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Castle Whiterock Campaign writeup

Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:46 am
by billolmesdahl
My group has been running through Castle Whiterock for a few months now. I thought I'd share their experiences so far. If you're interested, you can read the full write ups with pictures at

Note: this follows their inaugural adventure and an overland jaunt to deliver a book to Lady Chauntessa.

The group is: Kristle a Ranger, Tasinthe the Elf Rogue, Ulfgar the Dwarf Paladin, Caelifer the Monk, and Galrin a Dwarf Cleric.

After meeting and delivering the package to the Inn's owner, a strikingly tall, thin woman with silver hair named Lady Chauntessa, the group joined her for libations and conversation. She advised them that if they were looking for a new challenge, the ruins of Castle Whiterock could be just the thing. She told them that as of about a year ago, a band of monks from the Dawning Sun order were camping in the ruins, looking for artifacts from the early history of their order. She had also heard that an entrance to the gnome's famed Clockwork Academy was somewhere in the vast series of tunnels below the castle ruins. Intrigued, they decided to set out after reprovisioning.

After an uneventful trip, the party arrived at the main gate to the castle ruins, which was in surprisingly good repair. Taz determined the heavy door to the gate was barred from within, but was unable to open the door. After talking about their options for a few moments, the door opened and a monk appeared. He greeted them and asked them to come inside and meet with the head of the order, a brother Ikenvar. Ulfgar surreptitiously checked the monk for evil, but found none.

The group was led past the stables to an open courtyard containing the living area of the monks, five large tents. They were shown into the central tent which contained a long table with benches down each side, and bid to wait while Ikenvar was fetched.

A few other monks were in the area going about their daily tasks.

After several minutes, Ikenvar appeared, coming from the main castle ruins. When he got to about 30' of the tents, he stopped and waved. That's when all hell broke loose. The tent suddenly dropped, entangling the party within. They could hear Ikenvar shouting to his "monks" to be careful to take the party alive, "After all, there's no profit in a dead man."

The monks swarmed in, dealing non-lethal, but heavy damage with their quarterstaves. Kristle was one of the first to get free of the tent, and though he fought well, he was quickly overcome and knocked unconscious.

Taz fell next. He led his foes on a merry chase around the camp while peppering them with feathered shafts, but a pair of monks confronted him between two tents and he was taken down.

Caelifer went down fighting. Surrounded on all sides by monks as he fell, it was not his day.

Galrin hoped to turn the tide of the battle when he finally freed himself from the tent trap. He managed to bring Kristle back to consciousness before being felled himself.

Ikenvar tired of the amusement. He turned and walked back to his lair, instructing his minions to fetch him when the party was ready for transport to the mines.

Ulfgar slew more than one monk, but even after using his Lay on Hands ability to heal himself, there were too many foes. They kept flanking him and getting past his defenses. While engaged by three monks, Ulfgar broke combat and made a run for it, only to be taken down by an arrow from a heavily wounded monk.

Finally, it was all up to Kristle and he fought heroically. Using his twin weapons, he cut a bloody swathe through the monk slavers. When his heroic stand began, there were five slavers against him. When it ended, only two survived.

The party was captured.

Re: Castle Whiterock Campaign writeup

Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:51 pm
by finarvyn
Sounds like a really fun adventure.

I had a buddy whose GM style always seemed to end up with "the party was captured" adventures. Good and bad.
1. I like the notion that the party might be captured rather than killed. This atmosphere tends to encourage players not to automatically kill villian NPCs when they are captured by the party, so the bad guy can keep showing up.
2. On the other hand, our GM used the trick so often that sometimes we felt that no matter what we did we would get caught and tossed into the local jail. Kind of felt railroad-y.

Anyway, love your synopsis. 8)

Re: Castle Whiterock Campaign writeup

Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:58 pm
by billolmesdahl
When they returned to consciousness, the group was in a gigantic 50'x50' pit (10' deep) cut into 10' x 10' cells by iron bars. There were no doors to the cells, the only exit was through the top.

They were joined in their imprisonment a dozen or so townsfolk, a warrior named Hugin, an elf Ranger/Druid named Sapphira, and a gnome illusionist/rogue.

Taz and Caelifer were able to climb to the top of their respective cells and peek out to see a pair of passages to the west that were the main guard rooms. These rooms were occupied by many orcs (at least 8). A passage in the NW portion of the room was confirmed by Katanya the gnome to be where their gear was likely stored.

Two further doors were on the south wall (SW and SE). Both of those were unknown as to where they led. The final door in the center of the East wall was where the orcs came and left from when their shift changed, and seemed to be where the controls to the two portcullises that blocked the W/E passage were.

When we ended for the night, plans for escape were being hatched.

Re: Castle Whiterock Campaign writeup

Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:58 pm
by billolmesdahl
The Great Escape

Tazinthe, Caelifer, and their new friend Katanya managed to climb the bars and move into a single cell without alerting the orc guards, and from there went up the wall and to the door they believed would lead to their equipment. They crept in and found everything they had been carrying and the gear of several of their new found allies. Caelifer wrapped the weapons in a bedroll along with a 50' length of rope. He tied one end of the rope to the portcullis gate and slipped back into his cell with the bundle of weapons and remainder of the rope. In no time, the weapons were distributed and the heroes were scurrying over the walls and making their way to the storeroom.

There was a close call when one of the guardian orcs decided to stroll down to the other guard room, but he failed to notice anything amiss. The orcs seemed to be extremely lax and fully confident in their precautions.

In the storeroom, the heroes donned their armor and readied their weapons for the assault. Ulfgar and Hugin, being the most heavily armed and armored, would hold off the orcs in the far room and prevent their escape, which the rest of the party charged the closer guard room and slaughtered their jailers.

Their plan went flawlessly. The quickly overwhelmed the guards, catching them totally by surprise and made short work of them.

Re: Castle Whiterock Campaign writeup

Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:59 pm
by billolmesdahl
While the bulk of the party concentrated on working to free the other prisoners, Ulfgar and Hugin opted to investigate the door in the southwest of the prison.

Behind the door was a short hallway ending in a private room, containing a crude bed, bearskin rug, and an archery target. Another door led to the west. Pressing on, they opened the new door and were immediately assaulted by a strong foul animal smell. Down a set of stairs, they could see an orc dressed in chain who was opening three pens containing four large, fearsome mastiffs (Trollhounds). At his command, the monstrous hounds charged up the hallway on the attack.

The hounds bloodied Ulfgar and took Hugin down fairly quickly. Kristle and the rest of the party charged down the hallway to help against the new threat. Kristle quickly killed the beast who felled Hugin, but was overcome by another of the monsters. As the last of the hounds was dispatched, Goresh (the orc) tossed a thunderstone at Ulfgar and charged. He launched a punishing attack with his orcish double axe and slipped by Ulfgar's defenses, almost felling the noble dwarf. But it was too little, too late. Goresh was cut down by Ulfgar's axe and an array of missile attacks.

