Monthly Archives: June 2005

Prophecy: Episode Twenty-One: The Chornicles of Klarn: Gustave the Guisarme ( 6/30/05)

Episode Twenty-One: The Chornicles of Klarn: Gustave the Guisarme ( 6/30/05)

[Featuring
Lorel
, Hal & Silent Pete and guest
staring Freya, Arty, the Silent Companions, Caretaker and the virgin maidens]

Chronicles of Klarn

(In the words of Arty)

 

Gustave

As we approach the village, Pete gives me the opportunity to study his guisarme in more detail. The weapon itself is a fine piece of workmanship, as are most magical items. The blade hums with a faint energy and I notice that the blade is not metal as I had first thought, but rather it is an organic substance. It has a greenish, cuperic verdigree patina and I touch it and quickly draw my finger away as it smokes with an acidic burn. I realize that the blade must be made from the tooth of a copper dragon. I asked Pete, through Synkey, where he had gotten the weapon from and he indicated that it was given to him by his master at the church in Veluna who had gotten it from a traveler who Pete recognized as Serenity. And had they told him anything about it when it was given to him? He indicated not.

Being careful not to touch the blade again, I looked at the woodwork of the shaft. It had small carvings along its length, a mixture of draconic characters, words of magical power, and a pattern that looked geometeric in nature, but with no clear beginning or end. Every few moments a shimmer would travel along the path of the pattern, the flicker seemed to correspond to the faint feelings that the weapon was not able to communicate to whoever is holding it.

I extend my senses more deeply into the weapon and am surprised to find that the presence in the weapon is beginning to try to burrow its way into me. At first I resist thinking it an attack, but realize that it is probably just exploring its handler. I open myself to the intelligence and feel its mental fingers poking around in my mind. Suddenly, I am aware of abilties that I didn’t think that a construct such as myself could posses, I have a different view of the world as my mental senses are awakened. I realize that I now have powes of the mind as Pete and the other companions have. In my surprise I let go of the guisarme and suddenly the world goes blank. I feel blinded and deafened. Within a moment I recover my senses and realize that the mental powers I just had were gone. Picking up the guisarme again, a again receive the rush of psionic power.

I attempt to categorize and catalog the powers that the weapon is imparting to me. I can detect that it is capable of expanding my size, like Pete does; it can emit energy, like Lorel’s bow; he can increase the sharpness of his blade and subtly direct the blows to more sensitive areas, a keen property; and something else.

I hand the weapon back to Pete, this time prepared for the shock of the retreating mental power. I explain to him what I have discovered and he closes his eyes and melds with the weapon, establishing the link to its powers, confirming that the weapon grants him, and presumably any wielder, the same powers as it gave to me. It was not that it unlocked the mental powers of the holder, but rather that its own mental powers merged with the wielder.

Synkey asked, “Does it have a name?”

I looked at Pete who nodded. “Gustave,” I replied.

Prophecy: Episode Twenty-One: The Chornicles of Klarn: Oh, Rats! ( 6/30/05)

Episode Twenty-One: The Chornicles of Klarn: Oh, Rats! ( 6/30/05)

[Featuring
Lorel
, Hal & Silent Pete and guest
staring Freya, Arty, the Silent Companions, Caretaker and the virgin maidens]

Chronicles of Klarn

(In the words of Arty)

 

As we pass under the doorway, we approach the half-orc who is sitting, apparently guarding the way under the door. Seeing us, we weren’t attempting to keep our presence secret, he turns and pulling out a horn sounds an alarm. Leaping from the ledge, he runs away before we’ve even had a chance to call out that we are friendly. We have entered the stable and can see huge wooden walls in the distance as the dirty, rocky floor has become a tablue of rough terrain. Pieces of straw that litter the floor have now become large branches for us in our diminshed state.

He stops before he gets too far away and we yell out, “What ho there? We are peaceful travelers. Why are you fleeing?”

Most of us have jumped or climbed down the ledge to the stable floor.

One of the silent companions motions to the side as he saw something moving and a few of us notice a ledge high above our position with a birds eye view of the plain we now find ourselves in.

I am distracted by Silent Pete as he shows me his guisarme and allows me the chance to study its magical properties. It is an amazing piece of work. I can feel the nacent sentience in it, though it cannot speak to me. It seems to posses some magical energies that tickle the fibers of my mind, playing at the edges, almost whispering, though not quite, of powers unlocked within its depths. The halfling translates for me, “Pete says that after he awoke from his nightmare he noticed that his guisarme felt different and while he couldn’t be sure if he was weak from the dream or from something else, it felt as if a piece of his lifeforce was locked within the weapon. Do you understand and maybe have an explaination?”

I considered for a moment, “There are people who have especially strong bonds to their magical artifacts. I have seen that some of those individuals are able to infuse a portion of their life force into the magical items and thus enhance the power of the item. Perhaps in the emotional power of the dream, Pete was able to tap into this power that some have. That would explain the weakness that he felt as well this new intelligence awakening within the polearm. This is a strange and strongly magical land, perhaps it could also be an effect from our continued stay here. The weapon has a resonance similar to the magical aura that Pete generates, so I do not think that the occurance is inimacle.”

The halfling looks to Pete and they converse, and to Arty, “Pete says thank you and perhaps when we have more time we can investigate this further.”

Synkey points over the plain and I see why Pete looked concerned. Rapidly approaching, faster than just about anything he had seen move, are coming almost a dozen riders. They appear to be humans riding gigantic rats. Their approach is threatening and Lorel fires an arrow in front of one, narrowly missing the pair as the rest of use start backing up to the ledge edge. Some of us begin to climb back up the ledge hoping to avoid the approaching rodents and riders.

