Saturday, March 29, 2014

DCC Chapter 22: Of Life & Death in Tegel

After getting affairs straight in Modron and leaving a few of the Heroes to keep an eye on things, the bulk of the group boards the Dragon boat setting sail for Tegel.

The boat is beached near the lighthouse and Captain Hookah, Gilligan, Faroud elect to stay at the Trident while the others head to Hero's Hill to excavate Sven.

The groups first task is to venture out onto the moors after dark and at midnight summon the Banshee Rhianna, whom they saved from imprisonment within Tegel. (see Chapter 9) This errand would not be without much danger as venturing anywhere outside of the village after dark is considered a death sentence. The moors cannot be traveled by horse or wagon therefore a few hours before midnight the brave band set out with the corpse of Sven carried between them on a litter.

Beavis plunges into the thick night fog followed by Lars and his legal valet Pearl, Erwyn, Tyrrian, Kyoto, and Vala, while Tarek, Chi and Garrotte stay behind at the Tavernacle.

As the bell from the Abbey of Law tolls the witching hour Beavis calls out the Banshee's name three times. After a long moment of silence a spine-tingling wail is heard echoing in the night. Suddenly the ghostly form of a beautiful young woman appears before the cleric. For a brief instant everyone is sure she is going to kill Beavis, but then she leans forward and greets him with a soft kiss. "I, we've come to beg of you that favor of which you promised us upon your release." stutters the red-faced cleric as he kneels beside the linen swathed corpse.
"That I would return one of yours should they fall, I remember." Her ghostly hands stroke the form of Sven and the body seems to swell with strength, "I warn you though, he may not be exactly as you knew him. Nor may he be happy about what you've done."

A terrible cry arises from the Warrior as the burial wraps fell from him, hands grasping Beavis tightly he moans, "Why! I sat in Valhalla! I drank and warred with Coriptis! This mortal pain racks me!"

Sven, a single tear running from his good eye staggers to his feet. His hands explore the jagged scar running from his forehead to chin on the left side of his face. His left aye a blank white orb. Dropping to his knees the mighty thewed warrior cries softly to himself.

"Here, I brought you some clothes and a new axe." says Lars presenting a bundle from his pack.

Dressed but still somewhat dazed Sven turns to the party, "What now?"

It is at this moment that death strikes, as three large stones arc through the fog. The first strikes Beavis on the top of the head dropping him instantly, the second crushes the life from Pearl, and the third smashes Lars in the back knocking him down breathless! Lumbering out of the fog come the fabled Mist-men, thickly muscled and twice the size of an average man. A terrible battle ensues seeing the severe wounding of Beavis, Lars, and Erwyn. Vala and her fire-sprite put up a valiant effort fending off a Mist-Man from dealing a death-blow to Lars only to have the life crushed from her. Kyoto blasts the Mist-men with her Fox-fires as Tyrrian
and Erwyn team up to slay another of the night-creatures. The survivors are able to make their way to Abbey and nurse lick the wounds they suffered there until dawn.

The party spends the following day and night in Tegel village catching up with the locals. Most are happy to see the Heroes as well as the new faces, but a few villagers still harbor disdain for the adventurers.

The next morning the bulk of the group heads out to the Manor in a borrowed wagon while Tarek stays behind to investigate rumors of a flaming beast lurking in the woods nearby.

Arriving at the Manor the group sees that the wards placed upon the main entrance by Alexander ust over a year ago are gone! Is this because the inhabitants have overcome the spells power, or is it because Alexander removed the magic himself at the behest of his Patron Sezrekan? The party decides to scout out the entire outskirts of the sprawling abode. On the eastern side facing the sea a large marble gazebo is found. The entire edifice is overgrown with thick shrubs and rose bushes. Erwyn is intrigued and approaches intent on discovering if any secret entrances are hidden within. Erwyn is quickly taken back by the strange almost intelligent movements of the rose bushes, rather than fall victim to unknown dangers the dwarf sets fire to place and watches as the roses see to avoid the flames but in the end are burned away.

Also along this side of the manor is the abode of Sir Robert. The dilapidated guest lodge sits overlooking the cliffs to the sea below. Out front an old well beckons like an open maw to the underworld. Passed out on the front porch of the lodge, feet propped up on the rail is Sir Robert himself surrounded by a score of empty wine bottles. Lars shakes his head and enters the open door into the front parlor. Inside are two burly Skandik warriors engaged in a game of cards. For brief second everyone eyes each other, then Lars sits at the table and sets down some coin. The Skandiks smile at each other and deal Lars in.

Sir Robert is roused from slumber when Erwyn pushes him out of his chair. The delirious noble greets the party and remarks that someone has set fire to the gazebo, again. He then welcomes the party and is happy to see new faces among them, especially the Sorceress of Karak. He then very crudely makes advances upon her and is scared out of his wits as she casts Ekim's Mystical mask.

Lars stays with Sir Robert and the Skandiks while the rest make the circuit of the rest of the Manor. A pair of old Mausoleums are discovered round the back and a rather large graveyard is within waling distance of the manor as well. Upon returning to the lodge the party decides to try and gain entry through a pair of large iron gates on the eastern wall. The area looks to be a carriage entrance.   

Spectral horses are heard within the stalls and a large black coach sits within. Inside a halfling sized coffin is discovered of which the party quickly drags out into the sun and destroys. Heading north out of the carriage house the group heads deeper into the north wing.

