Warwick Adventures

Warwick's Adventures

Summary: The PURSUIT of Krek and Phillipe

<Somewhat Official Log Transcript from Warwick & Co.>

We begin the destruction with Warwick and Company (Buck, Jean-Luc, henchman, and
rangers) heading toward the Peaks of Light to do some forest exploration. [of course, no
exploration would be complete without hospitalization …..]

On January 17, arriving at the small mountain outpost of Fanjyr, we discovered that a
local mining camp of Shabrundian dwarves has been massacred on New Year's day,
with only a handful of survivors. Apparently, 60 Slow-Killer hobgoblins had entered the
camp silently and slaughtered about 80 dwarves, many of who were non-combatant
miners. Leading this group of hobgoblin was Krek, a bastard-sword specialist human
who once worked in Western Cromwell hunting bandits. The murderer-thieves escaped
with about 1200 ingots of gold and silver.

[Krek had worked in a region of Western Cromwell that was plagued by bandits. He
had been an efficient hunter, and never left any survivors. Before the dwarven massacre,
Krek was wanted for questioning – it turned out that many of the "bandits" he had
slaughtered weren't really criminals…. Krek was also known to travel with a short,
pudgy blonde guy – possibly a cleric.]

Earlier in January, a government patrol had passed a group of hobgoblins and 3 heavily
loaded wagons headed southwest toward the high plateau region of Upper Volkrad.
They claimed to be transporting their gold to L'trel. Since wagonloads of dwarven gold
aren't too unusual for the region, the patrol didn't stop and question the bandits. We left
immediately in pursuit, hoping to reach the wagons before they were able to reach L'trel,
a city large enough to fence or launder the gold. [Unlikely, given the bandits' 17 day

Travelling with us was Drak, a dwarven guard commander who had survived. Drak was
a veteran guard, with decades of service. He was particularly fond of Buck, and they
became drinking buddies at the first possible chance. Drak was extremely eager to
remove Krek's head from his shoulders.

We traveled with only one incident – a group of figures were hiding in Baylor Wood
along the road to L'trel. They were camouflaged and ran when approached. Believing
them to be involved with Krek, Warwick shot one of them. They were actually tribesmen
– Warwick was immediately captured, stuck with a spear, and glared at. After profuse
apology, a gift of reparation, and a flash of Cromwellian insignia, Warwick was released.

January 23, we heroes arrived in the port of L'trel, and began to inquire about ships or
caravans that may have taken on a large cargo. We were misdirected by the fact that
some Slow-Killer hobgoblins were having several wagons of iron shipped out in a couple
of days. Inquiries with a local fence yielded nothing but 1000gp lost in bribe money. The
fence claimed to have no idea where the gold was, and he also revealed that he'd been
paid previously for the same information -- by a short, blonde bounty hunter. [We're
fairly sure that the fence had been previously bribed to lie to us. We believe the blonde
guy was Phillipe, Krek's henchman cleric.]

Finally, we resorted to brute-force methods. Combing the streets of L'trel, we find a very
nervous-looking Krek. We corner him in a restaurant, and quickly learn that Krek had
duped a mercenary to "play Krek" for 150 gold pieces. Thaddeus, the pathetic
mercenary, looked somewhat like Krek – short red/gray beard, receding hairline – but
was definitely NOT the tough customer that Krek would have been. [Thaddeus cowered
under a restaurant table when he was confronted.] Once again, we had wasted time on a
wild chase. Deciding to play along with the ruse, we took Thaddeus/Krek into custody.
Pretty soon, local dwarves were demanding an execution…

Next, we searched warehouses that could hold the wagons of gold. We find that 10
Slow-Killer hobgoblins have been staying in a warehouse with two wagons and cages of
carrier pigeons. Since the hobgoblins were out having a drunken dinner, we decided that
we would trade one of their pigeons for one that we had "requisitioned" from a pet shop.
Tristan spoke with the pigeons, and confirmed that its home was the town of Nalv, a
day's travel downriver.

At this point, we struggled with the eternal dilemma – "if we split up the party, we can
cover several different possibilities…" [COMMENTARY – Never split the party.]
Meanwhile, Warwick convinced himself that the suspicious tribesmen up north were part
of the overall conspiracy, so the party goes in the opposite direction of Nalv, in pursuit of
the tribesman.

After a day's travel, we decided that the tribesmen would never make reliable
conspirators, and we turned back around. [COMMENTARY – chaotic savages never
work with hobgoblins.] So, having lost 2 days on Krek and Phillipe, we headed toward

Arriving in Nalv on January 30, we released the pigeon. Its home was an inn run by a
consortium of merchants. A consortium manager told us that Phillipe had hired a
7-wagon caravan to carry goods from L'trel to Nalv. Also, Phillipe had arrived in Nalv a
week earlier, to pick up his messages. A check at the dock revealed that a ship had just
arrived from L'trel, with 10 hobgoblins and a load of iron. We checked the cargo and
compared the iron with a standard, just to be sure that gold wasn't hidden inside. The
hobgoblin-iron ruse continued to slow us down…

Drovers told us that Phillipe's caravan had unloaded quickly near a stream, and that he
had returned all 7 of his wagons to the drover's guild. There were no records of a barge
or wagons that could have taken the ingots, however. A thorough tracking effort
indicated that mules had traveled upstream from that point, apparently towing a barge. A
short distance upstream, it appeared that the barge contents had been pulled ashore and
loaded directly onto the mules. At this point, a month had passed since the dwarven
massacre, and the trail was steadily getting colder…

We followed the mule tracks into the Mage Wood, a forest that got creepier as we
traveled deeper into it. On the first night, we were attacked by a giant wolverine,
Warwick's favorite creature of the forest. Drak hacked it to bits, with some help from
Warwick & Co. During the next day, the forest seemed normal. On the next night,
however, we realized that it was anything but normal. An evil treant attacked a sleeping
Warwick in the middle of the night, and only the vigilance of Tristan's lion friends alerted
the party. By the time the party was roused, Warwick was mostly dead in the clutches of
the tree's roots. Drak's axe was a mighty weapon – he nearly single-handedly hacked
the tree to splinters.

The party healed (somewhat) and we moved across the river to get away from the scum
beetles that emerged from the dead, rotting tree. Later that night, two gnoll zombies
attacked us, and we made short work of them. During the nights, skeletal bats kept flying
reconnaissance over our heads – very comforting. [We later learned that evil dwarves
use skeletal bats for gathering information.]

The next day, we reached a stone obelisk. Drak informed us that the obelisk marked the
territory of the "accursed ones" – blue demon-worshipping dwarves who had long ago
turned to evil. Of course, we were excited to see that the mule tracks led directly into the
canyon of the accursed. Fortunately, we found another set of mule tracks that exited the
canyon and traveled north along the edge of the Mage Wood. The tracks into the canyon
were 3 days old – the exiting tracks were 1 day old.

[Later, we learned from Krek's mules that Krek had met with blue men in a cavern.
There, he had probably traded the dwarven ingots for more portable jewelry and gems.
Apparently, he had some unholy alliance with the accursed dwarves, which may also help
to explain the senseless slaughter that occurred at the mining camp.]

Although Buck was particularly fond of the undead forest, and Tristan the druid really
wanted to go into some dark, demonic caves, we finally decided to follow the fresh mule
tracks. At this point, Drak was truly ready to decapitate some folks…… [Drak's only
real moment of vengeance occurred in L'trel, where he shot an annoying Slow Killer who
insulted him.] The tracks led back to L'trel, and we found that the mules had been sold
"by two Nevronian monks – yeah, one of them was shorter, with blonde hair". Tristan
spoke to the mules. We later found Nevronian robes hidden, smelling of skunk spray.

