No more AD&D?

So for anyone who is actually reading this on a regular basis, or if you’re one of my players, you will notice that the AD&D game is not being run at this point in time. Honestly it’s because I am suffering a little AD&D burnout. I started thinking back to figure out why, after all this campaign hadn’t been going for that long. Had it? But actually it’s been going since April of last year, so about 10 months.  Before that I had about 2 months or so of our failed game with our previous roommate. And before that was the Forgotten Realms game I had run for about 3 months or so that I had ran to get reacquainted with the 2nd edition rules. So all in all I had been running AD&D in some form or another for almost a year and a half with only that three week break for Star Wars. So yeah, now I can see where burnout might be the issue. Not only that the way I had originally put the campaign together was not ultimately how I had needed to put it together so it was as cohesive as it should have been. So now I am taking a breather and a step back creatively so I can re-evaluate how I want the rest of the campaign to go.

That coupled with the recent move of one of our players and I felt that a short break (about 2 to 3 months) from AD&D would be nice. So now I will be running a new Star Wars game. New because the person who moved was integral to the original game. Two of my players will be making new versions of the characters they had played before and my new player will of course be making a new character. I may or may not have another player joining, all dependent upon her getting things in order so she can.

This Star Wars game will be set up from the beginning as a sandbox type game where the players will receive rumor tidbits and hooks but will be able to do what they want and deal with hooks or rumors as they wish, but at times events will conspire to pull them in so they will occasionally have to deal with what is thrown at them. That way I don’t have to do much prep (I just have to come up with some basic plot notes for the rumors and hooks for when or if they deal with them, and if they decide to go off on a personal tangent for some reason, I can deal with that too) and can concentrate on figuring out the rest of the AD&D campaign for when we go back to it to finish it. Once the AD&D campaign is finished, we will likely come back to this game and maybe even from time to time during the AD&D campaign if I need a week or two to finish an adventure.

I am hoping this will be a learning experience for me. I want to be able to cut down on my prep time for D&D and be able to run it on some basic notes and encounter stats. I also want to be able to run a more sandbox type D&D campaign. Both the current campaign and my last long term one (a 3.5 year-long Forgotten Realms campaign) were heavily story driven and fairly linear in design but done well (in my estimation) enough that the players still had choices. I am hoping Star Wars will be a good testing ground for me to run a sandbox game on just a few notes for each ‘mission’ (basically a mission will be any time the players decide to check out a rumor or story hook or when a major plot point happens) so I can implement the style in my next AD&D campaign. I am also hoping that this game will bring out more role-playing than our recent AD&D games have been, and then we can carry that back to the AD&D game when we get back to it.

Posted in General

The Sahuagin Temple & Corruption in Aerinvale

This post will be a shortened synopsis of the last two games –

The heroes were infiltrating the sahuagin lair when we last left off. They continued on and managed to clear even further into their den and found some prisoners, including on of Kordan’s older brothers. He told Kordan that their brother Morek was missing.  Continuing on, the group eventually found a tunnel that led up to a huge cavern that housed what looked to be a small section of the ruins of an elven city left over from the Sundering.

The group fought various monsters within the ruins including displacer beasts, trolls, a roper, and a couple of cloakers. They found out that the strange creatures aiding the sahuagin were actually troglodytes, and they made a deal to destroy the sahuagin leadership so the troglodytes would no longer be indentured to them. They were then directed to the western portion of the cavern where it plunged back into the depths and eventually led to a huge temple to the elven gods, though it was defaced and re-purposed to be a sahuagin temple. At the temple entrance they fought a vicious sahuagin general and his personal guard. They defeated the general and moved inside. As they did so a sahuagin priest and two magi assaulted them along with two summoned water elementals. After a long, hard battle, they defeated the priest and his magi, only to be left facing the results of the sahuagin’s final words – their goddess, one of Nexara’s titans. Though it nearly cost several of them their lives, they managed to bring down the massive manifestation of evil.

They celebrated for a short time with the sea elves and merfolk, and then were returned to the surface. Once there they made their way quickly to the city of Aerinvale. They were guided to meet with one Magistrate Ian, who told them that a meeting with the Council of Magi would not be possible for a few days. He then directed them to an inn to stay in. While there they were almost attacked by assassins while they slept. It seemed that the assassins were followed by a half-elven bard and a desert gnome wizard. The bard, Lyra, informed the group that the cult was at work within the city, and that the assassins were tied to the cult and that Magistrate Ian was a cult member. She also mentioned that Councilor Chandler was missing, the same Councilor that the gnome, Ne Hupo, had been sent by her people to find in hopes of getting a cure for her emperor. They joined the group in hopes of eliminating the cult within the city together and finding the Councilor. Later that evening Lyra told Moonshadow that she knew her parents and confirmed that they were dead, but that her older sister (which she had no knowledge of previously) was not.


