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September 9, 2007

Muthrek's Bio

Munthrek's Journal XPCs

I never met my parents. As far as I’m aware no one knows who they are. I was told once that a strange druid brought me into town twenty-one years ago and dropped me off at the shrine with only a symbol to IO the words Munthrek Darss engraved on the back. Either no one knows who this druid is or they just wont tell me, either way the result is the same. I grew up in this small town an outcast because of how different I am from everyone else around here. I learned how to fight simply by defending myself. I was put to work as soon as I could walk in order to pay for my room, food and clothing. As I grew the little odd jobs, such as delivering a message, or picking up something for one on the innkeepers, turned into escorting small caravans and people from place to place. I’ve come to believe one very important thing about people in general, no matter who you are, what race you are, or what your background is we are all very much alike. That is we all want to feel safe and secure. The only real difference is how we go about getting there. Anyway, I’ve come to know a few people here rather well, and eventually made a few friends. I’m always learning a new language, and I’m so close to being able to fly I can feel it.

Currently I’m between jobs, sitting here at The Staggering Lich having a drink, hoping to see someone I know, I don’t like to drink alone, and asking around to see what kind of work is available.

Munthrek Darss, image (c) Kristin Johnson

Character sheet: Munthrek Darss [Human / Dragon Creature Fighter]

Cause of death: strangled, crushed, swallowed whole, and then digested by the Hive Mother of the Monster the DM made up himself.

Posted by Fred at 10:14 | Munthrek’s Journal | XPCs

September 11, 2007

Fortuna's Bio

Fortuna's Journal ~PC Bios~

Babble was not the first one Elizair brought back to Rattedaumen on one of his trips. I was.

The elf found me somewhere in the Sepia Uplands, alone among the bodies of dead goblins. This was over forty years ago. He took me to a gnomish settlement near there. They were having an elaborate funeral, but none that he was able to talk to recognized me. Elizair felt something else was amiss, but due to the somber state of affairs (or his “lapses of judgment” as he likes to say), he took me to Rattedaumen. He even managed to take care of me for a good thirty minutes before dropping me off at the Shrine to Pelor. The clerics at the shrine, in turn, asked some local halflings, the Whisperleafs, to look after me. Much to Elizair’s chagrin, they just happened to reside close to him.

I stayed pretty much on my own in an abandoned burrow. The clerics at the shrine had been wise: the halflings not only didn’t mind me “borrowing” items from in and around their houses to survive, they actually seemed to enjoy it; though they often made it challenging for me. This, in turn, helped me become quite good at hiding and moving quietly, though somehow Elizair always seems to know when I am sneaking around his home.

About twenty years after my arrival, another “orphan” was dropped off at the shrine, and again, this one didn’t quite fit in to any of the established communities in Rattedaumen, so Munthrek was unofficially adopted by a local innkeeper. I kept an eye on his progress in much the way Elizair had done for me.

I’m off to the Staggering Lich to teach Munthrek some more of the gnome language right now, and I’m letting him think he’s teaching me some draconic. Elizair usually stumbles in around this time, and one of my “cousins” Janet, usually meets us for her mid-morning breakfast after prayer at the shrine. Hopefully she will tell me what that damned parrot keeps shrieking at me; Elizair claims he has no idea, even though Babble is his familiar.

Fortuna Outlawe, image (c) Kristin Johnson

Character sheet: Fortuna Outlawe [Whisper Gnome Rogue]

Posted by Kristin at 15:14 | Fortuna’s Journal | ~PC Bios~

September 14, 2007

Arkon, a recurring lich

Adventures, DM's Notes & Maps

(c) Kristin Johnson. 'Arkon, a recurring lich'(c) Kristin Johnson. Elizair Stormbringer, an elf sorcerer with Babble
(c) Kristin Johnson. Janet Whisperleaf, a halfling cleric of Pelor
(c) Kristin Johnson. Fortuna Outlawe, a whisper gnome rogue
(c) Kristin Johnson. Munthrek Darss, a human / dragon creature fighter

September 19, 2007

Elizair's Bio

Elizair's Journal XPCs

An elven sorcerer with an affinity to electricity-based spells, and his parrot familiar.

Elizair Stormbringer and Babble, image (c) Kristin Johnson

Character sheet: Elizair Stormbringer [Elf Sorcerer]
Companion sheet: Babble [Parrot Familiar]

Cause of death: examined from inside out by bone devil.
Familiar cause of death: eaten by bone devil.

