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November 17, 2007

Strangorn Summary #3: Superstar! and the Circle of Ayrless!

(Mini-party: Dwarfstar)

Party Roster:

Rangorn, 7th level half-elf woodsman, 65 hp, played by Joel
Star, 6th level human cleric, 37 hp, played by Kyle
Zippo, 3rd level dwarf fighter, 34 hp, henchman of Star
Chiaroscuro, 7th level human illusionist, 22 hp, played by Aaron
Lewis, 2nd level human ranger, 20 hp, henchman of Star (played by Alex)
Madupe Fadupe, 2nd/3rd level gnome fighter/thief, 19 hp, played by Katherine
Minerva Moonstone, 3rd level half-elf mage, 14 hp, played by Katherine
Alisan, 1st level half-elf cleric, 8 hp, henchman of Rangorn
Magic Lad, 1st level cleric/illusionist, 6 hp, henchman of Chiaro

It’s an adventure of fantastically varying proportions! See the adventures of the little guys (Dwarfstar) and then full on power of the party (Superstar!).

[Events at Alex’s house in Ithaca; Real World Sept. 29, 2007; Telvar Dates Feb. – June 2192]

It was decided that since the lower level people were close to achieving levels in many cases, the best chance to get additional power before attempting a big mission would be to run the party without its leaders through a series of mini-encounters (a trick used by the BMT party a few games back).

The party had recently decided to christen itself “Superstar” rather than the previous informal moniker “Strangorn” which had morphed into “Strangiaro” and was fast approaching having to become something like “Strangiarva” or “Strangiarvupe.” What all these names had in common is that they were significantly more than just Star. In keeping with this, we chose a name that was “above and beyond” Star—Superstar!

We decided we would have a name for the relatively low-power members of the party as well, when we needed them to get some experience apart from the Power Triumvirate (Rangorn, Chiaro, and Star). So, they would be “Dwarfstar”—both because they were the “little” party-within-a-party, but also because their most powerful (or at least toughest) member was the crazy dwarf Zippo. Plus, he has a parrot, and parrots rule!

To prepare for Dwarfstar’s solo adventure, some preparations were undertaken. First off, scrolls were replenished from last time, and a few items were handed over to the active characters while Rangorn, Star, and Chiaro took a well-deserved break.

The first mission from the Rangers came quickly. The party was approached by the famous Halbarad the Ranger, he of the cobalt blue armor. “You guys are total wimps, but I like you even though you’re no good at anything.” He’s a charmer. The mission was simple: in the hills to the west, near High Mountain, a hill giant with a giant snake was spotted. The mission was to take it out.

The Dwarfstar party set off triumphantly on their first adventure: Minerva the mage and her fox familiar (named after a bird, oddly); Madupe Fadupe the gnomish swashbuckler (shades of Juan Re, for Stone Soules veterans…); Zippo, the dwarven fighter with a trained parrot and a fondness for wood carvings; Lewis, bastard-sword wielding ranger extraordinaire; Alisan the cleric and her two dogs, the bloodhound Sanger and the war dog Drifter; and Magic Lad the cleric/illusionist Chiaro protégé and Chiaro’s man-sized battletoads (Gamabunta and Rana ½). It was an odd assortment.

The party tracked down the giant quickly. An ambush plan was put into effect, but the giant accidentally and unknowingly avoided it the first time (nearly tromping through the bush Minerva was hiding in). Alisan, realizing that Minerva might be discovered, emitted juicy animal calls and the giant turned to locate the source. We had to reset the whole thing farther down the path.

This time we completely surprised the giant. Alisan popped up firing arrows while Zippo, Lewis, and Madupe closed with the giant. Magic Lad and Minerva fired light spells at the giant, blinding it and leaving it wide open to attack. The giant took a big swing and fumbled massively, injuring both itself and the snake, shattering the club, and falling to the ground! A stinking cloud disabled the creature, and the giant was brought down in short order by the fighters and nasty backstabs from the thief, but the dangerous snake remained. Unfortunately it managed to bite Madupe! Swearing, the party watched as one of the battletoads engaged, and got bitten before the snake was brought down. Then we dosed Madupe with antivenom, healed them, and hoped (since there was no ability to neutralize poison within this party or within days of it). Magic Lad in particular was praying the toad survived, else Master Chiaro would likely be very, very displeased.