They quickly found the lair of the assassins, werewolves led by a vampire. The fight with the inner circle of the assassin’s guild was brutal, with the vampire charming Kordan into attacking and slaying his comrade Arthurius. After the fight they were escorted by the Marshal of Aerinvale to the council chambers. Arthurius’ body was taken to a temple of Merous where he was raised from the dead so that he could continue serving the cause of light.

The council revealed that a strange lizard creature had been found at the borders of their nation, near death with an army of ogres and giants at his heels. The army had since camped at the nation’s borders and seemed to be awaiting something.  The creature was brought in, and Ne Hupo revealed that he was one of her people, and she change din front of them, revealing herself to be a hornhead saurial (think large two-legged triceratops), the royal form of the sisarials (think highly intelligent oriental lizardmen). Apparently the sisarial had stated something before he died – that the emperor was dying, and not just any emperor, the Gold Dragon Emperor. Apparently Councilor Chandler had been researching using inherently magical creatures such as dragons, fae, and elementals to power magic in order to bypass using eldritch crystals. Knowing that her liege was in trouble, Ne pressed to return home, and the group agreed to accompany her.

The Council of Magi agreed to teleport them to Ne’s homeland (after using scrying devices to find it). Once there, the group traveled to the monastery that led to the lair of the Gold Dragon Emperor with all haste. Despite the beautiful, dinosaur filled jungles, the group pressed on. They found signs of devastation all throughout, including empty or destroyed villages. Something had happened. They found the monastery surrounded by Nexara’s armies. Oddly enough, the army allowed the group to enter the monastery unmolested, and they made their way to the main lair chamber.

Within  they saw a sick and potentially dying Gold Dragon Emperor, his life-force being used to feed a portal to Baator. Even as Councilor Chandler continued his spell, he informed the group that they would not stop the inevitable now, that Selania had already been here and gone and she had what she wanted. He then stated that he would finish his spell as his guardian killed them. That’s when a pit fiend stepped through the portal and attacked the group. During the fight Morek, Kordan’s missing brother, showed up wearing a Nexaran uniform asking Councilor Chandler if he needed aid. Kordan, with grief heavy in his heart, turned and shot his brother, killing him. After a hard fought battle, the pit fiend was brought low by a concerted group effort.

Chandler then noted that he had other means of channeling magic, holding up a cage with what looked to be a twilight fae within that bore a strong resemblance to Moonshadow. She knew instantly then that her sister was within that cage. The councilor then called for aid and teleported away as an entire army moved in to eliminate the heroes. Kordan held his ground, telling the others to go through the portal to escape. Arthurius tried to stay as well, until Lyra told him that they might need his abilities should they end up in a demon infested lower plane. Moonshadow went invisible to escape with every intention of finding her sister.

Nexara’s army moved in, and the last anyone saw of Kordan was him and his rifle becoming one as he eliminated ogre, elf, dwarf, human, goblin, and orc alike as they rushed into the room. As the portal closed they saw the great Gold Dragon Emperor weakly raise his head and breathe out a great gout of flame that devoured everything in its path. Including Kordan.

As the heroes got their bearings they realized they were in a city, not one of the lower planes. And as they looked they saw that the city stretched out before them, and eventually started sloping upwards, and up, and up, until they noticed that the city was a giant ring. They didn’t realize it, but they had entered Sigil, City of Doors…

Posted in Dungeons and Dragons, General

Peril Under the Waves

Our heroes were last seen in glass ‘cages’ underwater at the mercy of the sahuagin, also known as sea devils or shark men. After sitting in their respective cages for an indeterminate amount of time, a single sahuagin gave them masks that let them breathe underwater and then took them to an air-filled tent where they were given food. On the way they noticed a second tent next to the one they were escorted to, with most of the other ‘buildings’ being temporary seaweed lean-tos.

The group came up with a plan to cut their way through the tent they were in and go to the one that was nearby, banking that their stuff would be in there. They lucked out and figured correctly, as they were getting their equipment back on, a group of sahuagin had noticed that they were missing from the tent and found them. A battle ensued in which the group faced rough odds against the creatures in their home environment. They eventually managed to defeat enough of them to escape.

After fleeing from the sahuagin, they found themselves wandering aimlessly in a kelp forest, not able to determine what they should do or where they should go. They eventually found a coral reef and used it as a guide to go up higher to see what they could make out. They found themselves looking at a battle between sea elves and merfolk against more sahuagin, and again they were taken prisoner, but by the sea elves and merfolk this time around. They were taken to a small town of the aquatic folk and put into a large magic bubble which housed several buildings and a fresh water fountain.

