Here There Be Monsters

Our Story Begins

13th of Hammer, 1373
Our story begins in a cave where a group of Orc and Goblin survivors sought refuge from a Human incursion and particularly wicked blizzards. The weather has cleared temporarily. With no food left the group is forced to venture out to find new food and shelter before the harsh weather returns.

The group comes down from their cave in the foothills to find a human watchtower. After some hunting in the nearby woods the group returns under the cover of darkness. Blanca is spotted and after some attempts at deception the fight is on. The group overcomes the human militia and rests. They awake the next morning, gut the watchtower of supplies, and decide to take the human bodies to Pug.

After three very quiet days travel the group comes to the home of Pug the Hill Giant. They agree to help Pug with his kobold problem, which they do with ease. Pug is happy and rewards the group with a “pretty elf hat”.

Not wanting to overstay their welcome, the group decides to leave for Ghoul Manor in the morning. It is hoped that more supplies might be purchased there.

Quick Note: This Adventure Log will be updated in a fairly rough and speedy manner. It is not meant to be a piece of fiction but a basic log of the who, what, where, why, when, and how of things.

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The trip to Ghoul Manor

19th of Hammer, 1373
The group awakens to find their oracle seeing through space and time (with the help of a pattern found in Mrs Chitter’s web). Zeljka is left with a feeling of exhilaration and a vision of city walls being torn down.

After having a slightly uneasy conversation with Pug the night before the group decides to set out for Ghoul Manor in hopes of trade and maybe some employment. A day out from Pug’s cave they are almost ambushed by a group of Orcs from the Wing-Ripper tribe. Once the Orcs realized there were some holy people of their own kind among the group they call off the attack and ask for help for an injured warrior. The group helps and gains the goodwill of the Wing-Ripper tribe of Urglin (or at the very least the goodwill of Grool and Varg.) The group makes camp with the Orcs.

The next morning they set out and are soon attacked by a rabid boar (probably the same one that attacked Varg.) They dispatch the creature, though they almost lose Snowflake in the melee. After a few more quiet days travel the group stumbles upon a Kobold ambush. Beezilix and Mrs Chitter are almost ended by the rolling boulders trap, but the group kills the remaining Kobolds with relative ease. That night they are attacked by 4 skeletons, these too are easily dispatched.

The next day the group makes it to Ghoul Manor. They meet with the Necromancer Raven and conduct some trade. Raven also offers the group a job, taking a letter to Kurg Blood-Hand (the warchief in control of Urglin) to offer some sort of arrangement (non-hostility, alliance, or at least a meeting at a neutral location). The group agrees to be Raven’s emissaries.

Raven takes a liking to the group, particularly Zeljka Bone-Splitter, and is obviously very impressed by the level of intelligence displayed.

We leave our heroes on the evening of the 24th of Hammer, 1373.

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To the big city

25th of Hammer, 1373

The group awakens in Ghoul Manor to find that Mrs Chitter has disappeared during the night. They track her down to find her fending off a spider much larger than herself. The group kills the spider and discovers that Mrs Chitter was standing on (and seemingly defending) a strange waymarker, obviously ancient and magical (as it gave off heat). Larger spider’s lair is found nearby where a swarm of offspring spiders forced the group to retreat. The group sets off to Urglin to accomplish the task they had been given by Raven.

The trip to Urglin is cold and blizzard plagued. Along the way the group encounters: another rabid animal, a large force of dwarves looking to settle, and Swiftpaw and her pack of Worgs. The group finds out from Swiftpaw that a defiler-Druid is suspected to be behind the rash of rabies in the area. Swiftpaw is out to crunch this Druid’s skull.

The group arrives at Urglin to discover that meeting with it’s ruler, Kurg Blood-Hand, will not be as easy as they assumed. The group stays at “The Black Keg” (where Reeza tries to hump anything that moves). The group does some shopping in the Goblin Ghetto and talks to Guff Hammer for some advice on getting into Kurg. The adventure was concluded with the group deciding to talk to the Wing-Ripper Tribe to try and leverage their aid of the son of the Wing-Ripper warchief (see previous adventure log entry).

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Journey into the Sunless Citadel

4th of Alturiak, 1373

The group approaches the entrance to the Wing-Ripper quarter to find a mountainous and well dressed Orc named Drakar speaking with the gate watchmen. Blanca introduces herself and the group and tells Drakar of the news from the Warchief’s son. Drakar brings Blanca, Zeljka, and Reeza to the elderly Warchief Durgul Wing-Ripper. Blanca recounts the story again. Durgul is appreciative but insists he must confirm the story before he can treat the group as if they had done what they had claimed they did. Hearing the group must find a way into Kurg Blood-Hand, Durgul asks if the group would do a mission for the Wing-Rippers in exchange for access to the ruler of Urglin.

The mission is to travel to the Sunless Citadel and recover a white “apple” from the Durbuluk Clan of Goblins. Durgul hopes this can be done with as little fuss as possible, but he insists the fruit be acquired quickly. Blanca also asks if the Wing-Rippers can look into finding information on the group’s various clans and tribes. Terms are agreed upon (extra reward if things go poorly) and the group is on their way.

The group travels 6 days East along the Old Road. They encounter an Ogre (which is burnt to a crisp within 18 seconds of it first attempting to swing it’s club) and a group of animated bushes along the way. They find the Sunless Citadel and begin to explore it’s depths.

The game concludes with the group meeting a Kobold named Meepo.

Game Note: Group leveled up at the beginning of this game (Christmas Level).

