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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.



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