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July 24, 1999

Handouts for The Sixth Open, April 1, 2188 B.Y.

Here is one of the handouts for the Sixth Open - Race Rock. I was in the main area of Race Rock talking to the Locatha for the whole game through the closed door. Once I can get OCR set-up, I'll send the text up.


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The Sixth Telvar Open: Race Rock

Held: July 24, 1999, Winston-Salem, N.C.
"Race Rock"

"When you throw caution to the wind as a vocation, occasional hurricanes are an inevitability."

1. Introduction

2. Group Summaries: Groups 1-3

3. Group Summaries: Group 4 (Alvin's Party)

4. Group Summaries: Group 5 (The Watchers' Watchmen)

5. Wrap-up Summary and Cast of Characters

6. Other Conjecture


The Oceans of Telvar hide many secrets. Some, like this one, might better have remained secret.

We begin in the world of Telvar, in the Northern Sea, farther north than Lendore, past the Endless Sea and north even of the Pirate Isles and such other infamous islands as the Hand of Hindus. Travelling as the crow flies (or druid as the case may be), to the northwest, we discover the vastness of the Great Ocean. We have left Wunka and the Realm far to our south, and Goblin Isles are long since past. Roughly halfway between Hochland, central state of the Phaulkonian religion among humans, and the
Grandfather, primary naval base of the goblins, lies a chain of islands inhabited by mostly peaceful orcs and the like. Were one an adventurer, the ruins on the northern islands might be of interest. Our story, though, begins in the southernmost island of Race Rock, known for its wind currents that allow boats to race by the island at astounding speeds.

The date is April 1st, 2188. A certain key person is partially aware of events about to occur on the island of Race Rock, and a turning point in history may have been reached on that day. A large hurricane comes to Race Rock as a series of events are set in motion. The details lie in the accounts of those who were present.

Some Credits: Groups 1, 2, 3, and 4 were summarized by Joel Green. Group 5 was detailed by David Chappell.

With help from many others, including Edwin Anderson, Katherine Plante, Alex Hubbard, and Chris Allen.

You can see a picture of the participants on Joey's picture Telvar Open picture page.

Groups #1, 2, and 3

(Joel Green)

A group of adventurers working for Elsit of Elsit's Fabulous Journeys
discovered a strange island many days sail from the Korinn Archipelago.
The island was occupied entirely by a huge factory that produced
tubeworms. Lots of tubeworms. Lots and lots of tubeworms. They taste
vaguely fishy, but are a good source of protein. Elsit realized that he
had an opportunity here-- he could sell these tubeworms for low prices
and only pay the cost of shipping!

The factory runs by itself. The corridors are ventilated magically, and
all the walls are magical. The temperature inside is a pleasant 72 degrees.

On the morning of April 1st, 2188, a hurricane began to pick up near the
island. Elsit's ship was out at sea and would not be returning for
awhile, and so the outer doors were sealed by Elsit and the groups took
cover in the compound.

As the storm raged, it was quiet and tranquil inside. Flooding had not
broken through the sealed doors, and everything seemed to be going
alright. Unexpectedly, Saib found a catch to a secret door in the back
wall of Elsit's steward's bedroom. The party gathered there and decided
to investigate what was inside.

This left Elsit and his command staff in charge of the compound. They
immediately set to work, creating elaborate defenses involving barrels of
oil and choke points and such.

It was clear that the adventurers would not return soon. Then, suddenly,
there came a knock at the door.

A voice from outside announced that there was a group of locathah traders
interesting in making some deals.

Locathah are a group of neutral sea creatures that trade heavily with
other races. Elsit and his command were understandably unnerved and
instead a slow exchange of notes began. The two sides slowly
communicated their intentions.

It became clear that the locathah had had a bit of trouble getting to the
outer door. The fortress had apparently sealed itself up shortly after
the storm began with some sort of weird magical bubble. The locathah
were aware of this and took cover in the compound to avoid the
hurricane. When they found themselves in the area of machinery with the
tubeworms, they realized that their position was somewhat tenuous. Among
other things, they were attacked by sharks that had unexpectedly
frenzied. They beat them off and proceeded up the stairs where they
found themselves between the two locked doors.

Meanwhile, a certain Captain Malmir of the cloaked ship Belle Venture had
received a distress call from Elsit's boat. Malmir, understanding the
urgency of the situation, had been nearby and set sail. Upon arriving at
the island, the captain donned his magical cloak, turned into a manta
ray, and dove into the water at the outer door. He discovered the locked
outer door, swam back to his ship, gathered his men, and prepared to
break it open.

At the same moment the guards got the door open, Malmir and his crew
burst through the outer door, causing complete chaos for a few moments
until everything was sorted out.

Malmir made his report of the grim situation approaching the island, and
Elsit decided to abandon the island. He and his men moved crates onto
the Belle Venture as fast as possible and prepared to escape the danger...

The Captain [Keith Nelson] later said:

[I was] Captain Malmir of the ship Belle Venture, responding to a distress call from the wizard Elzidd from a remote fish processing plant out at sea. In the rising storm, the ship arrived, and we spent our time trying to get in to find out what the problem was. We really didn't contribute much to the understanding of what happened that day, nor did we reach a point where we could have intervened. We were the escape route for the survivors getting off the island before the sahaugin took over.

Group #4 (Alvin's Party)
"Sure is a bad one for this time of year..."

(Joel Green)

Alvin and the Chipmunks are a seafaring adventuring party that formed in
2168. They are led by Alvin, a powerful thief and decent fighter. The
second in command is Velo, a high level fighter in heavy armor. The
other members of the party include: Farin, cleric of Xerbo (god of life
in the sea), Saib, a mid level thief who recently replaced the late Simon
(the previous party thief), a hobgoblin woodsman named Turg Flaybrains, a
new half-orc fighter named Trent Biggins, a fighter/mage/cleric named
Fralty, and a mage named Buckus. (Theodore was an early casualty in the

Alvin's party works for Elsit of Elsit's Fabulous Journeys. They run the
powerful warship owned by Elsit, originally purchased from one Captain
Nbod. On one of their adventures, the party discovered a bizarre island
named Race Rock. The island was occupied entirely by a huge factory that
produced tubeworms. Lots of tubeworms. Lots and lots of tubeworms.
They taste vaguely fishy, but are a good source of protein. Elsit
realized that he had an opportunity here-- he could sell these tubeworms
for low prices and only pay the cost of shipping!

The factory runs by itself. The corridors are ventilated magically, and
all the walls are magical. The temperature inside is a pleasant 72 degrees.

There is a door that seems to be magically shut. It cannot be opened by
Knock or Dispel Magic (the Knock was cast off a scroll from Wicker).

Alvin and friends were searching for secret doors, hoping to finish
exploring the compound. They set up a number of magic mouths with the
password, "Die" in Carnivorous Ape. Yes, that's right, Turg Flaybrains
speaks Carnivorous Ape.

On the morning of April 1st, 2188, a hurricane began to pick up near the
island. Alvin's ship was out at sea and would not be returning for
awhile, and so the outer doors were sealed by Elsit and the groups took
cover in the compound.

As the storm raged, it was quiet and tranquil inside. Flooding had not
broken through the sealed doors, and everything seemed to be going
alright. Unexpectedly, Saib found a catch to a secret door in the back
wall of Elsit's steward's bedroom. The party gathered there and decided
to investigate what was inside.

The party advanced down the corridor and discovered a new room. There
was a corridor leading out, the back of a secret door, and a stairwell.
It was noted that the secret door likely led to the room that could not
be accessed by the magically barred door.

We were about to check that out when from upstairs we heard a very strange noise.
A sort of chanting ensued for a few moments, and then stopped.
Alvin ordered all lights to be concealed for a moment. When
nothing happened, we restored the lights.

Then we heard the sounds of the storm blaring through the compound.
After about 45 seconds, they abruptly vanished. Guards reported that
Elsit's groups had heard that sound too. The party decided to check out
the upstairs.

Alvin drank the Potion of Climbing and began to move up the spiral
staircase wall, upside down. Saib took a more conventional route and
simply moved silently up the stairs. The others remained at the bottom,

Suddenly there was a gurgle and a scream, and Saib ran back down the
stairs with three huge poles sticking in him, begging for healing.
Something had hurled these things a great distance, out of sight range,
and into the hapless thief! The poles were pulled out and he was healed
by Farin and Fralty.

Now it was getting serious. Velo and Turg led the party upstairs, with
Alvin watching from above. When they crested the top of the stairs, the
hobgoblin caught just a glimpse of a nine foot tall humanoid running away.

The party gathered at the top of the stairs. Buckus cast Invisibilty on
himself. Alvin advanced along the ceiling and the party moved forward.
As we reached a four way intersection, Alvin was slammed with several
poles and in serious pain. Clearly our opponents could see hiding
creatures. The party retreated back to the stairs.

A report filtered up from a runner-- the creatures were probably trow, a
form of sea troll that could regenerate and needed silver weapons to
hit. He wasn't sure though.

We demanded that reinforcements be sent up quickly. The question was,
should we advance or defend? Did this creature (s) come from outside or
from inside here? Were they here before us? What were they? Who was
invading who here?

What were they trying to pull anyway!?

Naturally, we charged.

We dashed into the intersection and turned a sharp right, hoping to find
a target there. We could see our opponent up ahead and moved quickly to

The steward from Elsit crested the top of the stairs with several guards
in tow, lugging a crate full of loaded crossbows.

