September 10, 2021

Stopping to Smell the Roses

Title: Stopping to Smell the Roses
subtitle: Following the Actions of a Misguided but Well-Intentioned Desperate Man

Gram One-Shot Game #1 of 2, 4 Sept 2021 in NYC


  • Mark Taylor, bounty hunter woodsman, human male, skilled tracker, no armor, here on vacation; lasso & small composite bow [Korwin Briggs]
  • Tissy, female fox, good tracker, friend of Mark, can ride in a pouch when needed [Korwin & Edwin]
  • Baba, 5'2" dark-skinned grandmotherly figure, mage and steward, originally from the Southern Realm (African) but adventured (mostly organized adventures) a lot in the Reserve, magic bracers, great sense of smell, works as a docent in the Museum of Wine-Making [Heather Smith]
  • Ty, human male, sage specialized in human food and ancient architecture, knows alchemy and likes potions, curator of the Museum of Wine-Making, no armor, Chelsean, has a nice picnic basket for picnicking, has lots of dates with younger women but no serious relationship [Aside: Ty appeared in another game when he helped rescue Buck (PC) from a Melbonian underground basement lair.] [Joel Green]
  • Wiess Mayberry, cleric-minister of Nevron, chain armor, wears formal battle regalia of Nevronian church [Joel Green]
  • Captain Sarah-Margaret "Sarge" Touliet, captain of the palace guard in Loral Bay, broadsword & boxing, brass knuckles; skilled fighter; has househusband and 2 kids; magic chain & shield, formal [Korwin Briggs]
  • Gram, male human bard, elven chain mail, lute [D.T.Chappell]

excerpted from The Further Adventures of Gramaliustranstalus

In 2178, Gram finished the 4th edition of The Telvar Gazetteer and decided to take a little vacation time to get away for something fun and something relaxing (two different things at the same place).

In May 2179, Gram went to the gorgeous resort island of Fairwind in Cromwell to offer help get rid of evil undead that were near the Cave of Echoes on Sybarate Island. The concept of these undead had been nagging him since his first travel here. He had researched the situation and realized that an exorcism was necessary. He expected it to be a fairly simple process of protecting the cleric who cast the exorcism spell, and he had sent some nice letters to the government offering to assist. The government wrote back arranging for him to meet with the Commodore of Fairwind to discuss it.

Gram hung out in Melbonia a couple weeks beforehand enjoying the many cultural and magical experiences there. In the Town of Loral Bay, capital of Fairwind, he waited for the Commodore, who kept delaying Gram's appointed meeting due to understandably more important business. Meanwhile, the annual Pierina Wine Festival occurred, and that was fun and exciting with a focus on a ewer that travels around the province with a party in each town and village.

Gram wound up not making the appointment with the Commodore, and there was some confusion that the Captain of the Palace Guard (Captain Sarge) tried to sort out, but it was still off a bit. It turned out that Gram was correct on the exorcism's being really simple to do, and that got taken care of in July 2181. Also, they sealed up that dangerous cavern (that had held the evil undead). The undead apparently had been robbers wanting to steal from Porpherio's Garden even though it doesn’t contain anything worth taking. Even though the exorcism was simple, Fairwind is a wonderful resort place, and Gram wound up staying there several years where he enjoyed the beautiful weather, nice flora and fauna, and good company. He also made friends with a really foxy girl, though in the long run it turned out that she already had a man. Gram left with no new treasure (except some trinket souvenirs) but some nice memories of a pleasant vacation and having ignored his mail for far too long.

[This chapter of Gram's memoirs elaborates on all the wonderful things to see and experience on Fairwind Isle and Sybarate Isle, such as the spa, wineries, restaurants, excellent Museum of Wine-Making, ancient ruins, resorts, boat tours, towers overlooking Porpherio's Garden, amazing palace of the Commodore (not open for public tours), annual Pierina Wine Festival, extinct volcanoes, etc., etc.]

Moral of the story: Sometimes it's smart NOT to stop to smell the roses.

Gram investigated the Desperate Man in an effort to learn why one of the Grey People would be so desperate and take the risky actions that he did. Gram spoke with the locals on Fairwind of Grey People heritage and learned that in Fairwind, the Grey People and the Westerners had intermingled peacefully ever since the time of Caerwyn and Porpherio, and now they form a blended and interbred culture. Elsewhere in Cromwell (and the New World), however, the indigenous Grey People suffer from downtrodden lives and are the victims of rampant racism from the Western colonizers. The Desperate Man was clearly not from Fairwind, and even though details of his desperation remained unknown, the generalities of it shone through clearly.

