Game 1 (05/21/11)
    Post Game Addendum

Game 2 (06/18/11)

Game 3 (07/23/11))
    Scott's addendum

Game 4 (08/13/11)

Game 5 (09/10/11)

Game 6 (11/05/11)

Game 7 (12/

Game 8 (01/14/12)


Game 9

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Game 1 (05/21/11)

Well, Marines, we are members of a Privateer ship in the service of the Malazan empire.  Our contract is coming up and we are being offered a chance to re-up.  But first things first.  Two of our crew are missing and we are being given the task of retrieving them else it’s all our asses (for some reason).  We set to it by hitting every tavern in descending order until we find the right one.  Along the way we discover that weird things are afoot in port:  There’s some burglary and pickpocketing, and a disappearance or two.  We find that one of our crew (“Big Mouth”) has been sleeping with a local, who has not seen her since she left that evening, and that the other (whose name escapes me) has been at the whore house.  We finally come to the last tavern and hear that someone disappeared out near the well outside.  Yes indeed there are tracks about and when we investigate the well (with a couple of folks falling in during their climb down) we find that through an opening at the bottom is our first dungeon.
Here there be smugglers.  We fight a small group of pirates, who give us trouble, as our teamwork and communications are lacking.  Capturing one of these we interrogate him to find out they are smugglers who have begun the practice of slavery at the behest of their pirate captain, who is down here as well.
When we run into the captain and his crew, they rush Ratboy and put him down after he takes one out, and the rest of the group win through use of web/stinking cloud/fire spells, and lots of good old-fashioned stabby-stabby.  Saved is Big Mouth, but the other is dead.
A brief lobbying of the DM to use Big Mouth as an NPC gets the OK, but she isn’t around long enough for it to matter.
We are to hit the seas.  It seems our goal now is to take over the world.  We go along with it, though it would have been fun to go around Scott’s campaign.
First ship we find is not guilty of any piracy.  Their ship’s log does show mention of a much bigger frigate, and so we head toward those seas and practically run into it.  A fight breaks out and Brawler leaps onto the other deck, which would work if it wasn’t crowded with opponents and if there were more folks following.  Though we have crewmen, they are assumed to be otherwise busy with background fighting while we take on the all the miniatures supplied.  Brawler is getting pretty beat up and decides to jump overboard to follow a mage that leaped overboard to save his own ass.  He gets the mage.  The other mage is already taken out.  Our spells from our mages are failing and we have no idea what is stopping them.
Big Mouth falls in combat and will die while we are unable to get to her and otherwise occupied.  Ratboy has to leap back to the ship in order to avoid unconsciousness a little longer, though he does go down.  Twitch is a ballista/crossbow firing machine, nuking anything he manages to hit!  When things look bad, in comes the lieutenant who has been standing by to help keep us a float in this fight.  We win, but with a loss of 1/3 of our marines.  Another glorious day in the corps.
On board we find a red metal which prevents magic!  Lots of it!  It’s quite a load, but while we carry it our wizards have to stay at the far end of the boat if they care to be effective.
We will recover and then go after another, almost identical ship, except that on this one their wizards can cast, so no weird metal.  There’s a war of spell cancelling, but their wizards get taken out quickly.  We seem to be doing worse this time as now they’ve decided to target our wiz’s, and do so quite effectively, downing both.  Ratboy meets his goal of going down in every fight this game (though at least unlike my other characters, he’s cracking some skulls first).  Healer goes down.  Finally, we win with Lt. Sojourner’s assistance once again.
Both ships have had some strange and unexplained additional rigging.  We now surmise that this is meant to help guide the ship though a narrow channel.  We know the coordinates of a pirate aerie and plan to assail it.  This is where Robert’s dead ancestor contacts come in!  Seems that through a bargain that involves giving up some of the red metal, his spirit buddies will go kick some ass on the pirate group for us.  We go in by rowboat, by use of stealth, cunning, and whoresocks, and unleash the ghosts.  Their reign of terror is quick and decisive.  This allows us to figure out how to hook up the rigging on our ship and guide it in.
The pirate hideaway is basically a small hidden sea village inside a cove, complete with a keep, warehouses, tavern, and other attractions.  We are charged with clearing the keep, which seems to be occupied still.
Our first fight is with Stinger Monkeys.  These beasts have poisonous tails, which have some CON impairing effects on those who fail their saves.  We do take them out, but not until after we fall for the old “Look, something shiny to pick up off the floor” trap.
The keep itself is full of rooms that have been monkiefied with poo, and occasionally occupied by stinger monkeys, undead (who are not exactly standard undead) and ultimately a slime.  While we keep having to take breaks to revive various members and repair our injuries, overall we do pretty well. EDIT:  Forgot to include the Half-giant!  At the very end there was a half-giant with one of their strange staff weapons.  He wanted to fight and we obliged.
Standard tactics seem to involve:  Web+Stinking Cloud to occupy a group, Small Fireball or Magic Missile to pick off individuals, disrupt undead cantrips on occasion, lots of healing, nasty crossbow bolts to the head, and the occasional stab & slash action.


