Monday, September 18, 2017

Session XCII: The Half-orc and the Fire Giant

Our ongoing Swords and Wizardry sandbox campaign...

Current Player Characters:
Thenus (Ranger)
Wang Du (Monk)
Wolfheir (Viking)
Arg (Half-orc)
Sir Gwain (Paladin) 
Su (Cleric) 
Grop (Kobold Wizard)
Tadashi (samurai)

NPC's
McDagger (thief)
Biggs (fighter)
Koshan (Ogre Magi)
Lothar (Firblog)
Lord Boomish 
Having miraculously defeated a large onslaught of Fire Giants, the beleaguered party began to explore the grand hall. Arg, Lothar of the hill people and Grop examine the massive obsidian alter and the magic circle holding a burning Fire Elemental.  Grop dispelled the Elemental back to it's plane and Lothar read the inscription on the alter.  But the respite is short lived as a massive Fire Giant in flaming armor and carrying a flaming sword burst out from behind another of the curtained alcoves.  The party and the Giant charge each other and a bloody battle takes place.  The Giant chief falls!

Grop detects that the armor, sword and the giant's two rings are magical along with the Fire Giant's obsidian alter.  But as they decide what to do with all this, the Giant's wounds begin to heal and he begins to rise once again.  Sir Gwain draws his Frost Blade and beheads the giant.  Arg takes the flaming sword for himself and the Giant's rings are split among the party, which they wear as crowns or armbands.

As they loot the corpse, yet another Fire Giant poked his head out from another curtained alcove and shouted in shock at the site of his dead companions and Chief.  He rushed back behind the curtain.

Fearing another attack from the Fire Giants and naturally concerned over their weakened state, the party decided it best to try to hide and recover.  They sought shelter behind the curtain of the Giant Chief but only find a dead-end.  A search for secret doors turned up nothing.  
Suddenly, they heard angry shouting coming from the main hall.  Arg peeked out from behind the curtain and  saw that the Fire Giants are arguing among themselves and that the two strongest began to fight each other for the right to be chief.  Letting the fight play out, the party watches as one of the giants is defeated and the other claims chief.

Arg decided to go out and challenge the new Fire Giant chief.  He stepped out with the flaming sword and the rest of the party follows, walking in a uniform line across the hall towards the giants.  Arg challenges the new Chief to a one-on-one duel for the ownership of the Giant's Flaming Sword.  The challenge is accepted and the party and Fire Giants circle around the the two combatants.  Thenus slips Arg a gourd of speed to aid in his combat and the battle in engaged.  Arg matches the Fire Giant blow for blow, both wounding each other but both not giving in.  Suddenly, the flaming sword flies from Arg's grip and is picked up by another giant.  Grop casts a web around that giant with angers the other Giant onlookers who start to push and attack the party.  Sir Gwain tosses his Ice Blade to Arg who caught it and then cut the leg off of the giant and then beheaded the mortally wounded creature!  In a rage the rest of the Fire Giants attack.  In the battle, Wang fell, mangled and dead, but not before he stunned one of the Giants which was quickly dispatched.  Biggs also fell. With everyone near death, the nearly finished party with one last effort dispatched the remaining Fire Giants.  They are once again victorious! 

In no shape for another battle, the party gathers their wounded and exits the fortress and heads back to the hidden village of the Firbolgs....

Monday, September 11, 2017

Session XCI: Fire Giants!

Our ongoing Swords and Wizardry sandbox campaign...

Current Player Characters:
Thenus (Ranger)
Wang Du (Monk)
Centari (Elf)
Wolfheir (Viking)
Arg (Half-orc)
Sir Gwain (Paladin) 
Su (Cleric) 
Gorp (Kobold Wizard)
Tadashi (samurai)

NPC's
McDagger (thief)
Biggs (fighter)
Koshan (Ogre Magi)
Lothar (Firblog)
Lord Boomish

With McDagger invisible and tiny Gorp just inside the giant iron doors to the entrance of the ancient dragon Agatheron's lair, the rest of the party peered in and saw a massive hall almost one thousand feet long.  At the far end were five fire giants.

