Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Apprentice no more!

After the meeting in the tavern Alexander stopped by to see Marcus the Decent. The young wizard was then followed back to the Small two story house he had taken over since the original owners had been outed as members of the cult of Palimbybis. The bearers placed all the glassware into straw lined crates and left them upon the table near the hearth as Alexander asked.

With this, the last ingredients he needed had been procured, at no small cost. Barring the door and windows the young man moved everything to the open room on the second floor. Candles, chalk, lantern and oil, the glassware from Marcus, a handful of gems he had collected in the past weeks. Standing at the edge of the circle he had painstakingly drawn out upon the floor of the room, Alexander began chanting the words of power. Slowly walking around the room in a circle, drawing in power as if from the very air itself. The world outside faded away and the candle flames seemed become like small suns each burning with an almost unbearable intensity.

 The incessant chanting was beginning to grate even on those who knew Alexander well. A majority of the townsfolk avoided the small house with fear in their eyes. At times it seemed as if there was at least one other person in the house with the spellcaster, as another voice could almost be discerned chanting along with him. What really pushed the locals over the edge was when the pale white worms started erupting from the ground all around the house. Like fat maggots bursting from a bloated corpse they appeared by the hundreds! Writhing about for minutes before bursting into a bluish flame and leaving a greasy ash behind.

 It took Lars and the others a serious show of force to calm the torch and pitchfork bearing crowd. Beavis arrived and was able to calm the folk and many rounds of free ale did flow.

The morning of the last day of the third week. Alexander emerged from the house, strode across the square and opened the door of the White Horse with a wave of his hand. The collected party who had just begun breakfast turned to look at the young man framed in the doorway.

"I started this journey many years ago, and labored hard under the tutelage of Hedge master Gonwyn. The man-beasts of Chaos keep laid him low and I have since done my best to aid and protect you all as he would. I have spoken with those beyond death, I have made deals with one beyond comprehension, and now I wield my own staff of power. I am Alexander Ballistic! Apprentice NO MORE!!!!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Marcus makes an offer.

DM: Just after the events in the Market Square, Marcus the Decent spoke to the Party.

My friends, a moment if you please. As you know I am a traveling merchant, and this humble town is just one of my stops. Soon I will be leaving to make the rest of my route and appointments. I know that most if not all of you have barely been more than a days walk from where you were born.

I would like to propose something to you. Tarek and I have spoken at some length of the City State. That jewel of civilization to the west. A place that I think it would benefit you all to visit at least once in your lives. Being the, and beg pardon country rubes you are, it would forever blemish my conscience were I to allow you to go there unprepared. 

Let me act as your guide, and for a nominal fee of 5% of anything gained through your knack to encounter and then defeat danger. I shall take you with me upon the completion of my trade route. We will head north from Tegel to the small fishing village of Sunlitten. Then we will continue on to Seastrand, a Skandik village that pays homage to the Overlord. We will then break westward to a town twice the size of Tegel named Sticklestead known for its horses. An overnight stay at Gasconfold castle in the protection of Laran the Horselord, a Tharbrian noble, before ending our journey in the small port city-state of Modron. The journey in all should take us about fourteen days, good weather permitting.

Once we reach Modron, I ask that you all be my guests at my Villa. Spend some time in Modron, and when you feel comfortable it is a short trip south along the Roglaroon river to the City State. I have many friends and contacts and will make sure you have safe and friendly places to stay.

What say you my friends?

DM: feel free to make comments, or ask direct questions of Marcus.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Fury of the Storm

The day had been long and hot. Tyrrian had returned to the shattered lair of the Enchanter. Searching through the rubble he was able to collect quite a bit of the rare lavalite. Back in town he asked Cretin if he could have private use the forge. The young man was beginning to suspect that Cretin was either of pure Tharbrian blood, or the ugliest dwarf ever born.

The town metal worker agreed to let him have access to the forge after quizzing him on smithing techniques. Satisfied the young man would not burn the place down he bid him return the next day after his current works were completed. Thanking him, the lad went back to his room at the boarding house and collapsed in bed.

“Tyrrian, Tyrrian wake up.”
“Come on lazy bones, don’t get Father upset.”
Two distinct voices roused the young warrior from slumber. “Keary? Alban?” Sitting up and rubbing his eyes Tyrrian looks up and sees two figures in the doorway of the Forge.

“Come on little brother, he’s getting impatient!” Keary turns and steps inside the forge. Alban comes over and helps Tyrrian out of bed.
“Keary and I are happy to see you have done so well. Father is most proud of all, don’t let him know I told you though.”  Walking together towards the smithy Alban continues. “Who would have guessed you were chosen by Sashu. You should know your actions have helped us and others from the village find peace. But Father has advice for you, and you need to heed him.”

“All right, but I wish you were all still here with me.” The young man stops and embraces his brother.

“We are always with you, never forget that. Even in the darkest of places we will be.” Alban then leads Tyrrian into the forge. Opposite the anvil sits his father, and just behind him in shadow a hooded figure watches.

Motioning for Tyrrian to come sit by him at the forge, the elder smith speaks. “You rose to the occasion my son. Protected the weak and infirm and stood against things we could never have imagined. You used your brother’s weapons to avenge our deaths and the villages’ destruction. But now you need to focus your feelings. Sashu has brought us together here to aid you now.” The older man motions to the hooded figure behind him. Gnarled hands reach up and lower the cowl revealing an ancient white-haired blind man. The room becomes bathed in a white light as the outline of a hammer appeares in the air.

“Look upon this and let it burn itself into your memory. Go to Cretins forge tomorrow and use all the grief and rage you have held inside. Turn that fury into the strength you need to take the next step along the path you have chosen my son.”  His father holds his shoulders as the young man gazes into the light of Sashu.


Tarek entered the shared room to find Tyrrian carefully looking over his tools and an assortment of items the boy had collected over the past weeks.

“What are you doing with all this?” the thief asked.

“I dreamed again last night.”

“Of Tom?” Tarek asks.

