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January 22, 2006

Felix Summary #5: Some Like It Hot, And Some Take Extra Damage

Party Roster:

Felix, 9th level dwarf fighter, 87 hp, played by Alex
Rathbane, 6th/6th level fighter/cleric of Clangeddin, 53 hp, played by Katherine
Donald Collins, 9th level human mage, 48 hp, NPC
Hendel, 8th level dwarf thief, 47 hp, played by Joel
Gates, 7th level cleric of Moradin, 44 hp, played by Jay
Aral, 1st level Northerner woodsman, 17 hp, henchman of Felix

We left our party with the retirement of Felix’s longtime henchman, Nakumanu, the conversion of Felix and Nakumanu to dwarfdom, and the slaying of giants for fun, experience, treasure, and potion-making practice.

The once-islander orc Nakumanu was given a good sum of starting cash and set about beginning his new life as a dwarven scholar in Shabrund. Felix decided to replace Nakumanu with a new henchman, and he settled on a Northerner woodsman with a penchant for heavy crossbows. Felix purchased him two quality heavy crossbows and a “dwarven crossbow” (known colloquially in the party as a “hand cannon”) to combine with his target-shooting abilities to devastating effect.

In addition, Donald traded for the valuable new 2nd level spell, Zane’s Deodorant (also known as “Scent Mask”). It makes the entire party’s odors undetectable, allowing them to sneak past wary guard animals, especially when combined with Invisibility, 10’ and/or Silence.

The party set out in early spring of 2188, this time with the specific idea of hunting trolls in order to make healing potions using Donald’s alchemy skills. We heard about two sets of trolls, and decided to move against them in the order that seemed easiest. The first group was known to have settled in a cave a few days travel out from Shabrund.

The party approached the cave carefully, and Hendel scouted out the cave under scent mask and invisibility. This proved quite simple. Hendel found a single troll in a nest just off the main entry corridor, and then found a cliff with hand rungs, at the top of which were half a dozen trolls in nests.

The party entered under cover of a Silence spell and Hendel and Felix gut stabbed the first troll, preventing it from warning the others. Donald drained the healing juices from the troll before we moved on. The party then moved to the bottom of the cliff, and Donald tossed a fireball up. Then a second fireball. The demoralized remnants of the trolls climbed down the rungs, where one was shot down by Aral, and two more reached Felix and Rathbane. They both missed, and were summarily slain. We recovered a six-pack of healing potion juices from the ones that were the least burned (ie. made both saving throws). In addition the party recovered 3150 gp and 3 ff +1 arrows.

On the way back we encountered about 15 gnolls, who were doomed instantly when we surprised them (for four segments, no less). One fireball later, there were only six gnolls, and they were quickly shot and magic missiled to death (Aral managed a nigh max hit for 36 points of damage with a targeted shot, on a poor 2 hp gnoll). Surprisingly, we recovered 362 gp, 6 fire arrows, a quality battleaxe, and a potion of camouflage. Alchemy netted us two potions of healing.

Next we sought out the second batch of trolls, who were located near a natural bridge along an infrequently used caravan route that led to a frost giant jarldom. Barely out of Shabrund, we encountered two hill giants and a wolf (worg?) companion. The giants foolishly attacked us; Donald blew the wolf away with a magic missile and the giants went down messily to Felix and Rathbane, with a contributing backstab from Hendel. They were so laden with treasure (1040 gp) and we were so close to Shabrund that we promptly turned around and went back.

Setting out once more, we encountered a group of gnolls that Donald fireballed before they could react, killing them all instantly. The treasure was surprisingly large, including 244 gp, a scroll of Prayer, Cure Light x 2, and evil symbol of Vaprack the Destroyer. We destroyed the symbol and continued on with the treasure.

We reached the natural bridge and again Hendel scouted out the area under invisibility and scent mask. He discovered that there was a cave considerably below the natural bridge with numerous peepholes allowing people inside to view the bridge unseen. Hendel was given a fly spell and headed down to check out the cave. And it was pretty strange.