The next day (February 5), we learned that Phillipe had boarded the Apple Ship with a
hobgoblin bodyguard the day before! By then, they were probably in Nalv. We inquired
at the local mage's guild about a fast way to send a message downstream, before Phillipe
could reach the lake beyond. A better alternative arose – Leggett, a mage who owned a
water-elemental-powered boat, offered to take us downstream (for a small fortune!) We
sped down the Isig river at 40 mph, and soon we were in Nalv. Phillipe's chartered boat
had left downstream hours before, so we planned to overtake them on the river at night.

We traveled with no lights until we saw a boat far ahead. Leggett shrouded us in magical
darkness, and we passed the Apple Ship on the cascades of the Isig. We pulled ahead
and waited for the Apple Ship to clear the rapids. Fortunately, Leggett's boat was
significantly faster, and we had a couple hours to plan our ambush:

When the ship cleared the rapids, Leggett would put the crew to sleep. Warwick would
fly invisible, carrying an invisible Lanoi (Phaulkonian cleric henchman). Warwick would
take out the hobgoblin bodyguard, while Lanoi commanded Phillipe to die. Tristan would
also charm Phillipe. Invisible, Buck would hover and drop onto the ship to disable
Phillipe. Leggett would provide spell support to stop Phillipe. Drak and Jean-Luc would
shot Phillipe to ruin his spells. Game over, bad-dudes…..

Ah, the joy of planning … the "hobgoblin" guard turned out to be Krek in Flesh-Render
magical field plate, wielding a magical dwarven shield, and brandishing an amazingly fast
magical bastard sword of speed. Warwick inflicted maximum damage on his point-blank
targeted shot (with a +3 magik-ed arrow!) However, Krek shrugged it off and began to
fly after Warwick. Uh oh.

Meanwhile, the crew was put to sleep, but Lanoi was also hit by the spell. So much for
Lanoi. Lacking a crew, the boat slowed to a halt. Dive-bombing Buck missed the boat,
so to speak, and had to clamber over the side after Phillipe, just in time to get entangled
by a web spell from Leggett (Phillipe was unaffected). Lanoi was still asleep, and
Tristan's charm had no effect. Phillipe began casting spells, but Leggett, Drak, and
Jean-Luc ruined at least half a dozen of his spells via crossbow, sling, and spells. When
Buck broke free of the web, he finished off Phillipe by breaking his neck.

Warwick had bad luck. Krek lassoed him, and dragged him through the air. After being
reeled in helpless, Warwick is killed after two vicious strokes with a bastard sword (was
Krek also an assassin or thief?!) Krek proceeded to tow a lifeless Warwick back toward
Leggett and friends. At about the same time Phillipe was eliminated, Krek arrived to
destroy the rest of the party.

Leggett hit with magic missiles and a lightning bolt, but Krek didn't relent. First, he killed
Drak, the only party member who had any real melee success against him. Next, he
punished Tristan and left him near-dead on the ground. Leggett had a successful
Shocking Grasp, and then got wacked. He retreated to the edge of his boat and became
invisible. An invisible Jean-Luc failed to backstab Krek when he landed on the boat,
searching for an Invisible Leggett. Jean-Luc paid for his failure, and he dropped bleeding.
Meanwhile, Tristan bound his own wound and poured half of a Healing potion into Drak.
Drak stood to fight again, but was quickly dropped by Krek.

Leggett, levitating above, sent another lightning bolt into Krek, and then dove into the
water. Krek followed, and was attacked by the Water Elemental that Leggett released
from the boat. Tristan struggled to bind Jean-Luc's wounds. Krek, nearly drowned, was
thrown into the boat by the elemental. Leggett struggled to remove his helmet and kill
him, but Krek recovered too soon. He punched Leggett into unconsciousness.

Buck watched all of this from the Apple Ship, about 40 yards away… appalled, he
levitated and pushed toward Leggett's boat, hoping to save his comrades from certain
doom. [Before dying, Drak had yelled "hey Buck, you're on the WRONG BOAT!!"
Buck had finally gotten the message…..] Krek met Buck in mid-air and proceeded to
beat him up. By this point, however, Krek had sustained quite a bit of damage. A hit by
Buck brought Krek to the brink of death, but Krek killed Buck with a final death-strike.
Krek fell into the lake, and Buck died in mid-air, still levitated by a confused Ring.

Leggett regained consciousness, and again released the water elemental to retrieve Krek.
[COMMENTARY – releasing the elemental is apparently a VERY SERIOUS deal for
Leggett.] Tristan and Jean-Luc were alive but incapacitated. Leggett swam to the Apple
Ship, where he woke Lanoi and the sleeping crew. Then, they gathered the dead and
headed slowly toward Wysos, looking for some Raise Dead help. [To Leggett's credit,
he really saved our butts – and he was really just being nice by "giving us a boat ride".]

We eventually reached Highport, and purchased a Raise Dead for Warwick. Success!!
We proceeded toward a government fortress, for additional Raise Dead. The warship
Montclaire escorted us, and we Raised Buck. However, Drak failed to rejoin us on the
side of the void – his Raise Dead attempt failed. Tristan and Jean-Luc were sent back to
the Academy to recover, while the remaining party members returned the trunk and some
stolen dwarven weapons to L'trel.

In L'trel, we were given an army escort, and we traveled north to the Shabrund border.
In an exchange ceremony, we presented the dwarves with the trunk of jewelry and the
dwarven artifacts. Buck was given Drak's magic axe, since Drak had described Buck as
a close comrade in his letters home. We promised Leggett that we'd visit sometime when
we're not looking for trouble. Beaten up, tired, and mournful, we returned to the
Academy. Amazingly, Gring the dwarf had no scathing commentary for Warwick…..

The Take:

(5) dwarven weapons/ armor (returned to Shabrund)
52,000 gp of gems/ jewelry (laundered from the 60K of ingots originally stolen –we were
given 10%)
hobgoblin field plate +2
ring of flying (given to Leggett, along with 6000 gp, for damages to his boat and loss of
personal property)
potion of levitation
potion of neutralize poison
LE bastard sword of speed (destroyed by Cromwellian government – 2000 gp reward)
6,500 gp of gems – Krek's personal stash
8,000 gp reward for killing Krek

Considering the potions and magic arrows used, this was very nearly a net zero
financially. We got a cool suit of armor, which none of us would really use. Most
importantly, we further improved relations with the dwarves – they even sent an official
letter of thanks for our attempt to Raise Drak.

--Warwick/Mark (top)

Summary:  The Quest for the Windsock:  Recovering a Phaulkonian Artifact, as Scribed by Lanoi the Cleric

"The Tent of the Night hides an unknown threat."

