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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground

    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default Campaign Journal: From the Journals of Elis Took, Volume 3.

    From the Journals of Elis Took, Volume 3 - 0
    For those of you who follow, know that it was a time of Myth and Legend. And I found myself thrust directly into its midst. It was...

    The Burning World.

    The Land of Fate.

    Welcome, Dear Reader to...Zakhara.

    (Editor's note: Our uncle's tales are fantastical and must be taken with a grain of salt. The volume is perhaps his most fantastical to date. Zakhara is a name out of deep history. It is, indeed, a place of myth and legend. But there is a basis for it in historical fact. Uncle's accounts do not match that historical record perfectly, but they do have a disturbingly high corroboration with that record. Disturbing because these archeological finds did not come to light until after Uncle's death. It is an...unsettling realization for a modern historian and biographer.)

    My companions of fortune were:
    Fergus, a male half-elf. Druidish and paranoid, but clergy of some small power. And paranoia.
    Gil, a female gnome. Bit of a Napoleon complex there, but a warrior of some skill.
    Sean Dubh, another male half-elf. He was plain and soft-spoken. An illusionist with a distaste for his fey relatives.
    Angus, a male highlander. With all that entailed. A nice enough fellow, but very touchy about his honor. Another skilled warrior.

    Our acquired companion of fortune:
    Bronxy, the doggo-goyle. A dog-shaped gargoyle who'd taken a fancy to Gil during one of our...endeavors. Quite useful when the chips were down. He had remained behind on this sojourn.
    Najib, a male half-orge. A warrior of holy orders of great strength and skill. Quite genial, he served as our guide and boon companion on this adventure.

    Spoiler: OOC
    I've started up summaries for our third round of these characters. For those interested in Volume 1, it is available here:
    For those interested in volume 2, it is available here:

    I hope to get Volume 3 summarized in as timely a fashion as Volume 2.
    I have a blog; come see what I've created:
    -The 2023 Character Creation Challenge (#charactercreationchallenge):

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground

    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default From the Journals of Elis Took - 14.

    From the Journals of Elis Took.

    We reached the village of Mazat without further incident. It seemed a peaceful place, though there was not currently a lot of activity. Najib informed us that nearby Flamedeath Fellowship activity has the locals fearful. This activity included the seizure of Isafrel.

    I felt lighter somehow, like the Lord WADE'S curse had been lessened or was even ineffective. Sean and Fergus debated the possibilities. Perhaps our displacement in time or space had weakened the geasa. Perhaps being in the dessert, far from the nearest sea, had lessened the geasa. Their discussions were inconclusive. The rest of my companions had not noticed any difference.

    Our guide opined we had encountered a random Fellowship patrol, not a strike force resulting from scrying or reconnaissance. Najib said Mazat is not controlled by the Fellowship. But they are Right There, a day's travel from Mazat. They had recently seized a fortress nearby belonging to another religious faction. Violence appeared imminent.

    Our debate turned from metaphysics turned to practical matters. Could we obtain lodging? What should we due with our prisoners? Nabib led us to the local magistrate. The local authorities would not keep them. Instead, Najib offered the assassins trial by combat. The assassins responded by immolating themselves.

    More fanatics. Wonderful.

    Returning to the question of lodging, the party decided to choose a nice inn. This turned out to be a religious franchise, with a multi-denominational focus on the local gods of wisdom and adventure. (That was not a pairing I had often witnessed.) They had successfully resisted the Fellowship so far. Najib spoke highly of them, though he was not a member of their organization. Zakhara possessed a cultural duty of hospitality of strangers. The breakfasts here were trustworthy, unlike other inns under pressure from the Fellowship.

    Though generous in hospitality, we were stained from travel and battle. Sean cloaked us in the illusion of cleanliness. Najib procured rooms, but as outlanders, we were taken advantage of. I said, "Premium prices mean premium service. Hehhehheh."

    The rooms were luxurious by our standards. The party proceeded to appreciate them immensely, while only making slight fools of ourselves. Gil passed out in a bed. The rest of us, save Angus, cleaned up and took advantage of the provisions provided. After a quick conference, we bum rushed Angus and forced him into a bath. Then we woke the gnome and repeated the process.

    It was *so* nice to feel clean.

    Afterwards, we refocused on our missing. The party tried hammering out a plan to infiltrate the fortress. If we wanted these curses removed permanently, Isafrel had to be rescued from the Flamedeath Fellowship. We did not have much time before they twigged to our presence. Sean offered his magics as a disguise. The fortress less than a day away. A night attack was possible. I tried gathering more information but failed.

