Friday, 28 August 2015

(EBR 1x02a) - Back to the Core

These posts are my recap of our group's Star Wars Saga Edition game. They are written as a kind of "Ship's Log", from my character (Burt Larsson)'s point of view.  


3593.05.04, Taungsday

We didn't have to stay on Tatooine for long - barely long enough to allow Montag to catch up.  He had the other Jedi in tow - Taeko, it was - and had managed to catch Adam before they left, too!  The 'Raptor was suddenly feeling that much more crowded... I wonder how long this will go on for?

There was an update from <CLASSIFIED>, too.  Apparently, he had received a ransom - the kidnappers were holding <CLASSIFIED> in order to force <CLASSIFIED> to...no, that's getting confusing.  Let's try this instead.

The kidnappers were holding the senator's son in order to force the senator to vote against some upcoming bill.  I didn't get the full details, but apparently they are trying to introduce tighter blaster control - hah, like that would work!  But clearly, someone out there thinks it is a bad idea, and is going to some pretty big steps to attempt to stop it.  

It's such a crude attempt, I have to wonder if that is truly their goal.  How many senators do they have under their thumb?  If this got out, wouldn't it lead to the bill being passed?  Could that be their true intention?

There was also more information on "The Facebook".  Apparently, they had previously stuck to petty crimes, smuggling, and the occasional raid on small time freighters.  This was a big step forward for them.  All the more reason to stomp them out, I say!

So now we're flashing through hyperspace. I wonder how the Jedi are enjoying the trip?  Being cooped up with the wookie must be a bit of a struggle.  I know they asked to use the cargo bay for their meditation and sparring, but it's kind of full after we picked up those, ah, "spare" speeder bikes.  Hey, waste not, want not, right?  And after the Apple Gangers damaged our bikes, I needed to get the spare parts from somewhere!

Anyway, we had to tell them to just rearrange the tables in the galley.  Even with the wookie, there's still only four of them, and it can comfortably fit seven (on one trip, we managed to double-pack passengers in, and had fourteen individuals being ferried between destinations!).  Still, I wonder if they wish they had their own ship?

We'll have to see how everyone is after being cooped up together for the journey.  I'm sure Anton can't manage another run as fast as last time, so we should be in Duro in about four days.  Plenty of time for everyone to get to know each other.

3593.05.04, Zhellday

You'll never guess what I discovered today!  Well, of course you won't - you're just an electronic note-taking device.  I specifically requested no trace of any artificial intelligence in this model.

Anyway - I was tooling around in the workshop, trying to find a replacement tool for the one that I - uh, that wore out, and was talking myself through the Tatooine events, when the mechanic droid commented that it sounded interesting.  It wasn't just an acknowledgement that it all happened, but rather an actual AI interest in the events!  Turns out, the droid hasn't had as many memory wipes as the previous owners had believed.  If we can fit him up with a bit of spare gear, he even offered to accompany us onto Duro, lend a bit of a hand and carbon-fibre muscle to our group.  Not that we need much more muscle, but an extra blaster overlooking the group would definitely be handy!

Of course, with all of us disembarking, that leaves the old 'Raptor unmanned.  If Duro's space ports are anything like Tatooines, Anton won't be happy leaving it anywhere unsecured.  He will definitely be on the look out for some decent parking...

Friday, 21 August 2015

(EBR 1x01b) - Touchdown on Tatooine

These posts are my recap of our group's Star Wars Saga Edition game. They are written as a kind of "Ship's Log", from my character (Burt Larsson)'s point of view.  

3593.05.04, Centaxday


It felt like a month, but it's only been a few days - the new Hyperdrive Anton equipped clearly works better than I had expected.  Still, we've come all this way, and for what?  The air is dry and miserable, they have no pavement to walk on, so my boots are now filled with sand, the weather is so blasted hot...oh, and <CLASSIFIED> wasn't even here. Well, he was, some time ago, but the time we arrived to meet his 'best man', the fellow was already dead!  Ain't that the height of rudeness: we travel all this way, and he has the hide to go get himself killed right before we turn up.

If he were still alive, I'd be right down annoyed at him!

