Campaign of the Month: August 2012

Shimring

Morning has Broken...

Arrow demon

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Summary

The brave Questors attempt to sleep with Kane the Traveller guarding the door. Within an hour a Bar-Lgura skeleton enters the room carrying an earthenware decanter. Undeath and earthenware both meet their end. Twenty minutes later a further four skeletons attack. After killing these, the party decide that rest is best sought through the teleportation ring in the chamber guarded by Captain Starlet and his men.

At 7am (you know how accurate those hour glasses are) the party enter into the Halls of Beckoning fully replenished. They open the door of the room to find a further four skeletons and a demon who promptly disappears. Within the space of one minute, the party are attacked by exploding Bar-Lgura skeletons and ‘teleporting’ Arrow Demons. Both Grunthy and Pelius die, their souls now removed from the quest. Intense fighting continues until four demons and five skeletons die, shutting the heavy metal doors.

Falek Grange, hiding in the empty library, finds a secret door and the whole party sneak into the library of Avagozel. As they stare in wonder at the room full of books, a solitary drow momentarily appears in their midst and slits Falek’s throat. He too leaves the quest.

The quest is joined by four new members – Quintine (Priestess of Pelor), Aibron (Fighter of Greyhawk), Sven (Shield Dwarf of Faerun) and Kassadin (Blood Elf Infiltrator of Greyhawk). Their arrival must surely be Divine Providence because Tippit is aware that the Heart of the Dracolich draws them into its power and thus into the coexistant Plane of Shimring in which the others all exist.

Inside the room the party discover three spellbooks, a copy of Boccob’s Blessed Book, a mithral leaf and two adamantine boxes. By the end of their period of intense investigation they have identified an Analyse Dweomer scroll, which they use to identify the other items, adding two powerful scrolls and two Wishes to the party’s arsenal.

At 7.30 am (By the hair of Boccob, that hourglass is accurate!) the Questors leave the room and open the Heavy Steel Doors. Another set of doors awaits, but when they open these, an alarm is sounded and once more the party is beset by a deadly combination of Bar-Lgura skeletons and Arrow Demons, killing the new Cleric, Quintine, in the first round.

The battle continues………..

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Where there's a will there's a way...

Barbed devil

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With the party united, interrogation of the prisoner begins. Tippit offers some bleak alternatives and Falek tries to use feigned friendship but Balaik Troistan, self confessed Marshall of the army of Genreral At-Ur is unmoved and Jezrab Flinchal suggests the use of magic, None of his Charm spells are effective so he starts singing. It is such an emotive song that the Marshall is totally fascinated and Jezrab begins to contemplate suggestions, but just at that time the noise of clinking armour is heard and the Sorcerer, Tippit and Grunthy ready themselves for action, Grunthy fires an arrow into the shoulder of one of the emerging Greyhawk troops and the voice of Captain Starlet pleads with the Questors to desist from further damage.

While Pelius talks to the priests, Jezrab and newcomer, Kane the Traveller check out the portal and decide to enter. The party spend some time handing over the Obisidian Key and other important information to the Greyhawk force but when Sir Keoghen and the others discover that the gnome and the monk have left, they follow, entering the Halls of Beckoning to find that Jezrab and Traveller have found them a restroom. After a few minutes of rest, they are rudely interrupted by a Devil knocking on the door.

The party, apart from Falek, who is lying on the floor recouperating from wounds and exhaustion, attack with all their might. Pelius is grappled and life begins to seap out from him, but just before he expires, he touches the Barbed Devil with a mighty Harm spell and the Devil falls like a sack of potatoes before it can utter the name of the Devil it intends to summon.

The party are now in the Halls of Beckoning but they are both tired and spent and it seems that sleep or rest is not even an option!

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What's the Story? Morning Glory!

With effects from the vanquised Gauth still weighing heavily on the Questors, they are quite litereally stunned when they bump into a rogue Illithid. With Grunthy, Falek Grange and Sir Keoghen all stunned it falls on the spell users Pelius and Tippit to prevent horrid brain suction, with the musical moral support of Jezrab Flinchal and his powerful emotive songs. Things are looking desperate as spells fail and tentacles flail, but in the nick of time, one of Tippit’s Feeblemind spells takes effect and with the mindflayer unable to escape, the group act as one to despatch him to the dark netherworlds of existence.

Without wasting any time or even stopping for second breakfast, the group forge on into a hot smoky room filled by enslaved Verbeeg golem builders. A primordial power effect creates a bubble of chaotic energy and Falek falls to the ground with a massive surge of Divine Energy that informs him of a new party companion – Kane, the Traveller. Straightaway he proves his worth as he flies in to engage the Efreet that seems to be controlling the giant golem builders. However, the Efreet moves, and would do serious damage but for the critical arrow from Grunthy that slays him.

