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October 29, 1997

Defenders Log Entry #8: The Party of Doom parties on

Drew, 2nd level ranger, 19 hp, played by committee
Morgan, 2nd level fighter, 12 hp, played by Alan
Quentin, 2nd level druid, 10 hp, played by Jeremy
Felix, 1st level fighter, 10 hp, played by Alex
Gaston, 1st level fighter, 10 hp, played by Sean
Tyveris, 1st level cleric of Nevron, 10 hp, played by Joel

The party spent a soggy and miserable winter in Restenford. Money was spent, Gaston learned why not to gamble (he blew it off in a hurry), Tyveris drank quite a few cheap drinks, Felix swung his weapon around randomly, Morgan slept in every day, and Quentin worked for the druids.

We set out on March 19th and arrived at Abbey Isle on March 30th. We landed at the point on the beach, and Tyveris tried a _Detect Evil_ in the hopes of spotting the skeletons on the beach. It clearly failed. I do have reason to believe that the 9 we killed earlier have actually stayed dead though.

We decided that charging up the middle would be our only option. So we charged... and had about six of the strangest combats. We were barely scratched-- Tyveris took 2 damage, Quentin took 2, Drew took 4. We used one cure spell. We killed about 50 skeletons.

We also managed to break virtually every weapon. Felix's short sword went flying out of his hand-- but the shredded grip remained in his hand. Gaston threw his bastard sword blade quite a distance. He also sent his replacement hammer sailing toward Tyveris, then damaged it. He finally blew up a "serviceable" scimitar scooped up from a skeleton. Quentin damaged his scimitar as well. What fun.

We proceeded up past the beach. Quentin's bird reported a person observing us from a few hundred feet ahead, and sneaking away from us. Since they knew we were coming, we decided to go with the peaceful solution.

We traveled up the rocky ground toward the compound. When we were about 50 feet from it, some voices finally responded to our hails. We told them that we wanted to help them off the island. Unfortunately, it appears that some of them, at least, didn't want to leave. We could hear them arguing about an attack on us, but figured it was a bluff. They demanded our surrender. We started backing up.

That was when two Light spells, a Hold Person, a Web, and a Charm Person hit us at the same time. The charm failed on Quentin, the Hold caught Drew and Morgan, but Tyveris resisted. The Light spells hit Morgan and Felix, while the Web hit everyone but Gaston.

That was when we realized that our strategy had been, in hindsight, a poor one.

We surrendered summarily, especially when one man, who was a wizard, whispered something about not resisting and we might survive this.

They decided to use us as bargaining chips for getting a few of their men off of the island. Their demands were: 1) transport for three men so that they could contact allies and restore the island to its former glory, and 2) that all but one of the "Pirate" (Petethalian navy) ships withdraw. Two men escorted Tyveris back to the beach while the others were dragged into a prison room in the compound.

The compound, by the way, was a ruined temple. The whole thing had collapsed in the pirate attack, leaving just a ground floor, and a trapdoor leading to a basement with about 10 rooms, where the entire group, which consisted of 10 people, stayed.

Tyveris spent a long time convincing the two guards with him that he would need to be free to a) get past the two skeletons we had _Turned_ and left alone, and b) signal the ship.

They eventually did so, with a loaded poisoned bolt pointed at him while he did so. He signaled and rejoined Major Ursa. The major refused all of the conditions, and asked Tyveris for ideas. He suggested a storming of the island, because otherwise all of his friends were dead. The major refused, and Tyveris and he slept on it that night, having been given 72 hours to respond.

But something else happened that night.

At 3 AM, the mage who spoken the cryptic words earlier entered the prison. He was an adventurer named Odeon who had come to purchase spells and had been trapped when the pirates attacked. He wanted off quite badly and was willing to free the imprisoned group to help him escape. Picking up a few weapons (a short sword for Felix, a scimitar for Quentin, and some other non-proficient weapons for everyone else), and some leaves for Quentin, they made their way quietly out of the compound. They snuck down the rocks toward the beach.

Suddenly, a huge spiny many-legged beast jumped at Drew from behind. Drew clubbed it, but its pincers sank into him. Moments later he jerked spasmodically and fell over. Meanwhile, Gaston sliced at it with his dagger. The mage had sprinted away and sent a _Lightning Bolt_ (I think) at it, but it appeared to have little effect.

Quentin slashed but missed. Morgan pumped it full of arrows, doing some significant damage, but it appeared invincible. It jumped at Gaston, who slashed valiantly at it, but was hit and jerked in the throes of poison and fell over. Felix continued ripping at it, inflicting massive damage with his short sword. Angrily, it turned at him. It slashed at him, brutally damaging him, but Felix swung and dropped the beast with a massive hit. Seconds later, he sighed, jerked, and fell over. Quentin cast a cure spell on Drew, but it appeared to have little effect. Promising Odeon fifty gold pieces, Quentin, Morgan, and Odeon dragged the bodies down the rocks to the beach. Moments later, a horde of giant rats came at them from behind. Odeon dropped Felix and threw a _Web_ spell at them, freezing them in their tracks.

The problem of the two skeletons remained. Without Tyveris to turn, they would have to fight. That pitted Quentin and Morgan without their good weapons and without armor against them. They tried to sneak around the spot, but to no avail. The two skeletons popped up. Morgan destroyed his quickly, and Quentin hurt his as well. Morgan turned to help Quentin, but was too late to prevent the shot dropping Quentin to the ground. He sliced up the skeleton and stabilized Quentin.

They continued down the beach and signaled as dawn approached. The boat came with a angry and relieved Tyveris, who attended to them on the boat.

