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April 22, 1997

Summary LXIV: South, to the Wilderness

The summary:

The party headed south out of Cromwell toward the mountains. Rangorn was
surprised by a totem. We moved on, and began our gradual ascent into the
mountains. Snow began to build up on the ground, and once the party had to
break off the march at midday and take cover in _Leomund's Secure Shelter_,
courtesy of Eli.

The next day the party advanced through the fresh coating of snow, but was
attacked by a fanged creature that attempted to drag Runt into the snow.
It was slain, and the party trekked to a nearby cave. In the cave was a
huge segmented worm thing, which was dispatched through the able fighting
of the mighty Stone Soules.

In the back of the cave we discovered a magic pickaxe, which turned out to
be a holy symbol for a frost giant religion. There was also a one-way (the
other way) panel at the back of the cave, which we decided not to
investigate so as to clear the mountains sooner.

Soon after we came down from the mountains by following a river. The river
eventually became a lake that we skirted the edges of. That is, until some
invisible faerie creatures starting shooting arrows and making Rangorn and
Xavier spontaneously burst into song and head toward the lake dreamily. We
turned away from the river and passed a belated sign telling passersby (in
Ogre) to stay away from the evil fairies. We also surprised and killed a
gnoll tied to the branches of a tree, dozens of feet up. (I'm still not
sure about that one...)

Then we crossed out of the hills into the valley below. This was a
forested area. We set up camp in an attempt to create a cache to store our
cold weather clothes, but we were interrupted when the watchers noticed
that about 60 or 70 squirrels had gathered in the clearing. Using Xavier's
_Speak with Animals_, we determined that they were there to kill party
members who were badly injured, and that they served some master. We
turned and headed in the direction leading out of the valley, but we were
clearly being followed by the sudden storm clouds that had appeared
overhead (Alegra determined these were unnatural). Hmmm... controlled
animals, moving clouds, gee... druid, maybe?

When the squirrels scattered after dark, we breathed a sigh of relief.
When the first _Call Lightning_ struck Xavier, we were considerably not
relieved and decided to press forward with all speed, hoping the druid
would give up or see that we meant no harm. Eli's _Minor Globe of
Invulnerability_ deflected another bolt. Now we were getting annoyed, but
no more bolts seemed to be coming. Then the _Insect Plague_ hit. Ouch.

Arabica, Xavier's new cavalier henchman, was totally unable to escape the
cloud and was bitten to death. Many others stumbled out at near
unconscious levels. Alegra threw a responding _Insect Plague_ off of
scroll, but it didn't seem to hit the phantom druid (who threw a _Call
Lightning_ into the center of the plague, just in case anyone was still
alive in there). As Alegra, Aria, and Rangorn went in search of the
missing Sean, and Xavier and Javin went in search of the late cavalier, the
remainder of the party regrouped. Alegra took another _Call Lightning_,
not a problem considering her protection spell. Sean and the body of
Arabica were recovered. When everyone had regrouped, Raven, Ceydric,
Mordrick, Theo, Star, Alegra, and Eli charged at the last estimated
position of the druid with the Protection from Magic scroll up. They
gradually uncovered his location, defeating various druidic spells and
passing right through an _Obscurement_ before chasing him. The party
blasted him and he went shrieking through the forest, leaving an easy trail
to follow for those who could move fast. Unfortunately as Raven passed
through the barrier of the Protection from Magic scroll his bastard sword+1
was drained. Finally, Mordrick sprinted ahead and sliced the druid apart
with a backstab.

We recovered a magic staff and a couple of one-shot pipes. The staff can
become a treant once per week. The pipes summon animals as friends to help
you for awhile. Sadly the staff is only usable by druids.

Eli _Teleported_ back to Cromwell to have Arabica raised and the
aforementioned magic items identified, as well as pick up some equipment to
replace the lightning fried stuff.

Next the party encountered a weird adventurer type (I've forgotten his
name-- no evil intent though) who informed us that the druid's name is
Lugmut, and he is apparently immortal. He returns back to life after a
week. That made us even more annoyed at him than before.

We skirted the edges of the hills, away from the infamous valley. There we
defeated four volts, and later a giant weasel. Finally, the party got
attacked from behind by four displacer beasts. Thanks to a timely _Slow_
spell, we were able to hunt them down and kill, though it took great
effort, and far more damage was done to other party members through
friendly fire than by the beasts themselves. We tracked back to their lair
and found a token and some gems (Thurmond food).

See next week: the Wilderness... Part 2!


"What do you mean, you've got a 'little job' for me?"

