A Different Perspective
June 30 2018 Game Session

(an excerpt from the journal of Auri, windling Nethermancer of the 8th Circle and Horror Stalker initiate)

We had previously reached the ruins where we believed that the twin abominations that we have been stalking are lairing, and defeated the rocky creatures outside – some manner of twisted earth elementals, no doubt.

We took a brief moment to rest before entering, and our newfound friend Ozak told us in broken Throalic that in the event of him being knocked unconscious or slain, that we would be able to activate his sword by virtue of the overly large button on the pommel. Glondorph showed great restraint in not lecturing about that design choice. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that in addition to being a Horror Stalker, he’s also a Weaponsmith. Ozak also mentioned that the sword could only be activated in this way once each day, possibly something about it needing to be recharged in the light of the rising sun? I wish I could understand him better.

Nevertheless, after a few moments, Glondorph led us into the cave, trusting to the superior sight of the elves and dwarves in the party to make up for the dim light coming in through the entrance. Since my eyesight is not as refined as theirs, I simply took out my light stone. Glondorph and Sarai thought that was pretty funny. I need to think of a good way to repay them; maybe I should look over my notes for that darkness spell – I bet it would help them to sleep at night!

Inside the cave, we find an entry chamber of natural stone, with a collapse in one corner. Glondorph is super-interested in the cave-in, no doubt because he’s a dwarf. Somehow, he managed to convince Tristryn to mess around with it, even going so far as to coax her into summoning an air elemental to slide through the collapsed area and poke around. I didn’t pay much attention to that, although she did later say something about a chamber “underneath” the cave. She also said that the elemental behaved strangely, almost like an automaton.

Also in the cave, we found a number of hewn stone doors, several of which were trapped, locked, or both. Luckily, Liandris is quite skilled at bypassing such devices, whether there’s treasure to be had or not.

The first door had some kind of cell, with what appeared to be young dragons that had been subjected to Skin Shift. Sarai used her Astral Sight and said that they showed signs of tampering from the twins, although nowhere near the level of Chumana or the baby that we encountered previously. I don’t speak Dragon, so I left them for Liandris to talk with.
The second door had another cell, but this one was empty.

In front of the third door was an area with some kind of viscous green liquid that gives off a terrible odor. Most of the party stays away, but Liandris valiantly steps up to the door, and activates the trap so that she can work on the door unharmed. This trap is some kind of spikes, which makes me wonder what the liquid came from. It’s possible that it could be from one of the dragons, or could also be from one of the Horrors we seek. Either way, this might be a useful component in crafting some blood charms; it might be worthwhile for me to collect some later and see if I could fashion it into a Horror Fend, or maybe even develop a new kind of charm. Interesting speculation, but better to stay focused for the moment. While I was lost in thought, Liandris discovered that the door was blocked by something on the far side, and shortly thereafter, we decided to follow the stairs leading downward.
As we moved deeper into the cave, Glondorph informed us (with a manic glee in his voice) that the twins are in residence, and that they greeted him. He’s very eager to move forward. The cave opens out into a small cavern, at the far end of which is a free-standing archway of some sort. Between the stairs and the archway are six elemental beings. They show signs of being Horror touched, as they do not all conform to the five elements that all Namegivers know, but represent air, electricity, fire, earth, acid, and water. When we move closer, battle is joined.

Despite the fact that several of them are capable of casting spells, the battle goes without significant incident, although Ozak, Andres, and Glondorph take significant amounts of damage. I really need to remember to suggest to Glondorph that he consider bringing some hawk hatchets or some way to deal with things that he cannot reach with his axe. Being defeated by something as simple as a Stop Right There is almost embarrassing. After the battle, we stop to take a moment’s rest before turning our attention to the archway.

Diplomacy is Overrated
May 26, 2018 Game Session

We hereby christen the Air Ship under the name “Hindenburg”. Seems fitting.

Approaching Scavia (from the Hindenburg), you can see that the “city’s” buildings have supports and roofs, but no walls. It’s also odd that the city seems to be situated on a volcanic beach. Even from this distance, it is obvious that there is a large stone tower (20 to 25 feet tall) with a “controlled” fire spewing out of it.

There looks to be only one clear place to land (without rocks or trees in the way), which is about 30 to 45 minutes north of the city. The Hindenburg lands, the party disembarks, and the ship’s Captain is given a message chalk (just in case) and asked to hover straight above the landing site.

A text from Vaare arrives: “What the hell is that airship doing?”
Mike responds: “Whatever I want! We’re directly below it.”

Vaare arrives shortly thereafter. He has brought a present to BNB —> a very neat alpha-test combination spell. Tom, Maria, and Betsey take one look at it and almost immediately decide to learn it (all successfully). Mike tries a Direction Sense (25) to find the Twins, but he gets no information. There are no other air ships in the area, there is no crowd coming to investigate them, and walking towards the city does not reveal any signs of life. Curious and curiouser.

