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Sunday, 15 January 2017

D&D: I Got A Bad Feeling About This

After a long hiatus, our heroes return. Our DM warned that we should get our level up affairs in order before proceeding further. We interpreted that to mean this is a save point and there's a boss battle around the corner.
Celkini, Akilah, and Dweezil head further into the building but find nothing in the back room or at the back of the building. Dweezil continues sketching the town as the go along. Celkini skips along toward the tower. Akilah tries to keep up and stop her from getting into trouble, but the little gnome is on her usual adrenaline high after the ash zombie fight.

They find a large statue of a warrior bearing a sword and shield. Dweezil refers to his notes but finds no information on the figure. Celkini continues running in and out of the buildings, until she finds one filled with branches. After their earlier twig blight battle, Celkini takes the initiative and smashes some of the twig piles with her hammers. Her actions rouse the other twigs and they start to attack. Dweezil tries to pull her back, but she's being feisty and wants to fight. Akilah manages to pull her away.
Celkini runs off, leading them into the safety of the barracks. Only, the sound of moaning has them turn around to find ash zombies rising up. Celkini attacks, forgetting that they release blinding ash with each hit. She strikes with her daggers, but her successful hits result in blindness for both her and Ben. Akilah attacks with her longsword, but it gets stuck in the monster's body. Dweezil's attack knocks a zombie down and its leg breaks off as it falls. Celkini flails at her zombie with her daggers, but it knocks one from her hand. Ben follows up with a bite, but the zombie still lives. It misses her as she flails blindly around it. Akilah catches her second wind while the fallen zombie tries to climb up Dweezil, but Dweezil is able to finally kill one of them. It bursts into ash. Celkini continues to flail and fail, while Akilah chops up her zombie, limb by limb. Dweezil opts to attack instead of curing an ailing Celkini. A bolt of light shoots through the monster and it explodes. Akilah moves to finish off the one crawling along the ground, but Celkini leaps in front of her, stumbles, and lands awkwardly on the zombie. It explodes and Celkini takes further damage.

"We are going to have a word," Akilah says, shaking her head.

After the struggle, they dust themselves off and decide to hold up for the evening in the barracks discussing Red Sonja.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

DnD: Reorganizing Data

A hungover Dweezil stumbles downstairs to join Akilah and Celkini for breakfast. Xavros has departed temporarily, suggesting that Dweezil's plans for revolution might not be the wisest thing to do. Celkini points out the notice requesting adventurers check out a cult in Thundertree. Successfully completing this would help build some reputation in the city. The trio decide to rent horses to get to their destination more quickly, but their combined CHR is -837489174 and they fail to negotiate a good price. They leave indignantly, searching for another stable. The guards offer no help, and a dwarven store owner warns them away from the other, more dangerous areas. Celkini purchases a few daggers, but they find no other horse rental options. They refuse to go back to the first stable. Dweezil figures they should get all the gold from this quest then go back and buy a horse and kill it in front of that jerk to show him who's boss.
Celkini knows from her travels that Thundertree is along the river out of Neverwinter, so they follow the path. Celkini is chattering away, Akilah is examining a hang nail, and Dweezil is pondering the meaning of life. Good thing Ben is paying attention, though nothing out of the ordinary happens. Celkini even catches a nice wabbit for some stew.
Dweezil suggests that, since the group is much smaller than before, they should not over extend themselves. The notice only requested information on the cult, so he has the others promise not to get into any fights. Celkini makes this promise, but the others aren't certain about her sincerity. 

The night goes shockingly peacefully. Dweezil wakes in surprise and updates his diary to read: Days without death: 1. He reminds Celkini of the promise not to kill anything, only to find her slaughtering another small woodland creature and smearing its blood on her face. But she promises again not to do anything dangerous. 

After breakfast, Celkini leads them to the entrance to Thundertree. A sign warns of zombies and plant monsters inhabiting the ruins. They check out the first building, which is almost completely crumbled to ruins and covered in overgrown weeds. Celkini examines the flora and determines them to be fairly normal. Dweezil takes out his notebook and starts to take notes, mapping the area. Akilah keeps a tense watch and Celkini climbs a tree to get a a better view. She spies a bunch of dead giant spiders. Akilah thinks this is a good sign to GTFO, but Dweezil wants to examine the corpses, but as he leaves, he feels a scraping at his ankle. He looks down and finds branches reaching for him. "Watch out! Things are moving!" Dweezil shouts. Celkini recognizes them as twig blights. Akilah rushes in to cleave two of the creatures apart as Dweezil backs away. "Am I allowed to kill things now?" Celkini asks excitedly. When permission is granted, she aims her blowgun, but misses. The remaining creature goes after Akilah. The half-elf chops the twig blight into kindling. 

