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Campaign journalby RPGPundit
Another update now: The group was smaller this week, as Sir Firearm's player will be away for a month, and Hathalon's player got a new job and may not be able to attend any longer, we'll have to see.
In any case, Sir Firearm was called up by the temple of Vanya, and had to leave to join the Avengers of Vanya in defending the borders of Darokin.
Meanwhile, Hathalon was slipped a shot of Brother Abelard's Total P*ss-Up by Alendalan, and became violently ill for the duration of the session.
So the Party at the moment is just Galafilo (8th level Halfling Sheriff), Corwyn (21st level Cleric of Asterius) and Alendalan (10th level Karameikan Elf Lord-Wizard).
Speaking of Alendalan, he used his one spell per day to teleport to Darokin city, found a cleric there who was high enough level to help him, and paid 60k gold pieces and had to hand over the ring as the price for his Remove Curse. But Alendalan did it willingly, and then teleported back safe and sound to Mar.
The trio then decided to go and spend the next two weeks thoroughly cleaning out the hex where Corwyn will be building his temple. They marched over there, and started looking for monster activity.
Within a few days, the metal-seeking sword alerts them to some metals up in one mountain, and they head up there. Getting to the entrance of a cave, Corwyn detects a trap at the cave entrance, and Alendalan uses a wizard eye to look inside the cave. There he sees a few goblin watchmen in what appears to be a goblin lair. The PCs decide a goblin trap can't be all that dangerous, and not having a thief with them they can't really do anything about it, so they march up to the mouth of the cave, which promptly explodes and injures all of them.
At that point the goblins are alerted and come rushing out, droves of them. They are fairly intelligent for their species but make the mistake of erroneously thinking the PCs are low-level (because Alendalan's first spell is a magic missile, which only injures two of them). The Goblins get in close formation to shoot arrows, and that's when Alendalan fries them all with a fireball.
They go into the dungeon, and find that in the guard room there is a secret door that leads down into a cave. With his wizard eye, Alendalan sees that the cave floor is filled with bones, and seems to have a small exit.
They go down there to check it out, and once there Galafilo notices that a particular rock is slowly moving toward them. Out of the rock pokes a head, and the PCs realise they are confronting a dreaded Giant Snail! One of the most dangerous monsters in existence (I kid you not) !
The PCs try to attack it and see they have little impact, so they make a run for it just as the snail makes its Acid Spit attack. Barely avoiding it, they thank the immortals that the exit is too small for the gargantuan Snail to escape from, it must have been grown inside the cave.
They double back again to the guard post, and head from there to the main chamber of the Goblins. Its full of goblin women and cubs, and the PCs don't really want to slaughter them, but Corwyn must get rid of them if he's to be able to declare this hex clear for habitation.
They ask if anyone speaks Common. One old crone steps forward and says she does. They tell her that the men of the tribe are all dead, and that the women and children must now leave this place forever. The Crone responds that the King yet lives, and that they must obey his order to stay and die. But, she quickly adds, they must only obey his order as long as the King lives.. "he's in there.." she points to a door.
Alendalan summons Carlitos, his Earth Elemental (yes, he started naming them), to go in and kill the king and his bodyguard. The Earth Elemental does just that with little fanfare, and the women and children now prepare to leave. "But beware" says the old crone, "the Mighty Gary The Destroyer will take revenge upon you all".
The PCs ransack the king's room first, looking around they find only a few electrum pieces. But behind his shrine there's a secret panel, with what the PCs suppose to be the handle for a secret door leading to the treasure room. They tug on it, but unfortunately the handle was actually a lever of some kind, and the entire mountain shakes for a few seconds. The PCs are ready for anything, but nothing more happens. Confused, they keep searching and finally find the "treasure room". Its empty except for one item, a beautiful crown of gold with jewels encrusted upon it, looking extremely valuable. Corwyn fails to correctly appraise its wealth, but Galafilo notices that the crown has Dwarvish runes upon it. He figures that sometime down the road a trip to Rockhome will be in order.
The PCs camp there for the night, and in the morning, more prepared, they decide to face off against the Giant Snail. But when they go back down to the cave they find that the outer wall has caved-out and widened, and the Snail is gone. That's what the lever did, and the Snail must be Gary the Destroyer. They see a trail of slime headed in the direction of Mar.
Flying quickly (Galafilo on his Hippogriff, the others on Alendalan's Surfboard of Flying), they catch up to the slow-moving Snail, and try to stay out of the range of its spit while throwing spells and missile attacks at it. Its remarkably resistant to most forms of damage, and the battle is quite drawn out, especially once Gary digs underground, making a tunnel. Finally Alendalan ducks down there while invisible and fires a magic missile, rushing back out again on his board (he's the Sylvan Surfer, you know). Then Galafilo collects a huge pile of leaves, throws it into the hole and sets fire to the whole thing.
