"Sunday's Game" - The Exodus

Let's Do This
Like Buddhists, Even

New game to be run on Sunday, Sunday, Sunday – You paid for the whole seat, but you’ll only be using the edge!

So, here we are, being dragged back to Tom’s apartment. The old crew, the old rules, and, if I recall correctly, the old day. I don’t know, I always lose track of these things. Anyhow, I’m really looking forward to games that are to be run – I’m hoping that we can kinda recreate the feel of the game we had when d20 first came out. That’s to be seen, of course, and we can’t expect for everything to go perfectly, but… so long as everyone’s in the mood to play in a fun game, I think we’ll do well.

What I plan on doing is keeping a log of what’s gone on in the game, from the first session to the most current session. I don’t have anything to put down right now, so, all I can really do is blather on endlessly. Actually, what I can do is take care of some issues on the upcoming game.

“What kind of characters can we make?” Anything from the Player’s Handbook, no problem, and most humanoids from Savage Species are kosher as well. We’ll be using a 32-point build, which is in the Dungeon Master’s Guide, and you’ll be starting out with max hit points and max starting equipment money. If you want to play anything unusual, just bring it up this Sunday – I mean, Good Tom is playing a Troll, which will be strange to say the least – we can most likely get your idea in, so long as we take some time to talk about it.

“When do we eat?” If you want to bring snackage, please, do so – going to try to avoid eating during the game, because, it kinda screws up the ebb and flow of things, unless, of course, we have a long game going some day. I like the idea of the lot of us meeting up at some place to eat before hand, doing so, and going back to Tom’s apartment to get the game started, but, that’s just thoughts. We’ll see how it turns out.

“What time of day do we start?” I don’t know, that’s really up to you guys. If you can let me know when the earliest you can show up and the latest you can stay, we can work it out from that point. Another thing we can talk about Sunday. I guess, honestly, I’m just babbling. If you have any questions, ask ’em. You all know how to get ahold of me. See you guys Sunday, right?

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Casting Call
Character Creation

It never fails, Tim always seems to take his character with him, thus making me all antsy and unable to finish the little details that I wanted to. AND I STILL DON’T HAVE YOUR NAME.

So, anyhow. Thanks to the lot of you for showing up this evening, and throwing down your characters and concepts. I have a much better idea how the game’s going to form now, seeing as I can see how things will evolve around the characters you guys have created. The virtually baby elves, already thieving, the gnomish cook who knows how to kick ass, the littlest troll, a young sorcerer and a halfling monk from a specialist school. Already, plots are forming in my mind, far less sinister than previous plots, and far more simple – maybe I’ve lightened up since my last game. No, I know I have.

Here’s a little more information on the world you’re going to be living in, as there was some confusion. There is a mass of about 200 people looking for a better life than what this land has to offer, and is making leave for new lands come spring (which it’s about to turn). The land they’re leaving are a desert that’s grown more harsh over the last few years. While they live by a river, vegetation doesn’t grow very far from the banks, and irrigation is nigh impossible of late. So, they’ve saved up food, stockpiled, and are ready to head out. Word of this Exodus has been spread pretty far and wide across the countryside – a lot of people have left their homes to join it. Perhaps including yourselves.

The Exodus, as I said, has waited out the winter and are about to head out. There’s a local village known as Cinq, where much of the Exodus has been going for supplies. It’s a quaint little village, with all your basic needs, and, thanks to the Exodus, it’s been doing quite well, of late. It’s about a week before the trip begins, and people are making last minute preperations. The town of Cinq is where we’ll be going to be starting, as some of you are in town to pick up supplies, and some are on their way to join the Exodus.

While it’ll start out in a desert situation, I fully expect the adventure to go through all manners of landscapes. No reason to give away too much, of course. Some nights will be purely plot driven, some nights will be pitched combat, and some nights, you can simply go off doing whatever you damn well please. There’s going to be a little bit of everything. It’s my hope that you’ll enjoy yourselves.

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Last Minute Notes
Shoving is the Answer

There’s a few last things that I should probably call attention to before we actually start playing. For one, I really like typing. I mean, look at all these words. I could go on like this for hours on end, just typing about nothing in particular.

Alright, throwing a few ideas into the wind, see if they fly. First off, let’s tackle that food issue once again real quick. Although it’s a good idea to grab something to eat before you swing down to Tom’s apartment, chances are we’ll have another break for food sometime in the middle of the game. For the sake of sanity, I really don’t want to try to run the game while people are eating. So, what we’ll do is just make an intermission. We’ll all stop, eat if we wanted to and that’ll be that. Not because I want to be a food nazi – I just get distracted way to easily. So, so long as no one objects, we’ll have a set intermission for eating.

Now, all of you have been to Tom’s apartment before, so, we know how cramped it can be, inside and out. Parking sucks, and apparently we can’t park alongside the apartment anymore. So, if there’s space along the side of the road, you guys’ll have to park there, or, if not, in the parking lot where you’re not, apparently, allowed to park either. I really don’t see the rationale behind a lot of it, but, fuck it, landlords are an irriational lot. I’m sure we’ll figure something out, but, hey, just a head’s up.

Another idea, if Tom’s apartment ever gets a little too out-of-hand, we can always consider talking to the folks at Grandmaster to allow us to use their store – they’ll probably agree, of course, as it means more customers for them, although I don’t know how they’d tolerate the lot of us for hours on end. Just another idea I’m throwing out. It’s either that or knock out the wall between the kitchen and my room. I don’t think that’d go over terribly well, though, so, let’s try to leave our options open.

Oh, and miniatures and a battlemap. I’m not sure what we’re doing for that situation. Mike, if you’d be so kind as to allow me to use your dice to represent the villians for the meantime, I’d appreciate it. I plan on picking up some miniatures in bulk, but, pewter figures are expensive, along with the paints. Hopefully WotC will come out with their collectable minature game soon; they’re basically going to make a minature game with the same premises of Magic: the Gathering, with rares, uncommons and commons – and, like M:tG, commons are going to be really cheap – which is fine for NPCs. As for the battlemap, we have a crude one we can use in the meantime, if need be.

I really think that’s about it. There’s only going to be four of you guys playing this first game Sunday, but, I’m considering this first game something of a pilot episode – I may have mentioned this before. If the lot of you get offed, it’ll just be considered a lesson, I’ll see what I did wrong – of course, if it’s just you guys messing up, well, there’s not a whole lot I can do about that, is there? See you guys Sunday.

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Terror in Itineraire Rural Cinq
(Or "You're In Room Number Three")

In room number 3, Franklin Harick, a young man with extraordinary powers, and an even more extraordinary debt was doing his best to enjoy a Wednesday evening in his “home” in the Stella Sabbia, an inn. Despite the ruckus going on in the tavern below him, he had full intentions to settle in for the night. Pillow over his head to drown out the sound, he began to sleep.

Meanwhile, the young gnome woman, Panbatter entered the inn, with ’Renzo, her young troll ward in tow. The strange duo had been travelling for almost a full day from the encampment of the Exodus from the South, and were hoping for a place to rest their bones for the evening. Shouldering their way through the crowd gathered at the Stella Sabbia, they approached the clerk, Panbatter kindly asking if they had any rooms left. The clerk was kind, if short with her, and for a small fee gave her a room, and a key to room number 3. The two prompty headed up to their room.

Franklin, only half asleep, heard his door being toyed with. Jumping out of bed, and grabing a spear, he shouted, “Who’s there?” Of course, on the other side of the door was Panbatter and ‘Renzo. "Uh, it’s just the two of us here to rest in the room we paid for," Panbatter insisted, opening the door. Franklin, gaping at ‘Renzo and the huge blade he carried, was apparently concerned about his outstanding debt to the owners of the inn, lied: "I’m all paid up!" “Well, uh, so are we,” Panbatter insisted.

