Conference Room Gaming Club
GameDate: February 6, 2002
Players Present: Gary (Dalen WoodForger), David (Artemis), Virgil (Vieman), Scott (Harrogath), Jerry (Galrond)
NPC’s: Shalazar, Brother Sipe, Dramkar
The party arrives from various paths to the house of Shalazar, a scribe, in Tyarrett. He asks all present to introduce themselves.
Dalen: A 6’3” elfish fellow with black hair and blue eyes. He is slim and carries a short sword and a longbow.
Artemis: A 5’10” man of ruddy complexion, black hair and brown eyes. He is stout of build and carries a faranj and a composite bow.
Vieman: A 6’5” Noldor (high) elf with pale skin, white hair, and grey eyes. He is slender, carries a long bow, and wears an interesting earring.
Harrogath: A 6’1” elf, tan in coloration, brown hair and eyes and rather drab clothing. He is slim of build and carries bola, a short sword, and a composite bow.
Galrond: A 6’3’ elf with a tan complexion, brown hair and eyes. He is stout for an elf and wields a slender, heavy war hammer and a bow.
Brother Sipe: 5’8” man who dresses in the garb of a Tayee priest.
Dramkar: 5’9” man who wields a bow and faranj.
Shalazar states that he would like to hire the group to look for Carrello, a friend of his that he sent to explore a ruin previously charted by Brother Sipe and Dramkar. Carrello never returned and Shalazar fears the worst. The group agrees, after negotiating a ‘fair’ price (50 sp). Using Shalazar’s tab, the party purchases some equipment and sets off with Brother Sipe and Dramkar in tow.
The party decides to follow the south bank of the Siresha River to the site. Dramkar warns of an observation tower occupied by men of the army of the Mezin Tarb. The party decides to veer south in an attempt to loop around the tower’s view.
About halfway around, Harrogath notices a cloud of dust near the tower. The party’s worries are confirmed when they are approached by a contingent of cavalry from the tower garrison. Flanked and outnumbered, the party parleys with the captain of the cavalry. He demands a tribute to ensure the party’s safe passage. Artemis’ attempts to sway the captain fail and Vieman steps in. Offering a ‘glowing’ mirror, Vieman convinces the captain to accept much less than the original demand. The party hopes Vieman’s trick will not soon be discovered.
The party arrives at the ruin site just after dusk. With Harrogath atop a broken pillar, and Dalen having scouted a nearby tributary, the party assumes the camp is safe enough and, with watches set, falls to sleep.
During the night, a small herd of goats enters the ruin and Galrond mightily slays one with two shots from his bow. Breakfast is fresh mutton.
In the morning, the party explores the area more thoroughly and discovers that the remains of some of the towers and pillars create a line pointing to the south.
The party follows the remains of a trail going south and comes across the entrance to a tunnel into the side of a dry wash. Following stairs and a corridor, Harrogath leads the party past two large statues and into a fray with a group of orcs. In the ensuing battle, the bows of the party slay several orcs. Harrogath, having leaped away from the protection of his friends, is confronted by a particularly large, angry orc. But before the orc can avenge his fallen lackeys, Vieman stuns him with an arrow in the back. The orc never recovers, though it takes several more shots to finish him. Artemis and Galrond, who have pulled up the rear to this point, and prevented a flank attack, enter the main battle and help mop up the remaining orcs. In the fray, Dalen is wounded severely, but his bleeding is stopped by a spell from Brother Sipe.
The party is now catching its breath and checking themselves for wounds or soiled garments.
Conference Room Gaming Club
GameDate: February 21, 2002
Players Present: David (Artemis), Virgil (Vieman), Scott (Harrogath), Jerry (Galrond) Absent: Gary (Dalen WoodForger),
NPC’s: Brother Sipe, Dramkar
After the battle with the orcs, the party takes a moment to recover. Brother Sipe administers some healing herbs to Dalen, while the rest of the group rummages through the remains, not finding much of value. The party then forms up and proceeds deeper into the tunnel. After a short distance, they reach the main lair of the orcs, a room littered with rag and straw mats and items that might resemble food if you were a starving dog. In a side room, Artemis discovers a prisoner of the orcs, a rather short, olive-skinned man with a few tattered feathers in his black hair. The prisoner is cruelly bound and has obviously been beaten numerous times. Harrogath cuts him loose and he is given some water, which he accepts along with some first aid from Brother Sipe. The man speaks no language that the party understands and, after a few awkward moments, Vieman offers a quill and ink. The man ignores the inkwell and takes the feather. He rummages through the filth where he had lain and recovers one of his own teeth. He then impales his hand with the feather, bleeds on it, and then gives it and his tooth to Vieman. Deciding that he would be of no real help as an additional member, the party moves aside and lets him leave.
The party then moves down a side passage to what appears to be the orcs’ latrine. In the corner of the room is a large pile of stone blocking up a door. Galrond and Artemis remove the stone from the door and the party proceeds.
After a short stair climb, the hallway forks into two parallel passages. The party splits in two and continues, springing a trap. In each passage, a large statue bursts through a false wall ahead of the party and begins to slide rapidly toward the group. Most of the party get away unscathed, but Artemis and Vieman suffer minor bumps and Dramkar gets slammed into the wall. Battered, he narrowly avoids being crushed between the statue and the wall where it impacts. Brother Sipe heals Dramkar with herbs.
In the next passage, Galrond notices a pit just before Artemis and Harrogath walk onto it. Harrogath promptly disarms the trap, springing the pit’s trapdoor, which swings aside and reveals a pit 30’ long with a 15’ drop to water of unknown depth. The party finds no safe way to cross the pit until Galrond expertly launches and attaches a grappling hook to the other side. After the party attaches the other end with a spike, Harrogath deftly shimmies over, followed by everyone else except Brother Sipe, who falls in after making it most of the way. A quick rope dropped to him helps him up and out.
After winding a bit and passing through two empty rooms, the party comes to a side passage with a door. When they try the door, two secret doors in the main passage open up and six skeletons emerge and attack from the rear. The door is false. In the ensuing battle, Dalen and Dramkar suffer damage, but take no extraordinary injury. Galrond’s war hammer and Artemis’ Faranj prove to be effective weapons and everyone, even the fumbling Vieman, contributes to the destruction of the tough but foul un-living creatures.
