Lord Ordin's keep

GAME THIRTEEN:  July 29, 2006

Recap Title


This game, joining Guzgern in Valhalla is Krayden. He was tragically born without that part of the brain that tells you to run from 7 ogres and 3 giants.

On the heels of last game where we fought the giants first by sneakery (to great success) and later by brute force (to our detriment), we follow-up here likewise. Etrin and Leif do some recon and discover that the giants still reside here, though deeper inside the facility. We try and come in as a group, bringing all available characters. For me that's 2, for Joe that's 2 + a beholder, and for Alan and Jim that's 1 each. Unfortunately we lack sneakiness as a group, and giants soon rush us.

We start off well with Jim obliterating an initial rush of ogres (3) but not their leader, who saves. Krayden rushes him and knocks him down, then he's fireballed down for good by Ashen. Then come the rest. More giants and their leader, referred to as the Jarl. A shaped acide attack and some fireballs do some damage, though some is absorbed by a defensive spell of the Jarl. The characters proceed to beat on him and get beat on in return. The Jarl takes quite a few HP chunks out of Krayden and the Jarl's mate uses the laughter spell to make Roseblood roll around on the ground mirthfully engaged while Krayden is eventually cut down by the Jarl, to a negative well beyond his CON.

Etrin did some good backstab damage but was in mortal danger and thus retreated back to the casters. The beholder manages to charm one of the giants, but soon comes an area of silence that keeps our casters down until they retreat out of the area to cast.

The Jarl seems to vanish. The characters take this opportunity to retreat with their dead, having decimated all but the Jarl himself. Etrin remains behind hidden with his improved invisibility. Hours later, when we are long gone and the giants settle down, he slips into the Jarl's bed chamber and performs a coup de grace on the Jarl and his Polar Bear guard.

I had already arrived at the decision that Roseblood wasn't much of a character and thus was headed to retirement when suddenly Krayden was struck down. So I had to come up with another character during dinner break. Fortunately, a character I made a year ago and was "iffy" about, was worth a try. So I introduced Gilda, a half-orc Fighter/Barbarian/Menacing Brute in the form of a scary little girl with a +21 Intimidate skill and no social graces. The character fit in well, as you'll see...

Etrin, Ashen, Leif, Khouzam, and Gilda come back to check on things and loot anything, but it seems things have changed in the ensuing day since our psuedo victory. A keep-like structure has sprouted up here. Inside the sneaky ones discover that there is a warrior of some sort keeping vigil. The rest enter and he declares his name is Charlie and that he is there to serve his lord. He offers no other useful information, and so Ashen decides to levitate him in the air, at which point he becomes a pinata, as Gilda runs up and smacks him with a heavy mace. He levitates Charlie higher and Gilda decides that the "flying man" needs to come down NOW! So she intimidates him into coming down (something that is not currently in his power), and finally becomes fed up enough to grab a rock and throw it at him, doing a critical and rendering him unconscious.

A continued search brings us to a room. While we do our thing, Gilda hears somethingin the hall and everyone prepares. The being outside becons us to come out and discuss things. Everyone does, and it turns out to be some kind of hideous half giant/half dragon thing. It says it is the son of the Jarl and that it had been imprisoned by its father. It's grateful to us, but upon questioning by Etrin, apparently not grateful enough to give us stuff. He's convinced that he can easily (!) take out Lord Ordin and he offers for us to join him. There's a bit of banter going on between him and the group when he notices that Gilda hasn't said anything. "What say you? You've said nothing so far," he notes.

"Talk, Talk." She comments and swings on the abomination, doing some damage. Everyone moves into combat mode. After the creature discovers that he is unable to perform certain functions due to the Anti-magic abilities of the Beholder, he retreats into the nearest room. Etrin and Gilda cover the door. The beholder disintegrates a hole in another wall to gain access to that room for our fireball specialists, who rain fireballs in on him. This forces him to come out. Gilda is doing damage, though certainly not Guzgern damage, and Etrin gets in some cuts, when the creature considers cutting down Leif, who is within reach. However, Leif uses a feat that allows him to look harmless, a la the old Kobold ability, and it instead ignores him, cutting down Gilda. She is bleeding on the floor until Leif risks several attacks of opportunity to drag her to safety. She'll live and eventually be able to imbibe potions herself, but not until the round after combat is over.

Meanwhile, Etrin has pulled back, and the Beholder is using his anti-magic ability to neutralize the foes abilities (including the huge black sword it weilds, that it says it got from a "dark angel"). Some clever use of the cone of anti-magic in conjunction with our casters attacking the exposed parts of the creature manage to do lots of HPs. Between primarily Khouzam the Fireball Man (tm) and Ashen the Jarl's son is felled. The entire group then decides to beat the thing continually as it lays dead on the ground, just to be sure.

A search of the premises later results in a number of intersting things that might be useful. And chief among these in power is a... ahem... deck of placards which might resemble playing cards. Yup, you guessed it....

So, about now I should realize this isn't going to be my lucky knight for anything. Now mind you, Krayden might be alive if instead of shadowing the Jarl's 5-foot shift I had instead done what I intended originally and bottled up the enemy in the entrance; Then he might have a path to run away. But still, the rolls weren't with me tonight and the enemies' were. And that should pre-empt me from drawing cards. It didn't of course.

Rules of the deck:

  1.  You imagine how many cards you want to draw and then you draw them. When you draw them the consuequence range from minor to very major.
  2.  Once you draw the card winds up going right back into the deck. So you could draw the same good/bad item again immediately.
  3.  There are 23 cards and you are not limited on how many draws you can make.

NOTE: I May have some of these card draws mixed up. Primarily who drew a card that got them a 4th level fighter as an assistant. But I think I got most of this right.

I should mention that when Gilda showed up at the fort, she was bearing a scroll. It said, to some effect, "This is Gilda. She's a distant relation of Lord Ordin. She is here to participate and function as one of you. Take care of her. <yadda yadda yadda>". But she's the first to jump at the chance to draw from the pretty deck. She opts for ONE card.

Leif opts not to draw. Ashen draws two. But because he's a chaotic wild mage he has some abiltiy to manpulate random chance. This means that he can draw two cards and Jeff will decide if they are "Good" or "Bad" and let him choose between the two cards accordingly.

Next one up is Etrin, who decides this is stupid and yet draws two cards anyway.

So, since I need something to make Roseblood worth using, I decide she could use 2 cards. Apparently I hadn't learned my lesson yet. 

Some discussion ensues of further drawings of the cards. Note that Khouzam has decided to steer clear of the deck entirely. Well, it seems that Ashen is up for more. But with that 50/50 thing going, it's a fairly wise move. That and fear that having to tell Lord Ordin that we lost Gilda will cause him to want us to turn over the deck prompts us to want to draw now while we still can.

Deciding that Roseblood was destined for retirement here and now unelss she got something utterly cool to make her interesting, I decide to give her one more draw (Sigh).

So, to recap my woes for this game: I lost my primary character. The backup, who I intended to dump, is completely broke and now missing in action. And the replacement lost her soul for a short while until Joe's lucky draw managed to at least give me that back.

Am I complaining? Sure. But that's just because I can! Because on the other hand, I had a good time! And that's why I came.

And thus the hall of death has welcomed from the PCs in our journeys: Guzgern (Resurrected), Gaedin (Reincarnated), Graven (Reincarnated), Guzgern (Dead for good), Krayden (Dead for good). And unless circumstances dictate otherwise, Gaedin, Graven, and Roseblood are likely not to be seen again.