After you returned from the ruined keep and were a little more self-reliant on the last trip, Sojourner seemed pleased, especially since you killed the crazed Fenn and undead hiding out there.  Sojourner worries that there is a necromancer about somewhere.  After some more scouting up top, though, you feel it is relatively secure.  Before you leave, Tatts leads the preparation of the shrine to his nature spirits in the north cistern.  Capt Nok apparently has some way of communicating with the bosses back in Malaz City and you have orders to return.  Whoever has the Broach of Quickness please let me know.
Once you return to Malaz City you find that Kellanved and Dancer have taken over the city!  It turns out that they made the city council an offer they couldn't refuse.  They now have recruiters working Malaz Island and many recruits have been found.  All the pirate operations are being consolidated under the command of newly promoted Commander Nok.  Nok selects 30 new Marines for the Vengeance and makes it his flag ship.  The bosses seem pretty happy about the pirate hideout and will send 50 recuit troops and staff for the smithy, tavern & brewery, and brothel to man it.  Kellanved gives the Ring of Mael to Corporal Twitch - let me know who ends up with it. He says, "You need this more than we do, hee hee."
They decide to give the pirate hideout operation to the Tunnel Rats.  Your home away from home is the officer's house.  You are now responsible for running the hideout.  Lt Sojourner officially is in charge but he leaves the day-to-day to newly promoted Sergeant Twitch.  The new marines have 2 Sergeants and 4 Corporals.  Sojourner recommends putting one of the Sergeants in charge while you guys are away carrying out your orders.  You also have three frigates that are assigned to the hideout.
Your contracts are altered so that you are no longer paid but now you keep all the loot you and your operation take.  It costs 3,000 gp/month to maintain the hideout and ships.  This is going forward so the distribution of wealth from last game is where you currently stand.  You have a month before you need to make your next payment.  The good thing is that you have several thousand GP worth of masterwork weapons and you find you can get list price for these if needed.  The updated house rules will contain the pricing.  Each ship can provide 1d20 x 100 GP / month with a 1 meaning a lost ship and a 20 meaning 4000 GP.  New ships cost 20,000 GP and you can easily run 6 ships total out of the hideout.
You have new orders now.  There are some holdouts up in Mock's Hold on the hill overlooking the north end of Malaz City.  They are a real pain and the castle needs to be taken for Kellanved and Dancer to really control the city.  You are preparing for a mission into the castle.  You have 2 weeks R&R so each everyone can work on something - mages can learn a spell, Twitch can make something, etc...
You all feel that you have learned a lot and you have seen a lot comrades die in combat.  Two thirds of the marines that started on your cruise did not return.  You have learned to avoid taking massive damage in combat for the most part, and feel like you understand the realities of battle much better.  The mages have learned that while powerful, they are always targeted first in battles.

Game 2 (6/18/11)

