Crooked House

Notes from 23 May 2014

Cyrus Bellevieu: butler of The vampire, Ignatius

Vlad: guy we found in the flooded prison

Army occupied the vengan valley

I loved her with all my heart. She spurned me. She called me old one. Her heart went to Sergei.

With words, she called me brother. But she thought I was a creepy old dude.

Not even I know her final fate. Stake thru heart will not kill, but will paralyze.
Sergei’s sword will kill him.

I now reside far below Hawkwatch. I can seal suit the stirs that none may disturb me.

Sergei’s sword hilt is in crypt. The blade is used now.

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Session 15 - Are we there yet?
Meeting St. Julius

The Dock Gaurdian led the players through the magically well maintained isle until they arrived at a low wooden fence. On the other side was a empty suit of armor holding a halbard. On the halbard was a mouth which spoke – “The master would like to see you, but first, could you help me with my friend problem.” The suit of armor handed two clay puzzles to the party. “For this one, we are missing a freind. For the other, find the one that has no friend.” The players gathered to figure out the two puzzles, which were collections of oddly colored shapes. After some figureing, they solved the puzzle and the Gate Gaurdian let the through. The Dock Gauridan led them further down a stone lane past almond trees to a small tidy stone cottage. Once inside, the Dock Gaurdian said, “The master is waiting for you in the study.”

They walked into the study to find an old man at a cluttered desk in fine robes. All around were full book shelves, while the walls were decorated with swords, armor, and paintings. “Well Hello, I’ve been waiting for such a long time, Greetings…” and the old man greeted them each by name. After some puzzlement and coaxing, the players learned from the old man that

  • He was St. Julius the Humble of the Seven Good Men
  • He had masterminded most of their adventure by communicating with the Fairy Queen and the leader of Breca Wahrhaft and James the Angry Half-Elf ’s Orders.
  • While legend says that St. Julius, along with Nikolas the Lich Slayer were killed by Leo the Dark, St. Julius had in-fact survived the battle when he accidentially drank a Lich -making potion, which he has mistaken as a healing poition
  • There was a growing tide of undead. There still lived Lich under the remains of the Eternal City of the Sun. Also, several wizards, including Fizboth, were attempting to become Liches.
  • They were asked to take on the task of fighting the undead hordes by taking on 4 quests.

The players agreed. At one point, after thinking about St. Julius’s age, James the Angry was able to see through the illusion and see St. Julius the good-lich’s true form – a rotting skeletal figure in rich clothes.

For the first quest the players journeyed to one of the near-by Hidden Isles to a pyramid full of mummies. After some exploration they found them. The mummies put up a fierce battle. Demonbreun was knocekd unconcious after going toe-to-toe with two mummies, while Breca Wahrhaft was nearly brought to that point. All the players were helpful, although Sage Redfield “Hunter of Orcs” initially fled in terror. James cast a fireball spell from a scroll to finish off the remaining undead. Due to the curse of mummy rot, none of their damage could be magically healed.

The badly beat up party (who only plundered the undead portion of the pyramid) encountered a horde of ghouls on the way back to the Moon Gazer, but James was able to turn them. They retunred to the Isle of the Good Lich to find St. Julius most cross – “Your quest was to cleanse Pyramid Island from the foul undead presense. Yet the whole horde of ghouls still remains! Finsh them and you will be able to heal your friends.”

A mostly unconcious Demonbreun stayed in St. Julius and Hilbert(the Dock Gaurdian)’s care. The rest of the party returned, some what grumpily, to Pyramid Island. After some searching they found and destroyed the ghoul party.

On the ship ride back to Isle of the Good Lich the players were able to rest up and the benifit of experience from the fighting. James was able to heal the mummy rot in all the characters. Upon returning, St. Julius granted Breca the Holy Sword of Nicolas the Lich Slayer. He granted each of the other characters a wonderous item – a mighty mace to James, a powerful throwing hammer to Sage, a protective ammulet to Demonbreun, and a cloak to Michelle.

