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May 12, 2009

*Wizard Mountain* The Members of the Larry Consortium

[Last update: 12 May 2009]

The Front Line and Other Warriors:

Halacar 7th level halfling fighter, 80 hp (Joel)

Brother to the late Hhune, the diminuitive halfling's ability to survive impacts is unsurpassed (including, at one point, a vampire's blood drain). At two feet, eight inches tall, his ability to kill his opponent is less impressive. In his first attack with his short bow, Halacar broke his arrow, tripped, and fell into Brigling, taking them both off the cliff. Halacar undergoes frustrating dry spells in melee combat as well, where he wields a nasty falchion. Halacar's demeanor is eternally cheerful and completely unfazeable even by the sardonic Standish. His inner heart though, has a hidden chill to it. Halacar is loyal to his friends, but he has absolutely no scruples when it comes to dealing with his enemies. Halacar somehow has still failed to acquire a magical falchion, and sports a 1-1 record in the Arena. Don't ask him.

Standish 7th level half-orc fighter, 74 hp (Katherine)

Standish is a brute of a man, crude with words, and insufferably and outlandishly eloquent in the naming of his dogs. He is also the party's most devastating fighter, able to tear through lines of enemies in moments. Standing more than twice the size of his primary fighting partner, Standish wields a devastating magical bastard sword with a particular hatred for reptiles, as well as a giantslaying weapon used to great effect against a cloud giant. He is always accompanied by two dogs, his durable war dog Cromwell, and an revolving door of guard dogs (including Winston,
Weatherby, Hampton, Hinton, Percy, and the like). Standish is one of only three surviving original party members.

Duran 4th level human woodsman, 29 hp (Kyle)

Duran is the sole surviving representative of the party's two short range weapon specialists, wielding throwing daggers. The daggers are surprisingly useful, but very short range. Duran has an annoying "faux-French accent."

Zero 4th level human fighter, 15 hp (Kyle)

Zero is the party's most bizarre fighter, wielding the short sword while blinded by his helmet, using only his keen "sonar" skills to fight effectively. He often makes vague comments about specialized training methods and blocking out all distractions in fighting situations. Something about "not being fooled by your eyes" usually makes its way into any conversation with Zero about tactics. He is perhaps best known for his Ring of Blinking, which cannot be stopped once set off and brings him both into the fray and out of the fray, willy-nilly. Surprisingly, it has been useful to him time and again. Currently, Zero has sold his Ring and is living in his parents' garage, hoping that a little downtime will miraculously increase his hitpoints. He'll be waiting a long time.

Squibb 3rd level half-orc fighter, 28 hp (Alan)

Karnash 3rd level half-orc fighter, 19 hp (Mark)

Crack 3rd level half-orc woodsman, 25 hp (Alan)

James 3rd level human paladin, 31 hp (Zack)

James is a powerful paladin wielding a scimitar.

Flechette 3rd level halfling fighter, 28 hp (Aaron)

Flechette is a durable and dangerous halfling bow specialist who uses the short composite bow.

Schreck Robinson 3rd level half-orc fighter, ?? hp (David Bjorlin)

Schreck is a katana specialist.

Isacar, 4th level dwarven fighter, 41 hp (Alex)

Isacar is an impressive all offense or all defense dart specialist.

Campbell, 4th level half-orc fighter, 43 hp (Rhonda)

Campbell is a devastating and charismatic half-orc longbow specialist (the tallest ranged weapon user in the party).

Healing Support:

Browork 6th level dwarf cleric, 41 hp (Joel)

Browork is a durable dwarven battle-cleric. He wields the hammer with competence, and can hurl a decent array of clerical spells. His ability to provide a backup fighter has proved valuable to the party, as well as his spell support. Browork is typically gruff for a dwarf, and bears no mercy for goblins and
the like, but is at heart a friend to be trusted. An original party member.

