Rick's Hold

August 24

The party readied for their upcoming assault upon the Aboleth and co. However, Nuati went over the number of monsters in the basement awaiting them — 26 Skum, a Chuul, and an Aboleth would have been overwhelming if they had converged upon the party all at once — and decided perhaps they could use a bit more help. So they packed up and returned to their keep for the night and got who else but Gigglecloud? (They also picked up Elatoris.). The group re-readied for the battle, preparing spells and rethinking their plan of attack. They had Thomas assist them in getting downstairs. If they could manage to split the monsters into three separate groups, the party could split into two groups and take them on more easily.

Thomas dimesion doored himself, the Wizard, Dimitri and the Cleric (“party group one”) directly into the Aboleth’s chamber following an extensive few minutes of preparations and protective and assistive spells being cast upon all sorts of members of the party.

The Cleric, invisible at this point, moved immediately to the water’s edge and cast his most powerful spell prepared that day and magically removed all the water from the room, leaving a tossing Aboleth surprised and angry in the middle of the now-empty room. Well, empty except for the Aboleth, its Chuul companion, and several Skum (“monster group one”).

The Skum were sitting peacefully, unexpecting of both the sudden entrance of the small party and the even more unexpected sudden drainage of their current abode, when the Wizard flew up (he had cast fly on himself in preparation) above the small horde and threw a fireball directly into their midst, frying all the Skum and singeing both the other beasties in the room.

Not to be outdone, the Paladin then stomped up to the Aboleth, drew back his sword and slew the Aboleth in one slash. Even he was surprised. (He was magically strengthened and his blade magically sharpened by his allies and the Wizard’s fireball had injured it first, but still!)

While that was all happening the rest of the party (“party group two”) was not idle, they instead having dropped down the chute in the centre of the guild to the basement while holding a magically silenced stone, to prevent a group of Skum (“monster group two”) from noticing their arrival. The silence worked like a charm as the Rogue slipped into the hall, stepped behind a monster and slew him in a most sneaky fashion. (The rogue did try to cast a fireball before entering the hallway, forgetting that the effects of silence worked on him too). Following the Rogue’s example, the remaining members of the party piled into the hall and began slaughtering the unsuspecting Skum. Only Elatoris was injured in the battle, but his spell of false life saved him from taking more than a mighty one point of damage!

While their friends prevented aid from coming, the Wizard and Paladin continued to kill the chamber’s remaining occupants, while the Cleric swooped down to claim an Aboleth egg. Seeing him grab them so quickly, Thomas decided to take the other two eggs before escaping via another dimension door.

Having cleared the room, the Wizard flew over and past all his allies, seeking a room with another dozen unsuspecting Skum (“monster group three”). Upon finding it, he cast another fireball, immolating the entire band. The party then looted what they could and returned to Thomas and Moira upstairs.

They sold their single Aboleth egg to Thomas, along with the other loot the Dwarves had taken from the guild earlier, in a small (very small) effort to regain a bit of Thomas’ trust after reading his mind. The party returned to the marquis to inform him that the task was complete. He wouldn’t see them, sending instead an underling who paid them for their efforts. Then everybody went home for ice cream.

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August 16
Planning

The group prepared for their upcoming attack upon the Aboleth. Rumblebelly bought a warehouse. Nuati bought potions. The Wizard provided everybody with a platinum ring worth 50gp. Except Morgwais. He has to wait a week still for his. Because he’s a horse. (This is so the Cleric can cast shield other on them if needed).

The Thief stirred up some trouble with the teamsters guild, led by some thug named Argus. Eventually though he got the help of the Wizard to work around the guild’s impositions and limitations.

The party researched all they could about Aboleth and then ventured into the Wizards guild again. Moira and Thomas had reclaimed the top two levels of the guild, now that the monsters had been forcibly removed and placed the Shield Guardian to guard the stairs to the basement.

The party then went to the scrying chamber to scout the lower levels out with an arcane eye cast by the Wizard. Using the spell, the party learned of the Aboleth’s location and that there were 26 Skum and a creature called a Chuul that looks like a giant lobster with tentacles guarding the Aboleth.

The Aboleth has a tunnel into deeper water to escape with, which the party is wary of. They intend to seal off the exit with the Cleric’s stone shape spell so it can’t get away. Hopefully nobody will die in the ensuing combat. (Yeah, right.)

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August 14th
Gil vs. the Monsters

Poor Gil the Paladin, whose wallet held a measly 1 silver piece, and who owed his church 545 gold pieces in tithes (as well as being indebted to “others” to the tune of 1000 more gold pieces), set out to the temple of Pelor to seek redemption and hopefully receive a small side-quest. On the way, however, he was stopped by a darkly hooded Cleric of Wee Jas (who is taller than she sounds). Despite appearances, the encounter turned out to be beneficial.

The Cleric of Wee Jas, one Amon, a red-headed half-elf, was seeking Gil out for a quest. Members of his temple had received visions informing them that Wee Jas had an unfavourable view of the frequency with which Gil was being raised from the dead. Amon had seen a way for Gil to even out the slate in that regard.