The short foray north reveals a hidden doorway in a staircase leading up to the second story of the north wing. The group chooses to explore the secret hallway and soon finds themselves in a bone filled sauna. Just south of the sauna room is a plush lounge inhabited by a mean black cat.

Erwyn is quick to lead the party in killing the feline which upon death, evaporates in a greasy black cloud with one of Lars throwing knives.

A small indoor garden is discovered housing a nest of bug-like sprites, the little creatures are friendly enough and have no helpful knowledge.

A group of skeletal men-at-arms are encountered in the Damp hallway outside the garden room and are quickly destroyed!

Lastly a richly furnished bedroom is opened and two Gish slave-girls are found and released from bondage. Through sign the girls warn of a secret room that has the power to entrance the mind. Lars almost falls victim but resists the call of "Unending Pleasure".

Deciding it would be best to send the slave-girls to the safety of the village before exploring any further the party retraced their steps and sent the girls on the wagon back to town with a note for Tarek.

The group now preps for a second short foray and hopefully to get back out before nightfall. It is now high noon.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Return to Tegel Manor

 It has been just over a year since the bulk of you have been in Tegel village.

An overview of the area:
Tegel Manor is the large orange edifice in the lower right hand corner. It is a gigantic structure that has been slowly added to over centuries by family members of the Rumph clan.

The Blue building in the lower left is the Temple of Law, an Abbey run by a group of nuns dedicated to Ulesh.

Tegel village proper is seen in the upper left.

In the upper right at the end of the east road is the Tegel Lighthouse, a few fishermen's huts and the Trameron's Trident. A quaint seaside bar & grill.

Following the road south will take you to the remains of the village of Eros, where it all began.

*click on the Tegel Manor label at the bottom of the post to bring up all related posts that refer to Tegel in one fashion or other.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Character Interludes II

Here are some updates on characters in the current game:

"Red" Sally chosen of Mesha:
Much had happened to the once simple farm girl of Eros, and it had taken its toll in many ways. Her face now aged with preternatural wisdom brought on by a journey through multiple dimensions (see Chapter 16), still caused her to pause when she looked upon her own reflection. Her skills had improved quite a bit since that fateful day when the Man-beasts razed their village. The forces of Law constantly struggled to force her into a position she wasn't sure she wanted. What had started for her as a simple peasants tribute to a Goddess had set her on a path to be one of Mesha's chosen, a daughter of Chaos. Yet after all she and the survivors of Eros had been through, as well as all she had done, she still felt under appreciated in her endeavors. Sally had aged physically, and it was harsh, many years of her young life were torn away in a magical minute. Still she had vanquished all the evil she had come to face, though she felt weak in mind, body and wisdom, her spirit was youthful and drove her on.  The speed of the cobra aided her in battle allowing her to find openings for attack where others did not, she had always been fast and still was.

Since her battle with the Demon Hound, Sally had taken some time to herself. Wandering the streets and shops of Modron led her to discover a pair of rival Alchemists, and after some investigation she was able to secure private tutoring from Argon in this craft. There were also the notes and books from the Emerald Enchanter of which she felt she might learn a secret or two as well. Back on the farm she had helped the village women prepare salves and poultices for various ailments so the basic skill was there, and with her faith the possibility to imbue Mesha's blessing to the whole of Modron's sick seemed a goal worth chasing.

Faraud the sailor:

Faraud had seen many things, frightful horrors and creatures of myth. His strength was stolen from his limbs on a Stygian funeral barge that dark night over a year ago. The Wizard that had saved his life had recently gone away. "He's gone, where Wizard's go." he had been told by Lars. Things be told however, working for the Heroes of Eros was worth it's weight in rum here in Modron. Captain Hookah, Gilligan and himself crewed their dragon boat that was powered by sorcery itself, and he had money when needed. His days were easier by far than they had been, more often than not all he had to do was guard the boat while the others went off on adventures. He was beginning to realize that if he wanted to be more than just a sailor he was going to need to face his superstitions and learn to flow with life like water. He didn't want to wear the red cat's cloak, but felt he could stand with the others when things got rough. He sharpened his knives and kept his armor oiled. As long as he stayed with the Heroes of Eros, adventure was always on the horizon and he would be ready.


 Since his return from the events chronicled by Cire Elik as the "Sea Queen", (see Chapter 13) Moep has been reveling in his celebrity as the greatest halfling chef since Pansy Broadbelt last cooked for the ancient Dragon Kings! There is rumor that King Anoethin's chamberlin has been seeking to offer Moep the position of Royal Chef. In the meantime the halfling has been showing up all over town cooking for various patrons that pay dearly to throw a dinner party with edibles crafted by Moep. The other Heroes of Eros have seen barely a single fuzzy toe in the past months of their friend though he can be found sometimes carousing at the Grin Reaper.

Brother Beavis:

In honor of the newest addition to the Losborst Tavern Tabernacle here in the village of Magnussen, Brother Beavis bade the congregation "Drink 'em up people!". After the events of the 13th Skull, Beavis and Erwyn the dwarf stayed behind to convert a dilapidated building over to the second in a series of drinking houses devoted to the god of Wine and drink. This establishment is the first to have the handcrafted stone goblet fountain out front from which a Cleric of Losborst can turn the free flowing water to either beer or wine dependant upon the celebration being overseen. Leaving the Tavern-acle in the care of a curate devoted to Losborst Beavis turns his attention to the task of returning to the town of Tegel where he will attempt to deal directly with the undead spirit of a young woman and bring back Sven from the dead.