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The Sunless Citadel Part 1

The group rests and during the night convince Meepo to help them. Meepo tells group of the “back way” into the Goblin area of the dungeon. The group initiates combat against the first group of goblins they find. They find some captives; 3 kobolds and Erky Timbers the Gnomish priest. The kobolds believe Meepo is working for the enemy goblins. They get the priest to help them open a door then let him go with some food and a weapon. Inside the locked room they find 5 regenerating skeletons and some treasure, after a tough fight they lock the skeletons back inside the room with the treasure in hand. The group rests. The next day the group sees graffiti threatening Meepo. They stumble upon the lair of Guthash the great Dire Rat and defeat her and her brood. Next they backtrack and decide to make a frontal assault on the Kobolds, after a very difficult battle with Yusdrayl and her Bounders they win the day (exhausted and drained).

Game session is concluded immediately following that battle.

The dungeon was quite obviously the home of a multi-racial dragon cult.

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The Sunless Citadel Part 2

Alturiak 13th – 16th, 1373

Group finishes exploring, looting, and exterminating in the Kobold area. They find a special key which emanates as slightly magical in the mouth of a carved dragon head. After much smashing the key is acquired. The extermination includes all Kobolds (women, children, and eggs) as well as 4 Goblin prisoners. The group rests and Reeza is hit with filth fever. The group rests an extra day and raises Guthash the dire rat as a zombie with Azan-gund, The Night Caller.

The group returns to the mysterious dragon carved door from early on in the dungeon and use the key. They set off a sonic trap causing most of them to flee straight into the pit trap from the initial courtyard. They discover a room with a large dragon statue. The statue speaks a riddle which the party figures out quickly, the answer opens a secret door. Within are marble statues of elves in plate armor, the tracks of a Quasit are seen. Thumper is pushed into a pit of spikes by a Quasit named Jot. Blanca grabs the demon and stuffs it into a sack. They discover the Quasit wanted to be defeated, he accepts defeat and the group releases the creature. It flies away.

Thumper and Reeza open the sarcophagi of “The Dragon Priest” to discover a strange slim Troll spewing elven. The group defeats the Troll, on dieing it turns into a desiccated elf then turns to dust. Evidently the Dragon Priest was someone who was subjected to a horrible punishment by the cultists who once inhabited in this fortress.

The group rests once again.

Note: The group leveled up at the conclusion of this game.

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The Sunless Citadel Part 3

Alturiak 16th, 1373

The group enters the Goblin controlled area of the dungeon to discover some of the goblins have plant characteristics (woody skin, thorns, etc), these are intermixed with the regular goblin population. The Durbulek goblins have orders to kill any non-clansmen to approach. The group fights their way (including a 3 goblin grapple across Blanca’s body) to Chief Durnn (who is a “woody” hobgoblin). Group wipes out the Cheiftain and his guards. They descend into the next level of the Sunless Citadel, they kill a few Twig Blights then encounter a bugbear ranger named Balsag the Hunter. After a short conversation Thumper attacks, Balsag retreats and collapses the tunnel behind him. The group finds Belak’s laboratory (which includes a dire rat subjected to some plant disease) as well as the goblin distillery, the goblins here surrender immediately. They make their way into the gardens (which seem to be growing under the power of violet phosphorescent fungus) and meet George the hobgoblin gardener. They encounter some goblins and kill the goblins along with George. Thumper gets into some trouble with a Thoquaa (during this encounter Reeza picks his pocket), they eventually defeat the elemental. Group finds their way into a great shrine to a red dragon. Zeljka and Thumper force Beezilix to accept the shrine’s blessing (by pushing him onto a magic circle and speaking the draconic activation words). Unfortunately this also alerted the two Shadows which were behind the statue of the red dragon. The group defeated the undead menace, with some significant drain to Thumper, and retreat back to Chief Durnn’s throne room to recuperate and rest the night.

Along the way the group learned that the “woody” goblins serve something they call “the master” or “the tree”. These goblins seem to retain their memories and possibly personality but they are utterly loyal to their master. These goblins have quite obviously become plant creatures.

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The Sunless Citadel Finale

Alturiak 17th-20th, 1373

The group rests then plunges back down to finish their mission. Most of the dungeon is abandoned, though they do find some hastily thrown together swinging axe traps that were not there before hand. After a bit of exploration they make their way to Belak’s office. They discover, then Zeljka activates, a fire trap within a tome called “Gifts of the Fire Lords”. They find the twilight grove and after a skirmish with some more twig blights they finally confront the outcast Druid Belak and his Gulthias Tree. The fruit was thankfully still intact on the tree.

After a very difficult battle (a battle in which Thumper spent almost the entire battle running due to a fear spell and one in which Zeljka came perilously close to death) the group defeats the mad druid and the Tree’s supplicants (the woody humanoids). After the battle they rest for a few days, doing repairs on equipment and healing up, then they move out to explore the remainder of the dungeon. The remaining goblins have fled. They discover a Thoqua den and kill it. They come across the goblins store room and discover the delicacy “elf pudding”. They also discover Calcryx the wyrmling white dragon who almost kills Meepo in its rage. The dragon escapes after realizing it was severely outmatched.

The group rests again and climbs out to return to Urglin. Just outside the dungeon they discover a rolled up piece of leather. It is a letter from Erky Timbers thanking the group for what they have done, it goes on to say he’s misjudged their kind and will always remember this experience in the future. Session ends just as the group sets out for Urglin.

A level was gained near the end of this session.

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