» Greyhawk Calendar / Campaign Timeline     » Amassed Loot     » Monster Roster     » Current Party Stats    

January 1, 2003

Angulus Ridet

Drusilia's Journal

Godsday, Planting 11, 592 CY

It took us a while to figure out how to get Gildean’s weakened party out of the crevasse, but with rope and a lot of effort on Ghelt’s part, we hauled them out. Using Valon’s tent as a makeshift sledge, we pulled them along the forest trail, picked up Gildean (who thankfully, hadn’t met with more disaster while we extricated his friends), and returned to Smallville. We took Gildean’s party to the Rat’s Egg Tavern (where the tavern keeper informed Trap that his services were no longer required), and dispatched a human lad, young Hastings, to go ask the local druids to help speed the healing of our rescues. Ghelt’s father was obviously very proud of seeing her handmade symbol of Moradin she wore, but she is now wearing a beautifully crafted holy symbol that once belonged to her mother.

Thinking all was well, I’d no sooner decided to go home to get some rest, when I was approached by Widow McGillis, a kindly old woman who lives on the outskirts of town. She was certain that her attic was haunted by evil spirits and asked me to please come to her home and cast the evil out. I immediately agreed, and asked Ghelt (as I am no longer the only cleric in Smallville!) if she’d like to accompany me. My other comrades, still full of eagerness from our adventures of the past few days, decided to come along as well. In fact, I don’t believe we could have kept Trap away if we’d begged....

Upon arriving at Widow McGillis’ home, we could hear the unmistakable sounds of skittering and banging in the attic. Before I could formulate a plan however, I had to get Trap down off the ladder to her attic door so I could take a look. I pushed open the attic trap door and in the dim light could make out the vague forms of winged multi-legged vermin—stirges! I asked Trap to take the old woman outside while the rest of us cleared out the creatures. A few would drop through the attic door at a time, and we took great pains to not be injured nor damage any of the woman’s meager furnishings. Suddenly though, from near the entrance, an arrow flew through the room, lodging in the back end of Fafnir. Trap had returned to the inside of the 20’ by 20’ home, with the idea that shooting the flying creatures we engaged in melee would be helpful. Fafnir was not amused! I did request several times that Trap wait outside with Widow McGillis, but he wouldn’t be convinced. Ironically, other than the injury inflicted by a party member, the only other injuries were to Trap, who was attacked by several stirges on the same shoulder that had been hit by the piercer earlier. Pelor forgive us, but having the stirges sticking out of Trap did make them easier to kill. Once we had completed the task, I asked Fafnir to go up to the attic and plug whatever hole there was that allowed the vermin in to begin with. We cleaned up the stirge bodies and allowed the old woman back into her home, now “evil” free.

Apparently, one final task had to be accomplished before resting: divvying up the “loot.” Trap saved us the time it would have taken to identify the ash stick we found— the now rainbow-colored halfling is pretty sure it’s a wand of Colorspray. He couldn’t figure out what the grey cloak we found does. It is magical, but only fits elves (and presumably, humans). I took some of my share of the money found and bought a composite shortbow. If we are going on another adventure, I want to be better prepared for combat!

Posted by Kristin at 19:48 | Drusilia’s Journal

January 5, 2003

Fafnir's Journal Entry 6 - Home at last!

Fafnir's Journal

I am happy to say that I am writing this journal from the comfort of my own front porch. In other words, we made it back alive!

We didn’t run into much trouble getting everyone out of the crevasse, and Gildean was still there when we got back to him. After we gathered everyone together, we managed to drag the weakened people back to town on Valon’s tent. (It was probably a pretty funny sight, but it got the job done!)

After arriving in town, we immediately went to the Rat’s Egg and arranged food and lodging for the group we had rescued. A local boy was sent to fetch the druids who live on the outskirts of town, so that they could attempt to heal Gildean’s group. (Drusilia and Ghelt had both used up all of their healing abilities for the day.)

When everything was taken care of, we sat down for some food and relaxation, but it wasn’t meant to be. Drusilia came over and told us that she had been asked to remove some evil spirits that were haunting widow McGillis’s house, and that she was going to go check it out. Since I was ready to head home anyway, I volunteered to go along. Next thing you know, we were all going (including Trap, who had a room at the Inn — a room which he now has to pay for since he lost his job!!!)

Well, we arrived at Mrs. McGillis house to find that the ‘evil spirits’ were actually stirges. As we engaged them in melee combat, we asked Trap to take Mrs. McGillis outside and close the door behind him. He apparently misunderstood...

Instead of waiting outside, Trap decided to start shooting arrows into the melee!!! It was a 20’ x 20’ room, not an archery range! This had no effect on the stirges, but I am sorry to say that one of his arrows did hit me in the backside! Its a good thing I was out of spells, or he would have found himself in a MOST unpleasant situation.

As it was, the stirges decided that Trap looked like a tempting target (probably because he was waving only his bow around, instead of his sword!), and several of them latched on to him. Ironically, this let us kill them easier, and they were soon dispatched.

After cleaning up the house, we patched the hole the stirges had entered through, and Lady McGillis happily returned home. The rest of us then turned in for the night.

The next day, we divvied up the treasure we had found. We all got a goodly amount of gold, and also some items. I took possession of both a wand and two scrolls which we had found. I was making some progress identifying the wand, when Trap showed up, and offered to help. He assured me he was very good with magic devices, so I decided to let him have a try. (At the least, I figured it would be good for a laugh).

It turned out even better than I expected. Trap did indeed ‘activate’ the wand (of color spray, it turns out)... but not how he had hoped. Instead of spraying a wave of color in front of him, he sprayed himself, and is now a ‘multi-colored’ halfing! :) I hope it doesn’t wear off too soon!

~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~
Planting 13, 592 CY

Posted by Dave at 02:11 | Fafnir’s Journal

Fafnir's Journal Entry 7 - Still in Town

Fafnir's Journal

The remainder of our time in town has been quite ordinary. I did buy myself a crossbow and some bolts, and have also managed to get some time in the lab. I made some ‘powdered water,’ and brewed a number of potions to help us in our travels. (or at the very least to be sold/traded some time in the future).

We have now been in town about 10 days, and I (along with the rest of the party, I suspect) am getting restless to move on. After all, we still need to find a way to destroy the evil wand we found, and also there is that map leading to the ‘Heart of Nerull.”

It looks like we may be gone for a while.... I will need to remember to pay the Jenkins boy feed to the chickens and tend to the garden while I am gone. As for now, I am going to get a good night’s rest, in my own bed.... we’ll be back on the road (and sleeping on the ground) soon enough.

~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~
Planting 19, 592 CY

Posted by Dave at 02:15 | Fafnir’s Journal

Moonday, 10 Planting (Continued)

Valon's Journal

...We managed to get out of the ravine pretty easiliy, though the getting the weakest out was a little trouble. We found the person that Ghelt was so insistant on returning to. I understand why, as he was in the same shape as the rest of his company. We used my tent to make a sort of sled to return them to town with.

The return to town (a place called Smallville, and small it is) was uneventful, but once in town Drusilia was called upon to help an old widow who was terrified of “Evil Spirits” in her home.

I am completely convinced that Trap had taken some kind of STUPID pills before we collected ourselves to help the widow.

