Where Have All The Dragons Gone?
- 1 Summary
- 2 First of Frost: Fire Lizards in the Mist
- 3 Second of Frost: We Find Dragons
- 4 Third of Frost: Castle Frozen Doom
- 5 Forth of Frost: Return to Castle Frozen Doom
- 6 Fifth of Frost: Karakas and Castle Cree
- 7 Administration
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- GM: Miles Jackson
- Time: Winter 811 WK
- Day: Wednesdays
- Level: Medium+
- The Party
- Dwork - bodyguard, male prostitute and wielder of a massive flaming glaive. Over-powered, over-sexed and over-here (scribe & much feared leader)
- Zanak - former pirate, now a warror priest of Ahura Mazda
- Theodonna - a not quite human namer (knows everything about everything - given time)
- Sooty – Elven Healer & Ash Mage (don't ask)
- RocSinger - a rock star ("I've adventured with him before, I trust him" - Rocsinger, on Sian hypnotising him) Enchanter
First of Frost: Fire Lizards in the Mist
What have I gotten into now? Looks good - hot times ahead. And the promise of 10,000 sp each!
My sort of guy
Halos Shaman of the Fire Clan comes from the plane of Korinia (guild's been there before Little Girl Lost in the Woods and Six go mad on mescaline). He looks harmless enough (spear carrying swarthy brown 5'2" guy, only dressed in loincloth and armband) but the Guild tells us he is part human only and pacted to a Demon Lizard. Not a good start BUT he seems to be really good to fire. I can forgive a lot for that.
His tribe lives in a big hot mist-shrouded rift valley (200 x 300 miles, 2000 ft deep), centred on a massive lava vent (he calls it the Great Fire Elemental). The rift jungle is inhabited by all sort of dangerous things: Firelisks, Fire Apes, Fire Spiders and Fire Blooms (detecting a theme here?) - as well as Poison Dart people and man eating plants.
BUT at the top of the rift food chain are the Tharacine (as he calls them) - sound identical to Fire-breathing Dragons to me! Originally there were about 120 (20 female + 100 males) - but now they are down to about three females. Not good for the ole fire breathers. Not good for the Fire Clan, 'cos these are the creatures he is pacted to - they kinda help each other.
The Demon Lizards protect the Fire Clan from Slavers in airships - who want to capture the heat-resistant Fire Clansmen because they can mine Fire Gems from a Hellfire Hole (about 50 miles from the rift, a hole maybe 3000 ft deep and HOT - serious lava at the bottom). Now Fire Gems are really valuable because they seem to be a major source of power - of course you can make them go BOOM too (note that would wipe out most of Seagate). The slavers are based at Hellfire Town (right next to Hellfire Hole) - a town full of out and out b@stards. I'm sure we will get there sometime. Way beyond Hellfire Town (200 miles) is Helioplos (big port city - about the size of Seagate)
So, the problem is that if the Demon Lizard Ladies disappear, there won't be any Demon Lizard Babies and eventually the slavers will have their way with the Fire Clan. It's our job the find them. Sounds simple enough.
Some other interesting stuff
- The only natural enemies of the Thracine are packs of Rocs - and they haven't been seen around recently
- Halos' spear is made of 'shaped fire' - way beyond my weapons of fire (and makes any DAer queasy to look at)
- There are about 10-15,000 tribesmen - in 5 tribes, with 1 shaman per tribe
- While shaman are pacted to a Demon Lizard/Thracine/Dragon, the people are pacted to Elemental Fire (which Helos says lives in/is the rift lava)
- We will need to get 'branded' so that the Thracine won't eat us - and so we will be able to survive the heat of the rift. Not sure, but this may mean we are pacted to Elemental Fire too Not a problem to me.
- In about 3 weeks there will be a mid-winter rift cleansing ceremony in about 3 weeks - which will heat up the rift bigtime!
Finally, the lizards are soooo helpful - I wonder what they require in exchange?