After the battle, the party clears the skeletal remains and, after making sure that they can get out, decides to take an extended rest in one of the rooms from which the skeletons emerged. Brother Sipe uses the last of his healing herbs, and the last of his power points, to heal the party before rest. The party rests for 8 hours with no interference, and is rested, healthy, and ready to move through the door down the main hall (Insert evil GM chuckling here).
Conference Room Gaming Club
GameDate: June 6, 2002
Players Present: Gary (Dalen WoodForger), Kristin (Vieman), Scott (Harrogath), Jerry (Galrond), Andrew (Dramkar)
Absent: Dave (Artemis)
NPC’s: Brother Sipe,
Having rested and recuperated, the party cautiously leaves the room where they had camped and proceeds to the door at the end of the passage. After many perception and ambush detection attempts, the party opens the door to find the passage continuing. After a couple of turns, the party pass through a dusty, empty room that has a few tracks showing some sign of prior, humanoid travel. The party proceeds to a point where a side passage forks from the main corridor. The side passage ends in a door. Vieman bravely has a go at the door and promptly drops into a small pit trap. Annoyed and slightly injured, Vieman accepts some healing from Brother Sipe. The party continues down the main passage, around a corner and finds the main passage again ending in a door.
Galrond opens the door and the party enters a room that contains a second door set in the middle of the wall to the left, and four smooth, black sections of wall, two on either side of the door. After examining the smooth sections, the party decides to try the door. They set up with Galrond pushing on the door with Dalen and Harrogath as backup. The rest of the party waits in the main passage just outside the room.
Galrond pushes mightily, but the door doesn’t budge. A section of the ceiling in the main passage begins to swivel down, forcing the party members there into the room. It effectively blocks the exit.
Simultaneously, the four sections of wall start to slide up, revealing niches. From each niche, a skeleton emerges. In the ensuing battle, Galrond melees with two skeletons, one of which is taken out by several of Harrogath’s bola shots plus fine bowmanship from Vieman. Galrond dispatches the other. Dalen squares off with one skeleton and is wounded, but holds his own until Harrogath’s risky bola shots and Galrond’s trusty war hammer help finish the job. In his eagerness to get in an over-Dalen’s shoulder shot, Harrogath fumbles his bola and spends three rounds regaining his composure. Meanwhile, Dramkar and Artemis have been giving the other skeleton the business. But after receiving every one of his opponent’s slashes, Dramkar makes what is graciously called a ‘strategic withdrawal’. Although the skeleton pursues, Vieman manages to chip in a killing shot once his firing angle is clear. Dramkar gathers the skeletons’ swords, which appear to be of normal value.
Brother Sipe administers healing spells to Dalen and Galrond. Dalen, Harrogath, and Dramkar manage to push the door open. The passage beyond takes the party to a wide passage lined with pillars along both walls. Dramkar notices a bundle piled in the shadows near one of the pillars. The party investigates and discovers the body of Carrello, the person they were sent to find. Carrello’s body is covered with sword-inflicted injuries of all kinds. Searching the body, the party discovers two maps (one of the ruins area the party has already visited, and a partial map of the dungeon the party is currently exploring). Neither map has any new information. The party also discovers 25 silver pieces, and miscellaneous adventuring equipment. It is apparent that Carrello’s body was moved to its current location from the direction the party came. After Dalen scouts the passage further, the party forms up and moves on.
The passage opens into a large room containing pillars, a dais, and a throne. A carpet lies on the floor covering the space between the dais and the room’s entrance. On the throne sits a large suit of armor complete with a crested helm, and full plate torso, arms, and legs. A large sword lies on the lap of the armor. As the party enters the room, the armor stands up and advances. As it approaches the party, it fires darts from an opening in its abdomen and reveals that it has two weapons, the sword in one hand, and a mace in the other. Galrond fires a jolts spell at the armor in an attempt to stun anyone who might be inside, but to no effect.
As the party scrambles for cover and/or better fighting positions, the suit quickly moves to engage Galrond. It is met by a flurry of arrows, which do some, but not much, damage, and continues to launch darts of its own. Facing the brunt of the armor’s attacks, Galrond is wounded, but not seriously injured. He also deals some damage with his war hammer, but the armor is immune to stun and bleeding damage. Dalen finds a nice flanking position and effectively launches a steady stream of arrows, while Vieman and Artemis fire from a lesser vantage point, but still with some effect. At least until Artemis fumbles his bow and manages to daze himself for six full rounds. (He still isn’t sure exactly what happened, but the welt on his forehead takes a day and a half to go down) Dramkar scores with an arrow, takes a dart, and rushes to Galrond’s aid. This cuts the attention Galrond is getting by half. Both players take damage but manage to avoid serious injury until Dramkar takes a shot to the torso that breaks a rib. Meanwhile, Harrogath uses his magical jumping ability to leap into position behind the armor to deliver a surprise backstab. Though the armor takes damage, Harrogath fails to score a critical hit. Finally, after taking the full brunt of the party’s offensive power for several rounds, the armor collapses, succumbing to a vicious hammer blow from Galrond. The armor pieces unknit and the force that held them together vanishes in a puff of mist.
Brother Sipe heals Dramkar’s rib, which will be sore for a few days, and heals as much of Dramkar and Galrond’s damage as possible.
While the party searches the room and discovers no other exit, Dramkar examines the pile of armor and discovers a large bundle of darts and a gem. Vieman fails in an attempt to ascertain if the gem is magical in nature (and, in fact, fails to determine if anything the party finds is magic). Dalen, looking under the carpet for trap doors, notices that the carpet is high-quality and in very good shape, so he rolls it up to prep it for removal. Galrond examines the throne and finds a mismatched brick which Harrogath manages to break open revealing a small space containing two ingots of gold shaped into cubes, and a scroll case. The ingots are plain, but the case contains a scroll written over with characters that Dalen recognizes as Dwarvish, though the writing itself is not the Dwarvish language.
Harrogath uses pieces of the armor and some darts to construct two traps in the corridor leading into the room. The party begins to rest and recuperate once again, faced with the prospect of leaving the way they came in.
