One from the Vaults: The Adventures of the Delinquent Four (1st Ed. AD&D)

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One from the Vaults: The Adventures of the Delinquent Four (1st Ed. AD&D)

Post by agentofping on 26th February 2016, 21:55

Far too entertaining to be left languishing on a hard disk.

So without further ado, direct from the old CARPS website, allow me to present; the tales as they were told…
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Introductions...

Post by agentofping on 26th February 2016, 22:14

The First Edition adventures in the land of Llanos Ceyln. Read of the chronicles of the Wednesday Night Regulars as they tangle with troll, drow and all manner of dark and ancient plots.

The Players

clk portrayed: Flintly "the many named"; a Thief/Fighter of Golmir
Hiss portrayed: Rogar "Don't call me Roger" the Ranger; a Ranger from the Black Forest
Evil GM portrayed: Canon "I'm almost excited, but not to the point of rashness" Fodar; a Cleric/Mage
Ben portrayed: Tyreon "Where's Missus Miggins?" Melanthrin; a Elven Mage
Steve portrayed: Tramarthar "Crackerackerboom!"; a Elven Fighter/Mage

The Tales As They Were Told.

Ye Merry Olde Roade Trype - the adventure begins...
"Castlemeade, Oh Castlemeade..." - a jolly old boat trip.
Hello, I Must Be Going... - what we found at Castlemead and why it made us run away.
Fishing With Flintly, or "We Need a Bigger Boat!" - how we dispatched a 'clip' of bullettes through ingenuity and courage (and causing only minor ruination and penury to our host).
The Fleshpits of Zyr - how the party comported themselves in Zyr, their attempts to make money and a little commission on behalf of the Senate.
The Trouble with Ghouls - an ancient curse, a ruined castle, strong cider, how the years catch up with you if you're not careful and the importance of 'legging it'.
Black Forest, Black Mountains - orcs, giants, bears, shaman and death a plenty as the party searches for answers on how you lay an evil spirit (oo-er).
Weight Loss with Rogar - recounting the party's return from the Black Mountains, Rogar's unique weight loss method and more orcs than you can shake a one armed ranger at.
'Liberry' Research - In which the party begin to comprehend the scale of the task they face. And panic!
The Isle Of Mamara - The party take a boat trip to the idyllic vacation spot of Mamara. Things go downhill from there.
Dog Food - That says it all, really.
Escape! - Dark clouds gather and the party decide that discretion is the better part of valour.
The North - An epic journey begins.
The Demonologist - Or how not to win friends amongst the demon worshipping fraternity.
The Sticky Ring - The Canon has a day he'd rather forget.
Beneath The Obelisk - A dungeon at last!
Two Go Dancing - In which Rogar and Tramarthar do a bit of exploring...
Ulric and the Lizard Man King - There are a whole lot of lizard men in this chapter...and they're not happy!


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The Characters

Post by agentofping on 27th February 2016, 00:17

Flintly the Thief (aka; Flintly of Golmir, Flintly Man-cleaver, Flintly Troll Slayer, Flintly the Brave, Flintly the General, the Bullette-proof Thief, The Little Rabbit, Flintly Foul Teeth and Flintly the Short)

Hailing from the southern city of Golmir, Flintly comes from a long line of thieves, thus there were great things expected of him. However his early years were as a rather mediocre criminal, often shadowed by an unreasoning - at least it seemed so to Flintly - tendency to act for good. Although erratic, it was never-the-less there and caused no end of problems with the Head Thief of the Thieves Guild (Local 235) to which he had been apprenticed to. He was frequently heard to admonish young Flintly with "You'll never be a proper thief if you keep that attitude my lad!" Or "They are sheep Flintly, you are the wolf!"

For this reason Flintly took to the road, hoping that a change of air as an Adventurer Thief might stop the strange bouts of kindness and good heartedness that were a blemish on his character as 'a black-hearted rogue'.  Armed with a 'family heirloom' (a battered but still dependable magic Ring of Invisibility that had served four thieving generations of Flintly's kin) and an unshakeable faith in Pictosh, God of Thieves he went forth.

The course of his adventures have seen him become a towering figure of admiration and bravery to those who know him - or complete strangers that he meets in the street. This of course was the exact opposite of what he wanted to achieve. Over the course of his adventures he is becoming more accustomed to his new standing as a hero (of sorts). However he does make sure he performs the odd bit of 'nastiness' now and then; just to keep his hand in…

Deciding after many scrapes with 'The Four' that he would be a better fighter than a thief, he began training as such and is ever armed with a short sword (Foe Piercer) and a mighty Bullette-shield (hard won with courage). An unorthodox tactical thinker (and a messy swordsman) he is finding the fighting harder than the thieving, so will soon no doubt revert to his old ways.

Short (some have speculated there is more than a little halfling blood in Flintly) and rather lazy, Flintly sports unruly red hair and a 'gob-full' of rotten teeth (probably caused by his tendency to keep a ready supply of sling bullets in his mouth during combat - much like a hamster). In terms of personality, one can do no better than to read the chronicles of The Four to get a good idea of his nature, all who know him however relate his fondness for booze and fine living. He is a follower of the god Pictosh and his only real fears are the thought of hard work, having to walk any great distance and above all, dentists...

He has also picked up some nasty scarring to the chest, and thusly taken to keeping his vest on in bed. During his stay in Zyr his faith in Pictosh was shaken and confronted with an entire metropolis of indulgence, he dived right in. Financed by his 'day job' he became an enthusiastic follower of the Zyrian pleasure god; Grudinion.

He has since patched things up with Pictosh.

Rogar the Ranger

Rogar was born in the village of Faskor, situated deep in the Blackwood Forest and bordering along the outskirts of the foreboding range of the Black Mountains. Eldest of three sons, Rogar was brought up to follow in his father's footsteps as a Woodsman. It was during his 9th year, that Rogar's humble life changed forever. A bad harvest had left the village short on food and with winter fast approaching, Rogar had spent every waking hour hunting for food supplies in the forest with which to feed his family. Returning home after a fruitless search, he was shocked to find a large plume of smoke emanating from the direction of Faskor. On closer investigation he found the entire village raised to the ground and most of its inhabitants (and his family included) mercilessly slain. The perpetrators of this sudden and brutal attack were nowhere to be seen, although the few survivors who had witnessed the event, spoke of a large Orcish raiding party that had descended from out of the Black Mountains and marched upon the village.

Swearing vengeance, Rogar took a blood-oath that he would dedicate his life to becoming a Ranger and destroy any and all Orc-kind that should cross his path. Still young and inexperienced however, he retreated deep into the Blackwood forest, there to hone his abilities in tracking, woodcraft, and stealth. It was during these years of self-imposed exile that Rogar found himself in the company of the mysterious hermit known as Pai-Mai. Pai-Mai was on first appearances a rather frail and elderly gentleman with a long white flowing beard, but this was not an individual to under-estimate less you wish to find yourself lying flat on your back, with your arms and legs scattered to the four winds. For Pai-Mai (although retired) had once been a Ranger of some-repute whose skill with the sword had been legendary. Seeing the potential within Rogar to become a renowned Fighter, he took it upon himself to tutor the young Ranger in the art of the Warrior. After 7 years of relentless training, Rogar awoke one morning to find himself alone in the forest. Of Pai Mai there was no trace, save his sword which was embedded within the stump of a tree, - a gift to his former student - now a fully-fledged Ranger.

Rogar spent the next few years travelling from village-to-village seeking other likeminded individuals who would be willing to join him in his crusade against evil. Finding none that shared his ideals, he decided to spread his search beyond the confines of Llanos Celyn. Departing for the Eastern Isles, he made his fateful encounter with the Elven wizard Tyreon Melanthrin, Flintly the Thief and Canon Fodar the Cleric. [In fact the party picked up Flintly on the Isle of Mamara, where he was taking a busman's holiday while the 'heat' died down in Waterdeep -Ed.] Persuading the group that Llanos Celyn was in need of heroes such as themselves, they agreed to book passage on the next available ship back to Corshev, where on arrival their legendary escapades began………

Canon Fodar

Canon was born into a wealthy landowner’s family in the border states of Zyr. Despite the intermittent patrols of the Zyrrian army, Bandits from the mountains, who carried out raids for loot, frequently attacked the area.

His birth was auspicious, coming as it did on Beltane, the first day of spring after a short labour. He was born just as the sun first appeared above the horizon, the outbursts of his mother being partially drowned out by the chanting of the priests welcoming the birth of spring.

His early life was spent safe within the small fortress his parents had constructed and despite the bandit raids he was kept safe from harm. However, growing up as he did amongst the warriors and farmers he soon grew to respect the wisdom of the farmers and his way around the weapons of the soldiers. From an early age he was taught how to wrestle and with the other young children spent much time playing games of war.

His parents loved and took good care of him and his older siblings, Viele, his sister and his brothers Mastus and Rivag formed a close-knit unit. Being the youngest he was free to choose what he wished to do and he spent part of his time with each member of his family. His mother was a mage of no small repute and had taken to training Viele as an apprentice. Whilst not as naturally talented as his sister he was still able to listen and follow some of the lessons that his mother taught Viele as he sat close by. Fascinated by the subject matter he soon imagined himself casting mighty spells to win wars and battles in the future. His greatest love within magic was of illusions and he would often practice the smallest cantrip again and again to master the art.

The priest of the settlement tutored the second born son, Mastus, although all the children spent some time with the priest learning their letters. Mastus had shown at an early age devoutness not shared by his parents and had chosen to enter the church when he was older. Canon listened to the discussions between the Priest and Mastus, learning the prayers of supplication and devotion in his formative years and even came to understand how to call upon the powers of Zetus, the god that they followed. Father Aleisan worshipped Zetus, the judge. He was fascinated by the myths and legends surrounding Zetus and immersed himself into the teachings of Aleisan, furthered during the evenings by Mastus himself.

The eldest son, Rivag worked with his father in matters pertaining to the settlement, his main responsibility was as captain of the guard and he was a warrior of some prowess. Disappointed that Mastus and Viele were not interested in martial matters he was keen to involve Canon in as much training as he could. Starting from a young age he taught the young lad much that would be useful in later life about warfare and hand to hand combat.

When Canon came of age, being the youngest of four he was free to do what he wished but he was happy with things as they were and applied himself diligently to each of the tasks set before him. He still had much to learn from each of his tutors and was in no hurry to make his way in the world. Learning three disciplines meant his progress was naturally slower than his older brothers and sisters but he did manage to glean the skills necessary in each to reach a beginning level.

It was when he was seventeen, just arrived at adulthood and the responsibilities it meant that tragedy happened. Bandits ambushed his brothers and sister, the lightly armed Mastus and Viele were quickly killed by missile fire, unprotected by their light armour. Rivag reformed the group and broke the bandits returning slowly in grief with the bodies of his brother and sister.

Perversely, it was felt that perhaps Canon should leave the region, seeking his fortune elsewhere, the depredations of the bandits had been getting worse of late and Rivag and their father felt that the stronghold itself might be attacked soon; in fact it was that very night. Canon often practiced his cantrips during the evening, as the simple illusions he enjoyed conjuring looked better at night. He was out practising some of these illusions when he spotted a bandit scout, using the hide cantrip he managed to evade detection and was able to slip away and warn the villagers and fortification of an imminent attack. With foreknowledge the bandits were crushed, Canon fought bravely and managed to kill at least one bandit on the battlements, and his ability to heal was put to good use both during and after the battle as well.

Following the attack his parents decided to let Canon roam the world as he had clearly come of age during the previous night’s attack. Before he left he was given several gifts to bear with him. The priest, sure that Canon would do well in the order gave him his brother’s holy symbol, a small sceptre. His mother anxious to instil ambition within her son gave him a scroll with the 4th level spell "Fumble" penned within. From his brother he received a bow, the very one that he had slain many bandits with in the recent fight. The bow was named "Farsight" and was magically enchanted to shoot with greater accuracy (+1).

