Lore (Recaps)


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

So we exalted last campaign.  Now that we're helping the kingdom clean itself up there are a few things we must consider...

An announcement has been made that young Queen Rachel will be coronated, and that will immediately be followed by her wedding, to chief dufus Kevin, her long time inept boyfriend.

Also we are asked by Anna, the Druid who was with us and also exalted, and who is the queen's new advisor, if we would help her clear the Dragon turtle out of the swamp so she can beging to use her powers to start turning that back into a real forest.  That would not be until after the coronation.  Our sage has been installed as the queen's advisor on magic, and Edwin is the queen's new spiritaul advisor.

Two days before the ceremony, the Gypsies arrive in town and the queen insists on seeing them so she leaves the castle walls and, naturally, we are set upon by Vecna Assassins in mob formation, so we do our best to try and save her. (Remember the Eibon that was doing all sorts of arrow murder last campaign?  Well... seems he's one in reverse and can't hit a thing).  Eventually the bad guys are put down.

(+1 hp)

The night before the wedding, more vecna assassins penetrate the castle and try to kidnap the would-be-queen.  Eibon opens the door of his room, takes two poison blow darts in the chest and goes down.  Fortunately he made both poison saves or I'd be on charcter #3, but he's out the whole fight.  Shalia throws daggers and gets more guards up there to help while Griff hacks away at the enemy.  They get the unconscious queen into a sheet and attempt to lower her out the window on a rope, but that is foiled by some combination of Shalia and the guards.  Only one villain escapes but he's empty-handed.

(Anima Banner unlocked)

Coronation comes and goes without issue. It's immediately followed by the wedding and that's fine but not long after we deal with more traditional, less hired-killery Vecna cultists.  This too is not an easy fight but it's evil mob vs good mob plus us.  Good mob goes down first but we mop up the rest of the bad guys.

Now let's talk celebratory dance.  Seems the gypsies created a new song and dance in honor of the queen, and in mid-performance it's punctuated by an unexpected monlogue from the lead gypsy herself, as she goes into a trance and then proclaims a vision of darkness descending, a protracted quest, and a final battle in a dark land.  Then she snaps out of it and obviously we have our future mapped out for us, in the vaguest possible way.

(Unlock the ability to perform a miracle; This is where you commit an effort and it lets you use an ability that normally doesn't cost effort and that lasts a scene.  Correct me if I explained it wrong.)

We have to pass on Anna's immediate dragon turtle concern.  Instead, our sage has come up with a place where we can gather more information.  Seems there's an oracle in White Bridge, in the distant mountains, who can tell us things in return for knowledge.  He/She/It wants a secret only we can tell it and in exchange it may be able to answer a question, or we're hoping, point us in the direction we need to go.  So we head that way.

There are tales of giants the direction we are going.  But what we run into instead is more likely an Ogre.  We try a new tactic... We back up and Eibon tries ranged attacks while Griff intercedes.  Shalia gets in close and is KO'd, but the Ogre does go down.

(Fray Die D8 unlocked)

We find giants on the road but manage to hide from them rather than taking them on, since the Ogre was no pushover and these guys are bigger and there's more than one.

We arrive in a village and the locals are dying for information.  Their community, made up of a throughly mixed population of Elves, Humans, Dwarves, Gnomes, and Half-Orcs (But no Aasimar or Tieflings) likes to hear of our exploits and hosts us without attacking us in our sleep (that we know of).  They give us directions to White Bridge.

White Bridge is made of white marble and extends across an enormous gorge.  On the other side is an enormous earth golem or animated creature of some sort, who only lets us pass when we read the passage inscribed overhead that asks what we seek and we answer "Understanding".

Inside we find long hall that ends in a barred door.  The voice on the other side (when we knock) belongs to Meery, a gnome who is the Oracle and librarian of this place.  We try to give her a piece of our mind... in the form of things only we would know, but it's not satisfactory.  So she offers us the same information we seek in excahnge for fixing a problem of hers. A demon that eats knowlege is in the cellar of this place. It's killed other exterminators, but if we succeed she'll help us.

We go in, fight a group of thought-eaters (Little guys with claws and one big eye), who upon a successful hit can take one of your skills, randomly determined.  The first group isn't too bad. 

(Gain 1 gift point!)

The second group are similarly small and take some more skills.  By the time we get to the group of slightly larger ones, we're on fumes and Griff goes down.  We close the door, Shalia bars it with daggers into the door frame, and we drag Griff away.

 When we go back the next day it's similarly populated.  We do more of the same but have a problem on the next sized up version (large) and while we take them down we sustain more loss.

(Gain 2nd Effort point)

And the next room with the big boss we have to retreat from in similar fashion back to the entrance.  It's worth noting that at least now when we face these groups we have two things in our favor:  They are finally dwindling in number, and Eibon now has a feet that lets him commit to automatically hit lesser foes, which all of these are.

The big boss is another story.  This demon has spider and human parts and burns.  This time when it gets to us, it comes through the doorway and Griff is waiting to one side and unleashes his miracle; a greater gift that lets him burn both his effort in essentially an all-or-nothing attack called (I believe) "Loosenging God's Teeth".  He swings and if he can potentially do straight damage, which for him is quite a bit.  And when he connects it works and the villain takes 9pts to add to the peppering he's been taking from Shalia from daggers.

(Gain 1 dominion point each, which can be spent on making artfiacts)

We are still injured and down some skills in the dungeon.  We get one save per day to try to recover the skills.


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

We haul the knowledge-eating demon's head back to the librarian and she basically says (assuming I understand this correctly) that she can scrye for information, but to gain the kind of information we need, which is concealed by gods, we need to sacrifice some artifacts at the cost of one per piece of knowledge.  We ask about the location of artifacts and she gives us a list of what she knows of (ALL SPELLINGS ARE GUESSWORK ON MY PART)...

Lesser artifacts...

Greater artifacts...

We will head toward Baldur's Gate in hopes of convincing the Paladin that giving up his sword is for the greater good, but we'll stop off in the Highmoor and look for a Black Dragon.

On the way out of Whitebridge we fight a Fire Giant and his 4 hell hounds.  The Hellhounds get peppered with attacks by us but the giant's demise is all Griff, as he again uses "Loosen God's Teeth" and with an epic roll manages to critical the roll, making an utter blood stain out of the giant, rending him to pieces with his bare hands!

The city near the Highmoor has a small inn where we learn a little about the forest and the dragon.  Mostly that anyone who goes looking for the black dragon never comes back, and that there's an old druid named Zass who lives out there as a hermit.

We go out half-cocked to look at the forest and end up going in anyway when a special site power miracled-up by Diana gets us the potential trail of the druid.  When we follow it turns out it's not the druid, it's a guy from the tavern we were collecting info at, and he inadvertently leads us to the druid.  The druid holes up in his shack and refuses to help us so we camp out.  Next day he comes out because we wouldn't leave and he's wearing a gold chain, which it is guessed  (and rightly) that it has on it the Amulet of Supremacy.  Yep, here there be dragon!

Knowing there's a potential fight coming the dragon sends off his minion rather than get it killed.  And yes, a fight happens but it does not go well!  While some clever tactics were deployed (Namely, Diana neutralizing its magic for a round so it couldn't breath on us or spell cast, and Shalia distracting it with fake spellcasters and such), ultimately we fail because both Griff and Eibon couldn't hit shit!  When two of us are down the dragon pulls up and tells us we can leave if we give it all our money and go.  We have no choice but to agree.

The next 90 minutes or so are spent with obsessed Diana and Griff trying to figure out how to kill the dragon while Eibon and Shalia try to convince them to move on to the next target.  We hunt for some food, the rest we get by buddying up to traveling caravans as we head to the same place..Baldur's gate.

There we ingratiate ourselves to the temple of Helm and meet the Paladin who owns the Sword of Light.  He's not interested in giving it up as it's a family heirloom.  But they help us get information on the local Assassin's guild below a rich tavern called the Bloody Rose.  The rest of the information we get from a miracle performed by Diana which allows her to scry on many of the areas below the tavern, getting us a pretty good map of where we need to go.