Searching the room, the party found Goresh's cache of gold, 5 more thunderstones, and some other trinkets.

And we reached the end of the session.

Re: Castle Whiterock Campaign writeup

Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:07 pm
by billolmesdahl
As the newly freed villagers worked to hide the bodies of the dead orcs and arm themselves, the heroes chose to explore the door to the SE. The door led down a short flight of stairs into a round room that had been used as a torture chamber, though it had not been used recently.

As the room was being searched, the door in the East wall opened and Minos the Pygmy Minotaur charged into the hall after bellowing something about prisoners and escape in broken Common.

This proved to be a poor decision on poor Minos's part. With members of the party on both sides of him and prisoners equipped with crossbows on the other side of the room, Minos was quickly forced to flee for his life after wounding Ulfgar. The party charged after him and managed to stop him just as he reached an unexplored door to the East. Minos was no more.

After a quick, but fruitless search of the room for useful items, the heroes had no other choices, this door was their only option for escape. Tasinthe put his ear to the door and strained to hear anything beyond, but there was too much background noise. Without many other options, the group thrust open the door, ready for anything...

And revealed a guard room swarming with orcs.

These orcs were well equipped and ready for action, bringing heavy crossbows and glaives to bear on the prisoners.

Kristle was the first to go, felled by bolts from the orcish crossbows. Ulfgar was the next to fall, a lucky shot from an orcish glaive did massive damage to the dwarven paladin, killing him instantly. Caelifer put on an amazing display, dropping an orc with each of his attacks. He was also put down by a glaive wielding orc warrior. Katanya (NPC) also fell during the combat with the monsters.

Luckily for the party, Galrin was able to staunch Kristle's bleeding and used a Cure Minor Wound to restore him to consciousness. He was also able to save Caelifer and Katanya's lives, but it was too late for Ulfgar. He was dead. Still the battle raged on. In the end, the party overpowered their foes, though two managed to escape (one to the North stairs and one to the South passage).

Tasinthe followed the orc up the stairs to the North and found himself in a pitch black room, where he heard the sounds of bone scraping bone and a choking gurgling sound. Not wanting to see what was making the unpleasant noise (it was something murdering the Orc), he retreated back downstairs to the party. That left the passage to the South for exploration.

Moving quickly and quietly, he passed a pair of doors which were closed and silent. Continuing around the bend, he could see another group of orcs, including a wounded one that had escaped the earlier battle. They also saw him, and with a great bellow of rage, they charged towards him. Tasinthe was able to outrun the mob chasing him and get back into the room with the party.

And that's where we stopped for the evening.

Re: Castle Whiterock Campaign writeup

Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:08 pm
by billolmesdahl
To make a long story short, the players used terrain and the orc's blood lust to their advantage and just destroyed them. There's more to the story, and brave Hugin, the NPC warrior perished, but the party won the day and was able to escape from the orcish dungeon.

They moved upstairs and were attacked by the skeleton of an Owlbear(the thing that killed the escaping Orc), animated through dark magic. It was a difficult fight considering their wounded condition, but the destroyed the beast and locked themselves into the skeleton's chamber to rest for a few hours and regain spells.

Re: Castle Whiterock Campaign writeup

Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:09 pm
by billolmesdahl
Hoping they could find their way back into the light, the group moved on after resting and regaining spells. They decided to explore the door to the East which led into a N/S hallway with a door to the South. That way proved to be a disappointment, leading into a disused, dusty meeting room, now fallen into ruin.

By using tracking, they determined that traffic in this hallway went from the door they had used to the blank wall at the end of the hallway to the North. There had to be a secret door there.

With careful examination, they discovered the door's trigger mechanism and carefully opened it a crack. Behind the door was a room lit by torchlight. Throwing the door open fully, the found they were in a large bedroom occupied by the leader of the false monks who had captured them, Ikenvar!

The group rushed to attack and overwhelmed their foe in only a few seconds. Ikenvar shouted his surrender before he was overcome (no doubt hoping to buy him his life and alert his minions). It worked on both counts, and soon several slavers rushed through the West door to come to Ikenvar's aid. They were no match for the party and a total of eight slavers were discovered and slain. They believe they have dealt the slavers a fatal blow in their operation, and decided to bring Ikenvar back to Cillemar to face justice, along with escorting the freed townsfolk home.

Re: Castle Whiterock Campaign writeup

Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:10 pm
by billolmesdahl
This week we added Kethren a barbarian lycanthrope and Celebheni an elvish warrior.

On the trip back to Cillamar, the group was stopped by a Bugbear demanding a road fee to continue. The group decided NOT to pay 20 GP per person to use the bridge and opted instead to give him an arrow. More bugbears and hobgoblins came out of the bushes, along with a MUCH more dangerous foe: a Hag.

During the fight, Kethren (new character replacing the dead Paladin) was revealed to be a werewolf, when he was massively wounded by the hag and he lost control and shifted to wolf form.

The hag was overcome along with the other monsters and the party found the hag had a magical rod. (That sounds dirty).

We ended by splitting and identifying loot. Next week we'll finish shopping, deal with Ikenvar and the trial of the slaver, and maybe find some time to do some character developing roleplay!

Re: Castle Whiterock Campaign writeup

Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:12 pm
by billolmesdahl
After spending time purchasing provisions and doing a bit of resting, the group returned to Castle Whiterock. The first thing they noticed was the bodies of the slavers had been moved around, like they had been searched perhaps. Otherwise, there was no sign of anyone or anything in the areas they had cleared on the first level.

The group explored more of the seemingly abandoned level where the orc slavers held sway. Everything was empty and quiet.

They found the room formerly occupied by the orc's gem cutter and gathered several large volumes on gem cutting.

Pushing on, they discovered a cleverly hidden secret door and found a room that had belonged to a duergar slaver. Searching the room, they found documents on the entire slaving operation. There were entries on at least a hundred slaves passing through this room and into the "Down below" for processing. Some were designated for use as food, slaves, while others were marked as going to the "Bleak Theater". Continuing on, they discovered a large elevator (going down) powered by a very bedraggled and abused Ogre, bound to the mechanism by heavy chains. The pitiful creature rattled his chains at the group, begging for assistance. Suckers.

"He looks friendly to me." Famous Last Words from Tas.

As soon as they got close enough to try to free him, the ogre went berserk. He snapped his chains and used them to beat Tas into unconsciousness.

After a short, but fierce struggle, the ogre was slain and Tas was healed.

The group decided to disable the elevator and head down the stairs they discovered off the orc clan leader's throne room.

Re: Castle Whiterock Campaign writeup

Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:14 pm
by billolmesdahl
At the bottom of the spiral stairs was a dark, dank and empty room. A heavy drape covered the exit to the room. Tas pulled back the curtain (and missed the traps) and was greeted with a heavy war maul to the chest and the sounds of suits of junk plate armor hitting the floor. The noise roused a small group of bugbears down the hall. Two of the bugbears charged to attack while the other two headed further into the dungeon to bring help.

