Wednesday, 23 December 2009

2009 in review

As year comes to an end, I know there will be no session until January 9th, so there I post a little summary of the year, as well as some loose thoughts and ideas.

- Sessions We had 18 sessions, plus at least at two cancelled. I hoped for about 24 (roughly twice a month), but it isn't bad score. I wish next year whole party will meet in complete more frequently.

- Characters. Heroes advanced from lo level tier to medium. They are quite powerful and confident, boldly go, where others shun. Each and everyone became integral part of a party, is characteristic individual and memorable hero. The easily can be compared to other long-time running characters, we used to play and remember dearly.

- Rules. I have a a hard time with D&D 3.x/Pathfinder rules system. In my opinion game mechanics is overcomplicated, there is way to many situational modifiers, rules, exceptions to handle it properly, without forgetting some important elements. At the same time, D&D mechanics is like house build of cards, when you take one away, whole construction is about to crumble. I always believed that rules are to help DM doing his job and they assist in solving situations, that need objectivity. It is why I feel unconformable when I forget or misinterpret some rules, even the smallest ones.
Complicity of D&D rules made me to think of old AD&D 2Ed. time with warm heart. There was a time, when I considered going back, perhaps for little Dark Sun campaign.

- Best Adventure/Session. For me best adventure was "Lost in Bogs". It was nice, low-profile adventure, I liked road encounters (with wedding especially), presenting Caer Dunnachey as dunk, stinking little piece of rubbish and slowly unfolding intrigue. Fight with Jarl Haken was epic, as for low levels, and marked first appearance of clearly mine ideas.

- Lowest point. As you can expect, thwe lowest point of this year was whole "Sławekgate". None of us can see, what he was about. None of us understands his agenda, all I know is that he hates me now, tried to ruin campaign (there was a moment I considered closing Forgotten Epic in light of his accusations and behaviour). This a reason I blocked comments (they are to be moderated by me, as Sławek tried to spread his agenda, upload translation of correspondence without permission etc.). In order to play, we were forced to part ways with him (which I regret, as I considered him friend of mine and thought of him highly), but still I don't understand his change of behaviour. Clearly, he had something else on his mind.

- New player Now, we have Jacek onboard, another cool friend of mine, great roleplayer, nice person and one with mind to rules. He is not rules lawyer, no way, but knows them well and helps to manage things smooth and by the order.

- Biggest surprise. Way the heroes dealt with scroll taken from Cloister of Healing Dove. I was surprised and proud of them, at the same time. Hail to you, guys!

Biggest success. Despite difficult personal situation, difficulties with synchronisation in time, cancelled session, we are still rolling and roling! Right, there are some troubles with rules, but I believe we will beat them and will be adventuring to Epic, and Beyond.

Guys, I wish you Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May the dices will be with you, your characters grow and become more heroic, monsters give away much treasure and spells never fail. God belss you all.
Your Dungeon Master (still proud to bear this title, after all those years).

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Chapter Three: Goro Goro Island - Session 25 - Land, the time forgot part 3 of 3

Last session was held on December 4th, at Adrian place. I had straight plan: a little dungeon crawl and final showdown with gnoll leader. It unfolded as I expected but with a little twist.

After defeating guards, heroes entered a tunnel, with Jarod leading the party. He searched for traps, found none and heard some noises coming from a complex. He spotted open door and lead group to a chamber lit by fluorescent fungi. There the found a sarcophagus. During search a trap was sprung and Connal fell into pit. Fortunately almost no damage was done.

PC decided to follow trail of gnolls. They crossed few rooms and in one of them was attacked by a manticore. Fight was fierce and short, due to Xandos physical prowess, and finally beast was killed. Heroes wondered during fight, how beast got inside a dungeon and after it's death it turned out it was a magical artefact. Unfortunately when it returned to it's original form, a a little stone figurine, it was badly damaged and apparently useless.

Pursue after gnolls was only interrupted by stacked door. When party tried to force blocked door, heroes wondered how it was possible, they heard voices. After smashing them to pieces it became obvious door was bolted with purpose, gnolls were aware of someone following their trail.

Finally a showdown took place. Fight erupted in two chambers and party consisting Jarod, Connal, Ren, Xandos and Kyril faced four gnolls, a shaman, two fiendish trolls and three fiendish gnolls, with a general as one of them. Hurling spells, Mask of Skull and shooting bows heroes wrecked destruction, slaying all of the weaker opponents. Then they faced trolls and other gnolls in archway. After tough confrontation, only one side was standing in aftermath and it were heroes!

Behind the Courtain
- Ren advanced on 8th level.
- Final fight took about 2,5-3 hours to resolve.
- Me and party got upset a lot with rules. There are to many modifiers, rules, situational modifiers to remember. In the heat of battle I tend to forgot about them (for example my favourite rules concerning terrain). I have a plan of making special cards, but isn't it what new WFRP is about?
- It is pretty weird that five seasoned players (not only in RPG but also miniature wargames, boardgames etc.) have issues with mechanics that is almost year in use. Despite my initial enthusiasm towards Pathfinder I begin to consider it to much complicated. No wonder former player had constant difficulties with rules of combat and magic.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Session cancelled, new term will be announced

Due to Teretnz and Jarecki's inability to show up, session was cancelled. New term will be announced, as some people prefer next Saturday, which can be problematic for other players.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Great Waterfall of Goro Goro

Source, Image by Detox14

Today I was surfing web and found pic, that bears striking similarity to my vision of how cliffs of Great Waterfall of Goro Goro looks. I'd add more jungle on top of the cliff and golden domes of city. In the meantime, I am busy with preparations to grand finale of gnoll's invasion and big reveal!

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Chapter Three: Goro Goro Island - Session 24 - Land, the time forgot part 2 of 3

Last session was held on Friday, November 6th. We met late evening in Adrian's flat and after little too long off-topic talks began playing.

First of all guys told Terentz of their late accomplishments, new party members and current situation. Heroes exchanged gear (Xandos received Mask of Skull, and gave Jarod his Braces of Archery) and began to prepare plans. While Ren was investigating moonstone tower, Avelon and Connal prepared "stone garden", field of stoneshaped spikes, protecting one of town sides, instructed to dig pitfalls and surveyed fields. Jarod helped to gather scorpions, snakes and other poisoning materials, as well as rocks that could be hurled upon enemies. Xandos gathered agogwe warriors and tried to understand their tactics.

Night has fallen and army of gnolls swept down from hills. Carrying torches, singing warsongs and beating drums, they encircled city and made camp. Jarod decided to sneak out and make reconnaissance. First he crept up to gnolls preparing ladders and crude siege machines, than he followed messenger to concentration point and with help of "mage hand" he stole piece of parchment with some writing on it. Quickly returning to city, Jarod presented his spoils and PC learned that one of gnolls was: "right, due to localisation of target in the hills". Heroes quickly decided to check this out.

