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May 29, 2000

Defenders Summary #91: Resolution—We’ve Got HOW Many Magic Items?

Final Party Roster:

Balinor, 8th level fighter, 76 hp, played by Joel
Felix, 8th level fighter, 75 hp, played by Alex
Cassian, 8th level cleric, 51 hp, played by Katherine
Bogomel, 5th level fighter, 47 hp, henchman
Kain, 7th level cleric, 45 hp, played by Jeff
Alduin, 9th level thief, 45 hp, played by Vic
Quentin, 9th level druid, 44 hp, played by Jeremy
Donald, 8th level mage, 43 hp, NPC (played by Edwin)
Albee, 7th level monk, 42 hp, NPC (played by Edwin)
Morgan, 8th level fighter, 39 hp, played by Alan
Nakumanu, 5th level fighter, 32 hp, henchman
Chiaro, 6th level illusionist, 12 hp, played by Aaron

Former Defenders, Retired:

Kodo, 5th level woodsman, 59 hp, played by Rob
Drew, 4th level ranger, 34 hp, played by Jack
Perry, 6th level thief, 17 hp, played by Sean
Narahn, 3rd level fighter, 16 hp, played by Dave
Gaston, 2nd level fighter, 12 hp, played by Sean
Phoenix, 1st level cleric, 7 hp, played by Jeff
Colin, 1st level mage/thief, 2 hp, played by Sean

Former Defenders, Deceased:

Darellon, 1st level woodsman, 20 hp, played by Joel
Ethan, 1st level woodsman, 13 hp, played by Kyle
Tyveris, 2nd level cleric, 12 hp, played by Joel
Grison, 1st level fighter, 11 hp, played by Sean
Soldan, 1st level cleric, 9 hp, played by Alex
Lynore, 1st level thief, 7 hp, played by Aaron
Celeste, 1st level cleric, 6 hp, played by Sean
Haladir, 1st level thief, 5 hp, played by Aaron
Annwvyn, 1st level thief, 4 hp, played by Alan

With a Supporting Cast And Thanks to:

Baron Grellus, Peltar, Almax, and Philip of Restenford (and Peltar’s apprentices)
Duke Haermond of Barnacus
The Petethalian Navy
The Seapoint Lightning
The Flaming Fist
The Hand of Fate
Dunstill and Illic
Wicker of Poseidonus
Alarius of Wunka

And many others…

And thanks to Kyle, largely unnoticed behind the scenes of the Defenders, offering helpful suggestions and advice… and numerous other players and observers for their advice, suggestions, and general cheering and sympathy.

The final game wasn’t a game really, but mostly a firm resolution to our magic items situation. In terms of other details:

The Defenders officially disbanded on June 21st, 2185. Stone Soules players may recognize this date—it is the SAME day on which Tellah/Zardos was removed and Soules officially disbanded. Brings the Cornell parties together, in addition to the physical meetings of several of their members in the final days of the parties.

The unofficial disbanding took place in the Dwarven Vale in the mountains, where Felix, Donald, and Nakumanu left to join the dwarves of Clanggeddin, Felix hoping to generate a holy quest to turn his fist-sized diamond into a useful item.

The other Defenders arrived back on Lendore Isle in Barnacus, largely intact. Chiaro’s arm was cured by the Potion of Vitality, leaving everyone, for the most part, intact. The official retirement party was held on September 8, 2185, when the Defenders took out the case of fireworks we acquired during our battle with the ogre mage at Hafney Hill, and fired them off in a huge celebration!

This was the official end of the recorded history of the Defenders.

We leave the party with several people without shouting distance of their next level, with Felix, Balinor, Morgan, Kain, Chiaro within 12,000 XP of their next level.

And now, an official Defenders’ Party Secret:

Actually, this is even more secret than that, being known only to Quentin, Chiaro’s trainer Lambu, and Peacemaker (not Felix).

Chiaro-scuro is psionic.

Yes, you heard it here, but you didn’t actually hear it.

Chiaro has several neat powers that he will take great pains to hide (though Kain may soon be informed).

The Defenders Plans:

Here is the planned split of the party:

Felix, Nakumanu, and Donald will work with the dwarves, hoping to power-level/ continue adventuring. Donald has said that he finds Peacemaker and Nakumanu to be the most fun to talk to in the party. Felix’s plans are fame and fortune, while Nakumanu plans to become a scholar of sorts, and Donald intends to extend his lifespan somehow. As Donald is literally rolling in spells, who knows? Certainly 9th level is not far in the future.

Albee returned to the Church with his donation of 10,000 gp, pleased that he had done good work and hoping to join a bit more “Nevronian” party.

Cassian and Bogomel, along possibly with Drew, will be joining the Fane of the Winds Quest in 2190, though there will be an intermission of 5 years during which other things may occur.

Quentin will assume Almax’s position in Restenford, which is quite significant, though the details are of course obscure, this being the druids and all. He is moving to a new grove with his pet skink.

Alduin, Morgan, Kain, and Chiaro are forming a new “stealth” party. This party is designed to be anti-humanoid and skilled in reconnaissance, stealth, and hit-and-run missions. They plan to work for the Petethalian Navy or maybe Dunstill and Illic. In the future, Rangorn may attempt to join this party (following the Fane Quest).

Balinor is as yet undecided. It looks as though he will find a low responsibility job and house in one of the major coastal cities of the Sea of Pastures, hoping to sell his services and find a group to join and continue his progression as a great fighter, perhaps achieving fame despite his actual personality.

And now, for the list of our treasure and magic items:

Each party member received about 6000 gp as the Small Town and Rite were sold to Dunador and the School of Wizardry respectively for a total of 40,000 gp and several new and powerful containment devices.

