tag
TwitterFacebookGooglePinterestLinkedInEmailRSS

Nefarious NPC’s #1 & 2

Here’s a couple of NPC’s for use in any Dice & Glory fantasy campaign. This is a re-post of all of the pdfs available through the old version of the site. All files are hosted on Mediafire.com.

Note that the pdf’s display the text as crowded in the browser but the layout of the downloaded files are fine.

Nefarious NPC’s #1 – 290k
Blackfork the Lizard Mage.

Nefarious NPC’s #2 – 130k
Vandanna Night Cloak an elvish rogue.

A Mage from Poisonwood Pt.2: Blackgut, Red-Daggers

We three, Drogo the ranger, Tweena the dungeoneer and myself Baerig the mage, ventured along the Old Road and by early afternoon Drogo alerted me and Tweena to a ratling following us. Shortly thereafter a 7 ft.-tall mushroom creature came crashing through the trees towards us along the ratling’s trail whom by the way was nowhere to be seen. The monster was a blood-red mushroom with the cap shaped like a cup rimmed with teeth and four long tentacles dripping with a clear, sticky liquid walking on a dozen or so tentacle-like feelers. I identified it as a Crimson Fungus and we made quick work of it but not before it blasted us with its spore spray. Fortunately none of us suffered the ill-effects. Later in the evening we found ourselves at a deep ravine spanned by a ruined stone bridge.

We decided to descend the slope into the ravine, I teleported down after Drogo was at the bottom. The ranger spotted a cave mouth under the bridge in the side of the ravine so after Tweena was with us we made a beeline to it. Just as we reached the cave Drogo spotted a troll skulking in the shadows attempting to sneak up on us for a surprise attack. The troll was yellow-skinned with a black belly. I dispatched it with my acid bolt eldritch ability at the end of the short battle as well as its servant, a mangy ratling. We thought the troll might have been Blackgut only for a second realizing the troll was bestial and probably a latter generation clone of Blackgut himself. We entered the cavern lair and proceeded forward deeper into the lair and came to a large chamber with a hewn archway in front of us leading into a room with block walls and a large iron door with a sculpture of a troll’s head on it. There were open passages to the right and left as well. We took the left tunnel which descended rapidly and the north path of the fork that it led to and into a large cavern with a bubbling hot spring occupying most of its area. There was an opening to the left and a stairway to the right which led to a locked iron door. We were attacked by a pair of trolls, identical to the first, which burst from the steaming waters as well as two ratling slaves who tried to use the steam as cover in attempted sneak attacks mostly aimed at me, one of which hit its mark wounding me. Drogo was badly wounded in the fight by the trolls’ claws getting rent nearly in two by one of them before we finally defeated them. I cast a couple of Close Wounds spells on myself and Drogo to patch us up while Tweena turned her expert eye to the rusty iron door at the top of the steps.

She attempted to disarm the spring loaded blades on the door before trying to pick the lock. A loud click sounded and the blades sprung she narrowly avoided them by blocking with her steel buckler which was nearly destroyed. She eventually opened the door which we found opened into the brick-walled room we first happened upon when entering the cave. She inspected the chamber floor but found no traps and Drogo followed her towards the troll-head door. I decided to play it safe and wait in the archway by the open iron door. She didn’t find a trap and decided to try to open it but got blasted with a cone of lightning bolts which burst from the mouth of the troll’s head. Twice. She was badly wounded and I had to use a healing spell on her. My magic was by this time beginning to sap my vitality (exceeded my arcane spells per day and each spell after was inflicting Knockout Point damage). She decided to move on to the other iron door in the north wall. She easily opened the door and found a troll standing directly behind it ready to slash at her with its claws.

We retreated from the door and as the troll charged into the room we found he had a companion which followed after. I stayed at the door and blasted at them with my acid bolt as Drogo went heads up and Tweena tried to put some distance between herself and the filthy monsters so she could shoot at them with her crossbow which she wasn’t particularly skilled with btw. After a couple of rounds the trolls were dead and their corpses burning. We found they had ascended a set of stone steps which led down into a large cavern with an exit at its far end which turned south that we assumed wound back to the entrance passageway. Tweena and Drogo descended while I kept guard at the top of the steps while they checked the chamber. They were ambushed by a trio of ratling slaves and we made quick work of them.

After the skirmish Tweena began to check the south passage when the sound of a massive latch clacking as it was unlocked and the high pitched squeal of metal echoed throughout the cavernous lair. I could see that the troll-door in the brick-walled chamber was swinging slowly open and teleported to the bottom of the stairs as a precaution as Drogo prowled up to the top to see what was going on. Out of the door came 1 large troll assumed to be Blackgut who was armed with a heavy flail followed by a ratling in a crimson cape with an eye-patch over his right eye bearing a spear. Behind those two were another large but bestial troll with a chest on his shoulder and a ratling slave wearing a collar chained to the troll’s waist who was lugging a full sack on his back. I walked halfway up the steps so I could meet the whites of their eyes and shouted, “come meet your doom ya stinkin’ troll!”

In response Blackgut yelled back in a deep, gravelly voice crackling with phlegm, “I’ll kill you later.” With that he inserted a large gold key in a hidden keyhole and all of the doors including the two smaller iron doors which we had opened along with the troll-door slammed shut sealing us off from the brick-walled chamber. So we ran south with Tweena in the lead.

We spotted the yellow backside of the animalistic troll passing out of the now torch lit entrance into darkness of night. By the time the ranger reached the mouth of the lair they were gone and out of sight. I teleported to the cave mouth and cast Illuminate but they were indeed gone. My light however did allow Drogo to pick up their trail and us to track them down. After about an hour we approached a small clearing in the Blackwood where we could see they were meeting with a group of Red Daggers with two prisoners in the clearing between the two groups. The prisoners were a ratling and a female faun dressed in the black robes of a necromancer. Drogo began to move towards the clearing approaching a position that would allow him to use his bow. He was spotted by a ratling sentry hidden in the bushes who whistled a warning to our enemies. The fight was a disaster though we were able to free the two prisoners.

Blackgut had barely been scratched and only two of the Red Daggers, some lowly thugs, had been the only casualties on our enemies’ side. I had been gravely wounded and Drogo had been knocked unconscious. The last time I saw Tweena she too was badly hurt and ducking into the bushes with the two freed prisoners. I grabbed the ranger by the collar and teleported us both back to the edge of town. I banged on the barred door of the tavern until someone opened it and bribed them with a gold piece to let us sleep on the floor where I could see two barbarians snoring in puddles of vomit and beer. I healed up Drogo’s wounds as best I could or at least so he wouldn’t die anyway and the last of my vitality spent I collapsed into sleep on that filthy floor.

