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*Stone Soules Reunion* The Game that Was Not

"There are games which are so awesome you simply have to share.
And then there are games like this one."

Giants, Ogres, and So Much More!

Party Roster:

Konrad, 10th level paladin, 94 hp, played by Rodger Henson
Tanique, 7th level fighter, 71 hp, played by Kathryn Klawiter
Ceydric, 8th level cavalier, 65 hp, played by Joel Green
Warwick, 7th level ranger, 60 hp, played by Mark Wagoner
Klogwort, greater orc, 54 hp, played by Rhonda Jones
Xavier, 8th level cleric, 45 hp, played by Jack McKechnie
Ludo, 9th level thief, 43 hp, played by Kyle MacLea
Eli, 9th level mage, 39 hp, played by Zack Hubert
Tarplin, 8th level druid/ 5th level mage, 29 hp, played by Alan Jones
Fred, 7th level monk, played by David Chappell
Risha, 7th level cleric, 23 hp, played by Kyle MacLea
Sahrak, 5th level illusionist/ 6th level thief, 21 hp, NPC

Our party, composed of members from the Duchy of Estwurl in the Southern
Waste and Dunadorian knights, from the Cromwellian Academy Teams, from the
disbanded Stone Soules, and from other sources familiar to the other stalwart
adventurers, gathered in Dunthrane City in 2187. (There was some interesting
updating done on many of the characters.)

The party then performed a Divination, Astrology, and Commune. The
Divination resulted in knowledge of a moderate force of Lawful Evil, and
a slumbering but very powerful supernatural force of Neutral Evil. There
was "subjective" treasure. The Astrology revealed the sign of the
Wanderer heading toward the sign of the Cornucopia, but was intersected
by the sign of the Four Brothers before the Four Brothers entered the
sign of the Void. The influence of the nine dark moons, representing
unstable or unknown magic, was undeniable.

A Commune spell revealed that although Borglyn did not know we were
coming, the mission did not have a "reasonable chance of success." It
was shown that Borglyn did have a magical means of escape, and that the
chances of angering the forces of Neutral Evil were "moderate." There
were thoughts that the Neutral Evil represented a slumbering or contained
evil, possibly undead or from the Outer Planes.

Despite this, the party decided that if Borglyn could be caught by
surprise in his lair, it was possible that we could win the day. The
party decided to march off the road, without stopping at Fort Halfred or
Northford, and would look for the Stone Giant druid in the region.

After several days, Tarplin tried to contact the druid. He did so, and
we discovered that the druid had lived in Borglyn's valley originally,
but had been driven out. He wished to remain uninvolved in our mission.
He warned us that there were an immense number of undead in the valley
and that a night attack would almost certainly prove fatal. However, he
noted that Borglyn might not know we were coming. The druid informed us
Borglyn's means of magical escape was a candle that when lit would
transport him elsewhere, to someplace unknown to the druid, presumably
connected with the ancient ruins.

We had been sleeping in Leomund's Secure Shelters due to Eli, when we
heard a knock at the door. An old man was there, and he sold Eli a
couple of brushes (Eli was wearing the Robe of Grime) and told us
"information." For 1500 gp, he told us of a secret back door entrance
that would be quite difficult to reach. There was an area that was
constantly full of ash, but if we could get someone over the mountain,
and near line of sight, Eli could Teleport there without much trouble and
the party could be transported to the back. The man revealed that in
fact he was the local Sphinx, named Bartass, and he was willing to help
us reclaim the valley by telling us how to get through the back door.

So, with Warwick walking over the mountain on air, Eli Flying, and Leon
the giant eagle leading the way, the group was successfully transported
over to a safe point on the other side. Risha remained there as backup
for the party should they return in need of healing. With rags dipped in
water created by Konrad, the party moved through the ash and reached the
back door. (Though we wasted a lot of time discussing a plan involving
elaborate zip lines to reach the door, the low-tech version was
eventually favored. The Sphinx had told us how to bypass some sort of
keycode-like thing, and the door opened.

Warwick remained flying outside and scouted the area, looking for other
possible escape routes.

We moved down the long corridor, and noted a room to our right that held
in it what we suspected was the transport candle. The room was dark and
haunting, with a huge ash-gray candle dominating the center of the room
and a rather defensible position at its entrance. Tanique remained
behind to guard the passage in case Borglyn should escape that way.

After much time spent carefully scouting the corridor (mainly through
Xavier's Find Traps) we emerged into a large cavernous room that the
former Soules recognized from their last visit to the lair. Then we
spotted Borglyn up ahead, eating at a large table. He was about 20 feet
tall and had a sword and a baton, as well as some nice armor on.

