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April 30, 1996

Stone Soules Summary XXII: Little Was Ultimately Accomplished...

First of all, everyone got back from their travels. Xavier brought back
lots of disposable items from Lorm for our attack against the
abominations. Eli brought back Slow, Ruben's Warriors, Monster Summoning
I, Rope Trick, 27k sage credit, Amulet of Protection from
Detection:Golems, Ioun Stone of Protection +1, grey Ioun Stone that makes
you tired (enigma value), and the ever disappointing Chime of Opening.
Ceydric takes Kergul's items to be identified. The only item that is
wacky is the ring of alignment obscurement, it has a Feeblemind
contingency in it that will go off when the condition is met. What fun.
We sell the nerve poison etc. Party has 40k in credit and cash.

With the Chime of Opening we decide to go to the library, the enigma that
has beaten us so many times before. I will make a long story short, Gram
plays the chimes, 5 charges used (13 left), doors open, some people go
in. Doors disappear and reappear shut. Inside is a guy (Tellah) that
Eli identifies as a Lich or a Shade (he rolled really well too). Grey
hair, pitted skin, solid blue eyes. Invisibly he has chains around his
wrists anchored to the center of the room. He was Zardis, a ridiculously
powerful wizard that lived a life of infamy. A hero sacrificed himself
so Zardis would put on a ring that arrested his power. He was then
brought before the "Council" and in their "infinite wisdom" cast a REALLY
powerful spell/ceremony that bound him to be the keeper of the library,
it also limited his ability so he was no longer as much of a threat
(yeah, right). So we ended up asking him a million questions wasting the
entire evening, everything was circular. We couldn't go in the basement
where the bindery was, the golems there have no power, and the following
things would provoke Tellah :taking his spell books, taking his items (he
radiated level 5 magic, Enchantment, Evocation), going down stairs,
breaking windows etc. Augurys gave us the impression that provoking
Tellah probably released him and he would then destroy 1000's of
innocents. Fun eh?

We went through a ridiculous number of ideas to try and do something here
and everything had the same results. The only cool thing is we can stay
here in the city overnight (if only someone was inside to open the door
for us).

Eli Comments

Personally I am worried. There are lots of adventurers that fool around
in Tan-El. If one of the others provoked Tellah, Middle would be in
serious trouble. If Konrad is only a month away, I think we should wait
for him and kill this Lich. The the treasure isn't the reason but the
peace of mind is. We also should infer that Tyner could have been
imprisoned in the same way. Let's avoid both places.

Player Comments

As a side note, the game sucked. What this means is that all of us here
are incredibly frustrated and will probably have a short fuse about any
comments about the library. I was telling this to Jack on the way home
last night, but I personally am to the point where I don't care how much
magic and treasure we recover...I want to get something done in the
city. I want to kill the abominations, Tellah, Grey philosopher,
kobolds, whatever. To this end I don't want to do any more puzzles, I
just want to start thrashing bozos. Maybe that will give us some more
experience so we can handle ridiculous deity level magics.

> We couldn't go to the basement, but could we get to the books? Could we

The books were once on the main floor. Some worms got to the books a
while ago, all that is left is covers. All the information was
destroyed. The covers were in Runic I and had a wide variety of topics.
None were magical. Tellah was pissed that the council in their infinite
wisdom did not grant him the power to prevent the infestation.

ALL the books were worm food. There was a book called "A Life of Infamy"
that gave us all the information about Tellah/Zardis (left by the council
as part of his indignity) and a dictionary on the local language. I am
trying to get info from edwin about the dictionary.

We asked lots of questions.

The comment on breaking the retardation is, in my opinion, referring to
the Disjunction (9th level) necessary to free Zardis.

-Zack Hubert-

April 22, 1996

Stone Soules Summary XXI: Tan-El Again

May 17- It is a nice sunny day for the dynamic weirdos to check if the
behir is in the city. He is not, so we enter. Our plan is to check out
huge portions of the city with relatively cursory searching. We start in
an area that we are familiar with and find the old mite building still
empty, the Constabulary with its teleporter, and then a room full of
bats. Well, so they were stirges in mass numbers. We killed them.
Inside this building was a dead fire giant wearing a symbol we had not
seen before, but carrying cash that we are quite familiar with. Easy
money, not much pain. Nothing else found this day.