Entering the volcanic beach area, BNB can easily see the entire city. The buildings are exactly as seen from above (without walls). There is a human figure performing what can be best described as “tai chi” around a large bonfire (the tower of fire is about 5 minutes away to the right/west). His movements seem to be influencing the bonfire (as he moves, the fire sometimes echoes his movement, other times it engulfs him, other times flowing in/out/up/down). Mike and Kevin are totally enthralled by the “show”, but Maria and Tom notice about 25 humans getting up out of the camouflaged area – they are all holding swords and have quickly surrounded the party. The city folk are human, but they are very brown-skinned (almost red), and each is wearing only a ragged pair of shorts (many are bald, the ones who aren’t bald have very little hair on their heads).

Tom starts weaving to Control Person (getting 2 out of the 3 threads). One of the natives takes two steps towards Tom and says “$$$$” in a language no one understands. Betsey finds she has an open slot in Speak Languages, so she decides to use it, and she becomes fluent in Cherokee. She asks “why”? The fire dancer stops his movements, turns to face the party, and says “greetings”. Betsey gives a more formal greeting back to him.

Firedancer: “May I ask why you are visiting our city?”
There is a cacophony of answers, more party members blurting out words like Horror, Twins, Dragons, Beer (that was from Mike) – Vaare can only shake his head at the party’s lack of information security.

Mike tries another Direction Sense (27) —> something is in the area but not within 4 miles.
Maria tries Astral Sense (36) and she sees patterns of elemental Fire and Earth all around them.

Kevin gets antsy and decides to show his claws. The natives get even more antsy and begin to wave their swords in warning. The Firedancer tells Kevin to put the claws away. After a few tense seconds, Kevin pulls the claws in, the swords are lowered, and cooler heads prevail.

Firedancer: “You are here to find a specific Horror”?
Betsey: “We are looking for Twin Horrors.”
Firedancer: “Any idea where?”
Betsey: “Our information guides us to ‘an area in ruins’ near this city.”
Firedancer: “The closest ruins are at the eastern base of Twilight Peaks, about 25 miles away.”

The party asks some basic information (buildings, wares for sale), but the town has little of value to them (BNB is the first tourist party in many years – they get the feeling that the natives wouldn’t mind more outside visitors, as long as they and their city were treated with respect). The party asks if anyone would want to join their hunt, and one native named Ozak volunteers. The Firedancer gives them all a brief blessing, and the group is on their way.

Hindenburg comes down, Ozak does a “WTF”, then goes running gleefully onto the ship. During the brief (40 minute) trip towards Twilight Peaks, Ozak is leaning over the railing edge with his tongue sticking out, soaking up the air and speed. On the way down, a fairly large cave can be seen, so BNB figure that’s as good a place as any to start looking. Mike tries Direction Sense (33) and gets a VERY strong “IN” feeling – let’s see if that is good news or bad news. After the air ship leaves and the party gets closer to the cave, they can see a collection of stones randomly scattered around the cave entrance, but the rest of the area is clear of anything else. Slowly approaching the cave (just as they somewhat suspected), the stones become animated and begin to attack.

Round 1: Tom uses Astral Sense; Ozak swings and misses; Betsey swings and misses; Kevin hits one; Vaare tries Mind Dagger but misses; Mike hits one; Maria moves and casts Combat Fury on Kevin; Kevin is wounded by one of the stones.

Round 2: Betsey solidly hits one and then shocks it; Kevin blasts the one he’s fighting; Maria casts Combat Fury on Betsey; Ozak misses; Mike SLAMS his opponent; Ozak is hit hard; Sabrina tries Lightning Bolt but fails; Tom casts Astral Sphere and DESTROYS the stone in front of Betsey.

Round 3: Sabrina connects with Ice Mace & Chain; Kevin eviscerates the stone in front of him; Tom hits with another Astral Sphere; Maria casts Combat Fury on Ozak; Vaare casts Dispel Magic at the stone in front of Ozak and it is starting to fall apart.

Round 4: Betsey hits and zaps the stone in front of her; Kevin leaps over and obliterates it; Mike annihilates the stone in front of him with one strike!

Think of the Frequent Flyer Miles!
January 26, 2018 Game Session

After the nasty battle, the party has a quick discussion about whether or not to try to bring Rubio back to life. The final decision is “yes”, so Tom weaves and casts Last Chance. The spells goes off, but Rubio is still dead. Maria suggests she use a Last Chance potion, but also asks Chumanna to sit on Rubio and if he gets even the slightest bit out of line, feel free to bite his head off. The potion works!

