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!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Christopher Lee

Before he was Saruman (the ultimate in perfect casting!) and Count Dooku he was Dracula and Scaramanga and Lord Summerisle.  Like the films of Ray Harryhausen, I grew up watching all his movies. Hammer Films would not have been Hammer Films without him. Tons of great iconic roles and that voice! Cinema has lost a great presence.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Session LXXV: The Sad Final Fate of Fumark The Foul

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

Hirelings and Henchmen
Biggs - Mercenary
Steak - Man-at-Arms
Werm - Man-at-Arms
Relford - Man-at-Arms

Fumark the Foul
5 Men-at-arms
2 burly Bodyguards

With the entire party standing before the great pair of iron doors leading to the dragon's lair, our chivalrous party plots how to get Furmark and his men to walk through the doors to become victims of the dragon.  Centari, with his magic sword Mindshiv, telepathically communicated with the dragon beyond the door and told him that they had brought Fumark to meet justice for slaying the dragon's mother Medora.  The Dragon Gramath decided to hide down a hallway to ambush his victims while the party would open the doors and let Fumark's party carelessly enter the lair once they saw the  unguarded riches piled there.

With the plan set, Torvin and Minimus attempted to open the large doors and a couple of Fumark's men helped.  Once the doors were opened, Furmark's men spied the unguarded hoard and rushed in.  Fumark, wary of a trap, approached slower but it was useless as he had already fallen into the trap!  With Fumark and his men inside the dragon's lair, Minimus cast hold person on Fumark which froze him to his spot.  One of his body guards turned to see what was delaying Fumark but was shot in the face by an arrow from Thenus.  It was then that the dragon came out of hiding and the frighten men tried to retreat but Torvin and Minimus closed the doors upon them and left them to the fate of the fiery breath of the dragon.
In moments, Fumark's men were dead and the cautious party slowly opened the door to see the young Gramath lording over the enchanted and helpless Fumark.  The party took some time to parley with the dragon who was grateful for the party's help in bringing Fumark to him but, having let them live earlier, considered their transaction completed. Skwanky the halfling, in a quite characteristic manner, handed over the Soul Gem to the Dragon hoping that Gramath would study it and free his friends.  The dragon gladly accepted the "gift" and saw the party to the door, impatient to begin spending some 'quality time' with his mother's killer.

Outside the lair there was some debate whether to go back in and attack the dragon and steal the treasure but it is decided to wait and perhaps some other day return.   So the party headed back up to level three of the dungeon and continued their search for the Boomish Shield which they were hired to find.

Exploring some more halls and passageways they came upon an iron door beyond which was an armored knight sitting atop a throne.  The knight slowly stepped down and asked the party to leave for he did not want to harm them. The party, of course, didn't leave and instead tried to open the large pair of iron doors which were hopelessly magically locked.  The cursed knight engaged the party and reluctantly tried to slay them.  Eventually the knight was 'slain' and his sword taken from him.  They left the cursed knight and continued their exploration retracing their steps.

Coming upon a chamber with a large crack in the floor and millions of tiny crawling ants, the party tried to cross the room but soon stepped on the tiny insects which would turn into a pair of Ant-men.  As they battled the Ant-men more of the tiny insects would get stepped on which would bring forth more Ant-men and so on. It is here that the party's men-at-arms, Steak and Werm, fell. It was quickly found to be a loosing battle and the party began to retreat but they were separated from each other by the forming hoard of Ant-men.  The party split up and headed out two different doors and resorting to flaming oil to slow the Ant-men down.

With Ant-men burning and the doors to the chamber closed, the bloody and separated party soon found each other again and continued  their search...

The proper way to kill an Ant-man is through an unfulfilled life.


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