Following his conversion to the Phaulkonian faith by Alegra, while undertaking a
top-secret government venture in the mountains of Cromwell, Warwick, Principal Ranger
of Cromwell, became keenly interested in one of the Holy Quests that Alegra had often
mentioned.  This Quest was the recovery of the paired artifact of Phaulkon known as the
The Windsocks were a powerful, but relatively minor, artifact of Phaulkon lost forty or so
years ago in the Darkwood (in the Northlands).  The Windsocks took the form of two
indestructible stockings which when worn together had the
major power of being able to place a step wherever you wanted in the air.  That is, the
Socks could be used to climb an imaginary staircase in the air to reach the roof of a high
cavern, or step higher to get a shot over a friend in combat,
or any number of other uses.  There were other powers as well, but not a great number
of them.  More importantly, the Socks were an important artifact that needed to be
recovered and brought back into the hands of Phaulkonians.
It was known from _Communes_ and other sources within the Church over the years
since their loss that the Socks had both left the Darkwood sometime afterward,
separately.  One of them had shown up in the New World and had been
found by an adventurer who wished them to find their way into the hands of the
Phaulkonian Church, but needed money for his efforts.  Unfortunately, at the time, the
Church was (as usual) low on resources and could not front the 10,000 gold pieces to
have the one Sock in hand.  The adventurer was represented by an attorney in Dunthrane
City (Bimwiddle, who purports to provide "the only representation for non-Nevronians in
the land!") who maintained the offer at 10,000 gold pieces through the years.
Since Alegra was busy with other endeavors, Warwick sought to prove his willingness to
work on behalf of Church goals  by finding the Windsocks.  He gathered together the
Cromwellian STRanger Leon (2nd level), his trusty Druid
henchman Tristan (5th level), his new Phaulkonian Cleric henchman Lanoi (3rd level), his
friend Buck ("Weapon X"), several animals and provisions, and prepared to undertake
the Quest.  Over months at the Observatory at the
Church in Hochoch, Lanoi undertook an astrology reading on the Quest in general. The
result was:
 "Ill omens surround your journey.  The tent of the night hides an unknown threat."
Warwick was not to be put off by "ill omens," and so they packed their things and
headed off to Dunthrane City to retrieve the known Windsock.  (Warwick had to verify
beforehand that he in fact actually had the 10,000 gold, which he
did, but just barely).
Upon arrival in Dunthrane, Warwick and company (represented by the high charisma
Tristan), made an appointment with  Bimwiddle, the attorney who represented the chap
who had found the Sock.  After a few days, the group
was ushered in to speak to the lawyer.  Over days of finger sandwiches and further
meetings, the story of Binkley the Cleric of Kor came to the front. Binkley had once been
a Cleric of Hindus, the god of thieves, who desired to
leave their organization.  A successful search through this lawyer for other religions to
join, turned up the Korian faith.  Binkley was received into the religion, but there was one
problem.  Binklet had a substantial debt to the Church of Hindus, and so until he paid his
debts he could not come out of hiding.  When Warwick purchased the Windsock for the
10,000 gold, Binkley was able to pay off his debts and so come out of hiding.  Binkley
wanted to join Warwick & co. on any Quest to recover the other Sock, which after a
little bit of misunderstood dialogue, became abundantly clear.  So, the group decided to
meet Binkley in Teft when they journeyed there for the start of their Quest.  At that point
it would be decided if Binkley would be an appropriate addition to the team.
The lawyer pulled out the Sock from a drawer and handed it to Warwick. Warwick put
it on and could immediately sense the other sock somewhere far to the west.  Later it
was discovered that when Lanoi the cleric wore it he could sense the  weather for the
next 3 days.  Alegra wore it once later on and could sense it for 8 days.  It was clearly
level-driven for the Clerics who wore it.
On the way to Teft, the party was stopped by ogres.  They were summarily slain and the
party journeyed on.  Unfortunately, the party was now without horses, and so had to buy
them from the border guards on the Dunadorian Long Road.  After a brief period of
embarrassment when the Dunadorian men-at-arms discovered that Warwick was a
member of the Cromwellian government, the horses were purchased, and the party
hurried on to make it in time for High Holy Day (Lanthalassa-te) on December 28 (until
January 3) in Teft.  The party arrived about December 10 in Teft and met Binkley.
Binkley turned out to be a good guy, who you had the feeling had never adventured
before, even though that was clearly not the case.  He said a lot of  things like "Cool.
Wow, you guys must be big-time adventurers, or something. Neat!"  He definitely
down-played himself, and he was easy to forget he was there, but he was good natured
and good company.  He came and observed the services for High Holy Day.
Lanthalassa-te is the most important holiday of the Phaulkonian year, and one at which
worshippers and Clerics are ordained into special Orders most of the time (only under
unusual circumstances are ordinations into Orders performed
at  other times of the year).  So it was on these the Holiest days of the year, that Buck
was admitted into the Church, and that Warwick was ordained a member of the Order of
Light.  As a Warder of Phaulkon, Warwick would be a defender of the Faith, a staunch
Quester, and a seeker of Truth and Liberty. To inaugurate his admission to the Order,
Warwick officially began his first Quest by displaying the one found Windsock and
declaring that he would find the missing one.
A mission of this importance couldn't be undertaken blind, and the High Priest of Teft
was plainly uncomfortable with letting the one Sock out into the world  (and danger) in
order to find the other.  But on the other hand, he didn't wish the Socks to be lost forever
as a pair, and so he helped as best he could. Previous information about the Holy
Hosiery :)  had determined that Binkley was  not an enemy of Phaulkon and that the
owner of the missing Sock knew its worth.
On High Holy Day, though, the answers were not forthcoming.  It appeared that the
Sock had disappeared into an undivinable area when every question related to it was
"unanswerable."  But an intriguing answer came with the news of the Ranger Marriott that
had come from Cromwell.
Marriott years ago had encountered a strange, old peddler in Cromwell while on a quest
for Rochester, the High Druid.  This strange peddler man had offered Marriott a
"powerful good artifact - a stocking," and some things of personal value or importance to
Marriott if he would give him the staff he had recovered for Rochester.  He had refused
and had gone on this way.  The peddler had had a  mule and a little cart, with a weird
little tent on the back of it.  This tent  immediately brought to mind the "tent of the night"
from the astrology reading,  and so a Commune question was asked about the peddler
himself.  When any  information about him was unanswerable, it was clear that the
peddler and the Windsock were linked.  But, there were two interesting points of
information that were perceived:  it was a good idea to take Binkley on the quest
(Phaulkon said so!) and Warwick could still sense the whereabouts of the Sock, even
though the _Commune_ could not locate it.
After the conclusion of Lanthalassa-te, the Company headed out toward Cromwell,
where the Sock drew Warwick.  At various stops along the way, Warwick fired off
letters to the Church in Teft letting them know of his progress, and this  happened
throughout his Quest.  While on his way, Warwick encountered an old  friend and bounty
hunter named Targ, who was hunting some escaped criminals from a minimum security
prison fire that had recently happened.  He didn't  sound terribly excited about the job,
but he and Warwick talked shop for a few,  before they both headed on their ways. 
Warwick finally ended up just north of  Chendyl, in the Furyondy region of Cromwell.
There, he observed a peddler stopped at a farm when the change in direction of the Sock
became rapid.  He noted that the peddler's progress followed his sense of the Sock and
started to feel a sense of impending Danger (one of his granted powers) at his approach
to the peddler's wagon.
When Warwick got very close to the wagon, his sense of the Sock vanished entirely, and
this made him uneasy.  The rest of the crew were nearby. Warwick asked about the
peddler's wares, and through a series of VERY subtle enquiries, the peddler produced
some odd socks from a compartment and in the stack was obviously the missing
Windsock.  Though Lanoi and Warwick both thought about grabbing it and making a run
for it, they did not, based on the bad vibes they got about the whole deal.  The peddler
stated that he sold to "only one buyer,"  and that for any item there was "one price and
one price only, to be
discussed only with the one buyer."  At this, the rest of the group went away a bit, and
Warwick chatted calmly with the peddler.
After a few minutes, the peddler turned to his mule and headed off to the south, and
Warwick stood there a little bit angry and a little bit curious, but overall confused.  The
party rejoined him, and he explained the situation.
The strange peddler man had made him an offer for the Windsock.  He had stated that
because the Nevronians many years ago had destroyed the defenses and Phaulkonian
Temple at the artifact-location known as the Fane of the Winds in the Near Realm, that it
was time a balance be made for that transgression. He offered Warwick the means to
desecrate the Shrine of Nevron in retaliation for  this attack.  Warwick was certain that
the peddler had the means to do so, and that the peddler assured him that "Nevron
would never find out who did it."  Needless to say, Warwick was a little thunderstruck by
this.  The peddler was
unwilling to discuss any other price other than the "Ultimate Price," which was at the very
best slavery until death and at the very worst, eternal slavery. When Warwick was not
forthcoming, he headed on.
There was much discussion about the nature of the peddler.  Was he a godling or weird
supernatural creature?  Did he represent ultimate Justice?  Perhaps ultimate Balance?
Was he just spreading anarchy?  Perhaps ultimate Evil, pitting good people against one
another?  The only obvious conclusion was that he did not represent Good and for
