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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.


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