Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Plains, Wagon Trains, and... Sailing Ships?

Còigeamh 23 - Siathamh 9, 6638; next holiday: Brightest Night, Siathamh 35 (the Summer Solstice; Lawful characters receive a +1 to all rolls!)

The Party:

  • Rig Bigny, Gnomish Beastmaster
    • Flit, the bat familiar
    • Clench, the Wardog War-Badger
    • Midnight, the Panther
    • Faufe Yitaw, Dogwere (Badgerwere?)
      • Rawf, Wardog familiar
      • Aroof, Wardog familiar
    • Llarm Paphyra, Elvish Polydoctorate
      • The Metal Man, construct
  • Caranthir, Human Leader of Men
    • Rhea Trueheart, Elvish Nightblade
    • Lucille "Luce" Burwood, Fighter
    • Elenora Garrard, White Mage
  • Gróin of Norston, Dwarven Sapper
    • Laurita Gomez, Priestess
  • Quetgar, Thrassian Assassin
    • Zarc, Thrassian Gladiator
  • Grogg, the White Mage

The journey from the elves back to civilization was fraught with peril - give or take. On the first day, they encountered either terrifying antelope, which Quetgar was unable to capture. Two days later, they shot down three giant flies, hovering over the decomposing corpse of an ox.

Two days after that, as the party was setting up camp, two figures entered - a witch named Quiet Heart, and her companion Serkan Soroush, a Zaharan Ruinguard. They camped with the party, and left before dawn.

Finally on the road, the party encountered four terrible beasts - gorgons! The battle was fierce, and Zarc was turned to stone, but eventually the creatures were slaughtered. The next evening, the gang encountered - or rather, was encountered by - a gang of desert ogres. The ogres, none too bright, couldn't figure out how to make their way around the stone camp, until Quetgar eventually managed to convince them to walk around. Even then, it took much experimentation before they believed him.

Summerset passed with little fanfare; out here in the wilds, few are around to celebrate such civilized holidays.

Not much later, they ran into a medium sized warband of orcs, headed north; the orcs, feeling generous, suggested a minor tax of 3,000 gp. Caranthir offered one of the gang leaders a +1 sword, worth 5,000 gp; the leader graciously accepted, then turned and told the other leaders that he had decided to let them pass with no tax at all. Orcs aren't super smart, but the other leaders guessed something was up; as the party strolled past, a rather uncivil war broke out between the various gangs. Hopefully that won't come back to bite them later.

Finally, they made it to Kanka Sehir, one of the twin cities of the Shining Sea, the only human cities apart from Mareten that survived the Age of the Beastmen. Though over a hundred miles away, they could still see the enormous mountains to the south, and the gap that leads between them. After un-stoning Zarc and purchasing a few useful items, including some things from a rather shady shopkeeper, they chartered a small sailing ship.

They set off in the morning with a brisk breeze at their back; they had hardly gone half a day's journey before they spotted the writhing tenticals of two octopi. Unwilling to fight such monsters, they avoided them handily. The next day, however, they had no such luck. They were spotted by four galleys - pirate ships!

As the lead galleys opened fire with their catapults, Zarc and Quetgar dove into the water, and Caranthir shifted into his dragon form. The sailing ship had but one catapult. As the boulders crashed into the ship, Quetgar began shredding the outer planking on one of the rear ships. While the ships traded catapult fire, Zarc and Quetgar punched holes into two of the ships, eventually gaining access to the ship! Caranthir, meanwhile, wiped out the entire above-board crew of one of the ships, then turned and wiped out half of another.

By the end of the battle, only one of the ships was undamaged - the one Caranthir had wiped out. The others were listing in the water, gaping holes letting in the ocean... Caranthir, meanwhile, after tossing the last of the pirates overboard, asked the slaves to stay on; the slaves responded affirmatively, pledging their lives to the creatures that rescued them from slavery. 216 slaves survived.

The pirate ships, meanwhile, contained quite the treasure haul; the party had plenty of time to count their treasure while the crew of the sailing ship and the ex-slaves from the galleys enacted repairs. A little over two hours later, the ships were ready to sail again. The ships are as follows:

  • Singing Maiden (chartered): 77 max shp, 71 current shp (max until repaired in drydock)
  • The Lusty Wench (captured): 76 max shp, 67 current shp (max until repaired in drydock)
  • Thunder Bucket (captured): 76 max shp, 64 current shp (max until repaired in drydock)
  • The Angry Strumpet (captured): 76 max shp
  • Sea Scourge (captured): 76 max shp, 70 current shp (max until repaired in drydock)
The ships need repairs, and there is enough treasure that it would be fairly dangerous to attempt the high seas... so, now what?

