war effort. Additionally the 50 staying in Gnomehome are Burrow Wardens, and the Gnomish Protectors leadership will be taking the field on behalf of the Alliance. In an effort to preserve chain of command the Gnomish Protectors and McGrath will be under the authority of the Adventurer’s Guild, except when McGrath is acting as an Executive Council Member of the Freelands. McGrath will serve as my second and advisor for the Adventurer’s Guild.

Gnome Barbarian
High Protector of the Shining Order
Status: Committed. In Luthia serving as Guild command staff.

Gnomish Protectors
Status: Committed. Mustering in Gnomehome and awaiting orders.
Command 1 (McGrath as High Protector)
Knights of the Hearth 10 (leadership and leveled warriors)
Knights of Loam 40 (Veteran leveled warriors)
Burrow Wardens 50 (leveled warriors)
Conscripts 120 (gnomes from Gnomehome, base militia)

The Warriors of the Rose
Mercenary band operating out of Nemia and Barovia

Captain Xavier contacted me to commit to the Alliance (free of charge). He has asked to be placed under Guild authority for the war effort to avoid being seen as having any political affiliation. The Warriors are extremely tested veterans that have historically been used to spearhead assaults and I feel they will prove to be valuable allies.

Captain Xavier
Human Fighter
Leader of the Warriors of the Rose
Status: Committed. Stationed at the southern Illrean border awaiting orders.

Warriors of the Rose
Status: Committed.
Organization: Company split into 5 platoons
Command 6 (Xavier and 5 lieutenants, 1 per platoon)
Crossbowmen 40 (Alpha platoon)
Infantry 120 (Beta, Theta, and Gamma platoons, leveled warriors)
Scouts 10 (leveled rogues, Omega platoon)
Marksmen 10 (leveled archers, Omega platoon)
Commandos 20 (leveled rangers, Omega platoon)

Non-affiliated Adventurers Answering Guild Call
The following Guild members, none whom belong to the groups mentioned above, answered the Guild call.
Fighters 60
Barbarians 20
Monks 10
Bards 30
Rogues 20
Rangers 40
Wizards 20
Sorcerers 10

Thursday, December 10, 2009

NPC Profile: Samarid

Samarid is a former brother at the Morningstar Abbey, and currently a trainer and advisor to the military of The Freelands. He is a large, muscular human with bright red hair and a thick, bushy beard. He dresses in animal skins, and is an adept fighter with an axe or in bare-handed combat.

At the start of the campaign, Samarid served the abbey as a smith and a farmer. His apprentice was Guy Furyaxe (formerly Fiftynames), and in addition to his trade, Samarid would work with Guy on combat techniques. He was reserved and guarded in what techniques he was willing to teach Guy, but sufficient prodding and pleading would often get him to show Guy a new move or style.

Samarid wore a mysterious choker around his neck, which the party discovered was in place to magically suppress his barbarian rage, and to artificially raise his wisdom and intelligence so as to make him a functioning member of civilized society. Guy discovered Samarid’s impressive axe and a helmet made from the skull of Wyvern one day, which effectively put an end to Samarid’s training of Guy.

The night of Teris’ death, Guy removed Samarid’s choker and sent him after Faust, hoping that Samarid could protect Art from harm. Although Samarid and Art were defeated, they were not killed, and Samarid was held prisoner at the abbey. When the boys had completed their adventurer apprenticeships, they returned to the abbey and freed Samarid, giving him his chokere back and restoring his reason. Samarid accompanied the party to the Warrior’s Rest, where he agreed to serve as a bodygaurd to Eric while he conducted research into the party’s heritages.

Samarid would occasionally see the party from time to time when they would meet with Eric, and Guy and Samarid would normally spar and share combat knowledge with each other. When Eric became Bjorn and retired from his research into the Year of the Ram, Samarid joined the party’s newly-formed government of The Freelands as a trainer and advisor to the Freelandian military, where he remains to this day.

Monday, December 7, 2009

December 6 Game Notes

Gameplay begins in Ellicor, where Brix and Guy have caught up to the party, and take the opportunity to talk with Garvey, Gorom, and Vain about why they have chosen to sign peace treaties with the Meliotic Empire. Most importainly, Vain theorizes that the Meliotic Empire may be seeking protection from one of four entities: the High Elves, the Darklands, Issa, or the rest of Western Aggravail. After coming to the conclusion that there would be no harm in having The Freelands do so as well, the party requests a meeting with the ambassador from the Meliotic Empire, who helps them hammer out certain details – trade and inspection of goods, the establishment of embassies in each nation, and a mutually inclusive option to protect against extradition. However, the treaty hits a snag when the ambassador suggests (due to Guy’s braggadocio) that the Order of the Abbey (i.e., the party) be considered a branch of The Freelands’ military, a provision that would hold the nation sanctionable for the actions of the party. This is immediately met with resistance by everyone, and a heated debate ensues about whether or not to sign the treaty. Garvey and Vain are brought in for their opinions, and it is finally decided that the connection between the party and The Freelands is inevitable, and that the country could find itself subject to sanctioning with or without a clause in a treaty (which is only the word of one nation to another), and as a result, the treaty is signed on The Freelands’ behalf.

The party returns to Dreia and drops off the paperwork from the summit, before returning to Barovia to pick up a sword that Brixmore had left with the Apprentice, which itself is a precursor to heading into the Darklands to do some exploring. However, when they arrive, they find the Apprentice dead. Through a Speak with Dead, the Apprentice reveals that he is amenable to resurrection. Revived, he reveals that the sword Brix has given him has been cursed, and is now useless, and that he was killed by the Fist of Set, now reformed. The party decides they need to find out what the Fist of Set is up to, so Floyd takes to the skies on Scaramouche in search of them. Meanwhile, Guy inquires as to why the Apprentice would want the Bellmaker released, and the Apprentice reveals that it was to prevent the Bellmaker from becoming the final pieces in the Apocalypse chime.

Virgil performs a scrying on the Fist of Set, discovering that they have caught up with and killed Delphin (Bjorn’s twin, who fought with Kleppos and the party in the Fist of Set showdown), and seem to be on their way to kill the party as well. Knowing that their destination is likely to be Haven, the party reluctantly returns to Dreia via Brix’s Word of Recall, and prepares to face them.

A month goes by with no sign of the Fist of Set, when a page arrives to inform Haven that the Goblins have invaded Western Aggravail in force – 120,000 strong have overrun Tutia led by the Cathonic Beasts of Legend, and King Gorom is dead, news that elicits grief from the party. In addition, Vain is missing in action. Upon hearing this news, Guy sends for an Illrean Ranger black ops member. Finally, they learn that the Duke of Darkenhold has died and found himself overrun. In his last moments, he declared Virgil his successor, making Virgil the new Duke of Darkenhold, and commander of twelve surviving Bogotars.

The party rushes to get status updates on the rest of the continent. They discover that Molloch has magically shielded the capital of the Meliotic Empire from harm by ringing a bell created by the Bellmaker, which effectively seals off the city. The rest of the Meliotic Empire lies in ruins, and a larger force than the one invading Tutia has come over through Darkenhold. Garvey is unaware of the invasion until informed by the party. Upon learning about it, he immediately suggests an all-points war council be held in Larst, but this is later moved to Luthia. The Illrean Ranger black ops member informs the party that Vain has indeed died as well, and a ranger named Pallick is now in charge of their organization. Floyd travels to castle Visgoth to inform them of the news; he is met by Harves Raeth and told that Visgoth is uninterested until the goblins cross the Luthian Forest; at which point, he will personally take the field – this news creates tepid relief among the party for their corner of the world. On the way back, Floyd checks in with Goldschmiddt, who agrees to come to the war council, and Doovin, who is saddened to hear the news, but is powerless to help. Virgil and Eric discuss the possibility of conscription to fight the goblins, but The Freelands army, at 20,000 strong, is only predicted to increase to 45,000 through such measures.

The party goes to Mason to give him the news. Mason agrees that this is serious, but does not see the need for The Freelands to be involved. Beside himself, Guy vows to end the Goblin threat, and then come back and personally kill Mason. The remainder of the Executive Council of The Freelands, however (Ajax, McGrath, Eric, and Terick; the other two died of the plague) sees the benefit in the war council and abandons Mason to govern the domestic state.

The party leaves for Luthia. Upon arriving, they summon Abbott Teris’ spirit to talk to them – Teris explains that a prophecy exists on the subject in the High Seat of the Church in Larst – a prophecy (unrelated to the Year of the Ram) called the End of Days prophecy, whose outcome is unwritten.

before long, the rest of the war council shows up. What follows is a list of those summoned. Characters in italics are attending, and their major affiliations, for those not attending, a brief explanation is attached.

The End of Days War Council

­Guy Axefury – The Freelands; Order of the Abbey, Fellowship of the Golden Eagle

Axe Bludgeonfist – Order of the Abbey

Brixmore – The Freelands, Order of the Abbey, The Universal Church

Floyd Fiftynames – The Freelands, The Fifty Gnomes, Order of the Abbey

Virgil Deathbow – The Freelands, Darkenhold, Order of the Abbey

Ajax – The Freelands, The Fifty Gnomes

McGrath – The Freelands, Gnome-Home

Eric – The Freelands (Military)

Terick – The Freelands

Garvey – Silar

Meldor, Lord of Arrows – Luthia (The Hunters)

Queen of Luthia – Luthia

Graham – Independent (AWOL from the Barbarians in the North)

King Luth – Arimathea

Matthick – Gortia

Pope Benedict – The Universal Church

Havern – Weaponsmiths, the Twilight Lands

King of Nemia – Nemia

Kleppos – The Adventurer’s Guild

Goldschmiddt – Followers of the Dagda

Rumplemintz – Followers of the Dagda

Not Attending:

Zarin / Linus – Uninterested in matters of state, fighting goblins from the north shore

Elliott – Turned a deaf ear to Virgil and Guy’s request; Elliott has information that could be of use to us, and his refusal to attend is particularly disheartening

A rep. from the Meliotic Empire – Unreachable; capital is sealed off

Goldemar – All of Goldemar is engaged in holding the goblins back at present

The Order of the Serpent – Engaged in battle at present

At once assembled, these twenty-one individuals will go about the business of planning a defense against an invasion of a quarter of a million goblins and their legendary Cathonic commanders.