After leaving home Canon followed the way of Zetus, maintaining the current balance of humankind in the world. The way of Zetus was not to expand the control of humans over the lands but rather to temper their influence and to remove threats both internal and external. He tried to learn about laws of the land and to follow them wherever possible, however he came to realise that the law was not always just and only worked if applied with the correct spirit rather than the letter. Disillusioned with the establishment he started wandering and realised that perhaps he could make a difference and remove chaos from the lands through the efforts of a small group. He joined with a ranger called Rogar and an elven magic user named Tyreon, most recently Flintly has joined the party, though he is as yet unsure whether he should judge and punish Flintly for some of his actions.


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Ye Merry Olde Roade Trype

Post by agentofping on 27th February 2016, 00:50

Previously…

Our travels began many moons ago in the city of Corshev. Arriving by ship, we rowed ashore early one evening only to encounter a drowning man (who shortly
thereafter became an appetising snack to a passing shark) who cryptically forewarned us about: "Orc's Death!!! Daggers of the Guild......"

Undeterred however by these ominous portents and keen to embark on some adventuring, it wasn't long before we had decided to travel up the coast on a treasure-hunting expedition to Koschen's Keep. On-route to our destination we discovered that Koshen's Keep was being used as a base of operations by a Drow named Calibor, who was in the process of recruiting men to join his army of Brigands.

After successfully compromising Calibor's supply lines during a midnight raid, we agreed that any further action against the brigands should be postponed until our characters were of higher level. And so our heroic characters did proceed to bravely run away ("brave, brave Sir Robin") back to the safety of Corshev, (stopping only briefly to investigate the tomb of an anonymous Warrior whose armour & sword Canon Fodar had decided to 'liberate' for his own usage) to reconsider their options.

Not long after our return to Corshev, we learned that the village of Castlemead was being overrun by Orc raiding parties and that brave adventurers were wanted to rout this evil threat. Having volunteered our services, we began to make preparations for the long journey ahead of us.

To this end, we gained employment as guards on a merchants caravan that was heading North in the direction of Zyr. Our plan was to stay with the Caravan until it reached the village of Folders Ford, and then to depart down-river in the direction of Castlemead. Our most recent gaming sessions have followed our frequently dangerous and treacherous journey to Falder's Ford.

On-route thus far we have succeeded in spectacularly trouncing at least 30 of Calibor's brigand forces who foolishly attempted to ambush the Caravan a few days into our journey, (NB: thankfully for the PCs, Calibor himself was away on business and did not put in a personal appearance). This victory was achieved primarily due to the quick-thinking of Canon Fodar whose Entangle spell proved invaluable in unseating the enemy cavalry from their steeds, and then a heroic rear-guard action led by Rogar, Flintly and the other retainers were eventually able to decimate the bulk of the Brigand forces. [After which Flintly was henceforth known as Flintly Man Cleaver and was promoted to head of the Caravan's Night Watch; natural 20s dude! -Ed.]

Following this victory, we continued our journey northwards and eventually entered the Sedgeland Marshes where we were promptly ambushed at various intervals by three Trolls.

The first of these trolls was destroyed through the combined brute force of the PCs who managed to hack it to pieces and burn it to ashes before it could attempt to regenerate [And thus Flintly earned the sobriquet; Troll Slayer -Ed.]

A subsequent attack by a further two trolls was later driven off by the cunning wizardry of Canon Fodar who cast Phantasmal Force on one of the trolls to make it appear to resemble a plump, tasty, human-sized food snack. Consequently the other troll quickly lost interest in attacking the caravan and wasted no time in cannibalising its colleague instead. However despite our successes, the number of NPC's guarding the caravan has diminished considerably over the recent gaming-sessions and we still had another two weeks of journeying ahead of us through the Sedgeland Marshes to contend with... [What happened to the tale of Rogar plague-carrier?? –Quizzical Ed.]

Wednesday 8th October 2003

Our gaming session began with the Caravan finally arriving at the small outpost of Folefoot. Here at last we finally had an opportunity to rest-up safe in the knowledge that we would not be in any immediate danger from further Troll attacks. Noting on our arrival that we were not the only travellers to be resting-up at Folefoot, the party made their way to the local tavern to investigate the other newcomers.

Entering the tavern Canon Fodar quickly sensed the presence of another magic-user who was seated at a nearby table together with a man dressed in fine armour. After discreetly using a cantrip spell to make himself look presentable, Canon Fodar proceeded to introduce himself to the magic-user and his companion whom he learnt were none other than the wizard Magron and Lord Fenris. Engaging them in polite conversation Canon Fodar learned that Magron and Lord Fenris were travelling southbound to the city of Waterdeep, where they were intending to deliver an item of vital importance (although they would not be any more forthcoming about what this item was). They also warned Canon Fodar of further troll activity between Folefoot and Falder’s Ford!!

Meanwhile, Flintly was absorbed in planning his next heist, which on this occasion happened to involve 'liberating' the takings from the local tavern. After discreetly observing the comings and goings around the bar for many hours, Flintly was eventually able to discern that the landlord kept his profits within a storeroom located adjacent to the kitchen-area. Planning to raid their hosts, he patiently waited until nightfall. Once Flintly was certain that everyone had retired to bed, he stealthily crept from his room and made for the stairs, remembering as he did so to avoid the squeaky floorboards.

Having nimbly leapt down the stairs with barely a sound, he began to move towards the kitchen... At which point he became aware that he was not alone. From the pitch-darkness ahead of him came the angry growl of something very large and not very friendly. As his eyes grew accustomed to the gloom, Flintly could just make out the visage of a large wolf-hound!!! As it bounded towards him, Flintly realised that the game was up and dodging around his opponent he sprinted towards the tavern door....only to find it locked and barred! Pinning him against the wall [I don't remember Flintly being exactly 'pinned'  -Ed.] the wolf-hound continued to bark angrily at him, its large jaws slavering with anticipation of the appetising snack that was cowering before it. Thinking quickly, Flintly somehow managed to regain his composure and decided to attempt to bluff his way out of trouble.

Summoning the Innkeeper, Flintly proceeded to launch into an angry tirade, and demanded that he remove the bothersome mongrel that was preventing him from taking the 'evening-air'. The innkeeper was understandably nonplussed about being raised from his slumber, but relented to Flintly's demands on the condition that if he left the inn he would not be allowed back in again until the morning. Accepting these terms, Flintly strolled out into the darkness having failed to rob the Innkeeper but thankfully with his 'crown-jewels' still intact! [And he still got to sleep in the bed he had paid for Wink -Ed.]

The following day, the Caravan restocked its supplies and then departed Folefoot. Wary of the dangers ahead of them, Rogar's keen Ranger senses alerted the Party to the presence of a waylaid caravan that was lying off the path ahead of them.

Flintly and Canon Fodar agreed to investigate the debris, and on closer inspection discovered the presence of a large Crocodile lurking in the marshes. Fearful of the possibility that the crocodile may leap from the marshes and attack the caravan [It is dully noted that apparently a fully grown crocodile can leap 30' into the air -Ed.] Flintly decided to drive it off; by throwing stones at it!

Realising that Flintly's actions were probably only going to antagonise the crocodile further, Canon Fodar decided to discreetly cast a Phantasmal Force spell to trick the creature into believing that a group of Trolls were approaching. Thankfully this plan worked and the crocodile hastily swam away. [The stone throwing was all part of the plan as I remember. -Ed.]

Proceeding onwards, the party members noted that the sounds of wildlife had diminished and deduced with certainty that a further troll attack was on the cards. Sure enough within a few minutes, the trolls appeared - and this time we were in serious trouble as we now had to contend with five of them! Two of the trolls swam ahead of the caravan and clambered out of the marshes to block the route ahead.

As the caravan came to an abrupt halt, we noticed that the other three trolls were quickly approaching us from both sides of the marsh to mount a flank attack!! Whilst the other party members armed themselves with oil-flasks, Canon Fodar cast a Phantasmal Force spell to conjure-up the illusion of a wall of fire standing between us and the two trolls that were approaching from the right-hand side of the marsh.

Failing to realise that it was not a real wall of fire, these two trolls were promptly stopped in their tracks. Unfortunately the illusionary Wall of Fire did not deter a third troll who launched a sneak attack from the opposite-side of the track. Emerging from the water, it lunged at one of the guards, and then dragged him off his horse kicking and screaming back into the murky depths. Rushing to the scene of the attack, Rogar desperately searched for any sign of his fallen comrade, but of the rider and the troll there was no visible trace save the occasional bubbling from below the surface of the swamp.

Flintly meanwhile had encountered a few problems of his own. One of the caravan drivers had panicked upon seeing Canon Fodar's illusionary wall of fire and had hastily attempted to move his wagon  [Where Flintly was sound asleep in the back -Ed.] out of harm’s way, only to find himself running aground in the marshes. As the wagon began to sink, Flintly rushed forward and managed to un-tether his horse [faithful Old Bess -Ed.] from the cart just in the nick of time.

Deciding to engage the enemy, he then galloped towards the two trolls who were currently blocking the pathway at the head of the caravan. Throwing a burning oil flask at his opponents, he then managed to spectacularly garrotte one of his foes with his 'troll-catcher' weapon, which remained ensnared round the frustrated creature's neck. Retaliating, the garrotted troll lashed out at Flintly, causing his horse to bolt off into the marsh taking our 'noble' thief with it! Sensing victory the troll pursued Flintly into the marsh and launched a devastating attack with an astounding quintuple damage strike.

By some miracle [Pictosh surely? -Ed.] Flintly somehow managed to weather the storm although was now badly injured and trapped in the marsh. Thankfully rescue was at hand, and with a cry of rage Rogar rode forth into combat armed with two burning oil flasks which he proceeded to launch at the troll nearest to Flintly.
Distracted from its intended meal, the troll roared in pain and turned to face its new foe who was now joined by the other NPC Caravan guards. As fierce combat raged the trolls managed to fell our heroic ranger with a devastating series of blows.

Falling from his horse in an unconscious heap, Rogar was now out for the count. Fortunately the other caravan retainers were more than a match for the remaining trolls, and attacking on masse were eventually able to defeat their opponents. [Thanks I feel largely to the 'steel' and discipline Flintly instilled in them -Ed.] While this melee was in progress Canon Fodar conjured-up an illusionary troll, which he then 'burned' to death in the flames of his illusionary wall of fire - in full view of the other trolls. He then proceeded to slowly move the illusionary wall of fire to encircle both the trolls. Fully convinced now that the illusionary wall of fire was a threat to their lives, the trolls turned and fled from the battle. Victory was ours!

The gaming session concluded shortly thereafter with Canon Fodar casting a few Cure Light Wounds spells on Rogar and Flintly to restore them to a more healthful disposition, as the Caravan geared-up to resume its journey towards Folders Ford...


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“Castlemead, oh Castelmead...”

Post by agentofping on 29th February 2016, 22:44

29th October 2003

Having defeated the trolls, the PCs resumed their journey to Folder’s Ford, confident in the notion that the worst of the journey was now far behind them. Over the past few gaming sessions we had been attacked by an army of brigands, fought off a crocodile and survived multiple ambushes by groups of trolls. Surely we would now have the luxury of two weeks of uneventful journeying to Folders Ford and then a peaceful journey down river to the village of Castlemead... Yeah right! This unfortunately proved to be the gaming session in which we all got ourselves a long overdue arse-kicking. This was AD&D: The GM Strikes Back

The gaming session began with the caravan stopping-off at a seemingly incongruous way-point on route to Folders Ford. Whilst setting-up camp, Tyreon Melanthrin succeeded in making his perception-roll and so was the first amongst us to spot the large monolith protruding from the ground. Rogar meanwhile had managed to spectacularly fail his perception roll with a roll of a 20 and so couldn't spot the wood from the trees, which is kind of worrying for a ranger, ("sorry what monolith?").

Upon closer examination, Tyreon could see that the monolith was covered in strange runic symbols that had been carved into its structure. Alerting his companions to his discovery, the party attempted to read the runes, ("sorry, what runes?") and eventually after much studying Canon Fodar was able to translate an ominous inscription dating back over 200 years.