Flying raft was prepared and the flew into the night. Soon from darkness points of light emerged and PC's decided to investigate smaller cluster. Soon it turned out that it is camp beside ruined temple. From inside of it, hidden in side of hill, emerged light and entrance was guarded by several gnolls. Heroes mad landing and sent Jarod and Ren first. The took positions and waited while heavy armoured tanks attacked. With monsters attention turned to them, Jarod sneak attacked and soon all gnolls were killed. Second wave of them appeared from inside of hill, as well as horned, devil-looking troll and soon fight was on again. Twin troll appeared but was paralysed by Connal. Soon both monsters were slain, as well as gnolls and PC peered inside forgotten temple.

Behind the Courtain
- Xandos reached 8th lvel of experience.
- Jarod reached 7th level of experience.
- We have used rules for concealment during combat and blind fighting feat turned out to be handy (for example Ran, who lacked it, missed all his attacks in one turn).
- Jacek discovered we were making some mistakes. He is well learned in rules, I hope with his help will be able to play along the rules. After all, Pathfinder is a 400 pages long with about 300 pages of rules. Even former player had difficulties with grasping mechanics of his spells.

- Next session is planned on Saturday, November 28th.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Chapter Three: Goro Goro Island - Session 23 - Land, the time forgot part 1 of 1

We met last Saturday in the same group and picked up adventure, where it was left on last session. Unfortunately I was forced to cut game short, due to unexpected problems. It turned out that nothing serious damage were done but we had to finish early. I'd like to thank all my true friends for their support. God bless you all.

Heroes returned to "Sky Mill" and found ship surrounded with floating lilies. Lights shone upon them and small tribals were cahnting all around ship-island. Ren descended down engulfed with illumination (thanks to ring of featherfalling Light and predistigation spells). With help of Connal's "Tongues" spell he addressed tribesmen. All warriors fall upon knees and only shaman dared to speak. Roots and branches of ship-island transported him on deck, where he told his tale. He lead warriors of his nation, guided by the prophecy telling of flying island, which masters will save their city. A shadow of war befall upon their city and they were humbly asking for help. Heroes responded the will gladly help them but first have some urgent matters to finish.

Next day Ren and Connal talked with priest of Mystra and made a plan for creating micro climate, which would allow plants on ship survive in more harsh environment. Than they placed Carlin in safe place, prepared plans for placing iryllium inside ship and set off.

First day party crossed savannah. Tribesmen, who turned out to be halflings (rotting corpse one of them was found in the jungle) entered a dream-like state and ran as one pack with raft flying above them. Second day Connal used raft to transport them above forest, forbidden city and down the waterfall. Another day have passed and PC entered a ring of fields that encompassed city. Guarded by wall of thorns, it was composed of clay huts build around smaller circle of hedges. Inside it a tower of milky-white stone rose and palace of queen was built.

Heroes were led directly to queen chambers, where they were left only in company of slim, slender guards. soon the found themselves in throne room, where in common tongue greeted them pale, charming elf maid. She was very interested in their endeavours and adventures, as well as in state of world. She introduced herself as Nyan. She revealed that she was living and ruling city as queen for two generations now and she adopted island as her shelter before harsh and oppressive world. When asked what kind of oppression she escaped and how it is possible she is living so long, she revealed long vampire fangs. She confessed her former friends tried to kill her, despite she never took life of sentient being. Thanks to power of moonstone, beside which was situated her palace, she was free from hunger of blood.

but there was a problem, she could not solve aloone. In mountains nearby a horde of mabu or gnolls, gathered and was marching to raze city. She knew one particularly powerful gnoll was leading army, probably pushed forward by Gammog, a demon, hiding in mountains.

Heroes, as one could expected, boldly stated, the will help defending city. Connal, Xandos and Kyril overseen preparations for defence, while Ren and Jarod scouted ahead, learning that army of gnolls is much closer than everyone thought. A day of travel on foot they spotted three organised columns, marching as an army and sending pathfinders. They quickly returned to the city and began making plans how to stop, disorganise army or eliminate its leader.

Behind the Courtain
I was forced to finish session earlier than I expected but we will meet on Friday and finish session.
I created a common on-line calendar to help organise sessions.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Chapter Three: Goro Goro Island - Session 22 - Darkness Below par 1 of 1

Last week we finally gathered to play, meeting on Saturday, 17th. This time session was held at Adrian's place, we sat around a table and welcomed new player, Jacek. Terentz was absent due to family meeting.

We began with recollection of previous adventures, introducing of characters and describing close surroundings. PC searched Maggog's chamber, finding few magical items: Mirror of Opposition, Pearls of Power and Mask of Skull. Close inspection of stone revealed the were marked with carvings resembling part of keys. Two burning with darkness led to outer dark and were quickly closed, one less active gave Connal glimpse of plateau, volcano and primordial forest, where second part of demons essence dwell.

There were one more curious thing: a well full of black, oily liquid. Xandos descended and returned after short while, describing a dark cave, that were under well, sight very similar to one he saw under Kuldahar. This time whole party climbed down and began to explore cave. After meeting two different and dangerous kinds of fungi, the found a valley and bodies of small creatures there. Before the had a chance to inspect them closely, darkness fall upon them (all but Connal) and the were attacked by pack of strange creatures. Connal created daylight which scarred grimlocks and the run away. Fireball blast destroyed them but fight was far from over. As it turned out below ceiling levitated four or five strange beings who tried to posses PCs. After being bombarded by spells and suffering amount of damage three of them ran. PC discovered tunnel by which grimlocks got on their level, but withdraw to recover (Avelon, Carlin and Kyril were paralysed).

Next time it was PC's turn to launch attack. The descended through tunnel and discovered a cave, where some creatures worked on veins of metal under guard of grimlocks and under supervision of three dark beings. As soon as PC's entered a cave, they were attacked by grimlocks and slaves. Masters controlled them from above and hurled their powers at heroes. PC killed grimlocks and tried to spare slaves. Finally they killed all but one masters (it were illithids) and freed prisoners. Last one used plane shift ability too escape. Fight was brutal and hard, Avelon was wounded as well Kyril, but it was Carlin who took greatest damage. He was struck by Ray of enfeeblement, failed saving throw which resulted in shattering of his mind. Slaves were: two buccaneers, priest of Mystra and Jarod, an adventurer and vagabond of Western Heartlands.

Prisoners were led upward to city, fed and put to sleep. While the were recovering, Ren searched for informations concerning black lotos and Forest Queen and talked with Avelon. In the meantime Connal tried to extract iryllium. Taking small chunk was a great effort, so he decided to invoke Moradin's power. Blessing chamber, sanctifying tools, praying and feasting, he conducted ceremony to summon his patron's ally. Instead a Messenger of Dwarven Father appeared and worked with his priest to excavate metal. Connal was dazed as were his friends.

Having all work done, heroes constructed raft and placed a metal under it. The moved above forest, visited treants to find any clue about Heart of wood or Queen of the Forest and assured themselves the have to find Primordial Plateau. When they finally arrived to lake and "Sky Mill", the saw their garden-ship surrounded by huge lilies with little lights upon them. Close inspection proved it were flotilla of some tribesmen, leaving sacrifaces on ship's deck and clearly waiting for something.