To Be Continued…

The Dragonslayers II Pt. 2: Assault at Merdna

The group (now consisting of Bers the female fighter played by Jenn, Vorwulf the ranger/dragonslayer and his protégé Drasknor both played by Cris, Grom the shaman played by Gil, Jesae the bard played by Rheia, and Kyrahma the Ferenoi berserker played by Isis) sat drinking at a table and Vorwulf saw that Xanto the wasp was eating by himself and so walked to talk to him about the book when the shaman saw this he followed him over to the mage’s table. Vorwulf began bidding on the book but was lowballing Xanto but he looked as if he was about to give in as he was desperate to unload the thing. Grom immediately threw down 10 superior quality diamonds.

Xanto: “Sold.”

The bard thinking to make a little coin while the others drank decided to play a few songs. After a short while a rough looking ratling with a tattoo around his left eye tossed him a gold piece and told him to “play” in a gruff tone. Jesae played the best song he ever had (Rheia the bard’s player rolled a natural 20). After the song finished the ratling as he walked to the door while passing the bard mumbled “you play funeral dirges well”. When he told the others what had happened they immediately took it very seriously but Jesae couldn’t remember exactly what the ratling had told him.

The night was uneventful otherwise, the group retired to their campsite by the water troughs in the courtyard by the front gates amongst their wagons. Vorwulf looked for ‘the wasp’ at camp as the mage had disappeared almost immediately after selling off the book. The slayers took alternating watches as usual especially on the lookout for any ‘suspicious’ ratlings and the rest settled down for sleep in their bedrolls or on the wagons. The night was peaceful and quiet with Bers catching something out of the corner of her eye on first watch but found nothing. On second watch however, Jesae’s watch the horses began to buck and neigh foaming at the mouth their eyes bulging. In a panic the bard awoke everyone, as if they weren’t already that is, and pretty much ran around the campsite like a chicken with its head cut-off. Grom cast Mystic Diagnosis and Commune with Animals to try to get a handle on the situation as the horses collapsed and their bellies bulged. They had been poisoned and would be dead within the hour without treatment. Vorwulf used 3 of his Neutralize Poisons potions, Bers gave up 2 of hers and the shaman was able to concoct a quick antidote for 1 of the horses. They managed to save 6 of their 12 horses.

Vorwulf in a huff checked for tracks and found ratling tracks, which appeared that they were purposely left there to be found, by the water troughs. It was at this point that Jesae the bard was fumbling with the gold coin he had be given by the ratling at the tavern and noticed that the coin was stamped with the icon of a coiling dragon which the others recognized as Sawback’s symbol. Jesae observed that the ratling that gave him the coin appeared to be an adventurer of some experience and that he had heard rumors in the tavern that there’s a ratling adventuring party muscling its way into the Hirok-Nor underworld.

Bers: “The tat-eye’s getting revenge for Sawback?”

Grom: “That was a warning.”

Vorwulf: “Damn Tat-Eyes, Damn ratlings!”

They decided to leave for Merdna at dawn and doubled up the watches till morning. The next day it took almost 4 hours on the road to get the wagons to the city of Merdna a trip which should have taken 1 to 2 hours. As the city came into view they found that there were trolls between them and the city gates. The trolls were definitely familiar with 3 large trolls wielding war-hammers with wolf-skin mantles on their backs led by a 12 ft tall troll with stony brown hide. The group was interested to see them harassing the wall and its guards seemingly unaffected by the daylight.

Vorwulf: “They’re being protected by magic.”

The shaman stepped forward while the wagons were still a few hundred feet away from the trolls and cast Call Lightning causing the trolls to scatter and runaway. The group hurried to the gates and gained easy access based on their reputation. They heard horns blaring in the Thur Wood to the northwest and responses from the northeast each further than the last. Just as the last wagon rolled into town and the gates closed the very same trolls were gathered outside of the gates followed by 4 12-ft tall trolls in full-plate armor and great helms bearing troll-made Kris-blade swords. Vorwulf and Grom mounted the wood palisades alongside the young guard captain whom seemed on the verge of panic. Fifteen minutes later a mercenary unit of 15 warriors, 5 of which were Hill-Giants, spilled onto the road from the tree line led by what appeared to be an experienced captain. The mercs were obviously Hill-Landers and were bearing a standard on their leather lamellar covered chests of a split field of blue and red with the symbol of a spiked brown club hovering over a cracked yellow skull. Vorwulf used a power on his magic bow to fire a Thunder Arrow into the crowd of warriors slightly wounding a few of the human mercs and causing the armored trolls to charge the gate.

The gates were smashed into splinters as the armored trolls charged through and were followed by the four familiar trolls and 15 roaring Hill-Lander mercenaries. Bers and Kyr were on the ground to meet them as the four wagons continued on in an effort by the teamsters to get out of the way with Jesae alongside the head teamster on the lead wagon. Vorwulf drew an arrow on his bow and Grom was preparing to sling spells. Bers and Kyr met the 5 faunic Hill-Lander warriors one of which clinched Kyr’s sword on a parry while parrying with his curved longsword. Bers easily killed another spattering blood over her, Kyr and the clinching warrior. The 5 human Hill-Landers charged through the gates into the town intent on pillage some being met by sword & spear wielding residents. The commander was shot by Vorwulf whom he met eyes with and charged into the gates intent on taking out the bowman. 5 hill-giants charged through the gates and went straight for the wagons.

Rheia: “Wait. What?” She looked up at me like a deer caught in headlights (seriously).

Luckily the giants attacked the wagon last in line (it was a random roll) smashing it to bits and killing the driver, horses and all of the livestock that the shaman had acquired. The shaman hit the armored trolls with lightning to little effect. The scout trolls led by the mountain troll (the 12 ft tall troll with the horn and stoney brown hide) attacked Bers and Kyr wounding Kyr badly. Jesae ducked into the back of the wagon he was on and hid. The battle was seemingly going in a bad way for the dragon-slayers at this point but the shaman going against an initial decision to try to make it to Kyr to try to heal her cast Mass Animal Form zapping 3 of the fauns, all of the armored trolls (only one of which was even remotely injured btw) and the 3 troll scouts transforming them all into frogs. The Hill-Lander captain made it to the top of the palisades and charged Vorwulf engaging him in a sword fight and was disarmed by the ranger his curved sword flying over the battlements. The remaining faun warrior was struck by a cone of force when he hit Kyr, a feature of her magic armor given to her by the slayers upon joining as a “prospect”, and was killed by the amazon when her sword was freed from the clinch when that warrior dissolved into a frog. The captain blew his horn before Vorwulf could stop him and the giants and human warriors reversed course and leapt over the palisades just as the hill-giants passed out of the gates getting snatched up by 1. In an effort to try to capture him Vorwulf shot the giant in the back and the shaman cast Entangling Growth causing the grasses they were running through to lengthen and entangle him but he easily ripped free (rolled a Natural 20) as Vorwulf leapt over the battlements using an acrobatic roll to prevent taking damage form the fall and while Grom ran down to the smashed gates. The mountain troll was killed by Bers who cut him into two pieces covering her and the wounded Kyr in black stinking troll’s blood. They wasted no time in calling Grom over in order to blast magic fire over the two already regenerating bits. The group assessed the damage and the shaman began healing the wounded.