As they discussed what to do, eventually one of the giants started to head towards the open door.  Hiding on the outside, they prepared to ambush the lone fire giant. When the Giant stuck his head outside the party attacked, but not before he screams out a warning.  The Giant, however, stumbled and the party hacked him to death.

Dragging him out of the doorway, McDagger warned that there are two other giants heading towards the doors.  The party waited for the two Giants outside the doors.  When they stepped out they were also attacked.  McDagger warned that one of the other two Giants at the far end had rushed behind a curtain.

They dispatched the two Giants and enter the grand hall.  Searching behind massive curtains they found a ballista. Lothar rolled it out into the hall as Arg and Wang Du searched the hidden alcoves for more.  They noticeed that Koshan had disappeared by turning himself invisible. 

As they made their way up the hall, a distant alarm sounded and the party prepared for battle with the Giants.

From behind a curtain rushed a number of Fire Giants.  Gorp tried to fry them with a Fireball but the giants only laughed and charged on.  Arg and Wang fired off their ballista as does Lothar damaging two of the giants.  Gorp blastsed them with cold, wounding a number of the Fire Giants.  Finally the two groups engaged in hand to hand combat, Thenus firing damaging arrows to her favored foes.

Meanwhile, a Beholder appeared out of nowhere and shocked the party into fear until they notice that the magical beast started attacking the Fire Giants.

There was one robed Fire Giant that raised a wand by the Beholder turned him into a giant rat.  Koshan, now in his true form as a Ogre Magi, and McDagger attacked the Giant Rat and eventually kill it.

Arg and Wang charged the giants and the fierce battle continued.  Another blast of frost from Koshan defeated some of the Giants and Todashi almost fell to their attacks more than once. Sir Gwain saved him but has trouble fighting the Giants as he keeps dropping his magic sword. 

Suddenly, two Hell Hounds burst from the curtains and attacked McDagger, killing him.

Eventually, the party prevailed over this initial onslaught of Fire Giants. Su raised the dead McDagger who hobbled out of the hall shaken and wounded.

Surely there are more that lie in wait...



Session XC: Knock, Knock, Knocking On The Dragon's Door

Our ongoing Swords and Wizardry sandbox campaign...

Current Player Characters:
Thenus (Ranger)
Wang Du (Monk)
Centari (Elf)
Wolfheir (Viking)
Arg (Half-orc)
Sir Gwain (Paladin) 
Su (Cleric) 
Gorp (Kobold Wizard)
Tadashi (samurai)

NPC's
McDagger (thief)
Biggs (fighter)
Koshan (Magic User)

Having finally exited Hidatha's maze with his enemy Koshan as their new ally, our fearless party once again headed north towards the Grey Mountains and their face-off with Agatheron, the ancient red dragon claiming dominion over the land.

One evening at camp, Thenus shouted out a warning as the ground beneath their feet shook and opened and out crawled a group of Giant Ants.  The party responded and soon dispatched the insects. They resumed their rest and soon also their journey.

Entering the foothills, they saw in the distance the twinkling lights of a small village.  Su knew this village to be Litafjord.  They decided to make for the village and rest there before their final trek into the pass.  Upon entering the village, however, they found it to be mostly deserted save for the Craggy Inn run by the inkeeper and his dwarven wife.

The party learned that everyone had left the village on account of the reemergence of the Dragon and that he had gathered an army of Fire Giants to aid him.  The stubborn Innkeeper had decided to stay along with the village's lord, Lord Boomish.  Thenus recalled having worked for a Lord Boomish a while back in the town of Berkenstok when they recovered the family shield from the Ruins Beneath Xlarthan's Tower (back in session 75). They learned that this Lord is a cousin of the one that they had previously helped.

The next day they met Lord Boomish and he recognized the party as the ones that recovered his family's shield from the ruins beneath Xlarthan's tower.  The shield was used to defeat the dragon with Lord Blackmoore many years ago.  Lord Boomish decided that it is his destiny to face the dragon one last time and will aid the party.

The next day the party, along with Lord Boomish, left the village of Litafjord and head out into the mountains. They soon ran across the corpse of a fire Giant with it's head on a pike. Examining the ground for clues, Thenus discovered a trail leading off the path and into a canyon.  Following the trail, the party soon got the feeling that they were being watched. Arg shouted out their hatred for the Fire Giants and soon after, a Firbolg steped out.  The party befriended the giant hill people and were welcomed into their village.

