Thegg-1

Game 9 - 2009/12/02
With a snap of my fingers

An excerpt from the memoirs of Gardain Wheezebottle

Having negotiating the traps and pits of undead placed to kill the unwary intruder to this deep, dank place, we came finally upon a room worthy of mention: A once majestic cathedral, now ruined by time and the machinations of Orcus. From a blood-soaked dias across the room, a low priest of that undead scourge turned an sent his minions forward to destroy us. Ha! I remember at the time being eager to test my god’s will against those pathetic, drooling vampire spawn. However, for now my eyes were fixed on the fleeing figure of that destable homoculous, fleeing like a rat from our blades. As I gave chase, a blast of radiance hurtled past me to take out the creatures arm. I could smell the kill, but then a pair of howling muscled monsters swinging greataxes fell upon me, forcing a halt and desperate defence.

Sauntering up with a wink, my compatriot Halfling spun one of the Beserk moron around, enraging it into charging him, whence he quickly sidestepped and the muscle-bound idiot went straight into a hole! Oh, was he raging once he picked himself off the floor down there!

Somehow my blows failed to connect with that slippery clay goblin, and he disappeared down the hole as well, but floating on his little wings. I sighed, snapped my fingers a few times and some vamping spawn went down in righteous flames like the snarling animals they are.

Ah, I’m rambling. Despite some rather ill words from the underpriest and a raging beserker trying to climb a bloody chain, things were pretty cut and dry until I jumped down the hole in an attempt to shut that stupid human beast up. I missed, unfortunately, and was thanked for my trouble when some clown started throwing corpses down the hole. Comedians.

After pulling myself from under the corpse pile, I don’t remember much except suddenly being immobilised, then flashing swords and skeletal grins. I think I blacked out for a few seconds, because by the time I was aware what was going on my mates were down here with me and laying into everything about. Moradin graciously smote a few more skellies for me, then we were down to a pompous guy in black robes. I guess he was running the show, because he was chanting alot and Orcus was blocking my connection to Moradin.

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Game 6 - 2009/10/15
Death Warmed Over

With a wrench felt in his very soul, Merlin appears in a familiar place. A gate made of bones stands at his back, and though he feels it’s presence, the dark temple is no longer visible ahead through the mists. Looking around, Merlin barely makes out Marlo and Gardain standing beside him, as they appear so insubstantial as to almost not be there. Lloric and Gladric are nowhere to be seen. A quick bit of deductive analysis (and relief at still retaining cognitive ability) based on their previous visit tells Merlin that they are probably a the Temple Doors. The skeletons once seen marching out of the gate stand unmoving on either side of the path.

One of the ghost mages flanking the bone gate turns and says “Ah, you again.” As he looks the party over, a force grips Merlin around the waist and arms. He sees that the other 2 are being similarly constrained, their threadbare existence pinched in the middle. “Well! Your lifeforce is looking tenuous enough for us to sever. Lets get you up to the temple, and with luck you’ll be joining the main force assembling in Thanatos.” As he begins moving up the path between the stationary skeletal warriors, the force holding Merlin jerks into movement and shadows him up the path.

As Merlin is dragged up the path, the outline of the temple appears dimly through the fog. The ghost mage exclaims “Oh, I see your other friends are here too! Run into some problems in the Keep eh?” He laughs. “Well they can wait there, we’ll get you all processed together.” Suddenly the ghost mage turns his head to Marlo sharply as says “stop that!” Marlo ceases wriggling as his upper half is almost disconnected from the lower by the force constraining him. Meanwhile Gardain’s expression has gone from worried, to confused, through to calm.

Passing the last of the skeletal force, the temple can be seen more clearly now. Merlin deduces the distance at about 80 feet, the same distance they have been dragged. His access to magic seems tenuous at the moment, and despite attempts he has not been able to unravel the forces that bind. A glance behind does show a flash of light through the clouds. Gardain’s eyes are closed and he seems to be muttering.

The temple looms 40 feet away, it’s massive double door adorned with a motif of a horned rams skull. The mists seem darker and thicker here, swirling slowly around the corkscrew shaped building.

Suddenly, you are blinded by a brilliant flash of light and deafened by a sonic boom. As your vision clears you turn and see a massive dragon burst through the mists directly above the skeletal legion. With a shriek like a train braking, it falls upon the skeletal force, silver-white claws rending bone and breastplate alike. A dwarf bathed in soft light stands on the back of the dragon, hammer and shield in hand. His voice booms out: “Back through the gate lads! Make it snappy, times a’wastin!”. He roars and the remaining threads of mist scatter, affording you a clear view of the area. Still roaring, the dwarf jumps from the dragons back and disappears under the mass of skeletons. Seconds later bones begin fountaining up into the air.

You notice you’ve become essentially solid again and the force that once encompassed you is merely a tug on the arm. It is however still managing to restrain your movement. The ghost mage is looking fearfully between the chaotic melee behind and the temple gate, and yells ahead to his brethren: “Maloc, get those 2 inside! Rethel, I require assistance here!”. He struggles forward slowly as if pulling a great weight, and you are dragged along. Lloric and Gladric are dragged closer to the temple doors which begin to open slowly.