Posted by Jim at 14:15 | Elizair’s Journal | XPCs

Janet's Bio

Janet's Journal XPCs

A halfling cleric with a lot of repenting to do.


An ordinary young halfling in many ways, I was raised by my mother, a laundress for one of the roaming mercenary bands of Perrenland. I was a bit wild growing up, and didn’t do much of anything useful as I became an adult, until I met a cleric of Pelor who changed my life. Now I’m trying to serve a good cause and fight evil in all its forms.

Janet Whisperleaf, image (c) Kristin Johnson

Character sheet: Janet Whisperleaf [Halfling Cleric of Pelor]

Cause of death: examined from inside out by bone devil.

Posted by Kate at 14:24 | Janet’s Journal | XPCs

September 26, 2007

End of Our Rope

Fortuna's Journal

Reaping 7, 594 CY
Zadrian’s Mansion

I had barely sat down at the table with Munthrek when Elizair and my cousin entered the inn. Janet looked a bit flushed and explained that she’d spent the morning “repenting.” Elizair let the damned bird do the talking. I have no idea what language it uses but heard the word “jar” in there—I think that’s Dwarven for “ugly.” Or Elven for “dove,” but we have determined that it doesn’t speak Elven. We ordered breakfast and waited for a job to find us.

Of course, Munthrek always ignores the job posting board and goes straight for the mysterious robed figure. In this situation, a red-robed figure was attempting to post a job, but that barely registered with my friend as he led our soon-to-be employer over to our table.

The elderly human sat down, and after a brief introduction got right to the point: his employer had not heard from her father for months and was willing to pay us each 800 gold for us to check on him. Timoth Zadrian, an alchemist, has a mansion a day’s journey north. We agreed to the mission and left town immediately after breakfast.

The trip was uneventful; the manor, exactly where we were told it would be. Circling the squat dome, we found a single large door. The lock had obviously been picked prior to our arrival. There was also a small stable. Janet and Elizair wanted to check that out, while Munthrek was more interested in the main building. I was halfway to the stable myself when Munthrek chose to enter the unlocked door. I went to call him and noticed that all that could be seen through the door was a gray mist. A quick look at the windows showed the same impenetrable mist filled the first floor. Elizair reported the stable to be empty, and calling for Munthrek to come back met with no reply, so we tied rope to link the remaing three of us together and stepped through into the murkiness.

After what seemed like forever, we emerged in a semi-circular chamber, where Munthrek stood looking at four statues of women holding goblets. Elizair commented that Babble, who had been perched outside the mansion, was “out of range” now; presumably the parrot would find some way to amuse himself while we searched for Zadrian. We began a search of the room, hoping to get our bearings before investigating the two other doors to the chamber. Using the dim glow from the ceiling to see by, we checked the goblets’ contents, and read the runes carved on each statue:

1: “The First Spirit” contained quicksilver
2: “The Second Spirit” contained a red powder: orpiment
3: “The Third Spirit” contained a salt-like crystal
4: “The Fourth Spirit” contained sulfur

Apparently, this has something to do with alchemy, so we figured we must still be in Zadrian’s home.

Next, we decided to try the doors out of the room. The first door I checked for traps appeared safe enough, though it was oddly warm. Opening it, we smelled burnt flesh and saw a large, red-furred wolf. Unfortunately, it saw us too. The beast inhaled, and attempts to blast us with fiery breath. I had no problem dodging the slow creature’s efforts, but Munthrek was not so lucky. Worse, the thing went after him. Seeing his trouble fighting off the wolf, I planned to sneak up behind it and slay it, but as I passed the open door another leaped out to attack Janet and me. I was able to eliminate this one the way I planned to kill the first and ran on to help Munthrek and Elizair as Janet started healing our injuries. It was at this point that I realized I’d been in similar situations with Elizair before, but not with Janet or Munthrek; I must learn how they react in combat before we find ourselves in a more serious situation.

No more hellish creatures appeared, so we decided to check the room from which they came. We found the source of the burnt flesh smell— it was, in fact, burnt flesh. A charred corpse lay on a couch in the middle of the room. Elizair detected magic on the body and found a magic dagger and some scrolls. He also found some good lockpicks—likely the ones used to pick the manor house’s door before our arrival. So, probably not Zadrian.