Sergeant Twitch, Ranger (Alan)
Corporal Ratboy, Ranger (Darren)
Sparrow (formerly “Tatts”), Healer (Robert)
Shark, Mage (Jim)
Brawler, Everything (Mark)
Carver, Mage (Jeff)
Dainty, Half-giant Barbarian (Joe)
Dinky, Half-giant Fighter (Paul)
This game we add to the ranks Dainty and Dinky, the half-giants, which ups our firepower quotient considerably in the hand-to-hand department.  But that doesn’t keep Brawler from charging the enemy.
Upon completion of last game, we have been given the base that we overtook.  However the expense of running it will be a problem unless we supplement our income.  As all good adventurers do, we take the job that involves the most potential for looting, which in this case is the overtaking of Mock’s Hold.
But first: A skirmish.
Scott wanted to test out the mass-combat rules.  Let’s just say they are still a work in progress after the testing.  It didn’t help that me (the guy with the least experience or understanding of mass combat) was the one controlling the boss.  I spent a lot of time looking at the others and saying “So… should I order the artillery to attack?  No?  Yes?”
We were given 4 units and put on the field of battle against more units, but who have less skill.  The archery and artillery units picked apart their archers, while we suffered minimally.  We were aided greatly by some phantom soldier units created by Shark and then Carver, which were simply illusionary troops that engaged their frontline guys.
There’s a bone of contention about how one platoon of troops who were never under attack managed to disband due to morale issues.  Apparently Sgt. Twitch is a cruel master.
During the lead time between games some of us did a few things.  Ratboy did some recon on the hold which yielded some troop strengths, that they likely have people filtering in and out by unseen means, and eventually a tunnel that leads to a guest house on an estate.  This will be our point of entry.  Not sure what the other two between-game-gamers did (Jim and Mark).  Mark’s seemed to involve getting himself into an ambush (as when I arrived on-time for the game he and three cohorts were being ambushed by archers).
Our orders for this mission will include not harming bystanders or those who surrender.
We sneak onto the estate, climb into the tunnels, come through double-doors and encounter the first group, who we handle, and right after we’ve tied up those who surrendered, we come face-to-face with a much larger force.  Scott says something about this being the biggest force or the toughest encounter or something—I can’t quote him exactly.
We start off face-to-face with them but when they pull crossbows, retreating down the winding tunnel to cut off their line of sight makes some sense.  Thing is, we never quite do that right.  One tremendously helpful thing was Shark using his web spell to divide forces by gumming some of them up in the tunnel while we fight the ones in front.  Brawler and Dainty, then Dinky and Ratboy.  Casualties were additionally incurred when folks tried to burn their friends out of the webs, causing plenty of fire damage.  Toss in some grease spells, illusionary walls, and various other tricks and we win this but not without having Dainty and Ratboy go down at one point or another.  There were better ways to do this, like completely staying out of line of site of their many archers, but we were too dumb to take advantage of the terrain features.
We are warned by some captives that something odd has happened down there were some of their troops have vanished.  Takes a few hours to heal up and cast some rituals, while Ratboy sends some rats out for recon, discovering the part of the dungeon where the troop-nabbing creature is.  We avoid this and go around him in favor of completing our objective; I think we may have to go back down there and dispose of him later unless Scott hand-waves that part.
We do however have an encounter with a local demon.  Some sort of hideous reptilian beast with a jagged blade that makes you keep bleeding once you take a wound.  As tradition calls for, Ratboy goes down first.  The creature is felled after a spirited fight.
We find a room that is a temple to Opan, the god of luck.  There seems to be some spell-failure going on in here, likely attributed to the nature of the temple.  This means we spend a lot of time in melee as we are attacked by soldiers.  Sparrow becomes a frontline fighter and proving that the god of luck is present, survives the experience.  Carver makes an illusion of one of those demons from earlier and that works well as it holds off another set of troops that are coming down the hall, and even causes one of the troops to blaspheme against Opan (thinking that this creature’s defection to our side was a trick of luck).
There’s also a fight that involves a big room that has a group of troops waiting for us in formation. (I half expected them to be illusionary from the way they were waiting in a block, but they weren’t).  Those who rushed in were subjected to arrow fire from hidden arrow slits in the walls on either side.  (Ratboy was lucky enough to get out of there with all 5 hit points in tact.)  Illusionary walls prevent fire from one side, but mostly the firing stops because a web spell has fractured the group in the middle of the room and several fighters have been splattered in dramatic fashion and that seemed to indicate that the archers should perhaps head out quickly.
There are several rooms (only one of which we actually play out) that involve small detachments of troops.
While I’ve glossed over the details of many of these fights, the brutal nature of half-giants coupled with many folks having critical results in quite a few grisly opponent kills over the course of the game.  Some guys live on only as abstract art splattered over dungeon walls, some are bisected, limbs are detached and bodies are sent on to warrior’s hell to find the heads from which they were separated.
I’m having trouble recalling the resolution of the game.  Was there a big-bad that we had to fight at the end?
The soldiers in general were no pushover.  Most had better armor than us and were around 2nd level with enough HP’s to keep them from going down in two hits unless they were criticaled or the hit was delivered by a half-giant.  Mages make the difference in those cases.
Among the many slaves that were liberated from Mock’s Keep is someone who claims to be Ratboy’s sister.  He remembers nothing, as a result of his pre-game head trauma (Not to be confused with the head trauma during game).
I imagine Scott will want copies of characters that leveled.  Also, I’m guessing that if you have between game things you want to do maybe you should hit Scott up.  I know I will.  If you’re ever not sure if you have the latest version of a document, visit the website; I put dates next to the docs as to when I posted them.