April 20, 1997

Summary LXIII: Another Faranyn-Fest

More mini-Middle mayhem!

When last we left middle it had fended off Fire Giants, Giant Toads, a fire
in the barracks, a werewolf, a Kelburnian spy, hungry wolves, and a
Nevronian seeking asylum from the "evil" wizardry of Jonhalom...
As well as more anarchist antics than you can shake a stick at...

2180 was a different year. Kant the cooper (the snitch) was poisoned in a
freak accident. No suspects were apparent. A giant weasel nearly took down
Cassana and landed her bed-ridden for a few weeks. A cave bear attacked
town and we went out and slew it. A valuable shipment of goods and gold
bars came through town. Ax, man-at-arms, bumped his head. Once again, the
anarchists made people sick at the Founders Day celebration.

Now for some fun stuff. The Daring Dozen returned from digging up a
grave-yard in Tan-El and paid salvage tax. In addition to the 24000 gold
they brought back, Faranyn seized the philter of persuasiveness and since he
had first pick he chose the unidentified Rod, which turned out to be a Rod
of Resurrection with 7 charges!!

More boring stuff. Some illegal hunting was done by elves. The Strangled
Lizard burned down and was rebuilt. The Daring Dozen brought back more
loot. Ser, the Steward, had his mother die and he had to take a couple of
months to return to Dunthrane. A warehouse collapsed.

The Dozen paid more taxes, and Faranyn ended up trading for the +1 staff
lance that they got out of Tan-El. He also got a potion of delusion
(totally worthless...almost).

Phargus arrived in town. The three really annoying minor nobility who are
cousins of the justice Lobal who retired to Middle got upset with Phargus.
They ambushed him, tried to poison him, tried to shoot him. In the end, a
challenge with one of them killed the man but he got a lucky jab in that
poisoned Phargus and he was killed due to poison. He was later saved due to
a slow poison from the Nevronian Church, but Phargus had easily killed the
man. The others screamed for blood but Faranyn refused to hear them.
(Faranyn earlier had a private performance with Phargus which was quite
good) Phargus moved on to End...

That's all for now...


More fun with Faranyn!

See the Daring Dozen make money!

And Faranyn profit on the side!

See a very special rod!

See numerous murders and disastrous expeditions!

See Nym, Faranyn, and Pap all get trashed!

See an infamous bard and his challengers!

All this on the next... Middle Update.


April 15, 1997

Summary LXII: Follow-ups to the Cleansing of the Citadel


Two days after everyone arrived back in town before going to fight the
Deathstealers, Alegra presided over the marriage of Sean and Aria. Alegra
throws a 200 g.p. party for them. That makes the date 1 August 2182.
Congrats to the two of them... the party was of course invited to the
wedding and party following, along with the Phaulkonian congregation.


BTW- the name of Xavier's fighter/mage Henchman is Javin "Famuu"
Goldthwatt and his bobcat familiar is Boris "Chowdaddy"

Alex will eventually name the other henchmen.


Research Info Extravaganza! The following news goes out in bardic mail to
the SS only and should be ignored by other players [you can read it, but your
characters won't know it].

Constructs and Technology of Tan-El:
The people of Tan-El worked to free themselves of daily chores by
inventing time-saving machines. Most were golem-like creations that
did some specific job, but small iron servants were used as multi-purpose
workers in the homes of the rich. Making war-golems was strongly
discouraged for religious reasons, but some found their way into the
defenses anyway. Elemental lightning was a preferred power source, since
it freed the city from the whims of deities that might influence clerical
magic, and was much more powerful than energetic magic-user power.

The Tunnel
I researched tunnels in the Hadarna/Tan-El area because I do not
know enough to pick any particular tunnel. No source I can find
mentions Tan-El at the same time as "tunnel."

There is a tunnel of terrifying winds in the Hadarna Mountains. It is
a dangerous and terrible place, long ago invaded by demons. Elaborate
magical transport whisks characters over vast miles to the magical jungle
land beyond. [I suspect that this is the tunnel through which King Ranore
traveled in the story I related a while back in connection with the
City of the Gods.]

Another tunnel was built by a strange and dark mage to help people
escape from a horrible fate, but the mage panicked as the first folk left
the tunnel and sealed it with a magical spell to guarantee hims safety
from the destruction. He sealed most of his people in the tunnel where
the darkness and evil twisted them into hideous things. The crowd who
had come through killed the wizard in anger over the loss of their loved
ones and neighbors when he refused to re-open the tunnel (for he knew it
was too late by then...).