A gigantic battle erupted in the hallway outside the initial room. At first, things seemed to be going in the player's favor. There weren't too many orcs & bugbears to deal with, though two of the bugbears ran off to other parts of the level. Things began to swing the other direction when one of the orcs was revealed to be a spellcaster. The next thing to go wrong was Melchin, one of the NPC warriors was killed by a lucky critical. Still the combat continued.

Eventually, the last of the orcs were driven off. The orcish spellcaster surrendered and turned over his cache of potions and spells in exchange for his life. The party began to search the area when they heard the sounds of furious activity, including more than a dozen booted feet charging down the hall towards their location.

Wounded and short of healing and other spells, the group chose to retreat up the spiral stairs to the second level which was a much more defensible location. Unfortunately, the orcs arrived before everyone made their escape and split the group.

Galrin the groups dwarven cleric fell to the orcs during the fighting retreat, killed by a lucky blow from a two-handed morningstar.

The party escaped up the spiral staircase to the second level.

The orcs chose not to follow the group. There were safe. For now.

The party decided to head back to town to recover and find a new cleric.

Re: Castle Whiterock Campaign writeup

Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:16 pm
by billolmesdahl
This week we added Ashianna, a sorceress.

The journey back to town was without event.

Back at the Inn of the Slumbering Drake, the party shared drinks and tales with Lady Chauntessa, who was sad to hear of Galrin's untimely death. She offered to write them a letter of introduction to The Holy Knight-Protector of the order of Justicia, Lady Ilrien Talbusk.

Ilrien was happy to help the group with a new healer. The clerics and paladins of Justicia have a long standing interest in eradicating the evil infesting the bowels of Castle Whiterock. In fact, Ilrien's own father disappeared while investigating the depths of the dungeon about thirty years ago.

Ilrien also revealed that the dungeons contain a secret hidden fane of Justica, which the goddess herself brought into existence to support four of her most powerful and ardent knights in their quest to destroy the ancient red dragon that laired in the depths more than 200 years ago.

With their new comrade Quav'riia, an exotic looking female cleric, the group resupplied with winter gear and purchased additional alchemical adjuncts for their adventure.

The trip back to Castle Whiterock was without encounter.

It seemed as though nothing on either of the first two levels had been disturbed since their last time here.

The group made their way back to the room with the spiral stairs where they had last encountered the orcs. Listening at the door, Taz could make out the sounds of shuffling feet and soft moans. Thoughts immediately turned to the possibility of undead, so rather than go back this way, the party decided to try the elevator leading down they had found in the room with the ogre.

It was decided that Kethren would be lowered down on a rope with a light spell on his sword to see what the situation was below. After lowering Kethren about 80' down (far deeper than the level with the orcs should have been), he noticed several small dwarf-like creatures scurrying amongst the stalagmites. Without warning, they began firing at him with repeating crossbows.

Kethren cut the rope and landed lithely below. He moved into combat range with one of the Derro when his light spell went out. He was thrown into utter darkness.

And wackiness ensued.

The derro found they couldn't hit Kethren, and when they did, their weapons were stymied by his damage reduction. (DM's Note: I messed up here. They should have been hitting more often and doing 1d6 more damage. I expect they will fare better next week.) The spellcasting derro couldn't seem to get anything past his Fortitude save, and Kethren was having problems hitting the derro in the utter darkness.

Tas leapt into action, sliding down a rope into the inky blackness. He threw down a torch, but it was swallowed up by the preternatural darkness in the cavern below.

The rest of the group jumped into the elevator basket and Celeb and Quav'riia manned the crank to lower them down the shaft.

Below them, one of the derro climbed into the basket on the floor and began ascending as they came down.

Tas narrowly missed being skewered by a bolt from the derro in the basket, and chose to leap into the elevator basket with the rest of his group.

Ashianna cast a sleep spell at the derro in the elevator and rendered it unconscious. Taz jumped into that basket when they passed one another a slit the monster's throat. One foe was down.

Kristle came up with a great idea to pull Kethren out of danger, he tied some clothing with a strong scent to the end of a rope, which they lowered down and called to him to grab. Kethren continued his attack on the derro, not wanting to retreat.

And this is where we ended for the evening.

Re: Castle Whiterock Campaign writeup

Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:20 pm
by billolmesdahl
Picking up where we left off last week, with the party hanging in a mushroom basket above a group of angry Derro attempting to slip a leash on their pet werewolf, things went like this:

The derro, having explained to the DM that they should have been hitting more and doing more damage to the werewolf because of several special abilities, fared better this week and began to nickle and dime Kethren to death. A fact that was not lost on Kethren.

After another 2-3 rounds and several wounds, Kethren scurried up the rope and into the basket. The party was quickly retrieved by Quav'ria and Celeb. At the surface, the elevator was sent halfway back down (50') and the controls were once again secured. This action was taken to hopefully ensure the Derro wouldn't make their way up and harass the party or, worse yet, attack from behind.

Now the group had to try to find another way down to deal with the orcs below on level three. Their only known path was blocked (they assumed) by some form of undead, from the shuffling and the moans they had heard last week. The decision was made to search the level for another secret passage. With everyone cooperating as well as using the Wand of Detect Secret Doors they had found, it took almost 20 hours to go over the twisting tunnels of the Orc slaver's lair.

Towards the end of the first day, the group found an abandoned lair or next of some tiny humanoid creature in the mines. The rock shelf was covered in fine black dust. Careful examination discovered faint human-looking footprints in the dust, each less than an inch long. Also on the shelf was a small amount of money, a few bits of quartz, and a copper ring that radiated Transformational magic. Tasinthe tried on the ring without any ill effects and decided to keep it.

After finishing a thorough search of the mines, the party rested until the next day before going back over the other portions of the level.

Just after noon, they discovered a secret door they had missed in the storeroom where their equipment was locked when they had been prisoners of the orcs. The passage beyond wound into the bedrock before ending at a series of rusting iron rungs (a ladder) that climbed 20' and ended at a trap door. Unfortunately, the door was completely impassable. It was likely covered on the other side with rubble.

The level was completely searched and they had not found another way into the orc lair. They could take the search back to the ruined keep above, or make their way down the circular stairs to the dangers below.

At the bottom of the stairs, the shuffling and moaning was more apparent. There was definitely something foul behind the door. The stench of death overwhelmed the usual stench one associates with orcs to create an indescribably horrific odor.

Tas easily opened the lock on the door (which was new since last time) and the door was thrown open to reveal almost a dozen zombies in various states of decay. Sadly, two of the undead horrors were instantly recognized as Melchin (the NPC Monk) and Galrin, their loyal dwarven cleric.