End of Session

November 29 Game Notes

Note: Brix and Guy are absent from this session.

Gameplay begins with Virgil, Axe, and Floyd debating the merits / detriments of killing Mason, finally coming to the conclusion that they did not have to kill him to force him to change. Virgil, Floyd, and Axe would attend the summit in Ellicor (the capital of Arimathea), as they had been invited by Mason to go an put in a token appearance for The Freelands, where they would convince various world leaders to cease trade relations with The Freelands until the nation backed off its isolationist policies. This move would seriously threaten the Freelandian economy, which would almost certainly affect public opinion of Mason.

The trio depart Dreia by air, stopping by the Morningstar Abbey and checking in with Abbott Art. Everything at the Abbey seems to be positive, so the party heads on south to Ellicor, which is located near the south coast of Arimathea. Along the way, they meet some other travelers, who react with distrust at a Half-Orc in the party, so the gang decides to keep its distance. Soon, they find themselves in Ellicor, where they check in at the palace, which has a workman-like design from the outside, but an opulent inside. They are greeted by Chancellor Braddock, who is disappointed that The Freelands did not send representatives with any real power. However, the group is given a suite anyway, and a page – a dwarf named Axle. Floyd has Axle set up a dinner meeting with King Gorom of Tutia and Garvey of Silar. That evening, they discuss their plan with the two heads of state, and both Gorom and Garvey agree to take part, indicating that things were headed that way in any case. Gorom also asks the boys to take care of a problem he is having with bandits who are raiding a nearby diamond mine he has financial interest in. Having nothing to do but wait for the summit to begin in three days, Virgil, Floyd, and Axe accept the job.

The “bandits” in question turn out to be a pair of Fire Giant brothers who hire Etins as their goons, and employ a gang of Ogre Mages as well. Down two of their heavy hitters, the trio makes an impressive run of it before they are ambushed. Virgil takes significant damage and is forced to retreat, taking Axe with him. Floyd sticks around long enough to trick the bandits out of the treasure room, where he loots as much as he can carry before escaping himself.

When the group finds themselves pursued by invisible Ogre Mages, Virgil is forced to teleport the boys back to Ellicor. However, his spell does not completely work properly, and the trio find themselves teleported over the castle moat. Although the manage to avoid making a splash, they do attract some attention and are chastised “for dabbling in magic they do not understand.” Floyd reports the result of their foray to Gorom, who brushes it off as no big deal. Meanwhile, in an exciting bit of news, Gorom and Garvey’s letters have worked wonders, and Mason grants Virgil and Floyd full diplomatic powers at the upcoming summit – effectively making them Secretaries of State for the time being.

The roster for the summit is as follows:

Tutia – King Gorom the Fat
Silar - Garvey
The Freelands – Axe Bludgeonfist, Floyd Fiftynames, Virgil Deathbow
Illrea – Vain
Larst – Allric (a foppish figure)
The Universal Church – Archbishop Joyous
Nemia – Col. Dudemont
Arimathea – King Luth
Luthia – Head of the Luthian Hunters
Gortia – Matthick

Luth calls the meeting to order, explaining that the purpose of the summit is two-fold – first, that Gortia has organized their government, and wishes to be recognized as a country. Matthick, the representative from Gortia, turns out to be a spitting image of Mason (only with hair). Matthick re-affirms the organization of Gortia, and claims designs on re-integrating all of Gortia’s former territory, which includes the land that is now Virgil’s Hold. Virgil, to nobody’s surprise, takes exception to this, and lays out the fact that at The Freelands’ summit, their borders were recognized. Tutia, Silar, Nemia, Illrea, and Arimathea back up Virgil’s claim, and Matthick seemingly backs off. Allric will not weigh in, presumably because of Larst and Gortia’s proximity and the desire to stay out of a conflict.

The second purpose of the meeting is for Luth to report on his activity with the High Elf Empire. According to Luth, he sent eight ships to the Elven Empire in the hopes of establishing trade talks. Two of the ships returned, and those that did reported that the High Elves seemed to be expecting them, and thought that the Arimathean ships were from the Meliotic Empire. This causes some alarm at the summit, for the nations to consider the ramifications of the Meliotic Empire trading with the High Elves. In particular, Virgil is consternated as he considers The Freelands to still be at war with the High Elves, a position that the others affirm but decide that The Freelands is alone in (excepting the instance of a High Elf invasion, as happened before).

At that point, the summit is interrupted by the arrival of an ambassador from the Meliotic Empire, who comes to the summit wishing to establish peace treaties with the nations of Western Aggravail. He assures the summit that the Meliotic Empire and the High Elves are not undergoing trade talks, as the High Elves currently only wish to deal in slaves, which is of no interest to Molloch or the Meliots. However, this talk of peace treaties stirs a great deal of distrust from Virgil and Floyd, who give the Meliotic ambassador every reason why a peace treaty would not be possible. Floyd even goes so far to explain that he does not see a peace treaty possible without having the chance to meet Emporer Molloch face-to-face. The ambassador agrees to this, but says it may take upwards of a year’s time. The Freelands declines a peace treaty, but finds out later that every other nation signed one.

End of Session.

November 22 Game Notes

Sorry for the unexpected delay in postings. Today, I will publish the last three weeks' game notes. After that, there will be a two-week off period (i.e., no sessions December 13 or 20) which I will try to fill with a new puppet musical installment, and a couple of NPC Profiles.


Gameplay begins in the mountains of eastern Barovia, where the party is marching to confront and kill the Orc King. Via Scaramouche, the Pegasus, and Virgil’s polymorph ability, the party attempts to cover the distance faster via flight. However, after a couple of days of travel in this manner, they find themselves visited by an orc emissary, who tells the party that the orcs know of their imminent arrival due to some divination work by their shaman. The shaman sends the emissary with the message that the party’s lives will be spared if they have the sense to turn back now. The party does its best to convince the emissary that their intentions are not murderous, but they are unsuccessful. The next day, the party finds the elements of the air have turned against them, with windstorms and lightning bolts threatening them in the skies. Because of this, the gang decides to continue on foot through the mountains and forest.

After about a week’s time, the party finds a valley that seems to be the orc’s sanctuary. Virgil and Brix launch a volley of magical explosions and fire into the valley, only to discover that the whole thing is an illusion masking an inexplicably located elf village. As the party rushes in to minimalize the damage and save face, they discover a wall of orcs at the top of the valley opposite who begin a downward charge. Brix manages to stop an all-out onslaught by putting up a Blade Barrier. Meanwhile, Axe, Floyd, Guy, and Virgil Dimension Door to the back of the fray to confront the Orc King and the Shaman. A fairly serious battle ensues, but the party is victorious.

The boys return to Eagle’s Peak with the head of the Orc King, and the people of Eagle’s Peak agree to resume trade with DeFeo. Afterwards, the party contemplates their next move. They decide to check in with the remains of Four (of the Fist of Set), only to discover that Garam is once again in grave danger, and that the Fist of Set has likely resurrected Thumb and recruited a new Two and Four. They decide to return to Dreia to warn Garam, and get there quickly thanks to Brix’s Word of Recall. There, they are dismayed to find the government of The Freelands in turmoil, as several Executive Council members are suffering from an illness not unlike the plague that afflicted Gortia, leaving Mason, Eric, and Ajax as the only real decision makers. Mason has taken this opportunity to bring more power to the Executive Council (and it’s de facto reigning chief executive) under his umbrella, and many of the Governors and Judges currently elected by the people are under Mason’s political tutelage. Mason, meanwhile, has adopted an isolationist stance for The Freelands, pulling promised troops out of Nemia and angering Garvey of Silar. In addition, he has no intention to attend a summit called by Luth, King of Arimathea (and Lord of the West).

After warning Garam and sending him into hiding, Guy attempts to reason with Mason, but to no avail. The party seeks out Ajax for his insight, whereupon they discover Garvey is insistent that something be done about Mason due to an uncovered correspondence between Mason and the Meliotic Empire. However, Ajax informs the group that this document was created by the Fifty-Gnomes as a means of getting Mason out of the picture. Realizing that the bulk of intelligent local opinion seems to be anti-Mason, the party and Ajax debate what must be done with him.

End of Session

Thursday, November 19, 2009

November 15 Game Notes

Gameplay begins with the party recovering from their fight with the Fist of Set at the Wayfarer’s Guild Hall in Ostrogoth. Floyd takes the loot from the fight that was not claimed by any of the participants to the guild shop for sale; all told, the party receives 115,000 gp for the lot.

Brix takes the head of Thumb and casts Speak with Dead. Unlike most corpses under this spell, Thumb appears as a lucid, fully aware entity. The party questions him about his cohorts’ getaway, and Thumb reveals there had been an underground cavern beneath that hill where One and Three were able tor recover from the fight before making their escape. Thumb’s spirit then possesses Virgil, but it is quickly subdued and abandons his mortal host, inviting the party to summon him again anytime before he vanishes.

The party spends the remainder of a week recovering before purchasing four horses (Scaramouche rejoins the party and remains Floyd’s primary source of transportation) at rock-bottom prices and heading north to Beckendorff.