  • Experience from Encounters:
    • 8 antelope (escaped)
    • 3 Fly, Giant Carnivorous (60 xp)
    • Quiet Heart, level 11 Witch, and Serkan Soroush, level 9 Zaharan Ruinguard (avoided)
    • 4 gorgons (1600 XP)
    • 12 desert ogres (avoided?)
    • 57 Orcs, 11 leaders (bought off, fought each other: 790 xp)
    • 2 octopus (avoided)
    • Pirate Fleet: 4 Small Galleys with 40 sailors, 80 marines, and 240 slaves (2400 xp)
  • Treasure:
    • 2000 Electrum, 3000 Silver, 2000 Copper (820gp)
    • 1 Bone jewelry (9gp)
    • 1 shell jewelry (90gp)
    • 1 onyx (50gp)
    • 1 jade (100gp)
    • 1 jet (100gp)
    • 1 Aquamarine (500gp)
    • 1 diamond (1,000gp)
    • 106 animal horns (2120gp, 21.2 st)
    • 9 bags of loose tea (675gp, 45 st)
    • 7 barrels of fine spirits or liquor (1400gp, 112 st)
    • 24 bottles of fine wine (120gp, 4.8 st)
    • 20 bundles of fur pelts (300gp, 60 st)
    • 3 crates of armor and weapons (675gp, 90 st)
    • 6 crates of monster parts (1800gp, 30 st)
    • 5 crates of terra-cotta pottery (500gp, 125 st)
    • 5 gallons of lamp oil (10gp, 2.5 st)
    • 8 ingots of common metals (8gp, 4 st)
    • 1 jars of dyes and pigments (50gp, 5 st)
    • 12 jars of lamp oil (240gp, 72 st)
    • 1 rich fur cape (1800gp, 1 st)
    • 40 rolls of garishly dyed cloth (400gp, 160 st)
    • 5 rugs or tapestries (25gp, 24 st)
    • 3 sets of engraved teeth (210gp, 0.03 st)
    • 33 sticks of rare incense (588gp, 0.33 st)
    • 3 vials of rare perfume (225gp, 0.03 st)
    • Total weight: 756.89 stone
  • Total experience from treasure: 820 (now), 12995 (when items are sold)
  • Total experience: 5670 xp (plus 12995 xp when items are sold)
  • XP per PC: 667
  • XP per henchthing: 334 (all henchmen)
  • Treasure per PC: 205gp (plus 3248.75gp each when items are sold)

Additional treasure: Potion of Extra-Healing, 2x Potion of Speed, Scroll of Ward against Lycanthropes, Sword +1.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Return of the Elves

Còigeamh 10-22, 6638; next holiday: Summerset, Siathamh 1 (the celebration before the Summer Solstice on the 35th)

The Party:

  • Rig Bigny, Gnomish Beastmaster
    • Flit, the bat familiar
    • Clench, the Wardog War-Badger
    • Midnight, the Panther
    • Faufe Yitaw, Dogwere (Badgerwere?)
      • Rawf, Wardog familiar
      • Aroof, Wardog familiar
    • Llarm Paphyra, Elvish Polydoctorate
      • The Metal Man, construct
  • Caranthir, Human Leader of Men
    • Rhea Trueheart, Elvish Nightblade
    • Lucille "Luce" Burwood, Fighter
    • Elenora Garrard, White Mage
  • Gróin of Norston, Dwarven Sapper
    • Laurita Gomez, Priestess
  • Quetgar, Thrassian Assassin
    • Zarc, Thrassian Gladiator
  • Grogg, the White Mage

After finally making it to the city of the Elves, the party cautiously surveyed the scene. After escaping from 5 wooly rhinos, of course. They spent the first day walking around the city, and sending Flit over the wall. They found no signs of life; whatever dangers the city held, there were no indications as yet.

They set up camp, and were interrupted by a party of four individuals - though they didn't realize there were four of them. Caranthir was quickly pushed to one side by Rig; his method of diplomacy would likely get the party in trouble. After a tense standoff, the leader, Sinem Husseini, laughed them off, and headed towards the high wall. The party watched her and her friends group together and float up the side of the wall. Any attempts to scry on them were blocked - it seems they had a spell or a device to block it.

In the morning, the party set off to explore the city. The city itself was surrounded by a gently curving wall, tall and ivory. Inside, the buildings were tall and graceful; though it seemed the city was entirely abandoned, there was a distinct lack of decay. Apart from one or two buildings that had been pushed aside by trees, the entirety of the structure was oddly untouched by time. The front door of the central keep was unlocked; inside, the party found footprints, leading two directions.

