21 December 2009

Chapter The First: Deeds at the Duelist, Too Many Rats, and a Dog NamedGrey

In this first installment of our tale two unrelated brothers met, a mad halfling sorceror one Ulmo the Lucky and Tyrian Morgankin. Ulmo had but recently been banned from the Tunnelwebs of the Dwarves and forcibly evicted into the sordid gem that is New Roeblini City. Meanwhile Tyrian the last survivor of an ill fated sea raiding party sought out his distant uncle, Morgrin, within the city's limits. Ulmo eager to earn coin and challenge fate sought out the Duelist Inn, a decapitated tower some distance from the city's central waters, where the brave battled the foolish for wagers of gold. Coincidentally, this was also the frequent haunt of Morgrin. On the skiff ride to the brawling bar the fateful meeting of the two heroes occurred.
At the bar Tyrian met the voluptuous Lucinda who guided him to his uncle, meanwhile Ulmo watched one strange dueling pair after the other before offering challenge to the intimidating Fairsal, a great lizard man who's might sinews were backed by a tissue-like will. Ulmo was declared the winner by nervous breakdown. Meanwhile as Tyrian spoke to his uncle, he learned that Morgrin on of the Seafarer faction of the House of Heros was in political stalemate, his smallest political machination undone before he could implement it. He suspected a spy but could not root him out, perhaps Tyrian and his new friend could help. Ulmo then faced Squinteye Eik, a gnomish lurker, who he defeated. When it was found that Eik had welshed on his side of the bet, the Roeblini made ready to gut him as was their fashion, Tyrian defended him saying that a man or gnome's life was worth more than a few gold sails. Uncle Morgrin, aghast at such a statement from a Roeblini raider's son, dueled him with wooden swords, but was impressed with the martial might of his distant nephew, publicly proclaiming one of Morgrin's men. Squinteye Eik was stripped naked and cast into Roeblini's murky waters, his possessions given to Ulmo. The gnome was seen swimming for the city proper, but never made landfall, yet another victim to that which prowls the depths.
Morgrin took them aboard his gondola, briefly showing them the cityscape: the Whores and Harlots Street, the Bazaar, the Chieftan's Tower, and the Halls of Heroes and Merchants. Morgrin took them to the Seafarer faction's offices, an ornate if rundown shamble a short walking distance from the deserted and even more disheveled Hall of Heroes. At the door they found a sleeping guard, Byl, surprised to see his patron returned. Inside they met Morgrin's servant scribe, S'sabis, before being ushered into Morgrin's sprawling office a collection of decades of adventure, war, monster killing, political infighting, maps, and discarded tankards. Here Ulmo thought he noticed something skittering into the shadows, but Morgrin dismissed his concerns regarding rats stating that they were a fact of life in the city. The three discussed their plans and eventually decided to enter Avandra's Run, a race run by carrying a compatriot through the streets from the Beach Gate to the Temple of Avandra at the opposite end of the city. Ulmo and Tyrian would use preparation for the race as cover to investigate the spy within Uncle Morgrin's midst.
The mismatched pair were surprised at the Roeblini rats, larger and capable of using complex tools Tyrian and Ulmo suspected that these might actually be the spies. They sought out the freelance but permanently hired animal monster control specialist, Sutton. The scarred ranger admitted that the rodents here were certainly larger and more intelligent than rats elsewhere but he refused to help them. He gave them dire warnings about an Undercity thought to be a myth by most.
Seeking a way to track the rats the partners sought out the Magic Shoppe. Here they met the mighty Arcus, a wizard apparently caught within a beautiful gold statue of a man. The articulate edifice summoned a celestial rat terrier named Grey, so named for his silver flecked coat. Tyrian dispatched Grey to follow the rats and find a way for them to follow the mutated rodents.
As Grey prowled the sewer tubes chasing the rats, Tyrian and Ulmo competed in Avandra's Run. Ulmo was loaned some goggles to improve his vision, Tyrian was armed with the blade Neverlost and a stout cudgel. They soon found themselves in fourth place behind a dragonborn mounted kobold, two humans, and two warforged. Behind them many other competitors stretched including a massive, drooling dwarf and his human jockey. They caught the warforged who both began to pummel our heroes. Tyrian placed a strategic blow to the legs of the running automaton who fell in a tangle. They ran until up ahead they saw the two human runners slain by arrow crossfire. Deciding to avoid this death trap they cut into the alleyways, closely followed by the ravened dwarf. Ulmo picked off the berserk dwarf's rider after he shot Tyrian with a poisoned dart he was able to shrug off. As the dwarf closed, Grey threw himself at the dwarf's feet, tripping him. Tyrian burst into the street behind the dragonborn. Ulmo used his magic and noticed the kobold was unaffected, suspecting a mirage, Ulmo saw through the illusion. As Tyrian drew even with the saurian, they were both tackled by the exhausted dragonborn. As they fell they noticed a ringer sprint past them, two racers that they had not seen earlier at the start of the race. Tyrian sprinted after the runners, passing them just before the finish line. Tyrian and Ulmo had won Avandra's Run.
