Scarn 16 After

Oh that Gwynn...
Escape! Bloodshed! Clip-Clop!

It would seem Gwynn had quite the night. After hearins some rumours about changes in the leadership of the black slippers, Gwynn went out to visit our mutual friend Chang’E’sok. I guess under the new leadership, things weren’t going to smoothly for the upstanding citizen members of the black slippers.
A wizard was with Chang before Gwynn got there, and according to Chang, he apparnently runs all things magical. He imports stong battle mages from the south, where this wizard also hails from .
Gwynn decided to spill to Chang about the anit-magic powder. Chang didn’t have much to offer up about the stuff. Gwynn got the scoop about a recently abandoned alchemist’s shop though, and decided to go check it out. While there he managed to acquire a quantity of a substance that was downright unhealthy. It causes unconsciousness when ingested.
Having heard all this over breakfast at the Angry Dward, the party decides that it is time to hit the road. The party splits up, ever a good idea! Ronn and Shad head out to secure some horses and a cart, with the intention of meeting up with the others at the Charduni temple, where they are headed to exchange some information with the priestess there.
Ronn and Shad encounter some guards shaking down some citizens, using the awesome power of gold, Ronn finds out that the guards are looking for some thief halfling, for the murder of a prominent alchemist in town. This sounds in no way familiar to Ronn.
Shad slaps some sense into him, and they decide to head straight to the temple, hoping to find Gwynn and the gang to warn him about the heat on his trail.
Ronn and Shad arrive at the temple, apparently before the rest of the party made it there.
A little bit later, the gang shows up, with Serpenthelm giddily wiping the blood off of her battle-axe. I guess they didn’t have quite as easy a time slipping past the guards as the Brave and Nimble Ronn Tellius and his mostly competent sidekick Shadowspawn.
Anyway, after hearing about the extra trouble we’ve found, Ronn and Shad go again to get a cart, and return to the temple with one in short order. The team loads Gwynn into a burlap sack (sort of) and we throw him in the back, and head towards one of the side gates out of the city.
We get a bit of grief at the gate, but with a little bardic magic, we convince the guards that the cart is full of rats infected with the Black Lube, and they want nothing to do with checking on the contents back there.
With that, the team, with their beast of burden Clip-Clop, set off down the road towards more adventure.
Ronn, Janella and Serpenthelm spend the journey studying the Runic tome. They manage to make some amount of progress, though the scholarship largely goes over their heads.
The team sets up camp once the sun starts to go down. The night passes. The next day, the team sets off again, with our newfound scholars back to work on the tome.
Before too long, the team encounters some Charduni, who had taken down one of the Prince’s caravans.
The team splits up, with our sneakier bunch heading out in to the bushes. Leaving Ronn alone to bravely face the Charduni up ahead. Ronn magically disguises himself as Cuthred, the Charduni wizard he had impersonated at Crystal falls earlier in their adventures.
With some smooth talking and thinly veiled panic, Ronn manages to prevent the Charduni from bringing their dangerous magical swords in too close, which would threaten the glamour that was concealing him from their prying Dwarf eyes.
It turns out these are Charduni loyalists, who are conducting an underground military effort against the Prince’s forces. The captain of the group promises that they are ‘everywhere’ and that the prince doesn’t stand a chance.
Slightly off-put by the comments of the captain, Ronn slaps the reins and him and Clip-Clop head off up the road, to meet up with the rest of the party, to find out just how close they had come to having Janella’s fireballs come raining down from the heavens. ..

The Hag and the Librarian

At precicely 8:13 in the evening, Gwynn, Janella and Tellius dig a deep hole and bury the red stone at the back of the cave and hide it as well as we can. If we didn’t know we’d just put it there, we wouldn’t be able to find it, and even from close up, Janella’s detect magic only shows a very faint glow.

Shadowspawn, who is pretty wiped out, gets to bed early and puts in a solid 8 hours before his watch at 4am. We can still hear the unnatural storm raging outside, a storm created by a Storm Hag (lieutenant in the titan spawn army) from titan blood and sustained by either pain from other creatures or more titan blood. We realise that it is beyond our ability to fight successfully. We can’t tell if the storm is moving or if it is stalled above us.

At about midnight, when the watch is changing from Serp to Gwynn, we hear a high pitched, haggish, powerful voice over the wind: “Wu’jen, I know you have it, you’d be wise to bring it to me.” We get the sense the Hag is bluffing.

By 9am the storm begins to abate and while we debate out next move, Serpenthelm does some healing. She seems to have an issue with her foot. We leave the cave, hiding the entrance and our tracks. We make note of the location so we can come back and retrieve the red stone if we need to. We estimate it to be about 120ft inside the cave and Janella gets no hint of it with a detect magic spell. We make like trees and leave.

We see and object/being in the distance and it turns out to be a dead slytherin, upside down on a stake, tortured. It had been flayed systematically by someone/something that knew what it was doing to extract maximum agony. We suspect the Storm Hag.

By 1400 we approach Ft Jamal. Serpenthelm won’t stop complaining about her foot, so we pause. While Janella checks out the fort with her spyglass, spotting the Prince’s army inside, the rest of the party tries to fix the foot. We try to purify it, no joy. We try Blood-berry wine; it makes Serp feel better, soothed. It has been 24 hours since she stepped into the Titan’s blood and there is a small sore forming. We try the helmet, to no appreciable effect.

We continue past Ft Jamal on the road and have no encounters. At 1800 we decide to make camp. Gwynn casts guidance and Tellius sings over Serps foot, to no effect. The sore is, very slowly, getting bigger. We set a watch, but nothing happens overnight.

In the morning, Gwynn spends some time looking for plants to no avail. We continue along the road to Junction and after being hailed with “Dirty Wu’jen” we are allowed past the gate. Our first stop is Smythia, who still has a nasty cough, but is almost finished her contract. We ask about a healer, and she directs us to a Temple of Madriel, a human god, in the vicinity. We head to the tiny temple and are greeted by a 50yr old priestess who seems spy and genuine. She immediately goes to work.
-herbs for pain
-heats up tools
-cuts out abscess
-“something magic can’t help you with”
-“blood of devourer”
-would have eventually eaten foot, leg, etc
-GAURAK the devourer
-you will be OK. “Don’t fuck with Titan’s blood”

The priestess informs us that the military was through yesterday on their way to Ft Jamal with many Clerics and Paladins. A week ago, Furbelow was overrun which resulted in lots of refugees and lots of healings.