Rubio: What happened?
Party: You died and we brought you back. You’re still Horror Marked, so don’t make any sudden movements or we’ll just kill you again. You have a problem and we want to fix it, but we don’t know if someone else may try to stop us.
Rubio: If you mean the Twins, I haven’t been in contact with them for months.
Party: Where were their last known location?
Rubio: Outside of Kratas on the outskirts of the Servos Jungle.
Bestey (in Dragonese): Are you afraid to talk? {Rubio nods} Mr. Black is on his way. {Rubio reacts strongly and nervously.} Are you afraid of Mr. Black? Why? {Rubio violently waves his head up and down.}
Betsey (in Dwarven): Is Mr. Black a Horror?
Rubio: No No No No!!!! He could put me through torture that would be worse than a Horror!
Chumanna: You have no method of physically containing Rubio, but I do. He could go with me to my cave, which Dad doesn’t know about.
Tom: Casting Globe of Silence in such a way so that the party can speak, but Rubio can’t hear {DM agrees}.
Tom: I have a spell which could control his movement. Do you think that is necessary?
Chumanna: I would like to talk to Rubio and convince him to come back with me to the cave. I will take full responsibility for him.

The party debates for a few minutes, and decides that they will go to Chumanna’s Treasure Room and ask Mr. Black to meet there. Rubio will be allowed to fly on his own, under strong party scrutiny. They message Mr. Black who acknowledges the plan. Tom drops the Silence, and they fill Rubio in on their plans, which he agrees to.

Mike and Maria head in to Ishkarat to tell the town that everything is safe and to pick up some supplies. A few hours later, the party arrives in the Treasure room, and settles in for three days of waiting (and training, since the DM gave them Legend Points!).

When Mr. Black arrives, Chumanna gives him a big hug. He acknowledges the party and heads straight to Rubio. Tom says “we hope that Rubio can be taken into your care, and hopefully you’ll be able to rehabilitate him (or arrange for it) – we are going to follow up on leads to try to find the Twins”. Mr. Black asks if he can speak with Rubio in private, the party goes just outside the chamber and Tom casts Globe of Silence around the party.

Time passes. Eventually Mr. Black gets the party’s attention, and Tom drops the Silence.

Mr. Black: That was a very interesting conversation. If you are still intending to hunt down the Twins, it is my belief (through intense Dragon Magic) that the Twins are within the area of Scavia in a series of ruins.

As always, the party profusely thanks Mr. Black for his help, and promises to keep him apprised (as much as possible) on their progress. The three dragons help get the party back to the outskirts or Ishkarat, then they make their way to the East.
The party boards their air ship (does this thing have a name?) and heads to Throal (3 days) to visit the Great Library and gather information on Scavia. After that, they take the ship to Parlainth (3 days) to try to hire henchmen to help deal with (what they anticipate to be) construct guards near the Twin’s lair. They find out that their Espagra armor has about 2 weeks left and is progressing nicely.

A message is sent to Vaare to see if he has any ideas or items or spells that might help them. The party is surprised to hear that he DOES have a surprise for them – he has found a spell that just may be exactly what they are looking for. He asks where they are headed, and tells them that he can meet them in Scavia (for he dare not trust this spell to anyone but himself) in 10 days (which is just about the same time it will take the party to get from Parlainth to Scavia).

Hell Hath No Fury Like a Female Dragon Scorned
December 23rd, 2017 Game Session

While debating Babs’ question, Tom, Maria, and Mike decide to spend some time training. Eventually the group decides that their answer to Babs will be “no”. Kevin sends a message to Chumanna:

Kevin – We just saw Rubio. He’s alive. He says your last meeting was at White Rock Point. Is this true?
{Insert dramatic pause here.}
Chumanna – How did you know about that place?
Kevin – We just met a dragon who claims to be Rubio.
Chumanna – Impossible. He’s dead. I saw him die.
Kevin – Can you get to Ishkarat by tomorrow? He’s coming back.
Chumanna – I will be there first thing in the morning.

Betsey messages Mr. Black:

Betsey – We need your help. Dragon named Rubio is around Ishkarat. Chumanna is coming too.
MB – I find that highly unlikely. We all saw him die 18 months ago.
Betsey – He mentioned a place that only Chumanna would know, and she confirmed it.
MB – Where are you?
Betsey – Ishkarat.
MB – When is Chumanna arriving? I can’t get there any faster than about five days. What are your plans?
Betsey – Hoping not to die. We have a ritual that will help fight the Twins, but we think we have to go through Babs first.
MB – Do you want me to get there as soon as possible?
Betsey – Yes please, your presence would be greatly appreciated. We will check in tomorrow afternoon if we’re not already dead.

Last thing for the day – find Ishkarat mayor  tell her the whole story. The city needs to be locked down TIGHT at 9 tomorrow morning; hid everybody, be ready for mass destruction. We’re sorry and we’ll do our best!

Rested and “ready”, leave city at 9 (doors locked behind them). Chumanna arrives at the meeting spot at 10:30. Lots of long-term preparatory spells are cast. At 11:55, Kevin’s falcon spots a dragon in the distance. Rubio and Babs land about 40 yards away. Chumanna looks at Rubio and says “it looks like him but I’m not convinced”.

Babs: “So – what is your answer?”
Tom: “We need to verify your offer, and confirm that is indeed Rubio.”
Babs: “I see. Rubio, would you walk forward please?”

The two groups are now a mere 10 yards apart. The tension is rising quickly. The two dragons have a brief ‘private’ conversation in Dragonese. Chumaana looks PISSED.