While they did this they could hear the panicked blaring of signal bugles the bleating fading into the northeast. They realized that the guards as Vorwulf went to chastise the guard captain were just kids around the early teen-years and were armed with lower-end hunting bows the arrows they were using were useless for big game much less against fully armored warriors. Real fighters would’ve been armed with javelins while manning the timber. They were told that the absent forces of Merdna were sent to Fertum Vorahd to reinforce it about 3 days ago against a potential siege. Vorwulf asked after the druidic marshal, the druid and lord Vorahd all of which were based out of this city were also gone. The lord had retreated to the Fertum when the first troll incursions began and thus the reason the city forces were dispatched to protect the Fertum. The druid fled to where no one knows but he left with his pupil in a loaded wagon several days ago. The marshal left on what they assumed was an official mission but none knew exactly what he was up to or he had gone. They were also informed that a mysterious and sudden plague that spread from the south and was ripping through Hirok-Nor had made its way to Merdna and was rumored to have already hit the Fertum. Vorwulf and his protégé began helping the guards and resident artisans to repair the front gates while the rest of the team recuperated.

To Be Continued…

Weird Races #1 thru #4

Here’s some strange races for use in any Dice & Glory fantasy campaign. This is a re-post of all of the Weird Races pdfs available through the old version of the site. All files are hosted on Mediafire.com.

Note that the pdf’s display the text as crowded in the browser but the layout of the downloaded files are fine.

Weird Races #1 – 121k
The Wargork pigmen.

Weird Races #2 – 316k
The Bezgall worm-creatures.

Weird Races #3 – 152k
The Zektoi wasp-people.

Weird Races #4 – 208k
The Horsehead; pain obsessed centauroids.

A Mage from Poisonwood Pt.1: Head First

After a few days spent in the town of Rockhollow I, Baerig Scarborn Tanglenite-mage, bought the first round of ale at the village tavern and guzzled a tankard of ale forced to nudge aside my bronze mask exposing a portion of my deformed and scarred visage. Dismiising it as “some minor scarring” I went over to the game tables to play at dice with the lone gambler. A fat man in fine clothes and a body guard on either side. His name was Keenor and when he asked me what had brought me so far west as he recognized me for a denizen of the Poisonwood I told him the truth “regime change”. I bought a dose of yellow lotus from him while Tweena the dungeoneer talked with the Westlander bard and Drogo chatted up the prostitutes. I talked to the bartender named Cornor and his barmaid Trixie (Cris is the GM btw) and procured a private room for myself. After purchasing a big meal Cornor told me about a troll called Blackgut in the Blackwood so I commit to conquering the scum for the benefit of the land and its people then proceeded to gorge myself while the other two collected some more info. While I ate the bard came over and served himself up a plate for a song. I dropped a silver piece on his plate as a bonus. A stranger appeared at the tavern door and a ratling and human that were sitting at a table suddenly stood up and chased the man into the back through the tavern into a back alley which served as the latrine for the place both had the symbol of a red dagger on their cloaks. The bard fled the taproom drawing my attention to Tweena who was chasing after red-daggers. So I followed.

As soon as I and Tweena appeared in the blind alley followed shortly by Drogo the two red-daggers turned on us shouting that were the guy’s (the one they had chased and cornered) friends. Things were tense, we demanded to know what was going on and they were determined to brutalize the poor guy whom was cowering. So I blasted them both in turn with my acid bolt killing them and that’s when another unseen rogue took a shot at me with his crossbow. I dodged teleporting back to my table and took the food and ale back up confident that my companions would deal the last thug. A few minutes later the guy that the red-daggers were chasing walked up and introduced himself as Ranknor. I tried to question him but he kept changing the subject. He paid for the drinks the rest of the night and Tweena kept at him but got nowhere. The bard rejoined us, his name was Rant while Ranknor told us about tombs found outside of town and warned us that the Red Daggers Thieves Guild would probably be after us now since we killed three of them, the guys that were chasing him. The tombs were cleared we were told by a passerby (Illcor and company had already done that) and then were told of an old ruined fort at the creek in the south. Later that night in my room I dosed myself with the lotus and reap the visions it may have provide.

The next morning we collectively decided to pursue the troll of the Blackwood named Blackgut and left town traveling along the East Road. We had to engage some of the local wildlife when 3 raptors attacked us me scoring tow kills. Later at mid-day a group of 5 red-dagger thugs led by another guy wearing a red hood leapt from the bushes in front of us. The leader, the red-hood, demanded the whereabouts of Ranknor as he knew we were his friends. We engaged them in combat and I was able to intimidate the red-hood by lifting my mask and frightened he ran away with his tail between his legs whistling the retreat as he fled. Tweena had been knocked out by a sleep-arrow while pursuing a target into the bushes and was robbed of her money and gear. My final tally was 3 red-daggers using my trusty acid bolt. We looted what was left of the corpses and were each a little richer after the split. After the sleep toxin wore off of Tweena we traveled into the woods to camp for the night.

In the morning we made our way to the village in the Blackwood and spoke with the village marshal a gruff half-giant. He told us the place was rife with red-daggers which the local lord Black Eagle, wasn’t overly fond of and warned us they were abouts in the tavern. We went into the village beer hall a banner bearing the black eagle hung by the door. Drogo went to talk with the bartender and I sat by myself and drank as the town was a Forvyln town, a Westlander ethnicity that can be particularly bigoted against my kind, Tweena sat next to me. She spotted a group of red-daggers at a nearby table in disguise. I shot the closest with my acid bolt. We got into it with them with me killing two of the three fairly quickly while Drogo yelled for the marshal and the last red-dagger bolted for the door. Tweena tackled him to the ground. The marshal later took him away. I purchased my room as did the others.

The next morning Drogo told me that he had been awakened by something fumbling at his room door and opened it to find a ratling skulking away. We decided to continue to hunt for Blackgut and on our way from town we passed the red-dagger we had turned over to the authorities hanging in a cage. I made a wide berth around the cage but the other two didn’t. The rogue spat at them and spat in Tweena’s face when she tried to question him while offering him water. We continued on the Old Road leaving the ranting scumbag behind us.

