Campaign Journals 01-02-10

Ongoing campaign journals for our characters.

Campaign Journals 01-02-10

Postby Just Rob » Sun Jan 03, 2010 1:43 pm

Hu journal 1/2/10

I don't know what it is with me and rope bridges. They just don't seem to stay attached as we cross. We faced several shield-carrying warriors and mystical force users as we attempted to complete crossing the bridge. I was very fortunate to get some telling strikes that found their mark and helped defeat our enemies in time before the bridge was brought down by our paladin and his mighty hammer. Several enemies were coming up behind us as well as the black knight, but they did not fare as well as suddenly the bridge support was disintegrated by one blow from his hammer. We heard the screams of the lackeys while the black knight feather falled down to the bottom of the gorge.

Inside the chamber were a series of platforms as well as another group of enemies waiting for us to enter. It was determined that I would have the best chance to survive jumping from platform to platform and draw their fire while my companions engaged the foes and tried to take them out. I ran and made my jump in the fog, being unable to see my target, and Master Po would be proud of my skill at landing exactly where I needed to be. I started taking fire from the crossbows of the enemies, but this allowed our group to use wands and spells to rain down destruction on them. It didn't take long before the foes were defeated and with minimal damage to the rest of the party, although I required some healing to restore my life force back to where it belongs.

Our final encounter was to take on the great black dragon who was assisting in the destruction of the weave to replace it with the shadow weave. His over-confidence led to his downfall as several lucky encounters from our party members brought about his downfall. The Paladin struck with a tremendous blow from his thrown hammer, while the mage utilized wand effects and magic spells to damage the great beast. I was not as effective in being able to strike the dragon in combat, but my drawing its attention assisted in allowing the other party members to do the work of death based on their own skills and resources. When all was done, the dragon lay dead at our feet and several captives all around the room were released and escorted back to the prime material plane after we had gathered the spoils from the room.

Once home, we were finally able to relieve ourselves of our collected treasure and put it to better use of our choosing. The party members were given the opportunity to have magical items created on their behalf or purchases could be made from the materials at hand. I decided to invest in an amulet that would increase my accuracy and damage in combat with my unarmed attacks. It cost all that I had and my experience, but in the end it will be mine to use to help bring justice and honor to the world around me. My experience also brought me to raise my level in monk skill so that I now have the ability to more effectively evade damage and have increased my life force and my abilities in combat. Indeed, there has been much that I have benefited from over this past time adventuring that has raised my hopes for making the world a better place in my own humble way.
"Dragon? Did someone say dragon?"
Jason Ironheart
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Postby Greylen » Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:36 pm

Amber's Journal:

So much has happened, I hardly know where to start. The days have blurred and since we entered the black portal to the shadow realm, I been hard pressed to do more than study my spells and carve new rune sticks with spells we have uncovered.

As well, my progression in both my magical and clerical studies has increased seven fold and I find myself sorely lacking of desire to write down my travels.

But Mystra has bade me to make a record and so I will obey.

At last writing, we had just defeated some shadowy creatures, but at the cost of one of our companions... the first of three companions fated to give their all in this quest.

The final place on our map turned out to be a small keep, in somewhat poor repair. Our first scout of the keep yielded some prisoners we decided to escort back to the village. Our second scout almost ended in disaster as we were ambushed my more of the shadow-type creatures... almost impossible to see in shadowy areas.

It wasn't until our third scout that we were able to separate our foes well enough to defeat them fully. In the keep we found a portal that radiated shadow. One of our foes had jumped through the portal to escape us, so we assumed it went somewhere. However, before we could discuss our options, our impulsive gnome jumped into the portal after him.

There was some serious debate as to whether to follow, or leave him to his fate, but knowing we had to enter sooner or later, we followed. A good thing, as the fearsome creature on the other end would have made short work of the gnome. It was no match for the entire party.

We work well together, complimenting our strengths and overcoming our weaknesses.

After some undead attacks, again fought off fairly easily, we found that we were in a place of darkness. Knowing my planes lore, I surmised we had been transported to the realm of shadows.

So this was where the evil in our realm was originating. We had to find more, so we followed the path we found leading from the portal, which ran into a most peculiar building. It looked like a giant beaver lodge, with poles and mud chinking. Knowing we faced a lot of undead, we used Mystra's power to bless us with invisibility to those of the unlife. Scouting forward, we did find more of the undead lizard creatures that seemed to be so prevalent here.

Using silence to keep things quiet, we quickly dispatched the creatures and using much the same tactics of stealth invisibility and coordinated attacks, we were able to take out their master in a single attack... a black naga of some power.