Looking over pieces of lavalite, the boy turns to Tarek. “No, my brothers and my father. I have everything I need now. My path is clear.”

“Your path is, wait, what’re you talking about. I thought we were going to try to get the others to go with us and Marcus to the City State. Are you saying that isn’t happening now?” Tarek sits on the foot of the bed watching Tyrrian put things in a bag. “Are you leaving, what about the Plaza of Profuse Pleasure?”

Standing and slinging the heavily laden bag over his shoulder Tyrrian grips his friends shoulder and looks him in the eye. “No, I’m just saying I have a task to complete before we move on. I will be in Cretin’s forge working. Whatever happens keep the others away until I’m done. You are my oldest and best friend Tarek. Can I count on you to do this for me?”

Of course, I just thought now that Ulla and Pia were feeling better you might want to, you know console them with me.” A wolfish grin spreads across his face.

“Thank you but no, I know your just being nice. I think that bottle you got from Marcus and both girls will be quite the foray for you alone.” The young man turns to leave.

“What about the Town hall this evening, we’re all supposed to meet afterwards. This is our chance to talk up our plan!” Tarek follows the boy out into the blustery day.

Wind blowing Tyrrian turns to Tarek, “I stand with you on anything that comes up with the party.”

Watching as Tyrrian walks off towards the Metal-workers shed, Tarek can’t help but notice the wall of dark clouds moving in from the sea.


Strong winds rattle the shutters of the White horse. Tarek sits in a booth alone pondering the conversation from earlier in the evening. A few of the other Heroes occupy the common room as well, finishing drinks and meals.

The sound of hammer on anvil rings through howling winds. It seems as if the thunder comes on que with each blow of the blacksmiths tools.

“Strange that it rains so heavily yet I sweat like a pig on a spit.” Beavis says as he reaches to refill the empty cup in front of Tarek.

CRACK-A-BOOM! The entire Tavern shudders, and everyone inside jumps as a bolt of lightning strikes matching the tempo of the hammer strikes.

“It’s Tyrrian Beavis, he works under the influence of the Gods themselves. No matter what happens tonight, we are not to disturb him.”  The fresh cup is quickly drained. “Everything that has happened to him, to us all, has been more than good or bad luck. Tom’s death, the Basilisks, even the scarlet tigers.”

Refilling the empty cup Beavis sits with Tarek, as Calis and the others turn to listen. “I’m not sure I follow you.” The friar mops his forehead with a rag.

“I found him looking over an assortment of items this afternoon. I didn’t put it together until now. Tyrrian wasn’t meant to just be a Blacksmith’s son. Just as I now believe that we all are destined to be more than just farmers, woodsmen and common folk.”
The group collectively shudders as another bolt of lightning strikes just outside in time with the anvil blows.
“I would normally have just put this down to fate. But there is more going on here than I think I’m quite ready to accept just yet.”

Drinking a full cup in one gulp, Beavis looks directly at Tarek. “The Gods have taken notice my boy. It has been a long, long time since the world saw true Heroes. Some would tell you that age is behind us, but I beg to differ. When evil seems to permeate every nook and cranny, when all hope seems on the verge of extinction. It is then, that the average man steps up and says no more. It has happened before, it can happen again.”

Clang, Crack-a-boom!


Player Character Interludes

These things happen in the couple of days following the conclusion of the Emerald Enchanter adventure, or just after the Town Hall in the market square.

Sally and the Shrine of Mesha
 A good many of the local peasants have come to take Mesha as their primary deity. Sally is someone they feel a connection to as she was born into and lived a life of pain and drudgery. At the top of Heroes hill where once stood an ancient temple, the young pagan cultist has built a shrine in honor of the Goddess of seasons. The young woman also feels she needs to know more about her Goddess and her order, knowledge that must be sought elsewhere.

[In game terms this has earned Sally an increase of her Personality Ability Stat of +1]

The library of Alexander Ballistic
The self proclaimed  Master of Magics has thrown himself into the study and decryption of the tomes taken from the Emerald Enchanter. This work aided by the consultation of the three ancient wizards Istrobian, Thesdipedes, and Gobur reveals that Alexander has just barely begun to scratch the surface of the mystical powers that await him. The trail of power is elusive and hard to trace, Sezrekan urges the pursuit of these rumors.

[In game terms this has earned Alexander an increase to his Intelligence Ability Stat of +1]

Chauncey Merlin goes to market and puts his trade to good use.
 The third member of the Hawkswood Trio has sold his entire cart load of fresh tomatoes to the locals of Tegel. In preparation of things to come Chauncey likes to have a full coin purse.

Unable to refrain from commenting on the dilapidated state of all the wagons and carts in town. Chauncey discovers the town's wainwright (his prior master, Einer) had gone missing some weeks ago.  Immediately re-opening the closed workshop the Warrior/wainwright sets to the task of repairing this terrible wrong.

[The warrior now has 22 coppers from the sale of his fruit.]

[ Chauncey earns 10 coppers, 1 chicken, a jar of honey, and roll in the hay from Dervla, in return for his work.]

Tarek and the Tincture of pleasure
 It was later chronicled that it was this three day long tryst that became the driving force behind Tarek's urge to leave the rustic life behind for that of the wonders awaiting in the City State. The details of those three days as related to the Sage Cire Elik can be found in the fourth chapter of his book "The Heroes of Eros".
We cannot reprint them here as the moral implications preclude us from doing so.

[In game terms Tarek is now more susceptible to items that can alter a persons state of mind.]

Maximus and the Sisters of Law
 Max couldn't help but discovering that both Moep and Tyrrian had recently both been stricken with a strange malady. Inquiring a bit further led him to speak with Brother Beavis who confirmed the story. Relating that Max himself had been trained in the "art" of healing by his mother he was quickly directed to the Sisters at the Abbey. Max was able to bolster the skills of the already strained sisters and help ease the suffering of quite a few of the refugees from Eros. One in particular was an orphaned child, Anke. The small girl had taken a particular turn for the worse. Max was able to break her fever by braving the moors at night to find a rare moon-blooming flower known as Night-phlox. As a reward for sharing this remedy with the Sisters they gave Max a Healer's Kit to take with him on his adventures.

