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Shield Manor Campaign
Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:43 am
Well, having had most of those saying they wanted to play as no shows, I had to scrap my intended Steeldale Campaign and pull out an old old beginners campaign called Shield Manor. I've ran scores of players through this dungeon over the last 23 years as an intro into AD&D...and now, it's C&C's turn.
Atheran - Elf Druid F; lvl 1 (player age: 23+/1)
Amber - Bastini Illusionist F; lvl 1 (player age: 11)
(yeah, it's a squishy party so far)
The players started out within the town of Laketon in the Barony of Morue, located at the far east end of Long Lake (think the Great Lakes for size), a town of of halfling farmers and small trade port notable only for being the gateway into the wilds of the Gale Mts and Sandy Hills...and raising goats. Lots and lots of goats. Atheran and Amber ran into each other at the doors to the Academe', one seeking clues as to the whereabouts of the parents that abandoned her in the forest over 150 years ago, the other seeking her two missing younger brothers that left her clan to be adventurers. Bob, the on duty guard directed them to the office of Missy, a rather harried middle aged clerk-cum-secretary for the Headmaster of the Academe'. Missy was unable to help Atheran but did have records of Thomas, the youngest of Amber's brothers having trained there for a while and departing towards a well known local ruin called Shield Manor with a party of other adventurers. However, none of them are known to have returned and it has been nearly half a year.
The girls split up after agreeing to meet at the Academe' the next morning, Atheran to meet with the headmaster before joining Amber in going to investigate this Shield Manor place. Atheran found a nice patch of light woods in which to meditate for several hours while Amber obtained lodgings at the Piebald Possum (and fleeing the bombastic halfing proprietor, Newt, as soon as she could) before going to the Laughing Badger tavern to inquire about her other brother Evan. She managed to both insult the tavernkeep and a pair of sailors that were entering, resulting her fleeing to prevent herself from suffering severe bodily harm from the angry sailors. Spending time wandering around the town she eventually went to the Behind the Hill Tavern and seeking to earn a few coins to fill an all but empty purse helping the farmers. Atheran had much the same idea only she sought to assist the local herb merchant with packaging things for shipment, earning a package of tea leaves and another of rosemary. As evening fell, Amber returned to the Piebald Possum to enjoy her bowl of squirrel stew before retiring for the evening in the stables, lacking the funds needed for an actual room. Atheran returned to her spot in the woods and set up a meager campsite hoping the goats would not be bothering her as much through the night as they had during the morning. (end session)
Re: Shield Manor Campaign
Posted: Mon May 14, 2018 1:01 am
Shield Manor- Second Session:
The next morning, each of the ladies awoke where they had bedded down. Amber, in the Piebald Possum's stable was awoke by the crowing of the roosters and arrival of the stable boys caring for the animals of those within the inn. Atheran, at her campsite in the woods amidst the distant roosters crowing and a few goats looking for nibblies. Amber partook of the inn's fare, simple bread and cheese while being relieved that Newt was not a morning person himself and Atheren scavenging some forest mushrooms and raiding a few squirrel caches for nuts which she ate over a small fire. Whiling away the morning, the girls met up at the Academe for Atheren's meeting with the headmaster, Helmant Tor, to inquire of their records about her mother from 150 years ago. Headmaster Tor, being human, had no clue as it was in the time of Headmistress Beral-li. He promised some sort of answer within a week if she would return. While this was happening inside the Academe, Amber sat outside near the road watching the thin man in robes reading his book where Bob had been sitting guard the day before.
Atheran exited the building and the two decided to venture into the forest and check out this Shield Manor ruin they had been hearing about from the locals. Without much preparation, the two departed and a few hours later found themselves outside of a pair of partially destroyed and aging wooden buildings. One an apparent inn (The Golden Shield ) and the other a bow roofed stable. Checking out the stable first, they found an old carriage room with some mushrooms growing near the back walls. Atheren recognized them as being poisonous but chose to pick some anyways for possible future use. It was at this unguarded moment that a quartet of giant rats burst from their fungus covered burrow and attacked. Both ladies were badly bitten before Amber managed to scare three of them off and Atheren killed the fourth with a blow from her staff. Forging on, they found nothing else in the stables other than the skeletal remains of a long dead equine of some sort. Likely a horse.
They chose to enter the main building through the large hole left when the rear corner of both floors of the building was destroyed by something big. Inside was a bare common room with a weak, creaking wooden floor that bowed slightly under each step. Forging in further, the two found the debris strewn kitchen and the remains of a rusting damaged pot belly stove. Their attention was diverted from the ruin when Amber detected something foul in the air. Like rotting meat...and then, with her attention focused on the surroundings a bit more, heard the drone of many flies. The two followed her nose through the wreckage that was once the rear wall of the kitchen to the tree line where they discovered a pile of nearly a dozen bodies of various races stripped and rotting. The flies and other scavengers of the forest having been hard at work on cleaning up the corpses. Steeling themselves, the two sifted through the bodies trying to make sure that Amber's brothers ere not potentially among them. They weren't.
Retreating back inside, the two ignored the narrow stairs descending to the cellar next to the kitchen entry and instead made their way up a dangerously rickety set of stairs to the equally weak floored second floor. They poked through a few rooms before breaking down one of the few remaining intact doors present in the building. The room was relatively clean if not dusty with cobwebs about...and a large patch of yellow-gold mold growing up the rear wall and across part of the floor. It was at this point that Atheren made a fatal error in judgment. Not realizing what the mold was though recognizing it as unnatural (failing her identify check) she drew close and poked it with her finger. Spores were released into the air as well as taking root in her hand and a failed save or two later she collapsed to the floor dead, her lungs and throat clogged with mold and most of her right arm overgrown and still growing.
Amber, in a panic and unable to save her friend despite her frantic, choking pleas for help, fled the room and down the stairs as fast as she could, forgetting about the dangerous condition of the stairs themselves. Halfway down the stairs gave way sending her plummeting to the floor below only to break through the weak rotting floor boards as well and crashing in a broken, bloody, and quite deceased heap across the cellar floor. Thus ended the short careers of the druid Atheren and illusionist Amber. TPK!
The girls rolled up new characters in the hour left of the session...creating a Dwarven Witch Hunter and a Bastini Animator (my daughter likes cat girls-eye roll). More information them in June after our next session.
Re: Shield Manor Campaign
Posted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:48 am
It's been a while, but here is the most recent session report:
Players: Winifred von Cheswick - Dwarf Witch Hunter F; Level 1
Rose Grace - Bastini Animator F; Level 1 (plus 1 small puppet)
Shield Manor Take 2 – A new party:
Winifred Von Cheswick, dwarven female Witch Hunter, arrived in Laketon aboard the Schooner Storm Raven along with other passengers, cargo, and mail from the far off city of Balidor in hopes of both finding evil to vanquish, gold to gather, and escaping those pursuing her for a murder she was framed for by parties as yet unknown. Her first order of business was to find a replacement for the crossbow she was forced to abandon during her hectic flight from Trondahl north to Balidor. After first checking the local general store, she was directed by Shopkeeper Longtoe to Shrift’s, the local bowyer and Fletcher. Mister Longtoe did not warn her that Shrift was a gruff half-orc with the personality of a peeved porcupine on a hot plate.
Deciding that the crossbow was more important than indulging in any personal animosity, Winifred managed to not only barter for a second hand light crossbow, but also the bolts and a quiver for far less than what might have been charged. Shrift essentially told her that he would likely end up with it back at some point seeing as she was one of them stupid adventuring types. He shared a bit of local rumors about a cursed island, a long abandoned crypt, and of course the Shield Manor which tended to eat fool treasure hunters like they was sausages. With a less than cordial good-bye, mutual between them, the hairless (and more importantly, beardless) dwarf female made her way back to the Piebald Possum in search of refreshment and lodging.
Meanwhile, Rose Grace, bastini female Animator, arrived at the north edge of Laketon in the company of several small traders that had banded together on their journey from Nordell where Rose had joined them. Rose was fleeing a rather disagreeable marriage arranged by her father the chief of the Grace Clan as part of a political power play and thought to seek out a former friend heard to have been in the area. Rose sought out the inn to obtain lodgings and food immediately, opting for the catch of the day, fresh bread, and a cup of mead. Ironically, the catch of the day was baked catfish which creeped her out as it seemed to stare at her accusingly from the plate.
While she ate and tried to ignore the innkeep’s incessant banter with other patrons, Winifred arrived and promptly sat at the counter, ordering an cup of mead to take the taste of shipboard life out of her mouth. It wasn’t long before she had engaged Newt into a discussion about local trouble spots and locals known for undead sightings. There was the cursed island with its glowing lights amidst the tumbled stones of a ruined town where an entire army was reputed to have vanished, the ancient crypts now in disuse with rumored miles of tunnels beneath the Sandy Hills, the Shield Manor and its overgrown estate within the forest several miles distant, and a comment about something not quite right about things involving the Baron and his castle.
Winifred thought a bit and made an announcement to the room seeking those who might join her in going off to deal with some of these evil places. Rose, just finishing her meal, immediately stood up and expressed her interest. She joined Winifred at the counter and bought the dwarf another cup of mead as they began to feel each other out with barbs and banter. Eventually, the two left to seek out more information at the Academe’ as well as looking for someplace that might sell a sleeping potion to help Rose deal with persistent nightmares of what Winifred tentatively identified as a werewolf or similar.
The two got directions from Newt to the Academe’ and were soon at its doors which were guarded by a human male in non-descript clothes identifying himself as Bob. The two asked about Rose’s friend and found that she had been here several weeks past seeking her brothers then departed for the Shield Manor. She has not returned and is presumed to have perished. When asked about the manor, Bob had much information to impart about some of its history, what creatures have been found by those that made it back, and other tidbits. He also had some stories about the cursed island and advised the two ladies to avoid it unless they were feeling mostly suicidal. Bob told them a little about Deadman Swamp and the dragon that supposedly ruled it as well as about the Griffons and Harpies of the Shrieking Mountains. When asked about the Academe’ library, he directed the two to see Missy and provided quick directions to her office.
Missy received the two cordially, answered a few questions about Rose’s friend that Bob had already provided to them, and processed the paperwork and day use fees for their time in the school library. They were to show their passes to the librarian.
The library was a 20’x30’ room lined with walls with only a couple small square tables and chairs in the center. An elderly man in robes at the back of the room scribbled away at something on his scribe’s desk with quill and ink. As Winifred greeted him, the ladies found that this old man was as hard of hearing as he was getting to tell them something useful. Finally they were pointed to books on local creatures, ruins, and history which they spent a few hours looking through and reading up on items related to the Shield Manor and local beasties.
On the way back to the inn, they stopped at the Hospice just up the road from the Academe’ and obtained some sleeping draughts for Rose. The matron Halfling healer cautioned Rose that she was to only take one dose as needed per day. The potion itself was highly addictive and could cause her serious problems if misused. Winifred, taking advantage of having one of the healers present, asked about the possibility of obtaining healing potions or other potentially life-saving curatives. She was told that the hospice had no such potions but they did have some herbal based remedies that might help. Wound Paste and a general ointment that was good for burns, fungal infections, and some poisons. Winifred bought two of each while Rose bought one of each herself. After paying for the sleep potion and curatives, the two ladies decided to call it a day for their explorations about town.
It was late in the afternoon when the two returned to the Piebald Possum for dinner and retiring to their room early for the night to prepare for their sojourn to the infamous Shield Manor on the morrow.