A few days after the race, Grey returned to the adventurer's apartments with a belt attached to which were four small vials of liquids. Grey had been unable to find a normal sized entrance but had seen some mansized humanoids consume the vials to shrink down and traverse the drain tubes. Tyrian and Ulmo planned to go to the drain nearest the mansized tunnels and follow Grey. They shrank themselves and climbed down the rough hewn drain pipe to a smooth 10" diameter tube of an ancient and more refined architecture. Grey led them unerringly through the foul tubes until they encountered some of Roeblini's odd rats. A fierce battle commenced in the tight passageways, three rats relatively the size of horses were left as cold corpses. After the battle Tyrian noticed that the passageway was shrinking as the effects of the vials wore off. The party hurried through the tunnels running more and more hunched. Finally they were engaged by more rats, Tyrian and Ulmo drank their second and final potions returning to their shrunken size, then slew the rapacious rats.
They exited into a the ruins of an old street, both sides bracketed by what appeared to be demolished barracks. The ceiling appeared to be the aftereffect of rapidly frozen lava. The floor was dusty cobblestones, large heavy booted foot prints surrounded by thousands of rat prints and droppings. Some distance to the north the passageway was collapsed, so the party followed the prints to the south coming upon a lit cross tunnel.
This cross passage opened into an oval room filled with sketches, maps, and notes regarding key players of the New Roeblini City. Tyrian suspected that this was written in an ancient form of draconic as he could recognize but not decipher the words as he and Ulmo collected key items of evidence. They also retrieved two more vials of the mysterious shrinking potion. They inspected the three rooms attached to the oval room, one a store room, the second a treasury with gemstones and many gold sails, and the last a sleeping room with three pallets. As they finished their search, Tyrian and Ulmo heard approaching bootsteps. They quickly hid in the storeroom as two dragonborn spies Coldfang and Warscale entered speaking in draconic about the low output of viable intelligence in the last few weeks. As they argued they were joined by Captain Blackfang who told them they had new orders from central command. Suddenly the captain noticed the missing items and the three dragonborn drew their weapons, the captain then searched the hallway realizing that the party was trapped within the underground encampment.
As the two groups had a silent stalemate, Captain Blackfang hurled flaming oil into the treasury, only to be blasted by Ulmo's arcane might. As he made ready to do the same into the store room where the heroes were hiding. Knowing what was to come next Tyrian followed by Grey exploded from the side passage, engaging Coldfang and Warscale, as large bottle off flaming oil was hurled into Ulmo's midst who sprang out the door only to fall prone at Blackfang's feet. The captain engaged the halfling trying to prod him back into the flames, and by the greatest stroke of luck, the saurian slipped and stumbling over the halfling nearly fell into inferno. With mighty sword strokes Tyrian hewed Coldfang to the floor as Grey worried the throat of Warscale. Blackfang regained the room engaging our intrepid heroes. As both Ulmo and Tyrian became bloodied and wounded from the mighty spymaster's onslaught, Grey attempted to grab hold of Blackfang and dispel himself back to his home plane (or nearest adjacent demiplane). The celestial terrier and the dragonborn vanished. The battered heroes consumed their final potions and slipped back to the surface.
They were met by a wet Grey at Morgrin's office who said that his return to the celestial plane had been hampered and he had lost the dragonborn only to reappear in the Magic Shoppe. He had swum back to the city proper to rejoin his master.
Who were the spies working for? Was that ruined street under sewers part of a greater Undercity as Sutton's dark mutterings implied? Was the dragonborn in Avandra's Run part of the conspiracy?

