Monday Night AD&D Campaign

SIEGE!!!
The not too distant past of our adventure

We reach the city, which is surrounded by both the Army Camp we had previously encountered and refugee camps that had sprouted up since we had left the city. Our intrepid band approaches the Army camp to request an audience with Zarash the Younger. We are informed that Zarash is currently unavailable. We also notice that the Army camp is significantly smaller than it was when last we were at the city.

We are escorted into camp and given audience with Lt. Manush, who is currently in charge. The party is informed that the King has died, and Zarash was recalled to the capital to restore the peace. In his absence, a group of monotheists have taken over the city and implemented religious law. Members of all other sects are considered heretics and are being dealt with wather woughly.

The Monotheists are led by Saverol, who’s a bit of an obstructionist prick. All negotiations with him have failed. He will not let the refugees or the army into the city. The Army is not letting anyone out. Both sides are at a standstill. Lt. Manush is afraid that neither the army nor the refugees will be able to withstand the approaching Ghoul forces if they are forced to remain outside the city walls, but Saverol will not cooperate. Manush would like our merry band to enter the city by stealth and remove Saverol, alive if at all possible. Manush would prefer to be able to trot him out in a show of good faith when she negotiates with the sect the following day.

Saverol is described as a man in his 40s with a funny haircut and fancy robes. That shouldn’t be too hard to find. He is also known to perform rites in the city’s main temple daily before dawn. The Monotheists have made their headquarters here. He apparently does not have the full support of all the members of his sect, and a plan has been hatched to make sure he is alone when he arrives to perform rites in the morning.

We are given a guide and make way for a storm drain at the city’s edge. Coggen takes the lead and is surprised by a slime. In a fit of good sense and maybe a little light screaming, he removes his armor and watches in dismay while the slime dissolves his armor into useless shit. Everyone reminds him that had he not removed his armor, he would likely be dead, but that is small consolation. The party is on the alert for slimes and manages to avoid any further encounters.

Further up the passage, the party encounters a blockage in the tunnel. Being force topside, we make our way to the next storm grate. Orion opts to take the plunge first. Bad luck that, because he is immediately faced with an otyug. The rest of the party tries to help from above, since we’re all far too cautious. Finally the rest of the party jumps into the stormdrain, as a guard calls out for everyone to stop. The party makes it into the tunnel and put the beat down on the otyug, which runs away. The party continues to the temple complex.

Play is suspended until the following week.

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Kidnapping
The less distant past of our adventure

We’re IN!!! Holy crap. Who would have though that our band of misfits could have made it into the compound successfully, but here we are in the courtyard. We see the temple before us, which takes up most of one side of the complex. All seems quiet. We decide to make a circuit around the temple, rather than entering through the main doors. Moving counter clockwise, we see a door on the side of the temple, and decide to use it to enter the structure.

Inside, we are in a narrow side passage. There are doors on either side of the passage but we opt not to open any of them for fear that someone is occupying rooms behind the doors. We continue down the passage with the aid of the Globe of Light. At the end of the passage, there is a large central Chamber. Across the chamber, there is another passage similar to the one through which we entered. To our left is a larger corridor leading to the main entrance. To our right, there appears to be a small alcove. Upon investigation, the alcove appears to be filled with empty shelves. The temple was once for all religions, so it appears that the monotheists have cleared out the idols of the other sects. In the center of the main chamber is a raised dais with a few candles burning on it. Everything is dark outside of the dais.

After much discussion and dithering, we hatch a plan. Orion and Sulin will hide in the corner on one side of the main corridor. Coggen, Ooen and Tarquin hide on the other side of the main corridor. This helps the party cover all entrances to the chamber.

In the predawn hours, Saverol enters the chamber with two guards. Coggen, Tarquin and Ooen charge, while the rest of the party are trying to sneak to their side of the chamber. Coggen and Tarquin go out of their way to do non-lethal damage, but Ooen just isnt’ strong enough for that shit and goes after the lead guard with his staff. Once battle is joined, Orion and Sulin charge up to join the fight. Tarquin manages to knock Saverols the fuck out. Ooen softens up the lead guard for Orion to damn near make paste of him. The final guard, however, just won’t drop and screams like a banshee. Finally the last guard is dropped and the head priest is bagged. Sulin stabilizes both guards in a fit of chaotic/goodness and we exit the the temple to find our guide standing outside the storm drain.

Play is suspended until next week.

