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After SSOULES was created:  9 August 2173 - 15 June 2185


Summary LII:  Where the Fear of Enemies Puts the Soules into a Frenzy

 Thanks for the promotion, Kyle!

"Even the simplest of tasks become complicated by consistent bad rolling."
-Zack Hubert after the hapless bunny of power had successfully resisted the
THIRD polymorph attempt

Will the Stone Soules ever make any progress in this place?  Is the barrage
of Auguries too integral a part of our earlier success?  You make the call in...


Before beginning the adventure a long list of goals was proposed.  Most of
the minor and simple ones were achieved (albeit with great difficulty).

Eli EVENTUALLY managed to polymorph four rabbits into mules to drag Groorg's
body outside to the nearby valley where we had prepared for the original
assault on the temple.  There we learned one important piece of information
through -Speak with Dead-: that "the treasure room" was hidden in the 333
dimples room.  We cut off his head and took it back to the Temple with his

Teldral the dwarf's real name is Mordrick Ironhand.  He is an immensely
strong and hardy dwarf.  He also speaks Common decently well, far better
than we had guessed, and so understood many of our conversations about him.
After he consented to allowing Alegra and Alegra only to cast -Know
Alignment- on him (and promising never to reveal what she had learned),
Alegra found the result acceptable.  Warwick dropped his objections after a
few questions under -Detect Lie- and -Detect Evil- (all done outside of the
non-divination zone) and Mordrick joined the party formally.

His skill in finding traps is in many cases better than Ludo's, and he has
such a high life total that he quickly became an invaluable member.  His
claims of being name-level were confirmed by the spells and by his success
during the searches.

Warwick came up with a plan to get the person with the gems out in a hurry
should we recover them.  Tristan the druid would scry on Menstat, who has
devices that would warn him of the attempt.  When he returned the scry,
Tristan would be wearing a sign asking him to teleport him back to Cromwell
with the gems.

Alegra and Xavier attempted astrology readings-- the results were involving
the constellation Cornucopia and a few others.  One I remember  was roughly
(don't quote me on this) "The Cornucopia is unhappy."

Xavier later decided to check if our fears of a hostile force approaching
the Temple were true, and tried another series of observations.  The results

"Hostile approach from the north.  The number 4 is important."

We decided that meant that the feared Realmish shocktroopers were coming to
find out why Groorg's men had suddenly deserted (upon the death of their
leader).  The number 4 could mean one or both of two things:

1) They will be arriving in 4 days.
2) There are 4 of them.

Another rule for the Stone Soules page:

4) 1 shocktrooper is bad.  4 shocktroopers is just ugly.

After a heated debate, we decided not to flee immediately and continue the
search in the hopes of quickly finding the treasure.  The problem was, if we
left we would never have another opportunity to explore the temple before it
was cleared (or worse the shocktroopers freed the Dark Servant by design or

Next we explored the dimple room and found a door that quickly revolved
around, 90 degrees at a time, using a VERY well-hidden latch.  Mordrick and
Ludo were fed Lucky Days before the search which probably helped
significantly in our "success."

The first 90 degree turn put us in a small room with stuff that might once
have been worth quite a lot but was now only a handful of gold pieces.  The
next 90 degree turn was actually into a room that spanned 180 degrees.  (So
there are only three rooms accessible by this secret door-- the dimple room,
"treasure" room, and the dark room).  The dark room was hideously resistant
to any light.  Candles were found to work best.  Ludo and Mordrick were able
to search for traps though they sensed hideous evil.  When Warwick went in
and checked out the floor, he claimed to have seen a "vision" of something
and that he needed to examine it more to understand fully.  Alarm bells went
off when he strongly refused to leave the room with Ceydric.  He finally
consented under strong pressure.  The feeling left him somewhat, and
eventually Alegra cast a -Remove Curse- on him.  So it was scary, but there
still appear to be no adverse effects.

Most notably in the room was a portal on the floor.  When we opened it, it
blasted out unbelievable cold damage and we quickly shut it.  We tried
various ways to explore it, involving rings of warmth, resist cold, and
weather control spells, all to little effect.  The problem with the
temperature control was that it was a stationary field.  If it moved along
with Alegra, this whole would have been a LOT easier.  The other things just
seemed to do very little.  And regardless this cold was not quite like
natural cold, because of how it chilled so evenly and to the bone.

A plan was hatched to explore it involving Alegra putting a weather control
at the bottom and Ceydric flying down the tunnel and exploring while
literally his dozen aids were drained.  The result was hideously costly and
later turned out to be unfortunate...

Ceydric (with 117 hp!) flew down and, taking continuous damage, explored.
About 300 feet down, the tunnel became horizontal rather than vertical.
There was 4-way intersection.  When Ceydric passed through this a voice
spoke "Look up and see your fate." (a booming and brassy voice).  Ceydric
responded, "I don't think so," and took a left.  Here was a trapezoidal room
filled with books, armor, shields, weapons, urns, and jars.

Going to the right at the intersection, Ceydric saw a hexagonal room with a
few bushes, growing what appeared to be fruit.  Bizarrely, the fruit
appeared normal while the bushes had a crystalline structure.  The bushes
began light in color at the top and darker until they matched the obsidian
floor at the bottom.  Racing against time, Ceydric went into the third room,
an octagonal room with 7 panels and designs.

He made it upstairs just barely alive due to the long flight back up.  The
valiant Ceydric had done a costly reconnaissance, losing one of his ring
fingers to frostbite.

We decided that it was simply too costly to make these runs.  It was also
becoming likely that the gems were hidden down there.  We began to search
for a safer way down, either by "shutting off" the cold or finding a magic
robe of warmth or something.

There were also two secret doors leading to an area in back of the altar
room.  The total findings in the rooms were 7 dark robes, 2 iron boxes
(magical-needed knock to open them), and 37 large balls of incense (magical).

Eli had been doing a lot of numerology with the number 333, and had come up
with several pyramid formations.  In addition, the number 333 is 3x3x37-- an
interesting and useful tidbit.

The robes have been tried on by Theo (the guinea pig), Ceydric, Rangorn,
Raven, and Warwick.  They did indeed block the cold completely, without any
senstation of accompanying warmth.  Weird.

Past the cloak rooms were two vestries, where the dark priests adorned
themselves before performing black rites.  There was a large tan mold in
one of them, which attacked Ludo and Mordrick intially, then stopped and
just sank down.  Eli cast multiple attack spells at it, including magic
missile, LIMM, and Wall of Ice.  No effect noted.  It never again moved
though, and Ludo and Mordrick did a search.  That was where we found 5 jet
black spheres (magical).

The first group down into the cold pit was Ceydric, Rangorn, Raven, and
Theo.  Only Ceydric carried his sword, as the robes tend to make movement
and combat awkward.  You cannot fire a bow in them.  You cannoth carry
anything except in your hands, and they have only two small eyeslits, a
fairly large breathing hole, and a pointed top.

We all heard the voice as we passed, and understandably none of us dared
look up.  We turned left and tried to simply collect stuff from the room
without looking closely at it.  Unfortunately as Raven touched the first
book to knock it into the sack, a shadowy beast rose out of it.  We turned
to run, but it was nearly as fast as us.  It became clear we could never
make it up the ladder in time, and Ceydric turned to fight it.  On its first
hit it tore open gaping holes in the robes and cold rushed in. Ceydric
ignored it and fought it off, and it finally retreated from damage.  Ceydric
did his best to cover up the holes, buying enough time to lower a new robe
to him.  After this we decided to have all the spare robes in a pile at the
base of the ladder.

Rangorn stayed up the second trip, and the three armed themselves with magic
weapons.  The ethereal being reappeared when Raven touched the book again.
It is outer-planar; Theo's sword really trashed it.  Unfortunately Theo's
cloak was shredded in the encounter and Raven's was torn partially.  Theo
nearly died trying to get another one on before the cold finished him.

Theo returned upstairs, and Ceydricchecked out the stuff in the trapezoidal
room while Raven searched the walls for secret doors.  It was all junk,
Ceydric quickly realized, though he sent one shield up just in case it was
an illusion.  Sahrak's -Detect Illusion- indicated it was not.  It really
was a decoy of some kind.  Of course we haven't checked all the equipment
there.  In addition, Ceydric sent up an urn which has still remained
unopened thus far.

Ceydric next examined the bushes and made a count of the number of fruits.
The total number was 166, 1 less than half of 333.  In addition they were
grouped by numbers like 37 and 3 and 9 (Ceydric made an exact count-- I just
forgot the exact stats).

On the next trip Ceydric and Rangorn went down.  Rangorn searched all three
rooms for secret doors.  He found none in the first two.  As soon as he
touched the wall physically in the third (octogonal room with 7 panels) the
floor glowed and a ring of purple appeared of about 20' diameter.  Rangorn
and Ceydric dashed out of the room and stood near the doorway, but seconds
later the light just disappeared.  Rangorn was feeling in a experimental
mood and touched the next panel (they rotate long and short sides).  The
same thing happened.

One of the iron boxes was opened upstairs, revealing a wand (magical).
Finally there seemed no option but to check out the fruit.  Ceydric and
Warwick went down (Warwick seemed fine) and approached one of the bushes.
There were three types of fruit.  Ceydric touched one of the "green apples"
with one finger.  No effect.  Two.  No effect.  He put his whole hand around it.

...For a moment Ceydric gained the wisdom of the gods, the cleverness of

and then fell unconscious in Warwick's arms.  Ceydric had sustained mental
damage, which will take days to recover through normal healing only, and is
now operating at only half-strength.  When Ceydric explained what had
happened to Warwick, his response was, "I wanna try some of that!"

We are struck by the seven robes, and seven panels coincidence. Some members
have theorized that the seven high priests could invoke dark rituals if they
all touched the panels at the same moment.  Another theory is that the seven
panels were a safeguard against any single priest stealing the gems, and
that if we touched all walls at the same time the ring would encase the
gems.  This is of course hideously risky to test.

Most of us agree that the voice at the four-way is in fact the Dark Servant.
None of us dare look up-- things will be "not happy."

Another theory on the gem location is that the bushes are not in fact the
gems but have grown out of them and that the gems are actually buried
underneath the bush.  Unfortunately the robes only fit people above 5'6" or
so safely, so we've been hesistant to bring Eli, Sahrak, Ludo, or Mordrick
down.  Furthermore Alegra, Xavier, Star, and Tristan all fear being smitten
upon touching the robes-- certainly justified.  So if we still had all seven
robes intact we could try to have Rangorn, Raven, Deirdre, Ceydric, Theo,
Warwick, and a seventh person all touch the walls and see what happened.  On
the other hand if one person can touch more than one panel (ie. at a corner)
then only four people would be necessary.  We still have 4 fully intact
robes and one robe that is ok for awhile.  Eli tried to -Repair- one of the
really damaged ones, and it began to work, then abruptly unraveled completely.

What should we do next?  We have one more day to leave safely before we
expect the Shocktroopers.

End of log.

Out of character: We quit at 4 AM frustrated and worried.  The party is now
debating what to do.  Everything seems to lead to some reward, but at
hideous risk for the risk-taker.  Zack is understandably unwilling to have
Ceydric continue being the guinea pig, and most of the other people want to
continue, but not do the risky stuff.  We can stop now and be satisfied with
a modest haul, and the success of killing Groorg and retrieving the mithril
key without any loss of life.

But this is our best chance to recover a huge treasure.  And there are still
some places left that have not been tinkered with, though we think we've
mapped the floor out fully.  Groorg told us (when dead) that his followers
were struck dead upon touching things in the altar room. So this seems
unwise.  Then there is the six sarcophogi room (six sarcophogi and one more
in another room, 7 coffins-- supports our suspicion about the 7 wall
panels).  And finally the cistern with the tentacle thing.