Upon examining their goods and resting for two weeks, the players inquired about the second quest. St. Julius responded – “on a nearby island, a vile vampire enslaves an entire village…”

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Session 14 - We've got a crew, but I want my mummy

The orc raiding party lay dead all about the feet of the party as they scavanged what they could. James the Angry cast a detect magic, and lo and behold, the orc captian’s sword and the orc mage’s bracers both glowed. There was also the spell book of the mage, which both James and Michelle took great interest in, especially the mirror image spell that had been used to so much effect against the party.

Michelle cast and identify spell on these items, plus several potoins that the party had gathered along the way. While this was going on, Ryktbar and Jeremiah the half goblin started to work on the ship. Over the next day they made just enough repairs so that the boat could float in the river. It took another week of repairs before Jeremiah was confident they wouldn’t sink while sailing.

Jeremiah and Ryktbar’s sailing skills together with the party’s hard work could get the boat to putter along the shore, but would be no match for the open ocean. Sailors were needed. They had the choice to cut across the Burgundy sea to the Princely Free States, or to putter up the coast all the way back to Mars where they had begun the sailing portion of the adventure. They wisely choose to take the slow road up the shallow waters of the coast.

In two weeks they had limped into the harbor at Mars. The customs agent eyed them suspiciously at first, but allowed them to proceed after some money was exchanged. Jeremiah helped them hire a skeleton crew of 18 for the journey, plus several other shipwrights to make reparis. The new crew and the party were hard at work makign the Moon Gazer ship-shape. The players also had some time to heal up and practice their skills – James the Angry and Sage both attended to religious affairs and Michelle studied his spell books and loaded up his ion stones.

So, it was off the the Hidden Isles at last. The crew, when informed of their destination, nearly mutinied, but were persuaded to sail past the Goblin Isles into waters unknown. But which of the Hidden Isles to journey to? One of them had an icon of a light house on the map, which seemed as good as any to journey to. However, a large storm blew up and changed their plans. The boat was blown into a kelp sea near an small island. Michelle, Sage, James, and Ryktbar decided to explore the island while the crew and the rest of the party cut the Moon Gazer loose.

After only a short distance the players spotted a large stone edifice. After hiking further through the dense semi-tropical forest, they saw a very larged steped pyrimid. They explored the remainder of the island before heading into the pyrimid, and found only the ruins of a long abondoned building. So, they headed into the pyrimid. There were two entrances, and they decided to explore the top entrance first. The air inside the pyrimid was strangly dry compared to the moistness of the jungle. Several large bats flew out of the darkness, but James and Sage both managed to charm one. They then headed further in and found a small oval shapped room with a barrel vault ceilign. It was well apportioned and contianed an alter, a large chest, and a wardrobe. James found some fancy priestly vestments while Michelle found three zombies in the chest. Fortunatly James drew out his preistly symbol and destroyed all three in a single invocation. The explorers decided to put on the presitly vestments as disguise, as Sage had determined they were a part of some death cult.

They ventured further in found a spiral staircase going both up and down. They went up and found a large, circular room with a dias, upon which there were three coffins. These were richly decorated, while the walls contained many drawlings and symbols. James was pretty sure the drawling were about a little girl and her dog, while Michelle was pretty sure they had to do with the affairs of necromany. The party decided to plunder the coffins, and found only long dead bodies. After several minutes of exmamining the coffins, they heard a noise coming up the staircase. They set battle lines and saw, to their horror, a large undead mummy come up the stair case to attack. Several magic missles were used, after which both Sage and James seized up in fear. The mummy swiped several times missing, but did claw a wound in James’s arm. Ryktbar charged and knocked the paralized Sage out of the way of the mummy’s attacks, while Michelle continued to cast magic missles until finally destroying the mummy.

James’s wound was strangly impervious to healing magic and was quite irritated. Some oil of disenchantment temporarily releaved the irritation, but only for an hour or so. The player headed down to the lower chamber where they found the mummy’s tomb, along with a large supply of gold. They journeyed back to the ship, which was now nearly free.