Drew actually recovered while on the beach (the cure spell had made the difference). Felix and Gaston had stabilized, but they were comatose. They needed a _Remove Paralysis_ spell cast on them, which was available at the Nevronian church in Carse two days away. Odeon got his 50 gp, and agreed for 100 gp more to tell us and the major all about the status of the Isle, and the people who lived there. We'll post all that information in a later report. The highlights were: there are three dangerous people on the island, Ozymandius, Ogmund, and Bayleaf. Ozymandius is a cleric capable of casting Create Food and Water, which is how they survived the winter. He has declared himself High One following the death of the actual High One. Ogmund is a stupid but brawny fighter hired to train the guards. He has become captain since the death of the High One. Bayleaf is the only non-human, an elf fighter/mage who is there mainly for the money, rather than loyalty to the religion or Ozymandius. If Ozymandius dies, obviously they have lost, because they have no food then. There are also four clerics of varying skills, and three guards. The thing we fought used to be a pet of the High One.

Meanwhile, we set sail for Carse. Tyveris negotiated and paid for two _Remove Paralysis_ spells (for 250 gp total) cast on the Gaston and Felix. Quentin recovered and is working for the druids there. Felix was fine in a few days. Gaston was up and about, but has suffered major permanent health loss. He still wants revenge though.

The party, excepting Quentin, has volunteered to be part of the strike force that finishes this mess. Our reward is shot, but hey, we're alive, and we want to kill them, which we may get the opportunity to do. The major himself is a hammer specialist and a veteran warrior. Several marines will be coming with us also.

So far, the main plan we've roughed out is to wait for a sentry to emerge and take him out (Command spell will do this nicely if necessary). They have two options: they can assume the sentry died from something on the island, or that something else happened and they had better look for him. If they send a search party, we've hit gold. Wherever Ozymandius is, we hit them. If he dies, we've won.

Dissidence is quite high. It appears that only Ogmund and Ozymandius REALLY want to stay there. Bayleaf is staying only because of the money-- if we can lure him away, we might have them.

It's going to be interesting. We certainly do not have the sheer power levels that they do. One plan is if we can somehow get Morgan down into the basement at night, he can sneak up on and kill Ozymandius. If it fails, he is quite obviously a dead man.

If there is only one sentry he can be taken out quietly by a Command. If there is more than one, we need surprise to do it.

Finally, as a general Telvar note (our characters don't know all of this) the reason Major Ursa is willing to risk his marines is that the political situation "changed" in Sark 14 days earlier. Thanks to a spectacularly successful plan by Dunstill and Illic (I hope I spelled it right), the Far World Navy vanished and Sark is in utter chaos.

At any rate, I believe the party is unanimous in its sentiment:

Let's get em, boys.

October 22, 1997

Defenders Log Entry #7: Adventures of the Party of Doom

Drew, 2nd level ranger, 19 hp, played by Jack
Morgan, 2nd level fighter, 12 hp, played by Alan
Quentin, 2nd level druid, 10 hp, played by Jeremy
Felix, 1st level fighter, 10 hp, played by Alex
Gaston, 1st level fighter, 10 hp, played by Sean
Tyveris, 1st level cleric of Nevron, 10 hp, played by Joel

When we last left, our party had just accepted a mission to investigate the isle and remove the living inhabitants by whatever means necessary. We planned a bribe of transport away with money thrown in for extra encouragement.

The party set sail in October. We consisted of the ranger Drew and druid Quentin, original party members. Also, there was the elven fighter Morgan, the handsome half-orc fighter Felix, the northerner fighter Gaston, and his cousin the Nevronian cleric Tyveris.

We arrived uneventfully. We were transported at high tide in a longboat to the only accessible point, a small beach a few hundred feet wide. This was the beach where the attacks on the major's men had occurred previously, though not immediately upon landing. We suited up and decided on a course. We marched very slowly, hoping that only the fighters in the front would be subjected to immediate attack.

Unfortunately, we badly guessed their attack form. As we traveled about 30 feet up the edge of the beach, suddenly there were multiple sand spouts and we were set upon by 12 skeletons equipped with short swords, scimitars, and long swords. They appeared everywhere inside and outside our formation, and struck while we stood there surprised.

Felix dropped to the ground from sword thrusts. That left Morgan eclipsed by skeletons, but doing incredibly well at dodging stabs. Quentin stabbed at one with his scimitar, while Drew wielded a staff. Gaston moved to get the ocean to his back and faced off against three.

It looked very bad.

Drew toppled one with holy water, but was unused to the staff and its fighting style. Gaston fell a few moments later, pressed by the skeletons. Tyveris whipped out his holy symbol and began turning.

Morgan continued to single-handedly destroy the upper half of the skeletons, remaining untouched against remarkable numbers. Quentin slashed furiously and injured one. Finally, Tyveris managed to drop two of the skeletons into the sand with turning. Moments later, the rest sank from around Morgan, and we quickly backed up, pausing to heal Gaston.

We decided that perhaps we should rethink this. At that moment, a lone and gaunt-looking mule wandered down from the rocks, across the sand right to Felix. We were confused.

Quentin spoke with it, and we learned that it had seen "smelly people up there." (Not many, it said). We watched its path, and Quentin asked it if it had ever seen the white things. No, came the reply. Confused, we asked the mule to lead us up. It did so. We were promptly mobbed again.

This time about 14 skeletons came at us. Unfortunately, Tyveris was having a terrible time turning them away, and he did not succeed until very late in the battle.

This time the surprise was not so devastating, and Felix and Morgan remained unscathed. Gaston fell over injured again after a few moments. In the initial attack, one of the skeletons caused a wound in the concentrating Tyveris. Out of spells, he called for Quentin, who thanks to a well-timed smash by Morgan and Felix, was able to sprint to Tyveris. He cured him just as his first turning attempt failed.

In this battle, Drew proved his worth with the staff and smashed apart three skeletons. Quentin began a slow duel with several of them, defeating one. Felix and Morgan carved up the front, using the apparently unterrified and unnoticed mule for cover. The skeletons did not attack the mule.

Eventually, some of them sank into ground, but Quentin suffered a mortal blow and fell in the closing moments. Fortunately, Tyveris reached him, but it meant that both Quentin and the fallen Gaston were out of the action for the rest of the adventure.