Tom: “We have papers for you. I am delivering them (riding on Mike’s shoulders).”
Babs: “Does that mean your answer is ‘Yes’?”
Tom: “Of course my answer is yes. GO!!!!!!”

And all hell breaks loose.

Round 1: Tom weaves; Mike clicks Combat Fury, then hits Babs armor defeating for 37; Betsey swings but misses; Maria casts Combat Fury on Kevin, who then Great Leaps and swings at Babs but she avoids; Sabrina tries True Shot, then uses Flame Arrow to cause 17 damage on Babs.

Round 2: Sabrina uses True Shot again, Babs’ armor sucks up all the damage; Babs tags Mike with a Mind Dagger for 10 damage, then a Tornado spell to blast Kevin/Mike/Betsey for 35 each, then takes a recovery test; Tom weaves; Kevin swings and misses; Maria weaves; Mike moves; Betsey hits Babs with Karma Dampen.

Round 3: Tom casts Control Being (29) at Babs, severely hampering her efforts, so she tells Rubio to eat Tom; Betsey responds by telling Chumanna to obliterate Rubio! Rubio jumps and lands on Tom. Tom is unhappy, squished like a pancake, and pinned. Betsey throws a spell at Rubio for minor damage; Kevin Great Leaps in, is deflected away by the Tornado, then moves to Rubio instead. Sabrina summons an air elemental who will attempt to slow / disperse the Tornado; Mike attempts to break free of the Tornado but can’t; Maria continues weaving. Chumanna (at Betsey’s suggestion) Taunts Rubio (29) and he is now shaking.

Round 4: Rubio attempts to bite Tom, misses, and Tom is no longer pinned. Maria tries a spell but it fails; Babs fails breaking out of Tom’s spell; Betsey weaves; Tornado appears to be slightly weaker; Sabrina fires and hits Rubio; Chumanna tries to run Rubio over but bounces; Kevin scoops up Tom and Great Leaps away so he can give Tom a healing potion; Mike activates Horror Fend; Tom drinks a second potion.

Round 5: Babs fails to break Control again; Maria weaves; Kevin Great Leaps to Rubio and smacks him hard; Tom tells Babs to move forward to Mike, sit down in front of him with hands on head; Tornado pushes Mike around; Chumanna breathes fire at Rubio but doesn’t hit him; Sabrina re-attunes Dispel Elemental Magic; Tornado weakened a little more; Betsey casts Phantom Fireball at Babs; Mike moves to Rubio; Rubio swipes at Kevin but misses.

Round 6: Kevin swings at Rubio but misses; Sabrina tries to dispel the Tornado but fails (but is weakened even more); Mike hits Rubio (who is starting to show some wear); Babs tries to break Control again but fails; Rubio swings at Kevin but misses; Tom tells Babs to lay down; Maria weaves; Chumanna slaps Rubio twice; Betsey bounces off of the Tornado.

Round 7: Chumanna tries to break out of the Tornado, succeeds, and claws Babs; Tornado continues to weaken; Maria casts Karma Cancel on Babs; Babs still can’t break Control but heals herself; Tom hits Babs with an Astral Sphere but causes no damage; Rubio smacks Mike for 38; Betsey casts True Ephemeral at Babs for minor damage.

Round 8: Chumanna SLAMS Babs; Kevin Great Leaps onto Rubio for a HUGE hit – Rubio is dead!!!! Betsey tries True Ephemeral again but causes no damage; Babs asks to surrender but the party ignores her; Maria weaves; Mike gets a great hit on Babs and knocks her unconscious; Tom gets the final blow. BABS IS DEAD!!!

Air Supply
November 18, 2017 Game Session

After about three weeks worth of training in Throal / Bartertown, Tom has now reached 8th Circle (and wants to learn Horror Stalker); Betsey, Maria, and Kevin are now 7th Circle. Congrats!

{Timing note – there are still about 3-4 game weeks left before the Espagra scale armor is ready to be picked up in Haven.}

Betsey casts Evidence Analysis on the pages of the Book:
1. How long ago were the pages ripped out? [about 12 months]
2. How long has it been since the ritual was last performed? [about 4 years]
3. Where were the pages removed? [South of Kratas]

Discussions with Maria’s librarian friends reveal that the Twins have been sighted in the areas of Ishkarat, Kratas, Vstrimon, and Parlainth over the past 4 to 5 years.

Travel information:
START END Time over Land Time via River Time via Airship
Bartertown Ishkarat 9 days 3 days
Ishkarat Kratas 3 days N/A 1 day
Bartertown Lake Ban 10 days 3 days
Lake Ban Haven 19 days 6 days

Party is considering purchasing their own Airship. In general, the cost to rent a ship is 20 silver per person per day. The cost to own a ship can be roughly calculated as (crew compliment * 4) + (typical maximum carrying capacity) per day. Thus, a ‘small’ ship (crew of 8, carrying capacity 50) would be 82 silver a day, a ‘medium’ ship (crew 12, carry 75) would be 125 silver a day, and a ‘large’ ship (crew 16, carry 100) would be 165 per day. These estimated prices cover the cost of basic supplies (food / water / clothes) for all onboard, basic pay for the crew, and materials needed to maintain the ship. Extra costs are incurred for modifications to the ship (such as weaponry) or major damage repairs.