The Widows house was infested by stirges, not evil spirits. Drusilia instructed Trap to accompany the widow outside and keep her safe. Trap decided to go take the widow outside and come back inside to “help” (spelled H-I-N-D-E-R) the party. As we fought the stirges Trap managed to only shoot (yes SHOOT, with a bow, INDOORS) Fafnir in the rear and stab himself, though the stirges seemed to have quite a taste for him.

After cleaning up the 20’x20’ house, We returned to our homes (and inn) for rest.

Posted by Tim at 11:38 | Valon’s Journal

January 7, 2003

This Is Going to Be Fun....

Trap's Journal

Well, we’re stopping for lunch now, and what an eventful day. We set out yesterday, the five of us, and close to evening, we came across a farmhouse. I’m thinking great, we’ll have a place to stay tonight. That was not to be, it was ransacked, and by the looks of things, done recently. There was a trail leading out into the woods, and I wanted to go right away, I was getting bored. The party, however, decided to stay and rest outside. Go figure.

The next morning we followed the trail. It lead us up the mountains, and into a cave that had a pile of skulls in front of it. We entered, but in the low light, I was unable to locate the alarm and it went off. Their was a huge fight, I got to kill some goblins and there was a ogre or something that was first to die.

Afterwards, we looted everything, and now we’re eating lunch and going off to where we originally planned to go. This is going to be fun.

Posted by Fred at 16:55 | Trap’s Journal

Four Feather's Bio

Four Feather's Journal XPCs

Four Feather was born into a normal Wood Elf family of rangers, living an unremarkable life until the summer of her 68th year. In that fateful year her family and home were taken from her by an Orc uprising. Four Feather and her uncle Silver Hawk were the only survivors. Her mother gave her life to save her, taking a blade meant to pierce Four Feather’s heart. Her father was the first to die, trying to fend of the Orcish forces, hoping his companions could get back to warn the town. She would be dead if not for the heroic efforts of her uncle who broke down a burning wall to pull her out. Together they fled into the night. When Silver Hawk finally stopped to tend to his niece’s wounds, he nearly fainted from the sight.

Four Feather’s face was badly scarred from the flames. For a moment he thought of killing her, so she would not have to live a life with that face, but mercy soon filled his heart. Over the years the two kept themselves secluded, Silver Hawk fashioned a mask to cover the upper part of her face to hide her scars. He taught her of the ranger ways and of right and wrong. He taught her to hide, and fight, to read tracks and find healing plants. For many years things were good.

One day in her 76th year, Silver Hawk’s friend Coho (an Osprey), delivered a message to him. He never told his niece what that message was, only that he had to leave, and if he did not return in two weeks, to head east until she reached the Elven Nation of Celene, and stay there, for he would be dead.

After two weeks when he hadn’t returned, she knew what to do. She gathered up her belongings and went looking for her uncle, or those who killed him.

Cause of death: should have played dead, but stabbed upwards at an orc standing over her fallen body in battle.

Posted by Jim at 20:16 | Four Feather’s Journal | XPCs

January 8, 2003

A Fascicle of Fafnirs

Drusilia's Journal

Freeday, Planting 21, 592 CY

We have had 10 fairly restful days. Ghelt spent some time instructing Trap on some of the finer points of combat (but not necessarily getting him to know when to enter combat…), Fafnir’s house had smoke and the sounds of nervous chickens wafting from it (but he apparently produced some handy potions during his stay) and Valon has been wowing the locals with his bardic lore and songs. I’ve handled what few clerical duties were needed of me— mostly helping the locals with bumps and bruises, and answering one somewhat urgent sounding request for an “exorcism” which, once I found out the request led me to Fafnir’s house, I realized wasn’t necessary. We’ve met a few times at the Rat’s Egg Tavern to look over our cryptic map, and have a good idea at least of which direction to head in.

The morning of the 20th arrived and we were ready to depart. As we discussed how much our supplies would weigh, we realized a pack animal of some sort was needed. We acquired a mule (or “The Mule” as Fafnir calls it) and enough food for a several-week journey. Our map looks to be taking us 100 miles, mostly through the Barrier Peaks.

The journey to the foothills near the peaks was uneventful, and as the sun was near to setting we came to a small farmhouse and barn. Thinking to ask to use the barn to pass the night in, we walked to the front door of the farmhouse to get the owner’s permission. The door was ajar, and we could see the furniture in disarray inside, as well as patches of sticky redness on the floors. A quick search of the house and barn turned up no one alive. Not knowing much of the local flora and fauna prompted us to vote on looking for the owner immediately or when the sun rose. We ended up spending the night under a tree about 100 yards from the barn.

The night went quietly, and soon after dawn we had a quick meal of rations and then found a very obvious trail through the trampled plant-life heading in a westerly direction. We had Trap scout ahead of us, all the while keeping a lookout for what made the trail. The footprints were of two sizes: really, really big and slightly smaller than our own. Clearly something (or someone) had been dragged along the trail, and the creatures who left the prints were either too confident or too stupid to cover them.

After a long hike, we eventually came to a cave entrance. Sneaking in, we walked single-file, quietly, until -thud!- Trap tripped over a tripwire, sending something clanging in the distant tunnels. We quickly hauled ourselves back out into the sunlight, and waited. After what seemed like an eternity we were rewarded with the appearance of a goblin archer, which we quickly dispatched. We entered the cave again, more carefully this time, and made it to a large intersection in the tunnels, where we met up with half a dozen goblins and an ogre! Valon attempted to tumble past the ogre so Ghelt and the rest of us could get into the open area to fight, and was knocked down. Lying there, clearly stunned, he started to sing a rousing battle song. I blessed the party as Ghelt waded into combat, and was eventually able to get a shot in at the ogre with my bow. As luck would have it, the ogre had the help of a goblin cleric and began to get up again. So Fafnir finished off the goblin cleric with a nice fiery spell, and then fried the ogre. Things seemed to be getting better, when we noticed that Valon had ceased his song. By now, he was being dragged back through the ranks of goblins. How would I get to him in time? Luckily, Ghelt’s tutoring of Trap paid off well, and he was able to pick off most of the goblins so I could pass and get to Valon before he disappeared down a tunnel. Since I had my new bow out rather than my sword, I had to act fast, so I kicked the goblin dragging him. I kicked him hard. I kicked him in such a fashion that he (for it was now apparently that he was a he) doubled over, squeaked, and passed out. Some quick healing to Valon brought our fighting ability back up to full, and off we chased after Ghelt and Fafnir, while Trap picked off the remaining goblins.

As we came around the corner things got confusing. In addition to a large group of goblins, there was an equal number of Fafnirs, all standing around looking identical. I tried to heal a few more of my comrades while they took out the remaining goblins, and poor Valon shot an arrow through the combat, attempting to hit a goblin. He hit a Fafnir. And of all the Fafnirs in the room, he managed to hit the real one. In the same spot the poor gnome had been hit by Trap just 10 days ago. Luckily, Fafnir doesn’t seem to hold grudges.

After the dust settled and all the goblins were dead, we explored the rest of the (rather stinky) chambers of the cave. One had a pit full of very dead and decayed things (in which I fear the farmer we’d looked for the night before had ended up), a filthy bedchamber, and a small storage room filled with somewhat cleaner “treasure.” As Trap opened the door to this room of treasure, a hail of needles shot out of a trap at him. Not to be dissuaded, he ignored them and looked around in the room. We found an iron box. Trap attempted to open it, but his lock pick broke in the lock. I used a minor spell to mend his pick and he tried again, but the lock was jammed. I attempted to shatter the lock, but with no success. So, he pried the hinges off the back of the box. Success! However, he hadn’t accounted for the poison gas trap on the box, and since the rest of us always run when he “disarms” a trap, he got the full dose of the poison. As usual, the halfling cheerfully shook of the nausea and riffled through the box, finding various gold and gems, and (oops!) a shattered vial.

