Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sunday 1 August 1280, And After (The End)

Duran calls to Karnak and feeds him from his pack. He then goes and checks on Almo to see if he can be of any help. Fortunately, the darkness spell begins to fade. Though Almo doesn't have full sight back, he is beginning to make out vague forms and shapes, and seems to be improving by the minute.

Gaven goes over to Filbert's body and cleans him up as much as possible. Gaven says a prayer to the Light in Filbert's honor.

Oloc listens at the north door, but hears nothing on the other side. Opening the door, the mage sees a tunnel leading north – no doubt a secret passage heading onward into the dungeons beneath the keep as you originally expected.

All three leaders of the party proceed to examine the altar. As you look at the altar's surface, you can see several lines of wicked-looking characters carved into the altar's surface by Rottblood.

Oloc is able to make out the gist of the ancient evil language. Evidently Rottblood was carving a spell that would draw on the spiritual energies of those buried here and corrupt them. The corrupted spiritual energy would then be channeled into Rottblood himself so that he could – it appears – transform himself into a lich.

Examining Rottblood's body, you find that he was no ordinary mage. He was in fact a ghoul – already undead and, not content with his station, trying to move up in the underworld.

You also find upon him a gold ring, a diadem set with multi-colored gems, and another iron amulet with a symbol just like the one you found previously on his minions.

The rock-scraping you heard earlier – and which you still hear – is emanating from the stone of the altar itself as the wicked lines of text slowly fill themselves in and fade away. With Rottblood's death, the altar is repairing itself.

The iron chisel Rottblood used to carved the symbols still lies upon the altar's surface. Before your very eyes, it begins to dissolve as if it were bathed in acid. The process of the chisel's destruction leaves no mark upon the altar.

As you search the bodies of the skeletons you find little of value except for the gear they are carrying.

However, giving a closer examination to the altar, you find a secret compartment underneath. Within is a medium-sized coffer with Rottblood's symbol on it. Opening the coffer you find a substantial mixed assortment of gems, jewelry and gold.

All told, your haul from Rottblood's chamber – gear, gems, jewelry combined – is easily worth a total of 5,000-6,000 gp.

After the room is looted and secured, it is obvious that Almo is still quite shaken and cannot go on. You deem it would also be better to head back to town to bury Filbert and Wally. And of course Hazel will have to be told.


As you make your way back through the catacombs, you note that the puddles of red liquid have almost all disappeared. When you pass through the chamber containing the Mirror of Blessed Souls, you find the water perfectly clear, still and placid. When Gaven looks into the water, the reflection of a face appears therein – not his own face, but the peaceful face of some old abbot.

The face whispers to Gaven: "Thank you." The image then wavers for a moment, smiling, and disappears.

When you make your way to the top of the stairs into the chapel, your comrades there are overjoyed to see you alive, but saddened to see yet another of the halflings dead.

All together you travel solemnly back to Fairbrook. The journey is without incident.


Hazel breaks down and cries hysterically for hours when she sees Filbert's body. However, you eventually manage to calm her and console her as much as can be done, and you ensure that both Filbert and Wally get a proper burial. With Filbert's share of the treasure, Hazel will be able at least to have material security for some time to come. Almo, now fully recovered from his blindness, escorts her back to her family's home.

Captain Belloc crosses paths with you and is glad to hear that you've cleared such a great evil out of Blackwell. "We had no idea there were undead taking over the catacombs beneath the chapel. Clearing them out should make travel at night along the road past the keep at little bit safer, at least for a while," he says.

Abbot Cuthbert is overjoyed that Gaven has recovered the Way of the Light. "This tome," he tells Gaven, "is one of the great treasures of the Church, and was long thought to be lost. No one knew if this copy even still existed. It is a miracle that you were able to recover it!"

Back at the Red Tankard, Big Sadie welcomes you warmly and is more motherly than ever to you. She stuffs you with Sal's cooking until you can't eat anymore, and hovers over you to ensure your every comfort for the first few days you're back.

As much as you enjoy her attentions, it becomes clear that you won't be staying at the Tankard indefinitely. Blackwell and other places of peril and fortune await you, and Sadie knows as well as you do that your destiny lies there.