Sorry about the huge length of this summary, but we are really up against
the wall here and I thought detail was very important for those observing.
Kyle is not alone in being frustrated-- we are all still in debate.

Thus ends Episode 2 of the Stone Soules, "The Stone Soules vs. the Dark
Servant."  Watch them defy death and danger with reckless abandon in Episode 3!

Joel D. Green

"Life is full of little surprises."
-Pandora  (top)

Summary LIII:  More of the Stone Soules vs. the Dark Servant

Before this, his result was "The Four Brothers approach the sign of the
Hawk."  The Four Brothers is a meteor shower and the Hawk a constellation.
At that moment the Bird Man Tchoh-Meh was approaching to talk to us about
asking them to do a third-party Know Alignment.
The hostile nature of the four brothers was emphasized by the astrology
readings.  The fact that this was "unhappy" for our fate in the "cornucopia"
relates that obviously our chances of reaping the cornucopia of wealth are
small at this point and that the FB might be making it smaller....

The box which contained the wand was found in the Trapezoidal Room, the only
item of apparent value in it.  The wand was made of Crystal and glowed.

Oh yes, and I forgot to mention in the summary that Mordrick had originally
requested for a third party to cast -Know Alignment- not trusting us fully
yet.  We sent the -Runner- requesting the aaracokra to send someone to cast
it.  Tchoh-Meh informed us that none of them were capable of casting the spell.

Totally unrelated, but Ludo found a very weird feather somewhere in the
temple when he was searching it. He was going to show it to Eli and Alegra,
but I never got around to it.

We don't know exactly what the gems look like.  The accounts of them being
"mined from the darkest depths" or something like that is all we have to go
on.  The fact that they were mined indicates they really are literal gems

The reason Ceydric touched the fruit was in the hope that they were the
gems.  When it backfired, we decided that the fruit was NOT the gems-- if
they are we might as well go home, as we can't afford to get more people
mentally blasted.  Nevertheless some people suggested that the fruit trees
grew from the gems hidden underneath.  Rangorn and Eli have not yet checked
the floors there.  Unfortunately Ludo and Mordrick cannot safely go down
there and help, as they would have a much better chance.

Certainly the 166 fruits is suspicious, although it may have nothing to do
with the gems-- rather with some other aspect of the Temple.  The actual
tree was not touched either, only one apple.  One further idea was to "pick"
the fruit in the big horn or perhaps one of the smaller horns.  Sorry about
the mistakes with the iron boxes, by the way...

Joel/Rangorn  (top)

Summary LIV:  The Temple's Beautifully Rendered Artwork

All figures are 10 feet tall.  They surround a 10' square column of purple.

The Black Idol: Southern Side; Jet Black
 This figure is wearing armor made of fluted, runneled, and winged plates.
The mail is made of downwards pointing triangles.  Some sort of cape hangs
over the shoulders with scalloped edges near the knees.  It holds a huge,
wavy-bladed two-handed sword.  The helmet has no openings, and it covered with
strange projections and spiny ridges, much like the armor.

The Green Idol: Eastern Side; Deep Dark Green
 This figure has a broad chest and wide shoulders.  It wears a flowing
cloak that has sleeves that hang over the hands.  A high collar goes from
cheek to cheek, and a tight cap is on its head.  The figure is wearing a mask
of an old man.  A staff leans against the right shoulder, lightly grasped.

The Red Idol:  Northern Side; Dark, Intense Carmine
 This figure wears high boots, hose, a doublet-like garment, and
gauntlets.  These look strangely familiar, but are clearly of some foreign or
ancient style.  The figure wears a long hood, drawn tightly around a faceless
face.  The figure holds an axe with the blade on the ground and the hands
resting on its handle.  The axe has a short handle, but the blade is long and
has many angles and an end spike that rests on the floor.

The Blue Idol: Western Side; Deep Indigo
 This figure wears a garment with many pleats.  It wears a girdle
with strange runes upon it.  A broad cowl largely hides a blank surface
where a face should be.  The arms are held so the hands meet at the center
of the chest (with elbows out to each side).  The arms and hands are entirely
hidden by the robe, but must be holding the strangely convoluted and filigreed
stick (Scepter?).

Disturbingly, I have this level of detail on almost anything in the temple
you choose to examine in detail...

The Upside Down Pyramids in the octagonal room are two stepped affairs,
a pair of trapezoids stacked atop each other.  Only the outline imples the
separation of the two levels, as the entire thing is nothing put a
silhouette.  The bottom of the shape (top of the pyramid) is flattened rather
than pointed.

Edwin  (top)

Summary LV:  The Stone Soules Deal a Blow to the Forces of Evil... and Make Out Like Bandits

Stone Soules 1, Tram/DS/Evil Baddies 0.

This was the big one folks!  We accomplished all our objectives!  First I'll
create the short summary followed by a longer one for those hungry for detail.


For those who are eager for quick and not detailed:


Find the Path failed utterly (tiny chance of success).  So we went with the
contingency plan of looking up with Protection from Possession.  Raven
looked up and read something like:  to the left are the unfit, to the right
the fit, to the center the chosen.  That was a very rough translation-- but
it's fortunately academic now.  Ask Sean for details.

inserted here:
Those I find unfit I place to my left.
Those I find fit, I place to my right.
The chosen may proceed forward.

While still under Prot. from Poss. Raven tried a dull purple fruit (picked
it off with his sword).  He swelled to huge size and was indestructible for
a brief moment, then returned to normal (made System Shock at 1/2 chance),
or almost.  Raven had gained a point of Constitution permanently!  (and 6 hp
to boot!).  We now suspect that when Ceydric recovers from the mental damage
he will gain a point of wisdom.

This next stuff was in several attempts:

Next we touched the seven walls with four people.  The center of the room
became purple.  We blew the horn (type 5 abjuration) and it made a horrible
wailing noise, but a pillar of initally purple and later black rose up out
of the center until it touched the ceiling.  A stairwell of purple stairs
appeared around it.  The stairs were surrounded by a gray swirly circle
thing which turned out to be an EVEN COLDER wall of force.  The wall opened
for us when certain incense was lit and a religious pattern was followed
(Rangorn and thus I was out of the room for this detail, so sorry about
being unclear).  The problem was that we had a limited number of sticks to
burn.  Ceydric and Raven went down (with some other members) as they were
the ones who passed the "test" of the fruit and were the "chosen" in our
opinion.  They went down the stairs for an indeterminate period of time
(stairs became black as they went down).  The found a room below with a huge
slab (about 12 feet long) and a 4 foot high box with two upside down pyramid
insignias on it.  The box was leaning against the 12 foot long slab.  Above
the slab was an indistinct blackness.  Ceydric looked in and quickly
determined that we had found the Dark Servant.

Ceydric and Raven had gained knowledge (mysteriously) of the name of the
place and the Dark Servant.  Having passed everything else we were
confounded-- we tried to open the box as Ceydric fervently insisted the gems
would be very close to the DS.  But nothing would open it.

In the meantime Rangorn and Mordrick found the dwarven heirloom axe--
(spectacular die rolls by Rangorn) in less than 15 minutes.  We looked in
the altar room for any pyramid shaped key or something.  Eli and Deirdre
cast spells on the runes on the top of the Temple and the belt of the
statue-- the runes were curses against everyone who brought light, goodness,
knowledge, etc.  The belt told nothing relevant.

There was only enough incense left for one more go, so we went with bold and
stupid.  Rangorn, Raven, Deirdre and Star went down the stairs the last
time.  We tried -Knock- spelling the box, but it reflected the -Knock- back
at Deirdre.  We then had a big argument about whether to speak the name of
the DS or blow the horn as a last resort.  Speaking the name had little
effect but to make it stir slightly.  We stopped.  Another huge argument
ensued.  Deirdre eventually decided to try chanting the name repeatedly.
Alas, Deirdre was annihilated and became Temple building material (by the
way all 3rd and 4th level clerical spells vanished when Alegra descended the
stairs-- and Eli started forgetting spells-- so they didn't go along again).
We had little choice but to try the horn, though Rangorn thought it would be
to our demise.  The blowing of the horn opened a secret door, but knocked
everyone off their feet.

In tragic irony, only Rangorn failed his save and ripped open his robe.  In
the intense cold he was finished in moments.  Raven and Star pressed on
through the secret door and found a pyramid-shaped key and more incense--
subtle (sarcasm).  He inserted it into the box and it opened revealing a bag
and a box.  He took both and Rangorn's body and they raced up the stairs
just before time ran out on the incense.  But he brought the extra out so
there was plenty of time to retrieve other things.  Fortunately the deadly
poison trap (40 needles-- would have stunk) on the box was accidentally
tripped by the bag bumping over the side.  We opened the box and discovered...

THE 333 GEMS!!!!!!!!!!  Around three gross was a quick estimate.  THEY'RE

The bag held...

THE BOOK!!!!!  The one the sage wanted to knock out Tellah!

We split into two groups-- one to hustle the gems back at high speed
(Warwick, Tristan, Mordrick, Alegra, Ludo, Eli, and the late Rangorn's body)
and the other to stay and deal with the shocktroopers.  The group hustling
the gems survived intact after a nasty encounter with a nutso priest (just
showed up and started hurling spells at us on the first night).  We killed
him and found a type 3 dagger, type 2 ring, and type 1 invisible item
(conjuration) which we guess was his holy symbol since none was visible on
him.  Eli thinks it was a priest of Kord.

The party back at the Temple fended off the questions of a Realmish monk who
showed up, and then Realmish soldiers-- and returned the two Realmish
prisoners in good condition to the monk.  The Realm eventually decided that
we were forgiven for Groorg's troops betrayal (50 of them turned and killed
many Realmish soldiers).

Rangorn was raised successfully and the gems were teleported back via
Menstat and are being held by Gring.  Our arrival at the dwarven valley was
kept secret and our official "arrival" will be when the party heads back
together.  Finally, the party (except Rangorn who will be fine when they
next see him at the dwarves') regrouped and informed the Realmish that we
would be leaving.  We did.

Out of character: despite Rangorn's temporary death, I was thrilled to be a
part of the most successful adventure in Stone Soules' History!

And that was the hideously nerve-racking but disgustingly successful
conclusion to the epic quest.

I forgot to mention that while the other party remained at the temple, they
destroyed the horn and incense and threw the remains into the cold.  The
place is pretty well sealed and the Dark Servant will remain at rest for

P.S.  I'll get the full details out tomorrow.  Getting late and all that.
Next week will be a few fun details... YES!!!!!!!!!!

To answer some Warwick's questions: the horn is necessary to open the
stairwell down to the DS, and was left down in the stairwell and shut in.
So unless another one is created (from scratch) it is inaccessible.  All the
robes were easily destroyed (most unintentionally) as was the incense
(burned).  The DS is inaccessible, but it is still possible with a battery
of -Aid- spells to reach the tree and quickly pick it (though a system shock
roll at 1/2 penalty is required).  Feel free- I wouldn't do it...

Menstat was contacted on Tristan's sixth scrying attempt and Tristan held up
the sign Warwick had prepared (in the dwarven vale by this time).  In the
meantime Rangorn was raised.  The next evening, Warwick surprised the crud
out of the suddenly appearing Menstat, who talked to everyone for a few
minutes.  We handed him the gems to give to Gring and a message for (how do
you spell it) Aura-Maxis that we had found the sage's book to theoretically
destroy Tellah.

There is still a decent quantity of treasure in four chests hidden in our
secret cache in the nearby valley.  I believe we have decided to take it
with us.  We are about to depart the valley but have not yet done so.
Warwick is still with us, by the way (the whole group returned and is
reunited, excepting the recovering Rangorn).  We have done little IDing of
items through even Detect Magic thus far-- most of it will be resolved in
Cromwell, I believe.