Fortunately everyone was intact a few minutes later. The party chugged back to town with loot: 40 sparrows (deceased); a small box labeled in human “Runk Novelties Inc.”; paper wrappings containing a small metal box with a little crank that makes an annoying noise x 30; a silver box that emits an exotic bird sound (Realmish night sparrow, as it turned out), labeled in common “Hunters’ Delight, Teft”; and a box containing 40 whistles. And 53 gp.

As this probably wasn’t quite enough, we decided to go for another mini-mission elsewhere in Petethal. Eight gnolls were apparently robbing chicken coops in a farming village, and it was up to us to stop them. Because of the gnolls’ mobility, we planned a lot of traps and immobilization spells to allow the party time to kill them before they could escape.

We decided to pick a chicken coop and ambush them from nearby. Alisan set up a blind outside, and Madupe set up a trap that would trip the gnolls when they tried to run from us. Minerva would hit them with spells, and the clerics and fighters would pick off escaping stragglers.

The fight went as expected; Minerva nailed nearly all of them with a web spell, and ones that might get away were hit by command spells and axes and bastard swords. The end result was Eight Dead Gnolls On a Stick. (Band name.)

We collected 16 ep for the eight gnoll heads. And the farmers scraped together a small reward too. (The Phaulkonians rejoiced in protecting some birds, although the thought that they would probably end up in someone’s soup pot went unremarked. After all, this party is not known for its discerning theological bent. As Zippo once said, “I thought I would leave all that ‘thinking’ stuff to you, Star.”) All told, after selling off the gnollish gear, we reaped about 670 g.p.

Finally, to make sure we had enough experiences to train everyone who had a chance at it, Dwarfstar took one more mission. We tracked two bugbears down and Alisan got to attempt target practice, taking potshots with her bow while the bugbears tried to recover from Minerva’s sleep spells. It was over quickly.

Total cash gained from the Dwarfstar adventure after salvage tax was just over 1000 g.p.

XP for this section ranged from 600 for Alisan to 900 for Minerva. This resulted in considerable training! Minerva trained to 4th level mage, gaining 4 hp to stand at 18, while Alisan trained under Star to 2nd level cleric, gaining 9 hp to stand at 17 (one off max…). I’m having good luck with cleric henchman hitpoints recently!

Star picked up 50 XP for training Alisan. The party netted about a thousand gold pieces from the adventures and donated some of the bird-whistles and the Realmish night sparrow music box to the Phaulkonian Church as part of the training donation.

And then it was time for the main event.


A few weeks after Dwarfstar had rejoined with its elders to form Superstar in Depwood, the Rangers informed the party of a mission of considerable importance.

At the edge of the mountains in Petethal was a circle of standing stones, called the Circle of Ayrless, which also held a large central stone. It has long been believed by adventurers and others that these circles were of great importance and needed to be left undisturbed. They are druidic in nature, and guarded by druids. In fact, the Stone Soules, including Star and Rangorn, had once encountered one in the Southern Wilderness near the Pit. [At the time, the Soules had heard about the legends of the stones but were unable to confirm the rumors about them. However, in this mission Star and Rangorn’s party were able to learn the definitive nature of these circles of standing stones.]

Guarding the Circle of Ayrless and charged with its upkeep was Fellini, a particular half-elven whackjob extremist hermit druid who was nonetheless barely tolerated. He was thought of as roughly 5th-6th level. And a week earlier or so, he had vanished.

And bizarrely, the central stone of the circle was missing. Gone. With no sign of any obvious movement or damage to the outer circle.

This was generally deemed to be “not good” and “urgent” and we were duly sent off by the Rangers to investigate this “missing persons case.” So we were sent to the nearest village, approximately four weeks inland in Petethal. As soon as we arrived in the town, we were met by Marsha, the local druid (an all-powerful second level druid!). She had just received a message by giant eagle courier and a small money purse, which was addressed to our party. She handed it to us without having read it herself—the note was still sealed.

We were a bit surprised, but we accepted the note and read it over. The contents were clearly top secret. We were to burn the message after we read it, because it contained information that cannot be shared. [As such, parts of this summary including this top secret information, which is assumed not to be contained in any log of Superstar, will not be confirmed by its members.] The message contained the true nature of the Circle of Ayrless and similar standing stones.

