Storm Of War

Podcast of Session 1 of The Rise of Dr. Victor Von Vandervaughn
Someone is killing the mages of Punjar

http://candyassliberal.com/wordpress/2010/04/04/the-rise-of-dr-victor-von-vandervaughn/

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Evil, Dragons, Tentacles, Oh MY!

After the five of us talked it over we decided to leave the people in the room with the giant cage, thinking it was our best option rather than tagging them along, which in retrospect was the best idea after seeing what we had to deal with, we venture on into the caverns, we come up to this stairwell that had quite a bit of rubble on the front of it, and after examining the symbols on the outside, we concurred that it was sigils explaining that it was a protection ward that is either keeping something from leaving….or entering, this particular room. While taking a look at this stairwell and its writings, another member of our party spots a well warn path leading to another stairwell that was heading upwards into the next room. Helcar, which eventually got nick-named Helcar the bloodied, for his many times he was brought near death, saw the stairs and immediately ran up the stairs ready to face his next foe. Illium following his back as he did before all of our other skirmishes and brief encounters, ran up the stairs behind him. Do’Reetto and myself hung back, having the party split up wasn’t such a good idea, after learning this rule in the past during our first encounter in the swamps, I shook my head and looked at Do’Reetto, motioning us to follow them, the two of us as we stepped onto the stairwell heard the arrows scream thru the air and then a brief scream from our compatriot, the two of us rushed up to the scene only to find the portcullis slam shut without any way to see through it. I huff at this blockade and walk up to it, feeling the portcullis for a place to grip, the iron clad bars have wooden boards between the bars to prevent anyone from looking through or grabbing the bars. I slide my hands to the bottom gripping the bottom the best I could and start to call my dragon strength forward; if I ever needed it, now would be the time. With all the might I could muster I start to lift this heavy barred portcullis up and over my head as I tell the Cleric to move on through. Looking forward I see Illium with 3 arrows sticking out of his chest and Helcar with 1 arrow, in the midst of battle with him in the center of the door fighting one of the hobgoblins that block the way. Before I could get to the other side Do’Reetto already surveyed the team and caught the mind of the Dragonborn, Doing that weird thing that he does with his mind, Do’Reetto forced the Dragonborn to come towards us. His armor was glowing with a magical hue, and Bracers on his arm were beautiful dragon scales. I Sneer at this Dragonborn everything about him looked wrong, I felt the Hatred build up in me, my own kind going against the morals that we as Dragonborn were brought up with, the morals that were instilled in us blatantly ignored. As the Dragonborn came close with Helcar in the middle of the doorway he blocks the others from coming through allowing me to single out the Traitorous Dragonborn. I move into the room and the portcullis Slams to the ground as I pass through. I gripped my great axe and I swung it towards the traitor, this Dragonborn was quick and missed the bulk of my hit, but takes minimal damage from each hit. He swings his great sword at me and hits dealing a decent blow to my plate armor. Helcar pushes back the one hobgoblin that he was head to head with. As Illium behind him takes his attack on the same guy he deals a decent blow keeping them at bay. Do’Reetto casts his Impending Doom on the traitor making him vulnerable to all damage. Illium taunts the traitor and as the traitor looks towards him and takes his swing I follow up with my swing dealing the final blow to Orlus the goat. As the fight moves on we take down the traitor and I move forward sneaking in the open hole by the door attempting to deal a Giant Dragon breath to the whole room but before I get the chance to Helcar takes the chance and advances into the room canceling that idea out, so I rethink the idea and only breath my fire breath on half the room taking out the bulk of the archers. I unleash the Fire on the hob goblins and the archers turning them into ash leaving one hobgoblin and two archers unscathed. The remaining hobgoblin keeps beating on Helcar, Finally dispatching the hobgoblin the two archers turn and run, after clearing out the room we take a short break and clean up the wounds that were inflicted along with cleaning up the loot that was dropped, and switching out the armor off the dead hobgoblins and