Rise of the Runelords

Session Fifty-One to Session Fifty-Three
Ogre Slip & Slide

Present Players:  Jaren, Feda, Vincent, Purrcival

 

This is a bit of a slap-dash post because these sessions basically consisted of the party fighting the main force of ogres stationed at the Fort. It was a long bloody affair, but the party managed to escape triumphant despite some close calls. 

 

Session Notes:

  • The party rehashes what's happened and reviews old notes to see if they can figure out what the Sihedron rune was doing on people
  • Deciding to hunt for more Sihedron tattoos, Purrcival throws on a little comedy skit for the market crowds
  • Purrcival afterwards talks to Howard and gets some info about the tattoo. It was a "members-only" tattoo for the Paradise pleasure cruise. The party learns that the Paradise burned and sank around the time Fort Rannick was sacked
  • The party heads back to Fort Rannick. Aurelia, Urtar, and Jakardros distracts the Ogres near the gate and a horde of running ogres gives pursuit giving Party B (Vincent, Feda, Jaren, and Purrcival) a chance to enter the "hidden" tunnels
  • The party is greeted with an ogre on watch who yells back into the cave to warn the others. Jaren moves to engage after being freshly buffed from Feda.
  • Ogres are treating this cave as a slip and slide because they can't roll over a 5 on acrobatics
  • Jaren charges the ogre on watch and trades big blows with him. He drops the ogre but takes a big Ogre hook hit from another ogre approaching.
  • More Ogres come from the caverns but the majority of them continue to slip as they come into the cavern.
  • Jaren continues to throw down with the ogres in the cave as the rest of the party finally conquer the 10 foot climb up
  • Purrcival hears a lot of ogres coming from the fort and sees the first of the horde come around the lake
  • Ogres are slain left and right.
  • Lucrecia shows up with a laugh and welcomes the party back
  • They panic a bit
  • Blessings of Fervor from Feda lets Purrcival drop an enlarged silence on Lucrecia to stop her buffing
  • A blast of AoE spells drops ogres with Rain of Blades and double Holy Word
  • Jaren drops a couple of the ogres with criticals, leaving the heroes not so outnumbered
  •  Lucrecia dimension doors away as Jaren lands a staggering critical hit
  • Purrcival slapping hands an ogre nearly to death (0 hp)
  • The party finally proclaims victory in the Slip & Slide Cave
  • They retreat to the Graul Farm and rest (and level!)
  • As the session ends the party hears/feels a rumble and the sound of rushing water. It seems like the rain has finally taken down the damn

 

 

DM Notes:

  •  

 

Rewards / Loot:

  •  

 

Challenges / Monsters:

  • 18 Ogres
  • ~5 Ogre Fighters (A few managed to retreat)
  • Lucrecia (Retreated via Dimension Door)

 

End Date: Sarenith 27

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Session Fifty
Angry Ghosts

Present Players:  Jaren, Feda, Vincent, Purrcival

 

Session Notes:

As the part gets closer to the middle of the swamp, they come upon a clearing with a number of cairn stones arranged in a circle. As they approach, a hooded elven looking figure steps from behind one and welcomes them to her swamp. The party looks to Yap for guidance, but he is shrinking away untrustworthy of the creature. As the party has just been tricked by a similar illusion of a pretty lady, they instantly question the situation. As they do so their minds pierce the illusion surrounding the ethereal fiery ghost that hovers behind the illusion. Purrcival recognizes it as a Witchfire, a creature that throws flames and curses the enemy to burn more intensely. They are often associated with Will o' Wisps so the party is also on guard versus the normally invisible creatures.

 

As the battle commences Vincent takes a frightening assault of flames thrown from the Witchfire. It burns him badly, but Feda is prepared for the elements and provides the party with a Protection from Energy spell significantly reducing the creature's threat. As the Witchfire flies above the party, Jaren is blessed with airwalk from Feda as Vincent heals up from the initial fiery assault. The Witchfire's allies spring from invisibility as the party finds themselves surrounded by bobbing balls of light that zap them with electricity, confirming the suspicion of will o' wisps lurking. Purrcival takes a critical zap but Feda once again comes to the rescue with a Resist Energy. Once given the ability to fly Jaren is able to pretty quickly cut down the evil ghost with the help of Vincent's channeled energy. After the fight the party takes a break to heal and rest, and doing their break they search the area and find a burned body who's gear is completely decimated except for the cloak. When the party examines it they realize it is a cloak of woodland animals. Purrcival spends some time examining the stones and realize that it is a particularly weak planar boundary.

