View Full Version : Journal The Adventure so far...

2015-08-16, 05:07 AM
Hey everyone, first post to the forum. I found this forum about a month ago. One of my friends told me the story of Sir Bearington and I started looking up epically hilarious stories, telling them to my friends in class until they wanted to play. I didn't believe they would actually follow through, and flaked on them the first weekend. They kept talking about it, and I said I'd throw something together for them. We've played 3 weekends in a row now. I've got almost 2 weeks to really polish something up for our next session. I typed the story up so far at the request of the players and posted it to Reddit. I'll tell them to go there, but not here, as this is the place where I feel I'll get better suggestions on what to do next. I've sort of just...literally made it up on the spot. I have an idea what they're going up against, but really just try to play off of them playing off of me until I got the feel for it.

Anyways, here's the story so far, if you take the time to actually read this, please let me know what you think.
Thank you!

We have played for 3 weekends now. None of us have ever played, but I watched a lot of Acquisitions Inc. before starting this. Me and another are almost 30, the other 2 are around 20 years old. In class they decided what they wanted to be...Tormac the Fighter was a Half-Elf who won his freedom after a lifetime in the gladiator pits, signed on as an extra hand on a pirate ship and became captain after a mutiny, until it was all lost in a storm. Rhonnar is a Dragonborn sorcerer who just wants to "shoot lightning from my ****ing mouth", and Varen the Wood Elf Ranger has the idea in his head that he's going to do Legolas-like things.
...Once again, I have never DM'd before, never even played...so we sit down the first night and I wing it...so begins the adventure.

All three awaken on a slave ship, it's early morning, and it's about time the slavers came down and fed them. They ask about the others around them. There's 3 dwarves I name Larry, Moe and Curly, who are lackeys to Grog, a giant human berserker crazy bandit leader who has been gagged due to chewing off the finger of one of the slavers who tried to feed him. He ate it. The Dragonborn sorcerer had also been gagged, and none of the others on the ship seemed to be of any importance.

Bursts are heard and holes explode in the side of the ship, one unlucky farmer is turned into blood paint on the walls by one of the cannonballs. Another volley is fired, yet this time it's grappling hooks. The ship sways and it can be heard that a boarding party has started a fight on the ship. One of the slavers runs down and says "I hope ye'all are ready ta fight fer yer lives!" and starts unlocking the chain that holds all the shackles on one side in place. Then one from the boarding party comes down and slits his throat, taking the keys, and heads back up to the deck. The din dies down up top and the entire crew comes down, swords drawn on the prisoners. Then the Captain and his right-hand man come down...Captain wearing a very un-piratey gold and black spandex shirt, the other wearing blue and black...pointed ears. Then I do my best William Shatner impression. "Dear GOD...what...happened to this...MAN!?"...Stock says, "I believe that that is the result of a direct cannonball to a human body Captain."...Captain Turk says, "What a...MESS!...These, people, are......slaves!...Free them and let us be done...WITH them!" He leaves and Stock says, "Well I hope one of you knows how to sail, land is a half day to the east." They're freed, pirates leave, dropping the keys at the bottom of the stairs and play can begin.
"Roll initiative."

So, I explain the shackles. Their feet have individual rings around them, so they are free to walk, however their hands are clasped together almost wrist to elbow. Grog gets up first, snatches the keys and runs up the stairs. Tormac follows, catching him in the doorway, clubbing him over the head with his shackles. He draws blood and Grog turns to retaliate with his arms. Grog fails terribly, Tormac ducks and Grog flings the keys into a rack, where it hits the wall and falls between the bed and wall to the floor. One of the dwarves follows and starts rummaging for the keys but Rhonnar is hot on his tail and seeing a 6 1/2 foot dragon behind him, the intimidate check was quite easy to make. The dwarf pisses himself and huddles in the corner and Rhonnar starts digging for the keys. Fail. Varen makes his way up, and laying next to the dragon, fails to find the keys too. The other dwarves huddle at the bottom of the stairs, scared of the dragon. Grog now takes his turn to grab a sword from one of the dead slavers and says to Tormac "Come at me bro!". Tormac picks up a sword too and lands some successful hits. Rhonnar fails to find the keys, but Varen grabs them, unlocks himself while running to Tormac, but Grog kicks Varen away, the keys fall to the ground and the dwarf who had been huddling in the corner grabs them and runs off to a corner to figure out how they work, the other two dwarves join him. Grog takes another swing at Tormac, but Tormac is too quick, and dodges. Rhonnar comes out, rips off his muzzle and blasts Grog with a Lightning Breath attack. Varen, with both hands free, flips over Tormac, rolls, picking up two short swords from a dead body, and plunges them in the back of Grog, finishing him off.

