There's no hard limits to anything. However, as a DM, balancing is easier when there are limited mages. They tend to hit hard but be fragile, so fights can go from really good to really bad super quick.
Last week I forgot to do a writeup, and since memory has faded I'll have to just summarise what happened.
The party starts at the entrance to thistle's dungeon. Full of undead, they've been there before. A bone serpent with lightning powers guards this place now. They go inside, and fight the bone serpent. Several times. Saren uses his disguise magics to get the creature mad at him, using the creature's rage against thistle as a weapon against it. The lightning barely touches Saren's toes as he dances around it with his area of effect nullification feats. They fight it and it retreats, and it heals and comes back as they scour the dungeon for the password pieces.
They find its lair, and realising they've never gone in this room before take a look around. Skeletons. Everywhere. They are held off and a firefight ensues down a doorway. As soon as one gets in, trey shoots it out and back into a pit. The new room has a giant pit in it and skeletons crawl out of it, enraged. As much as a skeleton could be, at least. More like a thirst for the living. The battle rages, a hard battle, fought well. The choke point is used to full effect and the room cleared. A memory forms in the room out of wisps and dreams:
Thistle is dragging a bag across the floor. Inside the bag there's something moving, wriggling and pushing against the hemp. "Come on boy, I know you're in peices but don't be in pieces!" Thistle chuckles to himself as he had made a good joke. He tips the bag of pieces into the put. They tip and splat and add to the writhing mass below. Thistle trips on the bag and stumbles forwards. He barely recovers his balance and barely stops himself from falling in. "Whoa, nearly wasted a spell.."
They explore the dungeon and grab the pieces of the password:
The King of Venet while purse full
Provides gifts for me to persue
He may be fine for now
but never trust kings
unless you presented to his children
gifts that will explode
And the door opens, revealing a quarter of a stone circle. Some kind of key piece. A real sense of progress washes over the party.
They head out, and go back to town. Saren checks out his reward and finds out about a secret network of tunnels running under the village. Clearly for nefarious purposes. They get some information and coerce some research out of the people there and then head to the forest. These minotaurs could present a real threat.
They get there and witness something strange - they're druids. Fith insists on leaving the druids to their natural ways, but Saren has to know if they're a threat to the village. As they're discussing it, a minotaur comes up to them, dressed in bark, branches and moss like all good druids are, and invites the firbolg into the village, with guarantees of safety. The others are welcome too, I guess.
In the village they find an entire minotaur druid society, in a little village centred around a sleeping treant. Quaint. The party meets the council and the meetings begin.
And that was the session before last.
Now for the latest session:
We start at the council, and the party listens, half listens since they're speaking in druidic and Abyssal, which is only understood by a few in the party, except for Saren who activates his helm of comprehend languages and understands it all. He recognises that there is a violent element inside the village who sees the dangers that humans pose, and a coexist faction, and also a 'do nothing' faction. The do nothing faction might just be lazy.
In the night, Fith suspects a plot and so transforms into a bug and follows a strong minotaur who was following the minotaur known as Swift Wind, a clear member of the coexist faction, and a council member. While following, merely 30minutes away from the village, the strong minotaur (Claw) raises his axe and strikes swift wind! Fith heals and interrupts but Claw keeps attacking. Swift wind goes down several times but healing magicks keep the druid alive. Claw keeps slashing using his massive strength to force blood out of swift wind, but fatefully misses just enough to give Swift wind the opportunity he needs to cast some wind magic and blows Claw away and runs away behind a gust of wind. Fith also runs away, and apparently claw does too after losing his target.
They get back to the village, and it is revealed that Tooth, a clear pro-war faction leader is responsible for the attempted assassination. Swift wind is not too vindictive, as he recognises that Tooth was doing what he thought was best. But, Tooth defends his actions with the following reasoning: "The humans will come here, and spill our blood over the forest!"
Wilting flower, another one on the council, responds: "Then are you not the most human, for spilling our blood over the forest?". This retort sends Tooth into silence, and he stops defending his actions. He is seen to be contemplative, but not asking for forgiveness. He seems like he realises that he may not deserve any. Swift wind removes him from the council without objections, and consults Fith and the treent for guidance. The planned punishment is expulsion from the village. And to be shown what it is like outside the dome, so he gets some perspective.
The treant asks to talk to the party in private. As a tree it's easier if people move away from the tree, so that's what happens. He tells the party of a dark circle, a spot of intense evil that's in the forest. He doesn't want to send minotaurs there as he believes they are unable to cope with such ancient evils. He sends the party there instead, as they are apparently disposable. He offers a magical dagger, that has been suck in the treant's side for possibly over a thousand years. Looks nice.
They go to the spot, Fith motivated by cleansing the forest, Saren motivated by the dagger, and Trey just happy to help. A circle of trees, unnaturally ageless, stands in a bare patch of forest. Not entirely bare, it is strewn with charred grass, dead trees, and ash. A point of darkness where no life dares grow. Except the circle of trees, apparently. The party sets up for a fight, and Fith turns into a strong bear. He notices once close that the trees are not natural, they have been constructed out of stone.
There is a skeleton of a lizard, possibly a magus, lying inside. (This guy is the one that made the circle of stone trees, possibly intending it to be some kind of protection). But in the centre, a stone coffin, upright. Large enough to hold 3 men, it is covered in thick iron chains, worn away by rust and something else. Bam. A noise comes from inside, a hit, as if something is trying to get out. It rattles the chains and at the corners there's wear, the iron chains have been worn through, possibly over hundreds of years of escape attempts of whatever is inside.
Well, only one way to find out - Fith tears the chains off. The coffin bursts open and this hideous demonic screech pierces the party's eardrums as this winged demonic creature comes out and spreads poison out of its plumage. The party resists the poison but the fight begins.
The demon flies up in the air and uses hit and run attacks to stay out of range of the high damage attacks. It cuts down trey, Saren runs over to heal him and Trey just gets cut down again before being able to stand up. Trey goes down several times, the amount of magical healing received immense and probably enough to remove a few scars he had before the fight. The creature's talons are sharp and viscious, casting spray after spray of Trey's blood to hit the ashen floor. A long fight ensues. The creature is very tough, and stays out of range of anything powerful, but a combination of teamwork, patience, and spilling enough of Trey's blood to fill a few buckets takes the creature down. Trey gets the finishing blow - he fires up an eldritch blast at it and hits it in the mouth while it's screeching. The force bolt goes up and bursts the back of the creature's head open and it falls to the ground with a solid thump.
Fith prepares a ritual of growth to regrow this area to its natural state and the others head back to the village, Trey lightheadedly taking less blood with him than he brought.
That's it for this session, next time… we have yet to decide since we had a missing player.
soo uuh i wanna take part in sessions, w-what do i need to do
Hi, you're welcome. Thanks for showing interest. We have a number of requirements; mostly logistical:
We play at UTC 11 on sunday at the moment, so you'd need to have some free time here.
you'll also need mumble (free) and a roll20 account (free).
If you can get a microphone and speak through it that'd be ideal. Try and push through the anxiety, since we're wizards who were just as anxious setting this up.
contact wizrobe (@t) cock.li if you're game.
Let me know your D&D 5E experience while you're at it. No previous experience required.
am right? not pm
We use it for easier communication, but I (the other GM) can run you text only, albeit it may have to be 1 on 1 (until other people also join for text only)
Up for it?
Speaking isn't 100% necessary, but it's just so much easier to play while speaking.
Ran some Deep Abyss! For the first time in a while. And with it comes writeups.
The poison clouds from the demonic creature fade into the ground as fith brings out the druid chants and rituals. The song of his people hums gently in the background as Saren and Trey make their way back to the minotaur village. Fith proceeds with his druidic ritual, to cleanse and revitalise the ground after demonic filth has destroyed it for so long.
Trey and Saren get back to the village. Saren, distrustful as he is forgetful, prompts the two to go slowly and check for dangers. Minotaurs count as one of those dangers. No dangers detected though, and they hide their route back to the village from the inhabitants.
They get back an rather uninterested minotaur points out where they can sleep. Sure. Saren sets a trap before going to sleep, and trey just sleeps. Was a hard day. Demons, screeching, it all comes back during the night. In the morning Trey finds a pillow outside the huts and wonders how it got there. No-one can answer him, as it seems to be some kind of mystery.
In the morning Fith makes his way back. Nature is truly his ally and friend, and it guides him back to the minotaur village. Still, he is exhausted. Not too much to join the council meeting with the remaining members though. The council discuss what to do. During the meeting, Saren drafts a secret letter to tooth, the rogue minotaur. It suggests cooperation with Saren in exchange for freedom. Saren gets his answer later, when a minotaur comes up to him and rips up the letter in front of him. I guess that's a no.
