Defenders Summaries 10-17

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Log Entry X: Stupidity and Weird, Gooey Things

Drew, 2nd level ranger, 19 hp, played by committee
Morgan, 2nd level fighter, 12 hp, played by Alan
Quentin, 2nd level druid, 10 hp, played by Jeremy
Felix, 2nd level fighter, 24 hp, played by Alex
Colin, 1st level thief/mage, 5 hp, played by Sean
Tyveris, 2nd level cleric of Nevron, 12 hp, played by Joel


A bit of indecisiveness and total lack of concentration-- what does that leave you with? A disturbingly unproductive game session (at least until the last part).

The party has been having difficulty figuring out what to do to bridge the gap until we can tackle the gnolls, which isn't too far off, but just slightly out of easy reach.

We decided that perhaps bandits had moved back into the fortress up in the wilderness, and headed out there.

The trip up was uneventful. The fortress itself was still trashed-- having no floor and a basement filled with rainwater. So we decided to camp that night on the hill. Our luck then shot downward rapidly.

That evening, we saw some weird light, almost like a flickering torch, and heard some muttering but unintelligible voices.

Thinking that perhaps it was a bandit group, we sent our new scout ahead. (This is Sean's new character, the elven mage/thief named Colin-- Gaston is in semiretirement, working at training dogs for the Baron) Colin moved after them, and there was nothing for awhile. So we put on our armor and looked over the ridge to see if we could spot anything.

Suddenly, there was the sound of a blown whistle. We raced down the embankment and saw that apparently someone was wielding a glowing weapon in the distance. We headed that way, and at about 100 feet, the glow vanished. There we found Colin lying on the ground, poisoned and burned. He was still alive, but due to his frail constitution he was not able to recover fully on the field. So we took him back to camp and decided to wait out the night.

Colin described what had happened to him: He had followed the light only a short distance, when suddenly he fell into a poorly concealed pit trap, managing to get himself poisoned. He then ran, after blowing the whistle. When he could run no more, he stopped exhausted. Then a glowing blue whip/tentacle hit him on the side of the face, burning with its touch. He fell over.

We attempted to sleep, but only about an hour later the light reappeared. This time we sent Morgan to investigate. Morgan was hit by a rockslide, and pinned. Then he was burned just like Colin. Unfortunately, the party wasn't sure what had happened and arrived nearly too late to save him. In addition, while going up to retrieve Morgan, the thing got another lash on the sleeping Colin.

Flustered, we gathered ourselves and attempted to sleep in our armor in camp. An hour later, the light appeared, and drew nearer. Suddenly, it was apparent that the thing was only about 30 feet away. Lacking no obvious light source, Quentin cast a Flame Blade, lighting up the area.

In that instant blue tentacles appeared lightning-fast, smashing Quentin and attacking Felix when he tried to bash the tentacles. Drew fired an arrow into the woods, and there was a burst of light, blinding everyone except Tyveris. All Tyveris could see was that the tentacles withdrew and sped away at unbelievable speed.

Confused and afraid, we decided to leave the area as quickly as possible. Interestingly, the hits seemed to have an additional effect of draining some of the victim's energy, making them sleepy.

We pressed on for about 2 hours (a mile away) and set up camp, taking catnaps in armor. The rest of the night passed without event.

We slept until about noon, then began the long trek home. On the second day, we had pressed into the evening, which we regretted later. Drew was in the lead, having been with Tyveris as the only unaffected people left. Suddenly, Drew was yanked from view.

Quentin quickly assessed the attacker as a trapdoor spider. Thinking quickly he cast a Speak with Animals, and convinced the spider to give Drew back for about 30 shiny gold pieces, though Drew was badly damaged, but still able to stand without assistance.

Tyveris started wondering when something lousy would happen to him. So far he hadn't even been scratched.

Of course, that day, it began to rain. A lot. Thunderstorms. Aren't we lucky?

Dragging the semi-conscious party members along, we stumbled into Restenford after about 6 days of travel and started recuperating. What was the worst thing was that we gained nothing material from this.

However, Peltar, the Baron's wizard friend, had some illuminating ideas. He suspects that the creature was a will o' the wisp. It certainly acted like popular lore says one would. The question is, is it guarding a big treasure like legend says?

Of course, Peltar has no idea how to kill one. If we did find out, though, he would certainly be interested in helping us.

We decided to hold that in reserve, mainly because of the costs of hiring a sage to help us. But certainly in the future it might be a good possibility.

There was some grim news upon returning to Restenford. Morgan had suffered greatly and has lost 3 hp and the burn mark has not healed well (comeliness -2). Worse off was Colin, who became incredibly weak (lost 3 of his 5 hp), and his once great hearing was ruined. He has retired to seek help from his old master.

We are still looking for a new scout, though we haven't yet picked one up. We decided that perhaps we could find things to do in Benct, so we traveled there uneventfully.

We restocked up on supplies, then went job hunting. We remembered the weird information about the haunted room in the inn, but we held that in reserve to see if perhaps the Nevronian church wanted something done.

There were 3 things:

    Root out devil-worshippers in a little inland farming town to the north

    Clear ghouls from the sewers of Benct

    Figure out that haunted room.

#2 seems way out of our league. #1 is certainly an interesting possibility, and we are definitely considering it. But since two different people have suggested the haunted inn room, we decided we at least do some conservative information gathering about it.

We talked to the barkeep who originally mentioned it to us, and he took us up to the room. Interestingly, there was a tropical fish called Esmerelda that they just found in the washbasin of the room one day, which made very little sense. Some even suspected that the fish was the old captain polymorphed. Seizing on anything, we cast Detect Magic, and got nothing magical about the fish.

However, Quentin spoke with it. It seems that the fish somehow swam from the ocean to the "shiny orange thing" (copper washbasin). But that seems impossible, given that the washbasin is on the 2nd story of an inn, and that type of fish doesn't live in the local waters. Something to ponder anyway.

We did a decently detailed search of the haunted room. Apparently it is quite safe to go in during the day, and it's only at night that parties "disappear." Wonderful.

There was quite a bit of furniture, all of it bolted down, oddly enough. This would be normal for a ship, but not for a stationary building. This leads us to conclude a few things. Perhaps the captain was just insecure without the feel of a ship. Or perhaps this room somehow represents his cabin on ship.

Other things in the room: a locked chest, closed wardrobe, colored soap, and a painting. The desk contains tons of books on navigation and scroll tubes of cartographer maps. The painting is of the captain himself, on board a ship called the Maybelle in the picture, fighting a black tentacled thing. The painting is signed, "Yertin."

Finally, Tyveris cast Detect Magic and Detect Evil. Surprisingly, the locked chest, wardrobe (but not the doors of the wardrobe), and the copper basin all detected as STRONGLY MAGICAL. Furthermore, though nothing specifically detected as evil, the entire room detected as faint Lawful Evil.


So far, we've brainstormed a few things:

    Check down at the docks for records of the Maybelle. It's interesting that the window from the room looks out on one particular collection of docks.

    Set up a few ladders outside and observe the room through the window at night.

    Put something inanimate inside and see if it's still there in the morning.


Log Supplement IV: Damage and Death Toll

Ok, for everyone's interest our total permanent damage has been:

  • 10 hit points
  • 1 strength point
  • 4 constitution points
  • 2 comeliness points
  • 1 frailty

Permanent damage has been taken by Quentin, Morgan, Gaston, and Colin.

In other fun:

Party members have been dropped below zero in these encounters:

  • Bandits-- 2
  • Stirges-- 1
  • Beetle-- 2
  • Bandits-- 2
  • Bandits-- 3
  • Bandits-- 5
  • Ogres-- 4
  • Skeletons-- 4
  • Skeletons-- 2
  • Skeletons-- 1
  • Spiny thing-- 3
  • Skeletons-- 1
  • Will o'wisp-- 2

Total: Party members have fallen unconscious 32 times! That's an average of 3.56 collapses per game session!