Parting Gifts:

Drew-- +1 arrow, 2 1st flight arrows+1, 400 gp
Perry—2 short arrows+1, 400 gp
Kodo—500 gp
Narahn—2 short arrows+1 (first flight), 100 gp
Phoenix—50 gp
Colin—50 gp
Gaston—250 gp

And now… (and no, it is not an accident that Mindwaster ended up on the 3 intelligence fighter…)

Magic Item List for the Restenford Defenders


Plate Mail+2
Hammer +2 (Wrath)
Hammer +1 (Maiden Basher)
Ring of Heroism
Ring of Protection from Evil
Bastard Sword +2 (Little Thoughtless)
Potions of Climbingx2, Extra-Healing, Clairaudience, Levitate


Spear of Wounding+2
Robe of Pouches
Ring of Toad Control
Ring +2
Mouse of Cats
Cloak +2
Bracers AC 4/10
Potion of Healing
Scrolls of Call Lightning (level 8), Cure Serious (level 6)


Scimitar +1
Bracelet of Beneficent Polymorph (11 charges, once per day)
Ring of Marsupial Control (10/15/20 HD)
Everyman Armor (Umber Hulk Armor, AC 3/3)
Sharkskin Armor +2 (AC 7/7)
Girdle of Many Pouches (64x 10cn pouches)
Dagger +2 (Unnamed)
Sling Bullets of Concussive Force x2 (3d10 concussive damage)
Candles of True Faith (+2 levels when praying for spells, 25% failure chance)
Circlet of Spells (page 27, currently Cleric 5 spell Rainbow)
Scrolls, 4 clerical, one druidic (Neutralize Poison)


Dagger +3
Ring/Dagger of Concealment +2
Bracers AC 7/7
Ring of Protection +2
Cloak of Camouflage
Lens of Detection (extreme perception, 1’ range)
Token of Door
8 Arrows+1
18 Arrows+1 (first-flight)


Longsword +2/+3 vs. giants
12 +2 first-flight arrows
Elven Chain Mail
Girdle of Hill Giant Strength
Boots of Elvenkind
Ring +2/+4 on saves
Ring of Health
Chain of the Warlords
Bag of Holding 600/2000


Banded Mail +2
Small Shield with W Rune (+2)
Ring of Warmth
Ring of Featherfall
Pearl of Godly Wisdom
Hand Haversack (200/1200), +2 to +6 on saves
4 +2 first-flight long arrows
6 +1 permanent +1 arrows
Wings of Flying
Belt of Fire Alteration (6 charges)
1 Sling Bullet of Concussive Force
2 Candles of True Faith
Token of Arch
Protection from Elementals Scroll
Magic Camp Stove (very little fuel)


Ring of Warmth
Spear +1
Plate Mail +1
Dagger +2 (Mindwaster)


½ Share of Circlet
Bracers AC 6/6
Brooch of Shielding (20 charges)
Wand of Magic Missiles (less than 10 charges)
Ring of Protection +1
Bead of Force
Figurine of Wondrous Power (owl)
Backpack of Holding (40/1000)
Philter of Persausiveness
Scroll of Maze (11th level), Scroll of Wall of Fog/ Change Self (8th level)


Shield of the Stallion
Ring +1
Ring of Invisibility
Boots of Silence
Bag of Holding (200/600)
Potions of Healing, Flying (+50% duration), Waterbreathing


Falchion +1/+3 vs. Regenerating Creatures
Spear +1
Plate Mail +1
Shield of Healing (19 charges)
Potions of Healing, Flying


Robe of Magic Resistance
Brooch of Shielding (17 charges)
Bracers AC 5/10
Ring +2
Ring of Jumping (9 charges)
Dagger +2, Longtooth
Wand of Magic Missiles (100 charges)
15 Magic User scrolls of up to Level 6


Amulet of True Faith
Staff-spear +1 (extend-o-spear)
Iron Thread
Iron Bands of Binding (wire ball)

Yes, there you have it.

Any questions?

A summary of the Defenders’ History will be following, and I’ll eventually be posting my accumulated Defenders’ History in Brief on the Telvar Pages.

I hope you enjoyed our adventures.

Many thanks to Edwin, and Katherine, for meeting us for 91 weekends of gaming, and for all the good times at Cornell! I will miss everyone who was involved in my experiences there, and hope to see you all again, as well as meeting some new players at the next Open!

And now, the torch will soon be passed from Cornell, back to North Carolina, to the city of Charlotte, where our GM our will be assuming his new career, along with his new bride.

Good luck to you both.

And perhaps, just maybe, I’ll be down in North Carolina soon, to join whoever ends up with Telvar there…

I don’t doubt it.

Joel David Green

Player of:

Balinor, warrior of the Defenders
Tyveris, deceased
Darellon, deceased

Rangorn, woodsman of the Stone Soules
Han, Braigon, Cam, henchmen of Rangorn
Luke, deceased
Arutha, of the Seapoint Lightning
Mask, deceased

… and a few others, lost in the mists of time…

P.S. Many thanks on the summaries and the webpage including but not limited to:

Kyle MacLea
David Chappell

See the Defenders on the Web at http://newton.ruph.cornell.edu/edwin/DEF

See the Telvar pages at http://kitenet.net/~kyle/telvar.htm

Enjoy all!

May 22, 2000

Defenders Summary #90: The Oldest Trick in the Book

Party Roster:

Balinor, 8th level fighter, 76 hp, played by Joel
Felix, 8th level fighter, 75 hp, played by Alex
Cassian, 8th level cleric, 51 hp, played by Katherine
Bogomel, 5th level fighter, 47 hp, henchman
Kain, 7th level cleric, 45 hp, played by Jeff
Alduin, 9th level thief, 45 hp, played by Vic
Quentin, 9th level druid, 44 hp, played by Jeremy
Donald, 8th level mage, 43 hp, NPC
Albee, 7th level monk, 42 hp, NPC
Morgan, 8th level fighter, 39 hp, played by Alan
Nakumanu, 5th level fighter, 32 hp, henchman
Chiaro, 6th level illusionist, 12 hp, played by Aaron

As you can see from above, if you’ve kept tabs on our constitution scores you’ll realize that we all rolled really badly for our next levels, with the exceptions of Alduin and Albee.

Nonetheless, it is a great pleasure to receive those levels!

(Felix, Balinor, Morgan, Bogomel, and Nakumanu rolled, on d10s, respectively: 2,2,1,2,1)

Thank you.

Still, seven people trained, and scattered about Cromwell and Shabrund to do it too.