The PCs wait for a time, but finally one of them bravely checks, and sees that Gary is finally definitely dead. The fight happened in a lovely valley in between the mountains, and Corwyn decides his temple will be built here, and it will be called Gary's Demise.
The PCs carry on with their hex-clearing. They later run into Smiley the Barbarian, who has been living in a mud-and-stick hut in the mountains for the last three years, ever since the PCs witnessed him and his band of men getting their asses kicked by huge blue dragon the PCs later killed. Smiley was the only survivor of his party, and since he has the No Direction Sense skill he had been running around in circles in the same hex for the last three years, only a few hour's walk from Mar. When Galafilo's hippogriff walks up Smiley assumes its a wandering monster and nearly kills it (Smiley is a grand master with his 2-Handed Sword +4 named "Wee Bonnie"), and to stop Galafilo and Smiley from going at each other, Corwyn tells Alendalan to fly Smiely back to Mar. Alendalan does so, but before flying back he offers Smiley a cupful of Brother Abelard's Total **** Up. "Sgot a bit of a sting to it", says Smiley, just before passing out cold.
The subsequent night, during the second watch, Galafilo spots an oncoming huge Red Dragon, and warns the others just in time. Galafilo has 90% hide in wilderness, and Alendalan casts invisibility, leaving Corwyn as a very visible target. The Dragon swoops in and attacks the Cleric, dropping him, and Galafilo attacks the Dragon while Alendalan fires an arrow of curing at Corwyn bringing him back to consciousness, and then fires a lightning bolt at the dragon. The Dragon, an unintelligent variety, then charges Alendalan and nearly rends him to bits. Galafilo keeps at the dragon with his hand axe, and Corwyn stands ready. Alendalan desperately casts Conjure Elemental and summons up an Air Elemental to distract and attack the dragon, while Alendalan scampers up a tree to hide. The dragon takes to the air to attack the elemental and as he does so Corwyn casts Barrier, making the dragon fly through and take serious damage, but the dragon lays some serious harm on the air elemental too. Galafilo and Corwyn keep bashing it while its distracted by the bigger menacing elemental, and the Dragon breathes fire on the Elemental killing it. Galafilo makes another palpable hit on the dragon, Alendalan a magic missile volley, and finally Corwyn drops it with his Dagger of Returning.
The next day Corwyn does a Find a Path to the dragon's lair, on top of an extinct volcano. Wisely, Alendalan does a wizard eye, and he sees another red dragon, the first one's mate, asleep in the lair. The three wait outside the lair while Alendalan summons up Carlitos the Earth Elemental to go in and hit it. Carlitos hits the dragon, but she hits back, and then decimates it with its breath weapon. The PCs just wait, at ready. The Dragon smells them, and flies out of its lair entrance, right into Corwyn's barrier, taking serious damage. But it breathes on Alendalan, killing him. Corwyn and Galafilo hit the beast, but on its next round the Dragon cuts Galafilo to pieces, killing him too!
Now only Corwyn is left. He drops a hundred feat and reactivates his boots of levitation hard, and the Dragon comes swooping down to get him. But Corwyn had a second Barrier memorised, and the dragon crosses it fatally. Even so, Corwyn is almost impacted by the falling dragon carcass. Corwyn quickly scoops up all the massive treasure in the cave, and flies back to Mar with Galafilo and Alendalan's corpses.
Once back there, he sees that the town is badly damaged! Apparently, Smiley woke up, still in a drunken haze he mistook the town for an orc encampment, went apeshit and destroyed much of the town in an orgy of killing and projectile vomiting before running like a madman back for the hills.
Corwyn casts Raise Dead on his two team-mates, and they spend the next two weeks in bed rest while Corwyn trains himself to basic level with the sling, and finishes up some details of the construction of his stronghold.
When the PCs are recovered, they head back to the adjacent hex to finish the clearing out process, pausing only long enough for Galafilo to pick up some special barding for his vulnerable Hippogriff.
The rest of the clearing out process is pretty straightforward. The PCs only encounter one valley with a tribe of Centaurs. The Centaurs are semi-barbaric, and end up being of neutral disposition. Corwyn reaches an agreement with him that his people will leave them alone in their valley, and in exchange they won't attack or raid his stronghold.
The PCs head back to Mar, and Corwyn commissions the Engineers to start the 14-month long building process for his temple. They are preparing to head back to Darokin City to hire some more experts for his stronghold, when the news arrives: The Master of Hule has invaded Darokin along the Western Border! Akesoli is being besieged! Darokin is at WAR!
That's it for today.
The PCs are:
Sir Firearm (19th level Fighter Lord Avenger of Vanya)
Corwyn (24th level Cleric of Asterius)
Galafilo (8th Level Halfling Sheriff)
Alendalan (10th Level Karameikan Elf Wizard Lord)
Hathalon (10th Level Alfheim Elf Wizard Lord)