Game 01

Griff (Paul), Shalia (Alan), Karlin (Joe), Greg (Evan), Leviticus (Darren) and eventually Eibon (Darren)

We begin on a path with no explanation.  We are traveling companions but don't know much about each other yet.  Switfly we are assaulted by a giant who is hurling boulders at us and threatening to "crush us to goo".  Takes some manuevering but we reach him on the hill, inflict a bunch of damage, and he runs away but eventually we get him.

Subsequently we discover that we are on our way north.  The kingdom recently lost its king and no heir was declared.  (Apparently they don't believe in wills.)  So there is a reward offered for the return of a gem that was stolen from the palace.  Said Gem would allow one to commune with the dead.  But it has to be used within 10 days so time is of the essence if we want the kingdom to get its answer.

There's some discussion about which way to head... Toward the Dragon Turtle, the Hydra, or the Trolls.  (Hyeesh!)  We opt for the trolls.

On the road we have a number of encounters...

After a proper cremation, they move on, but the characters see a magical storm coming.  Eventually there is enough in the way of lightning strikes and rain to drive the characters into a cavern.  Joining them now, as if by magic, is replacement character Eibon.  Lightning strikes and closes the passage behind them.

In the cave they find a door which is easily forced open.  Inside is definitely a tomb.  Two chests rest in opposing alcoves.  They are examined, no trap is spotted, and when one is opened we are beset by scary bloody floating heads (one from each stone chest).  At first Griff and Eibon fail saves and try to flee by digging out, but recover and come back to engage the enemy in the fight already in progress.  Karlin's web spell keeps one busy long enough for combined might to take out the first head.  When it dies is explodes all over everyone with goo.  The second one gets burned by tiefling breath and dies.

Through another door we find a corridor, which meets a cross corridor at a T intersection.  That corridor has a door at each end.  By sheer luck, none of us are standing in the central squares of the intersection when a door is opened triggering the floor to fall out in that spot.  beyond that door is a series of sarcophagi with reliefs of scary spirits on top.  We backtrack and work our way back over the big gap in the hallway and try the opposing door, which causes another section of corridor to vanish also, not getting us but inhibiting our abilty to get back to where we started.  And this new room looks just like the other one.

So we go through the room, find a trap on the door on the other side of the room and manage to get through without triggering the group of sarcophogi.  Now at this point I begin to realize it's a good thing Leviticus died, becuase he would NOT pass these things up.  He insist on cleansing them.  So the players dodge a bullet.

The next room has a figure in armor likely a statue or undead guardian.  It turns out to be the latter.  It's pretty resistant to Karlin's spells (who has been our ace-in-the-hole to this point) but it does take damage from regular hits.  So we drop him and loot his sword.

Beyond him is a ladder that goes to a chamber full of fallen pillars and ruins, which also holds a distant sarcophagus from which springs... VECNA.  Okay, probably not the actual Vecna, as we are 1st level. But that's what he claims.  And he might have some connection.  At the moment he has only one eye.  Shalia tries to parlay, and that delays the inevitable. It seems he wants to get out of this tomb and we can help him or we can die.  After resting and weighing our options, we decide we can't unleash him.

A battle eventually ensues with him teleporting from pillar to pillar and hurling necromantic bolts at us.  Griff and Shalia keep trying to knock over the pillars to bring him back within reach, Karlin tries bolts (and he has the same magic resistance) and webs (which help slow it down some), and Eibon keeps plucking away with arrows from a distance.  Karlin goes down, but after an arrow displaces Vecna's eye, Vecna turns to dust and the battle ends.  Except his eye is still there.  We gather it and get out.

Up on the surface the weather is not as bad.


Game 02

Karlin (Joe), Griff (Paul), Shalia (Alan), Greg (Evan), Eibon (Darren)

Having killed Vecna (or some facsimile thereof) and procured his eye, we are now back on the original quest to find the heart gem that we need to communicate with the recently deceased king to find out about who he wishes to be his heir.

But first a revision to last recap which Jim pointed out:  During our trip we encountered some gypsies, couldn't afford most of what they had, caught one of them before he stole anything from us during the night, and Karlin got his fortune told.  And now back to our episode already in progress...

As we approach the area known to be inhabited by trolls we spy a bridge.  Is that a portent?  Perhaps.  We decide it is enough of a sign that the three of us (Alan hasn't arrived yet), Evan won't be there for hours) will try to go around Jim's adventure by use of our wizard.  Karlin casts Fly on Griff and invisibility on Eibon, and Grif carrieds Karlin over the bridge in the air,and Eibon sneaks across.  Second later Alan shows up having avoided the first encounter and thus allowing us to succeed because otherwise we didn't have the resources.

So on the other side we continue up to the foot of Icewater Falls.  There is a cave at the bottom and we can see some other caves up high, but there's plenty of area we can't see much further up.  Down here there's also a cabin with smoke billowing from the chimney.  We have no idea whose it is, but we knock and when there is no answer we elect to move on because we aren't going to let ourselves into someone's house.
We make camp on the trail and set a fire and that's when during the night we are assailed by a giant spider!  We awaken and murder the poor thing withough issue.  Next day we decide that of the two paths we'll take the one to the low cave.  There we wander into a worked stone corridor and Griff nearly falls into a pit, but once we backtrack and go to the hut and collect some of the wood in the cabin (Which is empty by the way, but for a burnt pot of stew which apparently cooked all night; and a chest that in bottom had 1 lizardish scale but no lizard), we continue in and cross the opening in the corridor and find a room with a set of funny-looking dog-like creatures with antennae.  They do indeed turn out to be Rust Monsters, but during the ensuing combat we manage to kill them without losing any of our metal!  Nothing else here except to backtrack.

We now have a long path up an icy mountain-face to navigate... Except we decide Karlin will cast fly on Griff, who will fly Eibon up to the highest cavern we can see, but as we get closer to it we can see ones even higher up!  In fact, they all connect to paths except for one which seems to have no path, so we have a likely target!  He drops off Eibon there and then ferries everyone else up to that cave, which is behind the highest falls, which is frozen, of course.

In the cave behind the falls is a worked stone chamber with a door on the far wall, and three bodies nearby.  There are four knobs on the door, each with a specific theme of the elements.  After examining the bodies and finding they are not undead, we do however find that they do show signs of having tried the knobs, each having succumbed to a specific element.  They went 0 for 3 on opening the door (Unless there's a fourth one we don't know about who made it through).  We go with the one element that none of them seemed to die from and that's cold.

