Rick's Hold

June 19
Jail

Today began with the Halfling and the Dwarf Cleric in jail.

Naturally, they tried to instigate a prison break. No one knows why!

A riot ensued. The murderers murdered some guards. Halfdan the mass-murderer potter, who the rogue had met, traded pleasantries with and then freed, disguised himself as a guard and managed to escape after stabbing a guard repeatedly with a shiv.

In the morning, the Bard and Krotchlikmieoff went to the prison to pick up their “friends”, since they would be released in the morning if nothing went wrong. The Dwarf Cleric was released fairly quickly, but the Halfling was held for further questioning. A 500 gp bribe was required to get the Halfling released, but the guard who returned the Halfling’s equipment took a lot of his money, too. (2000 gold+ worth!). [I said a lot!!]

Because he was released through bribery, the Halfling is still wanted.

The party set out to find Halfdan the mass-murderer. They split up: The Bard and the two Paladins went to the prison to get a possession of the bad guy, then took it to a Wizard to scry with; while the Rogue and the Cleric went cruising bars trying to Gather Information (something at which they suuuuuck). The scrying showed Halfdan asleep in a cave.

The party needs to find the cave now.

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June 14th

Shopping!

Dwarf Cleric bought some masterwork boots. So did the Elven Bard. The Dwarf wants to make boots of expeditious retreat, and the Elf wants to make boots of elvinkind.

Gil got his full plate magicked, so now he’s got +1 full plate.

The Halfling went into town, met a Dwarf, knocked him out, and turned him over to the guards for some reason. The guards also arrested the Halfling, but he tricked his way out of custody eventually.

The Halfling and the Dwarf Cleric went back to town the next day, and encountered a Gambole. The Gambole killed a lot of guards. The Halfling failed a save vs. Fear and ran away for a while. The Cleric cast air walk and tried to get out of reach while more guards came and died.

Once it was dead, the Gambole’s “owner” showed up and argued with the Dwarf over its body. The menagerie owner is Zephorus, who led them back to his menagerie to show them the Gambole’s cell. He also had a raptor dinosaur, a zombie manticore, and a dark cage with a hidden monster inside. It was a doppelgänger. A really fuckin’ insane doppelgänger who appeared to Nuati as Nuati himself.

A trip to the magistrate later, Zephorus was rewarded the body of his slain Gambole. Unfortunately, the Dwarves wanted the body, so they took the Halfling to get it. The Wizard escaped with the body in shrink item form, but the Cleric and the Rogue got themselves arrested for behaving suspiciously. The Bard spoke to the magistrate and was reassured the two would be released in the morning as long as they didn’t do anything stupid.

Meanwhile, they both did something stupid….

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June something or other
Dwarfless

While the dwarf brothers were engaged in a staring contest, the rest of the party went out to investigate the disappearance of some goats. Goats. Not guests or ghosts or anything else of great interest, but goats.

Four ankhegs were slain. Sigifrid died in the battle.

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May 22
The hagenation

The paladin threw his party. During the event, an intrusion was discovered. Further investigation led the paladin to track down the intruder using a hired scryer, whose magic revealed the location of the thief named “Bad Guy And Friend” (that’s what the DM says).

Being a paladin, he took his prisoner to the local guards for some reason. They refused to believe the paladin had the authority to hold a captive, so Bad Guy And Friend had to be left there until the paladin came back home for the rest of the party.

Once reinforced with the might of the full group, the paladin et al returned. The guards recognized the party immediately and gave up their prisoner gladly, whereupon the party returned to the keep to interrogate the thief.

After a little talk, the bard charmed the thief and convinced him we were his friends. He told us where he was going to go to receive his expected pay. The party went there to meet their mystery opponent, hiding themselves behind invisibility spells and waiting in strategic spots.

Eventually, a group of hooded figures arrived and engaged Bad Guy And Friend in conspiratorial conversation. But instead of being paid in the coins he was expecting, the bad guys tried to kill him!

In the ensuing fight, the enemies were revealed to be hobgoblins led by our old enemy, the green hag from the evil coven we had previously encountered. After a mighty battle, the party emerged victorious and the hag emerged decapitated.

Also captured was the evil horse trainer who had betrayed us to the hag in the first place.

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May 20

After the party returned to their home at their keep in Rick’s Hold, they revived their fallen comrades and rested. However, it was not a time of sadness at all, no. In fact quite the opposite. Well, maybe a little sadness. Okay fine, a lot of sadness! But at the keep it was also time for the monthly festival. And even more exciting, along with the festival comes the time of taxes, upkeep and wages! Yes. Whee indeed.

In addition, the trading expedition that had been sent to seek various items and sundry from the elves had returned. Great joy was had by those involved in counting their purchases.