Karakas and Elennor
We fly out to see Zanak's favourite potion making witch (and my favourite witch's assistant) - 'cos they have the best Greaters money can't buy. The witch knows a little about Halos (she monitors such intrusions into our plane). The most powerful of the Demon Lizards/Dragons is incredibly powerful, but not evil - although there are legends that a Dragon of Fire will 'Cleans the World' with fire. How bad can that be?
- Yes, she has a small quest for Zanak, Theo and me ...
... to get 6 eggs from a Firelisk (yes, Halos did mention those inhabit his jungle - big: 9ft long x 4ft high). Karakas puts some cold enchantments on Zanak's weapons and Elennor comes with us to provide transportation and emergency/raise dead assistance. We teleport to a hot-but-nasty place: hot beetles patrol the ground (really hot), a hornet injects me with larvae (that Zanak digs out), Fire thorn plants are likely to explode, blue flowered Fire Blossoms will - well you can guess. Why do I think Karakas is giving us a taste of things to come?
- We sneak down a tunnel into a Firelisk lair ...
... a cavern with a flaming tar pit in the middle and two 'nests' around the edges - one full of gems and the other eggs. Theo confirms that the gems are eggs AND the eggs are gems (ha!) and suppresses the alarm spell on them (ha!) - and Zanak starts telekenising the eggs out (we'll get the gems next). Right on cue, the hot and bothered flaming mother (REALLY hot and bothered) charges out of the tar. We have Theo's counter-spells on us - just as well as this lizard seems to be emitting deadly fire spells without thinking. Even to stand and fight (as I did) eats away the fire armour alarmingly quickly. I have Zanak's cold enchanted axe to hold it at bay - and eventually kill it, but not before Theo cannot shake off the effects of one of those spells - and disintegrates into ash. Nothing to collect really. Zanak and I can't even touch the lizard corpse, so we rush out cursing with the eggs - to find Elennor, a newly resurrected Theo and a lizard corpse.
- As Theo morns her lost endurance ...
... we head back and all take one of Karakas' potions of Greater – and the witch says she will shape the lizard skin into armour for our immediate use.
Second of Frost: We Find Dragons
- Arrivals and Farewells
A late arrival from Seagate arrives at the hag's hut - RocSinger (an E&E). Doesn't look like he can fight at all. Even heard to say 'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent". Ah, but it is the first refuge of the truely competent!
Karakas seems unusually helpful to us - does she know something we don't know? Definitely. Elennor gives us good stuff:
- 6 potions of greater, 2 potions of Endurance (for RocSinger - 12 points) and a wishbone that will locate a 'fire lizard' (ie a dragon).
- Pyro: seems to be a young elvish female (but you never know) who can change into a small bird 'of fire'. Elennor tells us Pyro will give us good advice and is able to do resurrections. Hot!
Potions give wings to speed home.
- Farewell to Seagate
Helos does his ritual and brands us (-5 fire damage/+10% fire resistance). The binding with the Spirit of Flame gives some fire related abilities (Zanak: RK5 smoke creation; Dwork and RocSinger Rk5 Binding Fire; Theo Rk10 (!) Smoke Creation). Hot!
RocSinger takes along 5000sp of luxury items in her backpack (oddly spacious that); Theo takes 500 sp worth.
I take the role as party leader - nobody opposes my decisive action.
Finally Helos opens up a flaming arch - and we step through to his jungle city temple
Locals welcome their saviours warmly. Scantily clad tribal woman love the Orc - they can detect the fiercely smoldering flames within him. Hot! We talk to feathered chief (Fern) and get a guide (Grady).
Helos rambles on The Cleansing fire kills the weak, those not in tune with the flame, those that have strayed away from the true path. He is starting to sound like Zanak.
We decide to investigate Furnace's disappearance - the last female lizard gone missing (using Karakas' wishbone) - and off we fly again. On the way there we avoid a large group of trimphant looking Thracines. Theo checks them out from the distance: looks like they have been a battle - incoming lightning bolts, outgoing fire elemental summoning and stuff. Of course they are all pacted to fire too. Wonder what fun they have been having? We don't stop to ask.
Furnace's Last Stand
A huge section of jungle has been smashed down (maybe 200ft diameter) and the clearing is littered with huge broken weapons, cremated bodies and charred ground. Yup, been a big battle here.
