So we are three sessions into the campaign now, and I've killed off two characters. I think I'm doing this right. :) The campaign has five players now, since two more
This is just a reminder that much of the setting will be organized on the following bad HTML website: http://darveshill.bravehost.com/
Perhaps I should introduce our illustrious heroes? "I wrote a song about it, like to here it, here it goes." -Calhoon Tubbs/In Living Color
Cyr is a Human Thief that is played by Mike. He has recently found an old coin/holy symbol. A Quasit Demon latched onto him, and another character Thimple (detailed below). Cyr's retainer Tyr Vand Dedsoon (a Human Magic-User) was eaten alive by a swarm of bugs, and his body was burned in the proper fashion. Cyr has recently hired on Targ, who is a Human Fighter to help him in the quest of clearing out the evil of Darves Hill. Cyr was the first character to reach Level 2.
Grunk is a Human Fighter that is played by Jeff. He has taken on the trappings of the groups leader, but that title may just be in his own mind... He has taken charge of making sure everyone seems to get a long, and to make suggestions for the splitting of loot, and for shouting tactical orders during battle. He has a Halfling retainer, that has been known to be a bit... um... shady... This Halfling goes by Thimple, and he is the other character that the Quasit Demon has latched onto. It seems when you are trapped in a small box for a long period of time, that the people that let you out, become your "friends." Grunk is now a Level 2 character.
Brother Derris is a Human Cleric that is played by John. He isn't very fond of the Quasit in the party, but he has let it slide so far. He has been instrumental in translating many things at Darves Hill because most of it is written in an ancient divine language, that he is familiar with. Many items seem to have been given names, that allude to their properties. He has a Dwarven retainer by the name of Ordok Throon. Ordok has an adventurous spirit, and seemingly good luck. Brother Derris is now a Level 2 character.
Silverleaf is an Elf played by Friar (Brendon). He has shown cunning, and a cautious adventuring spirit so far. He seems to have much potential. His trusty Dwarven retainer Steel Beard is more about action than long thought out cautionary procedures. This risky attitude may bring him great success, but possibly also a short life expectancy. Only time will tell.
Marjuan was a Magic-User that was played by Tom. Marjuan met the gods when he failed to follow the warning of the arcane words inscribed above a doorway. They told him to not look backwards, and he did. He was killed by illusionary magic, in the form of evil spirits. Marjuan's Human retainer Mescillius, then became the master (and inherited all of his boss's equipment). Later a Human Cleric by the name of Metham would join with Mescillious' in a life of danger and possible wealth.
January 2011 Game Summary
The group met up at the holy temple to discuss things with the head priest Ur-Nammu. He told them of a rumor that a huge winged creature had flew over the town early that morning and was seen heading north in the direction of Darves Hill. The group found it odd, that they didn't see it on their way into the town of Nahm...
The group met with Silverleaf & Steel Beard, as well as Marjuan and Mescillius. It seems they had also answered the temple's call for the purification of Darves Hill. They were given some welcoming gifts from the other characters (ie stuff they couldn't use) and headed off to the Inn to get some food and to get a room for the night. Grunk paid for everyone's meal, and for their rooms, and tipped the establishment heavily. They were treated like pauper Kings that night. Silverleaf chatted up the attractive bartender Ashley, but she seemed pretty empty headed. The Magic-User and Elf took time out to share the spells in their spellbooks, and they scribbled arcane passages into the night until sleep finally took them.
The group headed North, and about halfway there to Darves Hill, they noticed a very large creature was indeed resting on the top of the ancient temple at the very top of the hill. As they got closer, it seemed to be a large Green Dragon that had fallen asleep. A noxious gas could be seen escaping from under its wing, where its head was being sheltered from the day sun by its massive wing. The adventurers kept as hidden as possible, but the Dragon did not wake from its slumber. They eventually made it to the hill, and began their work renewed after their previous night in the Inn.
The group made a plan to remove all of the equipment from one of the four donkeys in their retinue. They tied a stone to the bridle with a rope, and the plan was to drop the stone if the Dragon woke up. This way, the group could run away and the donkey could be Dragon food. It was a good plan, but one that didn't need to be implemented yet.