Within a few seconds they are upon us. Without any attempt at parley, the riders begin to attack us. About half of the party has managed to regain the higher ground of the ledge, but for naught it appears as the rat-riders easily leap up the 20′ to the ledge.

The rats are tough opponents and cause us to become worried that our lives are in grave danger at first, but evenatully the tide turns and relatively uninjured, we have slain three of the rats and caused the rest to flee. Cicily and Lorel have provided the ranged fire necessary to take out the ballista wielders who had turned a life-sized crossbow into a weapon of devestation.

We captured Rhekel, the half-orc who originally alerted the rat riders to our presence. He claimed to be somewhat pressed into service and offered to lead us to the camp and to his leaders if we gave him back his weapons.

 

 

Supporting Cast

Smokey

Charley

The Silent Companions

Freya

Arty

Amalamas, The Caretaker

Three young, beautiful
virgin
women

Villians

Humans riding giant rats

Rhekel, the half-orc

Experience Gained

3600 xp

Treasure Gained

+1 longsword (Hal)

+1 axe (from Rhekel)

+1 bow (from Rhekel)

some gold?

Equal Share = 134 gp + ? (7 ways: Lorel, Hal, Smity, “Aerdaluna”, “Jack”,
“Serenity”, Maidens)

Prophecy: Episode Twenty: The Chronicles of Klarn: A Note for Jack

Episode Twenty: The Chronicles of Klarn: A Note for Jack
(6/1/05)

[Featuring
Lorel
, Hal & Smity, and guest
staring Freya, Arty, and Silent Pete and the Silent Companions]

Chronicles of Klarn

(Thys si Bysar os Eisalelae)

15 Tylaelael 592 TIa

Ai masaelia cali air ail ti sai caer sai tia bysar syl ail ser Ai cali
pyli mai jhylaes sal tyr jholi. Ai byri sar toraraer aelor thozol os tia
paelolaesali
sai ei teirolar 29 Vaedeil – air calol shael ei Thaedae, si aelia myr
cali shael paraer si 28r, ser sydae ter shi 3 Valol, shor shaer ailael, eir
air air poroler sai caer sas os sosti shoryr Taelaeli eil Jhelae sajol saes
var. Systysyrn shyr shi si Tysol Tyl Thaerolar shaesi Ai mor ail Taelaeli.

Ai eis tylolaer sar eir jhaer thys byrn Ai cali ver Paelaer shaendol ti. Ai
cali thys si tyr caer teiraer shaer codael. Baerdelae myr thys ti mai tia aelaesia
maer air shaer tylaelaer. Mor Ai cali aelylaesaer teiraesor shael si mydi os
shalaer Baerdelae, mes eir sor byrn. Thys sydae Ai aelylaesaer ei maedaes saelol
ei thys os maer.

Ai cali shael salaelol shaerael sai bar tylal valaer eil Ai shar maesol
thys eil eisi sai maraelia thys ei thar thyrdol volaes os aezaedolia tyr
sharaes.
Baerdelae’r mas aer volaer or ei shol vaer vaelal ail si porali. Ai mael
cos sai ailaerondrari si mar os tylys tholol sar air shar ei sholol mar shys
shia ei tyl shai shar sheria saelol maer. Si tal shar sos eil mylia, paeraer
ail ei vyl-caern vyrdi eil si mar. Ci eilai shysi caelia jhyjol taerar kalaer.
Sostaer shael paeraesari Ai syl Ai myr kaer cos calol kyrn sosaer os aerol
vardor eil si oraes ialalysia baesol Baerdelae tadesaer thys ti.

Ai thyl sar cor basti shar Cia’ Sae Mai, shor ei tolys aelalael
ci shar myl eistolardi aelyl, eil mai Ai thyl cor basti tael, Shaeras os
si Mia Pandryl
syl Ai pyr ci shyr cali syr ti car air byr shael thys si aelalael. Air maes
ci air byrn eil ailaelesaer maesal os oli Tyl Baestys.

Ai kai byrn sai mael sor Tyl tholol teiraer tes tysi ail baer os ailysarol
sal aelael vydaes meraelali. Ai pai byr thalys shael orestaesaer eil mai Ai
eis maelol sor talaesal ail maes os tia eiryloraer, Jhysaer, Car os aelael
si shai Bas ail cydaer sar si tae or shael thylyrdol tia var. Cyrn sar Ai eis
shaer eil Ai eis maejol sor Tyl shai air mar byr sai jholi thas thys sor bali
cyrn eir si vali os Vasaer.

Cestia, Eisalelae

 

Translated from the Elven…

(From the Journal of Aerdaluna)

3 Planting 592 CY

I scarcely have it in me to keep to my journal though in truth I have
done so longer than most live. I note that misdated entries fixing of my
deliverance
to a mythical 29 Readying – it having been a Freeday, the entry should
have been dated the 28th, thus today must be 3 Planting,
with best intent, as it is difficult to keep track of time without Celene and
Luna taking their paths. Tomorrow would be the Courting Moon Festival were
I still in Celene.

I am convinced that at least for now I have put Drendel behind me. I have
for the most kept myself well hidden. Nebula scouts for me so my every step
is well conceived. Still I have encountered mysteries beyond the scope of bravest
Nebula, such as this now. For today I encountered a shepherd tending a flock
of sheep.

