Monday, August 5, 2019

Things to Do

1. Finish scrapbooking the last adventure. Write a final summary.
2. Write out the next portion of the campaign -- the islands of infinity
2a. Don't forget about the interlude "A Night at Arquestans"
3. Put together a 5x5 matrix of information for the French campaign
3a. Figure out a better name for the French campaign
4. Blog about the islands of infinity

Friday, July 19, 2019

Session 62: Bones are the Pits

Our search for pieces of the Rod of Seven Parts had brought us to a large chamber with two cages suspended over deep pits. As Gal'akhr entered the dungeon room, two giant skeletons rose from the floor and began hurling bones at him. I harbored a certain amount of concern for him, given his weakened condition, so I extended my arcane ward to protect him from the osseous onslaught. Varis then paralyzed one of skeletons, allowing Gal'akhr and Volodemir to finish it off. Meanwhile, I cast several shatter spells at the second one, which Flint then charged, delivering the killing blow.

Just as the group began to relax (I, of course, am always relaxed), two bone weirds arose from the pits below the cages, threatening the skeletal integrity of the entire party. One of these monstrosities even charged my own person, leading to no small amount of alarm on my part! I was repaid for my good turn on Gal'akhr's behalf, however, as he leapt to my rescue, and we quickly dispatched the behemoths, being sure this time to destroy their accursed skulls.

Much deliberation ensued, from which I stood apart.

Eventually we pressed on and discovered a room which seemed to have once contained eight coffins but now contained only six, the remaining two replaced by pits spewing forth an eerie purple light. Upon entering this despicable tomb, six shadowy spirit demons materialized near the coffins. I called upon my arts to enact a force barrier that cut two of them off from the pack. My hope was to bottleneck the rest, allowing us to dispatch them one by one, but the accursed demons did not take the bait. They instead disappeared from view while we quickly eliminated the two that remained on our side of my barrier. Gal'akhr then bypassed the force wall entirely with a mighty leap and confronted the remaining four head-on. I subsequently dismissed the wall, allowing the party to converge on the hapless demons.

After the battle, we were left scratching our heads, searching for an egress, until, in a flash of inspiration, the bard Volodemir discovered a secret door in the chamber from which we had just come. This secret door led to a grotesque slide that ended in a grisly bone pit. Flint and Gal'akhr decided to give the slide a go, resulting in Flint nearly dying by way of a possessed bone shard. The rest of us arrived in the ossuary via more conservative methods and, no sooner had we taken the measure of the place, than an enormous bone golem rose to confront us.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Session 61: Cult of the Cannabalistic Cunt

Bowl inscription:
Story of Mother Thornheart. Must place story in correct order if  you wish to pass

4 doors labeled N, NE, SE, S

N - Let Them Eat Carrion
Scones illuminate a large banquet table filled with fine roasted meats and goblets of fine wine  as the party enters the room. Table filled with meats and goblets of wine. Seated at the table are three humanoid vultures tearing away at the meat and slurping red wine with their beaks [insert vulture gif from robin hood]

Vultures are jolly and beckon the group to join them. Stephen, Luke, and MacGyver cautiously do so in an attempt to lure information about the situation while Ghal’akar stands behind them. After a few sips, the illusion fades away. The once glorious roast reduced to putrid flesh and the vintage merlot to brown sludge.

The vultures begin laughing as those who partook became violently ill and are incompacitated for two rounds. Ghal’akar bolts into action, launching over the table and attacking the vultures. Death by 1,000 cuts.

Tablet appears after the demon birds were eliminated.
The feasting started at midnight and lasted through the night.
Mother Thornheart always cared for her special guests
She always said the tastiest and most tender meat was when they were frightened
Mother Thornheart served sweetest [un rea

NE - Some Pun about Trials
Sconces illuminate as the party enters the second chamber with Eerie shadows dancing across the walls and floors. Along the east and west walls feature four alcoves with red stone statues of a heavily robed humanoid figure. In the middle of the room lay a circle of glowing blue runes etched into the ground.

A low rumbling spreads across the chamber. A deep and trembling voice demands, “Step forward so your worthiness can be judged by the conclave of the father.”