When we go in, the first group are thugs hanging around a table, whom we take out narrowly before any can escape and raise an alarm.  But that doesn't matter so much as we come to a hallway with two pairs of assassins and we back up hoping to draw them into the room we're in, but instead they hold off and wait for their boss to show up with his black sword of evil.  He proceeds to screw up our sight, except for Diana who can see through it.  He takes out Eibon before he is felled by some shots in the dark!  We collect the sword and get out.  



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

We took the black sword back and got an opportunity to rest.  Next day we are dining when some loud crashing sounds followed by people shouting happen. Outsdie two factions have broken out in a fight: A group of men in black cloaks and a bunch of beggar kids and street people are feuding in the street.  It takes a moment to decide who to attack, which ends up being the assassins, because the thieves were "enchanted".  Someone compelled them to bait the assassins out causing the open warfare and when Diana dispels the enchantment they (wisely) try to flee.  Soon both factions have vanished.  We talk to the city guard about all this, a group of hired swords called the Burning Fist.

Out of this we got another gift point!  Diana and Griff continue to plot the demise of the Black Dragon from last game.  And attempt is made to talk to the paladin with the sword of light but he doesn't seem interested in loaning us his sword.  Shalia goes to the Velvet Rose to talk to someone there in hopes of getting an audience with the thieves guild folks in order to discuss the chaos in the streets earlier.  For her trouble, the hostess returns to us in head form only:  Her severed head is tossed through the window of the Inn at which we are staying.  We argue with the innkeeper who seems to think it's our fault that his place attracts chaos so we change Inns.

At the new inn, someone tries our door knob and is confronted by an awake and alert Griff who captures her.  She's some elven kid from the thieve's guild who was sent to mess with us.  Seems her handler, a redheaded halfling named Sarlak, threatened her into coming here.  In return for the info, she is safely escorted way out of town by Griff and Shalia.  Meanwhile, Diana does an examination of the area we know Sarlac to frequent.  She manages to scope out enough of the layout of his under-graveyard lair that we can set up an assault.

We get in, set up near where they are ensconced, a tripwire is narrowly avoided, and Shalia opens the door and retreats so that the two factions are facing one another and this ends up being kind of one-sided for a few reasons:  Shalia's illusions waste a few of their attacks, Eibon auto-hits normals (which they all are), Diana neutralizes a fireball cast by their leade, and Griff rushes in and seizes him.  It's not easy to convince him that it's in our best interest to tell us what's going on.  Due to one strong reaction to mentioning turnign him over to the Assassin's guild we decide that we should turn him over there or he should tell us everything.  The tale that eventually comes out is that after we killed the Assassin's guild leader (last game) he felt this destabilized thing.  He's the beggar king, leader of a sort of lesser sect of the thieve's guild.  He used his magic to compel his people to draw out and atack the assassins.  His aim was to seize control of all the guilds (Beggar, Thief, and Murderer).  In return for coming clean, we turned him over to the Burning Fist.  We got a second Dominion point.

At that point we're plotting if it's time to make artifacts, and when Griff and Eibon decide they want to make stuff we plan to head out of town becuase making artifacts if big, noisy business.  However, this is sidetracked when the town's council summons us.  There's a council of 4, 3 of which are present.  They seek information about how we knew where to find Sarlac, and what's going on and why were are in town.  We tell them the broader points of the whole Vecna Redux that is coming.  They tell us that beneath the castle is a series of doors that go to other plains.  It's a matter of finding the right key in order to open such doors but it's possible there could be one to take us to Vecna's World or whatever it's called.  This is useful, we'll just have to figure out what they keys are.

We are headed out for another artifact and along the way to find a place to hole up briefly and build artifacts.  We have an open glenn, which would be nice but probably attract a lot of attention, or a smaelly cave which is occupied by ginormous bear.  We take the bear on and it does NOT go smoothly.  Griff is damaged enough that he goes all-in on his big whammy, which hits and does lots of damage, but not enough before Griff goes down.  Then Eibon shoots him a few times and finishes him off.  We rest, then the two people spending dominion points make their artifacts in relative isolation because no one would want to come near that bear's cave.  For that fight I believe we gained the ability to use a miracle to "shock and awe" crowds.

Now that we've got something new we head after the hunter who stalks these woods.  What we find first is a pack of five hunting hounds. Fortunately we are all up in trees so the hounds don't account for much just now.  We damage them from up high while they chase down Shalia's illusions.  Then one of them that we should have realized was the hunter from the way he literally barked orders, changes into dragon form.  Griff leaps from a tree and lands on him successfully, which is a great plant... until he changes into a hummingbird.  Evean at that, as Griff is falling he manages to seize the humming bird--but it actually slips out of his fingers (due to the GM spending an Effort from the hunter's pool).  The wolves continue to be picked off.  The dragon squares up and spits acid but does minimal damage to Diana and Shalia.  The hummingbird flees to where it can hid and change again.  It tries to change into a Medusa but is neutralized by the waiting Diana who dispells that transformation.  Griff runs over to beat up the Hunter but takes a couple more points from the last wolf.  The hunter ends up taking him down.  The Hunter goes after Shalia next while Eibon attempts to hit him with arrows. His new trinket gives him a great chance of hitting that he fails many times.  It misses him a bunch of times but eventually hits and he goes down.  This gives Diana long enough to bring Griff back up to finally take down the hunter.

We get his hunters cloak which allows transformations.  And we gain another gift point.


Diana Solara (Joe), Shalia (Alan), Griff (Paul), Eibon (Darren)

Griff has adopted the cloak of transformations mostly because nobody seemed real eager to take it.  We decide we can find out more info about our quests by heading to Candlekeep, where they have the biggest library in the world.  Thing is, to get in you have to offer them knowlege.  Could be a lost tome, a piece of useful information, or anything else that they would see as important data for their archives.  We decide to go there even though we are the know-nothing party.

Shalia fast-talks us through the gate.  When we get to the man who makes the data exchanges, Diana, who has decided she has changed enough that her new self should be renamed... SOLARA, declares that she has knowledge of a new God entering the world.  They don't seem interested until she uses the "Show off" miracle and scares the guy into relenting.  Solara has to do this again when we get to the next rung up the ladder, but she awes them and we find out how to make the key to the shadowfell.

Periodically Solara will scry on the Queen to make sure she's fine and there seems to be no problem there.  We head back to Baldur's Gate to try out the gate to Shadowfell.  We do this without incident.  The other side has the well known "Breath of cold" effect, where it costs an additional effort when using gifts.  Eibon has taken the gift from another word (Entropy) that allows him to ignore this effect.  But having this hazard in play causes some confusion because we've modified the cost of casting a Miracle (to come more closely in line with the wording in the book) and then added this extra math.  But we figure it out eventually.

On the other side appears to be some sort of dungeon.  We know that this world is in a perpetual twilight but we are definitely indoors.  Immediately we have to deal with two Skeletal Cocodile/Aligators, but it's the easiest fight of the night.  Next room is full of vampire bats, but Shalia gets through because her new word (NIGHT) allows her to effortlessly sneak past anyone unconscious without disturbing them unless she intends to.   Solar anad Eibon go tandem, she using her perception and ability to see in the dark and he using his sneak.  Griff shapeshifts and flies through.  On the other side is a tunnel upward with a set of iron rungs that are tenuous, but we manage to get up there.  We know that zombies, skeletons and assorted undead wander this world freely.  Solara users her senses to keep an eye ahead and Griff uses shapechange to go up high sometimes, but we make our way to what turns out to be an encmpment of actual people!

They are regular humans who hide to keep away from the "walkers".  They tell us the dead wander through on a regular schedule that can be predicted roughly.  They are alive mostly because there is one farmer and a cleric-type who can just barely get back his create food and water spell.  We head off toward the farmer who we think may be able to tell us more.  After finding Rolf, we find he's got a water clock that keeps track of when the dead will return.  He's never been further to the north(?)... well, he's never been to whatever the dead are walking to, and since it only takes them an hour to be coming back, unless they're taking a break before they walk back--the end of the line appears to be about a half hour away.

We find that they are going to a dry riverbed and stopping then turning around.  On the other side appears to be a wall of darkness and it appears that we are inside a domed dimension of some sort.  We go along the riverbed and never see the footprints of the dead across the riverbed, which confuses us because... why not cross it?  But we decide if there's an intelligence involved in guiding them they might have been instructed to patroll to the dry riverbed and return.