"One thing's for sure, though" says Sadie. "Wherever your adventures may take you, you'll always have a home here at the Tankard!"


OOC: I'm going to call a close to the game here guys.

I've been wrestling with a touch of GM fatigue + some RL obligations for a while now. I had hoped my three-week break earlier this spring would let me get over that, catch my breath, and re-charge my creative batteries, but it just didn't seem to work out that way. So with a new school year about to start and with you guys having just put down a major villain, it seemed like a good time to stop.

I do want to say that I really loved running this campaign for you. You were a great group to run a game for. This was my first time back in the GM's chair in 20 years, and I was lucky to have players that operated so well together and brought such good energy to the game. This game was fun for me mostly because of your play.

When next I run a PBB, I'll definitely be inviting you guys!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Sunday 1 August 1280 (After the Ball)

Gaven bellows seeing the fall of Filbert, and yells, "Your Master fell, now flee from the Light!"

Without their leader, and confronted by the righteous fury of the cleric, the skeletons once more falter, this time turning and running for the north door.

Duran turns his attention to the skeletons fleeing from Jack, firing his bow at the undead, while Oloc throws his dagger at the nearest skeleton. Jack, Gweneth and Karnak all also join in hacking down the running enemies from behind.

Even Almo senses their flight, and he swings his blade wildly with a mad halfling battle cry, nearly hitting Gaven by mistake. The cleric quickly sidesteps to avoid the unintended blow from the small warrior.

In a matter of moments, it's all over,* and the last of the skeletons lies unmoving in pieces near the door across the room from you.

The room is now silent. The puddle of crimson fluid in the eastern portion of the room seems slowly to be getting smaller. And you hear a very faint sound – almost imperceptible –  vaguely reminiscent of stone scraping on stone, but far quieter and more subtle, coming from the altar.


OOC: Actions?

*I didn't bother with hit rolls since with the skeletons were turned (and Rottblood was dead), allowing them no riposte. With their demise a given, and the only variable being time, I just ruled it "a matter of moments."

MAJOR EDIT: Also, I forgot to include Gaven's Protection from Chaos which was still in effect last round, meaning the skeleton's roll of 19 did NOT hit him. So in fact, Gaven is at 10/12 HP still. My apologies for overlooking that!

Time: 17:40
Current Torch Expires: 18:10

Oh, and the bones to the north are the skeletons you just killed.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Sunday 1 August 1280, Late Afternoon (One Down, One Up)

"Your necromantic powers will fail in the face of the Light!" cries Gaven as he raises his hand once more to turn Rottblood's minions. Unfortunately, though they waver momentarily, the cleric is unable to put quite enough force into his declaration to turn the skeletal minions back.

Duran, however, nocks one of Ruger's Perfect Arrows, and lets loose on Rottblood. True to its name, the arrow is precisely on target, whistling past Gaven's ear and striking Rottblood right in the center of his cowl. The evil fiend emits a howl of otherworldly agony as the flaming magical backflash from the arrow seems to burst out of his hood. Rottblood then crumples to the ground, lifeless.

With Rottblood down, Oloc throws his dagger at one of the skeletons threatening Jack, but unfortunately with no success.

Karnak strikes again at his skeleton, ripping away some of its ribs, and Gweneth and Jack, though unable to make progress, at least are able to hold their own on the flanks.

Today, however, seems destined to be a day of tragedy for the halflings. The skeleton facing Filbert, after dodging the small warrior's attack, strikes the poor stout fellow with a blow that splits his skull. With a sickening sound, Filbert falls to the floor, dead.

Another skeleton strikes [MAJOR EDIT] at Gaven, but just misses.

Behind Oloc, Almo stirs and shows what grit halflings possess. Despite his blindness, he stands and draws his weapon. The determined grimace on his face paints a stark contrast to his darkened, vacant eyes. Placing a hand in the center of Oloc's back to get his bearings, Almo moves past the mage and starts forward, returning to the fight.

OOC: Actions?