Arriving in Beckendorff, the party finds a city built partially underground, and with a second level of interconnecting tunnels and passageways between commercial and government buildings. Upon entering, Floyd is instructed to remove his hat, which he does to avoid suspicion. The party makes their way to a tavern, where they discover that puppet shows licensed by the bardic consortium occur regularly and that a parade celebrating the town’s pantheon religious structure is coming up in a couple of days, and that the parade will feature a large Floyd Fiftynames puppet, which Guy is eager to see. Brixmroe and Guy are disheartened to learn that the Universal Church does not have a presence in Beckendorff.

The party books a room at an inn for the night. Floyd disguises himself and goes with Axe to the bardic consortium, where he is given a tour as a novice hoping to join. Floyd learns that within the bardic consortium is housed the 49 Gnomes headquarters, and therefore, Mitchell. Floyd and Axe tour the facility (as much as is shown to the public), then head back to the inn, where they encounter Virgil. Virgil, Floyd, and Axe have a long discussion about the best way to infiltrate Mitchell’s headquarters. Many facets of the plan are considered, but most importantly, the objectives are to rid the town of its religious heresy (Brix & Guy), capture and kill Mitchell (Floyd), and take the Bellmaker out, alive and intact (Virgil & Axe). Several options are weighed, from overt stealth to shock and awe, until finally, Virgil determines that the party does not have enough information to proceed. His solution is to attempt to ferret out a thieves’ guild, hoping they will be able to help him – albeit for a price.

Virgil takes to the streets of Beckendorff, where he is surprisingly not killed or beaten. Instead, he finds a beggar who happens to be a former priest of the Universal Church, forbidden from practicing in the city. Virgil gives the beggar some money, and the beggar gives Virgil the name of a tavern, telling him to look there for a way into the 49 Gnomes quarters.

Virgil rounds up the party, and they head for the tavern in question, where they are greeted with suspicion upon entering. Virgil makes friendly with a large group at a table, and the leader of the group recognizes the party as the Order of the Abbey. He agrees to get the boys into Mitchell’s quarters for a price – he needs a book, and he insists that Mitchell not be killed. In addition, the party will agree to sneak a group of Universal Church deacons out of the city. The party finds they cannot agree to leaving Mitchell alive, nor are they comfortable getting a book whose title cannot be revealed until the pact is made. The party politely refuses the request and offers to take the deacons out of the city anyway, an offer declined by the group leader.

The boys set out on their own to infiltrate Mitchell’s quarters. They come within a few blocks of the bardic consortium, then wait as Floyd approaches the guards outside in the guise of the novice from before. Floyd tells the guards that he came for a tour earlier and left something important inside. The guards buy this, and agree to send someone who can take him inside. The gnome who comes out, Blinkin, takes Floyd inside the consortium walls, where Floyd charms him. Together, they go outside, and come back in with the rest of the party, passing by the guards with Blinkin’s permission.

Blinkin leads the group to the front of the 49 Gnomes’ headquarters, but they encounter a couple of gnomes who will not let them pass. Guy makes short work of them, and Floyd, not wishing to involve Blinkin any farther, instructs him to go out, get drunk, and forget about everything that happened this night. Blinkin acquiesces, and the party is left on their own to proceed in. Unfortunately, Floyd sets off a trap specifically designed to alert Mitchell if any member of their party made it in – a trap which affords Mitchell to escape (on Griffon-back, he claims), and to kill the resident of his holding cell, which the party believes to be the Bellmaker. Floyd tosses an ottoman through the window and leaps out, hopping on Scaramouche to pursue Mitchell, while the rest of the party makes for the cell.

The party arrives at the holding cell and discovers not the Bellmaker, but Doogal, face down and dead. They take Doogal’s body and head for Mitchell’s room, where they discover a large gem with magical properties and correspondence from Mitchell to Visgoth, offering make a deal with him for the information Doogal has provided.

Floyd, meanwhile, scours the skies for Mitchell, but it is for naught. When Virgil transforms into an eagle with See Invisibility, it only confirms Mitchell’s treachery and falsehoods have again provided him with a chance to escape. Having extracted everything they need from the 49 Gnomes headquarters, Virgil and Guy set fire to it, and leave it behind.

The party leaves Beckendorff and camps outside of town. There, Brix casts Speak with Dead on Doogal and confirms that he would come back if resurrected. A debate breaks out over whether or not to bring Doogal back, with Guy leading the “for” argument, and Virgil basically on his own in the “opposed” party. Finally, a few compelling reasons are listed for bringing Doogal back, including the fact that only he can call off the Wild Hunt on the party, and that he has information that the party needs about destroying Visgoth. Doogal is resurrected by Brix, while the party brings Axe into Abbott Teris’ communication circle.

Doogal returns, and agrees to call off the Wild Hunt as soon as he is in a place where he can do it. Meanwhile, he asks that the party catch him up with everything that has gone on until now while he was in jail. The party tells him about Visgoth and the hunt for his soul, which Doogal believes to be a hoax. They also tell him the details surrounding his Year of the Ram heritage, most of which Doogal had been heretofore unaware of, and Doogal attempted to explain his history as an entrepenureal child prodigy.

Meanwhile, Axe was beginning to feel the compulsion to complete his Geas to bring the Bellmaker back to the Apprentice in Oslov’s Bones, so the party and Doogal traveled to the cavern in the ruins of the town with the gem, which they believed (rightly) had the Bellmaker trapped inside. The Apprentice released Axe from his Geas, but decided he did not want to be around where the Bellmaker was released, so the party returned to the surface to do the job, thinking they stood a better chance of a fight in the open than in a cavern. However, there was no fight, though the Bellmaker proved to be batshit crazy in his own right, and revealed that he had long been at work on a device called The Apocalypse Chime, which, if rung, could undo creation. While the party was left wondering exactly how many world-ending devices were on this stupid continent, the Bellmaker explained to the party that the “Visgoth’s Soul” they were hunting for was actually the final piece of the chime, which was located in a tower in the north (correctly assumed to be where Elliott is located). Why Elliott was in search of the pieces – and why he hired the Halfling / Half-Orc party to get them for him. The party resolves to hold on to their quarter of the chime at all costs.

The Bellmaker takes his leave of the party, and they do not seem to be in a position to stop him. After he leaves, Floyd high tails it to meet with the people in Eagle’s Pea k to attempt to negotiate trade rights for the DeFeo compound. The citizens of Eagle’s Peak seem to have no proper knowledge of the difference between Half-Orcs and real Orcs, so Floyd offers the party’s services to dispatch of the Half-Orcs. The citizens of Eagle’s Peak are happy at hearing this news, and give Floyd details on the Orc King, which he brings back to the party.

Floyd finds the party and explains the situation, and they agree to take on the orcs. In the meantime, they relay what Doogal has revealed to them about the true way of destroying Visgoth’s soul. According to Doogal, the means necessary are located in Dr. Ethan’s journal, which has been split into three pieces, which are located in three different parts of the world (The Eastern Lands, Elliott’s Tower, and the Southern Continent of Issa). Realizing that another long journey is about to begin, the party steels themselves and gets ready to go Orc hunting.

End of Session.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Game Notes November 1 & 8

Gameplay begins as Floyd and Scaramouche arrive in Ostrogoth with news of Doogal’s escape (see the Oct. 25 addendum Floyd Flies Solo). There, he is greeted by the party and informed of the upcoming soul auction and the party’s part in it, as well as the events of the last few weeks (as noted in the October 25 session notes). Virgil asks Floyd if there are any Fifty Gnomes in Ostrogoth, and Floyd decides to test this theory by posting correspondence with the organizational symbol outside on the flagpole.

Upon exiting the Wayfarer’s Guild Hall, however, he is shocked to discover a sign advertising the exhibition of an upcoming puppet musical mocking the exploits of the Order of the Abbey, to be put on by Mitchell. Floyd, who hadn’t really been all that upset by Mitchell’s resurfacing before, finds the situation gravely changed. The party heads for a tavern called the Hammer and Nail in search of the ½ Orc and Halfling in bandages. Floyd deftly solicits the information he needs from the bartender at the tavern, and also learns that Mitchell heads up a group known as the Forty-Nine Gnomes, a bardic consortium designed, seemingly, to openly mock Floyd Fiftynames, the one person who gave Mitchell as second chance. Faced with this abominable show of gratitude, Floyd loses his mind for a time.

The bartender informs the party that the ½ Orc and Halfling are here, but they have six others with them. Coincidentally, the ½ Orc comes downstairs around that time and has a conversation with the party, informing them that they were hired by Elliott to retrieve the pieces of Visgoth’s soul, for what purpose they are unaware. The Halfling in Bandages also shows up, displays a preference for drinking chicken broth, and makes an uneasy peace with the party, though it becomes clear that they will meet again when it becomes necessary for them to retrieve the soul pieces in the party’s possession.

Upon exiting the Hammer and Nail, Floyd sends Scaramouche to Dreia with correspondence summoning Lil’ Skimpy and a task force to Ostrogoth to help deal with the Forty-Nine Gnomes situation. The party waits for the auction at the Wayfarer’s Guild Hall. Prior to this, Skimpy and his band show up, and Floyd is talked out of having them obliterate the Forty-Nine Gnomes altogether, however, Skimpy and his group do seek out the bardic consortium and the Forty-Eighth Gnome, bringing Forty-Eight back alive and destroying the rest of the group with a flesh-eating bacteria (an act that sits well with no one). Deciding to take advantage of the Fifty-Gnomes’ presence in Ostrogoth, Brix and Virgil commission Skimpy’s group to keep an eye on the Fist of Set. Skimpy protests that his group was not designed for stealth, but the party puts them on the job anyway. The result is the delivery of a set of gnome ears and the head of Lil’ Skimpy to the Wayfarer’s Guild shortly after. Brix sees fit to resurrect Lil’ Skimpy, but after discovering that Skimpy was condemned to Hell, Brixmore resurrects him under the condition that he follow the path of a paladin. Skimpy returns, and is sent home to Dreia.