Group debates next move. What does “worthiness” mean in this context? Who in the group would be the most worthy to stand in the presence in terms of this hell bound cannibal cunt? The group determines that shittiest member of the party is definitely Mike, who has just stood by watching his friends face death multiple times and done nothing. Ironically, his absence in this encounter also shielded him from the nomination. Ghal’akar, being the second shittiest, however was most injured from the last battle. Finally, Stephen the Decider steps forward and grabs the runes. As he does so, he is hit by a blast of lightning, temporarily losing 4 intelligence and becoming Stephen the Slightly Stoopid.

Tablet appears.
The trial was long and agonizing.
Mother Thornheart prepared.
Every action taken was questioned.
Multiple witnesses testified
In the end, Mother Thornhead One Swift Sentence

S - No Noose is Good Noose

Scones Illuminate! A stone platform in the middle of a room with a noose with 6 well-armed skeletons surrounding it, their armor rusted and pitted. Something about a bone white tree in the noose. A booming voice says “To find the stone, someone must swing”

Knowing full well that that voice is probably demanding a sacrifice, the group still attempts to pursue the least fatal options first. As the only member of the group capable of flying, Matt offers to be the guinea pig. He walks up and the noose and sticks his head in, planning to use his flying ability to avoid death by gravity. As he does so, the noose takes hold and begins to draw out his life force. Rob cuts the rope down to save Matt. A new noose rematerialized.

Suddenly, Stephen’s healing robot appeared and is used as the sacrifice.

The third stone tablet appears.
It took a band of warriors to …
To ensure Mother Thornheart…
Used every tool in her power to curse the warriors.
In the end, the tree claimed her life.

SE - Fond Adieu (Fondue)

The group enters the final door. As they walk along a corridor to the final boss, MacGyver notices a secret door with red, crusty, pudding-like substance over it. Slightly Stoopider Stephen  wipes a booger on the door. The group can’t get the door open. Ghal’akar tried to paint a key hole in the door with his marvelous pigments, but a hags head appears through the keyhole and the keyhole disappears. The group continues down and vows to come back later.

They enter the last chamber to see a glittering red pool. A fountain undulates with what appears to be blood pudding fountain. Maybe a former fondue pot for a cannibal? [Insert deadpool joke?]
Two skeletons scream, “Come and meet your death in a pool of blood.” Apparently literary finesse is not one of hell’s strong suits.

Ghal’akar was very much at death's door. The group manages to slay the skeletons and other stuff?

Tablet appears:
Mother Thornheart delighted in drowning guests in pools of blood. Relished the feeling of holding them down to fear for their life.
By doing so, was able to capture more souls.
Mother Thornheart was truly an artist.

Group returns to the secret door, takes blood pudding ooze from the chamber and smears it on it. The door opens to reveal a massive treasure room.
A mummified body (did we identify?)
Jewelry 9 something about Each alignment
6 black pearls worth 500 gold.
Something else
Magical items TBD

Return to the main room to lay the tiles in their places. Drowning, Feasting, Trial, and  Execution. Correct order. Something about telepathic scream - blood stops dripping from the eyes. Door or steps or something appears. Enter a new room.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Session 60: The One Where They Almost Die (What do you mean that doesn't narrow it down?)

The group enters a big large, cobweb covered room. A giant skeleton with green gem in their eye socket lumbers in the corner. As the group enter rooms, the giant’s voice fills the chamber, demanding a sacrifice. Skeletons emerge from the three corridors to the left and poison gas fills the entryway. We defeat the giant, and the skeletons collapse

The group finds 750 gold and adds the green gem to MacGyver’s haversack MacGyverSack™.

After clearing out the room, the group wanders down the hallway and enter another room. 
Clearly designed by someone with a predilection for anagrams, each of the three sides of the room contains three nooks with a giant letter in front of each doorway.

MacGyver looks up and sees four inanimate scarecrows lurking above, but the group is too focused on the puzzle above to listen. Still woozy from the poison gas, MacGyver shrugs it off as a hallucination and doesn’t press the matter.

As the group squabbles over the appropriate interpretation of the foreshadowing riddle, Rob grows weary of talk, and forges ahead. As he steps on the giant A in front of the first door to the left. Immediately bone shards fly out of the walls, pummeling an already injured group.

After much deliberation, the group decides to have Flint, the least-damaged member of the group, to spell out Graveyard while the rest hide in the entrance alcove. As he reaches the midway point, the four scarecrows lurking above, suddenly animate and descend from the rafters in ambush.

