Sunday, July 31, 2011

Tales of Three Blind Mice

The Cardinal peered with dark eyes from behind his cowl searching for his fellow conspirators; everything was proceeding although not as quickly as his Eminence, the Cardinal, would have liked. The Cardinal had enlisted some of the church’s faith as well as three other members in the order to aid in this most important repositioning in religious hierarchy. Among them his Eminence’s consort, a sensual-powerful woman of the night; the Archbishop, a trusted assassin for the church; and the Ghost, a revered but diseased Abbot.

Silently the Ghost emerged through a dark hall and proceeded down the corridor just as previously arranged. Next the seemingly benign Archbishop, his deadly weapons invisible, followed the silent procession. Finally the Cardinal fell in line keeping the Ghost in view; he could feel the heated- passionate breath of his consort close at his side. “Soon” she whispered. The Archbishop clenched is fist in anticipation.

No one had seen these halls for centuries or the Chamber of Fate at the base of the tower; the center of everything. Within the Chamber was a great tome written during the dawn of time and the beginning of creation. Within its covers were the precepts of their hierarchy outlining their roles and placement in their religious order.

The Chamber of Fate was expansive- indeed able to contain a modest town, and the tower was said to penetrate each plane of existence. Sounds of hundreds of prayers echoed in the Chamber as well as the feeling of trillions of eyes focused on the four conspirators. Dim prismatic light illuminated the stone dais on which the Tome of Precepts sat. An autumnal breeze like that wrought of the North billowed at the Ghost as it approached the Tome and searched for the verses and psalms that heralded its devotions. Next the Archbishop, then the Cardinal and his consort; each set of eyes reflected the light emanating from the Tome of Precepts.

As the Archbishop reached for the tome to begin rewriting his place in the church- he was wracked with ultimate pain as the Ghost suddenly possessed him and extinguished his life force so completely as if the Archbishop never existed. Now as Archbishop and Abbot, the Ghost turned to face the Cardinal, his eyes hungry with greed- then went painfully wide as the Cardinal, with a satisfying smile on his face; completed his treachery killing the Abbot in the Archbishop’s body.

“A perfect double-cross my love.” She silently applauded her lover. The Cardinal looked to her, his eyes were no longer the color of oblivion but blood-red the color of murder; he shed a tear of joy at his ultimate triumph. Soon he alone would be Cardinal, Archbishop and Abbot of the order! The light faded from the tome and the Cardinal reached out to the Tome of Precepts to rewrite his destiny.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Chapter Three

After two months of hard captivity. Being stretched and tested to the limits of your resolve where you feel no hope. Then to see your deaths being prepared with attention to detail and ceremoniously carried out… only to literally be pulled from potential oblivion; you fight vigorously and with purpose killing your captors to a man while bringing an end to Marshana, The Green Banshee of the Forest of Wyrms by relieving her of her precious years…decades. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Damian and Wayne

Damian and Wayne were restrained in such a way as to face each other. Never before had Damian been so overwhelmed with stimuli that he lost touch with reality. No longer was Damian dim to the effects of magic; now it was being used to overload his senses, making him delirious, dazed and drowning in his thoughts. All manner of horrors were brought about for Damian and Wayne, always with nightmarish results. With Damian it came in the form of phantasmal snakes, flying vipers, and ravenous reptiles but for Wayne it came as deadly rabid animals and vermin; Wayne was irrationally fearful of rabies.

Often times Wayne was utilized as a torture device, physically appearing to Damian as his most hated rival and at other times in their lengthy captivity Damian was ensorcelled in such a way as to likewise torment Wayne.

All of this pain and anguish as another dragon came calling to Marshana that summer. Midnight-blue in color, her scales brilliantly reflected the stars and the moon. Marshana and this new arrival held palaver for many weeks; when it was over the new dragon left with the bottles of blue flame and the Samluar items, leaving the captured seven to the whims of Marshana and the Cult of the Dragon.