Conference Room Gaming Club
GameDate: June 13, 2002
Players Present: Gary (Dalen WoodForger), Kristin (Vieman), Scott (Harrogath), Jerry (Galrond), Andrew (Dramkar)
Absent: David (Artemis)
NPC’s: Brother Sipe,
After a short debate, the party decides to wrap the body of Carrello in the rug and take both back to Tyarrett. Brother Sipe and Dramkar, who insisted on not abandoning the body, offer to carry the load. The party moves back into the room where they were trapped and ambushed to try to figure out how to get out the way they came in. After some time exploring the doors and trying to push the stone block back into the ceiling, Dramkar discovers that the black wall sections that slid up have small lips at the bottom suitable for gripping. Dalen, Dramkar, Harrogath, and Galrond enter the niches behind the sections and pull down. The sections quickly move down and the block starts to swing up. Alas, Galrond is not quick enough to get out of the niche, and after nearly losing a part of his foot, is stuck inside. The party re-triggers the trap to free Galrond and repeats the procedure until all the party can leave.
They backtrack through the dungeon, crossing the water pit without incident (even with the corpse-in-a-rug) and get back to their parched but otherwise ok horses.
Deciding not to risk a pass by the tower housing the Mezin-Tarb cavalry, the party moves to the east/northeast to Takra in order to cross the Siresha River and go back to Tyarrett along the north bank. The trip to Takra is uneventful.
Near dusk, the party arrives and ponies up a few silver pieces to cross the bridge. While the rest of the party settles into the Inn, Dalen, Dramkar, and Brother Sipe take Carrello’s body (still wrapped in the rug) to the local Tayee temple. The priests there volunteer to take care of Carrello’s body and mention that the rug will be available in the morning.
Dalen asks Brother Sipe if the priests have any news and Brother Sipe answers that they mentioned something about strange lights and vanishing cattle upstream to the north.
The next day the party stops by the temple and gives the rug to the priests as a donation. The Tayee are grateful. The party leaves town with Dalen having to catch up after stopping by a shop to pick up a piece of exotic driftwood.
As the party heads west to Tyarrett, a band of eight dwarves approaches from the other direction. The dwarves immediately move into a defensive formation that is bristling with weaponry. After a terse exchange, the dwarves move by the party, maintaining a potentially hostile posture. After the passing, Dalen hails the dwarves in an attempt to see if they can read the scroll the party found in the dungeon. The dwarf captain refuses to assist and moves his group on.
Just after midday, the party passes by the infamous cavalry tower. Galrond takes a moment to mock the tower, drawing no response. The party notices that rope-drawn ferry crosses the river at the water’s edge near the tower. After a short debate, the party skips on the opportunity to attack the small guard hut on the north bank. While passing, the party notices a lean-to shack on the south bank with several wretched people chained to a bar by the ankles. Though angered, the party decides it can do nothing to help and moves on.
They arrive in Tyarrett two hours after nightfall and make their way to Shalazar’s house. After settling down from the ride, they have Shalazar translate the scroll. It takes him a little while, but he determines that the message reads as follows:
Behind the seven gates he sits
Upon the Dog Throne
Eating the souls of men
The Razor, Akhorahil’s Razor
Shalazar asks the party to go get a friend of his, Gurnam, who may be able to help derive the meaning of the message. Dramkar, Dalen, and Brother Sipe volunteer to go.
Upon arriving, Dalen notices that the door is slightly ajar and he peers in to investigate. Inside, a figure in black armor and cloak is stooped over a supine man. The figure is delivering a slow, meticulous cut with a sword to the torso of the man. Dalen and Brother Sipe burst in and slay the black figure with several strokes of their short swords. Brother Sipe, heretofore a non-combatant, strikes viciously without offering any quarter. Dramkar helps finish the job. Both he and Brother Sipe recognize that the figure is a Tayb, or Silent One. Members of a dark cult recently introduced to the area. The Tayb are known to be brutal, ritualistic killers.
The man on the floor, Gurnam, has had his throat slit so that he cannot speak. He also has multiple slashes. Brother Sipe begins to stabilize him with herbs (some donated by Dalen) and first aid. He sends Dramkar to get Shalazar.
Dramkar returns to Shalazar’s and the remainder of the party plus Shalazar rush to Gurnam’s. On the way, Galrond notices a window light get blocked for a moment as if someone walked by. He nudges Harrogath and the two race in pursuit down an alley between rows of houses. The area is not well lit and has too many hiding places/escape routes for them to cover, so they go back to Shalazar’s (because they don’t know where Gurnam lives).
At Gurnam’s, Shalazar tells Dramkar to run to the Tayee temple and ask for help. Dramkar does so and the priests take over the care of Gurnam. It looks like Brother Sipe’s healing efforts have worked. The party returns to Shalazar’s and beds down for the rest of the night.
Special Note: At the end of the session, the party gained a level and now all characters have moved from 2nd to 3rd level. Galrond, Vieman, Dalen, and Harrogath have all completed the leveling up process. (Kristin handled Vieman as a proxy). Dramkar and Brother Sipe will be leveled by the DM (Steve). Artemis and what’s his name (Andrew’s character) need to be leveled /finished.
Conference Room Gaming Club
GameDate: June 20, 2002
Players Present: Gary (Dalen WoodForger), Kristin (Vieman), Scott (Harrogath), Jerry (Galrond), Andrew (Werdna) David (Artemis)
NPC’s: Brother Sipe, Dramkar
After a short-night’s rest at Shalazar’s, the party wakes and has a talk with Shalazar. He tells them that the two gold cubes the party discovered are ranging stones. When they are separated, they indicate the direction and approximate distance to each other. Shalazar and the party discuss the next possible steps they might take to help gather more clues as to the meaning of the scroll’s message. Shalazar assures the party that he and others will continue to research the message in Tyarrett. He mentions a past acquaintance, a Seer called Niniel, that Gurnam used to communicate with. Shalazar has had no contact with Niniel for years, but knows that she used to reside in a place called the Seer’s Tower near the town of Cardan.
The party cashes in their gem (50 sp), divvies up their loot and does a little shopping before heading out. Harrogath picks up a higher-quality short sword and Artemis trades in his bow and shield for an expensive but magical shield. Vieman also picks up a spare bowstring while the party, at Dalen’s suggestion, restocks its supply of torches.
When the party returns to Shalazar’s to make ready to leave, they encounter a tall human mage named Werdna. He joins the party and they set off to Cardan.