25 September 2009

Kingmakers and Godslayers: Introduction

Four score years ago, the Roeblini Armada lay siege across the Forest Sea to the Empire of the Godslayers. Under the eternal bloody twilight of the great Southern imperium, the barbaric raiders and the decadent savages made war. In the end the Roeblini were victorious casting down the ancient emperor and destroying the capitol seat. In its stead rose New Roeblini City which soon became a thriving port and trade center.
The city is the centerpiece of a long curved belt of smaller outposts that stretch along the coast. New Roeblini City is a series of small islands nestled within a crater half open to the sea. Towering waterfalls falling from the forested cliffs feed the brackish but murderous currents of the city's shallow harbor. South of the ribbon-like nation is a great verdant rainforest that has swallowed, over centuries, the Godslayer Imperium. Throughout these jungles live great lizards some of whom have been turned to beasts of burden or war, and some too rapacious but to be attacked on sight. The landscape is dotted with active volcanoes heating the humid air far more than the tepid light of the waning Southern sun. Many blame the salt and wet for turning copper roof's green and tarnishing gold to black, but oldings say each year the decay seems to accelerate. All will admit that more and more of the walking dead have been seen in the last five years than ever before, although most would agree that the rapidly expanding population is disturbing more and more secreted Imperial tombs. Everyday the population of this booming nation grows both from natural production and immigration. Everyday prosperity abounds.
New Roeblini is the new homeland of this formerly nomadic nation. It is governed by an elected chieftain and two houses of representation. The first is the House of Heroes whose members are selected by their deeds of renown and service to the nation. Their opposition is the House of Merchants whose members are selected by monetary bids for seats. The two houses select candidates for the position of Chieftain who is then elected by the common populace and serves until they resign or die, currently this is Lady Andova, a merchant-magi who has served for the last 12 years. Laws and taxation are prepared by one house and voted upon by the other. In all other matters of policy the chieftain serves as absolute ruler.
Many leagues to the southeast lies the Draconic Confederacy politically silent and diplomatically neutral. The Tunnelweb of the Dwarves now reaches the distant coast of New Roeblini, although careful tariffs have kept the stout folk from completely monopolizing trade. The Feywild kisses reality from sea and sky. During mysterious solstices and equinoxes the jade waves of the Forest Sea become the rippling canopy of the Elven Homeland. Far to the north under the crisp light of the Young Sun, the Eladrin Realm winks in and out of existence atop the clouds.
Welcome to Kingmakers and Godslayers, do you have what it takes to one day rule this land?

Technorati Tags: ,

14 May 2009

The Last City: House Rules

Character Generation
Roll 4d6 and discard lowest roll, player arranges scores to suit.
Toll of Power
All spell casters are subject to the economics of arcanium. In some form or another they will expend arcanium to fuel their spellcraft. Failure to do so can have dire effects for the caster. The effects of paying more arcanium than required can sometimes work, but is unstable, wild and dangerous to the caster as well as the immediate surroundings. Further details below.
Arcane Spellcasters
Spell LevelMinimum Caster LevelDC
Wizards use spell craft checks to cast spells. On a successful check they cast the spell without incident. Specialists receive a +2 to spells from their own school and a -5 for spells from opposition schools. On a failed check the spell is miscast and the caster takes the spell level d6 in damage. Caster's reduced to negative hit points are automatically stabilized, they do not lose further hit points.
Arcane spellcasters expend arcanium as they cast spells, a spell costs its spell level + 1 gp of arcanium to cast. Wizards within the reach of a birth, slain opponent, or destroyed animate object receive the hit die amount of arcanium. A sorceror slain within the sorceror's caster level + 5 feet provides the wizard with arcanium equal to their spell points. These arcanium must be used within the wizard's caster level of rounds and the wizard cannot make more than a 5 foot move. Wizards can tap magical items for arcanium as well, dispelling them in the process. A tapped item most be in the wizard's control and is not an artifact. If the item is curse, tapping its power does not lift the curse. Tapping an item bestows 1/100th the gp value of the item in arcanium, this power is available for the wizard's caster level of rounds. Lastly wizards may injure themselves with a sharp object for a hp total equal to the g.p. in arcanium they wish to spend.
Wizards cannot cast spells if they do not have arcanium to spend
Bardic Spellcasters
Bards cast spells as described in the Player's Handbook. When they cast a spell they make a Perform check against DC 15 + spell level. If they are successful they have no arcanium cost, however if they fail they must have spell level + 1 gp of arcanium to cast. Bards can use art produced by others to defray the arcanium toll, but the Perform check is made with a -2 penalty.
All bards have the Eschew Materials feat when casting bardic spells without incurring any increase in effective spell level.