(next session will be July 14th)
Re: Shield Manor Campaign
Posted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:01 am
Info on the stuff picked up at the Hospice:
Wound Paste: Non-magical herbal based coagulant and binder. Can be applied to any minor wound (not significant enough to require stitches or worse) with a one time effect (per combat encounter/wound) of healing 1d3 points of damage. One container holds four applications. 10 gp
General Ointment: Non-magical herbal & charcoal based topical pain-killing disinfectant and anti-toxin. If applied to burns, rashes, fungal infections, non-magically poisonous bites/stings within two rounds of the wound/infection occurring it will heal 1 point of damage and grant a +2 bonus to any CON save required as a result. One container holds two applications. 20 gp
Re: Shield Manor Campaign
Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2018 1:02 am
(CK Note: The players are learning! – Session Start)
The intrepid duo of Winifred and Rose woke the next day; as they were partaking of their breakfast they were approached by a rather grizzled and travel worn human donkey peddler who identified himself as Reggie, a simple traveling merchant that frequented the towns and villages along the South Trade Road between Laketon and Kupross to the west. Reggie inquired if Winifred was indeed looking for rumors and tales of unnatural happenings or things not normally seen in the light of day. Winifred affirmed that she was indeed interested in such tales and went a bit on her guard.
Reggie smiled and then told her and Rose about his sightings of what looked to be moving animal skeletons skulking around a couple of the farm roads near Walfort a few days west. Small things like canines or large cats, he wasn’t quite sure just that bones weren’t supposed to be moving on their own like that. He pleaded with Winifred to check things out and make sure nothing was dangerous since some of his best customers were in that area and he did not want to see anyone hurt. (Especially his coin purse.) Winifred agreed that she and Rose would look into it as soon as they could getting a smile from Reggie as he took his leave.
After some discussion with Rose and securing a promise from her that once they had completed their business of finding out the fate of Rose’s clanswoman, Amber, they would go to Walfort and investigate Reggie’s story. Rose agreed and both of the ladies (cough) left town an hour later headed for the much talked about Shield Manor in the forest. A few hours later, the two came to the building ruins of an old inn and collapsing stable. As they approached, Winifred’s thumbs began twitching warning her of the presence of evil in the nearby area. Unable to get a direction, the two decided to investigate the badly damaged and rotting inn.
Unable to tell the age or types of tracks in the mess covering the main room floor on the ground level, Rose pressured Winifred to check out the upstairs. Halfway up, the two encountered a gaping four foot wide section of stairway missing. Looking down, they saw that the hole continued through a lower set of stairs to a lit room below, a large stain on the floor. From its color Winifred assumed it was likely blood. A lot of blood. She wanted to go find out why the cellar was lit and what had bled all over in such a manner. Rose insisted the proceed upwards however, though the gaping hole before them impeded further progress.
The two returned to the ground floor and then searched around the room and old stable for something suitable to bridge the hole with. Winifred tested one of the old planks from the destroyed stable doors by bashing it against the wall only to have it break into several pieces and dust as if it was old cottage cheese press. Winifred realized the bar was still in good shape, and after closer inspection, she found that the bar top was indeed solid teak and still very sturdy. Both her and Rose managed to pry a section of the counter top up and carried the very heavy board up the stairs. After nearly half an hour, they managed to move it into position and bridge the gap on the stairs with it. Walking up the smooth, steeply inclined surface was itself a difficult task and took both of the ladies several minutes to manage. Eventually, they made it to the stop of the stairs, covered in sweat and breathing hard, but in one piece.
They found themselves in a dark, narrow hallway with most of the doors and walls surrounding said doors, busted in, the rooms beyond strewn with debris. The first room even had most of the rear wall missing and Winifred thought she saw a pile of something just within the brush line before having to retreat from the dangerously weak floor edge. Further along the corridor they encountered a room covered in a brown-gold dust and a large, body-sized mound of golden mold with a few bones sticking out. A larger patch of mold grew over the far wall deeper within the room. Both of the girls retreated quickly sensing that this place was more dangerous than it looked. (evil snicker)
Farther down the hall, they found another room with almost half of the room missing along with the far corner walls of the building. A three foot diameter moss covered boulder rested against a slightly busted wall near the door, the floor beneath it sunken several inches from its weight and the weakening aged and rotting wood planking. Reaching the end of the hallway with yet another small room missing part of its wall, the two encountered two closed doors. Rather than walk into something dangerous, the girls decided to retreat downstairs and investigate the cellar.
Going down the stairs and gap plank was much easier than going up. Though they found the stairs down to the cellar and could see that something had been dragged from the blood stain now that they were closer in view, the gap in the lower stairs similar to those above, again hindered their progress. With a bit of exasperation, the dwarf and bastini girls retrieved their bridge from the upper stairs and managed to bridge the gap in the lower stairs with a bit less effort. Reaching the lower landing, Winifred stopped Rose from going further, her thumbs feeling like they were twitching madly. A quick, quiet discussion had Rose send her puppet cat down the stairs alone while Winifred readied her light crossbow and waited. The puppet cleared the ceiling and was halfway to the cellar floor when several voices let out epithets and roughly dressed and scarred people came into view, armed to the teeth. A half-orc male with a badly notched hand axe was first to reach them, racing ahead of his six other visible companions.
A quick slash, and the puppet cat was bisected into inanimate chunks of twigs, string, and wax by the half-orc’s axe. A half-elf woman with two short swords was right behind him, followed by a human in leather with a staff, his right eye covered by a patch. Others crowded around the bottom of the narrow stairs as well, unable to proceed up other than singly.
The half-orc missed his first swing at Winifred who immediately fired her crossbow into his gut at point blank range. It only served to enrage the evil creature. Rose fired her reinforced slingshot and missed the half-orc (and fortunately Winifred as well). Due to the crowd below she did manage to wound the one-eyed staff bearer somewhat. The next blow from Winifred’s foe was brutal and nearly killed her on the spot. Rose, thinking quickly, crowded behind her friend and slathered a large amount of healing paste over the gaping wound as best she could. Winifred dropped her crossbow trusting the dummy cord securing it to her belt to keep it near and made a wild, useless swing with her flail against her dangerous greenish foe. A sword blade started being stabbed through from below the stairs by someone unseen creating even more danger for the two girls. Suffering another grievous wound after returning one in kind, Winifred was on her last legs and urged Rose to retreat upwards. Taking advantage of a bad swing by the half-orc, the girls retreated and Rose managed to dump the plank through the hole preventing the numerous brigands from following. Seeking to avenge her puppet before fleeing, Rose managed to hit the staggering half-orc between the eyes with her slingshot stone toppling him over with eyes rolled up and blood pouring from his nose and ears. While the raging brigands cleared the stairs and retrieved the makeshift bridge dumped into their cellar, the two girls ran at their best speed from the ruins, back towards town along the forest trail managing to avoid pursuit.
Several hours later, they staggered into town, Winifred pasty and covered in bloody clothing from her wounds. A couple of town guardsmen intercepted them, then assisted the two to the town Hospice where Winifred was treated and released after a steep fee. Rose reported the brigands and their actions to the guardsmen assisting them. Both of the ladies returned to their room at the Piebald Possum exhausted, tired, and sore. The next day, a troop of soldiers and mercenaries left town in force headed towards Shield Manor. They returned later that evening somewhat battered but all alive carrying several bloody sacks. The brigand’s heads were mounted on pikes near the trailhead the next morning.
Winifred spent the week recovering from her wounds while Rose puttered around town working odd jobs for the local farmers and building new puppets. A small unicorn and a bobcat as a spare this time.
After Winifred was nearly ready to travel again, a couple guardsmen stopped by the inn and rewarded the two with a small bounty of 6 gold pieces and 20 silver pieces. Surprised since they had not brought any bodies back, the guardsman told them it was for reporting the situation and the one brigand they had killed. He also told them that these brigands had been preying on newbie adventurers that sought to shelter in the old inn ruin, killing them and stripping them of all their equipment and goods. They had found the badly broken body of a female bastini in a stack of bodies just inside the brush behind the inn ruin. It had only been there a couple of weeks from what they could tell (yes, this was Amber.) The brigands themselves were failed adventurers that fled the Manor grounds. With that, the guardsmen left the inn and the two girls decided to head to Walfort to the east to investigate the skeleton rumors. Maybe they would have better luck there than they had near the Shield Manor so far.
The next day, they ate breakfast and readied to depart. When they informed Newt that they were leaving for Walfort to check on some skeleton rumors, the normally cheerful halfing innkeep became very worried. He told them about a cloister for wayward women that had been founded near there by a retired lady cleric. It was said she was such a holy person that her cloister spread an aura of holy protection over the area that evil just could not stand to be within. If undead skeletons were indeed seen moving about the area it can mean only dire things occurring at the cloister and to be on their utmost guard. The town itself he told them was a simple walled village of farmers and fishermen with the inn built into the main gate and towers. Newt wished them good travels as they left.
The three day walk to Walfort over the heavily trafficked South Trade Road went by without incident for the two adventurers. Upon reaching the village, the two paid their copper piece entry tax, told the guard they were here to investigate rumors of undead, which surprised him since he had not heard such things, and checked into the Gatehouse Inn for the night after enjoying a supper of honeyed trout, corn whiskey, fresh bread, cheese, mutton, and pressed apple juice. (Session ends)
Re: Shield Manor Campaign
Posted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 2:28 am
It's been a while since our last session due to various reasons including work, life, and plain ol' Murphy deciding to screw with me. But the time for the next session finally came.
And we have a new (new) player. The party now consists of;
Winifred von Cheswick – Dwarf Witch Hunter F; Level 1
Rose Grace – Bastini Animator F; Level 1 (plus two small puppets)
Bruce – Half Ogre Mystic Warrior M; Level 1
The next morning at the Gatehouse Inn found Winifred and Rose enjoying a quiet breakfast in the tap room while pondering their next steps. A quiet that was soon broken by a loud commotion on the road in front of the inn with the town guards yelling at someone. Trying not to get involved, the girls ignored the ruckus that quickly quieted down. A ruckus that was caused when the guards saw a raggedly dressed half-ogre wandering up the road to the town gates and demanded that he halt and state his business as friend of foe. Bruce stated that he was a friend and was just out wandering because he got bored at home. The younger of the two gate guards lost the non-verbal argument between them about who would perform the close inspection of the half-ogre. Finding nothing of any import and seeing that the traveler did indeed have some money the guards reluctantly let Bruce enter the inn.
Winifred and Rose noticed when the very tall and homely Bruce entered; a notice that was anything but good natured or friendly. Winifred spent some time glaring daggers at Bruce while Rose tried to ignore him. Bruce obtained a space in the common room on the second floor for the evening and sat back people watching for a while. Winifred, having finished her meal and objecting to the half-ogre, returned to her room to rest up, the two girls having decided to check things out around town once night had fallen. Bruce tired of his people watching some time later and went to the common room to meditate. Rose, being a typical Bastini, decided to go wandering around town to check things out and ended up taking a short walk on the narrow beach below the village. She returned a couple hours later having found nothing of interest and only seven businesses in the entire village.
That evening, a table boy came round the rooms informing patrons that dinner was being served in the tap room. Winifred, Rose, and Bruce all descended to enjoy a free bowl of fish stew and fresh bread, though they sat at different tables. Just after dinner, Rose felt something tugging on her tale. Incensed, she stood and turned, ready to verbally flay the offender only to see a small little girl of around three or four years old in pig tales giving her a gap-toothed smile. Her first words to Rose were “fuzzy” along with the grin. A short conversation about tail etiquette ensued before the girl’s mother came bustling over apologizing for Rosalind’s, her daughter, behavior with much stammering and embarrassment. When Winifred, trying to be friendly and put the locals at ease, mentioned their mission to look into rumors of walking animal skeletons, Rosalind blurted out that she had seen those near their farm which was Southwest of the village. Her mother tried playing things off as the imagination of a child and hustled the little girl off quickly, departing soon after with her husband and other children in tow.