On the road, the party passes a few caravans and, when passing the infamous watchtower, realize that the cavalry captain that the party (Vieman in particular) tricked is on the north bank of the tower’s river ferry, overseeing the delivery of supplies from a few wagons. Vieman successfully disguises himself and the party manages to get by without being recognized. The slaves that the party saw the last time they passed the tower were manning the ferry.
After resting in Ratown and progressing to Cardan, the party beds for the night and, in the morning, asks the innkeeper if he knows anything about Niniel. He doesn’t, but he sends the party to Loopy the Juggler’s training facility. Loopy remembers that Niniel was a young woman with a striking presence, who lived in Minas Anghen, the tower of seeing. He said that she has not been heard from for years and that the few people who have tried to visit the tower have never returned. He also tells the party how to get to the tower by going north of town and taking a fork off of the main road.
The party follows the directions and finds the fork just as described. They exit the main road and follow the trail to the tower. After cresting a wooded hill, the party spies a tower on a hill two hill-ridges away (about 5 miles in a straight line). As the party descends to the valley between the crest they are on and the first hill, they are set upon by seven large, wolflike dogs. Werdna begins to prepare a spell, while the rest of the party, except Brother Sipe and Artemis, fire away with arrows. The dogs are difficult to hit and only two of them are wounded before they close to melee. In the ensuing fight, Artemis, Dramkar, and Dalen manage to hold their own and down their foe with minor damage. Galrond clouts an arrow-wounded dog hard enough to knock it into the air. The dog is dead on impact (with the hammer, not the ground). Harrogath, after an initial shot with a bola, doesn’t manage to hit his elusive opponent, but Galrond comes to his aid. Unfortunately, the dog turns on Galrond and delivers a nasty bite to the shoulder that not only takes fully half his hits and stuns the might warrior, but also reduces his ability to battle. He will take a few days to recover completely. During the fight, Werdna manages to fire a couple of shock bolts that help his comrades by both delivering damage and stunning the dogs. Brother Sipe, after giving Harrogath a quick heal, joins the fray with his short sword and manages to contribute some. Vieman, battling alongside Dramkar also gets in a martial arts strike that helps finish off one of the vile beasts.
After the fight, Brother Sipe administers some healing, but the party is deciding exactly how much of his power to use up before delving further into the hilly, wild, Sara Bask Forest.
The party decides to press on through the dry, short-treed forest along the path toward the tower in the distance. After cresting the second hill, Dalen notices something near the bottom of the next hill. It seems to be a humanoid walking down the path. The party hides in the scrub near the path while Artemis deftly stalks down the hill parallel to the path. The figure is a human man that crosses the dry streambed between the hills and heads up the path toward the party, oblivious to their presence. Artemis decides to show himself with the idea that the man is just a wanderer. Once he notices Artemis and the rest of the party, the man turns and runs. Galrond and Artemis give chase and nearly catch up to the man as he scrambles out of the streambed. While the remainder of the party descends the hill along the path, except for Dalen who is moving through the trees and keeping a lookout for other ‘wanderers’. The man heads up the hill ahead of his pursuers. Galrond stumbles and falls behind. About two thirds of the way up the hill the panicking man stumbles off the path and falls a short way down a steep portion of the hill, hitting a tree and breaking both arms in the process. Artemis and the rest of the party catch up, and Brother Sipe administers healing to both arms. The man is nervous and shaky, but aware. When asked, he claims to be heading into town. He says he ran because he was scared when confronted by such a large group of strangers. When asked, he claims no knowledge of anyone named Niniel. He doesn’t put up a fight when the party asks him to hand over his sword, but he refuses to allow Galrond to strip him so he can be tied to a tree. The party debates (argues) over what to do with him. Galrond doesn’t trust the man and wants to ensure that he can’t do any harm. Other party members, like Vieman and Werdna, are all for letting him go on his way. In the mean time, Dalen has moved to the top of the hill to scout and prevent the party from being surprised by any other people in the area. He finds the coast clear.
Eventually, the party decides to let the man go and continue toward the tower. They cross a small stream at a ford and approach the main entrance. The tower is a part of a larger building with high, plain walls, a gated entrance, and a roofed portion back and to the left of the gate. The party approaches the gate. The doors are open, but the passage through the walls is blocked by a portcullis at the far end and perforated with arrow slits in the walls and ceiling. A courtyard can be seen past the portcullis.
After Artemis examines the ramp to the door, the party knocks. After a moment, a gong is heard and several men appear at the portcullis. One of them asks the party’s business and when they reply that they are looking for Niniel in Minas Anghen, the man says that the keep is not Minas Anghen and that no one named Niniel lives there. He says his name is Coerbel and that this is the Keep of the Spring. He asks the party if they need to come in and rest. The party agrees and after the portcullis is raised, they enter the courtyard. The man is flanked by about a dozen other men of various bearing. Some are clean and neat and others are ragged. There is also a woman in a robe. She briefly examines the party and then moves to the tower with a couple of men in tow. The remaining men move aside so the party can move to the tower. Coerbel motions for the party to follow him to the tower. Just before she moves into the tower, Artemis notices the woman turn and grin at the party. Dalen falls back to the rear of the party alongside Artemis and delivers a quick, hushed comment. The doors of the tower open revealing a short passage to a throne/receiving room. Both Galrond and Artemis quickly realize that the party is entering an ambush. They shout “it’s a trap!” Galrond attempts to slam the tower doors closed and cut off about a third of their attackers. He fails, but the jig is up and the men in the keep attack.
The ensuing melee is filled with tense moments as Werdna moves to the relative safety of the center of the party and everyone else engages in hand-to-hand combat. Despite being targeted for arrow shots by the tower’s guard, Dalen, along with Artemis handle their opponents with relative ease. In the middle of the fray, Brother Sipe and Vieman hold their own, but barely, while Harrogath and Dramkar deal with their foes neatly. Galrond, bulwark of the party, squares off with Coerbel and a few of his friends. Galrond delivers a vicious shot that sends Coerbel reeling, but his resourceful foe magically leaps to the side. Dramkar comes to Galrond’s side and they deal with Coerbel’s friends while Vieman finishes Coerbel with arrows as he tries to stumble away. Werdna adds a couple of shock bolts that help. Dalen, after dispatching his nearby foes, charges the gate guard who promptly surrenders. In the tower entrance, Galrond and Vieman injure another one of Coerbel’s men and he also surrenders.