The tree, SleepBark, provides Saren with the reward for killing the demon thing. A dagger. Saren picks it up out of the tree and feels its potency. A magical poison dagger. Clearly this has its uses.
Still, Saren is still up to tricks, so uses his magical suggestion powers on Wilting Flower, to come to Domea in person and make an agreement of peace between the two groups. Fith is pretty tired so tries to have a nap before they leave though, so heads to a hut. This was Saren's hut so he trips into a primitive dagger trap and gets stabbed in the shoulder. He can sleep this off though so he just rolls into bed after just pulling it out. He's woken up to get going to domea. Sure. They make their way out, and as they leave the forest uneventfully, Wilting Flower transforms from a minotaur into a Horse. A very magestic horse, it neighs in a solumn but deep manner that captivates those that understand. Which is just Fith, the druid.
Across the plains, the light rain clears up. The party forges on, a Caribou, a Horse, an old man in robes, and a strange sorceror. Clearly the most appealing of strangers to encounter. Speaking of encounters, half way through their journey, they come across, beyond a small hill, a struggle between giant and man. An adventuring party has been come upon by a cyclops, or maybe the party was far too confident in their abilities, as they are pinned between ogre and cyclops. Whatever poor tactical choices led them into this position, a Loxodon and two human adventurers are figuratively pinned together, back to back, between an Ogre and a Cyclops. A cluster of brutalised corpses litter the battlefield between the party and the cyclops, a path of carnage cut through some of the village's best and brightest.
The party, recognising a self-serving opportunity to provide some kind of benefactory towards the village, jumps on this opportunity to help. This 'help' manifests firstly by Trey using his eldritch blast to push the cyclops closer towards the surviving members from the village. They don't have much opportunity to express their gratitude though, as they are slaughtered almost to a man. One is smashed into the ground by an ogre's club. One makes the wise decision to get the hell out and runs towards a tree. This Loxodon elephant man looks back and sees the comrades he's running from. There's a look of trust in the man's eyes, as if the Luxodon has a plan and he just needs to survive long enough to make it work. And so this remaining man makes a heroic leap to climb onto the cyclops, to take out its remaining eye. The leap is magificent, possibly the highest he's made in his entire life. He almost takes flight- but the enormous cyclops grabs him mid air with one hand, turns him upsidedown, and plants him into the ground. The ground wasn't very soft, attested to by a horrible crunching sound.
The strange party now makes its way to remove these creatures from existence. It is a hard battle - the extreme power of the cyclops nearly cleaves many of them in two. Each of them receives "whoa I can only take this once" blows from the cyclops. The ogre is taken out with teamwork, the blade warmed by the dark blood. Saren's rapier is pulled out of the ogre's back and it collapses, a anticlimactic end to the ogre's intense battle with the Loxadon.
The cyclops has its way, meandering around and being tactically messed with. A single slip, a single error can turn a fight into a grave. The axe, giant, cleaving, covered in the blood of the slain, slams into the ground just enough to spare each party member. Lightning rages above, well until the druid Fith was cleaved enough to lose concentration. Zap, slash, bash, the cyclops is tough. Saren takes his magical dagger, and climbs into a tree. Second time in as many days. The cyclops rampages below him. Activating the magical dagger, he bides his time. The cyclops carves chunks out of his companions, and moves towards the tree, to knock the old man down.
The old man pounces. The dagger sinks into the cyclop's neck, poison being pumped into his bloodstream. It staggers, wounded, about to break. But it stands. It still stands. But the poison fogs its vision, it can't see or move properly. Thankfully as it turns out. One giant swing of the axe, misses the now vulnerable Saren. A second, a perhaps fatal instance of man vs steel; saren's life flashes before his eyes, but thankfully so does the axe and it hits earth.
Trey, the hero of the moment, rushes over risking his life to Cyclops steel, and summons the green flame. It burns over the pike, and burns inside the Cyclops as the pike is inserted with force. A small pop and the cyclops cannot function any more. It falls - Hard. Slowly, but once it hits the ground it shakes. And so the party can nurse their wounds and stop shaking themselves, the adrenaline of near death wearing off.
A little looting later and they pick up the surviving Loxadon. I mean why not. He introduces himself as Galanov. He towers over even Fith, who is a large firbolg. The elephantman looks like a sturdy adventurer, but being carved by an axe is not a fear unique to humankind.
Back at Domea without further incident, Wilting Flower is brought towards the Apothecary, the shadow ruler of the village. A horse is brought before him. The horse shortly transforms into a Firbolg and introduces himself as Wilting Flower. A representative. The peace terms are thus; Humans stay away from the forest, and humans do not get attacked by minotaurs. Reasonable terms. The apothecary agrees, but suggests that some kind of PR education is performed so terms like "Not eating humans anymore" is replaced with something more diplomatic. One that doesn't involve talking about how you ate humans.
And so the first draft of Saren's prodigal work; "Let's not eat humans: A practical guide to dealing with human society", begins. In future generations it will be known both as a serious treatise on dealing with non-human societies for the more violent races on the planet, and also as a novelty gag item, valued for its amusing content.
Galanov shares his story with the party after going shopping. The cataclysm hit and tore apart his community. Thrown away by the ice and terror to seek safer areas, he discovered that the world was entirely turned to snow and ice. Since then he has been making some kind of survival out of the icy tracts and snowy valleys that once were warm and populated. Frozen humans tend to be the main food source for a long time. But he found the dome, and has ceased to eat people. Real food was available, and inside the dome there was water, grass, real food and society. But like most people entering the dome his skills are mainly in adventuring and survival, so joins parties of adventurers to pull wealth out of the dome's rich ecosystem.
Until meeting a Cyclops, anyway. He doesn't mind tagging along.
We resume where we left off. The party is back at domea, haveing obtained a new party member, Golonov. Saren does administration, sorting out the specifics of the peace treaty. He talks to the head of the guild to weave him into his plan. The plan; a minotaur peace, is floated easily. The guild master says he'll bring it up at the council meeting, and he doesn't expect resistance. Saren also meets with Mirabella. Kind and caring, but also sly and perceptive, she grills the suspicious man on the dealings. She clearly doesn't like him, but accepts the plan for peace, possibly trusting the minotaurs more than the aged poisoner and his Apocathery buddy.
Still, they grab the firbolg from the pen, and he transforms. First into firbolg, and then when ready for the meeting, into a minotaur. The true minotaur representative that they were expecting. This gentle giant makes his way into the town hall, not without a few gasps. Mirabella takes her role as chief of the village and greets and makes agreements with the minotaur. They sign the peace treaty and underline with blood. The general terms of the agreement are non-agression, and to set up a trading outpost where goods can be exchanged in neutral territory. So far so good.
Saren leaves them to sort out details and finally the party gets ahead with their jungle adventure. Sense of progress intensifies. Saren does some detective work, trying to figure out what happened to the people he hired. Taking a hint from a carpenter building extra carts/wagons, he accidentally stumbles into them the next morning, since they were delayed by lack of equipment availablility. So they travel together. Fith gets pulled out of the sheep pen at the last minute, having spent 3 or so days ignorant of any politics and just eating grass. He has become the sheep. Transforming back was fairly strange, like a sheep transformed into a firbolg, several hours was needed before he fully reunderstood that he wasn't actually a sheep.
They move on through the plains. Nothing went wrong, and they got to their intended spot and set up camp. Some wagons were here already. The team explained that they were left there by them last time they were here, and this is a fairly popular camping spot.
So the party sets out for the jungle. Jungle. They move north, and it's so sudden, the change in habitat. Just a mile of travel, and it's temporate kind of mild autumn weather in one half, and then humid hot jungle in the other. Permanent sweating. They consult their map. So they first wander into the 'safe' zone, marked by 'safe'. The safety of this location was given to them earlier by a previous explorer of the jungle (he would later refer to himself as a survivor). His previous explorations revealed some information, but not a whole lot.
Safe is safe, and while sweating heavily and being spooked by insects, bugs and such, they head into the mystery zone. This zone was unexplored by the men they talked to, and so only mystery is there. Possibly danger. They travel for most of the remaining day, The night comes, fast. Almost taken unaware by the rapid setting of the sun, they set up camp in a place they just find. It's not so much a clearing as a small area where they could probably squeeze a few tents. So they take turns making night watch. With the new member, everyone gets an hour or so more sleep, so that is appreciated through the dark, moist night. Hoots, wild sounds, completely foreign to these temperate adventurers. Unnerving, but exhaustion is a powerful force. First watch. At the edge of the vision, legs, size of a deer or large caribou, but spiny and many. Arachnoid, slipping past. Attention is focused, the adrenaline pushes the watcher awake. The legs do not return. A sigh of relief and a nervous change of shift passes without incident, however. Until it is the turn of Trey to have night watch. The strange jungle noises confuse him. But the crack of wood is a clear sign of movement, and he gets up to investigate.