The conversation continued between Franklin and the duo, while another pair were busy paying for their stay at the inn. Enter Ru and and Mae, a pair of elves who had just come to town. For a small fee they got a key to their room for the evening. Room number three.

Panbatter and Franklin continued to argue over just who gets the room, while Ru and Mae made their way to their room. Of course, like Panbatter before them, they were stunned to find that their room was already occupied. After a brief arguement amongst all of them, they all went downstairs to talk to the clerk that had given them their keys (with the exception of ’Renzo, who had already gotten comfortable on one of the two beds in the room). The clerk explained to them that the Stella Sabbia was extraordinarly busy this evening, and that they either share the room and get along or sleep in the streets and, quickly after, the jail.

“But, I’m all paid up,” Franklin demanded, “That room’s mine!”

“Franklin,” the clerk explained calmly, “You haven’t paid in three weeks.” Prompty after hearing that, Panbatter laughed, and headed back upstairs to get some rest. Franklin flustered, pulled a few coin out to count it, while Ru leaned in and spoke to the clerk in hushed tones.

“How about I give you ten gold if you kick someone out of another room?” Ru suggested.

“I’ll take your ten gold,” the clerk said as he smiled, “and you can go to any room you want and kick out the drunken and potentially belligerent brouhaha that are occupying the room. Let me know how that goes.”

“You have a good point,” Ru noted.

“Yes, I do.”

Dejected, Ru and Mae headed back upstairs to see if they could negotiate with the gnome and the troll that had gotten there before them. Franklin quickly put a few coin on the counter for the clerk and hurried upstairs to get himself a piece of floor. After arguing with each other over arrangements, they all went about their own business in the tavern below (Ru telling a story to some of the crowd, and working them afterwards, Panbatter bringing some food up to ’Renzo and Franklin, desperately, trying to get some sleep), before settling in for the evening. ’Renzo snored loudly. Everyone else slept badly.

In the morning, everyone awoke to the sudden silence of ‘Renzo no longer snoring. Stretching, rubbing their sore backs from sleeping on the floor (except Franklin, who somehow managed to keep his bed) and getting ready for the day. It wasn’t long, though, before the lot of them started to realize the whole of Stella Sabbia was eerily quiet. Panbatter and Mae wandered down to the tavern to find it empty, and Ru did a little investigating of his own (popping into other rooms in the inn), and Franklin decided it was best to check outside. ‘Renzo stayed behind. "I didn’t sleep too good," he insisted.

While the party inside the Stella Sabbia had no luck, Franklin stumbled out to see a huge crowd gathered in front of the schoolhouse. When Franklin went to investigate, he heard cries of the townsfolk, people demanding entrance to the schoolhouse and obscenities being tossed from all directions. The Cinq guard stood in front of the schoolhouse, making sure that no one was granted access. Franklin asked about as to what was going on, and a few people told him, interrupting each other, “Ferd and his gang have broken into the schoolhouse and they’ve taken the children hostage! They’re demanding thousands of gold for their release!” Hearing this, Franklin joined in the yelling for a bit, then ran back to the Stella Sabbia to spread the news.

Franklin ran up to his new roommates just as they left the Stella Sabbia. “Something terrible’s happened!” Franklin shouted. “Someone,” he added in his most heroic tone, “should DO something!” He then went on to tell them about what had happened in the schoolhouse. Panbatter’s eyes almost bubbled up with tears. Ru and Mae discussed with each other the potential for profit. After talking about it for a bit, they decided to all go their seperate ways for a bit to see what kind of information they could churn up about the situation, and meet back up at the inn in about an hour.

What the party had discovered in that hour is that the gang had taken over not only the school, but one of the teacher’s houses, a farm and a pig shed. Prying more information out of the locals, they found that the teacher whose house that was is particularly cautious – her room was always locked shut. The party gathered they could easily sneak into the house and get some information out of the gang members hold up on the house, if they snuck in via that teacher’s bedroom. Which is what they set out to do.

Mae made use of her grappling hook to set a rope up on a second story window, and Ru scrambled up it to and popped the simple lock on in. The rest of them scrambled up in the room in suit. Investigating the room, they noted, quickly,that this was, indeed, the teacher’s room. The door was locked from the inside, and none of the gang had seemed to have been successful in getting in here. Mae listened at the door and heard goblins chattering somewhere else in the house. She opened the door and stepped out, but, picked the squeakiest board in the house to put her foot down on – the goblins quieted down, and went up to investigate. Mae and the rest of the party ducked back into the room, locked the door and layed as quiet as they could be. The goblins came around to the door, but, finding it locked, went back to their old business – raiding the teacher’s food supplies.

“This lady doesn’t have cats, does she?” a goblin was heard to ask.

Ten minutes of laying silently in the room, Ru decided that he should be the one that should go out and investigate. Opening the door again, he snuck out into the house, to see where the goblins were. He soon found that there was something of a foyer overlooking the kitchen, where the goblins were sitting and eating – talking loudly to each other, but not as loudly as they were before. Ru investigated the rest of the second story, and went back to formulate a plan with the group.

Ru proposed that he taunt the goblins into coming upstairs, and that the rest of the group ambush them. But, as Ru snuck back out to the foyer, he found that same squeaky board. Throwing his usual caution to the wind, he stood over the half-wall and looked down at the goblins, brandishing a book that he had found earlier. “Hey, guys, I’m having a little trouble with my math homework,” Ru said, smiling, “Do you think you guys could help?” It was then that Panbatter ran to the foyer, and jumped over the half-wall, with a great gnomish warcry. The goblins screamed like little girls.

A brief battle ensued – Mae jumped down into the kitchen and onto a table, while Ru and Franklin occupied the goblins from above. Franklin managed to cloud the mind of one of the goblins with his magic, while Panbatter and Mae layed into the rest. Mae took a javelin to the side, but it didn’t slow her down one bit. After taking down the unwanted houseguests, the lone goblin remaining (whose mind had been clouded) surrendered, and was subjected to interrogation by Mae. The goblin told her that Ferd had grown more cocky since he developed some magical powers, and had charmed his brother, Buck, into going along this idea – the goblins just tagged along because they did what Ferd said anyway. With this information, they knocked the goblin out, and snuck back out of the house.

The party turned the goblin into the local authorities. Mae nursed her wounds for a while back at the Stella Sabbia, and the party discussed what they should be doing next. They all thought it would be a good idea to gather up some more information on the remainder of the houses that the goblins were hole up in, and look for a decent healer while they were at it. Again, they went their seperate ways, agreeing to meet back at the inn when an hour had past. Panbatter stayed behind (and cooked to pass the time).

When the hour passed, Ru and Mae returned, without any success. Franklin had a bit better luck. “Do you know any clerics,” he asked a man with a holy symbol of Fharlanghn dangling from his neck. “I may,” the man replied. The two returned to the inn, where the man, upon seeing Mae nursing her wounds, headed to her and healed her. He introduced himself as Daniel Theridan – he had volunteered to pick up supplies for his superiors from the Exodus. Panbatter, recognizing the name, let loose a shriek of glee, and insisted that Daniel sit and eat with them.

After a quick meal and conversation with Daniel, they started to formulate a plan. While Franklin was out asking around about the houses that the gang had taken over, he talked to a couple who said they left a mirror in the pighouse, for their own, ah, personal reasons. He also found that the pighouse was home to a ferocious boar who had been teased ceaselessly by goblins before. Franklin thought it would be a brilliant idea for them to let the boar loose and do their work for them. They set out to make short work of the goblins in the pighouse.