One man and the woman, flee from the tower entryway into the throne room. Galrond receives a leaping spell from Werdna and vaults into the throne room. He lands at the foot of the throne and smacks the man senseless. The woman quickly flips a switch on the throne opening a spike filled pit beneath Galrond. Galrond stumbles and falls into the pit. Impaled on two spikes, he dies. The man he stunned falls to his death as well.
Vieman and Dramkar, seeing their friend fall into the pit, launch arrows at the woman as she attempts to flee. They score nasty hits, but the desperate bandit queen manages to leap the pit and exit through a side doorway.
While Artemis is examining the corpse of Coerbel, Vieman and Werdna take turns interrogating the party’s two prisoners. Mad with battle lust, they momentarily lapse into violence against their defenseless prisoners. Afterwards, they feel ever so slightly less able to maintain their self control.
The prisoners reveal that they are a group of bandits gathered by Coerbel and Sunil (the woman). There are two other people in the keep, a servant woman and a nutty priest.
Currently the party is digesting this information and regrouping after the loss of one of their mightiest warriors. (The DM asks: “Who’s next?”)
Conference Room Gaming Club
GameDate: July, 2002
Dalen and Harrogath retrieve Galrond’s body from the pit. They set him aside in a relatively safe place and decide to explore the throne room and see if they can locate the bandit queen. After securing the prisoners by tying them to the tree in the courtyard, they party follows the trail of blood left by the wounded bandit queen, Sunil. The party moves up a curving stair and into the second level of the keep’s tower. There they find comparatively lavish living quarters. The blood trail ends in a bedroom that the wounded woman managed to reach before succumbing to blood loss. She is dead on the bed. The party finds several chests and fails to pick the lock on any of them. A spiral stair is discovered that winds up the center of the tower and the party decides to scout it out. During the course of exploring the rest of the tower they discover 3 more floors including a level with six doors, a library level with a skeletal corpse, and the tower roof level. In the room with six doors each door opens to reveal a gray mist. In the library, the party discovers a desk and chair occupied by a skeletal corpse. The corpse is slumped over the desk, head resting on folded arms. On the corpse, the party finds a golden headband, an amulet of gold and emerald, and a mithril ring. These tokens are evidence that the corpse belongs to Niniel. It is obvious that she has been dead for a long time. No signs of foul play are evident. They find an interesting box in a desk drawer. The box has nine small, square compartments arranged three by three. While the center compartment is empty, each of the other eight each contains a colored cube. The colors are: black, white, blue, green, yellow, orange, violet, and red. The party also finds a small box of opaque black glass that contains powerful herbs. The herbs are: 10 Mirenna berries (heal 10 hits), 6 doses of healer’s chamomile (double healing rate, lasts 24 hours), 2 doses of sweet sorrel (haste 3 rounds), 1 dose of Thr-fira (raise dead), and 2 doses of bursthelas (heal shattered bones). The library is graced by 6 fine paintings depicting the following: an Elf singing songs in the moonlight, a fly caught in a spider’s web, a hobbit eating an apple under a tree, a dwarf hammering a golden sword on a silver anvil, a man counting gold coins, and an ent standing amidst a grove of odd trees.
The door connecting the library and the central spiral staircase is adorned with three doorknobs. The left knob is plain and round, the middle is engraved with a bas-relief of a cube, and the rightmost is engraved with a pair of crossed flaming swords. The spiral stair in the area of the library level is comprised of fine polished yew wood.
The roof level contains a central cylindrical platform/chimney about 10’ tall that covers the top of the tower’s central stair shaft. A stair wraps around the platform and allows access to the top. On the top is a small 3’ x 3’ yellow square tile and a fireplace. Hanging above the chimney is a large, clear rod. All around the edge of the roof are small pedestals each holding a small orb. By looking into an orb, the party discovers that they can see great distances in high detail in the direction a given orb looks away from the tower. One thing they see is their former prisoners and two others riding away along the trail the party followed to get to the keep.
The party re-explores the living quarters and discovers: a jade apple, a silver mirror, and some other minor valuables.
The party returns to the room of doors to explore further. They notice an orange 3’ x 3’ square on the floor. Harrogath and Dramkar (played via proxy by Jerry) take the plunge, enter a door, and wind up in a doorless stone-walled prison room with a small square opening in the ceiling and a dried corpse on the floor. On the corpse they find a nice falchion and 26 silver pieces. Harrogath fires an arrow into the opening, but the arrow falls back into the room after a moment of rattling upward. They notice a red 3’ x 3’ square on the floor of the prison room as they settle into their new home and hope that some way out is found.
Meanwhile the rest of the party, after waiting a time and hoping for the return of their companions, decides to go back to the library to see if they can discover more information about the keep and tower. After some debate and examining of the bookshelves, they discover a note in a book that contains a description of the “box of panes” (the box with the cubes) and lists the colors of the cubes with a one word description of each. They are: red/prison, blue/outside, green/vault, yellow/roof, orange/doors, violet/recovery, black/nowhere, and white/holding.
The party then examines the doorknobs. The plain knob seems to simply open and close the door, the right (with swords) knob does nothing unless the door is closed. When the door is closed and it is turned, a rushing-hissing noise can be heard in the stairwell (no one in the party volunteers to go into the stairwell while the knob is turned to find out what makes the sound). The middle knob (with the bas-relief cube) causes the stairwell to change into a circular room with the floor at the same level as the library’s. Through experimentation, the party discovers that if something (or someone) is in this room with the door closed and the orange cube is placed into the center socket of the Box of Panes, that something will be teleported to the orange square on the floor of the room of doors. Likewise for the tower roof’s yellow square. They also discover that if something/one is standing on a square while the room is set and door closed and the cube of that color is removed from the center socket, they will be teleported back to the stairwell/room.