Eventually we get back to the encampment and ask about the other direction.  Seems there's a castle that way surrounded by the dead.  Sounds like it will have the guy we are looking for.  Oh, I fogot to mention that:  We're here because there's a guy with a crown artifact.

After some distant surveillance, Shalia tries to get in up close and check things out but ends up having to retreat when spotted by some wraith-types.  We take out the wraiths when they get there but now we know the extent of how they interact with illusions.  Maybe.  I mean, they might have just made their perecption rolls.

Finally our plan is more straightforward that usual (lately):  We are going to use shape-changing Griff to carry us to one of the towars and hopefully set us down fast enough to be able to fight.  This plan works!  And we manage to dispatch some wraiths and head inside.  Once there we are beset by a pretty large horde of assorted undead!  EIbon pulls a Griff and miracles a power that lets him to straight damage to the mob for a massive amount, and the others contribute a like amount and that mob is destroyed.  We also make our way past some animated suits of armor by having Griff run though and bowl through the opposing door and then we follow because they've already done their attacks of opportunity.  It works!

The head badguy (who/whatever he is) has a tomb further on.  We head that way and Eibon uses his last miracle to soften that mob up pretty good.  Problem wasn't them so much as the guys beyond them: A human caster type with two guards that are in suits of armor.  There's some timing confusion on our part but we engage and the lead wiz gets crunched good.  In fact, Griff runs in and does the patented Griff finishing move, "Loosen God's Teeth"--it did however force Paul to spend his two cached gift points on a point of Effort or else he can't do this.  But it pays off when he pops him so hard the crown flies into the air and rattles around on the ground.  Unfortunatley by now he's so low on health (even with the healing of Solara) that his sidekicks bring down Griff.  Then they move in on us and Solar and Shalia are doing their best to keep Eibon up since he's got the most damage potential.  Shalia interposes and goes down as does one of the others and it becomes a little bit of a relay race as Eibon has to pull back and Solara has to try and draw his fire.  Instead he is getting hurt enough that he runs back to the prone Shalia and threatens to kill her unless we let him leave with the crown.  Finally, both Eibon and Solara pledge to assist him in getting out of this world--and to prevent the unconscious party members from killing him.

You see where this is going.

When he awakens, Griff is outraged that this guy is still alive and we've bargained with him.  So when he makes a move, Solara opts to interpose to keep her word, and Eibon is left deciding what to do.  Join in or stop Griff.  He asks politely for Griff to stop (but really wants Griff to waste this guy).  He then has to choose:  as a godbound, your word is bond and there could be some sort of backlash to acting against his word.  So Eibon opts for certainty (of pissing off Griff) over uncertainty (the universe kicking his ass).  It was the wrong decisiona and completely counter to his nature, and he will have ot recover from that.

The fight is halted when the about-to-be-slain badguy bargains to let us have the crown in exchange for getting out of this world unharmed.  Griff relents and the guy lives.



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

We are still in the land of shadows and badness.  A fight almost breaks out again as you can see the rage in Griff, but the bad guy two of us agreed to let live ("Reza") is allowed to live a little longer.  We head back to the tower and are ferried out by Griff in Hippogriff form.  Once outside we discover that the world is falling apart.  We estimate we have two days to find the gate and get out but that's create some issues with the humans we'v encountered here being stuck.  Solara and Shalia both have means of spying on them but only Shalia can send a message, by making an illusionary avatar of an angel appear and instruct everyon in one of the towns tell everyone to head immediately to the other town (the one with the gate) which is now named "Berlin".  He also attempts to get a message to the farmer who was feeding people but it's hard to tell if that guy was buying into this or not.

We converge on Berlin with many portals in the sky open with environmental and biological elements filtering into the realm, and we round everyone up.  Before we can get them their instructions, three hags show up looking for a meal of human.  Solara and EIbon proceed to go on an EPIC series of misses.  Fight would have been over quickly if we'd hit on 1/3 of those misses.  But enough damage is done by Griff and Shalia to drive them back.  We try and set up a way down into the passage that leads to the exit gate, but we still have those bats between us and the exit.  We leave Solara upstairs to watch the mortals while the three of us go downstairs to play bat exterminator.  Fortunately Eibon hit some of the time this go around since he does massive damage to mobs.  We cut down the bats but as we clean up there there's a panic upstairs because the hags have returned.  Solara's light is the MVP of the hag fights becuase it kills their ability to shadow walk around the board.  Hags get hacked up and then we run everyoune out of the zone as fast as we can.

Unfortunatley not everyone makes it.  It was estimated there were about 150 people but only about 100 make it out.  Once in Baldur's gate they have issues with absorbing 100 refugees.  We decide we'll run them back to Silverymoon and when we're there we'll check in on a few people (Queen Rachel, Anna the Druid, etc.).  But first...

Reza has slipped away into the city.  Griff will not let that stand.  And having completed their promise to Reza to get him out, Solara and Eibon are able to decide what they'd like to do.  Which of course would be to kill the bastard.  He' working as mercenary and Shalia tries to bait him in with a promis of lucrative employement, but that fails.  But Shalia manages to figure out a part of town where he might be.  We cruise the taverns and manage to figure out where he is.  When we follow (Shalia and Griff in disguise; Eibon as himself) we finally find him and before Griff can spring his trap a host of thugs show up to intercede.  At that point Eibon picks off thugs and the trio converge on him.  He only recognizes one of us and has no idea who the woman (shapechanged Griff) is who is ripping him limb-from-limb.

When they're done we go back for some rest but next morning the authorities show up.  "You know that guy you were looking for showed up dead.  And one of the people seen there looks like one of you."  Eibon:  "Am I the only Tiefling in town?  Do we all look alike to you?"

They want to bring in a cleric to test our honesty and Shalia, Goddess of Deception, encourages this.  She yields all questions and they can't tell she's lying through her teeth.  They apologize and leave.

We herd our humans to Silverymoon without much problem.  There we meet with the Queen who is pregnant but has recently lost the king to an attack by assassins.  She laments being there, and especially that she has to keep the potential royal heir safe.

We go looking for Anna the Druid who nobody has seen since we departed.  We check out the swamp she wants cleaned up but can't find her, so we go toward the dragon turtle she wants dead.  There's a fight during which we can't get the dragon turtle to stay up out of the water for very long.  Griff has one big-swing at it and misses, we do some minor damage overall, and it retreats to its cave--but we aren't swimming in after it.  So after we (mostly Solara) have peppered his helpers, some crocs, into retreating upriver, we end up leaving as we can do this another time, especially if we find Anna.  But we don't find any sign of her.

We check out the ruins and find the place is run by (as the GM put it) Elderly Teens.  We decide to head to the other swamp to retrieve his artifact, but mostly to destroy the smug bastard.  Once there we bait him by having Griff fly us up high so that he can see and come after us.  We get down as fast as we can and begin to do our thing.  But the real turning point of this fight is when once again Griff unleashes his nuke-gift and for what... the third time... rolls a crit and does mega-damage to the dragon, which is good because he only had a 5% chance of hitting him.  To that point only Eibon could hit him because of the cheatin' AC modifying power.  But he crushes the dragon thoroughly and we've got ourselves a new crown.

There's also a subplot involving getting the Paladin with the sword of ligh to help us in our quest but he doesn't fall for Shalia's "Help us obi-wan you're our only hope" hologram.  So he's still out there refusing our calls.


Shalia (Alan), Solara (Joe), Griff (Paul)

The game started with the creation of two artifacts.  Shaleia used the existing ever smoking bottle and created an item that immediately creates a lot of mist that his party can see through.  Solara used the dragon's eye and thigh bone to create a staff called Solara's Staff of disclosure that allows her to detect magic, illusion and dispels magical darkness.  It's also a staff with a huge dragon eye that constantly moves around looking at folks. 

We then went to Baldur’s gate to find the paladin because Shaleia's ability to scry him did not tell us where he was.  We had a quick religious discussion with the Priest who reluctantly agreed to ask Pelor.  Turns out our brother god was not helpful and actually sent the paladin on a quest to get away from us.  So much for help from the other gods. 