At the entrance, Hendel found a ledge ten feet up containing a dozen buckets filled with a still and fairly clear, odorless liquid, attached to ropes. Moving forward into the cave, Hendel identified a pit trap of some kind, activated by a chain. At the other end of the chain was a single eager-looking dungeon mite (a small lightning-fast creature that likes to steal treasure and can be killed by a well-placed piece of string, if the creature manages to clothesline itself). The mite appeared to be at the end of a mite-sized corridor that led back into the walls.

Beyond the pit trap was a ceiling rigged to drop when a chain was pulled by another dungeon mite, who also sat waiting. Beyond THAT was a spigot of some kind (perhaps an acid or greek fire-spewing trap?), in the ground, around which four dungeon mites sat, and there was a smell of some sort of lye or acrid powder.

Beyond THOSE mites the tunnel opened up into a large room full of corpses and bones, being picked over by several trolls and some dungeon mites.

We were at a total loss, but with this level of scouting the party could develop a detailed plan. The party levitated or climbed down invisibly to the edge of the cave. When we landed without incident, we advanced forward, Donald leading with a sleep spell where we knew the dungeon mite to be, for the last three traps. Having reached the main section of the cave without incident, Donald again launched a pair of fireballs into the cave opening. The trolls didn’t stand a chance, and the few survivors were again dropped rapidly in combat. Donald then threw a cloudkill spell into the mite tunnels after sealing them off from our side.

Donald then slept for an evening and then polymorphed himself into a mite! With buff spells from Rathbane and Gates, Donald advanced into the tunnels and found about four mites that had escaped the carnage of the cloudkill and cut them to death with his longtooth dagger. And hauled out a ton of loot, including, as it turned out, a horde of expensive but low-quality cleaning supplies from a caravan! It seemed that the mites were using these various devices to make the trolls resistant to acid (through the use of extremely strong soap) and fire (with ice water in buckets)! They had looted a caravan that had come through the area, clearly. Of course, no sane caravan would travel anywhere close to the area, so it still seemed pretty bizarre.

There was a hypoallergenic pillow with all the stuffing missing, oddly. There was also a book written by Koralgeshian illusionists Mens and Morgan, a bestiary of the region with moving pictures! The entry on trolls had several passages underlined (“only killed by acid and fire” and “are extremely stupid”) and the section on dungeon mites had several insulting comments scrawled over the text.

Finally we decided to trigger the traps as we were leaving. When we dropped the ceiling trap, a bunch of yellow mold looking stuff dropped and we panicked (having seen Felix and Morgan messed over by that stuff before). Donald quickly fireballed it… but afterwards we discovered that it was just the material from the hypoallergenic pillow. The pit trap consisted of a pool of murky water with rusting razor blades scattered all over it.

We returned to Shabrund, once again laden with treasure, carried by polymorphed bunnies “of power” (as mules). We recovered 8550 gp, a bag of devouring (!), gauntlets of ogre power (!!), dwarven plate+2, scroll of Idiot Speech (a lv. 4 spell that allows the caster and friends to converse freely in a nonsense language, inscrutable even by a tongues spell). As we wanted ALL of the loot, we were forced temporarily to defer salvage tax. Donald traded for an interesting 5th level spell called Flying Feat, which allows him to take a heavy object and make it fly for five hours or so, and it can carry nearly a thousand pounds of weight on it. This obviously screams “flying carpet” but we didn’t want to lug the actual carpet around, so we settled for looking for improvised materials if we needed it.

Next, we set out to tackle a cave of hill giants. On the way, we encountered a furry snake, which fled after Hendel shot it lightly, twice. A few days later, we encountered a single ettin (a two-headed giantish creature with extreme fortitude and extreme lack of intelligence), and his wolf companion. We brought him down despite Felix actually taking a hit (the thing had about 200 hitpoints!). The wolf was brought down before it could even act. The ettin was the proud owner of 6000 fire giant copper pieces. The party was not amused at the ettin’s lack of appraisal skill.