We make a big donation to Madreil.

At 1430, we find a cart heading for Urlisia, and drop 5 silver for passage. An hour later, we are on our way (accompanied by stoic soldiers, a few small groups and some families) on 3 carts being pulled by 2 horses each. We check Serp’s foot along the way and it seems to be doing fine.

Ah Urlisia, is there any place so sweet? Actually, yes.

Guards accost Tellius and Shadowspawn at the gate, and seem about to refuse entry, but Tellius charms them with wit and hints of great stories to be told. Tellius slips the guard a GP for his troubles. We are recognised by many people as we walk the torch lit streets towards the Angry Dwarf. Here, our group splits with Tellius, Serpenthelm and Gwynn heading inside to regale the punters with hours long tales of Dragon vs. Drake while Shadowspawn and Janella seek out Hagrin for information.
-“prince building an army”
-“getting ready for war”
-“South vs. North”
-“North is where we should be going”
Shadowspawn tells of our exploits including observations regarding the white powder.
-“makes so much sense, they are going after lands in the South, so must go with anti-magic”
Is the Prince in his right mind?
-“Seems to be the same, ambitious”

Jan and Shad then head for the fences on the outskirts of town to try and unsuccessfully sell the previously cultivated proboscis and skin.

Meanwhile, Gwynn drops from the rafters of the Angry Dwarf and slips outside to visit his buddy Chung-gay-sock. Initially, his path to the hideout is blocked by guards, but after flashing the “3 fingers in the shoe” sign, he is allowed past. Chungaysok greets Gwynn with “Come into my palace” which is just a small room, and sends the guard away. Gwynn informs that he has magical gear to unload and items to acquire.

At this point, in my notes, I have written, unremembered: “the chronicler would like it known that he has been poisoned by alcohol”

Gwynn offers the helm with the pictures of ships to Chung for inspection. A wizard is brought in to check it. Chung offers: “Can trade for this” and displays an old Charduni magical axe with runes etched on the head. The trade takes place. (+1 axe plus Keen)

We all sleep uneventfully in the tavern on feather beds. Urlisia is pretty sweet.

The next day, Tellius offers his +2 sword in exchange for Rapiers to Gywnn’s fence. That exchange completed, we head to the Charduni temple where we are greeted by a ½ Ork Monk who leads us down to the library. We show Tathal, the librarian, the book.
-“I didn’t think you would make it”
Tell us where the orb is and everything you know about it.
-“Hidden in labyrinth below Charduni temple in Cader, 5 days by road”
How do we prepare ourselves?
-“Poem of the Rust of the Destroyer” – Buehler to provide text

-“common Charduni guards”
-“gem of dragons”
-“identify/find magic”

Serpenthelm trades “book of enlightenment” for bracers of archery, greater and IOUN stone (dusty rose) +1AC

-“Ron is my favourite Tellius”

We ask about the white powder, and the librarian says she will research it.
What are ‘common Charduni guards’?
-“Charduni are enslavers. Many creatures have been enslaved. Announce yourself to the guardian and face trials.”

Gem of dragons?
-“rumoured. Gem was a great project”

-Charduni rune blood
-Charduni fortification book
-Map of Cador

We also get a wand of dispel magic with 5 charges which Janella carries.
We discussed enslaved Charduni in tower base: “rapid death, don’t know they are dead. Will only die once their quest is completed”

Rune of Underworld in Shadowspawn’s chest. Runic Magic.

Janella trades her Staff of Fireshield for a Wand of Identify with 13 charges.

There are two notes for which I have no recollection:
Learn 0,3
Tellius sword +2


That is all. May the gods have mercy upon my liver.