Eventually a merfolk priestess came to speak with them, and explained that they would be taken  to the surface once the troubles with the sharkmen were over. Apparently the sea devils had new leadership, and an alliance with some strange lizard-like creatures and the sea elves and merfolk were losing their battle against the sahuagin. The group offered to help, and after a few days deliberating with the sea elf and merfolk council, the merfolk priestess returned and guided them to sahuagin territory after granting them items that would help them in this foreign environment.

The group has found the main lair of the sahuagin, and have successfully cleared the first room, but will they be as successful in clearing the rest of the lair? If they are successful, the sahuagin have a  surprise that awaits the heroes at the end…

Posted in Dungeons and Dragons, General

Across the Ocean to Aerinvale

So now our heroes are on their way to Aerinvale after a Silver Knight by the name of Arthurius has joined them. The group managed to find passage on a merchant ship out of Aerinvale called the “Crystal’s Boon”. The group boarded the ship and met with the bosun, a bubbly halfling bard named Aralira, the first mate, an ex-Valkyrie named Brynjar, and Captain Farley, the human who runs the ship. Brynjar also has a rather interesting companion – a Helarin (think intelligent minotaurs, but they hate being compared to them), warrior from Maerrheim. Neither were very forthcoming on why they left the raider nation, but it seemed that, for now at least, they were fine with serving the captain of the ship.

Their voyage was to last for roughly four or five days given favorable conditions, but Lord Rivan (the Eldritch Empires god of water) is often fickle and piracy was on the rise. On the third day of travel, the ship was in fact attacked by pirates. The group managed to help fight them off, even managing to defeat the captain themselves. It seemed that the cult’s reach was long indeed, as the pirates had been sent to kill the Drakenblades and were paid plenty to do so.

A few days later the ship lurched to a stop, and as the group tried to figure out what was going on, the ship was swarmed with starnge fish-like (or even shark-like) humanoid creatures called sahuagin. They all fell prey to the sahuagin’s poisons and fell unconscious one by one. When the group awoke, they found themselves captured, and devoid of their equipment. But worse yet, the cages they were in were clear glass and they could see that they were now deep underwater…

Posted in Dungeons and Dragons, General

Synopsis of Gnoll Keep & The Exiles’ Return

We last left the Drakenblades facing off with several hundred orcs as they fell upon one another in civil war due to their leadership being defeated. The group managed to escape and then moved on to the fortress-monastery that had gone quiet of late. Once there the heroes realized it was overrun with gnolls, and that they had a pet hydra. The group brought down the hydra and liberated the keep from the gnolls and their leader a werehyena.

They returned to Syris where they were tasked by Baron Drakclar to take a very important missive to the Lady Helaena Silverclaw in Woldsend. They arrived and the lady told them that the missive included funds for her to siphon to the bandit group known as the Exiled Brotherhood, who were actually the nobles who were thought missing or dead by the public at large. Turns out the nobles were displaced by their siblings who were secretly part of the Cult of Nexara. The Iron Shadows as it turns out, is actually the inner circle of another mercenary company called the Iron Protectors, a reputable and honorable company. The Iron Shadows was primarily a group of assassins and bounty hunters under the pay of the cult.

Armed with this knowledge they are informed that the queen of Kyrador, Selania Moonfrost, wishes to acknowledge and honor the heroes with a ceremony and feast. They are told that the Exiled Brotherhood wishes to strike during the ceremony, when everyone’s guard is down and that they would have help from within the castle to get them in quietly.

The group agrees and attends the ceremony. Part way through the ceremony, Duke Relar Hunter along with Duchess Karlina Bearov, two of the “missing or dead” nobles burst through the doors. They accuse the Duke’s sister, and the Duchess’ nephew of being a part of the Cult of Nexara. A fight breaks out in the throne room and Duke Grag Rider and the Sun’s Grace (the head of the temple of Merous) gather around the queen along with twenty of her royal guard.

The heroes fight off corrupt house guards, priests, and wizards and notice that Duke Hunter had disarmed his sister and Duchess Bearov had killed her nephew. The queen seems pleased that they survived and asks them what was going on. The prince (thought to be shirking his duties by wenching and drinking every night) come sin wearing the full regalia of a trained Silver Knight (all thought he had dropped out of his training). He explains he had started putting on airs that he was irresponsible and not training because he noticed the queen had begun acting strangely of late. He found out that she too was part of the cult, and in fact was the leader of it!