He steps out away from the fire, and screams. A sharp pain bolts up his leg, and he awakens the party. He looks down and a snake is attached to his leg by the jaw, possibly unable to let go of its prize. Saren leaps out from his slumber and with the agility unknown to most 70 year olds, slips a rapier blade into the creature's skull and pulls it off. Trey's leg aches and he can barely walk. He is treated by saren, who carefully collects and boils rainwater, and with clean, boiled cloth covers the snakebite.
Morning comes. The party survived their first night. They wonder, quietly, if they will make it to the second. Still, they pack up and move on. Hours of jungle travel pass without incident, the dull wet travel of moist plants, punctuated by moments of unease and fear. But Saren spots creation, or well, creation by man. A square stone block, sticking out of the jungle plants, larger than he is. The writing is too worn to make out, but there is another nearby. Moving to this, a clearing is visible through the dense brush - A stone temple. A ruined ziggurat stands alone in a clearing, covered in vines and history. Almost 30 metres tall, it towers alone in this wild country.
Getting closer they notice an old skeleton at the base of the ziggurat, half covered in vines. They climb. Or at least they try. Stepping around this skeleton, the vine underneath the feet reacts with a lightning snap, wrapping vine around the feet of Trey, barbs pinning Trey to the spot. They party wrestle to cut, slash and burn the vine off, but not fast enough for Trey to avoid an injection of vine poison, a burning liquid that flows up his veins and carves the god known as pain around his heart. He is freed by stabs and slashes from the party. The party looks up at this ziggurat, the stairs covered in vines. There must be something at the top here. They push forward. Again the vines attack, again they send their toxic fluid into the adventurers. And again, and again. Fith uses bonfires to scope the way. The longest stair climb of Trey's life ensues, and he is toppled by a plant as he runs ahead of the cleared area. It lets go after Trey's body gives up, and finds targets anew. Powerful healing magics raise Trey up from the grave, and he is felled yet again. The brave soul is stabilised to his mortal body, and after the vine is felled, he is raised once again with a greater healing potion from his own pouch.
There is no rest for the wicked, and Saren immediately inspects the top of this ziggurat. An old skeleton, laid ceremonially, adorned by a gold circlet of small leaves. Saren wrests the circlet off the head of this skeleton, and the earth shakes. Or is it just the ziggurat? Trey notices the sound of grinding stone, and shortly after some roars. Hollow roars of the undead, wet as a throat half rotted, thumps shake the building. Thumps that move around and towards them, and visible are giant zombified dinosaurs. Ankylosaurs, with spines and a massive club instead of a tail. They start climbing the tower.
Saren immediately puts on the circlet, and sees something he did not want to see. A world of honesty. A world of truth, inner clarity. No longer does he feel the power to deceive as a virtue, but as a barrier to the purpose of the truth - to exist.
Part of this truth is that Saren's attempts to remove it are fruitless. It is affixed, not stuck by mere hair or because he jammed it on too hard, but magically affixed, truly affixed, just like how truth is affixed to reality. He, honestly, is not happy.
The dinosaurs don't seem to be motivated by anything other than the presence of the living, and climb up the tower, their huge frames leaping up the sides. Trey uses his abilities to push them back; eldritch blast. They fall from each successful hit, but continue to push. Three of the huge creatures are coming and there seems no escape but through vines. They are trapped. The creatures near, one gets so close to fith that he can smell its foul breath blasting into his face. Polymorth! The creature is frogmogrified. One creature, nullified. Trey compliments the genius move and leaps into action, time to squish the frog! Saren yells at him that he shouldn't, those magics are temporary. Defeat the frog and the dinosaur will come back!
Saren leaps on one of the dinosaurs, slashing it with blade and steel in the parts otherwise best not discussed in public conversation. The brave Loxodon stabs and crushes, holding back the huge beasts with brute strength. Bonfires and eldritch blasts rain down from the top of the ziggurat, flashing and steaming in the moist air, like bolts of lightning. As the beasts continue to climb back up, over and over, parts are left behind on the ziggurat stairs. But the vines contribute to the failure of these dumb creatures - They grab the dinosaurs. However, they are undead dinosaurs and so are already dead. The vines let go.
And that's all we had time for this session, there are still zombie dinosaurs roaming around.
why do these phishing bots show up here?
Cause we don't have anything to stop them.
Hi everyone - sorry for the lack of updates. we've still been running sessions but it's hard to keep writing summaries too. I'll try and get back into writing summaries but shorter.
The dinosaur zombies were slain. Their bodies line the temple. Saren takes the circlet off his head. Or he tries. Again. He feels as if he has been violated, his entire purpose for existence destroyed by it - It forces an assassin, a liar, a spy, to always tell the truth. This old man's days are over. He kills himself in the night. The party thinks that the circlet is cursed and holds off on using it again.
The party continues through the jungle and find a number of groups, mushroom people, cat people, frog people. A frog person joins their party after saren died, and leads them through this terrain. The frog is exceptionally stupid and thinks that the party are Grungs like himself. Well if they weren't grungs then why would he help them? They end up rescuing a number of mushroom men, one from psychotic cannibals that tear up flesh and attach it to themselves in grotesque ways. The party slay all these cannibals. The mushroom man they freed though is mentally damaged by his experience and experiences symptoms of psychotic breaks - which are accelerated by the party. But this acceleration causes his community to notice and he's given proper treatment. He might be okay. Or he might rip off other mushroom people's faces and wear them on his knees. Whatever it is, it is not important to the party.
They find a dungeon that the cannibals were protecting. Inside is a dungeon of the mad Wizard's design. Archibald Thistle made this, and his fingers are all over it. An experimentation lab for domes and fields, the party navigate through it, fighting all sorts of monsters born from Thistle's arcane experiments. They find some magic items and another key piece. They learn some properties about the domes, too. Artificial, mallable, Archibald was experimenting before deploying. Unfortunately, the Grung's pet frog died and so the Grung leaves the party to look for another.
They leave the jungle and meet up with the wagon party they left. A man rides up and tells them that an airship has landed in domea, with the fire mages that Golomov was seeking! Too late since he doesn't really need any now they've left the jungle. He still wants to burn the jungle down though. He hates snakes. The wagon and the party move to domea, leaving the jungle behind forever.
At domea, they see docked in the air a large airship, floating magically. Inside the adventurer's guild they find Draxl, the captain of the ship and hear of his exploits. He tells stories about how he went into dungeons controlled by a mad wizard and discovered its secrets and fought off its many trials and puzzles. Him and the party don't trust each other at all. Both sneaking, plotting, they both discover that they other party intends on using access to the tower to save the dome and preserve it. They use the circlet of truth found earlier to confirm their suspicions. He is indeed interested in preservation. But also hiding something else. They don't pry too deeply, as he says it's something to do with private lizard things.
So they board the airship and rise up into the sky. The world awaits. Sort of.
Can you play D&D games by yourself? How would you do it?
Not really. D&D is more or less just a ruleset. A game is actually built with content and characcters - you could technically set up an arena and just do some combat but it's not really going to be D&D.
This week starts us on the airship. Souring through the sky, progress is quick. The breeze is nice. But something spooks the capitain. He orders the mages to take positions. "Flying beasts forward!" he cries. A number of manticores fly in from the front. They fly towards the ship, everyone takes positions and awaits the attack.
Spines fly - their barbed tail spines fly through the air like arrows, a swarm of arrows coming to the ship. many people get hurt, injured by these flying spikes. But flame and lightning come back. Draxl and his fire mages send out bolts of magic and cut the manticores down - but the party also help. Lightning from the sky, javelins, they fly out at the creatures while spikes rain down from above like machine gun fire.
A few of the mages are heavily injured but the manticores are more so. When killed they fall for a long time and hit the floor, making splat-pizzas. One was frozen solid before falling and smashes to pieces as it crashes into the ground.
They recover and push the corpses overboard, and fly on to medina. The magical desert town. Magic, lizards, sand and sunshine greet them. They're given a short tour and browse the magical items. Not much seems to their fancy, however.
They're taken to the observatory, where they are fed goat milk and the nature of the skies. The stars, artificial, placed on the dome on purpose, tell a message when observed. They tell of 4 locations, 4 keys, to unlock the tower. Each area dedicated to an activity - Life, power, fields, slaves. The party discoversmore about Thistle and the dome, and how it is failing, and the lizard motivations.