The Scorpion, the Storm and the Cave Dweller

The Chronicles of Tellius
Book II
Part I – Battle for the Ridge

We rejoin our hero, Ronn Tellius, as he valiantly coordinates his party into an effective ambush of the oncoming Slitherin. One of the dastardly scorpion riders had planted himself on a hill on the opposite side of the valley, preparing to coordinate with his Muridaen comrades approaching along the ridge. Janella unleashes her fiery manor towards the mounted Rat, the smell of singed fur unmistakeable on the slight breeze. Shadowspawn wastes no time and starts loosing arrows towards the approaching beasts. Using the commotion and arrow fire as cover, Gwynn slithers up the hill, much like his companion might, while Ronn, carefully cranks his mighty crossbow; waiting for the perfect shot to break this battle wide open.
“Do you remember the brave story of the Knights of Venir holding Trontooth Pass against Gaurak’s horde?”, yells the brave Ronn tellius, immediately before breaking into a rousing war chant; the likes of which had not been heard since the Titans were cleaving valleys such as this into the scenery. Vipette doesn’t seem impressed by this display, and slithers off towards the slitherin approaching on the valley floor.
As the rats approach, Shadowspawn looses again, his arrow striking true, leeching deadly poison into the wound and making the beast’s sword look a little heavier.
From behind the hill the sounds of squeaky chants can be heard, and the skies above seem to break into a dangerous looking cloud; an ominous rumbling warning us of forthcoming danger.
One of the Slitherin near the mounted, casting druid tries to fire his bow at us; thankfully Enkili was feeling playful today, and snapped the poor fool’s string, causing him to drop his weapon. As amusing as this turn of events was, there was trouble afoot as two of the beasts climbed the ridge continuing their approach. Another of the beasts spots Vipette, and begins slashing at the grass around him trying to catch the diminutive reptile unawares. The battle at the top of the ridge intensifies as Gwynn slays another Slitherin, presumably his bond with Vipette fuelling his fighting spirit. During all this commotion, the crank on our Hero’s crossbow finally reaches the final notch, the trigger snapping into position in front of the string with a satisfying ‘click’.
Ronn takes aim, remembering the heroics that Vipette demonstrated against the Hill Giant, and the comforting moments spent in close quarters as Gwynn had flown him to safety out of the Titanspawn camp. The release is smooth, and the bolt flies true, and lands just in time for the climax of the third verse of “Trontooth Pass”; the crack of the bolt striking the Slitherin would have to make up for the lack of cymbal.
Serpenthelm, continues her onslaught unleashing arrow after arrow towards the Scorpion and its rider. Though some of her shots seem to be foiled by the crude magics of the druid riding the scorpion.
Lightning cracks, and out of nowhere a horrible swarm of rats emerges, trying to snuff out the torrent of tunage emerging from the brave, yet remarkably eloquent Ronn Tellius. As if this weren’t enough, some of the fell beasts were so intimidated by the song they threw vials of burning liquid down at the party, catching Ronn as he attempted to dodge a lightning bolt.
It would seem at this point Janella had had enough. She began chanting, bringing her thumbs together in front of her, fingers spread out wide, directed at the Slitherin on the ridge. With the last syllable, the enunciation making even Ronn blush, a cone of flame emerged, catching the Sliterin in its fiery inferno.
At this point in the melee, Gwynn goes for some out-of-the box thinking and tosses the dragon orb towards the valley floor.
Serpenthelm, inspired by the show of power Janella had just unleashed, apparently got hungry… Reaching into her pocket she pulled out a small piece of butter and began rubbing it between her palms. But before the rest of the party started drooling, a slopping of magical energy is released and the Slitherin riding the scorpion is covered in grease, making holding on to the saddle difficult. Sam swoops by as well, ready to throw his weight around and drop some bombs, or rocks, whichever is available, on the approaching rat-men.
Shadowspawn strikes true, and catches the newly greased druid with a solid arrow strike and he slips out of the saddle. Janella continues the fire show, and summons a sphere onto the scorpion.
Gwynn uses the commotion of the swarm of rats crawling all over Ronn, and sneaks around and slashes the throat of an unknowing Slitherin.
Shadowspawn, not ready to lose the orb just yet, dives down the hill, rolls dramatically, grabs the orb and poof, vanishes into the shadow realm.
Serpenthelm at this point is locked in bitter combat with the scorpion, and takes a claw attack.
The Slitherin that was trying to find Vipette in the grass, suddenly realised where the snake was, he was sinking his tiny, yet deadly fangs into his ankle, and felt his will to live draining fast.
Janella continues to drive the sphere of fire into the scorpion, the hissing of its burning carapace substituting for what surely would have been screams in any other creature.
Vipette continues his assault, and applies some venom to another of the Slitherin, while Serpenthelm raises her axe and brings it down into the hissing, burning scorpion, slashing through the carpapace, the Scorpion falling limp with one last twitch.
As the crushing crack of the scorpion’s carapace resonates through the valley, Ronn dazzles the rats before him and finds their tiny skulls with the tip of his rapier.
The last Slitherin finally realises the time for flight has come, but as he turns and runs, a pinching in his ankle reminds him he had been occupied with something already, but too late, as Vipette’s poison brings the monster down.
Victory! While the sweet smell of victory (burnt scorpion and rat hair, in this case) hung in the air, the party valiantly looted the corpses of the fallen foes. Some potions, a wand, some vials of oil, and a shiny magical gem.

PART II – An unexpected crisis, A cave, some tentacles.

At this point in our tale, the party decides to split up, as a crackling, unnatural storm begins to loom on the horizon. Gwynn and Janella will head back to the previous battle site, with the intention of finding some poison from the dead scorpion there.

“Go no further than 1km” Gwynn tells the remaining party members,

“500 metres”, Janella agrees.

“No, 750m” Gwynn retorts, “we’ll be back in no time”.

“Very well,” answers Ronn, “go no further than 2 km”, though at this point Gwynn and Janella were already on their way. Ronn, Serpy and Shad make their way down the trail, stopping every km or so, losing themselves in the excitement of amateur spelunkery and the imminent danger of the approaching storm. 5km later, “Look a cave!” Serpenthelm announces. Eminently proud of themselves the group heads into the cave. “Oh, but maybe we should leave a lookout for our companions…” someone notes, so the party decided to send the ranger out, who tried in vain to send a signal off to Sam who was still circling behind us looking for something to drop a rock on.
Some time later, as the storm is about to come crashing down, in to the cave saunter Gwynn and Janella, looking incredibly pleased to see the group, especially Ronn. [Chronicler’s note: Did I say pleased? Pissed would have been a better choice] “Took you long enough…” Ronn notes, bravely. Gwynn, overtaken by Ronn’s wit and charm, shows Ronn the business end of his blackjack, leaving Ronn seeing stars. It would seem the party had somewhat of a communication breakdown, 500 metres, 5000? Who can keep track of all these decimal places? Bardic knowledge only stretches so far, farthings are a much more civilised unit of measure…
Shad announces soon after that he’s received a message from the dark lady, in summary: Stop screwing around, find the orb, or I will f@&king make you explode.
Gwynn heads off ahead of the group to see how deep the cave is, as the unnatural storm outside precludes leaving that way any time soon. Shortly after this, Gwynn’s cries can be heard across the cave as he comes running back out from whence he came, apparently pursued by some horrid tentacled cave dweller, Gwynn lets fly with his crossbow, while Serpenthelm attempts to increase the lighting by shooting arrows into the cave walls to create sparks. Shad is the one to finally strike true and drop the horrible creature.
Janella dons the cloak of the bat, and flutters off to explore the cave, returning and announcing she’d found the back.
We leave our party here, tired, damp, still on the run, hiding out in a cave.

Survival of the fittest
Yea, that's us

Curtain rises:

The mighty Wu’jen warriors spread out on the killing field. The Shad, Serpinator, Gwinn Pipette, Ronn Tellius – yes that Ronn Tellius and Jannella, lookin mighty fine in that cloak, even showing a little leg now and then. Ronn, Jan and Serp focus on the scorpion-riding albino druid while Shad goes after the sniping archer-rat fink. Gwinn, thinking he has the same animal magnetism Ronn does, wants to befriend the scorpion. We slap him silly until he sees reason. Instead he creeps in closer to the sniper hoping to shoot him with a poison arrow. Shadowspawn throws a bag of caletrops at the feet of the scorpion hoping to impede its movements but Jann moving in on it still gets a painful “one on one” with ”the claw”. The druid riding above the scorpion is spellcasting, arms moving widely about. The sniper on the other hand has targeted Shadowspawn and scores a direct hit! Ronn recognizing our great peril inspires us with song while his discordant notes frighten our enemies.