The 3 get to work undoing the bindings of everyone, cleaning the dead bodies off of the ship, shoring up the holes in the sides, manning the crew for sailing, and set off east. They find some basic armor and weapons, and cache the remainder. A small hidden lockbox of gold is found containing something like 150 gold. A gnome approaches Tormac, who having sailing experience has taken over as Captain...plus he cut off Grog's head and has sort of kept it with him as a trophy...nobody's arguing with him. The gnome tells Tormac that he's only been picked up last night, if they sail south along the coast, they should be able to return him back to Athkatla by the day's end, where he owns a workshop, and promises that he'll "owe them one". They make it to Athkatla by nightfall, but due to the crew being a bunch of captured farmers and...women who are being slaved out for other than labor...they successfully dock the ship IN the dock...like...taking out a bit of the dock and wedging the ship in it. The 3 are approached by the guards. They're directed to follow to the Captain's house, so he can make a decision on what to do with this group...unarmed. They concede, and all 20-something people are outside the Captain's house with about 12 guards around them. The Captain is a bit drunk and irritated when he answers the door. He interrupts the guard halfway through the explanation and tells the 3 to work off the damage by taking a contract at the Adventurer's Guild. The gnome peels off, saying to drop in on his shop at any time. They give each of the civilians any of the weapons they want from the cache of slaver loot, and 2 gold each to get home. They leave the 3 dwarves, Larry, Moe and Curly to guard the ship. Tormac says if anything happens to the ship he will cut off their hands.

The party goes to the Adventurer's Guild, where a young blonde female is sitting as receptionist. Tormac (OOC) "But is she cute though?"...I roll a Charisma for her real quick....16...damn..."16...so, yep, she's pretty damn fetching." Tormac then makes a roll to hit on her and...well, pretty much falls flat on his face as he walks up to the counter. Rhonnar explains that they've been sent to get a contract. Girl turns about in her chair and screams "TIIIIIIIM"...then goes back to filing her nails. Tim comes out, more than a little drunk and proclaims, "Whaddya want?" The party explains again that they wish for a contract. Tim says it'll be 30 gold...after 2 failed intimidation attempts Tim says, "Ya' know, I really don't give a ****. Here.", gives them the contract, and goes back to whatever he was doing in the back room. Tormac takes another chance to woe the young lady, recovers from earlier and learns her name is Cindy. They look over the contract, it's to find the lost son of an Innkeeper east of the city. They spend the night at the Copper Coronet, set out the next day, early morning, and make it to the Inn by night.

So, they get to the Inn, start asking about the lost son, the Innkeeper explains that his teenage son disappeared the other night. They asked if he knew where he could've gone and the innkeeper says he has no idea. They ask if there's any areas of interest around the place, to which the innkeeper replies, "Well, there's the old haunted church, but my boy knows better than to go up there." ...Varen (OOC) "OH, THE ****ING HAUNTED CHURCH HE SAYS NONCHALANTLY!"...The innkeeper is asked about the church. "Well, it's been cursed for years now, filled with skeletons...adventurers come through every now and again and clear the place they say, but the skeletons just come back within a few months." ...Varen (OOC) "Okay, so there's some ****ing MAGIC ITEM that brings them back to life, cool, let's go destroy it." ...The party asks if there's anyone else to talk to, I give them a short list, they talk to the Hostler, and after an Intimidation from Tormac the boy breaks down crying saying that him and the innkeeper's son were lovers and they had snuck off too far into the woods, were beset by a roving group of skeletons and the hostler had escaped, hearing the sounds of his lover screaming as he was slain. Tormac drags the boy over, makes him confess...boy runs off. Innkeeper is taken aback, obviously learning something about his son, but just sighs and says, "I should've known...well, I would ask that you recover whatever remains of my son that you can so that I can give him a respectable burial. He had our family's crest on his belt-buckle...that should let you know it's him." ...Tormac having no shame, explains that the 300 gold reward on the contract is for finding the son, not the body, and persuades that going to the "HAUNTED ****ING CHURCH" is going to cost him extra. The innkeeper concedes, saying he's sure he's got a magic item laying around somewhere he can throw in as a bonus. With that, the group sets out for the church.