Erwyn Rockclimber:
After crafting the stone goblet fountain for his friend, Erwyn set to updating the family book of Woe. He was not the first in his family to have returned from the dead, but could see that this was not a common occurrence. His great, great, great uncle Borgrimm had been brought back from the dead by his boon companion, a human thief called Corrno. Corrno had apparently gambled with Thanatos himself for the dwarfs soul and won! It was as the pair fled the underworld that Corrno admitted to Borgrimm he had cheated. That was where Borgrimm's warning lie. "You may cheat death, and feel you have gained a new life. But what you have actually gained is not unlike a candle that burns from both ends. For now Death actively pushes you towards a fate that will be worse than the death your were originally to suffer. Erwyn knew now that he and the other returned-ones had best make the best of what time they had left.

[under construction]

A meeting at the Grin Reaper

Aside from being unseasonably cool, the day had been like any other for Tarek. Ever since he made the deal with the five Gods for the restoration of Tyrrian and his other friends after their death's in another dimension; his time had been occupied with satisfying the debt he incurred. The bulk of which was to aid in the creation of a Warrior Order dedicated to Sashu and led by Tyrrian.

At the moment Tyrrian was off with some of the other Heroes of Eros completing a task set by the five Gods, and Tarek had stayed behind to oversee the pawn shop he now owned (making sure there was adequate inventory & sales); training his assistants and securing a smithy for his friend. A large portion of the profits from these enterprises were going to be used to support the Scarlet tigers. Tarek had also negotiated with some local merchants for various sundries and equipment for the order. These were all important tasks, but none he had found particularly exciting.

A part of Tarek relished his new responsibilities and standing in modron - he had come a long way from the poor farm boy and troublemaker of Eros. However, he was also getting restless, the need for excitement was gnawing at him. It was fortuitous that this morning he had received a note that Mike Lee and the dwarf Declan Rockclimber, whom he had spending quite a bit of off time with, wanted to meet later at the Grin Reaper to discuss a potential venture he was uniquely suited for. Never one to turn down the chance for a dwarf stout at the Reaper, he looked forward to this meeting.

As the shop was being closed for the day, Tarek decided to place the erocian steel sabre Tyrrian had crafted for him into his personal vault. The saber was forged of a combination of rare steel and God-Metal and set with precious gems and items collected from previous adventures. Alongside the saber lay his birch wood short bow, quiver of arrows and other assorted adventuring gear. Tarek was never one to go into danger without his favored weapons, but also knew not to draw unwanted attention to oneself by traipsing around Modron armed to the teeth. He opted to take only an elven forged mithral dagger, a handful of assorted throwing knives secreted about his person and a brace of silvered darts. All this was easily concealed beneath his deep green cloak.

The sun was just setting and Tarek decided he would go to the Dealer's Delight for supper and a round or two of darts before meeting the others at the reaper. Locking the door behind himself a the wind whipped down the alley bringing with it a hint of the nights chill. "Feels like a storm coming." he thought to himself as he looked at the dark clouds moving in from the west.

Upon arrival at the Dealer's Delight, he made his way past the gaming room and beyond his usual table near the fireplace. Instead tonight he chose one of the few secluded alcoves. Generally he sat near the fireplace and enjoyed the view of the game room beyond. This, coupled with his pipe and ale was the perfect spot to while away the nights waiting for the perfect mark or game to show itself. Tonight though, Tarek wanted to be alone and decompress from the monotony of the past weeks. After ordering his ale and food, he leaned back into the shadowy alcove - only the unwise left their back open in the Dealer's delight - and lit his pipe stuffed with fine halfling weed. A few long deliberate drags from his worn pipe soothed his anxiousness.

His plate and mug finally arrived and Tarek began to relax, as much as one could in the hub of criminal activity that was the Delight. As he ate Tarek turned his thoughts to what Mike Lee had in store for later and when that new bar-wench might be finishing her shift.

Settling back into his chair half-listening to the music and drinking another ale, the pipe weed was starting to take its toll allowing the shadows to to dance along the walls in beat with the bard's song. Any other night Tarek would have welcomed the effect, but he had business this evening and thought it better to get moving before becoming too relaxed.

Rising Tarek tossed  a few coppers onto the table, gave a wink and a grin to the barmaid and headed for the side door. Upon exiting he was greeted by a wind driven rain that chilled him to the bone. Drawing his cloak tightly about himself he began to make his way to the Grin Reaper and whatever adventures his new friends had planned.

Normally Rampant Real was busy with beggars, street hustlers, vendors and prostitutes. However the steady downpour and strong winds had caused all but the most desperate to stay indoors. Tarek saw some of the more fortunate residents of Modron boarding carriages to arrive unsoaked at their evening destinations.