After further experimentation, they discover that they can rescue their imprisoned companions using the red cube and that they can go to several other locations. When using the blue cube, they wind up behind a wine rack in a wine cellar. In this small area there is a door that opens to a tunnel that leads to a secret entrance to the keep (the tunnel opens at the base of the bluff the keep is built on in a wooded area). The white cube puts a person in a state of suspended animation (they put Galrond’s body in there to keep him from going ripe). The purple cube doesn’t teleport, instead it heals recent wounds. When the party sends an object using the black cube and it doesn’t come back, no one offers to find out where it went. At first, the green cube doesn’t seem to work. But after some experiments, the party discovers that in order for it to work the person using the Box must be wearing the ring found on the corpse at the desk in the library. The green square is on the floor of a chamber holding six chests and a staff. Werdna offers to carry the staff and the chests are looted.
The party explores and loots the underground level (store rooms, bath) and the surface level (kitchen, stables, more living quarters) before camping for the night in the library after securing the stairwell by switching it to teleport mode.
During the night, Brother Sipe risks failure by using the Thr-fira herb on Galrond’s corpse. He is successful, against the odds and “War Hammer” is once again on the prowl. He gets his equipment back (including his ring that Harrogath was “keeping” for him).
The next day, the party finds the keep filled with armed men and after taking a few pot shots (some of which actually connect), they teleport to the wine cellar and attempt to exit the keep. They are noticed first by a man examining the cellar and then by patrolling orc warg-riders. After skirmishing with an orcish outrider or two, they attempt to flee from the large group of warg-riders that arrives from the direction of the keep’s entrance and the group of men coming out from the cellar.
Hopelessly outnumbered, they move into the stunted, dry forest and are rescued by a group of familiar-looking men. They look like the prisoner the party had rescued from the orcs while trying to find Carrello. In fact, the very man was there himself. He and his men, using blowguns, slay almost all of the men, orcs, and wargs. They lose some of their own, but the battle was won.
The strange men call themselves the Yatali-Gan. One of them can speak halting Common because he was enslaved for a time by orcs. After the scrap, Buri, the man rescued, tells the party that they are at the keep to rescue some of their own who are imprisoned within. The Y-G cannot themselves enter the “cursed” keep because of a legendary warning given to the Y-G by “the Tall Men”.
The party decides to re-enter the keep and try a rescue. The Y-G have counted the men left in the keep at about a dozen. The party goes into the tunnel to the wine cellar and attacks the guards posted there. During the fight, a robed man casts some spells causing wracking pains to Galrond. The party fights their way into the cellar and the robed man retreats, closing the door. When the party opens it, with Dalen poised for a bow shot, the man launches a vicious spell breaking Dalen’s leg. Werdna and Brother Sipe help Dalen to safety and administer healing which mends the bone.
The man retreats up a stair to the ground level and, with two bowmen, attempts a standoff. Galrond leads the way and brings down the robed man with help from Harrogath and Dramkar. The man’s wounded lackeys are taken prisoner.
The party moves into the courtyard and into the stables, capturing two more prisoners. The stables contain about a dozen captured Yatali-Gan. When the party frees them and lets them guard the prisoners, they quickly kill the slavers. The party then moves to the towers, finding two more men looking for loot and capturing them. The party leads the Yatali-Gan out the main entrance and to their compatriots in the woods. In response to a direct request by Buri, the two prisoners are turned over to the Yatali-Gan and are immediately killed. The Y-G see these killings as an important part of the rescue.
The Yatali-Gan indicate that they know of a caravan containing slaves of “your kind of people”. The party rests in the tower, debating their next step.
The next day the party decides to intercept the caravan and free whatever slaves are held prisoner there. The party gets their bearings and moves out of the keep and toward the main trade route. On the way they encounter two hill giants and after a scuffle involving thrown rocks and impressive damage-dealing, manage to slay them both. They then move onto the main road and search for a good ambush spot. They find an area where the trees are close to the road and set up. While waiting for the caravan, two orc scouts riding wargs pass the party without noticing the ambush. When the main caravan arrives, the party drops pre-cut trees onto the road to block the carts. In the ensuing battle all the caravan guards and drivers are slain, along with some of the slaves. Some of the slaves die battling the guards, while a few are killed by one of the trees the party dropped.
After the fight the party examines the caravan cargo. The wagons contain building stone and other construction materials.
Total loot from guards:
56 sp and a dozen each of: Hard leather vests & normal clothing & items, faranj swords, composite bows, and shields. One of the faranj swords is of higher quality than the others. The guard who used it also wore a ring.
Four of the former slaves are dead and 10 have survived, three of the ten are wounded and need assistance to move. All are human men. Galrond recognizes one of them as Dace, an older caravan guard he once traveled with. Dace relates the following story: “We were taking a supply of weapons from the dwarf kingdom to sell in Tul-Harar when we were jumped by soldiers of the Tarb just past Rok (that’s to the North along the this trail here about 2 ½ days from this spot). They killed most of us, but I got knocked out and when I came to, I was with this bunch. There’s only three of us left from our caravan, Moku, Jen, and me. These others say that they’re prisoners caught in the fighting up by Ayn. As we went along I heard the guards say we were going south to meet with ‘Fatty’s’ men, but I don’t know who ‘Fatty’ is.”
The party decides to try to make it back to Cardan to regroup and plan their next step. They begin heading south along the main road and notice riders on the road ahead of them. They quickly hide in the woods near the road and ambush the orcish warg riders who are accompanied by a human rider. All the riders are slain.
The party travels back to Cardan at dusk and notice that the streets are empty. They go to the inn and have to knock to be let in. The innkeeper, Pitsman, quickly scoots the party inside and shuts the door behind them. There are a few patrons eating quietly. They don’t take much notice of the party. The innkeeper mentions the new “night patrols” are the reason the town is so quiet. He relates: “First, they cleaned out the prison. But there war’nt but a few there. They seemed to be wantin’ more, so they picked up anyone that broke any law. First it was the beggars and drifters, then they just looked for someone to do something. A couple got nabbed for being drunk at night. By the Valar, they even hauled off a farmhand just for spittin in the street! Nobody knows where they take ‘em. Out east and north some say. But no one knows and nobody bothers askin’.” When the party asks who is doing this, the innkeeper replies: “The Tarb’s men, the soldiers! You were lucky to have made it into town without them stopping you.”
The next day, Dalen, Dramkar, and Brother Sipe go to the Tayee Temple to pay their respects. The priests talk in detail with Dalen about a wooden statue in the temple garden. When the conversation is over, Dalen tells the party that he is going to stay at the temple and do some work for them. They have offered to assist in the growth of his woodforging talents. In return he will work for the temple. He says his goodbyes and leaves with his share of the party treasure.