On their approach they come across a patrol of skeletons which they dispatch easily. They see the sentries in the windows of the tower and decide the scout around the back. Varen and Tormac leave Rhonnar, as they are more hearty and stealthy, and come to the outcropping where the main skeleton skins killed humans to make the new skeletons. They dispatch the single skeleton guarding it, and Varen, who took the alertness feat (The bane of my DMing existence)...can hear the flapping of bats. They run back to Rhonnar and ready. The 8 spiderbats were no problem. Two latch to Tormac's face, but he plucks them both off on his next turn and smashes them together. They circle around to the back, and Tormac, being the Ranger, identifies the vines as deadly, and they decide Rhonnar will burn them off at a distance with Scorching Ray. Tormac busts the door down, and the large Golden Skeleton is in the middle of a ritual. Piles of bones are glowing, with a few floating in the air, starting to take the shape of an animated skeleton. They fall, stop glowing, and the Big Bad turns to them, large Topaz in it's forehead, and charges Tormac...Varen (OOC) "It's the gem, it's the ****ING GEM!" ...Well, my group of 3 figure out really quick that these skeletons are slower than them, and so they literally kite them...well, the 4 that were in the room with the big bad. The Big Bad goes and rings the bell just as they dispatch the followers. They run into the woods. They go far enough to get away from patrols and bats and tie themselves up in some trees, rest, and level to 2. They come back in the morning, and having done some damage to the big bad already, dispatch it quickly. They run in and all of the spider-bats sleeping above their heads start to wake up. Two AoE's from the Ranger and Sorcerer blow up all but three. Tormac makes a 20 on an acrobatics check, jumping off of Varen's back, spinning like a helicopter, takes out the other 3 before touching down on the ground. They pick up the sword off the big bad, Tormac now has "Fiendbleed", a +1 Longsword that glows with golden motes when a demon is around. Varen can still hear the rattle of skeletons walking around, so he suggests that they smash the gemstone. They pry it out of the skull of the skeleton, and Tormac, with a loose rock takes 3 whacks at it before it shatters.

A phantasmal scene plays out before them, a Tiefling being pulled down by a claw...and then a demon bursts forth...a Glabrezu. Now, this one in particular is a fairly weak one, as it was just born when it was entrapped in the gem...but they didn't know that, I just showed them a picture and they sort of went, "Well, ****, I guess we die now!". The demon says, "You FOOLS! Who are you that has released me!?" ...Tormac says, "Hey, I'm Tormac..." ...Then, shrinking back from the sword as it starts glowing brightly, the demon runs out the door heading for the woods. A bit of tabletopping occurs now and Rhonnar says that they can't let the demon run off, it's probably going to go kill everyone in the next town it finds. So, they engage the demon, curse at me when they've done over 30 damage to it and it still isn't bloodied, and I'm just left going, "I didn't tell you to smash the gem!"...Demon gets some terrible rolls, even though he got off a mirror image spell, I don't think he even landed an attack before they dispatched him. As the demon is banished into whatever plane demons reside, it yells "Curse you Tormac! I swear my revenge upon you for all eternity!" At which point Tormac changes his title on his character sheet to "Tormac the Cursed".

The night was going a bit long at this point, so they blasted through the rest...the skeletons were dead, the spider-bat queen was blown up by a single Chromatic Orb, the traps were detected, gems recovered, and I messed up on how the Hag should act. She should've used Illusion to get the jump on them, but I let them have it because I failed to read. She still pulled off an invisibility and almost one-shot the Sorcerer with a Necrotic Touch, he made the saving throw though. They free the Bard, Orlen Swift, who has since decided to follow them and sing of their adventures. They find another gem in the stove...the two gems act as grenades that cast Fireball and a frost-based Fireball. They find a book that describes how to make a flesh golem, a diary that lets me tell them the story of what exactly the whole place was about the next day in class, 250ish gold, some gems, and they boogy on out, go back to the Inn.