Divine Spellcasters
This category of spellcasters include clerics, druids, paladins, and rangers. In order to emulate them receiving divine gifts at the whim of their gods, a recharge magic system will be used. In order to retain their powers, divine spell casters must make a sacrifice equal to their caster level, spread their faith to a flock equal to their character level, bring their character level of souls to their deities after life, or equivalent per week. Characters who fail in these duties lose their spell abilities and most perform a quest of atonement bereft of their caster abilities. Divine spell casters have the most predictable effects when they do great boons for the deities, but must be careful how often they ask the favors of fickle gods.
Sorcerous Spellcasters
Sorcerors are spell cannons. A spell point system works to describe their powers. They may exceed their normal spell points by using Constitution points for spell points, these are recovered as normal ability drains would.
All sorcerors have the Eschew Materials, Silent, and Still Spell feats when casting sorceror spells without incurring any increase in effective spell level.
Sorcerors must consume their caster level x 10 gp worth of arcanium daily. They lose one effective caster level per day without arcanium. Caster's using less than their necessary dose of arcanium lose effective caster levels until they stabilize at their current dose. A sorceror that is sacrificed releases their spell point total in arcanium for use by the nearest spell caster. The arcanium addiction can be reduced by the same methods as a wizard power their spells.
The hit points generated at 1st level are your "core hit points" and are recovered at a rate of your CON bonus x character level per 8 hours of sleep. Hit points obtained at levels above 1st level are recovered at a rate of your CON bonus x character level per hour. This recovery can only occur after combat.
Action Points
Gaining new magical powers is taxing to one's sanity. Wizards take a terrible risk every time they learn a new spell. For every spell they attempt to learn wizards must make a WILL save DC 10 + spell level or suffer Moderate Sanity Loss. All other spell caster's make the same check every time they receive access to a new spell level or suffer Extreme Sanity Loss.
Arcanium charged gear
In general 10 gp of arcanium improves a bonus by +1 or does 1d6 damage for a single action. It takes one round to load an arcanium charge. For every 10 gp of arcanium the chance of instability increases by 1, thus a roll of 1 to 5 on a d20 when using 50 gp of arcanium has an instability effect, regardless of whether the roll is successful or not.
All player characters receive three additional feats at first level, except bards who receive two additional feats, and sorcerors who receive no additional feats.
Player characters receive 8 more skill points at first level and 2 more skill points for every level gained.

08 May 2009

Starship Enterprise Destroyed by the Death Star

This is pretty cool.

11 April 2009

The Last City

The Last City is a vast and motley collection of dark gray stone buildings, manors, merchant halls, arenas, libraries, homes, and warehouses that sits on the End of the World Sea. The Last City has no graveyards, no mausoleums, and no way to keep the dead. The answer to this mystery is simple, because the Last City is the final mortal transit point for the deceased. The citizens of Last trade with denizens of the eternal resting places of the deceased, conveying their remains on the last step on the prime material plane and in return receiving the substance of magic, arcanium. The deceased are brought by caravan or floating down the river of Yuvrass. Those unwanted by the higher and lower planes are made undead by the Undead Clans, the bodies too broken to be used as thralls become part of the obscene Wall of Living Bones protecting the city. Meanwhile merchants, wizards, sorcerors, and artificers trade arcanium for their purposes, powering their own magiks and rejuvenating the magikal fonts of the world. Great spells and fantastic devices spring from the works of Last.

Despite the brisk trade and prosperity all is not quiet within and surrounding Last. Many factions vie for control of the soultrade and its arcanium riches. The schools of magik desire their own regulation of the mystical economy. The Sorceror's League insists their addiction to arcanium gives them rights to the trade. The Undead Clan increasingly tries to expand its "stock" while the churches of various deities alternate in their vilification of the Last City's business practices. Outside the gates of the Wall of Living Bones, the Luminant King increasingly provocative gestures of war upon the Last City. Occasionally the detente of the the upper and lower planes flares on the crooked streets of Last. Four moons ago a great, hulking metal war golem, scarred and smoking, came blazing through the transit gate for the nether hells only to sink in the End of the World Sea it's fate unknown its origin unclear.