A clamor is heard approaching in the distance-no friends of ours to be sure! Jann, in retaliation for her new scars, uses fire breath on the scorpion and sets its red carapace ablaze. The druid launches a counter spell and smacks her back with lightning! I shoot one of his spell casting arms. The sniper shoots Shad again and is in turn shot in the shoulder by one of Gwinn’s poison arrows. Shad’s life-blood is pouring all over the ground. Ronn Tellius, his song ended jumps into the fray and starts winding his crossbow. The singed scorpion badly distracted by its injuries, misses skewering Jannela with its deadly stinger. Sam, Serpenthelm’s mighty hawk, unerringly picks up a deadly pebble. She circles above, bidding her time to strike.

Jannela sends more fire breath into the face of the scorpion and druid who still manages to fire another bolt of lightning at Ronn. Staggering forward, Ronn stubbornly continues to wind his crossbow. From high above, Sam unerringly drops the pebble which rockets off the druid’s forehead! The druid barely notices the distraction! I manage to hit the druid’s other arm and then, Ronn puts an arrow through the druid’s brain. This time, he notices. Gwinn gulps back a vial of speed potion making him even quicker! Steaming mad he pulls out his hatchet and speeds towards the sniper. Shadowspawn gets there first and finishes the job courtesy of a dagger to the heart. Gwinn redirecting his anger at the scorpion manages to cut off one of its legs! Jann, while still cremating parts of the scorpion takes another hit from a claw. Finally the lobster want-a-be is boiled and done. We start thinking about lunch.

Great Titan! It’s never ending. Shadowspawn sees nine slitherin, including another druid riding scorpion coming in our general direction.

We run south trying to avert another fight. Along the way we lay false trails and keep an eye out for a more strategic fighting arena. Gwinn shares one of his deadly poison arrows with me. Despite our superior brains, good looks and stealth, the slitherin spot us and start squealing maniacally. Crap! Directed by the druid, the slitherin move to encircle us. That pesky druid soon finds himself hit with arrows courtesy of the Shad and Ronn and wearing one of Jannela’s burning spheres. I hit the nearest charging rat.

Curtain closes.


Gwinn has the Helmet = Has boat on an ocean etched on it, ability unknown
Gwinnn has the Red ruby stone – can capture a black dragon, the Fire drake (who is dead) wants it back)
Jannela has the Belt = Improves night vision and aids in reading ancient charduni
Jannela has the Cloak = offers protection – worth 26000 GP, improves night vision and can transform you into a bat. Adds + 2 on saving throws
Serp has the Tome of Enlightenment = Permanent increase of intelligence (1) after 6 days of study
Ronn has a trapped spellbook from the old Charduni
Ronn has a ring that allows you to jump many feet easily
Shad has the Tellery book or Charduni tome for the old librarian
Shad has a cloak which gives +2 on reflex saves and
2 on all saving throws

You've heard of "24"; now comes "48"


South of Fort Jamal at 10:03:06am, we realize that the black dragon’s parting words had not been idle chatter; the fire drake’s cronies DID follow us. Large-winged sand wyverns are hot on our trail, with slytherin manning the reins strapped aboard by 9-buckle Doc Martin leggings, an haute couture look amongst slytherin airmen in 16 After. We’ve been seen. Tellius can sense that there might be a song in this.

The Ronn bolts for the trees, stashing the big red crystal in order to free up his hands to start crankin’ that big ol’ heavy crossbow of his. Gwynn starts dipping one of his smaller bolts in his blood sprite poison, a plan so devious taking shape that even hood-cradled Vipet has to whistle out a wee chortle in respect of its brilliance (Sss…sss…sss!). Jan puts on a shimmering cloak of mage armour, and Serpy flashes a rather large pair of spherical gonads, running up a nearby hill to attract the wrath of the incoming air raid and to get a clear shot off with her composite long bow. Yet it’s the noodle-armed Shad who draws first blood – several pounds of force draw back the string of his composite short bow and release, lobbing a deadly salvo skyward to punch clean through the first layer of dermis of the wyvern, burying the arrow half-way up the arrow point in the large flank of muscle of the wyvern’s upper-right rear thigh. “Yeah, bitches! You want some more o’ that?” he taunts. Turns out the wyverns do.

Down they swoop, barrelling into the exposed Serpenthelm with a mighty shoulder check, sending the brave ranger tumbling off the hill ass/tea kettle. Although Gwynn hits a sneak-attack with his poisoned arrow, doing considerable damage, the wyvern manages to shake off the poison’s effects. “Titan’s teats!” Gwynn curses, his plan foiled for the nonce. Meanwhile, Janella lands a beach ball of flame in one rider’s lap, crisping his tunic. A flurry of shafts rise up from the earth to pepper the wing-ed beasts and their riders – the Shad, Serpy, Gwynn, and Tellius let loose their volleys with most firings hitting their marks and slowly working down the health of the draconic pretenders.

“Pretenders?!?” one of the wyverns gasps in outrage as he somehow crosses planes, realities, and time to appear in my living room and peer over my shoulder at the above sentence on my laptop. “Oh really? What happened next? Did I lay down a frickin’ breath weapon?!!? Is that ‘Pretender’ enough for ya, you… you… bardic pretender?! You’re no Ronn Tellius, that’s for sure!” Point made. A pretty badass dragonesque breath weapon of sand is suddenly unleashed on the party, catching Gwynn and the Shad unawares. “Charduni chestnuts!! I’m blind!!” cry out Gwynn and the Shad in unison, and both rogues grasp blindly for water flasks to rinse out the grit. As if to further provoke the diminutive halfling, one of the riders (a wizardly type, wouldn’t you know) launches a magical acid arrow into Gwynn’s ribs. “That’s gotta sting! Heh! heh! heh!” the wiz cackles in rat-speak. Deeply ticked and offended by the weak pun, the small lad with the roguish good looks and slightly watery eyes, mutters under his breath in ancient Retributionese, “Let’s see how you laugh when I pull the plug on your ride…” He begins dipping another bolt in the paralyzing blood sprite poison. “This is going to be freakin’ epic when it works!!” It doesn’t work.

The Shad runs blindly, yet deftly, to the trees for cover before rinsing his own peepers, but his clearing vision does not show him anything he wants to see – signal flares arcing across the sky, marking our location for the following hordes. The crew realize that they need to end this, and fast!