It was within sight of the Reaper when Tarek encountered three figures emerging from an alley. He had noticed them huddling under an overhang and they appeared to be quite desperate, which was evidenced by their dirty faces and tattered clothing. Each man bore  the tattoo of the WSC, or Waterfront Storage Company. Recognizing the situation he was in, the hair on the back of his neck began to stand and he could feel the adrenaline canceling the effects of the earlier pipe and ale. A lone figure approached him from across the street, cursing under his breath Tarek palmed his elven dagger in his right hand and two darts in his left while picking up his pace. The lone man did not match Tarek's pace and as he passed the three furtive men he recognized them as the sons of Snaketooth Tode. Farle, Desiradel and Toudel; all or whom eyed Tarek as he walked by them ready for a confrontation. Since the disappearance of Boss Ogo [see Chapter 15], Tarek had been assigned the post of city fence by the Guild and Snaketooth had been quite unhappy with that turn of events.

The door to the Grin Reaper opened after Tarek's application of the secret knock, and breathing a sigh of relief he realized that all the effects of his previous ales and pipe had evaporated. The disappointment of which lasted mere seconds as he ordered a fresh dwarf stout. Unlike regular stouts found in most taverns. dwarf stout was the result of a brewing technique that used unknown varieties of malts and hops as well as secret fermentation processes and barrel aging. The resulting stout was at least two to three times as strong as human stouts and was capable of being transported farther before going bad.

As a rule humans were not allowed into the Grin Reaper without having been specifically vetted and invited by the owner Samm Widebrow. However, as Moep was widely adored by the halfling population of Modron certain members of the Heroes of Eros had been allowed permission as long as they were always a guest of either a dwarf or halfling companion. This was how Tarek was privy to the knock which gained him entry. The reaper had quickly become a favorite of Tarek's and he constantly planned forays there with all his companions of shorter stature.

The stout immediately drove off the chill and was followed by an audible sigh of contentment as he took the first tilts of the boozy concoction which wrapped him like a warm blanket. Before finishing the first Tarek ordered a second and began to scan the dimly lit bar in search of his companions. He spotted Mike Lee sporting an outrageously large hat in a far corner furthest from the bare knuckle brawling that was tonight's entertainment. Nimbly making his way through the boisterous crowd - more to avoid spilling any of the stout than to not offend any patrons, Tarek sat on a short stool facing both the dwarf and halfling.

"Well met." exclaimed the human raising his mug in gesture of a toast.

"Well met indeed!" belted Declan with a sharp clap on Tarek's shoulder, causing him to spill all his stout on the table. Seeing the look in his face Declan continued, "Don't you worry lad, there's more where that came from!" and he motioned for another round at the table.

As the new mugs of stout were placed before them, Mike Lee leaned in close and flashed his wicked grin. Tarek couldn't help but be overwhelmed by the large and obviously worn old pirate hat perched on the halflings head.

Taking a huge quaff of the stout, Mike lee looked Tarek in the eye and said, "So, what do you know about the secret undercity entrance hidden in the City Jail?"

The End

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Late nights in Modron

 "Why do I have to do this?" Declan grunted as the lock failed to give for the third time, "I'm a miner not a thief."

 Peering over the dwarfs shoulder a halfling grinned and patted his friend on the back. "Go on try it again, I'm sure it will work this time. You feel really lucky don't you?"

"If you say so, I guess..." the dwarf grumbled into his beard, just what had he gotten himself into. Declan had arrived in Modron just over a month ago after the family book of Woe had appeared in his lap. The book chronicled the death of his brother in an act of betrayal while accompanying a group of adventurers in a weird quest. On one hand he had not been surprised as his brother Erwyn was a bit of a wanderlust, but the fact he had been killed by one of the groups own was something that would have to be avenged.

 In the weeks since another member of this group, who were apparently directly employed by the King of Modron, had by some means traveled to the realm of the Gods and bargained for the return of those who had died, including Erwyn. With his brother alive again in the mortal realm and the book of Woe back in his keeping Declan had decided to spend a few days in town before returning to Thunderhold. Those few days had now been close to four weeks. In that time Declan had become acquainted with some of the lesser known members of the famed Heroes of Eros. For example, Mike Lee; the self proclaimed most dangerous halfling alive! It was that same halfling who stood with him in the dark alley praising his nonexistent ability with opening locks.

"Click!" the lock popped and Declan was surprised it finally worked.

"Told ya, you could do it!" grinned Mike Lee, "Have some faith in yourself my bearded brother."
"We're not..."
"Yeah, yeah..." the halfling chided as he pushed the dwarf through the doorway into the darkness beyond.

Declan fired up a hooded lantern and scanned the chamber. "What is this place?"

"It's a service entrance to the old sewers. I found it on some plans in the records hall, It's been unsed for a century at least." The halfling looked at a sheet of parchment he pulled from his pocket, squinted in the flickering light then turned it over. "Here we go, this way."

The pair descended a narrow stairwell to what would have been a cramped tunnel if not for the diminuative size of both explorers. The old sewer line smelt strongly of brine and the floor was covered in a thick layer of black algae that squished between the halflings toes.

"Good,good, just as I suspected. This line runs below the waterfront and we should find it closed off just ahead." Mike Lee increased his pace, feet making sucking sounds that caused the dwarf to flinch in disgust. How, he wondered could the halfling go unshod down here.

Sure enough the line was blocked off by construction that was considerably newer than the tunnel itself. Pointing to the bricks, the halfling grinned. "Right then, open this up in a way that no one would know we had been here."

Declan looked from Mike Lee to the barrier and back again. "So this was why you were so interested in my skill as a miner wasn't it?"

Taking the lantern from the dwarf the halfling smirked, "I'll keep an eye out while you get to work. Trust me, this will be worth it."