After tracking it successfully back to its lair, Hendel scouted into the cave under cover of scent mask. Unfortunately, Hendel was unaware that ettins could trivially spot the hiding thief, and was pummeled badly when he encountered one of them, which amusing itself by making faces at itself. Hendel ran back to the party like a scared little girl, two ettins in hot pursuit.

Donald charmed the first one and communicated with it in ogre. He told it that its friend was trying to steal its treasure, and the ettin turned on its companion. Together we brought the uncharmed ettin down, although Hendel got clobbered again. We then questioned the ettin, and it didn’t even seem to be aware that there was a complex of hill giants less than a day away (our original mission). So we brought it down messily, but unfortunately had to fight it relatively fairly because of the inconvenient presence of honor-bound clerics such as Rathbane. Hendel was not amused. The loot was hardly spectacular, consisting of 650 electrum pieces and a glass paperweight that looked sort of like a gem. Inscribed on it was “World’s Best Scribe” in Human. Of course, the party did not claim the thousands upon thousands of silver and copper pieces.

Finally, the party approached the long awaited hill giant cave. We decided once again to have Hendel scout ahead under spell protection. Almost immediately he ran into two hill giants and three worgs right at the entry. He backed off quickly, unseen, and the party hatched another ace plan.

The party approached invisibly and Donald began the combat with a Wall of Force blocking the escape route for the giants and worgs. It turns out that the wall also blocks sound, which was highly convenient. The giants were caught completely by surprise, of course.

The party descended upon the creatures and Donald dropped a lightning bolt (doubled back on itself because of the wall of force), killing the worgs and severely injuring ghte giants. Aral shot and killed one of the two giants. When the last one tried to run, he crashed face-first into the invisible wall and was slain by Rathbane.

A quick analysis of their treasure revealed 2050 gp, a book called Mobey Dragon, and an ocean (!) based fish head. Strange.

Donald let the Wall of Force drop and the party advanced forward, Hendel, Gates, and Felix still benefiting from the invisibility. We reached a fork in the corridor, and Rathbane’s well-timed Find Traps caught a pit trap in time to avoid Hendel pitching in. Steering around the left side of the pit, the party took the left corridor and continued. After a bit more distance there was a passage to the right, which we ignored and continued going straight ahead.

We then reached the “giant bachelor pad.” Inside was some reasonably nice furniture and a group of five youthful but not child giants lounging about in full chainmail armor (!), with two lizards and a wolf as well. Unfortunately they spotted us and the combat was on, although we once again had the surprise advantage.

A single fireball detonated from Donald, instantly wiping out the lizards and the wolf. Felix and Rathbane moved into the room while Gates cast a prayer spell. Hendel waited invisibly in case any of the giants tried for the exposed back-line of the party. Aral mangled a giant with a crossbow shot, Felix and Rathbane dealt considerable death, and the giants were eliminated… except for one. One insane battle-armored giant bull-rushed the corridor, obviously trying to get help, or at least run Donald over. Donald hammered the creature with some magic missiles and Gates smacked it solidly with his shock hammer, but the creature kept moving.

Fortunately Hendel had been waiting for this circumstance. As the creature broke into the corridor, Hendel turned visible as he jammed his daggers into the creature… and completely missed. The creature ran off down the corridor, yelling for help, Hendel in hot but fruitless pursuit.

The remaining giants were finished off quickly, and Hendel observed the giant turn left down the side passage we had ignored… and running into eight more giants. Hendel gulped and reversed course to the party.

The party reunited seconds later, and decided to trap the remaining giants inside by blocking the entrance. We set up just short of the pit trap at the fork, and waited for the giants to come to the slaughter. The results were not quite as we expected.

A Wall of Fire sprang up behind the party, trapping us in the corridor as well. Then darkness descended on the party, and it was so powerful that it could not be lifted by the continual light stones. Hendel snuck out of the darkness to discover that there were at least a half-dozen giants in armor in formation in each of the two corridors. This was certainly not normal hill giant behavior…

Neither was the strange creature behind the hill giants. It seemed to be some sort of winged troll thing with a second shrunken head on the side and its feet shackled together with metal shackles. Donald speculated it was probably a demon of some sort.