They explored a building with no doors. All of the structures on the hill are made from a black brick, with gray and reddish mortar. While searching, they found a strange lever behind one of the loose bricks. Grunk offered to pull the lever, and a forcefield, similar to a magical bird cage sprung out over him. He was standing on grass though. Unable to dispel the magical effect, Grunk instead dug out the ground where he was standing and figured out that the cage did not continue on past the dirt. In short order, they managed to dig a little tunnel for Grunk to escape.
When Grunk pulled the lever, a secret door popped open. Inside the bare room, was a single urn made of pottery on the dirt floor. Brother Derris was able to read the name of Ur-Masha written in strange cuneiform lettering. The room had not been opened for a long time it seemed. Ordok Throon noticed that there was an area of the floor that had slightly different colored dirt, and began to dig. Slowly they uncovered an ancient skeleton wearing a chain belt and a ring that seemed to be resting on the skeleton's face. In the skeleton's hands it was holding a very large and ornate two handed warhammer. The weapon's name was Namuš A Namuš which meant Death To Death. They later inferred that this was a weapon to smite Undead with. Ordok Throon put on the strange ring, and it re-sized itself and then small sharp spikes implanted themselves in his finger. It seems for better or worse the magical ring's unknown abilities are stuck on the Dwarves finger.
Brother Derris inferred that Ur-Masha was a powerful priest from bygone days. They had planned to take this name back to town and try to do some research on it. The urn was trapped from below, such that if they pulled up on the urn, something nasty would happen. They wisely did not move the urn and left the little room.
Nightfall is a horrible time on the hill, so the group wisely took shelter in one of the larger ruined buildings that they had cleared out previously. The night was strangely quiet compared to previous nights, but they would hear the massive wings of the Dragon and then the sound of something unnatural dying a horrible death. At one point massive scratching claws scraped the walls of their building, and they spiked the door shut. It tried to force its way in, but could not breach the door. This same creature was also eaten by the Dragon after its breath weapon seemingly killed it. The creature killed was thought to be an Undead, because the warhammer glowed a faint white light when it was near.
In another ruined building, the group found part of the floor was raised, and on this raised floor was a black very clean slab with very minute words inscribed in a circle. The group felt that this was some sort of teleportation device, or perhaps some way to disintergrate things. They tested it out by dumping water on it, and by dropping rocks on it. All they know is that when anything touched the surface of the slab, it vanished from sight, and was not there anymore. No one stood on it to see what would happen.
In another building, with an archway entrance, Thimple walked in and was momentarily scared by the visions of horrible demons and menacing spirits trying to enter his body. He shook off this horrible vision (with a saving throw) and told the rest of the group what he felt and saw. There was strange unknown arcane writing on the back of the arch, and the others threw in the special Helmet that they had found earlier that aided in deciphering languages. It was a simple warning that said, "Walk In Backwards."
The Dwarf Steel Beard offered to walk in first, so he turned around and went in backwards as the warning said. He also made sure not to look backwards, for fear that he might suffer some horrible fate. He was surprised to find a set of invisible stairs that hit the back of his heels. He felt around with his feet and hands, and discerned that they were two feet wide, and each step was about a foot high. He slowly began climbing the stairs. Nothing it seems could touch or even feel that the stairs were there, except for the feet of the character. Everyone started getting a little freaked out, but Steel Beard kept moving backwards up a set of invisible stairs.
Thimple was getting tired for waiting for the cautious Steel Beard (as the Dwarf was making slow progress) so he quickly moved up the stairs backwards, until his Halfling head broke the plane of the ceiling, and found that it too was an illusion. His eyes broke through the floor like an alligator's eyes looking for prey just above the surface of the water. He found another inscription that read, "You can look everywhere now." He saw four padlocked chests, and quickly continued on into the room. He marked the edges of the real floor, and the illusionary floor, so he wouldn't fall through once he was up there.
Marjuan wanted in on the action, so he began testing the stairs as well. He made the mistake of looking backwards, and he too felt the encroaching evil of spirits trying to enter his body (and he failed his saving throw). Marjuan screamed horribly, and then his lifeless body fell down through the invisible stairs. Blood flowed out of all of his orifices, and was a testament in death to the living to be cautious.
They found a good many coins, and a suit of chain armor with Ur-Masha's name on it, as well as the holy symbol of the two snakes eating each other on the chest.