Dweezil still wants to examine the spider corpses, but is more wary. He fashions a torch out of the twig blight remains and proceeds onward. Akilah has no lover for spiders, so she stays back, sword ready, while Dweezil and Celkini continue on. They find claw marks and bite marks on the spiders. Celkini determines the creature to be of significant size. She also points out that the spiders who themselves are poisonous creatures, were poisoned by something else. Dweezil determines that they have been dead for about a day. CSI: Thundertree continues.
Dweezil smells something strange and acidic from a nearby tower. He's certain that the spiders came from the tower, and suspects that there are more in the tower. What killed them might be in there too. He hypothesizes that the monster shows some signs of intelligence. It has poisoned its prey and allowed them to escape, knowing they would die shortly after, but it has not come after them to eat them. None of this is enough information to earn the reward because they haven't found any signs of a cult. 

They decide to check out the nearby tavern. The door is firmly closed and the wood is bloated. Akilah manages to shove the door open. Ben slips inside but moments later, they hear groans and shuffling and a zombie, ashes falling from its desiccated body, begins to rise. Ben rushes out and leaps into Celkini's arms. She shrieks and grabs the torch from Dweezil and tosses it in the tavern and slams the door. But the zombies are having none of this. They press forward and the door bursts open. Celkini and Ben attack the first zombie. Akilah follows up and a puff of strange ash escapes the body after she hits, but she and Celkini leap back in time to avoid it. Celkini takes out a second zombie, but Dweezil gets some of the ash cloud from it gets into Dweezil's eyes. Despite his disadvantage, he manages to defeat a zombie after Akilah weakens it. With two more left stumbling through the door. Celkini and Akilah kill one and the next falls. They finish it off.
Inside the tavern, by the light of the torch that Celkini threw in, they see a door that leads to another section of the tavern. They don't find anything of use in the first room, so they continue on through the door. Dweezil recognizes a faint smell of yeast in the air...

Sunday, 18 September 2016

DnD: Neverwinter is Coming

With wounds firmly bandaged with survival tampons, the crew falls asleep. They rise with the sun to the smell of Celkini's bacon pancakes. Dweezil mistakenly points out that they do not have bacon, but Akilah and Xavros don't care because food is food and they are hungry. But whatever Celkini used in her recipe seems to have attracted another swarm of stirges. Eight stirges, to be exact.

"We're gonna need more tampons," Dweezil growls as he takes the first piercing attack from the creatures. Ben leaps at the creature and rips it off of the dwarf's back. Celkini uses her blowgun but misses the stirges heading back to camp. She screams in frustration as two turn and head back toward her. Dweezil swats at another that comes after him, but he's bitten again and collapses. Asher tries to grab at the flying bugs, but he's no Mr. Miyagi. Celkini is able to swat away another stirge.

Xavros is just tired of all these damn bugs. He shouts for Celkini and Asher to get out of the way, then slams his hands together, casting Thunderwave for a mighty three points of damage, but it's overkill enough for these fucking bugs. Neither the monk nor the ranger are able to get out of the way in time and the force of the blast hurls them into the air alongside Dweezil's body. Their dexterity saves them as Akilah leaps in to slaughter the surviving stirge. Celkini revives Dweezil.
They pack up their shit, much of which is all over the place thanks to Xavros' overkill spell. They beat it to the roads, determined to MPK other travellers if they get attacked by bugs again. Dweezil had hoped to make himself all pretty for his grand entrance into Never Winter, but alas, he's half dead. Again.

At long last, they make it to Never Winter. Dweezil knows of the city's history from his books, but it is Xavros who takes the lead, having frequented the place with his crew. The guards eye the bedraggled group, paying particular attention to the forest gnome, who they warn to stay out of trouble. They want to find a M*A*S*H unit, but that's another half day's walk away. Instead, Xavros leads them to the Moonstone Mask Inn which is on a floating island. Dweezil balks. Having spent his life underground, a floating city and large bodies of water are a bit of a problem for him.
Akilah and Asher drag him across the bridge and they all enter the inn. Xavros has warned them of the political concerns plaguing Neverwinter. The Lord and Protector of Neverwinter's mercenary guards populate the inn. Xavros catches the eye of the half elf proprietor. He hums a little ditty (by Color Me Badd) and then proposes an arrangement for rooms at a lower rate if he takes to the stage for the evening. With a wink and potentially inappropriate fondling, the proprietor agrees.

