Thursday, July 15, 2010

Campaign Journal: Retainer Dogs Session 7

Recently my travel in the service of Solomon has brought me to a crossroads that challenged my faith. Not in Solomon, but in my ability to see myself along the path I have chosen to become one of the "Sons of Solomon", an inquisitor who travels beyond the lands of established temples and churches. The purpose is to bring the light of Solomon to those in the lands between the temples, but also to learn and experience so that the Wisdom of Solomon continues to grow.

The reason for my period of self-doubt has been that twice now; I feel my life continues only because of an intervention of Solomon. I have been reckless up to now. Even now that I am capable of bringing the power Solomon to this world though my faith, I spend much time mediating to overcome these thoughts of doubt. Deep down within myself, I believe that my choice to walk the road of an inquisitor will allow me to realize not only the full potential of my faith, but also my capabilities to serve.

When I first started my journey, I traveled alone until Gerrie joined me. Now these days I travel in a larger group but I must point out now that Gerrie's path has ended with his recent death. While I was not present to see his last moments, the news was told to me from others who were. Gerrie was one of the small folk, whose insatiable curiosity to travel brought our paths together. Considered a strange one by the others in his village for his constant wandering from his home for days on end, his enthusiasm to see other lands beyond his own helped to bring a hopeful perspective to my own outlook of my travels. Gerrie's bright enthusiasm will be missed and I pray that he now stands with Solomon.


My current companions consist of Hargrave, Nancy, Malic, Artamedius and his bodyguard Thangard.

Some dread feelings has been floating around regarding Artamedius, so much so that Hargrave, Nancy, Malic and myself had decided to end his days. Our plan was to wait until he fell asleep before striking. Our only concern was his bodyguard Thangard who often kept watch on us with scimitar close at hand. To deal with Thangard, Hargrave attempted to try to keep him distracted with conversation while Nancy and Malic would strike Artamedius while he slept. Unable to bring myself to strike an opponent in such a manner, I positioned myself between Artamedius and
Thangard to further delay him should Nancy and Malic be unable to quickly dispatch Artamedius before Thangard realized what was happening. This way if I should become involved in combat it would be with an opponent in honorable combat.

Indeed I did find myself in combat with Thangard when Artamedius screamed of being attacked. My fight ended soon though when Hargrave revealed Artamedius' death released Thangard from any further obligation to continue the battle. I learned first hand that Thangard was a skilled fighter. Despite my sword finding its mark a couple of times, Thangard
was quick to change his temper from fighting to revelry as he punched me in a gesture of camaraderie before proposing we share a round a drinks.After a couple of rounds of drinks and securing our campsite in the dungeon, a few of us returned to sleep except I noted, Malic who was busily studying both the spell book and the strange bone crown.

I'm concerned by Malic, not too long ago we came across a weapon of evil nature in the shape of a morning-star that appeared to drip what appeared to be some sort of red liquid (blood?). We keep it wrapped up and stored out of sight. The weapon appears to possess the ability to dominate the will of any who would attempt to wield it, as this is what
happened when Malic first picked it up. It was not until Malic was knocked unconscious that we got him to release the weapon. Even now, the look in his eyes is most disturbing when he speaks of it. Of the weapon, I believe we should dispose of it. Even though I know I lack the strength to banish whatever evil is embedded in it, I hope to convince Hargrave and Nancy that we should take it to a Temple of Solomon and leave it there. Our best chance is that with their help, this weapon would kept out of the hands of any who would seek to use it to further of cause of evil in this world, or worse yet, become an unwitting pawn of evil for it.

Aside from this, Malic's eagerness to learn the dark spells of Artamedius troubles me yet again. I wonder if Malic's path will also lead him to ruin like the dark wizard. I will have to watch him closely.


Before too long, we were awaken again by Nancy's cries of distress. Shortly after lying down to rest for the night, three large spiders had crawled out of the darkness of the dungeon and attacked Nancy. As one of them attempted to drag off her still body, the other two spiders came at the remaining group.

We quickly split into two groups of Thangard and myself in one, and Malic and Solvieg to face off each of the remaining spiders while Hargrave charged the spider dragging Nancy away. To everyone's relief, Hargrave was able to quickly dispatch the foul creature and then returned to assist us with the remaining.

Together we destroyed the spiders, however our party again suffered loss when the already injured Thangard was mauled by the spider and then succumbed to his wounds.


The next morning we decided that the best way to transport all the items we gained from this dungeon lair was to load up the wagon, bring it though the gate, and then move it to the root cellar exit under the abandoned farmhouse.