A massive bolt whistles past the agile Orc - and others shrug off the effects of incoming magic. We react immediately as the party is quickened and intense fireballs burn the already charred ground. Zanak is dragged to the ground by earth magics, while me and the pacifist enchanter perch in the high trees raining fire on the Trolls and Dwarves below. So much for the last refuge of the incompetent! The singer calls down on the enemy to 'surrender' - they say 'lets talk' - so we do.
Ruby (a troll) is a earth mage, accompanied by two of her stupid kin along with two 'dark' dwarves (bolt throwers) and a very sneaky goblin (Gobbo). Yes, they had been hired over in Hellfire to try to capture a fire beast - arrived late on this scene. We talk to them. RocSinger talks to, well, a rock. Theo uses her best talents to tease information out of the battleplace.
- the dragon was dragged out of the air by barbed bolts on immense chains (evil binders no doubt - I know the type). Flame rained down and killed many as the dragon was winched down - knocking down trees. Powerful agonies and enervations crippled the scaled one. All this maybe 2 days ago.
- the sedated beast was taken through some sort of gate and all of the other attackers 'popped' out of existence. Two powerful mages lead - one some sort of Earth mage, the other an anti-life specialist, along with some very large helpers.
- It was not a portal, rather some sort of transport to a closely linked plane (remember the barriers between the plane are thin on this plane - well they certainly are up North)
Zanak searches and only and finds an extremely sharp well made dagger - with a crest of a laughing monkey. Appropriate.
- Never a dull moment
Zanak talks sweetly to his lizard master - who is able to re-open the 'not'-portal. RocSinger and Theo magically probe the portal, while Zanak considers putting is mind through it - rather then out-of-his-mind he would be out-of-his-body (same effect though).
Pyro shreaks 'Danger' and 'Flee' and flutters off. Not very brave that bird.
The probers detect an undead Drow necromancer (spectre strength at least) and a very large skeletal figure - a necromantic skeletal construct. The black construct moves quickly to come through the portal - 2 heads, 4 glowing eyes and two hands that catch the spells we cast - and throw them back (ouch). Zanak moves to bar the skeletal figure entrance, telling his lizard to CLOSE THE PORTAL DOWN - NOWWWWWW.
A single blow crushes the unfortunate priest, turning his white tunic red. For some reason his lifeless body disappears - at the same time as we hear a voice remarkably like Karakas' swearing profusely. BUT his sacrifice as served a purpose - the lizard closes the portal before the black figure can advance. Good leadership that. Decisive.
Shaken we regroup and investigate the clearing. After a couple of hours, Pyro reappears with the priest! Surprising. Pyro then changes into a Karakas looking figure. Even more suprising. She says that the shamen had piqued her interest, so she has sent a 'portion' of herself to keep an eye on us - and him.
Karakas tells us she will be leaving as she is attracting too many unfriendly eyes. She does leave us some help: a little firebird construct with 6 charges of resurrection; a 30 point heal potion each and some information
- The skeleton we “defeated” (ran away from) was created by an ancient form of necromancy.
- The portal we opened went to the “closely allied spirit plane” of Ice and Undead.
Karakas creates images of us all and leaves. This should give us a bit of breathing space.
Through the Portal - Again
We wisely wait 30 minutes then reopen the portal (not so wise). On the other side is a cave with runes painted on the floor. They aren’t glowing, which we take as a good sign.
- We are on the Plane of Frozen Doom. At this early stage we aren’t afraid (but that will come soon enough).
- There are some shrieking bats on the ceiling. Fortunately they are all asleep. Rocsinger sleeps one and it falls to its death. He gets some amusement from that.
The 3 runes are identified as “opening portal control”, “undead manipulation” and “ice control”.
- Theodonna disjunctions the floor area and the runes start glowing. It seems her spell removed a “suppressing magic”. We look about - and decide the better part of valour is to run into the next room.
