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Thread: The SilverClawShift Campaign Archives

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    May 2006

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    Kython Caves



    So to recap the warforged portion of things, we did get him (it) to calm down fairly quickly. Despite the dragon shaman wearing his creators necklace, we managed to convince him that we had nothing to do with what happened. When he found out we were going after the kythons (and of course, having been shredded by them and knowing his 'father' was destroyed by them, is now very very anti-kython) he eagerly joined up with us.

    Of course, that really goes without saying, since he's a player-character :p. His natural armor is also pretty kickin' and enchanted well.

    The party is at that magical point where we realize we can start mutliclassing/prestige classing. The warforged plans on becoming a sublime chord, the paladin is looking to become a death delver, I'm actually gonna take a few levels of factotum to give myself a little more edge.

    Anyway, this has been a few sessions, so I'm trying to keep it neat and trim and give highlights.

    Now, we make our way through the snowy dead woods. There's lots of zombies around, but for the most part, we're taking care of them pretty efficiently.

    Then, we realize, there's trouble. Not trouble in the way you might traditionally think, but worse trouble. One of the zombies isn't shambling towards us. It's watching us. And when it realizes we're watching it? It disappears back into the trees.

    To quote the paladin. "Wow. That sucks".

    It wasn't the wizard, so it's basically foreshadowing that things are gonna keep getting worse for us with this whole 'not 100% dead and angry at you for being alive' thing.

    But we make it to the mountain range, and track the kython trail back to a cave entrance. The zombies (a lot of whom were still shambling for us) cease to be even a threat of a problem when we start climbing the rocks. Zombies aren't the best climbers, fortunately. We're keeping our eyes peeled for... uh, the sentient ones. If there are stronger undead watching us, we don't want them following.

    Me excluded of course.

    I'm sure you can imagine how this goes. We don't want to go into the kython caves. We just don't, prepared or not. But there's not a lot of places to check out, things aren't going to spontaneously get better, and we need to know what riled those monsters up.

    So we head in. We're taking it fairly slowly. I'm on point, cause, you know, I'm the rogue. Not that it really matters, we can't hide from these things the way we'd like to be able to. But I'm undead, along with some pretty sleek resistances, and I can blink ethereal and sprint if I really have to.

    The warforged keeps humming quietly. We keep having to shush him. The archivist is compulsively checking his bone shard crossbow, despite it being useless against kythons. "I don't know, it just makes me feel safer to have it ready."

    We do fight some kythons, but it's nothing like the war. We're doing very well at keeping them under control when they attack us. Never facing more than an adult or two at a time, still have some sonic orb stuff from the battle. Going well.

    We can tell the cave is going downwards, not up, which is making us generically claustrophobic. For some reason, it seems worse to be heading into the black when you're also heading underneath the surface.

    And then as I'm doing a random check for traps (just in case), I notice something scratched into the wall. It's a circular pattern filled with obscure arcane runes that we can't recognize. Not even the warforged who's covered in random obscure runes.

    The archivist is leafing through his notebooks furiously (read: the DM is giving him notes on what he's figuring out after he rolls a knowledge check... I know it's kind of silly, but it really helps with immersion when the character who rolls the knowledge check tells you what's up, instead of the DM telling you himself).

    The archivist, holding up a black handbook and a small rod with a light on the end: "It's... it's a seal."

    Us: "okay, what are we getting at?"

    Archivist: "Blasphemy. It's blasphemy. It's a seal of an otherworldly being, neither angel nor devil." he crosses himself here. "They enter this world through the souls of willing mortals, heretics, and corrupt us to unknown ends".

    (Now mind you, we all know what the binder class is, but good golly I was impressed with the archivist players acting here. Impressed enough that it was creepy.

    Duskblade: "So there's something down here in addition to the kythons?"

    Archivist: "...if I didn't know any better... I'd say the kythons made this."

    So we press on, very uneasy. Mind you, the whole time, I'm trying to talk to the kythons, like some kind of warped ranger (I wasn't even interested in diplomacy with them, creepy monsters, but the archivist correctly reminded me that I was probably the first mortal *awkward pause* uh, the first material creature to even understand what the kythons were saying, so I had to try). They won't have anything to do with me. They just won't. I try telling them we only want to find out why nothing will stay dead, telling them to back away before the bloodshed, asking them what the seals we keep finding on the walls mean. They just hiss curses at me, and either dissapear into the smaller sub-caves, or attack violently.