The party snuck around to the back of the pighouse, and Ru peeked inside. The front of the pighouse was wide open, and there were no goblins to be seen within. There was, however, a loft, which they immediately suspected the goblins were loitering (perhaps with the mirror). And there was, indeed, a wild-looking boar in a nearby pen. Ru snuck in and set up something of a pulley on the boar’s latch, so that someone could just pull a rope to set it free, while Mae and Panbatter ran to the other side to get ready to shut the door when the time came. Ru then attempted to sneak in and taunt the goblins down, but, after one of them was felled as he moved down to deal with Ru, the other decided it would be a good idea to get the mirror.

Franklin, impatiently, released the boar.

The boar started towards Ru, but upon seeing the goblins up on the higher level, turned it’s attention, snorting at the goblins who had been teasing it for so long. One of the goblins who had been injured by arrow fire tried to sneak down the stairs while the boar was looking up at another pair, but, to no avail. The boar caught scent of him, and chased him up the stairs. The other two remaining goblins tried despirately to set up the mirror to signal the school but were first distracted by the sound of voices up near the hay loft entrence (courtesy of Panbatter’s ghost sound) and then by Panbatter, as Mae strained and threw her up into the loft. Panbatter’s visit was shortlived, however, as a panicked goblin charged her and pushed her right back out.

It was about that time that the boar was coming around to them. As the goblins ran in a panic away from the rampaging boar, the party picked them off one by one. Franklin even moved in to fight, although he got a javelin to his leg for his troubles. The party quickly closed off the door when they had elimated the goblins, not wanting to become new targets for the boar. After things had settled down for a bit, they snuck in through the hay loft, recovered the mirror, and prepared to move on to their next target.

All the while, Daniel had been busy, selling off his own personal possessions to help the party find potions, so that they may stay in good health during the affair. He met up with the party to give him his findings, and to heal some of the wounds they had sustained during the last fight. While the party talked, Franklin dug up yet more information, this time about the farmhouse that the gang had taken over – a roofer told him that he had put a temporary patch on the roof, and had planned on getting around to it later. Of course, the party moved out almost immediately.

Compared to the previous encounters, this one was a cakewalk. Using their trusty grappling hook, the intrepid party climbed atop the roof and quickly found the makeshift covering that the roofer had mentioned before. Ru rushed to cover the exits on the other side of the building (slipping and falling over once on the way), and the rest of the party pried the covering off, and promptly jumped in. Three of the goblins occupying the farm quickly rushed the party, but were cut down in short time. The fourth decided he’d best be leaving. Franklin bravely stepped in front of the path of the goblin, standing outside, but, the goblin wanted out and THEN. Screaming, the goblin charged Franklin – and was quickly cut down by Ru, who was watching down all the while.

So, it was on to the schoolhouse itself, then. How would they get in? They had asked around, and earlier found that a young man had once fallen into the well, and the stream led under the school, and there was a grate leading into the basement. Having taken care of the rest of the lookouts, the party decided it had nothing to lose in taking this course of action. They decended into the well.

They found the waters to be about three feet deep, a bit uncomfortable for the little Panbatter. She opted to ride on Mae’s back while they delved underneath in the waters. Soon enough, they found their way to the school’s underbelly, and Ru (after dealing with a couple of hungry rats), quickly unlocked the grate, granting them access. They prowled on inside, investigating the basement a bit, then moving upstairs. Ru oiled the hinges of the door (thanks to a hint given to them by the school’s laborer), popped another lock and headed in. Listening carefully as they went, the party moved from door to door…

Finally, they came across a pair of double doors that led to an office of sorts. Ru snuck in quietly and found, very quickly, that the room was occupied by a very large, mean-looking half orc. The half-orc muttered a few arcane things at Ru, but Ru shook the sorcery off easily – there then went out a cry of “BUCK!” by this half-orc; he was calling out to this brother. “Well, I guess we know which one this is,” Mae noted. A goblin charged out from the office, and was quickly cut down, and Ru and Mae carefully fired shots into the office, wounding Ferd, the aforementioned half-orc. Franklin tried casting a blinding spell at Ferd from a scroll he had discovered earlier, but, still being the novice that he his, nearly blinded himself in the process. Mae and Franklin moved in on the wounded Ferd, who tried to put a spell on them as they entered, but, again, to no avail. Mae then delivered a blow that almost toppled Ferd, but, instead of felling him, caused him to froth and scream. He swung hard at the seemingly untrained Franklin, who took the blow from Ferd’s claw bracer in the gut. Franklin, instead of toppling over from the blow, seemed to be more energized from it. Ferd, shocked that his solid blow didn’t put the man down was then felled by Franklin, who put a spear in him.

From the hallway below, a pair of goblins and another half-orc arrived. The goblins arrived first, attacking Panbatter, who fended them off easily. One of the goblins pulled a small bottle filled with alchemist’s fire – but flubbed the toss, and ended up in flames himself. Buck then arrived, demanding to know what was occuring.

“We heard some noise, and we wanted to make sure everything was okay,” Ru lied. Buck was slow, to be sure, for he seemed to believe that much.

“Well, uh, still,” Buck started, confused, “we should probably see what Ferd wants to do.” He said this as Mae was taking the claw bracer off of Ferd’s still-bleeding corpse.

“No no no no!” Ru insisted, “It’s important that you check on the children!” Buck would have no more delays and shoulded past Ru. When he saw Ferd laying there, he cried out for his brother, and drew his firearm. Franklin (who was also looting the still-warm body of Ferd) threw a quick spell to daze Buck. Buck’s goblins charged forward, one of them at Panbatter, who dealt with him swiftly, and the other at Ru. The goblin, barely concious from setting himself ablaze landed one solid blow on Ru, then fell unconcious. Ru, seeing the dazed Buck so close to Mae, despite his crushed stomach stepped and fired at Buck, but to no avail. Ru fell unconcious as well. Mae, in seeing this, dealt with Buck swiftly, shoving a blade in him and putting him down…

The party quickly tended to Ru, and then to Buck – they had been told he was charmed by his brother – and then, to the children, who were held by three more goblins. Mae, showing them Ferd’s claw bracer, quickly sumbitted, and were led out by the party, out the front door of the schoolhouse.

A stunned silence overcame the crowd as Mae tossed the Ferd and Buck out into the street. Then, seeing their children stream out of the school, unscathed, there was a great roar of cheering. Frankling quickly stepped forward. “We have saved your children!” he boasted, “And ask nothing in return! Except, perhaps, that my bill at the inn be absolved!” Despite Franklin’s boasting, the four were quickly overtaken by the crowd, shouts of celebration and whatnot went out as they were treated to all manners of food and wines and other things. It seemed as if in a manner of a day they had made heroes out of themselves.

Of course, let’s see if anything comes of it…

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The Horrors of Sweet & Sour Sauce
(Notice How it Looks Like Goo-Gone?)

Right now I’m just listening to Live365, the Bassment.com – just in a good mood, glad that the game went as well as it did. The apartment is tidied up, and I’m down to my last cigarette. So far so good, right? Y’all feel that?

So, you guys managed to survive the first adventure, and, with ease, no less. Good for you. But you’re doomed next time. DOOMED! Well, actually, that’s not true at all. It’s not like I have Chris’s questionable dice, nor do I have anything lined up that’s too out of the question. The teaser for the next adventure is up on the main page, and I’m in the process of typing up what went down during the first adventure. Figure I can take this time to clear up a few things, and, ask a few questions.

First – everyone enjoy themselves?

Mike brought up the point that the game probably shouldn’t go on as late as it did last time, and I agree – I didn’t intend for it to go that late. But, between the carpool (thank you Lilly!) and the last-second food run, and the horrible tasting sweet & sour sauce, we started a little late. So, next time, if anyone wants to show up earlier – say around noon or so – we can start getting a pattern in order, where we can all get outta here at a reasonable hour. If you guys have any thoughts on that, again, let me know.

