View Full Version : Campaign Journal: Musings of a Spell Thief

2011-05-03, 04:22 PM
My character is Alyn'Rae, a half-drow Spell Thief who is charmingly pessimistic about life in general, though she has no qualms about speaking her mind. One of the more curious aspects of her is that she fights with an umbrella sword (think Setsuka in Soul Calibur 3). Half-drow are not treated kindly in the Underdark, and as part of her background she was rescued from the slave pits by the rest of the party. She travels with them because she feels she owes them a debt.

I am not quite sure what spurred me to write a campaign journal, but it sounds like fun and I hope you guys enjoy it.

Alyn'Rae - My character :smallbiggrin:
Yvanna - A Human Tashalatora Monk/Wilder. Perky and talkative, just like always. Though she is a level or two behind the rest of the group, she still seems to be holding her own.
Jet - Dead
Kimi - Retired.
Garth - Dead
Sneer Zarg - Half Orc Fighter that duel-wields a sword and an axe. A rather interesting take on AoO cheese. Friendly personality though. True Neutral and loving it.
Tamera - Human Fighter/Samurai/Psychic Warrior/Exotic Weapon Master. A stoic character, stern and quiet. Loves using Whirlwind+Knock Down, and Spring Attack when possible. Hates all flavors of rogues and refers to them as 'honorless shinobi'.
Temoran - Retired.
Falura - Dead.
Tatakai - A Human Knight/Crusader. He has officially become the tank of the party, both due to his knight's challenge ability and the fact that he healed himself 110 hp in a single round using Martial Spirit stance and the Avalanche of Blades maneuver.

Alyn'Rae's Musings
Dear Journal,
I dislike this place. The sun is far too bright, and the sand gets everywhere. Even after bathing and washing my clothes, I still feel the sand gritting against my skin. Still, I suppose I shouldn't complain too much. Better this tiny desert town than the slave warrens of the Underdark.
I was not sure why we were here, at first. My companions are devilishly hard to get useful information out of. Yvanna likes to talk, and talk, and talk ... about nothing. She would talk for hours if I bothered to listen to her. Jet is even worse. He likes to turn everything I say into an argument. I am immediately wrong in his eyes, and my every opinion must be countered and disproved. I think he does not like me.
Kimi finally told me why we were in this place, though. I suppose he is the most normal of the three of them, though he does seem forgetful at times. Regardless, it seems the local nobility here has asked us to assist them with some great three-headed lizard that has been attacking their merchant caravans. According to Kimi, we held a group vote to decide if we would come here to help them.
Apparently, I did not get an invitation...

2011-05-04, 11:24 AM
Alright, we had our first real session. The "first" session was dedicated to character creation and introduction. So I count this as the first session :smallsmile:

The Crunch
The party starts off in the desert town of Shadir Alhira, and we were quickly conscripted to get rid of a three-headed wyrm attacking the town's merchants and travelers. After heading out, we were surprised by a giant scorpion hiding in the sand. One full attack later, and Alyn'Rae is barely standing. Jet and Alyn'Rae proceed to pound on the scorpion, Kimi fail-buff after fail-buff (Protection from Evil and Fire Resistance don't help against scorpions :smallfurious: ) and Yvanna repeatedly fails to mind crush the thing. Luckily it started attacking Jet rather than Alyn'Rae, so she survived her first fight being at 1/10 her normal hp throughout the entire battle.

After the scorpion fight, we get lost in the desert (botched survival check), and we accidentally wander back to town. We rested and tried again, and this time we find the pseudo-hydra we were supposed to fight. The lightning breathing hydra proves less trouble than the random encounter earlier. The party dialed in their attack plan, with Jet and Alyn'Rae setting up a flank, Yvanna repeatedly blasting it with energy rays of various flavors, and Kimi healing the two melee characters from within a Sactuary spell.

The session ended after the ground collapsed out from underneath us, dumping us into an underground lost temple.

Alyn'Rae's Musings
Dear Journal,

I hold little love for this region, and we have only been here a few days. The days are long and hot, and the stench that radiates from our camels is unbearable. To make matters worse, the creatures that dwell within the desert are more dangerous than anything I've encountered before. I learned my lesson the hard way earlier in the week.

My companions were bickering about some trivial matter, so as usual I tuned them out and concentrated on reading a book I "picked up" in town. I should have been more wary, however. There was a sudden explosion of sand, and I felt a blinding pain as some beast grabbed me in a vice-like grip and effortlessly pulled me off my camel. I managed to squirm free of its grasp, but before I could defend myself, a second claw slammed into me, knocking me away from the group and slamming me into the ground. Looking back, I consider myself lucky that the massive scorpion's tail went cleanly through my shoulder. Had it not, I likely would have succumbed to its virulent poison.

I do not believe that I screamed. Yvanna said that I did, but I'm certain I did not cry out for help. I was certainly not afraid of the creature.

Regardless of how they were alerted to my plight, the swift attack that my companions launched was sufficient to get the attention of the beast long enough for me to regain my composure. The fight was hard won, but in the end we were victorious. Still, I question Kimi's judgement in his choice of spells. I certainly would have preferred his healing magic over the rather useless spells he used in an effort to protect us.

Personally, I blame Yvanna for getting us lost in the desert. She was the one with the map, after all, and I have seen mycondids with more sense of direction than that girl. Luckily, we managed to find our way back to town after a few hours, and Kimi finally treated my wounds.

I was glad to head out into the desert again, to be honest. I do not like the way the villagers look at me. I cannot say for certain why, but the women avoid me and the men watch me with some malign intent. I do not know what they want with me, but I'd rather not find out. I have made a habit of always staying close to either Jet or Yvanna while in town.

Regardless, we finally found our quarry within the desert, or it found us. In any case, the three-headed reptile was not in the least what I expected. From what Yvanna had told me, this blue-scaled hulk was devouring the merchants and whatever guards they were able to muster. However, given the ease with which we dispatched the beast, I'd say that we did the village a greater service in slaying the scorpion.