    But as we descend, we notice the kythons are actually thinning out. What that meant was still open to interpretation.

    Then we come into a massive chamber. We're on a ledge overlooking it. It goes easily 30 feet down and 50 feet up. The room is around 100 feet to a side, give or take.

    And there are undead kythons pinned to the walls, cippled with no limbs, or otherwise incapacitated. A zombified kython with no lower half crawls up the wall at us meekly.

    There are also seals carved EVERYWHERE. Scratched right into the stone, overlapping each other, seemingly for dozens and dozens of different vestiges.

    We're all rolling spot checks. The archivist makes it first.
    Archivist: "...Everyone get ready to run for your lives."

    A 'slaughterking' kython. The grand daddy of grand daddy kythons. The kind that kill slaymasters from boredom.

    To quote our paladin: "Wow. That sucks."

    The slaughterking? It's scratching the ground. (Now would be a good time to remind anyone reading that slaughterkings are more intelligent than a human being by a wide margin (20 INT)).

    We don't even know if it's seen us. Then, it hisses, in that strange clicking hiss that only I can understand (read: the DM gave me a note) "Leave this place now."

    I tell the group. The archivist tells me to try to talk to it (while we're all backing towards the entrance). I'm actually picturing this scene. We're god knows how far underground, surrounded by undead kythons and blasphemous religious symbols. I just say quietly, barely a whisper "I don't think I can". I was serious, I'm trying to think of what to say to this thing, and I'm just terrified.

    The archivist reminds me that I'm the only one who can even try. So I managed to say one word.

    The kython turns to look at us, growls quietly, and goes back to scratching. After a few moments, the area in front of him lights up. We see, what looks like a JESTER with dozens of arms spring out of thin air, juggling dozens of tiny objects.

    Of course, this is a real vestige, but we don't know that in character.
    Vestige: "Sorry there guv'na, no pacts today, otherworld's closed up shop. going out of business, huge sale, everything must go! *insane cackle*"

    Kython, still speaking in growling clicks and hisses (which the DM actually did, knowing I'd just tell the group, and wanted to do a quiet angry hissing voice for it): *angry hiss* "How is this happening."

    The vestige stops juggling, rubs his chin ponderously, and leans to the kython before saying very slowly, and very confidently. "Because we. Want. Out."

    And with a huge insane grin, the vestige turns from the kython and looks me dead in the eyes. Says in a boisterous friendly grin "I'm still mad at you!!!!"

    And then winks out of existence as fast as it came in, while the kython pounds the ground in a fury and tears off one of the undead kythons heads, throwing it at us, and scattering away into some dark hole.

    Sweet merciful macgilicutty.

    Anyway, to tighten things up a little here, we press forwards, and down through the dark hole the slaughterking went in. Everything was covered in slime, there were bones and dead body parts everywhere. By a few checks revealed that they weren't human, or even surfacers bones. There was apparently a whole eco-system that went much, much deeper into the caves, of which the kythons were only a part.

    We found the slaughterking deeper down, checking over a bunch of scratched in runes that were, apparently, his notes. He wasn't interested in the surface, he wasn't even interested in killing us (though he said repeatedly that he would kill us if we didn't leave).

    I managed to convince him we would gladly leave, in one piece, but we didn't know what was going on and could he please just tell us anything. We got some facts out of him.

    There's a lot, lot more vestiges than anyone, scribe, scholar, cleric or binder has ever heard of. In fact, there's millions. Billions. Countless. Most of them are weak, powerless, but they still exist in the 'nothingness'. No sensation, no communication. Nothing but black. Inky timeless black, forever.
    Kythons (who were originally created by fiends trapped on the material plane) weren't just a fluke experiment. There were seeds of intent lain in their race. The demon prince Orcus intended to use them, in ways unknown, to reclaim the vestige tenebrous from the nothingness and reclaim the measure of divinity he achieved. Kythons have some innate knowledge of binding, but don't actually do binding themselves, they just know about it.