They sit down to a warm, tasty meal. They overhear many conversations. The murmurs seem to speak of similar corruption in Neverwinter as what they experienced.

"Will we have to kill mean guards here like we did in the other place?" asks Celkini, just loud enough to possibly be overheard. They decide this is a good time to casually take their meals to go, though Xavros stays, acting casual, and goes on to perform for the evening.
Upstairs, Dweezil, Akilah, and Celkini discuss their options, while Asher listens quietly. The monk is strongly considering leaving this group, for fear that their immorality will corrupt him. But Dweezil seems to have a change of heart. He explains that political corruption and intimidation is what made him leave his home underground. Now, having seen the same issues above ground, he wants to do something about it. Perhaps, Asher thinks, it is his job to keep these people on the right path, so he encourages this plan. Besides. He's kind of fond of Celkini and wouldn't want to see the naive little gnome hurt. Also, he might have a crush on Akilah.

Celkini presents a flyer that she found downstairs, asking for information on a cult in Thundertree. She's familiar with the area, and knows it's over a day away from Neverwinter. But first priority is rest.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

DnD: Return to Previous Checkpoint

When the team awakes, they have a nice, low cost IKEA breakfast, then gather up their things and continue on to Neverwinter. Along the way, Xavros continues with the composition of his little ditty about their adventures, regularly interrupted by Dweezil's questions about Neverwinter. For the most part, Xavros provides satisfactory answers as various other travellers pass them by. Celkini keeps busy chatting with a silent and observant Asher, gathering any flowers, butterfly wings, elf root and mushrooms she can. There is talk of hiring a cart and mule in Neverwinter in order to retrieve the goods in the goblin cave.

The new DnD players learn that we cannot kill random travellers on the road in hopes of gaining the XP we need to level. Good to know.

When they stop to set up camp, Celkini happily makes a mushroom stew with the fungus she gathered along the way. She might have added a little too much elf root. The next day she makes a lovely berry compote with berries that might have been over ripe. But everybody eats what she makes because why would any want to hurt that cute little gnome's feelings?
The second night, Xavros decides to stay up and take first watch and works on the final touches of his new song, while Celkini chatters on. Our DM takes an excessively long time to determine our fate, leading us to believe that we're gonna die. Finally, on Dweezil's watch, despite his shitty roll, Dweezil turns just in time to avoid a head bashing from a ghoulish creature. He rolls away and looks up to see three more creatures coming out of the woods. Screaming, he at least has the good sense to put out the fire in hopes of disrupting the ghouls' vision. But the ghouls are unperturbed by this. Two of them score a hit against Dweezil, their claws causing him serious damage.

Everyone wakes up at the commotion, jumping to action. Celkini, in a groggy stupor, stumbles towards one of the ghouls, but utterly fails (rolls two damn "1"s) to do anything useful other than bumping into Dweezil and pushing him out of the way of the next ghoul strike. Ben comes in to avenge her with a mighty 22/20 for 1 bite damage. Asher leaps up, grabs his spear and runs toward the creatures, missing his attempt to sweep the leg, but getting in another hit with his second strike. Akilah steps in between Dweezil and the attackers.
 She does not miss, surprisingly. Instead, she scores a pretty sweet hit, dropping one ghoul to its knees and almost killing it. Dweezil follows up for the kill. Two of the ghouls turn their vicious claws to Akilah, but her armour takes the brunt of the damage. Xavros runs in and grabs Celkini by the scruff of the neck, picking her up and planting her back on her feet slightly away from the battle. Asher damages one ghoul, but is bitten on the hand by another. The infection is probably setting in immediately and amputation should be strongly considered.
Xavros is obviously still a bit sleepy because, after casting inspiration on Asher, Xavros actually steps forward and attacks, after dusting off his rapier. Celkini follows up with a minor hit. Dweezil takes another hit. He's close to going down, but we thwart our DM with another good saving throw. Unfortunately, the next attack from the creature is a critical hit. Dweezil goes down hard. Akilah must avenge him. She gets her second wind and gets in a hit. Asher dodges an attack while one ghoul begins to feed on Dweezils unconscious form.
Akilah screams in horror, but as she watches the ghastly show, a ghoul strikes her with its paralytic attack. Luckily, her armour takes the blow and she's able to quickly shake off the paralysis. Akilah must make an important decision: vengeance against the bitch that just attacked her? Or save Dweezil? Or both! Because she's mad now! She knocks away Dweezil's friend Mr. Nibbles and paints herself in Dweezil's blood before taking out the second ghoul.
Asher doesn't have much left in him. The last ghoul is almost dead, but so is Asher. He ain't got time for its shit. He stabs it through the eye and leans heavily against his spear.
Heals all around, the team pulls itself back together, hugging awkwardly over their near death experience. This has clearly brought them closer together. They fall asleep to the tune of the latest addition to Xavros' Ballad of the Not Quite Heroes.