Grumbling under his breath Declan set to the task of getting them past the blockade. Within a quarter candle length the dwarf had skillfully opened a space just big enough for them to slip through. Continuing to follow the halflings hastily scrawled map the pair had soon dropped another two levels below the surface. Salty water ran in rivulets down the walls and rose to the knees of the two adventurers.

"My people are not fond of mucking about in or near water." griped Declan as he waded along behind his friend.

Turning to face his companion while continuing to walk backwards, his face lit by the lantern giving  him a spooky countenance that Declan didn't like he said, "Not to worry, if it gets any deeper I've brought along a pair of sheep bladders we can inflate for flotation!"

"I don't think that will...!" The floor suddenly gave way beneath them and the pair were sucked down in a rush of stagnant water and filth. Pungent brine and algae covered the two as they stood up. A thin stream of water still sprinkled down from above them. Declan found his flint striker and relit his lantern so they could see where they were.

"Aww, my map!" Mike Lee held up a goopy wad in his hand.

They were in a large junction room, many different pipes and tunnels branched off in all directions and at various heights. A hole in the ceiling where they had fallen stared down at them like a dark socket in a skull. A rush of water rushed in through a still functioning pipe and emptied its contents into a vent in the floor. Declan's nose twinged, a sensation that meant only one thing. Gold was near. He wiped his face with his beard and sniffed the air again. Yes, still there. It was faint, meaning a small amount was close by. Perhaps a bag or two of coin or a small coffer of jewelry. There were a pair of archways  that led to obvious service tunnels and it beyond one of these the dwarf sensed the treasure. He motioned for his friend to follow him and set of towards one of the dark exits.

"Suppose any way is as good as another at this point." Mike Lee wiped the sludge from his hands on his vest. He turned quickly scanning the chamber, but it must have been a trick of the lantern light and the shadows that made him think something moved. He quickly fell in behind the dwarf as they left the chamber.

The service tunnel was caved in, but the scent was very close. Declan had stopped and was eyeing the tunnel in the lantern light. Mike Lee nervously tapped his foot on the cold stone floor, the sound became an echoing boom. "Do you mind, I'm trying to concentrate." The dwarf pointed to a what appeared to be clump of masonry a few feet ahead of them. "That is not rock or brick, but lies under a thick layer of dust and has not been disturbed for a long time."

"Oh, I got this!" Mike Lee dashed forward leaped over the clump and spun to kneel behind it so he faced Declan. Once again the lantern lit up the halflings face like a grinning skull and Declan uttered an oath to the Gods for protection against fools. Blowing on the clump to dislodge some of the dust, the halflings eyes grew wide at what was revealed. A small skull a bit larger than his fist was set above a pair of tiny bones arranged in the familiar jolly roger.

"Pirate booty!" hissed the halfling as he picked up the lump of dust covered leather. The sound of stone scraping on stone followed his action.

"Don't!" exclaimed Declan at the same moment as a set of thick pointed iron bars shot out of a hidden recess just beside Mike Lee!

Slowly the dwarf opened his eyes knowing the sight of his skewered friend would greet him. "How are you.."

"Alive?" finished the halfling, "ah, you know lucky is as lucky does. Besides look at this!"

The halfling stood just behind the wall of rusted iron spikes, and hanging from them was a victim from long ago. "My guess, this guy owned this," Mike Lee held up the crumpled leather hat with the bones sewn to it, "and look what he has here!" The halfling began breaking off mummified fingers that still clutched a heavy pouch. As the two looted the corpse, neither noticed the steady stream of water seeping from the walls.

"Gold, I knew it!" Chuffed the dwarf, reaching out eagerly. Mike Lee stuffed the hat into his belt as he turned so the dwarf had to peer over his shoulder to see the contents of the pouch. A handfull of large gold coins gleamed in the light of the lantern. "Those are ancient if the stamps on them are what I think." Declan drew a deep breath.

"This is all the proof we need, the rumors are true.... we can, why are my feet wet?" Mike Lee looked down just as a spurt of water struck him in the face. Realizing something was dreadfully wrong as more water sprayed from cracks forming in the tunnel all about them, the pair made to run back to the junction chamber when an explosion of pressure knocked both of them unconscious.

The sound of gulls and a salty breeze roused Declan. He opened his eyes to see the blue sky overhead and a sudden wave of body aches overcame him.

"What happened?" the soaked dwarf asked as he looked out into the estuary of Roglaroon upon the bank of which he now lay.

"I believe we set off a rather elaborate water trap or some such." Mike Lee stood at the waters edge skipping rocks, perched upon his head was a fantastically large hat. "The force of the water washed us right out of the underground and left us here."

"That was bloody lucky wasn't it." Decaln removed his boot and dumped out a small fish. "What about the gold?"

"I lost the bag," the halfling skipped another rock across the water, "but I managed to keep hold of this." He turned to the dwarf and held up a single tea-cup saucer sized gold coin. "There's a guy we need to talk to."

 The End.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Elves of Eroc

In the World of Eroc, tales attest to elves or faerie-kind being one of the ancient races who are skilled in magic and martial prowess. They are also known to be ambivalent towards humans capable of either helping or hindering them. The elves are very "different" and some would say soulless as compared to the other races.
King of Elfland and court
Faerie-kind varies greatly in size and appearance, with the smallest being no larger than one in inch and the tallest known to top seven feet in height. They also seem to align themselves into two distinct groups that seems to somewhat govern their alien nature. Each elf belongs to either the Seelie (basically good) or the Unseelie (bad) courts. The Seelie court is overseen by the Queen of Elfland and the Unseelie court by the King of Elfland.