Then a huge piece of metal furniture smashed into Buckus, killing the
poor mage instantly. Angered and frightened, the party tried to reach an
opponent. Alvin snuck toward the corridor where the furniture had come
from and set for backstab when the creature came through.

Farin pulled out her scroll of Flamestrike and began reciting the words.
Suddenly a huge set of spears struck her in the side, destroying the
spell! She began to heal herself desperately.

The hobgoblin woodsman, Turg, and Saib led the charge at the one visible
creature. The thing, which appeared to be a nine foot tall lizardlike
thing with four arms, turned to engage Turg. Turg swung valiantly,
missed, and then creature leaped onto him, gouging him all over the place
and beating him up.

The thief stabbed with his two daggers and appeared to visibly hurt the

Velo was approaching the combat, as was Trent. Farin had advanced and
was ready to Cure Turg when the creature finished him off with great
violence, discarding the body gruesomely. Farin drew out her trident but
missed the creature.

Meanwhile, back at the stairs, the steward was suddenly hit by several
spears from down the corridor. The guards dropped the crate and fled.
The steward fired her crossbow into the darkness. Hoping she had scored
a hit, the steward fled back down the stairs.

Trent stabbed with his ranseur and missed, and Saib might have been
slain, but Velo was there. He roared and slammed the creature hard with
his sword. Saib continued to trash the creature with his daggers.
Moments before the thing could strike again, Velo skewered it and it fell
to the ground. Trent moved closer and noticed that the creature was
regenerating! He stabbed it with his ranseur, drawing a wound, and the
creature died.

Now we suspected that the creature was something called a greater
sahaugin. There are occasional mutant sahaugin that have four arms. The
strongest of these can range up to seven and a half feet tall.

This one was nine feet tall.

Hmm. This was not good.

We sent down the steward to get us flaming oil. At this moment, one of
the other creatures came around the corner where Alvin crouched. But the
creature came far wide, turned, threw three spears into Alvin, and
disappeared back down the corridor, leaving Alvin in bad shape.

Alvin fled back to the party, healed, and we regrouped. We decided to
finish our exploration of the compound, and checked the next room. We
discovered a huge mark of an eye on the ground. The party felt uneasy.

Alvin declared, "Let's desecrate it!" The party began scraping up the
symbol, trying to destroy the evil of the place. After a few moments,
the symbol was scuffed, but the feeling of unease had not left. Alvin
thumbed his nose at the evil.

We found another room with steel furniture, apparently of the ranged
weapon kind. We also found another room with four exits. Realizing that
time was running out, we turned down the corridor that our spear chucker
had come from. The compound was rumbling ominously.

The steward reappeared on the stairs again and rejoined the party. As we
passed near, we could hear screaming from down the stairs.

Saib sprinted by the corridor to find out what was going on. He dashed
down the stairs and tried to find out what was going on. There was a
confused and disoriented sentry down below who had no idea what was going
on. He seemed shell shocked.

Saib came back up the stairs and rejoined the party just as they spotted
a small trail of ichor on the floor. Assuming that this was from the
crossbow shot by the steward, the party followed the trail through a room
with books and other weird things. They reached a dead end with a
doorlike area and a gem set in the wall.

First we tried a Knock spell on the door, which failed. Alvin began
searching for a catch when suddenly three more bolts hit Saib in the
back. After the previous damage we all thought the thief had been
killed, but miraculously he survived, though he was injured. Another
healing spell hit him and the enraged party charged. But the creature
had slipped away again! There was a rumbling sound throughout the complex.

As the creature disappeared, a creature of light appeared down the
corridor. The being glowed brightly. It said, "I have failed. One has
gotten away. Flee this place!" It held its head in its arms and then

Saib yelled, "Wait! What can we do?" But the creature was gone.

The trail of ichor led right up to the "door." Saib decided to push the
gem. The was a whipping sound and the door flipped open, revealing the
outside! The storm had mostly abated, and there was a ship outside. Men
were hurriedly moving crates into the boat.

Then the captain of the guard arrived and told us to flee. Within ten
minutes this place would be attacked by a horde of sahaugin! Two hundred
of them were converging on the island!

The ship outside was none other than the cloaked ship Belle Venture,
Captain Malmir commanding. Elsit was abandoning the island with his gear
and men.

Saib begged for ten more minutes. Malmir knew that little time was left
and was leaving in six. Saib and Alvin sprinted away down the corridor,
Trent and Farin following, hoping to pick up the bodies of our companions
for Raising.

Saib and Alvin reached the room with the scuffed symbol. A section of
wall had been destroyed and beyond was a second room with another
symbol! The two ran inside and could see the creature of light.

When they demanded to know what was going on, the creature told them that
it was a minion of Kor, god of the Sun. It had failed in its mission and
disaster was coming. Nothing could be done to avert it, and they had to
flee at once.

Trent and Farin picked up the bodies of Turg and Buckus and the party dashed out the door.
The party reached the Belle Venture and began to sail out.

The storm was still a threat, and the sahaugin were pursuing the ship.
The ship made it through damaged, and managed to evade the enraged sea
creatures, and fled from the island, Alvin vowing to return...

Group #5 (The Superior Point of View, or, The Watchers' Watchmen)

(David Chappell)

We awoke from a peaceful sleep to learn that our home ground had been invaded. We would have to defeat the intruders, for we were Superior, and they did not belong here. A distant noise--the opening of a door--awoke the Terror from his deep sleep and began a nightmare that ended in joy.

Terror easily broke open the vat the surrounded him. Although it contained a small crack which enabled the penetration of the noise that awoke Terror, the vat was designed to survive for many, many years. Though a newborn, Terror's instinctive knowledge led him to begin working immediately to defend his home. Terror realized that he was in a laboratory in which he and others of his kind were grown. He read the signs on the other vats and operated the levers to free two others of his kind. The three of us--Terror, Thing, and Beast--searched the room in which we were born. We knew that this was our home and that it was being invaded. We were reluctantly willing to work together when direfully threatened, but our hatred for all other races of sentient beings was without measure.

Although there were about two dozen total strange vats in the huge laboratory, over the preceding years, power had failed to all but the last three vats. The other, lesser vats contained other beings in various evolutionary stages held in suspended animation. Some were smaller versions of the three Superior beings--smaller in stature and possessing only two arms. At the lowest end were mutated sharks.

Looking at each other, we three Superior beings recognized that their superiority arose not only from our intelligence but also our physical might. Though only minutes old, we sprang fully formed from the vats. Terror, the biggest and eldest of the three (by a few minutes), stood just over nine feet tall. All three had the strength of hill giants as well as great dexterity and an incredible constitution that granted a minor regeneration ability. We were covered with tough, blackish-green scales. Our four arms and two legs had webbed hands and feet that ended in sharp claws. In addition, our teeth and fangs were sharp, and we knew how to use weapons in combat. Our ears were good enough to hear an oar rowing at the surface of the sea several miles away, and thus we could hear the opening of the distant door that awoke them. We could feel air pressure and realized not only that they were in an airtight area but also that the air pressure was abnormally low--perhaps signaling a storm, we suspected. We had a sense of being sealed in--perhaps miles underground. Although we would have been more comfortable underwater, our bodies suffered no real disadvantages to being in air. The room had a low level of dim light. It was less than candlelight but just comfortable for our Superior vision. Looking around, we saw not only the vats that birthed us but also various other pieces of lab equipment. We suspected that even at our genius level of intelligence it might take six months or so to learn how to operate the vats so that we could grow more of ourselves. The power of our minds was not quite on par with the power of our bodies, but we were smarter and wiser than most beings and had much stronger personalities. [Seriously, one of the first things we players noticed was that our character sheets read, "Race: Superior."]

Once we eliminated the intruders, our next order of business would be to change gender (if necessary) and mate with each other to breed naturally. Still, even if only one of us survived this horrid intrusion into their lair, he could grow more to propagate the species. A veritable encyclopedia of books in the room explained details on the equipment's operation. Various volumes discussed cloning, growing monsters, suspended animation, etc. in intricate detail. The books were written in the Basic language that we Superiors spoke, and they were all cut into metal sheets. The only surviving equipment in the chambers was stone or metal--all organic materials had decayed many years earlier--thus indicating that the area was several thousands of years old. As we looked around, we began planning traps and tricks for use against the invaders, for we were Superior and they were not. In case the intruders advanced as far as this chamber, we pulled out an arbitrary book--one on controlling vat temperature--and left it open on a table in hopes that it might distract the invaders for a moment.

A quick examination through the lab was not quick at all, for it was 400 feet long by 50 feet wide with 12-foot ceilings, and three nearly-identical chambers lay in parallel with several connecting doorways. At one end, a narrow connecting passage ran along the end of the chambers, so the intruders had clearly come from the other direction. Thing suggested using our Superior hearing to search the walls for secret doors so that we might find a way to sneak through our lair more craftily and thereby more easily slay the unwanted visitors. Thing and Beast began walking along the walls and tapping on them, using our Superior hearing to listen for any abnormalities. Although the process was faster than an inferior life form's search for such hidden passageways, it still took time to walk the edge of the chambers. Terror meanwhile closed two of the three vats so that the outsiders would expect that there was only one of us. We did not plan to travel together anyway, and by being split up yet communicating with each other, we wanted to fool the visitors into believing that there was only one of us. The final vat, Terror's, was cracked and we could not close it back. The other vats were void of their fluid contents, but Terror cleaned up the goo. Before we had moved away from the vats, all three of us had wiped the goo off our feet so that we could not be tracked. Thing and Beast, meanwhile, realized that we had an innate sense for this place; if we concentrated, we could sense whether and where secret doors were located. These chambers had no secret doors.