Albee, Balinor, and Morgan trained in Cromwell proper (the northern part, anyway). While Morgan got respect and paid only 90 gp/day, Balinor was charged 100 gp/day AND thrown out as soon as he was finished AND forced to SCRUB THE FLOORS! An 8th level fighter scrubbing the floors?!

As it turned out, the Phaulkonians of the Stone Soules and Restenford Defenders met at Hoch Och at Lanthalassa-te (New Years) 2185, a ceremony noted by myself most for Rangorn’s conversion to Phaulkon, but I suppose others might be interested since Alegra and Star were there. This allows a great deal of future planning between Alegra and Cassian, as well as Rangorn and the elf-stealth party that may form.

Donald and Chiaro did a great deal of spell-trading. Donald has not revealed the spells he got outside of one—Zane’s –Something—that maxes all melee damage done by the wizard. This prompted us to give Donald the shortsword-dagger. Donald’s other spells were not revealed, though Bigby’s Grasping Hand vanished.

Chiaro picked up a great array of spells including Invisibility, Color Spray, Non-Detection, and Cricket Song.

Felix decided to save money on training and gain a position with Clangeddin, his new god, by becoming a defender of that faith. The position he tested for was similar to a Warder of Phaulkon, but since this is the dwarven god of battle, greed, and mining, the test was a bit different…

Felix was thrown in an arena with an amount of scraps but no equipment, to face a hill giant within a half hour. Felix was able to find a worn tool-hammer and chain to use as weapons, and when the giant came out, Felix hid and waited for it to pick up some rocks.

Felix made a brief appearance, drawing a throw, and then charged straight into the giant’s frame, beating it during its recovery segments, defeating it in close combat, although his hammer shattered. He gained honor and the ability to go throughout the kingdom of Shabrund, which is certainly a boon.

The party regrouped in the dwarven citadel, and marched off for a final clearing of the Horn of Iguilve. The trip was… eventful.

First we encountered a giant snake which was stopped by Chiaro’s new Color Spray spell. The snake was known to be an ornament of honor in Balinor’s tribe, but Quentin responded unfavorably to Balinor’s plan of skinning it.

A trio of bears nearly attacked the party when Quentin failed to talk them out of attacking us. However, he was able to convince them that the chewed no-blink they were eating could be transformed (this was Chiaro’s idea) into nice trout. Chiaro couldn’t quite remember what trout tasted like, but the Spectral Force fooled the bears, and we ran on past.

We re-entered the Horn of Iguilve. We mapped out all the remaining caves with ease—most notable was a room of “good feelings.” We were immediately suspicious, and in fact it was realized that the room planted a feeling of laziness in the characters remaining inside, reducing their will to do things, even if attacked.

The only other thing of note during our exploration was this:

As we left a room, the walls moved out and grabbed Nakumanu and Balinor. The “walls” were weird squishy things with six tentacles. Balinor was immune to their attack as it was strength draining, but Nakumanu was dropped into instant helplessness and dragged toward the monster’s maw. Balinor leaped to rescue him, and the party rained down tremendous damage on the monsters, inflicting 180 damage in a particularly brutal 5 segments. When it was all over, Nakumanu was barely alive but intact, and the creatures—ropers—were dead. Cassian’s suggestion to cut them open paid off as we found a few hundred gp of gems.

That left the blue crystal room, the hole in the ground, and the room with the five pillars.

Well, the astrology we had gotten was somewhat obtuse, but interestingly the unlucky number was 5 and the unlucky color was blue. This wasn’t good, certainly.

So the pit wasn’t mentioned, but the other two were fairly clearly warned against.

We approached the pit, and there was some sort of weird smell that Balinor couldn’t identify, even with the armadillo nose. We checked out the hole by having Kain swoop over it in crow form. He could see nothing, so he dropped a light stone down the hole. Almost instantly there was a weird hissing noise and something rose up out of the hole.

Yes, it was our worst nightmare, and the Defenders recognized it instantly.

A beholder had come out of the hole.

The panicked retreat that followed may be the most unified action ever taken in Defenders history as the party streamed out, to a man, sprinting if possible, running all the way through the dungeon to the cliff face entrance. The beholder had been quite slow and did not follow very quickly.

We waited seven days, and Quentin cast a Commune with Nature, determining that the major predators in the area were in fact the lizards that we had talked to, and the troglodytes. There was a slight demonic presence in the area as well, which we assume was the demon orangutans. This was later confirmed while speaking with our lizard friend from the earlier trip in here. The demon orangutans were in the five pillars room.

It became difficult to believe that the creature we had seen was really a beholder since it hadn’t shown up on the scan. We had assumed that the beholder was an illusion created by the crafty orangutans, but it was in the wrong room. Puzzled but intrigued, on Kain’s suggestion we decided to take a page from Fred the monk’s book on the defeat of beholders…

Kain circled over the hole once again and dropped in a light stone. But this time when we heard the weird hissing noise, Morgan, who was standing by the edge, dropped a 200 pound boulder on the “beholder,” who was, true to form, rising up the hole.

The expected result of the Defenders was, “squish” and “run like hell if it doesn’t work.”

This was not what happened. Kain’s plan was masterful, as it turned out.

The boulder plunged into the hole. There was a massive explosion and the boulder flew upward back out of the hole, straight up. Spores of some sort flew out of the hole and scattered across the room. Stunned, the Defenders watched as the boulder fell back into the hole.

Another massive explosion blew it back out again. Then another. Then boulder came flying up the edge, but fell back down once again. After about a half-dozen more violent explosions, there was a splash, and then another explosion, and then another splash.

We waited.

We fervently hoped we hadn’t just blown open a hole to the Abyss.


Donald cleared out the fungus with a massive Fireball.

We climbed inside, and looked below. There was an empty shaft with a sharp incline. Scouting at the bottom revealed an underground river, and a treasure trove including… 7 dwarven gold pieces.

Yes, that’s right. SEVEN dwarven gold pieces. AND two broken troglodyte spear heads.


‘Nuff said.

On a lucky pair of 1s on d20s, Cassian was able to figure out what happened. There were legends of creatures called gas spores that formed and lived off of living creatures. They remained in a state of semi-hybernation until encountered. Their touch is an incredibly powerful instant death contact poison. They float about when disturbed and the way they puff out, they look incredibly similar to beholders. They blow up when attacked.