They learned that the Firbolg's have been attacking their enemies, the Fire Giants, every chance they could.  The Firbolgs will not attack the Giants directly as the Fire Giants are too strong and are using hit and run tactics to weaken their enemies. The Firbolgs decided to help the party and will lead them to the entrance of the Dragon and his army.  One Firbolg, Lothar, volunteered to join the party and help infiltrate the Dragon's lair in search of his missing brother that was captured by the Fire Giants.

Lothar lead the party through the canyons and into the mountains and one evening they are standing before a pair of massive iron doors.  The great doors, outlined with a glowing dragon are discovered to by barred from the other side. Su turned McDagger invisible and uses his magic to unbar the door.  Arg and Wolf pushed the iron door open just a crack and Su and McDagger slip inside. The rest of the party peered in and saw and expansive long hall lit by torches made of trees.  At the far end were a number of Fire Giants....

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Session LXXXIX: Emerson, Frank and Tor

Continuing our ongoing Swords and Wizardry sandbox campaign...

Current Player Characters:
Thenus (Ranger)
Wang Du (Monk)
Centari (Elf)
Wolfheir (Viking)
Arg (Half-orc)
Sir Gwain (Paladin) 
Su (Cleric) 
Gorp (Kobold Wizard)
Todashi (samurai)

NPC's
McDagger (thief)
Biggs (fighter)
Emerson (bard)


Having found the green portal which they believed to be the exit, Sir Gwain lead the way to confirm that this was indeed true.

Back at the main entrance, they passed through the portal once again and began to retrace their steps, heading deeper into the labyrinth.

Down a passage that they had not explored they found an up sloping passage with a door at the end painted with a rams head.  The door was stuck and McDagger failed to open the door. Sir Gwain pulled the door open. Suddenly, a heavy cart with an iron rams head sprung from the closet beyond, rolling over and crushing members of the party.

Emerson the bard was gravely wounded and was screaming in shock and terror when he discovered that his hand, with which he performs upon his lute, has been shattered.  He pleaded with Su to heal him but Su had already healed the near death McDagger.  Su handed Emerson a clear potion that they had previously found in the wizard's chamber.  Emerson quickly downed the potion but immediately died from it's poisonous contents.

Leaving the body of the bard behind, they continued winding their way though the maze. Sir Gwain narrowly avoided falling into a pit trap in which an entire 40' section of the hallway teetered open.  After wedging spikes into the pivoting floor, they carefully made their way across.

They passed though the Hallway of Water once again and headed down a new passage.  Turning some corners they found themselves in front of a locked door.  McDagger picked the lock but failed to discover that the door was trapped and the thief was nearly killed again as the ceiling fell in on him. After recovering the thief, they found that the door only opened to a blank wall!

Continuing down the main passage and through a curtain,  they were attacked by two scorpions which Arg and Sir Gwain quickly dispatch.

They came across another door, but this time Arg was smart enough to trigger the arrow trap from a distance. This door turned out to be false as well.

Through some more curtained hallways they found another pool with a copper statue at the far end.  Arg leaped across to the statue and discovered two keyholes.  Using the keys he had found earlier, a small copper box rose out of the platform.  Upon opening it, Arg was electrocuted to near death!  Inside the box, however, he found a small black sphere.

Heading down another passage while consulting their map, they discover that the map appeared to be mostly complete except for a center portion.  It is in this space that they determine the prisoner they were sent in to dispatch must be. However, they decided to head back to the surface to rest and recover for a few days.

Once on the surface, though, the kids that had befriended them and wished to join their quest questioned the party about what happened to their friend Frank. Stretching the truth, Arg said that he died bravely fighting Minotaurs.  The kids were sad but asked why they left his body down in the dungeon. Arg responded with... something less than comforting.

After a couple of days rest, they headed back into the depths with the aspiring adventurers in tow, retracing their steps from the entrance.  They recovered Franks body, who had died from a deadly portal accident, and Emerson's body, who died from a deadly potion accident, and carried them up to the beach room.  There they buried the bodies with their companion Tor the dwarf who had died from a deadly Ettin accident.