Clearing out the whole building did not take us long. So, continuing on we ran into another ruined keep. Our last Keep scouting in mind, we decided to go in the back way again, using stealth.

It did not work out so well this time. A beast was able to give alarm before we could silence it and we ended up in a pitched battle. Again we worked well together, clearing out the lower keep, then moving to the building on a hill. This was fiercely defended, but we were still victorious.

While we took stock of our wounds and I healed as much as I could, again one of our companions was searching more of the ruins when he ran into some winged monsters. These beasts took our companion and flew over the wall. Before we could get to him, he was killed by them.

Mourning that loss, we took some time to rest at this keep. It was there that I finally, with Mystra's help, found the key to the differences between the spells granted me by Mystra and the spells I studied and worked to memorize.

The difference is there was no difference. They are simply imprinted differently and it is only the capacity of the mind to understand WHY a spell functions as it does that keeps one from being able to cast it. A good thing since a mage also gains some wisdom as he grows in understanding.

This new view of the workings of magic and the mysteries of my lady Mystra has given me new power that would ordinarily not be mine. I am now a true Mystic Thearge, being able to encompass new spells in all domains faster and with greater ease. I can now grow in both faith and arcane power without sacrificing either.

It was in this keep that I also found my life-long companion. I had been meditating on my new abilities, when I felt a light-as-a-feather touch on my mind. It felt like the touch of a long-lost friend and as I opened my mind, I found it filled with a tinkling of laughter, such as I had not heard in this plane of existence. Calling to her, she flew through the open door, scaring my companions half to death. but landing on my shoulder, she rubbed her soft-scailed head on my cheek and that was it. We were bonded forever, my beautiful psuedo-dragon and I.

Her name was Tesha and she had gorgeous, scintillating black scalles and was almost impossible to see, unless she willed it, in this shadowy realm. But her spirit was of the open air and she is a good-hearted creature, though a mischievous one.

After our rest, Boric and Simeon found us, bringing a new companion and taking our paladin for a light quest. Their council was to continue and find out what we could about the area, as there was something going on with the weave and the Godess Shar that they were trying to trace.

So we continued.

The next place we found seemed to be a large cave with a huge building in it. Tesha and I quickly settled into a routine where she would scout ahead, her flight almost silent and her lovely black hide impossible to see.

It was Tesha's scouting that warned us of some small dragons, or what seemed to be dragons around the corner of the large building we found in the center of the cavern. The good news, was with our silence spell in effect, they had no clue we were even in the area. Even though a disease ridden white dragon attacked us from within the building. After that dragon, killing the other three was a matter of a few minutes.

Finding nothing else around, we decided to find out what was actually IN the building, clearing out several boulders blocking the double doors leading further into the building.

We easily cleared the fungus and floor drop traps we found just inside and the Wights and two howlers were no match for us either. However, as we rounded the corner into a room in the far back area, a creature with almost melted features was standing next to a statue that was like a dead space in the weave.

Looking at our new Ranger companion who had come with Simeon, his eyes suddenly glowed and the Ranger fell down, dead we learned later... a tragic circumstance.

The fight was a hard one since our spells seemed to fade out before striking the creature (a bodak we figured out too late) and magic items lost their energy when wielded next to him. However, we surmised the statue had something to do with it and destroying it destroyed the magic dead-zone it was generating in the area. We quickly dispatched the creature after that.

A family of xorn and a river of lava (with a trapped bridge) later, we found ourselves at a door that had been sealed with a mark of Lathandar. Odd to find such a mark in this dark, shadowy plane, but there it was.

It was enough to warn us and we took precautions before we opened the door. Inside was a normal looking man, who radiated magic. He blessed us for 'saving' him and kept trying to leave while the door was opened, so we sent our monk outside the door and shut it just in case... which enraged the man, who promptly attacked us. Turned out he was a vampire who had been trapped for centuries in this tomb. Not any longer, though, as we 'released' him from his bondage. <smirk>

Tesha was amazing through all this. evidently there was more to our bond than I realized at first, as she was able to deliver some timely healing spells for me at a distance.

We decided to rest here and realizing there was no way to open the crypt from the inside, kept one on watch outside at all times.

I was getting stronger. I could feel the power building in me, begging for release. As a part of that power, or a gift granted to my by my Lady of Mysteries, I found that I had a talent for being able to turn that energy into countering spells others cast. In fact, all I needed was just the right amount of countering energy and I could counter anything, almost at will. As long as I could identify what was being cast... an easy task for one who had spent so many years studying the mysteries of the Art.

After those battles, the golem we found in one of the last rooms we had to explore seemed too easy in comparison and upon leaving that cursed place, we encountered Simeon and Boric again, who had brought our paladin companion back to us.