Yep, the OLDEST trick in the book (Monstrous Manual).

Well, our plan worked beautifully and we cleared out a colony of just about the most dangerous fungus out there.

That left two rooms, but “bad luck.”

The orangutan seemed ok, but an Augury (gained by having Quentin fly to Hook Hill and gather components for Augury and Scrying Pool) revealed that it was quite bad. There was something about a dying old man and a beach and some such. Someone else can repeat it if they remember.

Next, we tried the blue crystal room. But we weren’t dumb enough to go in. We threw a mushroom in, and all contents of the room vanished in a flash of light after a moment.

The lizard refused to go in.

So we bribed a rat. We offered the rat half the cheese before and half upon completion of its task. Of course, the rat nearly tricked Quentin into giving it all the cheese.

Due to a miscalculation, one of the spells we cast on the rat was Invisibility, and the rat drove us nuts saying we couldn’t see it. Of course, Chiaro could.

Eventually the rat went into the room, and said, “Ok, nothing’s hap…” and vanished in a flash.

We scried on the rat, but could get nothing. We guarded the cheese for three long days, keeping a determined vigil for the rat, but it did not return.

Completely desperate by now, the party had Quentin create a toenail voodoo doll thing, leave it in the crystal room, and throw a mushroom in. But the voodoo doll was not detectable.

We finally gave up, and staggered home, though not before losing our stored 2000 electrum pieces to Lludd. The behir saw that we “looked down,” and suggested we go kill the polar worm on the top of the mountain. Of course, since the thing incinerates anything and destroys magic items on a regular basis, this was not a cool plan.

Thus ends the Defenders adventuring minus a mop-up session. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading the adventures.

The website has not been updated, and will in fact be moved, but for the moment, the archive of Defenders summaries is present at:


Thanks to everyone for playing, and creating a great experience of gaming at Cornell! I hope our stories will be regaled among future parties and that the Defenders take their place in history!

A wrap-up, next week.


May 15, 2000

Defenders Summary #89: The God of the Troglodytes

Party Roster:

Felix, 7th level fighter, 70 (50) hp, played by Alex
Balinor, 7th level fighter, 70 (52) hp, played by Joel
Cassian, 8th level cleric, 51 hp, played by Katherine
Kain, 7th level cleric, 45 hp, played by Jeff
Quentin, 9th level druid, 44 hp, played by Jeremy
Donald, 8th level mage, 43 hp, NPC
Bogomel, 4th level fighter, 41 hp, henchman
Alduin, 8th level thief, 39 hp, played by Vic (Al this game)
Morgan, 7th level fighter, 38 hp, played by Alan
Albee, 6th level monk, 37 hp, NPC
Nakumanu, 4th level fighter, 30 hp, henchman
Chiaro, 6th level illusionist, 12 hp, played by Aaron

The party was continuing to fill out the dungeon map, having just defeated an umber hulk. We realized, as Kain suggested (I think), that the umber hulk hide could be made into a suit of awe-inspiring armor—AC 3/ AT 3 for a minor enchantment, with the major caveat that it cannot be repaired once damaged. We still felt this was worth it and took the body with us.

We continued to explore the cave and actually completed our way around the octagonal central room, mapping out all the doors. Still, there remained a few places to go; the giant beetle room and beyond, the weird crystal room, and a few other new passages.

We settled on continuing our exploration of new places before we returned to old ones. This led us to an interesting location.

We came upon a room with a giant mushroom “farm” with foot-tall mushrooms arranged neatly in rows, with numerous exits, some wide and some small.

We quickly discovered that most of the wide exits led back to places we were familiar with, but as we proceeded down the last one we reached unfamiliar territory. We found a larger room and continued through into a final chamber.

In this chamber were many stone statues lined up on the walls all at attention, though tossed around creating a great density of them. This was fairly disturbing, but even worse was when a voice spoke from an unclear location, in Common, saying that we were doomed by the god of the troglodytes.

Naturally we decided that this cavern should be added to our “points of interest” list to be explored later, but it was not to be. Balinor and Nakumanu at the back of the party turned to leave, and found themselves facing more magical wall. There was no way out.

But perhaps there was. Chiaro cast Wraithform and poked his head out the other side, whereupon he saw something quite terrible.

There were perhaps 30 troglodytes outside, conducting a ceremony of some sort, all eyes trained on the wall, which Alduin discovered was somehow the wrong side of a secret door. Several were chanting, and there were incense candles in front of the door.

This could not be good.

There was a lever on the other side. There was one way it could be opened. If Chiaro could decloak on the other side, and pull the lever before getting killed, perhaps we could all get free. This plan was rapidly scrapped however. It seemed unlikely to work.

Spellcasters began to dispel the door, hoping that since it was obviously created and separate from the rest of the dungeon, it could be dispelled. Donald’s Dispel failed.

At this moment, Felix collapsed in a heap, clearly comatose or dead, his lifeforce draining out of his body slowly but surely. His mind was being attacked by something.

Kain’s Dispel failed. Cassian dropped a Death’s Door on Felix, which seemed to have no immediate effect.

Albee dropped dead as well.

Cassian dropped a Prayer on the party and began casting again. Her Dispel never got off, as she dropped as well.

The party was panicking by this point. The front party members were being picked off every four segments by some unknown force, having their souls drained. What WAS this?

Bogomel dropped. Nakumanu collapsed, but finally was able to shout, “It’s over there.” His gesture was in the direction of about eight stone statues.

Balinor took a shot with his crossbow, but nothing happened. He activated his items, including the bastard sword Little Thoughtless, which included a Mindblank, and his Ring of Protection from Evil.

Quentin Dispelled the door. He began a Transmute Rock to Mud.

Kain dropped a Prayer on the party.

Donald collapsed, but was able to gasp, given extreme effort, “It’s that one!”

Now we only had two targets, and one was on top of the other. Balinor put away his crossbow, activated his strength, and sprinted across the room, Morgan in hot pursuit.

Just before Balinor and Morgan reached the creature, the statue animated and pulled a spear from behind its back. Kain took the cue and launched a Sling Bullet of Concussive Force at the thing, blowing it back and inflicting large damage to the creature.