Inside is another chamber, this one with signs of decay (Collapsed pillars, etc.).  At the far end is a friendly halfling who greets us as if he was expecting us.  Beside him is a pillar with the gem we seek sitting upon it.  We talk, eventually he decides that we are here to take his gem and he tells us to leave or die.  Then Shalia dances for him to distract him while Karlin and Griff hatch a plan... Griff still has fly on him and Karlin casts Invisibility on him.  After Shalia dances, and recites a song about how might our host is, he decides he wants her to stay and the rest of us to go or die.  We delay while Griff gets in position, then we reluctantly start to leave.  When Shalia starts to leave he starts to follow.  This is when Griff steals the gem off the pedestal and that turns out the lights, and we begin to try and flee.

We narrowly get out and close the door.  EIbon ascends the cliff face down to  the path unaided and Griff grabs both the others and uses his flight for a controlled fall so we're all down the path.  We run and because dragons breath all over people, we put distance between each of us.  Sometime during this mad dash, Evan shows up and so Greg enters play.  What ensues is a dragon trying to get his gem back, Griff trying to play keep away but ultimately having to takes some swings at the dragon, Karlin doing a little scorching ray, Shalia and Greg trying to take cover (separately so as not to incur the Area of Attack breath weapon), and Eibon firing arrows.

Oh yeh...those three bodies up top?  They had a potion and six magic arrows.  And this dragon has a missing scale on the back of his head, so most dragons seem to.  So several called shot attempts with magic arrows happen and only one of those hits, the rest would have hit if it weren't  called shot.  The arrows do an extra +1 damage and a hit to that spot doubles damage.  The dragon manages to put down Griff, who fortunately stabilizes on his own (otherwise we wouldn't have gotten to him), but not before he put in some time bashing him i the unprotected spot on his head.  The dragon finally goes down when it turns to face the others and EIbon puts two regular arrows into its bald spot.

Now we have the gem and need to get home in a hurry.  We try to double-time our way, the only real obstacle turning out to be the troll bridge that we dodged earlier,  Karlin drops an invisibility spell on one of us the others sneak.  From the air, Griff is carrying Karlin, who drops a fireball on a troll he spots and we try to get the heck through the area as fast as we can.
When we reach the outskirts of civilization, we gather some needed foord, and move for the city whose roads are choked with people there to see the coronation.  Once we convince the paige to go and retrieve someone of importance for us we are let in and even allowed into the chamber for the coronation and the ceremony to speak with the dead king.
As I write this it occurs to me that we fought zombies earlier on.  Can't remember at which step in today's adventure, but we did.  But I digress...
We talked to the Sage about what to do about the eye of Vecna we are carrying.  He says get it the heck out!  But then has us stay for the ceremony.
Well, not sure what would have happened if we had followed his first instinct, because during the ceremony, one of the would-be kings decides to try and seize power by holding a knife to the queen's neck.  Apparently all he she has to do is say the words and he's automatically king?  Anyway, we are in a stand-off (him with a couple arrows in him from Eibon) when another interested party shows up!
A horrible death-knightly individual shows up, but only after a few random bystanders are struck down and arise anew as Zombies!  'Tis someone who wants the eye.  He doesn't declare he's Vecna, and he's got two glowing red eyes, so who knows who he is.  Anyway, we are not in a position to say "sure".  The fight shifts to trying to take this guy down instead.  The fear he induces puts save-failers and a disadvantage.  Karlin puts a web down but Deathknightguy (DKG) manages to walk out of it.  He joins reach-weapon combat with Griff and Greg while Eibon tries to put arrows into him.  Soon Eibon has his own problem as the Zombies have all come after him.  Badly injured, he disengages, runs for the web, and leaps into it as far as he can, hoping to lure them in.  The skeletons follow and the one who makes its save manages to do the last point of damage to Eibon, who then has to stabilize in the web where no one can reach him.  (Fortunately, having earned an extra do-over coin for the web stunt, he manages to stabilize on the do-over for the second save attempt).

Now I"m starting to recall that earlier on, the skeleton encounter I mentioned... it was on the road back.  As long as we carry the eye we're going to draw stuff like this and they came after us and took down Shalia once, who also had to self-stabilize once.

Okay, so Eibon's down, DKG backtracks a bit so he can gather with his zombies.  Before he is taken down, he opts cowardice is the better part of valor, and turns into mist and escapes .  He'd been damaged pretty well.

Oh, and the Queen got out of her predicament with the attempted coup when the Sage stepped in and teleported her away with himself, so his magic wasn't there to assist us in this fight.  Any remaining zombies are killed.  Or whatever it is you do to undead.

We are given 1,000 coins each.  We've got a set of spiffy clothes each.  We are entitled to a week in the castle, but we know we have to get out with the eye else this will happen again.

So what did the Gem enable the king to tell us?  He's got an illegitimate daughter who should be 18 now and that we should track her down.  There's a birthmark of 3 stars on her, which is part of the crest of Silvermoon (the town we're in).  There were 3 stars on the gypsy wagon we encountered in game one.  Perhaps she's a part of their crew?

Session ends with us rested, and now charged with a new quest for the now apparnetly parentless heir apparent.


Game 03

Here's some math for you:  3/5 the players = 2.5x the fightin'!  Or as Pythagoras put it, "The amount of players is inversely proportional to the amount of trouble they get into".

Shalia (Alan), Griff (Paul), Eibon (Darren)

Last game we were setting out on our journey to find the heir to the throne, a young woman who would be about 18 and who is the illegitimate heir to the kingdom.  So naturally we're trying to cause trouble by... walking through town.  A figure steps into our path and demands the Eye of Vecna.  We decline.  Griff intimidates him into going away, but we know it's not other.  Sure enough, archers appear on the roof tops and start raining arrows on us.  5 Archers in all.  We are close enough to one of the buildings that Griff, with Shalia as his personal door opener, make their way to the top and engage the assailant before he beats a hasty retreat over the side.  He fails his climb roll and falls.  He takes a couple arrows and stab wounds before he is felled and when we go through his pockets (The other archers having fled), we find some money and a token with the sign of vecna, which I suspect is a finger poking an eye stooge-style.

On the road (again) we set up campa and during the night a portal opens at ground level and out come 4 zombie types.  We deal with them and add a little damage to the Deathknight who is standing on the other side of the portal before he closes the portal and retreats.