Great Ones/Abominations
Despite finding the terms I was looking for, I can neither confirm
nor deny whether these quotes are about the beings we know as demonspawn.

"And the Great Ones stepped down from the alabaster throne and blessed
the warriors of the people, 'Go now, and may the might of all of the
spirits of good be behind you in this great endaevor.' And the chosen
vanquishers marched out of the chapel stronger and more resolute."
Tales of Early Masters (fragment)

"The wizard Wsyglyth worked on his dark abominations, terrifying the
countryside with the rejected spawn of his experiments. These
abominations of nature wandered through the forest, preying on the
common folk, until the heroes were summoned to do battle."

Adventuring Reserve Stuff:

I'm not sharing these details with the party until/unless you go there
yourselves. However, I found info on the Spring of Eternity, Mountain of
Thunder, the Living Stone, the Well of the Moon, and the Citadel of Might.
I'll share just a little about one place since it has a remote link (via
lightning) to Tan-El.

Mountain of Thunder
Very little is known of the Mountain of Thunder. It is said to be one of
the tallest mountains in the Reserve (the Throne of the Gods is supposed
to be the tallest) and cloaked in clouds and storms. Some claim it is
nothing more than a gate to the quasi-elemental plane of lightning, [...]
still others speak of a dark being - the mother of
all beithir who slumbers in the sphere of her power, [...]

Hope these answers are interesting. Write back if there's anything more I
should research. The full outline of Gram's letter was sent to you a while


This will be fairly short-- a number of details were resolved that I won't
go into in great detail. Please remind me if I forgot anything major.

There was much training (Theo/Ludo/Rangorn/Eli/Raven/Runt)-- there might
have been more even that I missed in the early part.

We traveled through two different groups to Cromwell-- on the way Eli and
Sahrak did spell trading.

In Cromwell we bought supplies of all sorts of survival equipment for
multi-year adventuring. In addition the intelligent spear Seeker was
traded for magic armor, a ring of protection, and some potions/tokens. The
dwarven leather+1 was traded for a +1 medium shield.

The Stone Soules headed south through Cromwell and have just reached the
southern tip and are about to attempt the mountain crossing through frost
giant territory (in the late spring/summer months, of course).

That's it for the log...

The party expanded to huge proportions, currently seventeen people: a
quick list for all those interested:

Rangorn (5th level woodsman)
Ceydric (7th level cavalier)
Mordrick (name level fighter/thief)
Runt (2nd level henchman woodsman)
Raven (7th level fighter)
Ludo (8th level thief)
Eli (9th level magic-user)
Claude (5th level fighter)
Alegra (8th level cleric)
Star (5th level cleric)
Aria (5th level cleric)
Sahrak (4th level illusionist/5th level thief)
Xavier (7th level cleric)
Arabica (1st level cavalier)
Famu (1st level fighter/ split 2nd level magic-user)
Sean (2nd level ranger)
Theo (8th level fighter)

That's 17 people! We make it a crowd!


P.S. Average level has slipped slightly below 6!

Well, the behir's leaving was not done during a game session, which is why I
never put it in any of the logs. Shortly after the deathstealer encounter,
we decided that other than Tellah, the last major evil (that we know of--
shudder!) was the behir. We had talked to it before (you guys know this
better than me) and spent years avoiding it. We had the key and decided that
it was best simply to release it than try to deal with it in any other way.
So we negotiated-- or more specifically, Xavier negotiated. We got a few
items including another Protection from Devils scroll, a weird helm (sex
change thing-- its been on the magic item lists we've broadcast), and a
couple of potions. There might have been some other items-- I can't
remember. So it decided to head north to the Indicara jungle upon receiving
the key, and has been gone ever since.

Hope that clarifies a few things we may have said recently!


April 08, 1997

Summary LXI: Versus the Deathstealers: Overwhelming Force

The results are in...

Stone Soules 3 Deathstealers 0

There was also an early development during Sahrak's return trip-- his
caravan was attacked by a dozen gnolls. The dozen guards fought back--
only one guard was killed permanently, but so was the owner merchant.
Oops. And there weren't enough animals left to pull the caravan back to
the nearest town, so it was certainly a pyrrhic victory. But both Sahrak
and his new henchman survived.

When we last left our heroes, the Stone Soules were preparing to assault
the deathstealers.