Learning all this opened Gram's eyes further and made him reflect on what he'd seen of the Northerners in Latt and the Coastlanders elsewhere. As a product of Western culture himself, he had always mimicked the typical Westerner attitude of a focus on Realmish and Western culture. This new mindset having seen the Grey People's view partially later guided Gram to pay more attention to a new, young bardic student whose mixed heritage had some similarities to Gram's (yet also a glaring difference) but who was 1/4 Coastlander. In turn, that bardic student's staunch pride for his Coastlander heritage (taught him by his Coastlander grandfather) influenced Gram to change the tone of his later publications, especially the famous Telvar Gazetteer, to treat the Grey People not as second-class humans but as equal in worth to the Westerners who settled and conquered the New World and Cromwell. Such writings spread, and the effects may be small and may be subtle, but some of the readers' attitudes over the years were undoubtedly influenced by the tone of the famous author's works. And so it was that the actions of a Desperate Man, though they may not have directly undone any wrongs by the Westerners despite his good intentions, did indirectly have lots of little effects to ease slightly the plight of the Grey People.

Moreover, that 1/4 Coastlander bard would go off to have adventures of his own, some of which he and his party left unresolved. And one of those unresolved adventures was handed back to Gram to finish: an adventure that he worried might involve something as dangerous as a lesser demon prince. But that is a story for our next Gram one-shot game, which probably will be much more dangerous and less certain of success than this first one. (Gram one-shot game #2 of 2 is tentatively October 4 in NYC.)

July 26, 2017

Ruins Aquatic, the adventures and discoveries of an as of yet unnamed party of daring sea elves, aquatic hobgoblins and a merman

In the first session of Ruins Aquatic, an as of yet unnamed party of daring sea elves, aquatic hobgoblins and a merman, begin an underwater adventure!


Ruins Aquatic, or a brief history and log of the adventures and discoveries of an as of yet unnamed party of daring sea elves, aquatic hobgoblins and a merman

Alexander Hubbard
July 23, 2017

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November 12, 2011

The 11th Telvar Open: Hot Turtle!

The 11th Telvar Open: Hot Turtle!

An Open in Two Parts, only one part of which is described below.

11/12/11 in China Grove, N.C. Hosted by the Jones Family / D.M. E.B. Anderson, Jr.


Expeditionary Force:
Grogan Icevein, Expedition Leader, Fighter 11 (Played by Kathryn Snead)
Luether Blackrock, High Priest of Clangeddin, Fighter 8/Cleric 9 (Played by Ashley Merritt)
Morett Ironface, Lieutenant, Fighter 9 (Played by Sean Guarino)
Yeuslin Goldfire, Sargeant, Fighter 6 (Played by Andrew Anderson?)
Slorgin Ironface, Sargeant, Fighter 6
4 Dwarves, Marines, Fighters 4 (Melee Squad)
6 Dwarves, Marines, Fighters 4 (Bowyer Squad) (Played by Sarah Lane?)

Vessel Crew:
Hoine Ironface, First Captain, Captain 8 (Played by David Chappell)
Baryun Icevein, Second Captain, Captain 7 (Played by Keith Nelson?)
Florin Hilltop, First Mate, Captain 6 (Played by David Jones
Uther Hilltop, Second Mate, Captain 5 (Played by Ryan Jones?)
6 Dwarves, Crew, Captains 3

Our story begins very long ago, when the high priestess of Moradin, Ygrill, had a vision of one of the nine flawless jewels of Moradin resting in a domed city - a ruin of the Ancient's. The King of the Wall Kingdom, Gamil the Fourth, put together a recovery party of his greatest warriors, and sent them out on a quest of the greatest importance to recover the gem and bring it back to the Kingdom.

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October 24, 2009

Felix Summary #10: No Wrath Like a Felix Drained

[Stub summary] UPDATED 1/1/11

Alex's very belated memories of certain events involving genies and undead:

The valiant, infinitely resourceful and in all ways superior party lead by
the magnificent dwarven King Felix headed through the sealed portal in
hopes of clearing the passage to a pool of Earth's Blood. The region beyond
was known to harbor Earth elementals. After a brief non-violent encounter with an
appalingly uncivilized Crystal Genie, the party prepared and put the brute
out of his misery with due diligence (surprise, brutal backstabs and elegant
violence served to drop the oaf in segments). The remaining crystal (not
earth) elementals were summarily desposed of and the pool of earth's blood
was secured.