Quav'ria stepped forward and presented the sign of her faith, calling upon the purifying light of the sun to destroy the undead menace. One zombie smoldered a bit, but the monsters were unaffected and began to shamble towards the party.

Ashianna ducked into the room and produced a cone of fire from her outstretched hands, lighting the zombie like a candle.

The party moved quickly to engage the undead horrors. Tazinthe, Celeb, and Kristle employed their bows to great effect, filling their dead flesh with feathered shafts. Kethren wielded his great sword in were-form to do horrific damage to the shambling horrors.

Still the monsters kept coming.

Quav'ria centered herself and called again on her god. This time, her faith was rewarded and there was a brilliant flash of light. When sight was restored, only two zombies stood. The rest had been reduced to ash and bone.

Zombie Galrin and Zombie Melchin were quickly put to rest.

The party readied themselves for what they assumed would come next. They knew there was likely an alarm trap (and big-ass war maul trap) on the doorway out of the room. And it was a good guess that if the trap was triggered, the orcs would once again be on alert.

Tas went to examine the triggering mechanism and managed to trip the trap. This time the big maul missed him, but the nets of rusty armor again crashed to the floor, making enough noise to wake the dead if they hadn't already been reduced to ash.

And yes, as expected, orcs and bugbears came running from both the passage to the West and the North. This time however, the group stayed in formation and didn't get caught in the intersection. The orcs were forced to come to the party and it really didn't work out too well for the orcs.

After about 5 rounds of combat, the initial wave of orcs was defeated or run off. The group could hear more orcs rushing down the hallway from the North (as happened last time).

The battle with the orcs continued. Another group of orc warriors swarmed in from the hallway to the North. These fierce creatures charged into combat wielding two-handed morning stars. Kethren and Celeb valiantly strove to hold the line. Both suffered grievous wounds before their foes were overcome. Ashianna was responsible for removing three of the creatures from combat through her sleep spell, ensuring a prisoner to interrogate.

The prisoner revealed the orcs were all worshipers of the White Roc (though the party assumed he was saying White Rock). Their leader was a powerful orc priestess of enormous size and power named Drugila. He also told them where her lair was, along with the location of an area in the mines that were sealed off, because orcs venturing there were never heard from again.

(Decorum prevents me from putting on the page the horrible things Kristle did to the helpless orc. You could attempt to justify it by remembering Kristle's village was wiped from the map by a horde of orcs, but it was still very nasty.)

After a quick rest to regain spells, the group ventured further into the dungeon towards the lair of Drugila. Just to the west, they once again found Robgrut's alchemical lab. The difference this time is the lab had been changed from manufacturing stench bombs to creating alchemical silver and concoctions to vex a lycanthrope.

Continuing into the tunnels, the party came into a large cavern containing the ruins of what they determined to be a cloud giant's tower that had fallen from the sky. It sat in the cavern at an odd angle and had been breached using mining equipment. This was Drugila's lair.

Re: Castle Whiterock Campaign writeup

Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:21 pm
by billolmesdahl
The remains of the tower were incredibly well preserved. The insides were covered with elaborate mosaics depicting scenic vistas of the sort which would visible from a castle in the clouds. The ceiling above towered 40' overhead. To the north was a gigantic iron door over 22' high. On the NE wall was a series of iron rungs leading to an iron trapdoor in the ceiling.

Checking both doors, Tas was able to detect the sounds of chanting from the trap door above. He could hear nothing from the large normal door.

The group worked to open the large iron door. Celeb had to get on Kethren's shoulders to reach the handle. Between the two of them, they managed to force the door open with a loud CLANG! Behind the door was nothing but cavern wall. The door was blocked.

Their only path lead through the trapdoor in the ceiling. They quickly formed a plan, Celeb, Caelifer and Kethren would force open the trapdoor and charge in to establish a beachhead. They would be followed by Kristle and Tasinthe and finally by Ashianna and Quav'Ria.

In the room above, Robgrut the orcish alchemist and Drugila were waiting and prepared. Unbeknownst to the party, Robgrut had cast an alarm spell below and the pair had been expecting them.

Combat began and ended very quickly for Robgrut. He was served up a meal of arrows with a side of werewolf and it was more than he could stomach. No one seemed very interested in taking on Drugila directly, but she did suffer some arrow damage. Tas popped through the trapdoor and hit her with an alchemist's fire which seemed to annoy her.

She repaid him by smashing him with her gargantuan silvered Morningstar. Tas was instantly reduced to -5 HP from full health.

Combat continued and the rest of the party got up the ladder and into the room. The group continued to pepper Drugila with arrows and reduced her to nearly half her hit points. Unfortunately, her final action of the evening was to cast a Cure Serious Wounds on herself, restoring her health to almost full.

Continued next week.

Re: Castle Whiterock Campaign writeup

Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:24 pm
by billolmesdahl
As much as I wanted to report a stunning victory for Drugila and all orc-kind, alas, it was not to be.

Drugila's high armor class was not enough to prevent the punishing series of attacks she was taking from Kethren, Caelifer, Celeb, and Kristle. She was forced to waste her actions just casting cures to try to stay conscious and in the battle. Without having the opportunity to make another attack, Drugila was defeated.

The party made their was up the spiral stairs in the center of the tower. The slick white stone was difficult to traverse, and climbed over 200' to end in another trap door.

The room beyond contained a stone altar with a prayer rug unrolled in front of it. On the altar was a silk banner depiction a white bird of prey. Atop the banner was a giant-sized iron crown. On the floor near the altar were the carefully reassembled bones of a cloud giant. The skeleton was incomplete, and several bones were cracked and missing.

Kethren entered the room and immediately the giant skeleton animated and moved to attack.

The battle against the giant skeleton was probably the toughest battle to date. Every one of the party's warriors was dealt horrific wounds by the monstrous skeleton, while it shrugged off the bulk of damage caused by non-blunt weapons that were used against it. Still, the creature was not in perfect shape. It was missing an entire arm and several other small bones, and unstable to say the least.

The slick floor and odd angle of the tower contributed to the difficulty of the battle. Kristle and Celeb both lost their footing at some point and ended up prone. Quav'Ria had an extremely hard time moving, with her heavy armor and relatively low Dexterity. In the end, she was reduced to making 5' moves to avoid stumbling.

After several rounds of combat, the skeleton was finally reduced to dust. Ashianna delivered the final blow with her Magic Missile spell.

Searching the altar, Caelifer discovered a secret drawer containing a small metal box. Inside the box was an Ioun Stone (+2 Intelligence) and a Pearl of Power (extra level 1 spell per day). Ashianna was also able to identify Tasinthe's ring as a Ring of Water Breathing.

After resting in the tower for a couple of days, the party set out again, leaving the Cloud Giant's Tower and heading back into the Orc tunnels. They investigated many passages that went nowhere. The passages were odd. They looked like mines, but no one could determine what they had been mining.