Bored in class, we play through the following over the next few days:

They get back to the Inn, and another group of adventurers is there talking to the innkeeper. Innkeeper comes over and says the other group is there for the same contract. The party tells the other group that they failed to even make it in the church, and best of luck to them. The other group leaves, they collect the reward, 300 gold and a Robe of Useful Items. They get back to town and the guards are waiting for them. "Finally they're back!" ...the guards explain they've been on double and triple watches until the adventurers came back. They get escorted back to the Captain's House who explains that he didn't think that the damage to the dock was THAT extensive and that the lowest bid from the contracters to fix it was 500 gold. Additionally the ship itself was reported as stolen, and a deed of ownership had been presented, and the ship and all goods impounded, their lackies Larry, Moe and Curly in jail with a 100 gold bail on their heads for criminal trespass. Now, Tormac in RL, seems genuinely pissed, and I was a little worried things were going to get out of hand as we're trying to quietly Roleplay some **** in class...classmates are looking at us funny as he says things like "I TOLD THEM I'D CUT THEIR ****ING HANDS OFF!" ...I have to tell him the guards have closed in around him personally, hands on their swords before the point gets across that he needs to level out here and play the game. They lie about the gold they've acquired, and pay the bail for their lackies, promising to pay the dock bill off once they got to the bottom of what was happening.

So, they go bail the lackies out and inquire about the deed of ownership. He's told Fat Tony came down and presented a deed of ownership two days ago, and that Fat Tony works as a bouncer at the Copper Coronet. So, the party heads there, Tormac insults the bouncer on duty by asking if he's Fat Tony...when the guy's not even fat. Before a fight can break out, Cindy comes out from behind working the bar and grabs Tormac and takes him to a back room. She explains that she knows what's going on. Her boss forged a deed to the ship to have some leverage on the group, hoping to force them into working for him. She's failed in stealing some magic stones from a new employee at the Adventurer's Guild. She only took the job undercover to attempt to steal them, but as he's a rather old man, he didn't seem interested in any of her young womenly tactics of distraction. She tells Tormac that all her boss wants is the magical stones this old man has...he keeps them in a pouch on his belt. Tormac explains to the two others what's up and they set out for the Adventurer's Guild.

They stroll in and have no idea how to Roleplay this...the old man is nose deep in a magical tome, and when they ask a question, he just puts up a finger for them to wait...for a long...awkward time. (Which, to my surprise, Tormac doesn't lose his cool...instead they start plotting how to distract or poison this guy.) They bull**** with the man, who, I don't tell them...think it's really really weird that they just strolled up into the Adventurer's Guild like they were there for him. After not being able to even interest the man in conversation, they bail out and decide to jump him when he gets off of work. They had brought Orlen with them, so Orlen tells them that while he doesn't recognize the man's lute, it certainly is magical. Orlen agrees to help in a pickpocket operation, and when the old man goes down an alley, Varen follows. Orlen bumps him as he is exiting the alley, giving Varen an advantage on snagging the pouch...which he grabs. Then I tell them that the lute plays a powerchord all by itself. ("Oh ****"s were said) ..."Umm...Varen...roll a...Constitution check...first I guess." ..."What do you mean first!?" ..."Well, just...yeah, first..." ...18..."Fail"..."WHAT THE ****!?"...I say "You're knocked out....um, you two, if you're watching from around the corner you see Varen grab the bag, the chord plays and Varen is blasted 30 feet down the alley, landing right near you guys, unconscious."...(They're like...wiping their faces now, no idea what to do...) So, I say the old man says down the alley, "So, I guess the Thieves' Guild sent you too!?" and picks up the bag...They don't know what to say. "So, I guess I should take you all up on that beer you offered me earlier. Don't worry about your friend, he'll come to again in a minute or two. Let's head down to the Copper Coronet and talk."