As the party mobilize to defeat the remaining Verbeegs, they begin to realise that another is firing arrows from the door behind. Pelius, flying past the door, shoots a Sunbeam into the man’s eye. The sunbeam seems to blind the Soldier, but he closes the door and magically pulls the last of his Verbeeg followers inside. By the time the party can get through the door and kill the Verbeegs, the Marshall is gone.

A secret passage is found, and while some of the party track down the blinded warlord to a room guarded by a demoness pretending to be an elven princess, Falek, Keoghen and Jezrab investigate an alternative exit and set off a gas trap but manage to bypass the threat with Dimension Door, only to discover a new enemy – a giant axe-throwing Formorian named Mashface. After succumbing to some mighty blows, Falek, on his last legs, makes a sword thrust worthy of the greatest Dusk Covenant blade masters of Faerun and fells the giant in one great arc of his mighty arm.

Returning to the War Room both groups meet up with joyous news – a glorious victory over a powerful giant and a captive Marshall, firmly grappled and ripe for questioning. Where will they go from here?

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Twiggy symbol

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An invitation to destruction

Gauth

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The Questors enter the Vaults of Creation. Dealing first with a slimy black pudding, they are attacked by a group of Verbeegs. Falek Grange charges ahead, with Sir Keoghen following. One of the members escapes into the dark tunnels ahead but one is captured. Keoghen offers freedom in return for surrender. Pelius protests, but in the end the party allow the poor frightened Verbeeg to leave, and he runs up the stairs.

The party shuffle through the passages, finding a room guarded by more Verbeegs, including the one that got away. Falek charges in but is immobilised. Something else seems to be in this room. The verbeegs put up a brave fight. They seem scared and manic. Then a secret door opens and a great floating eye moves into the room, casting dangerous rays that seem to slow Falek somewhat, and seriously affect Grunthy and Tippit. Jezrab Flinchal sings a mighty song that bolsters the company’s spirits and they attack with new vigour.

Falek dimension hops up to the creature and engages in a grapple. In the chaos, Pelius summons his Clerical magic and in a great flash of divine destruction, the creature is defeated. The questors pick up magical glaives and breastplates from the Verbeegs and find a secret stash place under the bones of the beholderkin’s meals. A small amount of treasure and magic is found.

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The Nightmare Scenario

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Blundering down through the darkness, the windwalking Questors make their way to where they last saw the ogres, finding, as expected, that they have already left. Stopping briefly to check for tracks, Grunthy determines that they have fled down the stairs, and they decide to fly like the wind downstairs. At the bottom, Jezrab Flinchal spots two ogre legs lying in a large cavern under a massive whole in the roof. Carefully they make their way around a large curve and pursue their unseen foes into the darkness.

They are a noisy bunch, and move through the darkness with heavy breathing and armour a “aclinking”. Jezrab is the first to be hit by a bolt of chain lightning. Grunthy evades the electrical energy but most of the others are painfully aware that they are now under attack by what they soon discover to be a Nightmare Beast, a huge spellcasting monster of tusk and claw that pounces out into their dim light and starts ravaging them. Luckily, Falek Grange sneaks past it invisibly and delivers deadly blows with Pelius‘s mace. Sir Keoghen takes the brunt of the attack but is saved by his cleric’s prowess and healing powers, with some excellent supplementary aid from Jezrab.

Tippit delivers further fire attacks and together the group quickly bring the huge beast to the floor. Falek finds a bag on the floor and realises that it is their lost bag of holding, but all are now exhausted and they retreat to the empty lair to rest for 12 hours. When they return, they disembowel the creature and salvage more gear from the decomposing ogres within the great gut of the monster. They make their way down the stairs and prepare to enter The Vaults of Creation.

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Darkness and Death

Ogre mage

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Down down into the Dungeons of Greyhawk. Falek Grange slipping on stinking slimy floors that magnify the sound and after a difficult passage over a foreboding chasm, further chaos erupts as spells fail and Entropic Enemies appear, harrying the questors as they squeeze through the caved in tunnel only to be confronted by ogres of ugly disposition. Not only are they unfriendly, but they are also backed up by Ogre Mages, who fire spells while the poor Questors wrestle with fierce entities of invisible energy. Falek stands bravely at the front but is knocked down by fire and ice. Pelius shows his mettle but succumbs to horrid attack, and for Tippit, Sir Keoghen, Falek and Pelius, retreat gives way to Death.

