View Full Version : You must be getting bored of dem...another RoD journal

Rising Phoenix
2009-08-31, 01:19 AM
Disclaimer: I don't consider myself to be as good a writer or DM as AslanCross, Saph or any of the other of the regular journal writers on these boards. Thus this is more of a labor of love hoping that this journal may be of some use to some DMs in the future. Thanks for reading.


The PCs have just finished the Ghostlord Arc but because I don't have the time or the memory to re-call everything I will summarize the events to the best of my ability.

The party:

Litinopheo "Pheo" Carrotlegs, N female Halfling, Dragonfire Adept lv 8. Pheo was a traveler along with Dope and Pooki (see below) to the Elissir Vale in search of the treasure in Vrath Keep, before encountering the Red Horde and deciding to act against it. She behaves as a middle aged, conservative British woman... that breathes fire... ("Why Helloo dear!"). She has selected the invocations that make her invisible, give her +6 to bluff and intimidate, scalding breath and has just picked up the one that allows her to fly. Personality wise she considers her options carefully before acting, is very sociable and uses her people skills to her advantage. The player who runs her is an excellent roleplayer making this character extremely enjoyable.

Dope, CN male Half Orc, Cleric of the Travel God lv 8.
Dope came to the Elisir Vale in search of treasure in Vrath Keep and became involved with the Red Hand because it seemed well...like fun... Dope generally doesn't talk and can be quite cocky as he thinks himself to be the most powerful character in the game, which can be problematic... He has selected the travel and healing domains and wears full plate holding a tower shield and a mace is his hands. As for the person who runs him, he’s the most experienced player in my group and a bit of a powergamer. Unfortunately though he hardly roleplays and can be a jerk…

Pooki, CG female Human, Ranger (archery) lv 5 (‘retired’).
Pooki came to the Elisir vale with the other two pre-mentioned characters. She seemed to be a good natured lass, but after being raised from the encounter with the Hydra which ripped her to shreds she decided to act as a messenger instead of a front line warrior. She was replaced by Bourbon Whiskey…*sigh*

Bourbon Whiskey, LG female Human, Paladin of Epona (makeshift Horse Goddess…) lv 7 or 8.
Bourbon was encountered on the way to Vrath keep after her companions were slaughtered by the red hand on Skullgorge bridge. She escaped and vowed vengeance against the atrocities of the horde and thus joined the party. Bourbon, unsurprisingly, is a near alcoholic and quite rude for a Paladin. She also doesn’t like following her code, obeying it only for the sake of the ‘pony’ it allows her to ride. If she could she could probably slaughter everything in her path…. (Why am I allowing this? Well controlling Dope’s hard enough on its own…I don’t need two…). As you might have guessed the player controlling her is a slayer and is interested in little else including the rules.

Jorr “Jorria” Natherson, CG female Halfling (was male human), Scout 4/Rogue3 (swift ambusher feat):
Jorr joined the group in order to take the war to his hated enemies the hobgoblins. On the way to Rhest, however, a lucky manticore couple took him out with their spikes…He woke to find himself in a female Halfling body… Jorr turns out be a brilliant tactician who uses every tidbit of knowledge against his foes and prefers to remain unseen rather then seen. His player is relative new to the game absolutely loves it, is learning fast and is a decent roleplayer.

Tyra , CG female Half-elf, Ranger (archery) lv 8:
Tyra joined the party at Starsong Hill in order to rid her community of the Red Hand. She’s pretty much a more martial version of Jorr, is partial to getting drunk though no where near as bad as Bourbon and can be quite righteous when the innocents are threatened. Silvertooth, her wolf animal companion, is used primarily for tracking and as a flanking buddy. Tyras’ player is the most recent addition to my gaming group and is still getting the grips on how to role play, but things are looking promising.