As it turns out, his killer then tried to kill us - so, at least we have that in common.  Well, I wasn't going to allow her to escape without a harsh word or two, so I heroically leaped into the sky, zooming after her, and finding where her ship (a Ghtroc 720 Space Freighter - slow as the turtle it looks like!  Good thing I talked Anton out of getting one of those!) was parked.  The others finally caught up (oh - did I mention?  The wookie can fly! How something so large manages to stay in the air, I don't know...maybe Adam will get his armour working after all?), and we had an all-out blaster fight.  

Pretty exciting, really, much better than the little skirmishes we'd have amongst the swoop-gangs.  Anton threw around some crates, Ralrlanna crushed more bones than I'd like to count, and Darossk - wow, I've heard takes of the Jedi and their lightsabers, but it was something else to see it in action!  Stopping blasts before they reached him, and slicing right through his enemy, gun and all, as if there was no resistance!

Well, the rodian slipped onto her ship, and Ralrlanna charged in after her, but apparently they had "too many men", or something like that.  I don't know - I think we could have taken them.  How many can really fit onto a ship that size? Only, what, ten? Twelve?  

Anyway, they got away...but man, they were vicious.  As they lifted off, they turned their cannons on us, and fired!  Well, ok - not us directly...their own men! And not just the ones we had captured, to stop them from talking, but all of them, even the dismembered ones who were most certainly dead.  Bizarre doesn't begin to cut it.

What on earth could it mean??
Leather Jacket's logo
There wasn't much left after the ship bombarded the area, but Anton did find some strange colourful apple logo on their jackets.  With nothing else to go on (we checked through their Star Yacht - a fancy one indeed, but these Baudo-Class vessels are all style over substance - sure, they could outrun us, but in a stand-up battle, they'd be rupturing that pretty hull before they could ask for the hyperdrive to be turned on!), we're going to follow <CLASSIFIED>'s movements through the various seedy taverns around here, see if anyone remembers them. 

(Oh, and I noticed my journal keeps deleting <CLASSIFIED>'s name...have the Jedi been tampering with our system, or is that Montag's doing?  I'll have to check with Anton, see if he knows anything about it.)


3593.05.04, Centaxday - Addendum #1


It turns out that the "Apple Gangers" are a local band of thugs and criminals.  Well, good thing we didn't go easy on them!  We managed to get a location of their hideout, and then took out the speeders for a ride.  

The new exhausts still make a bit too much noise, I think, and I'm sure there's something off with my steering column, but it's pretty hard to tell when you are racing across a desert...man, that is some boring driving!  I could fall asleep, and not crash into anything!  Good thing we were travelling at night, or there would have been no skill needed.

Oh, and some of those Apple Gangers tried to take us on, on their own speeders.  Hah.  Little did they know who we were!  Two got away, but not before Ralrlanna impressed me again: he leaped from his bike, switching his jetpack on in mid jump, and practically charged through the air at them, power-hammer glowing all ferocious-like!  

By the time we reached their hideout, they were all waiting for us - of course - and though Darossk took a blaster to his face, we managed to clear them out pretty quickly.  He even pulled out a second lightsaber (a training one, I believe?), and subdued one of the gangers for questioning.  Thing was - the ganger wasn't a ganger at all!  Instead of the tell-tale rainbow apple, this fellow had a strangely designed "f" tattooed onto his arm.  He called himself "One of the Facebook", and was merely paying the Apple Gangers to do their dirty work.
Who comes up with these tattoos?
The Facebook

For some reason, the others were going to let him walk after their questioning.  Bizarre.  Anyway, I tied up that loose end before we left.

Now, we have a name - or, a few names!  The rodian is "Elizabeth Stapleton" (that's a perculiar name, even for a rodian), and has most likely retreated to her headquarters on Duro.  Not sure where that is, but anywhere has to be a step up from the dry, dusty Tatooine!  How long will it take to get all the grit out of my bikes?

Friday, 14 August 2015

(EBR 1x01a) - The Mission Briefing

These posts are my recap of our group's Star Wars Saga Edition game. They are written as a kind of "Ship's Log", from my character (Burt Larsson)'s point of view.  

3593.05.03, Taungsday.


Anton told me we had a new job - and it wasn't carting around more of those smelly stick-things, either!  Apparently, Zekk Montag, his old contact in the Republic Military had suggested Bronze Raptor and her crew name for the job!  