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Game 5 - 2009/09/10

The party stands at the top of the stairs descending to the Death Cultists. Merlin notices a suspicious looking wall to the east however, and the party investigates, unlocking a secret door and finding a small, empty room. Marlo quickly notices a shimmering effect around the eastern wall and Lloric boldly steps forth, putting his hand up to touch the wall only to see it pass through. Not one for labouring too long in thought, he steps through and finds what looks like a small armoury, with 4 sarcophagi lining the walls. He has just enough time to process this before shadowy blades pierce him from multiple angles, bringing him to his knees. Hearing him grunt and crash to the floor, the party rushes forwards to engage, finding four dark, ghostly soldiers with blazing blue eyes standing over Lloric. As the party engages the insubstantial creatures, they find them frustratingly hard to damage, and spend a good deal of time trying to puzzle it out. Eventually Marlo has a brainwave and is able to determine that because these creatures are insubstantial, damage being dealt only half as effective – although radiant damage seems normally effective.

After grinding the shadows into tatters, the party realises that Splug is nowhere to be found. Gardain figures he legged it when Lloric was ambushed and is now long gone out of the keep. The party then decides to take an extended rest, safe behind the double defence of a secret door and illusory wall. After 8 hours they awake and prepare to head downstairs, but Gardain recieves a strong complusion from Mordain to investigate to the south. He senses danger but also reward. The party travels south past corridors still strewn with rotting undead, and finds a long, musty room, lined with sarcophagi 10 in number. Gardain is unable to read an inscription on one, but deciphers their purpose – guardians of a holy soul, probably interred nearby. The party cautiously moves east along the room, seeing it open out a bit further forward, with a silvery light coming from a vaulted roof currently out of sight. Altars to an unknown god can just be seen around each corner.

As they pass the second to last set of sarcophagi, they open with a concussive bang and as dust swirls through the air, armed skeletons step forth and set themselves against the party! The battle moves on, with magical fire and holy light piercing the skeletons, and Marlo dancing away from arrows and blades on top of a sarcophagi. Just as it seems the battle is winding down…BANG! Another ten skeletons jump forth to confront the party. The battle wears on and Merlin and Gladric fall. On his last legs, Gardain makes a desperate effort to enter the open area and pray at an altar for assistance. He enters the open area but is cut down from behind. As he falls to the ground, he sees the Platinum Dragon above, wings outspread across the silvery dome that tops this room. Soon after, Lloric and Marlo go down under the relentless blades of the skeleton warriors.

The party lies unconscious and dying. Sensing no further threat to their charge, the skeletons shuffle back to their respective sarcophagi, and the doors shut with a muffled thud.

Dust settles, and Moradin looks on in grim remorse.

TBC

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Game 4 - 2009/08/20

During a nap, the party found themselves in a strange place, dark mists curling around their heads. Dimly seen ahead is a imposing edifice, like a massive drill has punched up through the earth. Behind the party, a archway of decaying bones squats, a yawning engulf of blackness in it’s maw. Two hooded figures stand to either side. As the party attempts to decipher their situation, they manage to strip the robes off one of the figures, revealing a ghostly mage. Meanwhile the doors of the building behind them open and an army of skeletons marches out towards them. Being unable to physically interact with their surroundings, Merlin strides through the bone archway into nothingness, and awakes where he slept. The others soon follow, though Lloric and Gladric forswear the bone gate, instead walking into the temple from which the skeleton army came forth.

Finding themselves back in normalcy, the party investigates the room to their north, finding a torture room with goblins inside, one of which is a meaty fellow wielding a hot poker. Lloric vaults a table and crashes into the butcher, who holds his ground. A second shove however sends him squealing into a fire pit, scorching his back. He gets to his feet but is soon consumed by fire and hammer blows. Roaring in triumph, Lloric rips the leather mask from the bloodied and burnt corpse and shoves in on his face. The rest of the party soon vanquishes the other goblins, including two archers who became trapped in a cage.

The party discovers a glum looking trapped goblin called Splug, who in exchange for freedom promises to give information on the dungeon. He hands over a map of level 1 and begins to guide the group towards the ‘Death Cultists’, with Gardain keeping a watchful and suspicious eye on him.

Splug leads the party to a series of corridors, telling them to be careful of the runes, as they have some unknown magic effect. The party begins to tip-toe to the north but Lloric hears the unmistakable groans of zombies and immediately panics, running west yelling “ZOOOMBAAAAIIIESS!”. Startled, Gardain who was just timing a jump over a rune, stumbles and activates it, sending a magical pulse outwards in all directions. Some of the party is gripped with terror and immediately flees southward, but recovers quickly. The situation devolves into a melee against zombies from the south, joined by a group from the north. The party quickly dispatches the threat and is guided north by Splug (who is untouched by the previous battle).

Stairs to the north descend downwards, and Splug says “Death Cultists down there!”

TBC

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Interlude
What's been happening while our heroic homos rest up in the keep dungeons?