A complication has appeared. After staging our treasure for moving the gate, Malic opened the door. What he found was that instead of the root cellar as we expected. The door opened into a room with several goblins that began to charge at Malic when they noticed his presence.

When he returned, he explained to the rest of us that instead of the root cellar, he walked into an octagonal room filled with frescos and contained not only doors, but also seven goblins who began to charge at Malic just before he was able to run back though the gate and close the door.

With this complication, we decided to take the longer route of loading everything into the wagon to make a long trek to Mebulon. Once loaded on the wagon, we would travel to Pendleton to load up on supplies we would need to make the 10-day journey to the city Mebulon. Once there, its our hope to be able to sell the goods we obtained from the dungeon.

With the wagon loaded, we started our trip to Pendleton.


Almost to Pendleton, our group found ourselves fighting two giant weasels. During combat, Solveig suffered a grievous wound and fell during combat. Praise to the power of Solomon that I was able to bring Solveig back from the brink, though just barely. With the weasels dispatched, we continued the first leg of our journey to Pendleton.

The sun was touching the horizon when we arrived in Pendleton. With Solveig hurt and everyone exhausted from the bumpy trip in the wagon. (We really must make sure that Malic does not drive the wagon anymore, especially while he is spending more time study those books then watching the road), we made our way toward the Coach Inn, as we
approached we happened to meet the Mayor Thomas and Edwin. When he noticed us, he greeted us heartily and told us he grew concerned by our extended disappearance and feared that we had met our demise before being able to collect our reward for the capture of Tyrbrin.

With the meet and greetings done, Edwin pushed us into Coach Inn to break bread and try the tavern’s venison stew. The stew was a welcome relief over travel rations. When Edwin revealed that Thomas covered the meal’s cost, Hargrave made no hesitation to devour 5 bowls, 3 loaves and not to mention the countless flagons of beer before the night was over.

It was tempting to head up to my room to gather as much sleep as I could before we continued our journey. However, I had one important promise to keep which I needed to see to immediately. I only hoped it was not too late in the evening to find Gia and her daughter Heidi.

I had to ask around the village before I was able to locate where Gia and Heidi were currently staying. Although I was not able to bring them good news about the whereabouts of Gia’s husband, or that their home was safe to return to, I was able to bring to them their family savings that I had located at their abandoned home.

I spent some time with them to lead them in prayer to Solomon that Gia’s husband soul had found peace and asked that the blessings of Solomon be with this family to keep and hold them together as a family.

The elder couple, which Gia and Heidi were staying with, were also followers of Solomon and joined our circle in prayer. I attempted my best to speak words to comfort Gia for her loss, but perhaps the best news of the visit was that before I had arrived Gia and Heidi had been invited to consider themselves as family to the elder couple. It seemed that Gia’s parents had perished several seasons ago so had no one really to turn to, and the elder couple’s only child had died during a harsh winter almost twenty years ago. Having Gia and Heidi staying with them made them feel almost as if their daughter had never left. It did not hurt that Heidi seem to share an almost striking resemblance to the elder couple’s daughter when she was that age.

With the evening getting late and poor Heidi already asleep, I said my goodbyes to both the elder couple and Gia. Before leaving, I handed a sack containing the family’s savings (12 gp, 38 sp and 1 cp) found at the farm. Additionally I handled her a gem that I took from the wagon and told her to sell this, and use the money to take care of her family.
I then inquired if we could purchase the wagon and horse as a group I was with was planning to head out soon for Mebulon. I offered to pay with more gold I took from the wagon, as it was only correct that if we continued to use Gia’s wagon we should attempt to compensate her. I offered what I thought was a fair price and I paid her before saying a
final farewell.


The next morning, we rolled Hargrave from the empty bowl of his final helping of stew the night before. Mayor Thomas was there to meet with us, and said that he was disappointed that the messenger that he sent to Mebulon had not returned yet. Hargrave then asked if Thomas could be write out a letter of introduction and Notice of Claim just in case the messenger never made it to Mebulon and we were forced to put forward our claim for the reward ourselves. Thomas was more then happy to help us in any way to see we got our reward.

In all we spent the day in Pendleton gathering supplies for our trip to Mebulon.


Our first day out after leaving Pendleton was remarkably relaxing even though we spent the day bouncing across the road the entire day. The road was empty save for us.