Warwick and company, that was the part that  made the decision easy.  Obviously there
would be no bargains on that scale, so how to get the Windsock?
It became obvious that Commander Gring at the Academy should know about this.  A
man willing to travel the countryside and bargain to desecrate the Shrine was a dangerous
man to have in your country.  Gring, a fanatical Nevronian, agreed with him.  While
research was undertaken at the Academy to determine the nature of the peddler, other
news came in.  Warwick had filled him in about the peddler's whereabouts when he had
found him.  There was a strange coincidence there...
It seemed that the prison fire had perhaps been no accident, despite the indications.  A
man escaped from the prison and was indestructible for a time.  He killed many men and
wreaked havoc in the countryside.  A prison guard who was killed wasn't the only one.
When the area where the peddler had stopped was investigated, it was found that the
prison guard's entire family had been sacrificed to some evil power in a series of vile
rites.  Coincidence?  We think not.
The research on the peddler came in.  Orimaxes provided some interesting info.  Many
stories provided hints of these in the distant past, but one trend he noted was their steady
progression eastward from the Realm over time.  One in
recent history came not that long before, when a Nevronian Church Elder in Urnst(?)
found himself getting older.  It seems he decided to slow the process after talking with a
strange peddler.  Somehow, from the peddler, he ended up with a beautiful cane.  The
Elder lived much longer than he should have, and then died.  Upon his death, his library
of rare Nevronian tomes burned to the ground, and the cane disappeared.  An Academy
Team blamed "supernatural forces" for the loss of the cane.  And when Orimaxes sought
a way to extinguish the Black Flame when his child had joined the Cult, he discovered
that a very important source that he needed desperately had only existed in the library of
that Elder, and was now unavailable to his battle against the Cult.  This perturbed
Orimaxes to no end.  An interesting aside that he noted was also interesting.  The Telvar
Bestiary (which he possessed, but did not appear to be cognizant of how it ended up in
his office) showed an interesting, and possibly related creature in the K'owei, or
Further research revealed that Dunstill and Illic had fought one in the Far World who was
trying to manipulate an evil artifact into the hands of Evil. They killed it, but it was very
difficult to kill.  It seemed to have a number of "minor" spell abilities, and required highly
magic weapons to even affect the creature.  It was magically resistant to a high degree.  It
was determined based on all of this that Warwick and co. would follow it, since he had
the only means of actually following the peddler since the guy carried some sort of
anti-divining zone along with him ("the tent of the night").
So it was that Warwick, Warder of Phaulkon, and his stalwart compatriots kept moving
forward and followed the slinking evil peddler in his crossing of Cromwell.
On the way to Verbobonc, the party encountered a couple of things.  A "lake pirate"
attack site with lots of dead humans and part-orcs.  A ship had clearly been by, as had
the peddler.  Doing a kind deed, the party took the time to bury the dead.... and
discovered that they had no souls even though they were dead very recently.  This
alarming sign pointed to the peddler's evil
influence and some kind of sacrifice taking place.  At a village further on, an old man in
the village was found dead next to the decomposed body of his long-dead grandson who
had been buried before.  Though the grave was completely undisturbed, the grandson's
body had indeed been removed, which they discovered when they reinterred the body.
The priest in the village said that nothing about the burials were unusual (no soulless
burials) but this Monkey's Paw-like tale had the peddler's wheeling and dealing written all
over it.  It was from this that the peddler became known as the "Cosmic Broker."
Indeed, the peddler had come through days before.
With the feverish pace of the peddler's deals (despite a 6" movement rate), Warwick
decided that they could not let this creature get away from them to ditch the Windsock so
he could not be followed.  He let Gring know that he would continue to follow and that
he thought it imperative that they eliminate this threat to the country's people.
The peddler marched on towards Verbobonc, then skirted around it and headed towards
Hochoch.  The party followed and they eventually passed him and went on to Hochoch.
When it became apparent that he was headed to the city, wherein lay a Phaulkonian
Church, the party schemed to attack the peddler.  An urgent request was sent to Gring
for powerful and overwhelming force to kill the Broker.
Over the next 30 days or so, several heroes of Cromwell and Shabrund showed up with
devastating weapons.  Marriott the Ranger, with +4 arrows; Todd; the dwarves Phage
and Tor; and Ybleth,  a Cromwellian Paladin.  This made the
magic number of 11, which had been fortold as a rising number of importance by a series
of astrologies.  Also, the Phaulkonian Church in Hochoch agreed to be well back from
the combat to provide healing support where necessary.
Things were timed, and an ambush point was selected, with camouflage blinds and a neat
_stone-shaped_ rock cave from which Warwich would fire the first +4 targeted arrow to
begin the combat.  Then, the group of powerful men waited
for  the peddler to arrive and surprise him.  Hopefully, the party could launch an
overwhelming attack before he could mount a defense.  And if nothing else, the party
would hopefully recover the Windsock and maybe some other items even if we couldn't
defeat him.  Of course, none of the party expected to lose, when so  much power had
been gathered in one place.
Well, the group had every inclination to think they were right, but it didn't turn out how
they expected.
When the peddler stepped exactly into Warwick's point-black range (30'), he stopped,
turned to Warwick hidden in the rock, and tipped his hat (ESP!!).  Warwick was
shocked by this, but he let fly his arrow nonetheless.  The arrow stuck in the peddler, and
the attack began.
At that same instant, the entrance and attack hole to Warwick's blind were sealed with a
_Stoneshape_ effect, and he was trapped inside.
The invisible fighters, including Leon, charged the wagon, while Marriott moved into
position to fire his arrow.  Lanoi grabbed the pitchfork and moved around  behind to try
to grab the Windsock and anything else he could pull off the cart, while the battle raged in
front of him.  Leon fired at the mule, in case it was some associate of the creature's and
also in order to stop him from
getting away with the wagon.  Buck picked up Phage's second spear (Phage was
wielding Seeker, the +4 anti-chaotic spear) and hurled it.
At this point, the Broker clearly saw the charging invisible fighters, and unleashed an
incredibly devastating _Fireball_ to encompass the whole group, himself, and the mule.
The mule and Leon were killed instantly.  The peddler was obviously completely
unaffected by the blast, though the wagon began to catch fire.  The other warriors were
sorely injured, but they valiantly came on anyway.
The rakshasa was hard to hit (at an AC of about -7), and the +3 weapons did only half
damage when they hit.  The heroes facing him had an extremely difficult time hitting, even
though they were excellent warriors with superior weapons.
Lanoi attempted to pull stuff out of the wagon.  When he triggered the second trap, he
collapsed in a heap and was out of the battle.  Tristan dragged him away.
Lightning bolt, magic missile, and other 2-segment innate abilities continuously went off.
The party was rapidly being annihilated.  Every once in awhile, the party would do some
damage, but it was not that significant. Eventually, the peddler, who was chuckled
continuously throughout the encounter, started to climb into the back of the wagon from
his seat, and
reach for magic items.  When he became injured enough, his true form was revealed.  A
huge man-tiger, orange and very tall, snarling with his fanged mouth at the party.  At last
the astrology about the color orange had come true...
He turned the dwarf Phage, along with Seeker, into stone. Tor struck several times with
his battleaxe, was downed, healed, and then downed again.  Buck and Marriott tossed
Phage's secondary (+3) spear several times before finally connecting.  Buck was
knocked unconscious as he tried to levitate above the Rakshasa and perform a kamikaze
manuever.  When the rakshasa
killed the Paladin Ybleth, the Paladin's horse took off at top speed towards the town.
Binkley then used his thief abilities, since he was a half-elven multiclass thief, with a
magical shortsword, to attack the beast.  He successfully struck it, but did not last long in
the face of its wrath.  This left standing Marriott, who didn't have a weapon which could
affect it.  He began pulling the +4 arrows out of the creature and firing them at him.
Unfortunately, it was also doing damage to him.  When he damaged the thing, it began to
look close to death.  He then grabbed for one of the magical weapons on the ground, a
+1 short sword which could hit anything, and it sprang into his hand.  But by now, the
rakshasa had seen that he could not win.  So, he used a flame effect to destroy his
magical tent, and then vanished, his clothes collapsing to the ground as Marriott
At the end of the battle, three of the five heroes were dead, one was stone, one alive.
The original party had Warwick, uninjured but trapped in the cliff face, Buck, who was
healed up to consciousness, Lanoi, who was paralyzed but okay, Tristan, who was
uninjured, Binkley, who was dead, and Leon, who was not only dead, but unraisable
since he had taken about 75 hp of damage from the _Fireball_ with only 20-something
hitpoints himself!
Amidst the wagon, several impressive items were recovered, though some were lost
forever.  Found were a Regeneration scroll, a Resurrection scroll, the Circlet of the
White Mages, the Windsock, an Elixir of Youth, an Amulet of
the Fates, a Tome of the Elder Warrior, a Potion of Glorious Might, and some other
stuff, including gold and gems.
At the close of the adventure, the fates of the warriors involved were unknown (were
they successfully raised or not?  would Leon want to be reincarnated or not?).  With
great cost, and without defeating the primary enemy, the Windsocks were once again
claimed and brought together by a Phaulkonian Quest.  But on the other hand, I'm sure
Gring's not that happy with the outcome.
The End, for now.