In a burial mound dedicated as the resting place for Clerics of Wee Jas, located just outside of town, an evil presence had arisen. Gil was tasked with the job of entering the mound and helping the Cleric Amon of Wee Jas cleanse the site of eeeeevil.

Gil accepted. However, not trusting the Cleric Amon, he first returned to his keep and gathered together a small band to back him up in case of a trap. Gigglecloud and Elatoris were drafted to that end, and Morgwais the faithful talking horse would carry Gil on his mission.

The party travelled toward the mound. The round-trip was expected to last for two days, and Gil instructed Gigglecloud to carry enough food and drink for them all.

Before nightfall, the party encountered a band of marauding Hobgoblins of the Black Drakes tribe and defeated them, taking three prisoners and their loot. None of the party were injured in the fight.

Arriving at the burial mound, Gil set Elatoris and Morgwais to guard the three humanoid prisoners. Then he, Gigglecloud, and the Cleric Amon entered the barrow to investigate. They discovered one Ghoul and one Wight, which they defeated in combat without the party suffering any injury. They also looted the Wight’s treasure, which for some reason was okay. The reasoning was a bit tricky, so they all stuck their fingers in their ears and said “la la la!” when Morgwais asked.

Gil, Morgwais, Gigglecloud, and Elatoris then returned home with the loot. Gil’s share was enough to cover his tithe to his temple, but he still owes 1000 gold to “others”.

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August 10
Dead, dead, dead

The group rested for eight hours in the chamber that had been claimed by the Rakshasa with the Rogue and Paladins keeping watch. After the group readied its spells, they headed back into the wizards guild, searching room by room, clearing out monsters and looting rooms.

At some point, the Wizard stuffed a decanter away without anyone but his brother noticing. He later had it identified by Nuati in exchange for a magical harp the brothers had taken for themselves earlier.

After a brief scuffle with a band of relatively wealthy grimlocks, the party stumbled into the grey render they had known was there but had inconveniently forgotten about (the Bard knew! but the map was upside-down). While they struggled against the render by itself, the party soon found itself under duress when a duo of zombie ogres and an invisible Drow Sorceress joined the fray.

Dimitri blew his horn of Valhalla, calling on several barbarians to assist. Despite their aid, the battle was rough on the party, as the Cleric was beaten to death, Gil perished once again and Sigifried bit the dust as well. The battle was lengthened by the Evard’s black tentacles left in the wake of the Drow Sorceress even in her demise, which continued to plague the party for some time.

Afterwards, they looted the bodies and nearby rooms before gathering their fallen comrades and retreating yet again to heal and resurrect, etc. Some levelling occurred as well.

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August 5

After a brief rest, the party decided to attempt to arm itself with a new weapon, one they didn’t use very often: knowledge! So they went to a library they has discovered the previous excursion.

Spending an hour or so in the library revealed some new information to the Wizard and Bard regarding the nature of Aboleths (basically they suck). The Bard then wanted to research Drow, while the Dwarves left, claiming to need to relieve themselves. They actually wanted to steal the loot that the Paladins had prevented them from stealing earlier.

The Wizard and Cleric headed back down to the lower level they had ‘cleared’ of monsters the previous visit. They advanced carefully, on the lookout for monsters and ambush, though they saw neither. This of course only means they just didn’t see it.

They reached the trophy room safely and quickly took the valuables that remained and hadn’t been destroyed by the rampaging Gibbering Mouthers, now that the Paladins no longer watched over the greedy Dwarves like the annoying law-abiding, law-enforcing hawks that they are sworn to be. With all the devastation and wreckage caused by the Mouthers, who’s to miss the last random items? It’s always best to rationalise one’s wrong-doings. Also, it should be noted that the Bard had discovered a talking, mummified Human head, which he had already “rescued” from the trophy room. Though capable of speech, it only states words in common at seemingly complete random. Perhaps it was driven insane by the constant babbling of the Mouthers. Won’t someone think of the head!)

While the Dwarves stole what they could (NOT the tapestry, as it was too long to be properly shrunk down to size via the shrink item spell), the unseen enemy prepared in advance. Once they had finished, the Dwarves left, heading for their companions. They ran into a Human caster, with a Hell Hound at his side, before even turning a corner. During their brief discussion, the Human, who would eventually turn out not to be Human at all, recognised the Wizard as the owner of a specific magical item. The Wizard in turn recognised the insignia worn by the “Human”, marking him as an arcane magic user for certain and probably a Sorcerer, a follower of the Cult of the Minotaur Mage.

Preferring to die rather than part with his hard earned gear, the Wizard sighed and resigned himself to combat. The Cleric , for his part, wondered WHY had he come, as usual.

The fight started poorly for the brothers, as two previously unseen Xill guards popped up out of thin air (actually they had stepped out of the Ethereal plane, as their species tend to do) and attacked. The Wizard immediately cast a spell along with his brother, then the Wizard found himself grappled by one Xill while the Cleric traded blows with them both. Once the Xill grappling the Wizard was beaten to death (or technically banishment?) he sent a magical message to Gil, who he hoped remained in the library upstairs, asking for help and warning of the monsters they faced.