Quentin melted the door with a Transmute Rock to Mud. At this point the troglodytes would perhaps have charged the front line of Quentin and Alduin, but fortunately Chiaro pulled out the Scroll of Solid Fog and dropped it on the creatures, sealing them in the outer room.

Morgan somehow managed to parry the spear on an incredible save, but missed. Balinor was not attacked and smashed Maiden Basher into its side, injuring it. The creature’s eyes flicked open and stared at Balinor.

However, Balinor had done something right. The Mindblank effect disrupted the creature’s ability to attack his soul directly, and the suddenly lucky fighter resisted the effect!

The creature couldn’t understand when Balinor smashed it again.

It was at least a 13th level fighter specialist in the spear, of course, and stabbed Morgan for a wound. The elf was forced back, but Balinor continued to crush it. He yelled, “If you open that eye, I’ll bash it out!” The creature responded by staring at Balinor again, but he somehow resisted the second effect.

The creature stabbed Morgan for a second wound, seriously injuring the elf. Alduin appeared and stabbed the creature with his daggers, injuring it badly, and Balinor finished it off with a final hit.

The thing exploded, the minor blast hitting all the combatants, and it was gone.

But everyone else was still dying.

Felix recovered to normal unconsciousness, as did Cassian and Donald, but Albee, Nakumanu, and Bogomel were all dying, and worse, their souls appeared to be vanishing into the Nine Hells or some such place.

Donald had a Remove Curse scroll, but unfortunately only he could read it. We tried everything to save the dying members, including Cure Disease, Cure Serious Wounds, Healing checks, Slow Poison, holy water, everything. Nothing seemed to work.

Alduin discovered a back passageway at the end of the room. There he discovered many bodies, and of particular interest, a number of scrolls. We grabbed the scroll of Heal, Raise Dead, and Remove Curse and hastily cast the Remove Curse, and Albee was saved.

We pulled the Scroll of Protection from Possession and read it, shielding the two dying henchmen. The victory was bittersweet; although Nakumanu and Bogomel still perished, their souls remained safe.

The troglodytes had fled the outer room, presumably upon the death of their god, and we gathered up the treasure and left the room.

The creature was a Bodak, a very bizarre demon thing, and there was an elaborate tale that Cassian related about an evil fighter named Bodak.

In conclusion, that was certainly the nastiest opponent we’ve ever fought. This convinced us that it was perhaps time to leave. At least to get the first wave of treasure out.

We used two of the three Raise Dead scrolls that we now had, saving the two henchman. This hurt, but since they could carry treasure this wasn’t a total loss. We hauled out all the platinum pieces, and remaining gold, and gave the 1 gp gems to the Ecks so that they could begin a project to kill the Chossos, using an elaborate tunnel to collapse the ceiling on the creature.

As Kain said, “Chossos is sitting on my new temple.” (referring to the pile of gems and coins under the thing)

We pre-emptively paid Lludd, which pleased him as much as a chaotic evil behir can be pleased, and made it back to the dwarven settlement ALMOST without incident.

First at a rockslide we encountered a pair of stone giants, who were just hanging out until the dwarves paid them to clear the rocks. They sold us a scroll for 3000 gp which had Shocking Grasp and Bigby’s Grasping Fist (the 7th level one!). We happily added it to the treasure list and continued. We reached a crossroads and had no idea how to get to the Dwarven Vale from there.

We used a blindfolded Morgan to choose the path, banking on Thunderstruck’s luckblade effect, and set off. Right into a gnoll ambush, as it turned out.

However, we saw them first. This made it quite fun.

Two Call Lightnings, a Hold Person, several crossbow and arrow shots, and a Fireball hit the gnolls, scattering them and wiping out all but 12. Two more were taken down by Albee and Alduin from their hiding positions.

The last ten were captured when they fell unconscious when hit by Chiaro’s second “Fireball.”

We asked them for directions, saying that the first one that spoke up would live. One did, in Hill Giant, and it turned out we had gone the wrong way at the crossroads. We thanked it and let it free on the condition that it warn the others not to bother us again. It ran away. The others were executed summarily despite some party protests for bringing them to justice in the Dwarven Vale.

Well, we were true to our word.

We reached the dwarven valley, an outpost fortress and an entrance to Shabrund. We took up residence in a cabin and dined heartily for two weeks on the treasure, although it took a little while before the cautious dwarves let us in.

We took a five week downtime during which a number of things happened.

Bogomel and Nakumanu trained to 5th level, gaining 6 and 2 hp to stand at 47 and 32 respectively (a 2 and a 1 on the dice, ouch).

Morgan’s damaged elven chain was repaired. Our single scroll case was remade into a dual-scroll case for encumbrance and coolness. Our items were identified, revealing a host of possibilities, including:

We got:

About 12 longbow arrows+1 and first-flights +2
Magic camping stove
Ring of Warmth
Dagger +2 but treated as a shortsword (uses dagger proficiency) for damage, length, etc.
Spear of Wounding +2 (extra wound added)
Boots of Silence (literal Silence spell on user, to a limited extent)
Umber Hulk armor, AC/AT 3/3, wearable by ANYONE
Tome of Something—turns user into whatever he most desires, think Monkey’s Paw, if blown twists user into worst nightmare in some sense
Potions of Extra-Healing, Healing, (did we get the Polymorph?)
Brooch of Shielding, 20 charges
Wand of Magic Missiles, FULL 100 CHARGES
Scrolls including such spells as Maze (lv. 5 illusionist), Bigby (lv. 7 mage), Heal (lv. 6 cleric) and much more
Bracers AC 5/10
Banded Mail +2

Given up:

Battleaxe+2, +4 vs. undead and protects against level-drain, “Unbloodletter”
Potions of Vitality, Levitate, Climbing, Diminution
Bracers AC 6/10
Military fork+1 (horseman’s)

I don’t remember what happened to the Cloak of Camouflage, I think we gave it up.

All in all, an awesome treasure, not to mention the 70,000 gp in gems, pp, gp, and jewelry.

We immediately spent a huge chunk on identification, training, food, etc (about 10,000). We also researched Felix and Balinor’s ailment.