“We hope to return to the North carrying home the oriental treasures from the Silk Lords in the South, but a dark curse follows our dragon ship. Black fog turned day into night and the fingers of death reached out from the waters to reclaim the treasure we stole. I carve this stone in memory of Asmund, Grimvald, Torkal, Halfden; brave warriors slain by the curse. We sought haven in the marshes and took refuge at a place called Koschen’s Keep, but the curse has followed us to this place. “

A closer examination led to the discovery of a further set of runic symbols, but these were illegible due to being engraved on a section of the monolith that was now buried under the earth. Casting a spell of strength upon Rogar, the mighty ranger was able to effortlessly lift the monolith to expose the remaining runes, which Flintly's ("sorry, Flintly who?") thieving skills were able to decipher. [The full translation of the inscription on the Fallen Monolith to follow –Ed.]

As the words echoed in our minds, the peaceful night air suddenly seemed oppressive and a gust of wind brought a chill to the bone. We had unintentionally stumbled upon an ancient curse and it was possible that by staying in the vicinity of this monolith could endanger all our lives - then again perhaps it was just a load of old superstitious nonsense.

Thankfully however the rest of the night passed uneventfully, although this did not stop the party from debating the meaning behind the inscriptions. The inscription spoke of oriental treasures that had been stolen from the Silk Lords of the South. Canon Fodar was certain that the ‘Silk Lords’ were none other than the Elves or more specifically...the Drow. More worryingly were the ‘Sea Wolves’ which is a term often used in association with sharks.

Rogar recalled that on arrival at Corshev they had been warned by a drowning man ("Orcs' Death, Daggers of the guild") who they had seen being eaten by a shark-like creature which may have been connected to this curse. It was also possible that the drow bandit-leader known as Calibor who had been using Koshen's Keep as a base of operations was intending to do more than just pillage passing travellers. Perhaps he was at Koshen’s Keep specifically to search for the lost oriental treasures which were possibly hidden away there. If he were to find these treasures then it would be bad news for the Party and the rest of the world, as this was clearly a magical artefact which could give him control over the heavens itself. For the time-being though we could do nothing but conceal the monolith in the marshes where hopefully it would remain undiscovered.

The following day we resumed our journey to Folders Ford and thankfully, after two weeks of travel, we were finally able to reach our destination without further hindrance. The relative comforts that Folders Ford afforded us made for a welcome change from sleeping rough and as we were now within the vicinity of the Zyrian Empire we could now benefit from the protection of the militia forces that regularly patrolled the area.

Whilst the other member of the Party rested-up, Flintly was busy planning his next heist. His plan on this occasion was to steal the Wagon Master's money and jewels. Inviting his former employer and retainers for a boozy evening at the local inn, Flintly bided his time until his drinking companions were too intoxicated to notice him sneak off in the direction of the caravan wagons.

Stealthily avoiding the patrolling militia guards he silently crept on board the caravan containing the wagon-master's strong-boxes. Having applied oil to the hinges to stop them squeaking, and then checking each chest for traps, Flintly was then able to effortlessly pick the locks and open the chests to find...(drum-roll please).....absolutely nothing save an old note-book, (d'oh!).

Realising that the Wagon Master must have already transferred his money to a safe-house upon arrival at Folders Ford, Flintly reluctantly had to return to the inn empty handed. Now whilst I'm sure there must be a suitable moral to this little incident, I can't quite think of one right now so I'll leave it to you good readers to think of one that’s appropriate, (heh heh). [Let us never speak of this again… –Ed.]

The following morning the party re-equipped themselves and proceeded to join a boat that was travelling up-river in the direction of Castlemead. This final leg of the journey was to take us through a treacherous area of woodland that was home to fierce some hordes of Gibberlings, who we were warned would likely attack anyone passing through their territory. It was therefore going to be the job of the PCs to protect the occupants of the boat along with its oxen and provisions from any Gibberling ambushes.

Warily we set-off on our journey, but despite the warnings we had received the first few days passed peacefully and it appeared that we might be lucky enough not to attract any unwanted attention. Unfortunately for the Party this good fortune was about to be prematurely curtailed, and sure enough after a few more days travel we could now hear the unmistakable noise of whooping Gibberlings during the night as they kept watch on our campsite.

Every night it seemed that the gibbering of Gibberlings grew ever closer as more of them gathered together to join the hunt. Realising that an attack seemed imminent the Party made preparations the following day; by setting-up a cordon around the camp which we filled with flammable materials and a liberal dashing of oil.

As the sun began to set, the party prepared for the inevitable battle. All around us we could hear the deafening roar of Gibberlings as hundreds of them gathered together, just beyond our line of sight and proceeded to shriek and 'whoop' themselves up into an absolute frenzy. And then finally after what seemed like an eternity they broke cover and charged towards us!

As the Gibberlings broke cover and rushed forward, Rogar calmly lit the oil in the trench and with a flash a roaring fire had sprung-up around us cutting-off the majority of the Gibberling forces. Those that had managed to get past the cordon, encircled the PCs to attack them on two fronts, only to find their attacks beaten off by the skilled swordsmanship of Rogar, Canon Fodar and the ferry master.

It was imperative for our survival that the PCs be able to take-down their multiple opponents before the fire burned out and the bulk of the Gibberling forces were able to join the fray. Easy; after all this was the Party of PCs who had defeated the Bandit army and slaughtered numerous trolls on their travels. Surely they could also make short work of a few hundred Gibberlings... (Yeah I wish).

Unfortunately luck was not with us this night. Despite making a positive start to the battle during which time the PCs were able to hack-down several of their opponents whilst Tyreon cast numerous spells to hold off the larger pockets of attackers, within minutes a devastating quadruple-damage sneak attack by two Gibberlings left our heroic Ranger in a critical condition, (isn’t that just typical). Realising that the Gibberlings would surely tear-apart his injured comrade, Flintly heroically leapt to the rescue and single-handedly held off the attackers advance, allowing Tyreon the time he needed to retrieve Rogar's body and get him to safety aboard the boat. [In all likelihood, saving his life... –Ed.]

By now we were facing a losing battle. With Tyreon now out of magic-points and Rogar out for the count, it was left to Canon Fodar, the ferry-master and Flintly to desperately attempt to hold back the tide. It was a backs-to-the-walls situation, and slowly the PCs were forced to retreat towards the boat, although this was not in time to save the ferry-master who was tragically slain by the Gibberling hoards. Realising that all was lost, Canon Fodar and Flintly turned and fled to the boat [Not before Flintly cut loose the mounts, including his beloved Bess to give the terrified creatures at least a chance of escape.-Ed].

With the Oxen now torn-apart by the Gibberlings, the boat slowly drifted back down the river to a relative safe distance. The Gibberlings who were not renowned for their ability to swim could do nothing but angrily howl their frustration at us as they watched us sail away. The gaming session ended at this point, with Canon Fodar using his magic-powers to cast some Cure-Light Wounds spells upon Rogar to restore him to a more healthy-disposition. The situation certainly looked grim. The Gibberlings had given us a good thrashing, and as a consequence we were injured and short of a ferry-master and oxen with which to pull the boat back towards Castlemead. To put it bluntly, we were screwed.....
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The Monolith Text

Post by agentofping on 29th February 2016, 22:46

“We hope to return to the North carrying home the oriental treasure from the Silk Lords in the South, but a dark curse follows our dragon ship.”

“Black fog turned day into night and the fingers of death reached out from the waters to reclaim the treasure we stole.”

“I carve this stone in memory of Asmund, Grimvald, Torkal, Halfden; brave warriors slain by the curse.”

“We sought haven in the marshes and took refuge at a place called Koschen's Keep, but the curse has followed us to this place.”

“Night is the time of the evil curse and no man is safe alone.”

“The waters are most dangerous, the dark evil lies waiting in the sea.”

“It has followed the treasure we stole, we cannot see it, but we know that it is there; beneath the surface, beyond seeing, but it is there and one by one my crew is being killed.”

“I warn of the day when the earth shall fall asunder and all heaven too; the Wolves of the Sea shall return for their treasure and then shall dark evil rule eternally.”

“I am the only one left alive now, I raise this stone to my wife Astrid; may she forgive my sins.”

“The day grows dark and I sense the evil curse rising from the sea.”

“I know now what the curse of the Sea Wolves' seek - the treasure from the Silk Lords in the south.”

“I've heard the treasure whisper in my dreams, I've heard the magic words that will release its' great powers.”

“I shall bury the treasure forever; tonight I shall die and the words die with me.”
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Hello, I must be going...

Post by agentofping on 2nd March 2016, 00:10

Wednesday 19th November 2003

My Diary.
My Unexpected Journey.
There and Back Again. And What Happened After.
Adventures of Three Humans and an Elf.
The Tale of Flintly’s Ring, compiled by Rogar from his own observations and the accounts of his friends.

What we did in the War of Flintly’s Ring. [You leave his ring out of it; it's supposed to be a bloody secret. -Ed.]

THE DOWNFALL OF CASTLEMEAD
AND
THE RETURN TO FOLDER'S FORD


As seen by the Roleplayers; being the memoirs of Rogar the Ranger, supplemented by the accounts of his friends and the learning of Pictosh. [Blessed be his name -Ed.]

Following our disastrous clash with the gibberlings, the party were left with a few serious problems to contend with. Firstly we had the pressing issue of how to proceed to our objective without any surviving oxen with which to pull the ferry. Secondly we had several hundred hungry gibberlings just waiting to feast on us should we try to venture ashore. Following lengthy discussions it was agreed that Canon Fodar would cast 'Mount' spells during the daylight hours to summon horses that we could use to pull the ferry up-stream to Castlemead.

Since the gibberlings only seemed to appear at nightfall, we agreed that it should be safe for party members to stay on land and look after the horses as long as we remembered to return to the ferry by dusk. It was our plan that we would then allow the boat to drift into the middle of the river and lay anchor in the knowledge that we would be safe from those water-phobic monstrosities during the night.

Undeterred however by our cunning ingenuity, the gibberlings continued to harass the party every night by throwing rocks in the direction of the ferry. Thankfully our plan was fool-proof and they could only whoop in frustration as their missiles fell short of their targets. [Thanks to Flintly's craft and skill, the boat was well fortified, so the party didn't have to worry about brazen interlopers in the night, or the indignity of being splattered with gibberling faeces -Ed.]

Proceeding onwards we eventually moved out of gibberling territory and found ourselves navigating through barren rocky terrain for a few days, until we at last caught sight of a cottage close to the riverbank on the outskirts of what we assumed should be Castlemead.

Venturing ashore, the party arrived at the farm-house, only to find that it had been ransacked and long since abandoned. The evidence pointed to an orc attack - although of our quarry there was no sign. Resuming our journey it was not long before a trail of smoke had caught our eye from what we assumed was a campsite situated further inland. Believing that the source of the campfire may be from our orc friends, we decided to postpone our journey up river until we had investigated.

To say that what we found was completely unexpected would be a total understatement. The 'campsite' if you could call it that, belonged to two 'sleeping giants'. Now combating giants is not much fun at the best of times, except on this occasion the giants were the least of our problems... Truth be told the sleeping giants were not sleeping at all. In fact they were somewhat on the crispy fried side and the source of their predicament Canon Fodar deduced [With the help of his extensive knowledge of many a tome of monstrous lore -Ed.] had come from upon high. Now not being a particularly religious man, I didn't for a moment presume that this fiery wrath had originated from some deity that these giants had managed to piss-off. What seemed more likely given the available evidence, was that a rather large dragon had decided to have a little fun at their expense. (Hmm maybe we should have stayed at home).

Returning unimpeded to the ferry we continued our journey to Castlemead, hoping against hope that the villagers had managed to hold out against the orc raiding parties. Finally after what had proven to be many weeks (nay months) [No, weeks -Ed.] of arduous adventuring, the Party had arrived at Castlemead - well at least what was left of it.

Over the past few months we had fought and defeated the bandit raiding parties, driven off fierce some trolls, and survived against hordes of gibberlings to finally reach this; our objective. The culmination of our task to defeat the orc raiding parties and save the village - hurrah!!!