The scarecrows let out terrifying screeches like hillbilly banshees sent from depths of hell. The screams strike unnatural terror into the crew, leaving most of the party paralyzed in fear and striking psychic damage into the minds of the unafraid.

The party falls and Flint is the only one left standing.

Flint casts healing onto Macgyver. MacGyver and Lynnya regain consciousness. Under cover of is fallen and fearfall comrades, MacGyver sits up and draws his longbow on one of the skeletons and hits it. Stephen casts fireball on the scarecrows and sets them aflame as they fall to their death. 

As the last ash falls to the ground, a faint Zelda-like sound effect is heard in the background as the large middle tile opens up to reveal a large red gem.

Flint heals the rest of the group a little, returning them to consciousness. MacGyver discovered a hidden treasure chest containing.
10k in gold pieces
Stone of absorption
Sovereign Glue
Scarab of Protection
Belt of Fire Giant Strength

Gahl'Akhar grabbed the Belt, promising to give it to Goblin later. This might lead to a dance-off. The group exits the temple and makes camp in the woods, taking a long rest. Gahl'Akhar regains his missing bones, and proceeds to walk around the camp flicking off everyone in the party and giggling like an adolescent child.

The party returns to the mausoleum, and enters. The put the stones in the skulls eyes. Another faint Zelda-like sound effect is heard in the background as the skull’s mouth opens and reveals a hidden set of stairs. The stairs lead to a long chamber.

Two “well endowed” demon statues great the party on each side of the room. Behind the  statues, the party can see two arched doorways on each side leading out of the room. 

On the far wall, the party sees a small platform with a 10ft tall statue of a “matronly” woman holding a bowl in her hands with a faint inscriptions the group can’t quite make out. Blood tears ooze out of her stone eyes and pools in the bowl. In front of the statue, there are four square stone indentations about a foot deep, where it looks like tiles are missing.

As the party is deliberating how to proceed with what is obviously a trap triggered by crossing the demon statue line, Matt wonders further into the room crossing the invisible threshold. As he does so, the demon statues start to come to life.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Session 59: Weird Bones

Ghal'kar composed this song after several of his bones were eaten by a bone weird.

To be performed to the tune of Tha Crossroads by Bone Thugs-n-Harmony

Bone Bone Bone Bone Bone Bone Bone

Tell me what cha gonna do?

When the bone wraiths come for you?

The Fighter is now missing bones

Some of his bones are alone,

Bones shouldn’t be alone

I’m missing all my bones

My bones are getting bonely

Give me back my bones please, I need them in my knees

Please please, can’t bend my knees, This is a new disease,

The clerics pray and they pray and they pray,

Everyday everyday everyday

But still my bones are away are away are way

My bones should be with their family, inside of me

But instead they are hiding, outside my body they are residing

I should be laughing, but instead I am chaffing

My foes I should be gaffing, but instead I’m waffling

When my bones went bye bye, all I could was cry,

and make those bone wraiths die

Why?? And I miss my uncle Jones, yall.

I sure could use his bones

Bone Bone Bone Bone Bone Bone Bone

Please give me back my bones,

or I am gonna take some bones and add them to my bones

so my bones wont be alone,

a lone bone sure gets bonely

So clerics pray and they pray and they pray

Everyday everyday everyday everyday

So clerics pray and they pray and they pray

Everyday everyday everyday everyday

Give this man back his bones!

See you at the crossroads, crossroads, crossroads
So my bones won’t be lonely
See you at the crossroads, crossroads, crossroads
So my bones won’t be lonely
See you at the crossroads, crossroads
So my bones won’t be lonely
See you at the crossroads, crossroads

And I'm gonna miss every bone in my body
And I'm gonna miss every bone when they’re gone
And I'm gonna miss every bone in my body
And I'm gonna miss every bone in my body
And I'm gonna miss every bone in my body

Gotta stay strong

When the day comes, I am gonna get them bones,

My bones won’t be alone, they will be in my body.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Session 58: Showdown under the Black Tomb!

Picture by Andra-MutantKitty

Go to the Bard’s village, they said. It’ll be fun, they said. We’re on day 2 and I’ve seen more corpses than a gods damned undertaker. And, gods, the smell. You can smell rotting shit for five miles. No wonder the Bard left.

So there we were before this massive mausoleum. We heard a witch’s horrifying cackle and then the cemetery grounds began to heave and shift around us. Three great mounds of grave dirt, with rotted roots for sinews and broken tombstones like gnashing teeth, arose around us.