[ In game terms this kit allows Max to "Bind" his own or a victims wounds after a battle.  This process takes 10 minutes per individual and heals 1HD (+1die step UP the chain, for Occupation). If the process is interrupted the healing becomes 1d3 hp's. This only heals damage from the battle and does not cure conditions (broken bones, blindness etc.) The kit has a D5 +5 uses/ max 10, before needing replenishment.]

Rubie Dawn hunts the elusive Greypelt
   Rumors always abound in small towns, and no small few are heard by the huntress from Hawkswood. One tale repeated by the local herders was of a large grey wolf. So large in fact, it was told it had killed a warhorse by itself! Intrigued by this "giant" wolf story Rubie set out to see what she could discover. A few sheep had gone missing from nearby Hawkswood in the past months so something was going on. The brooding spear maiden Maghoula confirmed the story that packs of vicious wolves did indeed prowl the moors and woods of Tegel by night. "You shouldn't stay out round here after dark. If you try to hunt them you will likely become the prey."
   The next few days Rubie scours the countryside by day and many sets of tracks are found. None stand out as anything exceptional. By the third week the huntress was starting to think that the story of Greypelt was just that, a story. Dusk was falling and Rubie had decided to call it a day, when about a mile from the western edge of town she found them. Paw prints, so large that she could fit her fully opened hand in them. It had to be him. Always the brashest of the trio, Rubie turned and followed the trail back into the wood as darkness fell. A few hours later she came upon the den. A few wolves lolled about seemingly unaware of the young girl.
   Something warned Rubie, and she turned around crossbow at the ready! A mere few feet from her he stood, larger and more frightening than the tales could convey....
The next few seconds were a blur! As Greypelt lunged, Rubie fired! Snapping jaws! Howls of the pack! Running blindly through the dark forest, heart pounding, lungs burning, the hot breath of savage death filling every sense!!!!!

Rubie doesn't remember exactly how she got away. Moep found her exhausted and passed out in an empty ale keg out back of the tavern. A few days later and a lot of herbal tea from Max brings the girl around. Relating her tale, Beavis comments how LUCKY she was to escape unharmed, and how FOOLISH she was to go after wolves of any type alone.

[ Rubie has increased her Agility score by +1 point. And learned a lesson.]

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Lars and the "Honest" truth......

Two days.  Two days since returning from the Emerald Enchanters lair. Two days of tearing apart Ternelmor’s house. Two days with nothing to show but a single brass key. The town treasury had to be somewhere else, it was not in this house.

Leaving the ransacked abode the smuggler grumbles to himself. “An ale or two, is what I need.” Lars had never actually met the mayor prior to the parties arrival in Tegel. He had however, ”heard” of the man. He’d had to pay a tithe to start his smuggling operation to a representative of Ternelmor and Lars never paid out coin that he didn’t get back. This would be no exception.

The sky was gray and heavy with dark clouds rolling in from the sea.
“Last of the seasonal storms.” He thought to himself, drawing his threadbare cloak about himself.
The wind was picking up, and by tomorrow at the latest the full force of the storm would be upon the town. Something about the clouds disturbed him as he looked up at them.

“I’ve seen a storm like this twice before.” Calis was suddenly next Lars. The tall elf had an unnerving way of appearing without being heard. “The first time was on the night of Tyrrians birth.”

The hairs on the back of Lars neck began to prick. “And the second time?”

“The day Thora died, and the rest of you went after the denizens of the pit. Changes are coming Lars, for good or ill.” The elf then turned and strode off in the direction of Heroes hill.

Scratching his chin, Lars shakes off the odd feeling as he enters the tavern.

“Well my boy, do the mayoral burdens weigh upon you so much that I should see you this early in the day?” The good friar says consolingly. The scent of a tantalizing stew drifts from the kitchen behind the bar. An ale is placed in front of the brooding man.
“The villagers are looking to talk with you. The town hall is tonight, here in the market square.”

“I know,” drinking the ale in one gulp, “give me another.” Handing the cup back Lars turns from the bar and catches sight of Garrote through an open shutter. The dark halfling enters the tavern and moves directly to him.

“Anything?” he asks the little gypsy.

“Well, at first no.” Garrote huffs as climbs up onto a man sized stool. “Beavis an ale!”
“At first, but then…” urges Lars.
“But then I get to talking with Maghoula. And she says there’s a locked chamber in the basement of the Watch tower.” The halfling slugs back a gulp of ale. “An iron door, with only one key.” Another swig of ale. “One key held by the Mayor.”

“A key, I believe we have in our possession.” Says Lars leaning back against the bar sipping his second cup.

The basement of the watch tower contains only three unused cells and a single heavy iron door. Trying the key in the lock Lars’ blood quickens as the door opens.

“She said Ternelmor kept the tribute here for the Skandiks.” Garrote steps lightly into the small chamber.

The two adventurers are greeted by the sight of broken barrels, crates, two upended chests, and a handful of out turned sacks. Kneeling, the halflings scoops up a palm full of forgotten coppers.

“So much for the treasury of Tegel.” Huffs the little gypsy, “What do we do now?”

“What we do now,” pausing to lock the iron door. “is keep this to ourselves. It is possible a lot of the treasure we currently have belonged here. I’m sure I can devise a way to deal with the Skandiks.”

DUSK: Market Square

Lars stands upon a trestle table overlooking a large crowd of peasants. Next to him Garrote sits with a ledger and quill pen in hand. The Heroes of Eros watch from the porch of the White horse, as other town notables join the gathering.

“Good people of Tegel,” the crowd turns, “I am Lars of Eros. My fellow survivors and I came here after the destruction of our village by the man-beasts. Ternelmor, offered us hospitality and a chance to start anew in exchange for our help with a darkness that besieged good Tegel. We agreed and in doing so revealed your Mayor as the mastermind of a plot to sacrifice all who would not convert to the hell pit of Palimdybis! We lost some of own in this endeavor, and succeeded. We have given new life to your fields and hope to your souls.” Lars casts a look to Sally and Beavis.
“You all live under the dark shadow of the Manor on the hill. A life none of you deserve, and a fate the Heroes of Eros look to change. However a more immediate matter presses. Even now the Skandiks sail from Ossary to collect their bi-annual tribute for Jarl Alsgaard. Ternelmor and the cult sacrificed that tribute to their demon. There is nothing to give the Skandiks.”