We are gathering up The Mule and some odds and ends and continuing on our quest. I can’t help but feel someone is watching us... though with all the commotion we cause, that would hardly be surprising.

Posted by Kristin at 10:58 | Drusilia’s Journal

While in Town

Ghelt's Journal

Dearest Grun,

I got home and sent my first note right off — and now I’m starting another letter-journal. Hard to believe the first one was only three days’ worth!

We managed to pull everyone out of the hole in the ground, eventually — Drusilia being last; she heard something move, but we were so sick and tired we went on.

Valon, luckily, had a tent we could put to use, as the three we’d rescued couldn’t even walk on their own. We dragged them through the woods, back to the poor lonely cleric, piled him onto the tent, and headed back to town. You can imagine what a stir we caused!

Everyone at the bar helped us put the four to bed upstairs, and I paid for them to be fed and sheltered for a couple of weeks. They are very eager to get on with their travels, but it will take a little while for the poison to wear off. I hadn’t noticed Trap was missing until we came back downstairs and discovered the innkeeper in the middle of firing him — by kicking him out the front door with some choice words! The impudent one immediately dusted himself off and came back in as a paying customer.. chuckle..

Of course, my father and brother were there too, so we sat down and I told them all about where we’d been and what we’d done. Father, of course, pointed out that he’d been a little worried — I felt bad, but we really hadn’t planned to be gone for so long! The axe wowed everyone, but the holy symbol I’d made got his attention, too. Seeing me heal Trap made him get up and ask me to come home for a minute..

Can you imagine my surprise, Grun, when he pulled out a beautiful silver holy symbol, gave it to me, and told me it used to be Mother’s? We both got a little teary! I’m glad he has decided to accept my calling so well, but it made me realize that things at home won’t ever be the same. He went off to the forge for a bit, so I changed clothes and went back to the tavern.

Drusilia asked me to come with her to an old lady’s house — apparently, something had been making noises in her home and she thought a cleric could clear the place of evil — or whatever it was! Somehow, all of us ended up in her little home, listening to something in the attic. Drusilia climbed up and looked while I tapped at the spots I’d heard noise.. and things started flying about!

Trap led the old lady outside for a moment (but he returned), and we went to war with a bunch of stirges. What a small ending to a great adventure! It was funny, though, to see us trying to dispatch a bunch of vermin without destroying the little old lady’s furniture. I was throwing rocks, Drusilia and Valon slashed carefully with their swords, and Trap shot an arrow into Fafnir — poor gnome! Trap got attacked by the creatures, which started sucking his blood. This made for a mess when we bashed the things, of course. Fafnir got to throw daggers at Trap (at least he was hitting the stirges and not Trap, but the thought was there!). Trap stabbed himself a few times, while the rest of us finally killed off the rest of the creatures.

Aftter Fafnir fixed the hole in the attic so no more could enter, and the rest of us cleaned up bodies and blood, and Drusilia loudly blessed the place for the widow’s benefit, we all went home to bed!

With much love;

Posted by Kate at 13:12 | Ghelt’s Journal

Day 1, New Adventure

Ghelt's Journal

Dear Grun,

Well, to continue our tale from Smallville..

We spent a few days in town, settling our account of the treasure we’d found and what some of the objects were for. We made a lot of cash outright! I would have been happy with just my axe but they insisted on dividing the rest up evenly. A good party! There is also a wand of colorspray — at least, poor Trap is currently several colors and Fafnir suspects he didn’t trigger the spell quite right. We can’t figure out what the cloak is for — it fits Valon and Drusilia nicely.. poor Father must think we’re a bit cracked, we kept trying to see if it would make them invisible or do anything special , which started in the kitchen and worked its way out to the warehouse. “Everyone close their eyes! Now, Valon, hide in a shadow somewhere! OK, everyone look for Valon!” ..

I spent some time working in the forge and catching up, and checking on the recovering party in the inn. Valon performed there every night — he’s pretty good! Fafnir learned some spells from the scrolls we’d picked up, which didn’t stop him from making some pictures for everyone to enjoy.. mostly of Trap setting off traps. He’s got it in for him right now. Everyone healed up nicely, and went shopping with their newfound loot! I think Father forgave us when several dropped by with orders for weapons..

I’ve started working with Trap, teaching him some fighting techniques. Either he’ll stop hitting party members by mistake, or kill one of us really well next time!

We decided to follow the map from the ghoul’s room. I have no idea what it leads us to, while others wonder if it has something to do with the Heart of Nerull artifact. Either way, it gives us an excuse to be out on the road — although we still have to destroy that necromancer’s wand, as well. We have a full plate!

Trap is certain that the trip will take only two weeks. It’s actually more like three, but I didn’t have the heart to tell him; he’s been catching so much flack lately! I’m carrying extra food for now and will mention it later..

Of course, we started the trip off by barge. Ugh. At least this time I sat in the middle and held the mule, and nothing happened! We then headed off toward the mountains and travelled all day. As night fell, we approached a farmstead at the base of the hills..

And it was far too quiet. There were big footprints in the yard and, as we approached, we could see the door had been bashed in. At this point the elf suddenly asked us what his stick looked like. I don’t know if he had a moment of lucidity or is slipping further into his own world, to distract us like that!. It didn’t matter, however — there was no one to be found, and no animals in the barn, but terrible bloodstains everywhere, and drag marks toward the mountains.

We realized that the people couldn’t be alive, and so rather than track in the dark, we camped further up the road for the night. The next morning, we followed the tracks into the mountains with Trap scouting ahead. He stopped at a hole in the rock and waved — when we got there it turned out he wanted us to wait. Oops — we need to work on hand signals! There were skulls on stakes outside the doorway, but no one around. We tied the mule outside, and headed into the passageway, but Trap tripped a wire and we heard alarms. We decided to retreat and wait for whatever was in there to come out.. which didn’t happen!

Suddenly, Trap was hit by an arrow — a goblin sniper was above us on the mountainside. Someone shot it — and we charged back down the tunnel! Valon was ahead of me, unfortunately, which meant that the ogre we ran into got a good shot at him first. Down went the elf, singing even as the ogre started dragging him away! Fafnir pegged it with some magic missiles, Drusilia killed it with a well-placed arrow, and we found more goblins at the end of the tunnel. One of them stabbed Valon to make him stop singing, poor guy! I killed one goblin even as another managed to get the ogre back on its feet. Fafnir started a flaming sphere, which he used to kill the goblin from a safer distance, while Drusilia and Trap shot arrows down the hall. We killed everyone but one goblin, which I chased through the room and down another hall. (Drusilia, by the way, proved a real berserker as she charged through battle and kicked a goblin so hard it passed out, just to get to Valon before he could be killed. Go, Drusilia!).