The goliath barked out some words to his god in his guttural, brutish tongue, and, oddly, a sheep made of crackling energy answered his call and head-butted one of the grave dirt monsters. Taking up his hammer, the goliath joined his minion, striking at the creature with a wicked crack of thunder. Meanwhile, that handsome elf we met back in the village nocked and fired an arrow at another of the mounds. Watching his nimble fingers play along the bowstring sent a shiver down my spine.

Just then, a bolt of bluish light lanced down toward the Bard from atop the mausoleum, where the witch had been waiting for an ambush. The Bard’s tongue was faster though and, with a quick word of magic, an energy field sprung up around him. The witch’s beam of light washed over the shield and dissipated. With the witch revealed, the big warrior, despite his heavy armor, clamored up the wall of the mausoleum and threw his hammer at the witch. He’s got shit aim though and the hammer sailed way over the dead bitch’s head. The dwarf took up his own hammer then and gave the grave mound next to him a good bash.

The Bard pointed at me with that stick he’s always going on about and I felt a kind of tingle. Then he climbed up the side of the mausoleum next to the big warrior. As I watched him climb up, I realized I was still eye level with him. I looked down and nearly dropped my bow when I saw I was floating twenty feet above the ground. Fucking crazy Bard could have warned me he was gonna do that. Snapping back to reality, I fired a couple arrows at the mound the goliath was beating with his hammer. Then the grave dirt monsters took turns pounding the shit out of the dwarf. Not that he minded, he’s more or less a pile of rock himself. Certainly moves like one at least.

A night fog began to roll in. Towards us. From different directions. With no wind...Not fog! Wraiths! A whole bunch of wraiths surrounding us. Shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit!

The goliath struck another blow with his hammer but then doubled over in pain from some kind of rotting magic that stuck with him after being hit by the mounds. I think the same thing happened to the dwarf but I can’t tell. His expression never changes. The dwarf grumbled a prayer and a wave of healing energy spread out from him. It was a good thing too since I had five of those damn wraiths swirling around me, taking swipes. That handsome elf fired some more arrows at one of the mounds while the warrior marched toward the witch and lashed out with his sword. I couldn’t heard the clang of metal though because the Bard called down a spell of silence to blanket the area around the mausoleum. Good thing too, don’t want that dead bitch cackling spells at us all night.

The Bard dodged between a pair of wraiths, drawing his sword as he leapt, and stabbed at the witch. His aim was a little off though since he took a swipe from one of the wraiths on his way. More of the wraiths gathered around him and then he went down. Meanwhile, the warrior and the witch traded blows, the warrior striking with his glowing sword and the witch lashing out with her twisted, skeletal hands. A few of the wraiths streaked past the dwarf, raking him with their ephemeral claws, and then the grave mound engulfed him whole. I fired a couple arrows at the witch but I had to dodge a couple wraiths clawing at me and the shots went wide.

Just then, the goliath roared and a massive boom of thunder echoed through the graveyard directly below me, sending a shock wave through the mass of wraiths and grave mounds all around us. The wraiths, their wispy bodies disrupted by the shock wave, appeared diminished. And one of the grave mounds outright shattered from the force of the thunder.

The witch, hearing the thunder and realizing the Bard’s silence was disrupted, grinned and croaked some arcane words. Gesturing toward the warrior, a bolt of dark energy crackled from her outstretched claw and struck the warrior, causing him to stumble and fall. Meanwhile, a number of wraiths gathered menacingly around the hooded elf as he struck out with his bow.

Then something odd happened. The mound that had engulfed the dwarf shuddered, lurched to a halt, and slumped forward. It then seemed to rise up and, with one earthy hand, punched two holes at its front, side by side, and then made a slash underneath. It looked like…a smiling face? It then turned toward the other mound next to it and, just as it was about to clobber the goliath, the smiling mound tackled it. Slightly confused but taking advantage of the momentary reprieve, the goliath called out a prayer and summoned a wave of healing energy and I saw the Bard and the warrior both stir.

From the ground, the Bard spoke a word of power and there was a loud crack like a whip that engulfed the witch, causing several bones in her skeletal form to crack and sunder. The warrior, jumping to his feet, lashed out with his sword, damaging the witch’s decrepit form even further. Focusing all fire on the witch, I took another couple of shots, striking her in the shoulder and torso. Then the wraiths, shrugging off the disruption from the goliath’s thunder, swarmed again, and the Bard and warrior slumped to the ground once more. The goliath too, though stalwart and formidable, was brought lo by the wraiths.