The night of the auction arrives, and the party goes to their appointed room to await the event. After a time, Jarrod arrives, informs the party that he will be their proxy, and takes their first bid. The party makes a low bid, hoping to get an idea of what the high bids will be. Jarrod relays this information, and returns, confused and put out, indicating that one of the groups has not shown up for their appointment. Since the party was not the highest bid of the first round, he reveals the high bid, and gives the party a chance to trump it. The party throws their second bid into the ring, considerably more than the last. Jarrod leaves and returns, informing them that they have been outbid. The party begins to propose a third bid, but they are interrupted by the arrival of Malus and Harves Raeth (the missing bidding party), who take Jarrod into their possession, informing him that he is about to join Visgoth’s army. The party, sensing that the Fist of Set may take advantage of this situation, bolt from the room to face them.

Along the way, Floyd runs into Delphin, and convinces him to come along to fight the Fist of Set, after explaining the de facto dissolution of the Council of Shadows resulting from the capture and thrall-i-fying of their leader. Delphin agrees to join them, and Floyd messages Bjorn (formerly Eric) to inform him that they’ve found his twin. Guy, Virgil, Axe, and Brix enlist the help of Kleppos and Tok, and the Fist of Set agrees to meet the party outside of town. They do so, near a large tree on the outskirts of Ostrogoth, where they finally meet the entire fist of Set: Thumb, One, Two, Three, and Four. Thumb, speaking for the group, informs the party that they did not bring enough backup.

(At this point the Nov. 1 Session ends, and the Nov. 8 Session begins)

What follows is a flurry of prep spells on either side of the fight, and a furious melee that begins when Floyd teleports into the middle of the action. Thumb creates a blade barrier that blocks Delphin and a summoned polar bear from joining the fray, but further spellcasting efforts on the part of the FoS casters is disrupted by a silence spell Floyd places on Axe at the end of the prep. The Fist of Set is formidable, but the party’s pre-fight strategy proves solid, and the gang takes down Four (a Weapons Master who primarily uses a trident), Two (a rouge with the ability to feint at will), and Thumb (a divine spellcaster). One (a dervish fighter) and Three (an arcane spellcaster with a soul-stealing sword) escape when One swoops in to save Three and teleports away.

The party, having roundly defeated the Fist of Set (though they come up short in obliterating them), gathers their spoils, and heads back to the Wayfarer’s Guild for a respite.

End of Session.

Monday, November 9, 2009

October 25 Game Notes

Thanks to Axe for taking and providing game notes for this session.


Gameplay starts with the party still in Darkenhold after having just defeated a Golem and High Elf that revealed some shocking information about Brix’ past. While contemplating their next move, Virgil and Brix administer a healing potion to Guy to cure him of the bites he incurred during the Hunt.

Eventually, the party concludes that it is vital that they return to Ostrogoth in order to be close to (although not necessarily participate in) the upcoming auction of the soul piece that is being organized by the Council of Shadows. They even contemplate finding a way to steal the piece but are short on any ideas of how to accomplish this. At the very least, they hope to have a chance to speak with Delphin.

As the party begins its trek back to Ostrogoth, Brix summons the ability to talk with the dead so he can speak with the head of the High Elf and learn more about his origin, and possibly, who gave him his orders. After a few questions, Brix is only able to get a few tidbits of information; most notably, that Graxx is currently in the Darklands as a war leader. And while the Elf doesn’t provide a name for who ordered the creation of Graxx, he did indicate that he had several “clients,” at which point Brix had run out of questions he could ask.

Before returning to Ostrogoth, Guy pays a visit to the Fire Giant to see if he can repair his axe, which was damaged by a Delver in the Darkenhold cave. The Fire Giant promises to do so but says that it will lose some of its powers – and gain some new ones. The Giant tells Guy he can pick up his axe in a few weeks, as well as the new armor he is preparing for Axe.

The journey to Ostrogoth takes about two weeks[?] The city is full of scavengers, mercenaries and adventurers. Fights break out in the streets and even the occasional murder. The party looks for a place to stay and find their choice of several inns, including the Red Lobster, the Leaky Dinghy and the Rusty Nail. They decide to take their chances at the Red Lobster.

While checking in at the inn’s tavern and sitting down for a few drinks, they receive quite a few unfriendly stares. Eventually, they are approached by a masked gentleman. Ready for a fight, the gang is relieved when they learn that the masked stranger is actually Tok. It is a friendly reunion as Tok reveals that he now works full-time for the Wayfast Field Guild in the center of the city. Virgil asks to see Tok’s mask, which turns out to be a fantastic piece of hardware that reveals data on anything the wearer of the mask looks at. Virgil gives it back and later reveals that he’ll try to see if he can recreate the technology on his own.

Because Tok works at the Guild, the party decides that they should get a room there. Along the way, Tok continues to provide some important information; most notably, he informs the group that there has been no communication from Darkenhold, and that recently, Dougal was freed from jail. He also mentions that the entire Meliodic Empire is mobilizing. When asked about the upcoming auction, he mentions that not only is Malice in the city, but also the 48th Gnome, a name that the party doesn’t recognize. He does know that the Fist of Set is also there and are staying at the Rusty Nail. As for the Council of Shadows, their location is a mystery.

Upon arriving at the Guild Hall, the party asks for a tour, as well as the opportunity to speak with Kleppos. They learn that this particular Guild’s specialty is making armor and would like to go visit its shop for supplies. After meeting with Kleppos and talking a little more about the auction, they request that a message be sent to Jarrod about a possible meeting prior to the auction.

The next morning, a messenger comes to the Guild with a note for the party. It informs them that they are to meet with Jarrod at the Rusty Nail for ale at 4 p.m. Sensing a trap, the group decides to have Virgil (in disguise) go there first to stake it out. Axe would soon follow and arrive early to watch for any signs of trouble while Brix and Guy meet with Jarrod.

Unfortunately, all does not go as planned. Virgil goes out alone and actually encounters the Half-Orc and the Halfling in the streets. Although Virgil tries to put up a valiant fight, he is rendered feeble-minded. In turn, the Half-Orc seeks out and finds Virgil’s soul piece (a goblet). The Halfling also tries to take Virgil’s book of spells, but the Half-Orc (only a mercenary) admonishes him not to take anything they weren’t ordered to get. Nonetheless, both of them are gone by the time the rest of the party arrives at the Rusty Nail. As a result of the incident, the gang agrees not to travel alone while in the city and give the remaining three soul pieces to Brix for safe-keeping.

Eventually, they go as a group to the 4 o’clock meeting. At their table, they actually encounter all five members of the Fist of Set (several of whom eye the group) who walk by one-by-one. Eventually, Jarrod does arrive and sits down. He tells them that the actual auction will take place in three weeks. All interested parties will be assigned to a room at different inns and an individual will come to each room to ask for their bid. When asked if they could talk to Delphin, Jarrod refuses. In addition, he informs the group that Dougal is no longer a part of the Council.

At the end of the rendezvous, the group decides they have no choice but to wait until the auction. In the meantime, they will stay holed up at the Guild and wait for Floyd to return. Brix decides to go visit the Universal Church in the city and stay with them. Virgil hopes to spend the time making the Headband of Intellect, as well as attempt building the mask that Tok was wearing.

Finally, Guy and Axe head out to see the Fire Giant and get their new armor and axe. When they arrive, however, they find the Giant gravely wounded. When asked who the culprit was, the Giant describes an individual that closely resembles one of the members of the Fist of Set. This individual also stole one of the 12 swords that steals souls. Guy administers several healing potions to the Giant, who finally is able to give both of them their armor and axe. In return, the Giant requests that they not only free the Bell maker as previously arranged, but also kill the individual who did this to him. From there, Guy and Axe begin their trip back to the city.

End of Session

Friday, October 30, 2009

October 25 Game Notes Addendum: Floyd Flies Solo

Floyd Fiftynames was out sick for the October 25 Game Session. What follows is a summary of Floyd's in-game activities as described by the DM to Floyd, with a couple of quick "roleplaying" actions thrown in for good measure:

Upon exiting the cave, Floyd was met by Scaramouche, who had been tracked down and given a message from Ajax, requesting Floyd's presence in Evanshold (in the former Bodian Protectorates). Floyd excused himself from the party, hopped on Scaramouche, and flew to Evanshold, where he was to meet with Thistlebush (FG27) at the Night Trade, under new ownership since Sebastian departed the city.

At the tavern, Thistlebush disclosed to Floyd that Doogal had recently been sprung from jail in Evanshold, and while he was unsure of the halfling's whereabouts, the gnome had managed to find and bribe the man who was in the cell next to Doogal, and convinced him to relay the conversation he overheard between Doogal and the man who sprung him:

(what follows is an approximate transcript)

DOOGAL: Oh, it's you. I wasn't expecting to see you.

MR.X: As you may know, various parties have recently been set on a hunt to find and piece together Visgoth's soul.

DOOGAL: I have to say I was not aware of that, for you see, I have been in fucking jail.

MR.X: I believe this hunt to be a wild goose chase. However, I also have reason to believe that you, Doogal, possess the knowledge of how to actually destroy Visgoth completely.

DOOGAL: ...Perhaps we should go somewhere more comfortable and talk.



Armed with this knowledge, Floyd heads over to Natasha's magic shop, where he purchases a Wand of Identify and Goggles of Minute Seeing. Returning to the Night Trade, he gets a room and stays the night, using 9 of the 40 charges on the wand to identify the potions he found in the alchemy lab of the Toth devotees, and the six "wonderous potions" he found in the High Elf's chamber.