Log Entry XI: The Impossible Happens-- Nobody Dies!



Drew, 2nd level ranger, 19 hp, played by committee
Morgan, 2nd level fighter, 12 hp, played by Alan
Quentin, 2nd level druid, 10 hp, played by Jeremy
Felix, 2nd level fighter, 24 hp, played by Alex
Perry, 1st level thief, 6 hp, played by Sean
Tyveris, 2nd level cleric of Nevron, 12 hp, played by Joel


The party has decided to give the room our best shot. We tried a number of the suggested plans. There were no secret doors, but in fact there IS a secret panel in the chest, which opens with a normal lockpicking skill. In the secret panel, oddly enough, is a 35' rope ladder, attached at one end to the top of the chest! There are many theories about why that would possibly be in the chest, ranging from an escape out the window of the room to a rope ladder leading down through a dimensional portal in the bottom of the chest. We still have no idea which is correct.

The first night we left rocks in various places on the room to see if anything changed during the night. The results were dramatic: the stones were found in an X shape in the center of the room the next morning. Furthermore, when Sean's new halfling thief, Perry, put his head on the stones to detect noise, a bolt of lightning shot out of the floor (like a ward). Fortunately, Tyveris quickly threw a Cure Light Wounds in time to bring him back to full health, and prevent instant death.

We left a note to the "ghost" and asked what it was, and what we could do to help. That night we observed the room through the light of a candle we left there, perched on a rented ladder outside. Nothing happened.

Then we got rid of the candle, thinking that perhaps the light discouraged the ghost from appearing. We were right. That evening the ghost appeared in full glory. Drew made a fantastically good Monster assessment and recognized it as a zombie-like being, except for the glowing aura. The thing, which had a scraggly beard and seaman's coat closing resembling that of Captain Nbod, yelled "Dive to your doom!" Drew resisted and simply slid down the ladder.

Tyveris bravely climbed up, when suddenly the staff we had left in the room was prodding the ladder over. Felix leaped to the ladder and attempted to steady it. Tyveris tried to turn the being, but it was clearly beyond his power. It laughed and said something like, "Your pathetic power does not affect me!"

Tyveris got down the ladder, and the stick hit Felix in the head. Finally, some speckled dust was flung out and it settled firmly on Tyveris. Although we were really nervous and had priests examine him, nothing appears to have happened-- Quentin has theorized that it was sort of a variant of Faerie Fire.

We have continued over the past two weeks to attempt a number of experiments. We have left messages and rocks in different places, and they have often been shifted around and occasionally responded to. The responses have been quite interesting.

The original note we left was left unanswered, but we found in the treasure chest a piece of paper we had left with "Help." written in reddish-brown fat writing (blood, we think). After that we left ink, and the responses have since then been in ink.

When asked, Who are you? The response: You're stupid.

When asked, "How can we help you?", the response was: kill Brinea.

The most recent message we sent, "Who is Brinea?" was trapped with a fire glyph thing, which incinerated the message.

Who is Brinea, you might ask? Well, we think that Brinea is a sea monster, perhaps the specific one Nbod is fighting the painting of the Maybelle. Or perhaps not-- this was suggested to us by a sailor.

Nbod has had in his position three different ships, the Maybelle, then the Conundrum, and finally the Grindstaff, which is a full sized warship.

Nbod, although a nefarious pirate and privateer, was well liked by most of Benct for his great storytelling abilities and nearly unlimited cash output. He was the kind of guy who would pay salvage tax on stolen goods. I love Benct.

The kelp at the bottom of the copper washbasin was analyzed and matched with the tropical fish to limit the search of the other end of the teleport to a large area of ocean either far to the east or far to the west of Port Elizabeth. It requires both open ocean and shallows, perhaps like an underground mountain rising just a little bit above the surface.

All this leads me to believe that the copper washbasin is a two-way teleport to an obscure tropical island, which perhaps may contain Nbod's treasure. And it is probably not very related to what's been happening with the chest.

The dual personality of the responses leads us to believe that the ghost has two different warring sides-- one vicious, the other trying to escape-- and they foil each other's attempts to help or hinder us.

The wardrobe, by the way, has done nothing.

Interestingly, five days before the full moon, the washbasin was suddenly filled with water and some kelp.

We believe that the ghost operates on some sort of cycle, tied perhaps to the lunar phases. We hope to check more into the inn's logs to see if we can determine these phases. Also, we checked, there is no one named Brinea in the inn's registry for 10 years back.

Lots of stuff to think about. We're definitely making progress-- when the ghost phases back in (he hasn't responded since the water appeared the day of the incinerated message), we may get more info.

There are countless more details, and I'll try to add those, with help from everyone else, as the weekend begins!

Log Supplement V:Things to do in Benct when you're dead


    Insult low level Nevronian priests.

    Push over ladders.

    Swap rock and paper positions, while writing insulting notes instead of productive answers.


    Make lots of people disappear.

    Set glyphs on the notes you want people to read.


Log Entry XII: Things to Do in Benct When You're Dead, Part II



Drew, 2nd level ranger, 19 hp, played by committee
Morgan, 2nd level fighter, 12 hp, played by Alan
Quentin, 2nd level druid, 10 hp, played by Jeremy
Felix, 2nd level fighter, 24 hp, played by Alex
Perry, 1st level thief, 6 hp, played by Sean
Tyveris, 2nd level cleric of Nevron, 12 hp, played by Joel



I'll hit the general highlights:

The party continued its exploration of possibilities. Finding no response forthcoming from the room for several days. Eventually we decided to get a little more adventurous and tried to prop open the chest. It stayed that way for two nights, until the second night when something happened.

Four armed men, yelling about how they would kill those adventurers, entered the bar. They threatened us with 250 gp damages. Tyveris stood up and said something to the effect that they should be worried about the ghost as a permanent problem rather than blaming us. They tried to drag him away-- but then he pointed out that he was a deputy of Restenford.

The man punched him with a brass knuckle, hard enough to stun him. Then he left. Tyveris felt a vague sense of satisfaction through the dizziness, though.

It turns out that the ghost had appeared on the docks and chased three men unloading something into the water. By some accounts he threw them in, others he just pushed. It was definitely the same ghost in appearance.

The next day Quentin went down to the docks to speak with rats. It turns out they are quite intelligent, greedy, and all serve someone known as "the Commandant." We SUSPECT, though there isn't much proof, that he is a wererat. He is definitely the head of the underworld in Benct.

The Commandant in fact sent a note back the next day warning Quentin not to ask delicate questions. Quentin wrote back explaining we were just curious about the ghost on the docks. The Commandant wrote back saying that for 1000 gp he would tell us about the glowing thing on the docks. We politely refused.

There was, during this time, a new note in the room. It read, "She has my bones." (under our question of who is Brinea)

The next night, the innkeeper heard a loud crash and screams. They stopped after about two minutes. We kept watch the rest of that night.

In the morning, we found the desk trashed. Drawers were lying everywhere, though we noticed that NOTHING was missing. There was a small spot of fresh blood on the tub, and a grimy residue on the desk.

One theory is that this was a reenactment of the death of Captain Nbod. This works except for the damage done to our note. It was found with 2/3 of it burned away and the candle partially burned. This hurts our theory that the ghost thing doesn't like light, if it used the candle to light something on fire. Of course, it didn't have to be the ghost.

Possibly a thief may have entered the room and searched it, then been caught (killed?) by the undead that actually is in the room. There are a number of theories currently bouncing around.

It gets better. We took the residue to the biologist, who quickly identified it as "glowfungus." This grows in moist areas, though not particularly quickly. It glows bluish-white in the dark, JUST LIKE THE ZOMBIE/ GHOST THING WE SAW.

Certainly everything we've seen could have been reproduced by a low- mid level cleric (or even perhaps a mage)-- the Command spell, the Faerie Fire like spell, the glowing, the inexpensive magic powder...

