Monday, February 16, 2015

Game log for 15 February 2015

Dramatis personae:

Anêr, a human swashbuckler
Caleb, a human wizard of the Order of the Sun
Mayhem, a short human barbarian of the Dragon Claw Clan
Yémos, a cleric of Dōsaútōr, goddess of wisdom and magic

With them is Kúflaug, an orc slave to whom they have given a halberd

Quid occurrit:

24th Blôs, Mid-afternoon

Down in the dungeon, the gang told Kúflaug to chop open the stuck door, which he did As he did so, they could hear drums pounding from afar, away and maybe down. Once the door was chopped, they stepped into the room, and no sooner did they do so then saw a mass of writhing red centipedes. Anêr told Caleb to burn them, but everyone got his whacks on the centipedes before Caleb could get his spell off, with Yémos ending the last one with a stomp. Then they looked around the room, and saw the blood splotches and the dead centipedes that had already been there.

After checking the rubble in the room, which also looked like it had been a statue, they walked over to the door on the other side. This door opened easily, and behind it were four lizard men were there. Two were standing guard and watching the heroes open the door, and one was healing the wounds of a fourth. Taken aback, Yémos said, “Hail and well met.” The lizard men hissed and made some odd noises at the heroes. Taking a hint, Yémos shut the door. As they walked away, Mayhem listened, and could still hear some faint drumming from afar, down a bit.

They went down a hallway, and turned a few corners before seeing a hobgoblin sleeping in yet another corner. Yémos cast Silence on the guard, then they turned the corner and found a door. They easily opened the door, and Yémos, Mayhem, and Kuflaug were surprised at the six surprised hobgoblins.

Anêr, however, was not surprised, and he stepped into the room and poked a hobgoblin, giving him pain. Caleb lobbed Blast Ball into a corner, and burnt all the hobgoblins, dropping one to the floor in pain, as well as singing himself. Anêr got out of the way, and stabbed the hobgoblin in front of him twice.

No, not THAT Hobgoblin.
Kúflaug stood agape, while Mayhem rushed into the room and took a mad swing at one of the hobgoblins. It was a good blow, as it killed the hobgoblin. One of the hobgoblins snapped aware. He moved and held his ground near Mayhem. Yémos then woke up, and moved in to try to cast Shield on Mayhem, but his spell fizzled. Caleb, still smarting from his own spell, stood his ground. 

Anêr took another two quick stabs at the hobgoblin nearest him, killing him, while Kúflaug snapped aware and rushed into the room. Mayhem swung at the hobgoblin standing tough near him, but the hobgoblin’s axe caught Mayhem’s. The hobgoblin then put his axe in Mayhem’s body. Ouch! Another hobgoblin sprang to battle, and stepped and missed Mayhem, while the hobgoblin down in the corner started to stand.

The spellcasters did their work this time, as Yémos cast Shield on Mayhem, while Caleb shot a Sunbolt at a stunned hobgoblin, killing him. Anêr and Kúflaug missed their blows, while Mayhem swung and dropped his axe. 

Dropping one’s axe was catchy. The hobgoblins threw down their axes and said, “No kill!"

Yémos asked for whom they worked. One said, “Minotaur King.” Yémos asked if the Minotaur King was leading the slave rebellion. The hobgoblin said, “The Minotaur King is our leader!” The gang looted 50 copper farthings off the hobgoblins, both dead and alive, but could not find any rope. Yémos asked the hobgoblin if there were another way out, and he said no. The gang woke the sleeping guard and bade him to drop his morningstar and go with them. He did so.

They went back to the well. After Anêr had a short fall, he made it to the top, found the old rope, tied it to the stake, and threw it down. Everyone made it up after two hours down. The gang tried to learn whether the hobgoblins were slaves, and Kúflaug pointed to the slave brands on the backs of their hands.

