The Architect of Ruins

Interlude
Session 12

Agust 6, 1066: The party rested at the lodge for another day and on the morning of Agust 6 followed the trail of the hunter. They decided to turn back when the light along the trail grew dark and the temperature fell rapidly. Rather than continue directly, they decided to return to town.

On the trail out of The Black Forest they saw four bodies that had been recently bludgeoned to death. The two Humans, Elf, and a Halfling were patrol members from Rasmark. None were any the patrol were well acquainted with, but in a town the size of Rasmark everyone pretty much recognizes everybody. The Wood Woads and Twig Blights that killed the four surprise attacked the party. Afterward, Oak Herder informed them that he warned the patrol not to enter the wood, but the patrol was concerned that the party had not returned and went in to find them.

Agust 9, 1066: During the previous day or two the party rested and got some news and information about what had been happening. Wella told Lunnin that Sauls the wizard had traveled to both a cave down river from the Halfling farms and entered the Black Forest in the area Lunnin knew was near Nobu Keep. From speaking with Copenhagen and people at The Bough, some "travelers" had arrived in Rasmark and were seen entering The Black Forest. A bar maid had overheard the group being pleased that nobody seemed to have gone near "it" since the last time, but didn't overhear what "it" was.

Federin spent some time with both Sophia (Town Pillar, Human) and Immeral (Town Pillar, Eladrin). Prior to arriving at Sophia's weapons forge, Federin saw Nicomacheus leaving the forge. During his conversation with her, she mentioned that Nicomacheus made the suggestion that Federin might need some assisstance. After leaving and speaking with Immeral, Federin and Sophia discussed some matters about what Federin was looking for. Somewhere among those conversations the mention of an old watch tower south of Rasmark was mentioned. It seems the Gnolls who live in those hills have decided to claim the tower for themselves.

Agust 10, 1066: The party returned to The Black Forest, spoke with Oak Herder about The Hunter's Lair, the Lost City that the Eladrin stole from the Elves, and the Crow People, then headed north to speak with The Derranged Hermit, who made a fuss about starvation, malnutrition, and the general lack of ground up meat delicacies in his diet.

Two Humans and two Elves traveling together were on their way to the Lost City. He also mentioned a strange cloaked human poking around Nobu Keep, which the party later found was Sauls who seemed occupied with the star chart found on the floor of one of the lower rooms in the catacombs.

They left him behind and after some travel finally made it to the edge of the Lost City.

Experience: 390xp +  4785xp = 5,175xp

 

 

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Laughing Wraith
Episode 11

Agust 4, 1066:

They caught their breath just outside of the forest. A near full moon provided light as they spoke with the patrol and one of the farmers nearby. The farmer explained that the skeletons never venture past the forest, as if they were trapped somehow. Once they got their wind back, Federin, Kaltes, Lunnin, Orophin, and Salen returned to the forest.

Federin crept up ahead of the others along the well worn path the skeletons had created. A treant emerged from the woods to warn them about entering further into the forest. There is a hunter trapped in the forest, an incorpereal killer who seeks to enslave warm bloods. The treant suggested they turn back, but makes no effort to stop the party, as it appears he meant only to warn them of danger.

It was no trouble finding the skeletons. They made their home in an old abandoned lodge, which most likely belonged to an aristocrat of some kind. The wooden lodge was far more intact than the overgrowth and ruin of the surrounding wall and yard would suggest. The stone wall surrounding the lodge was all but unrecognizeable as much as it had been reclaimed by nature, yet the wooden lodge showed more neglect and vandalism than it did decay.

Skeletons burst out from the ground when they entered the yard, over a dozen in all tried to swarm around them. When it appeared that the skeletons might beat them down, Orophin unleashed a Fire Shroud to turn the tide of battle. Within the disturbed earth they found 420gp and Burning Gauntlets.

Afterward the ventured inside the lodge and saw that several people had scrawled a lot of maddened gibberish all over the floor and walls of every room in the lodge. While searching the second floor they saw through the window the hunter stand in front of the yard and re-animate the skeletons. Not ready for another battle, they barricaded themselves in one of the bedrooms to regain their strength. During their search of the lodge they found a Power Jewel.

Agust 5, 1066:

Rather than track down the hunter, they decided to wait for it to return, which it did during the night. The ambush they lay did not work as the hunter called out Salen, Lunnin, and Kaltes from their hiding spots.

The hunter called the dead out from the ground to fight with him and the dead entered the fray as commanded. The hunter weilded a spear, but the source of his power was through mental anguish. His malign aura made it difficult for the party to fully act and made it easier for the hunter to pierce through their physical defenses, using mind control power to create holes in their defense for his spear to strike. These strikes had the ability to turn the party members against each other.