I’m going to do my best, as we go, to make certain rules clear for anyone that might not understand, but, that was mostly down to a minimum, some questions about two-weapon fighting (nothing big) and a few questions about spell ranges. Obviously, if you own a Player’s Handbook, you should make an effort to try to familiarize yourself what you can do, but, I’m here to help every step along the way. If you ever have a question as to what you can do, or you want to throw a hypothetical situation at me, please do.

Quick questions and comments for specific individuals:

Mike – if you’re considering a prestige class, take into consideration what’s available right now over at the House Rules section. You’ll see that the Invisble Blade PrC isn’t availble right now. If you wanted to go for it, don’t worry, it’ll be made available, through some in-game means. Most likely, you’d have to go on a special module/adventure to meet up with someone who could train you properly. And, I’d likely set something up for that kind of thing.

Sara – Glad you seemed to enjoy yourself, although you scared the crap out of that goblin. If you wanted to use that claw bracer you got ahold of, like I said, you can, simply at a -4 penalty, until you get the weapon proficiency. And, it probably will help you intimidate people more, if that’s what you wanted, especially if they recognize that it’s Ferd’s. Of course, people who recognize that it’s Ferd’s might have other reactions as well.

Tim – I’m going to make sure all the spell ranges are laid out for you, just so there’s no confusion, and we don’t have to refer to the PHB at all. And your poor toad – he ever getting a name? He should, considering that, eventually, he’s going to start talking to you.

Lilly – Panbatter is effin’ adorable. Absolutely love her. And, she seems to have that take the lead kind of personality, which I suppose when you work with kitchen staff can be good, as well as with adventurers. I know next week’s going to be hard for you – try your best to enjoy it anyway.

It looks like the Drama Card system is going over well, and I’m glad you guys suggested that it would be a good idea to start off with more. Lilly was definately hoarding them with her jumping down onto things and being tossed up into things, but, I’m going to make a few modifications as to how you can get the cards for next time. For example, Tim, that “I’m all paid up!” line was classic. Little things like that that add to the story definately need to be rewarded. So, expect to see another card in your envelope next time.

Food – I figure a good intermission time for getting dinner would be at 5. Half-hour to call out for food or to book it to some store or restaurant to grab something to go and get back. It’s not that distracting when people eat at the table, it seems. I can deal with food, but, of course, get distracted by the giggling between Sara and Lilly or Tim playing footsies with EVERYONE. I’d take some Ritalin, but, that wouldn’t help the game any.

Alright, I’m sure I had more to say, but, I’m distracted again. Going to get back to working on the story. Oh! Next time, if we can get someone to help out by taking a few notes, about important moments during the game, that would be great. Doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. Just stuff to help me remember what went down during the game, so I can type it up for each “episode”. See you guys next Sunday.

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The Burning Plague

I’m not entirely sure how to summarize this adventure. So, let’s start at the beginning and see where that takes us. After a week in the town of Cinq, out heroes decided it was time to move on. They packed up their things, and, along with a new friend who had introduced himself to the party after learning of their deeds, they set out.

After speaking breifly with Panbatter, I decided it would be best if I went along with them. Panbatter, after all had a few more obligations to fulfill in the town, and they could certainly use the assurance of a healer in their midsts. Oh. I’m terribly sorry. Let me intoduce myself. My name is Daniel Theridan. I met these fine young individuals last week during the incident with Ferd’s gang and the school. If you’re not familiar with them, they are Ru, Mae, Franklin and Panbatter – they saved the schoolchildren from the threat of the gang. I also met Renzo, a rather kind troll – unusual, I know, but, strange times call for strange people. I also met the rather courteous Tindel Snapgallows “of the Striking Wind” as he would call himself. I said before, we set out without Panbatter, but, Fharlanghn blessed my travels with the company of these five.

We set out in the morning. It was quite a long trip the encampment, about a good day’s trip. Not an hour after we left the town of Cinq, we came across an odd sight – almost a hundred toads, hopping along to the river, trying to make their way to cooler ground. ‘Renzo curiously bit into a couple of them, and, wanting to waste no further time, we did run a number of them over in our cart as we went. It’s unfortunate to see any creature fall, but, such is life, especially on Fharlaghn’s Path.

A good portion of the day after that went without issue – until, when we were nearing the afternoon, we encountered a band of kobolds, who seemed intent on waylaying us as we went. Unfortunately for them, they attempted to rob the wrong stagecoach. The party quickly moved into the fray, while I laid back and prepared to heal their wounds. The battle was relatively swift. One of the more brutal moments is when ’Renzo turned and cleaved a kobold literally in two, like he was chopping so much wood. I had never seen ’Renzo fight before, and, in seeing him do this, I had little doubts for my safety. Not an hour after the encounter with the kobolds, however, came a much larger menace – a viper, bigger than a horse, and many times as long, looked upon us as a meal. Once again, the party went into fray (albeit, admittedly, not quite as bravely). Tindel and ’Renzo cautiously kept the viper at bay from the cart, while Ru and Mae fired at it from afar. Franklin, in despiration to make the beast fall, ran forward (getting bit in the process), and delivered a fantastic wave of sound to the beast. After this, Tindel pummeled it down into unconciousness.

We decided, after all this, that we had best set up camp, even if it was a bit early. Mae found a formation of rocks to hide the camp behind, and Ru set up a particularly clever trap involving boulders (he expressed disappointment in not being able to use the trap later). In the early hours of the morning, we were visited by a strange trio – three travellers, who claimed to be pilgrims (they called themselves Shanda, Terrisa and Noe), approached the camp. While appearing human, they had a strange glow about them. They asked if they might share this camping spot with the party in the evening. Mae and Ru were suspicious – ’Renzo was more than inviting. Eventually, once they spoke for a while, they allowed them into their camp.

In the morning, the party set out again, with the three strangers. But at about mid-morning, the strangers (and the party) spotted a pair of dragon like creatures off in the distance. The party seemed confused as to what the creatures were, but the trio seemed to be determined to go out and talk to them. Despite the protesting of the party, the trio approached the dragon-things, and, after some conversation with them, left with them, without a word to the party that had shared the camp with them. It was overall a strange encounter – I am curious if we’ll see the trio again.

Finally, around mid-day we reached the encampment of the Exodus. I parted ways with the party for a bit, to meet up with my superiors, and they went their own ways to conduct their business.

A week passed, and we were beginning to approach a small settlement known as Duvik’s Pass, which I had known we were headed to for quite some time. In that time, I had heard that the upstart Ru had made enemies with the local bard community. That didn’t take too terribly long, I thought. As we did approach the Pass, the smell of decay hit us, even from a good mile outside of the town. When I had heard Tindel had volunteered to head to the Pass to investigate, I offered my services once more. It seemed as if I would be working with the party I had met in Cinq once more – this time a bit more directly. Ru, Mae, Tindel, Renzo, Franklin and I headed out towards the town of Duvik’s Pass almost immediately.

As we approached the gates of the Pass, the smell became more pungent, and more clear, to me at least, what was going on. Disease was ravaging this town. The gate guard’s appearance confirmed this. As we approched, we saw he was covered in boils and blisters, and was sweating twice as much as a man should have been in this weather. We understandbily kept our distance as we spoke with them. They told us that the Pass had come across a string of bad luck of late – first, a good number of the miners were killed by a kobold warband a few weeks past – and secondly, soon after this had occured, this disease struck. We were invited to speak with the mayor of the town, a Cristofar Sendars. When we spoke with him, he confirmed the guard’s stories, and sent a runner to the Exodus to warn them to not approach as of yet. The party (after a little haggling by Ru and Mae) decided to investigate the mines, so that they might find the source of this disease – and hopefully, by doing so, not force the Exodus to go around the Pass, which would result in another month’s worth of travel.