Unlike most of the other races, they can't be raised from the dead or resurrected. Their life force returns to the faerie realm where they are reincarnated and start an immortal life anew. All elves are know to have a range of odd or strange traits unique to each. For example some elves have unusual bodily scents, or bleed butterflies when wounded. Others have had hollow chests, or limbs of living wood.

Being soulless they have a lesser innate fear of the undead. If an elf is slain by undead they will never rise as undead creatures, nor will Animate Dead spells work on any of the faerie-kind. Elves are not paralyzed by the attacks of ghouls or ghasts, though a Vampire can still hypnotize them.

Because they have no soul, there are no Clerics among them. It is believed this is because they are already actually a sort of physical embodiment of the natural world. Not to say elves have not referred to Gods or other supernatural patrons, they just do not deal with them in the same fashion as the younger races.

A list of various types of Elf-kind:
Brownies, Pixies, Sprites etc.
 These are the smallest in size and max out around 2 feet in height. They always have wings of some sort and
are believed to be able to turn invisible at will. Even though they are so small their weapons deal damage as the full sized races do. They also appear as small wisps of light or floating glitter. This type can speak the languages of many woodland creatures and will never be attacked by any but the most twisted or vicious.

Cobbler Elf
Cobbler, House elves, Gnomes, Hobs
 Generally no larger than three feet but sometimes smaller, these elves are quite nimble and excellent craftsmen. In the realm of fairy they are responsible for the Mithril armor and weapons all fey use in battle. This group secretly lives among human villages and have unspoken trade relations with humans. They can be coaxed into doing odd jobs or aiding in a difficult task with saucers of cream or an offering of sweet pastries or small sentimental treasures. This type rarely adventures, but are quite formidable if they join a group.

A half elf seeking his due.
Half elves
 The most common type that humans are actually used to adventuring with. They range in height from four to a little over five feet in height and make up the vast majority of elves encountered throughout the Wilderlands. Generally living in and around spooky wooded glens, hills, and ancient trees. The name Half elf was given by humans to this type of faerie-kind because they tend to be closest to humans in their range of emotions and personalities.

Courtly Elf
Courtly Elves
 Rarely encountered outside of Elf-land, they are very mysterious and generally are present when the bizarre laws of faerie kind must be enforced.

Wood elf
Wood elves are also rarely encountered unless one strays too deeply into a faerie glen or brings about their wrath by ignoring the laws of nature itself.

What does all this mean in game?

Magic & Elves:
Elves are innately magical in the World of Eroc. Their ability to cast spells is part of them physically. In this regard they do not need nor will they create spell books. As an Elf goes up in level his ability to draw upon the magic of the faerie realm increases and it is from here they gain access to more spells. An Elf character will still roll to "learn" a new spell and if he fails can try again the next time he can learn a spell.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Characters V

It has been awhile, and there have been some additions to our cast of characters. So here you go......

Erwyn Rockclimber, a Dwarf who arrived with Brother Beavis. What does he seek beyond the mountain fastness of Thunderhold???

Vala, an Elf that has proved her mettle against the Demon Hound! She has begun to show the signs of corruption from magic use.

Mike Lee
The most dangerous Halfling alive! At least that is what he would have us believe. Mike Lee survived the battle against the Demon Hound and has done his share of provoking fights! This little guy has big plans, just hope your not part of them.

L'lorlin Chi
This elf mysteriously appeared claiming to be Chi the elf-child's mother. Chi did not refute this and accepted her with open arms. L'lorlin has proven herself quite adept at magic, and doing menial tasks for others after midnight.

 Kyoto-Shima HiyaKaru is a Sorceress from far eastern Karak. She joined the group during their adventure against the curse of the Silver Skull and quickly enamored them with her skill at magic!

[under construction]

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Scarlet Tigers

The World of Eroc encourages its players to help create the world in which their characters live. The following was created by the player of Tyrrian. His efforts are greatly appreciated!

                                      The Scarlet Tigers

                                           A Warrior Order for the World of Eroc.

Tyrrian, as all those who became known as the Heroes of Eros, had very humble beginnings. The third son of a skilled Tharbrian Blacksmith for the small village of Eros that lie on the Pagan Coast facing the Winedark Sea.

The Blacksmith made his living from forging tools for the local farmers and repairing cookware for their wives. The small village most noted for its various root crops and not much else. Tyrrian's father however possessed an ancient secret handed down by his forefathers, the ability to forge Erocian steel weapons. Since the times when the Tharbrians were not but roving bands of nomadic barbarians they were known for their extremely well forged horse sabres. It is said these weapons were unbreakable and could sever limbs in  a single stroke. The blacksmith had taught his sons the process of this secret by having them all work together to create a weapon on each boys thirteenth summer.

When Keary was six and Alban four, Tyrrian was born on the eve of the most furious storm that had raged in from the sea in over a hundred years. Upon the boys difficult delivery the storm the storm itself subsided. As the villagers gathered to see the newborn, Tarek a young farm boy, took an instant liking to the baby. Tarek was the same age as Tyrrians brother Keary and the lad already had a reputation for being a bit of a troublemaker and a layabout.