Party takes the three day airship ride to Ishkarat (T’Skrang captain Kricklen). The city is recovering slowly but steadily. Trade with Kratas and Bartertown is going well. The party considers the approximate date (12 months ago) when the pages were ripped from the Book of Merrox, and asks Chumana if there is any significance to that time (during attacks of Iskarat or anything)? Chumana responds that there isn’t any significance she can think of. They also ask her if she’s okay, anything unusual on her end – she responds that she’s in her cave counting coins and generally relaxing. Mike goes into the center of the city and casts Direction Sense to try to get a link towards one of the Twins, but doesn’t get any info. They head to the library to try to lookup events from four years ago ….

“What are you looking for?”

…. And then they see Babs waving at them. She begins talking with Tom at length about here transportation spell (he guesses two threads to start). Betsey wants to make sure that it is Babs and not an illusion (28 disbelief) and is convinced there is no illusion. Babs has something she wants to show the party, and asks them to follow. They agree that going a minute or so outside the city is a good spot.

“I’d like to offer you a trade. I was talking with my good friend Tapywa a few weeks ago, and she told me that you had some pages from a Book. I’d like to trade for those pages – and here’s what I’d like to trade….”

She points upward, and the party can see a dragon flying overhead. It’s just slightly larger than Chumana.

“Party? Meet Rubio. Come on down big boy.”

Rubio lands, and Tom asks if they can converse with him – Babs agrees easily. Maria looks at him Astrally (32) – he is definitely marked by both of the Twins, moreso than would be compared to Chumana.

Rubio’s speech is somewhat monotone, without the ‘typical’ musical tones that the party is accustomed to hearing in speaking with other Dragons.

Betsey: “How are you?”
Rubio: “I am okay.”
Betsey: “Do you know what is going on?”
Rubio: “Yes.”
Betsey: “We’re sorry for what has happened.”
Rubio: “Thank you.”
Betsey: “Where did you and Chumana go to talk before you last saw her?”
Rubio: “The crest of Black Rock Ravine near Hearthstone Mountain.”

While this is going on, Maria uses Book Memory on the pages (and she notices that they do radiate magic).

Babs says “Thank you for the scintillating conversation. We must be going now. I’d like to meet up again here in 24 hours so that you have time to consider my offer. I look forward to our next meeting.” With that, she climbs up on Rubio’s back, and they fly off.

Ritual from the Book of Merrox

This ritual allows a group to become less likely to be damaged by a specific pair of Horrors, namely Ahktu and Melotta.

Ritual Process
Time to completion: 1 hour
Requires one diamond worth at least 2500 silver, which is destroyed in the process
Duration of effect: 4 hours

The party sits in a circle and meditates. They will continually pass the diamond around from person to person throughout, concentrating on the diamond. Every 15 minutes, each person in the circle makes a Threadweaving Test against a difficulty of 15. If one member of the group cannot beat the target number, that ‘weave’ fails (all or nothing). If all members succeed in the test, they may choose from any one of the following enhancements:
All members gain +5 to their Spell Defense
All members gain +5 to their Physical Defense
All members gain +5 to their Mystic Armor
All members gain Aid (first 10 points of damage from next combat washes away)
If all Threadweaving tests are greater than 18, the members may also choose from one of these enhancements:
Ahktu and Melotta’s Spell Defense lowered by 5.
Ahktu and Melotta’s Physical Defense lowered by 5.

Saved by the E. L. Fudge
September 30th, 2017 Game Session

The party continues to explore the underground area. There isn’t anything particularly interesting except for the area being dryer than expected. A turn here, a twist there, why are we down here again … and then a support column that seems oddly placed. Betsey uses Evidence Analysis:
“What is the column’s purpose?” {It provides access to release a trap.}
“How is the trap related to the blast door?” {It is not related at all.}

Betsey searches (20) the column and easily finds a 2 inch square pressure plate in the column. She attempts to disarm it (8) but instead accidentally presses it – which opens a secret door in an adjacent wall. A quick glance past the door shows a unique creature – it’s about 7 feet tall, has features of both an orc and a troll — and has numerous worms coming out of its head.

Round 1: The wormskull weaves a thread and attempts to Terrorize Mike, but fails. Betsey casts Dampen Karma, Tom casts Shield Mist. Sabrina blasts it with a Flame Arrow. Maria casts Combat Fury on Kevin (who misses), and Mike swings and thinks he hits, but the wormskull avoids the blow.
Round 2: The wormskull weaves again and tries to attack Mike but misses. Mike whacks, Kevin whacks, Tom blasts with an Astral Sphere, and Sabrina fires again  one dead wormskull.

