Thursday, June 23, 2016

Session LXXXII: Organ Grinders

Continuing our ongoing Swords and Wizardry sandbox campaign...

Current Player Characters:
Torvin Fulvousmith (Dwarf)
Thenus (Ranger)
Wang Du (Monk)
Centari (Elf)
Wolfheir (Viking)
Arg (Half-orc)
Sir Gwain (Paladin)

NPCs
Fermina (fighter)
Biggs (Henchman)
Liedrada (Magic-user)
Veleda (Halfling)
Antiope (thief)

Spending the first couple of days in the tower, recovering from wounds and smoking the fine tobacco and drinking the fine wine and ale left by the Wizard, initially puts some of the party at ease.  Evenings, however, had proven troublesome as they all continued returning to the same hellish dreams of fire and torture which became more intense as the nights went by.  In fact, it became so bad that one by one, each of the party eventually moved to the edge of the forest and set up a permanent camp only returning to the tower during the day.  The only ones that didn't seem affected by the tower, and in fact, spent most of their time obsessively going through the library and studying was Centari and Gimp the Imp.

It was two weeks into their stay at the tower then Sir Gwain, a paladin of Mithra rode up to the camp on his horse. The priests in Berkenstok sent him to aid the party.  Chatting with the party on the main floor of the tower, Sir Gwain spied the armory room with the untouched armor.  Being in need of stronger armor and ignoring the lingering odor of mold, Sir Gwain, followed by the laughing half-orc Arg, tried to take the armor but an explosion of poisonous Yellow Mold puts a quick end to Sir Gwain's quest for armor... no wait, hold on, scratch that.... The party avoided* all talk of the armory and instead discussed exploring the wizard's tower, which they voted on NOT doing due to the deadly traps they had run into previous.

So they packed up their gear and headed out towards Larm to gather an army of heroes to fight this dragon!

The first day bushwhacking through the Grimmwood found Sir Gwain, Fermina and Antiope became enchanted by some mystical song floating on the air. At first the rest of the party tried to subdue their companions from walking off into the woods but soon then let them lead the way to the source - the source being.  Three Wood-nymphs were trying to ensnare some protectors but as soon as they saw the party approach, they quickly disappeared into surrounding forest.

By the next day, however, Thenus felt that the party was being watched and they all prepared to protect themselves. Within their protected circle and elven arrow flew and landed in the exact center.  The Perenth elves of Grimmwood had surrounded the party.  The elves had been spying on the party for a couple of weeks ever since they had fought a goblin raiding party in the woods.  They watched as they fought the wizard and took over the tower.  But now, the elves say, that the party had unleased something far worse in the tower as a winged and flaming demon had been seen upon the rooftop.  The elves felt that the party was responsible and that they should be the ones to deal with cleaning the spoil in their wood.

The elves led the party to their village and to their leader K'saeya who, even with a very strong argument of equality by Thenus, forbade the Half-orc, dwarf and Halfling from entering her village.

K'saeya gave the party the task of ridding the tower and her wood of the demon. So the next morning the party gathered and marched back to the tower to face the Balrog!

*So, we had a bit of a Retcon this session.  The new PC, Sir Gwain the Paladin was a replacement for the demised Minimus.  However, less than 20 minutes into the session, on Sir Gwain's very first roll - a save or die, he died.  Oh, it was a big laugh at the table and quite memorable as he fell to explosive Yellow Mold to gain a magical Plate armor.  He even beat out the shortest lived character who, at least made it through almost a complete session.  So after our big laugh we rolled things back for a redo with the armor being completely avoided.  Now this is something that I don't normally do but considering how the character only lasted 20  minutes and died on his first roll I thought we'd just roll it back and move on - but not without any consequence and that is where the Demon comes in.  Now the Balrog is part of the adventure but to trigger his appearance is pretty tough.  I just brought him in as another obstacle for the players to deal with in 'payment' of a RetCon.  I've only done this once before when I overloaded the encounter and had a pretty quick TPK back in session 61. and worked the RetCon into quite the campaign adventure as the characters had to right an altered universe - which they did with much trial and tribulation.  This incedent wasn't as drastic so I rolled with it and just added an unexpected challenge for them to deal with.  We'll see how it plays out next session as the players would have happily avoided the upcoming encounter!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Session LXXXI: That Deaf, Dumb and Blind Orc

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) 

NPCs
Fermina (fighter)
Biggs (Henchman)
Liedrada (Magic-user)
Veleda (Halfling)
Antiope (thief)

With the hulking half-orc, Arg, under the influence of the evil Red Wizard, Minimus the Cleric defended the narrow stairway allowing his companions to retreat and regroup on the second floor of the wizard's tower.  Minimus lead the charmed half-orc into the chamber where Centari was ready with another charm spell to try to win over his ally but in freeing Arg from the influence of the sorcerer, Arg's mind became fried due to it being the battleground for two magic-users and he fell into a useless state of being deaf, blind and dumb.

With one threat neutralized, the party turned their attention to the wizard, who, by this time, had buffed himself up pretty well.  Being invisible and undetectable, the wizard tossed a magical rope of entanglement at the party and ensnared the entire group! Now helpless before the wizard the party seemed doomed.

Centari, using his magic sword Mindshiv, tried to telepathically communicate with the deaf, blind and dumb half-orc and was able to get him to lash out at the wizard but to no avail.  After a second attempt at this, the wizard incapacitates the helpless Half-orc.

Moving in to make slaves of the party, the Red Wizard didn't notice that Biggs, Veleda and Antiope have made their way into the tower to aid their friends after having seen them fight with the wizard outside the tower and retreat back into the Wizard's sanctuary.

Again, telepathically speaking through Mindshiv, Centari tells the rescuers the potential whereabouts of the wizard and they attack.  The wizard used his magic staff to defend himself causing great bodily harm to the remaining party but, with everyone near death, Biggs finally slayed the wizard!

The very much relieved and battered party licked their wounds and rested and recovered from their ordeal.

After some well earned rest, the strongest members of the party continued to cautiously explore the wizard's tower.  They returned to the wizards bedroom and discovered his spellbook and some other trinkets and a locked wardrobe with the magical writing "Open to the Master.  Skwanky immediately tried to open the door and disappeared!

Minimus the cleric came up with the idea to take the wizard's severed arm and to try to use it to open the wardrobe, but in his attempt, he too disappears.

Leaving the halfling and cleric to their fate, the party continued up the stairs to another more darkly magical level of the tower.  The came into a chamber with three alcoves filled with crackling magical writing which had an unmistakable evil energy to it.  This they avoided and headed to another chamber with a large pool of water.  Within the water they spied a scene of gold and treasure and giant red scales which lead to an enormous Dragon head whose eye snapped open and spied the party observing him through the pool.  With a wrathful roar that filled the tower itself, the image in the pool disappeared!

Exploring one final chamber on this level they found three mirrors that swirled with smoke and appeared to be gateways to some otherworldly realm.

Freaked out by that entire level they made their way to the roof and discovered a telescope pointed to the smouldering mountains far to the north. The lair of the dragon, perhaps?

Heading back down to the main levels more rooms were explored and the wizard's laboratory was discovered along with his journal that uncovered his discontent being a slave to the dragon and having to do his bidding and that the dragon was planning on taking over the entire land.

In a library they found an Imp named Gimp who became Centari's servant.

Overall they were all weirded out by the magical and dangerous tower and they all thought it best to sleep outdoors.  Except for Centari.  He stayed inside studying in the library with Gimp the Imp.

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