To Be Continued…

The Dragonslayers II Pt. 1: Goin’ Back to Hirok-Nor

We rejoin our heroes Bers the female Westlander fighter played by Jenn, Vorwulf the Westlander ranger/dragonslayer played by Cris, and Grom the Westlander shamsn in mid-spring preparing their caravan. Chago was as they prepared to depart suffering an insurrection led by the druid Siamnecca and the last word Bers had on Sir Chinsalis was that he was managing a military encampment as a pretext to mounting an expedition into the Corcander Moorland where Westlander guerilla forces were believed to have established a camp. After gathering hirelings which included a gang of 3 lumpers, 1 personal servant (for Vorwulf) and 3 teamsters for each of their 3 wagons rolled out of the city of Chago committed to making their way to Hirok-Nor where they would recover their buried treasure and set up a Blackwing dragon-slayer guild house. In tow they had three new companions Kyrahma the Ferenoi berserker played by Isis and Jesae played by Rheia a Westlander human male bard dressed in the half-brown half-green clothing indicative of the Bardic College at Ezmer and Drasknor Vorwulf’s new protégé. Kyrahma came from a Feren queendom with Hellonica goddess of warships as the state patroness and had been banished by her queen for killing her fellows in battle and after finding herself on Westland shores she blundered into a skirmish between Westlanders and a Berserker Coven finding herself on the side of the berserkers. She still bears the tattoo of the coven on her chest, a picture of a flaming black gauntlet, a symbol of Malfaind patron of berserkers and god of madness, with a skull on either side. Jesae came with a half-hearted reference from minstrel Lugo Anmori as the slayers’ new tagalong has a reputation among the alumni of the Ezmer College as a slacker. Vorwulf was mounted on his new personal mount armored with its own plate barding. Grom also purchased a personal mount and just before they departed the city he gave Vorwulf and Bers the totems he had made for them. They checked their maps, a map of Chago to Hirok-Nor and a map of the “known world” before finally moving out.

At the end of 15 days just after leaving the town of Corvik/Corvir they caught sight of a small group which watched them cross the over the borders beyond the Chago sphere of influence, Vorwulf recognized Rrhga the Wilderland wolf as the leader. The last sight of the wolf saw him turn back in the direction of the city. They followed the trade road for a few more days till they found themselves settling down for the night. They had circled the wagons and started a fire. After dinner they laid down for the night with the slayers and their new companions taking turns on watch.

It came to Vorwulf’s watch and he woke everyone just as they heard the thundering footsteps of a mace wielding troll stomping into their campsite. Its face was swollen and red with nasty looking welts and it appeared to be blinded as it swung its spiked mace in wide sweeps instead of targeting anyone in battle. It was screaming, “You! I know you have it! Give me the book I know you stole it! Aaaah!”

Vorwulf struck the creature wounding it badly and then Grom turned it into a rabbit which Kyr grabbed up and tossed into the fire. The battle was brief. By morn they were in the town of Wenbaer where Grom hired 2 more lumpers and bought some livestock for some reason. They spent the night in town and left in the morning. After several more days between the towns of Wenbaer and Anaster they were flagged down in the morning by a dirty, exhausted man in dirty robes. Vorwulf spotted the yellow and black striped robes hidden underneath the peasants rags recognizing the man as Xanto the wasp.

Vorwulf & Bers in unison: “Xanto!”

Jesae & Kyr: “Who’s Xanto?”

Xanto: “Ah! My friends it’s fortunate that I’ve stumbled upon you! I’ve been mugged you see by devlish companions! How’s about a ride? For a friend?”

At that moment he jerked as if kicked and he dropped the sack he had over his shoulder and out plopped a large iron-bound tome bearing the image of a golden ruby-eyed troll’s face on its cover. The tome cussed him out and he immediately offered to sell it to them for “cheap”.

Vorwulf: “Where’d you get that book?”

Xanto: “Oh that cheating troll-king Pallgak!”

Jesae & Kyr: “Troll-king!?”

Vorwulf: “Oh he wasn’t a troll-king dirty old Pallgak! You stole the Blackwings’ tome didn’t you!” Pointing an accusatory finger.

Xanto: “Well, um, yeah. That stinking troll didn’t pay me enough for it either. SO I stole his book.”

Kyr: “I don’t trust this guy let’s kill’em.”

Jesae: *Sigh*. “Whatever.”

Vorwulf: “Ya never trust Xanto, we don’t trust Xanto and we ain’t gonna kill’em. You can ride with us but we’re gonna have a conversation about that book!”

Xanto was careful in using the sack to scoop the tome back up from the dirt road without touching it with his hands and jumped up onto the last wagon with Grom’s livestock. They continued on. They traveled for around 2 and half months finally arriving in Hirok-Nor along the West Road into the Varidna Plain where they found a battlefield.

The plain was littered with shattered armor and shields, rusted sword shards and broken axe blades some bearing the arms of Fertum Vorahd along with the bones of the hill-giants of Sirti. Standing here and there were the petrified bodies of trolls. The stamp on the front of what was once their chest plates represented a conical mountain with a surrounding moat and a dragon above the pinnacle with wings outstretched. Grom then attempted to commune with the spirits in order to glean some answers. He found out from the voices of the dead that the God-King of Trollguard had orchestrated the battle allowing his forces entry after victory into Hirok-Nor. The slayers realized this was the same character that had probably forged the mirror-vault door for Sawback. Vorwulf used his tracking skills to try to get a bead on the direction of the rest of Trollguards forces. He found they went due east directly towards Hirok.

Grom: “Crap! That’s exactly where we’re going!”

Grom was asked to and did locate a camping spot which wasn’t haunted and the caravan set up to rest. They gathered around the fire and were just finishing dinner when the bard started to play his lute. A group of trolls immediately charged into camp catching them all by surprise. The trolls clobbered 4 hirelings, all lumpers, before engaging the slayers in battle. There were 4 trolls, 3 of which were the standard size for a troll about 8 ft tall but well-equipped with large war-hammers and wearing wolf-skin mantles over scale mail with steel skullcaps on their heads. They were led by a 12 ft tall troll with brown skin the texture of gravely earth also wielding a hammer but of giant size and wearing patchwork bear hide with a horn bugle at his side. Jesae the bard hid by one of the wagons. Grom dodged a blow from a troll-hammer and Bers and Vorwulf power-attacked one of the three trolls and the big guy respectively. Vorwulf commanded the teamsters to move the wagons and Drask to protect them. Kyrahma slashed with her magic sword with a critical blow unfortunately the magic of the sword activated by the critical blow slashed open a dimensional rift to the hell-dimension of supernatural darkness known as Tartarus. 5 shadow beasts immediately emerged and as a result the trolls fled in one direction and the slayers in another following their wagons.

They kept moving through the night making sure to put as much space as possible between themselves and the creatures unleashed by the sword. By midmorning they arrived at the mining town of Sirti. The gates in the high stone wall were shut tight. The painted arms of the town, crossed black hammers above a block of gray stone against a field of orange, were faded and in places defaced with a weapon’s edge. It took some negotiating but were finally let inside. They spent their time in the cavernous tavern drinking among the local hill-giant miners/quarrymen wary of the ratlings which scampered apparently unseen among the tables. They pondered over the information they had gotten from the guards. They had been told that Achoran at the far south end on the other side of the Nirix River was under siege by “black” forces bearing the standard of a black gauntlet grasping a white star against a field of deep purple. The trolls of Trollguard had invaded months ago and had moved east confirming what they already knew.