Well as luck would have it, we didn't need to worry in the slightest about contending with any orc raiding parties; hardly surprising considering there was nothing left to interest an orc raiding party. What we did find was a big smouldering crater and the burnt and twisted remains of Castlemead's buildings (and inhabitants). Our dragon friend had clearly paid the village a visit and very recently too.

Suddenly all the pieces of the puzzle began to fall into place. The reason for the increased frequency of Orc activities in this region and for the unusually high numbers of gibberlings that now inhabited the forests must surely be connected to this Dragon. Since both the Orcs and gibberlings were more commonly found in the mountains, it was possible that this dragon had recently awoken from some centuries old slumber and proceeded to drive them out from their usual hunting grounds. The only way to rectify this problem therefore would be to find some brave adventurers who would be willing to battle with (and hopefully defeat) a large, unfriendly Red Dragon! (Flintly Dragon Slayer anyone? [Think of the bragging rights -Ed.]) There was no one of that calibre in this party of Brave Adventurers thankfully and so we quickly abandoned all hope of a resolution to this situation until we are at least 10th level. (Sigh... Nothings easy any more is it?)

After conducting a thorough search of the neighbouring woodlands, the Party discovered that a few of the villagers had managed to survive the dragon's attack [Flintly gamely saved a couple of bottle of brandy as I recall -Ed.]. Gathering them together, we agreed to offer these villagers a lift back with us to Folder's Ford, which they gratefully accepted.

The journey back should in theory have been a doddle, given that we were now sailing down-river and already had in place a tried and tested method for evading gibberling attacks. Unfortunately what we had not reckoned upon were that some of the ungrateful bastards that we had rescued would attempt a mutiny and steal our ferry from us!

This mutiny also occurred during our journey through the gibberling's territory and thus it came to pass that Rogar and Canon Fodar found themselves marooned whilst gathering provisions with only a few hours of sunlight left. The mutineers meanwhile were preparing to set sail without us. Thankfully Flintly the Thief had other ideas and using his 'precious' magical ring [A birthday present, I swear... -Ed.] to make himself invisible, skilfully managed to fend off his attackers.

Back on the mainland, Canon Fodar cast a spell that enabled him to walk under the water to the boat, where he was soon able to lend his assistance to the defence of the ferry. Rogar meanwhile wasted no time in unleashing a volley of arrows into the villager who had been foolish enough to attempt to cast off the anchor.

Succumbing to our superior combat abilities, we soon managed to retake control of the boat [From a bunch of 'hicks', wacko... -Ed.] and resume our travels down river. After interrogating the mutineers and relieving them of any valuables [“Oh god Ted, do you remember that one fella...”-Ed] we decided to give them a taste of their own medicine by setting them ashore and forcing them to take the long walk home through the treacherous gibberling infested forests (that'll teach them).

After a few more days of uneventful travel, we arrived at Folder’s Ford. Having disembarked, we wasted no time in selling the ferry and its surviving provisions - which enabled us to make a tidy profit out of our mostly wasted and pointless expedition to Castlemead. [Flintly picking up his prototype patented troll-catchers -Ed.]

Addressing our concerns to the authorities proved to be a pointless exercise. They typically refused to believe a word of our tale of woe and just laughed off our warnings concerning the Dragon, Gibberlings and Orcs. (Well, we'll see who gets the last laugh when that Red Beastie burns down your little village and uses you for a tooth-pick matey).

Deciding that the best course of action therefore would be to travel to Zyr [And being forced to purchase the scandalously expensive passes -Ed.] we began a journey that would take us into our most perilous encounter yet...
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Fishing with Flintly!

Post by agentofping on 2nd March 2016, 00:57

Wednesday 10th December 2003 & Wednesday 7th January 2004

There is a creature alive today,
That has survived a million of years of evolution,
Without change,
Without passion,
Without logic.

It lives to kill,
A mindless eating machine,
It will attack and devour anything.
It is as if God created the Devil and called him...
Bullette.


Departing Folder’s Ford, the Party began their long trek to Zyr. After an uneventful days travel, they arrived at the first of many Way-Stations that were situated along the route to the city. Taking the opportunity to rest-up for here for the night, the party arranged lodgings and then spent a pleasant evening conversing with some of the locals.

It was during one of these conversations that they were introduced to Farmer Maylock, who explained to us that he had been experiencing some difficulties with his cattle. The difficulty in this case being that they kept turning up dead every morning, their carcases (or what was left of them) torn to shreds. Farmer Maylock had been giving serious consideration to paying for the Zyrian Militia to investigate the cause of this phenomenon, but the Party were quick to intercede and offer their own services for a more competitive rate [Flintly I recall, lying passionately about their previous expertise -Ed.]

Confidant that this should in theory be a walk in the park after our previous excursions, we set off in good spirits the following day for Farmer Maylock's farm. At worst this investigation was probably going to reveal the cause was due to a pack of wild-animals, nothing that an experienced party of adventurers couldn't handle and it would mean that we would finally be in a position to make a tidy little profit out of our excursion!!

Having arrived at Maylock's Farm and undertaken a thorough investigation, we realised that the cattle had all been attacked and consumed by some creature that had managed to burrow-up beneath its victims. (An agitated mole perhaps?) With no substantial bait with which to tempt our prey - the attacker having eaten all the cattle - we thought it likely that our foe would try its luck elsewhere. The farmer confirmed that the nearest settlement to his own lands was Gravnor's Farm, and so we agreed to travel there to warn him.

Setting off with a letter of recommendation from Farmer Maylock, we hastily rode out in the hope of reaching our destination before sundown. A couple of hours into the journey, Rogar's keen ranger senses detected some seismic vibrations travelling parallel to the party. Hastening our speed, we urged the horses to gallop as fast as they could take us. Glancing behind, we could just make out the earth being torn-up by a colossal dorsal fin that was effortlessly cutting through the ground like a knife through butter. Our pursuer was certainly not some agitated mole, but something far more deadly - a land-shark, otherwise known as a Bullette. It was also immediately clear that this creature was travelling considerably faster than we were!

Fortunately for our heroes, Gravnor's Farm was now in sight and spurred-on, we galloped to the gates [Hallooing mightily as I recall -Ed.] which were opened to admit us with just seconds to spare!

Alerting Gravnor to the imminent threat, we recommended that he move his cattle out of the fields and into the central reservation which should afford them a greater degree of protection. This would later prove to be a somewhat foolish mistake - which I will draw-your attention to in a moment dear reader.

The party also quickly assembled some traps with which to aid their endeavours, namely by implanting some explosive runes in some animal carcasses and setting-up a fishing hook attached to a chain and post. [This was I believe largely the brainchild of Flintly and although suffering a few niggling teething troubles, was ultimately a sound plan -Ed.] We then lay in wait for our foe to attack...

I feel at this point that it would be useful to examine Rogar the Ranger's guide to Bullette Fishing (a first person account, drawn from his own experience at battling with these seemingly indestructible foes.) [You may have created the rules, but Flintly created 'the buzz' baby -Ed.]

10 USEFUL TIPS ON WHAT NOT TO DO UPON ENCOUNTERING A RAVENOUS BULLETTE,
(Based on the parties initial foray into this burgeoning extreme sport)

1. Do not waste time trying to protect your livestock by moving them into a central reservation area. (All you will succeed in doing is making life easy for the hungry bullette by herding its food-supply together in an enclosed space.)
2. Do not rely on walls and gates to deter a hungry bullette. (They will just plough straight through them.)
3. Never make the mistake of assuming that bullettes are solitary creatures. (Should a Dragon be at large in the area, then there is every chance that there may be more than one Bullette hunting together). [See Canon Fodder's forthcoming treatise; 'The Effects on Native Ecologies of Incursion of Large Flying Reptiles and Their Influence on No. Appearing' -Educational Ed.]
4. Missile attacks against a Bullette are futile. (Its skin is virtually impervious to arrow-heads and crossbow bolts, so don't waste valuable time attacking it in this manner when you could be doing something more useful - such as running away.)
Tip: Missile attacks usually stand a better chance if you aim for the Bullette's underbelly. Unfortunately this is typically out-of-reach unless you wish to try and get up close to the fiend (see point 5.)
5. Melee combat is futile against a Bullette unless it is severely incapacitated. [As Flintly found out when he engaged the ugly brute head on -Ed.] (Although you will have a better chance of damaging it, you will quickly find that they have incredibly sharp teeth and claws that will rip you to shreds within seconds.)
6. Concealing explosive runes within a Bullette's food supply may sound like a good idea, but in the long run is only likely to give it a mild tooth-ache. (If using spells, try to cast something that can cause more substantial damage.)
7. Don't expect a miracle from a fishing hook! (These can only be used to temporarily trap a Bullette, and require some kind of follow-up if to be truly affective.) [In hindsight, I think we were a little overambitious for the first run -Ed.]
8. Remember the Law of the Jungle. (You don't have to worry about trying to outrun a Bullette - which isn't possible anyway - just concern yourself with is being able to outrun everyone else.)
9. If you're thinking of employing any of the following tactics; i) throwing a canister of compressed air into its mouth and exploding it, ii) using an undersea power cable, iii) throwing a hand-grenade, or iv) ramming the bullette with a boat, then I'm afraid you're in the wrong franchise buddy. This ain't a Jaws picture, this is bullette fishing!
10. Always remember the golden rule; bullettes cannot be defeated by conventional hack and slash methods. (So, in short, unless you are particularly cunning and resourceful you will need a f**king miracle to survive!)

To summarise the Parties’ experience with these creatures, you need only read the above and you will get a fairly good idea how it all panned-out. But for those with an interest in the nit-picking details then allow me elaborate some more.

Firstly we found that there was more than one bullette hunting together. These bullettes wasted no time in decimating our defences by ploughing through the wall of the farm and devouring all the cattle (bugger). One of these beasties was temporarily ensnared by our Fishing-hook, but we were unable to properly take advantage of its immobility as it ploughed-back beneath the ground and within a few rounds had managed to free itself, taking only minor damage from the fishing hook and explosive runes.

Most of the Party had taken-up positions of relative safety [Not Flintly -Ed.] on the walls and were attempting to fire missiles down on the Bullette's below us, but failed to penetrate their tough hides. Canon Fodar cast Wyvern Watch on the gate which we used to paralyse one of the Bullettes for a couple of rounds.

Exploiting this rare opportunity, the Party and the farmers banded together to attack and destroyed the creature in melee combat. This was our only success of the battle, and the cries of victory were quickly quashed once the farmers realised that all the cattle were dead and the farm was in ruins, (oops). Needless to say, it took some very good charisma rolls for the Party to persuade Gravnor that they could still be of use to him in destroying this menace forever. After a good night's sleep, the Party spent the following day making preparations to destroy the remaining bullettes.

Although the cattle had been killed, the party correctly deduced that the Bullettes would still return to consume the carcases. This would be our last chance to defeat them before they moved on to attack the next helpless farm.

The Party decided to re-use some of the more successful elements of their previous escapade; with a few amendments that would hopefully ensure a more successful outcome. Firstly it was agreed that we would set-up the Fishing hooks again. However this time we would use them to lure the creatures out of the ground to expose their more vulnerable underbelly. The explosive runes were also to be used again, along with a special concoction from Rogar - namely a highly concentrated form of poison that he had managed to secrete and conceal within one of the dead cattle.

The battle that followed was something of a spectacular turnaround for the party after the previous debacle. Perhaps Pictosh was shining down benevolently on them that day, or maybe they were just jammy-gits, but whatever the case we pulled it off with aplomb! The returning Bullette's unsurprisingly went straight for the tempting bait that we had laid out for them - a scrumptious banquet of cattle carcases, delicately marinaded in Rogar's speciality poison and Canan Fodar's Explosive Rune Surprise (hmm tasty).

Although the poison and explosive runes were not potent enough to kill any of the bullettes, they were still able to inflict a lot of damage and weaken our foes. The party meanwhile lay in wait for a bullette to fall foul of the fishing hook-trap. Once it did, they wasted no time in attacking the creature with all their might. Rogar unleashed a volley of arrows into the creature's exposed underbelly, whilst Tyreon cast Lightning Bolt spells along the conductive chains that tethered our prey.