    We finished healing from yesterday's fight, then continued our planning before taking our ease for the night.

    Spoiler: OOC
    This campaign arc arose out of occurrences in my 20-year-ongoing Al-Qadim campaign. Once upon a time, that party's sponsor, a high-level priest, engaged in a magical duel with the party's enemy, a high-level flame mage. It was handled narratively, while the focus was on the party shenanigans.

    One of the priest PCs took exception to this, paraphrased "wizard combat magic it too powerful for clerical magic to face in 1E and 2E!" I replied, "A. It's a narrative battle, and B. Correct spell choice is paramount. Any time you want to play it out, we'll see what happens. (I've gamed it; priest can face mage, given good spell choices. Victory comes down to dice and player actions.) The campaign I'm summarizing is in response to that.

    It's all in good fun. You'll note the complainer PLAYS a priest, after all.

    *This* bit is set several hundred years after my campaign. The religious franchise was found by the Al-Qadim party's priests of Najm (adventure) and Kor (wisdom). Being ecumenical is a result of the setting and the players' alliances in game.

    Isafrel is that party's sha'ir, a genie-summoning wizard, boosted up to 25th level. THAT was fun to write up!

    Najib is an original character of my creation. I always wanted to create a half-ogre faris.

    As always, feel free to comment!
    I have a blog; come see what I've created:
    -The 2023 Character Creation Challenge (#charactercreationchallenge):

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground

    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default From the Journals of Elis Took - 15.

    From the Journals of Elis Took.

    We woke up the next morning to a growing hubbub through Mazat. Najib and Gil investigated. There was a pamphlet affixed to our door. It was not there yesterday. It was in the local dialect, but Najib could read it. It was from the Fist of Kor.

    "Repent. Or we will show you the Door."

    Gil took the pamphlet downstairs. No one was in residence. Going outside, Gil found the hubbub was everyone packing up and heading out of town. Gil questioned what was happening. The universal response was, "The Fist of Kor is coming. We're getting out of here!" Gil relayed this information back to the rest of us.

    Najib buried his face in both hands.

    Najib explained. The Fist of Kor was multi-species, ecumenical, independent task force with the self-appointed mission of combating un-Enlightened threats. Combat was not necessarily literal; community outreach, tent revivals, debate sessions, all these are used for education. But the Fist was also terrifyingly well-armed, combining clerical magic, genies, well-trained combat troops, and giants that served as siege engines.

    The party was willing to discuss repentance in return for assistance in storming said fortress, Over There. Najib endorsed this, as the Fist held that the only good Flamedeath Fellowship member was a dead Flamedeath Fellowship member. Najib and Gil went through the pamphlet to familiarize the party with whom we were dealing.

    Fergus was not thrilled with this plan, but was willing to give it a go.

    Mazat emptied out. An hour later, the legion marched in. The Fist of Kor appeared to be as self-sufficient and well-equipped military unit as described. Gil greeted them enthusiastically; they were taken aback by the foreigners. Najib translated. The Fist sent a representative to speak with us while their legion setup camp.

    Gil explained our divine curse. Najib expanded on what "drowning" was; and that large quantities of water were not potable. In order to remove our curse, we were tasked with freeing Isafrel. It appeared our goals aligned; Isafrel led the Fist! They were determined to rescue him, and we were welcome to join them. As long as we did not get in the way.

    Najib suggested bringing in the rest of the party.

    Sean and Angus woke up and joined us. They noticed a large blue character in the canteen, distraught and crying into his drink. Sean approached and introduced himself. Thus we met Hazim the Fool. Sean and Hazim briefed each other. Hazim was surprised his master's fame had spread outside Zakahara. Isfarel was quite powerful and could easily remove any trifling curse that had been placed upon us.

    Fergus and I were still asleep, having fallen prey to the seductive lure of clean linens and soft beds.

    Sean started quizzing Hazim on his skill set. Hazim made many claims to his might and skill. Sean was intrigued and started planning. Hazim mentioned the Fist setting up. Eric noticed the Fist, and he woke the rest of the myself and Fergus.

    Those *fiends*.

    Sean introduced Hazim to Fergus and myself. He mentioned the Fist of Kor. We proceeded downstairs to meet Gil and Najib.

    Gil determined the Fist was going to spend a day shaking out, then head over to the fortress to give their "Repent or Else", One Day Only, Special Offer. Fergus was subjected to the attentions of a barber. Gil appeared to be all-in for the tenets of the Fist.

    Fergus was thoroughly and professionally interrogated by the Fist's barbers. They got his full live story and were very sympathetic. I saw him exit their tent. I had never seen a pompadour that trailed into braids before.