Aside note here: You will have to forgive my being vague about my companions names... Having lost too many companions that I had become close too along this journey has made me wary of forming those close attachments again. I would trust any of them with my life, except maybe Dalvar the Gnome who I would trust to put my life in danger without a thought, as he does his own.

Simeon and Boric brought us bad news as well. It seemed a Black dragon was somehow destroying Mystra's weave, which controlled all magic among the planes, leaving only Shar's shadow weave in it's place. This was our new priority and confirmation from Mystra provided further incentive for me, as the stars on my holy symbol glowed, pulsing twice in agreement.

We were given a map of the area where the dragon was holed up, a long canyon with interconnecting buildings up high. We had to find a way down into the canyon, then find which area the dragon was performing its ritual.

As we neared the canyon rim, where the waterfall fell a good 300 feet, I sent Tesha on ahead to scout for us. She flew as silent as the night and as invisible to the building and looked inside. It was emply, but she did find two toad-like creatures at each corner of the building.

They didn't seem like much of a threat, so we attacked both simultaneously. Tesha even joined in the attack, trying to paralize one of the toads. Then the toads opened their mouths and hit our gnome and Tesha with tongues that moved so fast, they couldn't even move... and for the poor Gnome, it was even worse, as the tongue wrapped around time and he was pulled into the things mouth.

Tesha faired better but was severly hurt from the slap.

Lucky for the Gnome, our blade singer quickly cast a spell that transported us all up to the top of the building where they couldn't reach us. We quickly dispatched them from there and got the gnome back on his feet.

Across the rope bridge held another building, this one holding a Golem we were all unfamilier with. Again with Tesha scouting we were able to gain the element of surprise, and with our plan in place, we quickly moved into place and within a couple of seconds had knocked the Golem off the platform to the ground below.

Knowing the power of such constructs, I sent Tesha down to make sure it was dead. Good thing we did, as the thing was on it's way back up the stairs that led to the platform we currently occupied.

Thinking quickly I pulled out some vials of oil I had for another purpose, but would work for just such an emergency and we poured it on the stairs before the doors. However, opening those doors activated another trap and while we did that, a Bone skeleton of an Ettin appeared and attacked.

The skeleton was of no real consequence and we defeated it easily, then using ropes and grappling hooks, we got the golem to fall off the stairs again... and again Tesha scouted and reported it was headed back up. So we poured more oil on the stairs, which caused it to fall off a third time all by itself, and this time is stayed down.

Thus far we had been quite lucky, but I was going through spells fairly rapidly, which worried me a little. But it also worried me that my spells seemed to be less... effective. Hard to pinpoint that feeling right now, but something was definitely wrong here.

A quick scout to the building on the right showed odd tenticles waving from around it and nothing but some sort of fungus on the left, so the left it was. We also found a strange contraption on the left that seemed to be sucking in all the shadow stuff around it. Thinking this might be a part of the ritual, we pulled up a few planks from the bridge and clogged it up. But from the pressure, I was unsure if it would last.

A nice path led down from that platform to the bottom of the ravine. Following it, Tesha scouting ahead, we found a gorgon at the bottom with a plate clad 'handler', though how that person handled a Gorgon, I don't know. I had always been told they were untamable.

Unfortunately, we got too close and the gorgon charged. Only from the speed of our monk and the lucky strike of our Paladin that we survived without the deadly breath attack from the Gorgon.

The warrior, in the meantime, had been knocked over and the Gnome had jumped on its chest. It was quite the sight to see him banging on the head of his downed opponent yelling "Yeild!" I don't think he was doing much damage, but the warrior saw the odds and did just that, to our surprise.

Turned out to be a 'she' and a mercenary to boot. On promises of her life and being released, she gave us good information as too what buildings held what and where we needed to go to find the Dragon. Her logic that being defeated and stripped of her armor would cause her only death at her commanders hands was valid and we let her go with some leather armor and her weapons... following to make sure she didn't double back on us, which she didn't.

We decided to bypass the barracks and head to the jail cells to see who they had in there, a fair piece up in the cliff wall again. Lucky find, we found companions that some of us had been seeking. Healing them up and arming them, they felt confident they could get out by themselves. They also let us know of that others had already been taken away to be sacrificed to the ritual... mostly magic users and sorcerers.

We quickly moved to the edge of another rope bridge... the last before we entered the area with the dragon, according to our previous captive.

Tesha's scouting did not go unnoticed, however, and a voice called out to her. "Go get your master, little one. I await him." From her description of the place, we felt we'd better prepare for falling.

Potions and wands later, we started across the bridge, when someone at the other entrance stepped out of the mist that had magically appeared, dispelling most of our prepared abilities.