Tyrrian grew up at the forge of his father and was always a bit more interested in all the work his father did, be the forging of weapons or mundane items. Being the youngest his brothers received the most tutelage as they were older and stronger. Even as Tryrrian grew he was never quite as strong as his brothers at the same age, but he did operate the bellows of the forge without ever seeming to tire. As the years went on the boy became more and more frustrated that he never got to craft as much as his older brothers, always being delegated to the bellows instead. One day his father took him aside after a long days work and explained that heating the forge was just as if not more important than putting hammer to anvil, and at this task Tryrrian out-shined his brothers. His father related that only proper, high and unwavering heat, no matter the skill of the shaping or striking would produce a tool or weapon worth its weight.

Tyrrian watched intently from the bellows the day his father and Keary forged an Erocian short sword for his eldest brothers thirteenth summer. Two years later he again learned the process as Alban and his father forged a fine Erocian steel dagger. It was so different from the mundane work they generally filled their days with. Tyrrian spent many late afternoons with his brothers practicing with the weapons the boys cherished, though he never felt quite as comfortable in his hands as the smithy hammer that he always carried.

Summers came and went, and Tyrrian learned much as he could by day, when not being lured away somewhere with Tarek, who always had a good reason they needed to neglect their chores. Life was good for the youngest blacksmith even though his friend constantly insisted they needed more excitement and a chance to see the world beyond Eros.

As the boy's twelfth winter was coming to an end, he knew that in a few short moons he could expect to get his turn at the forge with his father to create his own gift. Each night as he drifted off to sleep he would dream about what they would create together. Would it be a short sword like Keary's, a dagger, or some other weapon. The week before Tyrrian's forging day the boys father set off with a band of men from the village to check out some lights from the old keep along the coast, they never returned. On the eve of Forging day the village was attacked and ransacked by  Man-beasts.

The following morning Tyrrian and a handful of able-bodied residents that had not been carried off or slain the night before grabbed what weapons they could muster and set out to track the Man-beasts and hopefully save their friends and family members. The journey that followed changed Tyrrian forever. He found his brothers dead and used to feed weird abominations of nature, but no sign of his parents were ever found. He gathered the short sword and dagger from the corpses of his brothers and used them to avenge the death of his family and the destruction of Eros. His last hope was to save tarek from the clutches of the vile Man-beasts.

 Tyrrian became consumed by a burning hatred for all things vile and evil. He sought justice not only for Eros and his family but all those that fell prey to evil and Chaos! It was then that the boy turned to Sashu, and dedicated himself to seeking justice for those who could not and to fight back the rising tide of Chaos itself.

Guided by Sashu, Tyrrian collected a seemingly odd assortment of items over the course of his adventures with the Heroes of Eros. These items were used to forge and create a signature weapon and look for the young warrior who was given the moniker "Scarlet Tiger" by those who witnessed his deeds in combat.
Tyrrian, the first Scarlet Tiger.
Some say there is a rumored tale that Tyrrian died while on an adventure with his friends and that through great effort and a bargain made with the Gods Tarek brought a handful of the Heroes, including Tyrrian back to life. In return for this Sashu required the formation of Warrior Order, one that would be dedicated to Sashu and the task of keeping the Balance tilted to the side of Law.

The two friends set about this task and soon the Order of the Scarlet Tiger took shape. These warriors became a beacon of light in the dark, each of them trained in a set of Mighty Deeds known only to members of the order. Each member of the order wears a signature scarlet cloak that is never hidden from view. Upon the cloak itself is embroidered a symbol of two tigers rearing to face each other and supporting a scale on their outstretched paws. They also carry a shield of bronze with the symbol embossed upon it as well.

No Scarlet Tiger can be without their cloak and shield, and never hide the fact of their membership in this order. Weapons and arms are personal choices of the warrior, though many Tigers are known to wear a special chain mail that never rusts.

Each Scarlet Tiger abides by the following edicts of the Order:

    A Scarlet Tiger serves Sashu first and foremost, before any other liege or patron.
    A Scarlet Tiger serves with Loyalty, Honesty, and Fairness.
    A Scarlet Tiger is Brave, Courageous, and Strong, a beacon of Light against the Dark.
    A Scarlet Tiger shall never be without their cloak.
    A Scarlet Tiger shall have a shield of some sort, a symbol of protection for the weak.
    A Scarlet Tiger shall always be ready for combat.

A Scarlet Tiger surprising an enemy with a Mighty Deed!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Dwarves of Eroc

 The dwarf people of the World of Eroc are a fading ancient race. The majority of whom dwell in a vast mountain stronghold known as Thunderhold. Often appreciated for their innate skills in healing, mining, and metalsmithing, most dwarfs are tolerated wherever they go. Many a lord or King has funneled vast sums of gold to a dwarf for his services as a smith.

Often described as short, ugly old men with beards, Dwarfs actually vary greatly in not only height but general appearance as well. It is true that there is not a single actual account of a female of that race ever having been encountered.

Dwarfs are extremely sensitive about showing their feet to anyone and are always on the lookout for footwear. It is commonly believed this is because the race suffers from some genetic deformity. All dwarfs can also actually smell gold, and can become quite covetous about it as well to the point of violence. As warriors, a dwarf armed with a hand weapon and shield is a powerful opponent and not one to be taken lightly.

