Sunday, April 19, 2020

Wine Cellars: Ugh! adventure in the Blackmarsh

This short session reintroduced a character that has been away for some time.

The Solo game consisted of:
Dan B. - UGH! the Warrior
NPC's:
Ugh's Ass - a pack mule
Ugh's goat - a small goat
Tidwith - a swamp Gnome, friend to UGH!

Ugh had spent many a day wandering the outskirts of civilization since coming down from the Black Crag mountains. His brief adventure with a couple of elves and an apprentice of magic had ended with him getting a hefty purse of silver as well as a tiny goat for a bonus. Content with this the young warrior set out to hunt down more giant frogs in the depths of the swamp called Black Marsh.

This particular morning found UGH! out hunting for giant frog lairs as usual with his ass and goat in tow. The sudden sounds of something large trudging through the water alerted UGH! and he tied off the ass to a tree and moved forward through the brush carrying his goat to get a look at what was making the noise.

Soon he was spying upon a large greenish-grey humanoid with a tossle of moss atop its head, seemingly taking a bath in a brackish pool. The creature seemed to be soothing an assortment of cuts and gashes by applying handfuls of mud to the wounds on its body, as well as scraping hardened growths off its back with a thick branch. UGH! figured this to be some sort of vile-swamp creature and decided he would try to take it by surprise. The Warrior tossed his goat out into the swamp to cause a diversion allowing him to get the creature from behind unnoticed.

Goat caused quite a stir as he bleated and swam about in the muck! The creature took notice and began to head directly for the animal.
"Oh, what'uv we got here, looks tasty!" grumbled the swamp-creature as it waded toward the little goat.
UGH! moved swiftly to get behind the humanoid and raised his great club. At that moment, a large catfish moved in the water right next to UGH, the splashing caused the creature to look back over it's shoulder and say, "Hey, what're you doing back there?"
UGH! quickly dropped into a squat and hand-fished quicker than a greased pig on market-day. Standing up the warrior brandished the large catfish he had on the end if his right arm. "Catching fish!" he said.

The large swamp creature eyed UGH! suspiciously then looked at the fish the man held. "That's a good'un ya got there."

UGH! was pretty sure he heard the creatures stomach grumble. "What do you say we cook it up and share it?" asked UGH!

"Cook it!" exclaimed the creature, "Why would you ruin it like that?"
Cletus the Swamp Troll

After a bit more conversation, UGH! gets the creature to agree to collect firewood while he goes to get his cookware. Then he will treat them to a cat-fish recipe his grandmother taught him. It was at this point UGH! realized the little goat had swum out of view and he went to see if he could locate it. Sure enough the little fella was about to get chomped on by a gator and UGH! leapt in to save his goat!! A battle ensued and UGH! called out for help! Soon the swamp-creature appeared and with UGH!'s help the two fought and killed the gator.

Over a meal of fried cat-fish and gator UGH! discovered that the creature was a Swamp-troll called Cletus. And Cletus admitted that if hadn't been how UGH! handled himself during the fight with the gator, that Cletus was thinking of eating him. Though the troll was not overly impressed with "cooked" food, he was satisfied with it. When the pair realized it was getting late in the day UGH bid the troll goodbye and Cletus offered a small trinket to UGH! as well as a bit of warning about some bone-men lurking about the area.

The trinket UGH! was given turned out to be bracelet woven from swamp moss. Cletus said it would mark them as friends and other trolls would leave UGH! alone or face the wrath of Cletus.
Tidwith's House

The young warrior packed up the left-over gator and headed for the home he shared with his friend here in Blackmarsh. It was just getting dark as UGH! and the animals got within sight of Tidwith's treehouse and saw there was a bit of a ruckus going on!
Tidwith

UGH! had met Tidwith the marsh-gnome around two months or so prior when the little fella came upon UGH! taking shelter from a heavy rainstorm in a very poorly built shelter. The little gnome offered UGH! and his animals shelter and a warm meal. From that point on UGH! had stayed with Tidwith and gone hunting daily for giant frogs.

At the base of the tree-house a creature of similar appearance to Tidwith stood shouting and directing a trio of Bone-men in an attack on the little swamp-gnome. UGH! tied the animals off to a tree and gripping his club in hand approached the new threat. He could see though he was similar to Tidwith he had a mane of dark porcupine quills and a very vile demeanor. 

UGH! strode forward and called out, "Hey! you need to leave my friend alone!" and he brandished his great-club towards him.

The little creature turned to scowl at UGH!, "Back off manling! This feud ain't got nothin' to do with you!"
Puckwudgie

UGH! could see the bone-men were getting the better of Tidwith, and knew his friend needed help. "If you mess with Tidwith, you mess with me!" the warrior picked up his pace and hefted his club.

"Then face Puckwudgie's wrath manling!" the creature waved his hands and summoned a bone-man from the mud between him and UGH!

The lone Bone-man and UGH! tussled in the mud and the fight was quite intense! UGH! was able to toss the Bone-man close to his goat who then smashed the skeletons skull with a powerful blow.
Bone-men

By now however Puckwudgie and his remaining Bone-men had Tidwith bound and were dragging the captive to a skiff pulled up along the water's edge. UGH! hurled his hand-axes at the evil gnome but they passed through the target! Black-magic was afoot!!

As the bad-guys poled the skiff off into the fog filled night Puckwudgie warned UGH! "Follow at your own peril manling!"
Potion!

UGH! knew he needed to get after them as quick as he could, so he led the animals up into the Tree-house where he knew they would be safe from any other lurkers. He noticed that Tidwith must have defeated at least one Bone-man as scattered ribs and bone shards were all about the floor. In the mess UGH! found a small bottle filled with a glowing green fluid. "Well this might come in handy.." thought the warrior.