So, they show up, grab a table with the old man, and he gets a round of beer for everyone. Cindy is giving a look of (pissed) at Tormac, and he just shrugs at her. The old man goes into a long explanation of how his name is Iolo (pronounced "yolo"), and he ended up in this world after a cataclysmic event in a final confrontation with an evil god of his old world and the party he had adventured with for hundreds of years. He was originally from Earth, like all of his companions, and they aged slower in Sosaria, later Brittania. He had been in this world for two years, and stopped wandering, looking for his friends, instead posted up at the Adventurer's Guild hoping they'd show up, while he studied the magic of this world hoping to find his way back to Brittania. (At this point, I will say that nobody in my game knows who this guy is and if you do, keep it to yourself please and thank you.) He also explains that while his runestones allowed his party to open portals to travel around the world in his dimension, they were inert when he arrived in this one, but apparently someone has taken notice of their latent powers and has put a contract out on acquiring them from him. He asks what the party knows, and notices the glances from Cindy. He asks if anyone knows where the Thieves' Guild is...Varen had a run in during the first night in town where he caught someone robbing a Mage shop and got the location and password to the Theives' Guild. Iolo says "Good, wait here." He walks over to the counter and starts talking to Cindy. The party notices some notes being played on his lute and she takes a liking to him like he's flirting with her. He comes back over to the party and says, "Let's go, show me where the Guild is."

They arrive at the Guild and Iolo explains that Cindy will be along shortly to lead them into the Guild and talk with her boss. He asks them to find out any information they can get on the contract. As he sneaks into the shadows he says, "And just in case you all get into trouble in there...just know that if you hear music, cover your ears." Cindy shows up shortly thereafter, in a daze, and leads them in, through curious, peering eyes, upstairs, to the desk of an older, worn thief...who says, "Well, if it isn't 'Fasthands' herself, what have you drug into my sight?" ..."Stick it Gaelan, I told you not to call me that." ..."My apologies Elana...who are your friends." ..."These are the owners of the ship your forged a deed for" ...Gaelan explains that he just wanted assurance that he could pull in the help of the party to acquire the stones from the old man. "You can have your deed, even...nobody wants that busted up ship anyways...what I do want is the bounty for the stones." ...The party tries to explain that it just can't be done, the old man is far more powerful than expected, and as Gaelan starts to argue about it being "Just an old man!"...music can be heard emanating from around Elana's head. They cover their ears, (in RL, I had to chuckle)...and once the objects in the room start to fall off of shelves Gaelan screams, "ALRIGHT!, ENOUGH!" ...music stops. Iolo comes in through Elana, "I'm not just an old man you fool, tell me about this contract!" ...Gaelan spills the beans, says that Tim the Enchanter put the contract in, for a price of 5000 gold, which he expects. Tim lives in the Slums district, Elana says she knows where. Party leaves, goes to the slums, Elana shows them the house.

They knock on the door and it opens, Tim standing before them, drunk. "Oh, it's you ****heads...I got fired over your contract you know!" ...Tormac, flustered at the runaround of a story at this point starts to lose his temper with everything and demands Tim tell him about the contract, and as he's about to grab him by his collar, Tim disappears. (Tormac is looking pretty pissed at me)...and I say that they can see he's sitting at his desk, swigging from a flask, feet propped up, inviting them in, saying he can explain. The party comes in. Tim explains that when Iolo showed up to the Adventurer's Guild, he noticed the gems and started putting out information requests in his "network" (After everyone wanted to know what his network could possibly be, it was decided that it was 'Feybook'). Well, he got a message from an old college mate asking him to get the stones, for 10,000 gold. So Tim put a contract in for the Thieves' Guild for half of it. Tormac had had enough by now, starting yelling that he didn't want anything to do with this, it's all on Tim, and slams his fist on the table. I tell him that as he does this, he notices that his arm is now a snake, attacking his face. He starts to assault Tim with the snake, as the other two have the look on their face that they need to prepare to do something when I say..."A curious thing happens, the entire room appears to fold in half, and in half again, and again, and again, again, and again again, it folds in half in front of you until it disappears, and you're standing outside the closed door again...Iolo just looks at you and shakes his head, smiling."..."So, are my hands still snakes!?"..."No."