Game 3 (7/23/2011)

Rats Tunneling:
Dinky (Paul)
Brawler (Mark)
Sparrow (Robert)
Twitch (Alan)
Ratboy (Darren, half-game)

Having done plenty to secure the fort last game, we go back to the surface and discover that there is a skirmish under way between the forces of Sojourner and those of Mock.  We become a unit and join the fray.  With the modified mass combat rules we make command rolls before attempting most things.  It made more logical sense to me in this case.  It’s pretty much a route once we are there.  Archers and artillery take out their ranged forces and a number of GM fumbles certainly didn’t hurt (us).

We now must clear the rest of the keep.  We go back in and start on the same floor.  We end up finding a chamber that still has some guys in it who want to fight, and we do a pretty good job on them.  A mage tries to make his presence felt, which he did until Ratboy cut off his arm on a crit.  Seems however that captive mages are supposed to be kept whole, so Sojourner wants his arm restored.  That’ll have to wait since we don’t have such magic.

We encounter a few pockets of resistance, some of which surrender quickly due to being low on morale (these are some of the guys we fought earlier and left tied up).  We find deep in the bowels of the place that things get funkier.  There’s a cave with some sort of evil black shadows that issue from it and fly around trying to kill us (Old school D&D cloakers).  They make Ratboy run away on a missed fear save, which is good since he was the one getting smacked around by them anyway.  Dinky uses his leaping ability to go up top and slam dunk a few.  Between that and a few crossbow shots they go down.

We find another room that has two statues.  It appears to be another temple to Opan, the god of luck.  There are two status, a boy and a girl, each representing an aspect of the god.  At the far end of the room is an altar.  Someone makes a bee-line for the altar, making sure to remain directly between the two statues not favoring one over the other.  I believe it was Sparrow.  Yes, in fact I’m sure it was, as he feels compelled to kneel in obeisance.  He does so and is immediately met with…. A boon!  He is bumped up to next level.  He celebrates, and as he shouts out how good he feels, a bunch of armed individuals enter the room.

THIS IS WHERE I LEFT.  Sorry, had thing to do.  Anyone who wants to add to the recap, feel free to do so and I’ll composite them before posting them on the site.

UPDATE (provided by Scott):

Game 4 (8/13/2011)

This game’s Privateers:
Everyone except Brawler (Mark)

You can tell it’s an engaging game when it’s several hours after the game that I realize… I never once rolled an attack all game.  Oh sure, I was shot at and I did things in combat, but I never once attacked anyone all game.  Not to be construed as a complaint, as I think this was my favorite of the sessions so far of this campaign.

We begin in port.  We are given a task:  We are to travel (about 10 days) to a Fete (party) near Nex, to meet Dame Gold, the party host, who will put us in contact with some associates.  The whole thing is very vague.  The people we’re supposed to meet—are we supposed to make friends?  Set up alliances?  Wipe them off the face of the Earth?

We travel.  The 10 days have only minimal encounterage—a new word I just invented.  First we meet two guys on the road who say they were ambushed and were lucky to get away.  Our healer, being a soft touch proceeds to give them 10gp.  We continue on our way and come across 100 men with pitchforks and torches.  Yup, they were taken by a couple con-men, managed to get their goods back, but the men escaped and now they’re looking for them.  We say we saw them but decline to mention giving them money.

We set up a camp off road in one area and it turns out there’s another encampment not far away.  When they are noticed, everyone springs into combat.  Well, not everyone, as Twitch tries to engage them in talk, but since they load their crossbows anyway, a fight breaks out.  Shark’s fireball is neutralized by a wizard out there somewhere, but Carver plants a bigger, nastier one right in the group and puts them on the run.  Sparrow, scouting ahead, sees there are 4 wizards and two more detachments of troops out there, plus the ones from this group who ran.  We decide to get moving.

Nex has an anti-magic-using rule.  Napanese (People from Napan) are considered second-class citizens.  We have 3 Naps (Ratboy and his Sister Malka).  Sgt Twitch decides he needs a new weapon (You see, next level he’ll be able to shoot 4 arrows/turn), a crossbow that can fire two arrows.  So he goes to an armorer/weaponer and sets up a debt for himself.  We are all out scouring for info on the guys we fought.  Seems they are rebel guerillas fighting the man.  We’re in a civil war.

