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September 05, 2006

A BMT Primer: The Artifact Magnet Party

The first Balinor-Morty-Tarplin game since 2004 is occurring this weekend, and Kyle suggested I send out a quick refresher for those who may not recall the party’s recent adventures.

If you want a quick synopsis, read on…

A quick history of the party:

In 2161, the bard Amortician (Morty) was adventuring with his own party in the wilderness of Lendore and was trapped in stasis in a mirror.

In 2185, the Restenford Defenders broke up and Balinor set off to visit his homeland of Latt. There he picked up a henchman cleric, Morhion, and returned to Lendore. Balinor hooked up with the dwarven fighter Bodkin Goldsummit.

In 2190, Balinor and Bodkin discovered a hidden complex under Skull Mountain of angry dwarves, complete with newly minted coins with the head of King Felix of the Defenders (who had once been the dwarven king… another story).

In 2191, Balinor, Bodkin, Morhion, and several other companions (including the Seapoint Lightning party) rescued Morty from the stasis mirror. They formed a new party, the Band, and enticed druid/mage extraordinaire Tarplin to join them, along with ranger Robynne and cleric Leo.

In 2192, the Band attempted to solve an old problem on Lendore Isle: the King of the World phenomenon. For the past five hundred years, occasionally creatures of various races would appear (often with followers) and attempt to assert their status as “Ruler of the World”, with considerable homicidal intent. They would attack towns and farms and try to butcher the populace but were always ludicrously overmatched by the locals.

By looking into records of attack frequencies and other patterns, the party determined that the source of this corrupting influence was located near the criminal haven known as the mining settlement of Rog. Stepping on diplomatic eggshells, the party discovered that the source of the corruption was inside the tunnels leading to the seashore. Led by a guide whose main concern was to keep the tunnel’s undoubtedly criminal inhabitants from straying into sight of the party’s law enforcement, the party eventually tracked the problem down to a hidden chamber shielded by a large rock that had become uncovered by the lowered water levels due to Rog’s reservoir.

Inside the chamber (which was clearly a temple to Thim, Khargish god of the herd) lay the Bridle of Farin, a Khargish artifact thought lost in the destruction of the Kharg capital a thousand years ago; it was still in the hands of the well-preserved skeleton of a horse and rider. The party looted the artifact and several other Khargish items out of the chamber and headed out the tunnels back to Restenford.

Moving the artifact out into the open drew the notice of a powerful pair of bandit brothers from the Realm. They attacked the party en route and were slain. One of the brothers had been turned into a sort of death knight creature by an evil artifact sword known as the Calamatous Reaver. The party returned safely to Barnacus.


As we stand we have several things to consider:

Do we return the Bridle of Farin and the other magical items to the Kharg? It seems likely that Duke Haermond will do this to repair relations between the Keystone Kingdom and the remaining Kharg. The party hopes to come along on this mission.

Do we destroy the Reaver? In order to do so, we must travel to the Citadel of Might in the Adventuring Reserve and unmake it in a forge there (and we need to bring along a blacksmith to do it). For this, we really need a 9th level cleric and mage (for Raise Dead and Teleport). This may be partly solved by the reappearance of Felix and Donald Collins, former mage of the Defenders.

Do we raid Skull Mountain? Yes, but this needs to wait until Felix arrives (Balinor has sent him a letter). Felix will undoubtedly want to reclaim his kingdom for the Hardaway clan, but is currently still in 2189 on a different mission in southern Cromwell.

So the three obvious missions are unavailable to us at the moment for continuity reasons.

Do we check out the temple under Hafney Hill? What about the stable gate to Pandemonium? Too much for the party as currently composed, but again with a more powerful group, this could become a possibility.

Other considerations: did we actually fix the King of the World problem? Was it caused by the Bridle? By Thim’s anger over the Khargish defeat? I’m not a fan of either explanation simply because of the severity of the corruption: even a supernaturally good creature such as a lammasu was instantly soul-twisted unrecoverably and was destroyed out of mercy by its masters.

Finally, what do we do in the short term (ie. this game)? Our current idea is to explore a series of caves behind the Roc’s nest in the northwestern part of Lendore Isle. Morty apparently has some leads.

Other options include begging various people for jobs (like Duke Haermond); investigating a haunting in a small village on Eastern Lendore.

So that’s how we stand. For those who are interested, here are the vital statistics of the characters I’ve mentioned:

The Band:

Balinor Buckhannah, Northerner Fighter 9
-Morhion Gendahar, Northerner Cleric 2 (Nevron), henchman
Amortician (Morty), Human Bard, Fighter 7/Thief 6
Tarplin, elven Druid 8/Mage 5
Bodkin Goldsummit, Dwarf Fighter 4
Robynne, Woodsman 5
Leo, Human Cleric 3 (Nevron)

And others:

Felix’s party (as of 2189):

Felix, Dwarf Fighter 9
-Aral, Northerner Woodsman 1, henchman
Donald, Human Mage 9
Hendel, Dwarf Thief 8
Gates, Dwarf Cleric 7 (Moradin)
Rathbane, Dwarf Fighter 6/Cleric 6 (Clangeddin)

Morty’s old party, now the “Lower Band”:

Rupert, Ranger 4
Chelios, Woodsman 4
Randy, Cleric 6 (Nevron)
Elliot, Fighter 4/Thief 4
Brenda Mor, Thief 4/Mage 3

From Balinor’s old party, the Killer Bees (as of 2191):

Albee, Human Monk 7 (Nevron)
Anselm, Human Cleric 6 (Nevron)

The Seapoint Lightning (as of 2191):

Rebo, Halfling Thief 6
Captain Pittsford, Human Captain 6
Spike, Dwarf Cleric 5 (Clangeddin… but this may change)
Francine, Human Woodsman 5
Frankfort, Human Cleric 5 (Chelsea)
Astoria, Human Mage 4