Now for a summary of the previous sessions leading to the Ghostlord Chapter:

Vrath Keep and Skullgorge Bridge

After defeating the ambushing Hobgoblins just before Drellings Ferry, the party enters the town and is informed about the situation from Soranna and Norro Wiston. After buying supplies and socializing with the locals a bit (Pheo managed to get Sertieren to propose to her…sort off…:-P), the party sets of to Vrath Keep recruiting Jorr along the way.
The Hydra encounter claimed the first PC life tearing Pooki and her mount to shreds, forcing them to flee. They soon meet Pookis’ replacement, Bourbon as they neared Vrath Keep.
Upon reaching the quiet entrance to the keep, Dope, who’s wearing full armor, decides to enter the shed despite its description. The entire thing collapses warning all the residents of the ruins. A massive brawl ensues right in front Koths’ eyes who witnesses his forces slaughtered. He flees taking the hordes plans with him, just as his Minotaur guard bites the dust. They find the hidden stash and decide to raise Pooky from the dead so that she can warn Drellins’ Ferry of the threat.
They meet Koth again at the bridge where he now commands the forces along with Ozzy. After a spectacular battle in which Dope and Ozzy grappled in mid air falling down into the gorge (both survived) the bridge falls and there’s much rejoicing. Koth and Ozzy, however, escape to fight another day…The collapse came just in time too for if the PCs arrived more then one day later the horde would have crossed.
On the sprint back to the Ferry they decide to turn at the effigy finding Warklegnaw at the paths end. Befriending the giant they camp there for the night and the next day Dope casts remove disease on him sealing the Forest Giants’ alliance.
Two days before the horde (day 11) they reach the Ferry and persuade the governors to evacuate. The PCs themselves board a barge and head up the river Rhest in search of the elves Jorr mentioned living in the Blackfens in the hopes of an alliance.

The Blackfens

On the way to the Blackfens the PCs are attacked by a Chimera and a pair of Manticores. The Chimera is forced to retreat easily, but the Manticores attack in the cover of darkness slaying Jorr with volley after volley of spikes and carrying his body away. Jorr finds himself being called back from heaven to wake up in a female halfling body. His not pleased, but the Druid who brought him back tells him that he should be glad that the natural order of things requires him to be alive. After the confusion and ridicule of the new Jorr joining the party, they finally reach the Blackfens and start searching for the elves.
Munching on a giant owl drumstick they find the first greenspawn razorfiend of the adventure and this is slain spectacularly with a one hit wonder from a cavalry charging Bourbon (spirited charges with lances hurt… a lot… she did approximately 170 points of damage to it on a confirmed crit…). Shortly after this Killiar and his hunters arrive and discovering that the PCs mean no harm take them to meet Sellyria Starsinger.
After hearing the reasons for their visit Sellyria informs them of the situation in the ruins of Rhest. The PCs agree to help and are joined by Trellara Nightshadow who wants vengeance for her brother (Did you know that Trellara is a female epithet in Greek meaning crazy? That’s how I roleplayed her…:smallsmile:)
Reaching the lake they spend a few hours observing the ruins noticing the guards on the watchtower, the lizardfolk huts and the chitinous roar of the second razorspawn. They decide to go investigate the watchtower first sending an invisible Pheo to scout it. Returning she informs them that the garrison doesn’t look that threatening and they successfully storm the place but attract Saarvith and Regiarix in the process. After a fight in the dark a lucky bow strike from Bourbon manages to drop Saavrith into the negatives at which point Regiarix flees. The PCs, however, have severely depleted their resources as well and seeing the lizardfolk canoes and the ogres heading towards them beat a hasty retreat.
They return the next night with the addition of Tyra to the party to an alert lake. Miraculously they manage to sneak past the lizardfolk patrols, but Regiarix’s blindesense gives them away. A battle that lasted nearly five minutes follows. Saavrith (whom I’d rebuilt as a Mystic Range) casts exacting shot while mounted on Regiarix and proceeds to attack all the elves and humans present knocking Bourbon into the negatives twice (-7 and -2) and Tyra once (-7). Dope casts fly on Bourbons mount in response to the flying wyrmlord but the dragons’ mobility is greater then that of his spell. In the meantime Jorr, for some, reason decides to check the hatchery without being influenced by the mindbender. The razorfiend now joins the fight but is quickly downed by arrows from both Jorr and Tyra. Eventually with the use of guile and a well timed crit from Tyras bow they down the dragon (-11) and a weak Saavrith falls into the lake. They slay him immediately (something that they later regretted as they thought about interrogating him), destroyed the hatchery, loot the place discovering the phylactery (each PC was doing one task) and retreat swiftly against the arriving lizardfolk canoes.
Back at the Starsong Hill the elves thank them for ridding their beautiful swamp of evil and not only agree to send help to Brindol, but also lend them 5 Owls. (In short they made two elf leaders helpful and the other two friendly, made two spectacular performances at the funeral, gave their old equipment as gifts to the elves (+1 full plate and the lot), slew the two razorfiends and emptied Rhest of the threat).