Having seen and overheard the discussion, Bruce took this opportunity to introduce himself and ask if he could come too seeing as how he had nothing better to do and it sounded interesting. This got him a face full of scorn from Winifred but after several minutes of heated and not-so-heated dialogue from Rose and he, Winifred grudgingly gave her consent stressing that if she said jump he better be in the air before asking how high. Hours later, the trio departed the village with the gate guards admonishing them to be careful because even these parts were dangerous at night. Giving their assurances that all was fine the trio headed southwest towards the area that Rosalind had mentioned her farm was at, hoping to find a clue about the animal skeletons. About 5 miles from town, they got their clue when a wolf skeleton lunged from some bushes along the roadside and sank its fangs deeply into Rose’s leg. Winifred and Bruce attacked without being able to do more than drive the skeleton back away from Rose. Rose sent her bobcat puppet to attack the skeletal wolf while she applied some wound paste to her leg only to see her puppet torn apart like a hated chew toy. A short combat saw the wolf skeleton defeated from hits by both Rose and Bruce.
The trio opted to continue on with Winifred using her dark vision to track the skeletal wolf’s trail hoping to find its origins. She lost the trail in some rocky ground after an hour. While looking around and pondering, the girls both saw a flash of distant light and what looked to be a tower silhouette rising above some distant trees. Rather than head to the tower, the trio wisely returned to town while leaving markers so they could retrace their steps during the day. They managed to make it back just before the inn gates were closed for the night as the guards withdrew inside to keep watch from the towers above the walls.
The next morning after a late breakfast of porridge, the trio once again decided to head out, though they were told about an abandoned cloister to the north, northeast of the village and how before it was abandoned the goodness of the Lady there kept the area safe from evil by the guards. Shocked at this news, the trio had a short discussion which ended in them following their original plan of retracing their steps from the previous night. Doing so found that they had veered more east than south while following the tracks of the skeletal wolf. The tower that they had seen was visible and seemed to be a steeple with something metal in it. The group made their way across country through some wild woods and several meadows before emerging upon an old overgrown cart track opposite an overgrown orchard of some sort with black fruits (over ripe olives). Winifred’s thumbs started twitching near the orchard, so the group armed themselves and Rose set out her mini-unicorn puppet.
As they closed on the orchard, three twigglings rushed out and began attacking with some ferocity. By the time the fight was over and the twigglings lay crushed and splinted from Bruce’s club, all three of the group were badly wounded and in no shape to continue. Rose wanted to camp within the burnt out shelf of a building visible just up the path but was out voted and the trio camped in a meadow an hour back along the route they had traveled. Camping for several days while their wounds healed and Rose re-built her bobcat puppet they three adventurers got a bit closer and put the hostility behind them. Mostly. Bruce killed a grass viper early the second morning while on watch then grossed the other two out when he cooked it up and had it for lunch. Rose took the skin hoping to use it for a future puppet.
Once healed and recovered, the trio returned to the olive orchard and followed the path around and up a small hill. Not only was there an overgrown olive orchard, but a walled garden, the burned out house, an overgrown apple orchard with a worm ridden crop due to lack of care, the chapel tower, barns, and fields. All looked like they had not been cared for in many years. Rose spotted several vegetables and strawberries growing wild in the garden and convinced the other two to help her harvest enough to fill out the rations they had used while camping. Free food she noted. They managed to harvest several pounds of carrots, onions, summer squash, strawberries, and a couple water melons. During this time, Winifred’s thumbs began to twitch for a moment before subsiding just as quickly as they had started. Alarmed, the group proceeded to the barn cautiously, not wanting to enter the cloister building just yet. In a side shed off the barn they found a bellows pump and well head that they used to refill their nearly empty water skins.
Winifred asked Rose and Bruce to go with her to check out a lone tree with something below it she had seen while the group headed to the barn. Upon further investigation, the trio found that the tree sheltered the Stone tomb of a Lady Iradine Requae, priestess of the Lightbringer according to the symbol on her likeness that was carved atop the tomb and inscription at its foot. The area under the tree had a feeling of pureness and tranquility that the orchards, garden, and barn were lacking.
Girding themselves, the trio prepared to enter the cloister building through the main doors of iron bound oak. Bruce tried and failed pushing them open. Rose looked at him in amusement then pulled the door open by herself only for her and Winifred to nearly vomit from the rolling wave of corruption that seemed burst from within the room beyond. Bruce remained blissfully ignorant and stuck his head inside. What they found was a rubble strewn room with a very high ceiling. A busted up marble statue, its remnants littering the floor of the entire room, was at the opposite side from the doors with ochre yellow tapestries hanging from the wall behind it. Trails through the dust gave evidence to others having been here before, all leading to a single iron bound door exiting through the center of the right hand wall. After checking the chamber out thoroughly and finding nothing of note, the smaller door was opened and a hall revealed. Session End.
Re: Shield Manor Campaign
Posted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:30 am
(Continuing to explore within the ‘abandoned’ cloister – Session Start)
Party: Winifred - Dwarf Witch Hunter F, Lvl 1; Rose - Bastini Animator F, Lvl 1; Bruce - Half Ogre Mystic Warrior M, Lvl 1
Looking down the hall, both Bruce and Winifred could see a door in the opposite wall just past a side hall. It looked as though the hall turned in the opposite direction at the door. Rose sent her bobcat puppet into the side hall after a short discussion with her companions. Getting no reaction from anything that may have been watching for intruders, the trio proceeded cautiously forward though the not quite whispered bantering did little to hide their presence to any with a keen ear. Rose paused to ready and light her lantern so that she could see within the pitch black hallways. The ever present oppressive aura of corruption was bad enough without the darkness as well.
The group could see that the hall opened into some larger area several tens of feet farther down. Two 5’x7’ wood doors were spaced along the right hand wall with another at the end of the hall past the widened area. Bruce approached the first door while the others watched, wary of enemy attack. The door itself opened easily showing a small room that smelled rather bad and a pair of moth-eaten grey curtains. A quick check behind the first revealed this room to be a two stall ‘water closet’ and the rank odor from old partially full bucket under each bench. The trio hastily left the room and decided to check the open area since they could see a bit of furniture in their line of sight not blocked by the wall cornering. What they found was a comfortable looking lounging area with a long sofa, overstuffed chair, foot stool, and low table. Unfortunately they also found a very aggressive ursine skeleton that wasted no time in rousing itself to attack.
Bruce reacted quickly, taking a first strike that barely grazed the undead beast. Unfortunately he suffered a moderate bite wound to his leg in return. The battle commenced with the bear doing little damage before being overwhelmed. However, the commotion caused by the fight brought a quartet of snarling goblins from the room beyond yet another 5’x7’ wood door. A snap shot from Rose’s slingshot caused the leading goblin to stagger while Winifred let loose with her flail, crushing its nearby compatriot. Rose’s bobcat had been crushed by the bear so she ordered her unicorn to attack and attack it did, goring through the heart of the goblin she had wounded to finish it off. Meanwhile Winifred was suffered a nearly fatal strike to her head by the third goblin while Bruce struggled to work his way around the brawl so he could join into the fight. Rose and her puppet pulled back to let Bruce move to support the badly wounded Winifred. His first strike crushed one of the two remaining goblins with a single blow. That was too much for the last goblin which turned and fled back into through the door they had entered from, slamming it shut after passing through.
Winifred was not quite quick enough to take advantage of the turn tail so it got away clean. Rose quickly used the last of her wound paste and applied some minor first aid to the dwarf witch hunter. A quick search of the sitting area and sharp discussion between the three adventurers had them pursue the goblin lest it have more fellows it could summon or worse. Deciding it was safer to finish it off before they withdrew to recover from their injuries. Bruce opened the door while Rose sent her puppet in first to attack. The goblin was cowering at the far end of the room which looked to have been a dormitory or barracks at one point given the several bunk beds present. The unicorn managed to wound the goblin but not before being badly damaged. Rose and Winifred rushed in and opened fire with the slingshot and crossbow, both missing widely. Bruce followed behind managed to crush the goblin beneath his club yet again. A quick search of the room found nothing but the pot of a low stakes game of bones. Pocketing the few dozen coins, the trio withdrew from the cloister building with an audible sigh of relief upon exiting the main doors and escaping the stifling aura of evil that pervades the building.
Not wanting to go far, the trio opted to set camp near the Lady Cleric’s tomb beneath the old tree nearby to take advantage of any protection offered by the holy aura that still existed around it. A fortuitous choice as it would turn out. The first night went by without incident and the trio spent the following day lazing about, repairing and scavenging a few materials for new puppets to build. Thing One was created that day. That night, not even an hour past sunset passed before the trio was approached by the zombie bodies of the goblin quartet they had slain previously. Their gamble about the holy aura of the crypt held true and they were able to defeat the zombies easily but not before Rose tried to play grappler with one in an attempt to pull it into the holy zone to see if it would be damaged. Instead, the zombie pulled her out of the protected area and the unengaged goblin zombie dealt her a blow that nearly broke her back. It did break her nerve and under cover of Winifred’s crossbow and Bruce’s club, Rose hid in the tent in fear of her near fatal mistake. Eventually the zombies were dealt with and Rose managed to contribute with her slingshot from a distance.
A few hours later during the next watch, a pair of skeletons showed up and began throwing fairly large rocks at the trio once stopped by the holy protections present. Before both skeletons were slain, none of the intrepid trio could be considered healthy and whole. Fortunately the remainder of the evening passed without further incident. The next day was spent making another puppet, Thing Two, and resting and recovering as much as possible. Rather than flee, the foolish…errr…brave adventurers decided to hold out another night near the crypt. A night that was blissfully silent if not passed with baited breath and high tension. The next day was much the same with Rose building a Fox puppet with the last of her materials on hand. With four puppets present to serve as light combatants, the trio felt safe enough to spend one more night at the campsite with plans to resume their search of the abandoned building the next day. Again, the night passed peacefully.
Re-entering the cloister building, Rose lit her lamp immediately. The trio decided to check out the door past the side hall first this time. Finding the iron bound oak door securely locked, Bruce and Rose both tried to break it down by force. An exercise in utter futility if there ever was one and all they accomplished was to bruise shoulders and damage pride. The hall opposite the door extended away to a larger open area beyond their light. A couple of narrow doors visible in the side walls towards its end. The three decided to return to check out the other doors near the lounge area where the bear had been, though in passing, they found doors they had left open had been closed and the remains of their enemies no longer present from the few days previously. Even the remains of the bobcat puppet had been removed.
The first door checked found the trio in an old bathing room. Both wooden tubs warped and rotting, the iron plumbing rusted to uselessness, forgotten towels moth-eaten and the soap bars crumbled to dust.
The other door revealed a narrow stair rising as it turned around the central core of the tower. Following the stairs upwards, the group found themselves in yet another waiting room like area, though the window here had been bricked up somewhat recently leaving the small room in darkness. Bruce inadvertently broke a weak and rusted lock on the first door of the two present in the room. Beyond was an empty and bare office with only worn and dusty furniture present. The opposite door led off to a living area full of comfortable furniture, bricked up windows, and two skeletons with threshing flails standing to either side of yet another 5’x7’ door at the end of the room. The repaired unicorn was sent forward to test the reactions of the skeletons, both of which remained motionless until the unicorn was within just over a dozen feet from them at which point they attacked and crushed the small puppet. Once the puppet was dealt with, the skeletons ignored the group and returned to their original positions. Rose and Winifred used their missile weapons to open fire from outside of the reaction range only to both miss once again. Bruce and the three remaining puppets intercepted them as the skeletons responded to the hostilities. What resulted couldn’t even be considered a fight with Bruce and Winifred destroying the first skeleton almost immediately and the puppets and Rose holding off the second that was also finished off in short order.