We wanted to set up simple traps at entrances to the laboratory chambers. There were no doors, however, and the doorways were 8 feet wide and tall enough (10.5 feet) for us to pass through comfortably. Hence, there was no clear way to set a simple trap. We each picked up a couple spear-like tubes and boulder-like hunks of metal for use in combat, and Thing also picked up a bucket for gathering items later. Feeling prepared to take on anything, we moved on in the only direction that led out of this large but contained suite of rooms. We discussed various tentative plans as we prepared to explore the area and defeat the intruders. As we moved forth from the room of our birth in defense of our home, we knew little about ourselves, but we knew that we were no mere Creatures from the Black Lagoon: we were Superior, and we would be victorious!

The first chamber away from the laboratory complex appeared to be a large storage room. It measured about 300 feet by 55 feet and contained many items which we could not immediately identify. As with the lab, only stone and metal items were still extant, so we grabbed more spears and boulder-like objects for use in combat.

There were only two exits from the storage room other than the doorways to the lab complex. We could sense food (i.e., the intruders) in one direction and water in the other. Though we knew that we could control sharks, we could sense no sharks nearby. Beast arbitrarily headed towards the water, while Terror and Thing went for the food. With our excellent hearing, we knew that we would be able to easily communicate over distances within our home merely by speaking aloud to one another.

Beast followed the hallway towards the water. The hallway led to a 60 ft. square chamber which had benches and pegs along the walls. On the far side of the room, a set of stairs led up to a wall which had no clear means of egress. The wall at the top was made of stone different from the rest of the place, and we expected that it was some form of door. He climbed the stairs and found a blue gem inlaid into the side wall at the top of the stairs. We surmised that it might be a button to open a door, so Beast pressed it to see what would happen. The wall in front of him slid open, revealing a new and wondrous scene. Outside, a storm was raging--a horrendous hurricane with fierce winds and torrential rain. A lesser being would have been torn from its feet and tossed about by the storm, but Beast was able to hold his ground. Even his Superior strength would eventually falter before the terrible tempest, but he looked around before pulling back inside. While an inferior creature could have scarcely seen 10 feet in front of its face under those circumstances, Beast's Superior eyesight allowed him to see a hundred or so feet. He could see the sea, and it appeared that we were on an island. Moreover, he could sense that the hurricane was beginning to pass the area. As Beast pushed the button again to close the door, we discussed what he saw and decided that our earlier guesses were likely on target. The hurricane, we expected, had caused a passing ship to wreck on our island's shore. The inferior beings onboard had probably retreated to our home for shelter since they were ignorant of it being our domicile. As we continued, we hoped to lure the unwanted guests back to a boat at the shore so that we could more easily slay them from the water. Until we could lead them away, we would merely kill them one by one within our citadel. Beast [or maybe it was Terror] suggested that we might be able to lead the intruders, perhaps with a trail of goo from the vats, to the door and cause them to open it and thereby doom themselves when the forces of the hurricane swept them away and tore them apart.

Beast moved back down the stairs and through the storeroom, while Terror and Thing continued to explore up ahead in the direction of the food. First came a chamber (about 60 ft. square) that appeared to be an office or study. The single exit on the far side of the chamber was an open doorway that led to another 60 ft. square chamber.

While moving forward, Thing decided to shout a warning to the food: "If you can hear us, we are coming after you! You are dead meat!" A dim light coming from the floor a couple rooms ahead immediately shut off, and noises came up from below. As we stepped into room beyond the study, we could see into the room which had briefly been lit from below. There was a circular staircase leading down from that room, and we could hear metal (armor and weapons, we expected) and talking in a language we did not understand. At last, we had found the intruders!

Terror and Thing were then in a chamber with exits in each of the four 60 ft. walls. Benches and pegs were along the walls. While Terror stood guard in the "intersection," Thing went to the room to the right to search that direction. Beast, meanwhile, was coming to join his fellow Superiors in hopes of squashing the invaders.

Thing traveled through the doorway to find a 60 ft. by 75 ft. room. Chains and brackets along the wall revealed that this had once been a torture chamber, but little in the room had survived the passage of time. There were no other exits visible, so Thing turned around. He passed through the "intersection" where Terror watched the prey, and he moved on to the unexplored direction. Beast, meanwhile, joined Terror as they prepared to attack the invaders.

As Thing continued to explore, the inferior invaders made their first foolish move. No lights were on, but the Superiors could of course see and hear well regardless. One of the little humanoids, wearing a black robe, walked up the large circular staircase from below. At the same time, a second humanoid slinked up along the underside of the staircase. The Superiors hurled their spear-like weapons, four at a time, at the invaders. The dark-robed one was visibly hurt and ran screaming back down in retreat. The stealthy one, which seemed to be wearing some form of shadowy camouflage, moved back down as well. Beast and Terror could watch as the humanoids cast spells upon one another. A second dark-robed humanoid cast a magic spell to turn the shadowy one invisible--though our Superior senses could overcome the invisibility to a large extent. The wounded one was healed while the shadowy, spidery one tried coming back up the underside of the stairs.

As the combat began, Thing was exploring a meeting room next to the "intersection." The room measured 100 ft. by 60 ft. It contained stone tables that were a little too small for the Superiors but were clearly intended for some other race, perhaps something the same size as the invading humanoids. Two exits from this room both led to a beautiful chamber beyond.

Back at the staircase, Terror concocted a masterful plan. The spider-guy had climbed the underside of the stairs and quickly moved to the ceiling, where it hid in the corner of the room. Terror realized that the spidery guy thought that we could not sense its presence. Thus, he moved slowly towards the invader with hopes that the lesser being would try to attack him. At the last second before the spider guy could attack, Terror reached up, grabbed him with his strong arms, and slammed the unwelcome guest to the floor with a large amount of force. The surprised spidery humanoid was wounded and slipped back down the stairs to join its fellows.

Deeper in the complex, Thing had come across a ceremonial room which paralleled the meeting room. It was 100 ft. by 60 ft. and contained numerous stone stools of proper size for Superior seating. An eye-symbol was inscribed in a circle on the floor. The room felt like a temple where Thing felt that he would be comfortable. Given many months, Thing realized that he could become a priest. Two long, narrow storage rooms lay next to each other extending away from the temple. These side halls contained various bits of metal furniture, which we could hurl like small boulders.

Back near the staircase, Beast and Terror stayed in the shadows just out of sight of the wimps. The humanoids began marching up the staircase in formation. Two well-armored warriors, one of which had fangs, led the group. They were followed by the dark-robed mage who had cast the spell of invisibility, the previously-wounded dark-robed one, and several others. We knew that magic was one of our weaknesses, and we realized that mages are often physically weak and poorly armored. Thus, a large, boulder-like piece of metal from the Superior defenders immediately flew at the mage, slaying him instantly. Before other invaders could be slain, they set up a position to defend themselves. Their warriors held large shields to block the doorway while their comrades came up into the room. The only exit from that room led to the "intersection" chamber, and thus they were blocked in.

Deeper in the complex, a single doorway led away from the temple to a dining hall. Thing proceeded to explore the area. The dining room, about 80 ft. by 25 ft., was appropriately Superior-sized. There was, however, no smell of food here (aside from the food with which Terror and Beast were playing). Along one wall, three open doorways led to small "dorm rooms." Each dorm room had a stone slab designed for a Superior to sleep upon. On the other side of the dining room, a suite of two posh chambers contained a nice stone "bed." The fancy rooms also contained several corroded gold items (crafts and bowls). Thing placed several of these gold items into his bucket in hopes of later using them in the previously-discussed plan of using treasure to lure the invaders along paths we want them to follow.

At the major intersection, a stand-off had ensued. Both the Superiors and the intruders had taken up defensive positions. The Superiors were at the edges of two of the rooms adjoining the intersection chamber, and the invaders were in the stairwell room which also adjoined the four-way intersection chamber. We could hear the humanoids moving and talking, but Terror and Beast were waiting for an opportunity to hit them with more spears. We realized that even we Superiors could be killed in a pitch battle, and thus we preferred to strike from secret and hit lone opponents when possible. After a while, though, some of the invaders charged forward and melee ensued. The fanged warrior and the shadow-robed man (who had been originally wounded) charged out from the room with the stairwell. They ran through the bench-lined room with four exits, and they turned right into the meeting room. Terror was in that room, and he decided to meet their charge in hand-to-hand combat. Upon hearing the commotion, Thing turned back to see if he could join the battle.