Moving at 12" the reduced party managed to cover the distance from the
Temple to the dwarves in 5 days, so at the expected 6" it should be
considerably longer, and weather may be a problem as it is late in the year
(but not disastrously slow).

One other note: excepting the travel time with the gems, the point from
where we left off last week to the recovery of the gems took only a small
amount over a single spell shift (evening of the same day).

Our official "arrival" back at the dwarven valley will be our next arrival,
hopefully to great fanfare.

One final note: If there were any doubts about Mordrick, leave them behind.
The first guard that saw us approach the dwarven settlement laid his sword
down honorably in front of Mordrick.

Joel/Rangorn  (top)

Summary LVI:  The Stone Soules vs. the Dark Servant-- The Final Chapter

Ok here goes:

We tried the proposed -Find the Path- scroll and it failed-- it turned out
to be nearly impossible for it to work.

Xavier -Aid-ed himself and touched the robe, then put it on.  Nothing out of
the ordinary happened and the robes were deemed safe for clerics as well.

With Star helping mentally, Raven looked up at the runes and got the message
about the three rooms.  Hoping that maybe picking a fruit with a
non-personal aura object like a sword would prevent the damage, Rangorn
swung at the branch with his knife.

Out of character: the first of a thrilling series of rolls by your truly.
Edwin said: don't roll a one-- and I did.

Luckily he just dropped the knife, and swung again-- this time the knife
came away notched but the branch was unharmed.  Next he swung Raven's
magical bastard sword at it-- it was unharmed, but so was the bastard sword
(good thing).

Raven then tried to pry the fruit off with two swords doing a scissor-like
thing-- the normal system shock roll was the result.  Oh well-- Raven gained
a point of Constitution out of it!

Next Rangorn searched the floor near the bush for secret panels- nope.

I'm not sure exactly when this spell shift happened-- somewhere in the
middle of the following trips downstairs.  I'll just quickly note the events
of the spell shift:

1) Rangorn made two spectacular rolls and discovered the dwarven heirloom in
15 minutes in the hands of the dead ogre in one of the rooms.  Rangorn and
Mordrick were not attacked by will o'wisps or anything like that.

2) Most party members were healed.

3) Rangorn went with a -Fly- spell on into the altar room.  He searched it
but did not touch anything, and found nothing of interest.  It was a very
plain room.

Meanwhile exploration of the icy area continued:

Star explored the ceiling area of the octagonal room (with the panels)-- no

Theo, Rangorn, Raven, and Deirdre each touched two panels (except Theo) and
the center of the room became purple.  Deirdre blew the horn.  The center
appeared to bubble up and then form the top of a purple column that started
rising toward the ceiling.  Slowly the outside purple part faded to
transparency and a smaller inner black column became visible.  Deirdre
stopped blowing when it reached the halfway point, but it kept rising
anyway, until it touched the ceiling soundlessly and stopped.

There was a swirling black mist where the outline of purple was.  Between
the purple and black pillar was a spiral staircase leading down.  Deirdre
put a hand close to the mist and got cold burns THROUGH THE ROBE.  Rangorn
swung a bag at it and the bag bounced off it like a physical wall, and the
bottom of the bag was rimmed with frost.  However, using a process that I
was unfortunately not present for (details from Zack, Sean, and Jack)
involving the thuribles and incense sticks and various other unholy items, a
passage opened in the mist.

The path would only remain open as long as the incense at the top burned
(despite the cold), so there was some kind of time limit.  A lot of the
items burned much longer than we would have expected (magical properties).
Finally, the whole staircase was closed everytime we came down, so
apparently it would go down on its own after a certain amount of time.

As soon as the party of four entered the stairs they noticed a disorienting
effect about the amount of time spent on the stairs as wound down deeper.
Soon afterwards all 3rd and 4th level spells of Alegra were inaccessible (we
were close).  Furthermore, the cold was MUCH more intense than before-- the
thuribles and incense was necessary to keep things warm so they didn't
damage the wielder.  Still the thuribles were still burning when they
reached the bottom-- a huge room with a stone slab about 12 feet by 4 feet.
Above the stone slab was the Dark Servant, sleeping.  We wisely did not try
to join him there.

Next to the slab was a smaller box, with two prism shaped holes on the
sides.  It was immovable, as were the incense holders and candelabra in the
room.  Ceydric lost most of his vision (temporarily) from looking near the
Dark Servant for two long and thus did not go down on the final trip.  Raven
was actually affected mentally and became depressed for awhile, obsessed
with thoughts of freeing the Dark Servant.  He wisely abstained.

The final part of the ceremony was still a mystery.  We sent down Raven,
Rangorn, Deirdre and Star to try to figure it out (Ceydric couldn't see, Eli
had forgotten a 3rd level spell upon coming up the stairwell again, Star has
other abilities, Rangorn could search for secret doors and panels, Deirdre
was that kind of woman and had -Knock- in memory, Warwick was nervous about
some recurrence of his near curse, Tristan was not going no matter what).
Raven had consumed a lucky day.

Deirdre cast -Knock- on the box near the slab, which reflected it back at
her.  (No really harmful affect, just weird)  Raven then tried calling out
the name of the Dark Servant once-- it stirred.  We stopped abruptly.
Apparently it could be woken up, just not freed.  He tried saying the name
of the place.  No effect.  A big argument ensued, and time was running out,
so Deirdre took charge.  She tried to chant the name of the Dark Servant
repeatedly.  This was disastrous-- Deirdre was blasted into nothingness, as
was her equipment (including a ring+1, and ioun stone).  It was a terrible

Star, Raven, and Rangorn argued.  Raven and Star outvoted the (admittedly
terrified) Rangorn and decided to blow the horn.  The ground shook-- saving
throws all around.  Rangorn with his usual luck failed miserably, but
fortunately Raven and Star were fine.  Rangorn's robe tore open and he tried
to hold it shut.  He made a break for the stairs, and it shredded
completely, killing him before he had gone 20 feet.

But a secret door had opened in the wall.  Raven and Star ventured inside,
and found some containers.  He said the Dark Servant's name once, and they
opened.  He found more incense, thuribles, everything they would need for a
return trip, and 2 PYRAMID SHAPED things.  Raven stuck them into the slots
and the box opened, revealing a bag and a box which matched the description
we had received.  Raven and Star took Rangorn's body and the box and bag
upstairs.  Fortunately the deadly 40 poison needle trap was accidently set
off during the trip up when the bag bumped once, spilling out the needles.
It could have been MUCH worse.

We opened the box and bag up, and found "about 3 gross" gems (we assume 333)
and a book-- hopefully we can annihilate Tellah now.

We tried for speed and sent the gems (in Eli's belt) along with an AWAY team
of Warwick, Tristan, Eli, Alegra, Ludo, Mordrick, 2 mules, and Rangorn's
body.  They got to the dwarven settlement in five days, and managed to keep
their arrival quiet, though all doubts about Mordrick were erased by the
hero's welcome he received.  We retired to the vale where we had stayed all
those weeks previously and contacted Menstat on Tristan's sixth scrying attempt.

Meanwhile, the party back at the Temple (Theo, Ceydric, Raven, Xavier,
Star, and Sahrak) was met by two Realmish shocktroopers, one of them
a monk.  They were saved serious trouble by the recovery of the two former
Realmish prisoners, who smoothed over communications.  Eventually they were
told to move along, as the place was deemed dangerous.  Hah!

They moved to the hidden vale were the cache of stuff was, and six days
later the others returned.  Our next actions are to return to the dwarven
settlement, probably with the cache of stuff.

The morals:

1) Playing with hideous trapped evils is unwise.
2) Shocktroopers don't have much personality.
3) "We're not in this for money.  We're in it for a *&$@load of money!"

Party confidence is "just chill."

Joel/Rangorn  (top)

Summary LVII:  Beyond the Dark Servant

Quick summ:

Memorial service held for Deirdre
Party/Funeral/Party at Dwarves
Ruben's Runner to Shocktrooper informing him of sack of Temple
        and that they should not disturb sleeping evils
Lots of purchases and trading at Dwarves
Alegra, Star, Eli, Theo, Warwick, Tristan, Raven leave for Cromwell
       They encounter a furred snake
        There is a dual wyvern attack.
        We track to a lair and find some stuff and capture 3 wyvern
        Out of the mountains:  Creepy forest.
        Fight: 12 zombies, 5 wights, 1 spectre, 10 ghouls
        Raven is permanently level drained but gains back the level
        through later training (he lost almost all of the adventure
experience as a result)
        Letters were sent to Faranyn, etc. from Hook Hill
        Hochoch-- High Holy Day, etc. (Warwick becomes a Phaulkonian!)
        On to Academy
The Rest:  Wait for Spring, get armor and weapons made.
        In creepy forest:  attacked by 4 wights.
The party rejoins at the Academy.  Eli has paid to be teleported ahead to
the School of Wizardry.

Magic items are selected.  (Loot at wyvern lair and Groorg's potions add a
couple of choices.  Final selections to be posted later.)

Total take: 50% of 2.089 Million.
Almost all of Groorg's treasure was given to the Dwarves.

That's all folks!~

Kyle/Alegra  (top)

Summary LVIII:  Return of the Stone Soules

In the aftermath of "that Dark Servant thing," the Stone Soules begin a
downtime... (triumphant music)

Many trades were made in Cromwell, and by Eli at the School of Wizardry,
including the necessary teleport-damping devices and Protection from Devils
scroll in preparation for the upcoming assault on the deathstealers.
Ceydric autotrained.

Eli waited and the School of Wizardry while the party continued to
Petethal.  At Teft, Sahrak left to train, Xavier trained locally, and Lorm
was contacted.  Lorm agreed to join the Stone Soules in the attack on the
deathstealers, with all the protection he could amass.  He also brought
Serin, his henchman mage (and an arsenal of items).  In addition, Xavier
picked up two henchman-- a cavalier of House Maxwell, and a fighter/mage--
as yet unnamed.

Still traveling as rather qualified caravan guards, the party traveled to
Sark, where Raven assumed his true form as an elf again through the use of
Kilroy's item.  He is ecstatic about the change!

There was a kicking New Years Party (1000 gp +).

The party traveled to Dunthrane City, where Ceydric picked up a legion of
followers (12 light cavalry).  We returned to Middle, and Rangorn traveled
to End to train, as well as pick up a quality bow from the elves.  Lorm
rejoined us in Middle.

Our trip was a mere 2 1/2 years long!  Admittedly the gem affair took less
than a year-- but the downtime was incredibly long!

The henchmen welcomed us back.  Raven's henchman Runt had just returned
from patrols around Middle with Cassana.  After months of uneventful
patrols, the entire group was scattered when it encountered two scouting
fire giants.  Fortunately no one was killed.  Faranyn suited up and rode
out to kill the giants, who covered their tracks and escaped.

The adventuring group to take out the deathstealers was necessarily reduced
to deal with the limited range of the protection scrolls and the mind
effects of the deathstealers and their undead servants.  The party is:
Lorm, Serin, Xavier, Eli, Alegra, Star, Raven, Rangorn, Theo, Ceydric, and

The party camped inside the Castle, and met with the Grimm-- we suspected
that he might oppose our attempt.  The Grimm was willing to help the party,
though his power is restricted during daylight so it would have to be a
night assault.

Our preparations are ready; tonight we strike!

Out of character:  We'll be discussing the plan elements over the week.
Any observers are welcome to input suggestions!


Eli also picked up a cool familiar named Ecco!