We signaled the boat and returned back to the ship and discussed our options with the major. We decided that the four of us would try a central route straight up the middle, where the major claimed he had run into only 7 to 9 skeletons. First, we noticed that the bones of the dead skeletons remained, so were believe they are at least temporarily ineffective. We tried to head up the middle, back to back. The strategy did work in that they only appeared around us. 9 of them. Tyveris turned them all way in the initial attack.

We decided that we needed them dead but could only face a few at a time. Tyveris turned only 4 of the 9 this time and we fought them. In the closing moments, Felix suffered a major hit and a wound, but was bolstered by Tyveris, who had also suffered injuries. Together with Drew, Felix and Morgan slaughtered the five skeletons.

We retreated and healed Felix back up. Then we went at the other four. Unfortunately, Tyveris fell in the battle, but was saved by Drew. The party retreated back to the ship, and, out of options sailed away.

Well, we lost no one, and gained some information (Drew's valiant disbelieve attempt proved beyond a doubt that they were real). We will be given first shot at it next year with a smaller reward (1500 gp). It was frustrating, but not a total failure. And everyone lived.

There was one more interesting encounter. (out of character-- I rolled a 1 on the d20 for sea voyage). We were woken up in the middle of the night, peeked out of the cabin and couldn't help noticing the large sea lizard thing attacking the marines. Drew and Morgan shot at it, but the arrows bounced off uselessly. A formation of seven marines struck at it, barely scratching it. The thing gulped down one marine and disappeared. Moments, later, the 20 marines met the second attack, inflicting some damage and losing another man. In a third attack, the lizard ate one more man, and the attempted ballista attack missed.

Then came the interesting part. The beast surged up on the side of the ship, 4 feet in front of the ballista man. (He rolled a 20) He kicked it, and launched the ballista at a 4 foot range right through the thing's neck, causing it incredible pain. Unfortunately, the valiant sailor was then eaten and the thing disappeared under the waves for good.

There was a funeral held for the sailors of the Eagle 13 who had died.

We returned to Restenford. Drew went to Barnacus, trained to 2nd level, and returned in time for the rainy season to begin. We plan to work through the winter and attempt the island again in March.

October 15, 1997

Defenders Log Entry #6: Damn Assasins

Drew, 1st level ranger, 15 hp, played by Jack
Morgan, 2nd level fighter, 12 hp, played by Alan
Quentin, 2nd level druid, 10 hp, played by Jeremy
Felix, 1st level fighter, 10 hp, played by Alex
Gaston, 1st level fighter, 10 hp, played by Sean
Tyveris, 1st level cleric of Nevron, 10 hp, played by Joel

After waiting for about a month for Quentin and Drew to finish their service to the druids, the remaining four members of the party, Drew, Quentin, Felix, and Morgan set off for Benct with hopes of recruiting new party members. The found a caravan and set off.

About two days out (halfway in between Benct and Restenford), a scraggly man approached the caravan. He claimed to have to friends hiding in a tree about fifteen minutes away with a bear trying to kill them. The guards refused to go, and the party suspected it might be a trap. Going with their instincts that the man seemed to be telling the truth, the party followed him.

He led them up through the forest, to where a bear was indeed slashing at a tree, though no one was visible in it. Drew suggested that Quentin approach with the levitation belt in case of danger to himself and try to calm the bear down. As he was halfway through doing that, four crossbow bolts whipped out from four directions, one hitting Drew and the other Quentin.

Deja vu.

The party turned and ran away as quickly as possible. But it was not quickly enough. Quentin and Drew both started taking damage from the poison in the bolts.

Luckily Quentin was able to shirk the poison quickly enough to remain standing. Drew also threw off the effects, though he took severe damage.

The party turned to head generally toward the caravan now, at top speed. But it wasn't long before they ran into the second ambush.


This one totally failed, as they traditionally do with us. One crossbow bolt hit Morgan, who yanked it out immediately. Another bandit yelled something like, "Greetings from the Green Diamond!" and promptly missed Drew. (That, by the way, is the name of the bandit group we slaughtered earlier) Quentin hit the dirt. Felix sprinted ahead and ripped one of the crossbowmen apart. Drew shot the other man in front. That left a broadsword wielder and a crossbowman.

The broadsword man somehow managed to sneak up behind Quentin's position and started hacking at him, fortunately missing. Felix whirled, sprinted, and crashed into the man with his shield, forcing himself between them and injuring him in the process. Morgan was charging as well, and hit the broadsword man. The crossbowman, meanwhile, shot down Drew and started drawing a two-handed sword.

Quentin rose up and began casting Entangle. The man switched to drawing a dagger, and had it out just as the spell hit him.

Meanwhile, Felix had gotten slashed up by the broadsword man, and Morgan pressed the attack, felling him. The final man through the dagger at Felix, missing badly. In response, Felix charged... and ran into the Entangle. The man drew out his two-handed sword and slashed at Felix, missing by inches. Meanwhile Morgan shot him full of arrows and he finally dropped.

We recovered quite a bit of money, some random weapons, and what we later found out was magical: a broadsword, medium shield, and a necklace.

The party, beaten but alive and standing (Quentin healed Drew), went back to the bear. We quickly discovered it had been chained and that there was a bag of food in the tree. We tossed it some rations, and Quentin spoke to it, calming it down. Finally, we cut down the rations, unleashed it, and set it free.

Then we followed the tracks a little ways and found some abandoned packs with worthless stuff which we destroyed.

We then rejoined the caravan and continued to Benct. In Benct, we picked up two new Northerners, Tyveris, cleric of Nevron, and Gaston, a warrior (both are from the same tribe-- Tyveris is played by Joel, and Gaston by Sean). Gaston has two dogs, one a guard dog and one a hunting dog. Tyveris is a bit bulky (fat) and jovial, but sensitive to remarks about his face, which contains a broken nose and a faint imprint of a hammer.