 

Moving forward the party finally comes to Myriana's glade. The party is greeted with a very distraught ghost of a nymph druid. As she rises from the water her terrible beauty is harsh enough that all but two of the party are struck blind. Feda and Purrcival manage to resist the effect but the Thistles are instantly in the mood to talk rather than fight after the display of power. Myriana extracts a promise from the party to bring back Lamatar's body so he can be brought back and that they will avenge the attack on her swamp. The party readily agrees and retreats before the unstable ghost attacks. Feda is able to cure Yap of his blindness and together with the sighted members of the party they leave the swamp. They arrive back in town mostly blind, wet, and cold.

 

DM Notes:

  • The fight with monsters that depend on elemental damage would have been much harder without the elemental resist spells. Also, if the Witchfire was smart enough to know the details of airwalk she could have probably survived a lot longer by flying straight up.
  • I'm glad the party didn't go super aggro right away in Myriana's glade. That would have been a really hard fight.

 

Rewards / Loot:

  • Cloak of Woodland Animals

 

Challenges / Monsters:

  • Witchfire
  • 2 Will o' Wisp
  • Myriana, Ghost Nymph

 

End Date: Sarenith 25

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Session Forty-Nine
Far from Celestial Seas

Present Players:  Jaren, Feda, Vincent, Purrcival

 

Session Notes:

The party retreats from their siege of Fort Hook and plan out their next steps. Their first course of action is to notify Jyronn back in Magnimar with a sending spell, but his reply isn't very heartening given the political efforts he is against when trying to prompt the Lord-Mayor to action. The party does some limited planning for another go at the fort, but after some debate determine that they may want to leave it alone while the ogres aren't on such high alert. Vincent interviews Jakardros a bit trying to get a feel for why the man is nearly suicidal in combat. Vincent learns that Jakardros lost his family to a dragon attack years ago. Apparently, a dragon that Jakardros' party had killed was resurrected by a cult and the beast sought revenge by destroying his family. Jakardros in penance joined the black arrows and rose in the ranks to second in command. This murdering of his now adopted family has nearly broken the man and he feels extremely guilty for not being at the fort when the ogres attacked.

 

These questioning leads to the whereabouts of Commander Lamater Bayden. It was apparently an open secret that he would often visit the Shimmerglen swamps near the fort to meet with his love, a nymph druid. Thinking that finding his whereabouts and getting him to assist in the retaking of the fort, the party decides to head toward the swamp. From what Purrcival knew, the swamp was basically an enchanted place thanks to the presence of the nymph with happy birds flitting over crystal clear water and beautiful flowers cascading across magnificent trees. However, when the party arrives at the swamp they immediately feel that something has gone drastically wrong. The whole area is under a pervasive aura of dark emotion. The pools are murky and full of (too) many eyed things. The trees seem to weep blood whenever branches are broken and the trees' branches seem to be cruel fingers reaching for the party snagging at their gear. The normally clear pools show reflections of the party dead and the party feels watched the entire time. As they get deeper into the swamp Jakardros tells them something is amiss and even his keen survival skills feel off. Soon the party realizes the swamp's enchanted nature is in large part due to a close connection with the fey plane.

 

The party wandering through the swamp nearly lost get ambushed by a panicked pixie. The small creature looks entirely distraught and wails that the party should help him. He introduces himself as Yap, and after an initial bit of suspicion the party agrees to help his mistress, the nymph of the swamp. Yap seems to know his way pretty well and excitedly leads them deeper into the swamp. On the way the party is confronted by an ethereal parade of animals and fey who dance about the party. They take cues from Yap who cowers away from the ghostly parade and manage to avoid the ghost's touch. Before long the ghostly dance moves on and allows the party to continue deeper into the swamp. The party's next encounter is a murdered Dryad who is hanging dead from her heart tree. The creature's spirit hasn't fully departed and as the party nears they lean in to hear the creature's last words. She tells them the cause of all this pain was due to Myriana's love of Lamater. The spirit imbues the party with some resistance against the swamp's magic and implores them to set things right.