HP Update:
Gaven: 10/12
Filbert: 0/6 (dead)
All others full

MAJOR EDIT: When I first wrote this, I forgot to include Gaven's Protection from Chaos which would mean the skeleton's roll of 19 (below) did NOT hit him. So in fact, Gaven is at 10/12 HP still. My apologies for overlooking that!

Other points of note:
Rottblood is dead
Two skeletons have been wounded (the one facing Gweneth and the one facing Karnak)
Almo has passed a morale check and is now standing again.

The skeletons are still eligible for turning, if Gaven chooses to attempt it again (really lousy dice-rolling on my part once more – Gaven needed a 7, on 3d6, and I threw a 6; I need to have a serious talk with my dice).

Combat Details

Initiative: Party 6 – Rottblood 2

Gaven (attempts to turn skeletons)
3d6 = 6 (fail)

Duran (shoots at Rottblood with Ruger's Perfect Arrow)
Auto-Hit, Auto Max damage = 12 (Rottblood Killed)

Oloc (throws at skeleton)
d20 = 1 +1 (medium range) = 2 (miss)

Karnak (attacks skeleton)
d20 = 18+2 (hit bonus) = 20 (hit); d6 = 2 (skeleton wounded)

Gweneth: (attacks skeleton)
d20 = 9 (miss)

Jack: (attacks skeleton)
d20 = 9 (miss)

Filbert (attacks skeleton)
d20 = 9 (miss)

Almo (morale check)
2d6 = 7 (pass); stands up

Skeleton (attacks Gweneth)
d20 = 7 (miss)

Skeleton (attacks Karnak)
d20 = 4 (miss)

Skeleton (attacks Gaven)
d20 = 19 (hit); d6 = 5 (Gaven is now at 5/12 hp)

Skeleton (attacks Filbert)
d20 = 18 (hit); d6 = 6 (Filbert Killed)

Skeleton (attacks Jack)
d20 = 4 (miss)

Skeleton (attacks Jack)
d20 = 9 (miss)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sunday 1 August 1280, Late Afternoon (Howling and Screeching)

Duran continues to fire at Rottblood while yelling encouragement to Karnak. One of Duran's arrows strikes Rottblood, who howls with anger.

Oloc stays near Almo, protecting him from any approaching skeletons. He lets the halfling know that he is there, in an attempt to calm him. From this position Oloc throws his magical dagger. The flashing steel projectile misses, but comes right back to the mage's hand.

Gaven then charges at Rottblood yelling, "For the Light!" The rampaging cleric hurtles forward toward his dark adversary, striking him hard with his club.

Rottblood staggers momentarily from the cleric's charge.

Meanwhile, Gweneth, Jack and Karnak all continue to assault the skeletons. But the latter succeed in parrying their attacks.

Rottblood quickly regains his poise and raises his arms high above his head: "Take courage, my children! Feel the power of the darkness flowing within you!"

As the words leave his lips, the skeletons stop their backward movement. They appear almost to stand straighter, more menacingly, and they press forward once more with their own attack.

All however, fail to land a blow. Jack's defense against the three skeletons who have ganged up on him is nothing less than miraculous, blade and shield moving with the speed of lightning and catching every blow thrown at them.

Having finally dragged his cousin to safety behind Oloc, Filbert charges into the skeletons to wreak his vengeance for Wally's death and Almo's blindness. "Back to the abyss with you! Die! DIE! DIIIIIIIEEEEEE!" he screams in an almost insanely high-pitched screech. His furious rage, however, is not enough to allow him to break through his adversary's defense.


OOC: Actions?

Hit Point Update: The only one taking any damage it seems is Rottblood (not even the skeletons got hit this round! Party HP are where they were at the start of the fight).


Combat Details, Round 2

Initiative: Party 6 – Rottblood 1

Duran (shoots at Rottblood)
d20 = 8 + 1 (hit bonus) + 2 (close range) = 11 (miss)
d20 = 10 + 1 (hit bonus) + 2 (close range) = 13 (hit); d6 = 5

Oloc (throws at Rottblood)
d20 = 3 +1 (medium range) = 4 (miss)

Gaven (charges Rottblood)
d20 = 12 +1 (ribbon) = 13 (hit); 2d6 (for charge) = 3 + 2 (ribbon doubled for charge) = 5

Karnak (attacks skeleton)
d20 = 3 +2 (hit bonus) = 5 (miss)

Gweneth: (attacks skeleton)
d20 = 9 (miss)

Jack: (attacks skeleton)
d20 = 8 (miss)

Rottblood (attempts to rally his minions)
(Un-)turn undead: 3d6 = 6 success. *Text Edited: I originally wrote d20 when in fact I had rolled 3d6.