Skills, Stunts & Feats (All Characters)

Aptitude represents a natural talent that one possesses in a set of skills. Aptitude is the +3 bonus (PF 87) received when characters are trained in a class skill. Possessing this aptitude also trains the character in the stunt for that skill. Feint and demoralize are examples of stunts for bluff and the intimidate skill and as such are subject to these guidelines. Being trained in a class skill lets you perform the following stunts:
  • Appraise: Choose a target you can see to size up someone’s general combat capabilities. As a move action; make an opposed appraise vs. target’s bluff or charisma.  If you succeed, you ascertain the target’s attack bonus or AC relative to yours (lower, higher, or equal); in addition gain an insight bonus equal to your intelligence modifier to either your attack or AC (which ever was chosen) for one round. This can only be successfully performed against an opponent once.
  • Athletics: When an ally adjacent to you is targeted by an attack, you can choose to interpose yourself and trade places with that ally as a reaction, making you the target of the attack instead. As an instant action, make an athletics check vs. the opponent’s perception or reflex save; if you are successful and the attack result is compared to your AC. If the athletic check fails the attack result is then compared to the ally normally but who benefits +2 to his AC for the stunt. You can only do this once per round.
  • Diplomacy: As a standard action; roll diplomacy check vs. the targets perception or will save. If you succeed, the target becomes fascinated for one round unless they are broken from the fascination. (PF 567) Typically this can only be successfully performed against an opponent once.
  • Escape Artist: While you are fighting an opponent in melee and a second attacker targets you with a ranged attack. As a reaction; roll an escape artist vs. perception or reflex save, success results in the ranged attacker suffering a –8 penalty rather than the usual –4 for shooting into melee combat. You can only do this once per round. Feats that aid attacks in this regard may offset this stunt.  
  • Ride: When your mount is hit in combat, you may attempt to negate the attack. As a reaction; make a ride check vs. the attack result; if the attack misses- it misses your mount. You can only do this once per round.  
  • Slight of Hand: In melee combat, as a standard action you can attempt to slip past an opponent’s defenses. Roll a slight of hand vs. perception or reflex save; if you succeed, your opponent loses his Dex bonus (if any) against your next attack.
  • Survival: Whenever you move, you may move through 5 feet of difficult terrain each round as if it were normal terrain with a survival check (base DC15). Furthermore with a successful survival check you are allowed to take a 5-foot step in the difficult terrain.
Note on Skills- Climb and swim was combined into the athletics skill and sense motive was incorporated into the perception skill.

‘New’ Feats* (Any Character)
  • Startle You can make an intimidate check rather than a bluff check to feint in combat. Targets resist with intimidate, perception, or will (whichever is best) and gain a +1 bonus on their resistance check per startle attempt against them in the same encounter.
  • Taunt You can demoralize an opponent with a bluff check rather than an intimidate check. Use the normal rules for demoralizing, substituting bluff for intimidate. Targets resist using bluff, perception, or will (whichever is best) and gain a +1 bonus on their resistance check per taunt attempt against them in the same encounter.
*These are converted Mutants & Masterminds feats.

    Sunday, July 24, 2011

    Tauron and Eden

    The Forest of Wyrms that served as Marshana’s lair was also her bond. The nights reached arctic temperatures while the heat felt during the days rivaled that of hell itself. The summer heat along with the near constant rains made the forest of Wyrms tropical.

    The Cult of the Dragon member Umran Fletcher and his three companions labored at the peril of the young lords and lass. Ignoring no one they visited many forms of pain and anguish upon Tauron and Eden in the months to follow.

    For Tauron they repeatedly cast charm after charm upon the cavalier, planting suggestions, breaking his resolve and uttering questions to gather information on Tauron’s ka-tet and their many allies. Over the many weeks Eden became Tauron’s will-focus when the vile Umran came upon him with his magical interrogatives; Tauron drew upon her strength. And Tauron became the same for Eden. All of the cultists, one by one and sometimes in pairs visited horrible violations upon Eden- all within Tauron’s view. Eden would draw her inner strength and resilience from the stout cavalier in an effort to separate her mind from the daily abuses her body endured.
    Not only was Tauron forced to watch as Eden was humiliated and beaten, their captors robbed everyone of sleep often keeping Tauron and everyone else awake for days or so drugged and docile that time had no meaning. They were rarely fed, keeping the Samular ka-tet weak; the only water to be had was in the form of rain drops that fell from the summer’s incessant violent rain storms.