A strange spell effect descended on the party, and then a fear effect. Everyone resisted the temptation to run except, unfortunately, poor Aral, who turned and bolted into the Wall of Fire. He collapsed somewhere on the far side, apparently dead.

Rathbane dropped a prayer on the party, Gates a Protection from Evil, and both clerics tried to dispel the various effects on us. Gates managed to knock out one of the unknown spell effects (which turned out to be a healing suppressant!), but due to bad luck one of the two prayers was eliminated in a second dispel by Rathbane. Another prayer was read off the scroll we had gotten from the gnolls.

Meanwhile the hill giants charged into the darkness in the hopes of crushing the party. Hendel drank the potion of camouflage in an attempt to increase his chances at safe backstabs, hiding off in the corner while the party engaged the giants. This turned out to be somewhat to our advantage, as Felix and Rathbane could fight more effectively in the dark than the giants could. Soon they were being hacked and hewed with regularity.

Donald dropped his own Wall of Fire in front of the party and burned many of the remaining giants. Unfortunately it was dispelled by the demon thing moments later, but not before it had ravaged the giants. Donald then charmed one of the front giants and turned him against his fellows. Without hesitation they took him down, efficiently, brutally.

Felix and Rathbane continued to trash the giants and evade any significant hits. At one point Felix was held at bay, and Hendel descended from hiding, bringing the giant down immediately with a dagger to the leg. Felix then stepped into the gap and continued bringing the giants down. Felix and Rathbane together took down probably eight armored hill giants in the battle in the unnatural darkness.

A second fear effect hit the party, and everyone resisted this time. Despite their desperation to attempt to save the burning Aral, Gates and Rathbane could not seem to dispel the Wall of Fire behind us, even burning a scroll for an extra attempt. The third fear wave unfortunately nailed Donald, who dashed through the Wall of Fire. Donald was made of sterner stuff than Aral, fortunately, and he simply streaked down the fields across the “kill zone” giants had set up in front of the cave for a few hundred yards.

The fourth fear wave was resisted, and the last giant was battling Rathbane when the demon creature flew into the combat. Hendel heard it coming and tossed a vial of holy water at it… and a spectacular hissing sound resulted (double damage…). This sounded good to Hendel, who continued digging through his pack for more vials. The creature descended on Felix, who slashed back at it. They exchanged blows rapidly, and both of them rapidly began to look injured. Rathbane brought the last giant down and joined the fray. The demon creature was badly injured and it cast some sort of healing spell on itself, its wounds mending… and Felix and Rathbane brought it down, crashing into the ground.

The darkness instantly disappeared and the creature seemed to be BLEEDING to death on the ground. Very unusual behavior for a demon creature. The shackles didn’t look normal either. We watched it bleed down, and when it “died” it started to sizzle. Hendel immediately emptied a vial of holy water on it, and it instantly vaporized! The shackles glowed as the holy water hit it, then stopped.

The Wall of Fire collapsed, and Aral was on the other side, indeed dead and somewhat burned, but recoverable, provided we could get his corpse to civilization quickly enough.
Felix and Donald flew off on a flying pit trap cover created by the Flying Feat spell, with the corpse of Aral and lots of loot. Knowing it would only take two castings to reach Shabrund, they figured they would be safe, but they were wrong. Two griffons attacked while Donald was spell-shifting. The first griffon dove at Felix and double-fumbled and missed, allowing Felix to wake up Donald. The second griffon dove at the fighter, who avoided one of the claws, but got swiped by the other. Still, the dwarf slashed back nastily, and Donald hurled a lightning bolt at the other, and the griffons decided that they had had enough. The pair reached Shabrund, and Aral was raised successfully and without permanent injury.

