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February 17, 2003

Excerpts From the Journal of the Witch Lord

Adventures, DM's Notes & Maps

Coldeven 27, 592 CY

The others have moved the timeframe up again. Damn them all to the Nine Hells! How do they expect me to keep up with their demands? I will have to conscript more workers for the mines. Fortunately, there is a tribe of kobolds that just recently moved into the area. Durll says he is looking for weaknesses in the defenses of Mordorzack. The dwarves there will serve nicely as will their mines.

Planting 9, 592 CY

Durll has returned. He has found the entrance to Arun-tosa, the fabled Lost City of the Dead. He swears that the Heart is there. With its power I will wrest power from Kragas. I need to learn patience— it wouldn’t do to move too quickly lest the others discover my plans. I still don’t entirely trust the gray dwarf, but he has proven useful.

Planting 16, 592 CY

My minions continue to bring me ore from the mines. It is amazing how easy these simple creatures are to control. However, production is still behind. If I am to meet my quota we will need more slaves for the mine. The residents of Bissel should prove useful in the future. I will attend to that matter after my ascension.

Planting 20, 592 CY

At last my phylactery is nearly complete. Tonight I will be prepared to complete the final ritual. Once the ritual is finished, nothing will stop me from reaching Arun-tosa. I will need to thank Belial for his assistance once this is over.

Posted by Hugh at 10:25 | Adventures, DM’s Notes & Maps

So I Healed Them...

Korin's Journal

So there I was, doing what I was told.

Hmm.... It is cold. I will start a fire to warm everyone up. I wonder what they are doing, maybe they need my help. Well that was the last of the fire wood.
I wonder how furniture burns?

Where is my pry bar? I remember once when I was a kid when I was swimming in the old fishin’ hole. Ahh, good times, good times.

Claw or hand, ahhh, bad thing. “I didn’t touch it,” “I did’t do it.” Hey, I know him. It is Rondal, “Hey Rondal that looks like it hurts, what happended?”

Then I wake up, they say Rondal is dead, I hope the others made it out ok. I feel weak for some reason. Why does Fafnir keep staring at me? I bet Ghelt saved me. It sure is nice having Ghelt around. I will tie a rope from me to Ghelt, hmm... yea, to keep her safe. We take a break, oh the boredom. I think Fafnir is angry with me. Well, Ghelt doesn’t look happy either.

Yes, we are moving. I will stay in the back with my bow, to stay safe for a little bit. Well, not a real well, water. Trap is going to open a door, he still looks burnt from the last thing he opened. “I will help him.” When Trap opened the door, I saw a bright light, have to save him, I toss the water on him.

Did I mention that Ghelt taught me to be a healer? “Not too tight,” she says, “it could cut off their circulation.”

I bandage Trap’s leg.

Lots of screaming, should I look in the room they went into? I get another bucket of water, in case Trap needs me again. Trap would be lost without me.

Hey it’s my friends, “Hey Pother!”

Ouch, ouch, ouch. Very weak now, I hide.

Did I mention Fafnir is trying to keep me away from Ghelt? I think he likes her.

Drusilia drags me, by the rope. Doorways hurt, make a mental note to self. Drusilia heals me some, I throw water on her to remind her I am not on a leash, I am tied to Ghelt, ahh, to protect her. Yea to protect her.

Ghelt is angry again, I bandage Trap’s other leg. He gets hurt a lot. I hope Ghelt’s not angry that I not help kill my friends.

Modge, I name it Modge.

Where is that pry bar? Oh........so sad. Bodies need burried. Ghelt and me take care of the poor person and what is left of my friends. We go free others now. My pack feels heavy. Drusilia gave me an ugly ring, told me it will be magical. I think she got hit in the head by one of the Orcs or something. I take it to make her happy. I offer her my magic dagger, hmm, she not want it. Must have been hit in the head. I know I put bandage on it. Ouch, Ghelt slapped me. Ohh, we don’t bandage friends’ heads unless she tells me. Ok,... I guess she knows what she is talking about.

Oh no, we are camping again. Ghelt told me to stay right here, so I will stay right... hey I wonder what’s over there?

Posted by Jim at 11:32 | Korin’s Journal

New Toy

Trap's Journal

I got a new toy today. We started off with a big fight, I was busy looking for something and missed all the fun, but I found a cool book. It went boom when I opened it. I wasn’t hurt though. We decided to sleep for a day, and then finished searching the top floor. One door hit me with lightening, so I knew there had to be something in there, but all I saw was trash. After searching through the room I found this short sword with a symbol of Pelor on it. The ground floor was empty, so we went to the basement. In one room, we found 2 undead things. I raised my new toy, and yelled, “Die Fiend!” and attacked. Others came in after to help fight the things. The sword did lots of damage, I like it.

We then found a scepter, got Mule, and went back to the slaves to free them. Ghelt threw the bands in the lake. We’re spending the night here. Then it’s off to the Heart of Nerull.

Posted by Fred at 17:42 | Trap’s Journal

Face Off

Drusilia's Journal

Earthday, Planting 27, 592 CY

While we were fighting the undead downstairs, Trap had actually found something quite valuable— the Journal of the Witch Lord. Reading that provided us with valuable clues about our adversary, who, oddly enough, was also working with the same duergar Durll that the last crazy undead we’d encountered were mixed up with. And apparently, we had arrived just days after the Witch Lord had decided to become a Lich Lord, to help him in his quest for the Heart of Nerull.