Though members of the party favored negotiation with evil giant, the
paladin and knight would not be dissuaded from their righteous course.
With a yell of challenge, Ceydric and Konrad led the charge toward the
cloud giant. Sahrak had cast Dispel Exhaustion on them, and they moved
quickly. Xavier began a Prayer spell. Borglyn rose to meet the knights,
when disaster struck from another quarter.

Chono, hiding invisibly in a nearby corridor, appeared and fired the
dreaded wand. Weirdly colored things shot out, striking the back half of
the party. Tarplin was saved by Klogwort, who took huge damage and
rotting wounds by jumping in front of his friend. Xavier was also
struck, but got away lightly, the weird green and blue shapes being
somehow largely averted by his armor. Fred was unaffected. However, the
unfortunate Sahrak was not so lucky. While he stared in terror, his head
turned a bizarre color, and then literally melted off his shoulders,
hardly recognizable. Though Xavier rushed to his side, there was nothing
that he could do and so the cleric turned sadly to vengeance.

Finally, the rest of Borglyn's minions jumped from hiding. A giant
baboon emerged from one of the other corridors leading into the room and
jumped at Ludo, who was carried off by its momentum. Apparently Borglyn
had restocked his pets!

Meanwhile, back at the candle transporter, Tanique felt a slight rush of
wind from the corridor leading toward the back entrance. Before she
could think or react, she inhaled some sort of Sleep gas effect and
collapsed. There was a rush of feathers and a startled gasp, but the
rest of party never heard or saw what happened.

Tarplin began to heal himself and Klogwort. Xavier's Prayer had been
disrupted by the wand's damage and possibly by the evil ground, so he
tried Command spells, but they didn't seem to work on the giant.

Borglyn swung his baton at Konrad, which had an incredible effect: when
it hit, a dramatic spray of lightning shot from the baton and engulfed
Konrad. But Borglyn had not anticipated the paladin's resistance.
Instead, the effect was repelled, but had no effect on Borglyn either.
Ceydric struck with Scythe, and hurt the giant.

There was a bizarre rumbling sound from down the hall, but no one was
really able to pay any attention to it. Tarplin looked concerned.

No one wanted to see what happened when Chono fired the wand again.
Seizing the moment, Fred raced at Chono and with a swipe of his hands,
grabbed the wand! The ogre realized it was in trouble, and ran down the
corridor with Fred, Klogwort, and Tarplin in hot pursuit.

Konrad and Ceydric slammed Borglyn for major damage, and he realized he
was in serious danger. He activated some sort of item, and it Teleported
Ceydric, Konrad, and Borglyn out of the combat.

The rest of the party wasn't sure what to do, but then it heard the cries
from the down the hall where Ludo had vanished with the giant baboon and
Tanique was standing guard.

Meanwhile, Ludo had been smashed some distance down the corridor by the
baboon, but when it caught up and tried to slam him against the wall, he
slipped free thanks to the ring of free action. Quickly, Ludo downed a
Potion of Firebreathing, searing the creature at close range for a lot of

Suddenly, there was a horrible cracking sound, and a large section of
floor swung up, crushing the baboon against the wall. Ludo deftly
avoided the sliding stone and glanced down, seeing a room of some sort.
He tried to stir Tanique, and then he went down to investigate while the
groggy fighter stood up.

It was a circular room, with weird shadows flickering and rather
well-done but horrifying paintings of ghastly things being done to
humanoids. Perhaps this was the subjective treasure?

There was also a sarcophagus in the center of the room, with the lid open
and slid down toward the door. Ludo and Tanique moved forward, and
looked over the edge of the rail around the sarcophagus

They had an instant where they noticed two things. First, the body of
Sphinx Bartass lay on the floor on the other side, apparently drained of
life. Then they noticed the skeletal creature skulking on the other side.

It noticed them as well.

Some sort of very powerful magical effect hit the pair. Ludo was saved
by Thurmond's resistance, but the unfortunate Tanique fell over clutching
her throat with one terrible scream, apparently dead. Ludo ran back up
for help.

It was unnecessary, as everyone had heard Tanique's death scream. The
party moved down the corridor and spotted the creature emerging from the
room. It was identified as a lich by the sweating Eli.

This was looking quite bad.