The patrol has grown stronger in these few weeks. This hunter who could have easily destroyed them just one month ago was challanged and in truth had to retreat even though he had taken down Salen and Kaltes with his psychic offensive. In the end, Lunnin's ability to take advantage of even the most careful retreat brought down the undead hunter of the woods.

Upon disappating the hunter's spear fell to the ground (longspear +2).

Experience:  2,300 (combat) + 400 (quest) / 5 = +540 XP

 

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Skeletons in the Forest
Session 10

Juli 27, 1066 – The party rested the night in the room with the two coffins and ivory statuettes. From the map of Rasmark and the surrounding area found on the Warlord, Orophin figured that the point marked Nobu Keep is what the catacombs used to be a part of. Further exploration revealed a key found in a trapped coffin and a room with an ellipse shaped map of the stars on the floor.

The star map appears to have hundreds of moving parts. To Kaltes, something was off about the star map, but pinpointing it would probably take a few days of careful study with reliable references. At each 90 degree point, there are pairs of recessed shapes. The ivory wind statuettes with square bases fit perfectly in place. Federin felt some sort of energy flow slightly when he placed them.

The party returned to town with news of defeating the warlord. There was much rejoicing and all the next week people in town treated them like heroes. Men bought them Ale at The Bough and mothers tried introducing their daughters to them for marriage.

Agust 4, 1066 – After resting and recovering from the celebration things start heading back to normal, though people still act quite favorably toward any of the party members.

Kaltes met with Carnum, the wizard he apprenticed under. The old man hinted rather heavy handedly that he wishes that his former student would come by more often and baits him into it by offering some useful things. So when he paid a visit, they chatted a little and Carnum offered to put a sigil (invisible to normal sight) of two dragons circling each other on Kaltes' forehead. The old man told Kaltes this can get him into certain libraries, but the names and locations eluded Carnum at the moment, but he'd be sure to remember them the next time his former student paid him a visit. Carnum also requested that Kaltes look out for Sauls, a student that studied under Carnum at the same time Kaltes did.

Lunnin took a walk to Halfling farms just outside of Rasmark. He bumped into Wella, the Halfling girl they helped free from a cell in Nobu Keep. It seems that a strange human has been wandering around the river near the Halfling farmlands. There was something gloomy about his appearance. Lunnin suggested that Wella keep an eye on this human.

Salen and Kaltes were on their way to the Raven Queen Shrine when they saw two travelers praying at the shrine. From their dress it was obvious the Elf man and Human woman were travelers, but other than a couple of teenagers in Rasmark, Salen and Kaltes were pretty much the only people who visit the Raven Queen Shrine. The two travelers seemed angry. They had seen some skeletons lurking in the forest around Rasmark. It seems they were arguing whether or not to take care of it or continue with their pressing business. The Elf male, Varis, seemed relieved when Salen said he'd would take care of the skeletons.Varis thanked them and said he would return.

Federin seems to have caught the interest of Nicomacheus, another member of the volunteer patrol. Nicomacheus is a human and somewhere in his early twenties. Though he tries to hide it, Federin can sense that Nicomacheus is an experienced warrior, probably moreso than any of the party members. After telling Federin that the skeletons are usually at the end of Briar Fork Road in the copse of oak trees, Nicomacheus began to ask Federin questions about himself.

That night, the party went down Briar Fork Road and saw the skeletons lurking at the edge of the copse of oaks trees. As soon as the party moved toward the forest, the skeletons withdrew into the dark wood. Within a minute of following the skeleton tracks, the party heard the howl of wolves and were attacked by three dire wolves.

After a quick fight where Kaltes managed to keep two of the three at bay long enough to deal with the third, they stepped back out of the forest to take a short rest. The patrol that accompanied them came to stand watch while they did.

Experience:  3,785xp + 460xp = 4,245xp

DM Notes:  I'm planning to add a little more story and non-lethal interaction with NPCs, so having a basic picture of your character in your head would be good.

I'm also thinking of alternatives to spending 15-20 minutes to kill the last two critters from an 8 critter band who've got no shot of winning. It's kind of a drag really. At that point all I'm looking to do is force another healing surge or two to be used. Since they do some damage on their way out, just saying you take care of them doesn't reflect the HP that can be lost during these cleaning up rounds.

What I'm thinking of is at the point the last surviving monsters decide to flee you have the option of letting them go to end combat right there or some sort of group roll if you don't want them to flee. The group roll basically determines how much damage you take in offing the stragglers attempting to flee. That way we take 1 minute instead of 20 minutes wrapping up the inevitable and still factor in the damage that would take place in those rounds. This of course doesn't apply to all combats, just ones where I make this call.

Of course, we could also do it the standard way and just spend the time taking care of the straggler.

 

 

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Wiki Update
Wiki Update

Wiki update: The Last Empire

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Dead Warlord
Session 9

Battle with Ettercaps.