It turned out that they needed to be healed through something as simple as Cure Light Wounds, but only from a 12th level caster. Fortunately, the Combine spell exists precisely for this purpose and all we had to do was round up the local high priest (still several days from the vale, but…) and pay him 3000 gp, and Balinor and Felix were back to full health for the first time in more than a month.

Chiaro’s arm is mangled to the point of either a Heal or Regenerate, though it is unknown if half of an Elixir of Health would do it, which is probably our cheapest option. As Chiaro is not particularly hosed by his disability it will be left until we return to Lendore. Archbishop Aware of Nevron there can cast Heal if necessary, and perhaps we can arrange a reasonable rate as well.

We paid our money and set off back to the dungeon to finish it off; after all, we had promised a Lludd a second cut for our second trip!


May 08, 2000

Defenders Summary #88: Morgan’s Nightmare

Party Roster:

Felix, 7th level fighter, 70 hp (50), played by Alex
Balinor, 7th level fighter, 70 hp (52), played by Joel
Cassian, 8th level cleric, 51 hp, played by Katherine
Kain, 7th level cleric, 45 hp, played by Jeff
Quentin, 9th level druid, 44 hp, played by Jeremy
Donald, 8th level mage, 43 hp, NPC
Bogomel, 4th level fighter, 41 hp, henchman
Alduin, 8th level thief, 39 hp, played by Vic
Morgan, 7th level fighter, 38 hp, played by Alan
Albee, 6th level monk, 37 hp, NPC
Nakumanu, 4th level fighter, 30 hp, henchman
Chiaro, 6th level illusionist, 12 hp, played by Aaron

We last left our party wandering the dungeon full of demons and weird zombie-eque basilisks. We camped by the dead basilisk and pondered further exploration.

I can’t go into the mapping details, but suffice it to say we’ve been slowly constructing a map of lots of short corridors that dead end circling around an octagonal room with eight doors with poems on them. These doors were the ones solved by Ranore’s party long ago, and the treasure from there has been removed. However, his party apparently explored little else in the dungeon after finding the big treasure, so we’re mapping out the rest of it.

The first place we ran into trouble was in one of the numerous mushroom forest rooms. There were these shrieking sounds emanating from, as it turned out, natural mushrooms in the room. However, the shrieking bothered us so much that we cast a Silence spell near the front of the party to shield some members. This worked out badly when half the party failed to notice the back half being eaten by two shambling mounds.

Balinor and Nakumanu vanished instantly into the moss and plant growth of the creatures. Cassian backed off and began casting, while Bogomel stood with his spear, stabbing the one with Balinor in it. Kain threw up a Flame Blade, but before he could use it, Donald launched a Fireball at the things. The flames had no noticeable effect.

Bogomel discovered in his stabbing that there was some central core that could actually be killed, but that the outside of the creature was immune to everything. Only long weapons could reach inside to hit it though, which put the party at a disadvantage.

Kain, who had moved forward with his Flame Blade, was grabbed and eaten as well. Finally the front of the party became aware of the growing disaster and turned to fight. Quentin dropped a Faerie Fire which actually caught the bodies inside rather than the creature, but still helped. Morgan stabbed it, as did Albee, who began wasting it. The other creature was suddenly fleeing.

Cassian moved to stop it but was bowled over and partly crushed. Felix leaped in front and with his incredible strength, braced himself against the floor, his shield pressed against the monster. Felix’s feet slowly slid back, but he held firm.

Meanwhile, Albee and Bogomel were ripping the first one to pieces (we won’t talk about Quentin’s attack rolls). It collapsed into a mass of moss, but the bodies were buried somewhere within. The other one tried to push past Felix again, who held firm despite incredible pressure. Finally, the combined attacks of Albee, Bogomel, Morgan, and Donald (with Magic Missiles) brought the creature down. We recovered the fallen, who were slowly suffocating but otherwise not in bad shape, although Nakumanu had been trashed between the Fireball and the stabbing by other party members.

We continued to explore after healing up, and eventually uncovered what was probably the lair of the things, a pile of “hard bits.” We found a scroll with Forget on it, among other things! Donald’s collection of illegal spells is nearly complete.

We Magic Mouthed the room we camped in (the basilisk’s lair) in an attempt to both be productive and encourage the page of the Book of Infinite Spells to flip, which it did after a mere 3 spells. The next spell up: Rainbow! It was handed to Cassian.

We discovered an exit off a sheer cliff about 300 feet up, which did two things: first, we have a way to leave here without passing Chossos, the many-headed monster that had blackmailed us before to let us down to the lower level, and second, we were able to determine which way was west as we found the setting sun. This made it much easier to map, enabling us to use Quentin’s direction sense to complement Chiaro’s cartography and land navigation skills.

We discovered a room with massive numbers of bones, mostly crushed, strewn about the room. A check from Felix revealed no evil nearby, and so we went into the room. Whereupon utter disaster occurred. Ranore may groan when he hears this.

Just as we entered the room, complete darkness fell upon the party, overwhelming the dozen Continual Light pouches. At this point, no one could see anything, and couldn’t hear anything either over a sudden unearthly wail. Events become difficult to reconstruct, but here’s roughly what happened.

The party began to flee out of the room. Quentin dropped a Slow Poison on himself. Felix moved to cover the front of the party. Chiaro cast Wraithform and vanished.

Cassian, Bogomel, Chiaro, and Nakumanu collapsed in a heap on the ground. Something very bad happened to Felix.

Balinor activated his Ring of Protection from Evil and nearly made it out of the room. Before he could reach the exit he was suddenly grabbed by some horrible insectoid monster and dragged upward. He missed it and before the Ring could finish activating, he felt supernatural panic rising up within him and began flailing wildly, uselessly.

Morgan was also caught in pincers, and found himself staring into his worst nightmare, a giant bug of some sort. He was lifted off the ground. Morgan stabbed with all his might, and smashed the creature with Thunderstruck, inflicting a mighty blow on the creature.

Alduin began to search the room using his sound analysis abilities. Albee found the bodies on the ground, and discovered that at least Cassian was still breathing. She could not be shaken awake. So he kicked her, and she began to stir.