    I remarked that the Gil was all in, wasn't he?

    Introductions were made. We met Iman Robert, Gil's contact with the Fist. There was a dao in charge of pamphlet distribution for the Fist. Bronxy and the dao immediately became boon companions. Who knew?! (Editor's note: Yes, uncle had established the doggo-goyle had stayed behind; we have already established Uncle Elis played fast and loose with actual facts.)

    Our brief was to join their crusade, but stay out of the way. Mind our own business. This seemed a credo of theirs.

    We broke for lunch. The Fist gave a ritual grooming and a sermon. The hymns were good. Evening brought stories of their founders' exploits. (OOC: I.e., the session devolved into remembrances about campaigns gone by, including the current Al-Qadim campaign currently on hiatus. Very Gulliver. Much travels.)

    I arranged for Bronxy to wake Fergus at dawn. Fergus was only partially amused. We all moved out with the Fist towards the fortress of the Flamedeath Fellowship.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Hazim the Fool is an NPC from my AQ campaign. He was a surprise appearance by the DM and well played.

    The remembrance-fest was a lot of fun, too. We've had some good times in my AQ campaign over the last 20 years, and it's nice to know the players think so too.
    Last edited by thorr-kan; 2023-07-28 at 10:01 PM.
    I have a blog; come see what I've created:
    -The 2023 Character Creation Challenge (#charactercreationchallenge):

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Bugbear in the Playground

    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default From the Journals of Elis Took - 16.

    From the Journals of Elis Took.

    We moved out with the Fist of Kor.

    We approached the fortress. The Fist set up camp, outside the walls of the fortress. They began investing the fortress with siege weapons (i.e., their giant-kin and dao). I scouted around the walls. There was a smaller, servants' gate on the back side. It appeared closed but monitored.

    Gil, who was welcomed into the Fist's planning session, had an idea of the layout of the fortress. There was an enteral pyre in the center of the fortress; the buildings circled the pyre; the wall circled the buildings. Only one building abutted the wall, by the back gate. That gate led into said building.

    The Fist, being a subtle organization, planned to assault the front gate at dawn. We slept well, except for Gil, who was anxious for the assault. Also except for me, who decided to get an invisibility spell and reconned the fortress. I reached the top of the wall without incident, but a flame came towards me. I attempted to hide as it passes by (just in case it could detect invisibility). I was singed a bit by its passing but did not give myself away. It was like the wick of candle, without any candle. It kept going.

    I suck down off the wall into the fortress. I noticed no internal patrols. I started my investigations at the closest building. I listened and heard nothing. The buildings were crudely built, but solid. I moved on. I heard snoring in some building; in one I heard chanting. Some came out of one of the barracks and in my direction.

    The building with the chanting was three stories tall. I attempted to climb it but fell and made a lot of noise. The guards made their way over, arguing that a reconnaissance was not like the Fist, but that the Fist delivered those pamphlets somehow. I successfully hid in shadows, even though invisible. Why take chances? All my caution was for naught. One managed to step on my foot and tripped onto me.

    Meanwhile, Fergus slept on. Loudly by all accounts.

    Apparently, the man who fell on me hurt himself. I scrambled away, knocking him down again. I snuck away successfully. In the scurrying, I found a pamphlet from the Fist, detailing the same deal we had accepted. I left it. I took note of the building with the chanting. There appeared to be no place to hide by the gate, other than the building attached to it. That building was a warehouse. I scampered atop it and hunkered down until dawn.

    The party finally slept through most of the trumpets. Gil observed the artillery. Hazim the Fool got antsy. Gil woke the party.

    I woke up to a boulder hitting the front gate. I noticed the Flamedeath Fellowship's soldiery gathering by the front gate.

    Hazim started getting even more antsy. But the plan was to let the frontal assault being first. Meanwhile the party used Hazim and his illusion powers to sneak around back. They attracted no notice from the fortress.

    A boulder hit the warehouse but missed me. It was time to seek less dangerous surroundings. I climbed down and snuck to the front gate.

    The party noticed no watchers. They approached the back gate under cover of Hazim's illusions. The gate was secured by a cunning lock. Najib stepped up and attempted to open the lock. He was unsuccessful. The gate appeared to still be quiet.

    I attempted to lift the front gate but failed. Well, bother.

    Meanwhile, my comrades prepared to assault the rear gate. Fergus cast resist fire on himself and Angus. Hazim attempted to open the gate but succeeded on his second attempt.