Carefully, the party followed the prints, eventually finding a room where a campfire had been built. Still, nothing jumped out at them; it seemed the structure was entirely inert. They wandered the halls, eventually finding themselves going down a spiral staircase. In the darkness of the new area, the group lit a wand of light, and surveyed the area.

With no footprints to follow, the party struck out at random. The first corridor was traced with names; tens of thousands of names. What they meant, no one knew. Moving through the long corridors, the party was slightly confused by the odd layout. Long hallways, with the occasional cross-hallway; blank marble walls, and granite floors. Eventually, the light went out, and the party realized that the walls glowed with a dim blue light. Caranthir, tired of wandering around, heaved his sword at the wall, cracking it open. As he did so, there was a rush of wind. Inside the wall, suffused with blue light, he found a corpse - though, oddly, it was not decayed! He hauled it out. Whatever this creature was, it seemed to be in some kind of magical sleep. One quick Dispel Magic from Gróin, and the creature was sitting up, confused.

After some discussion (involving Llarm and a helmet of understanding languages, and a staff that could speak languages), the party learned a little of what had happened.

Long before the Age of the Beastmen, the True Elves that decided to stay in Mor-Thir learned of its coming, and decided that they would have to go into hibernation to avoid it. It was planned to last about 1,500 years; the cities were protected, enchanted to keep anything living or undead out, and the elves were placed in stasis. However, something must have gone wrong; the elves were not awoken at the end of the Age of the Beastmen, and have been sleeping for nearly twice what they should have!

The creature they rescued - a True Elf - was merely a gardener, and understood little of the stasis process, or of the Age of the Beastmen. He only knew of a coming disaster. Finally, the party decided it was to move on. They struck out in the direction they thought was the stairs... and missed. They did eventually reach the wall, but as they did, they saw the other tombs opening, and elves of all shapes and sizes climbing out! By the time they reached the stairs, a large number of rather angry looking elves had climbed out of their stasis pods and were holding some rather nasty looking weapons.

Caranthir, realizing that perhaps these elves may be a little out of their league, managed to keep things civil. He remained polite, answering questions and asking a few of his own. Finally, he agreed to visit the ruler of the city. Upstairs at the ruler's chamber, the lead guard knocked several times, before opening the door himself - and found the ruler with a knife in his chest! He was murdered! Though the party was initially suspected, one of the elven casters cast a field of truth on them, and soon proved their innocence.

They spoke with the caster, a motherly looking woman who was much less harsh than the guard. She explained more about how the stasis worked, and how troubling it was that it hadn't ended on its own. Caranthir told her about the other party they had encountered; she nodded. It seems that they had discovered at least some of the members of that party. Meanwhile, elves of all sorts were working on restoring the city; the others would be found soon.

The guards brought two members - a fellow in a robe, who previously had a hawk on his shoulder, and an elf woman - a nightblade. The woman wasn't struggling, but the robed man was alternating between crying and trying to cast spells. They had been caught trying to escape. Caranthir offered to assist in making them talk; he suggested a new invention, the "Decanter of Endless Waterboarding," but any offers of assistance were refused. The nightblade quickly gave up her friends, admitting that it was the warlock who killed the lord of the city. The warlock tried to cast another spell, then burst into tears again.

Outside, two more members of that party were actually making good their escape; fireballs exploded and plants surged upwards as the fighter and a mage reached the top of the wall. Laughing, the fighter leaped over the top of the wall - and was repulsed by a blast of energy! A faint sizzle of lightning raced around the top of the city. A huge forcefield! Angry, the fighter and mage were forced back-to-back. When the guards arrived, it was over quickly; the two were bound and brought back.

The two prisoners were lead to a small jail area; the elf was tossed into one cell, and the warlock the other. However, the warlock didn't seem to be able to be contained! The guard tossed him in, activated a force-field over the door, and the warlock dashed through like it wasn't even there. The guard tested it, but eventually just tied up the whimpering warlock. The party turned out his pockets, finding a silver dagger, 5 darts, a blank spell book, a small vial of plain water, a ring with no enchantments, a blank scroll, and most of a pound of wax candles. The nightblade's pockets held more value: along with her leather armor, bola, shortbow, 12 arrows, and 3 silver arrows confiscated by the guard, she held a spell book with Burning Hands, Alter Self, Charm Person, and Continual Light. She also had a Medallion of ESP, a scroll of Ward against Elementals, some candles, a crowbar, a pair of dice, an ounce of ink, manacles, a purse with platinum and gold, and 6 torches.

Conversation turned to the scales - the reason the party was there. The elven mage mentioned the scale they kept; usually, it was guarded by a group of a dozen White Elves, elves specially tasked with caring for the scale, but for whatever reason, they could not be placed in stasis; no one else existed that knew about the scale itself. She would, however, take them to see it.

