Archivum - ‘Campaign Journal’

[Campaign Journal] Sword, Sorcery and Rayguns #09

szerda, szeptember 14th, 2011

by Kalman Farago
Dead Man Walking, or The Plot Thickens, or <^(#, how could I miss three saves in a row?!

After freeing the captive souls in the last session, the party set sail to the next island. (Note: only myself and Licar’s player were there, so everyone else was “guarding the boat” for pretty much all session.) It was a forested island with small clusters of decayed ruins and two slightly larger sites. At the first, we found a wide and deep pool under a large corroded metal pavilion, with a stone platform extending above the pool. Checking with rope and a tied stone revealed the pool to be about 100 feet deep — a good thing I always equip my characters with two coils of rope. Though the water was kept relatively clear, likely by some underwater tunnel connecting it to the ocean, it was way too deep to see anything down there, even with a light spell. Earlier we spotted some stone carving of a strange, upright lobster creature, and Gwyddion got the idea that maybe something like that lives in the pool — possibly fed by sacrifices thrown from the platform –, that might be fished out for fun, experience and treasure; but fishing attempts with a rope, grappling hook and some rations proved unproductive, so the two of us move on to the second sight, which turn out to be a similar pool, but instead of a platform there was only the wafting scent of some heavy perfume — but I’m getting ahead of myself. As we were heading there, you see, we heard some slithering in the dense forest right outside the circle of ruins. We took up a position on a small pile of rubble, and out slithered from the undergrowth a terrible cthulhoid entity. Aye, it was a pitch black mass the size of an ox, with two golden yellow eyes burning in malevolence as it slithered towards us, its eight mighty tentacle undulating and a wicked beak emerging from the mass of it cephalopodic body. A terrible Amphibious Octopus, but the fight was short and furious, magic and steel bringing it down in a few moments, but not before its beak punctured throught Gwyddion’s enchanted plate several times. Since it was obviously this beast that was oozing the heady perfume, Gwyddion cut it out and removed some sort of sperm gland which we’ll hopefully sell in town for a nice prize (which we later forgot to do, so here’s a reminder to myself: sell the thing next time we play).
(tovább…)

[Campaign Journal] Sword, Sorcery and Rayguns #08

vasárnap, szeptember 11th, 2011

by Kalman Farago
The Isle of Abenkhan

The Isle of Abenkhan

We sailed on to the second pair of islands, one covered by forests with some old ruins visible, the other barren and dominated by the remains of an ancient city; and made landfall on the second. Headed for the piers of the old ruins we spotted a small boat already docked, and a single tanned Northerner looking at us. Feeling gregarious, we quickly introduced ourselves to the fellow treasure-seeker (for what else could he have been), who was calling himself Banipal, and decided to join forces (in other words, a new player joined us).

Exploring among large piles of rubble and a few buildings still standing — the largest being a domed structure and an annexed tower — we spotted a white-clad figure rushing to cover behind some pillars. We called out to him while our new friend circled around. He saw a swarthy man in white robes and turban, carrying a flail and wearing a peculiar moon-and-star amulet, signaling to some eight others behind the rubble. Showing a great deal of initiative but perhaps not much diplomatic skill, he rushed and stabbed the man, cutting our way out for us with these people. The group advanced on us but they were unarmoured and poorly trained, and our blades and spells made short work of them, leaving a few alive as prisoners. Much to our chagrin, Licar came up with some hair-brained idea on making one of them speak. It involved Tyraxus’ charmed henchman Stanos pretending to be a captured outsider, Licar disguising himself with an illusion as a fellow turban-wearer who became brainwashed by our — that is, the “invaders’” — magic, then… ???… profit! The attempt ended up as a groan-worthy failure as the three of them engaged in fisticuffs while we were out of sight and thus unable to assist.
(tovább…)

[Campaign Journal] Sword, Sorcery and Rayguns #07

péntek, szeptember 9th, 2011

by Kalman Farago
Serious in-character asshattery

We set sail from the island of Diaphane on the small boat that miraculously appeared. After a brief debate, we decided to head back to Khonón and hoped Licar can negotiate a rescheduling of payments to Temple of Fedafuce, who sponsored our ill-fated expedition to Immah Wel; but only after checking out the last two unexplored islands in the immediate vicinity.

We made for the western one, a narrow, long, jungle-covered island with white cliffs at the northern end near our landing site. Zaxtaros stayed behind to guard the boat (his player absent), while the rest of us set to climb the cliff and get a good overview of the land. We quickly noticed that the jungle was teeming with life, but there were no carnivores at all. Some rustling alerted us; Gwyddion raised a pilum and his aim was true, eliciting a painful “EEEEEK” scream. The wild pig was quickly butchered, and we took the better parts for roasting later.
(tovább…)

[Campaign Journal] Sword, Sorcery and Rayguns #06

péntek, szeptember 2nd, 2011

by Kalman Farago
‘When did Uthummaos’ champion become a goody-two-shoes?’

