Lord Ordin's keep

GAME TEN: April 10, 2005

Wondertwin Powers-Activate!


"Shape of... Ooze"
"Form of... Gaseous Cloud"

In his quest to turn this D&D campaign into a Vampire: The Masquerade campaign so gradually that Jim doesn't notice until it's too late, we continued our follies at Lord Ordin's keep. Enigmatically, we start with making certain of where everyone is sleeping. Then, on the heals of any vampire visitations (mentioned in a few e-mails this week), we begin the session with dreams. Some of us have vivid dreams that we eventually attribute simply to vamp-related stress.

We are contacted (by more terrestrial means) regarding a missing cleric. It seems that a high ranking priest of the church of Elohnna has died and his replacement, sent out nearly a month ago, has not yet arrived. He's about 3 weeks overdue. We are asked to look. Some of the players balk, because it's outside our jurisdiction and there's no profit in it. But those folks comply when money is offered and Vernal steps in and says that we are going to do it. So we go in search of... lost priests.

The group headed out are Khouzam, Gaeadin & Ape, Ashen & Beholder, Vernal, Murk, and Krayden. There are some very amusing arguments between Gaedin & Murk.

What we find is that the path we must follow has been somewhat ruined. It seems a mountain has been trashed and the results are that the entire area we must travel through has been burried under rocks. There is a sign marked "Oblivion" which points down an alternate path. Well, we do decide to head that way to see if we can find a way around the rubble. Besides, how could we resist a place called Oblivion.

First thing we encounter is a handful of pixies that have been trapped in a force cage. The Beholder anti-magics it and they get out and thank us. They then relay the following bits of information: The "Rolling Thunder" caused the mountain to go boom. When it did, this caused three things to happen. 1)The path we wanted to travel became blocked, 2)The passage to a secret area called Oblivion was revealed, and 3)A creature made of stone, the size of a house, was freed and began to kick ass on anything it came across. It locked them in the force cage. Apparently the pixies and their whimsical sense of humor are responsible for the sign that points to oblivion. They thought it would be funny to funnel tourism their way, I guess.

First thing we encounter inside Oblvion is a group of four Ket soldiers in combat with a Troll. Said troll is holding a scythe and standing in a field of crops. He calls out for help and the soldiers call out for help. Unsure what's going on, Khouzam encircles the troll in a ring of fire so they can't get to each other. The Kets seem pissed off but when they see our merry band (beholder and all), they surrender. The troll directs us to the town, where the Lillans are in charge.

The Lilans are beautiful women who are half-human/half-lizard. They say that their land was once hidden and that they only invite people to come here who have received a dream they sent. They use a crystal ball to scan the world for people who are in desperate need to leave their lives behind and then they send them a dream image of the path and how to get here. BTW.. in the center of town is a fountain with the inscriptiond to the effect of "Drink and forget all your troubles", or somesuch.

It seems they've found our wayward priest. He was not summoned here by their dreams, they admit, but he did drink some of the local water and remembers none of his past life. They are relucatact to "force" him to come back (as is Gaedin), but they will let us to talk to him, and they will not oppose his leaving, but in return they would like us to get rid of the Juggernaut (the big stone Evil House) that is attacking the countryside. They also want us to drink "some" of the water and forget only this place, but Gaedin and Krayden are reluctant to do so. After negotiation they decide that simply having our help should be enough, especially if we try to obscure the entrance on our way out.

So we take off to find the evil house, which isn't hard.

When we encounter the thing, in a nice open field, the casters proceed to hit it from afar and soften it up. We spread out because if it can make a force cage at will then we want it to at least not catch us all in a cluster. At this point Krayden is out front and trying to bait it. However, when Vernal puts buffs on him, he decides not to let them go to waste and charges the thing, which is the stupidest thing I've done with this character. Up close I can't beat its AC, and on its first round of action it does half my HP and attacks with a +31 grab, which easily snags in preperation for squishing me under its wheels. I had a fair chance of surviving next round (I've calculated out) and running away, but it's good that I didn't have to. Khouzam proceeded to do exactly its HPs remaining (64) next round and brought it down before my death dodge would have to occur. Sucks to be a non-caster.

We take Damok (The priest) and head back. We are then asked to accompany him to his parish. Some again balk at this, but we ultimately relent and take him. Now many of us switch characters at this point. The new crew is: Khouzam, Gaedin & Ape, Leif, Vernal, Morningstar, and Roseblood.

When we arrive at the village, it is having a vampire infestation problem. Two hours before sunset we find out that local families have been tied up and left for food. We cremate any that we think will turn, and we gather any families that still live, and we do the "Turn or Burn" scenario, burning down houses or Turning undead to get rid of others. But we only finish half of them in the amount of time we have. We fortifiy our place, and at night, they come for us.

Khouzam manages to waste a good many from afar with his B.A.F.s (Big ass fireballs). But it seems that the vampires responsible for this... are THE vampires. Yup, our current arch-nemesis is here. And while we do a good job of picking off most of his allies froma distance, up close this guy is the same terror he was before.

At one point he hoists up Vernal by the throat and threatens us to back off. Gaedin, having lost his ape the round before, proceeds to attack his foe (the only other remaining vampire besides the big guy) and the fight continues. Just as Vernal is about to have his head sliced off with the sword, much the way the vamp had done to our NPC last game, Khouzam again saves the day, managing to do some 96hp to the blade, causing it to shatter. The blade sends out a harmless wave of malevolence. Turns out it had been an Evil, Intelligent, +3 Vorpal, Keen Longsword. R.I.Pieces.

But there's still that problem with the thing ready to pop Vernal's head like a balloon. Roseblood can't do a damn thing to him. The only other character within reach is Khouzam who AGAIN saves the day by polymorphing Vernal into a puddle of ooz which squishes right through the vamp's fingertips.

Pissed off, he's got choice of Khouzam or the harmless Roseblood, so he charges the hovering mage and grabs him by the foot. But before he can slay him, the wiley mage drinks a potion of gasseous form and poofs right out through his fingers. Well, by this point Roseblood has decided it is best to flee, so she's gotten out of reach. Leif is stalking over the rooftop of the building nearby, Khouzam is gassing, Vernal is Oozing, and the thing grabs Monkey-boy Gaedin, who proceeds to change into the only form he could think of that the thing couldn't hold onto... a Rhino. The Rhino runs off. Now the guy is REALLY pissed. The only person who seems to have any chance of hurting the vamp is Morningstar, who keeps changing into a ball of light and shooting beams at it for small damage, when she can hit.

He wants us to surrender ONE of our kind and he will spare everyone in the building. Well, no one present is both willing AND able to give up themselves. So he goes into the building and kills the NPC cleric we brought here, and proceeds to go after the NPCs. His vamp sidekick takes some damage from our heroes and goes gasseous for a while. Roseblood tries to bring back the horses for the group, but Gaedin the Rhino doesn't like the idea of the horses being "in danger" and proceeds to run them off. She takes the one she's riding and picks up Leif and they move away. Rhino herds the horses away. From a distance they watch for signs of who will emerge from the building.

Inside, Morningstar is still doing bits of damage, trying to overcome both a high Touch AC and some Magic Resistance. Ultimately she realizes there's no hope of stopping him right now and pulls out. The Ooze still stays there long after what is advisable, but ultimately comes back with us. The gasseous cloud wafts out of there sooner.