 

The party's final encounter on their way to Whitewillow is a strangely abandoned ship. It seems to be of celestial design and is covered in deep green moss but mostly undamaged. Yap seems nonplussed by the ship and explains it has been there for a very long time and that it fell into the swamp years ago. As the party nears, they feel an aura of calm around the boat as the dark emotions of the swamp are kept away. They recognize the shape of an archon on the ship's prow and after some debate decide to explore the ship. Jaren's sword, Celestial Fury, seems to grow more excited as they step onto the boat's deck. In the captain's quarters they find a ruined harpsichord and an old skeleton dressed in a military outfit. Searching the room, Purrcival finds a book of celestial music that seems to vibrate with potential. Vincent spends some time trying to identify how the man died, but can't really say beyond he didn't seem to die violently. Jaren pulls out some nautical maps that don't seem to fit anything the party knows of on the material plane, but Purrcival thinks he could place them on the celestial seas. The captain's quarters offers no more answers to their numerous questions, so the party heads below decks to the crew quarters. All the bunks there seem neatly made but covered in dust. Returning to the deck the party finds a large, celestial dog who stares them down with seemingly blind, solid white eyes. Celestial Fury utters its first word's in Jaren's mind saying, "my friend". The celestial creature gives a small wag of its tail and trots off into the swamp's mist. Confused, Jaren tries to prompt Celestial Fury with questions but he only gets the typical empathic responses. However, when he pictures the celestial hound the sword bursts into holy white flames. It seems Jaren has managed to unlock a bit more power from his mysterious blade.

 

DM Notes:

  • Did some behind the scenes stuff for Thistletop that should come into play a bit more in Book 3
  • Slightly, unexpected trip to the swamp. We were debating playing because we were missing two people, but the swamp was mostly RP and exploration encounters so the party went ahead with that route. I had to ad-lib and read ahead a bit as we went, but I think everyone had a good time with the session.
  • Jaren got a slight power bump with the new enchantment. I didn't really expect it to come into play yet, but well done by the party.

 

Rewards / Loot:

  • Ruined Harpsichord
  • Celestial Nautical Maps
  • Book of Celestial Music
  • "Holy" Enchantment on Celestial Fury

 

Challenges / Monsters:

  • Enchanted Swamp

 

End Date: Sarenith 25

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Session Forty-Eight
Guerrilla Counterattack

Present Players:  Vincent, Purrcival, Urtar, Aurelia, Jaren, Feda

 

Session Notes:

After the short but brutal fight the party decides against trying to pursue a dimension dooring enemy or the fleeing Kaven. The party recovers Vale's corpse and Feda stone shapes the door shut behind the party to cut off any pursuit. After getting back to the relative safety of the hidden caverns behind the keep the party begins to plan their next moves. They know of two other secret doors leading out of the caves, and they opt to head out of the one further down the caves. On the way the party comes to a rickety wooden bridge that Feda quickly identifies as unstable. As they carefully cross one by one Feda spots a corpse at the bottom of the ravine. Jaren, the best a climbing, clambers down to recover the corpse and finds a halfling's corpse apparently dead from a bad fall. They recover some minor loot and continue on their journey. When they get to the long unused crypts, Kip refuses to approach the entrance without a lot of pushing by Jakardros. The cat's strange behavior gets the party's interest and when they explore it they are ambushed by a Spectre that has a ghostly crushed face like he'd plummeted from a great height. The undead creature doesn't last long against the combined might of Feda's ghost touch runes and Vincent's channeling power.

 

Getting to the secret door they send Urtar out to scout the  outer courtyard. He is relieved to see that the general alarm hasn't been raised from their fight in the keep's basement. He maps out the largest ogre groups including one that appears to be wearing a skinned mink as a lower jawbone. The nearest group that is relatively isolated are the ogres guarding the old watchtower. Feda takes a look at the tower and realizes the whole thing would fall with a well-placed push. Jaren, Urtar, and Jakardros manage to silently take out the only ogre outside the keep. Feda and Jaren team up to knock out the keystone of the building which promptly collapses on the ogres within. This nearly crushes 3 of the ogres outright, and badly injures an ogre with reversed knees and a pustule covered body. Jaren quickly drops the hurt ogres and Aurelia destroys the remaining mook with a lightning bolt. The pustule covered ogre makes one massive slash at Urtar badly wounding him, but the ogre is paid back when Urtar unleashes a massive flurry of pain on his face. The other ogres in the courtyard are alerted from the tower's collapse but the party quickly escapes back into the hidden caves. Feda once again stone shapes the door closed to stop any pursuit when their trail is picked up.