Exposed, the queen opened a portal to the Feywild to flee, along with Duke Rider and the Sun’s Grace. The heroes followed after, and in the Feywild saw a huge tree with what looked to be several opening that look liked windows with balconies and a large one in front that looked to be a door.

The heroes entered through one of the balcony openings, and found a juvenile green dragon and Helrath Solomar within, arguing about killing the adventurers that had the queen so riled. They attacked Helrath and his dragon Ashenclaw and after a very hard fought battle that saw the death of not only Sythaeren, but also of Larissa Drake they prevailed. Afterwards they found Helrath’s quarters and found plans that involved Aerinvale, including a possible attack from the vampires of Justavia.

They have since gained honors for their victories in Kyrador, attended the funerals of their comrades and a ceremony which saw Cyrus Drakclar elevated from Baron to Earl, gained more adventurers that will fight by their side, and now await passage to Aerinvale so that they can continue to take the fight to the Cult of Nexara.

Posted in Dungeons and Dragons, General

Holidays, Games & Updates

Woooow, so yeah, October was my last update. My apologies about that. To be honest there was no real good reason for it except that I got sidetracked by the new World of Warcraft expansion and then the holidays crept up on us, and a slew of other things including one of my players (Albrecht’s player) moving away. He hasn’t moved quite yet, but it’s been in the works for a couple of months now, and it looks like he will be leaving this week at some point.

There have been several AD&D sessions since I last updated, and as a result there will be a super light synopsis-type post for the recent D&D adventures to cover ground up to the current time. Chances are I will not be able to post very much, if at all, during the holidays, though I am planning on us gaming every weekend through the holidays since all the major ones fall in the middle of the week  so there shouldn’t be any reason to cancel a game. Posting is a secondary concern to writing up adventures and such for my game, so I only do this when I have extra time, and I rarely have extra time during this part of the year.

For those wondering, the group has just basically finished the first ‘chapter’ if you will in my campaign and will be transitioning into the second chapter during this Sunday’s session. This will include a major party shake up as Larissa has died and Albrecht has taken his leave in order to help Krysta and Kyrsta in their homeland (giving the character a reason to leave).  My wife will be playing double duty and playing a second character in order to fill the gap in the party while I introduce a rather…interesting addition in the form of another NPC to help them out.

I will have the write-up of all the recent previous adventure sup later tonight or sometime tomorrow. Until next time… keep rolling and hoping for 20’s.


Posted in General

Raging Orcs in the Hills

Our heroes were heading to the Orcrage Hills when we last left off. This session saw them continuing their journey and eventually (and finally) finding the camp of Captain Kerala Tuskbreaker. Kerala was sent to a camp on the border of the hills to keep an eye on orc activity and then report to the Shadebow Rangers if anything out of the ordinary happened. The orcs had recently become much bolder and attacked caravans, lone travelers, and even some of the villages near their border, all of which was odd for the normally insular orcs. The orcs often spent to much time fighting each other to be a real danger to Kyrador, but orcs are orcs, and Kerala was put at the border for a reason.

When the heroes arrived they were met with suspicion at first, but once they explained they were there on behalf of the Shadebow Rangers due to their bulletin in Syris, they became much more welcoming. The group spent the day in the camp and helped with the watch at night. Moonshadow turned invisible and flew higher to get a better view of the area at night, and saw hundreds of campfires, all surrounding one large one about two days of travel away. She also saw large flying creatures here and there, but couldn’t make them out.

The next morning the heroes set out and stayed to the low areas of the hills and the valleys between them as they traveled. They eventually came across a camp with about eight orcs and a gray orc shaman. They managed to dispatch the camp’s inhabitants quickly and quietly. They then came across another camp, this one half carved into the side of a hill, complete with aviary. Above them flew large creatures with thirty foot wingspans that stretched from shoulder to foot, and large beaks that looked like they could cut an ogre in half (they were pteranodons, but the characters had never seen anything of the sort). The camp was manned by a singular orc, as well as dozens of mountain lions. Apparently this is where the orcs kept some of their animals when they weren’t on duty. They managed to sneak around this particular camp and move on.