This will be the story of two sessions.

We fled the island of the Tragos with the aid of Fly spells, the wizards carrying the rest, heading towards an unknown island off the horizon, hoping the spells would last long enough. On the way, we passed a rickety raft with a single man chained to its planks. After we helped him out of his predicament, he introduced himself as Melkar, the Tiger of the Seas, a famous pirate captain we’ve never heard of, abandoned by his treacherous crew (it was the return of a player to the campaign after a year spent in China).

We made it to the island, and Tyraxus Targ, his player being absent, decided to stay behind on the shore and guard the three planks we glorified as a ‘raft’. The island had to promontories, with a buidling visible on top of the northeastern one, and a valley between the two (at least this was all we could see from the east). We split up for a short while, combing the immediate area for freshwater and food. While most people were looking for water in a nearby small ravine, one of us — Zaxtaros, as I recall –, headed up the northern promontory, and found some curious stone pillars standing around in long lines. Well, “finding” meaning “almost got crushed by, as one fell down from a higher ledge with uncanny timing”. To his terror, familiar shapes emerged from the shattered debris: the outlines of human limbs and a broken spine; and just when he veered closer to another one, he felt a strange pressure on his mind. Unnerved, he turned around and ran after the rest of us. We went to investigate the statues as well, Gwyddion deliberately stepping closer to a pillar to establish telepathic contact with it. A brief exchange ensued, during which we learned that this place was “the prison of Diaphane, goddess of the island”; but then the mental attacks started anew, and we retreated.
(tovább…)

[Campaign Journal] Sword, Sorcery and Rayguns #05

csütörtök, augusztus 25th, 2011

by Gabor Lux

Since Premier was sadly not able to participate in this session (and although he sent me his character sheet via e-mail, I forgot to print it, so his character was also absent), I took his place for the journal. Therefore…

PART XXXVII: SHOWDOWN IN GOAT CITY

The Minotaur defeated and the sages reunited, the remaining thing to do in Immah Wel was to plunder it of its remaining riches. Gwyddion, who had to pay obeisance to his harsh god, retreated into the Temple of Uthummaos (ordering his companions to keep the Minotaur’s head safe), while the others weighed their options. Plans regarding the bronze colossus and the dragon were shortly rejected, and the characters turned their attention on the villa of the now departed Red Sage. The building appeared deserted: the bone-filled antechamber, then a bare atrium, two side-rooms (a long-abandoned sleeping chamber and a small kitchen), a storage room with mundane supplies and finally a workroom. Here, in addition to discarded tools resting on a long table, the characters found two upright crates, both boarded shut. Taking one of the crowbars laying on the table, Zaxtaros quickly broke off the front, revealing yellowish, hard-packed earth inside, and Licar, who has had some proficiency in alchemy, immediately noticed it was unlike the island’s soils. Removing clods of the matter, Zaxtaros found himself face to face with the empty eye sockets of a mummified corpse; body turned into a tough, leathery blackness. The curious memento exhibited no signs of unlife, but it bore a small, crude iron talisman around its neck. More examination revealed that the talisman was magical, and, according to the glyphs, served some protective function.

Zaxtaros at once reached for the magical treasure, easily tearing the old cord. Yet barely did he turn when, with a monstrous growl and unseeing eyesockets, the mummy attacked, only to be cut down by spells and laser bolts. More carefuly now, the party proceeded upstairs (but not before Licar carefully collected the valuable mummy dust that remained — a potent alchemical and magical material on Fomalhaut!). Here was the Red Sage’s lab, where a thorough search first found various alchemical writings and a small, forked metal wand among the mortars, jars and other equipment, and then a floor niche revealing a more unusual treasure: a preserved human head with flowing hair and miniature goat horns, as well as brass arrowheads. As neither were magical, and as the villa had no more secrets (or so they thought), it was time to finally rest off the wounds of the titannic battle.
(tovább…)

[Campaign Journal] Sword, Sorcery and Rayguns #04

csütörtök, augusztus 25th, 2011

by Kalman Farago
Wherein a mighty thing is slain and surprising events unfold

After returning to the White Sage’s lair, we rest a night and prepare to move out again. Since the past has become very hot for us, we decide to proceed along the main courtyard and check out some areas to the east and north, while hopefully catching a glimpse of the supposedly invulnerable bronze colossus guarding a conspicuous doorway along the west edge of the yard.