Our suspicions heightened, we visited the pawn shop owner, who was willing to throw a Detect Magic (magic-user) spell on the three items for 100 gp plus some credit on the treasure, if we find it.

Interesting results: the three objects were all detected as VERY POWERFUL magic, conjuration. Furthermore, they were all the same magic. They had all been made at roughly the same time and had decayed to roughly the same rate of inconsistent flickering that occurs at the end of a semi-permanent magic item's lifespan.

The purpose of all of these objects appears to be a teleport, or more likely a gate. It doesn't remain open constantly, but activates by something unknown. Furthermore, the painting, which originally we detected as non-magical, detected as VERY FAINT magic.

We flipped it over, and found that the back was low magic. Furthermore, the pawn-shop owner indicated it was alteration magic. Finally, we called upon the carpenter who constructed some of the furniture in the room.

For a tidy sum, he showed us the secret panel in the bed, and we pulled out... a map! Of an isle called, Moon Isle (interesting considering our moon phase theories). It was in Captain Nbod's handwriting, and listed things like, "The lurker in the Shallows" a small picture of something very much like the tentacle thing in the painting, the "wreck of the Solaris" with a sinking ship, and the "Singing Cliffs."

We opened the cloth in the back of the painting, to discover it was a Bag of Holding! It contained:

  • 2 torches
  • shovel
  • box with earmuffs
  • pouch with 50 Petethalian pp
  • brass sphere thingy
  • pick

The brass sphere thingy was the only thing that detected as magical. Our first suspicion is that it is this fabled compass that was mentioned to us earlier. Furthermore, the carpenter checked out the desk for us, and found an ultra-well hidden secret panel. We opened it and found... the funky dagger in the painting of Nbod. It was a truly bizarre looking dagger.

It did not detect as either Trapped (from the 2nd level cleric spell Find Traps, cast by a Nevronian priest with us), nor did it detect as magical. Nevertheless, when Perry the thief attempted to hold it by the handle to check its balance (it has a really sharp blade), his eyes suddenly went vacant.

He handed the dagger back to Felix after about thirty seconds and explained that he had sensed the presence of something very sinister in the dagger. He had also sensed that he could perhaps control it. He sensed it was slumbering deeply, and didn't actually feel compelled to hold the dagger.

The Nevronian priest cast _Detect Evil_, and the dagger detected as VERY EVIL. (Hideous, sleeping, maybe even trapped?) In true SS tradition, we found a nice evil thing in a room at an inn.

The priest was shocked that though the dagger was clearly powerfully evil, it didn't detect as magical. It should definitely be taken the Church in Barnacus.

Our choices: should we take it out of here now, with the ghost still roaming around? Is it really a ghost? Will anyone else steal it if we leave it there?

Other things: apparently the three magic things have less than year's lifespan left. The pressure is on to go through them (if that is indeed what they do) and use the map to recover some massive treasure. We're thinking about it-- there has to be some reason why the other party can't get back though.

In terms of the ghost, we're still not sure whether it's corporeal, mortal (playing jokes) or what. Perhaps its a combination of both.
Interestingly, the room has never changed during the nights we stand in front of the door. Perhaps it is a connection.

Other thoughts are to drill a hole in the ceiling from the attic and observe events from above. If its really a ghost it might be bad, if its really a mortal this could be the perfect way to trap him.

Log Entry XIII: The Next Level of Paranoia



Drew, 2nd level ranger, 19 hp, played by committee
Morgan, 2nd level fighter, 12 hp, played by Alan
Quentin, 2nd level druid, 10 hp, played by Jeremy
Felix, 2nd level fighter, 24 hp, played by Alex
Perry, 1st level thief, 6 hp, played by Sean
Tyveris, 2nd level cleric of Nevron, 12 hp, played by Joel


Watch as the party attempts to keel over from high stress!

When we last left our immobile party, it was in the room at the inn with Father Filner from the Nevronian Church. We had just found a supposedly non-magical but clearly intelligent dagger. We put it back.

Our next and last idea was to discreetly drill a hole in the ceiling and look through it for several nights.

Several interesting things were noted:

At fairly random times during the night every couple of days, the chest, tub, and wardrobe would all glow green. This, we concluded was the appearance of them activating.

A couple of nights into our observations, our "ghost" entered the room from the wardrobe immediately following a green glow from it. He moved around the room for a few moments, then sprinted back to the wardrobe, and we believe that it had begun to close and he reopened it, then clambered in and left.

That was neat.

About a half hour later, something even weirder happened. The washbasin went flying across the room, crashing noisily on the other side. The stick we had left lying against a wall was knocked over, along with the nightstand, we discovered the next morning.

We told the Nevronian priest everything, but we have withheld the existence of the map and dagger from the innkeeper.

We were then strongly suspicious that there was both a real and fake ghost. The dual personality theory had been blossoming anyway, and it was just getting better. Before that night we had left a message hidden in a drawer that had three questions:

    Who is Brinea? (As in, kill Brinea from Nbod's previous message)

    Where is Brinea?

    How do we kill Brinea?

Although the intruder definitely did not open the drawer, an answer was given to the last two questions:

    Mo... (We think this was Moon Isle)

    With my dagger. (there was also some insult that slips my mind right now)

We decided that the ghost was indeed Captain Nbod, but that it was invisible, and someone else was entering through the portal disguised as a ghostly Captain Nbod to scare everyone off. It would also explain the sounds of a fight we had heard a few weeks back.

We also tried one other thing. Drew, with a _Bless_ spell on him courtesy of Tyveris, asked the dagger a question: Who is Brinea?

The response-- "I have been questioned. Brinea is the witch of the sea, the caretaker. Do not dare to question me again soon."

Disturbingly cryptic. We decided not to ask anymore questions for now.

So in the tradition of the Molehill encounter, we plotted an ambush.

Tyveris would look through the hole in the ceiling. When the glow occurred he would tug on a twine that would reach Quentin and the others outside the door. Quentin would begin casting _Trip_ on the rope we had laid out-- and it stretched under the door so Quentin could activate it from out of sight.

In addition, Perry set up a snare to further mess him up if the _Trip_ failed. In addition, we set up a ratchet on the doors, so that they would lock when they closed behind him, buying us some time. Tyveris would throw _Command_ spells until he either dropped or we simply had to kill him.

Of course, if we were wrong and it was really a powerful undead, the plan to run. And hope someone made it out alive.

A few nights later, the glow began, and Tyveris signaled. Quentin began casting, but was unable to finish the spell before the figure entered the room and checked it out for a few moments.

Tyveris waited until he stumbled on the way out, then hit him with a Command. Felix and Morgan burst in, with Drew following closely behind with a lit hooded lantern to blind the intruder.

As it turned out, the intruder toppled over with the Command. The party then began a series of botched attempts to knock him unconscious with saps before he woke up. He got off a moan through his gag and must have alerted someone. Quentin got to the wardrobe first and put a chair in front of it. Moments later there was a loud impact, then nothing. Whatever it was unable to return.

The intruder was indeed a man, as we expected. He was disguised as Captain Nbod, but when we pulled off the glowfungus, fake beard, and hair, he resembled the Captain's final first mate, Zune. We weren't sure what to do next. Where should we take him? We decided that the Nevronian church was the safest spot for the moment. Unfortunately there were two guards on the bridge who would certainly have questioned us if we went by with an unconscious guy in tow.

Perry had a great idea though. He ran up to the guards claiming he had seen a beating at the docks. He said he was there watching in case the ghost returned. It worked perfectly; the guards abandoned their post and we slipped unnoticed to the church.

Unfortunately for Perry, he blew his cover story and the two guards are currently amusing themselves hitting him in a chair. We hope he'll return by morning... thanks for the sacrifice, Perry! "Did you kill the Archbishop? For every lie, we will pull off... a toe hair!"

Meanwhile, we spoke with the prisoner. He was indeed the first mate. He was quite willing to answer any questions as long as it didn't involve giving away the number and location of his friends.