Night was fast falling and Moonshadow found the group a place to rest for the night. When they awoke the next morning they were surprised they hadn’t been discovered as there was an orc encampment on the hill above them! They moved on quietly and by mid morning came to the main encampment. They noticed that it was on a hill that looked like it had the top cut off of it and there was a semi-permanent structure that looked like a lodgehouse of sorts on the back side of the hill. Among the other tents they saw twelve orcs, and two of the grey orc shamans.  Towards the lodgehouse they saw two strange looking bipedal reptilian creatures with long snouts, short arms and a singular wicked looking claw on either foot (deinonychus’ but again the characters had never seen anything of the sort). They were both wearing barding and had saddles on their backs. Near those creatures were two of the most attractive beings anyone in the group had ever had the privilege of laying eyes upon. they were tall, and statuesque, with fey-like features (almost elven in nature), with jet black skin, white hair, and glowing blue eyes. Along with the attraction came a feelings of revulsion and hatred from deep within them (all except Moonshadow who’s race is naturally more neutrally inclined rather than good). The group had glimpsed their first black orcs.

Albrecht came up with an idea, but it banked on the black orcs being creatures of honor (which, ironically enough, they are) – to challenge the leaders to a two on two duel, with Larissa and himself taking the challenge for their group. If they won the duel, then the orcs would leave and no longer gather their forces to attack Kyrador. If the orcs won, then they could continue without the group harassing them any further. Albrecht approached and the the black orcs allowed them to come forward unmolested. this boded well for the plan. Albrecht announced his intentions, and when the orcs asked who they would be fighting, he stated that it would be Larissa and…and that’s when Sythaeren drew upon the power of his blood, transformed into a celestial being that glowed with a bright inner light and wielded a large sword made of divine light, and grew wings. He stepped forward and stated that he would fight as well. Albrecht looked upon his comrade with a renewed respect and bowed out, allowing the angel to take his place.

The combat started with the orcs mounting their creatures and  charging their respective enemies. The fight was long and grueling and Sythaeren came close to being defeated on a few occasions. Only his healing potions saved him. In the end, both Larissa and Syth were able to defeat their opponents. As the black orcs yielded they held out their hands to the other orcs, signifying that they should not attack. That’s when one grey orc stated that the black one shad fallen and in the name of Gruumsh, he would lead the army to attack their hated enemies. The other shaman took exception and announced he would rip out the heart of his rival and lead the army, and as they turned on each other, so did the other orcs, falling upon each other in a bid for power…with the group between them!

So now they need to find a way out without being massacred while fighting a three way battle!

Posted in Dungeons and Dragons, General

Undead Assault on Knightswatch Keep

The Drakenblades were successful in their first defense of the Knightswatch Keep, and they suggested burning the bodies of the undead that were defeated so they could not rise again. Albrecht wanted to head out then and there to find where the undead were originating from, but Commander Eroth asked him for patience. He explained that he had an accomplished scout in the marshes looking for that very thing. Several more waves attacked the keep, but the soldiers managed to fend them off. One attack came earlier than expected and a group of soldiers were caught out in the field while they collected bodies to burn. Albrecht, Sythaeren, and Moonshadow aided the wounded as they came in, while Larissa and Kordan helped guide the soldiers as they ran back through the keep doors. Kordan noticed two soldiers fighting in the vanguard, allowing the others to retreat. He went to aid them and found a dwarf male and a very young half elf female. The dwarf had been mortally wounded (a sword blade had snapped off between his ribs) but still fought on. When Kordan suggested the dwarf retreated he quite emphatically informed Kordan that he would not leave his daughter behind, and motioned at the half-elf. The dwarf almost fell then, but the half-elf put his arm around her shoulder and motioned for Kordan to do the same and together they drug him back to the keep.

Albrecht healed the dwarf and the group conversed with them a bit and found out the dwarf was Gorok, and the half-elf was his adopted daughter Navina. Navina was training to become a Mag-Knight and lied about her age to enter military service early so that she could find her brother. It seemed that the group may come across them again in the future perhaps. Shortly after that encounter a guard informed the commander that there was movement to the south, which was odd considering that the undead were coming from the south east. As the movement got closer, the group made out a small column of elven, half-elven, and human warriors from Duania who had come to aid the beleaguered soldiers of the keep. and to put their dead to proper rest (most of the undead attacking the keep were elvish) The Captain of the elven troops, Ci’nalith was also Moonshadow’s commanding officer when she was a Duanian scout. He took her aside and gave her an object, a brooch that had belonged to her father. Ci’nalith told her that it was found in the marshes, not too far from where they were. She took heart that her parents had obviously made it this far, and that perhaps they were still alive.

Later that night, the scout, an Arazian (another nation, think Arabian Nights type theme) named Aren, returned and offered to guide the group to a half-buried crypt that the undead seemed to congregate around. They immediately headed out and he led them straight there through the marshlands. the group prepared themselves and headed into the crypt. As they entered the first room they first saw a large statue of Sehanine Moonbow on the far wall. They also saw ghouls feasting on several bodies in coffins, and even as they moved to attack several skeletons and zombies raised from the ground to join in the attack. They fought a rising tide of undead before Albrecht thought to pray in front of the statue of the elven goddess and was granted extra power to his turning. He then shouted divine words that turned not only the undead already risen, but the undead that had yet to rise within the room, putting a stop to the seemingly endless numbers of skeletons and zombies.