Alegra also had made "Devilstriker," a Crossbow of Speed, that does a lot of
damage to Devils

Kyle  (top)

Summary LIX:  What Is Known About the Deathstealers

It is clear from divinations and communes that the supernatural LE force is
in charge in that part of the castle.  Specifically, according to the Grim,
that is the Citadel, which Beck had previously told us was separate from the
other sections of the Castle Bah Nareth.

Divination:  Creatures there are vastly powerful (compared to Letier). Very
rich treasure in the area...Forces of LE, vastly dominant, chances of
disturbing are moderate to high.

Any earlier reference by the Sphinx places possibilities of Ghouls very
high.  Specifically, he never mentioned the DeathStealers.

Auguries:  Go through the bronze doors/portcullis into the Citadel?  (This
was right after fighting the Great Ones and the next day when we were closer
to healed, but without any knowledge of what lay beyond) (The Grim said the
entrance into the Citadel had specific magical defenses, which is part of
the whole trapping of the DeathStealers.  They cannot go through any door on
their own, but can go out an open door.)
"Much grief would result."  "Many would be mourned."
At bronze doors in former mite lair:  "Unexpected consequences would
result."  (Before going in to mite lair:  "Limited efforts will meet
acceptable goals."  Going further would require going through the bronze
doors and so would have been bad)

Divination (Alegra)  "Forces of Dispater (major archdevil of the hells-- not
his true name) have been left beyond the reach of otherworldly forces.
Mandrid once held sway here.  There is an overwhelming chance of provoking
the mild ire of many deities of good. There is a tiny chance of enraging the
forces of LE." (probably by killing or banishing the DeathStealers)

Augury:  go through bronze door on roof.  "[No benefit] by any measure."

LE force:  Older records from this area deal with Adv. Reserve parties who
came to fight the Behir.    Traded info to sage at that time in exchange for
Behir info.  DeathStealers present.  Able to yank a soul out of a body, use
the death in it to kill another person, and inhabit the body with a passing
evil spirit.  They were intentionally summoned to deal with the lightning
creatures that killed most of the city by the Council.  Imprisoned probably
due to contract and there are probably 3 though this is not known exactly.
This was gained by legend lores, but most Adv Reserve parties only paid
attention to the Behir.
SMART didn't mess with the LE.

Fabias told us:  There are records of one being fought in which 75% of the
party was killed but it was defeated.  Normally, when they are young and
weak, they travel out from their home planes to devour people.  They have
armies of ghouls or ghasts.  They regenerate quickly.  They can "deathsteal"
(As previously described) at a distance.  Touch abilities include level
drain, hit point drain, power drain (spell-casting power, which can be used
against you).  All four abilities-- only one can be selected per routine,
with a 1 minute recovery period.  They paralyze within a large radius.  They
are difficult to hit (very) and usually have vassals on the lower planes.
They are major devils.  Prot. fr. evil does not work against them.
Paralyzation protection does work against them.

Lorm:  No vassals present.  No undead wraith or higher in level.  They are
powerful psionics.

Astrology fr. Xavier:  "You have both under and over estimated your
opponents.  The Forces of Law will unexpectedly balance against you."
This was interpreted to mean the Grim, since he resides in a Korian Chapel,
though the divination on him away from the Chapel reveals Neutral Good.
This could also mean the DeathStealers, based on some unforeseen power....

Other info from Grim:  His powers are better at night.  May not leave chapel
(in castle) during the day.  DS must not open a door themselves and the
defenses of the Citadel are probably activating preventing entry.  They may
not attack a member of the Council, but that is irrelevant now, he thinks.
He was sent here a thousand years ago to watch the evils in Tan-El.
Removing the DS would not significantly change the requirement for him to
remain here (there are sufficient other evils to keep an eye on).  If our
plan were not folly, and accomplished at night he would help us in his own
small way (probably healing, we guess).

We have _blowtorched_ one the portcullises now.  We will soon be looking at
forcing the door.

Prot. fr. Devils scroll (10 minutes)
Prot. fr. Paralyzation scroll (20 minutes) X 2
Prot. fr. Magic Scroll (10 minutes?)
Teleport Dampers (10 minutes) X 5

Current plan:  Open doors, insect plague.  Wander in, use artifact to find
LE forces.  Kill undead, find the DS.  Use Prot fr. Devils scroll. Abjure
the DS if possible.  Fight if not.  Use Prot. fr. Paral. for ghouls/ghasts
and for DS.  Prot. fr. Magic only as an escape route (no magic can pass in
either direction).  Teleport dampers throughout.

Lorm also wants to plane shift and follow them to their home plane if
possible... :)


Kyle/Alegra  (top)

Summary LX:  A Middle "Faranyn-Fest"

Catching up on some Sir Faranyn, Middle chronology from 2179, we had an
interesting mini-adventure the other day.  I won't elaborate much on the events.

Murder Mystery, Middle:

A man-at-arms in the keep was killed one morning.  He had been ripped apart
by a furry creature.  A wood-carrier and an assistant cook were questioned,
and lots of other info. was put together.  A lycanthrope was suspected but
could not be proved.  (Retrospect provided the answer).

A later event at a shanty-town north of town, where workers were building
confirmed the lycanthrope theory.  Several folks were killed when a large
black wolf attacked.  Following tracks, we found that they circled around
back to the shanty town.

Later, at the shanty town, the wood-man's wife was killed and Sir Ceydric
chased down the werewolf.  He easily killed it and the incident was wrapped up.

Hobgoblin Brawl:

Outside a seedy bar in town, a brawl had broken out between a Skullbreaker
Hobgoblin and a Fleshrender half-orc half-hobgoblin.  The Skullbreaker and a
human mercenary friend were trying to kill the Fleshrender.  There were
others involved in a fist-fight as well.  When Theo attempted to break it
up, the two hobgoblins and the human tried to attack him as well.  Theo
knocked them flat with his fists and had them arrested.  Later, the human
was charged with assault (he hadn't actually struck Theo) but the two
hobgoblins were charged with attempted murder of a governmental official
(acting commander Theo) (the Skullbreaker had slashed Theo with his claws
and the Fleshrender had tried to hit him with his broadsword).  The
punishment is hanging.  The human was sentenced to the minimum 30 days in jail.

While awaiting to be hanged, despite a letter of protest from the
Skullbreakers, they were still scheduled to be hanged.  During the night 6
days before the event, the Skullbreaker strangled the Fleshrender through
the bars of his cell with his bootlaces.  The Fleshrender was dead and the
Skullbreaker was immediately hanged.

Pleasant, eh?
So, that still only puts us caught up to about April 2179...

Kyle  //Faranyn  (top)

Summary LXI:  Versus the Deathstealers:  Overwhelming Force

The results are in...

Stone Soules 3 Deathstealers 0

There was also an early development during Sahrak's return trip-- his
caravan was attacked by a dozen gnolls.  The dozen guards fought back--
only one guard was killed permanently, but so was the owner merchant.
Oops.  And there weren't enough animals left to pull the caravan back to
the nearest town, so it was certainly a pyrrhic victory.  But both Sahrak
and his new henchman survived.

When we last left our heroes, the Stone Soules were preparing to assault
the deathstealers.

This is an abbreviated list in order of all preparations we did-

1 rope golem- cast to distract the deathstealer
2 'lucky day' candies and magical insense
3 Endure Heat cast on everyone by Lorm from scroll- purpose- so
that the party can withstand a Fireball should we need to use one in
close quarters to destroy undead.
4 Prot. from Evil 10'rad cast to keep DS and lesser undead at bay
after opening the door
5   Find Traps cast to detect traps
6 Dispel magic - cast by Eli (rather skillfully)

the magical door trap was removed- Mordrick made his remove traps for the
mechanical trap.

The door was opened- it was determined that the DS were not immediately

teleportation damper was thrown down.

7 Implores - cast by Alegra and Xavier- both failed
8 Lorm cast Insect Plague to kill lesser undead
9 Lorm cast Implore to summon a Deva

The Grimm joined the party - adding its Prot. abilities as well.

Here is a summary of the battle:

In preparation, Lorm created a rope golem, and all three clerics (Xavier,
Alegra, and Lorm) took Lucky Days, and used the incense that maximizes
spell power, which worked for both Alegra and Lorm successfully.

_Insect Plague_ smashed up most of the ghouls on the first six levels
(there were 9 floors total).  One deva was successfully summoned (by Lorm).
 From the door we defeated the first deathstealer with a single _Abjure_,
as well as a whole group of undead.  Fighting through hordes of undead with
_Wall of Fire_, quadruple turning and destroying ability, a deva in the
front, the double wands of fire and lightning, and the multiple _Protection
from Evil_ spells, we reached the middle levels and abjured the second
deathstealer successfully.

The charge continued.  Over two hundred ghouls, ghasts, and shadows were
destroyed in the vicious fighting.  The third deathstealer decided a
confrontation would not be a wise thing considering the banishing of two
companions, and attempted to evade the party, which grew increasingly
desperate as the Protection from Devils scroll began to run low.  The
scroll lasted almost double its expected duration, thanks in part to the
Lucky Day (these were a REALLY good move).  Unfortunately it ran out just
moments before we tracked down the third deathstealer, which had taken
refuge in a room that shielded it from detection in some way.

Alegra and Xavier threw their _Abjure_, but both failed.  We then hit it
with everything we had.  Rangorn's +4 magic arrow missed (surprise), Eli
smashed it with LIMM/ Magic Missile, the wands were fired, Theo and Ceydric
swung at it, but the spectacular damage was done by the Quaal's Feather
token.  Raven's 4-shot with token did over 100 points of damage!

Then the deathstealer attempted to leech the damage onto Theo.

This was bad.  If it succeeded, we would have to deal with a fully healed
deathstealer that regenerated at an incredible rate (20 hp a segment) and
was ready to use the next ability on its list.

Fortunately for everyone, Theo resisted successfully.  The deathstealer
dropped from the 170 points of damage done to it in a single segment.  It
regenerated physical damage the above rate though, and Ceydric attempted to
saw its head off while Theo hit it, and Eli shot Magic Missiles at it, and
the clerics and archers poured holy water all over it, which did permanent
damage.  Though it nearly recovered in time, it received too much permanent
damage and disintegrated into ash.  Whew!

Treasure recovered: money (Lorm got half after salvage tax), a magic user
scroll with minor spells, a major clerical scroll, and the deathstealer's
spear, with which it hit Lorm (who resisted one of it's weird abilities).
The spear is a sentient weapon named Seeker, created by the forces of Law,
specifically made to destroy chaotic clerics, but powerful against most
other things too.

We can knock that off the list!  Now there's only a few hideous trapped
evils left!


There were two mistakes (at least) on the log:

1) Alegra and Lorm, not Xavier, threw the last two unsuccessful _Abjure_
spells at the final deathstealer.

2) The spear Seeker was taken by Faranyn (although the Stone Soules used an
exemption on it) and should it NOT be included on the list of recovered
treasure.  And being sentient it is understandably insulted to be called
treasure.  As a final note, the spear does not speak most of the party
languages-- only dwarven and fire giant.


More specific information:

Various Undead were obliberated by clerical turning as they rushed the wall

As Lorm gave the 2 round warning for the DS approaching- he read the
Prot. from Devils scroll. Rangorn read the prot. from Paralyzation scroll.

The first DS came having ingested a potion of human control.
Unfortunately it needed two segments to use this ability and the held
Abjures went off instantanouesly by Xavier and Alegra- Alegra was successful.

Note that the DS caused a darkness/shadow light effect that
momentarily made it very
difficult to see until the Deva quickly used her ability to cover the area
with pure moonlight.

The Auroran Deva had a Two handed staff? with a ball of fire at the end-
She attacked the DS as he approached but missed.