Behind the Courtain
Ren advanced 8th level of experience, choosing sorcerer class.
Connal advanced on 9th level.
As you can see, all comments have to be accepted first, because of trolling.
I was moderately satisfied with gaming session but guys cheered. They completed and finalised few things, finally understood what they have to do and how. I was glad session was held, because I was afraid we will abandon game after fuss that erupted and resulted with Sławek departure.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Chapter Three: Goro Goro Island - Session 21 - Slithering Shadow part 2 of 2

Acquiring necessary components, heroes decided to gather more information concerning Maggog. First the went through the city, reading stellas, searching for clues or other important information. The learned that revolt against Maggog was led by small group and it's members were not able to defeat demon, only to imprison him.
PC returned to woman the took from mansion and woke her. Interrogation revealed that she was ignorant of Maggog being, did not know his weak points or habits. She also was not moved by sight of city falling in ruins, passing of her friends and mood of sadness. Not being able to persuade her in giving up her habits, Pc let her go and she gladly returned to her sleeping chamber to dream lotus dreams.

PC's debated heavily but in the end decided to fight demon. They descended deep into city's bowels and entered chamber leading to prison. Doors turned out to be protected by explosive runes which detonated. Heroes moved on and entered chamber filled with coupling zombies. Upon their arrival, undead things arose and attacked. Connal channeled positive energy and destroyed many of them. Avelon tried the same but her priestly powers were either absent or she was given command over undead. Ren looked closely upon her symbol only to find it is very close to Shar's emblem. Dealing with zombie's PC's were charged by raging demon of darkness. He arose from trio of tall stones in the center of room, two of them were radiating with strange black halo. Fight was tough but in the end they were able to defeat monster. Maggog turned out to be quite weak opponent, much weaker than they expected.

Behind the Courtain
Although session went smooth and nice, it sparked a discussion concerning use of narcotic substances in Faerun. It would be pleasant conversation if it not turned into set of strange allusions. In the aftermatch of almost two weeks discussion we decided to part ways with Sławek. I wish him best luck in his endeavours. Two proposals for replacement were made and I'm going to make the propositions.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Chapter Three: Goro Goro Island - Session 20 - Slithering Shadow part 1 of 1

Session began with two paths story. Carlin tried to communicate with servant but when he saw wizard casting spell, he went mad and attacked him mercilessly. In the end Carlin was able to defeat him, smashing his skull to pieces. In the same time rest of heroes dreamt of King of Kings, entering the city. They awoke soon, only to find blooded Carlin, standing over dead body.

Heroes decided to take sleeping woman with them Just as the left tower the heard voice from the bushes, which called them in common tongue. It turned out voice belonged to young girl, who introduced herself as Avelon of Waukeen. She advised to leave sleeping woman, explaining awakening dreamers can be dangerous and lead party to her hideout. Avelon told PC's of nature of Anuirg and floating island. Inhabitants were once great alchemists, who invented "metal lighter than air", called iryllium. The also bred a dream lotus, flower able to create potent drug, which created dreams so powerful, that able to create reality from dream. Slowly the degenerated into race of narcotic addicts, a pale shadow of former glory. But in the las act of will to recreate former might, the summoned Maggog, demonic entity, the were hoping will lead them to conquest and awakens them from addictive slumber. Their plan failed and fiend were imprisoned by the rebellious three who defeated demon deep under the city. Maggog dwelled there for centuries, able to slip out of cell and feast upon sleeping inhabitants of the city. To open door leading to his chamber, one need three part key. First piece was stolen from tomb by Avelon, second one ws in Astrologist Laboratory and third in Embalmer's Tomb.
As for Avelon, she didn't know how she got to island. One Evening she was camping with friends on Sword Coast, next morning she awakened alone in city. She was certain no more than few months have passed, but in reality it was twenty years that went by. She was even unaware of disappearance and return of Waukeen.

Heroes decided to go to Observatory first. The climbed impossible high tower and on top of it found chamber of star-gazer.. He was creature neither living, nor dead, certainly not a typical undead, but one thrust of magical spear was enough to end his life. PC's searched his laboratory but found nothing. Connal looked through telescope but saw only burning, black star. When he turned to his friends, the saw he aged for about hundred years. Only after very close search, PC's found second part of key.
Heroes gathered their strength and descended into necropolis to seek Embalmer's Tomb. When the entered it, the were greeted but strike of lightning. It took one more for them realize, they are under attack. A fierce and bitter fight erupted full of darkness, erupting spells and bloody clashes but in the end the defeated guardian Naga. There heroes obtained third part of key, some treasures and Carlin discovered that Avelon was under powerful, necromantic curse, even he was unable to dispell.

Behind the Curtain
I prepared Naga and carefully planed it tactics. It turned out buffed monster lives up to it's Challange Rating.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Chapter Three: Goro Goro Island - Session 19 - Heart of Jungle

Session was held once again at my home, on July, 25th and honestly saying I was very disappointed with play. It was not only mine feeling but I hope next time will be better.

After fight with grey apes, heroes retreated to abandoned temple, where Carlin cast a protection spell and miraculously healed Connal. In the meantime Ren spied the area and saw apes collecting their fallen comrades and taking them far away. Night was quite peaceful, despite drums beating from the jungle and fires lighting top of pyramid.

Next morning Connal healed himself and rest of party and climbed up air to take a look at their positions. He learned that community of grey apes was living upon pyramid and in it's surrounding, a city was not far away, but it was protected by anti-magic field. It was obvious that something strange happened to dimensions and distances.

Heroes moved on, taking some stops to watch strange tablet with draconic, magical writing. Upon climbing on earthy wall, the moved along the wide stream. Suddenly the were attacked by an invisible creature. It was fierce fight and Xandos was swallowed whole, only to be saved upon threshold of death When the creature was slain, it became obvious it was an river dragon, a terrifying creature of jungle's wilds.

Last, party arrived to the city, one more time experiencing magical anomalies and distortion with dimensions. When they climbed walls it became obvious that no streets were visible below, as rooftops, spires, bushes formed almost impenetrable surface. After search heroes descended down via tower. One of the first thing they saw, it was clear that there were no doors. Travelling through streets that were looking more like corridors than roads, the saw strange shimmering light-stones. Waht moe curious city was almost completely lifeless, yet there were feast prepared, no sign of mould upon green stones, nothing of death.

Heroes made a camp on small square and slept whole night peacefully. Next day the moved on, ate light breakfast and finally arrived at building looking like some library. The found some non-magical scrolls and on the top-most floor the entered to bedroom, decorated with silks, porcelain and black flowers. On bed lied a beautiful red-haired woman. Her skin was looking like porcelain and she was in death-like state of deep slumber. The were to leave room, when everybody except Carlin fell on floor.

Carlin jumped out of room and tried to fetch his comrades with help of his mage hand, when he saw a man on stairs, behind his back. In the meantime rest of heroes experienced strange dreams of time when a city was full of bright light, people were pursuing their interest and something big was about to happen.

Behind the Courtain
Carlin reached 7th level of experience.
City heroes entered is based on Xuhotl, form Conan d20.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Chapter Three: Goro Goro Island - Session 18 - Somewhere in the Jungle

Session was held on July, 4th in my place. It was a nice meeting but I was made sure about two things: table is necessary to create mood and atmosphere. Sitting around one, players are less distracted and concentrate on game. Second thing: abundance of books is wrong, as players flip through them, instead of playing.