    Full-Round Actions (Character Perk)

    All characters enjoy the Recover and Gainful Movement perk, in addition everyone was allowed to choose one other full-round action perk, consult your character sheets.
    • Augment Channeling– Your divine channel energy does +2 healing / +2 damage.  
    • Confidence Builder– Spend a full-round action to aid another with a skill check. The subject gains an insight bonus equal to your Wisdom or Charisma modifier. You may only do this a number of times per day equal to that modifier.
    • Dirty Fighting- As a full-round attack action. If your attack hits; target suffers accordingly, and must save (Dex or Str check vs. his reflex save) or be Dazed (PF 566) for one round.
    • Expert Aim– Make a single attack within a range of 30’ or less; if you hit apply your Strength and Dexterity modifier to your damage result.
    • Focused Alertness– Once per day as a full-round action you gain a focus that bestows +5 dodge bonus against the next attack against you within one minute.
    • Focused Insight– Once per day as a full-round action you gain a focus that bestows +5 competence bonus to your next attack afterward within one minute.
    • Gainful Movement- As a full-round move action. You may also perform one additional move-equivalent action (PF 183) equal to your Dexterity modifier.
    • Overwhelming Assault- Taking more than one consecutive Full-Round action to attacking one specific opponent; your attack rate increases to 3/2. Although your second attack is at a –3.
    • Melee Expert- As a full-round attack action. If your attack hits; a second enemy adjacent to you takes damage equal to your Strength modifier plus weapon’s crit value.
    • Push– As a full-round attack action. If your attack hits, you deal damage accordingly. In addition you push your opponent back a 5’-step and he is considered flat footed. If the attack is a confirmed critical, you may push your opponent back 10’ and he is prone. Your opponent may resist with an athletics skill check vs. your attack result.
    • Recover- Succeed at a Constitution Check DC10 to recover d10 + your level + Con modifier in temporary HP. You may attempt this as many times as you want, but you may only benefit from Recover once per encounter. The temporary HP expires after one minute per character level.
    • Righteous Attack– Once per day as a full-round action, you may add your Wisdom or Charisma modifier to your next attack and damage results.

    Saturday, July 23, 2011

    Bordane and Chadwick & Griffith

    For an unknown passing of days Bordane found himself secured to traitor’s cross in a grove surrounded by a forest that writhed and moved of its own accord. The Forest of Wryms was like a rain forest, hot, humid and oppressive. Chadwick and Griffith joined Bordane; they too were bound with vines and thorns to similar crosses. The thorns bit deeply into flesh and their nectar rooted in Bordane’s blood.

    The Cult of the Dragon spared the rod with these three. Instead they were forced to imbibe noxious liquids and fed rotten meat and strange plants. Crippling sickness gripped Bordane Agundar, Chadwick Cassalanter and Griffith Cragsmere. An experience the three would later proclaim had to be suffered to be appreciated; it could not be justly described. Furthermore, emotional strains on their psyche also beat at the trio; never before did the separation from their ka-tet affect them more.
    Throughout the captivity a constant, barely audible muttering echoed in Bordane’s ears. It gave him inner strength to survive and persevere when his body was on the verge; through often it was beyond comprehension. The voice was deep and strong, and like a dream it quickly faded from Bordane. Focusing all his energy on listening, Bordane could sometimes catch a verse. 

    “Disseminate the tyranny that gives us power.
    Discover the strife that gives us order.
    All shall know the horror of the Black Hand. (Become superior)
    Those who stand firm opposing will cower.
    Extinguish the meek, their defeat makes us stronger.
    All shall know the horror of the Black Hand. (Become superior)”

    “Rise above your captors Bordane Agundar! I did not save you from the clearing at the end of the path only to see you meet your end here… you have unfinished business.”

    Conviction (All Characters)