Player characters are citizens of Last, making their life there as agents of one of groups within (or outside) the strange city. They will explore her mysteries and seek to wrest control of her amazing resources.

05 April 2009

The Fortress of Conclusion (or Fragging the Apotheosis)

The abhorrent phantom flyer deposited the mad adventurers at the doorstep of the Fortress of Conclusion, the yawning maw of the Devourer anchored in the sepulcher darkness of an infinite cliff face. A great rusted iron door was dimly illuminated by the sickly green glow of a nearby lantern. Lextra examined the door and the Warbreed wrestled it open, only to gaze into an accursed room adorned with a menagerie of wyrms devouring humanoids. Warrick was able to discern that all parts of this room were cursed and the party carefully slipped into the yawning maw of one of the worms, the only other exit to this room.
In the corridor beyond they found a desiccated man, still alive, his orifices sealed by sutures of foul black cords and his limbs stitched together at impossible angles. In Boris' mind Desato spoke, spilling his tale of woe and begging for the release of death. As Dorun hefted Deathkeeper and smote Desato's head from his shoulders, the vile thread stitched his limbs, eyes, and mouth, then bound him to the great iron hook that had previously supported the pitiful mage. His brother cut him down and engaged in the bloody work of slitting the devilish sutures freeing him from the cursed strands.
The party was next confronted by an impenetrable darkness which was dispersed by the holy might of the Wand of Days to reveal a dark taloned humanoid that charged the party. Warrick wreathed the creature in his eldritch flames and the Brothers Warbreed closed with it to dispatch it as it came through the flames. They sank their axes deep into its extraplanar flesh as Warrick used his mystical might to shatter the creature. The remainder of the darkness evaporated and revealed a dead end. The party backtracked and located two sequential secret doors, one revealing a haze filled room from which a chilling wail issued, the second was a dead end to a lever with a metal plate above it upon which PUSH TO ENTER was written. Judging that the first route would lead to encounters most unpleasant the Brothers fumbled with the lever, testing the limits of their fortitude versus the smashing floor of the trap. After seeing this, Lextra simply pushed the metal plate revealing a long chasm stretching away from this second door. The chasm was filled with the bones of a thousand foes, splintered and evil looking. A narrow series of hanging bridges stretched away to a distant doorway. Boris would have no errors so deep into Acerack's territory and used his powers to transfer the party as if a wind blew them thither. Here they found a chamber floor tiled with black stone upon each a single letter. In the distance a second door had written: Name me true or name me false, your decision leads to loss. Boris commanded Absalom to walk the tiles spelling out Acerack's name, but this nearly destroyed him. In conference the party realized that this was an inverse trap by spelling either Acerack or Devourer they would activate the trap. They avoided these letters and passed beyond the door.
The next corridor ended in another facade of the Devourer its mouth the blackest patch of midnight. Boris prodded the patch with a stout wooden pole, drawing back only the part that was still visible. As he did the sphere began a stolid advancement toward the party, who wisely retreated. They lured the sentient onyx sphere to them then used Warrick's magic to teleport past it, entering the corridor its advance had revealed. This room had two more exits, fortunately as the ebon globe once again blocked the entrance the party had taken. One passage lead back toward the room of mists and moans earlier bypassed the party, the second was a familiar portal with orange haze obscuring its center and three large gem stones decorating its frame. Boris activated the stones and through the party went.
As they stepped into a vast new chamber a horrid stench overwhelmed them. Lextra fell retching as Dorun was blighted by further spellcraft. Warrick, Boris, Absalom, and Goldune turned to face a large, heavily muscled toad demon. As Boris and Warrick bespelled the creature, Boris' vampire thrall and the two living engines of war engaged the fell extraplanar denizen. The Warbreed shrugged off spell after spell as their enchanted blades drank deep from the demonic veins and sent it back to its hellish masters. Adjacent to this chamber was a vile store room, dried human remains stacked like cord wood, rotting remains that still moved in a abominable unlife, clutching at the shocked party. Warrick incinerated the twitching undead. The next corridor held servants quarters and in the final one they were attacked by a corpse golem that was brought low by both magic and might.
Beyond a portal opened into a great cavern in which a single winged colossus stood trapped in a mighty crystal cylinder. Before this prison lay a blade like living lightning, the creature turned to the party and offered allegiance to slay Acerack if they would only free it. It granted one time use of its lighting sword to shatter its confines, the party weighed the offer and then wisely decide not to pursue it.
The next chamber proved to be Acerack's workshop, wherein he had kept his Forge of the Negative Plane meant to aid his apotheosis into the consciousness of this unholy half of the multiverse. The party briefly investigated and then bypassed it into the chamber holding Azerack's phylactery a huge ruby globe suspended on a tripod over the impossible inky ichor of the negative plane. As they entered the chamber Acerack animated as a demilich, a bejewelled skull floating high above their heads. With the furious agility of a dire feline, Lextra climbed the tripod to examine the crystal prison of souls. Meanwhile the Warbreed were teleported by Warrick immediately above the floating skull, who tackled the animated cranium and dragged it earthward. Due to Boris' enchantment Goldune was able to shrug off the soul stealing power of the demilich. Lextra heard the clamoring of many astral voices until a single clear voice instructed her to turn the power of the Wand of Days at the phylactery. Calling to Boris, she directed him to unleash the wands powers against the great ruby. With the wand's powers engaged a beam of light erupted from the top of the great stone and the souls sang as they were freed, tearing Azerack's essence asunder for eons to come. The ravened Warbreed then shattered the skull of Azerack.
The party then investigated Azerack's inner sanctum finding many items of great power including an evil blade of soul stealing, a broach of access, a mysterious mask, and much mundane wealth. Also in the collection was a whistle with which they could summon and control the Phantom Flyer to once more bring them home. Azerack essence dispersed for millenia to come, the party departed home.