This is an abbreviated list in order of all preparations we did-

1 rope golem- cast to distract the deathstealer
2 'lucky day' candies and magical insense
3 Endure Heat cast on everyone by Lorm from scroll- purpose- so
that the party can withstand a Fireball should we need to use one in
close quarters to destroy undead.
4 Prot. from Evil 10'rad cast to keep DS and lesser undead at bay
after opening the door
5 Find Traps cast to detect traps
6 Dispel magic - cast by Eli (rather skillfully)

the magical door trap was removed- Mordrick made his remove traps for the
mechanical trap.

The door was opened- it was determined that the DS were not immediately

teleportation damper was thrown down.

7 Implores - cast by Alegra and Xavier- both failed
8 Lorm cast Insect Plague to kill lesser undead
9 Lorm cast Implore to summon a Deva

The Grimm joined the party - adding its Prot. abilities as well.

Here is a summary of the battle:

In preparation, Lorm created a rope golem, and all three clerics (Xavier,
Alegra, and Lorm) took Lucky Days, and used the incense that maximizes
spell power, which worked for both Alegra and Lorm successfully.

_Insect Plague_ smashed up most of the ghouls on the first six levels
(there were 9 floors total). One deva was successfully summoned (by Lorm).
From the door we defeated the first deathstealer with a single _Abjure_,
as well as a whole group of undead. Fighting through hordes of undead with
_Wall of Fire_, quadruple turning and destroying ability, a deva in the
front, the double wands of fire and lightning, and the multiple _Protection
from Evil_ spells, we reached the middle levels and abjured the second
deathstealer successfully.

The charge continued. Over two hundred ghouls, ghasts, and shadows were
destroyed in the vicious fighting. The third deathstealer decided a
confrontation would not be a wise thing considering the banishing of two
companions, and attempted to evade the party, which grew increasingly
desperate as the Protection from Devils scroll began to run low. The
scroll lasted almost double its expected duration, thanks in part to the
Lucky Day (these were a REALLY good move). Unfortunately it ran out just
moments before we tracked down the third deathstealer, which had taken
refuge in a room that shielded it from detection in some way.

Alegra and Xavier threw their _Abjure_, but both failed. We then hit it
with everything we had. Rangorn's +4 magic arrow missed (surprise), Eli
smashed it with LIMM/ Magic Missile, the wands were fired, Theo and Ceydric
swung at it, but the spectacular damage was done by the Quaal's Feather
token. Raven's 4-shot with token did over 100 points of damage!

Then the deathstealer attempted to leech the damage onto Theo.

This was bad. If it succeeded, we would have to deal with a fully healed
deathstealer that regenerated at an incredible rate (20 hp a segment) and
was ready to use the next ability on its list.

Fortunately for everyone, Theo resisted successfully. The deathstealer
dropped from the 170 points of damage done to it in a single segment. It
regenerated physical damage the above rate though, and Ceydric attempted to
saw its head off while Theo hit it, and Eli shot Magic Missiles at it, and
the clerics and archers poured holy water all over it, which did permanent
damage. Though it nearly recovered in time, it received too much permanent
damage and disintegrated into ash. Whew!

Treasure recovered: money (Lorm got half after salvage tax), a magic user
scroll with minor spells, a major clerical scroll, and the deathstealer's
spear, with which it hit Lorm (who resisted one of it's weird abilities).
The spear is a sentient weapon named Seeker, created by the forces of Law,
specifically made to destroy chaotic clerics, but powerful against most
other things too.

We can knock that off the list! Now there's only a few hideous trapped
evils left!


There were two mistakes (at least) on the log:

1) Alegra and Lorm, not Xavier, threw the last two unsuccessful _Abjure_
spells at the final deathstealer.

2) The spear Seeker was taken by Faranyn (although the Stone Soules used an
exemption on it) and should it NOT be included on the list of recovered
treasure. And being sentient it is understandably insulted to be called
treasure. As a final note, the spear does not speak most of the party
languages-- only dwarven and fire giant.


More specific information:

Various Undead were obliberated by clerical turning as they rushed the wall

As Lorm gave the 2 round warning for the DS approaching- he read the
Prot. from Devils scroll. Rangorn read the prot. from Paralyzation scroll.

The first DS came having ingested a potion of human control.
Unfortunately it needed two segments to use this ability and the held
Abjures went off instantanouesly by Xavier and Alegra- Alegra was successful.

Note that the DS caused a darkness/shadow light effect that
momentarily made it very
difficult to see until the Deva quickly used her ability to cover the area
with pure moonlight.

The Auroran Deva had a Two handed staff? with a ball of fire at the end-
She attacked the DS as he approached but missed.