- A Dragon Chained
There is a brazier directly under a dripping pipe from the roof high above – dripping Dragon Blood. As they hit the brazier they burst into blue crackling lightning. RocSinger puts a wizard's eye up through the roof and sees a chained dragon being bled. There are some guards around (mostly humans who appear to be being drained) and they don’t look happy!
At the far end of the vast room (about 500 ft x 300ft) are the trio we saw before through the portal: that Drow; an 8 ft 360 lb scale clad figure and a 6 foot skeletal figure. They haven’t noticed us.
- A second Dragon Chained
There is another room to the other side of the dragon and so Rocsinger checks that out too. There is another dragon, chained, being force fed to keep its strength up. There are 6 huge wolves and 6 figures in the room.
We spend a few minutes deciding how to rescue the dragons and causing the maximum carnage, when Rocsinger tells us one of the figures is racing down the stairs with 2 wolves to engage us.
We retreat through a corridor and try to reopen the portal to escape. It takes some very tense minutes to succeed. The ensuing battle is very rough as a spectral warrior tries to join the battle but we manage to kill the 2 wolves and the rider. We don’t have enough time to gather the treasure (sword) before a fresh wave approaches. We dash through the portal that Theodonna activated (the first rune).
- Forest Spiders
We step through into a forest but we are still on the plane of Frozen Doom. RocSinger is convinced he can hear undead in the bushes and dashes off to battle them. We follow to be ensnared by a giant undead spider with multiple heads. Dwork manages to triple fireball the creature and we escape. Rocsinger is still convinced undead are about so Gobbo knocks him out.
Karakas & Elennor II
Zanak uses his lizard to open a portal to Karakas’ home. It is daylight and Elennor asks if we are able to enter the house. Karakas agrees and we see her in her true form. She is a deformed elf with a scarred face and a hand missing. We treat her respectfully and she offers us some rest. When we tell her of the portal and that the undead might follow it she whisks her home to a new location. We aren’t sure how she did it but she ensures us we are safe.
Karakas sees a curse on Rocsinger and lifts it, after Rocsinger unsuccessfully tries it himself. We tell her everything and she gives us another gift: a necrogeny potion each (this should help against draining)
She advices us to see knowledge from others in the plane of Kerrena and to avoid battles where we are so easily outmatched until we have some allies.
As we leave Gobbo gives her a present. It is in respect of a “powerful lady”. He won’t say anymore on the matter. We decide that we need to
- Talk to the dragons
- Talk to others in Kerrena
- Find allies of Fire and Light
- Find allies on the spirit planes.
Karakas says if we bring her some fire gems she will craft an item for each of us. She sends us to the guild to top up our supplies before sending us back to the Shaman Halos. We get some more Necrogeny potions and restoratives and healing potions.
Halos seems to have gone mad. He insists the plane needs to be cleansed of evil, not just the valley. His religious fervour is extreme. It seems some undead had come back to Kerrena searching for us. The local tribes found them torturing innocents and destroyed them from a distance with fireballs.Halos believes a “purity of flame” could cleanse ALL planes. This is somewhat alarming to us so Rocsinger tries to calm him down with some music. It seems to pull him back from the brink but he is still clearly in a “zealot” phase. Zanak can appreciate the religious fervour. We don’t’ tell him what we have learnt about the plane of frozen doom.
We head off in search of dragons and it doesn’t take long to find some. A male called Glorinda and a female called Aris (she turns out to be the Queen of the dragons) talk to us. We tell them everything.The dragons plan to destroy Heliopolis in one week since some of the undead are being aided by citizens of that city. They talk about using fire gems to level the city. We quietly discuss using fire gems on the plane of frozen doom.
There appears ot be a middle aged lady and a male dandy in control in Heliopolis.The dragons have helped the shaman to destroy the undead and have heard his desire to “cleanse the plane”. They aren’t sure if the legendary demon lizard actually exists though.
The queen gives us 2 cryptic messages
Go through hellfire and you may be enlightened Look with both ears and hear with both eyes.
She also points out they almost dropped some fire gems on us when the portals opened to their world. They are sensitive to that kind of thing. They sniff Zanaks lizard to be able to identify us and our portals.