They decide to camp for the night back near the portal room. After the rest, the continue exploring, finding a large cross-like intersection. They turn right, and find the first clear door in the entire dungeon. Betsey look for a trap, finds it, and removes it. She cracks the door open and sees another wormskull, so she carefully and quietly closes the door. The group takes the opportunity to cast some spells to prepare for another battle.

Round 1: The wormskull also prepared some spells, and hits Mike with a Bone Shatter for 2 wounds. Betsey whacks and hits hard, but most of the damage is shifted to Mike. Sabrina sticks it with an arrow, it attempts to pass the love on to Kevin but fails. Mike hits the wormskull but Kevin takes most of the damage. Kevin hits, Maria tries a spell but fails. Tom fires an Astral Sphere, only to receive half of the damage back.
Round 2: Tom throws the Sphere again and gets half the damage back. The wormskull casts Dispel Magic, dropping Tom’s Shield Mist and Mike’s Combat Fury; then it hits Kevin and takes a recovery test. Mike smacks the wormskull, but gets some of the damage back.
Round 3: The wormskull dispels Betsey’s Monstrous Mantle, hits Kevin, takes a recovery test, and then blasts Mike with a Skin Shift (14 damage and 2 wounds). Tom drinks a healing potion, and Mike takes out some anger.
Round 4: The wormskull tries to put Sabrina in Pain but fails, then scratches Kevin. Maria finishes weaving her spell, Kevin hits hard (and only gets 9 shifted back), Sabrina hits with an arrow and Mike gets a decent hit.
Round 5: ELF Cookies Opened! The wormskull catches Sabrina with a Bone Shatter but doesn’t cause any other damage. Maria casts Spell Cage (-5 steps to spellcast and weave) and Kevin smacks it hard, and damage shift fails – the tide of battle might be turning!
Round 6: The wormskull takes a recovery test and scratches Kevin. Kevin hits it and gets half the damage back. Mike scratches it, Tom blasts an Astral Sphere (damage shift fails!) and Betsey scratches it.
Round 7: Kevin makes a desperate swing – which hits – and the damage shift fails! VICTORY!

After much resting, potions, and heated foot (I mean food), they continue wandering around, they notice an odd bend in the passages and scratch marks in the floor. Evidence Analysis clearly indicates that the scratches are from dragon’s claws – and then they see it. It is chained to the wall and obviously has been skin shifted dozens of times.

“My name is Tapywa. I do not know how long I’ve been down here. The skulls have drained me of most of my will to live. If you are looking for the Book of Merrox, I have good news and bad news for you – I don’t have the Book, but I do know where certain pages are which will probably be of most use to you. I removed them from the Book before the Twins took it away from me. Find the column and press the trigger past the initial stop. My only request is that you find a way to let me know when you’ve destroyed The Twins.”

Side notes – Tapywa is NOT Chumanna’s mate.

The party leaves a piece of message chalk behind, heads back to the portal room, escapes out of the building in the War Zone, and arrives back in Haven – with knowledge and papers in tow (along with a large amount of Legend Points).

The Heart of a Lion
August 27, 2017 Game Session

The party continues exploring the building, finding a closing corridor leading to a green tinted door (fairly close), a red tinted door (farther away), and a blue arch leading to a pristine room (no dust or debris, tapestries on the walls). Betsey doesn’t believe what she is seeing, so she tries to determine if there are any illusions (rolls 14, convinced there are no illusions). She tosses a small pebble into the room, and it goes in with no other effect.

Mike approaches the green door and sees a sign on it which he cannot read (and he detects a faint astral glow around the door). Sabrina uses Read / Write Language (rolls 20) and can now read “Archaic Undead Script”. The sign says “Waste Keep Closed”. Tom examines the tapestries in the clean room; they depict battle scenes in great glory detail.

Mike decides to open the green door, and is BLOWN backward into the opposite wall (32 points damage) as the collection of methane releases from the chasm on the other side of the door. Betsey closes the door and writes DON’T OPEN in as many languages she knows. Tom flitters in the blue room and examines the blue door from a distance; he doesn’t see anything on it, and notices that the hinges are on the inside. The red door is exactly the same. In the room, Tom notices a large blue archway which has two circular (six inch) darker blue circles midway up each side. Checking out the tapestries, there is nothing underneath them. {Meanwhile, Kevin starts sealing the green door with his own ear wax. I had nothing to do with this in any way.}

Tom casts Shield Mist on himself, and attempts to open the blue door, but it’s locked from the inside. Betsey enters the room and checks out the door. There are no traps on it, but it has a complicated lock system that is designed to keep whatever is on the other side out of this room. A quick check of the red door shows exactly the same system. Betsey gets the blue door unlocked, slowly opens it just a crack, and peeks through. She sees outside (into the War Zone), and closes the door back up and relocks it. Betsey examines the blue buttons on the arch and comes to the conclusion that they are pressure plates. Betsey and Tom go to the buttons, tie a rope around each other (leading out of the room to Mike), and on the count of three they press the buttons.