I have been traveling between two vast mountain ranges and I was searching
for an area to safely ford a fast flowing river of exceedingly cold water.
Nebula’s sharp eyes picked out a bright red pennant in the distance.
I sent him to investigate the splash of color finding that it was a brilliant
sash worn by a monk who was busy tending sheep. The man was thick and stocky,
dressed in a rough-hewn robe and the sash. He also wore heavy looking metal
gauntlets. Times being desperate I thought I should greet him having grown
tired of eating rabbits and the other unsavory vermin Nebula captured for me.

I found that his name was Ku’ Tai Sho, with a minor enchantment
he was soon amicable enough, and so I found his name means, Betrayer of the
Sky Dragon
though I doubt he would have told me had it not been for the enchantment. It
seems he is now an indentured servant of one Count Nemours.

I go now to seek this Count finding myself much more in need of information
than even proper sustenance. I do not favor being outnumbered and so I am sending
this manservant in search of my associates, Lorel, Hal or even the boy Jack
in hopes that they may yet be following my path. Know that I am well and I
am seeking this Count who is said not to live far from this valley known as
the range of Phlarest.

Humbly, Aerdaluna

Prophecy: Episode Twenty: The Chronicles of Klarn: Dream a Little Dream

Episode Twenty: The Chronicles of Klarn: Dream a Little Dream
(6/1/05)

[Featuring
Lorel
, Hal & Smity, and guest
staring Freya, Arty, and Silent Pete and the Silent Companions]

Chronicles of Klarn

(In the words of Silent Pete)

I woke with a start; a chilly sweat covering my body. The dream seemed so
real.

Serenity’s eyes slowly open; they are heavy and it feels like they have
been covered with honey. He is in a mostly darkened room; the only light
coming
from tiny glowsticks on the walls and a faint hazy purple light that comes
from somewhere behind him.

His vision is blurry at first; he can see other people sitting in chairs
in the darkened room some he can see clearly others are obscured in shadow.
Quickly, however, he focuses his attention on Pan. Pan is sitting
in
a chair
like the others.
There
are
small ropes that go from the wall to his head. He has worked one of his wrists
free from the bindings that were holding his wrist to the chair arm. Pan
has a panicked look on his face. Serenity watches as Pan reaches up to the
cords
that are attached somehow to his head. Serenity wants to say something, but
he is still groggy from just waking up. Pan pulls on the cords and they rip
free from his head, taking small bits of skin with them. They look like they
have small needles at their ends.

Pan looks over at Serenity and says something, but strangely Serenity doesn’t
understand it. It sounds as if he is listening to someone speak underwater
from far away. Pan starts to work on the strap that is binding his other arm.
Serenity can see that his legs are bound to the chair as well.

Suddenly, Serenity is assaulted with an overpowering spell. It is the
smell of seaweed that has been sitting in the sun for days. Pan is looking
even more
frantic. He is looking at something behind Serenity. Pan’s attempts to loosen
his wrist turn from a focused attempt to the movements of a scared animal.
He claws at his own wrist apparently trying to dig his wrist free.

Serenity watches in horror as blood starts oozing slowly from Pan’s nose.
Tears of pain and terror are running down Pan’s face and soon they turn to
tears of blood. Pan’s struggles slow and stop as he slumps into the chair he
was trying to free himself from. Serenity notices that Pan is not breathing
any more. He can barely make out the shadow of the creature behind him.
While it is probably humanoid, the shape’s head writhes as if covered with
snakes. Again, Serenity is overwhelmed with the odor of rotting vegetation.
Serenity’s
psychic senses are slowly resolving themselves and he can also tell that the
being behind him is a strong mental force. The cords that must be piercing
his own skull start to burn and within seconds he feels sleepy again. As he
sinks back into the oblivion of unconsciousness he notices another shape moving
in
the
corner.
It is the shape of a woman with long hair and missing her left hand.

I knew that Serenity was in trouble.

After speaking to the other companions, I have found that they too have had
dreams of terror, though none as vivid and detailed as my own.

I and the other companions need to find him and free him, but where do we
start looking?

 

 

 

Prophecy: Episode Twenty: The Chronicles of Klarn: Jack Be Nimble

Episode Twenty: The Chronicles of Klarn: Jack Be Nimble
(6/1/05)

[Featuring
Lorel
, Hal & Smity, and guest
staring Freya, Arty, and Silent Pete and the Silent Companions]

Chronicles of Klarn

(In the words of Talon)

Caretaker introduces me, “This young woman is Talon. She is the woman who
was traveling with Jack.”

Freya interrupts, “Hast thou knowledge of Jack’s whereabouts?”

“No, I do not.”

The creature of stone and steel, Arty, asks, “Weren’t
you traveling with Jack? How is it that you don’t know where he is?

“Rike you, Jack and I were disoliented when we filst allived in this shlunken
world. I was sitting in one of the chails when the dlagon’s magic shlunk us.
By the time I had my bealings these foul cleatures had decended and sullounded
me. I attempted to flee myself flom their cilcle, but tere were too many of
tem fo me to succeed and I am captued. Jack was walking acloss the floo
as we were shlunk and thus he must have been berow when the magic was invoked.
As the creatures hoisted me to teir rail I made sure to spin alound so that
I could suvey the entilety of the alea and I could not see Jack. I plesume
that he escaped as he has since not been found or captured.”

Arty continued, “And how did
you come to be traveling with Jack in the first place?

“I am searching for him because of rewad.”

Reward, what reward do you speak
of?

“An elf named Aeldaruna encountered my master and me.”

Lorel interrupted, “You saw Aerdaluna? When and where was he going?”

“Yes, I see him. Not mole than a fortnight ago. He tord me a rittre of te
boy, Jack, and give me an epistle for him. Then he continues on thlough the varrey
of the lange of Phralest, heading to the demisne of Count Nemouls.”