As the next hallway opened out to a room full of goblins, there were suddenly five Fafnirs around me — which was startling to me but quite a distraction for the goblin javelin-throwers! The Fafnirs stunned four of them right off with that new wand of colorspray. I took out the last two, even as Valon showed up and accidentally shot the real Fafnir with an arrow. Not again! His bow broke, too, so Fafnir accepted his apology to some extent.. Trap had been watching our rear during the battle, and arrived to search out a very smelly bedroom and a locked door. He got the door open, and was hit by needles from above. (It’s a point of pride for him that none of us have been injured by any traps, but I think he’s a little masochistic!). We found casks of wine and a locked box, which Trap tried to open. He got the lock all jammed up instead, so I suggested we just take the hinges off. That worked out OK, but it still had a trap — he opened it to a cloud of gas! We did get some more treasure out of it..

I went and got the mule, and we searched the rest of the place, found the bodies of those the goblins had killed, and made sure the place was cleared out. I dragged the bodies of the goblins out the front door so anyone passing would know it was cleaned out, and we prepared to move on.

Which reminds me, I ought to go back and say a prayer for those poor farmers. It’s all we can do for them, now.

Hope all’s well at home!

Posted by Kate at 13:21 | Ghelt’s Journal

Map to the Heart of Nerull

Adventures, DM's Notes & Maps

Copyright 2003 by Hugh and Kristin Johnson

Judging by the layout of the map, the party is assuming the trip from Smallville (the town with the black dot beside it) to the “Heart” (at the “+”) to be 100 miles northwest. This takes us up past the Realstream and into the Barrier Peaks.

January 12, 2003

Fafnir's Journal Entry 8 - On the Road again

Fafnir's Journal

We are on the road again. After buying supplies, and a mule to carry them (hereafter to be referred to as “The Mule”), we set off north from Smallville, following the map we had found. The day went uneventfully, and as dusk approached, we neared a small farmhouse at the foot of the Barrier Peaks.

Thinking to stay the night with the farmers, we approached the house. Unfortunately, what we found was an empty house, with signs of a slaughter... blood everywhere, and no one to be found in the house or the barn! Upon further investigation, we did find a track of footprints and drag marks leading off into the mountains, and although we wanted to chase off after them immediately, we decided that we should wait until morning, as we were unfamiliar with the forest in this area, and were quite worn out from a long day of travel. All of the indications were that the residents were already dead, anyway. We set up camp near the farmhouse, and awaited the morning.

When morning arrived, we quickly gathered our gear and followed the tracks into the wilderness. Trap led the way, and we soon came to a cave entrance which the trail led directly into. Beside the entrance, there was a pole with a bunch of skulls impaled on it. This had to be the place.

Wasting no time, we proceeded into the cave, single-file. We then proceeded back out of the cave at a faster pace, after Trap set off an alarm! I am not of a “rogue-ish” nature myself, but it seems to me that setting off traps may not be the wisest way of detecting them?! But, I guess he knows his business.

In any case, the only one to follow us out was a goblin archer who began shooting at us from a ledge above the entrance. As everyone has a bow, we made quick work of him! Figuring that the rest of the creatures we were tracking were still waiting in the cave, we went back in with Valon leading the way.

A battle was soon to come... rounding a corner in the passageway, we came upon an Ogre and a half-dozen goblins! Valon was taken down almost immediately, yet he continued to bolster our efforts with his singing, even while laying on the ground fighting unconsciousness. Between my Magic Missiles, Ghelt’s axe, and Drusilia’s arrows, we managed to fell the Ogre quickly and then moved on to the goblins. At one point, a goblin in robes came and muttered some spell over the ogre, and the beast arose again! I am happy to say that the new “Flaming Sphere” spell that I learned in town came in handy to dispatch them both. Ghelt finished off most of the other goblins, except for one that Drusilia handled with a kick to the groin. I must say I felt sorry for the little creature as it let out a shriek and collapsed to the ground... nobody should go out like that!

As all of its companions were now felled, the one remaining gobbo ran off down another passageway, with Ghelt in hot pursuit, and me following behind. (At this point, I decided to use another one of my new tricks... I created 5 ‘Mirror Images’ of myself, to confuse any further enemies we ran into!). As we rounded another corner we were showered in a hail of javelins... thrown by another group of six goblins! Using the wand of color spray that we had found, I managed to disable four of them in a flash! The remaining two were handled by Ghelt, including one who had dropped his weapons, fallen to his knees and was pitifully begging to not be killed! At least his death was quick.... probably all the mercy the foul creature deserved. After ensuring that all of the goblins were indeed dead, we proceed to carefully search the rest of the caves.

We found the pit were the bodies of their unfortunate victims had been thrown, as well as a smelly bedchamber, and a locked door. The bedchamber contained nothing of interest, but Trap was itchin’ to examine the door closer.

Having determined there were no traps on the door, he proceeded to pick the lock, open the door, and get peppered with needles as he set off a needle trap that was rigged to the door!

Not to be discouraged, he proceeded into the room. (with the rest of us standing waaayyy back). “I’ve found an iron chest!” he proudly announced. After ensuring the party that the chest was “trap free,” he went ahead with trying to open it. This proved to be quite a task. A broken lockpick, a “shatter” spell, and a “mending” spell (for the lockpick) later, the box was still locked. After a suggestion from Ghelt, Trap took a different approach (to try and pry open the hinges rather than the lock), and the box was soon opened! Our enthusiasm was cut short though as Trap began coughing uncrontrollably.... once more the victim of gas trap on the box, that he had somehow missed.

Gathering the contents of the box, we prepared to leave the now-empty caves. While the rest of us were stopping for lunch, Ghelt insisted on dragging all of the bodies and stacking them in front of the cave. She said that this was to let people know the caves were “clear,” but I suspect all it will really do is attract a bunch of scavengers... oh well.

Now it looks like all of the bodies have been dragged to their final locations, and everyone else is done eating, so I guess it is time to move on towards the Heart of Nerull.

~= Fafnir Flamebrewer =~
Planting 21, 592 CY

Posted by Dave at 11:42 | Fafnir’s Journal

Waterday, 19 Planting

Valon's Journal

Well, its been several days since I bothered to write anything down.

It is rather dull in this town, I have been performing for the tavern customers, and earning quite a bit for a town like this, not that the money is important, but I need to pay for a room somehow.

The party is setting out tomorrow morning, and while I have been invited, my heart pulls in other directions, too. I enjoy the company of them and wish to stay, but I believe that Corellon Larethian has other plans for me. I shall set out with them, but I am unsure whether or not I will return with them.

Posted by Tim at 12:50 | Valon’s Journal

House Rules for Hugh's Greyhawk Campaign

~PC Creation & House Rules~

This campaign is a plain-vanilla Greyhawk (no spells, feats, Prestige classes, etc. from Forgotten Realms or other “worlds”), and with only races found in the PHB.

Characters can be made with 40 points using the Point Buy method. All characters begin with full hit points and starting money at 1st level. Everyone starts at 1st level, and unless cleared with the DM, originate from the little village of Smallville in Bissel.

Any Evil or Chaotic Neutral characters are not allowed (any characters that behave with these alignments will become NPCs). This is intended to be a “heroic” campaign and the past has shown that these alignments are not conducive to teamwork or heroic adventure.

There will be no more than 5 or 6 PCs at any time. We’ve tried playing with more in the past and it decreases the enjoyment for the DM and players.

Character sheets will be in PCGen format (give your changes to Kristin so she can add them to the DM’s roster).

Occasionally, Hugh will give out something called “Fate Points” for working as a team. A single Fate Point can be used to reroll one die that affects that character only— whether it is a roll made by the player or a roll by an opponent against the character. The new roll counts even if it is worse than the first— that’s the fickleness of Fate after all.