As it turns out, the center stones within the circles are actually imprisoned demons. The outer ring of stones are the extremely powerful druids that gave their lives to imprison the demon, and they are all locked in stone form as they guard the prison. The rise of sentient life on Telvar is believed to have followed the containment of these demons; such was their power that they would almost instantly dominate all of Telvar. And as regarded the current situation, the Circle of Ayrless imprisoned a particularly powerful demon, and the loss of the captive demon-stone was a loss of incalculable import.

This was all contained in a long message from the Druid of the High Court. The regular divination magics that the High Court normally employs had detected the loss of the Ayrless stone, but they were unprepared for what would come from further investigation. The Druid revealed that when Fellini had disappeared, divination spells had been cast to determine his location and movements and that of the central standing stone. What they found was chilling.

The magics gave a sense of imminent catastrophe. The Druid believed that someone had figured out how to free the monster in the circle. It is known that each stone has a different method; this particular stone needs to be tossed into lava. Now, since Petethal is not known for its volcanic activity, this might seem a major obstacle. However, it is not as well known that Petethal does in fact have some active geothermal hot spots. In the hills above Petethal was an area of geysers, hot springs, and intermittent lava flows.

Divination magics had shown that the demon-stone was in motion in that exact direction! However, the stone was moving very slowly, only a few miles per day. It would be quite heavy (a few tons at least), and in fact it was not clear how it was being moved. But there would be enough time for us to intercept the stone if we moved quickly.

Also of interest in light of our situation was other information that had come to our attention. A substantial adventuring party (several levels above Superstar!) had passed recently into Petethal, claiming they were going to be fighting giants. The party was significantly powerful, thought to be evil, and was determined to have been in the vicinity of the stones. Fellini was furthermore determined to be still alive, although it was unclear whether Fellini was a prisoner or a collaborator.

It was emphasized again that the thing in the stone was beyond horrific. We needed to do anything to stop it. Dying was a perfectly acceptable option as long as we could stop the stone from moving closer to the place where it could be destroyed and the demon freed. In fact, the Druids were not necessarily interested in killing those who would free the demon, only preventing the release. If we couldn’t kill everyone around the stone, but we could delay the transport for about two more weeks, sufficient reinforcements should arrive to finish the job for us.

To make things even more interesting, the “money bag” was actually a powerful containment device that contained everything reasonably portable and helpful that the high druid could come up with on short notice. It was apparent that the Druid had basically “shaken down” everyone at the Court for useful items. This was an impressive array of very powerful items… clearly this was deadly serious.

There was also more detail on the adventuring party. It was reported to be a group from the Realm that was believed to have stolen a very large amount of material from a major sage’s library. The sage in Wunka was a specialist in the supernatural. Apparently the party, called “Final Cut”, had gotten into the sage’s library to begin with because Tarantino had wanted to learn the Bookworm feat and had hired the sage for that purpose. Though the authorities were never able to make the charges stick, the Final Cut was escorted out of the country and chose to leave by the Drake border. It was reported to be eight individuals of levels 6-9: three half-orcs, three humans, a hobgoblin, and a dwarf.

The human who seemed to be the leader of the party, called Tarantino, traveled around with a shield with a big leather cover on it at all times (this was ominous). We speculated that the shield might be some kind of sensory device like the Shield of the Sentry that we had encountered earlier, making observation of the party without detection nearly impossible. Or something evil and corrupting that would be problematic in civilized areas. Or a combination of the two…

There was also a dwarf in platemail wielding a quarterstaff… quarterstaff?? Dwarves wielding quarterstaves are always ominous. Was he a monk or something bizarre like that? There was also a very orkie looking half-orc with a large shield and short sword and Tugutten field commander’s armor (practically a Felix clone pre-Dwarfification); a grossly disfigured hobgoblin in elaborate tribal armor; in addition, one of the other half-orcs also wore (normal) full plate.

An interesting side note: the area with the geysers had played a role in the campaign before. Years earlier, an ogre mage disguised as a fire giant was raiding Petethal out of a lair amongst the geysers. Ultimately the ogre mage met its fate attacking an adventuring party named the Wreckers, when it encountered a very angry and mostly uninjured Balinor and Cassian…


We convinced Marsha to lend us her scimitar +1 for Zippo to improve our effectiveness, which she did considering the gravity of the matter. (Although she had not read the note, she knew that anything sent by giant eagle courier was of crucial importance.) Also, she managed to acquire one additional dagger +1 for us to use from the village, so that we would have one more magical weapon should the need arise. (Our party had never had much in the way of magical items, unlikely most of the other active parties, so other than those provided by the Druid, or carried by Star and Rangorn, there was not much to be had.)