Traveling around Benct was quite interesting, and we met a few shady characters, including the barkeep and the pawnshop broker. The barkeep even had a weird mission for us-- go to the last room upstairs and clear the ghosts out of it and get treasure from the pirate's spirit. Apparently, the law has decreed that since 13 people died in there in the space of two weeks, he can no longer rent out the room. Sensible ordinance.

We resisted the temptation and instead headed back to Restenford. There Morgan and Quentin trained to 2nd level!

We gave up the sword in salvage tax, but identified the other two items in Barnacus. The shield is a Shield of the Worms (medium shield +1, resists poison as well). The necklace is a Necklace of Goblins-- it allows the wearer to speak Goblin and a few other languages, but Goblin as a native speaker.

We returned and the Baron had a new mission for us from a Major of the Petethalian Navy. We accepted, but here is a brief outline:

One of the small islands in between here and Sark contained a temple to the god of thieves. It was attacked by pirates in June and mostly destroyed. The pirates were basically annihilated as well, and the navy cleared out the remaining pirates. But they want someone outside of the navy to encourage the "withdrawal" of the remaining people living on the island by any means possible. Our job is to encourage them to leave, bribe them away, scare them away, or kill them. For additional fun, there are skeletons that just pop up on the beaches, but they are generally easy to escape.

Reward: 2000 gp.

An interesting mission.
Log Supplement III: The Death Toll

And the dead people (in order of demise):

* Anwvyn, 1st level elven thief, played by Alan, killed by a fungus beetle
* Grison, 1st level dwarven fighter, played by Sean, killed by bandits
* Soldan, 1st level human cleric of Sylban, played by Alex, killed by bandits
* Ethan, 1st level human woodsman, played by Kyle, killed by ballista bolt (from bandits)
* Celeste, 1st level Phaulkonian cleric (human), played by Sean, killed by ogres
* Darellon, 1st level human woodsman, played by Joel, killed by ogres

October 08, 1997

Defenders Log Entry #5: The Bandit Strikes Back (The Disaster at Last)

Darellon, 1st level woodsman, 20 hp, played by Joel
Drew, 1st level ranger, 15 hp, played by Jack
Felix, 1st level fighter, 10 hp, played by Alex
Morgan, 1st level fighter, 7 hp, played by Alan
Celeste, 1st level cleric of Phaulkon, 6 hp, played by Sean
Quentin, 1st level druid, 6 hp, played by Jeremy

To begin, we made our little purchases and set off north once again, a fully banded mail party with the exception of Quentin.

In the afternoon of the second day, we spotted a trio of armed people. Darellon, wearing the badge, hailed them, but they didn't respond. Ignoring them, we continued.

Two nights out, we set up camp again. During the second watch, Darellon and Morgan were the only ones awake when a fight for our survival began.

Before we could react, four huge creatures bounded from the sides at the helpless party. Morgan was able to tell with infravision that the humanoids were about 9 feet tall and had a violet-bluish skin tint. (Yes, I know-- ogre magi? Oh dear...)

Darellon and Morgan yelled an alert and then stood back to back, each taking one of the (now to be called) ogres. As the others attempted to wake up, the two unengaged ones fell upon the defenseless risers. As Celeste tried to rise, she was clubbed down, and played dead for a moment. Drew was smashed repeatedly and beaten the ground moments before he could stand.

Finally Quentin rose, and was bludgeoned out of consciousness.

The ogre attacking Morgan was frustrated by his defenses and squirminess. Morgan dodged in and out of range, swiping the ogre and wounding him badly, opening a bleeding wound.

Darellon fared worse and took a sizable hit. In anger he swung back... and the falchion shattered, pieces smashing both of the combatants. Darellon pulled out his backup, only to take another hit. He growled away the pain and struck back, inflicting massive damage on the ogre. Finally, the ogre swung and connected solidly, opening a wound. Darellon swayed and finally sank down to the ground, bleeding.

It was a desperate moment. Felix had just arisen to be faced by an uninjured ogre. He saw no other option, and madly closed, slashing the monster with his magic short sword. He then ripped again before the beast could react and dropped the surprised ogre to the ground. He then ran straight at the other ogre.

Unfortunately, moments earlier, Celeste had bolted to get out of melee combat range, in order to provide spell cover. The ogre had dropped its club, and hurled a huge boulder. The boulder caught her square in the chest, tearing her body apart with force and leaving her ruined on the ground.

Enraged, Felix charged and wounded the ogre badly. The ogre retaliated by smacking him hard in the head, sending him reeling. Despite being disoriented, Felix swung again with amazing success, laying this second ogre flat.

Morgan finished off his ogre, who had failed even to touch the elusive elf, and stepped over the body of Darellon. He ripped open the final ogre, who was barely alive from Darellon's parting shot, and he dropped.

Felix ran to save Darellon, as Celeste was clearly dead, while Drew was at stable consciousness, and Morgan ran to Quentin. Quentin was saved, but unfortunately Felix was unable to patch up Darellon fully, and he bled to death.

The party recovered 250 gp, some gems, and no items of note off of the vicious attackers. Felix and Morgan each helped one of the others as they began the four day journey back.

On the third day, our old friends in the trio appeared, to rob the party. They lifted the 200 gold and most devastatingly the magic sword that had served us so well. On the third evening, a group of a dozen giant rats crept up to the campsite of the helpless group. Forewarned by Quentin's animals, the party was able to stumble a couple dozen feet away, but the rats kept following. So they hatched a plan.

Morgan shot at the rats, attracting their attack, while Felix lit the oil flask to cause a small fire wall that forced the rats around it. They split roughly in half and Morgan and Felix each faced off against six. Morgan was bitten once, but Felix was unhurt and together they slew the dozen. The final day was uneventful.