We continued through this room to another mist-filled doorway. After securing ourselves with more ropes, we found ourselves in a small room with black walls, no ceiling, and chains covering the floor. There was also a chest on the far side of the room, and beside that, a switch. Checking the chest revealed nothing particularly alarming, so we opted to open it. Before we could even examine the contents though, the switch flopped, and we all found ourselves falling toward a starless sky above us! Janet managed to keep a hold of her rope and so did not move too far, while the rest of us “plummeted” skyward. I grabbed a chain, which thankfully was attached to the floor, and tried to grab Munthrek as he flew past. He already had hold of Elizair and was trying to use his wings to slow their ascent. Now that we all had a tenuous tether to the room below, we were about to haul ourselves back down about 100’ of chain, when a spike-filled pit opened in the floor and we began a rapid descent towards it. Poor Janet fell right in it, perched as she was on the edge, and Munthrek, in spite of his gliding descent, was slightly injured as well. Elizair managed to land on the trunk while I landed safely on the remaining ledge around the pit. Elizair found a folded robe, covered in moons and stars, in the chest, and hastily grabbed that before anything else happened. We got out of that room as quickly as we could.

The next door we checked led down a wooden path into a desert—we opted to save that one for later.

We returned to the main chamber and tried the other door out. This led us into a room full of books on shelves—and 6” of snow. We attempted to read the spines of a few books, only to have them start flying off the shelves and attacking us! I caught one in my net to check later. Finding another door, we ran out of this room as well, straight into a dining room.

While the room wasn’t as dangerous as the last several, I was disturbed to see a kobold and three hobgoblins standing at the table! The little creature began to rant: “You have entered the presence of Gurlzick the Great! Show me respect and I will show you mercy!” I wanted to put a bolt through the hateful little creature, but my companions chose a more diplomatic approach. Fortunately, the kobold turned out to be a sorcerer, and the hobgoblins, nothing more than illusions. He visibly relaxed when I agreed not to skewer him on the spot, and explained that he had been wandering in the desert when he found a doorway just sitting there. He walked through that and found himself in a kitchen filled with flying cutlery, and then came to the dining room immediately after that. We agreed (well, someone agreed on my behalf!) that we should work together. The kobold does not want to go back to the desert, but admits he knows nothing more about this place than we do.

We continued, reptilian sorcerer in tow, to another room, which was little more than a closet. It had the remains of alchemical paraphernalia in it—mostly cracked crystals and empty crocks. That left us with the knife-filled kitchen.

We ran through the room, pungent with the smell of rotting food, and into a room beyond that. We all were immediately struck with a feeling of dread and we stared at the room filled with seven coffins. We decided to ignore the arcane sigils and the book on a pedestal in the middle of the room as well, and ran through to another door….

Posted by Kristin at 14:15 | Fortuna’s Journal

September 27, 2007

Simple tasks never work out that way

Janet's Journal

One morning after my early devotions, I decided to stop by the local tavern to see who was in town. People I recognized included the blue-haired elf Elizair and his strange parrot, and the gnome Fortuna, seated at a table trying to teach the dragonish Munthrek her language. I’m not sure how much success she was having, as a red-robed figure followed me inside and posted a notice on the tavern’s job board.

Munthrek was quickly on his feet, chatting to the elderly human, while I stepped up to the board to read the paper. Munthrek drew him off to sit with Fortuna as I read about a “Lady of means looking for a group of (discreet) adventurers” for a mission. Interested, I joined them at the table, as did Elizair. The human stared a bit at Munthrek’s dragonlike wings, but decided to tell us about his mistress and her request.

Lady Alana Zadrien sent him to check on her father, a wealthy alchemist who lives a little north of here. She has not heard from him in months. I recognized the name Zadrian; his servant stops in Rattedaumen every few months to buy supplies. I wonder when the servant was last seen? Meanwhile, for 800 gold apiece, we were willing to make the journey while he waited for news at the inn.

The trip was uneventful, and some time later we found ourselves looking at a “manor house” that just had to be the alchemist’s: a squat, one-story dome. The place seemed deserted. Elizair looked into the windows while Fortuna checked the door. Elizair reported seeing a smoky gray mist inside, so I asked for a lift - but I saw the same. Fortuna quickly reported that the door was unlocked - and had already been picked!

Munthrek readied his sword and shield, but first, Elizair decided to check the small stable a short distance from the house. I went with him but it was deserted, too. The single stall was open, and the cart and harness were untouched. It looked like the horse had kicked its way out - through fear or hunger, we had no way to tell.