Party made a camp between two walls: of jungle and rock cliff. Carlin cast a spell that should create a sphere of protection, but instead of it he created nice village cottage, who was perfect accommodation for heroes. He learned that it was his modification of spell, much to his surprise. Next morning PC's set of to city but their way was blocked by thick wall of trees. They were scarred and hostile to Ren, who in their eyes was an abomination. Forcing their way, through bush heroes pressed on. At first the found carcass, covered with glossy, fat and black flies, which attacked Xandos. It turned out that body was belonging to a human child, who was eaten alive, it's bones broken and drained of marrow. Next Xandos, who was checking their bearing, was attacked by poisonous snake. Fortunately, with Moradin's favour, he was saved from poison. While the marched onward, their bad luck was on, as suddenly from the trees large rock flew, hitting Connal and almost crushing his bones.

Next day party stumbled upon a mysterious circle of trees standing upon marshy shallow. In the middle of it the saw primitive, ruined building inside which some magic was detectable. All except Ren descended there and began searching. In the meantime Ren learned, that trees are treants who were ordered to kill any living creature which tries came out. He informed his friends and they began frantically thinking, how to avoid war with tree-guardians. Ren tried convince them to let their friends go, but treants were under orders from ever-present, ever-living queen of forest. He was not to met or speak to her, also. Next day Connal invoked a spell of walking through winds and skies and transported friends out of dangerous, salt area.

After deliberating, how to speed up their journey, party moved on and soon came upon overgrown remains of abandoned city. The moment they entered city, they were attacked by grey apes, who fought with rage. Due bad tactics and wizard's overconfidence Connal was struck down and barely saved. Apes were defeated and we ended session.

Behind the Curtain

Connal reached 8th level of experienc.
I made some mistakes during gre apes mistake. My bad.
Table is very necessary, as it mobilizes players and focuses their attention.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Chapter Three: Goro Goro Island - Session 17 - The Trees

Last session was held on June, 21st and all players were present.

First morning in new place full of surprises. Kyril disappeared and was nowhere to be found. His spellbook was left in room he shared with Carlin, so it was obvious he did not ran away. Connal invoked Moradin's favour and walked air only to spot some tracks and village in distance, hidden under roofs of canopy. In he meantime Ren awoke to find himself transmuted into half treant, half-human hybrid. Connal helped Xandos get past crocodiles, Ren got to shore on his own and whole party moved on, to find out, what has happened with mercenary wizard. Road through savannah was difficult and tiring, some of the heroes soon find grass was sharp and wounded them painfully. When they finally reached the clearing and slope leading down to semi swamp, party was attacked by lizardmen, who laid in ambush. Quickly became obvious the were no match for savages, who retreated to village. Fierce fight erupted, lizardmen were asking for no pardon, heroes gave them none. With Xandos slashing, hacking and killing enemies by dozens, Carlins blasting spells, Connal aiding his companions and Ren steadily pressing onward, whole village was flattened, destroyed and all it's inhabitants slain. Kyril was found in large hut, belonging to village chief and rescued.

Party returned to "Sky Mill" (as they baptised ship), which looked more like tropical island, than boat and made plans. Next day heroes moved to city on horizon but before they learned that directions moved. Learning from lessons of previous day, they moved through savannah and made camp under shield of huge baobab tree. There an strange sickness fell upon them, clearly coming from water. Three days have passed and with help of Connal's spells they were cured. In the meantime Ren made a contact with tree and animated it. Heroes found shelter upon branches and moved on, animating one more baobab by the way. After two days of slow trek during which they witnessed wild live on savannah, party and it's strange mounts arrived upon edge of high cliff. Below the saw a city resting upon a rise, forest circling it from all sides and river cutting through the jungle. Ren led back his new friends and party deliberated how to descend. Carlin, Connal and Xandos opted for jumping down and relying on "Feather Fall" spell, Ren was for slow climbing down, a s well as Kyril. Party split on tow parts, which luckily arrived down without sustaining damages. Thus, staying on edge of the forest, session came to an end.

Behind the Curtain
Ren has reached 7th character level, davancing in Sorcerer Class.
Ren's transformation was an idea born from his statement, he has no character sheet. Not wanting to guess his stats, I completely replaced them treant's.
Rules for water use, dehydration, diseases, sharp grass on savannah and influence of metal armour were taken from from Nyambe: African Adventures and Dark Sun settings.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Chapter Two: The North - Session - 16 - Odds and Ends

This session was promising but proved to be opposite. Despite his statements Adrian was absent (third game in a row), I was disappointed and angry, because my prepared adventure was based on his character. We had difficulties with starting sessions, talking, watching game trailers etc., but finally managed to roll on.

After party returned to Kuldahar, they found Ren still absent. Heroes decided it is time to sum up previous encounters and tie loose ends. First of all they ensured that Kuldahar and local hamlets were safe. then they returned to case of scroll. Patrick revealed that it was written with inhuman mind and hand, pointing to an abomination or aberration source. Moreover some part of it, previously unseen, was written with human hand, and radiated potent magic, despite being created without necessary components and ingredients. Writing style and patter suggested, than it was Carlin's making. After a little struggle, heroes learned how to destroy scroll: it has tu be burned and drowned in pure elements. Connal quickly reasoned, that the have necessary means right under the Kuldahar. With Arianhot permission and help of little pixie hero (to destroy scroll a members of older races were needed) the descended down and burned scroll in flames of Plane of fire and drowned remains in Plane of Water.

Next PC's set out to discover schemes behind "great nordmen's sacrifice". The decided to start the ship's engines and fly to elves' dwellings. Carlin and Kyril studied the manual with Connal's help, and after two weeks were ready to fly. Heroes said last goodbyes to Patrick, Astrid and Olaf, gave them their share of money and prepared ship to journey. Last, the located and moved Ren, who was still in trance. It was strange thing, as he became a living forest, which quickly entangled a ship, making it a true hanging garden.

And one day a ship ascended and flew into skies. Soon Carlin became quite proficient helmsman and the were quickly and safely travelling along mountains. Monotony of journey was broken one day, as ship sailed higher and higher, pierced clouds and soon came to a mysterious, flying island. Despite PC's fears, ship landed on waters of great lake, which shores were lined with crocodiles. In the distance heroes spotted savannah, giant trees and gliding, jewelled roofs of city of unknown origin.

Behind the Curtain
Carlin reached 6th level of experience.

It was quite surprising session for me due to Adrian's absence. Next adventure was based around his experiences and personal quests. Also, I was surprised wit way, heroes dealt with vile scroll, I presumed two more adventures in North, possibly leading to classic "Against the Giants". When I started campaign, I said to myself not to force players and let them go, adjusting to their decisions. It was so in case of leaving Kuldahar.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Chapter Two: The North - Session 15 - The Floodland part 1 of 1

Session was held on May 16th, with Teretnz, Jarecki and Sławek present.