Katrina 4th level half-elf cleric, 20 hp (Jeff)

Katrina may be slightly more frail than Browork, but she is the more effective spellcaster, and has saved the party several times on the expeditions in which she has taken part.

Rex 1st level human fighter/3rd level cleric, 24 hp (Kyle)

Rex is a specialist in the horseman's mace who was moved to join the warrior priesthood and advance the cause of Good. He fights with great strength and enthusiasm and girds himself in powerful Field Plate armor to improve his survivability. Though Rex has purchased Zero's Ring of Blinking, he also borrows the party's Horseman's Mace +4 whenever he adventures with the party. When spell-casting, Rex tends to focus on offensive spells and leave most of the Cures to others. Rex is eager to adventure more and advance himself.

Harry 3rd level half-elf cleric, 18 hp (Chris)

Harry (short for a longer elven name) is your friendly neighborhood cleric.

Klash 1st/3rd level human fighter/cleric, 18 hp (?) (Mark)

Arcane Support:

Megan 4th level mage, 15 hp (Alex)

The main recipient of the party's wizard spells, and its senior wizard.

Jim 3rd level mage, 12 hp (Sean)

Jim had a long hiatus from the party but eventually returned to use his magic missile skills once again.

Rhisa, 1st level fighter // 3rd level mage, 22 hp (Dean)

Rhisa is a mage with Magic Missiles and normal missiles - in this case, bow specialization!

Filo, 2nd level half-elven cleric // 3rd level mage, 17 hp (Aaron)

The multitalented Filo survived his twin brother Milo. May he continue on to great things!

Tiberius K. Ollivander I, 3rd level half-elven cleric // 3rd level mage, 14 hp (Alan)

The similarly multitalented but slightly insane furniture worshipping Tiberius has survived his first adventure and looks forward to great things!


Brigling 7th level halfling thief, 39 hp (Katherine)

Brigling is the party's stealthy component and ranged attack force, and all around scout and trap removal service, and knife in the back service, all rolled into one. He has survival chances well beyond most party members and puts this to good use, providing the Larry Consortium with several options when confronted with a problem. An original party member, and the highest level one as well.

Flit 4th level elf thief, 17 hp, (Matt)

The Retired of Unknown Status:

Ronilab, woodsman (Sean)
"Sean's Monk"
"Jack's Characters"

The Deceased, in order of Perishing:

Hhune, fighter (Joel)
Frag, woodsman (Alan)
Kelric, fighter (Alex)
El Guapo, fighter (Jeff)
Alain, fighter (Alex)
Lissar, mage (Alex)
Thudd, fighter (Alan)
Jefe, woodsman (Jeff)
Nass, 4th level illusionist, 8 hp (Alex)
Skrag, 3rd level half-orc cleric, 22 hp (Kyle)
Neb, 3rd level thief, 18 hp (Alex)
Sevrid, 3rd level illusionist, 10 hp (Alex)
Milo, 1st level half-elven cleric/3rd level mage, 14 hp (Aaron)

And in The Arena, the Larry Consortium's Gladiator Comrades

Crusher the Goblin, NPC, with a current win-loss record (where loss=death) of 14-0! Crusher recently acquired a belt of throwing daggers.
Slasher the Kobold, NPC, with a record of 1-1, having defeated a giant rat but, ahem, being defeated by a dog! He is currently "retired."
Smusher the Bugbear, NPC, with an astounding record of zero wins, and er, one loss. We like to think he's on the "injured reserve list."

Wizard Mountain Summary #17: Ask, and Ye Shall Receive

Party Roster:

Halacar, 6th level halfling fighter, 65 hp, played by Joel
Standish, 6th level human fighter, 63 hp, played by Katherine
Browork, 6th level dwarven cleric, 41 hp, played by Joel
Brigling, 7th level halfling thief, 39 hp, played by Katherine
Campbell, 3rd level half-orc fighter, 30 hp, played by Rhonda
Tiberius K. Ollivander, 2nd level half- elven cleric/2nd level magic user, 10 hp, played by Alan

[Events of May 9, 2009, in Charlotte.]