This is where it got interesting, because from here on out I just winged everything, and let the game take on a life all it's own. I've very big on inspiration, and flying by the seat of my pants, so this was awesome. John in an out of character quip, said the following, "Ur-Masha! Ur-Masha! Ur-Masha!" in a way that mimicked The Brady Bunch. I ruled that this was said in character, and the players got nervous... especially when they saw me smile like an evil GM. > : ) This made me think of Beetlejuice (yeah, a little lame I know) and I had them roll to see if they could hear a sound. They heard a popping noise coming from the room with the urn and the skeleton.
They left their safe house, and investigated the room with the urn once more. The top of the urn had seemingly exploded, and ashes were swirling in the air. Slowly the ashes were being attracted to the bones of the skeleton, and the ashes started forming muscle and tendons. Mescillious was scared that some powerful Undead was forming right in front of his eyes, and tried to smash it with his warhammer, but the warhammer no matter how hard he tried, would hit the skeleton. Brother Derris asked the group for patience, because he had a hunch that something miraculous was taking place.
The skeleton was looking disgusting with bleeding muscle and tendons, and it began to move its arms and legs slowly. It eventually sat up, and opened its eyes. These eyes stared seemingly right into Brother Derris' soul. With a deep voice, that sounded cracked and aged by time, the fleshy Undead creature began asking questions and discussing things with Brother Derris.
It informed them, that its name was Ur-Masha, and that Brother Derris had saved him from an excrutiating eternity in some hellish netherworld. He explained that he was one of the last holy priests left back when the temple on the hill still promoted religion and housed priests. He was betrayed by his brothers and sisters of the faith, and was dragged unnaturally by summoned demons into a pit of torture and madness. When brother Derris had called his name three times, he heard the voice, and a way of escape was laid out before him. He fled through time and space, and woke up here, where once his corpse was cursed. He informed them that Lekorh, and ancient Undead Lich with powers of the demonic was the source of all the evil in the hill, and that the priests of his order had made a pact with it.
Ur-Masha was very disoriented, and not all of his skin was formed over his bleeding muscles and tendons. He's a pretty fugly bastard if you want to know the truth... While discussing things with Ur-Masha, he seemed to be getting pulled back to that hellish prison that he had just escaped. He made them promise to destroy him on this plane, because he would rather be nothing than to endure such hell again. In a moment of quick insight, Grunk told Brother Derris to cast Protection From Evil on Ur-Masha, and he did in a quick fashion. Ur-Masha said he felt like the evil connections were severed by the spell, and that he felt much better, even though he said everywhere he looked, looked so much different than it once was. He told them that a city once resided at the base of the hill, but there were no signs that anything like that ever existed. It seems that city was made almost at the dawn of time, and that Ur-Masha is ancient indeed.
Silverleaf, worried that when the spell's duration ended, that Ur-Masha would be dragged back to his hellish prison, so he wanted to try to take him to that illusionary room that felt like a pocket dimension. Strange things started to happen when the Undead was in the room, and several of the PCs noticed that horrible clawed and twisted creatures seemed to be trying to invade from some other reality. They escaped the room, and felt like the room was possibly closer to the plane where the demons resided, and hence they were able to invade easier. The room was fine once Ur-Masha was no longer present in it.
The group decided to head back to Nahm, and to take Ur-Masha in a round about way to the temple to have the priests there take a look at him, and to see if they could protect him from the demons or devils that wanted him still. He isn't the kind of guy you want to parade around the peasants in the town...
On the way back home, a religious discussion sprouted up between Brother Derris and Ur-Masha about what gods each other served. Ur-Masha did not know the gods of Brother Derris, but Grunk managed to interpret that the "Two Snake Gods" that Ur-Masha had mentioned worshiping sounded a lot like Mar and Umar (the creative and destructive forces of the modern day pantheon that didn't require worship). Ur-Masha said that the gods that Derris worshiped sounded like minor helpers to the true gods, or perhaps the helpers were new gods, and the older ones had ceased to care. This was all so worrisome to Ur-Masha, and the rest of the way to the town he spent in quite thinking.
The duration of the Protection From Evil spell finally ran out, and the demons did not come to reclaim their prize torture victim. Brother Derris clapped Grunk on the back, and the group continued heading to town, feeling like they had done a great cosmic good deed.
It was a great time, and I think having more players really brought more fun into the game. Thanks for playing everyone. I look forward to playing in Feb.