Enter a chamber where the walls are covered with stonework that depicts the reign of Lady Fuhrer Ultenna, the most well known of the last Eladrin rulers who ruled over Sola over one thousand years ago.  It was Fuhrer Ultenna that took control of Sola and established the Eladrin Empire.  Some texts call her reign, theEnd (spelled exactly that way). 

There are three sets of double doors ahead, left, right, and straight ahead. Off to the left set of double doors there is a small room with two coffins.  Chamber music is magically piped into the room.  At the head of each of the coffins is an ivory figurine depicting what looks like wind.

Up through the cold middle set of doors, which leads to a chilled and odd shaped room that had eight standing coffins.  Out from the set of doors on the far side comes the Hobgoblin Warlord who flings one of the coffins at Federin who tried to sneak into the room unheard, but he was being watched.  A long battle ensued and the party eventually brings down the warlord.

He had a Bag of Holding.  Inside the bag was a map (I said it was empty, but there is a map).

Experience Points: 2,014 (combat) + 300 (Stopping Warlord) / 5 = 463xp

  • Federin, Kaltes, Lunnin, Orophin, and Salen: 3,785XP (4th Level)
  • Bringing Federin up to speed with everyone else, since he's a regular part of the party now.

For Next Time:  You've accomplished the main task of stopping the warlord. It's pretty much up to you if you want to continue to explore the catacombs or to go in a different direction.

Also, update your stat blocks on the site. I'm going to have your defenses and stuff on the initiative cards and will use your stats here as my reference.

 

 

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Eye for an Eye
Game Session 8

Juli 25, 1066 – The party left the catacombs and traveled nearly an hour through the Black Forest to return to Rasmark. They had an unconcsious Goblin in tow, likely the warlord's second in command. A few minutes before they emerged from the woods, they picked up on the scent of a nearby fire. When they reached the forest edge, they saw the source of the burning. The Goblins had set fire to the homes of the three farms in the area. About a hundred feet away, the Goblinoids had lined up some farmers and forced them to kneel down.

The heroes deliberated while the farmers knelt inside a circle of Goblins. During the discussion of what to do, one of the Bugbears crushed a farmer's skull with a heavy flail causing blood to splatter on the survivors. The Bugbear moved down the line to the next farmer and Orophin blasted the Bugbear.

The party drew the Bugbears into the woods, but this left the Goblins free to kill the farmers if necessary. Once the Bugbears fell, the Hobgoblin archers pulled back and ordered the Goblins to kill the farmers.  The party, a hundred feet away in the woods could not reach the Goblins in time to prevent the slayings.

In the aftermath, Salen was able to heal one of the farmers, but the rest died. They found a small leather bag that had a dozen eyeballs in it and saw that one of the farmer's corpses had an eye removed. 

They returned to town in the evening and spoke with Copenhagen.

 

Juli 26, 1066 – By this morning, the party has learned that the warlord has promised to slaughter two for every one of his men that has been killed. Some of the people who live in town are afraid and call for a stop to the attacks on the warlord.  From speaking with Copenhagen, they also learn that more than half of the warlord's forces have been slain.

They return to the Deranged Hermit with a gift of meatloaf, which is much appreciated. During their conversation he tells them the squirrels see undead wandering the forest.  Some go into the catacombs the goblins are using, but that doesn't seem to be the source of where they are coming from.

When the PCs return to the Goblin's lair, they surrounded the clearing and hid. They let platoon of Goblinoids enter the catacombs and quickly took care of a trio of Hobgoblins who remained in the clearing.  After waiting a few minutes outside the catacombs they entered. They heard someone whistling in the woods while they were waiting, but did not encounter the source, who was whistling a familiar tune.

Inside they stormed the barracks and found a Potion of Healing and 25gp. The number of Goblinoids in the room is too small to have been the group they saw enter, if some even were the same ones.

DM's Note: During the farmer execution encounter, Tony had the right idea. Your actions influence your reputation, which in turn affects how people interact with the party. 

Experience: + 371 XP

  • Arjun: 1,644XP
  • Federin: 2,395XP
  • Kaltes, Lunnin, Orophin, and Salen: 3,322XP

For Next Time: It is slightly past noon and you are in hostile territory. You have +1 Action Point (you either have 1 or 2). 

 

 

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Take You to My Leader
Game Session 7

Juli 25, 1066: After a short rest in the crypt with the animated statues, the party had two ways out of the room that they hadn't explored, an opening and a doorway. Lunnin listened at the doorway and heard a voice calling out for help. Having remembered that some of the farmers had been abducted the party opened the door and headed down into the dark room which had two cells. 

In the cells were two Human children and a Halfling girl just a few years younger than Lunnin.  Her name is Wella.  Federin helped her pick the lock to her cell.  She told them that she heard the Goblins moving around within the past half hour, which was just a few minutes before the party would have entered the catacombs.  She also warned that there may be some sort of nasty creature, as she thinks the farmers are being used as food.  Arjun decided to escort the three back to the village.