--Lanoi  (Kyle)    (top)

And the Follow-up Adventure (it was only a matter of time!)
        The dynamic duo returns in an escapade worthy of godly notice:

On their first adventure in possession of the new Windsock, our heroes were last left
dividing up treasure:

The survivors of the Rakshasa attack were Marriat the ranger, Warwick the ranger,
Buck the fighter, Tristan the druid, and Lanoi the Phaulkonian cleric.

The rakshasa wagon had burned, but spectular treasure was recovered, as recounted in
the official summary for the previous game.  Here are some of the results:

The Regeneration scroll was used on Buck!  Shockingly, Andy rolled an 01 (on my dice)
and the scroll failed!!!


On the good side, I also rolled Leon's Reincartion.  Incredibly, (05) Leon came back as
a GIANT EAGLE!  So now Lanoi feels really cool, walking around with a giant eagle.

Warwick growled at the thought, but Skylltor offered 550,000 gp for the circlet of the
white mage (+1 spellcasting level).  Gring refused.

As Warwick said, "It only works on GOOD mages..."

While Leon was getting used to his new body, Warwick decided to get the 1500 XP he
needed for 7th level by attacking... the frost giant nation. Alone.

With the Windsocks.

Tristan and Lanoi waited a few hours away while an invisible Warwick snuck up on two
frost giants, two wolves, and an ogre (from the air).

A point-blank targeted near maximum damage shot brought down a frost giant (-2 and a
wound).  The other frost giant hurled a boulder for a bit of damage, but the ogre whipped
out a quad-crossbow.

The ogre fired four times.  Four hits, more than 40 points of damage.  And a wound.

Warwick downed an invisibility potion, then half a healing potion.  He nearly hit the
ground during the segment he was at -1/2 hp, but he recovered in time to dodge the
leaping wolves and fly away.

Moving the camp, Warwick decided to try again the next day.

He jumped a lone frost giant ski patroller.  His target shot was off, and he merely inflicted
a point-blank shot, complete with wound.  The giant blew its horn to warn its compatriots
and hurled a boulder, striking Warwick with a wound as well.  Warwick shot him down,
but found nothing of interest on the body before the ski patrol hit him 10 segments later.
got away.

The giants were alarmed by the flying madman with point-blank bowshots, enough to
cast two Divinations.  Since Warwick was wearing the Windsocks, he was a Divination
beacon, and was identified by the giants.  Not that they didn't know him already.

Warwick became claustrophobic after bonding with the socks for awhile, and it was
discovered that was a permanent side effect (penalities indoors).  Warwick moved his
room on the roof of the Academy building.

After the class of 2185 departed, Warwick decided to head for one of the X spots on his
various treasure maps (claiming it was a third-generation X).  An astrology revealed that
"The sign of the Scythe is passing above the sign of the Cornucopia."  Warwick didn't
seem to care that death was imminent and formed a party to set out in February 2186,
after training to
7th level under Marriat the ranger. (Warwick rolled a 7 on a d8 and now has 60 hp--
more importantly he has the speed reduction)

So, the party was:

Warwick, 7th level ranger, 60 hp, claustrophobic killer of frost giants
Buck, 5th level fighter, 44 hp, "A Wild man and his ring"
Jean-Luc, 6th level thief/4th level cartographer, 45 hp, backstabbing lawyer
Tristan, 4th level druid, 26 hp, doesn't care much about nature
Lanoi, 3rd level cleric, 16 hp, possessor of the Windsocks
Leon, 2nd level ranger, 28 hp, is a giant eagle but still annoying
Nuangola, 1st level dwarven fighter, 13 hp, crossbow specialist
Moosic, 1st level dwarven fighter, 9 hp, short sword specialist/lasso

(The dwarves were named after small towns in Pennsylvania that Mark and Andy passed
through on the way up.  The dwarves were generated in the car.)

So they set off, roughly toward Thorizdun (the X is relatively near there), from
Hoch-och.  You may recall, perhaps, that the path to Thorizdun involves going through
the Dim Forest.

Leon flew over the forest and waited for Warwick and Buck to emerge on the other
side.  But plans don't always go as planned.

On the second night, with Tristan, Lanoi, and Nuangola on watch, Warwick came to the
sudden realization that perhaps the Windsocks might draw the undead to them, as the 35
ghouls ran at the party.

Lanoi attempted to turn, while Tristan and Nuangola woke people up.  Warwick shot
down three ghouls but there were many more to go.  Lanoi turned one, but the other 30
or so kept coming.  The lions, Warwick, Buck, Nuangola, and Moosic held the line
attempting to keep them away from Lanoi, Tristan, and Jean-Luc as it turned out.

The ghouls then hit the party, leaping through the air.  About ten stopped to munch on the
two lions, and five more landed on a paralyzed Warwick. Both dwarves went down as
well.  Lanoi, although automatically able to turn
them, managed to drive only a single one away again.  Things looked really bad.  Buck
was slicing them to ribbons, and Jean-Luc was holding his ground, but otherwise it
collapse everywhere.

Lanoi's third turning attempt and his divine intervention went off at the same time.  Twelve
ghouls took off, and in fact all the feasting halted and they hovered out of the light spell
range.  Had the divine intervention worked?

Apparently not, since although there was a lull, the creatures were not dispersing.  The
party patched up Nuangola and Moosic enough for them to stand.  Tristan began casting
Call Lightning.

Warwick recovered, and so did the dwarves.  Time passed.

"Ring, can you teleport us out of here?" Buck demanded.

"Well, let me try."  Buck grabbed the two dwarves and prepared himself.

They Dimension Doored right into the middle of the ghouls.

Running for their lives, Nuangola got struck by a ghoul, made his saving throw, but was
dropped to zero.  Staggering back, taking massive permanent damage, he fell into the
circle still alive.  His leg was useless for the moment though.

Getting desperate, the party started a group-prayer session.  Jean-Luc, complaining the
entire time, managed to roll an 03 and Nevron reacted. Suddenly, the Ring of Berber
coughed out a potion.

"That hurt!  It felt like someone smacked in the back!"

"Should we drink it?" asked Warwick, referring to the potion.