    Whatever's going on (the kython didn't know, and is trying to find out), it's big. Something's wrong, the tether of the planes are fraying, and vestiges have apparently found a way to push themselves into the ethereal plane, hijack peoples souls, and use them as more than just temporary pacts. They're piggybacking back into reality on them and taking them over.

    Even insects and rodents are coming back, because any vestige that finds a way in is TAKING it, regardless of how insignificant. Even the eyes of a spider are better than no eyes whatsoever. The weak ones are degenerate and can't really be called 'minds' in any sense. They're just pushing into reality blankly to get away from the 'void'. Those are the shamblers. They kill for no reason other than to make more paths in.

    The more powerful vestiges are trying to piggyback in on more powerful souls (read, higher level characters and powerful creatures). A more powerful soul makes a more powerful 'ride', and lets them retain their sense of self, but more or less consumes whoever their ride was. They don't keep their powers, but they get the minds and full knowledge of whoever they come in on, and keep their own minds as well.

    It's possible that a powerful enough soul would let a vestige keep its own powers through the process. But they aren't worried about that. They just want to EXIST again.

    A lot of powerful vestiges are out in the world now. Some are still there, and at least one is still willing to make pacts and doesn't wish to leave the void. The others are scrabbling to get a way out of it. They would all love nothing more than to kill you dead and give another vestige a ride into the world.

    And we know tenebrous is still a vestige.

    So uh, yeah. To quote our paladin yet again: "Wow. That sucks..."

    And it does. It does indeed suck.

    The kython ran down another hole eventually, but promised that if it saw us again, or if we hassled it in any way while it tried to figure out what was going on, it would shred us to ribbons.

    We had a hard time convincing the warforged not to attack the kython. All he wanted to do is kill kythons.

    We came back to the surface in dreary silence. We were all kinda stunned sick actually, we have no idea what to do here.

    We made it back to the village, and they let us rest there for a while. We also went to another village (me in a heavy black hood and only coming out at night, and we managed to convince the warforged to act like he was just a golem under our control to avoid real trouble beyond a 'what the heck' reaction). Refreshed our supplies, got some gear for the duskblade (who the DM has allowed to come up to 7th level with us now).

    So, I'll put a breaker in here for the current climax, which is going to get picked back up tonight.

    Mainland ho!


    The archivist asked us if we'd mind returning to the mainlands instead of exploring the rest of the island. He wants to get to church and pray with his brethren, but also to report what he's discovered and try to get some backing from the church at large for us to continue our explorations on the subject (though we admit to not being sure where to go from here).
    We also need to let them know they're missing one semi-famous cleric, and that the paladin is officially leaving his 'path'. Staying virtuous and noble, and remaining with the church, but will no longer advance as a paladin itself. The DM is letting him keep his abilities in this setup, which we all think is fair.

    So, we start sailing back to the mainland. It's not a pleasant ride. We see a lot of undead sea creatures actually. We killed a few undead sharks that gave us trouble, and we actually saved a school of dolphins from a zombie killer whale (really, the paladin saw a zombie attacking a school of friendly dolphins, and just went APE on us, tore off his full plate, swung out on a rope, dove and started fighting the thing in water. Naturally, we all helped after that).

    We thought. We saw. An undead blue whale. SWEET. MERCILESS. ASMODEUS. Save us now. Just thinking about that makes my back shiver. Tiny wooden sailing ship, UNDEAD BLUE WHALE. oh god.

    We don't know if it was still alive, something else, or just our eyes playing tricks on us, cause we weren't attacked by it. Gave us all the heebie jeebies though.


    We make it back to the mainland. We're sailing for port, cloudy day, releived to be getting away from the undead infested waters (especially before the nasty storm the captain smelled in the air hit).

    I don't know why it didn't really hit us.

    Undead infested island.

    Ethereal plane broken.

    Undead in the waters.

    I guess we really just weren't thinking about it as hard as we should have been. Because we docked in port, and tied the ship up and whatnot. We swung off it, and went with the captain to find the harbor master to let him know we were in port (and we were paying for the docking anyway).