It seems the universe has a grudge against me. Whether it was magic, an earthquake, a sinkhole, or just one of the gods deciding that they hated me that day, as soon as we slew the creature, the ground opened up beneath us and dropped us into the dark below. I must have blacked out during the fall, for the next thing I remember is waking up on the floor of some unwholesome cavern far beneath the earth, with the sunlight a mere faint glimmer overhead.

And so I sit here writing this down while Yvanna and Jet argue about whether we should try to climb back up or press on farther into the cavern. I don't care how we do it, I just want to leave this place. I hate being underground.

Aust Nailo
2011-05-04, 03:13 PM
Like it so far, keep it up.

2011-05-04, 03:30 PM
I have to agree, I like the deafeatist attitude.
Also, to me it is quite clear what Jet wants revenge against.
It rhymes with dire ration (http://30ninjas.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/avatar-jet.jpg).

Aust Nailo
2011-05-04, 08:34 PM
^Oh yeah, I hadn't noticed that but yeah. Jet, hook swords, angry it makes sense.

2011-05-04, 10:31 PM
This is very cool, looking forward to seeing more! :smallbiggrin:

2011-05-05, 07:21 PM
Alright, got another session under the belt! It ran a bit longer than the last one, but it was still a fun session. Unfortunately, we had our first party member death already: Kimi the Cleric bit the dust. Luckily, we just so happened to 'find' a new party member down in the dungeon :smalltongue:

The Crunch
Jet tried climbing back up the wall, but came back down when the party did not have enough rope to get back up (I'm sure glad there was no falling damage :smallbiggrin: ). We headed inside the dungeon and found a giant depiction of a battle between the gods of light and darkness. (I was sad when I was the only one who caught the reference to Record of Lodoss War). We went through the left door, and got attack by a swarm of EXPLODING FIENDISH STIRGES! Any time we'd hit one of the little buggers, they would explode. Not a big deal until they started latching on.
Unfortunately, our cleric died during the battle. Of course, Jet's player felt that we should split up Kimi's gear as party loot and leave the corpse here. Thankfully, Yvanna's player agreed with me that we should get Raise Dead for the party cleric, so into my bag of holding went the corpse.
Not long after that (in game, anyway. Out of game it took over an hour to roll up the new character), we found a room with a petrified man and an abyssal basilisk. It was a short battle, but I had to blow two scrolls of Stone to Flesh: one for the new guy, Garth, and one for Jet.
After following Yvanna's trailblazing skills (and by skills, I mean going 'ini-mini-myni-mo' at any intersection :smallannoyed: ), we found a room with movable floor tiles and a rather irate shield guardian. Note that this is the FIRST battle where Jet has been able to trip anything, so his player was feeling particularly pleased after the battle. Once done with the fight, we slid aside the tiles, gathered up some fairly unimpressive loot, and headed down the stairs.
We were ambushed at the bottom of the stairs by a pack of wights, but a Maximized Mass Cure Critical Wounds from Garth ended the fight before we could be bothered to attack.
While exploring the lower level, we found a giant gold plaque on the wall. Sure, it was an ancient holy relic, but Alyn'Rae certainly wouldn't care. I made Jet pry it off the wall and chunk it down into small enough bits to fit in the bag of holding.
The highlight of the session was the boss fight of the level. We wandered out onto a stone platform suspended in the air with magic, and five stone coffins on the platform. Of course, as soon as Jet touched one of the coffins, they all popped open, the door slammed shut behind us, and we were attacked by four Mummy Warriors and a bad-ass Mummy Cleric.
The battle went pretty well at first. Jet trips one warrior, Yvanna kills another (who says monks are weak? :smallbiggrin: ), Garth is playing White Mage, and I don't get pounded into pudding by something immune to sneak attack and without spells to steal.
Then the Mummy Cleric casts Dominate on Jet, and things went to hell from there. Jet full-attacked Garth for a surprisingly small amount of damage (the more the game progresses, the less I am impressed by his character),Garth gets bull-rushed off the edge of the platform, and one of the mummies grapples me without breaking a sweat. Luckily, I have ranks in Escape Artist, so he can't keep hold of Alyn'Rae. I finally get over to the only caster we've fought in the dungeon and I get to use my class namesake ability! I steal a spell! I steal ... Slay Living :smallfurious:
Anyway, from there the battle turned into the Yvanna Wonder Show. She full attacked Jet for nonlethal damage, but still puts him 29 points over his max hp. Garth is Air Walking slowly back up to the platform, and I get thrown off by a blast from the Mummy Cleric's Ring of the Ram. I do have Feather Fall, but I was out of the battle, at any rate, since I cannot fly. Yvanna dropped the last mummy warrior the following round, while I'm having to throw a rope over to Garth just so I don't get trapped at the bottom of the 300' deep pit. Yvanna gets grappled by the Mummy Cleric, which ends badly for the cleric. One flurry of blows attack sequence deals IIRC 102 damage.
As soon as the Cleric dies, the rock platform collapses. The falling rocks sever the rope tethering me to Garth, so I am stuck in slow free fall. Of course, Yvanna makes a Reflex save in the upper 30s and manages to grab Jet's unconscious body and run to the section of floor not collapsed. Then she immediately tied one end of a rope to Garth and the other end to her ankles, and dived off the ledge again to grab Alyn'Rae just before the Feather Fall spell ended.
The session ended with Yvanna's player looking very smug about single-handedly saving the entire group.

Alyn'Rae's Musings
Dear Journal,

Why do I even try anymore? Anything I try to do seems to always end in utter failure. I feel as if I am a burden to these adventurers, a helpless maiden to be protected rather than a contributing member of the group.