    It turned out I was now visible, much to the Flamedeath Fellowship's consternation. I heaved open the front gate and started heeling and toeing to towards the Fist of Kor. Sometimes discretion was better than courage!

    The party entered through their open gate. Several flames puffed in the gateway, taking the shape of extra-cute kittens. It was a sorcerous attack! Some of the party were singed. Fergus gathered all the fires to him; such cute kitties! Everyone else moved on through the gate. The kittens attacked as they did so. Angus and Gil were burned; Sean cast a mirror image and lost an image immediately; Fergus was not yet hurt due to his precautions.

    Najib killed one kitten. Angus injured another. Hazim the Fool panicked and created water, which did not affect the kittens. Gil killed the kitten injured by Angus. Bronxy missed his attack. Fergus still loved all the kittens.

    The kittens counterattacked but failed.

    Angus killed on; Najib killed two more. Gil missed, but Bronxy hit. Sean cast hypnotic pattern on Fergus and two kittens. They became enthralled.

    The remaining Kittens singed Fergus and Angus.

    Najib missed his next attack. Angus wounded the free kitten. Gil hit the same kitten. Hazim tried to remove the kitten from Fergus's possession and...critically failed. But hurt no one. Sometimes, deities DO watch over fools. (Editor's note: Et tu, uncle?)

    Fergus was singed. The other kitten missed in its attacks.

    Angus killed a remaining kitten. Najib removed the kitten from Tom and was signed. Hazim created sand, scouring the party but injuring the kitten. Sean lost the hypnotic pattern. Fergus smelled himself on fire and came out of this charm and entrancement. Gil injured the remaining kitten, but Bronzy missed. Sean moved to exam the door with Hazim. Najib and Angus killed the remaining kitten.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Not a lot to say about this one. With Najib in play, splitting the party didn't leave me with nothing to do. The DM took pains to keep the Elis-focused action short so nobody got board. He also got a lot of mileage out of inflicting Hazim the fool on me after years of me inflicting Hazim the Fool on them for my Al-Qadim campaign. Turn about is fair, I suppose.
    I have a blog; come see what I've created:
    -The 2023 Character Creation Challenge (#charactercreationchallenge):

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground

    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default From the Journals of Elis Took - 17.

    From the Journals of Elis Took.

    (OOC: When last we left our intrepid heroes, our narrator was running away. The rest of the party had killed the enthralling flame kittens that had engaged them.)

    Gil opened the inner door to a dimly lit hallway. Doors were on the left and right while the hallway led directly away. Sean and Fergus heard nothing at the doors. They each opened one door, with Najib at the ready. The door on the right was a cafeteria. The door on the left was a small room, with another door and a barred window. Najib moved in and examined the barred window. No one seemed to see anything or hear anything.

    Fergus thinks this did not feel right for a jail. Najib picked the lock and opened the locked door in this room. Torches lit in the room, illuminating an armory. Alas, normal weapons stocked it, not the explosives the party hoped for. My comrades were sorely disappointed. But Gil reclaimed a short bow and some arrows. Angus echoed this decision.

    There was also a locked box. Najib successfully picked that lock. But he missed the poison trap. His right arm went numb. Inside was a scimitar. Fergus neutralized the poison, then identified it as magic. Najib picked it up. The blade lit on fire.


    Najib felt no burning need for the weapon (OOC: I'm SORRY! Scimitar +2, +1d6 fire damage; as long as it is drawn, the flame is on.); Angus claimed it.


    I made it safely to the Fist's camp. I was debriefed and given a bucket of popcorn. I had a ringside seat to see an earth elemental take the front gate I had opened and throw it...up.

    Back in the fortress, my companions closed the armory and jimmied the lock.

    They followed the hallway to a door at its end. Fergus listened; he heard a lot of background battle noises and movement. Gil went back to the cafeteria, climbed on a table, and looked out the window. She saw the chaos of a fort under artillery attack. Gil tried breaking the window, but failed. "Please!"

    Gil cried out. "I finally have a bow and want to kill stuff!"

    Angus broke the window for Gil. Gil goes snipe/snipe/snipe, but missed.

    Back at the door, Fergus heard someone notice the broken window. Najib facepalmed as Gil missed again. Fergus heard someone notice arrows being shot from somewhere. This door was also locked. Najib picked this lock successfully. He peeked out. What an interesting smell he discovered!

    Meanwhile, Gil finally winged someone!

    Someone swiped at Najib around the door. It was a ghoul! Najib kicked open the door and successfully turned and destroyed all six ghouls. The smell remained, causing Fergus to lose his last meal. There was a door on the other side of the room.