May 18-Continuing our search, the day is relatively uneventful...and then
something terribly bad happens.

A very large beetle (15') appears in front of the party at close range due to exceptional camouflage. We prepare to attack, I begin Lightning Bolt and then it emits a sonic
disaster. A loud shriek comes from the beetle and almost the whole party
drops, as if they were dead. Standing is Claude, Xavier, Alegra, Aria,
Ludo, and myself. Ah, the mule was still standing as well, was Canstil
still up, I can't recall. With my spell ruined I sought to further the
distance to get out of his breath attack but not my spell range. Other
party members closed, attacked whatever. It took significant damage from
lots of sources but before I could even finish my lightning bolt, it took
lethal damage from a kick by the mule, and it dropped. Permanently dead
were Ampere, Ceydric's standard bearer, and Latte, Xavier's cavalier.
The rest of the party was just stunned. There was no treasure recovered,
just a bad day with a Banshee Beetle. We return to Middle for much
needed rest.

May 20- Searching through more buildings, Ludo finds a rather difficult
to see trap door on the ground in one building. As he touches it a
glowing orb jumps through the trap door and hovers in place, it shocks
Ludo with some lightning bolt type thing. We weren't really sure if this
was intelligent or some automated defense so while we studied our options
it went on the offensive. Attacking Ludo and then myself (once I started
casting a spell) the party was in dire straights. It was VERY difficult
to hit with weapons (but could be hit by any weapon, not just magic) and
I was knocked unconscious before the battle was through. I awoke moments
later only to be attacked again by the creature, apparently it knew I was
a magic user and a threat to its existence. Luck brought us several hits
against the creature with Gram scoring the most...I had to act like I was
dead to avoid it becoming a reality. Its attacks were just too fast for
me to get a spell off. But, eventually the battle was brought outside
and the Will-o-the-wisp decided that it had taken enough punishment and
must now relinquish the treasure but not its life so it fled at top speed
over the city. Not to let a creature like that live to see another day,
Lowar's Improved Magic Missiles scored near maximum damage and
obliterated the beast even though it was far away. What a great spell!
The treasure was vast...the party was rich. We return to Middle.

May 22-June 25th

The party decides to have a minor down time. Dari, Canstin, Henry,
Jerem, Star, and Claude all train! Gram, Xavier, Aria, Theo, and Ludo
all travel to End to speak with Beck the sage. [research findings noted

We also decide to speak with the dead body of the person bearing the
scroll of immense power. He was Maverick, an 11th level wizard believing
in some conspiracy that spiders will take over the world. He used to
adventure with SMART but was rejected. He then returned to Tan-Eli,
ahem, Tan-El to destory the ethereal spider. His plan was to cast Phase
Door on the spider...just to kill it, yes, he went insane. He told us
SMART limited its activity in the city, and didn't go to the library
because it was scatterblocked! I am sure am glad none of us tried to
Dimension Door in! Anyway here is his comments on the conspiracy,

"apprentices didn't believe me. It became clear when I as reading about
a power paladin...there was a lizardman, salamander, and fuzzy blue
critter [volt] all chanting "gee whiz", that was the connection"

I personally believe he was reading some historical documents and that
the above should tell us something. I am still trying to figure out what.
Anyway, he authored several interesting spells including _Rain of
Razorblades_, and told us how SMART recovered the volts.

June 25-26 Back to base camp, the down time is over (still no responses
from Wicker, Evard, or Skylltor). Not much of note, kill a couple of ogres.

June 27- Today we discovered what the LE force in the city is. We were
exploring a block right next to the mountain, when we found a nice iron
bound wooden door. We did all the usual procedures and opened it up.
Continual lights made a nice little tunnel visible that extended past our
vision. We could hear a windchime within. Our invisible friend Thurmond
scouts for us and returns with bad news. He saw a creature in a very
large room up ahead that matches the description of a Kobold. We have
every reason to believe this tunnel a Kobold trap (the kobold was
screaming for help)...we leave and think about our options. Wonder if
Halt is free?

We bag a couple of giant minks for even more cash, although it could have
been even more than that if Jerem and Canstin obeyed direct orders.

June 29-
A couple of giant toads killed, we return to base camp.