    The place was empty. No one around. We peered towards town? no signs of life. We started getting a really uneasy feeling. We went in towards town a little ways (the captain came with us)? Nothing. We climbed a belltower. Took a look around the town. Noth- wait. There's someone. "Hey, what's going o-" the duskblade starts to shout, before the archivist clamps a hand over her mouth and pulls us all down so we're laying prone.

    Archivist: "we're in trouble"

    And then? We hear a single zombie moan angrily. Followed by about a thousand more moans from every direction.

    We managed to barricade the door to the belltower, and the doors leading back up to the tower portion itself. We had a single scroll of 'fly' left over from the war, and we used it on the paladin and sent him flying to look for somewhere we can head to. He found that the church was barricaded pretty heavily, and that a few other buildings, mostly homes and shops, were boarded up and might have people in them too.

    We just have to fight through streets literally flooded square to square with zombies to get there.

    To quote EVERYONE. "Wow. That sucks."

    Side notes

    So that's where we're standing right now. We're gonna game for a few hours tonight, and hopefully tommorrow night too (but definately tuesday).

    We'll see where this goes I guess.


    Think I forgot to mention. The warforged really does not care about what's going on. He's staying with us cause we're friendly towards him and he doesn't really have anything better to do without an 'owner'. He's got a dispassionate outlook on everything, mainly because if he gets destroyed, that's that. No undeath, just a question of whether or not someone will repair him at some point.

    Still, he's party-loyal and utterly fearless.

    As for vestiges, yeah. They don't really 'exist' in the same way anything else does. They are literally nowhere, don't truly exist in any way we can understand, and aren't even really creatures/outsiders/ect of any type.

    They don't even have alignments. They just are. Or aren't. Depending on how you look at it.

    They're from the tome of magic, for the binder base class. Which is a very fun class that I highly recommend. Binders (who are usually considered heretics and burned at the stake by any organized religion, in fact, the book has an organization which is a collection of 4 otherwise un-associated churches who would gladly fight each OTHER, except they're more concerned with wiping out binders). Anyway, Binders can write seals and 'summon' forth a vestige. The vestige doesn't really exist in any physical way, and they usually appear as something that wouldn't even be capable of physically maintaining itself (even beyond the magical monstrosities normal in D&D).
    But they can make pacts. They latch whatever trace of their essence still remains onto the soul (or essence) of the binder, called a 'pact'. The vestige gets to experience reality through the body/eyes/ect of the binder who is tied to them, albeit in a limited way. Other than that, they are in the 'void', the nothing, the place that doesn't exist.

    When the pact is made, they give the binder a list of at-will abilities (with recharge periods, usually) and sometimes other cool stuff like damage reduction or elemental resistances or such. In return, they influence the way the binder looks (called the sign) and acts (called the influence) in some subtle ways.

    Vestiges can be really creepy, but the creepiness is very superficial. Once you get over the disturbing nature of the pacts, and the pact making processes, a binder is just another character with a weird way of getting power. They're harmless.

    Except in this campaign apparently. They found some way to force themselves back into reality, and they're going for it, regardless of the costs to us.

    The 'millions of weak vestiges' thing is something our DM made up, it's not in the real binder fluff, it's just why nothing, regardless of type of creature, will stay dead

    Anyway, we played a while on sunday, got together but couldn't actually play today, and are going to have another session tommorrow. I'll try to make some time to update on what's going on :).

    Thanks for the words of praise to the DM everyone. He deserves it. He makes up a lot of stuff on the fly, but he spends a lot of time between sessions coming up with ideas and material so he can weave it all together easily. We the players are all really grateful to have someone happy to play on the other side of the table, and good at what he does.



    Okay, have some free time, so here's what's up.

    Our standing group, (level 8, all around the board), Rogue/factotum, Duskblade/Swashbuckler, Archivist, Bard, Dragon Shaman, and a Paladin/Death Delver (who is still virtuous and true and good and all, but is starting to flippin LOSE IT as far as sanity goes. He's hit negative hit points one too many times).

    (we also still have "Cap'n Carver" with us).

    As far as out of character concerns go, the paladin has seriously cracked. I mean, the PLAYER is fine, he's just embracing the idea of a paladin gone loopy . The DM is letting him keep his paladin abilities as long as he stays 'good', and he's still all about the paladin leanings and behavior and moral code. He's just getting creepy.