Kain made it all the way out of the room, and turned to face the inky darkness, beginning a Dispel Magic.

Quentin dropped a Faerie Fire in the area, but it had no noticeable effect. He then brought up a Flame Blade.

Then suddenly Kain and Albee dropped to the ground.

Alduin discovered a huge rock under which lay the pinned Felix, bleeding slowly from four internal crushing wounds. His imbued vulnerability to rock hadn’t helped either.

Quentin and Cassian stuffed their ears with wax to cover from further sound effects. Quentin began a Dispel Magic, as did Cassian. Donald’s Dispel had no effect on the darkness.

Both Dispels failed on the darkness. There was screaming overhead as Morgan continued to stab his grisly bug opponent over and over, taking tremendous damage. Finally there was a loud thump as Morgan landed near Cassian, bleeding to death rapidly.

Alduin realized he couldn’t get Felix out from under the rock and moved to find other party members. Quentin found Cassian, but she was casting a second Dispel, and they couldn’t communicate.

Alduin was grabbed by a creature and hoisted into the air, screaming in panic. He could do nothing as the creature continued to pound him. Donald launched a Fireball, spraying the upper section of the room with fire, roaring over Quentin.

Alduin dropped to the ground, smushed and in extremely bad shape. A monster approached Cassian; Quentin had no choice but to stop it, and stepped in front, Flame Blade ready. He swung and missed, and was grabbed in the creature’s claws, but did not panic.

At that moment, the party was just about finished. An unknown number of beings were attacking with Fear and sleep effects, and no one could hurt them significantly. Of those remaining only Quentin, Cassian, and Donald were at fighting strength. Several people were bleeding to death. Several party members were missing entirely.

Cassian’s Dispel went off, and the darkness and Quentin’s Flame Blade collapsed!

The situation: there were two bugs, with hellfire burning in their eyes—some sort of giant demon mosquitoes. One of them was down with burns and lots of stab marks—Morgan’s buddy. Felix was pinned under a rock. Alduin and Morgan were bleeding to death. Kain, Albee, Bogomel, and Nakumanu were down. Chiaro and Balinor were nowhere to be found.

Realizing the creature had him in a pincer grip, Quentin shifted form to a crow, and squirmed free. He dove out of the creature’s grasp and dive-bombed… at Kain.

Donald was down attempting to heal Alduin, and needed relief, but there was no one to help him. The creature had two reasonable targets, and it chose Cassian. Before it could do so, Cassian had dumped a Healing potion down Morgan’s throat, easing much of the wounding. It descended on her and grabbed her, though she did not panic.

Quentin bounced off of Kain, waking him up. Kain filled his ears with wax, and moved to help the fallen comrades.

Quentin flew over to Alduin and dropped a Cure Serious on him, finally freeing Donald for action. Donald whirled and launched a bank of Magic Missiles at the creature. Then a second. It resisted one but took damage from the other. Donald pulled out his Wand of Magic Missiles.

The creature was rising with Cassian, but she had a trick up her sleeve. Cassian pulled out her Bead of Force and hurled it at the creature. The bubble missed, but launched the creature into a wall, smashing it and forcing it to drop Cassian, who floated safely down with her Featherfall ring. Cassian hurled a vial of Holy Water at it, damaging the creature further.

The third bank of Magic Missiles forced it to attach to a wall to avoid falling. The fourth bank finished it. It crashed to the ground in a heap.

Quentin dropped a Cure Serious on Morgan, but it wasn’t sufficient, so Cassian Death’s Doored him. Quentin Transmuted the huge boulder on Felix to mud, and Felix escaped death. Chiaro was nearly invisible but sleeping peacefully as were the other fallen party members. Finally, where was Balinor?

There had been a niche/alcove about 15 feet up, and Quentin flew up there to discover Balinor, nearly but not dead, slowly bleeding from a wound throughout the entire combat.

Morgan sustained a minor permanent damage, the loss of a comeliness point to a big white mark on the back of his neck where the demon mosquito had bit him repeatedly.

We healed for about four days.

Having sustained no losses ultimately, we felt good about the encounter. We continued our exploration.

Apparently those were the monsters that convinced Ranore’s party to leave, long ago. We can see why.

We discovered a weird room with crystal growing everywhere, and weren’t sure what to do with it, so we left it alone for now.

There was another room with a gigantic beetle in it, sleeping. We didn’t go past the beetle, though our map makes it clear that there isn’t a whole lot of space back there, probably just a lair of “something.”

We encountered a ravenous and beaten lizard that Quentin healed and talked to, discovering useful tidbits of information. Apparently there were several creatures that sounded like the demon orangutan of Castle of Diamond (see Summary #51). There were also bipedal lizard creatures with metal equipment around somewhere (lizardmen or troglodytes?). We came to a passage with a mushroom forest that housed large white things that vanished from the edges of our vision when we turned. We ignored them, and they didn’t bother us.

At the end of a passage was a sheer cliff, and we could see lights ahead, perfectly illuminating a 15 foot tall pile of gold, gems, platinum, weapons, armor, everything you could imagine. We thought it was the lizardman lair.

Then we heard a sarcastic deep voice from above. We looked up. It was Lludd.

Lludd, the behir.

We handed Lludd about 1200 gp worth of coins and thanked him for not killing us and warning us about his territory (we rarely have the luxury of being informed). We left, and of course were obligated to pay a second toll out in the wilderness.

Whatever. We were annoyed, but didn’t let it show.

The last thing of note was the umber hulk that jumped Alduin in another passage. It had dug a hole out of what appeared to be low-grade diamond earth. Weird stuff.

We beat it down just in the nick of time—it nearly slew Alduin, but we inflicted 115 damage to it in 9 segments, and it went down.

We have completed perhaps three-fourths of the lower level. Hopefully we can finish up next time, or at least discover another level!


May 05, 2000

*Special* Edwin Meets His Match

Read the Scroll Describing the Great Event (follows) or Cast Your Eyes into Alan's Divining Pool for a view of the Festivities!