    Whether its luck, talent, or sheer determination, that something extra is called Conviction. Your Charisma modifier equals your Conviction points. Unless otherwise noted, spending a Conviction point is a reaction, taking no time, and can be done at any time. You may spend only one Conviction point per round on any of the following:
    • Dodge Bonus: You can spend a Conviction point whenever you are denied your dodge bonus, but are still capable of action (surprised, flat-footed, and so forth). In this case, you retain your dodge bonus until your next action.
    • Escape Death: Spending a Conviction point automatically stabilizes a dying character (you or someone you are assisting) although this doesn’t protect the character from further damage.
    • Heroic Feat: You can spend a Conviction point to gain the benefits of a feat you don’t already have for one round. You must be capable of acquiring the feat normally, meaning it must be a feat available to your class and you must meet all the prerequisites.
    • Recover:  You can spend a Conviction point to recover faster from damage. A Conviction point allows you to immediately shake off a stunned or fatigued condition. If you are exhausted, spending a Conviction point causes you to become fatigued. If you have suffered damage, a Conviction point allows you an immediate recovery check (see full-round actions). This check is made normally; the Conviction point just allows you to make it as a reaction. While disabled, you can spend a Conviction point to take a strenuous action for one round without worsening your condition.
    • Re-roll: Spend a Conviction point to re-roll any d20 roll you make and take the better of the two rolls. On a result of 1 through 10 on the second roll, add 10 to the result; an 11 or higher remains as-is. You must spend the Conviction point to improve a roll before you know the result of your roll.
    • Surge: Gain an additional standard or move action, before or after your normal actions for the round (your choice). Using this extra action does not change your place in the initiative order. You can use a standard action gained from a surge to start or complete a full round action in conjunction with your normal actions for the round.
    **Regaining Conviction Characters regain one point of Conviction each day; in addition characters also regain Conviction by acting in accordance with their nature or alignment. When a character successfully does something in accordance with his core beliefs- that affirms his conviction, he therefore regains a point of Conviction. The GM decides when an action is appropriate for the character’s natures and awards the Conviction point if he is successful.

    Friday, July 22, 2011

    Where was Eva?

    There is a dominating presence heavy upon the warp marble as it sits in Marshana’s hoard. Eva felt this immediately after entering the marble and realized that she may not ever be able to leave. Then came a desolate feeling of separation from her Samular brothers and sisters; Eva could no longer feel her connection to them. Unremarked before hand, the bond was only now noticeable by its alarming absence.

    Then the magical eye appeared; it was searching for something. Was it the cultists looking for her? Eva didn’t think so. Was the eye was searching for the warp marble? The eye was always getting closer; at times Eva thought it could look into her soul. If the eye was looking for the marble she feared that the marble would be easier to find while it was in use, if someone knew the item well enough, but alas Eva couldn’t remedy that even if she wanted to.

    The interior of the warp marble was an empty space of darkness save for a twenty foot area of illumination where a fine couch and an ornate desk with an exquisite single chair sat; all of them large size. Indeed, all appear sized for an ogre. It was from behind these furnishings that Eva hid from the scrying eye.

    Time became confused for Eva; she could not mark its passage with periods of rest or even the eventual pangs of hunger or thirst. These processes seemed not necessary while in the marble. So Eva spent her time endlessly hiding and waiting for the time when she could make her escape.

    House Rules (All Characters)

      Reminders and clarifications on rules and such from when we started-
    Character order: Russ (20), Rob (9), Butch (7) & Troy (4).

    Characters may only multiclass at most between two classes, a third prestige class may be taken, arcane spellcaster classes are restricted.

    Athletics is a new Str-based skill that functions for Climb/Swim.

    Perception is used for all Sense Motive checks; characters with Sense Motive as a class skill add Perception to their class skill list.

    Clerics, fighters, paladins, sorcerers, summoners, witch and wizards skill points per level is 3 +Int. Slow progression XP chart.

    Acknowledging new books to the PF game (APG & UM), and coming back from a break (also story wise it makes sense after such a lengthy, traumatic experience) I’m going to allow for limited character re-training: we can take time to change one feat for another and be able to reallocate 4 skill points.
    Leave any questions in the comments. 

    Thursday, July 21, 2011

    Where was Briar?

    The dragon and the forest were as one. It had come and dominated the flora and consumed the fauna. Marshana was very young when she came to the forest. Shortly thereafter creatures and individuals began to arrive and pay homage to her: the Yuan Ti was eager to follow her and eventually the Cult of the Dragon. They were passionate, bordering on aggressive in their decree: Dragons are as gods; fill their hoards; seek patronage; gain favor and power. Among their number Briar saw the elusive sage Umran Fletcher; the Waterdeep city watchman Saymon; and two other cultists only known as Sai Green and Sai White.

    During the weeks that followed the first battle with Marshana and the Cultists, Briar stayed mostly to the outskirts of the Forest of Wyrms where she was forced to live off a land that was Marshana’s dominion. Animals it seems are rare in the forest so a murder of crows or a solitary woman would attract unwanted attention. Briar knew they would be looking for her. Keeping a close eye on the fate of her companions all the while looking for Eva who mayhap escaped, Briar assumed the Cultists were waiting for the next moment in which they would kill them all- Midsummer Night.