Vanquishing our foe, we then repeated the same trick on the other bullettes as well (not very bright these bullettes thankfully) with similar success. [The Bullettes were chomping their way up their buddies to get to us -Ed.]

Although remarkably strong, these bullettes had already been weakened by the runes, poison and magical attacks, which made them easier to pick-off this time round. The combined resources of the party and the farmers proved too much for them, and within a short space of time we had won the day and even more surprisingly without having taken any damage!

Following a little negotiation with Gravnor, he agreed to allow the Party to take with them a couple of Bullette mementoes - namely their rock-hard hides which we secretly planned to have made into bullette shields. Job done, we victoriously returned to Farmer Maylock's farm to get our well-earned reward money. Now all we had to do was resume our journey to Zyr, which we were confident shouldn't provide us with any problems...
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The Fleshpits of Zyr

Post by agentofping on 7th March 2016, 21:47

On 31st May, in the Year of Pictosh 1103, a funeral was held in the tunnels at the heart of Zyr. It was the funeral of a warrior, a thief, a conjuror and a priest, the last of an ancient breed who'd once stood between the Isle of Llanos Celyn and the bloodiest of its nightmares. His name was Flintly. Half warrior, half thief, half sized and half cut. This is his history; the part he played in the Battle of the Sewers, his exploits on Grudinion Street, and the sacrifice he made in the defence of his world.

In the year leading up to that funeral, something raw and primal ate its way through human society, from the peaks of the Black Mountains to the sewers of Zyr. Something that only this century could have summoned, and against which the only line of defence was a bordello in the Grudinion district.

And then there were Flintly's accomplices, the 'elemental champions' who stood alongside him in the final battle. The ones they call Rogar, Canon Fodar and Tyreon. [Rogar=Earth, Flintly=Water, Canon=Fire, Tyreon=Air (he being full of it) -Elemental Ed.]

Episode I: The Phantom Menace

To fully comprehend the events that led to the now legendary Battle of the Sewers, it is important that we start our journey by turning back the clock to the arrival in Zyr of four mysterious adventures: Flintly (aka Flintly of Golmir, Flintly Man-cleaver, and Flintly Trollslayer etc. etc.), Canon Fodar, Tyreon and Rogar (not Roger) the Ranger.

It has been said that these travellers were hardy veterans of a bloody campaign against some unknown terror in the neighbouring farmlands, and although little is known of these exploits, we do know that on arrival in Zyr they carried with them the bloodied hides of some unfathomable creature that they had recently slain. Their intentions it was said, were to sell the hides and have them crafted into mighty shields whose resilience would prove unmatched against even the most formidable of weapons.

The one known as Flintly (who many have postulated to be the leader of the group) clearly had bigger plans though. Within days of his arrival, he had taken leave of his comrades and relocated to new lodgings at a bordello in the Grudinion district; there to carve out his reputation as the famed 'little rabbit' whose stamina in the bedroom would never be matched by mortal man. It is through his 'pillow-talk' that we now know much of what happened to him and his colleagues over the subsequent weeks; legends that have now been passed down through the generations from prostitute-to-vagabond. [It is also through his dirty pamphlet 'Voyage of ye Strumpenauts' penned in his later life, that modern scholars know anything of the myths and legends of Grudinion and the Goddess of Whores -Ed.]

It is from these tales that we have been able to piece-together something of the events surrounding Flintly's infamous infiltration of Belchgrabbit's Gang of cutthroats. These ruffians were not members of the Thieves Guild and available evidence would suggest that they were distinctly small-time operatives within Zyr's criminal underbelly.

Why Flintly should target this particular group is subject to much speculation. What cannot be disputed however, is the outcome of his mission. Shortly after entering Belchgrabbit's headquarters (just off Downtrodden Alley) Flintly proceeded to ruthlessly assassinate the entire gang. Perhaps this was his way of personally announcing his presence to the Thieves Guild [and ensuring that any of his brother thieves from Golmir who happened to travel that way would be accorded the fear and respect they deserve -Ed.] and if this was the case then he could consider himself successful as they were suitably concerned by the activities of this new player to have him placed under close surveillance for the remainder of his stay in Zyr. Other conflicting reports however paint a different story, one in which Flintly had become tired of his thieving ways and so assassinated Belchgrabbit's gang as a symbolic 'parting-of-the-ways', as he put aside his thieving days to lead the life of a noble fighter.

Although much of Flintly's exploits in Zyr were suppressed by government officials at the time, we can confirm through newly discovered documents (procured by the thieves-guild) that a few days after their arrival, he was recruited (along with his associates Rogar, Tyreon and Canon Fodar) to undertake a secret mission to investigate and root-out a supposed infestation in the sewers of Zyr.

The exact nature of this infestation was unclear, but given that none of the previous adventurers hired to undertake this task had ever returned was evidence enough to indicate that the menace in question was far more deadly than your usual run-of-the-mill sewer rats.

As such, the Ministry were prepared to pay very generously for any volunteers who would be willing to venture where few would dare to tread. A copy of this government document is reproduced below:-

The undersigned do hereby accept this contract on behalf of the Ministry of Health to investigate and purge the infestation that inhabits the sewers of Zyr. For that they shall be paid the sum of 100gp per day until such time as their task be completed, or they be killed and/or listed missing presumed dead.

Signed...

Canon Fodar
Rogar
Tyreon
(Illegible)


Episode II: Attack of the Ankhegs

With the contract signed, the scene was now set for Flintly's first foray into the unknown, taking with him the trusty services of Rogar, Canon Fodar and Tyreon. Second-hand accounts procured from the Whores Quarter of the Grudinion district recount that on returning from his first day of work in the sewers, a victorious Flintly did regale his 'strumpanauts' with a fantastic tale filled with acts of courage, valour and woe.

It emerged that upon carefully checking the upper levels of the sewers, the Adventurers had been lured by the sound of rattling chains to the scene of an ambush by a fearsome creature known only by those professionals in the adventuring trade as an 'Ankheg', and by everyone else as; "a bloody great big, acid-spewing bugs".

On engaging their quarry in combat [there can perhaps be some debate as to who was actually the quarry -Ed.] the Ankheg responded to their attacks by spewing its deadly acid over Rogar. With the ranger temporarily incapacitated it was then left to Flintly Mancleaver to valiantly hold off the creature single-handed whilst Canon Fodar and Tyreon impotently dallied around trying to conjure up a spell that could extricate them from almost certain doom.

With a further Ankheg attempting to join in the fray by climbing up from the lower levels it seemed disaster was certain. Fortunately the passageways were too narrow for both Ankhegs to attack the party at once and so the newly arrived creature was left in a holding position while its fellow battled with Flintly. (That Flintly was able to overcome this foe, is a testament many scholars believe to his tuition in the art of the warrior from his mentor and fellow comrade Rogar.

Removing the head of their prey, Canon Fodar cast a create-water spell over Rogar to neutralise the effects of the acid, and they did then proceed to gallantly retreat from the sewers, ("brave, brave Sir Rogar...").

Having presented the evidence of their labour to their employer and receiving payment for their day's work, Rogar, Canon Fodar and Tyreon departed to plan ahead for their next expedition to the sewers. Flintly meanwhile had other concerns on his mind. Departing for his home in the Whores Quarter, he wasted no time in giving thanks to Karla the Goddess of Love, by bedding any and all prostitutes that he could find. In some versions of this tale, Flintly was also said to have invited his 'proud' mentor Rogar to participate in this night of debauchery, but there is no evidence to prove that this was ever the case. Indeed many scholars believe this particular anecdote of Flintly's to be nothing but complete load of bollocks.

Episode III: Revenge of the Ankhegs

The party's next two forays into the sewers were the subject of mystery for many years, due to Flintly's reluctance to elaborate on the circumstances that had led him to be badly scared from the vicious acid attacks of the Ankhegs. Thankfully, the recent discovery of Rogar's often-controversial diary extracts has enabled historians to piece-together the next chapter of their courageous (and often hilarious) predicaments:-

Day 6:

07:00 Awoke at dawn and polished Orc's Bane. In the absence of any Orc's, I shall look forward to impaling some Ankhegs upon it very shortly.

07:45 Have just arrived back from the Whores Quarter to fetch that useless layabout Flintly. He professes to be a Fighter, but I do not believe he yet possesses the discipline of a true warrior. His only motivation it seems is to pilfer, drink copious amounts of booze, and shag his brains out, (sometimes all at the same time). I will be keeping him under a close-eye over the coming weeks to see if he truly has it in him to be my protégé.

08:15 We are about to leave for the sewers again. Canon Fodar and Tyreon have advised caution, but I only need to know one thing; where they are!

12:00 Success (although not without casualties). Upon arrival in the sewers we set a trap for the second Ankheg that had attacked us the day before. Canon Fodar used an 'Unseen Servant Spell' to rattle the chains of the beast and lure him to the upper levels, where we were waiting to ambush the fiend. Keeping out of sight until the last possible moment, Canon Fodar then cast 'Wyvern Watch' to immobilise the creature whilst the rest of the Party attacked it with missile weapons so as to keep out of range of any possible acid-attack. In theory this should have worked perfectly were it not for Flintly's rashness that got him sprayed with acid for getting too close to the Ankheg. Despite receiving some severe burns Flintly survived, and the rest of us quickly despatched our opponent.

We have now returned to the surface to allow Flintly the chance to recuperate from his injuries although quite how he intends to achieve this whilst lying flat on his back in a bordello in the Whores Quarter is quite beyond me [Don't knock it 'till you've tried it Rog -Ed]. That no-hoper really tries my patience. It is my intention now to spend the rest of the day in quiet meditation, whilst preparing my mind and body for the trials that are still to come.

Day 9:

07:00 Awoke at dawn and polished Orc's Bane. In the absence of any Orc's, I shall look forward to impaling some Ankhegs upon it very shortly.

07:45 Have just arrived back from the Whores Quarter (again) to fetch that useless layabout Flintly. He still professes to be a Fighter, but I detect a certain reticence to return to the sewers. I can see the fear in his eyes. He is not ready for the challenge ahead of us and mentally he lacks the self-belief to be the man he needs to be. It was time for him to respect my authority. I woke him up by bellowing loudly into his left ear; "Ok sweetheart, what are you waiting for, breakfast in bed? Another glorious day in the Corp!! A day in the Ranger-Corp is like a day on the farm. Every meal is a banquet, every pay-cheque a fortune, every full muster a parade. I love the Corp!!"

Dragging him out of the bordello, I kicked his reluctant arse back to the rendezvous point where we will patiently await the arrival of Canon Fodar and Tyreon.

13:00 Okay, on reflection I can see that this is not exactly going to plan. We all thought this was going to be just another bug-hunt but we found something far worse. On arriving in the sewers we decided to venture into the previously unexplored regions on the upper-levels. Everything seemed to be in order and at first, the only discovery of minor interest was a secret hatchway once used by the thieves guild as a bolthole. But then as we explored further into a stretch of tunnels filled with small pipes, we realised that we were not alone. Flintly's well-honed senses (specially attuned no doubt for self-preservation) detected multiple signals closing in on our position. Advising my colleagues to go to infrared and look sharp, we prepared ourselves for battle.

Unfortunately as none of us had infra-vision we couldn't see shit, but Flintly still persisted that there was something moving close-by and it wasn't us. "I've got signals - I've got readings from in-front and behind." Then suddenly from out of the goddamn walls and ceiling came a torrent of baby Ankhegs. Although small in size, they were no less deadly then their larger brethren and within minutes we were in deep shit. Heavily outnumbered, I ordered my colleagues to lay-down suppressing fire with the incinerators and fall back by squads to the APC. "Rangers, we are leaving!" As we valiantly fought our way back down the tunnel, both Flintly and I fell foul to multiple acid spray attacks.