Ludo came running back, while Xavier began an Implore. Eli faced off
against the hideous undead creature. The thing threw a Magic Missile
battery of TEN missiles at Eli, but thanks to his Brooch of Shielding he
was unaffected. Eli fired back an Ara's Aura spell, choosing Fire and
seemingly injuring the creature. Then the lich retorted, using a Power
Word Blind spell against Xavier, whose Implore failed due to the
dampening effect of the evil ground.

Xavier hurled Beads of Force at the lich, which forced it to dispel the
force cube, gaining precious seconds. Then Xavier pulled out the Wand of
Wonder. He pointed it at the creature and hoped and a line of songbirds
flew straight out of Xavier's mouth! They dropped weird berries on Ludo,
Xavier, Eli, and Tarplin, healing each of them of some of their wounds!
The lich was unaffected.

The lich dispelled the Force, but Xavier fired one more time. This time,
red bolts of force struck the lich, though it was not apparent whether it
had any effect.

Then a huge lightning bolt erupted from the lich, which streaked down the
corridor. Xavier was killed instantly. Ludo was hurt but alive, Fred
dodged the effect completely, and Tarplin was protected by his spells.

Eli threw up his newly acquired Fire Shield, and was immolated in
purplish flames, dancing off his robes and lighting the corridor in a
bizarre mixture of gloom and fire.

Eli cast a Blowtorch spell and closed with deadly creature. The lich
used some sort of Blink effect and moved down the hall. The party
charged, but it gave the lich time to release some sort of Time Stop
effect, which caught the hapless Tarplin. The lich then attempted some
kind of Soul Capture attack, but it failed against Eli's resistances.

Finally the lich got through Eli's defenses and struck him for massive
physical damage. Although the lich was hammered by his own damage
(thanks to the Fire Shield) he pummeled the elven wizard to the ground,
killing him instantly.

Without hesitation, Fred handed the wand to Ludo and charged the
monster. Fred began an open-hand attack routine, realizing that he was
the only one left who could affect the lich. Amazingly, it worked, and
his punches seemed to have an effect. However, for each attack, he
needed to resist an energy drain! Fred was losing levels, but was
desperate to kill the creature. Though he wished to destroy the creature
with his weapons, it appeared that only the open-hand attack had any effect.

Finally, Ludo figured out how to fire the wand (after several misfires)
and the weird multi-colored hues hit the lich, turning its skull an odd
color. Fred's fist then smashed the skull, and it shattered! But Fred
had fallen to 1st level (at least temporarily)!

Meanwhile, Chono had emerged through a secret door in the side of the
building, but ran into the waiting Warwick. The ranger fired and the
ogre was struck for tremendous damage, but didn't fall. He took to the
air and closed with Warwick, smashing him with a large sword.
Unfortunately, Warwick couldn't get away from the ogre and was forced to
swing his sword to save himself. The ogre hit Warwick three times for
huge damage (and one wound). Warwick finally connected and sent the ogre
reeling. Realizing they were both in trouble, Warwick downed a healing
potion and swung at the ogre. Both of them connected, and Warwick fell
from the sky and hit the ground unconscious, but the wound was gone
thanks to the potion. The ogre was dead. From her safe place in the
Ashmire, Risha saw the fall and ran to help.

In other news, Konrad and Ceydric emerged in the candle room disoriented,
while Borglyn lit the candle (with a token or something? It was awfully
quick). A black gate appeared in the far wall, which Borglyn ducked
through and the knights followed. They emerged in an old ruin, sightning
a fleeing Borglyn and several fire giants appearently using the ruin as
an observation post. They defeated Borglyn rather easily and had
discovered they were in a nearby cave with several fire giants. It was
brutal, but the two knights took down the other giants and moved outside
to return to the party.

The party regrouped and the Rod of Resurrection was used on Eli, who then
used Reduce and Teleport to save everyone. Warwick lost ANOTHER point of
comeliness from the fall before Risha could save him. Unfortunately,
Sahrak's body was unraisable. A Speak with Dead on Sahrak revealed that
he wished to be Reincarnated if at all possible. Tarplin's scroll was
successful. Strangely enough, Sahrak came back as a giant mongoose.

Treasure division will be done over e-mail soon.

Some of the motivations were revealed to us. Talks with the sage
brotherhood revealed that the Sphinx Bartass was in fact an Anarchist
renegade, and was trying to cause chaos by freeing the lich. He used the
party as a distraction so that he could get by Borglyn, but the lich
killed him upon waking.

Perhaps this had something to do with the inviolate realm of Horbani?

In addition, it was discovered that Chono was in fact some kind of
steward for Borglyn.

A tragic adventure, but an exciting and bizarre one!

Joel/ Ceydric


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