Beyond the door the three found a bedroom, the bed unmade and the sheets smelling rank and stained with sweat. A bare night stand covered in wax drops was on the far side of the bed while an old armoire was near the door. Winifred found old worn clothing in dark colors and a pair of worn boots within it. She also checked the pockets of the clothing while Bruce and the puppets stood watch and Rose checked over the night stand, Winifred found nothing and then began checking the bed. Again, nothing found until it occurred that she had not checked the boots. A folded up parchment was stuffed into the left boot and covered a hole. Closer inspection found the parchment to be made of human skin and covered in illegible writing in dark brown ink smelling faintly of blood and brimstone. A single human signature at the bottom next to an illegible one read Anthony Duwalish. Pocketing it, the trio left the room and proceeded up the next flight of the winding stairway.
The three emerged into a well lit chamber, a statue of the Light Bringer in all his glory between stained glass windows and goldenrod colored tapestries driving back the rank corruption pervading the lower levels of the tower. Winifred spotted a small secret panel in the base of the statue. Within the concealed cubby was a sunburst shaped iron key which she quickly removed. Two narrow doors were present and were quickly investigated. The first revealed a private bathing area with a corroded copper tub and rusting plumbing before another stained glass window. The second door opened into a small store room with a few old supplies decayed into uselessness and also being lit by the daylight streaming through a stained glass window. A search of the shelves found a small crystal vial full of liquid at the back of one of the top shelves and a dusty silver flask bearing the mark of the Light Bringer shoved into a back corner on the lower shelves, also full of liquid. Rose made comment that it was probably holy water given the symbol on the flask as well as its material. It was at that point that the three all noticed the smell of something smoldering in a brimstone type way. Winifred realized it was coming from her!
She quickly divested herself of the folded human parchment, tossing it onto the stone alter before the Light Bringer. The lettering became almost cinder-like and the burning smell stronger as if it wasn’t quite ready to combust. Several minutes of panicky discussion and confusion about what to do found Winifred and Rose agreeing to pour some of the suspected holy water on to the parchment and see what happened. The results were nearly explosive.
The parchment flared into a ball of light and flame scorching the altar stone black and causing everyone in the room to have spots dancing before their strobe struck eyes. Seconds later the building began to shake and a feeling of inescapable doom crawled over the room like flowing honey, thick and cloying. A deep reverberating voice full of malicious gloating and promises of torment echoed from somewhere below.
“The contract is broken. You are MINE Anthony Duwalish.” The voice roared victoriously.
Its fading diabolical laughter was countered by a spine chilling wail full of agony and horror, “NOOOoooooooooooooo……” which faded away along with the laughter, the creeping terror, and earthquake.
The three adventures looked pale, sweaty, and had a major WTF just happened look on their faces…when the soot covering the altar stone began to turn into golden motes of light rising into the air. Grabbing weapons and readying for whatever the heck else was coming at them, the trio watched as the light motes formed into the incandescent image of an elderly woman in clerical robes. She smiled gently at them and nodded before fading away leaving her blessing of thanks behind her. With yet another round of stunned and lost looks…(Session Ends)
(CK Notes: The Players were actually sweating several times during this session with the events in the tower chapel having them in an actual worried and creeped out frame of mind. Rather fitting for the season I think. (evil grin) ) More to come next month with more of the cloister left to explore...hehehee)
Re: Shield Manor Campaign
Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 2:56 am
(Abandoned Cloister exploration continuing – Session Start)
Party: The usual trio of foo…err...brave adventurers!
Recovering their wits after the ghostly light show and terrifying screams and quake, the trio of adventurers returned to the ground floor to investigate the locked door near the entry. Winifred noted that her thumbs were no longer twitching; a state that was consistent through the rest of their explorations.
Upon arrival, they found that the door was not only open, the room interior beyond scorched by fire and smelling of brimstone and two pairs of twitching, smoking rat-like legs protruding from the stone wall opposite the door. The tails hanging down from the bodies resembled burnt strings while the smell or burnt rat actually overpowered the brimstone outside of the open door.
Winifred grabbed a leg in an attempt to pull the remains from the wall only to have the totally carbonized limb snap off in her hand and several chunks of ash fall to the floor. Rose tried with the second body only to have much of the same thing occur. Bruce simply watched the surroundings and rolled his eyes at the antics of his companions.
The pair of girls gave up on the bodies and the group proceeded to descend a narrow soot covered stair in the room beyond the burnt door. Below was another hall with several doors leading off of it. A thorough investigation of the rooms found a dead ratling corpse covered in a necrosis causing gray mold which consumed Rose’s unicorn puppet upon touch after she sent it in ahead of everyone (a good move on their part it turned out given how dangerous that Gray Mold actually is), a burnt hospice room being used as quarters for the two charred pairs of legs upstairs, and a side hall with prison cells and several piles of animal and human bones. The bones belonged to former skeletal servants of the mysterious Anthony named by the nefarious voice after the contract was destroyed.
In the room at the end of the hallway, they found that it had been converted to a make-shift lab though it was completely scorched and reduced to a shambles. A human-sized pool of glowing liquefied stone radiated heat and light in the center of the room’s floor. The trio audibly gulped and decided that the mysterious Anthony was no longer a worry.
Winifred passed by a wall and noticed an obvious secret door in the stonework (stupid natural 20 – CK sulk) that opened into a narrow hallway covered in at least a century of dust and cobwebs. Rose sent a puppet down the hall in an attempt to trigger any traps that might be present only for nothing to happen. Winifred started down the hall only to stop not five feet in as she noticed a seam in the floor. (Again with the stupid high roll for stonework – CK double sulk) A pit trap it seemed. Figuring it was weight triggered since the puppet had not caused it to trigger, the tied a rope around Rose’s waist and sent her forward since she was the lightest of the lot.
Rose carefully advanced only to reach the other end of the hall without incident. Her three remaining puppets were summoned forward as she tied off the rope to an embedded iron torch sconce in the wall. Winifred, hands firmly on the rope anchored by Bruce, cautiously advanced down the hall. She also made it without trouble. Bruce took one cautious step forward only to have the pit open beneath his foot almost immediately. Having been ready for such a possibility, he easily avoided falling into the twenty foot deep pit below, though having to wait for his fellows was not a happy time.
An iron door splotched with patches of rust and embossed with a shining sun motif of the Lightbringer was at the end of the hall where it widened, a keyhole obvious below its handle. The keyhole accepted the iron key found by Winifred in the tower chapel without issue and the door was unlocked with a loud clunking of metal tumblers. Beyond the door was a small room with an eighteen inch by twenty four inch padlocked chest, a weapons rack with a few weapons, a female suit of banded armor, and a closed standing cabinet. Looting of the room soon commenced resulting in the recovery of four potions, a silver dagger, spear, and light mace, the armor, and after an inspired bashing of the padlock by Winifred, thousands of coins.
It was at this point that Winifred and Rose got the idea that they should look for a way to make the pit safe for crossing. A short search found a concealed pressure plate below the torch sconce in the hall. Pushing it closed the pit and Bruce soon joined them as they struggled to move the chest (which weighed a bit over 1400 pounds while full.) The trio loaded up on coins (around 380 gold, 100 silver, and 50 copper of the hoard within the chest), took the items and departed cross country back to Walfort arriving in the early evening covered in grime, blood, and looking like they had been trampled by a team of drunken oxen.
Entering the inn they obtained rooms, food, and a bath before resting for the night. Over the course of the next few days, the group sold off the remaining vegetables they had picked from the cloister garden, returned to Laketon to resupply, sell off goods, identify any magical stuff they might have, and petition the Baron Morrue for land-rights to the abandoned Cloister and its land. The trio figured it would make a good base, especially with a ready-made and partially stocked treasure room. It just needed a bit of TLC and cleaning. Something they now had more than enough funds to cover (or so they think).
It turns out that the potions were three cure light wounds and a neutralize poison while only the spear was magical; a mere +1 at that. Rose bought half dozen more Wound Pastes from the Hospice while in town. The armor they took to the armor smith located in Castle Morrue, a few miles north of Laketon, and sold it since none of them could use it.
The trio returned to the Piebald Possum Inn near the docks to decide what to do next. (Session End)
(CK Notes: A short session with a lot of slow moments and a few laughs. Mainly due to me being a bit exhausted from the week. Rather than send everyone away, I spent some time doing an Q&A session and getting player feedback…as well as going through their character abilities and such a bit more thoroughly. One thing with new players is they are not always clear on how to use their character’s skills to best advantage. Some discussion amongst the players about returning to Shield Manor since they all managed to level up, or to keep an eye open for other opportunities occurred as well. Next session will happen before Christmas hopefully.)
Re: Shield Manor Campaign
Posted: Sun Dec 16, 2018 2:50 am
Shield Manor Campaign – 12-15-18
Winifred von Cheswick: Level 2 Female Dwarf Witch Hunter
Rose Grace: Level 2 Female Bastini Animator
Bruce: Level 2 Male Half-Ogre Mystic Warrior
(Character Pieces I drew this morning below as well)
Our intrepid trio of explorers split up the potions amongst themselves and decided to sell the enchanted spear since none of them could use it. They settled on attempting to sell it to the local order of knights, hastening forth from the Academe’ and Professor Lawton’s classroom. Unfortunately they forgot to grab the proof of authentication from Professor Lawton before leaving.
When they arrived at the Knightly Order of the Shining Sun, they were stopped by the guards at the gate of the fortified manor who inquired of their business with the Order. Rose simply blurted out that they wished to sell a magic spear that the group thought the Order would be interested in. The guards were rather scathing and skeptical, rhetorically and sarcastically confirming that the trio wished to sell them a ‘magic’ spear, the disdain of his tone nearly tangible in the air.
The other guard summoned a squire to carry a message to their commander within the manor. A task which took a mere twenty minutes to complete as the party was waiting under the cold gazes of the two knight-petitioners. When their Knight-Captain arrived in the company of two squires and a rather eccentric looking old priest, the trio were again treated to a good deal of skepticism and sarcasm as the officer questioned them without any form of introduction. Upon confirming that the group had no proof of authentication within their possession; something they only discovered after a frantic search through their pockets and questioning each other about who grabbed it, the Knight-Captain had the priest verify that the spear was magical.
After the priest’s prayers resulted in the spear glowing in affirmation of its enchantment, the officer introduced himself as Knight-Captain Sir Leonid Hurmson and apologized for his cold receptions. Apparently in a town full of adventurers, fraudulent sales are not overly uncommon. Sir Leonid purchased the spear for a mere 800 gold which was turned over to the party while a squire retrieved the spear from them. Bidding the trio a farewell, he and his entourage re-entered the manor while the guardsmen requested they clear off quickly since their business was concluded.
Congratulating themselves on a rich profit, the group decided to return to the Piebald Possum, Rose grumbling all the way about trying to bribe Newt to keep silent for the evening while she was around. As they reached the docks and were passing a trio of wagons bearing barrels of beer, crates, and sacks of grains being unloaded and inspected, around half of the barrels burst asunder as the skeletons within chose that time to begin their assigned mission. People scattered screaming in fear, several diving off the docks into the lake as the skeletons began slashing and hacking with their swords and axes, killing anything living near them. The trio engaged the skeletons occupying fully half while the other half-dozen scattered into Laketon proper in pursuit of additional victims.
The battle was fierce with Bruce crushing two of the boney undead in the opening seconds of combat. All three of the group had to make use of their healing potions to stay in the fight and were relieved when several minutes later, a group of knights from the manor arrived as reinforcements. The remaining skeletons were quickly crushed. Town guardsmen and groups of other adventurers arrived from the direction the other skeletons had ran in, all seeking information on the circumstances surrounding the attack and how the undead even managed to get into town.
The trio spoke about the skeletons bursting from the barrels and attacking everything in sight. Five of the shoremen and the inspector with the shipping invoice were killed almost immediately, the horses hitched to the blocked wagons following mere moments later. The shipping invoice noted that the shipment originated in Maegira, a large town around 150 to 200 miles to the southeast at the end of the Sword Road. A few of the skulls survived, each bearing a sigil burned into the bone of their forehead in the shape of an avian skull with daemonic wings, an additional mystery that those in charge desired to solve; as did our brave trio. Winifred slipped one of the surviving skulls into her cloak while those around were distracted. Nearly an hour later, the group was allowed to leave.