The lizards are forthcoming about most aspects but they skip over quite a bit about their origins. They start at Goldscale, the lizard who defeated the hydra and founded Medina.
There are some solo adventures as well as the Mythic Game Master Emulator.
The party spends time doing odd things in Medina. Golomov spends time in the Golden Tail inn enjoying the food and drink. Not much else.
James teaches the lizards and uses his divinitiation powers to convince them to branch out into all forms of magic and not just enchantment and conjuration. We shall see what happens.
Fith goes out into the desert and grows plants and make new oasises in the sparsely populated brush. Not sure what is natural about terraforming but oh well, Fith likes plants.
But fith investigates a temple, where robed lizards go every day or almost every day. sneaking inside he finds a weird ritual location. He goes back to find James, and they sneak inside again, this time watching the ritual. They put the baby lizard on a plinth, then a sun beam comes through a hole in the wall and hits a gem, which covers the plinth in a blue conical beam of light. They pull the baby out after a while and call it a day. Seems routine.
They wait until the ritual goers are gone. They sneak inside througha gap - Misty step and small bug creature. Fith turns into a bug, and James misty steps inside using a familiar to see. They see the simple pictographs on the wall; it shows a lizard creature put on the plinth, then the next step is a light beam hitting the crystal and illuminating the plinth, then the final pictograph is a close up with the eye of the lizard open.
So what they do is use a daylight spell to artificially get it working. James sets the ritual up and daylight spell causes the crystal to glow and produce the cone. James sits in it. His mind is opened. The process pours images and concepts into his head, he sees as if in some kind of dream a world of colour and symbol, merging and activating within. His consciousness fades in and out, and while he looks relaxed his brain is a storm of signals, and he dreams a dream where he is probed and injected, arcane symbols swim around him as if his entire being is rewritten - He look at his arm and his cells are being pulled out one at a time and enlarged, a code comes out, and this 3d puzzle rearranges and puts itself back into him. He wakes up and a third eye is born within. He feels smarter, somehow. But something else has changed. The tides of madness grow, also.
Seeing as it was okay, Fith does the same. He goes from a rather oafish firbolg to a cream of the crop intellectual powerhouse. But not for free, something snaps, something changes.
They find a hidden compartment, illuminated to them through their experience. Inside is a golden suit of armor, golden scale mail, which they take. They also find some notes, telling of creature uplifting through modification of some essential alchemical essence.
They loot the place, well what remains. Fith seals up the chamber, drinks a potion of magical growth and rips the gem from the main ritual area. No more of this. He then seals up the main ritual chamber, and then leaves.
and that's where we stopped.
The party heads back to medina from their desecration of the holy location of the lizard people. They spend the night either away from the town or inside magical huts or oblivious inside an inn, and rush to leave the town.
Travelling to the tower by airship, they hit some turbulence, and one of the crew is injured. Draxl appears to care for this person a lot, so provides aid and assistance. On landing near the tower they set up camp and draxl holds back from exploring the tower to wait for this crew member to recover, as he was very important to the mission, apparently.
They walk towards the tower. From close the decripit tower looms over the sky. It reaches almost to the top of the field, and there are sparks generated from where the very tip contacts the top of the field. The tower looks worn, covered in moss and growth. James walks right into an invisible wall - another field. He slams his face into it and takes a little damage.
Carefully traversing the outside they find a plinth outside that takes the key. They place the key in and the field drops - revealing the real tower. The stone brick tower reaches into the sky. Partly looking of magical construction, the organisation is exact and precise, and it looks fresh as the day it was made. the upper levels are decorated with stone statues of horrendous creatures, some really large.
They walk into the tower, the great doors swinging open when pressed. Inside they are welcomed by a mysterious voice. It's familiar to golomov and Fith though - A voice of Thistle. The wizard who constructed the entire dome. Extreme power awaits.
They walk through the hall, the oddly placed suits of armor shining clearly in the light. They walk right into the middle, not sensing the trap that was laid. Turns out the armors weren't animated at all and let them through, but fith investigates the tables, and the tables attack!
Their thick oak beams are burned, crushed, and frozen, after taking a medium toll on the party. Golmov is annoyed at having to fight tables, of all things. And especially being bruised and battered by said tables.
They move onto the next level up the stairs. They receive a story about Venet, the city of trade on the coast. Its origins were a fishing village, brought to success by trade and commerce. The party navigate slippery slopes, rushing currents and falling things and see a museum of the history. Fith gets his face bitten by fish.
The next level is about the great ruler of Venet- Permidion the Wise. Entering the level they hear about his wisdom in developing trade and commerce infrastructure, as well as the military needed to defend it. James takes a brisk walk forwards, driven by the persuit of knowledge. He runs into spellcasting spiders, and soon the party is surrounded. The spiders hit, they run, they hide. Over and over again the party is nipped at by tactical hit and run. A gruelling battle ensues through dark winding corridors, the spiders stick to the ceiling and attack from above, or below but in the end they are defeated. Poison, stealth, tactics, not enough to defeat the party. In the end brute force wins.
And that's where we ended.
Mythic sucks pretty hard though.
The main point of TTRPG is group story telling when you get down to it.
When you are doing it totally alone you are basically just writing a book with extra steps.
James lays on the ground, fallen in battle. There's the skittering of the Fith-spider that puts golomov on edge, and the smell of fresh spider-ichor, blood and sweat saturates the corridor. It feels a little humid, the armor everyone wears a little damp from the inside from the action.
The party stops to look around and they notice murals on the wall depicting dark battles held in foreign towns. It was not without the sword that Venet's glory was maintained.
Spider-fith marks the ground with some marks indiciating that it is the second floor. But since james lies grounded, they decide to make a retreat from the tower. Golomov picks james up and they take him back. On the way they brave the hazards they encountered the first time. Golomov, carrying james, enters the slippery spike room. Golomov slips on the ground and slides down, with james, to the spikes. His speed increases gradually but as he's falling he grabs at his bag for his immovable rod. He fumbles so much he can't even get his bag open and he lets go of james. James, at 0 hp and unconscious, lands on the spikes and bleeds on them. Golomov does the same.
Spider-fith uses webbing and spider climbing to haul James out of the spike zone and heals him up. Golomov waits for a good minute or so impaled on the spikes for his rescue. The rescue is simple; turn golomov into a spider. Once turned into a spider by Fith, golomov climbs out of the pit and out of the room. They then make their way out without further incident and camp out with the Lizards. The night passes without incident and they return to the tower.
Green glowing knights assaults them after they find the stairs. Shouting, these knights fight for Venet, and for Permidion. The party traps the brave fighters between grease and bear, holding them to a standstill at a choke point, as they keep slipping on the greasy surface. The knights proclaim their loyalty to Venet repeatedly. Fith sets a bonfire on the grease and black smoke starts to billow out of the grease. He then closes the door. Behind is the smell of burning flesh and screams of pain from these knights, for a while. It gets a bit quieter, but Golomov decides to pour water onto this grease fire from under the door. As he sprays water under the door- BAM. The water explosively vapourises, turning the liquid hot grease into a mist, causing a fireball to explode in the room and it slams the door open in his face. The room looks like an explosion visited it, and the party assumes the knights deceased. What they did not know is the knights retreated and looked to flank the party, waiting for an opportunity to strike.
The party sits down to have a short rest and bam, the knights, having flanked their enemies, charge. The cold steel cuts again but the knights are struck down. Their last words proclaim their love and loyalty to Venet. They end up having a short rest and proceeding.
They reach the third level - Dedicated to the wise king, Permidion. Greatly loved by the Venetian people. Venet is a trading capital that brings massive wealth. James steps in a trap and gets acid sprayed on him. He takes the lesson and walks around half the level and continues onto the next level. Walking up the stairs, the shine of the previous level fades and is replaced by a dim light. The floor above feels grey, and cool like stone on a dark spring morning. Small amounts of dust are kicked up by walking, as if this area has not been seen for many years. The first room has just a throne with a lone crown in the centre. The narration echoes around:
"An empty throne, a crown without a king. A country without a ruler. His death marked the end of an era"
On the back is a large tapestry. It depects crowds of people weeping over the grand coffin of the king. It also shows sadness, madness, people throwing themselves into the ocean to rid themselves of their grief.
The coffin part seems loose, and behind more area can be seen. More narration happens as they enter the room, hidden by the tapestry, contains a royally carved coffin, siting by itself in the dim light.