…I will try to write up what happened in the Ghostlords Lair, later today. Right now I need to catch up on some zzs.



Olo Demonsbane
2009-08-31, 01:43 AM
Hooray! I love this campaign!

...I am getting a feeling of Deja Vu...I think I said almost exactly the same in the other journal :smalltongue:

Rising Phoenix
2009-09-01, 10:55 AM
The Ghostlord’s Lair

I just realized that I didn’t mention the timeline and that I did a slip up with the date of the fall of Drellin’s Ferry. The PCs destroyed the bridge and acquired the aid of the giants. Thus Drellin’s Ferry fell on day 16 not day 13 and the PCs warned the Ferry 2 days before that on day 14. So the timeline for my PCs is as follows: Terrelton: Day 23, Nimon’s Gap: Day 30, Talor: Day 36, Horde camps outside of Brindol: Day 44, Horde attacks Brindol: Day 46. It is day 24 now so the PCs have a good 20 days before the Horde reaches Brindol…Anyhows returning back to the story before day 24….

Flight to the Thornwaste: Days 17-20.

The elves, grateful for the help and gifts of the heroes, respond with gifts of their own: Illirian Snowmantle provides Dope with a scroll of godspeed (Book of Hallowed Might I page 42, Sword and Sorcery):

IS: “This speed is the blessing of Corehlon Larethian, may it serve you in times of need…Meditate on it so that the thought will alw-…”
D: “Oh this is cool…Thanks”
IS: “…you’re welcome…”

To Jorr and Tyra, Killiar gives 8 goblibane arrows and 2 arrows of cure light wounds:

K: “…Good hunting friends, may your aim always be true”
J: “Thank you kindly for your gifts…and your hospitality” *bows*
T: *bows* in respect.

Bourbon received a bottle of fine swamp berry wine…which she sculled immediately…much to the surprised of the elves…and to her disappointment as it didn’t pack the punch she was hoping for

Pheo didn’t receive any gifts as her behaviour wasn’t exactly civil…She went around camp asking if there were any prisoners she could eat… She didn’t do such a thing in the end as there weren’t any prisoners, but I really have no idea why she asked for such a thing…Must’ve been the swamp air…

After the gifts and a brief celebration the PCs slept for the final time on Starsong Hill and early next day (day 18) they rode their owls over the marsh, camping uneventfully for the night in a clearing in the Witchwood. Next day (day 19) had them fly over the still smoking ruins of Drellin’s Ferry in which they encountered a small band of hobgoblins (Easy Skirmish).

Now I’ve told the PCs that it’s a bad idea to ride into combat from a flying mount if you have no ranks in ride, especially if they are doing so in full plate and towershield attire. For this reason Dope has removed his armor and strapped it to his bird. Seeing the Hobgoblins he orders Bradis, his owl, to dive down so that he can target one of them with a sonic lance, one of his shiny new 4th lv spells. Of course he fails his check and now he’s free falling, fortunately one of his domains is travel and thus he has access to fly. Thankfully he succeeds his concentration check and is now afloat, he randomly selects one of the warrior which promptly goes ‘plop’ causing the others to flee. The PCs don’t bother chasing them and as the sun sets they land in a field to spend the night.