With our strength dwindling, our only realistic chance of survival lay with Canon Fodar casting some hefty spells to aid our retreat. Unfortunately Canon Fodar only had his own interests at heart. Selfishly using his remaining spell-points to cast 'Invisibility' and 'Fly' upon himself, he promptly fled up the nearest service-shaft to safety, leaving Flintly and myself to fend for ourselves. [In fairness CK didn't actually do this, but I'm pretty sure he was thinking about it very hard and would no doubt proceeded with saving his own backside if things got really dire -Accurate Ed.] Furious at his colleague's apparent treachery, Flintly began to let the stress of the situation get to him; "That's great! That's f**king great man. Now what the f**k are we supposed to do? We're in some real pretty shit now man! Game-over man, game-over!"

I was sorely tempted at this point to shut him up by retorting that perhaps we could build a fire and sing a couple of songs, but thankfully I needn't of bothered as he promptly collapsed unconscious from the horrific injuries he had received. With Flintly out-for-the-count, it was left to me to save the day. Picking-up his unconscious body, (and with no thought for my own safety) I hauled him onto my back and then bravely dodging the Ankheg's attacks, I used the last of my energy to haul myself up the service-shaft and onto the streets of Zyr, leaving our foes trailing in my wake. No doubt about it man, I am one absolutely badass mutha!

(End of extract)


Through Rogar's diary extracts, we are sometimes left with a conflicting account of Flintly and Canon Fodar's character and behaviour that is often at odds with other more reliable historical evidence. To reconcile these inconsistencies, historians now generally accept Rogar's recollection of events, but under the caveat that the writer was obviously working under intensely stressful conditions, which may have impaired his judgement on this occasion, leading to the character assassinations of both Canon Fodar and Flintly. In reality of course they were said to be the best of companions, and would not hesitate to sacrifice their own lives to save those of their fellow colleagues.

Episode IV: A New Hope

What occurred following this near-disastrous expedition can be briefly surmised through a recently procured letter written by Minister Ontrose to his superiors:

Greetings Minister Gravlok

It is with glad tidings that I now write to update you on our little infestation problem. Following your recent recommendation, I placed an advertisement in the City Square for the hiring of brave adventurers who would be willing to risk life and limb in the service of the Zyrian Government. After a few false starts I finally made progress in hiring the services of four adventurers to undertake said duties for the paltry sum of 100gp per day!

Although I was willing to offer experienced warriors the going-rate of 300gp per day, these fellows were clearly new in town and rather gullible, and so I had no trouble in ripping them off good and proper. Thankfully what they lacked in financial bargaining skills, they have more than made up for in the progress made in clearing out the Ankheg infestation. Delivery of their first kill was presented to me a few days ago, although it sadly came at the expense of my new desk, which now sports a great big hole through the centre where the blasted thing bled acid over it!

I have been reliably informed that following today's expedition, the upper levels of the sewers are now clear of further Ankheg infestation. Although some of the Ankheg 'younglings' had been using the pipes to climb up from the lower levels, I am pleased to confirm that Tyreon look the liberty of incinerating the critters with a Fireball spell which I trust has severely reduced their numbers and left them in a vulnerable position whence they can finally be routed. I can now confidently predict that this situation should be resolved within the next few days.

There are however a few useful suggestions that I would like to be entered into the record to ensure that a similar infestation should never develop again (as a consequence of your own bungling and incompetence):-

1. Firstly, that on no account should you ever buy a baby Ankheg as a household pet ever again. Next time you want a pet, why not consider something more domesticated such as a cat or a dog perhaps?

2. Secondly, assuming you have ignored my first recommendation, that on no account should you consider buying a second baby Ankheg of the opposite sex to keep your other pet Ankheg company. This is just asking for trouble, and you would have to be a fricking idiot to consider buying more.

3. Thirdly, that assuming you have ignored points 1 & 2, and now have a rapidly breeding nest of Ankhegs which you urgently need to dispose of, please do not under any circumstances attempt to flush them down the toilet into the sewers again. As a recommendation, try cooking them instead and serving up with a plate of egg-fried rice. Bon appetite!

Yours sincerely

Minister Ontrose

Episode V: The Adventurer's Strike Back

Despite the often inconsistent nature of their progress through the sewers (one step forward and two steps back) Minister Ontrose clearly had much faith in Flintly's band of Adventurers to complete their mission successfully, and perhaps spurred on by his encouragement and Flintly's inspired leadership [and drunken bravado -Ed.] the party were soon ready to clean out the remaining Ankhegs once and for all.

Having removed the baby Ankhegs from the upper levels, the next job was to plan a final strike against the Queen's nest. To this end it was said that Flintly volunteered to put his life on the line by single-handedly exploring the layout of the lower levels. Was this just further evidence of Flintly's incredible bravery or, as some have claimed, were simply just the act of a drunken fool? Sadly the jury is still out on this one so I will leave it to you good readers to judge for yourselves. [In truth he was utterly twatted at the time and possibly off his nut; having spent the preceding evening drinking copious amounts of Zyrian green brandy -Ed.]

To cut a short story, shorter, Canon Fodar and Tyreon agreed to aid his mission by casting 'Flight and Invisibility' upon him so that he could manoeuvre amongst the Ankhegs undetected. Rogar later claimed however that due to the fact that Flintly was of an inebriant disposition, this initially subtle reconnaissance mission was soon to be compromised. Like a drug-addict vainly trying to give up crack, he was soon falling into his old thieving-habits by attempting to pilfer the Queen Ankheg's treasure trove. [As an act of penitence to Pictosh; in whose faith he had faltered –Ed.] This near-fatal mistake revealed his presence and it was left to the rest of the party to attempt a distraction (cue more fireball spells) so that he could safely extricate himself from danger. This penultimate confrontation was hard fought but thankfully resulted in the destruction of the remaining Ankheg drones. Now for the Queen...

Episode VI: Return of the Ranger

Returning to the sewers for one final time, the Party used Flintly's knowledge of the lower levels [and his amazing 'flaming broom' manoeuver -Ed.] to safely locate the Queen Ankheg's nest. Casting Monster Summoning again, Canon Fodar sent forth a party of goblins to test the mettle of the Queen. Unsurprisingly she made short work of them through incinerating the creatures with a jet of acid. This was proof, if any were needed, that long-range attacks would be the preferred course of action so that they wouldn't suffer a similar fate.

Using his newly acquired Bullette shield to negate the effects of any acid spray attacks, Rogar the Ranger took the initiative by firing several volleys of arrows into the Queen from a relatively safe distance prior to ducking back to safety. [Weapon safely sheathed eh Rogar? - ever is was so Wink –Ed.]

With the Queen temporarily distracted, Flintly seized the opportunity to throw his lighted-oil flasks amongst the Queen's eggs and within seconds the nest was ablaze. Immobile and unable to stop the devastation around her, the Queen Ankheg proved to be an easy sitting target for Rogar and Canon Fodar's ranged attacks and was soon dispatched. Or so it appeared.

Although the Queen appeared to be dead, a sixth sense forewarned Canon Fodar that something didn't seem quite right, and so he cast an Unseen Servant spell to check that it was indeed dispatched. As it neared the body the Queen Ankheg suddenly reanimated and spewed-forth a devastating acid attack.

Having failed to lure any 'living foes' to within its grasp, the Queen was left helpless as Rogar and Canon Fodar finished it off with another volley of arrows. Burning its' head to ensure that the Queen was now definitely dead, Flintly and his valiant band of adventurers collected the Ankheg's treasure horde, (amongst which were several magical items including an amulet of regeneration and a +3 Dagger, along with a gold figurine known as the Emerald Serpent which was said to be a dwarven artefact worth around 20,000gp!!) and safely returned to the surface.

Epilogue

Arriving back on the streets of Zyr, Flintly and his colleagues were shocked to discover that the City's populace were in mourning over the tragic death of their Emperor Katlin III. Rumours abounded that the late Emperor had been poisoned and conspiracy theories were rife over who may have been responsible.

The heir to the throne was Katlin's 12-year-old son, Kal Zakath but his claim was apparently in dispute due to his inexperience and also due to the mysterious nature of his father's demise. With a curfew imposed to maintain civil order, and revelry now frowned upon in the wake of these shocking events, Flintly and his band of merry adventurers were left with little incentive to stay in Zyr and so reluctantly they agreed to leave in search of further adventures in the Northern territories of Llanos Celyn.

Our records of their final movements in Zyr are shrouded in the utmost secrecy, rumour and legend. With some loose ends frustratingly left unresolved to which I have no immediate answers. The most common area of debate is that concerning the fate of Tyreon Melanthrin. Although he was said to have contributed to the downfall of the Ankhegs, available evidence suggests that he did not leave Zyr with Flintly, Canon Fodar and Rogar. But neither do we have any evidence to sustain the supposition that he remained in Zyr either. It was almost as if he had mysteriously vanished from this plane of existence, and some have postulated that he may never have existed at all, much like the already debunked tales of other supposed allies of Flintly such as Herman the Halfling and Flanders the Flatulent Fighter.

What little we do know is that upon the night of Flintly's departure the traumatised strumpets of Grudinion Street held a symbolic funeral service for their dearly departed 'little rabbit', deep within the sewers of Zyr. Flintly, his body now covered in scars left from the acid attacks of the Ankhegs, had sacrificed his quote/unquote good-looks' in defence of his beloved Grudinion Street and had consequently cemented his reputation in their hearts as a hero and greatest lover ever known within the history of the Whores Quarter. His exploits in Zyr may have prematurely climaxed [fnagh, fnagh –Ed], but his legend and enduring legacy were only just beginning. [I should coco. In fact years later Zyr would be plagued by a small army of ginger-haired thieves, who operated from a secret shrine located in the Whore's District dedicated to Pictosh and Grudinion. The origins of this larcenous gang of ginger-nuts we can only speculate upon, but it should be noted that they were generally small of stature and all of approximatley the same age... -Ed].

Finally, as to the reasons, perpetrators and consequences relating to the death of Emperor Katlin III, well that's another story...
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Some of the Gods of Llanos Celyn

Post by agentofping on 9th March 2016, 21:04

Pictosh - God of Thieves (and roleplayers)

Pictosh is the god of thieves, rogues, gamblers and 'chancers' the world over. Not a widely known deity (at least to gentlefolk, or 'marks' as the followers of Pictosh call the uninitiated) the only non-humans that worship him (or even know of his existence) tend to be thieves and other assorted ne'r-do-wells. Even amongst these sorts his worship is not universal, however most criminals will often include Pictosh in their fervent (and often furtive) prayers.

The symbol of religion is an empty purse, thusly allowing his followers to pass unnoticed in the world. This is often simply a normal purse with the opening sown up, though some wear more ostentatious versions. The empty purse is said to represent both the empty purse of a successfully robbed victim as well as the worshippers own empty purse - encouraging him to go out and fill it with more 'gelt' (preferably ill-gotten) and therefore honour Pictosh. In fact followers of the God often have a rather 'easy come, easy go' attitude to riches. "Pictosh gives, Pictosh takes away."

There a very few religious images of Pictosh, but he is generally held to have the appearance of a tall, dashing, charismatic figure. His features are concealed beneath a mask - no one knows what happens if you see the face of Pictosh, but general consensus agrees that it is something untoward.

Naturally such a god is not worshipped openly and few large temples to him exist (and these are located in the most lawless neighbourhoods of the most decadent cities). However, many a Thieves' House will have a little shrine to the God somewhere within its bowels.

Likewise there are no real services, or much scripture associated with his worship; most followers pay homage to him by offering some things of value, or a percentage of the 'cut'. Often this offering is simply in the form of just casting the items away - so that it may become the seeds of some other's fortune and thusly increasing the belief in fate and chance in the world. Pictosh is a rather fickle deity and may not even notice the act. Certainly however all accept that the bigger the 'cut' sacrificed to Pictosh the more likely he is to grant you favour.

Some scholars believe that the god Pictosh is actually related to the Elven god Pitar. Pitar is the God of both Fate and Destiny and the arbiter in the eternal war between the forces of Law and Chaos. The elves will usually attempt to disprove such a belief with reasoned metaphysical argument, or a punch up the bracket - whichever seem appropriate in the circumstances.