 

DM Notes:

  • I'm glad the party didn't try to take out the whole keep. That's a lot of ogres.
  • Pretty effective counter-attack by the party

 

Rewards / Loot:

  • Halfling corpse loot (magic short sword, gems, mithril chain shirt)

 

Challenges / Monsters:

  • Spectre
  • Old Guard Post Collapsed
  • 4 Ogres
  • Karly-Lop Kreeg (Pustule Ogre Fighter)

 

 

End Date: Sarenith 24

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Session Forty-Seven
Daggers are Sharp

Present Players:  Vincent, Purrcival, Urtar, Aurelia, Jaren, Feda

 

Session Notes:

The cave proved no difficulty as the party uses some Monkeyfish to let those not so talented at climbing the skills of a monkey. The Thistles and their ranger allies quickly come upon some shocker lizards who have wandered away from their colony. The creatures put up an aggressive front, but Purrcival uses his bardic magic to calm the creatures long enough for the party to pass with no violence. The party heads downward deeper into the Shocker Lizard's habitat in the hopes that the secret entrance to the inner keep is still undiscovered. The shocker lizards give some intimidating hisses and sparks from atop their nests, but allow the party to pass unmolested with the help of some thrown sausages.

 

Arriving at the secret entrance the party finds it locked with some sort of arcane magic that the party quickly realizes is an Arcane Lock spell. Listening at the sealed door the party hears casting from inside, but that doesn't deter them as they successfully dispel the magic using their Chime of Opening. A regal pale skinned woman with bright auburn hair greets the party as if they were expected. In particular, she is delighted to see Kaven who she thanks for getting the ranger's out of the way and giving her vital intelligence on the fort. Kaven panics at this pronouncement as the other two rangers round on him with hate in their eyes. Kaven panics and flees to the woman's side hotly pursued by Vale. The chase is enough of a reason for Urtar to charge into the fight against the woman. The party suddenly finds themselves fighting two invisible creatures that they recognize as invisible stalkers. The two new combatants further split the party as Urtar and Vale are on one side of the room and the rest of the party are bottlenecked by the creatures. Purrcival is able to reveal one of the strange humanoids with a glitterdust. Urtar finds himself unable to connect with the spry woman. Vale manages a number of solid blows on the retreating Kaven who seems determined to just get out of the room and away from the man's two dangerous axes. As Aurelia drops another spell into Lucrecia she realizes the party has been tricked, and lets everyone know they're facing an illusion.

 

The party is shocked as the Lamia Matriarch drops her invisibility and lays into Vale and Urtar with a flurry of dagger blows. She is able to drop both of the fighters in a massive series of blows with her enchanted daggers. Vale is killed on the spot and Urtar is left on death's door bleeding to death. The party panics as they plot a scheme to save Urtar. Purrcival is able to jaunt Vincent over to Urtar (who passes away in the meantime). Vincent is able to pull their emergency scroll of Breath of Life to bring the monk back from the dead. Lucrecia drops a silence onto the bard and other spellcasters stopping him from providing his magical song for a moment. Jaren begins to tangle with the dangerous Lamia but refuses to stand toe to toe and darts in and out of the fight. He isn't able to land a decisive blow, but keeps the Lamia from eviscerating him. Feda is able to dispel Lucrecia's stoneskin, but pays for it with a cascade of dagger stabs. Feda survives but only thanks to her dwarven fortitude and stout armor. Aurelia hastes the party as the Lamia continues to wade through the fight. The party attempts to grease her daggers to lower the threat of the dangerous snake lady, but she keeps a firm grasp. The fight balances on a knife's edge for a few more seconds until the Lamia feels she is being cornered and dimension doors away from the fight.

 

DM Notes:

  • A tough fight for the heroes. Lucrecia was given a few rounds to buff thanks to her alarm spell and arcane lock.
  • I had some really lucky/unlucky (depending on the perspective) for the party's will saves vs. Lucrecia's Major Image.
  • That was definitely the most dangerous full attacker the party has fought, good thing the party was prepared with a Breath of Life scroll.
  • RIP Vale. I didn't do a good job of fleshing out the rangers so his death fell a bit flat.
  • The party retreated, but it's unclear if they're going to press their luck while (presumably) some sort of alarm is being raised

 

Rewards / Loot:

-

 

Challenges / Monsters:

  • Shocker Lizard Caves
  • Lucrecia, Lamia Matriarch
  • 2 Invisible Stalkers

 

End Date: Sarenith 24

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Session Forty-Six
A Fortified Position

Present Players:  Vincent, Urtar, Jaren, Feda

 

Session Notes:

The party reconvenes with the Black Arrows after looting the Graul house. Reviewing the map drawn by the rangers they talk over the various features of Fort Rannick.