At one intersection Tasinthe detected odd scratches on the floor which ended up being a crude arrow pointing to a particular passage and the word "Danger" written in orcish.

Further up the passage, the group was attached by some advanced version of Piercer, but the monsters were unable to do much more than annoy the party.

Further along the tunnel, the group found the passage had been blocked from this side with a gigantic boulder. Tasinthe detected the sounds of water behind the boulder. Prying the boulder out of the way, the party revealed a very large cavern with a beautiful underground pool. They also could hear the sounds of a woman singing somewhere beyond.

This brings the thread to current. We play every Sunday night from 7-10 using Klooge.Werks as our electronic gaming table and Ventrilo for voice.

Re: Castle Whiterock Campaign writeup

Posted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:57 am
by billolmesdahl
The party slowly made their way into the room, ready for anything.

From out of the darkness of the underground pool came a high-pitched female voice speaking in Sylvan. "Are you nice? Or are you nasty? Will you help me?"

Kristle the Ranger spoke Sylvan and assured the voice that they were nice and would try to help her if she told them what the problem was.

The voice belonged to a nixie named Nemoura Shimmerscale who told the group her tale of woe.

Nemoura was out exploring the flooded ruins of the castle when she discovered a partially collapsed passage and decided to follow it. It eventually led to a flooded cavern inhabited by a gigantic monstrous crayfish. The beast attacked and she was forced to flee down a different passage, one that was too small for the monster to follow her. And she was stuck. She was exhausted, wounded and lost.

Time passed. Nemoura was unsure of how much. Eventually a group of orc miners broken into her cavern and started using the pool as a swimming hole. Nemoura knew the caves beyond must be swarming with orcs, so she started charming the swimmers and sending them to try to deal with the crayfish. This worked out about as well as you might have guessed, with the orcs drowning or being quickly eaten by the monster.

The orcs responded to the disappearances by sealing the chamber and ignoring the area.

The party agreed to help Nemoura and quickly put together a plan. She could provide them with two water breathing spells and Tasinthe had a ring of water breathing. It was decided that Kethren and Caelifer would lead the assault, with Kethren getting one of the spells. Celeb would come in the next wave, also with a water breathing. Finally, Quav'Ria would get the final water breathing since she was unable to make any progress in the water without it.

Caelifer and Kethren got into the Crayfish cavern towing a line to guide and help the swimmers that were to follow.

As Caelifer was driving in a piton and securing the line, the Crayfish attacked!

The monster grasped Kethren with its gigantic pincers and squeezed! The barbarian was caught and being crushed to death.

Caelifer finished securing the line as Celeb swam in and joined the fray. Her skill with a rapier served her well, as the weight of the water didn't affect the damage she was able to do. The rest of the party continued to make their way into the cavern as the monster crushed the life from Kethren... until the DM rolled a 1 and the grapple was broken. Kethren was free!

The following round the savage crustacean turned towards Caelifer and grasped him with his powerful claws. But the writing was on the wall, the monster was already greatly wounded and soon perished.

Nemoura thanked the brave adventurers and rewarded them with a platinum and pearl ring before heading back to her home.

While camping to regain spells after healing, it was determined that the ring was magical, but Ashianna's identify spell got nothing on the ring. Ashi had only heard of that happening on the most powerful and legendary items.

Quav'Ria thought the pearls and their arrangement, along with the swirling designs gracing the band had something to do with Pelagia the Goddess of Water.

During the evening, Celeb put the ring on and tried some tests and determined the ring functions as a Ring of Water Breathing.

The next day, the group headed back into the castle to investigate the remainder of the level. They made their way back to the entry room and headed North. There they found an abandoned barracks that was used by Bugbear mercenaries and an iron-bound chest containing 650 gp.

Further up the hall was a side passage that led to the Castle's old chapel. The room, once dedicated to Justicia had been converted by the orcs into practice hall, including a small shooting range. Investigating the old altar, Ashianna discovered a secret hidden drawer containing a bottle (magic), a platinum plate, a prayer book to Justicia, and an odd bit of metal shaped like a platinum gear. Inside the prayer book was a flyer advertising the Gnome's Clockwork Academy.

Continued Next Week

Re: Castle Whiterock Campaign writeup

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:20 am
by billolmesdahl
A few weeks ago, the party picked up the Tome of Tales (see DCC #38) and one PC has been messing with it every time they stop to rest. I'm playing it out pretty slowly so far, but I expect that before the end of March the group will be taking a side trip to the Forest of Lanterns, which may be interesting. I also have DCC #3.5 The Haunted Lighthouse ready as an overland encounter between Whiterock and Cillamar. I'm going to have the Lighthouse spring into being during a particularly bad storm, but I'm going to dump the lighthouse and just made it a tower. I think they need a break from Whiterock for a while. All the humanoids on the low levels are wearing on them.

Re: Castle Whiterock Campaign writeup

Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:53 am
by billolmesdahl
After finishing up the investigation of the former temple, the party continued further into the depths of Castle Whiterock. The next two rooms had functioned as barracks for the orcs of Clan White Roc and were both in disarray and empty of creatures and treasure. They looked like they had already been quickly searched and looted.

Tasinthe missed a trap on the door to the second barracks room and he and Celeb were nearly deafened by a Thunderstone. Luckily there was no damage associated with the trap.

Moving on, the party found a long staircase going up. This time Kristle performed the search and discovered a tripwire halfway up the stairs. He showed the trigger to Tasinthe, who was able to safely remove the trap trigger without incident.

At the top of the stairs was a round room partially filled with barrels and a well.

After searching the room, it was decided to send Tasinthe down the well with a rope around his waist. He discovered a series of ladder rungs on the wall of the "well". Climbing down, Tas found a tunnel leading NNW from the bottom of the well. He followed the tunnel to the end of his line and could see another shaft going down, but didn't have enough rope to follow it to the end.

Moving on, the party backtracked and followed a previously unexplored hallway. The next door they explored opened to a gigantic room that served as a crypt. Ancient orc warriors were interred in alcoves with their finest weapons and armor. When the group moved into the room, the dead orcs animated and shambled towards the party to attack.

Insert gratuitous battle scene here.

The zombies were actually a bigger challenge than I thought they'd be. I had bumped them up a level and put them in decent armor/weapons, so it was actually a difficult fight. Also our cleric Quav'Ria was having an off night and couldn't Turn Undead her way out of a wet paper sack. Still, there were no fatalities, though almost everyone was sorely wounded. After the battle, a search of the room revealed a secret door leading to a long set of stairs leading into the depths.

The party decided to rest a couple of days in the dungeon, and locked themselves into one of the barracks.

When everyone was healed, the party investigated the last door on the level. It led into a room that had been turned into a bedroom for Drugila.

Searching through her papers and belongings, the group found a locked chest under the bed and some new information on what the orcs were doing here. They were able to determine the orcs were not mining minerals or gems, they were digging for a magical item, most likely the White Roc figurine depicted in ruined tower.