Only Jezrab Flinchal and Grunthy make it out alive and flee to the surface, hoping that some of their friends will join them. Once again dead souls are rejected by the Gods and returned to their quest. Two enter their bodies slumped in an ogre den. Two others stand naked in a distant room, their bodies already burned and eaten by hungry ogres. Figurines of Wondrous Power, a Belt of Dwarven Kind, and two swords are lost to the magic used to reincarnate the dead characters.

But mighty characters such as these do not take death lying down. No! Pelius and Falek kill the leader of the ogres and take back the lost Heart of the Dracolich, Falek becoming wielder once again, and all meet on the surface. Sir Keoghen’s faith proves mighty indeed, and with a great surge of power the group gather in a whirling windwalking mission to track down their ogre adversaries and try and reclaim their lost treasure. Time is short and friends, it seems, are few!

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Madness and Mayhem

Intellect devourer

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The brave Questors recuperate in Tirra’s house in Greyhawk for two days. Zahariel leaves the house one day and does not return. Priestess Hermione of the the House of GaGa acquires some more magic items for the party and they attempt to use a Commune spell but are foiled by the Primordial Power effect. They decide to wait another day, cast another Commune spell and head off to meet Grandfather Magic, the guardian of the Greyhawk dungeons.

Grandfather Magic is as mad as they expect, but when they offer him the Obsidian Key, he takes it, places it in the Ruby Skull and a large butterfly pops out. “The butterfly of Zagyg,” Grandfather Magic squeals in delight, “It will show me the way to the One True Portal.” With that, he drops everything and runs over the fields, chasing the butterfly.

The questors learn that the way to the dungeons is now open and the young priests that remain tell them they have marked the way down to the Vaults of Creation on level 5 with chalked butterflies on the walls. The Questors follow these signs for two hours, going deeper and deeper into the dungeon, until they find a chamber of doors with no markings. Investigating one room, Falek, with his arcane sight, spots two creatures hiding in the alcoves – intellect devourers!

Battle ensues and both Grunthy and Tippit fall prey to CONFUSION but Sir Keoghen and Falek Grange both step up in Zahariel’s absence, delivering killer blows with their mighty swords. With Jezrab Flinchal‘s protection, Keoghen’s aura and Pelius’s saving throw enhancements, the group easily overcome the two creatures and prepare to move down the next flight of stairs to Level 3.

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Through the eye of the beholder: an owl's perspective

Beholder

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Towitt-towoo! If I could speak (which I can’t) I might record what deeds my party accomplished on their entry to the Ziggaurat of the Guild of Wizardry in the legendary city of Greyhawk. I might tell how we exited the refuge bottle after a very comfortable six hours, all members wearing the wizard robes lent by Tirra the rogue. If I could, I would relate details how they entered a corridor, conversed with some disinterested wizards busy containing a demon, and of how they quickly found the door to the library and entered.

The room was large and full of many racks of shelves. As the group started looking through different parts of the room, I noticed how the magical light changed every few seconds and if I had had the intelligence, I may have been able to deduce something from this, but could not. Tiwoo!

As it turns out, the library was guarded by a beholder. I might tell, if I could, how this monster played a dangerous game of hide and seek among the shelves, appearing and attacking party members separately. I might tell of how poor Tippit was turned to stone, but my favourite thing would be to relate the way we eventually ganged up on this beast and chopped it to pieces like a mouse between talon and beak.

Towitt! How I would love to tell you of how we found the way to the secret room in the hidden book, how we entered that room of many coloured pillars and how poor Grunthy became deafened in the way to the true path. I would tell of the climbing up the secret passage, the meeting with the great Mordenkainen and how he gave us both the obsidian key and a flesh and blood Tippit restored to us, with the only condition that we inform the people of the city and alert them to the Orb of Opposition.

Tiwoo! How I would love to relate the battle against the great demon, that had escaped and destroyed its wizard captors. I would tell of its great stench and its abhorrent language, but I would also rejoice in the telling of our party’s victory and how we returned safely through means of the ancient Refuge Bottle to Tirra, who had ordered much needed supplies and introduced us to Priestess Hermione of the House of Gaga, a servant of Mystra, able to help us acquire what we all needed. Well, I say all. Actually, all I required was a fresh mouse, but I found that myself and it was delicious! Towitt-towoo!

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Knock knock knocking on Mystra's Door
First death and costly resurrection

Tirra

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Travelling on the backs of two ancient dragon who fly continuously for five days and nights, the Questors are transported over lands and sea to the mystical isle of Shimring. The flight is surprisingly comfortable, as the dragons have had towers strapped to their backs to accomodate the adventurers.