"His physical presence was entombed, but his legacy was carved into the very land around him"
They also find some offerings; dead animals, and some valuable trinkets and potions. They then move onto the next level. The stairs leading up have a stone crown on the archway:
"Continue if you think you can bear the weight of the crown".
As they continue up to the next level:
Light appears, the new level breathing new hope, perhaps.
"A successor was chosen. A shadow of his father, he would turn out to be a compenent ruler, if a bit too easy to part with the wealth of his father's legacy."
They find a corridor that ends, but manage to figure out to try breaking the engravings. They break through and find a scene of a prophet preaching doom to a weaker king. The corridors literally leak gold as they progress, and they get attacked by swarms of metal creatures. They bat them off until their numbers diminish, and sit in the corner to rest.
and that's where we ended.
Thanks for posting these, comfy read.
The party hunkers down inside a magical hut, protected entirely from the elements, from hostiles, at least to a certain extent. Dust covers the floor, disturbed only by their footsteps, sweat and blood as they fought over this small patch. The hut protects they from the air of the tower, stale, metallic. The party sits protected inside the magical hut. enough space to lie down, at least. Pretty cramped though.
Through the night the tower speaks to they with noises. A gust of wind picks up the dust now and then and flows it around, there are grinding metallic noises that echo through the caverns.
They move down the corridor, gold littering where they walk. Fith inspects a coin and sees it minded in the mad king's likeness, the coins of King Turt. They reach a room, with a giant pile of coin in the center. The walls are covered in engravings of men holding bags of coin. Artists, merchants, sailors, artisans, scholars, and so on. Narration plays when they enter: "On mountains of coin did I build. " A little inspection of the room doesn't reveal too much more, but fith decides to be the only one not to ignore the coins by climbing on the pile. As he climbs on it, his big hands and feet fail to get much traction and it instead seems like he's pulling coins away. Suddenly, the pile bursts open, sending fith on his side, prone on the ground. Out jump three metal snakes, golden as the rest of the room, fangs shining in the light.
The party bash, and zap the snakes and they are disassembled. James uses lightning magic to zap the insides of some, and after an extended fight, he pops a few open with his lightning and their insides hiss and crackle. With a clang they are de-animated and rest on the floor. Golomov uses his own method of disassembly, his massive war maul. Huge clanging sounds like a huge blacksmith hammer crushes the metal shells and cracks them open. Fith uses his own magic to contribute, doing what he can with his shillaegh.
Casual inspection of the pile reveals nothing but gold. Typical. But a more intense investigation by james and he notices that when coins are dropped they tend to roll into slots in the floor, and these slots lead towards one of the figures on the wall. The coins appear to be gathering at the image of a wizard holding a bag of coin. Casual hammer investigation reveals it to be destructible, and the party forge their way to the stairs and to the next level.
The next level is hot. They hear words again: "I built and researched. But the cost was terrible, I'm now ashamed to say. Youthful, full of energy. Nothing could stop me. ". The next room they see in the centre of the room is a burning scene: 4 skeletons, posed in positions around a figurine tower, burning. They're prostrate on their knees towards the tower. Everything is on fire. The destruction palpable. As they walk into the room, the skeletons arise, and they charge. The heat from them burns the skin of our adventurers just being close. They are weak to big hammers so fall fairly easily. The singing of flesh and the pain felt is very significant though. More importantly, the flame from the model tower coalesces into an elemental, and attacks. It sets everything ablaze, party, room, in its desire to burn. The very air becomes hard to breath for the party as they fight these firey creatures. The skeletons fall first, but the elemental is powerful.
Fith has the idea of turning it into a rat. And so he does - the polymorph spell put to powerful use. James picks it up and hands it to fith, while they spend 20 minutes just resting. The room cools, the sweat built up drying off. James tosses the rat into the air and hits it with a spell, releasing the flame once again. The flame engulfs the room once more, and the party burns. The fight is intense, but golomov remembers his water dispenser. He pulls it out and says the command word "geyser". the water shoots out like a fire hose, splashing the fire elemental and causing screeching and popping sounds and filling the room with hot water vapour. As the vapour passes, the creature is no more. The elemental tamed with massive amounts of water.
The party takes a short rest then continues. They find a curtain. James pulls it open to see inside and skeletons jump out from behind it. They are strong and their swords sharp, and they inflict deep wounds on the party as they stream out one by one. They are slain, however. splashes of blood rest on the floor as the party recovers. They walk into the skeleton room and the narration appears:
"Skeletons in every closet. ".
The next corridor prompts more narration:
"The young wizard, funded by mad king's gold, pushes onwards to new heights of knowledge and madness. Careful where ye tread, as thy feet crush the world below."
Along the walls there are brief murals of a young wizard exploring lands, commanding the undead and magical entites to build, and a backdrop of a tower slowly being constructed, getting ever taller one mural to the next, until it becomes an ominious presence, casting shade on all around it.
The party rests inside one room for an entire day to get a long rest out of their system. Powered up, they continue. They find another curitain, and behind it, magical darkness. James, boldy enters. He walks along the slimy walls until he steps inside some goo. He walks right into a giant blob of gelatinous goop, that attempts to take him inside. He jumps out. In the darkness they fight, and Fith brings some magical light to illuminate. It dies after a bunch of flame and sword tears its form apart. James, unhindered, continues. He walks into another one. This time not escaping immediatley, he escapes before he can get digested. Fith is not so lucky, he gets attacked by the blob which engulfs him and begins to digest. They manage to destroy the blob before it finishes its meal, and fith recovers.
They continue in the room and hear some narration:
"Some things should not see the light of day."
At the end there feels like a small bookcase with a small number of books in them.
"Necromancy for beginners"
"Do or do not, there is no die: Necromancy in the age of skeptics"
"On men and power: Magical power sources of the rich and famous"
"The madness of absolute power" - By Richard V. Ersio.
James takes them, and Fith examines the bookcase. He finds nothing but nicely varnished mahogony. The party has a short rest and James reads the first chapter of Richard V Ersio's book, and learns of examples of power and madness. Liches, kings, wizards of great power.
And we ended there.
They start heading up the stairs, the heat of the previous level leaving. It feels cold and dark, the moisture in the air increases. The smell of nature fills their nostrils, and they feel calm. The dust and heat that surrounded them previously gives way.
A voice rings out.
"The king's long reign was over. Time now claimed the heroes of this story. However, it was done. The tower, my.. great.. tower, was finished. And so we rested."
The party walks into this new level and they smell the leaves and natural smells waft down the corridor. They meet a heavy bush fill one of the corridors. Fith walks in and spots a massive snake- this snake is the size of several men. Fith talks to the snake and bekons it; and convinces it using his druid skills to stand aside. After finding a breakable wall they move on to the other corridor.
The snake seems to find James edible, and deliectable, and refuses to not eat him. So Fith uses polymorth and turns the snake into a kitten. It purrs in confusement and fith picks it up and carries it around. It's too confused to resist.
Pushing their way through the bush they find another room. It's full of foliage, trees, and old stone ruins. Time took its toll, or at least appeared to take its toll on this area. Nature reclaimed it. they spot another massive snake in one of the trees. It looks hungry, so Fith throws the kitten at it. The snake wraps around the kitten and squeezes it, doing enough harm to undo the polymorph magicks. The kitten expands into a giant snake, breaking apart the constriction and doing harm to the aggressor. They bite and swirl around each other until one is dead, and the victor starts eating.
James walks over to the ruins and a snake that was previously unseen jumps on him, the size of a several men head to toe, and wraps itself around him. They fight it off, Golomov using his maul to great effect. The snake is slain with little pressure, although james was squeezed pretty hard, and got bitten, two large fang holes in his shoulder. As thanks, they butcher and cook the snake on a bonfire. Golomov enjoys the snake meat. Mere snakes, James retorts. Mere 250kg snakes.
They find another old breakable wall but James cannot see through it. Fearing some kind of ploy, he steps back and lets Fith bash it down. Fith bashes a small hole in the wall, but then the hole bashes back, the wall explodes infront of them and a stone warrior bursts out. Fith falls back and golomov stands his ground. Golomov pins the warrior in the hole it tried to burst from, bashing and being bashed by massive swings. He takes massive damage but is healed massively. By pinning the creature to an area they force it to try and fight, and they smash it into rocks. Burned rocks.
Due to the turmoil, they have another snake barbeque and patch their wounds. Mostly Golomov's. They talk about demons - James recalls the name of Ryloth, something about a cold demon. His discussion about demons and their representations and how they exist as beliefs goes over the head over some party members, but they remain polite.