> as well as a whole group of undead.  Fighting through hordes of undead with
> _Wall of Fire_, quadruple turning and destroying ability, a deva in the
> front, the double wands of fire and lightning, and the multiple _Protection
> from Evil_ spells, we reached the middle levels and abjured the second
> deathstealer successfully.

using teleportation dampers to twart their ability to teleport. Lorm used
his charged staff to Abjure the second DS.

> The charge continued.  Over two hundred ghouls, ghasts, and shadows were
> destroyed in the vicious fighting.

Particularly interesting was the tactic of the Deva forcing 60 - 70
undead into a wall of fire. This greatly speeded our attack.

After evading enough so that our protection scroll had run out, the third DS
fortified himself and prepared for our attack

We cast two prayers, a few Prot from evils, Aids, Spiritual Hammers, and
engaged the enemy.

> Alegra and Lorm threw their _Abjure_, but both failed.  We then hit it
> with everything we had.

- It simultaneously attacked Lorm with the spear of chaotic cleric hating
Lorm took significant damage which was significantly reduced by his
armour. He easily made his save verses to avoid being stunned by the spear.

  Rangorn's +4 magic arrow missed (surprise), Eli
> smashed it with LIMM/ Magic Missile, the wands were fired, Theo and Ceydric
> swung at it, but the spectacular damage was done by the Quaal's Feather
> token.  Raven's 4-shot with token did over 100 points of damage!

> Then the deathstealer attempted to leech the damage onto Theo.
> This was bad.  If it succeeded, we would have to deal with a fully healed
> deathstealer that regenerated at an incredible rate (20 hp a segment) and
> was ready to use the next ability on its list.

for example stealing all of Eli's spells from memory.

> damage.  Though it nearly recovered in time, it received too much permanent
> damage and disintegrated into ash.  Whew!

holy water did all the permanent damage.

For those curious of the defeat of devils w/o losses- we handled things
quite well- neither overkill nor underestimation (IMHO)

Jack/Xavier  (top)

Summary LXII:  Follow-ups to the Cleansing of the Citadel


Two days after everyone arrived back in town before going to fight the
Deathstealers, Alegra presided over the marriage of Sean and Aria.  Alegra
throws a 200 g.p. party for them.  That makes the date 1 August 2182.
Congrats to the two of them... the party was of course invited to the
wedding and party following, along with the Phaulkonian congregation.


BTW- the name of Xavier's fighter/mage Henchman is Javin "Famuu"
Goldthwatt and his bobcat familiar is Boris "Chowdaddy"

Alex will eventually name the other henchmen.


Research Info Extravaganza!  The following news goes out in bardic mail to
the SS only and should be ignored by other players [you can read it, but your
characters won't know it].

Constructs and Technology of Tan-El:
      The people of Tan-El worked to free themselves of daily chores by
    inventing time-saving machines.  Most were golem-like creations that
    did some specific job, but small iron servants were used as multi-purpose
    workers in the homes of the rich.  Making war-golems was strongly
    discouraged for religious reasons, but some found their way into the
    defenses anyway.  Elemental lightning was a preferred power source, since
    it freed the city from the whims of deities that might influence clerical
    magic, and was much more powerful than energetic magic-user power.

The Tunnel
    I researched tunnels in the Hadarna/Tan-El area because I do not
    know enough to pick any particular tunnel.  No source I can find
    mentions Tan-El at the same time as "tunnel."

    There is a tunnel of terrifying winds in the Hadarna Mountains.  It is
    a dangerous and terrible place, long ago invaded by demons.  Elaborate
    magical transport whisks characters over vast miles to the magical jungle
    land beyond.  [I suspect that this is the tunnel through which King Ranore
    traveled in the story I related a while back in connection with the
    City of the Gods.]
    Another tunnel was built by a strange and dark mage to help people
    escape from a horrible fate, but the mage panicked as the first folk left
    the tunnel and sealed it with a magical spell to guarantee hims safety
    from the destruction.  He sealed most of his people in the tunnel where
    the darkness and evil twisted them into hideous things.  The crowd who
    had come through killed the wizard in anger over the loss of their loved
    ones and neighbors when he refused to re-open the tunnel (for he knew it
    was too late by then...).

Great Ones/Abominations
     Despite finding the terms I was looking for, I can neither confirm
     nor deny whether these quotes are about the beings we know as demonspawn.

     "And the Great Ones stepped down from the alabaster throne and blessed
     the warriors of the people, 'Go now, and may the might of all of the
     spirits of good be behind you in this great endaevor.'  And the chosen
     vanquishers marched out of the chapel stronger and more resolute."
     Tales of Early Masters (fragment)

     "The wizard Wsyglyth worked on his dark abominations, terrifying the
     countryside with the rejected spawn of his experiments.  These
     abominations of nature wandered through the forest, preying on the
     common folk, until the heroes were summoned to do battle."

Adventuring Reserve Stuff:

     I'm not sharing these details with the party until/unless you go there
     yourselves.  However, I found info on the Spring of Eternity, Mountain of
     Thunder, the Living Stone, the Well of the Moon, and the Citadel of Might.
     I'll share just a little about one place since it has a remote link (via
     lightning) to Tan-El.

Mountain of Thunder
      Very little is known of the Mountain of Thunder.  It is said to be one of
      the tallest mountains in the Reserve (the Throne of the Gods is supposed
      to be the tallest) and cloaked in clouds and storms.  Some claim it is
      nothing more than a gate to the quasi-elemental plane of lightning, [...]
      still others speak of a dark being - the mother of
      all beithir who slumbers in the sphere of her power, [...]

Hope these answers are interesting.  Write back if there's anything more I
should research.  The full outline of Gram's letter was sent to you a while


This will be fairly short-- a number of details were resolved that I won't
go into in great detail.  Please remind me if I forgot anything major.

There was much training (Theo/Ludo/Rangorn/Eli/Raven/Runt)-- there might
have been more even that I missed in the early part.

We traveled through two different groups to Cromwell-- on the way Eli and
Sahrak did spell trading.

In Cromwell we bought supplies of all sorts of survival equipment  for
multi-year adventuring.  In addition the intelligent spear Seeker was
traded for magic armor, a ring of protection, and some potions/tokens.  The
dwarven leather+1 was traded for a +1 medium shield.

The Stone Soules headed south through Cromwell and have just reached the
southern tip and are about to attempt the mountain crossing through frost
giant territory (in the late spring/summer months, of course).

That's it for the log...

The party expanded to huge proportions, currently seventeen people:  a
quick list for all those interested:

Rangorn (5th level woodsman)
Ceydric (7th level cavalier)
Mordrick (name level fighter/thief)
Runt (2nd level henchman woodsman)
Raven (7th level fighter)
Ludo (8th level thief)
Eli (9th level magic-user)
Claude (5th level fighter)
Alegra (8th level cleric)
Star (5th level cleric)
Aria (5th level cleric)
Sahrak (4th level illusionist/5th level thief)
Xavier (7th level cleric)
Arabica (1st level cavalier)
Famu (1st level fighter/ split 2nd level magic-user)
Sean (2nd level ranger)
Theo (8th level fighter)

That's 17 people!  We make it a crowd!


P.S.  Average level has slipped slightly below 6!

Well, the behir's leaving was not done during a game session, which is why I
never put it in any of the logs.  Shortly after the deathstealer encounter,
we decided that other than Tellah, the last major evil (that we know of--
shudder!) was the behir.  We had talked to it before (you guys know this
better than me) and spent years avoiding it.  We had the key and decided that
it was best simply to release it than try to deal with it in any other way.
 So we negotiated-- or more specifically, Xavier negotiated.  We got a few
items including another Protection from Devils scroll, a weird helm (sex
change thing-- its been on the magic item lists we've broadcast), and a
couple of potions.  There might have been some other items-- I can't
remember.  So it decided to head north to the Indicara jungle upon receiving
the key, and has been gone ever since.

Hope that clarifies a few things we may have said recently!

Joel  (top)

Summary LXIII:  Another Faranyn-Fest

More mini-Middle mayhem!

When last we left middle it had fended off Fire Giants, Giant Toads, a fire
in the barracks, a werewolf, a Kelburnian spy, hungry wolves, and a
Nevronian seeking asylum from the "evil" wizardry of Jonhalom...
As well as more anarchist antics than you can shake a stick at...

2180 was a different year.  Kant the cooper (the snitch) was poisoned in a
freak accident.  No suspects were apparent.  A giant weasel nearly took down
Cassana and landed her bed-ridden for a few weeks.  A cave bear attacked
town and we went out and slew it.  A valuable shipment of goods and gold
bars came through town.  Ax, man-at-arms, bumped his head.  Once again, the
anarchists made people sick at the Founders Day celebration.

Now for some fun stuff.  The Daring Dozen returned from digging up a
grave-yard in Tan-El and paid salvage tax.  In addition to the 24000 gold
they brought back, Faranyn seized the philter of persuasiveness and since he
had first pick he chose the unidentified Rod, which turned out to be a Rod
of Resurrection with 7 charges!!

More boring stuff.  Some illegal hunting was done by elves.  The Strangled
Lizard burned down and was rebuilt.  The Daring Dozen brought back more
loot.  Ser, the Steward, had his mother die and he had to take a couple of
months to return to Dunthrane.  A warehouse collapsed.

The Dozen paid more taxes, and Faranyn ended up trading for the +1 staff
lance that they got out of Tan-El.  He also got a potion of delusion
(totally worthless...almost).

Phargus arrived in town.  The three really annoying minor nobility who are
cousins of the justice Lobal who retired to Middle got upset with Phargus.
They ambushed him, tried to poison him, tried to shoot him.  In the end, a
challenge with one of them killed the man but he got a lucky jab in that
poisoned Phargus and he was killed due to poison.  He was later saved due to
a slow poison from the Nevronian Church, but Phargus had easily killed the
man.  The others screamed for blood but Faranyn refused to hear them.
(Faranyn earlier had a private performance with Phargus which was quite
good)  Phargus moved on to End...

That's all for now...


More fun with Faranyn!

See the Daring Dozen make money!

And Faranyn profit on the side!

See a very special rod!

See numerous murders and disastrous expeditions!

See Nym, Faranyn, and Pap all get trashed!

See an infamous bard and his challengers!

All this on the next... Middle Update.

Joel (top)

Summary LXIV:  South, to the Wilderness

The summary:

The party headed south out of Cromwell toward the mountains.  Rangorn was
surprised by a totem.  We moved on, and began our gradual ascent into the
mountains.  Snow began to build up on the ground, and once the party had to
break off the march at midday and take cover in _Leomund's Secure Shelter_,
courtesy of Eli.

The next day the party advanced through the fresh coating of snow, but was
attacked by a fanged creature that attempted to drag Runt into the snow.
It was slain, and the party trekked to a nearby cave.  In the cave was a
huge segmented worm thing, which was dispatched through the able fighting
of the mighty Stone Soules.

In the back of the cave we discovered a magic pickaxe, which turned out to
be a holy symbol for a frost giant religion.  There was also a one-way (the
other way) panel at the back of the cave, which we decided not to
investigate so as to clear the mountains sooner.

Soon after we came down from the mountains by following a river.  The river
eventually became a lake that we skirted the edges of.  That is, until some
invisible faerie creatures starting shooting arrows and making Rangorn and
Xavier spontaneously burst into song and head toward the lake dreamily.  We
turned away from the river and passed a belated sign telling passersby (in
Ogre) to stay away from the evil fairies.  We also surprised and killed a
gnoll tied to the branches of a tree, dozens of feet up.  (I'm still not
sure about that one...)