WINDS (with the original suggestion made by David Chappell, so you can blame

Summary #85: The Gathering

Party Roster:
Edwin Anderson, 12 hp, 12th level DM, played by Edwin
Katherine Plante Anderson, 9 hp, 12th level bride, played by Katherine
And many guests/ NPCs

We last left our beleaguered couple in snowy Ithaca. Well, the weather cleared and party
used their druidic abilities to transform into eagles and fly south into the "Southern
Wilderness" of Winston-Salem. Most of the party stayed at a local inn at 5 gp / night
called "La Quinta," meaning in Spanish/ Runic III, "the bill." Ok, so I can't translate that

A number of PCs arrived from more distant places, and Sean's suit took 1d6 water
damage (no wound) in a particularly nasty encounter with a dripping airplane air
conditioner, but a sun drying healing check saved the suit for the upcoming ceremonies.
We met in the tavern lobby under the watchful eye of the other patrons, and carefully
scouted out the swimming pool.

Some of us wore our Teft quality suits (reasonable quality suits at reasonable prices)
while others brought theirs from the glamorous stores of the great cities. Some had
magically enchanted shoes that shined brightly.

Well, at the ceremonies, the plan went off successfully. Edwin and Katherine each made
a Remember Detail check (07 and 06 respectively!) and recited their vows without
hesitation. Edwin's successful charisma check convinced the audience to agree to witness
the ceremony, and then their was the traditional Ring of Protection exchange. They
completed the ceremony and gained access to the fabled Combine School of Magic.

As they did this, an army of trolls attacked the Consecrated holy ground, but the party
held firm and beat them back without loss, although Alex's short sword broke. Despite
hundreds of will-o-wisps leading the couple astray (1d3 wet attack), summoned and
bound to white roses (high magic) by the evil-minded guests who had infiltrated the party,
Edwin & Katherine managed a daring escape by quickly leaping upon their gleaming
two-tone silver steed which lumbered away under the sure hand of King Ranore
(disguised as the Steward), while the rest of the party (mostly level 1 & 2 navigators)
lagged behind, trying desperately to find their way to the castle.

With an amazingly low number of encounters the party managed to reach the reception
area, a small castle containing a buffet and cake. The front door was locked, but we
picked it and gained access to the courtyard. Beautiful tapestries (rolled a 96 on the dice)
worth almost 5000 gp hung on the walls, as did a number of works of pottery and very
stylish furniture from the Realm of North Carolina. However, we were wary of taking
them as they appeared to be trapped.

P0000648sm.jpg photo by Alan Jones

Edwin made a successful attack roll to cut the cake, hitting AC -4. The cake was
extremely tasty, and it healed 1 hp of damage each.

Many old friends were reunited and there was much talk of Guillotines and Nuclear War,
as well as some Bridges and Magic and Hearts. We traveled from the castle to Keith's
manor, wherein we continued the buffet and talk and games. Eventually, Edwin and
Katherine made their Move Silently rolls and escaped the castle as well.

The party then split up to get trained, with a number of PCs heading back to their
respective adventuring locales in Texas and California and New York. Next time, will the
characters survive the 12 hour drives/ flights?

Joel with assistance from Keith, Rachel, and minor editing from Kyle

Keith noted:

It should be noted, for the record, that Edwin was seen quaffing a Potion of Endurance
prior to their departure from my manor home...

wink wink nudge nudge

King Ranore

May 02, 2000

Wizard Mountain #6: Orcs and Stuff


Halacar, 4th level halfling fighter, played by Joel
Browork, 4th level dwarven cleric, played by Joel
Standish, 4th level half-orc fighter, played by Katherine
Brigling, 4th level halfling thief, played by Katherine
Megan, 3rd level mage, played by Alex
Nass, 3rd level illusionist, played by Alex
Jefe, 3rd level woodsman, played by Jeff
Katrina, 3rd level cleric, played by Jeff

Another raid of death for the unsubtle adventurers!

Although the minor encounters were lost to time (I believe we fought some
rats, but it's just gone from my memory now), there was a major battle
fought against a tribe of about 30 orcs.

Fortunately, the orcs had no spell support. For a while, the front-line
fighters were able to face off against many opponents. Nass dropped a
Wall of Fog which heavily obscured all vision in the room. Browork
created a Silence stone, hurled it somewhere, and it had no actual impact
on the battle except to block our hearing of the reinforcements coming
through the non-visible back door.

We fought bravely, but soon the fighters could not hold back the throng,
and we degenerated into several individual battles. Brigling was
effective by sneaking around the mist and backstabbing. Megan Slept a few
orcs and deftly avoided being surrounded, as did Nass.

Jefe was less fortunate, and was eventually buried under a pile of orcs,
though he slew many. Katrina found herself surrounded and fell down for
lack of a better action, though she Commanded a lieutenant.

Browork engaged in melee with four orcs, dropped a command on the leader,
and fell with one hit point remaining.

The orcs believed him dead, and moved away. Promptly Browork stood up and
began a hold Person, his final offensive spell. Halacar and Standish
continued to trash the orcs, particularly Standish. Still, the fighters
were wearing down.

The chief and his two bodyguards charged Browork. His Hold went off, and
the chief and one bodyguard froze in place! The other attacked, missed,
and was taken out by timely aid from Brigling, Standish, and Halacar.

The orcs were defeated, and the treasure was significant, though
unremarkable (at least not enough to stay in my memory).

In any event, the only actual casualty was poor Jefe, a veteran of several
previous battles and the last of the Two Amigos (El Guapo and Jefe).

Perhaps some of this can be further reconstructed from Edwin's adventure


May 01, 2000

Wizard Mountain #5: Mystery Adventure with Sean and Jack

Can't remember what happened here....We didn't know where this went, and there isn't much to it anyway. Call it a random memory, or perhaps a dream....

This adventure occurs with the presence of characters played by Jack and Sean.

Sean plays a woodsman named Ronilab which had recently had a debt partially forgiven.

Highlights included Sean's woodsman Ronilab getting poisoned by a spider,
his monk getting killed by a blow to the head from his own hammer(bleeding to death before the hapless thief Flit could get help...) and, uh...

That's it for now. If you remember more, please chime in. It's a bit hard to fill in the details as the cobwebs invade our mental spaces....

Joel and Kyle