Friday, May 13, 2016

Session LXXX: Don't Mess With The Red Wizard

Continuing our ongoing Swords and Wizardry sandbox campaign...

Current Player Characters:
Torvin Fulvousmith (Dwarf)
Minimus (Cleric)
Thenus (Ranger)
Wang Du (Monk)
Centari (Elf)
Skwanky (Halfling)
Wolfheir (Viking)
Arg (Half-orc)  Biggs (Henchman)

NPCs
Fermina (fighter)
Liedrada (Magic-user)
Alar (Elf)
Veleda (Halfling)
Antiope (thief)

Entering deeper into Gimmwood in search for the tower of the Red Wizard, the party felt the oppressive vibe of the forest. Travel was easy, though, with the map that they had recovered from the Red Wizard's henchman back in the Were-Rat caves and, lead by Thenus the Ranger, good progress was made.

In the early morning hours of the third day, their nightly watches spotted a war-band of goblins and hobgoblins, lead by a Bugbear, sniffing around the trail. Rousing the other members of the party, they set an ambush and with a blast of lightening from Centari, destroyed the raiding party.

On the fifth day they arrived at the clearing where stood the Red Wizard's tower which looked abandoned.  Leaving some of the party and horses in the edge of the wood, Torvin and Wang explored around the perimeter of the tower looking for a secret entrance fearing that the front door, enhanced with magic, was trapped.  Thenus and Wolf searched the woods for some hidden passage that would lead to the tower while Centari contemplated how to get beyond the enchanted door.  With no other options but the front door, Centari dispelled all magic surrounding it, the door was kicked in and the party entered.

Walking down a long narrow hall, Wolf was attacked through murder holes in the passage by invisible foes.  Hurrying down the hall and into a plush chamber with floating candles, the party prepared themselves for battle as doors within the chamber opened and their Invisible Stalkers attacked.  Thenus was able to fire an arrow into one of the magical creatures that helped the party hunt it down but not before Wang fell dead.  Wolf and Minimus pulled one of the tapestries off the wall and tried to cover the invisible creature.  After a couple of attempts, they succeed and the party was able to kill the fiend.

Licking their wounds, they explore some of the rooms off the main chamber and find an armory.  Minimus only take some of the choice weapons out of there.  Beyond another door, Centari found a stone golem waiting to be activated.  Avoiding all of this, they headed up a flight of stairs into another plush parlor with fine tapestries and an ornate chess board.

Wary of the chess board and thinking it might be a good idea for reinforcements after Wang's death, the party descended and left the tower for the woods and their friends.  This proved to be a fatal error as the Red Wizard happened to be standing upon the roof of the tower and spied the armed intruders leaving his abode.  After a shouted warning, the wizard sent down a fireball to wipe out the party. With the party scattered like ashes and badly wounded, some rushed back into the tower lead by Arg while Minimus and Centari battled the wizard with spells flying.

With the spell-casters not making much headway, the Red Wizard ducked back into the tower while Minimus and Centari rushed back into the tower with their friends.  It was soon decided to throw caution to the wind and storm up the stairs to find the wizard.

On the third floor they came to a magically locked door.  Liedrada, using her ESP learned that he Red Wizard was beyond the door waiting for them.  When the party tried to open the door, a hidden chamber opened and out stepped a Flesh Golem.  Minimus and Arg fought the creature until it lay dead.  A plan was formed that Arg, the party's most powerful warrior, would be cast in a sphere of silence, and, after, Centari would dispell the magically locked door, Arg would rush in and trap the wizard in silence while the others rushed in to attack.  This was a fine plan but, unbeknownst to them, the Red Wizard was reading their thought and prepared his defense.

After Centari freed the door, Arg kicked it open but the Red Wizard enchanted the mighty warrior who became a slave.  The Wizard sent the powerful Arg against his former teammates and he rushed down the stairs at them...



Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Session LXXIX: One Dragon? Two Dragons? Who's Counting?

Continuing our ongoing Swords and Wizardry sandbox campaign...