They offer to fly us to Hellfire. Aris sniffs the firebird Karakas gave us and smiles knowingly. We don’t know what she has learnt. As we head off there is Zanak, Rocsinger, Theodonna, Dwork, Sooty, Ruby and Gobbo, and the firebird. The tribe guide has left as he thinks we are crazy.
We land a little way away and quickly discover the burg is under martial law of one Captain Kree and his 80 or so knights and 20 Rocs - just the sort of guy of real use in cleaning toilets (like this place). Sent over by the powers-that-be in Helioplis. Most of the remaining burg-rats are living below ground in cellars – ‘cos frankly there’s not much ‘above ground’ left. We find out about all the important people left in town – and then leave the captain (rather than be press-ganging into corpse burying duty)
- Glander – a dragon hunter
- Giblett – slaver
- Krase and Karla - Bounty hunters (they hire the people that hunt dragons)
- Miners – Cord and Brella
RocSinger and Theo feel kinda queasy walking through the death laden streets (some sort of disease we think) and we talk to a few cellar people (they’re drinking a lot of wine – so I guess they were wine cellars). Three cellars down is the lair of the bounty hunters – some of our ‘must see’ people.
- We take a short trip (well a long one really)
There are two flunkeys at the top of the stairs down who seem to want some cash, so I ignore them - expecting my rear guard to do their job. Won’t make that mistake again. I’m leading the way down when I get hit by a falling Ruby (the troll – remember). Knocked me and the priest right to the bottom of the stairs – troll on top (not that I wouldn’t mind that troll on top in other circumstances).
This cellar has got eight hostiles – 4 guys with nets, two tainted in the middle and a lady and guy in the back. Starts OK - RocSinger and Theo cast (I think that Sooty was entertaining the flunkeys at the back) and we take down the tainted guys, but those our casters and Ruby go down snoring and Zanak is left rolling on the floor using all of his healing skills to stop his own heart exploding. Gobbo has disappeared.
Well, that leaves me. I go 2D and speed around the net-guys. One hits me with a club, but I time-slip around its magical effect and get toe-to-toe with the spell casting witch. I would have taken her down except she was some sort of undead – draining the life out of me. Toe-to-toe is not the best place to be really. I fall and Zanak is hammered by the net-guys. Not good.
Third of Frost: Castle Frozen Doom
- Nekkid and Cold
We awake back in that cold castle - battered and bruised and our innate magic suppressed. All of our material goods have been taken and dumped elsewhere. No escape there. That Drow woman arrives and taunts us - we gather that she is going to use Ice crystals mined to the north (at great cost of life) to close the fire portal (at the bottom of the Hellfire Hole) and redress the balance. Guess who is going to help mine the ice crystals? Yes - us. So off we go to the salt mines - I mean the cold mines.
- Winter Wonderland
The winds did blow. Was it the wind that said Wait until dark?. We trudged through the deep snow guarded by 4 ice trolls. Our innate magics return - but our material goods don't (surprise surprise). Looking back at the castle wall we see birds vaporised at they randomly fly over (whirlwind vortex?) and undead patrol the walls. We guess there are plenty of other protective magics in force too.
Night falls and the trolls leave us huddling around a small fire. Sooty gives use some elemental protection - which makes a big difference. The reappearance of Gobbo does to! He has been with us all along (the whispering wind) - and even managed to snatch a random item from our pile of goods back at the castle. Great snatch - he got RocSinger's pack - which happens to hold, weeeell lots (being rather magical). Out of the pack comes all sorts of clothes and stuff - but no weapons.
Of course, our well planned ambush takes out the 4 trolls before they really know what hit them: Gobbo's close in combat, Sooty's elemental protections, Theo's walls of forbidding, RocSinger and my fireballs - and my giant flaming glave ensured no survivors. Don't remember Zanak doing anything (must be my memory)
Escape from the Ice Plain
Humm - where is all of our stuff? Back at the castle (we saw it on the way out). So guess what - back we go to the castle.
The plan? Grab the stuff and portal out (courtesy of Zanak's lizard - which should be with our stuff). Easy.