We then traveled to Mari to ask for help destroy the artifacts.  We started with the sword to help us learn the location of Larry's eye.  Upon destruction, a rift opened and a retributive deity inspired chain golem popped out.  Mari ran, and we all attacked.  It pretty quickly dropped Griff and Solara.  Shaleia, however, figured out how to do damage and killed it.  Mari came back and explained that the eye is on a realm ran by dragon kings.  We think we can access it through the standing stones.  As a reward for mostly getting our butts kicked, we got our last miracle aspect.

We then sacrificed the amulet to find the hand.  Out of a new rift stepped a black dragon appeared.  We all attacked and promptly missed it.  It attacked and dropped Mari and hurt Griff.  At this point, Solara made a medicine role and noticed that she was not bleeding out.  Turns out she is Godbound too.  Shaleia created darkness around it, which didn’t work.  The dragon tried to breathe, but Solara dispelled it, which annoyed it greatly.  It charged Solara and landed a bunch of damage.  We dropped it though before it dropped us.  We healed Mari, and she told us that the hand was on Mystara in a jungle protected by a snake cult.  We were awarded our last Gift point.
We then sacrificed the crown to find the phylacary. A demon of pure darkness entered through a slash in reality. Shaleia used a miracle to suppress it’s darkness.  Turns out darkness demons don’t like that.  Since he can see through Shaleia's darkness, Griff uses his major mojo to do 15 points.  Turns out demons don’t like that either.  It turns on it’s darkness and goes after Shaleia.  Solara dispels his darkness and lights up the room, which drops his AC.  Again, he was not a fan.  He drops Shaleia, but Solara hits with max damage.  With the lowered AC, Griff goes all Hulk Hogan and punches right through him.  Note: he can do the super damage move more now since he bought the power with his new gift point, and it def mattered in this fight.  For our awesome ass-kicking, we become level 2.  With the new level, we get a fact that grants us a new skill, mortal talent or weapon proficiency.  We can also swap stats and change our looks if we want.  Solara’s eyes now glow with an inner light.  Others did not change. Per Mari, the phylacory is being held on the Pasha of Calimshan on this plain.

We are running low on gold especially Solara who had her gold stolen in a random encounter.  So, on the travels, Shaleia decides to steal some gold from a few shop keepers.  She was noticed by the guards and ran away and then talked her self out of it.

Along the way, we attacked a group of goblins and trolls that were going to attack a farming town.  We disperse them and stay the night in the town.  Shaleia leaves a gold under the pillow of each kid making the town love us.  We get cajoled into killing the rest of the goblins and agree because we are hero types.  A local hunter decides to join us although we figure out he didn't think we were really heroes and wanted to see if we were any good.  We ultimately find a gathering of goblins and beat their ass.  The hunter realized we are legit and leaves.  We look more and find a small army of goblins (about 300).  Beyond them in the caves, we find orcs, a few trolls, a few small giants and a big giant...some with magic. Here's where we really missed our little teifling that kills big groups.  Without him, we are pretty afraid.  After a few hours of making a bunch of plans, we decide to do our normal and wing it.  We have Griff turn into a dragon, and ride him.  Shaleia throws mist everywhere.  We throw damage from the air to thin out the heard while we wait for the big guys. Out comes the big giant and four trolls. The giant casts magic to dispel the mist, and Solara dispels it.  The giant runs back in while we cause carnage.  He comes out with a scroll that we counter again.  All five come back and throw boulders at us.  Griff and Solara both miss their luck checks and take some damage.  Fortunately, we make our saves or this would have been a quick game. We flee and find shelter.

We go back in an hour, and they are packing up.  We attack again for a few rounds and leave.  At this point, we've killed 30 or so assorted goblins and trolls.  We then flee and try talking to them from afar using Solara’s ability.  It goes nowhere as the giant just taunts us "cowards" and demands we come fight him one on one.  Instead, we flee back to the farming town, and Shaleia talks them into fleeing to Balder’s Gate.  We wait behind the gates with a desperate plan to slow them down.  We basically challenge the giant to a 1 on 1 fight…well, have Griff challenge him.  However, the Giant is no idiot and sends the whole army.  We flee proving to him that we are cowards.  We go up into the air above their ability to shoot arrows and keep fraying the small guys.  We harass for a while  and then notice they are digging.  With some enhanced site, we find out they are digging for a giant metal leg deep in the ground.  Yes, you read that right.  It's a giant, robot-like thigh of a giant.  We flew to Balder Gate and warned Joanna that an army is coming and then went to sleep.  Next day, we went to the palace and talked to the ruling council.  Shaleia pissed off one of the ruling council and they both stormed out.  However, we talked to Joanna who will take action and then bailed.  From talking to her though, we have figured out that the giants all seem to be working together and maybe they are digging up different metal golem giant parts.  Joanna did know that way back in history, the giants and dragons had a huge battle.  The giants were winning because they had a secret weapon, but the dragons barely pulled it out.  We are guessing that the giants are now rebuilding this super weapon.


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

Our next plan was to head to the South to where the Pasha of Calishman (Sorry, I don't remember the spelling so we'll have to live with that for now) has possession of a Phylactery that belonged to Larry.  So that means some travel soth quite a ways.  Between land, sea, and beng flown by Griff, sea seemed to be fastest.  Luck would have it that a ship was leaving next day and also that weather was pretty good.  So we booked passage and met Captain Scott of the Golden Swan.  We're expect to help defend the boat (Which of course we're going to do if the thing we're floating on is attacked).

Soon we encounter a pirate ship.  As it closes on us, Eibon rains down some arrows on tthe crew.  Solara can see that their captain may have a couple items of magic but no artifacts.  Shalia overruns the deck with imaginary tentacles and apparently all this is enough to get them to run away.

Next sea encounter is a school of sea turtles that the captain wants to harvest for a meal.  Eibon suggests to Solara that she look down below and make sure these aren't just the babies.  Indeed there is a massive turtle the size of our ship and so we convince the captain not to attack them for fear of capsizing the boat.

Third encounter is a strange storm that is coming onshore and we prepare for but seems strange and possibly manipulated.  Solara casts a dispel and turns off the storm's magic, making the Thunderbird at its core visible.  We take some shots and injure it as we're tried to the deck. It manages to knock a crewman off the deck.  It tries to recreate its storm but Solara cancels that one too.  Preturbed it flies away, and the crew member is fished from the sea.

When we arrive in port, the captain has all sorts of advice abut blending in, having the women be subservient (think middle-east culture) and being low-key.  Griff can turn into various animals due to his cloak, and opts to tunr into a generic human (who is more of our culture than theirs).  Shalia can do some disguising of self, and Solara can veil-up, but EIbon is a sore thumb with his red skin and horns, so he wears a turbin but can't hide the skin.

We try to gather info on the royal palace and end up taking a trip to the wall that surrounds it so Solara can user her site powers to x-ray the place.  But we are being watched by guards for some reason.  Apparently the Pasha wears several illusions and magical protections.  No phylactery is seen, leading us to beleive that it is a decoy or possibly a usurper.  (Joe and Alan both guess rightly that it's a Rakshasa, as we'll find out later).

There is an entrance in the water that will run to the catacombs, which are the holding place of the local criminals.  We have an unhealthy encounter with the sea, as the rules for drowing are far more stringent than the ones for combat, as Eibon has to be fished out of the water (for going in with his armor on and lapsing consciousness).  Griff's sea-tutle express gets us down there.  But I remember now I skipped something...

We were going to go back to the ship (and then sneak off the ship and go to this sea entrance) but on the way ten guards decide they want us to come with them for questioning.  We are almost up for it just to find out more information, but then they want us shackled and none of us are going to deal with that so Shalia uses the smoking bottle to put us in a cloud tht we then run through and around these bozos.  THEN we go straigh to the caves as best we can, so now go back to that.

At the cave, we continue in and find the door and on the other side Solara sees guards.  Shalia can't pick the lock, So Griff knocks the door down.  Eibon picks off soldiers but one gets into the next room, where we repeat the same thing.  However one of those guards makes it out and runs down the hall shouting ALARM.  From here Solara can see that the Pasha is prepping to run and can turn invisible (We know this because when she turned off all the lesser magic in the area with another dispel, the Rakshasa tiger-man became visible and it turned invis to get away).  We also know he can f-up the minds of mortals as he seems to be making encountered groups do what he said.

Now there are too many soldiers for us to deal with (though I'd have been up for trying if they attack in a mob).  Instead we head back out.  We leave the prisoners in cells because they could not possibly swim out and live, and if they weren't locked up they'd probably be slaughtered.  We end up just leaving them the guard's weapons and getting out.

