Death By Hobgoblin

Dinner Party in Nicopolis
Third PBEM June 2009

At the behest of Lady Gerard, your party has set out as part of an attaché from the household to attend the latest arrière-ban of Count Varnjas. The arrière-ban is an official announcement summoning all of Varnjas’ vassals to his castle overlooking Nicopolis for a war council—your group is meant to convey information to Lord Gerard himself, and to find out what the matter of the council is. Basically, your party’s goals include finding answers to the above questions, but also answering whatever questions you might have. That is to say, any of you who want to elaborate your characters’ goals or backgrounds at this point might use this challenge as an opportunity to do so by interacting with some of the NPCs.

The Mechanics: Basically, this will work like the other PBEMs, except that you are limited to choosing ONE combat power. All of your other choices should be skills/feats/utility powers that would have some bearing on the social interactions in and around the council and state dinner. Moreover, instead of just giving me a list of skills, I want you to attach each skill/feat/power to a specific NPC and a specific goal you have in talking to them. Goals that address party concerns can count towards successes and failures for the purposes of the challenge; goals that address individual concerns will count towards neither successes or failures, but successful rolls will further your individual character’s knowledge and relationships with NPCs.

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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Wild Dogs
Second PBEM

After defeating Damron, the priest of Vecna, your party decided to follow up on the news that Captain Auliver had brought about a sudden and dramatic increase in wolf attacks in and around the village of Scarring Green. After nearly a day’s trek back to the village, your party was invited to spend the night at the Gerard manor house—a great honor, since none of your party are members of the aristocarcy (more on that later . . .). Upon waking and being served breakfast (!) by servants (!) (except Arb, of course), you were offered another boon: Lady Gerard’s steward—Jonadab Markul— averring that Lady Gerard did not possess much wealth to dispense to you, offered access instead to the estate stores: as such, each of you can choose 30 gp worth of goods from the “Adventuring Items,” “Weapons,” and/or table from the PHB. After spending some time in the morning with Jonadab, you soon realized that he was most comfortable speaking to Bng and Lo Blo—he looked with disdainful glances at Drake, and seemed unsure weather or not even to address Arb. Eventually, you were given audience with Lady Gerard herself, who was gracious to all party members, but seemed to prefer speaking to Bng. She made it clear that, while no one had yet been killed by the wolf attacks, these added to the burdens of the goblin war to the north and the recent zombie attacks could hardly be borne by the people of her land. She wanted the party members to know that while she could not promise much immediate remuneration for the time being, she might be able to offer a “living” (that is, a permanent position) within the Gerard household—or a good recommendation to another noble house. Moreover, she had this advice for your to start: consult Arvana, a mysterious druidess who makes her home in a grotto a half-day’s journey into the wilderness north of Scarring Green. Arvana usually stays aloof from the village, although she wanders into it at planting time without fail to bless the sowing of the crops. She could not be counted on to “deal with” the wolf problem head on, but would no doubt have some useful advice on the subject. Taking the baroness’s advice, the party followed the directions to the druidess’ grotto, and discovered that “mysterious” really meant “eccentric.” The party first had to contend with a talking tree who served as “guardian” over the grotto. This actually turned out to be a neat trick of ventriloquism performed by Xub (that’s pronounced “Chub”), Arvana’s brownie companion. Arvana herself was a middle-aged woman with graying blond hair who was wearing a bright blue robe and a very (very) wide-brimmed straw hat. After a series of odd questions (including one directed at Arb asking him if he enjoyed strawberries), she revealed the following facts: the wolves would not be attacking the villagers themselves unless they were scared, or lost, or both. She suspects that the wolves were forced out of their home territory by . . . something; her magic does not reveal to her what it was. She says she would not be surprised if it was some sort of humanoid interference, though. She suggests that the party needs to find out where the wolves came from and lure them back to their home; but before that, you may have to eliminate whatever problem drove the wolves from their lairs in the first place . . . .

The party set out to try to track back the wolf pack to their original lair, but were thrown off initially by Roger’s insistence that wolves liked to den in the boles of tree trunks. Fortunately, while Arb and Roger had a confusing, consonant-filled argument about lupine-arborial relations, Drake picked up the wolves old tracks and just followed them backwards. This led the party to a cave set atop a hill that overlook the Old Mountain Road which leads from Helmsdale to the city of Nicopolis, seat of the powerful Count Varnjas. Here, once again, Drake saved the party’s skin by successfully sneaking up to mouth of the cave to reveal its secrets: it was closely guarded by a pair of human bandits. Indeed, after fighting their way, the party quickly discovered that the wolves had been using the outside cave as a den, but that it in fact communicated with a relatively large underground warren that had been commandeered by a whole troop of bandits who were plaguing the Old Mountain Road. The ensuing combat with the bandits was fierce, as success was touch-and-go: Drake and Roger were able to connect with a number of attacks, but Arb’s mighty swings had a hard time striking true against the agile bandits. Moreover, Arb was hindered by the presence of two priests of some secretive sect, who seemed to focus all of their magic, as well as a squadron of skeletal minions, on him. It was only after a lengthy battle that you party won the day; you managed to take two of the bandits prisoner, and upon questioning it was revealed that their band was just one of many that was flourishing in the area. The chivalry of Count Varnjas and other nobles of the region, who would normally be patrolling these roads, had been long occupied in the Goblin Wars to the north. As news of the increasing lawlessness of the region spread, it attracted all manner of undesirable folk, including the priests who fought with the bandits. These belonged to a sect that worshipped the demi-god Pelagion, a long-forgotten deity who, in life, devoted his existence to establishing the supremacy of humanity over all other races. The bandits were simply happy to have the magical assistance of the priests, but as they understand it, the sect of Pelagion seeks to eradicate all non-human races from civilization in the land of Herodis.