Early morning, after prayers and spell-lectures but before breakfast, party was attacked by four angered Water Mephits. Fight was short and relatively one sided, as heroes survived breath weapon attacks and gained quick advantage. Gathering their belongings, they prepared to further travel. Connal invoked Moradin's power and ran through air, scouting nearest area. It turned out that Mephits concentrated their efforts on bringing down the tower. With nearest villages secure, PC decided to investigate case. Connal transported friend outside the water-storm and talked with still working Earth Mephit. He said that his cousins were angry, because of treasures he and his kind accumulated due to agreement with wizard. Heroes decided to travel to stream's source and check, if something could be done with angered Water Mephits.

Travel was very calm and uneventful, if not two days delay due to bad navigation. The further upward heroes went, the most bizarre were rock formations. River's bed was almost as chocked by stones, earth and rocks. At the end of the journey heroes discovered an entrance to underground cave. Connal's experience told them, it was much more wide and deep, but with time it was "overgrown" with rock. With Carlin's spells they discovered rocks were magical. Connal descended and at the bottom of cave found strange water pool, boiling and storming, almost blocked by stones. As heroes suspected, it was gate to Elemental Plane of Water. When Connal returned, heroes agreed that Water Mephits were angered by increased influence of their Earth cousins and something has to be done to restore balance.

Two days later party returned to now abandoned tower and struck pact with Earth Mephits. They were to create underground tunnel, freeing accumulated water from magical source and for that, the could return to their home Plane. That night new waterfall erupted, later called by locals Wonderock Waterfall. Heroes called it Connal's Eruption.

Restoring balance and securing fate of many nearby villages, heroes went to hunt some orcs. After two days trip through very ancient wood, the came upon a trail of that foul creatures. Soon, the approached their camp and discovered orcs sleeping around fire, two tents nearby and almost fully excavated skeleton of giant. Heroes chose option of surprise attack and Carlin cast fireball at orcs, annihilating them in fiery blast. Remaining sentry tried to flee but was struck by Xandos' arrow. In the meantime from one of tents three figures emerged. Carlin webbed them but one of humans whistled and from second tent a troll charged. Another fireball erupted, this time concentrated on heroes and Carlin answered with second on of his, slaying two of the webbed opponents. Troll was tough opponent but was felled by Xandos and Connal and remaining wizard immediately surrendered. He confessed that he was hired by Zhentarims to assist archaeological expedition, whose goal was to excavate crowns of giant King Grumble's lieutenants. The belonged to different giant's breeds and wore Crown of commands allowing them rule their own kin. Kyril Stormwater, it was wizard's name, offered year of his faithful service in exchange for sparing life. Xandos accepted his offer and after seizing treasures, party travelled back to Kuldahar.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Happy Birthday!

Hello and welcome everybody!
Today is the day, this blog and campaign have an 1st anniversary. Yes It was exactly year ago, when we met and discussed PC's, campaign and whole design.

Looking back I see many good things.

First of all, I realised that RPG is my favourite pastime. I did not know how I missed it, until I began running game. I say it a lot of times, but I'm happy to be Dungeon Master again.

Second thing: discovering Pathfinder. When we started, I was sure third edition of Dungeons&Dragons will be fine. It wasn't, as it turned out. After few sessions guys began complain mechanics, searching additional handbooks and propose some home-made mechanic tweakings. I don't like it. I always thought RPG is about story, epics and playing someone different, and game mechanic has to e it's driver, gears: giving power yet not conflicting with other reality. Fortunately, we avoided pitfalls of "another feat/class/power from obscure handbook", switched to Pathfinder RPG and are glad. Now game's mechanics runs as it should be.

Third thing: I see my friend more often, have many ideas and can't wait for another session. That's great feeling, it gives me a lot of strength.

Every cloud has a silver lining. I talked about latter, now it's time for first one. We had fifteen sessions (yes, I owe you last report, it should be on-line next week)/ It's very little, I expected to play every two weeks and it turns out we play once a month. Summer is poor time for playing as everyone goes on vacation in different dates, so I think we will play more often since September.

Second thing is absence. Most session was held with not complete squad. Thats the reason, why PCs are on different experience levels. I hope, we will be able to play as whole and complete group more often.

So, happy birthday blog and campaign, I whish you great next year!

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Chapter Two: The North - Session 14 - Down with the River

Last session was held on Friday, May 1st. We decided to play on free holiday, due to personal plans and it war first session Adrian was absent.

Heroes returned to the frozen temple of Ilmater to find, ice was cracking and pools of water stained the floor. They went down to well and quickly found it was filled with cold water as well. Xandos took deep breath and dived only to find something strange: he emerged from water in cave full of fluorescent fungi. He returned to rest of party and made report. Heroes suspected it was uppermost level of Underdark and decided not to explore cave. Instead they returned to druid's burial groove to explore three portals. Key to opening gates was small "T" puzzles which the had to lay in right pattern. Task was challenging but in about half hour they mastered puzzles and opened one portal after another. Behind the first door the found small rock floating in the air in little but hardy crystal of ice. After short troubles, blessing weapons Connal destroyed it, smashing it to pieces. Next door lead to very hot and tight cave, which was plagued by the same crystal. Third one was passageway to underwater realm which was toughest challenge for heroes. with a little help of divine spells, Xandos was able to dive in to deep and destroy last of crystals and break the spell of ice witch.

After completing this task, heroes were approached by village leaders, who asked them to check, what is going on with mage living nearby in an old tower. He was said to be an working wizard of high skill, who was helping with wood transport. Heroes set off next day and travelled through mountains, gradually descending into great valley. At the end of fourth day of journey (they get lost once) the found themselves in small, but thick and pleasant woods.

Soon heroes came upon an abandoned loggers camp. Equipment was scattered and it was looking, as if workers ran away in hurry. Suspicious and expecting troubles, heroes pressed on only to meet an earth mephit, transporting logs down the waterfall. The learned from creature, that it was servant of wizard, who lived in tower. Soon after party found it and signs of battle. It was clear that wizard and lumberjacks was slain by orc marauders, who raided and pillaged camp and later returned in to mountain highs. Poking around, Xandos came upon water mephits, hostile and wary, who predicted that humans soon will drown. Heroes decided to spend night in tower. The moved rest of food to the upper levels and made temporary camp there. With good perspective on mountains, waterfall and lowland below, the felt secure, but this night a flood came, besieging them in tower.

Behind the Curtain
Connal reached 7th level.

Monday, 27 April 2009

Chapter Two: The North - Session 13 - Trapped Under Ice part 1 of 1

To my surprise, all players were present and whole party participated in game. There were some off-topic talks but they were few and have not interrupted play. Adventure was quite good mixture of role-playing, combat and thinking.

When heroes descendent from tree, they were met by young man. He greeted them with visible joy and enthusiasm. Soon, villagers began to gather, shouting, laughing and hugging PC's like they manage to do some great deed. Connal tried to calm down people, but he failed and only arrival of dark haired, slim and tall woman let them speak. she invited heroes to her house, announcing, that this evening will be a celebration held at "Evening Shade Inn".