    The kython plated armor and shield probably doesn't help his image, cause he's in glossy black armor and all. But more to the point, him and the DM have been discussing something behind the scenes, and they've agreed that the paladin is losing his celestial horse. A celestial mount is kind of a reflection of the person riding it in some ways, and the noble angel-horse was fine when he was a sword-and-board paladin straight up, but now?...

    Thing is. He's KEEPING a celestial mount. WHAT he's keeping as a mount was revealed to the rest of us as a surprise, and I'll tell you when, and what.

    Hail to the Kings (and Queen), Baby


    Our next session started in the same spot the other left off. We're pinned in a rather plain belltower, the streets are pretty much flooded with zombies. There's random houses that are boarded up, and the church is heavily barricaded, but we have no guarantee that anyone is actually in these places.

    We're at the top of the belltower, the wind is picking up and it's obviously about to storm hard. The zombies are circling us. They're not completely thick around the belltower yet, but they're COMING, and it's just a wall of corpses past the few gaps anyway.

    The relatively weak barricades we threw up start to give, and then finally let go with a whimper. The zombies come shambling in, moaning hungrily. Lots and lots of them. Even if they're all mook-strength, we're going to have a hard time with the numbers alone.

    The duskblade, no hesitation, jumps up, grabs a wooden beam, and gives the rope holding up the big heavy metal bell a quick swip. It falls, tears up the internal structure just a teensy bit, and pancakes a bunch of corpses. It also acts as a choke-point in the bottom of the tower itself, so we basically are seeing LINES of zombies coming up, instead of mobs. So that's a little good, but we're still in bad shape.

    The archivist comes up with an idea, and gets the DM to agree to it 'behind the scenes' (read: in notes).

    Now, in our group? Prepared casters tend not to prepare all their spell slots unless they know something's coming up. If we're about to trek through the woods, they'll fill their slots with buffs and useful stuff of course. If they know they won't get a chance to prepare spells later, they'll fill it up with what they think will come in handy. Otherwise? They leave their spell slots open. It still takes time to sit down and ready them all to be cast, but personally, I kind of like that. It makes magic something a little more cinematic and a little less "machine gun"ish. Spells take time to prepare, so if you have the time, you can prepare what you need. Otherwise, be ready with your best guesses.

    Our archivist has his spell slots unprepared. So what does he do? He touches the paladins shoulder (in and out of character) and says "Buy me some time. I need to pray."

    The dragon shaman, leaning over the railing and looking down at the corpses groaning upwards at us, says "Yeah, we ALL need to f***ing pray".

    So the archivist kneels in the corner, prayerbook open, wind whipping throughout the wall-less area we're in, while the rest of us try to find ways to make ourselves useful.

    The paladin rushes down the stairs (actually cackling 'heroically', would be the best way to put it) spinning his sword above his head. Takes up a natural chokepoint on the stairs and starts trading blows with corpses. The Duskblade/Swashbuckler readies herself behind the paladin and curses about not having a reach weapon. The dragon shaman keeps a little distance, but gets in aura-range of the paladin and puts up some damage reduction for him. The warforged bard sits calmly at the top of the stairs and begins a creepy flute song (...), and I perch on the stairway higher up and start plunking stuff with my crossbow.

    This goes on for a while, the paladin is taking some injuries, but is still fighting like a pro. The bodies are piling up in front of him and slowing the zombies down, but also confusing matters some (they all look dead anyway, I can't tell what I'm chopping at! It's just a wave of teeth and rotten faces)
    Finally, the archivist shouts down "I'm ready, I still need more time!"

    And starts climbing outside to get to the pointed roof of the freaking belltower. In what's about to become a torrential downpour. Lunatic.

    I ask what in the nine hells he thinks he's doing, and he says "Hemorrhaging divine magic, just get me time!"

    The thing is, he wasn't just casting spells. He was giving spell slots, but he was also asking for a miracle in a way. He's perched up there, clinging to a lightning rod (!!!) and reaching up towards the sky. Fog and vapour are drifting past, and he's running his fingers through it, mumbling chants and giving up his spell slots. All of them. For?