Lars is surprised at the lack of reaction from the crowd, just as he is about to continue the crowd surges forward breaking into a cacophony of cries!
“You’re not going to force more of that brown weed to grow in my shite field are you!”
“Where’s Sir Robert, does he know what you lot ‘ave been up too?”
“What have you done to the pale angels?”
“Are you saying we owe you coin? Cause I’ve got none to give.”
“A giant ate my goat yesterday! What do you plan to do about that!”
“Heroes bah! More trouble than your worth!”
“The angels don’t come anymore because of that Red-Sally and her Goddess!”
“All the rats ‘ave gone, an my rat pie cart business is suffering ‘cause of you all I’m sure!”

A knot of peasants begin pushing and yelling at each other, drowning out the accusations of the rest as tensions begin to rise. Others crowd together casting suspicious glances towards Alexander while a few withdraw from the crowd into the growing shadows of the evening.

“Good people!” shouts Lars getting the crowds attention. “I have heard your concerns and they have been noted. Now please, ale for you all then return home and know I will do my best for you.”

As Beavis oversees the staff of the tavern, Lars and Garrote join the rest of the party on the porch. “Did you get all of that?” asks Lars taking a deep breath.

“Yes, most of it.” States the halfling, scribbling furiously in the ledger.

Turning to the collected heroes Lars gestures to the tavern entrance. “Let’s all go inside and talk about what to do next.”

The group files into the dim common room, Beavis closes the door behind them having left the staff outside supplicating the crowd with drink. A lantern is turned up and the party is surprised to be face to face with a young nobleman.

“Well Heroes of Eros, what are you going to do?”

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Chapter 12: The Emerald Enchanter Part 3, Epic Finale!!!!

Morning: The White Horse Tavern

 The party is gathered about the common room deciding who will be returning to the Emerald Enchanters lair when they are greeted by the welcome sight of Moep the Halfling. Feeling better after his bout with the foul Dungeon Ague. "I cannot rest until the Enchanter has been vanquished. Besides I hear his minions shatter into gems upon death! I offer my humble services in this venture. We are riding in the wagon to get there, right?"

 Brother Beavis relates how three young travelers arrived in the night and have inquired about joining the "Heroes of Eros" in their adventures. The group agrees to meet the newcomers and Beavis brings them forward.
 A dashing man of medium build speaks for the three and introduces them as "The Hawkswood Trio"

 Maximus Peregrin, a healer who can hold his own in a fight.

Rubie Dawn Kestrel, a hunter who is an excellent shot with her crossbow.

Their cousin Chauncy Merlin, a wainwright with a mean looking Polearm.

"Hawkswood, where is that?" Tyrrian inquires.
"Just a small hamlet west of here," says Tarek looking over Rubie with interest. "Each of you buy me a drink, and you can join us I say." as the young archer sits down beside Rubie.
The young woman appraises him as well with her eyes. "I have only a silver to spend, will that satisfy your thirst?"
Beavis plucks the coin from the girl's fingers, "That will get a round for all lass!" as the Cleric begins passing round cups.
"We need meat for the grinder." whispers Lars to Alexander, "Without Sven, our strength is diminished."
"You may come with us." says the Wizard to the Trio. "Your reward and entry to our Group will be determined by your actions in this venture."

The group assembles outside the tavern when the wagon is ready. Fifteen strong, Alexander feels this round will go to them and not the Enchanter.

A few hours later deep in the Enchanters lair:
 The group carefully, and as quietly as fifteen armed intruders can be, seek the Enchanter. A winding passage leads the group to a dead end. Calis notices some odd discolored mortar between to stones on the wall. Tarek spends a few minutes and discovers the secret to open a hidden door. A strange chamber is revealed!
The night before Alexander had spent some hours scouring the books from the Enchanter's library and discovered a spell that could be useful. It did however require him to sacrifice some of his own blood. Doing so the wizard is able to converse with two of the dead ancient Wizards. The first; a brain in a jar labeled Istrobian, proves to be obstinate and evasive. Moving on, the corpse turns out to be "Thesdipedes" himself. A mystic word of power is revealed to Alexander to aid in the defeat of the green wizard. Alexander also vows to help Thesdipedes find eternal peace if he should so choose.

 Some minutes later and the party discovers a group of strange captives in three different cells. The first contains a pair of scarlet tigers with large rubies set in their skulls. The cats radiate heat and pace the cell with pent up energy. The second holds a huge topaz colored snake that seems to ignore all attempts to arouse it. The third and final cell contains a creature beyond comprehension. A large translucent tentacled jelly, that gargles and bleats at the group. In the center of its mass a large pulsing crystal like mas seems to throb with power. Chi the elf-child tries unsuccessfully to communicate with the being through use of magic. Tyrrian has to be drug away from the scarlet cats. He seems overly drawn to them for a reason no one knows.

 Another door is found and opened, leading to a short hallway and a second door. Tarek listens and hears moans and murmurs inside. The door is locked and proves to complex for the three thieves skills. After a few moments though, Tarek engineers a door removal trick he learned and the portal is unblocked. The chamber beyond proves to be a large dungeon cell. Seven bedraggled people languish here in misery. The prisoners beg to be released before the Enchanter returns for them. Seeing Alexander, the man tells him he knows a word the Enchanter speaks when he comes for them. It somehow makes the bars imprisoning them disappear. "He speaks what sounds like Groflak, then the bars go away. They return when he says it a second time." Conferring with Calis and Chi, Alexander attempts to recreate the effect to no avail. However, both Calis and Chi are able to a single bar apiece to disappear. The party then takes the time to escort the weary prisoners out of the citadel.

