Lord Ordin's keep

GAME FIFTEEN:  November 17th, 2007

Cuthberts Gone Wild!


It's the time of year when we send an entourage to meet with Lord Ordin to give the status of the stronghold. Thus, we send out Ashen (because Leif really doesn't want to be around Lord Ordin for some reason), with his pet beholder--at first disguised as a large floating head of Lord Ordin, but after we convinced him that could be disrespectful, he changed it to a big floating orb. But he is well behind the main pack and will arrive late; Those in the lead are this game's default mouthpiece, Khouzam, a purposely silent Murk, and Lord Ordin's distant relative, Gilda, the black orc--er, um... black sheep of the family.

On the road, Zam's bat keeps watch and the team approaches near the halfway point in the voyage between the small town (teleport point) and Krestible, a small encampment. There are 2 tents, and a number of people strewn about. As we get closer we see that they are indeed the victims of some sort of violence. Gilda fails to find additional footprints through tracking, but Zam's examination of the bodies shows that they may have been drowned. There is a stream nearby, and a very small (10 ft x 10ft) pond. A search of the camp yields a few goods, but not much clue to what else has happened. As Gilda approaches the small pond, a Detect Magic from Zam discovers it is emanating magic (necromantic). Gilda is asked to stop, and does. But it's not long after that as everyone gets ready that the being emerges. It's some kind of watery undead tart. She has an ability to cause a drowning like sensation in those who fail a save and are within a close proximity to her. First to fail the save, is Murk, but not until the second round. By then, Murk has backstabbed her, and Zam has gone scorched-earth on her little pond. Ashen shows up right after and we travel another 30 minutes to a waystation/inn, and spend the night.

Next day we arrive in Krestible and meet with some people to let Ordin know we are in town. People spread out and do their thing for a day.

A situation comes about. It seems that there is a strange phenomenon known as the "Black Rain", which has happened long ago, but is now imminent here. It causes problems with contacting the gods. Translation: Religious magics--not so good to have right then.

We get word while meeting with Lord Ordin that something has happened at the temple to Cuthbert. We grab our stuff and run to the scene to discover the temple has been encircled in some kind of impenetrable barrier. Some horrible trollish creatures showed up on the scene accompanied by a former member of the church... Vernal! No, I'm kidding. Really. No, this was a former Cuthbertian who was basically excommunicated, cast out from the church, and who has seemingly come back for revenge. We speak with someone who knew he was in town, but not that he had plotted revenge, he just seemed like a solemn, brooding type. We ask to be shown where he was staying. In the process, we discover in his place a note with some writings about his promises to the Blood Trolls, discovery of the Iron Rods, and working with a sorceress. Also found, beneath the bed, is a rolled up rug with a summoning circle on it and a number of stones woven in. A quick analysis by Zam tells him it was used to either summon OR send something. That's about when Murk decides it's time to test it out. He summons a bear and sends it at the thing. It vanishes. At that point, Murk impetuously wants to go through, Gilda wants to go find the bear (Raaaar!) and so they rush through, and everyone else follows.

We land in a courtyard, inside the Cuthbertian temple, where there is a hydra!

And now a flashback:

From the Deck of Many Things, Ashen drew some cards. Among the things he got were some wishes, which he used to free Gilda from her bad card draw, and also to wish for a jump to next level from defeating his next foe, and also a wish that his next foe would be easy for him to defeat alone. This creates in interesting problem in that if we interfere in the fight then the creature may no longer be easy and he will not gain his free level. So he has to have a certain amount of faith that if he goes it alone against the next foe that accosts him, the foe will be easily struck down.

And that foe be 10 headed. That's a lot of faith. We were asked to stand back when the next foe appears, so we do. The group of us position ourselves so as to possibly avoid a blast of breath weapon, and wait for something to happen. Ashen uses his beholder to create an anti-magic shield, which does indeed impair the breath weapon of the hydra. He then assaults it solo and manages to defeat the best. Seems it was, I dunno... I'll? Beat up from earlier? Old and rickety? In any case, it collapses.

(HOLY COW!..sorry... I'm watching the Cleveland Browns game. Un f'n believable! Amazing. And we go to overtime!)

And now back to our game...

We make a bee-line for the main chamber and encounter the evil cleric, his iron rods, and his passel of Blood Trolls. First it's just two trolls and him. Murk summons a brown bear that rushes the cleric an bear-hugs him, impairing his ability to cast anything. Zam unleashes first fire on both trolls, then lightning (in an arc so it passes over the grappling bear and mauled cleric who are in between the pair). It's not long after this group are disabled (and very quickly) that another 5 blood trolls enter from a side room and engage. There's a short and bloody fight that has our team victorious and conscious, which is always nice. (Jim has to take off now so Khouzam steps out).

We have in tow a blood troll who was "charmed" by the beholder. Healing magic is not working for us. So Gilda's down half her HPs.

We scour the rest of the place and eventually find the rest of the pack. Gilda breaks in the door, and here is the fight that takes place; It's best I give the roster of both sides because it's pretty strange...

Good guys: Murk, a Summoned Horse (from the random summoning), Ashen, a Celestial Lion, Gilda (in bear form), a charmed Blood Troll, a half-conscious priest of Cuthbert, and an unconscious Bishop of Cuthbert


Bad guys: 4 Blood Trolls w/ Great Swords, 1 Blood Troll caster, 1 Sorceress, 1 giant owl.

Gilda gets cut up a little right off. Ashen puts up a wall of flame across the middle of the bad guys area, cutting their team in half, and impairing their two casters. The celestial lion does some nibbling on bad guys, and Murk gets in some flanking attacks after tumbling through the opening. But Tasha's Hideous Laughter takes Murk out for a while. The beholder bares some targeting area by disintegrating a section of wall so he can fire through. Ashen gives the finger of death to their sorceress, who fails and dies! The owl is crispy in no time due to the wall and dies. The beholder inhibits some of the trolls with charm, but not quite enough, as two blows from great swords by trolls (including a critical) take Gilda to -51 hit points, spreading her innards over all the walls.

As blood trolls fail and fall, the last one, a caster, makes an attempt to escape by doing something rather odd; He unfurls a tapestry and puts it up to the wall and seems to create some kind of opening into a strange void. Well, it turns out he ported the whole temple into the Astral Plain.

We get back by virtue of Murk playing tough negotiator with the revived bishop of Cuthbert. It's fortunate that we found a Scroll of True Resurrection, else Gilda would be likely back but greatly impaired; Instead she's back, but not down anything. The Bishop contacts one of his angelic contacts and manages to get us brought back to the prime material plain. We pop through a portal and onto the spot where the temple was. It's still not there, but the Cuthbertians are working on getting their church back.