    The storm breaks. The DM makes him roll a reflex save (failed) and takes heavy electrical damage, and is temporarily deafened, but survives it. Slides down the rooftop weakly, the bard grabs him and pulls him in, and the downpour begins.

    The downpour with faint but present traces of holy water throughout the entire cloud system. Oh yeah.

    Apparently, the archivist got his miracle. He gave up his spell slots for the day... ALL of them, to pour as much divine and personal energy into the air as possible. He cast Bless Water a few dozen times in every spell slot he had available (except 0 level) and prayed that it would distribute throughout the clouds. And it did.

    It wasn't KILLING anything, it was too diluted. But the zombies were flailing and collapsing in divine agony. The more vaguely-not-stupid ones shambled for cover, but most of them just collapsed groaning in fury.

    And it got us what we needed. With the warforged bard carrying the injured archivist (yeah, not anything in D&D rules, but the DM and us all agreed that he wasn't going to be sprinting after getting hit by lightning, high level or no), we broke for it. We fought viciously through the zombies still in the belltower and broke out into the rain. Heavy heavy rain. Heavy...holy water rain. Hmmm, seems like we're forgetting something, seems like, seems....


    So I start screaming in agony too, much to everyone else's surprise. Luckily I'm a player character. I'm taking divine damage (1's not even dice, and sporadic at that, but still). I manage to put on my gloves while we run and put up my heavy black hood. I also dig through my packs and manage to find a plain cloak to hold over my head, which doesn't do much, but the "one divine damage" thing came less often.


    So we make it to the church and start hammering the doors and shouting as intelligently as possible. "Please, we're alive, let us in!"

    And? After a moment, we hear running towards the doors. A slot opens up, and we hear a lot of confused conversation, but the guy at the door says "Go somewhere else!" Another voice behind him shouts "Open the door Gregor!" Enter a shouting match. He's refusing to risk opening the locked door, people behind him are agreeing, people behind him are shouting to open it anyway, we can't leave them out there, it's too dangerous, open the god **** door, it could be a trick, ect. We're shouting at them to open it, it's not a trick, for gods sake the zombies are weakened but still COMING FOR US.

    Me? I'm shrieking in burning divine pain. The paladin, in a panic seeing me in pain, starts slam-kicking the door to get it open. The group gets even more riled up, the screaming is reaching a peak, the zombies wails are getting closer, angrier, and hungrier.

    Dm: "<silverclaw> you take one more divine damage"

    Me: "Oh F*** IT! I go ethereal and through the door, ready for trouble."
    Everyone, DM included: ....*jaws dropped*

    Anyway. I ask if I catch 'Gregor', the guy at the door off guard for a sneak attack. The DM says, "You just turned into a spectre, floated through the door at 60 feet a round, and dropped back into a solid shape with a thud. You're darn right you caught him flat footed."

    So I elbow him to the back of the head, unarmed attack, sneak attack subdual damage. With the sneak, it was enough to send him way down, down for the count.

    I throw the wooden beams back and start unlocking the door. The paladin kicks it in, breaking the last few locks, and in we come. A big wild eyed guy with glistening black armor and a sword and shield (also glistening black), a freaky rune carved golem holding a singed and injured dark-eyed archivist (who, really, are creepy no matter how you cut it). A dragon shaman who's starting to show traces of lizard, and... well, I guess the duskblade schoolmarm with a rapier still looks pretty normal, but drenched.

    We immediately slam the doors shut and start re-barricading them. I'm sizzling like a smokebomb, and start tearing at my holy-water soaked clothes and stumbling and screaming in a pained panic. The warforged sets the archivist on a pew and makes sure he's okay.

    The Death of a Great Hero


    *EDIT* Also, I forgot to mention. Cap'n Carver got red-shirted on the fight through the rain *END EDIT*

    A Game of Clue


    So, now I'm basically naked. And dead. And smoking with holy "acid". And stitched together.

    Someone in the crowd: "She's one of them!"

    Paladin: "No she's not!"

    Someone else: "Who they heck are YOU?"

    Paladin: *readies sword and steps between me and the crowd* Someone willing to die defending the innocent!

    Crowd: "You killed Gregor!"

    Other part of the crowd: "No, he's still breathing!"