We spend the night on the beach, but only after we convince a nearby man in rowboat to take us to shore.  On the shore we sleep beneath some palm trees and under an illusionary dune created by Shalia, but that didn't keep two giant scorpions from attacking us.  Once those are dead we consider our possibilities, we try to gather more information on the relatives of the Pasha to perhaps figure out what happened here and cannot find out much except that the family hadn't been seen in years and that they headed to another region.  We follow their path and end up deciding we know nothing and we need to be back in the original town now that it settled down.  So we head back to the port and enact one of our Griff inspired "Stop-thinking-and-just-do-something" plans:  Griff will fly in through the window of the room where the new town (temporary) steward is, nab him, and his lone accompaniment (in this case Eibon) will enact the smoking bottle to cover their escape.  This plan surprising works, except it's now late in the real world and probably would have gone crazier if we weren't all very tired.

We questions this bozo and it seems he knows nothing specific about what happened to the family but he knows that the real Pasha is still in town lying low.  A Solora sweep of the town eventually yields a spot where someone is sleeping below ground surrounded by two giant Bone Golems.  Well, we know where to find him next game.


Solara (Joe), Griff (Paul), Shalia (Alan), Eibon (Darren)
We know where the next artifact and who has it, because Solara is spying on them through 80 feet of soil, to where both are, below the slum of the city.  Seems the book holder is performing experiments on dead bodies.  His workspace has no entrances, and it seems he's accompanied by a couple of bone golems.  We try to figure out a few ways down there but all of them seem clumsy and leave behind part of the team.  So we decide to wait and see if he comes up.  After a few days he doesn't.

But it is figured out that he disappearances of people in the slums are happening on the new moon (or as close to it as we get in Faerun).  That's two days away.  So we watch him then and he does indeed come up.  He does so by phasing through the rock and coming out where he can grab a new captive.

We head over there, engage him, but after he takes some damage he flees back down through the rock!  So we have to go to his home after all.  With little in the way of options, Griff uses his artifact to shapeshift and carry two of us down there; I forget how the fourth got down there.

We engage the enemy and while he could have been a problem. he was less so than his golems, so when he falls we have to contend with those.  Eibon goes down a couple times but is brought back up by Solara, finally Shalia and Griff both go down and Solara acts as a dodging target to attract the enemy while Eibon hits him with arrows from across the room (always for minimum damage) until the last golem goes down.  We gather the book and GAIN A NEW WORD.

Shalia = Sky, Solara = Fertility, Griff = Endurance, Eibon = Alacrity

All the powers we gain here would have been GREAT in the preceding fight!

We head back toward the standing stones, because we know we have to go to MYSTARA and suspect it's one of the gates we went through.  On the way we stop off at Silvery Moon where we discover the queen had her baby, and Prince Henry is sans Eye and Hand!  Greaaaaaat.

It is surmised that he is some sort of destined one, an heir to Vecna's second coming.

We head to the standing stones.  There's discussion over which portal does what and which one is likely to be the one we need to go into.  Somehow we settle on... The correct one!  Not sure how that happened except it was reasoned out by the other three because I still had no idea.

As we check things out we are ambushed at our camp by Cannibal Halfings (!) who we promptly crush.  As we are checking out the hills, a good perception roll by someone (Griff?) spots that there are dwarves hidden as rocks up in the hills.  We engage them in conversation and they agree to bring us inside.

I should mention the book.  The Book of Vile Darkness (The Phylactery which has the soul of Vecna) is with our group because we fear giving it up to anyone due to its ability to compel people to use it and become corrupted.  Because it can, among other things, spoil our food, whoever carries it has to stay 60' from the rest of us.  So Shalia stays in the hills while we go in and talk to the dwarves, who it turns out, like beer.

But I"m getting ahead.  Before we ran into the dwarves we had to do some research and find out that we are on Mystara.  It turns out if you say the word Mystara, only scholars know that is what this world is known to be named by outsiders.  This brings unwanted attention in the way of guards who want to question us off-worlders, in this case Shalia and Griff, who easily evade them and get out of town.  That's what led to use being out in the countryside where we encountered cannibal halflings and fake-rock dwarves.  Now back to our story...

Inisde the dwarven enclave, they tell us that the island we learned about from the people in town is way to the south and is a long journey away... except that they have a portal that comes out in that part of the world and offer to let us use it...if we take scare of a little problem of theirs in the way of Lava Elementals.

We convince them to let evil-smelling Shalia come in through their mini-civilization and help us kill the lava elementals.  Once reunited, we go directly in and proceed to kick some lava elemental ass!  We had SO MUCH fire resistance due to among other things a miracle cast by Griff from his new Word, which takes a lot of the heat (pun) off us.  This isn't by any means an easy fight though, as Shalia goes down once and Griff is gravely damaged before Solara manages to heal them both.  When the big elemental goes down, it drops a treasure (Type Q:  A heart-shaped ruby) that we retrieve from the lava.

We gain 1 gift point.


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

Tough week!  We defeated the fire elementals on behalf of the dwarves and in return they gave us access to their gate.  Fortunately they knew how to operate it (since our gate guy is off this week).  We feast and drink and then we gate next day.  For the trip we are given a letter of introduction for the other dwarves so they aren't (too) freaked out by us.

On the other side we don't have time to do much more than dodge running dwarves as they rush past us (with some very brief curiosity as to who we are) on their way to a fight!  Seems that we arrived as the miners are taking on vast mob of goblins and a large mob of giants/trolls.  We pitch in (as we are asked to) and perhaps wiseley Giff restrains himself and hangs back from the mass while Eibon opens up and unleashes all the daggers in the world on them and chips away at their points.  This helps swing things and becomes lopsided enough in a hurry that the GM waves the rest of the fight.  The dwaves are grateful and also ply us with beer.  Because of the corrupting influence of the book, Shalia stays outside the caves and when asked about it, Griff explains this is becuase she's carrying a heavy burden and that what would make her feel better is some dwarven music and that maybe he could get together a choir... which he does!  He sends a choir of kids with drums outside to serenade her for a few songs.

Seems Chunt is a very far way across the sea and the dwarves tell us there's a port city where we might be able to get a ride.  When we get there we have a heck of a time figuring out our transportation issues for a few reasons...

First, there's only one ship that is known to go there sometimes.  Second, Griff very nearly gets in a fight with an entire bar (because they're a-holes) but restrains himself.  Third, no one has maps there (or will sell us maps).  But the real problem is the logistics:  If we got a boat it would have to be long enough to keep the book 60'+ away from the food stuffs.  And it's probably too far to fly there.  The only GOOD thing about not having Solara with us is that we don't have to account for her so it becomes a matter of figuring out how Griff will get us there if one of us is carrying a book that will corrupt any food we're carrying.

After a lot of iterations of the plan we end up with Griff as a pegasus, carrying us across the sea, sometimes danling one or the other from a rope underneath.  It's all very weird and uncomfortable.  And within the first few hours of the trip we spy on the horizon some ships battling.  I should mention that we are traveling incognito as a cloud because Shalia has uncorked the mist vial.  We get in close enough to see that it's the navy of Alphasia (the land we just ported from) against the navy of Karameikos (the land we ported to).  They try to fire on us and so we oved on and let them do their nonsense.

 Days later we hit landfall.  It takes some searching to find anything of use and that ends up being a small fishing village that is NOT in good shape.  Going in we discover from talking to the very pleasant locals that they subsist on whatever they can find and what they get in return for trading their special wood that they harvest in exchange for whatever a ship might bring them.  They haven't seen one in many months and typically get maybe one in a year.  Shalia informs them that they are being woefully underpaid based on the amounts we're hearing.  She also makes it sound like she'll be brining them more business at a better price.  Unlikely since we'll get the hand of Larry and bolt.

They tell us the snake people live in the jungle and that their markers are found easily.  They are.  But not before we encounter (and battle) a small group of humanoid-snake people.  We harm two right away and end up taking out three while the others flee.