After brief introduction they began to share informations. She introduced herself as Arian Hoth, a druid and keeper of Old Oak, who was provider and shelter for whole community. As it turned out, villagers were sure, that party travelled through Kuldahar Pass. Much to her dismay, PC's told, the travelled here via magical portal. What was much worrying, the learned that all passes were cut by snow, so they were prisoned in Kuldahar. Arian proposed them logging and heroes chosen old odd ship, looming over village. Astrid and Patrick settled in an abandoned house and decide, they would stay in Kuldahar to raise their child.

Next to days passed quickly with heroes finding their way around the village, the met also with Orrick the Grey (strange coincidence in names, isn't it?) who was deeply fascinated in meeting Carlin, whom he paid respect for intrigue and fight against dreaded monk Saravinola in Messemprar. Heroes repaired an old ship, found some old captain's manuals concerning sailing upon the skies. Patrick finally began studying scroll taken from Monastery of Healing dove and Ren asked for help with his fey nature and consulted with Arian. During that time, heroes were approached by one of twin priests of Ilmater and asked for assistance. Heroes agreed and were led to temple. It was obvious, that something strange and evil happened here. Whole inside were covered with ice that not melt, despite fires magical and normal alike, that were burning. Priests said that source of this emanation were in cellars beneath temple.

Heroes descended there and found a small dungeon. In one of rooms they were attacked by pack of wild yetis and found holes in the floor. Through them they saw a sleeping white dragon. Taken by fear and suspicions, heroes retreated and consulted with priests and druidess. she said that caves beneath Kuldahar were an old place of worship and burial grounds of druids. Suspecting foul play and illusion, party descended and found that in fact, there were no dragon there. In wall of cavern there were a portal, leading to druid's final place. Crossing it, the arrived at forest made of bas-relief trees and stones. Under some of them sat druids turned to stone. This room was also covered with ice. Not before long, party was attacked by pack of abominable snow-men, fortunately weak and not fully turned to monsters and controlling the priestess of Auril. Fight that erupted was tough, bloody and harsh, but heroes finally defeated monsters and left the cave.

Behind the Curtain
Carlin the Grey reached 5-th level.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Chapter Two: The North - Session 12 - Run to the forrest

Last session was held on March 28th. Surprisingly, all players were present and they kept out of unnecessary off-topics. Moreover, players surprised me more than once, so game was a challenge to me. We began with little storytelling, to inform Terentz, what has happened during his long absence and began playing.

Night was harsh for PC's. Even taking under consideration that the were in alien place, far off home, attacked by mysterious creature and barely escaped poisonous green mist, the had slept bad. There was some strange, quiet, yet evil and sinister feeling in the air. Clearly ruins of the old and burned village had bad influence on their dreams and mood. In the morning, heroes observed pillars of smoke rising in to the air.

While Carlin was studying his spellbook and Connal praying to Moradin, Xandos prepared breakfast and Ren decided to scout ahead. After half hour of running, he arrived at top of the cliff, hanging over a fiord. Below he saw a drakkar in the middle of bay. Deeper inside fiord there was a village, apparently raided and burned by the ship's crew. What was most interesting, it was that pirates herded people in corral. Ren headed back and with rest of the group returned to scouting position. After short discussion and options consideration (which included taking the drakkar, burning it or night assault on village), party shifted it's position to path, leading down to the village. After some period of time, something strange happened.

A ball of fire exploded and to people ran up the cliff. Soon a band of Nordmen began chasing them. Heroes moved to the edge of it and Ren ran downside to cover running couple. After short missile fight, which saw Xandos in action, young men and pregnant woman was rescued. Connal invoked Moradin's favour and softened earth in to stream of mud.

Whole company began to running. In the meantime it turned out that young man is Patrick and girl is his new wife. Soon, upon entering open space, party was attacked by Nordmen hunting party. Vicious and fierce fight erupted but in the end hunters were killed. Apparently Odin's favour was not with his priest.

Of the pursuers, only one Nordman was alive. He was given a choice and opted for going with party. His name was Erik and said that his people were gathering sacrifices for gods. They were waging a war against elves in the south. After long walk heroes arrived at forest, where they made a camp. There they tried, if young one was true to his words and it turned out that he was. In the morning party began searching a Storm Oak and it was found near crystal lake.

Before anybody could react, a beautiful woman appeared, certainly nymph. At first she was reluctant to help, but Ren caught her attention. Speaking in sylvan tongue she asked him why he is travelling alongside mere humans and why is he surrendering his fey nature. She said, she would grant him and his companions not one but two gates if only he promises to free his wilder side of spirit. Ren took some time to consideration and finally agreed. Their pact was sealed with the kiss.

Next, the nymph said there are two portals: one in lake one and tree. She does not knew, where they lead. Party agreed to enter the one in tree and soon found themselves in place of green light, birdsongs, full of leaves and branches. Ren scouted ahead and met some wild and fey creatures. whole party descended slowly and finally found themselves in the village lying in the shadow of gigantic tree.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Chapter Two: The North - Session 11 - Long way home part 1 of 1

Last session was held on March 14th. As almost usual Terentz was absent, due to social obligations. We met at Jarecki's place and talked for a while, than turned attention to game. Unfortunately there was way too much off-topic jokes but I'm getting use to it. I plan to arrange next session at Adrians's flat, where we would sit around the table and check if it improves session's quality and reduces blather.

PC's helped to put out the flames and Connal treated villager's wounds. In the meantime one of fishermen found dragon boat's head that was radiating with red light. Magical research turned out that spirits of fallen Nordmen returned inside it and awaited to be burried. PC's took it and set pout to cove, where Patrick's wife disappeared. By the way they dig shallow grave, blessed it to Kelemvor's favour and hid there dragon's head. Next day PC's decided to explore the cave while their guide was ordered to stay back and wait. After short climbing, they found an entrance to the cave. It was narrow and short but soon the came upon junction. One way led downstairs, other one up. Heroes choose way up and entered an chamber. There they found lamp and blankets, certainly it was place for women's rituals. What interesting, search with help of detect magic spell turned out that on the wall was a magical ribbon, inscribed with runes of magic. They resembled marking's on Oak's Shaft blade, so Ren stuck it. Something strange happened, as Ren suddenly found himself on the other side of the wall. He could not be heard and wasn't able to hear comrades and, moreover, he could not go back. Carlin quickly placed his wizard's mark on the wall and along with Connal and Xandos they together crossed the portal.

Heroes found themselves in a dark cave. After short discussion, the chose to explore the area. Cave had no junctions, so the quickly found way out. The higher the went, the colder it became. After climbing to opening chamber heroes saw high mountains, deep valleys and woods of nordic trees. After short discussion the descended back to one more try to find way back to Averwest. Unfortunately they were not able to do so. In the meantime, a terrible blizzard came, cutting all the way out. Biggest problem was bitter cold but with help of magic and ordinary stones the were able to keep it out. Ren's sharp ear digged out grunts and roars from cave up. He quickly sneaked there and saw three yeti's, sheltering before storm. Unfortunately the sniffed him and descended after his trail and fight erupted. It was short and brutal but in the aftermath PC's had three big furs to protect from cold.