As the combat began, Terror threw himself on the fanged warrior, sending them both to the ground. He began using the claws on all four arms and two legs to assault the invader. Terror's claws tore through the warrior's armor and flesh, and the inferior one began to suffer horrible wounds. Simultaneously, however, the shadow-robed man was attacking Terror. Both Thing and Beast watched the battle from around corners--Thing in the temple and Beast in the office--and they were hesitant to join the battle. Though he only used small daggers to attack, the shadowy dagger man's great skill combined with the weapons' magic allowed him to inflict tremendous amounts of damage upon Terror. In the time it takes to swing a sword, the dagger man could make three separate attack cycles; each attack would more than kill a normal human and would take away about a quarter of Terror's life force. In addition, another armored warrior has closed in combat; his short sword tore deeply into Terror's flesh. Yet another warrior stabbed and wounded Terror with a pole arm. Still, Terror quickly killed the fanged and armored guy. Thing watched from a doorway while a trident-bearing humanoid pulled out a scroll. Thing prepared to throw a couple spears but waited till the scroll-bearer began to read; a good hit not only wounded the reader but also ruined the magic spell being invoked. Disappointingly, the dagger man killed the Superior soon thereafter. Thing prepared to throw a boulder-like object. When a magically glowing coin was tossed in his direction, Thing decided to pull back from the illuminated area rather than risk falling to the combined assault of the invaders. Terror's death confirmed Thing and Beast's intention to stay out of sight and attack only from safe positions.

Back in the other chamber, Beast saw a force of humanoids coming up the stairs. The group was led by a crossbowman, and most of the group was carrying large crates. Beast and Thing discussed what could lead the group to have their porters bring crates up the stairs towards us. We assumed that they were logical beings, and thus we organized our thoughts towards figuring out why porters would dare come towards combat with Superior beings. One guess was that they were carrying some sort of super-weapon for use against us. Another guess was that this was some treasure they were trying to steal. Perhaps, we mused, they had come in the door that Beast found, having entered before we awoke and having subsequently found some treasure in our lair and now making their way back out towards that exit door. As a third guess, perhaps their group was being attacked from behind by another foe, and the attack from the other direction forced the porters to come towards us. In any event, we did not want them to advance. Thus, Beast threw spears at the crossbowman and nearly slew him. The group retreated at once, carrying their cargo back down the stairs.

In the meeting room where the battle with Terror had occurred, the humanoids recovered from their losses. We could hear them moving around but did not want to engage them when they were all together. Beast retrieved more ammunition from the storage room while Thing stayed in the temple.

Beast then watched from the shadows while an unseen force pulled a large book out of the dead mage's belongings. Beast concentrated and was able to see the invisible, shadowy spider-guy flipping through the pages in what we presumed was a spellbook. Though we were amazed that the spider-guy's previous experience had not taught him that we could see him, Beast did not hesitate to take advantage of the inferior being's stupidity. Beast threw several spears at the spider-guy and wounded him. The spider-guy retreated, of course.

As Beast had all the fun of attacking the invaders, Thing was lying in wait in the temple. He stood along the wall that backed to the meeting room where the invaders were. He stood in between the two short passages that connected the rooms, and he hoped that the invaders did not realize that both doorways connected the same two rooms. Thing's plan was to wait for the invaders to come through one doorway, and he would try to sneak behind them through the other doorway. He realized that if he went deeper into the complex, he could be trapped, but here the two doorways gave him a chance to sneak behind any group that advanced towards him. There was a pause since the invaders were clearly in no rush to advance. After a minute, Thing had the idea to scan the room to see if he could sense any secret doors. As the luck of the sea devils would have it, there was a secret door in the wall to his left (opposite the furniture-filled halls).

Thing moved carefully through the temple towards the secret door. He avoided the light that shone in from the neighboring meeting room so that the humanoids could not see him. He subsonically told Beast what was going on, and he opened the door. Thing realized that closing the door behind would keep him from being able to talk with Beast, but he did not want to dare allow the invaders to find the door and follow. Thus, Thing and Beast said their farewells, and Thing moved on to the chamber beyond.

Past the secret day, Thing found a room about 80 ft. square. There were benches on each wall, and a great arch on the far wall leading out of the room. The room was intricate with designs on the walls and floor. The designs were quite beautiful, though Thing could sense that lesser life forms would probably not appreciate their beauty. Moreover, Thing had a sense that he was approaching the Master who created him, and he was filled with a sense of holiness. Before moving forward through the archway, Thing called out to the Master to ask for a sign if the Master did not want him to proceed. Upon receiving no reply, Thing moved forward.

The next room in the secret area was smaller, about 40 ft. square. Three archway exits led out of the three other walls. To the left and right were side rooms about 20 ft. by 30 ft. with pools of water. Thing immediately gained the knowledge that he must go through a special ritual before proceeding straight ahead. The ritual involved the pools in the side rooms and would take 7 to 10 minutes to complete. Thing realized that there was a big uncertainty involved in going forward, but he decided to attempt to contact the Master. He expected that either completing the ceremony would be a great boon and would save the day or else it would be useless and the invaders might become victorious while he was undergoing the ritual. Still, he began the ceremony and wished for the best.

Meanwhile, Beast resumed hit-and-run tactics against the intruders by throwing the spear-like poles at them from just out of their sight. They followed his path through the "intersection" room and through the office/study. At one point, they nearly hit him with a crossbow bolt, but their near-hit just made Beast's plan work all the better. Beast decided to put into action a plan we had discussed much earlier. He went into the laboratory complex to retrieve some goo from our vats, and he left a trail running through the long storage room to the bench room and the stairs to outside. The humanoids followed the trail perfectly and did not even seem to notice the lab chambers. They certainly did not see Beast hiding and lurking around the storage room and making his way in and out of the lab chambers.

Thing continued the ceremony. He proceeded slowly and cautiously since he had never performed the rituals before. When an appropriate time came, he donated to the Master the gold items he had found in the ornate living chambers. Though all these activities were new to Thing, his great wisdom aided him.

The humanoids followed the goo trail to the door to outside. As they lingered and investigated the door, Thing threw four more poles at the shadow-robed dagger guy, and several of them hit him. Thing slipped away from the intruders. They eventually pushed the gem, and they could see the sea when the door opened. They called back and forth to one another and rushed and seemed to be in a hurry. Beast was disappointed that they stayed too close to one another for him to safely pick them off. He bid his time since he did not want to take too great a risk to his own life. Some of the humanoids even headed in the direction where Thing had gone.

After he finished the ritual, Thing proceeded through the great archway so that he might attempt to communicate with the Master. As he stepped through the archway, Thing found himself in a large circular room. The room was well over a hundred feet in diameter, and it seemed to have a domed ceiling. There was a feeling of mist on the walls and floor, and Thing wondered if this might be a gateway to Heaven. He called forth aloud, beseeching the Master to hear him and bring him aid. The response was deeper and sadder than mere silence: Thing sensed that the Master was dead. Not one to give up lightly, Thing continued to call forth in prayer to the Master in hopes of receiving aid as his home was being invaded. This time, Thing sensed that although the Master was dead, perhaps some of his servants still lived and maybe others of the Master's kind could be reached. Thing thought that he could perhaps feel servants of the Master slowly beginning to approach him from a distance, though it would take hours for them to reach him. The sensation in the room caused him to wonder if maybe he was in a domed bubble at the bottom of the sea with various creatures swimming just beyond the dome.

Thing then stepped forward into the large eye symbol engraved on the floor. From there, he raised his hands to the skies and again called forth to the Master or whatever gods were listening. Though he felt that he was somehow doing something wrong, he tried again. As Thing called forth, suddenly a large, stout humanoid being appeared in the room where Thing had performed the ritual. It was as tall as Thing and had large, glowing fists. It appeared to be angry and antagonistic towards Thing, and it moved towards him menacingly. Thing realized that his calls had probably somehow summoned the creature, but he did not give up on his mission. He reached deep down into his soul and cried for the divine ones to save their last worshipper.

At last, his pleas were heard by the intended, sympathetic ears. As the malign supernatural intruder began to stride towards Thing, the floor opened immediately beneath the Superior being. A sudden vortex sucked Thing down and away from danger. The Superior's calls had been answered, and he was pulled from his home to another place--possibly to Heaven or to a place from whence he could commune with the Master or the Watchers or their servants. Presumably, Thing dwelt forever more in the heaven that is the home of the Watchers.

Meanwhile, Beast watched as the inferior invaders scuttled too and fro in a hurry for no clear reason. Though he was given no opportunity to snatch any of them as they passed him, Beast was mildly satisfied when at last all the annoying little ones left his home and went their own way. He had hoped to slay and consume them all, but at least his home was safe and he had not fallen in the way that his elder brother Terror had.

Within hours, Beast's island home was swarmed with several hundred beings similar to his own kind. Though smaller and weaker than he, they were clearly identifiable as being related to Beast. Their appearance, six-foot tall humanoids covered with blackish-green scales and with two arms, matched that of some of the stillborn creatures Beast had seen in the malfunctioning vats. These creatures informed Beast that he and they were sahuagin, and they respected him as a Superior member of their species.

Beast traveled with the sahuagin force back to their undersea home. There, he slew the former king of the sahuagin and took the throne for himself. With his innate intelligence, wisdom, and charisma, he naturally made a Superior leader. Moreover, he bred with many of the female sahuagin and thereby passed many of his Superior characteristics to his offspring. Thus, his rule as king led the sahuagin to a prosperity they had not known in this area for thousands of years.

Thus it was that, despite the end of Terror, a dark tale of evil intrusion ended in peace and happiness. And should the Watchers return, then we will certainly all live happily ever after.

Some things that may not have been obvious from these accounts:

(Joel Green)

Alvin's party contained a number of dissidents, well hidden behind guises
of complacency.