Meanwhile, some rumors catch the ear of the party.
The party meets the local caravan master who reports that bandit activity is rising in the immediate area. Often humans and orcs are teaming up to waylay travelers. Very often prisoners are taken. Sometimes entire caravans disappear. Only large, well-defended caravans make it to and from Akhul and the dwarven realms. The dwarves have increased the number of guards they allow to leave their homeland to help ensure the safe transfer of goods. (Generally the dwarves don’t allow very many of their soldiers to leave.) They also find out that the roads to the south (and therefore to the elf homeland of Gan) have been cut by well organized, well armed bandits. Almost no travel gets through anymore.
Game Date: October 7th, 2009
Dave (Artemis), Jerry (Galrond), Gary (Dalen), Tom (Vieman), Scott (Harrogath), and Peter (Werdna).
NPC’s: Dramkar and Brother Sipe
The party decides to try to investigate the kidnappings. Dalen joins back up with them. They come up with a plan to use their ranging stones. They hide one on Harrogath (very successfully) and keep the other. Harrogath then makes a fuss in the street past curfew and is promptly beaten and arrested. He is hauled out of town and the next day the party follows the stone after him. Harrogath is relieved of his belonging and hauled away in a cart with a few other sad prisoners. Another wagon contains what appear to be construction materials and his things, and those of the other prisoners. He is taken to a construction/tunneling site and spends the night in a cell in one of the caves. In the morning, he is put to work expanding the cave complex.
The party moves off to the northeast and into the hills that run along the border of the Sara Bask. They encounter a work camp that is working on tunnels dug into the side of a hill. In the area around the tunneling a foundation of stone walls are being laid. There appear to be about 10 soldiers/guards and at least that many workers. The workers are obviously prisoners for they are being forced to work and many wear leg chains. There are two tunnels, a large one on the right 20’ wide and 20’ tall and one smaller one on the left (about 10’ tall and 10’ wide). The side of the hill is rock, but the tunnels look like they are not shallow. The way guards and workers go in and out gives the impression that the tunnels could be the entrances to a fairly large underground complex.
The party decides to attack. A guard blows a horn and from within the larger tunnel emerges a giant sand lizard. The fight is on!
The party fires arrows at the guards, stunning some, while Werdna preps a shock bolt. In the ensuing fight, Dalen is wounded, but manages to stand his ground, Werdna blasts a shock bolt into a guard’s face with grisly, nasal-busting results, and Vieman, Galrond, Artemis, and Dramkar use bows and, where needed, melee weapons, to eliminate the guards. As the sand wyrm approaches the wall, Vieman looses a mighty arrow that stuns the beast, thudding sickeningly into its cheek. Before it can recover, more arrows and a shock bolt have brought it down.
Meanwhile, Harrogath has managed to pick the lock on his chains and free himself. He is aided by a dwarf prisoner and the commotion created by the attack. His orc guards never notice as he also frees the dwarf. They jump their distracted guards and use the pick-axes they were using to dig to slay all three with little difficulty. They then enhance their armament with some orc equipment and attempt to make their way to freedom.
Outside, the party begins advancing over the wall and towards the cave openings. Vieman is among the first to approach and is nailed in the face with an arrow from the small cave. He takes a nasty nose wound (the second nasty nose wound of the fight) and drops; alive, but in need of medical attention. Dalen, after getting some fast first aid from Brother Sipe, runs into the open and drags Vieman to the safety of a wagon where Brother Sipe can attend to him in relative safety. Galrond, Dramkar, and Artemis charge the tunnels with Werdna following in support. Before closing, Galrond and Artemis fire arrows into the tunnel that incapacitate the pike-wielding guards there. Arrows fired at them during the charge all miss. Once in the tunnels, the fighters, joined by Dalen, make short work of the feeble orcs trying to fend them off. Harrogath and the dwarf prisoner help out by attacking from within the tunnel complex.
Once the fight is over, the party begins to examine the area. The other prisoners, some having fled during the fight, are freed and sent on their way. One, however, is not responsive and appears to be semi-catatonic. The tunnel system is small and new, with only a set of prisoner cells, two barracks (one for orcs and one for the guards), and a chamber for the wyrm complete with chain and collar. A quick loot sweep gleans some standard weapons and equipment and a total of 30 silver. The dwarf begins to examine the chambers, obviously looking for some secret area. The party helps. After a frustrating time where no one is able find a secret opening, Harrogath finds a small clue in the wyrm’s chamber. The dwarf drops to one knee and performs some kind of ritual meditation. This mediation brings forth a ghostly dwarvish apparition that appears to be conversing with the dwarf. After a few moments, it vanishes and the dwarf, still in a semi-trance, finds a switch that opens a secret trapdoor in the floor. The trapdoor covers a small storage area that contains the dwarf’s equipment plus Harrogath’s items that were taken upon his arrest. In addition, it contains 76 silver pieces, an assortment of junk but shiny jewelry, some glass gems that are pretty but worth little, a pair of leather gloves, and a cloth headband.
The dwarf dons his armor, an odd combination of standard dwarven chain and greaves and a material that dulls the shininess of the armor. Galrond remembers that this kind of armor is worn by dwarven scout-types.
Meanwhile, Brother Sipe uses his Nasal Repair spell on Vieman. It’s a lengthy spell, but it does the trick.
The party has a discussion with the dwarf, who identifies himself as Grath. They all agree that going back to Cardan would be a bad idea as the guards here are obviously soldiers of the Mezin-Tarb and therefore affiliated with the soldiers in Cardan. The party suggests making for Tyarrett in order to meet with Shalazar and report their effort to contact Niniel. The dwarf, who is impressed with Galrond’s familiarity with the caravan master Garlan Det, agrees to accompany the party. He offers his knowledge of a safer path away from the area in gratitude his rescue. As the party prepares for departure, Grath takes some tokens from a slain guard, apparently as evidence of their involvement in the construction of the fortified tunnel complex.
Gamedate November 2009
Dave (Artemis), Jerry (Galrond), Gary (Dalen), Tom (Vieman), Scott (Harrogath), and Peter (Werdna).