Dragonborn. We explore the room and I spot this wall that just didn’t look right, so I start to scrape the wall and realize it’s nothing but plaster, as if it was covered up to hide something. I think to myself…this just didn’t seem right about this, so I rush at it to knock it down and I pass right through as if it was nothing, we enter this niche and see a lone treasure chest, and Illium moves to the treasure to check for traps and doesn’t see anything at all, so as he opens the chest three spears spring out and hit him, as the acid burns through his skin he becomes immobilized. As Do’Reetto sees this happen he rushes over to and pours that jug over top of him washing the acid away and curing his acidic wounds. I slide in patting Illium on his back slightly checking to make sure he was just fine and looked into the chest myself seeing nothing but a few coins. Illium gathers himself and examines the chest finding a false bottom underneath he messes with the tumblers and we gather up its contents. As we follow the two archers into the next room, we see them lying on the sand with two very LARGE dog-looking beasts, one with a whip and the other a bow and arrow. Attacking the mind of the beast with the bow and arrows, Do’Reetto sends him into the swirling mass of sewage that made up the lake, and Helcar runs in at the same time landing on him with his shield pushing him into the river of sludge. Dispensing with the two large guards the feminine male eladrin looks up in a shocking disbelief at the several Dread Guard rush in. after Helcar shoves the beast in the water he jumps up and gets on the skive, startling the eladrin. I jump down the cliff and rush over towards the skive before grabbing hold of helcar’s waist making sure they don’t float off the dock. Illium jumps onto the boat and tells the feminine male eladrin to get out of the boat, scared out of his mind the eladrin vanishes from the boat landing on top of Do’Reetto and taking off out of the door. Illium then grabs hold of the rope making its way up on the shoreline. Do’Reetto gets knocked down and bloodied from the telekinetic blast from her hands. Kriv Looks back and tries to race towards her to slow her down, he rushes up towards the door way and throws his magic dagger towards her but misses. Illium gets up and blasts her with his sacred flame. Dealing some decent damage she still rushes forward escaping our clutches, meanwhile back at the skive Illium finds himself struck by a sneaky rogue coming from around the corner then dashes into the lake of sewage. Keeping watch of the lake we suspect that the rogue got swept away, so we rummage through the chests and coffers taking what we can carry. The group heads on into the next room seeing the Rat Statue with a bunch of Gold within its grasp… sensing that it’s a trap, to sneak past the swarms of rats that would undoubtedly come from the walls we scoot past the statue towards the tower seeing a man in front of the furnace. Black smoke is seen bellowing from the face of this beggar who would seem to be of some importance in the area. The beggar king calls on his skeletal friends to do its bidding. We all rush in dispensing the skeletal friends and we force the beggar king into the furnace as well as locking the door behind him. Dispensing the king really easily the tower starts to crumble, racing to the top of the tower a dragon starts to coalesce on the edge of the tower, after a lengthy battle with the dragon we all come out of this battle victorious as we head back in to the slaves. Kriv smirks and looks towards the room that we left untouched and we decide to enter the room, seeing a dead desecrated corpse in the center of the room we loot the scrolls within its grasps, and I take a closer look at the portal seeing a broken ring around the portal. As we all are about to leave the room the other members in the group hear a smash against the wall…Kriv has his axe halfway buried in the wall as the portal Activates…tentacles lash out grabbing hold of Kriv trying to pull him in. The group starts growling and bellowing about Kriv opening the portal. Kriv smiles and starts slashing at the beats tentacle dealing blow after blow at this creature as the others deal their most powerful actions against the beast. Pulling me further into the portal room it tries to suck me back into the portal as I lash out with the axe and hack my way out of its grasp. I hear “why did we enter this room”, Several times as I’m hacking this beast’s tentacle. Dealing the final blow I smirk and laugh as we all leave the room going back to the area with the slavers proud of doing my share of work at dealing with a creature proving myself as a worthy fighter as I had possibly let my group down before.