A quick conversation, and the trio was on its way back to the Academe’ to research what they could of the sigil. Meeting with Missy after warning Bob at the front door of the trouble at the docks, they were referred to the Professor of History, one D. Morrison (Deborah). The small elderly lady with a bad case of ‘desk-pillow-hair’ greeted them at the door to her office cordially. A quick discussion soon had the elderly professor going through the book of history in her possession for the Maegira region only to come up with nothing. She requested a few days time to do further research which the party agreed with (though they failed to inquire about any fees involved).
Upon leaving the Academe’, Winifred went to Shrift’s for more bolts while Rose visited Droona’s for more tea leaves. Bruce just followed Winifred, having nothing better in mind. Once Rose finished buying her tea leaves, she went back to the Academe’ to read in the library. Winifred and Bruce decided to check the town notice board for any potential jobs. As they approached the notice board in front of City Hall, the two noticed a large group of heavily armed Bastini warriors. All were travel worn and snippets of conversation regarding pursuit of a fugitive, bringing her back in chains if needed, and other angry remarks could be clearly heard as Winifred and Bruce got closer.
Upon reaching the group, Winifred asked if they could clear away a bit so her and Bruce could read the board. She noticed a strange thorny vine-like sigil on the cloaks of half of the Bastini and a very familiar rose-like sigil on the cloaks of the others. Noting that a wolf subjugation, an escort mission, and an item retrieval job on the board while her mind went into crisis mode, Winifred pulled Bruce away from the departing group of warriors. The pursuers were heading towards the Inn, so she sent Bruce to the Library to warn Rose that Bastini were in town and most likely after her. In the meantime, Winifred stopped at Adler’s Tailoring and purchased a new outfit of non-descript clothing for Rose in an attempt to make her less noticeable to others.
The trio met up at the Library where Rose began to panic about her clansmen and those of the clan she was (sold) to be married off to being in town and after her. She quickly changed and the group discussed where to go. Deciding to try to mislead the enemy out towards the Shield Manor while they fled, west to the Abandoned Cloister they had recently filed claim on, they realized they needed to retrieve their belongings from the Inn. Worried about Newt saying something or running into the enemy should they still be at the inn, Rose stayed at the Academe’ while the other two returned to the Piebald Possum to get their gear.
At the Inn, the Bastini pursuers were in an intense conversation with Newt in the tap room. Winifred and Bruce acted as normal as possible crossing to the stairs leading up to their rooms. Retrieving their equipment and Rose’s gear, they returned only to have Newt call out to them halfway across.
“Oi! Win. You and Bruce headin’ out ‘gain?” Winifred replied that they were off to get the bounty on the wolves. Newt acknowledged their statement and told them to be careful while out in the woods near the Shield Manor. Winifred and Bruce thanked him and headed out, stunned that Newt would cover for them like that. Apparently the enemy were not on his good side or he was playing some deeper game Winifred decided.
Once back at the Academe’, the trio quickly departed to the west as quickly as could be considered normal. Two uneventful days later, they arrived at the Old Cloister worn out and feeling a bit safer. On the way there, Rose had come clean about her past and the political auctioning of herself by her father to the Thorntail clan in an effort to avoid a war that the Grace clan could not presently win. She fled rather than marry the cruel bastard that was the Thorntail chieftain’s second son.
Bruce talked a bit about his travails during his travels, he being a half-orc and rather unwelcomed in most places. Winifred merely mentioned that she would be talking about her own troubles once they reached the cloister. Which she did, telling the two about how she was framed for the murder of her previous client and had a price on her head, resulting in her shaving all of her hair off and fleeing to Balidor and taking a ship from there to Laketon after laying a false trail heading north across the Bastini Plains and towards the White Mountains.
A day of rest to recover from lingering wounds from the dock fight, the trio decided to go to Walfort the next day to get supplies. And get supplies they did. Furnishings, food, cleaning supplies, and other items necessary to make life at the Old Cloister possible. It cost them over half of their profits from the spear sale, but they would not need to worry about food and such for several weeks. They also hired a Donkey Trader (Peddler) to deliver a letter to Professor Morrison and return with any reply she may have, leaving it at the Gate Inn for them to pick up if they were not present.
Returning to the Cloister, the trio pondered their next steps while turning the old ruin into something habitable for the present. (End Session)
Re: Shield Manor Campaign
Posted: Sun Dec 16, 2018 2:53 am
I got creative early this morning before the session and drew up the character icons shown. I'm not a great artist, but I don't think they turned out badly.
Edit: Replaced original picture. Now showing all four current party members.
Re: Shield Manor Campaign
Posted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:12 am
After much "LIFE" occurring over the last two months, little of it good, finally got another session in.
Our usual three victims...errr...heroes started off back at the Cloister Ruins they have made a bid to claim for themselves. Spending a couple days cleaning and stocking up with food and furniture to make the place more habitable, Rose, sleeping in the tower shrine happened to spot what looked to be several torch-like glows moving around in the overgrown apple orchard. Freaking out, she woke the others and alerted them to the situation.
Reaching the edge of the orchard, Winifred noted that the lights were fairly low to the ground before yelling out thinking to interrogate whomever was within their orchard. Unfortunately, the five Ember Beetles feeding on the rotting apples on the ground came out of the brambles to attack. The ensuing fight saw Rose severely bitten, Bruce squashing beetles with his mace, and Winifred performing a combat rescue of Rose, binding her so she would not bleed out.
The next day, Winifred took one of the glowing glands in to Walfort hoping to discover what they were and if they had any value. Bruce stayed behind to watch over the comatose Rose within the cloister.
At Walfort, Winifred ran into the Donkey Trader they had met that had told them about the undead animals along the trade road. He introduced himself as Arstam the Grey and his friend with the splinted leg as Daviston, a fellow Donkey Trader. Daviston asked if he could hire Winifred and her companions for 60% of his commission to retrieve a package from a Captain Tragent whom he was to meet at Loginn in a week. His broken leg making it impossible for him to travel the 90+ miles through the forested hills to Loginn village. The Captain would be identifiable by a white heron upon his coat. Winifred asked some questions, the package size (backpack portable), and such before agreeing. Arstam identified the glowing thing as a glow gland from an Ember Beetle and offered to sell them for her taking a 20% commission on the sales. Again Winifred agreed easily. His original intent upon approaching her was to deliver an answer to their message to Professor Morrison at the Academe' about the sigil found upon the skulls of the skeletons that attacked in Laketon. Other news was shared, such as the Bastini group they had fled having been badly mauled at Shield Manor and the survivors returning to the plains and such.
With business mostly taken care of, Winifred and Arstam went to the cloister to retrieve the other four glow glands the trio had recovered from the beetles. Arstam left soon after. Rose in the meantime had awoken and used some of her healing potion so she could leave her sickbed.
Winifred shared the news from the Professor, about the Bastini group, and about the job she had taken on their behalf. The letter from Professor Morrison relayed the brand upon the skulls of the skeletons was used by a minotaur necromancer supposedly slain within his lair, the Crypts of Despair, some 250 years ago by paladins of the Light Bringer. The appearance of said symbol being an ominous sign of things to come. The letter also noted a generalized area for the crypts, his available records lacking anything more.
Preparations were made and the group left on their mission the next morning with Rose nearly fully recovered. The trip was relatively uneventful with wild life startling them on a couple occasions, sharing a campsite with a small trader caravan on the second night, staying the fourth night at a frontier 'tent' inn with some rather foul (cheap) beer, and crossing a couple bridges before reaching Silverdell.
Silverdell was a fortified town that supported the silver mine staffed by kingdom troops and crime slaves. Rather strict rules and harsh punishments were relayed to them at the gate prior to entry along with a silver entry tax. The trio elected to pass through town quickly. However Rose spotted an herb shop and stopped to restock on teas and cooking herbs.
That night was spent at another wayside camp though a road patrol passed by early in the night. Another day of uneventful travel with more people such as wood cutters and merchants on the road and the trio arrived in the small rustic town of Loginn early that evening. The inn being a large log fort-like building central to a town of simple huts and cottages. (End Session)
Re: Shield Manor Campaign
Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:23 am
New Party Member!
Winifred von Cheswick: Level 2 Female Dwarf Witch Hunter
Rose Grace: Level 2 Female Bastini Animator
Bruce: Level 2 Male Half-Ogre Mystic Warrior
Rocky No Clan: Level 1 Male Dwarf Fighter (Longsword Spec.)
The trio of Winifred, Rose, and Bruce found the Loginn and quickly obtained a table, food, and three single rooms for the night. During their meal, they made the acquaintance of a dwarf that was drunkenly singing (and quite badly), or rather, he introduced himself by warning them away from someone he was sure was a thief waiting to rob them. Turns out Rocky was a down-on-his-luck fighter, long exiled from his clan over some minor issues like constantly fighting and being drunk enough to do something that sounded suspiciously like attacking his fiancé’ or someone’s girlfriend. It was hard to make out through the slurring and slurping of more beer.
Rose retired to her room early, having to nearly be carried there by Winifred. Simple rooms with a good bed and small table on the second floor; the night went by without issue. The next morning found all but Rose awake early and enjoying the inn’s breakfast selections. Rose was woken by the pounding of the maid upon the door, though she quickly tried going back to sleep. The maid was having none of it however and used her master key to unlock the door and berate the sleepy Bastini, giving her only enough time to dress and gather her stuff before kicking her out of the room.
Rose descended to the taproom to join her fellows and eat a simple bowl of porridge and be lectured by a disproving Winifred. Not long after her food arrived, a hawk-nosed man of short stature, iron gray hair and mutton chops entered the taproom from the main entry. Dressed in thick dark wool, a wide brimmed hat, and cloak bearing a white heron, he was quickly approached by Winifred. A short exchange of greetings and challenges from the man whom introduced himself as Captain Tragent, resulted in him handing over an object sealed in waxed paper and bearing an unknown sigil upon the securing wax seal. His business done, the Captain left muttering about being too long away from his ship.
It wasn’t long afterwards that the group, now including Rocky as a hired sword, departed on their journey back to Walfort. The first day was uneventful. The second found them taking refuge in the Silverdell Adventurers Guild, Winifred wanting nothing to do with an inn that used slave labor for its staff. A bit of a brawl breaking out between some drunken locals had the group withdrawing to their room for the evening as the bouncers descended upon the rowdies. A few stops for more tea and some soap by the ladies the next morning and the foursome left Silverdell once again. Around late morning the group passed a small trade caravan heading in the same direction they were going. The caravan guards and several of the accompanying donkey peddlers looks and guarded actions made it clear that the adventurers were not welcome to join them. By evening, the foursome reached the first of the two bridge forts they had crossed through on their leg to Loginn and once more took refuge for the night at the Bridge Inn.
Marcus, the innkeep, recognized them and welcomed them back citing the availability of fresh venison steak and rabbit stew on the menu. Winifred paid for two rooms and was once again advised by the innkeep that security was on their head for the night. Winifred warned Rocky that the beer at this place was to be avoided at all costs unless one truly enjoyed being violently ill. Rose was asleep nearly instantly being so tired that she even skipped dinner. The next morning she was feeling weak having not had but two meals over the last three days and enjoyed a hearty bubble and squeak stew after making tea for her fellows.
The group left immediately after breakfast without seeing any sign of yesterday’s caravan. About ten miles east of the bridge fort, a trio of archers attacked just as Rose noticed them and another five charging leather armored swordsmen from the nearby woods. The archers shots were true and all but Winifred were wounded in the opening salvo of arrows. Rocky moved to engage the nearest swordsman and quickly sliced him nearly in twain. The battle was short but fierce with four travelers gutting and smashing all five of the swordsmen while Winifred and one of Rose’s puppets managed to wound a pair of the archers. A ninth bandit armed with two hand axes stood behind the archers. As the third of his men fell, he shouted to the others to grab the package or they would all be in trouble. Two of the archers moved to join the surviving swordsmen at this time only to flee along with the apparent leader after all of their sword armed companions were slain.