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Escape
Our most recent escapades

WE DID IT!!! We got Saverol out of the temple without any real casualties. Orion is carrying the unconscious priest as we exit the temple to find out guide standing outside the storm drain. “There’s something down there,” he tells us. In our haste, Coggen, Tarquin and Ooen jump into the storm drain and are immediately attacked by dog sized rats. Tarquin is brought low, as we have our asses handed to us by a bunch of fucking rats. Damn the bad luck. Orion sets down the priest and joins the fight, dispatching the remaining rats.

With Tarquin and the priest both unconscious, they must be carried by Coggen and Orion respectively. We continue to the main collection chamber, continuing to lament the shit luck we’ve had on this caper. The grate that we had come down appears to be blocked. Well shit. Now what? We backtrack to a grate that is closest to a safehouse that our guide is aware of. We exit the tunnels and make our way to the safe house successfully. Our host, a potter, leads us to a hidden basement under his home where we rest until noon, and perform whatever healing rituals we can. Our luck holds. Sulin and Ooen are only able to provide the littlest bit of healing to Coggen and Tarquin.

After some rest, Coggen, Tarquin, Sulin and Ooen leave the safety of the basement to head out into the city in borrowed clothes. Orion is left behind to look after Saverol. After spending some time exploring the city, the four find their way to the city’s central square. In the center of the square is a wooden construct with several small cages hanging from it. Most of the cages contain corpses or skeletons. The resident of one of the cages, however, contains the long lost Fagin. He appears to have been interned for months, though it couldn’t have been more than a couple of weeks. Fagin recognizes the party and calls out, but the party continues on for fear of being singled out as heretics. “We’ll come back for him,” says Ooen as the party continues to gather intel on the city’s current situation.

Finding a food line, the party joins the line and learns that the monotheists, called the Seven Inheritors of the Truth, were unable to come to a decision regarding letting the Army and refugees into the city. It probably would have been easier if Manush were able to establish that he’s not dead, but that’s all academic now. The army still needs to enter the city with the refugees.

While in the square, Ooen sees Screech circling above. The party determines that Screech can be used to get word to the outside. We proceed to the gate where teh army is camped outside. We study the whole setup and realize that the gates can be unlocked by simply removing the bar that is holding them shut. There are towers on either side of the gate, each having control of a portcullis on the other side of the gates. We look for a room at The Fox & Finch, an inn near the gate and begin formulating our plans. If we can just raise the bar, open the portcullises, and let the army know when to cross the bridge and storm the gate, all will be well. As long as our shit luck doesn’t hold up. Fuck.

Play suspended until next week.

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No, really... Get the Fuck Out

After we scout the city and the gates, Tarquin comes up with a plan. Orion and our guide map out the storm drain system to find the closest drain to the gate outside which the army is camped. The plan is to send Screech out to the army with a note requesting they send 20 troops to infiltrate the city through the storm drains. We will send the guide to meet them at the storm drain entrance and lead them back to the gates. While the troops storm the defenses from the inside. We can use the distraction to attempt to rescue Fagin. Screech flies off in the late afternoon with the note, and we wait for our reply. Sounds like a good plan, no?

Just as the sun is going down, and I’m beginning to fear that Screech won’t make it back before sunset (hawks are notoriously poor at flying in the dark), he returns with a reply from the Army. “Ghoul army arrival imminent. Get out of the city now,” is not the reply that we expected, but it’s the one we got. Well, shit… now there’s no help from the outside.

Fagin still needs rescuing. We go back to the safehouse, grab all of our gear and knock the priest out so he can’t give us away. Hopefully, we’ll be able to swap the priest for Fagin in the cage with a note that says, “Ghouls coming. Leave the city.” There’s just something poetic about it.

Well after dark, we make our way to the square using the storm drains. We manage to find our way to within a block or two of the central square. The guards near the cage tower have a torch, so they’re easy to spot. There’s only 3 of them, and they’re not very professional looking. We get just outside of the torch’s light, then rush the guards. Tarquin and Coggen fire with bows, while Orion, Sulin and I rush them. The fight is over before the guards knew what hit them. Poor bastards.

Fagin’s cage is too high for any of us to reach. Orion puts the unconscious priest down at the bottom of the cage tower. I climb up to stand on Orion’s shoulders. I can just barely reach the ca… Fuck. That’s embarassing, falling like that. Fagin says he can pick the lock with a dagger. Orion tosses one up to him. Fortunately, it’s a nice toss and Fagin manages to catch it. He breaks the lock after a few tries. Not only does he break the dagger, but he falls from the cage as it unlocks. Now he looks even worse that he did in the cage.