The remainder of the party headed home when Felix and Donald arrived back without further incident (Aral was recuperating at home). We made some mules of doom out of bunnies of power, and the party tramped on home. But mere hours out of Shabrund we encountered 30 noblink. They demanded that we give them 10% of our treasure as they outnumbered us six to one. Considering that the party mage could take six noblink in a melee combat, this did not impress us. Donald magic missiled the noblink spokesman, who obediently died. The other noblink tore away and ran shrieking. The dead spokesman had 6 gold pieces, which Hendel pocketed.

Before we could cross the remaining mile, we bumped into a hill giant with a lizard companion. The giant had heard about the party from the noblink, and demanded that we give all the treasure to him. Hendel strode forward and pulled out the 7500 gp star ruby we had looted from the hill giant lair and said, “Treasure like this?” The giant apparently recognized the ruby and immediately attempted to run away. A lightning bolt obliterated the lizard, and hurled hand axes, crossbow bolts, and magic missiles eliminated the hill giant from contention. We picked up 900 gp and a loaf of giant healing bread. We covered the final hour of the trip without incident.

The treasure from the demon fight was quite good, but almost none of it was usable by us:

A bugle called “Call of the Xorn” – announces loudly to all xorn within a mile (in any direction, including through rock) that someone is here and saying hi. Xorn are somewhat nasty earth elemental creatures that the Defenders had encountered briefly in the Horn of Iguilve adventure. This seems silly without some accompanying control device, but the dwarves were interested in it.

A suit of human-sized hyperfine chain (like elven chain); we still need to sell this (remember for next time…)

7 long arrows+3
Leather armor+1
Scroll of web
Scimitar “Safety Razor” – CANNOT hurt living things at all, but is +3 against non-living things (constructs, elementals, undead)
Teleport beacon
Shackles “Mortal Coils”

The shackles are really useful for a high-level wizard who wants to give a demon extra incentive to obey. When attached to a demon (which you actually have to do manually, they don’t snap on automatically or anything) they make that demon mortal. If the demon is killed, its as if the demon was killed on its home plane…

We kept the teleport beacon and the shackles and gave the rest up in back-owed salvage tax.

Then winter descended on the region, and the party took a long break. Donald teleported to Serin in Cromwell to do spell trading and live amongst mages for a few months (as well as avoid living in a cave in the Shabrundian winter). He picked up Lowar’s Improved Magic Missile (a copy with Lowar’s name in it, no less; apparently there are now bootleg copies of the spell just called “Improved Magic Missile”. Lowar was quite unhappy about this.). Donald also picked up an interesting spell called Safeguard, which protects Donald and friendlies chosen by him within 15 feet from backlash of any of Donald’s area-of-effect damage spells centered outside the 15 foot radius. It’s sort of specialized, but it means we can do some very interesting things with fireball and lightning bolt if we plan well. Donald may also have picked up a hyper-specialized spell (researched for profit in Serin) that allows him to detect the composition of a metallic alloy. Unfortunately he couldn’t locate Cone of Cold.

Back in Shabrund, we remade our scroll library, and began some research on future tasks for the party (presumably for when Balinor/Morty/Tarplin show up to join us). The party decided in the spring of 2189 to travel to the dwarves living south of Cromwell. Donald teleported the party to Hook Hill to avoid the Dim Forest, and we crossed Cromwell on foot and arrived in South Village at the southern border on June 29, 2189.

The future mission was hinted at following the game session. Apparently a summoning went very wrong and a shadow creature arrived along with the intended summons… and it won’t go away. But that’s for next game.

Experience points were very high for the second game session in a row; Aral gained 2000 XP, and the main characters earned from 13000 XP (Hendel) to 25000 XP (Felix). The party coffers are now about 55000 gp (including personal cash) so we’re in good financial shape as well for whatever future ventures we may have in mind. (This is after research and spell-trading, scroll writing, but doesn’t include the hyperfine chain sale.)