While searching for a way to the surface, we were attacked by a swarm of horrid, vicious creatures that flew at us on fetid, sulfurous smelling wings. I'd never seen anything like them, and I certainly hope I never encounter such eldritch horrors again. They came at us from all directions, latching onto our bodies and tearing at our flesh with tiny claws. It was almost impossible to swat them away, and concentrating on my magic was a difficult endeavor, to say the least. However, they did seem to succumb to my sleeping magics easily enough. When the first one was killed, I think I was as surprised as Jet was when it exploded in a burst of flame. What made it more horrific was when one of them did it of their own accord. Once I saw one of them do this to Yvanna, I think my concern might have shown when I saw six of the vile things clinging onto Kimi as he flailed around futilely.

I could have saved him, I should have been able to. I tried so hard, but I just could not think straight. The pain from the bites, the weight of their bodies bogging down my movements .... I should have been able to save him with my sleeping magic, but I ... I could not. The magic fizzled as my screams of pain overtook the arcane powers of the spell.

I cannot get the image out of my mind. The way he looked at me, just before disappearing a searing ball of flame ...

Yvanna said that it was not my fault. She said that I tried, and that is what is important. I disagree. I am not some sniveling slave girl in the Underdark. I was the only one who could have saved Kimi. By the way Jet glares at me every time he looks at me, I know he blames me for Kimi's death, too.

I did not cry. There is no place for weakness here. I did not cry.

Still sore from our wounds, and now unable to heal ourselves beyond the meager wand I bought, we pressed onward after gathering up what little remained of Kimi. Without his magic, we had to rely on the paltry handful of sun rods Yvanna carries with her for light.

Later, we came upon a rubble-filled room, with what seemed to by a statue in the room. The more I looked at it, the more I came to realize that something was wrong with it. There were no tool marks anywhere on the intricately carved statue of the armored man. It seemed to have been formed from a single piece of stone, but even magic leaves traces of its use in artwork, and the statue was likewise devoid of those as well.

The reason soon showed itself, and we found ourselves pitted against a fierce reptile with many legs and black scales. Jet made the mistake of looking into its eyes, and within moments he was petrified by the creature's gaze. Had we been at full strength, I doubt it would have proved too challenging, but in our weakened state, Yvanna and I were pushed to the limits of our strength to defeat the creature on our own. Luckily it was not too intelligent, and tried to bite us seemingly at random, rather than focusing on one of us at a time. It only managed to bite me once, but that was more than enough to cause me no small distress.

It latched onto my arm with its powerful jaws and began to drag me toward the hole it had crawled out of. Thankfully, the blade of my umbrella sword fit neatly inside its eye socket.

After the battle, I used a few of the scrolls I had purchased to release Jet and the other fellow from their stony prisons. Thankfully, the other man I released (Garth is his name) is also a priest, and was thus able to alleviate our suffering from wounds.

I am unsure how long we wandered in the underground temple. Yvanna was leading, so it was no surprise that we ended up lost. I could sense that we were gently sloping downward as we traveled, but no one else seemed to care. As we were traveling aimlessly, we were set upon by a fierce looking construct of stone. However, Jet finally had his chance to shine, and he single-handedly defeated the golem. Perhaps hook swords have their uses after all.

We came upon a large plaque of gold during our wanderings. Thankfully, I was able to convince Jet to take it off the wall and break it up into pieces small enough to fit inside the magic bag I acquired.

I hope it is worth enough money to revive Kimi if we get out of here. I hope he will forgive me.

I suppose it was inevitable that plight once again fell upon my undeserving shoulders. We came upon a platform of stone suspended above an unfathomably deep chasm. Resting on the platform were five large stone sarcophagi. I knew it was a trap, but before I could say anything, Jet rushed over to the nearest coffin and shoved the lid aside. I should have placed a bet on the other coffins opening and their residents attacking us ... but if I would have, I almost can be certain they would not have attacked us.

My bad luck aside, we were beset upon by the five undead men wrapped in burial shrouds. Naturally, the door slammed shut behind us, so escape was impossible. I was not worried when one of them began to savagely attack me. The creature was slow and clumsy, and I was able to dodge his attacks with minimal effort.

I feel that may be the only thing I did right today.

I was caught off-guard when the mummy grabbed hold of me and pinned me to his chest. I felt his bony hands digging into my skin, tearing at my clothes, his decaying stench nearly overwhelming me. As he began to drag me toward the edge of the platform, I knew I had to escape quickly. With all of my agility, I managed to wriggle free of his icy clutches, but almost as soon as I escaped, he came at me again. This time, however, I was able to avoid his attack.

I saw that one of the mummies was garbed differently than the others, and I could sense the magical aura radiating from him. I knew that at last I had the opportunity to prove my worth to the rest of the group. I finally had a chance to redeem myself for failing to save Kimi.

I dashed toward the leader of the mummies and plunged my sword into his ribcage. As I studied the spell that I had just stolen from his mind, it dawned on me that it was likely none of the spells he knew could harm him or his undead comrades. As I pulled my blade free of his ribs, I learned something at that moment.

Apparently, mummies can still smile.

The ring on his finger flashed with red light, and I was blasted away from him and off the edge of the platform, the wind knocked from me as the energy slammed into my chest. It took me a few moments to regain my senses as I fell, but as soon as I did I muttered a spell, and felt my descent into the inky blackness below slow down dramatically. As I floated in the air, still trying to think of a way to escape my predicament, I saw that Garth had fallen as well, and was slowly floating upward to the platform once more. I gave a shout to get his attention, and then quickly threw him a rope. I knew I only had a few moments before my own spell ended.

He was just starting to tow me along behind him back to the ledge, when I heard Yvanna give a scream of rage. Moments later, the platform crumbled and collapsed downward. Being unable to control my own movement in the air, I took the full force of the falling rocks. One of them must have dashed against my head, for the next thing I remember is opening my eyes and seeing Yvanna, dangling from a long rope tied around her ankles, holding me in her arms.

"Don't worry," she said, smiling. "I've got you."