The afternoon of day 20 finds the PCs flying over the thornwaste. They spy a pride of lions stalking a small herd of gazelles, but apart from that they see few signs of vertebrate life. As the sun sets they see a large oddly shaped monolith rising from the otherwise flat sea of thorns. Approaching closer it is clear that this is the structure they are looking for as it clearly resembles the structure Sellyria mentioned. A large tawny monolith carved to resemble an about to pounce lion on a barren plain of cracked earth. Circling it the PCs notice the two caves leading to its interior, but as they are about to land the owls turn away alarmed. Hundreds of green, feline spectral forms start to sprout from the stone as the light fades and soon the lion is lit in a sickly green colour. The party fearing these ghosts, camps for the night at the edge of barren plain and wait for the sun to return. When it does (Day 21) the ghosts vanish to their relief and they approach it.

Into the Ghostlord’s Lair…(Day 21)

Of the two possible ways to enter the lair the PCs decide to use the one within the jaws. This involves climbing and full plate doesn’t help, so Dope strips again while Jorr jumps into the mouth and secures a rope. Everyone in the mouth now the party proceeds to examine the door. This of course doesn’t go unnoticed by either Varanthian, who bides her time, or the monks in area 6 who proceed to drink their potions. As the PCs open the door they are ambushed by the monks and after a few rounds a roaring Varanthian flies up to join the fray. She blasts Tyra, Pheo, Jorr and Silvertooth who are all lined up dealing considerable damage. In the meantime the monks are strangling Dope with their chains frustrating him incredibly and he orders Pheo to burn them and him. This is effective and dispatching the monks but also fries Dope who’s now within range of Varanthian. She bites and holds tight, Tyra fires three arrows at the beast, only to have two hit Dope with one being a confirmed critical…Things are looking bad, but thanks to Dopes’ player remembering his Travel domain power he escapes and the party flees down the stairs to end up in a fog filled room.
Things are rather quiet but Tyra and Jorr hear spellcasting from an eastern direction. They are not alone, and as Dope heals everyone, primarily himself as his allies dealt him the most damage, the sneaking duo discover the eastern and north doors. With everyone back to max hit points, but with severely depleted healing resources, the party opens the east door…

Wyrmlord Ulwai…

Having heard the commotion from outside Ulwai and her minions have buffed up, but simply put, they just don’t have the staying power in less then 6 rounds all her minions are dead (yes I did do the door thing, it was rather infective). Ulwai hastily strips, puts all her equipment in a leomund’s secret chess *cough* Bad DM intervention *cough* and surrenders.
Or rather pretends to be an innocent hobgoblin minstrel called ‘Ulwi’ that was captured by the horde. She thanks the PCs profusely for saving her describing the rapes she endured from her captors and that she’s glad that the cleric Wyrmlord is dead. The PCs are suspicious, but can’t see past her lies thanks to glibness. They search the room she was in, but find nothing, except for the opera which they disregard as junk, to contradict or confirm her claims. They ask for more information, but she only says of the two secret passages to the south and west in room 14.
At this moment Dope decides to feed ‘Ulwi’ one of his elixirs of truth. ‘Ulwi’ cautiously asks what the potion is for to which he replies that it is a ward against evil. Not wanting to cause more suspicion she downs the potion and passes her save. Seeing no behavioural changes to her responses Dope gets ticked off and proceeds to attack her.