In addition to experience points for game play and attendance, Hugh is also basing experience awards on timely-written journal entries, bios and other things character-related that help evolve the game world and make it easier for him to spend what time he has working on the campaign. A good background will lend itself to plot hooks for the characters.

Players unable to attend a session must make arrangements with Hugh to run your character for that session. A missed session will usually yield 75% experience.

No character or inventory item, etc. is in play unless it has been approved by the DM. This includes characters who have gone up a level since the last time Hugh has okayed a character sheet. Things discussed between characters that effect game play do not happen if the DM is not made aware of them.

Though these aren’t our official rules: http://www.stormkeep.net/house_rules.htm they are very similar and well-detailed—worth a look!

Skill, Spell, Feat, Class changes and additions:

Added Knowledge (Undead) and Knowledge (The Planes) as class skills for cleric.
Added Knowledge (The Planes) as class skill for paladin.

Allow choice of Brew Potion or Scribe Scrolls for wizard’s “automatic” 1st level feat for Alchemist character
Added Craft (Glassmaking) as a skill (from The Book of Eldritch Might)
Added Urban Lore as a skill (from Traps and Treachery)
Added Mechanical Aptitude and Improved Sneak Attack feats (from Traps and Treachery)
Added Invisible Object spell (from Traps and Treachery)
Added Domain Specialization and Profound Faith feats (from The Book of the Righteous)
Added Radiant Servant of Pelor prestige class (from Dragon Magazine #283)
Added various non-magical equipment (from the Ultimate Equipment Guide)
Added Shadow Binding spell (from Dragon Magazine #291)
Added Magic Missile Spray spell (from Spells & Magic)
Added Bladesong spell (from WotC web site)

Main books used for character creation:

Defenders of the Faith
Deities and Demigods
(Greyhawk Deities only)
Masters of the Wild
Song and Silence
Sword and Fist
Tome and Blood
Living Greyhawk Gazetteer

Some Dragon Magazine articles, approved on a case-by-case basis.

Posted by Hugh at 12:54 | ~PC Creation & House Rules~

Freeday, 21 Planting

Valon's Journal

Well, so far the adventure has gone downhill, for me at least.

We left Smallville yesterday morning, and had a rather uneventful day. We followed our map towards the Barrier Peaks, and as we got closer to them we came upon a small farmhouse, which had beeen looted. We searched the house for clues, hoping that we would be able to find the victims of the attack.

While searching the area we found blood that was still wet all over the place , and recent footprints, some of small humanoids and some of large humanoids.

We spent the night at the house and set off along the path of foot prints the next morning.

Here begins Valon and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

We followed the path to a cave which had skulls on a pole posted outside the enterance. We entered the cave and began through a tiny passage I heard Trap fall and a clanging from out ahead of us.

We retreated out of the cave and set up an ambush for anyone coming out. After a few minutes, Trap got hit by an arrow from the ledge. We dealt with the goblin on the ledge above, and headed back down the passage, with me leading the way. I came upon an ogre and tried to slip past it, letting Ghelt, who was behind me, deal with it (she is a more powerful fighter, after all.) Unfortunately the ogre kept up with me and I got hit by him. HARD. I laid on the ground barely consious, hoping that I would still be help to everyone else, a Goblin hit me, though and I fell unconsious.

I awoke with Drusilia above me and I could still hear sounds of a fight . I got up and followed the sounds. I attempted to shoot an arrow, but the string of my bow broke, and the arrow ended up hitting Fafnir, who seemed to have multiplied into 6 Fafnirs. I promtly gave up on trying to help as I was proving useless as the creature Trap had when I first saw him. The party has now finished clearing out the caves, and we are now set to travel further into the mountains.

Posted by Tim at 13:41 | Valon’s Journal

January 13, 2003

This Is Less Fun

Trap's Journal

I’m writing this really quick for a reason. It’s very possible I won’t make it back to town. We traveled for a couple of days with only one real incident, and a little scare. We fought spiders, Four Feather was antagonizing a bear, and wolves were howling a lot at night. Now, we seem to be entering orc territory. We know this because of the border marker they placed on the path. If I don’t make it out of here alive Fafnir may keep my lock picks, and the rest of my companions may do what they will with the rest of my belongings. I do hope to write again, but I somehow doubt it.

Posted by Fred at 12:40 | Trap’s Journal

January 14, 2003

The Trail of Fools

Four Feather's Journal

After following this group for a couple days, I concluded they were not to blame for my uncle’s trip. And I also discovered strange murders had been going on north of Smallville, and they needed to be stopped.
I decided numbers may be needed and joined the group I had been following. Due to the fact that I had the opportunity to watch them for a few days, I decided not to let the group be at my back if trouble came. I still am not sure the two arrows the one received in the rear were accidental, if they were, this group may be more dangerous to themselves than to anyone else.

Travels 1
As we journey north, things have been as expected, with only a small experience with some large spiders. While my arrows flew true, and the dwarf’s axe stood proud, the others have proven themselves dangerous in combat. Not to the spiders, no, to the party. The one from the bar in town (that I have always expected to be a few arrows short of a full quiver) has decided that combat consist of throwing his weapon into the woods. And walking alone unarmed into the night while a threat still exists.
Fortunately the leader of this group is a woman. Heaven forbid if they had let one of the men lead, they would be charging naked into a dragon’s den if a man was leading. She is also the offspring of an honorable man who has helped keep the village of Smallville safe for many years.

Travels 2
We have left the safety of the woods, soon I will have travelled farther than ever before. In true dwarf standard our leader is almost glowing with happiness, due to all the rock about.

Travels 3
ORCS! We have found a totem marking their territory. My blood is boiling with rage. Despite the threat to my backside, I have decided to travel near the front. I will let the weapon tosser stay in front of me, he is very dangerous.
Strange though, this map they follow takes them into a place they would never go otherwise. It looks and smells like a trap. I guess that means we all are on a trail of fools.

Posted by Jim at 20:15 | Four Feather’s Journal

January 15, 2003

The Bear Went Over the Mountain

Drusilia's Journal

Moonday, Planting 24, 592 CY

We were being followed! Soon after we came out of the cave entrance we encountered Four Feather, an elven ranger that lives on the outskirts of Smallville. This was fortuitous, as we can use a competent tracker and especially one that knows us (though until now, she’s pretty much kept to herself or the company of Smallville’s druids). She seemed to have a need to know which one of us was the party leader— well, it really depends on the situation! I quickly nominated Ghelt for this particular quest, as it is quite appropriate for a dwarf to be leading the party through the Barrier Peaks. It seemed to puzzle Four Feather that we all get along so well, but I feel that our diversity is an asset most of the time!

And speaking of diversity, Ghelt is teaching me the dwarven language. I have learned however, the most untimely way of distracting a dwarf is for a slender elven cleric to yell “By Pelor’s Beard!” as she charges into combat. As soon as we came to a place to rest the first night out past the goblin cave, we spent much of the predawn fighting off giant spiders. Once, when Trap was looking to pick up a thrown dagger from our latest arachnid encounter, I heard a shriek from the woods— and dove towards the sound, hoping to take out the spider before poor Trap was poisoned for the umpteenth time. My “war cry” got Trap out of my way in time, but apparently startled Ghelt so that I ended up crashing into her instead of the spider (which by the way, didn’t seem to have any “kickable” areas on it). Thankfully she doesn’t take my exuberance personally.