By now, Munthrek had the door open and was watching the gray mist - as it swirled in the doorway but did not billow out. He stuck his sword in, pulled it back - nothing! So, he stepped inside. We shouted! And no answer. Fortuna pulled out a ten-foot pole and waved it around in the mist without touching anything; I stuck my hand in and had no luck. Elizair tied a rope to a tree outside the door, and Fortuna tied it around her waist before walking in after mad Munthrek.

Elizair held onto the rope and followed, leaving the parrot perched on top of the stable. I grabbed ahold of the rope as well... into the mist for what seemed like forever... and then we were out! We ended up in a large gray rectangular chamber. There were four statues of beautiful women, each holding a goblet. There were windows and doors, but the windows and the one open door only revealed more swirling mist.

Fortuna called out, “Lord Zadrian?” and got no response. Elizair tried to contact his parrot, and also got no response, which made for a worried-looking elf. Munthrek looked at the statues in the dim light, discovering that the goblets had inscriptions written in draconic on them. They also held different substances: one, silver mercury, two, red oprimin, three, white sal ammoniac, and four, yellow sulfur. The four spirits of traditional alchemy.

I decided to listen at the doors and windows for any sign of life: we still hadn’t met a living thing. And behind the closed door, I heard something shift! I looked under the door and made out a dim flickering light; Fortuna felt the door itself and it was warm to the touch. Elizair waited by the fourth statue at the far end of the room, I stepped away to tie a rope to the second statue, which was directly across from the door, Munthrek stood in front of it with his sword and shield ready, and Fortuna backed away while using a spell to push the door open.

The smell of scorched flesh rolled out, and a flickering of flames could be seen. Movement! A large wolf with red fur and smoking nostrils stood in the doorway, snarling at us! Munthrek asked it if the master was home, but its only response was to inhale a deep breath - and Fortuna shouted, “Duck!”

A cone of fire erupted from the creature’s mouth, enveloping Munthrek in flame. I quickly cast a ‘create water’ spell over the monster’s head, wetting its fur but not stopping it at all. Munthrek rolled away from the door, drinking a potion, and Fortuna took the opening to shoot it with her crossbow. Elizair was shooting arrows into it from across the room, too, but it just snarled and followed Munthrek instead. I slung a stone, missed, and pulled out my mace.

Fortuna headed after it to help Munthrek, but glanced into the doorway and pointed as another one showed up! Elizair kept shooting at the first, while the second grabbed at the gnome. I ran up and swung my mace at its side, while Fortuna quickly reloaded and shot it. I heard Munthrek connect on his target as well - twin yelping filled the room! I continued to hit the second wolf with my mace, while it bit at Fortuna, and between us we finished it off.

As she turned to help the others, I took a glance into the room. The other wolf was quickly killed, so I stepped up and looked into the next chamber. The room was some twenty by thirty feet, with scorched walls and a blackened corpse on a couch. There was a table in the center with some chairs around it, but nothing else. I quickly healed Fortuna, then stepped inside to check the body for rings or any identification that survived the fire.

I found nothing, but Elizair looked for magic and discovered a dagger and a pouch with a thieves’ kit inside. Some scrolls in the pouch turned out to be knock spells to open things. I’ll bet that these are not the Lord’s remains, then! More doors to open: more mist to be seen. We tied the rope from the second statue to Munthrek before he stepped in this time, and then we were off into the unknown.

We ended up in a very strange room. It had four walls, a floor with chains strewn across it, but no ceiling - just a darkened sky above. There was a chest on the floor against the far wall, so Fortuna walked over and opened it. A switch on the wall snapped up at the same time as the lid, and the gravity in the room changed direction: we all fell into the sky!

I was still holding onto the rope, but the others had already let go. They were sailing off into endless space while grabbing for the chains that fell with them. Fortuna got ahold of one, then Elizair hung onto Munthrek, who flapped his wings to “slow” the fall before he snagged a chain. This was when I realized that the floor of the room had opened and all I could see were spikes... and then the gravity reversed again.

Munthrek slowed his fall a second time, gliding to safety on the top of the wall, but I fell right onto the spikes. Elizair landed IN the chest (I had to heal him a bit), while Fortuna managed to land on a narrow ledge above the pit. It was a proper pit again, with things in their right direction. Thank Pelor we didn’t fall outside of the walls: once up, it was endless space all around the place, too. Unfortunately, Munthrek’s sword was broken (in his foot, ow!) when it fell back. At least I could heal myself!