08 March 2009

Back to the City That Waits

Tower of Test
The warhorns of the Exalted sounded and then keened their deathknell as the party entered the Tower of Test. Here they found the grisly trophies of the brave who had dueled for the rank of the Lord High Exalted, greatest warrior of the Moilian Empire, their silent heads a grim tribute to the prowess of this office. At the entrance to the test they found the still animated head of Gustarath. After being made subject to Boris' diabolic will Gustarath explained that he had seen both the accursed Azerack and and the poncey mage Desato pass by. Gustarath further indicated that the way through the tower was beset with several tests, hence the name of the tower.
The first test was one of agility, might iron pillars adorned with skulls were propped willy nilly through the chamber. Using Warrick's fire walls they smelt the pillars together and the party slowly made its way through the jack straws of the titans. Goldune blundered into one column and slipped causing the mass of metal beams to fall on him. Fortunately his great might and the necromantic helpers of Boris were enough to free him from the dastardly chamber.
The party then found itself blocked by a mighty silver door with single, ice encased handle at its base. Calling upon all his feral might Dorun hoisted the door allowing the party to pass the test of might. They entered a chamber adorned with orbs emitting a discordant hum. Still maddened the brothers charged through the room, triggering a debilitating tone which made Warrick collapse to the floor. The rest of the party rushed across the room to escape as the Warbreed fetched their fallen comrade.
In the next chamber a progressively difficult puzzle lock was eventually stymied by Boris' wit and the party passed though to a chamber of pendulous blades, slicing the air. Using 10' poles and Lextra's rogue skills to disable the blades, they gained admission to the chambers of the Lord High Exalted.
The leathery corpse of the bane warrior strode from a diabolic purple mist. Boris and Warrick identified it as a death ward and protected Dorun, who entered a murderous rage and engaged this undead champion. The two locked blades with homicidal happiness and Dorun's dwaven axe, Deathkeeper, cleaved great wounds in his opponents mummified flesh. The Lord High Exalted's wounding blade made many great wounds in the doughty Warbreed, but in the end the mettle of the dwarf hybrid was stronger and the Lord High Exalted fell, his head smote from his shoulders. The party claimed the spoils of the fallen trophy heads in the chambers below.

Tower of Dream
The party traversed the span to the next tower, a drug den used by the ancient Moilian's to expand their conscious. Here they found the Lucidium used by these decadent mystic race to gain more powers of spell and mind. Goldune spotted a great vaporous head as they entered the tower, but it vanished into the mists of negative energy swirling about the towers. The Tower of Dream held a Moilian zombie disposed of by Boris. They found the tower to be nearly split in two, this chasm held a platform inlaid with red stone bearing an inscription. Following the directions on the stone, they rotated the hour glass above the red stone. This summoned the great vaporous skull known as the Vestige, composed of thousands of insane consciousness from Moil. The brothers Warbreed backed by Boris and Warrick engaged the creature's searing tentacles. The Vestige began absorbing Goldune's consciousness but on they fought. The brothers magical axes, Deathkeeper and Tempest, and Warrick's eldritch might slew the beast. After slaying the beast and restoring Goldune they reset the hour glass, freeing more energy toward the Black Spire.