They headed to one final arched opening that they had failed to explore and discovered stairs leading down. The stairs passed a landing with an iron statue of a bear but they found nothing odd about it.  The stairs wound down to a door which also proved to be false, but opening the door had brought the Iron Bear to life.  Arg, Wolf, Sir Gwain and Thenus charged the Iron Bear and fought it at the top of the stairs.

Having seemingly explored the entire maze, they headed back to one suspicious wall, and upon careful examination, discovered three small holes about the size of the discovered sphere.

After much debate about which hole to drop the sphere into, Wolf and Sir Gwain inserted the sphere into the first hole while the others stood back. A trapdoor opened and dropped the two into a pit of spikes.  The sphere rolled out of a slot at the base of the wall.

The companions were rescued from the pit and with the sphere in hand, tried another hole.

Wolf reached over and dropped the sphere into the third hole and was sliced by a bladed pendulum that dropped from the ceiling.

With one hole left to put the sphere, they finally opened the magic door and entered into a larger round chamber with a circular formation of pillared stone. Inside the stones, a forcewall distorted the image of a prisoner.  It was Koshan, who has been imprisoned by Hithata!

Would you trust this guy if he told you to go into a maze?
Talking with their prize, Koshan learned that Hithata had sent the party to kill him for taking the old wizard's eyes. Koshan told the party that he was a pupil of Hithata but that the wizard had grown corrupt and had destroyed Koshan's entire village. In vengence, Koshan confronted Hithata and had stolen his eyes. In a final desperate effort, Hithata imprisoned Koshan in his maze.

Koshan offered to aid the party if they set him free.  Thenus, who was quite angry for being sent by Hithata into his deadly maze was all for siding with Koshan.  However, it was the samarui Todashi who determined that Koshan is indeed telling the truth. Wang pulled the lever to remove the forcewall and Koshan was free.

With a new ally, they gathered their loot and left the maze to hunt down Hithata who was nowhere to be found.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Session LXXXVIII: Two Ettins Too Many

Our ongoing Swords and Wizardry sandbox campaign...

Current Player Characters:
Torvin Fulvousmith (Dwarf)
Thenus (Ranger)
Wang Du (Monk)
Centari (Elf)
Wolfheir (Viking)
Arg (Half-orc)
Sir Gwain (Paladin) 
Su (Cleric) 
Gorp (Kobold Wizard)
Tadashi (samurai)
NPC's
McDagger (thief)
Biggs (fighter)
Emerson (bard)

After briefly resting in the chamber with the slain lions, Arg recovered some of the feline "trophies" and the party continued their exploration of the maze in search of the wizard Hitatha's prisoner.

They entered a passageway which lead to a large magically lit cavern covered in sand, it's walls painted to look like a sky and tropical beach. There was even a pool of water at the far end with a row boat on shore.  Immediately wary of this scene the party was cautious. Arg and Sir Gwain walked deeper into the room and Arg tossed a lion's head into the water. Midway into the room two Giant Exoskeleton Crabs rose from the sand and attacked the brave explorers. After a brief battle, the party defeated the magical crabs but found nothing of value in the room.

Leaving that chamber they entered some caves and came across two Ettins!  It was a fierce battle and the party was badly beaten, with even the invincible Arg being knocked unconscious.  Towards the very end of the skirmish, Torvin Fulvousmith, the brave dwarf, fell.   With the Ettins finally defeated, Su attempted to bring the dwarf back from the dead but failed. After looting his belongings, the party buried the dwarf in the beach room and rested for the day.

Because of their delay, Wolfheir and the bard Emerson entered the maze in search of their companions which they run into in a hallway.

Through a previously discovered secret door, the party traveled deeper to the center of the maze and came across a wall of water near a shelf on which were pills and a sign that said "eat me".  The brave Sir Gwain swallowed a pill. Immediately, gills sprouted from his neck and it becomes difficult for him to breath air.  He lunged into the wall of water and was quickly attacked by three Giant Electric Eels.  Arg swallowed a pill and dove in to aid the knight.  With the Eels defeated, the two discovered a chest inside of which were two crystal eyes.