-Zack Hubert-

We researched the Stone Giant civilization at End (which also coincides with
our researched history of the Stone Giant Hammer, as we found out). We also
tried to research the Library, but Beck could find no information, other
than that it was used by all factions in the city (public, private, etc.
were not clear but it was not a sage or magic library). He found a couple
of pretty strong possible sources, but he had to order them. We will have
the info in a month or less (the training month was included in the 1-2
month expected time to receive the books). He expected them to be very good


April 15, 1996

Stone Soules Summary XX: Further Explorations of Tan-El

Things that happened in the second game for the weekend:

1. Dari was trained as a thief to prevent her play rating from getting too
bad. We will train her as a thief and Canstin as a fighter after a couple
more excursions into the city.

2. Exploring Tan-El
a. Finally encountered the Giant Ants in the city in the NE.
Xavier talked to them and we retreated.
b. Encountered a Fire Giant exile (from the FG central gvt) who was
a Chelsean cleric (he learned from a Cloud Giant outpost) and believed
strongly in cities and societies of all kinds and races, which led to his
exile for blasphemy from the FGCG. We talked with him and swapped
information and took him to the rebel FG colony near Middle/Tan-El. He had
a fire mastiff giant Bassett Hound for a pet.
He provided a lot of interesting information for us and we for him,
especially about the lies propagated by the FGCG.
His name was Tarrence. Ashen Rock, where Borglin lives (Gram might find
this interesting), was where the "ancients cremated their dead." A people
known as the Grey People (humans with predominantly grey hair probably)
lived and traded with the FG and Stone Giants who once lived in End before
Tan-El's collapse and the destruction of a great human empire, which
produced a wasteland to the east. (there's lots more information).

Terrence has basic info about the FGCG. And some info about ancient history of cities (like a good Chelsean) in the area. He did mention that FG do not keep great records. He's from the Ashen Valley, where there are volcanoes, where most of the FG empire is located; it is located in mountains far to the east from Tan-El. Ashen Rock is a separate place far away. Tan-el was a human civilization; the Ruins of End were a Stone Giant civilization.
Tan-El (Tunnel) was built by humans to trade with the Grey People, Stone Giants (where End is), and Fire Giants to the east. humans once lived north of the FG Empire, but started a war with the FG and SG and were destroyed. Nothing was left of the empire of the humans, only a wasteland where NOTHING lives. It is to the north of Skalrag, a FG village on the edge of the mountains in the Ashen Valley, at the north of the FG empire. Tarrence thought that the giants would have to have been much more powerful than modern giants.
Tan-El was spared but collapsed, since it was a breakaway city. The tunnel in Tan-El, definitely leads to the City to the north (of Gold, the Eagles, etc.). Who the Grey People are is a mystery, though they were as big as humans but had grey hair and Tarrence did not think they were elves.
[The Grey People, also known as the Old Race, were the original human inhabitants of this area of the New World. They include Coastlanders, Karg, etc.]

c. The building next to Tarrence's building in Tan-El (Institute of
Military Studies) contained some ancient Sparring Golems that would produce
the correct weapon and spar with you. The golems seem to lose their magic
when removed from the building, though.

d. We took another route and found a huge wasp's nest near the
Temple district, with at least 24 wasps/hornets. Eli bagged a large number
of them while we retreated. They were going to "go for help go for help go
for help" so we retreated when they did not follow us.

e. The same day as the wasps, we investigated the basement of the
Military Institute, in which were hiding a large number of ghouls (and
ghasts, we later determined). We retreated initially (sun-coin, turning,
and retreating from the large number that included an overpowering ghast
stench that drained strength from our fighters). We then went down with
some spell and other preparation. Xavier, Star, and Aria held off some of
the ghouls (they came at us from behind as well) while Alegra and Eli
destroyed them. Alegra destroyed a bunch with turning and Eli with magic
missiles and lightning bolts. Not much treasure was found however.

That's all folks!


April 08, 1996

Stone Soules Summary XIX: Spiders and Undead: More Tan-El Fun

Here's the game in brief. If possible, we are going to play more again on Saturday since Edwin didn't feel well enough to play too late tonight.