Do not think me ungrateful that she saved me. I just wish that I did not need saving so frequently.

I am writing this by the waning light of Yvanna's last sun rod as the four of us huddle together on the last remaining edge of the platform, trying to figure out how to open the stone door which is still sealed shut.

We will soon be plunged into utter darkness, and thus far with no hope for escape. I am beginning to think that we should never have come out here. Not that I am worried or anything, I just prefer air that moves. It is stale down here.

2011-05-10, 04:28 PM
Well, we had another session. Unfortunately, we are currently debating whether or not to end it prematurely, or to let almost the entire group roll up new characters. Gotta love a good old-fashioned TPK. :smallannoyed:

The Crunch
We only made it through three battles before calling the session over. Jet and Yvanna managed to beat the DC 30 to break the door down, and we proceeded on from there. After exploring a few empty rooms, we found one with a miniature version of the palace from Aladdin. While Searching the room, we were attacked by an assassin vine. Fortunately, a quick barrage of Energy Blasts, Sounds Bursts, and full attacks brought the thing down in just two rounds.

A few empty rooms later, we were ambushed by a pair of Half-Fiend Dire Lions. They both went after Garth, tore him up, and then won initiative. He died before the party got the chance to act. We managed to kill them, but we were back down to using my Wand of Cure Light Wounds to keep us going. One door down, we were subsequently attacked by two Abyssal Basilisks and a Horned Devil. A nonsensical combination, but whatever.

Anyway, Jet got petrified (again), and then the devil smashed him into enough tiny pieces that we would only need one stamp to mail his remains home :smallsigh:

Low on power points, spells, and hp after the battle, Yvanna and Alyn'Rae at least managed to rest without getting attacked in the night. Of course, it did not make much of a difference, as it turned out.

We found sunlight in the room beyond! Of course, we failed the Will save to realize it was an illusion until the stone golem attacked us. The two of us actually were handling him pretty well until the last round of combat, where the DM full attacked Yvanna and ...

DM: (rolls) 20, rolling to confirm (rolls) ... crit.
Us: :smallfrown:
DM: Second attack (rolls) 20 (rolls) ... confirmed crit.
Us: :smalleek:
DM: 168 damage, two hits.
Yvanna's Player: (slams head into table)

I managed to survive a full attack the following round and kill it, but if we are continuing, I certainly hope that the others can roll new characters. I doubt Alyn'Rae can solo the place at 9 hp with a dead healing wand.

Alyn'Rae's Musings
I am going to die down here.
Garth, Jet, Yvanna ... they are all dead, and there was nothing I could do to save them. My friends are all dead ... why haven't I died yet?

I am in so much pain, my vision is blurry. My hands are shaking ... I can hear the creatures down here. I know they will come for me soon. I no longer have the strength to fight.

No one will come to my rescue this time. No one will even know I'm gone.

Typical, really. I'm cursed with misfortune.

Corellan Larethian, why have you forsaken me?

2011-05-10, 04:40 PM
Darn, the universe hated her so much that the only suitable reaction was to kill everyone around her and leave her stranded, but alive, to think about it. :smallfrown:

I've enjoyed the writeup though; hopefully something can be done.

2011-05-10, 05:30 PM
If you played her as pessimistic as you write her here, it could all have been a dream/omen warning her of what may become of her on her current path. She will stand where others fall, but in falling they will leave her and she will be alone once more. She will survive to face what comes, what lurks in the darkness no sight can pierce. The future will arrive and she will stem against the wave of destruction it brings. But alone, she will be swept away, not dead but wishing she was as she sinks towards the bottom of the sea of sorrow.

2011-05-11, 08:49 AM
Wow a really enjoyable read, keep it up! Will be interesting to see what happens next :smallsmile:

2011-05-11, 09:05 PM
Great stuff.

That seems REALLY heavy for a no-way-out adventure. Running into something in EVERY. SINGLE. ROOM. just seems goofy.

My recommendation: Grab the bodies of all the things you've killed and make a pile. Climb that. (But I suspect your DM is probably going to flat-out deny you.)

2011-05-12, 12:10 PM
Alright, we got another session in, albeit a short one. Given the fact that the original party had been down in the dungeon for the better part of a week, the city sent a rescue party (a.k.a. the new PCs).

The Crunch
Not much crunch this session, mostly introduced the replacement party and patched up Alyn'Rae. We got into a couple of fights, though the first one almost doesn't count. We encountered a banshee. No one died from it's attack. Temoran makes it explode with Undeath to Death. (insert half-hearted victory fanfare)

The next battle was a little more interesting, though clearly the other players have upped the power level of their characters significantly. We were attacked by an evil Treant Ex-Druid/Blighter, and the new party members got to flex their muscles.

Tamera used Knock-Down successfully. On a Huge sized tree :smallconfused:

Temoran locked it down in an Anti-Magic Field, but he could cast just fine thanks to the Initiate of Mystra feat.

I think Sneer Zarg got off close to twenty attacks ... on the treant's turn. It full attacked him, but each attack triggered Robilar's Gambit, and after the hit triggered Karmic Strike. He has Double Hit, so he got to use his off-hand with each AoO. The treant died during his own full attack!

I got to poke it with my umbrella sword. :smallannoyed:

Alyn'Rae's Musings
It seems the gods have more misfortune in store for me. They have not allowed me to die just yet.

I had begun limping down the hall, trying to find a safe place to rest. I was having to lean against the wall to support myself ... I am miserably weak ...

Regardless, I was not at all surprised when I was beset upon by the vengeful spirit of a woman, likely another victim of this accursed place. I was fully prepared to meet the gods as it lunged at me, when it suddenly was torn asunder by a savagely bright light.

My damnable drow heritage makes me very sensitive to bright lights. Especially when suddenly exposed to such light after being in the dark for so long. I was blinded for several moments, and during that time a powerful set of hands grabbed me and pinned my arms to my sides.