The next day was uneventful, and we eventually found ourselves making camp again. Ghelt and I attempted to take turns washing up in the stream running near the camp, when we saw a little bear cub visiting the edge of the water. Not wanting to attract the bear’s mother, we hastily got back to camp. Moments later, we heard a larger bear growl and soon Four Feather was sprinting for all she was worth in front of the irritated ursus. I didn’t see it, but suspect she was poking it for some reason. We also found giant prints (as in from a giant!) that we elected not to follow.

Early yesterday we had to make a decision when our trail forked— west towards Ghelt’s clan’s home or north, which would likely get us to the Heart of Nerull more quickly. So north it was! The night was mostly uneventful as well, but this time we could hear wolves in the distance.

Today we find ourselves staring at a bestial totem pole, with the symbol of Gruumsh carved in it. The wooded valley below us contains a lake and smoke wafts up cooking fires between huts of what appears to be an orc encampment. I fear our path takes us very close to chaos.

Posted by Kristin at 00:46 | Drusilia’s Journal

January 18, 2003

Day 2-5

Ghelt's Journal

Dearest Grun,

Well, we were heading back down the mountain trail when Trap, scouting ahead, once again waved us up (We haven’t gotten around to discussing communication, he wanted us to stop again. Oops). He could see someone coming up the path - at least it turned out to be someone we knew!

It’s an elf named Four Feather - she’s a ranger from town, or as much as “from town” as you can call it when they all live in the woods nearby. She also likes to wear a mask - must ask Drusilia if that’s an elf thing. Drusilia, by the way, is now learning some dwarven while we travel. She does make an interesting elf..

I was afraid someting had happened at home, but it turned out that Four Feather’s uncle (who also hangs out in the local woods) has gone missing, and she’s trying to find him. She decided to travel with us for now. It’s as good an idea as any - I don’t think she really knows which way he would have wandered off to..

We continued into the mountains, taking a path I’ve traveled before to visit you. We camped under a rock outcropping, and the new elf decided to sleep in a tree across from us. Lucky she did, as she gave us advance warning of a giant spider attack that came just before sunup. May want to mention to Uncle that the area is infested, again..

Of course, the first one went for Valon! Four Feather hollered about two more spiders (she was doing more than that, they came over the edge with arrows sticking out of them), which went for Trap and the poor mule. We killed all of them, and Drusilia healed the mule while Trap went looking for the dagger he’d thrown into the darkness. He found the dagger and another spider..

We were getting ready to dispatch this one, too, when Drusilia charged right though me - or tried to. We went down in a heap! I still managed to kill the spider, however, and wandered back to camp to pray until sunup. We spent the day travelling, and camped well above the treeline but near a stream.

The stream had some nice pools, so I decided to take a quick bath. As I left camp, Fafnir was replaying and critiquing Drusilia’s combat techniques - well, at least she gets the element of surprise on her side! Four Feather had decided to go fishing upstrean from me, which was fine, but then a baby bear showed up.

Now, I respect bears, and I also understand that mama is usually not far away when you see baby, so I finished my bath quickly and got out of the stream since baby wanted to play in it. The elf, however, began to pitch pebbles at it, explaining that she didn’t want the bear to “fall in and drown”! I got the heck out of there, went back to camp and explained exactly why I now think Four Feather is nuts. MUST ask Drusilia about her!

At this point Four Feather ran into camp - no mama bear behind her, at least - and announced that she’d found giants’ footprints in the area. I knew there wasn’t much to do about it but keep careful watch and a small fire, so we were as quiet as possible that night and went on safely in the morning. The next day we spent travelling up the gorge, and camped to the howling of wolves, which also left us alone. We turned off of the path to visit you, and headed up to a pass in the mountains.

There was a border marker at the crest - almost a totem pole, with ugly faces carved into it. The elves recognized a very evil god of the orcs, and got terribly upset - almost as disgusted as we dwarves feel about orcs! We passed it, and looked down into a valley, with a village in it. I checked the map to be sure this was really our destination - we’re really taking a terrible chance to come in here - and as far as I can tell, it’s the right path.

I’m writing this before we move on - and praying for protection and luck. I hope this adventure is worth the risk!

With love -

Posted by Kate at 13:56 | Ghelt’s Journal

January 19, 2003

Moonday, 24 Planting

Valon's Journal

It has once again been a few days since I have written. The party seems intent on this map. Trap is convinced that we will find the Heart of Nerull. I think we will find... Well, something worse. We have met up with another adventurer, An Elven ranger named Four Feather. Her hunting and tracking skills should prove invaluable to the party, if she is wiser than what I have overheard from party members...Something about Bears.....

Our travels have been mostly uneventful, but I doubt that they will remain that for long. I hear haunting music at night, wolf cries and today we came across an Orc totem. I hope that we can travel through the Barrier Peaks with minimal trouble...

Posted by Tim at 01:23 | Valon’s Journal

Fafnir's Journal Entry 9 - Travels

Fafnir's Journal

We have spent the last several days travelling in the direction indicated on the map we found in the temple of Nerull.

Soon after leaving the “goblin cave,” we ran into an elven ranger who had followed us from town. Her name is Four Feather, and she claims she is looking for her lost uncle. Apparently she has now decided that her uncle may have gone the same way we did, as she is now travelling with us.

On the night of the 21st, Four Feather proved herself useful, as she was able to warn the party of an attack by giant spiders just before dawn! Everyone jumped to the attack! Four Feather wounded several with her bow, Valon was defending himself with his stick of sharpness, Ghelt was chopping away with her war-axe. Trap was throwing daggers everywhere, and I even got to use my new crossbow!

Drusilia, on the other hand, decided to try something a little different. Forgoing her sword (which she has shown she can handle well), she decided that a “flying tackle/kick” would be the best method of attack. Unfortunately, Ghelt was not expecting this, and could not get out of the way quickly enough. So instead of wounding the spider, Drusilia ended up tackling Ghelt. It wasn’t pretty. (However, I would be lying if I didn’t mention that it was VERY funny! :-D )

Luckily Ghelt was able to get back to her feet and finish off the last spider, and the rest of the night was uneventful.

The day of the 22nd passed uneventfully, and soon we were setting up camp near a small stream. Ghelt and Four Feather headed towards the stream to bathe (Ghelt) and fish (Four Feather). I took this opportunity to use my Silent Image to replay and critique Drusilia’s “Wild Elven War Charge” as she describes it. Whatever it’s called, the people at the Rat’s Egg are going to love this! I will need to work with Valon to get the proper music to accompany it.

Soon Ghelt was back and grumbling something about “crazy elf” and “probably will get eaten by a bear.” Four Feather showed up a little later, out of breath, and told us of some Giant tracks in the area. I was relieved to see she had not been eaten by a bear, but from what Ghelt tells us, we should keep an eye on her, to see if she continues to “act crazy”.

As we went to sleep for the night, I could have sworn I heard some strange music from off in the distance. It soon faded away, but it left me feeling very nervous.

We continued our travels uneventfully on the 23rd. At one point we had the choice of continuing on our current path, or heading towards Ghelt’s homeland. We chose to continue after the Heart of Nerull, and after several more hours of travel, we made camp. The night passed without incident, although we did hear some wolves howling in the distance.