The group then turned left and headed up a set of stairs to a closed door. Moonshadow checked the door for traps and then unlocked it once she determined it was safe. They looked into the room and found a fountain atop a raised dais amidst fallen columns that created rubble throughout the room. The fountain glowed with a foul energy and Albrecht could immediately feel that it was unholy. As they stepped into the room a black cloud roiled forth from the fountain as a wraith formed and attacked the group. Albrecht tried to turn it, but to no avail as it laughed at his feeble connection to the divine. Thankfully the group’s weapons seemed to harm it, and eventually they vanquished it, sending it back from whence it came. The fountain then began to glow with a radiant energy. Albrecht collected some of the water in a flask and they headed towards the main room and then to the right, checking the large statue in the main room along the way and finding a mechanism that might allow it to move, but with no way to activate it.

As they climbed the stairs to the right from the main room, Moonshadow again checked the door at the top of the stairs before determining that it was safe and opening it. Within they found a human sized statue of Corellon Larethian in the center of a magic circle engraved into the floor. There was also an undead monstrosity waiting for them, a creature known as a wight. Kordan immediately snapped off a shot with his thunderstaff (flintlock rifle), and put a hole in the creature even as Albrecht failed at his attempt to turn this creature as well. The creature grew incensed and rushed Kordan and clawed at him. The wound he sustained form the claws of the creature was small, but the life draining effects of the creatures claws did its job and Kordan felt the loss of his life force as it flowed away from him. He felt weakened but fought on, and Albrecht noted with concern that he had no way to heal such a grievous wound. The group managed to slay the creature with no one else feeling its blighted touch. As Albrecht sized up the statue and the magic circle, a thought occurred to him and he sprinkled the water from the fountain into the circle, and as he did so, the group heard a grinding noise from the main chamber. They went to investigate and found that the statue had moved and there was a door on the wall behind where it had been.

Again Moonshadow checked the door and found no traps and opened it into a wide corridor that lead to ornate double doors at the end. Moonshadow went ahead of the group, searching for traps along the entire corridor. When she reached the door she managed to find what appeared to be a flame trap mechanism on the door and walls on either side of the door. She managed to flip the mechanism and disarm the trap. The group then moved into the final room of the crypt. Within they found four alcoves on the far wall with expensive looking tapestries, and a large woven rug on the floor between two ornate sarcophagi. Moonshadow began to decrypt the writing on one sarcophagi when the other one opened with the sound of grinding stone and a creature that Albrecht recognized as a mummy got out and gazed upon the group with hate filled sockets. Larissa and Syth were held fast by their terror of the undead creature, and the rest of the group began a desperate battle with the thing. Albrecht managed to catch it on fire, burning some of its wrappings away to reveal an amulet with obvious necromantic energies pouring out of it. Albrecht threw a vial of holy water upon the amulet, causing it to shatter and the mummy fell to the floor.

Shortly after a ghost rose from the mummy’s body and thanked them for freeing it. It explained that a necromancer defeated the wards placed upon the crypt as well and forced him into his undead body to fight any who came looking for the amulet. He thanked them again and told Albrecht of his holy sword in a crypt in Duania. He also allowed the group to take the worldly possessions that he had been buried with. The Drakenblades to the offered treasure and went back to Knightswatch Keep and found that the undead had stopped their assault. They were thanked profusely by the defenders of the keep, and Eroth promised that their reputation would travel even further than it already had within the kingdom. Feeling accomplished, the group left the keep and headed to Syris to enjoy their hard earned treasure, buying many things they had previously been dreaming about owning to further their adventuring abilities like new armor and replacements for ammunition.

After spending a week in Syris, they left for the Orcrage Hills to help with the orcs that had apparently been getting bold enough to move out of their hills to attack villages and travelers. On their travels towards the encampment of soldiers trying to keep the orcs in check they came across a great orcish force moving south into the hills. Some two-hundred or more strong, the group was prudent and stayed out of sight and watched them march along, noting that there were some new tribal banners at the head of the formations. After that, on the fifth day of travel, they awoke to a thick fog that rolled across the scrublands they were in. Later that morning they noticed a HUGE shadow moving ahead of them in the fog. As they watched, the realized it was a giant and Albrecht began taunting it as he had NO love for giants. It was eventually goaded into an attack, and though the heroes took some serious hits from the huge humanoid, they managed to finally bring it down.