Next day PC's emerged from cave and quickly checked surroundings. the leardned that no village or town was visible and the were transported to the northern side of World's Spine Mouintains. After long climbing down, they moved through the land of ancient forests, thousand streams and lakes. Near the end of the day they found a tail of grim sacrifice. Beside small, very dark lake were a hanged man with chewed off legs. What was more curious, he had an southern complexion. After short but heated discussion, Connal buried him and party moved on. On the night watch dwarf had an unpleasant sensation, they are followed. Next day the continued their travel and by the evening arrived at ruined village. It was obvious it was burned many years ago. On the first watch a strange and poisonous green mist arose but through the fog heroes saw a strange figure. At first it was shy but gained convince and attacked. Fight wit it was very tough and Ren was cut down. He owes his life to Connal's channelling power. Finally heroes defeated snowmonster (it was something like half-breed of human and yeti). Exhausted and tired heroes wet to sleep. Next day the saw a thick smoke rising from neighbouring fiord...

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Chapter One: Averwest - Session 10 - Lost in the Bogs part 2 of 2

Session was held at February 28th and in my design was devoted to polishing rules of combat. As it became obvious that there are no ordinary undead warriors in Monster Manual, only zombies, skeletons etc, I designed monsters according to Pathfinder's guidelines.

After discussion with half-elven wizard, heroes decided to arm themselves properly. First, the set out to find a local druid, to seek his permission for taking jarl's spear. They found circle of stones and soon meet priest. Old man was quite mad but in exchange for fish gave his permission to take weapon from shrine. During conversation the learned, he knew Hieronymus, remembering him as a young, ambitious and goat matingbastard. Connal and Carlin moved to little temple. After some troubles with door the found it's interior packed with all matter of offerings and stuff. The most curious thing was a full sized Minotaur sitting on throne. Carlin came to conclusion it's magical, divine golem. In the meantime Xandos and Ren found queen Cedrika's tomb under burial mound. Not wanting to disturb her peace, they set out for Connal.

Heroes found queen in her last bedroom chamber, lying under furs and resting on pillows. Quick search revealed her battle charriot, stack of weapons, flags and trophies of her conquests. When PC's exited from the armoury, the saw ghost of beautiful, naked warrior-queen, painted with blue circles, shouting insults at them and than returning to the fray.

Armed with spear and claymore sword, PC's headed back on the swamps. It was well after sunset but they correctly guessed, that jarl Haken will rise around midnight. Indeed, undead arose and moved out to stalk village, but was stopped by Connal. Seeing spear, which he called "Oak's Shaft" in hands of Ren asked for returning it, as it was his pass to Valhalla. PC's agreed and presented him a Cedrica's sword, which in brutal way ended his life. Called by Connal, her ghost appeared and fight erupted. An epic combat lasted for a whole night and part of PC's spirit took part in it. In the end, Cedrica was killed by Haken. Spear, disappeared.

Following morning, PC's returned sword to the queen's tomb and decided to stay for the night. Connal took watch but soon went to sleep. Well after midnight he was awaken by shouts and fire. Two houses were burning and in the bay an nordmen drakkar was seen. Erupted an brutal fight with raiders. Many undead nordmen raiders were cut down and in the end heroes faced Haken. Ren disarmed him and catched Oak's Shaft and finally heroes defeated treacherous undead. Session ended when after his destruction, all undead crumbled to dust and drakkar burned with high flames.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Chapter One: Averwest - Session 09 - Lost in the Bogs part 1 of 2

Last session was held on February, 21st. We gathered at Adrian's place (very inspiring) and played a quite long, "commercial break free" and eventful session.

Session egan when PC's moved out of Appleshade, to investigate the scroll. A moment of genius happened, as the remembered that near Stepplefals there is Azuth and Gond Monastery. After arriving, the asked abbot for help. Monks investigated scroll but were not able to destroy it. They learned it's powers were weakened by throwing it into blessed fire, but in time will come back. Connal forged a special lead tubs inlay to keep it's powers from influence nearby and meantime monks prepared a spellbook for Carlin. During conversation with abbot, heroes learned that old helmite sage died two years earlier and his duties were passed upon his apprentice, brother Patrick. After short discussion, PC's agreed to seek his counsel.

Party went on the road again. First day of travel was uneventful. O the second one party arrived at Blackmoor village and were invited to wedding. What happened next, was unclear but we know that Connal "spinned party" and things gone wild. Next midday, with big hangover, heroes wnet on. They passed Westdoir (a merchant city, unsuccessfully trying to compete with Xak-Saladan) and wormed their way by road between Howling Woods and Spider Forest. This night heroes re attacked by pair of dire wolves but defeated beasts. Next day party arrived at Caer Dunnachey. City turned out to be filthy and smelling fish, it's building and walls squat and dirty. PC's were disgusted and quickly made their business. After short talk with helmite monk they learned that Patrick abandoned monastic life and moved to village Kronach, to live with his wife. After arranging passage by ship, PC's moved to meet Patrick.

After an uneventful, two day trip, PC arrived at village. It was small, clean hamlet, with houses of white walls and Celtic ornaments. Most inhabitants had brown hair and bright eyes. Soon PC's learned their travel was fruitless: Patrick went on to search for his lost wife. His brother-in-law, and village's mayor) knew his destination, but demanded help in exchange for information. After settling a deal (and additional payment of 10gp), heroes were hired to stop an monstrosity from swamps, that once seven years was haunting village. After a trip to swamps the found a stone phallic idol there and were witness to rising of undead monster. After short fight, during which it turned out that beast was once human and PC's attack were fruitless. Heroes learned that it was remains of nordic jarl, whose people were invited by villager's ancestors to live with them in harmony, but were betrayed and murdered. From that time on, he was damned to rise for a lunar month, once a seven years to wreck havoc and revenge upon children of Cedrica, his traitorous wife.

PC's made pact with him to lift the curse in exchange for one night of peace. They confronted mayor, asking him to prove informations and were guided to hal-elven sage, living on the outskirts. An old wizard confirmed jarl's story updating it with some informations. He told Cedrica was cruel and lustful woman and he barely remebers events, undead spoke of.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Chapter One: Averwest - Session 08 - Cloister of the Healing Dove part 2 of 2

Session was held on Saturday, February 2nd.

Next part of adventure began with searching corpse of witch, her room and interrogation of her soon-to-be victim. On the bookshelves they found many books and scrolls, but on the desk was a strange scroll laid. It became obvious, that it was radiating an evil aura. After some tries, PC's were able to read some phrases, concerning Father from Outer Void and an end of the world. Heroes decided it's time to destroy it.

There was one problem, apart from a scroll. PC have not found an angel's feather. The decided to search rest of the dungeon and after falling into one trap, the came upon an grotto filled strong, bright radiance. It's walls were covered wit strange, green crystal fungi. In the middle of floor a column was, from which light came. connal braced himself and boldly moved forward, reaching to the centre of radiance. Illumination faded and they looked at angel's feather.

Acquiring prize, PC's retreated from Dungeon, only to find surface changed. Sun war shining brightly, birds singing cheerfully, as some bad charm was lifted. As it was evening, they decided to spend night at woods border and during night observed an other party, camping in forest. The light fire and laid to rest but early in the morning small fight erupted. Before dawn other party moved. After short discussion on the morning, PC's investigated camp, only to come to conclusion it was brigands and goblins there.