This may or may not be true, but this is what we got from him:

Zune is a priest of the neutral evil sea goddess, Queen of the Grotto.

He has a large group he leads in fact, if not in name. He has been searching the room of Captain Nbod for the dagger and longsword for years, minutes at a time, going through the portal. He had defeated the ghost on several occasions with spells and magic items, but it just returned a few days later.

Brinea is supposed to be a spirit Captain Nbod killed years ago but was unable to destroy.

Zune claims that he found the dagger first and Nbod stole it from him. It was found on Moon Isle, which is basically far north of here.

He claims that he has contacts who will know if we have the dagger and exact revenge. He also says that if we release him and don't have the dagger, we will be left alone.

When asked about its powers, he claims that it allows waterbreathing.

We stepped outside for a conference, with Father Filner.

It was patently obvious that the dagger was an artifact. The first mate couldn't even begin to list its powers. It clearly is evil and something has to be done-- but it is indestructible. The safest thing for it would be to turn it over to the Archbishop in Barnacus.

However, it would be rather unhealthy for us, based on Zune's final threat.

We will cast a _Detect Lie_ off of scroll and talk with him again to see if there really is a cult, or if it is just him and some other guy or something. If there is really a cult, it may be in our survival instincts to free him. Our hope is that he won't find the dagger-- if he hasn't found it by now, the portal will soon go down and he will be unable to try further, we hope.

He claims that he will then know whether it is in the room or not. I'm not sure what method that is.

By the way, he was carrying a magical hammer, bracer, unholy symbol, and wand.

Presumably, since Zune has no qualms about angering the ghost, it is likely safe to grab the treasure we found in the room. By the way, Drew was able to determine that the "Magic 8-Ball" thing we found was indeed the fabled compass. This we might be able to sell discreetly to the Petethalian navy for more than enough money to cover our training expenses. And we still net a Bag of Holding.

We might also consider sending a letter to the Archbishop and having him come down here on the pretense of removing the ghost, and then secretly slip him the artifact.

Will we live out the year? I don't know, but if we pull this off we are really going to be well off.

Log Supplement VI: Additional Information for the Careful Reader


I forgot one or two things:

    During one of our observation evenings, we noticed the tub filling up.

    Nbod had fired the first mate, Zune, when they entered town on the ship for the last time.

Suggestion: We should ask whether Zune and his friends were responsible for the disappearance of previous occupants of the room, and the other party.

Log Entry XIV: Out of the Frying Pan and into the Water



Drew, 2nd level ranger, 19 hp, played by committee
Morgan, 2nd level fighter, 12 hp, played by Alan
Quentin, 2nd level druid, 10 hp, played by Jeremy
Felix, 2nd level fighter, 24 hp, played by Alex
Perry, 1st level thief, 6 hp, played by Sean
Tyveris, 2nd level cleric of Nevron, 12 hp, played by Joel


When we last left our not-particularly beleaguered party, it had just finished an initial interrogation of Captain Nbod's first mate, Zune.

We cast the _Detect Lie_ spell as planned. Hoo boy-- the spell has probably never gotten better mileage than this.

I'll just start listing his corrected (true statements) lies. Invert these to regain his original lying statements:

    Cares about the ghost (not in a loving way)

    Sees why he should tell us about the ghost

    Thinks it is not obvious how to make the ghost visible, but still failed to volunteer information to us.

    Doesn't particularly care about giving his friends away.

    He was the only one ever in the room.

    He has not cast a spell through the gate.

    He can't tell how far it is through the gate-- for casting spells, at least.

    Good idea to hang him.

    His friends have zero ability to track us down.

    It would be wise for him to say more about them if he wants to live.

    The dagger has to do with his religion (duh)

    He cares greatly what we think about him.

    His friends are not a problem.

    The dagger is important to his religious status.

    Adventurers are quite important in his reliigous hierarachy.

    Other members of his group would love to have the dagger.

    He knows very few clerics of any power.

    That is unfortunate for him.

We also asked him about his items: His wand detects metallic things. he just recently obtained it.

Then the spell failed. Just when we got to the juicy part about how he has SO MANY friends who can casually throw _Communes_ etc.

The hammer and bracers are believed to be the obvious-- some bonus to hit on the hammer and the bracers are mid-level defensive.

Well, that made our decision rather easy. We bound him, poured a gallon of cheap beer all over him, gagged him, blindfolded him, and dragged him to the Petethalian naval base at 4 AM.

It took awhile, as each person realized his superior was needed to deal with us, but eventually we spoke with Commander Mayfair.

They read off the charges against Zune Quog, including, but not restricted to:

    A death warrant from Nbod himself. This was put out when Zune ritually sacrificed 8 wealthy merchants in the middle of the night whom Nbod was attempting to ransom off. Ironically, Nbod has 175 gp in a Teft account waiting for us.

    Zune is wanted for the dock incident.

And it went on.

And on.

We then received a hearty congratulations from the commander, who stated that he "would very much enjoy this," and that "Tomorrow will be a busy day." At one point he leaned over to the disoriented and drunken Zune and said, "You're in a bit of trouble, you know." Commander Mayfair then ordered his men to put Zune in "the box" and do something like "bell" duty (I imagine this means banging on the box a lot). Happy birthday, First Mate Zune!

This could have been the end. Having turned over Zune's equipment to the Petethalian navy, we could perhaps have traded the magical compass and our reward for one or two of the magic items. Then we could merrily have reimbursed the innkeeper and been on our way.

However, the ghost of Nbod WAS still in the room, and our sense of completion got the better of us. We wrote a letter to the Archbishop in Barnacus, explaining our two options:

    He could come to Benct and Exorcise the ghost, allowing us a good way of secretly passing the dagger to him.

    We could bring the dagger to him.

Since that would take two weeks, we decided to learn as much as we could about the room so as to fully prepare for his arrival.

We continued our nighttime spying on the room while we waited for Zune to be tried (processing and then a dispute with the Benct government over rights on his body has delayed his execution temporarily).

We continued to ask the ghost questions. We have noticed that Nbod has unfailingly answered every question now that Zune is gone. In hindsight, it is a REALLY good thing we didn't mention the dagger in any of our questions before we captured Zune!

I'll list the questions we had answered before the next climactic event.

    How do you find Brinea?
    If you don't know by now, I'm doomed to hell forever.

    Is Brinea the Lurker in the Shallows?
    I didin't think you had any good questions left.

    Which portal do we use to get to Moon Isle Atoll?
    The chest, unless you are more powerful than you appear.

We had already determined that the wardrobe, tub and chest opened on a consistent cycle, with the chest opening a few hours after the wardrobe.

When the chest opened, Tyveris looked through the hole and saw a sandy beach and waves rolling past. We suspected this was Moon Isle Atoll (we then had it confirmed by the ghost the next morning).

The next night, we got more adventurous:

When the wardrobe opened, Morgan went into the room, held to Felix by a rope, and examined the wardrobe. He saw a dark room, cooler than Benct should be (indicating it is really far south, or underground). In the room there were fish or something in a public bath-sized pool in the center. There was a cage hanging over it. There were several doors leading out the far wall. Finally, there were murals of nymphs and wood sprite things, etc. For one final test, Morgan poked a stick through the portal, which gained a slightly greenish aura. Then he put it down halfway through and backed away. When the portal closed, the stick flew out and bounced against the wall of the room.

We had asked several questions, including one about where the chest let out in the atoll (we had left the map to be marked in the center of the room. But since we were impatient, we decided to find out for ourselves.

A few hours later, the chest opened, and Morgan peeked down through.

Then absolute disaster struck.

Without warning Morgan flew through the portal.

Felix raced into the room and tugged on the rope. Morgan was hanging about ten feet in the air over the water, which had risen considerably since Tyveris had viewed it the previous night. Morgan tried desperately to climb back up. Suddenly the letter opener appeared and began rapidly cutting the rope.