With the animals safely sequestered in the tree-house UGH! stood at the waters edge gazing out in the direction Puckwudgie had gone.  In the distance through the fog, he could just make out the glow of witchfire! There was no doubt this eerie light was that of the evil gnome, but without a skiff it would be foolish to try and swim through the swap after him at night.

The little bottle glowed dully in UGH!'s hand causing him to take a close look at it. Within the bottle was a little wooden carving of a man, from which the light seemed to pulsate. The warrior uncorked the bottle and stuck the tip of his pinky finger in. A glowing green drop of the honey-like liquid stuck to his finger and UGH! licked it. A sensation of strength shot through UGH! and he decided to drink the whole thing in a single gulp!!

The green light enveloped UGH! and in a matter of seconds he swelled up and grew to the size of an OGRE!!! Not only was he larger but his weapons had magically grown in size as well!! No longer afraid of any nocturnal animals he might encounter in the water UGH! strode off through the swamp in the direction of the witch-lights.
The shrine

Soon UGH! found himself deep in the swamp on the outskirt of clearing, the center of which was dominated by a shrine devoted to some bloated Toad-like creature. Bound and gagged at the base of the shrine lay Tidwith, struggling to escape. On either side of the shrine were two giant Howling-frogs looking down upon the captive, and Puckwudgie with his back to the warrior was chanting frantically at the top of his lungs!!

As quietly as he could UGH! approached the evil gnome from behind and raised his club. Looking down he saw Tidwith wink at him and continue his struggles to keep the guardian frogs attentions.

With a mighty swing UGH! brought his now tree-trunk sized club down upon the evil gnome smooshing him into the wet mud. The frogs were taken by surprise and UGH! untied Tidwith from his bonds. As the pair step back UGH! picks the dazed Puckwudgie from the mud and holds him aloft. "The shrine UGH!, you must smash it quickly!" urged Tidwith.

Being the great frog-hunter that he is UGH! knew the howlers were going to attempt to use their power against him and Tidwith so he tossed the evil gnome between the pair of creatures then grabbed each by its neck and pointed the towards each other as Puckwudgie regained his senses.

The evil gnome was caught between the horrid howl of the frogs and he screeched in fear, wet himself then shot off through the reeds deeper in to the swamp! Just as quickly UGH! picked up his club and smashed the shine into splinters!! The pair of guardian frogs disappeared in wisps of black oily smoke.....

Back at the Tree-house the friends celebrated the defeat of Puckwudgie, and Tidwith suggested that perhaps UGH! should give civilization a second chance. Reluctant at first, UGH! eventually agreed and Tidwith said he accompany him to the edge of Blackmarsh and point his friend towards the closest village.
entering the village

A few days later UGH! found himself entering a village and headed for the local tavern, where he engaged the locals in tales of his adventures.

THE END,  for now...







Saturday, April 11, 2020

Wine Cellars: The Seven Swords of Champions

The Seven Swords were forged with magic and issued to various Champions who have wielded them to great effect in the name of good. In the times since, the Swords have appeared sporadically but they never remain in the public eye for long before disappearing again until needed.

Each of the Swords has a specific gem in its hilt or pommel and is inscribed with runes that can only be seen with magical detection. A keen eye will discern that normal runes are also present depicting each blades name though the runes vary from blade to blade. Each of the Swords has its own distinct type of foe it was forged to combat. The gem of each Sword will emit a pulsating glow when near its target creature and the glow will pulse faster the closer the target gets, as well as becoming brighter the more of that kind of foe there is.

From the Scrolls in the library at Broomsage Abbey we can find the names and types of swords the champions used. The seven are described as follows.

"Spellslayer"-Wizard-Bane (amethyst gem) a long sword created to slay Magic-Users and Mage-like monsters.
Wizard-Bane

“Draugr doom”-Wraith-Bane (moonstone gem) a long sword created to slay the Unliving.
Wraith-Bane

“Gifar grimas”-Troll-Bane (emerald gem) the dwarf short sword was created to slay trolls and ogres.
Troll-Bane

“Lyg Dagnir”-Dragon-Bane (ruby gem) a two-handed sword created to slay dragons.
Dragon-Bane

“Grobbi Drengi”-Swerting-Bane (topaz gem) a dwarf short sword created to slay goblins, orcs and other swerting.
Swerting-bane

“Radag Dagnir”-Beast-Bane (amber gem) a two-handed sword created to slay unnatural beasts and monsters.
Beast-Bane

"Saint's Blade" Hell-Bane (citrine gem) a long sword created to slay the minions of the underworld and infernal creatures.
Saint's Blade


Now and again rumor or tale surfaces promising the location of one or more of these blades, none have yet proven to be true.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Wine Cellars: Rupert the Axeman, vile cretin and wanted man!

Duke Marqest had many men in his employ, though none was as vile as Rupert the Axeman.
Rupert eyes a maiden!

Rupert was in charge of the capture of maidens, who were to be used for ransom or dark rituals depending on the Dukes current mood. Originally he was a ruthless bandit leader who lived on the western border in a large, decaying tower. He commanded many deadly henchmen and notably kept a displacer cat to dispose of unwanted "guests".

He was a ruthless and sadistic man who took great pleasure in the suffering and death of others. He showed as little mercy to his allies as he did his enemies. Rupert was very greedy, when it came to both food and gold. He was so successful in his duties that the Duke bestowed the title of Knight upon him and he became know as Sir Rupert the Axeman. In the final days of the Marqest reign Rupert disappeared and tales of his death soon followed, though no body or barrow has ever been produced.

Proof of Rupert the Axeman's death in the form of an identifiable corpse, or the location of his burial site could bring a reward. Any information or physical proof should be brought to Vicar Osrin at the Chapel in Hamlet of Hemlock.