The Wizard Mountain Party (Cornell/Charlotte edition) had not been played since New Years 2002-3, so needless to say, we were a bit rusty… as were our weapons…

A brief recap of the history of the Wizard Mountain campaign:

50 years ago, the town of Wizard Mountain was a smaller city surrounding a mountain fortress. Ruling the fortress was a powerful wizard who banned all but the most talented and powerful from being within his realm, which he blockaded with high walls. The wizard would occasionally burst into town and kill citizens simply to thin out the herd.

Eventually he angered forces outside of town. Adventuring parties attempted to penetrate into the mountain and defeat the wizard, but none returned. Finally, decades ago a party known as the Coral Star attempted to fight their way into the mountain to take it over from the wizard. On the last trip they seemingly succeeded, as the attacks stopped, although the party did not return.

In the chaos of one of these attacks, a dragon named Zog escaped from the markets, where dragons were frequently bought and sold, and took up shelter in the mountains, where it frequently preys on adventurers seeking fortune from the mountain.

Tribes of hobgoblins, goblins, and gnolls swarmed over areas of the mountains, establishing kingdoms within. The gnolls were known for wielding powerful firearms that could devastate even platemail armored adventurers.

Years later, the town of Wizard Mountain has become a giant city of a million souls, and a bustling market and trade in goods and wares. The adventuring party, The Larry Consortium (do not ask about Larry), is assembled from a ragtag group of wealth-seekers who choose to brave the mountains to gain profit, and perhaps to discover something of the fate of the Coral Star…

The party set off once again, this time with new members Tiberius K. Ollivander (2nd/2nd half-elven cleric of the god of desks / magic-user and hammer-wielding battleclericmage) and Campbell (3rd half-orc fighter longbow specialist, only the second bow specialist in party history and the first one to be taller than the Halflings). [Also Alan and Rhonda’s first time playing in THIS instance of Wizard Mountain… welcome to death and destruction!]

It should be noted that this party is all-infravision, so we didn’t use lights except when needed to examine things. Standish reminded everyone that he had a giant-slaying backup magic longsword (yes, Halacar is still using a normal falchion…) and that we should fight some giants. Also, that we were supposed to retrieve another giant’s lost etched sword, so we should be on the lookout for that.

After examining options (we hadn’t played in 6 years, so give us a break here), we decided to fill in a few corridors from our map. We debated some options but eventually settled on checking out a trio of unmapped passages off of an entrance mostly marked by a stream flowing out of it. The stream flowed out into the swamp around the entryway, and inside there was room to walk around it or through it (it wasn’t very deep).

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Because no sooner had we exited town then we encountered the dragon. Again.

The dragon came swooping down on us and we punted the extremely fat cow we always drag with us, hoping the dragon would take the bait. At least initially it did not, and it circled the party.

Unfortunately at this moment, the fleeing Browork and Tiberius began to sink into quicksand. Rather than fighting it they decided to burrow in deeper and hide. It looked like Tiberius was a goner, but suddenly the dragon changed its mind and went for the easy prey. SWOOSH! The cow was gone.

The party decided not to return and repurchase a cow, assuming that the dragon was probably full for a bit.

We passed through the swamp and entered the stream-filled cave. Taking the first left into an unmapped corridor no more than a few feet from the entrance, we almost immediately ran into something. Several beanbag shaped things surged out of the water and came at the party!
Tiberius immediately dropped a sleep spell, nailing three of the things, as it turned out (and later preserving some nice skins…) The giant frogs swarmed at the front and sides of the party. Halacar and Standish engaged the front line, tearing through frogs (particularly Standish). Tiberius moved to engage but Browork took the lead and attacked in a probably fairly irrelevant attempt to protect Tiberius. Campbell mowed down frogs left and right. It was all going great. Virtually no damage was taken.

