Session 09Posted: October 4, 2012
Session 09 (10.3.2012)
Kreglar (priest): Dave M.
Marlowe (elf): Stef
Abothon(sp?)(hobbit): Mike C.
(P)tarth (wizard): Kevin
Zordinaire (wizard): Dave P. (absent)
Almuric (thief): Reuben (absent)
Pablo Van Ott (Wizard): Mike D. (absent)
To start with, we had to name our group, so, given the dysfunctional nature of our group and our decided lack of heroism, calling ourselves “The Stormblades” or “The Heroes of Hirot” or a similar high falutin’ name seemed a stretch. We finally settled on the name, “Kharma’s Bitch” for all of the wrong reasons, but we are a company of men (and elves and a hobbit) who seem to live in the moment and all the shit we pull is bound to catch up to us eventually, so…
Having settled that matter, Ptarth (the P is silent!) began to bitch bitch bitch about the lack of treasure. Kreglar snuck off to the city to ‘see a friend’ with a mysterious bundle and came back with his pockets jingling with coin… certain treasures once seen in the Jarl’s hall and promised to the group as a reward are missing… finally, Marlowe suggested we load all of the wagon wheels, clay pots, sheepskins, jars of gooseberry jelly and other miscellaneous items we had been given by the inbred villagers for saving their miserable hides and we hauled it all off to the city in one of the former Jarl’s oxcarts and sold it. After paying the teamster rates for hauling all this shit, we realized the princely sum of 5 gps each. Yeah, our group name fits.
We were also all interviewed by the adventurer’s guild. I don’t know what others said, but Marlowe gave his guild representative a pointed earful on the woeful margins that adventurers were expected to work on these days. “Lives lost, wear and tear on equipment, stamina points permanently removed from injury, risk of corruption from spell casting, fumbling and being subjected to critical hits and zombification… all for 5 gold? That’s not like adventuring in my grandfather’s day, when one could expect fistfuls of gold for killing kobolds and giant rats. And five gold doesn’t even begin to cover our expendables (rope, spikes, torches and arrows). And now our hobbit has only one ear!?! It is outrageous I tell you — I’m ready to chuck it all and go into the chicken and egg business…” The guild representative yawned and shuffled his papers and thanked Marlowe for coming in.
Ptarth cast ‘Find Familiar’ and proudly shows off his new friend, an imp named Ganebon. In exchange for serving, Ganebon gets to keep Ptarth’s soul when Ptarth dies. I’m not sure Ptarth has a soul, so Ganebon is probably getting the worst of that deal.
Kreglar moved into the now vacant chapel of Justicia and hung a large “UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT” banner above the door but hasn’t quite decided to best approach for PR in selling an ancient uncaring tentacled god who drives his followers insane to a bunch of dirt farmers. Seeing how shitty their lives were when they worshipped the ‘Goddess of Justice,’ I’m thinking that a temple of Cthulhu in Hirot is so crazy it just might work. In addition to meditating and counting his gold like Scrooge McDuck, Kreglar spends time considering recruitment arguments like, “Justicia claimed to care and did nothing when the hound attacked your village. Cthulhu won’t care what happens to you, so he is the more honest alternative…”
Marlowe (me) cast ‘Patron Bond’ and came up with the result, “Useful Pawn.” If I understand correctly, this is the most mediocre result I could have gotten — better than corruption, I guess. My patron, Elrond Hubbard, Elven God of Self Actualization, considers me a tool, nothing more. At least I can cast Invoke Patron now, although, given my mediocre result, my patron is likely to resent me bothering him. Also, since I gained a level, I gained a new spell. Rolling randomly gave me “chill touch.”
Wedding bells were also in the air. Dressing in his hobbit best and putting his hat at a rakish tilt to disguise the fact that he was missing an ear, Abothon went to the old hag Emay’s house to fulfill his promise to marry her. She appeared at the door, looking sixty years younger and fresh as a daisy, her arms around a vaguely man-shaped cloud of dark energy with flashes of fire where its eyes should have been. She kissed Abathon on the forehead and then she and her ‘thunder-man’ vanished into the ether, leaving the hobbit’s heart broken and his cherry unplucked. Under his shirt, however, Abothon found a magnificent coat of lightweight magical chainmail — a parting gift from his two-timing fiancé. Inconsolable, he retreated to the inn where he blubbered into his beer on the stool next to the Lore the bard.