Skeleton (attacks Gweneth)
d20 = 3 (miss)

One skeleton cannot get to Gweneth because of altar "bottleneck."

Skeleton (attacks Karnak)
d20 = 10 (miss)

Skeleton (attacks Gaven)
d20 = 4 (miss)

Skeleton (attacks Jack)
d20 = 1 (miss)

Skeleton (attacks Jack)
d20 = 3 (miss)

Skeleton (attacks Jack)
d20 = 5 (miss)

Filbert (attacks skeleton; goes last after dragging Almo to safety)
d20 = 7 (miss)

Wow, if I keep rolling like this the combat is going to take forever...

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Sunday 1 August 1280, Late Afternoon (Light and Darkness)

"I am Rottblood," says the figure. "Who are you who invade my home and harm my family?"

Gaven answers in a stern tone, "We are the ones who will stop your defilement of this temple."

Hearing this reply, the skeletons charge forward. Rottblood speaks a word in an evil-sounding tongue, and a shadow flies from his hand, striking Almo in the face.

"I'm blind!" cries the halfing. "I can't see!" Almo falls to the floor, and tries to crawl away from the undead he knows are coming for him in his own private darkness.

Gaven lifts his holy symbol and commands, "Children of Rottblood, flee from the holy power of the Light!"

The skeletons who were rushing forward stop dead in their tracks. They look from Rottblood to Gaven and back again. Trembling between the wrath of their master and that of the light, they slowly begin to step backward.

Their withdrawal however, is not the mad flight you witnessed before, and you can't help wondering if Rottblood's will or magic might bring them back into the fight.

Meanwhile, Oloc finds a line of sight to the shrouded figure and points his finger. Recalling the spell stored in his ring, he sends the magical missile streaking towards the evil one. The missile strikes the dark adversary, in a burst of red energy, yet seems to do but little harm.

As soon as Oloc fires his magic missile at the shrouded figure Duran lets loose an arrow at the same, followed quickly by a second. Both arrows strike Rottblood. The first seems only to nick him, but the second sinks solidly into the fiend's torso.

Duran then steps to the side to let the others move into the room, motioning for Karnak to attack.

Karnak swoops down on one of the withdrawing skeletons and rips out two of its vertebrae with his talons. The skeleton falls to the floor in a pile of bones.

Gweneth and Jack each let out a primal battle cry and rush the adversaries on either flank.

Jack's reckless run bears no fruit. But the female elf hacks with her sword into another skeleton's ribs, sending a burst of bone fragments into the air.

Filbert rushes to his cousin's aid. "It's alright Almo, I've got you!" he cries, as he begins to drag Almo backward to a safer position.


OOC:  Actions?

Combat Details:

Round 1

Initiative: Rottblood and Friends 4 – Party 1

Spellcasting and Turning

Rottblood:  Casts darkness at Almo's eyes (distance allows save = 5, fail); Almo blinded (morale roll 2d6 = 8, fail)

Gaven: Turn Undead. 2d6 = 8 (success).

Oloc: Casts Magic Missile – automatically strikes Rottblood; d6 +1 = 2 (ouch, sorry for the poor die-rolling there...).

Duran: Shoots at Rottblood
d20 = 12 + 1 (hit bonus) + 2 (close range) = 15 (hit); d6 = 1
d20 = 18 + 1 (hit bonus) + 2 (close range) = 21 (hit); d6 = 5

Karnak: Attacks skeleton
d20 = 12 +2 (hit bonus) = 14 (hit); d6 = 3 (skeleton killed)

Gweneth: Attacks skeleton
d20 = 16 (hit); d6 = 1

Jack: Attacks skeleton
d20 = 3 (miss)

Filbert runs forward to Almo's aid.