We travelled up to the mine together, after gathering a latern and some torches along the way. We moved cautiously into the mine, and encountered, once within the first room, a pair of overturned wheelbarrows, underneath of one which was pinned a corpse of a worker. ‘Renzo, in his eagerness to help, lifted the wheelbarrow. There was a snapping sound, and out of the corner of my eye, I caught something falling to the ground. It collided, and made a deafening sound. After a few moments, most of us regained our hearing, except for Tindel, unfortunately, who suffered the worst of it. Perhaps halfling ears are more sensitive than most – I don’t know.

Whatever the case was, the sound carried throughout the mine – it was obvious that, if there was anyone here to hear us, we were heard. So, stealth out the window, we proceeded to investigate with more speed. Ru took the riegns of the party and steered us left, down into the cave a bit. He found a pit trap along the way, and guided us around it, and toward the mouth of a great open cavern. The lichen within glowed softly, illuminating the whole of the place – there were specks of silver, likely the ore, lining the far wall. Ru, began to dart across to hide behind a stalagmite, but caught a bolt as he moved across. We were expected.

The rest of the party darted from place to place to avoid the bolts from the kobolds – a number of them were standing up on a ledge, ready to shoot at anything that openned themselves to be shot. One of the kobolds, who was instructing the lot, cast a spell, calling a horrific-looking centipede into existance behind Mae, that bit at her and poisoned her a bit. After seeing this, ’Renzo nodded to Tindel, and prepared to throw him up towards ledge. Tindel, sort of understanding (but certainly not hearing), nodded. ’Renzo threw Tindel towards the ledge, but, Tindel fell short – he dangled from the cables hanging from the edge. He quickly scampered up the cables however, and began to lay into the kobolds with his fists. The mage kobold, seeing this, threw fire from his fingertips at Tindel, then retreated behind the others. Tindel was only slightly singed from this (and managed to avoid other flames that were cast his way for the rest of the battle). We dealt with the fiendish centipede and another one soon after and Mae and Ru picked off the kobolds where they could. Tindel eventually reached the mage, and, the mage, in despiration, cast another gout of flame at him, then threw himself off the ledge to the ground. Franklin, who had quaffed a potion of invisibility, had climbed up the cables and tossed another kobold down to join him. Tindel, eager to take down the kobold that had been trying to set him ablaze, jumped down on top of him, knocking him out.

After brushing themselves off a bit, they investigated the room that led off from the ledge – two kobold children hid under a ragged old cloak. They were apparently children of the kobold raiding party. Ru spoke to them, asking them questions about the caves, and they told what little they knew: That a “demon” had been holed up in the back of the caves for some time, and they weren’t allowed to leave at all. The party told them to stay right there… They didn’t want them seeing what had happened. Ru lied to them, saying that their parents had chased some intruders off outside, while Renzo dumped the corpses into a gulley. Dumb, but, efficient.

We reorganized ourselves, and headed back the other way, where we were told there were more kobolds. ’Renzo opened the door to what was apparently the kitchen, and, as soon as he did, he caught a bolt to the stomach. Understandibly, he closed the door again. After a moment, Tindel and the rest of the party rushed in – the kobolds had set up a crude barrier out of tables, and were defending a hallway behind them with it. A few shots were fired, then, ’Renzo, in his beautiful simplicity, simply walked over to one of the tables and lifted it up. Ru held one of the kobolds at gunpoint (he quickly surrendered), while the ones that were standing tried to flee. One of them managed to open the door and another managed to flee through it. But, before any more could leave, Renzo reached over to the door, closed it and held it shut. The kobolds on this side of the door were easy game after that.

“I HAVE A PLAN,” Tindel shouted, “WHY DON’T YOU GRAB A TABLE AND MOVE INTO THE ROOM WITH THAT PROTECTING YOU, RENZO?” Tindel was obviously still deafened, and didn’t know his own tone. ’Renzo took this advice to heart, however, and went back to pick up a table. The rest of the party cleared the way as the gentle giant crashed through the doorway with the table blocking his attackers. I heard the bolts thumb against the table, and Renzo shout back, “That was a good idea!”.

“…WHAT?!” Tindel replied, not really hearing him. Tindel, Ru and Franklin moved in behind him, and Mae picked up another table and moved in. I saw Renzo drop the table to one side, get hit with a bolt, and dive over the barrels that were protecting the kobolds and cut into them. Tindel leaped over to the other side and joined into the fray, with Ru threatening a kobold with his firearm again (although these ones required an object lesson). Mae, Franklin and myself had other problems. From a pile of clothing that had been discarded in this room, a giant weasel snuck out and attacked and latched onto Franklin, and began drinking visciously from him. I landed a solid blow on the beast, which seemed to slow it down, and Renzo, having finished with the kobolds, ran over and finally put it under. Franklin was worse for wear, however, pale as I had ever seen him. He was fed a potion to help recover, but Franklin, when he awoke, felt horrible. He kept insisting that we make leave for the time being, and fight another time (an action that I, admittedly, wish we had taken, in retrospect). But upon the insistence of the party, we pressed on.

Mae concluded that there was only one way for the party to go – down further into the mine, past the silvery wall, and under the ledge, a path they had seen before. This is where the children said they were not allowed to go, where the “demon” lived. No doubt this demon was the source of the disease – or at least held the answers to where it may be coming from. We pressed on.

We soon came upon a room that was filled with corpses – it was as if someone had been collecting them for some strange purpose, perhaps even to spread the disease. Rats scrambled over the corpses of humans and kobolds alike, and even more rat corpses lay here. We moved cautiously over the corpses to the other side of the room, but, as we were almost to the exit, a number of the corpses had begun to move of their own accord. They stood up quickly, and moved towards us slowly. Most of the party tried to escape to the exit, and I had intended to let them do so. I turned my holy symbol on them, hoping Fharlanghn’s power would hold them at bay. I tried three times, and, upon the third time of channelling this power, at last, the beasts began to flee, at the same rate that they had advanced before. It was almost humorous watching the party catch up to the zombies to cut them down. Tindel, who had stayed by my side as I turned the creatures, was the most entertaining – his poor feet couldn’t take him to the beasts quick enough. “AH, FORGET IT,” he shouted, and let the rest of the party take care of them. Soon after, we moved on…

I was told about much of this battle after the fact, as halfway through it I was knocked unconcious. But, I shall retell it to the best of my ability. We entered a room that had a waterspring, obviously the supply of the Pass we had come to investigate for. In the middle of this stood a spire, and atop that stood a very tired looking half-orc. This, obviously, was the “demon” the kobold children spoke of. He spoke some words in a crude orcish that I didn’t understand (Ru later told me that he had said something along the lines of “So, you are the ones that Gruumsh sent. So be it.”). Tindel shouted, “HE’S JUST AN ORC!” to Renzo, “GO GET HIM!” With amazing speed, Renzo made his way up the spiraling spire – only to be consumed in darkness when he reached the top.

“Now what are we supposed to do?” Asked Franklin. I insisted that what we must do is go help Renzo. I waded forward into the pool and into the darkness, in hopes of finding the orc, and helping to take him down. Tindel ran in with me, and Franklin reluctantly joined. Ru and Mae circled the perimeter, with Mae occasionally making potshots into the darkness. I felt around until I moved my way up the spire. Renzo had landed a couple of blows on the orc, and Tindel had landed at least one. Ru was mocking him visciously from outside the darkness I heard, trying to get him to come down. Perhaps it worked. One of the last things I remember is a number of things I recognized as orcish curses, and then a sudden jarring feeling on the side of my head – somehow the orc had found me and, downed me, in the darkness.