    Someone else in the crowd, pointing at the warforged: "What the hell is THAT THING?!"

    Warforged, calmly: "I'm a housekeeper."



    (also, for anyone who wonders if my group can keep in character and out of character stuff separate? And wonders about group dynamics and things like that? The paladin who was ready to die defending me from an angry crowd? Same player who was the rogue who gave me TO an angry crowd to be burned at the stake in another campaign.1 It's a game everyone, keep that in mind if you get mad at each other over stuff that goes down )

    1: Said event can be found at the bottom of this post.

    So, anyway. I managed to scrounge up, what basically amounts to a hobo outfit from the dry miscellaneous gear we had in our packs. A lot of nothing, tied cloth, cloaks folded into each other and held together with pins. My armor class sucks, but at least I'm not naked.

    We managed to get the crowd convinced that we were the good guys, somehow, but they remained pretty divided and not many of them trusted us. We got the archivist healed up, but he was completely out of magic. He's basically down to dark knowledge as far as class abilities go.

    The dynamics of the crowd were fairly interesting, as was their situation. They'd been in the church for days and days, no one trusted each other, they still weren't sure what the heck happened, they were out of food for the past few days, a lot of them were dying or disappearing.

    It was actually a little confusing. Not that we couldn't tell what was going on, it was just that the DM did a good job of feeding us information second-hand, with commoners bickering at each other and contradicting each other.

    Then Gregor started coming around, and that just made things worse.

    What we established was that:

    No one trusted us. Especially me.
    There was no food left in the church.
    People kept disappearing or dropping dead.

    Now, I'll condense down a lot of this part, not because it's not interesting, but because it's a pain to keep straight in conversation, let alone typing it all down. The game went murder-mystery on us. We're talking to people, trying to establish who knows what/was where/likes who/trusts who/is lying/isn't lying. It's an uphill battle since they don't like us anyway, and don't feel compelled to tell us a lot to begin with. The duskblade is making more progress than the rest of us.

    Finally, we start figuring out what's up. The duskblade starts accusing two women of being the murderers, and they freak out and start crying. A guy, (Levain was his name) starts getting in her face and growling at her, how dare she be trying to stir up trouble when there was already too much of it going on, she should be grateful they don't throw us through the windows and back to the zombies, ect.

    Duskblade: "My hair's still wet?"

    DM: "You're all drenched, except for <silverclaw> who took the time to dry off specifically because she was burning to death."

    Duskblade: "I wring out my hair casually, catch a handful of the water, and throw it in Levain's face."

    ...Oh HELL yes. We figured it out (well, she did. Well, the player (he) controlling her did. Whatever).

    Levain SCREAMS, the same way I screamed, and falls back clutching his burning and smoking face. The crowd immediately backs away from him with gasps and screams. Levain bares his fangs and charges the duskblade.

    Yeah, Levain was a vampire. People weren't just being killed in some random pattern, they were being EATEN. The archivist and duskblade collaborated information and figured out that much. No one knew who the vampire was, but the duskblade was trying to draw him out, making him go on the offense before he got put on the defense. It worked, and he was exposed.
    The interesting thing? Levain wasn't part of this undead swarm. He'd apparently been a vampire for a good decade, and this situation was very bad for him. He had feeding grounds, but no good way of covering his tracks.

    Ballroom Blitz


    You want chaos? This fight we had next was chaos.

    The paladin does a detect evil. The DM informs him "You get pings all over. The whole group isn't evil, but some of them are."

    The paladin charges Levain for a smite evil, hits him hard. So hard, Levain immediately turns into a swarm of bats and flies down into the church basement to retreat. The paladin charges after him, the duskblade is in hot pursuit.

    Another guy from the crowd (he had a reason) takes the opportunity of the confusion to tackle the dragon shaman and starts fighting him. Isolated, the dragon shaman is doing fairly well in the fight, but his main party roll of 'making everyone better' gets weakened when he starts having to back up the stairs to the second level to retreat from the (now two) guys attacking him.

    The crowd starts fighting itself, accusations are flying, who knew what, why did you let this happen.

    A large part of the group swarms me. The warforged-bard runs to help me, and gets me a flanking position where I actually start getting sneak attacks (sub-dual still... I didn't want to kill the confused commoners unless it became me or them).