Then Halacar’s falchion blew into a million pieces. [Thank you, 01 critical fumble!]

So for the rest of the adventure Halacar would be using his silver (and more easily breakable) falchion.
The frogs were dispatched in short order, and Brigling recalled that such skins could be very valuable, and skinned 4 of them (plus some scraps for dinner).

The end of the corridor was fairly uninteresting, and we walked back out to the main path to assess the second unmapped corridor.

We came upon a large boulder door.

Brigling determined that the door was trapped, but with a simple noisemaker that he felt he could disarm. We decided to do so and not precast silence or other spells, although Browork and Tiberius were holding prayer and bless respectively. The trap appeared disabled, and the other four party members (mainly the buff Standish) pulled the door aside on the first (?) try.

A strange fog rolled out of the room, encompassing the corridor in fairly impressive darkness. The guard dog growled and backed up, anticipating something strange.

But nothing came out.

We decided to charge in. Browork and Tiberius cast their spells and the party marched in.

And great nastiness descended upon the party.

An invisible fifteen feet tall giant backstabbed Browork from behind. The results should have been truly horrendous for the dwarf, but thanks to a) his field plate armor, and b) the prayer, he took only substantial damage [19 points and a triple wound] and was relatively healthy as the party turned to face its attacker.

Weirdly, the giant was only 20% visible even after the backstab and was already fading away.
Standish grinned and drew out his sword of nastiness vs. giants. Browork and Tiberius began casting cure light spells. The giant faded away, but not before Standish and Halacar reached him. The Halfling poked him a bit, but Standish’s attack was brutal, shearing open a significant portion of the giant and opening a wound [35 points, I believe!]. Brigling missed on his first backstab but tried to follow the giant’s movements. Campbell shot the thing, but it still didn’t appear very injured, and it vanished. The giant slipped away before we could catch it, but we decided to chase after it immediately, Browork stopping to cure himself a final time. The party was in pretty good shape overall.

But the fog appeared to roll all the way out into the swamp, blocking even the sun from shining! This is where I wished that Browork had dispel magic in memory. His other third level spell would prove useful in any case…

The giant had left a blood trail and the dogs could certainly track it, and Campbell had tracking skill as well, so Standish and Campbell led the group to chase after the giant. Moments later a rock came sailing from nowhere and crashed straight into the unfortunate Tiberius, dropping him almost dead instantly. Browork immediately stopped to drop a death’s door while the others continued on after the

Another rock sailed at Browork but missed, probably thanks to the shield that he had borrowed from Standish.

The main party continued tracking, and couldn’t seem to find the giant.

Browork dropped a cure light and brought Tiberius up to consciousness [2 hp] and they mutually decided that Tiberius should continue to play dead. Browork dragged the “body” to the cave entrance (and left the guard dog Percy guarding him) and moved out to rejoin the party when he heard the sound of battle rejoined…

…which it had been. The giant had appeared out of nowhere (mostly uninjured again, probably due to a potion of healing or something) once more to go straight for Standish. A massive backstab on Standish could have discouraged the angry fighter, but it did not, and he struck back. Unfortunately he missed repeatedly, as did the unlucky backstabbing Brigling, who in fact NEVER hit during the combat [at this point Katherine became rather outraged with her dice, for good reason]. Halacar kept jabbing at the giant from the side, poking relentlessly. Standish continued to fight but was slowly falling. Campbell pumped arrows into the giant as fast as she could.

The giant (who was still 80% invisible this whole time) slammed Standish twice more, and had clearly decided to stand and fight, or at least was completely obsessed with eliminating Standish, and the fighter dropped. At this point, Browork and shortly after Tiberius arrived, and Browork dropped a cure light on Standish. The fighter continued to play dead in the reeds.

Quote from Standish via Edwin: “You’re not gonna kill me! My dog is!”

The giant finally turned his focus on someone else… Halacar. He managed to hit the poor Halfling three times in a row, but the little armored tank [Halacar wears full plate +2 with 42 hp] just wouldn’t die [in fact he was barely down to half]. But the giant had forgotten about Standish.