~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~
Planting 24, 592CY

P.S. “The Mule” is holding up admirably, though I still think the party was a little too quick to shoot down my idea of using a cart pulled by a team of giant chickens. I guess they are still upset about the “butter churn incident.” I will have to work extra-hard to get them to realize that “chicken power” is a vast untapped resource, and is certainly the way of the future.


Addendum: We have just stopped briefly, and I thought I would add an additional note. We have discovered what appears to be an Orc Totem. (We know this because Drusilia recognized the orc god of Gruumsh on the totem.). Ghelt double-checked the map and made sure this is the direction it indicates, so it looks like we will be entering Orc country. I think we will be OK if we keep our wits about us, but with some of the things that have happened in the past with Trap, and the strange actions of Four Feather, I am feeling a little nervous. I guess all we can do it hope for the best.


Posted by Dave at 12:03 | Fafnir’s Journal

Character Death & New Characters

~PC Creation & House Rules~

Character deaths happen, and resurrection isn’t always an option. If a character dies heroically, the player may create a new character at the level the old character would have been at had they been resurrected, with the addition of that session’s experience points. Fate points do not carry over from an old character— it’s the player’s fault if they aren’t used to prevent the character’s death! Characters coming into the game in this fashion have to make sense for the story line.

The new character’s starting funds are half of what is shown in the DM Guide on table 5-1. No single item (magical or non-magical) can cost more than 20% of these starting funds.

Posted by Hugh at 23:42 | ~PC Creation & House Rules~

January 20, 2003

Tetrapteracide (Feather Fall)

Drusilia's Journal

Moonday, Planting 24, 592 CY, continued

There is quite a dearth of elves in the party since my last entry. Our plan to cross the valley of orcs was simple enough— Four Feather and Trap scouted ahead quietly, finding the best path past the orc encampment so as not to arouse their ire. We would have been able to pass through without their notice, but for one alarming revelation— it was not merely an encampment, but a group of about 20 to 30 orcs running an iron mine. Worse still, they were not laboring in the mines, but managing the enslaved humanoids (elves, gnomes, humans, halflings and kobolds) who were. This atrocity could not be allowed to continue. And so, we made plans to kill the slavers and release their prisoners.

There were a lot of problems with our strategy, I’ll admit. First, we waited until nightfall, even though orcs have better night vision than we (or the rescuees) do. In fact, they would have had more difficulty seeing us in direct sunlight, and since they had cleared away nearly all the trees in the vicinity of their camp, we would have had plenty of light. But, the wait proved to be important for the slaves— we had assumed the huts were for the orcs, when in fact their “shift change” showed us that the slaves lived in them— the orcs had taken residence in the cliff face over the mines. This precluded the use of fire spells or lit arrows during our inevitable battle. Our other problem was a watchtower built to command a wide view of the valley, making sneaking into the camp impossible during the daylight hours. Thankfully the orc in the tower wasn’t overly observant, allowing us ample time to study the camp from the tree line. When the time came to fight, Four Feather had an arrow ready to eliminate the watchtower orc (and she did— we later found him with an arrow going through one ear and out the other), while Trap planned to go from hut to hut releasing as many prisoners as he could. Ghelt and the rest of us snuck out of the woods right past the watchtower after I cast a quick blessing on those close enough to benefit.

The battle was bloody, and over very quickly. Ghelt waded right into the fray in that admirable dwarf-like fashion, while the elven assemblage attempted to take down foes with arrows. I was able to even hit the orc leader standing well back from his forces (most of which were trying to hit Ghelt with javelins), though I’m sorry to say my arrow didn’t take him out of battle immediately. Fafnir seemed to be everywhere at once (thanks to his mirror image spell), and turned quite a few orcs into mounds of char with a flaming sphere. Valon went down in battle pretty quickly after a particularly nasty hit (he needs some armor!), but in his inimitable style, sang a rousing battle song while laying crumpled near my feet. Trap had a lot of success as well, even though he was on the other side of the camp— he picked off about a half dozen orcs one at a time as they tried to match his pace between the slave huts. There were some scary moments too— at one point I really needed to get to Ghelt and Four Feather to provide healing, but was afraid to leave Valon where he’d surely be trampled in the fight (not to mention I was shooting as many rampaging orcs as I could from where I stood). In fact, at one point I thought Ghelt was lost to us, but she shrugged it off and kept fighting. Fafnir wended his way over to Four Feather and dumped his only healing potion down her throat, but she was still too weak to stand. She managed one final attack on her own slayer though, with a sword thrust up through his armor from where she lay. I can only wonder if she’d just played dead if that orc would have left her alone, but we’ll never know now.

When we were down to one remaining orc, he routed and turned to flee into the mines. Trap, with some bizarre form of halfling bloodthirstiness, tore off after him and finished him off somewhere in the maze of mines. And apparently Trap was having a lucky day— he found a huge iron chest full of coins and a gem, and claims that he successfully disarmed the trap that was on the lock.

After healing those of party that I could, I found a key ring on one of the dead orc leaders. The keys helped Trap get into his (disarmed!) box of treasure and enabled us to take the shackles and manacles off of the slaves. Only one of the slaves can leave camp with us though. The rest are wearing iron collars that somehow prevent their departure. We were told that the only one that can remove the collars is the “Witchlord” who keeps a stronghold up the path towards were we are headed. The one would-be slave, a halfling going by Korin Greenmeadow, had just been recently captured and not yet fitted with a proper collar— he is more than eager to accompany us on our travels. If we are able to get the key to remove these collars from the slaves we will certainly come back for them. At least for now, they aren’t under the direct influence of their orcish overlords.

The sad task of putting Four Feather to rest weighs heavily on us all. I was touched to see that Ghelt gave her a dwarven blessing to speed her on her way. Valon has offered to carry Four Feather’s body back to Smallville on the chance that her uncle returns for her, though it may just be simpler to bury her where she fell, and carry word back with us when, and if, we return home.

Posted by Kristin at 12:59 | Drusilia’s Journal

January 23, 2003

Day 5, continued...

Ghelt's Journal

Dearest Grun,

Well, today has been a sad day.

I forgot to tell you about a then-funny incident when Four Feather showed up. She asked who was the leader of the party, and Drusilia pointed at me. I thought it was a joke! Next thing I knew, people started taking it rather seriously, so I guessed I had better, too.

Which makes the rest of this a little harder to write.

We muzzled the mule with a feedbag to keep him quiet, and moved into the valley with Trap scouting ahead for trouble on the trail, and Four Feather sneaking down to the village to see what was going on there. Four Feather quickly returned with the news that the village was actually a mining encampment, led by orcs using slave labor!

We immediately abandoned our original plan to just sneak around the village, and concentrated on exactly how to liberate the poor miners (and kill the orcs!). We decided to sneak up to the edge of the woods and wait for darkness, and on my signal, Four Feather would shoot the guard in the watchtower, Trap would try to free the slaves from their chains, and the rest of us would charge into the fray with surprise on our side.

I also wanted to discuss ways to distract the orcs, sow some confusion (after all, there were only six of us!), but when I suggested using lighted arrows to set fire to the roofs of the houses in the village, Four Feather hollered something about “how would I like to be set on fire??” and stalked off into the woods. She didn’t return, and I was left to wonder how to signal her at dusk, presuming she was even in position!