In the chest, they found a silver and gem inlaid flute, and a few other valuables. They also found a false bottom containing a slip of paper with five orcish command words written on it.

Finally, a secret door was discovered and led into a small disused room containing a miniature copy of Castle Whiterock in its prime.

Two of the player characters started feeling under the weather around this time. What they don't yet know is they have come down with a nasty disease from the zombies. I'm trying to drive them back to Cilamar before they hit the next level, so I can spring some new surprises on them. A foe from their past is about to rear his head.

Continued next week.

Re: Castle Whiterock Campaign writeup

Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:26 am
by billolmesdahl
The party chose to return to Cillamar to seek magical help deal with the disease Ashianna and Celeb had contracted, as well as do some research on various subjects.

The trip to Cillamar was uneventful, though took longer than usual because of the snow that had been building.

Ashinanna and Celeb were healed of their affliction by the clerics at the temple of Justicia in return for the prayer book the party had recovered from the secret compartment in the altar in the former temple area of Whiterock.

As they were leaving the temple, they were stopped by members of the guard and escorted to The Gaol and presented to Lady Woten. While they were out of the city, Ikenvar had been convicted of his crimes against the people of Marrain and sentenced to hang. Four days ago, Ikenvar as on the gallows with the noose around his neck when five horrific creatures flew down from out of the clouds and rescued him. The guards managed to slay one of the beasts, but the others and Ikenvar managed to escape into the sky. Lady Woten wanted the party to look at the corpse and see if they recognized it.

The creature looked like it had once been a kobold, but it had a second set of arms below the usual. It also had large bat-like wings reminiscent of a gargoyle or demon. Finally, the horror had an insectoid mouth, like that of a giant ant.

The members of the group who had survived their first adventure (Tasinthe, Caelifer, and Kristle) thought they had seen something like this before. It had to be Fardroll the Transmuter they had tangled with in their first adventure. He had promised the party hadn't seen the last of him, and evidently he was beginning to make his move.

At this point, the more studious members of the group headed to the Hall of Worms to consult with Or'dimisas of Kassantia to see if they could get more information on the mysterious ring they had been given by Nemoura. After several days of hitting the books and chasing down obscure bits of information, they managed to discover some of the ring's background.

The ring is one of the Melosiran Rings created with the help of the gods that turned the tide in the war between the elves and the drow thousands of years ago. Each ring gave its owner mastery over one of the elements. Aquil'iya is the ring granting mastery of water, and requires a four-part ritual to "awaken" the powers of the ring.

Or'dimisas found an ancient rhyme which gave clues to activating Aquil'iya:

...for Aquil’iya now still,
yearns to awaken to master’s will
Exposed to fury of the elements,
the master shares the ring’s laments
Four trials shared by two,
the ring awakens to its due.
Bathed in the flickering tendrils of fire most hot,
bewitched or belched from beast, matters not.
Or ingurgitated in a smoldering fiery womb,
smothered by the fire beast’s ichor, before its doom.
Buffeted by Madrah’s powerful voice,
but his breath grants an interesting choice.
An extended shout of a horizontal gale,
or an instant vertical blast, without prevail.
Soaked in the water of the purest composition,
gathered from the elemental, without opposition.
Or wrought by an alchemist’s touch,
and blessed by Pelagia’s favored, as such.
Firmly embraced in a stony bond,
derived from sight, caress, or wand.
Throw off the shackles of Earth’s grip,
reclaiming fleshy form, to complete the trip.

Finally, the party resupplied and ordered several potions with the hope of using them to fill their Beaker of Plentiful Potions.

Re: Castle Whiterock Campaign writeup

Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:26 am
by billolmesdahl
Returning to Castle Whiterock was a challenge. Again, the wind and the snow made the journey difficult.

Delving into the halls and tunnels below Castle Whiterock, the party ventured deeper, down the long, winding stairs they had discovered in the room with the orc zombies.

They entered a large room with a ceiling covered in stalactites and with dozens of rock piles scattered about the floor on which a luminous lichen was growing. Suspecting piercers (for some reason), Caelifer thought to ask if the positions of the rock piles with the glowing lichen formed any sort of path or trail (and he gained an XP bonus for thinking of that). Yes, it seemed to. So following the trail, he was able to get through the room without being attacked by any imaginary pierces.

The group chose to explore the SE passage and found the tunnel ended in a cave in about 60' in. They also thought they could hear the sounds of ominous music playing on a gigantic pipe organ in the distance behind the cave in. They also discovered a poorly disguised "rock door" in the side of the tunnel leading West.

They followed the tunnel to the West to another rock door that led into another tunnel (likely the other passage leading from the stalactite room) and several other tunnels. Choosing one (to the NW), the party ran into a group of three troglodyte warriors, who charged into battle.

The stench generated by the trogs took a toll, with Tasinthe, Kristle, and Quav'Ria being weakened and sickened by the foul odor. Otherwise the trogs were outmatched. They quickly took down the three trog guards, but were unaware that their battle had alerted another six trog warriors in nearby rooms.

The battle was short and again, one-sided. Kristle held the trogs off for two rounds using his Bag of Winds, which prevented them from advancing and made it very difficult for them to use missile weapons, allowing the party to soften them up with arrows and sling bullets.

The last surviving trog warrior broke from combat and ran off to the SW. Kethren gave chase and caught up with him just as he entered a truly gigantic room. The barbarian cut down the trog before noticing literally dozens of trogs in the chamber, who began to stir at the site.

And that's where we stopped for the night.

Re: Castle Whiterock Campaign writeup

Posted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 5:34 am
by billolmesdahl
Kethren and the party took a tact that I hadn't anticipated. When confronted by the dozens of troglodyte young and females, Kethren claimed leadership of the tribe by right of combat. He told the assembled masses that since he had killed the males, he was now in charge of the tribe. An older female confronted them and told them they had no claim until they faced Benthoc, the true leader of the troglodyte clan.

The party made their way down the tunnel that led to Benthoc's lair. Soon, they entered a gigantic cavern dominated by a gargantuan dragon statue formed from the native rock of the cavern. At the dragon's feet was a shaft leading down into the depths. Standing around the statue were half a dozen robed figures in the midst of a ceremony of some sort, each swaying and shifting to the insane chanting coming from the figure on the shelf above. Benthoc!

Benthoc was an enormous specimen of troglodyte combined with aspects of a red dragon. He stood resplendent in his magnificent robes leading the ceremony. He chanted in a strange, dark language as his minions pulled two bound figures from the shadows and prepared to hurl them into the abyss.

Moving quickly to try to rescue the sacrifices, the party rushed into action. It was soon revealed that the robed worshipers were actually zombies!

What followed was an absolutely brutal combat.

Caelifer the monk moved to engage Benthoc while the rest of the party either concentrated on killing the zombies and rescuing the sacrifices, or plinking away at Benthoc with missile weapons.