Neither Sulin nor I can offer him any healing. We’re tapped out. He’s not happy about it and asks for a blade instead. It’s probably going to be dangerous getting out of the city so I hand him my scimitar. And of course he turns on the priest and lays into him stabbing repeatedly. Coggen has to walk up to him and drop his ass before he got any other ideas. Stupid… I should have known better. Anyway, fuck that priest. We’re leaving this city.

We head back to the storm drains, with Orion carrying Fagin. The guide is going to leave the city with us. Making it to the exit is no problem now that we know how to navigate the tunnels. As we emerge, we can see fighting along the bridge. It looks like there are a lot of people charging the gate, but it’s not opening. The ghouls are here. Good thing we’re heading the other way.

We head off to the South towards the capital. Before long, Tarquin picks up the trail of the army. After he points them out, it’s pretty obvious to everybody. We continue well into the night and eventually catch up with some of the mounted rearguard. Fortunately, one of them recognizes us and takes us into camp.

Play is suspended until next week.

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The Road to the Capital

After spending the night hiking, we catch up with the army. Just before dawn, we are brought before Lt. Manus, who welcomes us to join them as they march to the next fortified city. At that time, she will be able to pay us for our previous missions. She also informs us that our animals have been requisitioned to assist with the evacuation of the refugees from the previous city. The animals will be returned to us once they have served their purpose.

The next city is larger than the previous and seems quite normal, even thriving. Manush informs us that the army will be staying in the city to provide a garrison. We are invited to stay in the barracks with the rest of the troops as we figure out our next move.

We learn from the locals that the ghouls were rebuffed from the last city by the Seven Inheritors of the Truth, who remain in control. Additionally there is a new king in the capital. Not knowing anything about the lines of succession, we know nothing about this new king. There is a funeral procession planned to take the deceased king up to the ancient Necropolis. This has not been done in recent memory. The procession will come through the city.

We spend time in the pubs, asking for rumors, hoping for tales of treasure and adventure.

Game suspended until next time.

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Decisions

After spending some time in the city, we start to feel the wanderlust that brought us here in the first place. It’s time to gear up.

We head to the city’s bazaar. No sooner do we get there, a ruckus erupts in the bazaar. As most of the patrons are running away, we make our way to the source of the excitement and find a trail of blood leading into one of the shops. I take a peek inside and realize that there’s a tiger in the shop. I quickly speak with the tiger to calm it down, and perform the ritual that makes the animal a friend of mine.

Meanwhile, Sulin is able to stabilize the shop owner to keep him from bleeding out. The shopkeeper’s siblings show up, looking for compensation for their wares. The Guard shows up trying to figure out what happened. Meanwhile, a man in servants livery shows up and identifies the tiger as belonging to Lady Ifran. The party agrees to escort the servant and the now mollified tiger to Lady Ifran’s estate.

According to the servant, the tiger is permitted to roam the estate freely, causing a certain amount of tension among the staff. We are greeted by Lady Ifran upon arrival. The tiger follows her into the estate. She casually asks the servant to pay us for our trouble, in the amount of 100 gold pieces. He promptly pays us and quickly shoos us out the door.

We have heard rumors about the potential for adventure outside the city. The Rebels in the swamps near the Capital don’t interest us, but it sounds like Brodo and his brigands continue to cause hardship for the pilgrims heading for the Sacred Springs. Normally I don’t care about that shit, but this guy bugs me for some reason. Didn’t he get the plague? It sounds like The Silent Brotherhood have gotten evicted by a dragon from their monastery in the Dry Hills. We’ll be close enough to help them out, once we take care of Brodo. For now, it’s time to go shopping.

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Brodo's Villa

After healing from the scorpion attack we set out once again, tracking the bandits. They have taken over an old crumbling villa, the land is open all around and we choose to wait for night fall to approach. We find eight men on guard and take them out quickly. Their half asleep and unarmored fellows prove surprisingly difficult to hit as our group is separated and swarmed by armed pajamaed bandits. Sulin is compelled to withdraw from active battle when Cogen is overcome, and the men attacking him get the idea to carry him off. Quickly Sulin slips to his side, reviving him and startling the bandits. With Cogen up and swinging, Tarquin falls and Sulin rushes to his side, no sooner is he stabilized as Fagin hits the ground. Sulin is again sent rushing across the battle field to heal her fallen comrade, and as she does so what is left of the bandits in the yard flee. Allowing us to leave by the front gate which springs a spike trap that strikes Orien. We make it bake to camp without incident, to heal and plan our next step.

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You've got to be kidding me...
FUCK! SPIDERS!!!