It was discovered that the waterway shortly lead to another dry junction and the rest of the party walked through the water to the other side. 

Heading south they found the passage blocked by an open room filled with water. In the corners were two statues of fish with copper chains hanging from their mouth which copper keys were attached.  In the pool were a number of large fish.  Not taking any chances, Arg speared all the fish and McDagger swam to each of the statues and obtained the keys. 

With the keys in hand, they backtracked to the dead-end hallway carved with a human skull with empty eye-sockets.  Inserting the crystal eyes into the skull they opened a secret door.  Through some long passageways they eventually came to a locked door. McDagger unlocked the door and the party entered into Hitatha's former chamber.  Here, they recovered some potions and the wizard's spellbook and piles of gold, silver and gems inside a locked chest which McDagger was able to open.

Leaving the room, the party eventually found a deep circular chamber with a green portal, similar to the entrance of the maze. Though they had not yet found their goal, they had found the way back out!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Session LXXXVII: Seriously, There Are No Minotaurs In The Maze

At long last, continuing our ongoing Swords and Wizardry sandbox campaign...

Current Player Characters:
Torvin Fulvousmith (Dwarf)
Thenus (Ranger)
Wang Du (Monk)
Centari (Elf)
Wolfheir (Viking)
Arg (Half-orc)
Sir Gwain (Paladin) 
Su (Cleric) 
Gorp (Kobold Wizard)
NPC's
McDagger 
Biggs


T'was last autumn when the party hunkered down in the village of Larm for the winter to prepare for the assault on Agathareon the ancient Red Dragon. Agathareon was defeated decades ago by Baron Blackmoore and bowed to his victor to not menace the lands of Eri'an again. But with the murder of Baron Blackmoor by the Little White King (Skwanky, but it was actually Televon dressed as a member of the Black Church - session 59), Agathareon considered the bond broken and began to covet the lands of Eri'an once again. A call went out to find other heroes to expand the ranks with Thenus and Torvin traveling to the east in search of other brave souls (having some wild adventures averting a dwarven army's invasion of a mad duke's village). Then on the night of the mid-winter's Black Sabbath, the Thunderock, home to Agathareon, erupted in fire. The red glow in the Grey mountains was seen even as far south as Larm.

With spring now here and all the heroes gathered together, the journey to Thunderock and Agathareon begins...

Spirits are high as the party left Larm into the wilderness but the first night on the road brought more to the group as four young men wanted to join the party and become famous for helping slay the dragon so as to impress the young ladies back home. Against the better judgement of the party, Chet, Frank, Joe, and Nanzy were brought into the fold, with Torvin giving them some training in fighting.

The third day they came across a Bard named Emerson.  He wanted to follow the exploits of the party's battle with the ancient dragon.

On the fifth day they came across an old blind man outside a hut. When they told him where they were headed, this man, Hithata, offered them a powerful magic item if they could bring back the heart of his rival, Koshan.  Koshan, it seemed, was imprisoned in a maze owned by Hithata during their battles but before he was locked away, he had stolen Hithata's eyes.  Seeking revenge, he wants the party to go into the maze and kill Koshan.

"There's not a Minotaur in this maze, is there?" asks Thenus.
"No, there is not a Minotaur in this maze," answers blind Hithata.

After Hithata had given the party direction and the keys into the maze, they set off of this 'brief' side-quest.

Finding the cave entrance, the party descended down until they came to a locked gate which one of keys opened.  Inside they found a room with two magical portals, one green and one red.  Not trusting the portals and becoming inpatient, Arg picks up Chet and tosses him into the green portal.  He immediately disappears. Testing the red portal proved to be shocking, one by one the party stepped into the green portal.  On the other side, they find that Chet was now dead, a victim of trying to return through the portal the had come from, which now was red also.  

Leaving Chet's body, the party continued deeper into the maze and came across a room with a wall of mist.  Thenus fires an arrow into the mist but it just disappears into the grey fog. Thovin the dwarf marches through the mist with everyone in tow so as not to get lost.  Once on the other side, however, Thovin is attacked by three Minotaur.  The rest of the party come to his aid and, after a brutal battle, finally defeat the monsters.  Thenus becomes quite angry over the fact that Hithata lied to her.