We eventually get to Dame Gold’s palace and engage in partying.  Turns out we’re pretty bad at partying.    But some of the highlights include Dinky (Paul) hitting on the hottest chick at the party only to send her fleeing in terror, a drinking contest that was almost won by Ratboy’s sister (ended in a tie), Dainty (Joe) getting etiquette lessons, Ratboy’s Sister Malka torturing a monk by being social with him, the hide and seek sex party where Dinky redeemed himself with the same girl by being ‘manly’ and commanding and Ratboy slept with the hostess and Twitch performing “Alchemy” with the local goth chick.

And there was a drawing of cards from the Dragon Deck.  If I remember correctly (and that’s a longshot) Dinky and Twitch both get the Knight of High House Shadows (inverted), Ratboy gets the Mason of High House Death, Malka gets the Virgin of High House Death (whose meaning the deck-owner declines to explain), Sparrow draws (something) from High House Light, and I believe there were more from High House Death and Shadows.  The upshot is that while the party has a purpose we don’t necessarily realize, our plans will be foiled.

Dame Gold finally lets us know that she will introduce us to the people we’re supposed to meet, but only after we do a task for her.  Her brother is going mad and lives 300 miles away.  She wants us to take a cure to him and upon return she’ll make the proper introductions.  We agree and set out almost immediately.  She gave us 5k in gold and promises expenses paid later.  Twitch gets his new Crossbow with the 5k, the only problem is that after we pay for expenses out of our own pocket and are underway, we get word from Cup, the spit boy (an employee of the Dame) that the place we just left has been sacked.  Continuing forward seems pointless now since we won’t be able to get the introduction for which we are doing all this, since the Dame may be dead or captured.  So we return to investigate.

A half-day to return and we find the building is torched and we count the dead.  Tracking we found where they departed and which way.  Sparrow looks ahead and finds they’ve split into two groups; one is mostly troops and loot, the other is a smaller detachment of troops with three prisoners: The Goth Chick, The Hot Chick, and a third prisoner (The monk?  I can’t remember).  This is the group we set out after.

On the way to the group we are ambushed by another group of troops.  They fire from the trees and Twitch gives the instruction to ride on, and on their turns many folks do, but a few try to engage as they move and a few others just take that as incentive to engage without riding on.  There’s a few spells that get cancelled by wizards hiding in the woods, one entangle that holds a few, and as those still on the path get peppered with arrows, the half-giants start hacking people in two with ease.  One wizard is captured, the rest of the opposition flee.

At one of our encampments we are met by the mouthpiece of these ambushing folks in the woods.  He wants to know what we’re all about.  It turns out that they consider Dame Gold to be their patron and want us to succeed at getting her back.  He confirms something we already know, and that is that we seek ships with purple sails that are in the harbor and offers to see us safely to them.  When we arrive we find the ship but it is departing.  There’s a ton of discussion about how to stop them but ultimately we end up using a new spell of Shark’s, an ice ship, to pursue.  We catch up and find their destination.  So they are in another port now and we are there, having docked our ice ship, and intend to steal on board and retrieve the captives. 

GAME 5 (09/10/11)

Slaves: Everyone except Joe

We begin near the harbor to which we had pursued the ship with the purple sails.  Our goal was to retrieve the people who had been abducted from the big party last game.

There is a protracted period of recon.  We try to figure out which of the many ships is the one we want.  In order to get into town after running our ice ship ashore, we meet up with some merchants and sign on to assist them.  This way we come into town as part of the caravan.  The guy running it seems amiable enough.  Too bad we screwed him by bailing out on him later.

During our time in port we tried such things as fly-over and swim-under recon, asking around, and eventually when Dinky (Paul) suggests that maybe they’ve already left port, Sharky (Jim) comes up with the idea of checking with one of the port employees to find out what came in the previous day—only to discover that one of those ships did depart that morning.  We feel that’s probably the one so we set out ASAP.

Problem comes during one of the watches when those on duty failed to make both their perception roll and a save and the whole team gets abducted in their sleep.

We awaken on a slave ship.  We get a lecture about how we could simply be killed but instead we’ll be put through far worse at the behest of the slaver’s overlords.  A lot of our stuff gets thrown overboard out of spite.  We bide our time.  Except that we are getting pseudo-permanent HP loss each week.  We’re taking a D8 per week of HPs that can’t be healed by conventional magic.  That’s a lot considering Wizards only have D4s to begin with.  And the first character to nearly succumb is Ratboy’s (Darren) sister, Malka.  It’s decided that since she would Zero out that week, we will act when she is near death.