“Whire I am not oliginarry
flom this alea, I have become famirial with the alea duling my time as a
student of Ku’ Tai Sho, my master. Aeldaruna offeled a leward for any
infomation legading Jack. We knew nothing at the
time, but
my master was wirring to send me to seach fo the boy.”

“I knew that if he
is in the area, thele was a good chance that he would seach out the wayhouse.
I
had
not
been
to it
befole as the lumols of the wayhouse encoulage one to stay aray; no doubt
due to the plesence of the rittre dlagon. I guess collectry that an invincibre
teen, as they arr are, wourd not be daunted by the lumols
and
wourd maybe lerish the charrenge posed by such a rocation. I found Jack
neal the
alea of the wayhouse on the ord calavan load that must have at one time
read to the buirdings. We soon aftel encounteled Mondlagon and were offeled
the
opportunity to seek safety flom Jack’s persuels. Not learizing what folm
that sanctualy wourd take, only being assuled that we wourd be safe, we accepted.”

Lorel asks, “What did the epistle say?”

“I did not lead it myserf, but Jack lerated it to me.”

Freya asks, “Thy master, what is he?”

“He is a shepheld.”

She continues, “Thou art a disembling folly-fallen bladder, though thou hast
clearly marital form. Hast thou a style thy mysterious mutton-witted master
imparts to thee?”

I notice some of the others, monks, appraising me, and consider my reply,
“I study the ways of dlagons to gain a gleatel undelstanding of the mystlies
of the universe. My master enjoys the qluiet of the fierds and the feel of
the hail of the sheep lunning thlough his fingels.”

I continue, “I watch you fighting the olc. I am not famiriar with you styre,
rass.”

Freya answers, “I hath the blood of two races, yet hath neither truely. I
am accepted, yet outcast. Thus I blend the styles of my masters and hath become
stronger
thereby. Should thou wish to name it, call it Outcast.”

Arty had been pondering while we discussed styles, he now interjects,
I am not surprised that Jack
escaped. I feel we are at last close to my goal of finding Jack.

 

 

Prophecy: Episode Twenty: The Chronicles of Klarn: Storming The Rafters, Looking For

Episode Twenty: The Chronicles of Klarn: Storming The Rafters, Looking For
What We Rafter
(6/1/05)

[Featuring
Lorel
, Hal & Smity, and guest
staring Freya, Arty, and Silent Pete and the Silent Companions]

Chronicles of Klarn

(In the words of Arty)

While the creatures climbed back to their hidden home in the rafters above,
we manage to finally collect ourselves in a semblance of organization.

“The very smell of those creatures doth encourage incontinence! What
manner of villainous dismal-dreaming pestilence be they?”

Smity scrunches his forehead in thought until his bushy brows become one
in deep thought and then announces, “They are thoul by my making. Aye,
the ill-legitimate step-children poorly conceived of trolls and ghouls, with
more than a smattering of hobgoblin to hold ’em together.”

Meanwhile, Halfred gathers us together to count our number and puts armored
knee to ground thanking Heironeous for the strength to battle, the opportunity
to again smite evil in his name, and he prays for renewed strength for the
battles that lie before us.

“Heironeous, these foul creatures have taken our comrade, Caretaker,
and we would carry this battle to them and ask for the strength and wisdom
to carry
forth this battle to victory in your name – Valiant Heironeous! Share your
strength with us if our cause be true that we might endure, in your name and
succeed!”

With that, wounds mend and strength is indeed renewed and to what purpose
we wonder.

“I have called upon the power of Heironeous to heal us, it is time
for us to stage a sneak attack that we might yet rescue Caretaker.”

There is little resistance to the idea – Pandora refuses claiming that
the Caretaker is a liar and a cheat, not nearly the eunuch he would have us
believe. Sapphire for her own part offers to cast an Invisibility Sphere spell
from one of Bart’s scrolls on Stalwart, Hal’s war-horse. She explains that
the spell is large enough to conceal a small group. This idea bears fruitful
discussion as we calculate that Hal, Freya, Cicily, Lorel, Silent Pete, Synkey,
Glauron and myself might all able to fit within the spell’s effect. The enchantment
that gave both Synkey and I wings was still working and Smity told us that
he could enable Stalwart to walk on air just as he himself had done while battling
Scorch.

Our bold plan works and we are able to get some of our war party undetected
up to the rafters. The others remain below talking loudly to, hopefully,
keep the creatures in the rafters distracted and thinking that we haven’t left.

The structure of the wayhouse was built of sturdy wood; the roof supported
by a crisscross of thick rafters. We land on the rafter centered most over
the table where the thoul leader had appeared. We find the thoul lair at the
point where this beam met the top of the North wall.

Our ranged attackers dismount from Stalwart as Hal and Freya, both still on
the horse, charge through the air; Stalwart’s hooves silently finding
purchase in the air. They move to attack the thoul where we find them guarding
a cell that contains both Caretaker and a woman. There are, by our best estimate,
over a hundred of the evil thoul up here, though probably only half appear
to be combatants, the rest being women and children.

Closer to them now, we can see that Smity appears to be more right than wrong,
the thoul look to be a cross between hobgoblins and trolls (favoring their
hobgoblin side luckily). Most of them are a little taller than Hal by about
half a foot, with burly ungainly builds. Thick ropey hair which seems to writhe
with a life of its own covers their greenish skin, feral eyes, while flat chins
are almost hidden by their long, pointed noses.