Grudinion - Zyrian god of Debauchery

Grudinion is one of the gods in the pantheon of Zyr and its people. He is the god of good living, indulgence, feasting, 'how’s your father' and cheeky seaside postcards. Although not as widely worshipped as other gods in the Zyrian pantheon - due to his somewhat unsavoury nature to the modern nouveau riche of the city - he does have a devout following among the more decadent quarters of society.

Many of the older noble families of Zyr will have a small temple or shrine to the god, occasionally next to the Goddess of Fertility. Some of the richer families, gossips will attest, even conduct regular 'rites' to the god - these gossips usually tend to be those not invited to said rites (see below). He is also known as the god of plenty.

Grudinion is also the head of a small pantheon of gods that are worshipped by the denizens of the Grudinion District of Zyr, known as the Whore's Quarter. Many involved in the 'leisure industries' of that city pay homage to the god - in fact Zyr's main temple to Grudinion is located where Red Street meets the Street of Temples. The 'children of Grudinion'; pimps, prostitutes, strumpets, pushers, lovers, boozers, gigolo's, party animals and the just plain randy worship Grudinion and his associated demigods.

Grudinion loves a good party and has often gate-crashed the religious holidays and festivals of other deities (disguised as a mortal) getting thoroughly ratted on wine, seducing the host's wife/daughter/niece/caterers, making a scene and generally lowing the tone. This means that pretty much any of the religious days of the other gods are fair game for celebrating Grudinion with orgies, booze-ups, benders, or little ‘get-togthers' (where people don't always leave with the same wife they came in with). However his most holy days are mid-summer and mid-winter. During these two days the rites of Grudinion can become quite, er... frenzied. And yea, many a child has been conceived with the blessing of Grudinion.

Grudinion is most often portrayed in his religious imagery as a large, bearded, red faced man in the autumn of his years. He is shown - goblet in hand - cavorting with wood nymphs, seducing Elf Maidens as well as the wives of the high and mighty from myth and legend. Many depictions show him with his toga flapping and the god in the 'full flush' - though luckily bunches of grapes or discretely positioned vases prevent offence (or feelings of inadequacy). There is a brisk business in more 'fruity' religious imagery surrounding the myths of Grudinion. He is a cross between Santa Claus, John Bellushi, Rodney Dangerfield and Harpo Marx, with the sensibilities of a Carry On Film or a '70's soft porn flick.

Much of what is known about the myths of the Whores Quarter comes from pamphlet called Voyage of Yea Strumpanauts that was written by Flintly of Golmir. This is the telling of one of the myths of the Zyr's Grudinion District and is fact mainly low grade porn disguised as culture. Although hardly a scholarly work, when one takes away the (considerable) smut content, there is actually a solid retelling of one of the key myths of Grudinion and the public appetite for the tract keep Flintly solvent through many a 'dry period'.

Zareena of the Hundred Names

Formally a 'professional lady', she became a follower of Athan-dril the god of Compassion. Such was the depth of her love and good nature in helping those in need, she became a demigod. She is worshipped by 'leisure professionals' who find solace and protection in her compassion for those who trade love for coin.

It is said that she can be called by any of her hundred names. Minnie the Moocher is an avatar of this god.

Goat Boy the Randy

Goat Boy is the yang to Zareena's yin. Or the hairy, hoofed libido of Grudinion. This nature spirit, roams the woods and wild places of the world and shags every chance he gets. If ever encountered he will always be doing one of three things; sleeping, playing the pipes - often with many an entranced, dancing wood nymph in toe, or making Whoopee - often with said wood nymphs.

Karla - Zyrian goddess of Love

The Goddess of Love is the product of the illicit union between Grudinion and Arlen the Goddess of Fertility (who also happened to be the wife of Zyros the supreme deity in the Zyrian pantheon at the time. On discovering their infidelity he was fit to be tied, however wily old Grudinion was able to avoid his wrath by getting Zyros drunk on wine).

She is often depicted (discretely) naked, standing in large clam shell and bearing a startling resemblance to Caroline Munro.

Artos the Brewer

This demigod was once a mortal; said to have invented the craft of wine and brewing, who found favour with Grudinion (for obvious reasons) who granted him divinity. Like Zareena he is most closely associated with Grudinion pantheon.

The potent 'green brandy' known as Atranth (which is not only a powerful spirit, but also a minor hallucinogen) is still used in his rites - and by those who seek to get closer to the divine nature of the gods (or lose their minds trying).

Zetus the Judge

This god may be related to the Zyrian pantheon. Zetus is the god of judgement and balance. Or to put it more generally to promote law and good over evil and chaos. His priests and followers are most usually stern, serious, humourless men (that you don't want to get on the wrong side of).
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Re: One from the Vaults: The Adventures of the Delinquent Four (1st Ed. AD&D)

Post by Renny on 10th March 2016, 09:10

Excellent stuff. I think I have these on my own hard drive but it's great to read them again.

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Re: One from the Vaults: The Adventures of the Delinquent Four (1st Ed. AD&D)

Post by agentofping on 10th March 2016, 19:49

Yes, they were pretty much cut and pasted from the old CARPS website, but are still a fun read. Almost all of them were written by Chris. There are still a few more to go up...
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Re: One from the Vaults: The Adventures of the Delinquent Four (1st Ed. AD&D)

Post by Renny on 10th March 2016, 22:33

I may drop some on as well now that you've got us started. Frightening to think some of these writeups are 15 or more years old. I mentioned this to the AD&D group last night, btw. Digger said you're more than welcome to drop back in if you'd like to and we were all chuffed to see this old content online again. I may set up a seperate site to host this stuff as well.

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Re: One from the Vaults: The Adventures of the Delinquent Four (1st Ed. AD&D)

Post by agentofping on 11th March 2016, 21:26

Glad people are enjoying it. I don't intend to stick everthing from the old site up, but I will finish these writeup and probably put up the Gold Spike ones as well.

Didn't realise you were still playing AD&D.
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Re: One from the Vaults: The Adventures of the Delinquent Four (1st Ed. AD&D)

Post by Renny on 12th March 2016, 00:02

We are still playing. The last six or seven sessions have also been recorded as we were originally intending to publish as an actual play podcast. Let me know if you're interested in listening to them. I can hook you up via dropbox. And you should consider joining the group, we're having a lot of fun at the moment

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Weight Loss with Rogar - a first 'hand' account (heheheh)

Post by agentofping on 14th March 2016, 20:22

This gaming session was nothing if not controversial and had everything but the kitchen sink thrown in for good measure. Plenty of blood, sweat and tears (mostly from Rogar) were shed. Rogar kicked some arse and then got his own arse kicked very dramatically in retaliation, (ouch). Allow me to elaborate on tonight's mayhem.

Previously on AD&D, we were ambushed by an Orc Shaman and eleven Warg Rider's. Although Steve R was able to despatch the Orcs with a Fireball spell, we were still left in something of a predicament facing seven rider less wargs and a pissed-off Shaman. Thankfully we now had Steve B's Priest with us and so could now rely on his experience (and spells) to get us out of trouble.

Having taken my potion of fire-resistance to overcome the effects of the Heat Metal Spell, we all had Haste cast upon us so that we could outrun the Wargs and head for a position of relative safety at the edge of the forest. From this vantage point we were able to make our stand against the Wargs and whittle them down further with another Fireball Spell, before launching into melee combat, (Rogar kicked arse). Thankfully we were now out-of-range of the Shaman's direct-damage spells and so he instead summoned three minotaurs.

These creatures are quite mean to fight as they have a good THAC0, but thankfully their presence in this plane is limited to something like 15-20 rounds before they ping-out again. We therefore turned and ran into the forest using the remainder of the Haste spell to gain some distance against our pursuers.

Once the effects of the spell ran out, we then turned and waited to ambush the remaining two Wargs. As they engaged myself and Steve R in melee, Steve B then cast entangle on the minotaurs, so that we could despatch the wargs first before having to worry about them as well. Once the Wargs were killed, we decided against attacking the minotaur’s since they were due to ping-out in the next couple of rounds and so it wasn't worth the hassle. We instead bravely ran away and made our way in an Easterly direction across country towards the town of Oake.

This was to be a long journey but was necessary if we were to catch a caravan northwards to Ironhelm. On route to Oake we stopped off at a farm for a couple of days to rest up and help the owners with some simple chores in return for food and hospitality. We then resumed our journey and within a few days arrived at yet another farm. However this farm was a burned-out ruin with most of its inhabitants recently slain by an Orc raiding party. Angered by their actions we agreed to set-off in pursuit of these Orcs and rescue their captives.

Having marched all day, we eventually caught up with our quarry around midnight. The Orcs (and there were around thirty of them) had camped out in a small enclave and were currently trying to cook one of their female captives over a roaring fire. Springing into action, Steve R cast invisibility on me, and then Steve B cast Fireball down into the Orc Camp. The effects of this spell were so devastating that at least fifteen of the Orcs died instantly.

I then ran down (invisibly) into the Orc camp to locate the remaining captives and guard them from harm. Steve R and B maintained a distraction from atop the embankment and so lured most of the other Orcs away from the campsite. Meanwhile the Orc Chieftain brought forth a box from which he produced some dragon teeth. He threw these on the ground and up sprouted an army of skeletons which he sent off to kill Tramarthar and Canon Fodar!

I was about to sneak up on the Chieftain and kill the bastard when he ordered his minions to kill the captives. I had to therefore readdress my priorities and attack the two Orcs sent to kill the prisoners. The Orcs on this occasion were slightly tougher than the previous lot and had at least 20 hit points each. Even so, a couple of hacks later and my foes were dead at my feet and the prisoners were released (hurrah!).

My invisibility now gone, I decided to help out the two Steve's who were desperately making a rear-guard action, fighting back-to-back against huge odds. Thankfully Digger's dice rolls weren't that good and so their foes weren't causing much damage, which allowed Steve R and Steve B to slowly whittle down the Orcs before the Skeletons arrived to join the fray.

I decided that the most effective course of action would be to take out the Orc Chieftain, so I charged at him and did 10 points of damage in my first attack. Unfortunately for me this git was rock-hard, and so even though he had previously taken 10 hit points damage from a Fireball spell, he still had loads of HP left over.

He and his two bodyguards retaliated and gave me an almighty arse-kicking. The two Orc guards both hit me (one did double damage) but thankfully they could only muster a few hit points damage between them. The Orc Chieftain was less inclined to mess around and wasted no time in hitting me on a roll of 19+7 with his Magical (Black-Bladed) Sword of Sharpness. This did me 12 points of damage and...F**cking hacked off my fricking arm!!!

YES that’s right, I was now Rogar the One-Armed and seriously pissed-off Ranger. Now if you have ever watched Monty Python and the Holy Grail, you'll get the picture of what followed. Shocked (f**k I can't use my shield or bow again) and feeling somewhat sick to the stomach I continued to fight the Orc Chieftain dealing more damage, but still unable to despatch the bastard. And to make matters worse they kept scoring hits on me (not surprising now that my AC had dropped to 4), and I had -2 on my attack rolls from the injury.

Down went my hit points from 24 to 12, before finally dropping to -4 after they scored yet more double-damage woe upon me. With Rogar left dying on the battlefield, the two Steve's were now up shit-creek without the paddle. Outnumbered and running out of time, they desperately gambled on casting a point-blank range Fireball Spell at their attackers. This did 20 points of damage and incinerated all the Skeletons, and most of the remaining Orcs. Only four were now left standing including the Chieftain. With my hit-points dropping 1 per round, they had 5 rounds to finish the job.

Thankfully their dice-rolls held up (just about) and they finally killed the Chieftain with just two rounds left to spare (hey believe me when I say that I was preparing to roll up a new character). The last three Orcs then failed their morale check and fled.

Steve R hastily cast Cure Light wounds on me to reduce the damage to -2 and stop the bleeding. Then just as I was considering selling my fricking bow on ebay, Steve B came to my rescue with his amulet of regeneration which he placed upon me to restore all my hit-points and begin the process of re-growing a new arm for me!!! (Thank the Maker).