With a cry, Felix sprang forward and released the rope ladder, then grabbed at the letter opener.

Too late. The rope frayed and broke, Morgan tumbling into the water with a yell. All of us raced into the room as the rope ladder fell too slowly for Morgan to grab hold. He kicked frantically to reach the shore. Felix braced himself against the chest and hurled rations downward. With a final call of "Get some driftwood! We'll get you through!" the portal began to fade and Morgan and the beach vanished from sight.

There was a round of cursing.

Then we settled down a bit, and realized that we were still in a room with a hostile ghost. We fled.

The party conferred outside. We had to attempt to attempt a rescue, but there was a major problem. Would the ghost oppose us? Had he or the portal forced Morgan down? Nbod clearly wanted this mission done, was he trying to force our hand?

We actually tried something new. We went back in and checked the questions.

They were answered.

    The place where the portal lets out is a safe haven.

    Were there any other significant dangers? The headhunters will kill you without the dagger.

    Without the dagger, all we could hope to do is kill Brinea for a year. Then she will return.

For our rescue attempt the next night, we thought about many options, but our confidence in the plan was not at an all time high. Heck, party confidence had slipped below the Stone Soules threshold.

The plan was to charge in and brace ourselves against the ghost while Tyveris cast a _Light_ spell to distract it at least, while Felix threw down a weighted rope for Morgan to latch onto. This was, of course, providing that Morgan was even there when the gate opened again. Finally, we removed ALL sharp objects and movable furniture from the room.

We asked another round of questions that night, after informing Father Filner and Javious the innkeeper about what had happened. We hoped that the continuing questions would convince the ghost we were interested. Our best hope, though nearly impossible, was that the Archbishop or a high ranking priest would show up and deal with the ghost so we could rescue Morgan unopposed. This would require Morgan surviving for about a week on the island.

The next morning our questions were answered:

    How does the dagger protect from headhunters?
    They fear and worship the wielder.

    How do you cross between the atolls?
    With the dagger, duh.

    What specific instructions do you have in order to use the dagger to kill Brinea?
    You'll have to charge her all at once and behead her with the dagger or she'll be back the next year.
    Your friend has very little time. Don't waste time on stupid rescues.


This was all written in blood, by the way. Just to snazz things up a bit more.

The next night, the chest portal opened. Before we could react, a faint voice of an old man came through the portal.

"Hello? Is anyone up there? Your friend, Morgan, says to bring the dagger since the headhunters worship it! They're going to sacrifice him. He sounded like he REALLY wanted to live!"

The party stared at each other. The old man continued yelling, and Felix yelled down, "The ghost won't let us back up!"

"Oh. I didn't know that! Come down though, you only have a few minutes!"

As time ticked, we argued vehemently. Eventually, we decided that the loss of one party member was better than certain death for all of us.

"Should I tell him anything?"

We were silent, and the portal closed.


A day or two earlier and realizing that no immediate rescue was forthcoming, Morgan attempted to get his bearings. His elven senses and scouting abilites were utilized as he strode north across the island, discovering it was about a mile wide. From the scale of the map, that meant the island was around 25 miles across.

Morgan walked east for a long time, and eventually reached a clear area where he could see across the atoll to the "Singing Cliffs" on the other side.

Morgan heard drumbeats in the distance, and decided to check it out. Suddenly, he and a group of headhunters surprised each other. One yelled, "Gazzlkplp!" and Morgan said, "What?" The men were holding sticks, which Morgan failed to realize was a blowgun until it was too late. A dart hit him, and he drew his sword, but dropped it back into this sheath as he felt himself losing sensation. Morgan blacked out.

When he awoke, he was paralyzed in a cage. Apparently the poison made him paraplegic temporarily, and he could do little but talk to the old man with the drums. His name was Kailin, and he had been pirate, but had been captured by SMART. When the Solaris was wrecked, most of the crew was saved, but he elected to remain with the headhunters, since he knew their language. All other who had come to the island had been eaten.

Apparently, Brinea lives on the Singing Cliffs island. Kailin referred to the dagger as "Brinea's dagger." Whatever. Like it could get any worse.

Since Morgan was an elf, the headhunters thought he was a demon, and wanted to eat him, but respected him since he was the first person who had ever surprised them in the wilderness. Morgan played his last card. He got Kailin to help him convince the headhunters that he was servant of Brinea, whom they worshipped, and had a dagger image carved in his arm. Kailin managed to convince the people to throw him to the Lurker in the Shallows, who is Brinea's servant (uh oh) and find out whether he was telling the truth that way. This, of course, could not be done until he had recovered from the poison, which would at least take a few days.

Kailin returned and informed Morgan that the party was not coming to save him, and he told Kailin to throw something at least, to indicate that he was still alive and someone there would communicate.

Morgan waited and hoped.


The party, meanwhile, waited another evening with the following questions and they got answered.

    Will the dagger grant all of us water-breathing ability? If not what, actions can we take?
    It should work on 8 to 10 people.

    How will Brinea try to protect herself?
    With spells, of course.

    Is there any way Brinea is especially vulnerable?
    Any blow that can hit her will work.

    Need we fear the Lurker?
    Not if you are few.

    How long will the portal remain open?
    Until the first full moon of next year. (Ed Note: That's about 5 months.)

We checked on an impulse to see if the cage Morgan was in happened to be the cage through the wardrobe, but no luck there. Of course, having checked that out, Felix could hardly fail to notice the huge letters in blood on the far wall:


Mass hysteria then set in. We ran to the Church to regain our sanity.

Was the ghost lying? It certainly didn't appear to have any way to go outside the room, but who knows?

8 hours indicates at least one of the murders would have to be in daylight, when we believe the ghost has no power, though there is not that much evidence that this is true.

So we had two options, as Father Filner stated them:

    We could run VERY far. Like all the way to central Dunador, or Cromwell or something. We'd have to give up all our major possessions minus a little cash and hide as pilgrims on the next ship out and start over. Benct authorities would likely not go that far to find us. Despite the fact that the ghost would likely have done this anyway as the year ended, though we may have slightly accelerated the process, we knew we'd be the logical scapegoats. The Church couldn't protect us.

    We follow its demands. This means bringing the dagger into the open, and attempting to do EXACTLY what we resolved NOT to do.

Rather than starting over, we needed a chance to salvage this. So we wrote the ghost a final message:

We will do as you ask. If you trap us on the other side, we will not complete your task. Do not kill anyone for a week.

(By that time, it is possible that the archbishop's men will arrive in time to Exorcise the ghost and allow us to return without killing Brinea.)

We took the Bag of Holding and its contents, including the compass and earmuffs (Singing Cliffs?) and climbed through, Perry on Felix's shoulders.

The old man was there, Kailin. He led us to the camp with Morgan, where we waved the dagger around and got the headhunters to let us free Morgan. We then traveled to Kailin's hut and are setting up camp on the yard.

We will ask Kailin a lot of questions, since he is talkative anyway (he has been here for 30 years). We will probably ask the dagger for a powers list soon, and assess our chances against Brinea.

Well, this is not what we wanted. But if we pull it off, we'll have Brinea's treasure, Nbod's treasure, Zune's treasure, and a couple of levels each!

Log Supplement VII: Morgan's Account


In his own words, heeeeeeres.... Morgan!

- N'bod's death was brought about as he was on his way to his treasure, which is apparently in the Singing Cliffs somewhere, and he was dragged over by a bony (skeletal? i'm not sure) hand, not a tentacle.

- I don't actually know which piece of the Atoll Brinea lived on, it may not be the singing cliffs section.

- the dagger is 'Brinea's dagger' because that's where N'bod got it - from killing her the first time. He described it as being "luckier than an honest gambler..." and Kailin forgets the rest of the phrase.

- Kailin told me he didn't get an answer the first time the gate opened. I don't know how this corresponds to your experience, i suspect he's just sort of deaf.

So there you go, the Knitpicker's Guide to Tropical Islands on 3 cp a day, compiled by Morgan C.