The Black Spire
This dark, ugly, block of ice disappeared into the mists of the Negative Plane. Wound tightly to its contour was a narrow walkway. Boris used windwalk to transport the party safely to the base of the tower where a small precipice marked the entrance to the Black Spire. Guarding the door were a pair of mighty jackal headed statues and a central peering eye. Inside a dark corridor of ice with many twisted figures trapped within its walls stretched menacingly. As the party entered the figures began to writhe, straining to break the confines of their frozen prison. Warrick made short work of this lot with his eldritch flame. The Moilian zombies were no more and the flames revealed a pit trap that would have claimed the adventurers if they had rushed past the encased undead.
At the end of the hall a chute ringed the stone serpents awaited. Given their experience with the tricks of Azerack, Warrick used his mystic powers to destroy the snakes at range. The brothers Warbreed then climbed through the opening, not realizing the steepness or slipperiness of the chute. As they slid, cursing, down the chute the remainder the party attempted a more elegant egress. At the bottom of the slide a yawning dark cliff awaited and the brothers drove their axes deep into the ice to slow their descent.
From the dark mists sprang a winter wight, an undead spawn of the black fire. Dorun and Goldune wasted no time and grappled with the creature, who spread its dark flames to their flesh. As the brothers Warbreed wrestled with the creature its flames, succored by their life force, grew higher. The remainder of the party emerged safely from the chute while the Warbreed threw the wight into the brink. Boris struck them with a bolt of flame, vanquishing the foul blaze.
The party then proceed along the edge of the cliff to the stable of the Phantom, a great winged monstrosity, an obscene creature of tentacles and wings. Their numerous previous objectives had opened the its arcane stable doors and using the silver key they had found many days before they freed it from its manacles. The abomination knelt before them and the party climbed aboard. With nary a sound the Phantom lifted into the air on its bat-like wings. As they left the city of Moil, Cindia the medical madron became lifeless.
The Phantom flew with the speed of madness, plunging through frigid, stygian darkness until finally alighting at a portal, sculpted in the shape of the yawning maw of the Devourer, the brink to the Fortress of Conclusion...

21 January 2009

The Towers of Discipline, Health, Treasure, Webs, and Confusion

The Tower of Discipline
Entering the tower they came upon a tall hooded executioner standing behind a scarred chopping block. He hissed in Moilian which caused Goldune to begin to walk toward the chopping block with the intent of placing his head on its much bloodied surface. As the battle raged Dorun engaged his brother, dragging him back from the block, the necromantic and arcane might of Boris and Warrick rained hellfire down upon the doom executioner. Only their spellcraft saved the grappling brothers.

The tower also held a desiccated corpse wrapped in frozen webs and torture cells opposite a demonic mural meant to drive a mortal mad, which later caused Warrick to be shaken by an accursed nightmare. The last cell held a hooded female figure, who emanated evil, the brothers dispatched this foe with the vorpal axe.

The Tower of Health
Over the entrance hung a cadeuces, guarding an observation deck on which several hibernating Moilian zombies. Absalom threw them trough the window to the Negative Plane below. Further within the tower they found a healing madron, named Cindia. She healed the party members injured by blackfire and decided to join the party. They passed a trapped imaging system and eventually met Dr. Tor, another madron healer. However unlike "Cindy" this construct was mad and attempted to drug the party and slay them. The fury of the Warbreed and Boris' hellfire destroyed the blood letting corpse carpenter.

The Tower of Treasure
Was empty...typical

The Tower of Webs
This tower was essentially hollow except for great sticky strands of webbing that stretched across its diameter. Based on the words in the taunting poem at the entrance of the City That Waits the party elected to search near the base of the tower. Thus Warrick flew toward the plane of Negative Energy with Boris who melted away the stone with his magic allowing Warrick to access the riddle box suspended from the bottom of the webs. However hanging from the bottom was another winter wight who Warrick wasted at a distance with his eldritch powers. He then examined the box finding a riddle "Many tails have I, or many a beginning. If I fail people sight; wails mark their passing" under which three icons for were emblazoned a tree, a many tailed cat, and a rope. The Brothers Warbreed (surprisingly) hatched upon the solution, a rope and when Warrick touched this icon a burst of magic exploded forth setting as yet untold events into play.