> as well as a whole group of undead. Fighting through hordes of undead with
> _Wall of Fire_, quadruple turning and destroying ability, a deva in the
> front, the double wands of fire and lightning, and the multiple _Protection
> from Evil_ spells, we reached the middle levels and abjured the second
> deathstealer successfully.

using teleportation dampers to twart their ability to teleport. Lorm used
his charged staff to Abjure the second DS.

> The charge continued. Over two hundred ghouls, ghasts, and shadows were
> destroyed in the vicious fighting.

Particularly interesting was the tactic of the Deva forcing 60 - 70
undead into a wall of fire. This greatly speeded our attack.

After evading enough so that our protection scroll had run out, the third DS
fortified himself and prepared for our attack

We cast two prayers, a few Prot from evils, Aids, Spiritual Hammers, and
engaged the enemy.

> Alegra and Lorm threw their _Abjure_, but both failed. We then hit it
> with everything we had.

- It simultaneously attacked Lorm with the spear of chaotic cleric hating
Lorm took significant damage which was significantly reduced by his
armour. He easily made his save verses to avoid being stunned by the spear.

Rangorn's +4 magic arrow missed (surprise), Eli
> smashed it with LIMM/ Magic Missile, the wands were fired, Theo and Ceydric
> swung at it, but the spectacular damage was done by the Quaal's Feather
> token. Raven's 4-shot with token did over 100 points of damage!

> Then the deathstealer attempted to leech the damage onto Theo.

> This was bad. If it succeeded, we would have to deal with a fully healed
> deathstealer that regenerated at an incredible rate (20 hp a segment) and
> was ready to use the next ability on its list.

for example stealing all of Eli's spells from memory.

> damage. Though it nearly recovered in time, it received too much permanent
> damage and disintegrated into ash. Whew!

holy water did all the permanent damage.

For those curious of the defeat of devils w/o losses- we handled things
quite well- neither overkill nor underestimation (IMHO)


April 02, 1997

Warwick Summary: The PURSUIT of Krek and Phillipe

We begin the destruction with Warwick and Company (Buck, Jean-Luc, henchman, and
rangers) heading toward the Peaks of Light to do some forest exploration. [of course, no
exploration would be complete without hospitalization �..]

On January 17, arriving at the small mountain outpost of Fanjyr, we discovered that a
local mining camp of Shabrundian dwarves has been massacred on New Year's day,
with only a handful of survivors. Apparently, 60 Slow-Killer hobgoblins had entered the
camp silently and slaughtered about 80 dwarves, many of who were non-combatant
miners. Leading this group of hobgoblin was Krek, a bastard-sword specialist human
who once worked in Western Cromwell hunting bandits. The murderer-thieves escaped
with about 1200 ingots of gold and silver.

[Krek had worked in a region of Western Cromwell that was plagued by bandits. He
had been an efficient hunter, and never left any survivors. Before the dwarven massacre,
Krek was wanted for questioning � it turned out that many of the "bandits" he had
slaughtered weren't really criminals�. Krek was also known to travel with a short,
pudgy blonde guy � possibly a cleric.]

Earlier in January, a government patrol had passed a group of hobgoblins and 3 heavily
loaded wagons headed southwest toward the high plateau region of Upper Volkrad.
They claimed to be transporting their gold to L'trel. Since wagonloads of dwarven gold
aren't too unusual for the region, the patrol didn't stop and question the bandits. We left
immediately in pursuit, hoping to reach the wagons before they were able to reach L'trel,
a city large enough to fence or launder the gold. [Unlikely, given the bandits' 17 day

Travelling with us was Drak, a dwarven guard commander who had survived. Drak was
a veteran guard, with decades of service. He was particularly fond of Buck, and they
became drinking buddies at the first possible chance. Drak was extremely eager to
remove Krek's head from his shoulders.

We traveled with only one incident � a group of figures were hiding in Baylor Wood
along the road to L'trel. They were camouflaged and ran when approached. Believing
them to be involved with Krek, Warwick shot one of them. They were actually tribesmen
� Warwick was immediately captured, stuck with a spear, and glared at. After profuse
apology, a gift of reparation, and a flash of Cromwellian insignia, Warwick was released.

January 23, we heroes arrived in the port of L'trel, and began to inquire about ships or
caravans that may have taken on a large cargo. We were misdirected by the fact that
some Slow-Killer hobgoblins were having several wagons of iron shipped out in a couple
of days. Inquiries with a local fence yielded nothing but 1000gp lost in bribe money. The
fence claimed to have no idea where the gold was, and he also revealed that he'd been
paid previously for the same information -- by a short, blonde bounty hunter. [We're
fairly sure that the fence had been previously bribed to lie to us. We believe the blonde
guy was Phillipe, Krek's henchman cleric.]