Despite my efforts I was unable to escape. I was only mildly more concerned when I heard a pair of men discussing what to do with me. At one point one of them spoke to me by name, though I was still seeing spots, the figures of two humans, one man and one woman, were visibly in the harsh glare of their light spell. Craning my head upward, I saw a burly half-orc man smiling warmly down at me.

They introduced themselves as Temoran, Tamera, and Sneer Zarg, and claimed that they were a rescue party sent from the desert town that my group and I were sent from. I'm not certain I trust their story. Judging by their complexions and accents, none of them are from the desert.

I suppose I should not over-analyse any assistance in a place like this, but trust was not something I was taught as a child. Suspicion and deceit are the ways of the drow, and the only people I trusted now lie dead.

They are a very powerful trio, that I cannot doubt. After Temoran had healed my injuries, we resumed our search of an exit. After a time, we were attacked by a twisted, black-barked tree. Why a tree is down here at all is a question better left to aged sages.

Regardless, the three of them fight with cold efficiency. In only a matter of moments, the creature lay dead. I am positive that Sneer Zarg is the fasted swordsman I have ever seen. Even my keen eyes could not follow the intricate patterns his sword and axe weaved with blinding speed.

Though Tamera did more than her fair share of the fighting as well, she claims that she has yet to demonstrate her full power, as she is trained in fighting large numbers, rather than individual opponents.

Temoran is too care-free for my tastes. He does not seem to understand how dangerous this place is, and if he does, he is treating it like a mild inconvenience.

I do not believe Tamera likes me. She refuses to call me by name. Rather, she refers to my as 'ninja'. Not that I am concerned with her liking me whatsoever, but I do prefer it when people use my name.

Oh well. Just one more painful stepping stone on the road to my inevitable doom.

2011-05-12, 12:51 PM
Spellthief in a caster-lite, undead-heavy campaign... yea, I can see where Alyn'Rae is having problems. It's T4 for a reason, outside of it's niche (it's nice if you can steal the right spell... until you realize that an equal level full-caster could cast that same spell multiple times) it's half a rogue with ranger-level spellcasting.

I like your narration style, though. You give your character... character, moreso than a lot of players.

2011-05-12, 01:03 PM
Thanks, glad you like it :smallsmile:

Yeah, the adventure is definitely rough. Still, being the weakest link in the party, I'm surprised she hasn't died yet. Guess she can't pull agro lol

2011-05-16, 01:27 AM
Alright, we've got another session finished. We picked up a new player, who is playing an elf archer named Falura. Thus far I've managed to convince her not to attack me, but being in the same party with an artillery archer with a grudge against the drow is a worrying prospect, to say the least.

The Crunch
At the very start of the session, the group was attacked by a pair of War Trolls, which were trolls with 7 levels of Fighter and PC gear. We discovered this battle that Temoran cannot die from hp loss, due to a combination of Delay Death bracers and a Beastland Ferocity belt. He went to -29 hp and kept fighting.

I understand the need to have powerful characters, but that is pushing it :smallannoyed:

Anyway, Alyn'Rae ended up saving Tamera from one of the War Trolls. A full Sneak Attack critical hit from Greater Invisibility for 80 damage brought down the injured troll :smallbiggrin:

After the battle, the new character gets introduced, and I had to follow the group from Invisibility to avoid getting killed by the drow-hunting archer. After leaving the room we were in, we made it down a hallway and down a set of stairs before being attacked again.

This time is was a pair of Gargantuan Oozes of some nasty sort. A quick Protection from Acid potion, and Sneer Zarg waded into the fight. Temoran and Tamera were in it as well, but neither of them were immune to the acid. Felura, of course, was in the back next to me shooting.

Unfortunately, only Temoran had a blunt weapon, so everyone ended up splitting the two oozes into lots and lots of little ones. At one point Alyn'Rae used Stone Shape to make a pit in front of where she and Felura were standing, preventing them from advancing on us.

It was a long and drawn out fight, but the only loss we suffered was toward the end, when Tamera botched a Reflex save, and the oozes dissolved her Ancestral Katana up to the hilt. Now she is having to use a +1 Scimitar that we found a while ago. That's a pretty heavy hit to a character so dependent on that weapon.

Alyn'Rae's Musings
Dear Journal,

My concern for my safety has dramatically increased. I feel that our new companion will try to kill me soon.

I thought the worst of the internal conflict was over after I finally garnered the respect of Tamera. During a battle with a pair of oddly intelligent trolls, I managed to fell one of them just before its massive sword could strike down Tamera. Though she chastised my tactics of attacking from behind, she at least now calls me by name.

It was not until after the battle that we were approached by a newcomer: an elf woman named Falura. She explained that she was hunting drow, specifically a man named Drizzt Du'Urden, though she was more than happy to kill any others she found.

I suppose the gods even have mercy on me occasionally, for the invisibility spell I had cast upon myself had not worn off just then. There likely would have been no talking, just a barrage of arrows embedding themselves in my body had she seen me.

Of course, the gods likely just want me to suffer through more torment before taking my life.

Despite my whispered protests, Temoran and Tamera decided to allow her to accompany us. Sneer Zarg was in agreement with me, but in typical human fashion they ignored him as much as they ignored me.

Not long after, we were once again attacked, this time by a pair of the largest oozes I've seen outside the Underdark. In order to protect Sneer from their acidic touch, I was forced to reveal my presence as I cast the spell upon him. Thankfully, Falura was more concerned about killing the oozes than killing me.

We made camp after the battle, and so here I am on second watch. I was a little surprised that Sneer Zarg offered to stay up with me. Perhaps he knows how nervous the elf woman makes me. Perhaps he is just being friendly. He seems to be the only one with any common sense down here. We did not talk. He merely sat beside me, silently stitching up his tattered cloak. Still, I find his presence comforting.

I wonder if putting a blanket on him will wake him.