Before leaving the village, we had heard about a local family that vanished about a month earlier, with no one in the village having been aware of it. Leaving behind the toads and dogs (other than Alisan’s bloodhound Sanger) and acquiring riding horses for travel speed reasons, the party traveled from the small hamlet to the farmhouse of this family, thinking it might be connected to the Circle in some way. We wondered if this had anything to do with the disappearance of the stone given that it happened close to the same time (just before, it seems) and wanted to see if we could get any impressions from the area, be they tracks or otherwise. Rangorn tracked inside and found that someone had been walking around a while ago; however, this was probably the druid Marsha investigating the disappearance of her druidic friends.

Star picked up a vision from the doorstep:

An attractive looking dwarf was at the door in heavy armor, talking to the family. “Don’t worry, we’re interviewing each person separately. Once we determine that you’re not the doppelganger, it’ll all be fine.” The woman at the door looked terrified.

This was likely the quarterstaff-wielder. We speculated that the dwarf had lured them for the purpose of sacrifice, possibly in some dark ritual that allowed them to remove the standing stone.

We next traveled to the Circle of Ayrless to see what we could determine there.
There were hostile animals present that were set with autokill orders, which Marsha fended off. There was, notably, an 18 inch deep hole where the central stone should have been. The stones were in some fashion anti-magical, as their mere presence failed to register in a detect magic. Star concentrated upon the area and had a sudden image: he saw a teenage couple ripped to shreds by insects. Marsha informed us that the couple had disappeared a few years ago, thought to have run away together to another village. Apparently their eloping was cut short because old Fellini was a bit grouchy.

After doing some tracking and trying to find the likely direction in which the stone might have moved, the ground was investigated, but nothing was found. There Star searched for impressions that might tell us something about the events that took place at the Circle. Alas, he only received another (unrelated) vision, this time of a pack of wolves: a ranger and two members of the local militia were being butchered here.

Clearly this was an unfriendly area.

After a day and a half of hard riding toward the geysers, we switched to one pack mule we pulled out of the robe of useful items, and Marsha turned back with the horse train back to town. This allowed us to get to the volcanic area substantially ahead of our quarry, judging by their reported speed (about 3”, constant, day and night).

Star had a dream that night. He saw branches starting to burn, and tried to stomp on them, but the fire got bigger. He tried to clear stuff away and pile dirt around the fire, but that failed to stop it. He tried a bucket of water, and it failed to put out the fire. He tried to tip over a rainbarrel onto the fire. That didn’t work. He then took a pickaxe and drove it into the side of a dike, releasing a flood of water onto the fire, which was finally extinguished.

We thought about this, considering numerous interpretations. Were we destined to fail until we tried something really excessive? What did the pickaxe in the dike mean?

We sent Chiaro’s magical owl out ahead to scout the potential endpoint, the region of volcanic activity. The area was covered in a white haze, with low visibility from the air due to the geysers intermittently spraying hot water all over the place and a constant fog boiling off of pools of steaming water. Near the center of the area was a huge but shallow depression filled with boiling water.

We continued to investigate our adversaries with the owl, trying to gain whatever advantage we could before the group arrived, especially since the Druids didn’t seem to have complete faith that we could stop them by ourselves… Swooping back down the hills, he spotted what could only be the Final Cut adventuring party walking slowly up the trails. The rock was there, visible and moving slowly, surrounded by eight figures clustered near the front.

We thought about the dream and the setup. Eventually we concluded that the pickaxe/dike analogy could suggest a few avenues to explore. We considered a rockslide, but we had virtually no earth-moving equipment or magic. The path that the party would have to take was fairly obvious, however, so it was easy to pick a place for an ambush of some kind, but how?

Another option that was put forth by Minerva was that the hot water pools were vulnerable to being channeled like a flood down the trail by which the evildoers would travel. On the upslope of this path, the volcanic rocks were riddled with numerous caves of smaller and larger size. After we determined the exact path by which the party would emerge, we came up with a plan. We could dig a hole in the cave and then reroute the hot water through a cave that would spray it suddenly out onto the party. But again, this ran into the problem of our lack of digging equipment, and, plus…how to do this quickly enough that Final Cut could not avoid it? Without destroying ourselves in the process?