When we next resume gaming I will only have to play the one-armed bandit for a maybe an hour or so before I get a new arm back (huzzah!). And that’s about it, and before you enquire, no we have no booze as we bypassed Homlet and didn't bother to buy any more liquor for Flintly. Rogar and Tramarthar have agreed to impose a ban on all alcohol and will ensure that Flintly sobers up in our new teetotal Party of Adventurers.

Yesiree, only a clean healthy living for us adventuring chaps. On a more positive note for Flintly, we do have the Orc Chieftain's Sword of Sharpness which you can use. Before you get too excited I should point out that the sword did have an evil alignment which means that only evil characters can use it. To get round this limitation, Canon Fodar had to cast Bless upon it to remove the evil-imprint. This unfortunately also meant that some of its most powerful magical effects were also lost following the effects of the Bless spell. However it is still useable as a Sword of Sharpness which will automatically hack off a limb on a roll of 20 (and it doesn't have to be a natural 20 either). Just remember not to wave it near me as I can't afford to lose another arm matey!
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Re: One from the Vaults: The Adventures of the Delinquent Four (1st Ed. AD&D)

Post by Renny on 15th March 2016, 04:49

More awesome stuff from the archives. Thanks again for posting. I'm seriously considering setting up a CARPS archive to host this stuff as well.

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Re: One from the Vaults: The Adventures of the Delinquent Four (1st Ed. AD&D)

Post by Renny on 15th March 2016, 04:53

Oh that we had the time to write our current adventures up in such detail. Thank god for audio recordings.

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Liberry Research [sic]

Post by agentofping on 4th April 2016, 03:26

Several gaming sessions have passed since our last visit to Llanos Celyn. Brother Fodder now takes up the narrative...

Library Research

Before leaving Zir the party spent some time researching in the libraries there. Rogar’s method of research differed slightly from that of Tramathar and Canon in that it was spent reading the varied bar lists of the numerous inns within the city. Several avenues were pursued following the knowledge that the group had gained in its previous adventures.

They learnt that the Eye of Sillibar is a large black diamond that must be broken as part of a ritual to summon Sillibar. There was no indication of what happened should the eye be broken outside of these rituals, or in fact whether it was breakable except for during the rituals.

The wolves of the sea have several connotations. In some treatises it describes them as large carnivorous mammals, possibly sea lions. In others it describes them as an aquatic drow race, linked to sharks and also known to be worshippers of Sillibar. Little is revealed of Sillibar, other than the god had been banished from the material plane many centuries ago

They also learnt of a Balrog named Ugroth that was banished by Mamara whose aim is to break the diamond and bring Sillibar back into this world. Ugroth was also named as the high priest of Sillibar. As an aside it was revealed that there is a white altar on the isle of Mamara, its twin is on Mattocks Tor, a small hill on the western side of Llanos Celyn, no details as to its purpose are revealed.

The pairs of Monoliths, that the party has discovered were created as protections from Drow/Sea wolves, it is not known why or how they were created but the eastern pair seem to protect the main river approach into the heart of the continent. The Rings of stones were created to protect an area where there was a weakness in the world’s fabric and it would be easier for demons to cross over. It was later learnt that these sites also provided a means to teleport between different areas of the land.
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The Isle Of Mamara

Post by agentofping on 4th April 2016, 03:38

Without Flintly, some of the joviality of the group had gone, the sea voyage passed peaceably and we made landfall at the Isle of Mamara without any further incidents. The ship named the Sea Arrow made good progress through the choppy waves and no doubt aided our safety on the journey immeasurably. Captain Tobias clearly did not like this place and bade us be about our business, but to be no longer than a week at the holy place, we knew little of Mamara but hoped that it would prove friendly to our quest - little did we know…

The port itself seemed half empty with hardly any vessels, the captain said that most of the ships appeared to come from the southern half of Llanos Celyn, which would make sense giving recent events to the north, though there were still a few who had recently arrived.

As it was evening we decided to remain on board the night and set off at the break of day; braving whatever the island had to offer. We were unsure as to what our mission was other than to discover some clues as to how to defeat the enemy we faced. Perhaps we would be granted an audience with the descendant of Mamara, perhaps he would have a library that we could study in, we just didn’t know.

Once aground it was clear that the island was a den of thieves and tricksters, this was no holy place. The port itself was little more than a haven for trinket shops and beggars; we were beset at every turn. Each seller’s items appeared to be more outrageous and more expensive as we passed along the street. Even as we left the village, the beggars sought to follow us until finally perceiving that we would be donating no more of our funds or (more likely) noticing that some other unfortunate had arrived.

We were able however to listen in on some conversations and to quiz a couple of fellow pilgrims about the way ahead. It seemed that the whole island was dedicated to separating us from our money. Once we arrived at the citadel (a veritable fortress by all accounts) we would need to pay an ever increasing access fee to gain higher status and thereby a closeness to Mamara. Finally, should our donations be worthy we might actually gain an audience with Mamara.

Although we had brought funds they were clearly completely insufficient to make any dent in the city’s echelons, only the nobles and very wealthy could afford an audience so we would have to find some other means.

Even after we had left the village there were several places for offering and devotion along the side of the road. We passed several of these before deciding to follow up a rumour from earlier in the day. Apparently the citadel was a Merchants guild and not the true following of Mamara. It seemed that there might still be some reclusive monks who had chosen a more austere path and had settled in another part of the island. This seemed sensible, and the idea of actually meeting some religious men or women who were devout followers of the hero seemed worth following.

Finally we reached the narrow entrance to a small path off the main thoroughfare, not thinking about our actions we plunged forward into the forest and made our way towards the cavern system we believed was our destination. The path was hardly used, if at all and although we grew concerned at the lack of life we just felt a more cautious approach would be warranted.

We arrived at a small clearing at the end of which was a cave entrance, proceeding cautiously we entered into a small cave that may have once been used by a hermit, but now was clearly a dead end and had no life in it. As we left we realised we were not alone, outside the entrance was a group of half a dozen men from the village, including a beggar and the man who had duped us into coming down this long forgotten path. The man demanded our purses and possessions, we laughed. This was not exactly the reception he had been hoping for and they attacked. They appeared common thugs, except we noticed that they wore uniforms beneath their poor man’s cloaks, Imperial uniforms - we feared betrayal. They quickly fell though and a web spell and some well-placed sword blows soon made all but one of their party unconscious, the final member fleeing down the path.

The interrogation was informative but certainly not barbaric. None died, although they did believe that as they heard the screams of their companions they had started reveal more information. It seemed that several of them, including the leader had been imperial troops who had deserted their legion in order to pursue a life of leisure preying upon naive pilgrims; of course although we had been naïve we were not exactly regular pilgrims.

Their actions were sanctioned by one of the clergy from the citadel and one wondered what deity these “priests” actually worshipped. We eventually decided to let them go, there was no point in trying to convert them, or in gaining their hoards, for almost certainly they would betray us in some way and it seemed likely that they would not wish to report an embarrassment such as this. At least none of them were killed, their uniforms had been stripped from them whist unconscious and we had disposed of them, for they brought shame upon it and we did not want the Imperial legions shamed so openly by their actions.

This seemed a fair trade, and though we were not naïve enough to believe that they would not report the matter we toyed with the idea, in their hearing of joining with them or at least making contact with this priest ourselves to strike a deal, as clearly we were a better equipped party. The idea would have been tempting to those of these men’s ilk, but we would just be in competition with these men and sooner or later it would have come to blows, or an assassin’s knife.

In the morning we re-considered, with so few days left for our mission we felt the need to hurry and the idea of traipsing back through the woods to use the conventional route seemed to waste time. Instead the mages in the party decide to use their awesome powers to transport the group up the mountain and approach the citadel from the air.

This was done in a timely manner with no incidents. Approaching the citadel we found it to be in seven concentric rings, each higher than the last. The outer ring was well guarded at the gatehouse and the group decided to scout out the higher rings. Through judicious use of the staff we tested for defences at each ring and found none in the early levels. In fact it was possible to fly up to the inner sanctum without any concerns. However there was an increased use of magic on each level. The lower level was reserved for those who could afford the thousand gold piece entrance fee and little else.

The whole group managed to infiltrate this level with a visiting noble but could discover little other than the inns within this level were simple and eager to have ones money. Entrance to higher levels increased in cost and the hospitality was both more luxurious the higher one attained and more expensive. The next day, having scouted as much of the lower levels and gained little other than it appeared a combination of magic mouths and continual light was in use in the higher levels it was decided to seek entrance into the inner sanction. Clairvoyance had been unable to penetrate the sanctum, which seemed odd, but perhaps this was a long forgotten magic, cast in its construction. By use of wraithform and fly, Tramathar and Canon entered through a break in the seal of the structure and found themselves in the audience hall. This was occupied at the time, which was both fortuitous and of great danger.

Mamara was soon lead in by Father Slinkus, the leader of this cult. Mamara was a simpleton, whether by magic or inbreeding was difficult to tell, though the latter was the most likely. The sword above the throne glowed blue as Mamara approached, indicating that he was a true descendant. The sword is one possible object of our quest for it is something of that power we feel is likely to be able to defeat the demon that stalks our lands. Shortly after this a supplicant and his wife arrive to pay homage to this “demigod”, as the supplicant sought his favour, Canon cast a detection spell through his staff. At this point all hell breaks loose. Clearly there are alarms within the sanctum to detect the use of magic and although the sword was clearly magical Father Slinkus strode into action.

The supplicants were quickly ushered towards the exit and as Canon and Tramathar tried to leave they found the entrance barred by a wall of force. There was only one escape route, flying above the supplicants the two made their escape, barely. Behind them the doors were barred and a force field descended on the entrance house as well. The supplicants were placated and promised another audience. Clearly powerful magic was at work within the citadel and there was more here than met the eye, this would be more dangerous than expected. The party rested on the roof of a lower level and watched as the upper level was searched from end to end. Every medallion was scrutinised, we were glad to be at liberty as they clearly meant business.

The next night however we felt strong enough to once more attempt an exploration. Wraithform proved that the wards were down and we explored other areas of the building. Discovering Slinkus’s study near to the front door was muted by the fact that it was well warded and we were unable to gain any information from within. Next to that room however was a larger room, this was currently used as a demonic summoning room, clearly Slinkus was in touch with his master, our enemy. The room’s walls were whitewashed, behind which appeared to be a mural of Mamara. Next to this room was a store room, in which we found more whitewash, dried out and various other pieces of equipment. Further into the complex we found some stairs down and a barracks for some troops, who were clearly elite soldiers. The mural was interesting and after a short plan it was discovered that through judicious use of spells and a pass wall we would be able to clean the white wash off the wall, study the mural and with the whitewash return the room to its previous state. This was accomplished through use of create water (to wash the walls and make the whitewash, unseen servants to carry out the work and cantrips to clean the walls and dirty the walls afterwards.

The first frieze showed Mamara being bestowed with a god-given sword, a glowing helm and a shield, which is shown as a large round shield with six glowing white points. The second frieze showed Mamara in battle defeating a large number of dark skinned foes, these appears to be the black wolves of the sea, drow. The third frieze showed Mamara defeating a massive Goblin and Orc army. The fourth frieze showed Mamara fighting a hooded, cloaked figure, dark lightning bolts hit Mamara from the creatures fingertips, it looks like he is defeated but then he uses his blue glowing sword to banish it. This creature is known as the servant of Sillibar –the half man. The fifth mural had been cut away to create the doorway to the inner hall. Very little of the frieze is shown, perhaps the library of Zir might show the original. The sixth frieze showed a creature writhing on the ground, Ugroth the Balrog. Mamara is shown fighting and defeating the Balrog with glowing sword, shield and helm. Clearly the devices powers are at their greatest when fighting the Balrog. The seventh and last frieze showed Mamara being crowned by kings and clearly is proclaimed the one true overlord. The helm now had a large golden crown affixed to it.
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Re: One from the Vaults: The Adventures of the Delinquent Four (1st Ed. AD&D)

Post by Renny on 6th April 2016, 07:47

Heh...more great stuff!

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Re: One from the Vaults: The Adventures of the Delinquent Four (1st Ed. AD&D)

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