    During her last trip to Marshana’s lair Briar spied a startling gathering of familiar faces; one new face; and an old unwelcome one. Gathered around a worked stone table, was the dragon Marshana, Umran, a blue dragon that was much larger than Marshana and Morius Brokengulf. They were engaged in some strange game of skill, bartering and gambling for the rights to everything gained from capturing the Samular bastards. In the end Marshana won most of the prisoners’ items and equipment and added them to her hoard; Umran and his ilk won the privilege of killing the prisoners when the time came; Morius took the Sword with the trapped spirit, the Elemental Ring, the Jewel of Attacks as well as any other cursed item, and the blue dragon won the flasks of blue flame and the Samular heirlooms handed down by the zombies; then flew north.

    Briar could only watch and wait until the time came to strike back at the Cultists.

    With the peal of lighting and the roll of thunder from yet another approaching storm, a thick fog rolled into the Green dragon’s glade - lair. It was Midsummer night; a night of ceremony as the Mead moon of Flamerule waxed into the Peddler’s Moon, the one-eyed scoundrel of Eleasias.

    Briar watched as the four cultists gathered about a fire of blue-white flame and held aloft their ceremonial tools; daggers carved from dragon horns. They presented them each in turn to Marshana who nodded in eager anticipation. Suddenly the sound of a sword freed from its scabbard broke the night; a crack of lightening and a flash of blood and all four cultists where suddenly engaged in deadly combat in front of the dragon against the Company of the Nine. Marshana had come to despise these nine children; their pompous existence offended her greatly and now they had somehow rallied to freedom. She commanded her followers to attack.

    A link to the past.

    Company of the Nine began in September 2009 with the post titled: Forgotten Realms and ran to August 2010 with the last post: Treasure List- Campaign Pause.

    Other posts of importance:

    Tauron Tarm

    Bordane Agundar

    Eva Maerklos Origins part 1, Eva Maerklos Origins part 2, Eva Maerklos Origins part 3 (final)

    Damian Agundar

    The Waterdeep Campaign- Deals with the Campaign’s house rules. Please read.

    Locations, Wards of Waterdeeep Pt. 1, Wards of Waterdeeep Pt. 2 - Posts on Waterdeep.

    Review (7/20/11) End of Book One: Dragon Age

    Our session begins in the Vial and Flask and a brief meeting with the recently returned trio of Kiton, Spade and Farley (who had suffered the loss of a finger). During the heist they were set upon by a strange creature, assumed to be some sort of choker. They were successful, however; goods and commodities remain in the secret cache, as does the choker. Delivery of the haul of commodities (silver bars, silks, spears, components, and non-perishable foodstuffs) is arranged. The value of the haul is estimated between 5k and 10k gold. 500 gold paid to each until an official value can be made. Auge gives Pilini provisional officer status and put to task about the six ‘token’ thieves and to spread word about the thieves’ challenge to come. The White Spider shall be monitored until she recovers.

    Auge coordinates laborers to begin work on the thieves’ gauntlet; Versel begins arranging Dragonbane warriors to use the Crippled Bone as barracks after the clean up; Durg points out that Tamros and therefore the Liquor Commission owes SONS Commodities 10k gold; and Jaren begins preparations for the ceremonies to come.

    9am. Obadiah’s hour long memorial and procession was filled with everything one would expect when you lay to rest someone who was revered and respected by the city. However; during the procession of the casket many unreliable and confusing events occurred. Auge loses stretches of time including the battle with what his brothers describe as a ‘dragon-skull’ vargouille. This undead thing vomited maggots and devoured individuals including a Greystone Dwarf. Even Durg was subject to these strange occurrences- sometime during the battle he mysteriously left.

    When the dragon-vargouille vanished and the chaos of battle eased both Auge and Durg were unaccounted for. While Auge was open to conversing via message, Durg was silent. After a quick trip to the Black Crown and Youvalon, Jaren remembered the map that is attuned to our watermarks. However that was in our lair, which is surely being watch. Teleporting into the lair we discover that Durg is in the Driftdowns and that there is some emergency in the Cinder Block. In a quick response we make our way through the kitchens to see several enfeebled and unconscious patrons and employees. The brains of some have been removed and there is the smell of illithids in the air- they were here, now in the Cinder Block looking for us.

    10am. There we were: Jaren cursed with a disease, Auge and Versel- stand amidst a counterattack by their enemies and faced with a choice: Go after Durg? Or root out invaders in our home? After a brief discussion on the matter we agree to evict the illithid invaders; my they reach a fiery end.