We looked at the robe inside the chest. It had a pattern of moons and stars on it. But none of us wanted to risk taking it out after what had happened before! So, gingerly, we worked our way around the ledge and back into the swirling mist of the door back to the burnt-out room. There was one other door out, so in we walked; we landed in a desert! A wooden panelled path stretched out over the sands before us.

Munthrek tossed a copper piece off of the pathway, nothing happened, and we decided to turn around again. Back to the burnt-out room (wonder what that thief got into to set off the wolves? the upside-down spiked pit was bad enough!) and then out into the main room with the statues. I was wondering if there was any relation between the quality of the rooms and the alchemical spirits in the goblets, but I just don’t know enough... sulfur for fire for desert? What for earth, water, air?

We decided to try the open door this time. It landed us in a room full of books. And, for some strange reason, about six inches of snow. Something is very wrong indeed in this “house” - and then a book hit me in the back of the head. I turned to see who threw that - but the book itself flapped off like a clumsy bird! More followed, and I started cursing in dwarven, a bad habit I keep trying to break. I’ll have to atone for that later...

Elizair shot a book, but it kept flapping around, now with an arrow sticking through the cover. We were slashing and slapping and hitting the books with whatever we had; Fortuna pulled out a net and tried to trap them; Elizair managed to “kill” the book with the arrow in it, and Munthrek brought one down with a *thump*. Then the giggling started. We eventually followed Elizair’s orders to run through the door across the room.

This time, when the mist cleared, we were not alone! A kobold stood at a table, looking over the shoulders of four seated hobgoblins! Munthrek began to talk to the kobold in draconic, while Fortuna glared daggers at them, muttering something in gnomish at him. We don’t like kobolds! Still, we ended up agreeing to help get them out of there. Fortuna was angry, but the kobold swore he just wanted to live peacefully, and the guys believed him.

Greulzick was from the Great Sands, but doesn’t want to go back. He is willing to help us find the Lord Zadrian, since we’re willing to show him the way out. He explained that the only door out of the room he was in led to a room full of flying knives, so we warned him of the cold and books, and prepared to head back. The hobgoblins suddenly disappeared - a spell? A single kobold was more acceptable to me at least!

We compared notes as to the rooms explored, and realized that there were two left. One was out of the room of flying books - the other, from the room of flying knives. We decided to check the one from the book room first, and after a minor battering, found ourselves in a small room with no other exits. It was full of shelves, and on the shelves there were many crystal spheres.

Almost all were cracked or burnt, with the remains of alchemical experiments in them. The few whole ones we took just in case they could be of use later. We checked the place for secret doors, but gave up after a while. No one was looking forward to the run through the flying knives.

We caught them by surprise, I guess! No one was cut in our mad dash through the kitchen, and we landed in a large chamber we had not seen before. There was a book on a pedestal and arcane sigils on the floor, surrounded by seven engraved coffins. We could see one exit: a room with armor, and a trapdoor.

When Fortuna snuck in for a look, the armor began to move....

Posted by Kate at 07:47 | Janet’s Journal

September 28, 2007

The Glory of Mercenary Work

Munthrek's Journal

The day started like most when you’re in between jobs. I’ll never understand why so many people glorify mercenary work. I tell you it can get pretty rough when you’re low on coin. I just finished eating and was enjoying a drink while hoping a decent job would walk in. Fortuna stopped in and I had her help me learn her native tongue, gnome, while I passed time. The next thing I knew Elizair sat down at our table. He’s a decent fellow, with just a hint of draconic ancestry to him, a lot like me in some ways. Then Janet shows up, talking about repenting again, when this robed figure shows up and puts a note on the board. I jumped on it and offered him a drink in exchange for some details about this job.

In short we need to go to some alchemist’s house and see why no one has heard from him in a long time. So off we go, for 800 gold it sounds like an easy job. I figured he just blew himself up, but when we got there Fortuna said the lock to his front door was picked. That’s never a good thing. Elizair went to check the stable, but only found it empty, so we opened the door only to find a grey mist that stayed in place. So I walked in, and found myself in a room much larger then it should have been.

We looked around and had to kill what I believe were the alchemist’s pets, found what was left of the would-be thief and a couple of interesting rooms. To be honest the only thing I can say that’s of interest is the kobold we came across. He offered to help us find this alchemist and in return we’ll give him safe travel to our small village.

Posted by Fred at 22:58 | Munthrek’s Journal