When we find their facilty that likely houses the hand, it's a Mayan/Aztec style pyramid.  They have three types of citizens:  Snakes with Arms, Humaoids with snake heads (like we ran into already), and full human types in robes and feathers (shouldn't that be scales?).  After some consideration we decide the pyramid is so tall that if we fly directly to the top in a cloud of mist we can attack and get inside, possibly barricade the entrance, and get the hand.  Nice idea (and somewhat well executed) but Giff gets banged up on the way in, and once we get down a corridor inside the pyramid we encounter two problems:  A dragon head which snakes(!) it's way down the corridor and blasts incoming adventurers with steam breath, and a door that Eibon tries to open in a hurry that triggers a kaboom.  We still might have been okay if something hadn't gotten out of all the sarcophagi that were on the other side, so now with everyone injured we had to bail back out, which we did successfully.

We start  series of guerilla tactics, including Griff using his Might ability to pick up an entire building in-tact to drop a building on another building.

 By the end of the game evening, we've killed some snake people, damaged some houses, and gotten a peek inside the pyramid, but we need better recon (Maybe there's an alternate entrance?).  And the game ends there.

Footnote:  Jim has stated that all experience from here forward is based on major milestones and since we didn't achieve much this game, we gained nothing this time.


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

The Pyramid Problem... So the plan becomes:  Griff picks up a massive boulder, flies it over to the pyramid entrance, Eibon rides it (since Alacrity will keep him on there) and Shalia will somehow keep balance, and when we land, everyone goes inside and Griff pulls the boulder in behind him because he's cut notices in the side as handholds.  Strangely, he finds exactly the rock he needs (due to a 20 luck roll) and we execute this plan perfectly.  Once inside we face four snakemen who we dispatch (though Eibon takes one crit hit).  Through the hatch in this room Shalia creates an illusion that draws fire from the snakemen on the next floor, while Eibon runs over the ceiling and fires (which will become a common theme throughout this game) and Griff jumps in and starts swinging.

With them gone, we head down the corridor and decide to deal with the same room we opened last time that had undead.  Griff trips the door blast and opens the door then bars the way (for them trying to come out) and we pick them off while he's in dodge mode drawing their misses.  But the room is empty.  We investigate the other door on the opposite corridor and find the room is the same as the first one full of skeletons.  This one gets semi-hand-waved as Jim just rolls a bunch of attacks to see if any of these guys do damage, and they do a little bit to Griff.  No door in here either.

So we investigate the dragon head since it seems it is a statue spitting steam that is triggered by floor pressure plates, so Eibon (who can run on ceilings), Griff who can turn into a bird and fly over them, and Shalia who can either be carried by Griff or tossed (dwarf style) over any expanse because she can't be damaged by falling, can get behind the dragon head and eventually find the secret hatch that goes down.

Now I could go into a pretty good amount of detail but I'm not sure that benefits anyone.  So here it is majore bullet-point style...

There's a room with a pit in the middle which sprouts tentacles.  Those tentacles are less of a problem than the darkness it casts.  We have to pull back since we were injured and Shalia was out of effort, so we can recover, have her neutralize the darkness, and pick these tentacles off using the now familiar Griff-Dodges-while-the-others-shoot method.

There's a room with a big scary tree in the middle wich does attack us.  During the right, when it tries to swallow someone, A trapdoor is spotted at the bottom of it, so when it dies we go down through that hole instead of the door on the other side of the room.

We encounter many traps, which Shalia disables.  Most are blade traps, one is an illusionary pit.  One is a room with a shifting floor that drops people into a nasty jagged surface. They are all sufficiently avoided or directly foiled.

We find a mirror on a wall, which if you look directly into it can duplicate you, then you have to fight your other self.  We avoid that happening and Griff covers it with his cloak.

There's a corridor with statues in it at the four corners, holding metal weapons.  When they try to move a statue it triggers a lightning bolt that courses between them hitting everyone in the corridor.  But it seems behind that statue is another doorway which Shalia finds, so we go that way.

There's a cavern with a large lumpy island in the middle of some water.  With no ideas, Eibon walks to the ceiling and drops a torch on it to no effect.  So the others leap there and it wakes up and is a "Flail Snail", a snail with three heads.  Shalia goes down and Griff dodges after doing a MASSIVE hit to it that didn't take it out, while Eibon peppers it with arrows from above.

There are lots more traps and hidden doors than I'm mentioning.

We reach a door that is ornate and has a hand reliefed on it so we know we have reached the likely main event....

The room is full of dead trees sticking out of the water (which covers the whole floor), and there's a sarcophagus (lidless) and the center.  Griff opens the door and relays this to us.  This fight is won through a combination of Griff jumping onto and gripping the creature and squishing it, Eibon firing distant arrows at it, and the occasional dagger from Shalia.  We all had to do this while trying to resist its TURN TO STONE ugly-ass face!  It's a medusa with Vecna's hand!

Griff finishes it off by squeezing it like a pimple til its head comes off.  We collect the hand and Shalia has it because it has an evil charm/compel ability too and she has the knucklebone that helps resist that.

Now we have to get out.  We backtrack but we know at the top the snakemen are inside the place.  So we have to do a little hack-and-slash.  Griff ends up punching a hole through the roof using his abilities and then leaping away.  Eibon runs out over the ceiling and miracles a movement power to zap himself into the distance.  Shalia invokes some kind of movement power to fly away quickly.  We rendezvous and are ready to move on!

We got some mortal magic items which will require some effort to use... Wand of Levitation, Periapt v. Poison (advantage on poison saves), Gloves of storing (hide 1 item inside a tiny dimensional pocket for 1 effort), and some money.


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

Moving from the village of snakes back to the human town with the lumber mill.  Once there, as Shalia can not come into town with her creepty venca vibe, and because Eibon finds it funnier to watch Griff fumble through social interatctions, Grif is left with talking to the locals.  There he promptly lets them know there's nothing but bad news:  First off, we aren't lumber traders who will make them rich, and second, we have stirred up the snake people.  Now none of us had considered that this was a possibility until they bring it up, but when Shalia checks on them by scrying, the snake people are marching on the city and it will take a day to arrive.  We send the citizens south down the coast while we work on defending their city.  Before they went they helped Griff build a wall around the city's exposed jungle side.

When the snake people arrive, Eibon is levitating over the area courtesy of the levitation wand, Griff is on his shoulder in animal form, and Shalia is using one of her sky powers to hover.  When fire projectiles at us, Eibon turns around and throws them back and then adds his own mass-damage to the mob (Or rather, 2 Vast Mobs).  When they try fire, gas, and other spells, Griff makes us immune.  We shoot and fray, and destroy 1 vast mob before they depart, unable to reach us!  We bring the citizens back, but when they snake people continue to lurk with their scouts, we decide we have to just make sure they are defeated.

We head back to the pyrmaid and do the road version of what we did on our home court, causing them to ultimately disperse and become less a society than a handful of tribes.  Griff did an exploration of the coast in hope of finding another place for the citizens to go but only found a city that had a prominent church consecrated to an evil sea god.  So we depart the continent, leaving the citizens with a wall of tree trunks ringing them.

We backtrack across the ocean, through dwarf gates, and land in our worl, at the standing stones... but the sky is f'd up again and not only are there all the gates, and there's a host of undead lurking about, but the center stone which was the altar, is now raised high in the air like yet another standing stone lean-to, and in it's center is another gate we had not seen before!

The undead attack and we are promptly clawed up pretty quickly, despite Griff extending his invulnerabilty to help against necrotic damage; their claws are bad enough.  So we end up doing a little run-and-gun, withdrawing using our powerws and then attacking.  The ones on the ground are easier to pick off from above.

Scrying on the queen, Shalia can see Queen Rachel is well, and her son is alive, but he's about five years old!  The months we spent in the other world translaed to years here seemingly.  When we head back to the city we run into some inconsistencies.  First up, a lot of people don't remember the "Eversong Group".  When they won't give us an audience anytime soon, Shalia projects an illusion (and scrys) to talk to the queen, but she and her maids don't seem to recognize her!  Seems Edwin is long dead, about 4 years (sometime shortly after we left).  Cannadon is not around at the church and has not been seen in quite a while.  We start trying to think of people to scry on that we've met in order to see how they're doing.  Anna the druid is still unreachable.  The pain-in-the-ass paladin who went questing to get away from us is visible!  Shalia tries to talk to him in his prison cell somewhere, and finds that he's chained up and his tongue has been cut out.  Eventually someone shows up and casts a dispel to get rid of the illusion.  The gypsy woman, Madame Shashatska (or whatever) is reachable and responds to Shalia so we go visit her.  Turns out her band of gypsies actually travel between dimensions regularly and will be gone within a day.  She tells us about what she knows about Edwin dying...