Though Falura concerns me greatly, I must confess that Temoran worries me even more. No one seems to question his judgement, but I do.

If we are trying to escape this place, why are we going downstairs?

2011-05-16, 01:38 AM
If we are trying to escape this place, why are we going downstairs?

Dun dun dunnnnnn *Dramatic Reverb*.

The Drizzt Do'Urden hunter, I like that twist on an overused concept.

2011-05-16, 01:47 AM
Just read all of this. Now I'm hooked!

2011-05-16, 10:39 AM
Though Falura concerns me greatly, I must confess that Temoran worries me even more. No one seems to question his judgement, but I do.

Because his build makes him one of the most powerful things this side of the cosmos? :smallamused:

That said, this was a good read. I like how alive your character is with these journal entries. I hope the poor thing lives and finds some happiness after all this.

2011-05-17, 02:33 PM
Alright, we finally got out of the dungeon! On a side note, we're considering replacing the current DM, as we caught him cheating multiple times this session. Fudging die rolls is one thing, but tripling monsters' hp in mid-battle and giving them spontaneous casting of 9th level cleric spells is far beyond what we tolerate as a group. This revelation has brought into question the entirety of the adventure up to this point.

With that in mind, here is the crunch and fluff.

The Crunch
The session started off fairly routinely, with us walking down a hallway, opening a door, and getting attacked. This time it was by a pair of weird spell casting Mummy Golems. First round of combat, Falura gets Disintegrated. After Temoran laid down an Anit-Magic field, the battle greatly tipped in our favor, and we proceeded to pound the golems into dust. During the battle, I finally managed to absorb another spell: Chain Lightning :smallcool:

After gathering the loot, the most unusual item being a Garter of Intellect +6 :smallconfused:, we moved on to the next door. Surprisingly, we ... actually found the way out. Only problem was that to get out, we had to fight our way past a couple of angels.

Why celestials are down here and why they are hostile to us are questions I no longer bother asking :smallannoyed:

Temoran goes CoDzilla on one angel, Sneer takes on another, and Tamera and I are left to deal with the summoned angels that the big ones brought in for help. This was the battle where the DM-Cheating began in earnest, or at least this was where we caught him. Some notable moments were:

Temoran's Player: "I hit with my full attack. That's (rolls lots) 153 damage."

DM: "Not Dead. I'm doubling their hp."

Temoran's Player: :smallmad:

Me: "Alright, so I'm flanking, so that's a sneak attack. I use Quick Draw and Improved Feint. (rolls) Your Sense Motive?"

DM: "28. You win." :smallannoyed:

Me: "Alright, Iajutsu attack! (rolls, rolls) CRIT! (rolls) 93 damage!"

DM: "Still not dead."

Temoran's Player: "Dude, that's more than double hp now."

DM: "Yeah, well, it's not dead. You aren't killing them in two rounds."

Us: :smallfurious:

Later ...

DM: "It's casting Implosion again. Make your save."

Me: "But they only get two 9th level spells. It should be out."

DM: "Yeah, well, it isn't, so make your save."

Me: "Why is it casting on me? It's flying; I can't attack it. Sneer and Temoran are already engaging it."

DM: "They can make the Fortitude save. You can't. Besides, Alyn'Rae is the last original character, so they don't like her. Roll your save."

Me: :smallsigh: (rolls) "I die." :smallfrown:

DM: "There, now everyone has died at least once." :smallbiggrin:

The rest of the group managed to miraculously kill them the following round. Whatever :smallannoyed: Anyway, the group got back to town, and we had enough loot to pay for True Resurrection on Alyn'Rae, Kimi, and Yvanna. There weren't enough chunks of Jet or Garth to Raise.

Alyn'Rae's Musings
This is the happiest I've felt in a very long time.

I don't recall much of the last day or so. I vaguely remember a battle with a pair of strange mummified constructs, as befuddling a concept as this is. After that ... I only clearly remember waking up on a stone table with Sneer Zarg grinning down at me. I was about to ask him why he was smiling, when I realized that Yvanna and Kimi were sitting beside me on the table.

Later, he told me that I had perished in a battle against a pair of angels. I'd rather not remember why we were fighting celestials. Regardless, I'm just glad that we are all okay in the end.

Temoran and Tamera departed shortly after I recovered. I suppose those two are too full of wanderlust to remain in any one place for long. I wish they would have stayed. The fact that celestials attacked us in a place like that has me worried. It is almost like the smell in the air just before it rains ... it feels like something is going to happen. I am glad that Sneer decided to remain with us.

I feel safe with him around.

On a side note, why was I wearing a garter?

2011-05-17, 02:38 PM
Great read! I hope the antics of the DM won't bring you're journal to an end

2011-05-18, 11:37 AM
Well, one quick DM change later, and we are back on track! We introduced the new PC, Tatakai, who is a better tank than a Panzer. The only thing that has me concerned now is party balance: three fighter-types, a monk, and myself.

We are so boned :smallbiggrin:

The Crunch
After dividing up and spending our hard-earned loot, we got to relax in town for a while. I made friends with a barkeep. Yvanna helped a homeless drunk. Sneer got drunk with the same guy. Just as soon as we thought we'd have to go down to the tavern to look for work, a massive earthquake rocked the town. A couple Reflex saves later, and we avoided being crushed by a building.

Then the four githyanki knights riding red dragons attacked.

I used Dimension Door to get up on top of one ... not my best plan ever. Still, better up on the dragon dueling the rider than down on the ground getting strafed with breath weapons. Luckily, a couple rounds in, Tatakai managed to force them to stay on the ground and fight with his Knight's Challenge. Once the fight was on the ground, we cleaned house without too much difficulty.

After the battle, a githyanki and a githzerai showed up from a misty grey cloud and told us about Vlaakith the lich-queen.

Plot device, activate!