Onward, the come across a magical fountain, the water from which cures their wounds.  They also find a dead-end hallway with a relief carving of a skull with deep set holes for the eye sockets.

Going through a nearby door, the party is magically transported to another part of the maze.

More lost now then ever, they plod through more hallways, triggering a trap that fires a volley of arrows at the wandering group. As they explore, Centari comes across a secret door which leads them back to hallways they had previously explored.  So, they decide to take some other passages and this is when they find a barred chamber with lions on the other side.  However, once the bars are approached, those bars raise up and bars behind the party fall trapping them with the hungry lions.

The quick thinking Centari entangles the ferocious felines in a web spell leaving them simple prey for the party to dispatch....

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Sidequest: The Curse of Xanathon Part 2...

...the actual session summaries

Current Player Characters:
Torvin Fulvousmith (Dwarf)
Thenus (Ranger)
Somebody (Samurai)
McDagger (Thief)
Gorp (Kobold Magic User) 
NPC
Kimbra (Cleric)
Steve (Cleric)
Torvin and Thenus left the main party seeking 'heroes' to aid in their battle against the ancient red dragon Agatheron.  They soon arrived in the town of Rhooma.  However, they found that the town was in despair as the Duke had been handing out bizarre proclamations.  
Heading to the tavern of the Spuming Nooga they discover that the Duke had outlawed ale and wine. While there, the city guards passed by with another proclamation making dwarves illegal. The bartender, who happens to be a dwarf, grumbled to the party about the Duke and about the strange happenings around the barracks.  

So, going to check out the barracks, the party was stopped by a group guards.  Not willing to comply with the guards and with McDagger failing to gain favor with them, a fight breaks out that results in the death of the guards. The party, now wanted by the guards, hid in the slums of Rhooma.

At nightfall, they attempted to break into the barracks finding only limited resistance.  Once inside they found clues that some former pirate captain by the name of Draco had taken charge over control of the guards and is the only one that currently communicates with the Duke and Xanathon, a priest of the chaotic god Cretia.  To put an end to the troublesome guards, Gorp tossed a fireball into the sleeping area of the barracks and kills scores of the guards in a hellish infernal.  With the ensuing chaos, the party escaped and hid out in the slums once again.

The next morning, it is learned that most of the guards killed were innocent towns folk with families.  In disgust, Kimbra leaves the party but the party teams up with Steve, a bit rigid man of faith.  The guards are searching the city, sector by sector, for the perpetrators of the murders.

The party hides out in the temple district as the guards have orders to not go to that area.  There, they break into the temple of Cretia and came face to face with Xanathon, however he is invincible - and nude.  The party gets their asses kicked and Xanathon proved to be immune to all forms of attack (as per the module).  The only escape route was through a giant window which they party dove through with a cinematic crash (as per the module).

Receiving the next clue to defeat Xanathon (from the module) leads them to a Cretian shrine hidden in the mountains.  Here the party had lots of trouble with zealots of Cretia who nearly killed the entire party.  If it wasn't for Torvin the dwarf, fighting on, the party would have faced certain doom!

Having more trouble with a transporting hallway and disguised pits, the party eventually found the caves beneath the temple.  There, they almost fell to a trio of carrion crawlers, but once again were saved by Torvin the dwarf.

Deeper delving produces the crypt and the mummy guarding Xanathon's heart - the Achilles' heel to his invulnerability.

Rushing back to Rhooma to avoid the invading dwarven army, the party confronted Xanathon once again, but he proved crafty. Using his godly magic, the party had to fight poison snakes including a giant one while battling the evil priest.  After a heavy toll, Xanathon was finally made mortal and killed.

It was next on to the castle to free the Duke from the clutches of Xanathon's henchmen Draco and captain of the guard. Another fierce battle ensued which brought the death of McDagger and Gorp, but the evil henchmen were eventually defeated and the Duke freed of the spell and the war with the dwarves averted and dead party members brought back to life and thus ended the The Curse of Xanathon.

This module actually took about 5 sessions to play and that was somewhat even condensed. You can read about the thoughts on the module as written here.

From here we move back to our main campaign storyline....

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