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Podcast Session 2.5
Someone forgot to turn the recorder on!

Here is the last encounter of the 2nd session of Sellswords of Punjar

Storm-Of-War Podcast

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Cage Match

I’m growing weary. I’m not sure how much more my body can withstand. The endurance of my family is not in my blood and it shames me. I’m a warrior on a mission from Moradin, I shouldn’t ask for sleep as I am. I fear my weakness will prevent my from achieving my life’s goal. I fear Moradin does not favor me.

So much fear. Am I a warrior or a child? I must conceal my fear from my comrades. My brother saw through my mask. I can’t let that happen again.

Shaking off the pain of my little, ill-planned, trip into the pit. We ascend a set of stairs into a room populated by several of The Beggar King’s lackeys. By ascend I mean I charge, not so quietly, up the stairs to be surrounded. I keep my back to the wall to prevent these sneaky bastards from getting the advantage on me. I’m handling the situation fairly well until that bastard, the one behind everyone and out of my reach, throws a dagger at me. It didn’t strike me, but it certainly upset me. But, the sneaky little lackeys wouldn’t let me get through to bring down Moradin’s retribution.

Thanks to increased adrenaline production to combat the fatigue, I have only vague memories of a battle with a witch and the stinky dragonborn in our party destroying another set of lackeys.

I begin to gain my composure entering a room after Illium. Something about the scene isn’t right. Illium is standing over a slumped, headless body. His sword drawn. There are several guards who appear to be alive but not reacting. As I cross the room to get a better look at the situation I fall.

“Oh Moradin! I don’t want to die! Please forgive me!” That’s all I can think as I fall to my certain death. Moradin must still be listening to my prayers. Instead of the cold, rushing waters of the river, I land in a suspended cage. This predicament could’ve been a lot worse, if it wasn’t for Illium jumping to the cage to assist me.

Illium and my time is limited thanks to the hairy beast that continues to drag us closer and closer. After the cage is opened I have to fight the urge to jump and rush into combat. I do have this nice new bow handy. Fighting from a distance is not my thing but, I have to admit, it is handy. And did pretty well.

After the battle is over and the risk is gone we release a few prisoners. We have a tough decision. Do we assists the freed prisoners back to town? Doing so risks the Beggar King’s escape. But these people will certainly be killed if we don’t help. My body is hoping we take these people back to town. I could use the rest. But I can’t say that.

Moradin denies my prayers. We leave the prisoners some food, and continue our hunt.

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Illium's view

After we defeated the garbage beast on the first floor of the tower, we proceeded to methodically kill every thing we saw. My experiences here have shown me that many people shy away from experiences such as the bloody tide that my companions and I have become. But these dragon men and the Raven Child seem to be as close to me as the blood pumping through my racing heart. My swords jump into my hands at the very thought of someone standing in my way and cry out in a cacophony at the thought of being sheathed again. I feel like I am being torn apart by a thousand winds from a thousand mocking voices. I will have my vengeance on them all. I only fear that my land will never be green again after I have left it drowning with so much blood. As we proceeded through the rooms of the tower I have been struck by Helcarr. His ability to absorb punishment is astounding, and he seems to revel in the pain, licking his lips at his enemies as though he is going to devour them. He would make an excellent soldier in my kingdom and I hope I do not have to kill him. I am constantly reminded of my duties to my father and his ruler ship. Sometimes the voices in my head scream so loudly that I have to dig my nails into the palms of my hands to stop from crying out. The pain brings me back to my focus. It calms me. Sharpens me. Reminds me. Hates me. Only when I am floating in a pool of my fallen enemies blood will I be able to relax. Until then, I will find no more rest than I have fear. So sleep eludes me. We have killed many people in this tower, all of them pretending at a dignity they do not possess. Proud, empty shells of individuals. No sense of death or nature. No understanding of their station in the wild. In my kingdom they would understand their place as food and prey, and they would be worshipped for their spirit and their place in the great wheel of life. Here they are struggling to understand their identity and they don’t even realize that they should kneel before me and offer their necks to sate my thirsts. Poor, bags of blood and spirit. I am still confused by the Raven Queen’s child. Even my relationship to Old Mother Winter is confusing, so any relationship to her son is going to be even more obscured. He seems like a good traveling companion in that he does not complain and is eager to aid his companions, but there is some under lying mystery to him, some smell of magic, some division in his brain. From what the Dread Guard told me, he has been possessed by some creature, and then his memory was taken from him. This is a terrible thing, and I can certainly relate to his pain. If I had all of my memories I would stretch out my wings and darken this whole city with pain and fire. But I do not remember how to shuffle off this body. Perhaps when I do, I will also know what has happened to the Leaf Blighters son. Perhaps that is why she gave me this body and bid me watch over Dorrito. Perhaps she has been planning this from the start. Perhaps she is my enemy. I can imagine no more dangerous foe. During our death walk through the tower, I saw my chance to end the whole charade of the Beggar King’s rule. I saw him napping on a divan with guards were unaware of me. I was sly and quiet as I have always been. I beheaded the fool and was about to walk away when I realized I had been fooled. It was just some poor child who had been made up to look like my query. One more head on the head of my enemy. I have no problem with killing an innocent, certainly not one standing in my way, and I certainly understand the thinking of my enemy, but to use a child instead of a willing servant is the type of leadership I have begun to expect from the humans. I think my time with them is coming to an end. I hope so. I hope I am speeded on my way. Though I had no problem with the child’s death, I did have a problem with what happened next. As Helcarr was walking through the room, a trap door triggered underneath him. I would have noticed the door but for these damn eyes. I have a lot of trouble seeing into the astral sea and so I miss a lot of what I would normally notice. Helcarr fell through the floor and ended up suspended in a cage over a river far below. I jumped down on the cage to try and free him while my other allies rushed ahead. I found the cage being pulled on a chain by a great ape. The creature was clearly being enslaved by the hobgoblins. Eventually I freed Helcarr and after a pitched battle we were able to slay all of the slaver dogs. Unfortunately the Ape had been driven mad by his captivity and we were forced to kill it as well. It’s soul sent to Elysium where it shall swing from trees for all eternity. A fitting reward for a creature who had suffered so much. Soon I will send this Beggar king his way as well….