Finally, we resorted to brute-force methods. Combing the streets of L'trel, we find a very
nervous-looking Krek. We corner him in a restaurant, and quickly learn that Krek had
duped a mercenary to "play Krek" for 150 gold pieces. Thaddeus, the pathetic
mercenary, looked somewhat like Krek � short red/gray beard, receding hairline � but
was definitely NOT the tough customer that Krek would have been. [Thaddeus cowered
under a restaurant table when he was confronted.] Once again, we had wasted time on a
wild chase. Deciding to play along with the ruse, we took Thaddeus/Krek into custody.
Pretty soon, local dwarves were demanding an execution�

Next, we searched warehouses that could hold the wagons of gold. We find that 10
Slow-Killer hobgoblins have been staying in a warehouse with two wagons and cages of
carrier pigeons. Since the hobgoblins were out having a drunken dinner, we decided that
we would trade one of their pigeons for one that we had "requisitioned" from a pet shop.
Tristan spoke with the pigeons, and confirmed that its home was the town of Nalv, a
day's travel downriver.

At this point, we struggled with the eternal dilemma � "if we split up the party, we can
cover several different possibilities�" [COMMENTARY � Never split the party.]
Meanwhile, Warwick convinced himself that the suspicious tribesmen up north were part
of the overall conspiracy, so the party goes in the opposite direction of Nalv, in pursuit of
the tribesman.

After a day's travel, we decided that the tribesmen would never make reliable
conspirators, and we turned back around. [COMMENTARY � chaotic savages never
work with hobgoblins.] So, having lost 2 days on Krek and Phillipe, we headed toward

Arriving in Nalv on January 30, we released the pigeon. Its home was an inn run by a
consortium of merchants. A consortium manager told us that Phillipe had hired a
7-wagon caravan to carry goods from L'trel to Nalv. Also, Phillipe had arrived in Nalv a
week earlier, to pick up his messages. A check at the dock revealed that a ship had just
arrived from L'trel, with 10 hobgoblins and a load of iron. We checked the cargo and
compared the iron with a standard, just to be sure that gold wasn't hidden inside. The
hobgoblin-iron ruse continued to slow us down�

Drovers told us that Phillipe's caravan had unloaded quickly near a stream, and that he
had returned all 7 of his wagons to the drover's guild. There were no records of a barge
or wagons that could have taken the ingots, however. A thorough tracking effort
indicated that mules had traveled upstream from that point, apparently towing a barge. A
short distance upstream, it appeared that the barge contents had been pulled ashore and
loaded directly onto the mules. At this point, a month had passed since the dwarven
massacre, and the trail was steadily getting colder�

We followed the mule tracks into the Mage Wood, a forest that got creepier as we
traveled deeper into it. On the first night, we were attacked by a giant wolverine,
Warwick's favorite creature of the forest. Drak hacked it to bits, with some help from
Warwick & Co. During the next day, the forest seemed normal. On the next night,
however, we realized that it was anything but normal. An evil treant attacked a sleeping
Warwick in the middle of the night, and only the vigilance of Tristan's lion friends alerted
the party. By the time the party was roused, Warwick was mostly dead in the clutches of
the tree's roots. Drak's axe was a mighty weapon � he nearly single-handedly hacked
the tree to splinters.

The party healed (somewhat) and we moved across the river to get away from the scum
beetles that emerged from the dead, rotting tree. Later that night, two gnoll zombies
attacked us, and we made short work of them. During the nights, skeletal bats kept flying
reconnaissance over our heads � very comforting. [We later learned that evil dwarves
use skeletal bats for gathering information.]

The next day, we reached a stone obelisk. Drak informed us that the obelisk marked the
territory of the "accursed ones" � blue demon-worshipping dwarves who had long ago
turned to evil. Of course, we were excited to see that the mule tracks led directly into the
canyon of the accursed. Fortunately, we found another set of mule tracks that exited the
canyon and traveled north along the edge of the Mage Wood. The tracks into the canyon
were 3 days old � the exiting tracks were 1 day old.

[Later, we learned from Krek's mules that Krek had met with blue men in a cavern.
There, he had probably traded the dwarven ingots for more portable jewelry and gems.
Apparently, he had some unholy alliance with the accursed dwarves, which may also help
to explain the senseless slaughter that occurred at the mining camp.]