We worked our way up to the edge of the woods by the village, which had been cleared for a good space that we’d have to run across. I wanted to see more, and tried to sneak up, but was loud enough to make the orc in the watchtower turn for a good look. Thank Moradin someone had put the elven cloak on me - I stayed still, and he didn’t see me. We did get the chance to observe that the orcs were living in the caves above the mine, and the slaves in the houses in the village. Made the firing plan a moot point!

Darkness fell, finally, and as they began to light torches, we walked up to the edge of the woods. Drusilia blessed us all, and Trap got ready to sprint for the houses. I stepped into the light, raised my arm, dropped it down and we all began to run, hoping Four Feather would understand. As we charged, I saw her break from the trees and head for the watchtower - our first mistake, as I had thought she was close enough to shoot the orc right away!

The orc, therefore, had a chance to sound the alarm. We ran through a hail of arrows and javelins, and finally, into hand-to-hand combat. Four Feather did shoot the watchtower orc, which got rid of one sniper. I saw Drusilia drop another with one arrow. I managed to kill my first orc when two together dropped me.

Drusilia healed me enough to wake me up, and I healed myself some more as I staggered to my feet to meet a charge of orcs! Three big ones had appeared from the caves, apparently the leaders, and Drusilia was shooting arrows at them as Fafnir, Valon (singing), Four Feather, and I were fighting up close. There was still nothing from the slave cabins, but I saw orcs hunting over in the village and had to assume that Trap had been discovered. Fafnir used his wand of colorspray, causing several orcs to fall stunned, and I managed to charge up and kill the one looming over him before he got smashed.

At this point things got very bad. I saw Four Feather go down, even as I took some serious blows. Valon was badly hurt, yet lying on the ground singing to raise our spirits, and I heard a scream from Trap, which let me know he was alive, at least, but I couldn’t know for how long. Fafnir and I were hacking away and Drusilia was reduced to shooting the orcs right on top of her as she tried to protect Valon. The last orc I fought managed to drop me, again.

So much for the carefully argued out plan and surprise attack. Oh, Grun, some leader I make, to get everyone into such trouble!

Drusilia healed me again, and I woke to a much quieter scene. There was one big orc left, running for the mine entrance, with a manic halfling behind him. I decided to follow, worried about Trap, though I needn’t have been! I caught up with them in the mine, as the orc turned and snarled something quite rude at the halfling, who promptly shot him to death! We asked the slaves if there were any more orcs, but they said that all had run outside at the sound of the alarm. I checked the quarters above quickly, while Trap told me how he’d been attacked in the village, and fought back with just his bow and arrow, killing every one of his attackers as they chased him around the buildings. I’m really impressed - he must have a lot of natural talent to do that with the little training I’d managed to give him so far.

Trap went off with some keys to free the rest of the slaves, and I went to see how everyone else had fared during the battle. Everyone was back on their feet. Except.. for Four Feather. She was too far gone for even Drusilia to save. I feel just terrible. I didn’t get a chance to find out why she was so upset, I didn’t get a chance to tell her she was right not to fire the houses, and I didn’t try hard enough to contact her before the battle, to settle where she was and how to signal. I just let it slide and hoped for the best, and got her killed, not to mention the close calls that the rest of us had.

I prayed over her body, and Valon decided to take her back to town for proper burial. I can’t blame him - he’s been too close to death himself several times, with this party!

The slaves told us that they were mining iron ore for a witch-lord over the mountain. They can’t leave the valley, due to magical iron collars he made to keep them there. We need to save these people and whomever else this “lord” is exploiting. Our map will have to wait.

Unexpectedly, one of the slaves is able to go with us - and is eager for it! He’s a halfling - apparently has some of Trap’s talents, as he’d been able to either keep the collar from activating properly, or fiddled with it enough to break it, I don’t know which. He’s pretty angry about being stuck as slave labor, however, and I hope he can somewhat replace our double loss of Valon and Four Feather.

So, we’re resting here for the night, and going on in the morning, I for one am sadder and wiser - I hope! May Moradin forgive and assist me!

With love,

Posted by Kate at 13:15 | Ghelt’s Journal

January 24, 2003

It Was Great!

Trap's Journal

Man, and I was sure we were all going to die. Well, it didn’t go as planned, but we freed the slaves. The orc settlement actually was a mining thing. I got to kill 5 orcs and I only used 6 arrows. It was great. I did try to free the slaves first, thinking that they would help, but after the first one, I realized it was useless, so I decided to help fight. No sooner did I head for the battle than 4 orcs came at me. They dropped one after the other. Then I shot another in the back. He ran, the coward. When he did turn around, he said something, then fell over dead with my arrow in his heart. I love my new bow. I think I’ll call it Never Miss.

Well anyway, we found out that the orcs are being lead by some wizard, so we are going to deal with it while going to get the Heart of Nerull. Wish us luck.

Posted by Fred at 01:24 | Trap’s Journal

January 28, 2003

Fafnir's Journal Entry 10 - Orcs!!

Fafnir's Journal

While continuing to follow our map towards the Heart of Nerull, we came across an Orc encampment. We were planning to find a safe way to pass without notice, when Four Feather returned with the news that this wasn’t just an Orc village, but a mine…. A mine in which humans, gnomes, halflings, elves, and kobolds were being forced to work as slaves!

Before long we had come up with a plan to stage a surprise attack on the Orcs and free the slaves. Waiting until nightfall, we snuck upon the Orc village, and launched our attack. Four Feather led the way with her arrows, taking out the guard post, and the rest of us charged in to battle the rest of the orcs, who were now swarming out of their caves!

It was a hard fought battle, and there were a couple times it looked like we wouldn’t survive, but in the end we managed to kill all of the Orc slavers. It was not without its price however, as Four Feather was slain in the battle.

I had just given her a potion to heal her wounds when we were attacked by one of the Orc leaders. The Orc was coming for me, but Four Feather attacked him from her position on the ground, giving us enough time to kill him! Sadly, with his last blow, he managed to end Four Feather’s life. Drusilia rushed over to assist, but there was nothing to be done.

We didn’t get a chance to know Four Feather well, but she will be missed.

While we were trying to revive Four Feather, Ghelt and Trap (!) managed to finish off the rest of the slavers. Apparently Trap managed to fight off a whole squad of them with only his bow! Maybe he would be better suited as a marksman, rather than a trap-finder?

After making sure all the orcs were dead, we attempted to free the slaves. While we were able to remove their chains, they all have a collar which we cannot remove, and which prevents them from leaving the Orc camp. One of the slaves has told us that these collars were put on them by the “Witch Lord,” and can only be removed by him. It looks like we have our work cut out for us.

Having freed the slaves of their Orc masters, it looks as if we will now need hunt down this “Witch Lord,” so that we can remove the collars and allow the prisoners to return to their homes. In one of the Orc caves we found a halfling by the name of Korin Greenmeadow whose collar had not been attached properly, and he has volunteered to accompany us.

With the loss we have suffered, we are all feeling very sad, but with this new purpose, we will press on. We will free the slaves. We will avenge Four Feather. And yes, someday, we will find the Heart of Nerull.

~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~
Planting 24, 592CY

P.S. Valon has decided to carry Four Feather’s body back to Smallville, so that she can have a proper burial, so we will be losing his company for a while, as well. I think this is probably a good idea. While he is good at fighting with his ‘stick,’ he does take a lot of hits, and I would not want him to meet the same fate as Four Feather.

Posted by Dave at 22:17 | Fafnir’s Journal