The great day of bureaucracy continued with various shopping done, selling the parts of the felled dragon (the one who crisped Gil), and dividing up the loot from the dungeon (so far!).
Officials from the wizards guild, however, trumped all that with their arrival whereupon they demanded fees for earned experience and rank within the guild (out of which the rogue partially sneaked his heathen way). In addition, they concocted a method to extract funds from the keep for the fabrication of magical wares on our land. The bard Nuati was clever, talking them down from 300 gp per month to a more workable 100 gp per month and formalisation of the agreement with a written contract which included rights to create any magic items not only within our own building, but anywhere upon our own lands. The party now plans to manipulate this to our benefit by building a section of homes and housing units surrounding a laboratory for wizards to come and rent/use for a small monthly fee (less than what the guild charges to make items or use their equipment). Hopefully this new income will offset the fees of the guild, or maybe even turn a profit! Perhaps the bard’s recent experience being dead has compelled him to seek more earthly rewards now that he is once more amongst the living?

Regardless, the paperwork continued as a head count was made of the keep and surrounding farmlands (and a small family of farmers was discovered to be in fact elves! who knew? the bard knew!) and a great feast was held because Dimitri the paladin really wanted a big meal with everybody around him as a group (he had just died and been raised for the first time, so was still reeling from the experience).

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May 15

Knowing there was nothing left in the dungeon that they were aware of besides the wasps they had bypassed earlier, the party decided it was high time to do those flying pests in. They sauntered through the areas of the dungeon they had previously cleared, once again gaining confidence while walking through their fields of victory of the previous evening.
Upon reaching the wasp’s domain, the group readied themselves for a fight they believed won in all but action. However, as usual, they quickly found themselves in trouble. While they attempted to bottleneck the oncoming wasps in the tunnel, keeping them contained and easily beaten, the flying bastards flew over the blockade and immediately surrounded Nuati, who had moved forward in what had presumed safety.
Though they were simple insects, the warrior wasps proved quite capable in their duties, swarming individual members of the party, cutting them off and delivering deadly stings, injecting poison every time into the wounds of their victims. Cut off from the rest of the group so swiftly, Nuati fell swiftly to the wasps deadly advances. The remaining paladin followed suite when the wasps that had engaged the bard moved on to fresh prey. Though Dimitri did his best, downing as many bugs as he could before falling, fall he did, leaving the rest of the party to finish the job.
Though the fight looked grim by this point, but the rest of the party held on and kept fighting to the last. The next target was the rogue, who was fairly wounded already and didn’t take long before he fell as well, though luckily not to his death, as he was stabilized before any more fatalities could transpire. Finally the wasp swarm was stopped before it could finish off the last remaining members, the wizards and cleric.
Gathering the wounded and the corpses, the very diminished group headed back out of the dungeon and then to their keep, rather depressed, disheartened and shamed.

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May 1

After entering the tunnel, there were more spiders to be defeated. They were of course defeated quite soundly. The party continued to scour the dungeon, heading for the room of ghoul-looking things which turned out to be wights.

The wights immediately quailed before the clerical might of Dumathoin, making what seemed to be at first a threatening menace into a relative pillow fight. The party spent the rest of the evening swaggering through the dungeon, until they opted to returne to the entrance and on the way decided to force out whatever was in that room they had left unopened the previous day.

This newly acquired swagger had only intensified after running into another beastie: this time a flesh golem. Having never encountered such a creature or thing (or trap if you will) before, the party began the fight trepidatiously [it’s a word, look it up!] but after only a few moments had rendered the monster into a heap. Having so quickly defeated a monster they had thought deadly, the party’s confidence soared and the swagger was prominently displayed.

Their swagger quickly disappeared as a giant beetle nearly bit the paladin to death. The party recovered quickly however and regrouped before any interesting fatalities incurred, though the fight was still quite a shock!

Then they left, slept overnight, and recouped their spells to be ready for the next incursion into the dungeon.

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April 24

After resting up and recovering from their wounds and burns, and also after putting a gentle repose spell on Gil so he wouldn’t smell worse than usual while the rest of the party continued to explore the dungeon, the group waited once more while the wizard attempted to scout out the dungeon using his arcane eye spell. Passing through what he’d already inspected, Sarror eventually discovered a giant spider, who the group decided was the more immediate threat (over a group of ghoul-looking things deeper into the dungeon), and headed off to eliminate it.

After watching the remaining paladin and the cleric struggling to open a lowered portcullis, the rogue decided not to mention the existence of a lever that would open said portcullis, instead looking ahead alone and running into a giant spider, who, despite the rogue’s spells of invisibility and attempts to move silently, detected his invasion of its privacy and attacked in wrongteous rage.