 Moving quickly the group heads down the hallway past the cells containing the strange animals. The hall ends at an open archway into a large chamber. The chamber is plain except for the giant 9ft skull that dominates the rear wall. The eye sockets of the skull contain rubies the size of a childs head and the teeth appear to be emeralds the size of fresh baked loaves.

Moep moves quickly to the front of the party, his eyes wide as he looks at the treasures of the giant skull.
"Alexander, may I borrow your pole?" Tarek asks the wizard, as he places one hand on the eager halfling's shoulder. "We must use utmost care here my little friend."

Foot by foot, Tarek taps the stone floor as he enters the chamber. Moep follows Tarek as the two make towards the ominous face of death. "Tap,tap, tap" "Tap,tap, tap"
SLAM!!!!  Seven thick iron bars drop from the ceiling, blocking the archway and cutting off the thief and halfling from the rest of the group. Tyrrian grabs the bars, "Tarek, Moep, be careful!"
"We need to get past these bars, the command word from the prisoners!" Sally turns to get Alexanders attention. She see's however he seems preoccupied with something happening to the rear of the group.

"The tigers are coming!" hisses Chi, "I heard the bars back there move when Tarek triggered the ones in front of us."
Chauncey kneels and sets his polearm against his foot. "Those beasts won't get past me easily."
Rubie kneels beside her cousin, crossbow cocked and ready. The sound of padded feet and a low rumbling growl getting closer.
"The tigers do not bother me as much as the jelly-thing." Says Lars to Alexander. "I'm not liking the thought of it oozing upon us here in this confined space."
"I agree, when I say, everyone into the Skull room." Alexander concentrates and points his finger at the barred archway. "Groflak!"
The scarlet tiger charges around the corner a wave of heat preceding it! 'Twang!" Rubies bolt sinks deeply into the felines shoulder stopping just short of Chauncey's heavy blade. The party backs away from the wounded Tiger.

 Tarek and Moep are a mere five feet from the leering skull. "Tap the rubies!" squeeks Moep overcome with the thought of prying the giant gems loose. Tarek levels the 10' pole with the right eye and just as he is about to touch the gem.....
"AH! HAhahahahah!!!!" The rubies glow with red light, as the skull seems to come to life, gnashing its crystal teeth in anticipation of a meal. Both Tarek and Moep are transfixed as twin bolts of scarlet energy leap from the ruby eyes! Moep hops into the air in fright as the beam scorches the floor beneath him. Tarek is caught squarely in the chest and blasted from his feet, the pole clattering across the flagstones.

Two iron bars melt away, and Tyrrian charges in to aid Tarek. Sally and the others begin to quickly file into the room staying along the back wall furthest from the now laughing Skull as it fires off random beams of energy at the party. Alexander is the last to enter the chamber. To prevent any further chance of attack from behind he magically seals the archway with a wall of summoned stone!

Ducking scarlet bolts that scorch the stone wall Lars opens his pouch and takes out the lucky rock. "Well we're committed now. Everyone who can, prepare for VOLLEY!"
Tyrrian aided by Max drags the smoldering Tarek to Sally.  Moep pauses as he debates hiding amongst the party or going after the Skull himself. Just then a searing beam slices through his left ear! "Yowch! Oh that is it, your eyes are mine!" screams the halfling defiantly.
"I have something for burns." says Max, drawing forth a poultice that looks like dung smeared on a leaf.
"I don't think i feel THAT bad!" grunts Tarek turning away from the newcomer.
Tyrrian looks at Chauncey and then the Skull. Both men see Moep scrabbling across the floor towards the skull a large empty sack clutched tightly in his hand. The Halfling is able to evade many scarlet blasts and position himself against the same wall upon which the skull resides. Infuriated it can no longer target the would be looter, the skull lashes out at the rest of the group. Red beams blasting into their ranks.
"Cover US!" cries Tyriian as both he and Chauncey rise to charge the the Skull.
"Heroes of Eros, FIRE!!!" bellows Lars as he hurls the rock.
Chi with bow, Farhoud with knife, Calis with bow, Rubie with crossbow, and Alexander with Arcing axes all launch a barrage of assorted missiles at the eyes of the skull! Tyrrian using his shield to deflect incoming blasts rushes the skull, Chauncey two steps behind him. The missiles pass the two and Moep sees all of this coming directly at him. "Ahh!" holding up the thick leather sack in front of his face the halfling drops into a crouch to make himself as small as possible. All but Chi's arrow strike the skulls eyes and the red gems begin to crack radiate red smoke. The leather sack deflects just enough of Chi's arrow that it only scratches Moep's already seared ear.
 Tyrrian and Chauncey are each able to land blows upon the ruby eyes that cause the skull to explode in a shower of rock and glass!

 Searching feverishly through the smouldering rubble Moep sobs to himself, "The rubies, oh those gloriously giant rubies...".
 The party spends a some time checking the room and healing those most harmed. Calis discovers another secret door in this room near the destroyed skull. Following the newly discovered path the party enters a widening hall. To one side are a pair of closed doors and an archway to another hallway, on the other side the wall is covered in a strange thick brown web like substance, and just beyond a third doorway.. The "web" ruffles with movement and suddenly a score of severed green hands emerge from it and block the party. Alexander strides forward, "Let's see what Thesdipedes taught me will do." Intoning an arcane formula the wizard waves his hands at the spider like severed appendages. "YASMILON!"
 The emerald hands go rigid for a second before exploding in bursts of green goo!

With the hand-spiders no longer a threat, Tarek listens at the first of the two doors. From within he hears a terrible hissing and gibbering sound.
"Uh, I think we should just leave this door closed." Tarek looks back at the party shaking his head.
"Is it locked?" inquires the wizard.
"No." Tarek responds flatly, "But it sounds REAL bad in there."
The door is opened at behest of the wizard and indeed the sight within causes even him to quickly regret the decision.
"What was that, and what was being sucked or milked out it?" says Moep as his face goes pale.
Standing in front of the closed door looking at all the members of the party Alexander states, "Things held by pentacles that cause my brain to squirm are better left alone. We shall move on."  