Then we crossed out of the hills into the valley below.  This was a
forested area.  We set up camp in an attempt to create a cache to store our
cold weather clothes, but we were interrupted when the watchers noticed
that about 60 or 70 squirrels had gathered in the clearing.  Using Xavier's
_Speak with Animals_, we determined that they were there to kill party
members who were badly injured, and that they served some master.  We
turned and headed in the direction leading out of the valley, but we were
clearly being followed by the sudden storm clouds that had appeared
overhead (Alegra determined these were unnatural).  Hmmm... controlled
animals, moving clouds, gee... druid, maybe?

When the squirrels scattered after dark, we breathed a sigh of relief.
When the first _Call Lightning_ struck Xavier, we were considerably not
relieved and decided to press forward with all speed, hoping the druid
would give up or see that we meant no harm.  Eli's _Minor Globe of
Invulnerability_ deflected another bolt.  Now we were getting annoyed, but
no more bolts seemed to be coming.  Then the _Insect Plague_ hit.  Ouch.

Arabica, Xavier's new cavalier henchman, was totally unable to escape the
cloud and was bitten to death.  Many others stumbled out at near
unconscious levels.  Alegra threw a responding _Insect Plague_ off of
scroll, but it didn't seem to hit the phantom druid (who threw a _Call
Lightning_ into the center of the plague, just in case anyone was still
alive in there).  As Alegra, Aria, and Rangorn went in search of the
missing Sean, and Xavier and Javin went in search of the late cavalier, the
remainder of the party regrouped.  Alegra took another _Call Lightning_,
not a problem considering her protection spell.  Sean and the body of
Arabica were recovered.  When everyone had regrouped, Raven, Ceydric,
Mordrick, Theo, Star, Alegra, and Eli charged at the last estimated
position of the druid with the Protection from Magic scroll up.  They
gradually uncovered his location, defeating various druidic spells and
passing right through an _Obscurement_ before chasing him.  The party
blasted him and he went shrieking through the forest, leaving an easy trail
to follow for those who could move fast.  Unfortunately as Raven passed
through the barrier of the Protection from Magic scroll his bastard sword+1
was drained.  Finally, Mordrick sprinted ahead and sliced the druid apart
with a backstab.

We recovered a magic staff and a couple of one-shot pipes. The staff can
become a treant once per week.  The pipes summon animals as friends to help
you for awhile.  Sadly the staff is only usable by druids.

Eli _Teleported_ back to Cromwell to have Arabica raised and the
aforementioned magic items identified, as well as pick up some equipment to
replace the lightning fried stuff.

Next the party encountered a weird adventurer type (I've forgotten his
name-- no evil intent though) who informed us that the druid's name is
Lugmut, and he is apparently immortal.  He returns back to life after a
week.  That made us even more annoyed at him than before.

We skirted the edges of the hills, away from the infamous valley.  There we
defeated four volts, and later a giant weasel.  Finally, the party got
attacked from behind by four displacer beasts.  Thanks to a timely _Slow_
spell, we were able to hunt them down and kill, though it took great
effort, and far more damage was done to other party members through
friendly fire than by the beasts themselves.  We tracked back to their lair
and found a token and some gems (Thurmond food).

See next week: the Wilderness... Part 2!


"What do you mean, you've got a 'little job' for me?"
-Hercules  (top)

Summary LXV:  The Pit

For the sake of my sleep schedule, I'll just throw in a quick summary so as
not to leave everyone in suspense.  Full summary hopefully tomorrow!

And thanks to Chris playing Theo!

The party meandered around the Pit area of the Southern Wilderness without
realizing how close we were.  First the party was surprised by a giant
slug.  Rangorn took massive damage and had some equipment destroyed by acid
spittle.  Again.

Then we spotted an owlbear.  Being extremely bloodthirsty, we trashed it
with the help of _Slow_ spell and everyone just generally raining damage
down on it.

Then we entered the Pit.  Ominous terrain, full of undergrowth.  The party
hacked its way through to a torn path.  We followed the gigantic tracks,
guessing that a huge bear thing (roughly 40 feet tall) had made the trail.
We spotted the creature-- Monster ID revealed it as a "dragonbear"-- result
of experiments to combine dragons and owlbears.  After waiting for bad
weather, Alegra began the attack with _Call Lightning_.  What followed was
about a thousand points of damage and dozens of single wounds.  The
creature finally dropped, but with a dead Ceydric nearby.  In addition, the
unfortunate Runt had been incinerated by an earlier blast of fire (it had a
7 segment breath weapon-- full details on this later).  Ceydric was rescued
by Mordrick and Theo, who dragged his body away from the suddenly rumbling
body of the dragonbear.  About a minute later, the body exploded into huge
flames, but the body was shielded by the two valiant fighters.  Now wasn't
that fun?

Next we threw divinations everywhere, and decided to head east toward
"powerful enemies, moderate treasure-- though relatively inaccesible, low
chance of invoking the ire of supernatural evil." (that was a rough

We left with the party having just downed a Potion of Treasure Finding,
ready to seek out the treasure!

In addition we recovered several magic items, which have not been
identified officially-- though we strongly suspect that the colored paper
is origami paper.

But of course no adventure would complete without finding yet another
totally useless weapon (to the Stone Soules).  Joining the ranks of such
weapons as the +4 intelligent spear, the +3 battleaxe, and many other fine
weapons is the recovered magic glaive!

Also, there was a magic clasp with a strange smiley face on it, a silver
walnut (high magic), and several tokens.  I know I've forgotten some
items-- hopefully the full list will be out soon!

Goodnight, everyone!

Ok, here it is!  The gruesome details!  Cringe if you will!

In the usual fashion the adventure began with Rangorn being surprised by a
giant slug, who spat acid at him. Deja vu.  His bow disentegrated, and he
was scooped up in its mouth.  The party quickly dispatched the beast, and
no further harm was done.

Next we beat up an owlbear.  General strategy-- _Slow_ spell, hit with
arrows and range spells, annoy it, then retreat to the edge of the _Prayer_
and engage it.  After only 4 segments of melee combat, the owlbear dropped
without even touching anyone.  Quite a contrast to previous encounters with
the things...

Next we tracked it back to its layer.  Tossing in a continual light bead,
we drew out... a baby owlbear!  Little tyke, about 3 feet high.  We
questioned it telepathically after tying it up firmly.  "Kill, kill, eat,
eat.  Where food?" was the response.  So we _Reduce_d it, and stored it in
a glass jar!  Eli teleported back to Cromwell and sold it to Fish and
Critters, along with an owlbear egg.  We also found a token.  The two
tokens turned out to be Dimension Door and Flight, and we kept the Dim.
Door after salvage tax.

We encountered another owlbear, but let it go in search of bigger game.  We
encountered four ogres.  At least we got to test out Gruntender,
ogre-slaying falchion!

Finally, we entered the Pit.  There was interesting local wildlife like
rather large flying squirrel things, and scinilating blue-green lizards, of
animal intelligence.  We came to an obvious torn-up trail.  Apparently the
dragonbear followed a very regular root.  Deciding that the huge monster
was the challenge we needed, Xavier did a quick astrology.  The result was
something like: "The Scythe approaches the sign of the Wanderer."  Without
a doubt the LEAST subtle astrology I've ever heard.  We were gutsy and went
for it!

We waited for the weather to get bad enough for _Call Lightning_ to work.
Theo and Ceydric received _Fly_ spells, and we initiated the attack with a
_Call Lightning_ by Alegra.  Rangorn, Ludo, Raven, Sahrak, Runt, Aria,
Sean, and Star all fired bows and crossbows at the beast.  Mordrick used
his sling.  Famu cast _Magic Missile_, but it reflected back and slammed
him.  Arabica wisely stayed out of the fight.  Alegra and Xavier both cast
_Prayer_, which helped greatly.  The thing began to turn around, and then
Ceydric and Theo were upon it like buzzing flies, hacking away.
Unfortunately the creature was slowly regenerating wounds during the battle
which made it difficult to assess exactly how much damage was being done.
Missing Theo repeatedly, the dragonbear eventually decided to unleash its
breath weapon.  Fortunately Ceydric saved and was in fine shape to
continue.  Everyone kept pounding it, but our look couldn't hold.  It
ripped Theo with its claws, inflicting a quadruple wound!  Theo fled back
to be healed by the clerics.  The next blast was unleashed at Rangorn, who
also saved (first time ever).  Meanwhile Sahrak had illusionary adventurers
flying around hacking and missing the beast.  It fooled him several times!
Dragonbears are right up there with their owlbear cousins on the
intelligence scale.

Next it hit Ceydric and scooped him up in its arms, slowly crushing him to
death.  Ceydric slashed at it valiantly, inflicting major damage, but the
result was inevitable as he was slowly squeezed through his negative function.

Finally, it let loose a blast at Runt, Raven, and Mordrick.  Mordrick
didn't seem to notice the damage really, Raven was barely standing, but
unfortunately Runt failed her save and was totally wiped out.  In shock
Raven returned fire more viciously.  Mordrick said to heck with it and
charged forward, attacking for his usual huge damage.  Moments later,
Alegra dropped it with a crossbow shot.  Immediately a rumbling sound
emanated from the dead dragonbear.  Theo flew to help Mordrick and the two
dragged Ceydric quickly from the body.  They got a significant distance
away before it exploded violently.  Fortunately Theo and Mordrick were fine.

Next we held a small funeral for Runt, and cremated her remains.  Raven
became extremely depressed.  Ceydric was raised and healed.  Two days later
we set off for the dragonbear's cave.  We tracked it back to its lair and
found several items of interest mentioned in the shorter summary-- a clasp,
origami paper, money (Realmish and Lurten), gems, an extremely fine belt
with a huge diamond in it (non-magical), and a (you guessed it) magic glaive.

Next we threw divinations in every direction with the newfound money, and
finally decided for east, using the powerful monsters, chance of incurring
the wrath of evil is very low, moderate treasure.  South was clearly the
most deadly though-- Monsters there are frightful, moderate treasure,
chance of incurring the wrath of supernatural evil is... inevitable.  Nasty.

Next we prepared to down the Treasure Finding Potion and see if we can find


Let us not forget the Lamassu servant of Nevron who happened come through
the Leomond's Chest when Eli opened it up -- which healing Ceydric and went
on its way.... (though unfortunately we had already raised him; perhaps he
would have raised him.  Whatever).

Let us not forget:
1.  The HIGHLY magical, non-detectable aura Silver Walnut!!
2.  The magical Brass Bell!
3.  The "Do Not Open" potion!
4.  The mithril bars and other cash.

Also:  The belt came from the owl bear cave.

Yeah, and SE even had "Moderate Better-left-Undisturbed Treasure."  But it
was only "probably inevitable that we distrub supernatural evil forces."
Other things encountered:
A megalith where the participants had imprisoned a great evil (probably a
demon from the early time of Telvar) and become the stones of the place.

A cloud giant trading post ("the brothers approach the sign of the camel.")

In the direction of the pit:  "To the east is forces of Aurora, to the
south, death and anguish.  The number 9 is important."

And where we are now... "A sect of hordling-summoning wizards once hunted in
this area."  "Moderate but relatively inaccessible treasure." "Chance of
incurring wrath of evil is very low but possible."  "Weak to Moderate
Next (and probably Final) Game:  5/9.

Kyle (top)

Summary LXVI:  Better-Left-Undisturbed Treasure? or, Escaping the Pit with Our Lives

Presenting.... the Stone Soules Final Summary!  No, thank you, you're too

This adventure was sponsored by the evil dwarves, and a hole o' fun!

The intrepid adventurers downed the Treasure Finding Potion as promised,
and moved swiftly in that direction.  Apparently the potion may have been
obscured, or just wore off, but the distance to the treasure was unclear
and shifted semi-randomly, though the direction was constant.

We eventually came upon a clearing with some vultures in it, and a large
hole in the center, bones strewn about its sides.