The current party status is:

Aral- 500 XP from 2nd woodsman
Gates- 2000 XP from 8th cleric
Felix- 3500 XP from 10th fighter
Hendel- 7500 XP from 9th thief
Rathbane- 7000 XP from 7th fighter/ 17000 XP from 7th cleric
Donald - about 60000 XP from 10th mage

So everyone other than Donald could gain a level next game. It’s pretty exciting…

The next Felix game will involve the dwarves in the south of Cromwell, and hopefully between that adventure and some training and travel, we’ll get Felix caught up to Morty/Balinor/Tarplin in 2192…


January 01, 2006

BLADES Session #57

Character Race & Class Level HP AC Player Creator
Raybur Sidebottom Dwarven Fighter/Cleric 6/6 54 (-7) -3/0/2 Dean Joel
Phyllis Sidebottom Dwarven Fighter 7 54(64) -5/-5 Katherine Katherine
Effrede George Half Elven Magic User/Thief 6/6 31 -3/1 Katherine Katherine
Talarian Blackguard Orkish Fighter 7 68 Occ. Ring
(-8) -7/-4
(-7) -6/-1 Dean Dean
Conrhia Applewhite Half Elven Woodsman 7 68 -5/-4/0 Rhonda Rhonda
Serlisse Reintar Half Elven Druid 7 32 0/3 Rhonda Rhonda
Sputnik Half Elven Cleric 7 49 1/4/4 Jay Jay
Arthur of Petethal Half Elven Ranger 6 58 1/1/3 David David
Zephram Trent Hill Gnome Fighter/Illusionist 5/5 41 (-5) -3/-2/2 Alan Alan
Shirlard Half Orkish Fighter 5 44 3/3 Darleen Darleen
Costigan Coastlander Fighter//Cleric 1//2 20 4/4 Rodger Rodger

February 13, 2192
Party splits up to train and travel to train. Serlisse, Zephram and Shirlard stay in the east. The rest of the party sails west with Loba. Loba resizes some Ancients’ armor. We trade for
Talarian is Exorcised from the Lawful Evil spirit of the Slaughter of Innocents. 01 on the first roll for System Shock. It took 13 rolls on the Exorcism. An 11 and 18 failed, but the 10 made it on the 13th roll. The Heart vanishes. Talarian is restored to a half-Elf, but he takes 3 HP of permanent damage.
He regains 2 CHR, 4 COM points, loses 1 CON (and 2 HP) and his Strength drops to 18/42. He also is completely silent.

March 25, 2192
I destroy Weave at the end of the first day’s attempt – it becomes 1200 years older. I lose my spells from memory on a 03 on the first day and almost lose them again on the third day, but the same aging effect happens again.

We find a Spetum of Impaling in the West.

April 12, 2192 to June 10, 2192
We adventure a bit in the ruins as people gather to head back to civilization.

Loba and The BLADES are almost balanced on the power scale.

Talarian gets his CON point and 7HP. Fred goes to 18/14 DEX.

We get surprised by a snakeasuarus. Vince gets 18/75 DEX. Raybur has a 19 CON.

September 28, 2192
We trade Joreth a CON point and total destruction of the Arena for armor and additional treasures. He gives Raybur a dwarvish scroll of Shattered Earth (6th level Dumatheon scroll at 12th caster level). It would create a small earthquake. He gives Serlisse a jar of “fireflies” from an Ancients’ ruin. They are being from some part of the Etheral Plane. If they are released, they will latch onto a beings’ mind, the smarter, the more they attack. He also gives her a flat rock with Ivy that will grow into AC 5 armor – 25cn & no Type. Our party is a 7.5 total without everyone. The meter is 8.5 for all of the BLADES. Loba and BLADES are 9. Joreth is a 9 by himself. He has to fight bizarre elementals and a few Huge Dinosaurs and a King Kong type Ape (Level 10 creature). He usually fights with his staff, but against King Kong he uses his staff to turn into an Ent which fights beside him while he punches. It also summons a couple of Balrog-like creatures that he just beats up. There are also bugbear-like opponents and giant slugs.

December 5, 2192
We are back home in New Teft.