That was when things took a turn for the worse. The outcast dwarves knew of
a subterannean river below, as it was their water source. They believed
that it might connect back to Eralla, but an expedition long ago never returned.
With Flight, Felix and Wrathbane descended to scout, and found a small
set of buildings, a dock and a river. Inside one of the buildings, unfortunately,
was the remains of the expedition and the wraithified beardless dwarf who
had put a premature end to their travels. The dauntless pair proved victorious,
but not before rightful heir to the throne of Lendore was greviously injured,
and his lifeforce drained. Fortunately, his boundless endurance proved stronger
than the vile assaults, and he recovered fully. The party then descended, boarded
a small vessel with an Earth's blood motor and, accompanied with an Engineer from
the outcast dwarves, I believe a sister or cousin of their current leader, and
also their envoy.

After some minor troubles and travails, the party nearly surprised some Erallan
laundresses. Politics shall ensue.


Alex's original stub summary:

Alex: Felix opens the door.
Edwin: roll a surprise die, I got a 5
Alex: 1
Edwin: That's bad, very very bad. You get swarmed by 5 wraiths, with 3 segments of surprise. You are on a scouting mission with only Wrathbane as backup.....
Alex: Eeeeps.

(4 level drains later, we kill 2, turn the rest and get Gates down to destroy them)

(A 19, 16, 15 and 8 on the saves later, Felix is lvl 10 again. The 8 made it exactly, w/double Chant. The new saves are a BITCH.)

Other than that, it went smoothly enough. Kagu-Arala and Arala are now known to have an underground river-link. It needs some maintenance, but is otherwise fine. The pool of Earth's Blood is there, and we have a functional on-board motor.

Loot was boring. Besides the motor, a dagger +1 and a wand of acid arrow w/12 charges.

Hendel landed a nasty double backstab against the Quartz-Genie.

Aral trained to 3, is 3.3k away from 4th.
Wrathbane trained to 7th cleric.
Everyone (except Aral) is about 40k total away from their next level (Wrathbane can forget about Cleric 8). Hendel a little less, but he tends to get less, Donald closer to 50k.

July 31, 2009

Balinor/Morty/Tarplin Summary #6: Beating up on Helpless Civilians

Party Roster:

Balinor, 9th level Northerner fighter, 86 hp, played by Joel
Morty, 7th/6th human fighter/thief (bard), 74 hp, played by Jay
Bodkin, 5th level dwarven fighter, 49 hp, played by Katherine
Robynne, 5th level woodsman, 38 hp, played by Rhonda
Tarplin, 8th/5th elf druid/mage, 30 hp, played by Alan
Morhion, 3rd level Northerner Nevronian cleric, 28 hp, henchman of Balinor
Leo, 4th level human Nevronian cleric, 25 hp, played by David (Jay this time)

[Events of 25 July 2009, in Charlotte; Telvar dates December 2192 – June 2193]

As I think we had a pretty good review in the last summary, I’ll just jump right in here.

The party began by debating whether to continue hammering on the Khargish councilmembers that were likely to vote against peace. We had eliminated the top voter, the warleader of the Khargish nation (no mean feat, to our dismay at the time), and we wanted to nab at least one of the other three members that remained from this wereboar-infested Khargish village. As it turned out, not all of the votes were guaranteed to go against us, and there was actually a hierarchy.

First it had occurred to us that although our precautions would pretty much stop any divinatory magicks short of commune, the Kharg might well be incensed/worried enough to cast such a high level spell in order to determine what had happened to their warleader! A few well-chosen questions would clearly implicate the Duke, if not us directly. As such, we considered options about moving off the isle permanently.

Continue reading "Balinor/Morty/Tarplin Summary #6: Beating up on Helpless Civilians" »

June 14, 2009

Cassian/Buck Adventure: Unfinished Business, or, Whatever Happened to Obmi?

Party Roster:

Cassian, 9th level half-elf cleric of Phaulkon, played by Katherine
Sirse, Cassian's owl friend/familiar/favorite bird
Mel, Fighter level 6
Lilly, Cleric//Fighter level 1/4
Willis, Wizard level 4
Zephyr, Fighter level 3, played by Andy and Kyle

Buck, 6th level human fighter, Warder of Phaulkon, played by Andy and Kyle

Mordrick, 9th/12th level dwarf fighter/thief, NPC (played by Kyle this time)

[Events of June 12-14th, 2009, Charlotte, N.C.]

This adventure picks up after the Phaulkonian party, with assistance from the Dwarves, successfully attacked and defeated a Fire Giant Citadel on September 10, 2195, by use of the Amulet of the Fates. [Summarized in “The Only Good Fire Giant…” and “…Is A Dead Fire Giant.”] One of Mordrick’s least-favorite enemies, the evil dwarf, Prince Obmi, also had a cloning lab at the Citadel, which was destroyed. [Aside: Reynore had, much earlier, driven Obmi out of a Fire Giant citadel in 2159.]