Turg Flaybrains was not only a hobgoblin woodsman, but also a fanatical
druid who intended to eliminate all sentient life on the island,
including Alvin and the Chipmunks. Before he could truly put his plan
into action, he was killed by the greater sahaugin.

Farin was a true party member and a priestess of Xerbo, but she had an
ulterior motive, which was to see if the factory could be destroyed and
the tubeworms saved. Her interest was in the preservation of life in the
sea. Failing the destruction of the factory, she would rather that it
was at least used instead of abandoned, as at least then the killing
would not be a waste.

Trent Biggins was NOT a half-orc fighter in the slightest. In reality,
he was an ogre mage sent to kill Alvin. Trent's uncle had lost many
people to Alvin 20 years earlier and desired revenge. Trent, the
youngest and least favorite nephew, was sent to kill Alvin. Trent
actually enjoyed adventuring and decided to hold off on the killing
unless the perfect opportunity presented itself. The treasure and
excitement were flowing and he was reluctant to return to ogre form. The
perfect opportunity, or anything even remotely resembling one, did not
arise during the adventure. Trent's natural Regeneration and Fly
abilities were explained by carrying a "ring of regeneration" and a "belt
of levitation." Trent was also capable of turning invisible, polymorph,
and suggestion.

Saib was NOT a thief, even remotely. When the sahaugin fought with Saib
and Velo, the party was convinced that Velo was taking the creature
down. In reality, Saib was doing at least as much damage with his two
daggers. Furthermore, when Saib was hit by the second round of spears,
he didn't fall. How? Saib is a type 3 shocktrooper monk. He is
disturbingly powerful. Saib knew that Alvin's party would find something
in the coming months that "could bring about the fall of Nevron!?!?"
Saib joined the party posing as a thief and traveled with them, hoping to
prevent the catastrophe. Saib's goal was to eliminate all of the greater
sahaugin and stop any such ritual. Unforunately, since he couldn't
reveal himself, he had to reduce his attacks to reasonable thief ones for
the party's benefit, and so two of the sahaugin escaped.

So in summary:

1) Hundreds of sahaugin are swarming about Race Rock.
2) One of the giant sahaugin has taken over as king.
3) Alvin and Elsit vow to return to clear the island.
4) Alvin's party still contains a secret assassin who plots to kill him.
5) The attention of those banished have once again been drawn to Telvar....

A List of the Players:

Captain Malmir-- Keith Nelson

The Locathah-- Sean Guarino, Rachel Smith, Ashley ??

Elsit-- Dean Nestvogel

Captain of the Guard-- Jack McKechnie

Lieutenant-- Jay Bates

Steward-- Rhonda Jones

About 35 Various Staff and Soldiers-- Alex Hubbard

Alvin-- Mark Wagoner

Velo-- Joey Hess

Saib-- Michael Chermside

Farin-- Katherine Anderson

Fraulty-- Kathryn Klawiter

Buckus-- Alan Jones

Turg Flaybrains-- Andy Moorhead

Trent Biggins (Yuri Hagachi)-- Joel Green

The Three Sahaugin:

The One Who Perished (Terror) -- John Johnson

The One Who Ruled (Beast) -- Alan Turnquist

The One Who Got Their Attention (Thing) -- David Chappell

The Observer/ GM's Assistant-- Chris Allen

GM-- Edwin Anderson

Other Conjecture on the Kraken

[The Stone Soules have discovered recent evidence of an ancient Kraken slave-city still involved in a struggle with evil forces. Read about it here.]

[long before this Open, David Chappell theorized on the coming return of the Kraken with his seminal work "When the Sky Has Fallen" It is reproduced below. -- Kyle]

When the Sky Has Fallen

Being a theory on the final days of the multiverse

The Kraken
Kraken ruled the world of Telvar for thousands of years and controlled its inhabitants. They were the ultimate rulers, though in some countries, local leaders had immediate control. The kraken prevented the other races from becoming strong by eliminating those with the potential of power in the physical, magical, and psychic realms.
The humanoid inhabitants of Telvar eventually gathered enough strength to drive the kraken away. They killed those who ruled the world, and no others came to take their place.
Readers interested in learning more about the early days of Telvar when the kraken ruled should read Edwin's paper "The Oldest Tale."

Magical research has revealed the existence of a place of existence known as "Home." This plane will be, according to the magics used, the last existing plane when the multiverse dies away. It was such a unique position that brought Home to the attention of wizards, but it has other special qualities.
Home is also the home plane of the kraken, and it is for that reason it was so named. Kraken still rule the plane, though from behind the scenes. Their rules are similar to those on other worlds: powerful and intelligent humans are not tolerated. Literacy is a crime punishable by death.

The Gods
The existence of divine beings is rarely questioned. The gods seem to care for their worshippers, and it is often theorized that they need to have worshippers.
The Kraken do not permit worship of gods: having slaves with clerical magics is potentially dangerous for them. Slaves worship the Kraken in some states, and in all places they are clearly the strongest beings with any definite influence on the lives of their slaves.
There are stories of mortals gaining divine powers at various levels. In most cases, it is due to a mortal having a large number of worshippers, and he is then taken to the Outer Planes by the gods. Other stories tell of evil undead being able to rise in the ranks of the evil domains of death.

One day the kraken will destroy the gods and become the absolute rulers of the entire multiverse.

My reasoning follows primarily from the fact that Home will be the last plane existing in the far future. While the destruction of some Inner Planes is likely, I find it hard to grasp the destruction of the Outer Planes. Unless some unknown outside force destroys them , the Outer Planes could probably be demolished only if the gods themselves were dead. Such a force that killed the gods would probably orginate from whatever plane is left: thus, Home and the kraken.
The background information presents my reasons for believing that the gods are enemies with the kraken. Certainly any gods of the kraken�should such exist�would not agree, and they may be the leaders of the Ragnarok between the kraken and gods.
At their known power levels, the kraken probably could not challenge the gods. They are mighty individuals, but a single greater god could easily defeat a kraken. In a large-scale battle, the gods have enough minions to stop the kraken, but power levels may change over time.
Kraken already rule several worlds, and their powers may yet be growing. If they gain enough subjects, they may be able to ascend to divine status. Alternatively, the kraken may equal the gods by robbing them of enough worshippers to remove their divinity. To further their strength, the kraken may be allied with demons or devils. While I could continue hypothesizing as to how the kraken could gain the strength necessary to defeat the gods, I shall instead concentrate on presenting my base theory without trying to guess at the reasons for it all.
I can not prove this theory, and only time will reveal its accuracy. The prediction of Home being the last existing plane is based on information accurate at the casting of the divination; it was the most likely alternative at that time. Thus, this one important fact may change. Once, similar magics revealed that Kraken would remain in power over Telvar for many years, but that prediction has proven false. Let us hope the continued existence of Home remains similarly false.
I welcome challenges to this theory, for it is not one that I welcome eagerly.

July 22, 1999

Defenders Summary #63: Would you believe that nothing died on either side?

Party Roster:

Felix, 6th level fighter, 59 hp, played by Alex
Kodo, 5th level woodsman, 59 hp, played by Rob
Balinor, 6th level fighter, 56 hp, played by Joel
Cassian, 7th level cleric, 45 hp, played by Katherine
Kain, 6th level cleric, 43 hp, played by Jeff (Jeremy this game)
Quentin, 8th level druid, 37 hp, played by Jeremy
Morgan, 6th level fighter, 35 hp, played by Alan (Joel this game)
Donald, 6th level mage, 33 hp, NPC
Alduin, 6th level thief, 26 hp, played by Vic (Kyle this game)

The Defenders returned in August 2181 to Restenford with some ideas for a new quest. We had a number of items to sell or trade, and didn’t want to start a major trip to Carse before the rainy season, so something on Lendore Isle appealed to us. Finally it was recalled that the Dead Wood was still a unfinished quest.

Back at the start of the party in 2172, the Lord Mayor of Garroten told us that we could explore the ruins in the Dead Wood, a forest between Garroten and Restenford. This was on our way during our island tour, so we agreed. Inside we found locusts, a giant spider that nearly killed us, and a skeleton. The area was consecrated evil ground. We fled and traveled to Restenford, where we learned more about the area and dropped the quest.

At the far edge of the Dead Wood is a castle called Bone Hill, which was inhabited by the mad wizard Telvar (who believed that the world was named after him, not the other way around). In the 2150s the Party of Allies attacked and killed the wizard and cleared the castle. However, the undead continued to return in the nearby forest and could not be permanently destroyed.

The Defenders decided to go to Bone Hill and look for clues about the forest, and then proceed into the center of the Dead Wood. We would get to Bone Hill by circling around the forest.

We traveled to Bone Hill, and Quentin talked down a poisonous scorpion on the way. The castle was weatherbeaten and had numerous holes in its walls. Cassian had her hawk patrol the outside and warn us if people entered. We entered through a hole and discovered the scent of dogs and some unidentified tracks recently in the area. We decided to investigate further and came upon a room that had been very recently occupied. There was still warmth from the stones in the fireplace. We found a storeroom with food and rations in it. We tracked and found someone leaving the room. Following the tracks, we came out into a courtyard.

As soon as we passed into the open, a group of six gnolls and three probable worgs (maybe just wolves) took potshots at the front line from the other side. They missed, and the party moved as a group. The gnolls sprinted away and we realized that overtaking them would prove nearly impossible.