After a bloody fight with the goblins guarding the entrance to this dark and forbidding place, the party travelled north along a passage and discover a small room. A wooden door is set in the wall to the west, leading to a room full of naked corpses. Another similar door is in the north which has not been opened. Dry blood is stains a trail across the room between the north and west doors.

Merlin and Gardain stand near the center of the room, quietly discussing the situation. The others are slumped against the wall, eating rations and adjusting their gear.

Merlin: I don’t like this. Too much dark magic in the air. I highly doubt the kidnapped people are alive at this point.
Gardain: Maybe so. But we must know for sure, and if they have all perished, then we will bring divine retribution upon their murderers no matter the cost!
Merlin looks visibly agitated at this statement.
Merlin: What? Listen to me you no good halfling, if you must be an idiot, don’t do it around me.
Gardain clenchs his jaw and answers slowly.
Gardain: No good Halfling? I have saved your hide many a time you…you prancing fairy elf!
Merlin is red in the face and shouting at this point. The others look on with amusement (Marlo, however, is stony-faced).
Merlin: Prancing fairy elf? From something that is only worthy of mating with a goblin, that’s rich! Kill yourself if you wish, but I will not have anything to do with it.
Merlin begins turn away, and Gardain’s beard is bristling as he bellows!
Gardain: How dare you call me a goblin lover! You will indeed have nothing to do with this fight – and we shall be victorious in spite of you!
Gardain swings his shiny new hammer in a clean arc, smashing it into a surprised Merlin’s skull. Gardain looks astonished at his own actions, and shakes his head to clear it.
Gardain: What happened? The evil magicks of this place must be meddling with our thoughts. I am sorry my friend, hopefully you will forgive (or forget) my brash action. AND stop calling me a Halfing Goblin-lover.
Gardain picks up Merlin and gently puts him down in the Northwest corner of the room, with his pack as a pillow.

The party settles down to rest while Lloric stands guard. However due to his earlier exertions, he too nods off after a few minutes.

Shadows and whispers flit through the room as the party dreams…

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Story so far

Our intrepid adventurers began their story just outside Harken Village, on the Southeastern section of the Old King’s Road in the Nentir Vale. After meeting on the Kings Road, they decided to form a group, in order to increase their chances of loot. To seal the deal they all had an uneasy group hug. Merlin, however, was disgusted at this behaviour and called them all a “bunch of homos’”. Thus the adventuring party MERLIN AND HIS BUNCH OF HOMOS was born. Elections were held for a leader of the group and Marlo was elected.

Crossing the White River and arriving in Harken Village, the group immediately set out to find the local inn and get plastered. They discovered the Cliffside Brewery instead, which sounded better. Marlo informed them of the possible danger of Cliffs in the vicinity to the brewery, and immediately lost his leadership.

Plonking themselves down in the Brewery, they ordered some Ale to get started. As they waited an Old dwarf named Old Kellar approached them, requesting assistance in putting down some goblins which had holed up in the dwarven ruins under the town. After been offered a reasonable reward and (more importantly) free alcohol, they accepted, got roaring drunk, didn’t get laid, and fell asleep.

The next day they awoke and were led to the only nearby entrance to the ruins. They entered and kicked some goblin butt. Gardain briefly considered collecting the skulls of his felled opponents, but quickly abandoned the idea, what with there still being a face and such-forth still attached to most of them. After failing to prevent a goblin hexer from escaping (despite pissing on his fire until it went out), a short break back in town was in order, after which they murdered an octopus, put the fear of God into a dumb goblin, and poked a caged dire wolf until it died. Also Marlo fell in a hole.

A letter was discovered! The gist was that the Goblin Warcaster they just killed had been tasked with gathering slaves to bring back to “Base” by Chief Krand.

Travelling deeper into the dwarven city, they discovered a broad ledge overlooking an enormous cavern, with a broken, rusty elevator. They were attacked by bats and blobs, but Gladric, despite the risk, desperately attempted to investigate a nearby shrine in the hopes a divine light would strike down the bats. Unfortunately the bats got him first, and the shrine only revealed it’s treasure of a shining warhammer after a quick prayer from Gardain.

The party returned to town, drank, wenched, and slept, then set out northwest along the Old Kings Road, meeting Lloric who joined the party, and killing some kobolds in the forest along the way. They came to the largest settlement in Nentir Vale, Fallcrest. There they learned of Goblin problems and people going missing near the northwestern settlement of Winterhaven. The party drank, wenched, and slept, then set out northwest along the Old Kings Road to Winterhaven in the Cairngorn Peaks.

There they spoke to the Lord Warden of the walled town, Ernest Padraig. He requested they investigate the disappearance of some villagers from the outlying homesteads. The party accepted and set out for a likely hideout in the hills to the northeast – A ruined keep.

The party arrived and Merlin immediately felt ill at ease, noting an oppressive magical darkness over the ruin, which only got worse when they entered. Gardain immediately fell in a hole and was attacked by rats, who followed him out. The party spent the next minute of their lives shouting “RATS” and desperately fending off the rats gnawing on Gardain’s armour. Meanwhile Lloric sprinted around smashing goblins in the knees with his warhammer.

And now…

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