The players still did not know which of the Hidden Isles they had landed on. They sailed south for a day, found nothing, returned the Mummy Isle, and then sailed NE to find the island with the lighthouse. A few hundred yards to the west there was a small cove with a small dock. The Moon Gazer laid anchor and the players ventured to the dock on a row boat. As they neared the dock, a small strange metal creature hopped. to the dock, welcomed them (“welcome to the Isle of Rest, the master is expecting you.”), and gave them a riddle to solve in order to come ashore. After some time Sage (of all people) guessed the correct answer.

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Session 13 - You can lead a boat to water, but you can't make it....

The victorious party took a few days to regain their bearings, bandage their wounds, and investigate their loot. The boat (“The Moon Gazer”) was heavily damaged by several years of neglectful treatment by the ogres. But James-the-angry managed to cast the scroll and got the boat floating slightly above the ground. But pushing the 60 ton boat back to water proved tricky and it took several days.

On the fifth day one of the sharp eyed players spotted nosy figures in the woods spying on them. This was a portent of bad things to come. Upon reaching the riverbank, they found an entire company of Rock Orcs waiting for them. The orc captain declared that our band of heroes had broken Rock Orc law by assaulting and murdering lawful inhabitants and stealing their property. They were ordered to surrender. Obviously they didn’t.

All of a sudden several members of the party got an irresistible urge to charge the Orc battle lines. Arrows were unleashed and the melee was joined. Fortunately Sage cast an entangle which subdued the half of the orc forces, including the captain and the orc mage. The players made a powerful assault, particularly against the orc sargents, but then were surprised by an orc contingent emerging from their rear.

The battle looked grim for awhile, and both Ryktbar, Denumbreun, and James needed emergency triage during the battle. Finally the tide turned and the players were able to rout the orcs.

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Session 12 - The ogres, the castle, and the boat
unlucky paladin, lucky dust devil

Session 12 found the players holed up in a decrepit fortress – “Grunwald”, an old outpost of the old Eternal Empire of the Sun, which low lay in the middle of no-man’s land, in the wilderness between the Rock Orcs and the Granite Dwarves. All of the wooden structures had decayed and collapsed years ago, and much of the surrounding stonework had started to collapse. But the players used their ingenuity to put the decay of the foretress to their advantage. James the Angry surmised that one of the walls to be rigged to collapse. The PC’s worked at making it so. Black Dagger and his bow would be posted atop the old keep; Denumbreun, Michelle, and Ryktbar guarding the flank in the woods; and James, Sage, and Breka stationed in the keep as both bait and springed bar in the “mouse trap”.

No sooner had to the trap been set, then a party of ogers came into view. Black Dagger started shooting arrow and the enraged ogres charged, especially after seeing the bait at the top of a small earthen ramp. The stone wall collapsed on queue and the melee was joined. The party was victorious, but not easily.

After healing up and scouting with their woodland friends, the party decided they needed to rest. They set a camp far into the woods, but not far enough. In the middle of the second watch, they were ambushed by the giant skeletal warriors on patrol. Though it took many blows with sword and hammer, the skeleton warriors were finally dispatched. The party prepared for the final assault on the boat. The Owl intelligence said there were four or five ogres in the boat plus one ogre with fancy clothes – the ogre mage, Chief of the tribe.

Ryktbar sang a rousing war ballad, while the clerics blessed the party. The party coax the ogres out of the boat, and then used the Horn of blasting. They set upon the stunned ogres. Well several the party members battled the ogres, the ogre magi prove to be more than a match. Magic missiles bounced off of the ogre magi – spell against spell: levitate countering fly, fairy fire countering invisibility, sheer will countering charm and suggestion. In the end, repeated use of the Horn of blasting and an extremely accurate dust devil help to carry the day. Unfortunately, the party did not emerge from the encounter unscathed. Breka’s magic sword was accidentally broken by a powerful blow from an ogre.