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Arthuro the Fence flees the scene
I need an action point

I was trying to catch a quick nap before the customers started showing up with their early evening ill-gotten gains, when my rest was disturbed by the sounds of struggle in the alley outside. I assumed this was the normal overexhuberance sometimes shown by my customers so they can be the first in line for my services. The noise quietened down and I went back to trying to rest. Baren and Turnt would get the customers to politely queue until I was ready to see their wares.
A couple of minutes later, another disturbance started, this time just right outside my door. I jumped up and saw Baren and Turnt in a pitched battle. Crap, there were at least 2 dragonborn in shiny armor and some other black and blue humanoid-ish thing carry a spear. Double crap, it was the Dread Guard. Since they were destroying my guys rather easily, I didn’t see how my death would help anything. It was time to gather some traveling supplies and get out. These guys look like they are not just here to get a good deal on some goods.
I got some extra time to get out, since they decided to check out ol’ Grugghy’s lair. They should enjoy that. I leave the chest, they are probably in too big a hurry to find it and it is protected anyway. As I go past the dog brothers, I mention to the war captain that there seems to be a scuffle in the alley outside. I don’t give him any details, don’t much like the bastards anyway, but just say I got some stuff to give to Mother and use his passageway. After that I find some pressing business elsewhere. Hopefully, the Dogs will be able to handle the interlopers, but if not, they won’t get past Mother and her ball-less wonders.

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Sellswords Of Punjar session 1 podcast
The Beggar-King Must Die!

Here is the link to the podcast of session 1 of the Attack on the Beggar King adventure. It includes a back history of the campaign for a new player joining the group. We also say goodbye to our friend the Greedy Drow who is leaving for a new job. Also Neal ( aka Doe’Riddo of the Friddo Lei clan ) could not make it due to Morris Day getting seated at his table an running up a big bill. He was not willing to leave a HUGE tip even though we promised him gold and magic.

I am sure some of the players will create an adventure log entry of the proceedings ( especially since they get an Action Point for doing it ).

Here is the link to the podcast .

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Nightmares, Greed, and a Down Friend

My travel companions are also a bit hard to stomach at times. I’ll admit I’m not the most suave speaker. I’m not one to change a persons mind with my tongue. However, pulling a crossbow and a man in a crowded tavern? I don’t know how that didn’t get us killed. If those tactics continue I might have to sit him down and have a word with him.

Not only are his negotiation skills a bit weak, his greed almost got him killed. The sneaky bugger loses all his sneakiness when there are riches present. Yeah the gold was promising, but it would have been nice to investigating the better way to get it. I mean, diving head first without scoping out the environment? Not only did it draw out the chompy fish it drew the attention of the cultists. Oh. I guess I should mention the cultists.