Brawler (Mark) uses a wire he had on him to foil locks while we are in the hold and we seize a guard during his rounds.  Then we seize another guard when Brawler convinces him to come back to the slave pen so that they can beat up on a prisoner.  With two outfits and swords we begin to explore the ship.  Brawler unlocks the weapon’s locker and Ratboy brings them back in several trips.  Our plan to capture and use the captain as leverage against the ship but that goes by the wayside when Ratboy arrives at the captains quarters and Brawler has just slit the captain’s throat, which is honestly fine by him—except of course that he didn’t get to participate.  We lay in wait for the 1st mate, much the way as we had for the guards earlier, and take him out.  Eventually, Brawler’s minions have freed slaves from all over the ship.  A fire is set below and everyone bails over in the chaos.

We were docked not far from land at the time.  We gather, create an ice ship, and bail.

In addition to our current crew of PCs, we have Big Mouth, Malka, 3 Hangers-on of Brawler, a barbarian that made friends with Malka, and the first two gaurds we captures who fled with us rather than face their masters for their incompetence.

Game was called early, just after 8, so we stopped here.  Many of us leveled to 6th, NPCs to 4th.

In the interim, Ratboy will accede to the constant complaining of his sister that she’s not formally part of the team and have the Sergeant make her part of the team.  She’ll remain an NPC of course and I’ll continue to pay for her out of my cash, but she’ll need a nickname.

GAME 6 (11/05/11)

Sgt. Twitch is sidelined this week and thus Corporal Ratboy is left in charge, thus Chaos reigns.  No lives lost this week, though not for lack of trying.  We had a good month moneywise (due to my D20 rolling) but that’s all pretty much spent.

We continue to travel to the town that has a useful temple in it in order to get healed up of all of this “permanent” HP damage.  On the way we spy a fight on the hillside and notice that Sojourner is one of the participants.  We pick up the pace and close on them.  We start to focus on the soldiers more than the two HIGH MAGES that are hiding way in the back, mostly because most of us can’t close on them in time and our mages can’t counter stuff that big.  Brawler gets closest to the HIGH MAGES, but is intercepted by some summoned undead.

Sojourner’s two allies take a beating, one of them falling, but the enemy deals with a fireball, and the Half-Giant Dinky, thus causing them to route and flee.

Sojourner demands a report, which Ratboy is piss-poor at delivering so he has Shark do it.

At this point we only had time to make two of the new crossbows so they are being used by Me (until Twitch gets back) and Big Mouth II (Hers is 75’, min 18, and +2 to hit).  Odd that I can remember the stats but not the names of characters.

We are warned that we should be silent but deadly.  We were only one of those two.

Recon of the evil temple reveals 5 doors (one of which is a secret door but which could have an unknown quantity of guards), and during a sweep of the area Brawler and Ratboy find large hole that ants are using to go in and out of the area below.   After dispatching the ants on hand (I’ve never before rolled so many critical in a game as I did in this game), we get the others and come back.  We grease up the half-giant and slide him down to the bottom of the games where we deal with giant ants in their natural habitat.

There’s a huge battle which almost solely involves Dinky, as he blocks the ants from getting past to us and wails and cleaves his way to victory, with the help of a stoneskin from Shark—something he probably can’t take benefit of again because we keep forgetting that Dinky has spell resistance.

We find money, do some more searching, and reach a hidden passage that dumps out right into a room full of bad guys.  We proceed to kick their asses before they can get away.  We get a prisoner, who tells us a few basic things about the enemy due to a charm spell from Carver.  We do some recovering and during the night a wandering group finds us and then runs away, trying to bait us into a trap, their web spell freezing brawler in the corridor and obscuring either side from seeing the other.  But that’s okay, because one dispel later, the half-giant express is plowing through the whole line of them in a bull-rush and going straight for their wizard.  The actually end up surrendering.  The wizard flees down a tunnel, but somewhere along the way in addition to yelling for the guards, he or they trigger a hidden series of pipes that pump noxious gas into the area.

Our giant falls due to a missed save, as does Shark.  When an invisible pixie falls in a cavern, and no one hears it, it does not make a sound.  Shark, in pixie form, is down and nobody knows it.  Ratboy, whose save is mediocore, makes the save several times and manages to put Delay Poison on himself and drag the half giant out of the tunnel.  No one knows about the pixie (though we keep trying to argue his rescue to the GM).  It’s alright though, as he is merely unconscious; it’s sleeping gas.

As the group pulls back from the clouds of gas, they come across another group of guards coming from another direction.  Carver and his new flaming mascot and a half-dozen or so illusionary people try to intimidate the enemies into retreating or giving up.  It doesn’t work.  Brawler manages with precision shots to take out the wizards, even with all the people in the way.  That alone probably kept us in this one.