Eventually the rogue had assistance, as the wizard cast a spell of gaseous form on the paladin to allow him to pass through the bars in seconds, reforming on the other side and charging the eight legged beastie.

With the paladin’s assistance, the spider was quickly downed and the rest of the party soon joined them on the other side of the now raised portcullis. The rogue discovered a secret passage, and attempting to explore it without his companions, so of course he ran into a second giant spider.

However, with the group not far behind, the rogue soon had help and the second arachnid was soon vanquished soonly. After searching the room further, only finding a passage filled with webs same as the secret passage the rogue discovered, the group decided to check out the tunnel.

Then we all went for ice cream….

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April 17

A quick investigation revealed that there was a nearby creature in a nearby room nearby, but the party didn’t immediately break into the nearby room. Instead, as the wizard cast arcane eye to initially inspect the contents of the dungeon, without attempting to risk bodily harm of any party members.

The rogue eventually convinced a couple other group members to wander in other directions as he had become bored of waiting for relayed information that may actually save peoples lives or not and wanted to look for treasure. The wizard passed a giant wasp painfully and went through a few passages further before finding a nasty surprise behind a deceptively small doorway: a red dragon named ‘Azzoror’! As the spell only sent images, the wizard couldn’t hear the beast when it spoke, but realized the dragon could see the invisible floating eye. Retreating quickly with his eye, he warned the rest of the party of the nearby danger not much further in nearby, but when he looked back in on the red scaled horror, it was nowhere to be seen. He warned the rest of the group to ready for a dragon to show up, calling for the wandering rogue et al to quickly return.

Luckily the wandering band returned before the dragon showed up, but the fight was devastating regardless. The dragon opened up with a brutal blast of fire, roasting several party members, but only ‘warming up’ the paladins. Gil was warmed a bit too much and, upon his subsequent charge into the dragon, was pierced to ribbons by its big sharp nasty teeth and crumpled in a heap, never to rise again unless maybe later.

The rest of the party laid into the dragon, forcing it to take to the air. Not to be outdone, the cleric cast an air walk spell on the remaining paladin, who began to slowly chase the dragon at great speed.

The giant little red lizard dragon guy began to run out of the room flyingly, so the group warned the dwarves outside to shut the door before he could escape. Luckily the dragon had just loosed a second fire blast on the group inside before exiting, so had no deadly breath for the horses, guards, people, and Brody. The paladin continued to chase the dragon through the air, and the dragon decided to turn around to fight the pesky bastard. As the rest of the group continued to assault the flying beast, the paladin finally caught up to the monster, though below it.

This not being issue for him, the paladin just stabbed upwards, both fortunately and unfortunately slaying the creature. Fortunately for the group, the dragon was defeated and could do more harm to them. Unfortunately for the paladin, the dragon, having been above him when slain, fell down on him. With some quick manoeuvring, Dimitri was able to avoid the worst of harm from the tumbling behemoth, and after recovering from the worst scars and burns, the party raided the dragons hoard. All gold except for the gems and shit. They then decided to rest, as they had drained a great amount of resources and energy in defeating the dragon. Not to mention Gil was dead.

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April 10

The party eventually got bored at the keep again what with all the STUFF they were doing, and so departed, heading for the location discovered by the cleric in the ancient Dwarven journal. The trip was plotted to be seven days in each direction. Most of the trip was rather pleasant and relatively uneventful. They even spent an evening with a neighbouring baron, where they enjoyed dinner and impolite conversation about the baron’s “many wives” (an invention of the bard’s story-telling skills).

The picnic was ruined by some rude displacer beasts which, after a quick scuffle, were defeated quite soundly. They were probably skinned and maybe even eaten a little. Who remembers these things? The bard remembers!

The rest of the trip was passed rather quickly from there, and the party reaching their destination. The location did indeed turn out to be a dwarven stronghold, and one of Gnarldan Steelshield to boot. The exterior of the dungeon was very impressive, with massive dwarven busts (HAHA, “busts!”) carved into either side of the worked stone entrance. There was also a broken statue of a female Dwarven warrior, and one of her boobies was still intact. The dwarves were unable to make it fit into their magical haversack….

Upon entering the dungeon, the group was immediately accosted by a swarm (a small swarm) of stirges. The bard swiftly and smartly lulled them to sleepiness with a lullaby, expecting the wizard to follow it up with a sleep spell, to which they would now be especially susceptible. The wizard however, obliviously blasted into the combat with magic missiles, destroying only one stirge at a time and allowing the thief to lose nearly all of his constitution and therefore nearly wither away and die.

Following the ‘fight’, the group regrouped and began to set up camp. Except then they decided not to, because that would be bad. Instead, they decided to investigate the area around the first room to determine if it would be safe to set up a camp inside for the horses.

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