The party comes back to camp after a battle at an abandoned villa. Even they weren’t so sure about the carnage they left behind while I guarded the camp and the animals. Turns out they managed to wipe out about 30 of the bandits at the villa before they managed to get out, but though victorious, they did not come back unscathed. I maintain a watch while they rest for the remainder of the night.

The next morning I rest so that I can get my spells back by this afternoon. Meanwhile Tarquin is healed by Sulin and manages to get enough health to get up. Orion climbs the hill that shields our camp from the villa, and sees that there is a column of dust heading down the valley away from the villa. There does not seem to be any activity in the villa aside from a few vultures that were able to land after circling for a while. Looks like no one’s home at the villa anymore. Eventually I wake up and use the two Cure Wounds spells that I’ve regained on a couple of the party members. Though we’re far from being at our best, we’re healthy enough to follow the bandits on horseback and set off immediately. Tarquin is able to track them easily from horseback. We manage to ride until dark without incident.

As darkness falls, we make camp. Without knowing how close we are to the bandits, we decide not to make a fire. Tarquin and I take the first watch, since I’m the most rested and still have more hit points than the rest of the party. Of course, fire can be its own protection. Without it we’re blind. That’s some shit luck, because we are attacked by spiders of unusual size during the first watch. Tarquin and I are surprised by the spiders. I’m bitten immediately and go down writhing and screaming as the spider’s venom begins to course through my system.

My failure makes enough noise that the rest of the camp is awakened. The spiders take out two of our horses while the rest of the party is trying to get up. Sulin is the first to her feet and attacks, but she too is bitten by a spider and is overcome by it’s venom. Tarquin stands over Ooen, trying to protect him, but in his already weakened state, he succumbs to his injuries.

Fagin joins the fray by grabbing Sulin and dragging her away from danger. Orion and Cogen wade into battle and begin hacking away at the spiders. Some of the spiders seize the opportunity presented by the current chaos and start to drag Ooen and the two downed horses off into the darkness. The three spiders that brought Fagin down, seem to be fighting over his body. Over by the horses, Fagin reaches into Sulin’s pack, finds her Potion of Neutralize Poison and forces it down Sulin’s throat.

The spiders continue to drag Ooen and the horses away from the camp. Another seems to win the arguement over Tarquin and begins to drag him off, as well. Sulin recovers from the poison and gets up in time to see Orion fall to his wounds. She has no healing spells at hand, but knows that there are potions in Duncan’s pack. Cogen continues to put up a good fight, but is eventually bitten and paralyzed like the others. The spiders continue to drag Ooen, Tarquin and the horses away…

Gameplay is suspended until next session…

LH is a bastard with the dice.

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We're not dead, yet...

After an indeterminate amount of time, Orion wakes up and realizes he’s covered in webs. He quickly breaks free of the webbing and searches the cavern he’s in. There’s another web bundle. He is unable to see, but frees the person trapped in the webbing and brings him to the intersection of caverns in this cave. It turns out it’s a bandit. Figures. He finds Fagin in the intersection, but Fagin appears to be dead.

While he is investigating Fagin, Orion is beset upon by another spider from the other cavern in this cave. He quickly dispatches it, and moves into the cavern and finds 3 more web bundles. They turn out to be Ooen, Sulin and Coggen, who are all paralyzed but alive. Tarquin is still missing.

Once the other three recover, there’s some debate whether to try to find and rescue Tarquin. There’s only one more cavern to search and there’s likely to be another spider in it. Orion is relatively healthy and Ooen still has a negate poison spell available, but Coggen doesn’t think it’s worth the risk. Ooen will not be swayed, and brings Orion over to his side. Orion, Coggen and Ooen enter the cave and encounter a single single spider. The fighters smite it with mace and spear, and are able to enter the final cavern unmolested to find Tarquin, who is also still paralyzed but alive.

The trio returns to the rest of the party, and discuss the fate of the bandit that Orion had discovered. Ideally, the party would like to interrogate him, but Orion gives him a murderous look, and the bandit runs away. Tired and still hurting from the ordeal with the spiders, the party decides to let him go. There are plenty of other things to worry about, namely Fagin’s untimely demise. The party loads his body on a horse and travels away from the spiders’ den for about an hour before camping.

Everyone in the party agrees that trying to get Fagin resurrected is the first priority. We head off towards the Temple of the Healing Springs in hope of finding someone who can assist us. We manage to travel for several days without incident before encountering a patrol on the road. We explain that we are pilgrims on the road to the temple. They warn us about bandits on the road, but we explain that we had been sent to deal with the bandits which his how Fagin died. They accept our explanation after we give them more details regarding Brodo’s villa and allow us to continue on our way to the temple.