They brought the hobgoblins to Péllē and asked for a bounty. First, Péllē said they had to disarm Kúflaug. Now that he was free of arms, she tried to give them 25 silver pennies for the four, and asked the heroes to keep things quiet. Yémos asked for more. Péllē then said 500 silver pennies, but would have to clear it with her higher-ups in Mīstássun, and it would take two moon phases (16 days) to hear from there. Yémos agreed. Péllē agreed to ladder by the pit, but it had to be a rope ladder, and said she would have the whole area cordoned off and have one guard by the pit.

They took the halberd to Likháfrikh, the dwarf engineer, who was in the mess shack. He said it looked from an older time before bragging about making the scaffolding in the fore-room of the mine four years ago, and said it had made it through two slave rebellions. He also said that the overseers were going to execute Gáddurub, the orc who had fled. Then the camp baker set out some food. Yémos thought she was eavesdropping. Likháfrikh said he wanted to go into the mines and see the architecture for himself to see how old it was.

That night, there was a big storm at midnight. The weather the next day was otherwise pleasant. Likháfrikh and Kúflaug were going with them. Both had axes, and the baker gave everyone a meal’s rations. Likháfrikh showed off the scaffolding, and jumped on it. He installed the rope ladder by the hole, which had no guard, and showed them how to use it and how to get it down with a grappling hook. They went down.

These weren't quite so blocky.
They walked through the big hall and past the columns. Likháfrikh said the architecture was older than he was. When they got to end of the main hall with the wrecked statue, they saw the lizard men afore that statue. Kúflaug said these were the same lizard men as the day before. Yémos gestured that the heroes wanted to go into room where the lizard men had been the day before, but the lizard men hissed at him and waved their clubs.

The gang went down the dead end hallway and Likháfrikh found no secret doors. So they went down the other hallway, but as they turned the corner on the other side from where they saw the sleeping guard, two spears shot out of the wall. Anêr dodged, but Likháfrikh took a spear to his back. Yémos cast Minor Healing on Likháfrikh, who then disabled the trap tied to a tile next to some old lizard man scales in the dust.

The gang went down the hallway which, after a turn, Likháfrikh said it was getting lower. After a long stretch of about 150 to 200 ft., the hallway turned, then went downstairs. Going down the stairs, they found themselves in a big cavern with a big pile of rubble in the middle of the floor. In the ceiling was there was a big chasm. They looked in the rubble, and found rats who screeched.

They went down hallway in the wall opposite the stairs, and found themselves in a room with a lot of rubble. At the other end of the room, there were double doors, which a hobgoblin guarded. The guard yelled at the gang to go back, then barked something in Goblin and opened the door.

End of session.

Res aliae:

Time kept us from a big fight with many hobgoblins.

I'm updating my documents to handle an urban crawl as well. Since they won't be back at civilization for months of real time, I'm in no rush, Justin Alexander's series inspired me.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Game log for 1 February 2015

Dramatis personae

Anêr, a swashbuckler
Yémos, a cleric of Dōsaútōr, goddess of wisdom and magic
Mayhem, a barbarian who is vertically challenged
Caleb, a wizard of the Order of the Sun

Quid occurrit

So the gang went back to Péllē, who batted her eyes at them as they told her about the kobold-sized tunnel. She agreed to their call for kobolds to help them, though she told them that they don't work well with orcs. "We keep them all at odds so they don't get together and hold an uprising," she said. So Kuflaug and Gaddurub, the orc slaves with them, went back to work, and two kobolds, one with a blunt nose and another with broad shoulders and pointier horns.

The gang brought the kobolds down to the room with the dirt mound, which they found easily. Yémos asked the kobolds where the tunnel went, and the broad-shouldered one said, "It seems to go up." Then they sent the kobolds down the tunnel, with Mayhem behind them, and the others behind them on all fours. They followed the kobolds up the tunnel, and, after the kobolds pushed aside a rock blocking the top, found themselves near the opening of the mine.