To Be Continued…

Wondrous Objects

Here’s some gear to drop into any Dice & Glory based campaign. This is a re-post of all of the Wondrous Objects pdfs available through the old version of the site. All files are hosted on Mediafire.com.

Note that the pdf’s display the text as crowded in the browser but the layout of the downloaded files are fine.

Wondrous Objects #1 – 147k
The Ring of the Wolf and the Gauntlet of Transmutation.

Wondrous Objects #2 – 153k
Thief’ Dagger, the Lens of Retro-Viewing and the Bag of Smoke.

Wondrous Objects #3 – 200k
The Bottle of Curious Inebriation.

Wondrous Objects #4 – 112k
Yellow Fang, the Jade Skull of Guarding, and the Brooch of Arachnophilia.

Wondrous Objects #5 – 161k
The Moonshield, a Jar of Storm Powder and the Phial of Daylight.

The Dragon-slayers Campaign II: Intro

The first series of blog posts covered the first campaign played with the characters of Bers the fighter, Vorwulf the ranger/dragon-slayer his master Dead-Eye the ranger whom was tragically killed in a fight with giant highwaymen. I did gloss over certain details and simply left out most of the random encounters as they pretty much didn’t matter to any of the over-arching character goals or possible narratives. This blog is from my (the Game Master’s) point of view and I drew as a clean as possible narrative form what I had noted and what I could remember sometimes with the players’ help. As we’ve finished the game which Cris was running as GM which I’ll start blogging shortly as the Man Behind the Mask following my mage character. The burden of GM shifts back to me and of course Jenn, Cris and Gil want to pick back up with their dragon-slayer characters.

Again I’m pretty much doing this just to record the sessions and will try to post entries for this blog once a week though often life gets in the way so regularity can be a challenge. Promoting or publicizing Dice & Glory as well as the upcoming Arvan campaign setting are also aims of the blog of course. I didn’t keep very strict notes for the first campaign as I didn’t have much intention of blogging the whole thing. This time I’ll try to keep tighter notes and hopefully type it down while the session is still fresh in my mind.

Short of recapping the previous campaign, honestly I didn’t realize how much information is contained in a single game session until I started to blog them, the characters have wintered in the Ivoran coastal city of Chago. The group consisting of Bers the female (human) fighter played by Jenn now level 7, Vorwulf the male (human) ranger/dragonslayer now levels 3/3, and Grom the male (human) shaman now level 5. They are joined by Kyrahma a Ferenoi berserker (level 3) played by Isis, Jessie the male (human) level 4 bard played by Rhiea and Drasknor a male (human) level 2 ranger/level 2 dragonslayer as Vorwulf’s NEW protégé.

Well, this concludes the introduction. My next dragon-slayer post will begin with the first session as they travel out of Chago and the city’s sphere of influence on the road to Hirok-Nor far to the east.

The Arvan Game Pt. 38: The Big Red One

The story thus far; after a harrowing sea cruise our heroes have landed on Sulfur Island (more of an isle really) with a healer of the White Star Guild, 3 torchbearers and 3 porters carrying their bags & chests. The group of slayers consists of Bers played by Jenn, Vorwulf and his protégé Trusk both played by Cris, and Grom with his protégé named Thrall (along with his black bear companion which was kept below decks while on the ship) both played by Gil. The she-captain a Ferenoi named Ionisus (Ee-o-nees-oos) told them that she would await them on the other side of the island in a cove in an attempt to shelter her ship from the dragon if it’s still on the prowl.

They circumnavigated the base of the volcano and found two ground entrances one fairly small the other a large gaping cave. The smaller was a ways up a gravel slope where the base was surrounded by boiling sulfur springs with steam pouring from it obscuring everything so they decided to “go in the front door”. They marched into the large cavern which tweaked off at the end in a sharp turn hiding the far end from the view of our heroes. The porters were ordered to wait at the mouth and the torchbearers began to follow as the group was already in.

Vorwulf: “Spread out. Don’t stick too close together.”

The porters screamed and a blast of flame was narrowly avoided by the torchbearers who immediately fled out of sight.

Vorwulf & Bers: “Crap.”

Vorwulf (after a successful dragon-lore skill check): “Damn thing’s an ancient!”

The cave quaked as the red dragon landed at the mouth roaring at the slayers. Fortunately its attempt to frighten them didn’t work (all passed their Courage saves versus the dragon’s Horror Factor). The healer activated her Ring of Invisibility (useless by the way within a certain distance against the dragon) and Ring of Cryo-Armor lent to her by the slayers in order to protect herself.

Vorwulf: “Here it comes!”

The dragon was an ancient red dragon not the great adult they had expected. The colossal beast was at least 100 ft. long from nose to tail its wings twice that length when unfurled and it had to be well over 2 tons in weight. It was wearing a gold breast plate, a single jewel-studded claw sheath, a gold diamond-studded ring on its tail, and a gold skull cap with a single large ruby as a helmet on its head. The dragon blasted the group with its formidable breath-fire but to no effect as the group was fully protected from fire and heat damage via magic items and Grom’s magic. The group retreated, except for Bers, as they beat the dragon in initiative in order to down some potions. When they rounded the corner they found it came to an immediate dead-end. They were trapped. When the dragon charged in that was when Vor, Trusk and Grom froze with horror. In the first round Vorwulf’s courage overcame his horror and Grom dispelled the terror freezing his heart and that of his protégé with two spells. The dragon fought with Thrall and Bers and when Vorwulf shot at it he found its armor caused arrows to turn back on the shooter and stuck himself pretty good. By the second round Thrall and Trusk had been stomped into paste splattering all over the remaining slayers.

Grom: “Noooooooooo!”

Vorwulf: “Noooooooo!”

Cris: “Crap. Again!?”

Vorwulf remembered (he forgot in the first round but since he was frightened it worked out in game context) to activate his Boots of Fleet of Foot and stood side by side with Bers, Grom retreated behind them in order to sling some spells all of which failed to penetrate the dragon’s natural spell resistance. On the third round only Vorwulf got in dual weapon strike before the suddenly leapt up and beat its wings once before catching hold in a hole in the ceiling 100 ft. up which apparently opened into the interior of the volcano into which the dragon disappeared.

Vorwulf: “OH NO you don’t!”

The flying potion he had drunk at the beginning of the fight was still in effect so he flew up after the dragon. He found himself in a large passage which angled steeply up so steep in fact that it was almost vertical potentially dumping one back into the cave from whence he and the dragon came. He chased after the dragon and came to a fork with one passage going back down at a very steep angle the surface of which was smooth and slippery obsidian-glass and lit brightly with an evil red glow and the other which continued steeply upward. He followed the passage up and found a large domed chamber at the end which was lit from above where the ceiling was open presumably into the main crater though the sun could not be seen through the volcanic-exhaust and there was another opening at the other end of the chamber which sloped back down at a manageable angle. The shaman had since flown up and lowered a rope down to the others those being Bers and the healer. Vorwulf rejoined them.

Vorwulf: “Crap, crap, crap. It’s gonna be completely healed by time we catch it.”