In the next town we set up at an inn, in two rooms.  This time it's two kidnappers who let themselves into Shalia's room after picking the lock.  She holds them off, partially by standing behind the door for some cover and soon we are there to help stabbify and put them both down.  They had some platinum on them but no Vecna symbol.  Their chatter was such that they were there to kidnap Shalia for unknown purposes.  Both are alive and we send them off to jail the next day, after interrogating them to find out that they were hired to take her to a copse of trees outside town.  We head there and find a trunk alone in the trees with airholes in it.  There seems to be a glyph trap of some type on it that Shalia disables.  We hang out for an entire day until someone shows up to pick up the trunk.  It's an old farmer, who hauls it onto his cart and hauls it away.  We follow.  Then we get ahead of him so we can encounter him on the road.

He's the opposite of suspicious, instead being willing to cart us as far as the road that leads to his farm.  When gets there we let him continue and then we sneak up the farm to watch for whoever comes to pick up the trunk, which turns out to be six men on horseback.  When they show up they start berating the farmer for not having anything in the trunk and we step in to stop his needless murder.  One of the six men gets away by getting to his horse and riding away but the others all get taken down by us.

Now this Deathknight doesn't know when to quite.  This time he shows up from his portal while we are sleeping and sends out two zombies, two wraiths, and he continues to shoot from the other side of the portal.  We do a ton of damage to him (More HP than Shalia and Eibon have put together) and closes the portal to get away.  The wraiths that remain behind get whittled down eventually using fire breath from Eibon and some spell casting of Madame Chuchutzka (Pronounced Shoot Shoot Scores!).  I failed to mention that we are at the camp of the gypsies we have been seeking.  The Madame has indeed slept with the king back during one incident where the king sneaked out without his Condom Wizard(tm).  She has put the child someplace "Safe" where it could live a normal life at the king's behest.  He wants her to understand what it's like to be a normal before she becomes royalty.  So now we know who to look for, sorta.  But we've still got a big problem...

Every time we sleep we get attacked by the DK.  But that only seems to be when we sleep outside.  Because when we sleep in town...

We are attacked in the night by Ninja who drop from a panel in the ceiling that it turns out later the owner of the Inn claims he didn't even know was there.  But we have a fight in the room in which we dispatch 3 of the Ninjii, but the fourth flees back into the ceiling and away before we can get him.  We are comped for our room.

Indeed our next encounter with the DK is on the road, in the wild, where this time his portal is up high and he has summoned three skulls that shoot death rays from their eyes.  Again, we pepper him with arrows and he barely gets away before falling, leaving us to fight the skulls, which we do, partly with the help of a silver "returning" dagger that Shalia throws which we got by begging the Pelor temple for.

This whole time we are BURNING through potions.  Every time we get a couple (From town, from the churches, from the gypsies...) we use them almost immediately after against the bad guys.  Once we had a Celerity potion which Eibon used in a fight, and when he wasn't under the influence of the DK's "fear" ability, he was firing 3 arrows per round at advantage and that's some nasty pincushioning stuff!

Our last fight is for comedy, I believe.  We rode all through the night for several days in order to avoid falling asleep and having to fight the DK, and get to a town whose name I forget (but has the psuedo-word BAER are the end) and we crash at the inn.  During our attempt at rest, alarm traps that Shalia set go off as someone tries to come in the window.  We're doing everything at disadvantage due to exhaustion, but Griff and eventually Shalia manage to raise enough alarm and keep the 3 assailants outside the window long enough that they decide to flee rather than deal with being seen.  So we survived that one, rested, and now we're back to full hitpoints (And "spells") and ready to go look for the girl in this town.


Game 04

Griff (Paul), Shalia (Alan), Eibon (Darren), and Greg (Evan, up until 5pm)

Following the long rest we come back at full force.  But it would not be enough.

As we are discussing how we can't have the eye of Vecna in our possession, making us the target of the Death Knight, at the same time that we approach and try to protect the princess (because that's just inviting calamity), Greg wants to try to destroy the eye of vecna the old fashioned way.  We point out it's an artifact.  He still wants to try and burn it and than maybe smash it with a hammer or something.  It ends just how you picture.

Procuring the local forge from a blacksmith, he does his best to superheat the eye, then when it persists anyway, he slams it with a hammer, sending out a necromantic wave of energy that knocks over Griff (while Greg resists and the others are out of range).  Almost immediately another portal opens and your old buddy the Death Knight begins to reign zombies on us.  Just 4, I think, but he brings a new trick in the form of Fireballs.  Greg hurls the eye away from the crowd and misses his target but Griff moves to protect it.  While Eibon gets in some more arrows into the DK, a combination of fireballs and zombie whacks does plenty of damage to us.

By the time the DK opts to close his gate and leave the zombies with us, we're pretty damaged; enough so that the two remaining zombies, whose last instruction was "bring me the eye!", manage to take down the remaining heroes.  Fortunately for us, we all make our recoveries and the zombies take the eye and leave.  Neighborhood kids who have been following us around get help.  We wake up in the Inn.

We try to track the zombies but the combination of rain and regular foot traffic cover where the dead have gone.  So... that discussion about the eye is moot.  We head out to retrieve the girl.

Upon arrival at the farm we discover that would-be princess (Fiona) and boyfriend (Brazz) have formed a wannabe adventuring crew with a few others and gone out to defeat local stuff.  We head off to retrieve her, and possibly her friends.

We find a goblin cave with a few interesting features. Needless to say, the goblins are the weakest aspect.  One room has a black Obsidian wall, and first thing that happens is that Griff calls out something like "Where's Fiona?"  When he does, the room rumbles briefly but nothing else happens. We leave the room figuring it's some sort of sonic trigger and a loud fight might be an issue.

The other feature is a wall that is mostly blocked by debris.  A human sized hole has been made so we crawl through it and on the other side we fight some goblins without much trouble.  Beyond that we find a small trickle of water cutting down a passageway creating a muddy incline.  From the mud comes three... mud golems(?).  (Piercing weapons are less effective.)  We manage to beat these with a combination of lucky arrow shots, daggers, and wading into the mud to smack them around.  Sadly we find a body of one of the kid adventurers in the mud.