Still invisible, Hal, Freya, and Stalwart finish their charge toward
the cell and as they charge, the rest of us appear, breaking the veil of invisibility,
and we open fire. With surprise on our side our attack is richly rewarded as
the thoul caught in the revelry of their recent hunt are completely unprepared.

Lorel moves forward to get the creatures within easy range of his deadly arrows.
Silent Pete is just in front of him screening Lorel from hand-to-hand combat.
Using his prized guisarme Pete slices into the quickly recovering thoul as
they approach with mean and deadly accuracy. Ribbons of gore and brackish
thoul
blood trail the singing blade when thoul move to attack them. Lorel’s arrows
quickly pierce two of the creatures that immediately fall off the rafter, tumbling
400 feet to the ground below!

Still behind Lorel, Glauron (the drow) and Synkey (the halfling) fire their
weapons, a hand-held crossbow and some type of sling, at the creatures that
are so numerous–enough to keep all of us busy. And finally, Cicily unleashes
a blast of eldritch energy from her outstretched sword, disintegrating one
creature in a flash,
leaving only his ashes to float to the ground. I stand with Cicily, and I activate
another wand, this one, my eternal wand of defenestration. A cloudy ball
of howling winds appears in the midst of the thoul further buffeting them about,
ready to defenestrate them.

On cue, Freya leaps off the horse, positioning herself in a corner near the
opening to the jail cell as Stalwart knocks one of the creatures off the edge
and Hal’s sword bites deep into the shoulder of another.

With horror we watch as thoul, only just felled, open their eyes and stand
up, their wounds slowly closing as we watch. Their resemblance to trolls is
apparently
more than just in looks. Lorel focuses, putting another shot directly through
the head of one of the rising thoul, sending the creature back to oblivion.

Now realizing the true nature of our peril we know that we will need to take
extra effort to put these creatures down hard and to move fast if we hope to
yet succeed.

The battle rages all about, the thoul show increasing confidence and organization
as they begin to adjust to the surprise fostered by our attack. Pete quickly
lays into them, again surprising them this time with his speed and skill with
the guisarme and the reach it provides. Enlightenment comes too late as a thoul
head finds
itself
short the neck that carried it, after Pete strikes the creature. The thoul
stares blankly forward never acknowledging the thin dark bloodline that spreads
across its neck in anticipation of the head’s coming roll and tumble;
a heinous melon that explodes as it strikes the ground below.

Below, Pandora winces at the horrid mess as she scrapes frantically to remove
the splashed green brain matter from her legs. Charley laughs but her stare
cuts him off short. While Smity scoffs, “Dear, I believe that will leave
a stain.” Which sparks renewed laugher but such is the nature of gallows
humor as the companions can only wonder what is happening overhead.

The thoul quickly move in and attempt to surround Freya and Hal, but they
find it too challenging to land a solid blow on either one given the pairs’
skill and armament.

Synkey, Glauron, Cicily and I continue to direct our ranged attacks at the
creatures approaching Lorel and Pete. The thoul too take out their bows and
begin to assault us with a hail of arrows. At first their efforts are directed
primarily at Lorel and Pete, but soon all of us – Hal and Freya included are
under attack as well. The creatures seem unconcerned at their losses and try
as we might we find it difficult to even fully contain the fallen knowing full
well they will rise again.

I am convinced that we are slowly wittling them down, but their sheer numbers
are forcing Lorel and Pete to start a slow controlled retreat to our defensive
line. It was unnerving the first time we saw one of them reach over and pick
up its severed arm and reattach it to his body.

Worse, suddenly at the center of the lair, two doorways spring open revealing
additional foes. From one doorway comes the leader we had parlayed with earlier.
Mounted on his huge beast he positions himself for a charge and orders his
underlings out of his way. Looking first at Hal and then at Silent Pete, he
charges the monk. His lance and Pete’s guisarme meet, but Pete steps to the
side of the charging attacker. The mounted enemy’s lance is deflected by a
field of force that suddenly surrounds Pete; he continues his swipe into one
of the underlings firing upon him as well.

Lorel fixes his aim on to the new enemy, the thoul chief Algol. Algol’s armor
deflects some of the first bolt but a few of Lorel’s bolts of power find
their mark and stagger the villain.

Meanwhile, from another doorway comes a foul looking creature. An orc dressed
in the fur of beasts and with a skullcap made from the skull and antlers of
some poor beast mounted on his head. His hair is also braided in the thoul
fashion though with bits of bone woven into the cords and he carries with him
an aura
of authority and power. His eyes glint with a gleeful intelligence beyond the
norm for an orc. He glances towards Lorel and speaks words of infernal power
as he strides towards Freya. Magical energy suffuses Lorel and his vision begins
to cloud. His blurred vision causes one of his arrows to go wide missing his
target. Making a quick prayer to his own god, Lorel focuses on fighting the
magical energies and his vision clears. Dissatisfied, the orc witch doctor
calls out a threat while raising his hand high so all can see. “You shall
surely Die by my hand!” His fetid breath reminds Freya of the smell
of rotting bodies on a field of battle. The palm of his thick hand begins to
pulse and glow with foul energies as he moves purposely forward towards Freya.
He reaches toward Freya grasping as she hurls her body to the side narrowly
dodging the attack.

Hal sees Freya’s danger and urges his mount to climb the air above his enemies
and beginning a charge to her aid. I am motivated by a new sense of urgency
as I notice that the mass of fallen and quick bodies is causing Lorel and Silent
Pete to be unable to effectively coordinate their attacks on the primary threats;
I
start
casting
an infusion
on a bead that I have. I’ll have to trust to luck as I take some shortcuts
in the casting; normally it takes a long time and much concentration to prepare
an item in this way, but we don’t have that time. It appears that the gods,
Heironeous
or otherwise, are smiling on us though as my luck holds and I feel some of
my life energy flow into the bead I have infused with magic. It glows with
an arcane
spark as I speak a command word. I almost misspeak the word, but it works and
the bead streaks from my hand and explodes in a ball of fire next to the mounted
warrior.