We get close to the cells easily enough. Alarms are going off (forgot to look for wards in one place), so time pressure. Coming down the last stairs I spot three guardians: a jewel and amulet decked out skeletal torturer (we meet painfully before), a stone golem that looks just like me and a large troll with a maul. Luckily the cell with our goods is just through a wall to our left - so Ruby tunnels and heads in with Sooty. Zanak spots his lizard on the torturer's shoulder - not good, so he slips past the troll and golem to attack. Got a great smite in. The torturer grabs a handful of a table and throws it on the ground - and a wood golem springs up. I go toe to toe with myself while Theo tries to counter down the enemies and RocSinger charms the troll.
Sooty finds our stuff - but minus all jewellrey and amulets. Odd. The skeletal binder hits Zanak and rips out a piece of his flesh - and throws it on the ground. A flesh golem springs up - looking just like Zanak (sort of). Zanak collapses to the ground and his body, well, dissolves. We learn later that Zanak's spirit/soul (whatever) has been dragged out his body and into the golem - where the binder can control him. Fireballs and hellfire heat up the room - frying the skeleton guy and torching the wood golem. The skeletal torturer binder b@st@rd disappears (we learn later he sunk into the floor) leaving Zanak out-of-sorts/body (a fully functional flesh golem). I take me down.
The cells contain a couple of possible allies - and they tell tales of defeat by a Scale Mailed figure of unbelieveable power. Gobbo reappears and tells us that a Scale Mailed figure is on his way. The lizard still can't teleport (seems the castle suppresses that kind of magic), so we head down the stairs and start tunnelling. We blow up the cells and the attached alchemical lab - so things burn with unbelieveable intensity. We spot Mr Scale Mail (No GTN?!, long lived unique entity, Magic armour, greatest weakness 'sound'). He seems to be really good with materials - as he rips huge blocks out of the wall.
It looks but it cannot see It hears but it makes not noise It is here but not there
We collapse the tunnel behind us, but Mr Scale is clearly ripping his way to us. Finally the lizard opens a portal and we try to get back home (well to the forest). There is a forbidding up, as some of us can't get through. Sooty uses some sort of fire teleport to gather the party together again - bemoaning our lost eldrich jewellrey and trinkets.
Zanak (the flesh golem) and the greater effretti (Baron Alagor - we freed him from the cells - remember?) go away and see what can be done about the priest's condition. When they return Zanak is 4'6" tall fire creature (GTN Fire Zanak). Went well I guess!
RocSinger's charmed Troll (Troll Grunt 79 - a small ice troll) gives us some information
- The skeletal torturer guy is an call Koresh (an undead binder) and lady in charge is an very powerful drow lich necromancer called Eeallice. He doesn't know Mr Scale Mail's name, but he is really good with materials - punching through armour like it doesn't exist.
- his bosses are preparing to come invade this plane, replacing some key leaders of Heleopolis with really realistic flesh golems.
- As far as Grunt 79 knows, the invasion force consists of 3 rocs, 50 trolls, 12 ice wargs (bite through anything) and 200 humanoids of various sorts. Doesn't sound a huge force - must be more.
- The skeletal torturer guys (with our magics) can produce instant golems instantly, but only 1 of each type at a time
We spend he last hour of the day divinating Zanak's lizard (we aren't exactly certain what it has become - it appears to be a patch work of lizard parts). It has become a unique easily located entity, made up of the pieces of a fire lizard, salamander and gekko. Its plainar magic has been 'tweeked'.
The ghost elf (the other ally from the cells - please pay attention) was killed by Mr Scale. She tells us that the Dragon Blood can be used to suppress undead draining and Koresh was working to create some sort of mass control item. The plot thickens.
Forth of Frost: Return to Castle Frozen Doom
- Midnight Mayhem
A huge (30ft) glowing lightning bolt throwing Iron golem and 1/2 dozen skeletons (GTN: roundups) come through a portal. Koresh (the driver) yells Hand-over the scumbags to me or else I will level this town. That crew set about destroying the tree town.
Mayhem. Huge fireballs. Huge lightning bolts. Death and Dispair.