What occured next I have been told by Tindel, Renzo and the rest. Soon after his mace found me, it found Franklin, who had wandered into the darkness. Sadly, Franklin didn’t fare as well – already weaked from the blood loss he had experienced earlier, I was told the blow killed him instantly. Renzo, held by the magics of the orc, nearly drowned when pushed into the pool. The orc then moved in on Ru, who had been mocking him all the while. Ru and the orc stabbed at each other in the dark for quite some time, until Renzo finally got free of whatever magical bonds held him. He moved into the darkness once more and, after some time, finally sunk his teeth into the servant of Gruumsh. He bellowed one more time, and Renzo roared loudly as he finally felled the beast that killed his friend…

I admit that I did not expect such an adventure, when approaching the gates of Duvik’s Pass. Sadly, I will not forget this place – nor will Franklin. We had intended to bury him, originally, but, there was discussion of finding options to bring him back. Unfortunately no one in my church has such a power, nor was there anyone powerful enough in the town of Duvik’s Pass. So, it will take some investigating… I suppose we’ll have to join up with the Exodus after this. I’m off. I have many things to ask of many people.

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So Tired
"So, you wanna come back from the dead..."

Tim made it quite clear to me that he’s been eager to play a sorcerer, but, not eager to move on and play anything else. So, it’s now up to the rest of you to find a way to bring his sorry ass back. Welcome to the next part of the story.

It’s actually kinda nice, having you guys wanting to bring him back, it’ll allow me to introduce you to the cosmology a bit… what’s likely going to happen is definately going to be strange for a bunch of first levelers, but, hey, I have faith in you. I’m off to dream up the next adventure which should involve a wide variety of encounters, none of which I had been planning for. And, most likely, the lot of you are going to have to make some sacrifices of your own, if you’re really going to do this. So, Ru, Mae, kind of a turning point for you two, see if your characters will go this far.

Anyhow. Tired. Off to churn up ideas as to what I’m going to have you guys do.

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Finding Franklin

Franklin was dead, and that state wasn’t improving any faster as the days went on. Three days after the incident in the mines of Duvik’s Pass, Ru approached me.

“Alright,” he said, “Let’s do what has to be done, then.”

I had a few drinks that day, I’ll admit it. I had a horrible night before, and only by Fharlanghn’s blessing did I recover from the Burning Plague myself. I wandered out to meet with my friends, to see what they had been discussing. Ru led me over to the graveyard, where the rest of the party was gathered. When I arrived, ‘Renzo was digging furiously at Franklin’s grave.

“We’re gettin’ Franky back!,” he shouted to me as I approached.

I needed another drink.

There was much discussion as to what, exactly, what we were intending on doing. After much milling about and shrugging of shoulders, the party finally parted ways to ask around to see if there was anyone that had knowledge of bringing the dead back to life. While I’ve heard of powerful clergy being able to do such miraculous tasks, we were far from any city. However, after an hour or so, Tindel returned with news of some hermit that lived atop the mountain to the West of Duvik’s Pass. While it was unlikely that this hermit held much sway over life and death, it was certainly a better lead than we had before.

There was a brief altercation between Ru and the rest of the party as to if they should bring Franklin’s body to the top of the mountain. There were shouts of we’re going all the way up the mountain, we’d better be sure that we don’t leave anything behind by Ru, and shouts of how would you feel if someone brought a corpse to your doorway by the others. I got myself that drink.

Finally it was decided that we’d climb the mountain without Franklin’s body, and I was dragged away from my drink. After buying some mountaineering equipment (Ru haggling with the shopkeepers as usual), we started the trek up the mountain. It was a long, hard climb, a good eight hours of climbing, although the mountainside was as barren as the desert below. Save for a lizard or two stalking about, we were the only souls on the mountainside.

Hm. Funny I should use that word. Souls.

Finally, we reached the hermit’s shack. After a moment of confusion among us (should we just go up and knock what if he doesn’t want visitors are you sure he’s not dead that’s an old shack), we approached the shack. Ru knocked lightly on the shack, pieces of it falling off as he did so. From inside bellowed an croaky old voice. “WHAT?!”

“Ah,” Ru stuttered, “Sir?”

WHAT?!!” screamed the man on the other side of the door.

“Well, sir, we have a problem,” Ru continued. He was interrupted by the old man openning the door. The man was black as night, and naked as sin, standing there waving in the wind. Everyone’s eyes widened (except perhaps Renzo, who didn’t see what the big issue was), then turned away.

The old man paced his words. “What… do… you… WANT?” He demanded.

“Well, ah, you see,” Ru said head still turned, “we have a friend, from the village down below – he died helping the town from a disease.”

“And?”

“Ah, we were told you could help him? Us?”

“Where is he?” Ru boggled at this statement.

“Ahm… down in the town below?”

“Well, go get him! What do you expect me to do without his body?” His attention turned to Tindel. “Gods, you are a tiny man.”

“So are you, apparently,” Tindel replied.

The old man got the joke, but, was not amused. In a much more calm tone than he had spoken before, he said to Tindel, “From now on, you will not speak until spoken to… until you learn some manners.”

Tindel was quiet on the trip back down the mountain. Ru wasn’t so quiet, muttering all the way down, we should leave the body, you said, we shouldn’t just drag a body up to the hermit’s house, you said…

A trip down the mountain, a body picked up, a trip back up the mountain. Eventually Ru gave it a rest. The second trip was even more tiring than the first, but, we eventually made it up to the top of the mountain. Once again, we knocked on the old hermit’s door – once again, bits of it fell off. He came out of the hut, once again, and, after a few moments of explaining who we were… again… he asked us where he was.

The body was with us, he explained, but, the spirit wasn’t.

“Well, how do we go about getting the spirit,” Ru asked. The old man sighed at this, almost as if he thought it was common knowledge.

“You simply go to the Spirit Realm and GET him,” the hermit said, impatiently, “So, go on – head there and get him, I’ll be waiting here.” Of course, we all stood around, dumbfounded once again. Eventually he spoke up again – “You don’t know how to get there, do you?”

He went into his shack and came out with a lizard, freshly killed. With its blood, he drew a circle in the dust (and then gave the lizard to Renzo to eat) and had us sit in it. He asked us to simply close our eyes, which we did – in what seemed like just seconds, he muttered a few words to himself, and told us we could open our eyes again. What we saw was incredible. Where we had just been stading atop a mountain of rock and dust, we were now standing atop a mountain THICK with vegetation – trees of the sort that I had never seen before, and the sounds of animal life all around us. This was, the old man explained, the Spirit Realm – where spirits either await an agent to take them to their final reward or where they spend the rest of their lives. It didn’t look too terribly different from the world we had come from – we were on the same mountain – it’s just that “life” seemed to be flourishing more here.

Of course, it is also home to other things, other beings that are anything BUT spirits of the dead. The old man hurried us down the mountain, told us, unceremoniously, that we had a full day to find Franklin and return to him. He had no intentions of staying in this realm longer than he had to. We soon saw why.

An hour, perhaps two down the mountain, we saw a great bird-like creature in our path – it stood about 15 feet tall, and was apparently without wings. Four bird-like legs held it up and took great strides as it moved about. And, unfortunately, it saw us. It kawwed and chirped at us in the most horrible way imaginable. …it was then that we decided to take a detour down the side of the mountain. As we dove off the path and down the steep slope, it kawwed at us, “NO! WHERE ARE YOU GOING?! RAWK!” That this thing could speak didn’t encourage to stay any longer. That was but the first peril we came across on our trip down the mountain. We were perhaps halfway down the mountain, when ’Renzo and Tindel, who were leading the way down, ran into something – one second they were moving down the path, and another second they found themselves trapped in a web.

From the trees jumped some bloated spider-thing, which immediately began biting at Tindel as he struggled in the web. Even ‘Renzo had trouble moving in the webbing, trying to draw his huge blade out and keep the thing at bay. Panicked, the party moved around the webbing to where the thing was standing. I, admittedly, nearly feel down the side of the mountain in doing so. While on my back, I saw Ru do some sort of leap-flip from a tree that the webbing was stuck to. What he was trying to accomplish is beyond me. We quickly surrounded the spider-thing and proceeded to fight it down, and off of Tindel. It’s skin was incredibly thick, and it took great effort to finally put it down – it seems that some of the spirit folk are a lot more resiliant than living folk. After pulling Tindel down from the webbing, we moved on, helping Tindel along – he was shaking quite a bit, feeling effects of the spider-thing’s poison.