Well, the key was the 10x10x10-foot pit from the robe of useful items. With it we could suddenly create a connection between the bottom of the lake of boiling water and a tunnel, of which there appeared to be dozens of candidates. Unfortunately we didn’t have much ability to triangulate safely (although the party spent hours scouting the situation). But we wanted to be sure that a ten-foot hole would do the trick. Surveying our other gear, we came up with a solution. By using a potion of clairvoyance we could measure exact distances through the rock that we couldn’t see. Using some fire-resistance magic to immerse in the shallow pool of boiling water, the potion solved this problem as part of a comprehensive survey of the usable caves. Searching the area this way found three good candidate tunnels from which one cave was eventually selected.

While we were checking out the caves, Rangorn borrowed the magical owl to scout out the enemy party. There were a number of interesting details…

For one thing, the rock was hovering over a foot off the ground with no visible support, but was being towed by the party using ropes. The party, from front to back, consisted of:

1) Tugutten full plate, large shield, short sword, pouches, backpack
2) Chainmail, shield with cover, hammers, quarterstaff, boxes and pouches
3) Dwarf in platemail, framepack, quarterstaff (matches Doppelganger guy)
4) Full plate, bastard sword, framepack, shortbow, arrows
5) Hobgoblin in elaborate hobgoblin armor, bastard sword, longbow, backpack
6) Studded leather armor, bastard sword, long composite bow, backpack
7) Banded mail, medium shield, type II spear, shortsword, framepack
8) No armor, longsword, shield, blob-like object hanging on his shoulder

Two other things of note: Fellini the druid did not seem to be present, and the party did not seem particularly tired, or zombielike, which was the other logical possibility. Rangorn decided to keep watching in case any interesting conversations might have occurred, with the owl hopefully staying hidden.

Later on, this bore some fruit. There was a conversation between one of the party members and apparently nothing out the ordinary was noted. However, the phrase “keep moving” was in there somewhere. The party paused at one point, although notably NOT to catch its breath. Whatever this process was, it made the stone rather easy to carry. It was also pretty obvious that the party required no sleep and no sustenance. They kept moving all day and night at the same 3” movement rate, towing the stone through the air.

We decided to track behind the party in case there was an invisible figure in addition. Indeed, there were tracks from nine figures, not eight. So… presumably our missing druid, Fellini, was scouting as well, which meant he was collaborating and a valid target, or so it seemed. The rock was not affecting the ground in any way.

The party arranged itself for the ambush. Chiaro, Rangorn, and Star started the battle under the blanket of the very powerful dust of disappearance, which would allow them remain invisible even while attacking, as well as non-detection which would protect them further from certain divination magics. The three were also able to fly by use of a potion. Alisan, Zippo, Lewis, and Magic Lad were hiding behind a blind, and also invisible, further up the trail. The hot water chute was set to be activated by a very brave Minerva with the protection of fire resistance against the boiling water (she would need to be in the water to drop the pit on the bottom of the lake). We had also devised a rope system to keep her from being pulled down into the vortex when she unleashed it, but we had no way of knowing if it would work, or if we would be attempting to Raise Minerva in a few hours…

Sure enough, Final Cut came walking slowly up the path as it sloped up to the volcanic area, towing the stone. Chiaro was watching under his own cloak of invisibility, with a see invisible spell running, and he spotted the druid leading the group by quite a distance. At this point, it seemed that the druid might actually reach the blind before the signal was given, and have a chance to warn the group before they were in position for our ambush. Thinking quickly, Chiaro struck lethally at the druid with his mind. The invisible and silent druid blanched in horror. No one could hear his cries, or see his sudden struggle, nor could he see his tormentor. Psychic waves of energy crashed through his brain and savaged it. His mind crumbled before the onslaught, and blood hemorrhaged. His eyes rolled up, and he collapsed dead to the ground. [Indeed, his mind had been so significantly damaged that even if he had not died, he would have permanently lost his druidic abilities.]

And through all this there was no visible or audible sign that anything had happened.

Chiaro is a scary, scary individual.

The signal was given. Minerva pulled the magical pit out of her cloak and threw it down onto the bottom of the boiling lake. Immediately a vortex yanked Minerva down, but her rope held. (Instead, the poor mage was bashed repeatedly against the rocks, struggling to get her head above water so that she could breathe, and she began to slowly lose consciousness…)

Final Cut advanced haplessly forward for a moment, completely unaware that they were in imminent danger.