<CLASSIFIED>, the son of some high ranking Republic senator, went off to Tatooine (Why there? Nothing good ever comes from Tatooine, doubly so now that the Huts have taken control of it...) for his "bucks party" (I know - it was written that way in our information, too - wonder what it was that they were really getting up to?).  Anyway, <CLASSIFIED> vanished, and we're being called in to deal with the situation. Look for him. That kind of 'dealing with it'.  On the down-low, to save his father from any further embarrassment.

Tried to track down Adam, as I know this would be just his sort of thing, but apparently he was off looking for new pieces for his suit.  I doubt he'll ever get it to fly; the days of the Mandaloriens are over, you gotta dress light for battle, or accept that you will stay on the ground.  Anyway, left a few notes here and there, so hopefully he'll catch a transport across, and join in with us over there.  Maybe we could make a trip of it?  Nah, what am I thinking...it's Tatooine!!

Oh, and get this - Montag doesn't even trust us enough to send us out alone!  He's sending a couple of Jedi for "Galactic security", as well as some extra muscle... ah well, more bodies means I'm less of a target, and we'll be compensated for transporting them around, in addition to being paid for the job.  Maybe Anton will finally be able to get those gold-plated taps for the kitchen he's been eyeing off?


3593.05.03, Zhellday.


The 'muscle' was a freaking wookie!! Montag introduced us briefly, before running off with the second Jedi (A nautolan called...Teko? Taki? I'm sure I'll pick it up next time), to do more important "Republic Business" stuff.  I told him to look out for Adam, give him a lift across, if they are done in time.  The plan is for them to meet us on Tatooine, after we've had a chance to look around a bit.

But, back to the wookie - man, that is one big, angry fellow!  At least, I think he's angry - all he does is groan and grumble.  Anton tells me he understands "Rowllar" (wait - I saw it written somewhere... "Ralrlanna", apparently.), but its all just growls to me.  Nod my head and do as he wants, that's my plan.  That, and give him his space. 

I know Anton was concerned for some of his chairs, they were built for comfort, not supporting such bulk.  But me, I'm just worried about my shoulder - I don't know what's in that guy's bags, but they weighed a ton.  Well, my shoulder...and his nose.  Do wookies have a keen sense of smell? I'm sure I packaged those sticks up tightly, and the compartment is supposed to be air-tight, but what if he finds out?  I mean, he's travelling with a Jedi - I don't think anyone would be happy if they found our, ah, more refined cargo.

And on that Jedi - they didn't even leave the friendly one with us.  No, we get a Trandoshan knight, Darossk.  He seems quiet enough, but I know he's just sensing the environment, watching and listening.  When it's time to strike, I have no doubt he has the skill to deal with any threat quickly.  I don't want to be that threat!


3593.05.03, Benduday.


I had expected ferocity, menacing glares, and the need to give the wookie a wide berth.  What I had not expected was the fur!  (Or is it hair?)  Why does that never come up in "101 things to look out for when travelling with Wookies"? Because, man, there is a lot of fur everywhere!  Clumps of it roll down the 'Raptor's corridors, it clings to all my clothes, and I'm sure I heard one of the air filters give out last night.  If we weren't in hyperspace, I'd take little 'Courier out for a spin, just to get some un-wookified air.

But, I gotta say - my initial judgements on Ralrlanna's temperament might have been a little off.  Sure, he growls a lot, but Anton still believes he is communicating with him, and he hasn't ripped a single arm from anyone yet. That's definitely a plus. And - wow - I saw him working over his weapon-of-choice earlier.  He carries a hammer that must have been half the weight of his gear!  It lights up, all bluey-purple like, crackling away like it contains all his anger.  I'm sure it packs a mighty wallop.  Definitely don't want to be on the wrong end of that!

I also saw Darossk sparring in the general quarters, swooshing his glowing blade around like it was nothing...which, I guess, kinda makes sense, as the blade is pretty light.  I barely managed to muster up the courage to ask him not to gut the 'Raptor from within, only for him to simply inform me that the blade was a practice blade - it doesn't cut, merely stuns.  His real saber was still on his hip.  Well, there's something I didn't know before.

Friday, 7 August 2015

Escapades of the Bronze Raptor: Introductions!

Our group has started up a new campaign, this one set in the Star Wars universe, using a slightly-house-ruled "Star Wars Saga Edition" system.  I'll be writing up recaps from my character's (Burt Larssen) point of view, in a "Captain's Log" type of way...even though he's not the captain!
Our adventure takes place a few decades before the invasion of Naboo.  We aren't going to press up towards those prequel movies, but the tech shouldn't be too different to what one would imagine.
We have eight characters, who will rotate as time and availability permits us.  Four begin on our ship, the
Bronze Raptor, whilst the other four meet up with, and are added to the crew as the adventure unfolds.