Nature exists whether you believe or not - and this unnatural room interests James. They find a switch behind the rock creature's corpse and press it, opening a way to the next level of the tower. They are greeted with some narration as they head into a room with a lever:
"My field experimentation was my favourite. Many less noisy subjects to collect, store, and clean up after. From great wisdom comes great progress. Strides in strides, tides in tides. "
The small room contains nothing but a lever. They ignore it and move on. The next room.. .is cold. A cold snow wave pushes in, and so does James. He makes eye contact with a yeti's cold eyes from across a room. The room is a blizzard, it is a cold vortex. The yetis vanish into the blizzard. The party goes in to fight them. One yeti comes in to attack; grease is laid down on the floor, and fire immolates. The yeti freaks out and runs away, partially coated in burning grease. He vanishes into the snow dunes. The other yeti has a cold piercing gaze at Golomov, who is frozen in paralysis. They fight with the yetis for a while, and when golomov finally unfreezes after 30 or so seconds, taking damage from the cold blizzard in the meantime, he charges the yetis and smashes them. One he breaks the leg of and as the creature falls to one knee, smashes its skull in and pushes the brains out the side of the creature's head. He finds the other climbing on the wall and repeats the process, but this time smashing the arm, causing it to fall to the ground. He brings his maul up and then down,smashing right through the ripcage and crushing the heart.
As the heat of battle wears off, more narration is heard:
And so the world became ice. The worldstone, corrupted by Ryloth, tainted the world it so protected. The powerful magic spread over the world, and the world was blanketed in snow and ice.
They move on to another room. James grabs the door handle, and his hand freezes to the cold brass. He ignores it and opens the door, and the rips his hand off the handle. Some skin is left behind.
Narration is hearrd:
The tower needed guarding. Who else to guard but a legion of loyal undead? Unfortunately they proved unideal servants and were discarded. Discarded, discarded.
Golomov notices a iron sack of crawling skeletons attached to the ceiling. Dozens and dozens of skeletons, still animated but trapped. James ignores it and moves on. The party follows the demonic pace. The next room has an altar in the centre. Runes glow with a faint light, scrolls flutter in the wind, half tattered papers attached to ropes around the altar. It pulses with an ominous light.
As they walk around the altar, narration echoes through the room:
Explorers, or could you call them looters, came across a hidden altar - In the old forgotten Empire up in the Dead Dream Tongue. The altar of Ryloth. His history is unknown, but the creation stories of this planet speak of the battle between fire and ice and the compromise they had.
Stories are sometimes littered with truth - These demons were sealed. In altars.The truth; a battle raged over Alindest, and both demons were weakened enough so that men, summoning the means they had, subdued the demons and sealed them away.
Greed, often the bane of men, froze over the hearts of all.
As a witness to my own failings, I cannot judge these men. But their foolishness soon cost them their lives. The demon unleashed, his ancient knowledge of the world put to good use.
And as it ended, the altar glows, the runes glowing one after another. Before the party can even react, a demon appears out of a purple smoke. It rages telepathically into the party's minds, abyssal speech in a foul tongue, and then it attacks.
The party take the severe end of its attacks, golomov attempts to hold his ground. Fith turns into a bear, and attempts to hold the demon at bay. The demon spins around and zaps lightning through the party, and everyone fails their save. James is knocked unconscious, and the rest take heavy damage. Golomov fights the creature and does decent damage, and fithbear is helping too. The creature swings and brings Golomov down to a sliver of health, the elephantine body torn to pieces by this demon. He cannot stand any more punishment. James lies dying on the ground beside them, the ace in the hole defeated and dying. Golomov is but one hair from death, the creature's sharp spines and powerful blows are snuffing out the life of the party members one by one. But the demon misses. The demon misses again. It then misses again. The weary party dodges the spikes, horns, and serrated tail of this demon, intent on pulling their souls from their bodies with serration and force. Pretty miraculously, Golomov then pulls his maul, jumps onto the demon using the last bit of his strength and bashes the creature in the back of the neck, severing it from this existence. The foul creature torn from its own damned realm is ripped from Alindest. Golomov even recovers some health from the attack. He roars in satisfaction, and his feet stomp the ground. But first, James. He is dying. Fith and golomov rush over, fith transforming back to blue firbolg on the way, and casts healing magicks over him. James comes to, having avoiding death, seeing a worried firbolg and an elephantine man pretending to not look worried.
They take the opportunity to rest. James casts a tiny hut of protection and they rest in it. Fith dissects the demon in the meantime and leaves with more questions. Organs that don't makes sense, flesh that seems magically powered, it is outside of Fith's understanding.
And they rest. The wounds heal. And they feel stronger for having survived this encounter.
That's all this time.
How do you guys feel about the OSR movement?
Any of you play such games?
I tend to side with reggie when I'm putting together and running content: If it isn't fun, why bother?
I honestly think is full of merits and I believe only ACKs and Myfarog are the only reasonable OSR options.
flame princess was written by a guy that bragged about playing it with pornstars and is meh not worth it
You guys still playing on roll20? I just checked 2 groups there were wizchan games in it and they're dead.
Personally I like white hack and basic fantasy.
Haven't yet read Flame princess so I have no opinion on it.
ACKs Has a few good ideas (I like it's magic system of spells not having to be prepared) but also has a lot of things I am not a fan of (like how it deals with AC and saving throws or the overall tone of the book).
And I haven't looked into Myfarog at all. I only know that it was made by that black metal guy that now does rants on youtube. So I also don't have much of a opinion on that.
This week we start at where we left off; the party rests in a magical tiny hut after their near brush with death to demonic forces. The smell of sulphur subsides over a few hours as the demonic presence ends. They eat some rations, chewing on their reasonably tasteless contents to keep them functional. But their hearts are pounding and they feel restless. They feel stronger though.
James investigates the demon and finds out that it is indeed powered by magic. Demons consume magical energy to survive, rather than flesh. James avoids freezing his hand to a door as they explore the area. They find a minature tower, about 8 feet tall. They hear narration:
"And the tower sprung into life. My tower. The king whose kingdom it was supposed to protect long gone, the magic was still dormant. It was built to last. "
4 slots surround the room, and four keys should they find. They explore the floor and find them, one by one. One is found in the skeleton pile; James banishes it to another realm, and the key drops down from the ceiling. A minute later the writing mass of bone returns. Fith searches the frozen blizzard room with bonfires to melt parts of the room, but they refreeze and the winds still howl making searching nearly impossible. The next key is found in a pit of red hot coals, the key red hot. Fith is not so subtly reminded that he has a amulet of weakened telekinesis so he uses it to extract the key, cool it in the frozen room, then slot it into the next slot. Fith uses his stone shaping abilities to try and forge a key of his own, given that the keys have no special properties apart from their shape. He fails once, twice, three times, succeeding in making a pile of broken rocks. They walk into a room containing diagrams on the walls; technical diagrams. Narration plays: "Ah, the lizardfolk. Another experiment. Uplift native fauna. I lost the page in my notes that says why I did this, but knowing myself, it was for a good reason."
The walls of this room are covered in technical diagrams, from floor to ceiling. Almost every kind of wild creature is technically drawn here, in two stages. A first stage, a wild creature, bent over. Then the next, a technical diagram of a more upright creature. Or disformed. Most are horribly disfigured in the second image. Some appear to have scraped their own eyes out, or torn away parts of their own head.
The party in their search for keys attempts to defrost the yetis. Fith casts a small magical bonfire and chars the outside of one. They loosen one, and golomov drags it into the pit of hot coals and pushes it in. It will defrost there. They do not ever pull this body out.
They investigate a room with a lever in it. When pulled a field appears, a glowing wall of force field that slowly shrinks, except when the lever is pulled again. Golomov shoots the lever with a spurt of water and the field activates by itself. It shrinks and shrinks and with grinding crushing noises the field shrinks into a small shape, and vanishes. It leaves behind a metal key.
They walk around for a while trying to find the last key. The room with the demon summoning altar is of particular interest. No key in the altar, none in the torches that line the room. It is also not in the model tower, which is also a fascination. They are about to consider taking a rest and trying to forge a stone key again when James walks around the technical diagram room and actually looks at it. While inspecting the diagram of the lizard he notices that it's sandy and loose. The ascended lizard conceals a hidden crevice, that contains a metal key. It is inserted.
The door to the next level opens.
They head up and they hear narration:
"Adventureres find my dome. They go from dungeon to dungeon in search of keys, and meet up with Lizardfolk who have been doing their own exploration.
Climbing the tower, they learn of the past, and they write the future.
They learn of the beating heart of this dome, the core that powers it all, and the madman on his throne.