After scouting the other way out of the crypt, the party decided to try another way instead of dealing with what lay ahead. From where they observed, the way ahead was covered with webs.

They went around, crossed the pit with the disarmed traps and took care of a Bugbear, some Hobgoblins and their Guard Drakes who had claimed another burial chamber as their room.  After taking care of them, the party thought it best to head back to town.

Unfortunately, the Goblins sought to confront them on the way out.  It seems as if this warlord sent his second in command to invite them or kill them.  The Goblins chose death.

Experience: + 382 XP

  • Arjun: 1,644XP
  • Federin: 2,026XP
  • Kaltes, Lunnin, Oriphin, and Salen: 2,951XP

 

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Oozing with Delight
Game Session 6

Juli 24, 1066: On the way back to Rasmark, the party notes few people traveling, most likely to the Goblin activity.  When they got back to town, Lunnin and Arjun tended to their crusty gear, Salen took care of the Raven Queen Shrine at the edge of Rasmark, Oriphin read for a bit, and Federin talked to other patrols about what was going on.  It seems the Goblin activity has lightened up, due in no small part to the PC's killing a whole bunch of Goblins over the past few days.  One patrol said they saw some Skeletons skulking around the edge of the Black Forest at night.  He observed that they seemed unable, as if restrained, from going further than the forest edge.

At the Bough, the party had a drink, saw Copenhagen at the bar, but did not report or do anything else that night. 

Juli 25, 1066: A few minutes before returning to the catacombs, the party saw some Goblins in the woods hurry back toward their base.  When the PCs arrived, there were no Goblins to be seen.

Plunging deeper into the Goblin base, they found a large oddly shaped room the Goblins apparently did not use.  On the long wall was a painting depicting a massive battle between Eladrin and Tiefling armies.  Kaltes (iirc) thinks it has something to do with the War of the Dragon King, a war that happened several thousand years ago, which was something he only read in passing during his studies.  While examining the painting, a blueish ooze poured out from the walls and the bones on the floor animated.  After the battle, they party found two gems (100 gp each).

They took the doorway to the west which led to a crypt room, likely used to bury loyal servants, henchmen, etc.  The bodies were gaurded by some suspicious looking statues, which eventually came to life, did a river dance on Lunnin's head, and then fell apart after the party lay down some hurt.  It seems two of the servants were buried with some prized items, an Elven Cloak +2 and an Ironskin Belt.

Experience: +318XP

  • Arjun and Federin: 1,644XP
  • Kaltes, Lunnin, Oriphin, and Salen: 2,569XP

Update your character pages and attach your item wishlists.  Put one or two items per slot. 

Off Labor Day Weekend, see you on September 7.

 

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Campaign Updates
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Wiki Updates:

The Black Forest

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NPC:

Sophia

 

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Goblin Infestation
Session 5

Juli 24, 1066—The previous night, after giving them the Raise Dead ritual, Mistress Sophia asked the entire patrol, including Arjun and Federin, who had stayed behind to help with another patrol, to meet her at the garden Shrine of Bahamut this morning.  That night, at the fairly empty Golden Bough, they learned that Goblin raids on the outlying farmsteads have been a daily occurance and that family members had been abducted.

In the morning Sophia and Copenhagen explained the situation to the patrol.  They were spread thin, occupied with protecting the farms, leaving them with nobody to find the lair.  Meanwhile the Goblin infestation grows larger.  It is obvious to them that the Goblins have a strong leader who wishes to make the area around Rasmark his home base and is calling bodies to join his horde.  Stopping him sooner, rather than later, is critical.

The full patrol went back to the Deranged Hermit to help them locate the Goblin encampment quickly.  In exchange for meatloaf, the Deranged Hermit sent a squirrel escort to show the patrol the way.  It seems the way to a Deranged Hermit's heart is through his stomach. 

Right outside of the stronghold they found a patrol of Goblins asleep on the forest floor.  Federin crept ahead and killed two in their sleep before the rest of the Goblins awoke.  Having reduced their numbers, the fight was quite easy for the party.

Their base appears to be in the catacombs of a ruined keep.  Upon entering the catacombs, some Goblinoid creature activated a whirling blade trap.  The party was able to deal with the trap and two of the creatures, but one of them, an archer had gotten away by retreating into the north door and barring it shut.

Given the option of the east door with a red X plus the faint odor of rotting flesh and the relatively quiet western door, the party went wesrt and walked into the sleeping quarters of several Goblins.  Fun times ensued.

Experience:  326XP

  • Arjun and Federin: 1,326XP
  • Kaltes, Lunnin, Oriphin, and Salen: 2,251XP

Hey look, one XP to spare on the level up.

 

 

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