It was obvious that the giant was also on its way into the hills, likely to join the orcs. It seemed that the orcs were organized and gaining allies from giants. This did not bode well, and the Drakenblades increased their hurry in order to arrive at the encampment, as it seemed that the situation was far more dire than they had originally anticipated…

Posted in Dungeons and Dragons, General

Corrupted Spirits

We last left the group as they were heading to Knightswatch Keep to aid the soldiers there with their undead problem. As they slept one night on their trip there, the group all had a similar dream – that they were flying over an ocean at night, the black waters far beneath them. When they awoke, they found themselves in a strange environment. They were on a huge hill side with a primeval forest below them and north of the forest an equally pristine scrublands. As they took in their surroundings, the ground began to rumble and a voice that sounded like rocks sliding down a mountain side boomed behind them. They turned to face a hill seemingly come to life, complete with large sapphire eyes the size of Albrecht and a large mouth opening that looked like a root-entangled cavern. It told them that they were in a demi-plane of Ki’rous called the Ephemeral, the home of natural spirits and a bridge between Ki’rous and the elemental planes. It stated that they were called to their location, near the lands of the Howling Storm to save the earth spirit’s brother, the spirit of the storms, the greatest spirit of the region. It had been corrupted by the dark shaman who had caused Lightning Fang’s exile, and that Fang was the only one who could set everything aright.

The earth spirit opened a portal back to their world, and after they re-entered their home plane, Krysta and Kyrsta bid a sad farewell to their friends, for they knew they were on the continent which held the remaining elven kingdoms, and they needed to go and ask for aid from them for their homeland of Safonia. After they left, Fang led them to the main encampment of his people. There they found that most of the tribes were under the influence of the shaman and his shadow elf allies. Those that were left, primarily those of the Lightning and Thunder tribes pledged their aid to help attack a caravan with the shaman, who now called himself the Eater of Spirits. The leader of the remaining tribes, Stomps with Thunder even promised his allegiance to Fang as his over chief if they were successful. After a couple of days of preparation, the group left and found the caravan. The tribes, eager to get revenge on the shadow elves who seemed to be taking over their lands, rushed to engage, leaving the center portion of the caravan unguarded.

The Drakenblades, not a group to miss an opportunity quickly rushed the center,where the most ornate carriage sat, its undead horses waiting for the next order. They found themselves quickly outnumbered as they noticed that Eater of Spirits wasn’t alone. His escort included two of the Storm tribesman, three shadow elf warriors, and a shadow elf wizard. Within the first few seconds of the combat the shaman managed to finish casting his spell which caused several skeletons and a couple of zombies to rise up as well. The Drakenblades were hard pressed, and several times throughout the fight members of the group were close to falling. Even Moonshadow’s vaunted invisibility was countered a few times. But as members of Eater of Spirit’s entourage fell, one by one, the fight got easier and easier, and soon, even the dark shaman himself fell to their onslaught.

The shadow elves quickly surrendered as  their leadership fell, and the enthralled tribesmen came to their senses and began fighting them. A strange crystal elf named Sythaeren approached the group and told them that he was grateful for his rescue as he had been a slave to one of the shadow elf lords in the caravan. So grateful in fact that he wished to join them in their adventures until he could repay them.  The triumphant tribesmen struck camp at that spot, and Fang was soon approached by a childhood sweetheart by the name of Chases the Clouds and it was obvious that neither wanted to be separated from the other ever again. A wedding took place three days later, and Krysta and Kyrsta came to see their friend wed on their way to Celini. So it was that Krysta and Kyrsta once again had to say goodbye to their comrades, but not without Krysta informing Albrecht that Kyrsta did care for him deeply, but that she was also in love with her mentor, that happened to be a silver dragon and a female to boot (though she had originally approached Kyrsta as a male elf). The group also said goodbye to Lightning Fang as he informed them that he needed to stay with his people to help them rebuild. He told them that if they ever needed anything from his people they had but to ask.