We are greeted at the temple gates by Brother Bottle. He is happy to see us and informs us to visit with Brother Shu to seek assistance for Fagin. We are given leave to stay at the Travelers’ House, while Fagin’s corpse is taken to The Springs. Brother Shu brings us up to date on the current situation at the Temple. Many and more Priests, Monks, Clerics and Sisters have been arriving to fill the void left by the Shapeshifters’ attack on the Temple. They are not necessarily friendly towards this band of adventurers, but have agreed to resurrect Fagin free of charge for the aid we had previously provided the Temple in it’s time of need. Everyone is provided with clean robes and are instructed to get cleanse ourselves before attending the resurrection ceremony at the Healing Springs later that evening. We comply, though some would prefer to have their weapons and armor available.

At the appointed time, we arrive at the Springs. Most of the party members speak for Fagin, espousing his loyalty and honor. Ooen remains silent for fear that his words will turn favor against Fagin. First up, the Sisters of Mercy say that they cannot in good conscious bring a creature of Fagin’s deeds back from the dead. They will not help. Next the Clerics inform the party that even if it were in their power, which it’s not, they agreed with the Sister and will not bring Fagin back.

Finally, the Brotherhood of Warfare approach. They inform the party that they have been contacted by Death herself. “DEATH!” Fagin serves her and has her favor. “DEATH!” For his service she will return him to us. “DEATH!” At that moment Fagin sputters, open his eyes and say, “What the fuck just happened? Who are all of these assholes? Where…? How the fuck did we get back to the temple? Fuck…”

The Druid of the Sacred Oak, who had remained silent through the entire ceremony, give Ooen a nod, and quietly removes himself from the ceremony to return to his tree until morning.

Play is suspended until next session.

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Recovery
WE LEVELLED!!! YAY!!!

With Fagin’s resurrection, we decide to take some time at the Temple to recover from our fiasco with the spiders and improve our skills. Sulin studies with the Clerics. Orion spends time with the Brotherhood of Warfare. Ooen learns from the stories of the Druid of the Sacred Oak. The time is well spent and they emerge stronger than they were before.

We spend time replenishing our stores of weapons, rations and fodder for the animals. In discussing our options we decide that there’s unfinished business in the crypts beneath the Necropolis. Along the way, we can investigate Brodo’s villa to see if there is any loot or information to be garnered from what was left behind.

Recognizing our band’s lack of a magician, Sulin approaches Sr. Pitsidiri. She entreats Sr. Pitsidiri to join our party. Pitsidiri admits to being restless. After the attack of the shapeshifters, she no longer feels comfortable or safe within the walls of the Temple compound. With some reservations, she agrees to join us on our adventures. It is an opportunity for her to improve her meager skills.

The road are much safer with the patrols on the roads again. We are able to travel with safety for several days and arrive at the stream bed that leads to the villa that Brodo and his band of brigands had occupied when we last encountered them. We make our way back up the stream bed. On our approach, we observe vultures above the villa. They are able to land without any sign of of being rebuffed.

We reach the villa with scant time before sundown. The bodies from our last encounter with the bandits lay upon the ground where they died. The bodies are desiccated and have been mostly eaten by the local scavengers. There is no loot to be found among the carnage.

Sulin, Orion, Fagin, Ooen and Pitsidiri enter the main house on the grounds, while Cogen and Tarquin guard the animals. The main room of the house has been vandalized. It appears that this may have been the bandits’ hideout, in truth. There are several makeshift fire pits around the room. The furniture appears to have been destroyed; used as fuel for the fire pits. There is graffiti on the walls of the house. The chances of finding anything around here seem pretty slim.

We move into the kitchen. Things don’t look any better in here. There’s a door that has been barred nailed shut. We unbar the door and are immediately attacked by a ghoul. Damn but its big and moves fast. Sulin is able to turn the ghoul. It retreats into the basement with the party chasing right behind it. There is a set of shelves that separate the basement. We can hear the ghoul at the other end of the basement and decide to proceed to the back of the basement around the right side of the shelves. Instantly, the ghoul flashes down the other side of the shelves, up the stairs and out of the house.

Heading back upstairs, we make it to the main room on the first floor. Before we can make it out of the door, Tarquin comes rushing in. “What was that thing? i put a couple of arrows in it, but it veered off and went running into the dark,” he exclaimed. Shit… that’s not the last we’ve seen of that thing.

Play is suspended until next session.

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