Obmi, known as Kracklethump by the Fire Giants (because that was the noise people made when he came up behind them and snapped their spines), was not best pleased. As a result,
there were consequences to this attack upon the Fire Giant Citadel [“Ambush at Hoch-Och”].

Another Phaulkonian hero, Buck, had pursued other activities following the Fane of the Winds quest [“Alegra's Final Summary: The Fane of the Winds”]. These are summarized in an appropriately-titled summary, “Adventures of Buck: Tales of Disaster. “ In the final adventure, he was captured by the Ghoul King, a lich, in a city sewer system, and spent five years in servitude to the Ghoul King, killing good adventurers. When freed, the Ambush at Hoch-Och had already occurred, and Buck moved at top speed to join his comrades there, to help them as they planned their revenge…

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May 12, 2009

*Wizard Mountain* The Members of the Larry Consortium

[Last update: 12 May 2009]

The Front Line and Other Warriors:

Halacar 7th level halfling fighter, 80 hp (Joel)

Brother to the late Hhune, the diminuitive halfling's ability to survive impacts is unsurpassed (including, at one point, a vampire's blood drain). At two feet, eight inches tall, his ability to kill his opponent is less impressive. In his first attack with his short bow, Halacar broke his arrow, tripped, and fell into Brigling, taking them both off the cliff. Halacar undergoes frustrating dry spells in melee combat as well, where he wields a nasty falchion. Halacar's demeanor is eternally cheerful and completely unfazeable even by the sardonic Standish. His inner heart though, has a hidden chill to it. Halacar is loyal to his friends, but he has absolutely no scruples when it comes to dealing with his enemies. Halacar somehow has still failed to acquire a magical falchion, and sports a 1-1 record in the Arena. Don't ask him.

Standish 7th level half-orc fighter, 74 hp (Katherine)

Standish is a brute of a man, crude with words, and insufferably and outlandishly eloquent in the naming of his dogs. He is also the party's most devastating fighter, able to tear through lines of enemies in moments. Standing more than twice the size of his primary fighting partner, Standish wields a devastating magical bastard sword with a particular hatred for reptiles, as well as a giantslaying weapon used to great effect against a cloud giant. He is always accompanied by two dogs, his durable war dog Cromwell, and an revolving door of guard dogs (including Winston,
Weatherby, Hampton, Hinton, Percy, and the like). Standish is one of only three surviving original party members.

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Wizard Mountain Summary #17: Ask, and Ye Shall Receive

Party Roster:

Halacar, 6th level halfling fighter, 65 hp, played by Joel
Standish, 6th level human fighter, 63 hp, played by Katherine
Browork, 6th level dwarven cleric, 41 hp, played by Joel
Brigling, 7th level halfling thief, 39 hp, played by Katherine
Campbell, 3rd level half-orc fighter, 30 hp, played by Rhonda
Tiberius K. Ollivander, 2nd level half- elven cleric/2nd level magic user, 10 hp, played by Alan

[Events of May 9, 2009, in Charlotte.]

The Wizard Mountain Party (Cornell/Charlotte edition) had not been played since New Years 2002-3, so needless to say, we were a bit rusty… as were our weapons…

A brief recap of the history of the Wizard Mountain campaign:

50 years ago, the town of Wizard Mountain was a smaller city surrounding a mountain fortress. Ruling the fortress was a powerful wizard who banned all but the most talented and powerful from being within his realm, which he blockaded with high walls. The wizard would occasionally burst into town and kill citizens simply to thin out the herd.

Eventually he angered forces outside of town. Adventuring parties attempted to penetrate into the mountain and defeat the wizard, but none returned. Finally, decades ago a party known as the Coral Star attempted to fight their way into the mountain to take it over from the wizard. On the last trip they seemingly succeeded, as the attacks stopped, although the party did not return.

In the chaos of one of these attacks, a dragon named Zog escaped from the markets, where dragons were frequently bought and sold, and took up shelter in the mountains, where it frequently preys on adventurers seeking fortune from the mountain.

Tribes of hobgoblins, goblins, and gnolls swarmed over areas of the mountains, establishing kingdoms within. The gnolls were known for wielding powerful firearms that could devastate even platemail armored adventurers.