The party returned to town, and Quentin was healed in exchange for the Gaseous Form potion. In addition, Drew was able to recover in two weeks, which seemed unlikely considering the poor condition he had stumbled back in. Many thought he would suffer severely as a result of the cold rain on the rat night. Fortunately, there was no damage to Drew, and Quentin sustained a minor permanent weakness (loss of some strength).

The party is about to be joined by the two newest members. These two are cousins from Latt, both Nevronian, from the same tribe. I don't know the name of Sean's character (human (northener) woodsman, 18 hp, falchion specialist-- played by Sean), but joining him is the middle-aged Tyveris (human (northerner) cleric of Nevron, 10 hp, hammer user-- played by Joel).

So that was the near-end of the party. But we came out of it still partially intact. I'm glad about Darellon's heroic end, and sorry to see Celeste meet the fate that few Phaulkonian clerics can afford. But we did defeat a group of monsters that seemed totally fatal, and without the horrid losses we could have sustained. Though we lost the sword and the potion, we can count ourselves lucky.

October 01, 1997

*Warwick/Stone Soules Reunion* Summary: Heroes vs. the Brothers

The Adventures of Everyone's Favorite Chaotic Good Ranger: Warwick!!!


Mordrick, 9th level fighter/ 11th level thief, 81 hp, played by Joel Green
Brenard, 6th level Cloud Giant fighter, 78 hp, NPC
Warwick, 7th level ranger, 60 hp, played by Mark Wagoner
Buck/ Weapon X, 5th level fighter, 44 hp, played by Mark Wagoner
Alegra, 9th level Phaulkonian cleric, 40 hp, played by Kyle MacLea
Eli, 9th level mage, 39 hp, NPC, with input from Zack Hubert
Raven, 7th level fighter, 37 hp, played by Sean Guarino
Leon, 2nd level ranger/ giant eagle, 28 hp, played by Mark Wagoner

With support from:

Tristan, 4th level druid, henchman of Warwick
Lanoi, 3rd level Phaulkonian cleric, henchman of Warwick

And lots of advice from Jack McKechnie

Warwick, having lost his support roster for the Dim Forest adventure
thanks to a terrifying Divination by Alegra in early 2186, decided that a
new quest was necessary to reinforce the Warwick-Alegra alliance and
provide political benefit for both the fledgling city-state of Tan-El and
the government of Cromwell.

The party to be gathered was a collection of elite fighters, a cleric,
and a wizard, all of whom shared a hatred of the Brothers. The Brothers
are a pair of evil cloud giant mercenaries of the Fog Clan hired by humanoids
to kill humans, humanoids, and other worse things. They particularly
delight in
killing good clerics. Opponent's limbs and heads have been known to fall
with a single swing of their swords.

It was the sort of challenge Warwick relished. (i.e., Warwick's just crazy
enough to enjoy that sort of thing)

First, it was necessary to gather the members of the party. Most were
available, but in order to make it on time, Alegra and Raven had some
interesting experiences

Raven led patrols around Tan-El during 2186 to protect the workers and
increase the safety zone for the low-level parties, including Rage
Against Injustice (a Korian party), hired on bounty to clear Tan-El. This
arrangement worked out fine, until a very nasty encounter.

On patrol were Raven, Rangorn's two woodsmen henchman Luke and Han, and
three elves from Sairt. A banshee beetle, the most feared monster in
Tan-El, jumped out in front of the party and screamed.

All but Han and one elf collapsed. Han sent the elf for help, and began
checking the bodies. Though Raven hung on to life for some time, all the
appeared to be dead, and Han began to feed them
to the banshee beetle one at a time, hoping that Theo and Star and Ludo
could arrive in time to save Raven. Unfortunately, the creature had made it
and no one had yet showed up, so Han poured the Elixir of Life to save
Raven, and dragged him, stunned, back towards the Tan-El workers. He met
and Ludo along the way, but they would not risk tracking down the beetle
in case it could scream again (by know nearly 5 minutes had passed and
experience with the monsters revealed nothing of their abilities to recharge
this special attack).

Raven was saved, but he took massive permanent damage, including 7 hp,
and 2 comeliness points, reducing to 37 hp and a comeliness of 5.

Rangorn was still in the Tunnel with the Daring Dozen at the time, so Han
decided to have Luke reincarnated (he was unraiseable) and he came back
as an eagle! Another Phaulkonian eagle. Meanwhile, Rangorn had a nasty
shock waiting for him when he returned from the trip.

Alegra, meanwhile, had to travel to the Realm, to the distant land of
Hochland 200 miles off the Realmish coast, to train to 9th level.
Leaving Tan-El in mid-2186, she traveled to Carse to buy the weird suit
of armor the Defenders had noted ten years earlier, a "Sharpskin suit." The
merchant stated that "he couldn't reveal what it's made out of, but lots of
them had to die to make it." The armor is AC 6/6, acts like leather for
thieving abilities,
mountain climbing, etc. It is dimly magical and unaligned and probably made
from the
carcass of some weird black creature. Taking a boat from Carse to Teft,
she hit a bad storm, but saved the ship from capsizing through her
Phaulkonian ability to reduce winds. A few days later a huge but
friendly whale appeared.

Alegra was Teleported with Eli to Melbonia, where Skylltor Teleport
without Errored her to Saib, a bustling slum of a city in the near Realm
(comparisons were drawn to Calcutta). At extreme expense, Alegra hired
professional bodyguards (referred to her by Skylltor) until a fast
passenger boat was ready for her. The passenger boat trip was short, but
another storm rose, and the ship was once again saved by Alegra.

She landed in Hochland, where for the first time in her life, Alegra was
treated with respect. The place was quite beautiful, and as the launching
point for the great New World missionary activities of the Phaulkonian hero
Hoch, showed great respect for Phaulkonians of all kinds. Alegra trained to
9th level and gained 3 hp to stand at 40. She worked with Grand Matriarch
Mariah, the highest level human Phaulkonian cleric. Along with the High
Priests of Teft, Hoch-Och, and a Cloud Giant High Priest, Alegra joins the
ranks as one of four High Priest-level Phaulkonians who report to Mariah.
Mariah reports to the leaders of the Temple of the Sky in the Adventuring
Reserve (with its elite Storm Giant guards and extensive temple complex).