The group spreads out, Lars discovers a previously unseen iron grate in the floor. It has been chained shut. Chi, Calis and Rubie allow Tarek to open the second door after listening at it. Inside a kitchen, full to bursting with provisions is found. Moep is lured into the chamber as the scent of fresh rabbit stew overcomes him. In the fireplace a large cookpot simmers and the halfling tastes the contents greedily.
"I hope that isn't poisoned." says Alexander.
As the Moep scans the kitchen for something he can put some stew in to carry it away he is surprised by two emerald hands! He kicks one into the fireplace and jumps up on the counter where his eyes fall upon a large opened cook book.
Calis attempts to bat the hand back into the fire as it leaps out with his club. Chis skewers the second hand to the floor with an arrow. The first hand leaps onto the counter lunging after Moep! The halfling squeeks in terror, scoops up the cook book and flies out of the kitchen. Tyrrian, guarding the archway next to the kitchen is almost knocked over as the little man bursts from the larder emerald hand in hot pursuit. Chauncey tries to smash the severed appendage as it runs past but only succeeds in making himself look foolish in the attempt. Finally having endured to much Moep turns and faces the green hand. Drawing his two shortswords he grits his teeth and growls "Let's end this you freaky shit!" The hand leaps at Moep and is quickly julienned by the Halfling.
 While Lars ponders the grate and where the tunnel below may lead, Tarek with Chaucey as backup move to the third doorway. Beyond a storeroom is found and another door inside it. Again, Tarek listens. Hearing nothing, it is the light shining through under the door that gives him a clue as to where this portal may lead.
"The sunlight, a courtyard lies beyond or it is a back door." Tarek pushes the door open to reveal an indoor greenhouse lit by a sun-globe suspended from the roof. The hideous garden turns his and Chauncey's stomachs as they see strange plants with odd thorns, slithering vines, stalks with human heads upon them!!! The scene dazes Tarek and Chauncey is barely able to pull the thief back and shut the door before a large bellowing Green guardian hurls itself at the men.
"A very large emerald guardian is coming!" yelps Tarek as he and Chauncey stumble back into the main hall.
BOOM, BOOM,     SMASH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The door to the greenhouse flies off it hinges. The entire party gasps in surprise as the largest guardian they have encountered so far is silhouetted in the doorway.

Without hesitation Alexander points at the guardian and shouts, "Yasmilon!"
The emerald encasement dissolves, returning the large creature to its natural form. "I have released you from the emerald enchantment! We mean you no harm!"
The primitive man-giant looks over the group with wild eyes. He takes a hesitant step or two forward, before he stops to sniff the air.
"I think he's hungry." says Moep from the kitchen doorway. "Here ya go Mongo! Plenty to eat in here." The halfling gestures into the kitchen with the ladle from the stew pot.
The hairy man creature moves past the party ignoring them and descends upon the stew pot like a starved animal. Closing the kitchen door Moep turns back to the group smiling "Let him eat the rest of that pot and he'll be napping soon after. I don't think he's all that dangerous now."

"Let us leave him for later, the Enchanter must be our first concern." says Alexander.

Tyrrian returns from a quick look down the unexplored hallway. "There are stairs back here going down."

Hearing that Lars stands up from the recently unlocked grate, "Well that sounds better than sliding down here into who knows what."

The group descends and follows a winding hallway that delivers them face to face with a most hideous creation! Once a man, now transmogrified into a amalgamation of scorpion and human!!!! Alexander once again takes the lead and calls out "YASMILON!"
 The emerald scorpion man reverts to mortal form and is quickly vanquished. The door exiting this chamber however is plainly warded. After some failed magical attempts to discover its nature, Tarek goes Old-school.
The thief fires an arrow at the door from afar, searches for other traps or releases. Growing impatient the party opts to use the guardians body as a battering ram and bash the door open.
 The Observatorium is marveled at, and Alexander ponders how to remove the giant crystal ball. Pressing on the Enchanters bedroom is ransacked and all his books become property of the party Wizard. Next, the Carving Station is looted also, as the stone working tools come into possession of the young Warrior/Blacksmith.

 At last the party kicks in the door to the Enchanters Transmogrification Chamber! He is waiting for them and throws the levers sending the young maidens to certain doom! Eight flying skulls swoop at the group!
"Fear not ladies, Tarek is here to save you!" shouts the thief as he charges towards the Enchanter behind Tyrrian.
Tyrrian with his shield raised rushed for the Enchanter, who pays the boy no heed. Multiple scarlet rays blast ground about the young warriors feet causing him to stumble. Moep races into the chamber, sneaking towards the Green Wizard amongst the pipes and machinery. Some members of the party begin attacking the weird machinery as others battle the flying skulls! Scarlet rays fly about, as pipes are broken and vats are punctured!!!!
The Emerald Enchanter and Alexander Ballistic become locked in a magical contest of superiority! Taking this chance Tarek is able to deactivate the moving cages and release the beautiful captives. Alexander on his last leg, and fearing another blast from the Enchanter will end his life is relieved to see Moep emerge behind the Green wizard with swords drawn.
The Emerald Enchanter has his staff hand severed and his life ended by the brave halfling.

Gathering the two maids Tarek urges a quick exit for all as the chamber shakes violently! The party quickly backtracks as the lair of the Enchanter begins to crumble about them.

Returning to the Consultorium, Alexander is able to organize the relocation of all three dead wizards. Tyrrian was able to retrieve a scarlet gem and tiger hide as well.

Standing together outside the now crumbled lair of the Emerald Enchanter the Heroes of Eros wonder what became of the Hairy Man-thing, the second scarlet tiger, and the gibbering jelly thing. The friends climb aboard their wagon and head back to town for some much deserved rest.
Bravo, Heroes of Eros, Bravo!


Sunday, April 7, 2013

R.I.P. the fallen from Emerald Enchanter part 2


 To those we have lost as we endeavor to defeat the Emerald Enchanter.