Sensing victory nearly in her grasp, the witch began an unholy chant that made the hair on the back my neck stand on end. Power gathered around her and the air grew colder as her magic swelled. As her spell began to take form, the elf raced up the smiling mound to gain a vantage, causing his hood to draw back as he did so. As he nocked an arrow, a streak of dawn’s first light fell upon him, lighting his mane of golden hair, long and luxurious down his back, though shorn and cropped close at his brow, and he appeared like some kind of fiery eladrin. As he released the arrow, I couldn’t help but swoon and begin to cream my knickers. The arrow flew straight and true, striking the witch squarely in her jaw just as she was finishing her spell. Her final word of power disrupted, the dark energy swirling around her imploded, shattering her skeletal form into dust. With a nightmarish shriek, we saw her wispy spirit float down into the crypt below.

The wraiths, unbound with the witch’s destruction, dissipated as dawn broke the horizon. The two grappling grave mounds both crumbled and broke asunder. The dwarf, covered in dirt and the dust of shattered tombstones, shook himself loose from the remains of the smiling mound.

We tended our wounds and gathered our strength under the grace and protection of the sun, knowing that with nightfall, we would need to enter the crypt and battle the forces of evil and death once more. For, as the Bard would say, two witches, a coven doth not make. Or some other such useless poetry.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Session 57: The Black Graveyard

Sometimes in life the easiest thing to do is to focus on what’s right in front of you. You see an undead dragon flying with what appears to be an undead woman directing it. You know that this is an abomination and cannot stand. The living will not suffer this and must return these things to the soil. Though we were offered no aid from the people of Volodimer's home we knew what are had to do. We had our task in front of us: to save the living and lay the undead to rest.

After dispatching these things we took our rest and recouped our losses. Sadly, a large number of the town folk were slain by the undead. We offered thoughts and prayers for the dead but knew our task was not finished. Time for us to be off to the cemetery to deal with the witches we had been warned of.

I imagine that the cemetery would have been better defended from the witches had it been less than half a day’s journey from the town. What sort of ceremonies do they have for the dead in this town that requires it to be so far away? Regardless, we arrived and set ourselves to the task as night was fast approaching. From a distance we could see that the cemetery was already in disrepair. We thought that we spied a giant skull on a mausoleum but were attacked by two purple worms before we could figure this out. No sooner did these beasts attack than one of them swallowed Werr-Boy. Flint and his mechanized companion have a knack for being made meals of, although they always seem to make it out. Our wizard was able to displace one of the beasts to another plane of existence while we focused our attention on the other worm. Our combined efforts proved to be enough to destroy the worm but not before it sprayed its poison on some of the group. Sick and vomiting we fought on and once the other beast returned to this plane of existence we destroyed that one as well. Our warlock’s patron wasn’t able to protect him and he suffered greatly from the poison spray. Daylight was fading and time was against us but we needed a moment to cure some of the ailments of our group. Flint and Volodimer granted by magical means the feeling of a great rest to the group. Pushing on we entered the dilapidated cemetery. Judging by the surroundings we knew it was only a matter of time before we were set upon by the witches or their undead forces and we weren’t let down. Once again a hodgepodge of bones put together to resemble another creature much larger and potentially more dangerous came to defend their undead masters. Knowing that this was just the start of the creatures that would attack us I decided to save some of my magic for the witches. Galacart, sword in hand, and I, swinging my hammer, ran to engage two of the three creatures. Aided by out allies using ranged attacks we took these things down with great haste.

This place needed a sacrament and I wanted Flint and I to consecrate the grounds. Before we could even discuss this we heard what sounded like teeth grinding. I heard a voice telling me that I killed “her sister”, although I wasn't sure if this was audible to the group or strictly in my head. From some of the expressions on the faces of my companions I thought they may have heard something similar. Assuming the giant skull on the mausoleum was about to open we scattered to one side so as to not be caught off guard by whatever would come out of the mausoleum. Things were not to go so well for us. Three shambling grave mounds sprang up and surrounded the group. Time to steel ourselves for this next and hopefully final battle with the undead. Time will tell if the Gods shine down on us!