Alan/ distributed by Joel Inc.

Log Entry XV: In Over Our Heads



Felix, 2nd level fighter, 24 hp, played by Alex
Drew, 2nd level ranger, 19 hp, played by committee (mainly Alan this time)
Tyveris, 2nd level cleric, 12 hp, played by Joel
Quentin, 2nd level druid, 10 hp, played by Jeremy
Morgan, 2nd level fighter, 9 hp, played by Alan
Perry, 1st level thief, 6 hp, played by Sean


The word for tonight was: absurd.

The party was dead on so many occasions, it's sickening to think about it. Keep in mind while reading this: our party consists of five 2nd level characters (no mage), and one 1st level thief. Just to put things in perspective before your eyes pop out reading this.

When we had last left our stressed party, we had just arrived at the beach and marched into the headhunters' camp, rescued Morgan, and returned to Kailin's hut for a night's rest.

Nothing happened, and we decided it was time to discover the dagger's abilities. We began a series of careful tests, and determined that it would support the person holding the dagger and allow him to breathe and will himself to move underwater at high speeds, and everyone within a 10' radius gained the ability to breathe underwater.

We made our fatal mistake with our final test. Quentin cast a _Speak with Animals_ on a fish-- which just droned about how he was so powerful. Figuring that dolphins were more intelligent and would probably be more helpful, Quentin attempted to call a dolphin using the dagger. He immediately sensed that he had done something terribly wrong, and was thereafter chased by some very angry dolphins back to shore.

He went back out and tried to communicate but got clobbered by a bottlenose hit, but managed to stop them from killing him long enough to explain how sorry he was for attempting to "enslave" a dolphin with the evil dagger. The dolphin explained that they could sense the dagger's presence from far away. If we could kill Brinea, all would be forgiven.

The trouble was, explained the dolphin, that everyone who saw Brinea died instantly. She was a sea witch. Drew recognized the description as that of a sea hag. Sea hags are immune to almost all spells and most weapons of significant magical power. Furthermore, they are so ugly that they have a medusa-like gaze attacks that kills instantly.

Ha ha, he he, ho ho.

We were dead meat.

But could things get worse? Yes, indeed.

We returned to Kailin's hut and hung around for a few hours, when Drew suddenly noticed TENS OF THOUSANDS OF CRABS EVERYWHERE. Kailin patiently explained that this was the sign of a demand for sacrifice from Brinea.

At this point, hysteria broke out. Kailin took Morgan and hid him in a shed, and the rest of the party set off for the beach near the portal, hoping it would open before we all died.

Typically the portal opens around 3 AM, but it was 8 PM when the Lurker in the Shallows attacked. Drew first caught sight of the ugly octopus, and we retreated inland.

Kailin came running up to us, and calmly explained that the headhunters were likely 15 minutes behind him, with about a hundred strong war party coming to kill us and sacrifice us. Kailin wished us good luck and waved goodbye, explaining that Morgan would be safe for one night. He then said that out of respect for us, he wouldn't eat the meal.

Well, our heads nearly fell off at this point. We decided on our last option-- take to the sea in hopes of finding Brinea or at least making it to the portal.

As soon as we entered the water, we spotted the lurker about 200 feet off. Felix waved the dagger and told it to back off.

It doubled it's speed toward us.

We hastily fled out of the water, about 40 feet inland, just barely out of reach of the snapping tentacles.

To take stock, our options were:

    Fight the lurker in the water.

    Fight a hundred barbarians.

    Fight a sea hag who caused instant death.

    4) Commit suicide.

    5) Keep running.

Beyond hysteria, we decided that with absolutely nothing to lose, we had to find and kill Brinea to get out of this mess. Well, that would certainly be trivial for a 1st and 2nd level party.

Having no idea which way to go, Felix demanded to know where Brinea was, from the evil relic dagger. It responded:

"I have been questioned unjustly." Felix's skin turned pale and started rotting rapidly. He fell over, saying, "I'm dying!" The dagger chuckled and said, "Whenever you're ready."

Quentin and Tyveris both threw _Cure Light Wounds_ spells, in time to save him, but not in time to stop the double rotting wound from removing 2 hp permanently.

But at least the dagger would take us to Brinea now.

We marched into the water and began trekking across for hours. This was one of the more interesting experiences I've had in Telvar. We became only the second party ever to set up camp underwater! We even thought about rememorizing spells, but given that that could only be done holding the dagger, praying with the evil artifact seemed unwise.

So we slept for about five hours and continued travelling. We saw land to the northwest, and headed there, expecting to be at the Singing Cliffs. Sure enough, we could hear the faint humming sound from everywhere. Hastily we put on our bandanna earmuffs we had made and climbed out.

While arguing about where to go next, Felix and Perry failed to notice the two harpies streaking toward the hapless party.

Oh boy.

Felix and Perry both became abruptly zombielike and started climbing up the cliffside, clearly preparing to jump to their deaths, as Kailin said was common among visitors to the Singing Cliffs.

Fortunately, everyone else was covered and did not get entranced. Unfortunately, Felix was walking away with the dagger, which was our only chance of getting to safety. Of course, since the two harpies had cut us off from the water, we were presumed dead anyway.

But Quentin had the dagger attached to his belt by twine for just such an occasion. He ran after Felix and attempted to wrest it from him. Felix attacked back and nearly dropped Quentin ( damage, Quentin had 9 hp) at the time. Cursing, Quentin withdrew. Perry disappeared into the higher cliffs.

At the same time, Drew nocked and fired an arrow, scoring a direct maximum damage point blank hit on the tougher harpy, who took the damage with no noticeable effect. But the harpy managed to claw Drew twice, pulling his bandanna off, and forcing Drew to drop his bow to avoid being entranced.

At that moment, Tyveris' Command spell went off. Incredibly, the tough harpy dropped dead out of the sky, bounced off a rock, and landed upside down in the water, clearly dead.

Whoo hoo!

The other harpy scooped up Drew's bow before he could react and dumped it on the rocks below. Tyveris attempted another spell, but this time it failed. He drew out his good hammer. The harpy came around for another pass, and Drew managed to injure it with his staff, but Tyveris fumbled and slipped and fell down the cliff side, suffering minor damage and losing his hammer.

Quentin completed his _Flame Blade_ and ran down to help the beleagured party members. Tyveris got up quickly and drew his backup hammer, this time inflicting damage. Unfortunately the harpy pulled at his bandanna forcing him to drop his hammer again and leaving Tyveris badly injured, though still clearly worried about him as the major threat.

On the return, Quentin slammed it with his flame blade and lit some of its feathers on fire. It reared around for another pass and struck again. This time both Drew and Quentin hit, and the flame blade inflicted a flame wound, and the harpy ignited. Attempting to plow into Tyveris for the killing blow, it missed and plowed into the ground in a ball of flame, quite dead.

Felix and Perry awoke from their stupor. In the nest of the harpies we destroyed some eggs, and recovered 4 gems, one magical!

How we could have lost NO ONE in that fight is still inexplicable to me.

We spell-shifted through the night and brought the party back to full life the next morning. We set out back toward the grotto we had noticed earlier yesterday, before the harpy incident. This was where the dagger had been pointing us, and we walked inside, Perry leading the way. Expecting a death gaze, but needing one person able to see, Perry valiantly volunteered not to be blindfolded, figuring that he would be least useful in a combat.

We walked through a dark cavern with a visibility of only about 20 feet, and saw weird red and blue light coming from ahead. We entered a room from the bottom of a pool about 25 feet deep. On the far end was something we could scramble up, and we did so.

Perry was the first up, and suddenly we were all face to face with the figure of Captain Nbod!

We were still suspicious and all of us were still blindfolded except Perry. Nbod said that he was able to appear as a physical image on this side, and that the killings in Benct did not have to occur. To end the curse, all we had to do was lay the dagger on the chest, and return it to its rightful owner.