Agreeing to help them, we were Plane Shifted to the Astral Plane to a city on top of a dead god. We chatted with a githyanki blackguard about Vlaakith and how she wants to rule the cosmos, that her very existence threatens all the planes. Naturally, we are just the kind of (and I quote) "Interloping Do-Gooders" to help out.

Good times all around :smallcool:

Alyn'Rae's Musings
I knew something bad would happen.

Why can't the universe ever be peaceful for more than a week? We barely had time to recover from our last horrid endeavor, when an earthquake destroys half the town we were staying in. I knew trouble was on its way as soon as I saw Tamera come into town without Temoran. She and Tatakai, our new ally, had barely made introductions to one another when red dragons bearing black-armored riders descended upon us.

Likely, we would have all perished had Tatakai not played on the dragons' ego, goading them into standing and fighting on the ground rather than just strafing us with their fiery breaths and claws. However, both the riders and the mounts proved to hardly be a match for Sneer and Tamera in a fair fight.

We had hardly managed to catch our breaths before we were enveloped in a misty grey cloud and approached by two unusual fellows. I always fail to understand why Yvanna trusts everyone so quickly. They were clearly of the same race that had just attacked us.

Then again, I suppose distrust based on race is a little hypocritical of me.

Regardless, we were whisked away to the Astral Plane to help them end the reign of Vlaakith, the Lich-Queen. Apparently, we accidentally opened a gateway from the Astral Plane to the Prime Material Plane when we escaped the desert temple, and Vlaakith intends on using it to send an army through to conquer our home world.

I understand that we have to right the wrongs we've inadvertently caused, but it feels as if Yvanna does not understand how concerned I am. She died once before ... I've tasted death as well. We might not come back if we die again. I don't want to lose my friend again. Kimi already left us, and Jet was finally given a proper funeral. Yvanna, and I suppose Sneer Zarg, are the only friends I have left. I want more than anything to keep them alive, and yet we venture to face a nigh-insurmountable foe. Still, I know this is the only thing we can do. This is bigger than me, bigger than all of us. Our entire world is being threatened by Vlaakith.

This is something we cannot afford to fail. I will not shy away from this task so long as my friends stand beside me.

We are so dead ...

2011-05-20, 09:26 AM
1. Glad you switched GMs. That guy (?) sounds like a chump.

2011-05-20, 11:35 AM
1. Glad you switched GMs. That guy (?) sounds like a chump.

1) I agree. He is a total chump that gets a thrill from killing characters.

2) We are level 16 :smallsmile:

2011-05-20, 04:12 PM
Good stuff! Good thing you got rid of your old DM, haha, sounds like a pain...

2011-05-23, 11:16 AM
We got in another session, and things are proving ridiculously hard to deal with. It may be due to the fact that Alyn'Rae is the primary arcane caster in the party, and that we are relying on Tatakai's "I hit things and heal the party" abilities to keep us alive in battle, but who cares, right?

The Crunch
We got teleported inside the Lich-Queen's palace, and instead of doors, we found that all the rooms are connected through a system of portals. That makes things a lot harder to scout out a room before entering. We stumbled around for a little while without encountering anything too dangerous for a while. A couple of times we were attacked by one or two red half-dragon githyanki, but they were no match for our brutal melee efficiency.

Then we ran into trouble ...

We were ambushed by nine githyanki, each armed with a spiked chain. We knew we were in trouble as soon as this happened:

Tamera: "I charge attack."
DM: "The githyanki have the Hold the Line feat. Attack of Opportunity."
Tamera: "Dang reach weapons."
DM: (rolls) "Hit. 24 damage."
Tamera: "Pfff, that's it?"
DM: "They have the Knock-Down feat. Roll for trip."
Tamera: "Crap." (rolls)
DM: (Rolls) "Alright, you avoid the trip. The githyanki uses the Side Step feat to 5-foot shift backward."
Tamera: "Backward? Whatever, I keep charging."
DM: "Attack of opportunity. Charging through his threatened area."
Tamera: "Oh right." (rolls) "Ha! I got a 24 on my Tumble check. No free swing for you!" (rolls) "Alright, a 34 should hit."
DM: "Yup. Roll damage."
Tamera: (rolls. I forgot what it was lol)
DM: "Alright, now that you hit him, Karmic Strike triggers."
Tamera: :smalleek: "Wait, what?"
DM: (rolls) "Hit, 22 damage. Roll your trip."
Tamera: (rolls) "Crap..."
DM: (rolls) "Alright, he plows you to the ground. He uses Sidestep to back up 5 feet, then using Improved Trip ..." (rolls) "He hits you on the ground for another 24 damage. Then he uses Side Step to back up 5 feet."

The fight went on in a similar fashion, quickly turning into a dragged out slug-fest that we managed to pull off by the skin of our teeth. Once again, Tatakai came through in the clutch by forcing the majority of the githyanki to attack him. Yvanna got the majority of the kills using Energy Beam ("I'm firing mah laser!"), while between Sneer, Tamera, Tatakai, and myself, we managed to kill a total of three.

Alyn'Rae's Musings
This was not a good idea to come here so ill prepared.

The githyanki warriors are far more skilled that we thought. Even as fast and sure-footed as Sneer Zarg and Tamera are, they were hard pressed to stand fast against our foes. The githyanki have proven themselves to be as dangerous as they claimed, which makes me fear greatly for our chances when the time comes to face off against their lich queen. If we are barely holding our own against her common foot soldiers, what hope do we have of fighting such a powerful foe? To make matters worse, neither wizard nor priest is accompanying us, and our injuries are already taxing us greatly.

As always, Yvanna seems optimistic, but I will never understand her, I believe. She is a dear friend, and a trusted ally, but I have come to accept the fact that she and I rarely see eye to eye on anything.