Beyond that we find a room with a fountain and going up the wall is a knotted rope.  At the top, Greg finds Fiona and Brazz, sleeping.  They didn't set watches, naturally.
After they scramble to prepare for a fight after the heroes awaken them, they have to be convinced to return.  They used the special wall down stairs and asked it a question (Where is the treasure) and it showed one of them a vision of it being up here behind a gate... one that they were sleeping right next to.

Shalia tells the girl about being a potential princess and that she needs to come elsewhere and forget this.  After some convincing she agrees.  We get her home, go over the whole thing with her parents and impress upon them how important it is not to tell anyone of the girl's true importance.  She agrees to at least come back to Silvermoon and meet with the Queen.

Shalia tries to find out from the wall how she can destroy the eye of Vecna.  It is not forthcoming with this information.  Griff tries to ask it too, but fails (likely because he'd already asked it a question earlier).  Eibon decides to ask it where the eye of vecna is currently located and he gets a vision of the DK at some standing stones in a marsh.

I don't think we encountered anything troublesome on the return voyage.  Not having the eye of Vecna means we actually get sleep.

Back in Silvermoon we get her into town and try to keep her a secret, employing our ally at the temple of Pelor to hide her briefly.  We do end up having to deal with a situation...

As we're dining at the Inn, two groups of people come in.  One is a random assortment of people who look like they don't belong together, but they sit down at a table.  They all seem to have weapons.  Meanwhile a second group shows up and they are all dressed in normal clothes but they also have weapons.  The two groups end up drawing-down on each other.  We move to keep Fiona and her boyfriend safe.  But it seems three men at the bar are more interested in abducting her.  They attack and one shouts orders to "get the girl".  We put two of them down and one gets away after a short pursuit.  We find out what's going on from the leader of the plain clothesmen.

Now it turns out that's an apt description.  They're basically undercover.  They are a group founded by the previous king to keep an eye on things.  They had a tip over a week earlier that there was a hit scheduled to take out an adventuring group.  Indeed the two men we killed do have those knotted ropes on them that signify they're part of the assassins' guild.  This man agrees to assist us with finding a safe place to keep the princess until we get our chance to meet with the queen.

Shalia gets the kids some better clothing and we meet with the Queen.  An analysis of her by the queen's wizard, Peltar, reveals she has magical potential of some sort.  Fiona seeks our guidance but we just try and lay out the facts for her.  She ends up agreeing to remain there a week and learn from Peltar about magic.

We meet with our sage, who tells us that the prevailing theories about destroying the eye are:  Put it back into the head of Vecna (sold seperately) and then destroy him.  Seems it may only be possible to destroy him when he's whole.  Also, his former lieutenant, Kaas, famously has a sword that may be able to destroy him, even though Kaas (who is tougher than us) couldn't do it.

Asking the sage about the described scene of the DK in the Marsh at some standing stones, he does indeed thinking that this sounds like they are in the marsh that is the site of Vecna War I.  This makes sense since it seems his goal is to have his minion reunite his hand and eye with his body and make him whole.  In order to bring his body back it's likely that his powerful allies from different times will have to work together to bring back his physical form.

The Queen, Peltar, and the priest Cannadon feel we are the only appropriate people to fix this problem.


Game 05

Shalia (Alan), Griff (Paul), Greg (Evan), Karlin (Joe), Eibon (Darren)

Next phase of our masochism campaign involves finding where Larry is.  Who is Larry?  Well, when we talk to the followers of Pelor, they feel that invoking Vecna's name is like summoning him.  Wish it was, it would make him easier to find.  So we settled on a pseudonym: Larry.  Then it occurred to us that the only reason your name is your name is because everyone agrees to call you by it.  So we can name Jim's characters anything we want.

But I digress.  We know Larry is likely deep in the swamp that was once the sign of his ancient battle, or at least that's where the Eye of Larry is, and the deathknight who took it from us.

But before we can go there we have to deal with a local problem because when we're in town, all the local authorities play dumb so we can do their jobs for them.  Seems the local cemetery is coughing up zombies at an alarming rate.  So we suit up and head there.  Outside the gate are some Pelorians who are charged with making sure none get out.  Eibon fails the first of his many failed nature rolls to track things but eventually we find the spot anyway.  There's a mausoleum and Karlin suggests we check for traps, which is a good idea it turns out because Shalia finds a pit trap right outside the front door.  But she can't pick the lock to get in, Griff or Greg break it so that there is sufficient noise to draw the local dead.

We fight a bunch of corpses, most of which get shredded by Griff's newly developed ability to turn undead, which he does by invoking the name of the team's fallen priest, Leviticus, worshipper of Kelemvore.
Inside we find a room with four sarcophalophagus which radiate magic.  There's a door in this room that is hidden but we can't figure out how to open it.  We end up opening a tomb lid by tying a rope around it and standing down the hall and pulling.  This does open it and we are assailed by some sort of Wight or Ghoul.  What's more, each time a coffin is opened there's a burst of necromantic energy that anyone in the room or the first two squares of the hallway experience.  And this happens several times, as each time we bring the creature low, it runs back and opens another lid to get the next guy out to join the fun.

When all four containers are emptied and their contents cease movement, we find the levers that open the door.  The thing is, do we rest or press on?  Griff has used both of his turn attempts (to great effect) but is out now.  We're down a few hitpoints, but for the most part we've adventured with fewer hitpoints and resources and we don't want to come back and face more of this the next night, so we go in.

On the other side is another dead guy, on the far side of a large room.  On the near side is a small chasm which will require an "athletics" to get across.  So most of the fight is contained to the hallway on our side, as the dead guy (who thinks he's Larry) has several large bats that drain on a hit, in stirge-like fashion.  Also, we're in line for a nice necromantic lightning bolt, which we experience.

There's a lot of stabbing, fireballing, arrow-poking, but let's talk for a second about the berserker.  Griff has a berserker cloak.  When he uses it, should he hit, he'll do more damage, but he's doing everything at disadvantage.  Normally this would seem a net benefit because Paul notoriously rolls better with fewer dice.  What do we say to the god of dice?  Not today!  He rolled SO MANY misses.  The cloak was retired at the end of the game.

A large part of taking this guy down involved a decision by Karlin.  Early on, faced with a bunch of enemies, a spell-casting foe, and a room with a big burning brazier in it, he opted to use his Dispel Magic on the brazier.  That turned it's magical properties off for 9 rounds, which meant that instead of the dead automatically getting up every round there was a better chance that we destroy them as they fall.
The fight goes on so long that the Brazier does come back into play, but not until the bad guy is down to just himself (and his mirror image).  When he falls, we destroy the brazier and end the recuperative properties of the local dead.