Dwarfs are also quite fond of strong drink in large quantities, as well as songs, and games of skill. To become a Dwarf-Friend is a serious matter for any non-dwarf. Dwarfs take this bond very seriously and have been known to devote their lives to entire generations of humans because of a bond formed with an ancestor of the family. To break this bond is also a great offense and entire dwarf family clans have been known to "Bring down the Hammer" on those unfortunate enough to cause such a matter.

What does this mean in game:
 In game a Dwarf is rolled up as stated in the Rule Book on pages 52-54. Also the Dwarf player will roll on the Racial Chart, Dwarfs: Many/Some. This chart imbues an assortment of traits that each dwarf has and help make the character especially unique.

What Dwarfs aren't:
 Dwarfs of Eroc are not little vikings that live in mountains.
 They are rarely found in groups of more than 20 in human lands and kingdoms.
 They are not particularly friendly with elves.
 They are not mortal in the Human sense.

** See Dwarf Forged Weapons in the World of Eroc section for more specific Dwarf information.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Back on the road with Jedro & pals.

Jedro, Dash and Me-Ow have been hired to return a package that was stolen from a Junk Dealers caravan. The Octo-Bear Maug Serlin has supplied the party with a piece of Omega-Tech each as a down payment, plus an additional piece upon completion of the task.
Maug's Greenhouse
Maug tends a very profitable Herb garden, but his ancient greenhouse has been functioning poorly recently. After much research and expense he tracked down an O-Tech item he believed would solve his issues. It was just a day away from delivery when the Junk-dealer was hit by a local pack of Ark scavengers led by the vicious "Hydie". The Ark gangs hideout was no secret and it was there that Jedro and his pals were to go and get Maug's property back through any means necessary.

[under construction]

Monday, March 3, 2014

DCC Chapter 21: The 13th Skull

In recompense for the Gods resurrecting those who fell in the quest for the Balance Blade. Our heroes find themselves in the Duchy of Magnussen. Lars, Tyrrian, Father Beavis, Chi, Erwyn, and Vala were standing among a crowd of peasants watching as a hooded executioner raised a heavy axe over a condemned man. The victim of the axe was a mad prophet who had been urgently calling for the death of Duke Magnussen XIII daughter. The Duke looked down upon the square from the battlement of his manor/keep with his daughter at his side. Nodding grimly the headsman's axe fell with a sickening thud. The head bounced off the platform and sprung it self from the burlap sack that had hidden it from view. As the head settled facing the onlooking crowd everyone was astonished to see the Dukes visage displayed upon the severed extremity.

The Heroes of Eros & Friends, had been sent to the Duchy as the first step in the debt owed for returning thier slain friends from death in an outer dimension (see Chapter 17).  The Quest of the Five Gods begins here in the home of Duke Magnussen XIII. A battle directly against the powers of Chaos and those the five Gods are at odds with.

A large leathery winged reptile blocked the sun as it grasped the Duke's daughter in one talon. At the same moment the executioner removed his hood to reveal a gleaming Silver Skull!!!! Jumping astride the hideous creature the executioner and girl were whisked away by the beast to disappear over the cliff edge upon which the Manor/Keep was perched. The Duke called out to the assembled crowd, "A fortune to those who can return my daughter to me!"

 In less than an hour the Heroes of Eros found themselves before a large iron door deep in the bowels of the Magnussen dungeons. Tryrrian noted that a sharp featured karakian women had joined the quest. Dressed in fine silken robes, her long black hair held up in strange fashion with nothing but colored sticks the woman seemed to be quite unafraid.

 "Excuse me," Inquired Brother Beavis, "I am Beavis, chosen of Losborst and my friends and I are about to delve into a perilous and perchance life threatening endeavor. Will you be joining us?"

The woman nodded her head quickly in a positive motion.

Tyrrian spoke up, "I am a warrior as you can plainly see by my arms, and I know what my friends can do. What, may I ask would you bring to aid us in this quest and what is your name?"

 A stream of unintelligable words began streaming from the woman's mouth, she noticed the dumbfounded look, stopped and spoke again slowly with a heavy accent to her words. "You may call me Hiyakaru, and I would supply the mystic powers of the Spirit-folk to your expedition." She then bowed to the Heroes.

The young Warrior took a step toward her, "Another Wizard then?" The lad clenched his hammer tightly and began to raise it.

Beavis placed his hand on the Hammer and pushed it down slowly, "Tyrrian, lad. No reason to judge one so hastily. Though we have experienced a most unsavory event with one who wielded magic dos not mean we should think others will do the same." The good Father winked at the boy and turned to face the newcomer. "The Heroes of Eros gracefully welcome you to our band Hikaru, and we hope to form a bond of friendship and trust with you on this journey." The Cleric returned the bow.

Tyrrian whispered to Erwyn, "Let's just be sure we keep an eye on her eh?"
The dwarf scrunched his face and grunted in agreement.

The party braved many dangers in their journey to save the Duke's daughter. The staunch blessing of Losborst aided all in the battles they fought!

In the family crypts the vile Vashtaa Narada (shadows that melt flesh) were destroyed by the mighty mystical magiks of the Sorceress from Karak.

Deep under the crypts the the party faced hell-spawned demons and sent them packing as well! Tyrrian, Erwyn and Lars showed exceptional skill at dispatching creatures of the nether-planes! Vala used her magic to great aid of the group as well as being pivotal in the final destruction of the Silver Skull!

[under construction]