Seems Edwin tried to cure the young Prince of his curse (missing eye and hand) and while it worked and the kid is whole, the backlash from it killed him.  (I imagine it's like using a hammer to destroy an all-powerful artifact.) She has no idea why she had to strain so hard to remember us of why others have forgotten.

We decide to visit Miri, the woman with all the knowledge, and see what she knows about our situation.  So we travel up to the mountains and meet with her.  She does remember us.  She agrees to do research for us.  When we come back a couple days later after some down time we find her golems are destroyed, her door is open, and the few people left are tending to the dead.  Some sort of evil death knight has grabbed her and taken her.  From what she has heard, Miri read something, declared something like "Only one other person could know this" and ran off to commune with her own god, Thoth, and when she does, a group of deathknights showed up and grabbed her.  We head for the gate that's open back at the standing stones realizing that it's likely she's being taken there to Larry's World.  But we soon realize that there's an issue:  Once you cross into Larryville you can't come back without his permission.  And we need the eye.  So we kill some local undead then use the standing stones to cross into the Dark Sun world where the eye exists.

Exploring Dark Sun we find wagon with two guards who promptly attack us and pay for that folly.  Griff rips open the carriage and after we kill the guards inside we find a group of non-human captives.  These are insec-ish slaves that were being taken to Tyr, the capitol, to be used in gladiatorial games.  We free them and they offer to take us to their oasis.  A common phrase for doing a good deed or being helpful seems to be "You have brough us water".  We help them to get to their oasis, where we find others are under attack by three scorpion riders.  Three scorpions, three riders--we take out two riders and one scorpion.

We meet the leader here who tells us about The Dragon who is god of this world and who runs the capitol.  His games are in a few weeks, which he attends.  He's a big scary dragon with a spooky-ass eye!



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

The local tribe of dessert dissidents can get us some help for the trip to Tyr to fight the dragon king/god, but that help has recently been captured!  Seems there's a girl born to their group with a psionic power that allows her to mask us from psionic detection.  She is in the custody of the local Thri Kreen (bug people) and their hornet subordinates.

A scout leads us there and we spend a while considering, plotting, and litigating the next move, until finally our hand is forced when the tiny girl, who is hindi under a pile of corpses in the Queen's chamber, is soon to be discovered (We know this because Solara is using her x-ray vision to watch from afar).  So the plan unfolds..
Shalia uses her gift that is essentially "shadow step" to teleport into the chamber in the darkness, bringing along sprite-form Griff.  As quickly as they can they extricate the girl, endure an attack or two, and then they teleport out the same way with the girl!  Outside the entire group rendezvous and head back to her family's group.  However, the hornet's nest has been kicked and the bugs are coming out all over the place.

A group of 20 of them or so begin to approach the town, which we've arrived at well ahead of time, and offered to stick around a couple days to help defend against the inevitable backlash that we ALWAYS seem to cause in our attempts to save the world.

But because we have the right parts and time to prepare, the defense is pretty easy to perform, enough so that this gets handwaved.  We go up high, Eibon rains down arrows and sends their own projectiles back at them, until everyone is toast.

We took the kid with us on the trek to Tyr, capitol city.  The voyage there isn't much of a problem and we get there the day before the Gladiatorial event.  We have one helluva time trying to find the best method of taking out the Dragon King, with many referencing the idea of entering the gladiatorial in hopes it lends an audience with the dragon king, but after some investigation we notice that below the pyramid at the center of the city (which is a manse that we can't see into), that there is a long abandoned tunnel that was a legacy of the previous ruler and thus forgotten.

We end up entering that tunnel (by having Griff punch his way down there) and we head in from the bottom.  The first encounter is with...the dungeon/holding cells!  (CRAP:  Forgot to go back and free all those people didn't we?)

So we kick some guard/torturer ass, dress up as them, and "interrogate" one guard to find out some of the layout.  We then have shalia talk our way past the first couple guards as we are the "relief" for the next group.  When we get to those guys, we just kick their asses.  We're slightly injured when we arrive at the Dragon King's Lair (where we find two slaves, that we stash away from the pending fight).

When the dragon king shows up, we engage in some hit-and-run that somehow resembles both a John Woo action film and a game of chess, as we go flying around the board.  Eibon takes quite a while to start getting this arrows to actually hit, despite bringing down his target's AC really far.  Griff tries to thew the big man and has a little trouble but eventually lands one then has to spend the rest of the time plinking away like us semi-mortals.  Dragon King proceeds to try to Fear-Eye us, but in addition to healing us back, Solara has protected us against various compulsion powers.  Shalia is doing some good damage AND teleporting Griff to his target.  After Griff goes down and is brought back up by Solara, DK finally decides to take out the cleric and succeeds!  That leaves us plinking away.  Fortunately because he hasn't had to burn much Effort, EIbon starts burning all of it on a power that brings DK's AC to 1 and does max damage.  The last shot goes through the other eye and he proceeds to change back to dragon form.  OOPS...forgot to mention that while he's the dragon king, he's been running around in human form.

The manse begins to collapse, so we have to both unbury the unconscious Solara who is beneath the dragon king's corpse, and seize the evil eye, then get out before the place collapses.

Once out we head back and get the girl from the inn, we blow this town and take the girl back to her village!

We gained 1 Domain Point, giving most of the us the opportunity to make an artifact if appropriate.



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

We start off in the encampment of the bug people of Darksun having just brought down the pyramid and the dragon king.  The people are impressed and Griff starts offering them passage to our world.  A great may of them want to come to our world, a place with mythical things like Water and Ice and Vegetation.  So we spend days shepherding them back to the gate.  Once there we go through first.

On the other side there are the usual assortment of Wraiths and Zombies which we have to take out in similar fashion to last time, which we do with some injury.  We bring the people from Darksun over.  Shalia tries to scry on the Queen and her child.  While they don’t appear to have aged much (so it hasn’t been years), her attempt to communicate with them by using illusion causes them all to freak out, Queen included!  So apparently everyone has forgotten us.  So we don’t bring the people there. Instead we set up the new citizens at the site of the village that we had previously emptied.

We end up going back to the gates to head through the new gate that we had been resisting going through (because it’s “one way”).  We start by plinking the bad ghouls from a distance, until they duck through the opening because they couldn’t defend against my arrows.  We havre to follow them in and when we do we find there are wraiths and zombies in huge mass amounts, and a couple death knights.  What’s more, there are two captives here in cages atop the hill/gate… Miri and Ana, from our world.

The world is a ginormous cemetery.  Graves, mausoleums, free-range corpses, and in the distance, an enormous castle gray skull.  We start by fleeing because otherwise we’re in the midst of the wraiths, and unfortunately the death knights teleport in front of us and we have to deal with them there.  EIbon is on crowd control, taking out mobs.  We do get away far enough that when Shalia goes down we aren’t immediately overwhelmed.  This is when, as we’re taking on the last death knight in immediate range another figure emerges from a mausoleum and lends assistance.  ’Tis a death knight-ish  stranger who does the old “Come with me if you want to live”, which really doesn’t seem much worse than the situation we’re in if he turns out to are there to kill us, so we go.

After some initial resistance to identifying himself we find out its Kaas, the legendary general of Larry, now a bitter and hidden enemy plotting his revenge by… doing absolutely nothing but watching, and occasionally lending aid to idiots who come to challenge the big man.  We do find out something interesting though:  We didn’t get our powers by virtue of any benevolent god of our realm… no, we are the direct product of defeating Vecna!  His divine power dispersed into the closest vessels, which be us.  We’re Vecna-spawn!  Disturbing, but since none of us feel any more evil than before, we accept it and move on.

Now for an even more important piece of information:  As minister of disinformation once upon a time for Vecna, Kaas is the one who created the FALSE rumor that we have to put the body together in order to defeat Vecna.  We just have to destroy him and his artifacts on this plane!  And in fact he recommends destroying them before we go in because we were foolish enough to bring those artifacts here (even though he’s the one responsible for us doing this).