Talking to the birds, we deduced that a large worm had taken up residence
there.  We decided, naturally, to kill it and grab the loot. We were
expecting a quick grab the items and run, so some of our spells were
detection spells rather than combat, which proved unfortunate.

Upon approaching the hole we discovered that a spiral staircase ran down
the hole into the darkness.  So much for the worm hypothesis.  We went down
for about a thousand feet and reached a dug cavern with many passageways.
Using the we go right rule, we went right repeatedly, turning back once at
a chasm.  An occasional rumbling noise would occur and that made us nervous
but did little more.

Then we noticed that we were going downward.  We continued until we hit
what we later noticed was the bottom of a depression.  At that instant we
heard more rumbling, and spotted fast gray things approaching from front
and back.  Eli threw a Wall of Ice in front, and we prepared to receive the
charge. Then we realized they were huge boulders.  Everyone scrambled for
cover, some up walls, others just crunched against the sides, and Ceydric
and Theo, who had Fly spells on them, flew up to the ceiling.  Amazingly
only one person really got trashed by the rock-- Raven.  He was flattened
with a 4x wound-- our second ever (the previous one was Theo vs. the
Dragonbear, last adventure).  We brought up to low positive hp when a
Cloudkill appeared in back of us.  Clerics started throwing dispels at it,
and then we discovered that a Wall of Force was in front of us, trapping
us.  Eli cast Rope Trick and put many of the low level people in it, and
Ceydric, Theo, Mordrick and Eli charged through the cloud.  Eventually the
cloud was dispelled, but by the time the people in the Rope Trick got out,
this next section was over.

As soon as they passed through the Cloudkill, crossbow bolts and a
Lightning Bolt hit Ceydric and Theo.  In addition Theo was mesmerized by a
Hypnotic Pattern that suddenly appeared.

Ceydric, Mordrick and Eli continued, spotting a Passwall up ahead in one of
the walls.  Ceydric and Mordrick dashed in, seeing a dark dwarf on the
other end.  Eli hit him with a Magic Missile barrage, but at that moment a
Repulsion-like effect knocked the two warriors out of the Passwall, which
was promptly dispelled by some other dwarf.

Having lost any chance to continue the pursuit, we regrouped and headed out
as quickly as we could to prepare for a more successful return.  As we
headed back through the corridors we heard the rumbling sound quite
frequently and feared boulders at every turn, but none were being launched
at us.

We reached the circular room under the stairwell and discovered that the
doors to the stairs were shut.  Thieves climbed over the wall while Ceydric
and Theo flew up, and opened the doors from the other side.  Eli cast
Monster Summoning II and summoned three volts.  The rumbling got louder and
we began heading up the stairs.  Unfortunately we were only about 40 feet
up before the giant grey worm appeared!  20 feet in diameter and extending
FAR back into the caves, it was quite a monster.  It beat up the volts in
seconds and turned on the party, who was showering it with missile fire and
spells.  Aria cast Precipitation, which made its mouth more moist then ever.

Now for the fun part... Ludo tossed  15 coin weights of vitrioli into its
mouth.  Now, swamp conditions are the ideal for these little creatures, and
a wet mouth full of rainwater, in an earthworm, is pretty fantastic.  The
results were spectacular as 57 vitrioli appeared and blew it to kingdom
come, or so we thought.  The vitrioli did approximately 400 points of damage!

The giant worm thrashed violently for a moment.  The party was elated.

Then it grabbed Sean the Ranger (Alegra's henchman) in its mouth and popped
him in, though he managed to nail it with his spear first.  Horrified, Aria
shot at it with increased anger, but to no avail as he disappeared down its

Meanwhile the worm had taken about 800 points of damage so far from various
internal wounds, external as well (thanks to Ceydric and Theo primarily).
But it was far from gone.  Next it smashed into Alegra, hurling her into
the wall, leaving her unconscious and barely alive.  She was healed enough
to stand and continued firing.

Ceydric was next.  The worm did JUST enough damage to kill him instantly
without any chance to escape, and gulped him down.  Increasingly desperate,
Mordrick downed a Potion of Levitation and attacked with his melee weapons.
 The monster struck again, at the unfortunate Alegra.  This time she was
pasted against the wall and gore flew everywhere.  But since she has an
extra life, this didn't panic everyone (everyone remember she has a
deathservant-- it has been used).

Next Raven was crushed, though not digested.  He fell over dead from the
combination of the previous boulder damage and the viciousness of the worm.
 Things were going extremely badly, and Xavier whipped out the Wand of
Wonder.  It promptly spewed out four colored spheres, different colors
each, which struck the creature with an explosion.   It was not clear
whether they actually damaged it.  He used it again, and lots of spikes
started spilling out of his left ear, tearing through his helmet.  He aimed
them at the monster for a bit.  Finally, he used it a third time, and
received a Monster Summoning VI spell.  A hideous undead, invisible,
trollish level-draining crossbreed appeared and said, "What is your
bidding, master?"  "Attack the worm!" was the predicatable response.\

It got to work, doing minimal damage, but double level drains!

The 2000+ damage appeared to be having no effect as the worm killed Rangorn
(also by one hp).  Ludo, pulled out his potion of Firebreathing and belched
at it.  The next segment, with over 2300 damage on it, it finally died.

We cut it open and retrieved the two bodies.  Fortunately Ceydric was
recoverable, and was raised on the spot by scroll, as was Rangorn.  Raven
was saved with the elixir of life.  Alegra, meanwhile, reinflated after a
few rounds and rejoined us.

We retreated out of the hole and set up camp an hour away.  Everyone was
completely trashed, many people just barely standing.  We decided to get
revenge.  We knew the dwarves would follow after us, but only at night, so
we took a spellshift and brought everyone to at least a sturdy life total
(mid-20s mostly), and then pretended to be asleep.  Meanwhile, Eli was in a
tree waiting to bombard the attackers.

The main group was spotted by the bobcat familiar, and we prepared for a
major battle.  The dwarves had sent out a war party of 22, including two
savants (wizards).  Mordrick slid silently toward one of them.  Ludo
noticed an invisible person near the top of the camp, but he moved back.
The dwarves split up and sent a group of 8 south, thinking to surprise us
from two sides.  Our main fear was a Cloudkill, so the wizards had to go
down first.  Mordrick absolutely butchered one with a backstab (76 points
of damage!) and then took on an entire group of 8 dwarves.  Raven came
dashing to the rescue and started massacring dwarves at close range,
Ceydric, Claude, and Theo following.  While Ceydric never actually joined
the fight, it was still a slaughter as Theo began cutting them up.
Mordrick was healed by Star and returned to the fighting.

Meanwhile the group that had gone south was ambushed by Eli from above.
Beginning with a Slow on all of them, he then Magic Missiled the savant in
the group, who cast an Ice Storm.  Eli swooped in and all 9 of them were
hit by the spell.  Eli's Protection From Normal Missiles protected him from
a half dozen crossbow shots.  On the ground, Rangorn, Alegra, Aria, and
Ludo approached the doomed group.  Eli threw a Stinking Cloud, totally
stopping them in their tracks.  One emerged from the cloud to meet a
furious but extremely unlucky Rangorn, wielding Gruntender ogreslaying

The polearm dwarf hit Rangorn a few times and actually held him at bay
before he and the crossbowmen finally took him down, though no serious
injury was done.

Ludo sneaked around the cloud and prepared to shoot anyone attempting to
escape.  Eli through in a Cone of Cold for good measure, then waited for
the cloud to disperse.  What was left was one wretching frozen beaten up
and slowed dwarf.  We shot him.

The recovery of loot was unprecedented.  Of course there was the obligatory
broadsword+1 (we needed yet ANOTHER weapon the party doesn't use).  There
was another Potion of Firebreathing, and an Elixir of Life!  Finally there
was the Short Sword of Quickness +3!!!  Easily the best magic weapon we've
ever recovered.

The Stone Soules trekked back to Cromwell without notable event (Sean was
Raised earlier)and kicked back to relax-- and of course to discuss our

And among future adventurers, many will remember this final titanic battle
as the Stone Soules removed another evil thing from the map.

It was a great year!  Now we get to discuss some plans for the future, and
of course I hope everyone will follow the hapless adventures of our next
party-- wherever it may be (we're thinking of Koralgesh).


"Ok, the orcs attack the party and the fire giant goes after Rangorn."
"Why does everything nasty come for me?  And I thought the ceiling was only
10 feet high!"
"Ah, he's standing in a low area that leads straight for your character."

- A paraphrasing of a section of the Catacombs Guide  (top)

Summary LXVII:  The Colonization of Tan-El:  Recruiting Help

>Can't wait to see what sorts of people he ends up with... maybe a chaotic elf
>paladin druid thief.

We weren't sure of his exact Charisma so we rolled up a bunch of guys we
thought would be useful:

1 dwarven engineer (Brogan Silverbeard) (in charge of roads)
1 human blacksmith (Tim)
2 half-elf woodsmen (Luke and Han)
1 half-elf steward (Sam)
1 half-elf excavator (Thomas)

Eli also added:

1 dwarven engineer (Dolin Silverbeard) (in charge of buildings and
1 half-elf mage (Theodras)
1 half-elf Auroran cleric (Aliana)

Our governmental structure of Tan-El has been worked out, as well, with
various positions:

The Council:
(1) Magister:  Eli
(2) Sapienter: Alegra
(3) High Tribune (elected): Theo

The Proconsul (in charge of defense): Theo

The Hand of the Council (secret police):  Ludo "the Hand"

Municipal Police


(there are various latin names for all of these positions as well, and
various broken up sub-divisions)

As a result of Ludo's position as "the Hand," we've rolled up two hairfoot
halfling thief henchmen to be his assistants.  We figured that secret police
really need to be loyal and Ludo is by far the best candidate to pick up
higher than 1st level thief henchmen.  I think this will be a very good idea.

Kyle (top)

Summary LXVIII:  The Division of Party Assets:  Magical Items

1.  Alegra
>Crossbow of Speed +2
>Plate Mail of MM prot
>Metal medium shield +1
>Ring of Prot +1
>Clerical Incense X 3
>Eye protection visor
>(Devilstriker, duh)
>Earrings of Lightning Bolts (2)
>Potion of Climbing
>Button of Cure Disease

2.  Ceydric
>Full Plate Armor +1
>Medium Shield +2
>Dance of the Four Winds
>Fencing Gauntlet
>Ring of Swimming
>Powder of Extra Healing
>Origami Paper of Folding X 4

3.  Theo
>Ring of Prot +2
>Banded Mail +1
>Helm of Bravery
>Pipe of animal friendship (1)
>Healing Potion
>Oil of Sharpness (1)
>Locket of Life Detection

4.  Eli
>Ring of Prot +2
>Bracers AC 4/AT 4
>Belt of Boxes
>Robe of Grime
>Brooch of Shielding (55)
>Token of Salvage
>Star Keys -- Ziggurat X 1
>Circlet of 2 Golem control -- Ziggurat
>Puzzle box
>Transcribe tokens X 4
>Amulet vs. detection by golems
5.  Ludo
>Button of Thievery
>Bracers AC 6/AT 6
>Robe of Pockets
>Ring of Free Action
>Alexis Dagger
>Beads of Force X 3
>Dart +1 X 2
>Potion of Fire-Breath
>Potion of Camouflage (1/2)
>Token of Dim Door
>Dust of Appearance X 2

6.  Raven
>Elf-sized Chain Mail +1
>Arrows +4 X 2
>extended range arrows X 6
>first flight +1 arrows X 6
>Pipe of Animal Friendship (1)
>Oil of Sharpness (1)
>Powder of Neutralize Poison
>Prot fr. Petrification scroll

7.  Xavier
>Beads of Force X 2
>Medium Shield +1
>Hammer +1
>Wand of Wonder (60)
>+3 hvy. crossbow bolt X 1
>Short sword +1
>Dart +1 X 1
>Dagger-Token of Life Boat
>Token of Ladder
>Origami Paper of Folding X 4

8.  Sahrak
>Robe of Glamour
>Charm of Pick Pocket Detection
>Bracers AC5/AT10
>Origami Paper of Folding X 4
>Dust of Appearance X 2

9.  Rangorn
>Plate Mail +1
>permanent +1 arrows X 3
>first flight +1 arrows X 3
>Medium Shield +1

10.  Mordrick
>Indestructible short sword +3 of quickness
>Dwarven-sized Chain Mail +1, to sweeten the trade for Tan-El below...
>(+ what he came in with
> which is dagger+2, chain mail of weightlessness, ring of prot+1)
>This trade is given on the consideration of work or stone from
>Shabrund, as it is an AWESOME item, esp. since he joined recently

H.  Star
>Chain Mail +1
>+3 hvy crossbow bolt X 1
>Grey ioun stone

H.  Aria
>Chain Mail of Weightlessness

H.  Claude
>Dagger +1            formerly Cassana's and since we never made an
                      official deal, it seems that she really got
                      too much out of it.  I think giving Claude a
                      magical weapon would be a smart idea.