They head back to the Thieves' Guild to see what they know about the Mad Mage. Gaelan tell them that he knows of him, but wouldn't recommend assaulting his lair as...it was rumored years ago that the Mad Mage had started to practice the sort of magic that one who wishes to become a lich would start practicing. (I don't think my friends know how stupidly powerful a lich is compared to a party of 3 level 3's...because they didn't react like I was insane, more of an "oh, finally, something to go kill"...I facepalmed quietly to myself.) So, Iolo speaks up, "Ah, liches are quite a dangerous foe...you 3 should find something else to do while I find what information I can on this lich...if he even is one...perhaps I could be so lucky as to find out where his phylactery is kept. Either way, you all will need some magic gear if you wish to even stand a chance, lich or not." Gaelan jumps in at this point and says that while he doesn't know if they'll find any magic gear or not, there is a contract to acquire a gem from some orcs who have taken up residence in an abandoned keep. He'd be willing to cut them in 1000 gold for the gem, and of course isn't interested in anything else they may find in the keep, though they're bound to find something good as the orcs have been robbing passers-by for some months now. Iolo runs off to do some research, Elana wishes them the best of luck, Orlen departs to take care of the quest that he was in the middle of and hopes to meet them back in Athkatla soon. Larry Moe and Curly are told to guard the ship once again, and our heroes pick up two other party members, (RL friends who wanted in but couldn't make it the first night)

I tell them it's a week by foot, so they decide they need horses. The sorcerer rips off a horse patch for him, and a mastiff patch for the dwarf cleric. The Ranger communicates with the horse, convincing it to jump the fence. Tormac lies about saving some children, and the Tiefling Warlock convinces the Husbandman to join his cult, and takes a horse as his entry fee. (I had my head in my hands after that ten minutes.) So, they have a 3 day travel to the keep. I throw some random encounters in, trying to gauge their strength as the Dwarf and Tiefling got to roll in at level 3 too. The damn Ranger though...can't be surprised in the wild, so they hid in the woods and the Sorcerer and Warlock used two illusions. One made it look like a pile of ham was in the middle of the road, the other took care of the smell. The orcs didn't have a chance. The Warlock collects some body parts in his Bag of Holding that I let him have at level 3. They continue on, and the next day they find a short, disgusting looking orc caught in a bear trap. The Ranger says that he knows Orc, and tries to communicate to the Orc, but the Orc doesn't seem to understand him. It just looks really scared, and helpless, like an animal. They decide to free it, and it follows them, hobbling along on it's wounded leg behind them. They stop for the night, seeing the keep just over the horizon. They take to a copse of trees, make a fire, settle down, and the orc begs some food from the party, and goes to sleep near them, but not too close, like a stray dog would. At this point, the Warlock decides that he can communicate with his "Old God" to try to find out what the deal with this orc is. He pulls out a patch of volcanic dust, draws a pentagram, and channels his focus. He trances out and the story of the orc is revealed to him...

He sees a young dwarf female working at a tavern somewhere, as a cook/bar wench. One day a troupe of orcs raids through, slaughtering everyone, she hides in the basement, but is found. The orcs fancy her, and pass her around, beat her up, leave her for dead, and set the place ablaze. She comes to, staggers out, and wanders off to a farmstead of some friends who would visit the tavern from time to time. They see her battered, bloody, and singed and take her in, asking few questions. She earns her keep by working on the farm, but after a few months, it's apparent that she's expecting. As the due date approaches, she's convinced that it would be inhumane to do away with the child, and that she should keep it, and bring it up right, give it a chance. However, when the day comes, and she delivers the baby, it's such a grotesque monstrosity that the women shriek, one faints, and the father exclaims that it must be killed. The young dwarf woman rationalizes that it's her burden to carry, and she'll take care of it. Left alone for the day, she decides what she must do. That night she goes into the woods, and puts the baby in a shelter she makes. She steals away every chance she can get, at least twice a day, to feed and tend to the child. This continues on for a few weeks until one day she comes out and the baby is gone...she looks everywhere but can't find it. She wanders, for weeks, venturing into the woods when she gets the chance, but never finds it. She falls into a depression, ill, and eventually takes her own life. The child however had been found by a wolf mother, who took it back to it's den. She brought it back as food, but the baby had been given a small whistle by it's mother, and blowing on it made the wolf pups curious about this little green creature, and they took to playing with it rather than eating him. The orc child grew up in the care of the wolves, until the point that he outlived them...when the last of his brothers had died, he moved on, wandering through the wilderness...rejected by orcs, humans, and anything else he came across, except for the beasts of the wilderness...until he found himself one day in a bear trap.