  • Caves -
  • Sluice Gates
  • Gates – One was knocked off its hinges when the rangers mounted their attack. The other appeared mostly undamaged. They aren't sure if the ogres would have repaired it.
  • Aery – Some allied giant eagles lived here. It overlooks the fort, but the surviving Black Arrows expect the eagles have all been killed during the attack.
  • "New Barracks" – These were built years ago, but never used as they're basically a poorly designed fire hazard. There is only one exit and the whole building is basically a tinder box.
  • Kitchen – It was still in use by the rangers. The remaining Black Arrows predicted it would be a hotbed of activity given the number of horses and humans likely killed by the ogres.
  • Old Guard Post – This building was due to be cleared when the weather got better. It is near collapse and a danger for anyone inside.

 

The party gets a feel for the ranger's morale. Vale and Jakardros seem like solid fellows, but the party has some doubts about Kaven. He seems very nervous about heading back to the fort, and Vincent makes a point to keep an eye on him in case he tries to run off. Vincent also asks the more observant Thistles if they've seen any Sihedron runes tattooed on the rangers, but none have been sighted much to the party's relief.

 

After a brief bit of discussion and the party weighing their options, they decide to try to enter the inner keep via the caves under the fort. They aren't too concerned about the potential shocker lizards nesting below, and they hope it will let them avoid the majority of the ogres. Putting their plan into action they see the old battered fortress and start following the rangers who are more familiar with the area. On their way to the fort they surprise a scouting group of ogres, but after a relatively quick melee the party triumphs without any of the scouts getting away to warn the fort. After hiding the bodies, the party manages to make it to the edge of the waterfall and see their entrance into the fort behind the cascading sheets of water.

 

DM Notes:

  • I was recovering from a cold, so we didn't play a full session.
  • I'm interested to see what the party does with their assault plan, as this is one of the few times they are able to get intelligence and plan a siege beforehand.

 

Rewards / Loot:

  • Ogre scouts carried some weird stuff in the pockets that were promptly left behind

 

Challenges / Monsters:

  • 3 Kreeg Ogre Scouts

 

End Date: Sarenith 24

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Session Forty-Five
What a barn burner!

Present Players:  Vincent, Urtar, Aurelia, Jaren, Feda

Session Notes:

The Thistles head to the barn and find themselves facing down Mammy once again with six of her malformed children. Urtar reacts in a split second to brutally take one of the Grauls down, but that doesn't deter the rest of the family from charging the party. Jaren and Feda manage to take another down, but Mammy responds with a suffocating spell on Jaren who falls unconscious as the air magic works to keep him from breathing. Vincent unable to heal Jaren from the insidious magic opts to bash an Ogrekin about the face with his mace while Aurelia tries to overcome Mammy's magic with a dispel magic. The obese Ogrekin matriarch's magic proves the stronger and Jaren nears the verge of death from the lack of air. Purrcival puts a stop to Mammy's magic with a surprisingly successful glitterdust (Natural One!). Urtar continues to rampage through the Ogrekin teaching them to fear the monk's fists and feet. Mammy unable to assist without sight blinks out of existence much to the confusion of the party who were unable to determine the spell she used. With their mother abandoning them the remaining Ogrekin struggle briefly against the party before being defeated.

 

Seeing another double door deeper in the barn the party charges forth with gusto. Opening the door they find a room absolutely layered with spider webs. As Feda begins to push her way through an elephant sized spider charges out of a hole in the ground. Aurelia interrupts its charge with a fireball which clears the room of webbing and singes the gigantic spider. Jaren charges in swiping at the spider's limbs, but is paid back in turn as it sinks fangs dripping with venom into the warder. Purrcival nopes out and retreats toward the front of the barn while singing. Vincent does likewise attempting to get to the upper level of the barn where he can see some unconscious prisoners, however, he is interrupted from his rescue mission as another Graul shows up. This ogrekin as backward facing knees and makes a massive sneak attack against Vincent. Urtar jumps on Biggin' the spider and somehow manages to trip the massive creature (Natural Twenty!). Leaving the prone spider to Feda and Jaren, he charges back toward the entrance to help Vincent. Crowfood the last remaining ogrekin manages to hold his own briefly before being dropped by the Thistles.