Kreglar has a shield that will allow him to intimidate enemies. Marlowe has a helmet that will allow him to intimidate enemies. They agree to have an intimidation contest which Marlowe wins.
Finally it’s time for us to go on our next adventure. I don’t remember what it is or why, but we travel to another shitty little one-horse town named ‘Hamlet’ where they apparently have rumors of trouble with ‘beast men.’ And it’s no wonder, because they always build their shitty little towns right next to a long abandoned castle where evil people once plotted and planned. Of all the places in the world to build a town, why do they always pick ‘right next to the ancient haunted ruins’? Darwinism means these villagers should have been wiped out eons ago; perhaps by saving them, we are just enabling them. Is that what we are? Enablers? While grilling the villagers, we discover:
· Look for treasure in the keep’s remaining tower.
· The keep was once ruled by a pair of Chaos Lords who were brothers.
· A great treasure vault can be found beneath the keep!
· Beware of the well!
· Nothing good can come of disturbing the ruins; you will release the horror under the hill!
· One of the villagers was doing the dishes late one night after her husband had said he was getting ready to go to bed. She heard a noise and went to the bedroom to check on him. He was missing and the curtains were open, so she ran to the window. She saw someone who looked like he was dressed in her husband’s clothes running away, but when she called out to him, he turned and she saw what looked like the face of a tiger instead of her husband’s face.
Finally, after gathering our supplies (Lamp oil? Lamp oil! Ten foot pole? Ten foot pole! A dozen spikes? A dozen spikes!), we are ready. We march up the hill towards the stinking, decrepit keep and can see the broken stone walls covered in vines, brambles and rubble, a dry moat with a broken bridge, a half raised portcullis, etc. A black flag marked with a red skull flaps from the battlements. The whole place smells like mildew.
Nearing the ruin, we see three human bodies bound to stakes by vines. As we draw closer, they start to thrash around and we can see that the vines are growing into and out of their eyes, ears and other orifices… this looks distinctly unhealthy and uncomfortable and Marlowe declares that if vines were growing into and out of MY body, I would want someone to put me out of my misery. After the zombie-ghouls with the snake surprise inside, we decide to take care of this problem from a distance. Fwip fwap fwap go some arrows and one of the plant-people is mostly skewered. We shoot him once more and he explodes, spraying seeds and a mucus like slime all over the place. Yuck.
There are two of the vine-zombies coming at us, moaning and shuddering. A sleep spell has no effect, so Zordinar attepts to enlarge Marlowe, but blows the spell and, as a side effect, rats scurry out of his sleeve. Marlowe manages to spear one, but she rips her way free and slaps him to zero hit points with her vine encrusted hands. Kreglar uses some sort of spell to hold the zombies in place for a moment and the rest of the party manages to hack them down and save Marlowe’s life, but half the party are covered in ‘pumpkin guts,’ some of us are all hacked up and some of us are out of spells, so, over the objections of Ptarth, we returned to town for a night’s rest, baths, a wash-up and some healing.
The next morning we were back at the ancient keep. The drawbridge has just a few rotted planks remaining. Looking at the battlements, the hobbit claims that he sees something peeking at us from behind a merlon up there. Zordinaire tossed a sleep spell up onto the battlements and suddenly this creature, snoring, tumbles over the battlements and falls through the bridge, taking ½ of the planks away, and then lands snoring in the ditch. It is asleep under some vines and broken boards so we can’t get a very good look at it, but our general impression is that it looks like a mongrel-person of some sort. Almost immediately we hear a yelp and a snarl from upon the battlements, a ringing bell and there is a mechanical noise and the portcullis slams down. Then a creature lopes along the parapet towards the tower. With the expending of some luck and by some face-planting into the site of the ditch by Zordinar later, we are across what remains of the drawbridge. Kreglar strains to lift the portcullis but cannot, so Ptarth sends his familiar, Ganebon, flapping up to the battlements with instructions to raise the portcullis if he can do so without risk to himself. Ganeborn returns and says that there is a crank wheel of some sort up there, but he is too small to turn it.
Having cast spider climb upon himself to cross the bridge, Pablo Von Ott scuttles up onto the battlements, cranks the wheel to raise the grate and then tears down the black flag with a skull and tosses it to Kreglar.
We are past the gate and we have taken the flag — what next?