Off to the side lay the cutlass Horizon Line, Nbod's astoundingly powerful weapon, with which he had slain Brinea originally.

We explained patiently that we couldn't get out without swimming and would have to wait until the portal opened. Nbod explained that the portal would probably open tonight, and that when they worked it in fact opened with a command word from the sword. This was no longer the case.

We presented our suggestion: we would wait until the evening, assuming that Brinea was still busy killing all the headhunters for the defying her and failing to capture us. When the portal opened, we would all go in except Quentin, who would place the dagger on the chest and then swim in.

Nbod walked up to Perry, and said, "This would be quite reasonable."

He paused. "IF I WERE NBOD!"

Instantly Brinea's true form was revealed. A long skeletal arm shot out and strangled Perry, snapping his neck instantly. Expecting this unfortunate event, Felix was already reeling in the dagger from Perry. Drew and Tyveris jumped at Brinea and tried to overbear her, but she was incredibly strong.

Tyveris locked a grip around her head, but her arm caught Drew solidly. Drew choked for a few segments, and then he died as well. Desperately, Tyveris held on to her from behind. Felix swung and connected solidly with the dagger, which turned out to be +6 vs. sea creatures! He injured her, but not nearly enough. The arm snaked out and choked him.

Quentin had initially cast _Flame Blade_ and swung viciously at Brinea. Sadly, the weapon passed right through her. On an inspiration, Quentin dove for the sword Horizon Line (it was a scimitar, which he is proficient with).

Felix took one final stab and managed to wound Brinea. Seconds later he was strangled to death. That left Tyveris and Quentin.

Tyveris held on for dear life, but Brinea finally managed to grab him as Quentin approached with Horizon Line. Tyveris stood long enough to watch Quentin miss. Then he collapsed as well, alive but bleeding to death.

Quentin was grabbed but managed to hold on long enough for a final swing.

He missed, and was killed.

Incredibly, Brinea fell dead on top of him two segments later, having bled to death from the wound Felix had inflicted with his dying breath.

Eight minutes later, Tyveris bled to death, sealing the fate of the party.

* * *

Fortunately, all was not lost. Sadly, Nbod's actual ghost had killed five Benct citizens, including the maid who cleaned his room. At point the Church officials arrived to begin the _Exorcism_, which went off successfully. A party of 7th level adventurers entered the portal and killed all the headhunters, saving the once again captured and paraplegic Morgan.

Then they dodged the harpies, though it took two tries, and ventured further into the cave. They found all of our bodies and hauled them through the portal, along with Nbod's treasure.

The Nevronians cast _Speak with Dead_ on Tyveris, asking him if he wished to be _Raised._ He did, but tragically, he failed his resurrection survival roll (96% chance) and died permanently.

However, the rest of the party was successfully _Raised_ incurring huge debts. However, there are a HUGE number of sticky details to be worked out, but in the final analysis we came out ahead.

Items we picked up:

    Magic gem (still don't know what this does)

    Horizon Line (a Defender!!!-- +3 to AC AND +3 to hit)


    Bag of Holding

And we may be able to obtain the Bracers that Zune had.

We may trade Horizon Line for the ability to train the large number of levels that are likely coming to the surviving party members.

Jack, Drew is astoundingly lucky-- he made every key role and continues his permanent damage-free streak. Quentin and Morgan managed to get away with none as well, though Felix had lost the 2 hp. Perry was fine.

Wow! I'm still feeling quite disappointed in the horribly untimely death of Tyveris, but aside from that it was a... bizarre and absurd adventure. I must say, having learned what happened, I'm amazed we managed to do that-- achieve the ritual tie! Of course, since we're alive and Brinea is not, I guess we think of it as a victory.

Of course, the five deaths in Benct are not making us a winners there, but we DID clear the ghost out and figured out the room. And the treasure that was recovered is massive enough to make this actually worth it for many involved.

Well, that was a fantastically climactic ending to a long adventure, and I'm proud of our victory. I think, overall, that was far more than I would have expected a 2nd level party to deal with.

Now, perhaps it's time to slay some gnolls...

I'm currently contemplating rejoining with a new woodsman...

Joel/ Darellon/ Tyveris

Log Supplement VIII: Yet More Terrifying Situations


I forgot to mention some other interesting incidents during our adventure:

The tens of thousands of crabs were in fact following us everywhere, every time we moved. Typically they don't go in for line dancing, but frankly this looked pretty bad. Interestingly, Morgan was paraplegic at the time and didn't even notice them crawling all over him until Felix pointed it out. At which point Morgan yelled, "Ew! Get them off me!"

Morgan has declared that he will never nap again.

Party confidence had definitely set record lows with the headhunters converging on us from one side, the lurker tentacles snapping at us from another, crabs everywhere, and Felix convulsing and rotting on the ground. The fact that we managed to pull it together enough to make a coherent decision still amazes me. This was really only our second banzai action (in my opinion the first was when Darellon, Morgan, and Ethan charged the bandit fortress). Both have had amazing results.


Log Entry XVI: Aftermath/ Treasure Division



Felix, 2nd level fighter, 22 hp, played by Alex
Drew, 2nd level ranger, 19 hp, played by committee
Quentin, 2nd level druid, 10 hp, played by Jeremy
Morgan, 2nd level fighter, 9 hp, played by Alan
Perry, 1st level thief, 6 hp, played by Sean


When we last left our DECEASED party, they had just been raised, minus Tyveris. He was an honored member of the party, which has affectionately referred to him as "The Voice of Nevron" for his uncanny success with Command spells.

Summary of treasure:

We gained these magic items:

    Bag of Holding


    Hand Axe+1

    Ioun Stone of Sustenance

    Knowledge Fork

    Healing Potion

    Speed Potion

and quite a bit of money. The party's cash flow, in and out, was truly immense, for us anyway.

For example, the reward for the dagger was 25,000 gp-- but the Raise Dead spells cost 24,500 gp, netting us 500 gp. It kept going like that.

We lost the Potion of Speed and Ioun Stone to salvage tax.

We then traded the compass and Bracelet of AC 9 for a hammer+1 and Bracers of AC 6.

The hand axe was lost as a result of the hammer/bracers trade.

Horizon Line and a Box of Holding were given to the rescuing party, known as the Hand of Faith, led by the Nevronian cleric Malthus. Along with massive amounts of cash and gems, etc.

The money was quite tight though, thanks to MASSIVE TRAINING. To make ends meet reasonably, we had to sell the Necklace of Goblins off.

I'll come back to what we gained in a moment.

After our eight month downtime, including many trips, Perry arrived back from Koralgesh (where he trained with his original master) on April 12th, 2174, and we all met in Restenford to discuss options. We decided to go with investigating the area under Abbey Isle, which the elven fighter/mage Bayleaf had given us the key to. The navy has hired us to assess and hopefully clear any dangers and traps out. We get the treasure, which is rumored to be the high priest's stash of wealth.

We arrived on the isle, and completed an astrology on the final day. This was done by our new cleric, Cassian, played by Katherine.

Question: What lies in store for the party? (Nice and vague)

Result: Doors to nowhere and abominations to Phaulkon will plague the party. The color transparent and the number 16 is important.

There were many thoughts on this, and there will be more during the week, I'm sure. We cast Detect Magic on the room with the door, and the door detected as low magic. Felix inserted the key in the indentation, and the door slowly opened. Inside was a mist, which did leave the corridor beyond, and instead just swirled around in there. It detected as magical.

We pulled the key out of the door, and it shut after about a minute, but not before we noted that there was a similar keyhole on the other side of the door.

We couldn't make out any details of the inside.

So we successfully set up our next adventure.

We were, at the end, left with a few thousand left over, but it was ugly for a while.

The Defenders have multiplied their power massively:

Quentin Browne is now a 4th level druid with 16 hp. He gained some woodland languages, including treant, gained 3rd level spells (he can now memorize 14 spells!), and managed to keep most of his animals, despite dying. The only one lost was the owl Darellon. Quentin picked up another owl, and named it Tyveris. Cute. He also learned sling.