After trying out three of the wonderous potions, he is at best able to glean that they are "wonderous potions," and their true nature cannot be revealed until someone drinks them (like an edible Rod of Wonder). The Alchemical potions will be explained by the DM at the session on Sunday, November 1.

The next morning, Floyd and Scaramouche return south to re-join the party.

NPC Profile: Drooley

Marshall Drooley was a chief of local law enforcement in Arimathea, initially of the small hamlet Verl’s Crook, but eventually, due to takeing credit for an investigation that he did not solve, he was promoted to Marshall of Compassgate, one of hte nation’s largest cities.

Drooley first encountered the Order of the Abbey on their first adventure, when they happened upon a recently murdered woman on the streets of Verl’s Crook. Drooley, sheriff of the town, stumbled upon the scene and promptly revealed himself to be an incompetent drunkard. After being dismissed by Guy, Drooley handed over the reigns of the investigation to the party, and retreated back to the sheriff’s office to drink.

After passing out, Floyd and Virgil beat Drooley senseless and then placed him at the bottom of the stairs to make it look like a fall. When he came to, the party had solved the mystery – Gruth was behind bars, and Tolgas, the mastermind of the crime, was slain. However, due to the machinations of Maggie, the proprietor of The Gilded Lily (Verl’s Crook’s inn and tavern), Drooley was given credit for the investigation and the party returned to the abbey unheralded. Later, under Drooley’s watch, Gruth escaped.

Years later, Drooley would become the subject of one of Floyd Fiftynames’ first songs, “Marshall Drooley is an Idiot.” The song mixed truth and slander to hilarious effect. Other than the reknown brought by the song, Drooley was not a fixture in the lives of the characters until the day the party went to Compassgate to meet the impending invasion of Doogal, whereupon they learned that Drooley had been promoted to Marshall of Compassgate. In an act of supreme stuipidity, Drooley had given the bulk of his force the day off to celebrate the Yule, leaving Compassgate defenseless. The party attempted to talk some sense into Drooley, and when this didn’t work out, he was killed by Guy.

Today, to be “Drooley” is synonomous with stupidity and incompetence.

Monday, October 19, 2009

October 18 Game Notes

Gameplay picks up in Darkenhold, where the party nears the cave Charles Fox told them about. Along the way, the party encounters their old buddy Oak, who decides to go with them to the cave.

When they reach the cave, they discover it is sealed shut with a porthole door. The boys figure out how to open the door, and how to shut it behind them in an effort to cover their tracks. Scaramouch does not join them, preferring to stay outside. Inside, the party discovers a natural cavern. After discerning that none of the stalagmites or stalagtites are actually ropers, and after a slightly inconvenient encounter with a choker, they happen upon a large, dark chasm with a natural stone bridge. The party starts across the bridge, but are forced to back off when they encounter a small team of Driders coming to attack them. Virgil fireballs the bridge, taking out the Driders but also the bridge in the process. Using Floyd’s Pegasus, the group flies over the bridge and heads farther into the cavern.

Shortly thereafter, they encounter a Delver, which is quickly dispatched, but not before it damages Guy’s axe, reducing its effectiveness. This led to Guy receiving some ribbing by Floyd, which resulted in Guy magically charming Floyd, who for the next eight hours became Guy’s new best friend.

The party worked its way to a chamber where there was a large door with three gems inside. The three gems were related to three levers with corresponding gems that would light up when the levers were pulled. The first lever was hidden in the room with the door, and the other two levers were in adjacent rooms – in the first adjacent room, the party was attacked by a group of Darkmantles, who tried to engulf Axe and Guy, but they were destroyed by Brixmore. When the Darkmantles were defeated, their magical darkness was lifted, and the 2nd lever became apparent.

The third lever was in a room in a pool of highly corrosive acid, but Brixmore managed to stone shape the area around the lever and pull it. With all of the levers pulled, the door in the center room opened, revealing a staircase with metal technology resembling what the party knew of the high elves.

The party tread carefully down the stairs and into the chamber, where they discovered they were being watched by a high elf, who spoke to them through the walls. As the party made its way towards a room the elf was directing them to, he told Brixmore the story of how he created Brix and his brother, Graxx. According to the elf’s story, he was commissioned by his Emperor to create a perfect living war machine. In doing so, he discovered that he had to use one of the original bloodlines, which were inclined towards creating twins, allowing him to filter all of the faith, goodness, and virtue to one, and the anger, hatred, and aggression to the other. Using Hargrove’s genetic material, he “grew” Brix and Graxx in the womb of a succubus.

Upon reaching the story’s shocking conclusion, the party finds itself in a chamber with the vegetative succubus, now just a head and torso. Disgusted and enraged, Brix attempts to wrest control of the Shiva Sword from Guy, but the rest of the party prevents him from doing so. In response, Brix takes Svarth and begins destroying all of the technology and the succubus.

The elf, pleased with himself, informs the party that he will not allow them to escape, and sends a dozen mephitis after them. The party handily dispatches the mephitis, and Floyd and Brix lead the way back into a the High Elf’s chamber, finding him guarded by an Iron Golem, who provides a challenging fight, although he is ultimately defeated by Axe’s killing blow.

Guy corners the elf and kills him, but the elf’s head dislocates from his body and attempts to escape. However, Virgil sends a searing light spell down the tube which fries the head, and the party takes the elf body and the golem body out of the cave with them (Brix carries the elf in his enlarged state, and Virgil polymorphs into an Umberhulk to carry the golem). On the way out, Floyd finds a half-dozen potions on a rack labeled “Wonderous Potions,” but Guy does not let him drink them, as Floyd is still under the effects of Guy’s charm spell.

End of Session

For the session, the party is awarded 2500 XP.

Guy, Virgil, & Floyd level.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

October 11 Game Notes

Game play began with the party beginning their journey to Barovia. On foot, this required them to pass through a sparse, unpopulated wedge of Silar. En route to Barovia, Scaramouch returned. He delivered the report of Fifty Gnome agent Rashoman on code Burrowmaster, revealing Gruth’s spy to be Terick, who had been unwittingly enchanted. The enchantment was dispelled, and no further disciplinary action against Terick was taken. In addition, Scaramouch reported that in accordance with Floyd’s request, the publication of Guy’s autobiography had been expedited, and was now being sent out for duplication.

In addition, Scaramouch delivers a visual image spell, recorded by a spell casting Fifty-Gnome agent:

In what appears to be a room at an inn somewhere, Visgoth is talking to Harves Raeth. As viewed through the keyhole, Visgoth tells Raeth that the Order of the Abbey destroyed his previous lieutenant, and he means to make Raeth his new one. Raeth expresses reluctance at the thought of this idea, indicating that the party has beaten him before. Visgoth assures him that his new powers will make up for the insufficiency, and shows Raeth the Imperial Scepter, revealing that he also has Malus in his thrall. Visgoth then performs the ghastly ritual on him that transforms Harves Raeth into a vampire. Visgoth then teleports from the room (Virgil recognizes the spell), and the Fifty-Gnome agent attempts to get away, but he is caught and killed by the newly vampiric Raeth.

As the boys are left to contemplate the implications of what they have just seen, they begin their journey into Barovia.

Journeying into Barovia, they discovered a vast amount of farmland, and eventually happened upon a Half-Orc named Heinrich who engaged Axe in a friendly manner. Through this, the party was invited to the Village De Feo, a small commune of Half-Orcs that had been rescued and cared for by a devout Halfling woman named DeFeo, now deceased. The party was invited to dine with the commune. Over dinner with Heinrich, the party learns more about Barovia. There are not many towns in the nation. Its capital, Breckendorf, is the largest. In addition, there are towns known as Eagles’ Peak and Ostrogoth, and settlements such as Oslov’s Bones and Gwyneth Crag. There are also two church abbeys, following the teachings of St. Isadora and St. Zachariah.

Due to recent Orc raids in Barovia, trade has been cut off to DeFeo by Eagle’s Peak, who supplied the settlement with meat. The party agrees to help negotiate a new deal for the Half-Orcs and the people of Eagle’s Peak, and to do their best to discourage the Orc raids (Heinrich informs them that the Orc king is known as Thaddanus).

That evening, Virgil tries unsuccessfully to woo a Half-Orc woman. After spending the night, the party wakes up to find the Half-Orcs practicing combat maneuvers outside. Although they are a peaceful people the Half-Orcs practice these maneuvers out of self-defense and as a means of physical fitness training. Impressed, Guy asks Heinrich if he would be willing to train the Freelands army, to which Heinrich replies that it would be best left to Guy or someone else to conduct this training. However, Heinrich is willing to share his knowledge, and a plan is devised to send a military representative here for training to pass on to the army.

Afterwards, Guy, Virgil, Axe, and Brix venture out far from the village to test the Apocalypse sword again, now that it is filled with the blood of the boys. Guy draws the sword, summoning a vastly intimidating storm cloud with lightning, stirring up winds and darkening the world surrounding. After some time spent contemplating this magic, Virgil determines the effect of the Apocalypse Sword:

The Apocalypse Sword creates a 5-foot circle of safety around the wielder. Outside of the circle, for 60 feet surrounding, all living objects take 2D6 points of Constitution Damage – no save, and suffer from a constant (every round) Call Lightning Spell. This circle expands 60 feet per round for as long as the sword is drawn, presumably until it engulfs the earth. As a weapon, the sword is a Maximized +5 Vorpal Brilliant Energy Longsword of Greater Dragonbane. The Sword is sentient, and desires to be disarmed, granting a -8 penalty to the wielder to defend against disarmament.

Armed with this mind-blowingly frightening knowledge, the party once again hides the sword from view, and heads off to the mountains to deal with the orcs.

On the first day in the mountain pass, they encounter a ravine that appears to be an open canyon into a river of molten lava. They camp for the night, and it passes uneventfully.