Since she had been refunded her money for the boat trip, Alegra was able to
back for free, but she needed guards and decided to pick up her dozen elite
followers, called The Seasons. They sailed back to Saib. On the way they
hit ANOTHER storm, this one quite bad. However, Alegra threw her new
spell, Summon Weather, and made it sunny again. A few days later,
several crewmembers disappeared and the captain assured everyone that
everything was ok. He said to Alegra, and only to Alegra, "Evil devil
priestess ray." Completely baffled, Alegra asked, "Is there something I
can do to help?" The man said, "No, no, it is fine. Thank you!" (Alegra
somewhat disadvantaged being a Human speaker with only one slot, without her
native Human speaking henchman around to help, but she made it okay back to

Once again, Alegra had saved the day and was given a full refund.

With her guards, Alegra traveled on horseback through the Realm, got
harrassed at the Latt border by a Drake outpost, passed briefly through
the Moors and the Dim Forest, and finally emerged into Cromwell.

At Hoch-Och, on High Holy Day, plans were made and astrology results were
revealed. Both Lanoi and Warwick receive signs from Phaulkon.

Partial success was virtually assured. The time to attack was at 5 AM on
February 14, 2187 -- this was the time when the Brothers constellation would
be dipping below the horizon.

Buck missed most of the ceremony do to a happenin' New Years party that
the Ring of Berber just HAD to go to. He meant well though.

The party had gathered: Brenard, Cloud giant, was to provide the
transport, and be invisible and flying as the attack began. Warwick was
to be airwalking (with the Windsocks), hasted, and invisible. Buck was
invisible and ready to divebomb one of the two brothers. Raven and Alegra
hidden in the snow some distance away ready to fire bows (Alegra would use
Rainbow, a 5th level spell that makes her an excellent archer). Mordrick was
to be hiding in the snow, drink an Invisibility potion, and backstab a giant.
would be flying and invisible, ready to throw a Slow spell. Buck landing
on a giant would trigger the attack. Leon, flying reconnaissance, would
let us know when they were getting close, and also try to snag things out
of their hands and disrupt spells or effects.

The plan was to do this when they went out for water, since the cave
complex/temple of Vaprack that they inhabited did not have an internal
A waterhold nearby was an easy target for our planning as an ambush spot. We
suspected that servants would get it normally, but Phaulkon had indicated
was something special about this time.

"The weather will be your greatest benefit and greatest challenge."

We headed over on the Cloud Giant's castle, with Lanoi and Tristan there
as healing support. During the night 9 days before, the castle flew over
and Alegra used the Windsocks to know the weather for the morning 9 days
Alegra determined that it would be extremely cold the morning of the 14th,
immediately following a prolonged 9-day blizzard. By 2AM that morning, the
storm would have cleared out, causing the temperature to plunge to a frigid
degrees F. (Astrology had indicated that 34 was an important number.) The
water hole would be frozen solid.

The party set up and prepared for the moment. Lots of Endure Cold spells
protected the group, and winter wolf cloaks protected Alegra, Mordrick, Raven
and others as they hid beneath the snow , ready to pop up for attacks.

At about 5 AM, four bugbears with barrels came out into the cold.
They banged futilely against the frozen pond, and returned inside.
Moments, later, out came the Brothers, one in blue and the other in black
armor. Both were weird looking, and both suits had helmets.

They reached the pond and looked annoyed. Black began to cut a hole in
the ice with his huge sword.

At that moment, Buck fell out of the sky.

Buck slammed into the Black-armored giant with tremendous force, but merely
bounced off the weird armor. Not even knocked down, Black stood up and
for enemies, popping his helmet down and weird gem goggles appearing in front
of his eyes.

Warwick shot the Black for tremendous damage. Black launched into the air
after Warwick, who fired again for devastating damage.

Raven and Alegra popped up and began shooting. Raven missed Blue, but
Alegra consistently shot Black.

Blue charged toward Raven, who fired desperately and missed, but then
Mordrick reached him and backstabbed him with the indestructible short
sword of quickness +3, doing tremendous damage and five wounds. The
giant whirled around and slashed Mordrick, inflicting equally tremendous
damage to the dwarf and stunning him. Eli finished his Slow and threw it
at Black, chasing Warwick, who continued to fire but was missing. Buck
was slowly reforming naked in the snow.

Suddenly, Black _blinked_ and was in front of Warwick. He slashed him for
tremendous damage, and Warwick fell back with three wounds. Hasted, he
dashed back out of range and shot him again, hoping that it was some sort
of one shot ability.

Eli cast a LIMM at Black, whose Brooch of Shielding stopped virtually all
the damage, but then was used up, at least. Alegra continued firing to
devastating effect.

Blue went to finish off Mordrick, but suddenly Brenard the cloud giant
appeared behind him and slashed him for big damage. Wanting to finish
off the most dangerous opponent, Blue slashed at Mordrick. Being so
incredibly tough, Mordrick staggered around for a few seconds before the
nine wounds overtook him and he bled to death.

Raven fired desperately, missing again with a second +4 arrow. Warwick
continued to miss as well. Eli began pulling out a scroll of Magic
Missiles. Black tried to drink a potion (the potions were built into their
elaborate skull helmets). Leon the giant eagle made a grab for it, but the
giant obviously saw him (due to the goggles that each suit had) and the snout
of the skull also deflected his dive, and he missed.

It became apparent that both giants had drunk potions and were healing
rapidly. Raven shot Blue, who closed angrily with the elven archer and
swung the killing blow.

But he missed.

Brenard stabbed him, and together with Raven they managed to keep him
staggering near unconsciousness. The potion continued to heal him though.