We have tea with the queen.  Couple days later we set out for the marsh I mentioned earlier (see paragraph 1).

Trip to the marshes was pretty safe.  At the edge we encounter some giant toads, which we dispatched without losing ourselves or any horses.  Later we find some local barbarians who refer to us as "city folk".  If we talk to them long enough I'm sure we'd find out the law don't go 'round here, law dog.  The bumpkins are run off when they get fireballed by Karlin, who is not interested in parlay.  They lose their mouthpiece from fire and arrows and the others run!

We reposition, find a place to rest, and set out next day for the ruins, knowing that the village of bumpkins will be looking for us, so we are not in the straight path between the ruins and where we were.  These fine folks are Vecna followers, complete with unholy symbols.  They want to Make the Sword Coast Swampy Again.

Next day we see another group and lay low; in a few hours they run off having finished their scavenging and we arrive at the standing stones, which Jim has supplied in 3D styrofoam glory.  When we approach, we see dead milling about and the Deathknight trying to open a portal.  Rather than let that happen, Karlin immediately jumps to it and casts a dispel to keep whatever was going to happen from happening, via Dispel.
Turns out Haste is pretty useful we've found.  If you slap a haste on someone they can fly in and kill, or, you know, stand there in the same spot and shoot an enemy three times a round if they have the right feat.
This fight is really taking place in two areas of the ruin.  On the low ground, Shalia and Karlin are running around the ruins baiting zombies, webbing and plinking 1pt at a time on them, meanwhile on the high ground, fly-spelled Griff and Greg are dealing with the big guy.  Takes Eibon a couple rounds to come up the steep slope and by the time he arrives we're not in two fights in the same ruin, we're in two fights in different dimensions!  Deathknight has opened a portal and run through since he was being surrounded, Griff followed.  When Eibon arrives he runs through as well rather than leave him in there alone.

On the near side of the portal, it's mostly clean up, taking out random dead (for a while).  On the far side of the portal, Grif is dealing with a Wraith and the Deathknight.  DK turns into mist to escape his predicament.  Both he and the wraith are pretty injured.  Eibon shows up to clean up the wraith, but the DK runs back through the portal and closes it, leaving Eibon and Griff on one side.  Back at the ruins, DK recomposits himself atop a standing stone and Greg flies up there to hack the shit out of him.  Once he's dead they come to the realization that the party is split.

Griff and Eibon are in a desert world with two suns, a gate (that is closed) and a big iron door set into a cliff face.  The door is surrounded by Runes, but we know nothing about magic.  They opt to hold up there since there appears to be no place else to head to, since we're obviously in another world, unless our world gained a sun recently.  On the other side, Karlin the wizard thinks he can figure out the runes and open the gate but it will take a while and they can't do it that minute, because the combat/fireballs/noise, etc. have caused the villages to come that direction, so rather than be swarmed they pull back into the swamp and hide.

Oh, but the team on the nearside got the eye of Larry back.  When the deathknight died it fell to the ground.


Game 06

Shalia (Alan), Griff (Paul), Greg (Evan), Karlin (Joe), Eibon (Darren)

Last game ended with the team split.  Griff and Eibon were through the looking glass in a world with two suns, a desert, a strange iron door covered in symbols, and a closed gate back to their world.  SHalia, Greg, and Karlin had just finished off the Death Knight, but had an army of villager Vecna Cultists ("Vecnerds") coming their way.  It would take hours for the to figure out the gate and then open it to get us back.

Since there's no place to go that is outwardly inviting, the away team dig in and wait and hope the gate will open.  The home team evacuate, stay nearby in the swamp, and then return with spells to keep them hidden/fly, etc., so they can examine the gate.  Takes Karlin a few tries but he manages to figure out the gate.  Then the three of them have to take out the locals, who have since set up shop nearby.  They have a series of tents and guys standing guard.  Eventually they decide they have to clean house in order to get the gate open, so they approach wearing the cultits wearing symbols of Vecna under the guise of bringing the eye to their leader.  One of them wants the eye immediately so the inevitable fight breaks out which includes such memorable highlights as Shalia throwing the eye AT one of the cultists then attacking him, Karlin torching the enemy with fireballs, and all sorts of weapon play before the enemy tries to flee, pursued by our guys.

Once they get the gate open, the teams are united, but Karlin goes through briefly to examine the door.  On it he finds that amid the symbols relief of a hand and an eye in the door, bringing about the obvious theory that the eye and the hand are used to open the door.  Also, detect magic seems to indicate the door is keeping something in!

DARREN'S THEORY CORNER:  While it seems this could be the tomb of Vecna, I also have a theory that the only thing you'd want to keep locked up using the EYE and the HAND... is the Sword of Kaas.  Just wanted to throw that idea out there.

We get ouf of there and out of the swamp.  But not before there's an examination of the ruins which house the Village of the cultists.  Invisible, Shalia goes in to look in the newly refurbished temple, and finds there a Tabernacle attached to an altar.  She forgets to try to pick the lock and look inside and must come back later.  (Tabernacle, incidentally, is defined by the interwebs as a portable dwelling used by a congregation.)

The workers here in the village are constructing something and will be doing so for a while.  We're not sure what.  But we have to get back to Silvermoon and research some stuff, including the world with two suns and an iron door.  But we find up on returning to town that they have another crisis... there's a strange darkness that is encompassing a nearby farm that has a graveyard at its back.  The dead have likely risen and the family matriarch seems to be somehow responsible.  We head out there and into the expanding dark.

Inisde the darkness, we find that if you miss a save you are at disadvantage on everything (until you finally succeed at something and then you'll have a chance to save again to be normal), that you can't see more than 10 feet with a light source, and if you toss that light source, say... 20 ft, you can't see it anymore because it only radiates 10 feet.  Also, sound is muffled.

Our first encounter is with a group of zombie cows, who do some stomping and cud chewing, but end up dying mostly due to Griff's generous use of Turn Undead.  Next is a group of sheep, who are slightly easier, but then we're more beat up.  We have just enough health to think we stand a chance so we continue.  Next encounter is not so good.  Once we find the graveyard, which exudes necromantic magic, we must deal with the resident undead witch who can see us while we can't see her unless she comes into the light.  What's more, she can drain health and give it to herself, so she keeps gettng healthier as we get worse.  She summons minions in the form of dead wolves, who we manage to defeat but she's ever out of reach in the darkness.  After a while, Karlin finally gets the opportunity to fireball the house without killing us or himself, so the farm house catches fire, but she's outside in the dark doing more attacks.  So we break ranks and flee trying to find the exit.  On the way out, Shalia runs into an undead horse but manages to get away.