Benthoc cast Spiritual Weapon and formed a glowing battle axe formed from spiritual energy. He directed it to battle Kethren while he prepared to receive Caelifer. His first line of attack was to try to use a Hold Person on the monk, then followed it with a Blindness spell. Both of which he resisted. Since he couldn't seem to land a spell on the monk, he decided to get a bit more personal with heavy mace and bite.

Back on the floor, the party managed to free one of the sacrifices from the zombie worshiper and discovered it was a sorely abused orc, and not a slave from the levels above.

Quav'Ria used her clerical powers to turn two of the zombies, leaving the other four to continue their macabre ritual. They had not stopped their ritual to throw the sacrifices into the pit until actually attacked.

Benthoc took down Caelifer after a few rounds of battle with the monk, a pair of savage attacks took him from almost full health to deep in the red. By this time Celeb had gotten up to Benthoc's shelf and was preparing to launch her own attack. She was stopped in mid charge by Benthoc's Hold Person spell. This allowed Benthoc time to move down the ledge and line up Tas and Kethren in his breath weapon. Whoosh!

Both Kethren and Tas failed their saves and took full breath damage, as did one unfortunate zombie. Tasinthe was killed instantly. Kethren survived, but was reduced to few than half his health.

About this time, Quav'Ria was having her own exciting adventure with a pair of the zombies that had chosen her as their prey. Two (count them, TWO!) criticals from one of the monsters in a single round took the cleric from full health to 4 hit points. Quav'Ria stepped out of combat and cast Sanctuary, hoping to prevent further attacks. This was not to be. Both of the zombies resisted the spell and were able to continue their attacks. She managed a quick healing spell, but an attack pierced her defenses and she was down to 3 hp. Quav'Ria had one chance, she presented her holy symbol and concentrated. Whoosh! Both of the undead horrors were reduced to dust.

By this time Celeb had shaken off the effect of the Hold spell and Kristle joined her on the shelf. Benthoc greeted him with a Doom spell, which landed and a Blindness, which didn't.

Kristle and Celeb held Benthoc in combat for a number of rounds until a brutal series of attacks took Celeb down. Before first aid could be rendered, she bled to death.

The good news was this opened up a spot on the ledge for Kethren, who got past Benthoc and allowed he and Kristle to flank the monster. This started to turn things around. Kristle caught the horror with a savage blow from his hand axe and it looked like the characters would win the day. This was not lost on Benthoc, who began to doubt he could win this battle. When reduced to about 10 hp, Benthoc cast Meld into Stone and disappeared from the battle.

The party decided to lick their wounds back in town and look into having Tas and Celeb raised from the dead. The plan was to pick up the game back in town unless there were encounters on the trip back.

Re: Castle Whiterock Campaign writeup

Posted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:51 am
by billolmesdahl
After quickly moving out of the Troglodyte temple before Benthoc emerged from the stone he had merged into, the group climbed to the second level and made camp in the orc throne room. Once safely ensconced within, they set about healing and regaining spells. After two days, they felt they were ready to return to Cilimar to see about taking care of their fallen comrades.

Once they were back on the surface in the ruins of Castle Whiterock, they could see that things had changed. The heavy snow was disturbed, blown around the courtyard by great wings. Kristle and Kethren also detected large tracks, with three long, clawed toes to the front and a single claw facing the rear. They were almost sure these were made by a gigantic predatory lizard, most likely, a dragon of no small size. They decided to make their way quickly across the open courtyard towards the castle's main gate, and about halfway across, they saw the beast, rising up from the top of one of the ruined castle towers. A young White Dragon flew into the early morning sky and darted towards them.

The creature was fast, but not very maneuverable. It flew a large, lazy loop around the castle grounds as it dropped in altitude giving the party time to find some cover.

Ashianna shouted words of friendship to the beast in draconic as it flew past her position. If the monster heard her, it gave no sign. It completed its circle and came to rest on the corner of the keep's stables. It took a deep breath and let loose a torrent of frost and ice on Caelifer the monk, who could not avoid the breath.

Ashianna responded to the attack with a Flaming Sphere which charred the monster, while the rest of the party tried to get into position to fight the horror.

The monster leapt from the roof and came to rest on the ground in front of Ashianna and snapped at her, catching her with a bite and almost reducing her to unconsciousness.

Quav'Ria threw her Rod of Python to the ground and it became a gigantic serpent. She directed it to battle the dragon while she tried to get close enough to heal her friends.

The serpent slithered up to the dragon and landed a bite. It then managed to loop several coils around the dragon and began to squeeze.

Ashianna launched several Magic Missiles at the dragon, which found their target. This was followed quickly by a second volley.

Kethren moved up to melee range in his were form, but was unable to land a blow. The beast's armored hide was too thick.

Kristle fired his crossbow at the monster and found a chink in his armor. He followed that by leaping from the roof with his twin axes at the ready. Both his attacks landed. The dragon was in serious trouble.

The monster couldn't break the hold the giant python had on him, so tore at the snake with claws and his bite, but to no avail. The dragon perished.

The remainder of the trip to town was unremarkable, other than the extreme cold they were forced to deal with.

Once back in town, the party sold the ioun stone they had discovered to cover the cost of a Raise Dead spell for Celebheni and a Reincarnation for Tasinthe (as specified in their final wishes documents).

Tasinthe was reborn in the form of a Centaur named Tazerach.

They offered the head of the White Dragon to Lady Chauntessa, but got a weird vibe off of her during the negotiations.

Tazerach spent time being measured for a set of leather armor/barding which will be ready about the same time as their last Cure Critical Wounds potion.

After tying up loose ends in town, the party returned to Castle Whiterock to try to find the entrance to the tower the dragon had flown from.

Kristle examined the cliff face near the entrance and discovered the remains of a very old pathway leading to the base of the tower. The group made the climb (except for their new friend the Centaur) and made it to the tower without any incident. It was 30' to the top of the structure, but they managed to launch a rope with a grappling hook over the side and climb the wall to the top. There they found the dragon's hoard of gold, silver, and copper along with several gems and a small cache of magical items (a potion, scroll, and wand of Hold Person).

This is where we broke for the night.

Re: Castle Whiterock Campaign writeup

Posted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:24 am
by billolmesdahl
After some bookkeeping and changes from leveling up, we hit the ground running.

The party (except for their new centaur friend who couldn't make the climb) chose to continue investigating the watch tower the white dragon had used as a lair. When the silver and copper were moved, a trap door was revealed. The door was pronounced trap free and when opened, revealed a guard room which had been in use fairly recently.

The room contained a table with a bird cage on it, a chest, and a bed roll. Inside the bird cage was the corpse of a raven. The chest contained a variety of writing supplies. On the table was a small mirror (perhaps for signalling?).