On the second day, they find an ancient shrine to the Dagda. It seems to have a very old version of a calendar on it, marking such events as the day of the High Feast and each new moon. Scrawled over these letters in old celestial script is the phrase, “Beware the Bellmaker.” Floyd recalls that the Bellmaker is a figure of legend that appears in, but never has a prominent role in many ancient legends and tales. He is an artificer, a creator of magical bells.

The party travels a bit farther, and camps for the night. On Guy’s watch, he notices a familiar low-lying fog creeping in, and immediately awakens the party, informing them that the Wild Hunt has returned. In what is perceived to be in acquiescence to the Hunt’s wishes, the party attempts to flee in terror, deciding to head for the Dagda shrine in the hopes that the Hunt will be unable to enter.

The party manages to get close to the shrine when they are attacked by one of the Hunt’s dogs. Although Guy is able to destroy it, they notice that it requires a tremendous amount of effort to subdue even one dog, and there are many of them and to Floyd and Scaramouch’s dismay, they can fly. Finally, the party fights their way back to the shrine, where the dogs dare not enter. The Hunt Lord, on the other hand, seems to have no such hang-ups about the shrine, and enters to combat the party.

Floyd engages the Hunt Lord in a two hour discussion, trying to convince him to call off the Hunt, but his negotiating tactics eventually come up short against the Hunt Lord’s zeal. He moves to combat the boys, but Virgil manages to dispatch the Hunt Lord with a Dismissal spell. The Hunt Lord is forced to return to his native plane (the dogs follow) for the time being, but from his conversation with Floyd, it is clear that he intends on returning until he finishes the job. The party manages to sleep that night, albeit fitfully.

The remainder of their journey is uneventful until they happen upon the village of Oslov’s Bones, so named because the original city wall was comprised of the skeleton of a Titan. There, they see a parading band of fifty orcs. A couple of well placed Fireballs later, the orcs are dead, and the party proceeds to the Bones.

The original Oslov’s Bones lies in ruins, with a prominent collapsed Bell Tower in the center. On the other side of bones, however, is a new village that has cropped up. The party opens the map with the guide to Visgoth’s soul pieces to obtain the piece in Oslov’s Bones, but are shocked to discover that the piece has since been claimed since the party last looked at the map. The boys decide to head for the new village to investigate.

In the town’s tavern, the party sits down for a drink. Shortly after, a hard-looking fellow comes down the stairs, notices the party, and tries to head back up. However, Floyd snares him with his bardic music, fascinating him, and suggesting that he come down and talk to the party, which he does.

The man identifies himself as Number Four, a member of the Fist of Set, one of the other parties on the hunt for pieces of Visgoth’s soul (this was the group that nearly destroyed Harves Raeth). He reveals that he is one of a five-member team, the leader of which is called The Thumb, and the others are One, Two, Three, and Four (not necessarily in order of importance). Four reveals that the Fist of Set did not get the last soul piece in Barovia, but they know that the Council of Shadows (Jarrod’s organization) did. The Council of Shadows is planning to auction the piece off to the highest bidder, and it is known that in addition to the Fist of Set, Harves Raeth and the Half-Orc group will be there to bid on it.

Having exhausted their questions, Floyd puts a bag on Four’s head, but this has the unintended effect of breaking off the fascination. Four begins to thrash, and the party makes a run for it.

They return to the ruins and to the Bell Tower specifically. Guy is interested in exploring further, so the party ventures down the bell tower steps, discovering a cavern full of fire and lava (it’s very hot down here).They cross a large bridge (over which they see a creature swimming in the lava – something large and serpentine), and come to a set of huge double doors, where they hear hammering within. Venturing inside, they happen upon a fire giant who identifies himself as The Apprentice (the last follower of The Smith). The Apprentice is aware of the party as the legion who brought down Strom, but his allegiance was not to Strom, and he harbors no ill will towards the party. The Apprentice spends his time forging weapons and armor, and the party asks if he will make Axe a suit of armor, which he agrees to do if the party will release the Bellmaker, who is currently being held in captivity in Breckendorf by – guess who – Mitchell.

Brix asks The Apprentice if he has ever heard of Graxx, and The Apprentice warns Brix that he should be careful who he says that name to. Confused, The Apprentice tells him to visit the Baldun Tomb north of Gwyneth Crag for more answers. The Apprentice also tells the party that the creature swimming in the lava is a Hellfire Wyrm, an insidious creature whose stomach is a pipeline to Hell. The boys pledge to return, having freed the Bellmaker, in exchange for a suit of armor for Axe.

The party exits Oslov’s Bones and heads north to Gwyneth Crag. At the cemetery of the Crag, they find many burial plots, but there is only one mausoleum, dedicated to Brix’s family. As they had heard, the tomb is the site of an old-fashioned grave robbing. The body of Hargrove, who has been dead four-hundred years, is missing from its spot.

The party heads into town and chats up the local barman, who directs them to a sage outside of town. The gang travels to his house, finding a lanky old man (still very spry) in a room full of maps. The man, who calls himself Charles (Fox), demands money for the information he has, and after being paid, directs Brixmore to find his answers about Graxx and his family by traveling a couple of days northeast to Darkenhold.

With a whole slew of new action items on their plate, the party departs Fox’s house and heads towards Darkenhold to discover more about Brix’s family.

End of Session

The party is awarded 1,000 XP for the session.

Monday, October 5, 2009

October 4 Game Notes

Gameplay picked up where we left off at the end of last Sunday, with the party having defeated a group of Chaka baddies in a room with a ziggurat. After defeating everyone, the final Chaka escaped down a fire pole into the ziggurat, and the party followed. Down below, they discovered more goons, and busted them up roundly, collecting some Falchions for the Freelandian army.

Next, the party ventured further into the Chaka chambers, where they encountered a creature called a Roper, which took out Floyd handily (fear not, gentle readers! He was merely incapacitated), and took a mighty effort by everyone to kill. After some restorations were doled out, the party tried to get their hands on a chest, only to discover it was filled with sand and rags.

Moving further in, the adventurers found a room with Griks, and a chamber filled with snakes. Guy and Axe handles the Grixes, while Virgil burned most of the snakes, and Brix roundly smashes the others. A Medusa popped out of the chamber, but Floyd clicked his heels and ended up right next to her, and a couple of well-placed stabs made short work of her. Everyone took some Medusa blood for later magical enchantment, and Floyd kept the head.

Past the snake chamber, there was a room with several stone statues. After fighting through that room, another chest was discovered, this time with some really good stuff in it. However, Floyd, Guy, and Axe were turned to stone by an invisible Medusa causing trouble. Brix and Virgil dispatched her, but they had to rest eight hours so Brix could memorize spells and return the other party members to normal. While Brix rested, Virgil fought another group of Chaka. In addition, Brix and Vigil took out another Roper.

Descending to the bottom level, the party discovered an apothecary, but Floyd detected a cacophony of traps set on the door. Deciding to bypass it, the group made their way in to the final hall, where they fought the boss lady snake and her six Yuan-ti sorcerers. A tough, fiercely fought battle resulted in a win for the party, and some rewards.

After resting, the party made its way back to the apothecary, where Virgil managed to dispel the most heinous traps, and the party looted the room. Then, Virgil became an eagle and flew to tell the people of Nobis that they had been saved, and the rest of the party joined soon after. A big party was thrown in the group’s honor, and Guy obtained the next piece of Visgoth’s soul – a chalice. However, he did not fuse it with the rest of the soul, and gave it to Virgil for safekeeping. The Nobians offered the party a house in town, which Guy and Virgil accept on behalf of The Freelands for the formation of an embassy.

After staying in Nobis a few more days to scribe scrolls, learn spells, rest, etc., the party makes plans to head for Barovia.

End of Session.

Treaure List

When treasure is assigned, the recipient is in parentheses.
Floyd carries all party items and money in his belt, which has unlimited carrying capacity for coins, and in his backpack, which has additional magical carrying capacity.

+2 Dagger (Axe)
+2 Short Bow (Axe)
Head Band – grants +2 Listen, +4 Spot, +1 Intelligence (Virgil)
Earring – Allows wearer to listen through walls w/out penalty (Floyd)
3 Scrolls – Dimensional Lock, Eyebite, Mass Hold Person (Virgil)
+4 AC Robes (Floyd)
+2 AC Robes, put into the party kitty after Floyd exchanges for the +4 ones
Necklace of Charisma +2 (Axe)

6 vials of different colors – Red, Blue, Yellow, Orange, Green, & Purple
6 Cure Moderate Potions
3 Cure Serious Potions
2 Bear’s Endurance Potions
1 Cat’s Grace Potion
2 Invisibility Oils
1 True Strike Oil
Several pints of Naptha (a fire oil)
Several Pints of Lantern Oil
Ingredients for Spell Components (Brix & Virgil)
Portable Alchemist’s Lab

Gold-gilded Goblet – piece of Visgoth’s soul (Virgil)

10,000 gp from Medusa Room chest
3,500 pp from final hall

Several Falchions
6 Scimitars

Friday, October 2, 2009

NPC Profile: Nikolai

Cardinal Nikolai was the alias of Argoth, Lord of Hell, during his time in Western Aggravail in which he attempted to sieze power in the Universal Church and use a generation of Year of the Ram children to fulfill several apocalyptic prophecies. As Nikolai, he was the Cardinal of Arimathea.

Nikolai first entered prominence in the game while the party members were still children living at the Morningstar Abbey. One evening shortly after the party's first adventure, a dwarf traveling north through Arimathea stopped at the abbey to spend the night; over dinner, he told the brothers and the boys the news that the old Cardinal of Arimathea had died, and Nikolai had been named his replacement. This news upset Abbott Teris very much, not only because of his good relationship with the old Cardinal, but also because of Teris' distrust of Nikolai. It is not clear exactly how much Teris knew or suspected of Nikolai, but he never directly implicated him as Argoth or any other kind of infernal outsider.