The four adventures quickly applied first aid and wound paste to their wounds while arguing about whether to pursue the fleeing bandits or not. Noting a lack of supplies or equipment outside of their armor, weapons and 18 inches of thin black iron chain wrapped around their right wrist, Winifred and Rocky concluded that these bandits must have a base nearby in the forest. Rose and Bruce argued for continuing on their journey while Rocky and Winifred leaned towards pursuit. In the end, continuing on won out and the group proceeded on. Later that night during second watch, Bruce noticed a rather large 4-5’ diameter giant spider trying to ambush him from the surrounding grass and brush. A loud yell as he moved to defend himself from the horrid arachnid woke Rocky while the ladies continued sleeping. The two warriors made short work of the spider though Bruce was bitten during the fight. His half-orcish heritage proved itself however and the spider’s venom did naught else but making him a bit queasy.
The next two days uneventful travel found the group crossing the last bridge fort and arriving at Walfort at last. (End Session)
Re: Shield Manor Campaign
Posted: Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:18 pm
Here's an image of my world. The red oval is the area that my current campaign is happening in...so far. No scale bar, but the lake is bit over 300 miles long for reference.
(Map done using Wonderdraft)
Re: Shield Manor Campaign
Posted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:34 am
4-14-19 (Session Begins)
The quartet of travelers arrived at the Gate Inn of Walfort late in the evening. Entering the inn, they inquired at the counter if Daviston was still at staying there. The evening barkeep told them that he had turned in earlier and was likely sleeping. The players opted to return to the Cloister and return the next morning.
At the cloister, they debated about the mysterious package they had received. Half wanted to open it the other half of their number not wishing to. In the end, the only thing that prevented its opening was the fact that the waxed paper wrapping it could not be opened without leaving traces of doing so, unlike the wax seal. Being very near midnight, Rocky ended up dragging one of the sofas from the lower sitting room and bunking out in the entry shrine, not feeling secure with no one watching the front doors since the lock bar had been destroyed. The rest went off to their various claimed rooms after a late meal cooked by Rose.
The next morning they arose, had breakfast, and returned to the Gate Inn at Walfort. Daviston was having breakfast in the taproom when they arrived, a crutch nearby and his splinted leg up on a chair. The group turned over the package to the donkey peddler and asked a few questions about his client after receiving their reward. They found that a traveling scholar from somewhere along the Sword Road had hired Daviston to retrieve the package for him but not much else. Reluctantly, the group left after Daviston returned to his room with the package.
Outside and away from the foot traffic, the foursome stood watching the inn from the weekend market square. Their discussion was about the package being something nefarious and that they should not let it out of their sight until they knew what it was. About this time all but Rocky, whom had his back to the inn, noticed Daviston hobbling across the street to the stable on his crutch, pack worn and looking ready to travel. The group decided Rose should follow behind him on her cat-like feet to his meeting with his client. Just as they were ready to move out, a blood curdling female scream echoed across the village from the stables. Rushing over along with many passers-by and a few guardsmen from near the main gate, the group saw Daviston sprawled on the stable floor in a spreading pool of blood gutted like a fish. Daviston’s pack and other belongings were nowhere in sight.
Rocky immediately looked for other exits, seeing one at the other end of the stable, a ladder to the half loft, and several four inch square holes in the stable walls above the stalls. Sending Rose up the quietly up the ladder to check the loft while Bruce watched the area they were in, Rocky and Winifred exited through their entry point and out the main gate to the other stable entrance only to find it closed with guards posted outside of it. A few quick questions revealed no one had come out of either the stable or the gate other than he and Winifred in the last half hour. Rose found nothing but hay in the loft and returned down just as Rocky and Winifred returned. Bruce found no other exits and confirmed the small air holes could not be passed through.
Ignoring the guards and villagers while they did their duty, the quartet left just as an officer showed up to take charge. Not wanting to attract the officer’s attention, the group decided to check behind the stable just in case, puzzled by how someone could escape without being seen and carrying a heavy pack. About the midpoint of the stable, Bruce found an area of vegetation that had been trampled down as if someone had dropped something heavy on it. Rose a bit farther away detected an odor that while unidentifiable, seemed very out of place to the area they were in. The grass had signs of someone passing through, so they group followed it between a couple houses and to a street of hard packed earth. Winifred used her tracking skill in the soft soil just off the road and managed to find a tell on one of the boot prints, that of a small split in the toe of the sole of the left boot.
About this time, the sounds of a bell began ringing from city hall tower and the sounds of portcullises dropping at both gates could be heard throughout the village. The quartet were spotted by a group of guards, one of several, that were confirming identities of locals and questioning any visitors found. Fortunately all but Rocky were known as locals by the guards and gave Rocky a pass since the others vouched for him. An hour later, while the group waited and talked about their plans in the taproom of the inn, the gates were opened again yet no word of an arrest forthcoming.
Winifred led the four to the side gate tower where, once through and outside of the village, she began looking for signs of the split toe boot. It didn’t take long for her to spot it, though following it along the trail which descended towards the beach was not easy. She lost the trail at the first bend down the hill, yet the group continued on thinking the murderer might take a fishing boat to escape out onto the lake. By the third bend in the trail and nearly to the beach, the group realized their quarry had not come this way or had changed footwear.
Returning up the hill to the place they lost the tracks, they spread out to look for discarded footwear or other signs of passage. Almost half an hour later, Rose found a trail through the tall coastal grass leading between a pair of planted fields and towards a barn in the direction of the South Trade Road. Winifred did not take long to confirm the tracks were of their quarry once the grass opened onto dirt once more. Again, they lost the trail at the main road, but not before noting its direction was heading towards Silverdell and where their group had been ambushed several days earlier. Grim faced, they set out in pursuit.
At the first bridge fort, they stopped and informed the guardsmen about their suspicions and asked about any other travelers coming through earlier in the day. The guardsman sent one of his fellows to inform the sergeant while he told the group that the only persons passing through earlier were a group of three donkey peddlers and their animals. He mentioned that a single fellow trying to avoid the bridge could have tried fording the small river farther upstream at the shallow rapids. The other guardsman returned by the time he was done and let the group know that they would be sending a patrol behind them once the troops were gathered and ready.
With the guards wishes for their success and safety in their ears, the quartet proceeded along the South Trade Road. Hours later, several wheeling buzzards were spotted ahead of them. Expecting trouble, the group readied their weapons and proceeded with caution. What they found about a mile on was a bloody scene. Dozens of buzzards and crows were feasting on five dead donkeys and two humanoid corpses in the middle of the dirt road. Rocky drove the buzzards off and the group began to inspect the scene. One peddler had been killed by a knife through the base of his skull from behind. The other killed by several stabs to the kidneys from behind while still in close proximity of the fellow ahead of him. The donkeys all had their throats slit and whatever goods they had carried removed. There was no sign of a third body leading them to suspect that it was their target masquerading as a peddler.
Searching a bit farther afield, the group found a trail through the tall fescue bent towards the road from an area where the grass was beat down by several people laying low within it to avoid being seen from the road. All in all, a well executed ambush by their target and accomplices. A nearly invisible trail through the grass parallel to the main road headed southwest for nearly a mile before rejoining the main track. The rest of the day passed uneventfully with the group on high alert and watching for signs of potential ambushes.
That night after reaching the way side camp site, Rocky and Bruce were against sleeping there considering it too exposed to surprise attack. In the end, the girls won the ensuing discussion and the night went by without incident despite the group’s tension. The next morning, they awoke to a light sprinkle and chill coastal fog. Our heroes opted for the better part of valor with visibility measured in the scores of feet and waited for the fog to begin lifting before moving out. Three hours later, the fog had risen above their heads and visibility restored to several hundred yards in all directions and the group resumed their trek.
Later that day, they reached the site where they had been ambushed previously. Not much had changed though there were several more paths through the grass into the tree line. Suspecting an ambush, they traveled a couple more miles along the road before moving into the forested hills south of the road. Once through the brush line the heroes found little understory and fairly good line of sight despite the terrain and stubborn few brambles. Winifred began looking for trails, forgetting that their quarry had entered the woods miles away from their current position. Accordingly, despite several hours or searching as the group moved deeper into the hills, she found nothing. Nor did her fellows find any signs of anything but animal trails, trilling birdsong, and wind in the leaves above. Discouraged, thinking their quarry had not left the road after all, and fearing ambush at any moment they returned to the road and continued traveling towards Silverdell.
They reached the second bridge fort and the Bridge Inn tent (home of septic swill pretending to be beer) where they stayed the night. The next morning, the patrol following them caught up to them before they finished breakfast. The officer in charge noted neither group had found anything of note regarding the attacker they were pursuing and that he and his men were returning to Walfort.
The heroes left not long after the troops, retracing their steps back to Walfort. Near the ambush site, they opted to begin searching the other side of the road away from the forest and towards Long Lake. A few hours later one of the group spotted a thin plume of smoke in the distance in a direction no settlement was known to be and it was decided that they would check it out. But it started getting dark, so the quartet made a fireless camp on top of one of the many rolling grassy hills so they would not be easily spotted and could keep an eye on distant approaches.
The next morning a light rain began that quickly became a heavy rain. When the wind picked up and thunder began rolling across the plains, Rocky removed his armor and dragged it in a bundle a score of feet behind him on the end of a rope. An hour later, the weather worsened into a full blown tempest soaking them all to the bone, the wind chilling them badly. They began looking for shelter with Rocky spotting a small cave mouth in the steep slope of a gully below them. A narrow animal trail led them to the round opening just a bit smaller than Winifred was tall. Rocky, his sword drawn and ready, looked inside only to find a roughly ten foot diameter abandoned animal burrow with a very low ceiling dug out of the sandstone. Cleaning out the tufts of fur and small animal bones, the group quickly stuffed themselves inside and used a tent section to block the entry.
While still wet and without a fire, the old burrow was still dry shelter and far warmer than the storm outside. Exhausted, the group fell into an uncomfortable slumber, watches forgotten. The next morning, the rain continued but it seemed that the storm itself had passed. A few hours later, only a light shower remained and the group considered it fit weather for continued exploration. Quickly packing up, they came outside to an overcast sky and thicker plume of smoke farther away. It seems they had gotten lost in the storm and traveled away from the initial smoke plume.
Resuming travel in the right direction, the rain finally stopped by mid-morning and a few sun breaks opened in the gray sky. The peaceful idle was not to continue though. Shortly after a traveling lunch, the howl of wolves was heard behind them, echoed to each side. The quartet gave it no mind and plodded forward in the slick grass and muddy gullies. The howls began getting closer and soon were at a distance no longer able to be ignored by the muddy quartet. Readying for combat, they waited for the wolves to close and attack. Five wolves were spotted coming at them through the tall grass along their path approaching in an open crescent formation. Winifred and Rose opened combat with their missile weapons and wounded one of the wolves significantly. Unfortunately, they only got the one shot before the wolves were upon them.
The pack alpha charged Rocky just as the dwarf moved forward to engage. Rocky was bowled over by the charging wolf, its jaws upon his throat. While the wolf was unable to kill the unlucky fighter outright, the dwarf was knocked out of the fight due to his severe wounds. Rose sent a pair of her puppets to keep the wolf atop Rocky occupied while the other two were used to occupy the fifth wolf as everyone else in the group was attacked. The fight was vicious, all four puppets being torn asunder and Rose suffering grievous wounds and left bleeding out over the grass.