    Sunday, July 17, 2011

    Ask a Dwarf

    The old greybearded dwarf leaned closer to the dwarven officer across the desk from him.
    "We are being over run by dragons. New ones are announcing themselves seemingly every other day!" he spat. "I have heard of this Kazzurog, but know little of him. Is there no one in the clan who can share some insight as to what his Queen would want here, or what his interests are?" he demanded.
    " Obryn, sir, is a scholar of the globe, and an ocean traveller. His specialty in the house is the port city of Lowport, which lies very close to this Dragon King's realm. Shall I send for him?"

    The old dwarf commanded Obryn to introduce himself and state what he knew of the dragon king. The report was curt, almost military, but with details that indicated the speaker had actually been to the places and felt the surroundings he spoke of.

    "well, sir, I am sure you know that he trades in exotic and rare metal ores, including darksteel, gold and platinum, as well as magic potions. He has also made a lot of wealth selling hobgoblin troops to the constantly warring nations on the northern tip of the Continent. But perhaps his most lasting legacy is his blood line".

    He went on to explain " Kazzurog has ruled a kingdom for over 500 years, and from day 1 he has had a nation of kobold followers devote them selves to his service. He capitalized on this very early and began infusing them with his own seed. He now produces three common types, and several unique offshoots that are hard to document. The first, most common type, are kobolds that are able to produce spells as a natural talent with no training. The spell abilities are pretty specific to 5 or 6 named tribes. That is to say kobolds bred from tribe A all tend to have the same spell like abilities. The second main bloodline is a strain of fighter kobold that is bigger ( making it a medium size creature) and stronger. These are fierce troops, and we haven't seen any instances when they have been hired out as mercenaries. The third type, and they aren't as common as the other two, is a true hybrid, a half dragon/half kobold. They are unique, and evolve differently as they age."

    The old dwarf brooded silently, deep in thought.

    " He has another bloodline he is fond of, though I haven't seen much of them. He also breeds with ogres, and makes half dragon/half ogres. It is said he uses these monsters in his wars to his west, which are other dragons and tribes of mountain giants."

    The old dwarf thought more, and Obryn remained silent as he patiently waited.

    "What is this dragons reputation among his neighbors?"
    " He has never warred against the three civilized cities that border his kingdom, and he is known to always honor contracts and agreements. There are all sorts of men, dwarves, and others that mingle and live in the capitol city of his kingdom."

    "What motivates him?"
    " It is said the feel of ruler ship and domination, the ability to flex and pit his will against those that would oppose him, the need to rule as King is his greatest drive, followed by his relentless quest to build his Royal Hoard. On a more immediate scale, are merchants have indicated the dragon Queen has brought along officers of her court to trade large quantities of magic potions for enchanted weapons, or weapons made of special materials."

    " Thank you, Obryn" And with that he was dismissed. As the old dwarf watched Obryn accept his reward he couldn't help but to say aloud, to no one in particular, "We are being over run by these damn dragons!"

    Friday, July 15, 2011

    Guild-master Auge

    The grand opening of the Block continues indeed! In order to establish order in the Liquor Commission under me, I will hold contests of skill and stealth, and see who is worthy to hold rank, and who is the most deadly.

    Spread the word to Spade and Farley, Pilini, Gerto’s trio, Wrathful Spider and these six ‘token’ thieves that a proving time has come! It is time for them to earn their place as guild officer or cut purse… just in time for the spring economic boom that is guaranteed and the opportunities that will follow when the streets are clear.

    Kiton? I have special plans for him…

    Three on One: One brawler in the middle wearing nine items of value and three unarmed thieves. The contest amounts to three turns consisting of the thieves tumbling, jumping or moving against the brawler simultaneously while all attempting to remove a single item off the combatant, while avoiding being hit, slammed or grabbed; no attacks are allowed by the rogues. At the end of each turn the items picked are appraised and totaled. The total value picked at the end of three turns determines the winner. Winners from each match move on to the Heist.

    The Heist: a hammer and stone (capture the flag) style contest, except the losing team may yet capture the win if they correctly ascertain who conducted the heist. The winning team advances to the Gauntlet.

    The Gauntlet: Conducted at the Liquor Commission Brewery, this event will mark the ‘grand opening’ of a gauntlet of pits and traps, obstacles and swings for future and existing Liquor Commission thieves. However, now the gauntlet will be use to determine who will administer my commands.