Perry gained 3 levels! He is now a 4th level thief. With the knowledge fork, his ability to pick locks has reached 80% in some cases! He has 13 hp, and gained several proficiencies. He spent time with his family while training in Koralgesh.

Felix trained in Barnacus, gaining two levels. He is now a 4th level fighter. Felix continued his absurd hit points streak and gained 22 more to stand at 44 hp! He gained several proficiencies.

Morgan trained under the Baron of Restenford, gaining 4th level as well. He regained much of his lost strength, and advanced to 22 hp. He also picked up longbow and sprinting.

Drew gained one level and trained to 3rd level. He gained 6 hp and now has a maximum of 25. Drew has also gained the proficiency Falchion.

Joining the party:

Balinor is a 2nd level fighter, a veteran guard and grumpy adventurer. He is extremely ugly, insulting, and dislikeable. But no one can deny his effectiveness with two hammers, one now magical. He carries three hammers on his person from his previous experience, named Bessie, Rip, and Blunt. The magical hammer has not yet been named. He is never smiling, and generally looks for problems. He can be more pleasant once you get to know him though.

Balinor is a 6'8" Northerner, double hammer ambidexterous specialist with 19 hp.

Also joining us is Cassian, the 1st level Phaulkonian cleric with 9 hp. She is pretty and friendly, and the party has already accepted her as a solid companion. She has interests in astrology, swimming, and local history and lore. She wields a longbow, and a sling.

That's the current party composition. Here's the short form:


Felix, 4th level fighter, 44 hp, played by Alex
Morgan, 4th level fighter, 22 hp, played by Alan
Quentin, 4th level druid, 16 hp, played by Jeremy
Perry, 4th level thief, 13 hp, played by Sean
Drew, 3rd level ranger, 25 hp, played by committee, and Jack
Balinor, 2nd level fighter, 19 hp, played by Joel
Cassian, 1st level cleric of Phaulkon, 9 hp, played by Katherine


Next session: The Return of the Idiots (to Abbey Isle)

Plans for the future: Apparently minor bandit activity has been starting up again... and the gnolls are still around....



Log Entry XVII: Underground Terror



Felix, 4th level fighter, 44 hp, played by Alex
Drew, 3rd level ranger, 25 hp, played by committee
Morgan, 4th level fighter, 22 hp, played by Alan
Balinor, 2nd level fighter, 19 hp, played by Joel
Quentin, 4th level druid, 16 hp, played by Jeremy
Perry, 4th level thief, 13 hp, played by Sean
Cassian, 1st level cleric, 9 hp, played by Katherine


Virtually all movement during this session was done at about .2".

The mist did not detect as evil, so, excuses gone, we headed down the corridor. After a brief amount of checking, we were abruptly attacked by five skeletons and five zombies!

After an impressive first swing doing 22 points of damage to a skeleton, who promptly fell apart, Balinor found himself frustrated and held at bay. Felix and Morgan blew apart the rest, with a little help from Perry. We pulled the bodies outside-- they were robed and had odd masks on. Turning by the cleric Cassian did in fact work-- the one remaining one fled, only to be chopped apart by Felix. Visibility here, by the way, is a whopping 3 feet with the Continual Light items. Furthermore, we showed that the aura emitted by the entire mist effectively prevented Detect Magic from working.

Drawing upon folklore, Cassian suggested that the skeletons might be of a special variety, since they were wearing death masks of the islands north of Lendore. The fiery red eye sockets still glowed in death, and detected as magical. That is, until Balinor smashed them into little bits with his magical hammer. His regular hammer Bessie got two kills, and he switched to Rip to give it a fair chance.

After avoiding a trip wire trap that would bring a smashing block down on the party, we turned the corner, Perry and Felix in the lead. Suddenly, the rope attached to Morgan fell out of his hands, and there was a cry of "AAAAHHHHH!!!" fading from Felix as he apparently fell a great height into the "floor." We looked through the illusionary surface and saw a swirling vortex. Since Felix could still hear us, barely, and was still yelling about falling after a full minute, we decided that this was some weird illusion. Balinor reached into the floor and wished for Felix-- who promptly popped up, comatose from having bumped his head repeatedly on something. Bizarre trap there. No permanent affects though-- it appears it basically was a great place to hide stuff.

We found a pit trap covering the center area of a room along a different corridor. A couple of general notes: this place is a small maze of corridors and "secret panels" like the one at the entrance. We chose to avoid secret doors and traps at all costs and proceed along the clear ways, assuming that perhaps if someone actually wanted to retrieve the treasure, he would have to get there without dying.

Next, we entered an open space and proceeded along a wall. Suddenly, the entrance to the room slammed shut and poison gas sprayed into the room. Everyone except Cassian and Quentin immediately collapsed. Furthermore, a crystalline elf maiden started heading toward Cassian. Her arrow shattered on impact, which was quite bad. Meanwhile, Quentin desperately cast Stoneshape and began to open a hole in the door. He finished, and Cassian continued running from the golem-like thing. Quentin realized the danger and cast Slow Poison on Balinor, who rose up slightly damaged.

Suddenly, the poison hit again and both Cassian and Quentin dropped, leaving Balinor alone. He scooped up a Healing Potion from Felix and downed as he approached the golem. The elf closed and suddenly swordlike crystal things sprang from her "hands" and sliced at Balinor, hurting him. The potion healed him back up, and he swung the magic hammer-- cracking the maiden everywhere. Heedless, the golem swung again and missed. Balinor smashed it again and it shattered.

He then tossed the party through the Stoneshaped hole, and lugged everyone back to camp, where they shirked off the poison. Everyone was fine, but we waited a day before reentering.

The golem room had seemed to have treasure spilling everywhere, but we were wary of tricks. An astrology done by Cassian was VERY unambiguous:

Is the treasure worth taking?

No words. The number 163,265 is important. The color copper is important.

Duh. Worthless decoy. Cassian cast a Precipitation spell which pretty well cleared the area of poison, and we investigated. Perry got nailed by a poison needle trap on a chest full of coppers, but since we had already cast Slow Poison on him this didn't particularly concern us (Quentin then cast Neutralize Poison). Generally the room was full of crappy items disguised to look nice. There were in fact two secret panels leaving the room.

We ran out of corridors, BARELY dodging a VERY nasty trap in two different places. This beaut opened the floor up suddenly, dropped you in glistening spikes, shut, and then the spikes rattled around like a blender. A real work of something.

Perry then managed to disarm the trip wire traps, despite failing on one of them and causing it to fall, but not anywhere near Perry. The pit traps were avoidable in general.

Finally we came to another room like the first golem room. We decided to be smart this time, and chucked a piece of wood in. Rushing out were... five zombies and five skeletons. The same thing happened again, except this time Balinor only managed to kill one before they began repeatedly hitting him. They were summarily dispatched.

Next, Felix went in alone, and Quentin immediately began casting Stone Shape on the door when it shut as expected. Felix retreated to the corner and suddenly found himself fending off attacks from a crystalline golem-- this one about 10 feet tall and having the appearance of a minotaur! It beat him up before he managed to escape, and inflicted a wound. We fell back when its arm reached through the Stoneshaped section of the door. Balinor whacked it soundly, sending cracks up the arm, but was grabbed and had his hammer knocked out of his hand. It was scooped up by Morgan, and Balinor fell back. There was a clicking sound, and the door mechanism began to reset. The door was about to open!

We retreated all the way outside, and the golem clearly followed us right up until the final door. Thankfully it didn't emerge.

We healed that night, and went back in the next day, after incinerating the bodies of the skeletons and zombies from the previous battle. We couldn't seem to find the golem though, and we assume it has gone back to its reset position in the room, which is where we are now standing, trying to decide what to do.


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All pages copyright Kyle Scott MacLea, 1994-2004, excepting works cited by others and artwork, which are copyright of the respective individual.