Buck downed it.  Suddenly he had control of 16 of 18 ghouls out there. He was suddenly
aware of the 10 wights as well.

He sent the ghouls at the wights, and the ghouls perished, unable to affect their

That was a start, but they still needed help.

Warwick tried to light a fire, but the trees started inching closer suddenly.  He put it out.
They stopped.

Every time Buck looked away, they seemed to advance.

"Look, ring.  If we don't get out of this, you're never going to jump off of anything, or
party ever again!" Buck yelled.

"Oh all right, maybe this will help."  A huge buzzsaw burst out of the ring, mangling
Buck's fingers. The ring started gurgling.

The trees started backing away.  Tristan blasted one of the two spectres that had
appeared after a particularly bad (96) divine intervention roll.

Finally, they decided to retreat through a gap in the trees.  Fifty feet down, they ran into a
confused cloud giant.

"Mwa hwa.  Wha?  Doig pengit gid!  Moogawa." it said, pointing up.  It grabbed
Nuangola and stuffed him in its pack and flew into the air toward a cloud.  Apparently it
came into the Dim Wood through a hole in the trees created by Tristan's bolts.

Apparently Lanoi's first attempt at divine intervention had been successful.  The cloud
giant just was unable to find them.

The buzzsaw went down suddenly.  The ring declared it would never do that again even if
it could, and the trees tried to kill Buck as he levitated out, but couldn't quite finish him

The party was transported via cloud to Hoch-och, where Leon had pronounced them
dead several days earlier.  The giant told them to do something a bit easier, like maybe
taking on a single hill giant.

The good news was that while in the cloud Jean-Luc was able to make some decent
maps of the forest and noticed a river running through it.

Hey, no one actually died!  Buck's fingers were repaired perfectly, but Nuangola moves
1" slower than before (slight limp).

Hope you enjoyed my commentary!

Joel (and occasionally Leon)

Summary: Heroes vs. the Brothers

The Adventures of Everyone's Favorite Chaotic Good Ranger: Warwick!!!


Mordrick, 9th level fighter/ 11th level thief, 81 hp, played by Joel Green
Brenard, 6th level Cloud Giant fighter, 78 hp, NPC
Warwick, 7th level ranger, 60 hp, played by Mark Wagoner
Buck/ Weapon X, 5th level fighter, 44 hp, played by Mark Wagoner
Alegra, 9th level Phaulkonian cleric, 40 hp, played by Kyle MacLea
Eli, 9th level mage, 39 hp, NPC, with input from Zack Hubert
Raven, 7th level fighter, 37 hp, played by Sean Guarino
Leon, 2nd level ranger/ giant eagle, 28 hp, played by Mark Wagoner

With support from:

Tristan, 4th level druid, henchman of Warwick
Lanoi, 3rd level Phaulkonian cleric, henchman of Warwick

And lots of advice from Jack McKechnie

Warwick, having lost his support roster for the Dim Forest adventure
thanks to a terrifying Divination by Alegra in early 2186, decided that a
new quest was necessary to reinforce the Warwick-Alegra alliance and
provide political benefit for both the fledgling city-state of Tan-El and
the government of Cromwell.

The party to be gathered was a collection of elite fighters, a cleric,
and a wizard, all of whom shared a hatred of the Brothers. The Brothers
are a pair of evil cloud giant mercenaries of the Fog Clan hired by humanoids
to kill humans, humanoids, and other worse things. They particularly
delight in
killing good clerics. Opponent's limbs and heads have been known to fall
with a single swing of their swords.

It was the sort of challenge Warwick relished. (i.e., Warwick's just crazy
enough to enjoy that sort of thing)

First, it was necessary to gather the members of the party. Most were
available, but in order to make it on time, Alegra and Raven had some
interesting experiences

Raven led patrols around Tan-El during 2186 to protect the workers and
increase the safety zone for the low-level parties, including Rage
Against Injustice (a Korian party), hired on bounty to clear Tan-El. This
arrangement worked out fine, until a very nasty encounter.

On patrol were Raven, Rangorn's two woodsmen henchman Luke and Han, and
three elves from Sairt. A banshee beetle, the most feared monster in
Tan-El, jumped out in front of the party and screamed.

All but Han and one elf collapsed. Han sent the elf for help, and began
checking the bodies. Though Raven hung on to life for some time, all the
appeared to be dead, and Han began to feed them
to the banshee beetle one at a time, hoping that Theo and Star and Ludo
could arrive in time to save Raven. Unfortunately, the creature had made it
and no one had yet showed up, so Han poured the Elixir of Life to save
Raven, and dragged him, stunned, back towards the Tan-El workers. He met
and Ludo along the way, but they would not risk tracking down the beetle
in case it could scream again (by know nearly 5 minutes had passed and
experience with the monsters revealed nothing of their abilities to recharge
this special attack).

Raven was saved, but he took massive permanent damage, including 7 hp,
and 2 comeliness points, reducing to 37 hp and a comeliness of 5.

Rangorn was still in the Tunnel with the Daring Dozen at the time, so Han
decided to have Luke reincarnated (he was unraiseable) and he came back
as an eagle! Another Phaulkonian eagle. Meanwhile, Rangorn had a nasty
shock waiting for him when he returned from the trip.

Alegra, meanwhile, had to travel to the Realm, to the distant land of
Hochland 200 miles off the Realmish coast, to train to 9th level.
Leaving Tan-El in mid-2186, she traveled to Carse to buy the weird suit
of armor the Defenders had noted ten years earlier, a "Sharpskin suit." The
merchant stated that "he couldn't reveal what it's made out of, but lots of
them had to die to make it." The armor is AC 6/6, acts like leather for
thieving abilities,
mountain climbing, etc. It is dimly magical and unaligned and probably made
from the
carcass of some weird black creature. Taking a boat from Carse to Teft,
she hit a bad storm, but saved the ship from capsizing through her
Phaulkonian ability to reduce winds. A few days later a huge but
friendly whale appeared.

Alegra was Teleported with Eli to Melbonia, where Skylltor Teleport
without Errored her to Saib, a bustling slum of a city in the near Realm
(comparisons were drawn to Calcutta). At extreme expense, Alegra hired
professional bodyguards (referred to her by Skylltor) until a fast
passenger boat was ready for her. The passenger boat trip was short, but
another storm rose, and the ship was once again saved by Alegra.

She landed in Hochland, where for the first time in her life, Alegra was
treated with respect. The place was quite beautiful, and as the launching
point for the great New World missionary activities of the Phaulkonian hero
Hoch, showed great respect for Phaulkonians of all kinds. Alegra trained to
9th level and gained 3 hp to stand at 40. She worked with Grand Matriarch
Mariah, the highest level human Phaulkonian cleric. Along with the High
Priests of Teft, Hoch-Och, and a Cloud Giant High Priest, Alegra joins the
ranks as one of four High Priest-level Phaulkonians who report to Mariah.
Mariah reports to the leaders of the Temple of the Sky in the Adventuring
Reserve (with its elite Storm Giant guards and extensive temple complex).

Since she had been refunded her money for the boat trip, Alegra was able to
back for free, but she needed guards and decided to pick up her dozen elite
followers, called The Seasons. They sailed back to Saib. On the way they
hit ANOTHER storm, this one quite bad. However, Alegra threw her new
spell, Summon Weather, and made it sunny again. A few days later,
several crewmembers disappeared and the captain assured everyone that
everything was ok. He said to Alegra, and only to Alegra, "Evil devil
priestess ray." Completely baffled, Alegra asked, "Is there something I
can do to help?" The man said, "No, no, it is fine. Thank you!" (Alegra
somewhat disadvantaged being a Human speaker with only one slot, without her
native Human speaking henchman around to help, but she made it okay back to

Once again, Alegra had saved the day and was given a full refund.