PC's went back to Lakhell to inform bartender they were not able to find his post and to tell him of happenings under ruined Cloister. After equipping Carlin's, they decided to investigate mountains and the mysterious other party. After coming back and folowing wrong tracks, party reached lower highlands. Xandos almost broke his leg, but in silence hey reached outskirts of goblin's camp. Not wanting to attack without being provoked, the observed shaman calling familiar (a huge bat from high skies). Unfortunately something went wrong. Not surprising with the goblins, their sacrifice ran away (small, and very charming goat), familiar attacked goblins and hell broke loose. PC's retreated, took care of goat and went back to Lakhell.

Finishing their business, PC went back to Appleshade. Their suspicions concerning scroll's evil influence were proved right, when the saw rejuvenation of people spirits and new energy, that filled men, who were drowned in apathy.

Road to Appleshade was uneventful and pleasant. After arriving the found home for Carlin and met with Czakri and Old Man from the Attic. Connal referred to him their adventure, gave angel's feather and blessed him.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Chapter One: Averwest - Session 07 - Cloister of a Healing Dove part 1 of 2

At last we had a session on January,24th.
Everything began with Connal and Ren, making their way back home. In Stepplefalls the met with Xandos and pay a visit to ogre. It turned out that it's quite able when it comes to mechanical devices: he repaired mill stones, patched roof and enforced first floor to support his weight. Despite an odd and unpleasant feeling in the air, or maybe due to this, Connal blessed whole structure and after a meal the set of to Appleshade.

By the way, near Hieronymus' Grove party met a speed courier but made no attempt to stop him. Returning home was pleasant. Everybody joked and laugh, but it was Xandos, who was extraordinary surprise. During his absence Czakri was asking about him. Chakri is one of most beautiful girls in the village. Her charm is enhanced by aura of mystery, as her family is surrounded with secrets. They rarely participate in Appleshade's affairs, mind their own business and generally keep to themselves. Chakri almost never showed interest in local boys, what made her dream of of almost every human male. Xandos decided to meet her at town's market next day. Flanked by Ren and Connal he confronted her an made an appointment for evening. To envy of all others he were given a kiss on cheek and left standing like statue.

This evening whole party sneaked to Chakri's parents mansion and waited in bushes for girl. She lead them to the attic, where, as it turned out, her grandfather lived. One of few Appleshade's traditions is to moved aged person to the attic, so family members can live normally and elder one is not abused or ashamed by it's condition. Charki's grandfather, and eldrly male named Kahn with thick mane of black and white hair and full beard, asked PC's for help. He said that in his time he was also adventurer but made few mistakes in life. Several years ago he fell victim of curse and now, standing upon death's threshold pleaded to save his soul. Curse became obvious when he showed his twisted hands. Although arms were normal, hands were twisted upside down, so palms are facing up. As Old Man from the Attic said: Priest were unable to help him, but he came up with an idea. Many years ago he took up an angel's feather and later offered it to Ilmater's Cloister of Healing Dove. With this holy item and sincere prayer, he could be healed. So he asked PC's to return relic.

Xandos, Ren and Connal were deeply moved by his story and agreed. Chakri hired them as a caravan's guards and even followed them to summer festival on market, dancing, laughing and drinking applejuice with heroes. Later she allowed Xandos to take her home.

Next day party set off with a caravan. Body guarding job turned out to be boring and uneventful, at least for the first day. On the second, during way upward hill's slope, one of wagon's wheel broke. With Connal's help it was mended back together and caravan moved along. During third day they met an unit of soldiers under banners of local prince, heading toward Appleshade. By the evening, party arrived at Torak, a sad, depressing place, full of crumbling buildings, apathetic people and lousy neighbourhoods.

After spending night in tavern, brave trio head out to Cloister and Lakhel, a small town below it. Journey was boring, uneventful, if not counting Xandos flu. After arriving at Lakhel, party acquired rooms at local inn. PC learned that Cloister was burned few years ago, after mysterious and infamous happenings. When last patrons departed, bartender approached them, revealing he is priest of Helm, charged with duty of guarding Cloister's ruins. He told them story of monastery downfall: few years ago a wizardress, Arian Clearwater, became pregnant and left her new born child to Ilmater's priest. She could not afford rising it and wanted clerics to take care of it. They sent child to an orphanage in Cloister of Healing Dove. Few years later Arian returned and asked to take her child back. She was sent to Cloister, where she learned, her baby is dead. Although saddened and in grief, she learned that contrary to information she previously acquired, there were no children in orphanage. Suspicious, she began investigating case and soon discovered, children were sacrificed to Loviatar, whose cult was growing inside Cloister. She informed high priests of Ilmater and Helm about it and soon an expedition force was sent to purge, purify and cleanse.

Heroes boldly stated, the want to go and investigate site, so bartender asked them, if they can bring back his inn sign, a metal crafted sign made of monastery's bell heart. Next day band set off and travelled through darkened and hostile wood. Morale was low and everybody was in bad mood. By the evening, heroes saw a fire on the top of high hill. The also got a glimpse of ruined building. After sneaking up, Connal and Ren saw a giant, sitting by the campfire, murmuring to himself and obviously hurt. Connal tried to talk to beast but giant got up on his feat and charged, swinging club. Fight was short and fortunately no blood was spilled. After a healing touch and a miracle on behalf of Moradin, giant fall asleep. Given healing herbs to drink, he slept all night peacefully. on the morning he wandered off, following sign, laid with stones by heroes.

With first rays of the sun, PC's moved to Cloister. There they found tracks and signs of one-sided, brutal fight. Obviously monastery inhabitants and guards were caught with surprise, butchered and slain. Only handful of them offered resistance, testimony of which was bell, thrown at attackers from the tower. Extensive search revealed hidden staircase under floor of room, that was defender's last stand. Descending into labyrinth, heroes found pile of rotten books, desks and other items, hastily thrown into the cellar.

It turned out, that cellar the found was an extensive work, an small dungeon of itself. After little wandering, fight with skeletal remains of guards and Xandos's falling into spiked pits trap, heroes got to illusion-hidden final chamber. There, the found arch-priestess (former mother superior) who was finishing dark arcane ritual. Above bed of torture, trapped in bulb of force was an elder man levitating. She proved to be no match for fighting strength and was defeated. With her dying scream also sphere exploded, shattering it's quicksilver-like ball on many pieces.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Session canceled

Due to last minute calls from Terentz and Adrian, who stated they are not able to be present at session, I was forced to cancel meeting. New term is not specified.

Friday, 2 January 2009


Today I met with Jarecki and Terentz to covert their characters along with Paizo's Pathfinder rules set. We spent about three hours chatting, joking as well as reshaping characters. The more I read Pathfinder rules, the more I'm sure it should be released instead of D&D 4 Edition. I guess, creators and contributors captured the spirit of third edition, made it fun and playable. At least every character has several paths of advancement and by it;s skills/feats only can inspire character-based adventures.

The only worry is, if Adrian will make conversion on his own.

Next session is planned for January, 10th. I hope Sławek's character will be introduced.