As those of us upstairs (Fafnir, Trap, Ghelt and I) discussed this, we heard Korin, still downstairs, screaming “I didn’t touch it!” We all ran back downstairs, in time to see him being clawed at by an elven wight. I had no more divine power for the day, so we had to fight the undead with our weapons. By the time we dispatched the creature, Korin looked to be near death himself— he was so weak, and looked somewhat desiccated. We gave him what healing we could, and opted to wall ourselves into an upstairs room for a full 24 hours in the hopes that we could pull him through this crisis. Apparently, the wight took him by surprise while he was not-so-quietly destroying wooden furniture to make a fire (for warmth). Worse still, this was one of the three elves he had traveled to this region with.

Perhaps the most amazing thing is that Korin survived longer than an elven warrior did. I think it has unhinged his mind though.

After a full day’s rest, we began to somewhat-more-methodically search the rest of the tower, starting with the rest of the top floor. The first room-sized closet was full of old clothes and finery long past wearability. There was another closet across from the clothes closet. Unfortunately, we weren’t all standing far enough back from Trap when he mis-disarmed its trapped lock. A bolt of energy surged out of it, passing through Trap and hitting Ghelt and I before hitting a metal ladder behind us. Painful though this was, a closer inspection of what looked like refuse in the closet yielding a wondrous find: a finely wrought short sword with the symbol of Pelor etched into its blade. Now, I realize logic would dictate that a follower of Pelor carry the blade, but Trap fell in love with it instantly. If Pelor gains another follower, even in this most unorthodox method, then it is worth it to me that Trap wields it. We also managed to find some enchanted arrows and a dagger, all of which were quickly snapped up by the other party members. Going down to the next level we found more miscellaneous “loot” as Fafnir calls it— including some gold and a dagger with a serpentine hilt. It’s not magical, but Fafnir assured Korin it was “special” since he was so taken with it.

At least, we made it to the cellar of the tower. After passing a well (which Korin was very interested in), We opened a door and were bathed in a blue light. Trap walked into the room, an arcane lab, and was confronted with two more undead— one was definitely an elf like the one we’d encountered upstairs, and one looked wrong (even more wrong than undead already do)— he had to keep “straightening” his very loose face, which kept flapping about his skull as he moved. Of course, I didn’t know any of this until Trap pulled out his new sword and engaged them in combat. I quickly followed him in (as did everyone except Korin, who after peeking into the room and recognizing the two in there, went back out to play in the water), and with Pelor’s divine blessing was able to turn the one undead elf into a pile of harmless dust. I wanted to attack the source of the blue light— a crystal suspended in the middle of the room (which Fafnir and I obviously both thought was the phylactery of the Witch Lord). Luckily, Fafnir cast a magic missile at it and it exploded. I was worried at first, because the Witch Lord roared “Freedom!” as soon as the crystal was shattered, but it did him no good. I was able to turn the pathetic creature with Pelor’s wrath, and Trap, Ghelt and Fafnir then slew it outright. In addition to this clearly disturbed, now dead, lich and the pile of former elf wight, we found lots of notes scattered about the lab in the same handwriting as the journal we’d read earlier. We found several rings, a potion of Detect Thoughts, an ash wand and some charred, but still serviceable bracers (one of the few types of armor an arcane magic user can wear). They all radiated magic, but since we had no way to magically identify the items, we are using trial and error. One ring was clearly to help an arcane magic user store additional spells— Fafnir is definitely keeping that one! The wand shoots acid arrows. One ring, forged of iron, seems to offer protection magic— I suggested that Korin wear it as he seems somewhat accident prone. Fafnir decided the one of the other rings had something to do with jumping. We all went to the top of the tower to confirm his suspicions. Thankfully, Ghelt was able to catch Fafnir on his 38’ decent and he came screaming back down from his test jump. We notice while we were up on top of the tower that all the undead orcs were now simply dead orcs.

Returning one last time to the downstairs, where a few rooms where left unexplored, we found a lot of unpleasant things. One room contained a horrible surprise that sent Trap screaming through the cellar— some metal tables and sharp instruments, and what I suspect to be the remains of a skinned elf— probably the third from the party Korin had traveled with (and the source of the loose skin that the lich was wearing). Another room contained an altar with unknown but demonic-looking markings on it— and a silver scepter topped by a star ruby. This is what would free the slaves! Ghelt took care of the remains of Korin’s previous party, Trap went and retrieved The Mule (thankfully still waiting for us, though thirsty) and we hiked back to the mines. The scepter, thankfully, worked by touching it to each of the slaves’ collars.

Since most of these slaves were captured in or around these mountains, I’m hoping there is someone among them that could provide us with a guide or a better set of instructions to where we are headed— I now suspect time is of the essence.

Posted by Kristin at 17:51 | Drusilia’s Journal

Metamagic Feats

~PC Creation & House Rules~

As per the “House Rules” article by Andy Collins in Dragon #305, page 16, metamagic feats can be used “on the fly” without extended casting time or preparation. The feat can be used one time daily. These spells use up the same level slot they would have if they had been cast normally, though the spellcaster is limited to using spells of a maximum level equal to the highest level spell that the caster can cast minus the spell difference given in the feat’s description. The Heighten Spell feat is treated differently— it can be used to maximize the spell to the highest level spell the spellcaster can cast.

Posted by Hugh at 19:25 | ~PC Creation & House Rules~