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Sessions 55-56: The Witch Fiend Attacks!

Returning to to visit my ancestral village, Amberdale, has been a bittersweet affair. I was excited to hear from my mentor, the esteemed Barondo, but saddened to read of the circumstances surrounding his missive.

With all due haste and concern, my companions and I traveled the many leagues to the bogs and forests of my homeland. As we neared the village perimeter, my heart was a-flutter with the thought of returning from a long journey. However, my elation was shattered when wraiths appeared from the very air and brazenly attacked my companions and I in the middle of the open road. Unforgivable! We made short work of the restless shades and entered the village proper. Heading to the inn, I reunited with Barondo who explained that my family curse was perhaps to blame for the peril now facing the village. It seems that my father’s inadvertent defilement of the hallowed cemetery grounds left a stain of wickedness over the area. Later, a witch worked her unholy magics over the site, opening a rift to dark lands through which all manner of living dead poured. Even as we spoke, Barondo related that, with nightfall, a horde of undead would descend upon the village, intending to drag it down into ruin. With my companions in tow, I resolved to defend my ancestral homelands with my last breath.

With dusk fast approaching, we had little time to see to the village’s defenses. We were able to sequester many of my people in the old keep overlooking the river, while others took refuge in the hallowed grounds of the village temple. While I set about bolstering the innkeeper’s resolve and ensuring that the remaining villagers were able to hide within the inn, my warrior friend worked to rally a defensive force from the able-bodied men of the village. Sadly, my people being an insular lot and he lacking my command of words, the warrior was less successful than I hoped. Still, he was able to provide another defensive structure to protect my people with his magical citadel even if he was not able to convince them to aid in their own defense.

Soon enough, night was upon us. Out of the forest, on the far side of the river, a mob of skeletons, some stained by time and others, the bleached white of new death, shambled forth, intent upon the village. We fell upon the horde with spell, arrow, and hammer. Between the two priests, a host of hammers, rams, chisels, anvils, and other wonders sacred their gods wheeled and buzzed, shattering the magic animating skeletons with every pass. The warlock, meanwhile, called upon his eldritch powers to blast the hordes from existence. High up on the bluff, a newcomer, not of the village but welcome nonetheless, fell upon the undead with his bow. Though the horde seemed endless, their depravity could not stand up to our righteous defense of Amberdale.

Just as we finished the last of the skeletons, we heard screams coming from the inn. Running to investigate, I was horrified to find that a pair of wraiths had managed to sneak behind our lines and decimate the population of inn. Of perhaps a hundred of my people hiding at the inn, only a score survived the wraiths’ onslaught. Though we dispatched them quickly, many a soul were lost to their wickedness.

Sadly, a similar fate awaited the villagers taking refuge in the old keep. Another three wraiths beset them, killing many before we could save them. Luckily, the magic of the warrior’s instant citadel and the sacred grounds of the temple appeared to hold the wraiths at bay. But the loss of so many of my people pains me beyond measure.

I called upon the Rod of Seven Parts to grant me the agility of the wind and took to the air, scouting the nearby area any sign of the witch causing all of this mayhem and death. Unfortunately, though I thought I saw a shadow flicker over the moon, it must have been my imagination for the witch yet eluded my gaze. I did, however, spot a second group undead shuffling through the forest on the way to village. They assembled on the far river bank, preparing sweep over the town and drag all of us down into their unholy existence.

My heart cried out for justice for my people. It was time to take the battle to these wretches. Grasping the dwarf with one hand, I sliced through time and space with the other, creating a door of magic. With the dwarf in tow, I stepped through the gate, bringing us both into the midst of the undead horde. Immediately, my companion crushed one of the gems of his magical helmet and a great wall of fire sprung up before us, laying waste the undead horde and cutting their army in half. Just then, a bolt of lightning streaked into the army’s flank, following the path of the warrior’s magical javelin as it sailed into the air and embedded into one of the skeletons. Meanwhile, the goliath called upon god to unleash a great storm of lightning upon the enemy as he called down bolt after bolt into their midst. Surrounded as we were, the horde of undead clawed, hacked, and bit at the dwarf and I. With a quick word of the arcane tongue, a shield of force interposed itself before their advance. And my dwarven friend, practically carved from the living rock himself, was unfazed by the their attack. Still more arrows and blasts of eldritch power rained down upon the undead from the far side of the river where the warlock, Lynnya, and our mysterious new ally stood.