Eventually Dwork and Scotty manage to get on board and throw a couple of ticking ice crystals (the really destructive ones) back throuh the portal. The golem explodes, levelling the town and killing me and Zanak (and Gobbo and Troll Grunt 79). On the good side we collect 50,000sp worth of golem bits.
Counter attack (3AM)
Well there is no defense like attack, so after a lot of healing and resurrecting flame magic. the lizard re-opens the portal. We charge back through - to a 90ft deep blast crater and no castle. Revenge is sweet sometimes.
But we're stuck there - turns out the dragons have been working to block this plane and the lizard seems to be forgetting how to open portals. Odd that. Off we go into the cold landscape seeking an escape path
- 4 am A Haven
Ten miles cross country to a village enclosed by a shimmering translucent dome? We approach cautiously, but we are welcomed - and take the time to gather information and do some divinations
- after the explosion a great evil left the plain (presumably Eeallice)
- there seems to be some sort of plane wide curse that causes all memories of portalling magic to fade - from man or beast (ie lizard). Powerful magic that!
- The entire party is marked - we are Super-locatable
- Falar and Else (village shamen) had reports of an Evil guy and an very intelligent, jewel encrusted golem speeding north, cursing the back-stabbing bitch (yes the mines are 300 miles/3 days normal travel to the north)
Sooty calls in some flame allies (from the Duke) - two effretti and Bart the Dragon. Between that lot we can head off to the mines
Lovable Traps, Old Friends and Mine Penetrations
A bridge guarded by a wind-up fluffy monkey, mice, a really small iron golem and a teddy bear - how bad can that be? Well pretty bad, pretty tricky - but we defeat these powerful foe. I mean using love as a weapon - reminds me of my first mistress (Madame Lash). In we plunge (leaving Bart on guard) to see a good thing - Koresh (the evil undead binder) apparently dead on the ground. We approach VERY cautiously - but stop when we hear Bart squawking (not at all usual sound from a dragon). We retreat to find a dead dragon (whew that was fast!). Killed by a large number of small dagger wounds - last magic to impact? Specialised draining.
- Undead on the Bridge
We turn from our investigations to return - to see Koresh (returned from death to undeath) and the small bejewelled golem. Oddly, the golem has a leash on Koresh. As we approach we all suffer draining and it becomes clear that the golem in some way is actually greater undead. We hesitate to close - and Sooty begins to sing, which seems to cause the golem to hesitate. Second by second the draining increases in intensity and our foe seem particularly protected against our favourite fiery attacks. Finally, I throw my expoding axe at the jewelled one - and it explodes massively (DUCK!) The binder has burnt/blown to death - and our investigates reveal that there was a small piece of organic matter (brain) inside the golem - from that head drow lich necromancer (Eeallice).
We recover our lost goods - and a variety of other things (including 15,000sp of Bart parts stored in various holding devices, a 10,000sp ruby and two very nasty daggers). In honour of Bart we each drink a single drop of his blood (and get a few additional fire abilities).
- Second Mine Penetration
Night has fallen before we are sufficiently recovered to mount a second cautious exploration. It gives us some spare change (lots of trained corpses down there) and definite connections between the mine and Heliopolis - including correspondence about the urgent delivery of 10 ice crystals to the lich necromancer (delivery deadline yesterday!). In a trapped safe we discover a small sleeping furry creation (GTN tribble). We leave it sleeping. Turns out it wasn't sleeping.
- A Little Trouble With Tribbles
As we depart across the bridge we are all beset by horrendously bad luck - except Zanak (who seems to be extraordinary lucky). REALLY bad luck can be fatal - like a undead spider creature just happening to find us. Or just imagine - a squirrel beans Theo with a thrown nut as she tries to divinate the priest. How unlucky is that? Theo DAs Is Zanak the source or conduit of the bad luck affecting us? - Maybe. Something is trying to protect itself from magical and visual inspection - something that can manipulate luck.
Humm curious. The luck seems to change from person to person - particularly if the the lucky person tries to feel if they have any riders. Inspiration: we put a wall of forbidding against Tribbles. Seems to stop the movement. RocSinger speaks with enchanted creature - gets response 'Hungry, baby coming'. We DON'T want these things to multiply. We manage to kill them all (yes, some of us were hosting babys) by a combination of walking through that wall of forbidding and Sooty's burning ash. Bad luck for the Tribbles.