The Old Crew...


He's wearing yellow gloves, ok?
That's Viscount to you!

Anton Tuf

Kel Dor Noble / Force Adept / Crime Lord

Anton is a wealthy noble who has just cashed in a large chunk of his inheritance and, with the help from his partner in crime, purchased a space transport. He is hoping to make his fortune...if only he can get someone to purchase these illicit items!

Born on Kel Dor into one of the Great Families, he trained from an early age in the Baran Do tradition.  Since he was ten, he has lived on Coruscant, joining a swoop bike gang, and meeting Burt Larssen and Adam Forbes.

Anton is driven to a luxury lifestyle, and has no great qualms about breaking the law when in his self- interest. He is neither secretive nor showy about using the force, seeing it as just another pathway to success. His early schooling has made him aware of the danger of the dark side, but he is prepared to make limited use of it.

Of course it is Starlord - who would you rather be?
Burt "needs a nickname" Larssen

Burt Larssen

Human Scout / Scoundrel / Soldier / Gunslinger

Burt was born on the wrong side of the law, and has struggled to stay out of serious trouble and make ends meet. Now, he has pooled all his remaining resources with Anton, and hopes that his investment will see some return before it all falls apart around them!

As he grew, Burt developed a talent for the swoop bikes - often taking an unprotected one out for a joy ride.  Through the swoop bike gang, he lost many friends, but also met Anton and Adam.

When a new gambling sensation - a "Sabacc Slot Machine" - destroyed the last remnants of his family, Burt decided it was enough. He would make a difference, he would get revenge, he would tear down the filthy industry. And sure, hopefully a small fortune on the way.

A Boba Fett wanna-be, before Bobba Fett was.
"Nighthawk"

Adam Forbes


Human Scoundrel / Scout / Soldier / Bounty Hunter

A childhood friend of Burt's, Adam never seemed overly interested in the ganger life.  Mostly, he did it for a bit of cash, so he could repair the strange Mandalorien suit of armour he had acquired. (Was it Inherited? Discovered? Bought through some shady deal? Adam was never entirely clear on that point.)  He wanted to fly, wanted to soar higher than the speeder bikes allowed.

For the moment, Adam is just helping out as the 'Raptor's muscle, and long-range fire support, though in time, his full potential should be unlocked!

No points for working out where that name was taken from...
KH-74

KH-74

4th Degree Droid Soldier / Elite Trooper

More of a surprise than a planned addition to the team, KH was "accidentally" purchased as part of the ship package. He was thought to be a simple mechanic aid, until he decided to make his intelligence and personality known to the crew, and help out on their mission.

Though his programming is pretty straight forward - fight things, shoot things, fix things - it is expected that the reason he hasn't left the ship is that he has a little crush on the transport vessel...



The New Crew...


Yes, it's the only Zabrak LEGO head I have.
Officer Montag

Zekk Montag

Zabrak Soldier / Officer / Elite Trooper

An officer in the Republic Military, Zekk knows Anton and his friends from previous (unwritten, or redacted?) adventures. Although he suspects some of their ways are less legal than others, Zekk knows the team to be reliable, and turns a blind eye towards their less-savoury dealings.

Knowing both the 'Raptor's crew, and the other players, he is the joining point between the two teams.  It is through him that the initial quest finds them all joining forces and deciding to work together.

Once I get the Tydirium, I'll update the miniature so he can have more of a face!
(just growl)

Ralrlanna

Wookie Soldier / Gladiator

Ralrlanna worked through the ranks with Zekk, completing a number of missions together. However, Ralrlanna focused more on direct problem solving than leadership. Eventually, he grew restless of the rigid military life and sought to be discharged.

He worked as a body guard for a while, but that proved to be as just as boring as the military, and involved far more waiting around than anything else. Ralrlanna almost found what he wanted in the legal (mostly) gladiatorial circuit, however, he lacked the charisma to be popular with the crowds. Introduced by Zekk, Ralrlanna agreed to work with Anton, hoping for action, comradery, and possibly glory.