Then a huge fireball roared out from the tower behind and above us, striking the entire party and roasting us. Morgan, Cassian and Donald took major burn wounds and needed healing. Little of value was lost in the blast, but Morgan’s gold rings were scuffed up and charred. Donald’s scroll of Shield was lost in the blast, though for some unknown reason, the map he was holding in his hand survived. Morgan’s Fly potion was superheated.

Quentin and Kain, of course, survived through their Protection from Fire.

Kodo gave Morgan the Ring of Health and Cure spells went off, helping party members. No additional attack went off and we dashed back into the building we had come from. Hoping to kill whoever had Fireballed us, we found the stairs and charged up. Alduin dropped behind in case people were following us, hoping for a backstab. When we reached the top of the stairs, another Fireball went off at the front of the party. The explosion flew down the stairs and hit everyone in the party except Alduin who dodged it completely, ducking out of the stairwell. The rest of the party was roasted again. Donald and Cassian went down in serious trouble, while the rest of the party except the still uninjured Kain and Quentin, charged angrily at the humanoid in full plate with the wand.

Apparently we weren’t up against a wizard. As the warrior recovered, the wand shifted into a flaming bastard sword, which he swung at the approaching Kodo. Kodo was injured, but Felix charged past and attacked for vicious damage. Some of it was stopped by a probable Aid spell, but the rest went through.

Kain and Quentin were frantically healing Cassian and Donald. Balinor and Morgan were unable to get past to attack, but Alduin used his Ring of Jumping to leap over the combat, tumbling, and land on his feet on the other side of the fighter. He turned around and was very nearly cool, except that he then missed six or eight times in a row with his backstabs.

Felix and Kodo were having a horrible time hitting their opponent. Cassian, healed, threw a Hold Person spell, which unfortunately failed. A second Hold Person from Kain also failed. Felix hit the warrior again, who was clearly injured. Finally, Kain charged forward and Commanded the warrior to Die, and he dropped to the ground.

Quickly we incapacitated him, and tied him up. We began healing, and searched for a window of some kind to see what was going on outside. Cassian’s bird was squawking madly.

The bird confirmed what our captive eventually told us. Two men named Thaddeus and Tunk (?) took off on hippogriffs. They had been negotiating with the gnolls, and were members of the Blue and the Gray, the huge bandit kingdom in the central area of Lendore Isle.

A cursory search of the compound revealed a blue and gray cloak in a locker. We also found, ooh, 6 electrum pieces.

The man we had captured was a complete idiot. He could barely remember anything. His name was written on his shirt: Bogomel.

For awhile we called him Bob, but when we came back and he had forgotten both us and his name, we gave up and changed the name each day. He is really strong, but unbelievably stupid. We thought he had been Feebleminded or Charmed or something, but there was no magic about him. It seems that he really is that stupid. He asked repeatedly to join our party, but instead we tied him to the bed and let him heal.

Donald picked up the wand from the ground, and hoped to use it in our defense. Balinor suggested that Quentin take it, since he is protected from fire and could use it with impunity.

As soon as Quentin took the wand, it blew up massively on Quentin’s person. Fortunately he absorbed the damage. Just before the explosion, the words, “The Blue and the Gray thanks you!” were heard. Bogomel confirmed that they had given him the wand and told him to give it to an elf.

Bogomel had been a caravan guard trained by Arcus in Teft. When asked if he guarded on the island, he said, “What island?” When asked where he guarded, the response was, “Barnacus.”


The name sewed on his shirt was given to him by his mom, who is gone. We really did feel bad for nearly killing him, even though he almost killed the party, and took him back with us.

But first, we explored the rest of the compound. The entire thing was uneventful up until we came to a probable Wizard Locked door. Felix couldn’t break it down, and so we tried to Stoneshape around it.

Suddenly a hand reached out from the stone and grabbed Quentin. He was level drained, falling to 7th level!

We sealed the stone back in place and retreated. We Chanted through the night and healed, and Quentin’s level was restored 24 hours later.

Mostly healed, we decided, not unanimously, that we would destroy the thing. So we went through elaborate preparations involving Negative Plane Protection and a Protection from Evil 10’ Radius circle, and in the end, when we opened the door, the creature was not there. Confused, we found a stairway at the back of the room it had occupied. After another spellshift, we traveled down and explored a series of passages and found absolutely nothing! Arrrgghhh!!!

There was a consecrated evil room on the ground floor. When Felix kicked the door in, it apparently crushed a skeleton under it. Bizarre. Balinor ground it into dust. There was nothing in the room, as it had also been looted.

Blasted, defeated, and without a kill to our credit, we trudged home to Restenford.

We decided that our next trip would actually make it to the Dead Wood.

We communicated the information to the Baron, who was somewhat interested in it, at least. Meanwhile, the puzzle box continues to be an enigma for Alduin.

Cassian took on Bogomel as a henchman. He is a true neutral fighter with 18/xx strength and con, a 15 dex, and only a 3 intelligence. Plus low wisdom, charisma and comeliness. He is a 3rd level fighter with unknown proficiencies (he forgot what they are). We discovered that he is good with the light crossbow, boxing, and is a spear specialist. We equipped him and promptly sold his full plate in Barnacus. We also put up ads for our weird bastard sword, Forgotten Memories, and the morning star+1.

An offer from a wizard in Serin, named Tolentot, arrived in Restenford. We gladly accepted 800 gp for the Volt we had captured (he would also cover the 100 gp of transport costs).

Finally, Zalk’s report on our weird ring+1 came in. It is a really powerful item:

It is a ring+1 with three charges, one of which is used. When a charge is activated (a fairly easy thing to do unintentionally) the ring will possess virtually any vaguely ring-like power for a time period inversely proportional to the power’s strength.

For example, it could become a Ring of Regeneration for a short time (say, a day). It could be a Ring of Levitation for a month or two. If it turns into a charged ring, it can only be use once before reverting.

The only disadvantage is that it cannot use the same power twice. So whatever the original charge was used for, which is unknown, is not reusable. The charge is wasted if this happens.

As we immediately concluded, it could be a Ring of Wishes. So we cast an Augury on whether to use the ring to be a Ring of Wishes to get a Regeneration spell for Felix. The result was singularly unhelpful: “The ways of fate are unclear.” Something like that.

Since it wasn’t a resounding yes, we decided to trade it for items of considerable value. Since the Baron didn’t have anything he wanted to trade for it, Quentin flew to see Wicker in Poseidonus (Donald’s trainer). We have some nice options:

a) Training costs (10-12k gold) plus a number of weird spell texts.
b) About double the training costs in cash.
c) Trade for some items. The item we found interesting was the Ring of Invisibility, an uncharged item that works for a certain amount of time each week.

Question for Edwin: is the Invisibility Improved, or is it broken during an attack? If not, can it immediately turn the user back invisible after the attack?

Wicker was also hoping to trade for the Bastard Sword, though he thought it wasn’t particularly valuable.

Finally, Bostun Barr in Barnacus revealed that Morgan’s superheated Flying potion was unstable and could explode. We sold it to him for 100 gp.

We will be looking at those options. There will likely be only one more summer game, on July 30th (that weekend).

Next time, the Dead Wood.


July 08, 1999

Defenders Summary #62: The Big, the Stupid, and the Nasty

Party Roster:

Felix, 6th level fighter, 59 hp, played by Alex
Kodo, 5th level woodsman, 59 hp, played by Rob
Balinor, 6th level fighter, 56 hp, played by Joel
Cassian, 7th level cleric, 45 hp, played by Katherine
Kain, 6th level cleric, 43 hp, played by Jeff (Joel for the summer)
Quentin, 8th level druid, 37 hp, played by Jeremy
Morgan, 6th level fighter, 35 hp, played by Alan
Donald, 6th level mage, 33 hp, NPC
Alduin, 6th level thief, 26 hp, played by Vic
Nakumanu, 3rd level fighter, 25 hp, henchman

Continuing on last game’s discoveries, the party decided to do some recon before taking out the “clergy of the Lord of Lies.” Quentin flew back to Restenford and consulted with the Baron and the churches there. The Lord of Lies is a devil of godlike power, though he has no real formal clergy. Nothing was really known about the situation, though no one believed it could be bad to wipe it out.

So equipped to kill, we approached Hafney Hill once again. Entering Invisible from the trapdoor in the tower where Quentin had blasted halflings long ago, we found that no new signs of life were evident. Nevertheless, we pressed on to the trapdoor, and Kain Dispelled the trap on it, caught by Cassian’s Find Traps.

The party filed down into the small cistern to the door 15 feet below, and Felix opened the door as an Obscurement was dropped in the area by Kain. There were some bells and a crash of something, and the party moved in as quickly as possible. It was clear that there were objects of unholy origin spread throughout the room. Felix and Morgan burst out of the cloud and found a roast rabbit dinner lying spilled on the floor. Across the corridor was a draped curtain.

Pausing for Cassian to cast a Silence stone, Felix and Morgan led a charge toward the curtain and the ominous chanting behind it. As the fighters approached the curtain, disaster struck.

A huge blast of cold hit the party nailing everyone (34 damage, save for half). After the carnage was over, Nakumanu was on the ground dying fast, and only Balinor, Felix, Kodo, and Cassian were even really capable of fighting.