That night they awoke amongst the clouds back in the Ephemeral, and the storm spirit thanked them directly, and then gave them the option to go wherever they chose upon the world. They chose Knightswatch Keep so that they could return to their original mission. They appeared encamped right outside the keep the next morning. They were quickly welcomed by the nominal commander, one Knight-Lieutenant Eroth Gryphon, cousin to the prince. They were also joined by the daughter of Baron Drakclar, Larissa, who aspired to become a Silver Knight herself. They were informed that the undead had always been a nuisance in the Marsh of the Fallen, which is why the keep exists in the first place, but that lately it seemed that the waves of undead were becoming greater in number and would soon overwhelm the keep. No sooner than their conversation had begun, it was cut off as another wave attacked the keep. The group opted to defend the outside of the east wall, and they did so with a resounding victory over the undead that threatened to swarm them. They headed back into the keep for a brief rest before Albrecht brought up the idea of burning the bodies so that they could not rise again. The group prepped for more battle as the soldiers dug trenches and filled them with pitch and burned the bodies of the undead they had recently defeated. But soon another wave will come, and the beleagured soldiers can’t hold for much longer…

Posted in Dungeons and Dragons, General

Grove Corruption cont.

We last left our heroes facing down a creature that seemed to be from somewhere else. Though roughly humanoid in shape, it seemed to flicker into and out of reality. Some attacks seemed to partially pass through it while others seemed to hit solidly. It seemed drawn to Kyrsta and her magic, and as it assailed her, she continually held her head as her memorized spells seemed to slip away. After her spells failing her, or when she did manage to cast a spell properly, it seemingly not affecting the creature, she decided to flee from the creature, but to no avail. She eventually fell to its onslaught. As she fell, Albrecht rushed to her aid and found her still alive, though unconscious.

The heroes continued their brave stand against this creature from elsewhere, and at one point, in a daring maneuver, Kordan activated his spring boots and tried to assault the creature bodily (this while it was still attacking Kyrsta), and flew through it. After Kyrsta fell, it turned its attentions to the other magical being in the group – Moonshadow. It hit her once and she lost all of her innate magical abilities. Alarmed at her lack of magic abilities, Moonshadow was at a loss and began buzzing around it in an erratic fashion, hoping to strike the creature down in a panic. Luckily, it worked, and it fell to her frantic attacks as the others aided her in the assault. The creature left the world in a similar manner in which it came, with a hissing wail and imploding into a singularity that seemed to lead into non-reality.

Albrecht revived Kyrsta and the group gathered their wits after the rough combat. As they rested, Kyrsta explained that the creature was a Void Splinter, a remnant of the dark goddess that slept in the crystal core of the world, imprisoned due to her madness. They were one of many things that could happen when a wizard cast spells by drawing power from the ley-lines rather than from an eldritch crystal.  The group then turned their attention to the cavern across the lake. Moonshadow managed to see a shallow land-bridge under the lake that led straight to the cave. The group took it and entered the mysterious cavern. Within they found that the water formed a horseshoe shape around a small island and ended at a larger piece of land that eventually dropped off into nothingness. On the island was a small sapling, about 3 feet tall that seemed to glow with an inner radiance. The group stopped and marveled at the tree as Moonshadow flew over to the ledge and looked down. With her superior infravision she was able to see something glowing at the bottom, some 1500 feet down. Her curiosity getting the better of her, she went invisible and headed downwards.

She found a HUGE treasure hoard and an equally huge silver body laying on top of it. As she made to leave the very large dragon (twice the size of the largest red dragons), she heard a voice in her head, informing her that he knew she was there, and that she was not alone. He traveled back up to the rest of the group with her and the group saw a sight that none of them could believe. The Silver Dragon Emperor was before them in all its majesty. He spoke with them, warning them of the dark times ahead, and the personal trials that each must face to become the champions that destiny had marked them to become. He also warned them against trusting anyone too easily, then left them to return to its slumber.

Still in awe of the great dragon, the group left the next morning and continued their quest. they made it back to the grove and Celise asked one last favor of them – to take the water and pour it on the roots of the great oak in the center of the grove. They traveled once more into the grove and made their way to the great oak. In the process they avoided spiders, fought an owlbear and two headed death dogs, and avoided two dryads playing at court with ten enthralled human males.

Once at the center Albrecht poured the water onto the oak, which seemed to have an almost immediate effect. The oak sprang back to life, its bark becoming a rich brown again, and the leaves changing back to their normal green color. The forest around them seemed to spring back to life as Barlas, the corrupted druid charged into the clearing demanding to know what the group was doing to his grove. though Moonshadow tried to reason with him, he was too maddened by the corruption and he moved to attack the group. After a short but intense fight, they managed to knock the druid unconscious before he could do any real harm to the group.

A few minutes later a much better looking Celise and Terathas entered the clearing. They thanked the heroes and told them that since they did not kill any of the natural creatures of the grove that they may take a share of the treasure that the dryads had collected over time.

That accomplished the Drakenblades left and began the almost week long trek to Knightswatch Keep which was said to be assaulted by the undead in larger than normal numbers. Little did they know that fate and the spirits of a distant land would need their aid first…

Posted in Dungeons and Dragons, General