Janella calls an eagle from another realm to fly in the face of one of the riders, tearing him a new one with its razor-sharp talons, but the wyvern mount quickly retaliates with a swing of its barbed and poisoned tail, sending the majestic bird straight back to hell, which is about 10 klicks south of our current location.

Serpenthelm takes a break from her deadly bow-work after the wizard rider drops a giant, poisonous centipede in our midst; one mighty chop with her great axe and the one centipede suddenly becomes two. Both dead. Back to the bow. She keeps racking up the damage on the big draconoids, and suddenly begins doing an extra damage per attack, having just realized that her bowstring can be pulled all the way back to her cheek, not just her chin! “Why didn’t they teach me that in that online Ranger course I took?” she wonders with no small measure of irritation.

All members of the party are doing steady damage while taking some knocks themselves, but it’s Tellius who buries his heavy crossbow bolt the deepest – into a tree branch 4 feet above him. “Fortunately, nobody saw that one!” he whispers to himself. Nobody but this narrator, that is. “Arrgghh!! Twerking titan!!” he bellows.

Janella swings her floating, burning, sponge cake right into the path of one of the passing riders, lighting him up as his lights go out. The mount, spooked by the flaming carcass on its back, flies off to a nearby ridge to roll in the sand and scrape the flaming lump of rider off against a large conifer. With that cleaned off, it chooses to hit the road. Smart bird. “BIRD?!!??” Sorry, bub. You’re off stage.

“Okay, this is it,” Gwynn plots, “My last dose of poison – you’re just going to feel a little prick…” (“Sss…sss…sss” Vipet snickers) His shot cuts a perfect parabolic arc through the air, unhindered by such things as targets.

Serpy has had enough. She pulls that string all the way back to her cheek, exhales halfway like they taught her in that 7-hour correspondence course she took, and releases, drilling a hole in the side of the already-wounded beast. The majestically soaring wyvern suddenly transforms into a plummeting lump of meat with its rider still strapped aboard in fashionable leggings. All watch as he madly works the buckles on his leg straps trying to free himself. “Damned double bows! Why didn’t I go with the Velcro®?!” Ah, got it, just one more to go and th/” Burgers.

Halfway through a round of high fives, the group notice new quarry rumble over the southern rise –a slytherin druid mounted on a gigantic scorpion and a slytherin crossbowman on foot. “Damned flares… How many more are going to answer their call?” wonder the crew to themselves. Getting sticky.

An entangle spell by said druid has Jan trapped for a moment, but she breaks out in a round. The Shad pops a cap in the druid’s ass, causing him to squint a bit, though that could’ve just been that he was looking toward the Sun. All the while, the Prius-sized scorpion rolls forward like a juggernaut. At this point, it is still uncertain whether the giant arthropod is friendly.

Tellius scoops up the huge, red crystal and runs out of the entangled area. Bravely.

Time: 10:03:54am

Elapsed time: 48 seconds

Escape from the fallen tower
They will send more to find you!

We find our heroes swiftly retreating as a titanic battle of draconic proportions unfolds. Thankfully our back-up plan worked and we are still alive. Unfortunately, Shadowspawn, though safely back in the shadows, has grievous drake inflicted battle wounds. This same monstrous drake is now fully engaged by the freed acid spitting black dragon giving us the extraordinary opportunity to escape its wrath. With the exception of SS, we all run towards the northwest rocky outcropping looking for protection from the battle at hand. The drake, thinking to eliminate its nemesis in a vicious frontal assault, hurls itself at the black devil, who just manages to jump out of the way at the last second. The drake slams into the cliff face setting loose a shower of fiery debris just missing Ronn and Gwinn.

Mesmerized by the battle and afraid for my life, while in an all out sprint, I misjudge my leap across the titan infested sickly stream. Phew…thankfully I only get the end of my toe wet.

The black dragon takes to the air, circles and successfully strikes the drake with a 60’ ball of electricity. The drake misses badly in its counterattack. The enraged dragon yells “slitherin get me that red stone!” The black dragon flies away towards the northwest with the drake on its tail.

We continue escaping around the rocky outcropping and keep running towards what passes as a trail in these parts. It’s no more than a narrow track cleared by the slitherin of the worst wreckage from the titan war. We draw our weapons in anticipation of a slitherin attack. Jannela, ever resourceful, sends a big 5’ ball of fire ahead and above the path to annihilate our pursuers. The dry grasses and shrubs catch fire and the ensuing inferno, growing quickly, incinerates the nearest slitherin. The black dragon unbelievably continues to be successful in its battle with the drake. Again it discharges its acid breath at the drake. Again the Drake misses its counterattack! Shadowspawn, witness to the chaos, follows us within the shadow realm. The fire-ball is spreading fast and disintegrates the trail ahead of Jannela and Ronn. The two are forced to run through a circle of flames like circus clowns performing for a crowd! Through the flames slightly crispy, Ronn and Jannela are then ambushed by javelin throwing slitherin above the trail. Thankfully their aim is as bad as their smell!

Meanwhile Gwinn and I take a casual relaxed jog towards our rendez-vous destination keeping a wide berth away from the out-of-control fireball. We take note of Slitherin clerics who seem to be following our escape away from the battle.

The twin terrors swing back towards the tower. The Drake succeeds in clawing through the thick hide of its nemessis. A horrible screech fills the air. Ronn squeezes by Jannela on the trail and heals her burns with his magical touch. Jannela uses fire breath to extinguish three rapidly approaching slitherin. They die quietly, murmuring softly – no – more like screaming in agony! The drake gets in one last shot before the black let’s loose a deadly inferno. The drake explodes, and is no more. The aftermath of the blast is like Scarn day over the Titan sea. Fireworks rain beautiful embers over the slitherin hovels…cut to more screaming.

The black dragon though badly wounded flies towards us then vanishes into another dimension. In fearful disbelief, we all hear the black monster roar “they will send more to find you”. Such a lovely cheerful thought after all we did for it!

We are left wondering who? What? When? Why? And How?

We run. Jannela obsessively tries to use her magic items but finds they are rendered inactive by the red crystal. Ronn holds it for her and Jann observes a rekindling of her powers when the thing is 40 feet away. We run all the way back to Fort Jamal, set up camp and remain vigilant overnight. In the morning, on the way to Junction, we see 2 winged reptilian humanoids called Sand Wiverine. They have the ability to make sand storms and have really nasty breath.