On the second day, we found a man lying, apparently unconscious, on the road. We slowed our approach readying ourselves for anything that might attack us. When we got closer, the man seemed to wake up and staggered
toward us. His clothes were torn and looked to be unarmed. He hailed us, "Thank god you're here! Bandits attacked and robbed me of everything. "

As a courtesy, we offered the man some water and food to refresh himself. Later, we learned that his name was Jack and he was a hunter from Mebulon. Although possible, the more questions we asked more his story began to seem untrustworthy. For instance, I never heard of a hunter heading so far out from a city alone. When I pointed this out to
him, he seemed to stumble and struggle for words to justify his position. Furthermore, it was after we mentioned that we were heading to Mebulon that he suddenly came forward to confess that he too was from Mebulon and hoped that we would allow him to join our party so that he might travel with our numbers back home.

Unwilling to travel with him, we finally advised him to continue on this path toward Pendleton. He was not in any condition to travel for more than a few days, and simply because something about him did not seem right and we did not want him travelling with us. To help him on his way, we did provide him with a spear and shield we obtain from one of the groups of kobolds we dealt with previously.


Third day out proceeded quietly until that night when we were set upon by a group of large bugbears. Not only were the bugbears tall for their kind, but coming at us were 14 of them. Hargrave, Solveig, Nancy and I prepared and braced ourselves as they charged at us.

Before they were on us Malic cast a spell of slumber upon the creatures and managed to bring all but three of them down. With their numbers now, the remaining three attempted to turn and flee. We then managed to bring down one with arrow fire while the other two fled out of sight.

Of the remaining 11 sleeping bugbears, we quickly dealt with them as they lay on the ground. Except for one whom Solveig had bound, as he wanted to 'ask' it some questions. It turned out that the lair of the creatures was close by and, according to it, contained a great treasure currently unguarded now that we had killed most of them, and if we
agreed to let it go, it would lead us to that treasure.

I guess our group was feeling very heady over our last victory because we decided to check out it claims and allow us to lead us there.


The creature was true to its word for the bugbear lead us to a nearby cave but as it lead us toward the opening it suddenly yelled out "Intruders! HELP!"

No sooner had it finished its alarm, Hargrave, who was standing behind it, brought the still tied up creature down with a dagger that he held to its back.

Quickly several more bugbears along with two very large bugbears came out and rush at us.

The battle was fierce and in the midst of it I fell to a bugbear's attack. Before I could call out to Solomon to intercede on my behalf, I did collapse to the ground and into darkness.

Later, I did awake after the battle was over. I looked around and saw that Solveig had not fare as well as I. As my wounds were being tended I reluctantly beseeched Solomon's aid to which the worst of my wounds were healed.

I could not help but rest while the others checked out the rooms that the bugbears had emerged from. On one of the exceptionally large bugbears a key was found and after searching though their lair we found that the key opened a door to locked room filled with silver coins.

A continued search of the lair revealed a door and beyond that was a labyrinth.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Campaign Journal: Session 6

I’ve passed this chore onto my players, but with the holiday, hey life gets in the way. We played session 7 tonight, so I wanted to post a quick recap of session 6 so there are no “gaps”.

During session 6, the action picked up immediately where the characters left off in session 5. During this session, they searched the dungeon which they discovered was the lair of a chaotic cleric/necromancer who was in possession of an item called The Bone Crown. This item apparently allowed him to animate and control undead.

At the beginning of the session, they met three NPCs. There was Artamedious, a mysterious mage that seemed too unbothered by the existence of undead. It was from he that they learned of the Bone Crown. He claimed he was seeking it so he could take it to Mebulon to be destroyed by his master. With him was a barbarian from the west named Thangar, who spoke broken common and apparently has a vow against bathing. Artamedious had hired Thangar to protect him. Rounding out the three was a mousy looking female cleric named Glaina a Dreamer of Istar. Istar is an immortal who rules the realm of dreams. The three had met in Elmshire where they had witnessed an attack of undead like the characters had dealt with in session 2 near Pendleton.

Glaina confided in them that she did not trust Artamedious and was only with him for strength in numbers.

They made a turn in the dungeon early which led to an early stand off with the chaotic cleric, whose name they learned was Zarrin. It was a long battle that ended in victory for the party, but cost the life of Glaina Dreamer of Istar.

Their next step was to explore the rest of the dungeon. With Zarrin dead and de-crowned, the undead de-animated (Artamedious took possession of the crown and placed it in his back pack). The only other opposition they encountered was an insane human torturer that they felled easily. Their last encounter was with a medusa that tried to trick them into gazing at her. Apparently, she had been captured by Zarrin.

At the end of a corridor, they found a door that was identical to the mysterious door they found in the bandit’s root cellar. This one, however, was not locked. They passed through it and discovered that it was a gateway that led to the root cellar of the bandit’s hideout.

The session ended with them making camp for the night, and deciding that Artamedious must not live through the night and keep possession of the Bone Crown.