Everyone rushes into the room and begin expecting the worst ………. and they get teleported to another small pristine room with another arch. Leaving the room, they enter a maze of twisty passages with a nine foot ceiling. Mike activates a gas trap, but luckily it doesn’t affect anyone. A few minutes later (with Kevin in the lead), he thinks he sees movement on the wall; a human ‘shadow’ about five feet tall. He moves forward to get a closer look, and it comes out of the wall and attacks!

Round 1: Betsey falls down. Maria comes out with guns blazing, casting Razor Orb for 42.
Round 2: Black uses a Terror talent and ‘stuns’ Mike, Maria and Kevin (Betsey for about 2 seconds). Tom BLASTS it for 50 using Astral Sphere. Sabrina does what she does best – fires a hot arrow and destroys Black.
Round 3: Yellow uses Terror but doesn’t get Sabrina and Tom.
Round 4: Sabrina hits Yellow with a Bank Shot. Yellow tries to hit Tom, but Shield Mist works nicely.
Round 5: Yellow slices Tom and knocks him down. Maria breaks free of the Terror, Tom hits with Astral Sphere.
Round 6: Yellow swings at Tom, who is able to dodge away, but knocks himself out due to strain. Yellow decides the battle is not going well and leaves the combat.

After combat is over, Mike then realizes that he has the Lion Heart talent, which would have given him a much better chance to avoid the Terror. OOPS. :) :) :)

Nobody Does Silence Like Us!
July 29, 2017 Game Session

At approximately 10:30 am, BNB are introduced to the War Zone. They are not amused. They walk along the edge of the wall (on War Zone side) approaching the rubble south of the middle bridge, keeping eyes and ears pealed. Kevin realizes that they are walking through two to three inches of poison ivy, and ivy gets thicker (up to about 6 inches) as you look towards the ravine.

At approximately 11:15 am, the party is now 200 yards south of the rubble. They see many “armies” of strawmen and falsemen (mostly) engaged in a melee. There doesn’t seem to be any leadership or way to determine one “side” from another “side” in the fighting. Mike uses Call of Harrow to get some information on the strawmen, giving him some statistical information (Phys Def roughly 7 and no Phys Armor – and they appear to be highly susceptible to fire. Kevin starts preparing cloth (by tearing into strips) in case he wants to make a big fire. They continue around the rubble towards the middle bridge.

At approximately 11:45, a piercing scream comes out of nowhere from the Fountain. Luckily for the party, it’s not powerful enough to affect anyone. The party is now 150 yards from the bridge. Sabrina (flying at 40 feet) can’t tell much about what the bridge can support, but she does notice that a few falsemen seem to have stopped their combat and are “pointing” towards the party. They pick up their pace towards the bridge. Kevin gets grabbed by a very strong vine, but he breaks free of it. With three feet of vine stick stuck to his boot, Kevin lights it on fire. Noxious fumes emit from the vine – Kevin fails his Wilpower check, starts to get nauseous, then fails a Dexterity check, trips on another vine, and is now face first and vomiting in a pile of ivy. The area around the attached vine sparks briefly, but does not catch on fire. Betsey and Mike hack away (somewhat carefully) at the vines surrounding Kevin, and he’s able to get back up.

They arrive at the bridge around noon. The bridge is ten feet wide and made of wood, but not ‘normal’ wood – it’s difficult to tell if the wood is petrified or just ‘altered’ (location location location). With the two windlings flying over the bridge providing scouting reports, Mike crosses the bridge rather easily (two Dexterity checks of 7 or better). Maria follows (also rather easily), and then Betsey. She gets halfway across, and then is caught by the bridge swaying, throwing her to the deck. Tom summons a spirit who acts like a ‘pillow’ for Betsey to walk on. Slower going, but she makes it to the north side. Kevin (last one to cross) sprays a flask of oil ten to fifteen yards away from him and the bridge to prepare for a wall of fire if needed.

Kevin begins his trek across the bridge, but it is very difficult due to his weight (otherwise known as he can’t make a Dexterity check at all). Tom summons another spirit (27!) and it literally picks Kevin off the bridge by an inch – Kevin is able to grab the side ropes and pull himself to the middle. Kevin then calls up to Sabrina (now 50 feet up directly over Kevin’s head) to throw a Flame Arrow at the oil (since there are now about 15 falsemen getting close to that side of the bridge).

FWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH!!!!!! (Step 22 four times: 17, 34, 17, 23)  91 points of fire damage to the area! It’s like a giant mushroom cloud has just incinerated the area (and when Kevin comes up with the absolutely brilliant title for this session). There is now a 200 by 300 yard area at the south side of the bridge which is completely scorched and devoid of vines.