Possibly a larger nose than most Trandoshans, but hey, we're all unique, right?
No, try again, with more "sSs"

Darossk

Trandoshan Jedi Knight

Due to the Galactic Security involved with their first mission, the 'Raptor was required to take on board two delegates from the Jedi Council.  Stealth and a low profile were called for, but they are not areas where Darossk excels; true to his nature, the trandoshan is strong, vicious, and intends to make even the power-hammer-wielding wookie look weak.  Still, his Jedi training has taught him to stand back and watch, and not rush in.  Certainly, if it is needed, he can bring the hurt; but Darossk will often be looking for an alternate way around a possible skirmish.

I'm not sure how they work underwater.
Tay-ko

Taeko

Nautolan Jedi Knight

In contrast to his Jedi companion, Taeko has trained under the Ataru style, allowing him to dance around his opponents, and try to stay ahead of them at all times.  Although a little more absent-minded than Darossk, Taeko brings a lot of knowledge about the Galactic Republic - its planets, its history, and how the Force moves through it all.  Anton just hopes his knowledge on Galactic law isn't as clear...



And...the ship!


The Bronze Raptor

The 'Raptor is a Citadel-Class Cruiser, with ample upgrades to make Anton and his crew that little bit more comfortable.  Clearly, the ship isn't as good as Anton wants - nothing but the best will do, ultimately - and thus it only gets the "Bronze" descriptor.

Most of its original weapons have been stripped out for more cargo space, leaving only a few double lasers and ion cannons, and extra room to power up some significantly solid shields.  The controls have been highly personalised, with all the typical smuggler additions (and jettison options, in case those Jedi get too nosy!)

Although it can hold two starfighters (and did, when they originally purchased it), only Burt's 'Courier is still on board.  The other fighter, a bomber, was stripped of most of its weapons, and fitted out instead with some old crew seats, turning it into a serviceable transport vessel that can hold up to 10 passengers.  Or, a significant amount of contraband.  Just saying...

Friday, 15 May 2015

PotS 1x12 - Layers of Deciept

These posts are from our DnD group's latest game. The current adventure is a return to the world of Eberron, and specifically Xen'drik. Arising from the depths of the earth, the party discover things not quite as they left them, as news from a dying dwarf lets them know the elves have taken over! 

Taking the Watchtower - Again!
The death of the dwarf, and the mentioning of the elves, only meant one thing - justice was coming, as quickly as their short legs could manage! Though the trek was far, and required them to travel through the forest within which the eladrin had set up their camp, they made good time. Kami pushed her crew hard, and they managed to reach the watchtower within minutes of midday.

Calling on Ogg, they sent the storm-rider to the top of the tower. He was not there long before he began his return descent - a little faster than expected. For in his arms, he carried Cousin Walid.

Hassan rushed to the merchant's side, relieved that he still lived, but concerned for his wellbeing all the same. Once Kami had ensured he wouldn't die, Walid gave a recounting of the attack. As suspected, Berrian had taken his guard and assaulted the tower whilst the crew were within the ruins. They had easily overcome those left behind, Walid's few remaining guards unable to repel the attack. Two more guards had retreated with Walid to the rooftop, but had died from their wounds before Ogg arrived.

Slowly moving up the levels, the group came across much evidence of the battle. The other guards, as well as another two of the Kaapiots and Kwalli, were found, though there were no elves anywhere - dead or alive. Either they took their dead with them, or the tower guardians were really outskilled.

It was too late for most of the guards and dwarves also - only one solitary Kaapior quadruplet was left alive, and though he confirmed Walid's tale, he could do little else but deliver the grave news of the elven target: the Kami Kaze. They had been after the ship!

Quickly, Kami put his team to work on finding their vessel. Each tried to use the tower's scrying, but it was Regdar that located the ship first; out on the sea, and already a few hours from the cove. The only way they could catch them was by teleporting, which meant someone else had to stay behind, spending their energy to send the others. Ogg offered his might, and the others were thrown, somewhat roughly, onto the ship's deck.


Stealing Back The Stolen Ship They Had Stolen Fairly A Fair While Ago
From the safety of the watchtower, they had spied the deck, and made simple preparations. There
were the 'other party' that had so often alluded them, and only rarely come into contact. Arvan, the drow warrior who had complimented Hassan's fighting; Lenna, the elf who seemed to master lightning much like Ogg did; Kurik, the dragonborn paladin they had come across within the ruins; and Galinndan, who seemed to have accepted his allegiance to his friend and kinsman as worth more than to Kami and her crew.