Although Buck was particularly fond of the undead forest, and Tristan the druid really
wanted to go into some dark, demonic caves, we finally decided to follow the fresh mule
tracks. At this point, Drak was truly ready to decapitate some folks�� [Drak's only
real moment of vengeance occurred in L'trel, where he shot an annoying Slow Killer who
insulted him.] The tracks led back to L'trel, and we found that the mules had been sold
"by two Nevronian monks � yeah, one of them was shorter, with blonde hair". Tristan
spoke to the mules. We later found Nevronian robes hidden, smelling of skunk spray.

The next day (February 5), we learned that Phillipe had boarded the Apple Ship with a
hobgoblin bodyguard the day before! By then, they were probably in Nalv. We inquired
at the local mage's guild about a fast way to send a message downstream, before Phillipe
could reach the lake beyond. A better alternative arose � Leggett, a mage who owned a
water-elemental-powered boat, offered to take us downstream (for a small fortune!) We
sped down the Isig river at 40 mph, and soon we were in Nalv. Phillipe's chartered boat
had left downstream hours before, so we planned to overtake them on the river at night.

We traveled with no lights until we saw a boat far ahead. Leggett shrouded us in magical
darkness, and we passed the Apple Ship on the cascades of the Isig. We pulled ahead
and waited for the Apple Ship to clear the rapids. Fortunately, Leggett's boat was
significantly faster, and we had a couple hours to plan our ambush:

When the ship cleared the rapids, Leggett would put the crew to sleep. Warwick would
fly invisible, carrying an invisible Lanoi (Phaulkonian cleric henchman). Warwick would
take out the hobgoblin bodyguard, while Lanoi commanded Phillipe to die. Tristan would
also charm Phillipe. Invisible, Buck would hover and drop onto the ship to disable
Phillipe. Leggett would provide spell support to stop Phillipe. Drak and Jean-Luc would
shot Phillipe to ruin his spells. Game over, bad-dudes�..

Ah, the joy of planning � the "hobgoblin" guard turned out to be Krek in Flesh-Render
magical field plate, wielding a magical dwarven shield, and brandishing an amazingly fast
magical bastard sword of speed. Warwick inflicted maximum damage on his point-blank
targeted shot (with a +3 magik-ed arrow!) However, Krek shrugged it off and began to
fly after Warwick. Uh oh.

Meanwhile, the crew was put to sleep, but Lanoi was also hit by the spell. So much for
Lanoi. Lacking a crew, the boat slowed to a halt. Dive-bombing Buck missed the boat,
so to speak, and had to clamber over the side after Phillipe, just in time to get entangled
by a web spell from Leggett (Phillipe was unaffected). Lanoi was still asleep, and
Tristan's charm had no effect. Phillipe began casting spells, but Leggett, Drak, and
Jean-Luc ruined at least half a dozen of his spells via crossbow, sling, and spells. When
Buck broke free of the web, he finished off Phillipe by breaking his neck.

Warwick had bad luck. Krek lassoed him, and dragged him through the air. After being
reeled in helpless, Warwick is killed after two vicious strokes with a bastard sword (was
Krek also an assassin or thief?!) Krek proceeded to tow a lifeless Warwick back toward
Leggett and friends. At about the same time Phillipe was eliminated, Krek arrived to
destroy the rest of the party.

Leggett hit with magic missiles and a lightning bolt, but Krek didn't relent. First, he killed
Drak, the only party member who had any real melee success against him. Next, he
punished Tristan and left him near-dead on the ground. Leggett had a successful
Shocking Grasp, and then got wacked. He retreated to the edge of his boat and became
invisible. An invisible Jean-Luc failed to backstab Krek when he landed on the boat,
searching for an Invisible Leggett. Jean-Luc paid for his failure, and he dropped bleeding.
Meanwhile, Tristan bound his own wound and poured half of a Healing potion into Drak.
Drak stood to fight again, but was quickly dropped by Krek.

Leggett, levitating above, sent another lightning bolt into Krek, and then dove into the
water. Krek followed, and was attacked by the Water Elemental that Leggett released
from the boat. Tristan struggled to bind Jean-Luc's wounds. Krek, nearly drowned, was
thrown into the boat by the elemental. Leggett struggled to remove his helmet and kill
him, but Krek recovered too soon. He punched Leggett into unconsciousness.