The party now has three rounds to prepare for an onslaught of about 100 strawmen / falsemen on the other side of the ravine. Betsey and Maria begin to re-attune, and the group starts moving due north toward The Vaults wall (to use it as a defensive barrier). It becomes obvious that one set of falsemen have a “leader” who is guiding their movement (it’s also the only one holding an obvious weapon). Sabrina tries another Flame Arrow (27 to hit, 26 damage) at one group (Step 19 three times: 39, 10, 38)  87 points of fire damage to the area! Another 100 by 100 yard area is scorched, and an entire squad of falsemen are obliterated!

The second squad continues their pursuit, causing the party to circle around the north edge of a pile of rubble (there is about 250 yards between the two groups with the rubble in between). Sabrina throws another Flame Arrow (24 to hit, 39 damage) at the falsemen (Step 19 four times: 8, 15, 10, 13)  46 points of fire damage. Not nearly as large a blast as the other two, but definitely enough to destroy the second squad!

At approximately 1:00, the party climbs on top of the rubble to rest and see if they can find a way “inside” (to get away from battle and to see if they can find an entrance to the catacombs). After searching the ground level for about 15 minutes, Tom picks up a shiny reflection from his Sunstone. Betsey proceeds down a narrow passageway, enhancing her Perception with See The Unseen. She is delighted to see a large pile of silver coins in an open area. She starts looking for traps amongst the coins, and a steel golem (Red) sits up from inside the coins – as well as three others (Yellow, Black, White) from the opposite side of the area.

Round 1: Sabrina pings Yellow with an arrow, Mike gets scratched.
Round 2: Mike gets scratched, Kevin wounds White, Tom gets armor defeating hit on White with Astral Sphere, Sabrina gets armor defeating hit on Yellow with an arrow (ouch).
Round 3: Kevin destroys White, Yellow uses Fire Heal and then gets plunked by Tom (42!). Maria casts Doom Missle (45!!!) against Black – it doesn’t know it yet, but it’s not going to survive.
Round 4: Sabrina puts a toothpick through Yellow’s head, Black is blasted by the Dooooooooom Missle.
Round 5: Maria causes another 26 to Black, then Tom disintegrates it with an armor defeating 56 points of damage from an Astral Sphere.
Round 6: Maria gets bored of the combat, casts Razor Orb, and causes a bazillion points of damage to White.

Déjà vu all over again
May 26, 2017 Game Session

The plan for tomorrow is to reconnoiter down the Laneway towards the Screaming Fountain, then scale the wall near the edge of the Twists (as far away as possible from Fountain), then down next lane to the War Zone. About 65 yards in, a pressure plate is found and Betsey disarms it. Another plate is found 250 yard in, Betsey again disarms it. Now a quarter mile in, four more plates across the way – three more successes from Betsey and the group simply avoids the last one. Now a half mile in, eight plates are found – Betsey disarms one, but Kevin sets off another, five bone shamblers come over the wall to attack, they are dispatched easily in three rounds.

Now an hour in (fountain still three-quarters of a mile away), four steel statues are visible about 50 yards away. Sabrina flies toward them, Mike follows with a huge sigh. The statues move and surprise Sabrina, knocking her unconscious with one blow! Maria gets off a Razor Orb, totally eviscerating a statue in one shot (78 damage!). Three rounds after that, the statues are now scrap. They find the section of the wall they are looking for, and hop over into the Twists. Fifteen minutes later, they enter the War Zone.

No Soup for Tom
April 29, 2017 Game Session

BNB arrives at Haven, sell of a whole bunch of Espagra scales, keeping enough to be used in cloaks for Kirault and Kirker (and to pay for the cloaks). The group has no opinion if K and K let the town know of their generousity (hey – any PR is good PR).

They head to the Delver’s HQ to talk with Barclay (male dwarf) where Tom and Kevin gleefully join the Delvers (and there was much rejoicing). They begin their research of The Twins – Barclay believes he knows where information might be stored, asks Sabrina to go with him, regroup in about two hours. In the meantime, party goes to Vardeghul’s store. Tom asks the lackey behind the counter specific questions about specific “they who shall not be named” beings, and the lackey sheepishly runs to get Vardeghul. Waiting for the T’Skrang, Tom casts a detection spell in the store, and all sorts of klaxon alarms go off. Vardeghul storms in and demands “WHO CAST A SPELL IN MY STORE???” – the party throws Tom under the bus, and he is ejected from the store! The rest of the party manages to placate Vardeghul and begs (aka pays her off {-5000 silver}) to get information about The Twins. (Meanwhile, Tom casts a “window” spell from outside so he can at least see what is going on.) They leave, go get lunch, and go back to the Delvers.

Barclay has some news – he and Sabrina have found that the party will want to find the Book of Merrox – it has some power over Horrors in general, but legend has it that there is a particular spell in the Book that is extremely powerful when cast at the Twins.

Now heading to Torgak’s to try to find magic items, but none are there that suit the party’s needs right now. Spread word around Haven that BNB is looking for adventurers (at least Circle 6, “heavily combat oriented”) and that applications will be accepted for a few days.

Back to Vardeghul’s (Tom volunteers to stay outside), she has found that the party should try to find the Book of Merrox, and that it’s last known location was in the War Zone.


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