Big Mouth II, Sparrow (in wolf form) and his new animal companion wolf proceed to bottleneck the entrance to keep them from getting through to us.  However the enemy proceeds to 1) pepper Brawler with arrows because of his pincushionery of the wizards (doing lots of damage) and 2) take out Carver, who is our last conscious wizard.  And with Malka maintaining the subdued folks from earlier, that leaves only Sparrow, his dog, Big Mouth II, and Ratboy  to take out the rest of the guys who are too bewildered by the chaos to run away.


Well, it turns out there was one other bit of info from Sojourner.  When he came upon us he used his Detect Magic/Spellcraft (colloquially called Detect Spellcraft by us “bloody savages”) to notice that a number of our party are starting to be aspected.  What does this mean?  It means that a god or twelve have taken interest in some of our party members.  At some point they may try to influence the party members toward their own ends rather than toward our ends.  And gods don’t care if you die, as you’re just a tool, so it’s a bad thing.  Forgive me if I get some names wrong, I’ve never read the books…

We are noticing now that some days Sparrow isn’t getting his magics back after the night’s rest.  It’s all random.  Brawler had a similar problem, I think.  Those of us who were not aspected were fine.  During this session that was just Ratboy and Shark.

Also, Ratboy got a field promotion to Sergeant.  However, Twitch is still Senior Sgt.

Back to the cave now… After that last bit of insanity and a period of rest during which our poisoned people revive and a few minor heals from Sparrow manage to get a few people going, we have a thief try to sneak down the hallway.  Our guard at the time, Dinky, sees him and tries to play dumb (something… oh, just insert easy joke here) but the guy doesn’t fall for it and runs away.  Dinky tries to pursue, runs into an area where the floor collapses, and has to fish himself out of a minor whirlpool… good thing he has swimming from his privateering days.

All of this sets off an alarm and we decide it’s time to get out.  We take our captives and our selves and get out of there.  Chances are that we can’t go back down the same entrance, when we go back, just because they’ll probably have everything covered.  But there are several other entrances.  And we’ve fought tons of guys—they must be getting slightly lower by now, right?  Right?

We are back at the temple.

GAME 7 (....)

Last game we had cleared a section of the slave-lords den, mostly the unworked end that was filled with monsters rather than the man-made end.  This game we would go back in through that area and assault the occupied zone.

We start with a few days off in the care of the temple of Dessembrae.  Malka does something useful and makes a few suits of leather armor out of the ant carapaces we got last game.  Sparrow allies himself with Dessembrae and winds up being aspected by him, his previous aspects vanishing.  Likewise, previously un-aspected Shark tries to look after him and winds up aspected by Dessembrae too, now awash in a lovely golden glow.  At least Sparrow got a sword out of it.  Both are now obliged to do “good deeds” for those in need.  Ratboy spends the week mapping much of the place using ratconnaissance.

We go back in through the ant hole and keep an eye out for traps.  First place we get to that was unexplored results in a fight with some more powerful ants than last time, as if maybe these were “blesse” or “enhanced”.  First thing they do is trash Brawler’s NPC follower Rosie, utterly and completely.  He takes the body back up to the surface and Sparrow is sent with him, so when the next fight happens we’re slightly smaller in squad size, but it’s still a route.  We have found some jail cells guarded by a bunch of troops.  The majority of them get webbed and wind up moving in slow motion while others get alternately pecked at (by my characters) and slaughtered (by NPC Lieutenant Trembles, who while drunk is a demon on the crossbow).  Dinky does some heavy damage and plows through the web after them.  One guy gets away.  Malka is severely injured enough that she is sent back to the temple with Shark (whose player had to leave).

The biggest encounter of the day is a fight in a sewer area.  This whole place is a temple to the god of filth and is interfering with our casters (specifically, with Carver, who is subject to frequent spell failures).  But at the heart of this place is a 1st Edition D&D style room: Circular, with a walk way around the outside, a stone platform in the middle, and three arches that bridge the middle to the outside, and up high overhead is an alcove with the boss and his desk, where he can oversee his employees… standing around.  Our introduction to this room is when we fail to discover that the staircase we were on was jury-rigged, that is until it actually collapsed into a slope and dumped us all into the sewage.  We fought the fight at a -2 to pretty much everything.