NPC’s: Dramkar, Brother Sipe, and Grath
The party leaves the partially-constructed fortification following Grath. He leads them to a trail that skirts the Sara Bask forest and runs roughly parallel to the road (the Yol Tyarrett) that runs alongside the river (The Akhulsu). The party moves quickly during the remaining daylight. The path Grath leads the party on is cleverly constructed to keep it from being seen from the road. In several places it allows a clear but sheltered view of both the river and the road. Even the areas where the trees don’t provide cover are set up so that undulations in the landscape provide visual cover. Grath takes the party to a dense woods that is bounded by a fence-like thicket of brush. He leads the party to a hidden door in the side of a bluff and opens it, revealing a secret cave. He asks half the party to enter the cave and takes the other half further up the trail and then back to the cave with the idea of throwing off any pursuit.
The party spends the night in the cave, resting on the plain, but functional resting stones. Obviously, this is a dwarven-made cave. During the night, Dalen hears the passing of several large creatures. The best guess is that they are 5 to 10 wargs.
In the morning everyone is fully healed and restored. Cautiously opening the door in case of ambush, the party leaves the cave, covering their tracks and smell as best as possible. Dalen reads the tracks on the trail and discovers that 7 wargs have passed. After walking for a couple of hours, the party is ambushed by 5 wargs. The battle is quick and dangerous as the party’s initial surprise finds them in a tactically awkward situation. Brother Sipe takes some serious damage and Werdna finds himself in the uncomfortable position of bite victim. It takes a few rounds for the party to gain the edge, but once the fighters take over, the battle is quickly resolved. Knowing that wargs are seldom without riders, the party searches the area and finds and quickly slays the orc riders who were hiding the deepest shade they could find in some nearby trees.
Knowing that the other warg riders had likely returned to report to their superiors, the party quickly leaves the area to proceed to Tyarrett. The trail continues to provide cover from the Yol Tyarrett. In fact, when the party nears the town of Takra, they face the prospect of crossing a small river (The Sabash) that drains a portion of the Sara Bask into the Akhulsu. Grath lead them to a tunnel that goes completely under the river and emerges on the other side. Seemingly the dwarven equivalent of a bridge. The trail leads them to the farmlands on the north bank of the Akhulsu River. As they approach the pontoon bridges that allow access to Tyarrett proper, they notice the group of 8 dwarves leaving Tyarrett. They are traveling in the same hyper-alert formation as before. They notice the party, but acknowledge no one, not even Grath. They move east along the Yol Tyarrett, the direction the party just came from.
Conference Room Gaming Club Rolemaster Game Log GameDate: May 12, 2010
Players Present: Gary (Dalen WoodForger), Scott (Harrogath), Jerry (Galrond), Pete (Werdna) David (Artemis) Absent: Tom (Vieman), NPC’s: Brother Sipe, Dramkar, Grath
While the party watches the dwarves, they ask Grath about them. Grath tells the party that they are a “Blood Guard” and a VID (Very Important Dwarf). A Blood Guard is an elite squad of 7 dwarves that are often assigned to protect an important travelling dwarf or some other important task. They are highly trained and able to work as a unit without outside support. The party also notices a pair of black-clad men riding camels. The men are dressed in the garb of the Tayb, the Silent Ones. The men ride as though following the dwarves, but appear to be keeping their distance.
The party considers following the Tayb to help the dwarves, but Grath assures everyone that the Blood Guard will be able to take care of itself and wouldn’t accept help even if offered. The party approaches one of the two retractable, but substantial, pontoon bridges that cross the river into Tyarrett proper. The bridge guard is gruff with the party, especially about Grath’s being there. He is unwilling to allow Grath to cross, and is pretty rude about it. Galrond very effectively offers a bribe and the guard’s tone changes abruptly. As he ‘looks the other way’, the party crosses and enters Tyarrett. Grath makes his polite goodbyes and leaves the party amid many a sneering look from the local city folk. Evidently dwarves are a bit out of fashion at the moment.
After about two weeks of being away, they head to Shalazar’s house and enjoy a welcome rest. Shalazar identifies the party’s new magic items and they and the party’s silver are divvied up. Dalen gets a pair of armbands that give a +10 to bow attacks and a pair of gloves that prevent natural plant thorns/needles from penetrating. Galrond gets an amulet that gives +15 defensive bonus. Werdna gets a headband that protects as a helm. Harrogath gets a belt of traceless passing. Vieman gets a headband that provides full shade as if it were a parasol. Artemis gets the shaft of no magicalness and instead of a magical item, gets an extra share of silver pieces.
From Shalazar and the locals in general, the party learns a few news items. The latest development in Tyarrett is the embargo on Narad-Dum. Mezzal, the Balabett, or Governor, has just finished a meeting with a representative from the dwarf kingdom. The representative sent by King Nar was his Markur(regent) of Trade, Udal. Evidently, the talks did not go well and many rumors about dwarven hostility have been flying through the city. Some people say that the dwarves will raid for food. The general mood is that dwarves are, at best, not to be trusted, and the few dwarven shopkeepers have buttoned up their shops and stay inside.
One result of the embargo is a glut of food and wine in Tyarrett. No exports to Narad-Dum means a loss of income for many. Food and restaurant prices have dropped.
Another development is a crackdown on thievery and criminal activity in Tyarrett. No beggars or drifters wander the streets or ply their bummage at the bridges or market squares. Many of these types have been hauled off to who knows where, but at least some have been taken East by calvalry soldiers.
A few other general rumors are:
Orcs might invade from the mountains to the South.
If a Tayb ever speaks, he has to kill himself.
A group of the Ayten (desert nomadic tribesmen) have stopped on the outskirts of town on their way to Rintark for their annual gathering there.
In addition, each party member met with at least one of their contacts and got specific news. It can be shared or not as each party member desires.
The party is now at Shalazar’s sharing info and discussing what to do next.
Also, the characters advanced to level 5! Leveling up is always fun!
Conference Room Gaming Club Rolemaster Game Log GameDate: June, 2010
Players Present: Gary (Dalen WoodForger), Scott (Harrogath), Jerry (Galrond), Pete (Werdna) David (Artemis), Tom (Vieman), NPC’s: Brother Sipe, Dramkar, Grath
The party shares some of their news with each other: