16 May 1999

Ancient Evil of a Fallen City, Part IV

The Catacomb’s of the Warriors’ Guild

The doughty adventurers are deep within the catacombs of the Fallen City’s Warrior’s Guild, trapped there by Puffthrax the dragon-lord of this domain: Lothar’s paladin, Lady Nagroma the Just and her draconic ally Scorch, Hoshido the drow warmaster, the eleven bladesinger Raven, the sea-elf wizard Matrix, and a servant of the All Mother, Dael Oakleaf.  The group had explored deep within in the catacombs working there way down to the necropolis beneath the Fallen City.
The group broke the seals to the Training Warrens and fought a pack of magically-enhanced trolls, slaying all their number with the aid of foreign warriors from Kara-Tur.  They investigated the troll lair finding Lothar’s Helm of Vengeance and an imprisoned granite-skinned giant, his mighty eighteen foot frame chained by his head to the wall of a side cavern.  After many attempts to free the giant the group was ultimately unsuccessful.  However, he did indicate that he had been put here by a witch who had an underground tower in the vicinity.  The group followed the passage nearest the giant’s vague gesturing and came upon a rough chamber with a large tower hewn out of the stone wall.  As the witch’s albino wolves attacked the party the witch ensorcelled the party members.
In a mighty battle, Lady Nagroma was turned to stone, the barbarian brothers Grimtooth and Fangblood became albino wolves as well, and Dael was also bitten an became a frenzied demi-were-wolf.  By the clever actions of Matrix and Raven they subdued their party mates and fled the spell slinging witch, Carmen.

21 March 1999

Ancient Evil of a Fallen City, Part III

Cursed Guild of the Mages
Our story picks up in the library of the Mage Tower where our intrepid heroes were perusing the stacks looking for spells.  While downstairs in the waiting room, Fangblood waited patiently, Sir Nagrom mysteriously metamorphosed into Alvar, and Jeiro magically appeared.
Shortly there was an all tower summons to the dining room for a sumptuous buffet, which restored our health fully.  Oddly, all of the small talk and chit-chat at the table was about old, old news, events that took place in our childhoods.  Somewhere, a clock chimed and the event began to slow down, upon the the 12th chime, the blazing fire went out and we were plunged into darkness and decay as the party of feasting mages vanished and were replaced by a handful of hideously undead things.  At the head of the table appeared what we can only presume was a lich.
Our battle seasoned heroes quickly high tailed it to the corner of the room and took up a defensive V formation preparing for a sluggish onslaught by the hideous wights that now surrounded us.  We fought valiantly as Jeiro the mighty marksman managed a natural 20 on a called shot to the hand of the lich, which was holding some sort of staff that we can only assume was fearsome.  However, the lich shrugged it off and picked up his staff and the battle continued.  Fangblood was sadly lost to several strikes of a wight.
Alvar, trying to avoid melee and cast spells out of harm's way, spider climbed a wall until a dispel magic from the ol' Eye Sockets (the lich) sent him plummeting comically to the floor.  Matrix and Jeiro were suddenly gripped with a hellishly cold fear and fled to the stairs and
were teleported away.  Leaving Raven and Alvar to dispatch the remaining wights and battle the dread lich.  With a mighty blow of his Blade of Elvenkind, the lich was dispelled and his spirt was sent screaming from his corpse, which subsequently crumbled to dust.  Alvar confiscated the Staff of the Magi that the lich was wielding and we took the stairs to rejoin our comrades, but not until we ritually decapitated Fangblood to prevent his return as a hideous wight.
The room we were teleported to had a giant vat of bubbling slime with some sort of giant creature within it.  We walked around the edge of this pool and investigated a hewn tunnel exiting the room.  This tunnel ended in a sheer cliff and below we could see an active, thriving community of DARK ELVES.  Fearing for our lives, we beat a hasty retreat before being spotted by any of the inhabitants.
In the center of this pool of bubbling slime was a tower with rungs leading up to a hatch in the ceiling.  Using his wits, Alvar cleverly used spider climb and a rope to create a means for the rest of us to shinny up to the hatch.
HOWEVER... when all but Jeiro and his jaguar, Painter, had climbed to the top of the tower, and Raven and Matrix were already through the hatch and in the room above, 3 Driders came scurrying out of the tunnel and across the ceiling to engage us.  Fighting valiantly, Alvar was slumped into a coma from their poisoned swords.  Jeiro fought valiantly and Raven leaped down the hatch to assist in melee.  Fortunately, the Striders were none too dexterous and one managed to fumble into another knocking both into the pool below.  The third also slipped and during an attack and was dumped into the pool.   We quickly escaped through the hatch.
Finding ourselves in a jail with several holding cells and two live prisoners, and one golem prisoner.  We freed the human thief and the half-ogre warrior and they agreed to accompany us out of the tower.  The golem headed for the stairs leading out of the prison and began a time delayed loop of teleporting back into the room and heading for the stairs again.
Realizing the first step on the stairs appeared to be fruitless, Raven tried step number 3 and failed to return as the golem continued to do.  The rest of the party followed and we all arrived in the library.  But the library appeared much more aged this time.
Greedy buggers that we were, the three mages set out to scavenge some spell books to increase our repertoires.  We had an encounter with the ghost of the curmudgeonly librarian, who was fastidiously placing the books back on the shelves that we had dropped periodically to mark our trail since this HUGE library was labyrinthian.  He kept insisting we had been naughty and attempted to attack Raven, so we knew he wasn't being as helpful as librarians ought.  Matrix's quick thinking allowed us to escape the encounter by dumping scads of books on the floor which infuriated the librarian who was forced to pick  up before engaging us.
 Using shouting and singing to maintain contact with Jeiro at the "campsite" within the library, we rejoined the party.  The infuriated screaming of the librarian was heard from one direction, a cry for help was heard in another direction, and all in all we were simply too scared to worry about engaging any of these phantom voices and so onto the teleportation stairs we went.  But Alvar and Raven didn't go anywhere. Apparently the books we had confiscated were not allowed to leave.  So Alvar and myself had a quick reading of Book of Beneficial Magicks by Mazcorick, and the Tome of Many Things.  (you can guess which one caught our eye the most)  Raven was too wary to even attempt opening the Grim Grimoire.  But the Tome of Many Things blessed Raven with a Staff of Thunder and Lightning, as well as 50,000XP.  Alvar got one of his hands torched severely, but was also gifted with a couple magical javelins.  Happy with our looting, we took to the stairs to join our comrades and who knows what will happen in the next exciting installment of....the Mighty Mazcorick Chasers!

24 January 1999

Ancient Evil of a Fallen City, Part II

Day of Justice (Escaping the Tower Gate)
After a nights rest and some healing magick, the party descended two more levels only to see the rest of the Tower Gate’s floors gone and most of the other wall destroyed.  The only method of descent was by a massive, metal chain fused to the ceiling above and stretching down to the Fallen City.  During their long climb down a massive, fuscia dragon circled the tower, but did not approach.  The chain “ladder” ended in the center of a hollowed and broken citadel.  Several fresh and stripped corpses lay strewn about and a rough trail surrounded by thorny, poisonous, unkempt, purple hedges.  The party travelled to the end of this trail only to come upon a the citadel’s gatehouse now the lair of a hobgoblin tribe.  Unwilling to haggle with goblinfolk Raven unleashed a spray of fireballs in to the windows of the gatehouse, blowing it and its occupants up.  Unfortunately the moat surrounding the citadel, was lit aflame by the burning debris of the gatehouse and the party quickly fled over the burning drawbridge.
The explosion of the gatehouse drew the attention of the Tribe of Three Red Cuts who controlled a villa further down the road the stretched from the gatehouse, the King’s Road.  It also attacked the attention of a the dragon lord of this domain, a vile fuschia colored creature that breathed cold, so frigid it burned.  The party excited to a nearby villa and let the Tribe of the Three Red Cuts kill the fleeing remnants of the hobgoblins, followed by the dragon wiping out the patrol from the Three Red Cuts.

17 January 1999

Ancient Evil of a Fallen City, Part I

Younglords Return

Upon the return of Merchant lords’ and ladies’ children, Jeiro started his investigation of Yashe the Necromancer and the Council of Mortal Magicks.  He met with a spy from the League of Freedom, the psionicist Boromyr  who works as a sweeper in Northreache’s Temple of the Great Mother.  They discussed the Council and it’s corrupt leadership.  He also directed Jero to the Historian the best sage on the Street of Wisdom.  With the Historian’s jumbled help the group pieced together that Snaryn (the ghostly warrior in Mazcorkick’s chambers) had some centuries ago been in service of a previous King of Nornask as spymaster and had journeyed to the Fallen City.  Some centuries later he had returned only to fall victim to Mazkorick of the Maze.  In this way he failed his liege and let someone else usurp the throne.  Deciding to investigate the Fallen City to uncover more of the mystery of Snaryn, to loot for magicks, and pursue rumors that Mazkorick had also journeyed there, the group set of to Nornask.

Moon of Zynar the Trickster
In Nornask the group stayed at the stylish Adventurer’s Club, an inn designated solely for those who follow the never ending road.  Here they met Fathis “Fatty” the Bard who promised to chronicle their adventurers should they ever escape the Fallen City.  They also questioned one Fangblood of the North, a barbarian of the Tribes of the Choas Barbarians.  Fangblood challenged them to duel saying that no one could survive the rigors of the evil dwelling in the Fallen City.  Matryx accepted and lost the duel, but Fangblood impressed with his pluck decided to lead the group to the Fallen City and enter it once more, if they helped hime search for his twin brother Grimtooth.  While in Nornask they also recruited a halfling rogue named Crewel the Clumsy as their trapman and chestbreaker.
As the group travelled to the Fallen City they went through the Merchant Road Gap and then proceeded along an old highway through the Swamp of Desolation.  Midway through their march they came upon a broken bridge with a large spider’s web stretched above it.  Through the mists they could dimly see a humanoid shape struggling in the webbing.  Stepping bravely to the rescue the group cut the bundle down with an arrow only see it fall in the swamp!  As they rushed forward the group was engaged by a massive beast made of rotting vegetation and cursed bog water, as the rest of the group destroyed the plantbeast, Raven and Crewel rushed forward to save whomever was trapped in the web bundle.  As they did so they were ambushed by a titanic arachnid that dropped from the mist shrouded branches above.  Jeiro cleverly used a plant growth spell to shoot branches through the shambling mound of swamp weed, immobilizing it.  The group destroyed the beast as Raven and Crewel dispatched the giant spider.
The party broke open the bundle only to find the fair elven Countess Mystril the Magess.  She had been traveling with her bodyguard only to fall victim to the diabolical team of sentient plant and giant spider.  With this new member in tow, the group travelled the rest of the way to the Fallen City.
After leaving the Swamp of Desolation the party came upon the Edge of the World, the border to the Realm of the Oceandrinker.  Perched on the Falls of the World was a small temple of the Great Mother, its lay brothers and sisters cared for the cripples, cursed rejects, and mad men survivors of the Fallen City.  They spoke with the head of the order, Sister Mercy who pleaded with them not go but reported that Mazkorick had indeed been spotted entering the Fallen City through the Tower Gate (so called since it is the only tower to break the Falls of the World, so that foolish adventurers can enter by it’s top most doors) not two days past.  After a refreshing nights rest and the gift of healing potions the party broached the Tower Gate.

King’s Pardon Day (the Tower Gate)
The party entered by the Tower Gate progressing carefully down the cracked and torn levels of the Tower.  On the first level (going down), they came upon a legless warrior who they dragged up to the Temple of the World Falls.  They proceeded down three levels before coming upon a blocked stairway.  The only way down though a large whole in the floor and all of the tower.  Unable to contain is enthusiasm Matryx dropped to the grand, plush bed of the level below.  He was unaffected by the sleeping curse of the bed but when followed by Sir Nagrom and Alvar these two instantly fell in a deep slumber.  The rest of the party quickly tied off a rope and avoided the bed, but could not rouse their comrades.  As they explored the room for clues to end the curse a huge spectral nanny appeared, apparently to tuck the party in...forever.  Unable to contain their fear, Raven, Crewel and Matryx fled the room.  The Countess stayed only to be slaughtered by the ghostly apparition.  Upon regaining their composure, the three rushed back to save whom they could, only to find a sinister, winged lizard with emerald scales and a scorpion’s stinger, apparently trying to snack on their unfortunate fellows.  Raven, Matryx and Crewel leapt bravely to the attack and slew the beast but, tragically, only after Crewel impaled himself on his own blade.
Mysteriously the curse was lifted and the intrepid party of Sir Nagrom the Just,  the Huntpriest Jiero (and his hunting cat Painter), Raven, Matryx the Mighty, and Alvar Herrickson continued on, through another crack in the floor near the stairs.  They entered a floor dedicated as a dark temple to the Oceandrinker—a light eating, midnight black sphere hovered above the altar.  Careful not to disturb the sphere, the party took the stairs down another level to the fell priests’ chambers.  They surprised one priest at his desk and an overzealous Nagrom tackled the man at his desk, break the dark acolyte’s spine with an armored tackle.  The commotion alarmed his evil fellows who attacked the party with magick rods and priestly spells.  Realizing they fought a losing battle, one of the fanatics fired fireball in the hall wiping out the priests and bad injuring the party.  The group confiscated the magickal rods, but only Alvar could bear their evil taint...