A hard battle ensued with us taking much damage and the enemy being able to strike almost at will.

But once we dimesion hopped a black knight off the 200' brigde and killed one of the henchman, they decided to cut the bridge and was stunningly successful. The gnome and I tumbled off the bridge as well, falling the 100' in the blink of an eye. Luckily, we landed in water, but I felt like every bone in my body had just been broken.

I moved to the side of the wall and watch in amazement as my companions still above were able to fight off the remaining warriors before they could cut the other side. The gnomoe and I quickly drank two more potions and he climbed like a spider up the side, while I floated up, propelled somewhat by Tesha, anxious to get back to the fray.

back at the top, I could see the area that had been cleared by my previous fireball. It was very evident that my evocation spells were being hampered in some way. The area was almost half what a normal fireball would cover.

Oddly, this actually worked in our favor, with the fog covering our actions from anyone on the ground inside the tower.

The tower had an odd construction. A series of 5X10 planks were held up by some force and created a kind of stairway from the top of the entrance, spiralling down to the floor 100' away. We knew it was a trap, so the gnome cast invisible on himself and went out to scout the area... being as he could climb on the wall and such.

Sure enough there were three more mercenaries down below, ready to shoot at anyone who came out of the fog area. Luckily we had a small area we could lower most of us, I could levitate and we designated the monk as our decoy, being as he was the fastest and could actually block the bolts if they came close to hitting him.

Things worked out almost perfectly, with the exception of the enemy spellcaster dispelling the plank the monk had jumped too, out of the fog area, but he was able to break almost the whole fall, taking little damage at the end.

The Paladin rushed the three, pushing them against eachother and my fireball did some nice work. It was over very quickly.

The tunnel before us now seemed to just ooze darkness and evil. Something beyond was causing a rift in the fabric of the weave and we had to stop it, quickly. I could feel the tearing even as we quickly healed ourselves back up.

Heading down the hallway quickly, we kept Tesha out front again, but we should have known you can't sneak up on a dragon... She was spotted as soon as she peaked into the cavern ahead.

We took the initiative, though and surged forward, spreading out. The monk was with his truly amazing speed ran before us all and even got a few slaps in on the dragon, while it ranted about it's destiny to us. Feeling the magic faltering in this area, I prayed to mystra to help me and cast one of my most potent spells against darkness. A searing light of divine wrath poured from my hand to strike the dragon squarely. At the same time, our Paladin launched his hammer bellowing his deities name as well. The stike shook the floor in the room and caught the dragon square in the forehead.

The rest is a bit of a blur as everyone was all spread out to minimize the attacks the dragon could do. I saw the monk fairly torn apart by the thrashing of the dragon, but he somehow survived. As the dragon took off and circled, it breathed out a shadow fog such as I'd never seen. It hurt all in the path, and killed a few of the poor innocents I now saw all around the room in cages, but did little damage beyond.

Then the blade singer teleported onto the dragons back and started stabbing. I tried my lightning wand, but it had almost no effect this close to the rift. Then with a might heave, the paladin threw a javalin at the beast and it crashed to the ground.

Evidently it was the shadow stone around it's neck that was causing the tear, so putting it into a bag of holding seemed to break the bond with the tear and it started to close.

We broke out the prisoners and rested ourselves, with a watchful eye out, but it seemed that everyone else in the area, including the Black Knight decided that retreating was the better part of valor that day... smart mercenaries.

The journey back to Wheloon was fairly uneventful. We arrived to a hero's welcome were able to turn over the shadow stone to Boric and Simeon... for safe keeping.

We had also amassed quite a bit of treasure along the way and the grateful clerics at Mystra's temple offered to make any one magical gift for us, for half the cost.

The clerics of Mystra also asked me to cronical the journey for them. I begged off, just wanting a bath at that point and found the biggest bath possible in this town for a few gold pieces... ah how much I missed just being CLEAN... but while Tesha happily paddled around while I soaked, my symbol of Mystra began to glow again. Mystra's face appeared before me, a face I knew well, though I had only seen it once before. I don't know if any words were actually spoken, but I knew instantly she was pleased with me and my efforts. I laughed and cried a bit as the face faded from view... and just before it disappeared entirely, a voice spoke in my mind. "After you have relaxed a bit, please honor the priests request to chronical your adventure... I should like to have more hear of the victory, to discourage the same from happening." What was I to say... "Of course, my lady" I whispered.

So, here I am, writing all this down when I could be spending more time shopping with all our hard won gains... but one thing did come of all this. I got a pair of flying boots from my friends at the temple, so I could take to the air with my beloved Tesha... now we were truly one.
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