The first doorway leads into an area directly to the north of the segment where we can get into the past; it’s also pretty close to the magical axe that can kill the Minotaur. A scary flight of stairs leading up, decorated by shadowy black figures on the wall that disappear when light falls on them. We’re stopped by a shade, a guardian who warns us that we’re drawing near the Judge of the Dead — a good thing, as we want to talk to it anyway. We follow the corridor, finding a dead garden — strangely indoors, a door which we ignore as it seemingly leads back into the area stuck in the past, and a metal door held closed by some tremendous force, decorated with the image of a man holding a bull’s head — maybe we can pass through here once we’ve slain the Minotaur. We come to a small, walled-off garden right at the east edge of the palace complex, but it looks ominous — the dragon is marked as living somewhere very near on our map, and this place has no roof. Zaxtaros the thief scouts ahead into the garden, and his sharp ears pick up some deep rumbling… he turns, runs out of the garden, and we close the door, but nothing seems to be coming. We explore on, finding in the next room the way to the magical axe, protected by a barrier of solid light that throws back the coin we chucked at it. This seems to be a dead end for now: there’s another door here as well, but it’s been warped by some tremendous force and we cannot get it open. Reluctant to turn around, we fire a raygun at the energy barrier to no effect, then I borrow Licar’s gun and fire it at the warped metal door… and roll a 20 on a “12 or higher” ruling to break it down! The door is blown backwards, and we cautiously peer into the room beyond, seeing a large mass of charred corpses — animals, beast, monsters. A door leads on from here, but in the next second we hear something from beyond that door… perhaps the breathing of something BIG — it must be the dragon! The Red Sage is still brewing the fire resistance potions for us, and we don’t feel like fighting the thing on its own turf, so we turn and run. (Someone: “I pick up the door and place it back.” Laughter, yeah, that will stop a dragon.)
(tovább…)

[Campaign Journal] Sword, Sorcery and Rayguns #03

péntek, augusztus 19th, 2011

by Kalman Farago
In the city of Immah Wel

As you’ll remember, we were preparing to leave the island city of Khonón and sail for the ruins of Immah Wel, where we were tasked by the magic shop-owner Artothrokus to assassinate three sages, men of power and unknown magical powers who were also exploring the place for their own purposes. While preparing, Licar had the great idea of asking for sponsorship from the local temple of Fedafuce in the form of a high level spell he could learn. Well, for better of worse they agreed, and now our Imperial wizard will need to return with some pretty spectacular haul to pay off the loan.

But anyway, off we were, and a short sailing took us to the island where we hid the boat and headed for the large complex visible even from sea. Near its northwest corner, we found an abandoned amphiteatre with strange translucent orbs hovering in the air and breaking with a loud noise when touched. Our dextrous thief Zaxtaros weaved his way through them and found a trapdoor to a storage cellar, where he looted a couple of player’s masks of some value. As he was coming back, we became aware of a dark procession approaching from the east, and hid in the theatre. As they passed by, the marchers were found to be translucent human shapes, the spirits of the dead. Remembering something mentioned by one of our Khonón contacts, we joined their columns at the end as they turned south along the main complex’s outer perimeter. Soon we reached a gate which opened for the dead, and we slipped in before it would close. Inside, we waited a bit for the spectral procession to move away, then started exploring. There didn’t seem to be much of either value or peril in the immediate vicinity, except for some melon-sized poisonous spiders which we managed to torch by throwing flaming oil into their web-filled room.
(tovább…)

[Campaign Journal] Sword, Sorcery and Rayguns #02

kedd, augusztus 16th, 2011

by Kalman Farago
Oh, who wouldn’t be a sailor lad and sailing down the main?

With this post I’m going to jump back to the point when we entered the Sea of Emerald Idols, and recount events linearly from there.
Cast: as previous post, with the following differences.
- Zaxtaros has not joined yet.
- Instead, the player runs Beristo, a tall, bald, not too handsome cleric of Mereskan, the bat god of thieves. The second most senior member of the party, he’s been around ever since the (IIRC) third session. A conniving, thieving, embezzling bastard, his eventual death was not a particularly painful blow to the party. The simultaneous destruction of all valuables on his person, however, was.
(tovább…)

[Campaign Journal] Sword, Sorcery and Rayguns #01

hétfő, augusztus 15th, 2011

[Note: This series is a repost of Premier's campaign journal, originally featured on Dragonsfoot. It covers the last one and a half years of our first Fomalhaut campaign, started 13 January 2007 and concluded 3 October 2010, starting after the first Isles on an Emerald Sea arc. I have made no substantial changes to Premier's writing except to correct simple mistakes and lapses of memory, but I have added notes and comments, some I made in the original thread and some new -- along with extra scanned diagrams, maps and other illustrative material. -- G.L.]

Sword, Sorcery and Rayguns #01
by Kalman Farago

Well, whenever Melan decides to post English-language bits of his Fomalhaut setting, there seems to some interest and positive feedback. Since we’ve just toasted his campaign’s 2nd birthday a few weeks ago and an “official” campaign journal by him seems unforthcoming, I guess I’ll step up to the plate. I’ll endeavour to recount the general movements of our campaign – only going from fallible memory -, and see how far energy, free time and enthusiasm takes me. With two years of history, perhaps I’ll be excused for not doing this linearly. Instead, I’ll begin by recounting our recentmost adventure, then go backwards in time.
(tovább…)