 

Feda and Vincent see to the humans in the cage at the back of the barn. They introduce themselves as Black Arrows who were captured after a failed attack on Fort Rannick. They explain their home has been taken over by an Ogre clan known as the Kreeg's and they are the last living Black Arrows that they know of in the valley. The party helps heal them up and everyone agrees to rest at the barn before deciding on their next moves. Before resting the Thistles scout out the rest of the macabre house to pick up any loot they missed on their first expedition. They find a number of disturbing things in their search but also manage to reclaim a fair amount of loot including the Black Arrows' personal gear which they return. The Black Arrow Rangers all agree to help the reclaiming of the fort and sketch out a quick map for the party to use for planning.

DM Notes:

  • The party wraps up the Graul farm, but Mammy escapes. I'm sure this will be the turning point in her life and she certainly won't be after the Thistles for revenge later.
  • Some pretty nice rolls tonight. Blinding Mammy was a good turn stopping her from dropping her remaining spells on the party, and tripping the spider was entertaining if nothing else.
  • I'm looking forward to the Ogre fights in Fort Rannick, but I think they will suffer the same as the Ogrekin. They don't have huge attack bonuses but hit like trucks when they connect.

 

Rewards / Loot:

  • Assorted Coinage, Gems, and Jewelry
  • 3 Masterwork Cleavers (Hand axes)
  • Potion of Cure Moderate Wounds
  • Gloves of Arrow Snaring
  • Masterwork Ogre Hook
  • Masterwork Hide Armor

 

Challenges / Monsters:

  • 6 Generic Graul Fighters
  • Mammy Graul (Part 2)
  • Crowfood
  • Biggin' the Ogre Spider
  • Various Graul Farm Traps

 

End Date: Sarenith 23

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Session Forty-Four
Death by Dire Capybaras

Present Players:  Vincent, Purrcival, Urtar, Aurelia, Jaren, Feda

Level 8!

Session Notes:

With the party having opened a new entrance into her room, Mammy resorts to casting another of her Black Tentacles spells in the new opening but the spell seems to lack the oomph of the previous spell. The spell fails to grab anyone and it leaves Mammy pretty open to the incoming melee fighters. Aurelia finally out of the initial tentacles throws a fireball into the group of ogre zombies and singes Mammy. With a combination of attacks from Feda, Jaren, and Urtar the rest of the zombies are killed leaving just Mammy to face down the very angry Thistles. She instead opts to dimension door away before getting into melee with the party. The threat removed Purrcival tries to assist with the poison still coursing through Vincent's body from the spiked pit trap. He manages to overcome the poison without suffering too much, and the party begins to explore the rest of the house. The attic doesn't seem to contain any threats so the party heads down into the basement.

The first room in the basement is a disgusting room full of butchery. There are numerous flayed human skins laying under a prominently placed skull-less face. The next door appears to be a junk room, and inside is a Hucker Graul with a veritable horde of donkey rats (dire capybaras). Jaren is the first to get into the room and gets tangled up with the donkey rats before he is surprised as the ogrekin nearly cuts him in half with vicious sneak attack from his spiked chain. His very life flashes before his eyes and he realizes he's seen this before in the Dream Journal. Knowing what is to come, he dodges in just the right way to avoid his imminent death. He is left badly wounded but alive. The rest of the party begin to file into the room and start tangling with the surprisingly tough capybaras. Feda is able to negate Hucker's rage with a calm emotions spell that significantly reduces the ogrekin's threat. Vincent summons his own (slightly less impressive) celestial rodents to tank some blows, and Jaren manages to tactical withdraw away from the sneak attacking ogre. Urtar manages to get in past the donkey rats and trip Hucker. Hucker doesn't manage to get back to his feet before Urtar brutally curb stomps the ogrekin. The rest of the fight is a relatively quick clean-up of the donkey rats who can tank blows pretty well, but fail to pierce the party's armor.

After some quick healing the party continues exploring the dank basement. The next room is a junk filled room that looks like has been routinely salvaged for parts for the various traps in the house. The junk room leads into a swampy plant filled room that reeks of mildew and mold, and the party is surprised to find the last Graul son has been turned into some hideous plant creature. Muck Graul is a humongous plant create writhing with lashing tentacles. Aurelia promptly uses her last fireball to discourage the creature and the large creature is a bit too slow to avoid death at the pounding fists of Urtar. Past the muck and grime the party finds a large treasure chest stuffed with loot that the party promptly stuffs into the bag of holding before heading toward the Graul's decrepit barn.