Bruce managed to kill one of the wolves and moved to defend the fallen Rose. The alpha began to drag Rocky away from the group into the grass where it likely planned to feed on the unconscious dwarf. Winifred and Bruce both managed to kill a wolf each in addition to badly wounding a fourth. At this point, the wounded wolf and the alpha lost their nerve and fled. Some emergency first aid for their two fallen companions to stabilize them and stop their own bleeding left the group in a bad way. Winifred and Bruce decided to carry the two invalids back to the old burrow and hole up until they had all recovered enough to attempt travel again. It took them hours to do so and fortunately no other attacks occurred. Once at the burrow, they stuffed the two unconscious people into the back of the burrow before crawling in after them and blocking up the entrance with their packs. Afterwards, they collapsed, once more exhausted. (End Session)
(CK Note: This was a really close battle and the alpha taking out the fighter with a crit right off the bat really changed the flow of the battle. Once again Bruce came through in the clutch. Bonus cookies if anyone can correctly guess how the murderer escaped the stables without being seen.
Re: Shield Manor Campaign
Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 4:04 am
New Player for the upcoming May 5th session:
Konstantin: Level 1 male Caniran Cleric of the Shining One (splinter sect)
Konstantin is part of a group of the Green Mother faction that has recently fled from an Orthodox purge in Urduin, a major city along the North Trade Road. The ships that he and his fellows had fled in were hunted down by naval vessels of the Grand Duke at the Orthodox Bishop's urging. The ship managed to flee while the other two vessels fought for their lives against the ducal navy only to gut itself on coastal reefs in a dense morning fog several days ago. He and the other survivors are currently camped several miles inland somewhere on the south shores of Long Lake amid grassy coastal hills. Two days ago a bad storm hit and caused a lot of flooding and damage to the camp. While out hunting with others after the weather cleared, he heard the distant howls of wolves from several miles away to the southeast.
Re: Shield Manor Campaign
Posted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:15 am
It's been two months and life has been a royal PITA for most of the group. We finally manged to get a day that works for all of us. (Sadly, it was also on the day my father passed away early this morning in his sleep after several months of illness.) But here it is, our next session...and in honor of my dad, the world is slightly changed.
New Party Member!
Winifred von Cheswick: Level 2 Female Dwarf Witch Hunter
Rose Grace: Level 2 Female Bastini Animator
Bruce: Level 2 Male Half-Ogre Mystic Warrior
Rocky No Clan: Level 1 Male Dwarf Fighter (Longsword Spec.)
Konstantin: Level 1 Male Canira Cleric (Unorthodox Sect of the Shining One)
Our session begins with the quartet resting and taking refuge in the old burrow they used during the storm. Only Winifred and Bruce remained conscious but both were very worn out. A voice from outside inquiring if anyone was within alarmed them, but when the male said that they were there to render aid the two decided to risk it. And thus they met with Konstantin, a cleric of the Shining One who had followed the blood trail the group left from the area they had battled the wolves. He had been out scouting the area along with a few others of the shipwreck survivors camped along the lake shore nearby. His camp was the source of the mysterious smoke plume the quartet had been traveling towards, not that he told them this at the time of their meeting.
Konstantin managed to heal the badly wounded Rose and Rocky enough so that they both briefly gained consciousness before exhausting sent them once more to the land of Nod. Not but a few minutes later, a loud explosion was heard in the distance by Bruce and Winifred. Bruce went to the top of the gully to take a look around and saw a thick plume of black smoke rising where the smaller white plume had been a day or two before. Flashes of light were seen reflecting upon the ebon column as more explosions sounded. Bruce quickly ducked down to let Winifred and Konstantin know what the explosions were; or rather where they were coming from and what he had seen.
Konstantin mentioned his camp was in that direction and that there were others, but not how many or any other information. A debate began among those awake about what actions to take given the situation. Fifteen minutes later, a spine chilling screeching roar blasted across the coastal hills followed by a slight tremor of the earth, a massive blast of force and light that caused the sky to go white, and a wave of cold as the blast front rolled over their gully. So loud was this, it woke the two sleepers and of the group, only Rocky avoided soiling themselves. Being neophyte adventurers, the group did what any sane person would do in their situation. Grab everything and run like the hounds of the underworld were at your heels.
As the quartet boiled out of the gully and fled to the south east away from the smoke and roar, they looked back; and instantly regretted doing so. The thick plume of black smoke now looked more like a volcano had exploded. Through the dense smoke the ghostly image of a massive dragon made of only bones with baleful crimson lights blazing in the black sockets of its skull was visible for a moment as it flew northwards towards the Cursed Isle. The adventurers doubled the speed of their flight praying that it would not turn around. Then our four heroes realized that Konstantin was still in the gully. They turned around long enough to grab the praying cleric and resume their flight, dragging him partway until he was running along still sending prayers to the Shining One for the safety of his fellows.
A time later, the group stopped to catch their breath. Another discussion began and Konstantin let them know there were people he knew camped at the site of the catastrophe. After much talking, the quintet decided to risk at least checking out the smoking disaster if to do nothing more than be able to report back to the authorities the events they had witnessed. Hours later, they reached the edges of the blast zone, the ground scorched and baked so that each step crunched and their feet sank several inches into the blacked dirt. The air smelled like a forest fire had recently raged and Winifred’s thumbs began doing a dance routine. Evil was obviously nearby still.
The group reached to top of the slope and looked down upon utter devastation. The shoreline of the lake had been altered, a new bay of steaming water where the floor of the gully the shipwreck survivors had camped in. Gone was the beach and wrecked ship itself. About midway up the long slopes, bits of white bone were visible against the fire blackened earth. Shuddering, Rocky muttered about needing a beer; barrel-sized preferably.
It was about that time that the five-some noticed the slow approach of several humanoid figures, their bodies’ burnt black with white bone stark against what was left of their carbonized flesh. The group thought about whether to stand and fight or run, though the cleric tried in vain to identify the victims or spot anything recognizable upon them. He failed utterly. As the group dithered, a terrified scream from across the crater drew their attention. A brief flash of sunlight on metal was spotted as the scream was suddenly cut off; more of the dark humanoid things overwhelming the poor soul .
Deciding that in their still wounded state they were in no shape to fight these zombie things, the quintet made their best speed away from the crater. Leaving the shambling things behind, the group finally stopped over a dozen miles away for the day, finding a defensible spot and making camp. The night passed peacefully, not even insects remained in the area. It was a couple days and after the group made it to the South Trade Road campsite before they once more heard the sounds of birds, bugs, and life in general.
That night, during Bruce’s watch, he was buzzed by a bat a bit larger than a fox. The creature flew off into the night after its single fruitless pass on the half-ogre. The rest of the night went by without event. Next day, the adventurers reached Walfort late in the morning. Winifred and Rose went to report to the Guard Commander about the events they witnessed as well as their failure in finding the murderer they originally left in pursuit of. The two were not even halfway back to the inn before they were passed by messengers running to the stables. By the time they reached the inn, three groups of four horsemen were leaving the gate, one to the east and two heading west. The others had resupplied some and hung around the inn until Winifred and Rose returned. By noon, the quintet was on their way to Laketon and the Academe’ there to research bone dragons and other things.
On the first night of their trip and only about ten miles east of Walfort, the group was attacked by a half dozen feral goblins just after night fall. Rocky tried to intimidate them in their own tongue claiming an army was with them and only death awaited them unless they fled. The feral goblins ignore him and attacked anyhow. The moment they cleared the bushes, Konstantin used a Sound Burst spell to implode the heads of four of the goblins. It was a grisly death, one well suited to such foul creatures. Bruce crushed one of the remaining goblins while Winifred, in a rare feat of swordsmanship for her, skewered the other on her blade. The fight was over in moments.
Rocky dragged the corpses away from camp and checked them over for anything worth salvaging. He found a small green-banded stone tucked into the waist cloth of the largest goblin. Neither he nor Winifred could recognize it, so he pocketed it and planned to have it appraised while in Laketon.
The rest of the trip passed uneventfully, only a small caravan of merchants and their guards passing the group on the following day. Arriving in Laketon in early evening, the group checked into the Piebald Possum, Rose cringing at the usual boisterous greeting of Newt, the Halfling innkeep. A meal, rooms for the night with the first real beds the group had slept in for over a week, saw them well rested and mostly recovered the next morning. After a simple breakfast, the quintet split up into town to pursue their own goals.
Konstantin identified a small number of splinter-faction priests who hung out at the local adventurer’s guild hall and that the main barracks of Church Knights were of the Orthodox faction. Rocky got the stone identified by a gnome jeweler named Thistlebeard as a piece of malachite worth roughly 15-20 gold coins. The others went to the Academe’; Bruce sparring and improving his hand to hand skills for lack of better entertainment; Rose researching necromancers and various undead; and Winifred finding out that the bone dragon was a Dragon-Lich, a calamity class monster with the power to turn entire regions of a continent to wastelands. (End Session)
Re: Shield Manor Campaign
Posted: Mon Jul 22, 2019 2:18 am
This was a short session with a couple players missing.
Winifred, Bruce, and Rose (present)
Rocky stuck in jail after a night of drunk and disorderly.
Konstantin MIA after checking out his fellow splinter-faction priests at the Adventures Guild.
Winifred and Bruce went looking to upgrade their equipment a bit after their business at the Academe’ was completed. Rose remained engrossed in reading on not only Necromancers but also puppet building techniques to hopefully improve on her designs.
Winifred visited Georg’s Armor and purchased a Bronze Breastplate while Bruce checked out Ironknife’s Weapons where he managed to get some spikes added to his favorite club. Afterwards, the two crossed the small square and entered the Adventurers Guild where they both signed up. Looking over several F and E rank jobs, they decided that goblin hunting for the bounty money of a gold coin each was the best they would manage for now. Registering their intent with the guild, they went to retrieve Rose from her studies. An activity that involved Rose complaining and whining before she eventually capitulated, though Winifred had to promise to take her to a book store in the future.
A short discussion later, the trio headed south out of town along the Sword Road due to reports of increasing goblin activity in the area. Sure enough, during the middle of the night Winifred heard and felt the approach (her thumbs began twitching) of a quartet of feral goblins. Since the adventurers were camped in a small copse of trees without a fire, the goblins were unaware of their presence and made no effort to approach quietly. Winifred quietly woke her companions who readied themselves. Combat was opened with Winifred drilling the rightmost goblin between the eyes with her crossbow dropping it instantly. Rose’s puppets charged the remaining three goblins, one for each of them and managed to wound two of the three. The goblins tried defending themselves in vain just as Bruce emerged from the trees and smashed the unwounded center goblin badly wounding it. Two his right, Winifred had charged out and smashed another feral goblin’s skull in with her flail.
The last two goblins made to run only for Bruce to smash his foe into paste with an exceptionally powerful strike as it tried to run. (Nat. 20). Winifred moved up behind that last and with a yell smashed it with her weapon breaking its neck and killing it. Taking the ears and rinsing them off before placing them in a small sack as proof for the bounty, the trio returned to their camp for a couple more hours of sleep.
The next morning, ignoring the ruins of their foes, the group followed the trail left through the tall grass by the goblins the night before. All was well for about ten miles of travel to south that gradually turned westward into an area known as the Unicorn Run. The trail ended at the grisly remains of a large battle. A wide area of grass was left beaten down, torn up, and coated in blood and bits of gore. Almost a dozen trails spread outwards in differing directions from this point. Winifred tried picking up the trail of the goblins but there was just too much disturbance and too many traces that were indistinguishable from one another. Opting to follow the path what was the grisliest, the trio continued in a southwesterly direction until they came to the Sandy Hills forest edge. Camping for the night in another small copse of trees a bit away from the forest proper, they passed a cold fireless night without event. The next morning, the trio decided to follow the forest tree line northwards towards Long Lake and Walfort where they would rest at their erstwhile home.