But all of the ogres lay slain and the giant skeletal warriors were finally allowed to rest. The large two masted galleon belonged to the party.

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Session 11 - Spice markets, sailing ships, and half-goblins
"The Hidden Isles?, nope, never heard of them"

The players made the long journey from the captial, Pars, to Mars, the main port city of the Burgundy Kingdom. Journey was by the main road and without incident, although they couldn’t be sure that they weren’t spied upon.

Mars was much bigger than either Pars or Guise, a large commercial city cut by canals and headed by a large fortified harbor. No need to check for weapons at the city gates, a large standing navy and army secured Mars. The players ventured to the harbor straight away and saw twelve sailing ships. After several unsucessfull attempts with other captains, Ryktbar found a Southmen ship and inquired about traveling West, beyond the Goblin Isles to a small group of isles out in the deep ocean. The southmen captain knew not of them, but informed the part that if they wished to travel beyond the Goblin Isles, they would need to sail on a goblin boat.

The first goblin captain they spoke with was very unfriendly, accusing the PCs of trying to steal trade routes. The second captain was visably disturbed when asked about the small group of islands, but after composing himself denied knowing of them. “But,…” piped up a young deckhand beside the captain, but shut up quickly after a sharp kick. “oh, don’t mind Jeremiah,” said the captain, “he’s just a half breed.”

After the captain left, Jeremiah arranged to meet the PCs in the spice market later. He told them that their boat had indeed been to the islands after being blown off course in a storm. He said the captain would never agree to go back, after the unspeakable horrors they saw. However, Jeremiah told them a strange tale of a boat in the middle of a forest, located in a wild place between the Granite dwarves and the Rock Orc tribe. Not only that, but Jeremiah had a map to the location. The PCs used their last remaining gold to purchase a heavy-duty levitation scroll and to book passage along with Jeremiah to be dropped off along the coast about a day’s walk from the supposed location of the land-locked boat.

After several days sea journey, they were dropped off by the captian. They waited on shore while Jeremiah secretly escaped from his ship and swam ashore. After journeying through the forest and getting close to the boat, Black Dagger scouted ahead and found the boat. It was a fine 2-masted galleon and still in fairly good condition. The keel of the boat was stuck in thick mud, and the boat more or less rested upright. However, Black Dagger also found the boat to be inhabited by a small band of Ogres, led by an Ogre Mage, and served by a small band of giant skeletal scorpians. Jeremiah’s map showing the location of the boat also showed an old castle. At this point both Sage and James-the-angry used their magic abilities to make freinds with an owl and a mouse respectively. The animals gave information on the boat’s inhabitants and their habits. The party decided to retreat to the abandoned castle and to lure the Ogres to this location. Along the way the PCs were attacked by 4 of the skeletal scorpians and easily defeated them.

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Session 10 - On the road again
Please come talk to my associates...

After escaping the volitile situation in Guise, the characters were not only in-tact, but in possession of both the Ruby and the Illuninator. They put the two together and saw the map of the entire world for the first time. Off to the west, beoynd the Goblin Islands, lie the Hidden Islands. There the Holy Sword of Nicholas the Lich Slayer must be, according to the Fairy Queen.

So, off the party headed to the capital Par, then to the port city of Marsy. On the road one night, while sleeping, the party was attached by a hoard of skeletons commanded by two witches, one of whom looked familiar. They had a strange symbol on their outfits. The party managed to destroy the skeletons, but not before the two witches jumped off a cliff and then cast feather fall to escape. THe one witch looked quite similar to the female cleric who escaped in the same manner during the fight in the ruins of Nekeloti.

Further on down the road they were attacked again by two ogers who were under the control of Fizboth. Fizboth launched a fireball just before departing.

But, the PCs finally made it to the capital and found some slightly unreputable characters to trade their accumulated look for some magical weapons. Trades were made, but the criminal underground offered money for Black Dagger’s head. The PCs declined.