DM Notes:

  • Woo, we remembered the dream journal. Jaren was very surprised at the damage from the ogrekin, but a full attacking barbarian/rogue can lay down the hurt. The re-roll saved him by Hucker rolling a 1
  • Dire Capybaras!
  • The party dings Level 8, finally unlocking 4th level arcane spells for the party but we aren't going to unlock the goodies from eighth until after the next rest
  • Urtar hits really hard, but is surprisingly squishy. The trick is hitting him which so far the monsters have mostly failed to do. We'll see if his luck continues!

Rewards / Loot:

  • Still running smash and grabs, buffs wait for no man

Challenges / Monsters:

  • Poison Spike Pit Trap
  • Mammy Graul (retreated via dimension door)
  • 4 Former Mammy husbands (Ogre Zombies)
  • 6 Donkey Rats (Dire Capybaras)
  • Hucker Graul
  • Muck Graul (Tendriculous)

End Date: Sarenith 23

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Session Forty-Three
Tentacles with Mammy

Present Players:  Vincent, Purrcival, Urtar, Aurelia, Jaren, Feda

Session Notes:

The Thistles facing down a group of seemingly grown Ogrekin who were busy playing with skulls and large rusty ogre hooks. They seemed much less developed mentally than the previous Ogrekin Rukkus, which is really quite impressive. The slow witted creatures all scream seeing some new toys to play with and charge the group with their toys ready for killing blows. The party is able to effectively coral the Ogrekin in the play room for the most part, and are able to pretty effectively defeat their opponents.

 

Feda spends no time trying to loot the room due to her numerous blessings running on relatively short durations. They assess a number of rooms for threats before Feda barges into a room at the end of a long hallway where she is suddenly blocked off by two tree trunk sized rotting legs belonging to a large Ogre zombie. Behind the Ogre floats a hideously obese Ogrekin woman who is surrounded by macabre painting supplies made of humanoid bones and paint made of various bodily fluids. Mammy Graul cackles at the party and sets her numerous ogre zombies onto the party then immediately falls into spellcasting. As she completes the spell rubbery black tentacles fill the hallway trapping the party in their crushing embrace. Urtar is able to use his expertise in grappling to fend off the rubbery doom, but he is unable to get by the crush of undead bodies blocking the doorway. Seeing no alternatives, he begins to smash his way through a nearby wall in hopes of making an alternate route to the spellcaster. The zombies mechanically swing heavy arms at Feda as she struggles in the tentacles, and the rest of the party are all pretty much trapped to ineffectualness due to the spacing and grapple of the tentacles. Feda is forced to tank the zombies and the spells from the floating spellcaster, and while doing so eats an enervation draining her life force. Urtar succeeds in breaking open the wall and finds himself in the house's living room. Urtar immediately jumps through the hole and finds the floor giving away beneath him as the couch and surrounding area collapsed into a spiked pit trap. He is reflexive enough to dodge the fall, but finds it difficult to swing through the hole. Meanwhile, Vincent manages to break free and enters the living room through the doorway. Urtar finally swings past the hole and begins breaking another entrance into the spellcaster's room. Purrcival uses his magical Boots of Escape to teleport into the open living room, and Aurelia and Jaren finally manage to escape the tentacle's grasp putting everyone but Feda in the living room.

 

Feda isn't able to push her way through the tentacles plus the ogres, but they're likewise unable to move the hardy dwarf warrior. Urtar finally breaks open the wall with the help of Jaren and Vincent, but the ogre on the other side of the wall promptly shoulder rushes Vincent backwards into the spiked pit. He lands hard catching a number of poisoned spikes in the back as he lands. The zombies continue frustrating the party's advance but through sheer number of hits they begin to wear down their opponents. The session ends with two of the five zombies down and the rest looking rough, but Feda is also beginning to feel the accumulated hits from the spellcaster and undead.

DM Notes:

  • The playpen fight didn't really accomplish much as far as taking HP resources, but it did force out a few spells from the party. I think this "dungeon" will be the first time the party has been nearly tapped out by the end of it.
  • Black tentacles is a really mean spell for the non-martials
  • The loudness of the party worked to Mammy's advantage as she was very well buffed for the party's arrival. Sadly, her only legit target was the dwarf with great fortitude and will saves so she wasn't able to bring a whole lot of pain.
  • I was really pleased with punting Vincent into the hole.