The blast only singes Algol and his mount, but more importantly the explosion
knocks several of the underlings through the air within the midst of the flames
while still others become smoldering lumps of charred flesh. My companions
look at me in surprise as I stagger from the energy required to pull off the
feat; I allow a grim grin to ease their concern.

Following the fireball, Lorel and Silent Pete are able to focus their combined
assault on the mounted Chieftain who quickly succumbs to their duel efforts.

Freya thinks fast, grabbing hold of the witch doctor’s powerful wrist
with both hands and struggles with him to prevent him from touching her with
his curse-charged hand. The orc, however, has incredible strength and while
she is able to hold him at first ultimately he overcomes her effort by shear
force of muscle. She feels something akin to the sudden rush of years – a
yearning to surrender, an horrid tightening and drying of her skin–unable
to prevent him from touching her with the foul energies as he rasps, “Now
you die.”

She screams as she feels her life energies drain away. A skeletal vision fills
her sight, as her body chills and she feels her heart stop. After what seems
like an eternity, she draws in a deep breath. She almost looses her grip, but
just then another blast of eldritch energy comes from Cicily distracting the
witch doctor so that Freya is able to maintain and even tighten her grip on
Volkag of Gruumsh. Realizing
that she could not survive a second necromantic assault, she attempts to prevent
him from speaking. She is again astounded at his mystic and physical strength
as he rallies to keep from being pinned completely. Hal arrives and he and
his horse begin to batter the grappled death shaman. Realizing that he may
not survive much longer, the creature whispers a magical word hoping to return
to his sanctum but the jostling from Freya’s fighting breaks Volkag’s
concentration causing the spell to fail. While the second assault from Hal
and his mount has the witch doctor swooning, blood now to pours from his
accumulated wounds. Freya shifts her grapple from trying to prevent Volkag
from speaking to simply trying to put elbow to neck but her adrenaline rush
too high and she instead she hears a satisfying crack as the foul priest falls
to the ground, dead at her
feet.

As we watch, his skin becomes taut and begins to desiccate and flake. Within
moments his body crumbles inward turning to dust that is in turn taken up by
a sudden gust of a foul wind; blown away just as quickly as he had first appeared.

I see Freya shivering as if her grave had been made and then disturbed.

Their leaders slain, the rest of the thoul retreat fast into the distant rafters.

I hear a couple of the creatures that are arguing with each other. The first
one is missing his hand, “Oy, Thurg, I need some help; give me a hand.”

They both chuckles in hideous rasping fashion as Thurg replies, “Dort,
I’d love to help you, but during the battle was disarmed.” A pained expression
crosses his face as he kicks aside the bodies of his fallen companions apparently
looking for his missing arms.

They both look at me wide-eyed as I approach, “Creatures,
I am RT. What is your designation?

They look at each other in confusion. “Dort, what is a designation?”

Dort replies, “Well, Thurg, I think it is some sort of political entity
that one belongs to. You know like an ‘alien nation’ or ‘feudal republic’.”

Thurg looks at Arty proudly, “We, thoul, are members of the Free Peoples.”

Arty shakes his head, “No, no,
I meant what are you called.

Dort gets a funny look on his face, “Well…that depends on who is doing
the calling, don’t you think. Thurg here calls me Dort and I call him Thurg,
but Thurg’s wife calls him ‘skegelecht’ and she calls me ‘drupled’ which as
you know is not polite language in the presence of ladies. My futuremate, Kelig,
calls me ‘dorcis’ don’t you know.” At which point he smiles a knowing
smile.

I suppose that will do. If I
am to understand your people then what would you be called?

“WE ARE FREE PEOPLES – you lump of stone and iron, is Becubard
now working in stone rather than flesh?”

Ah, I think I understand. And
out of curiosity, do you all regenerate, even from apparent death?

“Yes, but let me tell you Arty, it still hurts.”

Well, then I advise you not
to get in our way as we release our friend and I shall call you the Free
People of Thoul.

“You’ll get no complaints from us.” The two Thoul went back to looking
for their missing body parts. With the creatures defeated for the time being,
we free our captured comrade, Caretaker, and collect the obviously valuable
items left behind after the destruction of Volkag’s body. Not all our
fallen foes are as amicable as Dort and Thurg, so occasionally we need strike
some of them back into unconsciousness while we search the lair to recover
Caretaker’s stolen treasure. I take note that the creatures that I blasted
with the fireball do not seem to be regenerating and relay this information
to my comrades who take out a couple of torches to threaten the cowed thoul
with permanent death.

In the cell with Caretaker is Talon,
the woman last known to be traveling with Jack.

 

 

Prophecy: Episode Twenty: The Chronicles of Klarn: It’s a Small World After All

Episode Twenty: The Chronicles of Klarn: It’s a Small World After All
(6/1/05)

[Featuring
Lorel
, Hal & Smity, and guest
staring Freya, Arty, and Silent Pete and the Silent Companions]

Chronicles of Klarn

(In the words of Arty)

 

Still blinded by the brilliant light centered on Mondragon, my head has finally
stopped spinning. I appear to be on a large platform in a huge chamber filled
with…what is that that I’m looking at? It looks like a gigantic table and
chairs, and where have my companions gone? Were we sent to different locations?
Did Mondragon trick us? It certainly seems so.