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Session 9
He'll recieve a fair trial and then be executed...

The flock was scattered and in trouble! Will the Holy Sword of Nikolas the Lich Slayer ever be found?!

Breca Wahrhaft had been disarmed and captured. James the Angry Half-Elf, Sage, and Michelle had fled to the Temple of Saint Fin. There they found a good hearted soul in Friar Jean-Pierre. Jean-Pierre sheltered them and healed their wounds. Meanwhile, Ryktbat Svanstone and BlackDagger fled Fizboth’s burning house without finding the Illuminator of Kos and caught up with Demonbreun and Mary Silfot. They all headed back to the Inn of the Black Sheep, where the kindy inn-keeper Frank did not rat them out the City Gaurd.

The next morning, a mysterious vaguely elven woman met Breca and offered to defend him before the Duke of Guise. But, it was not looking good. The other party members we told of the trial, either from Friar Jean-Pierre or from Frank. Frank also passed along a rumor about an approaching army.

The trial began in the town square, and it was not good for Breca. Fizboth and his servants all testified as to the murderous intent of the players. But, then an army was spotted coming over the hill and the whole town was thrown into chaos (and one poor city gaurd was thrown over the wall). Guise parlayed with the Duke of Macon, who had a sizable mercenary army with him. Guise turned to Fizboth for help in driving off this opposing army. Fizboth, however, quickly sized up the odds and decided to abscond from town under the pretense of “going back to the keep to fetch some magical instruments” to drive the army away.

Unfortunately for Fizboth, only 2 soldiers, but all pc’s (except Breca, who was still in the klink) followed and ambushed him. Ryktbat, in particular, cut down two of the keep’s gaurds who were standing in the way (alignment issue?). But, this gave Fizboth just enough time to get to his lab. Despite several magic missles, he dimension door-ed away just before the players could cut him down. The PC’s ransacked his lab, then got Breca out of the hoosegow. The only thing left was to search for the Illuminator. They searched the keep after Breca told them that the Duke’s gaurd had found it in the rubble of Fizboth’s house. On the way to the Duke’s private office, they found his family. The Duchess of Guise offered Ryktbat a nice flute after he threatened to kill her (definite alignment problem). They found both the Illuminator and a great quantity of gold, which Breca insisted they not take (as an LG character might).

After seeing the side gate heavily guarded, the PCs decided to climb the back wall while the City Gaurd was busy with the invading army. Ryktbat scaled the rear wall, threw down a rope, and the party got out of Dodge, Ruby, Illuminator, and all. The quest is saved!

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Session 8
...and we thought it was such a good plan

The massive DemonBreun had been staking out the Fortress of Nekoloti after hearing from his fellow “city gaurd” that the place was not only crawling with undead, but that a necromancer had taken up residence. After two days of careful but uneventful observation, DemonBreun knew something was afoot when a woman smashed through a a high window only to float down to earth, all the while dogging arrows from the fortress. Investigating, he found a company of heroes had already slain the necromancer. They joined company, realizing that their goals were in sync.

The orcs, who the party had managed to maintain an easy truce with, showed them the “haunted” room with the ruby. Breka detected the presence of evil, and the players were warned about “death and un-death” when Mary approached the ruby on a pedestal. A trap was unfortunalty missed, and Breka and Michelle got splashed with acid when the ruby was removed. Not only that, 4 zombies sprung our of niches in the wall. One nearly bit Breka’s arm off, but Sage managed to turn the foul creates.

After getting the Chartik Ruby, the players left the Fortress (after some tense moments with the orcs). It was at this point that Michelle has a confession – he was quite sure that Fizboth was going to double-cross the party. He told them of a small magical metal bird that he was supposed to release after they left the Fortress. The players hatched a plan to wait until they were within sight of Guise before releasing the bird.

On the way back, they ran into some unsavory characters along the way claiming to be part of the “Black Hand”, who has some type of beef with Black Dagger.