Buck watched all of this from the Apple Ship, about 40 yards away� appalled, he
levitated and pushed toward Leggett's boat, hoping to save his comrades from certain
doom. [Before dying, Drak had yelled "hey Buck, you're on the WRONG BOAT!!"
Buck had finally gotten the message�..] Krek met Buck in mid-air and proceeded to
beat him up. By this point, however, Krek had sustained quite a bit of damage. A hit by
Buck brought Krek to the brink of death, but Krek killed Buck with a final death-strike.
Krek fell into the lake, and Buck died in mid-air, still levitated by a confused Ring.

Leggett regained consciousness, and again released the water elemental to retrieve Krek.
[COMMENTARY � releasing the elemental is apparently a VERY SERIOUS deal for
Leggett.] Tristan and Jean-Luc were alive but incapacitated. Leggett swam to the Apple
Ship, where he woke Lanoi and the sleeping crew. Then, they gathered the dead and
headed slowly toward Wysos, looking for some Raise Dead help. [To Leggett's credit,
he really saved our butts � and he was really just being nice by "giving us a boat ride".]

We eventually reached Highport, and purchased a Raise Dead for Warwick. Success!!
We proceeded toward a government fortress, for additional Raise Dead. The warship
Montclaire escorted us, and we Raised Buck. However, Drak failed to rejoin us on the
side of the void � his Raise Dead attempt failed. Tristan and Jean-Luc were sent back to
the Academy to recover, while the remaining party members returned the trunk and some
stolen dwarven weapons to L'trel.

In L'trel, we were given an army escort, and we traveled north to the Shabrund border.
In an exchange ceremony, we presented the dwarves with the trunk of jewelry and the
dwarven artifacts. Buck was given Drak's magic axe, since Drak had described Buck as
a close comrade in his letters home. We promised Leggett that we'd visit sometime when
we're not looking for trouble. Beaten up, tired, and mournful, we returned to the
Academy. Amazingly, Gring the dwarf had no scathing commentary for Warwick�..

The Take:

(5) dwarven weapons/ armor (returned to Shabrund)
52,000 gp of gems/ jewelry (laundered from the 60K of ingots originally stolen �we were
given 10%)
hobgoblin field plate +2
ring of flying (given to Leggett, along with 6000 gp, for damages to his boat and loss of
personal property)
potion of levitation
potion of neutralize poison
LE bastard sword of speed (destroyed by Cromwellian government � 2000 gp reward)
6,500 gp of gems � Krek's personal stash
8,000 gp reward for killing Krek

Considering the potions and magic arrows used, this was very nearly a net zero
financially. We got a cool suit of armor, which none of us would really use. Most
importantly, we further improved relations with the dwarves � they even sent an official
letter of thanks for our attempt to Raise Drak.


April 01, 1997

Summary LX: A Middle "Faranyn-Fest"

Catching up on some Sir Faranyn, Middle chronology from 2179, we had an
interesting mini-adventure the other day. I won't elaborate much on the events.

Murder Mystery, Middle:

A man-at-arms in the keep was killed one morning. He had been ripped apart
by a furry creature. A wood-carrier and an assistant cook were questioned,
and lots of other info. was put together. A lycanthrope was suspected but
could not be proved. (Retrospect provided the answer).

A later event at a shanty-town north of town, where workers were building
confirmed the lycanthrope theory. Several folks were killed when a large
black wolf attacked. Following tracks, we found that they circled around
back to the shanty town.

Later, at the shanty town, the wood-man's wife was killed and Sir Ceydric
chased down the werewolf. He easily killed it and the incident was wrapped up.

Hobgoblin Brawl:

Outside a seedy bar in town, a brawl had broken out between a Skullbreaker
Hobgoblin and a Fleshrender half-orc half-hobgoblin. The Skullbreaker and a
human mercenary friend were trying to kill the Fleshrender. There were
others involved in a fist-fight as well. When Theo attempted to break it
up, the two hobgoblins and the human tried to attack him as well. Theo
knocked them flat with his fists and had them arrested. Later, the human
was charged with assault (he hadn't actually struck Theo) but the two
hobgoblins were charged with attempted murder of a governmental official
(acting commander Theo) (the Skullbreaker had slashed Theo with his claws
and the Fleshrender had tried to hit him with his broadsword). The
punishment is hanging. The human was sentenced to the minimum 30 days in jail.

While awaiting to be hanged, despite a letter of protest from the
Skullbreakers, they were still scheduled to be hanged. During the night 6
days before the event, the Skullbreaker strangled the Fleshrender through
the bars of his cell with his bootlaces. The Fleshrender was dead and the
Skullbreaker was immediately hanged.

Pleasant, eh?
So, that still only puts us caught up to about April 2179...

Kyle //Faranyn