We had a plan!
Yeah, I've been in the middle of a drake/dragon fight.

New table. To be named at a later date. Matic has awesome friends!.

We start our session with Janella attempting to throw magic at the red stone, and after several attempts, is able to ascertain positively that it is red. At the same time, Gwynn tries to determine the new belt’s qualities… seems it’s got something to do with divination and maybe alteration, but that its already activated.

Everyone lies down and pretends to be comatose (although Janella and Shadowspawn chat quietly between themselves) while Tellius bravely runs away to talk to the junior undead to try to get descriptions for the artifacts in the vault. He returns with some mixed news, The good…. the red stone is not a red stone, it’s a red crystal and it’s called the Dragon Crystal. It is used to capture dragons (Titan’s Teats). The bad… there is no record of the other items, so we are still a little lost on that account. Also there are wards upstairs that will go off if we try to get out. The really good… there may be an exit from the service level out onto the cliff face.

Tellius also brought back a stack of notes that we study for hours. Janella deciphers a big chunk of text that describes ancient magic techniques regarding enslavement magic against dragons.
- the dragon crystal is akin to dragon kryptonite, I know, I know, “what’s kryponite?”
- you channel energy through the crystal to capture
- the dwarves experimented against a black dragon before the war
- information on method – not simple, involves drawing a pentagram and then casting “hold monster” spell
- release phrase is “I RELEASE YOU FROM YOUR BONDS” in ancient dwarven, spoken in the vicinity of the crystal

We also are able to gather some information about Drakes, specifically:
- Drakes hate dragons
- Drakes commanded armies of titan spawn
- They would sometime desert their posts or deviate from their path in order to fight dragons.

After another study session, we determine that the crystal can hold one dragon and that we are unable to determine if it is loaded with a dragon.

Tellius tires of studying, for the words are often long and mutli sylabic, and convinces the group that it’s time to get moving. We are able to make it to the service level without incident and, after determining which direction we are facing, head towards the cliff face.

We meet up with Schneider, the tall, derude? demon, and he trades information for his freedom. He shows us the exit to the cliff face in exchange for us removing the belt of compulsion which has been making him clean for the last few decades. Removing that belt was an ordeal and took most of us to get it done. Shadowspawn did most of the work and became familiar with the mechanism. Schneider informs us: “I’m going home” and disappears. We ran a few tests on the belt and at one point put it on Gwynn. Tellius finds a dwarven spell in a charduni book that compells Gwynn to clean. He reports that to not clean was painful, as was trying to remove the belt. Shadowspawn is able to remove it quickly without causing further harm, but not before Tellius and Janella jump on the oportunity to have their boots shined.

So here’s the Plan:

Shadowspawn into the Shadows with schneider’s belt – will attempt to put belt on the Drake’s leg.
Janella presents stone to Drake as a distraction
Serpenthelm and Tellius flank the Drake and play music to add some pomp and circumstance to the event, with the intent of adding rousing support to those of us who need it.
Gwynn, who has obviously been studying Tellius’ fighting tactics, elects to hide along the cliff edge.
If the belt works, we walk away, giggling
If the belt doesn’t work and we are able to release a dragon, we run away, laughing
If the belt doesn’t work and there is no dragon, we fight, swearing.
It was a good plan, honestly, a really, really good plan.

We peek out and look for the Drake who is not to be found. There are two guards paying little attention. Hoping to bluff our way out, we boldly descend to ground level. Gwynn hides himself as best he can and Shadowspawn slips into the shadows.
The guards notice us and sound a gong which quickly brings the drake to us.
He (she?) immediately knows some plot is afoot. His first question is where are the missing two members of our crew, which we were ready for and explained thet they had been slain while getting the red crystal. Then he asks why we have not collected their magic items… shit, didn’t think of that.
Janella places the stone on the ground and begins making a (hopefully) distracting speech about how truely awesome the drake is and how unworthy we are to be in his presence etc.,etc.,etc. Tellius may have been much better at this.
The distraction seems to work since Shadowspawn slips out of the shadows shouting something about seeing an eye in the crystal and manages to attach the belt to the drakes leg. He slips back into the shadows quickly but not without taking a nasty bit of damage from a bite. He’s the only person I know who has taken a bite from a drake and is able to tell the tale.
Once the belt is on, Janella enacts the spell to compel cleaning, but before the spell seems to have any effect, the drake lets loose with a gout of flame that is truely horrific and burns the belt off it’s leg.
As we are all losing our eyebrows, we realise that we have either grandly overestimated our abilities, or grossly underestimated the power of our foe, or most likely both. We are well and truely up a river of excrement without an adequate method of propulsion.
Sticking to the plan, Janella releases the captured dragon from it’s bonds (God’s Balls, a dragon!) and thankfully, the drake and dragon immediately begin to battle each other.
Serpenthelm is on the far side of the battling beasts, but Janella is able to whisper to her to go east and rendezvous with us south of Crystal Falls. With Shadowspawn slipping from the shadows in a very sorry state, the rest of us follow Tellius as he runs madly southward away from the drake’s explicit threat that he will not forget what we have done.

The Saga Continues

the adventure continues…….

The group is within the base of the shattered tower. Within the living quarter areas, there stands an iron golem and undead Chitari dwarf. The dead creature is aniated, but mummified with glowing eyes. The creature looks up and requests a report. He talks to the disguised Ronn Tellius, with phrases like ‘The creatures needs to be isolated’, gesturing to the rest of the adventurers. Janella communicates with the bard, giving him the idea to say that he’s isolated the twoer.

The creature seems to accept Ronn’s presence, asking him to do the stonework. Serpenthelm falls and whispers at Ronn’s feet. Gwynn tried to sneak out, but noticed. Roon hits Gwynn, theatrically but without force. Janella looks on in rage.

The bard continues with his bluff, and manages to obtain a key from the creature, known as Kalben.

The group, lead by the Dwarf appearing Ronn, goes to the level of the vault. In front of them stands a heavy dose, with runes on the ground. The magic users recognize the runes, that channel an ancient magic. Serpenthelm is aware of these aged markings. A false wall is also identified. The magic users also note magic of transmutation on the door and wall. The warriors take a few moments to discuss their next move, although somewhat confused.