Years later, the town of Wizard Mountain has become a giant city of a million souls, and a bustling market and trade in goods and wares. The adventuring party, The Larry Consortium (do not ask about Larry), is assembled from a ragtag group of wealth-seekers who choose to brave the mountains to gain profit, and perhaps to discover something of the fate of the Coral Star…

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April 27, 2009

Felix Summary #9: Drill Baby Drill

Party Roster:

Felix, 10th level dwarven fighter, 100 hp, played by Alex
Rathbane, 7th/6th level dwarven fighter/cleric (Clangeddin), 54 hp, played by Katherine
Hendel, 9th level dwarven thief, 52 hp, played by Joel
Gates, 8th level dwarven cleric (Moradin), 52 hp, played by Aaron
Donald, 9th level coastlander mage, 48 hp, NPC
Aral, 2nd level Northerner woodsman, 27 hp, henchman of Felix

[Events of 31 Dec 08 – 01 Jan 09 in Manhattan; Telvar date: January 2190]

(Joel’s and Aaron’s first game in over a year, since Superstar! Written mostly on the train from New York to Rochester…)

The very first thing we did was update characters (eyesight, weight, height) and gained XP from the last two sessions, which was something on the order of 6000-8000 for the main characters and something small for the frequently dead Aral). Aral has enough to advance to 3rd level but because of game-world time constraints that soon arose, he remained at 2nd level for the adventure.

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October 12, 2008

The 10th Telvar Open: Video Transcript

The 10th Telvar Open: Wrap-­‐Up Scenes from the Video. Transcripts, Mostly Accurate!
Video Summary:
E: Well, the people who are manipulating The Phantasm have very different plans. So, what happens is, Phantasm leads 3 thieves from the Guild—picked because 1 knows a little bit about magic (), one is particularly good at dealing with old stonework (), and 1 is a cleric of Hindus, the god of thieves who can help heal and keep them alive (). Leads them out... with a Teleport Anchor and leads people out to a location where... I realize there are only 3 people here who are familiar with this substance, called Scatterblock. A vicious substance developed during the First Age by the Tyrants to destroy people who tried to teleport into their palaces or Universities. So what happens is, the Great Wilhelm is traveling. The Phantasm has been given a tip-­‐off by these same diabolically-­‐scheming forces. So the Teleport Anchor—something that sucks in people traveling by Teleport within about a mile line of sight between the points—Phantasm climbs up on top of the ruin and drops the Anchor into the Scatterblocked ruin, and stands back and waits.

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October 11, 2008

The 10th Telvar Open: Pocketing the Difference

The Tenth Telvar Open Tournament: Pocketing the Difference
“The random and the directly causal are often completely indistinguishable. I would argue that there is no difference—given that the world is far too complicated for us to really understand the consequences of our own actions.”
--The Anarchist Cleric known as “Bob”
Events of 11 October 2008 in Charlotte, N.C. / 26 December 2196 B.Y. in the ruins of a First Age slave city near the Realmish city of Hortun.
[the same day as the BLADES battle in the sewers of Botsweil, aftermath of a low-level adventuring party releasing two warring gods]
[NOTE: Some of the diverse summaries of these events contain contradictory information, and skewed perspectives based on the experiences of the characters involved. Some of these have been noted specifically, but otherwise the unique perspectives of each group have been maintained. The truth
of each situation probably lies somewhere in the middle.]
Dungeon Master: Edwin B. Anderson, Jr.
Assistant: Chris Allen
With Support from: Katherine Anderson Hosted by: Rhonda & Alan Jones
Near the Realmish city of Hortun lies an ancient ruin, abandoned since the First Age of Telvar. That ruin was the birth place of the Anarchist religion, where the first clerics began their work, establishing the first such temple after a slave uprising against the Codex Tyrants.
After the uprising was brutally suppressed, the site was left undisturbed for a long time, because the Restless Undead therein were deadly. Later, the Realmish government negotiated with the Undead to establish exterior walls and prevent intrusions. This fragile truce with the Undead has held for millennia...
Recently, the current government of the Near Realm has allowed the Auroran Church to establish, outside the walls, a memorial and observing post that will allow pilgrims to come and observe the site of the Revolt against the Tyrants. Though unfinished at this time, the memorial is due to be completed fairly soon...

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August 11, 2008

Felix Summary #8: The Continued Adventures of King Felix

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Felix's party, having rescued the dwarven kingdom of Arala from a flying, strength
and level draining, rogue, chimeric shadowy servant of the god of Rakshasas, is
attempting to find and reclaim the legendary ancient dwarven tunnel system to
provide a safe passage between Cromwell and Arala. The hope is that if the tun-
nel is reopened, trade between those nations will pick up, and dwarven expatriates
will return home, shoring up the desperately thin defences of the oldest seat of
dwarven power in the New World.

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