Alas this story is untold. "
They head up the stairs and turn the corner and see… themselves. Wax models, made in perfect likeness, staring back at them. As they inspect them, a voice speaks out:
"The adventurers pass the tests, they prove their worth. Their decisions are yours now."
The adventurers follow the open doors and it leads to a chamber containing an old wizard, who looks hundreds of years old, skin as grey as an overcast day, hunched over a crystal ball. Besides the chair there are two tapestries suspended on dusty frames.
A stone panel sits infront, with a number of buttons. Now and then he looks into the ball and touches a button as if adjusting something.
The narration plays, or rather, is spoken directly:
"And hello. So sorry if I don't get up, my body isn't as it once was. "
He explains to them that they have passed his trials, and that it was intentional that it was a difficult process. "You see, this dome was created as a refuge but also as a means of salvation. Those advenurers, brave heroes that pass my trials will also be the best means of undoing whatever disaster was inflicted on the world. In this case, the disaster of Ryloth. The released demon of ice and cruelty, released by careless adventurers, and who proceeded to corrupt and pour his malice and cold hearted nature into the worldstone and turned the world to ice."
The giant black orbs (Editors note: Like 30 sessions ago) are fractures in the magical currents that were disturbed by the clumsy demonic handling of the worldstone, and they pour their corruption out onto the world when they appear. Thistle tells them a plan he devised in his studies. Long ago, Ryloth had been sealed before. He had been sealed after a fight with Kraggt, a great demon of fire. These two demons are the bitterest of rivals, and their grand fight weakened them both so much that mere mortals could enchain them in shrines. This happened long ago and the knowledge was lost. But the same strategy could work again. Release kraggt, and when they fight each other, defeat them both after their energy is expended.
Thistle also offers to craft magical items for the party if they help him repair the dome. The dome itself is damaged, the power core nearly expended. They can find another one in the fire dungeon that they avoided going to.
Thistle gives them a magical item they can use to carry around the core - A rod on a rope. He assures them that it will work. Thistle also gives them a magical key to access the lower levels of the mountain internals to access the very power core they're after.
The party leaves the tower and meets draxl on the way out. He's excited and almost drops everything to go and meet 'The Thistle'. They talk about going to the fire dungeon and how they'd get there and rest. They wake and something is different. Golomov is gone, and so is the key for the power source. Fith transforms into a horse and they chase. They reach Domea before catching up, and they find out something changed. The apocathery and a few other people are strung up by ropes, hanged. James is arrested by the head of the village and taken for interrogation. Witnesses are summoned and an interrogation is lightly performed, and he is released, mostly on the good word of Archibald, the bookkeeper for what used to be the adventurer's guild. They continue the chase.
James messes up the tracking and loses several hours, but manages to catch up to golomov on horseback. He turns and they exchange words - They find out that crushbone is coming and that Golomov has some kind of deal with crushbone. They don't find out what it is though since golomov attacks. The Loxodon's powerful javlin throws and ranged weapon attacks take out James. Fith then attacks, as a horse. Golomov easily breaks the horse with his maul. Fith then offers Golomov a chance to rest, which is not taken. Golomov is too proud for this.
Fith then transforms into a T-Rex. A life sized, real T-Rex. Golomov tries to attack but it is pathetic compared to this giant creature. The T-rex takes one bite and just rips Golomov's head off, swallowing it easily. The Fith t-rex then continues its feast.
An hour passes and polymorph wears off, leaving Fith full and sated. James is recovered and the party continues, recovering the key. Luckily the key was not eaten. Golomov's magical gloves were and the party will have to wait 2-3 days to see them again.
And that's where we ended for that week.
Yes, we are.
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>>50636>The Loxodon's powerful javlin throws and ranged weapon attacks take out James.
I mean, technically yes, but I feel the crucial detail that it was a pretty close fight (I'd probably gotten him on his next turn) and had I been damaged just a slight bit less by his hidden dagger's poison damage, I'd still could have more than likely won should at least be passingly
The wind blowing over the plains sweeps away the smell of battle. James, awakens to to a slightly concerned Fith sitting near him, sore as all hell. His injuries are mostly knitted with magic but what is not healed is red and sore. Moving around hurts a fair bit but he gets used to it.
James rests some more , soaking in the nature that's around them. Even though they're kind of near the destroyed corpse of golomov. The short rest passes with little incident and they get travelling back to domea. Curiousity driving them as much as the urge to get back to saving the dome.
When they get back to the town, Mirabella, the iron fisted leader of domea interrogates Fith and his role in what happened. She asks about his relationship with the apocathery, what they did and what they were doing. She lets them know what happened. Domea has changed. The apocathery's plots were unwound and he is left hanging by a rope in the centre of the village, along with a number of his cohorts.
A failed assassination attempt on Mirabella was linked to the apocathery and after that arrest they unwound an entire conspiracy. It seemed that after the disappearance of Saren, the apocathery overplayed his hand and went for an assassination attempt on mirabella to instigate the takeover. It was misplayed, and the apocathery was arrested, tried and hanged. The man had been coordinating treasonous activity and getting ready to sell the village to crushbone, who is now on the way thanks to the apocathery. Evidence pulled out of the apocathery's building revealed the entire conspiracy.
Fith is released, as he was instrumental in the minotaur situation and general healing and help with many of the adventurers here. Additionally he was rarely in town long enough to really do anything so there's not much suspicion.
Still, the party meet up with Archibald, the man who manages the library and information. They gain access to the letters and read them. They reveal a conspiracy between crushbone and the apocathery to enslave the village, and rewarding the apocathery and his conspiractors with power and influence.
They get permission from Mirabella to do their own investigation of the Apocathery's secret areas inside his shop, so long as they get the permission of the new owner, and bring archibald.
Fith attempts to make a 1000 gold focus in a podunk village. Made of wood. The carpenter shows fith his "Aganzzar wood". Fith identifies it as sky column wood - it was very rare and a skilled woodworker could make weapons and items of great hardness and sharpness out of it. It's supposedly malleable like metal.
Fith arranges to have a wooden demon-skull staff made, encrusted with enough gems and silver to make up the value. This pretty much means harvesting all the valuables in the village and sticking it to a peice of wood. The carpenter offers that he can do it in roughly a week. Not so much a piece of art but a staff with valuable things stuck to it in a gaudy fashion.
He also sells the soft parts of the demon head, so he can retrieve the skull.
James in the meantime produces a copy of some of the letters and returns the original.
The day passes, and they rest. The rest heals and calms. James wakes up and realises he did not protect himself overnight with his magical hut, and the cold sweat beads on his forehead when he remembers. He goes to find fith. To the sheep pen. He uses a mix of grass and scare tactics to isolate the sheep-fith, and they go to the Apocathery's house to investigate what might be stil buried.
The person who now makes and sells potions there is an elf. Slender and well kept, he prefers to be called a 'potion master', as the title apocathery has some baggage. James casts some spells to enable him to see the invisible, and into the ethereal plane itself. He finds an invisible dagger attached to the underside of one of the desks. Clearly not investigated thoroughly enough. An invisible dagger, the perfect murder weapon.
The party is led to the secret basement where Archibald says they scraped and checked as much of it as they could, they were thorough and pulled out a lot of skeletons and secrets.
They do find a nasty room. A small room, opened up. The room is a small room, the floor stained a reddish brown, with a small chair with straps at the armrests and feet. This was not a room of casual conversation. The room has cursed spirits tethered to this area, visible in the ethereal plane. Entering the room feels like you're being assaulted by the sheer weight of pain and suffering that was performed here. James banishes them by saturating the area in radiant energy and can now concentrate a little better - and finds a secret alcove. He gets Fith to bash it in, and the hinges and handle break off but the interior is revealed. A number of potions, mystery ones and healing are revealed. He brings the mystery one to the 'potion-master' to identify, and pockets the healing potions.
Going back into the main secret room, he notices a skeleton shaped magical item under the floorboards. Digging it up reveals a skeleton, unsurprisingly. The surprise comes when it moves around when he digs out the head. The skeleton can not only talk but it is fully conscious and aware. It, or he, claims to be King Empyrion, of the Kingdom of Chadium. He is very arrogant initially, demanding release, but loosens up after he's undug and is allowed to move about. They get him some clothes, get rewarded by his golden crown, and giggle about his complete lack of knowledge. He takes pride in his kingdom and immediately starts desiring entertainment. Arena fights! succubi! Drinks! - Ah I guess not, the skeletal figure is no match for the entertainments of fleshy mortals now.
After figuring out a plan to deal with this, kingly figure, they head up the ladder and get to business.
And that's where we ended.