1. The Spider. We were prepared and tried to kill it. It was above animal intelligence. It at one point dropped a mummified body to us as we were trying to get to it. The body had magical gear, including a mage spell with a 9th, 8th, and 7th level spell on it, cast at the 19th level. This was a serious treasure. We tried to get up further into its lair, but could not. We tried to communicate vocally but could not, though it did speak in its weird language to us.

2. On the way to the spider we found a weird area of the city where the entire vegetation was dead and a dull haze hung over the depression in the city. It was eerie. We came back later to find: it got progressively darker and more evil. The weather in the area was quite perverted. Gram took out his sun coin, and it was then that we noticed a number of black ribbon shapes flying quickly through the air, homing in on us. Henry ID'd this as an attack form of the Grey Philosopher undead monster. We knew this was bad news. Each of two ribbons hit Gram, despite destroying some with missile weapons. They each had a _cause light wounds_ effect on him, in fact directly on his face. We tried to shoot some more, but were forced to retreat. The light did reveal though that we were near a gate house in the city from which the attacks came. As we retreated, the ribbons following us homed in on Ceydric and delivered him a friendly 8X wound, and brought him instantly to 0 hit points. Luckily he could still function at 0, but the turning had been unsuccessful up to this point. Alegra managed (barely) to hold them off as we retreated out of the area. Some hands reached up out of the ground to grab us as we retreated, but we were unable to stick around and examine things. The attack took everyone of Eli's offensive spells to stall, and most of the clerics could not even affect the things. Alegra was the only one who could turn them at all, and even then some managed to get through and tried to come at her, but were destroyed by missile weapons before they reached her. All the while we were healing Ceydric and trying to get out of the area of evil.

Any ideas? We probably play saturday night so suggestions before then could be useful!


Other things from the game I did not mention:

1. We cast a Divination on the library:
Very powerful creatures there (no dominant alignment)
Rich treasure is there
"To shatter the retardation of the powers there is beyond your reach."
(There was much speculation on this last phrase. Ultimately we could not get inside without breaking a window, something we did not look forward to the consequences of. For now we have given up on the Library.)
(From before : The castle had "vastly powerful creatures" with both LE and CE, with LE "vastly" dominant. Chances of disturbing CE/Demons were moderate. Chances of disturbing LE mod to high.
[none of this kind of info was gained from out recent Div, specifically showing us that either Golems or creatures of
negligible alignment or varied alignments are in the Libe. I suspect there are Golems no matter what])

2. We checked out the general aspect of the other Hexagonal Area (HA) buildings. The other HA buildings were all varied and some had obviously been hit by SMART (i.e. School of Magical Arts).

3. One of the HA buildings contained a Giant Troll which we trashed but nearly killed Jerem and Canstin (all the more reason to train them). We killed it and got a little bit out of its nest but not much. Giant Trolls where clothes and build a large bird-like nest but were otherwise uninteresting.

4. Despite our scouting, the Behir appeared to leave the city when we thought the Behir was gone already. This was somewhat disturbing.

4a. Alegra does not want to kill the spider.

5. The GP appears to control a relatively large section of the city. To
quote the Sphinx, the Undead "are everywhere and are loosely aligned" in the


April 01, 1996

Stone Soules Summary XVIIIb: Eli Shoots... Eli Misses!

(reminding us all that "Elves don't play basketball." --Edwin)

Well, Eli tried his best but he failed to learn Knock by 2%.

That is right, just 2%. Essentially Eli went to End and found that the boyfriend of the general valued his spells far too much and Eli's hardly at all so Eli went elsewhere. The mage of the Daring Dozen had knock on a scroll (bad news) so Eli traded a couple of useful but not detrimental spells to attempt to learn the knock. He failed.

The good news is that if we find a text of knock in our adventuring and if Eli converts one of his magic theories to a specific (read as 2-3k gp and 4-5 months) then he will have that 2%. Or we could wait 200 years for his brain to mature.

Sorry guys but Eli just plain sucks at 2nd level spells.

Some good news is that he was able to try a technique whereby he is guaranteed to hit a small compact group of people with his pool ball about three times. Will have to try it against the next lesser one we face.

One last note, I did note use any of the parties resources, just many of my own for no return. Eli is contemplating a life of criminal mischief. He could kill Hildebrandt and the dozen with a clever trap and then take all their stuff!!! Bwaahaaha (maniacal laughter)!


-Zack Hubert-