It was getting late as we approached the mines where we believed Franklin to be. There was a soft red glow coming from the cave. As we approached it, out slithered a smallish flaming snakeman, wielding a sword. He smiled at us as we approached, and stood, blocking us.

“You wantss to get in?” he hissed, “Then you wantss to pay the toll. Thiss iss my cave.” Renzo was visibly upset by this, but, after realizing that he wasn’t making any progress, put out his coins to the snakeman. Panbatter put out some of her coins as well. Ru, of course, as usual, wasn’t having any of it. He approached the snakeman with his gun, and pointed it at him. The snakeman stared at the thing pointed at him for a moment, and then snorted, “Fine. You wanna go in? Ss. Fine with me. Go ahead.” He slithered aside and let us pass. We all kept an eye on him as we went by him, but, he made no move towards us.

The mine looked much the same as it did in the living realm, except perhaps a bit less worked. Almost immediately upon entering, we heard the sound of metal upon stone, coming from the great silver cavern that we had fought the kobold sorcerer… Ru went on ahead, to see what was occuring.

Moments later, he came barrelling back up the path towards us – “Here he comes!” he shouted – I wasn’t sure what he meant at first, but, in a moment, I saw what must of been the spectre of the orcish cleric that had killed Franklin. He cursed and spat at us in orcish as he ran up the ramp, but, he was unarmored and without a weapon, save for a crude stone club that he carried. He was quickly cut down – and as soon as he was, he faded into nothingness. A brief encounter with a villian from our past. Knowing how the spirit world works, I wouldn’t be surprised if we meet others in this manner.

When we moved down into the mines, we saw Franklin chained to a number of kobolds, all working silver from the walls with crude picks. Franklin, for obvious reasons, was a bit surprised to see us. We explained to him about where he was, and how we got to him, and that we were running out of time. After taking a moment to think on this, Franklin agreed that they should simply make haste back up the mountain, and get him back in his body. We asked the kobolds what they wanted, and they told us that someone should be waiting for them nearby. Not wanting to press any further on that subject, we left the mines.

The snakeman, unsurpisingly, was gone when we emerged.

Up the mountain once more.

It was late at night, and most of the noises in the thick of the forest were that of nightbirds, the few of them there were. Off in the distance, we heard singing, however. As we closed on it, moving up the path, the song became more powerful. Panbatter and Franklin seemed to move ahead of us to get closer the music, with an almost dreamy look in their eyes. Soon we set our eyes on the thing making the music – it was some sort of perverse songbird, with the body of a woman and the legs of some sickly bird. It sang beautifully, but was a horror to look upon. This didn’t deter Panbatter and Franklin from moving in on it, however. As soon as Panbatter was up close to the bird, it immediately began to bite into her, Panbatter unflinching. This set the rest of us into action.

Ru and Mae immediately started putting arrows into the bird thing, and Renzo, seeing it was hurting Panbatter, moved up with his blade. It took flight with it’s winged arms, and swooped down at us – it seemed surprised at the number at us, and, after a couple of swoops down at at us, it flew deeper into the forest, scared off by the damage we had inflicted upon us. In the confusion, Renzo had knocked Franklin out, in an effort to be sure he didn’t approach the bird. I revived him, just as the bird flew off, however, and, after being sure the thing wasn’t returning, we pressed onward, and upward again.

We quickly dealt with what appeared to be devilish skeletons, and heard yet more rattling in the distance – it was becoming more obvious, as each step we took, why the old man on the mountain didn’t want to stay here terribly long. The horrors that come out at night come out in terrible numbers.

Finally, in the wee hours of the night we reached the top of the mountain once more. The man was still, as we approached, fast asleep against his shack. We roused him and, after nearly putting Mae’s throat out with a spear, realized who we were… he grunted at Franklin, telling him to sit in the circle and wait… the rest of us closed our eyes again, and, fast as we had come to this strange world, we were back in our own.

The man took an onyx from us and placed it violently into Franklin’s eye (his corpse was still just that – a corpse). As we rested, the man performed some strange ritual, mostly muttering to himself and whispering things into Franklin’s dead ear. After about an hour of this, the body of Franklin finally stirred. Coughing, it sat up – his eye was still put out, and Franklin, mistakingly, put his finger there, and shouted – that woke the few of us that had fallen asleep in the process.

Franklin was back, in a manner – his still-rotting corpse was moving, none of his injuries had been healed – but he was moving, nonetheless. Franklin seemed to take this badly.

We rested atop the mountain that evening, thanking the old man for helping us – he explained that there are means to bring people back in a more proper manner, but, that he needed a diamond do so. Franklin didn’t sleep at all during the night, and kept mostly to himself – he seemed incapable of sleep, in fact, which is why, perhaps he kept to himself. But, despite all that bad things that had occured, Franklin seemed to be in decent spirits.

We moved down the mountain, without issue, and into the town. Franklin hid himself from the townsfolk, not knowing what they’d think of him coming back, and especially in this form. He looked utterly ghoulish. We quickly grabbed the supplies we needed, loaded up the cart, and headed out to catch up with the Exodus. However, the fates seemed to want to keep us in this town…

Not an hour from the town, something emerged from the sands to the west of us – a large blue winged lizard of some manner. He was big, but still smaller than our horses. There was something incredibly menacing about him. We muttered to each other, as it flew over to us, and landed in front of us. It then spoke.

“Why, hello there, travellers,” it spoke in a cordial manner, “might I ask where you’re travelling to?”

We all muttered to each other, and answered him at the same time. We’re going to the Exodus, perhaps you saw it pass by here…

“Ah, yes, wonderful. And what’re you taking with you?” He grinned, and lightning danced between his teeth. It was fairly obvious what he was getting to. We told him we just carried our foodstuffs, and whatnot, but, he knew we lied. Tindel began to quaff potions quickly, Panbatter began to unload what she needed from the cart (she had already put her money down). Ru snorted at the great lizard, and began to ride by him.

Renzo approached the great lizard and said, innocently, while holding out a red potion… “Do you want this too?”

It smirked at him, and turn it’s attention back to Ru while saying, “Sure, sure… just add it to the pile.” Renzo then quaffed the potion – the already immense troll grew to his size and one half, and towered over the lizard-thing.

“I don’t like mean blue doggies…” Renzo growled, and drew his sword.

“I’ll deal with you in just a second,” the lizard growled right back. He turned to Ru, and a line of lightening jumped from his mouth. Ru dove from his horse, avoiding the the electric death, but his horse wasn’t so lucky, and crumpled to the ground. Renzo brought his sword down on the dragon then.

Everyone scurried for cover then, seeing the great lizard’s breath, and what it could do. Out of nowhere, then, came a great gust of wind – it nearly picked me up, as well as the others in the party. It tore up the landscape, throwing sand in every direction. The dragon, of all of us, seemed to be expecting this the least. He howled and coughed, at it seemed that sand filled his throat, his eyes, and everything else. He stumbled about and struck blindly at ‘Renzo – a great gash went across ’Renzo’s chest, and put him down. I ran over to him and put Fharlanghn’s magicks into him to bring him back to his feet, while the others circled the great thing, and took shots at it while it was bewildered by the sandstorm. Tindel and Panbatter closed on it, Ru and Mae fired at it from behind boulders that lay on the side of the road, and Franklin, while still rotting, served his purpose – his magicks, incredibly, dazed the beast for a few moments.