    Review (7/13/2011)

    We begin the session with a trip to the Liquor Commission Brewery and a midnight meeting with Torgar, Tamros’ brother and (now) administrator of the legitimate side of the Commission. The building, lager than even the Cinder Block, we learn was the primary brewing facility. Located within was a small office were other callers: Liesle and a Black Crown representative Evaristus Phocas (Focus with a p-h); standing in observance of an agreement between the Black Crown and the Liquor Commission.

    After the agreement is finalized, it is revealed that a truce has been extended by Roland VanFleet and the Money Changers. Discussion visited many theories supposing that the truce is bogus to outright ignoring the futile plea. It was Jaren who insinuated a monkey wrench and suggested the Rakshasa may be involved. It was decided to do nothing at this time.

    Our talk with Torgar lasted till 2am- as information was freely traded. Torgar was informed of the alien jailer and how it is believed that Tamros has befallen a fate worse than death as a slave to the jailer. Upon this, he shared a dwarven tale of such a creature worshiped as a god. Torgar was also informed of the political sway we have. Versel asked how Torgar knew of Tamros’ acquaintances like Vesper and Lindel Thinskin; he did not produce any new information.

    Later Auge is recognized and given the guildmaster scrolls for the Liquor Commission. Auge also arranges political contributions to Versel and Arkiel and contract with the Black Crown, through the Liquor Commission, as supplier for components for the Vial and Flask; 2,500 gold to that endeavor.

    On our return to the Cinder Block we ventured by the Creeping Rose where six tokens were retrieved from Liquor Commission thieves (to be detailed later) indicating that they had dues to compensate. Forwarding contact information was left behind on the Creeping Rose.

    2am. At the Cinder Block in Tamros’ room was found a book (that contained the dwarf fable from earlier) and some minor personal affects. Beyond that Auge and the brothers retired for the evening, save for Durg. He decided that a trio of platoons would enjoy surprise 2 am exercises this morning, followed by arena sparing; and forced march patrols before their day beings in full.

    The next morning finds Jaren speaking with a bard about the dissemination of certain information with her bardic skills. While learning that Dierdra of the Underwriters enjoys another five year term, Jaren tells her to speak highly for Versel in political circles; bolster consumer confidence that post-solstice clean up nicknamed ‘Clean Streets’ has commenced; and name Uvrock as public enemy number one and a criminal. She agreed as her civic duty.

    Auge opens the Vial and Flask for magical tattoos- only one this day; which was good because there was the guildmaster scrolls to examine. Contained were procedures and accounting measures as well as the key to the six tokens and corresponding six thieves from the night before.

    Until noon and our visit to Socordia Jaren puts in some time at the office; Vercel followed up on some lifter’s guild candidates and Durg, does what Durg does.

    Shortly after twelve-noon we find ourselves entering the staircase keep where powerful overwhelming magic and wards are felt. Was it magic? Was it draconic presence? Was it the duke-devil? We find Socordia in the chapel with a diabolical creature with a presence so powerful its gaze probed our souls for our vary truenames. Auge was overwhelmed. With our business with Socordia to begin the menace leaves, to Durg’s relief.

    Beginning by speaking well of ourselves- we spread Sloth’s name and title positively and we as both the Cinder Block and individually have been elevated in Stormhaven- we learn Socordia is in a dilemma, a dilemma that affects each of us. The devil is after Nissian and believes he can do this through us; therefore he sought Socordia to be set on the road to our truenames. She makes crazy terms to keep secret what she may or may not know; Vercel counter offers. We will support her rule and maintain that the acceptance of draconic influence is a reality, we will aid in her goal to return to the driftdowns, and vote yes on the council for her twenty percent tariff on all goods that pass through the stairs. She agreed to stay silent on putting the devil on his path as well as a boon: if we defeated the alien jailer, she would put us on the trail to our truenames- for better or worse.

    After that we traveled to the Crippled Bone embassy at 2pm to assess the structure. We all agree that property values are bound to rise and we would do well to exercise this notion.

    3-11pm: Auge crafts. Versel reads. Jaren crafts. Durg crashes.

    7am. Wednesday morning Arkeil joins us and informs of the unrest that is within Twilight House. Pilini busts in and says the White Spider in at the Vial and Flask. Clearly she is under some magical compulsion or a geas, Jaren and then Durg attempts and then succeeds in dispelling the magic forcing her to comply. While tending to her while she rests, Kiton, Farley and Spade return alive from their venture.