It starts with an explosive cloud of some kind being summoned right amid the group.  The boss sics his pack/horde/flock of flying weasels on Brawler.  Dinky is away for a while and stares blankly (because Paul had to do some work for a while).  The boss takes a potion and with his improved invisibility proceeds to appear behind people and sneak attack them.  This fails on Ratboy, but has better success on Carver.  There’s a fairly prolonged fight here which includes a lot of weasel squishing, a lot of minimal damage from me, a lot of spell fizzles, and some pretty good crossbow work from Twitch, Big Mouth II, and Trembles.  Dinky shows up and starts to smack them down pretty harshly.  Ratboy laughs off a near crit thanks to some Stoneskin still being up, and he ignores a flurry of crossbow bolts.  The boss man tries to flee but Brawler spots him and plugs him with an arrow and pursues.  When he catches up to him, his invisibility is down and he’s trying to hide, so Brawler fakes the “where’d he go?” and then takes him down.

We do some interrogation of the boss and rip apart his desk.  What we find out is that two of the folks we have been following were sent off already and have a 3 day lead on us.  A search of the rest of the replace results in a brief fight with a Wight in one area (which we got out of fairly lightly), and in another area triggering a glyph which injures Dinky and sets a pack of Gargoyles on us.  Dinky tries to cut his own head off with a fumble but fails.  The filthy gargoyles hit for damage + disease, which Sparrow is able to heal after the fact.

Oh, and Brawler’s jaw from last game has been healed, though it aint pretty. 

Game 8 (01/14/12)

We begin in the temple to Dessembre, trying to get our act together before we go after the last of the enslaved folk.  Ratboy gets a cool set of ant armor out of it.  Then we set out.

We encounter Sojourner and his man high-powered companions, who inform us that Kellenbad and Dancer now own… whatever place it was they were trying to conquer.  Sorry, not having read the books the names fly right over my head.  They tell us that there will be a big fight coming and they introduce their new allies—a bunch of crusty undead who appear from the dirt and then disappear as directed.  We are instructed to find the guys who are responsible for putting together more soldiers and take them out so that when our forces crush the enemy they can’t assemble another force.

We encounter four trolls on the road (Random Encounter… thanks Paul!).  There’s a pretty fierce battle.  We win without anyone dying, but it’s not an easy battle, with the regenerating and all.

We encounter four umber-hulks on the road (Random Encounter… thanks Paul!).  There’s a pretty fierce battle in which both our Fenn go down, but not before dishing out some damage.  Our haste-enhanced combat tactics seem to help quite a bit.  Except for me: more attacks I get the more misses I get.

(This Reminder from Scott: )  In between the Arianrhod (the lady) and the umber-hulks encounters, the team met Garalt, a Tiste Andii Soletaken, and supported his fight agains an unnamed ascended Divers.  You helped him destroy 2 of the 20 Divers wolves and they fled.  Garalt went after them after borrowing Ratboy's favorite scimitar and he returned several months later with the story that he was able to destroy 10 more of the Divers.  It is now greatly weakened but you should be careful.  Garalt is part of Anomander Rake's group of Tiste Andii that fly around in the sky keep named "Moon's Spawn".

We are being watched.  Turns out that Arianrod, one of the abducted ladies from the Fett, has escaped capture and once we find her she alerts us to the general direction of the bad guys.  There’s some back and forth with the GM before we manage to understand that the bad guys are at their destination, not still in-transit.  We do surveillance.

There are two armies that are preparing for battle in the morning.  One is Large and the other is Ours.  There’s a stockade that is host to the bad guys.  We do our best to figure this place out, wind up teleporting via ritual of Sparrow, who even gets our spell-resistant Fenn on board.  While on the roof we try to find a way in, ultimately sending Twitch down the chimney where he tries to take out a mere cook.  But Under Siege 3 breaks out, as the cook is not who he seems to be.  He is a polymorphed demon of some kind who changes back to his normal form.  He’s ready to take on Twitch, who wisely retreats back up the chimney rope.  We start digging through the roofing materials and end up in the kitchen where we then move out and try to locate the bad guys.

First group we come across are soldiers who are barely-trained slaves.  They don’t do much on behalf of the slaver who is bossing them around.  Regardless, we hurt some before the Fenn concentrate on their boss.  Another group of soldiers come up from the back.  This puts Big Mouth II and Lt. Trembles on the front line.  We eventually get a better group of frontliners over there (Twitch and Ratboy) and Shark continually softens them up by casting increasingly bigger lightning bolts… some of which turn out to be “High Magic”.  Seems someone has made the leap to high mage.

When we’re done, all our folks (and sidekicks) survive, our army wins outside without having to even call upon their undead allies, and things are good.