Alex the cabin boy

Alex was a member of Captain James' crew and fought the Mummy Queen Mephreket. He survived the destruction of her Blood Jewel and a couple of forays into Tegel Manor. The young Cleric introduced us briefly to the power of Tar-Ark the Monkey god and upon death we discovered he, was a she!

May your bananas always be ripe Cabin Boy, er... Girl.

 Sven the Duck Herder / Warrior

 An original survivor of the Starless Sea, Sven put his strength to great use in aid of his fellow Heroes of Eros. His greatest downfall was to take possession of Felan's Axe. Never one to back down from a fight his bravery will be remembered as well as his staunch loyalty to his friends.

Atop Heroes Hill just outside of Tegel Town the graves of the departed may be visited by friend and pilgrim.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Chapter 12: Emerald Enchanter part 2

 Sally, Garrotte, Farhoud and Emily have set up a quick campsite just outside the main entrance of the Enchanters lair. The body of Bull Zi and the Emerald guardian that turned back to human are under a tarp.

 Alexander, Calis, Alan, Chi, Sven and Alex are just inside the entry hall checking out the interior set of metal doors and the secret panel that had been revealed last time.

 Alex asked tar-Ark to reveal any Evil in the area and after a few moments proclaimed the party to be "safe, for now."

 The hidden panel revealed a small chamber that ran the length of the entry hall itself. A strange grapefruit sized hole the only other means entrance or egress to the hidden area from the hall. "An air vent for prisoners, perhaps?" muses Sven pondering the hole.

 The metal doors are found to be locked and Jack the monkey tries to pick them unsuccessfully. Alan then comes forward encouraged by Alexander. Kneeling down and looking at the keyhole Alan thinks carefully before applying two special tools to the door. "CLICK" the doors part slightly, and Alan puts his tools away as he steps to the back of the party.

 "Two riders, coming fast!" says Garrotte pointing back towards the town.

 "Yes, but who?" Sally's hand grips the haft of her flail in preparation of battle. "Ah, look it is Tarek and Tyrrian."

 "They ride as if pursued by the Dust Devil himself, wasn't the boy sick?" Farhoud covers his eyes with his hand to watch the approaching riders.

 Reigning in their horses, the young men dismount and move quickly towards the covered bodies. The entrance to the Enchanters lair yawning ominously just yards away.

"Sally, we came as fast as we could. Tom warned me you were all in danger and someone would fall! Who is that under the tarp? Where is everyone else?"

Tarek grabs the boys arm holding him in check. "Slow down lad, let them explain."

Kneeling by the bodies and rolling back the tarp to reveal the faces Sally says, "I'm afraid Bull Zi did indeed, fall. The other was a guardian of this place that became human upon death."

"And the others?" gasps Tyrrian.

"Inside with Alexander," Sally points to the entrance of the citadel, " even now they are penetrating a secondary portal."

"Then we had best hurry, they'll need our help!" Tyrrian rushes quickly towards the open doorway.

"We'll be back, we will all be back." says Tarek to Sally, giving her his signature smirk

The party is joined by the young Thief and Warrior. A few words are exchanged and the warning of Tom is related. As one the group opens the secondary set of doors and enters a large well furnished waiting room. A large emerald topped table dominates the chamber. Alexander directs Calis and Alan to begin rolling up the smallest of the thick carpets on the floor while he inspects the furniture.

"These things will look great in the Manor, once we clear it." muses the Wizard as he tests a plush chair.

 Chi guards the entrance as Sven, Alex, Tarek and Tyrrian approach the large emerald table. In quick succession the room fills with a low hum and a sense of great power as a pair of green bat-winged skulls emerge from the tabletop. Then just as quickly a man dressed entirely in green clothing and skin like one of  true Viridian heritage rises as if from a pool of emerald water.
 The green wizard utters a mystic phrase and the flying skulls swoop about the surprised party as he looks down at the four men just before him. Tarek, never one to be taken easily by surprise brandishes his dagger at he green man.

 "Now now friend, don't get test.. Ouch!" A blast of green fire shoots from the man's finger tip scorching the thief's shoulder.

"Taste Axe!" cries Sven swinging savagely and practically knocking the wizard from his perch on the tabletop. As everyone else begins to come to their senses the green man disappears back into the table.

 Alexander and Chi quickly dispatch the flying skulls with arrow and arcing axe. "Our host, I assume." says Tarek rubbing his shoulder.

"The Emerald Enchanter," mutters Alexander kicking the remains of a shattered skull. "I must know his secrets."

 Calling the others from outside the party removes everything not nailed down. Farhoud takes a horse and rides back to town for the wagon. Emily is tasked to return to the beach and update Captain James on their progress. 

   1/2 hour later
 The group looks over the two exits from the lounge. Sven, Tyrrian, and Alex have used the time to shatter the emerald table so the Wizard cannot return that way.

 Alan gives the doors an "all clear", and this sentiment is backed up by Tarek as well. The right hand door is chosen and Sven reaches out to open the door. A cruel voice whispering in his ear,"Kill them Sven, we can kill them all together..". Gripping the chaos axe tightly in his left hand, as beads of sweat run down his brow the brawny warrior open the door and looks beyond.
 A long hallway stretches out before them and is well lit by wall sconces. Two closed doors are made out along the left hand wall, the first about 15ft. away the second another 20ft. or so beyond that. The second door has a third doorway just beyond it on the right wall as the hall itself turns left. However impeding any progress at all is a burly emerald guardian, the remarkably lifelike statue hefts an enormous axe and advances !!
  Resisting the temptation of Felan's axe Sven retreats a few steps into the lounge. "There's a big one coming." he states to the rest of the group. Upon entering the lone guardian finds itself assaulted from all sides and is quickly defeated. The death blow releases the mortal trapped within who grabs Tarek and pleads, "Ask Thesdipedes to save my wife..."
 Tarek crosses the dead man's arms over his chest and remarks, "Wife? Perhaps there is something here worthy of my attentions."
 "This is the second reference to that name." Alexander looks down at the dead man. "I wonder if he were the leader of these cursed men, or another Wizard perhaps?"