Special:  Cassana
>Long Sword +1
>Chain Mail +1

*note: sometimes Tan-El caretakers wear/use item, othertimes not, which should be obvious from the item (i.e., no one wears the Helmet)* Tan-El                                          Caretaker -------                                         ----------
>Treasure finding                               Theo
>Prot fr. Petrification                         Ludo
>Prot fr. Earth Elementals                      Eli
>Prot fr. Devils                                Alegra
>Tan-El constable transporter keys X 3          Ludo,Theo,Eli
>Misc magnets X 6                               Ludo,Theo,Eli
>Star Key -- Ziggurat X 1                       Theo
>Robe of the Cepta                              Alegra
>Gold disks of Spires X 5                       Raven
>Bucknard's Everful Purse                       Elendwhen
>Bell of Abjuration                             Raven
>Coffin of Preservation                         --
>Pills of Sleeping X 2                          Ludo
>Magical Seed of Intelligent Tree               Theo
>Grounding Staff                                Eli
>Teleport Damper                                Theo
>Teleport Beacon                                Theo
>Elixir of Life                                 Raven
>Helmet of Alignment/Sex changing               Alegra
>Stone tell/Meld into Stone                     Alegra
>Raise Dead                                     Alegra
>Treant Staff                                   for trading to the future High Druid for his work, etc.

Tan-El issues are being settled.  Government, laws, taxes, basic
construction and clearing issues, and priorities have been handled.  I'm not
going to go into specifics on anything as I really don't have the time with
graduation on Sunday.  I'm betting that Edwin's not really going to update
much really fast, since we're in 2185 right now, and there are still parties
in the 2160's.  So, suffice to say that things will be interesting, and
chiefly Edwin will be in charge of seeing things done from here.

The Stone Soules ("The Hideous Trapped Evil Party") are hereby dissolved,
the Council of Tan-El and its city hereby formed.  We thank you for your
attention and readership.  We hope that you'll enjoy the antics of the party
to come after as much as we will (this should be Joel, Sean, Alex, and a guy
named Jeremy this August/September).  So, enjoy, and keep in touch with us
through e-mail.  There may be a reorganization of the e-mail lists, but I'm
sure we'll continue to be avid readers like you all.

Once again, thank you.


Player of:
Dranigh Cye, deceased
Alegra Falconer, Council Member of Tan-El
        Frank, all henchmen
Somp Damonocritus, court scribe of Middle
Sir Faranyn Arathorne, Governor of Middle (future Baron?)
        Squire Pap
        Standard-Bearer Nym
        Mel, Ax, Pili, Darwin, Watson, Crick, men-at-arms
        Norm, handyman
        Batt, patrol leader
        Leah, cleric and councilor
        Windham, court wizard
        Rock, steward
and a couple of others, irrelevant to the SS, or forgotten in the mists of time.  (top)

Summary LXVIIIb:  A Xavier and Rangorn Interlude

From the notes of Rangorn, bowman of terror:

As you may recall, just prior to the attempt to defeat of Tellah by Orimaxes,
Xavier and Rangorn went to get trained and pick up henchmen.  As a note:
RANGORN FAILED HIS PLAYRATING GUESS.  I guess 2.0, it was 2.1.  Drat-- 1000
gp down the tubes.

After stumbling out of the training hall embarrassed, but 6th level,
Rangorn rejoined the now 8th level Xavier, and summoning his henchmen Han,
Luke, Sam, and Brogan, they marched back to Middle.

(By the way, I continued my crazy hit points streak-- I rolled a 7 on a d8.
 Xavier has 45 hp, and Rangorn now has 56!)

Fortunately, there was an encounter.

Nine ogres jumped the party on the road.  The urgency here was if we lost
horses, thanks to Rangorn's miss, we would be late and miss the ceremony
destroying Tellah, which would not do.  Another opportunity to use
Gruntender could not be left unexploited (for those who don't know, Rangorn
wields a +2 falchion called Gruntender-- it becomes a +4 double damage
weapon against ogres, and when they fall to 0 hp, they just die instantly.
Combined with the 6th level woodsman bonus, Rangorn feels confident about
fighting bands of ogres with trusty allies).

Four boulders flew at Rangorn, all missing.  Arabica, Xavier's 2nd level
cavalier henchman, charged and swiped at an ogre, injuring it.  Rangorn
then shot it to pieces.  Unfortunately, his henchmen had to dismount, and
Luke was knocked to the ground by several blows by a vicious ogre.  In
addition, Brogan barely escaped death, running to hide behind Rangorn.

Meanwhile, several people missed Xavier, who was in full plate.  Xavier
yelled "Die!" and one fell over, then he yelled "Die!" again and another
fell over.  Having wrapped that up tidily, Javin, the 2nd level
fighter/mage henchman of Xavier, looked for something to do, but could not
avoiding hitting allies.  Xavier then shot one with a permanent +3 bolt,
doing quite a lot of damage for a non-specialist!

Following Xavier's example, Rangorn vaulted off his horse, yelled "Die!"
and sank Gruntender into an ogre, who promptly obeyed and fell over.  He
then stomped angrily toward the one attacking Brogan.  He sliced him in half.

The ogres noticed the systematic slaughter of these comrades by the two
heavily armored people, and tried to withdraw.  Until Xavier threw the
_Hold Person_ on them.

Demanding vengeance, Rangorn strode toward one of the "dead" ones, who
recovered from the spell and stood up.  Then his limbs went flying as he
suffered massive damage and a double wound.  Of course, he died instantly.
Then Arabica went flying at the other standing one.  Finally, since
Arabica's honor forbid him from striking a helpless opponent, Rangorn
turned and sliced up a few frozen ogre popsicles.

(Note:  Never has Rangorn killed so many things in one battle, much less
never missed.  Of course he was wielding an ogreslaying sword, but hey, it
was fun.)

Since the horses were untouched, and Luke was successfully Death Doored by
Xavier, we proceeded to Middle with five days to spare.

Joel/Rangorn (top)

Summary LXIX:  The Stone Soules Final Hour:  Orimaxes vs. Tellah

Here it is.  The long overdue summary I owe you all.

In December 2184 the party reassembles at the Academy.  Most party members
have earned ~10 k XP and the items are divided up.  Mordrick wishes the party
his best regards and welcomes future letters, as he travels to visit his uncle
and resume the hunt for Prince Obmi.

Orimaxes announces that he wishes to try to destroy Tellah.  He asks to
travel with the party to Tan-El in time for midsummer's night.

The party can easily be home by then, maybe even Rangorn, who has stopped
in Petethal to get trained to 6th.  (Sahrak did get 5th illusionist, but
I'm not sure what routes he would choose)

On the night of the 21st of June, 2185, the party is assembled in the library.
Orimaxes has brought six scrolls and requests Elendwhen to help with the
handling of the scrolls.  Farah, the cleric of End, Dari, Xavier, and
Alegra are all gathered in prayer (and _chants_).  Orimaxes insists
on Ceydric's presence, but the others are asked to stand well clear.
Divinations have failed.  The field of ignorance seems to cloak the future,
but Orimaxes is confident.

Orimaxes reads the scrolls one after another.  The language is difficult
and is in no tongue familiar to the party, but somehow seems to be a list
of crimes.  Tellah smiles broadly through the whole list is read, seemingly
unthreatened by the process.  As the sixth scroll is handed to Orimaxes
he walks right up to Tellah and reads it.  It is different and confusing,
it sounds like a protection scroll of some sort, it has the same musical lilt.

Finally, Orimaxes steps up to Tellah and touches him on the forehead.
There is a brief glow where his fingers touch the faint skin...

Suddenly, there is a flash and things are strangely transposed.  Orimaxes'
skin turns sallow and his eyes uniform and it is clear that Tellah is free.
His eyes flash with their hazel tone and a smile appears.  But only for
an instant.  A strange ghostly hound appears - larger than the volume of
the library, but fitting easily within its walls.  There is a howl.  The
building is filled with terrible wailing.  And he is gone.

The library is silent.  Orimaxes stands in the center of the library.  His
expression is blank, his skin pale, his eyes a disturbing uniform blue, the
strange jewelry hangs about him, but he is wearing his own simple scholar's
robes instead of Tellah's bright red robes.  He states simply:  "The library
is open.  Such would be the wish of the Council."

A little more is explained in a letter by Orimaxes.  It is in the keeping
of the Middle alchemist, bound by the Brotherhood's pledge not to reveal
its existence until your return from Tan-El.  Orimaxes has placed himself
in the prison intentionally.  Within the _Chains_of_Binding_ Tellah was
still protected from even the gods.  Perhaps they could have been broken.
Orimaxes is unconcerned.  After the death of his children at the hands
of the cult, he has thought of little else but the extermination of them.
At his age, Orimaxes might have lived another decade, but it is unlikely.
As the new librarian he will be immortal.  Mentally tormented, but alive
and able to remember things.  He stands as a resource to fight the evil
of cults, able to grope in his mind for information, for eternity.  The
instant of freedom of Tellah was dangerous, but it was the way that would
most likely to succeed in destroying Zardos, and achieve the old sage's goals.

Tan-El's greatest threat is gone forever.  The library stands intact and
still empty, but now it opens and closes at the limited will of Orimaxes
with one phrase: "Such would have been the wish of the Council."

The next evening there are distant hoots - perhaps it is Mentor, perhaps
not - but in any case the Grim has vanished without even an appearance.
Technical Notes:
So, the Tan-El project starts in more earnest starting June 21, 2185.
Story awards rose as high as 33,000 xp.  Some final notes on character

Eli:      still in 9th (206 k)
Alegra:   9th level gained
Ludo:   9th level gained
Ceydric:   8th level gained
Xavier:   8th level gained
Canstin:  7th level gained
Rangorn:  6th level gained
Sahrak:   5th/6th level gained
Theo:     still in 8th
Mordrick: no advancement

Cassana:  6th level gained
Dari:   7th level druid gained
Snag:   6th if he doesn't have it
             and is still alive in 2185...

Henchmen who gained one level:
 Star to 6th, Sean to 3rd, Fmu to 2nd, Arabika to 2nd

Many congratulations to the Stone Soules.
   Privileged to referee you,
    Edwin Anderson-  (top)

These are the complete SS Summaries contained here, from the earliest machine-recorded summaries through the Disbanding. Further adventures can be read where the other summaries are found, by year in the New and Classic Adventures page. Thanks for reading!


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