Another trap door in the floor of this room was barred from this side. Kristle checked it for traps and opened the door a crack to get a sense of what was within. He saw the floor contained several piles of debris and heard the sounds of flapping wings in the shadows. Moving quickly, he let the door slam closed and could hear the flying creatures slam into the trap door. The party decided to move back into the dungeons below and put off investigating the rest of the tower for another day.

Continuing back into the dungeons below the castle, the party a made their way to the troglodyte lair without encounter. Retracing their steps from their last trip to these dank tunnels, they found that all signs of their previous battles had been erased, though the guards they vanquished had not been replaced with new sentinels.

The troglodyte family chambers were the first place that showed any signs of life. When they entered the great chamber, the troglodyte young and females retreated to the surrounding family caves, putting up no resistance at all. Caelifer noticed some old writing on the ceiling of the main chamber spelling out "Bronwyn was here!" in common.

Following the same tunnels as last time, the group arrived at Benthoc's Temple only to find it deserted. Benthoc was not in residence.

Searching the room, the party found the two adjoining tunnels leading to the West and East. The West tunnel was hot and moist, extremely humid. The other tunnel was pitch black, cold, and silent as the grave.

The party decided to try the dark, cold and quiet tunnel (aka the scary choice) and slowly moved in. They found the tunnels were covered with webs on the floor, ceiling and walls. The webbing was thick, rubbery, and surprisingly hard to burn. Taz the Centaur pushed to the front of the party and started trying to cast his rope and grappling hook into the masses of webbing to try to pull some of it down. The good news was he pulled something down. The bad news was that he pulled down the Spider Mother, a gigantic arachnid horror that dwarfed Shelob.

The Spider Mother shot a thick strand of webbing and entangled Taz, and effortlessly began to pull the centaur towards her. At the same time, swarms of tiny spiders erupted from the walls and began to attack.

Celeb was swarmed by thousands of tiny arachnids, as was Taz. Both suffered hundreds of poisonous bites. Caelifer covered the area around Celeb with lamp oil and waited until she moved before lighting it. Whooosh! Barbequed spiders.

Ashianna cast a Flaming Sphere spell and directed it to where the swarms were the thickest and destroyed the other two spider swarms.

Kethren charged into combat with the Spider Mother and found a pit trap. He landed without hurting himself (thanks to his high tumbling skill), but spent the remainder of the combat trying to climb out. (Note to self: Add more Pit Traps.) Several rounds of missile weapons and Magic Missile spells took the horror down. They party had survived the battle with the abomination.

After regrouping and casting some healing spells, the party investigated the other tunnel. They found the way was difficult. The stone was extremely slippery because of all the humidity in the tunnel. Leading the way was Taz the centaur, who lost his balance about 30 feet into the tunnel and slid into the cavern beyond.

The players had been joking about running into a red dragon in the room ahead. What do you think they actually found there? Yeah. You know it.

Celeb and Kethren followed Taz into the room and moved to engage the creature. Celeb and Taz were greeted with a cone of fiery breath. The party continued moving into the room to engage the dragon and was doing fairly steady damage to it, while the dragon held his own. In round three Taz was knocked unconscious.

We broke for the evening with Taz down, Cinderalis the dragon with more than half his hit points remaining and Quav'Ria having just turned her staff into a Python.

Next week should be a real test. Especially if I wasn't kidding with them about how amusing it would be if Benthoc were to arrive and hit them from the rear in this situation. Am I that much of a bastard? Find out next week.

Re: Castle Whiterock Campaign writeup

Posted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:37 am
by billolmesdahl
And the fight against Cinderalis continued. The party quickly found that this monster was much more of a challenge than the nameless White Dragon they had faced outside.

Cinderalis turned his attention primarily to Kethren, but didn't forget entirely about Caelifer behind him, striking him with his tail while he used his claws and bite against Kethren. But ignoring Quav'Ria's giant python was a bad idea. The monstrous snake slithered in for a bite, but was unable to constrict.

Quav'Ria was able to get to Taz and heal the centaur, returning him to consciousness.

The dragon turned his attention to the giant snake, tearing into it with his claws and bite. Each attack hit and reduced the snake to less than half his hits in a single round. And he remembered the monk again, smacking him with his tail. The party continued chip away at the great red dragon, but too slowly.

Cinderalis spun around and blasted Quav'Ria, Kristle, Celeb, and Ashianna with his fiery breath. He also managed to catch the giant snake in the blast, killing it. Both Celeb and Quav'Ria went down from the attack.

Ashianna moved to Quav'Ria with a potion of cure light wounds and brought the cleric back to consciousness.

Cinderalis turned continued his rampage, and dropped the centaur and Kristle in short order. Caelifer fell next.

We reached the point where Kethren and Celeb (revived by Quav'Ria) were the only warriors still conscious, and both were one round from death. Cinderalis was also sorely wounded, and the battle could easily go either way. Kethren chose to drop his greatsword and go into a rage, hoping to be able to hit the dragon at least once with his three attacks. And he got lucky. One claw got past the dragon's armor and finished him off.

The party had survived, except for Kristle, who was the sole fatality.

While the party was collecting their treasure and trying to recover a few hit points, Quav'Ria heard chanting coming from the dragon temple behind them. Benthoc! And they were in no shape whatsoever to face him. They were in serious trouble.

So the party was basically screwed.

There was no way they could survive another battle in their current condition, especially with Benthoc, who had come damned close to kicking their butts when they were at full health.

Taz had a whit of inspiration and pulled out the Tome of Tales. Once he opened his backpack, the book leaped into the air and hovered there, a mischievous face forming on the cover.

"Hi, I'm Tommy Tales. Hmmm. Wow. You guys a screwed." was basically what he said. Tommy offered to open a portal and send them into one of his stories. Without having much choice, the party gathered all the treasure they could carry and jumped into the portal.

Well, the good news is they arrived in a heavily wooded area entirely healed. Even Kristle had been returned to life. The bad news was they had arrived as 7 year old (or the equivalent) children. Tommy told them the story of this land (basically Hansel and Gretel) before mentioning that he had no way of getting them back to their home.

The party set out in search of a way home, following the trail through the forest. After a few hours of walking, they noticed a trail of gumdrops that led off the trail and into the heavy forest. Hoping to find the candy house mentioned in the story, they followed the trail. After a bit of walking, Caelifer detected some movement in the forest. Before he could warn the others, a trap was sprung and Kethren and Celeb were netted and hauled into a tree. Miniature trolls jumped from the underbrush and moved to attack.

And we were in full combat mode when we broke for the evening.

Re: Castle Whiterock Campaign writeup

Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 7:44 am
by billolmesdahl
Just a note to anyone reading: The party will be running through Escape from the Forest of Lanterns for the next several weeks before returning to Castle Whiterock. They were getting burned out on the Castle and the endless humanoids. I'm using this side trek to do two things, do something a bit different and I'm going to use this to advance the timeline back in the campaign world by several years. That's going to let me do some interesting things with some of their enemies who have managed to survive.