Everything happened so quickly. Renzo put his sword into the thing, but it would not fall. After a while, the dragon stumbled away from Renzo, bellowing in pain. Renzo chased it down, tried to put it down before it got it’s bearings again. But, before he could finish it, it turned and filled the air with more electricity, this time catching Mae and Panbatter in the arc. Mae threw herself back with the arc, and fell unconcious. Panbatter wasn’t so lucky. Renzo finally buried his blade deep in the thing’s neck… and immediately stumbled to the ground. I immediately went to work.

We found the thing’s lair… hidden within was a diamond, as the fates would have it. Fharlanghn had set me on a strange path. Back up the mountain. Panbatter fought this battle, and it was only suitable that she benefit from the diamond. On the trip back, we met another lizard thing – he introduced himself as Jonas. His scales were coppery and reflected the sun. Upon seeing the body of the blue lizard thing – he identified as Ikuta – he offered to help us in whatever way he could. We travelled back up the mountain, and Jonas escorted us all the while. There was a brief band of goblin bandits that tried to stop us, but, our impatient crew made short work of them, cleared them off of our path.

Panbatter was brought back, looking a bit less energetic than she usually was, but certainly far more alive than Franklin…

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Sorry...
"Sometimes, dragons happen."

When I made up the random encounter chart, I honestly didn’t expect a dragon to ever pop up on you – but, I suppose that’s why it’s random. It’s unexepected for both myself and you – I have to run the encounter on the fly, figuring out what the creatures would do – and you guys have to make new plans on the fly as well.

And sometimes, PEOPLE GOTTA DIE.

Heh, sorry about that. If it weren’t for the drama cards, though, I assure you, the lot of you would very likely be toast. And, that’s exactly why I put the cards in the game – for the lot of you to do extraordinary things occasionally, like kill the blue dragon you stumbled across – albeit with losses.

A few corrections – the old madman on the mountain did not read from a scroll – he cast the raise dead himself. While the travelling from the spirit realm to the material realm isn’t that much of an issue, having your spirit shoved back into your body is painful – having your body shoved back into your body and your body pumping blood through you again is even more painful. So, ultimately, Panbatter got the more painful experience – but, at least blood flows through her body again.

I really do feel bad for Tindell. He seems to be the hard-knocks monk – he gets deafened, poisoned, cursed – but, so far he’s survived it all. Me, I’m the hard-knocks GM. Got hit in the face with two d20s tonight – you guys gotta calm down there. Ow.

Let me explain a bit about the spirit realm – let’s see now. Any of you play Zelda on the SNES? It’s like the dark world sort of – that’s a geeky way of putting it. More accurately, things are more exaggerated – forests are impossibly thick, trees tall – the mountain, although you may not have noticed from being on it, was actually taller as well, and more steep. Panbatter certainly experienced this. The days are brighter, the nights are darker – everything is more extreme. It also, to some degree, reflects the past – in the past, these parts were a thick forest – eventually the spirit realm will become a desert, but, not for some time coming. But, other than that it’s much like the spirit world.

Basically the spirit world you guys encountered was the “close” spirit world. Eventually, the appropriate agents, like I said, will escort your spirit away to it’s proper reward – if you wanted to stay around, you could say so to said agents – some might allow you to stay, some might drag you along to your final reward (or punishment). Now, if you’re a spirit and “die” again, in the spirit realm? Well, that might be a bit more FINAL. First, the spirit that’s “destroyed” makes a check (1d10 + the spirit’s HD or level) against a DC 16 – if they make the check, they rejuvinate in 2d4 days. If they fail, however… well, that’s that. (Out of game – no, Jakk’s gone for good.) It works much like a ghost’s rejuvination power – actually, pretty much exactly like it. Tougher enemies are going to be much harder to keep down, of course.

Now, a few of you wanted to learn the spiritwalk skill – it’s a class skill for all classes – it essentially requires grim determination (I’ll put the skill up in houserules as well) – this allows you, with a DC check of 30, to travel to the spirit realm. Using the skill is a full-round action. Of course, there are places that are more closely tied to the spirit realm, which you may or may not discover – that recude the check significantly. This skill allows you, of course, to travel from the spirit realm to the material realm as well. Yes, even if you’re dead.

If you’re a spirit and have the spiritwalk skill, you can manifest yourself in the material world – although it’s not a permanent shift. For every 1 you beat the DC by, you manifest yourself for one minute – this is usually best for communicating to the living, of course. When you manifest, you are just as you are on the spirit world, save that you are incoporeal… again – I’ll put all this in the houserules section.

I apologize that you had to visit the spirit realm twice, but… you think you benefitted from fighting Ikuta (the blue dragon – Jonas mentioned his name breifly)? Heh. But, from this point on, unless, of course, you don’t make it too far from the mountain, you’re going to need to actually go to the spirit realm and ensure that the spirit that you wish to recover doesn’t get destroyed or escorted away – not quite as simple as casting a raise dead spell. Daniel, of course, is going to do his best to start studying the spiritwalk ability – probably the first in his church to do it.

Daniel, really, was going to be a big nobody in this module – tagging along with you guys has certainly made him a somebody. Of course, he hasn’t really spent much time with the Exodus – hopefully he won’t catch hell for that. All manner of things you guys are going to go through in the future – right now, the adventures are a bit rag-tag, with no particular theme. But right now, you’re making potential long-term enemies, all while moving slowly to the real story.

Hope you’re enjoying yourselves thus far.

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Subject: D&D 'n' Whatnot
Geekin' Out Hardcore, Yo

Thanks to the wonders of the INTARWEB, I may be able to run a game with an ENTIRELY different crew – here’s the email that went out.

From: “Jason Paschal” <jbpaschal>
To: divineisha@yahoo.com, tbean@maine.rr.com, aaedaien@yahoo.com, vioiencia@aol.com, faf69@rocketmail.com, dkoyata@yahoo.com, jbpaschal@msn.com
Subject: D&D ‘n’ Whatnot
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 2003 01:35:10 -0400

Certainly looks like I got the people I wanted to hop into the game. Now, of course, we have to deal with the particulars. I suppose I’ll keep it short and sweet.

1.) How familiar are you with RPGs?
2.) How familiar are you with D&D 3rd Edition?
3.) What did you have in mind that you wanted to play?
4.) When would be a good time for you to play (bearing in mind that Sunday’s right out, as that’s when I run my game here)?
5.) I guess bringing snackage isn’t much of an option.
6.) You know the main site is at http://sundaysgame.tripod.com, right? Alright, disco.
7.) I don’t know, I’m just really eager to make a list. Let’s see if I can think of anything else.
8.) Feel free to Reply All, get a feel for the potential other players. I want to keep this a game for 4-6 players if at all possible, so, if you don’t all hate each other, well, that’d be just dandy.

Now, from my understanding, running games online isn’t as fast as running a game at an actual table, so it’ll take longer for you guys to get things accomplished in-game. But, thankfully, the OpenRPG thing has an option to keep logs, so, we can pick up right where we left off if we have to end the session early. I suppose that’s it for now. Surprised I came this close to filling the “seats” in a matter of less than a day. Rawk.

- Jason

While I’ve never run a game through OpenRPG before, from what I’ve seen of it it’s incredibly easy to run, once you get it installed. Of course, my monitor is giving me trouble, but, hopefully, before I actually get things rolling I’ll get my old computer up and running again (thanks to a harddrive given to me out of the goodness of someone’s heart), and this computer can finally take a nap. Ahh.

For those of you that aren’t too terribly familiar with tabletop gaming (which this will sort of be), well, it can be a harrowing experience if you don’t have the right DM – hopefully, I won’t horrify you into a coma. I’ve been told by a few people that I’m a decent DM, but, then again, they’ve been participating in my games and most likely simply want more XP. Heh. But, yeah – tabletop RPGing is definately hit or miss. We’ll see how this little spin-off goes.

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