What NOT to do when in a haunted dungeon and there’s a big blue thing waiting for you outside…

At this instance I ask for sense motive checks on par of the other players to see if they read Dope’s body language, only Bourbon passes and I have the three roll initiative. Ulwai goes first, followed by Bourbon then Dope. “Wha-What are you doing?” asks Ulwai before hiding behind Bourbon. Bourbon asks the same thing and attempts to grapple Dope but fails (rolls a 2). Dope has a swing and Ulwai pretends to pass out in the hopes that this would spare her. Tyra and Pheo are now able to act but are ineffective to prevent the conflict with either words or arrows. Bourbon fails again at grappling the furious Half-Orc who swings at Ulwais head hoping to kill her. She’s off course still very much conscious and turns into a non-lethal blow. In the third round the frail Tyra manages to grapple Dope and Bourbon joins in as well. Ulwai seizes the opportunity jumps to her feet, opens the southern passage while screaming bloody murder at Dope before fleeing the next round down the pitch black corridor. The PCs consider chasing her but a blood curling female scream makes them change their mind. Satisfied that she’s dead Dope turns his attention to his furious team members largely ignoring them and spending another spell to heal his wounds. Ulwai is of course alive and well; the scream being a bluff to scare the PCs from following. She meets Varanthian outside and tells her to kill them when they exit; she herself summons her chest back, dresses and departs to meet the horde…

Tentacle rape…Beefed up Lesser Bone Drinkers are nasty…

The argument largely settled the PCs head down the other secret corridor leading to room 13. After deciding that it’s safe they send an invisible Pheo in to scout. She sees the Lion’s Heart and feels its ominous energy, but walking back she fails to notice the bonedrinkers hiding in the alcoves.
Having seen the Lesser Bonedrinker Statistics I decided that they simply weren’t a threat. With a +5 to hit they needed to roll at least a 15 to hit the lowest PC AC. So I gave them three extra hit dice and reworked their feats. Namely I gave them weapon finesses and improved grapple (yeah I know that normally they can’t but that was the only way I could think of making them somewhat effective at what they should be doing). This gave them a respectable +9 to hit, +10 to grapple and ~80 hp. Now I know the PCs have run out of resources, but frankly it’s their fault, namely its Dopes fault for being Chaotic Stupid. I am not going to go easy on them.
In goes Dope, cocky and confident as ever, out come four bone drinkers and immediately proceed to grapple him… Bourbon steps in to help and the other two come fro her, she’s grappled too. Pheo’s next and Dope orders her to fry the four on him, he takes full damage but they take little, his alarmed but not worried, yet. Tyra goes next and peppers one with arrows dealing significant damage. Now it’s the Bonedrinkers turn and they pin Dope and Bourbon and the rape begins… They scream as their bones are liquefied and they can’t shake them off. Dope takes 2 points of Con damage and decides to dimension door the hell out of there, good thinking on his part, but not for Bourbon as now the four free drinkers go for her she gets dropped to 9 Con. The PCs admit defeat and are preparing to retreat, Bourbon as a last ditch attempt falls into the pool of rebirth with the undead hoping that the liquid would get rid of them. She’s now paralyzed on top of having her body collapse under its own weight…Great…

Ghostlord to the rescue:

I could have killed her, but I felt sorry for her. If anyone deserved to die it was Dope… Thus I have the druid lich enter in all his majesty trailed by several spectral lions, while the drinkers scramble and cower in the corners.

“Where is it?... Where is it?...” he hisses, green flames dancing in his eye sockets “Intruders!…Explains yourselves, or be gone from my domain!”

“We’ve brought your phylactery back” manages to chirp Pheo
“Where is it?! Give it back!”
“I have it lichy” responds Dope squeezing it in his fist to intimidate him.
The lich is amused “You think you can intimidate me?” he grows dark “Give it back and I’ll perhaps spare you”
Dope gets the message and drops the phylactery, but not before Pheo asks in her British accent
“Is there a reward for bringing it back?”
But before the lich can answer Dope grabs her and Bourbons limp body and bolts out the room while the lord enters a bout of maniacal laughter.

Back in area 14 the PCs have to decide what to do about Varanthian outside. Pheo and Tyra sneak up to the mouth to see that it’s raining and spot the beast clinging to the stone above the lower entrance below the jaw. They sneak back to the others to see them flat against the wall as the ghostlord followed by a swarm of ghost lions heads outside. The PCs fly back up the stairs.