Amazed, they went back to the room with the dirt. They told the kobolds to tell them about the dirt, and they agreed it came from the lands above. Why? Neither of them said they knew. Unshaken, they asked the kobolds about the mines. The kobold with the blunt nose told them in his nasal voice that they found odd wrought things in the mines, both metallic and stone, with more curves than wont, mostly dishes. The kobold thought they came from the hobgoblins. When Yémos pressed, the kobold said that there were no hobgoblins in the camp as they kept disappearing, falling down shafts or getting into fights to the death. Hobgoblins, he said, were "bad luck."

The heroes brought the kobolds back to camp, then went to lunch. In the dining hall, they chatted with Likháfrikh, a dwarf with a bushy mustache. Likháfrikh said he was an engineer, and had been there four years. Some slaves had knocked out four of his teeth in an uprising some time ago. Likháfrikh said that what the kobold said was true: there were odd curvy items in the mines, as he had found a a few krises. Likháfrikh didn't find this as noteworthy as the heroes, since mines in his home land of Mōr-Nembe also yield artifacts of a bygone time, albeit ones unlike the ones found in the Áos Hills. It was also true that there were no hobgoblins, and no one could find where they went. Did they flee? Unlikely, as a year ago, the overseers sent the orcs to look for holes through which the hobgoblins could flee, and told them the overseers would reward the orcs with more meat if they found hobgoblins. After looking for hobgoblins, the orcs murdered the last hobgoblin still living at camp, and fed his body to the ogres. The overseers chose to give the orcs some more meat anyways. After telling the baker, who was standing nearby, that they did enjoy their meal, they went to Péllē and had her send along the two orcs from earlier.

They went down into the mines again, then walked past some of the workers, down a tunnel, to a chamber with a hole in the middle. The hole was about 6 feet athwart, and looked like a natural well. Yémos threw a penny down the shaft and watched it fall, then move out of sight. After a short chat with Kuflaug, the orc with the nose ring, about the gods (Kuflaug said he worshipped Kasnotok, the goddess of the earth, whom Yémos knew to be Rōripermónē, the farming goddess of men, and seemed happy to find that Yémos worshipped Dōsaútōr, or Laganok, as Kuflaug called her in Goblin), the chose to go down the shaft. Gaddurub  the other orc with the wet hair, said he wouldn't do it, but went along after Yémos and Mayhem told him that they could bring him back to Péllē, who would kill him for not heeding them.

They started with first lowering Kuflaug, with Anêr and Mayhem as belays. After getting him down, they lowered Caleb, but could not keep him from slipping and hurting his belly. After Caleb went Yémos, who cast Minor Healing on Caleb to heal some of his wounds. Then they lowered Gaddurub, who looked at Yémos and Caleb with an evil glare, but did nothing. At last, Mayhem and Anêr, the skilled climbers, went down the rope, which they left hanging at the hole. They waited an hour for Yémos to get back some of his holy might, then went down the tunnel.

The tunnel turned into a wide stair that first went up to a small landing, then down again. Once at the top of the landing, the orcs afore made it no farther than the edge when a flurry of arrows greeted them. The arrows missed, but the heroes sprang into battle.

Yémos cast Shield on Mayhem, then Anêr drew his sword and waited for whatever was down there, which turned out to be four hobgoblins. (Is anyone surprised?) Mayhem pulled out his axe and rushed to the edge, while the orcs, taken aback, stood slack-jawed at the edge. The two hobgoblins afore pulled out their halberds, while the two behind them drew arrows.

Yémos again tried to cast Shield, this time on himself, and all of the sudden had a big stone shield in his hands. He felt that he had upset some holy emissary, who was punishing him with a mockery of his spell. Caleb started casting Blast Ball. Anêr moved to before the orcs, while Mayhem waited for the hobgoblins.

The two hobgoblins at the fore swung at Anêr and Mayhem with they halberds, but could not strike them. Then the two bowmen shot at the orcs, one striking Kuflaug in the chest. Kuflaug, however, still stood, dumbfounded. Gaddurub, however, snapped aware then turned and ran. Yémos stepped aside, dropped the stone shield, and ran after Gaddurub, lest he pull up the rope. Caleb tried to get off his Blast Ball spell, but it fizzled. Anêr made a wild swing at the hobgoblin nearest him, but missed, but Mayhem put his hobgoblin with the halberd. Kuflaug still stood agape, while Yémos dropped the stone shield and ran after Gaddurub.