We regroup outside, camp in a nearby farm that was abandoned because of the encroaching darkness, and we rest.  Next day we go to town to find out anythin we can about the darkness and ask for assistance.  Then we head out to find her again, the darkness having expanded.  This time we have to deal with the undead paladins of Pelor who had been defeated and turned, who promptly beat us up some more.  By the time we find the woman she's again causing us great harm and staying out of reach.  However, we've brought a secret weapon... one of Kelemvore's disciples, sent with us to case a blessing on the graveyard and also to cast one useful sunfire spell which will give use 30' radius of  light.  "Edwin" casts it on himself and then Karlin turns him invisible and he's just a bright glow in the darness and it seems the Witch doesn't have an area effect spell, and when he gets close to her she takes damage from the sunlight.

There's a lot of arrows, sword and hammer blows, daggers, and sunlight damage before she goes down.  We head back to town after making sure the farm is cleared of anything dead.




Game 07

Shalia (Alan), Griff (Paul), Karlin (Joe), Eibon (Darren), with  Greg (Evan) after the dinner break

Our next big project of course is taking out the barbarian cultists and gaining unfettered access to the standing stones ("The Tor").  To that end we come up with a plan involving talking to them and letting them know that we are here on behalf of their god to see to the duties that their Death Knight failed at.  This doesn't go well, but no fight breaks out.  Essentially, we show up at full strenght (all 4 of us) and Shalia tries to brow-beat and bluff them into giving us information about what they've gathered for the second coming.  They don't tell us anything and insist on us leaving, which we do.  But we send Shalia back invisible and flying to do some recon.

She makes the minor mistake of entering the mud and thatch hut of their leader and trying to look in one of his trunks while he's there with plenty of guards.  He sees the open trunk, calls everyone to search the room and puts two guards blocking the door.  Over the next few rounds, Shalia gets stabbed a few times by blind swings, tries to dig her way through the thatch ceiling, and eventually tries and fails to acrobat her way through the guards before eventually going back to the ceiling hole and forcing her way through and off to safety.

We go back to town, try to gather resources and have some difficulty there.  One thing we are offered is an Earthquake spell on a scroll.  Now that's useful, but we need a scroll user and the only one we know is Edwin, of the Kelemvore cultists.  We go to find him and discover he's out on missions, as nearly everyone is.  Seems there's enough undead chaos going on that everyone of use is occupied.  When he doesn't return in a timely manner, we decide to go look for him and finally we end up in Jim's dungeon, which we'd been avoiding for several games.  He went to investigate an undead rat issue in the sewers.

When we get down there we do fine mostly until we finally find a door.  It takes four of us to operate the door buttons which are very heavy but it opens and when it does there are unconscious or dead guys on the other side of the door, and a pit that is fuming toxic mist.  Griff and Karlin go in to retrieve them and the door drops splitting the party.  Karlin casts a dispel to keep the toxic gas at bay for a few rounds, can see there's more down in the pit below, but we need to get out, which they do by piling people onto the levers to raise them.  Greg shows up about now and with five of us we can manage to hold the door open and have a fifth member haul people out.  On our way back down the tunnel we are assailed by 3 diseased undead rats.  We win and get Edwin, his cohort, and a corpse back to the surface.

He does want to adventure with us and has the permission of the church.  This is not to his betterment.

We gather our goods and head for The Tor.  Once there we find a new tactic.  Seems anytime you step on this deconsecrated ground, skeletal hands reach up and try to grab you.  This becomes a real problem as now you have to be able to fly to get around.

We try an assault once that fails as fireballs and a few arrows are not good enough to take out their numbers.  In fact, we try it again another time and end up having to flee.

This brings us to the time where we notice that no one is guarding The Tor openly and without seeing any hidden guards we send Griff (flying) to take down the boards on one of the gates (The one that the Death Knight was trying to open that one time).  He brings Greg over to assist, and then brings in Karlin to read the writing and decipher the gate.  He figures out the enchantment but invisibility/flight will run out so we retreat with the hope of coming back in the morning and trying to open it when at full strength.

HOWEVER... We set up shifts, sleep, and during the middle watch our guards don't see our attacker, who targets our wizard... It's an enormous Anaconda.  It proceeds to wrap around Karlin and try to squeeze the life from him.

This brings us a conundrum:  Do a full attack (typically 3D6) and if you hit you damage the snake but if you miss you damage the Karlin!  Or, attack at disadvantage (1D6) and not hurt the wizard directly.  Mathematically, it sounds like the full attack is best since there's a better chance.  But you only need to miss once.  And this case both Shalia and Eibon missed once; in fact Eibon even used his re-roll chit and still missed.  Add to that the many 1D6 misses by others, the damage the snake is doing every round it isn't killed, and it all adds up to our second party-member death!

RIP Karlin, purveyor of fireballs.  He left us without much haste.  We killed the snake, but that ended the evening.


Game 08

Diana (Joe), Shalia (Alan), Griff (Paul), Greg (Evan), Eibon (Darren)

Diana is Joe’s replacement for the late Karlin, and she’s a priestess of the Raven Queen. We gained access to the standing stones through a brief fight and hurried attempt to enter one of the gates On the other side we fought a tentacle creature (and found something, I forget what) before retreating back to our world. The gate had been boarded back up and we had to blast our way out through a group of waiting barbarians. We make our way back to town.

Game 09:

 Shalia (Alan), Griff (Paul), and Eibon (Darren)

This time around there are fewer of us.  So we gather up what help we can get, mostly via a posting on the local bulletin board.  We end up with:

Edwin, the priest of Kelemvore, who happens to be available (Handled by Paul) Kaydor, a lawful evil warrior who is just there for the murder (Handled by Alan) Anna, a druid all about the non-murder (Handled by Darren)

Anna is convinced to come along despite Kaydor, to try and keep us alive.  It’s unlikely she’ll do anything for Kaydor other than maybe not let him die.

