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