The Tower of Confusion
This tower was a winding maze filled with a living oily darkness. Using the Warbreed's stone cunning, the party chose the steady solution of the labyrinth by always following the leftside wall. As they drew deeper into the coiled corridors the writhing darkness grew closer and closer. Finally, Boris decided to use the Wand of Daylight creating a temporary gap in the nocturnal stalker. Finally after many hours of delving they came upon a great deviant arachnoid that Boris slew with a single spell, lifting the floating inkiness. This revealed a great black switch, that the party engaged causing the tower to shake and buckle. After some moments of this, they reversed the switch causing a similar burst of expectant magic.

04 January 2009

The City That Waits

The Brothers Warbreed, Boris Devilboone, and Warrick Sinister found themselves teleported to a deserted city on the edge of the void, fierce electrical mayhem cascading overhead. The air was dead and bitter cold, and a thick layer of frost covered the towers and thin walkways. Before them, engraved in malachite was a challenge from the lich-god Acererack, daring them to face him in his lair. But first they must brave the many towers of Moil, the City That Waits.

The Tower of Day
The first tower was explored showing the Moilian's worship of the sun before being cursed by Orcus ("why does coinage says us orc again and again"). In this tower they found a chamber with an inscription charging them to initiate the power of Wand of day. Dorun Warbreed touched the middle panel showing the day, unknowingly freeing the wand from its icy prison further in the tower. The group also recovered a golden headband which they would later learn could heal them and allow them to scry the many towers of Moil in the icy thrown. In their exploration they also found the outline of a humanoid figure in the frost, how recently vacated they could not tell. In they end they secured the wand of day.

The Tower of Chance
In this tower they faced their first Moilian zombie, its properties earlier studied by Boris and Warrick in the Black Academy. The Brothers Warbreed were only lightly harmed by the soul feeding zombie's powers before Warrick's eldritch might destroyed the foul deadspawn. They discovered evidence of Desato's presence here as well as a decanter of purity in the casino's bar before discovering a room labelled the Final Game. Here Boris' vampire thrall Absalom used his gaseous form to slip under the door and vanished. The Warbreed broke the door down only to vanish into a cursed mirror above the door. Boris used a magical stone hand to destroy the mirror without being caught in its irresistible reflection, freeing the brothers, a Moilian zombie, Absalom, and an ancient Moilian thief named Lextra. After deactivating the Moilian zombie before it could absorb too much life force they threw it out the window. Using his magical gifts, Boris was able to communicate with Lextra, who had no evil aura, who chose the join the party.
As they explore the tower they found a skeleton incased in clear ice, which suddenly animated and attacked the party. The Warbreed engaged the creature at close range, only to find themselves entangled by blackfire, fueled by their very vitality. Boris called on his hellfire to scorch away not only the winter-wight but the blackfire as well, the trollblood in the brothers allowing them to quickly heal from the inferno.
Later in the tower they found a magical roulette table from which Lextra gained the gift of agility. But even that was not enough for her to deactivate a tantalizingly glowing curio cabinet, which the party was forced to leave behind. Using her skills and Absalom's undead nature the party was able to defeat both a ward of insanity and of death guarding a vaulted, steel valve door. Inside they found another Moilian undead, from which they took arcane gauntlets of armor and the powerful sentinel mask.

The Tower of Portals
The less said about the trials of the maze of this tower the better, gentle reader...

The Aqueous Tower
The fourth tower was naught but cold and brine. Inside a ladder led down into dark, icy salt water. Forwarned by Acererack's posted challenge the party made ready to battle the brine dragon guardian of the Key. Bespelled against cold and water the party entered the depths, traversing the crystalline caverns of the dragon's lair. As they explored the brackish tunnels, Warrick discovered some illuminated runes which activated to dispel their magical boons. Fortunately the Boris might was greater than the magical trap and the party continued unmolested. Finally they came upon the great brine dragon, slumbering in the salty depths. Boris swam forward and launched his wail of the banshee, striking it dead in its sleep. The party collected the dragon's expansive treasure of platinum coin and magical items, including a death scarab and dwarven thrower.