Friday, March 23, 2012

Of Giants, Dragons, and a Two-Headed Pig Named Herbert

Back at the Wilderland Inn...
Our intrepid heroes picked up a rumor that the town of Larkspur was suffering from a rash of grave robberies.  Since it was on the way to Frostwyk (Ambiorix the Fighter's home town and supposed scene of a newly-discovered ruin rife with albino apes and strangely-stamped gold bars), they decided to stop in and check it out.

On the Road Again...
Night falls, watches are posted.  The party is camped on a narrow road in the mountains, overlooking a steep gorge.  Cue heavy, thudding footprints.  Everyone is awakened but one of the fighters drops a breastplate while trying to throw on his armor.  The footsteps stop and someone--or thing--huge starts climbing up the cliff wall toward them.  Indis creates an illusory cliff wall for the party to hide behind and they do so.

Up comes a hill giant.  He proceeds to sniff around for the characters but doesn't find them.  So, he lays down in the road and takes a nap.  I don't remember what happened next, but in the end, Ambiorix somehow managed to wake him up and then took a tree limb to the chest.  He was nearly sent off the side of the mountain.  A melee erupts and, with a few bumps and bruises all around, the giant is dispatched.  The party checks his pouches and finds a few coppers, some rotting meat, and a strange object:  a golden statue of a two-headed piglet.  Filibert takes the curio and nicknames it Herbert.  The party rolls the giant off the road and his body thunders down the cliff-side.

Drawn by the commotion, another beast arrives.  The sound of enormous wings is heard.  Everyone scatters and hides in the rocks just before a decent-sized DRAGON swoops out of the sky, descends upon the giant's body, and begins to feast.  The party decides that it wants no part of this encounter (wisely so) and begins to sneak away.  Unfortunately, Fil steps on a dry branch and the noise stops the dragon's feasting.  In a panic, our brave halfling slaps his pony on its flank to send it running and then dives for cover in a fissure.  Everyone else takes shelter as best they can.

In seconds, the dragon is airborne and with a horrific crash, descends upon the pony.  As the beast devours its second (and tastiest) meal of the night, the party gets the hell out of Dodge as quickly and quietly as possible.  They don't stop until well into the next day.

Next time...

  • Larkspur: Frontier hunting village or playground of the wealthy and eccentric?
  • The Busy Troglodyte Inn:  Who put shrooms in the wine, man?
  • Adventures at the Tower of Undead:  Attack!  Retreat!  Attack! Retreat! Ummm... Attack?
  • And of course, the promised lessons on bee-hugging, siege weapons, and puddings

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Werewolf Zombies of Hardinsford and Heavy Metal Elves

Although I haven't been keeping up with this blog, the lands of Evenoria have been anything but quiet.  The regular players (Cori, Sam, Ben, and I) have met a couple of times for good 6+ hour adventuring sessions each time and everyone seems to be having a great time.  Even Cori, who has usually multi-tasked while playing in the past, has gotten pretty involved in the game, to the point where her PC (Indis, the battle-axe-wielding elf) is actively pursuing romance with an NPC.  (Yes he's ruggedly handsome, but he's also 8th level and quite wealthy... always a practical girl, my wife.)

I don't really have the time or energy to give a day-by-day account of everything that's happened, but here are a few highlights, picking up from where my last blog post left off:

Werewolf Zombies of Hardinsford...
Filibert did, in fact, chase a goblin into an alley only to find himself surrounded by three more goblins and two human vagabonds-turned-hired-muscle.  A fight, predictably, ensued in which one of the men was killed and the other captured.  The goblins slipped away, the city watch barely let the PCs off the hook (good thing they took a prisoner), and everyone went back to the inn only to discover that the Witch whom they had brought to justice had been broken out of prison by her ne'er-do-well son and his goblin cronies.

En route to track down their escaped quarry, the PCs entered the slums of Hardinsford and heard a woman screaming for help down yet another dark alley.  Ambiorix of the Lawful Alignment and 7 Intelligence rushed to the damsel's aid and was followed, reluctantly, by his companions.  They discovered a bohemian-looking woman bleeding and crying on the ground, with a snarling werewolf towering over her.  The wolfman wore ripped-but-obviously-stylish clothes and a prominent silver medallion.

More stabbing, biting, and spell-slinging ensued.  Ambiorix was bitten and may or may not have been infected with lycanthropy.  The werewolf was killed and, when reverted to human form, was revealed by a curious (and drunken) dockworker to be Prince Alton Zhann--the son of the king and heir to the throne of Hardinsford.  A lengthy debate about what to do with the body (informed by the PCs' recent run-in with the Watch) led to an unusually creative solution:  pull out one of the Animate Dead scrolls they had pilfered from the Witch's house, bring the Werewolf-Prince back as a zombie, and then command him to walk into the river and wait at the bottom.  Forever.  (It was at this point that lots of Weekend at Bernie's jokes were made.)

Once the Prince had been (re)dispatched and had safely stored himself in Davey Jones's locker, the party continued to the inn where they had deduced the Witch and her son (and assorted goblins) were staying.  Recon efforts raised too many eyebrows and the baddies were missing from their rooms when the party finally made it inside.  Thanks to darts flying from the abandoned building across the alley, however, it became clear where some of their quarry had gone.

Everyone rushed into the abandoned inn next door and found the goblins, sans their human masters.  Darts, arrows, and blows were exchanged and the goblins were defeated.  It was during this fight that Indis was dubbed The Most 'Metal' Elf Who Ever Lived.  Disarmed, poisoned, and fast losing consciousness, she proceeded to take out two iron spikes (one in each hand), lunge at the last goblin, and (rolling a natural "20"), lethally PIN HIM TO THE FUCKING WALL.  Filibert--using a technique I don't remember at the moment--also managed to knock one of the goblins out of the window so as to attract the attention of the city guards who were investigating the alley below.  Needless to say, having a goblin corpse dumped on their heads was successful in doing so.

Fil dealt with answering the authorities' questions about the goblin fight (and took credit for almost everything) while Ambiorix rushed Indis to the Shrine of Moranya for healing.  They made it just in time... and that's when Panope showed up.  While looking for a cleric hireling, the party was introduced to a young woman who was ready to be sent out on "missions" by the Sisters of Moranya.  Strong-willed and acerbic-tongued, she immediately took a strong liking to Ambiorix and a definite dislike to Fil.  She even conned the former into allowing her a full share of treasure--a settlement that the latter did not like one bit.  But at least the party has a cleric now...

After a day or so of healing, the party (now with Panope the Adept of Moranya) headed out of the city before anything (or anyone) could connect them to the missing Prince.  They thought about going after the Witch again, but things were getting just a bit too hairy (no pun intended) in Hardinsford.  Instead, they headed back toward the Wilderland Inn to check up on things, with plans of investigating rumors of a ruined city rich in strange gold ingots near Ambiorix's cold, northern hometown of Frostwyk.

And that was the first of our two most recent sessions.  The other, played last Sunday, will have to wait for now.

  • Why you shouldn't hug giant killer bees
  • How much does getting shot with a siege weapon hurt? 
  • Why skeletons make lousy gardeners
  • Black Pudding: it's not just an English holiday dish