Alegra held her bow during her effective split-fire movement and ran at Blue,
hoping to get a spell off. Black, meanwhile, _blinked_ again and appeared in
front of Warwick, who had time to think "Shit" before he died horribly in
Fortunately, his head didn't fall off, and the Windsocks caused him to float
gently to earth. Due to Alegra's imbueing of Warwick with a couple of _Cure
Light Wounds_, she was immediately aware of his death).

Eli blanched but threw Magic Missiles, hammering the rapidly healing
Black. The giant turned around and sped toward the retreating Eli.

Alegra had finally closed with Blue, and in desperation, threw a _Command_
"Die!" in Cloud Giant.


The giant fell over, and Brenard killed him where he fell. In rage, Black
attempted to eliminate Eli, whose _Ray of Enfeeblement_ was unsuccessful.
Alegra fired her last arrow before dropping the Rainbow. Eli was leading the
giant back toward the party, and was preparing to Teleport away to the
castle. Alegra attempted to distract Black's vision of Eli with a
_Precipitation_, but the optical abilities of his armor caused the plan to

Buck, fully reformed, threw a +2 throwing axe at the creature but missed,
and picked up his bastard sword.

The giant came streaking toward the party, and Raven pounded it with arrows,
but then Alegra stepped up to it once again, as a last-ditch effort, and

Some days, even cloud giants can't make saving throws.

Buck finished off the fallen Black, who had also downed a Potion of
Superheroism on his way in.

Mordrick and Warwick were dead, but everyone else was in fact uninjured.
Everyone was carted away to the castle, where Alegra _Raised_ Mordrick and
Warwick successfully. Between a _Speak with Dead_ on the Brothers,
interrogation of the bugbear and noblink slaves, and Mordrick's
unbelievable ability to detect and remove traps, the party had little
difficulty in regaining all of the treasure.

There was a huge assortment, which I may leave to Mark to list for us:

The highlights were the Brothers gear-two suits of powerful cloud giant
full plate, one of land dragon, the other of behir. One was immune to
blunt weapons, while the other granted lightning protection. The two
swords were a sword of sharpness, which can decapitate people, and a
sword of discernment, which allows the user to tell who is the most
powerful opponent (that they can detect) and will stun that character.

There were a number of religious items belonging to Nevronians, Malatans,
Chelseans, etc. A lot Realmish gear was found. The slaves were freed
and told to go.

The huge sabretooth tiger was charmed and freed by Tristan. A large Stone
Golem had been set on "autokill" mode in one of the rooms, but the control
necklace was recovered. Buck and Eli used the necklace to destroy the Fire
Mastiffs. When the party left, the Stone Golem was set on autokill by Buck.
This should be quite interesting when the trolls come to reclaim this shrine
of Vaprack (god of trolls and ogres). The trolls can't kill it, and the
golem can't
effectively finish off the trolls. It should be good fun and interesting to
have "full-time" combat happening in the temple until a new necklace can be
made. Because it would limit Vaprack's power to this very remote region,
Phaulkon did not want the party to either deconsecrate the temple (since it
would allow Vaprack to move the temple) or desecrate the temple (because it
would undoubtedly result in the annihilation of one of Phaulkon's important
servants). A successful mission resulted in Lanoi training for 4th level, and
improved relations for Tan-El and Cromwell with other countries, hopefully
involving the recognition Tan-El by Wunka (the near Realm), and possibly

The cloud giant Brenard picked his favorite armor and sword (land dragon, and
sharpness), and the other pair was given to Alegra for a cloud giant follower
that she will pick up (behir and discernment). Eli received some items of
interest, including the _Disintegrate_ scroll. Raven gained some arrows,
Mordrick got the double dose potion of superheroism and other stuff, and
Warwick received many items of value and the illusionist spellbook, which he
gave to Al Hoch.

Hope you enjoyed the adventure! Stay tuned for more!


Defenders Log Entry #4: The Masters of Disaster meet Disaster!

Darellon, 1st level woodsman, 20 hp, played by Joel
Drew, 1st level ranger, 15 hp, played by Jack
Ethan, 1st level woodsman, 13 hp, played by committee
Grison, 1st level fighter, 11 hp, played by Sean
Soldan, 1st level cleric, 9 hp, played by Alex
Morgan, 1st level fighter, 7 hp, played by Alan
Quentin, 1st level druid, 6 hp, played by Jeremy

The party quickly paid salvage tax on the items we found, including giving up the magic ring, stored its remaining items in the castle, and set out to catch the bandits. We approached the cairn cautiously and discovered that two different groups, one of 6 and one of 7 had passed by it and dug up the bodies, despite the _Ceremony_ cast by Soldan. We followed the fading old tracks of the six that we routed two days earlier.

Tracing this for two days, we reached an area which had clearly hosted a battle between the bandits and something else-- perhaps insectoid, such as the beetles. We followed the single trail leading north from it.

We traveled for a few hours before running into a far better ambush than before. 11 men, many with longbows, one a crossbow, and some flail users. Darellon turned to run and the party backpedaled away from the ridge with some of the longbowmen on it. The thought was to escape the range of the bowmen and fight a more even battle. It didn't work out that way...

As we got out of short range, a _Hold Person_ spell hit Darellon and Ethan, who froze instantly, while Quentin escaped its effect. Things suddenly looked incredibly bad. And they were.

Grison pushed Darellon over and Quentin knocked down Ethan, while the rest of the party hit the dirt. So Quentin and Grison were up in front together in the grass, while Soldan, Morgan, and Drew were in the back together. Soldan peeked up for a moment and got shot at, taking minor damage. But it was enough of a look to prove that the flail people and longbowmen were advancing really slowly.

A desperate plan began to form. Grison was only somewhat injured from the initial volleys, so he planted Darellon's large shield in front of him and drew a volley of shots. As soon as the volley fired, missing him repeatedly, Quentin threw an _Entangle_ catching 5 men. Meanwhile Grison skewered one that had been missed before he could reach the dwarf. But they were being pressed quickly. Drew rose and started firing, shooting down one before getting bogged into a long series of misses with the people on the ridge. Quentin was shot and dropped to the ground, unconscious.