Shortly after this news, Nikolai sent Faust and Barris to the abbey to end Teris' tenure as Abbott. They succeeded, but did not manage to capture the six boys from the Year of the Ram, as it is suspected Nikolai may have instructed them to do.

After the party finished their apprenticeships and training, they began adventuring in the Twilight Lands, and largely lost track of Nikolai and his activities. In the course of an early adventure, Guy encountered a Ravvid who made Guy promise to one day destroy Cardinal Nikolai's ring, although it was unclear why.

The party did not encounter Nikolai again (except through a run-in with Faust), until a good while later, when they were taken prisoner in Arimathea and placed in the dungeon of the Cathedral of Arimathea. There, they met Nikolai for the first time. Nikolai demanded that the boys pledge their services to him. When they refused, Nikolai stormed out, claiming to already have a Year of the Ram child under his control. In addition, during this capture, Nikolai obtained the Imperial Scepter from the party, which gave him control over Malus.

Upon their escape from the Cathedral, the party, Art, and Ethan happened upon Nikolai's chambers, where they found a large summoning circle that required a considerable amount of evil to create. The boys destroyed the summoning circle, and promptly left the Cathedral.
Later, while traveling in the Bodian Protectorates, they foiled a plot by Nikolai to assasinate Cardinal Aloe, one of Nikolai's political enemies. The party dispatched Barris, who had been sent to carry out the job, and obtained a ring that allowed them to communicate with Nikolai.
When the party founded The Freelands, Nikolai attended the summit of nations along with Luth, King of Arimathea, Lord of the West, Doogal's twin brother, and a member of the Year of the Ram lineage. Nikolai's intent on attending these meetings was to coerce the party into signing the Church Treaty, which The Freelands decided not to do.

Shortly thereafter, Nikolai traveled to Larst, where he began a campaign to have the Universal Church's College of Cardinals choose a pontifical leader. The party traveled to Larst to attempt to influence these discussions as they were certain that Nikolai intended to win the election. The party uncovered a massive conspiracy of bribery and mercenary-dom, paid in gold coins that Brixmore determined to have been forged in Hell from the souls of the damned. This raised considerable alarm among the party, and Brixmore developed an elaborate and dramatic plan to reveal the bribes' infernal influence and to destroy the money.

The party attended several debates and conferences on the matter of elections, even going so far as to back their own candidate. When the election came down to two parties, the party summoned a massive representation of Western Aggravail's power into attendance, including King Gorom of Tutia, several Seekers, members of the Fellowship of the Golden Eagle, Illrean Rangers, Fifty Gnomes, and other governmental and heroic agencies. Under enormous pressure from the College of Cardinals and other agencies to account for accusations brought before him, Nikolai took the podium of the debate hall in the Basilica and revealed himself as Argoth, Lord of Hell.

This revelation ignited the Battle for the Basilica, an enormous skirmish that resulted in the deaths of several innocents, Churchmen, and heroes. After destroying an artifact found by Herbert (the 2nd Gnome of the Fifty Gnomes) in the catacombs of the Basilica that kept Argoth impervious from harm, confronting and defeating (but not killing) Malus, and wading through an army of infernal creatures, the party confronted and destroyed the material prescence of Nikolai / Argoth, forcing him back to Hell.

Nikolai's revelation and death spurred massive reform of the Universal Church, creating a widespread distrust of the Church hierarchy that will take a long time to rebuild.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Decisions, Decisions

I've started putting some of our game material up at a website called

Obsidian Portal is a site that's designed to host D&D games - in addition to a blog (or adventure log), it gives you a wiki, an NPC tracker, space to put maps, a campaign overview, and all that jazz I've been doing amateurishly over here. It would really be the ideal space to follow the game.

However, I like the ease of the blog. Sure, I can't get that fancy with it, but I don't know that I'll get rid of The Adventures of Floyd Fiftynames simply because most (of the what, eight?) readers of this blog will not want to go to the trouble of creating a profile for Obsidian Portal, and then wade through all the other stuff to get to our game. This blog, on the other hand, you can check, see if there's an update, read, or move on. It's very low-maintainence.

In other news, we're reaching the point where my game-by-game logs started to taper off, so I won't be posting game notes as companions to Floyd's installments for a while. I do have notes for the gaps, but they are large and encompass ten to fifteen sessions at a time, so I won't post them until I've covered everything in puppet show so as not to spoil the plot for anyone who doesn't know what's going on. Granted, some of the NPC profile stuff has already done that, but... shut up.

New notes and Puppet Musical installments soon.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

PC Profile: Floyd Fiftynames

Floyd Fiftynames does not know where he was born. Since he was an infant, he had been raised in The Morningstar Abbey, a non-combatant, religious brotherhood in northern Arimathea, a southwestern country on a continent known as Western Aggravail. Floyd, along with his twin brother Guy, grew up at the Abbey and served as an apprentice to the brothers of the Abbey. Specifically, Floyd was apprenticed to Brother Art, the monastery's quartermaster. Along with his brother Guy, Floyd's friends are the other boys his age who live at the Abbey - the dwarf Brixmore, and humans Virgil, Eric, and Zarin.

When he is sixteen years old, Floyd learns that he and the other boys his age at the Abbey are members of a group known as the Year of the Ram, a select group made unique by the fact that they are born during an annual (recurring every 50 years) wherein births rarely occur. The six boys at the Abbey are half of the only twelve that were born during this year, and the monastery's chief, Abbott Teris, believes that they boys born in this Year of the Ram cycle are bound to fulfill many prophecies about the upcoming fate of the world.

After the shocking news of his origin (compounded by the death of Abbott Teris and the administrative changes made at the Morningstar Abbey), Floyd and his contemporaries are sent off to various adventurers to begin learning necessary skills. Floyd is apprenticed to a minstrel named Titus, who starts Floyd on the path to becoming a bard.

After two years, their training is complete, and four of the boys re-assemble: Floyd, Guy, Virgil, and Brixmore. Eric remains on the periphery doing furhter research into their heritage, and Zarin is heard from very sparingly. Floyd begins adventuring with his brother and their two friends, whereupon they almost immediately fall into some serious business.

Floyd's exploits become known far and wide largely due to Floyd himself, who is a prolific songwriter and talented performer. Floyd tells the tale of the self-christened "Order of the Abbey," through songs, storytelling, and an on-going puppet musical.

Floyd eventually becomes a licensed bard at the now defunct Bardic College of the nation of Illrea, and he is a founding member and author of the bylaws of the League of Bards and Skalds, a branch of an Adventurer's Guild formed after the epic Battle for the Basilica of Larst. In addition, Floyd is a founding member and original Executive Council Member of The Freelands, a democratic nation founded in the former anarchic Twilight Lands. Floyd has since resigned his position on the Council, finding the life of a statesman and politician unsuitable to him, although he has retained his position as the Fiftieth Gnome of the Fifty Gnomes, an intelligence and operatives organization founded in The Freelands by Floyd to be an agency for The Freelands and democracy throughout the continent.

Floyd is a devout agnostic, despite the overt religious symbolism of his birthright. He is a member of the ancient House of Bostwick, one of the original high families of Western Aggravail. Floyd tends toward a life of comfort and ease, and is more often than note driven towards adventure by Guy, Brixmore, and Virgil, who have aggressive personal agendas they wish to promote. However, despite this lack of drive, Floyd is an avid and eager swordsman, and enjoys diving into a good fight (particularly when it seems winnable).

Floyd values friendship very highly. In addition to the inseperable bond he shares with his brother and adventuring companions, he has found many friends and like souls in the Fifty Gnomes' organization, including Ajax, the original First Gnome, who replaced him on The Freelands' Executive Council, and Scaramouche, his young Copper Dragon co-hort. In addition, Floyd is fond of Garam, Abbott Art, Bjorn (formerly Eric), Bricka, Pskenart, and many others. Although he occasionally comes to disagreements with some of his fellow party members (particularly Guy and Virgil), he views them as family, and worth overcoming any disagreements.

Floyd maintains an easygoing relationship with the ladies, preferring no hard and fast commitments. As far as types are concerned, he has a thing for seamstresses and laundresses.
Floyd actively dislikes very few people, and when he does, it's usually because they have done something to deserve it. Floyd was once the victim of identity theft when another Gnome bard named Mitchell played Floyd's songs and claimed them for his own, but Floyd managed to eventually deal with the Mitchell situation without need for bloodshed. In addition, Floyd has no love for followers of the lizardfolk's pagan god Krissk, finding them unreasonably difficult to talk to. He finds Centaurs haughty, religious types hypocritical, and Gruth to be a major d-bag.

Floyd's eventual ambition is to retire as the greates adventurer / entertainer who ever lived. He has designs on the purchase and renovation of The Cracked Flagon, an inn in the unincorporated part of The Freelands, as it was the site of many fond memories. He plans to remain with the Fifty Gnomes organization, and to enjoy good food, fun, and cheer for as many days as he has.

Monday, September 28, 2009

September 2009 Session Notes

What follows are the notes from our September 2009 sessions. Again, these monthly notes are out of sequence, and reflect what has been happening most recently with the game.


September 20
September 27

September 20 Notes:

After completing their business at the carnival, the party headed south to the Abbey to pick up Guy, then east to Guy’s Port. On the way to Guy’s Port, they passed Malus’ farm, noting that the area had not been tended in quite some time, and the corn crop had begun to grow wild. At the edge of the field, they found a spot where a box had been unearthed. Discussing the matter with a gopher did Guy no good, but the party did find an open wooden box not far from the dig site. The box did not appear to be shaped for holding a body, and the current hypothesis is that it held a weapon of some sort.