I look to my right and about fifty feet away I see the halfling, Synkey, walking
in my direction as he calls out, “Can it be that we are now small? We
appear to be have been shrunk incredibly to a fraction of our former size.
I would estimate that we are almost 100 feet from the floor. I have lost track
of the others. Do you have any magic that might enable us to leave this ledge?”

I thought for a moment, “Why
yes, friend Synkey. I have just such an item.

Pulling a wand from my haversack, I concentrate and touch the wand to the halfling.
He tingles with celestial energy and I explain to him as I activate the wand
on myself as well, “This spell
allows you to assume different characteristics of celestial beings. You can
concentrate to change the characteristics of the
form you take as many times as you want while the magic is active. For example,
you might transform your hands into magical holy swords or if you choose, you
can fire beams of holy fire from your eyes. You even might grow horns on your
head
to ram into others; but, most importantly to our predicament, you can sprout
wings of a great Astral Deva enabling you to fly extremely quickly.”

As I speak the enchantment phrase to trigger the want, we concentrate and
large feathery wings appear on our backs. The halfling points and asks, “Is
that the dwarf I see on that other bench?”

As I peer in the indicated direction I respond, “I
believe so, let us go and retrieve him. I notice that Lorel and some of your
silent
companions
are
moving down on the ground. Why don’t we go around
to each of the others who is trapped on the furniture and fly them to the floor?

“Yes, that sounds like an excellent plan.”

Meanwhile our other companions were also busy.

On the wall opposite Arty and Synkey, Charley and Pandora discuss getting
down. Charley starts, “I think that I can jump and reach the wall and
then climb down. Do you think you can make it as well?”

Pandora replies with a wry smile, “Tell you what, Chuck, I’ll bet you
half your share of the treasure that I can not only make it, but I can beat
you
down to the ground.”

As Charley starts to nod agreement, Pandora leaps the gap between their bench
and the wall easily catching herself on the wall and begins climbing down.
Charley rushes to follow but as he leaps can’t get a grip on the wall and
with a choked whimpered, “Oh, shit,” suddenly falls. He falls about
80 feet and hits the ground with a thud, and lies unmoving. Pandora tries to
hurry
her
pace
to see
to her
fallen
comrade. Charley, however, sits up and shakes his head clearing the stars. “That
wasn’t so bad. That’s pretty strange; that hardly hurt at all.”

Looking up at Pandora he called, “I win!” And his eyes went wide
in surprise as he shouts a warning.

Meanwhile, on yet another huge platform, the one nearest the platform so recently
occupied by Charley and Pandora, Caretaker and Silent Pete are working together
to get off their platform. They tie all the rope they have between them together.
Caretaker holds the rope while Silent Pete lowers himself as far as the rope
will take him. He considers what the best way to negotiate the final twenty
feet he would need to jump to the ground. So engaged, Caretaker fails to notice
that a strange group of garishly dressed humanoids are silently descending
hundreds of feet from the rafters above the platform. They lower themselves
on hand woven ropes made of spider webs and the hair of their previous victims,
but Caretaker is wholly focused on gripping and holding the line supporting
Pete; he is braced but straining while trying not to be pulled over the edge
himself.

Pete moves quickly but then without warning the rope sways violently and suddenly
the rope is slack and useless in his hands as Pete falls to the ground. The
horrid unclean creatures tie the paralyzed Caretaker with the spider-web rope,
a trophy to be hoisted to their master, Volkag!

Scenes such as these play out throughout the massive chamber. In the
center of the room, Lorel moves into a position where he can best see where
the creatures have dropped. He and they start trading arrow volleys. The first
of Lorel’s
arrows misses the creatures, but he uses the miss to fix his aim and the next
two arrows strike true. As the arrow leaves the bow it is transformed into
a bolt of magical energy that streaks toward the foe. The hit staggers the
creature, but it does not fell the grisly, long-nosed evil-spawn. A second
arrow drops the creature to the ground. The creatures also carry bows and they
use
their strong arms and the height advantage they enjoy to offer back three to
every one of Lorel’s arrows; skilled though they are, they still cannot
equal Lorel skill. Still, Lorel is injured by a grazing shot. Given their seemingly
ever-increasing numbers, Lorel drops a vial that creates a cloud of magical
fog to mask his position; and, using the cloud as cover, Lorel takes up a pattern
of exiting from the cloud, firing two arrows, and then returning to the cloud.
His sniping tactics cause the first set of creatures he is fighting to take
a more secure defensive position so he turns his attention to the creatures
on the bench where Silent Pete and Caretaker were originally but Lorel’s
private battle is unabated. Sometimes it takes two arrows to fell the creatures
but most times a single of his magical arrows downs the creatures one-by-one – still,
maddeningly, their numbers increase and they are unswayed.

We start flying towards yet another bench that has been transformed into a
platform of epic proportions–the dwarf’s bench that is very close
to our own. Thankfully, he is still there and he sees us and starts moving
in our direction. As we’re flying, I notice the monks on the ground
are moving towards each other and are heading towards the door that leads to
the stables. I think I see Hal and Freya tying ropes to the chairs that they
are on to start climbing down. We land in front of Smity just as we are realizing
the peril of our situation, spotting the goblinoid creatures descending throughout
the room. They look and sound like some strange breed of hobgoblins wearing
dark red and blue hues over their sick green colored hides. Their heads are
topped with thick braids of lavender hair. They carry long bows of good manufacture
and a variety of weapons, mostly favoring silver.