Morgan downed an extra-healing potion. Felix, Kodo, and Balinor charged into the room, and Felix hurled the Silence stone in. As Felix approached, he spotted the source of our distress, the “gaunt” we had seen before! The creature drew its bastard sword and grinned. Felix threw Detect Evil/Good from his sword, and discovered that there really was a lawful evil presence in front of him, and closed. He was missed, and Felix smashed his +5 sword into the creature. The creature was AC 14!


No effect! Hoping it was a temporary defense, Felix bashed the creature again, also ineffectually. Kodo charged and swung his magic handaxe, to no avail.

The creature pasted Felix for lots of damage and held him at bay. Felix threw an ESP from the sword at the creature, revealing “This thing is really working better than I could have hoped!” The creature, despite being faced by Kodo with a retreating Felix, was more intent on killing Balinor, who was just entering the room. Not enough information, unfortunately, which would cost the party. There was something going on, but what? And would we all be killed before we found out?

Realizing the situation was already grave, Balinor held the curtain and Donald launched Magic Missiles through, but they dissipated strangely around the creature. With a roar, Balinor dashed forward, was missed and struck back with both hammers.

The creature reeled back and nearly suffered WOUNDS from the strikes, which is impossible! Balinor discovered that an evil Prayer was also in effect, but his hammers had really hurt the thing.

Seconds before his next swing, the creature smashed him back. Kodo’s swing was still ineffective. He reached for one of Balinor’s hammers off his belt.

Meanwhile, Kain had dropped a Death’s Door on Nakumanu and was returning to help the desperate fighters. Cassian launched a Cure Light Wounds at Felix, who was slowly recovering. Quentin had dropped back to heal himself and anyone else who needed it.

Cassian pulled out her scroll of Cure battery and began releasing them on Balinor. Kodo, hoping to mess the creature up (we couldn’t miss it with it’s ridiculous AC) used his Smokeshield to drop a cloud of blackness on the combatants, relying on Balinor’s blind fighting. The creature swung its sword at Balinor, hitting and instilling a fear effect in a huge radius, but only nailing Kodo. Kodo dropped to his knees and began groveling!

The creature would have continued to trash Balinor, but Morgan threw holy water at him and then Thunderstruck him. The sword had no effect, but the lightning did, stunning the creature for half a minute! Balinor was immediately on the creature, smashing it three times and dropping one of his hammers in his fury.

It became clear that the creature was beat up, but regenerating at the speed of a troll, at least! Donald threw a Slow to no avail. He tried a Web, but the Web dissipated about the creature.

Morgan turned his longsword to the flat side and began smashing at the creature for some damage. Kodo used Balinor’s hammer to do the same, but the main damage was from Balinor, who was in serious trouble. The creature recovered from its stun and smashed Balinor, who was standing only through the efforts of Cassian. She began a Cure Serious to help him, but the creature would not let her finish. Suddenly shrunk to only 7 feet tall, the creature failed to surprise Balinor from behind. Balinor realized that he was being ESPed, but before he could tell anyone the creature attack, bashing Balinor into the ground, bleeding but barely alive.

Felix returned to the combat with his sword turned over. Even without using his weapon normally, Felix was still very dangerous to the creature. Cassian dropped a Cure Serious on Balinor, but was unable to get him to consciousness.

The creature decided to end the contest, pulling out a token and activating it mentally. Boulders dropped on Felix and Morgan from above, who suffered minor damage. However, the extremely unfortunate Balinor was crushed under the attack, defenseless and instantly dead.

Kain decided that it was time to go with the Bracelet of Beneficent Polymorph, and he charged into the smoke cloud. Felix tried to strike at the creature, but it nailed Morgan and got away through Levitation. Frustrated, we were in serious trouble.

Quentin leveled a pair of Dispel Magics at the creature and clearly dropped some of its defenses, though which were unclear. Finally, Kain spotted the creature in the cloud and aimed.

And in a sudden anticlimax, we were faced with a levitating raccoon.

End of combat. Healing, collective sigh.

We snagged the raccoon and Quentin decapitated it with a Flame Blade. The raccoon, just for an instant, turned into purplish ogre-creature with weird horns, then suddenly vanished into mist. Felix desperately threw a Detect Evil and spotted the fleeing mist. Alduin shot at it, but had no effect. The creature had escaped.

It became clear that we had fought an ogre mage with all sorts of weird protections and items. Searching the place revealed an evil book that was dissolved by four vials of holy water. Also we found fireworks in a trapped chest, a magic bastard sword, bracers, belt, and morning star.

We traveled to Garroten where Balinor was successfully Raised (barely). Astoundingly he suffered no permanent damage other than the long-term loss of all the fingernails on his right hand! Weird. (07 on the permanent damage roll!)

In Barnacus, items were IDED. We had a morning star+1, bracers of striking (+1 to hit,
-1 to AC for a two-handed weapon user), belt of many pockets (64 pouches of 10 cw each), and the bastard sword, Forgotten Memories. This is one of the most bizarre weapons anyone in the party has heard of:

Bastard Sword+3
Fear Effect 10’ Radius when swung (1/day)
+1 wound chance per hit to opponent
Wounds from the weapon heal very slowly
+6 level for speed


+1 to wound chances against wielder
+10 to AC
-8 to ALL saves
User reeks badly, for 24 hours after use (10’ radius)
Hair falls out one round after using it

Weird stuff.

We gave up the Bracers of Striking to the Baron, and paid for the Raise Dead with recovered money. We decided to hang on to the fireworks and morning star and Forgotten Memories for trade in Carse later.

When we returned to Hafney Hill two weeks later, the remainder of the stuff was gone.

Perhaps to Trun, village of demon-worshippers…


July 01, 1999

Wizard Mountain Summary #4: Feeding the Dragon

It's an ED&D weekend doubleheader!

Party Roster:

Halacar, 3rd level fighter, 33 hp, played by Joel
Browork, 3rd level cleric, 29 hp, played by Joel
Squibb, 3rd level fighter, 28 hp, played by Alan
Thudd, 3rd level fighter, 22 hp, played by Alan
Jefe, 3rd level woodsman, 19 hp, played by Jeff
Karnash, 3rd level fighter, 19 hp, played by Mark
Flit, 4th level thief, 17 hp, played by Matt
Katrina, 3rd level cleric, 12 hp, played by Jeff
Megan, 3rd level mage, 12 hp, played by Alex
Nass, 3rd level illusionist, 6 hp, played by Alex

Returning from last time were Halacar the halfling fighter, Browork the
dwarven cleric, Jefe the half-elven fighter, Katrina the half-elven
cleric, Megan the human mage, and Nass the human illusionist. Joining us
were Karnash the half-orc fighter, Flit the elven thief, and Thudd the
dwarven fighter.

We set off for the mountain o' death with high hopes. We tracked around
some corridors and heard weird clicking sounds that we thought might be
the returning hook horrors, which are hideously dangerous monsters. We
backed off and found another cave. Coming up the corridor was a
two-headed giant thing, an ettin!

It demanded that we had over all silver (which we had none of). When we
asked for an alternative, the ettin said that we could hand over our two
shortest morsels. Realizing that an attack was imminent, Halacar and
Thudd stepped forward, weapons out. The ettin protested that we had
sharp weapons, but when Thudd said that his was blunt and the ettin tried
to crush him and Halacar, a large club in each hand.

Thudd took damage and a wound, but Halacar was missed and struck back,
stabbing the creature with his falchion. Browork advanced and began a
Cure Light. Nass threw a Light spell that missed the creature's head.
Thudd withdrew from the formation to get to Browork, and was replaced by
the halberd-wielding Karnash. Karnash and the ettin had the same length
weapons and began bashing each other senseless.

Browork healed Thudd, and Katrina zoomed past in attempt to Command the
ettin. Karnash was suddenly badly wounded and near death, but Katrina
could not help him before he would be attacked again.

Megan cast an Invisibility spell on Karnash, who winked out, leaving a
surprised Katrina to take the hit from the ettin's club. Halacar struck
a second time but was finally hit, wounded and held at bay. Fortunately,
Jefe's throwing darts were devastatingly effective and creature went down
moments later.

We healed up and searched for the thing's lair. We found a huge area
with dung heaps and refuse and a huge chamber blocked by a large rock.
We tried to move the boulder, but Katrina forgot to carry the one (blew
an engineering check) and the rock rolled over Thudd, injuring him further.

Behind the rock was a large chamber with nearly 2000 silver pieces. A
real weirdo, this ettin. There was also a magical silver quarterstaff.

Halacar unhappily searched through the dung heap and discovered 400 gp
and about 5000 gp in gems!

We returned to town and Identified the staff as a Staff of Striking (one
charge, +3 damage, becomes a +3 to hit staff, up to three charges
expended for a total of +3/+9).

Halacar trained to 4th level, gaining 10 hp to stand at 43, and picked up
a second Single Weapon Combat proficiency with the falchion.

We set out again and bumped into the dragon. (Yup, I rolled it again)

And in normal fashion, the dragon was hungry and went after Al's
character, Thudd. The hapless dwarf was snatched up, took a final hammer
swing and missed, and was gulped down.


But the dragon was still hungry. Nass dropped a Wall of Fog on the area,
confusing the dragon!

Still, it smelled out Halacar, who had taken refuge inside a log. It
couldn't see him, but the dragon picked up the log and dumped Halacar
out, who spilled onto the ground and took off, sprinting. The creature
attempted to kill him and missed!