I know I should be far more melancholy about our grim situation than I am, but I cannot help but feel a certain sense of calm with Sneer close at hand. Not that we aren't doomed to fail in our endeavor, but I feel somewhat comfortable with that fact. Perhaps it is because we both come from undesirable stock that I feel a modicum of kinship toward him, or at least an understanding of a painful past.

Yes, that must be it.

2011-05-30, 01:08 PM
At last, we come to the final piece of this campaign journal! We pulled an all-night session to finish the adventure, and it was one of the most fun game sessions ever. As usual, here's the Crunch'N'Fluff:

The Crunch
We wandered around the castle in our search for the library, where we thought the Lich-Queen's phylactery was at. After a quick battle with a trio of fire elementals, we found a featherless vrock in a cage. I picked the lock and we sprung him from his prison.

In exchange for his release, he informed us that the Lich-Queen's real phylactery was not in the library, but under the palace, guarded by a two-headed red dragon. I'm not quite sure why we felt like we could trust a demon, but I could not convince the other players of that :smallsigh:

Anyway, during a minor encounter some time later, I ended up getting teleported away from the rest of the group. Yay me, I had to sit out for about an hour while the rest of the group tried to track me down. :smallannoyed:

When they finally found my character, she was chained to a torture rack and being held prisoner by a githyanki warlock, six githyanki gishes, and a beholder fighter (Don't ask me about that last one :smallconfused: )

The DM seemed to be expecting a tough fight for the rest of the party, but it played out so easy that we couldn't help but laugh about it. Here's how it went down:

Tamera: "I ready an action."

Sneer: "I charge attack the beholder." (rolls, rolls) "Alright, 20 damage."

Tatakai: "I use Knight's Challenge on the beholder."

DM: (rolls) "Okay, the beholder will be targeting you."

Yvanna: "I use Telekineses on the warlock!"

DM: "Er, okay." (rolls) "He fails the save. Where are you ..."

Yvanna: "I fling him out the window!"

DM: :smalleek: "Um, okay ... he falls out the window. Now the monsters go. The githyanki gishes cast Quickened True Strike, and charging power attack you, Yvanna. They are also channeling Shivering Touch in their swords."

Tamera: "Wait, I take my readied action as soon as the start to charge."

DM: "Alright, what are you doing?"

Tamera: "I charge into their ranks with my katana, using Ki Whirlwind Attack to hit them all. I will also use Psionic Lion's Charge, Quickened, of course." (rolls, rolls, rolls, rolls) "Two hits and one confirmed critical hit. I activate Increased Multiplier for both my crits, and use Ki Damage for the normal hits." (rolls, rolls)

DM: "Crap ... total damage?"

Tamera: "180 damage to all of them."

DM: "... you really like the whole 'over-the-top-samurai' thing, don't you?"

Tamera: "I killed them all, I take it."

DM: "... yes. Oh, right, it's still my turn ... the beholder flees."

Tatakai: "Ha! He can't! He has to attack me!"

DM: :smallsigh:

The rest of the party quickly laid a beating on the beholder and freed me from my captivity. I may not have gotten to participate, but I always find it hilarious when stuff like this happens :smallbiggrin:

Not long after that, we found our way beneath the palace. Turns out we were now inside the dead god the palace was built on. A short walk later, we finally encountered the two-headed dragon, and lo and behold, beneath him was an ebony coffin. The battle was looking like it would be truly epic.

DM: "Alright, the dragon casts Sending."

Sneer: "Wait, who did he send it to?"

DM: "Who do you think?" :smallamused:

Everyone: :smalleek:

By the end of the first round, Vlaakith the Lich-Queen teleported in, accompanied by four ghost githyanki warriors. It was boss fight time! (Cue 'One Winged Angel')

... well, we thought it was going to be epic, anyway. One good idea on my part left us ending the battle much earlier than expected.

DM: "Alright, your turn. What do you do?"

Me: "I poke Vlaakith with our Staff of Healing."

DM: "Wait, what?!"

Me: "Remember? We found it in our last adventure. I was just saving it in case someone died, but now that Vlaakith is here ..."

DM: "What was the caster level on that thing?"

Me: "20 CL is what I was told."

DM: :smallmad:

Me: :smallbiggrin:

DM: "You poke her with the staff." (rolls) :smallfurious: "She botches the save. She explodes in a burst of positive energy."

Cue Final Fantasy Victory Theme :smallcool:

Alyn'Rae's Musings
Dear Journal,

Now that we've saved the world ... I'm bored. Everything just seems to pale in comparison. How can I justify complaining about burnt toast at breakfast when we just single-handedly brought an end to the destruction of our home world?

Maybe I should take a break from adventuring, or perhaps give it up entirely. I could run a tavern, though I'm sure that would most likely end in failure and leave me a pauper, such is my luck ... or not, perhaps. Maybe (and I say this very cautiously) my luck is taking a turn for the better.

Then again, I could just follow Sneer Zarg's lead and continue to adventure. None of my other companions are retiring ... perhaps I should remain with them, at least, for a little while. Though I must admit, something that Sneer Zarg said after we returned home struck me with an odd sort of truth.

"This world is saved. Time to move on to the next one."

Akal Saris
2011-05-30, 04:33 PM
Heh, glad it ended on a good note =)

2011-05-30, 07:06 PM
A little short, but great campaign! I greatly enjoyed reading both the crunch and fluff~:smallbiggrin:

2011-05-30, 07:23 PM
Nothing like offing an undead boss with phoenix down. Loved the ending.

2011-05-30, 09:39 PM
An excellent campaign journal. It's actually really good to see the subtle character development from the beginning of the campaign to the end. Looking forward to reading more of Alyn'Rae's adventures, if she has any more.

2011-05-31, 09:34 PM
Unfortunately, Alyn'Rae is not likely to have any further adventures for some time. I'm DM now, and they're making new characters, since we all hit level 20+. Still, I may use her in an upcoming one-shot adventure at my local game store.

It will be interesting to see how well she does in a group that is (hopefully) not as over-optimized as my regular group.