    Najib remembered that Korites had a fear and hatred of ghouls.


    I saw a large group of ghouls charge out the front gate only to be disintegrated by the attending clerics. The Korites advanced. I joined them, bringing up the rear.

    The party passed through the ghoul room. The far door was locked as well. Sean heard the commotion of battle. Gil and Angus rejoined the party from their sniper position. Hakim opened the door. The door exploded into harmless shrapnel.

    Hazim yelled, "Master, I am here to save you! Master?" They seemed to have exited the building.


    The front gatehouse had been reduced to rubble. And the flame in the center of the fortress turned into an efreet.

    The party examined two barracks and a storeroom. The fourth building had a group of chanting figures in robes. Gil missed a shot. Fergus's spiritual hammer missed. Sean cast color spray and dropped three of the chanting enemies.

    "You fools! You do not know what you have done."

    The efreet started attacking EVERYBODY.

    I tried to find the rest of the party. The efreet attacked the building full of chanters. Debris hit Gil, Fergus and Sean. Angus and Najib dodged the debris.

    Angus attacked the efreet, but the scimitar exploded, damaging the party with shrapnel. Sean hid behind Najib. Hazim turned invisible. Gil and Bronxy attacked a chanter. Fergus healed Sean. The two remaining mages attacked Angus. Najib struck them but missed.

    Angus switched to his claymore and missed. Sean tells Hazim to kill the fallen mages. Gil and Bronxy continued wounding their opponents. Fergus created water to douse the fire in the center of the room. The mages turned on Gil and miss. Najib missed as well.

    Angus killed Gil's opponent. Sean started delivering coup de grace attacks to fallen mages, but somehow, he missed. Hazim continued squishing mages. Gil missed and Bronxy fell over. Fergus cast spirit hammer and missed. The remaining mage failed to accomplish anything. Najib missed. I finally found the party.

    Angus struck the remaining mage. Sean injured an unconscious mage. Gil attacked the remaining mage. Bronxy stood up. Hazim finished squishing his mage.

    Fergus hit the standing mage. I missed an attack.

    Angus killed the standing mage. Sean missed a fallen mage. Three mages remained conscious. Gil attacked on; Bronxy missed. Hazim hit the mage Gil attacked. Fergus hit the standing mage. Najib struck a mighty blow against one mage! I killed Gil's target with my new dagger and immediately felt better.

    Angus attacked Sean's enemy and missed. Sean missed as well. Gil and Bronxy missed their opponent. Fergus killed his opponent. Hazim attached Sean's enemy. The mage does nothing. Najib missed his attack. I struck and killed the remaining mage.

    We heard cheering from outside.

    We continued the search for the sha'ir. He was nowhere to be found. The Korites had not found him either. Angus and Sean examined the fire pit. Angus discovered a secret door.

    Gill looked for an admin office and rejoined us. Sean cast detect invisibility. Hazim tore the door open and burst into the room beyond. Isafrel was floating in a blue flame. The party piled in behind Hazim.

    Hazim grabbed at his master. He sustained damage, and Isafrel began to scream. Hazim screamed, "Do something!" to the us. Fergus cast dispel magic on the flame. The power of Frey snuffed the fire. Hazim caught his master as he was released. Isafrel was a bit scorched and unconscious but alive.

    This room was a dead-end. We headed back to the light.

    A few days are needed for recovery. We receive an audience with Isafrel. Sean explained our situation. The party summarized the curse and the dueling plots. Isafrel consulted several noble genies for an opinion. They want the box, too.

    Isafrel says, "Well, that's not good. I will remove this curse."

    We used the scroll and returned home. Najib remained behind.

    Spoiler: OOC
    The player of Angus loves her scimitars. Maybe it's that she likes to sword dance. Maybe it's that they're pretty. I'm not questioning a woman with a sharp sword!

    That wraps up volume 3! We'll be starting the next round shortly, and I hope to have is summarized in a more timely fashion.
    I have a blog; come see what I've created:
    -The 2023 Character Creation Challenge (#charactercreationchallenge):

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Bugbear in the Playground

    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default Re: Campaign Journal: From the Journals of Elis Took, Volume 3.

    And the campaign has been called.

    One of the players approached the DM with reservations, so rather than ruin their roleplaying enjoyment, the DM called it. This is the first drama we've had in this group, but I think it was well dealt with. I'm hoping we can continue forward amicably.

    So, no more Elis Took. I'll have to find a way to revisit this character. I enjoyed the little punk.
    I have a blog; come see what I've created:
    -The 2023 Character Creation Challenge (#charactercreationchallenge):

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