The fighter didn’t get up, but simply jabbed his sword at the giant’s foot, inflicting horrendous wounds and sending the giant screaming in pain.

Browork then dropped a lucky light spell, blinding the giant! It turned to stagger away. And then things really sucked for it. Halacar, Standish, Browork, and Campbell all hit the giant for a combined 60 points of damage. The thing dropped like a wet brick.

The treasure recovery was simple but heavy, thanks to Brigling’s assessment. Browork identified the giant as a cloud giant, which made sense. The giant’s sword was in fact silver-chased, but far too huge to belong to the other giant, and it didn’t glow either. But it turned out to be worth 1000 gp, so no complaints. The giant had 1000 pp on him, as well as his armor, which turned out to be white dragon armor!

We cut off the head and stuffed it in our very large bag of holding and headed back to town, although we did check out the lair and re-shut the boulder door before doing so. When we got back to town we found out that the cloud giant was one of two bandits that were raiding ships, and there was a 2500 gp reward for each! Score! And good that we didn’t run into the other one! (Or did we… who knows who threw those boulders?)

After blowing money on armor resizing we managed to make the white dragon armor Standish-sized, which is cool, as it is AC 1/ AT 4, magical, and makes the user immune to cold (in all forms, damage or ambient), as well as being +2 for ALL saving throws (300 cw, 9” movement rate).

Standish’s banded+1 was transferred to Tiberius. Halacar bought a new falchion, and Campbell replaced her lost arrows.

Then we went back to check out the giant’s lair the very next day. On the way out we were attacked by a giant spider, which went after Browork. It missed him, Browork fumbled drawing a free attack (miss) and then everyone else killed it. Yay.

The giant’s cave appeared to be untouched on our return. The door was still shut. We entered and found a large dome cave, that must have until recently been cooled somehow (perhaps by the mysterious fog?). To the left we found a refrigerator room with 9 huge fish hanging from the ceiling, stabbed with swords from above. It was clear they would go bad soon if we didn’t haul them somewhere.

To the right was a woodland scene tapestry (50’ in diamater), and a bear rug.

Straight ahead was another boulder door. Behind it was the treasure room… an assembly of goods weighing excess of 100,000 cw, mostly not worth very much except collectively.

Behind the tapestry Brigling spotted another trap door, but this time the trap was set to go off from the OTHER side (suggesting that this was the emergency backdoor escape hatch).

We decided to head back to town with as much loot as we could carry (7 out of the 9 fish and 100 cw of uncarved ivory plus the rug). We found a tribal lizardman had ALREADY skewered the cow and he ran off.

Oh well.

We returned to town uneventfully and convinced a merchant company to pay us to retrieve their stuff and provide mules and drovers (or expenses covered in any case). In the end we returned without a fight and actually got not only the 5000 gp reward but a few extra hundred gp profit from our expense account, as we skimped a little on some of the drovers (hiring fighters with drover skill instead in addition to actual drovers) and lost none of the pack mules.

In the end it was a good haul. The tapestry and the rug were both heavily damaged by moisture but were worth a few hundred gp each. The seven fish fetched a combined 2900 gp (including the exotic greenbelly worth 900), and the ivory was worth 500 gp.

In the end, we were up to the tune of 10000 gp. But we had not yet trained, and XP was delivered:

Tiberius -- 2752 cleric/2945 mage
Campbell -- 6961
Browork -- 7153
Halacar -- 7511
Brigling -- 6833
Standish – 8528

Tiberius trained to 3rd mage and 3rd cleric, gaining 4 hp to stand at 14, and mirror image.

Campbell trained to 4th fighter, gaining 13 hp to stand at 43!

Standish trained to 7th fighter, gaining 11 hp to stand at 74!

And Halacar was 180 XP short of 7th level. Doh!