Morgan slew several as well, with a combination of long sword, followed by a salvaged longbow from a body. The archers in the entangled area continued firing at Grison, who slowly continued to weaken. Grison took down one with his throwing hammer, but it was too late-- he was slain by a flail hit moments later.

Drew finally dropped the longbowman on the hill, and was free to concentrate on the local battle.

Worse still, there were still perhaps four men left in the entangled area, two with longbows, and to compound things two men with flails were approaching. Worst of all, one of them appeared to be in heavy armor, though a cloak obscured it from view. Concluding that was the mysterious cleric, Drew shot but to no avail. The cleric revealed himself with the command, "Die!" which Drew obediently did.

It was a desperate moment. Soldan rose out of the grass and threw a command at the cleric-- who dropped! Given that he was wearing FULL PLATE ARMOR that was VERY GOOD! For his heroism Soldan was repayed with a horrendous barrage which dropped him to the ground in bad shape.

At the moment, Morgan was the ONLY one standing. He had dropped the cleric's escort, and sliced his throat open while he was commanded.

Then began a low quality archery contest, as Morgan attempted to drop the men in the _Entangle_ before it ended. Finally Drew reemerged from his catatonic state and shot one longbowman. Unfortunately, Drew was dropped unconscious right after. That left Morgan alone once again.

Fortunately, at that moment Ethan and Darellon were able to move! Ethan was unentangled and moved to quickly skewer the last flail man before the entangle ended moments later. Finally, Morgan shot the last man while nearly down his knees himself. Darellon rose and immediately everyone rushed off to heal people.

Darellon was able to save Drew, and Morgan saved Quentin, but unfortunately Ethan was unable to save Soldan.

We were in poor shape. Ethan and Darellon were uninjured, Morgan was BARELY standing, and the other two living party members were incapacitated. Suddenly there was a loud drumming sound from over the ridge. Morgan went to investigate, and neatly dodged an arrow from the battlements of some small stone structure below.

It appeared that there was a single bandit still remaining and putting up an annoying effort. Deciding that if reinforcements were to arrive we would all be dead, we gambled-- Ethan, Darellon, and Morgan attempted to storm the small fort.

The plan, which was executed perfectly, was for Ethan and Darellon to draw fire while Morgan split-fired and shot the man from the roof. Unfortunately Morgan was unable to penetrate the battlement defenses. Ethan and Darellon charged to the wide wooden door. Darellon slammed into it hard, but it did not give. Unfortunately, he then heard a cranking sound. Instinctively the two backed up-- right into the range of the ballista.

Poor Ethan was blown apart by the force of the shot. Darellon cried out and smashed down the door-- facing another smaller wooden door. He crashed through that and charged straight at the flail man who had come down the stairs to meet him. Darellon missed and was hit for minor damage. He then dodged two arrows from the bowman behind. Darellon chopped up the flail man and charged up the stairs after the fleeing bowman. Darellon caught him at the top of the stairs. Ick.

Morgan entered afterward. Darellon smashed down a particularly tough lock, and discovered a room with four prisoners, two barely alive, from a merchant caravan led by the merchant Thaddius. We collected a cart from the nearby corral, and 6 horses. We loaded as much as we could possibly carry, perhaps 2000 pounds, into the cart and saddlebags along with the four reviving people. Then we set off for Restenford.

It was an uneventful journey other than a botched meeting with some elves, thanks to Darellon's overeagerness. Five days later we stumbled into Restenford.

Quentin healed up the first night, thanks to the druid Almax, who received a 200 gp donation, the best we could do.

The party then cashed in everything it had found, and became FILTHY RICH (for a first level party). In the end we had 2000 gp in ready cash, plus a set of full plate valued at 3000 gp!

And some magic items. A gold bracelet, silver pin, a belt, 11 magic crossbow quarrels, a potion, and a scroll. We gave the silver pin to the church of Phaulkon to dispose of since it was an unholy symbol. There was also some holy water, which we kept. The quarrels were paid in salvage tax.

The scroll turned out to be of Dimension Door. While Drew rested for 35 days, we decided to spend some of our newfound wealth and construct a house! A modest dwelling for about 350 gp, on the eastern end of Restenford-- this was done during May 2172. It can hold 8 people comfortably, and has some storage, though it is sparsely furnished.

We received rewards and credits from the baron and other grateful citizens for returning stolen goods from the storeroom.

We then headed to Barnacus by caravan-- uneventfully. We sold the full plate for 1350 gp sage credit and 1500 gp. We then let Ogman the Sage identify the items we had found. Interesting stuff:

* Short sword +1, +2 vs. metal-armored people!
* Bracelet of defense AC 9 (oh well)
* Potion of Gaseous Form
* Belt of Levitation (12 charges)

Not bad for one adventure!

On our way back into Restenford we picked up Celeste (human cleric of Phaulkon, sling user, 6 hp, played by Sean), and the yet to be named half orc fighter (short sword specialist, 10 hp, played by Alex).

The short sword has been assigned to the half-orc for obvious reasons!

We also paid to upgrade everyone's armor-- we are a party of people in banded mail except for Quentin, who now wears scaled leather armor.

A grim and tough adventure, but the rewards...!
Log Supplement II: An Omission

In all that slaughter, I almost forgot the funniest part! After the stone building was cleared, we found several boxes of valuables, one of which the merchant claimed was his. Fearing that the others were insidiously trapped, Darellon went to great lengths to avoid being killed. He picked up a 100 pound box, and threw it at a wall. Three times. When all it did was scratch, he attacked it with a borrowed flail. He fumbled, the weapon swung out of his reach, bounced off a wall, hit him in the head (one point of damage!) and bounced damaged onto the ground. Whee!