(Tabletop...his name is "Glorb, the Moist Goiter"...mainly for the nasty puss-filled goiter that overwhelms any sort of neck on the left side of his head...and he's a Dworc.) So the Dworc is allowed to live, despite the Wood Elf's village being sacked by orcs, and the Warlock needing...pieces of it. They take watches, since the Wood Elf is good with a 4 hour meditation, only one person ever sits a watch, and Veran takes the rest of the night. Early morning, on Veran's watch, he sees Glorb awake, sniff around, and crawls over to the dwarf female, before he can react, the orc pulls a bone knife, cuts a lock of hair from the dwarf, and runs into the woods. They set out for the keep, and after a pass around, they decide that they're just going to use the "10x10 'pit' patch" on the Sorcerer's robe to "ACME hole" their way into the back of the keep. (The headaches really start for me as a DM here.)

So, the Wood Elf had acquired a gemmed necklace from the hag that lets him to peer through it from a vantage point of his choice within a mile radius, once daily. He gets a bird's eye view and I pull up the De'Arnise Keep from BG2...it's been about 20 years since BG2, and that's the keep their about to clear out. Since they get a bird's eye, I just show them the picture. (Tormac tabletops that, since he's played video games before, he knows that they want to get up to the second floor, and they should just grapple up the side) They decide to attack at night. Tormac and Varen being athletic and fairly stealthy make it up quick, and dispatch the guard on the balcony with their ranged weapons. They help the rest of the party up, and grapple up to the balcony, just as the last one makes it up, the guard from the other side comes to check on his buddy, and the door starts to open. The Ranger stops the door, yells in Orcish that he's "changing" (Remember I said the headaches start here?)...I'm like..."I'm not going to stop you but...you think that's going to work?" So Tormac decides that he's going to do a performance check to fool the...I'm like "Is anyone readying an action!?"...Rhonnar at this point goes "Yeah, I got a Chromatic Orb ready for him"...so the door opens and Rhonnar misses...but Varen puts and arrow in it's face quick enough. They ask if they can see any other orcs, and I say that the two that had been performing a ****ty watch over the front gate has seemed to notice them and are talking to each other. The party decides to just run inside.

Now, the upstairs is empty...everyone's asleep in the common area down below, where I figured makes sense, so I just placed a rover in the 2nd floor, whom I roll for randomness, he's going counterclockwise, and they do the same, so they never even bump into him, they find the secret door that's propped open, go in, closing it behind them, hoping that will keep the orcs from following them. (But, the orcs know the layout...so I just tell them "Good idea")...they wander through some storage areas, empty torture room, and notice the glow to the door on their left. Orc Shaman performing some sort of ritual which is creating a blue glow around the room. partially broken pillars are holding the large room up, Shaman at the alter, two guards with spears at his side. Orc turns around and yells "You fools! Your ancestors will laugh at your folly here today!"...and roll initiative.

So, Tormac, without asking what these guys looked like, or wearing, or carrying for weapons, decides to run in, straight for the big bad, and start wailing away. He burns some abilities and after a bunch of swings, takes the shaman down like 30 points. The Shaman however, pulls out his Great Axe, pocketing the gem, (which he'll use next turn) shouts a battlecry, buffing his buddies, and wails on Tormac...and when Tormac has 9 HP after the Shaman, he looks at me like it's my fault. "WHAT LEVEL ARE THESE GUYS!?"..."Hey man, you ran in...I can't stop you." Well, luckily the group takes the Shaman down before he can use the stone...because I think Tormac actually would've been a pile of ash after that. The Cleric rather than HEALING, ends up being the top DPS, and then burns up her heals after Tormac's almost died. They loot the gem, Tormac takes the Shaman's head, and they ask if anything else is on the bodies. I go "Sure." and pull up a random loot table...I find one I like, nothing too special, and roll. I laugh and tell them, oil of etherealness, a potion of fire giant strength, and a potion of storm giant strength. Varen hears the footfalls of many orcs, and I tell them they have a few moments to get ready.