Halacar dodged through the mists and successfully evaded. But the dragon
made its save vs. boredom and searched for another target.

Katrina was running for her life from the ravenous dragon. The thing
dashed forward, but she failed to evade completely. The dragon bit a
piece of her shoulder, inflicting only minor damage and allowing her to
continue running. Finally, she managed to evade!

The dragon was finally bored to tears and fled.

We returned to town whereupon Karnash pointed out that we should probably
buy a cow and bring it with us to reduce the risk of this happening. We
did so.

And Al's new character appeared as Squibb, a half-orc fighter.

We killed some giant ants in a fun little encounter, notable in my
opinion because the two clerics killed two of the four ants on their own,
in melee!

We set out once again and went back into the same cave. We turned down a
different corridor and found a large expanse of chamber. We heard
nothing and decided to head back out, but as the last of the party turned
to leave they were attacked by two giant ticks!

Squibb was latched onto by one and another was crawling about on his
shoulder. Browork attempted to knock one off, but missed. Pretty soon
the whole party was getting into it.

Then Megan threw a Sleep spell, which to our surprise caught both Squibb
and one tick!

The tick latched onto Squibb was still sucking blood, but no one could
seem to hit it. Finally, Browork managed to clock Squibb, waking him up
and prompting Squibb to stab the creature, killing it. Squibb glared at
Browork, and we limped back to town.

Katrina trained to 4th level, gaining 8 hp to stand at 20!

Treasure division: Each party member got 500 gp. Halacar and Browork
paid off their debts (including those to Brigling, Standish, Zero, and
Duran-50 gp each).

Another, um successful (yeah, that's the ticket) Wizard Mountain adventure!


Defenders Summary #61: The Plan, as Usual, Goes to Putty

Party Roster:

Felix, 6th level fighter, 59 hp, played by Alex
Kodo, 5th level woodsman, 59 hp, played by Rob
Balinor, 6th level fighter, 56 hp, played by Joel
Cassian, 7th level cleric, 45 hp, played by Katherine
Kain, 6th level cleric, 43 hp, played by Jeff
Quentin, 8th level druid, 37 hp, played by Jeremy
Morgan, 6th level fighter, 35 hp, played by Alan
Donald, 6th level mage, 33 hp, NPC
Alduin, 6th level thief, 26 hp, played by Alan
Nakumanu, 3rd level fighter, 25 hp, henchman
Narahn, 2nd level fighter, 11 hp, played by Dave

When we last left the party, they had just regrouped in Restenford at the beginning of June, 2181. Cassian had just gained 7th level and so we were interested in clearing the talking evil skull room below the Phaulkonian Church in Restenford, and in testing our mettle against the giant skeleton (B.A.S.T.A.R.D.—Big Ass Skeleton Thingy And Really Dangerous) in our old favorite location, Hafney Hill.

First, Narahn made a cameo appearance after an update. Narahn, a halfling bow specialist who had been with the party from 2175-6, had been patrolling around Restenford, working for the Baron. He and his patrol had encountered quite a few nasty creatures, including groups of ogres and spiders. He had gained 3rd level (and 5 hp) in the intervening period.

We decided to tackle the weird skull room. With Protection from Evil on all party members, we approached the shaft with the skulls and cast Augury on Dispelling them. The result was that the effect was superficial—indeed, all we did was remove the “alarm system” for the crypt. However, Cassian’s hawk was able to discover a small room about 60 feet down the shaft. Lowering ropes and using mountaineering equipment, we descended into the room. The entire room was magical, and contained a sarcophagus as well as all sorts of skull decorations on the walls and various assorted furniture.

An Augury on Dispelling the room: “Only a fool takes the boards down as the eye passes.” In this case the “eye” almost certainly referred to the eye of a storm. Our conclusion was that the Dispel would have no immediate effect but trigger disaster soon after.

An Augury on rummaging around ready for a fight, but not touching the sarcophagus: “The grim consequences that will follow are beyond your sight.” Uggh. Seems like something would happen, either somewhere else, at some other time, or at a level beyond our “sight,” or simply something invisible. Either way, it didn’t sound productive.

An astrology on leaving the place alone after sealing it with Stoneshapes: “The sign of the scythe is obscured.”

We decided to march on Hafney Hill in an attempt to kill the BASTARD and make sure everything was clear there. On the way we got jumped by a volt drawn to Morgan’s Thunderstruck. Donald Slept it, and we threw it in our Volt Box and tucked it on the cart, and continued on our way.

We approached the back door that had a wraith behind it the last time we came there, and when Felix opened the door he was hit by a VERY powerful “cold” trap that did 50 points of damage, or would have if he hadn’t saved. Then it shot two silvery birds into the air which made a resounding bang.

We ducked into the bushes to wait and see who came by. Suddenly we turned around and saw a 17 foot tall humanoid with spikes, with hissing snakes coming out of them. The being spoke in Common. It demanded to know what we were doing there, and we explained that we had come to rid the place of bandits if they had returned. It claimed that they had not. It said its name was Lord (something) (a demonic name out of Northlander mythology) and it had made its home here. When we asked about the giant skeleton, it said, “I will not cross the seal of power.” We responded, well good, and then the guy disappeared with a rush of wind above us.

Well, whether it was an illusion or not, we needed to get input on the runes that had blasted Felix and learn what others knew about this. Unfortunately, our main source would legally be… the Duke of Kroten (Benct). That option flew out the window fast.

We asked the Baron and Peltar about the creature we had encountered. They said it fit the description of a “gaunt,” a creature of near demigod power that killed anything that bothered it at all. Since we hadn’t been attacked, we were quite dubious of this creature’s nature.

To find out about the runes, we decided to travel to Seapoint to visit the Seapoint Lightning, and particularly Kerr, the druid/mage who specialized in the use of runes. The trip was fairly eventful, especially when Kodo’s entire sleeping bag with Kodo in it was dragged underground by a burrow worm. It was handily defeated by Balinor, Kodo, and Donald with help from Kain, Cassian, and Quentin.

We had the bug head turned into a plaque in Barnacus and agreed to pick it up on the way back. On the way to Seapoint we encountered a peddler with oddities for sale…

No, not that one.

The guy had a complete load of stuff, all sorts of gear and utensils and other odds and ends (like a portable Herman’s from Carse). We eventually made a deal. The merchant had a warhammer with EXACTLY the same runes on it as our “cursed” dwarven battleaxe from the party’s earliest adventures did. It was found in a river north of Barnacus, completely not rusted despite being in the water. It detected as neither magical nor evil, but we are still wary of those things. Nonetheless, we agreed to cast Continual Light on it and pay 170 gp for a really good puzzle box with something in it (the merchant was unable to open it) and a bowl. Why a bowl, you ask? Because Felix had wandered over and Detected Good/Evil on the stuff in the cart with Peacemaker. The bowl came up as good, and we later confirmed was Type 1 magical. We got the bowl for 20 gp!

We couldn’t open the box, but it is clear that Alduin will be able to open it sooner or later. No, it is not actually addictive. Really.

We continued on to Seapoint, where we learned that the exploding birds were “fireworks” from Southern Cromwell, a sort of Orient. They were expensive. The runes that created the cold damage were very powerful, probably created by a 4th or 5th level clerical spell.

Interesting. With this information, we returned uneventfully to Restenford. We sent out mail to a mage of Peltar’s acquaintance in Serin (sp) in Cromwell, the center for elemental lightning research, offering the volt. This was our alternative to selling it to the loathsome “enterprise” of Wilbar’s Fish and Critters. We would rather kill the volt than sell it to them. We’re just hoping to break even on that.

Finally, we went for another expedition to Hafney Hill, this time for more information. We approached to within two miles (yes it was the RIGHT hill!) and cast Divination with 1000 gp plus of jewelry (we’re almost broke). The result were, well:

NE worshippers of the dim gypsy goddess of greed are but shadows here.

The LE clergy of the Lord of Lies is significant and dangerous.
The forces of the CE Demon Prince of the Undead are overwhelming and entrenched.
This area contains a permanent, stable link to Pandemonium.
The treasure in this area is vast and impressive.
The chances of incurring the wrath of supernatural forces:

Prince of Lies—low to moderate.
Demon Prince of the Undead—low unless the obvious warnings are ignored.
NE Gypsy Goddess of Greed—negligible.

This was quite consistent with what we believed, except for the bit about “a permanent, stable link to Pandemonium.” Gee, what fun.

Here is our analysis (or at least mine):

The Prince of Lies represents some clergy of LE clerics that have illusion powers. Ok, so it wasn’t an illusionist, but a cleric with similar abilities. They have taken up residence, and are dangerous, but I suspect we can defeat them in a hard battle. However, the main evil of the place is still the evil temple underground. Clearly it is even worse than we anticipated, and “obvious warning signs” COULD include 10 foot tall skeletons telling you to get out. The Gypsy Goddess of Greed may refer to some remnant of the halfling group we defeated seven years earlier.

It is most of the party’s opinion that there is probably some treasure owned by the LE illusion clergy, so it is worth another surface sweep’n’slaughter like last time. Clearly we are totally unable to deal with the evil down below, which is unfortunate. Heck, what’s another evil clergy that hates us anyway?

I do suggest some minor information gathering on issues like: How powerful or widespread is the clergy of the Lord of Lies? What sorts of specific powers do they have? Have they been in this region before? Does the Baron have any specific requests on how we deal with them?