Down below Varanthian is curled up defensively surrounded by spectral lions.

“Leave” hisses the Lich.
“You will pay for this insult to Tiamat, lich!” roars back the behir “I swear it” and swiftly turns tail and flaps away.

The PCs take this opportunity to flee. As they leave they hear the lichs’ words one last time. “Finally peace. I have no need to create more inferior creations and aid the horde…”

The PCs silently rejoice, mount their Owls and set of for the Hammerfist Holds…

Thoughts and future plans

Although the PCs ‘succeeded’ at returning the phylactery, this expedition went bad, very bad. Ulwai got away and so did Varanthian, the PCs will not be amused when they see them again.
Ulwai in particular hates Dope, a lot. She wants him dead above everyone else and as I’ve planted assassins/ spies in Brindol I will be certainly using them…As for Varanthian I will probably dump her in the streets of blood section of the siege.
The reasons for the PCs overall failure are, of course, obvious. Me and the other party members scolded Dopes player for this and he seems to have gotten the message. I should have killed one of them…I really should have to plant the message firmly…but didn’t…I will certainly not be going to be soft in the future regarding similar behaviour.
Anyone have any good ideas of what the assassin should be/do? As is I have both Serrani and a Changeling assassin in the service of Tiamat in Brindol.

Thanks for reading!


2009-09-01, 06:06 PM
Ouch. Having to fight Varanthian and Ulwai in the final battle at Brindol is going to be very very messy.

Olo Demonsbane
2009-09-01, 08:16 PM
I'd reccomend seperating them...send Ulwai with the ninja, and have her target Dope. Maybe Varenthian can be a fourth wave of the Streets of Blood...shes a very difficult encounter allby herself.

Thanks for recounting this for us :smallsmile:

Rising Phoenix
2009-09-02, 02:32 AM
Yay, two responses :smallsmile:

@ Aslan Cross:

I agree, nothing's set in stone just yet. However, placing her in the Fane wouldn't be of much help either...So that pretty much means that I'll have to homebrew something for her if I don't want her in the siege.

@ Olo: You're welcome. That was the plan with Varanthian. Don't think it's that a great an idea though even if I have her gullet full with unfortunate soldiers before she encounters the PCs... Maybe if I added another 2,000 gp to the supplies provided by the town to the heroes? I like your suggestion about Ulwai, thanks. :smallamused:

@ Everyone:

Since there are 20+ days until the Horde reaches Brindol I've created an extra chapter for them to go through. This involves the Fang's of Tiamat, an elite dire wolf riding cavalry regiment that has been sent ahead of the horde to harry the fleeing refugees and scout the defenses of the city.
This, I hope (:smallsigh:), will provide enough treasure and loot for the PCs to be well equipped for the siege. I've also stated out several good NPCs that the PCs can potentially befriend (all are lv 6). I will provide more background info later on

More feedback, cometary and constructive criticism to my DMing are always welcome. I will sincerely try to improve my writing skills by not doing it at 2 am and then having a 9 am lecture on the same day...

Next session is on the 6th of September! :D


2009-09-02, 10:14 AM
@ Everyone:

Since there are 20+ days until the Horde reaches Brindol I've created an extra chapter for them to go through. This involves the Fang's of Tiamat, an elite dire wolf riding cavalry regiment that has been sent ahead of the horde to harry the fleeing refugees and scout the defenses of the city.
This, I hope (:smallsigh:), will provide enough treasure and loot for the PCs to be well equipped for the siege. I've also stated out several good NPCs that the PCs can potentially befriend (all are lv 6). I will provide more background info later on

not a bad idea, but I'd give them another chance to kill ozy and Koth, possibly as leaders of the fangs. Though you might need to beef them up a bit to still be a challenge at this point.
Otherwise they'll still be facing a lot in Brindol