They traveled to the sunlit chamber at the top of the initial passage that Vorwulf had scouted and encountered 4 large scarab beeltes each about the size of a large dog whose exoskeletons had the appearance of crudely shaped obsidian. From above as they engaged the creatures an eagle flew in its feathers appearing as flames began attacking them from above. The battle was quick and the monsters were easily defeated. Vorwulf checked the downward sloping passage that came from the high chamber and found it trapped with a camouflaged spiked pit. It was spiked with razor sharp obsidian spikes. They decided to back track.

The healer’s cryo-armor expired as they descended and the ring had no more magic left for the day and thus had to be carried out due to the heat and toxic fumes. They decided to proceed along the dangerously slippery obsidian tube discovering that its higher end exited into the parasitic cone of the volcano and thus proceeded in the opposite direction. The rest of the group consisting now of the core 3 characters made it to the end realizing that the passage terminated at the main volcanic vent where the air was surging up appearing as thick as running water the white hot light dazzling their eyes as they tried to gaze down into the heart of the volcano. They saw another passage in the wall of the main vent on the opposite side which the shaman could fly Bers over and Vorwulf could fly into as the potion had a while still before its effects expired. They easily made it through the massive opening.

A dim red-orange light filled the room from the main vent and suspended from the high vaulted ceiling was a massive jewel-encrusted gold cage with the man-size door ajar. On a golden T-stand on the opposite side of the chamber next to two more exits sat two eagles with flames for feathers. Again these foes were easily dispatched. They took the passage which angled downwards as the second opened into a level passage terminating in another vaulted chamber with only a large and deep hole in its floor. They found the passageway that they had taken ended in an opening which was high above the floor of the chamber that it ran into but which had four more openings in its walls. The chamber was dark and thus Bers was finally able to use her Cape of Bat-Flight carrying Vorwulf to the floor and Grom using another spell flew down. One of the exits was a steaming pit in the floor opening into a very smooth walled and wet obsidian chute. When Vorwulf found out the steam could bypass some of his heat protection he decided against scouting that passage. They lit torches and proceeded forward finding the feeding chamber, bone pit and the exit on the opposite side of the volcano which they had seen when scouting the perimeter which was filled with steam shooting out from the obsidian tube which angled down into the heart of the volcano from that entrance. They back tracked again into the chamber with multiple portals and were surprised by lava oozing from the cracks in the far wall which formed into a semi-humanoid form. It attacked and they fought it wiping it out embarrassingly quickly. They followed the level passage to its other end and a gas pocket triggered by their torches exploded dealing virtually no damage to them. Then at the end they found the passage terminated in a small chamber with a perforated floor with an iron door at the far end. They realized this was a trap; the room was filled with poisonous exhaust gases drawn from the main vent. So they went backwards again traveled back up to the chamber with the golden cage. The backtracked all the way to the chamber where the only exit besides the way they already came was the yawning pit in the floor.

It was completely black at the bottom so Bers lit her lamp and Grom a torch. Bers flew down and found the floor immediately under the pit was studded with 6-foot long razor sharp obsidian spikes. She was immediately set upon by a pair of dragonsauri with bright red scales. Grom slipped down a rope and was able to turn the beasts away ending the confrontation without a fight. Vorwulf followed and they took the only passage they could which angled and spiraled down into the loose gravel floored wallow chamber of the lair. In the wallow they encountered a pair of wolves that had stone in place of hair or hide which Grom easily turned aside as well. They followed the one-way path which exited into the magma chamber of the volcano several hundred feet above the white hot magma, the heart of the volcano. Below them on the precipice of the lava-pit they could see a pair of opposing ledges.

They figured, correctly, that the main hoard chamber was down there on one or the other side so the shaman taxied them one at a time to one of the ledges. They saw yellow steam gushing out of one of the openings and so avoided that one. This was the water chamber of the lair consisting of a boiling lake of sulfurous opaque-yellow water with a ‘small’ hoard chamber across it. They instead made the right guess again and found the gaping mouth before them into a massive passage which continued into a large chamber with a depressed floor. A bright blue flame hovered a few feet above the floor its eerie light only apparent when they got near it over powered by the brightness of the searing light of the magma chamber and the orange glow coming from the chamber ahead. The walls were carved with the jeweled images of red dragons swirling in a forest of flames. There were also 5 niches scattered about the chamber walls containing 1 draconic skull each.

Vorwulf: “Great he’s a dragonlord too. He kills other dragons and makes himself more powerful than normal.”

Bers: “Oh. We can kill ‘em right?”

Vorwulf (shrugging his shoulders): “We had him on the run before.”

The chamber beyond had a floor of bubbling lava and beyond that a massive adamantine door bearing a familiar sight. The relief sculpture at the center of the door was the large jewel-eyed head of a sneering troll. They began to turn back and went back to the ledge and that was when the red dragon burst from the white hot magma landing with a rumble on the ledge before them. The creature was indeed fully healed and ready to fight.

The fight commenced and the dragon was suddenly wrapped in red serpents which served as a fleshy armor for a short time. Bers hacked off the slithering armor in two blows. The fight was vicious and long lasting 5 rounds with the dragon going into a dragon-rage in the second round. The slayers burned up their attacks each round quickly as most of their blows was a power attack even Grom the shaman waded into the fight using his mace. By the beginning of the last round the dragon was finally dropped and as it had pushed them back towards the adamantine vault and the lava pool in front of it they could harvest the body for some hide and bone. They explored the opposite passage finding a smaller but more easily gotten hoard and were satisfied with looting that. They took mostly gems and coins basically what they could carry wrapped in improvised sacks of red dragon hide.

They found the ship by nightfall the crew apparently readying to sail come dawn. The slayers’ hirelings were all intact and the slayers though wounded and their armor again pretty much shredded were unharmed.

Captain Ionisus: “Ya know yer bear tried to attack one of my crew and then ran off a few hours ago.”

They had forgotten the bear on the boat where it was sleeping under deck. They arrived in port just before the first fall storm and were looking forward to wintering in comfort in the city. They paid off the ‘freebooters’ and took up residence in the guild house. They gained even more credit with the Blackwings guild after slaying the ‘big red’ especially when they mentioned it was a fledgling dragonlord. They were rich, franchised through the guild and were eager to start a new guild house in Hirok-Nor come summer. Oh, they threw themselves a parade along the main drag of the city as well even though Vorwulf warned them that even with the red dragon’s treasure they were low on cash as compared to what they had when they first arrived.

The End of the First Dragon-Slayers Campaign (played between August 2012 and February 2013).