They return to the living quarters, and return to an area where another undead dwarf had been encountered. Ronn speaks to the dessicated dwarf, and asks for the key. The undead monster is impressed, as he never had a key. The remaining adventurers stand in the hallway, with falsely tied hands. The creature agrees to give the key, and takes us to the transport shaft. The golems take the remaining heroes to the cells. Serpenthelm, Gwynn and Shadowspawn are taken, while Janella accompanies Ronn and the dessicated dwarf.

The small band enter the vault, which has only one entrance. There are a number of alcoves, with vairious items. As well, there is a pedastal in the middle of the room, supporting a large red stone. The dwarf stays in the room. As Janella handed her staff to Ronn, the dwarf notices and reacts to stuch a move. Janella fires off a fire spell that causes no damage, while the whizened Chitari hits Janella hard, with a spell resulting in flying shurikens. Ronn casts a charm spell on the creature, and manages to talk down the undead monster. Rather than casting further offensive spells, he merely says’Get your slave under control’, and ties Janella hands. At this point, the creature leaves.

Ronn leaves to get the remaining adventurers within the cells, and explores the vault. Janella and Ronn cast detect magic, which detects the stone work laced with transmutation and enchangement. The various alcoves contained various items with certain protective wards. The red stone has a magical trap. The other alcoves contained a book, with a field trap, a cloak with a field trap, a helm with both a field and pedestal trap, and a belt with a field trap.

At this point, Shadowspawn was given the cloak and master thief tools to attempt to remove the book (which appears to be a tome of clear thought). However, his attempt fails, and strong winds appear. Although the first hit is avoided, the second strike is solid, and shakes Shadowspawn to the core. Ronn observes the mishap from behind the pedestal, as the others stand outside the room.

Ronn returns to the living quarters, to speak with the minor ranked dwarf. However, he opens the door, and is zapped. But, he does learn of a word of power, that works the vault room traps. He returns, and speaks the word.

The group easily grab the items.
The find a tome of clear thoughts; a helm with magic, worn by Gwynn. It is covered by a scene, with an ocean and a boat on it.
A cloak, that when Janella dones, turns him into a bat; known as the ‘cloak of the bat’ – polymorph into bat;
And finally a belt – Janella fails to understand it. There are symbols, that Janella can read, with the name of a Charduni Dwarf, and has divination.

Janella then takes hold of the stone, and Ronn prepares a ditty………

Further into the tower

You unlock this door with the key of imagination.
Beyond it is another dimension.
A dimension of sound,
A dimension of sight,
A dimension of mind.
You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance,
Of things and ideas.
You’ve crossed over into… the twilight zone.

Imagine if you will, a world where odd creatures roam the countryside, striking fear in the hearts of the populace. Where drakes and dragons rule the skies and breathe down frost, fire and acid onto those unfortunate enough to be spotted. It is in this world that we find our unlikely band of heroes – A world well inside the twilight zone.

We start our adventure with Tellius receiving an Epic point for heroically implementing the brilliant idea from Gwynn and Janella to disguise himself as one of the wizards on the library wall to fool the librarian. Apparently it saved the group a whole lot of fighting, and made gathering information much easier.

After a quick bout of healing spells, Gwynn, Janella and Tellius, still in his disguise, head for the library to have words with Madge, the librarian. Meanwhile Serpenthelm makes dinner. Shadowspawn rests.

From the librarian, we learn a number of things:
There is no readily available information regarding the Queen of Shadows.
Spell tomes are kept in the vaults.
The levels of the base of the tower are:
Kitchen Hall
Entry level
Lab 2
Service level
The entry level is a trapped entry admitting dwarves only.
The red stone/gem is likely in the vault.
Madge doesn’t know anything about the white powder.

We do manage to find a book about the slytherin and although it’s not a technical book about them, there are a bunch of stories and we’re able to determine the following:
No concept of cleanliness
Speak common and titan
Fight in groups with 3-1 odds or better or from ambush
They can call upon a pack of rats
Scourge of the underwhelm
Some super rat men exist due to titan’s blood
Fear of starvation
Pray twice daily
Priests are Albino.

All very interesting information, but we’re pretty knackered, so after eating some of Serpenthelm’s stew, we head to bed and with only 2 hour watches, we all manage to get 8 hours of sleep, and are ready to go by 7.

We climb down a rope and the Drake, who is being fed by slytherin at the other end of the tower, gives us a bit of unneeded encouragement to get moving. The Drake assigns a pack of slytherin to escort us up the cliff face on an old platform used to haul goods. The huge 20ft wheels are pulled by the rat people and after a stop midway, we end up at the base of the tower. Gwynn tips the leader (hereafter known as Jimmy, the rat) with a bit of food.

The base of the tower is in pretty rough shape – lots of rubble, bushes and brambles over what used to be a nice stone floor. There is a kitchen building right next to the tower that is pretty much destroyed. We spend a bit of time searching around for another entrance, but find nothing of note except an indentation that may have previously been a cold storage cellar.

We throw out a couple of detect magic spells and can tell that there is a magic below us, but can’t tell what kind. We go down one level with Janella in the lead, and our ever brave Tellius providing the all-important rear guard, and find a beautiful staircase along the wall with a 10×10 landing at the bottom. The20ft tall tiled mosaics are spotlessly clean below a certain level. The floor appears to be covered in a pool of water, about waist deep with an open hole right in the center.

The water glows under a detect magic spell and indicates summoning magic is present. The hole in the middle of the floor has transmutation associated. We scrounge a few pots and a long board from upstairs and do some experiments. What we figure out is that we are screwed. We lose the board and one of our ropes to a tidal wave that takes them down the hole.

While trying to figure out another way to get to the next level, we meet Schneider (a stocky 5ft humanoid with his ears ticking straight out from his flat, furry face sporting catlike eyes and fangs) when he pops up from the hole in the floor and walks across the water to the landing saying; “who is messing my floors?” A green gas with a smell of chlorine wafts over the area and cleans the floor, removing all the dirt.

Tellius, with an uncharacteristic act of insight, disguises himself as the wizard from the library and nonchalantly walks across the water. We all try to follow but are informed that test subjects much be bound. Shadowspawn deftly transforms his rope back into binding sized lengths and after being bound we are all down through the rabbit hole.