[Browork is 15000 XP short of 7th level, not sure where Brigling stands.]

Rather than adventure out to the mountain, Halacar decided to enter the arena as a gladiator. He was offered the option of fighting to the death, or fighting under at least the pretense of a rescue (but being heavily penalized in XP and payment upon success). He threw caution to the winds…

Halacar faced Zorbal the bandit! Standish bet against him, as is traditional. Halacar stepped out in studded leather with an OH SO CHEAP falchion, while the bandit appeared with a broadsword and studded leather armor.

The combatants went at it! The crowd roared as Halacar attempted to sing taunts at Zorbal, who just grimaced and attacked. But Zorbal was VERY high level, as it turned out. Oops.

Halacar could not seem to hit Zorbal in the early going, and his extreme toughness was the only thing keeping the fight even. Finally Halacar got going and began to injure Zorbal, but it was looking bad. Then Halacar went on a streak (and the crowd clearly seemed in favor of Zorbal, who was fighting for his life to get another week before being challenged to the death again). In the end Halacar came within one or two swings of dropping the bandit, but his luck ran out, and Zorbal dropped him to the ground!

It looked to be the end for Halacar as Zorbal turned to the crowd for a thumbs up or down. Halacar’s natural charisma was insufficient (Zorbal’s was even higher!) but then Campbell managed to whip the crowd into a frenzy and saved the poor bleeding Halfling!

Zorbal left a gold coin on each of Halacar’s eyes as he stomped off triumphantly. Halacar was paid 20 gp and gained 30 XP. He donated the (22 gp) money in shame to the party coffers.

Then he sought out a “slightly easier” duel, versus a great ogre. This time Standish bet for him. This fight was more straightforward. Halacar emerged from the stands with four huge sausages tied to his back. He tried to undo them, but ran out of time when the ogre charged at him (it was faster than the poor Halfling anyway…). The ogre came at Halacar and missed, who then dove in and stabbed the ogre twice, wounding the beast. But the ogre struck back and nailed Halacar, wounding him as well, and holding him at bay for several minutes…

But eventually the ogre missed again, and the bleeding but still relatively strong Halacar moved in and struck brutally at the ogre twice more. This time the beast missed and Halacar finished the job! Triumph! Halacar tore off a bit of cloth from the ogre and used it as a headband, smiling triumphantly and subtly applying his healingx2 to the wound…

He gained 204 XP and 100 gp (again donated to Larry) from the fight, and trained to 7th level, gaining a (max) 15 hp to stand at 80!

And last but most importantly, Crusher the Goblin stepped out for his duel. He had fought one other battle in our absence, and was now allowed a short sword and chainmail. He faced off against a bandit with studded leather. He slashed and immediately injured the bandit, who missed. Then Crusher leapt at him and dropped him to stable consciousness!

Crusher turned to the crowd for a thumbs-up or down, and the bandit made an amazing charisma roll and was spared… but Crusher failed his wisdom check.

The goblin leapt bloodthirstily and finished off the poor bandit messily.

He was then given a pair of throwing daggers on a belt for his next bout. Crusher is now 14-0!

Standish bid correctly in ALL THREE fights. Way to go! I think. Halacar may never forgive himself for this (and is clearly indebted to Campbell, when finds out…)

In the end, after all expenses (training, armor repair, equipment, spells) the party ended up down 552 gp in cash for the adventure, but up the white dragon armor and several levels and spells, so it was deemed a great success. In addition this is only after the party donated 1684 gp to the Larry Consortium, who used 2000 gp to pay back Standish and Brigling half of their debts. Halacar and Standish split the other 552 gp loss. So in the end we ended up slightly in the black as a party cashwise, and certainly in better shape…

The final party roster:

Halacar, F7, 80 hp
Standish, F7, 74 hp
Campbell, F4, 43 hp
Browork, C6, 41 hp
Brigling, T7, 39 hp
Tiberius, M3/C3, 14 hp

May it not be another 6 years!