The cleric and fighter take the strength potions and position themselves by some chunks of pillar that have crumbled off. They ready some stones, a 40 and 60 pound rock. They mow down the first 4 orcs that come through the door. Number 5 jumps over the rocks and bodies and throws a spear, misses, and takes a spear to the face with the Shaman's head on it. Tormac rolls a 20 on that, so he blasts the orc off his feet, skewering the spear halfway through the orc's head, and the leader's head bleeding onto him in front of all the other orcs outside the doorway. Varen hears the orcs yell "RUN AWAY!" and they breath a sigh of relief...as I push 4 big ass orcs with greataxes and plate mail in the door. Tormac still isn't full health, and of course, the closest. This time, Tormac actually goes down. With 3 up, and the cleric about to eat dirt, and everyone looking rather angry at me, I sort of go "Gee, such a stacked fight, you'd think a DM would give you some situational item that you should use...hmm..." Rhonnar goes "The gem? I don't know what it does!" I say "You know it does something lightningy." ..."What do I do with it!?" ..."You're the Sorcerer, you tell me!" ...So he goes "I guess I point it at them and use it and hope it doesn't backfire?" So I roll some Dex saves behind the curtain, and I have him roll, I think 8d8, and he obliterates another orc. The Warlock and Cleric manage to clean up the other two. The Cleric heals Tormac up, the Warlock shoves an entire orc in his bag, they rest, find a cache of 2100 gold hidden in the alter. They explore the prison area, find some Zombified Umber Hulks behind bars, and the Sorcerer blasts one with the gem. It takes 3 shots to take it down, I award them with the full experience, and they decide to just farm the other two. The gem's expended of charges for the day, and I start rolling telling them the stones holding the bars in place start to crack and dust falls each time the Umber Hulk smashes it. They get the point that I gave them some free experience and leave. They decide to go out the exact way they came...I roll for randomness, insofar as when it shows up, and just as Tormac, the first one, makes it down the grappling hook off the balcony, I tell them they hear it. Large, lizard wings, flying in from the east, a large winged silohette against the rising sun.

(Now they're mad, Tormac tells me he's almost died twice tonight, the Warlock jokes about casting an illusion that makes him look like a sheep and drop down the other side while it's distracted...but they're like "We're LEVEL ****ING 3 MAN!? How're we supposed to fight A GOD DAMN DRAGON!?") I just sit quietly and tell them they need to figure something out quick, because it's FLYING in...and flying is rather fast. Tormac goes "**** it, you like ballsy stuff? I ready my other grappling hook to hook onto him." He rolls a 19. "Alright, so, as it gets closer and out of the sun, you see a Wyvern with a saddle on it, your grappling hook lands, latches in as he's slowing down for a landing on the roof of the keep...what're you doing with that?" (More tabletopping, after Rhonnar convinces him that he doesn't weigh enough to jerk it out of the air, Tormac decides the loop the rope around a battlement and brace himself against it. So I tell him the rope pulls taunt, jerking the Wyvern down just as he's about to land and he crashes into the top part of the keep, falling, taking some damage, and landing prone on the ground. The Wyvern rolls a 20 for initiative but spends his action getting up, and they just destroy it before it can do anything. Varen used one of his grenade gems from the Hag's lair. I'm a bit sad at this point...didn't even get to attack. The Warlock starts gathering pieces of the Wyvern while the others cut open it's belly hoping it ate an adventurer... alright, they haven't gotten anything great, so I find a loot table with some actual magical items on it. I roll. Slippers I say...someone rolls a 20 on a check, and I tell them they're slippers of spiderclimbing. Ranger takes them. They ask if there's anything else left to do here...I say "That troll might still be here" The Ranger walks up the wall and confirms.

The rest of the party gets up, except the dwarf, when the Troll notices them. I have them roll initiative. Rhonnar casts an enlarge spell on Tormac. Tormac jumps down and burns down half the HP of the Troll in his turn. The Ranger just jumps the gap, runs up the back of Giant Tormac, and blasts the troll right in the face...dead.

Well, that's where we're at so far. After 3 nights, they've just beat the hell out of anything I throw at them, even things that should be killing the whole party...if I push it to far, I'll actually kill them, but taking out big baddies without them even attacking is just cheese IMO. I'll craft some nasty stuff for them up when they go into the Mad Mage's lair next play. I won't say what I have planned just yet, but I'll update this once we've played again.