Our first attempt to surveil the stones ends up in a “chain alarm” as one spots one of us, shouts to the next, and so on all the way back toward the village.  We pull back, wait a couple days and prepare to return.  Two idiots try to kill us in our sleep and wind up getting mauled.

We eventually decide that due to a nuke that Griff got from one of his sources, our best efforts would involve luring ALL the able-bodied opponents to the ruins and then using his nuke.  It’s a scroll with a spell that does a meteor swarm.  So we siege the ruins which has 5 guards atop the standing stones and after taking those guys down (which includes such highlights as Griff taunting Kaydor every time the murderer misses, Griff leaping from one standing stone to another, and lots of arrows back and forth), we set up to learn the gates.  Or rather Edwin learns them and we stand guard.

When the badguys show up, they try to PARLAY.  Why, we don’t know, except to say that the hands in the ground around the standing stones no longer seem to be an issue, so maybe they are weakened somehow?

The discussion goes nowhere and ultimately they decide to try and surround us to get us out of their “holy place” and Griff drops the bomb on them, baby, taking out lots of them!  Most of the team follow it up with a few arrows and several fireballs.  Anyone who survives—flees.  We take our time opening the gate and going through.

On the other side is a path alongside a cliff face which leads to a couple of guys in old-tyme armor with funky old-school accents, but wearing unholy symbols of Larry.  So we pick a fight and they bang a gong to alert the others in the area, and after killing those two we discover that the path leading up to our obvious destination (a door set into the wall) is guarded by murder-holes.  Shalia keeps blocking the holes with illusionary shields, some of us are simply going up and attacking through the hole (like those with polearms or fire breath).  Griff breaks through the door and we move inside to deal with a small cluster of enemy soldiers who guard a rope bridge.

Griff runs onto the rope bridge and they try to cut the rope and are only half successful.  A fly spell gets cast on Kaydor who has difficulty lifting Griff to safety, bug Anna puts up an entangle to keep the bridge cutters busy and eventually we take them down and press forward.  Problem is, on the other side of the next door is a long corridor filled with guys.  So they’re somewhat bottled up, and a web spell helps keep them from advancing much.  Griff and Kaydor push forward into the web and Shalia and Eibon dagger/arrow them from a distance, but soon the guys from the murder holes make their presence known via some secret doors and we have guys to fight on the other side.  During this whole thing, Kaydor is the only one to go down and Griff drags him back into the room with the rope bridge, and we close the doors behind us to keep the fighting to one direction.  After these guys go down, we retreat back down the path and out the gate.

We come back next day and find they’ve pulled back.  They’ve abandoned some murder holes, pulled back from the path, and many of their soldiers have gone further into their facility.  We take out a few that are still lurking and push further down into the depths.  Whatever comes next is enough to make this session stop right there.


Game 10:

Diana (Joe), Shalia & npc Kaydor (Alan), Griff & npc Edwin (Paul), Eibon & npc Anna (Darren)

We picked up from last game and advance a little bit down the hallway.  At the end is a large room with a winding ramp down to the bottom.  As Griff reaches the top he's peppered with arrows as a group of seven cultists are at the bottom firing up at whoever shows up.  He pulls back, we coordinate a little, and then he's sent down there with the evade spell up so he can draw fire.  Anna puts the whole group into an entangle.  The fighters charge to the bottom while the rest rain down from above with ranged spells and arrows.  As they are cut down to the last guy, three lizard men appear in the river that cuts through this room and they proceed to fire on us with blow darts.  They get away but not before each one took some damage.

We find a passage that has a fine yellow dust on it that is determined to be organic.  Griff opts to run right in. He spots a lying in the dust but has to turn around and come back out because he's being poisoned by the cloud of dust that got kicked up.

We find an area where there are dwarven sarcophagi some of which exude necromantic magic, so we avoid those.  In another area we find a door that Diana neutralizes with a dispel magic and Shalia picks the lock.  (We had a lot of encounters during this game so some of these items may be in the wrong order.)  We have a room with three doors and three dwarf statues.  Griff uses his might to try and force a door open and fails, but the statue's automated axe-swining capability does some damage.  he moves to the next one and does it again, but this time gets the door open.  When he does he discovers inside is a crossbow rigged to shoot him, which it does.  He then tries the third door and gets a spear for his troubles.  In order to get that first door open he teams up with Kaydor and they force the door.  On the other side is more of the complex.

Rather than do a play-by-play of the entire place, here is the upshot:  We get to the wind up encountering the dwarves who live here.  Because we don't immediately attack them instead there is a discussion.  They wear the symbols of Vecna and they are the ones who crafted the sword of Kaas, but when Vecna had them builf it they built in a failsafe where the sword could not hurt Vecna despite its power.  These dwarves want their evil lord overthrown.  We're not sure we buy it, but at this point they claim to be ammenable to building us another weapon, one that could kill Vecna.  But to do so we must complete a task for them:  Slay permanently the dracolich that dwells in the depth beneath their forge!

The good thin here is that we have benefit of some time to set up, rest, and go in without already having the crap beat out of us.  When we engage the dracolich it's in the massive cavern below.  It uses the water to conceal itself much of the time.  The buffs we put on first are all the difference!  Because Griff has five different buffs on him (including one where enemies can only attack him at disadvantage and the one that gives him an automatic evade against incoming attacks, plus flight and haste and a weapon bless so it does more damage) he becomes the tip of the spear, but also Eibon has got haste and a bless also, so he's pumping out damage every time it pops up.  This thing breath toxic gas clouds and has a claw-claw-bite-tailswipe combo that does massive damage.  But with the buffs and the heals, it eventually winds up being defeated because Griff's relentlessness causes it to submerge and a spell from Diana to make Griff automatically succeed at spotting his foe allowed them to engage finally until it got cut to pieces.

We take the head up as proof and they are willing to make us a Glaive, because it's a new challenge for them.  Fortunately we found some more of the mithril we need down in the dragon's lair.  They spend six days making it and fitting it with a draco-lich bone handle, then we depart the place and try the next zone.

The next fight, where we are less prepared, we take some fair damage.  We popped through a gate into an unvisited zone and wind up with toads spitting fireballs at us.  One of them escapes of the three.  We find a burial mound and suspect this is the unresting place of Vecna because it has abjuration magic on it. cast to keep something in.

We decide to check out the last zone.  When we do we find another place with a door that has a protection on it.  Diana dispels it, Shalia picks the lock, but we find another door just like if on the other side.  The first door had abjuration and scrying protecton to keep people out; this one is to keep something in and unable to see out.