Sunday, 12 June 2016

DnD: Turn Down for What?

While resting and recuperating at the store that the heroes broke into, Asher and Celkini have a slight moral crisis over leaving the children behind. Meanwhile, Dweezil organizes their inventory, generously helping himself to the supplies from the store including: 3 Backpacks 1 pouches of chalk, 2 weeks of rations, rope, caltrops, pot, tinder box, lock picks, and "small" German child. Then they all rest, leaving Ben on guard.



A short while later, the door opens and two Red Brands, disguised as guards, enter the shop, waking everyone up. Ben reports back and the team quickly decides to lure them into the backroom. Celkini makes noise while the others hide, with Asher and Akilah on either side of the door. When the door opens, Celkini smiles, asking the two guards to help her acquire the box on a higher shelf, but the second guard makes no move to enter. Akilah attacks the first, dropping the first guard to his knees. Asher shoves the guy aside to take on the other guard, but that guy's a ninja and manages to catch Asher's punch and toss his arm away. Meanwhile, Dweezil lines up a shot to finish off the first guard, but Celkini leaps in with a kill steal and vaults over the now dead guy to slide between Asher and the other guard's legs and go for the back of his knees with her newly acquired short sword. But with preternatural skill, he blocks her attack. Akilah steps in with a sword straight through this jerk's heart.

They go through the guard's pockets and find nothing, but Xavros scores 28 gold from the cash register. Celkini gets upset because this isn't what heroes are supposed to do. Dweezil and Akilah explain that sometimes, you have to make the tough decisions for the greater good. The gold they are taking will help them live to fight another day. They leave the house through the back door, exiting the town through the dawn shadows. Unfortunately, Akilah forgot to tie her shoelaces, but thankfully, her clumsiness did not affect their stealth.
They stick to the trees until things are clear, then continue on the road that had led them to Phandelver. They decide to return to Neverwinter, where the trouble started for many of them. Xavros tells them tales of the great city, while composing a new song about this new mercenary hero band's adventures while Celkini chats away non-stop as she unsuccessfully forages for plants.

After walking all day, they make camp. With their new kitchen aid tools, Celkini insists on cooking them dinner, which is just barely palatable, but they go to sleep with  leaving Dweezil on watch with a perception roll of 5. All seems quiet until he feels two little stings and looks up to find some strange little flying things.

Dweezil is bitten again and again and starts to feel very drained. He slaps and kills one of these strange ugly little creatures and then runs to wake Celkini. The others start to stir. Dweezil tries to blame their appearance on Ben, but Celkini giggles, recognizing the creatures as sturge.

Dweezil's looking pretty drained by now, with one hanging off of his neck. Xavros steps in and grabs it, while Asher tries to attack another, but the little things are nimble in the air.One gets its stinger into the monk. Celkini removes the one attached to her, and it flies into the air. Akilah finishes it off with a mighty roll of 1. Celkini cures Dweezil, even though he insulted her friend. Celkini tries and fails to make some Deep Woods Off, so they just settle in for some much needed rest.




When they finally get to Neverwinter, Dweezil has plans to outsource the group's remaining quests to unsuspecting noobs...

Sunday, 15 May 2016

DnD: A Voice in the Dark

Asher and Akeelah head back toward the prison in hopes of retrieving a body to feed whatever lies in the depths. There are clearly no ethical concerns in this matter. Dweezil follows to pick the lock to the weapons storage that the voice told them about. In the room, they find weapons and dirty red cloaks. The three gather some weapons--5 short swords, 2 crossbors, 2 quivers, 160 bolts, 12 long swords, and one stank ass cloak. Asher moves on to the next room where the drauger are waiting. Too bad we all forgot about the voice's warning about the drauger ignoring those wearing the red robes, which means Asher has to fight. The first skeleton strikes true. Asher retaliates and dodges the attack of the second drauger, but the third hits hard, leaving him with a festering wound. Akilah rushes in wearing the red cloak which causes the drauger to stop and sheath their weapons. The three head over to the prison. Asher explains what has happened and Dweezil considers donning a cloak to see if he can be greedy. They get to the safety of the hallway and Akilah continues on to the prison area. She grabs the body, but the young boy has woken up and asks to be rescued. Guilt +40. Akilah grudgingly tells him and his mother and other child to go into the hallway to discuss this with her companions. Dweezil is annoyed, but agrees since the mother has promised the wealth of her family heirloom. He leads them into the weapons room and tries to ditch them there, but they are too fast for his little dwarf legs.