The heat of the deep underground cannot be felt in this bubble of sanctity. The air is cool, and pleasant to breathe. The party can see outside the hut and see flames bursting out of the walls occasionally, small heat resistant crabs scuttling about, some are intrigued by the dead chimera, and as the party rests, the crabs start surrounding it and are pinching and gnawing away parts of it. There is a natural order down here just as other locations, but the heat is clearly too high to sustain their own life down here for very long.
Fith and James leave the hut, and the magma crabs snipping and chewing away at the corpse of the chimera scatter. Rested, the party moves on and explores. They pass a chasm, filled with lava, beyond which are a big pile of uncut gems, useful for spell ingredients. Around the corner is a powerful heat source. It's so hot they can't even look directly at it as their eyes begin to boil. They shield themselves from it and shuffle around it, keeping as much distance as they can. Past it they notice a lever and a suspiciously familiar magical field. However, wary of its contents, James hammers a dagger into the ground, and uses it as leverage to pull the lever with a rope. He pulls and the field vanishes, but then a massive gust of wind hits them both in the back and knocks them forwards. No injuries, but certainly surprise.
They explore the room revealed and it's a desk, a broken bed and a little water fountain. Everything is cold. The water is refreshing and sweet, almost. So cool it's amazing in the heat of the under-underdark. They find some notes about some technical diagrams, and a few legible scribblings:
"The Azers have been cooperative. In exchange for rare ores and gems they're willing to share what they have, or do labour. Pretty useful for hot areas. They are very useful at moving about hot objects. Don't mind their chanting… and music."
"The crabs seem to stay away from cold areas, thankfully. I felt guilty eating them so I relied on other food instead. They did taste.. charred."
There's a pile of cold magma crabs in the corner. There's a pile of near incomprehensible notes on power and geothermal energy. "Cores of energy… heat absorbed…" and some techincal looking blueprints. James stashes them for later examination.
They explore further, and find demonic chanting coming from behind a thick stone door. Far too heavy for these weak wizards, James knocks, ineffectually. He tries a thunderclap, and this explosion of sound causes the chanting to stop. The door is pulled open by a creature of great size and infernal strength, with a burning head and a fierce gaze. James communicates, somehow, and they promise to assist with moving the power core so long as they bring the two isolated Azer back to them.
The party then gets on the platform that leads them above and fight their fiercest battle. As two wizards, they are now tasked with pulling a wheel that pushes them upwards. It takes hours to get up. Each time they spend just a few minutes pulling the wheel until they are floored with exhaustion. They make it up eventually, but they get the feeling that they travelled a very long way. The azers are upstairs basically waiting for them, and they travel down, one by one. Fith has to crawl off the platform first, in sheer exhaustion.
The azers have a bit of trouble with the lift mechanism too, and manage to move up and down within a few hours. After being reunited, the azers do stick to their word and help move the core. They get to the core, and the azer grabs the rod and chain from Fith and stabs it into the core. The chain is mithril, and doesn't hold heat, making it extremely difficult to work with but useful for such a device. The super-hot core is dragged, James grabs some gemstones before leaving, and they head upwards again.
Their exhaustion grows higher. While Fith transformed into a magma crab, lightening the load signicantly, now James was alone in his painful pull up the cave shaft. He makes it to the top, and now is also tasked with sending it back down. His body is in pain, his weak frail wizard body is being tortured with all this work.
The azer does most of the work bringing the ball and chain back up, the chain attached to the heat core by a rod. They drag the device out, and the azer , when he reaches the cold exterior says his goodbyes and leaves the party to it.
They gra the lizards to both pull it to the ship and attach it by an even longer chain to the bottom of the ship, and they fly to the tower. It's a bit trecherous, this core is so hot that as they drag it out it's melting the stone it touches and threatening to sink into the ground, leaving a trail of molten rock. The snow doesn't stand a chance, vanishing within 80ft, and water within 50.
They drop it into the top of the tower with Archibald's assistance, and they land. Shortly after, the dome vanishes with a pop, and is slowly rebuilt from the ground up. Well releatively slowly, it only takes a little while. However a few minutes later, hurricane force winds roar over the land, knocking over the party and causing the lizards to cut loose the ship's air balloons. The wind pushes and swirls, the mad change in atmospheres and systems pushing them around as victims to the larger forces.
James collects the Lizardmen sailors who run the ship and told them that thistle is in the tower and that they just saved the dome from invasion, attack, death, etc. He then fires them all and says they're free to go. THey look at each other nervously, they all signed up for adventure so no-one has any intention of leaving.
They do however explore the tower, James leading them through the history of the tower, of Venet, of the thistle. The magic is gone but they still greatly revere and respect the man.
Archibald opens up his store of magical items for the party to partake in, and they take a few choice items. Archibald also proposes to make a few, but not too many. A powerful want, a gem, and some other junk.. so he calls it.
They leave the tower and head out to try and see if they can fly out of the dome yet. Unfortunately they need to make some modifications to the airship to be suitable for long term flights, where they will spend weeks flying around instead of a day at most. The lizards give the party a list of items to go get to help with repairs.
So the party heads to domea to try and aquire them. On the way they have an adventure - Fith transforms James into an Albatross and gives him the experience of flying around as a bird. James eats a fish, flies around, and generally has a good time. Luckily he was smart enough to remember that the transform was temporary. If he transformed back, say, 700 feet in the air, the consequences may have been deadly. He transforms back safely on the side of a river, and they head to domea.
The discussion on magic and reality took a turn to silence as the forest reveals its own view. The leaves turn and brush against each other in the breeze, the birds sing, and the beauty experienced is a mere shell for the desperate struggle for life and death that all these life forms experience daily.
The two adventurers head to Domea. The village welcomes them, and they also meet an old friend. Tim. Tim from the bunker. His weird shaped head gives him away and it turns out he's been adventuring in his spare time. He boasts, in his weird dialect, that he has altered slightly his food generating powers to do things like create sausages in the knees of monsters and hot soup in their lungs.
A meeting with mirabella is made to facilitate the collection of this quantity of goods. There are a lot of items, lots of logs, cloth, leather, and various tars and components. Mirabella thanks them for solving the dome problem and protecting domea, and signs a letter for Theodore in the market to read.
They head to Theodore - and he is initially dismissive. He stands in the centre of the market with a pair of primitive glasses holding a book, walking around and inspecting the various market stalls, while the stall owner looks nervously on. The party stop him in his tracks and deliver him the letter. He opens the wax seal, reads the contents, and suddenly becomes really cooperative and helpful, saying he'll have the goods shortly. Except the cloth, there just isn't that much cloth and leather in the town, so they may try and trade with the minotaurs. They just happen to be arriving the next day, which is such a coincidence. They trade every few days so it turns out not to be, however.
The two drink and catch up with Tim, he introduces himself to James and shares the stories of his food magic. Fith says a glorious speech about demons and their power and the tradgedy of such unnatural forces. Demons and gods are not the same, James argues. But effectively there may not be such a difference, except in their outlook on the lesser beings roaming this mortal plane.
James tries to teach 200 years of science over some beers. The idea that air is a fluid and exists, and that gravity is an actual force are not well received.
James finds a jeweller who was out of work. James drops a sack of uncut gems on his table and asks them to be ground or cut. Several thousand gold worth of gems would be the end result, and the jeweller happily does it for a solid cut, becoming the richest person in domea.
The minotaurs arrive the next day. They bring goods from the forest; furs, skins, berries, wood, and some trinkets magically grown. Goods and currency are exchanged. The party goes with the minotaur back to the forest.
Fith is horrified at the transformation. Some of the minotaurs are wearing clothes. Dyed with colors! Such unnatural abominations. some of the huts are no longer huts but are actually houses! There are panes of glass! Such depravity strikes at the soul of Fith. He argues with James about the ideas of progress vs Nature, What is nature without progress, and what is progress without nature? But they destroy each other.
Fith gets even more disturbed when he learns that someone is planning to build a road through the forest. A road! Madness. Depravity, such sacrilege. Lucky for Fith, it requires a unanimous vote in the council, and so Fith goes around lobbying everyone to vote nay. Sapling defends his position, he walks out of the largest house, glass windows, actual doors, in clothing. Actual clothing. He's barely covered in dirt and flowers at all. An absolute disgrace. Sapling still respects nature, but he views progress a way of enhancing and preserving nature. Instead of having the forest trampled through by beasts of burden, a special area could be cleared for wheeled vehicles. Trade cards could use the road and not damage the nature they would otherwise have to travel through.
The arguments don't work, and Fith is convinced it is a bad idea. After trying to wake up sleepbark, the resident Treant, unsuccessfully, the party leaves the forest again.