WAIT… I don’t want to go back and fit it into the narrative so I’ll just mention it here:  Griff spent 2 points of Domain on acclimating his army of bug people to our world.  The means we only have whatever other dominion on hand that Shalia and Eibon have on hand.  So 4 points total.  This is of important later.

Additionally I should mention that for coming into this realm we get our next reward:  a new fact, so essentially the equivalent of a mortal talent, new skill, skill mastery of a skill we already had, etc.  This proves important also for a reason I’ll go into later.

We then spend a LOT of time deciding what to do about getting Miri (Whose magic hammer destroys artifacts) and Anna back from the cages where we came into the realm.  A lot of time.  Seems we each are about 1/3 of the way short of succeeding on our own and can’t combine our powers to cover the whole puzzle.  Eventually we land on a plan… got to another location where we conceal our work and begin work on creating something to help Griff see in the dark, since his jumping ability depends on sight range and it’s dark-night levels of darkness here and he’s the only one who can’t see far enough.  We go to another mausoleum, and have to fight some wraiths (and nearby mobs) but we succeed then go inside and spend the 4 dominion points on making an “Eyes of the Cat” artifact using the expensive ruby we got off a slaughtered foe previously.

Next step:  We get close enough to the site for Griff to leap in, grab the cages and jump out with them.  This surprise move is enough to get all but one death knight and the whole mob off guard!  He steals cages and jumps away with them having been able to wrench them free of where they were dancing, and only one DK pursues.  It might have gotten him if he had stopped, but he blew right past us and continued back to our place.  Individually Shalia and Eibon make their way back as well.

HOLY CRAP:  Not only did we spend a long time planning, but it actually worked when we did it!  Dear Diary...

So about that talent/skill/etc from earlier.  In this realm we have not only the cold to deal with but we also recover effort at only 1pt per day rather than going back to full each night!  So this means that with carrying 3 artifacts of evil, Shalia spends 2 points per day and would inevitably go under in days!  Fortunately, the skill Eibon had gone with was “Magic resistance” which states that once per day they can resist the compulsion (or damage) from a single magical source, so Eibon takes custody of the Eye and uses that auto to resist the eye every day.  Now Shalia makes a resist roll each day and if she succeeds she can actually recover a point of effort and if she fails she burns one and stays even, rather than falling behind.

Now we’ve got caged people and we’re in a mausoleum.  Problem is that it turns out these are a special spell of imprisonment which can only be broken by some crazy specific circumstances (Something about taking it to the site where the spell had been cast and casting the 9th level spell that made it in reverse).  Or we can just hang onto them and get the guy with the magical dispel powers to clear them next game.

In the meantime, we head for the castle because Kaas will show us the way in.  (No, we don’t fully trust him but so far our interests are aligned.). During our trek to the next spot, we come across the road where a cloud of exists along with the tapping of hooves.  From the cloud emerges Madame Shoo-Shootz-Ka (For lack of a better spelling).  First off, Kaas runs off because he is obviously disturbed by her presence.  We know this because he says not to talk to her and when we say we know her he says he’s going to go elsewhere.  A talk with the Madame reveals that she had done down a boon for one of the local lords (So yeh, we’re in Ravenloft.) and his reward was to allow her to travel to and from this place freely.  She’s cursed and blessed.  She may be able to help us out in some way, we’re not sure.  Also she may be able to get us out later since this dimension is otherwise one-way.

We are officially level 3 now for gift calculation purposes only (as in “You do 1D8 per level”, “You gain 1/2 level round up of...”, etc.), not things like HP calculation, which are awarded separately.  Also we are given +1 stat point, and our BAB goes up another +1 reaching +3 (We can now max out at +7 on an attack).



Shalia (Alan), Griff (Paul), Solara (Joe), Eibon (Darren), and special guest Gwydion (Jeff)

First a small retcon:  Because Jeff was in town and wanted to play, he and Paul took the NPC Anna (the druid) who we haven't seen since we exalted (Changed from D&D 4 to Godbound) and converted her into a male and built her out for Jef to use.  So Gwydion is born/Anna is reborn.

Having dragged the cages containing Miri and Anna Gwydion back to the crypt, we now have Solara on hand to free them by use of dispels.  We then realize that we don't have her hammer.  For some reason it fell out during her retrieval.  So now we have to go back and get it.  We consider a bunch of different plans to get to the standing stones and grab it and get out without a massive fight and end up with a simple pop-in/grab/pop-out plan, and it works.  With the hammer now we can set to destroying the objects.  Turns out this ends up being a good move as we find out later on, for each of these objects, should he get his hands on them, Vecna pics up another 15 HP.  So he'd end up with more hit points than our four core PCs combined.  Anyway, we (Solara) locates some empty crypts and we use them as staging grounds for the three destructions.  Each time we trash one of these it opens a rift that brings on some opponents.

  1. The Eye:  Four vampires appear.  These guys are definitely tougher than they were last time, likely due to the quantity of us there.  When the eye is crushed there was a pulse that knocked down some of us and did 1 ot 2 HP.  We take a little damage but defeat them.  Miri even kneecaps one with a hammer (her only offense all game) taking him down.  But the winner for ignominious murder of an undead goes to:  Gwydion, who uses a power to convert one of them (When it blows a save) into a bird! He then it dies from a laser-beam shot of light that fries it to nothing but feathers.  We flee to our home crypt.  Hordes encroach on the tomb-of-the-crime within a half hour.
  2. The Hand:  Two enormous skeletons appear.  They try to upchuck hunks of bone at us but Solara neutralizes it and that gives us a couple rounds to beat the crap out of them. Once again we took 1 to 2 HP and some of us got knocked down on the destruction of the hand.  We win and we flee.  This time it's only fifteen minutes before that tomb is overwhelmed with even more hordes, as we watch from our home base.
  3. The Phylactery:  This time we get one big ugly undead beastie, and fortunately this time Griff put up necromantic protection for the group which saved us an explosive wave of direct un-converted damage that might have taken down at least half the party!  Then we kick his ass and get out.  It's mere rounds before the hordes come.

Upon return to tomb-sweet-tomb, Kas shows up and says "What the heck did you do?  The armies are doing a crypt-by-crypt search of the entire land."  He leads us to the secret entrance to Castle Vecna and we begin in.  I don't have total confidence that I remember everything we encountered.  I think I may have missed one fight.  Let's see...

The room beyond is the final room.  It's in five sections:  The floor we enter onto, an elevated platform on the left and one on the right, another platform straight ahead of us and then an even higher platform straight ahead even higher.  On the main platform where we are there are deathknights.  On the left and right platforms are one enormous skeleton each, who are immobile but who can breath bone chunks at us every other round.  The platform ahead of us has vampires, who it turns out are not really there:  We've killed enough of the vampires that his stock is low, so he's improvised.  And on the far platform is the big man himself, all the while overhead and around is a medium mob of bats (which is plenty).  So while Eibon lays the smackdown on the bats all but destroying them with one hit, Griff attempts the same thing on Vecna, but he has a power that lets him neutralize an incoming attack, thus he survives for now.  Problem is, as he and his skeleton bonespitters make their moves, Solara has to burn all her effort on trying to neutralize these major attacks.  Vecna turns to mist and moves around the room while Griff pursues and Gwydion attempts a special dive-bomb attack that auto-hits, pecking away at his hit points, as does Eibon from a distant elevated corner of the room.  Shalia and Solara are on the ground taking the brunt of the attacks from the lessers, and being brought back up by Gwydion on occasion, and it's looking pretty bad overall, until finally Vecna runs out of effort, and Griff can attempt his last desperate mega-hit, which... CRITICALS!  He does max damage, destroying the last of the hitpoints and setting off the familiar wave of destruction.

We rush from the place, avoiding falling debris, until we are outside, the dead collapsing where they stand!  We make our way to the gate and find it still open. In the distance, Kas gives us a salute and we go through.  We spend 8 points of dominion to close the gate and remove the darkness from the land.  This undoes the lich's alteration of our people's memory of us and we are known again in the land.  We are asked to give or epilogues as to what we do now that we are off campaign.  I don't think I can do most of them justice from memory but here's what I remember (apologies if my memory sucks):

 AND THAT'S IT!  The world is saved...for now [Dramatic music].  Read: Until Jim maybe gets the itch to... "resurrect" the game.