    The dragon shaman takes a running leap from the second level balcony and back to ground floor, softens some of the damage with tumble, but still hits negatives. One of the guys who attacked him moves for a coup de grace, the other comes after me.

    And then the archivist opens fire from the pew with his kython dart gun. 1 piercing damage to both of them.

    Attacker: "What did you think that'd accomplish? Oh no, a splinter, I-" and then falls to one knee, breathing heavily as the venom eats 4 of his CON right then and there. "What...what was"

    The other attacker loses enough hitpoints that he drops into negatives. The crowd backs away from the archivist and the three of us group together. The bard manages to get the dragon shaman back into positives, and the four of us go running after the paladin/duskblade/vampire combo while the first attacker limps after us.

    (I hope I'm explaining this clearly).

    Now, while this was going on, the vampire raked over the duskblade in bat-swarm form, and she's bleeding heavily. The vampire reforms, the duskblade gives him a whack, he gives the paladin a whack, they all trade blows for a few rounds while the vampire tries to turn the situation to his advantage (spider climb? still getting stabbed. Cover from the table? paladin kicked it over my head, ect)

    They drop the vampire, but, you know how that goes. He turns into a mist and seeps through a bunch of cracks in the stone wall (...and we all get hit with a heavy clue-by-four). We catch up, the paladin lays on hands on the duskblade so she stops losing hitpoints, and the paladin starts hammering away at the wall and trying to tear at the stones.

    Anyway. We get through the stone wall with some effort, and we find? Stone passages. Filled with spiders, webs, dust... A few doors here and there leading to other hallways and rooms. We know there's a vampire coffin in here somewhere, but it looks like something more too. There are unholy symbols, small altars, bloodstains.

    After a few looks around, the Archivist informs us that it's a 'temple' to the demon prince of undeath, Orcus. It's less of a full blown temple, but it's likely a place that a cult of Orcus can meet in secret. The layout also suggests that it will lead to under the cemetery too.

    We trek in a ways, carefully. We're looking for a vampire coffin after all, it's recovering down here somewhere. But after a few passages? We hear a thunk behind us. An oil barrel was just punctured and pushed over by the guy who attacked the dragon shaman, and it sloshes around our feet. He's looking sickly from the venom, but is standing strong.

    He strikes a torch and gives us this line. "Orcus prefers his sacrifices be made in the darkness, not the flame. But this will have to do", and starts lowering the torch to the oil.

    Paladin, out of character: “Then I guess it's time for me to summon my mount.”

    Warforged, out of character: “Yeah, a horse probably won't help us much down here.”

    Paladin: “Yeah, I don't have a horse anymore. Trust me.”

    The DM smiles slyly, and tells us what we see. A dark shape melts from the ceiling and descends slowly towards the attacker. We can't make it out in the shadows, but it's big.

    Paladin, in character, to the attacker: "As a warrior of all that's virtuous and honest in this world, I need to inform you that a giant spider is about to attack you from behind."
    The attacker smirks.

    And finally we see it. The flame from the torch reflects off its segmented eyes, and we see the dark, but somehow 'silvery' carapace of a celestial monstrous spider grapple the attacker effortlessly and spin him up in a bundled web before pulling him up and dropping the torch to the stone ground harmlessly.


    Yup. Our paladin has a brand new bag. And it's AWESOME. First off, a silvery carapace and golden eyes? Oh yes. And it's slower than a horse, but it has a climb speed, and webs (no venom. Paladin spiders don't get venom, fair enough). And he can RIDE it, and it's INTELLIGENT, and friendly towards us. I think it's less physically durable than a horse, but I don't care. CELESTIAL SPIDER MOUNT.

    Our paladin is still a good guy, and a warrior of paladin morals. But he's become, uh, 'dark' and insane enough that heaven isn't giving him a horse anymore. He's gonna be riding around on a Large sized spider.

    And I fully approve.

    Anyway, more has actually happened since then, but I'm getting tired, and the writing is starting to wear on my mind. We managed to find the vampires coffin and stake it.
    Last edited by 13_CBS; 2010-03-28 at 05:24 PM.