The Arvan Game Pt. 37: On Black & Steaming Shores

We rejoin our heroes ready to rest for a few days in the guild house Vorwulf spending the time looking at the Tome of Dragonslaying leveraging the intelligence they had gathered afield gaining the right to read a few pages from the tome. Draznor was left to keep an eye on their apartments where they had most of their stuff in the bad part of town. Vorwulf got the gist of the contents of the great book while Bers looked on. The newest item was uncomfortably familiar to her copied to the back pages of the very large iron-bound tome. It was a spell titled Draught of the Dragon’s Soul. The same spell copied from a book of invocations Bers had taken from the winter dragon’s horde and sold to a wizard in Fertum Dreyhawk. The mage had identified the spell initially telling her (and Dead-Eye) the name then became nervous beads of sweat forming on his furrowed brow becoming suddenly very eager to bargain for the book. Bers thought she had gotten quite a sum for the tome but in fact turned out she sold it for a pittance. The dragon-slayers began to realize this when they needed to buy some potions and found the shop closed up finding out that the mage had left town for the city of Chago (should’ve been included at the beginning of Pt.19 while liquidating some of the dragon’s horde, my bad again).

Jenn (Bers’ player): “Ugh! I was so stupid to sell that!”

Bers pointed this fact out to Vor while read the portions of the book that he was allowed to. Neither of the dragon-slayers was allowed to actually touch the book as the keeper of the tome had opened it and turned the pages for them. A couple of times Xanto occasioned to walk in and talked to Bers trying to convince her to throw another party or about “investments” she could make. A day or so later the pair were awakened in the middle of the night, the shaman was busy wandering the city, were awakened by ringing bells signaling an alarm inside of the guild house.

The keeper of the tome had found that the book was completely blank though the book itself was still intact. He first pointed a finger at the new Blackwings but relented as they and Duoamo discussed it. The pair decided that the wasp was responsible as the keeper mentioned that Xanto had come in to see them earlier that day and neither had actually met with him though they kept that a secret.

Vorwulf (to Bers when they were walking back to their separate quarters): “We need to track that guy down and get our hands on that tome!”

The next day they spent drinking in the Leaping Fish with the Green Dragon Archers well into the wee hours trying to ply them for information. At the end of the drinking binge Bers turned on her charms on the “cutest” of the brothers. Mind you they were all identical so she wound up next to the least scarred I guess. All of the brothers wore a pair of bronze bracers each with a single large moonstone mounted on them as well as ring on their right middle fingers. The rings was the method Vorwulf used to distinguish them from each other as the eldest and seeming leader wore a mithral ring, the second a silver ring, the third a gold ring, the fourth a dragonmetal ring, the fifth a bronze ring and the sixth a star metal ring. Strangely enough he adventurers never really bothered to ask these guys for names. Bers took the brother with the bronze ring to her apartments in Stumpy’s building for a “nightcap”. Vorwulf left half of the others passed out on the saloon floor and managed to get some information. They were contracted by some troll-lord named Pallgak and a red dragon was mentioned to them as well trying to capture it or bring it to its death throes. There was supposed to be a ship reserved for them at the docks and another group called the Skulls that was to accompany them to an island somewhere. They were to leave for the troll’s stronghold in the morning. Vorwulf went back to the guild house.

Late morning found the Dragon Archers in Bers’ apartments waking her and their brother telling him to “shake out the cobwebs” and join them a.s.a.p. in the Leaping Fish taproom. Vorwulf was up early and immediately had rushed to the Leaping Fish determined to follow the Ivoran slayers and waylay them en route to Pallgak. By the afternoon both groups were sitting in the taproom of the Leaping Fish at opposite ends of the room, the Dragon Archers were conferring keeping their voices low. Bers, Vorwulf and Draznor, the shaman was still absent, were eating a lunch of fish stew waiting for the archers to move out. A too familiar sound, an alarm bell began ringing out a warning over the city from the harbor.

A litany of clattering sounds and then the rings of steel on steel and the screams of the dying began to fill the air. The adventurers shot up and ran outside to see that the harbor was under attack by several Feren raiding vessels. They saw the amazons attacking en masse with their shield men and male thralls looting and fighting. A few of the younger amazons were dragging nets with captives behind them. They also saw that a group of Ferens were headed straight for them charging up the boardwalk towards the tavern. The leader was an amazon bearing a short spear with a sheathed falcata at her side and wearing greaves, bracers, a hauberk and an open helm as armor. Next to her was her shield man, a significantly shorter man with wide shoulders bearing a round wood shield wearing much the same types of armor save he had on a suit of chainmail in place of a hauberk. On either side of that pair were four more warriors, two of which were Ferenoi (amazons). Following behind was an apparent priestess attired the same but with a grey-blue cloak flapping behind her. Off to the side near the priestess was a silver helmeted archer.

An arrow thunked into the building next to Draznor’s head and the battle was on. The fight lasted for 2 rounds with the adventurers taking very little in the way of wounds with the Ferens losing all but the priestess who seemed to be immune to the arrows of Draznor and Vorwulf. The archer had been taken out after an exchange with Vorwulf in the first round along with two of the male thralls. The two Ferenoi warriors and their leader and her shield-man were all killed by the end of the second. The priestess fled and Bers was going to chase after her but thought better when she saw the other Ferens running to assist her. They went back into the saloon and found the Dragon Archers had not moved a finger other than to lift a tankard. After an hour it was all over. The Ferens had pulled a lighting fast hit and run raid leaving the harbor in chaos for the rest of the day. The adventurers spent the night taking turns on watch outside of the Leaping Fish just in case the archers should leave in the dark.

By the next morning the archers had left and our dragon-slayers had given them an hour lead in order to stay hidden hoping to catch up and ambush them in the swamp. They double-timed it not stopping to rest as they chased the archer group through the next several days until they finally caught up to them in Strogo Swamp somewhere around 20 miles northwest of Chago. Our heroes had acquired 3 hireling fighters before leaving the city for some “backup”. The dragon-slayers were immediately sighted as they had unexpectedly rolled right into the archers’’ camp. It was apparent that the archers were fully equipped and were about to split into two groups just before the slayers arrived. Vorwulf tried to play it off and talk with the leader but blew it big-time and the fight began as the archers began to retreat to cover. Vorwulf activated his Boots of Fleet of Foot doubling his attacks and granting him the auto-dodge maneuver.

Each archer was wearing a bronze open helm each with a large piece of carved jade on the forehead, a mother of pearl studded bronze buckler, a pair of bronze bracers with a single large moonstone, a green dragon-skin bandolier replete with potions, and a green dragon-skin quiver on their hip and another on their backs. They each were armed with a green longbow. The battle was a storm of arrows and magical fire blasting from magic items and weapons with two of the three hirelings being killed and Draznor dropping by the end of the first round.

At the beginning of the second round Bers was forced into making a recovery check and then paralyzed by a magic arrow knocking her out of the fight. The last hireling was killed and by the end of the round Draznor and 3 of the archers had joined them. In the third round Vorwulf closed with and killed the leader and the sixth brother. He fought hand to hand with the fourth brother and easily dispatched him. Frankly, without the magic boots he was wearing he and Bers would most certainly be dead. They limped through the swamp on their way back to the city when they came upon Xanto the wasp his yellow and black robes reduced to rags.