This horde though was not the simple brood we had dispatched before. These undead were bolstered by their dark master in some way. They were more robust, harder to destroy. And where we failed to destroy them, they were able to sacrifice themselves, detonating in a blast of fel power. Such was the fate of the skeleton impaled by the warrior’s enchanted javelin, and so the javelin itself. The undead behind the wall of fire, smoldering from the flames before them, broke over the wall, crashing over each other to reach the sides of the wall, creating bottlenecks at each end. The two clerics, with spirits once again flitting all about them, channeled the undead through their energy fields, dispatching many of them whilst I felled many a skeleton with a blow from my sword, enchanted as it was to dispatch the undead. Though it was a formidable battle, we, the hand of righteous justice, prevailed against the horde of evil.

Taking a moment to address our wounds following the battle, I heard a woman’s cackling issue from the half shattered skull of one of the defeated skeletons strewed on the banks of the river. Her cackling, mocking and arrogant, told me that this long night was not yet over.

As the mists of midnight rolled over the town, a quartet of osseous abominations emerged from the forest. They looked as though they had been pieced together from the bones of all manner of creature, from horse skulls to bear claws and the hooves of cattle and goats’ horns. The magic pulling them together glowed deep within their bony crevices with a hellish, infernal light.

As the undead constructs marched toward the river, the dwarf crushed another of the gems of his helmet, causing another wall of fire to appear. As before, the abominations, charred but unbowed by the flames, hastened toward the sides of the fiery wall to resume their march. As they rounded the corner of the wall, with the withering of another of the gems, the dwarf unleashed a dazzling display of color and light and rays of power washed over the creatures. Diminished, they yet marched on.

Just then, the shadow I had glimpsed flickering over the moon suddenly made itself manifest. My heart nearly leapt from my chest as a dragon, its wings tattered and bone peeking through cracks and holes in its leathery hide, descended. However, when I saw the crone, wizened and withered, perched between the dragon’s exposed shoulder blades, I felt the fervor of righteousness rise within me, for my enemy had at least made the error of showing herself.

The warlock intoned alien words of power over his sword, causing it to darken with eldritch power. With such a weapon in hand, he leapt forward to attack the abominations still rushing toward us. With the destruction of another of the gems in his helm, the dwarf unleashed another barrage of light and power at the dragon and its master. Despite its size and undead state, the dragon was surprisingly nimble in flight. It thus managed to avoid the most devastating rays of magic that raced toward it, merely being grazed by the magic. The dragon then changed its trajectory, raking its claws across the goliath as it passed. Incensed, the cleric called upon his storm god to rebuke creature for this offense. With a flash of lightning and a clap of thunder, the dragon fell from the sky. It was then that, with another gem of the dwarf’s helm meeting its ultimate end, another blast of radiance erupted toward the dragon. This time, neither the dragon nor the crone would escape the scorching rays of power arcing toward them.

Meanwhile, while we tended to the dragon and the crone, the warrior and our new found ally joined the warlock in dispatching the skeletal constructs bearing down upon us. The battle to come is perilous but, as the righteous hand of fate and law, we must prevail. I will have justice for death of my kinsmen and vengeance for the ruin and destruction this unholy witch has visited upon my ancestral homeland!

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Session 55 prologue: A message arrives

It has been three and a half months since the Abolitionists returned from the cloud giant keep. Volodemir was taking a rare night off from performing at the Golden Cockatrice -- the famous elven bard Aloria was there for a few days, and was every bit as good as her reputation. As the party enjoyed their evening, the door to the inn flew open, and a travel begrimed messenger ran in. "Volodemir! Is Volodemir here? I have a message," he cried. "Hello, I am Volodemir," came the familiar response. "Father Barondo sent me. He needs your help!" The messenger handed a letter to Volodemir. Flint waved a server over to get the messenger a drink while Volodemir began to read.

Dear Volodemir, it is said that the transgressions of the father fall on the son, yet I never thought the desecration your father wrought would fall upon this town so much later, and so terribly. The Black Graveyard has become home to a wretched evil which uses the power of Law to reach through the hole Manchenko rent and summon all matter of monstrosities. Amberdale is sorely beset -- please come with all haste to aid us and redeem your father's failures.

As Volodemir finishes reading, the Abolitionist turn to other, and they begin to discuss what they should do next.