With her guards, Alegra traveled on horseback through the Realm, got
harrassed at the Latt border by a Drake outpost, passed briefly through
the Moors and the Dim Forest, and finally emerged into Cromwell.

At Hoch-Och, on High Holy Day, plans were made and astrology results were
revealed. Both Lanoi and Warwick receive signs from Phaulkon.

Partial success was virtually assured. The time to attack was at 5 AM on
February 14, 2187 -- this was the time when the Brothers constellation would
be dipping below the horizon.

Buck missed most of the ceremony do to a happenin' New Years party that
the Ring of Berber just HAD to go to. He meant well though.

The party had gathered: Brenard, Cloud giant, was to provide the
transport, and be invisible and flying as the attack began. Warwick was
to be airwalking (with the Windsocks), hasted, and invisible. Buck was
invisible and ready to divebomb one of the two brothers. Raven and Alegra
hidden in the snow some distance away ready to fire bows (Alegra would use
Rainbow, a 5th level spell that makes her an excellent archer). Mordrick was
to be hiding in the snow, drink an Invisibility potion, and backstab a giant.
would be flying and invisible, ready to throw a Slow spell. Buck landing
on a giant would trigger the attack. Leon, flying reconnaissance, would
let us know when they were getting close, and also try to snag things out
of their hands and disrupt spells or effects.

The plan was to do this when they went out for water, since the cave
complex/temple of Vaprack that they inhabited did not have an internal
A waterhold nearby was an easy target for our planning as an ambush spot. We
suspected that servants would get it normally, but Phaulkon had indicated
was something special about this time.

"The weather will be your greatest benefit and greatest challenge."

We headed over on the Cloud Giant's castle, with Lanoi and Tristan there
as healing support. During the night 9 days before, the castle flew over
and Alegra used the Windsocks to know the weather for the morning 9 days
Alegra determined that it would be extremely cold the morning of the 14th,
immediately following a prolonged 9-day blizzard. By 2AM that morning, the
storm would have cleared out, causing the temperature to plunge to a frigid
degrees F. (Astrology had indicated that 34 was an important number.) The
water hole would be frozen solid.

The party set up and prepared for the moment. Lots of Endure Cold spells
protected the group, and winter wolf cloaks protected Alegra, Mordrick, Raven
and others as they hid beneath the snow , ready to pop up for attacks.

At about 5 AM, four bugbears with barrels came out into the cold.
They banged futilely against the frozen pond, and returned inside.
Moments, later, out came the Brothers, one in blue and the other in black
armor. Both were weird looking, and both suits had helmets.

They reached the pond and looked annoyed. Black began to cut a hole in
the ice with his huge sword.

At that moment, Buck fell out of the sky.

Buck slammed into the Black-armored giant with tremendous force, but merely
bounced off the weird armor. Not even knocked down, Black stood up and
for enemies, popping his helmet down and weird gem goggles appearing in front
of his eyes.

Warwick shot the Black for tremendous damage. Black launched into the air
after Warwick, who fired again for devastating damage.

Raven and Alegra popped up and began shooting. Raven missed Blue, but
Alegra consistently shot Black.

Blue charged toward Raven, who fired desperately and missed, but then
Mordrick reached him and backstabbed him with the indestructible short
sword of quickness +3, doing tremendous damage and five wounds. The
giant whirled around and slashed Mordrick, inflicting equally tremendous
damage to the dwarf and stunning him. Eli finished his Slow and threw it
at Black, chasing Warwick, who continued to fire but was missing. Buck
was slowly reforming naked in the snow.

Suddenly, Black _blinked_ and was in front of Warwick. He slashed him for
tremendous damage, and Warwick fell back with three wounds. Hasted, he
dashed back out of range and shot him again, hoping that it was some sort
of one shot ability.

Eli cast a LIMM at Black, whose Brooch of Shielding stopped virtually all
the damage, but then was used up, at least. Alegra continued firing to
devastating effect.

Blue went to finish off Mordrick, but suddenly Brenard the cloud giant
appeared behind him and slashed him for big damage. Wanting to finish
off the most dangerous opponent, Blue slashed at Mordrick. Being so
incredibly tough, Mordrick staggered around for a few seconds before the
nine wounds overtook him and he bled to death.

Raven fired desperately, missing again with a second +4 arrow. Warwick
continued to miss as well. Eli began pulling out a scroll of Magic
Missiles. Black tried to drink a potion (the potions were built into their
elaborate skull helmets). Leon the giant eagle made a grab for it, but the
giant obviously saw him (due to the goggles that each suit had) and the snout
of the skull also deflected his dive, and he missed.

It became apparent that both giants had drunk potions and were healing
rapidly. Raven shot Blue, who closed angrily with the elven archer and
swung the killing blow.

But he missed.

Brenard stabbed him, and together with Raven they managed to keep him
staggering near unconsciousness. The potion continued to heal him though.

Alegra held her bow during her effective split-fire movement and ran at Blue,
hoping to get a spell off. Black, meanwhile, _blinked_ again and appeared in
front of Warwick, who had time to think "Shit" before he died horribly in
Fortunately, his head didn't fall off, and the Windsocks caused him to float
gently to earth. Due to Alegra's imbueing of Warwick with a couple of _Cure
Light Wounds_, she was immediately aware of his death).

Eli blanched but threw Magic Missiles, hammering the rapidly healing
Black. The giant turned around and sped toward the retreating Eli.

Alegra had finally closed with Blue, and in desperation, threw a _Command_
"Die!" in Cloud Giant.


The giant fell over, and Brenard killed him where he fell. In rage, Black
attempted to eliminate Eli, whose _Ray of Enfeeblement_ was unsuccessful.
Alegra fired her last arrow before dropping the Rainbow. Eli was leading the
giant back toward the party, and was preparing to Teleport away to the
castle. Alegra attempted to distract Black's vision of Eli with a
_Precipitation_, but the optical abilities of his armor caused the plan to

Buck, fully reformed, threw a +2 throwing axe at the creature but missed,
and picked up his bastard sword.

The giant came streaking toward the party, and Raven pounded it with arrows,
but then Alegra stepped up to it once again, as a last-ditch effort, and

Some days, even cloud giants can't make saving throws.

Buck finished off the fallen Black, who had also downed a Potion of
Superheroism on his way in.

Mordrick and Warwick were dead, but everyone else was in fact uninjured.
Everyone was carted away to the castle, where Alegra _Raised_ Mordrick and
Warwick successfully. Between a _Speak with Dead_ on the Brothers,
interrogation of the bugbear and noblink slaves, and Mordrick's
unbelievable ability to detect and remove traps, the party had little
difficulty in regaining all of the treasure.

There was a huge assortment, which I may leave to Mark to list for us:

The highlights were the Brothers gear-two suits of powerful cloud giant
full plate, one of land dragon, the other of behir. One was immune to
blunt weapons, while the other granted lightning protection. The two
swords were a sword of sharpness, which can decapitate people, and a
sword of discernment, which allows the user to tell who is the most
powerful opponent (that they can detect) and will stun that character.

There were a number of religious items belonging to Nevronians, Malatans,
Chelseans, etc. A lot Realmish gear was found. The slaves were freed
and told to go.