There was another fellow, one they hadn't come across before, but it was the eladrin they decided to surround and take down first. And so, in a flash, Galinndan found himself surrounded by his former team-mates, fighting to bring him down.

Fortunately for him, he was a master of getting out of tricky spots. Even as they struggled to see him overboard or impaled on their weapons, Galinndan led them in a merry dance about the ship, vanishing and reappearing, struggling to stay a step ahead. The others had skills, too - and, they each held cards of the Deck, having unlocked their potential even beyond what the party understood.

But the party were not without their own abilities - when Lenna took to the skies, Regdar sent a giant eagle after her. When a scorrow burst from the cabin, Hassan and Urquilla matched him in pure strength. Even when Arvan and his shadowy copies evaded being swept over the deck, they chased him down and ended him all the same.

Their leader - a vicious dagger fighter called Tam - was revealed to be a wererat, but he and the others were all ultimately defeated. Lenna alone escaped with her life, vanishing into the storm when she saw that the battle was lost. Though he didn't escape, Galinndan did once again save his neck: as Tvennr bore down on him with a killing blow, he offered the promise of the ship's destiny, an elemental that would allow it to finally achieve flight, as trade for not killing him. Tvennr was not so happy with the bargain, but when the surrender was repeated to Kami, she had to give in. Again.


An End to a Patronage
Slowly, they returned to the bay, Redtail (the ship's monkey) eventually being coaxed from the sail
top. The sun was starting to set by the time the laid anchor, but Kami knew the importance of seeing this task to the finish. Confining Galinndan to the hold (alongside what was left of the fourth Kaapiot), the group marched into the woods, and into the eladrin glade.

There, they found Berrian, along with his father and sister. Even the dwarves could tell that there was hostility - Analastra declared that Berrian would have to face the mess he had made, and took her father to the portal, spiriting the two away to Stormreach. With anger in his eyes, and more than a couple eladrin still eager for blood, Berrian turned to face the (mostly) dwarven crew.

The battle that ensued was frantic, but the fury and hatred of the dwarves burnt out the eladrin. Even Regdar and Urquilla, usually the calmer voices amongst the crew, leaped into it wholeheartedly. Regdar's giant gorilla threw archers out of the trees, whilst Hassan erupted from the ground, sending the graceful warriors scattering.

For a moment, Berrian caught control of Tvennr's mind, and turned him against his teammates, but even then, Regdar showed how to properly deliver a compulsion; the eladrin commander was commanded to throw his weapon into the pool, and all but stood there, waiting for Urquilla to finish the job.


Looking to Future Horizons
The eladrin threat was dealt with. Every eladrin that had taken part in the tower assault was dead, as were all who had stolen their ship but for Lenna (who had escaped) and Galinndan (who was now a prisoner). The team now held all the cards to the Deck of Many Things - the last remaining ones being held by Berrian, and distributed amongst the rival adventurers. Carefully, they formed the deck, beheld its power, and then set about planning its destruction. There must be a good volcano nearby...

The ship was theirs again, the surrounding area was now free of the touch of Xoriat, and the troublesome cards collected and ready for disposal. If their captive was telling the truth, they even had an elemental ready for binding to the ship, so that Kami could take her to the skies, and their piracy could reach whole new levels. With a final look back to the bay, the ruins, and the gravestones of those they have left behind, Kami took her crew and her ship out onto the wild waters with great anticipation.

Friday, 10 April 2015

PotS 1x11 - Death to the Daelkyr!

These posts are from our DnD group's latest game. The current adventure is a return to the world of Eberron, and specifically Xen'drik. With the Watchtower secure, the wounded dragons dealt with, and their repaired (and improved) ship waiting in the harbour, it was time for the party to be thrust once more into the depths of the earth, to explore another hidden dungeon. 

The Long Search
The remnants of the ruins were much of the same - cold, dark, but oddly clean. The reason for this was eventually found out, as the group came across a number of small warforged. These were not built for war, but rather for simpler tasks (perhaps they were needing a different name?). Ignoring the party, they went on with their century-old task of dusting, removing cobwebs, and replacing chairs that had rotted and fallen apart.