Xanto: “Ah! My friends there you are I’m saved!”

Vorwulf: “We have to talk.”

Xanto: “Of course! The scoundrels I was riding with robbed…”

Bers: “Give us the book!”

Xanto: “Uhm. What book?”

Vorwulf: “The tome you stole from the Blackwings! Hand it over now!”

Xanto: “Uhm. I don’t know…”

Vorwulf leapt off of the wagon and drew his sword.

Xanto: “Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Here! It was Pallgak! It was Pallgak!” He tossed a scroll to the angry ranger/dragonslayer.

Vorwulf got back up on the wagon with Bers and they left Xanto standing there in the swamp. After a few days they were again back in the city reunited with Grom the shaman and his protégé Thrall. The group worked out a deal with the Blackwings for the return of their tome’s text for a copy of the tome for their branch of the guild as a reward. They were determined now to rent a boat and head out to Sulfur Island to slay the red dragon before Pallgak realizing that he was after the Drought of the Dragons Soul spell and a dying dragon to work it on. The spell would harness a dragon’s life force granting the caster an increase in magical power from that energy. They found a boat for hire, the only one available at the docks, with a Ferenoi captain named Ionisus whom they promised half of the total pay up front the other upon safe return as they noted the captain and the Westlander/Hill-Lander crew were most likely pirates. They were aware however of another ship with dragon-slayers onboard in black bearing shields painted with white skulls. Vorwulf took on a new protégé named Trusk while hiring a healer form the local White Star Healers’ Guild a day before they departed. The group also hired on 3 porters to carry their gear and chests as well as 3 torchbearers. A couple of days later they were at sea.

It would take them 3 and a half days of sailing north which would be tortuous due to the onset of fall and as the isle lay somewhere near the start of the firth of woe it would already be bitterly cold that far north. The first day went without a hitch and quick Fern vessel (a longship) was equipped with Hyvalian style three-mast ribbed sails. They kept the coast of Arvan in view to their east all the while and only went further out when the sea got rough. Come the second day the lookout in the crow’s nest spotted a pursuing vessel. It was a large deep keeled Westlander vessel familiar to the dragon-slayers as the vessel which was bearing the enemy dragon-slayer group, the Skulls. The Westlander vessel should’ve been much slower its single square leather sail stretched as it caught the sea winds but it had 8 oars on a single side the Feren vessel had only 4. The sun-baked amazon captain roared orders and the drum beat for the crew as they manned the oars. The speed of the shallow bottomed vessel picked up and the wind seemed to roar in the adventurers ears as pot shots from the crossbows in the hands of the crews we taken back and forth. The Feren vessel began to outpace the enemy ship easily with the aid of her sails combined with the muscle of her crew and iron persona of her captain until the winds stilled. The vessels drew to a narrow gap though the Feren pirate vessel was maintaining its lead easily then a lucky shot took out an oar-man then another and the ship slowed enough to be rammed by the other and grappling hooks and gang-planks were foisted upon the longship and the was being boarded. Her exhausted crew and angry captain snatched up their cutlasses and met with the opposing seamen. A volley of crossbow bolts was traded but again without casualties many lodging themselves in the sides of the captain’s cabin behind the corner of which the slayers were taking cover. Then they saw their prey, the Skulls leapt aboard taking down a few of Capt. Ionisus’ crew in the process. The far end of the longship nearly rose out of the water and dumped a few men from both crews into the water as it slapped back down as the Hill-Giant of the Skulls jumped onto the deck. The giant was wielding a morning star which crackled with electricity as it swung with a silver dragon-winged helmet with a single sapphire in one of the eyes of the facemask covering his head. He was also armored fine steel half-plate and a black dragon-hide mantle expanding behind him with every splintering stride. Next to him was a human fighter with a steel chest plate, gold helmet, and a similar mantle on his shoulders wielding a black buckler bearing the white skull and armed with a farmer’s scythe. Following them was a human thug armored in black dragon’s hide bearing a gold shield and twirling a morning star and two human spearmen armored as the thug but with mirror-polished shields on one arm and wielding a superior quality short-spear in the other hand. The resulting battle was savage lasting five rounds.

The scythe-wielding Ripper took two attacks of opportunity once against Bers and the other against Vorwulf as they charged into battle dealing some additional acid damage when it hit. Trusk kept back behind the cover of the captain’s cabin as he took shots at the giant. The shaman was unfortunately sidelined with sea sickness and was below deck as was his protégé Thrall. At the end of the first round Vorwulf had to make a recovery check as he was already badly wounded. At the beginning of the second round Vorwulf remembered to activate his Boots of Fleet of Foot doubling his number of attacks, speed and granting him auto-dodge. He again had to make a recovery check to keep from being dropped by the Ripper with the scythe as they also found that the scythe passed through their armor bypassing its protection. The thug with the golden shield when struck with a melee weapon his chest plate shot forth a cone of force at his attackers. By the end of the second round the giant was dead his massive corpse falling over board and sinking immediately. At the beginning of the third round the thug with the golden shield was slain and Trusk was forced into a recovery check from the blast. The Ripper was killed and Bers was forced to make a recovery check due to her severe wounds. The pair of spearmen continued to fight on into and through the fourth round with one dropping by its end. The last spearman was slain at the beginning of the fifth before he was even able to act. By the end of the battle the Westlander ship they had hired began to break away its crew retreating. The pirates cheered in victory. They then went about the grim work of tossing the bodies overboard and mopping up the bloodied deck.

The dragon-slayers had acquired a good deal of useful loot from the Skulls whom were carrying a Bag of Holding embroidered with a skull of obsidian beads. There were 5 Rings of Cryogenic Armor, 6 Ice-Steel Arrows, Ice-Steel Shortspear, and an engraved silver battle axe with a large sapphire mounted in the blade, a glowing sapphire which was probably a grenade-like weapon of the magical kind, a glowing aquamarine probably akin to the sapphire, and a lot of potions which were mostly healing.

The next day came and by mid-morning they saw a dragon, a very big red one, flying in their direction and they knew they were dead-meat with nowhere to hide. The captain had the sails lowered and the crew furiously into a fog bank hoping it would hide them. She calmed the slayers saying the ship’s wood was protected from fire by the intricate painted runes on the hull. A blast of flame came down from the unseen source beyond the fog and struck the ship’s deck which repelled the flames like an invisible protective dome. Then everything was dead quiet as the crew and the slayers waited silently and listened as they heard the massive leathery wings beating above them close enough to clear a large area of fog to the starboard of the ship. When it was presumably satisfied as to their destruction the red dragon left the sound of its gigantic wings beating into the distance.

By the evening they found themselves on a black gravel shore between an active volcano and the misty sea. The sea captain had taken her ship and would be waiting, she said, in a cove she knew about on the other side of the island. The porters were carrying their chests and Grom and Thrall were over their sea sickness. The healer and the torchbearers were ready to follow.

To Be Continued…