Well, we get past this door and beyond that when you enter the room you are set upon by a vampire mist, a red figure with tentacles that take a couple damage from you and add the health to hitself.  And what's worse, once we leave the room and come back there are two of them.  So it's primarily up to glaive boy since many of us don't have the magic weapons to fight it.

I should mention this last work is Greyhawk, and that we are in the Kron mountains a couple days from Verbonk.  We stayed at an Inn the night before and a couple Larry cultists tried to rob us and got the piss scared out of them as a result.  When they failed to gain entrance and Griff tried to hack them up they fled but he chased them down and caught them.  ("They know the city, we'll have a roll-off to see if they can escape." --Jim rolls a 15.  "Beat that!"  Paul rolls three sixes.  "I grab them by their knecks and drag them back.").

Also, the locals are having trouble with "monsters" at the local quarry.  A description of something erupting from the ground sounds familiar so we checked it out and that's how we find ourselves doing battle with dual vampire mists.

Paul slices them up, vampire mist tar tar.  For our trouble we find... the HAND OF VECNA.

Fortunately, when Diana picks it up she's able to resist it.  I think she may have had to cash in a re-do.  The proximity of the Eye to the Hand causes Griff, the eye possessor, to have to make a similar roll... he fails his, also does  re-do, and fails that!  But fortuantely he has a second re-do, and makes that one!

As we flee to the exit to go back to our world this world is having some funky storms that are unnatural.  We are being pursued by dark clouds and literally black lightning; no flash of light, just eveything goes black when it strikes.

We get through the gate and have to decide between which place to go:  We have the world that has the burial mound (and likely the body of Vecna) and we have the one that has the door with the hand and eye biometric scanners.  I believe that is the one we opted for before the game ended.


Game 11:

Diana (Joe), Griff and npc Edwin (Paul), Shalia and npc Kaydor (Alan), Eibon and npc Anna (Darren)
After procuring the hand of Larry, we gate back to our world pursued by black lightning storms.  In our world we have enough time to open the gate and get through before an equally horrible storm arrives at the standing stones.  Once we arrive in the plane that has the door with the hand and eye biometrics we notice a similar storm starts forming here.  We apply the larry parts to the door and go through.
But not before we have to fight a scorpion whose bone armor soaks a lot of damage and it has a HUGE amount of hitpoints.
There are a number of scary traps and wards to bypass, which often involves using Diana’s dispel, Shalia’s thieving skills, and then having to wait on the other side of the trap to regain spells before continuing on, so for the characters it’s all very staggered.  Among the things we encounter (possibly out of order)…
A room with powdered bone on the floor and blood on the ceiling, with three doors.  Dispel a door, pick the lock, run through the door into the hall to avoid being ceiling squished.
A hallway with a field of “positive energy” preventing us from getting past it without suspected large amounts of pain until we dispel it.
A room with another trixy door and a cement ceremonial sarcophagus at the end of it with a space in which to lay a body!
So this means we’ve arrived at the final destination at which we are to bring the body, but the body is not here.  Doh!  We have to go back to the burial mound in the other zone we visited.
So we backtrack back through the dungeon, back to the other gate, where we cross over and have to deal with the fire toads again.  We pretty firmly destroy these three.
This dungeon similarly is full of things we have to slowly deactivate and pass in increments, but also some features like a tiny volcano into which fire toads come and go in the middle of a room full of red dust that burns the lungs when kicked up.  After defeating this room (one toad escaping into the lava) we have to cross another area of lava, but not before it scalds the crap out of Griff.  When we reach the final chamber we have to fight with eyeless/handless Larry!
His room is spewing smoke which is REALLY stymying the group because we can’t target shit and spells/arrows/etc. need a target.  Eventually Griff heads in and discovers a throne, which he decides to attach because he feels that is the source of the smoke.  He’s right, as beneath it is a decanter of endless smoke.  Once he caps that we can come in and fight.  It’s a pretty lengthy fight in which we finally defeat him.  We haul his body back through the dungeon, again dealing with the traps in stages.
Back in the Rez-Zone… we navigate the dungeon, get to the final room, put the body in the altar-cophagi, and there’s a big pulse of necro energy before Larry makes is presence seen again.  This time he’s got his hand and eye and we have to deal with not just his field of darkness, but his invisibility!
Virtually everything he does allows him to drain hitpoints from us!  And most of us can’t target him for a long time.  Griff is very much the aggressor in this, flying into darkness.  Now after earlier defeating Larry earlier we have levelled, so his choice of the blind-fighting trait is helpful in helping him target.  Larry keeps flying around the room, draining and carpet bombing us with necro-blasts.  There’s a final push by Larry as he tries to run down the hallway and get out into the world, but many, many, many times he is stopped by some combination or interposing between him and the exit, grappling with him, and at one point even a short-lived entangle.  We hurt or grab him, he hurts us and heals himself, and progresses. The positive energy field helps injure him but he does make it to the other side.  At the end of the hallway, just as he might turn and make it to the pulverizing room, he is finally engaged and with his darkness gone (because it was dispelled by the positive energy field), he’s finally brought down.  He took a few arrows, a bunch of hits by Griff’s undead-killing glaive, more than a few undead turns (though those he mostly shrugged off), and quite a few stabs from Shalia (who upgraded Vecna/Larry’s name yet again to “Bitch”).
When he dies there’s another pulse of death energy that knocks some of us down.  In that instant some of us witness his eye and hand breaking away from the body and flying off into other dimensions, while his body merely disintegrates.  Kaydor the evil died in the last minutes of the fight, in a bad spot to be reached with a heal or stabilize.
We head back to the city, discovering that it is largely damaged from the ongoing battle with the undead.  The elder queen is dead, as his her wizard.  We are offered a big party but we discourage this as it’s unseemly with the land in ruins.
The last thing that happens is that we encounter another being and are awed.  It’s some sort of angel who appears through a spontaneous gate in the air.  ‘Tis an emissary of Pelor, come to tell us that our job is not done yet.  Seems Vecna’s eye and hand are in unknown lands and his body will eventually reconstitute.
When we defeated him that last time though, we felt “different” afterward.  It turns out we’d ‘exalted’ for lack of a better turn.  If/When Jim continues the campaign, we have switched systems from TinyDungeon to Godbound!  We will each have 1 word specific to us and Jim would provide us the conversion rules.