Once in sight of the City of Guise, the players let go of the bird. A short while later, they saw Krok, Fizboth’s valet and a person with some skill with a blade, depart the city on horse back. They took it as a sign that Fizboth did indeed plan to double cross them. At this point, an elaborate plan was hatched, whereby Mary would sneak in to his house and paralyze Fizboth. The rest of the players would be waiting outside in case anything went wrong. And boy oh boy, did things go wrong.

Sage and Demonbreun had their weapons confiscated upon entering the city. Breka, coming separately with black dagger turned on his charm to avoid a similar fate, while Michelle clumsily bribed a guard. Later that night they managed to avoid the patrols enough to rendezvous in the alley behind Fizboth’s manse. Mary, however, found all the doors trapped with traps she couldn’t quite figure out. Climbing to the second floor, she couldn’t get the window open. Breka’s righteous furry for vengeance (too righteous?) was impatient, so he knocked down the garden door. Demonbreun at the did the same for the front door. They rushed in and Michelle gave the servents a , “we’re taking down Fizboth…you’re either with us or against us!” They fled. Breka and Demonbraun rushed upstairs to find Fizboth out of bed and ready for a fight. Breka was vampiric touch’ed by a spectral hand, but gave Fizboth back a smack with the sword. Fizboth’s contagion was not able to infect the paladin. Demonbreun, fighting with the unfamiliar long sword lent to him by Michelle, was ineffective. Yet, Breka’s sword and Michelle’s magic missles made Fizboth think of escape. First he started blinking around the room, then into mid-air above the garden. He landed on an unsuspecting Black Dagger, then demension-door’ed away to safety just as Mary and Demonbreun came crashing through the second floor windows after him.

In the meantime, Fizboth’s other apprentice (besides Michelle) had joined the battle, faithful to his master. Seeing his master flee and his enemies multiply, he evoked a massive fireball at his feet – killing himself and nearly killing Michelle.

James, Ryktbar, and Black Dagger rushed in to save Michelle and the others. The latter two searched Fizboth’s now on-fire house while everyone else scattered. Breka tried to intercept the city guard while James and Sage carried Michelle the other way to the temple. Mary and Demonbreun, who had been trying to follow Fizboth, got scarce real quick. Black Dagger and Ryktbar spent another round searching through the fire for the Illuminator.

So, to recap, Fizboth is still alive, the players don’t have the Illuminator, Michelle is nearly on his death bed, Breka is looking to get arrested, and the whole town is crawling with the Duke’s soldiers. Oh well…it seemed like such a good plan.

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Session 7
long long ago in a room not so far away

The intrepid band of warriors continued their quest for the Chartik Ruby in the not so abondoned fortress in the wilds of the Core Lands. After some resting and wandering about, they band finally found their way out of the castle dongeon and into the light o the castle via a rope latter. They distrubed a crystal warrior in an old magical lab and a large shape changing cat – who may or may not have been friendly. (there was much dispute, but in the end Makeda decided to attack!). They were then attacked by enchanted furniture in one room and some fine scrolls in silver cases in another.

At last they stumbled on Calamantus, the necromancer whose fortress this was and who Fizboth said had the Ruby. While some party members tried to parley, they righteous Breca Wahrhaft stuck withour mercy. Two heavily armed dwarves and a female cleric popped out of a hidden door. Yet, while a band of unarmed school children have sometimes proven challenging for this bunch, this cabal of evil proved no match. The necromancers evil spells were no match for Breca’s hot steel sword. The dwarves also feel quickly in the onslaught. It looked as though the cleric would also fall, but she broke free, purused down the corridors by the Sage (his bravery will never be forgotten, except by this DM). He threw dagger after dagger, and just as it seemed the cleric would fall, she jumped through a window and using some mysterious power floated towards the ground and made a get away.

After recovering from the fight, the players made an uneasy truce with the orcs, whose former master could no longer pay their wages. The players agreed not to slay the orcs if the orcs showed them the location of the Ruby.

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