The scale resembled a huge teardrop diamond. It glowed with a pure, white light, shining from the center of an enormous room. The room was a huge half-sphere, 120' in diameter. Caranthir nodded to Luce and handed her one of the party's many +1 swords. After removing her armor and magical items, she inched forward, and finally touched the sword to the diamond. There was a flash of light, nearly blinding; when it dimmed... nothing seemed different. She returned, and handed the sword to Caranthir with a shrug. He broke it over his knee; it seems the enchantment on it was gone! Though it seems that the enchantment on Luce's armor was gone, as well, which was strange since she wasn't wearing it. After some experimentation, it was discovered that Luce hadn't lost the enchantment on her armor - she simply couldn't use it! All magical items in her possession were inert. On the other hand, magical items didn't seem to work on her, either; enchanted swords acted like mundane swords, and spells seemed to ignore her completely. The scale, it seems, had made Luce absolutely immune to all magical effects.

The extent of the non-magical power Luce had been granted was tested over the next week. Meanwhile, Llarm took that time to ask a few questions of the outer plains; the first questions he asked came back, "Ask Again Later," but the second ("How can we destroy the diamond scale?") was answered, "1 2 3 4 5 6 7, do the rest to sent it to heaven!"

The party assumed that this meant that the other scales should be destroyed first; Laurita Gomez, who was very knowledgeable about the scales, agreed that interpretation was likely the most correct. Which meant that it was time to find the other scales...

  • Experience from Encounters:
    • 5 wooly rhinos (evaded)
    • 1 level 12 fighter, 1 level 10 elven enchanter, 1 level 10 warlock, 1 level 8 nightblade (avoided)
  • Experience from encounters: none
  • Treasure (from the other party, graciously given by the elves):
    • +1 leather armor, bola, shortbow, 12 arrows, 3 silver arrows
    • 2x Shield +1
    • Axe +1, Sword +2
    • Blank spell book
    • Spell book with Burning Hands, Alter Self, Charm Person, and Continual Light
    • Spell book with Burning Hands, Alter Self, Clairaudience, Conjure Ooze, Adaptation, Chameleon, Continual Light, Chimerical Force, Dimension Door, Cloudkill, Choking Grip, Deathless Minion, Fireball, Fear, Cone of Paralysis, Detect Magic, Detect Good, Fly, Giant Strength, Curse of Swine, Light, Detect Invisible, Gaseous Form, Growth of Plants, Enchanted Container, Magic Missile, Detect Secret Doors, and Growth
    • Amulet versus Crystal Balls and ESP
    • Medallion of ESP
    • Potion of Longevity
    • Scroll of Ward against Elementals
    • 1.5 pounds of wax candles, a crowbar, a pair of dice, an ounce of ink, manacles, a purse, 6 torches, 10' pole, 1 lb of garlick
    • 20,477 gp in an enchanted containers
    • 2x enchanted containers
  • Extra experience:
    • Reawakening the first city of the True Elves: 5,000 xp
    • Becoming Pristinely Ungifted (Luce): 1,000 xp
  • Total experience: 5,000 xp
  • XP per PC (Rig, Caranthir, Gróin): 1000
  • XP per Henchman (Llarm, Rhea, Luce, Laurita): 500
  • Additional XP for Luce: 1000

Additional notes: Luce, as a Pristinely Ungifted, is absolutely unaffected by any magic whatsoever. This includes magical armor and magical weapons, both for an against her; all weapons used by or against her are considered +0, regardless of bonus. All armor used by or against her is treated as mundane +0 armor. Targeted spells like Magic Missile cannot target her. Area effect spells like Fireball do not damage her. All potions except mundane poison are treated like normal water. Magical items in her possession revert to their mundane state until they leave her possession; intelligent magical items feel no time passing. Scry does not work on her; the caster will not even know she is protected, as with Nondetection. If a caster scrys on the area near her, the caster will not see her. True Seeing cannot detect her; to a caster using True Seeing, she will appear invisible. She is immune to non-mundane poisons and diseases (such as Mummy Rot or dragon's blood poison). Creatures hidden by the Inaudibility or Invisible spells will still be inaudible or invisible to her. Further, while she can attack/be attacked by enchanted or summoned creatures, constructs, and undead, no magical effects (such as a Chaos Beast's insanity or a banshee's scream) can affect her. She cannot interact with incorporeal creatures at all (nor they with her).

However, she can be affected by some effects. A dragon's breath attacks will work, as it is a physical effect, as will a hell-hound's breath attack. The magical bonus from an enchanted bow used against her will apply, but not the damage bonus. She is invisible to any magical vision (including wards or traps), but will still trigger physical traps (ie, a trapped door). She cannot teleport, nor can she be magically healed.