Rewards / Loot:

  • No time for loot, got buffs running

Challenges / Monsters:

  • 6 Graul Fighters

 

End Date: Sarenith 23

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Session Forty-Two
Soap

Present Players:  Vincent, {Late}Purrcival, Urtar, Aurelia, Jaren, Feda

 

Session Notes:

The Thistles next destination is the far flung village of Turtleback Ferry. It is the furthest holding owned by Magnimar and involves a long journey from Sandpoint. After some debate the party decides to take a relaxing ferry ride to the small village. During the voyage Aurelia and Feda work on various items using their crafting skills. Urtar, however, tries his best to be useful on the voyage by constantly badgering the crew on how he can be helpful. This constant pestering does not earn him any friends and he mostly ends up with simple tasks like mopping the deck which Urtar does with Vigor. Vincent makes a point of sampling all of the local cuisine at the various village stops along the way. He manages to get through the trip without food poisoning and is treated to some very unique cuisine.

 

Once in Turtleback Ferry the party is treated to a very small village and begin trying to learn the local lay of the land. They spend a day talking to villagers and learning about local rumors. They hear a variety of tales ranging from the giant Albino Gar known as Pinkeye sinking a pleasure cruise to the horrendous sounding Black Magga that lives in the Storval Deep, the massive lack held behind an ancient Thassilonian dam known as Skull's Crossing. There were also some rumors that the Leader of the Black Arrows is known to visit the nearby Shimmergleans for some unknown purpose.  Urtar spends some of his day shopping at Turtle's Candles and Soaps Shop, and buys a variety of soaps for the party. While shopping he notes a villager sporting a Sihedron Rune tattoo and tails the suspect throughout the day. He stalks the man to his home eventually and lets the party know what he has seen. Later that night Urtar also presents Aurelia with some nice smelling soap with rose petals in it because she is a lady and likes pretty things. For Feda, he presents her with a "manly" mineral based soap because she is not lady like.  He also presents Purrcival with a bar of the same soap because he is dainty and also likes pretty things.

 

The next day the party heads toward Fort Rannick, but on the way Purrcival hears the sound of a distressed animal. Investigating they find a firepelt cougar trapped in a large bear trap. The animal is clearly in great pain as they approach but reacts relatively calmly. Jaren easily recognizes it as a trained companion and the party begins working to free the creature. However, shortly after they begin breaking the trap the rest of the party hears a loud singing and the barking of hunting dogs. The singer turns out to be an ogrekin and is intent on murdering the trapped cat. The party heard that there was an ogrekin family in these woods known as the Graul who are known to be cruel, and this creature introduces itself as Rukus Graul demanding they let him murder the kitteh. The ogrekin sets his dogs on the party but it proves a quick fight as a well-placed fireball by Aurelia leaves the majority of the hounds staggered on their feet. Rukus does a few tenative thrusts with his spear before fleeing the fight as his dogs all fall to the party's fighting skills. Urtar and Aurelia (enchanted with expeditious retreat) manage to catch and defeat the fleeing ogrekin. The party continues following Rukus' trail and after passing some strange humanoid shaped fetishesand end up on the edge of a decrepit looking farmhouse and barn. The crops are all large but wrong looking — moldy and festering. The party following the firepelt's lead sneak over toward the farmhouse. The cougar stays crouched on the edge of the clearing while the rest of the party sneaks toward the house. They find the front porch adorned with numerous hanging bone windchimes. After seeing some very large bugs on the porch (a moth the size of a shovel head!) the party opts to use a side door instead of braving the porch. The side door opens into an absolutely sickening kitchen that smells of days old meat. The table has a veritable buffet for some large rodents that appear to be human fingers and thumbs in a bowl with the (relatively) freshly de-fingered hands in a bucket nearby. Feda veritably charges through the house (buffs have durations!) and eats a few traps in the adjacent dining room. The final room she charges into appears to be some sort of playpen with not so clean skulls and horrible finger paintings across the walls. Inside they find a collection of ogrekin who all look in attention at the dwarf that stumbled into their room.

 

DM Notes:

  • Rukus didn't really bring much Rukus
  • I'm using a new scaled rebalancing of the encounters. I'm curious to see how much it is going to be felt by the party.
  • Jaren finally got to let his maxed Handle Animal shine.

 

 

 

Rewards / Loot:

  • Acid Large Spear
  • Quilt made of Blackarrow patches

 

Challenges / Monsters:

  • Rukus Graul
  • 6 Graul Hounds

 

End Date: Sarenith 23

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