Fifth of Frost: Karakas and Castle Cree
- Back to the village
Remove death curses and suppress the planar curse enough to get us back to Karakas - more information
If you go up against the liche without powerful allies you are dead Agree that Captain Cree and his Roc troops would be a good start as allies We know that Koresh made a duplicate very lifelike Captain Cree We think the Drow Liche may substitute
- Castle Cree
Off to get close to Heliopolis and a locate spell finds two! Just as we thought. Rescue Cree from his castle To combat the lich we need an ancient staff with special powers against undead Last held by the Lighning Cult - ancient enemies of Cree's people
- The Lightning Cult
We track down their lair - they have dolls in our image, slowly changing to be perfect copies After mutual death and distruction we all agree that the lich is the greater threat Cree agrees to a truce. Zanak stumbles ethically - but then sacrifices his life to neutralse the dolls The lightning boys tells us that their staff was hidden in past times - back in Cree's Crypts
- Castle Cree Crypts
Resting place of heroes, protected by powerful spirit, beset by 100s of undead Halls of Hero testing: Reconciliation, Proving and Enlightenment
Catacomb protected by spell casting undead dragon (left behind by lighning boy) Sooty, Dwork, Dwork and Theo engage Summoned banshee kills Zanak, Dragon kills RocSinger, Theo is petrified Spirit resurrects Z&RS RS finally burns the dragon down - and kills Dwork (I resurrect myself) Boons from the spirit (+1 attributes, resist fear and abilities) Friendy blue sphere brings Theo back and gives information
We find the concealed staff, but cannot disarm/suppress its worse trap: Death Many die RocSinger, Dwork and Theo. The spirit resurrects. Sigh.
- Marching order: Bum guard - Sooty; Cowards - Theo & RocSinger; Brave meat shields - Zanak & Dwork
- Party buffs: 55 point fire armour (Sooty), Fire protection (normal fires and fumes) (Dwork), Smite D+8 twice (Zanak)
- Moneys advanced and spent: 12,000 sp (16 x 10pt healing, 5 x waters of healing, 2 x waters of strength)
- Fire Lizard skin (can be made into armour) Karaka's Quest (need fireproofing to wear, 10 pt protection, light flexibile, fire dmg reduced by 5, +10% MR vs fire, visually a flamming reddy/orange colour)
- Extremely sharp well made dagger - with a crest of a laughing monkey (Zanak - from Furnace's last stand)
- 50,000 sp worth of iron golem scraps
- 15,000 sp dragon parts (Bart)
- 500 sp (Mine corpses)
Krorsh & Jewelled Golem
- 10,000 sp ruby (unfortunately containing the Bart's soul trapped on this plane)
- Dagger of Slaying - Base SC 70%, d+4, +6 drain (if primed)
- Ring of Transparency - Cast RK10 binder transparency once/day
- Amulet of Enhancing and Blending Magic - merging of magical items
- Collar and Leash - binding undead
- Staff: golem creation (magic fading)
The Famous Five vs the Lich
- Broach of Multiple Images (Karakas)
- Potion of Sinking Doom (Klinker)
- Wall Walking Amulet (Klinker)
- Resurrection Potion (Karakas)
- Boons & Benefits
- Dwork - Fire Heal Ritual - heals draining
- Zanak - Fire Speech - conversation by flame
- Theo - Fire Arc
- Sooty - Conjure Fire Animal
- RocSinger - Flame Walking
Cree's Castle Crypt
- Dwork - +1 Strength, +1 Endurance, Regenerate 1 pt damage/hour
- Zanak - +1 Strength, +1 Endurance, +20% resist fear
- Theo - Talent of healing flames
- Sooty - +1 Strength, +1 Endurance, +20% resist fear
- RocSinger - +2 Fatigue
- Treasure Rolls
Zanak 40, Theo 44, Dwork 71, RocSinger 73, Sooty 91