Although at first they are not talkative, they soon open up to Jezrab’s singing and accompany him in tuneful harmony. During the flight, they also tell the players what they know of Shimring and of the Temples of Primordial Power.

On the fifth day the great wyrms relieve themselves of their burdens and wish the Questors good luck. They stand on a hilltop facing a small passage entrance carved into the very bones of the land. Magical runes adorn the pillars around the entrance and when Zahariel tries to read the inscription, he finds only temporary lunacy and babbles on in a mixture of languages so varied that nobody could glean any meaning from it.

The group inch forward into the dungeon, with Falek at the head, hoping to meet the Destiny of the Comet by a lone encounter with their first foe. This is an ancient Sentry Ooze, and Falek strides bravely into an underground arena to do battle with the beast. Within seconds, his life is bereft of him and he is eaten.

The rest of the group then charge in, doing battle with fire and magic until slowly the creature, which has split into several creatures after each sword and arrow attack, is ultimately destroyed. The party continue on down the passage and very soon meet a dark but naked figure in the passage ahead.

Falek, has been returned by his Gods to fulfil his destiny. But this is not without cost. In payment of the magical power used to enact True Resurrection, Tippit, who is now the new carrier of the Heart of the Dracolich, loses his Ring of Protection, which bursts into a mist of cold blue flame and disappears.

Using the Primordial Power Word, Astaroth, Tippit brings the party into the cojoined plane and they arrive in a quiet stable deep inside the City of Greyhawk. They are met by a dark haired elf, Tirra, who explains that she has been waiting to give them assistance to acquiring the key they shall need to enter The Tower of Magic. Using the “Baklunian Refuge Bottle”, they must enter the Ziggaurat of the Guild of Wizardry, find the Yragerne Accord of 393, which they are told describes the whereabouts of the Obidian Key, the item needed to gain access to the lower chambers of Zagig’s Tower of Magic. There is no time to lose!

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Rust Never Sleeps
Kapeski, Rust Dragon Guardian

Rust

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After conversing with Imbamo Bama, Shamanic Chieftain of Denn, the party learn what they can about the dragon Kapeski and his Kobold minions and rest during the night. In the early morning they leave, using spells by Tippit to keep them invisible and Jezrab to transport them. They reach the edge of the lair unnoticed but two failed attempts by Grunthy to open a small side door alert the guards.

The party move through the kobold defences like a hot knife through butter, slaughtering most of the creatures. As they approach a second cavern they are attacked by a young Blue Dragon, but they kill him quickly and move forward. A red dragon does serious damage to Zahariel and destroys two of his magical items, and when Falek tries to chase a monk opponent he runs straight across the path of the waiting Kapeski, who breathes a jet of acid that burns the fighter and destroys several magcial items instantly.

The party kill the red dragon and the monk and then chase after Kapeski to find that he has trapped some of them in a series of Iron Walls. Knocking down one wall, Kapeski chases three characters after closing off the rest behind a chamber of rock and iron walls. He runs after Jezrab Flinchal and Shou Garner (who has been blinded by the Kobold Shaman), with Falek Grange just ahead.

At the entrance to the cave, Falek makes a spectacular leap into the water, while Jezrab and Sugar fly under the water, surfacing quickly to cast a Rope Trick spell and hurriedly climb inside. Kapeski decides to leave the swimmers till later and flies back through the concealed back door, arriving just after Tippit Dimension Doors the rest of them into the chamber, only to be divided again by another Iron Wall. Two more of the same spell brings the whole party back into the chamber, where Kapeski makes his first attack. Pelius and Sir Keoghen both lose items in a spray of corrosive acid and Pelius’ Destruction spell fails, but Zahariel and Keoghen each move in to attack, Keoghen armed only with a dagger.

With some heavy battering, a massive critical hit from Zahariel and some nifty archery from Grunthy, the odds are quickly turned against the great wyrm and he screams in blasphemous pain as he falls under a butchery of blades. When Jezrab returns with Sugar and Falek, Grunthy is already examining a magical box on top of a pile of Gems. Two Detect Magic spells blind the casters, so potent is the Magic of the Heart of the Dracolich. There is another item in the box. Falek lifts a pouch and opens it! It is a Deck of Many things. Falek follows the “rule of three” and restores sight to the two magic users, but loses everything he has gained and is destined to fight alone against a mighty enemy.

Useful items and treasure are gathered up, human slaves are liberated and kobold prisoners are handed over to the habitants of Denn. On reaching the shore at the other side of the lake, a mighty Exarch of Bahamut meets them and explains they must now go to Shimring. Two gargantuan brass dragons lower themselves so that the party can ride. They must now travel through the coexistant plane of Astaroth to Greyhawk to meet with the god Iuz!

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