    We begin next week with Obidah’s funeral within the hour (Auge will attend after all). On the docket is Thursday- Hall of Voices; Friday- Mind flayer/warehouse; Saturday- double dark dwarven stout effect ends; Sunday- nothing (Neutral Grounds Finals?); Monday- swords and stuff (final: dagger, short sword, and scimitar).

    Thursday, July 7, 2011

    Review (7/6/2011)

    We begin our session with magical preparations for the Hammer and Stone event against the Rockhammer dwarves who… came prepared to win. The contest began at nine o'clock with enthusiastic declarations of the names and titles of each participant and as well as the “stone” offered as a prize and functioning ‘flag’ for the game. Theirs was a family heirloom in the form of a legacy hammer; ours, was a headband of intellect (+4), symbolizing craft, craftsman ship and cunning - benchmarks of the Cinder Block. This was what the capacity crowd was waiting for. Old vs. New.

    Early on we discovered they had two invisible team members (one was an outsider); their names: Scopsstone, Baltor, Vorstrag, Klar, Hate (outsider), and Godwin. Durg and Auge would forage out- deeper into the field, Auge would make for the hammer and Jaren and Vercel would defend. Jaren opened with tremendous fire and then quickly summoned hell hounds to defend the headband- our 'flag'. Near by, Vercel and Durg were drawn into combat eventually dropping a dwarf. Invisible, Auge intervened and healed Durg and was suddenly castled (thanks to Jaren)- to find himself next to the dwarves hammer; the remaining dwarven defender was none the wiser as to Auge's presence.

    It would be talked about in Stormhaven for many years. Of how Auge stole the stone out from under a dwarf, covered the distance to where Vercel and Durg were teaching the dwarves how you never want to fight the sons of Nissian; when Jaren magically transported the stone the rest of the way to a flawless victory.

    During all the cheers Jaren asked the dwarves if it was proper to deny the hammer for an alternate prize . Thereby preserving their legacy and not wishing to invite the Trojan Horse into our midst. (5,000 gold was given to each of us the next day) They even promised to buy one of Jaren’s magical fire pits.

    Later Auge met with Kiton who expressed that he would only work for Auge. Kiton (the dire ape-man) was introduced to the former stairguards: Spade and Farley who soon explained the plan. With all in agreement, Auge and Kiton as well, the three left immediately for the lost hold of merchant wares. 

    Jaren rewarded Egil with a 250 gold bar; Vesper completed the armor transaction with Durg and someone herd that individuals were looking for the white spider. (who the next day awoke and left into Stormhaven) The night lasted until 2am then we retired for the evening.

    The next day Auge begins a morning routine of creating magical tattoos on a first come basis. The morning also brings an invitation to the hall of voices today and that Obadiah’s funeral would be pushed to Wednesday.

    Later, Jaren led us on recovery of the dire elephants- only one body found, which also yielded one-hundred pounds of ivory.

    When we return, the volcano dwarf craftsmen came with… swords and stuff; the only remaining blades to be crafted are Auge’s dagger and the unclaimed short sword and scimitar. Auge receives a spear which he renames “the Inquisitor” and Jaren receives a long sword. (Thanks Russ for the pic)

    5:30 pm. many rats nest merchant supporters from the neighborhood talk of an 'upside regime', a rally for protection from Socordia. We, consistent in our stance, push for working with her; as long as our goals parallel, as long as they don’t intersect…

    Hall of Voices: We invite certain individuals including the volcano dwarves to the hall of voices. 500 in attendance, 50 of those are with us. Over two hours of titles and declarations, death decrees and proclamations before discussion wanes to news of the unsafe warehouse district and the status of the driftdowns. It is known that the Firefly Cathedral has secured the Mausoleum and aspires to become holy ground; they do known of an alien jailer or dark power aka. the aboleth; and Uvrock is declared a criminal. Four hours pass while the council moves to fill vacancies. Vercel, Arkiel are nominated as council members for Sons and Twilight House respectively. None oppose the nominations and once the Rockhammers, Greystones, and the Seawillows throw their support behind Vercel both are soon confirmed.

    Their is a grand swearing in ceremony as the stroke of midnight where we end the session. On the calendar: Meeting with Socordia tomorrow at noon.