 The group wastes no time and barges into the next room. A strange reading room of sorts confronts them and it takes a few minutes for the trick of the teleporting books to be solved. The 2 large tomes are sent outside to wait with the Sally and the others. A sitting room is found next, filled with hand drawn portraits of various men and women. The artist is noted as "R. Rumph", Next a well used bedroom containing small trinkets and a sack of coins is discovered. Again the group is watched by a pair of flying skulls which are destroyed.

 The hallway is followed around the bend to the left as Sven, Tyrrian, Tarek and Alex lead. An undetected pit trap drops three of the four leaders into its spiked depths. Fortunately no serious wounds are suffered and the victims are pulled to safety from the opposite side. Chi discovers a secret door that allowed egress around the pit and another doorway exiting the trapped hall was found.
 The new door is opened and reveals a hall of odd construction. Walls, floor and ceiling are all made of a dark heavily pebbled stone. Intrigued Tyrrian enters first followed by Chi, Sven and Alan. "This is lavalite!" marvels the young blacksmith, "This entire hall is made of it. It is almost beyond belief."
 As the adventurers marvel at the construction a hideous figure forms in the rock before Tryrrian. Reaching out of the walls clawed stone arms swipe at them all! Alan is able to dive back out the doorway before suffering harm and Sven shoves Chi out the doorway into Alexanders arms. Using the warhammer from Tom, Tyrrian fends off the clawed attackers as they assault him from every surface!
 Sven gives in to the Axe and severs a stone arm from the wall just as it grabbed for the young warrior beside him. The anguished cries of tortured souls fills the gray hall as the two warriors battle the stony claws. Alexander creates two large shields of mystic energy to help give the men some protection. Using the mystic shields to great advantage Sven is able to rally Tyrrian and the battle begins to sway in favor of the Heroes of Eros. It is then that Tom's hammer shatters in a blow against a stone enemy! "The hammer, no!" cries the blacksmith. Once more Sven shoves a friend out of danger and he uses the full fury of the chaos axe to finish off the screaming stone monsters.

 The far end of the stone hall is discovered to open up back into the entry lounge, and Chi finds a secret panel in the wall near the door through which they entered this place. The party led by the Warriors continues on through the secret door.

 Entering a wide hallway the party comes face to face with another guardian of rough green crystal. It charges the group and is met in battle by Sven who is no longer in control of himself! Sven shatters the guardian in a mighty blow and looks up to see six more come around a corner running at him. Tyrrian moves up to aid Sven in this battle. Alexander casts a wall of protection from behind which he and the others let loose with missile fire to aid the Warriors. The battle rages for some some minutes and Sven is quickly overcome by multiple blows which drop him to the ground. Acting unconsciously for his own safety Alex rushes forward attempting to lay hands on Sven only to be run through himself by an emerald sword! Finally Tyrrian is able to defeat the last two guardians with the aid of the rest of the group but they find they are too late to save either of their fallen comrades.

 Alexander suggests they retreat with the dead and return to town for the night. Also to get a few more members for the group seems to be a wise move at this point, for they know not what further dangers may lurk deeper in the lair of the Emerald Enchanter!!!

 As Tyrrian lifts the small body of Alex into the wagon, it becomes readily apparent that the young cleric of Tar-Ark had been a girl this whole time.
"The poor girl, I think she really may have loved Sven." Tyrrian covers her face with the tarp, "We should place them with Tom atop the hill."
The party agrees and Brother Beavis is summoned to a oversee a service over the fallen. 


A Dream and a Warning....

"Tyrrian, Tyrrian my boy awaken."
The scent of moist earth overwhelmed the young blacksmith as he sat upright surrounded by heaps of freshly picked radishes.

"Where am I?" looking down and finding his hands and nails caked with dirt the boy slowly stands and looks about. He realizes the field seems to stretch to the horizon in all directions. "Could have sworn someone was calling me."

"I was Tyrrian." says the pleasant vice again this time from somewhere above him. Looking up hand over his eyes to shield it from the intense light from what he thought was the sun. Tyrrian is greeted with the face of his friend Tom the Cleric of Limtram and recently deceased.

"TOM! but how, you're dead." stepping back a few paces Tyrrian sees his friend is sitting astride a large softly glowing radish hovering a few feet above the field.

"Yes, Tyrrian I am dead. I have come to warn you, the others are in grave danger. Even now one of them is going to fall, you must awaken and go to them. Your strength will be needed to defeat the new foe they are about to meet."

Moving close enough to the boy Tom is able to reach down and touch the boy's forehead. The soft glow becomes a golden light that seems to course through Tyrrians very blood.

Sitting bolt upright in bed, sweat stained clothes plastered to his body Tyrrian cries out, "Danger! we must go to the others!" Firm hands press the boy back down in bed, as Tarek and Brother Beavis look down upon him.

"Settle down lad," Beavis brings a cup of water to Tyrrian's lips "you've had a bit of a fever and you been talking in your sleep."

"Beavis is right, it's safe there is no danger." assures Tarek as he pats the boys shoulder. "You need your rest, the fever just broke."

"It was Tom, he told me our friends are in danger! We must go after them!"

20 minutes later

As Tyrrian and Tarek mount horses to go after the rest of the party Beavis reluctantly hands the reigns to the boy.
"Are you sure you're well enough lad? I fear the malady may yet return and be worse this time."

"I'll be fine brother, besides Tom's warning can not be ignored. We may already be too late."

Turning to Tarek, Beavis hands him a small pouch of herbs. "Watch him, should the fever return steep this in water and make him drink it. Moep is still in topor and other villagers are showing sign of the fever now. Don't let him push himself too hard."

Placing the pouch in his vest Tarek shoots a smile at the cleric. "Don't worry, he is like a little brother to me. I'll take care of him and we will find Alexander and the others."

A cloud of dust settles around Brother Beavis as he watches the two young men ride towards the coast. After a few minutes the cleric turns back towards the White Horse Tavern, he has more tea brewing inside and must see to Moep and the others who have fallen ill.