At this point our group is split up. Most of us go down a couple of levels and stop at a floor with Iron Golems – looking like traditional dwarves, but larger. One takes each of us and leads us away.
Tellius goes down only one level into a room with 4 stone statues of winged humans and 4 hallways. He manages to figure out how to get to the same level as the rest of the group.

Meanwhile the rest of us are taken by the golems, down a hallway, past three cages, turn right, end of hall and put into a cell. Janella and Shadowspawn are unconscious when Tellius finds us and tries to figure out the runes on the doorway. Eventually he goes and asks the golems and they tell him to “trace the runes”… so Tellius comes back and bravely traces the runes. The first rune renders everyone into an unconscious state of stasis, but at least we are levitating. The second rune makes the door disappear. Tellius brings us all out into the hallway. The third rune lowers everyone to the ground and wakes us up.

We start to explore and glance into the adjacent cells to see many different creatures – minor demons, magical creatures from other planes, angelics – most we have no idea who/what they are.
Tellius leads us to the elevator where we are challenged by the golems. Tellius takes us up to the living quarters one at a time. Schneider comes in and cleans under Janella and Gwynn.

Once we are all together, we head north. The first door on the right brings us into a room which we search. We find a magic robe which provide +2 to all saves. And after disarming a trap on a chest upstairs, we are in the possession of a fancy mage’s outfit and a magic book. Tellius takes both to help with his disguise. We try to open the book, but it gets a little dicey with the powerful magic, so we stop.

Next we head south. Tellius, feeling invincible in his new outfit reaches to open the door only to be hit with a bolt of electricity. Janella uses mage had to open the door. We find an undead Dwarven mage sitting behind the desk. Tellius bluffs to find the grand wizard Dalben’s quarters.

We eventually find Dalben’s and after disabling a fireball trap, enter the anteroom. A clay golem recognizes Tellius and lets us into the next room. Tellius leads the way followed by Janella, Gwynn, Shadowspawn and Serpenthelm. We enter a very large room with a fireplace, fancy rugs, large bookshelves, a seating area with couch and chairs, a big fancy meeting table with chairs, covered in books and scrolls. There is an undead mage leaning over the table looking at well-worn books and a 2 1/2ft iron golem cleaning stuff up.

It is here we leave our beleaguered heroes, with many questions unanswered and many questions unasked. Just another day in the twilight zone.
Into the tower...

And with some clever engineering and more than a little rope-burn, our hero Ronn Tellius was finally raised into the fallen tower.
Now, to remind the humble reader, when we last left our party, they were in the process of raising themselves into the top of the fallen tower. Navigating a fallen tower certainly isn’t as easy as it sounds, the near 90 degree incline of the place meant that walls were now floors and ceilings, and the titan forsaken sword that knocked the place over didn’t even have the common courtesy to make sure the doors were left on the lower side of the thing.
This meant that the first obstacle the adventurers had to overcome was the door about 10 feet in the air. Not so fast though, there was the small matter of this being a former mage’s tower, and that could only mean, with all likelihood, that the doors were left with all manner of horrific defensive runes scrawled all over them. Janella started to mutter in her fiery elven manner and shoot various magics at the door to determine what sort of threat might reside on the door’s mundane-looking surface. As it turned out, the door was far from mundane, but contained some foul form of evocation that only careful study and experimentation could suss out of the woodwork. We were soon shown the extent of Gwynn’s extraordinary arcane talent as he solved the problem with a deftly thrown rock directly to the handle of the door. As the rock connected, the door suddenly erupted with a bitter cold blast extending straight away from the door. It was about now that Janella remembered a spell that could help us and with some exaggerated arm waving, the door fell open. Serpenthelm was tired of the heroes trying to climb over each other and suggested they stack some furniture to climb into the doorway. Gwynn and Janella lead the way, with Serpenthelm and Shadowspawn climbing up next. After a few attempts to climb up into the doorway with his compatriots, Ronn Tellius decided, bravely of course, to stay behind a guard the entrance…
There was sounds of commotion coming from the doorway above, as apparently Gwynn and Janella apparently woke something in the next room. A few seconds in, Ronn decided it would be a good time to have a quick tune on his flute, something inspiring he’d come up with back at Junction. The majestic song rose up into the entrance to the next chamber, and was surely the reason that some fell beast finally fell to Gwynn’s darts.
The combat was ended suddenly as janella unleashed some of her magic into the last monster. Ronn assumed it was a distinctly fiery spell, with the wave of heat that emanated from the entrance.
Gwynn climbed down to check out the corpses and Ronn fell while trying to climb through the door chimney.
Ronn was able to finally climb to the next entrance, and Gwynn leapt up and handed Ronn a ring to ensure the next descent was easier. Gwynn and Serpenthelm proceeded to search the room and we discovered a few items of interest. The ring of jumping, one of the monsters had quite a nice sword, and a journal. The soldier’s journal described the plight of the guards leading up to the war with the Titans. The journal also curiously mentioned an Iron Golem which served as librarian, that couldn’t possibly foreshadow anything.
The door this time was of the trap door variety, and shadowspawn decided to take matters into his hands, and climbed up on some furniture to jimmy the lock. The lock clicked, and we were through to the horizontal spiral staircase that used to lead up to the guard room we had just come through.
As the heroes climbed along the staircase they could hear skittering sounds, and the sound of objects falling.
We soon met the librarian. She was quite pleasant, well, assuming iron objects in the form of ladies can be called “she”. After some pleasant death threats, Ronn was able to disguise himself as the mage Cuthred, one of the wizards from the time before the Titan conflict.
Some questioning revealed that the object of our original desire was inside a giant sphere of energy, that can only be opened with the “key”. The key of course having been only in the posession of the master wizard of this establishment, Dalben. While in the library the heroes did some reading, because, why not? Turns out the skittering creatures were the de facto gophers for the iron librarian (song idea?) And fetched the heroes a journal of the library and biography of Dalben. There were tattered maps as well, which showed that the tower complex descended into the cliff face, with labs below the ground level.
All finished with reading for one day, the adventurers opened the next trap door, thankfully the traps were pointed “out” from the library so the heroes could slip through. The next room was fairly uneventful, a few dead bodies some shiny loot (a lense of detection).
The next room opened up into the other side of the broken tower, much like the other side, it was littered with dead slitheren. At this point it ws decided that camping out for the night was the best idea, with the heroes likely heading out to the cliff face the following day to hopefully discover an entrance into the tower’s substructure.


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