"Aren't you heroes?" the mother asks, threatening to call the guards.

"No," Akilah and Dweezil reply. Dweezil kills the mother and locks the kids in the weapons room.
"She should have listened," says Akilah tersely.

Had Asher not been in festering pain, he probably would have disagreed with this decision. Instead, he grudgingly wraps the red cloak he took from the body Akilah carries tighter around himself.

They return to Celkini and Xavros and feed the body to the voice. It thanks them and shows them a vision of the exit to the south. There's no dilly dallying. The team heads south, coming out into the town. They decide to rest up at the store. The window is conveniently open and they climb in quietly without alerting the guards. Asher stands guard while the others scavenge food and supplies.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

DnD: Red Brand Shmed Brand Part 2

After much deliberation, Xavros takes out his attacker. Asher catches the blade thrown at him and retaliates but misses with his first strike! But while he's distracting them along with Dweezil's near miss, Celkini slides under the table, between Asher's legs and comes up behind the guards to drop caltrops at the door. Ben leaps onto the shoulders of one of the guards and successfully annoys him. Akilah steps in and misses. The caltrops affect one of the guards while the other attacks Asher, only to be DENIED. Because it's Asher, bitches! Then the wizard walks in, floating over the caltrops like wizard Jesus. He casts lightning fingers at Asher, who takes maximum damage.
A bugbear roars in through the south door and immediately attacks Akilah, hitting the half elf for 11 damage. The wizard follows up with a wave of his staff. Three magical missiles hit Celkini, Asher, and Akilah. Akilah siiiiighs. Celkini has great intentions: 
But she ROLLS A FREAKING ONE BECAUSE HER HUSBAND JINXED HER. The reality is that the team is not in a good way. The wizard orders everyone to yield. Dweezil aquiesces immediately. Akilah mumbles her agreement before passing out. Celkini is still on fire. She is glaring at the wizard and it's taking everything Ben has to keep her in check until Dweezil drops by to wrestle her weapons from her. The remaining guards strip them of their weapons. The one guard Celkini tried to groin roughs her up, takes the rest of her weapons, and tosses her aside. She hisses angrily at him and imagines jumping on his face and clawing out his eyes. 

The wizard orders them to follow the bugbear to incarceration. Asher helps Akilah along and they limp forward together. After some internal deliberation, Xavros finally follows grudgingly.
They are all taken to three jail cells, their attempt at escape and general troublemaking a complete failure.
There is an older woman and some teenagers already there. One looks pretty beat up. Dweezil interrogates the boy who doesn't seem to know how long he's been imprisoned. They learn that the boy and and his sister and mother are from the town and were captured to be sold into slavery because the father spoke out against the Red Brand.

Celkini is climbing the walls, literally, though Ben is trying to settle her down. The group decides they should finally rest for once. All the healers are conveniently in a cell away from Akilah. They use their Cure Wounds spells on themselves and on the boy, then they go to sleep.

During the night, one of the guard leaves the room while the other dozes off standing against the wall. Ben follows the first to see that the next room is empty and beyond that, the first guard is joining another drunken card game. Ben does not see their weapons. He returns and awakens Dweezil, but Dweezil doesn't want to do anything. Ben grunts and wakes up Celkini instead who immediately jumps to action. She squeezes through the bars and sneaks a shortsword and thief's tools away from the guard. Dweezil  frees himself. Celkini beckons him over and climbs on his shoulder so that she can sink the blade into the sleeping guards throat. He dies with a quiet gurgle AND NO YELLING.

They wake the others and get them out of the cells. After some deliberation and plans to possibly set the children on fire ("look at the flowers") as a distraction, they decide to leave the family behind and head into the room with the sarcophogi. There, the stone coffins slowly open and drauger rise from the crypts. Should they throw Asher at them? No, they run through a door to the north into a cramped hallway. The other door is locked, but Dweezil's stone sense finds a false door. They come out into the area they had discovered and partially explored before. They recognize it, knowing now that there is an escape just ahead if they can make it. But a voice in Celkini's mind stops her, politely asking for them to bring him the Red Brand they killed. The voice also speaks to Xavros, asking him to convince Celkini to get the food he's requested. Soon the voice is in everyone's head and it reveals that there are weapons to be had and that it is willing to help us if we help it. It's just... hungry...

Next: A Voice in the Dark