The Wrap Up Drake, Arb, and Roger each get 500 XP for successfully completing the challenge. Drake has lost two more healing surges (for a total deficit of 4); Roger has lost one more (for a total of 2); and Arb has lost two more (for a total of two). Your party also receives the following treasure: 90 gp, 100sp, gravespawn potion, cloak of resistance+1, dagger+1. Information on magic items is as follows:

Gravespawn PotionLevel 5 This deep purple, putrescent liquid fends off diseases and poisons. Potion 50 gp Power (Consumable): Minor Action. Drink this potion and spend a healing surge. You do not regain hit points as normal. Instead, gain resist 5 necrotic and resist 5 poison until the end of the encounter. You also gain a +5 power bonus to your next Endurance check against any disease of level 5 or lower.

Cloak of Resistance +1 (520 GP) Item Slot: Neck Enhancement: Fortitude, Reflex, and Will Power (Daily): Minor Action. Gain resist 5 to all damage until the start of your next turn.

Dagger +1 (360 GP) Just a simple dagger +1, but note: “Any magic light thrown or heavy thrown weapon automatically returns to its wielder’s hand after a ranged attack with the weapon is resolved.”

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The Crypt of Damron, Part 2
PBEM after Xmas 2009

After your initial encounter with goblins and hobgoblins in the Calix family crypt, you found yourselves shaken and battered, huddling in the shelter of the Squirewood about a half mile from the entrance to the crypt. Forced to spend the night while waiting for the recovery of the dwarven cleric Jaafs (a.k.a. “Lo-Blo”), your small group found themselves in a hushed but tense conversation about what your next course of action should be. Arb, dissatisfied with the current state of the “mission” argued for reentering the crypt as soon as Lo-Blo was healthy again; he felt that perhaps by trying a different door, easier access to the hostages might be found. The rogue Drake, however, was concerned that the denizens of the crypt were now alerted to your presence. Indeed, your party might not be safe even here in the cover of the Squirewood, so he felt your best course would be to return to Scarring Green, get fresh supplies and maybe recruit some local farmers as spear-bearers, and only then return to the crypt. Roger, still stunned by the hobgoblins’ ability to resist his potent dweomers, agreed with Drake, and even suggested that they might inform the Lady Gerard that more powerful allies were needed to rescue any survivors from the crypt.

The next morning, Lo-Blo was conscious, and was still weak enough that he too agreed that the party should retreat back to the village and then go from there. As turned out, however, the furry ears of fate had other plans. Retracing your steps through the forest without a practiced woodsman proved to be more difficult that you at first anticipated. After making slow progress back eastward for a number of hours, you heard voices through the trees. After some anxious scouting by Drake was successful, you came to find out that the new interlopers were a small group of five of Lord Gerard‘s soldiers led by his trusted captain of the guard, Piet Auliver. After sizing up Piet and his men, you all decided quickly that this was just the help you needed, and the ten of you set off for the crypt in the desperate hope that some of the hostages would still be alive . . . and that no new ones had been abducted.

After re-entering the crypt, your small band decided, at the behest of both Arb and Captain Auliver, to head straight back to the hobgoblin room. With knowledge of your enemies and the added swords of Auliver’s men, you dispatched the hobgoblins, and their goblin sharpshooters, with relative ease. However, upon going into the next chamber, you were confronted with a horrible sight: Polybdus’ mother Ranay chained to a sacrificial altar and at the mercy of Damron, a priest of Vecna. Worse still, as Damron’s undead minions attacked, Roger’s knowledge of the arcane revealed to him that if Damron completed the ritual, a pile of rotting corpses at the back of the room could coalesce into a single, gigantic, undead abomination: apparently the “Gorax” which you heard reference to in your first adventure. Fortunately, Roger’s warning spurred the group into action, as a heroic exchange of blows was capped off when Arb pulverized Damron’s skull with an arcing swing of his maul. After Ranay was brought around through Lo-Blo’s ministrations, she directed you to the room with the remaining four hostages. After an arduous battle with a troop of orc mercenaries, the hostages were freed. The joy of their emancipation was short-lived, though, as the remnants of Damron’s goblinoid forces rushed into the room, only to be met by an orb of unearthly fire unleashed by Roger. After some further bloody work by your small band, the goblins were finally vanquished. In the aftermath of the battle, Drake’s perceptive eye found a small storage room where Damron was keeping some of his ill-gotten gains. While these parceled out amongst your own party and Auliver’s men, the prisoners revealed a disturbing fact: there yet remained another part of the dungeon—the old Calix family crypt itself. This had been sealed off by Damron and his minions when he realized that his magicks had awakened the disturbed spirits of the Calix clan. Captian Auliver was disturbed by the news, but said he was willing to let sleeping dogs lie: he was desperately needed back with his lord Baron Gerard in the wars to the north that were being fought with a huge goblinoid army, from which these goblins were no doubt deserters. Finally, he suggested that your party might return to Scarring Green where, in passing through, he had heard tell of a new menace: an influx of wolves who were killing livestock and threatening farmers.

The Wrap-Up So, Drake, Arb, and Roger each get 500XP for successfully completing the challenge. Drake will begin the next challenge -2 healing surges; Roger with -1 healing surge. (Mighty Arb had no failures). You also get to figure out amongst yourselves how spilt up the following treasure: 400 gp; 300 sp; two casks of brandywine worth 25gp each; a 100gp amethyst; a Bag of Holding; a Staff of Winter +1; a thundering hammer +1; 1 potion of healing

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