Floyd sends Scaramouche with a letter to Rashoman, the FiftyGnome at work on operation Burrowmaster, to see what developments have been made in the case. He instructs Scaramouche to find him in Nemia.

The gang proceeded to Guy’s Port, where they booked passage on a ship bound for Barradon, a coastal town in the country of Nemia. Virgil expressed a desire sew some oats with the captain of the ship, a woman named Amies, and Floyd aided Virgil’s effort to the best of his ability. The results were disappointing.

The trip itself was fairly uneventful until the end, when it became apparent that a hurricane was approaching. Thanks to Floyd’s inspirational singing and speaking and Brix’s spellcasting, the ship made it into port just ahead of the storm. Floyd was exhausted, but Guy removed his exhaustion so that they could run up the steps to the town, and seek refuge in a Barradonian tavern called (name?). Mere moments before the storm hit, Dr. Ethan joined them at the tavern.

While riding out the storm, Ethan revealed to the party that the reason he had asked them to come to Nemia was because he had located his daughter Ashlynn (Visgoth’s chief lieutenant) living in this town. Determined to destroy her, he enlists the party’s help. The boys are to attack Ashlynn at her residence in town, and defeat her, forcing her to retreat to the location of her coffin, where Ethan will deliver the final blows.

After the storm, Ethan shows the boys the cave where Ashlynn’s coffin is located, and the house where she conducts business. Sensing that there may be some trouble leaving Ethan to destroy his only daughter, Virgil casts a word of recall on the cave so that he can quickly arrive and assist Ethan and ensure that nothing goes awry with the plan.

At the residence, the party waits for the appropriate moment, then storms the house, easily dispatching the low-level guards inside. Ashlynn herself proves to be much more difficult, as she placed numerous traps in the house to deter intruders, and enlisted a pair of dopplegangers which explode when destroyed. Finally, after the dopplegangers and Ashlynn are defeated, she turns into mist and retreats to her coffin. Virgil attempts to use his word of recall, but finds it has been dispelled, likely by Ethan.

The party runs towards the cave. Virgil, aided by an Expeditious Retreat spell, arrives first, just as Ethan has successfully destroyed his daughter. The toll it has taken is extensive, and Ethan tells Virgil he cannot live with himself after having to endure this task. He asks Virgil to promise that the party will make it their mission to defeat and eradicate Visgoth, to which Virgil agrees. Ethan then falls to his death from the precipice of a cliff by the cave.

Brixmore and Guy arrive and retrieve Ethan’s body, burying it in the cave next to his daughter. Virgil stoneshapes the mouth of the cave shut, and inscribes a simple mark to notate the burial site of one of the party’s oldest friends and mentors.

The group returns to Ashlynn’s house to find it has been looted of all valuables by the guards. Feeling unsatisfied and hollow, the party contemplates its next move.

September 27 Notes:

Gameplay starts off with the party in Barradon, shopping around for equipment that would bring Axe’s gear up to speed with the rest of the gang. After looking around in some of the local shops, they determine that the best prices available are in Dreia, and that shopping will need to be tabled until they return home. In the meantime, Brixmore loans Axe his shield, significantly boosting Axe’s magical gear quotient, and beginning Brix’s transition into a two-handed holy war machine.

Guy purchases a travel guide to Nemia and a city map, and begins plotting a course to bore Virgil and Floyd with a trip around the Holy Land. While the trip is being planned, Virgil spends a few days scribing scrolls, and Floyd plays the Barradon taverns, earning a few gold, and learning about the goings-on in Nemia.

Floyd learns that Nemia has been treasure-searched out, but that there are legends to be explored as the party travels north. In addition, he hears tell of dark times for the northern Nemian city of Nobis, and decides that the group should investigate the goings-on. This works out coincidentally as Guy determines that Nobis is the closest town to the next missing piece of Visgoth’s soul.

The gang disembarks from Barradon and visits the site of the Proclaimer’s first proclaiming. Guy and Brix take this trip very seriously, so Floyd and Virgil do their best to hang back and stay interested in something out of earshot. Axe, meanwhile, becomes interested in the teachings of the Proclaimer, giving Guy and Brix a focal point for their lecturing and praying.

Next up, the party visits the site of the hanging. In stark contrast to the simple marker of the first site, the Bishop at the site, one Bishop Rory (silk robes and all), has turned the site of the hanging into a veritable religious Graceland. Exorbitant admission prices and souvenier / trinket prices are charged to all who enter, and Guy, Brix, and Axe begrudgingly pay the admission price and pray at the site, which gives them a boost to their wisdom for a time. Brix attempts to give a sermon at the site, but he is forbidden. Suppressing their anger at the commercialization of the site, the party leaves.

The group heads to the site of the ascension, and finds it more simple and peaceful. Guy, Brix, and Axe take it all in, and the pilgrimage chapter of the session comes to an end.

From the ascension site, the boys head to Nobis. As they reach town, they find that everyone is very happy to see them, and eager for them to be happy with their stay. The townspeople escort the party to the inn, where they are met by Helga, the proprietress. Helga tells the boys that they are welcome because the news of the bad situation in Nobis has reached the surrounding lands, and visitors and commerce have all but disappeared. The townsfolk are also hopeful, based on the party’s appearance, that they might want to help with the problem.

That evening, Baron Humphrey, the local ruler of Nobis arrives at the tavern and meets with the gang up in a private room. There, he explains a less-than-human sect has been terrorizing Nobis, demanding material goods such as game meat, gold, and recently, human sacrifice. He is careful to describe three distinct types – the monsters themselves, whom the Baron calls “Chaka,” their humanoid, skinless servants, and a figure clad in black who arrived after Nobis put up an initial resistance to the Chakas’ bullying who has the ability to emit a terrible scream. These Chaka come from the north, and demand sacrifice from the town once per week. This reign of terror has been going on for almost eight months. Furthermore, the next visitation is scheduled to take place the next night.

The party pledges their help in any way they can provide it, and sets about preparing for the battle. After a night’s rest, Virgil polymorphs into an eagle and flies north, looking for signs of their encampment. He spies a castle, a house, and a place with smoke, but his animal instincts prevent him from exploring much more. Meanwhile, back at the tavern, Floyd keeps the townspeople from being a nuisance to the rest of the party by regaling them with stories of the boys’ exploits and making the citizens of Nobis feel confident about the party’s chances against the Chaka.

Helga approaches Axe and tells him that they may be able to learn more about the Chaka by visiting an old paramour of hers, Sien, a woodsman who lives in the forest outside of the town. Guy, Brix, Virgil, and Axe go to visit Sien, who, after disabling a trap Axe almost triggers, lets them into his home. Sien lives a Spartan life, but he has a wicked cool bow that Virgil admires.

Sien tells the boys that the group that Nobis knows as the “Chaka” is actually a sect of a cult that worship the pagan god Toth. The Chaka themselves are snake-people, and their servants, referred to as “Changed Ones,” are former humanoid races made to resemble snakes. The leader of this sect is an individual known as Yuantiki.

Sien and Vigil talk bows for a bit, and exchange a few arrows with each other for good measure, then the group returns to the town. After explaining the Sien encounter to Floyd, the party gets set for the arrival of the Snake-folk.

Virgil and Brix position themselves at the North end of town to prevent the escape of the cultists, and Axe, Guy, and Floyd wait in the tavern with Baron Humphrey. When the cultists arrive, they take the sacrifices of gold and meat, but do not demand a person this time. However, it’s moot since Virgil drops a fireball on the cultists and Guy carves up the one guy remaining. An illusory version of Yuantiki shows up to inform Baron Humphrey that Nobis is now doomed.

The party gets eight hours of shut-eye and then heads out to the cultists’ lair. After attempting to check for traps, the party eventually sets off an alarm and a horde Changed Ones surround the party. A fight ensues, but it is largely one-sided as the party easily bests the low-level creatures. Proceeding through, the party encounters four large snakes, who try to swallow the heroes. Those snakes are defeated handily, and the party continues into a room where they see an individual being transformed into a Changed One. There are Chaka, Changed Ones, and vipers throughout the room. Big fight, and the room is cleared out by the gang. One Chaka escapes, and when Brixmore goes to investigate how he disappeared, he finds there is a hole at the top of the ziggurat in the room. As they ponder their next move, it is the end of the session.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Significant NPCs in The Order of the Abbey Campaign

As of today, The Order of the Abbey has been a weekly running campaign since August 26, 2007. Although we have probably missed more sessions than we would like to admit, we have easily played at least 75 sessions during that stretch. In a game of such scope and size, it is probably no surprise that the campaign has come to have over three hundred significant NPCs, and the number is still growing. What follows is a list of considerably important NPCs as well as guest PCs (those who have played at the table on a non-weekly basis). I will not take the time to describe them herein, only rest assured that each and every one of the characters listed will be the subject of an NPC Profile at some point in the future. It is certainly possible that more names will be added to this list as well.

Characters with an asterisk (*) already have had their profile written.


Abbott (formerly Brother) Art
Abbott Teris*
Bjorn, formerly known as Eric
Brother Abel
Brother Jarrod
Brother Samared
Cardinal Aloe
Cardinal Nikolai
Dr. Ethan*
Eric, formerly known as Bjorn
Harves Raeth
King Gorom
Liam Strongbow
Lil' Skimpy
Pope Benedict I
Prince Calay
The Allfather
The Bandit King of Clovica
The Duke of Darkenhold
The Harvester
The Huntmaster
The Proclaimer
The Winter Queen
Yalla Sola
Zarin (also known as Linus)

I also would like to see each of the PCs write profiles of themselves at some point, but I thought it would be worthwhile to give you some idea of where we're going here.