We need some rest and some food. The Inn seems like the best bet and it is close…why not? Well there was that incident with the food. But I digress. Strolling down the Crafthaven streets we get a politely delivered message. Politely delivered is an arrow flying past us into the wall. We seem to have attracted the attention of a local vigilante who goes by the moniker The Red Brigand. I grab the letter, read it, and attempt to gain roof access to see if he can be caught. The store has no access to the roof and it only takes a moment to realise that someone who is shooting arrows into walls with notes isn’t the sort of person that I’m going to out run on the rooftops.

The letter provided us with some valuable information. Some of it, like how to avoid the garbage mound, could have been a little more timely. However, Mr. Brigand is concerned that the town has a new deity and that it is causing, and will be, a problem. The name Dagiy’tha means nothing to me at first but with my aching joints I’m willing to investigate. Of course, on the way to the Inn Greedy Drow explains his dream about Dagiy’tha. Nice that he kept us informed in a timely manner….Geez.

At the Inn we start to question some of the locals. The questioning turns into interrogation with crossbows pointing at….well I’ve already expressed my concerns about that so let’s move on. After Greedy Drow heads up to bed, one of the town older shop keepers comes over to offer us a round of drinks. As an apology to the way our friend Greedy Drow treated him, I refuse the round and instead buy the round. He tells us of is neighbour, a fisherman, call Sebastian. He has been gone for several weeks. That is odd. We have a bit more small talk while I order my meal. The small talk was entertaining. The meal…

I partially blame my uneasy sleep and crazy nightmares to the damage the Inn’s food did to my stomach but I think it was so much more than that. The dream was too vivid. There was a cube with tentacles hovering above water. I’m not sure is Bahamut is trying to tell me something or I’m cursed by this…thing…Dagiy’tha but if I want to get any rest, I need to solve this.

The next morning we head out to check out Sebastian’s place. Thankfully he isn’t home. It is always hard to convince people to let you snoop around their house. Easier to just break in and investigate. We didn’t find much. Well if you call a shrine and blood stains indicating a possible sacrifice nothing. Initially I was going to leave the shrine alone. But Bahamut wouldn’t stop chatting in my head. He wanted me to burn down Sebastian’s house. I settled with destroying the shrine. The town’s people weren’t much help. We were left with a decision. Did we want to paddle out to sea and try to find Sebastian or continue looking into the fireheart mining problem?

Based on the fact that men who had been fishing the waters all their life couldn’t find Sebastian, what luck would we have? We decided to go back to the mine and deal with Sebastian later. It wasn’t much later.

After convincing Greedy Drow to leave the gold in the water (while I fought off some cultists) we found the most horrific carving I have ever seen. It was almost animated it was so life like. It was horrifying. To think of the time it would take a dwarf, not mentioning a dragonborn, to accomplish such as sculpture was awe inspiring. The statue overtook me. I was absolutely mesmerised as I walked further down the stairs. A moment later, with the baffled sounds of my comrades, I turned a corner and saw another cultist floating above the water.

I snapped! Don’t know if it was the orb or the wall sculpture, but I lost it. I ran forward thrusting my newly found javelin and striking the floating man. I think that pissed him off. I was hit by lightning a few seconds later. Thankfully the cultist, who turns out the be Sebastian, came to us. I had no real desire to fight on those rafts. The combat wasn’t great. It reinforced something I’m growing to learn, fighing people with magic is something that should be avoided whenever possible.

At one point I totally lost my cool. I was smelling the effects of acid on my shield, I lost my sight from poison be spit at me, and Sebastian was sticking it to us. I could see Bahamut opening the heavens to me. I felt a burning in my chest. I exhaled fire enveloping one of the humanoid lizards. It was very scary.

My fellow dragonborn, in a heroic move that bard’s should sing of for generations to come, dealt the final blow to Sebastian. Surveying the scene I see that our cleric is down. I pray to Bahamut to heal him. I’ve obviously done something to upset Bahamut because he refused my prayers. Greedy Drow was also down but Bahamut sees some purpose for him so my prayers were answered and I stabilised him. Throwing him over my shoulder and heading back to Crafthaven, I glance over my shoulder and see the orb raising higher and higher…

...I think we’ll come to regret letting that escape but we had little choice.

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