An hour or so beyond these workers, the group finally found the heart of the construction: a giant creation forge. Though it still was actively controlling its underlings, it didn't seem to be creating new 'forged. It did offer a strange chair interface, upon which Tvennr sat and tried to understand the ancient technology. He thought that perhaps he could control the soldiers, but apart from a nasty headache, he gained nothing.


A Battle of Minds
yes, Kraang visited EberronWith nothing else left to do, Kami had to admit that they needed to retrace their steps, and delve into the corrupted part of the ruins. Pushing aside their fears, reciting old songs to aid their memory, and generally trying to stand tall and support each other, they moved through rooms filled with strangely coloured bricks, warped structure, and more than a little otherworldly slime. Finally, they broke through a door into a hall filled with foulspawn: almost a dozen dolgrims were camped out, with a seer watching over them, but the real threat was the giant brain encased in a jar, floating on a cloud of psychic energy. It lashed out with tentacles that seemed to be both physical and purely of Xoriat, and threatened to drag those nearby back with it as it retreated through a portal. But Hassan and the others held their ground, and rid the hall of its presence.


The Great Deceiver
But of course I had to work Smaug into the game!The elder brain was not the worst of the entities that had slipped through the realms when the Deck of Many
Things had torn reality apart. That title went to the daelkyr lurking at the temple's heart. At first, it appeared as a gargantuan red dragon; when they had beaten it up (and rescued Tvennr from its jaws - again), the bones rose, and the daelkyr took on the form of a dracolich. Finally, after being severely weakened by Kami's insubstantial allies, its true form was revealed, and taken down. Even then, they were unsure if the creature was truly vanquished, and had to call on Ogg's knowledge to satisfy their fears: removing from its corpse three of the Cards, the sorcerer incinerated the remains, and destroyed the last hook Xoriat had on their lands.

Whilst the others took note of the collected wealth in the temple, Hassan noted the third of his sought-after sacred vessels, and collected the chalice. He was eager to hand it over to Sir Edric the Gauche. With it, the knight should finally be able to repair the damage the land had suffered from its time attached to Xoriat. Smiling, he turned to the others, noting they were all ready for extraction. And they waited.


Alls Well that Ends...
It took perhaps ten minutes for them to start to get fidgety, but they waited almost a full hour before they had to accept that something was wrong. The Kaapiots should have seen them by now, should have used the Watchtower's power to yank them back from underground and deposited them wherever Sir Edric was currently. But the teleportation never came.

It was Urquilla who first voiced what they were all thinking - they needed to find their own way out, rather than risk being trapped here forever. They had already scoured the other half of the ruins, and nothing moved towards any exit there, so they broke apart, ready to search the area more locally, and branch out as needed. A strict routine was created, so that if any should find a way out, the others would know about it soon enough. And then they split apart.

It felt like it was well into the night (but who could really tell the time, stuck underground for this long?) when Regdar reported what he felt was a fresh breeze to the others. If anyone could pick up on a tiny detail like that, it would be him, so eager and with much hope, they set off through tunnels untravelled for decades. Near early morning, they found it - a crack that lead out of the mountainside, and onto a precarious ledge above the sea. They worked carefully, with Ogg and Regdar taking turns to fly ahead and secure ropes, but eventually, they climbed the cliff face and made it back onto safe ground. The ruins where Sir Edric had set up camp were two hours to the north east - a distance they would normally leave until after a good night's rest, but concern over the quadruplets' well being pushed them onwards.


A Faithful Messenger
As the sun rose, they arrived at Sir Edric's camp, to find him awake and already completing his morning prayers. Taking hold of the vessels, he set about finalising his ritual, a new eagerness in him that they had not seen before. They had thought to help him out, but after travelling all through the night, no one had the energy remaining - indeed, most struggled just to stay awake whilst the knight was cleansing the ruins.

There was nothing flashy or impressive as the ritual was finished, and in some ways, they wondered if anything had happened at all. Sir Edric assured them that the place was far better now, and that the prying eyes of Xoriat would not easily find their way back. He was telling Hassan about how he had to return all the vessels to their rightful locations when a tell-tale flash of energy lit up the group. Normally, it signified the Watchtower's retrieval system, but instead of finding themselves in the scrying room, they found another person amongst them. It was Humalassa...or was it Juovaksiss? Almost immediately, the dwarf fell to the ground, clutching his side as blood pooled in the dirt around him. Juopunut (or Paightynyt?) wheezed badly as he reached out to Kami and, coughing, mumbled an apology. "Cap'n... sorry Cap'n....they took it...they have it, now..." Breaking into a bad coughing fit, the dwarf finally recovered enough to explain his words a little more. "Th' blasted elves...they took it all..." He broke down again, coughing and wheezing, and then he was silent.