Covering around fifteen to twenty miles before lunch, Winifred made a comment as they sat down to eat about how boring it was and that she wished something would happen. Not an hour later, the universe provided and the trio was ambushed by a pack of seven half-starved giant rats from the forest brush line. The rats split themselves between Winifred and Bruce, the two being closest, though only Winifred was bitten in the opening attack. Rose sent the puppets after the rats to support her two companions. Whether it was due to her being a cat or just the weakness of the rats, her puppets tore the rats apart killing the majority before Bruce and Winifred managed to. Both Winifred and Bruce took some minor wounds with Winifred taking the brunt of things.
The giant rats defeated and Winifred using a light healing potion that seemed to have been expired, the group moved northwards until evening. Once again, they made camp in a small grove of trees a bit away from the main forest. And once again, Winifred’s thumbs began twitching just before she heard the approach of goblins. From the sounds she heard, it was a much larger group than previously encountered with something larger sounding giving orders. She silently woke the other two before peeping out of the brush for a look. What she saw was a group of eleven feral goblins spread out in a crude wedge formation with a huge muscle-bound figure at their center. A goblin bully that was cranky and snarling at its smaller minions. Fortunately, it looked like the goblins were totally oblivious to the adventures’ presence.
As the goblins passed, the trio was having a hushed argument about whether or not to attack. Given the three-to-one odds against them, Winifred had to convince Bruce and Rose that attacking would end up being suicide. Had Rocky been there along with Konstantin, they could probably pull it off, but as things stood with the just the three of them, their prospects for victory were nearly non-existent even if they were feral goblins. By the time the discussion was done, the group of goblins had already moved beyond their sight into the darkness of the night shrouded hills. It was a nervous group that attempted to get some additional rest until dawn.
Once the sun came up, the group broke camp without breakfast and quick-marched northwards covering another fifteen miles before stopping to eat lunch. Another three hours of travel brought them to the north end of the Unicorn Run where they were attacked by a giant wood beetle hiding in some nearby brush. The beetle shredded two of Rose’s puppets before being smashed to paste by a brutal blow from Bruce and his club. That night passed quietly as the group camped in yet another small wooded copse without a fire.
The next day found the trio passing several domesticated cows grazing in fields and a couple small farms prior to reaching the South Trade Road. A couple hours later found them safely arrived at the old abandoned cloister they called home. A quick check of the premises for intruders or other mischief, of which there was none, had all of them safely ensconced for the night resting in their own beds and relaxing. (End Session)
Re: Shield Manor Campaign
Posted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:56 am
Winifred, Rose, Bruce, and Konstantin present.
Rocky seems to have departed for other fields at this point.
Konstantin had been asking questions around the Adventurers’ Guild Hall looking for other like-minded members of the Shining One’s faith. On his way back to the Piebald Possum, he was waylaid and knocked out before realizing anyone was there.
When he woke, it was to find himself in a totally dark place, feet bound, hands tied behind his back, and stripped down to just a loin cloth. With no little effort, he managed to use his claws to shred the hemp rope tying his wrists enough to snap it. After that it was merely a quick moment to untie his feet and feel around for a door or other entry. Konstantin then used sections of the rope to wrap around his hands like improvised gauntlets.
What he found was a ladder and that the room was small with stone walls. Climbing up, the ceiling was smooth as well yet the seam of a trap door was present. Pushing yielded no results. In a fit of frustration, he punched the trap door trusting to the rope binding to protect from most of the impact. Surprisingly he was rewarded with a cracking sound and a dusty shower of something. With some determination this time, he continued punching until the plaster covered wood gave way and he could reach through to remove the bar securing it.
Konstantin emerged into a dirty wood shack that had seen better days and little recent use. His gear was in one corner in a pile which he quickly retrieved and donned before glancing out the dirty window. What he saw was an unfamiliar forest but no signs of anyone present. Cautiously he opened the front door and waited a moment before moving forward, said moment of hesitation saving his life as a long sword buried itself in the door frame mere inches from his nose.
A man in worn leathers with the symbol of the Shining One at his throat snarled and cursed at him. Calling him a heretic and promising a bloody and painful death. Apparently the man was a knight or squire of the orthodox sect of the church, his fanaticism and anger getting in the way of properly using his sword. Konstantin regrettably dispatched the man with a few well placed blows of his warhammer. A quick search of the body found a pouch full of coins, a silver holy symbol of the Shining One, a small vial of pale green fluid tucked into his belt, and a folded piece of parchment tucked under his armor near his heart.
Leaving the money pouch, Konstantin took the vial, the holy symbol, and note; the contents of which were instructions to keep the heretic secured until the bishop could be brought to pronounce and approve judgment. Apparently those that had kidnapped him were from his own faith, albeit the orthodoxy, and planned to murder him in the name of purifying his heresy. It was a cautious Konstantin that made his way along the only trail through the forest, eventually arriving at a main road. Judging from the lake in sight and the position of the sun, he figured he was somewhere on the North Trade Road west of Laketon. A head full of questions, doubts, and insecurities, the beleaguered Canira set out eastwards towards Laketon and hopefully his fellow party members.
Meanwhile, at the cloister, the trio of Winifred, Rose, and Bruce woke in the morning, gathered supplies and refreshed their purses a bit, before eating a quick breakfast and heading off towards Laketon to turn in their sack of goblin ears for the bounty and report on the goblin activity observed in the Unicorn Run. They made good progress through the day and reached one of the established roadside camp areas that evening. A sizable merchant caravan with a couple wagons, half dozen merchants, and a dozen or so escorting guardsmen were already camped on one side of the area. Weathering the distrustful glares from the opposing escorts, the trio set up camp opposite the merchants.
Sometime just after one AM, Bruce noted that the night sounds were silent and that the horses were acting a bit jittery. Apparently the guards standing watch noticed as well since they began waking their fellows. Alas, it was too little too late. A swarm of goblins came rushing out of the darkness from the south side of the South Trade Road slamming into the merchant camp like a green tsunami. Several of the guards went down almost immediately, swarmed under by the bodies of several feral goblins, their knives and clubs turning the unfortunates to bloody piles of meat. Two goblin bullies strode into the fight right behind the smaller goblins. One broke the spine of one of the wagons with a single strike of its large club. The other batted one of the guardsmen several tens of feet away with the sickening sound of several bones breaking.
In the course of the fight several of the goblins charged our trio as they rousted out of their tent. Rose decided to use her slingshot and pelted one of the bullies upside the head gaining its attention and hateful glare. About this time one of the horses was swarmed under by goblins and turned to minced meat under their stabbing and hacking blades, gobs of blood and gore flying wildly away with every stab.
Many goblins suddenly dropped to the ground in their tracks as the fight progressed. Most of the merchants had fallen by this point and only about half of the guards were still in action. The trio had killed one goblin of the group attacking them when a sudden blast of blinding light lit up the night. The goblins, caught unawares, grabbed their eyes shrieking in pain as they were blinded by the sudden glare. Our trio swiftly dispatched several more goblins facing them and on the ground while one of the bullies was felled by the guards from behind as it had grabbed the head of a cowering merchant and ripped it and part of the man’s spine clear of his torso.
The other bully was struck by several glowing streaking missiles, its head exploding like a ripe melon hit by a hammer as it killed the other horse. Not long after it fell, a jet of flame was directed over many of the fallen goblins causing them to burn to death.
After nearly ten minutes of desperate fighting, the few goblins remaining tried fleeing into the night only to be hit by archers before they could escape the reaches of the flaring ball of light in the sky. Only five guardsmen remained, including the mage that had been responsible for many of the goblin casualties. Both of the horses, all six merchants, nine guardsmen, and over forty goblins lay dead on the ground at the end of the battle. The rest of the night and most of the morning was spent burying their dead after gathering their effects for next of kin, emptying the remaining wagon for the wounded, and burning the gathered goblins. A few hours after the goblins began burning, a troop of soldiers arrived from Laketon to investigate.
The survivors of the attack were escorted the rest of the way to Laketon in the wagon by the troops. Once there, the group argued about bathing first or reporting first. Reporting won out. At the guild, they ran into Konstantin and had a quick catch up on events. Rocky was nowhere to be found nor was there any word of his whereabouts. Figuring he was on a drunken binge or had been kicked out of town for such, the quartet went about their necessary business.
They turned in their sack of goblin ears for eight gold pieces and reported about the events within Unicorn Run and the attack early that morning. The clerk looked shaken and hastened away into the back offices of the guild. Soon after a bell was heard to be ringing from the building and all of the adventurers present went silent with pensive and serious looks upon their faces. Several minutes later, a trio of rather impressive people came out and stood at the front of the large common room. The central figure introduced himself as the guild master and declared an emergency goblin subjugation mission in effect. All adventurers above D rank were mandatory participants. Runners exited the building as he spoke. With the events the trio reported, it was enough evidence to determine that a goblin nest existed in the Run and was nearing flood stage. The mission was to work with army troops to find and kill everything in it before it flooded.
Before he finished speaking, more bells were heard from around the town. A rider, more dead than alive and his horse dying from exhaustion and several deep wounds had arrived in town. Walfort was no more. The Goblins from the morning attack were a fringe group of the goblin flood that was moving westwards along the South Trade Road. It was no longer a subjugation mission but a full on war. Within an hour, six hundred soldiers, church knights, mages, monks, priests, and adventurers marched west. Fast ships were sent ahead on the lake to alert Orport and the capital farther west. Hopefully they would be able to arrive in time for forces to intercept the goblin flood prior to its arrival at Silverdell.
Being only F rank adventurers, the foursome discussed their options. Many civilians had fled west along the North Trade Road towards the Baronial Keep and Treycross beyond it. Given that enemies of Rose, Winifred, and Konstantin were to the northwest, that direction was determined to be a no go. West along the south road was out for obvious and green reasons. That left only south along the Sword Road towards the Leaf Sea or braving the Shield Manor to the east and hopefully finding items and equipment to make them stronger, thereby improving the odds of surviving. With some misgivings from Rose and Winifred, the quartet set out for Shield Manor.
The winding trail through the dense forest was well trod while the canopy overhead reduced the afternoon light to twilight levels. A half dozen miles of hiking later, the group arrived at a couple of old ruins. Several heads on stakes were placed in a row before the main building, a small plaque hanging beneath each reading simply ‘Bandit’. The quartet opted to poke around inside the ruined building, Rose and Winifred having forgotten their earlier foray here and dealing with the bandits prior to fleeing for their lives from the place. Nothing of note was discovered other than the strange and disturbing yellow mold on the second floor and blood stained floor of the basement beneath a sizable hole in the stairs.
Moving onwards up the trail, the group arrived at a busted open gate flanked by a pair of thirty foot stone towers overgrown with moss and lichen. The left tower was their first objective after passing through the destroyed and rotting gate. Inside the group found some large mushrooms, two of which began emitting an ear piercing whistling once the light hit them. The third simply sat there. Bruce attacked with a spell that caused a pillar of earth to strike from below the mushrooms. One of the screechers was sent flying while only disturbing the other two. This disturbance was enough to cause the silent mushroom to sprout foot long needle-like spines (think spiny purple sea urchin) instantly.
Konstantin and Winifred were for ignoring them and moving up the stairs of the tower. Rose and Bruce decided to pummel and stab the shrieking mushrooms to silence them. Winifred recognizing the urchin shroom as something delicious shrugged and with a couple well placed strikes, cut the top from the stalk. Several minutes later, spines removed, she had eighteen pounds of tasty mushroom. The rest of the tower and crossing over into the other through the connecting span uncovered nothing else. Fortunately nothing in the area was attracted by the screeching mushrooms apparently. Still, even as they stood upon the top of the other tower, the trees of the forest towered high above them. (End Session)
Re: Shield Manor Campaign
Posted: Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:32 am
Sadly; due to work and health issues resulting therefrom, I've had to suspend the campaign, possibly indefinitely. Thanks for those that have take an interest in following along on the erstwhile adventures of my victi...players.