Current Player Characters:
Torvin Fulvousmith (Dwarf)
Minimus (Cleric)
Thenus (Ranger)
Wang Du (Monk)
Centari (Elf)
Skwanky (Halfling)
Biggs (Henchman)

With a quick resurrection spell, Minimus raised (the un-killable) Skwanky from the dead, who, in addition to being quite pale due to his run in with the Soul Gem, is also charred black from the Centari's fireball attack as well as being a were-rat having been struck by a poison needle.

With the party all together once again and the were-rat's defeated and destroyed, they continued to explore the throne room of the still sizzling Rat-King.  Finding his bedchamber they also found an unlocked heavy oak chest.  After assuring everyone that the chest wasn't trapped, Wang Du opened the chest which exploded a puff of poison gas.  As everyone dove for cover, the Dwarf, who was occupied with the stonework of the chamber fell dead.  

After letting the chamber air out, it was thought best to rest for the night and head back to town in the morning, against the wishes of Wang Du who wanted to continue to explore the rest of the tunnels.  

With the party refreshed, Miniumus healed the wounded and brought the dead dwarf, Torvin, back to life.  

Making their back way though the tunnels and back to their camp in the hills, they find a tied and beat-up Biggs who was left as a message from the ogres that the party had beaten up a few nights prior.  With their horses taken by the Ogres, the party used their raft to float victoriously back to Berkenstok.

The town is quite thrilled to have their drinking supply safe once again but there is concern that there is more afoot than appears.  However, the celebration is cut short over at the Hackyshack Inn when the party finds that another group of adventurers had explored Xlarthan's ruins, fought a dragon and returned with treasure and the magical Soul Gem!


There was much debate over the truth of this tale as our party, in the explorations in Xlarthan's ruins, had discovered not one but two dragons within the depths.  It was there that Skwanky had given the dragons the Soul Gem.  The new group insisted that they had fought only one dragon.  Wang Du laughed and insisted that there were two dragons and that the one living dragon will come to town and seek vengeance upon the town. This, of course, frightens the townsfolk, but the rival party insisted that there was only a single dragon.  This went on and almost came to blows but eventually it was put to rest with a wait and see attitude.  However, the argument then shifted as to who owned the Soul Gem.  Skwanky felt it was theirs since his friends were trapped inside while the rival party claimed it as they had found it after slaying a dragon.  It was decided to have the local wizard, Mystor, try to free Skwanky's friends and then afterwards, the rival party would keep the gem for themselves.

After a week of rest and recovery and wizardly research, Mystor had successfully freed Arg the half-orc, Wolfheir the Viking, and Torvin the cleric of the Black Church (who have been trapped in the Soul Gem since session 59)

Minimus, follower of Mithra, wished not to travel with Torvin of the Black Church as the two sects are currently at war with each other over the death of Baron Blackmore.  Minimus captures Torvin and throws him in the dungeon beneath the Berkenstok's church.

With their old friends back and the rival party their new friends, Mystor and Mayor Tubbutter talked with the party about dealing with the Red Wizard in the Grimmwood.  It was decided that the Red Wizard must be confronted for his attack on the town and that the two parties would unite to accomplish this.

The next day, the the last horses that the town could offer up, the extended party left Berkenstok, crossed the River Blackmore and entered the Grimm Hills seeking the Red Wizard.  The first night of their journey didn't go as planned as they were waylaid by  large party of roving bandits.  However, this proved fatal to the bandits as the veteran warriors of the party literally made mincemeat of those brigands before they even had a chance to retreat back into the darkness. 

The rest of the night proved peaceful and the next morning the party left the hills and entered the Grimmwood...



Friday, April 1, 2016

Session LXXVIII: Rat-Man Down

Current Player Characters:
Torvin Fulvousmith (Dwarf)
Minimus (Cleric)
Thenus (Ranger)
Wang Du (Monk)
Centari (Elf)
Skwanky (Halfling)
Biggs (Henchman)

With the entire party floating into the dark cave on a raft of their own construction, they came into a depressed pool in the center of a very large cavern.  With various members taking turns peering over the rim and into the cave, it was Wang Du who spotted a large rat-like creature that ran off down a tunnel. 