Then, a flood of boiling water came firing out of a cave directly to the side of the party. The chute (through which sound was blocked by Star’s silence spell at the mouth of the cave), exploding with sudden waves of water upon the party. The surprise was complete and party was instantly blown off its feet. The dwarf, hobgoblin, and the two men in full plate managed to grab onto the rocks that bordered the pathway as it ran down into the valley below. They were able to hold themselves against the burning onrush.

The others were not so lucky. The man in banded mail, the unarmored one, the man in studded leather, and the chainmail-armored man were all washed down the path, tumbling into rocks. The man in studded leather snapped his neck, dying instantly. The others were burned and beaten. The stone slab, the only thing left at the spot where the party had been moments before, crashed unceremoniously to the ground with a loud boom.

And then Superstar attacked.

The chain-lightning javelins were flung by Zippo and Madupe (under the effects of superheroism), and they crackled through the four enemies that remained by the path, instantly killing both of the men in full plate and further injuring the other two. The invisible warriors advanced…Lewis (who had quaffed his own potion of heroism) and the superheroic Zippo ran forward to the two remaining opponents who were not aware of their presence. Madupe disappeared.

Chiaro turned his mind upon the hobgoblin. His brain exploded and he dropped dead. Did we mention that Chiaro is a scary, scary individual?

The dwarf managed to deploy his staff. It unfurled suddenly with strange black bars that extended from each end to form a double-headed battleaxe, and he turned to swing it at Zippo or Lewis. We would never know exactly who his target would be, though, because Madupe’s short sword tore through his back, and at that, he died.

It seemed almost cruel.

Star and Rangorn soared invisibly toward the three living men who had been washed downstream. The man in chainmail (who was the leader of the party, Tarantino) waved a wand frantically around… and suddenly a fifty foot tall tree sprang up, bringing him high into the air, where he stood looking highly confused and irritated. Especially when it brought him within easy range of Star’s attack.

Star unleashed a powerful fireball from the necklace of missiles, and at that same moment Rangorn shot him. Tarantino was at stable zero when he toppled off the tree and died upon the rocks below [at -38 hit points].

The duo turned their attention to the mage, who was suddenly wearing everyman (umber hulk) armor. Star tried a psionic blast, which the two shrugged off, but the mage was weak and soon went down under a hail of arrows from Rangorn, his unseen attacker. All hope lost, the last man standing, in banded mail, turned and started to run across the rocky path to the valley and plain below.

Star and Rangorn pursued silently and invisibly behind… and his life did not continue long.

Chiaro, meanwhile, had flown back to the lake, where he pulled the drowning Minerva out of the water, just in time.

It was over, the carnage was total, and the only damage we had sustained was self-inflicted by Minerva hundreds of yards from the fight itself. Every member of the Final Cut was dead, brutally, and though the dwarf had lived long enough to see a single member of our party (the angry dwarf Zippo, with parrot), none of the rest of them had even seen a single one of their attackers, nor made even one attack against them. It was quite possibly the most lopsided battle between potentially comparable opponents in Stone Soules or Defenders history.

Alas, the druid Fellini, whose body had littered the ground at the end of the battle, was absorbed mysteriously into the stone during the aftermath. It appears that an elemental of some kind reached from the earth and pulled the body of Fellini away to safety, although Star was able to detect the sadness and disappointment of Fellini as his soul left the area. [The Miraculous Escape feat in action.] Despite this, Fellini had been driven completely insane by Chiaro’s mental strike, and even if he were to recover he will prove forever a broken man, bereft of his druidic abilities and aspirations.

Finally, after the battle, the party noted that the demon-containing stone slab was still coated in places in an oily substance that was rapidly being lost. The party collected a small amount in a used potion vial for future identification. Later, as it turned out, it would be found to be oil of weightlessness.

[The game ended very late and treasure identification, distribution, etc., was not completed. We did find out that the party had a string of bad luck on saving throw rolls, though, despite having had to inflict relatively little damage by destructive magical means (i.e., fireball). For instance, Tarantino’s chainmail of lightning immunity, despite needing a 2 to save versus fireball, was destroyed. When we have received a list of treasure (and have agreed with the Druids with regard to recompense and distribution), we will post it here. Oh, and yeah, the quarterstaff was magical, and evil. Turns out our friendly farmer family was sacrificed so that the dwarf could “feed” the staff to make it more powerful.]