Cruel deadly arrows rain from the table, chairs and benches that fill the
chamber. The hobgoblin-like thoul have captured the high ground throughout
the chamber. Here and there they pick targets from our companions and use them
for target practice. Most of my companions appear to be finding what cover
they can. It is hard to comprehend the vast scale of our chamber and it is
difficult to even get a handle on where everyone is or was when this started.

The thoul, having taken control of the two bench platforms that had previously
seated Charley and Pandora and Silent Pete and Caretaker, are shooting
arrows at the three of them that remained free. Pete ducks under the cover
of the bench he recently vacated. Pandora was an open target hanging on the
wall and, after being grazed by an arrow,
quickly
decided
to
chance the fall, having seen that the fall is not too dangerous in Charley’s
experience. She pushes off, falling the remaining forty or so feet to the ground.
She survives with but a twisted ankle and ducks, with Charley, under the cover
that the bench offers.

She adds, “I can’t quite make out what they’re saying, but it is a dialect
of hobgoblin I’m pretty sure. And by the way, you cheated; our bet was to see
who could climb to the bottom quickest!”

Charley chides, “Ah no, it was a race to the bottom, you said nothing about
how we get there. I will enjoy my larger share of the treasure.” Pandora fumes
in silence as an arrow narrowly misses them both.

The halfling and I have lowered Smity to the ground and he moves quickly towards
the female member of the silent group of monks who travel with Pete. She
has taken cover against the creatures that have taken a position on the bench
where
the
halfling
and
I
started. As
we
approach

Sapphire and Cicily, we find that they have climbed down a rope that Sapphire
has magically animated. Synkey and I fly them over to the dwarf and monk.

Hal and Freya have finished climbing down their ropes, dropping the last thirty
or so feet without suffering any significant injury. They suffer more in the
immediate hail of thoul arrows. Hal tells Freya, “Get cover and stay put until
Smokey arrives!” and then he steps out from the over of his chair and taunts
the creatures, drawing their fire.

“You scurrilous cowards come down here and fight me; I do not fear your
arrows!” The thoul immediately make Hal pay for his words as an arrow
finds purchase between the plates of Hal’s armor. Still Hal continues
his rants undaunted, and his efforts are rewarded by the thoul ignoring both
Smokey and Freya.

As Smokey joins Freya, Hal thinks to himself that perhaps he shouldn’t have
said anything about the marital status of their grandparents as part of his
taunt. Smokey says, “Do you hear that guy yelling from the table top?
I think he said he wants us to surrender.”

Hal calls up, “My Goblin is weak, but my friend here says that you want
to surrender.”

A deep voice replies from atop the table. Hal can now plainly see the creature
calling out is a figure mounted on a massive lizard-like beast.
He peers over the edge of the table, a slightly larger version of the other
creatures, his mottled skin has the same greenish cast and his thick hair looks
like rope upon his head, but most prominent is his nose, long and troll-like.
The mount looks like a small dinosaur, shaped like an alligator or lizard.
The creature yells down to Hal with a thick goblinoid accent, “Give up!
We have your friend and will take
the rest of you if you don’t surrender now!”

Freya looks over at Hal, “Thinkest thou they hath Jack?” She yells, “Thourt
a pack of lying jacknapes. Thou hast nothing but words as empty as thy moldering
brain.”

Hal calls out again, “What proof have you that you have a friend of ours?”

There is a commotion above in the rafters and Caretaker’s hat floats down
to the ground.

Freya mutters, “Thinkest thou they mayst take ransom?”

Hal concerned responds to Freya, “Do we have anything to offer?”

Freya takes out her purse and counts 10 silver coins and a small handful of
gold pieces.

Hal yells to the creature, “What will you take as ransom for our friend?”

The creature calls back, “What do you have to offer?”

“We offer to spare your lives and add 10 silver coins for his safe return.”

We can’t be sure if the creature is pausing to consider the offer or to recover
from laughing at the paltry sum offered, “You must not value your friend’s
life if that is all you have to offer.”

“Very well, we offer 2 gold coins.”

“The only things of value here are magical. What have you to offer in that
regard?”

As he makes this offer, Lorel fires three arrows, all narrowly missing the
creature,
“Those were a warning shot. They are the only magic you will receive from
us. The next ones will slay you where you sit. Accept our offer or your lives
are forfeit.”

The creature backs away from the edge, effectively preventing Lorel from taking
any more shots at him. As he does so he calls out, “Our negotiations are
at an end. Your friend’s unfortunate fate is sealed by your actions.”

The creatures take positions of cover as some of them start climbing back
up to ropes they originally came down. As we collect ourselves they escape
back up into the rafters.

 

 

Supporting Cast

Smokey

Charley

The Silent Companions

Freya

Arty

Amalamas, The Caretaker

Three young, beautiful
virgin
women

Villians

Strange “Hobgoblins” (Thoul)

Hobgoblin Leader, Algol, & his mount

Orc Shaman of Gruumsh, Volkag

Experience Gained

3600 xp

Treasure Gained

Plate Mail strong transmutation (Grummsh) (Arty, retain essence)

Long Spear strong to moderate transmutation (Grummsh) (Arty, retain essence)

Bracers (Peripapt) of Health (Lorel)

Brooch of Shielding (x charges) (Hal)

Cloak of Resistance +2 (Freya)

5 Potions (Invisibility, 4 (transmutation, transmutation, transmutation,
transmutation
))
(Charley)

Scroll (Heal) (Cicily)

761 gp

750 sp

20 pp

ivory bracelet

dirty fur-trimmed cloaks

most silver weapons

Equal Share = 134 gp + ? (7 ways: Lorel, Hal, Smity, “Aerdaluna”, “Jack”,
“Serenity”, Maidens)