The huge sabretooth tiger was charmed and freed by Tristan. A large Stone
Golem had been set on "autokill" mode in one of the rooms, but the control
necklace was recovered. Buck and Eli used the necklace to destroy the Fire
Mastiffs. When the party left, the Stone Golem was set on autokill by Buck.
This should be quite interesting when the trolls come to reclaim this shrine
of Vaprack (god of trolls and ogres). The trolls can't kill it, and the
golem can't
effectively finish off the trolls. It should be good fun and interesting to
have "full-time" combat happening in the temple until a new necklace can be
made. Because it would limit Vaprack's power to this very remote region,
Phaulkon did not want the party to either deconsecrate the temple (since it
would allow Vaprack to move the temple) or desecrate the temple (because it
would undoubtedly result in the annihilation of one of Phaulkon's important
servants). A successful mission resulted in Lanoi training for 4th level, and
improved relations for Tan-El and Cromwell with other countries, hopefully
involving the recognition Tan-El by Wunka (the near Realm), and possibly

The cloud giant Brenard picked his favorite armor and sword (land dragon, and
sharpness), and the other pair was given to Alegra for a cloud giant follower
that she will pick up (behir and discernment). Eli received some items of
interest, including the _Disintegrate_ scroll. Raven gained some arrows,
Mordrick got the double dose potion of superheroism and other stuff, and
Warwick received many items of value and the illusionist spellbook, which he
gave to Al Hoch.

Hope you enjoyed the adventure! Stay tuned for more!

Mark/Warwick/Buck/Lanoi/Tristan   (top)

Summary: Warwick vs. the Evil Mountain Giant Grungar

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugliest Player Character in Telvar.

It all begins with a grand idea which, after reality whittles away the grander
parts, becomes a questionable enterprise.
We re-join our beleaguered party in autumn, 2187:

Warwick had just returned from Borglyn's roost, and his superiors at the
Academy were grumbling about schedule, funding, the usual lot. Due for more
excitement, Warwick soon hatched a plan to rid western Cromwell of one its
more legendary menaces - the giant Grungar Goldeneyes. With proper equipment
from friends, the church, and the government, Warwick believed that he could
probably eliminate Grungar with a solo Holy Quest. So, astrology readings
began, and a Commune spell was cast for Warwick on High Holy Day. The results
of both were discouraging.

Although it was foretold that Grungar was susceptible to Warwick's lethal bow,
it seemed certain that Warwick would get one shot at most. After that first
shot (not likely to kill Grungar), then Grungar's escape or the immediate
death of Warwick would result. It further seemed that Grungar was impossible
to surprise, despite all of Warwick's methods (invisibility, silently
approaching in the air, downwind, etc.). The omens in the astrology reading
were similarly grim: "the void eclipses the hunter", "the scythe is
ascendant", the unlucky color is transparent, etc.

Of course, this galvanized Warwick's Holy Quest, confident that Phaulkon would
provide the key source of inspiration and guidance for destroying the menace.


In early 2188, Warwick set out to research his adversary. Consultation with
Academy resources and the Cromwellian sage Kerfel led Warwick to the
conclusion that Grungar could psionically travel via various planes. For a
while, it seemed that Warwick would become Astral or Ethereal and combat
Grungar in the non-physical world ¸ fortunately, Warwick discarded that idea.
Instead, in the great tradition of Buck (Weapon X), Warwick decided that a
high-speed collision with Grungar would be the only sure way to instantly
incapacitate and possible kill the giant. While Warwick spent the summer of
2188 training the next class of STRangers, Lanoi again consulted the stars in
Hoch Och. "The sign of the scythe is ascendant over the sign of the arch.
The unlucky number is 110. The unlucky color is black-green." A plan was set
and checked with Liahanna, the Nevronian artifact with Commune powers.
Liahanna indicated that Warwick's plan had a decent chance of killing Grungar¸

In late autumn, a full STRanger/ Phaulkonian contingent traveled to western
Cromwell by Brinard's cloud. Since Grungar's pattern of extortion had
followed a somewhat methodical pattern, a small number of likely target
villages were determined. For each of the villages, Warwick's party
determined a pre-set location for the extortion drop-off. Locations were
selected that had a nocturnal and daytime bird to serve as messengers. Once a
village was threatened, Warwick quickly built a blind about 200 yards from the
planned food drop-off. He immediately took his gear to the blind and waited.

Since Warwick intended to endanger only himself, his solo set-up was expensive
and risky. He consumed a Potion of Vitality, which allowed him to sit quietly
for a solid week, with no food, water, or sleep. Further, he was wearing a
borrowed Ring of Mind Shielding to protect him from mental probing and attack.
He was Imbued with several clerical spells. The Academy lab had specially
crafted an impact suit (called a "safe") - it was intended to maximize damage
to the target, while keeping Warwick literally intact. Two magic tokens were
crafted into the custom suit. Finally, Warwick had two different helmets with
special visual capabilities, True Sight and Ultravision. Otherwise, Warwick
had no equipment; he was a human bullet.

After some time (days?), Warwick was signaled by the daytime bird that the
food was being disturbed. Warwick grabbed the helmet of True Sight and
immediately activated a line-of-sight Teleport token ¸ and arrived in mid-air
far above the food and a busy Grungar. High in the air above Grungar, Warwick
saw a huge hole in the ground, with a smoking and smoldering land beyond.
Grungar was shoving the food into the hole, oblivious to the danger falling
from above.

At terminal velocity, about 1200 feet above Grungar, Warwick dropped the
helmet of True Sight and activated his built-in Dimension Door token. The
helmet deployed a parachute (thanks, lab), and Warwick zapped through the
Door. The other side of the Door opened 20 feet above Grungar's head. Even
with the incredible speed of psionic power, Grungar was unable to react to a
chunk of metal hurtling at 180 mph. Warwick smashed Grungar's head, and was
simultaneously mangled by the impact himself. Both died; Warwick's (un?) holy
quest ended.


The bird that had warned Warwick flew on to signal the support party that the
plan had activated. When they arrived, the saw the following scene: Grungar
was dead, with a massive head wound. Warwick was mangled on the ground
nearby, with his head almost ripped from his body. (The "safe" had not
included a special helmet, due to Warwick's need to use the magical vision
helmet.) Beside both bodies was a gaping "hole to hell". As they verified
that Grungar was dead and that Warwick was in a single piece, they began to
debate what to do with the hell-hole.

As they debated, a strange creature of fire emerged from the hole, cackled,
and went shrieking through the sky across Cromwell. Not wanting to start a
planar incident, Lanoi read a scroll of dispel magic (thanks Alegra) to close
up the hole. The strange landscape vanished, leaving behind a thin, silky,
black-green cloth. The heroes folded the cloth, bundled Warwick, and prepped
the scene for take-off. Everyone traveled via Brinard's cloud to a nearby
Nevronian temple, where a high-level cleric could read a Raise Dead scroll for

Three days later, the temple was reached, and Warwick was Raised. He hadn't
fared too well... he lost 4 more hit points permanently, was completely deaf,
and had reached sub-zero comeliness. Dazed and depressed, he slept for most
of the trip back to the Academy.

At the Academy, it was realized that Warwick had paid a VERY expensive price
for not much reward. Speak w/ Dead was used to interrogate the crazy giant.
Grungar had NO possessions, other than his Well of the Worlds that linked to
the 110th layer of the Abyss. For the last century or so, Grungar had been
using western Cromwell as a food source for his mysterious master, "the object
of his desire". Everything else was irrelevant to Grungar, including the
accumulation of knowledge, goods, comforts... Grungar's psionic and clerical
powers were cataloged; he had an impressive set of defensive and offensive
mental powers, plus the ability to cast 1st and 2nd level priest spells. The
lab and the sage Meldor examined Grungar's physical remains - he was probably
going to die of old age in a few years anyway.

In all, Grungar was a formidable power whose sole, lowly purpose was to
provide a loathsome demonic master with a steady supply of food. To that end,
the fertile fields and faithful people of western Cromwell had been subjugated
and terrorized for more than a century. Grungar's legendary reign of terror
lasted years too long, but justice was ultimately served and a dangerous
portal to the abyss was closed forever.

Indebted from the adventure's fiscal disaster, 18 months older, and
practically crippled as an adventurer, Warwick now quests for his own

Mark/Warwick  (top)

Don't forget to check out Warwick in later adventures (by checking out adventures in 2000 or 2001 of interest - in particular the Fane of the Winds).


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