While the Wizard cast several powerful spells, he was unable to affect any of his enemies with his magic, as he simply could not penetrate their magical defences and resistances. This was especially true of the “Sorcerer”, who cast his own spells down upon the area he was within, confident he would simply naturally resist them. And he did, proving so with a fireball just as Gil arrived, nearly killing both Gil and the Cleric, but leaving the Wizard unscathed. The combat progressed slowly, with the Cleric defeating the second Xill and the Sorcerer dispelling the Cleric’s magic circle against evil (it took him 3 turns!), while the Hell Hound was sent back to the plane from whence he came, as the spell that summoned it had run out of time.

Soon after, the rest of the party arrived via dimension door spells courtesy of Thomas and Moira. With their assistance, the party defeated the enemy, though it required the Paladin to physically restrain him and the Bard to shackle him, as the time and effort to render him unconscious would have been ridiculous. But despite his powers and resistances, the party had captured what turned out to be a Rakshasa. A quick interrogation followed, wherein the Wizard tried to detect the creatures thoughts. Not being able to discern anything from the wily Rakshasa, the Dwarf Wizard turned his attentions to the Wizard Thomas, who he knew held the password to activate the scrying chamber within the guild. Tricking Thomas into thinking of the password so he could read it from his thoughts, the Wizard learned the password (“DEFECIT”). This however, provoked the ire of their wizard allies, who no longer appreciate the presence of the Dwarven Wizard and possibly the Cleric and the rest of the party.

The group went to the scrying chamber and used the newly learned password. It worked and activated the chamber’s scrying pool. The group then attempted to verify what they could of the Rakshasa’s information. They found the location of the Grey Render but not the Drow.

The Wizard then attempted to find Neil, the cunning Rogue who took his bone dagger so long ago. However his attempts were unsuccessful, so he vowed to try again later.

They then travelled to the Rakshasa’s chamber, where they took everything they could, including gold, valuables, and a library of approximately 200 books. After searching the place, the party rested there to recuperate and regain their spells.

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August 3

The party continued to slay their way through the wizards guild, passing through rooms splattered with blood and gore and various wreckage and debris. They fought a couple of gibbering mouthers while looting a trophy room, though the paladins prevented and real looting from the wizards guild. Then they were attacked by Xill again. This time it was a successful ambush and the difference in combat was notable.
Though the fight was trying, the group both survived and won. Phew. They made their way back to the guarded room, where Thomas and Moira still stayed hiddenish. There they rested while deciding what to do. During their wandering, the group has discovered a passage to the deeper reaches, where they saw Skum and learned of an aboleth lurking beneath.

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July 24

Upon entering the wizards guild anew, the party ran into a Xill guard pretty quickly. Also pretty quickly they took them down. This ease was probably because Sigifrid cast see invisibility and saw approaching Xill hiding in the ethereal plane. So, seeing the enemy sneaking up, the party was able to defeat their attempt at an ambush rather handily.

Following the attack with the Xill, the party ran afoul of a Barghest — multiple Barghest actually. Two of them. Greater Barghests. (They’re Grrrreat!)

Anyways, they were also defeated summarily, though this combat proved to be slightly more challenging. Despite the fury of the extraplanar creatures and all of their abilities and spells and tricks, the group won out and nobody died. This time. So far.

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July a week later
The Deadenising

So. Bad time. Gil died again. Fighting gridlock (“grimlock”) barbarians. And the wizard. Everybody else very much hurt. Mostly.

The group entered the wizards guild and immediately ran into a armoured guard. A Shield guardian to be exact. Nearly deciding to fight it, the group instead made allies with its owner and comander, a wizard hiding in the room behind it. So far the only survivor are two scared wizards: Thomas the enchanter and Moira the evoked, she’s an elf.

The group took some minor assistance from the duo and the wizard cast an arcane eye to scout ahead. Upon finding a room of grimlocks, the group formed up around the door and attacked them with a starting fireball.

However, the group was not prepared for the massive damage the grimlocks were capable of dealing. In the very first few seconds of combat, they schtupped Gil. Why always Gil?! Because he suuuucks!!!

Anyways, without a knight standing in front, the grimlocks flowed through the gap and waltzed up to the wizard and, without a pause, chopped him nearly in half, slaying him instantly. The rest of the party withered before the onslaught but held out, just barely. Several members fell unconscious but eventually the group, or what was left of the group, won out over the monsters.

Gathering their dead, the wounded party limped away. They scavenged the gold they needed to raise their companions. Dimitri coughed up a bunch of gold for Gil, as neither Gil nor Morgwais could afford it.

The group later found out the thief was loaded, like the dwarves. Like seriously loaded. Enough to shame a dwarven goldsmith. But still didn’t pitch in. Just saying.

After being brought back from the dead, the wizard and Gil needed to rest, but after a day were ready to go again.

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June 26th
Take THAT, Bembridge Scholars!

Bad man in cave, go find, hit hit hit! Take home but trolls come! Hit hit hit! Bard suck.

Treasure. Give man sword, why not, because!! What means words? Go away!

Ice tower. Wizards not good. Amnesty, please? Yes?

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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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