With the coast clear, the party decided to follow the creature down one of the many tunnels exiting from the large cavern.  Thenus, tracked the creature through the dark tunnels and eventually up various natural 'stairs' including passing a deep stinking pit with a gurgling sound emanating from it's depths.  It was here that Thenus discovered that the tracks changed from large rodent-like to more human.  Hmm, were-rats perhaps?

Continuing up the stairs, the party found themselves at a dead end, and, Centari, searching for a secret door, discovered it.

Opening the stone door, the party entered into a type of torture chamber which they deduced was recently vacated due to the fact of an unfinished game of cards on a table. But upon exploring the horrific chamber, Thenus shouted out a warning and helped avoid an ambush from three hidden wererats! With a quick battle the lycanthropes were destroyed.

Listening to a wooden door, Wang heard hushed voices.  Skwanky opened the door but received a pinprick that apparently had no ill affect on the halfling - or so it seemed.  In the large chamber beyond were more wererats, a few giant rats and a cleric of the Black Church!  With arrows and swords flashing, the rats were dispatched as were two of the were-creatures but one had escaped through a far doorway.  As for the evil cleric, he was bewitched and under the control of Centari!  Questioning the cleric, it is discovered that somewhere within these tunnels ruled a Rat-King who was working for a mysterious Red Wizard who lived in a distant tower in the Grimmwood.  The Cleric was but a messenger between the Red Wizard and the Rat-King who was under orders from the wizard to poison the village of Berkenstok for some darker unknown purpose. 

While the questioning was going on, Skwanky the halfling went pale and suddenly turned into a were-rat (due to the pin-prick at the door)!  He hissed at his former friends and rushed out the far door. 

With the questioning of the cleric complete, he was promptly murdered.

The party decided to go after Skwanky to try and save him and followed his path outside the door, down a short hall and to the entrance to a larger chamber.  Feeling that their presence was known and that they were looking at an ambush, the party burst through the door.  Beyond was a grotesque chamber painted in blood with scenes of were-rats eating humans and worshiping a giant rat-god.  More of a concern, however, were the 50 crawling giant rats, the larger were-rat guards and a hulking Rat-king who quickly downed a potion and disappeared! But as the creatures rushed towards the door, Centari raised his hands, uttered some magic words and from his finger, a tiny spark flew which grew and grew until it engulfed the cursed hall in an explosive ball of flame!

With all the rat creatures dead and smouldering and the hulking Rat-king on the floor sizzling like bacon, the only one left standing from that barrage was Skwanky the were-rat, now blacked and burnt, who rushed his former compatriots!  Wang Du stepped up and, with some mystical hand-kick-hand-finger combo, laid poor Skwanky onto the floor dead!

The party pondered their next move....


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Marvel Value Stamp

Yes, still working on these...
More Value Stamps here and more to come...

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Session LXXVII: Penetrating Deeper Into The Stinky Crack*

*Yes, this was an actual quote from our last session, and yes, our Swords and Wizardry campaign has returned!
Current Player Characters:
Torvin Fulvousmith (Dwarf)
Minimus (Cleric)
Thenus (Ranger)
Wang Du (Monk)
Centari (Elf)
Biggs (Henchman)
 

Having spent the winter and spring in Berkenstok resting after many wild adventures, the bones of our intrepid adventurers are again getting restless. Especially after another group of explorers had come through town a week prior looking for the Ruins of Xlarthan's Tower, the same dungeon ruins that were so recently explored. However, these explorers have not returned from their explorations.

But that is the least of the towns worries. Last winter the town drunk, Rudy Brownbottom was found in the street dead. Many thought Rudy had drunk himself to death. Within a week there were two more deaths due to a mysterious sickness. The anxiety in Berkenstok became palatable as the worried townsfolk talked of a plague. But without any further incidents, the town fell back into it's lazy ways.