The two hobgoblins at the fore switched grips on their halberds, while the two bowmen drew arrows. Caleb started casting another Blast Ball, while Anêr stepped and put his rapier into the hobgoblin nearest him. Mayhem also hit home for a big hit on a hobgoblin, but the hobgoblin stayed standing. Kuflaug still stood dumbstruck (or even more dumbstruck), while the hobgoblins in the fore stood their ground, and the ones in the back loosed arrows. One missed Anêr, while the other arrow didn't make it to Mayhem, because it hit the hobgoblin he just hit in the back. Needless to say, the hobgoblin didn't know it was coming, and went down.

Caleb got his Blast Ball ready to throw, while Anêr made a nasty strike (Defensive Attack 4, Mighty Blows). He struck the hobgoblin, but the hobgoblin still stood. Mayhem rushed one of the bowmen, and struck him with a wild swing, knocking him down but not out. Kuflaug at last came aware, and turned and ran. 

The hobgoblin before Anêr, hurt but not out, stood fast, but the one bowman left standing turned and ran. Caleb threw his Blast Ball, which ended the life of the hobgoblin on the ground while singing the other. Anêr made another fierce strike, but the hobgoblin, waiting for the blow, knocked it away with his halberd. His success was short-lived, however, much as he was: Mayhem stepped and smote him dead with his axe.

Meanwhile, Gaddurub and Yémos made it to the rope. Gaddurub started climbing, while Yémos grabbed the bottom of the rope. As Gaddurub climbed, Kuflaug made it to the rope and told Yémos that he took an arrow and was going. Yémos offered healing to Kuflaug, but Kuflaug started climbing anyways. Gaddurub started to pull the rope, and Kuflaug fell off and passed out once he hit the ground. Yémos tried to keep the rope down, but after Gaddurub lifted Yémos a few feet into the air, Yémos kept down.

On the ground, he poured a minor healing potion down Kuflaug's throat, while the others dressed him in the armor of one of the hobgoblins. Over the next hour, the group talked about their lack of rations, and Yémos said that casting Create Food on the hobgoblin bodies was the best bet. Collective squick followed. Once the hour was up, Yémos cast a Minor Healing spell on Kuflaug, and they set forth down the stairs.

They found themselves in a big chamber filled with bat guano. They looked up to see a ceiling full of bats, squawking at their light (they had cast Continual Light earlier). There were three ways out. The first was a dead end, while the second led to a room with columns and more bat shit. At the end of the room was an alcove with a door to each side and a broken statue, while bats flew near their heads. The door to the right was ajar, while the one to the left was stuck shut. They chose to keep left, and both Mayhem and Kuflaug tried to shove the door open. After a couple of failed tries to open the door, four striges flew from out of the bats and at them, but the gang made short work of them.

Res aliae

Does Jennell Jaquays have a serious thing for halberds? When I rolled that the hobgoblins had halberds and longbows, the players were a little surprised. Then I told them that the gnolls—er, hobgoblins—had a 50/50 chance of having halberds, which brought a few giggles.

Now that they've armed Kuflaug, it seems I have an orc to fully stat out. I never thought they'd give him a halberd, much less a weapon.

The halberd wasn't good for the hobgoblins. They spent a lot of time changing grips as the heroes moved nearer to them, though it did frustrate Chris (Mayhem's player) that they had longer Reach than he had. The hobgoblins had a lot of HP for mooks—17—but didn't have much in the way of other defenses, nor skill. If they had hit, it would have hurt.

This wasn't in the log, but a good bunch of time we passed by talking about world things, mostly about humanoid slavery but a bit about the political situation too. There hasn't been much in the way of non-human NPCs until now, so Likháfrikh, the dwarf, brought out a few world details.