Kami moved to his side, but there was nothing she, nor her spirit friends, could do. The dwarf (whichever one it was) was dead.

Friday, 13 March 2015

PotS 1x10 - Beyond Stone and Bricks...

These posts are from our DnD group's latest game. The current adventure is a return to the world of Eberron, and specifically Xen'drik. With the Watchtower secure, the wounded dragons dealt with, and their repaired (and improved) ship waiting in the harbour, it was time for the party to be thrust once more into the depths of the earth, to explore another hidden dungeon. 

Deeper Underground
Moving deeper into the ruined halls was their only choice, though they were all eager to stay away from the areas tainted with the Xoriat presence. These chambers had been kept (or recently returned to?) a relatively neat state, and it felt a lot more settling walking through ancient halls without the dust, webs, and decay of a few centuries clinging to every surface.

Perhaps that is what allowed the group to not notice the battle about them as they entered a particularly large hall.


The Destruction of Property
Crashing through a wall of rubble, a monstrously large warforged titan charged at the group. Leaping (or being knocked) out of the way, they quickly found themselves divided. This was only accented further as another crsosbeam collapsed, depositing piles of stone and rock between Tvennr and Urquilla and the rest of the team. As the dust cleared, the pair called to the others that they would find another way around, and started moving.

There were three more warforged in the battle - another two of the soldiers they had faced before, equipped with the same chaotic 'experimental' weapons; and a new model, encased in crimson armour. This one called fire to the battle, threatening to incinerate what the others couldn't cut or smash.

The other side of this battle was an elf who commanded bolts of lightning; a draconic figure clad in solid metallic plate; and Galinndan. Quickly seeing his old comrades, the eladrin moved to help them, though his new allies had other plans. Holding their own, they instead decided to escape; Lenna drew a portal on the wall, and calling out to Kurik, the pair vanished in a shower of sparks.

Galinndan's own ability with teleportation was a lot more forceful; he threw the towering titan about, allowing Kami to escape its reach, and helping Hassan a better position from which to deliver his carefully weighted cuts. Though Regdar had to sacrifice his wolf, once the 'lesser' warforged were dealt with, the combined effort from the group brought the larger automaton to its knees.


Prisoner Transfer
The party had barely caught their breaths when a magic circle appeared on the other side of the hall. Within it, three figures appeared: two more of the warforged soldiers, with a weary umberhulk being led between them. Apparently, it had failed to affect the mindless constructs, and had given in, allowing itself to be pushed and guided through the halls. Well, Galinndan wasn't about to let that happen - quickly calling Kami to cover them with her protection, he pushed them all into action, and started the battle before the warforged could escape.

Of course, the situation wasn't quite what it appeared to be. As soon as Kami blasted the closest warforged with her storm, it vanished, the metallic form being replaced with a much larger, and more angry, oni. The ogre mage's disguise thrown aside, she leaped into battle, snatching Kami in her electrified chain, and whisking her off to be dealt with alone, whilst the warforged and now freed umberhulk assaulted the others.

Naturally, Hassan wasn't one to let his captain be abducted on his watch. Charging after Kami and the storm-touched oni, Hassan found the creature far too hard to pin down; even when Galinndan joined, the battle felt more like a chase than a fight. Though badly beaten, the oni almost managed to escape; and would have, too, if it weren't for the combined effort and skills from the group.

The umberhulk, too, proved to be a dangerous beast, tearing through another of Regdar's wolves and more than a little of the rubble before finally being cornered and trapped, beyond hope of retreat.


And to all, a good night
The enemy were once more defeated, and this time, they had something to show for their efforts - a strange, amethyst blade carried by the oni. There were other items scattered about the now quite messy hall - silverware, platters, fine metallic goblets, elaborate candlesticks - all would fetch a fair price, should they bother to weigh themselves down and carry it with them.

Aside from that, there were only two directions to go: through the stairs and along the corridors twisting back towards the tainted parts of the underground structure; or through the rubble and into the rooms Tvennr and Urquilla retreated through. There was little choice, really, and so they moved to meet up with their friends.