Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Two Tales: North to Greenbough and Back Into Skull Mountain

Over Father's Day weekend the wife and I were sick, so gaming was limited. But not zero!

North to Greenbough
The Company of the Dark Moon was contacted by 'mutual friends' and a group set out for Greenbough, capitol of the county of the same name.

  Fiona (4th mage) , Greystar (3rd/3rd/ fighter/mage), Akira (4th monk), Athanasius (4th cleric), and Starkiller (2nd/2nd/2nd fighter/mage/cleric) went with their henchmen and hirelings at great speed and met with the Count himself, the Forest Elf Naryen Elencu. The party was briefed that a remote border village reported 'danger' so the local tribal leaders went - and vanished. So the warchief for the region went with a strong party - and vanished. So the Count's own warleader went with a dooughty band - and vanished.
Hearing about the loss of leaders in Banath, Kath, High Morath, and Seaward as well as recent reports of deaths of powerful individuals in the other counties, Count Naryen asked the party to investigate as his other option was to lead an actual army into the field.

The party left immediately and in one of the oddest journeys ever had zero encounters and perfect Spring weather the entire trip. As they neared the location of the village they woods turned dark and twisted. Areas were scorched with fire, others wilted and dead. The tiny village (just 10 buildings, most in the trees) was burned out and only a few well-gnawed elf bones were found. They fey and abandoned the area, as well. Clues pointed to the Red Maiden, so the party expected some horrible monster created by Polymorph. Near dark they found their fears were well-founded  as a gorgimera stooped down on them from above, breathing fire as it came, catching the entire surprised party in the area.
 All the hirelings died in the blast and two henchmen were down, bleeding out. The party closed as fast as possible and the fight was one with the downed henchmen tended by the religious brother henchman still up.  The party fought hard with Fiona using a spell to counter gorgon breath! The melee was ferocious and the party was getting mauled when Greystar's Wand of Negation worked and turned the gorgimera back into...
  ...a Mountain Giant!
There were cries of 'turn it back!' from other players.
It took two more rounds and the party getting savaged further before the giant went down. The half-crippled party staggered to shelter and spent an entire additional day just healing up before reporting to the Count and heading for the village of Old Bridge.

Skull Mountain
 As the party prepares for the in-game Midsummer Night ritual on Skull Mountain Nicholas decided to do a solo into the depths of the mountain. He brought his 4 henchmen, 2 spearmen, a master carpenter and the carpenter's apprentice as well as a small two-wheel cart full of lumber and tools.
On the first level they found the bars to the Pilgrim Stairs were removed, somehow, so they went to really high alert.
  On the second level they found all as it had been so they took the double-secret door to visit Francmer briefly before going on to level 3. On level three they avoided the garden, made sure the wight trap was still deactivated, and turned towards the Deep.
What they found scared them; bare human footprints in the dust on the ledges outside both doors to the Deep. Using the carpenters and tools Owen had both doors to the Deep heavily reinforced and strongly barred. Later they found that the same bare feet had left footprints in the vegepygmy area - and that all the vegepygmies were dead from blunt blows and that the russet mold had been eradicated.
On, on they went to the Cavern of Herds where the group hunted a rothe and dragged it near the opening from which troglodytes had been seen. The party whistled, then waited - within 20 minutes a war party of almost 20 troglodytes, all armed with flint axes and javelins, crept out and then fell upon the rothe corpse, trying to hack it to pieces and return to their tunnels. A Fireball ruined their efforts, killing all but 3 in the blast. Those three were killed by Magic Missile and the party departed, pausing to reinforce and bar the doors to the Cavern of Herds.
On the way out they stopped by the Evil Temple on level 2 to confirm it was still unpowered (it was) and deserted (it was) and noted bare human footprints in the dust of the interior.

The heavy bars were replaced on the doors to the Pilgrim Stairs and, finally, the Side Door was completely replaced and heavily reinforced with 3 locks and 2 bars (total) on it.

The carpenters were very handsomely paid and sent back to town with the Count's patrol.

Busy weekend!