However, towards the end of spring, another Berkenstok native fell to this sickness. As summer progressed, more townsfolk came down with this mysterious sickness and soon died. Hardly a week went by where news of a new death shakes this close knit community it it's bones. And without the expert grave digging of Gygash Graves who fell bravely exploring the dungeons beneath Xlarthatn's ruined tower the bodies have piled up.

The townsfolk were grim and Mayor Tubbutter was desperate....
 
So it was good that our world weary warriors were sobering up with a morning beer at the Hacky Shack Inn where a town meeting was being held to determine what to do about this plague.  When Sally Pumpkins, everyone's favorite promiscuous bar wench failed to show up for her morning duties, a young child was sent to Sally's room to rouse her but when this child's scream was heard and the entire patronage ran to see what was the matter, they found poor Sally dead of the plague, though she was quite well only the night before!

Something definitely needed to be done quickly!

It was soon determined that the source of the sickness might be coming from a source of water.  With the town well being dry and folks getting their water from the river, a brief examination of the River Blackmoore proved to provide a clue as to the source of this sickness; a barely visible oily slick was coming from upriver to affect the town.  And, after some research with various found maps including one found deep within Xlarthan's tower, it was determined that the source was coming from somewhere between Berkenstok and Blackmoore.

Map discovered in the dungeons beneath the ruins of Xlarthan's tower.
 So with a general destination and supplied horses, our adventurers crossed the river and traveled along the hilly north shore of the river.  However, by mid-day, they came across a group of Ogres with barrels along the river shore. As the Ogres charged the party, a lightening bolt from Centari killed half of them and sent the rest running off into the hills.  The party's thought that the Ogres were pouring some kind of poison into the water proved false as it seemed that the Ogres were only filling up barrels with water for their own supply.

Frustrated, Wang Du talks with some of the flora and fauna and they tell him that they too have noticed that the local river water is not quite right but after a particular bend upriver, the water is again clear.

After traveling the rest of the day, the part found a place to camp for the night.  However, their sleep was disturbed by another group of warrior Ogres out for revenge.  After a call to arms and a brief battle, the party was victorious and with an Ogre prisoner.  Questioning him the party found that the ogre village was also plagued by disease and the ogre offered his help but the party refused.  With it's arms tied, the ogre was set free.  The rest of the night passed without incident.

The next day, the party found the portion of the river that the animals of the hills described but they couldn't see a source of the tainted water due to a rocky outcropping along the river.  Wang Du volunteered to swim along the shore from upriver to see if he could find an opening which he did find.  However the water was pretty deep at the entrance which smelled horrible.  Wang also discovered a smelly slick leaking out from the cave.

Reporting this to the rest of the party, it was decided to send the dwarf and elf into along with Wang into the cave and swim as far as they were able and then report back.

Wang Du, Centari and Torvin the dwarf, after having removed their armor, swam along the shore of the river upstream from the outcropping.  With Minimus and Thenus atop the outcropping preparing to descend down the rock-face if needed.

Entering the cave opening, the three explorers "penetrated deeper into the stinky crack" until, a short ways in, they were able to touch bottom and walk to a shore. Feeling fleshy worm-like creatures swiming against their bare flesh, they crawled up onto the sloping rock.  They found that they were in a pool of filthy water in a depression of a very very large cave.

Having to report this back to Minimus and Thenus, they re-entered the water to swim back out but were attacked by rot-grub worms. After pulling these disgusting creatures from burrowing into their flesh, they quickly swam back to the river and dry land.

After much debate about how all of them can get themselves and their gear safely into the cave, it was decided to cut down some trees and make a raft.  They spent the rest of the day building the raft and by the next morning they were floating into the mouth of the stinky cave...

This was our first session back after about an eight month hiatus.  I wasn't quite prepared to run more sessions but I did have this campaign in mind. I had to prep a bit that afternoon and one of my favorite things to do when jump-starting a new campaign / session after a long break is to prep a bunch of rumors on strips of paper to randomly hand out to each player.  They can share with each other if they want to or not, but it gives them clues (and miscues) to what's happening around their local and perhaps general rumors of the larger area.  It's always a great way to get the players engaged and talking right away.  Also, it's a great way to sometimes get them pointed in the right direction without railroading.  The players took all the clues from the rumors, background and interaction with the NPCs and clues from sessions past and pieced most things together and were able to follow the breadcrumbs to the adventure.  A TON of funny (raunchy) table-talk, as always, and I think we all are looking forward to the next session.



Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Whoa, An Actual Update

Greetings Home Brewers!

Since it's been so silent over here at the Warlock's Home Brew I bet you thought that the ol' Warlock had a magical mishap!  What, with conjuring demons from the outer planes of the dimensional abstracts, it wouldn't really be a surprise that some missed rune or mispronounced incantation had sent the Warlock himself into some nether-plane.  Alas, only minor corruptions have taken hold and I am still around weaving spells and dark magics.  What that all means is that after a verrrrry long break from our campaign to play lots of board games with the group and even participating as a player in White Star campaign customized for the Star Wars universe.  Finally, after all this time we have returned to continue our ongoing Swords and Wizardry campaign started back in 2009.  Expect a session update shortly so sober up with our session history because we're delving deep this time round.  What's in store for our fool-hearty adventures?  Only I know their fate, unless, they derail this thing as they oft do.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Session LXXVI: And In Conclusion...

Current Player Characters:
Torvin Fulvousmith (Dwarf)
Minimus (Cleric)
Skwanky (Halfling)
Thenus (Ranger)
Wang Du (Monk)
Centari (Elf) 

Needing to recover from the brutal battle with the Ant-men, our party of fearless adventurers barricaded themselves back in the hobgoblin lair. 

Once rested, they continued their exploration of the unexplored third level of the ruins.

They opened a door and find a room guarded by three Manticore!  As they decided what the do, the Manticore attacked Thenus with their spiked tail.  Some of the party wanted to make a hasty retreat but Minimus roused their fighting spirit and they charged into the room and attacked!

After a quick battle and some minor wounds the Manticore were defeated. 

Exploring the room only turned up garbage and the disgusting habits of the defeated beasts.  Opening one door was found to hold a chamber just filled with Manticore shit;  walls, floor ceiling.  The stench was unbearable and the party thought best to leave the area, but Wang Du thought otherwise and braved the shit filled chamber poking around with his spear.  The disgusting search paid off and a chest hidden in the feces was discovered! With the help of Skwanky, the chest was pulled out.  The chest was filled with riches and the fabled Boomish shield which they were sent in to recover!  Unfortunately, a cursed scroll was also found the upon reading it, Centari was turned into a pillar of salt!

With the long lost and sought after shield in their possession and with a cursed comrade it was decided to leave the dungeon and head back to town.  Protecting their salted friend from the elements and hungry horses, the next morning Minimus was able to remove the curse and bring Centari back to the group, though with patches of raw skin from everyone rubbing their dried meats on the salty treat.

Triumphantly returning to the town of Berkinstok the group shared their wealth and tales.  They returned the missing shield and family heirloom to Veshir Boomish who said that their family was forever in the debt of the party and that from this day forward, all of the Boomish clan will be considered allies.

With treasures identified and allies made, the party celebrated their victories and triumphs and settled in for a long earned rest!

Wealth can be wonderful, but you know, success can test one's mettle as surely as the strongest adversary.
 And it is here that we put the campaign on hold.  We're taking a break from our Swords and Wizardry campaign for now to dive into some other gaming activities.  One of our players, Mike, who ran a Robotech campaign a while back, will be running White Star customized for the Star Wars universe.  We've already rolled up characters and let me tell you that no world or universe is too scared for us to debase!  I'll try to post about White Star once that game kicks off.  Right now it looks to be board games for a short while.  We'll return to S&W sometime later so Game On!

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